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Court of Sultan Mohammad Shah Tughlaq

Court of Sultan Mohammad Shah Tughlaq

Sultan Mohammad Shah Tughlaq (1325-1351 AD) built a palace in Delhi having many doors called “Babs” (doors) and the guards kept on standing on these doors with drums beaten on the arrival of any noble to inform the king and welcome the visitor. On the first door, “Jillads” (the royal killers) were appointed to kill anyone according to the verdict of Sultan.

The dead body of the killed unfortunate stayed there for three days to make the viewers learn a lesson and refrain from displeasing or disobeying the Sultan. There was a wide threshold between the first and the second door on one side of which the musicians were standing and on the other, the guards guarded the door. Between the second and third door, head of the guards (equipped with weapons of either gold or silver) were standing to supervise his juniors. On the third door, Sultan could see whosoever entered the door. The number of the courtiers was fixed to accompany the visitors visiting the king who were registered in the book kept on the first door to keep their record.

The hilarious part of the royal meetings was that according to the royal command, anyone who stayed absent from the court for three days with or without prior notice, was not permitted to reappear in the royal avenues until he was allowed by the Sultan himself. The entry required a “Hadia” (gift) to the Sultan which could be the Holy Quran in case the visitor was well-to-do otherwise it could be a prayer mat or miswak (a fresh branch to clean teeth ) or rosary in case the visitor was financially down. With the third door, the palace with thousand pillars was built where Sultan sat on the throne after the Asr prayer and sometimes in the morning. White sheets were spread on a stage and the king sat with the pillows all around him and the audience used to sit knee-down before him. The Vazir stood ahead of the line of the courtiers standing according to their ranks in the court. The courtiers sat knee-down in a posture like in the prayer and uttered the word of Bismillah when the king sat on the seat with 100 armed soldiers on his both sides. He was aired by Malik Kabir with a hand fan.

Qazis, the brothers of Sultan, his son-in-law and 60 horses bridled with gold or black silk used to stand in the royal court. Then there were 50 elephants for Sultan with their drivers who were alert. The king was amused with the hymns comprised of his grandeur, generosity, and elevation. The slaves of the Sultan were ordered to stand in the last queue ornamented with swords. No one was allowed to pass between the lines in the court. Such practices of kingdoms took the heavy tolls from the Muslims in the form of their decays and declines. They did not nurture the capable successors to handle the empire after their death which resulted in anarchy after the death or murder of every king. They were Muslims but they forgot to rule like Muslims and follow the true examples set by the Muslims in the age of the Holy Prophet (Peace be upon him) and the four Caliphs. The empire of Sultan Mohammad Shah Tughlaq comprised of almost the whole of India consisting of 20 provinces. But the king disintegrated his empire in his own life on account of his high-headedness and reckless actions. He intended positively but acted otherwise which resulted in the revolts of the states and the empire dissolved within years. The hard-earned sultanate went to dogs and Sultan could not do anything because he was alone on every front. Ultimately the last ruler of Tughlaq Dynasty was confined to Delhi and its surroundings.

About SAIMA ASHRAF

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