The Dynasty of Ghiyas-ud-din Tughlaq

In my previous post, we have seen how Sultan Khusru Shah was defeated by Ghazi Malik in the battle fought at Hauz-i-Khas. The high and low of the city hastened to welcome Ghazi Malik and congratulated him on his victory. On the following day, 6th September, 1320, Ghazi Malik set out in triumph to the capital. On reaching the Hazar Sutun of Siri, he dismounted from his horse and prostrated himself by way of thanksgiving to God.

Beginning of a New Dynasty:

Shortly after he assembled the maliks and amirs and said, "1 have been brought up under Sultan Ala-ud-din and Sultan Qutb-ud-din, and in gratitude for their benefactions, and not on account of any greed for rank or wealth, I have drawn my sword against their enemies, and have avenged their wrongs. If you know of any son of our patron's blood, bring him forth immediately, and I will seat him on the throne, and will be the first to tender him my service and devotion. If there is no descendant of theirs left, select any one whom you may deem to be fit to sit on the throne, and to rule the kingdom; and I am ready to serve him". The nobles cried out with one voice that none of the princes were now alive. The nobles then said to him, "You have withstood the attacks of the Mongols since a long time, and have made yourself the shield of the people of Hindustan and have established a great claim on them. Now that you have again done this great deed, and have avenged your benefactors on their enemies, this is a further claim that you have on the gratitude of the nobles, and commons of the land. There is no one fitter than you for sovereignty and for supreme command". Then they took him by the hand and placed him upon the throne. Ghazi Malik Tughlaq thus ascended the throne of Delhi under the title of Sultan-ul Ghazi Ghiyas-ud-dunya Wa-ud-din Tughlaq Shah, in 1320, and founded a new dynasty at Delhi.

Ghiyas-ud-din Tughlaq, founder of the Tughlaq dynasty of Delhi

According to Ibn Battuta, Ghazi Malik was at first reluctant to seat upon the throne and asked Malik Bahram Abiya Kishlu Khan to accept it. Bahram Abiya refused and said, "If you refuse, we will make your son our king". Ghazi Malik did not like the idea. He instantly agreed and ascended the throne. This account seems highly improbable, according to Banarsi Prasad Saksena.

Origin of the Tughlaqs:

Shamsi-Siraj says that the three brothers: Tughlaq, Rajab and Abu Bakr; came from Khorasan to Delhi during the reign of Ala-ud-din Khilji. All three were taken into the service of the court and the Sultan observing their courage and energy and conferred upon Tughlaq the country of Dipalpur (now in Punjab, Pakistan), and employed all the brothers in public business. According to Ibn Battuta, Sultan Tughlaq was a man of humble origin. He belonged to the race of Qarauna Turk, who lived in the mountains lying between Sindh and Turkestan. He came to Sindh in the service of a certain merchant, as his horse keeper, in the reign of Sultan Ala-ud-din Khilji [Jalal-ud-din Khilji]. Tughlaq entered the service of Ulugh Khan, Ala-ud-din's brother and the governor of Sindh, who enlisted him in the infantry. Afterwards he was enrolled in the cavalry. Later Ulugh Khan made him the Amir-i-Akhur. Then he rose to become one of the great amirs and was named Malik-ul-Ghazi.

Nizamuddin Ahmad says that Ghazi Malik was the chieftain of a tribe [called Tughlaq]. Some historians opinion that Tughlaq was not a tribal name, but the personal name of the Sultan. Muhammad's coins bear Muhammad bin Tughlaq (Muhammad, the son of Tughlaq).

The father of Ghazi Malik, Malik Tughlaq, was a slave of Sultan Balban, and his mother was a woman of the Jat tribe of Lahore. After searching for livelihood in Delhi for a considerable time, he was taken into the service of the imperial guard by Sultan Jalal-ud-din Khilji. "The late Sultan Jalal-ud-din Khilji raised me from a humble post to a position near to himself and I guarded him sleeplessly with my sword, sharp as a diamond". After Jalal-ud-din's death, he entered the service of Ulugh Khan and became his personal attendant. He won his first distinction during the siege of  Ranthambore under Ulugh Khan. When Ulugh Khan died, he joined the service of Sultan Ala-ud-din. "Whatever promotions I have received since then have been due to that great monarch". Ibn Battuta mentions an inscription which he saw on the Jami mosque at Multan, which had been constructed by Sultan Tughlaq, "I have fought twenty-nine battles with the Mongols and have defeated them. Hence I have been named Malik-ul-Ghazi". In Barani's history we hear of him for the first time in the reign of Ala-ud-din Khilji; he informs that Ghazi Malik, the governor of Lahore and Dipalpur, plundered many Mongol provinces, and laid them under heavy contributions. Sultan Qutub-ud-din retained Ghazi Malik in that post.

Rulers of the Tughlaq Dynasty:

1. Ghiyas-ud-din Tughlaq (1320-1325): Ghiyas-ud-din was the founder of the Tughlaq dynasty at Delhi. He died in an accident in 1325.

2. Muhammad Tughlaq, Son of Ghiyas-ud-din Tughlaq (1325-1350): Muhammad was one of the most controversial rulers in Indian history.

3. Firoz Shah Tughlaq, Cousin of Muhammad (1351-1388): Firoz Shah was the last powerful ruler of the Tughlaq dynasty. He was a pious and generous ruler and also a great builder.

Weak Successors of Firoz Shah:

4. Ghiyas-ud-din Tughlaq II, a Grandson of Firoz Shah (1388-1389)

5. Abu Bakr Shah, a Grandson of Firoz Shah (1389-1390)

6. Muhammad Shah, Son of Firoz Shah (1390-1394)

7. Ala-ud-din Sikandar Shah, a Grandson of Firoz Shah (1394)

8. Nasir-ud-din Mahmud Shah, Son of Muhammad Shah (1394-1412): During Mahmud's reign Timur invaded India and sacked Delhi in 1398.

9. Nasir-ud-din Nusrat Shah, a Grandson of Firoz Shah (1394)