The common conception about the Arab invasion of Indo-Pakistan maintains that it began in 711AD after the arrival of Emad-ud-Din Mohammad bin Qasim who founded the Muslim civilization in Indo-Pak.
Beyond any suspicion it is that he pioneered the way to Sindh after a complaint lodged by a lady imprisoned by the Sindhi pirates in the age of Raja Dahar. Hajjaj answered her call and sent a message to Raja to release the prisoners including ladies and children but Raja, in his high-headedness, refused to take any action against the pirates. Hajjaj sent a military troop to Daibal, Sindh to release the prisoners and teach him a lesson. Prior to this two military expeditions were sent to Sindh by Hajjaj but they could not bring the desired upshots due to the resistance of the local warriors. Therefore, he sent Mohammad Bin Qasim, his reliable and talented general and nephew to castigate Raja Dahar. Bin Qasim overwhelmed Raja very soon after his arrival and bred the Muslim civilization in Sindh, the land of Budhists and Hindus.
Following the Arab invasion of Sindh, Sindh was called “Bab-ul-Islam (the Gateway of Islam) by the historians as it leveled the grounds for further expansions of the Muslim Empire by opening doors to Multan, the other areas of Sindh and the whole of India later. But a few people know that the first Arab invasion in this area was in Makran (now Baluchistan) in 643 A.D after the Battle of Nehawand (fought between Arabs under Nauman Bin Muqran and Iranians in 641 in the age of Yezdegird, the King of Iran) came to an end. In 643 A.D. the Arabs entered Makran, almost 1000 miles away through land route. Naval journey from Arab to Makran seemed to be more attractive as Arab lied on the South Western coast of the Persian Gulf while on the North East coast of the same Gulf was Makran.
Analogy of the seasons, weather, atmosphere, sources of earning, and the geography made the Arabs feel at home in Makran. But they were confronted by the throngs of resistant Jats (originally from Turkey) and other warrior tribes who did not let the land of Makran be a piece of cake for Arabs. These Jats, fitted in agriculture and shepherding, took the strangers as their foes and defied them up to their full. Arabs were defeated by them time and again at the hands of these tribes. But the Arabs stayed unfaltering in their strife for new horizons for the sake of Islam. In the beginning they found themselves busy in frictions and wars with the local combatants but with the passage of time, the situations pacified and the Arabs succeeded in civilizing Makran and the surroundings. They made routes and roads and built Karez for supplying water. Saad Karez made by them is present in Makran even today.
Islam entered the Sub-Continent through Makran. Therefore, it is the real Bab-ul-Islam instead of Sindh. Makran attracted the invaders throughout centuries not on account of any strategic importance but only because it lied on the way to other important areas and regions. Alexander, the Great crossed Makran on his way from India to Macedonia. Portuguese have crossed it in search of the “Febulous East”. Its land was toppled under the feet of Arabs when they expanded in the eastward direction making Makran “Bab-ul-Islam” (the Door of Islam).
Abdullah Bin Abdullah was sent by the Caliph Umar on a military move to Makran who defeated Saad, the then ruler of Makran. In 643 AD, Abdullah wrote a letter to the Caliph which stated:
“O! Commander of the faithful, It is a country of which the mountains are mountains indeed, and the plains of which are the real mountains; it is a country with so little water that its dates are the worst of dates and the inhabitants are the most warlike of men. If you hast a less numerous army there, it will be annihilated and could do nothing; and if thy enemy is considerable, it will perish of hunger because there are no victuals. The country beyond is still worse”. Thus the blistering sun accompanied with the scarcity of everyday commodities did not encourage the Arabs to stay or colonize here. Very scanty food and water came forward as the biggest foe to them after the warriors therein. Therefore, the footprints of the Muslim dynasty do not date back to the streets of Makran.
Makran was located on the very corner of North Western frontiers of the Sub-Continent and the South Eastern boundaries of the Plateau of Iran. From Iran it was far away from the capital of Iran and from the Sub-Continent it faced the same situation. No king or the governor of these regions happened to pass or cross Makran due to its distance from the both. The areas between these two states were being ruled by the local chieftains under the auspices of their respective central points. The major cities and trade centers in Iran (Tabrez, Isfahan, Madayne, Sheraz, and Heraat) and the Sub-Continent (Agra, Delhi, Lahore and Peshawar) had nothing to do with the remote Makran. So the spread of Islam in Makran could not proliferate and Azan (call of prayer) could not echo out of Makran.
The strategic importance of Sindh put the status of Makran on the wane and the chronology did not pass through the impassable routs of Makran but undoubtedly, Makran can be crowned as “Bab-ul-Islam” where the light of Islam accessed first time in the history of the Sub-Continent. Long distances swallowed where and whereabouts and other details of the Arab invaders in Makran. The delegates could not bring the news of the rulers and the ruled to the other regions. The Makran deserts buried the pages from history under their sand and the mountains could not echo the hoofs of the Arab horses and the crown of being “Bab-ul-Islam” was entitled to Sindh.