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Embeds 0 No embeds. No notes for slide. Khawja ghulam farid Detailed overview 1. A short introduction and Biography. D Khwaja Ghulam Farid R. A went for Hajj. During his Hajj, he wrote Kafian his particular form of poetry. Kafi is a classical farm of sufi poetry ,mostly in punjabi and sindhi languages and orginating from the Punjab and Sindh reigons of the South Asia 5. His most notable disciples are noted below:- 1.

Nawab Qaisar Khan Magassi of Balochistan and his subjects 2. Nawab Sadiq Khan 4th of Bahawalpur State and his subjects. Before The Quaid and Iqbal. This is the example for above statement. Do a little for the long live of Khawaja Ghulam Farid Today, many religious and educational institutions in Pakistan and India are named after him e.

Social Security Hospital Multan 9. Taken from Deewan e Farid in Urdu F Museum Kot Mithan. A part of their old type of Wasket. Faridi Romaal That hair which u let to cut when you were going to Hajj in Hijri. These were cut in Chachran Sharif. He got an age of 54 years. Khwaja Sahib is burried in Mithan Kot where a great shrine is built. Lacs of people come from different parts of sub-continuent to attend the urs.

You just clipped your first slide! Clipping is a handy way to collect important slides you want to go back to later. Now customize the name of a clipboard to store your clips. It was reported to him that many new temples had either been constructed recently or were in the process of construction. While the sharia might allow the continued existence of ancient places of worship of other religions under the regime of a Muslim ruler, construction of new ones challenged the very core of the Islamic state.

Legitimacy, Religion and Political Culture 25 grand mosque was erected. A decade later, Abu Turab, who had been sent to Amber in Rajasthan to demolish temples there, returned to the court and reported that he had pulled down 66 temples. Following a summary narration of appointments, etc.

It was learnt that in Multan and Thatta in Sind, and especially at Varanasi, Brahmins attracted a large number of Muslims to their discourses. Moved as Aurangzeb was by excessive religious zeal, which for him implied attempts to demolish temples of the non-believers in the land ruled by a pious and orthodox Muslim ruler, the number of temples destroyed by him probably exceeds the number desecrated by any other ruler in medieval India.

Yet it was far beyond even his capacity to do what would perhaps have given him great joy: to wipe out infidelity from the land of which he was the master. All of them are thronged with worshippers; even those that are destroyed are still venerated by the Hindus and visited for the offering of arms.

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Indeed, even while Aurangzeb was exhibiting his religious bigotry by going on a temple demolition spree, he was also financing the maintenance of several other Hindu temples and hermitages maths. There is some inverse evidence too of the demolition of mosques by the Hindus, and conversion of these into temples. There is an earlier story, relating to the first third of the thirteenth century, told by Muhammad Ufi. Some of the Muslims reported the incident to the Hindu ruler, who personally went out to investigate the matter and found it true. In Thanesar in the Kurukhet [Kurukshetra] tank there was a mosque and the shrine of a saint.

Both these have been destroyed by the infidels and in their place they now have a big temple. Again, the infidels perform their rituals and religious practices freely while the Muslims find themselves helpless and are unable to execute ordinances of the sharia. Eaton is legitimately suspicious of figures of temple destruction given in medieval documents, for these would often inflate the numbers to please the zealous emperors. Legitimacy, Religion and Political Culture 27 Hindus abstain from eating and drinking, they see to it that the Muslims also do not cook, sell or buy anything in the towns.

On the contrary, in the month of Ramzan [the month of fast for Muslims], they cook and sell breads in the bazars openly. The degree of centralization of administrative and economic power, beginning with the regime of the Delhi Sultanate, reached the high water mark under the Mughals, especially by the mid-seventeenth century. The key instrument that worked towards this achievement was the mansabdari system, formally created by Akbar, but which had evolved from the preceding iqta system that had served the Sultans of Delhi for over three centuries.

Yet, at the end of those medieval centuries and after the lapse of another two of British rule, the Muslim population in the Indian subcontinent was below a quarter of the total. Datta had slightly earlier estimated the ratio on the same date at In the ratio stood at Their heaviest concentration occurs in two regions: in the west in the lands that now comprise Pakistan and in the east, in present-day Bangladesh, the two accounting for more than half the Indian Muslim population in , located in 76 of the districts in that year.

Kashmir Valley, on the other hand, had turned to Islam in a long and slow social process, starting almost coterminously with the establishment of the local Muslim state there. The state in Kashmir was virtually sidelined in the process. Some have obtained renown by setting up images of gods, others by worshipping them; some by maintaining them and others by demolishing them.

How great is the enormity of such a deed! Indeed, there seems to be an inverse relationship between the concentration of political and administrative power on the one hand and the regional density of Muslim population on the other. Lal gives various estimates of the ratio of the Muslims to the total Indian population in the nineteenth and early twentieth centuries; see his Indian Muslims: Who are They? Akbar offered life to his first major adversary, Himu, and his year-old father if they accepted Islam after defeat at the battle at Panipat in The battle at Panipat was therefore significant beyond the number of severed heads, and the victory gave his self-confidence a boost that was to characterize the rest of his time in life and on the throne.

Himu, however, spurned the offer with contempt as his father had done, with stirring words, although without hostility to Islam. Himu had, in fact, taken a vow of converting to Islam if ever he were able to defeat the Mughals. If the old father had declined conversion because he was unfamiliar with the religion, for Himu conversion under duress would be a sin, but voluntary conversion was tantamount to thanksgiving in the wake of victory.

Jahangir, on ascending the throne late in , issued 12 edicts; among them was an admonition to amirs, high nobles, especially in the border areas, against forcing Islam on any of the subjects of the empire. If anything, conversion was to be treated as an imperial prerogative. Jahangir himself mentions a couple of cases of conversion of Princes without giving details. One convert was a descendant of the brother of Puran Mal, once ruler of Kalinjar, whom Sher Shah had defeated in , though the Afghan King himself died of a rebound of his artillery shot. There is just a trace of family dispute over succession here, in which Ruh-Afzun perhaps swung the balance through conversion.

A learned Brahmin of the Deccan, however, turned to Islam entirely for reasons of intellectual conviction. Another Brahmin also converted, although we are not told why. When he came across the name of Muhammad, he enquired of his teacher about the Prophet. Bir Singh Bundela, a Rajput of eminence, had been a loyal supporter and friend of Jahangir from his tumultuous princely days. As Jahangir ascended the throne, Bir Singh was happily ensconced in his home state of Orchha in Bundelkhand at the north-western tip of Madhya Pradesh, just touching the boundaries of Uttar Pradesh.

The relations between the next two generations on either side turned a little sour. He was captured and killed in the end, but his sons were spared their lives on condition of accepting Islam. The wives and daughters of deceased rebels were sent to wait upon the ladies of the palace. Another young son, too, was converted, and his guardians were promised their lives on the same 18 On the mansabdari system, see glossary.

The latter is indeed a frequently cited formula in effecting conversions to other religions as well. At Bhimbar in Kashmir, in the seventh year of his reign, he learnt of the convenient arrangement between the Hindus and the Muslims that if the daughter of one community was married to the son of another, her death should end in the cremation or burial that accorded with the faith of her husband rather than according to her own faith. This minor concession to male superordination within the family structure flew in the face of the Islamic precept of marriage being legal only upon conversion of the non-Muslim partner to Islam.

However, so widespread was the practice that upon inquiry 5, such marriages were discovered in one locality, Jogu, alone. Similar complaints were heard in Panjab. Shah Jahan did seek to enforce the Shariat and prohibit such intercommunity marriages and by 19 For miracle as an instrument of conversion to Christianity in the Middle Ages, Aron Gurevich, Medieval Popular Culture: Problems of Belief and Perception, tr. Bak and Paul A. Hollingsworth, Cambridge, UK, In the Indian context, Fr. See his Jahangir and the Jesuits, Eng.

Payne, New Delhi, first pub. Alexander Rogers, New Delhi, first pub. II: —1 and III, Eng. Willliam Irivne, New Delhi, first pub. IV: —9. Legitimacy, Religion and Political Culture 33 converting the Hindu members of such families to Islam, but by the tenth year he had perhaps realized that the force of social energy was greater than that of the state and seems to have resigned himself to the prevalence of the practice. From the sixteenth century on many Europeans had settled in Hugli, near modern Kolkata, had turned their habitat into a fortress and converted local people to Christianity, also treated as kufr in Islam, albeit with a somewhat more muted hostility in theology than in history.


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The Jesuits also received a handsome daily allowance from the King. This could work the other way round too. Withington again tells us several stories of conversions and reconversions for pragmatic considerations, where the monetary allowance was a greater attraction than salvation of the soul. Which he did and was circumcised. The King of the Deccan was pleased and gave him an allowance of 7s. Eight days later he died.

So Trullye was circumcized and had a new name given him and greate allowance given him by the Kinge, with whom hee continued. So he returned to Agra and became Christian again. Yet another Englishman, Robert Claxton, on hearing of the allowance that Trullye had received on conversion, arrived there and converted too.

A few of them saved themselves by taking to Islam, others 34 Legitimacy, Religion and Political Culture were left to die or were enslaved. Later on some more Europeans, settled further to the east in Bengal, were also converted, although no further details are known. Shah Jahan appointed a superintendent for the new converts. Of all the Mughal rulers, one could expect Aurangzeb to put energy, conviction and state power into converting vast masses of infidels in India.

Several cases of tactical and casual conversions are on record too. The Emperor appeared pleased and transferred some imperial troops to assist him. On learning this, Kishan Singh slit the throats of all Muslim royal soldiers in the camp, and whose services had now become dispensable, and fled. Also in central India, again involving a dispute between a Raja and his son Ratan Singh, the latter converted to Islam and adopted the name of Islam Khan for himself and Islampur for his state, Rampur.

However, a later Rajasthani chronicler, Shyamal Das, astutely observes that he took care to behave as a Muslim in Muslim company and a Hindu Rajput while amidst Rajputs. They were keen to hold him to account for it but he managed to avoid giving them a chance. Interestingly, the number of cases of conversion as a subterfuge for some gain or other keeps pace with the increasingly aggressive Muslim 21 S. Yet, on all accounts, the actual material benefits that flowed into the hands of converts for reason of conversion are far from impressive.

The Father pointed out to them the depravity of their conduct, and remonstrated with them to such good purpose that the women became Christians and were married to the Armenians according to the law of the Church. That conviction rather than convenience should guide the change of ancestral religion was perhaps the ruling principle; if it showed a high regard for the nobility of religion, it also moderated excessive zeal for the spread of Islam. Another Hindu scribe, Chandi Das, needed no persuasion to convert. For a long year he lay in bed, all medical treatment proving ineffective.

A friend visited him and advised him to engage in constant Muslim prayer in lieu of medicine. Chandi Das took the advice and experienced a swift recovery.

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The efficacy of the prayer convinced him of the verity of Islam and so he turned to it. Qaisar and S. Verma, eds, Art and Culture, Jaipur, 36—7. He is the author of Tazkirat al-Salatin-i Chaghta, a general history of the Mughal period down to This was the year when a decisive shift to a more assertive Muslim identity of the state was in the offing, with Rajasthan as the prime locale of this assertion. The Qazi, Hamid, suggested conversion to her husband who declined. On this ground, the Qazi took this woman into his custody so that, after the lapse of the obligatory period of three months iddat , he could marry her off to a Muslim.

A third case is slightly less plain. The two, Alam and the lady, were brought before the Muslim faujdar, administrator, of the region and Alam was asked to explain his conduct. He dissuaded her from committing the act of sati and suggested conversion to Islam, which had no provision for this horrendous practice. She accepted the suggestion, and, on thus freeing her from the clutches of Hinduism, he allowed her to go wherever she wished. However, no man would cast a glance at her in view of the fact that her body had eruptions of leprosy all over.

This was checked and found true. Her father nevertheless persisted in pursuing his complaint. The matter was thus sent to the Emperor for adjudication. The casual nature of the proceedings of conversion in these reports is remarkable, when one would have expected some hyperbole. For sure, casual references to cases of conversion to Islam are not the only form of recording them; equally frequently there is an aura of celebration when such conversion is put on record.

There is, too, constant suspicion of the 23 The major manuscript of the text is located at Khuda Bakhsh Library, Patna. Sultan Firuz Shah r. Sir Thomas Roe, who was also located at Agra at the same time, is sceptical of any true conversions to the Christian faith. Scarce as the evidence is, it is far too varied to sustain that conclusion. It would also imply that the state exercised its utmost power in areas where its presence was least impressive and neglected what, by theocratic logic, would be its primary obligation in the region that constituted the heart of its territories, for all of five centuries and a half, i.

Delhi, UP, Bihar, where the Muslim population has never surpassed the range of 15 per cent. It could perhaps be argued that strong resistance to conversion by the Hindus of medieval India should explain their overwhelming survival through the travails of all those tortuous centuries. We could thus expect a considerable amount of conflict, even violence, on the issue and consequently a large body of historical and literary documentation on both sides of the religious fence, to tell each version of the long-drawn story. A small window does open once in a while to give us impressions of motivations.

As my knowledge grew, I felt ashamed of my deed. Not being a Muslim myself, it was unfair to compel others to become such. What constancy might one expect from those converted under duress? The data that we do encounter at the state level relate to individuals and families converting to Islam; most of these point to conversion by those politically significant persons who had committed what in the eyes of the state constituted an act of defiance or dereliction of duty, or an entire range of offences covered in the generic term rebellion, fitna.

Of these, some come from the bottom rungs of society, with a willingness to convert for petty pecuniary benefits, while others could be traced to higher social and official echelons. Conversion to Islam at the hands of the state was projected as a punishment to those found guilty of some crime or other.

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The most common punishment in serious offences of this nature led the person to the gallows; occasionally, however, either in view of his creditable past services or a still notable balance of utility as the ruler saw it, he was offered pardon if he were to forsake his religion to turn to Islam. As far as the state was concerned, conversion to Islam under its aegis was in most cases a punishment of the second order for what in its perception constituted very serious crimes.

We come across extremely rare cases where loyal non-Muslim officers of state were induced to change their religion and even fewer cases of common subjects being offered lures for converting. Interestingly, there is also testimony to reverse conversion of Muslims to Hinduism, as well as reconversion of Muslims to their former Hindu religion, both unthinkable in a state of Islamic orthodoxy. Sharma, Religious Policy: — Legitimacy, Religion and Political Culture 39 their religion and turned Hindu, having fallen in love with Hindu women.

They pointed towards the sky and put their fingers at their foreheads. By this gesture I understood that they attributed it to Providence. Social gratitude for it was expressed in a story that gained currency that a Hindu recluse had transferred his soul into the body of the dying ruler. Eminent fifteenth-century saint-poet Chaitanya reconverted the Muslim governor of Orissa; he also converted a group of Pathans, men from the rugged north-western region of the subcontinent settled in the east, who were not Hindus in the first instance, even as Hinduism is not a proselytizing religion.

Another source of reconversion was the sale of Muslim slaves to Hindus, although such a transaction was held by theologians to be contrary to the shariat. After the tenth regnal year, the Emperor seems to have reconciled himself to the futility of state intervention in prohibiting reconversion. The Persian language text of the seventeenth century, Dabistan-i Mazahib, implies the existence of a pervasive phenomenon of reconversion at all levels and mentions, among others, two high nobles of the imperial court — Mirza Salih and Mirza Haidar — who were thus persuaded to change their religion a second time.

At the mass level, Shah Jahan discovered that in the Bhimbar region of Kashmir it was common for Muslim girls to marry Hindu boys, but, instead of the boys converting to Islam, the Muslim girls were being persuaded to turn to the Hindu religion. The tr. Criminal offences invited punishment in accordance with the sharia, for sure. But civil law, which concerns an overwhelming part of life for all subjects of state except the infinitesimal number with a record of crime, was far from uniform and each community of subjects was governed by its own religio-legal codes. Thus marriage, family life, property, and its inheritance, among the Hindus followed the Hindu religious codes and among Zoroastrian Parsis theirs, and so too with the Christians and the Sikhs, the Jains and the Buddhists.

The vast numbers of tribal groups were still outside the fold of denominational religions and their civil life was self-governing, scarcely subject to extraneous jurisdictional controls. Of course, Islam did mean different things to different people. Having said that, the matter slipped from his mind.

When a few days had passed and there was no sign of the killing of a kafir, the restless lady decided to remind the Maulavi of the need to practise what one preached and to induce him to earn high religious merit without further delay. Thus reminded, the devout man waited for the day to pass and, as the night fell, waged a veritable jihad on an army of kafirs; the wife of course was delighted.

Aurangzeb was understandably horrified that, during his pious reign, such sacrilegious acts as gambling and drinking in the Sufi shrines should be committed — and that by Muslims under the eye of his second son Muazzam. Aurangzeb, indeed, had a lot more to worry about: the erosion of his world of orthodox values, which had no space for a drink, celebration of the arrival of spring, music and conviviality in general. His Mullas prevailed upon him to proclaim the law banning liquor-drinking by Legitimacy, Religion and Political Culture 41 women.

Indeed, the womenfolk took delight in circumventing the ban on the cute plea that it was meant exclusively for the men. When his sister Jahan Ara heard of the renewed affirmation of the ban, she invited wives of the qazis to her apartment and served them enough liquor to leave them tipsy and unconscious. She also delivered a homily to her brother to see that the learned men of Islam put their own house in order before setting out to do the same to others.

Aurangzeb spoke to his vizir Jafar Khan to persuade him to give up drinking; the vizir made excuses of being old and infirm, justifying his evening cup as a source of energy. The Emperor felt helpless against these powerful arguments. However, if Islam was one source of its legitimacy, there were several others besides and these were constantly expansive. Although the most significant expansion was in the construction of the ideology of paternalism, a completely new and growing ensemble of sources of legitimacy began to evolve.

The conceptual architecture of this legitimacy was without doubt the creation of Abul Fazl. In his structure there is a deliberate distancing from the use of any terminology 42 Legitimacy, Religion and Political Culture and idiom associated with the theology and history of Islam, made more emphatic through silence.

And even as Abul Fazl refers to Hindu nobles or rulers at times with strong disapproval, at others with approbation in the course of his narrative, he never uses the term kafir for them. Indeed, in a scintillating inversion of meaning, he propounds that the absence of belief in Islam does not comprise kufr; on the contrary, it rests on the belief that there is only one path of submission to God even as He manifests himself in all directions. If, on the eve of the battle and afterwards, Babur turns a fanatic Muslim in his narration, Abul Fazl, even as he remains very hostile to the Rana, avoids any term suggestive of religious dogma.

His account of the second battle of Panipat, where Akbar faced his first major opponent Himu, is full of abuse for Himu, but nowhere is he referred to as a Hindu, much less a kafir. Abul Fazl constructs the theory of sovereignty with several interrelated constituents. In the narrative, there is a quiet welcome of the accidental death of Humayun as a sign of the approaching sublimation of human history, i.

I, New Delhi, Legitimacy, Religion and Political Culture 43 eignty. I, Maulavi Abd alRahim, ed. For reference to Zoroaster, Akbar Nama, vol. I, Eng. Beveridge, New Delhi, first pub. Blochmann, vol. I, and n. Akbar was rather fond of comparison with Jesus, AN, I tr. Otherwise, he could have claimed the position of a prophet for himself without facing opposition.

The notion of the Perfect Man raised the Emperor above denominational identity marks of Hindu and Muslim. Badauni, Muntakhab, II: —7. Besides the abolition of discriminatory taxes against the Hindus in his early years as ruler, by about Akbar had recomposed the higher echelons of his nobility in a manner that ensured that no single group constituted more than a quarter of the entire nobility. This was a radical transformation from the debut of his reign, when the nobles were more or less equally divided between the Turanis from his own ancestral land in central Asia, and Iranis, with a slight edge for the former.

Even as the social and ethnic composition of the Mughal nobility kept mutating during subsequent reigns, this principle remained the keystone of the Mughal polity. Alien conquest and rule in India had been part of its remote and recent history and integral to the evolution of its culture and civilization over centuries; the Muslim conquest beginning with the last decade of the twelfth century was a link in that chain.

While Islam, as a young and energetic proselytizing religion, gave a distinctive identity to the rulers, governance evolved through a sharing of power and resources between the victors and the vanquished elites — an uneasy combination of tension and harmony, but one in which change of religion was neither a condition nor a guarantee of access to power.

Islam did assert itself as the enveloping presence as the all-too-important idiom of conquest and governance, but in terms of state measures its assertion was at best episodic, anecdotal.

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Sultan Alauddin Khalji r. Concerned to establish his credentials as a good Muslim ruler, he asked a theologian and was informed that all the measures he took for maintaining the flamboyant dignity of his person and the state were contrary to the injunctions of the sharia, and that his primary and much neglected obligation was to convert the infidels to Islam by inflicting humiliation on those who declined conversion.

Eaton, ed. Legitimacy, Religion and Political Culture 45 to do so with the help of four companions, he too was blessed with such a company! Subdued rivalry with Muhammad was to recur among some of the Mughal rulers later. Then, Islam sat lightly on the Mughals. Their conversion to it was rather recent and it had not succeeded in eradicating pre-Islamic pagan beliefs and practices, which had quietly become intertwined with the new faith and had mellowed its puritanical stridency. Babur mentions several persons, including his father, who were as pious in their faith as they were fond of the cup of wine, without noticing any incompatibility between the two, although Islamic orthodoxy would frown upon even the smell of liquor.

Once settled down to drink, he would drink for 20 or 30 days at a stretch; once risen, would not drink again for another 20 or 30 days. He could not perform the Prayers on account of trouble in the joints and kept no fasts. He narrated a charming story of a tug of war between the theologians seeking to ban, or at least restrict, drinking during the days of Nauruz Persian New Year celebrations and the revellers insisting on their cup, with the censors losing out in the end.

In imaging Akbar as the personification and symbol of divinity, Abul Fazl was treading a well-beaten path, for the conception of divine sovereign has traces in several early and medieval polities, including Islam. Sultan Balban r. It was to be revived by Akbar nearly three centuries later. In focusing on the divine origin of Akbar, he was, in pursuit of the dichotomy between universal religiosity and denominational religions, seeking distance from the parameters set by Islam.

The metaphor of light dominates his conceptualization of divinity, and the Sun in turn dominates the metaphor of light. It is the light of the Sun. For, indeed, light is celebrated in several cultural milieus. In Islam itself, God is conceived of as an immense light. The term for light is nur in Arabic, from where it has travelled into the Persian language. In the imaging of imageless God as nur, the term acquires a strong association with Islam. Hence he seeks out a pre-Islamic Persian term for it: farr is the preferred term. Farr-i Izdi, to be precise, divine light, traceable to the Sasanid imaging of the King in ancient Iran.

In Iran itself Farr-i Izdi has a long history. Zil Allah, shadow of God, was to come with Islam. Farr has an ambiguous space for nur, but it also has space for the Sun as the chief source of light, along with fire. Legitimacy, Religion and Political Culture 47 1, Sanskrit names. Then, illumination of the soul through unreserved devotion to God and the Pir, the spiritual master, is the central moment of the Sufi doctrine: human beings, born into dark ignorance of the real significance of life, mired in the search for temporal success and therefore unmindful of the hidden real meaning of the universe, grow out of the apparent to the real through the illumined path of spiritual attainment.

Abul Fazl admits the influence of the Ishraqi, Eastern, School of Philosophy in Iran, especially the Sufi doctrines of Suhrawardi Maqtul, in interpreting the meanings of illumination. He places repeated emphasis on Akbar as the spiritual guide of his subjects and the relationship between the Pir and his disciple, murid, was replicated by the Emperor in the creation of a new order of faith, the Din-i Ilahi, in which Abul Fazl was amongst the first, and few, to enrol. The depiction of the solar halo behind every Mughal sovereign and prince, in Mughal miniature as a distinctive mark, however, dates from Jahangir onwards.

Akbar himself had turned a devotee of the Sun, beginning his day with Surya Namaskar, salutation to the rising sun, an important Yogic practice. This too has Yogic origins where a bright light is supposed to burn constantly between the eyebrows. Sun worship had also been introduced into his harem. Figure 3 Aurangzeb in the last year of his life, here depicted as turning his eyes away from the world and immersing himself in the holy task of reading the Quran; yet the accoutrements of royalty, the bejewelled turban, but especially the highlighted solar halo, also form part of his presence.

The common adage of saint in the form of king seems to be the motif. Legitimacy, Religion and Political Culture 49 his reign, weighing about 1, grams. Jahangir had adopted Nur al-Din Light of the Faith as his name on accession to the throne for two reasons: that Nur had association with the Sun and that Indian sages had ages ago predicted that one Nur al-Din would succeed Akbar. The image of the Sun on Mughal standards had become an imperial prerogative. He could even stop the downpour. Once the Ganga was in flood due to heavy rain.

Women make vows to him for the restoration of health to their children. They had also been assimilated into Islam, Christianity and Buddhism, even as all these religious systems expressed strong disapproval of the association of miraculous energies with any human being, other than Christ, Muhammad or the Buddha. There was much that was common between folklore and the Mughal court culture. The transformation of the river into an ocean, bahr, reinforces the suggestion. The worst never show any sign of loyalty.

Sultan Mahmud of Ghazni had tactfully combined his love of plunder with religious zeal. Later rulers did not seek justification of conquest except in terms of conquest itself. Indeed, he repeatedly asserts that he pictured the region as his for this reason and thus ordered his soldiers not to harass the people during their marches, for they were already his subjects, entitled to protection.

For Akbar, however, the reference point of conquest lay in establishing peace, justice, and relieving the subjects of a territory of the oppression of the existing ruler. Abul Fazl envisions the sovereign essentially as paterfamilias, even as power is envisaged as absolute. Everything that the ruler does, every gift or mansab or reward bestowed by him upon his nobles, Princes or subjects is a favour; nothing is gained by anyone as a matter of right. On the other hand, Abul Fazl binds the ruler with bestowing paternal care to his subjects.

In his portrayal of the relationship between the sovereign and his subjects as emphatically paternalistic, if Abul Fazl was not being original, he was nevertheless effecting a shift of focus in his own context. Enumeration of the requisite qualities of a ruler have understandably been of central concern to medieval political thought.

For Zia al-Din Barani, strong determination to conquer and govern nearly exhausted these qualities; for Babur, good governance implied that the town walls be solid, subjects be thriving, provisions be in store and the treasury be full. Kingship is a gift of God, and until many thousand grand requisites have been gathered together in an individual, the great gift does not emanate from His court.

And on coming to the exalted status if he did not establish absolute peace sulh kul for all time and did not regard all groups of humanity and all religious sects with the single eye of favour and benevolence, — and not be the mother to some and step-mother to others, — he will not become worthy of the exalted dignity. For him, conquest 52 Legitimacy, Religion and Political Culture and governance are more than mundane activity; they are a form of worship of God.

Abul Fazl brings us back here, as he does ever so frequently, to the Sufi counterpositioning of the apparent and the real meanings of phenomena, the real always hidden, revealed only to an elect few, and the superior of the two for its spiritual associations. The insistence on harmony as the ideological underpinning of the state introduces a bilateral endeavour inasmuch as it is not predicated upon unilateral submission. It also limits the King by setting out his responsibilities towards his subjects, the responsibilities of being paterfamilias. Whereas in the Babur Nama such care gets recorded as a noble sentiment and the Emperor passes strict instructions to his soldiers to bring no harm to the fields while on the march, and while the state generally did intervene in myriad ways to alleviate climactic suffering of the peasantry, with Abul Fazl it forms the centrepiece of his grand legitimization of divine monarchy by introducing an element of reciprocity into it, an element that survived even as other elements, Islam for one, suffered fluctuating fortunes.

When the evidence of tension nearly overwhelms the portrayal of equanimity, the balance in the picture gets disturbed, although even there the language is usually very muted and storms in interpersonal relations are portrayed as slightly unpleasant gusts of wind. Upon his accession, an old teacher of his turned up at the court in expectation of rich rewards; instead, Aurangzeb lambasted him for inadequately preparing him for kingly duties. And yet this good and considerate man would fain persuade me that the public weal ought to cause me no solicitude; that in devising means to promote it, I should never pass a sleepless night, nor spare a single day from the pursuit of some low and sensual gratification.

Hours before he died, he opened his treasury to pay the soldiers their long-overdue salaries; he would have found it hard to carry this guilt along, too. Clearly, the court and the bazaar were constructing contrasting images of the Emperor, the imperial family and the high nobility. Ball, ed. William Crooke, vol.

Sen, ed. Ritual assurance of everyone — young or old, male or female, rich or poor — feeling secure walking around even at night, is repeatedly encountered in court literature. In the paintings, infrequently as the common folk are depicted, they carry an aura of prosperity that reflects how the Emperor would like to see them under his regime. There are innumerable references to compensation from the imperial treasury for damage caused to crops when the army was on the march.

For such was the conception of God, perceived by them in the image of the King with all the paraphernalia of the court, the soldiery, the accountants, even the dancers, in contemporary popular literature. If Abul Fazl had written in the Indian vernaculars, he would have been easily comprehensible to the villagers and townspeople who had heard their saintpoets sing in the language that was their own.

Humayun had been witness to several misdeeds of Qurjah Khan, who, in his opinion, clearly deserved death. Akbar had in his childhood learnt to address Bairam Khan as Baba, father, and continued to do so even after becoming King. He also so addressed Munim Khan, the next Khan-i Khanan. Aurangzeb too, after his accession to the throne, continued to address Mir Jumla, his indefatigable supporter, as Baba, as he did Raja Jai Singh on at least one occasion. This form of address implicates an interesting nominal inversion of the normative state hierarchy: in the state the Emperor is supreme and 37 Ebba Koch attributes the repeated appearance of this motif in Mughal art forms to the influence of the Royal Polyglot Bible, published in Antwerp between and and brought by the Jesuits to the Mughal court in The most powerful of Mughal emperors engaged in this inversion, in a court where every little gesture and word wore layers of symbolic meanings.

In the show of respect to their elders, a quiet recognition of the centrality of the category of the family in state functioning was embedded. One of the most coveted honorifics in the court was that of farzand, son, and the conferring of it by the Emperor on any noble never failed to get into histories. Koka, foster-brother, was another indicator of high status in the family and the court. Once a nursing woman, not necessarily from the higher echelons of the court society, had given her milk to a Prince who grew up to be emperor, she became a surrogate mother, anaga, for all time, and was treated like one.

On two occasions Akbar as Emperor shaved off his head and moustaches as a ritual of mourning for a close relation: on the death of his favourite foster-mother Jiji Anaga, and then following the death of his own mother Mariam Makani. When Khusrau rebelled against his father, Jahangir found the Mirza implicated, and he lost royal favour and his jagir — part of the risk of proximity to powers that be.

Incidentally, Man Singh too had earned the title of farzand son from Akbar. Anxious for reassurance on how he was faring as ruler, the young Emperor enquired of the Khan what people said of him. May my Emperor live a hundred and twenty years [the Khan replied], people speak very highly of you for killing Adham Khan for the murder 56 Legitimacy, Religion and Political Culture of [Shams al-Din] Ataka and Muazzam for the murder of the daughter of Bibi Fatima. They consider it justice, true and proper. Or is it that you know of it but keep it to yourself for my sake?

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He drank with the greatest acceptance and swore he would ever be true and never fail in his duties of a son. This Rajput, however, lost no time in betraying her in return for some money. After the Shah detached Qandahar from the Mughal empire in , biradaram was ruefully dropped from any further reference to him. He was no longer a member of the family; he was just another ruler in the neighbourhood! Muhammad Baqir expresses the equation of the empire and the family in a slightly more picturesque idiom: The empire is like a beloved, beautiful and elegant, and has to be won over and nurtured like a bride, with love.

Considerations of family honour at the court, and imperial levels, also governed a large part of political activity. Indeed, the entire historiography of medieval India, of Mughal India in particular, narrates the events of the court and therefore of the empire with the imperial family as its axis, though with the female half slightly in the shade. The normative projection of the imperial family in the court chronicles — Legitimacy, Religion and Political Culture 57 extraordinary, well ordered, generous yet aloof, and of course great patron of the arts — constituted the quintessential characteristics of the state.

The basic social unit thus acquired a governing presence at the highest level of the state. In writing the history of one, the historians were simultaneously writing the history of the other. The legitimacy of the state lay in the manifest working of these characteristics; its working would have made sense in every family home. Mughal court chronicles from the Akbar Nama onwards seem to depict the ruler, Princes, the royal family and others in a format: The Emperor is usually spoken of in very grandiose terms, Princes just a little less so; their behaviour is generally marked by equanimity, generosity and dignity.

Thus fathers and sons, brothers, sisters and cousins all live in harmony in the chronicles except when harmony is shattered all too visibly. Embedded in this format is an expression of eternity; the person of the King and the Princes changes, but their conduct, mores, even disposition, are in a large measure standardized and follow the impersonal, normative eternal format of kingship, princehood and so on. The task for the chroniclers was to convey the singularities of each individual among the chief dramatis personae, within the format of the standard, the normative, the eternal.

Paradoxically, this format was laid down by Abul Fazl in the Akbar Nama. Paradoxical because Abul Fazl was so obsessed with the personal eminence of Akbar that his entire world view revolved around him. Perhaps for this reason Abul Fazl sought to elevate Akbar to superhuman status. Akbar was not merely a human individual for Abul Fazl, but the personified fulfilment of a divine mission. Akbar thus established a standard, a format for monarchy, to which each person, each monarch had to seek to approximate himself.

But then Badauni wrote the Muntakhab precisely as a reaction to, as a rebuttal of the Akbar Nama. If Abul Fazl created a historiographical format, clearly historians of the Delhi Sultanate could not have written their works within it. The chronicles of this period place no emphasis on the eternity of the rule of their masters either. Harmony is not merely a good policy; it is indeed a form of worship, the best tribute he could pay to a phenomenon.

In many significant ways harmony as social and cultural ethos had been an important aspect of popular religious movements among both the Hindus and the Muslims. For them, sulh kul allowed freedom of worship; there was no space in it for abusing the form of worship of another. Given to despicable speech, he hit the lowest depth. The very minutely detailed rules and regulations 38 The absence of discrimination as state policy is traced back to the Yasa-i Chingizi, the edicts of Chingiz Khan, by Alauddin Ata Juwaini.

I,, ed. Legitimacy, Religion and Political Culture 59 of etiquette which governed court proceedings point to an obsessive preoccupation with order, for the court was the microcosmic encapsulation of society, a theme to which we turn in the next chapter. Indeed, so pervasive is the consciousness of hierarchy that order of precedence is established even for the imperial horses and, when a cheetah leapt a distance of 25 yards, Akbar raised his mansab and ordered that a drum be beaten ahead of the animal, a rare privilege even for high mansabdars.

But the order is not based on closure.

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Indeed, the repeated emphasis on merit, that is personal rather than hereditary or owing to social position, or owing for that matter to recommendation, is surprising in the medieval context, attuned as we are to looking at personal merit as entirely a modern phenomenon. He is particularly partial to the use of the market as a metaphor in virtually every kind of context.

The insistence on merit as an inherently individual quality and the metaphor of the market, where each commodity normatively establishes its value according to its innate worth, is an interesting contrast to Zia Barani, for whom merit is exclusive to high status or the high born, as he designates them and any sign of merit in a low-born person can only be a deception. For a modern version, see M. The social order then was structured along the principle of hierarchy, but with space and flexibility for meritorious individuals, devoid of inherited status.

The history of the Mughal ruling class has numerous examples of individuals with nondescript origins making it to high ranks. Awe, reverence, inspires compliance as long as it lasts. Multifarious experimentation and creativity in the sphere of culture on a grand scale was one of the most significant and durable moments of Mughal history in India, the term Mughal virtually becoming synonymous with cultural grandeur. Embedded in the awesome grandeur of scale and aesthetic quality is the assumption of eternity of the regime.

The assumption of eternity was also central to the vision that became manifest in the great monuments — forts, mosques and tombs. They were built, as it were, to last forever. Abul Fazl, as the great master of the craft, deliberately focused on change in a way that took him to the very origin of humanity, Adam himself. Yet all history, all change, came to a dead stop as its teleological mission reached fulfilment, i. After Akbar there was eternity. This structure of legitimacy was not devoid of some space for variation of individual emphasis, temper and choice.

The coincidence between state, history and the person of the Emperor was close in most medieval polities, as it was in the Mughal state. And so when Francis William Buckler expatiates on the notion that the person of the Mughal Emperor filled the entire space of the empire, he was drawing upon the near universality of the notion, although he seemed to project it as specific to the Mughals. Indeed, Mughals often perceived themselves as conquerors of the world, the titles they gave themselves on accession spoke of this grandiose presumption: Jahangir capturer of the world , Shah Jahan king of the world , Alamgir same as Jahangir.

Within the empire, the ruler adopted several modes to fill the space with his presence. Wherever the Emperor went his entire court and its layout and rituals, palace, army, treasury and clerks were replicated in exact details, as if to emphasize that he was present everywhere. The notion of a moving rather than a fixed capital is thus nearer the Mughal reality. If he sent out a farman to any part of the empire, the recipient was required to accord it ritual respect and obeisance as if he were receiving it at the court. The farman was an extension of His Majesty in person. The robe of honour, granted to several persons almost every day for one reason or another, was cherished because the Emperor had touched it with his hand or his back; the honour of receiving it rose manifold if he had actually worn it.

This allowed considerable space for the play of individual idiosyncrasies. But then legitimacy is not quite legitimate unless it is so perceived by the eyes of the subjects. We do however have some suggestive genres of evidence which enable us to faintly hear those ignored voices: popular religious literature, folktales and bazaar gossip. Yet their conception of state and the social order is one in which each one adheres to the normative bounds, maryada. The ideal King is immensely powerful and prevents the transgression of these bounds by anyone, above all by himself.

It was a conception that Abul Fazl would have found hard to quarrel with. Of folk tales, the most widely circulated ones were Akbar-Birbal stories. His reputation for quick wit, repartee and simple solutions to apparently tough problems is not without historical grounding; it was thus easy to transform him in these tales into the archetypal jester who outwits the king, the priest and all the high, the mighty and the intelligent in the end.

Going by the curses and abuses historian Mulla Abd al-Qadir Badauni loads on Birbal even after his death, one might suspect that he, the Mulla, was perhaps the model for the fictitious character. There is an owning of Akbar as a friend, one you could make fun of. There is owning of Akbar in other modes too. Narottam, a medieval Rajasthani poet, cannot stop admiring him as an incarnation of Partha, Arjuna, and even places him in the age gone by, the dwapar age, that preceded the current age in the four-age cyclic rhythm of the 40 C.

Legitimacy, Religion and Political Culture 63 Hindu concept of yuga. Who will call it Muslim Raj? Manucci narrates a story that had probably been in circulation in the bazaars nearly a century and a half before he recorded it. Babur had been ruling with the sage counsel of one Rangil Das and the empire flourished. So it came to be; Babur located and reinstated his man and the empire began to flourish again.

Manucci swears in his account that every minute bit of information he has recorded has been thoroughly screened for its verity; presumably this story too was a veritable historical fact for him. But, besides the total absence of other evidence bearing out any part of the story, it is in any case in the classic genre of folk tales where the King himself is a knave but rules well with the help of good counsel; then there is jealousy, dismissal, loss of contact, recovery of the counsellor through the setting up of an impossible task, and so on.

However, even as Babur perceives and projects himself in the Babur Nama as the conqueror of India, as indeed do all court chronicles and official and unofficial histories, it is precisely the image of Babur as conqueror that is absent in this tale. Indeed, the Mughal Emperor as such often came to be equated in Rajput society with Ram. See Norman P. Ziegler cites the impeccable authority of the seventeenth-century bard of Rajasthan, Nainsi, for this statement.

In most of the tales, the ruler turns out to be either a knave or a Solomon-like dispenser of justice. Often, his personal foibles and idiosyncrasies, invariably amusing, and his attributes of a commoner rather than of a King are the high points of the stories. The bazaar gossip especially delighted in puncturing the pretensions of the high and the mighty, including the king. Two alternative world views seem to be in contest here: the court histories portrayed the emperor, the royal family and high nobles as governed by perfect decorum and correctness, even if at times it was infringed and earned severe punishment.

This image created a very long distance between the elites and the subjects, who were thus implicitly characterized as ordinary, even stupid, and unfamiliar with the finesse of high culture. Folk tales and bazaar gossip, on the other hand, inverted the imagery and revelled in the stupidities and scandals of the elites. Social acceptance, too, was implied in the minimizing of the distance. Only when the court brought affairs to the brink by foregrounding any one element of the polity, resulting in exclusion rather than inclusion of the others, did the reaction in the bazaar also verge on rejection.

The contrast is one of the most significant chapters, not merely in the political history of the Mughal empire, but in social history as well. By its very definition, the foregrounding of Islam could not be the agency of achieving coherence in a multi-religious society, with a multi-religious court, for it implied subjugation, even humiliation, of the non-Muslims. Significantly, there are remarkably few folktales and gossip centred on Aurangzeb. Timur obtains food for him and the faqir then covers him with his cloak and spanks his posterior with his hand.