Islamic Research Center on GhazwatulHind
Ghazwatul Hind (The War on India) is mentioned in Ahadith and recently it has got some extra-ordinary fame due to its mentioning by certain ideologues and the discussion that has sprung from it.
The very first thing we need to understand is that Holy Prophet (SAAW) has given the glad tidings of Islam dominating the whole world before the End of Times. Following narrations testify to it;
عَنْ ثَوْبَانَ قَالَ قَالَ رَسُولُ اللَّهِ صَلَّى اللَّهُ عَلَيْهِ وَسَلَّمَ إِنَّ اللَّهَ زَوَى لِي الْأَرْضَ فَرَأَيْتُ مَشَارِقَهَا وَمَغَارِبَهَا وَإِنَّ أُمَّتِي سَيَبْلُغُ مُلْكُهَا مَا زُوِيَ لِي مِنْهَا
Thawban (RA) reported that Allah’s Messenger (SAAW) said: “Allah drew the ends of the world near one another for my sake. And I have seen its eastern and western ends. And the dominion of my Ummah would reach those ends which have been drawn near me …” (Sahih Muslim, Kitab Al-Fitan wa Ashrat As-Sa`ah, Hadith 5144)
الْمِقْدَادَ بْنَ الْأَسْوَدِ يَقُولُ سَمِعْتُ رَسُولَ اللَّهِ صَلَّى اللَّهُ عَلَيْهِ وَسَلَّمَ يَقُولُ لَا يَبْقَى عَلَى ظَهْرِ الْأَرْضِ بَيْتُ مَدَرٍ وَلَا وَبَرٍ إِلَّا أَدْخَلَهُ اللَّهُ كَلِمَةَ الْإِسْلَامِ بِعِزِّ عَزِيزٍ أَوْ ذُلِّ ذَلِيلٍ إِمَّا يُعِزُّهُمْ اللَّهُ عَزَّ وَجَلَّ فَيَجْعَلُهُمْ مِنْ أَهْلِهَا أَوْ يُذِلُّهُمْ فَيَدِينُونَ لَهَا
Miqdad bin Aswad (RA) reported that he heard the Messenger of Allah (SAAW) say;“There will not remain a single house, of clay or fur, which the word of Islam will not reach either by bringing honor to the one worthy of it or debasing the one worthy of it; that is to say Allah will give them respect by making them its [Islam’s] followers or He will humiliate them by making them subject to it.” (Musnad Ahmad, Hadith 23865. Shuaib Arnaut classified it as Sahih)
Thus it is established in the light of Hadith that before the End Islam will one day prevail over the whole of the world and its authority will be established.
Ahadith on Ghazwatul Hind:
While the Ahadith like the above two tell us about Islam’s domination over the world in general, there are certain Ahadith that do tell us about the conquest and domination of some regions specifically. This is the case with India as well. Ahadith do inform us about the conquest of India and the virtues of the Muslims who will conquer it. One report says;
عَنْ ثَوْبَانَ مَوْلَى رَسُولِ اللَّهِ صَلَّى اللَّهُ عَلَيْهِ وَسَلَّمَ عَنْ النَّبِيِّ صَلَّى اللَّهُ عَلَيْهِ وَسَلَّمَ قَالَ عِصَابَتَانِ مِنْ أُمَّتِي أَحْرَزَهُمْ اللَّهُ مِنْ النَّارِ عِصَابَةٌ تَغْزُو الْهِنْدَ وَعِصَابَةٌ تَكُونُ مَعَ عِيسَى ابْنِ مَرْيَمَ عَلَيْهِ السَّلَام
Thawban the freed-slave of the Messenger of Allah (SAAW) reported that the Prophet (SAAW) said; “Allah has saved two groups of my Ummah from the hell-fire, the group that fights in India and the group that fights along with Eisa ibn Maryam (A.S.).” (Musnad Ahmad, Hadith 22449. Shuaib Arnaut classified it as Hasan. Albani classified it as Sahih in Sahih wa Daif Sunan Nasai, Hadith 3175 and Silsala Sahiha Hadith 1934)
Shaykh Muhammad Rafi Usmani says about this Hadith; “First Jihad on India took place in the first century after Hijrah under Muhammad bin Qasim in which participation of some Sahaba and many Tabi’in is related. After that many Jihads have been launched against India in different times so the question arises if the virtue of the Jihad mentioned applies to the first Jihad only or to all the Jihads that have happened in the past or will be launched in future? Pondering on the wording of the Hadith one learns that they are general and there is no reason to limit them to any specific Jihad, therefore all the Jihads that have been launched against the infidels of India in various times or that will be launched in future they will Insha’Allah receive the great virtue mentioned and Allah knows the best.” (‘Alamaat Qiyamat aur Nuzul Masih p.58 Note to Hadith 9 pub. Makteba Darul Uloom, Karachi 2008)
In another Hadith we are told;
عن أبي هريرة رضى الله عنه قال قال رسول الله صلى الله عليه وسلم وذكر لهند فقال (ليغزون الهند لكم جيش يفتح الله عليهم حتى يأتوا بملوكهم مغللين السلاسل يغفر الله ذنوبهم فينصرفون حين ينصرفون فيجدون ابن مريم بالشام).
It is narrated from Abu Huraira that he said: The Messenger of Allah (SAAW) made a mention of India and said, “An army from amongst you will attack India, Allah will grant them victory until they put their leaders in chains. Allah will forgive them (members of that army) their sins and when they will return they will find the Son of Mary in Syria.” (Na’im bin Hammad’s Kitabul Fitan pp.252-253. Also see Musnad Ishaq bin Rahwiya Hadith 477, Kanzul Ummal Hadith 39719. This Hadith is also included in Shaukh Anwar Shah Kashmiri’s Al-Tasrih bima Tawatur fi Nuzul Al-Masih Hadith 46 and Shaykh Abdul Fattah Abu Ghuddah who did research on it and mentioned, wherever he could find, the weakness of its narrations did not criticize this narration and thus implicitly authenticated it)
Now this Hadith clearly relates the conquest of India with the arrival of Eisa (A.S.) showing the proximity of the two and clearly implying that it is an event yet to take place.
According to Ishaq bin Rahwiya’s narration, listening to this saying of the Holy Prophet (SAAW), Abu Huraira (RA) said;
فإن أنا أدركت تلك الغزوة بعت كل طارد وتالد لي وغزوتها فإذا فتح الله علينا انصرفنا فأنا أبو هريرة المحرر يقدم الشام فيلقى المسيح ابن مريم
“If I could join this Ghazwa I will sell all my belongings, new and old, and join it. Then when Allah will give us victory and we will return I will be the relieved one [from Fire] who will come to Syria and meet Masih (Eisa) ibn Maryam.”
These words in most explicit terms show that even Abu Huraira (RA) understood the conquest of India and arrival of Eisa (A.S.) to be events of the same time.
At the end of his Urdu translation and abridgment of Al-Tasrih bima Tawataur fi Nuzul Al-Masih Shaykh Rafi Usmani has given a list of the signs of the Doomsday arranged in the most probable chronological order wherein he, citing the above narrations, puts Ghazwatul Hind during the very times of the descent of Eisa (A.S.) See ‘Alamaat Qiyamat aur Nuzul Masih p.143 pub. Makteba Darul Uloom, Karachi, 2008
Indeed Allah knows the best!