Raja Dahir, the Last Hindu Ruler of Sindh who defeated Muhammed Bin Qasim Thrice

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From: Mahabaleshwar Deshpande < >

Raja Dahir, The Last Hindu Ruler of Sindh who defeated Muhammed Bin Qasim Thrice in a war & prevented him from entering India.

Yes! Today we’ll know more about one of the bravest Hindu kings whose story is missing from the history books of India.

▪️ Raja Dahir, born in 663 AD was the last Hindu ruler of Sindh and parts of the Punjab in present-day Pakistan, in the northern region of the Indian subcontinent. He was a Pushkarna Brahmin king, son of Chach of Aror, who ascended throne after the death of his uncle, Chandar.

▪️ Raja Dahir’s original name was Raja Dahir Sen. His wife’s name was Ladi. The couple had three children’s — elder daughter named Suryadevi, and the younger daughter named Premadevi/Pirmaldevi and a son named Jaisiah.

▪️ Raja Dahir’s dynasty ruled over the parts of the present-day Afghanistan, Balochistan, Pakistan, parts of Punjab, and Iran.

▪️ Dahir’s kingdom was invaded by Ramal at Kannauj. After initial losses, the enemy advanced on Aror and he allied himself with Alafi, an Arab.

▪️ Alfai and his warriors had actually been exiled from the Umayaad Caliphate, but he recruited them. They were part of Dahir’s armies to repel the invading forces, and he remained as the valued members of Dahir’s court.

▪️ However, in the later war, Alafi served as the military advisor but didn’t take part in the campaign. He was thus pardoned from the caliph.

▪️ According to the Chach Nama, the oldest chronicles of Arab conquest of Sindh, the primary reason for this invasion started when a pirate raided off the coast of Debal, the valuables of which were stolen from the king of Serendib (present day Sri Lanka).

▪️ Upon hearing the matter, Hajjaj ibn Yusuf, the governor of Basra, who served the Umayyad Caliphate wrote a letter to Raja, and when a compromise couldn’t be reached, he launched a military expedition.

▪️ The other reasons have been attributed to the interest in part of Umayyad to get hold of Makran, Balochistan and Sindh region to protect their maritime interests.

▪️ Various armies from Sindh alongside Persian fought in the battles of Nahawand, Salasal, and Qadisiyyah, and thus, granted the refuge to fleeing rebel chieftains.

▪️ There’s another story which tells that Al-Hajjaj’s decision to send the powerful battalion was commanded by his nephew, Muhammad Bin Qasim, which was considered to be a revengeful act.

▪️ It was because Raja Dahir had refused to hand over some Arab exiles who had fallen out of favor with Hajjaj and had sought asylum in Sindh.

Before going to war with with the Umayyads, Raja Dahir said to his Family & army, ❝I am going to meet the Arabs in the open battle, and fight them as best as I can. If I crush them, my kingdom will then be put on a firm footing. But if I am killed honourably, the the event will be recorded. in the books of Arabia and India, and will be talked about by great men. It will be heard by other kings in the world, and it will be said that Raja Dahir of Sindh sacrificed his precious life for the sake of his country, in fighting with the enemy. ❞

▪️ In 711 BCE, Qasim attacked Debal. The policy was in fact enlisting and co-opting support from defectors, and which defeated lords and forces.

▪️ After the successful invasion of Debal, Qasim moved to Nerun for supplies. The city’s Buddhist governor acknowledged it to be the tributary state of Caliphate, and after the first campaign, he capitulated to bin Qasim.

▪️ Bin Qasim had the support of various other local tribes such as Jats, Meds, Bhuttos, Buddhist rulers of Nerun, Bajhra, Kaka Kolak, Siwistan. And with the strong support, he defeated Dahir and captured the eastern territories for Umayyad Caliphate.

▪️ Dahir was defeated due to the treachery of his friends, As the eastern territory was taken away and merged into Umayyad Caliphate. This was a great blow to Dahir. But he did not give up.

▪️ He wanted to protect his Hindu kingdom and tried again. He called all his friends, army chiefs and held a secret meeting. In this meeting Dahir’s Cabinet Minister suggested that he should take refuge under one of the friendly kings of India. Dahir did not accept it.

▪️ It is also said, then the Minister suggested that he should send away his family to friendly Indian kingdom. Dahir became furious at this suggestion and he thought what will happen to his friendly Thakurs and Nobles.

▪️ “I cannot do this. Tomorrow not only me but my entire dynasty will be branded as a traitor’s family. This is against the tradition of India. Hence, I will not resort to this,” Raja Dahir said.

▪️ Dahir had made attempts after attempts to prevent Qasim to cross the River so that he couldn’t force his armies into the eastern bank. Unfortunately for Dahir, Wasim crossed the river and defeated forces at Jitor led by Jaisiah (Dahir’s son).

▪️ Dahir then had to fight Qasim at Raor (which is near modern Nawabshah) in 712, and in the battle, Qasim killed Dahir. When he was killed, his head was cut off and sent to Hajjaj bin Yousuf. Thus, even a respectful cremation was denied.