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This book has been called "The Mubárak Shahi." If it be accepted by His Majesty, it is hoped that, the slave (the author himself) will be sufficiently pitied for and sympathised. May good fortune bestow adequate wealth and prosperity (upon the king).

Thus closes the introductory portion of the "Tārīkh-iMubarak Shahi", a close and faithful rendering of which only we have attempted in the present issue. The author, then, proceeds with the reign of Mu'iz-ud-duniyá-ud-din Mahmud bin Sám Ghori and afterwards narrates the events of the rule of Kutub-ud-din Aibek (the slave of Mu'iz-ud-din Sám and the founder of the slave dynasty) and of his successors, and Timur's invasion of India

so on.

India on the death

The closing years of the benevolent and weak rule of the ninety-year-old Sultan Firoz, showed of Firoz Tughlik symptoms of decay in the central government. It required no renowned oracle or expert soothsayer to read the signs of the day or foresee the inevitable future. The nomination to the throne of Prince Nasir-ud-din Muhammad Shah even during the lifetime of the aged Sultan clearly manifested how unworthy were the hands to which the sceptre had been transferred. Lack of statesmanship and love of gaiety made the new successor incnr the displeasure of the nobility-the most powerful factor to be reckoned with in the body-politic of the day.

On the death of Firoz, (18th Ramzán, 790H) 26th September 1388 A.D., Tughlik Shah, the son of Fath Khan and the grandson of the late Sultan, wielded the sceptre for a brief span of six months, when he fell a victim to the passions of the nobles and was done away with. Then came Sultan Muhammad Shah (acc. 25th Rabi-ul-akhir, 23rd April 1389 A.D.), the paternal uncle of the deceased and the younger son of Sultan Firoz, and though he had to contend with his rival Abu Bakr Shah for the sovereignty, he was fortunate enough to enjoy it for a period of six years and seven months. On his demise, 15th January 1394 A.D., there followed in quick succession, his two

sons Alauddin Sikandar Shah and Mahmud, the latter reigning for 18 years and the former for an insignificant period of one month and sixteen days.

Thus, though, Mahmud enjoyed the longest reign after Firoz, yet the wheel of decline went on without intermission. The amirs and the maliks set up their nominee Nusrat Khan, the son of Fath Khan and the grandson of Firoz. Henceforth the sovereignty of Delhi was conducted by two joint sovereigns, Mahmud and Nusrat Khan, the former reigning at old Delhi and the latter at Firozabad. Neither the tie of friendship, nor the affinity of blood, nor the impulse of gratitude was a barrier to the play of the lower passions; brother fought against brother and friend against friend. To quote the words of Yahia bin Ahmad, the author of Tarikh-e-Mubarakshahi, "The Musalmans shed the blood of their own kith and kin; there ensued every day conflict between Delhi and Firozabad; neither of the parties could gain a complete victory. Sometimes the people of Firozabad came off with flying colours and successfully invested the fort of Delhi, and on occasions again, the table was turned, Delhi laid siege to Firozabad and paid its people back in their own coin. The districts between the Doab and the fiefs of Sambhal, Panipath, Jhajher and Rohtak were owned by Sultan Nasiruddin while to Sultan Mahmud belonged nothing else save the above-mentioned fortresses. The grandees and the nobles of the realm set themselves up as independent rulers and levied tribute and taxes from the people."

Such was the gloomy picture of India after the death of Firoz Shah Tughlik, and the impending ruin of his dynasty was further accelerated by the irruption of Timur, the terrible chieftain from central Asia, who by his violence, rapine and wanton bloodshed gave a deathblow to the reigning power and the populace.

The following lines giving an account of the invasion of India by Timur and his grandson Pir Muhammad are mainly taken from the pages of the Tarikh-i-Mubarakshahi, a Persian history named after Mubarak Shah of the Saiyid dynasty of Delhi.

Advent of Pir Muhammad, the grandson of Timur


In the month of Rabí'-ul-auwal, 800 H. (NovemberDecember 1397 A.D.) Pir Muhammad, the daughter's son1 of Timur the King of Khorasan, having crossed the river Sindh with a large force, laid siege to the fort of Uch. 'Ali Malik who was in charge of the place (Uch) on behalf of Sarang Khan (the fief-holder of Dipalpur) held out for a month, when the Khan sent out Malik Tajuddin, his naib or deputy, along with the other amirs and a contingent of 4,000 horsemen in aid of 'Ali Malik. At the news of Tajuddin's approach, Pir Muhammad withdrew the siege and fell upon the enemy's reinforcement at Tarmtamah on the bank of the Biyah. They could not withstand such an unexpected attack; many were killed while some threw themselves into the river and were carried away. Sustaining defeat Malik Tajuddin with a small force at his command retreated to Multan. Pir Muhammad followed him there in pursuit. Sarang Khan dared not oppose him in the field and was compelled to take refuge in the fortress. For six months the siege continued; at last on the 19th Ramzan, 800 H. provisions running short, Sarang Khan held out the olive branch. The Khan was clapped into prison along with his family, dependants, army and the people of the city, while the victor took possession of Multan where he stationed his army.


In the month of Shawwal, 800 H. Ikbal Khan leagued himself with Sultan Nasiruddin and a compact was made between the two, at the tomb of the chief of the saints Nizamul Haq Waus Sharauddin. Sultan Nasiruddin was seated on an elephant and brought to Jáhánpapáh. Sultan Muhammad, Mukarrab Khan and Bahadur Nahir were placed in confinement at the old Delhi. On the third day, Ikbal Khan, in contra

نديسه 1

River Sind refers to the Indus.

In Elliot Tamtama. IV. p. 33.

Was in charge of Siri; his original name was " Mallu,"

vention to the sanctity of the contract fell upon the unwary Sultan Nasiruddin who being thus taken unawares quitted Jáhánpanáh with his elephants and a small contingent. Ikbal went in his pursuit and took hold of the elephants belonging to the fugitive. Nasiruddin marched to Firozabad and thence with his attendants and relatives having crossed the Jaun (Jamuna), went to his Vizier Tátár Khan. Firozabad was then taken possession of by Ikbal. Subsequently, daily contests took place for two months. At length, owing to the intercession of the amirs, reconciliation was effected between them, Mukarrab Khan made an entry into Jáhánpanáh with Sultan Mahmud and Ikbal remained at Siri. All on a sudden Ikbál accompa nied by his own men threw a cordon round the house of Mukarrab and treacherously slew him. Though he refrained from doing any personal injury to Sultan Mahmud, yet he took to himself the management of the state and kept the Sultan as a puppet.1

In Zíl Káda 800 H. Ikbal set out for Panipath against Tátár Khan. When the latter received this intelligence, he left his baggage and elephants in the fort of Panipath and proceeded towards Delhi with a strong force. Ikbal besieged Panipath, conquered it in two or three days, and fnally laid his hands on the elephants, horses and the baggage of Tátár, who in his turn had also attacked Delhi but failed in his attempt to take it. The capitulation of Panipath made Tátár give up the siege (of Delhi) and he fled with his army to his father in Guzrat. Ikbal returned victoriously to Delhi laden with elephants, horses and the spoils of war. Malik Nasirulmulk, a relation of Tátár Khan, was conferred with the title of 'Adil Khan for his co-operation with Ikbal Khan and was, besides, rewarded with lands in the Doab, while the latter was engaged in carrying on the affairs of the state.

In the month of Safar 801 H. (October 1398 A.D.) report was given currency to that, Amir Timar the king of Khorassan having

Timur's invasion

بد طريق نمونه مي داشت 1

plundered Taban1 had encamped his army at Multan and put to the sword all the soldiers of Sarang Khan that had been imprisoned by the Amir's grandson. Sarang Khan was at his wits' end. Timur set off to Bhatez2 and having made Juljain Bhattis (the commandant of the fort) a prisoner, killed the people who had been besieged. From thence he proceeded to Samana where the inhabitants of Dipalpur, Ajodhan and Sarsuti had repaired to in fear of the invader. Some of them were made captive and a large number received the glory of martyrdom. The victor then forded Jaun (Jamuna) and made an entry into the Doab, most parts of which he harried. He halted at Tamuni and killed all the prisoners that were taken (from the tract) between the Sindh and the Ganges, totalling 50,000 men, more or less, God alone knows the truth. The inhabitants of the towns and the villages, Muslims and Hindus 5 alike, got funky and ran away, some to the mountains, some to the desert, some towards the rivers and some again to the fort of Delhi. In Jámádi-nl-auwal 801H Timur crossed Jaun, came to Firozabad, and on the day following put himself at the top of Hauz-i khass. In the maidan Ikbal with his elephants came vis-a-vis; at the first onset the Khan met with his defeat. Some of his elephants fell in the hands of the Amir's men, so with the remaining elephants he returned to the city through thousand and one difficulties. Still, during the retreat, most of the inhabitants of the city and the army were stamped out under foot, and heaps of dead were left. At sundown, Ikbal Khan and Sultan Mahmud leaving behind them their ladies and children, emerged out of the city. The latter took his way to

The sack of Delhi

The word is in the MS. In Elliot Talina; ibid. 84.

2 ja; in Elliot Bhatnir. ibid.

3 In Elliot, Kulchain, ibid. In the MS. we havepadly.

♦ In Elliot Loni, ibid. In the MS." Loni" is seven miles N. N. W.

of Delhi (Iswari Pd's Medi eval India. p. 307. fn.3).

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The word is meaning fraud: here translated as "difficulty.”

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