A Critical Appraisal of Al-Masudi’s Perception of Northern India: A Special Study on Multan


  • Yousef Bennaji PhD




Arab historiography, Al-Masudi, Indian History, Multan, Islam in Sindh, Muruj al-Dhahab.


Arab writers contributed significantly in the development of Indian historiography during the early medieval period. Among these Arab historiographers were historians, travellers, visitors, administrators, businessmen and warriors who came to India between 9th and 12th centuries. These individuals provided important information about the socio-political and religious life of Indians. This record has paramount importance for understanding India, especially from Arab perspectives. Al-Masudi (d. 345/956) is a central Arab historiographer of India who personally visited India. His historiography is based on his personal observation and first-hand reports of his visit to Multan and all that he witnessed. This paper aims to provide a critical appraisal of al-Masudi’s perception of Northern India. A careful study of Muruj al-Dhahab has been conducted to determine al-Masudi’s understanding of Northern India, with particular reference to Multan.