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 Kutchh, Debal and Kaathhiyawarr. 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 Brahmannabad, 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 Ddhahir 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 Ddhahir 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, Ddhahir 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 Ddhahir 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.

Chachnaama 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 Ddhahir 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-Hajaaj ibn Yusuf, Muhammad bin Qasim’s paternal uncle. He persecuted all those who were considered close to Hajaaj 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/

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

  1. for muslims, first of all is their religion then any thing else, anon muslim can newer be our friend what? THINK OF OUR HERO.

  2. BITCH***

    The one never judge the history by just giving his/her POSSIBLE REASONS by that, a HERO will be a HERO. History is a WRITTEN TRUTH and never be manipulated by just giving POSSIBLE REASONS.

    I dont think that a POSSIBLE reason may acceptable more than the wikipedia.com, where people can find the links, references to the authentic historians. nobody needs to go anywhere, I suggest people to just visit on WIKIPEDIA.com to find truth about Mohammad Bin Qasim. Nor Shia historians neither Suuni historians needed to find literature about this genuine Muslim Ameer.

    The reason of interest of Umayyad is not what by friend mentioned/manipulated as it was just a possible reason according to him, the real reason is According to Berzin, Umayyad interest in the region occurred because of attacks from Sindh Raja Dahir on ships of Muslims and their imprisonment of Muslim men and women.[1] They had earlier unsuccessfully sought to gain control of the route, via the Khyber Pass, from the Turki-Shahis of Gandhara.[1] But by taking Sindh, Gandhara’s southern neighbor, they were able to open a second front against Gandhara; a feat they had, on occasion, attempted before.

    Berzin is Alexander Berzin, a Budhist scholar, not a shia or sunni.

    According to Wink, Umayyad interest in the region was galvanized by the operation of the Meds and others.[2] Meds (a tribe of Scythians (IRANI) living in Sindh) had pirated upon Sassanid shipping in the past, from the mouth of the Tigris to the Sri Lankan coast, in their bawarij and now were able to prey on Arab shipping from their bases at Kutch, Debal and Kathiawar.[2] At the time, Sindh was the wild frontier region of al-Hind, inhabited mostly by semi-nomadic tribes whose activities disturbed much of the Western Indian Ocean.[2] Muslim sources insist that it was these persistent activities along increasingly important Indian trade routes by Debal pirates and others which forced the Arabs to subjugate the area, in order to control the seaports and maritime routes of which Sindh was the nucleus, as well as, the overland passage.[3] During Hajjaj’s governorship, the Mids of Debal(OLD IRANI TRIBES) in one of their raids had kidnapped Muslim women travelling from Sri Lanka to Arabia, thus providing a casus belli to the rising power of the Umayyad Caliphate that enabled them to gain a foothold in the Makran, Balochistan and Sindh regions

    Sir, with most due respect, can you please elaborate your the MOST BELIEABLE SOURCES, according to them DAHIR given asylum & shelter to the most beloved grand son of Prophet Mohammad PBUH, Hazrat Hussain Ibn-e-Ali (R.A)?,

    and please do not give reference by Mr. G.M. Syed, he is not trustworthy anymore, people living in SIND & Karachi know him and his character very well.

    Brother, 6,000 deaths at Rawar, between 6,000 and 26,000 at Brahmanabad, 4,000 at Iskalandah and 6,000 at Multan because the resistence was strong in areas and during the battle the casualities are more in the resistant areas than the area where resistence is not that strong, like Armabil, Nirun, and Aror, resistance was light and few casualties occurred.

    No where in the article mentioned by Mr. Anwaar that after the conquest what QASIM did? After each major phase of his conquest, Muhammad bin Qasim attempted to establish law and order in the newly-conquered territory by showing religious tolerance and incorporating the ruling class – the Brahmins and Shramanas – into his administration.[9] Brahmins & Sharmanas were the hindu tribes in SINDH and he gave administration in their hands. IMAGINE!!!!!!!

    Administration by Muhammad bin Qasim[edit source]

    After the conquest, Muhammad bin Qasim’s task was to set up an administrative structure for a stable Muslim state that incorporated a newly conquered alien land, inhabited by non-Muslims.[13] He adopted a conciliatory policy, asking for acceptance of Muslim rule by the natives in return for non-interference in their religious practice,[13] so long as the natives paid their taxes and tribute.[4] He established Islamic Sharia law over the people of the region; however, Hindus were allowed to rule their villages and settle their disputes according to their own laws,[4] and traditional hierarchical institutions, including the Village Headmen (Rais) and Chieftains (dihqans) were maintained.[13] A Muslim officer called an amil was stationed with a troop of cavalry to manage each town on a hereditary basis [13]

    Everywhere taxes (mal) and tribute (kharaj) were settled and hostages taken – occasionally this also meant the custodians of temples.[9] Non-Muslim natives were excused from military service and from payment of the religiously mandated tax system levied upon Muslims called Zakat,[13] the tax system levied upon them instead was the jizya – a progressive tax, being heavier on the upper classes and light for the poor.[13] In addition, three percent of government revenue was allocated to the Brahmins.[4]

    Incorporation of ruling elite into administration[edit source]

    During his administration, Hindus and Buddhists were inducted into the administration as trusted advisors and governors.[4] A Hindu, Kaksa, was at one point the second most important member of his administration.[14] Dahir’s prime minister and various chieftains were also incorporated into the administration.[15]

    Kindly also look at the reason of success. Muhammad bin Qasim’s success has been partly ascribed to Dahir being an unpopular Hindu king ruling over a Buddhist majority who saw Chach of Alor and his kin as usurpers of the Rai Dynasty.[4] This is attributed to having resulted in support being provided by Buddhists and inclusion of rebel soldiers serving as valuable infantry in his cavalry-heavy force from the Jat and Meds.[11] Brahman, Buddhist, Greek, and Arab testimony however can be found that attests towards amicable relations between the adherents of the two religions up to the 7th century.[12]

    Along with this were:
    1.Superior military equipment; such as siege engines and the Mongol bow.[4]
    2.Troop discipline and leadership.[4]
    3.The concept of Jihad as a morale booster.[4]
    4.Religion; the widespread belief in the prophecy of Muslim success.[4][12]
    5.The Samanis being persuaded to submit and not take up arms because the majority of the population was Buddhist who were dissatisfied with their rulers, who were Hindu.[12]
    6.The laboring under disabilities of the Lohana Jats.[12]
    7.Defections from among Dahirs chiefs and nobles.[12]

    Sir, you also manipulated the complete history regarding Chanchnama & Biladhuri, kindly see this….
    Muhammad bin Qasim had begun preparations for further expansions when Hajjaj died, as did Caliph Al-Walid I, who was succeeded by Sulayman ibn Abd al-Malik, who then took revenge against all who had been close to Hajjaj. Sulayman owed political support to opponents of Hajjaj and so recalled both of Hajjaj’s successful generals Qutaibah bin Muslim and Qasim. He also appointed Yazid ibn al-Muhallab, once tortured by Hajjaj and a son of Al Muhallab ibn Abi Suffrah, as the governor of Fars, Kirman, Makran, and Sindh; he immediately placed Qasim in chains.[21]

    There are two different accounts regarding the details of Qasim’s fate:
    1.The account from the Chachnama narrates a tale in which Qasims demise is attributed to the daughters of King Dahir who had been taken captive during the campaign. Upon capture they had been sent on as presents to the Khalifa for his harem. The account relates that they then tricked the Khalifa into believing that Muhammad bin Qasim had violated them before sending them on and as a result of this subterfuge, Muhammad bin Qasim was wrapped and stitched in oxen hides,[22] and returned to Syria, which resulted in his death en route from suffocation. This narrative attributes their motive for this subterfuge to securing vengeance for their father’s death. Upon discovering this subterfuge, the Khalifa is recorded to have been filled with remorse and ordered the sisters buried alive in a wall.[23][24]
    2.The Persian historian Baladhuri, however, states that the new Khalifa was a political enemy of Umayyad ex-governor Al-Hajjaj ibn Yusuf, Muhammad bin Qasim’s paternal uncle and thus persecuted all those who were considered close to Hajjaj. Muhammad bin Qasim was therefore recalled in the midst of a campaign of capturing more territory up north. Upon arrival, he was howevere promptly imprisoned in Mosul, (in modern day Iraq) and subjected to torture, resulting in his death.[4][24]

    Whichever account is true, is unknown. What is known however is that he was 20 years old when he was killed by his own Caliph. None have read the tombstone marking his grave for none know where he lies.

    Your article is a ditto copy from wikipedia but with manipulation, a neutral person who read your article & wikipedia can easily find the difference.


  3. and why you are not mentioning the marriage of dahir with his sister…???


  4. a revolution has started in history writing ,now writers try to show both sides of picture as it was not practiced before .Most of the times we believe in what is told although its beyond truth but it works to show glory of our past.we are used to take sedatives and sleeping pills like that.

  5. I don’t know what is the real issue behind writing this article.Brothers if any thing is unclear it is truly our mind. what would u prove by saying that raja dahir was a good man or a good ruler etc? and what is the need of proving any one’s innocence? We are a a nation that only relies on the beautiful words of our history. We stay happy by keeping on saying that all the modern inventions are related to our forefathers. Than someone of us brags on his secularism and says that even Muhammad bin Qasim was not a good man. We are just negative. We do not know the meanings of islam or secularism.

  6. This is a well documented piece of information as shared by the Author. He has depicted the right picture of the account of Raja Dahir and his rule. Meanwhile, he has pursued a well balanced approach as is done by the great writers. More importantly, the rulers of Sindh at the time of Muslim conquer was not as bad as has been taught to us since our childhood. Muhammad Bin Qasim was a warrior and a conqueror. But we can not deny the contributions of our indigenous rulers. Raja Dahir also deserves same respect as any other ruler of his time. But due to lack of authentic research and biased views of the Muslim writers, he has been depicted as a tyrant and immoral. This is particularly because of the backward mind set.

  7. Mr sajid u live in fool,s paradise . even u do not know pros and cons of your religion . u believe in myths.

  8. As a result of the conquest of Muhammad BIN Qasim, you are muslim, if you are not then you are extermely right.

  9. I think Quran & Sun’na is enough for Muslims to read do not try to fight with confuse things…

  10. Dear friend you dont know anything about your history wear you come and who are all your ancestorand how you compelled to change your cast and lot more . First you study all about this by a thrustfull source other than communalised book than realise who your.

  11. Dear Sajid, I do not know from where you heard all the things you said in ur comment above..I am really astonished to read these lame things again after a long time and in a time when history and knowledge is at distance of a click.
    But some things you mentioned are right as the karbala incident is a hard fact of hatred of Umayyads for the Prohet (SAWW) and his family..and so are the other things about caliphate issue are undeniable facts of the history. I do not know which source you follow but they are there in most of the authentic books and also please correct your lame knowledge about the goat eating Quran(astaghfar) or wahi and so on..
    And MR Anwaar has given some logic for the invasion of this strategic and resourceful area by the ummayads..if they cared so much about women and children then they would not have enslaved,tortured and shamelessly paraded the women of our Prophet’s family after the karbala incident.

  12. Assalam Alaikum to all the muslims who come and this page,
    My friend Anwar Hussain whatever has incorporated above, simply provides one thing for sure, that there is a group in Muslim community, wears muslim like dress, uses muslim like names, resides between and among muslim communities but their basic job is creating confusions, ambiguities and controversies in muslim UMMAH. This is not the first case in point, mistake of Hazrat Jibraeel, who erroneously taken WAHI HAZRAT MUHAMMAD MUSTAFA SAW (peace be upon him), rather than someone else more deserving. Qur’an too has many ambiguities around it. Sometime it is told that ten PARAYS were eaten by someone’s goat. Sometimes it is claimed that this is not the actual Quran that was sent RASOOL ALLAH SAW. Sometimes it is claimed that actual quran has been taken away by someone of unknown origin, and it won’t be back before certain times. Hazrat Abu Bakar, Hazrat Umar Farooq and Hazrat Usman Ghani all were GHASSIBS, and actual deserving person was someone else rather than above three, and was deprived. Waqa-e-karbala too was another great example.
    This is the story of actualities and falsehoods. I am afraid thousand pages would prove insufficient. So, its my advice to all the muslim brothers and sisters to lift themselves above this kind of debates. Ultimately all these time consuming exercises are not going to fetch anything. We have quran and sunnat and its enough for us to read and have a complete focus for eternal deliverance and success on resurrection day. Just identify this kind of people and make your opinion true to allah and forget the rest.
    Mediocre sajid siddiqui
    Karachi 27 December 27, 2011

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