Farman-i Shahi

A Legislative and Administrative Tool of the Mughal Empire in India

  • MAMOONA YASMEEN PhD Candidate, Faculty of Shariah and Law, International Islamic University, Islamabad, Pakistan.
  • MUHAMMAD ZIA-UL-HAQ Professor of Shariah and Islamic Law/Director General, Islamic Research Institute, International Islamic University, Islamabad, Pakistan.
Keywords: farman-i shahi, Mughals, legislation, codification, Islamic laws, India.


Farman-i Shahi as a specific regal command significantly contributed to the formation of legal order in the Indian subcontinent. The Mughals used to treat these farmans as constitutional and judicial orders. The farman (pl. faramin) provided foundation for the legitimacy of the government orders of the Mughal period. This research focuses on the role of the shahi farmans issued by the Mughal rulers from Zahir al-Din Babur (r. 1526–1530) to Aurangzeb ‘Alamgir (r. 1658–1707) in the state legislation of Islamic laws. They also played a robust role in legislating and implementing civil as well as Islamic criminal and procedural codes. In fact, pre-Mughal transformation of Islamic law into a criminal and procedural code had its own significance and legal value for the religious context during the Mughal period. Hence, farman-i shahi has become instrumental in innovation and codification vis-a-viz Islamic injunctions already codified. The present study reviews the legislation regarding Islamic laws and the role of farmans in the Islamic legislation in Mughal India, their bearing on further legislation and the progression of state legislation regarding Islamic laws.

How to Cite
YASMEEN, M., & ZIA-UL-HAQ, M. (2019). Farman-i Shahi: A Legislative and Administrative Tool of the Mughal Empire in India. ISLAMIC STUDIES, 58(2), 255-270. Retrieved from