Husain Momin

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    Imd-uddn Muhammad bin Qasim

    bin Ukail Sakifi

    31 December695 - 18 July715
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    Life and Career

    Qasim's father died when he was young, leaving his mother in charge of his

    education. Umayyad governorAl-Hajjaj ibn Yusuf, one of Qasim's close relatives,

    was instrumental in teaching Qasim about warfare and governing. Under Hajjaj's

    patronage, Qasim was made governor ofPersia, where he succeeded in puttingdown a rebellion.[citation needed] At the age of seventeen, he was sent by Caliph

    Al-Walid I to lead an army towards India into what are today the Sindh and Punjab

    regions of Pakistan.
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    Umayyad Interest in Sindh

    According to Berzin, Umayyad interest in the region stemmed from their desire to

    control the trade route down the Indus Rivervalley to the seaports of Sindh.[1] Theyhad earlier unsuccessfully sought to gain control of the route, via the Khyber pass,

    from the Turki-Shahis ofGandhara.[1] By way of skirting Gandhara and taking Sindh

    to its south, they thus sought to open a second front against Gandhara and had on

    occasion attempted the conquest prior to this campaign.[1]
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    According to Wink, Umayyad interest in the region was galvanized by theoperation of the Mids and others.[2] They had operated preying upon

    Sassanid shipping in the past, from the mouth of the Tigris to the Sri Lankan

    coast, in theirbawarijand now did so to Arab shipping from their bases at

    Kutch, Debal and Kathiawar.[2] At the time, Sindh was the wild frontier

    region of al-Hind inhabited largely by semi-nomadic tribes whose activities

    disturbed much of the Western Indian Ocean.[2] Muslim sources insist that itwas these persistent activities along increasingly important Indian trade

    routes by Debal pirates and others which forced the Arabs to subjugate the

    area, in order to control the seaports and maritime routes of which Sindh

    was the hinge as well the overland passage.[3] During Hajjaj's governorship,

    the Mids of Debal in one of their raids had kidnapped Muslim women

    travelling from Sri Lanka to Arabia, thus providing a casus bellito the risingpower of the Umayyad Caliphate that enabled them to gain a foothold in the

    Makran, Balochistan and Sindh regions.[2][4]
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    Political settingThe campaign for the conquest of Sindh under Qasim was launched during the

    same period as the Umayyad conquest of Hispania and the launch of an offensive

    against the king ofKabul.[5] It was a period of great expansion of the Umayyads

    under the governorship of Hajjaj, the first governor of both theArabiandAjami

    halves of the ex-Sassanid domains.[5] Conflict was endemic among the frontier

    Muslims, with a considerable number seeking refuge with the king of Sindh.[5] Theperiod also experienced an intensification of the rivalry between Arab conquerors

    and the mawali; new non-Arab converts; who were usually allied with Hajjaj's

    political opponents and thus frequently forced to participate in the Jihads on the

    frontier - such as Kabul, Sind and Transoxania.[5] Through conquest, the caliphate

    intended to protect its maritime interest, while also cutting off refuge for fleeing rebel

    chieftains as well as Sindhi military support to the Sassanid rump state; akin tothose received at several prior major battles during the their conquest of Persia -

    such as those at Salasal and Qdisiyyah.
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    Military and Political Strategy

    The military strategy was outlined by

    Hajjaj to Qasim in a letter:[9]

    My ruling is given:Kill anyone belonging to the

    combatants (ahl-i-harb); arrest their sons and

    daughters for hostages and imprison them.

    Whoever does not fight against us..grant them

    aman (safety) and settle their tribute(amwal)

    as dhimmah..

    The Arabs' first concern was to facilitate the conquest of Sindh with the fewest

    casualties while also trying to preserve the economic infrastructure.[9] Towns were

    given two options: submit to Arab authority peacefully or be attacked by force

    (anwattan), with the choice governing their treatment upon capture.[9] The capture

    of towns was usually accomplished by means of a treaty with a party from among

    the enemy, who were then extended special privileges and material rewards.[10]

    There were two types of such treaties, "Sulh" or "ahd-e-wasiq (capitulation)" and

    "aman (surrender/ peace)".[10] Upon the capture of towns and fortresses, Qasim

    performed executions as part of his military strategy, but they were limited to the

    ahl-i-harb (fighting men), whose surviving dependents were also enslaved.[10]
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    Where resistance was strong, prolonged and intensive, often resulting in

    considerable Arab casualties, Qasim's response was dramatic, inflicting 6,000deaths at Rawar, between 6,000 and 26,000 at Brahmanabad, 4,000 at

    Iskalandah and 6,000 at Multan.[11] Conversely, in areas taken by sulh, such

    as Armabil, Nirun, and Aror, resistance was light and few casualties occurred.

    [11] Sulh appeared to be Qasim's preferred mode of conquest, the method

    used for more than 60% of the towns and tribes recorded by Baladhuri or the

    Chachnama.[11] At one point, he was actually berated by Hajjaj for being too

    lenient.[11] Meanwhile, the common folk were often pardoned and encouraged

    to coutinue working;[10] Hajajj ordered that this option not be granted to any

    inhabitant of Daybul, yet Qasim still bestowed it upon certain groups and


    After each major phase of his conquest, Qasim attempted to establish law and

    order in the newly-conquered territory by showing religious tolerance and

    incorporating the ruling class the Brahmins and Shramanas into his

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    ] Reasons for Success

    Qasim success has been partly ascribed to Dahir being an unpopular Hindu king

    ruling over a Buddhist majority who saw Chach of Alorand his kin as usurpers of the

    Rai Dynasty.[4] This is attributed to having resulted in support being provided byBuddhists and inclusion of rebel soldiers serving as valuable infantry in his cavalry-

    heavy force from the Jat, Meds and Bhutto tribes.[12] Brahman, Buddhist, Greek,

    and Arab testimony however can be found that attests towards amicable relations

    between the adherents of the two religions up to the 7th century.[13]

    Along with this were:
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    Superior military equipment; such as siege enginesand the Mongol bow.[4]

    Troop discipline and leadership.[4]

    The concept of Jihad as a morale booster. [4]

    Religion; the widespread belief in the prophecy of Muslim success, as well asDahir's marriage to his sister which alienated him from others.[13][4]

    The Samanis persuading the population to submit and not take up arms in self-

    defence because Buddhism was a religion of peace.[13]

    The laboring under disabilities of the Lohana Jats.[13]

    Defections from among Dahirs chiefs and nobles.[13]
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    Administration by Qasim

    After the conquest, Qasim's task was to set up an administrative structure for a

    stable Muslim state that incorporated a newly conquered alien land, inhabited by

    non-Muslims.[14] He adopted a conciliatory policy, asking for acceptance of

    Muslim rule by the natives in return for non-interference in their religious practice,

    [14] so long as the natives paid their taxes and tribute.[4] He established Islamic

    Sharia law over the people of the region; however, Hindus were allowed to rule

    their villages and settle their disputes according to their own laws[4], and traditionalhierarchical institutions, including the Village Headmen (Rais) and Chieftains

    (dihqans) were maintained.[14] A Muslim officer called an amilwas stationed with a

    troop of cavalry to manage each town on a hereditary basis [14]

    Everywhere taxes (mal) and tribute (kharaj) were settled and hostages taken -

    occasionally this also meant the custodians of temples.[10] Natives were excused

    from military service and payment of the tax paid by Muslim subjects - Zakat.[14]The tax enforced on the natives was thejizya - it was a progressive tax, being

    heavier on the upper classes and light for the poor.[14] In addition, three percent of

    government revenue was allocated to the Brahmins.[4]
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    Qasim had begun preparations for further expansions when Hajjaj died, as did Caliph

    Al-Walid I, who was succeeded by Sulayman ibn Abd al-Malik. After Hajjaj's death,

    the new governor took revenge against all who were close to Hajjaj. Sulayman owedpolitical support to opponents of Hajjaj and so recalled both of Hajjaj's successful

    generals Qutaibah bin Muslim and Qasim. He also appointed Yazid ibn al-Muhallab,

    once tortured by Hajjaj and a son ofAl Muhallab ibn Abi Suffrah, as the governor of

    Fars, Kirman, Makran and Sindh; he immediately placed Qasim in chains.[20]

    There are two accounts regarding the details of Qasim's fate
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    The account from the Chachnama narrates a tale according to which the during

    Qasim s governorship, the daughters of Dahir were taken captive and were sent

    on as presents to the Khalifa for his harem. The account relates that they then

    tricked the Khalifa into believing that Qasim had violated them before sending

    them on and as a result of this subterfuge, Qasim was wrapped in oxen hides

    and returned to Syria, resulting in his death en route from suffocation. Thisnarrative attributes the motive for this subterfuge to securing vengeance for their

    father's death. Upon discovering this subterfuge, the Khalifa is recorded to have

    been filled with remorse and ordered the sisters buried alive in a wall.[21][22]

    The Persian historian Baladhuri's account states that the Khalifa was a political

    enemy of Hajjaj and recalled Qasim after Hajjaj's death and imprisoned him;

    Qasim is reported to have died under torture.[4][22]
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    Husain AhmadBs,communication IIUI