By Manan Ahmed Asif
The query of ways Islam arrived in India is still markedly contentious in South Asian politics. usual money owed 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 international 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 heritage of Islam in India, Manan Ahmed Asif directs realization 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 historical past, but it truly is seldom studied in its entirety. Asif bargains a detailed and entire research of this significant textual content, untangling its quite a few registers and genres with a view 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 previous Arabic textual content and that it provides a historical past of conquest. Debunking either rules, he demonstrates that the Chachnama was once initially Persian and, faraway from advancing a story of imperial aggression, is a sophisticated and complicated paintings of political concept, 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 frequently outline Pakistani and Indian politics at the present time.
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Additional resources for A Book of Conquest: The Chachnama and Muslim Origins in South Asia
Dating to the turn of the millennium, the histories of these cities are generally narrated as histories of conquest. 3 Multan and Uch were settlements of considerable r \ 50 A FOUNDATION FOR HISTORY merit and are attested in accounts from the fifth and sixth centuries. 4 Multan was a known center for pilgrimage to the sun temple since the third century. 5 Uch, Mansura, Diu, Broach, Cam bay were nodes which connected to Aden and Muscat on the one end and to Lahore antl Kabul on the other. A sketch of these political regimes will help illustrate the political dynamics of the thirteenth century and make the argument for why a text such as Chachnama was written.
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. It is an Arabization of the Persian but, which can refer to both image as well as temple. Baladhuri clearly states, "Everything they worship is the budd.
This work attempts to untangle such representations. It is thus important to re-think geography for Muslim history in India. It is important to underline the interconnected nature of the city states in northwest and southwest India. They must be seen as dynamic lived spaces connected to other city states in Afghanistan or Central Asia and not merely as nodes in a military conquest. It is imperative to resist a distillation of experience into military events, for it forecloses meaning in the texts that emerged from these lived spaces.
A Book of Conquest: The Chachnama and Muslim Origins in South Asia by Manan Ahmed Asif