How Islam came to India and why now it needs to go from India -2
The peaceful Islamic traders who came to India on annual holidays with holiday security and with whom the vast millions of caste-repressed Indians immediately fell in love-The Thaparite position on advent of Islam in India, in spite of the fact that there has been no records of trauma by the victims of caste repression in the period-a logic used to negate Islamic terror in India since not many records of trauma at the hands of Muslims survive.
Appearing in Arabia, Islam spread by conquering with amazing rapidity. The Byzantine provinces of Palestine and Syria were conquered by the newly converted Arabs after a campaign of six months in C.E. 636-37. The Sassanid empire of Persia (including Iraq, Iran and Khurasan) was defeated in 637 and by 643 the Caliphate stretched to the frontiers of India. In the west the Byzantine province of Egypt fell in 640-641, and Inner Mongolia, Bukhara, Tashkand and Samarqand were annexed by 650. The Arab armies marched over North Africa and crossed into Spain in C.E. 709. All this took place within seventy years (637-709) and the conquered people were quickly converted to Islam and their language and culture Arabicised.
India, known to early Arabs as “Hind va Sind”, [showing that the Arabs were well aware of the distinction between Sind as a part and not whole of India] was their next target both by land and sea. These invasions proceeded along the then known (trade) routes – 1. from Kufa and Baghadad, via Basra and Hormuz to Chaul on India’s west coast; 2. from West Persian towns, via Hormuz to Debal in Sind; and 3. through the land route of northern Khurasan to Kabul via Bamian. But progress of Muslim arms and religion in India was extremely slow. Caliph Umar (634-44 C.E.) had sent an expedition in 636-37 to pillage Thana on the coast of Maharashtra during the reign of the great Hindu monarch Pulakesin II. This was followed by expeditions to Bharuch (Broach) in Gujarat and the gulf of Debal in Sind. These were repulsed and Mughairah, the leader of the latter expedition, was defeated and killed. Umar thought of sending another army by land against Makran which at that time was part of the kingdom of Sind but was dissuaded by the governor of Iraq from doing so. The next Caliph Usman (644-656) followed the same advice and refrained from embarking on any venture on Sind. The fourth Caliph, Ali, sent an expedition by land in 660 but the leader of the expedition and most of his troops were slain in the hilly terrain of Kikanan (42 H./662 C.E.). This was the fate of the attempts by the four famous “pious” Caliphs of Islam.
According to Chachnama and Tuhfatul Kiram, the kingdom of Sind extended on the east to the boundary of Kashmir and Kanauj, on the west to Makran, on the south to the sea and Debal, and on the north to Kandahar, Seistan and the mountains of Kuzdan and Kikanan. This includes modern undivided Punjab and Baluchistan, parts of North-West Frontier Province and parts of Rajasthan. Muawiyah, the Caliph (661-80), sent six expeditions by land to Sind. All of them were repulsed with great slaughter except the last one which succeeded in occupying Makran in 680. Thereafter, for twenty-eight years, the Arabs dared not another expedition against Sind. Makran probably remained partially independent so that as late as 1290 Marco Polo speaks of the eastern part of Makran as part of Hind, and as “the last Kingdom of India as you go towards the west and northwest”
Arabs attacked India from the north-west, and after the fall of Khurasan in 643 C.E., the first Arab army penetrated into Zabul by way of Seistan (at that time considered a territorial and cultual part of India). After a protracted struggle the Arabs were defeated and driven out. A decade later the Arab general Abdul Rahman finally conquered Zabul and levied tribute from Kabul which apparently was not paid willingly and regularly. To ensure regular payment another Arab general Yazid bin Ziyad attempted retribution in 683, but was killed and his army put to flight with great slaughter. [contrary to romantic Islamic representations, it has been a consistent part of Islamic war strategy to deceive, and escape when faced with sure death, or beg and grovel before or appeal to non-Muslim generosity but usually never give quarter and systematically execute able bodied male prisoners of war – an awareness of their own tactic to save themselves so that they can gather strength to come back and finish off non-Muslims] The war against Kabul was renewed in 695, but it became protracted and developed into a stalemate. Caliph Al-Mansur (745-775 C.E.) attempted to force the Hindu king of Kabul to submit but met only with partial success and the Ghaznavid Turks found the Hindus ruling over Kabul in 986 C.E.
In the south, in 712 a full-fledged invasion was launched after prolonged negotiations. The king of Ceylon had sent to Hajjaj bin Yusuf Sakifi, the governor of the eastern provinces of the Caliphate, eight vessels filled with presents, Abyssinian slaves, pilgrims, and the orphan daughters of some Muslim merchants who had died in his dominions. These ships were attacked and plundered by pirates off the coast of Sind. Hajjaj’s demands of compensation was refused by Dahir, the ruler of Sind, and Hajjaj sent two expeditions against Debal (708 C.E.), the first under Ubaidulla and the second under Budail. Both armies were defeated and their commanders killed. Hajjaj fitted out a third and more elaborate expedition under the command of his seventeen year old nephew and son-in-law Imaduddin Muhammad bin Qasim. Hajjaj was a de facto ruler over territories of the former Persian empire, and sent one army under Kutaiba which penetrated to Kashgar, where the Chinese quickly came to an understanding. A second army attacked Hindu Kabul, and the third (under Muhammad bin Qasim) advanced towards the lower Indus through Makran. The reigning Ummayad Caliph Walid I (86-96 H./705-715 C.E.) was a powerful ruler who spread the Khilafat to the greatest extent, but was skeptical because of earlier failures of Ubaidulla and Budail and is known to have raised concerns about the distance, the cost, and the loss of Muslim lives. Hajjaj promised to compensate the Caliph for this war effort and only then was Qasim allowed to invade Sind. The declared injunctions on Qasim for this invasion were (1) Spread Islam in Sind, (2) Conquer Sind and expand the territory under Islam, (3) Acquire all available wealth for by Hajjaj and repayment to the Caliph.
Hajjaj and Muhammad bin Qasim’s military knowledge of Sind and Hind was based substantially on the Muslim traders who had been allowed to trade and settle freely along the trade routes in non-Muslim kingdoms. These traders had obviously little interest or intellectual background to know anything beyond India’s wealth, military background, and that India was a land of Qufr. Every Muslim, whether educated or illiterate is taught the essential bits from the Quran and the Hadiths that promise the land, wealth and women of “un-believers” and that it was the highest duty of a Muslim to carry out violent Jihad [look at my discussion in Islam and non-Muslims] aimed at destruction of idols, shrines, books, and adult male population of non-Muslims and capture their pre-puberty males and women to reproduce and multiply Muslims.
On the way to Sind, the governor of Makran, Muhammad Harun, supplied reinforcements and five catapults. His artillery which included a great ballista known as “the Bride”, and was worked by five hundred men, had been sent by sea to meet him at Debal (a coastal city so named because of its Devalaya – House of God or temple and contained a citadel-temple with stone walls as high as forty yards and a dome of equal height). Qasim arrived at Debal in late 711 or early 712 C.E. with an army of at least twenty thousand horse, infantry with additional Jat and Med mercenaries. The majority of the Sindhi population was Buddhist (Samanis of chronicles), and totally averse to fighting, with marginal tribal groups apparently “dancing in joy seeing their Islamic liberators” and only Raja Dahir of Sind, his Kshatriya soldiers and Brahman priests of the temples were left to defend their land. This is the Islamic version and although sourced from the same texts whose claims of repression on Hindus are discounted by the Thaparite School of Indian history, is still presented as the correct “version” of reality of welcoming Islam by the Indian “underclass” and not propaganda – if “caste” repression was endemic then this welcome should have been extended to the not-much-earlier invasions.
At the start of Muhammad’s invasion Raja Dahir was in his capital Alor about 500 kms. away. Debal was in the charge of a governor with a garrison of four to six thousand Rajput soldiers and a few thousand Brahmans. The Islamic communication network was fast – letters were written every three days and replies were received in a week. When the siege of Debal had continued for some time a defector helped Muhammad in breaching the walls [ the deception used many times in Islam in its greatest military successes rather than actual military might]. The inhabitants were invited to accept Islam, and on their refusal all adult males were put to the sword and their wives and children were enslaved. This carnage lasted for three days, the temple was razed and a mosque built. Muhammad laid out a Muslim quarter, and placed a garrison of 4,000 in the town. The legal fifth of the spoil including seventy-five girls were sent to Hajjaj, and the rest of the plunder was divided among the soldiers. [The Thaparite School of Indian history and Islam’s Marxist apologists keep silent on the question as to why an economically unproductive activity of demolishing religious structures is so important in the so-called pure economic motive for Islamic aggression on cultural icons of non-Muslims. Why are adult males who do not accept Islam to be executed – they could have been more useful economically as slave labour – doesn’t this smack of ideological motivations?]
Muhammad bin Qasim next attacked Nirun, (near modern Hyderabad) and Nirun voluntarily surrendered after agreeing to give riches, but after accepting these terms Muhammad destroyed the “temple of Budh” (Buddhist or Hindu shrine – Muslims were so ignorant of Indic cultural fine-points that they always confused Buddhists with Jainas and “Hindu” sects) at Nirun. He built a mosque at its site and appointed an Imam. After placing a garrison under a newly appointed Muslim governor, he marched to Sehwan (Siwistan), about 130 kilometres to the north-west, populated mainly by Buddhists and traders. Sehwan surrendered on condition of loyalty and paying jiziyah.
At this, Dahir decided to meet the invader at Aror or Rawar. Qasim was bound for Brahmanabad but stopped short to engage Dahir first where the Arabs encountered an imposing array of war elephants and a large army under the command of Dahir and his Rajput chiefs. Al Biladuri writes that after the battle lines were drawn, “a dreadful conflict ensued such as had never been seen before”, and Chachnama gives details of the valiant fight which Raja Dahir gave “mounted on his white elephant”. A naptha arrow struck Dahir’s howdah and set it ablaze. Dahir dismounted and fought desperately, but was killed towards the evening, “when the idolaters fled, and the Musulmans glutted themselves with massacre”. Raja Dahir’s queen Rani Bai and her son locked themselves into the fortress of Rawar, which had a garrison of 15 thousand. The soldiers fought valiantly, but the Arabs proved stronger. When the Rani saw the inevitable, she assembled all the women in the fort and told them: “God forbid that we should owe our liberty to those outcaste cow-eaters. Our honour would be lost. Our respite is at an end, and there is nowhere any hope of escape; let us collect wood, cotton and oil, for I think we should burn ourselves and go to meet our husbands. If any wish to save herself, she may.” They entered into a house where they burnt themselves in the fire of jauhar. Muhammad occupied the fort, massacred the 6,000 men he found there [most likely the sick, infirm, old and the wounded] and seized all the wealth and treasures that belonged to Dahir.
Muhammad now marched to Brahmanabad but a number of garrisons in forts challenged his army, delaying his arrival. The civil population, longed for peace and let the Muslims enter the city on peaceful terms. Qasim however on entry “sat on the seat of cruelty and put all those who had fought to the sword. It is said that about six thousand fighting men were slain, but according to others sixteen thousand were killed”. He proceeded to Multan, the chief city of the upper Indus with its famous Sun-Temple which was destroyed and its treasures looted. Besides the treasure collected from the various forts of the Sindhi King, worship rights of Hindus were allowed only in exchange of pilgrim tax, jiziyah and other similar cesses. The campaign expenses came to 60 thousand silver dirhams and Hajjaj paid to the Caliph 120 thousand dirhams.
In Muhammad bin Qasim’s administration of the conquered territories the principal sources of revenue were the jiziyah and the land-tax. The Chachnama speaks of other taxes levied upon the cultivators such as the baj and ushari. The collection of jiziyah was considered a political as well as a religious duty, and was always exacted “with vigour and punctuality, and frequently with insult”. The native population had to feed every Muslim traveller for three days and nights and had to submit to many other humiliations which are mentioned by Muslim historians.
The total number of prisoners was calculated to be thirty thousand (Kalichbeg – sixty thousand), including thirty “daughters of the chiefs”. They were exported to Hajjaj. The head of Dahir and the fifth part of prisoners were forwarded in charge of the African Slave Kaab, son of Mubarak Rasti. In Sind itself females captured after every campaign of the marching army, were enslaved and married to Arab soldiers who settled down in colonies established in places like Mansura, Kuzdar, Mahfuza and Multan. The standing instructions of Hajjaj to Muhammad bin Qasim were to “give no quarter to infidels, but to cut their throats, and take the women and children as captives”. At the end of the conquest of Sind, “when the plunder and the prisoners of war were brought before Qasim” one-fifth of all the female prisoners were chosen and set aside and counted to be twenty thousand. Since they belonged to high families, “veils were put on their faces, and the rest were given to the soldiers”. This implies at 100,000 non-Muslim Indian women were enslaved and distributed among the elite and the soldiers.
Muhammad bin Qasim remained in Sind for a little over three years after which Islamic chroniclers say he was suddenly recalled and summarily executed, probably by being sewn in an animal hide and then pierced with iron nails, on the charge of deflowering two Sindhi princesses meant for the bed of the Caliph. [The overzealous among Muslim ranks can remember the other famous instances such as the early Islamic commanders in Spain. It is also interesting to note that the story comes from Islamic pens, which explicitly describes how the Caliph, the supposed spiritual leader of all Islam is murderously concerned about the virginity of maidens he wants to bed himself - an indication of the generic insecurity of Islam’s roots whose core religious texts show an overwhelming concern with womens’ sexual purity and the predilection towards consummating marriages with child-brides]
After Qasim’s departure the Arab power in Sind declined rapidly with a majority of the newly converted returned back to their former religions. According to Denison Ross after the recall of Muhammad bin Qasim, the Muslims retained some foothold on the west bank of the river Indus, but they were in such small number that they gradually merged into Hindu population. In Mansura (the Muslim capital of Sind) they actually adopted Hinduism. Muslims who continued in the new religion wre mostly concentrated to cities, and particularly Multan which according to Al Masudi (C.E. 942) remained one of the strongholds of the Muslims. Ibn Hauqal, (C.E. 976), also calls Multan a city with a strong fort, “but Mansura is more fertile and prosperous[…]Debal is a large mart and a port not only of this but neighbouring regions”. Thus the Muslim population more or less became stable and integrated with the indigenous society of Sind. Ibn Hauqal writes: “The Muslims and infidels of this tract wear the same dresses, and let their beards grow in the same fashion. They use fine muslin garments on account of the extreme heat. The men of Multan dress in the same way. The language of Mansura, Multan and those parts is Arabic and Sindian” [We will see later how Islamic concerns deriving from their desert roots as well as propriety aimed mainly at “protecting” their “reproductive resources” – women, imposed dress-codes and socio-cultural practices that were completely alien to the pre-Islamic Indic cultures as well as as its general climate]. An interesting angle yet to be explored in historical analysis is the possible vulnerability in “monotheistic” or mono-iconic religions, such as Zoroastriansim or Sun-worship or Buddhism (which in its later phases foucsed on the “Buddha” entirely) to Islam. Early European Christianity dominated by recent pagans of the Germanic stock which overran the post-Romanic scenario, retained sufficient viciousness and and imbibed less of the later-Christian imperialist “peaceful submission” to monotheism to ruthlessly repulse the Moorish or eastern Islamic advances. Jews and Nestorians in the Levant fared poorly against Islam, as did the extensive Buddhist, Zoroastrian and monotheistic strands within Hinduism in central and South Asia. A modern phenomenon could be the trend of conversion from Christianity to Islam among white Europeans in the countries of Germanic stock.
Andre Wink points out, that In contrast to Persia there is no indication that Buddhists converted more eagerly than brahmans. The Thaparite School maintains that Muslim Arabs were “invited” to Sind by Buddhist “traitors” who aimed to undercut the brahmins is problematic and typically stated without proof and in the style of Indian historians which places hypothesis with or without qualification by isolated and dubious examples, as undisputed reality. If Buddhists collaborated with the invaders, there are apprently equal examples of collaboration by brahmins which simply could have been a matter of expediency rather than any genuine love for Islam.
The newly converted Turks, who were enrolled as military slaves of the Caliphate, ultimately grew strong enough to form their own principalities under the formal tutelage of the Caliphs with a much reduced authority for legitimacy. Amir Subuktigin (977-997 C.E.) was one such Turkish adventurer who frequently raided the Hindu Shahiya Brahman kingdom of Punjab which extended up to Kabul “in the prosecution of holy wars, and there he conquered forts upon lofty hills, in order to seize the treasures they contained.” When Jayapal, the ruling prince of the Shahiyas, heard of Subuktigin’s depredations, he moved with a large army and huge elephants to wreak vengeance upon Subuktigin, “by treading the field of Islam under his feet”. After crossing Lamghan, Sabuktigin advanced from Ghazni with his son Mahmud and the two armies fought repeatedly against one another. Jayapal, with soldiers “as impetuous as a torrent,” was difficult to defeat, and so Subuktigin threw animal flesh (probably beef) into the fountain which supplied water to the Hindu army. Apparently Jayapal sued for peace, but Sabuktigin protracted negotiations, and Jayapal’s envoys were sent back on which Jayapal again proposed cessation of hostilities saying: “You have seen the impetuosity of the Hindus and their indifference to death, whenever any calamity befalls them, as at this moment. If, therefore, you refuse to grant peace in the hope of obtaining plunder, tribute, elephants and prisoners, then there is no alternative for us but to mount the horse of stern determination, destroy our property, take out the eyes of our elephants, cast our children into the fire, and rush on each other with sword and spear, so that all that will be left to you, is stones and dirt, dead bodies, and scattered bones.”
Jayapal’s declared intention forced Subuktigin to conclude “that religion and the views of the faithful would be best consulted by peace”. He demanded a tribute of cash and elephants and nominated officers to collect them which apparently was not believed by Jayapal and having learnt his lessons in Islam’s complete lack of any ethics in warfare, refused to pay anything, and imprisoned the Amir’s officers. At this Subuktigin supposedly marched out towards Lamghan, conquered it and set “fire to the places in its vicinity, demolished idol temples, marched and captured other cities and established Islam in them”. Jayapal collected troops to the number of more than one hundred thousand, “which resembled scattered ants and locusts”. Sabuktigin on his part “made bodies of five hundred attack the enemy with their maces in hand, and relieve each other when one party became tired, so that fresh men and horses were constantly engaged. The dust which arose prevented the eyes from seeing. It was only when the dust was allayed that it was found that Jayapal had been defeated and his troops had fled leaving behind them their property, utensils, arms, provisions, elephants, and horses.” Subuktigin levied tribute and obtained immense booty, besides two hundred elephants of war. He also increased his army by enrolling those Afghans and Khaljis (previously Hindu followers of Jayapal) who submitted to him.
Subuktigin’s son Mahmud succeeded his father in C.E. 998 and in 1000 he first attacked India. The Thaparite school tries to represent Mahmud as common looter intent on capturing the “horse trade through Multan and Sind” whose iconoclastic exploits have been inflated by later Islamic scholars to make him seem an Islamic theologically approved hero. However they quietly suppress tha fact that Mahmud himself was well-versed in the Quran and the Hadiths and was considered its eminent interpreter. He collected either by promise of wealth or by force (consider the case of the brilliant Ibn Sina who spent a lifetime escaping from his clutches and is known to have celebrated Mahmud’s death) a galaxy of eminent theologians scholars, and on his investiture, he vowed to the Caliph of Baghdad “to undertake every year a campaign against the idolaters of India”, convinced that “jihad was central to Islam and that one campaign at least must be undertaken against the unbelievers every year.” Mahmud made seventeen (or 10) expeditions in the next thirty years and is the object of the highest praise in Islamic historians almost at par with Slahuddin. Mahmud always included the Caliph’s name on his coins, represented himself in his Fateh-namas as a “warrior for the faith”, sent to Baghdad plundered wealth and slaves (the highest spiritual leaders of Islam, the Caliphs appear to have a never ending appetite for enslaved Hindu women for their personal bed) from his Indian campaign. The Caliph Al-Qadir Billah in turn praised the talents and exploits of Mahmud, conferred upon him the titles of Amin-ul-millah and Yamin-ud-daula (the Right hand) after which his house is known as Yamini Dynasty.
In his first attack of frontier towns in C.E. 1000 Mahmud appointed his own governors and converted some inhabitants. In his attack on Waihind (Peshawar) in 1001-3, Mahmud is reported to have captured the Hindu Shahiya King Jayapal and fifteen of his principal chiefs and relations some of whom like Sukhpal, were made Muslims. At Bhera all the inhabitants, except those who embraced Islam, were put to the sword. At Multan conversions of remaining Hindus took place in large numbers, for writing about the campaign against Nawasa Shah (converted Sukhpal), Utbi says that this and the previous victory (at Multan) were “witnesses to his exalted state of proselytism.” In his campaign in the Kashmir Valley (1015) Mahmud “converted many infidels to Muhammadanism, and having spread Islam in that country, returned to Ghazni.” In the later campaign in Mathura, Baran and Kanauj, many conversions took place. Describing the conquest of Kanauj, Utbi saya: “The Sultan levelled to the ground every fort and the inhabitants of them either accepted Islam, or took up arms against him”, or those who submitted were also converted to Islam or conversion was a condition for submission and life [this is by the Sunnah of the Prophet, whose protestaions of liberalism more common in the Quran which represents his earlier struggling days are almost always contradicted in the Hadiths which represent a post-Muhammad collection of actual events]. In Baran (Bulandshahr) alone 10,000 persons were converted including the Raja. During his fourteenth invasion in 1023 C.E. Kirat, Nur, Lohkot and Lahore were attacked. The chief of Kirat accepted Islam, and many people followed his example. According to Nizamuddin Ahmad, “Islam spread in this part of the country by the consent of the people and the influence of force.” According to all contemporary and later chroniclers like Qaznivi, Utbi, Farishtah etc., “conversion of Hindus to Islam was one of the objectives of Mahmud” and whenever he was militarily successful he demanded the people to convert to Islam leading to Hindu rulers simply running away without giving a battle. “The object of Bhimpal in recommending the flight of Chand Rai was that the Rai should not fall into the net of the Sultan, and thus be made a Musalman, as had happened to Bhimpal’s uncles and relations, when they demanded quarter in their distress.”
Mahmud destroyed an almost uncountable number of temples and idols as is reconstructable from the detailed descriptions of his campaigns. [ It is difficult to understand why Mahmud would use precious labour in the uneconomic structure destroying activity]. His interest in destroying renowned temples is only interpreted by the Thaparite School as aimed at extracting wealth but larger temples would be structurally more difficult to destroy and economically unproductive as gold or valuables were highly unlikely to have been imbedded in huge blocks of stone and the more natural possibility of “bringing glory to Islam” is quietly suppressed.
At Thaneshwar, the temple of Chakraswamin was sacked and its bronze image of Vishnu was taken to Ghazni to be thrown into the hippodrome of the city. Mathura did not fight back and the residents had fled, and Mahmud had been greatly “impressed with the beauty and grandeur of the shrines” but the temples in the city were thoroughly destroyed. Kanauj had a large number of temples with some of great antiquity and just as in Mathura even when there was no armed resistance all the temples were destroyed.
According to Andre Wink, from the seventh century onwards, peaking during Muhammad al-Qasim?s campaigns in 712-13, a significant number of Jats among others were captured as prisoners of war and exported to Iraq and elsewhere as slaves. Examples of prominent Jat freedmen include Abu Hanifa (699-767), the founder of the Hanafi school of Islamic law.
Abu Nasr Muhammad Utbi, the secretary and chronicler of Mahmud reports that when Mahmud Ghaznavi attacked Waihind (near Peshawar) in 1001-02, he took 500,000 persons of both sexes as captive. This figure appeared so preposterous that Elliot and Dawson (the translators) reduce it to 5000. Many modern historians including the Thaparite School consistently declare that this figure is notional and therefore not true and an exaggeration. None of these discounters give any concrete reasons for reducing this claimed number – which could have easily been done among others on the basis of estimated ancient demographics of the region concerned – except their own stature as infallible and final adjudicators of truth. The common characteristic of all these narratives by Islamic chroniclers is that taking of slaves was a routine practice in every expedition and only unusually large numbers drew attention of the chroniclers. For example after Mahmud’s Ninduna (Salt Range -1014) campaign, Utbi reports that “slaves were so plentiful that they became very cheap; and men of respectability in their native land[India] were degraded by becoming slaves of common shopkeepers (of Ghazni)”. He is supported by Nizamuddin Ahmad in Tabqat-i-Akbari stating that Mahmud “obtained great spoils and a large number of slaves”. Ferishtah reports that in the next campaign on Thanesar, “the Muhammadan army brought to Ghaznin 200,000 captives so that the capital appeared like an Indian city, for every soldier of the army had several slaves and slave girls”. Slaves were taken in subsequent campaigns in Baran, Mahaban, Mathura, Kanauj, Asni etc. so that when Mahmud returned to Ghazni in 1019, the booty was found to include 53,000 captives according to Nizamuddin. Utbi reports that “the number of prisoners may be conceived from the fact, that each was sold for from two to ten dirhams. These were afterwards taken to Ghazna, and the merchants came from different cities to purchase them, so that the countries of Mawaraun-Nahr, Iraq and Khurasan were filled with them”. The Tarikh-i-Alfi adds that the fifth share due to the Saiyyads was 150,000 slaves, therefore the total number of captives comes to 750,000.
It was a matter of Islamic policy to capture and convert, destroy or sell the male population, and carry into slavery women and children. Ibn-ul-Asir says that Qutbuddin Aibak made “war against the provinces of Hind. He killed many, and returned home with prisoners and booty.” Further In Benaras, Muhammad Ghori’s massacred the Hindus – “None was spared except women and children.” Fakhr-i-Mudabbir reports that as a result of the Muslim achievements under Muhammad Ghori and Qutbuddin Aibak, “even a poor householder (or soldier) who did not possess a single slave before became the owner of numerous slaves of all description (jauq jauq ghulam har jins)”.
This brings us to the iconic case of Somnath which I will take up in the next part of this series. This will also be a great opportunity to explore the particular style of Thaparite reconstruction of Indian history for its special pro-Muslim anti-Hindu agenda.