Online Course for Central Armed Police Forces (CAPF) Exam
History : Administration & Economy (1200 – 1526)
Muslims believe that Islamic society and government should be organised on the
basis of divine injunctions of the Quran.
The sayings and doings of Prophet Mohammad, collectively known as the “Hadis”,
began to be supplemented to the above.
(The ulema have given various rulings on the basis of the Quran and the Hadis to
meet different situations and problems, which are together known as the
“Shariat” (Islamic Law).
Moreover, “Zawabit” (rules and regulations framed by the sultans) were also used
for a smooth and efficient running of the administration.
But only three Sultans sought, and secured a “mansur” or “letter of investiture”
from the Caliph. The first among them was Iltutmish. Next Muhammad-bin-Tughluq
tried to pacify for ulema by securing investiture from the Abbasid Caliph in
Egypt. After him Firuz also sought and secured it.
The Sultan dominated the Central Government. He was the legal head of the state
and acted as the chief executive and the highest court of appeal. Political,
legal and military authority was 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. He was the chief of the armed forces number
of officials, chief among whom were the following:
Naib Sultan: The naib or deputy enjoyed practically all the powers of the Sultan
on his behalf and exercised a general control over the various departments of
Wazir: He was the head of the finance department, called “Diwan-i-Wazarat”. He
had a number of powerful assistants, three among whom deserve special mention :
(ii) Mushrif-i-Mumalik and
The first acted
as his chief’s deputy. The second maintained a record of the accounts. The third
audited this account.
Ariz-i-Mumalik: He was the head of the military department, called “Diwani-i Arz”.
The special responsibility of the Ariz’s department was to recruit, equip and
pay the army.
Sadr-us-Sudur (Chief Sadr): He was the head of Public Charities and
Ecclesiastical Department knows as “Diwan-i-Risalat”. It was he who made grants
in cash or land for the construction and maintenance of mosques, tombs, khanqahs
and Madrasas. Again, it was he who granted maintenance allowances to the
learned, the saintly and orphaned or the disabled. It has usually a separate
treasury which received all collections from zakat (a tax collected from rich
Qazi-ul-Quzat (Chief Qazi): He was the head of the judicial department and
usually the posts of the chief Sadr and the chief Qazi was combined in single
Amir-Munshi: He was the head of the Record Department, known as Diwan-i Insha.
The farmans of the Sultan were issued from his office, while all high level
correspondence also passed through his hands.
Barid-i-Mumalik: He was the head of the Information and Intelligence department.
Diwan-i-Risalat dealt with religious mailers, pious foundations and stipends to
deserving scholars and men of piety. It was presided over by a chief Sadr or
The whole kingdom was divided into a number of provinces
and tributary states. But the provincial administration under the Sultans
was neither well organised nor efficient.
Governor was called nayim or wali: Below the provincial
governor there was a provincial wazir, a provincial ariz and a provincial
qazi. Their functions correspond to those of similar dignitaries at the
The provinces were divided into “shiqs” and below it into
“parganas”. The shiq was under the control of the “shiqdar”. The pargana,
comprising a number of villages was headed by the “amil”. The village
remained the basic unit of administration. The most important official in
the village was the headman known as “muqaddam” or “chaudhari”.
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 was headed by Amil. The most
important people in villages were the Khuts (Landowners) or Muqaddam or
headman. We also hear of village accountant called Patwari.