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Probably the floor of first mosque in Subcontinent

Bab-ul-Islam (Urdu/Sindhi باب الاسلام) Sindh also has the honour of having the title Bab-ul-Islam (Gateway to Islam) since the Umayyad Soldier Muhammad bin Qasim's conquest of Sindh in 711 CE began the Islamic era in South Asia.

Yaum Bab-ul-Islam (Day of Gateway to Islam) is observed in Sindh every year to commemorate the arrival of Mohammad bin Qasim in Sindh at the port of Deebal on 10th of Ramazan.

From the beginning of Muslim rule in Sindh in 713 CE, the Muslim technocrats, bureaucrats, soldiers, traders, scientists, architects, teachers, theologians and Sufis travelled from the rest of the Muslim world to the Islamic Sultanate in Sindh and settled permanently. The majority of Sindhis converted to Islam by the Sufi mystics from Middle East and Central Asia. The Sindh became distinct in its identity and culture and many contemporary writers in medieval age referred to Sind and Hind as two different countries. The Sindhi culture flourished with new stimulus from Islamic sources from Persia and Afghanistan.

Sindhi was also the first language in which the Quran was translated. Some sources for this are quoted below:

The Qur'an was first translated into Sindhi in rhymatic format. This was the first ever translation of Qur'an in the 12th century or earlier.

The first translation of the Quran in South Asia was rendered in Sindhi during the rule of Hibbari Arabs in Mansura in district Sanghar. Muslim history in replete with the services of Sindhi scholars in the domain of Arabic and Persian literature, particularly on theology and the life of the Prophet.

Turning to the history of Sind, after the Islam it may be divided into seven periods:

  • (1) Arab Rule
  • (2) Soomra period
  • (3) Samma period
  • (4) Kalhora period
  • (5) The Talpur Period
  • (6) The British Period.
  • (7) Foundation of Pakistan

Contents

Arab Rule

The Arab conquest of Sindh by Muhammad Bin Qasim in 712 AD gave the Muslims a firm foothold on the sub-continent. The description of Hiun Tsang, a Chinese historian, leaves no doubt that the social and economic restrictions inherent in the caste differentiations of Hindu society had however, gradually sapped the inner vitality of the social system and Sindh fell without much resistance before the Muslim armies. According to Al-Idreesi, the famous city of Al-Mansura was founded during the reign of Mansur (754-775 AD) the second Khalifa of the Abbasid dynasty. Khalifa Harun-al-Rashid (786-809 AD) was able to extend the frontiers of Sindh on its western side. For nearly two hundred years since its conquest by Muhammad Bin Qasim, Sindh remained an integral part of the Umayyad and the Abbasid caliphates. The provincial governors were appointed directly by the central government. History has preserved a record of some 37 of them.

The Arab rule brought Sindh within the orbit of the Islamic civilization, Sindhi language was developed and written in the naskh script. Education became widely diffused and Sindhi scholars attained fame in the Muslim world. Agriculture and commerce progressed considerably. Ruins of Mansura, the medieval Arab capital of Sindh (11 km south east of Shahdadpur) testify to the grandeur of the city and the development of urban life during this period.

In the 10th century, native people replaced the Arab rule in Sindh. Samma and Soomra dynasties ruled Sindh for long. These dynasties produced some rulers who obtained fame due to judicious dispensation and good administration.

The first naval expedition undertaken by the Arabs in this ocean was during Hazrat Omar’s caliphate in 636 A.D. —15 A.H. under the command of Osman bin Abi’Aas, the Governor of Bahrain and Oman. He attacked Thana, a port near modern Bombay. A little later he sent another naval expedition to Debal in Sindh under the command of his brother Mughira. Raja Chach was the ruler of Sindh at that time and his kingdom was well defended. Mughira was defeated by the Raja’s forces and killed in action. During Hazrat Omar’s caliphate the Governor of Iraq also sent an expedition by land to Makran under the command of Rabi Bin Ziad Hans. Though Makran was conquered but the victory was short-lived, as the locals recaptured the country. Makran was, however, permanently conquered during the last days of Hazrat Omar’s caliphate in 642 A.D. — 43 A.H. under the command of Hakam Taglabi. Hazrat Osman, the third Caliph had sent Hakim bin Jabala to Sindh in 650 A.D. to collect information. Before him Sahar-al-Abdihad visited Sindh for the same purpose in 643 A.D. during Hazrat Omar’s last days.18 The next Arab general to enter Pakistan by land was Muhlib bin Sufra who came through the Khyber Pass in 665 A.D. —65 A.H. The real story, however, begins with Hajjaj Bin Yusuf who was Governor of Iraq. The story of Arab merchants returning from Ceylon to Basra having been looted by Sindhi pirates is well—known. It is related that some of the women who were being carried away by the pirates implored Hajjaj to rescue them. Hajjaj took serious notice of the incident and wrote to Dahir, the ruler of Sindh, for the release of captives as well as the goods which were being sent to the caliphate as presents by the ruler of Ceylon. Not receiving a favourable reply, Hajjaj, with the permission of Caliph Walid, sent a force to Debal under the command of Abdulla bin Nabhan. This force was annihilated by Dahir’s army and its commander killed in battle. (According to Dr. Daud Pota the tomb of Abdullah Shah at Clifton in Karachi is of this General, Abdulla bin Nabhan).19 Again, Hajjaj sent a bigger expedition to Debal, to oppose which Dahir sent his son Jaisia with a fairly large contingent. For the second time Arabs were defeated and their commander Badil bin Tuhfa killed in action at Debal. (According to the British historian Eliot, Karachi and the island of Manora constituted the city of Debal). Hajjaj was infuriated and perturbed at the developments. Having realised that the ruler of Sindh was a powerful monarch, he started making large—scale preparations and took personal interest in the matter since the issue had now become one of prestige. The selection of a commander for this expeditionary force had also to be made with due care keeping in view all the aspects of the problem. Hajjaj’s choice fell on the young 20-year old (according to some 17) Mohammad Bin Qasim. The army and its Commander were given rigorous training for over one year in the desert of southern Iran which had similar climatic conditions to those of Sindh. Through intelligence reports, all the strong and weak points of the enemy and details of their weapons and defences were collected, studied, and the Arab army equipped accordingly. Hajjaj bin Yusuf went through the minutest details and after thorough study of the maps of Sindh, guided Mohammad Bin Qasim on the strategy to be followed. Not content with this, Hajjaj made arrangements to convey his messages and orders to Mohammad Bin Qasim from Basra to any point in Sindh within a week. Orders were that Mohammad Bin Qasim should not attack any city or fort or engage his forces in any large-scale battle with the enemy without getting orders from Basra. Even instructions concerning the day and time of attack a weapons to be used in a particular place or battle were sent by Hajjaj. This time Arab armies triumphed and the triumph proved permanent. I shall not go into details which are available in all histories and mention only a few points which have not been high-lighted.

MISSIONARY WORK

Sindh being the eastern-most province of the Umayyad, and then of Abassid Caliphates with loose control from the centre, its political as well as religious life was highly perturbed. In the political field due to internecine quarrels, Muslim governments in the area were divided into two sections: The upper region had Multan as its capital and the capital of the lower region was Mansura near Shahdadpur. Sindh also became an arena of religious acrimonies because of the large number of Ismaili missionaries who visited this country and the heretics who took refuge here. The first Ismaili missionary to visit Sindh was Haisliam who came to Sindh in 877 A.D. — 270 A.H. He was sent by the founder of the Fatimid caliphate, Obaidullah-al-Mahdi. Among other prominent Ismaili missionaries to visit Sindh were Hazrat Abdullah (1067 A.D.), Pir Sadruddin (1430 A.D.), his son Kabiruddin, his brother Tajuddin and Syed Yusufuddin, all of whom gained considerable following in Pakistan. Pir Sadruddin had his grand lodge in Sindh and it was he who conferred on the new converts the title of Khwaja (Khoja), meaning honourable. According to Dr. Arnold a number of Ismaili missionaries were sent to Sindh from the famous “Alamut” fort which was the headquarter of Hasan Bin Sabbah who lived in the late 11th and early 12th century A.D.28 Abdullah-al-Ashtar Alvi, a great grand son of Hazrat Ali was among those who had religious differences with the Caliph, was considered a heretic and took refuge here. Because of sheltering him, the Governor of Sindh, Omar bin Hafs was transferred to North Africa by the Caliph. Hazrat Abdullah Ashtar’s tomb at Clifton on the sea-shore near Karachi is still visited by devotees. A large number of Sunni missionaries also visited Sindh during the Arab period. The Omayyed Caliph Hazrat Omar bin Abdul Aziz is said to have sent a number of them who were successful in converting several Sindhi landlords. The Abbasid Caliph Mahdi also sent some missionaries who converted a number of Rajas and prominent Hindus up to Peshawar. Mohammad Alfi who came with Mohammad Bin Qasim and was among the most successful missionaries, later became adviser to the Raja of Kashmir and settled there. As already stated, during the major portion of Arab rule, Sindh and southern Punjab were rent by political as well as religious rivalries. Since every development in the Middle East had its direct impact on this region, the Fatimid—Abbasid political rivalry with its religious manifestation in the Ismaili—Sunni controversy, found its full echo here, particularly in the 10th century A.D. (early 4th century hijri). Ismaili, or according to some, Carmathian rulers were installed in the upper region whose capital was Multan. It is related that the Fatimid Caliph Imam Abdul Aziz Billah had sent a missionary Jalam bin Shaiban from Cairo to Multan with a sizeable army in 372 hijri (985 A.D.) to establish Ismaili rule which he did, and himself became head of the state. At this time the rulers of Makran and Mansura were also Ismailis. The Sumra family of Sindh which had accepted Ismaili Islam owed allegiance to the Fatimid Caliphs of Cairo, sent them presents and zakat and read their name in Friday ‘Khutba’. After the fall of the Fatimids, Sindhi Ismailis attached themselves to the Mustali branch of the Ismailis who were functioning from Yemen. (Members of the ‘Mustali’ branch are called Bohris in the subcontinent). The history of this period is so confused that it is difficult to state with any certainty as to when and how long Ismaili and Carmathian rulers held sway at Mansura and Multan. There were frequent changes accompanied by enlargement or shrinkage of territories. Ferishta speaks of Shaikh Hamid Lodhi as the first ruler of Multan converted to Carmathian faith. Haig says that Multan was seized by Abdullah, the Carmathian, about 287 hijri (900 A.D.). Ibn-e-Haukal visited Multan in 367 hijri but does not mention the Ismailis and says that the rulers of Multan and Mansura recognised the authority of Baghdad. Al Maqdasi visited Multan in 375 hijri and wrote that the people of Muhan were Shias, presents were sent to the Fatimids of Egypt and Ismailis were daily claiming an increasing number of converts. Al Beruni writing about 424 hijri says “the rise of the Carmathians preceded our time by almost 100 years i.e., in 324 hijri.” Whatever the fortunes of the rulers, there is some ground to believe that Ismaili form of Shiaism continued to be domi nant in Sindh and southern Punjab for a considerable time. “Propaganda under the Fatimid ‘Dawat’ in India is traced back to the time of Fatimid Caliph al Mustansir. Ismailis had indeed been sent to India at a much earlier date. Their field of labour was in Sindh, in a district of Multan. Their chief dai was in correspondence with Caliph Muizz (953) and the community had not only increased in numbers, but it had attained power in Multan during his Imamate. The community recognised the Fatimids as Imams but the initiative in Sindh may have been taken by the Carmathians. Later history links Multan and Sindh with the Nizarian dawat.”29 “Ivanow describes the Ismaili population in India as the most ancient and interesting. Sons of Mohammad Ibn Ismail had sought refuge in Qandahar, then a part of Sindh. Sinhd early became a district or Jazira, of the Ismaii ‘dawat’. During the Imamats of Al Muizz (953) its chief dai was in direct communication with the Imam.”

SINDH’S PROGRESS UNDER ARABS

However, in spite of political chaos and religious confusion, Sindh made great progress in the literary and economic fields during this period. Sindhi scholars and doctors made a mark not only in their own country but iii the entire Muslim world. Mathematicians and philosophers from Sindh visited Baghdad in large numbers and made outstanding contribution to the promotion of learning among the Arabs. Several physicians were called from Sindh for the treatment of Caliphs among whom were Ganga and Manka who treated Haroon-ur-Rashid. The latter was a member of the Bait-ul-Hikmat of Haroon-ur- Rashid. Another Sindhi doctor who made a mark in the Muslim world was a newly converted Muslim, Saleh Bin Bahia (Bhalla). Among the notable Sindhi ulema were: Maulana Islami who hailed from Debal, accepted Islam during Mohainmad Bin Qasim’s days and was sent by him as envoy to Raja Dahir for negotiations. Abu Maashar Sindhi was Muslim world’s noted scholar of ‘seerat’ and ‘fiqh’. He lived at Medina for a number of years and later shifted to Baghdad where he died. He was so much respected that on his death Caliph Mehdi led the funeral prayers. His son Abu Abdul Malik was also an eminent scholar and had settled down in Baghdad. Haflz Abu Mohamniad Khalaf bin Saalem who was a ‘hadees’ scholar bad migrated from Sindh to Iraq where he attained fame. Abu Nasr Fateh Bin Abdulla Sindhi was known for his proficiency in ‘hadees’, ‘fiqh’ and Ilm-e-Kalaarn. He wrote ‘Tafseer’ in Sindhi and rendered Islamic teachings in such beautiful and forceful Sindhi verse that it gained immense popularity both among Hindus and Muslims. Another ‘aalim’, Ishaque Sindhi, was among the most revered muftis of the Abbasid period. Imani Auzai of Sindh was considered an authority on religion in the Muslim world. Mohammad bin Au Shwarib, the Qazi of Mansura and his son Au bin Mohammad bin Au Sbwarib were also renowned scholars. Among the Sindhis who earned eminence in the Muslim world as Arabic poets during this period were Abul Ata Sindhi, Haroon bin Abdulla Multani, Abu Mohammad Mansuri who hailed from Mansura, Mansoor Hindi, Musa bin Yakub, Saqafi, Abu Zila Sindhi, Kashajam bin Sindhi bin Shahak etc. Sindhi bin Sadqa was a ‘Katib’, a writer as well as a poet. Some of them wrote in Sindhi as well as in Arabic. It is said that at the request of a Sindhi Raja, Mabrook, who had embraced Islam, the Quran was translated into Sindhi during the reign of Abdulla bin Omar Hibari Due to the patronage extended by early Abbasid Caliphs and their Baramaka Prime Ministers, a number of Sindhi Pandits and Veds went to Baghdad and engaged themselves in scientific and literary pursuits They translated a large number of Sanskrit books on mathematics, astronomy, astrology, medicine, literature and ethics into Arabic. Prominent among them were Bhalla, Manka, Bazeegar (Bajaikar), Falbar Ful (Kalap Rai Kal), IbneDahañ, Saleh Bin Bhalla, Bakhar, Raja, Makka, Daher, Anko, Arikal, Andi, Jabbhar, etc. Some of these Pandits taught the Arabs, numerals In about 780 A.D. — 154 A.H. when a deputation of Sindhi Pandits visited Baghdad, they carried with them a Sanskrit work known as ‘Siddhanat’ which, after translation in Arabic, became known as Al—Sindh-Hind. Sindhi accountants were also popular in the Arab world. According to Jahez (d 874 A.D. — 255 A.H.) all the ‘Sarrafs’ (money-changers) in Iraq had Sindhi treasurers. They were proficient in accounting and exchange business and were also honest and loyal servants. The Arab rulers of Sindh-Multan were extremely liberal, spoke Sindhi and treated their subjects well. They never encroached upon the religious liberties of the Hindus and Buddhists and appointed them to positions of responsibility. Mohammad Bin Qasim had appointed Sisakar, the Prime Minister of Raja Dahir, his own Prime Minister, and Kiska, another Hindu; his Revenue Minister The entire history of Sindh under the Arabs is replete with instances of Hindus holding positions of great responsibility and honour. Three percent of the country’s revenues were given to Brahrnins as stipends. When some of the district administrators informed the Government that they were experiencing shortage of cows and bulls which were needed for agriculture and transport, Government prohibited cow slaughter. In the economic field also Sindh made considerable progress. Agriculture received great impetus with food grains being exported to the Middle East. A number of new varieties of fruits were cultivated among which the bananas of Sindh were extremely popular in the neighbouring countries. Camphor, neel, banana, coconut, dates, sugarcane, lemon, mangoes, almonds, nuts, wheat and rice are mentioned by almost all visitors as grown in plenty in Sindh. Bishari Maqdasi writes that there were innumerable gardens in Sindh and the trees were tall and luxuriant. The whole city of Mansura was covered with almond and nut trees. The cities established by the Arabs “flourished as great centers of trade and learning. A busy trade grew up and the merchants of different nationalities carried Indian goods through Sindh to Turkistan and Khurasan and imported horses into Sindh.”32 Debal, Nairun Kot, Sehwan, Khuzdar, Aror, Multan and Mansura were flourishing commercial centers. Arabs had more trade with this country than with Gujrat, Malabar and Bengal. A large proportion of merchandise was transported from the Punjab by rivers. 700-800 maunds of goods were sewn in jute cloth, put in leather bags oiled from outside to prevent water penetrating and put in the rivers.33 “On account of their favourable geographical position the ports of Sindh played a vital role, even before the Arab invasion, in the commercial intercourse between the countries to the west (Iran, South Arabia, Ethiopia) and to the east of the Indus delta, as well as in the export of commodities manufactured in Sindh itself. This role gained momentum after Islam had reached Sindh. The author of Hudud al’Alam mentions that there were plenty of merchants in Sindh, stressing that many a citizen of the coastal areas were engaged in sea trade. The cities of Daibul and Mansura were major trade centres of Lower Sindh at the turn of the first and second millennia. In the first centuries of the second millennium, Thatta came in the fore as another major economic and political centre of the country: in the opinion of some scholars, the city in its prime had a population of 280,000.”34 Leather and leather goods industry also made great progress during this period. The coloured and soft leather of Sindh was known all over the world markets as Al-Sindhi. According to ‘Muruj-uz-Zahab’, the shoes of Mansura were very popular in Iran and the Arab world. Imam Hanbal relates that a large number of shoes were imported from Mansura into Baghdad where they were in great demand among the royal family and the gentry. But, he remarks, they were very showy. Arabs also took keen interest in animal husbandry. They improved several breeds of camels, horses, cows, bulls and buffaloes. Sindhi buffaloes were so popular that Arabs used to carry them to their home towns when returning from Sindh. Building of cities and construction of roads and houses was a hobby with the Arabs. They built several new cities such as Mahfooza (in 732 A.D.), Mansura (737 A.D.), Baiza (835 A.D.), Jundrore near Multan (in 854 A.D.) and several others. They also improved and expanded the existing cities by constructing satellite towns. A bridge called “Sukkar-al- Maid” was built over the Indus near Sukkur. A number of Arab tribes of Quraish, Kaib, Tanieem, Saqeef, Harris, Aal-e-Utba, Aal-e- Jareema and Asad, and several prominent families of Yemen and Hejaz had settled in Sindh. Masudi (915 A.D. — 302 A.H.) writes that he met many descendants of Hazrat Ali in Mansura who were in the line of Omar bin Ali and Mohammad Bin Ali. He also mentions that there was fertility and opulence here and people were healthy. Some authorities have expressed the view that the wife of Hazrat Imam Hussain, who was the mother of Hazrat Imam Zainul Abdin from whom the line of Hussaini Syeds is traced, was not a Persian as is generally believed, but a Sindhi lady of a noble family.”35 Bishari writes that the people of Multan were prosperous, they did not drink wine and their women did not use cosmetics. Both Arabic and Sindhi were spoken. Regarding Mansura he states that the people were very well-read, courteous and religious. The city had a large number of scholars and the general standard of morals and intelligence was high. Mansura remained the capital of Sindh from 737 A.D. — 120 A.H. to 1026 A.D. — 416 A.H. for about 300 years till its conquest by Mahmud Ghaznavi. In late 3rd century Hijri when Multan became the capital of the northern kingdom, Mansura remained the capital of only the southern region i.e., modern Sindh. It survived till the Tughlaq period in the 14th century A.D. when it disappeared due to change in the course of River Indus. As during the time of Darius when Sindh constituted the 20th Satrapy of the Achaemenian Empire and considered an extremely rich province, so also during the Arab rule Sindh was regarded a prosperous part of the Caliphate and paid a million dirham per annum as revenue to the Government at Baghdad.

RULE OF LOCAL MUSLIMS FAMILEIS

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THE SUMRAS AND THE SAMMAS

Mohammad bin Tughlaq, in pursuit of some rebels, died near Thatta before conquering the town. His successor Firoz Tughlaq also could not succeed in wresting the town from the Sumras and went back frustrated. Sindhis attributed their success to the blessings of a saint, Shaikh Pittha. On this occasion a saying expressed in Urdu, became very popular among the local people. This is considered the first Urdu prose sentence known in the early literature of this province. This saying was “Barkat Shaikh Pittha, aek mova aek nittha” which means that due to the blessings of Shaikh Pittha, one (Mohammad bin Tughlaq) died and one (Firoz Tughiag) went back unsuccessful. When Firoz Tughlaq returned next year to conquer Thatta, a settlement was arrived at with the Sumras on the intervention of Hazrat Jalal Bukhari of Uch Shareef. Thus the Sumras continued to rule the country, extending only formal allegiance to Delhi. In the 14th century A.D. a certain person, Bhutto, who was a descendant of the Sumra ruler Doda, had become extremely popular and was installed as ruler by the people. His reign lasted 30 years. Both “Tuhfatul Karim” and “Daulat-e-Alia” make mention of his benign and popular rule—the latter giving his full name as Sirajuddin Fateh Khan Bhutto.37 Here, a few words about Sumras. As already stated in the beginning of this chapter, this tribe is considered a branch of the Parmar Rajputs. Mir Tahir in his book “Tareekh-e- Taheri” has stated that the Sumras were a Hindu tribe professing Hindu religion. Dr. Nabi Bakh is also of the view that the Sumras were old inhabitants of Sindh professing either Hinduism or Buddhism. He says that after Mohammad bin Qasim’s conquest of Sindh the Samma, Saheta and Lohana tribes of Hindus accepted Islam and the Sumras also, long before they became rulers of Sindh, had embraced Islam. In the Sindh Gazetteer, Mr. E.H. Aitken states: “it is generally agreed that the Sumras were a Rajput tribe and the names of their first rulers Sumra, Doda, Sanghar, Bhangar betray their extraction.” These writers also point out the Indian origin of the name Sumra which they say, is composed of two parts: Som and Rai. The former meaning moon and the latter ruler. But, most of the Sumras do not agree with this view. They connect their origin with the Sumereans of the Middle East and the Samri of the Beth Israel. Even if it is true, the tribe must have settled in Sindh long before Arab arrival. They had first accepted the Ismaili creed and adopted Sunni faith at a much later date. The next tribe to emerge into power in Sindh were the Sammas or Sammos who ruled from the middle of the 14th century A.D. to early 16th century, for a little over 170 years. They replaced Sumras during the reign of Firoz Tughlaq. According to the author of Chach Nama, the Sammas are old inhabitants of Sindh and when Mohammad bin Qasim entered their region, they greeted him warmly giving a performance of folk music and dance. The Sammas were a larger tribe than the Sumras and extended their dominions all over Sindh. Their first four rulers were Unar, Juna, Mani and Tamachi and had their capital at Thatta. They used the word Jaam before their names which, according to some authors, is derived from the Persian word Jamshed. After Taimur’s invasion of India in 1398 A.D. and the consequent weakening of the Delhi government, they became powerful. Their rule lasted from 1351 A.D. to 1521 A.D. Their ruler Jam Nizamuddin Alias Jam Nindo founded Thatta in 1495 A.D. — 900 A.H. Since the foundation of this city was laid at the foot of the Makli Hills, it was called (Tahet) Taeh Taeh i.e., below, and in the course of time began to be pronounced Taheta, and then Thatta. Regarding the name Makli, it is related that a saint on his way to Mecca incidentally stayed on this hill. He was so captivated by the beauty of this place that he fell in a trance and began to shout in Arabic “haza Makka li; haza Makka li” i.e., this is Mecca for me. The saint’s words began to be pronounced Makli by the people by which name it continues to be known to this day. Today the importance of this place rests on the fact that it is considered the biggest cemetery of the world. From the Sammas, Arghun and Tarkhan rulers and members of their families, down to the governors of Mughal period and all the men of importance who died at Thatta during a span of 600-700 years are buried on the Makli Hills. “Ten miles west of Thatta near the village of Gujro in Mirpur Sakro Taluka is the tomb of one Abu Turab which bears the date 191 Hijri (788 A.D.) and must be the oldest historical record of any kind in Sindh. Abu Turab took the important fortress of Bhakkar and is known for other deeds ofvalour.”38 The Samma rule was one of great prosperity and advancement in every field of life. Trade, industry, art and education made tremendousbprogress and Thatta, the capital, became one of the leading cities of Asia. With Jam Nizamuddin’s patronage of poets, ulemas and men of literature, a large number of learned persons from all over the Muslim world gathered here. At one time Thatta city had about 300 educational institutions and was classed with Cordova and Baghdad. Because of the devotion of its people to religion and their piety, Sindh was called “Little Arabia” and “Bab-ul Islam” of the sub-continent. “It was during the days of the Sammas and their successors the Arghuns and the Turkhans that Thatta, being the capital, became the opulent and magnificent chief city of Sindh.”39 A word about the origin of Sammas. They are the chief of the group of Sindhi tribes called Sammat and are believed to be a branch of the Jadava Rajputs and were probably the same tribe who were known to Alexander as Sambos. Samma Nagar on the Indus was their ancient capital and is probably represented by modern Sehwan. ‘When they seized authority in the 14th century, their first capital was Samui, a few miles north of Thatta.

THE KALHORAS AND TALPURS

As a result of Nadir Shah’s attack on India in 1739 A.D. and subsequently of Ahmed Shah Abdali in the fifties of the same century, Central rule weakened. Though Sindh was annexed to Nadir Shah’s empire, his rule was short-lived and his control over this province feeble. Again local forces asserted themselves and a branch of the Daudpotas known as Kalhoras rose to power in parts of Sindh. Their most powerful ruler was Nur Mohammad Kalhora. Another ruler of this line Ghulam Shah Kalhora founded the city of Hyderabad in 1768 A.D. on the left bank of Indus where there had been an ancient town of the name of Nerun. As a ruling house the Kalhora may be said to date from 1736, but members of the tribe had been prominent in Sindh affairs at least half a century before that date. There is no adequate history of the Kalhoras. The best account of them was written by Nathan Grove, an Englishman, in 1799 who knew by personal experience conditions in Sindh at the end of the eighteenth century. The chief stages in the life of Kalhora power may be briefly summarized. There are five such stages: First, the acceptance by the Mughal Emperor of members of the Kalhoro tribe as Viceroys or Governors in Sindh, a period which began in 1701 during the last days of Aurangzeb. Yar Mohammad Kalhora may be regarded as the real founder of the Kalhora dynasty. About 1701, Yar Muhammad succeeded in wresting Shikarpur from the Daudpotas, a weaver tribe who had founded it in 1616 after a conflict with the numerous tribe of Mahars then powerful in Upper Sindh. Yar Muhammad made Shikarpur his court and obtained from Aurangzeb a grant of the tract between the Indus and the Nara and the right to call himself Khudayar Khan. Second, the extension and consolidation of the local power of the Kalhora Governors. Delhi had, by 1736 recognised them as semi-independent rulers of the country. Third, after the invasion of Nadir Shah in 1739, the transfer of political sovereignty over Sindh from the Mughal Empire to the Persian Kingdom, which resulted in the Kalhora becoming subordinate to the Persian monarch and liable to pay tribute to him. Fourth, about 1747 the transference of this sovereignty from the Persian King to the Durrani Kingdom of Afghanistan, by which change the Kalhoras became feudatories of Kabul and had to pay tribute to that power. Fifth, the struggle between Kalhoras and Talpurs which began in 1778 and lasted more or less continuously till the end of the century — a period of civil war in which the Talpurs (themselves of Baluch origin), with the aid of the Baluchis then settled in Sindh in considerable numbers, were at last able to destroy the failing powers of the Sindhi ruling family. But throughout the whole period from 1737 onwards the Kalhoras were never actually full masters in their own house. The date usually accepted by historians as the end of the Kalhora regime is 1783 when the Afghan King, Timur Shah settled the indecisive Talpur— Kalhora tussle by sending Mir Fateh Ali Khan Talpur a robe of honour, some Arab horses and a ‘sanad’ appointing him ruler of Sindh. As such, the rule of the Talpurs may be reckoned from 1783 A.D. The government of the Talpur Mirs, which began in inauspicious circumstances ended sixty years later after the battles of Miani and Daubo in 1843, when the victories of Napier led to the annexation of Sindh by the British. Thus the Talpurs ruled over Sindh for only 60 years. An important event of their rule is that in 1795 Talpur Mirs recovered Karachi which had been ceded to the Khan of Kalat by a Kalhora ruler in compensation for the death of a member of the Kalat ruling family.

STRUGGLE DURING THE BITISH RULE

Pioneer of Freedom Struggle in Sindh

Mir Sher Muhammad Talpur, popularly known as “The Lion of Sindh” (Sher-i-Sindh, شير ع سنده) belonged to the Mirpurkhas House of Royal Talpurs. He was the son of Mir Ali Murad Talpur, the founder of Mirpurkhas, and was born in 1810. He was the last ruler of Talpurs who fought British General Charles Napier on 24 March 1843 at the battleground of Dubbo to liberate Sindh from British domination. He is considered as the Pioneer of Freedom Struggle in Sindh. He died on 24 August 1874.

Hoshu Sheedi, whose full name is Shaheed Hosh Mohammad Sheedi was army leader of Talpur Mirs' army which fought against British in the Battles of Miani and Dubbo. Before his martyrdom in the Battle of Dubbo, though French speaking, he attempted to raise this famous slogan in Saraiki language which was originally coined and raised by Shaheed Mir Jan Muhammad Talpur in the Battle of Miani:

مرسون مرسون، سنڌ نه ڏيسون 'Marsoon Marsoon, Sindh na Ddaisun' (We'd die but wouldn't give Sindh [to others]

[1]

Hosh Mohammad Sheedi was a brave General of Mir's Army. Who fought against British army led by Charles Nepier to stop them from annexing the Sindh. Which resulted his martyrdom in the Battle of Duboo 24 March 1843. He was so brave and courageous that 54 deep wounds in his body couldn't stop him to stand in the battlefield. While looking the raised colorful flag of British. He cut his right arm with an axe, which was seriously injured. Then he stumbled towards British general Charles Napier, who was standing in front of his Tent but cant do so and shouted that “Marsoon Marsoon Sindh Na Daisun” I will die but never give you Sindh. Capt. Richardson came out of his tent on hearing the noise and was amazed to see Hoshu alive and standing in the battlefield. So, Capt. Richardson and Demisrus rushed towards Hoshu to kill him. As he reached near Hoshu, Hoshu attacked Demisrus with an axe from his only left hand while Richardson attach him with an ironic weapon in his chest. Which went apart Hoshu’s chest. But the courageous warrior stood up, pulled the weapon out of his chest and strike it on Richardson on his head. Which resulted Richardson death. After killing them Hoshu tried to proceed towards Charles Napier but he felt down on his first step towards Charles Napier and martyred.

Silk Letter Conspiracy(Reshmi Rumal Tehrik)

Maulana Ubaidullah Sindhi was a noted pan-Islamic leader a political activist of the Indian independence movement. Ubaidullah Sindhi converted to Islam early in his life and later enrolled in the Darul Uloom Deoband, where he was at various times associated with other noted Islamic scholars of the time, including Maulana Rasheed Gangohi and Mahmud al Hasan. Maulana Sindhi returned to the Darul Uloom Deoband in 1909, and gradually involved himself in the pan-Islamic movement. During World War I, he was amongst the leaders of the Deoband school who, led by Maulana Mahmud al Hasan, left India to seek support of the Central Powers for a Pan-Islmaic revolution in India in what came to be known as the Silk Letter Conspiracy. Ubaidullah reached Kabul during the war to rally the Afghan Amir Habibullah Khan, and after brief period, he offered his support to Raja Mahendra Pratap's plans for revolution in India with German support. He joined the Provisional Government of India formed in Kabul in December 1915, and remained in Afghanistan till the end of the war, and left for Russia. He subsequently spent two years in Turkey and, passing through many countries, eventually reached Hijaz (Saudi Arabia) where he spent about fourteen years learning and pondering over the philosophy of Islam especially in the light of Shah Waliullah's works. In his early career was a pan-Islamic thinker. However, after his studies of Shah Waliullah's works, Ubaidullah Sindhi emerged as non-Pan-Islamic scholar. He was one of the most active and prominent members of the faction of Indian Freedom Movement led by Muslim Clergy chiefly from Islamic School of Deoband. Ubaidullah Sindhi died on August 22, 1944.

Khilafat Movement

After First World War the social and political conditions of sub-continent were deterred. Britishers cunningly made local people fight with each other. Maulana deen Muhammad Wafai and Raees-Ul-Muhajireen Barrister Jan Muhammad Junejo in those unstable conditions left Thallah and started his political career and started working with Maulana Taj Mehmood Amroti , joining Khilafat Movement. In 1920, in Larkana, “All India Khilafat Conference” was called, in which along with others Maulana AbulKalam Azad, Maulana AbdulBari and Maulana Shaukat Ali participated.

On that occasion, Maulana Wafai, under the supervision of Maulana Taj Mehmood Amroti published “Izhar-ul-Karamat,” which was distributed in that conference too.

He started a newspaper Alwaheed from Karachi in March 1920, to support Khilafat Movement and to inform its supporters. Maulana Sahab was appointed as subeditor of the newspaper and Qazi AbdulRehman was appointed as the editor. This newspaper played an important role in the awakening of Muslims of Sindh.

After seven months, the British government shut down the newspaper and sent the editor Qazi AbdulRehman to jail for one year.

Hur Freedom Movement

Sibghatullah Shah Rashidi, Pir Pagaro, the 6th was spiritual leader and considered as one of the heroes of India's freedom struggle. He pioneered the Hur Freedom Movement against British colonialists.

Hur (Arabic: حر meaning "free", "not slave" ) is a Sufi Muslim community in the province of Sindh, Pakistan. Their spiritual leader is Pir Pagaro.

Soreh Badshah (the Victorious King) is the title given to this great man by the people and historians. He was hanged by the British Rulers on 20 March 1943 in the Central Jail Hyderabad, Sindh. His burial place is not known and is still a mystery. The people of Sindh have been demanding the British government to disclose his burial place, however, so far this demand has not received any attention.

Hurs in the 1965 War

In 1965 war of India and Pakistan, the Southern desert sector was a mere sideshow to the major battles fought in the Punjab and in Kashmir. However the Indians had placed two divisions in the desert with the aim of tying down Pakistani troops.

Facing a shortage of troops and unable to divert any substantial forces from the Punjab and Kashmir sectors (where the main Indian thrust has come), the commander of the Pakistan Rangers, Brigadier Khuda Dad Khan, turned to local help. Hurs volunteered in droves. Given only basic training and light weapons, the Hurs nevertheless gave a fine account of themselves in the conflict. Fighting alongside Rangers and regular army units (known collectively as the Desert Force), the Hurs used their knowledge of the desert to good effect and helped to blunt the Indian offensive. But, perhaps their most famous (and militarily important) action was the capture of the Indian fort of Kishangarh, a feature located several kilometers inside India.

Pakistan Movement

sindh Assembly house in karachi.

The Muslim League branch in Sindh was established by Ghulam Muhammad Bhurgari in 1918. Abdullah Haroon joined Muslim League in 1918 was elected the president of the provincial Muslim League in 1920. Sir Abdullah Haroon presided over the seventh Sindh Provincial Conference (1920) and remained the president of the Sindh Provincial Muslim League from 1920 to 1930. He played host to Bi Amman -- the revered mother of the Ali brothers -- in 1921, when they were being tried in Khaliq Deena Hall, Karachi. In 1923 he became a member of the Bombay Legislative Assembly (Sindh was part of Bombay Province). He demanded a separate provincial status for Sindh in the Muslim Conference at Aligarh (1925) and in the Leaders' Conference at Delhi (1926). Between 1926 and 1942 he was elected thrice to the membership of the Central Legislative Assembly, gaining the second highest number of votes in all of Sindh, the highest number of votes being secured by Sardar Wahid Baksh Bhutto until his untimely death in 1933. He was president of the Khilafat Committee for 1927-28 and attended the 1928 All Parties Conference as a member. In 1930 he attended the all India Muslim Conference.

In 1930 Abdullah Haroon formed the Sindh United Party on the pattern of the Punjab Unionist Party but his party could not win the 1936 elections; it succeeded, however, in 1938. In 1938 he organized the Muslim League in Sindh. He was the man who piloted the partition of India resolution in the Sindh Provincial Muslim League Conference in October 1938 under the presidentship of the Quaid-i-Azam Muhammad Ali Jinnah.

In October 1939, with Sir Abdur Rahim, Haroon visited Allama Mashriqi, leader of the Khaksars, shortly after his release from jail.[1]

Sir Abdullah Haroon presided over the Punjab Muslim Students' Conference at Faisalabad in 1941. He donated ten thousand rupees to the League at Allahabad in 1942.

In 1890 Sindh got representation for the first time in the Bombay Legislative Assembly. Four members represented Sindh at that time. After some struggle, and with the support of the Quaid-e-Azam Mohammad Ali Jinnah, Sindh gained independence from the Bombay Presidency. H.H. Sir Agha Khan, G.M. Syed, Sir Abdul Qayyum Khan and other Indian Muslim leaders played an important role in ensuring separation of Sindh from the Bombay Presidency, which finally took place on 1 April 1936.

The newly created province, Sindh, secured a Legislative Assembly of its own, elected on the basis of communal and minorities’ representation. Sir Lancelot Graham was appointed as the first Governor of Sindh by the British Government on 1 April 1936. He was also the Head of the Council, which comprised 25 Members, including two advisors from the Bombay Council to administer the affairs of Sindh until 1937.

Pakistan Resolution in the Sindh Assembly

The Sindh assembly was the first British Indian legislature to pass the resolution in favour of Pakistan. G. M. Syed, an influential Sindhi activist, revolutionary and Sufi and one of the important leaders to the forefront of the provincial autonomy movement joined the Muslim League in 1938 and presented the Pakistan resolution in the Sindh Assembly. G. M. Syed can rightly be considered as the founder of Sindhi nationalism.

Quaid e Azam, Mohammad Ali Jinnah

Jinnah in his youth, in traditional dress.

(Son of Sindh Jinnah فرزند سنده بيرستر جناح) Jinnah rose to prominence in the Indian National Congress expounding ideas of Hindu-Muslim unity and helping shape the 1916 Lucknow Pact with the Muslim League; he also became a key leader in the All India Home Rule League. He proposed a fourteen-point constitutional reform plan to safeguard the political rights of Muslims in a self-governing India. His proposals failed amid the League's disunity, driving a disillusioned Jinnah to live in London for many years.

Several Muslim leaders persuaded Jinnah to return in 1934 and re-organise the Muslim League. Jinnah embraced the goal of creating a separate state for Muslims as per the Lahore Resolution. The League won most Muslim seats in the elections of 1946, and Jinnah launched the Direct Action campaign movement to achieve independence of Pakistan. The strong reaction of Congress supporters resulted in communal violence across South Asia. The failure of the Congress-League coalition to govern the country prompted both parties and the British to agree to independence of Pakistan and India. As the Governor-General of Pakistan, Jinnah led efforts to rehabilitate millions of refugees, and to frame national policies on foreign affairs, security and economic development.

Biographies

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References


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