The Ghaznavid dynasty was a Turko Persian Muslim dynasty of Turkic mamluk origin, who ruled large part of Iran, Afghanistan, much of Transoxiana and the northwest Indian subcontinent.
Mahmud of Ghazni was the first independent ruler of Ghaznavid dynasty, ruled from 998 to 1030. He began raiding the Indian territories on a regular basis between 1001 and 1021 A.D. and established a Ghaznavid province in Punjab consistent with his Afghan territories in 1028 A.D.
He issued coins with the Kalima (Islamic expression of faith) inscribed in Arabic with the title ‘Leader of the faithful’ on the obverse. One Silver Dirham issued by Mahmud in 418 AH from Mahmudpur has a unique bilingual legend with the Kalima in Arabic on the obverse and its translation in Sanskrit on the reverse!
The Sanskrit inscribed in Sharada script in the main field of the reverse read as: “avaktam ektam muhamadah avatarah nrpatih mahmudah” (There is one unmanifest (or invisible), Muhammad is the avatar, and the king is Mahmud). Date and mint name in same scripts depicted in the margin.
Sultan Mahmud died on 30 April 1030. His mausoleum is located in Ghazni, Afghanistan.
Image Source: Classical Numismatic Gallery