The Mughal Empire
Mughal Empire ruled what is now Pakistan, Afghanistan and a large section of Indian subcontinent initially referred to as Hindustan from 1526 to 1707. It was founded in 1526 by Timurid leader Barbur after he defeated Ibrahim Lodi, the last Delhi sultans during the First Panipat Battle. The religion practiced in the empire was none other than Islam.
The Afghan Sher Shah Suri conquered a large section of the territory during the Humayun period. Under Akbar, the empire grew considerably and continued to do so until the rule of Aurangzeb came to an end. Akbar’s son, Jahangir ruled the empire from 1605 to 1627. Jahangir’s son, Mughal Emperor Shah Jahan however succeeded the throne and inherited a large and rich empire and this was the greatest empire globally.
The ruling class in the empire was comprised of Muslims who were liberal minded though a large section of the population was of Hindu subjects. While it was Babur who founded the empire, it remained unstable till Akbar’s reign as he was of liberal disposition and he was intimately acquainted from birth in accordance to the traditions and morals of India.
Under the rule of Akbar, the Jizya was abolished by the courts and use of lunar Muslim calendar was also abolished. This was replaced by solar calendar which was considered suitable for agriculture. Akbar had unusual ideas about religion and one of these was Din-i-Ilahi which in English means “Faith of God” which was eclectic mix of Hindu, Sufi Islam pantheistic versions and Christianity. Till his death, it was declared as the state religion. However, the actions were met with great oppositions from Muslim leaders.
During the start of the sixteenth century, northern India was under Muslim leaders till it fell in the hands of the Mughals. The Mughal Empire was established as a result of this however, it did not stamp local societies out when it assumed power. Instead, it not only pacified them but created balance through administrative practices that were new as w2ell as inclusion of ruling elites.
Surpassing tribal bonds and Islam identity, especially under the rule of Akbar, the Mughals managed to unite far flung realms. They did this by exercising royalty and expressing a Persianised culture. It became possible for peasants as well as artisans to enter large markets as a result of the economic state of the Mughals policies, collection of revenue through agriculture and the mandate that taxes should be paid in the silver currency which was well regulated.
For the most part of the seventeenth century, the empire maintained relative peace and as a result, India experienced economic expansion resulting in great patronage of literary forms, architecture, textiles as well as paintings.
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