By Manan Ahmed Asif
The query of ways Islam arrived in India is still markedly contentious in South Asian politics. typical bills middle at the Umayyad Caliphate’s incursions into Sind and littoral western India within the 8th century CE. during this telling, Muslims have been a overseas presence between local Hindus, sowing the seeds of a mutual animosity that presaged the subcontinent’s partition into Pakistan and India many centuries later.
But in a compelling reexamination of the historical past of Islam in India, Manan Ahmed Asif directs recognition to a thirteenth-century textual content that tells the tale of Chach, the Brahmin ruler of Sind, and his kingdom’s later conquest by means of the Muslim common Muhammad bin Qasim in 712 CE. The Chachnama has lengthy been a touchstone of Indian heritage, but it's seldom studied in its entirety. Asif deals a detailed and whole research of this significant textual content, untangling its a variety of registers and genres with a purpose to reconstruct the political imaginative and prescient at its heart.
Asif demanding situations the most tenets of the Chachnama’s interpretation: that it's a translation of an prior Arabic textual content and that it offers a heritage of conquest. Debunking either rules, he demonstrates that the Chachnama used to be initially Persian and, faraway from advancing a story of imperial aggression, is a refined and complex paintings of political thought, one embedded in either the Indic and Islamic ethos. This social and highbrow historical past of the Chachnama is a vital corrective to the divisions among Muslim and Hindu that so usually outline Pakistani and Indian politics this day.
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Extra info for A Book of Conquest: The Chachnama and Muslim Origins in South Asia
Based l\Il the citations offered by later historians, the earliest futuh that dealt specifically with Hind and Sind were written by Mada'ini (d. 31 Baladhuri (d. 892), Ya'qubi (d. 905), and Tabari (d. 923) were three universal historians of the tenth century who all incorporated Mada'ini's books into their accounts on Hind and cited him as ~he 34 FRONTIER WITH THE HOUSE OF GOLD primary source. Mada'ini is reported to have written his futuh from detailed firsthand accounts of the participants in the campaign.
The three authors attached to the court in Uch served through changes in political regimes and represented continuities across the transitions of political order. Juzjani was a historian, poet, educator, and jurist who served in Uch and then later in Delhi. His grandfather, father (born in Lahore), and other relatives had served courts in Ghazna, Ghur, and Lahore as jurists, theologians, and diplomats. Juzjani came to Uch in 1227 and was made the principal of the school Madrasa-i Firuzi by Qabacha.
These almost totemic figures indicate the Umayyad state's monetary crisis. The strained Umayyad military expenditures during the reign of 'Abdal Malik, as detailed by Blankinship, confirms such a reading. s3 The third point concerns Muslim encounters with polytheists. Baladhuri is one of the earliest extant sources for our understanding FRONTIER WITH THE HOUSE OF GOLD 43 of the placement of other faiths in Islam's conception of the world. He uses the term budd to denote the local religious structure in Sind, but this term should be read more broadly as polytheism.