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Sayyed Dynasty (1412-1451)

Sayyed Dynasty (1412-1451)

In the age of Mohammad Tughlaq, the Muslim empire lost its control over the area encompassed by the predecessors and the revolt raised their heads there and then which could not be countered by the feeble rulers of the Muslim empire. The Hindu Rajas of Deccan liberated themselves from the submission to the Muslim center and declared their independences challenging the supermacy

of the Muslims who had drowned themselves into the luxuries and mutual conflicts. Ihsan Shah, the ruler of Madora (the province of Malabar) declared his independence whereas Hasan Gangu founded the Bahmani Empire in Daulatabad, once the center of Muslim power. Wijianagar sulatanate of Hindus came into existence under Baka and Hariher. Feroz Shah, the last Tughlaq king did not try to regain Deccan. Sindh and Bengal raised against the Muslim empire and disintegrated it by separating themselves in the northern part of India. Malik Sarwar Khawaja Jahan established his separate empire in Jaunpur and the states of Malwa and Gujrat followed suit leaving the Muslim empire confined only to Delhi and its vicinity. The innovations and the new patterns devised by Mohammad Tughlaq took the heavy price and the Muslim Empire fell down to its own knees. Feroz Shah Tughlaq restored the jagirs to the nobles and influential chiefs who used their regained powers against the unified whole of the empire. Military officers and generals with their authorities fell upon the center and brought about decay on it.

Ghiyath-ud-Din Tughlaq Shah ll (the grandson of Feroz Shah) sat on the throne after the death of Feroz Shah in 1388 AD and sent an expedition headed by Malik Feroz Ali Khan-e Jahan and Sardar Bahadur Nahar (a Rajpute chief of Mewat) against Nasir-ud-Din Mohammad, his paternal uncle. Nasir-ud-Din Mohammad was defeated and Khan-e Jahan came back to Delhi triumphant and was awarded by Tughlaq Shah ll. Tughlaq Shah ll imprisoned his brother Salar Shah fearing an upheaval from him which progressed to the fear of Abu Bakar (his cousin) who conspired with Rukn-ud-Din, the nybe of Khan-e Jahan and the army turned against Tughlaq. Tughlaq and Khan-e Jahan escaped from the side door but they were killed and Abu Bakar rose to power on February 19, 1389 AD. Abu Bakar killed Rukn-ud-Din, his confidant and companion alleging him of treason. Soon after he became the king, a revolt appeared in Samana and the people of Samans killed the ruler and his head was sent to Nasir-ud-Din Mohammad and invited him to capture Delhi. Nasir-ud-Din Mohammad answered the call and left for Delhi with his 50,000 soldiers and claimed the throne after reaching Delhi but had to flee to Jalisar after being defeated at the hands of Abu Bakar. Nasir-ud-Din refreshed him and sent another expedition against Abu Bakar under his son Humayun Khan and put Malik Sarwar (the Kotwal of Delhi in the past) as Vazir under the title of Khwaja Jahan. He also titled Nasir Khan as Khizar Khan who became the founder of the Syyed Dynasty.

Nasir-ud-Din Mohammad assaulted Delhi again with his army of 50,000 men but Abu Bakar defeated him and he fled to Jalisar once again after getting humiliated at Khondli. He could not capture Delhi defeating Abu Bakr but he had established his writ in many states of Hisar, Lahore, Samana, Multan, Dehli and Hansi whereas from Samana to Panipat was under Humayun Khan, the son of Nasir-ud-Din Mohammad. They confined Abu Bakr to Delhi but succeeded in defeating Humayun Khan which encouraged him to attack Nasir-ud-Din Mohammad but Nasir, in his counter-attack, captured Delhi and Abu Bakr was deprived of his throne. But as soon as Abu Bakr returned to Delhi, Nasir-ud-Din fled to his old shelter, Jalisar. Delhi fell to Nasir-ud-Din Mohammad with the help of Islam Khan. Abu Bakr after losing Delhi fled to Mewat but was arrested and sent to Meerath where he died after sometime.

Nasir-ud-Din Mohammad stabilized his empire by crushing the rebels of Qanauj and Otawa, and killing Islam Khan fearing his upheaval. He went to Mewat to curb Bahadur Nahar but he died in Jalisar on February 20, 1394 and on January 22 of the same year Delhi was taken by Humayu Khan who died on March 8, 1394 and Malik Sarwar put Nasir-ud-Din Mehmud, the younger brother of Humayun on the throne of Delhi squeezed only to Delhi and its surroundings. The writ of the government was limited only to Delhi while the opponent voices started raising their heads in the different corners of the empire. Hindus stood against Mehmud and he sent Malik Sarwar who fell down the rebels of Otawa, Qanauj and Koel and declared his independence after capturing Jaunpur. Sarang Khan, who was sent to crush the insurgent Khokhars but he occupied Lahore and appointed Malik Khandu, his brother as the governor of Lahore. Nasir set off his journey to Gwalior to restrain Malu Khan but Malu Khan escaped and captured Delhi and Sultan had a siege of Delhi for two months. In the meanwhile, the nobles of the court unanimously appointed Nusrat Shah, the grandson of Feroz Tughlaq as their king and Delhi Sultanate came under two kings at one time: one in Delhi and the other in Ferozabad. In June 1398 AD Malor, joined Nusrat Shah deserting Mehmud and attacked Nusrat Shah after sometime. Nusrat escaped to Tatar Khan. After killing Maqrab Khan, the real player of the kingdom of Delhi, Nusrat put Mehmud Khan as a dummy ruler and forced Tatar Khan to flee.

Amir Timor

The attack of Amir Timor in this age has a remarkable importance in history. Amir Timor (the son of Amir Turghi Barlas who was the head of the Ghughtai Turks) became the chief of his tribe at the age of 34 after the death of his father. Being a valiant general and audacious warrior, he raised an army and attacked Iran and then headed to Turkey and encaged Bayazid Yaldram, its ruler after defeating him. He marched to Turkistan, Iraq, and Russia from where he reached Afghanistan. The bordering India attracted him and after seeing the anarchy of India, he envisaged the attack on India which was being ruled by two rulers at that time. The political and military muscle of Hindus and the riches present in India challenged him and he appeared to invade Delhi.

Amir Timor first sent his grandson Pir Mohammad to India who crossed the River Indus and occupied Uch and Multan in 1398 AD. Encouraged by this conquest, Amir Timor left for India from Samarqand in April 1398 AD and reached Lahore after crossing the four rivers of Sindh, Jehlum, Chenab and Ravi. In Lahore, he defeated Mubarak Khan, the ruler of Lahore and attacked the Khokhars arresting their head who was released for 200,000 rupees later. He marched towards Pakpattan to visit the holy shrine of Baba Farid Shakar Ganj. The people of Pakpattan and Depalpur murdered Musafir Qabuli, the Nybe of Amir Timor and fled to Bikaner. Amir Timor avenged the murder of Musafir Qabuli killing 10,000 people and reached Delhi after capturing Fateh Abad and Tohana and arrested 100,000 people of these areas after looting their wealth. Before attacking Delhi, Amir Timor killed the 100,000 prisoners arrested from the areas he previously occupied. It was an inhuman act on his behalf though he intended to deter these one lac prisoners from indulging into war against him in Delhi. Mehmud Shah and Malu Iqbal, the minister accompanied with 40,000 riders, 10,000 pedestrians and 120 elephants met the enormous army of Timor in 1399 AD but could not win. Mehmud Shah fled to Gujrat and Malu Iqbal escaped to Buland Shehar.

Timor staged his Darbar the next day of his victory in which the nobles and religious scholars of the city requested him to take ransom for stop bloodshed in Delhi. The ceasefire was concluded and everything was being settled down when the soldiers of Amir Timor had a conflict on any issue and the people of Delhi killed some soldiers of Amir Timor. Outraged on the audacious act of the conquered people, Amir Timor ordered the massacre of Delhi which lasted for three days killing 100,000 natives including the cream of the state. Huge buildings and palaces of Delhi were perished within three days.

Amir Timor stayed in Delhi for fifteen days and returned to Samarqand on 1st January 1399 AD and passed by Meerath on January 16, 1399 AD and attacked it. Maulana Ahmad Thanesari and Afghan Ilyas countered him but could not dominate him and Amir Timor plundered the city. He then marched to Herdwar, the venerated city of the Hindus and annihilated their temples. From Herdwar, he turned to Sermur, and defeating Raja Mehroz, its ruler, he reached Jammun and defeated its Raja and went back to Samarqand handing over Depalpur, Multan and Lahore. His tour of India took a heavy toll from the people of India who were killed en-masse at his hands. These areas were depopulated and their dead bodies smelled horribly after stinking. It broke out plague in the area causing further elimination of human beings. It also ruined the weather conditions of the areas and the crops were destroyed causing a terrible drought. The lives of the people of these areas suffered a lot and the economy crashed.

Amir Timor’s visit proved to be the death-knell of the Delhi Dynasty especially Tughlaq family which could not raise its head again though Malu Iqbal took the reins of the power again after three months of Amir Timor’s departure. Mehmud Tughlaq returned to Delhi in 1401 AD but could not access the avenues of power. In 1405 AD Malu Iqbal attacked Punjab but was defeated and killed by Khizar Khan, the ruler of Punjab. Encouraged by his victory, Khizar Khan invaded Delhi the epidemic broken out in Delhi hindered him and he went back. Mehmud Tughlaq died in 1413 AD and his death buried the Tughlaq Dynasty for ever as the empire went to the hands of Sayyeds.

The invasion of Amir Timor exploded the central government of Tughlaqs and Jaunpur, Sindh, Punjab, Gujrat, Bengal, Rajputana and Malwa were disintegrated from Delhi. Industry and construction also suffered a lot as Timor took the craftsmen along with him leaving Delhi devoid of hand crafts and skilled men. Devoid of even the basic commodities of life, the masses fell down in every domain of life. Timor’s attack of Delhi strengthened the Behmani Empire of Deccan founded by Khizar Khan Behmani. The weakening of Delhi stabilized the Behmani Empire sprawled over from Bihar to the River Krishna. Timor appointed Khizar Khan as his Nybe at Punjab. Khizar Khan invaded Delhi and capturing it founded the Sayyed Dynasty which included four kings and which lasted from 1412 to 1452 AD. The pedigree of Timor was later referred and availed by Babur when he invaded India

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