“Babur(1483–1530), the founder of the Mughal Empire, descended from Timur. Though
Mughal means ‘Mongol’ in Persian, the Timurids were of Turkic rather than Mongol origin. Timur’s marriage to a descendant of Genghis Khan had earned him the Mongol designation ‘son-in-law’. Invading from Central Asia, Babur defeated the last Muslim sultan of Delhi at the Battle of Panipat in 1526. Even though this victory marked the birth of a brilliant and powerful state in India, Babur’s descendants continued to think of Central Asia as their true home, expressing intentions of recapturing Samarkand. India had not been dominated by a single ruler since the time of Harsha Vardhana (r. 606-647). But the politically divided Hindus did not put up a combined resistance. The Mughal state, in contrast, inherited traditions of unified imperial rule from both the Islamic caliphate and the more recent examples of Genghis Khan and Timur.Akbar, the most illustrious Mughal ruler, differed from his Ottoman and Safavid counterparts – Suleiman the Magnificent and Shah Abbas the Great – in his striving for social harmony and not just for more territory and revenue. On reaching twenty, Akbar took command of the government. He married a Hindu Rajput princess and welcomed her to the court in Agra. Akbar signaled a desire for Muslim-Hindu reconciliation. A year later he rescinded the head tax that Muslim rulers traditionally levied on tolerated non-Muslims. This measure was more symbolic than real because the tax had not been regularly collected, but the gesture helped cement the allegiance of the Rajputs. To his relief, his Rajput wife gave birth to a son in 1569, ensuring future rulers would have both Muslim and Hindu ancestry. He also made himself the center of a new ‘Divine Faith’ incorporating Muslim, Hindu, Zoroastrian, Sikh, and Christian beliefs. Sufi ideas attracted him and permeated his court. To promote serious consideration of his religious principles, he monitored, from a high catwalk, debates among scholars of all religions assembled in his private octagonal audience chamber. When courtiers uttered the Muslim exclamation ‘Allahu Akbar’ – ‘God is great’ – its second grammatical meaning, ‘God is Akbar,’ was not lost on them. Akbar’s religious views did not survive him, but the court culture he fostered, reflecting a mixture of Muslim and Hindu traditions, flourished until his zealous great-grandson Aurangzeb(r. 1658–1707) reinstituted many restrictions on Hindus.Some scholars maintain that most Muslim converts came from the lowest Hindu castes but little data confirm this theory. Others argue that Sufi brotherhoods led the way in converting people, but this has not been proved. The most heavily Muslim regions developed in the valley of the Indus River and in Bengal. The Indus center dates from the isolated establishment of Muslim rule there as early as the eighth century.” ~ The Earth and Its Peoples
1. For Babur and his successors, their ruling family would always be “The House of Timur,” prompting historians to sometimes refer to the line as the Timurids. However, because of their claims to the legacy of Genghis Khan, they would be better known to the world as the
(A) Huns (C) Sheikh
(B) Mughals (D) Safavids
2. Which of the following ranks as the most remarkable aspect of the reign of Akbar the Great?
(A) his construction of the Taj Mahal
(B) his mighty victories in battle
(C) his many wives
(D) his dedication to the ideal of religious tolerance
A. Founded by a Sufi order that dates back to Safi al-Din (1252-1334) Safi al-Din converted to Shi’ism and was a Persian nationalist
The order became a military and religious order in the 15th century
Many were attracted by allegiance to Ali and a “hidden imam”
Leadership of the Shi’a community continued with ‘Imams’ who were believed to be divinely appointed from Prophet’s Family
Largest sect of Shi’a: Twelvers – believe twelve divinely appointed Imams descended from Prophet from line of Ali and Hussein But twelfth imam disappeared yet believed to return at end of time In 1501, Safavid Shah declared independence from Ottomans Ottomans had outlawed Shi’a Islam
2. Safavids declared Shi’a Islam the state religion
5. The Mughal Empire and the Ottoman Empire before 1700 C.E. shared which of the following characteristics?
(A) Both empires were able to expand without meeting strong resistance.
(B) Both empires formally restricted foreign trade.
(C) Both empires were ruled by a single religious official.
(D) Both empires were religiously and culturally diverse. 6. By borrowing heavily from Sufi mysticism, Persian court protocols, Zoroastrian sun and fire veneration, and even Muslim and Christian Neo-platonic spiritualism, Akbar's divine faith sought to:
(A) Increase the Sunni Islamic clerics and draw followers from other religions
(B) Create a new religious sect that would draw follower form other religions
(D) Limit the power of Sunni Islamic clerics and draw followers from other religions 7. While this new philosophy did not end Akbar’s military campaigns, which he saw as ordained by God, it ultimately did lead him to conducting spirited religious debates with his subjects and formulating a new religion he called _________, or “divine faith.”
(B) din-i ilahi
(D) Muraqaba 8. One of Aurangzeb's most resented policies was the reinstatement of the jiziya, a _________on non-Muslims, including a new tax on Hindu pilgrims.
(A) graduated head tax
(D) non-believer tax
Comparative Essay Practice:
Analyze similarities and differences in methods of political control in the Safavid and Mughal Empires.
How did religion inform government policies in the Islamic Gunpowder Empires? __________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________
How and why did Mughal Emperor Akbar differ from Mughal Emperor Aurangzeb? __________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________
Why did hostilities exist between the Safavid and Ottoman Empires? __________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________
What are two different theories as to why some Hindus converted to Islam during the Mughal Empire and why are these theories difficult to prove? __________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________
Why did Akbar’s Din-i-ilahi not survive after the end of his reign? __________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________
How did the Safavids’ conversion to Shi’a Islam affect the peoples of the Empire? __________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________