The Mughal Capitals
Fathipur Sikri, India
Hinduism: a broad term for the indigenous religious traditions of India that incorporate a variety of forms of worship and personal devotion. The most popular deities include: Vishnu, Shiva, and several forms of the goddess.
Islam: literally “submission” a monotheistic religion rooted in the Judeo-Christian tradition. Founded in Arabia in the 7th century by the Prophet Mohammad, Islam had spread to southern Spain, North Africa, and western Asia by 750 C.E.
Sufi: a practitioner of Sufism, the mystical and transcendental forms of Islam. Sufi’s are initiated into one of the established Sufi orders by individual mentors, who teach them meditational and conceptual methods for achieving personal union with the divine. The Mughals patronized the Chishti order of Sufis.
Sunni: Literally “principle” or “path” the largest branch within the Islamic faith. Sunnis follow the Prophet Muhammad’s example as a primary doctrine and believe that the first four caliphs, the appointed leaders of the faith after Muhammad, were the rightful successors of Muhammad’s religion and its empire. The Mughals were Sunni Muslims.
Shi’a: The second largest branch within the Islamic faith. Shiites believe that Muhammad’s cousin and son-in-law, Ali, was the rightful heir and leader of Islam. Shiite leaders, or Imams, are considered to have divine authority. The Safavids in Iran were a Shi’a dynasty.