Account of the Conquest of Mahrah and Kanúj.

The Sultán, having concluded this transaction respecting Khwarism, and having annexed that land to his other kingdoms, desired to give the rest of the year to repose, and thought that he would undertake a third (sacred) conquest, when the face of the spring was smiling. This thought he perfected, and commanded a movement towards Bost, until the time when the sun should direct his course towards the quarter of the North and arrive at the equinox, when the world would be decorated and adorned, and when he should find the tracts of the earth in full splendour. And, arriving at Bost, he employed himself in examining the accounts of the collectors, and in renewing the duties and affairs of the subjects, until Heaven granted him a union between stability and glory, and prospered his power over the kingdom. Then he betook himself to conquest from that place with good mind and regulated thought, and Heaven, according to the accustomed decree commanded respecting confirmation of the Muhammadan reli­gion and aid to its law, fulfilled in his behalf the promise, and joined to verification the wonder of that glorious word which is quoted on this subject, although the distance was extended and the way long. For the conquests of the Hindú territory, so as to become the territory of Islám, were over­flowing. All had been adorned with the insignia of that profession, and the veil of infidelity remained nowhere except in the interior of Kashmir. And whereas in those regions there was a long desert, in the atmosphere of which a bird could not fly, and in whose expanse the falcon would be lost; yet, in those days, nearly twenty thousand men had come from the plains of Mawarannahr, through zeal for Islám, and they sat down waiting the time for the Sultán’s movements, striking their numerous swords, and uttering the shout of the holy war, “God is great!” They deliberately placed their lives in the palm of their hands, and as to their bodies they held them by his enhancing bounty, in the market of the verse, “God hath bought from the believers their lives and their property”— (Kúrán). Their craving zeal and stirring ideas inflamed and excited the purpose of the Sultán, and he desired to proceed with those troops to Kanúj. This was a country quite unknown to any foreign kingdom, except to Kashásab, who was Chief of the Kings and Head of Emperors. From Ghazna hereunto was six months’ journey, but the Sultán, on account of the excellence of his design, determined upon the measure, and severed himself far from delicious sleep and security, that with this numerous army, who, full of a passion for happiness and a craving for martyrdom, would put fear into their cheeks and pluck out the hair of their mouths (beards) he went down. And, from the rivers Jihún, and Jilam, and Chaud (Chenáb?) he went the straight way to Tibet, and passed Iskandar, walled around by the protection of God, who watched over him in the deepest of obnoxious (perils). And, wherever he came envoys came to meet him, girding up the loins of obedience, offering the belt of submis­sion and allegiance. And, when they arrived near Kashmir, Habalí-’bn-Shásní, General of the Army and Lord of Kashmir, joined his service. But he was given to understand that there was no remedy for the effects of the Sultán’s superabounding power and awful sword except Islám and its pro­fession. He therefore bound up the waist of service, and took up his position with the robbers (or advanced skirmishers (?) Kúlawazí) of the army, and went before the troops. It passed valley after valley, and every night before the crowing of the cock the sound of fife and drum arose. The earth trembled from the motion of the Sepoys, until they passed the last day of halting on the march; for, on the 20th of Rajib, in the year 409, they left (-----?) behind, and took possession at their will of the fortresses of refuge and the munitions of that land, until they arrived at the castle of Barma, in the country of Harún. The King of this place (Harún?) was the greatest of all the sovereigns of India. But when he became aware of the multitude of the champions of Islám, and saw the army sea which was striking out its billows, he came down with nearly ten thousand men, and represented his willingness to display the insignia of the symbol of the profession of Islám. He became blessed with the happiness of true guidance. From hence they went to the fortress of Kaljand, the chieftain of which was of the number of those Pharaoh devils and accursed princes. He passed his life in infidelity, and, on account of the fear of his kingdom and of the extent of his authority, lived in safety from the attacks of heroes and the conflict of trenchant swords. No one had an opportunity of obtaining the mastery over him, and the chief lords and eminent men of kingdoms turned the face of weakness away from him and from his powerful state, his immense riches, his strength in cavalry, his grand armies, from the inaccessibility of his dwellings, and from those commanding munitions which for long records of days and events of time had been guarded and preserved. And when he saw that the Sultán would direct against him the cry of the holy war, he arrayed his warlike prepa­rations, his army, his horses, and his elephants, and awaited his approach in a wood, into whose intricacies a ray of the sun could not penetrate, and from whose leaves and branches a needle would not reach the ground. The Sultán then com­manded his advanced guard to force themselves into the midst of the forest. They found a road (which led) from the upper castle, and when the green sea struck out, “Allah Akhar,” they stood against the head of the Kafirs, and twisted them round their scimitars, and cast the troops upon the ground. They stood firm for a time, and made charges from their own position, when the rain of swords reached them, and the heavenly decree preserved the people of Islám from the edge of their scimitars and the point of their spears (Verse)

“The swords of Hind were blunted by their strokes,
“And when they cut our necklaces saved our lives.”

At length it became known that all events are in the grasp of destiny, and that the well-formed scimitar, although its force may be extreme and its edge sharp, is but a subject of the command and vassal of the decree of fate, if it penetrate to the Muslim’s blood; and herein destiny exhibited its usual blessedness, but if it had been weak it would have been the cause of some wonder-working providence, and for the display of some miracle. These despicable ones were astonished; and, when they saw the indica­tions of the power of these champions of religion, and were witnesses of their arms and appurte­nances, they said one to another, “This body of men is not of the race of mankind or of the human family! Our swords which in breaking could pass through a rock, and make a mere tale of brilliant lightning, are cut off from cutting them, and glance away from their shoulders.” Perhaps these wretches had placed themselves in the straight road to destruction, and recognized not the truth that such (fatuity) is the sign of rebels and deniers, and the marked path of their wickedness and undutifulness. They threw themselves then simultaneously into the river, in order that the abundant waters and powerful current might be the means of their preservation and safety; and they knew not that, although water is the germ of life and the principle of vivification, Heaven’s decree can render it the cause of destruction and ruin. This, however, the warrior comrades and eminent army of guides (to truth) made them know, by cutting off the fountain of infidelity and intercepting the rivulet of idolatry, so that some came to the sword and some were drowned in the water. Five thousand perished and went to hell, and Kaljam drew his dagger, killed his wife, and then, ripping himself up, became a partner of his forces on their road to hell. Of their wealth 185 head of elephants, with other kinds of profit and plunder, came to the Sultán.