Saturday, January 28, 2023

Muhammad bin Qasim the Conqueror of India

Muhammad bin Qasim the conqueror of India. When assigned Al-Qasim was only seventeen years old. Thanks to his struggle, Islam shines on the earth of Hindustan

His name is Muhammad bin Qasim bin Muhammad bin Hakam bin Abu Ugail bin Mas’ud bin Amir bin Mu’tab Ats-Tsaqafi. He was born in Taif in 72 H. His grandfather Muhammad bin al-Hakam was a ruler of the Isaqif tribe.

In the year 75 AH, Al-Hajaj bin Yusuf ats-Tsagafi who was appointed by the Caliph Abdul Malik bin Marwan to be governor of Iraq, appointed his uncle, al-Qashim, father of Muhammad bin al Qashim, as guardian in the Basra region. Muhammad, who was only 3 years old at that time, also moved with his father from Taif to Basrah in Iraq.

Hajjaj, who was very concerned with matters of military power and expansion, influenced Muhammad bin al-Qashim Muhammad to grow up in a military environment, he trained horseback riding since childhood, and participated in martial arts training and warfare, until finally he became a Muslim warlord.

In 90 AH, 12 ships carrying merchandise, traders, and Muslim women were intercepted and captured by pirates in the Sindh region (Pakistan). Hajjaj bin Yusuf also prepared troops to free the Muslims from the captives of the pirates.

Hajjaj sent Abdullah bin Nahban, but he died on this mission. Then he sent Budail bin Tahfah al-Bajali, Budail also suffered a similar fate. Hajjaj was furious after seeing his troops defeated by the Sindh people.

He vowed to conquer this country and promised that Muslims could enter the city center of the country. Then Hajjaj chose Muhammad bin al-Qashim as commander in the expansion to India.

He was seen as having courage, commanding spirit, and having determination. Muhammad bin al-Qashim provided his troops with tools of war, including manjanik.

Conquer India

After preparations were deemed sufficient, Muhammad bin al-Qashim departed with 20,000 of the best troops for India, the departure of these troops occurred in 90 H. Throughout his journey, city after city was conquered by Muhammad bin al-Qashim.

After traveling for two years, finally Muhammad bin al-Qashim entered the Sindh region. He immediately ordered his troops to dig a large trench and get ready to face war with the Sindh forces led by Raja Dahir Sen.

A terrible war ensued between these two great armies. As a result, the Sindh Army was defeated and King Dahir Sen died on the battlefield. King Dahir was the last Hindu Brahmin ruler of Sindh in the western region of the Indian subcontinent.

In 93 H, Muhammad ibn Qasim (nephew of al-Hajjaj) managed to conquer the city of Debal and other cities in India. When assigned by al-Hajjaj to conquer India, Al-Qasim was only seventeen years old.

Together with his troops, he moved until he met the king of India, Dahir, who brought a large army, including 27 elephants. A fierce war ensued.

Dahir was killed and some of his troops fled. The Muslim troops continued to pursue until they succeeded in eliminating them all.

After that, the Muslim armies continued to move, conquering the city of Cambrij, and obtaining abundant loot. The capital city of Sindh fell to the Muslims. Muhammad bin al-Qashim continued his military expansion into other Sindh regions from Dibal to Punjab. This conquest ended in 96 AH.

After that, Muslims busied themselves with preaching to these idol worshippers. The people of Sindh are so enthusiastic about the teachings of Islam, they are so interested in the principle of equality which they do not find in Hinduism.

Likewise Buddhists who were previously despised by Hindus got the same rights as other Sindh people. The light of Islam spread in the land of Hindustan and the Islamic kingdom was established in the land of Sindh (Pakistan).

The last city that was conquered by Ibnul Qasim on the Sindh-India border was the Karaj area. After this last conquest, Islam entered the Kanyi region, as information conveyed by Al-Masudi, who had visited India at the beginning of the eighth century hijriyah.

Al-Mas’udi wrote; “There is no kingdom in Sindh and India whose king so venerates the Muslims more than Balhara, the ruler of Kanyi. Islam there is treated with dignity and protected. Balhara built many magnificent mosques that prospered with various worship activities such as the five daily prayers. He ruled the kingdom for more than 40 or 50 years. The people in the kingdom believe that Balhara has ruled for a very long time because of his fair attitude and respect for Muslims.”

End of Ibn al Qasim’s Career

Al-Qasim, the conqueror, and his army had moved into the Kairaj region and had already entered Audhayir. His desire to conquer the area is getting stronger.

He also prepared everything to enter the area. While Ibnul Qasim was busy preparing everything to penetrate the Kashmir region and complete his mission of conquest of all of Sindh and India, he received special orders from the new Caliph, Sulaiman bin Abdul Malik.

The order contained the removal of Muhammad bin Qasim from his position in Sindh. Moreover, the Caliph also issued an arrest warrant. Like the criminal, Ibnul Qasim, he was taken to Iraq. In the condition of both hands shackled.

Some of the closest people to Ibn al-Qasim forbade going to Iraq, but he ignored it. He could not refute the orders of the Caliph which must be obeyed.

He considered his whole life to be spent working for the government of the Umayyad Caliph and the religion of Allah. But the Iraqi government betrayed him.

Ibnul Qasim was thrown into a dungeon and shackled with iron. He was hurt precisely after sacrificing everything, like the proverb “Milk is returned to the fallopian tube”.

The ruler of Iraq tortured Ibn al-Qasim, even though he received assurances from several members of the Banu Ugail family. Finally, this Conqueror of Sindh died under cruel torture. His head was sent to Damascus.

The death of Muhammad bin Qasim was suffocating, because he was slandered to participate in the political scandal that occurred between Hajjaj bin Yusuf and Caliph Sulaiman bin Abdul Malik. This hero who conquered Sindh finally died in prison in 95 H.

Deep sadness plagued the people of Sindh when accompanying the departure of Muhammad bin Al-Qasim to Iraq. Their tears could not be dammed when they heard the news of his death.

All levels of society, from the young to the old men and women, both native Muslims and immigrants, wept bitterly. To commemorate the great service of Ibnul Qasim in the country, the people built a monument to Muhammad bin Al-Qasim in the city of Karyi.

An endless sense of wonder struck everyone. Why this extraordinary young man’s life ended so tragically. It is he who has conquered the whole country of Sindh and spread Islam in all these directions in a short time: no more than three years!

Ibnul Qasim expressed his feelings in a poem while undergoing a period of detention. Here’s a snippet of the poem:

Truly, if I die in the land of Wasith,

With shackles and iron chains,

How many Persian slave girls have I conquered,

How many hairs I’ve left in a ponytail,

Elsewhere in his poetry it is mentioned;

Had I determined to flee, I would have been trampled upon by the women and men whom I had prepared for war,

Sakaki horse does not enter our earth,

Nor is anyone against the prince,

I don’t follow Muzawwani’s slaves,

You need to remember, time derails glory,

The spread of Islam is delayed

After the death of Ibnul Qasim the conquest of the Sindh area was automatically delayed. The Muslims only live in areas that have been completely conquered.

Meanwhile, the chaotic political conditions in the capital of the caliphate had an effect on peace and security in the Indian subcontinent. So, there were various rebellions and wars in some areas that lacked the support of Muslim troops.

Some Sindh leaders who used to seek asylum in Kashmir and other areas are trying to return to their hometowns. In fact, some of them managed to restore and re-run their power, because they benefited from the instability in the Islamic world.

For example, Jaisiuha bin Dahir managed to return to Brahmanabad, although only part of the territory. Worse still, after the death of Ibnul Qasim, only the areas from Debalpur to Saltsea were under Muslim control.

That’s the story. A young hero, died at the age of not even 24 years.

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