21 Apr


  • Muslims arrived in the subcontinent at the beginning of the 8th Century.
  • Muslims captured Sindh and established its rule.
  • Muslims rulers included Muhammad Bin Qasim, Mahmood Ghaznavi and Muhammad Ghouri in the first phase of inconsistent Muslim rule.
  • It was followed consistent Muslim rule from 1206 to 1857.
  • It is divided into Sultanate and Mughal period spread over six hundred and fifty years.
  • Therefore Muslims ruled the subcontinent for 650 years as against 1000 years mostly mentioned in the text books.

Inconsistent Muslim Rule (712-1206)

  • Almost 500 years and there are three key rulers during this period.
  • Muhammad Bin Qasim (712-715) followed by a gap of almost 300years.
  • Mahmood Ghaznavi (998-1030) who was an invader than the ruler of the subcontinent. He is famous for 17 invasions. Somnat temple was dismantled by him.
  • Some would say he did it for the cause of Muslims others would say he was a looter.
  • There is a gap of almost 200 years with the next invader and ruler who is Muhammad Ghouri (1192-1206).
  • He defeated Pritve Raj Chohan.
  • He would invade the capital Delhi and establish Muslim rule in the subcontinent in the real sense of the word.
  • He died immediately and replaced by his slave as he had no son to Succeed him.

Consistent Muslim Rule (1206-1857)

  • It is divided into Sultanate and Mughal period.
  • Sultanate period started in 1206 and continued up to 1526.
  • It is divided into five dynasties which are as under.
  • Slave Dynasty (1206-90) Qutbuddin Aibak was its first ruler.

Slave Dynasty (1206-90)

  • The Indian slave dynasty lasted from 1206 to 1290.
  • The slave dynasty was the first Muslim dynasty to rule India. It was founded by Sultan Qutbuddin Aibak.
  • It is said that Muhammad Ghouri did not have a natural heir to the throne and he the habit of treating his slaves like his own children.
  • Thus after the death of Ghouri, one of the most able slaves by the name of Qutub-ud-din Aibak descended the throne.
  • The history of the slave dynasty begins with the rule of Qutub-ud-din Aibak.
  • Qutb-ud-din Aibak, Shams-ud-din iltutmush and Ghiyas-ud-din Balban were the three great Sultans of the era.
  • Qutub-ud-din Aibak, reigning from 1206 to 1210, marked the inception of the slave dynasty as its inaugural monarch.
  • He initially set up his capital in Lahore before relocating it to Delhi.
  • The famous Qutub Minar's construction commenced under his rule.
  • His reign was abruptly cut short by his accidental demise in 1210.
  • He was succeeded by his son Aram Shah but due to his incompetence, he was defeated in just one year by lltumish.
  • After Aram Shah, the next able ruler was lItumish. He ruled from 1211to 1236.
  • Under his strong governance, the slave dynasty was able to find a strong footing and establish itself as an important kingdom.
  • The army was organized efficiently under iltumish and he also introduced a coin currency known as Tanka.
  • It was in his reign that the construction of Qutub Minar was completed.
  • After ruling successfully for a period of 25 years, he died, but nominated his daughter Raziya Sultan as the heir to the throne.
  • She was an able ruler, but since she was a woman, she faced stern opposition from nobles who got her murdered.
  • The last effective emperor of the slave dynasty was Ghiyas ud din Balban. He ruled from 1266 to 1286.
  • During his reign, the administration was strengthened and he paid much attention to governance in his empire.
  • The army was trained effectively to use weapons and the production of arms and other war weaponry was at its peak.
  • This is what helped them fight against the Mongols. Balban's court was one of the finest during the Sultanate period, and it was a platform for poets and artists.
  • Balban was very particular about dignity, he would always appear in his full dress even in front of his private attendants.
  • He removed people from humble backgrounds from important posts as he wished to give his court and administration a more polished look.
  • He may not have extended the empire, or made radical improvements in administration, but he made the important contribution of setting the ground work for a strong king to take the Sultanate to even higher standards.
  • His death marked the end of the Slave Dynasty for his successor was weak and was soon overthrown by Jalal-ud-din Khilji.

Khilji Dynasty (1290-1320)

  • Jalal-ud-din Khilji overthrew Balban's successors and founded the Khilji Dynasty, which ruled large parts of South Asia between 1290 and1320.
  • From 1296 AD to 1316 AD Alauddin Khilji dominated the Delhi sultanate with many courageous achievements.
  • Soon after becoming the Sultan of Delhi Alauddin Khilji in 1297 AD went out to win over the various parts of Gujarat state.
  • Ala- ud-din also was able to implement startling economic reforms, although their effects were probably restricted to Delhi and the 100 mile radius around it.
  • Nevertheless this was truly creditable for he achieved what modern governments in India have not completely achieved.
  • Ala-ud-din re-organized the market so that there were fixed prices which were affordable, he developed warehousing facilities to ensure ready stock of goods, the government entered the business of transportation and provided facilities for the swift movement of goods.
  • Alauddin's reign is marked by innovative administrative and revenue reforms, market control regulations and a whirl wind period of conquests.
  • It is considered the golden period of the Khalji rule.
  • However, before the death of Alauddin, his house was divided into two camps.
  • This resulted in the ultimate collapse of the Khalji dynasty. He died on January 1316 due to an acute health condition.

Tughlaq Dynasty (1320-1414)

  • The Tughlaq dynasty was a Turko-Indian dynasty, which ruled Delhi during the Sultanate period.
  • The Tughlaqs provided three important rulers: Ghiyas-ud-din Tughlaq, Muhammad-bin-Tughlaq and Firuz Shah Tughlaq.
  • Reign of the dynasty started in 1321 when Ghazi Malik assumed the throne of Delhi under the title of Ghiyas-ud-din Tughlaq.

Syed Dynasty (1414-1451)

  • Khizar Khan, the founder of the Syeds Dynasty, claimed to be a descendent of the Prophet of lslam, Hazrat Muhammad (S. A. W.).
  • Thus his established rule is known as the Syeds Dynasty.
  • His son Mubarik Shah succeeded Khizar. Unlike his father, Mubarik declared himself Sultan.

Lodhi Dynasty (1451-1526)

  • Although it was the last of the ruling families of the Sultanate period it had a greater life span than the Khiljis and had better achievements than the later Tughlaqs and Syeds.
  • Rule of this dynasty started when Bahlul Lodhi.
  • After his death on July 17, 1489, his second son Sikandar Lodhi became the next sultan. Abrahim lodi being the last one.

Consistent Muslim Rule (1206-1857)

1. Akbar (1556-1605)

2. Jahangir (1605-1627)

3. Shah Jahan (1627-1558)

4. Aurangzeb Alamgir (1558-1707)

5. Decline of Mughal Period (1707-1857)

6. Greater Mughal and later Mughal


  • It is concluded that Muslim ruled the subcontinent for 650 years.
  • Before that there have been three rulers/invaders which is termed as inconsistent Muslim rule.
  • Muslim rule was replaced by the British rule as East India company came to the subcontinent for trading purposes.
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