The period from the early sixteenth through the early eighteenth centuries witnessed the military and political ascendancy of three Muslim Empires: the Ottomans of Turkey, the Safavids of Iran, and the Moguls of India (see Map 20.1). There were, of course, other regional Muslim powers, such as the Shaybanids of Central Asia, the Sa‘dids of Morocco, the Muslim dynasties of the Indonesian Archipelago, and so on. However, their influence on the areas beyond their immediate control was relatively minor compared to the wide reach of the three Muslim superpowers. In global terms, Muslim power achieved its peak in the sixteenth century not only in the lands once controlled by the ‘Abbásid caliphate but also in the Indian Subcontinent, which the latter had never managed to conquer. The Muslim dominance began to decline in the eighteenth century. Whereas the Mogul and Safavid Empires in India, Iran, the Caucasus, and Central Asia disintegrated, the Ottomans had survived but were progressively losing control over their provinces in the Balkans, Arabia, the Middle East, and North Africa to eventually become, in the words of the Russian emperor Nicholas I (r. 1825-1855), “a sick man of Europe.” As their names clearly indicate, these dynastic states were named after their founders’ ancestors (the Great Moguls, 1 shaykh Safí al-Din, and Osman respectively). The complex political, economic, military, and social history of these empires lies outside the scope of this book. We shall therefore limit ourselves to a brief survey of the religious doctrines and institutions prevalent in these Muslim societies.