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By Manan Ahmed Asif

The query of ways Islam arrived in India continues to be markedly contentious in South Asian politics. commonplace bills heart at the Umayyad Caliphate’s incursions into Sind and littoral western India within the 8th century CE. during this telling, Muslims have been a overseas 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 awareness to a thirteenth-century textual content that tells the tale of Chach, the Brahmin ruler of Sind, and his kingdom’s later conquest by way of the Muslim basic Muhammad bin Qasim in 712 CE. The Chachnama has lengthy been a touchstone of Indian historical past, but it's seldom studied in its entirety. Asif deals an in depth and entire research of this significant textual content, untangling its a variety of registers and genres with a purpose 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 principles, 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 conception, one embedded in either the Indic and Islamic ethos. This social and highbrow background of the Chachnama is a crucial corrective to the divisions among Muslim and Hindu that so frequently outline Pakistani and Indian politics at the present time.

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Extra info for A Book of Conquest: The Chachnama and Muslim Origins in South Asia

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Finally, Muhammad reached Aror. It is one of the cities of Sind and is on a mountain. He besieged the city and conquered it by treaty with the condition that he would neither kill them nor enter their temple. " And he imposed tax (khara;) on them and in Aror he built a mosque. 49 This description of Muslim armies making treaties and controlling non-Muslim communities is critically important for the development of ninth- and tenth-century Muslim polities in Sind. The campaign reaches the outskirts of Multan, which surrenders after a fierce resistance.

That is, it places Kufi's Chachnama in the world of the early thirteenth century, as described in Muhammad 'Awfi's Lubabul albab (completed in 1221) and fawami Hikayat wa Lawami ul-Rivayat (completed in 1231), with Minhaj Suraj Juzjani's Tabaqat-i Nasiri (completed ca. 1260). 'Awfi, Kufi, and Juzjani were all in Uch in the early thirteenth century, and they were associated with the court of In linking Chachnama with other Nasiruddin Qabacha (r. 1205-1228). texts of the early thirteenth century, I expand also the analysis of how space (the interconnected regions of Sind and Gujarat) influences these texts.

At Jahanian Jahangasht's tomb, I was told to visit the wall on which he had sat and traveled to different parts of the world, including Egypt, Mecca, and Medina. 1 From his travels, Jahaniyan Jahan Gasht (the 23 24 FRONTIER WITH THE HOUSE OF GOLD List of sacral sites of Uch Sharif. ) honorific Jahangasht is "one who goes around the world"), brought back sacral objects-the handprint of 'Ali, the footprint of the Prophetthat are embedded in various locations in Uch. These were the sort of details to which my hosts directed my attention.

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