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MAHOMMEDAN PERIOD]
401
INDIA

sweep the country from the Himalayas to Cape Comorin, and from the western to the eastern sea. Mahomet, the founder of Islam, died at Medina in A.D. 632, while the Chinese pilgrim Hsüan Tsang was still on his travels. The first Mahommedan invasion of India is placed in 664, only thirty-two years after the death of the prophet. The Punjab is said to have been ravaged on this occasion with no permanent results. The first Mahommedan conquest was the outlying province of Sind. In 711, or seventy-nine years after the death of Mahomet, an Arab army under Mahommed b. Kasim invaded and conquered the Hindus of Sind in the name of Walid I., caliph of Damascus, of the Omayyad line. In the same year Roderic, the last of the Goths, fell before the victorious Saracens in Spain. But in India the bravery of the Rajputs and the devotion of the Brahmans seem to have afforded a stronger national bulwark than existed in western Europe. In 750 the Hindus rose in rebellion and drove out the Mussulman tyrant, and the land had rest for one hundred and fifty years.

The next Mahommedan invasion of India is associated with the name of Sultan Mahmud of Ghazni. Mahmud was the eldest son of Sabuktagin, surnamed Nasr-ud-din, in origin a Turkish slave, who had established his rule Mahmud of Ghazni. over the greater part of modern Afghanistan and Khorassan, with Ghazni as his capital. In 977 Sabuktagin is said to have defeated Jaipal, the Hindu raja of Lahore, and to have rendered the Punjab tributary. But his son Mahmud was the first of the great Mussulman conquerors whose names still ring through Asia. Mahmud succeeded to the throne in 997. During his reign of thirty-three years he extended the limits of his father’s kingdom from Persia on the east to the Ganges on the west; and it is related that he led his armies into the plains of India no fewer than seventeen times. In 1001 he defeated Raja Jaipal a second time, and took him prisoner. But Anandpal, son of Jaipal, raised again the standard of national independence, and gathered an army of Rajput allies from the farthest corners of Hindustan. The decisive battle was fought in the valley of Peshawar. Mahmud won the day by the aid of his Turkish horsemen, and thenceforth the Punjab has been a Mahommedan province, except during the brief period of Sikh supremacy. The most famous of Mahmud’s invasions of India was that undertaken in 1025-1026 against Gujarat. The goal of this expedition was the temple dedicated to Siva at Somnath, around which so many legends have gathered. It is reported that Mahmud marched through Ajmere to avoid the desert of Sind; that he found the Hindus gathered on the neck of the peninsula of Somnath in defence of their holy city; that the battle lasted for two days; that in the end the Rajput warriors fled to their boats, while the Brahman priests retired into the inmost shrine; that Mahmud, introduced into this shrine, rejected all entreaties by the Brahmans to spare their idol, and all offers of ransom; that he smote the image with his club, and forthwith a fountain of precious stones gushed out. Until the British invasion of Afghanistan in 1839, the club of Mahmud and the wood gates of Somnath were preserved at the tomb of the great conqueror near Ghazni. The club has now disappeared, and the gates brought back to India by Lord Ellenborough are recognized to be a clumsy forgery. To Mahommedans Mahmud is known, not only as a champion of the faith, but as a munificent patron of literature. The dynasty that he founded was not long-lived. Fourteen of his descendants occupied his throne within little more than a century, but none of them achieved greatness. A blood-feud arose between them and a line of Afghan princes who had established themselves among the mountains of Ghor. In 1155 Bahram, the last of the Ghaznivide Turks, was overthrown by Ala-ud-din of Ghor, and the wealthy and populous city of Ghazni was razed to the ground. But even the Ghoride conqueror spared the tomb of Mahmud.

Khusru, the son of Bahram, fled to Lahore, and there established the first Mahommedan dynasty within India. It speedily ended with his son, also called Khusru, whom Mahommed Ghori, the relentless enemy of the Ghaznivide house, carried away into captivity in 1186.

The Afghans of Ghor thus rose to power on the downfall of the Turks of Ghazni. The founder of the family is said to have been Izzud-din al Husain, whose son Ala-ud-din destroyed Ghazni, as already mentioned. Ala-ud-din had two nephews, Ghiyas-ud-din and Muiz-ud-din, the latter of whom, also called Shahab-ud-din by Mussulman chroniclers, and generally known in history as Mahommed Ghori, is the second of the great Mahommedan conquerors of India. In 1175 he took Multan and Uchch; in 1186 Lahore fell into his hands; in 1191 he was repulsed before Delhi, but soon afterwards he redeemed this disaster. Hindustan proper was at that period divided between the two Rajput kingdoms of Kanauj and Delhi. Mahommed Ghori achieved his object by playing off the rival kings against each other. By 1193 he had extended his conquests as far east as Benares, and the defeated Rajputs migrated in a body to the hills and deserts now known as Rajputana. In 1199 one of his lieutenants, named Bakhtiyar, advanced into Bengal, and expelled by an audacious stratagem the last Hindu raja of Nadia. The entire northern plain, from the Indus to the Brahmaputra, thus lay under the Mahommedan yoke. But Mahommed Ghori never settled permanently in India. His favourite residence is said to have been the old capital of Ghazni, while he governed his Indian conquests through the agency of a favourite slave, Kutb-ud-din. Mahommed Ghori died in 1206, being assassinated by some Ghakkar tribesmen while sleeping in his tent by the bank of the Indus; on his death both Ghor and Ghazni drop out of history, and Delhi first appears as the Mahommedan capital of India.

On the death of Mahommed Ghori, Kutb-ud-din at once laid aside the title of viceroy, and proclaimed himself sultan of Delhi. He was the founder of what is known as The Slave Dynasty. the slave dynasty, which lasted for nearly a century (1206-1288). The name of Kutb is preserved in the minar, or pillar of victory, which still stands amid the ruins of ancient Delhi, towering high above all later structures. Kutb himself is said to have been successful as a general and an administrator, but none of his successors has left a mark in history.

In 1294 Ala-ud-din Khilji, the third of the great Mahommedan conquerors of India, raised himself to the throne of Delhi by the treacherous assassination of his uncle Feroz II. who had himself supplanted the last of the slave Ala-ud-din. dynasty. Ala-ud-din had already won military renown by his expeditions into the yet unsubdued south. He had plundered the temples at Bhilsa in central India, which are admired to the present day as the most interesting examples of Buddhist architecture in the country. At the head of a small band of horsemen, he had ridden as far south as Deogiri (Daulatabad) in the Deccan (q.v.), and plundered the Yadava capital. When once established as sultan, he planned more extensive schemes of conquest. One army was sent to Gujarat under Alaf Khan, who conquered and expelled the last Rajput king of Anhalwar or Patan. Another army, led by the sultan in person, marched into the heart of Rajputana, and stormed the rock-fortress of Chitor, where the Rajputs had taken refuge with their women and children. A third army, commanded by Malik Kafur, a Hindu renegade and favourite of Ala-ud-din, penetrated to the extreme south of the peninsula, scattering the unwarlike Dravidian races, and stripping every Hindu temple of its accumulations of gold and jewels. To this day the name of Malik Kafur is remembered in the remote district of Madura, in association with irresistible fate and every form of sacrilege.

Ala-ud-din died In 1316, having subjected to Islam the Deccan and Gujarat. Three successors followed him upon the throne, but their united reigns extended over only five years. In 1321 a successful revolt was headed by Ghiyas-ud-din Mahommed b. Tughlak. Tughlak, governor of the Punjab, who is said to have been of Turkish origin. The Tughlak dynasty lasted for about seventy years, until it was swept away by the invasion of Timur, the fourth Mahommedan conqueror of India, in 1398. Tughlak’s son and successor, Mahommed b. Tughlak, who reigned