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General Administration of Sultanate



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Political Theory of State :

  • The Turkish Sultans in India declared themselves Lieutenant of the faithfuli.e. of the Abbasid Caliphate of Baghdad and included his name in Khutba, it did not mean that the Caliph became the legal ruler. The Caliph had only a moral position
  • Political, legal and military authorities were vested in the Sultan. He was responsible for administration and was also the commander-in-chief of the military forces. He was also responsible for the maintenance of law and justice.
  • No clear law of succession developed among Muslim rulers. Thus, military strength was the main factor in succession to the throne.
  • With the exceptions Alauddin Khalji and Mubarak Shah Khalji, all other sultans styled themselves as duputies of Caliph with the title such as Nasir-i-amir ur Momin -assistant of the leader of the faithful or Yamin ul Khalifa i.e. the right hand man of Caliph.
  • When the Turks conquered the country, they divided it into a number of tacts called Iqtas, which were assigned among the leading Turkish nobles. The holders of the office were called Muqti or Walis . It was these tracts, which later Caliph province or Subah.
  • Below the province were the Shiqs and below them the Paragana. We are told that the villages were grouped into units of 100 or 84 traditionally called Chaurasi. The Paragana were headed by Amil.

Central Government :

  • The sultanate of Delhi was a police state, whose strength or weakness depended exclusively on the military powers and personality of its depostic sultan.
  • The sultan was assisted in the discharge of his function by a number of dignitaries. To begin with the sultans of the slave dynasty constituted four ministers at the top level.
  • When the sultnate was well-established, two more departmen heads were raised to the status of central ministers, viz sadrus-sadur and the diwan-i-qaza
  • The Commander of the royal army, next after the sultan, the crown prince, and the six or seven dignitaries constituted the nucleus of the council of advisers, called majilis-i-am of majilis-i-khas , which comprised the most trusted and the highest officers of the state.
  • The wazir , also styled as vakil was the prime minister and his department was called the diwan-i-wizarat. He was the head of the finance department and usually held overall charge of the entire administrative set up.
  • The head of the army establishment or the ministry of defence was the diwan-i-arz. He was responsible for the organization and the maintenance of the royal army and excercised disciplinary control over it.
  • The department of correspondence and records of the royal court was called diwan-i-insha; it was held under the charge of a central minister, variously known as the dabir-i-mamlik, dabir-i-khas or amir munshi
  • The diwan-i-risalat consistuted the fourth pillar of the imperial administration of the sultnate. Under the period of slave dynasty, the head of the department was sadar-us-sadur, who was primarily a minister for ecclesiastical affairs.
  • Barid-i-mamlik(intelligence and information);Vakil-i-barbak(royal household); Amir-i-majlis(celebrations & meetings); Amir-i-Shikar(royal hunts);Kotwals(Qazi of metropolis) etc were other important officials of the time.

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