Ismailis In Indo-Pakistan Subcontinent

“In 270/884, Ibn Hawshab had sent al-Haytham from Yamen to Sind for Ismaili propaganda. He originated there the Ismaili mission that remained continued considerably under the charge of different da’is. Another da’i called Jaylam bin Shayban was recommended by Imam al-Muizz to the headquarters of Yamen. He captured Multan after overthrowing the ruling dynasty, and finally founded a Fatimid vassal state in Upper Indus Valley in 349/960. The Fatimid foothold in Multan therefore seems to have existed between 340/951 and 358/968. Jaylam bin Shayban started the new coinage in the State of Multan, known as Qahirya minted in Egypt in the name of the Fatimids. He died probably in 376/986.

In 391/1001, Mehmud debouched from the snow-clad hills along the north-western frontier of India, marched through the Khaibar Pass and swooped down upon India. Between 391/1001 and 421/1030, he invaded India no fewer than 12 times. When he was returning from his expedition to Bhatinda in 395/1005, Abul Fateh Dawood bin Nasr, the grandson of Shaikh Hamid is said to have resented the passage of his army through the province of Multan, and as a result, Mehmud is supposed to have invaded Multan in 396/1006. Utabi however writes in Kitabu’l Yamini (comp. 411/1020) that, “Abul Fateh Dawood’s adherence to the Ismailism was the root cause of Mehmud’s invasion.” Mehmud laid a siege over Multan, and exhausted with the seven days siege of the town due to the shortage of supplies, Abul Fateh Dawood was forced to pay a large sum of ransom to him, and it was also concluded that the reign of Multan facing the Indus River would remained under the Ghaznavid occupation.

In 401/1010, Mehmud once again spurred his horses towards Multan through opposite route, and crossed Khyber with a view to invade Multan after passing through Lahore. He entered Multan via Bhatinda, and launched a terrible massacre. Besides being greedy of wealth in plundering, Mehmud was a fanatical and cruel, and a special fierce enemy of the Ismailis. So came to an end of the Fatimid rule in the State of Multan. It lasted for over a half century. The da’is in Multan constituted a dynasty of three rulers and were of Arab race.