Muslim conquests of Afghanistan

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The Muslim conquests of Afghanistan began during the Muslim conquest of Persia as the Arab Muslims were drawn eastwards to Khorasan, Sistan and Transoxiana. Fifteen years after the Battle of Nahāvand, they controlled all Sasanian domains except parts of Afghanistan and Makran. Fuller Islamization wasn't achieved until the period between 10th-12th century under Ghaznavid and Ghurid dynasty's rule who patronized Muslim religious institutions.

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  • “He first took Bamian, which he probably reached by way of Herat, and then marched on Balkh where he ruined (the temple) Naushad. On his way back from Balkh he attacked Kabul…“Starting from Panjhir, the place he is known to have visited, he must have passed through the capital city of the Hindu Sahis to rob the sacred temple - the reputed place of coronation of the Sahi rulers-of its sculptural wealth…“The exact details of the spoil collected from the Kabul valley are lacking. The Tarikh [-i-Sistan] records 50 idols of gold and silver and Mas’udi mentions elephants. The wonder excited in Baghdad by elephants and pagan idols forwarded to the Caliph by Ya’qûb also speaks for their high value....“ The best of our authorities put the date of this event in 257 (870-71). Tabari is more precise and says that the idols sent by Ya’qub reached Baghdad in Rabi’ al-Akhar, 257 (Feb.-March, 871). Thus the date of the actual invasion may be placed at the end of AD 870.”
    • About Ya’qub bin Laith (AD 870-871) at Balkh and Kabul (Afghanistan) . Abdur Rahman, The Last Two Dynasties of the Shahis, Delhi Reprint, 1988,
  • “The Amir marched out towards Lamghan, which is a city celebrated for its great strength and abounding wealth. He conquered it and set fire to the places in its vicinity which were inhabited by infidels, and demolishing idol temples, he established Islam in them. He marched and captured other cities and killed the polluted wretches, destroying the idolaters and gratifying the Musalmans.”
    • About Amir Subuktigin of Ghazni (AD 977-997) at Lamghan (Afghanistan). Elliot and Dowson, History of India as told by its own Historians, Vol. II, p. 22.
  • “It is related that Amru Lais conferred the governorship of Zabulistan on Fardaghan and sent him there at the head of four thousand horse. There was a large Hindu place of worship in that country, which was called Sakawand, and people used to come on pilgrimage from the most remote parts of Hindustan to the idols of that place. When Fardaghan arrived in Zabulistan he led his army against it, took the temple, broke the idols in pieces and overthrew the idolaters…”
    • About ‘Amru bin Laith (AD 879-900) at Sakawand (Afghanistan). Elliot and Dowson, History of India as told by its own Historians Vol. II, p. 172.
  • But the Arabs, inspired as they were by an imperialist ideology, did not give up. .... The war against Kabul was renewed in AD 695 when Hajjaj became the governor of Iraq. He sent an army under Ubaidullah, the new governor of Seistan. Ubaidullah was defeated .... Once again, the treaty was denounced by the Caliph, and another general, Shuraih, tried to advance upon Kabul. He was killed by the Hindus, and his army suffered huge losses as it retreated through the desert of Bust. Poor Ubaidullah died of grief. That was the third round won by the Hindu kingdom of Kabul.... The Arabs had failed once again to conquer finally another small Hindu principality, in spite of their being the mightiest power on earth. The struggle had lasted for more than two hundred years. ... The kingdom of Kabul suffered a temporary eclipse in AD 870 but not on account of the Arabs, nor as a result of a clash of arms. The Turkish adventurer, Yaqub bin Layth, “who started his career as a robber in Seistan and later on founded the Saffarid dynasty of Persia”, sent a message to the king of Kabul that he wanted to come and pay his homage. The king was deceived into welcoming Yaqub and a band of the latter’s armed followers in the court at Kabul. Yaqub “bowed his head as if to do homage but he raised the lance and thrust it into the back of Rusal so that he died on the spot”. A Turkish army then invaded the Hindu kingdoms of both Kabul and Zabul. The king of Zabul was killed in the battle, and the population was converted to Islam by force. ... But the succeeding Hindu king of Kabul who had meanwhile transferred his capital to Udbhandapur on the Indus, recovered Kabul after the Saffarid dynasty declined. Masudi who visited the Indus Valley in AD 915 “designates the prince who ruled at Kabul by the same title as he held when the Arabs penetrated for the first time into this region”.
    • S.R. Goel, (1994) Heroic Hindu resistance to Muslim invaders, 636 AD to 1206 AD. ISBN 9788185990187, also quoting Ram Gopal Misra, Indian Resistance to Early Muslim Invaders Upto 1206 A.D. (1983).

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