(Last Updated on : 25/05/2011)
The Arabs and the Turks invaded India during the medieval period. The rise and growth of Islam was an important event in the medieval history of India. Its first converts, the Arabs, made it a powerful force in the politics of Asia. The credit of establishing the Muslim rule in India went to the Turks. The Turks were not just interested in India`s wealth but also wanted to establish their empires and take over other kingdoms.
Hajjaj, the Muslim governor of Iraq sent a powerful army under the command of his nephew and son-in-law Muhammad-Bin-Qasim in 711 A.D. to attack Sindh. The religious fervour of the Arabs, the desire to extend the empire and the allurement of wealth through conquest were the primary reasons of this assault. India, during that time was politically divided into a number of states which constantly fought with one another and were not powerful enough to check foreign invasions. Muhammad defeated Dahar and captured Sindh in 712 A.D. In 713 A.D. he captured Multan as well. But very soon Muhammad was called back and punished to death by the Khalifa. The Arabs in Sindh and Multan failed to make further conquests in India after him.
The inadequate economic resources of Sindh, its military weakness, sharp social divisions, and the lack of interest of other Indian rulers towards the fate of Sindh, the superiority of arms and military tactics of the Arabs and the incompetence of Dahar were the main reasons of the success of the Arabs. However, the conquest of Arabs in India remained limited only to Sindh and Multan. They failed to penetrate further in India. The growing weakness of the Khilafat, the division of Sindh and Multan into two separate Arab kingdoms, administrative incapacity of the Arabs, and the existence of powerful Rajput states in India which were determined to check further inroads of the were the primary reasons of the failure of the Arabs in extending their power in India.
The credit of establishing the Muslim rule in India went to the Turks. The leadership of Islam was captured from the Arabs first by the Persians and then by the Turks. In the beginning, the Turks were barbaric hordes and their only strength was their power of arms. But, in less than a century, they converted themselves into extremely cultured people and succeeded in preserving the best element of the Islamic culture even against the onslaughts of the Mongols. Sultan Mahmud of Ghazni was the first to penetrate deep into India. He was successful in breaking up the military strength of the Hindu rulers and plundering the wealth of India. But the credit of establishing the Muslim empire in India goes to Muhammad of Ghur, who followed Mahmud of Ghazni after a lapse of one hundred and forty eight years.