The Islamic Post Blog

Mohammad bin Qasim: The Youngest Commander-in-Chief in Military History by ipinfo2
December 8, 2012, 12:55 am
Filed under: 2009 June Vol. 1, Magazine/ Culture

June Vol. 1, 2009

By M.A. Gillani
Defence Journal, Pakistan

Defence Journal Columnist M. A. Gillani writes about the memorable expeditions of Muhammad bin Qasim, the conqueror of Sind (to be published in the Islamic Post in three parts).
A lot has been written by many writers, about the conquests, the bravery, and leadership qualities of Muhammad Bin Qasim. The name of Mohammad Bin Qasim is known in every Muslim house in the Indo-Pakistan subcontinent. In the military history of the world, he is the youngest commander-in-chief who won brilliant victories against much superior enemies. Here it should be mentioned that Alexander the Great, Sultan Mohammad the Conqueror (of Constantinople fame) and Napoleon were 24 years, 23 years and 26 years old, respectively, when they commanded armies in battle. Mohammad bin Qasim was only 18 years old when he was entrusted with an independent command of the forces operating against Sind.
An effort has been made in this article to highlight the planning, tactics and strategy for various battles fought by Mohammad Bin Qasim. He was not sent to any military institute for training, but had a sharp eye for tactics and strategy, and applied the same as a great captain of war. It is due to his conquest of Sind, Multan and the area of Dipalpur up to the River Beas, that today in the Indo-Pakistan Subcontinent, there are about 35 crores of Muslims living in its various parts. Various military institutes have honoured him by naming cadet houses and companies as “Qasim” so that inspiration may be drawn. In some cities, gardens and parks have been named after him; a port in Pakistan is also named Qasim. Parents also feel proud to name their sons Qasim.
Situation in Sind
Before the advent of Islam, Sind was under the sway of Rajas known as Rai. The Rai dynasty remained in power up to 632 (or 11 Hijra), and after the death of Sevas, his son Raj Sahisi became the ruler who appointed a Brahman named Chach as his minister. Chach was very intelligent, glib of tongue, a flatterer and past master in the art of influencing others. Soon he, without permission, was allowed to visit the Raja in his private chamber. The beautiful Rani Sohnih Devi had fallen in love with the handsome young Chach, and after the death of the Raja, with all the support of the Rani, Chach was elected as the Raja. He married the Rani. Chach remained Raja from 632 to 660 C.E. (11-40 Hijra), and during this period, his brothers and near relatives were appointed as rulers on his behalf of various important areas of the kingdom. He also annexed territory of neighbouring rajas. The real claimants to the throne were removed and banished. Kalat, Khuzdar, Panj Gure, Arman Bela, the whole of Sind, Vohh (the old Iskanda or Asklinda), Multan and Dipalpur were included in his kingdom. From the Arabian Sea in the west, it extended up to the River Sultlej.
Chach died in 660 C.E. and left two sons, Dahir and Dihar Seena, and one daughter named Mayeen. She was to be married to the Raja of Bhatia. She was residing with her younger brother who sent her with a rich dowry to his elder brother, Dahir, for her onward dispatch to the bridegroom, the Raja of Bhatia.
The court astrologer had made an ominous prophecy that whosoever married Mayeen would be the master of Sind. Hence the wazir strongy recommended that Dahir should marry his sister to save the kingdom. But Dahir refused because it was a most heinous, immoral act that went against religion; he was also afraid of public opinion. He was most upset with the astrologer’s revelation. The crafty wazir sprinkled some fast growing seeds on the already earth-plastered skin of a goat and left it in the crowded market of the capital; within some hours, leaves appeared on the goat’s skin. Flabbergasted people gathered around the goat to see the fast growing plants. Their interest continued for three days after which no one bothered to watch the goat. The Wazir convinced Raja Dahir that his marriage with his sister would be discussed by the people for three days or so, and after that they would forget it. Dahir agreed, but after the marriage ceremony he remained away from his sister.
His brother, Raja Dihar Seena, on hearing of the marriage, was very upset and decided to avenge the crime of Dahir. But he died mysteriously on his way to the capital. Dahir outwardly shed crocodile tears on his demise, but soon his brother’s state was tenaciously occupied. Dahir then married the widow of his brother.
Muslim Traders of the Sea
Before the conquest of Muhammad Bin Qasim, the Muslim traders often visited the western coast of India and other coastal islands including the Maldives. Due to their efforts, many local people embraced Islam. …

“Muslim Traders of the Sea” continues in the next edition of The Islamic Post.


Leave a Comment so far
Leave a comment

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: