The same Chinese author states that he reigned four hundred years after the death of Buddha, which, as it occurred 544 years before our era, would bring it to more than a century before Christ; but as he expresses his dates in round numbers, we cannot rely much upon his precision. We may with more probability look for it a century later, if, at least, he be the same as Kanerkes, for among the coins and other objects bearing his name, which were found in the tope of Manikyála, and which would appear to indicate that that monument was constructed under the reign of that prince, certain Roman medals were also found of the period of Octavius and Antony extending to as low as 33 B.C.*
The Yue-tchi evidently established themselves in Kábul subsequent to the reign of Kanishka, and probably not long after, for Fa-Hian, about the year 400 A.D., speaks of their occupation of that valley, as if it were a transaction of no recent date. If we assign to Ki-to-lo the date of A.D. 200, we shall have nearly seven hundred years from the first to the last of the Katormán dynasty, during which, probably, other families and other tribes may have intermediately occupied the throne, without entirely subverting the right of the Yue-tchi conquerors of the valley.
The statement of Al Bírúní, respecting the occupation of Kábul by the Turks, is in strict conformity with Biládurí and Tabarí, and with the brief notices which the other early Arabic historians and geographers have given us respecting that city. They couple it, however, with the curious announcement of an occupation divided between the dominant Turks and subject Hindús. Mr. E. Thomas has considered this subject at considerable length in another excellent paper by him, on the Coins of the Ghaznivides.*
The first in order is Mas'údí, who visited tbe valley of the Indus in 303 A.H.= 915 A.D. He says nothing of the political and religious revolution which we have been considering, by which Brahmans had been substituted for Buddhist Turks. On the contrary, he designates the prince who reigned at Kábul by the same title as he held when the Arabs penetrated for the first time into those regions.
Istahkrí, who wrote within six years after Mas'údí travelled in India, says:—
“Kábul has a castle celebrated for its strength, accessible only by one road. In it there are Musulmáns, and it has a town, in which are infidels from Hind.”
Ibn Haukal began his travels in 331 A.H. = 942 A.D., and wrote an account of them thirty-five years later. He follows his predecessor implicitly in the main points, but respecting the occupants of the town, the Bodleian copy varies* from the Lucknow one, which bears the name of Ashkálu-l Bilád. In the former, “Hindú infidels” is converted into “Infidels and Jews.” The latter reads:—
The statement of Al Bírúní, in his Kánún-i Ma'súdí, written less than a century after this, is:—
Here there is no specification respecting the different occupancy of the castle and town, but nothing to impugn the correctness of what is asserted by Istakhrí and Ibn Haukal. There is no occasion to quote any of the later geographers, who add nothing to our information, and are careless as well as confused in their statements.
Before concluding this subject of the Turkish occupation of Kábul, the statement of Ibn Khallikán should be noticed, who states in his article on “Ya'kúb bin Lais,” that Kábul, in the times of that prince, was inhabited by a Turkish race who appertained to a tribe called Durárí. This name is new, and the assertion would authorise us to conclude that in his time the Turks were still predominant, though that fact would scarcely seem consistent with what we shall have to advance under Kamlúa. It is possible that the term Durárí may have connection with Darra, a hill pass, and that allusion may be to the country to the north of Kábul, just in the same way as in modern times the inhabitants of those same tracts are styled in Kábul “Kohistánís,” or hill-men.
It does not appear when the city was either first or finally subdued by the Muhammadans. It is evident, however, that the first inroads were not followed by permanent occupation, and that there was no entire subversion of the native dynasty till the Ghaznivide dynasty rose to power.
The first invasion we read of was in the time of 'Abdu-llah, governor of 'Irák, on the part of the Khalif 'Usmán. He was directed by the Khalif to send an emissary to explore the provinces of Hind; and notwithstanding a discouraging report, 'Abdu-lla ordered the country of Sijistán to be invaded by one of his cousins, 'Abdu-r Rahman, son of Samra. 'Abdu-r Rahmán advanced to the city of Zaranj, and besieged the Marzabán, or Persian governor, in his palace, on the festival of the 'Íd. The governor solicited peace, and submitted to pay a tribute of two millions of dirhams and two thousand slaves. After that, 'Abdu-r Rahmán subdued the country between Zaranj and Kish, which was then styled Indian territory, and the tract between Ar-Rukhaj (Arachosia) and the province of Dáwar—in which latter country he attacked the idolaters in the mountain of Zúr, who sued for peace; and though he had with him 8,000 men, the booty acquired dnring this incursion was so great, that each man received four thousand pieces of silver as his share. Their idol of Zúr was of gold, and its eyes were two rubies. The zealous Musulmáns cut off its hand and plucked out its eyes, and then remarked to the Marzabán how powerless was his idol “to do either good or evil.” In the same expedition, Bust was taken. After this, 'Abdu-r Rahmán advanced to Zábul, and afterwards, in the time of Mu'áwiya, to Kábul.* The year in which this inroad was made is not mentioned, but as 'Abd-ulla was removed from his government in 36 A.H., we may consider it to have taken place about the year 35.
In the year 44 A.H. Muhallab ibn Abú Sufra, whose army chiefly consisted of the tribe of Azd, which was very powerful in Khurásán, and contributed largely to the downfall of the Ummayides—advanced on the Indian frontier as far as Banna (Banú) and Alahwáz [or “Alahwár”=Lahore?] two places situated between Kábul and Multán. Firishta makes him penetrate as far as Multán, and opens his history by saying he was the first chieftain who spread the banners of the true faith on the plains of Hind. He says he plundered the country and brought back to the head-quarters of the army at Khurásán many prisoners who were compelled to become converts to the faith Muhallab had been detached from the main army which had invaded Kábul from Merv, under 'Abdu-r Rahmán bin Shimar, and had made converts of twelve thousand persons. Muhallab subsequently made himself conspicuous as governor of Alahwár, and exterminator of the Azrakian insurgents, and as a traitor to his master, 'Abdu-llah ibn Zubair, the Khalif of Mecca. He was the ancestor of those chiefs, who, under the name of Muhallabís, often occur in the history of the later members of the Ummaya family, until they were nearly exterminated at Kandábíl in 101 H.* Gildemeister doubts the truth of this expedition, as Sijistán had not yet been conquered; but he forgets that the Musulmáns did not penetrate to India through Sijistán, but through Kábul.
In Biládurí's account of this interesting expedition, there is a curious relation which must not be altogether omitted. He informs us that in the country of Kíkán, Muhallab encountered eighteen Turks, mounted on horses with their tails cut. As they were all killed fighting, Muhallab attributed the activity and valour of “the barbarians” to the fact of their horses' tails being cut. “Upon which he ordered his own horses' tails to be docked; and he was the first amongst the Musulmáns who adopted the practice.”*
About the same time, 'Abbád, the son of Ziyád, made an incursion on the frontier of India, by way of Sijistán. He went through Rúdbár to the Hindmand (Helmand), and after staying at Kish, he crossed the desert, and reached Kandahár. Although the country was conquered, many Musulmáns lost their lives in this expedition.*