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B.3 Ch. 1: Musalmans in the East Indies

B.3 Ch. 1: Musalmans in the East Indies Page of 417 B.3 Ch. 2: Fakirs or Musalman Beggars in the East Indies Text size:minus plus Restore normal size   Mail page  Print this page
138                          SUNNIS AND SHÏ'AS                  book ii
the Sunnïs, the King of Golkonda that of the Shi'as, and the King of Bîjâpur had in his territories both Sunnïs and Shi'as.1 The same might also be said of the Court of the Great Mogul, on account of the number of Persians who came to serve in his armies. It is true that although they regard the Sunnïs with horror they nevertheless follow, in outward show, the religion of the Monarch, believing that to make or secure their fortune they may conceal their true belief, and that it suffices for them to cherish it in their hearts.2
As for the Kingdom of Golkonda, Qutb Shäh, who reigns at present [1625-72], maintains with great zeal the law of the Shi'as, and as the nobles of his Court are nearly all Persians, they observe the customs of the sect of the Shi'as with the same strictness and the same freedom from restraint as in Persia.
I have elsewhere remarked that among the native Musai· man subjects of the Great Mogul there are but few in positions of command ; this is the cause why many Persians, oppressed by want, or ambitious of better fortune than they can hope for in their own country, go to seek for it in India. Being clever they are successful in finding means to advance them­selves in ±he profession of arms, so that in the Empire of the Great Mogul, as well as in the Kingdoms of Golkonda and Bîjâpur, the Persians are in possession of the highest posts.3
1 It is curious that half of the Bîjâpur Kings were Sunni and half Shi'a—the Sunni being Ibrahim I, Ibrahim II, and his son Mahmûd, and probably Sikandar, the last of the dynasty ; while 'Ali 'Adii Shäh, Yûsuf, and Ismail were Shi'as (Bombay Gazetteer, xxiii. 413 note 4).
* This is the Shi'a doctrine of Taqia, whereby he believes that he is justified in smoothing down or in denying the peculiarities of his religious belief, in order to save himself from religious persecution (Hughes, Diet, of Islam, 628).
3 On the Persian adventurers who crowded out the Courts of the Mughal Emperors and the Musalmän Kingdoms of Southern India see Erskine, Hist, of India, ii. 24 f. ; Smith, Akbar, The Great Mogul, 357,362. Persian influence is strong at Haidaräbäd even at the present day. Also see Bernier, 209 : ' The court itself does not now consist, as originally, of real Mogols ; but is a medley of Usbecs, Persians, Arabs, and Turks, or descendants from all these peoples, known, as I said before, by the general appellation of Mogols.'
B.3 Ch. 1: Musalmans in the East Indies Page of 417 B.3 Ch. 2: Fakirs or Musalman Beggars in the East Indies
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