The Mughal Empire

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The Mughal Empire

The Mughal Empire was an empire that at its greatest territorial extent ruled most of the Indian subcontinent between 1526 and 1857. It consolidated the Islam culture in South Asia and in result it spread the arts of the Muslim culture and its faith. The Mughal ruling class included the Muslims despite most of the subjects in the empire being Hindu. Zahiruddin Mohammad Babur was the founder of the empire. Under his rule the dynasty remained unstable, and was eventually exiled, until the reign of Akbar. Akbar, being unofficially involved with the dynasty since adolescents to adulthood, had the ideas, concepts, and most importantly foundation needed to make the Mughal dynasty into a powerful empire. Under Akbars rule the court abolished the poll tax on non-Muslims and got rid of the use of the lunar Muslim calendar in favor of a solar calendar that became more useful to agriculture. Akbar had many useful ideas, especially regarding religion. One of his most unique ideas regarding religion was his idea of having an eclectic mix of Hinduism, which was a version of Sufi Islam, Zoroastrianism and Christianity. As a major influential leader of the Mughal empire Akbar still to this day is remembered as a tolerant ruler, enlightened thinker, and a philosopher king who had a genuine interest in all creeds and doctrines at a time when religious persecution was prevailing throughout Europe and Asia. He even started a new faith in an attempt to blend Islam with Hinduism, Christianity, Jainism, along with many other faiths. In India the Muslims came before the Mughals. The first Muslims to arrive came in the 8th Century. During the first half of the 10th Century Muslim ruler of Afghanistan took over Punjab several times. (Punjab is a major plain in Western India where many Muslims reside). Later on a more successful invasion that took place during the 12th Century was the formation and invasion of the city of Delhi. Eventually the Mughals matured out of being descendants of the Mongol Empire and then made a transitioned into becoming Muslim and assimilated their culture with the Middle East. They then also retained major military skills of placed Mongol empires. The Mughals used the Mansabdar system to generate land revenue. This system used a military -type grading of all imperial officials. The mansabdars governed the empire and commanded its armies in the emperor's name. The emperor would grant revenue rights to a Mansabdar in exchange for promises of soldiers in war-time. For example, the bigger the size of land the emperor granted, the greater the number of soldiers the Mansabdar had to promise.

The Mughal dynasty had many rulers during its reign. The Mughal Emperors are famous for the creation and management of one of the greatest empires. They set the prime example of “unity in diversity”. The most influential emperors were Babur, Humayun, Akbar, Jahangir, Shah Jahan, and Auranzeb. Each of these emperors made a huge impact on the Mughal Empire and its people.

Zahiruddin Mohammad Babur was the founder of the Mughal Empire. He ruled the empire from 1483 to 1530. Babur was 14 years old when he ascended the throne of the Central Asian kingdom of Farghana. In 1504, he led his army into what is now Afghanistan and conquered Kabul. After waging fierce battles against the Rajputs and Lodhis, Babur managed to take possession of Delhi and Agra. After that he rapidly started to spread his territory and conquered most of Indian sub-continent and Afghanistan. When he died in 1530 he had conquered all of Hindustan and controlled an empire that extended from the Deccan to Turkestan. Babur’s armies were very technologically advanced and he was the first Islamic conqueror to employ muskets and artillery.

Babur was succeeded by his son Humayun. Humayun inherited one of the largest empires in the world, and between 1530 and 1540 and he managed to lose all of it to rebellions,...
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