Account of the Event at Nazín.

The Sultán, Yamin-Addoulah, in the year 400, having taken India and proceeded into the most distant limits of the land, into regions where Islám had never displayed her standards, and unto parts whereunto the wondrous verses of the Muhammadan profession had never extended, having purified that region from the darkness of denial, and having lighted the blazing torches of the Law in those tracts and towns, having founded mosques, and having exhibited the perusal of the noble book in the verses of the glorious Kurán, in the audible prayer-summons, and in the other signs of the belief; wished to take possession also of the re­mainder of the land of those vile ones, and to bring ruin upon those enemies of the faith and servants of idols, and to subdue, by the cutting proofs of the sword, the deniers of the unity and glory of God, to catch in the snare of Islám that owl of their confidence, who was hooting in the duskiness of novel errors. Therefore he summoned his vic­torious armies and heroic bands, and covered them with great honour and eloquent commendation, erecting, as the guide of his plans and the Kiblah of his devoted ones, that verse of the glorious Kurán, “He hath incited the believers; God is able to make them sufficient (to cope with) the powers of those who believe not, for God is mighty in force and mighty to subdue.” And, thus strengthened by the breastplate of purity and pardon, with the pearl of self-command, and the gem of confidence in the help of Heaven, he marched towards his business, with an army of the stars of this world and of the other, with a most lofty assembly. And when he arrived at those territories much snow had fallen, and the moun­tains and the plains were sprinkled and the roads closed; and a severe frost arose, and the highways were obliterated: so, by the force of necessity, he turned aside from those coasts and came to Ghazna, and displayed great zeal in perfecting his preparations and in exhorting the nobles of the empire, until the face of spring appeared, and the (defying) shout of frost was silenced by the dread of the sword of the sun, and the temperature became equable. Then he commanded that happy work to begin, and, like the green sea raging and roaring, put himself in motion and turned towards those accursed men. And, when he arrived near the enemy, he occupied himself in arranging his army. He posted Amír Nasr on the right, and committed the left to the care of Arslán-Jazib, and Abú-Abdullah-Táí in front, in the van, and the Lord Chamberlain Altontásh, with his private guards, in the centre. But the King of India, terrified at that army, sat down under the protec­tion of the mountain, fortifying himself, and took refuge in a pass between ten high mountains, and strengthened the approaches to those narrownesses by mountain-like elephants, and wrote to seek aid from the provinces of his country, and summoned the cavalry and infantry of his kingdoms, and embraced the expedient of delay, thinking that procrastination and tediousness would thus obstruct the army of Islám in attaining their end, until perhaps, by length of time and long continuance in their position, they might be alarmed and turn back from that attempt at battle, and from that invasion. When the Sultán, dreading their deep and secret perfidy and fraud, incited the men of Dilem and the Afgháns against them, stirring them up to occupy the declivities, and, like an attracting magnet of victory, to draw them to themselves. When, therefore, they descended from their narrow passes into the open plain, they picked them up like a bird picking up grains with a sharp beak. Several days passed in this manner, until the ropes of the deniers became collected, and a great army joined the infidels, so that from Hind and Sind, and all quarters, there was (an army) blowing-up fire, seeking tumult, making self-restraint to repose, bearing aid, and inclined to succour the head of destruction, the fountain of strife. They directed themselves against them, they raised the shout of battle, and joined in array, and drew around the army the obstruction of the giant ele­phants. Thus the fire of war was burning, and the combatants of the two armies raged like hornets in the heat, and seized one another by the collar, and pierced each other’s head and breast by the wounds of the sword; and heads were cast upon the battle-plain like balls, and wherever the elephants came into the engagement the Muslim army, with spears and arrows, cut through their throats and trunks. And these Kaffirs beheld the strength and experi­ence of Abdulláh-Táí, how active he was in battle and war, and in (shedding) blood and killing chiefs, and therefore they turned towards him with a compact band of warriors and with a number of heroes (literally, stirrers of the fire, pokers) and attacked him on all sides with severe wounds. And he withstood them like an excited male ele­phant, and to obtain victory for Islám exposed himself freely and offered his life a sacrifice to martyrdom. And when the Sultán saw him in the claws of that distress, he sent some stars from his special guards to help him, that they might rescue him from the claws of those accursed ones. And, as his body was all eyes, like a sieve, and his frame all rings, like a coat of mail, the Sultán ordered that they should place him upon an ele­phant, that the pain of his wounds might be healed, and receive refreshment and solace. And the flame of battle blazed in this manner, until Heaven quenched it with the water of victory, and at one blast of the good fortune of Mahmúd all their chiding abundance of men was cut up, and all their affairs scattered like dust, and throughout the extent of plain and mountain, and the land of hill and valley, the sword of Islám destroyed them. And they made prizes of their property and ele­phants, and nobles and people, on account of the advantage of that wealth, and the enjoyment of that plunder, became placed on an equality, and arrived at a high degree of satisfaction and competency. Thus this territory became exalted amongst the extent of Islám, and this victory was perpetuated in the register of the expeditions, and in the chroni­cles of the conquests of the Sultán Yamín-Addou­lah, and this fair deed, and eminent glory became the buttress of his fame, and the band of his prosperity.

And they brought out of the idol temple an engraved stone, upon which they had fastened a writing to the effect that it was forty thousand years since that building was constructed. And the Sultán expressed surprize at this extreme error and folly, for all the learned in rules, and skilled in guidance have agreed that the extent of the world’s age is not more than seven thousand years, and in these times there is every indication of the (ap­proaching) judgment, and evidences of the decay of the world. Histories are alleged for this, and the Kurán’s witnessing confirmation is to the dis­cerning intellect an essential fact, and to the far­seeing is a guide (to the truth). In these matters we must be content with the eyes of the learned and the explication of the wise, who all deny the assertion, and agree that the testimony of this stone is all a falsehood and untruth, and a mere invention of these bewildered liars.

And the army of Islám came to Ghazna with that boundless wealth, and those numberless sums of money, so that the forces of the foot soldiers of Islám were retarded in proceeding through India, and slaves fell in value to that extent, that the poor and humble became lords, and possessors of many slaves and goods beyond computation. “This super-effluence (of prosperity) God causes to come upon whomsoever He will, for He is bounti­fully wise.”— Kuran.