Cultural Heritage of Pakistan: Turkish Influence on the Subcontinent

Topics: Delhi Sultanate, Mughal Empire, India Pages: 11 (3181 words) Published: October 19, 2014
Cultural Heritage of Pakistan

Turkish Influence
On the Subcontinent

Submitted by: Abdus Samad Khan
Submitted to: Prof. Qamar Abbas

The invasion of the Turks at the turn of the eleventh century from Central Asia had wide-ranging results on the historical background of Medieval as well as advanced India. The Turks built the politico-military control over significant areas of the nation and fortified the Religion Islam that they professed and sustained the Islamic refinement in all circles. These components prompted the rise of the Muslim group with an overall characterized religion and its socio-cultural anchorages.

One of the most important events in the history of India was the establishment of the Delhi Sultanate at the turn of the thirteenth century. The intrusions of Mahmud of Ghazni and Muhammad Ghori not just brought about the loot of rich urban areas and destruction and defilement of sanctuaries but also added a political component in India. The battles of Muhammad Ghori cleared the route for the rule of the Turks and the Afghans. While Mahmud of Ghazni focused on the North Indian temples cities for riches and maverick enthusiasm, Muhammad Ghori sustained political aspiration in expansion to these intentions. He fancied to make northern India part of his Ghorian Empire. In this way, succeeding his effective fights, Muhammad Ghori assigned his trusted and prominent slave, Qutbuddin Aibak as his agent to govern the newly conquered territories of the Sub-continent.

Mahmud of Ghazni

Mahmud Ghaznavi was the first major Turkish ruler to wage wars on the Rajput Kingdoms. He did not want to take over India but he wanted to expand his territories to Iran, Afghanistan and Khorasan.

Mahmud of Ghazni plundered India 17 times in a short time span of around 25 years and looted India off its wealth and resources. The areas around Gujarat and Kannauj were rich and prosperous and were looted mercilessly by Mahmud. This wealth helped him consolidate his hold and power over northern India. He made many palaces and mosques with the looted wealth in Ghazni located in central Asia. After plundering India many times, he finally died in Ghazni in 1030 A.D.1 

Muhammad Ghauri

The second Turkish attack was led by Mu’izzu’d-Din Muhammad (also known as Muhammad Ghori), who conquered Sindh and Lahore in 1182. Soon after, he commenced his attack on the Rajput kingdoms. Prithviraj Chauhan successfully led the Rajputs against Ghori in the first battle of Tarain in 1191 AD. However, in the second battle in 1192 AD, Prithviraj was defeated and the kingdom of Delhi fell to Muhammad Ghori.

In 1200 Muhammad had to deal with a revolt of the Ghakkar tribe in the Punjab province. He overpowered the revolt, but was assassinated during a Ghakkar raid on his camp on the Jhelum River in 1206. Upon his death his most capable general, Qutub-ud-din Aibak, took control of Muhammad's Indian conquests and declared himself the first Sultan of Delhi.

Qutub-ud-din Aibak

Ghaur was Aibak’s master and he was still considered a slave. Aibak legitimized his rule by arranging several marriages of influential figures. The Slave dynasty ruled from Delhi from 1206 to 1290 A.D. The first ruler of the Slave dynasty, Qutbuddin Aibak could be considered as the real founder of the Turkish rule in India.

Qutbuddin Aibak was born to Turkish parents in Turkistan. He belonged to the tribe of Aibek. He was sold as a slave in his boyhood and finally came under the ownership of Muhammad Ghori. Due to his capability Aibak rose to prominence and became his right-hand lieutenant.

His introduction of martial slavery, or mamluks, proved to be advantageous for intelligent, ambitious, young men to rise up rapidly out of and above their birth status. Aibak took advantage of this opportunity and earned the right for higher position.

He built the Quwwat-ul-lslam Mosque at Delhi and another one at Ajmer called Adhai Din Ka Jhopra....
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