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EARLY MUSLIM CONQUESTS IN INDIA

EARLY MUSLIM CONQUESTS IN INDIA
EARLY MUSLIM CONQUESTS IN INDIA 

Overview

Muslim conquests in India started in the 12th century. However, periodical raids into India started as early as the 7th century

The earliest Muslim foray into India occurred in 664 CE by Al Muhallab ibn Abi Suffrah, the governor of Khorasan (Iran) under the Ummayad Caliphate
Invasions into India were carried out from the northwest over a period of centuries by Arabs, Turkic, Mongol and Turco-Mongol peoples

Impact of Muslim conquests

The presence of Islamic governments from Spain/Morocco to Indonesia facilitated trade and enabled the establishment of a common legal system
Ceramic tiles were introduced into India based on architectural designs in Persia and Central Asia
Blue pottery (famous in Rajasthan) was cultivated by Muslim rulers who imported it in large quantities from China
Numerous Indian scientific and mathematical advancements, including the numeral system, spread to the rest of the world
Islamic languages were modified on contact with local languages to produce Urdu, which uses Persian words in the Arabic script

Conquest during the Rashudin Caliphate

The Rashudin Caliphate was founded immediately after Prophet Muhammad’s death in 632 CE. At its height, the Rashudin Caliphate extended from North Africa to Persia, and parts of Afghanistan/Baluchistan
During Rashudin Caliphate, significant conquests were made northwestern part of the Indian subcontinent, especially areas like Makran and Sindh (in Pakistan)
These early conquests were primarily an extension of campaigns to conquer and annex the Sassanid Persian empire in the mid seventh century
Islamic forces first entered Sindh in 644 CE during the reign of Caliph Umar, and established the eastern frontier of the Caliphate as the Makran region in Baluchistan

Conquest during the Ummayad Caliphate

The Umayyad Caliphate was the second and largest of the four major Caliphates established following Muhammad’s death. It was established in 660 CE. At its height, it extended from the Iberian Peninsula (Spain/Portugal) to northwestern India
In 712 CE, the Umayyad Caliphate sent an expedition under Muhammad bin Qasim, who defeated Raja Dahir of Sindh. He then annexed territory from Karachi to Multan.
This was the first significant Islamic expansion into traditionally Indian territories
The main objective of the expedition was the Sun Mandir at Multan, known as the ‘City of Gold’ due to its wealth
Qasim was immediately recalled to Baghdad by the Caliph, and the newly acquired territories were then administered by weak governors who only nominally acknowledged Arab authority
Qasim’s successor, Junaid, was then defeated by a conglomeration of Hindu Rajput clans, including the Pratiharas, in the Battle of Rajasthan (738 CE). Following this defeat, Islamic expansion into India was stopped at the Indus for the next three centuries
Multan became a centre of the Islmaili sect of Islam
The northern regions comprising the Punjab remained under the control of Hindu kings, while the southern regions comprising Baluchistan, Sindh and Multan passed into Muslim control

Mahmud of Ghazni

Mahmud of Ghazni was the most prominent ruler of the Turkic Ghaznavid dynasty
He ruled from 997 CE to 1030 CE
The capital of the Ghaznavid dynasty was Ghazni in Afghanistan
At its height, the Ghaznavid territories included most of Iran and Pakistan and parts of northwestern India
Mahmud Ghazni was the first ruler to carry the title Sultan
Ghazni’s first expansion into India was his conquest of the Hindu Shahi dynasty which ruled Lahore and parts of Kashmir. Ghazni defeated and conquered Raja Anandapala of the Shahi dynasty in 1008 CE
Over the next decade, Ghazni conquered the kingdoms of Nagarkot, Thanesar, Gwalior and Ujjain

Muhammad of Ghori

Muhammad of Ghor (also known as Muhammad Ghori) was the sultan of the Ghorid dynasty centred in Afghanistan. Ghori ruled from 1202 to 1206 CE
His capital was the city of Ghor in Afghanistan
Muhammad Ghori defeated and dissolved the Ghaznavid dynasty in 1186 CE, thereby establishing the Ghorid dynasty
He initially ruled as governor under his brother Ghiyas ud-Din Muhammad, and later became king following the latter’s death in 1202
Ghori extended Islamic rule in India much further east than the earlier Ghaznavid kingdom
Muhammad Ghori was defeated by Prithviraj Chauhan of Ajmer at the First Battle of Tarain (Haryana) in 1191 CE
The next year, Ghori once again attacked and this time defeated Chauhan at the Second Battle of Tarain in 1192 CE
Following this, Ghori captured the Rajput kingdoms of Saraswati, Samana, Kohram and Hansi. Ghori also captured Ajmer and Delhi, thereby ending Hindu rule in Delhi, with Prithviraj Chauhan becoming the last Hindu ruler of Delhi
Since he had no heirs, Ghori’s kingdom passed into the hands of his Turkic slaves upon his death in 1206 CE. One of his slaves, Qutbuddin Aybak, took control of Ghori’s Indian territories and founded the Slave Dynasty in 1206, the first dynasty of the Delhi Sultanate