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Muslim conquest in the Indian subcontinent

Muslim conquest in the Indian subcontinent

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Muslim conquest in South Asia mainly took place from the 13th to the 16th centuries, though earlier 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...

 made limited inroads into the region, beginning during the period of the ascendancy of the Rajput
Rajput
A Rajput is a member of one of the patrilineal clans of western, central, northern India and in some parts of Pakistan. Rajputs are descendants of one of the major ruling warrior classes in the Indian subcontinent, particularly North India...

 Kingdoms in North India
North India
North India, known natively as Uttar Bhārat or Shumālī Hindustān , is a loosely defined region in the northern part of India. The exact meaning of the term varies by usage...

, from the 7th century onwards.

However, the Himalayan kingdoms of today's Nepal
Nepal
Nepal , officially the Federal Democratic Republic of Nepal, is a landlocked sovereign state located in South Asia. It is located in the Himalayas and bordered to the north by the People's Republic of China, and to the south, east, and west by the Republic of India...

, Bhutan
Bhutan
Bhutan , officially the Kingdom of Bhutan, is a landlocked state in South Asia, located at the eastern end of the Himalayas and bordered to the south, east and west by the Republic of India and to the north by the People's Republic of China...

 and Sikkim
Sikkim
Sikkim is a landlocked Indian state nestled in the Himalayan mountains...

 and others high in the Himalayas (such as Almora, Garhwal
Garhwal Division
Garhwal is the north-western region and administrative division of the northern Indian state of Uttarakhand which is home to the Garhwali people. Lying in the Himalayas, It is bounded on the north by Tibet, on the east by Kumaon region, on the south by Uttar Pradesh state, and on the north-west by...

, Lahul, Spiti
Spiti
-Geographical locations:*Lahaul and Spiti, a district in the state of Himachal Pradesh in India.*Spiti Valley, former heartland of the former Spiti district now combined.*Spiti River, in the Spiti Valley, Himachal Pradesh.*Spitia River-Language:...

, Kinnaur in modern Uttarakhand and Himachal Pradesh and Chitgaon
Chittagong
Chittagong ) is a city in southeastern Bangladesh and the capital of an eponymous district and division. Built on the banks of the Karnaphuli River, the city is home to Bangladesh's busiest seaport and has a population of over 4.5 million, making it the second largest city in the country.A trading...

 Hills) were never conquered by Muslims.

Background


Like other sedentary societies in history, South Asia has been attacked by nomadic tribes throughout its long history. In evaluating the impact of Islam on the sub-continent, one must also note that the sub-continent was a frequent target of tribes from Persia
Iran
Iran , officially the Islamic Republic of Iran , is a country in Southern and Western Asia. The name "Iran" has been in use natively since the Sassanian era and came into use internationally in 1935, before which the country was known to the Western world as Persia...

 and Central Asia
Central Asia
Central Asia is a core region of the Asian continent from the Caspian Sea in the west, China in the east, Afghanistan in the south, and Russia in the north...

 who arrived from the North West. With the fall of the Sassanids and the arrival of the Caliphate
Caliphate
The term caliphate, "dominion of a caliph " , refers to the first system of government established in Islam and represented the political unity of the Muslim Ummah...

's domination of the region these tribes began to contest with the new power and were subsequently integrated into it giving rise to Muslim dynasties of Central Asian heritage, generally the Afghans and turkics In that sense, the Muslim invasions of the 10th century onwards were not dissimilar to those of the earlier invasions in the History of Central Asia
History of Central Asia
The history of Central Asia has been determined primarily by the area's climate and geography. The aridity of the region makes agriculture difficult, and its distance from the sea cut it off from much trade. Thus, few major cities developed in the region...

 during the 1st through to the 6th century.
What does however, make the Muslim invasions different is that unlike the preceding invaders who assimilated into the prevalent social system, the Muslim conquerors retained their Islamic identity and created new legal and administrative systems that challenged and usually superseded the existing systems of social conduct and ethics. They also introduced new cultural mores that in some ways were very different from the existing cultural codes. While this was often a source of friction and conflict, it should also be noted that there were also Muslim rulers, notably Akbar, who in much of their secular practice absorbed or accommodated local traditions.

The first incursion by the new Muslim successor states of the Persian Empire occurred around 664 CE
Common Era
Common Era ,abbreviated as CE, is an alternative designation for the calendar era originally introduced by Dionysius Exiguus in the 6th century, traditionally identified with Anno Domini .Dates before the year 1 CE are indicated by the usage of BCE, short for Before the Common Era Common Era...

 during the Umayyad Caliphate, led by Mohalib
Mohalib
Al Muhallab bin Abi Suffrah, , also known as Abu Said., Azdi Arab warrior and general, originally from Dibba on present day Oman-UAE border. He was an important participant in the political developments of his time and the object of many poets praise...

 towards 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...

 in Southern Punjab
Punjab region
The Punjab , also spelled Panjab |water]]s"), is a geographical region straddling the border between Pakistan and India which includes Punjab province in Pakistan and the states of the Punjab, Haryana, Himachal Pradesh, Chandigarh and some northern parts of the National Capital Territory of Delhi...

, in modern day Pakistan. Mohalib's expeditions were not aimed at conquest, though they penetrated only as far as the capital of the Maili
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...

, he returned with wealth and prisoners of war
Prisoner of war
A prisoner of war or enemy prisoner of war is a person, whether civilian or combatant, who is held in custody by an enemy power during or immediately after an armed conflict...

. This was an Arab incursion and part of the early Umayyad push onwards from the Islamic 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...

 into Central Asia, and within the limits of the eastern borders of previous Persian empires. The last Arab push in the region would be towards the end of Ummayyad reign under Muhammad bin Qasim
Muhammad bin Qasim
Muhammad bin Qasim Al-Thaqafi was a Umayyad general who, at the age of 17, began the conquest of the Sindh and Punjab regions along the Indus River for the Umayyad Caliphate. He was born in the city of Taif...

, after whom the Arabs would be defeated by the Rajput
Rajput
A Rajput is a member of one of the patrilineal clans of western, central, northern India and in some parts of Pakistan. Rajputs are descendants of one of the major ruling warrior classes in the Indian subcontinent, particularly North India...

s at the 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...

 in 738, and Muslim incursions would only be resumed under later Turkic and Central Asian mongol dynasties with more local capitals, who supplanted the Caliphate and expanded their domains both northwards and eastwards.

It took several centuries for Islam to spread across India and how it did so is a topic of intense debate. Some quarters hold that Hindus were forcibly converted to Islam by the establishment of 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...

 and favoring Muslim citizens, and the threat of naked force: the "Conversion by the Sword" theory. Others hold that it occurred through inter-marriage, conversions, economic integration, to escape caste structures, and through the influence of Sufi
Sufism
Sufism or ' is defined by its adherents as the inner, mystical dimension of Islam. A practitioner of this tradition is generally known as a '...

 preachers.

Conversion controversy


Considerable controversy exists both in scholarly and public opinion about the conversions to Islam typically represented by the following schools of thought:
  1. That the bulk of Muslims are descendants of migrants from the Iranian plateau
    Iranian plateau
    The Iranian plateau, or Iranic plateau, is a geological formation in Southwest Asia. It is the part of the Eurasian Plate wedged between the Arabian and Indian plates, situated between the Zagros mountains to the west, the Caspian Sea and the Kopet Dag to the north, the Hormuz Strait and Persian...

     or Arabs.
  2. That Muslims sought conversion through 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...

    or political violence
  3. A related view is that conversions occurred for non-religious reasons of pragmatism and patronage such as social mobility among the Muslim ruling elite or for relief from taxes
  4. Conversion was a result of the actions of Sufi saints and involved a genuine change of heart
  5. Conversion came from Buddhists and the en masse conversions of lower castes for social liberation and as a rejection of oppressive existent Hindu caste structures.
  6. Was a combination, initially made under duress followed by a genuine change of heart
  7. As a socio-cultural process of diffusion and integration over an extended period of time into the sphere of the dominant Muslim civilization and global polity
    Muslim world
    The term Muslim world has several meanings. In a religious sense, it refers to those who adhere to the teachings of Islam, referred to as Muslims. In a cultural sense, it refers to Islamic civilization, inclusive of non-Muslims living in that civilization...

     at large.


An estimate of the number of people killed, based on the Muslim chronicles and demographic calculations, was done by K.S. Lal in his book Growth of Muslim Population in Medieval India
Growth of Muslim Population in Medieval India
Growth of Muslim Population in Medieval India is a book by K.S. Lal published in 1973.The book assesses the demographics of India between 1000 and 1500 AD. On the basis of the available historical evidence, K.S. Lal concluded that the population of India in 1000 was about 200 million and in 1500...

, who claimed that between 1000 CE and 1500 CE, the population of Hindus decreased by 80 million. His work has come under criticism by historians such as Simon Digby (School of Oriental and African Studies
School of Oriental and African Studies
The School of Oriental and African Studies is a public research university located in London, United Kingdom and a constituent college of the University of London...

) and Irfan Habib
Irfan Habib
Irfan Habib is an Indian Marxist historian, a former Chairman of the Indian Council of Historical Research and a Padma Bhushan awardee. He is a Professor Emeritus at Aligarh Muslim University. He has served in the Indian History Congress for many years. Irfan Habib and R.S...

 for its agenda and lack of accurate data in pre-census
Census
A census is the procedure of systematically acquiring and recording information about the members of a given population. It is a regularly occurring and official count of a particular population. The term is used mostly in connection with national population and housing censuses; other common...

 times. Lal has responded to these criticisms in later works. Historians such as Will Durant
Will Durant
William James Durant was a prolific American writer, historian, and philosopher. He is best known for The Story of Civilization, 11 volumes written in collaboration with his wife Ariel Durant and published between 1935 and 1975...

 contend that Islam spread through violence. Sir Jadunath Sarkar contends that that several Muslim invaders were waging a systematic 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...

 against Hindus in India to the effect that "Every device short of massacre in cold blood was resorted to in order to convert heathen subjects." In particular the records kept by al-Utbi, Mahmud al-Ghazni's secretary, in the Tarikh-i-Yamini document several episodes of bloody military campaigns. Hindus who converted to Islam however were not completely immune to persecution due to the Caste system among South Asian Muslims
Caste system among South Asian Muslims
Caste system among South Asian Muslims refers to units of social stratification that have developed among Muslims in South Asia.Religious, historical and socio-cultural factors have helped define the bounds of endogamous groups for Muslims in South Asia...

 in India established by Ziauddin al-Barani in the Fatawa-i Jahandari., where they were regarded as an "Ajlaf" caste and subjected to discrimination by the "Ashraf" castes

Critics of the "Religion of the sword theory" point to the presence of the strong Muslim communities found in Southern India
South India
South India is the area encompassing India's states of Andhra Pradesh, Karnataka, Kerala and Tamil Nadu as well as the union territories of Lakshadweep and Pondicherry, occupying 19.31% of India's area...

, modern day Bangladesh
Bangladesh
Bangladesh , officially the People's Republic of Bangladesh is a sovereign state located in South Asia. It is bordered by India on all sides except for a small border with Burma to the far southeast and by the Bay of Bengal to the south...

, 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...

 and western Burma
Myanmar
Burma , officially the Republic of the Union of Myanmar , is a country in Southeast Asia. Burma is bordered by China on the northeast, Laos on the east, Thailand on the southeast, Bangladesh on the west, India on the northwest, the Bay of Bengal to the southwest, and the Andaman Sea on the south....

, Indonesia
Indonesia
Indonesia , officially the Republic of Indonesia , is a country in Southeast Asia and Oceania. Indonesia is an archipelago comprising approximately 13,000 islands. It has 33 provinces with over 238 million people, and is the world's fourth most populous country. Indonesia is a republic, with an...

 and the Philippines
Philippines
The Philippines , officially known as the Republic of the Philippines , is a country in Southeast Asia in the western Pacific Ocean. To its north across the Luzon Strait lies Taiwan. West across the South China Sea sits Vietnam...

 coupled with the distinctive lack of equivalent Muslim communities around the heartland of historical Muslim empires in South Asia as refutation to the "conversion by the sword theory". The legacy of Muslim conquest of South Asia is a hotly debated issue even today. Different population estimates by economic historian Angus Maddison show that India's total population, including adherents of all religions, did not decrease between 1000 and 1500, but increased by about 35 million, from 75 million to 110 million, during that time.

Not all Muslim invaders were simply raiders. Later rulers fought on to win kingdoms and stayed to create new ruling dynasties. The practices of these new rulers and their subsequent heirs (some of whom were borne of Hindu wives of Muslim rulers) varied considerably. While some (like Aurangzeb) were uniformly hated, others developed a popular following. According to the memoirs of Ibn Battuta
Ibn Battuta
Abu Abdullah Muhammad Ibn Battuta , or simply Ibn Battuta, also known as Shams ad–Din , was a Muslim Moroccan Berber explorer, known for his extensive travels published in the Rihla...

 who travelled through Delhi in the 14th century, one of the previous sultans had been especially brutal and was deeply hated by Delhi's population. His memoirs also indicate that Muslims from the Arab world, Persia and Turkey were often favored with important posts at the royal courts suggesting that locals may have played a somewhat subordinate role in the Delhi administration. The term "Turk" was commonly used to refer to their higher social status. However S.A.A. Rizvi points to Muhammad bin Tughlaq as not only encouraging locals but promoting artisan groups such as cooks, barbers and gardeners to high administrative posts. In his reign, it is likely that conversions to Islam took place as a means of seeking greater social mobility and improved social standing.

Expansion of trade


Islam's impact was the most notable in the expansion of trade. The first contact of Muslims with India was the Arab attack on a nest of pirates near modern-day Bombay
Mumbai
Mumbai , formerly known as Bombay in English, is the capital of the Indian state of Maharashtra. It is the most populous city in India, and the fourth most populous city in the world, with a total metropolitan area population of approximately 20.5 million...

 to safeguard their trade in the Arabian Sea
Arabian Sea
The Arabian Sea is a region of the Indian Ocean bounded on the east by India, on the north by Pakistan and Iran, on the west by the Arabian Peninsula, on the south, approximately, by a line between Cape Guardafui in northeastern Somalia and Kanyakumari in India...

. Around the same time many Arabs settled at Indian ports, givng rise to small Muslm communities. The growth of these communities was not only due to conversion but also the fact that many Hindu kings of south India (such as those from Cholas) hired Muslims as mercenaries.

A significant aspect of the Muslim period in world history was the emergence of 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...

 courts capable of imposing a common commercial and legal system that extended from Morocco in the West to Mongolia in the North East and Indonesia in the South East. While southern India was already in trade with Arabs/Muslims, northern India found new opportunities. As the Hindu and Buddhist kingdoms of Asia were subjugated by Islam, and as Islam spread through Africa - it became a highly centralizing force that facilitated in the creation of a common legal system that allowed letters of credit issued in say Egypt or Tunisia to be honoured in India or Indonesia (The Sharia has laws on the transaction of Business with both Muslims and kafir
Kafir
Kafir is an Arabic term used in a Islamic doctrinal sense, usually translated as "unbeliever" or "disbeliever"...

s). In order to cement their rule, Muslim rulers initially promoted a system in which there was a revolving door between the clergy, the administrative nobility and the mercantile classes. The travels of explorer Muhammad Ibn-Abdullah Ibn-Batuta were eased because of this system. He served as an Imam in Delhi, as a judicial official in the Maldives, and as an envoy and trader in the Malabar. There was never a contradiction in any of his positions because each of these roles complemented the other. Islam created a compact under which political power, law and religion became fused in a manner so as to safeguard the interests of the mercantile class. This led world trade to expand to the maximum extent possible in the medieval world. Sher Shah Suri
Sher Shah Suri
Sher Shah Suri , birth name Farid Khan, also known as Sher Khan , was the founder of the short-lived Sur Empire in northern India, with its capital at Delhi, before its demise in the hands of the resurgent Mughal Empire...

 took initiatives in improvement of trade by abolishing all taxes which hindered progress of free trade. He built large networks of roads and constructed Grand Trunk Road
Grand Trunk Road
The Grand Trunk Road also formerly known as Uttarapatha, Shah Rah-e-Azam or Sadak-e-Azam or Badshahi Sadak is one of South Asia's oldest and longest major roads...

 (1540–1544), which connected Calcutta to 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...

, of which parts of it are still in use today.

Spread of technology


With the growth of international trade also came the spread of manufacturing technology and an urban culture. Local inventions and regional technologies became easily globalized. This was of profound importance to those parts of the world that had lagged in terms of technological development. On the other hand, for a nation like India which had had a rich intellectual tradition of its own, and was already a relatively advanced civilization, this may have been of lesser import. Although there is considerable debate amongst historians as to how much technology was actually brought into India by Muslim invaders, there is one (albeit controversial) school of thought that argues that inventions like the water-wheel for irrigation were imported during the Muslim period. In some other cases, the evidence is much clearer. The use of ceramic tiles in construction was inspired by architectural traditions prevalent in Iraq, Iran, and in Central Asia. Rajasthan's blue pottery was an adaptation of Chinese pottery which was imported in large quantities by the Mughal rulers. There is also the example of Sultan Abidin (1420–70) sending Kashmiri artisans to Samarqand to learn book-binding and paper making.

Cultural influence


The divide and rule policies, two-nation theory, and subsequent partition of India in the wake of Independence from the British Empire
British Empire
The British Empire comprised the dominions, colonies, protectorates, mandates and other territories ruled or administered by the United Kingdom. It originated with the overseas colonies and trading posts established by England in the late 16th and early 17th centuries. At its height, it was the...

 has polarized the sub-continental psyche, making objective assessment hard in comparison to the other settled agricultural societies of India from the North West. Muslim rule differed from these others in the level of assimilation and syncretism that occurred. They retained their identity and introduced legal and administrative systems that superseded existing systems of social conduct and ethics. While this was a source of friction it resulted in a unique experience the legacy of which is a Muslim community strongly Islamic in character while at the same time distinctive and unique among its peers.

The impact of Islam on Indian culture has been inestimable. It permanently influenced the development of all areas of human endeavour - language, dress, cuisine, all the art forms, architecture and urban design, and social customs and values. Conversely, the languages of the Muslim invaders were modified by contact with local languages, to Urdu, which uses the Arabic script. This language was also known as Hindustani
Hindustani language
Hindi-Urdu is an Indo-Aryan language and the lingua franca of North India and Pakistan. It is also known as Hindustani , and historically, as Hindavi or Rekhta...

, an umbrella term used for the vernacular terminology of Hindi
Hindi
Standard Hindi, or more precisely Modern Standard Hindi, also known as Manak Hindi , High Hindi, Nagari Hindi, and Literary Hindi, is a standardized and sanskritized register of the Hindustani language derived from the Khariboli dialect of Delhi...

 as well as Urdu
Urdu
Urdu is a register of the Hindustani language that is identified with Muslims in South Asia. It belongs to the Indo-European family. Urdu is the national language and lingua franca of Pakistan. It is also widely spoken in some regions of India, where it is one of the 22 scheduled languages and an...

, both major languages in South Asia today.

Muslim rule saw a greater urbanization of India and the rise of many cities and their urban cultures. The biggest impact was upon trade resulting from a common commercial and legal system extending from Morocco
Morocco
Morocco , officially the Kingdom of Morocco , is a country located in North Africa. It has a population of more than 32 million and an area of 710,850 km², and also primarily administers the disputed region of the Western Sahara...

 to Indonesia
Indonesia
Indonesia , officially the Republic of Indonesia , is a country in Southeast Asia and Oceania. Indonesia is an archipelago comprising approximately 13,000 islands. It has 33 provinces with over 238 million people, and is the world's fourth most populous country. Indonesia is a republic, with an...

. This change of emphasis on mercantilism and trade from the more strongly centralized governance systems further clashed with the agricultural based traditional economy and also provided fuel for social and political tensions.

A related development to the shifting economic conditions was the establishment of Karkhanas, or small factories and the import and dissemination of technology through India and the rest of the world. The use of ceramic tiles was adopted from architectural traditions of Iraq, Iran, and Central Asia. Rajasthan's blue pottery was a local variation of imported Chinese pottery. There is also the example of Sultan Abidin (1420–70) sending Kashmiri artisans to Samarqand to learn book-binding and paper making. Khurja and Siwan became renowned for pottery, Moradabad for brass ware, Mirzapur for carpets, Firozabad for glass wares, Farrukhabad for printing, Sahranpur and Nagina for wood-carving, Bidar and Lucknow for bidriware, Srinagar for papier-mache, Benaras for jewelry and textiles, and so on. On the flip-side encouraging such growth also resulted in higher taxes on the peasantry.

Numerous Indian scientific and mathematical advances and the Hindu numerals were spread to the rest of the world and much of the scholarly work and advances in the sciences of the age under Muslim nations across the globe were imported by the liberal patronage of Arts and Sciences by the rulers. The languages brought by Islam were modified by contact with local languages leading to the creation of several new languages, such as Urdu, which uses the modified Arabic script
Arabic alphabet
The Arabic alphabet or Arabic abjad is the Arabic script as it is codified for writing the Arabic language. It is written from right to left, in a cursive style, and includes 28 letters. Because letters usually stand for consonants, it is classified as an abjad.-Consonants:The Arabic alphabet has...

, but with more Persian words. The influences of these languages exist in several dialects in India today.

Islamic and Mughal architecture and art is widely noticeable in India, examples being the Taj Mahal
Taj Mahal
The Taj Mahal is a white Marble mausoleum located in Agra, India. It was built by Mughal emperor Shah Jahan in memory of his third wife, Mumtaz Mahal...

 and Jama Masjid
Jama Masjid, Delhi
The Masjid-i Jahān-Numā , commonly known as the Jama Masjid of Delhi, is the principal mosque of Old Delhi in India. Commissioned by the Mughal Emperor Shah Jahan, builder of the Taj Mahal,in the year 1644 CE and completed in the year 1658 AD, it is the largest and best-known mosque in India...

.

Early Muslim communities


Several reasons existed for the desire of the rising Islamic Empire
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...

 to gain a foothold in 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...

; ranging from the participation of armies from Sindh fighting alongside the Persians in battles such as Nehawand, Salasal
Jat Regiment
The Jat Regiment is an infantry regiment of the Indian Army and is one of the longest serving and most decorated regiments of the Indian Army. The regiment has won 19 battle honours between 1839 to 1947 and post independence 5 battle honours, Two Ashok Chakras, eight Mahavir Chakras, eight Kirti...

, Qadisia
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 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....

, pirate raids on Arab shipping to the granting of refuge to rebel chiefs.

The Punjab
Punjab region
The Punjab , also spelled Panjab |water]]s"), is a geographical region straddling the border between Pakistan and India which includes Punjab province in Pakistan and the states of the Punjab, Haryana, Himachal Pradesh, Chandigarh and some northern parts of the National Capital Territory of Delhi...

 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...

 region had also been historically under considerable flux as Central Asian Kingdoms, the Persian Empire, Buddhist Kingdoms and Rajput
Rajput
A Rajput is a member of one of the patrilineal clans of western, central, northern India and in some parts of Pakistan. Rajputs are descendants of one of the major ruling warrior classes in the Indian subcontinent, particularly North India...

 Kingdoms vied for control prior to the arrival of the Muslim influence.

Islam in India
Islam in India
Islam is the second-most practiced religion in the Republic of India after Hinduism, with more than 13.4% of the country's population ....

 existed in communities along the Arab trade routes in 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...

, Ceylon and southern India.

Muhammad bin Qasim


In 711, the Umayyad Caliph in Damascus
Damascus
Damascus , commonly known in Syria as Al Sham , and as the City of Jasmine , is the capital and the second largest city of Syria after Aleppo, both are part of the country's 14 governorates. In addition to being one of the oldest continuously inhabited cities in the world, Damascus is a major...

 sent two failed expeditions to Balochistan
Balochistan (region)
Balochistan or Baluchistan is an arid, mountainous region in the Iranian plateau in Southwest Asia; it includes part of southeastern Iran, western Pakistan, and southwestern Afghanistan. The area is named after the numerous Baloch tribes, Iranian peoples who moved into the area from the west...

 (an arid region on the Iranian Plateau
Iranian plateau
The Iranian plateau, or Iranic plateau, is a geological formation in Southwest Asia. It is the part of the Eurasian Plate wedged between the Arabian and Indian plates, situated between the Zagros mountains to the west, the Caspian Sea and the Kopet Dag to the north, the Hormuz Strait and Persian...

 in Southwest Asia, presently split between Iran
Iran
Iran , officially the Islamic Republic of Iran , is a country in Southern and Western Asia. The name "Iran" has been in use natively since the Sassanian era and came into use internationally in 1935, before which the country was known to the Western world as Persia...

, Afghanistan
Afghanistan
Afghanistan , officially the Islamic Republic of Afghanistan, is a landlocked country located in the centre of Asia, forming South Asia, Central Asia and the Middle East. With a population of about 29 million, it has an area of , making it the 42nd most populous and 41st largest nation in the world...

, and 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...

) 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...

.

According to Muslim historical accounts such as the Chach Nama
Chach Nama
Chach Nama also known as the Fateh nama Sindh ,and also known as Tarekh-e-Hind wa Sindh Arabic is a book about the history of Sindh, chronicling the Chacha Dynasty's period, following the demise of the Rai Dynasty and the ascent of Chach of Alor to the throne, down to the Arab conquest by...

, the nature of the expeditions was punitive, and in response to raids carried out by pirates on Arab shipping, operating around 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....

. The allegation was made that the King of Sindh, 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...

 was the patron of these pirates. The third expedition was led by a 20-year-old 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....

n chieftain named Muhammad bin Qasim
Muhammad bin Qasim
Muhammad bin Qasim Al-Thaqafi was a Umayyad general who, at the age of 17, began the conquest of the Sindh and Punjab regions along the Indus River for the Umayyad Caliphate. He was born in the city of Taif...

. The expedition went as far North as 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...

, then called the "City of Gold," that contained the extremely large Hindu temple
Hindu temple
A Mandir, Devalayam, Devasthanam, or a Hindu temple is a place of worship for followers of Hinduism...

 Sun Mandir.

Bin Qasim invaded the sub-continent at the orders of Al-Hajjaj bin Yousef, the governor of 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....

. Qasim's armies defeated 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...

 at what is now Hyderabad in 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...

 in 712. He then proceeded to subdue the lands from Karachi
Karachi
Karachi is the largest city, main seaport and the main financial centre of Pakistan, as well as the capital of the province of Sindh. The city has an estimated population of 13 to 15 million, while the total metropolitan area has a population of over 18 million...

 to 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...

 with an initial force of only six thousand Syrian tribesmen; thereby establishing the dominion of the Umayyad Caliphate from Lisbon
Lisbon
Lisbon is the capital city and largest city of Portugal with a population of 545,245 within its administrative limits on a land area of . The urban area of Lisbon extends beyond the administrative city limits with a population of 3 million on an area of , making it the 9th most populous urban...

 in Portugal to the Indus Valley. Qasim's stay was brief as he was soon recalled to Iraq, and the Caliphates rule in South Asia shrank to Sindh and Southern Punjab in the form of Arab states, the principal of whom were Al Mansura
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:...

 and Multan.

Battle of Rajasthan



The Battle of Rajasthan is a battle where the Indian coalition of Gurjara Pratihara and Chalukya dynasty
Chalukya dynasty
The Chalukya dynasty was an Indian royal dynasty that ruled large parts of southern and central India between the 6th and the 12th centuries. During this period, they ruled as three related yet individual dynasties. The earliest dynasty, known as the "Badami Chalukyas", ruled from Vatapi from the...

 of Lata defeated the Umayyad Caliphate 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...

 in the 730s CE. While all sources (Hindu and Muslim) agree on the broad outline of the conflict and the result, there is no detailed information on the actual battle. There is also no indication of the exact places where these battles were fought——what is clear is that the final battle took place somewhere on the borders of modern Sindh-Rajasthan. Following their defeat the remnants of the Arab army fled to the western bank of the River Indus.

Communities in the North-West


Subsequent to Qasim's recall the Caliphates control in Sindh was extremely weak under governors who only nominally acknowledged Arab control and shared power with coexisting local Hindu
Hindu
Hindu refers to an identity associated with the philosophical, religious and cultural systems that are indigenous to the Indian subcontinent. As used in the Constitution of India, the word "Hindu" is also attributed to all persons professing any Indian religion...

, Jain and Buddhist rulers. Ismaili
Ismaili
' is a branch of Shia Islam. It is the second largest branch of Shia Islam, after the Twelvers...

 missionaries found a receptive audience among both the Sunni and non-Muslim populations here. In 985, a group around 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...

 declared themselves an independent Ismaili 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.

Coastal trade and the presence of a colony in Sindh permitted significant cultural exchange and the introduction of Muslim teachers into the subcontinent. Considerable conversions took place, especially amongst the Buddhist majority. Multan became a center of the Ismaili sect of Islam, which still has many adherents in Sindh today. This region under generous patronage of the arts provided a conduit for Arab scholars to absorb and expand on Indian sciences and pass them onwards to the West.

North of Multan, non-Muslim groups remained numerous. From this period, the conquered area was divided into two parts: the Northern region comprising the Punjab remained under the control of Hindu Rajas, while the Southern coastal areas comprising 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...

, 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 Multan came under Muslim control.

Ghaznavid Period



Under Sabuktigin, Ghazni
Ghazni
For the Province of Ghazni see Ghazni ProvinceGhazni is a city in central-east Afghanistan with a population of about 141,000 people...

 found itself in conflict with the 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...

 Raja Jayapala
Jayapala
Jayapala Janjua Shahi, the son of Asatapala and father of Anandapal, was the first king and founder of the Hindushahi dynasty of Afghanistan and Northwest Pakistan. He succeeded the last Brahman Shahi king Bhimadeva in about 964 CE, and thus began the Janjua Rajput phase of Shahiya Dynasties...

. When Sabuktigin died and his son Mahmud ascended the throne in 998, Ghazni was engaged in the North with the Qarakhanids when the Shahi Raja renewed hostilities.

In the early 11th century, 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,...

 launched seventeen expeditions into South Asia. In 1001, Sultan Mahmud of Ghazni defeated Raja Jayapala of the Hindu Shahi Dynasty 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...

 and marched further into Peshawar
Peshawar
Peshawar is the capital of Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa and the administrative center and central economic hub for the Federally Administered Tribal Areas of Pakistan....

 and, in 1005, made it the center for his forces.

The Ghaznavid conquests were initially directed against the Ismaili
Ismaili
' is a branch of Shia Islam. It is the second largest branch of Shia Islam, after the Twelvers...

 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...

s in on-going struggle of the Abbassid Caliphate elsewhere. However, once this aim was accomplished, he moved onto richness of the loot of wealthy temples and monasteries. By 1027, Mahmud had captured most of Northern India and obtained formal recognition of Ghazni's sovereignty from the Abbassid Caliph, al-Qadir
Al-Qadir
Al-Qadir was the Abbasid Caliph in Baghdad from 991 to 1031. Grandson of al-Muqtadir, he was chosen in place of the deposed Caliph, at-Taʾi, his cousin. Banished from the Capital earlier, he was now recalled and appointed to the office he had long desired. He held the Caliphate for 40 years...

 Billah.

Ghaznavid rule in North India lasted over 175 years, from 1010 to 1187. It was during this period that Lahore
Lahore
Lahore is the capital of the Pakistani province of Punjab and the second largest city in the country. With a rich and fabulous history dating back to over a thousand years ago, Lahore is no doubt Pakistan's cultural capital. One of the most densely populated cities in the world, Lahore remains a...

 assumed considerable importance apart from being the second capital, and later the only capital, of the Ghaznavid Empire
Ghaznavid Empire
The Ghaznavids were a Persianate Muslim dynasty of Turkic slave origin which existed from 975 to 1187 and ruled much of Persia, Transoxania, and the northern parts of the Indian subcontinent. The Ghaznavid state was centered in Ghazni, a city in modern-day Afghanistan...

.

At the end of his reign, Mahmud's empire extended from Kurdistan in the west to Samarkand
Samarkand
Although a Persian-speaking region, it was not united politically with Iran most of the times between the disintegration of the Seleucid Empire and the Arab conquest . In the 6th century it was within the domain of the Turkic kingdom of the Göktürks.At the start of the 8th century Samarkand came...

 in the Northeast, and from the Caspian Sea
Caspian Sea
The Caspian Sea is the largest enclosed body of water on Earth by area, variously classed as the world's largest lake or a full-fledged sea. The sea has a surface area of and a volume of...

 to the Yamuna
Yamuna
The Yamuna is the largest tributary river of the Ganges in northern India...

. Although his raids carried his forces across Northern and Western India, only Punjab came under his permanent rule; Kashmir
Kashmir
Kashmir is the northwestern region of the Indian subcontinent. Until the mid-19th century, the term Kashmir geographically denoted only the valley between the Great Himalayas and the Pir Panjal mountain range...

, the Doab
Doab
A Doab is a term used in India and Pakistan for a "tongue" or tract of land lying between two confluent rivers...

, Rajasthan
Rajasthan
Rājasthān the land of Rajasthanis, , is the largest state of the Republic of India by area. It is located in the northwest of India. It encompasses most of the area of the large, inhospitable Great Indian Desert , which has an edge paralleling the Sutlej-Indus river valley along its border with...

, and Gujarat remained under the control of the local Rajput
Rajput
A Rajput is a member of one of the patrilineal clans of western, central, northern India and in some parts of Pakistan. Rajputs are descendants of one of the major ruling warrior classes in the Indian subcontinent, particularly North India...

 dynasties.

In 1030, Mahmud fell gravely ill and died at age 59. He had been a gifted military commander, and during his rule, universities were founded to study various subjects such as mathematics, religion, the humanities, and medicine.

As with the invaders of three centuries ago, Mahmud's armies looted temples in Varanasi
Varanasi
-Etymology:The name Varanasi has its origin possibly from the names of the two rivers Varuna and Assi, for the old city lies in the north shores of the Ganga bounded by its two tributaries, the Varuna and the Asi, with the Ganges being to its south...

, Mathura, Ujjain
Ujjain
Ujjain , is an ancient city of Malwa region in central India, on the eastern bank of the Kshipra River , today part of the state of Madhya Pradesh. It is the administrative centre of Ujjain District and Ujjain Division.In ancient times the city was called Ujjayini...

, Maheshwar
Maheshwar
Maheshwar is a town in Khargone district of Madhya Pradesh state, in central India. It is located 13 km east of National Highway 3 and 91 km from Indore, the commercial capital of the state. The town lies on the north bank of the Narmada River.-Etymology:The name Maheshwar comes from...

, Jwalamukhi, Somnath
Somnath
The Somnath Temple located in the Prabhas Kshetra near Veraval in Saurashtra, on the western coast of Gujarat, India, is one of the twelve Jyotirlinga shrines of the God Shiva. Somnath means "The Protector of Moon God". The Somnath Temple is known as "the Shrine Eternal", having been destroyed...

 and Dwarka
Dwarka
Dwarka also spelled Dvarka, Dwaraka, and Dvaraka, is a city and a municipality of Jamnagar district in the Gujarat state in India. Dwarka , also known as Dwarawati in Sanskrit literature is rated as one of the seven most ancient cities in the country...

. Mahmud was quite pragmatic and he even utilized unconverted Hindu generals and troops in his expeditions. His main target remained the Shiites and Buyid, Iran. There is considerable evidence from writings of Al-Biruni
Al-Biruni
Abū al-Rayḥān Muḥammad ibn Aḥmad al-BīrūnīArabic spelling. . The intermediate form Abū Rayḥān al-Bīrūnī is often used in academic literature...

, Sogidan
Sogdiana
Sogdiana or Sogdia was the ancient civilization of an Iranian people and a province of the Achaemenid Empire, eighteenth in the list on the Behistun Inscription of Darius the Great . Sogdiana is "listed" as the second of the "good lands and countries" that Ahura Mazda created...

, Uyghur
Uyghur language
Uyghur , formerly known as Eastern Turk, is a Turkic language with 8 to 11 million speakers, spoken primarily by the Uyghur people in the Xinjiang Uyghur Autonomous Region of Western China. Significant communities of Uyghur-speakers are located in Kazakhstan and Uzbekistan, and various other...

 and Manichean texts that the Buddhists, Hindu
Hindu
Hindu refers to an identity associated with the philosophical, religious and cultural systems that are indigenous to the Indian subcontinent. As used in the Constitution of India, the word "Hindu" is also attributed to all persons professing any Indian religion...

s and Jains were considered People of the Book
People of the Book
People of the Book is a term used to designate non-Muslim adherents to faiths which have a revealed scripture called, in Arabic, Al-Kitab . The three types of adherents to faiths that the Qur'an mentions as people of the book are the Jews, Sabians and Christians.In Islam, the Muslim scripture, the...

 and references to Buddha as Burxan or a prophet can be found. After the initial destruction and pillage Buddhists, Jains and Hindus were granted "protected subject status" as 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...

s.

Shahāb-ud-Din Muhammad Ghori


Muhammad Bin Sām
Muhammad of Ghor
Sultan Shahāb-ud-Din Muhammad Ghori , originally called Mu'izzuddīn Muḥammad Bin Sām , was a ruler of the Ghurid dynasty who reigned over a territory spanning present-day Afghanistan, Pakistan and northern India.Shahabuddin Ghori reconquered the city of Ghazna Sultan Shahāb-ud-Din Muhammad Ghori...

 better known as Shahāb-ud-Din Muhammad Ghori was a Afghan conqueror from the region of Ghor in Afghanistan
Afghanistan
Afghanistan , officially the Islamic Republic of Afghanistan, is a landlocked country located in the centre of Asia, forming South Asia, Central Asia and the Middle East. With a population of about 29 million, it has an area of , making it the 42nd most populous and 41st largest nation in the world...

. Before 1160, the Ghaznavid Empire
Ghaznavid Empire
The Ghaznavids were a Persianate Muslim dynasty of Turkic slave origin which existed from 975 to 1187 and ruled much of Persia, Transoxania, and the northern parts of the Indian subcontinent. The Ghaznavid state was centered in Ghazni, a city in modern-day Afghanistan...

 covered an area running from central Afghanistan east to the Punjab, with capitals at Ghazni on the banks of Ghazni river in present-day Afghanistan, and at Lahore
Lahore
Lahore is the capital of the Pakistani province of Punjab and the second largest city in the country. With a rich and fabulous history dating back to over a thousand years ago, Lahore is no doubt Pakistan's cultural capital. One of the most densely populated cities in the world, Lahore remains a...

 in present-day 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...

. In 1160, the Ghorids conquered Ghazni from the Ghaznavids, and in 1173 Muhammad Bin Sām was made governor of Ghazni. He raided eastwards into the remaining Ghaznavid territory, and invaded Gujarat in the 1180s but was rebuffed by Gujarat's Solanki
Solanki
The Solanki was a royal Hindu Indian dynasty that ruled parts of western and central India between the 10th to 13th centuries. A number of scholars including V. A. Smith assign them Gurjar origin....

 rulers. In 1186 and 1187 he conquered Lahore in alliance with a local Hindu ruler, ending the Ghaznavid empire and bringing the last of Ghaznavid territory under his control, and seemed to be the first Muslim ruler seriously interested in expanding his domain in the sub-continent, and like his predecessor Mahmud initially started off against the Ismaili
Ismaili
' is a branch of Shia Islam. It is the second largest branch of Shia Islam, after the Twelvers...

 kingdom of 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...

 that had regained independence during the Nizari
Nizari
'The Shī‘a Imami Ismā‘īlī Tariqah also referred to as the Ismā‘īlī or Nizārī , is a path of Shī‘a Islām, emphasizing social justice, pluralism, and human reason within the framework of the mystical tradition of Islam. The Nizari are the second largest branch of Shia Islam and form the majority...

 conflicts, and then onto booty and power.

In 1191, he invaded the territory of Prithviraj III
Prithviraj III
Prithvi Raj III, commonly known as Prithviraj Chauhan , was a king of the Hindu Chauhan dynasty, who ruled the kingdom of Ajmer and Delhi in northern India during the latter half of the 12th century....

 of Ajmer
Ajmer
Ajmer , formerly written as Ajmere, is a city in Ajmer District in Rajasthan state in India. Ajmer has a population of around 800,000 , and is located west of the Rajasthan state capital Jaipur, 200 km from Jodhpur, 274 km from Udaipur, 439 km from Jaisalmer, and 391 km from...

, who ruled much of present-day Rajasthan
Rajasthan
Rājasthān the land of Rajasthanis, , is the largest state of the Republic of India by area. It is located in the northwest of India. It encompasses most of the area of the large, inhospitable Great Indian Desert , which has an edge paralleling the Sutlej-Indus river valley along its border with...

 and Haryana
Haryana
Haryana is a state in India. Historically, it has been a part of the Kuru region in North India. The name Haryana is found mentioned in the 12th century AD by the apabhramsha writer Vibudh Shridhar . It is bordered by Punjab and Himachal Pradesh to the north, and by Rajasthan to the west and south...

, but was defeated at Tarain by Govinda-Raja of Delhi
Delhi
Delhi , officially National Capital Territory of Delhi , is the largest metropolis by area and the second-largest by population in India, next to Mumbai. It is the eighth largest metropolis in the world by population with 16,753,265 inhabitants in the Territory at the 2011 Census...

, Prithviraj's vassal. The following year, Muhammad assembled 120,000 horsemen and once again invaded India. Muhammad's army met Prithviraj's army again at Tarain, and this time Muhammad Bin Sām
Muhammad of Ghor
Sultan Shahāb-ud-Din Muhammad Ghori , originally called Mu'izzuddīn Muḥammad Bin Sām , was a ruler of the Ghurid dynasty who reigned over a territory spanning present-day Afghanistan, Pakistan and northern India.Shahabuddin Ghori reconquered the city of Ghazna Sultan Shahāb-ud-Din Muhammad Ghori...

 won; Govinda-Raja was slain, Prithviraj captured and Muhammad Bin Sām
Muhammad of Ghor
Sultan Shahāb-ud-Din Muhammad Ghori , originally called Mu'izzuddīn Muḥammad Bin Sām , was a ruler of the Ghurid dynasty who reigned over a territory spanning present-day Afghanistan, Pakistan and northern India.Shahabuddin Ghori reconquered the city of Ghazna Sultan Shahāb-ud-Din Muhammad Ghori...

 advanced onto Delhi. Within a year, Muhammad controlled Northern Rajasthan and Northern Ganges-Yamuna Doab. After these victories in India, and Muhammad's establishment of a capital in Delhi, Multan was also incorporated into his empire. Muhammad Bin Sām
Muhammad of Ghor
Sultan Shahāb-ud-Din Muhammad Ghori , originally called Mu'izzuddīn Muḥammad Bin Sām , was a ruler of the Ghurid dynasty who reigned over a territory spanning present-day Afghanistan, Pakistan and northern India.Shahabuddin Ghori reconquered the city of Ghazna Sultan Shahāb-ud-Din Muhammad Ghori...

 then returned east to Ghazni to deal with the threat on his eastern frontiers from the Turks and Mongols, whiles his armies continued to advance through Northern India, raiding as far east as Bengal
Bengal
Bengal is a historical and geographical region in the northeast region of the Indian Subcontinent at the apex of the Bay of Bengal. Today, it is mainly divided between the sovereign land of People's Republic of Bangladesh and the Indian state of West Bengal, although some regions of the previous...

.

Muhammad returned to Lahore after 1200. In 1206, Muhammad Bin Sām had to travel to Lahore to crush a revolt. On his way back to Ghazni, his caravan rested at Damik near Sohawa
Sohawa
Sohawa is an administrative sub-division of Jhelum District, situated in the Punjab province of Pakistan.. Sohawa has grown from a small village in 1947 to a large town in 2009, development in transportation , education and health has played a major role in the development of the town...

 (which is near the city of Jhelum
Jhelum
Jhelum or Jehlum may refer to:* Jhelum, a city in Pakistan on the banks of the Jhelum River* Jhelum District, an administrative division in Punjab, Pakistan surrounding the city of Jhelum...

 in the 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...

 province of modern-day Pakistan). He was assassinated on March 15, 1206, while offering his evening prayers. The identity of Ghori's assassins is disputed, with some claiming that he was assassinated by local Hindu Gakhars
Gakhars
The Gakhars are an ancient warrior clan who have predominantly resided in what is present day northern Punjab and South-Western Kashmir, Pakistan. In particular in the cities of Rawalpindi, Jhelum and regions of Gilgit, Baltistan, Chitral, Khanpur and Mirpur, Pakistan...

 and others claiming he was assassinated by Hindu Khokhars, both being different tribes.
Hasan Nizami and Ferishta record the killing of Muhammad Ghori at the hands of the Gakhars
Gakhar Hindus
Gakhars are a Punjabi community living in India with an ancient recorded history, originally belonging to the areas of West Punjab which now fall in the territory of Pakistan...

. However, Ferishta may have confused the Ghakars with the Khokhars. Other historians have also blamed Shahabuddin Ghori's assassination to a band of Hindu Khokhars.
Some also claim that Muhammad Bin Sām was assassinated by the Hashshashin
Hashshashin
The Assassins were an order of Nizari Ismailis, particularly those of Persia that existed from around 1092 to 1265...

, a radical Ismaili
Ismaili
' is a branch of Shia Islam. It is the second largest branch of Shia Islam, after the Twelvers...

 Muslim sect.

According to his wishes, Muhammad Bin Sām was buried where he fell, in Damik. Upon his death his most capable general, Qutb-ud-din Aybak
Qutb-ud-din Aybak
Qutb-ud-din Aibak was a Turkic king of Northwest India who ruled from his capital in Delhi where he built the Qutub Minar and the Quwwat Al Islam mosque. He was of Turkic descent from central Asia, the first Sultan of Delhi and founder of the Slave dynasty of India. He ruled for only four years,...

, took control of Muhammad's Indian conquests and declared himself the first Sultan of Delhi.

The Delhi Sultanate


Muhammad's successors established the first dynasty of the Delhi Sultanate
Delhi Sultanate
The Delhi Sultanate is a term used to cover five short-lived, Delhi based kingdoms or sultanates, of Turkic origin in medieval India. The sultanates ruled from Delhi between 1206 and 1526, when the last was replaced by the Mughal dynasty...

, while the Mamluk
Mamluk
A Mamluk was a soldier of slave origin, who were predominantly Cumans/Kipchaks The "mamluk phenomenon", as David Ayalon dubbed the creation of the specific warrior...

 Dynasty in 1211 (however, the Delhi Sultanate is traditionally held to have been founded in 1206) seized the reins of the empire. Mamluk means "slave" and referred to the Turkic slave soldiers who became rulers. The territory under control of the Muslim rulers in Delhi expanded rapidly. By mid-century, Bengal and much of central India was under the Delhi Sultanate. Several Turko-Afghan dynasties ruled from Delhi: the Mamluk (1211–1290), the Khalji (1290–1320), the Tughlaq (1320–1413), the Sayyid
Sayyid
Sayyid is an honorific title, it denotes males accepted as descendants of the Islamic prophet Muhammad through his grandsons, Hasan ibn Ali and Husain ibn Ali, sons of the prophet's daughter Fatima Zahra and his son-in-law Ali ibn Abi Talib.Daughters of sayyids are given the titles Sayyida,...

 (1414–51), and the Lodhi
Lodhi
Lodhi is a Batani Pashtun tribe mainly found in Afghanistan and Pakistan. They were part of a wave of Pashtuns who pushed east into what is today Pakistan. Often accompanying the Timurids who conquered South Asia, the Lodhi established themselves during the Islamic period as a Muslim ruling class...

 (1451–1526). Muslim Kings extended their domains into Southern India, Kingdom of Vijayanagar resisted until falling to the Deccan Sultanate in 1565. Certain kingdoms remained independent of Delhi such as the larger kingdoms of Rajasthan
Rajasthan
Rājasthān the land of Rajasthanis, , is the largest state of the Republic of India by area. It is located in the northwest of India. It encompasses most of the area of the large, inhospitable Great Indian Desert , which has an edge paralleling the Sutlej-Indus river valley along its border with...

, parts of the Deccan, Gujarat, Malwa (central India), and Bengal
Bengal
Bengal is a historical and geographical region in the northeast region of the Indian Subcontinent at the apex of the Bay of Bengal. Today, it is mainly divided between the sovereign land of People's Republic of Bangladesh and the Indian state of West Bengal, although some regions of the previous...

, nevertheless all of the area in present-day Pakistan came under the rule of Delhi.

The Sultans of Delhi enjoyed cordial, if superficial, relations with Muslim rulers in the Near East but owed them no allegiance. They based their laws on the Quran and the 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...

 and permitted non-Muslim subjects to practice their religion only if they paid 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...

 (poll tax). They ruled from urban centers, while military camps and trading posts provided the nuclei for towns that sprang up in the countryside.

Perhaps the most significant contribution of the Sultanate was its temporary success in insulating the subcontinent from the potential devastation of the Mongol invasion from Central Asia in the 13th century, which nonetheless led to the capture of Afghanistan and western Pakistan by the Mongols (see the Ilkhanate
Ilkhanate
The Ilkhanate, also spelled Il-khanate , was a Mongol khanate established in Azerbaijan and Persia in the 13th century, considered a part of the Mongol Empire...

 Dynasty). The Sultanate ushered in a period of Indian cultural renaissance, The resulting "Indo-Muslim" fusion left lasting monuments in architecture, music, literature, and religion. In addition it is surmised that the language of Urdu
Urdu
Urdu is a register of the Hindustani language that is identified with Muslims in South Asia. It belongs to the Indo-European family. Urdu is the national language and lingua franca of Pakistan. It is also widely spoken in some regions of India, where it is one of the 22 scheduled languages and an...

 (literally meaning "horde" or "camp" in various Turkic dialects) was born during the Dehli Sultanate period as a result of the mingling of Sanskritic Hindi and the Persian, Turkish, Arabic favored by the Muslim invaders of India.

The Sultanate suffered significantly from the sacking of Delhi in 1398 by Timur
Timur
Timur , historically known as Tamerlane in English , was a 14th-century conqueror of West, South and Central Asia, and the founder of the Timurid dynasty in Central Asia, and great-great-grandfather of Babur, the founder of the Mughal Dynasty, which survived as the Mughal Empire in India until...

, but revived briefly under the Lodi Dynasty, the final dynasty of the Sultanate before it was conquered by Zahiruddin Babur
Babur
Babur was a Muslim conqueror from Central Asia who, following a series of setbacks, finally succeeded in laying the basis for the Mughal dynasty of South Asia. He was a direct descendant of Timur through his father, and a descendant also of Genghis Khan through his mother...

 in 1526, who subsequently founded the Mughal Dynasty that ruled from the 16th to the 18th centuries.

Timur


Tīmūr bin Taraghay Barlas
Timur
Timur , historically known as Tamerlane in English , was a 14th-century conqueror of West, South and Central Asia, and the founder of the Timurid dynasty in Central Asia, and great-great-grandfather of Babur, the founder of the Mughal Dynasty, which survived as the Mughal Empire in India until...

, known in the West as Tamerlane or "Timur the lame", was a 14th century warlord
Warlord
A warlord is a person with power who has both military and civil control over a subnational area due to armed forces loyal to the warlord and not to a central authority. The term can also mean one who espouses the ideal that war is necessary, and has the means and authority to engage in war...

 of Turco-Mongol
Turco-Mongol
Turko-Mongol is a modern designation for various nomads who were subjects of the Mongol Empire. Being progressively Turkicized in terms of language and identity following the Mongol conquests, they derived their ethnic and cultural origins from steppes of Central Asia...

 descent, conqueror of much of western and central Asia, and founder of the Timurid Empire and Timurid dynasty
Timurid Dynasty
The Timurids , self-designated Gurkānī , were a Persianate, Central Asian Sunni Muslim dynasty of Turko-Mongol descent whose empire included the whole of Iran, modern Afghanistan, and modern Uzbekistan, as well as large parts of contemporary Pakistan, North India, Mesopotamia, Anatolia and the...

 (1370–1405) in Central Asia
Central Asia
Central Asia is a core region of the Asian continent from the Caspian Sea in the west, China in the east, Afghanistan in the south, and Russia in the north...

, which survived until 1857 as the Mughal dynasty
Mughal Empire
The Mughal Empire ,‎ or Mogul Empire in traditional English usage, was an imperial power from the Indian Subcontinent. The Mughal emperors were descendants of the Timurids...

 of India.

Informed about civil war in South Asia
South Asia
South Asia, also known as Southern Asia, is the southern region of the Asian continent, which comprises the sub-Himalayan countries and, for some authorities , also includes the adjoining countries to the west and the east...

, Timur began a trek starting in 1398 to invade the reigning Sultan
Sultan
Sultan is a title with several historical meanings. Originally, it was an Arabic language abstract noun meaning "strength", "authority", "rulership", and "dictatorship", derived from the masdar سلطة , meaning "authority" or "power". Later, it came to be used as the title of certain rulers who...

 Nasir-u Din Mehmud of the Tughlaq Dynasty in the north Indian city of Delhi
Delhi
Delhi , officially National Capital Territory of Delhi , is the largest metropolis by area and the second-largest by population in India, next to Mumbai. It is the eighth largest metropolis in the world by population with 16,753,265 inhabitants in the Territory at the 2011 Census...

. His campaign was politically pretexted that the Muslim Delhi Sultanate was too tolerant toward its Hindu
Hindu
Hindu refers to an identity associated with the philosophical, religious and cultural systems that are indigenous to the Indian subcontinent. As used in the Constitution of India, the word "Hindu" is also attributed to all persons professing any Indian religion...

 subjects, but that could not mask the real reason being to amass the wealth of the Delhi Sultanate.

Timur crossed 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...

 at Attock
Attock
Attock is a city located in the northern border of the Punjab province of Pakistan and the headquarters of Attock District...

 (now 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...

) on September 24. The capture of towns and villages was often followed by the looting, massacre of their inhabitants and raping of their women, as well as pillaging to support his massive army. Timur wrote many times in his memoirs of his specific disdain for the 'idolatrous' Hindu
Hindu
Hindu refers to an identity associated with the philosophical, religious and cultural systems that are indigenous to the Indian subcontinent. As used in the Constitution of India, the word "Hindu" is also attributed to all persons professing any Indian religion...

s, although he also waged war against Muslim Indians during his campaign.

Timur's invasion did not go unopposed and he did meet some resistance during his march to Delhi, most notably with the Sarv Khap coalition in northern India, and 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 Meerut. Although impressed and momentarily stalled by the valour of Ilyaas Awan, Timur was able to continue his relentless approach to Delhi, arriving in 1398 to combat the armies of Sultan Mehmud, already weakened by an internal battle for ascension within the royal family.

The Sultan's army was easily defeated on December 17 1398. Timur entered Delhi and the city was sacked, destroyed, and left in ruins. Before the battle for Delhi, Timur executed more than 100,000 captives, mostly Hindus.

Timur himself recorded the invasions in his memoirs, collectively known as Tuzk-i-Timuri. In them, he vividly described the massacre at Delhi
Delhi
Delhi , officially National Capital Territory of Delhi , is the largest metropolis by area and the second-largest by population in India, next to Mumbai. It is the eighth largest metropolis in the world by population with 16,753,265 inhabitants in the Territory at the 2011 Census...

:


In a short space of time all the people in the [New Delhi] fort were put to the sword, and in the course of one hour the heads of 10,000 infidels were cut off. The sword of Islam was washed in the blood of the infidels, and all the goods and effects, the treasure and the grain which for many a long year had been stored in the fort became the spoil of my soldiers. They set fire to the houses and reduced them to ashes, and they razed the buildings and the fort to the ground....All these infidel Hindus were slain, their women and children, and their property and goods became the spoil of the victors. I proclaimed throughout the camp that every man who had infidel prisoners should put them to death, and whoever neglected to do so should himself be executed and his property given to the informer. When this order became known to the ghazi
Ghazi
Ghazi is a title given to Muslim warriors or champions. It may be used out of respect or officially. Many of the Ottoman Sultans and Caliphs wore this title officially , along with Khan and Caesar...

s of Islam, they drew their swords and put their prisoners to death.




One hundred thousand infidels, impious idolaters, were on that day slain. Maulana Nasiruddin Umar, a counselor and man of learning, who, in all his life, had never killed a sparrow, now, in execution of my order, slew with his sword fifteen idolatrous Hindus, who were his captives....on the great day of battle these 100,000 prisoners could not be left with the baggage, and that it would be entirely opposed to the rules of war to set these idolaters and enemies of Islam at liberty...no other course remained but that of making them all food for the sword.


As per Malfuzat-i-Timuri, Timur targeted Hindus. In his own words, "Excepting the quarter of the saiyids, the 'ulama and the other Musalmans [sic], the whole city was sacked". In his descriptions of the Loni massacre he wrote, "..Next day I gave orders that the Musalman prisoners should be separated and saved."

During the ransacking of Delhi, almost all inhabitants not killed were captured and enslaved
Slavery
Slavery is a system under which people are treated as property to be bought and sold, and are forced to work. Slaves can be held against their will from the time of their capture, purchase or birth, and deprived of the right to leave, to refuse to work, or to demand compensation...

.

Timur's memoirs on his invasion of India describe in detail the massacre of Hindus, looting plundering and raping of their women and children, their forced conversions to Islam and the plunder of the wealth of Hindustan
Hindustan
Hindustan or Indostan, literal translation "Land of River Sindhu ", is one of the popular names of South Asia. It can also mean "the land of the Hindus"...

 (Greater India
Greater India
Greater India is a term that refers to the historical spread of the culture of India beyond the Indian subcontinent...

). It gives details of how villages, towns and entire cities were rid of their Hindu male population through systematic mass slaughters and genocide
Genocide
Genocide is defined as "the deliberate and systematic destruction, in whole or in part, of an ethnic, racial, religious, or national group", though what constitutes enough of a "part" to qualify as genocide has been subject to much debate by legal scholars...

 and their women and children forcefully converted en masse to Islam from Hinduism.

Timur left Delhi in approximately January 1399. In April he had returned to his own capital beyond the Oxus (Amu Darya). Immense quantities of spoils were taken from India. According to Ruy Gonzáles de Clavijo
Ruy Gonzáles de Clavijo
Ruy González de Clavijo was a Castilian traveller and writer. In 1403-05 Clavijo was the ambassador of Henry III of Castile to the court of Timur, founder and ruler of the Timurid Empire...

, 90 captured elephants were employed merely to carry precious stones looted from his conquest, so as to to erect a mosque
Mosque
A mosque is a place of worship for followers of Islam. The word is likely to have entered the English language through French , from Portuguese , from Spanish , and from Berber , ultimately originating in — . The Arabic word masjid literally means a place of prostration...

 at Samarkand — what historians today believe is the enormous Bibi-Khanym Mosque
Bibi-Khanym Mosque
Bibi-Khanym Mosque is a famous historical Friday mosque in Samarkand, Uzbekistan, whose name comes from the wife of 14th-century ruler, Amir Timur.-Features:...

. Ironically, the mosque was constructed too quickly and suffered greatly from disrepair within a few decades of its construction.

The Mughal Empire


India in the 16th century presented a fragmented picture of rulers, both Muslim and Hindu, who lacked concern for their subjects and failed to create a common body of laws or institutions. Outside developments also played a role in shaping events. The circumnavigation of Africa by the Portuguese explorer Vasco da Gama
Vasco da Gama
Vasco da Gama, 1st Count of Vidigueira was a Portuguese explorer, one of the most successful in the Age of Discovery and the commander of the first ships to sail directly from Europe to India...

 in 1498 allowed Europeans to challenge Arab control of the trading routes between Europe and Asia. In Central Asia and Afghanistan
Afghanistan
Afghanistan , officially the Islamic Republic of Afghanistan, is a landlocked country located in the centre of Asia, forming South Asia, Central Asia and the Middle East. With a population of about 29 million, it has an area of , making it the 42nd most populous and 41st largest nation in the world...

, shifts in power pushed Babur
Babur
Babur was a Muslim conqueror from Central Asia who, following a series of setbacks, finally succeeded in laying the basis for the Mughal dynasty of South Asia. He was a direct descendant of Timur through his father, and a descendant also of Genghis Khan through his mother...

 of Ferghana (in present-day Uzbekistan
Uzbekistan
Uzbekistan , officially the Republic of Uzbekistan is a doubly landlocked country in Central Asia and one of the six independent Turkic states. It shares borders with Kazakhstan to the west and to the north, Kyrgyzstan and Tajikistan to the east, and Afghanistan and Turkmenistan to the south....

) southward, first to 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...

 and then to India. The dynasty he founded endured for more than three centuries.

Babur




Claiming descent from both Genghis Khan
Genghis Khan
Genghis Khan , born Temujin and occasionally known by his temple name Taizu , was the founder and Great Khan of the Mongol Empire, which became the largest contiguous empire in history after his death....

 and Timur
Timur
Timur , historically known as Tamerlane in English , was a 14th-century conqueror of West, South and Central Asia, and the founder of the Timurid dynasty in Central Asia, and great-great-grandfather of Babur, the founder of the Mughal Dynasty, which survived as the Mughal Empire in India until...

, Babur combined strength and courage with a love of beauty, and military ability with cultivation. He concentrated on gaining control of Northwestern India, doing so in 1526 by defeating the last Lodhi Sultan at the First battle of Panipat
First battle of Panipat
The first battle of Panipat took place in Northern India, and marked the beginning of the Mughal Empire. This was one of the earliest battles involving gunpowder firearms and field artillery.-Details:...

, a town north of Delhi
Delhi
Delhi , officially National Capital Territory of Delhi , is the largest metropolis by area and the second-largest by population in India, next to Mumbai. It is the eighth largest metropolis in the world by population with 16,753,265 inhabitants in the Territory at the 2011 Census...

. Babur then turned to the tasks of persuading his Central Asian followers to stay on in India and of overcoming other contenders for power, mainly the Rajputs and the Afghans. He succeeded in both tasks but died shortly thereafter in 1530. The Mughal Empire was one of the largest centralized states in premodern history and was the precursor to the British Indian Empire
British Empire
The British Empire comprised the dominions, colonies, protectorates, mandates and other territories ruled or administered by the United Kingdom. It originated with the overseas colonies and trading posts established by England in the late 16th and early 17th centuries. At its height, it was the...

.

Babur was followed by his great-grandson, Shah Jahan
Shah Jahan
Shah Jahan Shah Jahan (also spelled Shah Jehan, Shahjehan, , Persian: شاه جهان) (January 5, 1592 – January 22, 1666) Shah Jahan (also spelled Shah Jehan, Shahjehan, , Persian: شاه جهان) (January 5, 1592 – January 22, 1666) (Full title: His Imperial Majesty Al-Sultan al-'Azam wal Khaqan...

 (r. 1628–58), builder of the Taj Mahal
Taj Mahal
The Taj Mahal is a white Marble mausoleum located in Agra, India. It was built by Mughal emperor Shah Jahan in memory of his third wife, Mumtaz Mahal...

 and other magnificent buildings. Two other towering figures of the Mughal era were Akbar (r. 1556–1605) and Aurangzeb
Aurangzeb
Abul Muzaffar Muhy-ud-Din Muhammad Aurangzeb Alamgir , more commonly known as Aurangzeb or by his chosen imperial title Alamgir , was the sixth Mughal Emperor of India, whose reign lasted from 1658 until his death in 1707.Badshah Aurangzeb, having ruled most of the Indian subcontinent for nearly...

 (r. 1658–1707). Both rulers expanded the empire greatly and were able administrators. However, Akbar was known for his religious tolerance and administrative genius while Aurangzeb was a pious Muslim and fierce advocate of more orthodox Islam.

Aurangzeb



While some rulers were zealous in their spread of Islam, others were relatively liberal. Moghul emperor Akbar was relatively liberal and established a new religion, Din E Elahi, which included beliefs from different religions. He abolished the jizya for some time. In contrast, his great-grandson Aurangazeb was more zealous and ruthless ruler .

In the century-and-a-half that followed the death of Aurangzeb, effective Muslim control weakened. Succession to imperial and even provincial power, which had often become hereditary, was subject to intrigue and force. The mansabdari system gave way to the zamindari system, in which high-ranking officials took on the appearance of hereditary landed aristocracy with powers of collecting rents. As Delhi's control waned, other contenders for power emerged and clashed, thus preparing the way for the eventual British takeover.

Durrani Empire


The decay of the Mughal power saw a series of invasions by the Persian adventurer, Nadir Shah, but no occupation per se. Following his death, his Royal Guardsman Ahmed Shah Abdali - a Pashtun
Pashtun people
Pashtuns or Pathans , also known as ethnic Afghans , are an Eastern Iranic ethnic group with populations primarily between the Hindu Kush mountains in Afghanistan and the Indus River in Pakistan...

 - embarked on an invasion of conquest. In the short space of just over a quarter of a century, he forged one of the largest Muslim empires of the 18th century. The high point of his conquests was his victory over the powerful Marathas in the third Battle of Panipat 1761. In South Asia his empire stretched from the Indus at Attock all the way to the outskirts of Delhi. Uninterested in long term of conquest or in replacing the Mughal Empire, he became increasingly pre occupied with revolts in Persia and by the Sikhs. His empire started to unravel not long after his death.

Nalanda


In 1193, the Nalanda University complex was destroyed by Afghan khilji/ghilzai Muslim invaders under Bakhtiyar Khalji; this event is seen as the final milestone in the decline of Buddhism in India
Decline of Buddhism in India
The decline of Buddhism in India, the land of its birth, occurred for a variety of reasons, and happened even as it continued to flourish beyond the frontiers of India. Buddhism was established in the area of ancient Magadha and Kosala by Gautama Buddha in the 6th century BCE, in what is now modern...

. He also burned Nalanda's a major Buddhist library and Vikramshila
Vikramshila
University was one of the two most important centers of Buddhist learning in India during the Pala dynasty, along with University. was established by King Dharmapala in response to a supposed decline in the quality of scholarship at Nālandā...

 University, as well as numerous Bhuddhist monasteries in India. When the Tibetan translator, Chag Lotsawa Dharmasvamin (Chag Lo-tsa-ba, 1197–1264), visited northern India in 1235, Nalanda was damaged, looted, and largely deserted, but still standing and functioning with seventy students.
Mahabodhi, Sompura, Vajrasan and other important monasteries were found to be untouched. The Ghuri ravages only afflicted those monasteries that lay in the direct of their advance and were fortified in the manner of defensive forts.

By the end of the 12th century, following the Muslim conquest of the Buddhist stronghold in Bihar, Buddhism having already declined in the south declined in the North as well as survivors retreated to Nepal, Sikkim and Tibet or escaped to the South of the sub-continent. Hinduism and Jainism survived because they did not have large centers of worship and devotion based around heavily fortified monasteries.


Vijayanagara


The city flourished between the 14th century and 16th century, during the height of the Vijayanagar Empire. During this time, it was often in conflict with the kingdoms which rose in the Northern Deccan, and which are often collectively termed the Deccan Sultanates
Deccan sultanates
The Deccan sultanates were five Muslim-ruled late medieval kingdoms—Bijapur, Golkonda, Ahmadnagar, Bidar, and Berar—of south-central India. The Deccan sultanates were located on the Deccan Plateau, between the Krishna River and the Vindhya Range. These kingdoms became independent during the breakup...

. The period saw brutalities from both sides. In 1366, Bukka I captured the Muslim region of Mudkal and slaughtered all but one inhabitant. The lone survivor of this carnage is supposed to have taken the news to Mohammad Shah, the Sultan of the Bahmani Sultanate
Bahmani Sultanate
The Bahmani Sultanate was a Muslim state of the Deccan in southern India and one of the great medieval Indian kingdoms...

. In response the sultan ravaged the Hindus (Reference: Lonely Planet INDIA, 2005). In 1565, the empire's armies suffered a massive and catastrophic defeat at by an alliance of the Sultanates, and the capital was taken. The victorious armies then razed, depopulated and destroyed the city over several months. The empire continued in slow decline, but the original capital was not reoccupied or rebuilt.

Somanath




The first temple of Somnath existed before the beginning of the Christian era.

The second temple, built by the Maitraka
Maitraka
The Maitraka dynasty ruled Gujarat in western India from c. 475 to 767. The founder of the dynasty, Senapati Bhatarka, was a military governor of Saurashtra peninsula under Gupta Empire, who had established himself as the independent ruler of Gujarat approximately in the last quarter of 5th century...

 kings of Vallabhi
Vallabhi
Vallabhi is an ancient city located in Saurashtra peninsula in Gujarat, in western India, near Bhavnagar. Also known as Vallabhipura, it was the capital of the ancient Maitraka dynasty.- Origins and history :...

 in Gujarat, replaced the first one on the same site around 649. In 725 Junayad, the Arab
Arab
Arab people, also known as Arabs , are a panethnicity primarily living in the Arab world, which is located in Western Asia and North Africa. They are identified as such on one or more of genealogical, linguistic, or cultural grounds, with tribal affiliations, and intra-tribal relationships playing...

 governor of Sind, sent his armies to destroy the second temple.

The Pratihara
Pratihara
The Gurjara Pratihara , often simply called Pratihara Empire, was an imperial Indian dynasty that ruled much of Northern India from the 6th to the 11th centuries. At its peak of prosperity and power , the Gurajara-Pratihara Empire rivaled or even exceeded the Gupta Empire in the extent of its...

 king Nagabhata II
Nagabhata II
Nagabhata II ascended the throne of the Gurjara-Pratihara dynasty after his father Vatsaraja. His mother was queen Sundari-Devi. He was designated with imperial titles - Paramabhattaraka, Maharajadhiraja, and Paramesvara after conquest of Kannauj.-Reign:Nagabhata II finds a mention in the Gwalior...

 constructed the third temple in 815, a large structure of red sandstone. 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,...

 attacked this temple in 1026, looted its gems and precious stones, massacred the worshippers and burned it. It was then that the famous Shivalinga of the temple was entirely destroyed.

The fourth temple was built by the Paramara
Paramara
Paramara is a Maratha, Gurjar,& Rajput clan of India.The Paramara clan belongs to the Agnivansha of Rajputs ancient Kshatriyas...

 King Bhoja
Bhoja
Bhoja was a philosopher king and polymath of medieval India, who ruled the kingdom of Malwa in central India from about 1000 to 1050 CE. Also known as Raja Bhoja Of Dhar, he belonged to the Paramara dynasty...

 of Malwa and the Solanki
Solanki
The Solanki was a royal Hindu Indian dynasty that ruled parts of western and central India between the 10th to 13th centuries. A number of scholars including V. A. Smith assign them Gurjar origin....

 king Bhima of Gujarat (Anhilwara) between 1026 and 1042. The temple was razed in 1297 when the Sultanate of Delhi conquered Gujarat, and again in 1394. Mughal Emperor Aurangzeb
Aurangzeb
Abul Muzaffar Muhy-ud-Din Muhammad Aurangzeb Alamgir , more commonly known as Aurangzeb or by his chosen imperial title Alamgir , was the sixth Mughal Emperor of India, whose reign lasted from 1658 until his death in 1707.Badshah Aurangzeb, having ruled most of the Indian subcontinent for nearly...

 destroyed the temple again in 1706.

See also

  • History of Pakistan
    History of Pakistan
    The 1st known inhabitants of the modern-day Pakistan region are believed to have been the Soanian , who settled in the Soan Valley and Riwat almost 2 million years ago. Over the next several thousand years, the region would develop into various civilizations like Mehrgarh and the Indus Valley...

  • History of India
    History of India
    The history of India begins with evidence of human activity of Homo sapiens as long as 75,000 years ago, or with earlier hominids including Homo erectus from about 500,000 years ago. The Indus Valley Civilization, which spread and flourished in the northwestern part of the Indian subcontinent from...

  • Islamic conquest of Iran
  • Islamic conquest of Afghanistan
    Islamic conquest of Afghanistan
    The Islamic conquest of Afghanistan began in the middle of the 7th century after the Islamic conquest of Persia was completed, when Arab Muslims defeated the Sassanid Empire at the battles of Walaja, al-Qādisiyyah and Nahavand. The Muslim Arabs then began to move towards the lands east of Persia...

  • Islam in India
    Islam in India
    Islam is the second-most practiced religion in the Republic of India after Hinduism, with more than 13.4% of the country's population ....

  • Islamic empires in India
    Islamic empires in India
    Beginning in the 12th century, several Islamic states were established in the Indian subcontinentin the course of a gradual Muslim conquest in the Indian subcontinent....

  • Delhi Sultanate
    Delhi Sultanate
    The Delhi Sultanate is a term used to cover five short-lived, Delhi based kingdoms or sultanates, of Turkic origin in medieval India. The sultanates ruled from Delhi between 1206 and 1526, when the last was replaced by the Mughal dynasty...

  • Mughal era
    Mughal era
    The Mughal era is a historic period of the Mughal Empire in South Asia . It ran from the early 15th century to a point in the early 18th century when the Mughal Emperors' power had dwindled...

  • Mughal empire
    Mughal Empire
    The Mughal Empire ,‎ or Mogul Empire in traditional English usage, was an imperial power from the Indian Subcontinent. The Mughal emperors were descendants of the Timurids...

  • Decline of Buddhism in India
    Decline of Buddhism in India
    The decline of Buddhism in India, the land of its birth, occurred for a variety of reasons, and happened even as it continued to flourish beyond the frontiers of India. Buddhism was established in the area of ancient Magadha and Kosala by Gautama Buddha in the 6th century BCE, in what is now modern...

  • Umayyad conquest of Hispania
    Umayyad conquest of Hispania
    The Umayyad conquest of Hispania is the initial Islamic Ummayad Caliphate's conquest, between 711 and 718, of the Christian Visigothic Kingdom of Hispania, centered in the Iberian Peninsula, which was known to them under the Arabic name al-Andalus....

  • Crusades
    Crusades
    The Crusades were a series of religious wars, blessed by the Pope and the Catholic Church with the main goal of restoring Christian access to the holy places in and near Jerusalem...

  • Reconquista
    Reconquista
    The Reconquista was a period of almost 800 years in the Middle Ages during which several Christian kingdoms succeeded in retaking the Muslim-controlled areas of the Iberian Peninsula broadly known as Al-Andalus...

  • Persecution of Hindus
    Persecution of Hindus
    Persecution of Hindus refers to the religious persecution inflicted upon Hindus. Hindus have been historically persecuted during Islamic rule of the Indian subcontinent and during the Goa Inquisition...


External links



Further reading

  • Al-Biladhuri: Kitãb Futûh Al-Buldãn, translated into English by F.C. Murgotte, New York, 1924. See Goel's Hindu Temples for a list of 80 Muslim historians writing on the invasions.
  • Sita Ram Goel
    Sita Ram Goel
    Sita Ram Goel , writer and publisher in late twentieth century. He had Marxist leanings during the 1940s, but later became an outspoken anti-communist that also spoke negatively about Islam and Christianity...

    : Hindu Temples: What Happened to Them 2 vols. ISBN 81-85990-49-2 Vol.1; Vol.2
  • Sita Ram Goel: The Story of Islamic Imperialism in India
  • Will Durant
    Will Durant
    William James Durant was a prolific American writer, historian, and philosopher. He is best known for The Story of Civilization, 11 volumes written in collaboration with his wife Ariel Durant and published between 1935 and 1975...

    . The Story of Civilization, Vol. I, Our Oriental Heritage, New York, 1972.
  • Elliot and Dowson: The History of India, as Told by Its Own Historians. The Muhammadan Period, New Delhi reprint, 1990.
  • Koenraad Elst: Negationism in India - Concealing the record of Islam http://koenraadelst.bharatvani.org/books/negaind/index.htm, http://koenraadelst.bharatvani.org/articles/irin/genocide.html
  • François Gautier: Rewriting Indian History Chapter 4, Chapter 5, doc-format
  • K.S. Lal: The Legacy of Muslim Rule in India
  • K.S. Lal. Indian Muslims - Who are they
  • K.S. Lal: The Growth of Muslim Population in India, Voice of India, New Delhi
  • Majumdar, R. C. (ed.), The History and Culture of the Indian People, Volume VI, The Delhi Sultanate, Bombay, 1960; Volume VII, The Mughal Empire, Bombay, 1973.
  • Misra, Ram Gopal, Indian Resistance to Early Muslim Invaders up to AD 1206, Meerut City, 1983.
  • Arun Shourie
    Arun Shourie
    Arun Shourie is an Indian journalist, author, intellectual and politician. He has been an economist with the World Bank , a consultant to the Planning Commission, India, editor of the Indian Express and Times of India and a minister in the government of India . He was awarded the Ramon Magsaysay...

    : Eminent Historians: Their Technology, Their Line, Their Fraud. New Delhi, 1998.

Footnotes


- India, Pakistan