Karnataka and Arabia Since Ancient Times : Arabian Nights

Geographically Karnataka and Arabia are next door neighbors. Naturally they share a lot of history and interactions.  The Persian ruler Khusru-II established diplomatic relations with Arabia (Middle East) and  King Pulikesi-II of the Chalukyas of Badami (535 - 757 A.D.). Some of the Arabs had settled on the West Coast of Karnataka and inscriptions speak of them as Tajjikas. The Rashtrakutas (757-1000 A.D.) had a Tajjika governor at Konkan as testified by Sanjan plates, and Arab travellers also speak of Muslim settlements in the major commercial centres of the Rashtrakuta Empire.  Their guild called Hanjamana (Anjuman) is mentioned in the records of the Kadambas of Goa, Alupas of Dakshina Kannada and Vijayanagara rulers.  This guild  Hanjamana was part and parcel of every town assembly. Arabs also became popular in Karnataka during the Vijayanagara period (1346-1565 A.D.), as the empire employed Arabic soldiers, and all towns and villages in the empire had Arabic residents as testified by Barbosa.  The Bahamanis were the first Muslim rulers to enter Karnataka and to have ruled the Northern areas. They were followed by the Adil Shahis, Barid Shahis, Mughals, Haider and Tipu Sultan.   let us explore the unique relationship. Earliest Contact between Karnataka and Arabia or Middle east is Sumerians.

Sumerians migrated from India to  Southern Mesopotamia around four and half thousand years ago carrying with them the seeds of civilization. It was also suggested that they migrated from the west coast (Ancient Kannada Speaking region of Karnataka and Maharastra) of India. The fact that they were not a local people is suggested by the fact that their language belongs to a completely different and isolated group.  Experts trying to unravel their roots have found two convenient ways. One is the Language similarities and Physical appearance. 

Physical Appearance
Analyzing the bones, skulls and descriptions of them by other cultures indicate these: These people are of medium stature, with slightly dark complexion and hair , to which race they are allied with dark eyes, and oval faces, broad noses, rather feeble jaws, and slight sinewy bodies. This description fits for normal Indian. This description also closely describes the regal person seen on a famous clay tablet from the Indus Valley. These people should have migrated from coastal areas of raising of sea level on the west coast submerging many cities now found under the west coast sea from Dwaraka to lanka around 2500BC.

Language Similarities.
1)Ur or Uru (=city) was a major city during Sumerian civilizatin times. The word Uru or Ooru ( village or township) has got into almost all Dravidan languages including Kannada/Tulu/Kodava. Possibly the the name of the once famous Sumerian city was extended to all civilized settlements later on. It is a common suffix now in most of the place names in southern India. Bengaluru, Mangaluru, Mundkur etc.There are also other Sumerian/Dravidian words sharing similar sounding verb -ur. 
2) (= firewood.) has similar words in Tulu, Kannada (Uri- is to burn). 
3)(=to till or grow) has Urpini/Ulpini (Tulu), Ulu(=to till) in Kannada.
4)One of the numbers,"five" in Sumerian was Ia or i (=five).It is ain in Tulu and aidu in Kannada.
5)Sig(=sun burnt clay tiles) has analogous Sike or seke (=sunny sultriness) and Sigadi (=fire place/oven) in Tulu/Kannada.
There may be more such analogous words in Sumerian and Tulu/Kannada.
So Citing these reasons Sumerians  considered to be the earliest known civilization of Middle east is said to be from Karnataka or Kannadiga tribe.

Hurrians (Mittanis) and Kassites
Hittites , Mittanis,and Kassites  are the Indian Tribes which went to West after drying up of the Saraswathi river around 2000BC. Mittanies also called Hurrians(From city of Hurr) by Hittites,  Naharin(of River) by Egyptians, may be due to their presence in Eupharates and Tigries delta. Mittanis had iron weapons like their Hittite counterparts. Mittanis are related to Kassites and had marital relations frequently. Both of them called themselves Uratu(From the Hills). Similar word in kannada means from the city. Mittani and Kassites names are all Indian Name, So no doubt they are Indian Tribe. What we are interested is whether we can trace them to karnataka. There were several clans among Mittanis and they had different dialects.  One point they can be traced is extensive use of Iron technologies and their claims that they are from Hill Country. Which suggest Karnataka roots. After the fall of Babylon empire Hittites, Mittanis, kassites formed an Indian superstate in the Middle east, with another Indian Tribe Hyksos controlling Egypt, they were in complete domination of Middle east. They seem to have definite Karnataka connection.

Trade and Navigation
Navigation was known in Sumer between the 4th and the 3rd millennium BCE, and was probably known by the Indians  before the Sumerians. The Egyptians had trade routes through the Red sea, importing spices . Arabia Maritime trade began with safer coastal trade and evolved with the manipulation of the monsoon winds By making use of the maritime trade routes, bulk commodity trade became possible for the Romans in the 2nd century BCE. A Roman trading vessel could span the Mediterranean in a month at one-sixtieth the cost of over-land routes. The Trade between Western Coast (kannada Speaking regions of Karnataka and Maharastra) and Arabia was in brisk pace.

The replacement of Greece by the Roman empire as the administrator of the Mediterranean basin led to the resumption of direct trade with Karnataka and the elimination of the taxes extracted previously by the middlemen. According to Milo Kearney (2003) "The South Arabs in protest took to pirate attacks over the Roman ships in the Gulf of Aden. In response, the Romans destroyed Aden and favored the Western Abyssinian coast of the Red Sea." Indian ships sailed to Egypt as the maritime routes of Southern Asia were not under the control of a single empire.

The Ptolemaic dynasty had initiated Greco-Roman maritime trade contact with India using the Red Sea ports. The Roman historian Strabo mentions a vast increase in trade following the Roman annexation of Egypt, indicating that monsoon was known and manipulated for trade in his time.By the time of Augustus up to 120 ships were setting sail every year from Myos Hormos to India, trading in a diverse variety of goods. 
Karnataka exports of spices find mention in the works of Ibn Khurdadhbeh (850), al-Ghafiqi (1150 AD), Ishak bin Imaran (907) and Al Kalkashandi (14th century). 

Wootz Steel
Wootz is the anglicized version of ukku in kannada language of the state of Karnataka, a term denoting steel. Literary accounts suggest that the steel from the Karnatka was exported to Europe, China, the Arab world and the Middle East. Though an ancient material, wootz steel also fulfills the description of an advanced material, since it is an ultra-high carbon steel exhibiting properties such as superplasticity and high impact hardness and held sway over a millennium in three continents- a feat unlikely to be surpassed by advanced materials of the current era. Wootz deserves a place in the annals of western science due to the stimulus provided by the study of this material in the 18th and 19th centuries to modern metallurgical advances, not only in the metallurgy of iron and steel, but also to the development of physical metallurgy in general and metallography in particular.A description from the Crusades of the Damascus blades is as follows: One blow of a Damascus sword would cleave a European helmet without turning the edge or cut through a silk handkerchief drawn across it. One sixth century writer describes blades as having a water pattern whose wavy streaks are glistening-it is like a pond on whose surface the wind is gliding. Let us see how this wootz steel is different and unique ot karnataka

Carbon Nanotubes
According to Robert Floyd Curl, Jr., Nobel Prize Winner in Chemistry in 1996, Indian craftsmen used nanotechnology in Wootz steel as well as in paintings. More specifically carbon nanotubes, first announced by Russian scientists in 1952, was found in the sword of Tipu Sultan as well as in Ajanta paintings. Carbon nanotubes which are cylidrical fullerenes have extraordinary strength in terms of tensile strength and elastic modulus
This steel making process was practiced in Karnataka since great antiquity. The ancient Indian steel was known as Damascene steel in Persia and was in great demand in the Persian courts of the First Millennium BC. Even Alexander was presented a sword made of such steel. Coze studied the etymology of the terms denoting steel. Taking into account the fact that the names given to steel in different languages have always a technical content (hardness, resistance, etc.), Le Coze traced the transformation of the term Wootz, denoting the Indian crucible steel, through the Arab texts of the 9-12th centuries AD describing the preparation of the crucible steel named fulad. He discovered that fulad had an Indian origin of the word as transformed by Arab travellers. The subsequent success of Arabs in many wars shows that Karnataka's Wootz has played a prominent role. 

There are numerous early literary references to steel from India from Mediterranean sources including one from the time of Alexander (3rd c. BC) who was said to have been presented with 100 talents of Indian steel.During the reigns of the Roman Emperors Marcus Aurelius and Commodus, Ferrum Indium appears in the list of dutiable articles. 

An ancient Greek chemical treatise entitled "On the Tempering of Indian Steel". Edrisi has noted that "The Hindus excel in the manufacture of iron. They have also workshops wherein are forged the most famous sabres in the world. It is impossible to find anything to surpass the edge that you get from Indian Steel". This passage which has been quoted in the notes to the Periplus on page 71 proves beyond doubt, in the words of a foreign historian, that the art of smelting and casting iron was well developed in ancient India.
Pant , Bronson has summarised several accounts of the reputation of Indian iron and steel in Greek and Roman sources which suggest the export of high quality iron and steel from ancient India.
Zaky pointed out that it was the Arabs who took ingots of wootz steel to Damascus following which a thriving industry developed there for making weapons and armour of this steel, the renown of which has given the steel its name.

In the 12th century the Arab Edrisi mentioned that the Hindus excelled in the manufacture of iron and that it was impossible to find anything to surpass the edge from Indian steel, and he also mentioned that the Indians had workshops where the most famous sabres in the world were forged,. while other Arab records mention the excellence of Hinduwani or Indian steel as discussed by Egerton.

Several European travellers including Francis Buchanan and Voysey from the 17th century onwards observed the manufacture of steel in Karnataka and Deccan by a crucible process.
By the late 1600s shipments running into tens of thousands of wootz ingots were traded to Persia. This indicates that the production of wootz steel was almost on an industrial scale in what was still an activity predating the Industrial Revolution in Europe.

Marco Polo has mentioned that iron and Ondanique was sold in the markets of Kerman in Iran. The word Ondanique has been interpreted as a corruption of the Persian word Hundwaniy which meant 'Indian Steel'.
Indeed the word wootz is a corruption of the word for steel ukku

Indo scythian
When parts of Karnataka/Maharastra were under western satraps and Middle east under scythians, there were large trade between two parts of the world.

Marsh Arabs
The society of the Marsh Arabs was divided into two main groups by occupation. One group bred and raised domestic buffalo(Similar Life style to Karnataka) while others cultivated crops such as rice, barley, wheat and pearl millet; they also kept some sheep and cattle. Rice cultivation was especially important; it was carried out in small plots cleared in April and sown in mid-May. Cultivation seasons were marked by the rising and setting of certain stars, such as the Pleiades and Sirius. Same crop as Karnataka.
The origins of the Maʻdān are still a matter of some interest. British colonial ethnographers found it difficult to classify some of the Maʻdān's social customs and speculated that they might have originated in India, while it was rumoured amongst neighbouring tribes that they had Persian origins.

Many scholars have proposed historical and genetic links between the Marsh Arabs and the ancient Sumerians, based on shared agricultural practices and methods of house building. There is, however, no written record of the marsh tribes until the ninth century AD, and the Sumerians were absorbed by the Akkadians (Assyrians-Babylonians) by around 1800 BC, some 2700 years before. Norwegian explorer, archaeologist and ethnographer Thor Heyerdahl wrote:
“ In the veins of the Ahwar Arabs there runs Sumerian blood more than that in the veins of any other Arabian tribe. Only those Ahwar Arabs are the grandchildren of the ancient civilization. ”
—Thor Heyerdahl 
The case seem to point to Indian Origin of  Maʻdān.

Chalukyas and Arabs 

The  Arab writer Tabari speaks of Persian envoys visiting the court of the Chalukyas of Badami King Pulakeshi-II and the diplomatic exchanges.

Pulikesin defeated Arab Invasion
In the early years of Vikramaditya's  II reign, Arab invaders who had established themselves in the Sindh made a push into the Deccan. According to Navsari Plates, Avanijanashraya Pulakesi, a son of Vikramaditya I's brother Jayasimhavarman who was the governor of the Lata branch (Gujarat) fought and stopped them in 739 CE. Vikramaditya II so appreciated his valour, he conferred the title of Avanijanasraya (refuge of the people of the earth) on Pulakesi. The Rashtrakuta King Dandivarman or Dantidurga also fought along the Chalukyas against the Arabs. The result was not only Arabs beaten back, but also Gurjara was brought under direct control of Badami Chalukyan Empire.The Indian Numerals travelled to Arabia during Chalukya rule with extensive contacts between the two.

Siddharaja protects Arabs
The Muslim Historian Awfi recorded that Siddharaja, the Chalukyan king punished his Hindu subjects of Cambay for Rioting against the Muslims and gave Muslim merchant community funds to rebuild their mosque which had been destroyed  in the riots.  

Rastrakutas resist Arab incursions
The very Arab attack on India had taken place  in Sindh in the year 715 C.E. These Muslim invaders were Arabs led by Mohammad Bin Qasim. They had displaced Raja Dabir who ruled Sindh from his capital Deval (near modern Karachi). The actual reason for this invasion was that Raja Dabir was aiding the Iranian (Zoroastrian) princes in trying to overthrow the Arab Rule in Persia. This seems to be a fact as many Sassanian nobles from Iran had taken refuge in Sindh and were plotting for the liberation of their country from the Arab yoke. But the pretext given by Arab historians for the Arab invasion of Sindh is that Raja Dabir's navy had detained an Arab merchant ship. To avenge this detention of a merchant ship, the Arabs overran the entire kingdom of Raja Dabir as also the neighbouring kingdom of Mulasthana (Multan). They even unsuccessfully tried to attack Malwa (Malibah in Arab records). After this invasion which was limited to Sindh, for a period of 300 years all further Muslim attacks were thwarted by Prathihara kings and Gujarat branch Rastrkutas. 

Rastrakutas Trade with Arab
Karnataka has long straight coastline of 254 km with different types of natural harbours. we should also include Konkan coast.  Estuaries have played an important role in maritime activities. The important ports of Karnataka are Karwar, Bhatkal, Honnavar, Basrur, Barkur, Gangolly, Malpe, Udyavara and Mangalore played an active role in establishing the trade contacts with outside countries. The sea trade of Karnataka constituted a significant part of her economic activities and secured for her a niche in the oceanic trade of the western coast of India from the earliest times. The literary and archaeological evidence indicates that its sea trade extended up to Malaysia, Sumatra, and Java, Cambodia on the southeast and Arab countries Persia and Egypt on the west. 

In the "Silsilatuttavarlkh" , a history written by an Arab trader Sulaiman, in A. H. 237 (V. S. 908-A.D.
851) and modified and completed by Abuzaldul Hasan of Siraf, in A. H. 303 (V. S. 973=A.D. 916), it is thus stated : 

"The Balhara is the most eminent of the princes of India, and the Indians acknowledge his superiority. Every prince in India is master in his own state, but all pay homage to the supermacy of Balhara. The representatives sent by the Balhara to other princes are received with most profound respect in order to show him honour. He gives regular pay to his troops, as the practice is among the Arabs. He has many horses and elephants, and immense wealth. The coins which pass in his country are the Tatarlya dirhams, each of which weighs a dirham and a half of the coinage of the king." 

The above statement seems to be a sketch of the reign of Rastrakuta Amoghavarsha I. when this book was written and who had also attacked Rashtrakuta king Dhruvaraja I of Gujrat. The kingdom of the Rashtrakuta king Dhruvaraja 1 of the Deccan extended from Rameshvara in the south to Ayodhya in the north. In the Chronology of Nepal it is stated that in Shaka 8. 811 (V. 8. 946 A.D. 889) Kyanadeva, the founder of the dynasty of Karnatik, having conie up from the Deccan, took the whole of Nepal and for (> generations his descendants ruled there. In Shaka Sannat 811 Krishnaraja II was the king of Karnatik ; and seventh in descent from him was Karkaraja II from whom Tailapa II of the Chalukya dynasty seized the kingdom of the Rash^rakutas. So, it is probable that the descendants of Dhruvaraja 1 of Manyakheta, having progressed beyond Ayodhya, might have captured a portion of Nepal and afterwards Krishnaraja II, having advanced farther, taken the whole of the country. As the boundaries of China and Nepal are adjacent, Sulaiman might have, for thip reason, recorded the extent of their kingdom to be upto the Chinese frontier.

They are dated from the year in which the dynasty acquired the throne. They do not, like the Arabs, use the Hijra of the prophet, but date their eras from the beginning of their kings' reigns; and their kings live long, frequently reigning for fifty years. The inhabitants of the Balhara's country say that if
their kings reign and live for a long time, it is solely in consequence of the favour shown to the Arabs. In fact, among all the kings there is no one to be found who is so partial to the Arabs as the Balhara; and his subjects follow his example/'  "Balhara is the title borne by all the kings of this dynasty. It is similar to Chosroes (of the Persians), and is not a proper name. The kingdom of the Balhara commences on the seaside, at the country of kukam (Konkan)on the tongue of land which stretches to China. The Balhara has around him several kings with whom he is at war, but whom he greatly excels. Among them is the king of the Jurz
In the book "Kitab-ul-Masalik-ul-Mumalik", written  by Ibn Khurdadba, who died in A. H. 300 (V. S. 969= A. D. 912), it is thus stated:  "The greatest king of India is Balhara, whose name imports "king of kings." He wears a ring in which is inscribed the following sentence : "What is begun with resolution ends with success." The book named "Murujul Zahab", written by Al- Masudi about A. H. 332 (V. S. 1001A.D. 944), contains the following:  "The city of Mankir(Manyakheta), which was the great centre of India, submitted to a king called the Balhara, and the name of this prince continues to his successors who reign in that capital until the present time (332 A.H.)." " The greatest of the kings of India in our time is the Balhara, sovereign of the city of Mankir. Many of the kings of India turn their faces towards him in their prayers, and they make supplications to his ambassadors, who come to visit them. The kingdom of the Balhara is bordered by many other countries of India. . .The capital of the Balhara is eighty Sindi Parasangs from the sea, (and the Parasang2 is equal to eight miles). His troops and elephants are innumerable, but his troops are mostly infantry, because the seat of his government is among the mountains. . .Bayura  who is the king of Kanauj, is an enemy of the Balhara, the king of India The inhabitants of Mankir, which is the capital of the Balhara, speak the Kirlya(Kannada)  language, which has this name from Kira(karnataka)  the place where it is spoken." 

Al Istakhr :  who wrote the "Kitabul Akalim", in A. H. 340 (V. S. IGOo A.D. 931) as also Ibn H iukal,e
who came to India between A. H. 331 and 35b (A.D. 943 and 968) and wrote the "Ashkal-ul-Bilad" in A. H. 366 (A.D.=976), say: "From Kambaya1 to Saimur2 is the land of the Balhara, and in it there are several Indian kings. The city in which the Balhara resides is Mankir, which has an extensive territory."

 From the above extracts, taken from the writings of the Arabian travellers, we conclude that at that time the power of the Karnataka Empire under Rashtrakutas had reached its zenith. The Rahshtrakuta Dantidurga defeated Solanki (Chalukya) 'Vallabha' Kirtivarman and assumed the title of 'Vallabharaja which was also attached to the names of all his successors.  

Arabs about Rastrakutas
In all Indian kingdoms the sovereign power resides in the royal family, without ever departing from it, and the heirs of the family follow each other in regular succession. In like manner, there are families of learned men, of physicians, and of all the artificers concerned in the various arts; and none of these are ever mixed with the family of a different profession. The several states of the Indies are not subject to one king, but each province has its own; though the Balhara is considered in the Indies as king of kings. The Chinese are fond of gaming and all manner of diversions; but the Indians condemn them, and have no pleasure in such employments. They drink no wine, neither do they use vinegar, because it is made from wine; although this abstinence does not proceed from any religious duty: but they allege that a king given to wine is not worthy of being a king; for how should a drunkard be able to manage the affairs of a kingdom, especially as wars are so frequent between the neighbouring states. Their wars are not usually undertaken to possess themselves of the dominions of others, and I never heard of any except the people bordering on the pepper country that seized the dominions of their neighbours after victory. When a prince masters the dominions of a neighbour, he confers the sovereignty upon some person of the royal family of the conquered country, and thus retains it in dependence upon himself, under the conviction that the natives would never submit to be otherwise governed. 

Tax on Arabs
We learn from the copper grant,2 dated V. S. 1161 (A.D. 1104), of Govindachandra, found at Basahl, that it was Chandradeva of the Gahadavala branch of the Rashtrakuta family, who had restored order by suppressing the anarchy that had resulted on the deaths of kings Karna and Bhoja. It also refers that Govindachandra had granted in charity the village of Basahi (Basahl) together with the 'Turushkadanda (cess levied upon the Mohmmedans), which shows that just as the Mohammedan kings levied 'Jaziya' upon the non-Mohammedans, in the like manner, Madnapala levied a tax upon the Muslims. This proves his power and glory.

Bahmani sultans
Even-though Bahmani sultans based out of Gulbarga promoted Persian as the court language , Arabic was also used, which led to interactions between Kannada and Arabic.  They made  many Arabic Inscriptions in Karnataka

Adil Shah II
The Dakhani language, an amalgam of Persian-Arabic and Kannada, developed into an independent spoken and literary language. Under the Adil Shahis many literary works were published in Dakhani. Ibrahim Adil Shah II's book of poems and music, Kitab-e-Navras is in Dakhani. The Mushaira (poetic symposium) was born in the Bijapur court and later traveled north. The Dakhani language, which was growing under the Bahamani kings, later came to be known as Dakhan Urdu to distinguish it from the North Indian Urdu. Ibrahim Adil Shah II was scholar in Kannada as well. 

Hyder and Tippu
Hyder and Tippu natives of karnataka though patronised Persian, gave patronage to Arabic as well. Interaction between Arabic and Kannada reached zenith during this period.. 

Sultan Jamaluddin
Ibn Batuta, who was entertained by the Sultan Jamaluddin, ruler of Hinavr (Honavar in North Kanara), but a feudatory of the Hindu king "Haryab", has left an interesting account of a coastal Muslim dinner. Sitting on a chair, he was served food on a copper table called khawanja, in a copper plate talam (thali), by jariya (beautiful or slave girl) wrapped in a silk sari. She would ladle out rice from a big copper vessel, pour ghee over it, add pickles of pepper, green ginger, lemon and tender mangoes. The second helping consisted of rice with cooked fowl. The third serving was another variety of chicken, also with rice. Then followed different fish preparations with rice. Thereafter vegetables cooked in ghee, and milk dishes were served with rice. The meal was rounded off with kushan or curded milk. Hot water was drunk after the meals, as cold water would be harmful in the rainy season . The food habits of the aristocracy followed a regional pattern; except for the religious taboos, there was no marked difference between Hindu and Muslim repasts. The Nalachampu gives a vivid description of a wedding feast or buvaduta with all its regal magnificence

Conversation between Arabic and Kannada
Arabic Words in Kannada
This is specifically true of many words dealing with army, trade and commerce. Words such as PVju, (army) trAsu (weighing balance), tEji (horse) had crept in to Kannada by twelfth century itself.

From the fifteenth century onwards these words found their way in to the South Dravidian through Dakkhini Urdu. Village officials dealing with land records used many administrative terms relating to land revenue and legislation, which have become part of the common language.” (‘Dravidian Languages’ by Bhadriraju Krishnamurti, 2003, Cambridge University Press) .
Many of the words borrowed like this were not replaced during the British rule and they are being used even today. However the process of borrowing new words has stopped.

Most of the words borrowed like this have taken up a vowel at the end like Kannada. (shumAr=sumAru, jamIn=jamInu, vasUl-vsUli etc) Some times the final ‘aa’ changes to ‘e’ (KajAnA=KajAne, tamASA=tamASe, ravAnA=ravAne etc.)

 A list of some words borrowed from Persian and Arabic is given below.
Persian: rAstA=raste=road, shumAr=sumAru=approximately, shiPAras=shiPArassu=influence, dastAvej=dastAvEju=document, sibbandi=staff, sIpAyI=sipAyi=soldier, jamIn=jamInu=arable land, gumAsta=clerk.

 Arabic: anAmat=anAmattu=all together, jaPti=search, nAjuk=nAjUku=delicate, mAmUl=mAmUli=as usual, bribe, daPtar=daPtaru=file, sAvkAr=sAhukAra=rich man, CAkU=cAku=knife

            Incidentally many of these words are more are less similar in Kannada.  Persian and Arabic words are found in many ancient literary works of Kannada such as ‘Shabdamanidarpana’ by Keshiraja, ‘Basavapurana’ by Bheemakavi, ‘Chennabasavapurana’ by virupakshapandita, and Jaimini Bharatha by Lakshmeesha.

            This is not merely a contact between two sets of languages but the linguistic inter change is a sub product of a cultural exchange. This amalgamation of cultures has done a lot of good to the arts and crafts of Karnataka and Arabia. It is not fair to identify the Perso-Arabic languages and culture exclusively with Islam. As Sisir Kumar Das obseres, ‘ The legends and tales that reached India thorough Persian and Arabic were not neccessarily reflections of sectarian attitudes, many of them were of pre-Islamic oroigin........And the beautiful poems of Rumi, Sadi, Omar Khayyam or Hafiz defy all religious labels. ......It needs to be emphasised that Perso-Arabic element was never considered an exclusive property of the Muslims in India, or a conspicuous feature of Urdu poetry only, it was used with power and feeling by many non-Muslims and it penetrated languages other than Urdu.” (Sisir Kumar Das, History of Indian Literature, Sahitya Academy, New Delhi)

Borrowings with minimal word Constraint
Kannada and Arabic share a peculiar aspect as respect to borrowings words from other languages.  Kannada Speakers germinate a single Consonant after what is a lax(short) vowel in English as in Bed, Bus to make a super-heavy syllable. But if the English word already has a super-heavy syllable, then no germination of final consonant occurs. Thus Arabic like Kannada appears to obey constraint on minimal word size.  In Arabic the words are rhymed to keep the minimum word constraint.
Test -> Testu
Road -> Roadu
Bus -> Bassu
bed -> Beddu

teen -> tiin
base -> bees
road -> rood

bus -> baas,bass
bed -> baad,badd

Arabic Inscriptions
Many Arabic Inscriptions are found, chiefly by Bahmani Sultans, Adil shahis  and Hyder-Ali Tipu Sultan.

            This can be corraboarated by the fact that the Rubayiyath’ of Omara Kahyyam was translated in to Kannada by no less than three important poets. 

Dakhini Urdu
Dakhini was the lingua franca of the Muslims of Deccan, chiefly living in Hyderabad state, Mysore state and the Hyderabad–Karnataka Region. The Language chiefly developed in the courts of Bahmani sultans, Adil Shahis and Hyder Ali-Tipu Sultan. Deccani urdu has large borrowings from Kannada.

Kannada Lands through Arab Eyes
Al Beruni
Al beruni gives vivid accounts of karnataka especially under Rastrakutas. When he tells about warrior  Kannadigas (Kanaras), he goes on to add they were employed by Ghazni as well. He says so much about karnataka ,we need special article on this.

Al Idrisi
He was an Arabian traveller who went through India and wrote  Najhjul-Mushtaq describing the Rastrakuta, Chalukya   states. Some observations may be false or coined by himself,but he gives important information about commercial ties of India with China and Persia. He divided Indian Societies in seven sections such as Kulin, Brahmins, Soldiers, peasants, Craftsmen, Muscians and Entertainers.

Shiekh Fak Abu Abdullah Mohmmed bin Batuta
He is a Moroccon arab travelling various countries reached India at the time of Mohmmad bin tuglaq was appointed qazi of Delhi by sultan. For 8yrs he worked post,  he stayed for a time in southern India under the protection of Jamal-ud-Din, ruler of the small but powerful Nawayath sultanate on the banks of the Sharavathi River next to the Arabian Sea. This area is today known as Hosapattana and lies in the Honavar administrative district of Uttara Kannada. Following the overthrow of the sultanate, Ibn Battuta had no choice but to leave India. 

Rafiuddin Shiraz
His book Tajkirat ul Muluk deals with Adilshahi rulers of Bijapur. He gives vivid accounts of Karnataka

Suleiman (9th century AD)
He was an Arabian Traveller who visited India and China through persian gulf. In his travel account he described rastrakuta, Pala , Pratiharas .

Albila Duri   (9th century AD)
This Arabian traveller in his book entitled Futuhul Buldaan described the arab invasion of India and its impact. His descriptions tell us that the Chalukyas and Rastrakutas tried to check the expansion of the Muslims in India in an organized manner. As a result the arabs were forced to leave many regions which they had conquered.

Al Masudi (915-917AD)
In 10th century AD, he came to visit India from Baghdad. He wrote a book entitled Muruj ul Jahan describing in an interesting manner the political rivalry  between Pala, Pratihar and Rastrakutas.  He says King of Pratihar was a natural enemy of king of south Rastrakutas. He has a big army. He state was encircled with many small states whose kings were ever ready and determined to wage  a war.

Influx of Arabs in Karnataka
Coastal Karnataka had trade relations with Arabian merchants through the oceanic route even before the founding of Islam in the seventh century A.D. Arab followers of Islam came to Karnataka either via Landroutes from Sind-Gujarat or the costal cities of Karnataka like Mangalore and Karwar. Some Arab writers have spoken about the presence of Muslim subjects during the regime of Rashtrakutas. There are conclusive evidences about the spread of Islamic community in the west coast of Karnataka by the 11th century. Written documents are available to substantiate the fact that horses imported from Arabia, Persia and Turkey were sold and bought during the later centuries. 

The Beary is a small Muslim community concentrated mostly in Tulu areas, which includes coastal districts of Dakshina Kannada &  Udupi in Karnataka State and Kasargod in Kerala State.  The Bearys are Muslims in faith. The Beary language is a mixture of Arabic , Tulu and Kannada. 

The Bearys are the earliest Muslim Community in the area and one among The earliest Muslim population of India with a clear history of more than 1200 years.  Tulu folk song 'PADDANAS' and many other records explain their incorporated relation to Tulunadu & its Culture. The Word 'BEARY' is said to be derived from the Tulu word 'BEARA', which means trade or business. Since early times a majority of these people were involved in business activities. 

This Theory of Arab social interchange with Southern Coast leading to the emergence of new communities is supported by prominent Scholars like Tarachand. Thomas Arnold, Saletore & Many Historians.  The MANNERS COLLECTIONS (Padthanas) 1886 refers to two groups of Bearys Viz., Jathi Neethi Bearys & Jathi Setty Bearys. Jathi Neethi Bearys were highly honoured by the local people. They followed Islamic faith & discipline. But, other group, Just pronounced the KALIMAH ( Oath of Islam) and adhered to the community without islamic practices. Their names also resembld the local names such as Andu, Seku, Bappa, Sadu, Saidu etc. Beary community shows the depth of interaction between Karnataka and Arabia.

Arabic Dictionary
Al Muzhir Arabic Dictionary , Arabic -Kannada dictionary in Kannada by Abdul Shaheed Azharyand M.S.M Abdul Rasheed Zaini Kamil.

 ‘kannaDadalli PArasi, urdu shabdagaLu’, D.K.Bheemasena Rao, Kannada Sahitya Parishath Patrike, Volume 22.
Pratiyogita Darpan: General Studies Indian History
Tracing the Origin of Ancient Sumerians By: Dr. Ashok Malhotra
Linguistic theory in second language acquisition  By Suzanne Flynn, Massachusetts Institute of Technology

Social Life in Medieval Karnataka  By Jyotsna Kamat

Classical Kannada
Karnataka Beary Sahithya Academy
Sumerian Dictionary

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 Persia and Karnataka
Turkey and Karnataka
Origin of Rastrakutas

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