Page:A Brief History of the Indian Peoples.djvu/132

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128 EARLY MUHAMMADAN CONQUERORS. peace on equal terms with the Muhammadan Sultans of the Deccan. Muhammadan States in the Deccan. — The Muhamma- dan kings of Southern India sprang out of the conquest of Ala-ud-dfn (1303-T306). After a period of confused fighting, the Bahmani kingdom of the Deccan emerged as the representa- tive of Muhammadan rule in Southern India. Zafar Khan, an Afghan general during the reign of Muhammad Tughlak (1325- 1351), defeated the Delhi troops, and set up as Musalman sove- reign of the Deccan. Having in early youth been the slave of a Brahman, who had treated him kindly, and foretold his future greatness, he took the title of Bahmanf, and transmitted it to his successors. The Bahmani Dynasty. — The rise of the Bahmanf dynasty is usually assigned to the year 1347, and it lasted for 178 years, until 1525. Its capitals were successively at Gulbargah, Warangal, and Bfdar, all in the modern Haidarabad territories ; and it loosely corresponded with the Nizam's dominions of the present day. At the height of their power, the Muhammadan Bahmani kings claimed sway over half the Deccan, from the Tungabhadra river in the south to Orissa in the north, and from Masulipatam on the east to Goa on the west. Their direct government was, however, much more confined. They derived support, in their early struggle against the Delhi throne, from the Hindu southern kingdoms of Vijayanagar and Warangal. But during the greater part of its career, the Bahmani dynasty represented the cause of Islam against Hinduism on the south of the Vindhyas. Its alliances and its wars alike led to a mingling of the Musalman and Hindu populations. For example, the King of Malwa. invaded the Bahmani dominions with a mixed force of 12,000 Muhammadan Afghans and Hindu Rajputs. The Hindu Raja, of Vijayanagar recruited his armies from Afghan Musalmans, whom he paid by assignments of land, and for whom he built a mosque. The Bahmanf Muhammadan troops, on the other hand, were frequently led by converted Hindus. The Bahmanf armies were themselves made up of two hostile sects of Musalmans. One sect consisted of Shi&s, chiefly Persians, Turks, or Tartars from Central Asia ; the other,