We know that the people of Europe and Arab countries were referred with the word “Yavana” in the ancient Tamil and Sanskrit literature. Kālidāsa specially refers the Persians as “Pāraśikas” with mustaches. In his work, Raguvaṃśa, while explaining the digvijaya of Raghu, he made the reference.
पारशीकांस्ततो जेतुं प्रतस्थे स्थलवर्त्मना।(Raghuvaṃśa 4.59)
pāraśīkāṁstato jetuṁ pratasthe sthalavartmanā|
During the medieval period, there was a clear connection between the Arab country and India. Rāṣtrakūṭas made some of the Arabs as their governors for the saṃyāna maṇḍala in the North Koṅkaṇa region. Such a instance is recorded in the Ciñcanī plates of Nityavarṣa Indra III (914-928CE). The date of the plate is calculated as 17th April, 926 CE. The plate is published in the Epigraphia Indica Vol XXXII. The following verses from the plate describe the governor of the saṃyāna maṇḍala.
आसीन्मधुमतिः श्रीमान् नृपतिस्ताजिकान्वये।।17
विजित्य करदण्डेन सर्व्ववेलाकुलाधिपान्।
न्यवीविशत्समं कीर्त्या सर्वत्र करणानि यः।।18
रुच्यारञ्जितभुवनोरुणमणिरिव सुगतीपो धरावध्वाः।
भूषणभूतस्यास्याभूत् तत्सुतः सहियारहारस्य।।19
āsīnmadhumatiḥ śrīmān nṛpatistājikānvaye||17
vijitya karadaṇḍena sarvvavelākulādhipān|
nyavīviśatsamaṁ kīrtyā sarvatra karaṇāni yaḥ||18
rucyārañjitabhuvanoruṇamaṇiriva sugatīpo dharāvadhvāḥ|
bhūṣaṇabhūtasyāsyābhūt tatsutaḥ sahiyārahārasya||19
Meaning of the above verses :
(When Indra (III) was reigning), there was a ruler named Madhumati who belonged to the Tājika (i.e Arab) community, and that he had received the entire Maṇḍala of territorial division of Saṃyāna from Kṛṣṇarāja (Kṛṣṇa II (878-915 CE)) Madhumatī conquered the chiefs of all harbors of the neighborhood, apparently on behalf of his master, and placed his own officials in them. Madhumatī’s other name was Sugatīpa and he was the son of Sahiyārahāra.
Here the name Madhumatī is nothing but the Sanskritized form of the Arab name “Mohammad”. Hence we got a Sanskritised form of the name Mohammad.
The second instance is from Panjim plates of Kadamba Jayakeśin I (1050-80 CE) of Goa. It gives the another form of the Arab name “Mohammad” as “Madhumada”. (Epigraphia Indica Page 47, fn 3).
The third specimen is of Sultān Mohammad who is nobody other than Mohammad shah bin Tughluq. The stone inscription of the said king is from Kalyāṇi and was dated as 10th November 1326 CE. The inscription is in Sanskrit and in Nāgari script. The inscription describes the king as “Mahārājādhirāja Suratāna Mahāmadaḥ (sya) rājye”. Here the name Mohammad is referred as “Mahāmadaḥ”.
The so called portion of Bhaviṣya purāṇa which is considered to be an interpolation refers the Mohammad as Mahāmada and other attributes suit with the Mohammad the messenger.
Saṅgīta mālikā, a dance treatise was written by a Muslim king Mohammad Shah, son of Tattra khan. He referred himself as “Mahāmada śāhi”. The work is dated as of circa 17th CE.
Śivarājavijaya, a Sanskrit Kāvya in prose form, refers the Mohammads of Ghajini and Ghori as Mahāmadas.
Hence we have three forms of the name Mohammad in Sanskrit.
- Madhumati – the earliest form from Rāṣṭrakūṭa copper plates
- Madhumada – a form from Kadamba plates
- Mahāmada – well known form derived from the Muslim inscriptions and works.
Since the last form is accepted by the Muslim rulers, the same may be accepted as a befitting Sanskrit form of the name “Mohammad”.