may i ask who is Raja Dahir?
DAWN The Review, May 17-23 May 2001
Rajah Dahar of Sindh
"Whoever marries your sister will become the ruler of Sindh," the astrologers told Dahar, the Rajah of Sindh. Dahar was the eldest son of Chach, the founder of the Brahmin Dynasty in Sindh, and he had inherited lower Sindh. His younger brother, Daharsingh was ruling upper Sindh, and both of them were born of Suhandi, the ambitious wife of Chach. Bai, their sister whose horoscope posed a dilemma for Dahar, was born of a Jatt mother.
"The administration of a large kingdom is a delicate matter," said the grand vizier Budhiman to Dahar. "For the sake of their kingdom, kings bring death upon their brothers and relatives or banish them from their country. You should marry your sister, and seat her with you on the throne though you will never consummate the marriage. As she will be called your wedded wife the kingdom will remain with you, according to the astrologers' prediction." When this argument didn't convince Dahar, the grand vizier made a practical demonstration about the so-called collective memory of the people. He laid mud on the back of a sheep, and grew plants on it. When the sheep was paraded through the streets of Aror, it caught everyone's attention. But only for three days! Afterward, the sheep would roam around in the streets and no one would pay heed to it. That much is the human attention span.
Much has been said about Dahar's marriage to his sister, but as far as we can gather from recorded history it was a nominal marriage and never consummated. Yet, it earned Dahar a bad reputation, so that his name became proverbial and synonymous with "big mistake" in the Sindhi language. His younger brother, Daharsingh, who was ruling the northern areas of the empire, rose in rebellion, although death overtook him before a decisive battle could settle the affairs between the brothers. The true casualty of this whole affair goes mostly unnoticed by the historians of all schools. The saddest part of the story was perhaps the fact that a young woman was condemned to a life that she did not deserve.
Apart from his "big mistake," Dahar certainly possessed some remarkable characteristics. He was exceptionally brave and fearless. There is even a story about how, when a ferocious lion once attacked Dahar's hunting retinue, Dahar wrapped his scarf on his left arm and thrust that arm into the lion's mouth while killing the beast with his right arm. Even if we don't believe this story, we have witnesses to his other acts of bravery, and such witnesses are found even among his enemies, the Arab invaders. As described by the ancient historians, Rajah Dahar is the tragedy of a man who set out to take lessons in being a king. His flaw was his willingness to place his faith in the external factors: stars, destiny, enemies and friends. By the time Dahar learnt his lessons, it was too late for him to live like a king. The only option left before him by then was to die like one.
Dahar had the opportunity to rule for a long period over his kingdom - almost forty years (c. 668 - 712 AD). Over that period his major achievement was to secure law and order in his land by routing the bandits and banishing them to the seas. His major weakness was his foreign policy, specially towards the western borders of his empire where the threat of an Arab invasion was increasing everyday since the Arab occupation of Persia in 635 AD.
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 Dahar 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 Dahar 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 Dahar had banished from his lands with great difficulty and now didn't want to provoke by challenging their hold over the seas. Dahar'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 Dahar's countrymen had changed their sides to join the Arabs, Dahar called his Arab friends, the Allafi rebels. In a way they were the cause of Dahar's misfortune because it was by giving them refuge that Dahar had first annoyed the dreadful Hajjaj bin Yousuf. "O Allafi!" Dahar 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, Dahar allowed these dubious characters to leave his camps in safety.
Sometime before the final battle, Dahar's vizier approached him and suggested that Dahar 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 Rajput 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 dynasty that had sprung out of the ambitions of Queen Suhandi and Chach the Brahmin.
SOURCES used in this series of articles: Chachnameh by Ali Kufi; Futuhul Baldan by Al Balazri; Tarikh-e-Masumi by Mir Masum Bakhari; and Tuhfatil Kiram by Mir Ali Sher Qanea
Last edited by Raghu; 04-25-2010 at 12:27 PM.
ANP's hero is Raja dahar and gandhi not MUhammad bin Qasim or Quaid-e-azam so nothing new if haji adeel said this... ANP is anti pakistan from the start... They have always been in love with pakistan's enemies. i don't know why a party like ANP is allowed to function.
I heard people in Sindh also reveres Raja Dahir... Don't know how much of it is true.
The story goes like this, A local hero fought against an invader and was defeated and now the invader has became the hero and the local hero enemy.
Every one has the right to choose one's religion, HEROES and even have an Opinion.
Haji Adeel can choose anyone as his hero.
By doing so, in fact, he has exposed the inner wishes of Sarhadi Ghandhi Clan (ANP)
ANP never accepted Pakistan and they are Indian agents who oppose projects like Kala Bagh Dam.
Mr. Zardari is pleasing ANP as it suits him politically.
Haji Adeel can go to hell and worship kali devi as well from my side.
Raja Dahir was ruler of Sind.
he looted Arab merchant ships coming from Baghdad and picked up ladies traveling with them.
One lady shouted for help from Khalifa and a man who escaped told this in Baghdad.
Consequently, Muhammad Bin Qasim came with an army, defeated and killed Raja Dahir and made First Islamic State in Sub Continent from Debal to Multan.
This expedition took place in the days of Umer by Usman Bin Abbass Sukfi who was in charge of Bahrain and Oman territories. His invasion was by the sea route. His boats went to Thana City, near the vicinity of Bombay. From there he returned with a lot of loot, called Mal-e-ghaneemat (booty). From this booty lie gave a portion to Umer, who, after receiving his share, advised Usman not to invade through the sea route which was unsafe, as he had himself sent a fleet towards the Roman area, but which, on account of a tempest, was destroyed. After that he had decided not to send invaders through sea, as it was full of danger. 
Second and Third Expeditions
Caliph Umer was a strong and harsh ruler. It was difficult to disobey his orders. But by to many Arab Ameers and their followers temptation to loot had now become very strong with the result that the same Usman Bin Asi, along with his brother "Mugira", again took a fleet of ships, under the leadership of Commander "Mugira", and sailed towards Sindh's Port of "Debal". He reached "Bharoch". In that invasion Mugira was killed. These invasions took place during the fifteenth Hijjri, (Muslim Calendar) in the days of Umer. In the 21st Hijjri, his armies succeeded in invasions conquering "Hamdan", "Nihavund" and "Khurasan". From these conquests the Arabs got a lot of wealth besides an army of male and female slaves. Three other places, Seestan (now Sehwan), Kirman, Makran were still within the territories of the Persian Empire. These were also conquered by tile Arabs and a huge amount of money was taken away. But that time, the people of the neighboring countries had come to know that the main purpose of Arabs' attacks was to acquire riches. During the Arab invasions, the local people used to hurriedly escape either to mountains or to other villages, leaving their houses in fear of the Arab looters.
Therefore in 23rd Hijjri, the Arabs decided not to merely conquer and after looting to return to Arabia, but to establish their rule over the conquered territories as well by remaining there. For this purpose Sohail-Bin-Adi and Abdullah-Bin-Aqlan were sent towards "Kirman", and on the other side Hakirn-Bin-Amru and Abdullah-Bin-Umer were sent towards Seestan to establish their rule and exploit the riches of that country.
After conquering the two countries, Hakim-Bin-Amru "Taghalbi" invaded Makran and Shanab-Bin-Mughariq and the above mentioned persons also joined them on account of which the tribal Chief of Makran asked Maha Raja Dahir to help him. In that battle Makran's ruler and Sindh's commander were killed and the Arabs killed a lot of persons and got a lot of money, slaves, male and female, in looting. One-fifth of this loot was sent to Khaleefa Umer. He was glad to see this money, and the whole of Madina celebrated this victory. The Arabs used to be pleased from such things as they depended on such victories. It is said that when the Amirs related the difficulties of these expeditions, Hazrat Umer prohibited them from making such hazardous expeditions.
Abdul Rahman Bin Sumrah, after conquering Zuringe, proceeded towards the hills between Zuringe and Kesh. He took possession of the part of Sindh, which is now Baluchistan. In those days, there was no separate country like Baluchistan. Makran and Seestan were on the border of Sindh.
When Arabs murdered the third Khalifa, Usman, in his house, then Hazrat Ah (Alahisalam) was elected the Arab ruler in his place in 35th Hijjri. The expedition started before his rule towards Sindh. "Tugir Bin Saghir along with "Hans Bin Marih Adi" in 38th Hijjri, these persons were attacked by hilly tract people. They returned after conquering them. 
After the fifth expedition, Haris Bin Marih Adi continued his expedition towards Sindh. He received information of the martyrdom of Hazrat Ah. Yet he continued his expedition In Arabia, in place of Hazrat Ah, Amir Muavia came in possession of the rule. (Fatoohul Buldan).
Amir Muavia immediately sent Abdul Bin Amir and Rashid Bin Umer towards Sindh, who after getting a lot of loot from that side, came and gave a share of the loot to Muavia, the ruler of Syria.
In 42nd Hijjri, Amir Muavia sent Abdul Bin and Abdullah Bin Sawar on an expedition of Sindh. They brought back several horses from the side of Keekan and other booty from Sindh, on which Muavia was very glad.
Abdullah Bin Amir remained in Damascus and returned to the side of Keekan, during this expedition. He contacted the Turks. The Turkish troops were also on an expedition of looting. He and his people were killed and getting this information Muavia sent Abdullah Bin Sawar with four thousand cavalry along with same route and ordered them to bring well known horses of Keekan on their return. 
In 44th Hijjri, Muhab Bin Abisafra, a known Commander of Abdul Rahman Bin Sumra's troop, was sent towards Sindh. Instead of going on direct route, he changed his route via mountains and fought with local people near Kandabeel and, after getting sufficient loot, he went back.
This expedition was also towards Kandabeel, though Sindh's route was different. Abdullah Bin Sawar got killed in this battle. Seestan's ruler sent Zaid Bin Abu Sufyan, Sinan Bin Muslim and Muhibuk Hezli towards Sindh. They looted the Makran area and occupied it. The robbers sent a portion of the loot to Amir Muavia.
After that, Zaid sent troops towards Sindh under the command of Rashid Bin Umer "Juwary Azdi", who attacked Keekan and kept on sending the looted cash from that country along with looted property, throughout the year. When Rashid was returning from "Munder" and "Bah Raj" hills; he met the people of the Maid tribe who arrested him. Then Sinan Bin Muslim was appointed in his place. He was killed in fighting with the people of the Maidtribe. 
During the last years of Amir Muavia, in forty-ninth Hijjri, Zaid Bin Ahad started an expedition towards Sindhi. He reached the "Sunarode" and took the way to Hillmund and reached Kandhar. After looting it he went back.
After the death of Sinan Bin Muslim, Manzar Bin Jarood was appointed the ruler of Makran. He too marched towards Sindh, but on hearing the news of rebellion behind, he returned and stayed at Khuzdar and died there. After Manzar Bin Jarood, Ubedullah Bin Ziyad (who at the time was appointed ruler of Basra in place of his father) appointed Haris Bin Basar in his place, but he died at Tooran. In his place Hakam was appointed as his successor.
After Hakam, Ibn-e-Ziad sent Sardar Bin Han to the frontiers of Sindh. He fought many battles against the Sindhis. From the above mentioned facts the readers will know the Arab expeditions toward Sindh were not for the cause of spreading Islam or getting gifts looted by pirates or for returning Muhammad Bin Alafi, who on account of tyranny of Hajjaj Bin Yousif, had taken asylum with Raja Dahir. Instead, all these expeditions were part of the Arabs thirst for conquering the rich countries in the name of religion, and thereby establishing Arab Imperialism, which was initiated by Amir Umer .
A BIRD'S EYE VIEW OF SINDH'S PAST, PRESENT and Future
But its not my words ...these things are written by G M Syed,the grand old man of Sindh.
I've given the link to the book in the above post.
If u read his book u'll find,although he had anything but praise for the Prophet,he vociferously critical the Arab caliphs that came to power in the name of Islam and used Islam to serve their political interests.And in the end ,according to him destroyed superior Sindhi civilization.
Last edited by Raghu; 04-24-2010 at 10:36 PM.
The way Pakistanis on this forum embrace everything that is Arab in the name of Islam and even at the cost of their own heroes/personalities never ceases to amaze me. It seems like they are pretty eager to neglect their own and accept everything that was brought by the Arabs, the carriers of the Islamic faith to the subcontinent. Perhaps thats the way history was taught to the average Pakistani.
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