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    1. #1
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      Invasion of Sindh – The Express Tribune

      The Chachnama tells us that in the year 632, during the reign of Caliph Omar (RA), Mughera surnamed Abul Aas, then stationed at Bahrain, led the first assault, a naval expedition, on Debal. He died fighting outside the city’s walls. When Abu Musa Ashari, the governor of Iraq, received news of this debacle, he wrote to the caliph that “he should think no more of Hind”.

      In the caliphate of Hazrat Usman (RA) one Hakim bin Hailah Abdi, a poet and orator, was sent out to reconnoitre the approaches to Sindh. From him came this report: “Its water is dark; its fruit is bitter and poisonous; its land is stony and its earth is saltish. A small army will soon be annihilated there, and a large army will soon die of hunger.”

      Now, Makran and Gandava (below the Bolan Pass) were already under tenuous control of the Arabs. However, Abdullah bin Amir, the governor of these regions, was advised against an attack on Sindh by the caliph after the reconnaissance report had been received. And so, years were to pass until the next attempt was made during the caliphate of Hazrat Ali (RA) in 660. Coming by way of Panjgur, the Arab force was successful at Kalat, but news of the assassination of the caliph resulted in withdrawal without the expedition reaching its logical end.

      The third attack took place during the reign of Muawiya in 664. A force under Abdullah bin Sawad comprising 4,000 men attacked Kalat. The battle was long and hard, which went this way and that between the two sides until the mountaineers of Kalat routed the Arabs who fled to Makran.

      Rashid bin Omar leading the fourth attack in an unnamed year (probably 668) also came against Kalat. Once again the contest was hard. The commander fell in battle and the invaders were routed with great loss of life. So far as Sindh was concerned, 12 peaceful years ensued. In 680, the commander of the army in Makran, one Manzir bin Harud, was sent by the caliph on plundering sorties against Sindh to make good the expenses of the failed expeditions.

      This unfortunate commander succumbed to diseases, dying in a town named Burabi by theChachnama. The book does not mention the locale of this place making identification difficult.

      In the reign of caliph Walid bin Abdul Malik and governorship in Iraq of Hujaj bin Yusuf, the fifth expedition was undertaken against Sindh. The commander, Buzail bin Tahfa, led a small force by sea and, we read, marched to Nerun (Hyderabad). At this time, the country was firmly in the hands of Raja Dahar and this inland march is clearly an inconsistency. Particularly so because we later read that Buzail died in combat outside the walls of Debal where he had been joined by 4,000 troops from Makran sent by governor Mohammad bin Haroon.

      While Ahmad Bilazri (Futuh ul Baladan) confirms this expedition, he tells us in addition of another attack not mentioned by the Chachnama. This being the expedition led by Obaidullah bin Nabhan and his death in battle causing the invaders to withdraw.

      Now, as a result of these various battles, while many Arabs had been killed, many more languished in Sindhi captivity. Consequently, appointing Mohammad bin Qasim (MbQ) the general, Hujaj petitioned caliph Walid that it was necessary to free these prisoners. Walid demurred, however, saying that there had already been too many casualties and that the expedition was bound to be ‘a source of great anxiety’. There was, besides, the consideration of the large outlay.

      Hujaj wrote back, “I undertake to pay back into the royal treasury double the amount spent on provisions and other items of expenditure for the army (in Iraq)”. The rest, as they say, is history.
      Aside: There was a large body of Arabs already in the pay of Raja Dahar. These were the Alafis who, having fallen out with Hujaj, had rebelled and fled some time before. They fought with desperate courage against the Arabs under MbQ. Desperate surely they were because they knew if Dahar fell there was no returning for them to the west where only execution awaited them at the hands of Hujaj and his kinsfolk.

      So, who were the Alafis?
      A generation which ignores history has no past and no future. Robert A. Heinlein

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      who were Alafis? I think there was a chieftain from Arab (Hejaz) who got refuge of Raja Dahir, which also lead to rivalry. Was that refugee an Allafi?

      The sweetness of this life lies in remembering Him, the sweetness of the next life lies in seeing Him!


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      The Alafis in Sindh – The Express Tribune

      The Alafi tribe of western Hejaz were among the earlier converts to Islam. Since before 680 CE, a large body of them frequently travelled back and forth between their country and Makran. Now, Makran at that time seems to have been very much like modern day Fata. Though part of the kingdom of Sindh under Raja Chach, it appears to have been only loosely held with a substantial foreign element running wild in the country.


      In 684, when Abdul Malik bin Marwan took over as caliph, his deputy in Iraq, Hujaj bin Yusuf, appointed one Saeed of the family Kilabi to Makran. The man was entrusted with collecting money from this country as well as neighbouring regions wherever he could exercise pressure.


      Somewhere in Kirman on his way east, Saeed met with one Safahwi Hamami. The Chachnama is not explicit about this man, but gives the understanding that while he had “no army under (him)”, he was nevertheless a man of significant social standing. The man may, therefore, have been a merchant.


      Armed as he was with caliphal fiat, Saeed ordered Safahwi to join him in his raids. Upon the latter’s refusal, an altercation ensued in which Safahwi rebuked Saeed: “I will not obey your command; I consider it below my dignity to do so.”


      An incensed Saeed killed the man. Then he had the body skinned and beheaded, sending the two trophies to Hujaj in Iraq. We hear echoes of this activity today in Fata where beheadings are commonly exercised by foreign ‘guests’. Thereafter, arriving in Makran, Saeed established himself and began his plundering raids.


      One day on his travels, he was perchance met by a party of Alafis. Now, these people, distantly related to the Hamamis, harboured a grudge against Saeed for killing their kinsman. What began as a squabble quickly degenerated into a full-blooded melee in which Saeed was killed and his cortege repulsed to Iraq.


      Hujaj was infuriated at the loss of a trusted lieutenant. More so, when his party, fearful of punishment, expressed ignorance about Saeed’s fate. Hujaj, well-known for his ruthless cruelty and predilection for torture and murder to elicit information, beheaded a few of the men, upon which the remainder told him of the clash with the Alafis. In retaliation, the governor executed one Suleman Alafi, a local resident who had nothing to do with the affair other than belonging to the same clan as Saeed’s killers.


      Hujaj now passed a decree to persecute the Alafis. When he appointed Mohammad bin Haroon as overseer of Makran, he expressly instructed him: “Find out the Alafis, and try your best to secure them, and exact the vengeance due to Saeed from them.” This was the year 704.


      With Arab hold consolidated on Makran, the Alafis fled east to Sindh, where their leader Mohammad bin Haris became a close and trusted confidante of Raja Dahar’s. Seven years later, in 711, when the Arabs finally came calling to stay for good, this man became the king’s advisor on all matters concerning the invading army.


      So great was the trust reposed in the Alafi that when Dahar placed the man under his son Jaisiah’s command, he instructed the prince to follow every advice forthcoming from the Arab “whether it be (for) an advance, or a retreat”. Living up to this trust, the Alafis gave a fairly good account of themselves in the final battle for Alor (east of Rohri). However, one of their number betrayed the castle in the end: as Jaisiah abandoned the fight and stole away from the fortified city, an unnamed Alafi tied a note to an arrow saying the castle was undefended and shot it into Arab lines.


      The Alafi leader with a large number of followers, however, had already fled to Kashmir where he petitioned the ruler for asylum. This seems to have been granted because we read from the Chachnama that the Alafi built many mosques in Kashmir and that he was highly respected in the court.


      Now, between 684 when the Alafis murdered Saeed Kilabi and 704 when they fled Makran for Sindh, they would surely have known they were marked. And so, they built themselves a safe haven secreted away in the dusty brown gorges of the Kech Bund.


      Published in The Express Tribune, February 9th, 2013.
      A generation which ignores history has no past and no future. Robert A. Heinlein

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      Quote Originally Posted by muqawwee123 View Post
      who were Alafis? I think there was a chieftain from Arab (Hejaz) who got refuge of Raja Dahir, which also lead to rivalry. Was that refugee an Allafi?
      mera exam lay lay rahay thay?
      A generation which ignores history has no past and no future. Robert A. Heinlein

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      Here's some information about Chaachnama.

      The Chachnama – The Express Tribune

      The Chachnama takes its name from Raja Chach of Sindh, whose son Dahar stood against the Arabs under Mohammad bin Qasim (MbQ). It comes down to us in its Sindhi, Urdu and English versions. In 1216, one Ali bin Mohammad Kufi, then being a resident of Uch in south Punjab, wishing to learn about the history of his adopted country sought out true sources.
      His search brought Kufi to Bhakkar (the fort midstream between Sukkur and Rohri) where the Qazi, Ismail bin Ali of the tribe Sakifi became his mentor. Among his collection, the Qazi had a manuscript that he said was written by one of his ancestors and which detailed the account of Sindh at the time of the Arab invasion. Now, Sakifi was the tribe that MbQ also belonged to, so the Qazi was a descendent from the conqueror’s line. The book, therefore, was the version of the victor — something that we always tend to hold against history.
      Impressed by the book “adorned with jewels of wisdom and embellished with pearls of morality”, Ali Kufi resolved to translate it into Persian, then a better known language in Sindh than Arabic. Indeed, Kufi’s impetus may have been Qazi Ismail’s lament that the book being in its original Hijazi Arabic, its content was virtually unknown in Sindh.
      It was from Persian that the book came into English in 1900, by the learned pen of the remarkable Mirza Kalich Beg. The Chachnama opens with a very detailed account of the Rajput King, Sahasi Rai, and of a young Chach, a Brahman, joining his staff. The author’s source for this part was clearly native oral or written tradition, whereas the account of the invasion is from Arabic sources.
      Segueing again at the end, Ali Kufi reverts to local sources. He tells us how the virgin daughters of Raja Dahar upon being presented to Caliph Walid bin Abdul Malik misrepresent out of malice: that they have already spent time with MbQ. Upon this, the incensed caliph orders for the hero to have himself sewn in a fresh cowhide and dispatched back to the capital. He arrives dead and Walid gloats over the corpse. “The Caliph had a stick of green emerald in his hand at that time, and he placed it on the teeth of the dead body, and said, “O daughters of Rai Dahar, look how our orders are promptly obeyed by our officers …”’, the Chachnama tells us.
      This is clearly a Sindhi dramatisation of a different event. From Ahmed Al Bilazri’s Futuh-ul-Baladan we know that upon his return to Iraq, MbQ hardly received a hero’s welcome. His kinsman and mentor Hujaj bin Yusuf had fallen from favour and on the orders of Walid, MbQ was imprisoned where he succumbed to torture. Sifting between the two versions, one has to admit that it is nearly impossible to piece together the exact truth. Nevertheless, it is clear that owing to political rivalries, the young conqueror did not return home to accolades.
      Now, the Chachnama has been billed variously, either as a romance or as authentic history. We know that Mir Masum Shah, the governor of Bhakkar (where Ali Kufi was tutored by the Qazi) during the reign of Akbar the Great, writing his famous Tarikh-e-Masumi in the early years of the 17th century, drew heavily from Kufi’s translation. Likewise, Ali Sher Qanea of Thatta for his Tuhfa-tul-Kiram, a century-and-a-half later. Modern researchers would not altogether dismiss the Chachnama as balderdash: it has to be looked at critically but it, nevertheless, is authentic in parts.
      Until I read the book in 1984, I, too, believed that the Arabs invaded Sindh because a ship en route from Serendip (Sri Lanka) to Arabia was plundered by Sindhi pirates and the wailing of the captive Muslim women passengers raised the ire of Hujaj bin Yusuf, the governor of Iraq, causing him to send his cousin MbQ to teach the Sindhis a lesson.
      The truth, and it has to be taken as that because it comes from the pen of a kinsman of MbQ’s, is that this invasion of Sindh in 711 was the sixth. Five earlier attempts were routed with great loss of Arab life and investment.
      Published in The Express Tribune, January 19th, 2013.
      A generation which ignores history has no past and no future. Robert A. Heinlein

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      Quote Originally Posted by Ali_Syed View Post
      mera exam lay lay rahay thay?
      I guessed it. watched a scene related to this refuge in PTV drama 'Labbaik' on conquest of Sindh.

      The sweetness of this life lies in remembering Him, the sweetness of the next life lies in seeing Him!


    7. #7
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      Is there are relationship between alawis/alvis and alaffis?
      A generation which ignores history has no past and no future. Robert A. Heinlein

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      Quote Originally Posted by Ali_Syed View Post
      Is there are relationship between alawis/alvis and alaffis?
      They all claim to be descendents of Arabs

      The sweetness of this life lies in remembering Him, the sweetness of the next life lies in seeing Him!


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      One more thing. Why 'Salman Rashid' used word Invasion as normally other writer use word conquest of Sindh.

      The sweetness of this life lies in remembering Him, the sweetness of the next life lies in seeing Him!


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      Quote Originally Posted by muqawwee123 View Post
      One more thing. Why 'Salman Rashid' used word Invasion as normally other writer use word conquest of Sindh.
      Whats the difference?
      A generation which ignores history has no past and no future. Robert A. Heinlein

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      Quote Originally Posted by muqawwee123 View Post
      They all claim to be descendents of Arabs
      I know that's why I asked, the alvis of today could well be the alaffis of yesteryears.
      A generation which ignores history has no past and no future. Robert A. Heinlein

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      Quote Originally Posted by Ali_Syed View Post
      Whats the difference?
      Invasion sounds something negative like 'ghasibana qabza' and conquest is like gaining ones paidaishi haq. See, we never use Invasion of Makka by the Prophet (SAW).

      The sweetness of this life lies in remembering Him, the sweetness of the next life lies in seeing Him!


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      The Alafis are likely to be Khariji'tes, since they bore the full weight of Hajaj's hatred, and as such as most likely to have driven out by him.
      Muslims are so good at dividing that they can divide the atom. If you see two Muslims, probably they belong to 3 parties.
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      Khwraji as used in religious terminology for referring a sect?

      The sweetness of this life lies in remembering Him, the sweetness of the next life lies in seeing Him!


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      Quote Originally Posted by muqawwee123 View Post
      Khwraji as used in religious terminology for referring a sect?
      Yes, Hajjaj is the man to whom we owe the stamping out of that sect in Iraq to.
      Muslims are so good at dividing that they can divide the atom. If you see two Muslims, probably they belong to 3 parties.
      Al-Ghazali

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      Quote Originally Posted by mAd_ScIeNtIsT View Post
      Yes, Hajjaj is the man to whom we owe the stamping out of that sect in Iraq to.
      which sect? sectarian roots were there way before Hajjaj. no?

      The sweetness of this life lies in remembering Him, the sweetness of the next life lies in seeing Him!


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      Quote Originally Posted by muqawwee123 View Post
      which sect? sectarian roots were there way before Hajjaj. no?
      The Khawarij sect was there before him. He cut the bush and pulled out the roots too.
      Muslims are so good at dividing that they can divide the atom. If you see two Muslims, probably they belong to 3 parties.
      Al-Ghazali

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      Quote Originally Posted by mAd_ScIeNtIsT View Post
      The Khawarij sect was there before him. He cut the bush and pulled out the roots too.
      What is the perception of Hajjaj in different sects? Normally he is famous as cruel, but I remember reading somewhere 'Rehmatullah Alaihe' with his name.

      The sweetness of this life lies in remembering Him, the sweetness of the next life lies in seeing Him!


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