Masud 1 Period in Pakistan

Mas’ud I of Ghazni

Mahmud was succeeded by his eldest son, Masud (r. 1031–41), who reorganized the administration in Lahore, a Ghaznavid vassal state, to assure control over the new territories. Masud sought to keep Muslim leaders separate from their Hindu subjects without alienating the masses.

He instructed Turkish officers not to drink, play polo, or socialize with Hindu officers, nor display religious intolerance toward them. When the governor of Lahore raided Banares (modern Varanasi) and failed to give Masud any of the spoils, Masud showed his own tolerance by selecting a Hindu general, Tilak, to lead a retaliatory attack on Lahore.

However, the empire began to crumble. Multan regained its independence after Mahmud’s death and again allied itself with the Fatimids. The western part of the empire began to fall to the Seljuks, the Turkish mercenaries who had taken the reins of the Abbasid caliphate. Masud’s father, Mahmud, had always kept a Seljuk prince as a hostage to gain leverage over the Turks. But a hostage was insufficient to deter them now. The Seljuks continued their onslaught, and at the Battle of Merv (1040) they drove the Ghaznavids from Khorasan. Masud was prepared to accept defeat, but his own Turkish troops rejected his submissive attitude and, during their retreat, rebelled at the Indus River crossing at Ohind. Masud was arrested along with his wife and some followers, and a month later he was beheaded.

After Masud The Ghaznavid dynasty

The Ghaznavid dynasty survived Masud’s execution. While the Seljuks assimilated their gains in Khorasan, Masud’s son Maudud (r. 1042–49) defeated Masud’s younger brother to take control of the empire. During Maudud’s reign, three Hindu rajas made repeated attempts to drive the Ghaznavids from Punjab. The Hindus succeeded in regaining Kangra and Thanesar but were thwarted at Lahore during their siege. A Turkish marksman killed the Hindus’ leader, and his troops withdrew in disarray. Maududi later sent one of his sons to oversee Peshawar, and another to run Lahore.

During this period southeastern Sind was ruled by the Sumras, one of the first clans to accept Islam following Qasim’s campaigns. They assisted the Arabs in their governance of Sind, though they later developed an allegiance to the Fatimids. By the mid-11th century, they had assumed independent rule of southeastern Sind, making their capital at Kutch. More than a score of Sumra rulers presided over the Sumra kingdom over the next two centuries.

Ghaznavid rule in what is today northern Pakistan continued under Ibrahim (r. 1059–99) and his son Masud III (r. 1099–1115). Though the Seljuks had increased their power in the Islamic Empire, treaties with them kept the western flank of the Ghaznavid kingdom secure. Lahore became a major cultural center in the Muslim world during this time. Among its important figures was Syed Ali Ibn Usman of Havver, also known as Data Ganj Bakhsh (d. 1077). A noted Muslim theologian, he wrote poetry and scholarly works, helping spread Islam in the region. His treatise on Sufi sm was the standard text on the subject for centuries. His former home in Lahore is still visited by thousands annually. Lahore’s prominence as a center of learning and the arts continued into the reign of Ibrahim’s grandson, Shirzad (r. 1115).