Tarikh Yamini

Book written by Utbi

The Tarikh i Yamini, or Kitab i Yamini, written in Arabic in an embellished, flowery rhetorical rhymed prose, is a history of the reigns of Sabuktigin and Mahmud up to 1020. Written by the historian Abu Nasr Muhammad ibn Muhammad al Jabbaru-l 'Utbi (or al-Utbi), the Tarikh Yamini also contains information chronicling Sultan Mahmud's expeditions as well as the end of the Samanid Amirs of Sistan.

Quotes edit

  • When Chandal heard of the advance of the Sultan, he lost his heart from excess of fright, and as he saw death with its mouth open towards him, there was no resource to him but flight. The Sultan ordered therefore that his five forts should be demolished from their foundations, the inhabitants buried in their ruins, and imprisoned. The Sultan, when he heard of the flight of Chandal, was sorely afflicted, and turned his horse's head towards Chand Rai, one of the greatest men in Hind, who reigned in the fort of Sharwa [Siraswa].
  • Since God’s sword was drawn from the scabbard, and the whip of punishment was uplifted... ten thousand men proclaimed their anxiety for conversion and their rejection of idols.
    • Elliot & Dawson, Vol. II, p. 42-3 quoted in Khan, M. A. (2011). Islamic Jihad: A legacy of forced conversion, imperialism and slavery.
  • In Sultan Mahmud’s conquest of Kanauj, ‘the inhabitants either accepted Islam or took up arms against him to become the food of Islamic swords,’ records his secretary Abu Nasr al-Utbi.
    • quoted in M.A. Khan , Islamic Jihad: A legacy of forced conversion, imperialism and slavery (2011), quoting Elliot & Dawson, Vol. II,
  • The sultan sat on his throne and vested himself with his new Khila’t, the robe, professing his allegiance to the successor of the prophet of God. The Amirs of Khorasan stood before him in order, with respectful demeanour, and did not take their seats till so directed. He then bestowed upon the nobles, his slaves, his confidential servants, and his chief friends valuable robes and choice presents, beyond all calculation, and vowed that every year he would undertake a holy war against Hind.
    • Abu Nasr Muhammad Utbi, “Kitab-i-Yamini,” in The History of India, Vol. 5, ed. A. V. Williams Jackson (New York: Columbia University Press, 1906), 42. quoted in Sandeep Balakrishna - Invaders and Infidels_ From Sindh to Delhi_ The 500-Year Journey of Islamic Invasions. Bloomsbury India (2020)
  • Mahmud remained at Bhatia till he had cleansed it from pollution, and appointed a person there to teach those who had embraced Islam, and lead them in the right way.
    • Utbi, “Tarikh Yamini,” 30. quoted from Sandeep Balakrishna - Invaders and Infidels_ From Sindh to Delhi_ The 500-Year Journey of Islamic Invasions. Bloomsbury India (2020)
  • The sultan ... [attacked] Rai [Anandapala] first … to bow down his broad neck, to cut down the trees of his jungles, to destroy everything he possessed, and thus to obtain the fruit of two paradises by this double conquest. He accordingly stretched out … the hand of slaughter, imprisonment, pillage, depopulation, and fire, and hunted him … until … he fled … to … Kashmir.31
    • Utbi, “Tarikh Yamini,” 31. quoted from Sandeep Balakrishna - Invaders and Infidels_ From Sindh to Delhi_ The 500-Year Journey of Islamic Invasions. Bloomsbury India (2020)

Amir Subuktigin's First Invasion of Hind edit

  • After this victory he made frequent expeditions into Hind, in the prosecution of holy wars, and there he conquered forts upon lofty hills, in order to seize the treasures they contained, and expel their garrisons. He took all the property they contained into his own possession, and captured cities in Hind, which had up to that time been tenanted only by infidels and not trodden’ by the camels and horses of Musulmans.
    When Jaipal1 had ascertained the calamity which had befallen him from the reports of the people who travelled in his country, and how Subuktigin was taking different parts of the territory into his own possession, and injuring everybody who opposed him in his projects of ambition, the deepest grief seized him and made him restless, and his lands [p. 16] became narrow under his feet, though their expanse was broad. Then he arose with his relations and the generals of his army, and his vassals, and hastened with his huge elephants to wreak his revenge upon Subuktigin, by treading the field of Islam under his feet, and doing dishonour to that which should be treated with respect. In this disposition he marched on until he passed Lamghan, and approached the territory of Subuktigin, trusting to his own resources and power, for Satan had laid an egg in Jaipal’s brain and hatched it; so that he waxed proud, entertaining absurd thoughts, and anticipating an immediate accomplishment of his wishes, impracticable as they were.
  • When the Amir heard of Jaipal’s approach towards his territory and of his great power, he girt up his loins to fight and collecting his vasals and the Muhammadan forces whose duty it was to oppose infidels, he advanced from Ghazna against Jaipal, who was encamped between that place and Lamghan, with soldiers as black as night, and as impetuous as a torrent. Yaminu-d daula Mahmud accompanied Amir Subuktigin, like a lion of the forest or a destructive eagle, and they attempted no difficult undertaking which they did not easily accomplish.
    The armies fought several days successively against each other, and cups filled to the brim with blood, drawn from wounds inflicted by sword and spear, circulated amongst them till they were drunken. In the field of this battle there was a very lofty mountain near the infidels, which was very difficult to ascend, called the ‘Ukba Ghuzak.2 In one of its ravines there was a clear fountain of water of the dimensions required by the Hanafi law for purification,3 in which there were no impurities, or even watermoss. If any filth were thrown into it, black clouds collected, whirlwinds arose, the summits of the mountains became black, rain fell, and the neighbourhood was filled with cold blasts, until red death supervened. The Amir ordered that some dirty substance should be thrown into it, and immediately upon doing so the horrors of the day of resurrection rose up [p. 17] before the wicked infidels, and fire fell ,from heaven on them, and hailstones accompanied by loud claps of thunder, and a blast, calculated to shake trees from their roots, blew upon them, and thick black vapours formed around them, as that they could not see the road by which they could fly, and their food and water were filled with dust.
  • In consequence of the great fear which fell upon Jaipal, who confessed he had seen death before the appointed time, he sent a deputation to the Amir soliciting peace, on the promise of his paying down a sum of money, and offering to obey any order he might receive respecting his elephants and his country. The Amir Subuktigin consented on account of the mercy he felt towards those who were his vassals, or for some other reason which seemed expedient to him. But the Sultan Yaminu-d daula Mahmud addressed the messengers in a harsh voice, and refused to abstain from battle, until he should obtain a complete victory suited to his zeal for the honour or Islam and of Musulmans, and one which he was confident God would grant to his arms. So they returned, and Jaipal being in great alarm again sent most humble supplications that the battle might cease, observing, “You have seen the impetuosity of the Hindus and their indifference to death, whenever any calamity befalls them, as at this moment. If, therefore, you refuse to grant peace in the hope of obtaining plunder tribute, elephants and prisoners, then there is no alternative for us but to mount the horse of stern determination, destroy our property, take out the eyes of our elephants, cast our children into the fire, and rush on each other with sword and spear, so that all that will be left to you, is stones; and dirt, dead bodies, and scattered bones.”
    When the Amir heard these words and knew what Jaipal would do in his despair, he thought that religion and the views of the faithful would best be consulted by peace, and the acquisition of tribute. So the Amir Mahmud agreed with Subuktigin as to the propriety of withdrawing [p. 18] the hand of vengeance, on the condition of receiving at that time 1,000,000 dirhams of royal stamp, and fifty elephants, and some cities and forts in the middle of his country, Jaipal was to deliver these forts to the officers nominated by the Amir, and was to send hostages from among his relatives and friends to remain with the Amir until these conditions of cession were fulfilled. The Amir sent two deputies with Jaipal to see that he did not swerve from his engagements, and they were accompanied by confidential officers who were to receive charge of the ceded places.

Amir Subuktigin's Second Invasion of Hind edit

  • When this intelligence reached the Amir, he considered it false, as being opposed to the usual habits of Jaipal, until repeated accounts to the same effect were brought, when the curtain which obscured the truth was withdrawn, and be knew that God had set his seal upon Jaipal’s heart, so that he might obtain the reward of his evil deeds, and had placed a veil between it and rectitude, so that he might obtain punishment for his wickedness and infidelity. The Sultan therefore sharpened the sword of intention in order to make an incursion upon his kingdom, and cleanse it from impurity and from his rejection of Islam. So he departed with his valiant servants and allies, relying upon the one God, and trusting in the fulfillment of the promise of victory, and he went on till he arrived with his troops in the country of Hind, and he killed everyone who, on the part of Jaipal, came out to oppose him.
    The Amir marched out towards Lamghan, which is a city celebrated for its great strength and abounding in wealth. He conquered it and set fire to the places in its vicinity which were inhabited by infidels, and demolishing [p. 19] the idol-temples, he established Islam in them. He marched and captured other cities and killed the polluted wretches, destroying the idolatrous and gratifying the Musulmans. After wounding and killing beyond all measure, his hands and those of his friends became cold in counting the value of the plundered property. In the completion of his conquest he returned and promulgated accounts of the victories obtained for Islam, and everyone, great and small, concurred in rejoicing over this result and thanking God.
  • When Jaipal saw what had occurred to him on account of the infraction of his engagements, that his chiefs had become the food of vultures and hyenas, and that weakness had fallen on his arm, he became greatly agitated, and knew not whether to retire or advance. He at last determined to fight once more, and satisfy his revenge. He thought, resolved, gave orders, and collected troops to the number of more than one hundred thousand. When Amir Subuktigin heard this intelligence, he again advanced to fight him, and ascended a lofty hill from which he could see the whole army of the infidels, which resembled scattered ants and locusts, and he felt like a wolf about to attack a flock of sheep. He urged the Musulmans upon the uncircumcised infidels, and they willingly obeyed his orders. He made bodies of five hundred attack the enemy with their maces in hand, and relieve each other when one party became tired, so that flesh men and horses were constantly engaged, till the accursed enemy complained of the heat which arose from that iron oven. These detached parties then made one united charge, in order to exterminate their numerous opponents. Men and officers mingled in close conflict, and all other arms were useless except the sword. The dust which arose prevented the eyes from seeing; swords could not be distinguished from spears, men from elephants, the valiants from cowards. It was only when the dust was allayed that it was found that the impulse infidels were defeated, and had fled, leaving behind them their property, utensils, arms, provisions, elephants, and horses. The jungles were filled with the carcasses of the infidels, some wounded by the sword, and others fallen dead through fright. “It is the order of God respecting those who have [p. 20] passed away, that infidels should be put to death, and the order of God is not changed respecting your execution of the same precept.”

Receipt by Mahmud of a Khila't from the Khalifa edit

  • Kadir bi-llah Amiru-l muminin, the Khalifa of Baghdad, sent a Khila’t such as had never before been heard of, for the use of Sultan Saifu-d daula, and he entitled Mahmud in his imperial rescript, “Yaminu-d daula Aminu-l milat, the friend of the Amir-l muminin,” which had not yet been bestowed upon any prince, either far or near, notwithstanding their intense desire to receive such an honour. The Sultan sat on his throne and robed himself in his new Khila’t, professing his allegiance to the successor of the prophet of God. The Amirs of Khurasan stood before him in order, with respectful demeanour, and did not take their seats till they were directed. He then bestowed upon the nobles, his slaves, his confidential servants, and his chief friends, valuable robes and choice presents, beyond all calculation, and vowed that every year he would undertake a holy war against Hind.

Defeat of Jaipal by Mahmud edit

  • Sultan Mahmud at first designed in his heart to go to Sijistan, but subsequently preferred engaging previously in a holy war against Hind, and he distributed arms prior to convening a council on the subject, in order to secure a blessing on his designs, of exalting the standard of religion, of widening the plain of right, of illuminating the words of truth, and of strengthening the power of justice. He departed towards the country of Hind, in full reliance on the aid of Allah, who guiding by his light and by his power, bestowed dignity upon him, and gave him victory in all expeditions.
  • On his reaching Purshaur (Peshawar), he pitched his tent outside the city. There he received intelligence of the bold resolve of Jaipal, the enemy of God, and the King (malik) of Hind, to offer opposition, and of his rapid advance towards meeting his fate in the field of battle…
  • That infidel remained where he was, avoiding the action for a long time, and awaiting craftily the arrival of reinforcements and other vagabond families and tribes which were on their way; but the Sultan would not allow him to postpone the conflict, and the friends of God commenced the action, setting upon the enemy with sword, arrow, and spear, – plundering, seizing, and destroying; at all which the Hindus, being greatly alarmed, began to kindle the flame of fight.
  • The enemy of God, Jaipal, and his children and grandchildren, and nephews, and the chief men of his tribe, and his relatives, were taken prisoners, and being strongly bound with ropes, were carried before the Sultan, like as evildoers, on whose faces the fumes of infidelity are evident, who are covered with the vapours of misfortune, will be bound and carried to Hell. Some had their arms forcibly tied behind their backs, some were seized by the cheek, some were driven by blows on the neck. The necklace was taken off the neck of Jaipal, composed of large pearls and shining gems and rubies set in gold, of which the value was two hundred thousand dinars; and twice that value was obtained from the necks of those of his relatives who were taken prisoners, or slain, and had become the food of the mouths of hyenas and vultures. God (Allah) also bestowed upon his friends such an amount of booty as was beyond all bounds and all calculation, including five hundred thousand slaves, beautiful men and women. The Sultan returned with his followers to his camp, having plundered immensely, by God’s aid, having obtained the victory, and thankful to God (Allah), the lord of the universe. For the Almighty had given them victory over a province of the country of Rind, broader and longer and more fertile than Khurasan. This splendid and celebrated action took place ‘on Thursday, the 8th of Muharram, 392 H. (27th November, A.D. 1001).
    • also in [33] [34] [35] [36]
    • About the defeat of Jaipal. Tarikh Yamini (Kitabu-l Yamini) by Al Utbi, in Elliot and Dowson, Vol. II : Elliot and Dowson, History of India as told by its own Historians, 8 Volumes, Allahabad Reprint, 1964. p. 27 Also quoted (in part) in Jain, Meenakshi (2011). The India they saw: Foreign accounts.
    • Defeat of Jaipal by Mahmud of Gahzni. Utbi, Tarikh Yamini in Elliot and Dowson, Vol. II : Elliot and Dowson, History of India as told by its own Historians, 8 Volumes, Allahabad Reprint, 1964. p. 26
  • The Hindu set his cavalry in and beat his drums. The elephants moved on from their posts, and line advanced against line, shooting their arrows at one another like boys escaped from school, who, at eventime, shoot at a target for a wager. Swords flashed like lightning amid the blackness of clouds, and fountains of blood flowed like the fall of setting stars. The friends of God defeated their obstinate opponents, and quickly put them to a complete rout. Noon had not arrived when the Musulmans had wreaked their vengeance on the infidel enemies of God, killing 15,000 of them, spreading them like a carpet over the ground, and making them food for beasts and birds of prey. Fifteen elephants fell on the field of battle, as their legs, being pierced with arrows, became as motionless as if they had been in a quagmire, and their trunks were cut with the swords of the valiant heroes.
  • After the victory, the Sultan directed that the polluted infidel, Jaipal, should be paraded about, so that his sons and chieftains might see him in that condition of shame, bonds, and disgrace; and that the fear of Islam might fly abroad through the country of the infidels. He then entered into conditions of peace with him, after demanding fifty elephants, and took from him as hostages his son and grandson, till he should fulfill the conditions imposed upon him. The infidel returned to his own country and remained there, and wrote to his son, Andpal, whose territory, on which he prided himself, was on the other side of the Sihun (Indus), explaining the dreadful calamity which had befallen him, and beseeching him with many entreaties to send the elephants which were according to agreement to be given to the Sultan. Upon this Andpal sent the elephants to Jaipal, after dismissing the courier who had brought the letter, and the elephants were sent on to the Sultan. The Sultan, therefore, ordered the release of the hostages, and his myrmidons gave them a smack on the buttocks, telling them to return to their country.
    Andpal reflected that his father, Jaipal, had put on the sheaf of old age, and had fallen under the influence of Lyra and other unlucky constellations, and it was time he should contemplate his death and devote himself to religious exercises. There is a custom among these men that if anyone is taken prisoner by an enemy, as in this case Jaipal was by the Musulmans, it is not lawful for him to continue to reign. When Jaipal, therefore, saw that he was captive in the prison of old age and degradation, he thought death by cremation preferable to shame and dishonour. So he commenced with shaving his hair off, and then threw himself upon the fire till he was burnt.

Battle of Waihind edit

  • When the Sultan had accomplished all his wishes and reduced all his enemies, in his happiness; he resolved on another holy expedition. He ornamented the entrance to his tent as well as, his standards, and marching towards Waihind, he encamped there in state, until he had established himself in that country, and had relieved himself from the toils of the campaign. News reached him of the Hindus taking refuge in the passes of the neighbouring hills, and concealing themselves in the forests and jungles, consulting amongst themselves about the means of attacking the Musulmans. He therefore despatched an army against them, to conquer their country, and disperse them. The army fell upon them, and committed such slaughter that their swords were covered with blood. Those who escaped death fled away like mountain goats, having seen the swords flashing as bright as stars at noonday, and dealing black and red death around them. Thus did the infidels meet with the punishment and loss due, to their deserts. The standards of the Sultan then returned happy and victorious to Ghazni, the face of Islam was made resplendent by his exertions, the teeth of the true faith displayed themselves in their laughter, the breasts of religion expanded, and the back of idolatry was broken.

The Conquest of Bhatia edit

  • When Sultan Mahmud had settled the affairs of Sijistan, and the action of his beating pulse had subsided, and the clouds had dispersed, he determined upon invading Bhatia. So he collected armies with trustworthy guides and valiant standard bearers, and crossing the Indus in the neighborhood of Multan, he marched towards the city of Bhatia, the walls of which the wings of the eagle could not surmount, and which was surrounded as by the ocean with a ditch of exceeding depth and breadth. The city was as wealthy as imagination can conceive in property, armies and military weapons. There were elephants as headstrong as Satan. The ruler at [p. 25] that time was Biji Rai,7 and the pride which he felt in the state of his preparations, induced him to leave the walls of his fort and come forth to oppose the Musulmans, in order to frighten them with his warriors and elephants and great prowess.
    The Sultan fought against him for three days and nights, and the lightnings of his swords and the meteors of his spears fell on the enemy. On the fourth morning a most furious onslaught was made with swords and arrows, which lasted till noon, when the Sultan ordered a general charge to be made upon the infidels. The friends of God advancing against the masters of lies and idolatry with cries of “God is exceeding Great!” broke their ranks, and rubbed their noses upon the ground of disgrace. The Sultan himself, like a stallion, went on dealing hard blows around him on the right hand and on the left, and cut those who were clothed in mail light in twain, making the thirsty infidels drink the cup of death. In this single charge he took several elephants, which Biji Rai regarded as the chief support of his centre. At last God granted victory to the standards of Islam, and the infidels retreated behind the walls of their city for protection. The Musulmans obtained possession of the gates of the city, and employed themselves in filling up the ditch and destroying the scarp and counterscarp, widening, the narrow roads, and opening the closed entrances.
  • When Biji Rai saw the desperate state to which he was reduced, he escaped by stealth and on foot into the forest with a few attendants, and sought refuge on the top of some hills. The Sultan despatched a select body of his troops in pursuit of them, and surrounded them as a collar does the neck; and when Biji Rai saw that there was no chance of escape, he drew his dagger, struck it into his breast, and went to the fire which God has lighted for infidels and those who deny a resurrection, for those who say no prayers, hold no fasts, and tell no beads. – Amen.
    The army of the Sultan kept moving on, and committing slaughter and pillage. One hundred and twenty elephants8 [p. 26] fell to the share of the Sultan, besides the usual share of property and arms. He also obtained an accession of territory without any solicitation. He remained at Bhatia till he had cleansed it from pollution, and appointed a person there to teach those who had embraced Islam, and lead them in the right way. He then returned to Ghazna in triumph and glory, and his fortune was in the equator (ascendant); but as his return was during the rains, when the rivers were full and foaming, and as the mountains were lofty, and he: had to fight with enemies, he lost the greater part of his baggage in the rivers, and many of his valiant warriors were dispersed. God, nevertheless, preserved his person from those calamities which beset his road, for God is the friend of the virtuous. …

The Capture of Multan edit

  • Intelligence reached the Sultan of the acts committed by the ruler of Multan, Abi-l futuh, namely, respecting the impurity of his religion, the seditious designs of his heart, and the evidence of his evil doings, and his endeavours to make proselytes of the inhabitants of his country. The Sultan, zealous for the Muhammadan religion, thought it a shame to allow him to retain his government while he practised such wickedness and disobedience, and he beseeched the assistance of a gracious God in bringing him to repentance, and attacking him with that design in view.
    He then issued orders for the assembling of armies from among the Musulmans for the purpose of joining him in this holy expedition, – those on whom God had set his seal and selected for the performance of good deeds, and obtaining either victory or martyrdom, He departed with them towards Multan in the spring, when the rivers were swollen with the rain, and the Indus and other rivers prevented the passage of the cavalry, and offered difficulties to his companions. The Sultan desired of Andpal,9 the chief of Hind, that he would allow him to march through his territory, but Andpal would not consent, and offered opposition, which resulted in his discomfiture. The Sultan, consequently, [p. 27] thought it expedient to attack Rai Andpal first, notwithstanding his power, in his jungles, to bow down his broad neck, to cut down the trees of his jungles, to destroy every single thing he possessed, and thus to obtain the fruit of two paradises by this double conquest.
    So he stretched out upon him the hand of slaughter, imprisonment, pillage, depopulation, and fire, and hunted him from ambush to ambush, into which he was followed by his subjects, like “merchants of Hazramaut, who are never without their sheets.”10 The spears were tired of penetrating the rings of the coats of mail, the swords became blunt by the blows on the sides, and the Sultan pursued the Rai over hill and dale, over the soft and hard ground of his territory, all his followers either became a feast to the rapacious wild beasts of the passes and plains, or fled in distraction to the neighbourhood of Kashmir.
  • When Abi-l futuh, the ruler of Multan, heard what had happened to the chief of Hind, notwithstanding all his power and the lofty walls of his fort, and his shining sword, and when he began to measure their relative strength, and considered how Andpal, a much greater potentate than himself, had been subdued, he looked upon himself, as compared with the Sultan, as a ravine in comparison with the top of a mountain. He, therefore, determined with all expedition to load all his property on elephants, and carry it off to Sarandip, and he left Multan empty for the Sultan to do with it as he chose.
    The Sultan marched towards Multan, beseeching God’s aid against those who had introduced their neologies into religion and had disparaged it. The inhabitants of the place were blind in their errors, and desirous of extinguishing the light of God with their breath, so the Sultan invested Multan, took it by assault, treated the people with severity, and levied from them twenty thousand thousand dirhams with which to respite their sins. Then the reports of the Sultan’s conquests spread over distant countries, and over the salt sea as tar even as Egypt; Sind and her sister (Hind) trembled [p. 28] at his power and vengeance; his celebrity exceeded that of Alexander the Great, and heresy (ilhad), rebellion, and enmity, were suppressed.

Nawasa Shah edit

  • After this victory over I’lak Khan, the Sultan resolved upon going to Hind for the purpose of making a sudden attack upon the person known as Nawasa Shah, one of the rulers of Hind, who had been established as governor over some of the territories in that country conquered by the Sultan, for the purpose of protecting their borders. Satan had got the better of Nawasa Shah, for he was again apostatising towards the pit of plural worship, had thrown off the slough of Islam, and held conversation with the chiefs of idolatry respecting the casting off the firm rope of religion from his neck. So the Sultan went swifter than the wind in that direction, and made the sword reek with the blood of his enemies. He turned Nawasa Shah out of his government, took possession of all the treasures which he had accumulated, reassumed the government, and then cut down the harvest of idolatry with the sickle of his sword and spear. After God had granted him this and the previous victory, which were tried witnesses as to his exalted state and proselytism, he returned without difficulty to Ghazna.
    • also in [69] [70] [71] [72]
    • Utbi, in Elliot & Dawson, Vol. II, p. 33 , also in Lal, K. S. (1992). The legacy of Muslim rule in India. New Delhi: Aditya Prakashan. Chapter 2, also quoted in Khan, M. A. (2011). Islamic Jihad: A legacy of forced conversion, imperialism and slavery.

Victory near Waihind edit

  • The Sultan, contrary to the disposition of man, which induces him to prefer a soft to a hard couch, and the splendour of the cheeks of pomegranate-bosomed girls to well-tempered sword blades, was so offended at the standard which Satan had raised in Hind, that he determined on another holy expedition to that land.
    • Tarikh Yamini (Kitabu-l Yamini) by Al Utbi, in Elliot and Dowson, Vol. II : Elliot and Dowson, History of India as told by its own Historians, 8 Volumes, Allahabad Reprint, 1964. p. 33 Also quoted in Jain, Meenakshi (2011). The India they saw: Foreign accounts.
  • On the last day of Rabi’u-l-akhir of the same year,13 the Sultan prayed God for the accomplishment of his wishes. When he had reached as far as the river of Waihind, he was met by Brahmanpal, the son of Andpal, at the head of a valiant army, with white swords, blue spears, yellow coats of mail, and ash-coloured elephants. Fight opened its crooked teeth, attacks were frequent like flaming meteors, arrows fell like rain from bows, and the grinding-stone of slaughter revolved, crushing the bold and the powerful. The battle lasted from morning till evening, and the infidels were near gaining the victory, had not God aided by sending the slaves of the household to attack the enemy in rear, and put them to flight. The victors obtained thirty large elephants, and slew the vanquished wherever they were found in jungles, passes, plains, and hills.

Capture of Bhimnagar edit

  • The Sultan himself joined in the pursuit, and went after them as far as the fort called Bhimnagar [Nagarkot, modern Kangra], which is very strong, situated on the promontory of a lofty hill, in the midst of impassable waters. The kings of Hind, the chiefs of that country, and rich devotees, used to amass their treasures and precious jewels, and send them time after time to be presented to the large idol that they might receive a reward for their good deeds and draw near to their God. So the Sultan advanced near to this crow's fruit,^ and this accumulation of years, which had attained such an amount that the backs of camels would not carry it, nor vessels contain it, nor writers hands record it, nor the imagination of an arithmetician conceive it.
    • About the capture of Bhimnagar, Tarikh Yamini (Kitabu-l Yamini) by Al Utbi, in Elliot and Dowson, Vol. II : Elliot and Dowson, History of India as told by its own Historians, 8 Volumes, Allahabad Reprint, 1964. p. 34-35 Also quoted in Jain, Meenakshi (2011). The India they saw: Foreign accounts.
    • also in [79] [80] [81] [82]
  • The Sultan brought his forces under the fort and surrounded it, and prepared to attack the garrison vigorously, boldly and wisely. When the defenders saw the hills covered with the armies of plunderers, and the arrows ascending towards them like flaming sparks of fire, great fear came upon them, and, calling out for mercy, they opened the gates, and fell on the earth, like sparrows before a hawk, or rain before lightning. Thus did God grant an easy conquest of this fort to the Sultan, and bestowed on him as plunder the products of mines and seas, the ornaments of heads and breasts, to his heart’s content. The Sultan entered the fort, with Abu Nasr Ahmad bin Muhammad Farighuni, the ruler of Juzjan, and all his own private attendants, and appointed his two chief chamberlains, Altuntash and Asightigin,16 to take charge of the treasures of gold and silver and all the valuable property, while he himself took charge of the jewels. The treasures were laden on the backs of as many camels as they could procure, and the officers carried away the rest. The stamped coin amounted to seventy thousand thousand royal dirhams, and the gold and silver ingots amounted to seven hundred thousand four hundred mans in weight, besides wearing apparel and fine cloths of Sus, respecting which old men said they never remembered to have seen any so fine, soft, and embroidered. Among the booty was a house of white silver, like to the houses of rich men, the length of which was thirty yards and the breadth fifteen.17 It could be taken to pieces and put together again. And there was a canopy, made of the fine linen of Rum, forty yards long and twenty [p. 31] broad, supported on two golden and two silver poles, which had been cast in moulds.
  • The Sultan appointed one of his most confidential servants to the charge of the fort and the property in it. After this he returned to Ghazna in triumph, and, on his arrival there, he ordered the court-yard of his palace to be covered with a carpet, on which he displayed jewels and unbored pearls and rubies, shining like sparks, or like wine congealed with ice, and emeralds like fresh sprigs of myrtle, and diamonds in size and weight like pomegranates. Then ambassadors from foreign countries, including the envoy from Taghan Khan, king of Turkistan, assembled to see the wealth which they had never yet even read of in books of the ancients, and which had never been accumulated by kings of Persia or of Rum, or even by Karun, who had only to express a wish and God granted it.

Capture of Narain edit

  • The Sultan again resolved on an expedition to Hind, and marched towards Narain, urging his horses and moving over ground, hard and soft, until he came to the middle of Hind, where he reduced chiefs, who, up to that time obeyed no master, overturned their idols, put to the sword the vagabonds of that country, and with delay and circumspection proceeded to accomplish his design. He fought a battle with the chiefs of the infidels, in which God bestowed upon him much booty in property, horses, and elephants, and the friends of God committed slaughter in every hill and valley. The Sultan returned to Ghazna with all the plunder he had obtained.

Conquest of Nardin edit

  • Conquest of Nardin
    After the Sultan had purified Hind from idolatry, and raised mosques therein, he determined to invade the capital of Hind, to punish those who kept idols and would not acknowledge the unity of God. He collected his warriors and distributed money amongst them. He marched with a large army in the year 404 H., A.D. 1013 during a dark night, and at the close of autumn, on account of the purity of the southern breezes at that season. When the Sultan had arrived near the frontier of Hind, snow fell, such as had never been seen before, insomuch that the passes of the hills were closed, and mountains and valleys became of one level. The feet of the horses and camels were affected by the cold, so it may be conceived what the faces, hands, and feet of men suffered. The well-known roads were concealed, and the right could not be distinguished from the left, or what was behind from that which was before, and they were unable to return until God should give the order. The Sultan employed himself, in the meantime, in collecting supplies, and sent for his generals from the different provinces. After having thus accumulated the means of warfare, and having been joined by his soldiers, who had come from different directions, in number equal to the drops [p. 33] of an autumnal rain, he left these winter quarters in the spring, and, had the earth been endowed with feeling, it would have groaned under the weight of the iron, the warriors, the horses, and the beasts of burden. The guides marched on in front over hill and dale, before the sun arose, and even before the light of the stars was extinguished. He urged on his horses20 for two months, among broad and deep rivers, and among jungles in which wild cattle even might lose their way.
  • The conflict continued as before until God blew the gale of victory on his friends, and the enemy were slain on the tops of the hills, and in the valleys, ravines, and beds of torrents. A large number of elephants, which the enemy had looked upon as strongholds to protect them, fell into the hands of the victors, as well as much other booty. So God granted the Sultan the victory of Nardin, such as added to the decoration of the mantle of Islam, which had not before that period extended to that place.
    A stone was found there in the temple of the great Budda,21 on which an inscription was written purporting that the temple had been founded fifty thousand years ago. The Sultan was surprised at the ignorance of these people, because those who believe in the true faith represent that only seven thousand years have elapsed since the creation of the world, and the signs of resurrection are even now approaching. The Sultan asked his wise men the meaning [p. 35] of this inscription, and they all concurred in saying that it was false, and, that no faith was to be put in the evidence of a stone.
  • The Sultan returned, marching in the rear of this immense booty, and slaves were so plentiful that they became very cheap, and men of respectability in their native land were degraded by becoming slaves of common shopkeepers. But this is the goodness of God, who bestows honours on his own religion and degrades infidelity.

Conquest of Tanesar edit

  • Conquest of Tanesar
    The Sultan learnt that in the country of Tanesar there were large elephants of the Sailaman (Ceylon) breed, celebrated for military purposes. The chief of Tanesar was on this account obstinate in his infidelity and denial of God. So the Sultan marched against him with his valiant warriors, for the purpose of planting the standards of Islam and extirpating idolatry. He marched through a desert which no one had yet crossed, except birds and wild beasts, for the foot of man and the shoe of horse had not traversed it. There was no water in it, much less any other kind of food. The Sultan was the first to whom God had granted a passage over this desert, in order that he might arrive at the accomplishment of his wishes.
    Beneath it (Tanesar?) flowed a pure stream; the bottom was covered with large stones, and its banks were precipitous and sharp as the points of arrows. The Sultan had reached this river where it takes its course through a hill-pass, behind which the infidels had posted themselves, in the rear of their elephants, with a large number of infantry and cavalry. The Sultan adopted the stratagem of ordering some of his troops to cross the river by two different fords, and to attack the enemy on both sides; and when they were all engaged in close conflict he ordered another body of men to go up the bank of the stream, which was flowing through the pass with fearful impetuosity, and attack the enemy amongst the ravines, where they were posted in, the greatest number. The battle raged fiercely, and about evening, after a vigorous attack on the part of the Musulmans, the enemy fled, leaving [p. 36] their elephants, which were all driven into the camp of the Sultan, except one, which ran off and could not be found. The largest were reserved for the Sultan.
  • The blood of the infidels flowed so copiously, that the stream was discoloured, notwithstanding its purity, and people were unable to drink it. Had not night come on and concealed the traces of their flight, many more of the enemy would have been slain. The victory was gained by God’s grace, who has established Islam for ever as the best of religions, notwithstanding that idolaters revolt against it. The Sultan returned with plunder which it is impossible to recount. Praise be to God (Allah), the protector of the world, for the honour he bestows upon Islam and Musulmans!

Capture of Mathura edit

  • The Sultan then departed from the environs of the city, in which was a temple of the Hindus. The name of this place was Maharatu-l Hind. He saw there a building of exquisite structure, which the inhabitants said had been built, not by men, but by Genii, and there he witnessed practices contrary to the nature of man, and which could not be believed but from evidence of actual sight. The wall of the city was constructed of hard stone, and two gates opened upon the river flowing under the city, which were erected upon strong and lofty foundations to protect them against the floods of the river and rains. On both sides of the city there were a thousand houses, to which idol temples were attached, all strengthened from top to bottom by rivets of iron, and all made of masonry work; and opposite to them were other buildings, supported on broad wooden pillars, to give them strength.
  • In the middle of the city there was a temple larger and firmer than the rest, which can neither be described nor painted. The Sultan thus wrote respecting it: “If any should wish to construct a building equal to this, he would not be able to do it without expending an hundred thousand thousand red dinars, and it would occupy two hundred years, even though the most experienced and able workmen were [p. 40] employed.” Among the idols there were five made of red gold, each five yards high, fixed in the air without support. In the eyes of one of these idols there were two rubies, of such value, that if anyone were to sell such as are like them, he would obtain fifty thousand dinars. On another, there was a sapphire purer than water, and more sparkling than crystal; the weight was four hundred and fifty miskals. The two feet of another idol weighed four thousand four hundred miskals, and the entire quantity of gold yielded by the bodies of these idols was ninety-eight thousand three hundred miskals. The idols of silver amounted to two hundred, but they could not be weighed without breaking them to pieces and putting them into scales. The Sultan gave orders that all the temples should be burnt with naphtha and fire, and leveled with the ground.

The Conquest of Kanauj edit

  • After this, the Sultan went on with the intention of proceeding to Kanauj, and he derived a favourable omen, when he opened the Kuran, from finding the resemblance of “Kanauj” to “victories.”30 He left the greater part of his army behind, and took only a small body of troops with him against Rai Jaipal, who had also but a few men with him, and was preparing to fly for safety to some of his dependent vassals.
  • The Sultan leveled to the ground every fort which he had in this country, and the inhabitants of them either accepted Islam, or took up arms against him. He collected so much booty, prisoners and wealth, that the fingers of those who counted them would have been tired.
  • He arrived on the 8th, of Sha’ban at Kanauj, which was deserted by Jaipal on hearing of his approach, for he fled [p. 41] across the Ganges, which the Hindus regard as of exceeding sanctity, and consider that its source is in the paradise of heaven. When they burn their dead, they throw the ashes into this river, as they consider that the waters purify them from sins. Devotees come to it from a distance, and drown themselves in its stream, in the hope of obtaining eternal salvation, but in the end it will only carry them to hell, so that it will neither kill them nor make them alive.
  • The Sultan advanced to the fortifications of Kanauj, which consisted of seven distinct forts, washed by the Ganges which flowed under them like the ocean. In Kanauj there were nearly ten thousand temples, which the idolaters falsely and absurdly represented to have been founded by their ancestors two or three hundred thousand years ago. They worshipped and offered their vows and supplications to them in consequence of their great antiquity. Many of the inhabitants of the place fled and were scattered abroad like so many wretched widows and orphans, from the fear which oppressed them, in consequence of witnessing the fate of their deaf and dumb idols. Many of them thus effected their escape, and those who did not fly were put to death. The Sultan took all seven forts in one day, and gave his soldiers leave to plunder them and take prisoners.

Capture of Munj edit

  • He then went to Munj, known as the fort of Brahmans, the inhabitants of which were independent as headstrong camels. They prepared to offer opposition, like evil demons and obstinate Satans, and when they found they could not withstand the Musulmans, and that their blood would be shed, they took to flight, throwing themselves down from the apertures and the lofty and broad battlements, but most of them were killed in this attempt.[p. 42]

Defeat of Chand Rai edit

also in [138] [139] [140] [141]
  • The Sultan invested and captured the fort, notwithstanding its strength and height. Here he got plenty of supplies and booty, but he did not obtain the real object of his desire, which was to seize Chand Rai, and which he now determined to effect by proceeding in pursuit of him. Accordingly, after marching fifteen parasangs through the forest, which was so thorny that the faces of his men were scarified and bloody, and through stony tracts which battered and injured the horses’ shoes, he at last came up to his enemy, shortly before midnight on the 25th of Sha’ban (6th January, 1019 A.D.). They had traveled over high and low ground without any marked road, not like merchants of Hazramaut travelling at ease with their mantles around them.
  • The Sultan summoned the most religiously disposed of his followers, and ordered them to attack the enemy immediately. Many infidels were consequently slain or taken prisoners in this sudden attack, and the Musulmans paid no regard to the booty till they had satiated themselves with the slaughter of the infidels and worshippers of the sun and fire. The friends of Allah searched the bodies of the slain for three whole days, in order to obtain booty... The booty amounted in gold and silver, rubies and pearls, nearly to three thousand thousand dirhams, and the number of prisoners may be conceived from the fact, that each was sold for from two to ten dirhams. These were afterwards taken to Ghazna, and merchants came from distant cities to purchase them, so that the countries of Mawarau-n nahr, Irak and Khurasan were filled with them, and the fair and the dark, the rich and the poor, were commingled in one common slavery.
  • The elephants were carried off, some by force, some were driven, and some went without any compulsion towards Mahmud, upon whom God bestows, out of his great kindness, not only ordinary plunder, but drives elephants towards him. Therefore they were called “God-brought,”38 in gratitude to the Almighty for sending elephants to the Sultan, which are only driven by iron goads, and are not usually captured [p. 45] without stratagem and deceit, whereas, in this instance, they came of their own accord, leaving idols, preferring the service of the religion of Islam.

Quotes about Al Utbi edit

  • We possess a brief account of the Indian expeditions of Sultan Mahmud by Al-’Utbi, his Secretary, who “enjoyed excellent opportunities of becoming fully acquainted with the operations of that conqueror ”' He very frankly says that “Islam or death was the alternative that Mahmud placed before the people,” and his detailed account gives many practical illustrations of it. The usual consequence of Mahmud’s victory is thus described by "Utbi: “The victors slew the vanquished wherever they were found, in jungles, passes, plains and hills.” Elsewhere he says: “The blood of the infidels flowed so copiously, that the stream was discoloured, notwithstanding its purity, and people were unable to drink it.”' The word ‘infidel’ in the above extract is significant,—for the only way to escape this cruel massacre was to embrace Islam. It was thus that Hardat, the ruler of Baran, and his ten thousand followers, as well as the Shah of Qurat and its people saved their lives. There must have been many other mass conversions of this type.' Utbi’s account is full of stories of indiscriminate massacre of all those Hindus who fell into the hands of Mahmud after the capture of a town or fort and disdained to save their lives by change of religion. We also hear of a large number of such unfortunate Hindus being carried away as slaves. Referring to Mahmud’s victory over Nidar Bhim, ’Utbi remarks that “slaves were so plentiful that they became very cheap.”'’© His detailed account clearly shows that these slaves were converted to Muslim faith.
    • RC Majduar editor, Volume 5: The Struggle for Empire [1000-1300 A.D.] p 497-502

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