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Ghazwa e Hind: Fictitious or Factual

By Rasheed Kidwai

Tr. New Age Islam Edit Desk

August 25, 2021

Ghazwa an Arabic-Origin Word Denotes an Islamic Battle Fought For the Religious Beliefs and Doctrines

Main Points:

1.    The word Ghazwa has been recurring in India for quite some time now.

2.    Ghazwa is a battle which is fought only on doctrinal grounds.

3.    Maulana Mufti Salman Mansoorpuri has pointed out a number of misconceptions in this regard.


The word Ghazwa has been recurring in the country for quite some time now. An Arabic-origin word which denotes an Islamic battle fought for the religious beliefs and doctrines, the Ghazwa war cry doesn’t aim at achieving wealth or winning just a country or a land, but in fact it is a battle which is fought only on doctrinal grounds. Ghazwa finds a lot of mention in the Prophetic sayings [hadiths]. At present, the term 'Ghazwa-e-Hind' is being used in a negative connotation. This implies that an Islamic war is being waged in which Muslim fighters will attack and conquer the Indian subcontinent.

But a lot of misconceptions have crept in it, which have been pointed out by the authoritative scholars [read clerics]. Maulana Mufti Salman Mansoorpuri, a leading figure in the Jamiat Ulema-i-Hind (JUIH)—an Islamic organisation which played a vital role in liberating the country—has also pointed out a number of misconceptions in this regard.  He penned down a well-reasoned article on what it means to refer to “Ghazwa-e-Hind” or the Islamic conquest of India. According to him, Pakistan is mischievously spreading a plethora of fabrications in the name of Ghazwa-e-Hind with a view to harming India’s national interests.

In an article widely circulated by the [prominent Deobandi seminary] Jamia Qasmia Shahi in Muradabad, Maulana Salman Mansoorpuri refutes the claims of terrorist organizations like Jaish-e-Muhammad with great evidences. He cautions that the hadiths of the Prophet Muhammad (pbuh) must not be used for political interests [of Pakistan] or any other ulterior motives.

One of the major problems in this regard is that the 'warmongers' sitting in our TV studios have also been dwelling on this subject, talking illogically and concocting a lot of falsehoods   in the name of ‘Ghazwa-e-Hind’. It is not difficult to understand the opinion of anchors and supposed experts sitting in the newsrooms with an anti-Muslim mentality. As you might have seen on a channel called Times Now. One day, it headlined: “Ghazwa-e-Hind: a new enemy of India. Will Lutyens believe now? (India Upfront with Rahul Shivshankar, 26 September, 2019).

Swarajya, a right-wing monthly print magazine carried a news article based on a substandard propaganda video spread by a Pakistani agency. In this video made by a Pakistani filmmaker, there is a lot of baseless talk. It predicts that the Islamic dream of an invasion of the Indian subcontinent will be fulfilled by 2025. Interestingly, it has also even been claimed in the video that Virat Kohli will then be part of the Pakistani cricket team and will play for Pakistan against the England cricket team in the World Cup tournament. Maulana Mansoorpuri, as an author of several books and a leading cleric, has questioned the authenticity of this video and such news being spread from across the border.

Maulana Mansoorpuri has also mentioned some Ahadith [plural of Hadith] about the conquest of India, such as the narration of Hazrat Sauban (R.A.), the freed servant of Prophet Muhammad (pbuh). He narrates about Ghazwat-ul-Hind and reports that the Prophet (pbuh) said:

“In my Ummah, there would be two such armed groups, which Allah will save from the torment of Hellfire; one is the group which will attack Sindh (Indian subcontinent) and the other would be the one who would accompany Hazrat Isa Ibn Maryam (A.S)”.

Another similar hadith is attributed to Abu Huraira, a close companion of the Prophet and narrator of more than 5,000 hadith reports. According to this hadith, which is narrated by Abu Hurayrah, the Prophet (pbuh) has promised us that some Muslims would wage jihad in the Indian subcontinent. If I had found this, I would have sacrificed my life and property in the path of Allah, the Almighty, and if I had died in it, then I would have been one of the best martyrs, and if I had returned alive, then I (Abu Hurairah) would have been freed from Hellfire.”

Muhammad Salman Mansoorpuri affirms that there are many hadiths about the conquest of India (Ghazwat-ul-Hind) and its rewards. But the narrators of these hadiths are often unreliable, weak (Da’eef), hesitant, and sometimes exaggerators. There are narrators in these hadiths from whom the chain of authentic hadiths is scarce. The authenticity of a narrator is highly important in the case of hadiths. It is due to the authenticity of these narrators that the hadiths have acquired the status of the second primary source of Islam.

Maulana Mansoorpuri further says that the chain of narrators [Sanad) of the Ghazwa-tul-Hind hadiths is weak. At the same time, they do not say anything clear about the exact time and place of the battle. According to him, however, three possible things can be said about the Ghazwa-tul-Hind.

First of all, these may be the battles of the first and middle ages of Islam, the focus of which revolved around the Indian subcontinent. After the conquests in these campaigns, Muslim domination in these areas continued for a long time. These were the wars led by Muhammad bin Qasim and Mahmood Ghaznavi. This view is reinforced by the fact that Sindh is also mentioned in the Ghazwa-tul-Hind hadiths. A hadith says that Sindh will be conquered. We all know and it is written in the pages of history that Muhammad bin Qasim had conquered the then Sindh [So, there is more need or relevance of the Ghazwa-e-Hind now].

Secondly, the word 'Hind' used in these hadiths is not specifically for India but rather it encompasses the Indian subcontinent and the surrounding areas, especially Basra and its neighbourhoods. This is further substantiated by the fact that according to the Prophet’s Companions (Sahaba), "we used to call Basra ‘Hind’." In view of this, Maulana Mansoorpuri says that these hadiths [concerning the Islamic conquest of the Indian subcontinent] may be an insinuation to the wars that were fought against Iran [the then Persia] in the early days of Islam.

The third possibility is that the wars mentioned in the Ghazwa-tul-Hind have not yet been fought. This confrontation may occur when, according to Islamic teachings, Hazrat Eisa (Jesus Christ) and Imam Mahdi will appear.

In his conclusive remarks, Maulana Mansoorpuri writes that “these details clearly show that in this day and age, it is completely wrong to incite the Muslims of the Indian subcontinent to jihad in the name of the Ghazwa-tul-Hind. That is because in the first two inferences from these hadiths, there is no possibility of (any war) for them. And the third connotation is dubious. But even if we accept it, the signs of the day when Jesus will come down are not yet clear or fully evident.

Courtesy: Inquilab, August 25, 2021, New Delhi.

Urdu Article:    Ghazwa e Hind: Fictitious or Real غزوۃ الہند: فرضی یا حقیقی


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