Mali Delhi Dates



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Comparing Two Muslim Empires





Mali

Delhi

Dates

1200-1500

1206-1526

Regions

Western Sub-Saharan Africa


Northern India

Founding

  • Indigenous African dynasty (elites) adopted Islam peacefully/willingly

  • Invasion by Turkish & Afghan Muslims

  • Violent attacks against Hindu & Buddhist temples-abducted women for harems, stole from temples, killed thousands

  • Power consolidated through military expeditions

Government System

  • Islamic administration & military system

  • more peaceful over time-granted protection to conquered in return for tax

  • Relied on terror to keep subjects submissive

  • Created bureaucracy & centralized political authority in India




Economy/Trade

  • Relied on long-distance Sub-Saharan trade

  • highly developed agriculture

  • conversion to Islam expanded commercial contacts

  • Controlled gold fields of Niger

  • Controlled gold & copper trade

  • Contact w/ N. African Muslim traders (due to religious contacts)

  • Extremely rich

  • Slave trade

  • Trade played minor role-private Muslim traders were important

  • Effort to improve agriculture

  • Effort to establish common currency

  • Slave trade


Society




  • Multiple wives and concubines (harems)

  • Slavery (Non-Muslims only)

  • Huge social difference between ruler and ruled, but literacy promoted

  • Showed signs of syncretism of Islam & older tribal religions/customs, (women weren’t veiled)

  • Scholars held high status-books highly valued







  • Included mix of people-Turkish adventurers and other Muslim conquerors.

  • Uneasy because of hatred by Hindus

  • One women (Raziya) was designated heir to the throne and she ruled for 4 years before she was overthrown and killed

  • Network of spies, high taxes, brutality

  • Slavery

  • Female status determined by close-related male




Mali

Delhi

Technology




  • Crossbows and iron stirrups in conquest of India

  • Papermaking introduced

Internal Threats

  • Incompetent rulers (Mansa Suleiman’s successors)

  • Rebellions amongst various peoples governed by Mali

  • Harsh military reprisals to put down rebellions

  • Personal and religious rivalries amongst Muslim elites

  • Discontent of Hindus

  • Bengal broke off of empire

External Threats





  • Wealth attracted attackers

  • Tuareg retook Timbuktu in 1433

  • By 1500, Mali lost much territory







  • Mongol threats from the NE

  • 1398 Mongol leader Timur captured the city of Delhi-left the next year with thousands of captives and large amounts of pillage-ruined the city

Role of Islam

  • fostered spread of Islam through political & trading elites

  • United West Africa to Islamic world

  • Mansa Musa’s pilgrimage to Mecca in 1324-showed off Mali’s wealth/brought attention to the region

  • Musa built mosques and Quranic schools (madrasas)

  • Fostered trade contacts with other Islamic areas

  • After decline of Mali, central Sudan city-states and empires adopted Islam as official religion

  • Spread literacy

  • Islam spread through conquest of Turkish & Afghan Muslims

  • Initial oppression of Hindus and minorities

  • Sometimes tolerant other times continued the oppression of Hindus, (high taxes)

  • Buddhism virtually destroyed.

Decline

  • Cities along upper Niger survived collapse

  • Trade and intellectual life moved to other African states in central Sudan


Slavery

  • Prosperity of African & Asian tropical kingdoms led both to participate in slave trade

  • Not racist-not based on skin color

  • Islam forbade enslavement of other Muslims-many slaves allowed to convert-then freed (manumission)

  • Millions traded in this time frame-some even to China

  • Many slaves educated & specially trained

  • Some recruited to military, others did hard menial labor (mining)

  • Wealthy households used slaves as servants, entertainers, concubines or harem slaves.


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