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Emperor Humayun 1530-1540

Emperor Humayun 1530-1540

Zaheeer Uddin Mohammad Babur died on December 26, 1530 inheriting the whole of India to Humayun, his eldest son. Nasir-ud Din Mohammad Humayun (the fortunate), took hold of the Empire at the age of 22 four after days his father’s death. Too immature to handle such a vast Empire and a dynasty which was only 5 years old, he found himself surrounded by the perils from the hostile forces of Rajputs and also Afghans who were still loyal to the defeated left over of the Lodhi rulers.

On the other hand the antagonism from his family proved to be dangerous for him in the long run. Sultan Bahadur of Gujrat offered him a hard time. Humayun had to face a defeat at the hands of Sher Shah Suri (Farid Khan Sur), the Pashtoon who snatched Indian territories from Humayun (though these territories were taken back after 15 years). Sher Shah Suri dislodged Humayun from power and Humayun was compelled to exile in Afghanistan, Iran, and Sindh. 9 years after the death of Sher Shah Suri, the Empire was taken back in 1555 from Islam Shah, his son who could not handle the Empire.

Born on March 6, 1506, Humayun was taught the art of warfare and administration along with Turkish, Persian and Arabic. His father had foreseen the traits of being an emperor in him. Therefore he made Humayun the governor of Badakhshan when the later was only 12 years old. Humayune took an active part in the battles fought by his father which helped him gain experience to deal with the administrative and battle crisis. He had three younger brothers: Kamran, Hindal and Askari who stayed at daggers drawn with him.

Though he was taught how to govern the Empire and fight the conspiracies by his father but the enemies and rivals were more experienced and they always ambushed to let him down. He could not compete the more experienced and disciplined Sher Shah Suri in the Battle of Kanauj in 1540 and the former had to flee towards Iran. During his exile Hamida Bano (to some historians Hamida Begum), his Persian wife gave birth to a child who became the King of India later on with the name of Akbar. Sher Shah Suri hoisted his flag on India during his exile. Humayun succeeded to regain his lost empire but his death knell did not allow him to be the overlord of the regained territories for long. He died of slipping from Din Panah, a famous citadel in Delhi on January 27, 1556. He was descending the stairs of the citadel while carrying a pile of books. On hearing the voice of the Moazzin (the caller for prayer), he bent forward and could not balance himself on the stairs and fell down. On third day after this injury he breathed his last. Hamida Bano, his wife patronized the construction of his tomb later in the days of Akbar. Situated in the east of the shrine of Hazrat Nizam ud Din Aulia (one of the most venerated Sufis of India), the tomb was made by Mirak Mirza Ghyias, a Persian architect. The mausoleum was the masterpiece of Indo-Islamic architecture which was gifted to the Sub-Continent by the Persians. It was taken to the zeniths in the reigns of the later Mughals but Hamida Bano enjoys the credit to initiate it in India. Another remarkable contribution of Humayun was painting. During his stay in Iran, he came across Safavid School and he brought painters from Iran to India.

About SAIMA ASHRAF

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