Chach Nama (Sindhi: چچ نامو; Urdu: چچ نامہ), also known as the Fateh nama Sindh (Sindhi: فتح نامه سنڌ), and as Tarekh-e-Hind wa Sindh Arabic (تاريخ الهند والسند), is a book about the history of Sindh, chronicling the Chacha Dynasty's period, following the demise of the Rai Dynasty and the ascent of Chach of Alor to the throne, down to the Arab conquest by Muhammad bin Qasim in early 8th century AD.
|“||Sakifís—The Kàzís of Bakhar and Alór or Rohrí are descended from Músá son of Yaakúb son of Táí son of Muhammad son of Shaibán, son of Usman Sakifí. The author of the conquest of Sind in Arabic, from which Chachnámah was translated, Kàzí Ismáíl son of Alí son of Muhammad son of Músá, son of Táí, is one of the descendants of the same line. Músá son of Yaakúb was the grandson of this gentleman Kází Ismàíl and was appointed the first Kází of Alór by Muhammad Kásim after the conquest of the place.||”|
It was translated into Persian by Muhammad Ali bin Hamid bin Abu Bakr Kufi in 1216 CE from an earlier Arabic text. At one time it was considered to be a romance until Mountstuart Elphinstone's observations of its historical veracity. The original work in Arabic is believed to have been composed by the Sakifí family, the kinsmen of Muhammad bin Qasim.
As one of the only written sources of the conquest of Sindh, it is an important document in the study of the origins of Islam in India. The following is a quote from the book Modern South Asia by historians Sugata Bose and Ayesha Jalal:
|“||The Chachnama, the principal source of our information on the Muslim conquest of Sind, elaborates a royal code which demands sensitivity to the fluidity and shifting nature of the real world of politics. This is in contrast to Kautilya’s ‘classical’ and largely theoretical text Arthashastra, which advises princes on ways to avoid the dilution of absolute and centralized power. The pardoning of a fallen enemy, described by the Chachnama, provided a quick route to legitimacy by renegotiating a balance between different hierarchically arranged layers of sovereignty. The Arab conquest of Sind, instead of representing a sharp disjuncture, can be seen as a form of adaptation to pre-existing political conditions in India.||”|
The Táríkh Maasúmí, and the Tuhfatulkirám are two other Muslim histories of the same period and on occasion give differing accounts of some details. Later Muslim chronicles like those by Nizamuddin Ahmad, Nurul Hakk, Firishta, and Masum Shah draw their account of the Arab conquest from the Chach Nama.
While Muhammad Ali bin Hamid bin Abu Bakr Kufi is also seen as having employed some "Purple prose", he is regarded as having accurately translated the bulk of the Arabic material as well attributing the sources of information, whether they are from individuals or even "tradition".
As a historical narrative, the account is seen as a valuable record of events such as the social, political and historical geography of the region at the time, while containing the natural bias of the Sakifi family as well as the inherent inaccuracies and embellishments of popular tradition.
- The Chachnamah, An Ancient History of Sind, Giving the Hindu period down to the Arab Conquest. (1900). Translated from the Persian by Mirza Kalichbeg Fredunbeg. Karachi: Commissioners Press.
- History of Sind. Vol. II. (In two parts) Part II—Giving the Reigns of the Kalhórahs and the Tálpurs down to the British Conquest. Translated from Persian by Mirza Kalichbeg Fredunbeg, Chapter IV
- Common Era year is an approximation of the Islamic calendar date 613 AH.
- Elliot, H. M. and Dowson, John. (1867). Chach-Nama. In The History of India: As Told by its Own Historians - The Muhammadan Period, Volume 1, pp. 131-211. London: Trubner
- The Chachnamah, An Ancient History of Sind, Giving the Hindu period down to the Arab Conquest. (1900). Translated from the Persian by Mirza Kalichbeg Fredunbeg. Karachi: Commissioners Press. (Online at: Persian Packhum)