Home Books & Authors Maharaja Dahir – Resurgence of Sindh – Part-XVIII

Maharaja Dahir – Resurgence of Sindh – Part-XVIII

Maharaja Dahir – Resurgence of Sindh – Part-XVIII

The English translation of a novel ‘Maharaja Dahir’ authored by Kolkata-based renowned novelist Debasree Chakraborti in Bengali language. The novel has been translated by Rajesh Giri

Place: Siraj, Armanbela, Debal

Year 712 AD

The sun is setting in the vast expansion of sea in the west; the crimson glow of the late sun is turning the sea into a bloody pool. From the coast to the far reaches rugged wilderness and golden-yellow mountains are there.

This land can only be entitled as the land of gold, as the crimson waves are crashing down on the golden beaches. Some white seagulls are hovering over waves to catch fish and feasting on them by tearing apart sitting on the beach; poor preys are writhing in agony of death. Thousands of black tents are pitched in the vast wilderness that has expanded from this beach. The prayers of Maghrib are emerging out of these tents in unison. As long as this vermilion tint is present in the western sky, it is the Maghrib time. Then the Isha prayer time will begin. Among these tents there is a huge one at the center which is quite different from the others. Inside this tent a handsome fair-skinned, well-built young stood up just after finishing his prayer and paying his gratitude to Allah. Through the front window the crimson glow of the sea get reflected on his face, the blue gems of his two eyes are shining with the passion of some unknown dream. He came out of his tent and strolled towards the sea. Now it is almost dark all around, only the torches are burning outside the tents; the roar of the sea and the call of the gulls together filled the atmosphere and console the mind.

He closes his eyes and take a deep breath. At that time clatter of hooves come from behind. He raised both of his hands and said, “O Allah, all is your grace.” Then he entered his tent, a guard came and told him that Hajjaj had sent a message from Makran. The young man asked to bring the messenger. The messenger came and left the message written on the cloth in his hand. He began to read the message.

The black letters on the white cloth turned into vibrant voice in the torchlight; the young man can saw his uncle Hajjaj. Hajjaj wrote, “By the grace of Allah, everything is going well, when you receive my message, Hajim and Abu Mughariya will reach you shortly. They will be your strongest allies in this crusade. When they reach you, at the same night that begins after the end of the Isha prayer, Issaq Ayyub and Halwan Kalib will reach you by sea with weapons in boat. Allah has chosen you as the commander of his war; not everyone gets this opportunity, so as a good Muslim, carry forward this jihad. They have imprisoned the followers of Allah, they are being cruelly tortured; punish these disbelievers in such cruelty so that they do not even get a place in Hell.”

—May they are sent in a place that is worse than hell. I can’t sleep all night, their cries fall in my ears always. As long as they are not saved and the guilty are punished, I have no peace, after death we too will have a place in hell. The honor of the whole Muslim world is now on your hands, you protect our honor by rescuing the children of Allah from the hands of the infidels. If you succeed in this mission, then the name Muhammad bin Qasim will be written in golden letters in the history of the rise of Islam. You will be a messiah to the Muslim community for ages. By tonight, lion and tiger costumes will arrive for your six thousand horses and four thousand camels.

—when horses and camels will enter the battlefield wearing this dress, the horses and camels of the enemy side will flee from the field thinking that lions and tigers have arrived. When you receive my letter, the next morning you will set out for Armanbela, where you will encamp at Armanbela, make a big circular trench around, so that no one of the enemy side may cross this boundary and get into the camp. You shall attack Debal at night in the dark, as for the infidels they do not fight after sunset. Finally, I say, Islam is in danger. The responsibility of protecting the people of your own community by defeating the infidels is now on your hands, pray regularly, keep faith in Allah.”

On that day, Muhammad bin Qasim, the seventeen year old commander of the Arab conquest of Sindh, followed Hajjaj word by word. That evening Abu Mughariya and Hazim joined Hajjaj. At midnight on the same day, a dotted line of light appeared in the dark sea of ​​Siraj. On that day, before Sahri prayer, the light dots floating on the ocean continue to come towards them as the blessing of Allah. Muhammad bin Qasim raised both hands towards the sky and thanked Allah and said, Jazakallahu Khairan.

Raja Dahir - Bengali book
Maharaja Dahir – A novel authored by Debasree Chakraborti in Bengali language

His uncle Hajjaj told him that Allah himself had entrusted him with this crusade and Allah’s blessings always be upon him. So thank him every moment and pray regularly. As it was time for Sahri prayer, he went inside his tent to pray. Because worldliness will continue, but the responsibility towards Allah should always remain. Early that morning, the crusaders of Islam left for Armanbela. In the rugged nature of Armanbela, there are huge rugged mountains. There are small caves in these mountains, the army of Islam entered these rugged mountain caves and found empty. In the past, Buddhist monks may have lived in these caves, but today these deserted caves have become the only memories of the past. A river has gone through the rugged nature; palm trees lining the banks of this river seem like a haven of peace among many obstacles in life. Soldiers set up camp in this area. Because there are no settlements far around, if they camp here, the news of their arrival will not reach Debal. Moreover, the distance from this region to Debal is very short, if they start after Isha prayer, they will reach Debal in the middle of the night.

Muhammad bin Qasim in his tent was planning the attack on Debal. He was looking on the list of rich people of Debal city. The family members are also identified with the names of all of them. If they can be brought under the umbrella of Islam, their attack on Debal will be fulfilled. With the help of Arab merchants, Hajjaj prepared the complete layout of the city and the list of wealthy people. Muhammad bin Qasim was instructed that if for any reason they did not agree to come under the umbrella of Islam, they were to be killed, their families were to be enslaved and sent to the markets of Middle East and their wealth was to be plundered and divided equally among the armies. And the rest of the wealth must be sent to the Caliph. The soldiers have the first right to enjoy the wealth of ‘Ghanimat’ (Wealth plundered during the war), if they are not satisfied, it is not possible to make advancement in this jihad.

That night, a terrible disaster struck the sea coast of Debal, with the furious gale and rain, the surroundings became dark and indistinct. When such calamities occur in this region, the local people try to appease the nature by blowing conch shells. That night the conch sound from every house of Debal turned into a terrible reverberation to ward off the calamity. The bells of the Shiv Mandir in the heart of Debal city keep ringing by themselves due to the gust of wind. At this time, as the doors, eyelets, and windows of every house in the city were blocked, no light was coming to the street outside, and it was as if a terrible darkness descended on the city of Debal. Debal had never seen such intense darkness, Mahadev himself was sitting inside the sanctum sanctorum as if waiting for a terrible change in history. At this time Maheshwar Banik, the biggest merchant of Debal as well as of entire Sindh, went to Southern India for business in his ship. His two sons, wife and daughter Gauri were in their palace of Debal. 

When the storm hit the heart of the Earth, scorching for prolonged time, the long awaited quench of the nature became saturated and the people of Debal fell into a blissful sleep in the coolness of the nature. But there was no sleep in the eyes of Gauri Maheshwar Banik’s daughter. Today the nature outside and the nature of his mind are in unison. She deliberately keeps the windows of his bedroom open. Along one edge of the window, a creeper flower plant rises up from the garden below, the fragrance of the white flower bunches of this tree is mind blowing; this tree has a strange chemistry with rain water. From that childhood, Gauri has observed that the flowers of this tree turn out more fragrant when showered by rain. Nowadays she likes everything very much, especially the southern part of this palace which is now similar to Vrindavan dham to her. He was in this southern part of the palace. Sometimes she willingly spends time in this southern part. A few days before his father left for business, a man from Aror arrived at their place on horseback. Prince Jaisingh sent valuable gifts to her family by his own. Her family felt very honored to receive these gifts. Her father was overwhelmed and says that he never thought that a prince could express his gratitude for a single night’s invitation like this. Father also sent many valuable gifts to Aror through his representative. Gauri heard from her friends that the news of the prince’s gift had spread throughout the city of Debal. This is now the prime topic of discussion among the common people. The gift which was sent for Gauri was given to her by her father himself. Inside this gift, wrapped in precious silk, she found a letter along with precious sapphires and gold necklace and ear ornaments. (Continues)

Click here for Part-I Part-IIPart-III Part-IV Part-V Part-VI Part-VIIPart-VIII Part-IX Part-XPart-XIPart-XIIPart-XIII Part-XIV Part-XV Part-XVI, Part-XVII


Debasree Chakraborti - authorDebasree Chakraborti is a renowned novel writer of Bengali language. Based in Kolkata, West Bengal, India, she has done Master’s in Modern History from the Kolkata University, and authored some thirty books, mostly the novels, with historical perspective and themes. Her most recent novel is ‘Maharaja Dahir’ that covers the history of Sindh from 662, the year of first attack on Sindh by the Arab armies till date.

Rajesh Giri - TranslatorRajesh Giri, born in Kolkata, had his early schooling from Kolkata and then from Medinipur—a village in Bengal. He graduated from Calcutta University with Physics and Maths and Master’s from Burdwan University in 2016. Now he is associated with Adhdhyaan educational institution teaching Physics. History enthusiastic Rajesh Giri is particularly interested in the ancient civilization of India and other regions like Egypt, Mesopotamia, and North America. He loves traveling.



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