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Had Raja Dahar really married his sister?

Some people make slanderous accusations about Raja Dahir to provide a justification for the bad deeds of their heroes.  Let us examine some of these few accusations, the principal ones of which are as follows:

  1. He married his sister.
  2. He imprisoned and robbed some Arab people.
  3. He abused Buddhists and non-Brahmins.
  4. He was a decadent hedonist and a tyrant.

Observe that it is the work of every group that has been the victor to slander the vanquished party, to defame them, and thus to provide a justification, even though it is their behavior that is most unjust and diabolical.. many such examples exist in history.  History has often been written by those in the pay of the victors.

Let us carefully examine each of the allegations against Raja Dahar in turn.

1. Forget sisters; Hindu Brahmins consider marrying their cousins improper.  So the accusation that he married his sister appears to be fallacious.  The evidence offered for this accusation is that he refused to give his sister’s hand to some petty chieftain.  But everyone knows that Hindus were endogamous within castes and status. Thus if he refused to allow his sister’s wedding to someone of a lower caste, is it reasonable to say that he had done so to marry his own sister?  It is an ill-intentioned, bald lie.

2. The second allegation against him that has been made is that he had some gifts, which the Arab ruler was sending to the King of Ceylon (SriLanka), pirated, and the Arab sailors, arrested.  There is also no evidence offered here either — to show that Raja Dahar did such a deed.  There was plenty of piracy in those days.  It is entirely possible that some pirates did this, but what possible advantage could a great king like Raja Dahar derive from such petty piracy?   To make this a pretext for an invasion is entirely fraudulent and merely slanderous.

One cannot hide the facts of history.  It is clear that the   Arab rulers, like all imperialist powers, had the goal of colonizing other nations.  If we regard Roman, Mongolian, British and French imperialists wrong and tyrannical, how then can we call similar action by Arabs fair, and not merely fair but in the glory of Islam?  Does the respect for Islam increase by such actions or is it slandered?

3. The third allegation that is made against him is that he was cruel towards Buddhists and other non-Hindus — but we can’t find evidence of this either.  It is a historical fact that when Raja Chandersen,   brother of Raja Chuch, reigned, he encouraged Buddhism.  He gave special concessions to Buddhist bhikshus and monks.  It is also no secret that the Brahmins can be religiously bigoted even more than   Mullahs.  Their actions eliminated Buddhism in much of India.  But   Sindh was that country where Buddhism flourished.  Their presence is a testament to the liberalness of Raja Dahar.  During his reign,   two governors were Buddhists.  Not only that but an Arab Muslim Mohammed Alafi and his whole tribe, who were fleeing persecution of   Banu Umayas, was granted asylum by Raja Dahar.  Raja Dahar was so generous with them that they were permitted to stamp coins which bore Alafi’s name on one face.   Examples of such generosity are rare indeed in history.

Accusing such a generous-minded, liberal, secular king of being prejudiced, made as it is by people whose own history is a   testament to narrow-mindedness and bigotry, is nothing short of malicious.

4. The fourth charge laid against Raja Dahar is that he was hedonistic and cruel.  Heaven knows what the intent of the slanderers is in using such terms.  Who is the real criminal?  The ones who sent two   daughters of the Raja as a “gift”, the adulterer who married their   mother forcibly, those who considered it proper to make Sindhi   women slaves and have illicit relations with them — such rapists, the ones who sold thousands of Sindhis into slavery; or the one who   gave his life defending his country?

Observe that it is the work of every group that has been the victor to slander the vanquished party, to defame them, and thus to provide a justification, even though is is their behavior that is most unjust and diabolical.. many such examples exist in history.  History has often been written by those in the pay of the victors.

History states that even before the successful conquest of Sindh, the Arabs attacked 14 times — what was their justification for these attacks?   Is it that the attacks on Samarkand, Bukhara,   Morocco, Spain also to get compensated for something?

One cannot hide the true facts of history.  It is clear that the   Arab rulers, like all imperialist powers, had the goal of   colonizing other nations.  If we regard Roman, Mongolian, British and French imperialists wrong and tyrannical, how then can we call similar action by Arabs fair, and not merely fair but in the glory of Islam?  Does the respect for Islam increase by such actions or is it slandered?

Raja Dahar: Rewriting history series

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