Delhi Sultanate
Interaction Between Hinduism
and Islam
After the Guptas
Four regions
“First contact”
Umayyad Dynasty
800s and 900s
Turks gain control in Iran
Mahmud of Ghazni
Raided Northern India
Plunder (constant)
Seized northwest India
“Protected people”
Local chiefs and rajas left in place
Turks gain more control
Early 1200s
Gain control of Northern India
Leader assassinated
General takes over – Establishes Delhi
Delhi Sultanate
Gov’t is moved to Delhi
Separate from Turkish government in
Iran (Mahmud)
Will last three centuries
Five dynasties
Holds off four Mongol attacks
– Turks
– Steppe warfare
Interaction between Indians and
Islam and Buddhism
Very hostile
Buddhism was seen as competitive
– Actively seeking converts
Temples and Universities destroyed
Buddhists displaced
– SE Asia, Nepal
Hinduism and Islam
Multiple deities
Priestly caste
Serves as
No priests
No one comes
between you
and your god
Popular level:
Sexual Art and
Ate beef
Al-Biruni of Mahmud’s court, ca. 1030
Wrote this about barriers between Islam
and Hinduism
“They totally differ from us in religion, as
we believe in nothing in which they believe
and vice versa. On the whole, there is very
little disputing about theological topics
among them; at the utmost they fight with
words, but they will never stake their soul
or body or property on religious
controversy….They call foreigners impure
and forbid having any connection with
them, be it by intermarriage or any kind of
relationship, or by sitting, eating, and
drinking with them, because thereby, they
think, they would be polluted.”
Islam and Hinduism
Initially, extremely hostile
Mahmud of Ghazni and raids
Hindus Protected People
Muslims inserted in ruling caste
Muslims were far from peaceful
Islam and Hinduism
A lot of benefits
New rulers wanted manual labor
Islamic rulers made India much stronger
Some blending of culture
Veiling of women
God did not distinguish between
Muslims and Hindus
Reject caste system
Still believed in reincarnation
Forbade alcohol
Men did not cut their hair
Reject Idol worship