Answer to “Myth of Ghazwatulhind” – Correcting Misconceptions
Answer to “Myth of Ghazwatulhind”
By: Salman Ali
Original Article “Myth of GhazwatulHind”
By: Ale Natiq
Original Article URL: The myth of Ghazwa-tul-Hind
Purposes of this article is to analyze various aspects of Ghazwatulhind and learn through healthy discussion. Howerver I will try to give references and counter-arguments wherever necessary.
Religion has quite frequently been used as an excuse for military motives. Talking specifically about Islam, hadees has been used as a tool to invent excuses for political motivations and military interventions/attacks as and when required .
It is a fact and unfortunate one that Islam along with other religions of the world has a history of being misused and this is one of the unfortunate realities we are living with today.
There has been enormous hue and cry over Ghazwa-tul-Hind for years. This was probably first used by self-styled Jihadi activists in Pakistan for getting public support in Pakistan and raising funds to be used in their attacks in Kashmir with the aim of conquering India and creating what they call dar-ul-Islam. It is very interesting to note that neither Arabs nor the Mujahideen of Afghanistan made use of these ahadees to wage a war against India. Pakistan Army, ISI and the local Jihadis have a monopoly over Ghazwa-tul-Hind for now, although they don’t talk specifically about Green Pakistani Jihadis waging the war.
If Ghazwatulhind and its Ahadees are discovered/produced recently, it will be very easy to nullify their credibility. If a Hadees was authentic, that must have been known to the Muslims before ISI and Jihadis started using it. Is there any historical reference of Ahadees of Ghazwatulhind in the past? Lets explore.
Hafiz Ibn Kathir [Author of Tafseer Ibn Kathir] in his book “Al Bidaya Wan Nihaya” [From the Beginning to End]’s last Volume “Al Nihaya Wal Bidaya” had discussed this Hadith of Ghazwa-e-Hind and in total had given names of multiple Islami military campaigns on Hind. The commentary by Ibn-e-Kathir [Mohaddis] on that “Ghazwa-e-Hind” Hadith is worth reading and he interpreted that Hadith [with Historical References and Health of the Narrators’ Chain] and clearly written that all those Islamic armies who launched expedition on Hind were Jihad and he included Mohammad Bin Qasim and Mahmood Bin Subugtagin [Mehmood Ghaznavi] and many other Turk Kings. He included China and Central Asia while interpreting these Hadiths. [Reference: Authenticity of Hadiths anc Narrators get Al Taqreeb by Ibn Hajar Asqalani.
Learning aspect: Hafiz Ibn Kathir was born in 1302 AD, some 709 years ago and is author of one of the most respected Tafseer-e-Quraan existing to-date. [Reference of Hafiz Ibn Kathir’s age.] [Reference of Tafseer-Ibn-Kathir]. Hafiz Ibn Kathir has mentioned several expeditions against India that were done because of Ahadith of GhazwatuHind. So Ahadith of Ghazwatulhind were known to Muslims tens of centuries before Pakistan or ISI existed.
Islamists and right-wing-military-apologists have fallen to the propaganda of Pakistan Army and ISI when they propagate waging a war against the neighboring country India, finding excuses for ding so through hadees. Zaid Hamid, the mouth-piece of ISI and Pakistan Army has been making use of Ghazwa-tul-Hind (6 hadees in total), promoting hatred against Hindus and war hysteria. These hadees are available here.
This paragraph is more of a political opinion and targets a personality. Whether these allegations are true or not, they do not deal with the credibility of Ahadith so let’s stay focused to the topic.
Are they authentic ?
The writer of the original article has given a very good set of questions that challenge the authenticity of these Ahadith. And if answer of these questions goes against the Ahadith, we can safely declare Ahadith of Ghazwatulhind as false or fabricated. So let’s explore them one by one.
Just a brief look at these will make it clear that none of these five ahadees are found in Sihah-e-Sitta. Two of these appear to be in the collections of ahadees by Imam Nisai but not in Sunan an-Nisai al Sughra, the book considered to be among the Sihah-e-Sitta, the six books considered most reliable by main-stream Muslims.
Factually wrong: Imam Nisai has narrated this Hadees in both of his books; ‘As Sunan al Sughra (also known as Al Mujtaba) as well as in ‘As Sunan Al Kubra. This is exactly the same book in which writer suggests it does not exist but the fact is that it is there in the same book. Would you like to see that?
Learning Aspect: Please browse Sunan-Nasai available online or in any public/Islamic library. Sunan-Nasai is available at Scribed.com, Ekabakti.com (you can also download that from the links given at the end of this article) and there will be 1000s of online reading resources which you can try. I encourage you to visit any nearest library and find Ahadith of Ghazwatulhind yourself. Ahadith of Ghazwatulhind exist at:
- Sunan-Nasai (Al Sughra/ Al Mujtaba) Vol. 3/6
- Chapter No. 26 – KitabulJihad
- Sub Chapter No. 41 – Ghazwatulhind
- Hadith No. 3173 (By Hazrat Abu Hurraira)
- Hadith No. 3174 (By Hazrat Abu Hurraira)
- Hadith No. 3175 (By Hazrat Soban)
- Sub Chapter No. 41 – Ghazwatulhind
- Chapter No. 26 – KitabulJihad
Note: There are two Hadith narrated by Abu Hurraira and one by Hazrat Soban. Somtimes two Ahadith of Abu Hurraira are considered as one Hadith and therefore three Ahadith of Sunan-Nasai are sometimes described as two Ahadith.
The others are not even found in the reliable collections of respected muhadiseen.
Factually Wrong: Immam Nasai is one of the most credible and respectable Mohadis. To establish his credibility further, Imam Ahmed bin Hanbal, (Sheikh Ul Islam) narrated this Hadees in ‘Masnad’. And Immam Ibn-e-Kaseer (the author of Tafseer ibn-e-Khatir) mentions this Hadees with his reference in his book ‘Al-Badaya Wa Nahaya’.
Also it is important to note that in the list of books called Sahi Sita (6 credible books of Hadith), Sunan-Nasai is accepted third most credible book after Sahi Bukhari and Sahi Muslim.
Note that Imam Nisai died in 915. The years of death of other respected muhadiseen to whom Sihah-e-Sitta are attributed to: Imam Bukhari in 870, Imam Muslim in 875, Abu Daud in 888, al-Tirmizi in 892,Imam Malik in 796, Ibn Maja in 886. All of them died before Imam Nisai. It does not make much sense that we have these ahadees being narrated through Imam Nisai but not through any of the other respected muhadiseen who lived before him.
Learning Aspect: There are thousands of Ahadith which are narrated by Immam Nasai and not all of them exist in Sahi Bukhari or Sahi Mulims or other books of Ahadith. Also Sahi Bukhari has narrated hundreds of Ahadith which are not listed on other books. To judge the credibility of a Hadith, this is not a criteria to see if it exists in other books too but there are parameters and defined procedures to evaluate whether given Hadith is credible or not-credible. [Learn what makes a Hadith Sahi, Hasan or Zaeef]
They are narrated through a single chain. Reported only once through one companion of the Prophet.
Factually Wrong: Hadith has been quoted by multiple narrators with independent chain of references.
Learning Aspect: Ahadith mentioned in Sunan-Nasai Al Sughra quotes it with reference to “Hazrat Soban” and “Hazrat Abu Hurraira” independently. There are 3 unique and credible chain of narration for the 3 Ahadith mentioned in Sunan-Nasai.
It is also important to learn that there exist more than 14 “Ravis” who have quoted the same Hadith with “slight changes” but because of weaker chain of narrations, those Hadith are not given their due significance. Regarding Ahadith of Sunan-Nasai, there are more than 16 witnesses of one Hadith alone. So there aremultiple, independent and credible narrators who quote these Adhadith in various times all being independent of each other in various books.
Considering the reward for participating in this war and the importance of it, as these Ahadees tell, they should have been narrated by more companions of the Prophet and should have been there in more books of Ahadees.
First: Hadith of Ghazwatulhind are not “the” most important Hadith as it is about future events instead of belief or practices which constitute Fiqa (the Islamic Law).
Second: there are already multiple witnesses to the Hadith and Multiple and Independent Muhadiseen have narrated it.
Third: there are extremely important Ahadith which were narrated by Hazrat Ayesha Sadiqa and Hazrat Ans bin Malik alone as they were among few companions of Prophet Mohammad PBUH who stayed close to him at times when others were not. This has never been a pattern of the life of Prophet Mohammad PBUH that the most important Hadith would be told before many Sahaba (R) and least important ones would be told before one, two or few companions.
It is very important to note that none of these are found in any of the collections of ahadees which the Shia Muslims consider authentic. This raises the question if they were invented by the Ummayads/Abbasids considering their expansionist designs? This is also to be noted that Ummayads did reach Sindh, a part of Hind back then.
Learning Aspect: Shia Muslims do not rely on source of Ahadith outside Silsila of Ahle-e-Bait. That’s why Ahadith of Ghazwatulhind is not the only Hadith but there thousands of Ahadith in Sunni Muslim’s books but not in Shia Mulims’s books. For more learning: Wikipedia: Shia Muslims books of Ahadith.
One must also note the fact that we don’t have any history report telling us about the use of these ahadees in the past by Muslim rulers or conquerors, even those who did invade India or waged a war on it. If they were respected and authentic ahadees, we should have such history reports.
Factually Wrong: Muslims in the past made several military expeditions in the light of these Ahadith. The commentary by Ibn-e-Kathir (written around 1370 AD, some 700 years ago) on that “Ghazwa-e-Hind” Hadith is worth reading and he interpreted that Hadith and clearly written that all those Muslim rules who launched expedition on Hind were Jihad. He included Mohammad Bin Qasim and Mahmood Bin Subugtagin [Mehmood Ghaznavi] and many other Turk Kings as well.
After understanding various aspects about Ahadith of Ghazwatulhind, we can establish
- Ahadith of Ghazwatulhind hasn’t been discovered recently and Muslims know them since the time of Holy Prophet PBUH.
- Ahadith of Ghazwatulhind are Authentic and found in Sunan-Nasai Al Sughra, one of the 6 credible books of Ahadith.
- These Ahadith have multiple narrators and Independent Silsila of Naration.
- Muslims in the past knew about these Ahadith, referenced them and used them in their books.
- There has been multiple expeditions against Hind by Muslims in the past on the basis of Ahadith of Ghazwatulhind.
In the “What if they are authentic ?” section, the writer has provided testaments of Ulema who believe Ahadees to be true. The only difference of opinion they have is that in their opinion, the Ahadith have came true already. If these Hadith were non-credible, the Ulema must have rejected them the first place, but rather they gave their opinion about the fulfillment and believed these Ahadith have already came true.
The Ulema who has given this verdict include:
- Maulana Abdul Hamid Numani, a leading figure of the Jamiat ul-Ulema-i Hind.
- Mufti Sajid Qasmi, who teaches at the Dar ul-Uloom Deoband.
Are these Ahadith fulfilled already?
Now let’s look at all the Ahadith of GhazwatulHind once again and try to understand if they have been fulfilled already.
In addition to 2 Ahadith of Sunan-Nasai, there exist 3 more Ahadith and one of them says
“A King of Jerusalem (Bait-ul-Muqaddas) would make a troop move forward towards Hindustan. The Warriors destroy the land of Hind; would possess its treasures, then King would use those treasures for the décor of Jerusalem. That troop would bring the Indian kings in front of King(of Jerusalem). His Warriors by King’s order would conquer all the area between East & West. And would stay in Hindustan till the issue of Dajjal”.
Reference: Naeem bin Hammad(R) Ustaaz Imam Bukhari(R) narrate this Hadees in his book ‘Al-Fitan’. In it, the name of the quoter is not mentioned who related it to Hazrat Kaab(R.A.). But some Arabic words are being used, so this would be considered intersected. Those wordings are: (Almuhkamubnu Naafi-in Amman Haddasahu An Kaabin).
In the last line, the Hadith says “And would stay in Hindustan till the issue of Dajjal”. The Dajjal didn’t arrive after the expeditions on Hind in the past. That means the battle which is being referred to hasn’t happened yet.
Question: Does it mean Muslims would arrive in Hind as conquerors and thereafter would stay there centuries after centuries until Dajjal would appear? Is Hadith referring to past expeditions and settled Muslims of Hind of today?
Answer: According to Hadith, the Muslims will capture the Kind of Hind and present him before King of Jerusalem. In the past conquests over Hind, such incident did not happen. So that gives us an indication that past campaigns against Hind were not GhazwatulHind. Following Hadith makes this aspect further clear which says:
“Some people of My Ummah will fight with Hindustan, Allah would grant them with success, even they would find the Indian kings being trapped in fetters. Allah would forgive those Warriors. When they would move towards Syria, then would find Isa Ibn-e-Maryam(A.S.) over there”
Reference: Naeem bin Hammad did narrate this Hadees in ‘Al Fitan’.
Thus Hadith is reffering to the warriors who would conquer Hind and when they would move back, they would find Isa Ibn-e-Maryam (A.S) in Syria. Thus same army would Join Hazrat Isa (R.A) who would conquer Hind and this event never took place in the past battles.
It is also important to note that the events of Dajjal, the Immam Mehdi and Prophet Isa (A.S) are connected and will happen within a short period of time, one after the other. There is good deal of detail available on this the subject at Shia.org (which discusses Shia and Sunni point of view) and a Sunni Fatwa which explains and connects these Ahadith without leaving a shadow of doubt whether the time of Ghazwatulhind was in the past or lies ahead of us. However if we only consider Ahadith of Sunan-Nasai, we wouldn’t be able to derive any conclusion.
Some contradictions and flaws found in the original article.
- The writer gives wrong information, claiming Ahadith of GhazwatuHind do not exist in Sunan-Nasai al Sughra but later in the references of First Hadith, Mentions the references to Sunan-Nasai AlMujtaba which is the same Sunan-Nasai Al Sughra and Al Mujtaba is its second name. [Wiki Reference] It is sad to know that the writer does not know names of books of Ahadith.
- The writer himself quotes one of the Hadith that has broken chain of command and insist the event has already taken place, while ignoring 2 similar Ahaidth (similar because they also lie outside Sunan-Nasai/Sunan-Nasai Al Sughra/Sunan-Nasai Al Mujtaba) that give answer to his own question.
- After acknowledging the Ahaidth of Ghazwatulhind do not exist in the book accepted by Shia Alims, he has presented Fatwa by a Shia Alim who cannot testify in any case.
- In the Section “Opinions of Scholars”, the given references who speak against are weak and not compareable to Jimeat-Ulema-i-Hind or Dar-ul-Aloom Deoband who are in the favor and who represent millions of Muslims.
- People with no religious background are considered adequate to comment on religious aspect while Alims and Mohadaseen are considered as non-credible.
- Representing “Al Mawarid Institute”, the ‘Editor’ has mentioned only 3 out of 6 books of Ahadith who he searched for reference for “Ghazwatulhind”. His searched books include Sahi Bukhari, Sahi Muslim and Moutha etc. It is essential that whoever gives Fatwa must do so after making complete research and exploring every possible authentic resource. But the “alim” made search through ‘3 etc’ books. The ‘Editor’ did not mention name of Sunan Nasai altogether, thus an incomplete research cannot be accepted as basis of a Fatwa.
- Reference Article written by Khalid Zaheer ( Dean of the Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences of University of Central Punjab) himself states that he has not made any study on the authenticity of these Ahadith.
- The writer claims Ahadith of GhazwatulHind to be in the “Collection o f Immam Nasai” withuot giving name of that collection and negates their existance in Sunan Nasai. However Ahadith of GhazwatulHind exist in Sunan-Nasai (both collections of Ahadith known as Al Kubra and Al Sughra/ Al Mujtaba).
- The over-all understanding of writer on the subject is weak and he has made claims without making research.
Since deen is a sensitive subject and not everybody who follows religion has capacity to make research, who-ever writes about religion must have adequate knowledge and research in hand before writing something. It is unfortunate that writer has been factually incorrect and used selective material to build his argument. I request all Muslims to make proper research before believing or accepting anything about religion.
May Allah help you find the right path and may all Muslims be on Sirat-e-Mustaqeem. Aamin.
Learning resources and references
- Hadith-Sunni– PowerPoint Presentation
- What maks Ahadith Zaeef and How it becomes Hasan
- Hadith Terminology – Wikipedia
- Sunan-Nasai (Al Sughra) Online Urdu/Arabic – Browse to 337/580 for these Ahadith.
- Sunan-Nasai (Al Sughra) Online Arabic
- Sunan-Nasai (Al Sughra) Arabic (Word Zipped) Documents – Maktabah.org
- Imam Mehdi and Ghazwa-e-Hind – Fatwa
- Imam Mehdi – In the light of Ahadith
- MYTHS AND REALITIES OF HADITH — a critical study
- Download: Sunun-Nasai Al Kubra (Arabic)
- Download: Sunan Nasai Al Sughra / Al Mujtaba (Arabic)