First published 1987 by Sidgwick & Jackson Ltd., London
First in Rupa Paperback 1993
Eleventh impression 2001
Rupa & Co.
7/16, Ansari Road, Daryaganj
New Delhi 110 002
15 Bankim Chatterjee Street, Kolkata 700 073
135 South Malaka, Allahabad 211 001
PG Solanki Path, Lamington Road, Mumbai 400 007
36, Kutty Street, Nungambakkam, Chennai 600 034
Surya Shree, B-6, New 66, Shankara Park,
Basavangudi, Bangalore 560 004
3-5-612, Himayat Nagar, Hyderabad 500 029
By arrangement with Pan Macmillan Ltd., London
This edition is for sale in India only
Picture research by Deborah Pownall
Maps drawn by Neil Hyslop. For their source the publishers gratefully acknowledge An Historical Atlas of the indian Peninsula by C. Collin Davies, published by Oxford University Press. The British place names in the source have not been changed.
All rights reserved.
No part of this publication may be reproduced, stored in a retrieval system, or transmitted, in any form, or by any means, electronic or mechanical, photocopying, recording or otherwise, without the prior written permission of the Copyright owner
Printed in India by
Gopsons Papers Ltd.
A-14 Sector 60
Noida 201 301
List of Illustrations vii
Important Dates ix
List of Maps xiv
Note on Pronunciation xv
Introduction, with a Review of Sources xvii
I The Arabs and the Turks 1
Early Islam, Institutions, Law, The Arab Conquest of Sind, The Ghaznavids, The Ghurids, The Ilbari Turks, The Khaljls, The Tughluq Dynasty, The Sayyids
II The Independent Ruling Dynasties 57
Bengal, Assam, Tirhut, Orissa, Rajasthan, Kashmir, Jaunpur, Malwa, Khandesh, Gujarat, The Western Coast, Ma'bar, The Bahmani Kingdom, The Five Deccan Kingdoms, The Vijayanagara Kingdom
III The Afghans and the Mughals 89
The Lodis, Babur and Humayun, Sher Khan (later Sher Shah), Sur, The Sur Sultanate, Humayun Recaptures Delhi, Akbar the Great, Jahangir, Shahjahan, Aurangzlb, Fall of the Mughal Empire
IV The State 154
Kingship, Law, The Royal Court and Household, Ministers and their Departments, The Mansabddrs and the Army, Finance, Justice, The Police, The Provincial Administration, District Administration
V Social and Economic Conditions 196
Social Structure, Women, Slavery, Villages, The Zamindars, Towns and Cities, Education, Inland Trade, Coastal Trade, Commercial Practices
VI Religion 231
Philosophical Movements, Sufi Movements, The Kubrawiyya, The Qalandars, The Muslim Intellectual Perception of Hinduism, The Hindu Impact on Sufism, The Mahdawi Movement, The New Sufi Orders (the Shattariyyas), The Qadiriyya Order, The Naqshbandiyya Order, The Shi'is
VII Fine Arts 277
Pre-Mughal Architecture - the First Phase, Architecture of the Regional Kingdoms, The LodI and Sur Monuments, The Mughal Monuments, Mughal Gardens, Painting, Music
Bibliography and References 317
Appendix with Bibliography and References 354
Index with Glossary 373
LIST OF ILLUSTRATIONS
Between pages 60 and 61
1. Jami' Masjid (Werner Fortnan Archive)
2. Pietra Dura in I'timadu'd-Dawla, Agra (J. Allan Cash)
3. Screen in the Diwan-i Khass (J. Allan Cash)
4. Screen of the Sidi Sayyid Mosque (M. Ara and the Institute of Oriental Culture, University of Tokyo)
5. The Panch Mahal (J, Allan Cash)
6. Throne in the Diwan-i Amm (A. F. Kersting)
7. Jami' Masjid at Mandu (Robert Harding)
8. Sikri Mosque (Werner Forman Archive)
9. Sher Shah's mosque (Y. Crowe)
10. Bidar Madrasa (College) (M. Ara and the Institute of Oriental Culture, University of Tokyo)
1757—8 Ahmad Shah Durrani declared Emperor of Delhi, Delhi
and Mathura plundered
1761 Ahmad Shah Durrani crushes Maratha power at Panipat, Delhi plundered by the Afghans
1762 Death of Shah Waliu'llah
1773 Death of Ahmad Shah Durrani
1785 Mawlana Fakhru'd-Din's death
1799 Tipu died defending Seringapatam
1803 Shah 'Alam II (1760-1806) surrenders Delhi to the British
1824 Death of Shah 'Abdu'l-'Aziz
1831 Defeat and death of Sayyid Ahmad Shahid and Shah Isma'il at Balakot
1837-57 Siraju'd-Din Bahadur Shah Zafar, the last Mughal emperor
LIST OF MAPS
India at the close of the ninth century 17
India in 1236 26
India in 1398 54
The Portuguese possessions in the East and the route to India 75
The Sultanates of the Deccan and the Hindu kingdom of Vijayanagara in the sixteenth century 85
The Mughal Empire at the death of Akbar, 1605 115
The Mughal Empire at the end of the seventeenth century 147
NOTE ON PRONUNCIATION
Every Indian language has a complex phonetic system and contains phonemes which to the average speaker of English seem almost exactly the same, but to the Indian ear are completely different. Only after long practice can the hearing be trained to recognize these differences, or the vocal organs to pronounce them accurately. The scripts of Indian languages reproduce these sounds, but they can be expressed in Roman script only by means of numerous diacritical marks below or above the letters. It is assumed that most the readers of this book will not be students of Indian languages, and therefore a simplified system of alliteration has been used, which gives some idea of the approximate sound.
Words in classical languages are transliterated according to the simplified system mentioned above. Place-names in general follow the present-day official spellings of the governments of the countries of South Asia, as given in Bartholomew's World Travel Map, India, Pakistan, and Ceylon, 1970. Proper names of nineteenth-and twentieth-century Indians are given in the spelling which they themselves favoured. Diacritical marks have been placed over the long vowels in such names, in order to give some ideas of the correct pronunciation. Exceptions are made only in the case of a very few Anglicized words, like Calcutta and Bombay.
Only three letters with diacritical marks are normally used: a, i, and u. These distinguish long from short vowels. In most Indian languages e and o are always long, and therefore do not need diacritics.
a short is pronounced like u in 'hut', never like a in 'hat'. Bengali speakers usually pronounce it like a short o as in 'hot'.
a long, as in 'calm'.
e approximately as the vowel in 'same', but closer to the long e in French or German.
i as in 'pin'. The word 'Sikh', incidentally, should sound approximately like English 'sick'. The pronunciation like 'seek' seems to have been adopted by some Englishmen in India for this very reason, in order to avoid depressing overtones in the name of a tough, vigorous people.
i as in 'machine'.
o approximately as in 'so'. Close to the long o in French or German.
u as in 'bull', never as in 'but'. ('Punjab', however, is an Anglicized spelling, and is more accurately written 'Panjab'. In the case of this word we have deviated from our rule about using the accepted spelling, in order to avoid the pronunciation 'Poonjab', which one sometimes hears from speakers who are doing their best to be correct. The first syllable is like the English 'pun'.
u as in 'boot'.
Most of the Hindi consonants are pronounced roughly as in English, but special care should be taken of the aspirated consonants kh, gh, chh, jh, th, dh, ph, and bh. These are exactly like their unaspirated counterparts, k, g, ch, j, t, d, p, and b, but with a stronger emission of breath.
Urdu has imported several sounds from Arabic and Persian. Many speakers are inclined to pronounce words in these languages according to the Indian phonetic system, but educated Muslims attempt to pronounce them correctly.* The Arabic alphabet indicates several shades of pronunciation which cannot be expressed in simple Roman script; for example, t represents two different Persian letters, s three letters, and z four letters. In works intended for specialist readers such consonants are indicated by diacritical marks; this seemed unnecessary in this work. The vowels, a, e, i, o, and u, are pronounced roughly as mentioned above.
Consonants are to be pronounced approximately as in English, with the following exceptions: kh sounds like the Scottish 'loch' or German 'buch'; gh is pronounced like the French r, q is a deep guttural unknown in most European languages, pronounced like k but with the back of the throat wider open as though swallowing. The sign ' represents a distinct letter known as ain in Arabic and Persian. It is known to phoneticians as a 'glottal stop'; a similar sound occurs in some dialects in English, as in the eastern English and 'cockney' pronunciation of 'bottle', where the t is not heard, but a momentary suppression of breath and a slight swallowing movement of the throat takes place. The raised comma ' represents the Arabic hamza, which is not strictly a letter. It normally occurs between vowels and indicates that they form separate syllables, but the swallowing sound between is much less noticeable.
* Adapted from A.L. Basham (cd.), A Cultural History of India, Oxford, 1975, pp. xvi, xvii.
INTRODUCTION, WITH A REVIEW OF SOURCES
India and China have the oldest cultural traditions in the world. India has enjoyed over 4,000 years of civilization, and every period of its history has contributed something to present-day life. The most significant characteristic of Indian civilization, as it evolved through the ages, is its unity in diversity. The Wonder That Was India, first published in 1954, now called Volume I, deals with the ancient civilization of India. It was stated there that the ancient civilization of India differed from those of Egypt, Mesopotamia, and Greece in that its traditions have been preserved without a break to the present day.* Muslim rule in India, which was firmly established in the thirteenth century and flourished until the beginning of the eighteenth century, and is now the subject of the present volume, did not destroy the ancient culture of India, as did the onslaughts of the Muslims in Persia.
Under the rule of some of the Delhi sultans of the Middle Ages there was persecution, and we read of temples being razed to the ground and brahmans put to death for practising their devotions in public; but in general the Muslims were reasonably tolerant, and at all times Hindu chiefs continued to rule in outlying parts of India, paying tribute to their Muslim overlords. Conversions to Islam were numerous, though only in a few regions were the majority of Indians persuaded to embrace the new faith. Hindus in those parts of India dominated by Muslims often accepted the situation as normal. In such conditions mutual influence was inevitable. Hindus began to learn Persian, the official language of their Muslim rulers, and Persian words found their way into the vernaculars. Well-to-do Hindu families often adopted the system of 'strict parda' from the Muslims, and made their womenfolk veil their faces in public. The surviving Hindu kings borrowed new military techniques from the Muslims, learnt to employ cavalry with greater effect, and to use heavier armour and new types of weapon. One great religious teacher of medieval India, Kabir (1425-1505), a poor weaver of Banaras, taught the brother-hood of Hindu and Muslim alike in the fatherhood of God, and opposed idolatry and caste practices, declaring that God was equally to be found in temple and mosque. Later, Nanak (1469-1539), a teacher of the Panjab, taught the same doctrine with even greater force, and founded a new faith, that of the Sikhs, designed to incorporate all that was best of both Hinduism and Islam.
* A. L. Basham, The Wonder That Was India, London, 1954. p. 4.
Nevertheless, the Muslim invasions, and the enforced contact with new ideas, did not have the fertilizing effect upon Hindu culture which might have been expected. Hinduism was already very conservative when the lieutenants of Muhammad of Ghur conquered the Ganges Valley. In the Middle Ages, for every tolerant and progressive teacher there must have been hundreds of orthodox brahmans, who looked upon themselves as the preservers of the immemorial Aryan Dharma against the barbarians who overran the holy land of Bharatavarsa. Under their influence the complex rules of the Hindu way of life became if anything stricter and more rigidly applied.
In the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries the Mughal emperors unified practically the whole of North India and much of the Deccan, and built up an empire such as had not been seen since the days of the Guptas. The Mughal period was one of great splendour, which has left its mark on India in the form of many lovely buildings, wherein Islamic and Hindu motifs often blended in a perfect unity. The Taj Mahal at Agra, the Mughal capital, is of course the most famous memorial of the times. Akbar (1556-1605), the contemporary of Queen Elizabeth I and the first of the four great Mughal emperors, fully realised that the Empire could stand only on a basis of complete toleration. All religious tests and disabilities were abolished, including the hated poll-tax on unbelievers. Rajput princes and other Hindus were given high offices of state, without conversion to Islam, and inter-communal marriages were encouraged by the example at the Emperor himself. If the policy of the greatest of India's Muslim rulers had been continued by his successors, her history might have been very different.