Muhammad bin Qasim al-Thaqafi (Arabic: محمد بن قاسم) was an Arab general of the Islamic Umayyad Caliphate who attacked the Sindh and Punjab regions along the Indus River (now a part of Pakistan). The conquest of Sindh and Punjab began the Islamic era in South Asia and continues to lend the Sindh province of Pakistan the name Baab-e-Islam (The Gateway of Islam). Muhammad bin Qasim defeated Raja Dahir, the last Hindu king of Sindh and killed him at the banks of the Indus River in Sindh near modern day Nawabshah. Dahir's body was beheaded and his head was sent to Baghdad to be shown to the Umayyad governor of Baghdad, Al-Hajjaj ibn Yusuf. After defeating Raja Dahir, Muhammad bin Qasim conquered and annexed Sindh and the city of Multan in southern Punjab into the Umayyad Caliphate. Thus, he had captured the entire Sindh and also Multan. Sindh and South Punjab became the easternmost provinces of the Umayyad Caliphate and remained in Arab Muslim hands until the conquests of Mahmud of Ghazni.
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