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A Book of Conquest: The Chachnama and Muslim Origins in by Manan Ahmed Asif

By Manan Ahmed Asif

The query of ways Islam arrived in India is still markedly contentious in South Asian politics. regular debts 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 heritage of Islam in India, Manan Ahmed Asif directs consciousness 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 deals a detailed and whole research of this crucial textual content, untangling its quite a few registers and genres so that it will 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 heritage of conquest. Debunking either rules, he demonstrates that the Chachnama was once initially Persian and, faraway from advancing a story of imperial aggression, is a sophisticated and complex paintings of political concept, one embedded in either the Indic and Islamic ethos. This social and highbrow background of the Chachnama is a vital corrective to the divisions among Muslim and Hindu that so usually outline Pakistani and Indian politics this day.

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The armies were stationed under their flags. Arns, which took 500 men to pull. In Daybul was a great temple (budd) with a tall mast, and on that mast was a red flag, which covered the city when it blew in the wind. And they report that the temple had a great minaret built in the midst of the city, which housed their idols (sanam). The temple was known by the name of the idols .... Every third day, Hajjaj's letters reached Muhammad, and Muhammad's letters with news of what he saw in front of him and his thoughts, reached Hajjaj.

A Contested Geography In any excavation of the Muslim past in India, geography gets to determine the status: the perpetual conqueror or the perpetual migrant. A FOUNDATION FOR HISTORY 49 Any of the descendants from Muhammad Sam Ghur in the twelfth century to Zahiruddin Bahar in the sixteenth to Khan-e Arzu in the eighteenth have been rendered as outsiders. Thusly articulated, Muslim foreignness is also ever-present in scholarly understandings, which is predicated on the narratives of arrivals and origins across borders and boundaries that took shape along contemporary geographies.

810)-illustrate the regional focus as well as the narrative drive of Islam's preordained eminence. Based l\Il the citations offered by later historians, the earliest futuh that dealt specifically with Hind and Sind were written by Mada'ini (d. 31 Baladhuri (d. 892), Ya'qubi (d. 905), and Tabari (d. 923) were three universal historians of the tenth century who all incorporated Mada'ini's books into their accounts on Hind and cited him as ~he 34 FRONTIER WITH THE HOUSE OF GOLD primary source. Mada'ini is reported to have written his futuh from detailed firsthand accounts of the participants in the campaign.

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