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14-Indian History-AD-2 (622-1526 AD)

India has a continuous civilization since 2500 BC. During the 2nd millennium, Aryan speaking tribes migrated from northwest into the Indian subcontinent. The following material has been taken from "A New History of India", by Stanley Wolpert. 2004.


The Impact of Islam (711-1526 AD) - 815 years
Birth of Islaam - 622 AD See also   Islaam Religion
Islaam rose in Saudee Arabia in 622. It certainly changed the course of history of India as Aarya's dispersion did more than 2000 years ago. It is difficult to imagine two religious ways of life, more different than Islaam and Hinduism. When Muhammad (570-632) was about 40 years old (c 610), the Prophet started to receive revelations. Then he fled to North of Makkaa, Madeenaa and after that the city invited him to become its temporal and spiritual leader in 622, which is regarded as the first year of Muslim calendar. For the love of Allaah, all Muslim were obliged to give alms to the poor, to pray five times a day facing Makkaa, to fast over the 9th lunar month (Ramaadaan), and to make at least one pilgrimage (Haj) to Makkaa. Holy war was vigorously waged against those who failed peacefully to submit to God's will. Never before in world history had an idea proved so contagious and politically potent.

Islaam in India - 711 AD
India remained untouched to Islaam's existence during the first two decades. An Arab commander of the first Islaamic force to reach India reported from Sindh to his Caliph in 644, that "water is scarce, the fruits are poor, and the robbers are bold,, if a few troops are sent they will be slain, if many they will starve." This pessimistic report postponed Muslim conquest until 711 AD; when an Arab ship launched an expedition of Syrian horses and Eeraaquee (Iraqi) camels, 6,000 each, against the kings of Sindh. They either converted people to Islaam or killed them. By the 10th century, Islaam had changed into an empire embellished by Persian and protected by Turkish slaves. It soon became too vast, too diverse for any one Caliph to control; so independent kingdoms emerged under regional rulers rule, who by the 11th century assumed the title Sultaan.

Mahamood Gaznavee of Gazanee (Afgaanistaan) (b/d 971-1030 AD)
The first independent Turkish Islamik kingdom was founded by a warrior slave named Alptigin who seized the Afgaan fortress of Gazanee in 962, and from there he established a dynasty that continued to about 200 years. It was his grandson Mahamood Gaznavee (971-1030) who came to India annually to loot it 17 times. Gazanavee were the first in a series of of Tuko-Afgaan Muslims to invade. Mahamood Gazanavee of Gazanee began his raids in 997, every winter, and looted its all kinds of wealth - temple idols, jewels, women etc. Looting Thaaneshwar, Mathuraa, Kannauj, Raajkot, Somnaath were his targets, and he converted his Gazanee into one of the world's greatest centers of Islaamik culture by this loot in the 11th century.

The brilliant physician, astronomer, philosopher and historian al Baroonee (b 973) and the great Persian poet Firdaus, author of the "Shaah Naamaa" were two luminaries brought to Gazanee. The court chronicler Utabee claimed that his Sultaan destroyed 10,000 temples in Kannauj alone. Even if it is an exaggeration, it is not difficult to estimate the destruction done by him. In 1025, people of Somnaath just stood calmly watching his army to loot the temple in the hope that Bhagavaan Shiv himself will do something for their protection. The chronicler has reported that "50,000 Hindu were slain on that day, and more than 2 million Deenaar's worth gold and jewels were taken away from the hollow Lingam shattered by Mahamood's sword. Before his death, Mahamood annexed the Panjaab as the Easternmost province of his empire. His raids were the first

Slave Dynasty (Daas Vansh) (1175-1290 AD) - 115 years

Muhammad Gauree (1175-1206 AD) and His Slave Qutubuddeen Aibaq in India - 1175-1210 AD
For a century and a half, after the death of Mahamood, Gazanee itself was seized by Turkish Sultaan Muhammad (was he Khurd?). Muhammad Gauree and his slave lieutenant Qutubuddeen Aibaq first raided India in 1175 AD. Destroying the Gazanee's kingship in Peshaavar in 1179, capturing Lahaur (Lahore) in 1186 and Dehlee (Delhi) in 1193, Muhammad returned to Gazanee leaving his lieutenant to consolidate India from Dehlee.

The Raajpoot (literally means "king's son") waged war against them. Although claiming direct descent from either the Aaryan Soorya or Chandra, all four of of the major Raajpoot dynasties (Pratihaar, Paramaar, Chauhaan, and Chaalukya) probably originated in Central Asia themselves. They always stood as the vanguard of India, and even when defeated in battle or driven from one desert after another, they never completely surrendered.

Buddhism Sent in Exile - Eastern region (Udeesaa, Bihaar, Bangaal, Aasaam) had prospered under a series of independent dynasties - first Paal, then the Varman and finally the Sen whose capital Nadiyaa was conquered by Turko-Afgaan power in 1202.  Beginning in 1202 a military commander from the Delhi Sultanat, Bakhtiyaar Khilajee (he might have been the Commander of Muhammad Gauree), overran Bihaar and Bangaal as far east as Rangpur, Bogra and the Brahmaputra River. Although he failed to bring Bangaal under his control, the expedition managed to defeat Lakshman Sen and his two sons had to move from there.

India's major centers of Buddhism, including the great university at Naalandaa where more than 10,000 monks lived and studied, were sacked at this time. Many fled to Nepaal and Tibbat and many were killed who were not fast enough to flee. Thus Buddhism was sent to exile from the land of its birth, never to return again in any significant numbers until 1954, when B R Ambedkar, India's learned leader of Hindu untouchables, publicly converted to Buddhism with some 50,000 of his followers as a political protest. Although it flourished on the soils of Nepaal, Tibbat, Chinaa and Jaapaan and most of Southeast Asia but the Sangh found no sanctuary on Indian soil for some 7 and 1/2 centuries

Qutubuddeen Aibaq in India - (1206-1210 AD) - 4 years
He was the first Muslim ruler of India. Although he had been ruling in various capacities in India since 1175 when he came along with his master Muhammad Gauree, but when, in 1206, Muhammad Gauree was assassinated in Laahaur, Qutubuddeen Aibaq proclaimed himself as Sultaan of Delhi initiating the dawn of Islaamik dynasties in South Asia. He was the most trusted man of Gauree. Initially he was a slave whom Gauree bought. This Sultanat lasted for 320 years, including 5 successive Turko-Afgaan Dynasties. Qutubuddeen Aibaq died falling down from a polo pony in 1210. He built Qutub Meenaar in Delhi as a victory tower inspired by the Minaret of Jam in Afgaanistaan. He started it in 1193, but completed its basement only.

Shamsuddeen Iltumish (1211-1236 AD) - 25 years
After his death his able son-in-law Shamsuddeen Iltumish reigned from Delhi for 25 years. He wisely ruled by leaving local kings under their own control as long as they paid the revenue to his treasury which was never empty. By diplomacy he kept the armies of Changez Khaan from invading Delhi. He was hailed by his chroniclers and contemporary poets. By his death in 1236 Delhi was the most powerful state in North India.

Raziyaa Sultaan (1237-1240 AD) - 3 years
After Iltumish's death, his vigorous daughter Raziyaa succeeded her father to the throne, which she managed to hold for 3 years. Raziyaa was only Muslim woman to rule on Indian soil. She was murdered in 1240 and her father's palace guards, some 40 in number, ruled jointly for the next 6 years (1240-1246).

Balaban (1246-1287 AD) - 40 years
Among the palace guards, Balaban was the most shrewdest guard. He was Raziyaa's chief hunts man. He seized effective power in 1246, but still under the puppet king Baharaam. He thus ruled until 1266 when he assumed the title of Sultaan, which he retained for 20 more years. He also kept Mongols at bay by a combination of firmness and diplomatic wooing. Always surrounded by elite corps of palace guards, Balaban spoke to none but his leading officials and was impartially ruthless in disposing of his own relatives as he was in dismissing strangers. Prostrating and foot kissing were both insisted upon by this slave who became Sultaan. He gave poison to all of his 40 comrades, thus left no friends to remind him of his former status. He was using old Indian, Arth Shaastra, techniques to retain power. He died in 1887, but his power continued for 3 years more through his competing grandsons.

When this Slave Dynasty was ruling here -----

Khilajee Dynasty (1290-1320 AD) - 30 years

Khilajee rulers first settled in Qalat, Afgaanistaan and then proceeded to Delhi, India. Khilajee refers to a Afgaan village as Qalaate Khilajee (Fort of Khilajee). Three Sultaan (kings) have been noted for their ferocity and faithlessness. Ikhtiyaaruddeen Muhammad bin Bakhtiyaar Khilajee was a servant of Kutubuddeen Aibaq (see above in Slave Dynasty). It is also said that when he proceeded towards Bihaar in 1203 AD and then Bangaal (Nabh Dweep), he proceeded so rapidly that only 18 horse riders could keep up with him. He started his conquests from Badaayoon and then Avadh in Eastern UP.

Jalaaluddeen Firoz Khilajee (1290-1296 AD) - 6 years
After the death of Balban in 1287, his grandsons managed to continue for 3 years more, but then Jalaaludden Firoz Khilajee, Balban's General, came to throne in 1290 by coup that inaugurated the second Delhi dynasty - Khilajee Vansh. Originally Turkish, the Khilajee first had moved to Afgaanistaan, and then settled in India after Gaznavee and Khurd invasions. Jalaaluddeen Khilajee was in his 70s when he ascended the throne and could only retain it for 6 years. He did little more than suppress Balaban's supporters. The short-lived yet significant dynasty that he began left its mark on Indian history. After his death his nephew and his son-in-law Alaauddeen Khilajee sat on the throne. In fact it was Alaauddeen Khilajee who murdered him in 1296.

Alauddeen Khilajee (1296-1316) 20 years
As he sat on the throne, after killing his uncle Jalaaluddeen Khilajee in 1296, he ventured into the Daccan to loot Yaadav's (descendents of Yadu) capital Devgiri and distributed the looted gold to bring the loyalty among the people who had killed his uncle in 1296. Thus Daccan and Tamilnaad also came under the impact of Islaam. Many Jaageer which were under Muslim nobles, Alaauddeen bought them to bring under his control. His network of spies was efficient enough to make him more feared than hated, and his homosexual relationship with Malik Kaafoor, the second most powerful figure in the Sultanat accounts for singular intrigue at his court. He was a cruel but remarkable capable monarch. Yaadav's capital Devgiri was taken in 1307. He died in 1316 and his line collapsed. Malik Kaafoor unsuccessfully tried to retain control of both court and army, but was killed by his own soldiers. One of Alaauddeen's four sons, Qutubuddeen Mubaarak, survived his father's death by 4 years. Then for most of the remaining 14th century, Tugalaq ruled the country.

Tugalaq Dynasty (1320-1396) 76 years

Gayaasuddeen Tagalaq (1320-1324) - 5 years
After Alaauddeen's death, one of his four sons survived by 4 years. Then for most of the remaining 14th century, Tugalaq ruled the country. The founder of this third Muslim Dynasty in India was Gayaasuddeen Tagalaq, the son of a court Turkish slave and a Hindu Jaat woman, who ruled only for 5 years. He made his capital Tugalaqaabaad, near Dehlee. He built a massive fort around his capital. The fort is roughly octagonal in plan with a circumference of 6.5 kms with 10-15 m high rubble wall. It has 13 gates and 3 inner gates to citadel. it is a magnificent fort comparable to Red Fort in Delhi. He was killed by his son Muhammad Bin Tugalaq. When he was returning from a victorious campaign to his capital Tugalaqaabaad, his son had erected a splendid pavilion to welcome him, secretly designed by his engineer to collapse upon him at the first tread of his elephant. In 1325, Gayaasuddeen and his favorite son were both killed when a victory pavilion erected by his other son and successor Muhammad Bin Tugalaq (reign, 1325-1351) suddenly collapsed.

Muhammad Bin Tugalaq (1324-1351) - 27 years
Rising to power over the corpses of his father and brother, he searched for religious peace. The Muslim world traveler Ibn Batootaa, who traveled through Africa and Asia during 1225-1254, served as chief judge in Muhammad's court. He has recorded that how much strict Muhammad was for the observance of religious rites. He established a second capital in Daccan to rule Daccan. He forced many nobles and officials to abandon heir homes in Dehlee in 1327 and journeyed over 500 miles, across the Vindhya-Satpudaa to Devgiri which he named as Daulataabaad. Many died in that journey and for many this new capital proved to be inhospitable.

In 1329-1330, he attempted another surprising innovation - the issue of new currency. Possibly to emulate Chinese whose use of paper currency was quite successful, the Sultaan issued brass or copper tokens equivalent to the increasingly rare silver "Taankaa" (140 grains). It could have successful if the foreign merchants had accepted it. Indians were permitted to turn in their coppers at the royal mint for silver or gold. But within 3-4 years he was obliged to withdraw his special coins because of the heavy loss to treasury. From 1335 to 1342 (7 years), India suffered one of its most severe and prolonged periods of drought and famine.

In 1335, an independent Saltanat of Maduraa was established by Tugalaq Governor Ehsaan Shaah, when Muhammad moved there to suppress it, others raged in Laahaur and Dehlee, forcing the Sultaan to return to Dehlee. When Hindu chiefs saw Muslims rising in Tamilnaad, rebellions raised similar banners there also and a new Hindou kingdom arose south of Tungbhadraa River - Vijaya Nagar founded by Harihar. rebellions broke out Muhammad's rule in southern areas in 1345 and this discontentment led to establish Bahmaanee rule in Daccan, by Hasan Gangoo in 1347. Taking as his title-name  Alaauddeen Bahmaan Shaah, Hasan founded Bahmaanee Dynasty, the mightiest and longest-lived Muslim Dynasty of the Daccan which remained until for some 200 years and survived in fragments for another century more.

Soofeeism in India in 13th century - In 1338, Bangaal declared independence from Dehlee. Soofeeism, Islaam's mystic thread which evolved primarily as a Persian influence upon Islaam, struck a responsive chord in Bangaal's population especially among Buddhists who were left without priesthood to turn to spiritual guidance after 1202. Three types of Soofeeism appeared by the 13th century - Chishtee, Suharaavardee, and Firdausee. These wandering Peer were like Hindoo Bhakti saints. Bangaal retained its sovereign status till the peak of Mugal power and Akbar's conquest in 1576.

When Muhammad Tugalaq was killed fighting rebellion in Sindh in 1351, his cousin Firoz ascended the throne.

Feeroz Shaah Tugalaq (1351-1388) 37 years
When Muhammad Tugalaq was killed fighting rebellion in Sindh in 1351, his cousin Feeroz ascended the throne. He is famous for abolition of torture, passion for building, and lifelong adherence to the tenets of Islaam. The new Dehlee constructed in his name, Feerozaabaad, was full of gardens, mosques and colleges. He is credited for constructing no fewer than 40 mosques, 30 colleges, 100 hospitals, and 200 new towns including 50 dams and reservoirs. He seems to have been one of the most intelligent monarch of the Saltanat. He was the last of the strong Sultaan of Dehlee. Within a decade of his death the kingdom declined fast.

Taimoor Lang (1398-1399 AD)
Within a decade of Feeroz Tugalaq's death the kingdom declined fast. When Taimoor Lane (Taimoor Lang) came to India from Mongol in 1398, the last king of Tugalaq Dynasty Nasiruddeen Mehmood was ruling here. Taimoor was lame that is why he was called "Lang". This self-styled \ scourage of God" was illiterate, a devout Muslim, an outstanding chess player and a patron of arts. Five years before also, in 1393, he came towrds India. At that time he had taken Bagadaad, and in 1396 he had ravaged Russia devastating their land and pillaging their villages.

When he came again, in 1398, he came to Delhi shedding lots of blood. He entered from Panjaab through passes he and his troops were beaten by a group of Indian troops.  50,000 prisoners in his camp were butchered within an hour. He did not stay long in India, only less than six months, but left a carnage unprecedented in India's long history. He is believed to be responsible for 5 million deaths. For months together Dehlee lay quiet as not a bird moving. Immense quantities of spoils were taken from India. According to Ruy Gonzales de Clavijo, 90 captured elephants were employed merely to carry precious stones looted from his conquest, so as to erect a mosque at Samarkand (by stonemasons of Dehlee) what historians today believe is the enormous Bibi-Khanym Mosque. Famine followed the destruction caused by him and plague resulted from the corpses left behind.

Taimoor died on Feb 17, 1405. After a century later his great grandson Baabar would return to found the Mugal dynasty on the same site. Taimoor had four sons. His two eldest sons Jahaangeer and Umar Shekh died before Taimoor; his third son Meeran Shaah died soon after Taimoor died; only his youngest son Shaah Rukh succeeded him.

Afgaan Lodee Dynasty (Lodee Kings) - (1414-1526) 112 years

After Taimoor's invasion, many states became independent. Two kings ruled Delhi after it - a Saiyyad king Khijra Khaan during 1414-1450, and a Lodee, of an Afagaan clan. Three Lodee kings ruled from 1451 to 1526.

(1) Bahalool Lodee during 1451-1489. Then came Bahalool's son
(2) Sikandar Lodee who ruled during 1489-1517. He himself used to write poetry and encouraged books on medicine and music. His mother was a Hindu and he himself fell in love with a Hindu princess. He tried to conquer Gwaalior Fort five times, but failed. Mahaaraajaa Maansinh and his wife Mrignayanee were ruling there at that time. He moved his capital to Aagaraa. He died in 1517 and has an elaborate burial tomb in Lodee Gardens in Delhi. The last king of Lodee Dynasty was
(3) Ibraaheem Lodee (1517-1526) was unable to command people his father was ruling upon.

Portuguese (Vaasco Da Gaamaa) who had already landed at Maalaabaar Coast in 1498, went unnoticed; but the immediate threat for him didn't come from a 1,000 miles away, but from nearby Laahaur, whose city gates were flung wide open to welcome the king of Kaabul, Baabar (1483-1530)

Baabar was the great grandson of Taimoor Lang, and a descendent of Mangol Changez Khaan from his mother's side. In fact Daulat Khaan had invited him to save him from Ibraaheem Lodee. He came and founded the Muslim Dynasty - the greatest one in Indian history, as the first Baadshaah (emperor) of the Mugal Dynasty, on April 21, 1526.


Bhakti Saints - Kabeer, Naanak, Chaitanya Mahaaprabhu - During 15th and 16th centuries
Before the end of 14th century, the wave of Bhakti Hinduism, born in South India had reached the Gangaa River at Banaaras along whose banks Raamaanuj's greatest disciple Raamaanand was settled. Among the many disciples of Raamaanand was an illiterate Muslim weaver Kabeer (1440-1518) whose poems tried to diminish the religious differences between Hindu and Muslim. In Panjaab, Naanak (1469-1538) was born as a Hindu whose doctrine was "One God, the Creator". His doctrine was reared on the doctrines of Islaam, rejected caste and became the first Guru of the Sikh faith, though later it became a martial one, with subsequent Guru to take up the sword against Mugal. In Bangaal, Chaitanya Mahaaprabhu (1485-1533) was born with such intoxicated devotional frenzy that his disciple believed him to be a reincarnation of Krishn and Raadhaa in one body.

Thus by the dawn of 16th century, India was not only fragmented politically, but was also divided spiritually. 

 

 

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Created by Sushma Gupta on 3/15/06
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Updated on 01/30/13