عنوان مقاله [English]
Unlike the northern India, the land of Deccan located in the southern India came late into the attention of the Muslim forces. It was during Khalajiāns which Muslims victoriously entered Deccan via the northern India. Later, under Muḥammad b. Taghlaq (725-752H) almost the entire Deccan fell to the Muslims. Muḥammad built a great empire ruling from the northern to the southern India. It was, however, soon undermined and was divided into several local and regional dynasties in the last decade of Muhammad’s rule. The first such dynasty was Bahmaniyān. Since the shahs of this dynasty claimed a Persian lineage going back as far as Persia’s ancient shahs, they sought to take Persians into Deccan. These emigrants constituted the main political structure and administrative system of the Bahmaniyāns. Due to the dynasty’s inclination to Shia Islam, many Shiite Arabs also immigrated to the region following the footsteps of the former group. One may see many appellations of Persian or Shiite origin amongst the notables and ministers of the state – names like Gilāni, Māzandarāni, Ardestāni, Sistāni, Kermāni, Badakhshi, Ghazwini, Astarābādi, Hamedāni, Samarqandi, Tabrizi, Shirāzi, Qumi, Mashhadi and Karbalāi, among others. They indicate these migrants’ impact on the political and social life of the period. The impact made the Bahmaniyān kings notice these people, other Shiites and those called sayyids – which in Muslim societies indicates people from the Prophet’s lineage – who had immigrated from other regions to Deccan (Sadeghi, 2017, p. 98). Since Āfāqiyāns were assigned important state positions, they were in constant conflict with the indigenous Muslims who were known a Deccanians. The rivalry and conflict between these two racial groups are noted as one of the most important issues of Bahmaniyān period.
The most important reason behind doing this research is to shed light on the Āfāqiyān and Deccanian relations. To this end, the socio-political developments of the Bahmaniyān period should be examined. Āfāqiyāns’ tendency towards Shia Islam in that period is another significant reason for carrying out this research. Finally, the significance of this research lies in there being religious conflicts between Āfāqiyāns and Deccanians and the social domination of each group under Bahmaniyān rule. This study tries to understand the Āfāqiyān-Deccanian relations under Bahmaniyān which constitute the most fundamental matter in this historical period.
The main research question is ‘What factors played a role in Āfāqiyān-Deccanian relations?’ The hypothesis pivots on the fact that earlier Bahmaniyān kings’ attention to Āfāqiyān and this group’s economic and social power played a role in the Āfāqiyān-Deccanian relations.
Given the nature of the study, the method employed here is descriptive-analytical. First, by drawing on the first-hand, primary sources, the historical data are extracted and categorized according to the chronological and thematic order delineated in the initial plan. Then, the Āfāqiyān-Deccanian relations under Bahmaniyān are analysed in view of these groups’ socio-political position and the historical data gathered at the first stage. The grey areas in their relations are thus explained in simple terms.
The socio-political history of Deccan under Bahmaniyāns boils down to the history of Āfāqiyān-Deccanian conflicts. From the outset, the Bahmaniyān kings had a stake in inviting Persians and using Āfāqiyān in myriad positions. Fīrūz Shah welcomed the immigration of more Persians and Āfāqiyāns into Deccan, trying to strike a balance between this group and Deccanians (Tabataba, 1936, p. 41; Ghauri, 1975, p. 165). However, the Persian immigration reaches its climax during Ahmad I’s rule (Aziz-Ahmad, 1988, 28). Having seized the throne through the efforts of his foreign friends, particularly the Persians (Freshteh, 1884, Vol. 1, p. 322; Tabataba, 1936, p. 48 & 54), Ahmad I transferred the capital city from Gulbargeh to Bīdar in a bid to form a new community whose main element would be Āfāqiyāns (Mustawfi, 1961: pp. 30-43) and inviting Persians, especially the well-known family of Sufi order – Shaykh Neʿmatullāh Walī – to Deccan (Tabataba, 1936, p. 65; Fereshteh, 1884, Vol. 1, p. 329). The impact of Āfāqiyāns and especially the Persians on all aspects of social, political and cultural life of Deccan caused the impact of other groups, not least the Deccanians, gradually fade into insignificance. Ahmad I also thought highly of Shiite Muslims and sayyeds who migrated to Deccan from Iraq and other Arabic-speaking regions. He took a step for Āfāqiyāns: amassing an army consisting of Āfāqiyāns and assigning them to significant positions. Fīrūz Shah and Ahmad I, nonetheless, tried throughout their rule to strike a balance in power between the two conflicting parties. During their rule, therefore, no account of conflict between them can be found due to the policy adopted by the shahs.
The open animosity between Āfāqiyāns and Deccanian, however, begins in the time of Ahmad II who was not so tactful as his predecessor. His hardcore pro-Āfāqiyān policy caused the Deccanians to be jealous and irritate about the king’s treatment of the former (Fereshteh, 1884, Vol. 1, p. 332; Tabatab, 1936, p. 83). Instructing the Āfāqiyāns to be on the king’s right hand and Deccanian on the left, he instigated a sedition (Fershteh,1884, Vol. 1, p. 332). This order angered Deccanians and, thereafter, they did whatever they could to fight their rival, which caused the decimation of many Āfāqiyāns at the behest of the shah (Fereshteh,1884, Vol. 1, pp. 334-336). He, however, regretted this and appointed Āfāqiyāns to important positions and punished the other group. It is indicative of the fact that Ahmad II modified the policy of parity and marginalized the Deccanians. At the beginning of his successor’s rule, Āfāqiyāns, being harshly treated by the shah, staged a coup against him. Although suppressed by the successor, Humāyūn Shah (Tabataba, 1936, pp. 88-94), the coup indicates that they were so powerful that they demanded the power that be implement the same policy adopted by Ahmad I and Ahmad II. Despite all this, the shah appointed Mahmūd Gāwān of Āfāqiyāns as minister.
Mahmūd Gāwān’s time in office, an upshot of the policy of power balance between the two conflicting parties, brought about a period of relative peace which lasted throughout Humāyūn Shah’s and Muhammad Shah’s periods. Towards the end of Muhammad Shah’s time, nonetheless, the popularity of Khawjeh Gāwān and of the actions he took rekindled the traditional Āfāqiyān-Deccanian enmity (Makki, 1910, Vol. 1, p. 165; Tabataba,1936, p. 95; Shahab Hakim, 1968, p. 91; Razi, 1961, Vol. 1, pp. 56-57). Mahmūd Gāwān was, therefore, killed in a conspiracy organized by Deccanians, at the behest of Muhammad Shah. Thereafter, Deccanians ruled the roost till the end of Bahmaniyān’s rule. One reason behind the fall of the dynasty was the conflict between these two groups – a conflict that was handed down – after the Bahmaniyān – to the local Shiite states like ʿĀdel Shāhiān, Nezām Shāhiān and Quṭb Shāhiān (Muqim Heravi, n.d., Vol. 3, pp. 26-65; Razi, 1961, Vol. 1, pp. 60-67). The whole conflict between these groups took a long time to form, a full treatment of which is not possible in this brief study.
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