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Causes of the Mahmuds Success:

Dissension of the Hindus:

The Hindus were numerically superior to the Muslims, but they could not stand unitedly against
the invaders. These dissentions and mutual jealousies of the Hindus contributed greatly to the
success of the Muslims.

Ishwari Prasad, There was little feeling of national patriotism in the country. The masses were
indifferent to political revolutions. Whenever a confederacy was organized, its members often
fell out among themselves, and pride of the clan or the tribe interfered with the discipline of the
coalition and paralyzed the plans of leaders.

Caste distinctions and the general separation of the rulers from the rural folk prevented the kind
of solidarity which would have been required for such a defence effort.

Old Method of Warfare:

The Hindus followed the old methods of warfare. Their absolute dependence on unwieldy war
elephants, which proved immobile and dangerous to fight against the well-trained cavalry
leaders, offered the Muslims a chance to inflict a crushing blow on them in the field.

Obedience of the General:

The Hindus were not good at coordinating their efforts or at outwitting the strategy and tactics of
the invaders. The Rajputs cavalry consisted of uncontrolled and unruly men, who would not take
orders easily, whereas the cavalry of the Muslim consisted of specially trained soldiers who had
practically grown up with their horses and were subjected to a constant drill. Religious factor
further unified the Muslims who fought bravely and showed great obedience to their
Commander-in-Chief. Mahmuds figure in the eyes of his followers was as a devoted champion
of the faith. They followed him uncomplainingly wherever he led them.

Military Competence:

Islamic society was much more open and democratic than Hindu society. Anybody who wanted
to join an army and proved to be good at fighting could achieve rapid advancement. Hindu
armies were led by kings and princes whose military competence was not necessarily in keeping
with their hereditary rank; by contrast, the Muslim generals whom they encountered almost
invariably owed their position to their superior military merit. Even Sultans would be quickly
replaced by slaves-turned-generals if they did not know how to maintain their position. This
military evolution was characteristic of early Islamic History. The Ghaznavids and the Ghurids
and then the sultans of Delhi were all slaves to begin with. They made a mark by their military
prowess and their loyalty and obedience. The immobile Hindu society and its hereditary rulers
were no match for such people.

Unity of Muslims:

The Muslims had better organization, discipline and cohesion. The teachings of Islam made them
united under their leader against the common enemy. They gave battle to the enemy with courage
and energy. Their enthusiasm was further heightened by the prospect of wealth and the love of

Generalship of Sultan Mahmud:

Generalship of Sultan Mahmud whose tactics and diplomacy in battles ensured more than
anything the success of the Muslims. Ishwari Prasad, His expeditions testify to his boldness of
conception, vigour of mind and undaunted courage against heavy odds. A born military leader, he
never shrank from war, always sustained in his endeavours by the thought that he was fighting
for the glory of Islam.

Mahmuds Indian campaigns invariably began in the dry season: his return to Afghanistan was
always made before the monsoon rains filled the rivers of the Punjab, which would have cut off
his route.

Effects of the Sultan Mahmuds Invasions:

It has been said that Sultan Mahmud made seventeen expeditions into India and conquered a
number of places. Almost the whole of Northern India felt the weight of his arm. But if his
Indian expeditions are analyzed one by one, it will reveal to the readers that the results of his
victories were not permanent.
Conquest of the Punjab:

The only permanent result of his seventeen expeditions was the conquest of the Punjab. Many
places were conquered, but a few were permanently annexed to the empire of Ghazni. After his
demise, only a portion of the Punjab, Sind and some parts of the adjoining provinces, such as
Multan, acknowledged the Ghaznavid suzerainty. Elsewhere in India the result of his invasions
soon wore off. Sultan Mahmud could not establish his rule in the conquered provinces. The
Rajputs, who overran the countries after the Sultans departure re-establish their rule in Northern
India except the Punjab which eventually opened the gates to the Sultans co-religionists. Thus,
the conquest of the Punjab was the net result of his seventeen expeditions and in considerations
of this result; he may be called an Indian sovereign in a limited sense.

Glory of Ghazni:

The Effect of the invasions of Sultan Mahmud in the political, economic and cultural history of
India cannot be denied. While it made India much poorer, it contributed to the glory and
grandeur of Ghazni and enabled the Sultan to finance his scheme of war and peace. Mahmud
spent large sum in beautifying his capital Ghazni and endowing institutions in it. He made it one
of the finest cities of the day.

Ishwari Prasad, He promoted learning by establishing a university at Ghazni, a library, and a

museum, adorned with the trophies of war, which he brought from the conquered lands. It was
through his liberality that beautiful edifices rose at his capital, making it one of the finest cities in

Political and Economic Effect:

Politically, the expeditions paved the way for the further conquests of India by the Muslims. The
success of Sultan Mahmud exposed the weakness of the Indian political and military systems and
established the superiority of the Muslims over the Hindus in the art of war, discipline and
devotion to duty. Economically, the invasions caused a heavy drain on Indias agelong
accumulated wealth. While it made India much poorer.

Contact of Two Great Civilizations/Cultural Effect :

Culturally, Sultan Mahmuds invasions brought the civilization of Hindus and Muslims into close
contact and led to mutual exchange of ideas and thoughts between the conqueror and conquered.
In the train of Muslim warriors and warlords came Muslim saints and savants who permeated
the rank of Indian society, promulgated Islam in India and won a number of converts. Though
conversion to Islam did not form any part of the motives of Sultan Mahmuds conquest, his
invasions indirectly facilitated the future progress of Islam in India. Mahmud took away from
India precious stones and craftsmen for the purpose of constructing great buildings in Ghazni.

Propagation of Islam:

Mahmuds invasions paved the way for the propagation of Islam. Several savants, preachers and
scholars came to the sub-continent. The famous amongst them were Hazrat Syed Ismail, Syed
Fakhr-ud-Din Hussain Zanjani, Hazrat Syed Ali Hajveri (Data Ganj Bakhs and Hazrat Shah
Yousaf Gardaizi. Mahmud did not establish any institution to preach Islam nor like the
Europeans did he force the people to embrace Islam. But for the predominance of the Islam over
sub-continent his continuous attacks provided the atmosphere for the propagation of Islam.