Muhammad bin Qasim

Muhammad bin Qasim

Overview
Muhammad bin Qasim Al-Thaqafi (c. 31 December 695–18 July 715) was a Umayyad
Umayyad
The Umayyad Caliphate was the second of the four major Arab caliphates established after the death of Muhammad. It was ruled by the Umayyad dynasty, whose name derives from Umayya ibn Abd Shams, the great-grandfather of the first Umayyad caliph. Although the Umayyad family originally came from the...

 general who, at the age of 17, began the conquest of the Sindh
Sindh
Sindh historically referred to as Ba'ab-ul-Islam , is one of the four provinces of Pakistan and historically is home to the Sindhi people. It is also locally known as the "Mehran". Though Muslims form the largest religious group in Sindh, a good number of Christians, Zoroastrians and Hindus can...

 and Punjab
Punjab (Pakistan)
Punjab is the most populous province of Pakistan, with approximately 45% of the country's total population. Forming most of the Punjab region, the province is bordered by Kashmir to the north-east, the Indian states of Punjab and Rajasthan to the east, the Pakistani province of Sindh to the...

 regions along the Indus River
Indus River
The Indus River is a major river which flows through Pakistan. It also has courses through China and India.Originating in the Tibetan plateau of western China in the vicinity of Lake Mansarovar in Tibet Autonomous Region, the river runs a course through the Ladakh district of Jammu and Kashmir and...

 (now a part of Pakistan
Pakistan
Pakistan , officially the Islamic Republic of Pakistan is a sovereign state in South Asia. It has a coastline along the Arabian Sea and the Gulf of Oman in the south and is bordered by Afghanistan and Iran in the west, India in the east and China in the far northeast. In the north, Tajikistan...

) for the Umayyad Caliphate. He was born in the city of Taif (in modern day Saudi Arabia
Saudi Arabia
The Kingdom of Saudi Arabia , commonly known in British English as Saudi Arabia and in Arabic as as-Sa‘ūdiyyah , is the largest state in Western Asia by land area, constituting the bulk of the Arabian Peninsula, and the second-largest in the Arab World...

). Qasim's conquest of Sindh and Punjab laid the foundations of Islamic rule in the Indian subcontinent.

A member of the Thaqeef tribe, which is still settled in and around the city of Taif, Muhammad bin Qasim's father was Qasim bin Yusuf who died when Muhammad bin Qasim was young, leaving his mother in charge of his education.
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Muhammad bin Qasim Al-Thaqafi (c. 31 December 695–18 July 715) was a Umayyad
Umayyad
The Umayyad Caliphate was the second of the four major Arab caliphates established after the death of Muhammad. It was ruled by the Umayyad dynasty, whose name derives from Umayya ibn Abd Shams, the great-grandfather of the first Umayyad caliph. Although the Umayyad family originally came from the...

 general who, at the age of 17, began the conquest of the Sindh
Sindh
Sindh historically referred to as Ba'ab-ul-Islam , is one of the four provinces of Pakistan and historically is home to the Sindhi people. It is also locally known as the "Mehran". Though Muslims form the largest religious group in Sindh, a good number of Christians, Zoroastrians and Hindus can...

 and Punjab
Punjab (Pakistan)
Punjab is the most populous province of Pakistan, with approximately 45% of the country's total population. Forming most of the Punjab region, the province is bordered by Kashmir to the north-east, the Indian states of Punjab and Rajasthan to the east, the Pakistani province of Sindh to the...

 regions along the Indus River
Indus River
The Indus River is a major river which flows through Pakistan. It also has courses through China and India.Originating in the Tibetan plateau of western China in the vicinity of Lake Mansarovar in Tibet Autonomous Region, the river runs a course through the Ladakh district of Jammu and Kashmir and...

 (now a part of Pakistan
Pakistan
Pakistan , officially the Islamic Republic of Pakistan is a sovereign state in South Asia. It has a coastline along the Arabian Sea and the Gulf of Oman in the south and is bordered by Afghanistan and Iran in the west, India in the east and China in the far northeast. In the north, Tajikistan...

) for the Umayyad Caliphate. He was born in the city of Taif (in modern day Saudi Arabia
Saudi Arabia
The Kingdom of Saudi Arabia , commonly known in British English as Saudi Arabia and in Arabic as as-Sa‘ūdiyyah , is the largest state in Western Asia by land area, constituting the bulk of the Arabian Peninsula, and the second-largest in the Arab World...

). Qasim's conquest of Sindh and Punjab laid the foundations of Islamic rule in the Indian subcontinent.

A member of the Thaqeef tribe, which is still settled in and around the city of Taif, Muhammad bin Qasim's father was Qasim bin Yusuf who died when Muhammad bin Qasim was young, leaving his mother in charge of his education. Umayyad
Umayyad
The Umayyad Caliphate was the second of the four major Arab caliphates established after the death of Muhammad. It was ruled by the Umayyad dynasty, whose name derives from Umayya ibn Abd Shams, the great-grandfather of the first Umayyad caliph. Although the Umayyad family originally came from the...

 governor Al-Hajjaj Ibn Yusuf Al-Thaqafi, Muhammad bin Qasim's paternal uncle, was instrumental in teaching Muhammad bin Qasim about warfare and governance. Muhammad bin Qasim married his cousin Zubaidah, Hajjaj's daughter, shortly before going to Sindh
Sindh
Sindh historically referred to as Ba'ab-ul-Islam , is one of the four provinces of Pakistan and historically is home to the Sindhi people. It is also locally known as the "Mehran". Though Muslims form the largest religious group in Sindh, a good number of Christians, Zoroastrians and Hindus can...

. Another paternal uncle of Muhammad bin Qasim was Muhammad bin Yusuf, governor of Yemen
Yemen
The Republic of Yemen , commonly known as Yemen , is a country located in the Middle East, occupying the southwestern to southern end of the Arabian Peninsula. It is bordered by Saudi Arabia to the north, the Red Sea to the west, and Oman to the east....

. Under Hajjaj's patronage, Muhammad bin Qasim was made governor of Persia, where he succeeded in putting down a rebellion.

Umayyad interest in Sindh



According to Berzin, Umayyad interest in the region because of attack of Sindh Raja Dahir on ships of Muslims and imprisoning the muslim men and women. They had earlier unsuccessfully sought to gain control of the route, via the Khyber Pass
Khyber Pass
The Khyber Pass, is a mountain pass linking Pakistan and Afghanistan.The Pass was an integral part of the ancient Silk Road. It is mentioned in the Bible as the "Pesh Habor," and it is one of the oldest known passes in the world....

, from the Turki-Shahi
Shahi
The Shahi , Sahi, also called Shahiya dynasties ruled one of the Middle kingdoms of India which included portions of the Kabulistan and the old province of Gandhara , from the decline of the Kushan Empire in the 3rd century to the early 9th century...

s of Gandhara
Gandhara
Gandhāra , is the name of an ancient kingdom , located in northern Pakistan and eastern Afghanistan. Gandhara was located mainly in the vale of Peshawar, the Potohar plateau and on the Kabul River...

. But by taking Sindh, Gandhara's southern neighbor, they were able to open a second front against Gandhara; a feat they had, on occasion, attempted before.

According to Wink, Umayyad interest in the region was galvanized by the operation of the Mids
Meds (tribe)
Meds was a Scythian tribe that settled in Sindh, Pakistan....

and others. Mids(a tribe of Scythians living in Sindh) had preyed
Piracy
Piracy is an act of robbery or criminal violence at sea. The term can include acts committed on land, in the air, or in other major bodies of water or on a shore. It does not normally include crimes committed against persons traveling on the same vessel as the perpetrator...

 upon Sassanid shipping in the past, from the mouth of the Tigris
Tigris
The Tigris River is the eastern member of the two great rivers that define Mesopotamia, the other being the Euphrates. The river flows south from the mountains of southeastern Turkey through Iraq.-Geography:...

 to the Sri Lanka
Sri Lanka
Sri Lanka, officially the Democratic Socialist Republic of Sri Lanka is a country off the southern coast of the Indian subcontinent. Known until 1972 as Ceylon , Sri Lanka is an island surrounded by the Indian Ocean, the Gulf of Mannar and the Palk Strait, and lies in the vicinity of India and the...

n coast, in their bawarij
Bawarij
Bawarij were Sindhi corsairs from Gujarat, India that chased Arab shipping bound for India and China, they entirely converted to Islam during the rule of the Samma Dynasty. They are mentioned by Ma'sudi as frequenting the pirate den at Socotra and other scholars describes them as pirates and...

and now were able to prey on Arab shipping from their bases at Kutch, Debal
Debal
-Introduction:Debal was an ancient port located near modern Karachi, Sindh, Pakistan. In Arabic, it was usually called Daybul it is adjacent to the nearby Manora Island and was administered by Mansura, and later Thatta....

 and Kathiawar
Kathiawar
Kathiawar or Kathiawad is a peninsula in western India, which is part of the Saurashtra region on the Arabian Sea coast of Gujarat state. It is bounded on the north by the great wetland of the Rann of Kutch, on the northwest by the Gulf of Kutch, on the west and south by the Arabian Sea, and on...

. At the time, Sindh
Sindh
Sindh historically referred to as Ba'ab-ul-Islam , is one of the four provinces of Pakistan and historically is home to the Sindhi people. It is also locally known as the "Mehran". Though Muslims form the largest religious group in Sindh, a good number of Christians, Zoroastrians and Hindus can...

 was the wild frontier
Frontier
A frontier is a political and geographical term referring to areas near or beyond a boundary. 'Frontier' was absorbed into English from French in the 15th century, with the meaning "borderland"--the region of a country that fronts on another country .The use of "frontier" to mean "a region at the...

 region of al-Hind, inhabited mostly by semi-nomadic tribes whose activities disturbed much of the Western Indian Ocean
Indian Ocean
The Indian Ocean is the third largest of the world's oceanic divisions, covering approximately 20% of the water on the Earth's surface. It is bounded on the north by the Indian Subcontinent and Arabian Peninsula ; on the west by eastern Africa; on the east by Indochina, the Sunda Islands, and...

. Muslim sources insist that it was these persistent activities along increasingly important Indian trade routes by Debal pirates and others which forced the Arabs to subjugate the area, in order to control the seaports and maritime routes of which Sindh
Sindh
Sindh historically referred to as Ba'ab-ul-Islam , is one of the four provinces of Pakistan and historically is home to the Sindhi people. It is also locally known as the "Mehran". Though Muslims form the largest religious group in Sindh, a good number of Christians, Zoroastrians and Hindus can...

 was the nucleus, as well as, the overland passage. During Hajjaj's governorship, the Mids of Debal
Debal
-Introduction:Debal was an ancient port located near modern Karachi, Sindh, Pakistan. In Arabic, it was usually called Daybul it is adjacent to the nearby Manora Island and was administered by Mansura, and later Thatta....

 in one of their raids had kidnapped Muslim women travelling from Sri Lanka
Sri Lanka
Sri Lanka, officially the Democratic Socialist Republic of Sri Lanka is a country off the southern coast of the Indian subcontinent. Known until 1972 as Ceylon , Sri Lanka is an island surrounded by the Indian Ocean, the Gulf of Mannar and the Palk Strait, and lies in the vicinity of India and the...

 to Arabia, thus providing a casus belli
Casus belli
is a Latin expression meaning the justification for acts of war. means "incident", "rupture" or indeed "case", while means bellic...

to the rising power of the Umayyad Caliphate that enabled them to gain a foothold in the Makran
Makran
The present day Makran is a semi-desert coastal strip in the south of Sindh, Balochistan, in Iran and Pakistan, along the coast of the Arabian Sea and the Gulf of Oman. The present day Makran derived its name from Maka, a satrap of Achaemenid Empire....

, Balochistan
Balochistan (Pakistan)
Balochistan is one of the four provinces or federating units of Pakistan. With an area of 134,051 mi2 or , it is the largest province of Pakistan, constituting approximately 44% of the total land mass of Pakistan. According to the 1998 population census, Balochistan had a population of...

 and Sindh
Sindh
Sindh historically referred to as Ba'ab-ul-Islam , is one of the four provinces of Pakistan and historically is home to the Sindhi people. It is also locally known as the "Mehran". Though Muslims form the largest religious group in Sindh, a good number of Christians, Zoroastrians and Hindus can...

 regions.

Also cited as a reason for this campaign was the policy of providing refuge to Sassanids fleeing the Arab advance and to Arab rebels from the Umayyad consolidation of their rule.

All the above reason have their own importance for attack on sindh. But Immediate causes of the conquest of the Sindh was the plunder of the gifts of Ceylon’s ruler to Hijjaj and attack on ships of Arab that were carring the orphans and widows of Muslim soldiers who died in Jihaad against Africa. These arab were imprisoned later on by the Governor Deebal Partaab Raye. A letter written by the an escaped girl from the arab that are put in the prison of the Partab Raye. She asked Hajjab Bin Yousaf for help. When Hijjaj asked Dahir for release of prisoners and compensation, the later refused on the ground that he had no control over those. Hajjaj sent Muhammad Bin Qasim for this great exepidation in 711 A.D. It was during this time when Spain and many parts of Africa and Central Asia were brought under the Muslim rule and war was continue and muslims were not in position to start a new expidation. The only reason of this conquest was to rescue pilgrims that were taken captive by Hindu governor.

The mawali
Mawali
Mawali or mawālá is a term in Classical Arabic used to address non-Arab Muslims.The term gained prominence in the centuries following the early Arab Muslim conquests in the 7th century, as many non-Arabs such as Persians, Egyptians, and Turks converted to Islam...

; new non-Arab converts; who were usually allied with Hajjaj's political opponents and thus were frequently forced to participate in the Jihad
Jihad
Jihad , an Islamic term, is a religious duty of Muslims. In Arabic, the word jihād translates as a noun meaning "struggle". Jihad appears 41 times in the Quran and frequently in the idiomatic expression "striving in the way of God ". A person engaged in jihad is called a mujahid; the plural is...

s on the frontier - such as Kabul
Kabul
Kabul , spelt Caubul in some classic literatures, is the capital and largest city of Afghanistan. It is also the capital of the Kabul Province, located in the eastern section of Afghanistan...

, Sindh
Sindh
Sindh historically referred to as Ba'ab-ul-Islam , is one of the four provinces of Pakistan and historically is home to the Sindhi people. It is also locally known as the "Mehran". Though Muslims form the largest religious group in Sindh, a good number of Christians, Zoroastrians and Hindus can...

 and Transoxania. Through conquest, the Umayyads intended to protect its maritime interest, while also cutting off refuge for fleeing rebel chieftains as well as Sindhi
Sindhi people
Sindhis are a Sindhi speaking socio-ethnic group of people originating from Sindh, a province Formerly of British India, now in Pakistan. Today Sindhis that live in Pakistan belong to various religious denominations including Islam, Zoroastrianism, Hinduism, Sikhism and Christianity...

 military support to the Sassanid rump state; akin to those received at several prior major battles during the their conquest of Persia
Islamic conquest of Persia
The Muslim conquest of Persia led to the end of the Sassanid Empire in 644, the fall of Sassanid dynasty in 651 and the eventual decline of the Zoroastrian religion in Persia...

 - such as those at Salasal
Battle of Chains
The Battle of Sallasil or the Battle of Chains was the first battle fought between the Rashidun Caliphate and the Sassanid Persian Empire. The battle was fought soon after the Ridda Wars were over and Arabia was united under the authority of Caliph Abu Bakr...

 and Qādisiyyah
Battle of al-Qadisiyyah
The Battle of al-Qādisiyyah was fought in 636; it was the decisive engagement between the Arab muslim army and the Sassanid Persian army during the first period of Muslim expansion. It resulted in the Islamic conquest of Persia, and was key to the conquest of Iraq...

 and the finally at the Battle of Rasil
Battle of Rasil
Battle of Rasil was fought between Rai Kingdom of Sindh and Rashidun Caliphate in early 644. It was first encounter of Rashidun Caliphate with Indian subcontinent...

. An actual push into the region had been out of favor as an Arab policy since the time of the Rashidun
Rashidun
The Rightly Guided Caliphs or The Righteous Caliphs is a term used in Sunni Islam to refer to the first four Caliphs who established the Rashidun Caliphate. The concept of "Rightly Guided Caliphs" originated with the Abbasid Dynasty...

 Caliph
Caliph
The Caliph is the head of state in a Caliphate, and the title for the ruler of the Islamic Ummah, an Islamic community ruled by the Shari'ah. It is a transcribed version of the Arabic word   which means "successor" or "representative"...

 Umar bin Khattab, who upon receipt of reports of it being an inhostipable and poor land had stopped further expeditionary ventures into the region.

The campaign



Muhammad bin Qasim's expedition was actually the third attempt, the first having failed due to stiffer-than-expected opposition as well as heat, exhaustion.

Hajjaj had put more care and planning into this campaign than the first campaign under Badil bin Tuhfa. Hajjaj superintended this campaign from Kufa
Kufa
Kufa is a city in Iraq, about south of Baghdad, and northeast of Najaf. It is located on the banks of the Euphrates River. The estimated population in 2003 was 110,000....

 by maintaining close contact with Muhammad bin Qasim in the form of regular reports and then regularly issuing orders. The army which departed from Shiraz
Shiraz
Shiraz may refer to:* Shiraz, Iran, a city in Iran* Shiraz County, an administrative subdivision of Iran* Vosketap, Armenia, formerly called ShirazPeople:* Hovhannes Shiraz, Armenian poet* Ara Shiraz, Armenian sculptor...

 in 710 CE under Muhammad bin Qasim was 6,000 Syrian cavalry
Cavalry
Cavalry or horsemen were soldiers or warriors who fought mounted on horseback. Cavalry were historically the third oldest and the most mobile of the combat arms...

 and detachments of mawali
Mawali
Mawali or mawālá is a term in Classical Arabic used to address non-Arab Muslims.The term gained prominence in the centuries following the early Arab Muslim conquests in the 7th century, as many non-Arabs such as Persians, Egyptians, and Turks converted to Islam...

from Iraq
Iraq
Iraq ; officially the Republic of Iraq is a country in Western Asia spanning most of the northwestern end of the Zagros mountain range, the eastern part of the Syrian Desert and the northern part of the Arabian Desert....

. At the borders of Sindh he was joined by an advance guard and six thousand camel riders
Camel cavalry
Camel cavalry, or camelry, is a generic designation for armed forces using camels as a means of transportation. Sometimes warriors or soldiers of this type also fought from camel-back with spears, bows or rifles....

 and later reinforcements from the governor
Governor
A governor is a governing official, usually the executive of a non-sovereign level of government, ranking under the head of state...

 of Makran
Makran
The present day Makran is a semi-desert coastal strip in the south of Sindh, Balochistan, in Iran and Pakistan, along the coast of the Arabian Sea and the Gulf of Oman. The present day Makran derived its name from Maka, a satrap of Achaemenid Empire....

 transferred directly to Debal
Debal
-Introduction:Debal was an ancient port located near modern Karachi, Sindh, Pakistan. In Arabic, it was usually called Daybul it is adjacent to the nearby Manora Island and was administered by Mansura, and later Thatta....

 by sea along with five catapult
Catapult
A catapult is a device used to throw or hurl a projectile a great distance without the aid of explosive devices—particularly various types of ancient and medieval siege engines. Although the catapult has been used since ancient times, it has proven to be one of the most effective mechanisms during...

s. The army that eventually captured Sindh would later be swelled by the Jats
Jat people
The Jat people are a community of traditionally non-elite tillers and herders in Northern India and Pakistan. Originally pastoralists in the lower Indus river-valley of Sindh, Jats migrated north into the Punjab region in late medieval times, and subsequently into the Delhi Territory,...

 and Mids as well as other irregulars that heard of successes in Sindh. When Muhammad bin Qasim passed through Makran
Makran
The present day Makran is a semi-desert coastal strip in the south of Sindh, Balochistan, in Iran and Pakistan, along the coast of the Arabian Sea and the Gulf of Oman. The present day Makran derived its name from Maka, a satrap of Achaemenid Empire....

 while raising forces, he had to re-subdue the restive Umayyad towns of Fannazbur and Arman Belah (Lasbela) The first town assaulted was Debal and upon the orders of Al-Hajjaj, he exacted a bloody retribution on Debal by giving no quarter to its residents or priests and destroying its great temple
Temple
A temple is a structure reserved for religious or spiritual activities, such as prayer and sacrifice, or analogous rites. A templum constituted a sacred precinct as defined by a priest, or augur. It has the same root as the word "template," a plan in preparation of the building that was marked out...

.

From Debal the Arab army then marched north taking towns such as Nerun and Sadusan (Sehwan) peacefully. Again the main temples were razed and masjid were built to replace them, often using their components; additionally one-fifth of the booty
Booty
Category:Article Feedback Blacklist...

 including slaves were dispatched to Hajjaj and the Caliph. The conquest of these towns was accomplished easily; however, Raja Dahir
Raja Dahir
Raja Dahir , born 661 AD — died 712 AD, was the last Hindu ruler situated in Sindh and parts of Punjab in modern day Pakistan. During the beginning of the Muslim conquest in the Indian subcontinent his kingdom was conquered by Muhammad bin Qasim, an Arab general, for the Umayyad Caliphate.- Reign...

's armies being prepared on the other side of the Indus were yet to be fought. In preparation to meet them, Muhammad bin Qasim moved back to Nerun to resupply and receive reinforcements sent by Hajjaj. Camped on the east bank of the Indus, Qasim sent emissaries and bargained with the river Jats and boatmen. Upon securing the aid of Mokah Basayah, "the King of the island of Bet", Muhammad bin Qasim crossed over the river where he was joined by the forces of the Thakore
Thakore
The Thakore are Hindu caste found in the state of Gujarat in India. They also known as Patanwadia, Dharedas or Baria.-History and origin:The Thakore of Gujarat claim to have originated in Maharashtra in the distant past. They are found in the districts of Mehsana, Ahmedabad, Banaskantha,...

 of Bhatta and the western Jats.

At Ar-rur (Rohri
Rohri
Rohri is a town of Sukkur District, Sindh province, Pakistan. It is located at 27°40'60N 68°54'0E, on the east bank of the Indus River. Rohri town is the administrative headquarters of Rohri Taluka, a tehsil of Sukkur District with which it forms a metropolitan area...

) he was met by Dahir's forces and the eastern Jats in battle. Dahir died in the battle, his forces were defeated and a triumphant Muhammad bin Qasim took control of Sind. In the wake of the battle enemy soldiers were put to death - but not artisans, merchants or farmers - and Dahir and his chiefs, the "daughters of princes" and the usual fifth of the booty and slaves was sent on to Hajjaj. Soon the capitals of the other provinces, Brahmanabad
Mansura (Brahmanabad)
Mansura was the historic capital of the Arab empire in Sindh. The city now lies in Western Pakistan and is usually known as Brahmanabad in Sindh, situated about south-east of Shahdadpur railway station, and north-east of Hyderabad.-History:...

, Alor (Aror) and Multan
Multan
Multan , is a city in the Punjab Province of Pakistan and capital of Multan District. It is located in the southern part of the province on the east bank of the Chenab River, more or less in the geographic centre of the country and about from Islamabad, from Lahore and from Karachi...

, were captured alongside other in-between towns with only light Muslim casualties. Usually after a siege of a few weeks or months the Arabs gained a city through the intervention of heads of mercantile houses with whom subsequent treaties and agreements would be settled. After battles all fighting men were executed and their wives and children enslaved in considerable numbers and the usual fifth of the booty and slaves were sent to Hajjaj. The general populace was encouraged to carry on with their trades and taxes and tributes settled.

With Sindh secured Qasim sent expeditions to Surashtra, where his generals made peaceful treaty settlements with the Rashtrakuta
Rashtrakuta
The Rashtrakuta Empire was a royal dynasty ruling large parts of the Indian Subcontinent between the sixth and the 10th centuries. During this period they ruled as several closely related, but individual clans. Rastrakutas in inscriptions represented as descendants of Satyaki, a Yadava well known...

. Muhammad bin Qasim wrote out letters to "kings of Hind
Names of India
The name India may refer to either the region of Greater India , or to the contemporary Republic of India contained therein....

" to surrender and accept Islam
Islam
Islam . The most common are and .   : Arabic pronunciation varies regionally. The first vowel ranges from ~~. The second vowel ranges from ~~~...

, and subsequently 10,000 cavalry were sent to Kannauj
Kannauj
Kannauj , also spelt Kanauj, is a city, administrative headquarters and a municipal board or Nagar Palika Parishad in Kannauj district in the Indian state of Uttar Pradesh. The city's name is traditionally derived from the term Kanyakubja . Kannauj is an ancient city, in earlier times the capital...

 asking them to submit and pay tribute before his recall ended the campaign.

Military and political strategy


The military strategy had been outlined by Hajjaj in a letter sent to Muhammad bin Qasim:
The Arabs' first concern was to facilitate the conquest of Sindh with the fewest casualties while also trying to preserve the economic infrastructure. Towns were given two options: submit to Islamic authority peacefully or be attacked by force (anwattan), with the choice governing their treatment upon capture. The capture of towns was usually accomplished by means of a treaty with a party from among the enemy, who were then extended special privileges and material rewards. There were two types of such treaties, "Sulh
Sulh
Sulh is an Arabic word which means "peace" as opposed to war. It is derived from the same root as Arabic word musalaha meaning reconciliation.-Usage:...

" or "ahd-e-wasiq (capitulation)" and "aman (surrender/ peace)". Among towns and fortresses that were captured through force of arms, Muhammad bin Qasim performed executions as part of his military strategy, but they were limited to the ahl-i-harb (fighting men), whose surviving dependents were also enslaved.

Where resistance was strong, prolonged and intensive, often resulting in considerable Arab casualties, Muhammad bin Qasim's response was dramatic, inflicting 6,000 deaths at Rawar, between 6,000 and 26,000 at Brahmanabad, 4,000 at Iskalandah and 6,000 at Multan. Conversely, in areas taken by sulh, such as Armabil, Nirun, and Aror, resistance was light and few casualties occurred. Sulh appeared to be Muhammad bin Qasim's preferred mode of conquest, the method used for more than 60% of the towns and tribes recorded by Baladhuri or the Chachnama. At one point, he was actually berated by Hajjaj for being too lenient. Meanwhile, the common folk were often pardoned and encouraged to continue working; Hajajj ordered that this option not be granted to any inhabitant of Daybul, yet Qasim still bestowed it upon certain groups and individuals.

After each major phase of his conquest, Muhammad bin Qasim attempted to establish law and order in the newly-conquered territory by showing religious tolerance and incorporating the ruling class – the Brahmin
Brahmin
Brahmin Brahman, Brahma and Brahmin.Brahman, Brahmin and Brahma have different meanings. Brahman refers to the Supreme Self...

s and Shramana
Shramana
A shramana is a wandering monk in certain ascetic traditions of ancient India including Jainism, Buddhism, and Ājīvikism. Famous śramaṇas include Mahavira and Gautama Buddha....

s – into his administration.

Reasons for success


Muhammad bin Qasim's success has been partly ascribed to Dahir being an unpopular Hindu king ruling over a Buddhist
Buddhism
Buddhism is a religion and philosophy encompassing a variety of traditions, beliefs and practices, largely based on teachings attributed to Siddhartha Gautama, commonly known as the Buddha . The Buddha lived and taught in the northeastern Indian subcontinent some time between the 6th and 4th...

 majority who saw Chach of Alor
Chach of Alor
Chach is the name of the Brahmin Chamberlain and Secretary to Rai Sahasi the Second, of the Rai Dynasty who succeeded him to the throne of Sindh. The history of Chach is related in the Chach Nama as part of the history of Sind. Several places along the Sindhu river are named after the adored king...

 and his kin as usurpers of the Rai Dynasty
Rai Dynasty
The Rai Dynasty was an Aryan dynasty of Sindh, from c. 489–690 AD. The influence of the Rai empire extended from Kashmir in the east, Makran and Debal port in the west, Surat port in south, Kandahar, Sistan, Suleyman, Ferdan and Kikanan hills in the north, ruling an area of over 600,000...

. This is attributed to having resulted in support being provided by Buddhists and inclusion of rebel soldiers serving as valuable infantry in his cavalry-heavy force from the Jat and Meds
Meds (tribe)
Meds was a Scythian tribe that settled in Sindh, Pakistan....

. Brahman, Buddhist, Greek, and Arab testimony however can be found that attests towards amicable relations between the adherents of the two religions up to the 7th century.

Along with this were:
  1. Superior military equipment; such as siege engines and the Mongol bow
    Mongol bow
    The Mongol bow is a recurved composite bow renowned for its military effectiveness. The old Mongolian bows that were used during the times of Genghis Khan were smaller than the modern weapons used at most Naadam festivals today. Modern Mongolian bows are larger and have string bridges...

    .
  2. Troop discipline and leadership.
  3. The concept of Jihad as a morale booster.
  4. Religion; the widespread belief in the prophecy of Muslim success.
  5. The Samanis being persuaded to submit and not take up arms because the majority of the population was Buddhist who were dissatisfied with their rulers, who were Hindu.
  6. The laboring under disabilities of the Lohana Jats.
  7. Defections from among Dahirs chiefs and nobles.

Administration by Muhammad bin Qasim


After the conquest, Muhammad bin Qasim's task was to set up an administrative structure for a stable Muslim state that incorporated a newly conquered alien land, inhabited by non-Muslims. He adopted a conciliatory policy, asking for acceptance of Muslim rule by the natives in return for non-interference in their religious practice, so long as the natives paid their taxes and tribute. He established Islamic Sharia
Sharia
Sharia law, is the moral code and religious law of Islam. Sharia is derived from two primary sources of Islamic law: the precepts set forth in the Quran, and the example set by the Islamic prophet Muhammad in the Sunnah. Fiqh jurisprudence interprets and extends the application of sharia to...

 law over the people of the region; however, Hindus were allowed to rule their villages and settle their disputes according to their own laws, and traditional hierarchical institutions, including the Village Headmen (Rais) and Chieftains (dihqans) were maintained. A Muslim officer called an amil was stationed with a troop of cavalry to manage each town on a hereditary basis

Everywhere taxes (mal) and tribute (kharaj
Kharaj
In Islamic law, kharaj is a tax on agricultural land.Initially, after the first Muslim conquests in the 7th century, kharaj usually denoted a lump-sum duty levied upon the conquered provinces and collected by the officials of the former Byzantine and Sassanid empires or, more broadly, any kind of...

) were settled and hostages taken - occasionally this also meant the custodians of temples. Non-Muslim natives were excused from military service and from payment of the religiously mandated tax system levied upon Muslims called Zakat
Zakat
Zakāt , one of the Five Pillars of Islam, is the giving of a fixed portion of one's wealth to charity, generally to the poor and needy.-History:Zakat, a practice initiated by Muhammed himself, has played an important role throughout Islamic history...

, the tax system levied upon them instead was the jizya
Jizya
Under Islamic law, jizya or jizyah is a per capita tax levied on a section of an Islamic state's non-Muslim citizens, who meet certain criteria...

 - a progressive tax
Progressive tax
A progressive tax is a tax by which the tax rate increases as the taxable base amount increases. "Progressive" describes a distribution effect on income or expenditure, referring to the way the rate progresses from low to high, where the average tax rate is less than the marginal tax rate...

, being heavier on the upper classes and light for the poor. In addition, three percent of government revenue was allocated to the Brahmins.

Incorporation of ruling elite into administration


During his administration, Hindus and Buddhists were inducted into the administration as trusted advisors and governors. A Hindu, Kaksa, was at one point the second most important member of his administration. Dahir's prime minister and various chieftains were also incorporated into the administration.

Jat clashes with Muhammad bin Qasim


Significant medieval Muslim
Muslim
A Muslim, also spelled Moslem, is an adherent of Islam, a monotheistic, Abrahamic religion based on the Quran, which Muslims consider the verbatim word of God as revealed to prophet Muhammad. "Muslim" is the Arabic term for "submitter" .Muslims believe that God is one and incomparable...

 chronicles such as the Chachnama, Zainul-Akhbar and Tarikh-I-Baihaqi have recorded battles between the Jats and forces of Muhammad bin Qasim .

Passage from the Chachnama


Treatment of Jats


The narrative in the Chach Nama conveys that Chach humiliated the sdJats and Lohanas. Denzil Ibbetson
Denzil Ibbetson
Sir Denzil Charles Jelf Ibbetson KCSI was an administrator in British India and an author. He served as governor of the Central Provinces and Berar from 1900 to 1902....

 records that "Muhammad bin Qasim maintained these regulations, declaring that the jats resembled the savages of Persia " According to Wink "While the Jats were also granted (aman) a considerable number of Jats were also captured as prisoners of war and deported to Iraq and elsewhere as slaves.

Religion


No mass conversions were attempted and the destruction of temples such as the Sun Temple at Multan was forbidden. Lane-Poole writes that, " as a rule Muslim government was at once tolerant and economic".

A small minority who converted to Islam were granted exemption from Jizya in lieu fo paying the Muslim mandated Zakat
Zakat
Zakāt , one of the Five Pillars of Islam, is the giving of a fixed portion of one's wealth to charity, generally to the poor and needy.-History:Zakat, a practice initiated by Muhammed himself, has played an important role throughout Islamic history...

. Hindus and Buddhists were given the status of Dhimmi
Dhimmi
A , is a non-Muslim subject of a state governed in accordance with sharia law. Linguistically, the word means "one whose responsibility has been taken". This has to be understood in the context of the definition of state in Islam...

 (protected people).

An eccelastical office, "sadru-I-Islam al affal", was created to oversee the secular governors. While some proslytization occurred, the social dynamics of Sind were no different from other regions newly conquered by Muslim forces such as Egypt
Egypt
Egypt , officially the Arab Republic of Egypt, Arabic: , is a country mainly in North Africa, with the Sinai Peninsula forming a land bridge in Southwest Asia. Egypt is thus a transcontinental country, and a major power in Africa, the Mediterranean Basin, the Middle East and the Muslim world...

, where conversion to Islam was slow and took centuries.

Death


Muhammad bin Qasim had begun preparations for further expansions when Hajjaj died, as did Caliph Al-Walid I, who was succeeded by Sulayman ibn Abd al-Malik
Sulayman ibn Abd al-Malik
Sulayman bin Abd al-Malik was an Umayyad caliph who ruled from 715 until 717. His father was Abd al-Malik ibn Marwan, and he was a younger brother of the previous caliph, al-Walid I.-Early years:...

, who then took revenge against all who had been close to Hajjaj. Sulayman owed political support to opponents of Hajjaj and so recalled both of Hajjaj's successful generals Qutaibah bin Muslim
Qutaibah bin Muslim
Qutayba ibn Muslim was an Arab commander of the Umayyad Caliphate army in the East, and made his greatest gains during the reign of Caliph Al-Walid I. Qutayba belonged to the Bahila tribe. He was appointed as Governor of Khurasan at the request of Al-Hajjaj ibn Yusuf, Governor of Iraq...

 and Qasim. He also appointed Yazid ibn al-Muhallab
Yazid ibn al-Muhallab
Yazid ibn al-Muhallab was a provincial governor in the time of the Umayyad dynasty.In A.H. 78 Al-Hajjaj ibn Yusuf appointed al-Muhallab Khurasan's governor. In A.H. 82 al-Muhallab's son Mughirah died and al-Muhallab sent Yazid to replace him. Soon afterwards al-Muhallab died and al-Hajjaj...

, once tortured by Hajjaj and a son of Al Muhallab ibn Abi Suffrah, as the governor of Fars, Kirman, Makran
Makran
The present day Makran is a semi-desert coastal strip in the south of Sindh, Balochistan, in Iran and Pakistan, along the coast of the Arabian Sea and the Gulf of Oman. The present day Makran derived its name from Maka, a satrap of Achaemenid Empire....

, and Sindh
Sindh
Sindh historically referred to as Ba'ab-ul-Islam , is one of the four provinces of Pakistan and historically is home to the Sindhi people. It is also locally known as the "Mehran". Though Muslims form the largest religious group in Sindh, a good number of Christians, Zoroastrians and Hindus can...

; he immediately placed Qasim in chains.

There are two different accounts regarding the details of Qasim's fate:
  1. The account from the Chachnama narrates a tale in which Qasims demise is attributed to the daughters of King Dahir who had been taken captive during the campaign. Upon capture they had been sent on as presents to the Khalifa for his harem
    Harem
    Harem refers to the sphere of women in what is usually a polygynous household and their enclosed quarters which are forbidden to men...

    . The account relates that they then tricked the Khalifa into believing that Muhammad bin Qasim had violated them before sending them on and as a result of this subterfuge, Muhammad bin Qasim was wrapped in oxen hides, and returned to Syria
    Syria
    Syria , officially the Syrian Arab Republic , is a country in Western Asia, bordering Lebanon and the Mediterranean Sea to the West, Turkey to the north, Iraq to the east, Jordan to the south, and Israel to the southwest....

    , which resulted in his death en route from suffocation. This narrative attributes their motive for this subterfuge to securing vengeance for their father's death. Upon discovering this subterfuge, the Khalifa is recorded to have been filled with remorse and ordered the sisters buried alive in a wall.
  2. The Persian historian Baladhuri, however, states that the new Khalifa was a political enemy of Umayyad ex-governor Al-Hajjaj ibn Yusuf, Muhammad bin Qasim’s paternal uncle and thus persecuted all those who were considered close to Hajjaj. Muhammad bin Qasim was therefore recalled in the midst of a campaign of capturing more territory up north. Upon arrival, he was howevere promptly imprisoned in Mosul
    Mosul
    Mosul , is a city in northern Iraq and the capital of the Ninawa Governorate, some northwest of Baghdad. The original city stands on the west bank of the Tigris River, opposite the ancient Assyrian city of Nineveh on the east bank, but the metropolitan area has now grown to encompass substantial...

    , (in modern day Iraq
    Iraq
    Iraq ; officially the Republic of Iraq is a country in Western Asia spanning most of the northwestern end of the Zagros mountain range, the eastern part of the Syrian Desert and the northern part of the Arabian Desert....

    ) and subjected to torture, resulting in his death.


Whichever account is true, is unknown. What is known however is that he was 20 years old when he was killed by his own Caliph. None have read the tombstone marking his grave for none know where he lies.

Muhammad bin Qasim had a son named Umro bin Muhammad who later became governor of Sindh
Sindh
Sindh historically referred to as Ba'ab-ul-Islam , is one of the four provinces of Pakistan and historically is home to the Sindhi people. It is also locally known as the "Mehran". Though Muslims form the largest religious group in Sindh, a good number of Christians, Zoroastrians and Hindus can...

.

Controversy


There is controversy regarding the conquest and subsequent conversion of Sindh. This is usually voiced in two antagonistic perspectives viewing Qasim's actions:

His conquest, as described by Stanley Lane-Poole, in Medieval India (Published in 1970 by Haskell House Publishers Ltd), was "liberal". He imposed the customary poll tax, took hostages for good conduct and spared peoples' lives and lands. He even left their shrines undesecrated: 'The temples;, he proclaimed, 'shall be inviolate, like the churches of the Christians, the synagogues of the Jews and altars of the Magians'. In the same text, however, it is mentioned that "Occasional desecration of Hindu fanes took place...but such demonstrations were probably rare sops to the official conscience..".
  1. Coercive conversion has been attributed to early historians such as Elliot, Cousens, Majumdar and Vaidya. They hold the view that the conversion of Sindh was necessitated. Qasim's numerical inferiority is said to explain any instances of apparent religious toleration, with the destruction of temples seen as a reflection of the more basic, religiously motivated intolerance.
  2. Voluntary conversion has been attributed to Thomas W. Arnold and modern Muslim historians such as Habib and Qureishi. They believe that the conquest was largely peaceful, and the conversion entirely so, and that the Arab forces enacted liberal, generous and tolerant policies. These historians mention the "praiseworthy conduct of Arab Muslims" and attribute their actions to a "superior civilizational complex".


Various polemic
Polemic
A polemic is a variety of arguments or controversies made against one opinion, doctrine, or person. Other variations of argument are debate and discussion...

al perceptions of Islam, Hinduism and Buddhism are also reflected in this debate. Elliot perceived Islam as a religion of "terror, devastation, murder and rapine" where the conquering Arabs were characterized as "ruthless bigots" and "furious zealots" motivated by "plunder and proselytism". The period of Qasim's rule has been called by U.T. Thakkur "the darkest period in Sind history", with the records speaking of massive forced conversions, temple destruction, slaughters and genocides; the people of Sindh, described as inherently pacifist due to their Hindu/Buddhist religious inclinations, had to adjust to the conditions of "barbarian inroad". On one extreme, the Arab Muslims
Arab Muslims
Arab Muslims are adherents of the religion of Islam who identify linguistically, culturally, or genealogically as Arabs. They greatly outnumber other ethnic groups in the Middle East. Muslims who are not Arabs are called mawali by Arab Muslims....

 are seen as being compelled by religious stricture to conquer and forcibly convert Sindh, but on the other hand, they can be seen as being respectful and tolerant of non-Muslims as part of their religious duty, with conversion being facilitated by the vitality, equality and morals of the Islamic religion. Citations of towns taken either violently or bloodlessly, reading back into Arab Sindh information belonging to a later date and dubious accounts such as those of the forcible circumcision of Brahmins at Deybul or Qasims consideration of Hindu sentiment in forbidding the slaughter of cows are used as examples for one particular view or the other.

Some historians strike a middle ground, saying that Qasim was torn between the political expediency of making peace with the Hindus and Buddhists; having to call upon non-Muslims to serve under him as part of his mandate to administer newly conquered land; and orthodoxy by refraining from seeking the co-operation of "infidels". It is contended that Qasim may have struck a middle ground, conferring the status of Dhimmi
Dhimmi
A , is a non-Muslim subject of a state governed in accordance with sharia law. Linguistically, the word means "one whose responsibility has been taken". This has to be understood in the context of the definition of state in Islam...

 upon the native Sindhis and permitting them to participate in his administration, but treating them as "noncitizens" (i.e. in the Khilafat, but not of it).

Legacy

  • Qasim's presence and rule was very brief. His conquest for the Umayyads brought Sindh into the orbit of the Muslim world.

  • The next Arab governor died on arrival. Dahir's son Jaisiah recaptured Brahmanabad and c. 720, he was granted pardon and included in the administration in return for converting to Islam. Soon, however, he recanted and split off when the Umayyads were embroiled in a succession crisis. Later, Junaid Ibn Abdur Rahman al-Marri killed Jaisiah and recaptured the territory before his successors once again struggled to hold and keep it. During the Abassid period, c. 870, the local emirs shook off all allegiance to the caliphs and by the 10th century the region was split into two weak states, Mansurah
    Mansura (Brahmanabad)
    Mansura was the historic capital of the Arab empire in Sindh. The city now lies in Western Pakistan and is usually known as Brahmanabad in Sindh, situated about south-east of Shahdadpur railway station, and north-east of Hyderabad.-History:...

     on the lower Indus and Multan
    Multan
    Multan , is a city in the Punjab Province of Pakistan and capital of Multan District. It is located in the southern part of the province on the east bank of the Chenab River, more or less in the geographic centre of the country and about from Islamabad, from Lahore and from Karachi...

     on the upper Indus, which were soon captured by Ismailis who set up an independent Fatimid
    Fatimid
    The Fatimid Islamic Caliphate or al-Fāṭimiyyūn was a Berber Shia Muslim caliphate first centered in Tunisia and later in Egypt that ruled over varying areas of the Maghreb, Sudan, Sicily, the Levant, and Hijaz from 5 January 909 to 1171.The caliphate was ruled by the Fatimids, who established the...

     state. These successor states did not achieve much and shrank in size. The Arab conquest remained checked in what is now the south of Pakistan for three centuries by powerful Hindu monarchs to the north and east until the arrival of Mahmud of Ghazni
    Mahmud of Ghazni
    Mahmud of Ghazni , actually ', was the most prominent ruler of the Ghaznavid dynasty who ruled from 997 until his death in 1030 in the eastern Iranian lands. Mahmud turned the former provincial city of Ghazni into the wealthy capital of an extensive empire which covered most of today's Iran,...

    .

  • Coastal trade and a Muslim colony in Sindh allowed for cultural exchanges and the arrival of Sufi missionaries to expand Muslim influence. From Debal
    Debal
    -Introduction:Debal was an ancient port located near modern Karachi, Sindh, Pakistan. In Arabic, it was usually called Daybul it is adjacent to the nearby Manora Island and was administered by Mansura, and later Thatta....

    , which remained an important port until the 12th century, commercial links with the Persian Gulf
    Persian Gulf
    The Persian Gulf, in Southwest Asia, is an extension of the Indian Ocean located between Iran and the Arabian Peninsula.The Persian Gulf was the focus of the 1980–1988 Iran-Iraq War, in which each side attacked the other's oil tankers...

     and the Middle East
    Middle East
    The Middle East is a region that encompasses Western Asia and Northern Africa. It is often used as a synonym for Near East, in opposition to Far East...

     intensified as Sindh became the "hinge of the Indian Ocean Trade and overland passway."

  • Port Qasim
    Port Qasim
    The Port Muhammad Bin Qasim , also known as Port Qasim, is a seaport in Karachi, Pakistan, on the coastline of the Arabian Sea. It is Pakistan's second busiest port, handling about 35% of the nation's cargo...

    , Pakistan's second major port is named in honor of Muhammad bin Qasim.

  • Yom-e-Babul Islam is observed in Pakistan, in honor of Muhammad bin Qasim.

See also

  • Jat people in Islamic history
    Jat people in Islamic History
    The Jat people and Meds have been the oldest occupants of Sindh. The first Persian account of the 11th-century Mujmat ut-Tawarikh , originally an ancient work in Sanskrit, mentions Jats and Meds as the ancient tribe of Sind and calls them the descendants of Ham, the son of Noah. The Ghaznavid poet,...

  • Battle of Rajasthan
    Battle of Rajasthan
    The Battle of Rajasthan is a battle where the Gurjar clans defeated the Arab invaders in 738 CE and removed the arab invaders and pillagers from the area east of the Indus River. the final battle took place somewhere on the borders of modern Sindh-Rajasthan...

  • Qutaibah bin Muslim
    Qutaibah bin Muslim
    Qutayba ibn Muslim was an Arab commander of the Umayyad Caliphate army in the East, and made his greatest gains during the reign of Caliph Al-Walid I. Qutayba belonged to the Bahila tribe. He was appointed as Governor of Khurasan at the request of Al-Hajjaj ibn Yusuf, Governor of Iraq...

  • Muslim conquests
    Muslim conquests
    Muslim conquests also referred to as the Islamic conquests or Arab conquests, began with the Islamic prophet Muhammad. He established a new unified polity in the Arabian Peninsula which under the subsequent Rashidun and Umayyad Caliphates saw a century of rapid expansion of Muslim power.They...

  • Abdullah Shah Ghazi
    Abdullah Shah Ghazi
    Abdullah Shah Ghazi is considered to be patron saint of Karachi, Sindh, Pakistan. He is widely revered in Pakistan. His tomb is also a revered Sindhi shrine especially for the Bawarij Sindhi Muslims and the Samma tribe....

  • Al-Hajjaj Ibn Yusuf Al-Thaqafi

External links