About this text
The Muntakhab-Ut-Tawarikh (1590-1615)was composed in those by Abd Al-Qadir Badauni. The latter was appointed as an Imam by the Emperor Akbar in 1575-76. The chronicle comprises three volumes. The first volume covers the history of India from the Ghaznavide Dynasty (AD 977)to the death of Humayun (AD 1556). The second volume covers the first forty years of Akbar's reign and the final volume contains biographical details of religious leaders, scholars, philosophers, physicians and poets. The text was translated and edited from Persian to English by George S.A.Ranking, Sir Wolseley Haig and W.H.Lowe and published between 1884 and 1925 by the Asiatic Society of Bengal. Badauni's account is considered important as it is read in contrast to Abul Fazl's Akbarnama due to its critical portrayal of Akbar's reign and dispensation. Our selected excerpts contain descriptions of famines, conditions of dearth, feasts, charity and abstinence.Badayuni's comments on revenue and price regulation are a contrast to the discussions in the Akbarnama. As his verse interpolations are an important vehicle for the criticism of society and governance, our selections include much of this poetry
A HISTORY OF INDIA MUNTAKHABU-T-TAWARIKH
At this juncture, when Time departing from its usual custom, has treated me in the matter of leisure with some sort of liberal-ity, it has come about that I have been able to steal a morsel of the chequered hours of my life from his grasp, so that I renewed my intention and confirmed my purpose, and on this ground that there is no bygone event which has not left something for the present,
Once more he led his army against Somnát, which is a large city on the coasts of the ocean, a place of worship of the Brah¬mans [Page 28] who worship a large idol. There are many golden idols there. Although certain historians have called this idol Manát, and say that it is the identical idol which the Arab idolators brought to the coasts of Hindustán in the time of the Lord of the Missive (may the blessing and peace of God be upon him), this story has no foundation, because the Brahmans of India firmly believe that this idol has been in that place since the time of Kishan, that is to say four thousand years and a fraction. Its name too, in the Hindí language, is really Sobha Náth, that is to say Lord of Beauty, and not Manát. The reason for this mistake must surely be the resemblance in name, and nothing else. In this expedition, having taken the city of Patan2 which is known as Naharwáls, a city of Gujerát, and having obtained a great supply of provisions from thence, he arrived at Somnát where the garrison closed the gates of the fort against him, and reaped their reward in rapine and plunder. The fort was taken and Mahmúd broke the idol in fragments and sent it to Ghaznín, where it was placed at the door of the Jámi‘ Masjid and trodden under foot.3
At the time of his return, not considering it expedient to fight with Bairám Dev, one of the mighty Rájás of Hindustán who stood in his way, Mahmúd turned towards Multán by way of [Page 29] Sindh. His army suffered great hardships from scarcity of water and forage, until with great difficulty he reached Ghaznín in the year 417 H.
And in the Tazkira of Muhammad Ufí,1 the following Qita‘h has been attributed to the Sultán Mahmúd.
In the name of God the merciful, the compassionate: Praise be to God the Lord of the worlds, and blessings upon the best of His created beings, Muhammad, his family and com-panions all of them. To proceed, it is said in certain traditionary sayings, that two things tend to prolong life, and to cause rain to fall and trees to grow, one of these is to assist the oppressed—the other to repress the tyrannical. An argument which they have advanced in support of this is that the prophet, may the peace and blessing of God be upon him, declared that the heavens are established by righteousness (equity). Equity is like the bird which, wherever it casts its shadow, secures an amplitude of [Page 58] wealth, and the place where it builds its nest becomes the centre of durability, and rain falls from the heaven, while tyranny and oppression is as a bird which, wherever it flies, leads to famine and life and modesty are lost from among mankind. And God, may He be glorified and exalted, preserves the Emperor of Islám, and the just king Bahrám Sháh ibn Mas‘úd Sháh ibn Ibráhím Sháh ibn Mas‘úd Sháh ibn Mahmúd Sháh, from iniquity and oppression, and although the whole world should combine to write and describe the stock and supply of grateful acknowledg-ment of this slave's heart, they would have no power to express it, and the tree which the king of the kingdom planted for the discovery of the secrets of the unseen, even Gabriel and Michael were precluded from having any share therein: it is certain that in all circumstances the just man is happy and the tyrant is miserable, and the worst of all oppression is this that a small party should read a subject and not understand it, but become arrogant with regard to it and loosen the tongue of censure against the learned. Hence it is that our prophet,may the peace and blessing of God be upon him, said, Pity three people, a rich man who has become poor, the great man of a tribe who is dis-graced, and a wise man among fools. A book which is written in the language of the learned in the knowledge of God, demands an acute and discriminating mind such as that of Báyazíd and [Page 59] Shiblí these men of wisdom who read that book and appreciate that which is written in it, but who have not the slightest trace of religious knowledge, it must be from spite and ignorance that they find fault with the book, and this is a proof of their blindness of heart that they call the Ál-i-Marwán contemptible, and carry their eulogy of the elect family, may the peace and blessing of God be upon it, beyond bounds while they exalt the commander of the faithful ‘Alí, may God be merciful to him, above the other companions, may God be graciously pleased with them, and they do not see that he has been placed below Síddíq and Fárúq and Zú‘Núrain on the ground of descent and rightful succession, and there is a true story related of the Lord of the Created beings Muhammad Mustafá, may the peace and blessing of God be upon him, with reference to the vices of the Ál-i-Marwán and the virtues of the Ál-i-Muhammad Mustafá, may the peace and blessing of God be upon him. If it is a lie, and most people believe it to be so, reason tells us that it is true, and the word of the true God is this, “Oh God, adorn the world with those learned men who fear thee or who reverence thy people, and do not make me to suffer at the hands of those who are wanderers from the path of thy love, for thy mercy's sake [Page 60] and for thy bounty and beneficence oh Thou most merciful,” and this verse is from the Hadíqat.
Who was one of the specially favourite servants of Sultán Muizzu-d-Dín, on the occasion of an eclipse of the moon had a broken little finger,and was known by this soubriquet (Aibak), they also call him Qutbu-d-Dín Lak bakhsh. With the consent of the nobles of Hindústán he established himself as Protector of the kingdom of Dehlí, and after the martyrdom of Sultán Muizzu-d-Dín his brother's son, Sultán Ghiyázu-d-Dín Mahmúd, the rightful heir of Sultán Ghiyázu-d-Dín Muhammad in whose praise they wrote the following verse:—
Having sent to Malik Qutbu-d-Dín from Fíroza Koh the canopy and insignia of royalty, addressed him by the title of Sultán, and in the year 602 H. (1295 A.D.) having come from Dehlí to Láhore on Tuesday, the sixteenth of the month of Zu Qa‘dah in the aforesaid year, ascended the throne of empire and became proverbial for his kindness and clemency. He used to bestow upon deserving recipients rewards far in excess of their anticipations, and inaugurated his custom of lak bakhshi (bestowing laks). One of the learned men of the time named Baháu-d-Dín Úshí said in praise of him.
And after some time enmity arose between him and Táju-d-Dín Yaldúz, who was one of the slaves of Muizzu-d-Dín and had read the Khutba in his own name in Ghaznín, on account of Láhore, and the fire of war and conflict blazed forth on the con-fines of the Punjáb; Táju-d-Dín was defeated, and went to Kirmán which was his usual abode. Sultán Qutbu-d-Dín went and took possession of the fort of Ghaznín and staying there for a period of forty days, spent his time in rioting and wantonness and dissipation. Accordingly the people of Ghaznín were an-noyed at his behaviour and secretly summoned Táju-d-Dín Yaldúz, who arrived without warning, and Sultán Qutbu-d-Dín not being able to oppose him came to Láhore by way of Sang Surákh
We learn from the Tārīkh-i-Mubārak Shāhī that Sultān Mu‘izzu-d-Dīn, after the capture of the Shāhzāda, was seized while sitting in durbar during that revolt of the populace, and was bound, and died in captivity of hunger and thirst: in the course of his sufferings he wrote this quatrain,
And when the tumult between Itimar Surkha and the people of Dihli subsided, and Shāyista Khān had gained his heart's desire and seated the prince upon the throne, and had set the affairs of the kingdom going again, on the second day after this, Sultān Mu‘izzu-d-Dīn bade farewell to this transitory* unstable [Page 229] world, and realised that all that wanton enjoyment had been but a dream and a phantasy.
And in the year following, Arkalī Khān came from Multān to Dihli, and the Sultān leaving him in Dihli proceeded to Mandāwar, and after his arrival at that stage, having received with anxiety tidings of the revolt of certain of the Ghīyāsī Amīrs, he made over the district of Budāon to Malik Maghlatī, sent him off at once and appointed Malik Mubārak to Tiberhindah, then after reducing the fortress of Mandāwar proceeded by an uninterrupted series of marches to Dihli; and in those days a certain Saiyyid ascetic and recluse, holding close communion with God, relying upon Him, bountiful, adorned with so many excellencies and perfections, Sīdī Maulā by name first came from ‘Ajam (Persia) to Ajūdhan in the service of the pillar of the Saints the master Shaikh Farīd, Ganj-i-Shakkar, may God sanctify his resting place, and sought permission to proceed to the eastern parts of Hin-dustan They said to him “Beware of crowds of men, and abstain from intercourse with kings.” When he reached Dihli, Khān-i- Khānān, the eldest son of the Sultān, displayed the greatest desire to become his disciple. In the same way the greater number of the deposed Maliks and Amīrs of the Balban party* used daily both morning and evening to sit at the table of that darvesh, who would not accept anything from any one. People used to credit him with alchemistic powers, and used to come in such crowds that a thousand mans of fine flour and five hundred mans of freshly skinned meat, and three hundred mans of sugar used to be the daily [Page 234] expenditure of the Shaikh which he expended in alms; the afore¬ said Sīdī although he engaged always in vigils and the prayers of the five stated times, was, however, never present at the public prayer on Fridays, nor was he bound by the conditions of public worship in accordance with established custom, and Qāzī Jalālu-d- Dīn Kāshānī (and) Qāzī Urdū and men of note, and trusted chiefs, and all both great and small, used continually to worship at his monastery.
When this news reached the Sultān, the story goes that one night he went in disguise to his monastery, and saw for himself that he expended even more than was reported. Accordingly the next day he held a grand durbār and ordered Sīdī Maulā with the Qāzī and the other Amīrs who were his disciples, to be brought before him with ignominious treatment of all kinds, bound in fetters and chains. He enquired into the state of the case,and asked each one whether the Sīdī laid claim to kingly power. The aforesaid Sīdī denied it, and fortified his denial with an oath, but to no purpose. At that time Qāzī Jalālu-d-Dīn lay under the Sultān's displeasure, he also denied the allegation. The Sultān deposed him, and nominated him as Qāzī of Budāon. In order to verify the claims to Saiyyidship, and to test the miraculous powers of the Sīdī, he had a huge fire like that prepared by Nimrūd (for Abraham) lighted, and wished to have Sīdī Maulā thrown into that temple of fire. The Ulamā of the time,in con-sideration of the irreligious nature of that order, issued a manda-mus which they communicated to the Sultān saying, “The essential nature of fire is to consume things, and no one can issue forth from it in safety unhurt.” The Sultān accordingly desisted and gave up that ordeal, but he punished the larger number of those Maliks in that same assembly, and some he expatriated; and inasmuch as the answers of Sīdī Maulā* were all in accordance with reason, and no fault could be found with him either on the score of religious law or logic, the Sultān was reduced to extre-mity and suddenly turning to Abū Bakr Tūsī Haidarī who was the chief of the sect of Qalandars, and utterly unscrupulous, he [Page 235] said “Why do not you darveshes avenge me of this tyrant,” there-upon a Qalandar leapt up from their midst, and struck the unfor-tunate Sīdī several blows with a razor and wounded him, then they shaved off the holy man's whiskers with a knife even to the chin, and stabbed him in the side* with sackmakers' needles, and then, by command of Arkalī Khān, the second son of the Sultān, an elephant driver drove a rogue elephant over the head of the poor oppressed Sīdī, and martyred him with countless tortures may God be gracious to him. They say that this same Sīdī, for a whole month before this occurrence used to sing these verses at all times, smiling the while he sang:
And just at this time, on the very day of his murder, a whirl-wind black with dust arose, and the world was darkened, there was a scarcity of rain in that year, and such a famine occurred that the Hindūs, from excess of hunger and want, went in bands and joining their hands threw themselves into the river Jumna, and became the portion of the alligator of extinction. Many Muslims also, burning in the flames of hunger, were drowned in the ocean of non-existence, while the rest of the world took these signs and events as proofs of the verity of Sīdī and as evidence of his sincerity. Although no inferences can be drawn from facts of this kind, since they may finally prove to be only coincidences, still I myself have seen with my own eyes examples of such incidents, as shall be related in their proper places if God so will it.
When he said to the stony-hearted Ilmās Beg “In spite of my old age and the weakness due to fasting I came so far, even yet will not your cruel brother's heart induce him to get into a boat and come to me?” Ilmās Beg answered “my brother is unwilling to receive the Sultān empty handed and with reserve.
“If thou goest empty handed to visit a Sheikh, Thou wilt get no profit, nor wilt thou even see him.”
He is busy selecting elephants and valuables and goods to present, [Page 243] and is quite occupied in that service and he has been preparing food for breaking your fast, and to do honour to the arrival of his guest, and is now awaiting the honoured coming of the Sultān, so that he may be distinguished among his peers by the honour derived from the royal visit.” The Sultān all this time was occu-pied in reading the sacred volume; they reached the river's bank by the time of afternoon prayer and he took his seat in the place they had made ready for him to sit in, and ‘Alāu-d-Dīn having got every thing ready came with a great gathering to pay his respects to the Sultān and fell at his feet. The Sultān smiling, with affection and kindness and love smote him a gentle blow on the cheek, and addressing him with great shew of fondness and clemency and warm-heartedness, began to give him words of counsel, and was talking to him affectionately and lovingly, reassuring him in every possible way, and seizing the hand of Malik ‘Alāu-d-Dīn was drawing him near. At this moment when the Sultān laid hold of his beard, and, kissing him, was shewing him marks of his special favour, and had given his hand into his, ‘Alāu-d-Dīn seizing the Sultān's hand firmly, wrenched it, and gave a signal to a party of men who were confederate and had sworn together to murder the Sultān. Then Mahmūd Sālim who was one of the scum of Sāmāna,aimed a blow with his sword at the Sultān and wounded him; on receiving that wound the Sultān made for the boat crying out as he ran: “Thou wretch ‘Alāu-d-Dīn, what is this thou hast done!” At this juncture one Ikhti-yāru-d-Dīn who had been a particular protégé of the Sultān ran behind him and inflicted a second wound which killed him; he then cut off his head and brought it to ‘Alāu-d-Dīn. By Alāu-d- Dīn's orders, the head of the unfortunate oppressed and martyred monarch was placed upon a spear and carried round Karra and Manikpūr: from thence they took it to Oudh; and the body-servants of the Sultān who were in the boat were all put to death, some of them threw themselves into the river, and were drowned in the ocean of destruction. Malik Fakhru-d-Dīn Kūchī fell into their hands alive and was murdered. Malik Ahmad Chap having made prisoners of the Sultān's army brought it to [Page 244] Dihli and pending the arrival of Arkalī Khān from Multān (he was the worthy son of the Sultān and fitted to succeed him in the kingdom) as a temporary measure, with the co-operation of Malika-i-Jahān, seated Qadr Khān the youngest son of the Sultān, upon the throne of Dihli, with the title of Ruknu-d-Dīn Ibrāhīm. The Amīrs and Maliks of Jalālu-d-Dīn's party came one and all to swear allegiance to him at his accession. He retained the name of King for one month. Malik ‘Alāu-d-Dīn lost no time, but on the very day of the assassination of the Sultān, made open display of the insignia and emblems of royalty, and raising the imperial canopy over his own head was addressed as Sultān and in the middle of the rainy season marching unin-terruptedly he made straight for the metropolis of Dihli, and showering dīnārs and dirhems like rain over the heads of the populace, and pelting the people in the streets great and small with golden missiles from balistae and slings, came to his own garden on the banks of the Jumna and alighted there. Day by day the Amīrs of the Jalālī faction joined themselves to him and swore allegiance to him, and by the hope of the red gold, all regret for Jalālu-d-Dīn was completely effaced from their black hearts.
In Dihli itself grain became very dear, and the citizens were in great straits, and Sultān ‘Alāu-d-Dīn placing Ulugh Khān and Zafar Khān in command of the forces, sent them with a countless host to oppose the Mughul army, and a severe battle was fought on the frontiers of Gilī. Zafar Khān was killed, and the Sultān had gained what he wanted in this Qutluq Khwāja after his defeat made his way to Khurāsān where he died.
This further occurrence took place, namely, when the Sultān was engaged in besieging Rantanbhor, a person named Hājī Maulā, one of the slaves of Maliku-l-Umarā Kotwāl, gathered together certain ruffians, displayed a counterfeit order in Dihli, entered the city by the Badāon gate, and sent for one Turmuzī Kotwāl and in an instant cut his head off,* closed the city gates, and sent a messenger to ‘Alāu-l-Mulk* a friend of his, who was Kotwāl of the New Castle, saying “An order has come from the Sultān, come and read it” ‘Alāu-l-Mulk being fully alive to what was going on did not obey the summons, whereupon the rebel Hājī Maulā went to the Ruby Palace, and liberating all the prisoners, gave a horse and arms and a large bag(of gold) out of the treasury to each one, gathered together an immense following; then he seized by force Saiyyid Zāda-i-‘Alawī Shāh Nabsa, who on his mother's side was descended from Sultān Shamsu-d-Dīn Altamsh (Iyaltimish), summoning his chief men and nobles for the purpose, and seated him upon the throne at [Page 261] the entrance to the Red Palace, and compelled the chief men whether they would or no, to swear allegiance to him.
The Sultān, when he heard this tidings, did not publish it, nor did he betray any signs of emotion, until he had succeeded by superhuman effort in entirely reducing the fortress. A week had hardly passed after this exploit of Hājī Maulā when Malik Hamīdu Dīn, who was Amīr of Koh, with his sons who were renowned for their valour, and a body of the cavalry of Zafar Khān who had come from Amrohā to oppose the Mughuls, engaged Hājī Maulā in fight, and having destroyed him, put to death the hapless Saiyyid Zāda also, and sent their heads to Rantanbhor. The Sultān nominated Ulugh Khān to proceed to Dihli to track out those who had taken part in that rebellion, and bring them to destruction. He also completely eradicated the family and relations of Maliku-l-Umarā on this suspicion that Hājī Maulā would not have embarked on this enterprise without their instigation.
The Sultān after adding the fortress of Rantanbhor and its surrounding districts to the jāegīr of Ulugh Khān returned (to Dihli). Ulugh Khān was taken ill that very day while on the road, and died, and Rantanbhor became for him like the Paradise of Shaddād.
Moreover a band of robbers of Jālor, whose leader was Mīr Muhammad Shāh, were captured in Rantanbhor after the fort [Page 263] was taken. When the Sultān asked Muhammad Shāh (who had been wounded) ‘If I should spare your life and have you cured, and you should thus escape this deadly danger, how would you treat me in future?’ he replied, ‘If I should get well and should have an opportunity, I would kill you and raise the son of Hamīr Dev to the throne.’ The Sultān wondered, and was amazed at this audacity, and enquired of his most shrewd and astute Amīrs the reason why the people had so turned against him, and why these continual riots and seditions were so constantly occurring, and further sought to know how to set about remedying these evils. They shewed him several paths of conduct which would end naturally in four things. Firstly, that the king should in his own person be aware of the enterprises both good and bad which are going on in his kingdom. Secondly,that he should put an end to wine bibbing, which is the source of so much evil. Thirdly, abandonment by the maliks of their gadding about to each others' houses and holding deliberative meetings. Fourthly, to demand back the money which he had lavished, from all classes, whether soldiery or populace, because it is the fountain head of all riot and sedition, especially upstarts and nouveaux riches, and in a short time these regulations would by their inherent good, be acceptable to the Rāīs, and pass from potentiality to actuality just as has already been related in a former place.
The Sultān did away with wine drinking, and brought the other [Page 264] regulations also into force, and also published several new rules of his own, which have never been heard of either before or after his time, whether they were in accordance with religious law or not; one of these rules was that regulating the price of grain, and cloth, and horses, and all necessaries essential to the comfort of the soldiery and populace, and the bestowal of rewards and alms upon all classes of the people, the detail of which is told at some length in the history of Ziā-i-Barnī.* Those laws were the most extraordinary of all: this cheapness of provisions was one of the chief sources of the prosperity of the people, and formed a stout wall of defence against the irruption of the Mughuls. And inasmuch as in mentioning some of these events and occurrences in the original work,* the chronological sequence has not been preserved, and they have been only incidentally mentioned as occasion arose, for this reason they have also been recounted here in the same manner.
Khusrū Khān returning from Talpath came to the tomb of Malik Shādī who was an old patron of his, alone and distraught, and hid himself there in despair, but the following day they laid hands upon him, treating him with all possible indignity, and brought him to Ghāzī Malik, so that he reaped the reward of his infamous and abominable deeds.
That is to say Ulugh Khān, by the agreement of the Amīrs and [Page 302] officers of the Court ascended the royal throne in the year 725 A.H.(1325 A.D.), and after performing the ceremonial mourning for the space of forty days, went to the treasure house of the kings of former ages,and gave largesse such as exceeds all bounds of description, and having distributed appointments and offices among the Amīrs, he made Malik Fīroz his uncle's son (who is the same person as Sultān Fīroz) Nāibu-l-Mulk, and advanced the dignity of his near relations in the same manner. Hamīd Lawīkī, too, was raised to an exalted position and Malik Sartez obtained the title of ‘Imādu-l-Mulk, Malik Khurram that of Zahīru-l- Juyush(Inspector of the Forces) Malik Pindār Khiljī was given the title of Qadr Khān, and Malik Izzu-d-Dīn Yahyā that of Ā‘zamu-l-Mulk,the district of Satgānw being also confirmed to him.
And in the year 727 A.H. (1326-1327 A.D.) the Sultān having formed the design of proceeding to Deogīr, posted a chain of dhāwa, that is to say pāiks, or runners, as guards at distances of one kroh along the whole road from Dihli to Deogīr, built a palace and a monastery at each stage and appointed a Shaikh to each. They used to keep in constant readiness food and drink, betel-leaf and all provisions for hospitality; and in [Page 303] both (palaces and monasteries) guides were stationed who were ordered to see that travellers suffered no annoyance. The traces of these(rest-houses) remained for many years. He gave Deogīr the name of Daulatābād and considering it as the centre of his dominions made it the metropolis, and conveyed Makhdūma-i- Jahān his mother, with all his family and relations, the Amīrs and Maliks, the notables of the city, his servants and dependents, and all his treasure to Daulatābād: all the Saiyyids and Shaikhs and ‘Ulamā* also proceeded thither in the following of Makhdūma-i- Jahān, and the stipends and emoluments of all of them were doubled, but in accordance with the saying “Exile is the gravest of all calamities and banishment is the sorest of all afflictions” this desolation of Dihli and its desertion was a source of great dis- [Page 304] comfort to the inhabitants, large numbers of the feeble and widows, the helpless and indigent perished by the way, while even those who arrived in safety,could not settle there; and towards the end of the above-mentioned year Malik Bahādur Gurshasp the Inspector-General of the Forces, raised a rebellion in Dihli, and Malik Aiyāz, who held the title of Khwāja-i-Jahān, fought with Bahādur and defeated him. Bahādur was taken prisoner and brought before the Sultān and met his punishment. After that, Malik Bahrām Ība the adopted brother of Sultān Tughlaq raised a rebellion in Multān, and put to death ‘Alī Khatatī who had been sent from Dihli to summon him thither. The Sultān, in order to put down this rebellion, left Daulatābād for Dihli and thence by uninterrupted marches reached Multān. Bahrām having come out against him fought with him, but was de-feated and eventually put to death, his head was brought to the Sultān who intended to set the blood of the Multānīs flowing like rivers on account of his crime, but when the Shaikhu-l-Islām Qutbu-l-‘Ālam Shaikh Ruknu-l-Haqq wau-d-Dīn Quraishī, may God sanctify his holy resting place, having bared his venerable head presented himself at the Court of the Sultān and made inter-cession, the Sultān pardoned the offences of the people.
And in the year 729 A.H. (1329 A.D.) Narma Shīrīn the Mughul, the brother of Qutlugh Khwāja the Mughul King of Khurāsān who had formerly invaded Hindūstān, having entered the Dihli territory with an enormous army, reduced the majority of the forts, and proceeded slaughtering and taking captives from Lāhor and Sāmāna and Indarī to the borders of Badāon; and when the victorious troops of Islām came up with him, he re-treated as they advanced; the Sultān pursued him as far as the frontier of Kālānor and defeated him, and leaving the destruc-tion of that fort in the hands of Mujīru-d-Dīn Abūrijā returned in the direction of Dihli. At this time the Sultān formed the opinion that in consequence of the refractory conduct of his sub-jects in the Doāb it was advisable to double the taxes levied on that country; he also instituted numbering their cattle and a house census, and other vexatious and oppressive measures, which were the cause of the complete ruin and desolation of the country, the weak were utterly destroyed and the strong laid the founda-tions of rebellion. The Sultān gave orders for the remainder of the inhabitants of Dihli and the adjoining towns to start for Daulatābād, caravan by caravan, the houses were to be purchased from their owners,and the price of them to be paid in cash out of the public treasury, in addition to which large rewards were to be offered. By these means Daulatābād was populated, and Dihli [Page 306] became so deserted that there was not left even a dog or a cat in the city. The following verse describes its condition:—
This state of affairs also led to a diminution of the public funds. Among other sources of loss to the treasury was this that the Sultān enacted that the muhar of copper should become current on an equal footing with the muhar of silver, and any one who shewed reluctance to receive it used to be instantly punished severely. This enactment led to many corrupt practices in the kingdom as a matter of course, and unscrupulous and contumacious rascals used everywhere in their own houses to set up mints and stamp coins, and taking them into the cities used to purchase with them silver and horses, weapons and fine things, and thus rose to great wealth and dignity. But inasmuch as copper had no value as a currency in places at a distance and one tanka of gold rose to the value of fifty or sixty copper coins, the Sultān perceived the worthlessness of the copper coinage, and issued an edict to the effect that every one who had in his house a copper tanka should, if he brought them to the public treasury, receive for them golden tankasin equal value. The people [Page 307] profited greatly by this arrangement, till at last copper became copper and silver silver, and those copper tankas were lying in heaps in Tughlaqābād as late as the time of Sultān Mubārak Shāh according to the author of the Tārīkh-i-Mubārak Shāhī, and had no more value than stones. God knows the truth.
And in the year 744 A.H. (1343 A.D.) the Sultān passing through Sanām and Sāmāna gave orders to the Saiyyids and all the Muslims in opposition to the advice of Hasan Kānkū, for a general massacre, but he kept the chief men of those districts in their posts, conveyed them to the suburbs of the city, and con-ferred upon them villages and districts, and bestowing many rich robes of honour, and purses of gold gave them a place of abode there; and when a general famine arose he issued an edict that any one who wished should proceed to the eastern part of Hindustān and spend the days of dearness and scarcity there, without let or hindrance, and in the same way if any person wishing to give up living in Daulatābād should return to Dihli, no one would molest him. Moreover in that year so many people arrived in Hindustān from the countries of Khurāsān and ‘Irāq and Samarqand, in the hope of receiving the bounty of the Sultān, that hardly any other races were to be seen in that country.
And in the year 748 A.H. (1347 A.D.) the captains of hundreds, stirred up rebellion and sedition in Gujrāt against Muqbil the servant of Khwāja-i-Jahān who was nāib-vazīr of Gujrāt, and was bringing treasure to the Court, and attacked him by night, getting possession of the treasure and horses and pro-perty belonging to the king. The Sultān arrived at Gujrāt with the object of quelling this rebellion, and sent some of the trust-worthy Amīrs as for instance Malik ‘Alī Sarjāndār, and Ahmad Lāchīn to Daulatābād to bind the Amīrs of hundreds who were there and bring them to Court. As soon as Malīk Ahmad Lāchīn arrived at the pass of Manikganj, the Amīrs of hundreds in their alarm came to a common understanding, and put Malīk Ahmad Lāchīn to death; Azīz Khumār who had gone from Gujrāt to oppose the Amīrs of hundreds of Dabho‘ī and Baroda,on coming face to face with the insurgents lost his head, fell from his horse and was taken prisoner. This news had reached the Sultān and had augmented his wrath considerably. And after the defeat of Muqbil and the murder of ‘Azīz, the Amīrs of hundreds waxed bold, and sent for their families and relations from all directions, and with one consent turned against the Sultān and having captured the fortress of Daulatābād from the the governors of Malik ‘Alam took possession of it, and raising [Page 314] to the throne one Isma‘īl Fath gave him the title of Sultān Nāsiru-d-Dīn. After this the Amīrs of hundreds of Dabho'ī and Baroda over whom the Sultān had appointed other Amīrs, being defeated by the army opposed to them joined hands with the Amīrs of hundreds of Daulatābād. When the Sultān went to Daulatābād Isma‘īl Fath prepared to give him battle, but being defeated shut himself up in the fortress of Dhārānagar by which is meant the citadel of Daulatābād; many Muslims of Daulatābād were slain in this rebellion, or were made prisoners, and Malik ‘Imādul Mulk Sartez was ordered to pursue the fugitive Amīrs of hundreds towards Bīdar.In the meantime tidings arrived of the rebellion in Gujrāt of Malik Taghī, who, having put to death Malik Muzaffar the governor of that place, had obtained possession of a large number of horses and much property. Thereupon the Sultān leaving in Dhārānagar Malik Jauhar and Khudāwandzāda Qiwāmu-d-Dīn and Shaikh Burhānu-d-Dīn Balārāmī left to quell the rebellion of Taghī; the army which had fled from Daulatābād under the leader-ship of Hasan Kāngū, coming out of hiding attacked ‘Imādu-l- Mulk Sartez. ‘Imādu-l-Mulk was slain, and his army fled to Daulatābād and sought shelter there, and Malik Jauhar with Khudāwandzāda Qiwāmu-d-Dīn and the other Amīrs not being able to withstand Hasan in Daulatābād evacuated those districts and made for Dhārānagar. Hasan Kāngū pursued them and came to Daulatābād, and having driven out Isma‘īl Fath assumed the title of ‘Alāu-d-Dīn and usurped the government, and from that time forward the rule of the districts of Daulatābād and the sovereignty of that kingdom remained in his family. The history called Futūhu-s-Salātīn was written in his honour. And Taghī [Page 315] the rebel, after the arrival of the Sultān at Gujrāt, ventured a second time to fight with him and was again defeated, and giving himself up to brigandage roamed about from place to place, the Sultān however continued to pursue him and followed him wherever he went. And in this expedition the Sultān having sent for Malik Fīroz from Dihli attached him to his Court; and in this year Malik Gīr the son of Malik Qabūl Khālīfatī, to whom the Sultān had delegated the control of all his important affairs, and on whose behalf he had written a letter expressing submis-sion to the Egyptian Khalīfah, and had sent it by the hand of Hājī Barqa‘ī, died, and Ahmad Aiyāz, who is also called Khwāja-i-Jahān, and Malik Qabūl Qiwāmu-l-Mulk were carrying on the government in Dihli. Towards the end of the reign of Muham-mad, disaffection and rebellion, mischief and sedition became increasedly evident day by day, so that if he turned his atten-tion to curing one evil, another was not wanting to supply its place, and matters were past all remedy, and the glory of the kingdom, and prosperity of the country was entirely subverted. Tyranny supplanted equity, and infidelity flourished in place of Islām. There were many reasons for this, which by their co-operation led to ruin and dissension, and the decline of the king-dom. These causes are given in detail in the original history the Firozshāhī, and also in the Mubārakshāhī. The results are here given in brief arranged under seven heads. Firstly.—The greater part of the people and inhabitauts of the towns and districts were [Page 316] ruined by the rapine of Tarma Shīrīn, and never again recovered their prosperity. Secondly.—The tribute to be paid by the inha-bitants of the Doāb, which district comprises some of the chief towns of Hindustān, was increased from ten per cent to twenty per cent, besides which there was the numbering of the cattle, and the house-census, and other taxes* over and above these, and in this way the more needy portion of the people left their pro-perty and cattle and attached themselves to the richer folk, while the wealthier subjects plotted rebellion and sedition and took to highway robbery, and pillaged the country in all directions so that from all these causes the revenue of the country began to dwindle. Thirdly.—An universal famine, and (consequent) dearness of grain, for it so happened that for seven whole years not a single drop of rain fell from heaven. It should be remem-bered that this statement has been copied as it stands from the Mubārakshāhī, but I cannot say whether the author of that work has been guilty of exaggeration or if in reality the facts were as stated. Fourthly.—the desertion of Dihli, and the population of Daulatābād, because after Dihli was laid waste they brought people from the towns and other places into that city and populated it,and then again removed them thence to Daulatābād, so that all their hereditary estates and family holdings, and all the property and effects they possessed were wasted and dissipated, so that they never saw anything more of them. Fifthly.—The massacre of the eighty thousand cavalry in a body in the hills of Himāchal, and the consequent desolation of their families. Sixthly.—The daily occurrence of rebellion and mutiny in every place where people were in dread of their lives, some of them fell in battle but the greater number were put to death with their families upon false charges, so that in every way that wretched country was being ruined. Seventhly.—The blood thirsti-ness [Page 317] of the Sultān, and his system of Government of his people, which made Saiyyids, ‘Ulamā, Shaikhs, ragamuffins and scoun-drels, artisans, peasants, and soldiers, all alike in his eyes. Moreover there was constantly in front of his royal pavilion and his Civil Court a mound of dead bodies and a heap of corpses, while the sweepers and executioners were wearied out with their work of dragging (the wretched victims) and putting them to death in crowds. So that the people were never tired of rebel-ling nor the king of punishing (the rebels). At last the Sultān was at his wit's end what to do, but for all this he did not keep his foot out of the stirrup, nor did his sword rest from punishment, but all to no purpose, till the flood of sedition waxed violent, and the nobles of the kingdom by degrees grew feeble, at length disease overcame him, and the Sultān was freed from his people and the people from their Sultān.
The Sultān leaving there proceeded to Thatha, and the Jām, by which title the ruler of Thatha is called, entrenched himself so that the Sultān was induced by the vehemence of the rainy season, and the amount of water which was out, as well as by the dearness of [Page 333] grain, to abandon the siege and make with all haste for Gujrāt, which country he placed under the control of Zafar Khān; then having deposed Nizāmu-l Mulk and appointed him Nāib Wazīr of Dihli, he returned to Thatha; and on this occasion the Jām asking for quarter had an interview with the Sultān,and with all the Zamīndārs accompanied him to Dihli, and from there took his leave after being kindly treated and confirmed on his former footing as ruler of Thatha. In the year 772 H. (1370 A.D.) Khān-i-jahān the Vazīr, died, and his son Jūnā Shāh obtained that title;* and the book Chandāban which is a Masnavī in the Hindī language relating the loves of Lūrak and Chāndā, a lover and his mistress, a very graphic work, was put into verse in his honour by Maulānā Dā'ūd. There is no need for me to praise it because of its great fame in that country, and Makhdūm Shaikh Taqīu-d-Dīn Wāiz Rabbānī used to read some occasional poems of his from the pulpit, and the people used to be strangely influenced by hearing them, and when certain learned men of that time asked the Shaikh* saying, what is the reason for this Hindī Masnavī being selected he answered, the whole of it is divine truth and pleasing in subject, worthy of the ecstatic contempla-tion of devout lovers, and conformable to the interpretation of some of the Āyats of the Qur‘ān, and the sweet singers of Hin-dūstān. Moreover by its public recitation human hearts are taken captive.
And in the year 787 H. he built a fortified town in a place called Babūlī* which is seven krohs from Badāon and is better [Page 336] known as Mawās, and gave it the name of Fīrūzpūr, and since in later times no other building was ever erected by the Sultān it became commonly known as Ākhirīnpūr. Now-a-days although not a trace of that building remains, still from the old bricks and the foundations and general lie of that high ground it evident that once upon a time there was a building on that site. The age of the Sultān was now nearly ninety years, and how truly had these verses come to pass—
At this time such a famine and pestilence fell upon Dihli that the city was utterly ruined, and those of the inhabitants who were left died, while for two whole months not a bird moved a wing in Dihli. In this interval Sultān Nusrat Shāh, who after his defeat by Iqbāl Khān had gone into the Doāb, seeing that he had an open field, went first to Mīrath and thence to Fīrūzābād, and fortified the city of Dihli. ‘Ādil Khān and the other folk who had escaped from the hands of the Mughuls, coming out of the various holes and corners where they had been hiding, gathered round him; when he had got together this company he nominated Shihāb Khān to proceed to Baran against Iqbāl Khān. Whilst he was on the way, a body of Hindūs attacked Shihāb Khān suddenly by night, and raised him to the dignity of martyrdom. Iqbāl Khān with great energy and promptitude obtained possession of his elephants and army, so that from day to day his power increased, while the affairs of Nusrat Shāh, became more and more entangled. Iqbāl Khān leaving Baran, started in the direction of Dihli, and Nusrat Shāh leaving Fīrūzābād made for Mīwāt where he died, and the four quarters of Hindustān came under the domi-nion of Maliks of the various tribes.
And in the year 811 H. (1408 A.D.) Sultān Mahmūd proceeding to Hissār Fīrūz took it from Qiwām Khān to whom Khizr Khān had given it, and having taken possession of it, on arriving at the village of Rata turned back towards Dihli: Khizr Khān then [Page 365] came by way of Rohtak with a large army from Fathābād to oppose Sultān Mahmūd, and laid siege to Dihli, but was not able to maintain the siege by reason of the severe famine which prevailed in Dihli, then having taken possession of the Doāb he returned to Fathpūr.
In the year 814 H. (1411 A.D.) Khizr Khān came to Narnūl and Mīwāt and ravaged that country, and blockading Sultān [Page 366] Mahmūd in the fortress of Sīrī, which is part of Dihli, and Ikhtiyār Khān in Fīrozābād, and fighting several fierce battles, was prevented from maintaining the siege by reason of the dearness of grain, and returned to Fathpūr by way of Pānīpath.
And in the year 827 H. (1423 A.D.) he again ordered an expe-dition towards the hills of Kumāon and Kaithar, on returning whence he laid waste Mīwāt. In this year a severe famine occurred throughout the whole of Hindūstān. In the year 829 H. he again proceeded towards Mīwāt and reduced the fortresses of Indor and Alwar.
And after the rainy season in the year 900 H.(1494 A.D.) he set out with the object of chastising the rebels of Patna, and great slaughter took place and many prisoners were taken; from thence he proceeded to Jaunpūr. In this expedition very many [Page 416] horses were lost, hardly one in ten remaining alive; the zemīn-dārs of Patna and others wrote and informed Sultān Husain Sharqī of the loss of the horses, and of the scarcity of supplies in Sultān Sikandar's army, and invited him (to advance). Sultan Husain col-lected an army, and marched from Behār with a hundred elephants against Sultān Sikandar, who for his part crossed the Ganges by the ford of Kantit and came to Chenār and from thence to Banāras. Sultān Husain had arrived within seventeen krohs of Banāras when Sultān Sikandar marched against him rapidly. In the midst of his march Sālbāhan the Rāja of Patna, who was a trusty zemīndār, left Sultān Husain and joined Sultān Sikandar.
Sultān Husain drew up in line of battle, but suffered defeat and retired towards Patna. Sultān Sikandar left the camp, and pursued him with a hundred thousand light cavalry; while thus engaged he learned that Sultān Husain had gone to Bihār. After nine days Sultān Sikandar arrived, and joining his camp set out for Bihār. Sultān Husain, leaving his deputy in Bihār, could not remain there, but proceeded to Khul Gānw one of the depen-dencies of Lakhnautī, and Bihār fell into the hands of Sikandar's troops. Thence the Sultān proceeded to Tirhut and conquered it.
In this year great scarcity and dearth occurred in the camp of the Sultān; orders were promulgated remitting the cus-tomary tribute of grain in all provinces, in fact they were entirely abolished. From thence he came to the township of Sāran, and divided that district among his own followers in perpetuity, and came by way of Mahlīgarh to Jaunpūr, and having spent six months there proceeded to Panna.
Bābar Pādishāh after gaining this signal victory departed thence, and reached Dihli on the same day and encamped there. He then caused the Khutbah to be read in his name, despatching Shāhzāda Muhammad Humāyūn Mīrzā and all the Amīrs to Āgra, with orders to make forced marches, and to seize the treasure belonging to Ibrāhīm, which was of untold value, and divide it among the soldiery.
This event took place in the year 932 H. (1525 A.D.), and the Hindūs invented this date Shahīd shudan-i-Ibrāhīm(the martyr-dom of Ibrāhīm) to commemorate it. From that time the empire once more passed from the Afghān Lodī family, and rested on the descendants of Amīr Tīmūr Sāhibqirān. The duration of the reign of Sultān Ibrāhīm was nine years.
Muhammad Humāyūn Pādshāh, considering that it would be dis-graceful to go up against Sultān Bahādur and engage his attention [Page 454] while he was engaged in the siege of Chitor, halted at Sārang-pūr. Sultān Bahādur meanwhile forcibly reduced the fort of Chitor, after which he engaged in war with Pādshāh (Humāyūn) for a space of two months in the neighbourhood of Mandsūr, a dependency of Mālwa, but owing to the fact that no supplies of grain could reach the camp of Bahādur, man and beast died from starvation, and Bahādur with five of his most trusty Amīrs left the royal tent by the rear door and fled towards Mandsūr. The following verse commemorates the date of this event:—
The climate of Bangāla proved so extremely suitable to Humāyūn, that he changed the name of Gaur to Jannatābād (The realm of Paradise), and having halted there for (two or) three months returned. In the meanwhile Shīr Khān's affair was assuming large proportions, and his following was increasing. He wrote a letter to Humāyūn, saying, ‘all these Afghāns are the servants and retainers of His Majesty the King, and beg to be granted jāgīrs, if the king will think about a jāgīr for them, then it will be well, but if not, hunger will drive them to open revolt. Up to the present time I have kept them in check, but now they no longer obey me, and the proverb is well-known. The hungry man will throw himself upon the sword. For the rest whatever the king says is law.’
Humāyūn, when he grasped the contents of the letter, saw clearly what its object was, and seeing that the opportunity had passed by, and considering the bareness of equipment and inefficiency of his army, which had recently been doubled, many horses and camels having died, while the remainder were so jaded and emaciated that they were of no use whatever, he set about devising some remedial measures. Mīrzā Hindāl, who had accompanied the king as far as Mongīr, was despatched to Āgra to put down the rebellion of Muhammad Sultān Mīrzā, Ulugh Mīrzā, and Shāh Mīrzā, who had fled and had done great mischief in the Dihli country, and were now returning. Muhammad Zamān Mīrzā, after that Sultān Bahādur was drowned in the sea owing to the treachery of the Firangīs, could not accomplish anything, and again sought refuge with Humāyūn.
When Mīrzā Haidar arrived at Naushahra which is a well-known place, he entered that country with the concurrence of certain Kashmīrīs and conquered it: and on the 22nd of Rajab of this same year he gained possession of that country. Khwāja Kalān Bēg had gone to Sīālkot. When tidings reached the king that Shīr Khān had crossed the river at Sultānpūr and had arrived within thirty krohs of Lāhor, Humāyūn, on the first of the month of Rajab in the aforesaid year, crossed the river of Lāhor, and Mīrzā Kāmrān, after breaking his solemn vows, agreed for certain reasons to accompany Humāyūn as far as the neighbourhood of Bahīra, and Khwāja Kalān Bēg made forced marches from Sīālkot, and joined Humāyūn's camp. Mīrzā Kāmrān together with Mīrzā ‘Askarī, separating from the king, proceeded in com-pany with Khwāja Kalān Bēg towards Kābul, while Humāyūn proceeded towards Sind. Mīrzā Hindāl, and Mīrzā Yādgār Nāzir also, after accompanying him for a few stages, left him, and after a few days returned, by the counsel of Amīr Abūl Baqā. On the banks of the Indus such great scarcity prevailed in the camp of Humāyūn, that one sīrof the smaller millet could sometimes not be bought even for an ashrafī. The greater part of the army perished owing to this scarcity, while others died from want of water, till at last Humāyūn with a small number passed on to the districts of Jaisalmīr, and the country of Mārwār, where strange incidents [Page 466] occurred. After undergoing great hardships and distress, which it is the invariable custom of the Heavens to inflict, he betook himself to ‘Irāq and having obtained reinforcements, Shāh Tahmāsp gained possession of Qandahār and Kābul, and collect-ing a great army re-conquered Hindūstān. This exploit will be described in its proper place if the Most High God will it so.
And in the year 954 H. (1547 A.D.) an Afghān named Usmān, whose hand Sazāwal Khān had cut off for some reason, one day laid an ambush in Āgra, and at the entrance to a road aimed a blow at Sazāwal Khān and wounded him. Sazāwal Khān went to the camp, and represented that this attack had been made at the instance of Salīm Shāh, he then took his way to Mālwa. Islem Shāh pursued him as far as Bānswāla, but seeing that Sazāwal Khān was hidden among the Zamīndārs of Sarūr, Salīm Shāh left ‘Īsa Khān Sūr with twenty thousand cavalry in Ujjain, and reached the capital. In the early part of his reign Islem Shāh detailed five thousand cavalry for the chief sarkārs of Hindūstān. Among them Mubāriz Khān, the son of Nizām Khān Sūr, who was the cousin and wife's brother of Islem Shāh, and eventually received the title of Muhammad ‘Adilī, was appointed as a commander of twenty thousand to the vicinity of Ajāwan in the Sarkār of Sanbal, in order that Khawāss Khān and the other Amīrs might not be able to raise disturbances in that province, and he appointed as his deputy Pābandh Khazak. He had also given orders at the beginning of his reign, that between every two resthouses built by Shir Shāh, which were at intervals of one kroh, another rest-house of the same pattern should be built, with a temple, and a dwelling-place, and a conduit for water, and that a buttery and kitchen containing food both cooked and uncooked, for the use of travellers, both Hindū and Musulmān, should be [Page 496] always open. Among other commands of his was this, that the madad-i-ma‘ash and aimah grants of the whole of the protected provinces of Hindūstān which Shīr Shāh had given, and the rest-houses which he had furnished, and the pleasure-gardens he had laid out, should remain just as they were, and should not be altered in the slightest degree. Another order was, that all the Pātars should be taken by force from those Amīrs who kept Akhāras (these are well known in Hindūstān). He also seized the elephants in the same manner, and did not leave in the posses-sion of any one any but a wretched female elephant fit only for carrying baggage, and gave orders that the red tent was con-fined solely to his own use. Another order was this, that he brought the whole country under his own personal control, and in accordance with the regulations and custom of the dāghī system which Shīr Shāh had instituted, the soldiery were paid in cash. A further step was to send written orders to all the Sarkārs containing comprehensive instructions on all important points of religion, and all political and civil questions, entering into the minutest essential detail, and dealing with all regulations which might be of service to the soldiery and civil population, to the merchants and other various classes, and which the authori-ties were bound to follow in their jurisdiction.
Abandoning the customs of his forefathers, and giving up his claims as a Shaikh and a leader of religion, trampling under foot his self-esteem and conceit, he devoted himself to the care of the poor of his own neighbourhood, and with the utmost self-mortifi-cation and humility gave himself up to the service of those whom he had formerly vexed, and abandoning his madad-i-maāsh and his alms-house and monastery, entering the valley of self-renunciation and abnegation, bestowed all his worldly possessions [Page 510] even to his books upon the poor, and said to his wife, “The pains of the search after God have gotten hold of me, if thou canst endure poverty and hunger come with me in God's name, but if not take thy portion of these goods; and take the reins of choice into thine own hands, and go thy way.”
Then approaching Mīyān ‘Abdu-llah, with all respectful sub-mission to him, he took instruction in the ceremonial observance of Zikr in the manner which obtains among that sect.
The interpretations of the Qur‘ān, and the delicate points and minutiæ and true meanings of that sacred book were easily revealed to him, and a large number of the friends and com-panions who were in accord with him, and believed in him, some of them unmarried and some with families, chose companionship with him even at the risk of their lives, and following the path of his guidance with the foot of reliance in God, three hundred householders, abandoning all other source of gain and traffic, agriculture and skilled labour, spent their time with him. And whenever anything was given by Providence they used to divide it justly, apportioning to each individual an equal share. If nothing came, comforting themselves with the sacred word, “Men whom neither merchandise nor selling divert from the remembrance of God,” even had they died of hunger,they would not have uttered a sound, and if any person abandoning his vow made according to their mutual compact engaged in any lucrative occupation, of a surety he would expend a tithe of it in the [Page 511] service of Almighty God. Twice daily after the morning prayer and another prayer, great and small would gather in that assembly, and listen to an exposition of the Qur‘ān. Shaikh ‘Alāī had such a marvellous power of attraction that when he was expounding the Qur‘ān almost every one who heard him, of his own accord withheld his hand from all worldly occupation, and elected to join that assembly, abandoning his family and relations and children, enduring the hardships of poverty, hunger and religious warfare never troubled himself again about his work or gains; and if he had not that degree of fortitude, his penitence and repentance of his sins and iniquities would certainly have availed nothing, while many a one thought it his duty to empty his cooking vessels at nightfall of all the necessities of life even to salt and flour and water, and let them remain upside down, and they kept nothing in the way of means of existence by them, from their extreme faith in the providence of Almighty God, and the saying “Each new day brings a new provision” was the basis of their practice.
Who was the son of Nizām Khān Sūr, and went by the name of Mubāriz Khān, ascended the throne with the concurrence of the principal Amīrs and Vazīrs, and caused himself to be ad- dressed by the above title. The general public however used to call him ‘Adlī, and that name even* they perverted to Andhlī which has the commonly accepted signification of “blind.” At the commencement of his reign, having heard of the conduct of Muhammad ‘Ādil ibn Tughlaq Shāh, he used to imitate him in lavishing money, and having opened the doors of his treasury he [Page 537] aimed at securing the goodwill of great and small: and he had made arrows tipped with gold of a money value of five hundred tankahs and used to throw them. Whatever poor person's house they used to fall at, he then bestowed that amount in money upon him and used to take back the katība-bāsh, this fitful habit however quickly came to an end after a few days.
The rank of Vazīr and Vakīl was bestowed upon one Shamsher Khān, a slave who was the younger brother of Khawass Khān and Daulat Khān, the “new-Muslim,” a protégé of the Luhānī faction. He also gave uncontrolled authority to Hīmūn the greengrocer, of the township of Rewārī in Mīwāt,whom Islem Shāh had gradually elevated from the position of police superin-tendent of the bāzārs and confirmer of punishments, and had by degrees made into a trusted confidant. He now gave him the superintendence of all important affairs both military and civil.
Ibrāhim Khān after this defeat, leaving Kalpī made straight for Baiāna with all speed, and Hīmūn pursuing him arrived at Baiāna. Ibrāhīm Khān taking a body of the Nuhānī and Afghān cultivators and landholders of Baiāna, again went out to meet Hīmūn, and, making a night attack upon him, the following morning fought a fierce battle with him near to the township of Khānwah, ten krohs distant from Baiāna, but could not prevail against his destiny, and Hīmūn said ‘It is easy to smite a stricken foe’ and rolled him up and inflicted a defeat upon him, so that he was compelled to fortify himself in the fortress of Baiāna, which is a fort of exceeding loftiness and strength. Hīmūn thereupon, making that fortress the centre of his opera-tions tions, attacked it continuously every day, subjecting the fort to a heavy bombardment; Ghāzī Khān the father of Ibrāhīm Khān kept the fort provided with supplies by way of the mountain passes to the westward of Baiāna. Hīmūn kept up the siege of this fort for three months, and made inroads on the districts of Baiāna on all sides, pillaging and destroying. Nearly all the books which my late father possessed in Banāwar were des-troyed troyed. A severe famine prevailed throughout the eastern portion of Hindūstān, especially in Āgra, Baiāna,and Dihli. It was so severe a famine that one ser of jawārī grain had reached two half-tankahs,and was in fact not to be had (even at that price). Men of wealth and position had to close their houses, and died by tens or twenties or even more in one place, getting neither grave* nor shroud. The Hindūs also were in the same [Page 550] plight, and the bulk of the people were fain to live on the seeds of the Mughailān thorn and on wild herbs, also on the skins of the oxen which the rich slaughtered and sold from time to time; after a few days their hands and feet swelled*and they died. As a date for that year the phrase Khashm-i-Īzad* (Divine wrath) was invented. The writer of these pages with these guilty eyes of his saw man eating his fellow-man in those terrible days. So awful was their aspect that no one dared let his glance rest upon them; and the greater part of that country, what with scarcity of rain, and shortness of grain, and desolation, and what with the constant struggle and turmoil,and two years continual anarchy and terror, was utterly ruined, the peasantry and tenants disappeared, and lawless crowds attacked the cities of the Muslims. Among the strange incidents of the year 962 H., during the time of the war between Sikandar and Ibrāhīm, was the fire which occurred in the fort of Āgra. The following is a short account of this incident. During the time when Āgra was emptied of the troops of ‘Adlī, one of the Amīrs of Ghāzī Khān Sūr entered the fort of Āgra and took up his abode there, to make certain preparations and to take charge of the supplies; while he was engaged in inspecting the rooms of the warehouses, he happened to go early one morning into one of the rooms, and was going round carrying an open lamp, a spark from which fell in one of the rooms which was full of [Page 551] gun powder. In the twinkling of an eye an explosion occurred, and the flames shot up to the sky, attended with a violent shock, which led the people of the city to imagine that the judgment-day had arrived, and starting from their sleep they began repeating the formula of Tauhīd(Declaration of Unity), and Tauba(Repen-tance), and Istighfār(seeking for pardon). Heavy slabs of stone and massive pillars were hurled through the air to a distance of several krohs across the river Jamna, and great number of people were killed, in fact human hands and feet, and the limbs of all kinds of animals were thrown five or six krohs. As the name of the citadel of Āgra was originally Badal Garh, the words Ātash-i-Badal garh made a chronogram to record the date.
In the days when Hīmūn blockaded the fortress of Baiāna God's people were crying for bread and taking each other's lives, a hundred thousand sacred lives were as nought for a single grain of barley, whereas the elephants of Hīmūn's army, which numbered five-hundred, were fed solely upon rice, and oil, and sugar; the senses were shattered by anguish upon anguish in that terrible time:—
On one occasion Hīmūn was one day presiding at a public banquet, and summoning the Afghān Amīrs into his presence, [Page 552] to the head of the table urged them to partake of food, saying: “Help yourselves to the largest morsels,” and if he saw anyone of them eating slowly no matter who he was, he would address him in terms of the foulest abuse saying: “How can such a nondescript nonentity as you who are sluggish in eating your victuals hope to contend against your own son-in-law the Mughul in battle.” As the fall of the Afghān power was near at hand, they had not the courage to say a word to that foul infidel, and laying aside all that disregard of superior force* for which they were renowned, swallowed his insults* like sweetmeats, either from fear or hope,* this had become a regular practice with them.
In this year, 948 H., Humāyūn married Hamīda Bānū Begam, and coming to Pāntar returned to Lohrī. Mīrzā Hindāl started for Qandahār in answer to the summons of Qarācha Beg, the governor of that district, and Yādgār Nāsir Mīrzā, who had encamped at a distance of ten krohs from (Humāyūn's)camp also intended to proceed to Qandahār. Humāyūn thereupon sent Mīr Abūl-Baqā, who was one of the most distinguished of the learned men of the time, Persian commentator on Mīr Saiyyid Sharīf, and author of other compositions, to advise him and dissuade him from his purpose. At the time of crossing the river a party sallied out from the fortress of Bakkar and rained showers of arrows upon the people in the boats. The sainted Mīr was struck by the soul-melting arrow of Fate, and was drowned in the ocean of martyrdom. This event took place in the year 948 H. and the chronogram Surūr-i-kāināt was invented to commemorate it.
Mīrzā Yadgār Nādir hearkened to this advice and counsel and remained in Bakkar, and Humāyūn proceeded to Tatta, where-upon many of his soldiers left his camp and joined Mīrzā (Yādgār) and spent their days in comfort by reason of the increased pay they received. In this way Mīrzā gathered strength, and Humāyūn crossing the river laid siege to the fortress of Sīyāhwān. Mīrzā Shāh Husain kept sending reinforcements [Page 561] and supplies to the garrison, and embarking on a boat, and coming near to the camp blocked the avenues of supplies (to Humāyūn). The siege lasted for seven months, and victory seemed as far off as ever, while great distress was felt from scarcity of grain* and want of salt.
The soldiers were reduced to such extremities, that they were forced to give up grain and content themselves with the flesh of animals, and finally they had to abandon the hope of even this.
The men of Humāyūn's force were day by day going over to the side of Mīrzā Yādgār Nādir. In the mean-time Maldeo, Rāja of the kingdom of Mārwār, who was distin-guished above all the zamīndārs of Hindūstān on account of the strength of his following and his exceeding grandeur, again sent letters of summons. Humāyūn not thinking it advisable to remain any longer in the vicinity of Bakkar and Tatta, pro-ceeded by way of Jaisalmīr towards Mārwār. The Rāja of [Page 563] Jaisalmīr blocked the road by which his army was to pass, and fought a battle in which he was defeated. In that waterless desert Humāyūn's army suffered terrible distress, so much so that around the wells blood was spilled in place of water among his followers, and most of them from the violence of their thirst cast themselves into the well as though they had been buckets, till it became choked.
In this state of affairs Humāyūn quoted the following matla‘, whoever is the author of it:—
Humāyūn bestowed all that he had in the treasury upon his followers, while to supply the party who had not yet arrived, he borrowed from Tardī Beg and others by way of assistance, and gave it them. He also made presents of money, and sword-belts to the sons of Rānā, who, for the reason that his father had been put to death by Mīrzā Shāh Husain Arghūn, collected a large force from the surrounding country, entered the service of Humāyūn, and leaving his baggage and camp equipage in Amarkot under the care and protection of Khwāja Mu‘zam, the brother of Begam, he(Humāyūn) proceeded towards Bakkar.
On Sunday, the fifth of the month Rajab, in the year 949 H. the auspicious birth of the Khalīfah of the age Akbar Pādshāh occurred in a fortunate moment at Amarkot. Tardī Beg Khān conveyed this joyful tidings to Humāyūn at that halting-place, who after giving (the child) that auspicious name, proceeded [Page 567] with all haste towards Bakkar.
On the morrow when the sun rose, the sombre-fated Qambar, wearing over his head a black blanket which was an emblem of his wretched fate, came out of the city. They seized him as one would a jackal and brought him in, and although ‘Alī Qulī Khān spoke gently to him, saying “Bow thy head, that I may spare thy life,” that madman, fed on dog's brains gave him an abusive answer, so that he was sent to join the dogs of hell. His tomb is well-known in Badāon. He used to spread plentiful feasts and say (to his guests) “Eat! for wealth is the wealth of God, and life is the life of God, and Qambar Dīwāna is the cook of God.”