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Religious Policy under the

Submitted to –

Dr.Gulrukh khan
Professor (History)

Submitted by –
B.A.LL.B. (Regular) (First Year)
Roll No. : 32

I would like primarily to thank God for being able to successfully complete this
project. Then I would like to thank my History Professor Dr. Gulrukh Khan whose
valuable advice has been the ones that have helped me repair this project and make
it a complete proof of progress, their recommendations and directions have served
as the main contribution to the project's completion. Last but not least, thanks are
due to my classmate Shadab anwar who have supported me a great deal in the


B.A.LL.B (REGULAR) 2nd sem.

The Tughlaqs were basically of Turkish origin and the family was essentially Muslim. Around
the year 1321, Ghazi Tughlaq ascended the throne and was given the title Ghiyath al-Din
Tughlaq. The Tughlaq dynasty was able to withhold its rule due to their strong allies like the
Turks, Afghans and the Muslim warriors of south Asia. In the following lines, you shall find
information about the history of Tughlaq dynasty and the major rulers of this dynasty. So read
about the Tughluq Empire.1
The son and successor of the Turk Ghiyas-ud-din (reigned 1321-1325), the founder of the
Tughluq dynasty that replaced Khilji rule in Delhi, Muhammad bin Tughluq displayed an
extraordinary capacity for classical learning and military leadership. He was formally crowned in
1325, when his father met an accidental death in which Muhammad was implicated.
The most serious of these rebellions were in the Deccan (1326, 1347), Måbar (tip of the Indian
peninsula, 1334), Bengal (1338), Gujarat (1345), and Sind (1350). These rebellions led to Delhi's
loss of control over the south and the Deccan, Bengal, Gujarat, and Sind. The rebellions in
Gujarat and Sind exhausted Muhammad, for it was in the course of his expedition in Sind that he
died near Thatta in 1351.
Among Muhammad's ambitious military projects was his plan to invade Khurasan in Persia in
1329; a large army was raised and paid for, all of which was a wasted effort because the Sultan
realized its impracticality. During 1337-1338 he attacked the kingdom of Nagarkot in the Punjab
and secured a limited success.
Muhammad's administrative innovations also smacked of the spectacular. In 1327 he ordered
that the imperial capital be shifted from Delhi in the north to Daulatabad in the Deccan, a
distance of over 750 miles. After moving by force a part of the Delhi population, Muhammad
realized that his move was ill-advised, and the capital was moved back to Delhi.2
In 1328-1329 Muhammad ordered an enhancement of agricultural taxes in the Doab (area
watered by the Ganges and the Jamuna rivers), and the impost was collected with such severity

Available at https://www.indianmirror.com/dynasty/tughlaqdynasty.html (last visited on 20-03-2020)
1491890278-1 (last visited on April 6th ,2020)
that it bred rebellions and led to devastation of large tracts. In 1330-1332 Muhammad conceived
the idea of introducing a token copper currency without taking the necessary precautions against
private minting of copper coins. The result was the flooding of the market with spurious coins
which were then withdrawn in exchange for gold and silver coins.
In his religious views Muhammad was a liberal, though he requested recognition from the Caliph
in Egypt in 1340. He loved holding discussions with philosophers and men of learning and was
undoubtedly an extraordinary man who combined within himself numerous contradiction
Firuz was the first Delhi sultan to recognize predominance of Islamic laws and the Ulema in state
administration. Other Sultans, of course, followed Islam and were prejudiced against the Hindus,
but none acknowledged Islamic laws as basic principles regulating their management. Firuz was
proving an exception. While running the state he openly acknowledged Islamic laws as
fundamental concepts.

His ideals thus remained similar to those of the Mughal emperor Aurangzeb who succeeded him
much later but with a distinction, of course. Although Aurangzeb considered himself the master
of Islamic laws, and therefore did not rely on the Ulema for their interpretation, Firuz relied on
the Ulema for their explanation or interpretation. Thus, Firuz's religious policies remained
intolerant to people of all religions except the Sunnis.3

Firuz was intolerant against the Shias, Sufis, munhidan and ibahatian, i.e., Shia's Ismaili faction
and other Muslim sects as well. He wrote in his autobiography that he had burnt Shias' books.

Firuz was fanatically intolerant of the hindus. He propagated Islam, and promoted conversion by
the Hindus. He gives us a distinct impression in his autobiography, Fatuhat-i-Firuzshahi, that he
only regarded himself as the ruler of Muslims.

He wrote- "I urged my infidels to follow the Prophet's faith, and I declared that anyone who left
his creed and became a Muslim should be excluded from the Jizya."

He has recounted numerous times in it when he demolished Hindu temples, prohibited Hindu
festivals and killed or coerced Hindus into adopting Islam. He demolished Jwalamukhi's temple
in Kangra and one of the primary objectives in attacking Puri was to destroy the Hindu temple
there so he could pretend to be an idol-breaker like Mahmud of Ghazni.
Available at http://www.historydiscussion.net/history-of-india/tughluq-dynasty/domestic-policies-of-firuz-shah-
tughluq-dynasty-india/6580 (last visited on April 10th ,2020)
He levied Jizya on Brahmanas, who were either left free of this tax or ignored by all previous
Sultans while collecting it. Firuz thus pursued a highly intolerant approach against the Hindus.
Dr. R.C. Majumdar writes- "Firuz was the greatest tyrant of his age and the predecessor of
Sikandar Lodi and Aurangzeb in this regard." Professor Banarsi Prasad Saxena also writes: "But
Firuz was an incurable and degenerate extremist in the last fifteen years of his reign."4

Firuz twice obtained appreciation from the Khalifa for his title of sultan. He called himself the
Khalifa Naib, and his name was inscribed on his coins. He did all this because he wanted to win
Ulema's allegiance and the reactionary party of Muslims who had all helped him seize the throne.

Firuz's religious policy was in theory conservative and in fact did substantial harm to the regime.
The Hindus who made up the majority definitely became disloyal to the Administration. His
religious policies even, in a way, led to the collapse of the Tughluq empire.

Firuz was not a laborious administrator, but an effective one. His progress gives credit to his
competent officers. His religious politics, the slave system and the army's poor organization
definitely undermine the state. But he was successful in his economic and public welfare works
which made his subjects happy and prosperous. His domestic policy was thus largely successful.

Firuz favored orthodox Islam. He declared his kingdom as being essentially an Islamic state to
appease the theologians. Heretics were persecuted, and activities that were deemed un-Islamic
were forbidden. He levied jizya, head tax on non-Muslims, for which even the Brahmins had to
pay. Even Firuz did not prohibit the building of new Hindu temples and sanctuaries. His cultural
curiosity led to the translation of many religious, medical and musical works related to Sanskrit.
Firuz was a moderate patron of the learned including non-Islamic scholars, as an accomplished
scholar himself. He is credited with the creation of many educational institutions, as well as a
number of mosques, palaces, and forts.

Firuz has had many irrigation schemes undertaken. A canal which he dug from the river Sutlej to
Hansi and another canal in Jumna indicate his strong policy of developing public works.

Firuz died in 1388, having appointed Delhi Sultanate's son Fath Khan and grandson Ghiyas-ud-
din as joint rulers.
The Delhi Sultanate was undermined by the concept of heredity permitted for the nobles, and
extended to the army. The bourgeoisie which had reclaimed power was active in political
intrigues that threatened the Sultanate's stability. Within six years of the death of Firuz Tughlaq
he was succeeded by four kings.
a) Ghiyasuddin Tughlaq (1320-1325 AD)
The father of the Tughlaq dynasty was Ghiyasud-din Tughlaq. He rose from an ordinary person
to the rank of Dinapur provincial governor, under Mubarak Khilji. He repelled the Mongol
invaders several times. He defeated usurper Khurso Khan and became the Sultan. He was a
gracious and wise ruler.

Reintroduced Ala-ud-Din's food rules. Supressed with a firm hand the rebellions in the remote
provinces and resorted to peace and order. Better postal network organized. Encouraged Planting

He defeated Warrangal's ruler in 1323, and annexed his territory. Bengal was waging a war of
succession. Ghiyas-ud-din exploited such a situtation and invaded Bengal. He defeated the rebels
and thus Bengal became a part of his empire as well.5

b) Mohammad bin Tughlaq (1325-1351 AD)

Mohammad bin Tughlaq is best known as a monarch who has conducted a number of daring
projects and has shown a keen interest in farming. In theology and philosophy, he was widely
read, and had a critical and open mind. He was profoundly interested in philosophy, astronomy,
logic and maths. He talked not only to the Muslim mystics but also to the Hindu yogis and Jain
saints like Junaprabha suri.

Available at https://www.indiatoday.in/education-today/gk-current-affairs/story/delhi-under-firoz-shah-tuglaq-
reign-of-the-third-ruler-of-tughlaq-dynasty-1344778-2018-09-20 (last visited on April 15th ,2020)
Muhammad bin tughlaq's Reforms:- He tried to introduce many administrative reforms. But
most of these fails due to his impatience and lack of judgement

Taxation in the Doab: In the Doab between the Ganges and Jamuna the Sultan made an ill-
advised financial experiment. He not only increased the tax rate but also resurrected and
provided some extra Abwabs or cessation. While the State's share remained half as in Alauddin's
time, it was arbitrarily set and not dependent on actual produce.

Transfer of Capital(1327): It seems the Sultan decided to make Deogir second capital, so he
could better govern South India. Daulatabad was born Deogir. After a few years, however,
Muhammad Tughlaq chose to leave Daulatabad largely because he soon realized that just as he
couldn't control South India from Delhi, he couldn't control Daulatabad from North.6

Introduction of Token Currency(1330): Muhammad Tughlaq wanted to introduce bronze coins

that would be worth the same as silver coins. If he could prevent people from forging the new
coins, Muhammad Tughlaq may have been successful. He was unable to do so and soon the new
coins started to be devalued considerably in the markets.7

Khurasan Expedition: Sultan's vision was of global conquest. To this end, he planned to
conquer Khurasan and Iraq and mobilized a massive army. But his expedition proved

Quarachi Expedition: It launched this expedition to combat Chinese incursions. It also appears
that the expedition was aimed at some refractory tribes in the area of Kumaon-Garhwal with the
intention of getting them under the Delhi Sultanate. The first assault was a success but the
invaders suffered badly as the rainy season set in.

c) Firoz Shah Tughlaq (1351-1388 AD)
Muhammad's son Firoz Shah and the next Sultan were chosen by the nobles and theologians at
court. He gave the theologians a number of important compromises. With the orthodox
theologians found un-Islamic he sought to prohibit activities. He therefore forbade the custom of
Muslim women going out to pray in saints' graves. He perished with a host of Muslim sects that
were known as heretical by the theologians.

Firoz applied the heredity principle to the Army. Soldiers had been permitted to rest in peace and
send their sons in their place. The soldiers were compensated not in cash but by village land
income assignments. This innovative payment strategy contributed to various abuses. He tried to
win over the theologians who declared that he was a true Muslim king and that the state under
him was really Islamic.8

He establish Diwan-i-Khairat(department for poor and needy. peopleand Diwan-i-

Bundagan(department of slaves). Make  Iqtadari system hereditary. Construction of canals for
irrigation from Yamuna to the city of Hissar From the Sutlej to the Ghaggar From the Ghaggar to
Firuzabad From Mandvi and Sirmour Hills to Hansi in Haryana. Establishment of four new
towns, Firuzabad, Fatebabad, Jaunpur and Hissar. Imposition of Jaziya on the Brahmans for the
first time. Establishment in Delhi a hospital described variously as Darul-Shifa, Bimaristan or
Shifa Khana


Ghiyas-ud-din set about the critical task of retracing the administration. The post-Ala-ud-din
Sultans had depleted the finances of the State and the state treasury was almost empty. Ghiyas-
ud-din introduced a series of expense control measures, for example making his court one of the
most austere of the Sultanate period. He appointed new provincial governors, reducing taxes to
only one tenth of the gross revenue. He promoted agricultural growth and provided numerous
facilities, such as irrigation canals and forts, to protect the peasants from invaders. Ghiyas-ud-din
ensured an efficient taxation scheme was in place, one that would guarantee his government's
survival. People were taxed in such a way that they were not so wealthy that they could become
greedy or so poor that they would be dissatisfied and revolted. Ghiyas-ud-din was a strong ruler,
and the idea of military force as a source of power persisted. And he was able to re-assert the
authority of the Sultanate9

Mohammed bin Tughlaq had the idea of introducing token currency for the first time in India. He
planned an expedition for the conquest of Khurasan and Iraq. But the scheme was abandoned as
conditions in Iraq improved. The plan for the conquest of Karajal (Kumaon hills) also met with
unsuccessful ending. During his last days, the whole of India became independent and three
major independent states - The Empire of Vijaynagar, The Bahmani kingdom and Sultanate of
Madura were founded. Dewan-i-Kohi a new department for agriculture was setup. He knew
Arabic and Persian languages. He was an expert in philosophy, astronomy, logic, mathematics
and was also a good calligrapher. He built the fortress of Adilabad and the city of Jahanpanah.
The famous traveller, Ibn Batuta came to Delhi during 1334. He acted as the Quazi of the capital
for 8 years. He has recorded the contemporary Indian scene in his 'Safarnamah'. (Called Rehla).

Available at https://www.topperlearning.com/answer/write-in-detail-about-the-administrative-measures-of-
muhammad-tughlaq/etzzy4dd (last visited on April 22nd ,2020)

The Tughlaq dynasty in India started in 1321 in Delhi when Ghazi Malik assumed the throne
under the title of Ghiya-su-Din Tughluq. The Tughluqs were a Muslim family of Turkic origin.
Their rule relied on their alliances with Turkic, Afghan, and other Muslim warriors from outside
South Asia.
Firuz was the first Delhi sultan to accept that Islamic laws and the Ulema predominated in state
administration. Other Sultans, of course, practiced Islam and were prejudiced against the Hindus,
but none accepted Islamic laws as the fundamental rules regulating their administration. Firuz
was an exception. He openly acknowledged Islamic laws as fundamental concepts while running
the State.
Thus, his principles remained similar to those of the Mughal emperor Aurangzeb who succeeded
him much later but, of course, with a distinction. Although Aurangzeb considered himself the
master of Islamic laws, and thus did not rely on the Ulema for their interpretation, Firuz relied on
the Ulema for their clarification or interpretation.
Firuz's hindus were fanatically intolerant. He propagated Islam, and urged the Hindus to convert.
In his autobiography, Fatuhat-i-Firuzshahi, he gives us a clear impression that he only considered
himself the king of the Muslims.
The Tughlaq dynasty would not survive much after Firoz Shah's death. The Malwa, Gujarat and
Sharqi (Jaunpur) Kingdoms broke away from the Sultanate. Timur, a Turk, invaded India in
1398 during the reign of Muhammad Shah Tughlaq , the last ruler of Tughlaq dynasty. His army
mercilessely sacked and plundered Dellhi. Tughlaq dynasty had lost its prestige prior to the
invasion of Timur but after his invasion it was thoroughly destroyed forever.


1.History of medieval india

By: Radhey shyam chaurasia

2. Medieval Indian history

By: satish Chandra

3. https://www.indianmirror.com/dynasty/tughlaqdynasty.html

4. https://www.brainkart.com/article/The-Tughlaq-Dynasty_33615/

5. http://www.historydiscussion.net/history-of-india/tughluq-dynasty/domestic-policies-of-firuz-shah-

6. https://www.researchgate.net/publication/328743671_Tughlaq_History_Revisited