We know very little about the aborigines of Sindh, but we may fairly infer that they were a race inferior to the Aryans. Omitting the aborigines, the history of Sindh before the advent of the English may be divided into three broad periods—the Aryan (Brahminical and Buddhist), the Semitic, and the Mongol. The invasion by Alexander, the inroads of the Scythians, the irruption of the King of Nimroz mentioned in the Chachnamah, the hurricane blasts of Nadir Shah and Ahmad Shah, the internecine feuds of rival princes in the Province itself, and their various ups and downs, may well be treated as so many interludes. The present volume deals with the Semitic and Mongol periods, while the first was concerned with the last days of the Aryan period.

The aborigines fell before the Eastern Aryans, the Eastern Aryans before the Arabs, the Arabs before the Mongols, and these last again before the Western Aryans represented by the English. At the present day, the world is mainly governed by the Western Aryans, and no reader of this modest volume can fail to see why they are in the ascendant, for it supplies materials for a safe historical generalisation.

That generalisation is that neither mere Efficiency (Lord Rosebery’s watchword) nor mere Righteousness is enough : there must be a combination of both in order to ensure a nation’s Solidarity, and the nation that is blessed with Solidarity is always superior to that not so blessed. The aborigines lacked Solidarity and so they fell. The Eastern Aryans had it for numerous centuries, but even­tually both their branches—the Hindu and the Persian— degenerated and lost their sovereignty. Any one who reads Muir’s History of the Khalifate cannot but admit that the Arabs, when they appeared on the world’s stage as conquerors, were superior to the peoples they conquered in Efficiency and Righteousness. It was due to their Solidarity, based upon these virtues, that while Muham­mad bin Kasim was winning Sindh for the Khalif, another general was winning Spain in Europe, and laying a firmer foundation for Arab domination in that country than the Sakifi chief ever succeeded in laying in our Province. Sir Henry Elliot has shown that the Arabs had no great hold upon Sindh after the first few years, but the Arab conquest is nevertheless of great importance in history, as it gave rise to a large population, different in faith from the Hindus, though not different in race and language.*

The Arab, however, failed to maintain the standard of Efficiency and Righteousness necessary for survival as a sovereign power, and the Mongol had, then, his turn. The world was out of joint, and Genghis, as Amiel says, in commenting upon ‘La Banniere Bleue,’ “proclaimed himself the scourge of God, and he did, in fact, realise the vastest empire known to history, stretching from the Blue Sea to the Baltic, and from the vast plains of Siberia to the banks of the sacred Ganges. The most solid empires of the ancient world were overthrown by the tramp of his horsemen and the shafts of his archers. From the tumult in which he threw the Western Conti­nent, there issued certain vast results : the fall of the Byzantine Empire, involving the Renaissance, the voyages of discovery in Asia, undertaken from both sides of the globe—that is to say, Gama and Columbus; the formation of the Turkish Empire; and the preparation of the Russian Empire. This tremendous hurricane, starting from the high Asiatic table-lands, felled the decaying oaks and worm-eaten buildings of the whole ancient world. The descent of the yellow, flat-nosed Mongols upon Europe is a historical cyclone which devastated and purified our thirteenth century, and broke, at the two ends of the known world, through two great Chinese Walls— that which protected the ancient Empire of the Centre, and that which made a barrier of ignorance and superstition round the little world of Christendom. Attila, Genghis, Tamerlane ought to range in the memory of men with Cæsar, Charlemagne, and Napoleon. They roused whole peoples into action, and stirred the depths of human life, they powerfully affected ethnography, they let loose rivers of blood, and renewed the face of things.” The Eastern and the Western Aryans as well as the Semitic race found themselves in the clutches of vast hordes of nomads, brave, simple and truthful, who have been called the scavengers of the corruptions of civilisation, but who gave India an Akbar, and to Sindh the Arghun and Tarkhan dynasties. When, in 1162, in a small tent on the banks of the distant Onon, Yesukai saw the clenched fist of the new-born Genghis holding a clot of coagulated blood like a red stone, it never occurred to him that his infant son would live to illustrate what has been rightly called “the law of tempests in history,” and would become the ancestor of heroes and emperors. It has been truly said : “No civi­lisation can bear more than a certain proportion of abuses, injustice, corruption, shame and crime. When this pro­portion has been reached the boiler bursts, the palace falls, the scaffolding breaks down; institutions, cities, states, empires sink into ruin. The evil contained in an organism is a virus which preys upon it, and if it is not eliminated ends by destroying it.” That is the lesson taught by the fall of the two great Aryan powers in the West—the Greek and the Roman; that is the lesson taught by the fall of the two great Aryan powers in the East— the Hindu and the Persian; and that is the lesson taught by the fall of the Arabs, and by the fall of the Mongols themselves. The wheel of Divine law has now given a fresh turn to the Aryan, and so long as he remains true to God, to himself and to his brothers, he may well expect a sovereignty mightier than that of the Arab or of the Mongol.

This volume helps us to realize the terrible law of retribution, which has, one after another, set aside king­doms once great and glorious, but which, after they were past their heyday, lacked Righteousness and Efficiency. It helps us to realize how the present is connected with the past, how many a king in this unfortunate land came in vanity and departed in darkness, how those who rebelled against the moral law were brought low, how “light is sown for the righteous and gladness for the upright in heart.” It is also useful as a commentary upon that pregnant Sindhi word raj, which contains the whole history of Sindh in a nutshell, a pure Sanskrit word which once meant a Hindu kingdom or the Hindu sub­jects of a Raja, but which, in Sindh, now means a Muhammadan village community. Muhammad Maasum, whose history, first literally translated by Capt. G. Malet, has been in this volume freely rendered, wrote it for the benefit of his son Mir Buzurg, “in order that by read­ing it he might learn what good men of old did; that he might discriminate between right and wrong, between that which is useful and the reverse; and might learn to follow the paths of virtuous men”; and the translator’s labour will not be fruitless if this volume enables even a single young man to accomplish the old Sayad’s object.


Dhulia, 14th March 1902.