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Dauntless Prince Jaisiah Continues To Fight The Arabs

Featured Image Credit: Umayyad Expansion Under Muhammad Bin Kasim In Sindh

Even as the army of Raja Dahir was routed after the martyrdom of their king, Raja Dahir’s son, prince Jaisiah and queen Rani Bai resolved to defend the fort of Raor. Raja Dahir’s minister, Wazir Siyakar persuaded Jaisiah to proceed to Brahmanabad to defend his remaining territories. Queen Rani Bai gathered her loyal men and “together with some of the generals prepared for battle. She reviewed the army in the fort and fifteen thousand warriors were counted. They had all resolved to die.” [The History Of India As Told By Its Own Historians, Vol. 1 — The Muhammadan Period, P 172 — Elliot And Dawson]

Raja Dahir’s Queen Rani Bai Prefers Death Over Dishonour

Muhammad bin Kasim proceeded to attack the fort of Raor and although queen Rani Bai put up a brave resistance, she and her troops were soon reduced to the last extremity. The brave queen committed jauhar and “burnt herself along with other ladies to escape the infamy of falling into the hands of the Arabs.” [The History And Culture Of The Indian People: Vol. 3 — The Classical Age, P 171 — R. C. Majumdar]

Muhammad bin Kasim captured the fort of Raor after defeating and killing six thousand armed men. Muhammad took all the wealth and property in the fort and also took thirty thousand women, children and servants in the fort as prisoners, and sent one-fifth of the war-booty to Hajjaj, to be sent to the Caliph.

Prince Jaisiah Continues The Struggle Against The Arabs And Ultimately Prevails

After capturing Raor, the Arab invaders headed to Brahmanabad and started digging entrenchments around the city for battle. Prince Jaisiah attempted to reorganize his men and allies from his stronghold at Brahmanabad and instructed his chiefs to defend the remaining provinces. He even wrote a letter to the Rana of Kashmir for help. [Indian Resistance To Early Muslim Invaders Upto 1206 A.D., P 25 — Dr. Ram Gopal Mishra]

Despite the martyrdom of his father, prince Jaisiah bravely organized his army and made elaborate preparations to defend Brahmanabad as well as his capital, Alor. The battle commenced and every day the resolute prince Jaisiah and the brave inhabitants of Brahmanabad fought the Arabs with all their might to defend their territory.

Additionally, Jaisiah organized raids to cut off the supplies of the Arab army in an attempt to weaken the Arab military strength, thereby managing to harass the Arabs successfully. Queen Ladi Bai, the other queen of Raja Dahir, “brought out all her wealth and treasures, and distributing them among the warriors of the army, she thus encouraged her brave soldiers while the fight was carried on at one of the gates.” [The History Of India As Told By Its Own Historians, Vol. 1 — The Muhammadan Period, P 181 — Elliot And Dawson]

At this point, the minister of Raja Dahir, Wazir Siyakar also chose to betray brave Jaisiah and defected to join hands with Muhammad bin Kasim. Notwithstanding Siyakar’s treachery, Jaisiah and the people of Brahmanabad battled for six long months without giving an inch to Muhammad’s army.

The diminishing supplies due to harassment by Jaisiah’s raids and the prolonged duration of the battle frustrated Muhammad bin Kasim, who “despaired of taking the fort and became very pensive.” [The History Of India As Told By Its Own Historians, Vol. 1 — The Muhammadan Period, P 177 — Elliot And Dawson] Jaisiah continued to cause distress to the Arab army and Muhammad “was perpetually harassed by Jaisiya, who prevented the supply of fodder, and put him to great trouble.” [The History Of India As Told By Its Own Historians, Vol. 1 — The Muhammadan Period, P 177 — Elliot And Dawson]

Unfortunately for Jaisiah, once again some leading citizens of Brahmanabad betrayed him and the fort and made a secret pact with Muhammad bin Kasim to end the stalemate. The fort of Brahmanabad fell to Muhammad bin Kasim after a prolonged fight due to the treachery of a few people. After capturing Brahmanabad, Muhammad bin Kasim headed to the capital city of Alor, which fell after some fighting. The Arabs next “beseiged Multan, which offered stubborn resistance for two months, but was ultimately obliged to surrender owing to treachery.” [The History And Culture Of The Indian People: Vol. 3 — The Classical Age, P 172 — R. C. Majumdar]

With the fall of Multan, the invaders succeeded in conquering the whole of Sindh by 713 A.D. Muhammad bin Kasim was an able military general who finally managed to give the Arabs a foothold in Sindh, which passed into the hands of the Arab Muslims for the first time after innumerable attacks over seventy years.

However, his victories in Sindh had not been easy and he was met with stiff, fierce resistance by the governors, chiefs and warriors of Raja Dahir at every step of his progress through Sindh. It was the lamentable betrayals and treachery of a few local merchants, chiefs and some others, that led to his conquest of Sindh and the martyrdom of the valiant and powerful king of Sindh, Raja Dahir.

Unfortunately for Muhammad bin Kasim, he met with a cruel end at the hands of his own people. After the death of Al Hajjaj in 714 A.D. and the subsequent death of Caliph Al Walid in 715 A.D., Muhammad was recalled to Iraq by the succeeding Caliph, Sulayman ibn Abd Al Malik. Caliph Sulayman, the seventh Umayyad Caliph was an arch enemy of Al Hajjaj, and wreaked vengeance on the relatives of Hajjaj. He recalled Muhammad bin Kasim to Iraq and tortured him to death along with some other loyalists of Hajjaj. [The History And Culture Of The Indian People: Vol. 3 — The Classical Age, P 172 — R. C. Majumdar]

The victories of Muhammad bin Kasim, although remarkable in terms of military operation, failed to have any lasting impact in Sindh, for as soon as he was recalled and killed in Iraq, the chiefs of Sindh rose in rebellion and rejected the Muslim yoke of bondage. “The people of India rebelled, and threw off their yoke, and the country from Debalpur to the Salt Sea only remained under the dominions of the Khalifa.” [Heroic Hindu Resistance To Muslim Invaders, P 11 — Sita Ram Goel] [The History Of India As Told By Its Own Historians, Vol. 1 — The Muhammadan Period, P 438 — Elliot And Dawson]

Prince Jaisiah returned to Brahmanabad and reclaimed his territory. All that the Arabs were left with at the end of such a major military campaign in Sindh was a tiny, narrow coastal strip of land.

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