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Imperial Gazetteer of India, v. 2, p. 350.


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CHAPTER X
MUHAMMADAN INDIA (A. D. 637-1 803)
THE history of Muhammadan India falls naturally into
three periods : (I) a time of incursions, ending in final conquest
(637-1206) ; (II) the story of the kingdoms founded as a con-
sequence of this first conquest ( I 2 06- I 5 2 6) ; and (III) the
empire of the Mughals, commencing with the latest western
conquest under Babar ( r 5 2 6-1 803)
I. Incursions and Final Conquest (A. D. 637-1 206)
From preceding chapters it will have been seen that in the
seventh century of our era India was, and had been for many
generations, a country of which the open plains and river
valleys were occupied by a settled population devoted to
agriculture and the arts, with a copious literature, a refined
philosophy, and fully developed religions ; and living under a
singular social system, which had gradually developed within the
country itself. No doubt, many successive invaders-Greeks,
Parthians, Scythians, and Huns- had entered India through
the north-western passes ; but all of them either returned
whence they came or were rapidly absorbed in the general
population, and they have left few definite traces of their
presence. With Islam it was different ; its pressure from the
West was more continuous, and the marked disparity in
religious belief between the ancient inhabitants and these
invaders produced far deeper and more lasting results.
Muhammad died in 63 2, having launched on the world a
religion which to this day has not altogether last its missionary
energy. Islam had became a militant faith even before its
founder died ; and under his immediate successors its strength
as an engine of political conquest was as great as, if not greater
than, its success in converting the nations. In a few years
Syria, Egypt, and Persia had succumbed to the new rulers and
been forced to embrace the new religion.
From the first India must have seemed a tempting prey to
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