The Splendours of the Early Mughals

Six Mughal Emperors between the sixteenth and eighteenth centuries bequeathed an alien glory to the Indian scene.

The long series of muhammadan invasions of India began only a few years after the Prophet’s death. The Arabs who overran and settled in Sind during the seventh and eighth centuries undoubtedly left a lasting mark on the people of that territory; but, racially and culturally, they were entirely different from those Muslim invaders from the Central Asian dynasties who crossed the north-west frontier a few centuries later to found the second of the two civilizations that met, mingled and existed in India from that time to the present day.

The immediate predecessor of the first Mughal Emperor was Ibrahim Lodi, the last Sultan of Delhi and a member of an Afghan dynasty that had seized power in 1451. These central Asian dynasties, which established their kingdoms in India, had been greatly influenced by Persian art and literature and, by the time of the Lodis, the Court language was Persian, although the common spoken dialect that had emerged as a result of contact between the Asian Muslims and the Hindus was Urdu.

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