This book primarily meant for students of history is a product of a joint venture by a group of historians who do not confine themselves to conformist views by critically and objectively analysing the events and developments.
The compilation of events during medieval India by historians and an editor of Collected Works of Sardar Patel begins with the political situation in India following Ashoka'sdeath in 232 BC and invasion of Sindh by Arabs in the 7th century AD. In fact Arabs were no strangers to India, having had close trade relations with India since the early times. The people of Indus Valley civilisation had commercial and cultural relations with the people of Sumer and trade with Egypt and Crete.
Prophet Muhammad lived from about AD 570-632 and before him the Arabs believed in many gods and worshipped their images. After the Prophet'sdeath, four Caliphs or Khalifas came to rule, making rapid conquests and by AD 713, they subjugated the whole of Spain. The Arab traders reached Persia and by AD 650, countries between the Oxus river in Central Asia and the Hindu Kush mountains became part of the mighty Muslim empire. But the Arabs, then the world conquerors, stopped at the gate of India, fighting lengthy battles to overcome Hindu resistance. Ultimately in AD 713, the Muslims occupied Sind and Multan due to the treachery of Hindu deserters from the army.
The Arabs were influenced by Hindu culture and civilisation. Ibn Ali Hatim says that ?the valley of Hind where Adam descended from Heaven, and the valley of Mecca which had the tradition of Abraham were the two best valleys of the world.?
The authors conclude by praising the patronage provided to skilled artisans and craftsmen who not only preserved their artistic tradition but also improved upon it by inculcating the new ideas of the rulers. Above all, ?the bhakti movement nourished by the Hindu and Muslim saints discovered the basis on which the masses could integrate,? say the authors.
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