This section of the atlas deals with the period from the foundation of Turkish rule in India by the Ghūrids and the establishment in 1206 of the Sultanate of Delhi1 until the advent of Mughal rule. For the north of India coverage extends to the date of Bābur's conquest of Delhi in 1526, whereas for the south, where the course of history often ran more or less independently of the major events cen- tered on Delhi, coverage continues until 1605, the year of Akbar's death, by which time Mughal power had penetrated deep into the Deccan. Because of the significant degree to which the North and the South functioned as separate po- litical arenas during the period of section V, with major events in each occurring at quite different times, the dates of coverage of particular maps on plates V.1–4, dealing with political history, generally differ for the two regions.
As shown on plate IV.2, the Turkish Ghaznavid dynasty, under Mahmūd of Ghazni, had established itself firmly in the Punjab early in the 11th century and carried on raids deep into the Gangetic Plain and southward to Gujarat. Hence, the Ghūrid conquest of most of northern India may be regarded as an extension of the task begun by the Ghaznavids. This latter conquest set in motion a train of events that continued, with little interruption, until Turkish domination had reached, early in the 14th century, almost to the farthest reaches of the Indian subcontinent, thereby radically changing the course of its subsequent history. During the period from 1206 to 1526 five dynasties held sway as rulers of the Delhi Sultanate: the Mamlūks (1206–90), the Khaljīs (1290–1320), the Tughluqs (1320–1414), the Sayyids (1414–51), and the Lodīs (1451–1526). Their terri- tories, however, kept changing rapidly. At one extreme they extended over nearly the whole of northern and southern India, under the early Tughluqs; at a mini- mum they comprised only Delhi and its suburbs, at the accession of the Sayyids, by which time a number of independent states had become established in various parts of India. The Lodī Afghans did recover substantial parts of northern India; but internal dissension among them between 1517 and 1526 facilitated the Mu- ghal conquest.
Turko-Afghan hegemony influenced South Asia in many ways. New ethnic strains were added to the population and in varying degrees blended with it, con- tributing to an already complex genetic pool. While there is no way of determin- ing the actual extent of migration out of Central Asia and Afghanistan, it seems probable that the number of migrants was not especially great. (The large num- ber of Muslims in South Asia today, over a fourth of the total population, is at- tributable much more to conversion over the centuries than to immigration, par- ticularly away from the northwestern portals of the subcontinent.) Far more important, however, than any racial changes that may have come about are those of a social, cultural, and political nature.
Socially, the essentially egalitarian religion of Islam, established as the state religion wherever Turkic or Afghan power held sway, posed a serious challenge to the entrenched, hierarchically ordered, caste-rooted social order of Hinduism. Not surprisingly, many converts to Islam came from those segments of the pop- ulation whose status was low. But at virtually all levels of Hindu society some conversion seems to have occurred. Muslims often took Hindu wives, and the progeny of such unions further swelled the ranks of Islam.
In the domain of religious practice considerable interaction, much of it ami-
cable, took place between Hinduism and Islam, especially within the mystical
movements collectively known as Bhakti and Sufism. Sufi saints, rather than jihād
(religious war), were, in fact, the most influential agents of conversion on the soil
of India. Due to this interaction, a number of eclectic teachers and sects arose in
time, as, for example, Kabīr (1440–1518) and his followers, who borrowed heav-
ily from both traditions. Among Kabīr's contemporaries was Gurū Nānak (1469–
Culturally, the spread of the Persian language under Turkish and Afghan patronage and the growth of its literature in India greatly enriched Indian civili- zation. Early in the 13th century, owing to the turmoil attending the Mongol conquest of Central Asia, there was an exodus from that region to India of thou- sands of men of learning, writers, artists, and craftsmen, for most of whom, what- ever their mother tongue, Persian was the principal literary language. Owing to the ravages of time, however, relatively few of the many works known to have been produced during this period survive. Among those that do, the poetry, and the music, of the Indian-born Turk Amīr Khusrau (1253–1325) is remembered not only for its intrinsic artistic quality but also for achieving a particularly ex- alted synthesis of Indian and Persian forms. Architecture was vigorously pro- moted by the Turko-Afghan ruling class. The dome and the arch, previously known but little used, were widely adopted, and there was a proliferation of forti- fied palace complexes. The craft industries witnessed a great diversification in the range of textiles produced, and the manufacture of metalware reached new levels of excellence. Government-owned workshops (kārkhānas) supplemented the out- put of numerous private establishments. Even in the realm of day-to-day living many changes were set in motion; in matters of cooking and dress, for example, two-way borrowings were common, especially among the gentry.
Politically, Islam calls for the establishment of a state ruled by the tenets of the faith as embodied in the Sharī'a (the law of the Qur'ān and subsequent in- terpretive texts). Areas under Muslim rule are regarded as Dār-ul Islām ("abode of Islam," i.e., land of the faithful), other areas as Dār-ul Harb (literally "abode of war," i.e., land of non-Muslims). Nonbelievers are classified either as ahl al- kitāb (people of the book) or as kafirs (infidels) the former of whom are en- titled, on payment of a special tax on adult males (jizya), to the status of zimmīs (protected peoples), and the latter of whom, in theory at least, are offered the choice of conversion, payment of jizya, or death. Originally, in accordance with specific Qur'ānic injunction, only Jews and Christians were eligible to become zimmīs, but, by extension, Zoroastrians in Iran and, later, Hindus in India came also to be regarded by the Arab jurists as zimmīs during the time of the Umayyad and Abbāsid Caliphates. Under the Turks and Afghans no such formal dispensa- tion was made; but in practice Hindus generally continued to be treated as zimmīs. The irregularly enforced requirement that Hindus pay jizya has given rise to much controversy in the writings of modern scholars. If, however, jizya was a discrimina- tory tax on Hindus, it was matched by zakāt, a tax for charitable purposes levied on Muslims only. And jizya conferred a benefit that zakāt did not: exemption from military service. But in any event neither jizya nor zakāt was a major source of state revenue, and available records are by no means clear about the frequency with which jizya was actually collected. Brahmans, interestingly, were not required to pay until the reign of Firūz Tughluq (1351–88).
As was true throughout virtually the whole of Indian history, the principal source of revenue during the Sultanate Period was a tax on the land. Important reforms were instituted under the Khaljīs, Tughluqs, and Lodīs in the manner in which it was assessed, collected, and recorded (see "A Chronology of South Asia," col. 3). Other reforms were made in the regularization of provincial and local administra- tion. Although no map in section V deals with administration and revenue, the text for plate VI.A.2, which considers those subjects during the Mughal Period, makes a number of relevant observations on the roots of Mughal institutions in reforms of the Sultanate Period.
From a geopolitical perspective the period of the Delhi Sultanate marked a re- turn of the center of power in India to the western Gangetic Plain, where it had been in the period of the Vedic Aryans, who also entered the subcontinent from the northwest. For many centuries before the Khaljīs rose to the status of a pan-Indian power, India had seen no close approach to unification under a single rule except, perhaps, fleetingly under the Rā&stod;&ttod;rakū&ttod;as or the Gurjara-Pratihāras; and the