Qutb Shahi dynasty
Flag of the Qutb Shahis
|Capital||Golconda / Hyderabad|
The Qutb Shahi dynasty (Persian: سلطنت قطب شاهی) was a Turkman Turkic dynasty of Kara Koyunlu origin that embraced Persianate culture. Its members were collectively called the Qutub Shahis and were the ruling family of the kingdom of Golkonda in modern-day Andhra Pradesh, India. They were Shia Muslims and as the kingdom was not heavily militarized, Golkonda tried to stay neutral and avoided any war scenario.
The dynasty's founder, Sultan Quli Qutb-ul-Mulk, migrated to Delhi with his uncle, Allah-Quli, some of his relatives and friends in the beginning of the 16th century. Later he migrated south, to the Deccan and served the Bahmani sultan, Mohammad Shah. He conquered Golconda, after the disintegration of the Bahmani Kingdom into the five Deccan sultanates. Soon after, he declared independence from the Bahmani Sultanate, took the title Qutub Shah, and thus established the Qutb Shahi dynasty of Golconda. Though the state was Islamic, some Hindus did rise to prominence in the Qutb Shahi state, the most important example being the ministers Madanna and Akkanna. The dynasty ruled Golconda for 171 years, until the Mughal emperor Aurangzeb conquered the Deccan in 1687.
The Qutub Shahi rulers were great builders and patrons of learning. They not only patronized the Persian culture but also the regional culture of the Deccan, symbolized by the Telugu language and the newly developed Deccani idiom of Urdu. The main part of Golconda State was most of the present day Andhra Pradesh Although Telugu was not their mother tongue, the Golconda rulers learned Telugu. Golconda and later Hyderabad served as capitals of the sultanate, and both cities were embellished by the Qutb Shahi sultans. The seven sultans in the dynasty were:
- Sultan Quli Qutb-ul-Mulk (1518–1543)
- Jamsheed Quli Qutb Shah (1543–1550)
- Subhan Quli Qutb Shah (1550)
- Ibrahim Quli Qutb Shah (1550–1580)
- Muhammad Quli Qutb Shah (1580–1612)
- Sultan Muhammad Qutb Shah (1612–1626)
- Abdullah Qutb Shah (1626–1672)
- Abul Hasan Qutb Shah (1672–1689)
The tombs of the Qutb Shahi sultans lie about one kilometer north of Golkonda's outer wall. These structures are made of beautifully carved stonework, and surrounded by landscaped gardens. They are open to the public and receive many visitors.
- Brian Spooner and William L. Hanaway, Literacy in the Persianate World: Writing and the Social Order, (University of Pennsylvania Press, 2012), 317.
- Annemarie Schimmel, Classical Urdu Literature from the Beginning to Iqbāl, (Otto Harrasowitz, 1975), 143.
- Christoph Marcinkowski, Shi'ite Identities: Community and Culture in Changing Social Contexts, (LIT Verlag GmbH & Co., 2010), 169-170.
- Christoph Marcinkowski, 169.
- Shia: Shia Muslim Dynasties in India #5, By Syed Iqbal Husain Rizvi, www.shia‐e‐ali.com
For FURTHER READING:
Chopra, R. M., The Rise, Growth And Decline of Indo-Persian Literature, 2012, Iran Culture House, New Delhi.
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