Who Is Our Hero : Raja Daher or Muhammad Bin Qasim?

No Tombstone for the Hero? – By Anwaar Hussain

The text books that are taught to Pakistani children recount exploits of numerous past Muslim heroes in them. Standing tall amongst these heroes is one Arab by the name of Muhammad bin Qasim, born on 31 December 695 in the city of Taif in modern day Saudi Arabia.

Following are just some of the tokens of Pakistanis’ veneration for their hero.

He is sometimes called “the first Pakistani”. Port Qasim, Pakistan’s second major port is named in his honor. PNS Qasim is the name of a Pakistani Naval ship. Pakistan Army Aviation’s home base is called Qasim Base. Qasim is a fairly common first name for Pakistani male children. The day of Yom-e-Babul Islam is observed each year in Pakistan in memory of Muhammad bin Qasim.

Now let us see what we are told about this hero and what we are not.

We are told that Muhammad bin Qasim was an Umayyad general who conquered the Sindh and Punjab regions, now a part of Pakistan, along the Indus River. That at the tender age of just seventeen, he was sent by Caliph Al-Walid-I to lead an army towards South Asia to release Muslim women and children who were kidnapped by the Hindu Raja of the time. That it was due to his conquest of Sindh and Punjab that the era of Islamic rule in South Asia was first launched in real earnest. This much we are told. This much Pakistani children are supposed to memorize and be examined in.

What we are not told is that the kidnapping event of women and children, though a historical happening by itself, may have been only a part of the legend. That the Umayyad interest in the region may have stemmed more from their desire to control the trade route down the Indus River valley to the seaports of Sindh, an important link in the ancient Silk Road, than any thing else. That on certain earlier occasions too, they had unsuccessfully sought to gain control of the route, via the Khyber Pass, from the Turki-Shahis of Gandhara. That by taking Sindh, Gandhara’s southern neighbor, they were ultimately able to open a second front against the Gandhara.

We are also not told some of the other possible reasons for this campaign. That the locals of the region had targeted Sassanid shipping in the past, from the mouth of the Tigris to the Sri Lankan coast, from their bases at Kutch, Debal and Kathiawar. That the real reason of the campaign may have been purely economic in which the kidnapping of women and children was but one fateful act of these semi-nomadic tribes whose activities disturbed much of the Empire’s shipping trade in the Western Indian Ocean. That the kidnapping incident only provided a ‘just’ reason to the rising power of the Umayyad Caliphate to gain a foothold in the Makran, Baluchistan and Sindh regions–an area the Empire builders had been eyeing for a rather long time by then. That one other possible reason for the campaign could be the policy of the local tribes of providing refuge to Sassanid and Arab rebels who fled the Arab advance and the accompanied Umayyad persecution in a quest to consolidate their rule. This we are not told.

We are told that he treated most kindly his new subjects when he became their governor. What we are not told is that where resistance was strong, long-drawn-out and rigorous, Muhammad bin Qasim’s response was rather ruthless. By credible accounts, he inflicted 6,000 deaths at Rawar, between 6,000 and 26,000 at Brahmanabad, 4,000 at Iskalandah and 6,000 at Multan. And that he built many mosques upon the sites of razed Hindu temples.

We are told that his nemesis Raja Dahir was a cruel and unjust ruler and was involved in piracy. That he was the one that kidnapped and tortured the women and children and refused to recant. That he was an immoral man who married his own sister.

What we are not told is that Raja Dahir is also admired by many present day Sindhi Sunni and Shia Muslims. That he had given shelter in Sindh to a well-known follower of Imam Hussian, Muhammad Bin Allafi–a man much sought by the Umayyad in their deadly hunt for eliminating the last of the Ahl-e-Bait (Prophet Muhammad’s immediate family). That, according to some very believable sources, Dahir had even offered asylum to Hussain ibn Ali, the grandson of Prophet Mohammed, who was being persecuted at home. That as a result of this offer, Hussain was on his way to Sindh when he was seized at Karbala in Iraq and killed most viciously. That according to G.M. Syed, the grand old man of Sindh, “the Sindhis weep for Hussain ibn Ali and they weep for Raja Dahir Sen.” This we are not told.

But above all what we are not told is the manner of this hero’s death and the events leading up to the occasion.

Chachnama is an authentic document that recounts the history of Sindh in great details. It tells of an intriguing yet widely believed tale of Muhammad bin Qasim’s death.

According to this account, when Raja Dahir was killed in the battlefield, his daughters were captured as war booty in the Islamic tradition. The Governor, Muhammad bin Qasim, then sent them as ‘presents’ to the Caliph of the time Khalifa Sulayman ibn Abd al-Malik, to become a part of his vast harem. According to the narration, the women tricked the Khalifa into believing that Muhammad bin Qasim had violated them before sending them on. The Khalifa got so incensed for having been sent ‘tainted’ gifts that he ordered Muhammad bin Qasim to be wrapped in oxen hides and returned to Syria, his exploits not withstanding. The journey resulted in his death from suffocation. This version attributes the women’s motive for the ploy to exacting vengeance for their father’s death. It also states that upon discovering the trick after the death of Muhammad bin Qasim, the Khalifa deeply repented his action and ordered the sisters buried alive in a wall as a punishment.

The Persian historian Baladhuri, however, states that the Khalifa Abd al-Malik was a political enemy of Umayyad governor Al-Hajjaj ibn Yusuf, Muhammad bin Qasim’s paternal uncle. He persecuted all those who were considered close to Hajjaj after his death. Muhammad bin Qasim was therefore recalled in the midst of a campaign of capturing more territory up north. An honorable man, he reported to his Caliph despite his loyal friends dissuading him from it. Upon arrival, he was promptly imprisoned in Mosul, Iraq. Intensely cruel torture on him started immediately afterwards. So severe was this torture that Muhammad bin Qasim breathed his last during the most extreme of sessions one hot July afternoon.

Whichever account is true, we are told none of these.

Two facts, however, remain undisputed. He was 22 years old when he was killed by his own Caliph. None have read the tombstone marking his grave for none know where he lies.

Courtesy: http://truthspring.info/2010/02/21/no-tombstone-for-the-hero/

52 thoughts on “Who Is Our Hero : Raja Daher or Muhammad Bin Qasim?”

  1. Muhammad bin qasim was send by hajjaj bin yusaf (qasim was his nephew and son in law). he was a real hero and raja daher and his daughters were bad.

    1. Tu kaun hota hai hai ye bolne waala ki raja dahir aur unki beti kharaab thi agar ye baat sach hai ki mahommad bin qasim ne unki betiyo ko khalifa ke paas bhej diya to usne kaunsa acha kaam kia ek larki ko jaanvaar ki tarah bhej dia waha per

  2. yes i agreed with above artical but one thing is also in confision that the cause of the murder of qasim is realy raped of girl it is not confirmed till in any book and the books we tahught by class rooms are mostly based on wrong way and lies and just to make the genration sentimental which is not good.

  3. Assalam o Alaikum,

    I will just say that Raja Dahir … , and our first piriority is to ok if we are Muslim so we will support a muslim. ok
    Don’t support Non-Muslims because they are not on right path.
    Thanks.

    1. Mairaj ali tu kya bola be ki muslim muslim ka sath do non musmlim ka nahi baat yaha pe sahi aur galat ki hai aur sach yahi hai ki khalifa ne territory expansion ke lia yaani ki apne faaede ke lia yudh kia samajh me aae baat

  4. “Raja Dahir is also admired by many present day Sindhi Sunni and Shia Muslims. That he had given shelter in Sindh to a well-known follower of Imam Hussian, Muhammad Bin Allafi–a man much sought by the Umayyad in their deadly hunt for eliminating the last of the Ahl-e-Bait” (Reference Required)

    Can anyone provide me the reference of these lines.
    I don’t want bogus reference of modern author like you or G.M Syed or anyone else who
    wrote book in 20th or 21st century.
    Regard
    WAQAR

    1. Mr Waqar, u r asking for authenticity that ummayed caliph were after ahle bait. Don’t u know the history of muslims who even violated Allah commandments soon after demise of Muhammad (pbuh) and left his dead body unburried and started fighting for khilafat at Saqifa Bani Saaeda, a place 13 miles from Mecca. So much so after only 50 yrs of demise of their prophet, so called Muslims even did not spare Imam Hussain, the grandson of Muhammad (pbuh) whose kalema they recited, and slaughtered him brutally at karbala. Yazidi forces also perpetuated all sorts of atrocities with the families of their prophet which is shameful part of muslim history. So this is the character of Muslims. It is a historical fact that next generations of yazeed used all inhuman ways to eliminate every single individual of Ahle Bait and their followers. U ask for authenticity of these facts, I advise u to please go through the history with the true intention of finding facts and rest assured, God will lead u to right way. By the way, Yazeedi force is still active in pakistan which considers elimination of followers of Imam Hussain its religious obligations.

      1. yazeed was the husband of umme muhammad the daughter of adullah bin jaffer the real nephew of hazrat ali r.a. more over his father’s sister sayeda umme habiba was ummul momeneen as she marreied the last prophet of God hazrat muhammad s.a.w. in this context yazeed was also the part of ahl,e bait. how he can go against ahl,e bait.
        these were followers fo abullah bin saba (jew) munafiq who martayed sayadana Hussain abne Ali r.a.
        consult some authentic historical books plz to broden your vision of facts

        1. This is another excuse for Yazid (LA). If followers of Abdullah bin Saba martyred Imam Hussain (AS), then why Yazid did not take action against them? You live in a fools paradise. Unfortunately, history of Islam is full of violations, so called ‘Islamic’ caliphs who had lust for power and lived in palaces unlike Khulfa-e-Rashideen did.

  5. This is fact that Raja Dahir is our hero who began to fight with cruel person in the history of Sindh. Qasim killed thousands innocent sindhi people. We all sindhi love Raja Dahir.

  6. Our Hero is Raja Dahir because he gave his life for Sindh and Sindhi peoples. He saved the Ahl e bet persons, and He was secular, brave, and intelligent King of the history of Sindh. Saen G.M.Syed appreciated his braveness and other details in the book of (Sindho Ji Sanjjaahn).

  7. I agreed with the article which mentioned above about Raja Dahir and M.Bin Qasim, but i disagree with a little thing which was written in wrong way. The reason of M.Bin Qasim was suffocation in the skin of oxen, this is not true. Skin of Donkey was used for covering and sewing the M.Bin Qasim. (See the book of Tuhfatul Karam, old version).

  8. Dear Butt Sahab , Let for the sake of argument we agree that India , USA , Israel or all the rest of world is posing as evil monsters , than how the hell all this justify the worst ever wicked role of your army inside Pakistan . I am not talking any bullshit out side the state.
    Being a nuclear power proved to be a threat to your own country and your forces are trying to blackmail their own citizens upon this power ? Isn`t it funny enough to defend it ?

    1. Dear would you like to tell me are you an Indian or Bloch?
      If you are a Bloch then i would say that as an ordinary citizen of Pakistan that not only me but every one in Pakistan accepts that our Govt. since 1947 did not do anything good for Blochistan and they are just following their personal agendas. We all are against killing of Shaheed Akbar Bugti. We did not chose General Musharaf, Ayub Khan, Yahya Khan, General Zia ul Haq and even political leaders by elections because election is just selection in Pakistan.
      I agree that Leaders are not sincere in Pakistan but whenever a sincere leader will come you will see a new Pakistan and change is not far away. But we ought to understand conspiracies of other people who just want to weaken us.
      Our civilians namely woman, labor, kids are dying in suicide attacks, drone attacks and surprisingly we are terrorist even we are dying. We are biggest victims of terrorism.
      Russia tried to reach to warm waters through Afghanistan War and USA, Saudi Arab Iran and some other countries funded that war. Mujahid who fought war against Russia for USA and USA trained them included Osama Bin Laden Now they are terrorists.
      Many countries were involved in this war but only Pakistan is victim.

      1. Dear Butt Sahab , Ahamdolillah I am a Baloch , and I know you did nothing personally to me or my Nation . Lets come to your country once again , as you are waiting a true leadership since 63 years, for you it may not be a long period and you may wait another 63 years as well , but for us , The Balochs every passing moment with Pakistan is getting worst . We are receiving our youths dead body as eid gifts , our women are being arrested and abducted by your state forces and kept where no one knows.We are not victim of American drones nor the suicide attacks of any other agency including RAW and MO SAD but Pakistani air force is being used against us.

        1. Yes, I do agree with you and I am also against state actions and use of Army blindly. But would you like to tell me who kills Punjabis in Blochistan?
          My age is 35 and I am living in Lahore since my birth I have seen hundreds of dead bodies died in suicide attacks. Some of hands and legs which were separated from bodies while suicide attacks were found on my roof. I have friends who migrated from Sindh, Blochistan & NWFP I don’t have any prejudice for them. We all are like brother. Have you ever heard that someone died in Punjab due to ethnic background? We have open heart for all. We are not Punjabis, We are Pakistanis. If politicians are crook that’s neither our faults nor its fault of Pakistan.
          Yes, I shall wait till things get better here, I can run away but I will not. I will sacrifice even my life on Pakistan.

  9. We are told about bogus accounts of heros because this country was gifted to punjab on bogus account of Islam. Sher Shah soori is presented as a hero as well , there is alot left to be written about hm too.
    @ Butt sahabs reaction I think , Butt sahab has closed his eyes towards his own state in Balochistan. While role of Alshams and Albadar in Bangladash are never told to Butt Sahab. On record remarks of Pakistani dictator Yahya khan and his Genral in Balgladesh , Mr. Tikka Khan need the attantion of Butt Sahab before commenting any thing. Remarks of his ex-president Mr.Musharaf he may have heared through media.
    Let me ask unbiased , human being Mr.Butt , Balochistan declared independence at 7th august 1947 , why did his state invade in ? why his state is managing mass killings , managed rapes , and kill to dump policy in Balochistan.
    In Butt Sahabs own words I will suggest him to read the history a little before leaving funny comments on serious issues.

    1. If your comments are reply to my comments then where is reply of my questions?.. it is India’s claim that India is largest democracy in the world but when some one express his thoughts then Indians calls it funny. Its Democracy. O.K.
      You gave refrences of political statements. Could i ask what Mr. J. L. Nehro said about Kashmir issue??
      I can give you 10000000000000000000000000 examples like you did.. but it is uselss, waste of time..and what is “now” india doing in Blochistan every one knows.
      India and others states like Israel are doing all this just to declare Pakistan a terrorist state through US.
      Pakistan is a Atomic power and people do not like it.. so, do what can you do.. Nothing will happend.. Nothing will change.. I assure you..
      Its funny.. O.K no pronlems.. I accept..

  10. Nobody raise voice against barbaric acts of Indian Army on Kashmiri people.
    No one say anything against Israel killing of Palestinian innocent kids.
    No one say something against USA attack on Iraq. Reason of attack was that Iraq has weapon of mass destruction. Where are weapon of mass destruction?
    USA attacks Afghanistan because Osama Bin Laden was in Afghanistan according to them. Have they found Osama in almost in10 years?
    No body says something about 1st world war and 2nd world war. How many people died in those wars? Pakistan fought these wars? But the countries who threw atom bomb on Japan is the most civilized country in the world.
    It is just clash of civilization and racism against Muslims and no one speaks about Muslim rights. Pointing fingers at others is easiest thing in the world and to accept own mistakes is difficult.

    1. Indian arma ne jammu kashmir me musmalmaano ke saath koi barbaric act nahi kiya balki waha to kashmiri pandito ko nikaala jaa raha tha

  11. u did not understand what i said! its called Parallel instance!
    that is very easy to write a***h*** come with logic. i

  12. Absolutely brilliant – thanks for this article.
    I also read some hindus fought for Imam Hussain (AS) or supported someone against Yazeed after martyrdom of Imam Hussain (AS), they’re now called Hussainy Brahman, I guess. Check hindus mourning in India*
    This does distinguish what Ummayad empire was after, they were tyrants and oppress ants.

    @Arshad: US, IRAQ??
    I repeat what Jatin just said. And you I am sure represent youth of Pakistan. How maligning is our media.

  13. Arshad a***h***…This is about Quasim and Dahar.What has US and Iraq and Germany to do with this!

  14. I would like to ask author of this story that would you like to tell us why west fabricate fiction heroes namely Superman, Batman and Spiderman and you did not write on this they do not have heroes in real life. I accept that west has served with technology to mankind but as far as heroes are concerned they do not have them.
    Secondly, USA attacked Iraq and gave excuse that Iraq has weapon of destruction. Where are weapons of destruction? USA invaded Afghanistan. What is reason? United Kingdom, France, Portugal, Germany, Russia and many more countries has occupied many countries. Please tell us reason. Is that bravery? Or are these economic reasons?

    1. West is not the only place were technology happend. When your Pakistan was under Hindu rule it was the centre for science and technology, even today you’ll find that mentioned in greek and latin texts. King Dher did not get muslim women and children to torture as there were no muslims in that region. Muhammed bin qasim destroyed a civilized society and planted seeds for a terrorist and lawless state that Pakistan had become today.

      1. Biggest democracy in the world (India) does not give democratic rights to Kashmiri people.
        Please go through book of history and you would come to know who ruled whom.. Muslims ruled Hindus or Hindus ruled Muslims..
        Let me remind you India and Pakistan got independence from UK on 14th and 15th august 1947. India was O.K and Pakistan is terrorist. That’s great.. Very well said.. Who played their role in separation of Pakistan with Bangladesh? Do you know role of “Mukti Bahni”??? I think you don’t know.
        Dozens of people are dying in Pakistan in suicide attacks i can say that India is involved in it.. you are may be living in India you would never say India is involved in it, so, stop racism brother be unbiased. Be a good human being. Read history first then make comment.

        1. sir, hinduism is the oldest (6000- 10000yrs) religion in the world. What I meant to say was when Mohammad bin Qasim came to your region there was no Islam there. Pakistan was full of hindus and Buddhist. As far as Buddhism is concerned it is an offshoot or a religious form of hinduism. hinduism is not a religion it is a way of life. It is not organized even now because when you organise you diffrentiate yourself from rest of the worl. Hindus, Sikhs and Jains are by law are considered hindus. sikh gurudwaras have hindu gods. Read history, not the one taught in your schools there, google and you’ll find realty. Genocide in Bangladesh by Pakistani army in 1971killing 2000,000-3000,000 Bangladeshi Muslims led to the separation of east and west Pakistan. I’m not being racist, Muslims in India are doing well and are in large numbers wereas the same cannot be said about the handful of Hindus left in Pakistan. by the way I’m not a brother but a sister:):)

          1. Bindu on political side both the countries are proven monsters , but I do agree that civil society of India is doing far better than Pakistan, they got a higher level of tolerance.
            As for as minorities are concerned , though India can not be counted in Ideals still their record is not that bad as compare to Pakistan.

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