Al-Mustansir Bi'llah was born in Baghdad on 1192. On his father's death in 1226 he has succeeded his father Az-Zahir as the thirty-sixth Abbasid Caliph. Al-Mustansir died on 5 December 1242, his son Al-Musta'sim succeeded him as the caliph. Mustansiriya Madrasah, was established in 1227 by the Abbasid Caliph Al-Mustansir and is one of the oldest universities in the world, its building, located on the left bank of the Tigris River, survived the Mongol invasion and has been restored. This text is adapted from William Muir's public domain, The Caliphate: Its Rise and Fall. Al-Maqrizi, Al Selouk Leme'refatt Dewall al-Melouk, Dar al-kotob, 1997
The Delhi Sultanate was a sultanate based in Delhi that stretched over large parts of the Indian subcontinent for 320 years. Five dynasties ruled over the Delhi Sultanate sequentially: the Mamluk dynasty, the Khalji dynasty, the Tughlaq dynasty, the Sayyid dynasty, the Lodi dynasty; the sultanate is noted for being one of the few states to repel an attack by the Mongols, enthroned one of the few female rulers in Islamic history, Razia Sultana, who reigned from 1236 to 1240. Qutb al-Din Aibak, a former Turkic Mamluk slave of Muhammad Ghori, was the first sultan of Delhi, his Mamluk dynasty conquered large areas of northern India. Afterwards, the Khalji dynasty was able to conquer most of central India, but both failed to conquer the whole of the Indian subcontinent; the sultanate reached the peak of its geographical reach during the Tughlaq dynasty, occupying most of the Indian subcontinent. This was followed by decline due to Hindu reconquests, states such as the Vijayanagara Empire and Mewar asserting independence, new Muslim sultanates such as the Bengal Sultanate breaking off.
During and in the Delhi Sultanate, there was a synthesis of Indian civilization with that of Islamic civilization, the further integration of the Indian subcontinent with a growing world system and wider international networks spanning large parts of Afro-Eurasia, which had a significant impact on Indian culture and society, as well as the wider world. The time of their rule included the earliest forms of Indo-Islamic architecture, increased growth rates in India's population and economy, the emergence of the Hindi-Urdu language; the Delhi Sultanate was responsible for repelling the Mongol Empire's devastating invasions of India in the 13th and 14th centuries. However, the Delhi Sultanate caused large scale destruction and desecration of temples in the Indian subcontinent. In 1526, the Sultanate was succeeded by the Mughal Empire; the context behind the rise of the Delhi Sultanate in India was part of a wider trend affecting much of the Asian continent, including the whole of southern and western Asia: the influx of nomadic Turkic peoples from the Central Asian steppes.
This can be traced back to the 9th century, when the Islamic Caliphate began fragmenting in the Middle East, where Muslim rulers in rival states began enslaving non-Muslim nomadic Turks from the Central Asian steppes, raising many of them to become loyal military slaves called Mamluks. Soon, Turks were becoming Islamicized. Many of the Turkic Mamluk slaves rose up to become rulers, conquered large parts of the Muslim world, establishing Mamluk Sultanates from Egypt to Afghanistan, before turning their attention to the Indian subcontinent, it is part of a longer trend predating the spread of Islam. Like other settled, agrarian societies in history, those in the Indian subcontinent have been attacked by nomadic tribes throughout its long history. In evaluating the impact of Islam on the subcontinent, one must note that the northwestern subcontinent was a frequent target of tribes raiding from Central Asia in the pre-Islamic era. In that sense, the Muslim intrusions and Muslim invasions were not dissimilar to those of the earlier invasions during the 1st millennium.
By 962 AD, Hindu and Buddhist kingdoms in South Asia were under a wave of raids from Muslim armies from Central Asia. Among them was Mahmud of Ghazni, the son of a Turkic Mamluk military slave, who raided and plundered kingdoms in north India from east of the Indus river to west of Yamuna river seventeen times between 997 and 1030. Mahmud of Ghazni raided the treasuries but retracted each time, only extending Islamic rule into western Punjab; the wave of raids on north Indian and western Indian kingdoms by Muslim warlords continued after Mahmud of Ghazni. The raids did not extend permanent boundaries of their Islamic kingdoms; the Ghurid sultan Mu'izz ad-Din Muhammad Ghori known as Muhammad of Ghor, began a systematic war of expansion into north India in 1173. He sought to carve out a principality for himself by expanding the Islamic world. Muhammad of Ghor sought a Sunni Islamic kingdom of his own extending east of the Indus river, he thus laid the foundation for the Muslim kingdom called the Delhi Sultanate.
Some historians chronicle the Delhi Sultanate from 1192 due to the presence and geographical claims of Muhammad Ghori in South Asia by that time. Ghori was assassinated in 1206, by Ismāʿīlī Shia Muslims in some accounts or by Hindu Khokhars in others. After the assassination, one of Ghori's slaves, the Turkic Qutb al-Din Aibak, assumed power, becoming the first Sultan of Delhi. Qutb al-Din Aibak, a former slave of Mu'izz ad-Din Muhammad Ghori, was the first ruler of the Delhi Sultanate. Aibak was of Cuman-Kipchak origin, due to his lineage, his dynasty is known as the Mamluk dynasty. Aibak reigned as the Sultan of Delhi for four years, from 1206 to 1210. After Aibak died, Aram Shah assumed power in 1210, but he was assassinated in 1211 by Shams ud-Din Iltutmish. Iltutmish's power was precarious, a number of Muslim amirs challenged his authority as they had been supporters of Qutb al-Din Aibak. After a series of conquests and brutal executions of opposition, Iltutmish consolidated his power, his rule was challenged a number of times, such as by Qubacha, this led to a series of wars.
Iltumish conquered Multan and Bengal from contesting Muslim rulers, as well as Ranthambore and Siwalik from the Hindu rulers. He
Shams ud-Din Iltutmish was the third ruler of the Mamluk dynasty of Delhi of Turkic origin. He was a slave of Qutb-ud-din Aibak and became his son-in-law and close lieutenant, he was the Governor of Badaun when he deposed Qutub-ud-din's successor Aram Shah and acceded to the throne of the Delhi Sultanate in 1211. He shifted the capital from Lahore to Delhi, remained the ruler until his death on May 1, 1236. Iltutmish consolidated the position of the sultanate in the Indian subcontinent, he conquered Bengal from contesting rulers and Ranthambore and Siwalik from their rulers. He expanded his domain by defeating the Muslim rulers of Ghazni and Bengal, which had annexed some of his territories and threatened his domain, he conquered the latter two territories and made further conquests in the Hindu lands, conquering Ranthambore Fort and the fort of Mandur. Iltutmish organized the administration of the Sultanate, laying the foundation for its dominance over northern India until the Mughal invasion.
He introduced the silver tanka and the copper jital - the two basic coins of the Sultanate period, with a standard weight of 175 grains. He set up the Iqtadari system: division of empire into Iqtas, which were assigned to the nobles and officers in lieu of salary, he erected many buildings, including mosques, dargahs and a hawz for pilgrims. Shams-ud-din belonged to the tribe of Ilbari in Turkestan, he was sold into slavery at an early age. He was purchased by Qutub-ud-din-Aybak the Viceroy of Delhi, he rose in Aybak's service, married his daughter, served in succession as the Governor of Gwalior and Baran. In recognition of his services during the campaign of Muhammad of Ghur against the Khokhars in 1205-06, he was, by the Sultan's order, manumitted. Iltutmish was appointed Governor of Badaun in 1206 and was serving in this post when Aybak died in a polo accident and a group of noblemen invited Iltutmish to stake his claim on the Indian dominions of the Ghurids. On his accession, Iltutmish faced a number of challenges to his rule.
After Aibak's death, the Ghurid dominions in India had divided into four. Iltutmish had controlled Delhi. Nasir ad-Din Qabacha, the Governor of Uch and Multan, asserted his independence. Ali Mardan Khilji, appointed Governor of Lakhnauti in Bengal by Aibak in 1206, had thrown off his allegiance to Delhi after Aibak's death and styled himself Sultan Ala ud-Din of Bengal. Lahore was contested by Iltutmish and Taj al-Din Yildiz, who asserted his rights as the successor to Mu'izz ad-Din Muhammad Ghori in Ghazni. Yildiz attempted to bring Delhi under his control. Iltutmish acknowledged Yildiz's suzerainty by accepting the symbolic presents of the chatr and durbash; the Hindu princes and chiefs were discontented at their loss of independence and had recovered Kannauj, Benaras and Kalinjar, all of, lost during Qutb al-Din's reign. Ranthambore had been reconquered by the Chauhans during Aram Shah's rule. To add to Iltutmish's troubles, some of the Turkic nobles in Delhi expressed resentment against his rule.
The first order of business was to bring under control dependencies of Delhi that were under the control of nobles appointed by Mu'izz ad-Din and Hindu chieftains. Iltutmish launched military campaigns to assert his rule over Awadh, Badaun and Siwalik. Iltutmish's son Nasir ud-Din Mahmud captured the Gangetic valley territories of Badaun and Benaras. Rohilkhand was taken with heavy losses. In 1215-1216, Taj al-Din Yildiz, a Turkic slave commander of the Ghurids, defeated and expelled from Ghazni by the forces of the Khwarezmid Empire, moved towards Punjab and captured Lahore from Qabacha. Yildiz laid claim to the throne of Delhi as the heir to Mu'izz ad-Din Muhammad Ghori. Iltutmish refused, stating: he dominion of the world is enjoyed by the one who possesses the greatest strength; the principle of hereditary succession long ago destiny abolished this custom. Iltutmish defeated Yildiz at Tarain in January 1216. Yildiz was imprisoned in Badaun and was executed. In 1217, after the death of Yildiz, Qabacha had retaken Lahore and in response, Iltutmish led his army towards Lahore.
Qabacha attempted to retreat from Lahore towards Multan. Iltutmish refrained from attacking Sindh due to the presence of the Mongols on his north-west frontier. Iltutmish was preoccupied with the Mongol threat and did not threaten Qabacha until year 1227, when he defeated Qabacha at Mansura. At that time, Lahore was under Iltutmish's rule but not for long. In 1221, the Mongol Empire under Genghis Khan appeared for the first time on the banks of the Indus River, they had overrun western Asia with lightning rapidity. The Mongols sacked the Khwarazmid Empire, captured its capital Khiva and forced its ruler, Jalal ad-Din Mingburnu, to flee to the Punjab. Mingburnu, a staunch opponent of the Mongols, entered into an alliance with the Khokhars and captured Lahore and much of the Punjab, he requested an alliance with Iltutmish against the Mongols. Iltutmish refused, he marched towards Lahore at the head of a large army. Mingburnu moved towards Uch, inflicting a heavy defeat on Qabacha. Mingburnu plundered Sindh and northern Gujarat before going to Persia in 1224.
The Mongols were defeated and left. Loath to get into a conflict with the Mongols, Iltutmish turned his attention towards the Hindu east. Iltutmish was successful. Ghiyasuddin accepted Iltutmish's suzerainty, ceded Bihar, paid a la
Persian literature comprises oral compositions and written texts in the Persian language and it is one of the world's oldest literatures. It spans over two-and-a-half millennia, its sources have been within Greater Iran including present-day Iran, Afghanistan, the Caucasus, Turkey, regions of Central Asia and South Asia where the Persian language has been either the native or official language. For instance, one of best-loved Persian poets born in Balkh or Vakhsh, wrote in Persian and lived in Konya the capital of the Seljuks in Anatolia; the Ghaznavids conquered large territories in Central and South Asia and adopted Persian as their court language. There is thus Persian literature from Iran, Azerbaijan, the wider Caucasus, western parts of Pakistan, India and other parts of Central Asia. Not all Persian literature is written in Persian, as some consider works written by ethnic Persians in other languages, such as Greek and Arabic, to be included. At the same time, not all literature written in Persian is written by ethnic Persians or Iranians, as Turkic and Indic poets and writers have used the Persian language in the environment of Persianate cultures.
Described as one of the great literatures of humanity, including Goethe's assessment of it as one of the four main bodies of world literature, Persian literature has its roots in surviving works of Middle Persian and Old Persian, the latter of which date back as far as 522 BCE, the date of the earliest surviving Achaemenid inscription, the Behistun Inscription. The bulk of surviving Persian literature, comes from the times following the Arab conquest of Persia c. 650 CE. After the Abbasids came to power, the Iranians became the scribes and bureaucrats of the Arab empire and also its writers and poets; the New Persian language literature arose and flourished in Khorasan and Transoxiana because of political reasons, early Iranian dynasties such as the Tahirids and Samanids being based in Khorasan. Persian poets such as Ferdowsi, Sa'di, Attar, Nezami and Omar Khayyam are known in the West and have influenced the literature of many countries. Few literary works of Achaemenid Iran have survived, due to the destruction of the library at Persepolis.
Most of what remains consists of the royal inscriptions of Achaemenid kings Darius I and his son Xerxes. Many Zoroastrian writings were destroyed in the Islamic conquest of Iran in the 7th century; the Parsis who fled to India, took with them some of the books of the Zoroastrian canon, including some of the Avesta and ancient commentaries thereof. Some works of Sassanid geography and travel survived, albeit in Arabic translations. No single text devoted to literary criticism has survived from Pre-Islamic Iran. However, some essays in Pahlavi, such as "Ayin-e name nebeshtan" and "Bab-e edteda’I-ye", have been considered as literary criticism; some researchers have quoted the Sho'ubiyye as asserting that the Pre-Islamic Iranians had books on eloquence, such as'Karvand'. No trace remains of such books. There are some indications that some among the Persian elite were familiar with Greek rhetoric and literary criticism. While overshadowed by Arabic during the Umayyad and early Abbasid caliphates, New Persian soon became a literary language again of the Central Asian and West Asian lands.
The rebirth of the language in its new form is accredited to Ferdowsi, Daqiqi and their generation, as they used Pre-Islamic nationalism as a conduit to revive the language and customs of ancient Iran. So strong is the Persian inclination to versifying everyday expressions that one can encounter poetry in every classical work, whether from Persian literature, science, or metaphysics. In short, the ability to write in verse form was a pre-requisite for any scholar. For example half of Avicenna's medical writings are in verse. Works of the early era of Persian poetry are characterized by strong court patronage, an extravagance of panegyrics, what is known as سبک فاخر "exalted in style"; the tradition of royal patronage began under the Sassanid era and carried over through the Abbasid and Samanid courts into every major Iranian dynasty. The Qasida was the most famous form of panegyric used, though quatrains such as those in Omar Khayyam's Ruba'iyyat are widely popular. Khorasani style, whose followers were associated with Greater Khorasan, is characterized by its supercilious diction, dignified tone, literate language.
The chief representatives of this lyricism are Asjadi, Farrukhi Sistani and Manuchehri. Panegyric masters such as Rudaki were known for their love of nature, their verse abounding with evocative descriptions. Through these courts and system of patronage emerged the epic style of poetry, with Ferdowsi's Shahnama at the apex. By glorifying the Iranian historical past in heroic and elevated verses, he and other notables such as Daqiqi and Asadi Tusi presented the "Ajam" with a source of pride and inspiration that has helped preserve a sense of identity for the Iranian People over the ages. Ferdowsi set a model to be followed by a host of other poets on; the 13th century marks the ascendancy of lyric poetry with the consequent development of the ghazal into a major verse form, as well as the rise of mystical and Sufi poetry. This style is called Araqi style, (western provinces of Iran were known as The Persian Iraq and is known by its emotional lyric q