Administration under the Delhi Sultanate: The administration under the Delhi Sultanate evolved with the changing dynamics of the region and the preferences of different rulers. While the system was marked by centralized authority and Islamic legal principles, it also displayed adaptability to local conditions and the diverse population of the subcontinent.
Administration under the Delhi Sultanate
The administration under the Delhi Sultanate, which ruled over parts of the Indian subcontinent during the medieval period, was characterized by a centralized and authoritarian system. The administrative structure evolved over time as different dynasties came to power. Here are the key features of the administration under the Delhi Sultanate:
1. Centralized Authority:
- The Delhi Sultanate was characterized by strong central authority, with the sultan as the absolute ruler. The sultan held both political and religious authority.
2. Provincial Administration:
- The empire was divided into provinces or regions, each governed by provincial governors or amirs.
- These governors were appointed by the sultan and were responsible for maintaining law and order, collecting taxes, and administering justice in their respective regions.
3. Revenue Collection:
- Revenue collection was a critical aspect of administration. The primary sources of revenue were land revenue (known as kharaj), customs duties, and other taxes.
- Revenue officials, such as the diwan and muqaddam, were responsible for revenue assessment and collection.
4. Military Administration:
- The military played a significant role in the administration. The sultan maintained a standing army, which included cavalry, infantry, and elephants.
- Military commanders and generals held key positions in the administration, and they were responsible for defense and security.
5. Administrative Language:
- Persian became the administrative language under the Delhi Sultanate. Official records and documents were maintained in Persian.
6. Legal System:
- Islamic law (Sharia) served as the basis for the legal system. Qazis (Islamic judges) presided over courts to administer justice according to Islamic jurisprudence.
- The sultan had the final authority in legal matters, and his decisions were often influenced by Islamic principles.
7. Intelligence Network:
- The sultanate had a well-organized intelligence network known as the “barids” or “spies.” These spies provided the sultan with information about events within the empire and potential threats.
- The sultanate issued its own coinage, which typically bore the sultan’s name and titles. The design of the coins varied under different rulers.
9. Patronage of Art and Architecture:
- Several sultans were patrons of art and architecture, leading to the construction of magnificent mosques, forts, palaces, and tombs. The Qutb Minar and the Alai Darwaza in Delhi are notable examples.
10. Administrative Reforms:
- Different sultans introduced administrative reforms to improve governance and efficiency. Notable examples include Alauddin Khilji’s market regulations and Firoz Shah Tughlaq’s irrigation and canal projects.
11. Social Structure:
- Society under the Delhi Sultanate was divided into various social and religious groups, with Muslims forming the ruling elite and Hindus comprising the majority of the population.
By Team Learning Mantras