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The fraud of Islamic conquest of Sindh

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Muhammad Ali Jinnah and many other Islamists felt/feel proud by claiming that the seed of Islamic Pakistan in Indian subcontinent was sown in AD 712 with the conquest of Sindh by Muhammad bin Qasim, the Muslim Arab general of Umayyad Caliphate. Jinnah even said “Sindh is the gateway of Islam in India”. Qasim is said to have defeated Hindu Brahmin Raja Dahir of Sindh and killed him in the war.

But was that a real conquest of Sindh? Was Muhammad bin Qasim a Muslim? We don’t have any proof or record from early eighth century to answer these questions in positive way. Qasim being credited to convert many Hindus to Islam and his imposition of Zijiya on Hindus were gross lies. Islam, as we know it today, did not exist then. Qasim must have persecuted the local Hindus and collected extortion money from them.

The present standard narrative about ‘Sindh conquest of Qasim’ has come from a Persian book titled Chachnama written as late as in 13th century, that is, six centuries after Qasim, by one Ali Kufi from Persia who settled in Uch area of Sindh. Though Kufi claimed to have translated his book from some early Arabic book, no such Arabic book was found. It was but natural that Ali Kufi’s Chachnama would be heavily biased towards Qasim and Islam.

Five hundred years before Ali Kufi settled in Sindh in 13th century, Islam got formalized in the Arab Empire under Abbasid Caliphate that extended up to Afghanistan East-ward. Consequently, Afghan Muslim invaders Mohammad Ghaznavi and Muhammmad Ghori had invaded and devastated major parts of North-West Indian subcontinent during 11th and 12th centuries. Their invasions were directed towards plunder and spread of Islam. Many Hindu temples were destroyed; tens of thousands of Hindus were killed, converted to Islam and also taken to the market of Afghanistan and Central Asia as slaves/sex slaves.

It is found that some Arab, Persian, Afghan and Turkic Muslims had settled in present day Pakistan, Indian Gujarat, Rajasthan, Punjab, Haryana, Delhi and Western Uttar Pradesh of India by the 13th century. In all probability, Chachnama was a Persian book of imagination about Islamic conquest of Sindh to glorify Islam. It was written when Islam and Islamic culture had established its foothold in North-West part of Indian subcontinent.

Cleaning the cobweb of Islamic eulogies about Qasim and his ‘Islamic conquest’ of Sindh, it is seen that Arabs, under Muhammad bin Qasim, invaded and plundered some parts of Sindh in AD 712. The presence of Arabs as tormenters of Sindh was recorded up to AD 861. There after there was no mention of Arabs presence in Sindh. While Buddhist-Hindu Afghanistan was falling gradually to Arab onslaughts from AD 642, there was no further expansion of Arab territory in Sindh and to other parts of India Eastward after AD 712.

All efforts of Arab expansion from Sindh towards East were resisted successfully by the Hindu kings like Nagabhata-I, Bappa Rawal, Pulakesiraja, Lalitaditya, Vikramaditya-II and Yashovarman et al. Then between eleventh and twelfth century, two Afghan Muslim invaders attacked and devasted many areas of present-day Pakistan and North India. They were Mohammad Ghaznavi and Muhammad Ghori.

Thus, there was actually a virtual lull for about 500 years between Arab general Qasim’s attack on Sindh in AD 712 and establishment of Delhi Sultanate in AD 1206. Modern day making of hero out of Qasim or demon out of Raja Dahir are the works of imagination only. Qasim, in no way, made the first Islamic conquest of Sindh. It was a temporary Arab intrusion in Sindh only.

On the other hand, Muhammad bin Qasim was no Muslim. He was an Arab warrior. His Islamic identity was created six hundred years after him. There is no historical evidence that Umayyad Caliphate practiced Islam. We don’t have any historical proof of early eighth century which could tell about ‘Islam’, ‘Muhammad’ and ‘Muslim’.

Some people even claim that Umayyad were Christians. The five pillars of Islam were formalized in Sahih Hadeeth about 150 years after Qasim in mid-ninth century by the Persian Islamic scholar Muhammad al-Bukhari in modern day Uzbekistan. Islamic ideology, practices and laws were also formulated around that time. Actually Mohammad Ghaznavi, 300 years after Qasim, was the first ‘Muslim’ invader of India.

In the same way Persia (Iran) is falsely claimed to be conquered by Rashidun Islamic Caliphate in mid-seventh century. No authentic reference to Rashidun Caliphate and Islam of that time is available. As late as in AD 930, a rule was first enforced by the Abbasid Caliphate that demanded all bureaucrats of the empire were to be Muslim. During that period of Abbasid Caliphate, a shift was made in political context from that of ‘Arab Empire’ to one of ‘Muslim Empire’ (Muslim Ummah).

The historian Al-Masudi, a Baghdad-born Arab, who wrote a comprehensive treatise on history and geography of Persia in about AD 956, observed that after the Arab conquest, Zoroastrianism continued to exist in many parts of Persia. So, in all probability complete Islamization of Persia was done, at the earliest, in late 10th century. Similarly, complete Islamization of Afghanistan and Central Asian countries did not occur before 10th century.

From the above-mentioned facts it can be said that Indian subcontinent resisted Arab and the Islamic onslaughts for 300 years more than Persia and Afghanistan. Even after that also, unlike Persia and Afghanistan, Islam could never run-over Hindu India in next 700 years of its rule in the major part of the country. In AD 1757 British East India Company put an end to Islamic rule of India. The hype in Pakistan and among a section of Indian Muslims about first Islamic conquest of Sindh (India) in AD 712 by Muhammad bin Qasim is false, wishful and fraudulent.

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About the author: Jadabeswar Bhattacharjee served in the Government of India and retired as Higher Administrative Grade Officer after 35 years of service. After retirement from the service, he developed interest in writing on contentious issues and topics. His published books are (1) Politically incorrect Point of View, (2) Politics, Bong and Faith, (3) The Alternative Narrative, (4) The West Bengal Saga and (5) Political Islam and India.

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