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Muslim conquests of the Indian subcontinent

Muslim conquests on the Indian subcontinent mainly guard Arabian trade in the Arabian Sea, and not to start
took place from the 12th to the 16th centuries, though the conquest of India.[4][5][6]
earlier Muslim conquests made limited inroads into mod-
ern Afghanistan and Pakistan as early as the time of the
Rajput kingdoms in the 8th century. With the establish- 2 Rashidun Caliphate and the In-
ment of the Delhi Sultanate, Islam spread across large
parts of the subcontinent. In 1204, Bakhtiar Khilji led the dia Frontier
Muslim conquest of Bengal, marking the eastern-most
expansion of Islam at the time.
Prior to the rise of the Maratha Empire, which was fol-
lowed by the conquest of India by the British East India
Company, the Muslim Mughal Empire was able to an-
nex or subjugate most of Indias kings. However, it was
never able to conquer the kingdoms in upper reaches of
the Himalayas such as the regions of todays Himachal
Pradesh, Uttarakhand, Sikkim, Nepal and Bhutan; the ex-
treme south of India, such as Travancore and Tamil Nadu;
and in the east, such as the Ahom kingdom in Assam.

1 Early Muslim communities


Islam in South Asia existed in communities along the
Arab coastal trade routes in Sindh, Bengal, Gujarat,
Kerala, and Ceylon as soon as the religion originated and
had early gained widespread acceptance in the Arabian
Peninsula, being brought over by merchants, Sus and
missionaries, who oftentimes settled down and intermar- Arab campaigns in the Indian Subcontinent. A generic represen-
ried with the local women, adopting local customs. The tation, not to exact scale.
rst incursion by the new Muslim successor states of the
Arab World occurred around 636 CE or 643 AD, dur- The kingdoms of Kapisa-Gandhara in modern-day
ing the Rashidun Caliphate,long before any Arab army Afghanistan, Zabulistan and Sindh (which then held
reached the frontier of India by land. Makran) in modern-day Pakistan, all of which were cul-
turally and politically part of India since ancient times,[7]
were known as The Frontier of Al Hind. The rst clash
1.1 Arab Naval Expeditions between a ruler of an Indian kingdom and the Arabs took
place in 643 AD, when Arab forces defeated Rutbil, King
Uthman b. Abul As Al Saki, governor of Bahrain and of Zabulistan in Sistan.[8] Arabs led by Suhail b. Abdi and
Oman, sent out ships to raid Thane, near modern-day Hakam al Taghilbi defeated an Indian army in the Battle
Mumbai, while his brother Hakam sailed to Broach and of Rasil in 644 AD at the Indian Ocean sea coast,[9] then
a third eet sailed to Debal under his younger brother reached the Indus River. Caliph Umar ibn Al-Khattab
Mughira either in 636 CE or 643 AD. According to one denied them permission to cross the river or operate on
source all three expeditions were successful,[1] however, Indian soil and the Arabs returned home.[10]
another source states Mughira was defeated and killed at Abdullah ibn Aamir led the invasion of Khurasan in 650
Debal.[2] These expeditions were sent without the Caliph AD, and his general Rabi b. Ziyad Al Harithi attacked
Umars consent, and he rebuked Uthman, saying that had Sistan and took Zaranj and surrounding areas in 651
the Arabs lost any men the Caliph would have killed an AD[11] while Ahnaf ibn Qais conquered the Hepthalites
equal number of men from Uthams tribe in retaliation.[3] of Herat in 652 AD and advanced up to Balkh by 653 AD.
The expeditions were sent to attack pirate nests, to safe- Arab conquests now bordered the Kingdoms of Kapisa,

1
2 5 UMAYYAD EXPANSION IN SINDH

Zabul and Sindh in modern-day Afghanistan and Pak- 3.1 Battles in Makran and Zabulistan
istan. The Arabs levied annual tributes on the newly cap-
tured areas, and leaving 4,000 men garrisons at Merv Arabs launched several campaigns in eastern Balochis-
and Zaranj retired to Iraq instead of pushing on against tan between 661 - 681 AD, four Arab commanders were
the frontier of India.[12] Caliph Uthman b. Aan sanc- killed during the campaigns, but Sinan b. Salma man-
tioned an attack against Makran in 652 AD, and sent a aged to conquer parts of Makran including the Chagai
recon mission to Sindh in 653 AD. The mission described area,[21] and establish a permanent base of operations in
Makran as inhospitable, and Caliph Uthman, probably as- 673 AD.[22] Rashid b. Amr, the next governor of Makran,
suming the country beyond was much worse, forbade any subdued Mashkey in 672 AD,[23] Munzir b. Jarood Al
further incursions into India.[13][14] Abadi managed to garrison Kikan and conquer Buqan
This was the beginning of a prolonged struggle between by 681 AD, while Ibn Harri Al Bahili, conducted sev-
the rulers of Kabul and Zabul against successive Arab eral campaigns to secure the Arab hold on Kikan, Makran
governors of Sistan, Khurasan and Makran in modern- and Buqan by 683 AD.[24][25] Zunbil saw o Arab cam-
day Afghanistan and Pakistan. The Kabul Shahi kings paigns in 668, 672 and 673 AD by paying tribute, al-
and their Zunbil kinsmen blocked access to the Khyber though Arabs occupied the areas south of Helmand in 673
Pass and Gomal Pass routes into India from 653 to 870 AD permanently[22][26] Zunbil defeated Yazid b. Salms
AD,[15] while modern Balochistan, Pakistan, comprising army in 681 AD at Junzah, and Arabs had to pay 500,000
the areas of Kikan or Qiqanan, Nukan, Turan, Buqan, dirhams to ransom their prisoners,[27] but the Arabs de-
Qufs, Mashkey and Makran, would face several Arab ex- feated and killed Zunbil in Sistan in 685. The Arabs were
peditions between 661 - 711 AD.[16] The Arabs launched defeated in Zabul in next invaded Zabul in 693 AD.[28]
several raids against these frontier lands, but repeated re-
bellions in Sistan and Khurasan between 653 - 691 AD
diverted much of their military resources in in order to 4 Al Hajjaj and the East
subdue these provinces and away from expansion into Al
Hind. Muslim control of these areas ebbed and owed Al-Hajjaj ibn Yusuf Al Thaqi, who had played a cru-
repeatedly as a result until 870 AD. Arabs troops dis- cial role during the Second Fitna for the Umayyad cause,
liked being stationed in Makran,[17] and were reluctant to was appointed the governor of Iraq in 694 AD, fur-
campaign in the Kabul area and Zabulistan, the dicult ther extended to Khurasan and Sistan in 697 AD. Al-
terrain and underestimation of Zunbils power,[18] Arab Hajjaj also sponsored Muslim expansion in Makran, Sis-
strategy to extract tribute instead of systematic conquest, tan, Transoxiana and Sindh.[29][30]
and the erce resistance of Zunbil and Turki Shah stalled
Arab progress repeatedly in the Frontier Zone.[19][20]
4.1 Campaigns in Makran and Zabul

Arab hold on Makran had weakened when Arab rebels


seized the province, and Hajjaj had to send three gover-
nors between 694 - 707 AD before Makran was partially
recovered by 694 AD.[19] Al Hajjaj also fought Zunbil
3 Umayyad expansion in Al Hind in 698 AD and 700 AD. The 20,000 strong army led
by Ubaidullah ibn Abu Bakra was trapped by the armies
of Zunbil and Turki Shah near Kabul, and lost 15,000
Muawiyah established Umayyad rule over the Arabs after men to thirst and hunger, earning this force the epithet of
the rst First Fitna in 661 AD, and resumed expansion the Doomed Army.[31][32] Abd al-Rahman ibn Muham-
of the Muslim Empire. After 663/665 AD, the Arabs mad ibn al-Ash'ath led 20,000 troops each from Kufa
launched an invasion against Kapisa, Zabul and what is and Basra[33] in a cautions but successful campaign in
now Pakistani Balochistan. Abdur Rahman b. Samurra 700 AD, but when he wanted to stop during winter, Al-
besieged Kabul in 663 AD, while Haris b Marrah ad- Hajjajs insulting rebuke[34] led to mutiny.[35] The mutiny
vanced against Kalat after marching through Fannazabur put down by 704 Ad, and Al-Hajjaj granted a 7-year truce
and Quandabil and moving through the Bolan Pass. King to Zunbil
Chach of Sindh sent an army against the Arabs, the enemy
blocked the mountain passes, Haris was killed and his
army was annihilated. Al Muhallab ibn Abi Surah took
a detachment through the Khyber pass towards Multan 5 Umayyad expansion in Sindh
in Southern Punjab in modern-day Pakistan in 664 AD,
then pushed south into Kikan, and may have also raided Main articles: Muhammad bin Qasim and Caliphate
Quandabil. Turki Shah and Zunbil expelled Arabs from campaigns in India
their respective kingdoms by 670 AD, and Zunbil began Raja Dahir of Sindh had refused to return Arab rebels
assisting in organizing resistance in Makran.[9] from Sindh[2][36] and furthermore, Meds and others.[37]
3

to the foothills of Kashmir along the Jhelum in 713


AD,[46] and the stormed on Al-Kiraj (probably the Kan-
gra valley)[47] Muhammad was deposed after the death
of Caliph Walid in 715 AD. Jai Singh, son of Dahir cap-
tured Brahmanabad and Arab rule was restricted to the
Western shore of Indus.[48] Sindh was briey lost to the
caliph when the rebel Yazid b. Muhallab took over Sindh
briey in 720 AD.,[49][50]

6 Last Umayyad campaigns in Al


Hind
Main article: Caliphate campaigns in India
Junaid b. Abd Al Rahman Al Marri became the gover-

Muhammad bin Qasims Campaigns in Sindh. A generic repre-


sentation, not to exact scale.

Meds shipping from their bases at Kutch, Debal and


Kathiawar.[37] in one of their raids had kidnapped Mus-
lim women travelling from Sri Lanka to Arabia, thus pro-
viding a casus belli[37][38] against Sindh Raja Dahir[39]
when Raja Dahir expressed his inability to help retrieve
the prisoners. After two expeditions were defeated in
Sindh[40][41][41] Al Hajjaj equipped an army built around
6,000 Syrian cavalry and detachments of mawali from
Iraq,[42] six thousand camel riders, and a baggage train of
3,000 camels under his Nephew Muhammad bin Qasim
to Sindh. His Artillery of ve catapults were sent to Debal Early Arab conquest of what is now Pakistan by Muhammad bin
by sea[42] (manjaniks). Qasim for Umayyad caliphate rule c. 711 CE.

nor of Sindh in 723 AD. Secured Debal, then defeat and


5.1 Conquest of Sindh killed Jai Singh[49][51] secured Sindh and Southern Punja-
band stormed Al Kiraj (Kangra valley) in 724 AD.[47][52]
Muhammad bin Qasim departed from Shiraz in 710 CE, Junaid next attacked a number of Hindu kingdoms in
the army marched along the coast to Tiaz in Makran, what is now Rajasthan, Gujrat and Madhya Pradesh aim-
then to the Kech valley. Muhammad re-subdued the ing at permanent conquest, but the chronology and area
restive towns of Fannazbur and Armabil, (Lasbela)[43] - of operation of the campaigns during 725 - 743 AD is dif-
nally completing the conquest of Makran then the army cult to follow because accurate, complete information is
met up with the reinforcements and catapults sent by sea lacking.[47] The Arabs moved east from Sindh in several
near Debal and took Debal through assault.[42] From De- detachments[53] and probably from attacked from both
bal the Arabs moved north along the Indus, clearing the the land and the sea, occupying Mirmad (Marumada, in
region up to Budha, some towns like Nerun and Sadu- Jaisalmer), Al-Mandal (perhaps Oka-Mandal in Gujarat)
san (Sehwan) surrendered peacefully[42] while tribes in- or Marwar,[54] and Dahnaj, not identied, al-Baylaman
habiting Sisam were defeated in battle. Muhammad bin (Bhilmal) and Jurz (Gurjara countrynorth Gujarat and
Qasim moved back to Nerun to resupply and receive rein- southern Rajasthan).[55] and attacking Barwas (Broach),
forcements sent by Hajjaj.[42] The Arabs crossed the In- sacking Vallabhi.[56] Gurjara king Siluka[57] repelled
dus further South and defeated the army of Dahir, who Arabs from Stravani and Valla, probably the area North
was killed.[44][45] The Arabs then marched north along of Jaisalmer and Jodhpur, and the invasion of Malwa but
the east bank of the Indus after the siege and capture were ultimately defeated by Nagabhata I in 725 AD near
of Rawer. Brahmanabad, then Alor (Aror) and nally Ujjain.[58] Arabs lost control over the newly conquered
Multan, were captured alongside other in-between towns territories and Sindh due to Arab tribal inghting and
with only light Muslim casualties.[42] Arabs marched up Arab soldiers deserting the newly conquered territory [59]
4 8 LATER MUSLIM INVASIONS

during in 731 AD. Muslim incursions resumed under later Turkic and Cen-
Al Hakam b. Awana Al Kalbi recovered Sindh, and in tral Asian Mongol dynasties with more local capitals, who
c733 AD, founded the garrison city of Al Mahfuza (The supplanted the Caliphate and expanded their domains
Well Guarded) similar to Kufa, Basra and Wasit, on the both northwards and eastwards and led to the establish-
eastern side of a lake near Brahmanabad.[47] Hakam next ment of the Delhi Sultanate.
attempted to reclaim the conquests of Junaid in Al Hind.
Arab records merely state that he was successful, Indian
records at Navasari[60] details that Arab forces defeated 8.1 Ghaznavid Period
Kacchella, Saindhava, Saurashtra, Cavotaka, Maurya
and Gurjara kings . The city of Al Mansura (The Vic- Main article: Mahmud of Ghazni
torious) was founded near Al Mahfuza to commemorate Under Sabuktigin, Ghazni found itself in conict with
pacication of Sindh by Amr b. Muhammad in c738
AD.[47] Al Hakam next invaded the Deccan in 739 AD
with the intention of permanent conquest, but was deci-
sively defeated at Navsari by the viceroy Avanijanashraya
Pulakesi of the Chalukya Empire serving Vikramaditya
II. Arab rule was restricted to the west of Thar desert.

7 Last days of Caliphate control


When the Abbasid Revolution overthrew the Umayyads
in 750 AD after the Third Fitna, Sindh became indepen-
dent and was captured by Musa b. K'ab al Tamimi in 752
AD.[61] Zunbil had defeated the Arabs in 728 AD, and Tomb of Sultan Mahmud of Ghazni in 1848.
saw o two Abbasid invasions in 769 and 785 AD. Ab-
basids attacked Kabul several times and collected tribute the Shahi Raja Jayapala. When Sabuktigin died and his
between 787 Ad - 815 Ad and extracted tribute after each son Mahmud ascended the throne in 998, Ghazni was en-
campaign. Abbasid Governor of Sindh, Hisham (7in of- gaged in the North with the Qarakhanids when the Shahi
ce 768 - 773 AD) raided Kashmir, recaptured parts of Raja renewed hostilities.
Punjab from Karkota control,[62] and launched naval raids
against ports of Gujarat in 758 and 770 AD,[63] which like In the early 11th century, Mahmud of Ghazni launched
other Abbasid Naval raids launched of 776 and 779 AD, seventeen expeditions into South Asia. In 1001, Sultan
gained no territory. Arabs occupied Sindian (Southern Mahmud of Ghazni defeated Raja Jayapala of the Hindu
Kutch) in 810 AD, only to lose it in 841 AD.[64] Civil Shahi Dynasty of Gandhara (in modern Afghanistan), the
war erupted in Sindh in 842 AD, and the Habbari dy- Battle of Peshawar and marched further into Peshawar (in
nasty occupied Mansurah, and by 871, ve independent modern Pakistan) and, in 1005, made it the center for his
principalities emerged, with the Banu Habbari clan con- forces.
trolling in Mansurah, Banu Munabbih occupying Mul- The Ghaznavid conquests were initially directed against
tan, Banu Madan ruling in Makran, with Makshey and the Ismaili Fatimids of Multan, who were engaged in an
Turan falling to other rulers, all outside direct Caliphate ongoing struggle with the Abbasid Caliphate in conjunc-
control.[65] Ismaili missionaries found a receptive audi- tion with their compatriots of the Fatimid Caliphate in
ence among both the Sunni and non-Muslim populations North Africa and the Middle East; Mahmud apparently
in Multan, which became a center of the Ismaili sect of Is- hoped to curry the favor of the Abbasids in this fash-
lam. The Saarid Dynasty of Zaranj occupied Kabul and ion. However, once this aim was accomplished, he moved
the kingdom of Zunbil permanently in 871 AD. A new onto the richness of the loot of wealthy temples and
chapter of Muslim conquests began when the Samanid monasteries. By 1027, Mahmud had captured parts of
Dynasty took over the Saarid Kingdom and Sabuktigin North India and obtained formal recognition of Ghaznis
seized Ghazni. sovereignty from the Abbassid Caliph, al-Qadir Billah.
Ghaznavid rule in Northwestern India (modern
Afghanistan and Pakistan) lasted over 175 years,
8 Later Muslim invasions from 1010 to 1187. It was during this period that Lahore
assumed considerable importance apart from being
See also: Rajput kingdoms of North India and List of the second capital, and later the only capital, of the
Rajput dynasties Ghaznavid Empire.
At the end of his reign, Mahmuds empire extended from
8.3 The Delhi Sultanate 5

Kurdistan in the west to Samarkand in the Northeast, and Within a year, Mu'izz al-Din controlled Northern Ra-
from the Caspian Sea to the Punjab. Although his raids jasthan and Northern Ganges-Yamuna Doab. After these
carried his forces across Northern and Western India, victories in India, and Mu'izz al-Dins establishment of a
only Punjab came under his permanent rule; Kashmir, capital in Delhi, Multan was also incorporated into his
the Doab, Rajasthan, and Gujarat remained under the empire. Mu'izz al-Din then returned east to Ghazni to
control of the local Indian dynasties. In 1030, Mahmud deal with the threat on his eastern frontiers from the Turks
fell gravely ill and died at age 59. As with the invaders and Mongols, whiles his armies continued to advance
of three centuries ago, Mahmuds armies looted temples through Northern India, raiding as far east as Bengal.
in Varanasi, Mathura, Ujjain, Maheshwar, Jwalamukhi,
Mu'izz al-Din returned to Lahore after 1200. In 1206,
Somnath and Dwarka. Mu'izz al-Din had to travel to Lahore to crush a revolt.
On his way back to Ghazni, his caravan rested at Damik
near Sohawa (which is near the city of Jhelum in the
8.2 Mu'izz al-Din Punjab province of modern-day Pakistan). He was as-
sassinated on 15 March 1206, while oering his evening
Main article: Mu'izz al-Din prayers. The identity of Ghoris assassins is disputed,
Mu'izz al-Din better known as Shahb-ud-Din Muham- with some claiming that he was assassinated by local
Hindu Gakhars and others claiming he was assassinated
by Hindu Khokhars, both being dierent tribes.

The Khokhars were killed in large num-


bers, and the province was pacied. After set-
tling the aairs in the Punjab. Mu'izz al-Din
marched back to Ghazni. While camping at
Dhamayak in 1206 AD in the Jehlum district,
the sultan was murdered by the Khokhars[70]

Hasan Nizami and Ferishta record the killing of Mu'izz


Map of the Ghurid dynasty at its greatest extent under Ghiyath al-Din at the hands of the Gakhars. However, Fer-
al-Din Muhammad. ishta may have confused the Ghakars with the Khokhars.
Other historians have also blamed Shahabuddin Ghoris
mad Ghori was a conqueror from the region of Ghor assassination to a band of Hindu Khokhars.
in Afghanistan. Before 1160, the Ghaznavid Empire Some also claim that Mu'izz al-Din was assassinated by
covered an area running from central Afghanistan east the Hashshashin, a radical Ismaili Muslim sect.[71][72]
to the Punjab, with capitals at Ghazni on the banks of
Ghazni river in present-day Afghanistan, and at Lahore According to his wishes, Mu'izz al-Din was buried where
in present-day Pakistan. In 1160, the Ghorids conquered he fell, in Damik. Upon his death his most capable gen-
Ghazni from the Ghaznavids, and in 1173 Muhammad eral, Qutb-ud-din Aybak, took control of Mu'izz al-Dins
Bin Sm was made governor of Ghazni. He raided east- Indian conquests and declared himself the rst Sultan of
wards into the remaining Ghaznavid territory, and in- Delhi.
vaded Gujarat in the 1180s but was defeated by the Indian
queen Naikidevi of Gujarat.[66][67] In 1186 and 1187 he
8.3 The Delhi Sultanate
conquered Lahore in alliance with a local Hindu ruler,
ending the Ghaznavid empire and bringing the last of Main article: Delhi Sultanate
Ghaznavid territory under his control, and seemed to be Muhammads successors established the rst dynasty of
the rst Muslim ruler seriously interested in expanding
his domain in the sub-continent, and like his predeces-
sor Mahmud initially started o against the Ismaili king-
dom of Multan that had regained independence during
the Nizari conicts, and then onto booty and power.
In 1191, he invaded the territory of Prithviraj III of
Ajmer, who ruled much of present-day Rajasthan and
Punjab, but was defeated at the First battle of Tarain.[68]
The following year, Mu'izz al-Din assembled 120,000
horsemen and once again invaded India. Mu'izz al-Dins
army met Prithvirajs army again at Tarain, and this Map of the expansion of the Dehli Sultanate.
time Mu'izz al-Din won; Govindraj was slain, Prithvi-
raj executed[69] and Mu'izz al-Din advanced onto Delhi. the Delhi Sultanate, while the Mamluk Dynasty in 1211
6 8 LATER MUSLIM INVASIONS

(however, the Delhi Sultanate is traditionally held to have nasty survived until 1857 as the Mughal dynasty of India.
been founded in 1206) seized the reins of the empire.
Mamluk means slave and referred to the Turkic slave
soldiers who became rulers. The territory under control
of the Muslim rulers in Delhi expanded rapidly. By mid-
century, Bengal and much of central India was under the
Delhi Sultanate. Several Turko-Afghan dynasties ruled
from Delhi: the Mamluk (12061290), the Khalji (1290
1320), the Tughlaq (13201414), the Sayyid (141451),
and the Lodhi (14511526). During the time of Delhi
Sultanate, the Vijayanagara Empire resisted successfully
attempts of Delhi Sultanate to establish dominion in the
Southern India, serving as a barrier against invasion by the
Muslims.[73] Certain kingdoms remained independent of
Delhi such as the larger kingdoms of Punjab, Rajasthan,
parts of the Deccan, Gujarat, Malwa (central India), and
Bengal, nevertheless all of the area in present-day Pak-
istan came under the rule of Delhi.
The Sultans of Delhi enjoyed cordial, if supercial, rela-
tions with Muslim rulers in the Near East but owed them
no allegiance. They based their laws on the Quran and
the sharia and permitted non-Muslim subjects to prac-
tice their religion only if they paid the jizya (poll tax).
They ruled from urban centres, while military camps and
trading posts provided the nuclei for towns that sprang up
in the countryside.
Perhaps the most signicant contribution of the Sultanate
was its temporary success in insulating the subcontinent
from the potential devastation of the Mongol invasion
from Central Asia in the 13th century, which nonetheless
led to the capture of Afghanistan and western Pakistan by
the Mongols (see the Ilkhanate Dynasty). The Sultanate
Timur defeats the Sultan of Delhi, Nasir-u Din Mehmud, in the
ushered in a period of Indian cultural renaissance, The
winter of 13971398
resulting Indo-Muslim fusion left lasting monuments in
architecture, music, literature, and religion. In addition it
Informed about civil war in South Asia, Timur began a
is surmised that the language of Urdu (literally meaning
trek starting in 1398 to invade the reigning Sultan Nasir-u
horde or camp in various Turkic dialects) was born
Din Mehmud of the Tughlaq Dynasty in the north Indian
during the Delhi Sultanate period as a result of the min-
city of Delhi.[78] His campaign was politically pretexted
gling of Sanskritic Hindi and the Persian, Turkish, Arabic
that the Muslim Delhi Sultanate was too tolerant toward
favoured by the Muslim invaders of India.
its Hindu subjects, but that could not mask the real rea-
The Sultanate suered signicantly from the sacking of son being to amass the wealth of the Delhi Sultanate.[79]
Delhi in 1398 by Timur, but revived briey under the
Timur crossed the Indus River at Attock (now Pakistan)
Lodi Dynasty, the nal dynasty of the Sultanate before
on 24 September. In Haryana, his soldiers each killed 50
it was conquered by Zahiruddin Babur in 1526, who sub-
to 100 Hindus.[80]
sequently founded the Mughal Dynasty that ruled from
the 16th to the 18th centuries. Timurs invasion did not go unopposed and he did meet
some resistance during his march to Delhi, most notably
with the Sarv Khap coalition in northern India, and the
8.4 Timur Governor of Meerut. Although impressed and momen-
tarily stalled by the valour of Ilyaas Awan, Timur was
Main article: Timur able to continue his relentless approach to Delhi, arriving
in 1398 to combat the armies of Sultan Mehmud, already
Tmr bin Taraghay Barlas, known in the West as Tamer- weakened by an internal battle for ascension within the
lane or Timur the lame, was a 14th-century warlord of royal family.
Turco-Mongol descent,[74][75][76][77] conqueror of much The Sultans army was easily defeated on 17 Decem-
of western and central Asia, and founder of the Timurid ber 1398. Timur entered Delhi and the city was
Empire (13701507) in Central Asia; the Timurid dy- sacked, destroyed, and left in ruins. Before the battle
8.5 The Mughal Empire 7

for Delhi, Timur executed more than 100,000 Hindu Hindustan (Greater India). It gives details of how vil-
captives.[74][78] lages, towns and entire cities were rid of their Hindu
Timur himself recorded the invasions in his mem- male population through systematic mass slaughters and
oirs, collectively known as Tuzk-i-Timuri.[74][74][78][81][82] genocide.
Timurs purported autobiography, the Tuzk-e-Taimuri Timur left Delhi in approximately January 1399. In April
(Memoirs of Temur) is a later fabrication, although he had returned to his own capital beyond the Oxus (Amu
most of the historical facts are accurate.[83] Darya). Immense quantities of spoils were taken from
Muslim historian Irfan Habib writes in Timur in the Po- India. According to Ruy Gonzles de Clavijo, 90 cap-
litical Tradition and Historiography of Mughal India that tured elephants were employed merely to carry precious
in the 14th century, the word Hindu (people of Al- stones looted from his conquest, so as to erect a mosque at
Hind, Hind being India) included both Hindus and Samarkand what historians today believe is the enor-
Muslims in religious connotations.[84] mous Bibi-Khanym Mosque. Ironically, the mosque was
constructed too quickly and suered greatly from disre-
pair within a few decades of its construction.
When Timur entered Delhi after defeat-
ing Mahmud Toghloqs forces, he granted an
amnesty in return for protection money (ml-
e amni). But on the fourth day he ordered 8.5 The Mughal Empire
that all the people of the city be enslaved;
and so they were. Thus reports Yahya, who Main article: Mughal Empire
here inserts a pious prayer in Arabic for the See also: AhomMughal conicts
victims consolation (To God we return, and
everything happens by His will). Yazdi, on India in the 16th century presented a fragmented picture
the other hand, does not have any sympathy of rulers, both Muslim and Hindu, who lacked concern
to waste on these wretches. He records that for their subjects and failed to create a common body of
Timur had granted protection to the people laws or institutions. Outside developments also played a
of Delhi on the 18th of December 1398, and role in shaping events. The circumnavigation of Africa
the collectors had begun collecting the protec- by the Portuguese explorer Vasco da Gama in 1498 al-
tion money. But large groups of Timurs sol- lowed Europeans to challenge Muslim control of the trad-
diers began to enter the city and, like birds of ing routes between Europe and Asia. In Central Asia and
prey, attacked its citizens. The pagan Hindus Afghanistan, shifts in power pushed Babur of Ferghana
(Hendun-e gabr) having had the temerity to (in present-day Uzbekistan) southward, rst to Kabul and
begin immolating their women and themselves, then to India. The dynasty he founded endured for more
the three cities of Delhi were put to sack by than three centuries.
Timurs soldiers. Faithless Hindus, he adds,
had gathered in the Congregation Mosque of
Old Delhi and Timurs ocers put them ruth-
lessly to slaughter there on the 29th of Decem-
ber. Clearly, Yazdis Hindus included Mus-
lims as well.[85]

However, that does not prove that the men gathering at


the mosque were Muslims as it could have been Hindus The Mughal Emperor Akbar shoots
who gathered at the Mosque for protection. the Rajput warrior Jaimal during the Siege of
The statement implying that Muslims were targeted dur- Chittorgarh in 1567.
ing the Dehli massacre was contradicted by Timurs own
words, during the 15 day massacre of Dehli, Timur him-
self stated that Excepting the quarters of the sayyids, the
'ulama and the other Musalmans (Muslims), the whole
city was sacked, proving that Timur dierentiated be-
tween the two religious groups (Muslims and Hindus).[86]
During the mass murder of Delhi, Timurs soldiers mas-
sacred more than 150,000 Indians, and all inhabitants not
killed were captured and enslaved.[87] Bullocks dragging siege-guns up
Timurs memoirs on his invasion of India describe in de- hill during Mughal Emperor Akbars attack on
tail the massacre of Hindus, looting plundering and Ranthambhor Fort in 1568.
raping of their women and the plunder of the wealth of
8 8 LATER MUSLIM INVASIONS

The Mughal Army commanded by


Akbar attack members of the Sannyasa during the
Battle of Thanesar.

Mughal Emperor Akbar attempts


to dissuade the young Hindu girl from committing
sati[88]

The Mughal Emperor Akbar ghts Babur and the Mughal Army at the Urvah valley in Gwalior.
Pehlwani with his Hindu general Raja Man Singh I.

Babur combined strength and courage with a love of


beauty, and military ability with cultivation. He concen-
trated on gaining control of Northwestern India, doing so
Rajput women commit Jauhar during
in 1526 by defeating the last Lodhi Sultan at the First bat-
Akbars invasion.
tle of Panipat, a town north of Delhi. Babur then turned
to the tasks of persuading his Central Asian followers
to stay on in India and of overcoming other contenders
for power, mainly the Rajputs and the Afghans. He suc-
ceeded in both tasks but died shortly thereafter in 1530.
The Mughal Empire was one of the largest centralised
states in premodern history and was the precursor to the
British Indian Empire.

A War elephant executing the oppo- Babur was followed by his great-grandson, Shah Jahan (r.
nents of the Mughal Emperor Akbar. 162858), builder of the Taj Mahal and other magni-
cent buildings. Two other towering gures of the Mughal
era were Akbar (r. 15561605) and Aurangzeb (r. 1658
1707). Both rulers expanded the empire greatly and were
8.5.1 Babur able administrators. However, Akbar was known for his
religious tolerance and administrative genius while Au-
Main article: Babur rangzeb was a pious Muslim and erce advocate of more
Claiming descent from both Genghis Khan and Timur, orthodox Islam.
9

8.5.2 Aurangzeb

Main article: Aurangzeb


While some rulers were zealous in their spread of Islam,

Ahmad Shah Durrani and his coalition decisively defeat the


Maratha Confederacy, during the Third Battle of Panipat and
restored the Mughal Empire to Shah Alam II.[90]

quest in South Asia starting in 1747.[91] In the short space


of just over a quarter of a century, he forged one of the
largest Muslim empires of the 18th century. The high
point of his conquests was his victory over the powerful
Marathas in the third Battle of Panipat 1761. In South
Asia his empire stretched from the Indus at Attock all
the way to the outskirts of Delhi. Uninterested in long
term of conquest or in replacing the Mughal Empire,
he became increasingly pre occupied with revolts by the
Sikhs.[92] His empire started to unravel not long after his
death.

In the year 1690 the Mughal Emperor Aurangzeb's realms


spanned from in the west Kabul to Chittagong in the east; from 9 Decline of Muslim rule in Indian
Leh in the north to Cape Comorin in the south.[89]
subcontinent
others were relatively liberal. Moghul emperor Akbar
was relatively liberal and established a new religion, Din E See also: Maratha Empire and Sikh Empire
Elahi, which included beliefs from dierent religions. He
abolished the jizya twice. In contrast, his great-grandson There is no doubt that the single most important power
Aurangazeb was a more religious and orthodox ruler. to emerge in the long twilight of the Mughal dynasty was
In the century-and-a-half that followed the death of Au- the Maratha Confederacy (1674 CE - 1818 CE).[93] The
rangzeb, eective Muslim control weakened. Succession Marathas are responsible, to a large extent, for ending
to imperial and even provincial power, which had often Mughal rule in India.[94] The Maratha Empire ruled large
become hereditary, was subject to intrigue and force. The parts of India following the decline of the Mughals. The
mansabdari system gave way to the zamindari system, in long and futile war bankrupted one of the most power-
which high-ranking ocials took on the appearance of ful empires in the world. Mountstart Elphinstone termed
hereditary landed aristocracy with powers of collecting this a demoralizing period for the Muslims as many
rents. As Delhis control waned, other contenders for of them lost the will to ght against the Maratha Em-
power emerged and clashed, thus preparing the way for pire.[95][96][97] Maratha empire at its peak stretched from
the eventual British takeover. Tamil Nadu (Trichinopoly) present Tiruchirappalli" in
the south to the Afghan border in the north.[98][99][100]
In early 1771, Mahadji, a notable Maratha general, re-
8.6 Durrani Empire captured Delhi and installed Shah Alam II as the puppet
ruler on the Mughal throne. In north India, the Marathas
Main article: Durrani Empire thus regained the territory and the prestige lost as re-
See also: Ahmad Shah Durrani, Third Battle of Panipat, sult of the defeat at Panipath in 1761.[101] However re-
and Pashtun empires and dynasties gions of Kashmir, Khyber Pakhtunkhwa and Western
Ahmed Shah Abdali a Pashtun embarked on a con- Punjab, were captured by Marathas between 1758 and
10 10 IMPACT ON INDIA, ISLAM AND MUSLIMS IN INDIA

1759, remained in Afghan rule before ascension of Sikh Afghanistan Zaman Shah Durrani was defeated by pow-
power.[102] Mahadji ruled the Punjab as it used to be a erful Barakzai chief Fateh Khan who appointed Mahmud
Mughal territory and Sikh sardars and other Rajas of the Shah Durrani as the new ruler of Afghanistan and ap-
cis-Sutlej region paid tributes to him.[103] A considerable pointed himself as Wazir of Afghanistan.[106] Sikhs how-
portion of the Indian subcontinent came under the sway ever were now superior to the Afghans and started to
of the British Empire after the Third Anglo-Maratha annex Afghan provinces. The biggest victory of the
War, which ended the Maratha Empire in 1818. Sikh Empire over the Durrani Empire came in the Battle
of Attock fought in 1813 between Sikh and Wazir of
Afghanistan Fateh Khan and his younger brother Dost
Mohammad Khan. The Afghans were routed by the Sikh
army and the Afghans lost over 9,000 soldiers in this
battle. Dost Mohammad was seriously injured whereas
his brother Wazir Fateh Khan ed back to Kabul fear-
ing that his brother was dead.[107] In 1818 they slaugh-
tered Afghans and Muslims in trading city of Multan
killing Afghan governor Nawab Muzzafar Khan and ve
of his sons in the Siege of Multan.[108] In 1819 the last In-
dian Province of Kashmir was conquered by Sikhs who
registered another crushing victory over weak Afghan
General Jabbar Khan.[109] The Koh-i-Noor diamond was
also taken by Maharaja Ranjit Singh in 1814. In 1823
a Sikh Army routed Dost Mohammad Khan the Sultan
of Afghanistan and his brother Azim Khan at Naushera
Sikh Empire, established by Ranjit Singh in North-west India.
(Near Peshawar). By 1834 the Sikh Empire extended up
to the Khyber Pass. Hari Singh Nalwa the Sikh general
remained the governor of Khyber Agency till his death
in 1837. He consolidated Sikh hold in tribal provinces.
The northernmost Indian territories of Gilgit, Baltistan
and Ladakh was annexed between 1831-1840.[110]

10 Impact on India, Islam and


Muslims in India
See also: Persecution of Hindus During Islamic rule of
the Indian sub-continent, and Persecution of Buddhists
India

10.1 Conversion theories


Considerable controversy exists both in scholarly and
public opinion as to how conversion to Islam came about
in Indian subcontinent, typically represented by the fol-
lowing schools of thought:[111]

1. Conversion was a combination, initially by violence,


threat or other pressure against the person.[111]
Maratha Empire at its zenith in 1760 (yellow area) stretching
from the Deccan to present-day Pakistan. The Marathas even 2. As a socio-cultural process of diusion and inte-
discussed abolishing the Mughal throne and placing Vishwasrao gration over an extended period of time into the
Peshwa on the Mughal imperial throne in Delhi.[104]
sphere of the dominant Muslim civilization and
global polity at large.[112]
In northwest India, in the Punjab, Sikhs developed them-
selves into a powerful force under the authority of twelve 3. That conversions occurred for non-religious reasons
Misls. By 1801, Ranjit Singh captured Lahore and of pragmatism and patronage such as social mobility
threw o the Afghan yoke from North West India.[105] In among the Muslim ruling elite[111][112]
10.4 Cultural inuence 11

4. That the bulk of Muslims are descendants of mi-


grants from the Iranian plateau or Arabs.[112]

5. Conversion was a result of the actions of Su saints


and involved a genuine change of heart.[111]

Hindus who converted to Islam however were not com-


pletely immune to persecution due to the caste system
among Muslims in India established by Ziauddin al-
Barani in the Fatawa-i Jahandari,[113] where they were
regarded as an Ajlaf caste and subjected to discrimina-
tion by the Ashraf castes.[114] Critics of the religion of
the sword theory point to the presence of the strong Mus- Cheraman Juma Masjid in Kerala
lim communities found in Southern India, modern day
Bangladesh, Sri Lanka, western Burma, Indonesia and the
Philippines coupled with the distinctive lack of equivalent to small Muslim communities. The growth of these com-
Muslim communities around the heartland of historical munities was not only due to conversion but also the fact
Muslim empires in South Asia as refutation to the con- that many Hindu kings of south India (such as those from
version by the sword theory.[112] The legacy of Muslim Cholas) hired Muslims as mercenaries.[118]
conquest of South Asia is a hotly debated issue even to- A signicant aspect of the Muslim period in world his-
day. Not all Muslim invaders were simply raiders. Later tory was the emergence of Islamic Sharia courts capable
rulers fought on to win kingdoms and stayed to create of imposing a common commercial and legal system that
new ruling dynasties. The practices of these new rulers extended from Morocco in the West to Mongolia in the
and their subsequent heirs (some of whom were borne North East and Indonesia in the South East. While south-
of Hindu wives of Muslim rulers) varied considerably. ern India was already in trade with Arabs/Muslims, north-
While some were uniformly hated, others developed a ern India found new opportunities. As the Hindu and
popular following. According to the memoirs of Ibn Bat- Buddhist kingdoms of Asia were subjugated by Islam,
tuta who traveled through Delhi in the 14th century, one and as Islam spread through Africa it became a highly
of the previous sultans had been especially brutal and centralising force that facilitated in the creation of a com-
was deeply hated by Delhis population. His memoirs mon legal system that allowed letters of credit issued in
also indicate that Muslims from the Arab world, Persia say Egypt or Tunisia to be honoured in India or Indonesia
and Turkey were often favored with important posts at (The Sharia has laws on the transaction of business with
the royal courts suggesting that locals may have played a both Muslims and non-Muslims). In order to cement their
somewhat subordinate role in the Delhi administration. rule, Muslim rulers initially promoted a system in which
The term "Turk" was commonly used to refer to their there was a revolving door between the clergy, the admin-
higher social status. However S.A.A. Rizvi[115] points to istrative nobility and the mercantile classes. The travels
Muhammad bin Tughlaq as not only encouraging locals of explorer Muhammad Ibn-Abdullah Ibn-Batuta were
but promoting artisan groups such as cooks, barbers and eased because of this system. He served as an Imam in
gardeners to high administrative posts. In his reign, it Delhi, as a judicial ocial in the Maldives, and as an en-
is likely that conversions to Islam took place as a means voy and trader in the Malabar. There was never a contra-
of seeking greater social mobility and improved social diction in any of his positions because each of these roles
standing.[116] complemented the other. Islam created a compact under
which political power, law and religion became fused in a
manner so as to safeguard the interests of the mercantile
10.2 Deathtoll class. This led world trade to expand to the maximum ex-
tent possible in the medieval world. Sher Shah Suri took
Aurangzeb's Deccan campaign saw one of the largest initiatives in improvement of trade by abolishing all taxes
death tolls in South Asian history, with an estimated 4.6 which hindered progress of free trade. He built large
million people killed during his reign.[117] networks of roads and constructed Grand Trunk Road
(15401544), which connects Chittagong to Kabul. Parts
of it are still in use today. The geographic regions add to
10.3 Expansion of trade the diversity of languages and politics.

Islams impact was the most notable in the expansion of


trade. The rst contact of Muslims with India was the 10.4 Cultural inuence
Arab attack on a nest of pirates near modern-day Mumbai
to safeguard their trade in the Arabian Sea. Around the The divide and rule policies, two-nation theory, and sub-
same time many Arabs settled at Indian ports, giving rise sequent partition of India in the wake of Independence
12 11 ICONOCLASM

from the British Empire has polarised the sub-continental modied by contact with local languages leading to the
psyche, making objective assessment hard in comparison creation of several new languages, such as Urdu, which
to the other settled agricultural societies of India from uses the modied Arabic script, but with more Persian
the North West. Muslim rule diered from these others words. The inuences of these languages exist in several
in the level of assimilation and syncretism that occurred. dialects in India today.
They retained their identity and introduced legal and ad- Islamic and Mughal architecture and art is widely notice-
ministrative systems that superseded existing systems of able in India, examples being the Taj Mahal and Jama
social conduct and ethics. While this was a source of Masjid. At the same time, Muslim rulers destroyed most
friction it resulted in a unique experience the legacy of
of the ancient Indian architectural marvels and converted
which is a Muslim community strongly Islamic in char- them into Islamic structures, most notably at Varanasi,
acter while at the same time distinctive and unique among
Mathura, Ayodhya and the Kutub Complex in New Delhi.
its peers.
The impact of Islam on Indian culture has been ines-
timable. It permanently inuenced the development of
all areas of human endeavour language, dress, cuisine,
11 Iconoclasm
all the art forms, architecture and urban design, and so-
cial customs and values. Conversely, the languages of the 11.1 Nalanda
Muslim invaders were modied by contact with local lan-
guages, to Urdu, which uses the Arabic script. This lan- Main article: Nalanda
guage was also known as Hindustani, an umbrella term In 1193, the Nalanda University complex was destroyed
used for the vernacular terminology of Hindi as well as
Urdu, both major languages in South Asia today derived
primarily from Sanskrit grammatical structures and vo-
cabulary.
Muslim rule saw a greater urbanisation of India and the
rise of many cities and their urban cultures. The biggest
impact was upon trade resulting from a common com-
mercial and legal system extending from Morocco to
Indonesia. This change of emphasis on mercantilism and
trade from the more strongly centralised governance sys-
tems further clashed with the agricultural based tradi-
tional economy and also provided fuel for social and po-
litical tensions.
A related development to the shifting economic condi-
tions was the establishment of Karkhanas, or small fac- Ruins of Nalanda University
tories and the import and dissemination of technology
through India and the rest of the world. The use of ce-
by Afghan Khilji-Ghilzai Muslims under Bakhtiyar
ramic tiles was adopted from architectural traditions of
Khalji; this event is seen as the nal milestone in the
Iraq, Iran, and Central Asia. Rajasthans blue pottery
decline of Buddhism in India. He also burned Nalandas
was a local variation of imported Chinese pottery. There
major Buddhist library and Vikramshila University,[119]
is also the example of Sultan Abidin (142070) sending
as well as numerous Buddhist monasteries in India. When
Kashmiri artisans to Samarqand to learn book-binding
the Tibetan translator, Chag Lotsawa Dharmasvamin
and paper making. Khurja and Siwan became renowned
(Chag Lo-tsa-ba, 11971264), visited northern India in
for pottery, Moradabad for brass ware, Mirzapur for car-
1235, Nalanda was damaged, looted, and largely de-
pets, Firozabad for glass wares, Farrukhabad for printing,
serted, but still standing and functioning with seventy stu-
Sahranpur and Nagina for wood-carving, Bidar and Luc-
dents.
know for bidriware, Srinagar for papier-mache, Benaras
for jewellery and textiles, and so on. On the ip-side en-Mahabodhi, Sompura, Vajrasan and other important
couraging such growth also resulted in higher taxes on themonasteries were found to be untouched. The Ghuri rav-
peasantry. ages only aicted those monasteries that lay in the direct
of their advance and were fortied in the manner of de-
Numerous Indian scientic and mathematical advances
fensive forts.
and the Hindu numerals were spread to the rest of the
world and much of the scholarly work and advances in the By the end of the 12th century, following the Mus-
sciences of the age under Muslim nations across the globe lim conquest of the Buddhist stronghold in Bihar, Bud-
were imported by the liberal patronage of Arts and Sci- dhism, having already declined in the South, declined in
ences by the rulers. The languages brought by Islam were the North as well because survivors retreated to Nepal,
Sikkim and Tibet or escaped to the South of the Indian
13

sub-continent. Somnath temple in ruins, 1869

11.2 Vijayanagar

Main article: Vijayanagar Empire


The city ourished between the 14th century and 16th

Front view of the present Somnath Temple

The Somnath temple was rst attacked by Turkic invader


Mahmud of Ghazni and repeatedly demolished by
successive invaders, each time being rebuilt.

Around 1024 CE, during the reign of Bhima I, Mahmud


of Ghazni raided Gujarat, and plundered the Somnath
temple. According to a 1169 CE inscription, Bhima re-
built the temple. This inscription does not mention any
destruction caused by Mahmud, and states that the tem-
ple had decayed due to time.[120] In 1299, Alauddin
Khilji's army under the leadership of Ulugh Khan de-
feated Karandev II of the Vaghela dynasty, and sacked the
Somnath temple.[120] The temple was rebuilt by Mahipala
Deva, the Chudasama king of Saurashtra in 1308. It was
repeatedly attacked in the later centuries, including by
the Mughal emperor Aurangzeb.[121] In 1665, the tem-
ple, was once again ordered to be destroyed by Mughal
emperor Aurangzeb.[122] In 1702, he ordered that if Hin-
dus had revived worship there, it should be demolished
Sri Krishna Temple in Hampi completely.[123]

century, during the height of the Vijayanagar Empire.


During this time, it was often in conict with the king- 12 Ghazwa-e-Hind
doms which rose in the Northern Deccan, and which are
often collectively termed the Deccan Sultanates. The Vi-
See also: Islamic eschatology and Jihad
jaynagar Empire successfully resisted Muslim invasions
for centuries. But in 1565, the empires armies suered
a massive and catastrophic defeat at the hands of an al- Ghazwa-e-Hind or the nal battle of India is an
liance of the Sultanates, and the capital was taken. The Islamic term mentioned in some good hadiths in
victorious armies then razed, depopulated and destroyed particular[124][125] predicting a nal and last battle in In-
the city over several months. The empire continued its dia and as a result, a conquest of the whole Indian sub-
slow decline, but the original capital was not reoccupied continent by Muslim warriors. The term has recently
or rebuilt. become a subject of vast criticism in media for being
used by militant groups to justify their activities in the
subcontinent.[126][127]
11.3 Somnath

Main article: Somnath 13 See also


List of early Hindu Muslim military conicts in the
Indian subcontinent

Islamic conquest of Afghanistan

List of Pashtun empires and dynasties


14 14 NOTES AND REFERENCES

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Nader Shahs invasion of the Mughal Empire
[16] Fredunbeg, Mirza Kalichbeg, The Chachnama: An An-
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History of Pakistan [17] Hoyland, Robert G., In Gods Path: The Arab Conquests
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History of Bangladesh
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Mughal empire [19] Wink (2002), pg.129 - pp131
Mughal era [20] Kennedy, Hugh, The Great Arab Conquests, pp194 -
pp196
Iconoclasm
[21] Dashti, Naseer, The Baloch and Balochistan, pp65
Persecution of Hindus
[22] Al Baladhuri, Abu Al Abbas Ahmad , Kitab Futuh Al
Persecution of Buddhists Buldun, Part II, pp212

[23] Dashti, Naseer, The Baloch and Balochistan, pp78


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the Arab Conquests of Sindh, pp76
14.1 Notes
[25] Al Baladhuri, Abu Al Abbas Ahmad , Kitab Futuh Al
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Hindus and Muslims in India. University of Califor-
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Wink, Andr (1996). Al-Hind: The Making of the
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This article incorporates public domain material
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site http://lcweb2.loc.gov/frd/cs/. India, Pakistan

15 External links
History of Islam in India by Neria Harish Hebbar
(article with several pages)
Library of modern Hindu history The Islamic
Ages
A Response to Muslim Legacy in India

The Legacy of Jihad in India


Historical Interaction of Buddhism and Islam (In-
cluding an e-book on the various phases of Muslim
Rulers conquering India)

Story of Pakistan
History of Crafts, Manufacturing and Trade in
South Asia
Resources for the study of the Muslim Period of In-
dia
19

16 Text and image sources, contributors, and licenses


16.1 Text
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