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send an army into Sind; but, just at that time, his life was won by death, and his successor, Walid, doubted whether he had treasure sufficient to risk an attempt at conquest. But though the Kaliph acted the prudent part of our Court of Directors, he also had a Lord Ellenborough and a Sir Charles Napier. Hejjaz, his deputy in Central Asia, who was a far-seeing, ambitious, and unscrupulous man, and who is introduced in the Arabian Nights, in the story of Neameh and Noam, as stealing the damsel Noam and sending her to Abdool Mulik, followed what simple-minded Mohammed Masoom calls "the custom of good clever men, first of all to find out the condition of the enemy," and sent spies into Sind. Learning from these that it would pay the expense of conquest, he not only urged his lord to make the attempt, but offered himself to guarantee the payment.
Mohammedanism was then in a glorious ascendant. It had triumphed on the banks of the Euphrates, had overcome Persia, gained stony Khorassan, the river-broken desert of Seistan, and Mekran, which then consisted of all Beloochistan, besides the long dreary line of riverless coast which stretches from sacred Hindu Hinglaj to the entrance of the Persian Gulf. When the Arabs were in Mekran, and so flushed with conquest, it was time for sister-loving King Daher and his son, the Lion, to bestir themselves for the safety of their kingdom. Quiet-loving councillors, however, gave this advice"The Mohammedans will go this way and that way, where affronts are offered to their religion; but if we sit on the carpets of prudence and peace, they will leave us untroubled." How many similar speeches have been made, regarding ourselves, in the durbars of Indian princes! The policy of King Daher and his advisers was exactly that followed, several centuries after, by the Ameers of Sind toward their British ally, and it had precisely similar results.
Hejjaz being determined on the conquest, and the hillmen having been either conquered or converted, the Kaliph granted permission; and
young Mohammed Kasim, the nephew or the cousin of Hejjaz, was, professedly on astrological advice, appointed to command the invading army. This general has no place in modern history; yet, both from innate ability and tragic destiny, he may rank with the two other conquerors of Sind. A Sindee historical medal would bear on its one side the head of the young Greek Immortal, with its savage beauty tempered by the weak passion of a woman or a child, and gleam of horror and presaging death troubling the conquering light of the eagle eye. Thus would be fitly represented, as in ancient busts, the surpassing glory and deep debasement, the marvellous promise and swift fate of the world's Alexander. On the reverse there would appear an energetic rudely human face, compressed into hawklike watchfulness, furrowed by earnest thought, and pained by mean cares the face of old Sir Charles, the great British general, who won all his fame from a most reluctant fortune, and, being too impatient of duncedom, never found a fitting field for the exercise of his penetrating genius. Though, in these respects, we know of Mohammed Kasim only that he was of great beauty, and seventeen years of age, when the invading army was committed to his charge, yet we shall find in the history of his brilliant success, and union of youthful fire with the wisdom of age, enough to suggest a distinct image of the boy-conqueror leading on the wild turbaned host of Islam while the story of his swift awful doom may serve to associate him with his greater predecessor.
The nucleus of the Mohammedan army consisted of twelve hundred picked men from Syria and western Persia. Starting about 710 A.D., its route lay through Kerman, Mekran, and across the Hala, to Oomerkote in Sind, a town which must have been near where Hydrabad now stands. It is unnecessary, happily unnecessary, as it is impossible, to describe all the conflicts which ensued-the stern religious fanaticism, the lust for blood, the wild battleshock, the confusion, agony, and
With their triumphs, and their glories, and the rest."
Various fights are recorded, in which the result was always the same; "the breeze of victory" bore on the flags of Islam, and the "reins of his will" fell from the hands of the Hindu commander. Though always successful in the field, Mohammed Kasim had difficulty in procuring supplies; and his army, suffering from famine, was obliged to consume its horses. But the astrologers had predicted that Sind was to be taken by the nephew of Hejjaz; so he followed his star to victory and death. When, in these circumstances, King Daher offered peace if the Mohammedans would consent to return westward, their youthful leader replied: "Inshallah! the country belongs to the Faithful. Until the Infidel be obedient, and acknowledge our sway, I shall not abandon my lawful prize." Hejjaz contrived to send a fresh supply of horses; and soon after occurred the great battle in which King Daher fulfilled his destiny, and the Brahmin power was overthrown in Sind.
The king was sleeping pleasantly in his palace, dreaming of future success and glory, in the month Ramzan of the ninth year of the Hejira, when at early dawn he was awakened to receive tidings from a horseman, who had ridden all night to bring intelligence of Mohammed Kasim's victorious approach. Though, by a sudden blow, he killed the chamberlain who ventured to arouse him, a little reflection showed the necessity of at once making a great effort, and of placing himself at the head of his followers. The first ten days of Ramzan were passed in hard fighting, of which the result was favourable to the Mohammedans, who succeeded in crossing several rivers, and forcing some important points. On the 11th, Daher led to battle 10,000 horsemen clad in mail, 30,000 footmen, and many warriors on elephants in front. On the finest and most richly caparisoned of these animals he himself sat, along with his two beautiful daughters, one of whom
administered betel and the other wine. He was armed with a kind of iron noose or ring, which he could throw like a lasso, and which was heavy and sharp enough to strike off a man's head.
At first the Moslems gave way; but again they fixed their feet firm on the ground, and drew their blooddrinking swords from the scabbards of revenge. Towards evening, when both parties were fatigued and desirous of repose, a discharge of fireworks by the invaders terrified the elephants of their opponents so much that these animals broke loose, and ran furiously about the Sindian camp, causing much confusion and fright. At the same moment Mohammed Kasim ordered a volley of arrows, and with a body of his men made a ferocious charge. One of the arrows struck Rais Daher in the throat; and the bird of his life being freed from the cage of his body, flew away. His attendants endeavoured to lead back the elephant, but its huge feet stuck in the moist clay. By this time the sun had set; and the Brahmins around, taking Daher's dead body out of the howdah, concealed it in the mud before they fled to the city. Falling into the hands of a Moslem officer, they were glad to escape immediate death by mentioning the fate of their monarch,and pointing out his dead body. While Daher was lying in the mud, his two daughters, who had been seized by renegades of the town, were brought before Mohammed Kasim; and he, supposing their father had escaped, proclaimed that none were to occupy themselves in following him, lest he should return and take them by surprise. On hearing this proclamation, Kais, the officer who had found the body, shouted the Tukbeer, and this being understood as a signal of Daher's death, "God is great" rose from all the Mohammedan host. The head of the Hindu Rais was shown to the daughters by Mohammed Kasim; and whether this was done as an intentional insult, or with the view of proving identity, the action was never forgiven, and afterwards led to very singular and fatal consequences. When morning dawned, the troops moved forward to the fort,
and exhibited Daher's head in order to induce the garrison to surrender. At first they would not believe the fact thus brought before their eyes; but Ladhee, the widowed queen, hearing of the occurrence, ran to the walls, and at once recognising the face of her lord, uttered a shriek of agony, and threw herself from the battlements. On that same day the army of Islam entered the fort, raised a pulpit, and read prayers.
There are some small discrepancies between the different historical accounts of these events; but on that subject the less said the better, it being impossible for us to resuscitate Ali Bin Hamed Bin Aboo Bukkur Koofee and confront him with Kazee Ismail Bin Ali Mohammed Bin Moosa Bin Taee, and with other individuals who would require to be examined before exact truth could be elicited. Exact truth is, perhaps, not desirable in such relations; certainly not when it interferes with the great general impressions which it is peculiarly the office and the honour of history to convey. The scantiness of the details and distance of the interests render it difficult, perhaps impossible, now to realise the events which established Islam in Sind. An era, a dynasty, a faith, a battlethese are brief words, easily entered, with their dates, upon our memory; but that is very different from forming real acquaintance with the things which they represent: and even when wandering in the white moonlight of Sind, among the mounds formed by the ruins of great ancient cities, hearing the sullen sweep of the broad river which for centuries unknown has moaned down to the sea, it is difficult to take an interest in more than the few personal incidents connected with the conquest which the Mohammedan chroniclers have handed down. Though of these the fall of Rais Daher may have no special charm for the imagination, it is otherwise with the tendril that clung to him, falling when he fell. The shriek of his queen may be heard above the noise of centuries. Among Hindus the family feelings are singularly strong; and however opposed to many of their theories, the wife is not unfrequently the com
panion, counsellor, and helpmeet of her lord. Mahratta as well as Sindian history records many instances of womanly wisdom, womanly love, and more than womanly devotion. Ladhee may have been influenced by the requirements of her creed, or dreaded worse than death at the conqueror's hands; but she also showed somewhat of the love which is stronger than death, and illustrated the old truth, that while there are various skies and creeds, to humanity there is only one heart.
Warfare, in some shape or other, appears to be an essential part of life upon earth. From the animalcule to the civilised man, everything is devouring something, and securing its own temporary existence by trampling some other being into night and chaos. In all lands and in all climes it is the inevitable law that, as the new life moves wildly on, life is beaten down under its giant tread. Nations destroy each other by the arts of peace as well as by those of war. And man is always the same in his gratitude for victory; whether on the banks of the Scamander or the Indus, he knows that he has conquered through the guidance of invisible powers, and to serve unseen ends. As the Greek offered sacrifice to his favourite god, so the Arab raised a pulpit and read a sermon and prayers; so the English, after entering Hydrabad, read the thanksgiving for victory. In the Mohammedan religious feeling, however, there was a sternness and gloom unknown in the heathenism which it came to displace. The thanksgiving of the Heathen, and more especially of the Greek, was little more than an expression of contentment with the beauty and fulness of life: turning joyfully from the grey mists of eternity which had threatened to enclose him, he looked upon the sunny land of the living, and exclaimed, "O dear city of Jove!" The gratitude of the Arabian or the Hebrew, on the other hand, was based on the moral idea which had possessed the mind of his race, convicting of guilty shortcoming, causing a fearful dread of coming judgment, and regarding the creature as standing in sinful opposition to the Creator. This idea
exercised a singular influence over men, to recreate and yet to torture. As it possessed their minds, "beauty straightway vanished; they read commandments, all-excluding mountainous duty. An obligation—a sadness, as of piled mountains-fell on them, and life became ghastly, joyless, a pilgrim's progress, a probation, beleaguered round with doleful histories of Adam's fall and curse, behind us; with doomsday and purgatorial and penal fires before; and the heart of the seer and the heart of the listener sank in them." The gloom and sternness of Mohammed and his race greatly influenced the religion which he taught; more especially it allowed of no compromise between the believer and the infidel. To the former it was a matter of infinite importance; so, as a natural consequence, he determined that it should be so to the latter also. We find the Prophet himself, in the Koran, often fleeing from the thought of God to wild aspirations for the destruction of the enemies of God; and his followers had this text ever in recollection: "Thou shalt in no wise count those as dead who were slain in the cause of God at Ohod; nay, they are sustained alive with the Lord, rejoicing because of what He, of His favour, granted them; and being glad for those who, coming after them, have not overtaken them; because there shall no fear come on them, neither shall they be grieved."
In Sind, however, the Mohammedan invaders seem to have tempered their religious enthusiasm with kindness and prudence; for they used persuasion rather than the sword as their instrument of conversion-an exception to their ordinary rule, which resulted, in all probability, from the personal character of Mohammed Kasim. It is related that, after entering Alore, he went into a temple where many Sindees were worshipping round an idol, the image of a man on horseback. The first fiery impulse led the young general to raise his sword, with the intention of cleaving it in twain; but, being arrested by the cry of the horrified priests, he contented himself with pulling off one of its gauntlets,
remarking to them, "Your god wants a gauntlet; ask him what he has done with it?" How should a lifeless image know?" returned the Brahmins, falling into the snare, and exposing themselves to the rational rebuke which the Mussulman quickly administered. One-fifth of the spoil was set apart, according to the injunction of the Koran: "Know that whenever ye gain any spoils, a fifth part thereof belongeth unto God, and to the apostle and his kindred, and the orphans, and the poor, and the traveller." Much also of the conquered land was given for the support of sacred edifices and institutions; and so were founded those ecclesiastical establishments which are said to have absorbed one-third of the entire revenue of Sind under the government of the late Ameers. Even certain revenues which, under Daher, had been given to Hindu priests, were continued by the Mohammedans; while in some places the natives were allowed to rebuild their temples, and continue their idolatrous worship.
Sir Henry Elliot, following the Futuhulbuldan, mentions some important exceptions to this lenity. When the Moslems had usurped the complete mastery, and felt themselves secure, they displayed their usual cruelty and bigotry. At Debal the temples were demolished; a general massacre ensued for three whole days; prisoners were taken captive, and much plunder was amassed. The idols were broken, and mosques were founded at Nai run, notwithstanding its voluntary surrender. Though the lives of the inhabitants were saved at Alore, a heavy tribute was demanded from them, and painful conditions were imposed on the use of their temples. At Mooltan, Mohammed Kasim displayed more intolerance than was his wont. The Bhavisha Purana and one of the Chinese travellers mention that there was at that place a golden statue of the sun; but the Arabic writers speak of the principal idol as being only composed of wood, covered with a red skin, and having two rubies for eyes. Mohammed Kasim left this idol uninjured, in order to enrich himself by the abun
dant offerings which were laid at its feet; but at the same time, in order to show his horror of Indian superstition, he attached a piece of cow's flesh to its neck-thus gratifying his avarice and malignity at once.
Of Sir Charles Napier it is recorded by his brother, that “while his cannon still resounded on the banks of the Indus, he had made known that all persons, whether of high or low degree, were confirmed for the time, and would be so permanently, according to their behaviour, in the employments they held under the Ameers." A similar course had been previously pursued by the Mohammedan conqueror. "The Brahmins," avers Mohammed Masoom, were placed by him, as before, in charge of the revenues, and appointed to listen in suits of law." "But another authority adds that most of the Hindu priests refused to act, and preferred enrolment as an order of mendicants. The original conquerors received large grants of land, on condition of military service; and these lands were cultivated, not by the invaders, who, being soldiers, were forbidden this employment, but by the former possessors, who were degraded to the condition of serfs. But the Arabs were glad, at the same time, to avail themselves of more intellectual service which the Hindus could render; and even Daher's prime-minister was retained as an official of some kind or other.
Very curious information has been gathered by Sir Henry Elliot, and is preserved in his unpublished volume, regarding the revenue of Sind, and the expense of the Mohammedan invasion. "On counting up the cost of the Sindian expedition, Hejjaz found that he had expended 60,000,000, and had received 120,000,000 dirhems. As that could only have been the Kaliph's share of one-fifth, the total value of the plunder obtained must have been 600,000,000 dirhems. Now, as one million of dirhems, at fivepence halfpenny each, is equivalent to about £23,000 of our money, and as the relative value of money was ten times greater than now, we may conceive the amount to be largely exaggerated.
find that the province of Sind yielded annually a sum of 11,500,000 dirhems, Mooltan being most probably included, as it is not mentioned among the other provinces.
It is not an improbable amount when we consider [the extent of ancient Sind and] the liberal alienations and reserves, as well as the change in the value of money. Under the Talpurs, notwithstanding that many large and productive tracts were afforested by them, Sind is said to have occasionally yielded £400,000, and under the Kalhoras, tradition represents the revenue at the exaggerated amount of £800,000. At present , with security on all its borders, and tranquillity within them, it does not pay to the British government more than £300,000, and the expenses have been hitherto more than double that sum." These singular statements establish more than Sir Henry has clearly brought out. Six hundred millions of dirhems would amount, according to his calculation and the present value of money, to the enormous sum of £138,000,000, which would have made even Sir Charles Napier a great favourite with the Indian Directors, had he found it, or anything like it, in Hydrabad. The cost of the expedition being subtracted, there must have remained a clear profit of £136,620,000. "But as to the proof of this," to quote good old Mohammed Masoom, "God only knows!" There was a hot controversy, a few years ago, as to whether our occupation of Sind was paying or not, and Sir William Napier virtually gave the lie on the subject, to what he was pleased to call "the pompous libellers of the Edinburgh and Quarterly Reviews," and "the penny-paid slanderers of the daily press." When some uncertainty hangs over even that matter, it would be absurd to enter into a discussion of the finance of the Moslem invasion, as described by Moslem historians-a class of gentlemen who have little scruple in drawing largely and minutely upon imagination whenever facts fail. Let us accept their details only as pointing generally to the fact that the countries of the Indus are desert, not in an onward, but in a retro