Conquest of Sindh by Muhammad Bin Qasim 712 A.D:
The conquest of Sindh by Muhammad Bin Qasim in 712 A.D was formal introduction of Islam in the Subcontinent. Muslims used to come for trade purpose to this region, but Muhammad Bin Qasim for the first time established firm rule in the region after defeating Raja Dahir.
Condition of Subcontinent before Islam:
Raja Haresh was the last prominent ruler of the Subcontinent, after his death Subcontinent was divided into many tiny states; all the states were ruled by different Rajas, who were always in state of war with each other. There was no central based government; the entire region was in state of political instability. Due to the internal differenced of Rajas of different states they were unable to resist against the foreign invaders. Indian had no relations with rest of the world; the region was totally in the state of isolation.
Because of the plenty of natural recourses and sound economic conditions Indian was known “Golden Sparrow”. as Subcontinent was blessed with all kinds of natural recourses, the soil was fertile, and therefore it was ideal for agriculture. At the time of Muslim invasion the economic condition of India were satisfactory. Agriculture and trade were the main occupations of the people. India had trade relations with Iran and Arab countries.
According to historians India had got mastery in the fields of astronomy and arithmetic. They were also advanced in medicines and science. But due to cast discrimination system the Indian society was at decline,
Status of Women in Hindu Society:
Women were the most oppressed class in the Hindu society. They were just like toys in the hands of Hindu men. Women were not allowed to conduct second marriage after the death of their husband. If the women become widow she had to burn her self alive with the Chita of her husband. This rite was called “Sati”. Killing female children was also a common tradition in Hindu Society. Gambling was also a part of Hindu society.
Before the advent of Islam in Subcontinent Hinduism was the prominent religion of the people of this region. A famous Hindu Philosopher Mano divides Hindu society of that time in to four casts in his book “Mano Samrati”.
The Hindu society was divided into following main casts. 1. Berhamans 2. Khashtri 3. Vaish 4. Shooder
The Berhamans belonged to the religious class. They were expert in religious knowledge and affairs. They were treated as superior cast. The rulers and ministers of Raja were generally Berhamans.
Their job was to fight and defend the country. Thus they were the fighting force of the country. They were also responsible of maintaining law and order. The Berhmans and khashtri had high status and respect in the society..
The people of this cast were the traders, farmers, business man and shop keepers.
The people belonging to this cast were considered the most lowest cast. They had to serve the other casts. They were put to great torture for event light mistakes.
They were also called untouchable (Achoot). They were not allowed to live in the cities, and to enter into temples for worship. If any shooder found hearing holly Veda, his ears were filled with molten Seesa (Lead).
Effect of Islam on the Pre Islamic Conditions of Subcontinent:
Islam brought a complete revolution in the lives of the people of subcontinent. Islam had great influence on political, religious and social life of the people. The Muslims entered India as conquers who later on settled here for ever. There was a vast difference between the civilization of Arab Muslims and the civilization of the indigenous people of India. However both the civilizations influenced each other. :
Muslims established a strong central based government in the region. For a very long time they kept largest part of subcontinent under a single central government. The crushed internal lawlessness and created such conditions which were helpful in the political development of the region. Muslim rulers established relations with other countries before that India was in a state of isolation.
Hinduism was the main religion of India when Muslims arrived here. Hinduism was a social system rather than a religion. Hindu society was divided into four groups on religious basis. Cast discrimination system strongly prevailed in the entire Hindu society. Shooders were considered as untouchables and they had no respect in society. With the advent of Islam in India the local people found a religion based on complete code of life, Islam not only guaranteed equality to every body but also assured justice in society. The lesson of equality of Islam greatly attracted the lowest cast of Hindu society, and they started adopting Islam. In few years a great numbers of Hindus, Budhists and Janies embraced Islam.
Social and Cultural Effects:
Islamic culture and civilization had deep impact on the Hindu society. With the advent of Islam in this region the all branches of fine art made a great progress. The Islamic art which had the characteristics of Egyptian, Roman, Greeks and Iranian art had a great impact on the local art, the combination of Islamic and Indian art gave birth to a new art knows as indo Islamic art. The Muslim army comprised of people from different nationalities and they spoke different languages i.e Arabic, Persia, Hindu, etc, a new common language took birth from this interaction of language which was called Urdu. They advent of Islam in India affected all the spheres of life of the local inhabitants. The local style of construction of buildings was totally changed, Muslims built many beautiful mosques, palaces, and minars. Some of the wonderful buildings built by Muslim rulers are Humayun tomb, Palace of Agra and Fatehpur, Akbar tomb, Taj Mehal, Shalimar Garden Lahore, Jahangir Tomb Lahore, Red Fort Delhi, Masjid Wazir Khan Lahore, Masjid Mahabat khan Peshawar, Shahi Fort and many more.
The Muslims have much more nice taste for eating clothing than Hindus. Many types of new foods were introduced by Muslims in subcontinent. Muslims for the first time introduced silk cloths proper dressing was learned by the local people from Muslims. The Hindus used to cover their body with one or two cloth. They liked the Muslim dress and started using it. Justice was the main pillar of Muslim’s rule in the subcontinent, the people of India got rid of the injustices of the Hindus.