Saturday, November 28, 2009


. Qutb-ud-din Aibak, the founder of the Sultanate, was
a slave of Muhammad of Ghur.
. The independent dynasty founded by Qutb-ud-din Aibak is referred to as the mameluks or slave dynasty, because two other prominent rulers of the Sultanate-Iltutmish and Balban-were also slaves. These rulers, however, did not descend from a common ancestor.
. Aibak received the title of Sultan of Delhi from Ghiyas­
ud-din Mahmud, the successor of Muhammad Ghur.
. Aibak was also known as lakh bakhsh (giver of lakhs).
He constructed two mosques Quwatul-Islam and Arhai­
Din ka Jhonpara, at Delhi.
. Chengiz Khan, the Mongol leader, threatened to attack
the Sultanate during the reign of Iltutmish.
. Iltutmish completed the structure of Qutb Minar in
Delhi, the construction of which had been started by
. Qutb Minar was dedicated to Khwaja Qutb-ud-din
Bakhtiyar Kaki.
. Raziya Sultan, the only woman ruler to occupy the
throne of Delhi, was murdered near Kaithal.
. Balban's greatest contribution to the stability of the
Sultanate was to ensure respect for the kingly office. He
demolished the power of the 'college of forty' (chalisa),
a group of forty Turk nobles founded during Iltutmish's
. Kaiqubad was the last ruler of the slave dynasty.
. The Khalji Dynasty was founded by Jalal-ud-din Khalji,
whose original name was Firoz Shah.
. The 'New Muslims' were the Mongols who had con­
verted to Islam and settled down near Delhi during
Jalal-ud-din's reign.
. Jalal-ud-din Khalji was the first Sultan of Delhi who
clearly put forward the view that the state should be
based on the willing support of the governed. . Balban was also known as Ulugh Khan. . Malik Kafur, who helped Ala'-ud-din Khalji in his Deccan
campaign, was captured by the latter during his attack
on Gujarat in 1297.
. Deval, captured by Ala-ud-din Khalji, was a Devagiri
. Ala-ud-din Khalji defeated the Mongol leader Qutlugh
. Ala-ud-din introduced the system of daag (branding
horses) and chehra (preparing descriptive rolls of sol­
diers). But his most remarkable reform was that of
. market regulation.
. Ala-ud-din appointed two new officers-diwan-i-riyasat and shaha-i-mandi-to keep a check on the market.
. Sarai adi was the name given by Ala-ud-din Khalji to
open market where all goods for sale were to be brought.
. Ala-ud-din built a new city, called Siri, and Alai Darwaja near Qutb Minar. . .
. The Tughlaq dynasty was founded by Ghiyas-ud-din
Tughlaq. . Ghiyas-ud-din Tughlaq, built Tughlaqabad fort in Delhi.
. Muhammad-bin Tughlaq created an agricultural depart­
ment called diwan-i-kohi whose main object was to bring the uncultivated land under cultivation through state financial support.
. Muhammad-bin- Tughlaq was called a 'Prince of
Moneyers' and 'Mixture of Opposites'.
. The Chinese ruler, Toghan TImur, sent an envoy to the court of Muhammad-bin-Tughlaq to seek the Sultan's permission to rebuild Buddhist temples in the Hima­layan region. Bin Tughlaq sent Ibn Batutah, a Moorish traveller appointed as chief qazi of Delhi, to the Chinese empero{ in 1347.
. Ibn Batutah wrote Safarnamah which records Muhammad­
bin- Tughlaq' s adventures.
. Firuz Tughlaq was at Thatta (Sindh) when Muhammad­
bin- Tughlaq died in 1336.
. Firuz Shah Tughlaq established a charitable hospital
(diwan-i-khairat) in Delhi and founded the cities of
Firuzabad, Fatehabad, Firuzpur, Hissar and Jaunpur.
. Fatuhat-i-Firuz Shahi was written by Firuz Shah Tughlaq. . Firuz Shah Tughlaq was the first sultan to impose jaziya
on the brahmans.
. The final blow to the Tughlaq dynasty came with the
invasion of Amir Tunur or TImurlane, who was the ruler
of Samarkand (Central Asia).
. The Sayyid dynasty was founded by Khizr Khan, the
viceroy of Tunur. . The founder of the Lodi dynasty was BaWol LodL . Sikandar Lodi, the most capable Lodi ruler, shifted the
capital of Sultanate from Delhi to Agra, a city he
. Daulat Khan Lodi, the governor of Punjab, invited Babar,
the king of Kabul, to overthrow Ibrahim Lodi.
. The diwan-i-wizarat, headed by Wazir, was in charge of
revenue and finance. The wazir also controlled other
departments. . Muhatsib was a censor of public morale. . Provincial governors of the Sultanate were called amils
or muqtas.
. Sultanate's fiscal policy was guided by Hanafi school of Sunni jurists. There were five kinds of taxes: (i) zakat (religious tax on wealthy Muslims); (ii) kharaj (land revenue); (Hi) khan (war booty); (iv) ushraf (on Muslim lands); and (v) jaziya or poll tax (ad~t non-Muslim males).

. t:and revenue, the most important source of revenue, was derived from khalisa (or crown lands) and iqtas (territories granted to officers).
. Ala-ud-din Khalji and Muhammad-bin- Tughlaq checked
the influence of the ulemas and disregarded their advice.



The exchange of ideas be­tween Hindus and Muslims resulted in the development of two popular movements.

(i) The Sufi Movement: Mystics, later called Sufis,-had risen in Islam at a very early stage. The Sufis propounded the idea of union with God through love and not prayer, ritual, and fasts. The Sufis had 12 orders or silsilahs, generally led by prominent mystics who lived in a khanqah. The link between the teacher or pir or shaikh and his disciples or murids was a vital part of the Sufi system. The Sufi orders were divided into two: Ba-shara, or those who followed the Islamic law such as the Chishti and Suhrawardi; and Be-shara, or those who were not bound by Islamic law.

The Chishti order was established in India by Khwaja Muin-ud-din Chishti. The Chishti order was popular in and around Delhi and the Doab. The most famous Chishti saints were Nizamuddin Auliya and Nasiruddin Chiragh-i-Dehlvi. Of the Suhrawardi saints, Shaikh Shihabuddin Suhrawardi and Hamid-ud-din Nagori are the most famous. Like the Chishtis, the Suhrawardis did not believe in leading a life of poverty. The Suhrawardis were popular in Sindh. The Firdausi order was popular in Bihar. The Sufis made themselves popular by adopting musical recitations called sama. Qawwali was another form of singing at gatherings.

(ii) The Bhakti Movement: Among the Hindus, the Bhakti movement preached religion which was non-ritual­istic and open to all without any distinction of caste or
creed. Its cardinal principle was blzakti or unflinching devotion to a personal God whose Grace was the only means of attaining salvation. The real development of Bhakti took place in South India between the seventh and the twelfth centuries. The Saiva nayanarsand Vaishnavite alvars were its first propagators. Among the Bhakti saints were the Maharashtrians Namadeva and Ramananda, who were followers of Ramanuja. Ramananda's disciples in­
cluded Ravidas, who was a cobbler; Kabir, who was a weaver; Sena, a barber; and Sadhana who was a butcher. In the period under consideration, the Sufis influenced the Bhakti movement in ideas of love and brotherhood.

Among those who were most critical of the existing social order and made a strong plea for Hindu-Muslim unity were Kabir (1440-1518) and Nanak (1469-1539). Kabir emphasised the unity of God and expressed his ideas in dalzas or couplets. His followers were called Kabirpanthis. Guru Nanak laid great emphasis on the purity of character and conduct as the first condition of approaching God and the need of a guru for guidance. He advocated a middle path in which spiritual life could be combined with the duties of the householder. In course of time, the ideas of Nanak gave birth to a new creed called Sikhism"There also developed, in North India, the worship of Rama and Krishna, incarnations of God Vishnu. The greatest apostle of Krishna was Chaitanya in the east. He popularised musical gatherings or kirtans as a special form of mystic experience in which the outside world disappeared by dwelling on God's name. He is regarded as an incarnation of Sri Krishna.



Though primarily a military people, the Turko-Afghan rulers patronised learning. Amir Khusrau, the first Muslim writer to make use of Hindi words and adopt Indian themes, enjoyed the patronage of Balban, Ala­ud-din Khalji and Ghiyas-ud-din Tughlaq. His famous works are Khazain-ul-Futuh, Miftah-ul-Futuh, Tughlaqnama, Tarikh-i-Alai, Laila Majnu, Aina-Sikandari, Nuh-Siphir, and Hasht Bihist. Among the writers of historical works, the most important are Amir Hasan DeWvi, Minhaj-us-Siraj, the author of Tabaqat-i-Nasiri, Zia-ud-din Barani, the author of Tabaqat-i-Firuz Shahi, and Shams-i-siraj Afif who wrote Tarikh-i-Firuz Shahi.
Vernacular literature got an impetus with the Bhakti movement. Ramananda and Kabir wrote poems in Hindi. Mira Bai composed her songs in Brajabhasa. The verses of Guru Nanak enriched the Punjabi language.

A good example of the union of Hindu and Islamic cultures was the evolution of the Urdu language (originally called zaban-i-hindavi). Amir Khusrau is considered the first Muslim to have used this language for the expression of his poetic ideas.


PAINTING The Sultanate painting shows an attempt to arrive at a fusion of the newly-introduced Persian and Indian traditional styles. The illustrated manuscript of Ni'mat Namat of the early 16th century, for instance, shows the fusion of Persian and Jaina styles. Many of the illus­trated manuscripts show the influence of Jain and Rajasthani painting styles. Out of the Sultanate painting tradition emerged three major sub-styles-Mughal, Rajasthani and Deccani schools, all of which displayed an individuality while bearing some common elements.

MUSIC When the Turks came to India, they brought with them a number of new musical instruments, such as the rabab and sarangi, and new musical modes and regu­lations. Most of the Sultanate rulers also patronised music. Balban encouraged the setting up of a society of dancers and musicians. Ala-ud-din Khalji patronised musicians such as Gopal Nayak and Amir Khusrau, who were conferred the title of nayak, or master. Khusrau introduced many Perso-Arabic ragas such as aiman, ghora, sanam, iman, zilb and sazagiri. He is also credited with having invented the sitar. Though music was banned in Ghiyas-ud-din's time, it was encouraged by Muhammad Tughlaq. Firuz Shah TugWaq is said to have been very fond of music. He got the Indian classical work Ragadarpan translated into Persian.



The coming of Islam to India brought in its wake a unique' mingling of cultural traditions, resulting in the growth of a composite culture. Evidence of this cultural contact is evident in the architecture, painting, literature, and music; it is also to be seen in the religious field.

ARCHITECTURE The period from 1206 to 1550 is generally referred to as the Pathan phase of Indo-Islamic architecture. The assimilation of different styles and ele­ments to create a new one is well represented by the architecture of the Sultanate period. Many of the charac­teristics of Hindu architecture are obvious in the buildings of the Muslim rulers, for though designed by Muslim architects to suit the requirements of their religious ideas, Hindu craftsmen actually built them. The new features brought by the Turkish conquerors were: (i) the dome; (ii) lofty towers; (iii) the true arch unsupported by beam; and (iv) the vault. These showed advanced mathematical knowl­edge and engineering skill. They also brought with them an expert knowledge of the use of concrete and mortar, which had hitherto been little used in India. The sultans of Delhi were liberal patrons of architecture and they erected numerous splendid edifices.

The best examples of the architecture of the Ilbari Turk dynasty (the Slave dynasty) are the Quwwatul-Islam mosque built by Qutb-ud-din in Delhi during 1191-98 and the Qutb Minar (1206-36) near the mosque which was founded by Qutb-ud-din and completed by Iltutmish. The Qutb Minar is striking for its symmetry and ornament. The Arhai-Din ka Jhonpra at Ajmer, started by Qutb-ud-din, has a beautiful prayer hall, an exquisitely carved mihrab of white marble and a decorative arch screen. The first example of true or voussoired arch is said to be the tomb of Ghiyas-ud-din Balban in Mehrauli.

In the Khalji period, the usage of voussoired arch and dome was established once and for all. The monuments show a rich decorative character. Famous examples are the tomb" of Hazrat Nizamuddin Aulia at Delhi, whose style of beam-on-brackets under the entrance arch of the central chamber came to be almost regularly employed in subse­quent pre-Mughal buildings, and the Alai Darwaza built by Ala-ud-din Khalji in Delhi.
The Tughlaq buildings show stark simplicity and so­briety-probably indicating less financial resources as well as a puritanical taste. The buildings are characterised by sloping walls and a dark appearance. Typical of the TugWaq style is the thick and battered or sloping walls, squinch arches for supporting domes, multi-domed roofs and taper­ing minaret-like buttresses or supports at the external angles of buildings. The trabeate and arcuate are combined. Some notable TugWaq monuments are the fort at TugWaqabad, the tomb of Ghiyas-ud-din TugWaq which marked a new phase in Indo-Islamic architecture by serving as a model for later tombs, the fort of Adilabad, Firuz Shah's capital at Delhi, now known as Kotla Firuz Shahi, and a group of buildings at Hauz Khas in Delhi with Firuz Shah's tomb.
The Sayyid period was too short to allow construction of elaborate buildings. But the tombs of this period display some characteristics such as use of blue-enamelled tiles, the lotus-motif covering the dome and free use of guldastas. These features had much influence on the architectural style of the subsequent period.
The resources available to the Lodis were limited, and this is clearly indicated by the hard and bare tombs they erected. But some of their buildings show an elegance, with the use of enamelled tiles-a technique introduced from Persia. A certain amount of imagination and a bold diversity of design is also displayed in the Lodi architecture. Another characteristic was the use of double domes. One building of note is the Moth Ki Masjid, erected by the prime minister of Sikandar Lodi.



The chief sources of India's wealth were agriculture, tracL and commerce. The sultans were alive to the importana of agriculture and most of them promoted it by providin! facilities such as irrigation. The agricultural production Wa! surplus which made the necessities of life cheap. There Was widespread commerce, both internal and external. BengaJ was the main centre for trade with China and South-easi Asia. The Sultans also encouraged various industries such as silk-weaving and manufacture of golden tissues. India's imports were horses and luxury items. The balance of trade was always in India's favour. India now had contact with Europe also. Ports along the east coast of Africa provided an additional market.


During the rule of the Delhi Sultans, the Muslim n< was a powerful political force. Under weak rulers power and ambitions rose high and even threatene stability of the government. The Muslim nobility period was not homogeneous in character, but coml of various nationalities such as Turk, Afghan, Abyssl Egyptian and Arab. As such it lacked effective solie to stand against the despotism of the sultan.

A herec aristocracy is a stabilising force, but the Muslim no was a disruptive force which very, often menaced integrity of the state. The Muslim divines called ulemas were the authorit exponents of Islamic theology. They were a highly i ential body. Ala-ud-din Khalji was the first Sultan checked their pretensions and disregarded their ad Another such sultan was Muhammad-bin-Tughlaq earned the wrath of the ulemas. The office of the ulema not hereditary in nature or confined to anyone rac country.

The lower classes of the Muslim society consistiq soldiers, clerks and men employed in trade and indu did not enjoy luxurious living though they had all privileges of being citizens of the land. They could ris the highest position by way of merit or even through rt preference. Slavery was a popular institution. Slaves were} both by the Sultan and the nobles. However, the SuJ could grant manumission to any slave, so that he cea to be a slave from then on. Sultans such as Qutb-ud­-Aibak, lltutrnish and Balban were slaves at the beginn of their careers.

The Hindus formed the vast majority of the populati Their society was caste-ridden. Owing to the Turk .-tendem:y of seeking beautiful Hindu girls for wives, ch marriage became common as a form of protection difference in the standards of living between the wealt few and the many poor was very wide. The extortioru demands of rulers like Ala-ud-din Khalji and Muhamma bin- Tughlaq reduced the peasants to abject misery. An
Khusrau aptly observed, "Every pearl in the royal cro" is but the crystallised drop of blood fallen from the tearl eyes of the poor peasant."

Seclusion of women became a general practice at1 marriage of widows was unthinkable. Sati and jauhar we also prevalent during this period. Ibn Batutah was amaze to see Hindus drowning themselves in the Ganga to attai a holy jal samadlzi. The Hindus were also becoming ver superstitious.