The Arabs and the Indo-Pakistan Subcontinent 1

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From the Preface to the Second Edition i
Preface to the First Edition v
A Note on Historiography of Muslim India xi
Chronology xxix
The Sultanate Period

/. The Arabs and the Indo-Pakistan Subcontinent 1
The Background, 1 Conquest of Sind, 2
Causes of Arab Success, 4 Personality and
Methods of Muhammad b Qasim, 6 Arab
Administration, 8 The Brahmanabad Settlement,
9 Later Arab Rule in Sind and Multan,
12 Indo-Arab Intellectual Contacts, 14 Social
and Cultural Conditions, 18 Significance of the
Arab Rule in Sind, 20 Arab Coastal Settlements, 22
2. Yamini Dynasty of Ghazni and Lahore 27
Islam in Central Asia, 27 Subuktigin and the Rise
of Ghazni, 28 Sultan Mahmud, 30 Al-Biruni,
34 Mahmud’s Successors, 37 Conflict with
Ghur and the Destruction of Ghazni, 39 HinduMuslim

Relations during the Ghaznavid Period, 40

Lahore, ”The Smaller Ghazni,” 43 Heritage
of Ghazni, 46
3. Shihab-ud-din Ghuri and the Conquest of Northern

India 51

Muslim Conquest of Northern India, 51 Conquest

of Bengal, 53 Muhammad Ghuri’s Character,
55 Ikhtiyar-ud-dm Muhammad b Bakhtiyar Khalji
and the Conquest of Bihar and Bengal, 56 Causes
of Muslim Success, 57
4. Early Slave Kings and the Establishment of the Delhi

Sultanate 61
Qutb-ud-din Aibak, 61 Shams-ud-dm Iltutmish,
62 Organisation of Early Muslim Government, 63
Nizam-al-Mulk Junaidi, 67 The Mongol
Invasion and Its Consequences, 68 Early Sufis, 70
Early Successors of Iltutmish, 72 Massacre
of Tajik Notables, 73 Radiyah Sultanah, 74
Struggle between the Throne and the Nobility, 75
5. The Era of Balban 79Era
of Balban, 79 Nasir-ud-dm Mahmud, 80
Ghiyath-ud-din Balban, 81 New Pattern of
Government, 81 Balban’s Achievements, 84
Balban’s Character, 87 End of the House of
Balban, 88 Kaiqubad and the Fall of the Ilbari
Turks, 89
6. The Khaljis and the Conquest of the South 93
The Khaljis, 93 Jalal-ud-dm Khalji, 94 ’Alaud-din
Khalji, 95 His Conquests, 96 Other
Developments, 97 ’Ala-ud-din’s Administrative
Reforms, 102 Amir Khusrau and the Flowering of
Indo-Muslim Culture, 1-04 Hadrat Nizam-ud-din
«’ Auliya, 106 ’Ala-ud-din’s Successors, 107
7. The Tughluqs and the Consolidation of 111

Muslim Rule in the Deccan

Ghiyath-ud-din Tughluq, 111 ___Muhammad b

Tughluq, 112 Muhammad Tughluq and Sufi
Saints, 116 Firuz Tughluq, 118 Later
Tughluqs, 121
8. The Sayyids and the Lodis 123
The Sayyids, 123 The Lodis, 124
9. Regional Kingdoms 129
The Role of the Regional Kingdoms, 129
Muhammad b Bakhtiyar, 131 The House of
Balban, 132 Independent Bengal, 134 Ilyas
Shahi Dynasty, 135 Husain Shahi Dynasty, 137
Jaunpur, 139 Kashmir, 140 Zain-al’Abidin,
141 Sind and Multan, 142
Gujarat, 144 The Kingdoms of the Deccan,
145 Malwa and Khandesh, 147 Hindu
Kingdoms of Northern and Southern India, 147

The Portuguese, 149

10. Administrative Structure of the Delhi Sultanate 155
Early Indo-Mushm Literature on Administration and
Political Theory, 155 Delhi Sultanate Not a
Theocracy, 159 The Sultan, 161 Departments
of the State, 163 History of Wizarah, 164
Finance, 168 Zakal and Jizyah, 170
Coinage, 172 The ’Arid, 174 Rawat’Ard,
175 Army, 176 Judiciary, 178 Amir-i
Dad, 178 Qadis, 180 Rise of Indo-Muslim
Law, 181 Nur-ud-din Mubarak Ghaznavi, 181
Minhaj al-Siraj, Chief Qadi of the Realm, 182
Maulana Burhan-ud-din Mahmud Balkhi, 184
Later Compilations, 186 Provincial and
Local Administration, 186 The Character of
Government, 189 Temper of the Times, 190

//. Social and Economic Conditions 197
Muslim Nobility, 197 Muslim Social Life, 199
Position of the Hindus, 203 Hindu Upper
Classes, 205 General Social Conditions, 208
Trade and Commerce, 210 Industry, 211
12. Cultural Life 215
The Cultural Importance of the Delhi Sultanate, 215
Education, 217 Medicine, 221
Literature, 223 Historians, 226 Hindu
Thought and Culture, 229 Regional Languages,
231 Painting, 232 Music, 233
Architecture, 236
13. Interaction of Islam and Hinduism 245
Spread of Islam, 245 Social and Cultural
Consequences, 251 Kabir and Dadu, 256
The So-Called Bhakti Movement, 261
Chaitanya’s Movement Revivalistic and Not
Syncretic; 263 Indian Medieval Renaissance, 266
Influence of Hinduism on Islam, 269
Limited Results of Mutual Interaction 271

The Mughal Period
14. The Early Mughals 279
The Mughal Period, 279 Babur, 279
Humayun, 281 Movements of Populations
on the Frontier, 287
/5. The Sur Dynasty 289
Sher Shah, 289 Sher Shah’s Administrative
Reforms, 290 Islam Shah Sur, 293

Mahdawiyah Movement’ Persecution of Shaikh

Ala’i and Shaikh Niyazi, 293
16. Akbar, the Conqueror and Ruler 297
Initial Problems, 297 Conquests, 299 Bengal,
300 North-West Frontier, 301 Deccan, 302
Death, 302 Administrative Reorganisation,
302 Mughal Kingship, 307 Abu al-Fadl,
Faidi and Shaikh Mubarak, 311 Fathullah Shirazi
and the New Education, 317 Akbar-Conflicting
Estimates, 320
17. Religion at the Court of Akbar 329
The First Phase of Akbar’s Religious History, 329
Discussions at the ’Ibadat Khanah, 330
Conflict between1 the Church and the State, 331
The Declaration of 987/1579, 332
Opposition, 335 Akbar’s Religious
Innovations, 335 Akbar’s Religion, 339
Final Phase, 341 Akbar’s Religious Policy
and Causes of His Failure, 345 Bayazid Ansari
and the Raushaniyyah Movement, 348
18. The Mujaddidi Reaction 355
Khwajah Baqi Billah, 355 Hadrat Mujaddid Alf-i
Thani, 359 Mujaddid’s Influence on the History of
Muslim India, 365 Pir Baba and Akhwand
Darweza, 374 Production of Islamic Literature in
Bengali, 376
19. Jahangir 381
Early Problems, 381 Nur Jahan and Increase of
Persian Influences, 382 Political Developments,
382 Unhealthy Features of Jahangir’s Reign, 385
20. Shah Julian 391

The Deccan Wars, 392 The North-West, 393

Mughal Relations with Iran and Turkey, 394
The Deccan, 397 War of Succession, 398
Shah Jahan’s Reign, 400 Dara Shukoh, 404
21. Aurangzeb 411
Aurangzeb, 411 Conquest of Assam and
Chittagong, 412 Bengal under The Mughals, 414
The Great Change in East Bengal, 415
North-West Frontier, 418 Mughal-Afghan
Rapprochement, 420 The Sikhs, 422
Conquests in the Deccan and the Maratha Wars,
426 Policy towards Non-Muslims, 429
Aurangzeb and the East India Company,
432 ”The Riddle of Aurangzeb,” 437 Personal
Qualities, 439 Administrative Problems, 441
The Basic Difficulty, 443 Legalistic Attitude,
444 Aurangzeb’s Wazir, 447 Conclusion, 449
22. Decline of the Mughal Empire 455
Bahadur Shah, 455 Jahandar Shah, 458
Farrukh Siyai. 459 Muhammad Shah, 463
Invasion of Nadir Shah, 465* Other Muslim
States, 468 Nizam al-Mulk in Hyderabad, 469
Bengal, 470 Murshid Quh Khan, 471
Ahvardi Khan 473 The Pun]ab, 474 The
Punjab under Zakanya Khan, 474 The Rise of the
Kalhoras in Smdh, 474 Shah Wall Allah, 477
Cultural Transition 481
23. Fall of the Mughal Empire 489
Ahmad Shah, 489 Alamgir II, 491 Third
Battle of Pampat, 491 Najib al-Daulah, 492
Tragedy of Shah ’41am, 493 Change-over in
Bengal, 498 Mir Qasim, 501 From Buxar to

Delhi, 504 Nawab Wazir of Oudh,

505 Kalhoras Replaced by Talpurs, 507 Chaos
in the Punjab, 509 Haidar ’Ali Khan and Tipu
Sultan, 514
_24. The Twilight of the MughtUs 519
The ”Twilight of the Mughals,” 519 Akbar Shah II
and Bahadur Shah II, 520 The House of Oudh,
524 Cultural Importance of Lucknow, 525
Punjab. North-West Frontier, Sind and
Baluchistan. 528 Shah Abdal -’Aziz, 535
Sayyid Ahmad Brelvi. 537 Muslim Revival
in Bengal, 539 British Expansion, 548
Cultural and Administrative Consequences of the
British Supremacy, 549 Muslim Law under the
British, 555 Struggle for Independence, 556
The Fate of the Mughal Delhi, 559 Fruits of
the Great Struggle, 564
25. Mughal Administration 569
Mughal Administration Owed Much to Earlier
Reforms and Experiments, 569 The Central
Government, 570 Wazir or Diwan, 571
Organisation of Public Services, 572
Provincial Administration, 574 Fiscal
System, 576 Land Revenue, 576 Military
Organisation, 580 The Navy, 581 Judiciary,
582 Estimates of Mughal Government, 586
Causes of the Mughal Downfall, 591
26. Economic, Social and Religious Conditions 603
Trade, 603 Industry and Handicrafts, 606
Cities and Towns, 607 Rural Area, 609
General Health and Medical Services, 610

Social Conditions, 611 Position of Hindus,

613 Mughal Way of Life, 621
27. Art and Culture 627
Education, 627 Philosophy, 63.1 Medical
Science, 633 Yunani Tibb, 637 Literature
During the Mughal Period, 638 Persian Literature,
638 Hindi, 641 Rise of Urdu, 641
Development of Urdu Poetry and Beginning of
Urdu Prose, 642 Flowering of Regional Literature,
643 Architecture, 644 Painting, 651
Music, 655
28. Muslim Civilisation of India and Pakistan 661
Legacy of Muslim Era, 661 Impact of IndoMuslim
Culture in Foreign Lands, 665 Spirit of
Indo-Muslim Culture, 669
Select Bibliography 675
Index 679


The present generation of students and scholars has luckily

been spared that agony which the Muslim students of Indian

history had to undergo some thirty years ago. Although since

the days of the Crusades the European accounts of Islam and

Muslim history have often been marked by a lack of knowledge

and understanding in India, imperialist considerations

strengthened the urge of paint the ”Muslim period” of Indian

history in particularly lurid colours. This was the Hell which

was to be the antechamber to the British Heaven. The

circumstances which resulted in large scale distortion of IndoMuslirn

history from the middle of the nineteenth century have
been dealt elsewhere, but this trend did not remain confined to

the British writers. All those who drew upon the material

collected in English by the Anglo-Indian writers, inevitably,

echoed this point of view. As an illustration of the usual view

of the Muslim dominion over the Indian subcontinent, it would

be enough to quote from the first volume of the Story of

Civilization by Will Durant, an influential American writer

whose Story of Philosophy has been a best seller for a quarter

of a century. He says:
”The Mohammedan Conquest of India ’is probably the

bloodiest story in history. It is a discouraging tale, for its

evident moral is that civilization is a precarious thing, whose

delicate complex of order and liberty, culture and peace may at

any time be overthrown by barbarians invading from without

or multiplying within.”1

1. Will Dur ant Story of Civilization, 1, 459.

History of Muslim Civilisation in India & Pakistan
variety of sectional purposes. No good can come out of such distortions, even when they are inspired by unselfish motives. Men who are unwilling to confront the past will be unable to understand the present, and unfit to face the future.”
The danger is universal, but it is greatest in the new countries. In writing the history of Muslim India and Pakistan, where the balance has been so long tilted in one direction, the urge to go to the opposite extreme is naturally powerful. But this temptation has to be resisted, not only for the sake of historical truth and objectivity, but also to serve the real, abiding national interests.
In preparing the second edition of the fuller book, I have received valuable help from Dr. Peter Hardy, Reader in Indian History, London School of Oriental and African Studies, who spent a year at the University of the Punjab in 1964-65. In spite of our differences, not only in general approach, but about individual writers like Barani, Dr. Hardy was kind enough to thoroughly revise the original version from the point of view of language, drew my attention to some debatable points and made many useful suggestions. Professor Shaikh Abdur Rashid, Head of the History Department, University of the Punjab, gave me similar help with regard to the first edition, but my gratitude to him is more general and extends over a number of years.... He came to Lahore when his most active years were over, but it was always fruitful to discuss things with him and draw upon his rich store of knowledge and benefit by his ripe judgment. I gladly acknowledge this debt....
10 July 1966
This sketch of the political and cultural history of Muslim India has grown out of a course lectures delivered at the Columbia University in 1953-54.
There are, in existence, two or three comparatively full accounts of Muslim rule in the Indo-Pakistan subcontinent, but the present work is planned on somewhat different lines. It provides the basic details of political history, especially in so far as the different rules made a more or less permanent impress on the course of events and their reigns affected general administrative policies and institutions, but the political history is only one of the many sectors covered in this book. Political activity is an important aspect of national life, and provides the basic framework within which other fields of human activity can be conveniently studied, but the glut of material on the subject provided by court chroniclers has led the modern historians of Muslim India to concentrate on the politics and even petty details of the work of individual rulers to the exclusion of more important aspects of national history. Even a perspicacious scholar like Stanley Lane-Poole observes: ”The history of the Muhammadan Period is therefore necessarily more a chronicle of kings and courts and conquests than of organic or national growth.”
This has been sought to be avoided in the following pages. In addition to the political narrative which furnishes the essential background, the book gives an account of the cultural developments, the changes in political philosophy and institutions, the rise of Indo-Muslim law, and, above all, those religious and intellectual movements which in the long run proved more powerful than the mighty rulers.

History of Muslim Civilisation in India & Pakistan
The general features of the cultural, administrative, social and economic history have been outlined in separate chapters, but the developments in these fields which were closely associated with any particular period or regime have been summarised along with the political narrative of that period.
Apart from a general broadening of the scope and a greater emphasis on social and cultural history, certain other considerations have also been kept in view. The approach, for one thing, has been more ”practical” than is usual in the subcontinent. In the course of my work at Columbia, I was forcefully impressed by the view, more generally accepted in the American than in the British or Commonwealth universities, that the primary utility of the study of the past is in the understanding which it affords of the present. Study of history can be a good intellectual discipline and a fascinating pursuit, but its real usefulness consists in the manner in which it illuminates the present in the light of the past. Hen^e, while treating different periods and events, attention has been concentrated on those developments in the past which provide a link with the present. Episodes like conquest, loss and reconquest of forts like Ranthambhor, palace intrigues and ephemeral, ineffectual conflicts on which older histories dwelt at such length have been treated very summarily. An attempt has also been made to give a fuller background. of events relating to areas which have recently gained in importance. For example, there is no doubt that the history of Oudh, of Gujarat, of Malwa, of the Bahmani Kingdom and the succession States can easily be made more interesting - simply because of the availability of larger material -than that of the Punjab, Bengal and Sind, but the importance of a study of the Muslim tradition in the latter areas great kingdoms, but owing to the play of bigger forces their work has been submerged by other traditions. Special attention has, therefore, been given in this book to the treatment of the areas, like Muslim Bengal, which have gained importance with the birth of Pakistan, and which did not receive adequate attention in the old historical works.
Preface to the First Edition
This narrative naturally involves going over the past, but the ground has been covered, so to say, ”facing forward”. The interest in the happenings of the past is on account of their contribution to the making of the present. This has been constantly kept in view, and has incidentally led to devotion of greater space to political and cultural developments in the eighteenth century than is customary. 4t was a period of transition and confusion, but modern Muslim India is more closely rooted in the eighteenth century than in the palmy days of the Grand Mughals, and the present cannot be understood without a satisfactory study of the period which saw the rise of Urdu and systematisation of the local Islamic tradition by Shah Wali Allah.
Greater attention has also been given to developments in the neighbouring Muslim countries than was done in histories written during the British period. Not only is this desirable in view of the growing closer contacts between the people of different parts of the world, but such study is also useful in understanding the course of events within the subcontinent.
Every writer dealing with Muslim rule has to give some thought to the date of the close of the period. The British replacement of the Mughals was a slow and gradual process, extending over a century. The newcomers did not attack the trunk first, but cut off the branches, and the determination of the stage at which they may be taken to have acquired Indian hegemony is a question on which opinions differ. In the past, however, there was less difference of opinion than exists at present. Keene, for example, had no hesitation in fixing the fall of the Mughal Empire with the British occupation of Delhi in

1803. Even some years before this, the Mughal Emperor was practically a pensioner under the control of Sindhia, but, as Keene pointed out, that was a phase which may or may not have lasted and, in any case, the Mughal Emperor had formally conferred power on the Maratha chief. The position was somewhat different with Lord Lake, though he also observed the courtesies traditionally paid to the Mughal King.

History of Muslim Civilisation in India & Pakistan
We agree with Keene, but for practical reasons have ended our narrative not at 1803, but at 1858, when the last Mughal Emperor was exiled from Delhi. The period between these two dates is one of interregnum described in that happy phrase ”The Twilight of the Mughals” by Dr.Percival Spear. With the overthrow of Sultan Tipu in 1799 in the South, and a few years later, of Sindhia in the North, the British overlordship of the subcontinent was secure. Owing to their deliberate policy of slow and gradual extension of power, however, they did not exercise full power of sovereignty even at this stage. Till 1833, the coins were issued in the name of Mughal Emperor and, in

1827. The meeting between Akbar Shah II and the British governor-general had to be abandoned, as the Mughal Emperor refused to acknowledge the governer-general as his equal, wanted him to present a nadhar, and refused to give him a chair on the same platform on which he himself was to take a seat. Large areas of the country were yet outside the British control in 1803. Sind was not occupied till 1843. Punjab, Kashmir and north-western areas remained outside the British influence till 1848-49 and Oudh was not annexed till 1854.

In selecting 1858 as the date at which to close our narrative we have also been guided by more practical consideration. In a subsequent volume we propose to deal with developments in modern Muslim India and the rise of Pakistan, which can best be studied from 1858 onwards. To secure continuity of narrative and to leave no substantial period uncovered, it has, therefore, been thought desirable to deal with the major developments concerning Muslim political and cultural history till 1858.
This book has been completed during a period of long leave (1953-55) and my second visit to Columbia in 1958, but material for it has been gathered and published, mainly in Urdu, over a number of years. My religious history of Muslim India (Urdu) which originally appeared in two medium-sized
Preface to the First Edition
volumes in 1940 has now grown to three bulky books.1 It was written by a layman for the laymen, but, being the first study of the subject, was adopted as the text-book by a number of Universities in the subcontinent and at the Islamic Research Institute, Mcgill University. Armughani Pak, an anthology of Persian poetry, the main literary expression of the Muslim period, was first issued in 1949, and has been recently followed up by Darbar-i-Milll, a sort of source-book of IndoMuslim history containing original excerpts from contemporary Persian accounts. A work on the Cultural Heritage of Pakistan dealing, as was explained in the Preface, very largely with the heritage of Muslim India and containing numerous chapters by the present write/, was edited in collaboration with Professor Spear in 1955. My Urdu studies of Ghalib and Shibli,2 and the pseudonymous book on Makers of Pakistan and Modern Muslim India (an enlarged edition has recently appeared under the title Modern Muslim India qnd the British of Pakistan3) are also concerned with the Muslim tradition and activity in the subcontinent, though they deal with a more recent period. No effort has been spared to study the original Persian source material, and as the readers of my Urdu books would have noticed, some of it, relating to religious and cultural history, was used first by me, but, as the copious references and quotations will show, full advantage has also been taken of recent researches in the subject. As a matter of fact, quotations from other works are more numerous than I would have liked, but such misconceptions regarding the Muslim performance in the subcontinent have become generally current, that a statement of the correct position had to be adequately documented and supported.
My basic draft was completed sometime ago, but it needed a thorough revision and the preparation of the manuscript for
1. Ab-t-Kniuhar, Mauj-i-Kauiher, and Riid-i-Kauihar, now published by the Institute of Islamic Culture
2. Hahm-t Farzanah and Yadgar-i Shibli, bolh now published by the Institute of Islamic Culture.
3. Also published by the Institute of Islamic Culture

History of Muslim Civilisation in India & Pakistan x
the press, for which I lacked the necessary leisure. I have, therefore, taken advantage of the presence in Lahore of Professor S.A. Rashid, Director of Historical Research, Punjab University, Lahore, and former Professor and Head of the Department of History, Muslim University, Aligarh. He very kindly undertook to examine and revise the text, check dates, references and transliteration of names and Oriental terms, compile an index, get the maps prepared, and see the book through the press. My deep gratitude is due to him as well as the Dr. P. Hardy of London School of Oriental and African Studies, who saw the draft at one stage and made valuable suggestions. I also acknowledge, with thanks, as grant made by the Rockefeller Foundation to the Columbia University, which enabled me to visit libraries in England and India and obtain copies of the material needed by me...
2 Club Road Lahore

10 September 1961

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