Time line

Ancient History

Rulers of Sindh (pre-muslim invasion)

Aryan Sindh

Muslim Invasion

Dynasties of Sindh (post-muslim invasion)

British Rule of Sindh

Women in Modern Sindh

Works Cited

Muslim Invasion
The Arabs came to conquer Sindh under command of Muhammad bin Qasim in 711 CE. This was an easy task, as the people of Sindh had been practicing Buddhism and Hindu ahimsa (non-violence) for many years, and battle was sinful. The Arab Muslims quickly destroyed the Sindhi forts and conquered Sindh. Many Hindus chose to flee Sindh and move to Punjab and Kutch. Those that stayed behind were asked to convert to Islam. For those that did not comply to this request, heavy taxes were levied on them and their properties were taken from them.

Place where Arabs came over to Sindh - Port of Debal

The Arab invaders made the city of Mansura capital of Sindh. The fusion of the Arab culture with the cultures that already existed in Sindh amalgamated to create to a large extent what is modern-day Sindhi culture.

It is typically said that during Arab rule Sindh was able to flourish and shake off the oppressive caste system. However, before the invasion Hindus, Parsis, Buddhists, and Muslims coexisted peacefully. Also, history does not show that Islam liberated those oppressed by the caste system. In fact, it seems that conversion to Islam did not end the differences in social rank or caste loyalties. It seems that if Sindh had prospered that much after being converted to Islam, the Hindus next door in Punjab would have also converted, which they did not. Also, before and after the Arab invasion, Sindh was known for its riches in agriculture and trade; however, during Arab rule, this went into a decline. Based on what the Chach-na’ma by Muhammad ‘Ali bin Hamid bin Abu Bakr describes, the Arab invasion was more like ‘pirate-like conquest’ that terrorized villages stealing gold, silver, jewelry, and converted people to slaves as tribute to the Arab governors. Given the tribute demands, it is no wonder that Sindh did not prosper during this time. Arab rule lasted for three centuries.

Along the lines of education, it is said that the Muslims brought knowledge to those they conquered. However it has been shown that instead of the Sindhi’s adopting Muslim traditions, the Muslims ended up taking after the Indians. Islam developed its own daily rituals, which ended up being more time consuming and complicated than the periodic Hindu rituals. As far as scholarly topics, the Arab and Indian scholars alike read Indian scientific texts instead of their own to obtain knowledge. It seems that instead of Arabs educating the Indians in Sindh, the Indians educated the Arabs, who brought that knowledge through West Asia to Europe.

Eva Agha - agha20e at mtholyoke dot edu This site was made for World Politcs 116 (c) 2006