Polity During Sultanate Period

  • Turkish sultans ruled as Lieutenant of the faithful (Abbasid Caliph).
  • The Sultan (king) was responsible for administration and acted as commander-in-chief. He looked after the law and justice, appointed judges and acted as a court of appeal. Even high officials and ulamas were not spared during Balban’s and Muhammad Bin Tughlaq reign.
  • No clear law of succession developed among Muslim rulers.
  • Wazir: He was a prime military leader in the initial phase, but later he held the responsibility of the revenue department. Firoz Shah Tughlaq made it hereditary.
  • Diwan-i-arz headed by Ariz-i-Mamalik was responsible for recruitment and payment in the military department. Alauddin paid salary in cash.
  • Diwan-i-risalat: dealt with religious matters.
  • Diwan-i-insha: dealt with the state of correspondence.
  • Iqta:  Large parcel of land (later called subas). Holders were called muqtis or walis. These muqtis were responsible to maintain law and order along with salary allocation to soldiers they had. Below Iqta, there was shiqs and pargana (headed by amil).
  • Muslims and Hindus were governed by their respective laws.
  • Zawabit: regulations framed by the Sultan to supplement Muslim laws.
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