Farrukhsiyar

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Farrukhsiyar
Farrúkh Síyár on horseback with attendants.jpg
Flag of the Mughal Empire (triangular).svg 10th Mughal Emperor
Reign 11 January 1713 – 28 February 1719
Predecessor Jahandar Shah
Successor Rafi Ul-Darjat
Spouse Nawab Gauhar-un-Nissa Begum
Indira Kanwar
Issue Badshah Begum, Mughal Empress
Full name
Abu'l Muzaffar Muin ud-din Muhammad Shah Farrukh-siyar Alim Akbar Sani Wala Shan Padshah-i-bahr-u-bar
House Timurid
Father Azim-ush-Shan
Mother Sahiba Nizwan
Born 20 August 1685
Aurangabad, Mughal Empire
Died 29 April 1719 (aged 33)
Delhi, Mughal Empire
Burial Humayun's Tomb, Delhi
Religion Islam

Abu'l Muzaffar Muin ud-din Muhammad Shah Farrukh-siyar Alim Akbar Sani Wala Shan Padshah-i-bahr-u-bar [Shahid-i-Mazlum] (or Farrukhsiyar, 20 August 1685 – 19 April 1719) was the Mughal emperor between 1713 and 1719. Noted as a handsome ruler he was easily swayed by his advisers, he lacked the ability, knowledge and character to rule independently.

His reign witnessed the primacy of the Sayyid Brothers who became the effective powers of the land, behind the façade of Mughal rule. His constant plotting eventually led the Sayyid Brothers to officially depose him.

Early life[edit]

Farrukhsiyar first married Nawab Fakhr-un-Nisa Begum Sahiba, daughter of Mir Muhammad Taqi Husaini, a Kashmiri nobleman from the Marashi clan, sometime prior to December 1715. In September 1715, Farrukhsiyar married Indira Kanwar, daughter of Maharaja Ajit Singh of Jodhpur.

Reign[edit]

Silver rupee of Farrukh-siyar, issue from Etawah mint

Jahandar Shah was defeated at the Second Battle of Samugarh near Agra on 10 January 1713. Following this, the Sayyid Brothers, helped Farrukhsiyar to secure his throne. He took the throne On 11 January 1713, at the age of 27. Farrukhsiyar had the incumbent Mughal Grand Vizier Zulfiqar Khan Nusrat Jung, Jahandar Shah and his wife Lal Kunwar, and several nobles executed. In the year 1713, Farrukhsiyar wrongfully ordered the execution of the Mughal poet laureate Jafar Zattalli, for composing poems that may have indirectly objected his regime.

Farrukhsiyar receiving Husain Ali Khan, ca. 1715

Farrukhsiyar's reign marked the ascendancy of the Syed Brothers particularly Syed Hassan Ali Khan Barha, who was chosen as the Grand Vizier of the Mughal Empire, he is accused of monopolizing state power and reduced the Emperor to an effective figurehead. Farrukhsiyar was also a very manipulative he would spend most of his reign trying to bribe notable Mughal servicemen to overthrow the Syed Brothers, among those to fall victims to such schemes was the courageous Daud Khan Panni, Asaf Jah I refused to involve in any internal conflict and was disfavored by Farrukhsiyar.

In the year 1713, Mubariz Khan, had been appointed Subedar of the Deccan by Mughal Emperor Farrukhsiyar, he had successfully restored law and order in the Deccan.

Ajit Singh of Marwar portrayed here with his six sons had his daughter to marry the Mughal Emperor Farrukhsiyar in December 1715.

In the year 1714, Ibrahim Khan the Mughal Faujdar of Ghoraghat and Dhaka once again defeated Yanja Narayan an ally of Druk Rabgye the ruler of Bhutan and consolidated territories for the Mughal Empire in Koch Bihar particularly at Karjihat, Kakina and Fatehpur Chakla.

The Sikh leader Banda was finally dealt with, when the experienced Mughal commander Abdus Samad Khan Bahadur and his son Zakariya Khan Bahadur including Zain ud-din Ahmad Khan the new Faujdar of Sirhind with 7000 troops, Qamar-ud-Din Khan Bahadur with 20,000 troops, had him surrounded during the Siege of Gurdaspur. Although Banda's followers ferociously resisted their escape attempts were constantly foiled and after an 8 month siege by the Mughal Army, the Sikhs surrendered on 17 December 1715. Banda and his followers were then taken to Delhi and executed by the orders of Mughal Emperor Farrukhsiyar in the year 1716.[1]

In the year 1716, Murshid Quli Khan, a very influential Mughal serviceman since the days of Aurangzeb emerged to become the first Nawab of Bengal, he had established a sophisticated taxation and administrative system, which was probably the best in the empire and contributed a hefty tribute of 10 million dams per year to the Mughal imperial court.


In the year 1718, the highly capable Noor Mohammad Kalhoro emerged as the Subedar of Sindh and was given the imperial title Khuda-Yar Khan, by Farrukhsiyar.

Foreign relations[edit]

Farrukhsiyar, is also known to have sent a letter to the Ottomans which was received by the Grand Vizier of the Ottoman Sultan Ahmad III, providing a graphic description of the informing him of the efforts of the Mughal commander Syed Hassan Ali Khan Barha against the Rajput and Maratha rebellion.[2]

Trade concessions[edit]

This miniature is an elegant moonlit portrait of Muhammad Farrukh Siyar Padshah smoking a hookah with a female attendant

It was during Farrukhsiyar's reign, in 1717, that the British East India Company purchased duty-free trading rights in all of Bengal for a mere three thousand rupees a year. It is said that the Company's surgeon, William Hamilton, cured Farrukhsiyar and the Emperor was moved to grant trading rights to the Company.[3] Another story tells of a bribe to a eunuch of the seraglio and a rumoured British Naval attack on the Moghul navy at Surat.[4] This order, which the Company hailed as the golden firman, was not of much practical use. Even though the Company claimed duty exemptions based on this firman, the Mughal governors of Bengal, from Murshid Quli Khan onwards, ignored this order of their suzerain and continued to collect customs duty from the East India Company.

Coup against Farrukhsiyar[edit]

Emperor Farrukhsiyar on his balcony, ca 1715–1719, Bibliothèque nationale de France, Paris.

In the year 1718, Farrukhsiyar began to amass a Mughal Army of 70,000 in Delhi he had invited Asaf Jah I from Moradabad and Sarbuland Khan from Bihar, they however declined to fight against the Sayyid Brothers.

Fearing a coup Syed Hassan Ali Khan Barha desperately recalled his brother Syed Hussain Ali Khan Barha from campaigns in the Deccan against the Marathas. Syed Hussain Ali Khan Barha, then arrived with 25,000 battle-ready Mughal troops and outraged the entire Mughal Empire when he brought 10,000 Maratha combatants as his reinforcements.

During tense negotiations Farrukhsiyar and the Sayyid Brothers agreed to release each other's political prisoners and redeploy their forces for the defence of the Mughal Empire in February 1719, but Farrukhsiyar's demands were rejected and was then overthrown by forces led by Syed Hassan Ali Khan Barha during a night battle.

Death[edit]

Farrukhsiyar met a humiliating and bloody end, his constant plotting eventually led the Sayyid Brothers to officially depose him as the Emperor. Farrukhsiyar was imprisoned and starved; later, on 28 February 1719, he was blinded with needles at the orders of the Sayyid Brothers. Farrukhsiyar was strangled to death on the night of 27/28 April 1719. After accomplishing his assassination, the Sayyid Brothers placed his first-cousin, Rafi Ul-Darjat on the throne. Rafi-ud-durjat's father and Farukhsiyar's father had been brothers.

Legacy[edit]

The town of Farrukhnagar in Gurgaon district, 32 km south of Delhi, was rechristened after his name, during his reign, here he built a Sheesh Mahal and also a Jama Masjid mosque.

Notes[edit]

  1. ^ Frances Pritchett. "XIX. A Century of Political Decline: 1707–1803". Columbia.edu. Retrieved 29 April 2012. 
  2. ^ Mughal-Ottoman relations: a study of political & diplomatic relations ... – Naimur Rahman Farooqi. Books.google.com. Retrieved 29 April 2012. 
  3. ^ A Guide Book.Calcutta, Agra, Delhi, Karachi and Bomabay. The American Redcross of the China-Burma-India Command.
  4. ^ The History of British India By James Mill and Horace Hayman Wilson

External links[edit]

Preceded by
Jahandar Shah
Mughal Emperor
1713–1719
Succeeded by
Rafi Ul-Darjat