For more than 200 years, the Mughal emperors ruled supreme in rthern India. How was it possible that a Muslim, ethnically Turkish, Persian-speaking dynasty established itself in the Indian subcontinent to become one of the largest and most dynamic empires on earth? In this rigorous new interpretation of the period, Munis D. Faruqui explores Mughal state formation through the pivotal role of the Mughal princes. In a challenge to previous scholarship, the book suggests that far from undermining the foundations of empire, the court intrigues and political backbiting that were features of Mughal political life - and that frequently resulted in rebellions and wars of succession - actually helped spread, deepen and mobilise Mughal power through an empire-wide network of friends and allies. This engaging book, which uses a vast archive of European and Persian sources, takes the reader from the founding of the empire under Babur to its decline in the 1700s.
Munis D. Faruqui is an historian and Associate Professor in the Department of South and Southeast Asian Studies at the University of California, Berkeley. He focuses on the Muslim experience in South Asia, especially during the Mughal period. His books include two edited volumes: Religious Interactions in Mughal India (co-edited with Vasudha Dalmia) and Expanding Frontiers in South Asian and World History (co-edited with Richard Eaton, David Gilmartin and Sunil Kumar). His various journal articles have interrogated the creation of the Mughal Empire under Emperor Akbar (r.1556-1605), the founding decades (c.1720-40) of the princely state of Hyderabad, and the relationship between religion and politics in the life and work of the Mughal prince, Dara Shukoh (1615-59). He is currently working on a book re-evaluating the Mughal Emperor Aurangzeb (r.1658-1707).