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Mains Answer Writing

One of the key components of these exams is the written test, which consists of a number of essay and comprehension questions. Candidates are expected to write clear and well-structured answers that demonstrate their knowledge and understanding of the topics being tested.


Q1. “Delhi Sultanate was a truly theocratic state”. Discuss. (150 words)



The term theocracy refers to a system of government in which the head of the state is also the head of the religion.

Fundamental Elements of Theocratic State

Everything You Need To Know About 12 July 2023 : Daily Answer Writing                     

Element of Theocracy in the Character of Delhi Sultanate

  • The supporters of the theocratic views of the Delhi sultanate emphasized that the caliph was the real head of his state and sultans of Delhi were subordinate officers of the caliph, as they used to put on a holy robe (dress) sent by the caliph during the coronation.
  • Sometimes the caliph’s name was also inscribed on coins of the Delhi sultanate. Since coins were issued in the name of the sovereign, these indicate that the caliph was the sovereign authority in the Delhi sultanate.
  • The Sultan of Delhi declares himself as deputy of the leader of faithful ‘Nasir-ul-Amin-ul-Momin-ul’. This title indicates that Khalif was the boss and the sultan of Delhi was subordinate to him.
  • Sultans of Delhi followed Shariat.
  • The Sultan of Delhi demolished many Hindu temples.

Nature of Delhi Sultanate:

A closer examination of various theocratic elements indicates that these were largely superficial and did not represent the true character of the Delhi sultanate.

  • Not all the sultans of Delhi did not seek Calipha’s Assistance. ltututmish was the first sultan to seek it; on the other hand, Sultan Nasiruddin Khusrau Shah declared himself caliph.
  • The relationship between the caliph and the sultan was mostly ceremonial.
  • The legal system doesn’t support its theocratic character.
  • Balban introduced many nonislamic practices like Sajda,paibos
  • Alauddin Khilji followed the policy of separation of religion from politics.


Delhi Sultan was a great power on his own. He did not need recognition from the caliph. In fact, granting investiture was a natural prestige for the caliph himself because the sultan of Delhi was the most powerful political entity in the entire Islamic world.

Thus, despite being highly discriminatory in nature it cannot be termed as theocratic.

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