What were the Tughlaqs' attitudes towards religion and politics?

The three Tughlaq rulers held an array of attitudes toward religion and politics. Ghiyasuddin seemed to care little about religion, for he was focused on solidifying his power. Muhammad was highly impractical politically and managed to earn the hatred of religious leaders. Firuz Shah was somewhat politically expedient and seemed to care at least about his Muslim heritage, but he also expanded slavery and sought to destroy other religions.

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The Tughlaq dynasty ruled from Delhi in the 1300s AD with three rulers by the names of Ghiyasuddin Tughlaq, Muhammad bin Tughlaq, and Firuz Shah Tughlaq. These men were Muslims and were also partly Turkish, and they accomplished quite a bit during their rule. They also offered a sometimes strange blend of religion and politics.

Ghiyasuddin worked especially to solidify his family's rule and make sure that his power was stable. He brought down a Hindu rebellion (which was probably not so much about religion as it was about a threat to his power). He was also said to be religiously lax. In other words, he was probably focused much more on his political ploys and plans than on his religion. He even got on the wrong side of a Sufi mystic who is said to have cursed Ghiyasuddin. Rumor has it that he was killed by his own son who was ready to take over the throne.

That son was Muhammad bin Tughlaq, and he seems to have been a master of playing brutal politics, especially if he started his reign by murdering his own father. He was a learned man, but he had little in the way of common sense, so his usually extremely expensive projects often failed for lack of practicality. For instance, he wanted to recreate Alexander the Great's march in reverse and capture all the countries along the way. Clearly this was not expedient, and it failed before it even started. Muhammad bin Tughlaq had some conflicts with the religious leaders of the area, too. He even dared to go against the Muslim scholars of the law, earning their hatred. Many of his people hated Muhammad bin Tughlaq as well, and several areas revolted and actually claimed and attained their independence. Indeed, this Tughlaq ruler seemed to be a man set on doing what he wanted to do no matter what the political or religious cost.

The third Tughlaq leader was Firuz Shah Tughlaq, and he seems to have been rather more sensible. He made peace with and earned the approval of the Muslim scholars. He focused much of his attention on public works, charity organizations, and religious schools, but he also developed institutionalized slavery, and he was quick to destroy temples of those who practiced religions other than Islam.

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