No integrated contemporary account exists to say how Islam spread in India. Medieval chroniclers very graphically describe the achievements of Muslim invaders, conquerors, monarchs, governors, rulers of independent Muslims kingdoms, and even officials, in effecting conversions. Muslim hagiological works, some reliable others not so reliable, too report on addition to Muslim population through conversions. But the actual numbers who embraced Islam year after year and decade after decade are not known. Some Muslims no doubt came from abroad as conquerors and soldiers. Some scholars and religious men also arrived either in the train of conquerors or at the invitation of Indian sultans or as refugees. Arabs, Abyssinians, Egyptians, Persians and Transoxionians, all find mention as having come to India to seek refuge or fortune. But the majority of Muslims are converts from Hinduism. One has, therefore, to collect facts and figures contained in stray references of medieval writers, especially Persian chroniclers, to make a conversion-cum-immigration survey to be able to estimate the growth of Muslim population.
On a study in depth on the growth of Muslim population, one is struck by the fact that as against the zig-zag pattern of rise and fall of the overall population in the medieval period, Muslim population shows only a constant rise. Another is that in spite of centuries of exertion in the field of proselytization, India has been converted only but partially. This proves that in contrast to the quick conversion of some West Asian countries,
Islam received a definite check in India. In other words, while countries like Arabia, Persia, Mesopotamia and Syria succumbed to the onslaught of Islam and converted en masse, the sword of Islam was blunted in India. This check provided provocation and enthusiasm to some Muslim conquerors and rulers to take to the task of proselytization with great zeal and earnestness. Their exertions and achievements find repeated mention in official and non-official chronicles and similar other works. Sometimes, besides broad facts, actual data and figures in this regard are also available. All this information is very helpful in estimating Muslim numbers as they grew from almost a cipher.
By the year 1000 of the Christian Era the extreme north-western parts of India, in the trans-Indus region, had become introduced to Islam. As early as C.E. 664, consequent upon an invasion of Kabul and its environs (which then formed part of India), by Abdur Rahman, a few thousand inhabitants are reported to have been converted to Islam.1 Subuktagin also fought against the Hindus and converted some of them. But all these events took place in the trans-Indus region, and we may, therefore, agree with Lanepoole in saying that in C.E. 1000 there were no Muslims in northern India east of the Indus.2
However, there were some small settlements of Muslims in Sind, Gujarat and the Malabar Coast. Parts of Sind were conquered by Muhammad bin Qasim Sakifi in C.E. 712. Whichever towns he took, like Alor, Nirun, Debul and Multan, in them he established mosques, appointed Muslim governors, and propagated the Muhammadan religion.3 In Debul, for instance, he enslaved and converted some women and children, and left a contingent of 4,000 Muhammadans to garrison the place.4 In Multan about 6,000 persons were made to accept Islam. Al Biladuri’s narrative indicates that the people of Sawandari, Basmad, Kiraj, and Alor were converted in large numbers.5 The reports of Muhammad bin Qasim Sakifi to Hajjaj also point to large number of conversions.6 Caliph Umar wrote to some Indian rulers in C.E. 717 inviting them and their people in Sind and Hind to become Musalmans. It is said that in response to his appeal some people ‘turned Musalmans and took Arab names’.7
Muhammad bin Qasim remained in Sind for a little more than three years.8 After his recall not only the Arab power in Sind declined rapidly, but also most of the neo-converts returned to their former faith. Al Biladuri informs that ‘in the days of Tamim, the Musalmans (had) retired from several parts of India… nor have they up to the present time (he wrote in the middle of the ninth century) advanced so far as in days gone by”. When Hakim succeeded Tamim, “the people of India had returned to idolatry excepting those of Kassa, and the Musalmans had no place of security in which they could take refuge”.9 Sir Dension Ross also says that “after the recall of Muhammad bin Qasim, the Muslim retained some foothold on the west bank of the river Indus, but they were in such small numbers that they gradually merged into Hindu population. In Mansura (the Muslim capital of Sind) they actually adopted Hinduism.”10
In brief, because of the efforts of Muhammad bin Qasim and Caliph Umar II (C.E. 717-24) some Hindus in Sind had been converted to Islam, but by the time of Caliph Hashim (724-43), when Tamim was the governor of Sind, many of these Sindhi converts had returned to Hinduism. Those who continued to retain the new faith remained confined mostly to cities, particularly Multan. After Mahmud of Ghazni’s attack on Multan their number seems to have gone up for, writing in the twelfth century, Al Idrisi says: “The greater part of the population (of Multan) is Musalman, so also the Judicial authority and civil administration.”11 However, up to C.E. 1000 there were very few Muslims in Sind.12
Similar was the situation in Gujarat. A military expedition was sent out in C.E. 636 from Oman to pillage the coasts of India. It proceeded as far as Thana (near Bombay).13 About the same time expeditions were sent to Broach and Debul, but because of Caliph Umar’s opposition to hazardous voyages, the policy of armed interference by sea remained in abeyance. Meanwhile commerce by sea continued. In the eighth century, Arab fleets attacked Broach and port towns on the Kathiawar coast.14 Thus because of armed attacks, but more so through the channel of trade, foreign Muslims and indigenous converts began to be seen in the coastal towns of Gujarat. Ibn Hauqal (C.E. 968) observes that ‘from Kambaya to Saimur is the land of Balhara… It is a land of infidels, but there are Muslims in its cities’.15 Masudi, who visited India in 916, found Muslims of Siraf, Oman, Baghdad and Basra at Saimur (modern Chaul) besides others who were children of Arabs born there. There were Jama Masjids at Famhal, Sindan, Saimur and Kambaya.16 All these facts indicate the presence of some Muslims in Gujarat. But their number was small. This finds confirmation in the fact that in an anti-Muslim riot in Cambay, in the middle of the eleventh century, only eighty persons had been killed.17 Besides, the population of traders is by nature and profession migratory, and the number of Muslims in Gujarat does not seem to have been large.
Arab Muslims first settled on the Malabar coast about the end of the seventh century. ‘These Arab traders who settled down on India’s coast between the seventh and the ninth centuries were treated with tolerance by the Hindus’, and so they grew in numbers. In the early part of the eighth century, Hajjaj bin Yusuf (who sent Muhammad bin Qasim to Sind), drove out some persons of the house of Hasham, and they left their homeland to settle in Konkan and the Cape Camorin area. Refugees or traders, Muslims were welcome in India, and ‘apparently, facilities were given to them to settle and acquire lands and openly practice their religion…’18 In course of time mosques were erected at eleven places on the Malabar coast.19 But till the end of the tenth century their settlements were only too small. The Muslim Arab historiog-raphers, while describing the achievements of Muslims on the Malabar Coast, exaggerate their numbers and influence. They also miss to mention the Hindu reabsorbtion of neo-converts, for Sulaiman, who visited India in the ninth century, states that he did not find any Muslims or Arabic speaking people on the western coast.20
In short, while there can be no doubt about the presence of some Muslims in Sind, Gujarat and on the western coast of India, their number till the end of the tenth century was almost microscopic. In Hindustan proper, east of the river Indus, there were hardly any Musalmans in C.E. 1000.
In the year C.E. 1000 the first attack of Mahmud of Ghazni was delivered. The region of Mahmud’s activity extended from Peshawar to Kanauj in the east and from Peshawar to Anhilwara in the South. In this, wherever he went, he converted people to Islam. In his attack on Waihind (near Peshawar) in 1001-3, Mahmud is reported to have captured Jayapal and fifteen of his principal chiefs and relations some of whom, like Sukhpal, were made Musalmans. At Bhera all the inhabitants, except those who embraced Islam, were put to the sword. Since the whole town is reported to have been converted the number of converts may have been quite large. At Multan too conversions took place in large numbers for, writing about the campaign against Nawasa Shah (converted Sukhpal), Utbi says that this and the previous victory (at Multan) were ‘witnesses to his exalted state of proselytism’.21 In his campaign in the Kashmir Valley (1015) Mahmud ‘converted many infidels to Muhammadanism, and having spread Islam in that country, returned to Ghazni’. In the latter campaigns, in Mathura, Baran and Kanauj, again, many conversions took place. While describing ‘the conquest of Kanauj’, Utbi sums up the situation thus: ‘The Sultan levelled to the ground every fort…, and the inhabitants of them either accepted Islam, or took up arms against him.” In short, those who submitted were also converted to Islam. In Baran (Bulandshahr) alone 10,000 persons were converted including the Raja. During his fourteenth invasion in C.E. 1023, Kirat, Nur, Lohkot and Lahore were attacked. The chief of Kirat accepted Islam, and many people followed his example. According to Nizamuddin Ahmad, ‘Islam spread in this part of the country by the consent of the people and the influence of force’. Conversion of Hindus to Islam was one of the objects of Mahmud. Al Qazwini writes that when Mahmud went “to wage religious war against India, he made great efforts to capture and destroy Somnat, in the hope that the Hindus would then become Muhammadans”.22 Sultan Mahmud was well-versed in the Quran and was considered its eminent interpreter.23 He ardently desired to play the role of a true Muslim monarch and convert non-Muslims to his faith. Tarikh-i-Yamini, Rausat-us-Safa and Tarikh-i-Ferishtah, besides many other works, speak of construction of mosques and schools and appointment of preachers and teachers by Mahmud and his successor Masud.24 Wherever Mahmud went, he insisted on the people to convert to Islam. Such was the insistence on the conversion of the vanquished Hindu princes that many rulers just fled before Mahmud even without giving a battle. “The object of Bhimpal in recommending the flight of Chand Rai was, that the Rai should not fall into the net of the Sultan, and thus be made a Musalman, as had happened to Bhimpal’s uncles and relations, when they demanded quarter in their distress.”25
There is thus little doubt that during the first thirty years of the eleventh century, consequent upon the invasions of Mahmud of Ghazni, some thousands of people were converted to Islam. During and after his raids, a few Muslim colonies were also established, some in as far off places as Kanauj, Banaras, and Bahraich.26 This is partially corroborated by the sixteenth century Lama historian Taranatha who refers to the settlements of the Turks in the Antarvedi or the Ganga-Jamuna Doab.27 He further adds that during the time of Lavasena and his successors, prior to the invasion of Odantapuri and Vikramsila (1203), the Turks had increased in number in Magadh.28 The traditional history of Maner and an inscription found there also corroborate the presence of Turks in Bihar in the twelfth century.29 In Mahmud Ghazni’s time some conversions had taken place in Gujarat and Kashmir also. Besides king Kalasa of Kashmir (C.E. 1063-89) employed some Turkish architects to erect a golden parasol over the temple of Kalasesvara. Another king of the same state, Harsha, employed Turks in his army.30
In spite of his great success the sway of the descendants of Mahmud in Punjab was precarious, and their proselytizing efforts could not have been quite rewarding of success. Therefore, the number of Muslims in the Punjab, like in Sind, Gujarat and Malabar could have been only small. Islam being a proselytizing religion, its followers have not only taken pride in winning converts but also often exaggerating the numbers of real or imaginary conversions. For instance it is claimed that in Gujarat some members of the depressed classes like Kunbis, Kharwars and Koris were converted to Islam by Nuruddin Nur Satgur.31 But ‘Nur Satgur’s figure is one which is more legendary than real, at least in determinable historical tenns.’32 The story of the conversion of Cheraman Perumal of Malabar too is only legendary.33 There is no doubt that the invasions of Mahmud of Ghazni brought good crop of converts, and a few more Muslims were added through the influence of Muslim Mashaikh and traders in Gujarat and Malabar. But if the example of Sind provides any precedent, it is possible that many Hindus forcibly converted to Islam during Mahmud’s raids returned to their former faith. Very few Muslims were left in Sind after the decline of Arab rule. A local Karmatian Muhammadan dynasty was, however, ruling at Mansura and Multan. Mahmud of Ghazni destroyed it root and branch (1010) and Multan was deserted.34 There was another wave of Shia immigrants. In 1175 Shihabuddin Ghori attacked, defeated, and massacred them; and the majority of survivors began to live in the guise of Hindus.35
Thus while the story of the conversions to Islam has been very enthusiastically narrated by Muslim chroniclers, the attitude of the Hindus to conversion and the endeavours of the hurriedly converted Hindus to revert to their former faith, has not been even referred to by them. Alberuni mentions a number of restrictions imposed upon reconversion to Hinduism,36 but he has probably noted only the extremely orthodox Brahman opinion. On the other hand Devalasmriti37 and many other similar works38, lay down liberal rules for the reconversion of men and women who might have stayed with the mlechchhas for even as long a period as twenty years.39 All this points to a keenness on the part of the converted to return to Hinduism. We know that Nawasa Shah reverted to Hinduism at the earliest opportunity. There is also the case of Rai Sal.40 Between Mahmud of Ghazni’s death (1030) and Muhammad Ghori’s invasion (1191-92) such opportunities of reconversion were many, even on a large scale.41 Consequently, during this Period of more than a century and a half, Muslim numbers do not seem to have shown any great rise.
About the end of the twelfth century, Muhammad Ghori established Muslim rule in India on a durable basis. When he captured Bhatinda in 1190-91, he placed in its command Qazi Ziyauddin with a contingent of 1200 horse.42 In 1192 he invaded Hindustan with an army of 120,000. A good number of his soldiers would have been killed in the sanguinary battle with Prithviraj. A major portion of the remainder would have stayed on in India under Qutbuddin Aibak, who must not have been left empty handed in an alien and hostile country.43
Aibak entered upon a series of conquests. He despatched Ikhtiyaruddin Bakhtiyar Khalji to the East and himself captured Kol (modern Aligarh) in 1194. There “those of the garrison who were wise and acute were converted to Islam, but those who stood by their ancient faith were slain with the sword”.44 In 1195 when Raja Bhim of Gujarat was attacked, 20,000 prisoners were captured,45 and in 1202 at Kalinjar 50,000,46 “and we may be sure that (as in the case of Arab conquest of Sind) all those who were made slaves were compelled to embrace the religion of the masters to whom they were allotted.”47 Ferishtah specifically mentions that on the capture of Kalinjar “fifty thousand Kaniz va ghulam, having suffered slavery, were rewarded with the honour of Islam”.48 According to Ferishtah three to four hundred thousand Khokhars and Tirahias were also converted to Islam by Muhammad Ghori.49
Ikhtiyaruddin Bakhtiyar Khalji’s military exploits in the east also resulted in conversions to Islam. About the end of the twelfth or the beginning of the thirteenth century,50 he marched into Bihar and attacked the University centres of Nalanda, Vikramshila and Uddandapur, erecting a fortress at the site of Uddandapur or Odantapuri.51 The Buddhist monks in these places were massacred and the common people, deprived of their priests and teachers, turned some to Brahmanism and some to Islam. Buddhism did not die out immediately or completely in Bihar.52 But Bakhtiyar’s raid on Bihar did deliver a shattering blow to Buddhism and its lost followers were gained mainly by Islam. Muslim sway extended from Varanasi through the strip of Shahabad, Patna, Monghyr and Bhagalpur district,53 and the presence of Muslims in this tract from early times indicates that conversions by the Khalji’s warriors were common in this region. Bakhtiyar converted some tribes in the Himalayan foothills also, and one chieftain, known after his conversion as Ali the Mech, had exchanged his native beliefs for the religion of Islam.54
During the time of Qutbuddin Aibak a large number of places were attacked and prisoners captured for which actual figures or written evidence are available. Figures of any conversions during campaigns to Kanauj, Varanasi (where the Muslims occupied “a thousand” temples).55 Ajmer (attacked thrice), Gujarat, Bayana and Gwalior, and the campaigns carried out right up to Bengal are not available. However, since the notices of medieval chroniclers are usually full of exaggeration where figures of the defeated or captured non-Muslims are concerned, it would be reasonable to take into consideration only those which are specifically mentioned, any exaggeration being rounded off by those which are not.
I have calculated elsewhere that the numbers converted between 1193, when the rule of the Turkish Sultanate was established at Delhi, and 1210, when Qutbuddin Aibak died, and the immigrant Muslims were about two and a half lakhs.56 To this may be added the Muslims converted, migrated and procreated since the days of Mahmud of Ghazni in the Punjab, U.P., Gujarat and the South. Thus by the beginning of the thirteenth century, there surely was emergence of a Muslim community in India. Structurally, the term community connotes “a geographical area with definite legal boundaries occupied by residents engaged in interrelated economic activities and constituting a politically self-governing unit”.57 Thus in a community is discerned a process of social interaction, interdependence, cooperation, collaboration and unification and a conscious sense of “belonging”. In modern times means of communication have broken community boundaries. In medieval times human associations like family, relatives, marriages, class (or caste), status, and neighbourhood played a very important role in the community’s life. Even now, despite modern times, it is to be noted that in rural areas, villages and smaller cities the community process is still more closely related to family, neighbourhood, religious beliefs and institutional factors.58
With this conceptual framework let us examine the structure and organization of Muslim community in Hindustan in the eleventh and twelfth centuries. Punjab saw the emergence of Muslims as a local community consequent to the invasions of Mahmud of Ghazni. But for a few immigrants in the shape of Ghaznavid officers and soldiers, the bulk of Muslims were converts from the indigenous Hindu population. Similar was the case in “pockets” of Sind, Gujarat, Bihar and Malabar. The process of their conversion was hurried. All of a sudden the invader appeared in a city or a region, and in the midst of loot and murder, a dazed, shocked and enslaved people were given the choice between Islam and death. Those who were converted were deprived of their scalp-lock or choti and, if they happened to be caste people, also their sacred thread.59 Some were also circumcised. Their names were changed, although some might have retained their old names with new affixes. They were taught to recite the kalima and learnt to say the prescribed prayers. But beyond this, to them their conversion would have meant little. These neo-converted Muslims lived, as before, among the vast majority of the Hindus. Their interest lay, as before, in co-operating with their erstwhile friends and relations rather than with their foreign co-religionists whose main occupation was to fleece the Punjab and exploit the people. They continued in their old professions and vocations; perhaps they were given some preferential treatment in the redistribution of the conquered land, but there was hardly any change in the economic set-up with its inter-dependence, cooperation and collaboration, and they remained as intimately associated with their old social and economic order as in days before they were made Musalmans. Situated as they were, some of them might have even tried and succeeded in reverting to Hinduism.60
But no community,
however newly born, however weakly constituted it may be, exists without
a moral power which animates and directs it. After the passing of
a few generations, Indian Muslims would have forgotten the circumstances
of their conversion, and developed a sense of oneness amongst themselves. With
time, they would have begun to be considered a distinct and separate entity
in the caste-oriented Hindu society. “The Hindus were so well organized
in their social and religious life”,61 that
a few conversions had not even made a dent in their social organization,
and gradually they would have tended to become indifferent towards those
who had become Musalmans, thereby creating in the latter a sense of oneness
and cohesion amongst themselves. As the influence
of the parent society on them declined and the influence of Muslim regime
and religion increased, the Indian Muslims began to look more and more
to foreign Muslim ruling and privileged classes for guidance, help and
protection, and in return gave them their unflinching cooperation.62
Much more important than the recession of Hindu moorings and the ascension
of Muslim beliefs and culture in their life and thought, was the fact that
these Muslims were governed by a new set of laws - the Shariat. They
prayed in a different fashion now, in congregation and many times a day.
They began to marry amongst themselves. The magic word of ‘Islam’
would have given them a unity of thought, interest and action. Lahore
and Delhi were their political and cultural centres.
1 Ferishtah, Tarikh-i-Ferishtah, Persian text, Nawal Kishore Press, Lucknow 1865, Vol.1, p.16.
2 Stanley Lane-Poole, Medieval India under Muhammadan Rule (London, 1926), p.1.
3 Chachnama, trs. in H.M. Elliot and J. Dowson, History of India as told by its own Historians, 8 Vols., London, 1867-77, (here after as E and D), Vol. I, p. 207.
4 Al Biladuri, Futuh-ul-Buldan, trs. E and D, I, p.120.
5 Ibid., pp.122-24.
6 Chachnama, op. cit., pp. 163-64. Also pp. 205-07, 208.
7 Biladuri, pp.124-25. Also cf. Chachnama, pp.207-208. Also Cambridge history of India (hereafter C.H.I.) ed. Wolseley Haig, Vol. III, p.3.
8 Elliot’s Appendix in E and D, I, p.439.
9 Biladuri, op. cit., p.126, Also cf. Idrisi, E and D, I, Nuzhat-ul-Mushtaq.
10 Dension Ross, Islam, p.18.
11 Al Idrisi, p.83.
12 See also Elliot’s Appendix, E and D, I, p.459.
13 Biladuri, pp.115-16. Also p.415.
14 Tara Chand, Influence of Islam on Indian Culture (Allahabad, 1946), pp.31-33.
15 Ibn Hauqal, Ashkalal-ul-Bilad, trs. in E and D, I, p.34. Also p.457. See also Istakhri Kitab-ul-Aqalim, E and D, I, p.27.
16 Ibn Hauqal, p.38.
17 Muhammad Ufi, Jami-ul-Hikayat, E and D, II, pp.163-64. Also S. C. Misra, Muslim Communities in Gujarat (Bombay,1964), p.5.
18 Tara Chand, op. cit., p.33. Also Aziz Ahmad, Studies in Islamic Culture in the Indian Environment (Oxford, 1964), p. 77.
19 Tara Chand, Ibid., p.34.
20 Sulaiman Saudagar, Hindi trs. of his Narrative by Mahesh Prasad, (Kashi, Sam. 1978, C.E. 1921), p.84.
21 For conversions at various places under Mahmud see Kitab-i-Yamini, Eng. trs. of Utbi’s work by James Reynolds, (London) 1858, pp. 451-52, 455, 460, 462-63 and Utbi, Tarikh-i-Yamini, E and D, II, pp.27, 30, 33, 40, 42, 43, 45, 49. Also Appendix in E and D, II, pp.434-78.
22 Zakaria al Qazwini, Asar-ul-Bilad, E and D, I, p.98.
23 C.E. Bosworth, The Ghaznavids (Edinburgh, 1963), p. 129. Utbi, Reynolds trs. op. cit., pp.438-39 and n.
24 Utbi, trs. Reynolds, op.cit., pp. 322-25, 462. Utbi, E and D, II, p.37 Ferishtah, op. cit., I, p.44.
25 Utbi, E and D, II, p.49.
26 About Banaras Ibn Asir says, ‘there were Musalmans in that country since the days of Mahmud bin Subuktagin’. Ibn-ul-Asir, Kamil-ul-Tawarikh, trs., E and D, II.
27 Indian Antiquary, IV, 1875, p.366.
28 Indian Historical Quarterly, XXII, 1951, p.240.
29 Proceedings of the Indian History Congress, VI Session, Patna, pp.123ff. Also B.P. Mazumdar, The Socio-Economic History of Northern India, (Calcutta, 1960), p.126.
30 Kalhana, Rajatarangini, trs. by M. A. Stein (Westminster, 1900), VII, 528-29, 1149, cited in Mazumdar, op. cit., p.128.
31 Arnold, The Preaching of Islam (Westminster, 1896), p.275; Murray Titus, Islam in India and Pakistan, (Calcutta, 1959), p.43.
32 S.C. Misra, Muslim Communities in Gujarat, p.57.
33 Tarachand, op. cit., pp.34-35.
34 Ferishtah, op. cit., I, p.27, M. Habib, Sultan Mahmud of Ghaznin, Delhi reprint, 1951, p.34,
35 W. Ivanow, Brief Survey of the Evolution of Ismailism (Bombay, 1942), pp.34-35.
36 Alberuni, India, trs. Edward Sachau, 2 Vols., (London, 1910), II, pp.162-63.
37 Published by Anandasrama Sanskrit series, Poona, trs. by M.N. Ray in J.B.O.R.S.,1927.
38 P.V. Kane, History of the Dharmashastra Literature, 4 Vols., II, pp.390-91.
39 See B.P. Mazumdar, op. cit., pp. 131-33.
40 Utbi, E and D, II, p.39. Camb. Hist. India, III, p.47.
41 Ferishtah, op. cit., I, p.45.
42 Camb. Hist. India, III, p.40.
43 Hasan Nizami says that ‘the Sultan then returned to Ghazna… but the whole army remained… at the mauza of Indarpat’. (Taj-ul-Maasir, E and D, II, p.216). Surely Muhammad Ghori would not have gone back all alone.
44 Ibid., p.222.
45 Ferishtah, I, p.62.
46 Hasan Nizami, p.231. Also Ferishtah, I, p.53. Habibullah, The Foundation of Muslim Rule in India, (Allahabad, 1961), pp.69 and 334 (n.26), has missed to cite Hasan Nizami’s assertion that 50,000 were enslaved.
47 Titus. Islam in India and Pakistan (Calcutta, 1959), p.31.
48 Ferishtah, I, p.63.
49 Ferishtah, I, pp.59-60. The authenticity of Ferishtah’s statement has been challenged by Raverty (Notes on Afghanistan, p.367). The numbers of Khokhar converts have certainly been exaggerated. Amir Khusrau refers to Khokhars as a non-Muslim tribe (Tughlaq Namah, Aurangabad, 1933, p.128), and the way they were constantly attacked and killed by sultans like Iltutmish and Balban confirms Khusrau’s contention. There is, however, nothing strange about Ferishtah’s statement; only the figure seems to be exaggerated.
50 The exact date of the raid is difficult to determine. Ishwari Prasad, Medieval India (Allahabad, Fourth Impression, 1940), p.138 places it” probably in 1197”, Wolseley Haig (C.H.I., III,pp.45-46) a little earlier than this, and Habibullah, op. cit., pp.70 and 84, n. 78 in 1202-03.
51 Indian Antiquary, IV, pp.366-67.
52 Fuhrer, The Sharqi Architecture of Jaunpur, pp.70-73.
53 Habibullah, op. cit., p.147.
54 Tabqat-i-Nasiri, trs. H.R. Raverty, (London, 1881), I, p.560.
55 Ferishtah, I, p. 58.
56 K.S. Lal, Growth of Muslim Population in Medieval India (Delhi, 1973), p.108.
57 Encyclopaedia of Social sciences (Macmillan, New York Reprint, 1949), pp. 102ff.
58 Ibid., p.105.
59 It may be noted here that Jayapal, after fighting Subuktigin near Kabul, “was contented to offer the best things in the most distant provinces to the conqueror, on condition that the hairs on the crowns of their heads should not be shaven off”. Utbi, op. cit., p.23.
W. Crooke in his Tribes and Castes of the North-Western Provinces, IV, p.226, quoting Ibbetson says that chotikat “is even now a term of reproach which is applied in the Punjab to those who have, on conversion to Islam, cut off the choti.”
Also Hodivala, S.H., Studies in Indo-Muslim History (Bombay, 1939), pp.137-38.
60 Ferishtah, I, p. 45.
Murray Titus, Islam in India and Pakistan (Calcutta, 1959), p.170.
61 Ibid., p.8
62 Chachnama, mentions the case of a converted Hindu who could not pay respect to his old Hindu king by curtly declaring: ‘When I was your subject it was right of me to observe the rules of obedience; but now that I am converted, and am subject to the king of Islam, it cannot be expected that I should bow my head to an infidel.” E and D, I, p.165.
Swami Vivekanand has aptly remarked that conversion
means not only a Hindu lost but also an enemy created.