ancient indian history

Raja Dahir

Raja Dahir

Raja Dahir was Mohyal brahmin ruler of Sindh, in present-day Pakistan. In 711 AD his kingdom was invaded by Umayyad Caliphate led by Muhammad bin Qasim, where Dahir died while defending his kingdom. Dahar ruled his kingdom for almost 40 years from 668-711 AD.

Major achievement of Raja Dahir, during his rule was to secure law & order in his empire. He routed out bandits and banished them to the seas. While his major weakness was that he ignored strengthening western borders, to prevent Arab invasion.
Consequent to Arab occupation in persia, the western border had become very sensitive. It seems that Dahar was nostalgically looking back towards the days of the pre-Islamic Persia, when the glorious Sassanid Dynasty ruled over that vast empire with great pomp and show. It was difficult for him to accept that the ancient glory of Iran had gone, forever, and he could never make up his mind to deal with the Bedouins of the Arab Deserts as successors of the great Persian Emperors. The Arabs, at the same time, displayed no desire for establishing friendly relations with the other powers of their time. Specially in the case of Sindh, the Arabs had always been speaking in terms of whether it was difficult or easy to annex this state, and never in terms of whether or not the Sindhis have given them a cause for invasion. We must remember that “world peace” is a very modern term and has its origin in the Romantic Movement of the 18th and 19th Century. Even so it wasn’t until after the World War I in the 20th Century that the concept of world peace, became a reality in the foreign policies of states. The modern Muslim historians, more than anyone else, are guilty of anachronism, when they try to perceive of the early Arab colonialism in terms of the 20th Century notions of democracy and world peace.
Dahar, it seems, didn’t display any personal aversion to the Muslims or their religion. He welcomed the Arab talent at his court, and was a great admirer of the Arab military genius. Unfortunately, the Arabs, who found refuge at Dahar’s court were the Allafi adversaries of the Umayyad Caliphate. It is said that one of their relatives, a dignitary of the Allafi tribe, was beheaded in Mekran by a deputy of Hajjaj bin Yousuf as he refused to pay proper honour to that deputy. His skin was taken off and his head sent to Basra. In true Arab spirit some of the tribesmen of the victim took their revenge upon the deputy, who had by that time become the governor of Mekran, and then fled to the court of Dahar.
We cannot be certain how far the famous story about the plunder of eight Arab ships at Debal is true. It has been recorded in most histories that the King of Sarandeep had sent some gifts to the Umayyad Caliph Walid bin Abdul Malik, and the caravan of eight ships also carried the orphaned daughters of deceased Arab merchants. These ships were forced by rough weather to take refuge on the coasts of Sindh, possibly Debal, and there they were looted by some outlandish tribes. The story even relates that one of the women called upon Hajjaj when she was being captured, and this message was conveyed to Hajjaj by a survivor. Hajjaj sent a letter to Dahir asking him to release the women, and we are told by historians that, “in that letter he couched many threats in very strong terms.” If that was the case then Dahir must be praised for his patience in replying only, “This is the work of a band of robbers over whom I do not have power.”

Mainly two facts make this story doubtful. Firstly, Chachnameh, the primary source of these events, narrates that when Muhammad bin Qasim later conquered Debal he found all the women in the castle prison. Why would those women be kept in the prison? Women captured in this manner were usually treated as slave girls and distributed among the captors for their pleasures, as Mohammad Bin Qasim reportedly did at the time of his capture of Sindh.

Secondly, the Chachnameh states again in the events of a year later that after the Arabs had conquered almost all of Sindh, the Hindu vizier Siyakar brought those Muslim women prisoners to Muhammad bin Qasim. How could they be freed now, if they had been already freed and sent home from Debal? Indeed, it seems that the story had become a folk tale and there were many versions of it. We can’t be sure that the version that has come down to us, was closest to reality. In the light of what we know, it is more plausible to believe that some ships were probably looted but that was an act of the robbers whom Dahir had banished from his lands with great difficulty and now didn’t want to provoke by challenging their hold over the seas. Dahir’s personal involvement in the events, as well as the captives’ release from the prisons of Debal and or Alore, seems to be a fabrication by the later storytellers for obvious reasons. The events of Muhammad bin Qasim’s invasion of Sindh are well known. What isn’t so well known to most students of history is the manner in which Raja Dahar met his death. It is said that when the Arab conqueror had captured most of Sindh, and Dahir’s countrymen had changed their sides to join the Arabs, Dahir called his Arab friends, the Allafi rebels. In a way they were the cause of Dahir’s misfortune because it was by giving them refuge that Dahir had first annoyed the dreadful Hajjaj bin Yousuf. “O Allafi!” Dahir said to his Arab friend, “It was for such an emergency that we patronized you. You are best acquainted with the ways of the Arab army, and it is advisable that you should go with my forces in advance.” The Allafi replied, “O King! We are grateful to you, but we cannot draw our swords against the army of Islam. If we are killed by them we will earn a bad name, and if we kill them we will burn in hell. We agree that in return for the favours you have shown us, we must at least give you some advice on how to fight these invaders even if we do not draw our swords against them. But if we give you advice, then again, this army will never forgive us. Please be kind to us and allow us to depart quietly.” In a magnanimous gesture of royal grace, Dahir allowed these dubious characters to leave his camps in safety. Sometime before the final battle, Dahar’s vizier approached him and suggested that Dahir should take refuge with one of the friendly kings of India. “You should say to them, ‘I am a wall between you and the Arab army. If I fall, nothing will stop your destruction at their hands.'” If that wasn’t acceptable to Dahar, said the vizier, then he should at least send away his family to some safe point in India. Dahar refused to do either. “I cannot send away my family to security while the families of my thakurs and nobles remain here. And I consider it shameful as well that I should go to the door of another prince and await his permission to see him.” Vizier Budhiman then asked Dahar what did he intend to do. To this Dahar gave a very dramatic reply, which was recorded faithfully by the early Arab historians despite their hostility to the unfortunate infidel. “I am going to meet the Arabs in the open battle”, he said, “And fight them as best as I can. If I crush them, my kingdom will then be put on a firm footing. But if I am killed honorably, the event will be recorded in the books of Arabia and India, and will be talked about by great men. It will be heard by other kings in the world, and it will be said that Rajah Dahar of Sindh sacrificed his precious life for the sake of his country, in fighting with the enemy.”

After Dahar was killed in the Battle of Aror on the banks of the River Indus, his head was cut off from his body and sent to Hajjaj bin Yousuf. His queens burnt themselves to death in the tradition set by the brahmin heroines. These included Bai, the unfortunate sister of Dahar. Other ladies of the royal household, who remained alive, were captured by the Arab conquerors along with other women of Sindh, and sold into slavery. Thus ended the great sanatna dharma dynasty to the cruel Mughal invaders.

As we are aware that in 711 AD there was an aggressive and deadly attack on Sindh, ruled by Dahir. The king was killed. The Queen performed ‘Johar’ and ended her life and the palace was destroyed.
The attackers were ruthless but surely not braver than hindus. They had better weapons, and unfair war ethics.
Due this unethical behaviour, the terror, they created, had no equal.
Battles of civilised dynasities were always fought in battlefields, where warriors fought against warriors.
However the cruel Mughals invaded villages and killed innocent unsuspecting women, children and old people. They destroyed the hindu temples and the idols & schools.
Mughal soldiers raped young women. The way they treated those who were their victims, was utterly cruel. That man can be so cruel was unprecedented and unknown to Sanatana culture.
This demonic aggression had left the most civilised society, afraid and terrified. As a result the aggressors found literally no opposition and Sindh was defeated, by the blood sucking demons, who were dancing on the blood filled land.
Sanatana Dharma society must take pride in the great daughters of King Dahir who hsd avenged the insulting defeat of Sindh by killing Mohammad Bin Qasim.
Dahir had two daughters, Suryadevi and Parimaladevi who were sent to Baghdad as a gift for the Khalif.
Unlike Sanatana Dharma culture, which teaches followers to treat captured women of enemies, as mothers and sisters, and here there was another culture, which sent women to their moullavis, for appeasement and enjoyment. This tradition was a disgrace to human society.
  However daughters of Dahir were very brave. According to Chachnama, a Sindhi book, which is a biography of Raja Dahir and sacrifice of his family.
After Raja Dahar was killed, two of his daughters were made captive, whom Muhammad Bin Qasim sent to the capital Damascus. After a few days, the Caliph of the Muslims called the two young women to his court.
Caliph Waleed Bin Abdul Malik fell for Suryadevi’s extraordinary beauty. He ordered for her younger sister to be taken away. The Caliph then began to take liberties with Suryadevi, pulling her to himself. It is written that Suryadevi sprang up and said: “May the king live long: I, a humble slave, am not fit for your Majesty’s bedroom, because Muhammad Bin Qasim kept both of us sisters with him for three days, and then sent us to the caliphate. Perhaps your custom is such, but this kind of disgrace should not be permitted by kings.” Hearing this, the Caliph’s blood boiled as heat from anger and desire both compounded within him.

Blinded in the thirst of Suryadevi’s nearness and jealousy of Bin Qasim who had robbed him of the purity he would otherwise have had, the Caliph immediately sent for pen, ink and paper, and with his own hands wrote an order, directing that, “Muhammad (Bin) Qasim should, wherever he may be, put himself in raw leather and come back to the chief seat of the caliphate.”

Muhammad Bin Qasim was captured on Caliph’s orders in the city of Udhapur. He was wrapped in raw leather and locked him in a trunk before taking him to Damascus.

En route to the capital, Muhammad Bin Qasim breathed his last.  When the trunk carrying Muhammad Bin Qasim’s corpse wrapped in raw leather reached the Caliph’s court, the Caliph called upon Dahar’s daughters, asking them to bear witness to the spectacle of obedience of his men for the Caliph.

One of Dahar’s daughter’s then spoke in return and said: “The fact is that Muhammad Qasim was killer of her Family.  Although he never touched us, but we were full of revenge against him. He destroyed their family, their kingdom and ruined their lives. By playing tactic we took our revenge from him. The Caliph reacted to this instance by tying both sisters behind Horses and making them to run until both of them died. But their faces flashed with the smiles of Victory as they had taken their revenge before dying.
The sacrifice made by Raja Dahir Family is an unforgotten tale of bravery. Their sacrifice will always be remembered for centuries inspiring generations. 

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