THE POLITICAL THEORY OF THE DELHI SULTANATE (Including a translation of Ziauddin Barani’sFatwa-i Jahandari, Circa, 1358-59 A.D.)
This monumental work,The Political Theory of the Delhi Sultanate, embodies in its corpus political thought and theory in medieval Mohamedan India, critically studied and preset to the academic world, mainly based on Ziauddin Barani’s classical Persian historical work,Fatwa-i Jahandari.
Dr. Afsar’s translation ofFatwa-i Jahandari, from only one manuscript of that valuable work, in the India Office Library, London, from the mian body of this volume. It is for the first time that this book, a veritable mirror of Barani’s mind, appears. It enables us to understand the real character of the empire of Delhi. The duties of the king with reference to almost every institution are surveyed by theJahandariin detail. The state was not theocratic, its basis was not the Shariat of Islam butZawabitor state law made by the king. Barani, old, bent, half-blind, desparetely poor, writing this book, his last, at the advanced age of seventy-eight, was not in harmony with a non-religious, non-Islamic society. Dr. Afsar Begum gives copious footnotes to explain the workings of his mind. TheFatawais the most thought-provoking work of the Sultanate period and Dr. Afsar’s translation is commendable.
Dr. Mohammad Habib’s introduction makes this work very intelligible. Dr. Habib has added seven chapters wherein he has dealt with in detail the life and thought of ZIauddin Barani. They are a befitting epilogue to this book. It is hoped this book will fill a lacuna in mdeival historical literature. It will be received with due attention and appreciation that it richly deserves.
Mohammad Habibwas Professor at Aligarh Muslim University.
Afsar Umar Salim Khanwas Lecturer at the Department of History and Politics, University of Peshawar.