Get the answer of: Why the Arabs Failed to Penetrate Deeper into India?
The Arabs failed to penetrate further into India. Their conquest remained limited to Sindh and Multan and, finally, Sultan Mahmud of Ghazni absorbed them within his empire in the eleventh century.
Historians have described various reasons for the failure of the Arabs in India.
Elphinstone assigned the following reasons for it:
I. The success of Sumer-Rajputs against the Arabs.
II. The faith of the Hindus in their culture and religion.
III. The frequent dynastic changes among the Hindu states because of their constant rivalry, but each of them was determined to oppose the advance of the Arabs.
Lane-Poole added some others to them, which were as follows:
IV. The existence of strong Rajput states in the east and the north.
V. The Khalifas did not send sufficient military force to help further advance of the Arabs in India.
VI. The failure of the Arabs to consolidate their kingdom of Sindh.
VII. As Sindh was not profitable to the Khalifas economically, they refrained from further conquest in India.
Besides, the following other reasons have also been assigned by different historians for the failure of the Arabs in India beyond Sindh.
VIII. In 750 A.D., the Abbasid Khalifas replaced the Umayyad Khalifas which lowered the prestige of the position of the Khalifas itself. It also led to conflicts among the Arab officers in Sindh, which weakened their position.
IX. The Arabs became ease-loving, lazy and therefore, weak from the time of Khalifa Harun-al-Rashid. H.G, Wells writes in his book The Khalifa’s Lost Heritage that “Islam was separated from its novel and life-giving sources” and, “the religious zeal and simplicity of the Koran was replaced by rigid philosophy and higher standard of life.” It was not only the Khalifa who led a life of ease and corruption but the entire Arab race followed the way shown by their head of the State and religion.
The later Khalifas remained neither powerful nor respected. They became puppets in the hands of their more powerful slaves. They drew their power not from their own race, the Arabs, but first from the Persians and then from the Turks. Such Khalifas and the Arab race were not competent to extend their sway in India.
X. Taking advantage of the weakness of the Khalifas, the Arabs in Sindh became independent in 871 A.D. But it also led to their division and the Arab kingdom of Sindh was divided into two kingdoms, viz., the kingdom of Multan in the north and the kingdom of Mansura in the south.
XI. The new rising tide of nationalism, particularly among the Persians and Turks, led to the division of Islam and weakened its power. It, therefore, lost its aggressive strength, at least temporarily, in India.
XII. Sindh was not prosperous and it was located on the extreme west boundary of India. No power could hope to conquer India by forming Sindh as the base of its power.
XIII. The Hindus had powerful kingdoms in the interior of India and each of them was determined to resist the advance of the Arabs further into India. That ensured the safety of India at that time.
Therefore, the failure of the Arabs to advance further into India was not unusual. On the contrary, it was surprising that the Arabs succeeded in maintaining their hold on Sindh and Multan for nearly three hundred years. The Hindushahi kingdom in west Punjab and the Pratihara kingdom in the north-west were powerful enough to turn the Arabs out of Sindh.
The Hindus had both the power and the reason to turn the Arabs out of Sindh. Yet they did not attempt it. The primary reason for it was that they did not pay enough attention to what was happening on and outside the border of India at that time. Not then, but a few centuries later the Hindus had to pay a heavy price for their ignorance and indifference.