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Administration of the Sultanate

The government established by the Turks was a compromise between Islamic political ideas and institutions on the one hand and the existing Rajput system of government on the other. Consequently many elements of the Rajput political system with or without changes became part and parcel of the Turkish administration in India. Most of the Sultans kept up the pretence of regarding the caliph as the legal sovereign while they themselves were the caliph's representatives.

Most of them included the name of the caliph in the Khutba and the Sikka and adopted titles indicative of their subordination to the caliph. Three rulers emphasised their own importance. Balban used to say that after the Prophet the most important office was that of the sovereign and called himself the Shadow of God. Muhmmad bin Tughlaq assumed this style during the early years of his reign and although Balban had retained the name of the caliph in the Khutba and Sikka, he made no mention of caliph anywhere. Despite all this neither of them had the power to call himself the caliph. The only person who had done this was Qutubuddin Mubarak Khalji. Only three Sultans sought and secured a mansur or letter of investiture from the caliph. The first among them was Iltutmish. Next Muhmmad bin Tughlaq tried to pacify the ulema by securing an investiture from the Abbasid Caliph in Egypt.

After him Firoz also sought and secured it twice. According to Islamic ideals essential attributes of a sovereign required that he should be a male adult suffering from no physical disability, a freeborn Muslim having faith in Islam and acquainted with its doctrines and he should be elected by the people. There were several violations of the prescribed criteria as Raziya was raised to throne despite her being a woman. Minority proved no bar in the case of Mohammad bin Tughluq. Alauddin Khalji admitted his ignorance of the Sharia but nobody questioned him. In the framing of new rules and regulations the authority of the Sultan was circumscribed and every ruler could not govern the kingdom in complete disregard of the advice of the ulema or theologians as Alauddin Khalji and Muhammad Tughluq had been able to do. The power of the nobility also blunted their authority to some extent. When there was a weak ruler on the throne the nobles and the ulema particularly dominated him but during the reign of Balban, Alauddin Khalji and Muhammad Tughluq these checks proved ineffective. The sultans were not powerful enough to rule the land in complete disregard of the sentiments of the Hindus.