Battle of Rasil
|Battle of Rasil|
|Part of the Muslim conquest of Sassanid empire|
Map detailing location of Battle field according to present day geography.
|Rai Dynasty||Rashidun Caliphate
|Commanders and leaders|
|Raja Rasil||Suhail ibn adi
Usman ibn Abi Al Aas
Hakam ibn Amr
|Casualties and losses|
The Battle of Rasil was fought between the Rai Kingdom of Sindh and Rashidun Caliphate in early 644. It was first encounter of Rashidun Caliphate in the Indian subcontinent. The exact location of Battle is not known but historians suggest it was fought at the western bank of River Indus.
Caliph Umar (634-644) launched an offense against the Sassanid Persian Empire in 642 and by mid 644 almost the entire Persian empire was conquered. An expedition to Kerman took place roughly at the same time as an expedition to Sistan and Azerbaijan. Suhail ibn adi was given command of this expedition. Suhail marched from Busra in 643. Passing Shiraz and Persepolis he joined with other Muslim armies and marched against Kerman, which was subdued after a pitch battle with local garrisons. Further east of Kerman laid Makran, what is now a part of present day Pakistan. It was a traditional territory of Sassanids but was then a domain of the Rai Kingdom, who annexed it in 636-637 although they acted as a vassal of Sassanid Persians in past.
Raja Rasil, the king of Baluchistan, concentrated huge armies in Sindh and Balochistan to halt the advance of the Muslims. Suhail was reinforced by Usman ibn Abi Al Aas from Persepolis, and Hakam ibn Amr from Busra. The combined forces defeated Raja Rasil at a pitch Battle of Rasil, who retreated to the eastern bank of River Indus. Further east from Indus River laid Sindh, which was domain of Rai kingdom. Umar, after learning that Sindh was a poor and relatively barran land, disapproved Suhail’s proposal to cross Indus River. For the time being, Umar declared the Indus River, a natural barrier, to be the easternmost frontier of his domain. This campaign came to an end in mid 644.
|“||'O Commander of the faithful!
It's a land where the plains are stony; Where water is scanty; Where the fruits are unsavory Where men are known for treachery; Where plenty is unknown; Where virtue is held of little account; And where evil is dominant; A large army is less for there; And a less army is useless there; The land beyond it, is even worse (referring to Sindh).
Umar looked at the messenger and said: "Are you a messenger or a poet? He replied “Messenger”.
Thereupon Caliph Umar, after learning that Baluchistan was a barren land and the unfavorable for sending an army, instructed Hakim bin Amr al Taghlabi that for the time being Makran should be the easternmost frontier of the Rashidun Caliphate, and that no further attempt should be made to extend the conquests. This was mainly because of Umar's policy of consolidating the rule before conquering more land. The same year, in 644, Umar had already rejected the proposal by Ahnaf ibn Qais, conqueror of Khurasan, of crossing Oxus river in the north to invade central Asia. In the west he similarly had called back Amr ibn al-Aas who had marched to north Africa and had captured Tripoli . Thereupon the commander of the Islamic army in Makran is reported to have said the following verses:
|“||If the Commander of faithful wouldn’t have stopped us from going beyond, so we would have brought our forces to the temple of prostitutes||”|
- The Muslim Conquest of Persia By A.I. Akram. Ch:13 ISBN 0-19-597713-0,
- The History of Al-Tabari: The Challenge to the Empires, Translated by Khalid Yahya Blankinship, Published by SUNY Press, 1993, ISBN 0-7914-0852-3
- Al Farooq, Umar By Muhammad Husayn Haykal. chapter 19 page no:130
- Tabri vol:4 pg:183