Mughal Empire

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The Mughal Empire at its greatest extent ca. 1707

The Mughal Empire, (Hindi: मुग़ल साम्राज्य, Persian: دولتِ مغل) was a Sunni Islamic empire in South Asia that existed from 1526 to 1858. The Mughal rule over India was an empire because it stretched over a large area. It once ruled most of the Indian subcontinent, and parts of what is now India, Afghanistan and modern Pakistan and Bangladesh and Myanmar between 1526 and 1707.[1] It was the world's largest economy, at 25% of the world's GDP. [2] It famously signalled the proto-industrialization and had a lavish architecture.

Origins[change | change source]

Babur, the Founder of the Mughal Empire, was a descendant of Timur and Genghis Khan. Timur was of Mongolian origin[3] and was a member of the Mongolian[4][5] Barlas tribe, but the Mongolian Barlas tribe over time mingled with the Turkic population of the region,[6] so Timur had both Mongol and Turkic ancestry.[7]

History[change | change source]

The Mughal emperors were originally Turk-Mongols.[8] Babur of the Timurid dynasty founded the Mughal Empire and the Mughal dynasty in 1526 and ruled until 1530. He was followed by Humayun (1530-1540) and (1555-1556), Akbar (1556-1605), Jahangir (1605-1627), Shah Jahan (1628-1658), and the Islamic Aurangzeb (1658-1707) and several other minor rulers until Bahadur Shah Zafar II(1837-1857). After the death of Aurangzeb, the rule through sharia ended and the Mughal Empire became weak. It continued until 1857-1858. By then, India came under the British Raj. The Mughal Empire mainly collapsed due to the rebellion of the Sikhs in the north and the Marathas in the south. These two groups would go on to form the Maratha Empire and the Sikh Empire later on before their fall to the British Empire.

The Mughal Empire was established by able Muslim rulers who came from what is now Uzbekistan. The Mughal rule in India saw the country being united as one single unit and being administered under a single powerful ruler. During the Mughal period, art and architecture flourished and many beautiful monuments were constructed. The rulers were skillful warriors and also admirers of art.

The Mughals left a permanent mark on Indian society, culture, art and architecture. Their monuments, artifacts and literature show a period of great wealth and culture. Paintings in miniature style teach us about the clothing and lifestyle of the Mughal people. The Mughals contributed to the development of the Indo-Islamic culture which developed in Northern India during their period. This culture was originally formed from the formation of the Delhi Sultanate. They were also responsible for the conversion of many Pakistani and Indian Muslims conversions to Islam. The founder of the Mughals Babur was an ethnic Uzbek. Many people in Punjab and Kashmir began to convert to Islam and the region of Northern India went through a period of partial Islamization.

The Mughal people is an ethnic group living in the Indian subcontinent that is a descendant of the Mongol and Turkic conquerors who came to North India from the 14th century. Mongol, Turkic, and local Indo-Iranian peoples took part in the formation of the Mughal people.

After 1858, when the Mughal Empire was taken over by the British Empire, some of the Indian Muslims went to exile to the Ottoman Empire.

References[change | change source]

  1. Fisher, Michael (30 May 2019). A Short History of the Mughal Empire. Bloomsbury Academic. ISBN 9781350127531.
  2. Jeffrey G. Williamson, David Clingingsmith (August 2005). "India's Deindustrialization in the 18th and 19th Centuries" (PDF). Harvard University. Retrieved 18 May 2017.
  3. Lodge, Henry Cabot (1916). The History of Nations Volume 14. P. F. Collier & son. ISBN 9780160239298. University of Minnesota. p. 46, "Timur the Lame, from the effects of an early wound, a name which some European writers have converted into Tamerlane, or Tamberlaine. He was of Mongol origin, and a direct descendant, by the mother's side, of Genghis Khan (...)"
  4. Manz, B.F. (1989). The rise and rule of Tamerlan. Cambridge University Press. p. 28, "(...) the old Mongolian tribes — Barlas, Arlat, Soldus and Jalayir (...)"
  5. Asimov, M.S.; Bosworth C. E. (1998). History of Civilizations of Central Asia. UNESCO Regional Office. ISBN 92-3-103467-7. p. 320: "(...) One of his followers was [...] Timur of the Barlas tribe. This Mongol tribe had settled [...] in the valley of Kashka Darya, intermingling with the Turkish population, adopting their religion (Islam) and gradually giving up its own nomadic ways, like a number of other Mongol tribes in Transoxania (...)"
  6. Asimov, M.S.; Bosworth C. E. (1998). History of Civilizations of Central Asia. UNESCO Regional Office. ISBN 92-3-103467-7. p. 320: "(...) One of his followers was [...] Timur of the Barlas tribe. This Mongol tribe had settled [...] in the valley of Kashka Darya, intermingling with the Turkish population, adopting their religion (Islam) and gradually giving up its own nomadic ways, like a number of other Mongol tribes in Transoxania (...)"
  7. Seekins, Donald M.; Nyrop, Richard F. (1986). Afghanistan A Country Study · Volume 550, Issues 65-986. The Studies. University of California. ISBN 9780160239298. p. 11, "(...) Timur was of both Turkish and Mongol descent and claimed Genghis Khan as an ancestor (...)"
  8. Richards, John F. (1995), The Mughal Empire, Cambridge University Press, p. 6, ISBN 978-0-521-56603-2

Mustafa Ali Turi