Why Sindh is Called Bab-ul-Islam? A Brief History

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Raja Dahir factor

Raha Dahir

During the Ummayyad dynasty, Raja Dahir, an authoritarian Hindu, controlled Sindh. Raja Dahir was infamous for his brutal treatment of his Muslim subjects. In the meantime, the Indians started to stop the Arab commercial ships in the Indian Ocean. The Caliph of the Ummayyad dynasty at the time was Al-Malik ibn Abd al-Malik. A few ships transporting some Muslim women born in Ceylon were dispatched at the time by “The King of the Island of Rubies” (Ceylon). Additionally, these ships contained some priceless gifts for Iraqi Governor Hajjaj Bin Yousaf. Some daughters and children of merchants who had passed away in Ceylon were left as orphans. The pirates of Dahir assaulted the ship carrying the women. All of it was taken by the pirates. The ladies and kids were captured as prisoners and imprisoned. A Banu Yarbu woman who was one of the abducted captives shouted out. When Hajjaj learned of this, he cried out, “Here am I”.

Hajaj Bin Yousaf

Hajjaj bin Yusuf

Al-Hajjaj ibn Yusuf was arguably the most notable governor to lead the Umayyad Caliphate. He started working for Caliph Abd al-Malik  (685-705), who later elevated him to positions such as head of the caliph’s shurta (chosen forces), administrator of the Hejaz (western Arabia), and practical viceroy of a united Iraqi province and the eastern regions of the Caliphate. Al-Hajjaj continued to hold the last position under Abd al-successor Malik and son al-Walid I (reigned 705-715), whose choices were greatly influenced by al-Hajjaj until the latter’s passing in 714.

Read more: History of Advent of Islam in the Sub-Continent

Hajaj and Dahir conflict

Hajjaj Bin Yousaf was a stern leader. In order to release the women and children, he despatched Raja Dahir, the governor of Sindh, a personal messenger. Raja Dahir categorically declined, claiming he had no authority over the sea pirates. He responded by saying that Hajjaj could release the women on his own if he so desired. This response enraged Hajjaj to the point where he chose to punish Raja Dahir for his disdainful demeanor.-

 He then decided to send his young nephew and son-in-law, Muhammad Bin Qasim, who was at that time in Fars (Iran) to head a campaign against Raja Dahir in Sindh. Hajjaj gave him a trained and well-equipped army and also reinforced him with soldiers from Syria and other places.

Muhammad bin Qasim sent to tackle Hajaj

Hajaj sent Muhammad Bin Qasim to deal with Dahir, and he marched towards Deabul via Makran, which was already a part of the Ummayyad dynasty. Following his conquest of the surrounding regions, Muhammad Bin Qasim set up a camp close to Deabul along the banks of the Mehran (Indus) river. He marched and erected a powerful wall of siege around the Hindu Raja’s stronghold of Deabul. From there, in 712 A.D., Muhammad Bin Qasim challenged Raja Dahir in a crucial conflict.

Muhammad bin Qasim

On the sixth day of the conflict, in June 712, Raja Dahir was murdered while valiantly battling the Muslim army. The kidnapped women and women were freed, and they were sent back to their country. Rani Bai, the wife of Raja Dahir, and 15,000 of her soldiers retreated to the fort at Rawar, where they engaged Muhammad Bin Qasim in combat. She was pursued by Muhammad Bin Qasim to Rawar, where he instructed his miners to excavate and destroy the fort’s walls until the bastions were toppled. But when Rani Bai saw she was surrounded, she gave up and burned herself together with other women.

Muhammad bin Qasim: The first Muslim conqueror commander

Thus, Muhammad Bin Qasim was the first Muslim general to invade India with the intention of conquest. He stayed in the seized fort for a short while and urged the other Chiefs of different regions of India to convert to Islam. He continued on and took control of all the surrounding regions up until Multan. After establishing his dominance over the territories he had conquered, Muhammad Bin Qasim turned his attention to India’s administrative issues.

Muhammad Bin Qasim, who was exceedingly astute, came up with his plan for governing the captured territory with the help of the locals. As a result, he accepted all the social groups that existed in India at the time of his conquest and imposed a tax of 12 dirhams on all inhabitants, with the exception of the Brahmins, who were allowed to maintain their dominant position. He openly permitted his Hindu subjects to practice and express their faith. He allowed them to practice Hindu law and worship their gods in their temples.

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The introduction of Islam as faith by Muhammad bin Qasim

Islam as a religion and a way of life was introduced to India by Muhammad Bin Qasim. Islamic law, or Sharia, has been recognized as the dominant legal system in the seized territory. All other laws of the land were supplanted by Islamic law. To interpret Islamic law, he established the Sadru-i Imam al Ajall office and made Musa Bin Tai the incumbent. He served as Sindh’s governor with efficiency and mercy. He established several extremely sensible laws while he was there, showed love to the populace, and upheld justice for all, establishing an example for Islamic justice and equality brought a sizable number of people to the fold of Islam by setting shining examples of simplicity and piety via his own conduct. He didn’t seize his Hindu subjects’ land or possessions. He gave the Hindus who had to pay a poll fee the same rights as the Dhimmis (Protected class) (Jizva). In this way, Muhammad Bin Qasim meritoriously served Islam and made a significant contribution to its spread throughout India.

Sindh as Darul Islam

Thus, Muhammad Bin Qasim converted Sindh into a Dar-ul-Islam and founded the first Muslim Empire in the subcontinent. This was a brand-new occurrence in Indian history because the conquerors who came to India before Muhammad Bin Qasim had no allegiance to the land they had taken over. In contrast to his predecessors, Muhammad Bin Qasim founded a state with structured statecraft. The vanquished people who converted to Islam became residents of a bigger Caliphal state. Only the rights of the protected class were available to Hindus and other non-Muslims who wished to support the Caliphate. India’s surrounding territories were therefore permanently converted to Islam.

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