HISTORY OF INDIA
AN ANCIENT HISTORY OF SIND,
Giving the Hindu period down to the Arab Conquest.
TRANSLATED FROM THE PERSIAN BY MIRZA KALICHBEG FREDUNBEG
THE CONQUEST OF HIND AND SIND
An account of Rai (=King) Dahar, son of Chach, son of Selaij, and his death at the hands of Muhammad Kasim.
The reciters of stories and the authors of histories have related as follows. The town of Alor was the capital city of Hind and Sind. It was a town adorned with various kinds of royal buildings, villas, gardens, fountains, streams, meadows and trees situated on the bank of a river called the Mehran. In this beautiful and splendid city, there lived a king whose name was Sahiras, son of Sahasi Rai. This king had innumerable riches and immense buried treasures. His justice was well known in the world, and his liberality and bravery widely spread. The limits of his dominions extended on the east to the boundary of Kashmir, on the west to Makran, on the south to the coast of the sea and Debal, and on the north to the mountains of Kurdan and Kikanan. He had appointed four Governors (=Maliks) in his kingdom: one at Brahminabad; and the fort of Nerun and Debal, Luhanah, Lakhah, Sammah and the river were left under his management; another at the town of Siwistan; and Ladhia, Chingan, the skirts of the hills of Rojhan up to the boundary of Makran, were given into his charge; the third at the fort of Iskandah; and Bahiah, Stwarah, Jajhor, and the supplementary territories of Dhanod were given in his possession; and the fourth at the town of Multan; and the towns of Sikkah, Karnd, Ishthar and Kih up to the boundary of Kashmir were entrusted to him. The king himself had his head-quarters in the city of Alor, retaining Kurdan, Kikanan, and Brahamabad directly under his sway Each of these Governors was called upon by the king to keep in readiness troops and arms, and accoutremeats for horses. He ordered them to protect the interests of the country and the people, to look after the repairs of the buildings, and to keep the feudal assignees and estate-holders happy. In his whole dominion, there was not a single refractory or rebellious head who perversely opposed the measures passed by him or the boundaries fixed by him.
As the great God willed it, all of a sudden an army of the king of Nimruz made an invasion on his country, and entered Kirman.
When King Sahiras got this news, he issued from the fort of Raoi with his main army, with the steadfast purpose of meeting the enemy by advanced marches. He soon came up to them and the battle commenced. After a number of brave soldiers and illustrious warriors was slain on both sides, the people of Fars, placing full trust in the direction of the All Powerful God and resigning everything to him, made a vigorous assault. The army of Rai Sahiras, completely overpowered and overthrown, took to flight. Sahiras, however, to prevent ignominy, stood there fighting with the enemy till he was killed. The King of Fars returned to Nimruz, and Rai Sahasi, son of Rai Sahiras, ascended the throne of his father and was confirmed in his kingdom. All the four governors who had been appointed by his father made obeisance to him, and behaved obediently and agreeably towards him. They surrendered their countries together, with their treasures to him, and did not attempt to swerve from their fealty. Owing to his excellent policy and majestic dignity, Rai Sahasi brought the kingdom under his firm control. The subjects and original residents of the country enjoyed much respect, and lived a happy life. He had a wazir, by name chamberlain Ram. Ram was well acquainted with the various departments of knowledge, and his administration was in every way absolute and supreme, inasmuch as there was none to interfere in his work, or to oppose him. The Council of State was entirely committed to his care and wise policy. Rai Sahiras had also a firm belief in his eloquence and good logic, and he never overstepped his counsel or suggestion.
The coming of Chach, son of Selaij, to pay respects to the chamberlain Ram.
Once, when the chamberlain Ram, the Brahman wazir, had come to his office, a Brahman came to visit him. He began to praise him and speak highly of him in beautiful language. The chamberlain Ram asked him:
“O Brahman, whence do you come and for what purpose have you taken the trouble of coming?”
The Brahman replied “my name is Chach son of Selaij, Brahman. My brother Jandab and my father live in a temple in a rural place attached to the town of Alor, and pray for Rai Sahasi and the chamberlain Ram. It occurred to me that I should pay a visit to you; and as eloquence is the origin of good fortune and the solver of difficulties, I thought of showing you my readiness to serve you.”
The chamberlain Ram said: “No doubt, eloquence and rhetoric, your speech is fluent enough, but are you acquainted with law and morals?”
Chach replied: “I have all the four books of the Hindu religion on the tip of my tongue; if Your Excellency be pleased to give the word, I will recite some of those masterpieces of eloquence and rhetoric, on which I have been working so long. I shall thereby show my sincerity and truthfulness.”
While they were thus conversing with each other, some despatches were received for consultation and disposal, from the direction of Debal. The chamberlain gave those letters to him. Chach read them out in his very best manner, and wrote a reply in the most chosen words and in an excellent hand-writing. When Ram acquainted himself with what he had written, he greatly applauded Chach for his consummate wit and cleverness. He extended his patronage to him by respecting him greatly and giving him rich presents. He told him: “I have many important affairs for disposal. As I am the secretary in attendance at the Royal palace and have to do my office work, I am so busy that I have hardly sufficient time to discharge my duties properly. You will therefore be of some assistance to me.” Chach accepted the offer and entered on his duties. In a short time, he became prominent in the correspondence department of the Council.
One day, Rai Sahasi came to the public audience hall, and the great men and chieftains of the city were all present there. Some letters from the district of Siwistan having arrived, the Secretary Ram was called. But he had not yet come to the Council office; so Chach sent word, saying: “I am the Assistant of the Secretary Ram. If anything is to be written, I am ready to write it and to dispose of the work in hand.”
King Sahasi called him. Chach read out excellently the letters that had been received, and explained their purport with full details. He then wrote a reply in a sweet style and in a beautiful hand, and submitted the same to the king for perusal and approval. The king had a great liking for excellent penmanship. He went over the letter of Chach, and was much pleased with the style. He invested him with a robe of honour and ordered that he be confirmed in his post of Assistant Secretary. When, the chamberlain Ram met the king in his palace, Rai Sahasi asked him: “This assistant of yours is a very clever fellow; he is an eloquent speaker and a good writer. Whence have you brought him? Treat him kindly.”
The chamberlain Ram said: “He is a son of Selaij Brahman, and is an honest, straightforward and experienced man.”
When the chamberlain Ram found the king favourably inclined towards Chach, he asked him to do the work of the Secretary, too, for him and to carry on the whole business of that office during his presence or absence.
Thus Chach began to perform important business, and disposed of State affairs and political matters in a business-like manner. Every time that he had occasion to go into the presence of the king, the latter rewarded him and patronized him by giving him a dress of honour or some other present, and advised him to persevere in that course of employment, telling him that, by means of such employment, the affairs would be well transacted and he would be entitled to a higher post. In this fashion, the king went on encouraging him and giving him good hopes by making pleasant promises.
As the great God willed it, the life of the chamberlain Ram came to its close and the hand of death tore the collar of his garment.
Chach, son of Selaij, entrusted with the post of Chamberlain and Secretary.
After this event, Rai Sahasi called Chach to himself and conferred on him the office of Chamberlain and Secretary. Chach behaved towards the people with courtesy and kindness, so that he held firm sway over the whole kingdom and was obeyed by all. He was at one and the same time doing the work of Chamberlain and Secretary in an excellent manner.
One day, the king Sahasi Rai was sitting in a private apartment of his palace with his queen Suhandi. This lady had great influence over the king and had lived happily with him. The Chamberlain Chach came to the door of the palace. He sent a message to Rai Sahasi, through the private Chamberlain, to the effect that Chach had come to the door of the palace on an important business, and wanted to relate to the king what had happened, and that if the king had leisure the whole matter would be laid before him.
The king asked his queen to go behind the curtain as a stranger was coming. The queen Suhandi observed: “So many inferior people and menials come in; if a Brahman comes in, what inclination am I likely to have towards him and why should I feel shy and conceal myself from him? May a thousand lives of mine be sacrificed to the dust of Sahasi's feet!”
It was usual with the king not to act against the wishes of that lady whenever she pressed a point or insisted upon a thing; and often he was led away by her artifices and submitted to her cajoleries. So the king called Chach, who explained the State business that had brought him, and expressed himself on the subject very well.
The queen falls in love with Chach who becomes the Ruler through her love.
The Brahman Chach was a young man with a beautiful face and fair complexion. He was of a tall stature, and well proportioned with an argent person and ruby cheeks. When she looked at his handsome features and cypress-like stature, she fell in love with him a thousand fold with her heart and soul. She was fascinated and infatuated, and was struck dumb by his beauty, his form and his vesture. She was overpowered by his striking delivery and marvellous handwriting; and love for Chach obtained an abiding place in her soul, and the tree of affection found a firm footing in the land of her heart. The king had no offspring. The queen had no issue by him. She therefore sent a message to Chach through a cunning go-between in the following words:
“O Chach, the arrows of your eye-lashes have pierced the target of my heart and wounded it,
and the chain of separation from you has been fastened on my neck.
You will therefore be kind enough to administer some medicine from the dispensary of your union,
and to remove the chain from my neck with the hand of your society.
Adorn my neck and ears with the necklace of your love
and with the earrings of your devotion.
If you will not comply with my request, I shall kill myself.
May it occur to you to make this my heart happy
and to free it from the pangs of your separation.
But, O beloved, if you turn your face away from me,
I shall raise a cry, that you are doing injustice to me.”
When the old woman delivered the above message Chach expressed his abhorrence, and thought it proper to reject the proposal.
“Disloyalty,” said he, “in the seraglio of monarchs means danger to life, punishment in the next world, and a bad name in this world. When the wrath of kings reaches its climax, it cannot be checked or resisted with any screen or any medicine. Therefore, let this alone. We, moreover, are Brahmans and my father and brother are ascetics, and are still sitting in their praying place resigning everything to God. I do not approve of such infidelity. I am in the service of the king, and I should live between hope and fear. Such a thing is disapproved by wise men. One should not place any confidence in four things: a sovereign, fire, wind, and water. I would not bring this contempt on my head. You will never gain this object from me.”
When this message was brought to the queen, she became calmer and quieter and sent back the following reply: “If you shrink from familiarity and intimacy with me, at least give me my due by showing your face to me every day, in season and out of season, so that the thought of your beauty may remain fresh in my mind and I may console myself by cherishing hopes of your union with me. Happy shall I be if I see you year in and year out, or even if I see you in imagination one single night in the whole period of my life. O my idol! I shall never be despondent in thinking of you; I shall see at least the night of your union one day.”
When the eye began to play its part in the affair, and the heart was seized with union of the beloved, a sympathy ultimately sprang up between them, which reached its consummation in morning meetings; and their love and intimacy increased beyond measure, and was confirmed by a solemn compact of permanent union. The king had no knowledge of their relations. There was indeed a party of their opponents who entertained evil suspicions regarding them, from the glances of the two, but as no one had observed anything, their secret was maintained. Some of the enemies did inform the king and divulged, but he refused to accept their word, that such things were not likely to happen at his palace, and that the Chamberlain Chach was not likely to allow himself to be so ungrateful or do such an iniquitous thing.
Thus, in the course of time the entire kingdom came under the sway of Chach. Whatever he did was to the liking of the king, and king Sahasi Rai did not dispose of any important business without first consulting him. In this way, every order issued by Chach, whether positive or prohibitive, came to be strictly obeyed throughout the dominion.
The passing away of Sahasi Rai from this world.
At length, the divine decree burst into light from the curtains of mystery. The king fell ill, and his illness took a lingering turn. The signs of death changed the face of his life for the worse. The king's wife became very anxious. She called Chach and told him: “ The king's life is about to come to its close, and the signs of the cessation of his breath have already appeared. If the king dies, there is no issue of his to inherit the kingdom. His near relations, therefore, will secure all his property and his country. There is no doubt that they will disinherit and distress me, owing to their estrangement. When even during the life-time of the king, they called me ugly names, they will at such a time as this deprive me of my life and property. One plan occurs to me, and I think it will turn out the right one, and if it is so destined, our wishes will be perfectly gratified and this kingdom will devolve upon you. My opinion is that, if we show our courage, the great God will hand over this kingdom to you, and its honour and glory will long remain with you, and all the people will pay allegiance to you.”
Chach said: “I am ready to obey you with all my heart, and whatever you propose must be very good. But it is a wellknown maxim that consultation with upright servants is a duty. You must therefore acquaint me with what you have in your mind.”
Queen Suhandi said: “Issue an order that fifty chains and fetters be made. Bring them secretly at night, conceal them in the house and keep them ready for use when required.”
Accordingly, under the orders of Chach, some heavy chains and fetters were made. They were brought into the innermost apartments of the palace under cover of night, and kept secure in a corner.
When the king's last moments arrived and the death agony ensued, the physicians rose to leave. Queen Suhandi asked them to wait in the house for a short time. At the same time, she directed a confidential servant to remove the king to an inner apartment and to close the gate, so that no one in the city should come to know that Sahasi was dead.
She then asked him to bring a large number of her followers and dependents into the house. When these men were all brought in, she ordered her servant to call those near relations of the king, who were claimants to the throne. In this way, every one was brought in separately, on the pretext that the king was better that day and wanted to consult him. When each came, he was sent to the appointed apartment where the queen's confidential men put each into chains. Thus, all of her rivals were imprisoned and secured in irons. Next, she sent for those relations of the king who were poor and in want. Each of these, as he came, was told: “Today, the king is annoyed with such and such a relation of yours, owing to whose ill-treatment and misbehaviour he did not sleep soundly, and has imprisoned him. If you wish to be free from poverty and hunger, and acquire strength by means of wealth and property, go to that prison-room and remove the head of your enemy. Then put yourself in firm possession of his house, his property, his followers and his estates.”
In this manner, every one went to the room, and killed that relation of his who was on bad terms with him, and made himself master of his house, cattle, riches, and domestics. Thus, in one single night, they (Suhandí and Chach) made all their troublesome opponents the food of the blood-thirsty sword, and their heart was at ease in regard to their enemies. No competitor now remained in the kingdom to claim the inheritance.
Chach, son of Selaij, ascends the throne.
After the friendly followers and dependents were thus pledged, and after the poorer chiefs did the bloody work of the sword, they ranged themselves in a line in front of the palace, and stood there ready with their arms. All the merchants and the artisans, the plebians and the nobles brought by them, and the royal throne was well adorned. Then queen Suhandi came behind a curtain, and sent the following message to them through wazir Budhiman: “Speak to the peers and nobles of the State and convey to them the wishes of their sovereign. Tell them that, though His Majesty is much better and his illness is fast disappearing, still owing to the shock caused, by vindictive disturbance, he is unable to come to the public audience hall, and the affairs of the people, high and low, rich and poor, who have not received justice, will remain pending. He is therefore pleased to appoint the Chamberlain Chach, in his life-time, as his vigerent to carry on the administration in his name, so that no mischief may find its way into the country, owing to injustice done to the people, whose destinies have been committed to his care by the Creator.”
All those who were present bent low respectfully and rubbed their heads on the ground, and said with one voice: “We are ready to obey the command of the king. The Chamberlain Chach is in every way qualified for such a great office, and possesses many good qualities and virtues, as he has already put the State affairs on a firm footing.”
Then queen Suhandi Devi presented costly dresses of honour, adorned with ornaments inlaid with jewels, to a thousand of her faithful dependents and friends, who were among the heads of tribes and leaders of armies. At the same time, she placed the crown of the country on the head of Chach, and seated him on the throne. The whole assemblage felt much gratified, and bound themselves to do the service required of them. She then ordered the wazir to be elected anew for the same post, and the chief officers were encouraged in their faithful service with plenty of rewards. New orders about the grant of estates were passed in favour of several nobles. And thus the whole kingdom rested entirely on Chach for its administration.
Six months elapsed in this manner. After that period, the news of Rai Sahasi's death coming to the ear of his brother Maharat, the king of Chitor, the latter prepared an expedition, and with a large army and followers, and furious elephants, and brave warriors, marched out to fight with Chach. He encamped within a league of Alor, and sent a number of his private servants and favourite domestics to Chach with the following message: “ I am the rightful heir to this kingdom, and this country is the property of my fathers and grandfathers. It is but right that I should have for my own my brother's heritage: to you that same post of chamberlain and lieutenant will be awarded, and every endeavour will be made to trent you liberally.”
Chach fights with Maharat and kills him by a stratagem.
Thereupon, Chach came to the queen and said:—“This enemy is come to the door of the house and claims the kingdom and the inheritance; what is your counsel”?
Rai Sahasi's wife laughed and said:—“I am a woman, living behind a curtain. If I am to go and fight, put on my clothes and sit here, and give me your garment that I may go forth. Have you not heard what the wise men have said, that when a person is elevated to a responsible post, he conducts it efficiently and ably, only when he acquires the skill and intelligence required for it. When the kingdom has fallen to your lot, what for do you require my advice? Gird up your loins and spring up like a roaring lion. Advance like a hero to the fight, and endeavour to defeat your foe. For death with honour and glory is better than living despised by an equal. You have elephants as well as armies; you have horses as well as followers. Put confusion into the ranks of your enemy and step forth like a man”
Chach was shamed by this her reply; and wearing weapons of war, and drawing up his army in a line, he faced the enemy. He also brought out of prison those of the party who still remained there, gave them rewards and encouraging promises for the future, and advanced to meet the enemy. The king Maharat divided his army into the centre. The right wing, the left wing, the advance guard and the rear guard.
Valiant warriors from both armies met in fight, till a large number on each side was killed.
When the king Maharat saw that brave soldiers on both sides had been mowed down by the blood-thirsty sword, he addressed Chach in the following words: “I and you are the only two rivals for the kingdom; let us fight with each other, and let him who survives have the kingdom.”
Chach confronted him and said: “I am a man of the Brahmin class and am unable to fight on horseback. Fight me on foot and lay my head low, if you can.”
The king of Chitor had complete confidence in his own bravery and strength. He thought within himself: “How can a Brahmin dare to measure arms with me in battle? I will pick up his head like a bird and tear it from his body.”
He immediately dismounted and advanced on foot. Chach also came down from his horse and instructed his stirrup-holder to bring up the horse behind him. When the two came almost to close quarters with each other, Chach jumped upon his horse, made a sudden attack on him and with one blow severed the head of king Maharat from his body. The army of Chach made an assault on the opposite army of Chitor, and took to flight. Some of them, seeing the king Maharat slain, asked for quarter and surrendered themselves, and some were put to the sword. Chach returned to the fort of Alor with joy and victory. He ordered triumphal arches to be raised in the city, and he sat on the royal throne, and ordered public feasts to be given, and formed a fresh band of warriors. No stubborn rebel now remained in any of the four divisions of his country.
The marriage of Chach with queen Suhandi.
The author of this narrative and the writer of this fragrant book states as follows: When that victory was gained, queen Suhandi ordered the chief men and nobles of the city to be called together, and when they all met, she said to them: “As king Sahasi is dead, and I have by him no issue to inherit the country, and as the kingdom has devolved on king Chach, you must give me away to Chach with proper matrimonial ceremonies and a distinct settlement.” The chiefs and nobles agreed to the proposal, and they all came to the royal palace and married queen Suhandi to Chach.
Chach had two sons by her one was named Dahir, and the other Daharsiah. He had also one daughter whom he called Bai. At their respective births, astrologers consulted the predominant star of their nativity, and by desire of the king cast their horoscopes, and inscribed the position of the several planets in the different constellations under the influence of the ascendant star, and marked out the beneficent and malignant aspects of the stars and their ascent and descent. They declared that both the sons would become kings, and, for a time, would have the entire kingdom of Sind in their possession. Their forecast as to the daughter was that she would not have to go out of the capital to any other place, and that whoever became her husband would become the sovereign and would rule over the length and breadth of the kingdom of Sind, and live on the fat of the land. When the astrologers thus foretold the fortunes of the princess, the king enjoined them to keep the forecast a secret and not to disclose it to anyone.
Chach brings his brother.
Chach now resolved to appoint his brother Chandra his deputy at the city of Alor. So he sent a trustworthy person to him with the following message: “Our nearest relations are ascetics, and have always been faithful worshippers of idols in their temples. Their custom of worshipping fire and devotion to God are widely known. Our father Selaij acts on the saying: “But we saw our fathers doing the same,” and this is approved by all our learned men and philosophers. But it is so written in the books of Hind, that, whenever a person, who has trained his soul to abstinence and austerity, dies, his soul, on its separation from the body, and, in return for his good deeds, transmigrates to the child of a king or a great man, in whose body it enjoys perfect rest owing to creature comforts and the affluence of fortune. And the God of Selaij has given us sovereignty this time, and a spacious empire has come under my command. Now my judgment demands that I should appoint you as my agent or vicegerent in the city of Alor and make you my heir-apparent. You can assist in the administration of the country by practising religiousness, faithfulness, abstinence and piety here also.”
Although Chandra showed great reluctance, he was ultimately brought and appointed to the royal court. The entire administration of Alor was absolutely left in his hands by Chach, who entrusted also to his care his own private as well as State affairs.
The royal mandate regarding the regency set forth.
Chach told him: “When the God of Selaij has made us worthy of the crown and the throne, and has destined us for rulers of a nation, it is incumbent on us to endeavour, in the highest degree, to treat kindly the innumerable subjects under our sway, who are a trust by the Creator, and to keep them contented and happy by administering justice and equity in such a manner that the strong should not oppress the weak, and we might not be reprehended in the august court of God for lack of judgment or denial of redress. My brother Chandra, the crown of all the ascetics, is hereby appointed to this great and delicate office, and he is directed to carry it on whether we are present or absent, and all the people, nobles, commons, and soldiers should render him obedience and in no way deviate from his commands or his guidance.”
Chach asks wazir Budhiman about the extent of his kingdom.
Then Chach called the wazir Budhiman, and questioned him about the limits of the kingdom of Sahiras.
“O able wazir and wise counsellor,” said he, “do you know what the boundaries of the country of Sind were when it was under the rule and sway of the senior Rai Sahasi? What are those four divisions which formed its limits in every direction? Give us all the information you have about them, so that I may go to those limits, and ascertain whether the people there are disposed to be obedient or adverse to me, and, if anyone is refractory or disobedient, I may take measures to remove him, and see that all bring their heads under my yoke, and no opponent or rebel finds his way into my kingdom, or sets my authority at naught.”
Wazir Budhiman gives an account of the boundaries of the territorial possessions of Rai Sahasi.
Wazir Budhiman bowed his head to the ground and said: “Long life to king Chach! May it be known to him that this metropolis and the whole kingdom were under the dominion of one king, and his chieftains were obedient and submissive to him, and were always attentive to his orders, and ready to do his bidding. When this kingdom came into the hands of Sahiras son of the senior Rai Sahasi, who was a son of Dewaij, and he was defeated and killed by the army of Fars, the kingdom devolved upon Sahasi, and he appointed each of the four chiefs to each of the four divisions, in order that they might try their best to collect the revenue for the treasury, and to protect the country. Now that Your Majesty is anxious on this point, and wishes this anxiety to be removed from his mind, the only desirable and final arrangement necessary seems to be to prevent the very POSSIBILITY of any unpleasant occurrence. For, otherwise, owing to the vicissitudes of time, such a terrible disaster might take place as could not easily be suppressed. When (by these precautionary measures) the government of the country is firmly established, and Your Majesty's heart is at rest, the chiefs of the different divisions, and the kings of the bordering provinces would be favourably inclined to you and render service to you. It is certain that, when by means of a brave army and furious elephants, tranquillity and stability are secured, God, the great cause of causes, will enable you to achieve victory and success, and to overcome your enemies and opponents. I am sanguine that the great God will strengthen the members and quarters of the kingdom; that all the four tributary rulers wil place the chain of subjection on their necks; that all disorders will cease; that all the opponents will, from fear and awe of the sharp and well-tempered sword of Your Majesty, bring their heads to the halter of submission, and that this great and extensive kingdom that you have acquired with renown will abide with you to all eternity, and each day see its expansion. The king should, under all circumstances, fix his assiduous attention and desire on that end, and place full trust in the decrees of the Almighty, in order that He, with His august will and wisdom, may fulfil his wishes and realise his hopes.”
Chach comes to the limits of the territories of Alor and marks out the boundary line.
Chach heard this discourse of the wazir Budhiman attentively, and what the wazir said, made an impression on his mind and produced comfort and joy in his heart. He praised him highly for his counsels and took his gladdening communication as a happy omen, and hastened to act accordingly. He sent trustworthy men to different directions and called upon the rulers of divisions to join him in his undertaking, which was to lead an army up to the limits of Hindustan, where it adjoined the country of the Tartars. Then, at an auspicious time, found out by astrologers after carefully consulting the stars, he gave marching orders. After doing many a day's journey and passing several stages, he arrived at the fortified town of Babiah, which is situated on the southern bank of the river Beas. The governor of that fort commenced hostilities with him. After a great and bloody battle the ruler of Babiah fled, and threw himself into the fort, and Rai Chach was the victor. He made a halt there, for some time, during which corn became scarce, and the cutting of crops, grass and firewood impossible. When the people in the fort were reduced to this strait, the ruler of the place, one night, after the world had put on the black garment of night, and the king of stars had gone behind the dark curtain of night, left that fort, and went to that of Iskandah, and encamped in the suburbs of that town. This fortified town, too, belonged to him, and it was stronger than the first. When he bivouaced on a meadow attached to the town, he sent some men to gather information from the enemy's camp. A spy soon came back and said that Chach had enterd into the fort of Babiah and was staying there.
Chach goes to the fortified town of Iskandah.
When Chach learnt that the ruler of Babiah had gone to the fort of Iskandah, he appointed an upright man out of the nobles of the country to be in charge of the fort, and himself started in the direction of Iskandah, and fixed his camp in the outskirts of that town. Now, there was a brave chief in the fort of Iskandah, who had always been obedient and well disposed to Chach. He had great influence over the residents of the fort, both nobles and plebians, who always acted under his guidance and never went against his wishes. Chach sent a messenger to him, and offered to make him sole governor of the fort, and directed a royal order to be inscribed, containing a solemn promise to bestow the governorship on him, and also to hand over Babiah to him, as soon as he killed Jetar (or Chitra), the king of Babiah, or took him prisoner. The chief accepted the promise and the condition, and sent his son as a hostage to Chach. Then he took to visiting the ruler of Babiah so frequently, that he was never prevented from going to his presence either by night or by day. All of a sudden, one night, finding a favourable opportunity, he killed king Jetar and sent his head to Chach. Rai Chach showed him great favour, and granted him a robe of honour, with many other presents, and ordered the castle to be entrusted to him as its governor. Then all the nobles and chiefs of the town came to his presence, and delivered into his treasury many rich offerings. The king honoured them by receiving them well, and giving them an audience. He instructed and enjoined them to look upon the brave chief as their governor, and to consider it their duty to obey him, and never to contravene his behests.
Chach moves towards Sikkah and Multan.
After settling the affairs of Iskandah, Rai Chach moved in the direction of Sikkah and Multan. In Multan, there was a prince by name Bachhera, who was a near relation of Sahasi, and ruled over an extensive kingdom, and was a man of great ability. When he received the news of Chach's arrival, he collected a large army, and came to the banks of the Ravi. His nephew Sabhol (or Sahewal) was the governor of the fortified town of Sikkah, opposite Multan, towards the east, and he with Bachhera's cousin Ajaisen advanced with overwhelming numbers to meet Chach. Chach stationed himself at a ford on the Beas, and remained there for three months, till the floods subsided and the water went down. He then selected a village a little above his encampment, where there was no obstruction, and crossing the river, came to the town of Sikkah and met Sabhol in battle. He then invested the fort for some days, and when were pressed hard, and several of their brave comrades were killed and numberless kafirs went to hell, Sabhol quietly withdrew and went to the fortified town of Multan, and stood on the bank of the Ravi, equipped with the weapons of war and ready to fight. Chach Rai took possession of the fort, and killed 5,000 warlike men who were in it, and made the other residents of the town prisoners, and secured a large booty and a great number of slaves. Chach appointed the greatest of the nobles of the State to be temporarily in charge of the fort of Sikkah, and himself crossed over to Multan. There, the two armies met. King Bachhera came to the field with a numerous army, warlike elephants and brave soldiers, and confronted Chach There was a great deal of hard fighting, and there was much bloodshed on both sides. Then Bachhera sought the fort, and sent letters to the king of Kashmir, informing him about Chach. “Chach, son of Selaij Brahman,” wrote he, “has become the king of Alor, and has come with a large army. He has taken absolute possession of several forts, and we are unable to oppose him. He has brought many impregnable fortresses under his command, and no ruler has been successful in fighting with him. He has come as far as Multan. It is due to yourself that you should assist us, and send an auxiliary force to the border.”
The messenger returns unsuccessful and disappointed from Kashmir.
Before the messenger arrived at Kashmir, the king of that place had died, and his son, a minor, had succeeded to the throne. The ministers, the counsellors, the courtiers, the nobles and chief men of the State thought over the matter and gave the following politic reply to the above letter. “The king of Kashmir has gone to his permanent abode, and his son is a child yet, of tender years, and an inexperienced prince. His own soldiery are rising in mutiny and revolt in different parts of his country; and the affairs of these parts should be first set straight. At such a juncture, we cannot afford to help you or furnish you with the means of assistance. You must help yourself, as best you can.”
When the messenger returned, and Bachhera received this news, be despaired of getting any aid from the king of Kashmir, and sued King Chach for peace, with solemn promises and covenants, and prayed for an assurance of protection in writing, in order that, quitting the fort in safety, he might proceed without being molested by any one, with all his followers, dependents, and adherents, to a place of refuge. Chach agreed to this proposal, and gave him the assurance of protection asked for. Bachhera came out of the fort, and with his followers and dependents proceeded to the mountains of Kashmir. Chach occupied the fort, and became absolute master of the country.
Chach appoints a vicegerent at the fort of Multan, and himself marches onward.
When the fort of Multan was taken, Chach appointed a Thakur as his lieutenant there, and he himself went to an idol temple, which stood in a retired and solitary place, prostrated himself before the idol, offered sacrifices, and then proceeded on his forward journey. The govenors of Brahmapur, Karur and Ashahar paid their homage to him, and from these places he came to the borders of Kih (or Kumba) and Kashmir. During the whole of this journey, no king opposed him or put any obstacle or impediment in his way. So true is it that, whenever the Great King makes a man great, He makes all his difficult undertakings easy for him and gratifies all his desires. Every place where he arrived surrendered to him, and he reached the fort of Shakalhar, higher up the town of Kih, which is said to be the boundary of Kashmir, and where he stayed for a month.
Some of the rulers of the surrounding region were coerced into submission, while others voluntarily paid homage to him and tendered their allegiance. He imposed definitive compacts on the nobles and rulers of those parts, and the stability of the kingdom was completely secured. He then ordered two young plants to be brought; one a maisir, or white poplar, and the other a deodar, or fir tree. He planted both of them on the boundary of Kashmir upon the banks of a stream called the Panj Mahiyat, which is close to the hills of Kashmir, and takes its origin from the springs of that mountainous region. He remained there till the branches of the two trees interspersed with each other. Then he bade farewell to the spot, and declared: “This is the boundary line between us and the King of Kashmir, and there will be no passage beyond it.”
Chach returns after fixing the boundary on the borders of Kashmir.
The recorder of this conquest states that, when the eastern boundary was fixed, Chach returned from there and came to the capital city of Alor. He stayed there for a period of one year, and rested from the fatigues of the journey, and his chiefs collected a large number of the appliances and weapons of war. Then he told the wazir: “My heart is free from anxiety in regard to the eastern boundary; now we ought to acquaint ourselves with the south.”
The wazir said: “Indeed, one of the best habits of kings is that they should constantly enquire about the affairs of their country. It is possible that, owing to your long absence in the upper divisions, the nobles and rulers of those parts may have a haughty notion in their heads that, after King Sahasi, there is no one to exact revenue from them. Truly transgression and disorder have found their way there.”
Then, in an auspicious hour, Chach started for the fortified towns of Mudapur (or Budhapur) and Siwistan. In the fort of Siwistan, there was a governor whose name was Mattah. Chach, with a firm resolution, crossed the waters of the Mehran at a village called Wahtaet (or Dihayat), which forms the boundary between Sammah and Alor. From there, he proceeded towards Budhiah. The ruler of this latter place, at that time, was Basar Kotad son of Bandar Kobhko, and his capital town was Kakaraj. The natives of those parts called it Siwis (or Sawis). Chach marched against them and conquered the fort of Siwis. Katah (or Kaba) son of Kakah came forth and asked protection for his father and his followers. They imposed a tribute upon themselves and they all submitted.
The army goes to Siwistan.
From that place, Chach marched towards Siwistan. When he approached that city, Mattah, the Governor, advanced with great pomp and large numbers and gave him battle, in which Chach was victorious. Mattah fled with his forces and shut himself up in the fort. Chach laid siege to it and stood ready to fight. After a week, the garrison became disspirited and asked for quarter, and on receiving a solemn promise, they came forth and handed over the keys of the castle to the officers of Chach, who gave them protection and showed kindness to them. He entrusted the rulership of the place to Mattah, and appointed a superintendent (Shahnah) out of his own confidential men (to represent his interests at the place). He stayed there for a few days, till the affairs of that part of the country were satisfactorily settled, and peace was reestablished in that town.
Chach sends a messenger to Agham Luhanah at Brahmanabad.
When the affairs of Siwistan were completely put in order, he sent a mandate to Agham Luhanah the Prince of Brahmanabad, that is to say, the ruler of Lakhah, Sammah and Sahtah, calling upon him to submit to him. After a few days, some guards whom be had placed on the high roads in the direction of Makran happened to seize a man, bearing letters of Agham addressed to Mattah, the ruler of Siwistan, the purport of which was shortly this:—“I have always behaved towards you as a friend and well-wisher, and have, on no occasion, acted against you or quarrelled with you. I acknowledge the receipt of the letter which you sent to me by way of friendship. You honoured me therein by the assurance that, as long as our union and friendship lasts, no enemy will approach us. I am ready to do your behests, and to carry out completely every one of your orders. You are a king and the son of a king. There exists perfect harmony between us and you. Misfortunes like these have befallen many persons and compelled them to seek refuge. You are at liberty to fix your residence at any town you choose in the territories dependent on Brahmanabad, down to the sea, and to Debal. And if you intend to go somewhere else, none will obstruct you or molest you. I shall be helping you till you are safely settled somewhere. I possess sufficient troops and followers to be able to assist you.” But Mattah preferred going in the direction of Hind to the kingdom of Nirmal, called Bhatti (or Bhetti).
Chach sends a mandate to Agham Luhanah calling upon him to submit.
Then King Chach sent the following letter to Agham Luhanah:—“You consider yourselves kings of the time, from your power and grandeur, origin and lineage. Though I have not inherited this kingdom and sovereignty, and this wealth and affluence, this power and dignity, from my father and grandfather, and though this country has not been ours before, still my elevation and my improved fortunes are due to the grace of God. It was not by my army that I won them, but the One God, the Peerless, the Incomparable, the Creator of the world, has given me the kingdom by the blessing of Selaij; and it is from him that I receive help in everything. I do not depend upon any other person for assistance. He is the Accomplisher of my undertakings and the Giver of help in all my movements. He is the Bestower of victory and success in all contests and oppositions. We have been graciously javoured with the blessings of both the worlds. If your power and prestige are the creation of your own bravery, courage, resources, and splendour, then, without doubt, your fortunes will decay, and the vengeance of death is but the legitimate due of your soul.”
Chach comes to the town of Brahmanabad and fights with Agham Luhanah.
Then King Chach marched against Agham Luhanah. Agham had gone from Brahmanabad on a tour in his territories. When he heard of Chach's coming, he returned to Brahmanabad, and began to collect soldiers and arms. When Chach arrived at Brahmanabad, Agham, ready for battle, came forth to meet him. After several renowned warriors were killed on both sides, Agham's army was put to flight, and he betook himself to the fort. Chach laid siege to it. For a period of one year this warfare went on between them. During that period the king of Hindustan, that is, Kanuj, was Sayar (or Satbar) son of Rail (or Rasal). Agham sent letters to him, applying for assistance. But before the reply came, Agham died, and his son succeeded him. Agham had a monkish friend, whose name was Samani Budhgui (or Budh Rakhu), that is, one protected by Budha. He was supposed to bear a charmed life. He owned an idol-house or temple, which was called Budh Nawwihar. It contained several idols. He was the chief monk of the place, and was well known for his devotion and piety, and all the people of that part of the country obeyed him. Agham professed his faith, and had taken him as his spiritual guide.
When Agham betook himself to the fort, the Samani co-operated with him, but did not join in the fight. He was busy reading his books in his temple. When Prince Agham died, and his son was established in the government of the country, the Samani became anxious and afraid lest the principalities, property and estates should pass away from his hands. In that perplexity, he consulted his books in order to ascertain the decree of fate, and he learnt that the kingdom was destined to fall into the hands of Chach, whether he himself was favourably inclined towards Chach or not. Agham's son was sore pressed, and his army withdrew from the fight, and the fort fell into the bands of Chach, who kept a strong hold on it.
Chach's resolution in regard to the Samani.
When Chach had come to know that Agham and his son had a compact with the Samani, and that it was owing to his sorcery, enchantments, magic and counsels, that the war had been prolonged for a year, he had sworn: “If I succeed in taking this fort, I shall seize the Samani, take off his skin, give it to low-caste people to cover drums with it and to beat them till it was torn to pieces.” When the Samani had received information of this oath, he had laughed and said: “It will never be within the power of Chach to destroy me”. When, after a time, the garrison in the fort of Brahmanabad, after battling hard and losing a large number of men, stopped fighting, sued for peace and asked for quarter, peace was made through the intervention of chiefs and heads of tribes between the two parties, and the fort was given up to Chach. Chach entered it and told them: “If you wish to go away, no living creature will oppose or prevent you; but if you make up your minds to stay here, then stay by all means.” When Agham's son and dependents found him favourably inclined towards them, they preferred dwelling there. Chach remained in the town for some time in order to ascertain their disposition.
Chach marries Agham's widow and gives the hand of his own niece to Agham's son Sarhand.
Chach sent for the mother of Sarhand. He made her his own wife, and gave the hand of the daughter of his nephew Dahiyah to Agham's son, and bestowed many-coloured robes on him. He remained there for one year, and appointed officers to collect Government dues, and brought the chiefs of those parts into complete subjection to himself. He then enquired where that sorceror Samani was, in order to see him. He was informed that he was a monk and lived with other monks. “He is,” it was said, “one of the philosophers of Hind, and is the keeper of the Nawwihar temple. He is considered by the Samanis as having attained sublimity and perfection. In magic and enchantments, he is so clever that he has subdued a world of men and made them submit to his will. By means of his talismans, he can provide himself with all he wants. He has for many days co-operated with Sarhand, owing to his friendship with his father; and it was by his encouragement and support that the forces of Brahmanabad carried on such an obstinate and protracted war.”
Chach goes to visit Samani and makes enquiries about his circumstances.
Chach then called all his armed men, and gave them the following instructions:—“I shall converse with him. When I have done speaking and look towards you, you should draw your swords and sever his head from his body.” He then came to Budha Kanwibar and repaired to him. He found him sitting on a chair busily engaged in prayers, and with some hard clay in his hands with which he was making idols. He fixed a sort of seal on the idol, and the image of Budh appeared on it. The idol being now complete, he placed it on one side. Chach stood above him, but the Samani paid him no attention.
After some time, when he finished all his idols, he turned up his head and said: “The son of the ascetic Selaij is come!”
“Even so, O priestly Samani,” answered Chach.
“What business has brought you here?” asked the Samani.
“I came to know of your fidelity,” replied Chach, “and so I came to see you.”
“Come down,” said the monk. Chach came down. The Samani spread a handful of straw and made Chach sit on it. Then he asked him, “O Chach, what do you want?”
Chach answered, “I want you to become my friend and to come back to the fort of Brahmanabad, so that I may put you in charge of a high office, and entrust you with important affairs and responsible duties. You will be there with Sarhand, and you may co-operate with him by giving him your counsels and your judgment.”
The monk said “I have no need of your kingdom. I do not feel inclined to have any civil employment, and I do not wish to have anything to do with worldly affairs.”
“Why did you leave the fort of Brahmanabad?” asked Chach.
“When Agham Luhanah died,” said the monk, “and this boy, his son, gave way to grief, owing to the loss of his father, I admonished him to have patience, and I have been praying to God most sincerely that he may bring about peace and friendship between both parties.”
“For me,” continued the Samani, “the service of Budha and the seeking of salvation in the next world are better than all worldly employments. As, however, you are the sovereign of this kingdom, I will at your supreme command shift to the vicinity of the fort, although I fear that the people dwelling in the fort would cause injury and mischief to the sown fields of Budha. Today, Chach is a great and wealthy personage.”
Chach said: “The worship of Budha is an excellent thing, and it is right to hold it in honour. But if you want anything, or if you have any request to make, speak that I may at once grant it and thereby secure happiness and honour.”
The monk said: “I do not want any worldly thing, nor have I any worldly request to make. May God graciously incline you to the affairs of the next world.”
Chach said: “That is exactly my request, and I wish to do a deed which should have spiritual advancement and salvation as its reward. Tell me of it, and I will render my assistance and be your helpmate.”
The Samani said: “As you are determined to do some charitable act and add good deeds, the temple of Budha Nawhar have is an ancient religious institution. For some time past, owing to the vicissitudes of time, some parts of the structure have suffered injury. It should, therefore, be built anew, and you should spend your own funds in laying a fresh foundation. In this matter alone can I implore your help.”
Chach said: “I am highly obliged to you.”
Chach returns to Brahmanabad.
Chach then rode back from that place, to Brahmanabad. On his arrival, the wazir observed: “O king, I have witnessed a wonder.”
“And what is that?” asked the king.
The wazir replied: “Your Majesty went with a firm resolution to direct your swordsmen to kill the monk. When, however, you went to his presence, you sought to please him and complied with his request.”
“It is even so,” said Chach; “I saw something in which there was no magic or jugglery. I observed attentively, but I could see no signs of it. When I sat down by him, I saw a horrible and ghastly apparition standing at my head. Its eyes were fiery and full of anger, its lips thick and its teeth pointed like spears. It had rods in its hands, sharp and piercing like a diamond, as if it was about to strike some person with them. I saw it and felt afraid, and I dared not speak to it so as to be heard by you. I pondered within myself for a while, and I looked at it attentively and then left.”
Chach stays at Brahmanabad and fixes the revenue.
Chach then stayed at the fort of Brahmanabad till all the affairs of that country were settled, the dues of the Treasury fixed, and the welfare of his subjects was assured. He degraded the Jats and the Luhanahs and bound over their chiefs. He took a hostage from them, and confined him in the fort of Brahmanabad. He imposed the following terms on these people, namely, that they should not carry swords, except on occasions of urgent necessity; that their undergarment should be of some woollen cloth; that they should not wear velvet or silken cloth; that they might use scarfs of cotton thread, of black or red colour; that they must ride horses without saddles; that they must walk about bareheaded and bare-footed; that, when going out of their houses, they must take dogs with them; that they must supply firewood to the ruler of Brahmanabad; that they must serve him in the capacity of guides and spies; that, if they distinguished themselves for these qualities, they would be considered trustworthy and honest; that they must live in harmony and co-operate with king Agham's son Sarhand; and that, if an enemy invaded the country, they should consider it their duty to stand by him and fight for him. In this way, Chach brought his affairs to a consummation and his sovereignty was established. If any person proved himself to be refractory, haughty or perverse, he compelled him to give solid security. In the case of some men of this class, he had recourse to another policy, viz., that he appointed them to some respectable posts. Thus, everything was ultimately set right.
Chach moves towards Kirman and marks out the boundaries of Makran.
When Chach had settled these affairs, the thought about the boundaries of Kirman became uppermost in his mind. That part of the country was contiguous to the territories of the princes of Hind, and he wanted to define its limits. It was then the second year after the flight of our august lord Muhammad, the prophet of God, on whom and on whose descendants be the blessings of God. After the death of Kasra son of Hurmuz, the king of Pars or Fars (Persia), the management of the affairs of the kingdom had come into the hands of a woman. When Chach learnt of this state of things, he started with a large army for the territories of Kirman. At an auspicious hour, discovered by the astrologers, he marched in the direction of Armanbel. That town was then in the hands of a Buddhist Samani descended from the Agents of King Sahiras, king of Hind, whom the king had elevated for their loyalty and devotion. In course of time, however, he had thrown off his yoke and had become his opponent. Now came forth to receive King Chach. As his promises of fidelity and his cordial behaviour made a good impression on Chach's mind, friendship and amity were firmly established between the two. Chach proceeded thence to the district of Makran. Whosoever he encountered submitted to him. When he went beyond the steep declivity and the hills of Makran, he found himself in the division of Bakr. There was an ancient fort in that town, called Kanbar. He took possession of it, and ordered it to be reconstructed. He also arranged that, according to the established Indian custom, kettle-drums should be beaten and other musical instruments sounded at the approach of evening and the break of day in the fort; that is to say, the sound of kettle drums was to be accopanied by that of a musical instrument. He collected the people of the surrounding villages, and employed them in rebuilding the fort. Then he left the place and came to Kirman. There is a small river running between Kirman and Makran. He encamped there, and marked out the eastern boundary line, by declaring that some date trees growing there defined the limit between Kirman and Makran. Further, he planted a grove of date trees in a place on the banks of the stream, and branded into them the words:—“This is the boundary that existed in the days of Chach, son of Selaij, son of Bisas, the king of Sind, and this day it came into our possession.”
Chach, son of Selaij, goes to Armail and fixes a tribute on it.
From there, Chach returned to Armanbel, and passing through the district of Turan,he came into the desert, and no one dared to fight with him, till he arrived at Kandail (or Kandhabel), otherwise called Kandhar. From the valley extending to the open plain in the outskirts of that place, Chach prepared to make a sudden assault on the city, but the people had already sheltered themselves in the fort. When he came to the river Sini (or Samni), he encamped there, until the people were reduced to straits, and fixed on themselves an annual tribute of 100 hill ponies and 100,000 dirams. They gave one year's tribute then and there. A treaty was then made and Chach returned to his capital Alor, and he remained there till he bade adieu to this world.His reign lasted for forty years.
Chandar, son of Selaij, ascends the throne at the capital city of Alor.
After the death of Chach, son of Selaij, his brother Chandar ascended the throne at the capital city of Alor. He strengthened and promulgated the religion of monks (nasik) and hermits (rahib). He brought many people together with his sword, and made them turn back to his faith. He received many letters from the chiefs of Hind.
Mattah, the ruler of Siwistan, goes to Kanuj.
Mattah, the ruler of Siwistan, had gone to the king of Kanuj. In those days, the country of Hindustan was in a flourishing condition and was under a Rana, and Kanuj was under the rule of Sahiras son of Rasil. Mattah went to him and said: “Chach, son of Selaij, is dead and his brother Chandar, a monk (rahib), has succeeded him. But he is a devotee (nasik) and spends his whole time with other devotees (nasiks) in his temple in the study of his religion. It will be very easy to deprive him of the kingdom. If Your Majesty takes possession of his country and hands it over to me, I will impose a tribute for those parts on myself, and send it regularly to the royal treasury.”
Sahiras said to Mattah: “Chach was a great king and had a spacious dominion. As he is gone, I will take that whole country and bring it under my own rule. Thereby, my territories will be greatly extended, and I will appoint you as a governor of one of their divisions.”
Then Sahiras sent his brother Barhas, son of Rasil (or Kasais), to Kashmir for help. A grandson of the great Chach was then the king of Kashmir and Ramal. He made a compact and joined in the undertaking, and they started with their armies, in order to invade the country of Chandar. Arriving at the rivulet Hasi (or Hashi), they encamped there. The agents and officers of Chandar who were in the fort of Dew Dhanaz (or Dew Dhanush) fled thence. The invaders appointed their own agents at the place in their stead, and they went on, stage by stage, till they arrived at Band Kahuyeh. There they stayed for a month, and busied themselves in offering prayers to Budha. At the same time, they sent a letter with a messenger to Chandar, asking him to surrender and submit and sue for his safety. When Chandar heard this, he declined to do so, and putting himself into the fort, began to prepare for war. He immediately sent Dharsiah, a son of Chach, to Brahmanabad, where all the residents of the town and the Luhanahcame forward to receive him, and paid their respects to him; and Chandar himself with Dahir, the younger son of Chach, took up his position in the fort of Alor and carried out measures with care and diligence. The army of Sahiras beseiged the fort, and continued their assaults steadily. When he gained no victory over the occupants of the fort, he thought of having recourse to a strategem, and sued for an amicable settlement. His object was to bring Dahir out, and to capture him and to kill him, for the fort would easily fall into his hands, and his sovereignty would be firmly established, when Dahir was secured and killed.
Sahiras sends an envoy to Dahir.
Rasil, Sahiras and Barhas sent an envoy to Dahir to deliver the following message: “We have unanimously decided to return and we are ready to make peace with you on certain solemn conditions. Let this country remain with you as before. If Dahir comes to visit us, we will send him back quite safe and sound.”
Dahir, taking 500 men selected from the heart of the army, out of famous warriors, issued forth to settle the terms of peace and to bring about reconciliation between the two parties. To all of his chief men he said: “We have full confidence in your bravery, and courage and watchfulness.” He encouraged them all and won their hearts by splendid promises. Thus, they went on till they arrived at the door of Rasil's palace.
Rasil ordered them to be kept at the door. Then he called a chamberlain and told him: “Go down with some trustworthy persons and swordsmen, and tell those people at the door that I have heard the praise of their swords, and I wish them to send up their arms that I may select one of them and keep it with me as a memento. When they give up their arms, seize their hands and capture them, or else kill them.” Accordingly, the chamberlain came down upon that pretext and, standing under a portico, began to ask the men to hand over their swords.
Accidentally the vault of the portico fell down and the chamberlain remained under it. King Rasil himself then descended, and called all of them to himself, and asked each to show him the weapons. He went on taking and examining the sword of each and throwing it in front of them. When he came to Dahir, son of Chach, he told him: “Show me your sword.”
Dahir said: “O king, this poniard belongs to my brother; I cannot part with it. Look at it in my hands.”
When he came very close to Dahir, a swordsman of Dahir's stepped forward, and said: “O king, of all these swords, mine is the best.”
When Rasil went near him in order to take the sword from him, the swordsman bounded like a fierce lion, caught hold of Rasil's beard, threw him down and sat on his chest, and said: “I am going to kill you.”
Just then, Dahir and his men encircled him and drew their swords. When Rasil saw that there was no help, he said: “What do you want from me? I am ready to make a solemn promise to you, and will faithfully abide by it and never contravene it.”
Dahir said: “It is evident to me that you had resolved to practise deception on us, and we can't now place any trust in your words or promises. The punishment of treachery and perfidy first fell upon your door-keeper, who died under the vault; then you became a prisoner in our hands. Now give us a hostage that you will return the fort of Dew Dhanaz (Dew Dhanush), and our hostages whom you have detained with you; then we shall return your hostages.”
Rasil sent his hostages to Alor. Five chief men among the nobles were detained in the fort of Alor; then Rasil was set at liberty, as he promised to do what he was asked to do Dahir sent the hostages to Brahmanabad. Rasil now departed with his 500 swordsmen, and he took with himself some confidential servants of Dahir. He returned the forts (he had taken) and released the men whom he had imprisoned. When Dahir received letters from his confidential servants, written from the forts that had now been returned to them, be sent back Rasil's hostages, giving them dresses of honour. Then, peace was concluded between them, and they became friends.
Dahir ascends the throne and succeeds to the kingdom of Chach, son of Selaij.
Now the charge of the kingdom devolved upon Chandar, and his subjects were at ease owing to his conciliatory measures; and the business of the State was well-regulated. Chandar's reign lasted for 7 years. In the eighth year he died. Dahir now sat on the throne of Alor and Duraj son of Chandar established himself at Brahmanabad. The reign of Duraj did not exceed one year. Then Daharsiah son of Chach put himself in possession of Brahmanabad. His sister Bai agreed to live with him, and be under his protection. Daharsiah married Agham's daughter, and remained at Brahmanabad for 5 years. He sent letters to the governors of different divisions of the country, and received promises of allegiance from all. Then, Daharsiah came to Raorwhere Chach had laid the foundations of a fort, but had died before its completion. Daharsiah stayed there for some time and completed the construction of the fort. He collected the country people of the vicinity, and with a number of respectable and well-known persons settled them there. When the place was populated he gave it the name of Ráor. Then he returned to Brahmanabad, and the affairs of the country were thoroughly settled.
He sends Bai to Alor in order that she might be given away to the king of Batiah.
When Daharsiah came to know that his sister had reached the age of maturity, he became anxious as she was a grown up woman. The astrologers declared her horoscope to be an auspicious one. While he was considering the messengers of Sohan, king of Batiah, in the country of Ramal, arrived to ask for the hand of the princess. Daharsiah, being the eldest brother, prepared a royal dowry, and sent with her 700 young horses and 500 brave Thakurs, and wrote letters to Dahir, requesting him to give away Bai to the king of Batiah who had stipulated that a fort should be handed over to him as her marriage portion. Daharsiah's messenger arrived at Alor, and remained there for about a month.
There was an astrologer, out of the wise men of Hind, who was perfectly acquainted with many sciences. One day, a noble of the place, who had put a question to him and had got a correct answer from him, came to king Dahir. The latter asked him: “What kept you busy today, that you came so late, and considered that business more important than your attendance on me.”
The Thakur replied: “Long life to the king! Something had happened about which my mind was very uneasy and anxious. There is a Brahman astrologer, who is a learned man and very clever in the science of the stars. He foretells events readily and correctly, and, by experience, I found his prognostications to be quite accurate.” He then went into details and stated the circumstances fully.
King Dahir said: “Go and enquire from him about our foreign and home affairs, the general aspect of the kingdom, and the business of our State.”
That man then rose and said: “Long live the king! Victorious and grand kings should not grudge to spend their leisure in the society of wise men, and in bestowing favours on learned men and teachers of morals and Brahmans, for they are our leaders and guides. It should be considered a bounden duty to visit them, and to reverence them. Their content leads to the increase of dignity and rank, and to the perpetuation of greatness and magnificence. It is also a good augury that, the person wishing to know about an event, should himself visit astrologers and put them questions personally and receive answers from them directly.”
Dahir goes to the astrologer in order to consult him about his sister.
Dahir fell in with this suggestion, and ordered a litter to be put on his elephant. He sat in the howdah, and came to the astrologer's house. When the astrologer saw the king, he came forward to receive him, and said: “May the king live long! On what business has he come?”
Dahir said: “We have a question to put in connection with some military affairs which we want to take in hand, and we want you also to prognosticate the final issue of some State affairs, laws and statutes of the kingdom, and many other matters of importance.”
The astrologer said: “All the auspicious stars are gazing at the rising star of your good fortune. There is no sinister quadrangular aspect of stars, nor any ominous aspect in the opposite quarter. This fort and this kingdom are allotted to you for several years and will remain in your possession. If your majesty happens to go on a journey, it will prove to be fortunate, and your majesty will return safe and happy to the throne of glory.”
Then the king asked: “What do the stars say about my sister Bai's fortune”; and the astrologer replied: “My calculations lead to the inference that she shall never go out of this fort of Alor and that no one shall be married to her except the king, who shall have the kingdom of Hindustan under his sway and dominion: this girl shall be united to him by the tie of marriage.”
When the astrologer explained this matter to him, Dahir became sunk in thought as to how that would come to pass. He returned home, and disclosed everything to Budhiman the Taki Wazir, who was the prime minister of his father.
Wasir Budhiman's advice.
The wazir said to Dahir: “The administration of a large kingdom is a delicate matter; and for a king of many regions and institutions and armies and servants, to cut off his connection with his kingdom is an affair of pith and moment. There are five things, which, when they shift from their proper places, have a sorry look, viz., 1st: a king (when shifted from his kingdom; 2nd: a minister from his ministership; 3rd: a spiritual guide from his disciples; 4th: hair and teeth from their original positions; and 5th: the breasts of women from their position in youth. When these move beyond their proper places, they cease to be graceful. For the sake of their kingdom, kings bring their brothers and relations to death, or else banish them from their country. They do not allow adherents or dependents to intermeddle with or share their sovereignty. When a king retires from his kingdom, he becomes reduced to equality with the common people, and, as the astrologer has thus directed, you ought to marry your sister and seat her with you on the throne. Though you shall have to abstain from her conjugal society she will still be called your wedded wife, and the kingdom will thus remain with you.”
Dahir called to him those 500 Thakurs, who were now among his chief and confidential men, and said: “In all matters I repose full trust and confidence in your ability and bravery, and I cannot do without your counsel and advice, and my orders are executed, throughout my territories, with your help. Astrologers have now predicted that, the princess Bai shall never go to any other place from this fort, and that he shall be her husband who shall retain this country in his possession for a long time. It is not meet that this kingdom be transferred to other hands, and you ought to think over this matter. To cut oneself off from a kingdom is a very difficult thing, and what wazir Budhiman considers expedient involves a great disgrace, is immoral and will bring dishonour on our Brahman family. When this disagreeable news reaches the ears of other kings of our time, and is in the mouths of the public, they will excommunicate us, and a confusion will arise in our religion.”
The trick of wazir Budhiman.
When wazir Budhiman went home, he took a sheep in hand, and in its hair he scattered some earth and mustard-seed, and then poured water. He continued this treatment for several days and nights, till the whole animal became green by the seeds sending off shoots. He then drove it out, and crowds of people, great and low, urban and rural, gazed at it in wonder. This went on for 3 days. Thereafter though the sheep wandered all about the town, no one paid any attention to it, and it was clean forgotten. The wazir then said: “O king whatever happens, whether good or evil, the people's tongues wag about it for 3 days only; thereafter no one remembers whether it was good or evil. Anyhow, you ought so to act that you may not be out off from the kingdom —that this matter may be quietly settled, and this assembly of nobles may not fall off from their allegiance to you.”
Dahir then turned for advice to those 500 men, on whose word he placed full reliance, and in whose valour and courage he always trusted, and who, on their part, used to listen to his commands attentively, and conform to his words and deeds. These men unanimously declared: “We are ready to obey the king's order with all our heart. There is no doubt that kings derive pleasure from a kingdom. If this State is transferred to some other person, whether he be the king's brother or a stranger, the loss to the king will be all the same.”
Thus when all of them agreed to the proposal, Dahir went and put his own scarf on his sister's head, and adorned her with rings and other ornaments as his bride. He then placed his own sword in her lap, and with that (in lieu of the bridegroom) all the familiar nuptial ceremonies were performed. Then he tied a corner of her scarf to that of his own, and seated her on the throne of the kingdom by his side under the canopy.
Dahir writes a letter to Daharsiah by way of apology.
This event became the talk of high and low, and attained great notoriety and publicity. Then Dahir wrote a letter to his brother, couched in gentle words, and in it he referred to the horoscope of Bai, and said: “The astrologers divined, by means of their science, that this princess would be the queen of Alor, and her husband would be the king who was to hold fast all these territories. To remedy and avert this unpleasant consequence, I took it upon myself to commit this shameful breach of royal etiquette and social rules. We now make the apology that what we considered expedient to do was done through necessity, and not of our own free will. Do therefore excuse us.”
When Daharsiah received this letter, he sent a reply in which he said: “What you have done is wicked and infamous. Whether you did it through necessity or of your own free will, you can never be excused, and whether you considered it allowable to do such an illegal and detestable act, in order to secure worldly pomp and power, or took the initial step by reason of the temptation of the devil, what you now ought to do is to turn from your evil ways, to forswear year sin, and to grieve for your transgression, so that you may not be shut off from the communion of our religion, and our alliance with you may not be cancelled. If you fail to turn from this sin, in accordance with our suggestion and advice, you will make yourself deserving of opprobrium and will receive your punishment. You would have then to thank yourself for the consequences of these ugly deeds.”
When this letter of Daharsiah came to Dahir, he thought of going to his brother. He consulted the wazir, saying: “Let me go to him at Brahmanabad,” but the wazir said: “What good will that do you?”
Wazir Budhiman dissuades the king from going to Daharsiah.
The wazir continued: “Long life to the king! You have committed a great mistake in thinking of such an enterprise, which can by no means secure you your heart's desire, while its dangerous issue can no way be averted, except by the destruction of your life. When you are once in the presence of your brother, you must bid adieu to all hopes of your safety. If you believe that your brother will do you no despite, then you are harbouring what is a great impossibility in your mind. In matters relating to territory, wealth and woman, partnership or negligence is not allowable; for it is sure to end in danger to life. In such matters, even a son does not consider it proper to repose trust in his father, and a father does not consider it proper to repose trust in his son. If, however, you are determined to have your way, you must wash your hands of your life. From no point of view does this step appear to me a right one.”
“Then what is the counsel of perfection for us in this matter?” asked Dahir.
“The counsel of perfection,” replied the wazir, “for you is that you should shun your brother's love and friendship and not be anxious to meet him. Better secure yourself within the walls of the fort, and act according to the words of the astrologers and soothsayers and follow their advice. No other plan will be of any good to you in this matter.”
According to this suggestion, Dahir made up his mind and took shelter in the fort, and laid up stores of the articles that he considered necessary for the garrison, like grain, grass and firewood. He collected men, arms and appliances of war, and made himself quite ready to repulse the attack of the enemy.
Dahir sends a letter to Daharsiah.
Dahir then wrote a letter to Daharsiah, in which he expressed his respect and reverence and submission, (but) as to the affair of Bai he wrote as follows:
“Though Bai is connected with our father, she was born of a daughter of the Jats who, by their origin, are an adverse and criminal tribe. You will specially find when you come to know their true nature that, they are unworthy of trust and confidence, and are far from being honest and faithful. There is a well-known proverb which says ‘whoever caught hold of a sheep's leg, got milk for himself, and whoever caught the hand of a Jat fell down on his face.’ Thus when she is of foreign extraction, my marriage with her is lawful. Do not, therefore, insist any more upon your view. But if you still have any suspicion against me, I hereby solemnly promise and swear that, in everything I shall consider you my superior and will hold the fort of Alor as an agent of yours, and will never oppose you or quarrel with you. (Accept) my compliments.”
Daharsiah goes to Alor in order to seize Dahir.
When Daharsiah received this letter, he understood that Dahir refused to come, and that he laid flattering unction to his soul and paid no attention to the advice of his brother. He ordered preparations to be made for his journey, and the necessary provisions collected, and in an auspicious hour, he started with great expedition. For some days he had to travel through dangerous deserts and valleys interspersed with running streams. He made tanks and caused leather bags and pitchers of water to be carried, that his men might have a sufficient supply of water and not feel thirsty. In this manner, he travelled for some days and then halted for some days. He acted with much dissimulation, his object being to deceive Dahir, and, by some contrivance or stratagem, to secure him. He went on sending men to bring news of Dahir, and moved here and there, on his route, in search of game, so that it might be believed that he was on a hunting excursion, and Dahir should not avoid him. Dahir, on the other hand, was spending his whole day in the enjoyment of pleasures and kept himself busy that way. From time to time, he sent spies to public roads and hunting places, and was very watchful. He posted faithful warriors fully armed, on every side, and kept trustworthy men and confidential intelligencers on all the four gates of the castle in order that they might protect the entrance with zeal and concentrated attention and without interruption. Daharsiah thought that Dahir might have repented of his folly. But, when he came to within 3 days' journey from Alor, his spies came and informed him that Dahir and his men were busy the whole day with pleasures and amusements, and did not trouble their thoughts about Daharsiah.
Daharsiah tries to seize Dahir.
Daharsiah entertained hopes that, if Dahir remained negligent and careless, the fort would fall into his hands. He therefore made efforts in that direction. He rode on very fast, in the fashion of cavaliers giving exercise to their horses, and in one day and night he travelled twenty leagues, and early the next morning he arrived at Alor.
Dahir had made preparations to go on a hunting excursion. Just as his horse was brought to him, however, a horseman suddenly appeared, accompanied by a few other men riding by his side. When he reached the gate of the fort the gate was closed, and armed men appeared over the battlements. Daharsiah stood at the gate, and asked the gate-keeper to open it, and admit him into the fort. But the man in charge of the fort did not open the gate, and stood ready for a fight.
Daharsiah sent a man to Dahir with the following message: “I have not come to fight with you. This fort was the capital city of my father, and from him it has descended to me. You received charge of it from me as my agent and the kingdom is mine. There never have been two crowns in one country. Give up the possession of this territory, and hand over the fort to my trustworthy officer.”
Dahir replied: “Fix your camp outside the fort, and send your confidential nobles to assure me of your good faith. Then I shall come out and surrender the fort to you.”
When Daharsiah understood that Dahir meant to evade his demand, and that his stratagem had failed, he crossed the river Mehran and encamped. He then began to ponder the best method for securing Dahir. He thought he should, at first, evince friendliness and kindness, and behave gently as a brother and kinsman, so that Dahir might easily come out of the castle. He sent some of his nobles and grandees to him, hoping that he would be gained over by them, but this plan also miscarried.
Dahir's plan formed in consultation with the wazir.
Dahir sent for his wazir Budhiman and told him: “Daharsiah shows so much friendliness and courtesy that, my mind suggests I should go out and secure the goodwill of my elder brother. I think he will not be annoyed with me, or reject my apology.”
The wazir said: “O king you should not believe his word. Be not deceived by his tricks and his flatteries, and mind not what he says; because kings are crafty, and oaths and solemn affirmations are but their traps of treachery, with which they catch their enemy. They speak soft and low and play many a tune, simply to gain their object. Among the rules of conduct for kings, one is that an enemy should be reduced to submission by tricks and deceit. You ought, therefore, to act. No means of escape are available to him who falls into the net of calamity. You will certainly be afflicted and injured by Daharsiah, and you will find yourself caught in the trap of disaster and confined in the cage of trouble and misery, and will not again have any means of setting yourself at liberty.”
Dahir said: “Though there is a risk, and one cannot be sure of safety, a brother is after all a brother.”
He then sent word to Daharsiah to the effect that he was ready to agree to his proposal and come out to meet him, if Daharsiah would give him assurance of his safety. Prince Daharsiah thereupon wrote a letter, in which he took an oath in very strong terms, and said: “In order to win your trust I will come alone to see you, while you may come out with your whole retinue.”
Both of them agreed to this condition, and appointed the time and place of meeting. Next day, when the disc of the sun, in the firmanent, arose in the east, and the world threw off from its shoulders the sable cloak, Daharsiah sat on an elephant, and entered the town of Alor by the western gate. The town officer sent a trustworthy person to Dahir, informing him that Daharsiah had come to the door of the fort and asking for orders. Dahir ordered the door to be opened, and Daharsiah admitted alone. Accordingly Daharsiah was brought in.
Dahir now called wazir Budhiman and said to him: “Daharsiah is come into the fort; now that he has come, I should undoubtedly go to him. Even if he requires me to go out with him, I will not disobey him. What is your opinion in this matter?”
The wazir said: “You should not depend upon his word. From what I have heard from his troopers, it appears that he intends to behave treacherously. In the first place, it was a mistake to bring him into the fort. Now when he has once come in, if you do not think it proper to kill him, at least put him into prison and keep him confined there, till a settlement is made between you both on solemn conditions. Otherwise the fate of this kingdom will be different from what you wish it to be. Hear my counsel; your views on this matter are far from being right.”
Daharsiah comes into the fort of Alor riding on an elephant.
Dahir paid no heed to the words, and Daharsiah came riding on his elephant to the very door of the palace. Dahir ran to him on foot, and welcomed him in respectful terms, and asked him to dismount and enter the palace. But Daharsiah replied: “I will not dismount. Come and take your seat here on the elephant that we may go out, and sit together for a while and talk of our joys and griefs, so that the people, noble as well as common, may know that there are no quarrels or differences between us, that we are reconciled again, and that no malice or calumny will ever find a way to part us. This news will spread throughout the world, and our enemies will all be ashamed and depressed, and our friends will be highly pleased and satisfied. After we have enjoyed each other's company and conversation, you may safely return to your palace.”
Dahir did not hesitate to comply with his request, and was ready to do as his brother wished. Wazir Budhiman thereupon felt much grieved, and became very anxious as to the final result of this trick of Daharsiah. The latter now ordered his elephant driver to move the animal forward so that Dahir might take his seat, and wazir Budhiman immediately mounted his horse and rode on by the side of his master, till he arrived near the gate. Dahir now repented, and, feeling afraid, turned towards the wazir Budhiman, and whispered to him: “What is your opinion? I do not think it right to go out.”
The wazir replied: “You have obstinately rejected my counsel. You have not followed the methods of Nahush and Constantine, and you now want Kananj”.
“Make haste,” urged Dahir, “say, what plan I should resort to, as my mind does not encourage me to go out.”
“There is no other plan,” replied the wazir, “than that when you come to the gate, hold fast to its upper part, and detach yourself from the elephant, so that the animal may pass out, and we will then close the door and take you down.”
Dahir liked this plan. When he came to the gate and the front half of the elephant passed out, Dahir stretched his hands and caught hold of the top of the door frame and detached himself from the elephant. The elephant passed out and Budhiman closed the gate of the fort and Dahir was gently taken down. When Daharsiah looked back he did not see Dahir and found the gate of the fort closed fast. He then became very sad and returned dejected to his camp, and then, as soon as he dismounted from the elephant, he was attacked by fever. On the next day, small-pox appeared on his person, and on the fourth day he died, and gave his dear soul to the winds .
Dahir gets the news of Daharsiah's death.
When Dahir received the news of this sad event, he wished to go out to cremate the corpse of his brother, and perform his obsequies. Wazir Budhiman said to him: “May the king live long! Do not be in a hurry, for kings, sometimes, play tricks of this sort, and pretend death. When you go to attend his funeral ceremonies, he will undo you; and when once you are in his clutches, it will be vain to regret and to lament. There is a parable in this connection. When a fox is tired of waiting for its victim, it makes believe it is dead, in order that carrion-eaters might collect . Then it jumps up, and catches them, and eats them. A king should never consider himself safe from an enemy. You had better send a confidential servant first to investigate and to enquire, so that the truth may come out.”
Accordingly a trustworthy person was despatched. He found all his grandees and nobles in sorrow and mourning, according to the custom of the time. He approached them and said: “I am sent by king Dahir to enquire after the health of Daharsiah, and I see you all mourning; pray, what is the matter?”
Two of the nobles arose, and led him to where Daharsiah was lying, in order that he might see for himself. He expressed great grief. The nobles gave Daharsiah's ring to the messenger as a proof of the truth of the sad news, and sent him back. When the messenger communicated the sorrowful news to Dahir and gave him the ring, the latter, without any more thought or delay, came out with all his friends and nobles, and, crossing the waters of the Mehran, arrived at the camping ground. He entered his brother's tent, and, when he saw him, he tore his clothes, threw off his turban, and took to mourning with cries and groans. He then ordered a large quantity of sandal-wood to be collected, and with it he burnt the dead body of Daharsiah, and performed the usual mourning ceremonies. The next day he took possession of his brother's treasury, and took his servants and other dependents under his own protection. For a period of one month, thereafter, he stayed at Alor. He married his brother's widow, who was Agham Luhanah's daughter, and moved to the fort of Brahmanabad, and fixed his quarters there. The reign of Daharsiah lasted for 80 years.
Dahir goes to the fort of Brahmanabad.
Dahir now fixed his residence at the fort of Brahmanabad for a year, during which period all the people of that part of the country put their heads into the yoke of allegiance and made homage to him. Dahir then called Chach, son of Daharsiah, and made an alliance with him, and acknowledged him as his father's successor. He then went to the fortifled town of Siwistan, and thence to that of Raor. The foundation of the fort at this place had been laid by his father Chach who had died before it could be finished. Dahir stayed there long enough to see the building completed. He spent in it the four months of summer, as it was a very pleasant city with a salubrious climate and with sweet water. He fixed his winter quarters at Brahmanabad, where he spent the four months of winter. The remaining four months of spring he used to spend at Alor. In this manner, 8 years passed away, during which time his kingdom was perfectly established, the fame of his sovereignty sprend throughout the length and breadth of the world, and his rule was firmly fixed in the country of Hind and Sind. The king of Ramal, one of the neighbouring princes, became jealous of his power.
The king of Ramal comes to fight with Dahir, son of Chach.
The king of Ramal invaded the country with a large army consisting of brave cavalry and infantry, great warriors and furious elephants. He came in the direction of Budhiah, camped in the outskirts of it, and took possession of that part of the country. From there he crossed the river, and came direct to Alor. When Dahir got the news of the king of Ramal he called wazir Budhiman, and said: “A strong enemy has now invaded our country. Tell us what expedients should be adopted, and what advice occurs to you to give.”
The wazir replied: “Long life to the king! If you think you are able to stand against him and fight with him in point of strength and bravery, prepare yourself for the battle, advance to meet him, smite with your sword to win name and fame, and repulse the enemy; otherwise you should sue for peace and submit and do him homage. ‘If wealth has to be given away, it is for a day like this that kings collect treasures and bury them under ground, for, by means of gold, troops are collected, and, by means of troops, war is carried on with the enemy, in which they sacrifice their lives, for the sake of their country and their good name. In other ways, by means of gold, an enemy can easily be made to retreat. With the help of gold, a man can settle all the affairs of this world satisfactorily, repulse an enemy, and satisfy his vengeance. At the same time, with its help, he can make the necessary provision for his journey to the next world.”
Dahir said: “I would rather die than submissively bend my head before a kinsman. How is it possible for me to bear such shame?”
Muhammad Alafi, an Arab, goes to fight with the king of Rantal.
Now there was a man, an Alafi Arab, of the tribe of Bani Asamah who had killed Abdurrahman son of Ashas for running away from a battle, and out of fear had come and joined Dahir with 500 Arab warriors to serve under him. Wazir Budhiman made a proposal to the king, saying: “No one knows the art of war so well as the Arab nation. Seek the Alafi's advice, and consult him in this matter, and he is sure to show you the right way”
Accordingly, Dahir seated himself on his elephant, and went to him and addressed him as follows: “O Arab Chief, I have been kind to you, and have treated you with respect, in order that we may receive assistance from you, on an occasion like this. Now, a powerful enemy has invaded our country: tell us, what, in your opinion, ought to be done, and what you know, and what you can do.”
The Alafi said: “Your Majesty should be all at ease as to this matter. Do not feel anxious at all, for I have a plan to check them efficiently. Give me a few selected horsemen from your own royal guard, that I may go on a round, and learn their strength and mode of life; while you, at about a league, order a ditch to be dug and make a stand there.”
Dahir liked this plan; so he remained there, and the Alafi had a turn round the enemy by way of reconnoitring, and came to know that they slept soundly at night, and entertained no fear whatever. The Alafi therefore taking his 500 Arabs as well as the warriors of Hind with him, made a nocturnal attack. They came from all the four directions, with loud war-cries, and fell upon the camp of the king of Ramal. A great noise and confusion ensued, and a hand-to-hand fight took place, in which a large number of the enemy was killed, and 80,000 brave men and 50 elephants were captured. Numberless horses and weapons of war also fell into their hands. When the day broke, all the prisoners were brought to Dahir who was for slaying them all, but the wazir interceded, and said: “Be grateful when the great God has given you victory, and offer Him thanks. It is a rule of the royal code that whenever kings and great men gain a victory, and chiefs and nobles of the enemy's party fall into their hands, they should be pardoned. So the right course for you to adopt is to set the prisoners at liberty, and spare their lives.”
Following this suggestion of the wazir, king Dahir released the captives, and was so much pleased with him that he said: “O wise wazir, O blessed counsellor, do ask some favour of me.”
The wazir said: “I have no child to keep alive my name. Do you order that on all the silver coins that are made in the royal mint, my name be struck on the reverse as the name of the king is struck on the obverse, since thereby the name of this humble servant will last long on the royal seal owing to its being coupled with that of the king, and will not be forgotten in Hind and Sind.”
The king passed such a decree. Thereafter Dahir's sovereignty was firmly established and his power and pomp attained such a climax that he seized the presents destined for the capital of the Khalifahs, and became refractory and insolent to them.
The history of the great Khalifs up to the time of Walid.
It is related by the historians and the narrators of these events, that it was in the reign of the Commander of the Faithful, Umarson of Khattab, that an army of Islam was first sent out to different parts of Hind and Sind, to carry on religious war there. In the eleventh year of the Hijrah, that is to say, after the flight of His holiness the prophet of God, Usman son of As Sakifi was the first person who was sent by Khalifah Umar to Bahrain. Usman himself started in the direction of Amman or the high sea, and his army was sent in a small fleet of boats, by way of the sea under the command of Mughairah the father of As to Bahrain, and thence to Debal. At that time, the country of Sind was in the hands of Chach son of Selaij, 35 years of whose reign had already passed. The people of Debal were mostly merchants. Samah son of Dewaij was the ruler of the place, on behalf of Chachrai. When the Arab army arrived at Debal, he issued out of the fort and engaged with them in fight. It is related by one of the intelligent men who were with him, that when the two armies stood opposite each other, Mughairah the father o A's drew his sword, crying: “In the name of God and in the cause of God” and fought till he was killed.
The people questioned the above narrator as to how he himself was fighting then, and he replied: “I was fighting with my arm but was hearing his cries with the ear of my heart.”
This same Usman son of As was again appointed by Khalifah Umar son of Khattab, to lead an expedition to Irak, and Rabiah son of Ziyad Harisi was sent under him to take an army to Makran and Kirman. A letter was written to Abu Musa Ashari from the capital of the Khalifahs requiring him to write a report about what passed in Irak and in the country of Hind. Accordingly when Abu Musa got the news of Mughairah's defeat and murder, and learnt that in Hind and Sind there was a king who was very headstrong and stiff-necked, and was determined to behave offensively, he sent a communication to that effect to the Commander of the Faithful, Umar, urging at the same time that he should think no more of Hind.
About this time occurred the sad event of the martyrdom of Umar son of Khattab. And the Khalifate came into the hands of the Commander of the Faithful, Usman son of Affan. He became desirous of sending an expedition to Sind to carry on a religious war, and he forthwith sent an army to Kandail and Makran under the command of Abdullah, son of Amir, son of Rabiah, who was instructed to gather full information about the country of Sind, and depute a clever, wise and good man to make full enquiries as to the true state of Hind and Sind, and to communicate the result in full details. Accordingly Abdullah, son of Amir, sent Hakim, son of Hailah Abdi, for the purpose.
It is related by Abdullah son of Umar, son of Abdul Kais, that Hakim was an eloquent speaker and a very good poet, though he was an illiterate person. For example, the following verses in the praise of Ali, son of Tufail Ghanawi are his:
“Ever confer favours on me and on my tribe,
May I and they be elevated and abide for ever;
May you attain the abode of bliss,
And may the low be raised to your kindness.”
He has also composed the following verses in praise of our lord, the Commander of the Faithful, Ali, son of Abi Talib, on his return after a victory:
Oh Ali, owing to your alliance you are truly of high birth,
and your example is great, and you are wise and excellent,
and your advent has made your age an age of generosity and kindness and brotherly love.
Some of the narrators of this history have stated that the Commander of the Faithful, Usman son of Affan, wrote to Abdullah, son of Amir, to send Hakim, son of Hailah, to Hind and Sind to gather information about that country, and so Abdullah nominated him for the work. When, after acquainting himself with the state of affairs there, he returned, and came to the son of Amir, and gave him a detailed account of the rules of war and strategy and of the confederation and unity of the residents of the town and the country. Abdullah sent him to Khalifah Usmán son of Affan. When he arrived in the Khalifah's presence and went through the usual formalities of paying respects, the Khalifah asked him: “O Hakim have you seen Hindustán and learnt all about it?”
“Yes, O Commander of the Faithful,” replied Hakim.
“Give us a description of it,” asked the Khalifah, and Hakim gave the following epigrammatic reply: “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.”
Khalifah Usman then enquired: “How are the people with regard to their promises and treaties? Are they faithful or violators of their word?”
Abdullah replied: “They are treacherous and deceitful.”
After hearing this account the Khalifah prohibited Abdullah from invading Sind, and no one was sent thither
The Khalifate of the Commander of the Faithful and leader of all pious men, our lord Ali, son of Abi Talib.
Then came the Khalifate of the Commander of the Faithful, Ali, about the close of the year 38 (658 A.D.). The historians of that time and the interpreters of narratives and tales relate that, when the turn of the Khalitate came to the Commander of the Faithful, Ali, son of Abi Talib, (may God glorify his nature!), the people of the town began to quarrel and fight with one another. It is related by Amir, son of Haris, son of Abdul Kais, that when the parties fell out among themselves, Saghir, son of Dau, was appointed to lead an army to Hind, and a large number of respectable men and followers was sent under him; and they departed by way of Bharj and Mount Bayeh. This was in the year 40 (660 A.D.). To whichever town they came, they were victorious and successful, and they secured many slaves and a large booty, until they arrived at the mountain Kikanan. Here the natives stood up to fight with them.
A description of the battle.
Hazli states that, in that army of the Arabs there was a brave soldier by name Haris, son of Marrah. He was at the head of a column of one thousand fully armed warriors. He had three brave slaves with him, one of whom he retained to bear his arms, and the other two he appointed as officers in the army, each being made the leader of 500 men. When they arrived at Makran the news was carried to Kikanan, where the people prepared for battle and commenced fighting. They were about 20,000 men. The army of Islam attacked them and overpowered them, and seeing no other help, the natives retreated to the gates of the town. But when the Arab army left the battle-field and marched after the residents of Kikanan, the latter came down to obstruct their progress. The Arab army made an onset, with their war cry of “Allahu Akbar” and from the left and the right the cliffs echoed the cry of “Allahu Akbar.” When the infidels of Kikanan heard those cries they were much frightened, and some of them surrendered and accepted Islam and the rest fled away, and from that time up to our day, on the anniversary of that battle, cries of “Allahu Akbar” are heard from the mountain.
They had already completed this victory when they received the sad news of the martyrdom of His Highness the Commander of the Faithful, Ali, son of Abi Talib. They, therefore, turned back, and when they arrived at Makran, they learnt that Muawiyeh son of Abisafiyan had become the Khalifah.
The Khalifate of Muawiyeh, son of Abisafiyan.
The Khalifate of Muawiyeh, son of Abisafiyan commenced in the year 44 (664 A.D.). The authors of his history have stated on the authority of Mihlab who heard it from Hazli, and Hazli from Kasim and Kasim from Nasr son of Sinan, that when Muawiyeh was confirmed in the Khalifate, he sent Abdullah, son of Sawad, with 4,000 men to the country of Sind appointing him governor thereof, and chief administrator in those parts. He said: “In the country of Sind, there is a mountain, which is called Kikanan. There are big and beautiful horses to be found there, and previously also spoils were received here from that country. The people are very cunning, and, under the shelter of that mountain, have become refractory and rebellious.” Muawiyeh also sent Umar, son of Abdullah, to conquer, and ordered Abdullah son of Amir to go to Basrah, and join Kais son of Hashim Salmi in the wars of Ammán and Ardbal. Each of these was to take 1,000 selected men with him.
It is related by Abul Hasan, who heard it from Hazli, and Hazli from Muslim, son of Muharib, son of Muslim, son of Ziyad, that when Muawiyeh despatched the expedition of 4,000 men under Abdullah, son of Sawad, no one had to kindle fire in his camp, as they had carried abundant provisions for the journey. It was only on a single night that fire-light was perceived in the camp, and, on enquiry being made, it was found that a pregnant woman, had been confined and fire was urgently required. Abdullah gave her permission and she gave a merry banquet, and for three days continually entertained the whole army.
When Abdullah arrived at Kikanan, the enemy made an assault on him, but the army of Islam routed them, and secured plenty of booty. The people of Kikanan assembled in large numbers, and occupied the mountain passes. The battle now raged furiously and Abdullah, son of Sawad, found it necessary to keep his men in their ranks, by making a stand himself with a party of selected men, fully armed; and he appealed to the hearts of others in the following words: “O children of the Prophet's companions, do not turn your faces from the infidels, so that your faith may remain free from any flaw and you acquire the honour of martyrdom.”
Hearing these words his men assembled round the standard of Abdullah, and one of these men, who belonged to the family of Abdul Kais, came out with a challenge to a single fight. Instantly the chief of the enemy's forces engaged with him. The example of this hero was followed by another Yasar son of Sawad. The chief was killed, but the army of Kikanan made a general assault, by which the army of Islam was ultimately put to flight. The whole mountainous region now became alive with fighting men and the Musalmans beat a retreat, and came back to Makran.
Abul Hasan relates that he heard Hatim, son of Kutaibiah Sahli, say: “That day I myself was in the army when the son of Sawad fought with his youthful adversary, and his friends advanced in the same manner, and killed many men of the enemy's side. After a hard fight they at last fell martyrs and I stripped the dead bodies of the enemy, and found a hundred signet rings.” Ghailan son of Abdurrahman also says that he heard the following verses read before Muawiyeh:
Yasir ground the army to dust under his mare's hoofs.
He cut them down the more, the more they multiplied.
His mare, how loyal—how warlike—how fleet was she!
So says Awar Al Shatti.
Inform the high and the low among the children of Rabiah,
We found the mailed cavalier on a dread charger in a hand to-hand tussle, doing deeds of daring.
Safyan, son of Ur Hindi, appointed to carry on the religious war in Hind.
It is related by Hazli who heard it from Tibui son of Musa, who again heard it from his father, that on Abdullah, son of Sawad, being martyred, he appointed Sinan, son of Salmah, as his successor. Soon afterwards Muawiyeh wrote to Ziyad, to select a proper person for the holy wars in Hind. When he received the letter, Ziyad nominated Ahnaf son of Kais, who was liked by all, and was the pride of the Faithful. Ahnaf forthwith went to Makrán, where he remained for a period of two years, and after two years and one month he was removed from that post.
Rashid, son of Umar Jazri, appointed for the holy war in Hind.
Abdul Hasan heard it from Hazli and the latter related it on the authority of Aswad, that after the removal of the son of Salmah by Ziyad, Muawiyeh called Rashid, who was a very respectable and courageous man, made him sit with himself on the throne, and conversed with him for a long time. When he openly told the chief men: “Rashid is a noble personage, all-worthy of being a leader. Respect him and obey him and assist him during the war, and never leave him alone.” When Rashid arrived at Makran, he went to Sinan, with the Arab chiefs and nobles, and found that Sinan was strong and extremely wise, and he could not help observing: “By God, Sinan is a great man and a brave warrior and in every way worthy of being a chief and a leader of armies.” Both of them sat together, Rashid had been deputed by Muawiyeh with particular instructions to regularly inform him as to what was going on in Hind and Sind. So these conversed with each other on important confidential matters, and Rashid made full enquiries about Sind from his predecessor, and, without losing much time, marched against the army of the enemy.
It is related by Abdur Rahman, son of Abdullah Salit, who said that he had heard it from Abdur Razak, son of Salmah, that when Rashid, son of Umar, came to Sind, he managed to get tribute, from mountain of Bayeh, and he went to Kikanan, and secured the tribute for the past years as well as for the current year. He also procured many spoils and slaves from the rebellious and refractory people. After one year he returned thence, and travelling via Sistan, he came to the mountains of Mauzar and Bharj. The natives of this mountainous country mustered about 50,000 men strong, to stop him on his way. A bloody battle ensued which lasted from the time of morning prayers to that of afternoon prayers. Rashid fell a martyr, and the command again fell to the lot of Sinan, son of Salmah, who, once more, became the leader.
Yasar Kuraishi is said to have related that when Rashid, son of Umar, became a martyr, Ziyad appointed Sinan, son of Salmah, general, and conferred other favours on him, as he had been born during the life-time of His Holiness the Prophet. When the happy news was carried to his father, the holy Prophet said to him: “O Salmah, I congratulate you on the birth of a son.” In reply Salmah said: “If I could sacrifice him in the cause of the great God I should consider it better than having a thousand sons, dying in some other cause than God's.” The holy Prophet gave the name of Sinan to the child, and now when he was made the Commander-in-chief, and marched out with a drawn army, he saw in a dream the Prophet, who told him: “Your father used to be proud of your bravery; today it is your day; you are destined to conquer many countries.” Encouraged by these words, Sinan marched on, and conquered several places, till he arrived in the country of Kikanan. Through whichever town he passed, he introduced good methods and laws therein. When, however, he came to the district of Budhia, the people there rose against him, and killed him. Abú Khalah Bahkirí composed the following verses on his martyrdom:
Tell of Sinan, son of Mauzar, and his brothers,
Respectfuly greetings to them.
I saw him in his day of pride,
In this age he was like a hill.
They turned rebellious and ripened a hard design,
the wicked, who rebel, never prosper.
Not for a moment did the hero avert his face or turn his back,
Though a whole world rushed against him.
Like the son of Sawad—like the son of Marat—he fought up to his last breath and levelied many a peak to the ground.
Appointment of Munzir, son of Harud, son of Bashar .
Then the command fell to the lot of Munzir son of Harud son of Bashar. In the year 61 (680 A.D.) when under the orders of the Khalifah, Munzir put on the dress of honour, and started for his post, his robe stuck to a piece of wood and was torn. Ubaidullah, son of Ziyad, became much grieved at this incident, and interpreted it as an evil omen signifying bad luck for Munzir. He bade him adieu, and returning to his place, wept for him, and said: “Munzir will never return from this journey, and will die.”
Abdul Aziz asked the son of Ziyad: “So much money is being lost; are you not going to appoint anyone to go and collect the tribute?”
“I have sent Munzir,” replied Ubaidullah, “as there is no one else who is his equal, in point of bravery and skill in fighting. If fortune favours him, he will return successful.”
When Munzir started from there, and came to the country of the enemy, he fell ill at Burabi and gave up his soul to God. His son Hakam was then at Kirman and the sad news was communicated to him there. Munzir's brother, Abdul Aziz, now applied for the vacant post, but Hajjaj coming to know of this called Abdul Aziz and reprimanded him, observing: “A noble personage out of our grandees and chief men has sacrificed himself in the cause of the great God. His son is alive; are you so shameless as to apply for his post?”
Appointment of Hakam, son of Munzir, as agent.
It is related that when Hakam returned home, Ubaid Ullah was informed of the fact, and he wept and became very sad. He called Munzir's son and made a gift of 30,000 dirams to him. The administration of the affairs of Hind was entrusted to him. When Hakam put on the robe of honour, every one was struck with his brave and undaunted appearance, and instantly Abdullah, son of Aur Hawari, rose and recited the following verses:
O Hakam son of Munzir son of Harud,
Extremely generousyourself, and your generosity is praiseworthy;
Follow a straight path—and follow it with dignity.
May good befall you;
May my lines be east in the pleasant places of this prince of the generous.
The Khalifate of Abdul Malik, son of Marwan.
It is related by the historians that when the Khalifate came into the hands of Abdul Malik, son of Marwan, he gave Irak, Hind and Sind to Hajjaj, son of Yusif. Hajjaj sent Aslam Kilabi to Makran. When the latter arrived there, Safahwi, son of Lam Hammami, met him on his way. Saíd said to him: “I am going to get down here; will you join me and be my helper?”
“I have no army under me,” replied Safahwi.
“Are you so hold,” said Saíd, “as to disregard the request I make on the authority and in the name of the Khalifah.”
“By God,” replied Safahwi, “I will not obey your command; I consider it below my dignity to do so”
Thereupon Saíd arrested him, and killed him, then he took off his skin, and sent his head to Hajjaj, and himself went to Makran, and fixed his residence there. He appointed trustworthy men to collect the tribute, and by adopting gentle measures, he succeeded in securing more wealth from Hindustan. One day, he was coming to Marah Bakhraj, when he accidentally encountered a party of Alafis.
An account of the Alafis and their rebellion.
It is said in a tradition on the authority of Kaibat, son of Ashas, that one day, Kublaibat, son of Halaf Mughanni, Abdullah, son of Abdur Rahim Alafi, and Muhammad, son of Muawiyeh Alafi, conspired among themselves, saying: “Safahwi, son of Lam, was from our country. He belongs to Amman and our part of the country jointly. How dared Said to kill a kinsman of ours?”
So when they met him accidentally near Marali Bakhraj, while he was coming to that place, an altercation occurred between them, which ended in a fight and the Alafis made an assault on Saíd and killed him. Thenceforth, they became permanent residents of Makran. On this event Farzdak composed the following verses:
“O Saíd, you prepared for the holy war,
but the earth has closed its doors against you
and held you fast in its bosom.
The land of Makrán—verily closed around Saíd
Said who was generous and from whose liberal fountain
no bucket ever came forth empty,
Hard was it to rouse you to anger,
and courageous were the guards at your gate;
When my eyes recall, O Saíd,
they shower unceasing tears and my grief is ever renewed.”
Saíd's men returning home, Hajjaj became very angry with them, for returning without Saíd, and he asked them where their leader was. As they denied any knowledge on the point, Hajjaj ordered some of them to be beheaded. Then they stated the truth, and said that the Alafis had rebelled against him and killed him. Thereupon Hajjaj ordered a man of the family of Bani Kilab to kill Sulaimán Alafi. He then sent his head to the house of Saíd's dependents and followers. He further consoled them, and showed much kindness to his relations, some of whom were the following:— Chach, son of Aslam, Bashir, son of Ziyad, Muhammad, son of Abdurrahman, Ismail, son of Aslam. These men, together with Saíd's slaves and freed slaves, began to cry and lament loudly. Then Saisaah, son of Muhammad Kilabi, uttered the following verses:
Gone is he! How can our hearts be without sorrow, when we hear of that story of Saíd?
His brothers have, for his sake, given up their life;
when even high game retreated before him,
But when the hour struck—he was as if he was not;
And the decree of the Lord became manifest and martyrdom fell upon him;
I see him, in my dreams, at Kandail—there he kindly accords me an interview.
Let not the fools of the market-place and new-fangled lordlings say aught against me.
Appointment of Mujaah, son of Suair, son of Yazid, son of Khazifah, as agent.
The writers of this history have related on the authority of Bashir, son of Isa Sahib Inhat, who had received the information from Barkad son of Mughairah, and Umar son of Muhammad Tamimi, that when Hajjaj sent Mujaah, son of Suair, to Khurasan, and the province of Kandail was conquered in the year 85 (704 A.D.), during the administration of Hajjaj, the Alafis had left that part of the country before the arrival of Mujaah. The latter sent men after them to find them, but they went to Dahir, son of Chach, the ruler of Sind. Mujaah remained at Makran for one year and then breathed his last.
In the year 86, Walid, son of Abdul Malik, who was a son of Marwan, became the Khalifah. He entrusted the management of foreign affairs to Muhammad Harun. It is said by historians that when Mujaah's life came to its close, Hajjaj, son of Yusif, sent Muhammad, son of Harun, to Hindustan, with full and absolute powers to command and to inhibit. He instructed him to make every effort to collect tributes for the royal treasury. Further he said: “Find out the Alafis, and try your best to secure them, and exact the vengeance due to Saíd from them.”
Accordingly, in the commencement of the year 86, Muhammad found one of the Alafis, killed him, under those orders, and in the name of the Khalifah, and sent his head to Hajjaj. At the same time, he wrote a letter to Hajjaj, in which he said: “I have made one of the Alafis food for the sword of the Khalifah; if my life lasts, and fortune smiles, I hope to capture the others also.” For five years Muhammad son of Harun continued there, gaining victories both on land and water.
An account of the rarities and presents sent from Sarandeb for the Khalif of the time.
It is related that the king of Sarandeb (Ceylon, Sri Lanka) sent some curiosities and presents from the island of pearls, in a small fleet of boats by sea, for Hajjaj. He also sent some beautiful pearls and valuable jewels, as well as some Abyssinian male and female slaves, some pretty presents, and unparalleled rarities to the capital of the Khalifah. A number of Mussalman women also went with them with the object of visiting the Kaabah, and seeing the capital city of the Khalifahs. When they arrived in the province of Kazrun, the boat was overtaken by a storm, and drifting from the right way, floated to the coast of Debal. Here a band of robbers, of the tribe of Nagamrah, who were residents of Debal, seized all the eight boats, took possession of the rich silken cloths they contained, captured the men and women, and carried away all the valuable property and jewels. The officers of the king of Sarandeb and the women informed them that, the property was intended for the Khalifah then regnant, but they paid no heed and said: “If there is anyone to hear your complaint, and to help you, purchase your liberty.”
Then they all cried with one voice: “O Hajjaj, O Hajjaj, hear us and help us.” The woman who first uttered that cry belonged to the family of Bani Aziz. Wasat Asaadi states that when Debal was conquered he had occasion to see that woman, who was fair-skinned and of tall stature. The merchants were brought to Debal, and the people who had fled from the boats came to Hajjaj and informed him of what had happened.
“The Mussalman women,” said they, “are detained at Debal and they cry out: ‘O Hajjaj, O Hajjaj, hear us, help us.”
When Hajjaj heard this, he said, as if in reply to the call of the women: “Here am I, here am I.”
It is also stated in a tradition about Hajjaj that, when the Mussalman women were asked what they meant by calling Hajjaj to their help, they replied: “We were in a sleep-like repose and we were disturbed in it, and so we called him to save us from the cruel and unmerciful people, who had confined us in captivity.”
Hajjaj sends a messenger to the infidel Dahir.
Hajjaj now sent a messenger to Dahir, and addressed a letter to Muhammad Harun, in which he said: “Send a trustworthy officer along with this messenger to Dahir to tell him to set the Mussalman women at liberty, and to return the presents intended for the capital of the Khalífahs. He should also learn all about the women.” Hajjáj wrote also a letter to Dáhar and signed it with his own blessed hand, and gave it to the messenger. In that letter he couched many threats in very strong terms. When that letter reached Dánar, Wazil, who was the secretary of Dahir son of Chach, read it out Dahir heard the message that had been sent to him, and in reply he said: “That is the work of a band of robbers than whom none is more powerful. They do not even care for us.”