From the ancient times, India was famous as the fanatical land and was called golden sparrow. Its wealth and huge population always attracted foreigners. Although the Arabs did not rule for a very long time yet they are called the bridge connectors for India and rest of the world, mainly Europe. Arab’s were conquering the world, starting from Syria, Palestine, Egypt and Persia while India was struggling with the unstable kingdom of Hindu’s. Harshvardan was the last Hindu emperor and his death brought political instability in India. Islam had already set their foot in India by then. So Arabs’s decided to enter into Sind, one of the prosperous states of India at that time. As a result, an Islamic region of Sind was established and today also it is one of the main Islamic centres.

  • As Harshavardhan and Pulakesin II were struggling for supremacy in India, a revolutionary change was taking place, not too far from these shores the emergence of Islam in Arabia.
  • The Arabs, for long the carries of Indian trade with Europe, were attracted by rich seaports of Sindh. However, two expeditions sent by Al-Hajaj, the Governor of Iraq, failed.
  • The third under his nephew and son-in-law Muhammad-bin-Qasim, managed to acquire control over Sindh after a tough fight in AD 712.
  • Multan was conquered in AD 713.

Muhammad bin Qasim

Muhammad-bin-Qasim led his army towards Debal, a famous seaport, where the Arab’s ships were looted by some pirates. The port town Debal was well protected by strong fortifications, and it was not easy on the part of the Qasim’s army to penetrate into it so easily. A nephew of Dahir was the governor of Debal. Though he had an army of very small size with him, he tried to resist Qasim. But it became futile, when a treacherous Brahmin deserted the fortress and gave Qasim all the information’s regarding the secrets of its defence.

He also came to know from the Brahman that the strength of the Sind army lay in the massive Hindu temple inside the fort of Debal and as long as the red flag fluttered atop the temple, he could not defeat the Hindus. The temple was also garrisoned by 4000 Rajput’s and 3000 Brahmins serving at the temple. However, after a fierce battle Qasim brought down the red flag and the Arabian army resorted to a massacre. Despite a bold fight, the Hindus of Debal were defeated by the Arabs.

The nephew of Dahir who was the governor fled away. Debal was captured and a huge booty with a large number of women fell into the hands of the Arabs. The people were given the option of accepting Islam or death. Many thousands of Hindus including Brahmans were mercilessly killed on their refusal to embrace Islam. The massacre continued for three days. It was very unfortunate that Dahir who had prior information of the Arabian attack, did not care at all.

Death of Muhammad-bin-Qasim
Muhammad bin Qasim in his camp at mooltan

The Death of Muhammad-bin-Qasim has been put to debate as there are two divergent views by different Historians. Historian Mir Massum in his “Tarik Sind’ has described an interesting story about the death of Muhammad-bin- Qasim. Muhammad- bin-Qasim during his campaign of Brahamanbad had captured the two virgin daughters of Dahir. They were Surya Devi and Parimal Devi. They were sent to the Calipha as gifts from Muhammad-bin-Qasim.

These two girls were determined to take revenge on Muhammad-bin-Qasim. So when they reached Calipha, they told him that they had been used and dishonored by Muhammad-bin-Qasim before they were sent to him. This made the Calipha so much angry that he at once ordered that Muhammad-bin-Qasim should be put to death and his body, being sewn up in the raw hide of an ox, should be despatched to him.

His order was immediately carried out. When Muhammad-bin-Qasim’s coffin was opened before the calipha, the two girls were delighted at having avenged on the enemy and killer of their father. Their mission was completed and so they declared that Qasim was innocent. This made the Calipha furious. At his order, the two sisters were tied to the tails of horses and were dragged to death.

But the other view regarding the death of Muhammad-bin- Qasim has been ascribed to a political cause. Some modern historians believe that Muhammad had become a victim of the court intrigues of the Calipha. Calipha Walid died in 715 A.D. and was succeeded by his brother Sulaiman who had enmity with Hajaj, the governor of Iraq and father-in-law of Muhammad-bin-Qasim.

He could not tolerate the importance of Hajaj as a result of Muhammad’s victorious campaigns in India. To bring an end to this Calipha might have ordered to kill Muhammad-bin-Qasim. Whatever may be the fact? Mohammad-bin-Kasim got a tragic end of his life.



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