Book I the Sultanate Period Chapters /. The Arabs and the Indo-Pakistan Subcontinent 1



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[ Ch. 26
tality, and the feeling for spiritual values, which, in spite of gross superstitions, is unmistakable in the Indian atmosphere”.
The greatest exponent of the Mughal way of life was a Mughal-Ghalib. He was born long after the sun of Mughal glory had set and he lived to see the exile of Bahadur Shah. His basic financial resources were very meagre--sixty-two rupees and eight annas a month! Still, he managed to maintain a dignified existence and enshrine in his works the spirit of Mughal culture and the beauty and dignity of the Mughal way of life.

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NOTES & REFERENCES
1. O’Malley, Indian and the West, p. 18; also see Year Atutey, lite Economic Development of India, p. 5.
2. O’Malley, op. cit., pp. 18-19.
3. Bernier, Travels, p. 225.
4. O’Malley, op. cit., p. 5.
5. Edwardes & Garrett, Mughal Rule in India, p. 209.
6. ftid.,p.266.
7. Bernier, op. cit., p. 439.
8. Bada’uni, Muntdkkab al-Tawarikh, II, 299.
9. Edwardes & Garrett, op. cit., p. 265.
10. O’Malley, op. cit., p. 12
11. T. Roychaudhuri, Bengal Under Akbar and Jahangir, p. 186.
12. P Saran, Provincial Government of the Mughals, pp. 419-20,
13. Roychaudhuri op. cit ., p. 186.
14. Ibid, p. 194.
15. This section is based on Roychaudhuri but foreign travellers note that Muslims made a great display outside, but often niggardliness prevailed inside the house. For example, Manucci refers to those Pathans who came to the court ”well-clad and well-armed, carrolling on fine horses richly caparisoned and followed by several servants” but when they reached home, ”they divested themselves of all this finery, and tying a scanty cloth round their loins and wrapping a rag round their head, they take their scat on mat, and live on Khichri or badly cooked cow’s flesh of low quality, which is very abundant and cheap” (Storia do Mogor). VII, 453.
16. Roychaudhuri, op. cit., p. 201.
17. Ibid, p. 205.
18. Rich Hindu backers even financed the rival claimants for the throne. The role of Jagat Seths of Murshidabad vm the history of Bengal is well known. Even the War of Succession out of which Aurangzeb emerged victorious was financed by Jain bankers of Ahmadabad, For details of a loan of 5.5 lakhs of rupees advanced by a Jain banker, and farmans issued by Murad and Aurangzeb to repay it, see Commissariat’s Studies in the History of Gujarat, pp. 69-76.
19. Roychaudhuri, op. cit., p. 155.
20. Sri Ram Sharma, Religious Policy of the Mughal Emperors, p. 106.
21. Ibid., p. 107.
22. Ibid.
23. Ibid., p. 155.
625
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28.

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30.

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The Twilight of the Mughals


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Ibid., p. 143.
Ibid., pp. 144-45.
Ibid., p. 143.
Ibid., p. 137.
Ibid., p. 148.
M.L. Roychoudhury, ne State and Religion in Mughal India, p. 346.
Sri Ram Sharma, op cit, p. 88.
Hoyland and Bannerjee, Eds., Hoyland and Monserrate’s Commentaries, p. 12.
Ibid., p. 27.
Ibid., p. 142.
Anderson, English in Western India, pp. 107-08.
O’Malley, op. cit., p. 12.
Manucci, op. cit., II, 97.
Sarkar, History of Aurangzeb. Ill, 92.
Ovington, A Voyage to Surat, p. 201.

Chapter 27
ART AND qULTURE
The ”Great Mughals” had raised a noble edifice. Not only did they build up a vast empire and administer it on principles of religious toleration and fairplay, rare in those days, but their achievements in the cultural sphere were equally striking. In the field of architecture they have left masterpieces, which continue to excite the wonder and admiration of the world. Their paintings received tributes from Rembrandt and Sir Josua Reynolds, two of the greatest artists of the West. In Persian literature, Mughal India excelled contemporary Iran itself, and, although its ornate prose and poetic conceits are not popular today, the sabk-i Hindi (the Indian school) exercised powerful influence even in distant Turkey. This was also the period of the growth of the regional languages-of Tulsi Das and Sur Das, Khushhal Khan Khattak and Rahman Baba, Shah ’Abd alLatif and Warith Shah, and of the rise and growth of Urdu.
Education. We have dealt with the changes which took place in the educational curriculum, and the impetus which the ma’qulat, viz. mental sciences like logic, philosophy, and ’Urn al-kalam (scholastic theology) received during Akbar’s reign. About the same time, a marked improvement is noticeable in the teaching of religious sciences. This was due to Akbar’s conquest of Gujarat and the opening up of ports like Cambay and Surat to those scholars from Northern India who wished to go to Hijaz for further study of Arabic and Islamic sciences. The standard of learning in these subjects rose and we come across scholars like Shaikh ’Abd al-Haqq Muhaddith (958-

1052/1551-1642) in this age. The extensive study of Hadith in which Indian scholars were to distinguish themselves in the



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twelfth-eighteenth century, began about this time and was due to contact with Arabia. There was vigorous educational and literary activity during the Mughal period at the capital and at other centres like Sialkot, Lahore, Ahmadabad, and Burhanpur, and, as Rawlinson has pointed out, ”the high degree of culture in Mughal India was largely the result of the excellent system of education”.
Bernier was, however, critical of the educational methods and arrangements in the Mughal Empire. He was acquainted with the improvements in pedagogy, introduced into Europe after the Renaissance, and naturally found deficiencies in a system which was becoming stagnant. He deplored the lack of universities of the European type, and reproduced at considerable length the reproaches with which Aurangzeb confronted his tutor for wasting his time on metaphysics and grammar and ignoring practical subjects like geography, history and politics.1 It had to be admitted that, leaving aside the individual scholars who specialised in certain secular subjects and the general introduction of logic and philosophy in the curriculum, the educational system was primarily religious and there were glaring deficiencies. There was great extension of education, particularly during the reign of Aurangzeb, but the content of education remained as it had been left by Path Allah Shirazi in the days of Akbar. Geography had practically no place in the curriculum, with the result that people were ignorant of geographical facts even about the neighbouring countries. The A’ini-i Akbari and Khulasat al-Tawarikh give detailed and accurate information about different parts of the Empire, and in the later part of the Mughal rule, books appeared giving what may be called geographical information, but these were not very scientific and did not generally become current among the educated classes. Cartography was altogether ignored.
Besides, education was not systematised, and, although State gave away large sums in rent-free grants to the ulema setting up madrassahs and teaching pupils, there was no separate department of education. No regular annual examinations were
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held, and, of course, there were no ”inspirations” by higher authorities to ensure maintenance of uniform standards.
It is generally thought that Muslim education decayed with the decline of Muslim rule, but the actual position was just the reverse. The reduced calls made by the State employment on Muslim manpower left more men free to devote themselves to academic and literary work. Quite a number of educational institutions, and foundations, like colleges established by Ghazi-ud-din Khan Firuz Jang, Sharaf al-Daulah and Raushanal-Daulah in Delhi, belong to this period. Even the standardisation of the educational curriculum was accomplished in the twelfth/eighteenth century. The Dars-i Nizamiyyah, named after Mulla Nizam-ud-din (d. 1161/1748) of Farangi Mahal, provided instruction in grammar, rhetoric, philosophy, logic, scholasticism, tafsir (commentary on the Qur’an), fiqh (Islamic jurisprudence), Hadith and mathematics. This curriculum had been criticised for containing too many books on grammar and logic and in general for devoting too much attention to formal subjects and too little to useful secular subjects like history and natural sciences or even religious subjects like tafsir and Hadith. But it provided good mental discipline and its general adoption was responsible for the widespread interest in intellectual and philosophical matters, which Sleeman noticed in the next century. In the period in which it was systematised, it was perhaps reasonably adequate fpr the average student. Those wishing to specialise or pursue a particular branch of knowledge went to the specialists in that subject. Dars-i Nizamiyyah may be considered as ”the General Course”. The needs of the students, specially interested in religious subjects, were better served at institutions like Madrassah-i Rahimiyyah, the forerunner of the modern seminary of Deoband, where tafsir and Hadith were the principal subjects of study, but for those needing general mental training, and qualifying for the posts of munshis, qadis or even general State service, Dars-i Nizamiyyah provided a satisfactory basis and has been replaced only in modern times.

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Sleeman has paid high tribute to the quality of Muslim education in India:
”Perhaps there are few communities in the world among whom education is more generally diffused than among Muhammadans in India. He who holds an office worth twenty rupees a month commonly gives his sons an education equal to that of a Prime Minister. They learn, through the medium of Arabic and Persian languages, what young men in our colleges learn through those of Greek and Latin-that is, grammar, rhetoric, and logic. After his seven years of study, the young Muhammadan binds his turban upon a head almost as well filled with the things which appertain to these branches of knowledge as the young man raw from Oxford-he will talk as fluently about Socrates and Aristotle, Plato and Hippocrates, Galen and Avicenna2 (alias Suqrat, Aristatalis, Aflatun, Buqrat, Jalinus and Sina). . . .”3
Sleeman writes elsewhere:
”The best of us Europeans feel our deficiencies in conversation with Muhammadans of high rank and education, when we are called upon to talk subjects beyond the eyeryday occurrences of life. A Muhammadan gentleman of education is tolerably acquainted with astronomy, as it was taught by Ptolemy, with the logical ethics of Aristotle, with the works of Hippocrates and Galen through those of Avicenna, or, as they call him, Sena; and he is very capable of talking upon all subjects of philosophy, literature, science and arts, and very much inclined to do so and of understanding the nature of the improvements that have been made in them in modern times.”4
The position is that there was widespread enthusiasm for education, and so far as ancient and medieval philosophy is concerned, there was much diffusion of knowledge through Arabic and Persian sources, but new subjects like geography did find their way into the curriculum, and there was no modernisation of the educational system, such as was taking place in Europe.
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Education in Muslim India was not confined to men only. In the Mughal period, we come across scholarly and cultured princesses, and women saints. ”Women, owing to the purdah system, could not attend public institutions, but in nearly every nobleman’s establishment a school-mistress or governess was kept. Muhammadan noblemen demanded culture in their wives, and Akbar, always in advance of his age, built a girls’ school at Fathpur Sikri. Many Muhammadan women were patrons of literature and themselves writers. The memoirs of Gulbadan Begum, Akbar’s aunt, are well known and his foster mother Maham Anaga, endowed a college at Delhi. Akbar’s wife Salima Sultana, the famous Empress Mumtaz Mahal, and Aurangzeb’s sister, the Princess Jahanara Begum, were poetesses of note. Muhammadan women, despite purdah, governed empires and led armies in the field; among these, the Sultana Raziya of Delhi, Chand Bibi, the heroic defender of Ahmadnagar, and the masterful Nur Jahan, were the most distinguished.”5 Aurangzeb did not encourage poetry at his court, but his own daughter, Zeb al-Nisa’, was a poetess of merit.
The spread of knowledge and intellectual development are linked up with the growth of libraries. Printing was not introduced in Northern India till after the end of the Muslim rule, but hundreds of katibs (calligraphists) were available in every big city, and no Muslim noble would be considered cultured, unless he possessed a good library. Many had magnificent collections. ”The imperial palaces contained immense libraries. According to Father Manrique, the library of Agra in 1641 contained 24,000 volumes, and was valued at six and a half million rupees, or nearly three-quarters of a million sterling.”6
Philosophy. The philosophy which was studied in Muslim India, as in other parts of the Muslim world, was derived from Persian and Arabic writers, but was, like the current ”Yunani” system of medicine, ultimately Greek, being ”little more than a modification of the Neo-Platonism of the fifth and sixth

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centuries which combined Aristotelianism with the mysticism of lamblichus ... the philosophers while accepting the Aristotelian doctrine of emanations, gave their chief attention to the Aristotelian aspect of the system; the sufis, on the other hand, while acquiescing in the Aristotelian explanations of natural phenomena, devoted themselves almost exclusively to the theosophical side” .7
The study of philosophy was subdivided into two major subdivisions, namely, ”Theoretic or Speculative Philosophy” (Hikmat-i Naziryyah), which treated of matters beyond human control, and ”Practical Philosophy” (Hihnat-i ’Amaliyyah), which treats of matters within human control. Each of these has three subdivision. Those of theoretic philosophy are: (1) ”Metaphysics” or ”theology” (’Ilm-i Ilahi), which treats of beings essentially incorporeal, as the First Cause (Mabda’-i Awwal),8 the intelligences and the Souls. (2) Mathematics (’Ilm-i Riyadi).9 Which treats of things conceivable by the mind as existing apart from the matter, but which can have no objective existence save in matter, such as quantities and magnitudes and geometrical figures. This subdivision had four departments, namely, astronomy, geometry, arithmetic and music. (3) Physics (’Ilm-i Tabi’i), which deals with things not to be conceived as existing apart from matter, as the Four Elements and all composed of them.10
The three subdivisions of Practical Philosophy are: (1) Ethics (’Ilm-i Akhlaq), which treats of the duty of man considered as an individual, (2) ”Economics” (’Ilm-i Tadbir alManzil), which treats of duty of man considered as a member of a family or household, (3) Politics (’Ilm-i Tadbir alMadinaK) which treats of the duty of man considered as a member of a community or State.11
The above system of philosophy was current in most Islamic countries and in Muslim India. Even religious writers like Shah Wali Allah were well acquainted with its concepts. It finds an echo in such standard books as Akhlaq-i Jalali, and could be traced to very early Arabic or even Greek works.
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There are, however, indications to show that at least some intellectuals of Mughal India tried to keep themselves abreast of the progress of modern philosophy in Europe. Bernier who was very critical of the state of education in India admits that at least two nobles at Aurangzeb’s court were keenly interested in European learning. One of them was Fadil Khan. Who later became Wazir of Aurangzeb and whom ”he (Bernier) taught the principal languages of Europe, after he had translated for him the whole philosophy of Gassendi in Latin, and whose leave he could not obtain till he had copied for him a select number of best European books, thereby to supply the loss he should suffer of his person”.12 The other was Danishmand Khan who maintained Bernier over a number of years, and about whom he wrote: ”Besides my Nawab, Agha Danishmand Khan, expects my arrival with much impatience. He can no more dispense with his philosophical studies in the afternoon than avoid devoting the morning to his weighty duties as Secretary of State for Foreign Affairs and Grand Master of the Horse. Astronomy, geography and anatomy are his favourite pursuits, and he reads with avidity the works of Gassendy and Descartes. ”13
Medical Science. Under the Sultanate the study of medicine was confined to the works written in Central Asia or to Hindu sources. Very few works of the period have survived. We have much larger material available about the Mughal period, which was marked by largescale Iranian influence. At least five books of Yusuf b. Muhammad Yusufi (of Herat) who flourished during the reign of Babur and Humayun have survived. He wrote popular works, based on specialist and detailed works in Arabic, Persian and Indian languages. The study of medicine reached a new stage with the arrival in Akbar’s reign of many physicians from Gilan, which had become an important centre of the study of medicine, philosophy and medieval sciences in Iran. Among important works of the period are the voluminous Arabic commentary on Avicenna’s Qanun by Akbar’s court physician ’Ali Gilani, and a Persian commentary on Qanun by Hakim Abu Al-Fath

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Gilani. Shams-ud-din was Akbar’s chief physician in the early part of his reign, and was given the title of Hakim al-Mulk (physician of the realm). He was a great admirer of philosophers like Avicenna, but disliked Akbar’s religious innovations, and ultimately left the country for Hijaz. His son, Abu-al-Qasim, achieved fame in the days of Akbar’s successors, and was given the title of Hakim al-Mulk by Shah Jahan.
In the Deccan States of Bijapur, Golkonda and Ahmadnagar, which were attracting able scholars from Iran by the sea-route, composition of medical work was proceeding even more vigorously. Some of the Persian physicians of Akbar’s court, including Hakim Abu al-Fath Gilani and Hakim ’Ali Gilani were originally attached to the courts of the Deccan rulers. Amongst important works composed in the Deccan were the Persian translation of Tadhkirat al-Kahhalin, the well-known Arabic book dealing with eye diseases and eye doctors, and many works of Rustum Jurjani. Another interesting work completed in the Deccan was Dastur al-Atibba’, a compendium of Hindu medicine prepared by the famous historian Firishta. ”He says in the preface to his book that after reading the medical works current in Iran, Turan and Arabia, he was desirous of studying the writings of the physicians of Hindustan, and, finding them extremely trustworthy and accurate, he was induced to write, for the benefit of his Muslim brethren residing in India, the present summary of their teaching.”14
By the end of Akbar’s reign a number of important works on medical subjects had appeared in Muslim India, and now even the nobility were taking a direct interest in the subject. Hakim Aman Allah Khan, son of Jahangir’s famous general Mahabat Khan, has left a number of works including Umm alIlaj, which has been lithographed, and Dastur a\-Hunud, which is a translation of a Sanskrit book. The most important writer on medical subjects during Shah Jahan’s reign was Hakim Nur-ud din, grandson of ’Ain al-Mulk Shirazi and a nephew of Abu al-Fadl. An important medical work of the
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period was ’Ilajat-i Dara Shukohji, a voluminous medical compendium dedicated to Prince Dara Shukoh.
Indo-Muslim medicine received great attention during Aurangzeb’s reign, and many of the Yunani text-books, which are current today, date from this period. They are largely the work of Hakim Muhammad Akbar, popularly know as Arzani, who compiled Tibb-i Akbar, Mizan al-Tibb, Mufarrih alQulub, Ta’rif al-Amrad, Mujarrabat-i Akbari and Tibb-i Nabavi (translated from Jalal-ud-din Suyuti). They are either translations (with amplifications) or compilations, but are well arranged and have been deservedly popular. Rieu records about Tibb-i Akbar that ”It has been repeatedly printed in the East,- Calcutta, 1831; Delhi, 1265 A.H.; Bombay, 1264, 1275, and

1279 A.H. and Tehran, 1275 A.H. and Lucknow, 1289.”


There were other major works composed during Aurangzeb’s reign like Riyad-i ’Alamgiri, the comprehensive Materia Medica, completed by Muhammad Rida’ Shirazi in a period often years (1081-1090/1670-1679) and dedicated to the Emperor. After Arzani, the knowledge of Yunani medicine became widespread, and it is neither possible nor necessary to enumerate names. Two leading physicians and writers on medicine, however, deserve to be mentioned. One of them was Hakim Alavi Khan, the personal physician of Muhammad jhah, who treated Nadir Shah during his illness at Delhi and whose skill was so appreciated by the Persian invader that he .ook him to Iran. He composed Tuhfah-i Muhammad Shahl and a number of other works in Persian and Arabic. The next mportant name is that of Hakim Sharif Khan of Shah ’Alam’s reign. He was not only a successful physician and a writer of numerous works on medicine, but built up very noble traditions of medical practice, which have been maintained in his family-by physicians like Hakim Mahmud Khan during the nineteenth century and Hakim Ajmal Khan during the twentieth century--and have been a beacon of light to the entire profession.
It may not be out of place to add a few words regarding Hakim ’Alavi Khan, to whom reference has been made above.

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His real name was Mirza Muhammad Hashim, and he was born in Shiraz. He migrated to India in 1111/1699, at the age of thirty-five, and was presented to Aurangzeb, who gave him a post on the staff of one of his sons. In the next reign, the Hakim got the title of ’Alavi Khan. Some years later, he became the physician-in-chief to Muhammad Shah and got the title of Mu’tamid al-Muluk (the trusted of the kings) with a mansab of six thousand and stipend of Rs 3000 a month. Elgood, the medical historian of Persia, says about him: ”His personality and his assignments recall most forcibly the famous physicians of the Golden Age of Baghdad.” When Nadir Shah was in Delhi, he developed dropsy and his feet became swollen. Even otherwise, Nadir suffered from symptoms which, according to Elgood, suggest a gastric ulcer or even cancer. ’Alavi Khan treated him and in a short time the unpleasant symptoms disappeared. The popular story is that the Hakim sent a small jar containing a specially prepared gulqand, covered with gold and silver leaves. Tke medicine was to be taken in small doses but Nadir liked the taste so much that he finished the whole thing at one sitting. And sent back the empty jar with the remarks: ”Halwah Khub ast; digar biyarad”-”lt is a good sweet-meat. Let me have more.” Nadir Shah was so much impressed by ’Alavi Khan that he insisted on his accompanying him to Persia. The Hakim agreed on condition that on reaching his capital, the Shah would permit him to leave his services to make the pilgrimage to Mecca. For nearly two years Nadir was under ’Alavi Khan’s care, and, as a result, Shah’s disposition was so much improved that ”for a fortnight together he would not order the discipline of the stick, much less command anyone to be deprived of his eyes or life”. On the Hakim’s departure for Mecca he engaged a French doctor to look after him but, as stated by Elgood, ”he was in no sense a fitting successor to Alavi Khan”. The Hakim performed the Hajj, returned to Delhi and died at the advanced age of eighty on 3 July 1749. A year before his death, he created a waqf of his library, for the use of students and
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