The Súmra Dynasty.

The assignment of this dynasty to its veritable lineage and proper period among the rulers of Sind, is one of the most difficult problems with which we have to deal in the history of Muhammadan India; and the obscurities and inconsistencies of the native accounts have by no means been cleared by the European comments which have been made upon them.

Our first informant is Mír Ma'súm, whose account has been given at length in the Extracts from his history. He tells us (supra. p. 215,) that in the time of 'Abdu-r Rashíd, Sultán Mas'úd, 443 A.H., 1051 A.D., the men of the Súmra tribe revolted from the rule of Ghazní, and placed on the throne of Sind a man of the name of Súmra. He closes his unsatisfactory account by saying:—“If any of my friends know more on this subject, let them publish it; I have said all I can upon the matter.”

Abú-l Fazl gives us no information in the Ayín-i Akbarí (Vol. II. p. 120), beyond the announcement that there were thirty-six Súmra princes, who reigned 500 years.

Firishta seems afraid of venturing on this difficult and doubtful ground. He merely observes (Vol. IV. p. 411,) that, on the death of Muhammad Kásim, a tribe, tracing their origin from the Ansárís, established their government in Sind; after which, the Súmra Zamíndárs reigned for 500 years;* but he adds, “neither the names nor the history of these princes are at present extant, since I have failed in my endeavour to procure them. In the course of years (although we have no account of the precise period) the dynasty was subverted by that of the Sammas,* whose chief assumed the title of Jám. During the reigns of these dynasties, the Muhammadan kings of Ghazní, Ghor, and Dehlí invaded Sind, and seizing many of the towns, appointed Muhammadan governors over them.”

The Táríkh-i Táhirí (MS. p. 25,) says their dominion lasted for only 143 years, from 700 to 843 H., that they were Hindús, that Alor was within their dominions, and that their capital was Mu­hammad-Túr, in the Pargana of Dirak. Dúdá is made contem­porary of 'Aláu-d Dín, and the popular stories relating to Dalú Ráí and 'Umar Súmra are given at length.

The Beg-Lár-náma (MS. p. 8) merely observes that, after the Mu­hammadan conquest, men of the Tamím tribe governed Sind, and after some time, the Súmras succeeded them, occupying the seat of government for 505 years; their capital being Muhatampúr.

Muhammad Yúsuf says in his Muntakhabu-t Tawáríkh that when Sultán 'Abdu-r Rashíd, son of Sultán Mahmúd, inherited the king­dom of Ghazní, the people of Sind, finding him an indolent and weak-minded monarch, began to be refractory and contumacious, and in A.H. 445 (1053 A.D.), the men of the tribe of Súmra, having assem­bled around Tharrí, seated a man named Súmra on the cushion of government. He ruled independently for a length of time, and left as successor a son, Bhúngar, born to him by a daughter of a Zamín­dár named Sád. Bhúngar, after ruling 15 years, departed to the world of eternity in A.H. 461, and left a son named Dúdá, who after a rule of 24 years, died A.H. 485;* then Sanghar reigned for 15 years; Hafíf, 33 years; 'Umar, 40 years; Dúdá II. 14 years; Pahtú, 33 years; Genhra, 16 years; Muhammad Túr, 15 years; Genhra II. several years; Dúdá III. 14 years; Tái, 24 years; Chanesar, 18 years; Bhúngar II. 15 years; Hafíf II. 18 years; Dúdá IV. 25 years; 'Umar Súmra, 35 years; Bhúngar III. 10 years. Then the government fell to Hamír, who was deposed by the tribe of Samma, on account of his tyranny.*

The latest native authority is the Tuhfatu-l Kirám (MS. pp. 21, 26, 126), which, in one passage, says that the Súmra tribe sprang from the Arabs of Sámira, who arrived in Sind in the second century of the Hijra, accompanying the Tamím family, who became governors of Sind under the 'Abbásides; that the whole term of their sway may be reckoned at 550 years, as they were mere nominal tribu­taries during the last two centuries of the 'Abbáside government, and enjoyed full independence when the greater part of Sind was held by the officers of the Ghaznivide and Ghorí kings.

In another passage we are informed that they were invited to Sind by Chhota Amrání, who being grieved at the injustice of his brother, the famous Dalú Ráí, repaired to Baghdád, and obtained from the Khalif one hundred Arabs of Sámira, whom he brought to Sind, together with Saiyid 'Alí Musaví, who married Dalú Ráí's daughter, and left descendants, now inhabiting the town of Mut'alaví.

When Ghází Malik, in the year 720 H. (1320 A.D.), marched towards Dehlí with an army collected from Multán and Sind, overthrew Khusrú Khán, and assumed the title of Ghíásu-d dín Tughlik Sháh, the tribe of Súmra took advantage of his being occupied with the affairs of those distant parts, and collecting together from the neigh­bourhood of Tharrí, chose a person named Súmra as their ruler. He established perfect tranquillity throughout the country, and married a daughter of a Zamíndár, named Sád, who made pretensions to independence. His wife bore him a son named Bhúngar by whom he was succeeded. His son Dúdá succeeded him, and acquired possession of the country as far as Nasrpúr. He left an infant son, named Singhár. Tárí, daughter of Dúdá, assumed the reins of government till Singhár became of age. He, when installed in power, marched towards Kachh, and extended his territory as far as Náng-nai. As he died childless, his wife Hímú appointed her own brothers to the governorship of the cities of Túr and Tharrí. A short time after this, another Dúdá, a Súmra, governor of the Fort of Dhak, assembled his kinsmen from the neighbourhood, and destroyed Hímú's brothers. While this was going on, Pahtú, a son of Dúdá, raised an insurrection, and held authority for a short time; after which, a man named Khairá obtained the principality. Then Armil undertook the burden of governmeut, but as he proved to be a tyrant, the tribe of Samma rose against him, and slew him in A.H. 752 (1351 A.D.). So far the “confusion worse confounded” of the Tuhfatu-l Kirám.*

The attempts of European authors to explain these discrepancies are not successful.

Pottinger informs us that “Hakims were regularly sent from court (Ghazní) to this province, until the reign of Musaood, the son of Muhmood, when a great tribe, called Soomruh, appeared in arms and expelled all the partizans of the king; but their chief, whose name was Sunghar, immediately making an apology for this outrage, and offering to pay tribute to the amount of the revenues before collected, he was pardoned, and appointed governor, in the the stead of the person he had deposed. The tribute was paid with great regularity for one hundred and fifty years after this arrange­ment, when the Empire of Ghuznee was overturned by the Ghoorian dynasty; on which the Soomruhs, in whose tribe the government of Sinde had gradually been allowed to become hereditary, declared them­selves in a state of independence, and although they were repeatedly worsted in the wars that followed this declaration, yet they managed to preserve their liberty till the final extinction of the race, or at least the princes of it, in the person of Duhooda, who died without children, in the year of the Hijree, 694, about 335 years from the time his ancestors had first made themselves so conspicuous.

“On the demise of Duhooda, numerous candidates for the vacant government started up, and it was a continual struggle for nearly a century who should succeed to it. Among the last of them, two brothers, called Kheeramull and Urukmull successively held it for a time, but at length the tyranny of the latter became insupportable, and the head of the tribe of Sumuh went to his palace, accompanied by the ministers of the country, and put him to death. The populace with one accord elected this chief, who had relieved them from so dreadful a scourge, their king, and he was accordingly placed on their throne, with the title of Jam, or leader, which he was said to have adopted from his family being descended from the celebrated Jamshed, king of Persia.”*