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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 Sultan’s departure re-establish their rule in Northern India except the Punjab which eventually opened the gates to the Sultan’s 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 Asia”.

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 India’s agelong accumulated wealth. While it made India much poorer.

Contact of Two Great Civilizations/Cultural Effect :

Culturally, Sultan Mahmud’s 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 Mahmud’s 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:

Mahmud’s 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.

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