Ghiyath al-Din Tughluq
Ghiyas ud-Din Tughluq (Urdu: غیاث الدین تغلق, Hindi: ग़ियास अल-दीन तुग़लुक़), also known as Ghazi Malik (Urdu: غازی ملِک, Hindi: ग़ाज़ी मलिक; died in c.1325) was the founder and first ruler of the Muslim Tughluq dynasty (of Turkic origin) in India, who reigned over the Sultanate of Delhi (Sep, 08, 1320 – Feb, 1325). He has been the founder of the third city of Delhi called Tughluqabad. His reign, however, was cut short after just 5 years, when he was buried in a roof collapse. Whether this was truly an accident or a covert assassination by his son is not entirely clear. Ghiyath al-Din Tughluq was a provincial governor of the Khaljis, who saw an opportunity to seize power amidst the chaos and lack of central authority after the death of Mubarak Khan. He quickly restored stability and embarked upon a campaign of expansion, advancing into the Deccan and Bengal.
Origin of The Tughlaqs
Ghiyas ud-Din Tughluq, born of a Turk father and Hindu mother, was in origin a poor Qarauna. His father was a Turk and mother was a captured war booty slave Hindu Jat forced to convert to Islam. It is a generally held notion among the scholars that the name 'Tughlaq' belonged to Gujjar tribe or clan from which came the founder of the Tughlaq dynasty, Ghiyas-ud-din Tughlaq. Ghazi Malik or Ghiyas-ud-din Tughlaq came from an obscure tribe 'Qaraunah' the origin and development of which is a matter of conjecture among the historians. Traveler Ibn Batuta discards that fact that 'Qaraunah' was a Mongol or a Turkic tribe, although he generally accepts that the Tughlaqs originally belonged to that tribe. Another traveler of international repute Marco Polo ascribes the 'Qaraunah' tribe to a mixed breed which developed exclusively in India. while some other scholars hold the theory that he actually belonged to the Sassanian kings of Iran which off course a less unanimous view.. in fact through the course of Sultanate period what baffles the historians is the origins and backgrounds of the sultans of the successive dynasties which are shrouded in mystery and obscurity due to paucity of evidence.
Ghiyath's policy was harsh against Mongols. He had killed envoys of the Ilkhan Oljeitu and punished Mongol prisoners harshly. He had fought various campaigns against the Mongols defeating them in 1305 at the Battle of Amroha. Towards the end of his reign Alauddin Khilji had prepared an expedition of 10,000 men under Ghazi Malik to go to Debalpur to fight against the Chagatai Khanate Mongols. Ghazi Malik was thus enabled to go and secure Multan, Uch and Sindh for himself, especially as Aláuddín Khilji’s sons proved incapable and caused confusion in the affairs of the kingdom, which ultimately took away the kingdom from the possession of the house of Khiljí. Alauddin Khilji’s son Qutb ud din Mubarak Shah, allegedly, a mad man, was removed from the throne of Delhi by Khusro Khan. The nobles of the state then put Khusro Khan on the throne. The latter became unpopular with the Muslim nobility due to perceived partiality towards Hindus. Ghazi Malik’s son Fakhr Malik left Delhi secretly and joined his father, informing him of what was happening at Delhi. Then, father and son, collected the forces of Sindh and Multan and hastened to Delhi to overthrow Khusro Khan. Arriving near Delhi with 3,000 veteran soldiers, they engaged in battle against the army of Khusro Khan, and defeated them. Then making their way into Delhi they again defeated Khusro Khan in battle and he fled away. About midnight the ministers and the headmen of the place came to Ghazi Malak and his son in their camp and gave up the keys of the fort. Early in the morning Ghazi Malik entered the city with all the pomp and glory of a King. Then he went into mourning for 3 days for the death of Alauddin Khilji and his son Qutb ud din Mubarak Shah. After these ceremonies were over he issued a proclamation with the view of finding out any member of the family of those princes in order that he might put him on the throne of Delhi. But as no such person could be found on search, the nobles, the troops, the learned men, the Syeds and other subjects united in selecting Ghazi Malik for the vacant post, as it was he who had removed all the cause of quarrel and disturbance in the country. Thus in 1320 (720 A.H.) Ghazi Malik was crowned as the Sultan of Delhi with the title of Ghiyath al-Din Tughluq and his son Fakhr Malik was given the title of Muhammad Shah Tughluq.
When, soon after this, Ghiyath al-Din Tughluq proceeded from Multan to Delhi, the tribe of Soomro revolted and took possession of Thatta. Ghiyath al-Din Tughluq appointed Tajuddin Malik as governor of Multan and Khwájah Khatír as governor of Bhakkar and he left 'Malik Ali Sher in charge of Sehwan. In 1323 he appointed his son Muhammad Shah his heir and successor and took a written promise or agreement to the arrangement from the ministers and nobles of the state. In 1324-1325 (720 A.H.) he died of heat apoplexy.
He had established himself as a great ruler. He removed corrupt officials from his administration. He reformed the judiciary and all existing police departments. He also reduced the land revenue to 1/10 of the produce. He was an efficient administrator and a capable military commander. He introduced a number of reforms for his welfare of his subjects and suppressed revolts in distant provinces.He restored peace and stability in the Delhi Sultanate. Ghiyath al-Din was succeeded by his son Muhammad bin Tughluq.
That son of Ghiyath, Ulugh Khan, ascended the throne in 1325 and took the name Muhammad bin Tughluq. He was perhaps the most remarkable of all the Delhi sultans. He turned his attention towards the south, moving his capital to Devagiri (changing its name to Daulatabadexpnded) and greatly expanding the sultanate deep into peninsular India when he defeated the Hoysalas. However, he had lost much of this territory by the end of his reign as the Vijayanagar empire emerged in 1336. Within his empire, he attempted many reforms, among which was an attempt to issue a fiat currency ... copper coins that were meant to circulate at the value of silver tankas. However, this experiment was abandoned after a few years as there was a flood of counterfeits on the market.
Muhammad was succeeded by his cousin Firuz, who expanded the sultanate into Orissa and Sind. He was also an able administrator, who constructed many public works during his long reign of 37 years. After his death, however, the sultanate fell into disarray as various factions vied for power, setting the stage for the invasion of Timur (Tamerlaine), who slaughtered countless people in his ruthless expedition of looting and plunder.
Death of Ghazi Malik
in A.D 1324 he turned his attention towards Bengal where an independent principality ruled and the sultan aimed at asserting his supremacy over the region and therefore set out in expedition with a large army towards Bengal, having left in charge of the government of Delhi his son Jauna khan(who later ascended to the throne as Muhammad-bin-Tughlaq). The result of this expedition which started in on the month of January, 1324, was a general victory. On his way back to Delhi, the sultan also subjugated king of Tirhut region (N. Bihar). On his return journey he had some alarm of his son's suspicious conducts and about a general disquiet in Delhi. Ibn Batuta gives a lively narration of the events which followed......however, while returning and was near Delhi, he sent an order to build a palace in Afghanpur, before he would reach Delhi. According to Batuta, a wooden palace was constructed under the supervision of sultan's wazir, Ahmad bin Aiyaz and so contrived that when an elephant would pass through that wooden structure, the whole project would tumble down. so it happened, when sultan was requested by Jauna Khan to have the elephant ride past him and he granted,...elephants came from a certain direction and the total construction collapsed upon him and his other son Mahmud. According to Batuta, he heard a huge uproar as he was performing the evening prayer, he left the prayer, came and saw the blunder with the whole structure having tumbled down on sultan, his son and 5-6 of his followers. His son was ordering for some pickaxes and shovels for the quick rescue which was deliberately delayed by the signal of Jauna Khan, who ordered the rescuing process only after the sunset. Whether he was taken out dead or alive then murdered is a matter of debate. His body was carried in the course of night to the tomb beside the city of Tughlaqabad which he had made.The citadel and town of Tughluqabad was built by Ghiyas-ud-Din Tughlaq (r.1320-1325), east of Qutub Minar. The fortress stands on a high outcrop of rock with rubble built walls, surviving intact all along the 7 km perimeter, with a vast reservoir on the south. The fortress was divided into three sections-the citadel, the palace and the city. All that remains of the complex of palaces, houses and halls is a few arches. The citadel has a high masonry mound in the centre known as Vijay mandal (tower of victory). Inscribed below: 'Taglimabad with the Emperor Tagli's Tomb.'
- Peter Jackson, The Delhi Sultanate: A Political and Military History, (Cambridge University Press, 1999), 330.
- Tughlaq Shahi Kings of Delhi: Chart The Imperial Gazetteer of India, 1909, v. 2, p. 369..
- Vincent Smith, Template:Google Books, Oxford University Press, pp 81-82, Quote - "Ghiyas ud-din. The new sovereign is said to have been the son of a Turk slave of the Sultan Balban by a Hindu Jat mother."
- Radhey Shyam Chaurasia, History of Medieval India: From 1000 A.D. to 1707 A.D., (Atlantic Publishers, 2002), 50.
- History of medieval India, page 50
- Atlas of World History, General Editor Prof. Jeremy Black, Dorling Kindersley
- Futuh-us-Salatin by Isami, edited by Agha Mahdi Husain and was also published from Aligarh in three volumes (1967-77 ce)
- A Critical Study of Futuh-us-Salatin by Aziz Bano, Head of the Persian Department, Moulana Azad National Urdu University, Hyderabad, India
- Lucy Peck. Delhi - A thousand years of building, Roli Books, ISBN 81-7436-354-8
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