THIS work is in the Leyden University Library, and has been described by Hamaker, at pp. 7 and 239 of his “Speci­men Catalogi, Codd MSS. Orientalium,” An abstract of it is given in an appendix contained in the third volume of Dr. Gustave Weil's Geschichte der Chalifen, and the entire chapter on the conquest of Sind, has been edited by M. Reinaud in the Journal Asiatique for February 1845, reprinted with additional notes in his valuable “Fragments Arabes et Persans inedits relatifs a l' Inde. [There is also a copy in the British Museum. The complete text has lately been admirably printed at Leyden, under the editorship of M. de Goeje.]

The author is Ahmad bin Yahya, bin Jábir, surnamed also Abú Ja'far and Abú-l Hasan, but more usually known as Biládurí, who lived towards the middle of the ninth century of our era, at the court of the Khalif Al Mutawakkal, where he was engaged as instructor to one of the princes of his family. He died A.H. 279, A.D. 892-3 This is according to Reinaud's statement— Pascual de Gayangos while he gives the same year of his death, on the authority of Abú-l Mahásin, says he lived at Baghdád in the Khalifat of Al-Mu'tamad. He left a large as well as a small edition of the Futúhu-l Buldán.

This work contains as its name implies, an account of the first conquests of the Arabs in Syria, Mesopotamia, Egypt, Persia, Armenia, Transoxiana, Africa, Spain and Sind. It is one of the earliest Arabic chronicles; for Tabarí, though he wrote at Bagh-dád, and did not compose his work till afterwards, was evidently not acquainted with this author, since he omits much that Bilá-durí has mentioned. It brings down the history of events to the close of the reign of Mu'tasim, A.H. 227, A.D. 842. Wákidí, who is quoted by Biládurí, also wrote a book of “Conquests,” and amongst them a “Conquest of Sind,” which Dr. Sprenger mentions that he has seen quoted by Nuwairí at folio 103 of the large copy of Leyden. Copies of his other Futúh are very common; and much passes under his name which was never written by him, as in the instance of the work translated by Ockley; but his Futúhu-s Sind is rare. Nuwairí mentions also another author of Indian history, folio 795,—Al Husain bin Yazíd us Siráfí. We find also other authors on Sindian in­vasions quoted as existing at the early period of the Arabian conquests.

Biládurí does not himself appear to have visited Sind, but quotes the authors on whom he relied for information. Thus we have mention of Abú-l Hassan 'Ali bin Muhammad Al Madaíní, with whom he had verbal communication. This author, who died A.H. 840 (1436 A.D.), at the advanced age of ninety-three, composed, amongst other works, Al Mughází wau-s Siyár, “Wars and Marches,” which contained a detailed account of the expeditions of the Musulmáns in Khurásán and on the Indus. Mansúr bin Hátim is also mentioned as an author on Sindian History, with whom, as well as with Al Madáiní, Biládurí had held personal intercourse. Another author quoted by Biládurí is Ibnu-l Kalbí.

Besides the Futúhu-l buldán, our author wrote another work on cosmography, with a description of the inhabited earth entitled Kitábu-l buldán, the “Book of Countries,” which is in the Library of the British Museum. (Bibl. Rich. No. 7496). He also wrote a work on the genealogy of the Arabian tribes, the title of which is not known, and he translated several works from the Persian. He also has the credit of being a good poet. He is cited frequently by Ibn Haukal, Al-Mas'údí, and other ancient geographers, but his history is rarely quoted. Kudáma, who wrote at Baghdád, towards the end of the ninth century, gives an extract from it, and Ibn Asír also quotes it under the years 89 and 95 H.

He was called Biládurí or Bilázurí, from his addiction to the use of an intoxicating electuary made from the Balázar, or Malacca bean, which, from its resemblance in shape and colour to a heart, is called anacardium.* [The name is written option­ally with either <arabic>. Goeje transcribes the name as “Belád-sorí.” The author, however, is better known as Biládurí or Beladori, and that form has therefore been retained. The Leyden MS., like other old MSS., prefers the <arabic> to the <arabic>, even when the latter is manifestly correct—thus it gives Brah­manábáz for Brahmanábád, and Rúzbár for Rúdbár.*]


Conquests of Sind.

'Alí, son of Muhammad, son of 'Abdu-llah, son of Abú Saif, has related that the Khalif 'Umar, son of Al Khattáb appointed 'Usman, son of Abú-l 'Así of the tribe of Sakíf to Bahrain and 'Umán in the year 15 H. (636 A.D.) 'Usmán sent his brother Hakam to Bahrain, and he himself went to 'Umán, and despatched an army to Tána. When the army returned he wrote to the Khalif 'Umar to inform him of it. 'Umar wrote in reply—“O brother of Sakíf, thou has placed the worm in the wood, but I swear by God, that if our men had been killed I would have taken (slain) an equal number from your tribe.” Hakam despatched a force to Barauz [Broach]; he also sent to the bay of Debal his brother Mughíra, who met and defeated the enemy.

When 'Usmán, son of 'Akkán became Khalif, he appointed 'Abdu -llah son of 'Ámar, son of Kuraiz, to (the government of) 'Irák, and wrote to him an order to send a person to the confines of Hind in order to acquire knowledge and bring back information. He ac­cordingly deputed Hakím, son of Jaballa al 'Abdí. When this man returned he was sent on to the Khalif, who questioned him about the state of those regions. He replied that he knew them because he had examined them. The Khalif then told him to describe them. He said “Water is scarce, the fruits are poor, and the robbers are bold; if few troops are sent there they will be slain, if many, they will starve.” 'Usmán asked him whether he spoke accurately or hyperbolically [Lit. in rhyme]. He said that he spoke according to his knowlege, The Khalif abstained from sending any expedition there.

At the end of the year 38, or the beginning of the year 39 H. (659 A.D.) in the Khalifat of 'Alí son of Abú Sálib, Haras the son of Marra-l 'Abdí went with the sanction of the Khalif to the same frontier, as a volunteer. He was victorious, got plunder, made captives, and distributed in one day a thousand heads. He and those who were with him, saving a few, were slain in the land of Kíkán* in the year 42 H. (662 A.D.) Kíkán is in Sind near the frontiers of Khurásán.

In the year 44 H. (664 A.D.), and in the days of the Khalif Mu'áwiya, Muhallab son of Abú Safra made war upon the same frontier, and advanced as far as Banna and Alahwár,* which lie between Multán and Kábul. The enemy opposed him and killed him and his followers. In the land of Kíkán, Muhallab encoun­tered eighteen Turkí horsemen, riding crop-tailed horses. They fought well but were all slain. Muhallab said, “How much more active than we those barbarians were.” So he docked the tails of his horses, and was the first among the Musulmáns who did so.

In the reign of Mu'áwiya, son of Abú Sufain, the Amír 'Abdu-llah, son of 'Ámir, or according to some, Mu'áwiya himself sent 'Abdu-llah, son of Suar al 'Abdi, to the frontier of Hind. He fought in Kíkán and captured booty. Then he came to Mu'áwiya and presented to him some Kíkán horses. He staid near the Khalif some time and then returned to Kíkán, when the Turks called their forces together and slew him.

* * * * * * *

In the reign of the same Mu'áwiya, the Chief Ziyád, son of Abú Sufian, appointed Sinán, son of Salama, son of al Muhabbik the Huzailí (to the command). He was a good and godly man, and was the first who made his troops take an oath of divorce. He proceeded to the frontier and having subdued Makrán and its cities by force, he staid there and established his power in the country. According to Ibn al Kalbí, it was Hakím bin Jabala al 'Abdí who conquered Makrán.

Ziyád then appointed Ráshid son of 'Umrú-l Judaidí of the tribe of Azd, to the frontier. He proceeded to Makrán and was victorious in warring against Kíkán, but he was slain fighting against the Meds. Sinán, son of Salama, then succeeded to the command and was confirmed therein by Ziyád. He remained there two years.

'Abbád, son of Ziyád, then made war on the frontier of Hind by way of Sijistán, He went to Sanárúz, from whence he proceeded by way of Kház to Ruzbár* in Sijistán on the banks of the Hind-mand. Then he descended to Kish, and crossing the desert came to Kandahár.* He fought the inhabitants, routed them, put them to flight and subdued the country; but many Musulmáns perished. 'Abbád observed the high caps of the people of that country, and had some made like them, which he called 'Abbádíya.

Ziyád next appointed Al Manzar, son of Al Jarúd al 'Abdí, to the frontiers of India. He was known by the name of Abú-l Ash'as. He attacked and conquered Núkán* and Kíkán. The Musulmáns obtained great plunder, and their forces spread over all the country. He captured Kusdár and took prisoners there. Sinán had previously taken it, but its inhabitants had been guilty of defection. He died there (in Kuzdár).