By Manan Ahmed Asif
The query of the way Islam arrived in India is still markedly contentious in South Asian politics. regular bills heart at the Umayyad Caliphate’s incursions into Sind and littoral western India within the 8th century CE. during this telling, Muslims have been a international presence between local Hindus, sowing the seeds of a mutual animosity that presaged the subcontinent’s partition into Pakistan and India many centuries later.
But in a compelling reexamination of the background of Islam in India, Manan Ahmed Asif directs realization to a thirteenth-century textual content that tells the tale of Chach, the Brahmin ruler of Sind, and his kingdom’s later conquest by means of the Muslim normal Muhammad bin Qasim in 712 CE. The Chachnama has lengthy been a touchstone of Indian heritage, but it really is seldom studied in its entirety. Asif bargains an in depth and entire research of this significant textual content, untangling its a number of registers and genres to be able to reconstruct the political imaginative and prescient at its heart.
Asif demanding situations the most tenets of the Chachnama’s interpretation: that it's a translation of an prior Arabic textual content and that it provides a historical past of conquest. Debunking either rules, he demonstrates that the Chachnama used to be initially Persian and, faraway from advancing a story of imperial aggression, is a refined and complicated paintings of political conception, one embedded in either the Indic and Islamic ethos. This social and highbrow historical past of the Chachnama is a vital corrective to the divisions among Muslim and Hindu that so usually outline Pakistani and Indian politics at the present time.
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Extra resources for A Book of Conquest: The Chachnama and Muslim Origins in South Asia
The origins narrative forecloses any reading of the Muslim past in India as being interconnected or socially and culturally heterogeneous. Rather, it presents a particular idea of "conquest"-one centered on Muslim violence against Hindu rulers and subjects, prejudicial taxation, and temple destruction. FRONTIER WITH THE HOUSE OF GOLD This chapter reopens that history to see how historical records from a variety of sources present political and mercantile interactions between Arabia and India. The formation of an Indian Ocean milieu and the following discussion of Greek accounts of India in general and Alexander the Great's campaigns in particular are necessary for they constitute the textual milieu for Chachnama's world: Chachnama makes explicit references to Alexander and styles itself as conquest literature.
Another Umayyad rebel, Yazid bin Muhallab, seized Sind and was able to hold it until 723. Hisham bin Abdal Malik dispatched another commander, Junayd bin Abdar Rahman Murri, to Sind in 723. Junayd embarked on a significant reconquest of the region, expanding into Gujarat and Rajasthan. In 731, the Umayyad founded a city, Mahfuza, as the Muslim base of operations. " Near the end of his account, Baladhuri writes that the region is torn between two Arab groups-the Hijazi and the Qahtani-who are further divided by sectarian differences.
L;Iajjaj sent 'Ubaidullah bin Nabhan to Daybul, but he was killed. Then he wrote to Budail bin Tahfah, who was in Oman, and told him to go against Daybul. But when he faced the enemy, his horse bucked and he was killed by the enemies. Some say he was killed by the Jat people of the Buddhists. 41 It is important to note here that Baladhuri places this account more than a decade before the campaign of Muhammad bin Qasim and during an already forty-year-old effort to placate the frontier of Makran.