- The Delhi Sultanate period extended from 1206 A.D. to 1526 A.D. for almost 320 years.
- The administration was based on Islamic laws (Sharia).
- A Theocratic and a Military State.
Ministers to Sultan
- Wazir – Prime Minister and Finance Minister
- Diwani-I-Risalt – Foreign Affairs Minister
- Sadr-us-Suddar – Minister of Islamic Law
- Diwan-I-lnsha – Correspondence Minister
- Diwan-I-Ariz – Defence or War Minister
- Qazi-ul-quzar – Minister of Justice
- The Sultan was the head of the empire.
- He possessed vast powers.
- Also other officials were appointed to take care of the administration.
- The empire was divided into a number of Iqtas.
- Iqtadars administered the Iqtas.
- Iqtas further were divided into smaller units called Parganas, Shiqqs, and the villages.
- Amil or Munsif – an important official of the Pargana.
- The village was the smallest unit of administration.
- The village administration was carried out by local hereditary officers and the Panchayats
- The Panchayat looked after education, sanitation, justice, revenue etc.
- The Central Government did not interfere in the village administration.
Revenue Administration under Delhi Sultanate
- Land revenue was the main source of income.
- The Sultan was the highest judicial authority.
- Qazi-ul-quzar – the Chief Judicial officer.
- A Quazi was appointed in every town.
- Criminals were punished severely.
- The Sultan was the Commander of the army
- The four divisions of the army were
- The Royal army
- Provincial or Governor’s army
- Feudal army and
- War Time army
Social life of the Sultanate period
The people in the society were divided based on their nationality and they are:
- Foreign Muslims
- Indian Muslims
Economic conditions of the people
- The people were mainly involved in agriculture and industry
- Textile industry was the primary industry.
- Paper Industry, metal work, pearl diving, ivory and sandal works, stone cutting, Sugar industry were the other industries of this period.
- Indian textiles were in great demand in foreign countries.
- Bengal and Gujarat were famous for their quality fabrics.
- Cotton, woollen and silk of different varieties were produced in large quantities.
- The clothes had gold, diamonds, pearls, silver and stone works.
Contributions of the Delhi Sultanate
Art and Architecture
- Delhi Sultans had a great taste for architecture.
- Architectures were a blend of Indian and Islamic styles.
The three well-developed styles were
- Delhi or Imperial Style
- Provincial Style
- Hindu architectural style
Architecture during Mamaluk Period
- Quwat-ul-lslam mosque
- the tombs of Nasir-ud-din Muhammad
- Balban Siri the new town in Delhi
Architecture during Khilji Period
- Dargah of Hazrat Nizam – ud – din Aulia
- The Alai Darwaza
Architecture during Lodi Period
- The Lodi Garden
- Moti Masjid in New Delhi, and
- The tomb of Sikandar Lodi
The Sultanate of Delhi period witnessed some great scholars and some are:
- Amir Khusrau
Many Sanskrit works were translated into Arabic and Urdu language originated during the Sultanate period.
Scholars of sultanate period
- An Arabic and Persian Scholar patronized by Mahmud of Ghazni.
- He learnt Sanskrit and translated two Sanskrit works into Arabic.
- He was impressed by the Upanishads and Bhagavad Gita.
- In his work Tarikh-ul-Hind, he had mentioned the socio-economic conditions of India.
- He was a great Persian poet.
- He is said to have written four lakh couplets.
- He was a great singer and was given the title ‘Parrot of India’.
Impact of Turkish Conquest
- The Turkish conquest of India had its impact on various fields.
- It paved the way to a centralized political organization.
- It re-established relations with the rest of Asia and parts of Africa.
- A permanent army was established.
- Trade was established due to the uniform legal system, tariff regulations and currency.
- Persian became the court language and brought uniformity in the administration.
Disintegration of the Delhi Sultanate
- The disintegration of the Delhi Sultanate had begun during the Tughluq period.
- The invasion of Timur and the incompetent and intolerant nature of some of the Sayyid and Lodi rulers led to the collapsing of the Delhi Sultanate.
- The rulers of the Vijayanagar and Bahmani Kingdom in the South were the first to break free from Delhi.
- Other regions like Assam, Bengal, Khandesh, Gujarat, Jauripur, Kashmir, Multan, Malwa, Sind, and Orissa also became independent.
- Babur ended the Lodi Dynasty by defeating Ibrahim Lodi in the first Battle of Panipat in 1526 A.D., which brought the downfall of the Delhi Sultanate in India.