THE ARRIVAL OF ISLAM IN INDIA: Pakistan’s history really begins with the arrival of Islam in India in the eighth century In 712, Muhammad Ibn Qasim conquered and incorporated Sindh province in the Umayyad caliphate, headquartered in Baghdad, Iraq Under the Abbasids, the successors of the Umayyads, Sindh was culturally integrated in the Dar al Islam, the nation of Islam The Arab control of Sindh was consolidated in the eighth and ninth centuries; in 977 Ibn Shayban was sent by the Fatimid caliphs, by now the rulers of Dar al Islam, to conquer the adjacent province of Punjab Multan, a city in the south of Punjab, was conquered and annexed to the Arab domainIn the 11th century Islam began to encroach on India from another direction Mahmud of Ghazni, a general operating from a southwestern province of Afghanistan, began to mount expeditions into northwest India His purpose was to plunder rather than to conquer His first incursion came in 1001 when he defeated Jaipai, a Hindu ruler, in a battle fought near Peshawar, a city in northern Pakistan His most famous foray into India was in 1026, when he destroyed the famed temple of Somnath, in Kathiawar, and took the accumulated wealth he found in the temple back to Ghazni His last Indian expedition was made in 1027 against Multan, which was by then a Muslim city, under the control of the Arab viceroys of Sindh

This entrance of Islam into the Indus Valley from two different directions-from the Arabian Sea in the southwest by the Arabs and through the Khyber and other passes in the northwest by the Afghansprofoundly affected the social, cultural, and political life of the area that was to become Pakistan The Arab Islam commingled with the native cultures and religions and laid the ground for the founding of several Sufi orders in Sindh The saints of Sindh were the direct descendants of these orders and they were to have a significant influence on the economy and political structure of the lower Indus valley The Islam that came to the northwestern parts of the Indus valley through Afghanistan was much more spartan in character; it was also much less accommodating of indigenous cultures and faiths Its descendants settled in the Northwestern Frontier Province and in the northern districts of Punjab These two Islamic traditions found it difficult to coexist, even when the Indus Valley gained independence in the shape of PakistanShabuddin Muhammad of Ghauri followed Mahmud of Ghazni into India, but his objective was to conquer not to plunder It was also from Ghazni that Ghauri started on his Indian campaign, beginning with an attack on Multan in 1175, and culminating with his victory over Prithvi Raj of Delhi in 1192 This victory led to the establishment of Muslim rule over northern India Delhi became the capital of the Muslim rulers Ghauri’s sway over northern India was cut short by his death in 1206

A succession of Muslim sultanates followed Ghauri and ruled India from 1206 to 1526 The Slave dynasty (1206-1290) was founded by Qutubuddin Aibak, who was originally an employee in the service of Ghauri In 1290, the Slave dynasty was overthrown by Jalaluddin Khilji, who established a dynasty that took his name (1290-1320), which was replaced in turn in 1320 by the Tughluqs The Tughluq dynasty (1320-1388) was succeeded by the Sayyid dynasty (1414-1450), which was followed by the Lodi dynasty (1450-1526) Ibrahim Lodi was defeated by Babar in the battle of Panipat in 1526; Babar went on to Delhi, proclaimed himself the emperor of India and established the Mughul empire, which lasted until 1857Although the first five Mughul emperors of India, from Babar (1526-1530) to Shahjahan (1627-1658), were Muslims, they showed considerable tolerance toward other religions, in particular Hinduism, the dominant faith of the region Most of them brought Hindu women into their harems and allowed Hindus to hold senior court and military appointments One of them-Akbar the Great (1556-1605)-went so far as to proclaim his own religion, Dine-Ilhai, as a synthesis of the common faiths of India Aurangzeb (1658-1707), the last of the great Mughul emperors, adopted a different stance, however He was not prepared to accommodate other religions and was also not tolerant of the independent states on the borders of Mughul India Attempting to bring all of South Asia under his control and to spread Islam among his subjects, Aurangzeb exhausted his own energies as well as those of the Mughul state

It was the turmoil created by Aurangzeb’s foray into South India that provided the British East India Company with the opportunity to establish its trading outposts in Bengal As the Mughul power declined, that of the British trading company increased The traders became generals able to use their immense profits to hire native soldiers and build an army The East India Company army was better equipped and disciplined than the militias commanded by local warlords, who took over the periphery of the shrinking Mughul empire The Mughul empire in India had all the attributes of a large continental state: strong at the center and weak around its periphery It was the periphery that the British successfully penetratedThe British advance toward the center took about a century; the only major challenge to it came in 1857 when the sepoys (soldiers), paid by the Company, rebelled against their employers The Great Indian Mutiny of 1857 was the result; the leaderless sepoys inflicted a great deal of damage on the British, but they were finally defeated and brought under the control of the Company’s forces The mutiny produced important political consequences for Muslim India: the East India Company was dissolved; Bahadur Shah, the last Mughul emperor, was deported from India; and India was made a part of the British empire The capital was moved from Muslim-dominated Delhi to Calcutta, a new city the British had founded and in which the Hindu merchants flourished After more than 1,000 years of uninterrupted rule in some part or another of India, the Muslims were now without a territory they could call their own

It took the Muslims 90 years, from 1857 to 1947, to reestablish a state of their own in the Indian subcontinent But the passage from subjugation to independence was not an easy one: It produced what the British administrators in India began to describe as the “Mussulman problem”

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