Tho Karmatians appear to have pushed them selves eastwards into the valley of the Indus, and to have sought a country in Sind about ti. 375 (A.D. 985), and seem to have been ruling there at the time of Mahmud's return from the fall of Sonmatli. From Biruni we learn that the Karmatians destroyed the great idol at Multan, and the heretical chief, whom Mahmud of Ghazni drove away from that town, was no doubt a member of this sect, for the name of Karmatian is applied to him by one or two writers, although the more general name of Mulabida is more fre quently used.
Mahmud's wazir, Hasnak, was brought to the stake by Masud upon the charge of being a Kar !initial). The personal enmity of Masnd no doubt precipitated this act ; but there is ample proof that the khalif was greatly incensed against the wazir for having received a khilat from the Egyptian khalif, and that he had urged Mahmud so strongly to execute him that the incensed monarch broke out in the indignant words re corded by Baibaki, Tell the doting old khalif that out of regard to the Abbassides I have meddled with all the world. I am hunting for the Karmatians, and wherever one is found he is impaled. If it were proved that Hasnak is a Karmatian, the Commander of the Faithful should soon see what had happened to them. But I have brought him up, awl he is to inc as my sons and my brothers. if he is a Karmatian, so am I.' When Mahmud departed, and Hasnak's enemy succeeded, the khalif'a animosity was soon ap peased.
Though Mahmud expelled the Karmatian chief from Multan, the heresy was not suppressed ; for in ii. 571 (A.D. 1175), Muhammad Ghori once more delivered Multan from the hands of the Karma tians. In it. 634 (A.D. 1237) wo find them in some force at Dehli, where they made a concerted assault upon the faithful in the Great Mosque, and slew a considerable number ; but they were finally overpowered, and every heretic and Kar matian was sent to hell.' The Druse sect adored Hakim, the Fatimite khalif of Egypt, as a god. In the year A.D. 1032, Muktana Baha-ud-Din, the chief apostle of IIamza, and the principal compiler of the Druse writings, was in correspondence with the Karmatian schismatics in Sind, his letter being addressed to Shaikh-ibn-Sumar, Raja Bel, in particular. The Karmatians, after successive defeats and subsequent persecution in Arabia, as refugees from Bahrein and Al lia-san, sought protection in Sind, where their progress amongst the Hindus was rapid. The Karmati, one of the
Baluch clans, preserves the memory of its heresy. Independent of the general dissemination of Shia!' sentiments in the valley of the Indus, which favoured notions of the incorporation of the god head in man, the old occupants of the soil must, from other causes, have been ready to acquiesce in the wild doctrines of the heretics, who now offered themselves for spiritual teachers, as well as polit ical leaders. Their cursing of Mahomed ; their incarnations of the deity; their types and allegories ; their philosophy divided into exoteric and esoteric; their religious reticence ; their regard for parti cular numbers, particularly seven and twelve ; the various stages of initiation ; their abstruse allusions ; their mystical interpretations, and their pantheistic theosophy, — were so much in con formity with sentiments already prevalent amongst these willing disciples, that little persuasion could have been required to induce them to embrace so congenial a system of metaphysical divinity, of which the final degree of initiation, however cautiously and gradually the development was concealed, undoubtedly introduced the disciple into the regions of the most unalloyed atheism. So susceptible, indeed, must the native mind have been of these insidious doctrines, that Hanimer-Purgstall and others, who have devoted much attention to these topics, have very reason ably concluded that the doctrines of these secret societies, such as the Karmatian, Ismailian, or Assassin, Druses, Batini, and sundry others, which at various periods have devastated the Muham madan world, and frequently threatened the extinction of that faith, though originally based upon the errors of the Gnostics, were yet largely indebted to the mystical philosophy and theology of eastern nations, and especially of India, where the tenets of transmigration and of absorption into the deity were even more familiar both to Buddhists and Brahmans than they were to these miserable schismatics.—Elliot's history (If India, ii. p. 407 ; Tr. of Hind. i. p.,431 ; Calcutta Review.