Islamic Hoards and Their Terror
The first Muslim invasion of India came from the north-west by the Arabs who were led by Mahommad Bin Qasim. It took place in 711 A.D. and resulted in the conquest of Sind. This first Muslim invasion did not result in a permanent occupation of the country because the Caliphate of Baghdad, by whose order and command the invasion had taken place, was obliged by the middle of 9th century A.D. to withdraw its direct control from this distant province of Sind. Soon after this withdrawal, there began a series of terrible invasions by Muhammad of Ghazni (the idol breaker) in 1001 A.D. Muhammad died in 1030 A.D., but within the short span of 30 years, he invaded India 17 times. He was followed by Mahommed Ghori, who began his career as an invader in 1173. He was killed in 1206. For thirty years Muhammad of Ghazni ravaged India and for thirty years Mahommad Ghori harried the same country in the same way.
Then followed the incursions of the Moghul hordes of Chenghiz Khan. They first came in 1221. They then stayed on the border of India but did not enter it. Twenty years later, they marched on Lahore and sacked it. Of their inroads, the most terrible was under Timur in 1398. Then comes on the scene a new invader in the person of Babar who invaded India in 1526. The invasion of India did not stop with that of Babar. There occurred two more invasions. In 1738 Nadir Shah’s invading host swept over the Punjab like a flooded river “furious as the ocean”. He was followed by Ahmad Shah Abdali who invaded India in 1761, smashed the forces of the Marathas at Panipat and crushed for ever the attempt of the Hindus to gain the ground which they had lost to their Muslim invaders.
These Muslim invasions were not undertaken merely out of lust for loot or conquest, but also to strike a blow at the idolatry and polytheism of Hindus and establishing Islam in India.
Muhammad of Ghazni also looked upon his numerous invasions of India as the waging of a holy war. Al’Utbi, the historian of Muhammad, describing his raids writes:
“He demolished idol temples and established Islam. He captured ……cities, destroyed the idolaters, and gratifying Muslims. He then returned home and promulgated accounts of the victories obtained for Islam……..and vowed that every year he would undertake a holy war against Hind.”