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TitleArab Conquest of India
TagsQuran Religion And Belief Unrest Sindh
File Size196.8 KB
Total Pages9
Document Text Contents
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When Muhammad bin Qasim conquered Sindh, the local people, who had been living a life of
misery, breathed a sigh of relief. Qasim followed a lenient policy and treated the local
population generously.

Everyone had full religious freedom and even the spiritual leaders of local religions were
given salaries from the government fund.

No changes were made in the local administration and local people were allowed to hold
offices - particularly in the revenue department.

All taxes were abolished and Jazia was imposed. Everyone was treated equally. Poor people,
especially Buddhists, were very impressed by his policies and many of them embraced
Islam. A number of Mosques and Madrasas were constructed in important towns. In a short
period of time Sindh became a center of Islamic learning. A number of religious scholars,
writers and poets were emerged and they spread their knowledge. The Muslims learned
Indian sciences like medicine, astronomy and mathematics. Sanskrit books on various
subjects were translated into Arabic. During the reign of Haroon al Rasheed, a number of
Hindu scholars were even invited to Baghdad.

The establishment of Muslim rule also paved way for future propagation of Islam in Sindh
and the adjoining regions. Later Sindh also attracted Ismaili missionaries who were so
successful that Sindh passed under Ismaili rule. With the conquest of Lahore by Mahmud of
Ghazni, missionary activity began again under the aegis of Sufis who were the main agents
in the Islamization of the entire region.

There were various reasons that gave Arabs an easy victory of Sindh.

1. Sindh was a weak state with meager resource and it was not strong militarily.

2. The were sharp social divisions in Sindh.

3. The Barhaman Kings had been oppressive towards martial people like Jates and Meds
who fully cooperated with Qasim and played crucial role in the conquest of Sindh.

4. The rule of Dahir’s family was not stable because it had captured throne recently.

5. Other Indian rulers remained indifferent to Dahir’s fate because Sindh was located at the
extreme west corner of India and was practically isolated.

6. The Arabs possessed superior arms, cavalry and military tactics.

7. The Muslims were inspired by the religious zeal which was infused by Islam.

8. The Hindus lacked emotional unity and thier religion and culture could not inspire them to
fight with the Arabs.

9. Dahir lacked foresightedness and he could not foresee the danger of Arabs invasion when
they had conquered Makran.

10. Dahir could not divide the strength of his army by attacking from different directions
rather he left his fate to be decided by a single pitched battle against the Arabs.

11. Muhammad Bin Qasim was certainly of more capable commander than that of Dahir.The

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fAdministrative impacts
g Economic Impacts
h Political impacts
iJudicial Influence
jMilitary Interaction

a. Religious Impacts:
 It was Muhammad Bin Qasim, who officially brought Islam into India.
 Sind became the center of Islam.
 According to Masudi, the principle Arab colonies were Mansurah, Multan, Debu, and

Nirun where large Friday mosques were built.
 Non-Muslims formed the bulk of the population and were in a preponderating majority at

Debul and Alor.
 The relations between Arabs and non-Muslim population were very good. Unlike the

historians of the Sultanate period
 . Soon after the conquest of Sind and Multan, cow-slaughter was banned in the area. This

might have been due to desire to preserve the cattle wealth, but regard for Hindu sentiments

may also have been partly responsible for this step.
 Indian trading centers were formed into mosques. Islam became a new religion of India.
 If Islam spread in Sind, it was due to the fact that Buddhists, Jats and Medas were eager to

seek emancipation from Brahamanic tyranny. Islam appealed to them as an egalitarian

religion, and its appeal was made attractive by the liberal and tolerant policies of the Muslim

amirs and its teachings brought home to people by the saints, scholars and traders.
. Intellectual Impacts:

 During the Ummayads and the early Abbasid period, the Arabs were, not only at the

height of their political power, but were also very active in the intellectual field and made

every effort to acquire knowledge from all sources.
 After the Arab invasion of India in 712 AD, the most important development took place

in the exchange of intellect between the Arabs and the Indians.
 The Indo-Arab intellectual collaboration was at its height during two distinct periods. It

began during the reign of Mansur. As Sindh was under the actual rule of Khalifah

Mansur, there came embassies from the part of India to Baghdad, and among them were

scholars, who brought important books with them. The second fruitful period was the

reign of Harun Rashid when the famous Barmakid family, which provided wazirs to the

Abbasid caliphs for half a century, was at the zenith of its power. The Barkamids sent

scholars to the Indo-Paksistan subcontinent to study medicine and pharmacology.

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Sind became the link through which the fruits of Indian learning were transmitted to
the Arabs, and by them made available to the civilied world.

 Arabs were the masters of sciences and arts. They learnt a lot of knowledge from the

Hindus like astrology, astronomy.
 The Abbasid caliphs started utilizing the services of Hindu scholars from Sind to translate

Sanskritic works on astronomy, mathematics and medicine. The Hindu scholars

translated the Greek books into Arabic language at Dar-ul-Trarjuma. They engaged

Hindu scholars to come to Baghdad, made tehm the chief physicians of their hospitals

and ordered them to translate from Sanskrit into Arabic books on medicine,

pharmacology, toxicology, philosophy, astrology and other subjects.
 “the earliest Indo-Arab intellectual contact recorded in history in 771, when a Hindu

scholar of astronomy and mathematics reached Baghdad with a deputation from Sind and

took with him Sanskrit work (Siddhanta by Brahmangupta) which he translated into

Arabic with the help of an Arab mathematician.
 Indian doctors enjoyed great prestige at Baghdad. An Indian doctor, Manka, was

specially sent for from India when Harun Rashid fell ill and could not be cured by the

doctors at Baghdad. Manka’s treatment was successful and not only was he richly

awarded by the Khalifah, but was entrusted with the translation of medical books from

Sanskrit. Another Indian physician was called in when a cousin of the caliph suffered

from a paralytic stroke and was given up for lost by the Greek physician.
 Many Indian medicines, some of them in their original names like artifal, which is the

Hindi triphal ( a combination of three fruits), found their way into Arab pharmacopoeia.
 Astrology and palmistry also received consideravle attention at Baghdad. Other subjects

on which books were translated were logic, alchemy, magic, ethics, statecraft and art of

war, but the books which gained greatest popularity were linked with literature.
 The Indians introduced the games of chess and chausar to the Arabs, which the Arabs

later spread to the other parts of the world.
 The Sindi language came to be written in Arabic script and in that manner, Sind was

linked up with the main-stream of Islamic culture. Later the Quarn was translated in Sindi

language.
 The Muslims in Sind took active interest in Islamic studies. Some scholars of Hadith like

Abud Maashor Najeeb and Raja-al-Sindhi gained recognition even in Arabia.
 An Arab historian wrote a book known as “Chach Nama”. This book describes the

history of Sind, which sheds light on the socio-economic, political, religious and cultural

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aspects of Sind at the arrival of Arabs in Sindh. The style of writing this book changed

the traditions of history writing.
d. Social Impacts:

 The caste system in India was broken by Islam.
 They married the Sindi women and as a result a new class arose which was less Arab in

blood but Arab in culture and Islam in religion.
 The Sindhi temper had much in common with the Arabs.
 The Living standards were changed.
 The Arab rulers adopted local practices to a much greater extent than did the Ghaznavids

later at Lahore, or the Turks and the Afghans at Delhi. According to Mas’udi , the ruler of

Mansurah had eighty war elephants and occasionally rode in a chariot drawn by

elephants. Like the Hindu rajas, he wore ear-rings as well as a necklace, and wore his

hair long.
 The Arabs of Mansurah were generally dressed like the people of Iraq, but the dress of

the ruler was similar to that of the Hindu rajas.

e. Administrative Impacts:
 The Arabs divided Sindh into a number of districts called Iqtas and an Arab military

officer was put in charge of a district.
 The officers in charge of the district were given a lot of discretion in the matters of

administration but were required to render military service to the governor.
 Soldiers were given jagirs. Endowments of lands were also given to the Muslim saints

and scholars.
 A large number of colonies came into being. The names of some of these colonies were

Mansura and Mahfuza etc.
 The people of Sind were allowed to mange their local affairs a principle of policy as well

as the dictate of the situation.

f. Economic Impacts:
 After the Indian invasion of Arabs, they brought new economic concepts to India, which

proved an economic revolution for the Indian people.
 The Arabs introduced the interest free economy, which was an opposite to the Hindu

concept of concentration of wealth in one hand; the Bania.
 Life in the Arab dominion of Sind and Multan was simple, but agriculture and commerce

were highly developed. Masudi mentions a large number of hamlets in the principalities

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of Multan and Mansurah, and the whole country was well cultivated and covered with

trees and fields.
 There was active commerce between Sind and other parts of the Muslim world. Caravans

were often passing and repassing that country and Khurasan, most commnly by the route

of Kabul and Bamian. Sindi Hindus, who were excellent accountants and traders, had a

major share in this commerce, and Alor is mentioned as a great commercial center.
 The prosperity of the area may be judged by the fact that Sind and Multan contributed

eleven and a half million dirhams to Abbasid revenue, while the total revenue from the

Kabul area in cash and cattle was less than two and a quarter million dirhams.
 They followed the Islamic concept of distribution of wealth through Zakat and Charity.
 The Arab Muslims built infrastructure, which provided new opportunities of employment

to the Indian people.
 Arabs levied tax on land at the ratio of 2/5th of the total production of the crops.

f. Political Impacts:
 Era of Raja Dahir ended and a new beam of light emerged on the political scene of India.
 The native population were groaning under the tyrannical rule of Raja Dahir
 Though the Muslim political power in Sind began to decline in the later 9 th century, Islam

continued to live even after the fade out of Muslim power.
 In the political field, the arrangements made by Muhammad bin Qasim with non-

Muslims provided the basis for later Muslim policy in the subcontinent.

g. Judicial Impacts:
 Rough and ready justice was given to the people. There was no uniformity of law or of

the courts.
 The Arab chiefs were allowed to have their courts and they could inflict capital

punishments of their dependents.
 There was a Qazi at the capital and there were similar qazis in the districts. They all

decided cases according to the Islamic law.
 The Hindus decided their cases and disputes regarding marriages, inheritance and other

social matters in their Panchayats.
h. Military Interaction:

 The Arabs introduced new ways of war techniques in India.
 The Arabs were the ruler of a mighty empire. They defeated the Romans, Persian,

Bayzantine, Greeks, and learnt new ways of warfare from them.
 The Arabs brought these war tools like the use of fire-works, cannons (Manjneeq) etc.

and techniques in India.

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