Chach Nama

Persian-language book about the history of Sindh

The Chach Nama (Sindhi: چچ نامو‎; Urdu: چچ نامہ‎; "Story of the Chach"), also known as the Fateh nama Sindh (Sindhi: فتح نامه سنڌ‎; "Story of the conquest of Sindh"), and as Tareekh al-Hind wa a's-Sind (Arabic: تاريخ الهند والسند‎; "History of India and Sindh"), is one of the main historical sources for the history of Sindh in the seventh to eighth centuries CE, written in Persian.

Quotes edit

  • Its water is dark; its fruit is bitter and poisonous; its land is stony, and its earth is saltish. A small army will soon be annihilated there...
    • The Chachnama. Hakim's report about Hind and Sindh to Caliph Uthman who thought about invading North-western India. Quoted in Misra, R. G. (2005). Indian resistance to early Muslim invaders up to 1206 A.D. p.17
    • Also translated as : Water is scarce, the fruits are poor, and the robbers are bold; if few troops are sent, they will be slain, if many, they will starve to death. Elliot and Dowson, The History of India as Told by Its Own Historians, Vol. 1, 116. quoted in Balakrishna, S. Invaders and infidels: From Sindh to Delhi : the 500- year journey of Islamic invasions. New Delhi : BloomsBury, 2021.
  • Qasim's instructions were to "bring destruction on the unbelievers . . . [and] to invite and induce the infidels to accept the true creed, and belief in the unity of God . . . and whoever does not submit to Islam, treat him harshly and cause injury to him till he submits."
    • Chac Nama . Chachnamah. An Ancient History of Sind. Translated from Persian by Mirza Kalichbeg Fredunbeg. Karachi, 1900. p. 155, quoted in Ibn Warraq, Why I am not a muslim, 1995. p 220
  • My dear cousin, I have received your life-augmenting letter. On its receipt my gladness and joy knew no bounds. It increased my pride and glory to the highest degree. It appears from your letter that all the rules made by you for the comfort and convenience of your men are strictly in accordance with religious law. But the way of granting pardon prescribed by the law is different from the one adopted by you, for you go on giving pardon to everybody, high or low, without any discretion between a friend and a foe. The great God says in the Koran [47.4]: "O True believers, when you encounter the unbelievers, strike off their heads." The above command of the Great God is a great command and must be respected and followed. You should not be so fond of showing mercy, as to nullify the virtue of the act. Henceforth grant pardon to no one of the enemy and spare none of them, or else all 'will consider you a weakminded man. Concluded with compliments. Written by Nafia in the year ninety-three... My distinct orders are that all those who are fighting men should be assassinated, and their sons and daughters imprisoned and retained as hostages."
    • Hajjaj, the governor of Iraq, to bin Qasim. Chac Nama, Chachnamah. An Ancient History of Sind. Translated from Persian by Mirza Kalichbeg Fredunbeg. Karachi, 1900. quoted in Ibn Warraq, Why I am not a muslim, 1995. p 220 ff
  • Wherever there is an ancient place or famous town or city, mosques and pulpits should be erected there ; and the khutba should be read, and the coin struck in the name of this gOYernment. And as you have accomplished so much with this army by your good fortune, and by seizing fitting opportunities, so be asf.ured that to whatever place* of the infidels you proceed it shall be conquered.
    • [1] also quoted in S Balakrishna - 10 Lessons from Hindu History in 10 Episodes, 2020.

The history of India : as told by its own historians. The Muhammadan period edit

Chach Nama, in : The history of India : as told by its own historians. The Muhammadan period online
  • Historians have related that Dahir was slain at the fort of Rawar at sunset, on Thursday, the 10th of Ramazan, in the year 93 (June, 712 A.D.). Abu-l Hasan relates upon the authority Abu-l Lais Hindi, who heard it from his father, that when the army of Islam made the attack, and most of the infidels were slain, a noise arose upon the left, and Dahir thought it came from his own forces. He cried out, “Come hither; I am here.” The women then raised their voices, and said, “O king, we are your women, who have fallen into the hands of the Arabs, and are captives.” Dahir said, “I live as yet, who cap-tured you?” So saying, he urged his elephant against the Musulman army. Muhammad Kasim told the naphtha throwers that the opportunity was theirs, and a powerful man, in obedience to this direction, shot his naphtha arrow into Dahir’s howda, and set it on fire. Dahir ordered his elephant driver to turn back, for the elephant was thirsty, and the howda was on fire. The elephant heeded not his driver, but dashed into the water, and in spite of all the efforts of the man, refused to turn back. Dahir and the driver were carried into the rolling waves. Some of the infidels went into the water with them, and some stood upon the banks; but when the Arab horsemen came up, they fled. After the elephant had drunk water, he wanted to return to the fort. The Muhammadan archers plied their weapons, and a rain of arrows fell around. A skilful bowman aimed an arrow, which struck Dahir in the breast (bar dil), and he fell down in the howda upon his face. The elephant then came out of the water and charged. Some of the infidels who remained were trampled under foot, and the others were dispersed. Dahir got off his elephant, and confronted an Arab; but this brave fellow struck him with a sword in the very centre of his head, and cleft it to his neck. The Muhammadans and infidels closed and maintained a deadly fight, until they reached the fort of Rawar. When the Brahmans who had gone into the water found the place of Dahir fall deserted, they came out and hid the body of Dahir under the bank. The white elephant turned towards the army of the infidels, and no trace was left.
  • When the news of the death of Dahir arrived, and that the white elephant was hamstrung, Jaisiya, son of Dahir said that he would go to oppose the enemy, and strike a blow to save his honour and name, for it would be no loss if he were to be slain. Sisakar, the minister, observed that the resolve of the prince was not good, the king had been killed, the army defeated and dispersed, and their hearts were averse to battle through fear of the enemy’s sword. How could he go to fight with the Arabs? His dominions still existed, and the strongest forts were garrisoned with brave warriors and subjects. It was, therefore, advisable that they should go to the fort of Brahmanabad, which was the inheritance of his father and ancestors. It was the chief residence of Dahir. The treasuries and stores were full, and the inhabitants of the place were friends and well wishers of the family of Chach, and would all assist in fighting against the enemy. Then the Allafi was also asked what he considered proper. He replied that he concurred in this opinion. So Jaisiya assented, and with all their dependants and trusty servants, they went to Brahmanabad. Bai (Main), the wife of Dahir, together with some of the generals, prepared for battle. She reviewed the army in the fort, and fifteen thousand warriors were counted. They had all resolved to die. Next morning, when it was learnt that Dahir had been killed between the Mihran and the stream called Wadhawah, all the chiefs (Rawats) and officers who were attached to the Rani entered the fort. Muhammad Kasim, on receiving the intelligence, marched in that direction, and encamped under the walls. The garrison began to beat drums and sound clarions, and threw down from the ramparts and bastions stones from mangonels and balistas as well as arrows and javelins.
  • [The fort is taken and Bai (Main), the sister of Dahir, burns herself]
    Muhammad Kasim disposed his army, and ordered the miners to dig and undermine the walls. He divided his army into two divisions; one was to fight during the day with mangonels, arrows, and javelins, and the other to throw naphtha, fardaj (?), and stones during the night. Thus the bastions were thrown down. Bai (Main), sister of Dahir, assembled all her women, and said, “Jaisiya is separated from us, and Muhammad Kasim is come. God forbid that we should owe liberty to these outcast cow-eaters! Our honour would be lost! Our respite is an end,2 and there is nowhere any hope of escape; let [p. 75] us collect wood, cotton, and oil, for I think that we should burn ourselves and go to meet our husbands. If any wish to save herself she may.” So they went into a house, set it on fire, and burnt themselves. Muhammad took the fort, and stayed there for two or three days. He put six thousand fighting men, who were in the fort, to the sword, and shot some with arrows. The other dependants and servants were taken prisoners, with their wives and children.
  • [Detail of the slaves, cash, and stuffs, which were taken]
    It is said that when the fort was captured, all the treasures, property, and arms, except those which were taken away by Jaisiya, fell into the hands of the victors, and they were all brought before Muhammad Kasim. When the number of the prisoners was calculated, it was found to amount to thirty thousand persons, amongst whom thirty were the daughters of chiefs, and one of them was Rai Dahir’s sister’s daughter, whose name was Jaisiya.3 They were sent to Hajjaj. The head of Dahir and the fifth part of the prisoners were forwarded in charge of K’ab, son of Maharak. When the head of Dahir, the women, and the property all reached Hajjaj, he prostrated himself before God, offered thanksgivings and praises, for, he said, he had in reality obtained all the wealth and treasures and dominions of the world.
  • It is said, on the authority of the old men of Brahmanabad, that when the fort of Brahmanabad was taken, Ladi, the wife of Dahir Rai, who since Dahir’s death had staid in the fort with his son, rose up and said, “How can I leave this strong fort and my family. It is necessary that we should stop here, overcome the enemy, and preserve our homes and dwelling. If the army of the Arabs should be successful, I must pursue some other course. She then brought out all her wealth and treasures, and distributing them among the warriors of the army, she thus encouraged her brave soldiers while the fight was carried on at one of the gates. She had determined that if the fort should be lost, she would burn herself alive with all her relations and children. Suddenly the fort was taken, and the nobles came to the gate of Dahir’s palace and brought out his dependants. Ladi was taken prisoner.
  • When the plunder and the prisoners of war were brought before Kasim, and enquiries were made about every captive, it was found that Ladi, the wife of Dahir, was in the fort with two daughters of his by his other wives. Veils were put on their faces, and they were delivered to a servant to keep them apart. One-fifth of all the prisoners were chosen and set aside; they were counted as amounting to twenty thousand in number, and the rest were given to the soldiers.
  • Protection was given to the artificers, the merchants, and the common people, and those who had been seized from those classes were all liberated. But he (Kasim) sat on the seat of cruelty, and put all those who had fought to the sword. It is said that about six thousand fighting men were slain, but, according to some, sixteen thousand were killed, and the rest were pardoned.
  • It is related that when none of the relations of Dahir were found among the prisoners, the inhabitants of the city were questioned respecting them, but no one gave any information or hint about them. But the next day nearly one thousand Brahmans, with shaven heads and beards, were brought before Kasim.
  • When Muhammad Kasim saw them, he asked to what army they belonged, and why they had come in that manner. They replied, “O faithful noble! our king was a Brahman. You have killed him, and have taken his country; but some of us have faithfully adhered to his cause, and have laid down our lives for him; and the rest, mourning for him, have dressed themselves in yellow clothes, and have shaved their heads and beards. As now the Almighty God has given this country into your possession, we have come submissively to you, just Lord, to know what may be your orders for us.” Muhammad Kasim began to think, and said, “By my soul and head, they are good, faithful people. I give them protection, but on this condition, that they bring hither the dependents of Dahir, wherever they may be.” Thereupon they brought out Ladi. Muhammad Kasim fixed a tax upon all the subjects, according to the laws of the Prophet. Those who embraced the Muhammadan faith were exempted from slavery, the tribute, and the poll-tax; and from those who did not change their creed a tax was exacted according to three grades. The first grade was of great men, and each of these was to pay silver, equal to forty-eight dirams in weight, the second grade twenty-four dirams, and the lowest grade twelve dirams. It was ordered that all who should become Musulmans at once should be exempted from the payment, but those who were desirous of adhering to their old persuasion must pay the tribute and poll-tax. Some showed an inclination to abide by their creed, and some having resolved upon paying tribute, held by the faith of the forefathers, but their lands and property were not taken from them.
  • …when Rai Dahir was killed, his two virgin daughters were seized in his palace, and Muhammad Kasim had sent them to Baghdad under the care of his negro slaves. The Khalifa of the time sent them into his harem to be taken care of for a few days till they were fit to be presented to him. After some time, the remembrance of them recurred to the noble mind of the Khalifa, and he ordered them both to be brought before him at night. Walid ‘Abdul Malik told the interpreter to inquire from them which of them was the eldest, that he might retain her by him, and call the other sister at another time. The interpreter first asked their names. The eldest said, “My name is Suryadeo,” and the youngest replied, “my name is Parmaldeo.” He called the eldest to him, and the youngest he sent back to be taken care of. When he had made the former sit down, and she uncovered her face, the Khalifa of the time looked at her, and was enamoured of her surpassing beauty and charms. Her powerful glances robbed his heart of patience. He laid his hand upon Suryadeo and drew her towards him. But Suryadeo stood up, and said, “Long live the king! I am not worthy the king’s bed, because the just Commander Imadu-d-Din Muhammad Kasim kept us three days near himself before he sent us to the royal residence. Perhaps it is a custom among you; but such ignominy should not be suffered by kings.” The Khalifa was overwhelmed with love, and the reins of patience had fallen from his hand. Through indignation he could not stop to scrutinize the matter. He asked for ink and paper, and commenced to write a letter with his own hand, commanding that at whatever place Mu-hammad Kasim had arrived, he should suffer himself to be sewed up in a hide and sent to the capital.
  • When Muhammad Kasim received the letter at Udhafar, he gave the order to his people and they sewed him up in a hide, put him in a chest, and sent him back. Muhammad Kasim thus delivered his soul to God. The officers who were appointed to the different places remained at their stations, while he was taken in the chest to the Khalifa of the time. The private chamberlain reported to Walid ’Abdul-Malik, son of Marwan, that Muhammad Kasim Sakifi had been brought to the capital. The Khalifa asked whether he was alive or dead. It was replied, “May the Khalifa’s life, prosperity, and honour be prolonged to eternity. When the royal mandates were received in the city of Udhapur, Muhammad Kasim immediately, according to the orders, had himself sewed up in a raw hide, and after two days delivered his soul to God and went to the eternal world. The authorities whom he had placed at different stations maintain the country in their possession, the Khutba continues to be read in the name of the Khalifa, and they use their best endeavours to establish their supremacy.”
  • The Khalifa then opened the chest and called the girls into his presence. He had a green bunch of myrtle in his hand, and pointing with it towards the face of the corpse, said, “See, my daughters, how my commands which are sent to my agents are observed and obeyed by all. When these my orders reached Kanauj, he sacrificed his precious life at my command.”
  • Then the virtuous Janki [different from the name she first gave the Khalifa] put off the veil from her face, placed her head on the ground, and said, “May the king live long, may his prosperity and glory increase for many years; and may he be adorned with perfect wisdom. It is proper that a king should test with the touchstone of reason and weigh in his mind whatever he hears from friend or foe, and when it is found to be true and indubitable, then orders compatible with justice should be given. By so doing he will not fall under the wrath of God, nor be contemned by the tongue of man. Your orders have been obeyed, but your gracious mind is wanting in reason and judgement. Muhammad Kasim respected our honour, and behaved like a brother or son to us, and he never touched us, your slaves, with a licentious hand. But he had killed the king of Hind and Sind, he had destroyed the dominion of our forefathers, and he had degraded us from the dignity of royalty to a state of slavery, therefore, to retaliate and to revenge these injuries, we uttered a falsehood before the Khalifa, and our object has been fulfilled. Through this fabrication and deceit have we taken our revenge. Had the Khalifa not passed such peremptory orders; had he not lost his reason through the violence of his passion, and had he considered it proper to investigate the matter, he would not have subjected himself to this repentance and reproach; and had Muhammad Kasim, assisted by his wisdom, come to within one day’s journey from this place, and then have put himself into a hide, he would have been liberated after inquiry, and not have died.” The Khalifa was very sorry at this explanation, and from excess of regret he bit the back of his hand.
  • Janki again opened her lips and looked at the Khalifa. She perceived that his anger was much excited, and she said, “The king has committed a very grievous mistake, for he ought not, on account of two slave girls, to have destroyed a person who had taken captive a hundred thousand modest women like us, who had brought down seventy chiefs who ruled over Hind and Sind from their thrones to their coffins; and who instead of temples had erected mosques, pulpits, and minarets. If Muhammad Kasim had been guilty of any little neglect or impropriety, he ought not to have been destroyed on the mere word of a designing person.” The Khalifa ordered both the sisters to be enclosed between walls. From that time to this day the flags of Islam have been more and more exalted every day, and are still advancing.
  • [Hajjaj sends the head of Dahir, and some of his standards, to the Capital]
    Hajjaj then forwarded the head, the umbrellas, and wealth, and the prisoners to Walid the Khalifa. When the Khalifa of the time had read the letter, he praised Almighty God. He sold some of those daughters of the chiefs, and some he granted as rewards. When he saw the daughter of Rai Dahir’s sister, he was much struck with her beauty and charms, and began to bite his finger with astonishment. ‘Abdu-llah bin’ Abbas desired to take her, but the Khalifa said, “O my nephew! I exceedingly admire this girl, and am so enamoured of her, that I wish to keep her for myself. Nevertheless, it is better that you should [p. 76] take her to be the mother of your children.” By his permission, therefore, ‘Abdu-llah took her. She lived a long time with him, but no child was born from her. Afterwards, another letter was received about the capture of the fort of Rawar. It is said that after the conquest was effected, and the affairs of the country were settled and, the report of the conquest had reached Hajjaj, he sent a reply to the following effect. “O my cousin; I received your life inspiring letter. I was much pleased and overjoyed when it reached me. The events were recounted in an excellent and beautiful style, and I learnt that the ways and rules you follow are conformable to the Law. Except that you give protection to all, great and small alike, and make no difference between enemy and friend. God says, ‘Give no quarter to Infidels, but cut their throats.” “Then know that this is the command of the great God. You should not be too ready to grant protection, because it will prolong your work. After this, give no quarter to any enemy except to those who are of rank. This is a worthy resolve, and want of dignity will not be imputed to you. Peace be with you!” -Written at Nafa’, A.H. 73.
  • [Jaisiya sends letters from Brahmanabad to Alor, 4 Batiya, and other places ]
    Some historians from amongst the religious Brahmans have narrated respecting the death of Dahir and adventures of Muhammad Kasim, that when the accursed Rai Dahir went to hell, Jaisiya took refuge in the fort of Brahmanabad, and Rawar was taken, Jaisiya made preparations for war and sent letters in all directions; viz.: One to his brother Fufi,5 son of Dahir, who was in the fort of the capital of Aror; the other to his nephew Chach, son of Dharsiya, in the fort of Batiya; and the third to his cousin, Dhawal, son of Chandar, who was in the direction of Budhiya and Kaikanan. He informed them of Dahir’s [p. 77] death and consoled them. He himself was in Brahmanabad with his warriors ready to fight.
  • [Battle of Bahrur and Dhalila]
    Muhammad Kasim now determined to march to Brahmanabad. Between Dawar and that city there were two fortresses called Bahrur and Dhalila which contained about sixteen thousand fighting men. When Muhammad Kasim reached Bahrur he besieged it for two months. After the war had been protracted so long, Muhammad Kasim ordered that part of his army should fight by day and part by night. They threw naphtha and plied their mangonels so that all the warriors of the adverse party were slain, and the walls of the fort thrown down. Many slaves and great plunder were taken. They put the fifth part of it into the public treasury. When the news of the capture of Rawar and Bahrur reached Dhalila, the inhabitants knew that Muhammad Kasim possessed great perseverance, and that they should be on their guard against him. The merchants fled to Hind, and the men of war prepared to defend their country. At last, Muhammad Kasim came to Dhalila, and encamped there for two months, more or less. When the besieged were much distressed, and they knew that from no quarter could they receive reinforcements, they put on the garments of death, and anointed themselves with perfumes. They sent out their families into the fort which faces the bridge, and they crossed over the stream of the Naljak,6 without the Musulmans being aware of it.
  • [The flight of the chief of Dhalila]
    When the day dawned through the veil of darkness Muhammad Kasim learnt that they had fled, so he sent some men of his army after them, who overtook part of them as they were passing over the river and put them to the edge of the sword. Those who had crossed previously fled to Hindustan through the country of Ramal and the sandy desert to the country (bilad) of Sir, the chief of which country was named Deoraj. He was the son of the uncle of Dahir Rai.
  • [Conquest of Sikka Multan by Muhammad Kasim]
    When he had settled affairs with Kaksa, he left the fort, crossed the Bias, and reached the stronghold of Askalanda, the people of which, being informed of the arrival of the Arab army, came out to fight. Rawa, son of ‘Amiratu-t Tafi, and Kaksa headed the advanced army and commenced battle. Very obstinate engagements ensued, so that on both sides streams of blood flowed. The Arabs at the time of their prayers repeated “Glorious God” with a loud voice, and renewed the attack. The idolaters were defeated, and threw themselves into the fort. They began to shoot arrows and fling stones from the mangonels on the walls. The battle continued for seven days, and the nephew of the chief of Multan, who was in the fort of that city, made [p. 107] such attacks that the army began to be distressed for provisions; but at last the chief of Askalanda9 came out in the night time, and threw himself into the fort of Sikka, which is a large fort on the south bank of the Ravi. When their chief had gone away, all the people, the artizans, and merchants sent a message to say that they were subjects and now that their chief had fled, they solicited protection from Muhammad Kasim. He granted this request of the merchants, artizans, and agriculturists; but he went into the fort, killed four thousand fighting men with his blood sword, and sent their families into slavery. He appointed as governor of the fort ‘Atba, son of Salma Tamimi, and himself with the army proceeded towards Sikka Multan It was a fort on the south bank of the Ravi, and Bajhra Taki, grandson of Bajhra (daughter’s son), was in it. When he received the intelligence he commenced operations. Every day, when the army of the Arabs advanced towards the fort, the enemy came out and fought, and for seventeen days they maintained a fierce conflict. From among the most distinguished officers (of Muhammad Kasim) twenty-five were killed, and two hundred and fifteen other warriors of Islam were slain. Bajhra passed over the Ravi and went into Multan. In consequence of the death of his friends, Muhammad Kasim had sworn to destroy the fort, so he ordered his men to pillage the whole city He then crossed over towards Multan, at the ferry below the city, and Bajhra came out to take the field.
  • [Muhammad Kasim fights with the ferry-men]
    That day the battle raged from morning till sun-set and when the world, like a day labourer, covered itself with the blanket of darkness, and the king of the heavenly host covered himself with the veil of concealment, all retired to their tents. The next day, when the morning dawned from the horizon, and the earth was illumined, fighting again commenced, and many men were slain on both sides but the victory remained still undecided. For a space of [p. 108] two months mangonels and ghazraks10 were used and stones and arrows were thrown from the walls of the fort. At last provisions became exceedingly scarce in the camp, and the price even of an ass’s head was raised to five hundred dirams. When the chief Gursiya, son of Chandar, nephew of Dahir, saw that the Arabs were noway disheartened, but on the contrary were confident, and that he had no prospect of relief, he went to wait on the king of Kashmir. The next day, when the Arabs reached the fort, and the fight commenced, no place was found suitable for digging a mine until a person came out of the fort and sued for mercy. Muhammad Kasim gave him protection, and he pointed out a place towards the north on the banks of, a river. A mine was dug, and in two or three days the walls fell down, and the fort was taken. Six thousand warriors were put to death, and all their relations and dependants were taken as slaves. Protection was given to the merchants, artizans, and the agriculturists. Muhammad Kasim said the booty ought to be sent to the treasury of the Khalifa; but as the soldiers have taken so much pains, have suffered so many hardships, have hazarded their lives, and have been so long a time employed in digging the mine and carrying on the war, and as the fort is now take, it is proper that the booty should be divided, and their dues given to the soldiers.
  • [Division of Plunder]
    Then all the great and principal inhabitants of the city assembled together, and silver to the weight of sixty thousand dirams was distributed, and every horseman got a share of four hundred dirams weight. After this, Muhammad Kasim said that some plan should be devised for realizing the money to be sent to the Khalifa. He was pondering upon this, and was discoursing on the subject, when suddenly a Brahman came and said, “Heathenism is now at an end, the temples are thrown down, the world has received the light of Islam, and mosques are built [p. 109] instead of idol temples. I have heard from the elders of Multan that in ancient times there was a chief in this city whose name was Jibawin,11 and who was a descendant of the Rai of Kashmir. He was a Brahman and a monk, he strictly followed his religion, and always occupied his time in worshipping idols. When his treasure exceeded all limit and computation, he made a reservoir on the eastern side of Multan, which was a hundred yards square. In the middle of it he built a temple fifty yards square, and he made there a chamber in which he concealed forty copper jars each of which was filled with African gold dust. A treasure of three hundred and thirty mans of gold was buried there. Over it there is a temple in which there is an idol made of red gold, and trees are planted round the reservoir.” It is related by historians, on the authority of ‘Ali bin Muhammad who had heard it from Abu Muhammad Hindui that Muhammad Kasim arose and with his counsellors, guards and attendants, went to the temple. He saw there an idol made of gold, and its two eyes were bright red rubies.
  • [Reflection of Muhammad Kasim]
    Muhammad Kasim thought it might perhaps be a man, so he drew his sword to strike it; but the Brahman said, “O just commander, this is the image which was made by Jibawin,12 king of Multan, who concealed the treasure here and departed. Muhammad Kasim ordered the idol to be taken up. Two hundred and thirty mans of gold were obtained, and forty jars filled with gold dust. They were weighed and the sum of thirteen thousand and two hundred mans weight of gold was taken out. This gold and the image were brought to the treasury together with the gems and pearls and treasure, which were obtained from the plunder of the city of Multan.
    It is said by Abu-l Hasan Hamadani, who had heard it from Kharim son of ‘Umar, that the same day on which the temple was dug up and the treasure taken out, a letter came from Hajjaj Yusuf to this effect: – “My nephew, I had agreed and pledged myself, at the time you marched with [p. 110] the army, to repay the whole expense incurred by the public treasury in fitting out the expedition, to the Khalifa Walid bin ‘Abdu-l Malik bin Marwan, and it is incumbent on me to do so. Now the accounts of the money due have been examined and checked, and it is found that sixty thousand dirams in pure silver have been expended for Muhammad Kasim, and up to this date there has been received in cash, goods, and stuffs, altogether one hundred and twenty thousand dirams weight. Wherever there is an ancient place or famous town or city, mosques and pulpits should be erected there; and the khutba should be read, and the coin struck in the name of this government. And as you have accomplished so much with this army by your good fortune, and by seizing fitting opportunities, so be assured that to whatever place of the infidels you proceed it shall be conquered.”
  • As a result, the Chachnama records, “some [Hindus] resolved to live in their native land, but others took flight in order to maintain the faith of their ancestors, and their horses, domestics, and other property.”
    • Bostom, A. G. (2015). Sharia versus freedom: The legacy of Islamic totalitarianism., quoting Chachnama. also quoted in Bostom, A. G. M. D., & Bostom, A. G. (2010). The Legacy of Jihad: Islamic Holy War and the Fate of Non-Muslims.

Quotes about the Chach Nama edit

  • The Chachnama is in many ways like The Conquest of New Spain by Bernal Díaz del Castillo, the Spanish soldier who in his old age wrote of his campaigns in Mexico with Cortés in 1519 and after. The theme of both works is the same: the destruction, by an imperialist power with a strong sense of mission and a wide knowledge of the world, of a remote culture that knows only itself and doesn’t begin to understand what it is fighting. The world conquerors, the establishers of long-lived systems, have a wider view; men are bound together by a larger idea. The people to be conquered see less, know less; their stratified or fragmented societies are ready to be taken over. And, interestingly, both in Mexico in 1519 and in Sind in 710 people were weakened by prophecies of conquest.
    • Naipaul, V. S. (1981). Among the believers: An Islamic journey. New York: Knopf.
  • The Chachnama shows the Arabs of the seventh century as a people stimulated and enlightened and disciplined by Islam, developing fast, picking up learning and new ways and new weapons (catapults, Greek fire) from the people they conquer, intelligently curious about the people they intend to conquer.
    • Naipaul, V. S. (1981). Among the believers: An Islamic journey. New York: Knopf.
  • There is this difference between The Conquest of New Spain and the Chachnama. Bernal Díaz, the Spaniard, was writing of events he had taken part in. The Chachnama is Arab or Muslim genre writing, a “pleasant story of conquest,” and it was written five hundred years after the conquest of Sind. The author was Persian; his source was an Arabic manuscript preserved by the family of the conqueror, Bin Qasim.
    The intervening five centuries have added no extra moral or historical sense to the Persian narrative, no new wonder or compassion, no idea of what is cruel and what is not cruel, such as even Bernal Díaz, the Spanish soldier, possesses. To the Persian, writing in 1216, the Arab conquests—“the conquests of Khurasan, Ajam [Persia], Iraq, Sham [Syria], Rum [Byzantium] and Hind”—are glorious; they are the story of the spread of true civilization. Conquest is pleasant to read about because conquest is “based on spiritual rectitude and temporal excellence ... of which learned philosophers and generous kings would be proud, because all men attain advancement to perfection by acknowledging as true the belief of the people of Arabia.” There is an irony in this praise of conquest: not many years after those words were written, the invading Mongols were to arrive in Persia and Iraq, and the Arab civilization which the Chachnama celebrated was to be shattered, stupefied for centuries.
    • Naipaul, V. S. (1981). Among the believers: An Islamic journey. New York: Knopf.
  • "The Chachnama is Arab or Muslim genre writing, a `pleasant story of conquest,' the conquest of Sindh. But it is a bloody story, and the parts that get into the school books are fairy tales.
    • -V. S. Naipaul, Among the Believers-An Islamic Journey, 1981 also quoted in Bostom, A. G. M. D., & Bostom, A. G. (2010). The Legacy of Jihad: Islamic Holy War and the Fate of Non-Muslims. Amherst: Prometheus.

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