Tarikh-i Firoz Shahi, of Ziaud Din Barni/Shams-i Siraj 'Afif

That's French for "the ancient system," as in the ancient system of feudal privileges and the exercise of autocratic power over the peasants. The ancien regime never goes away, like vampires and dinosaur bones they are always hidden in the earth, exercising a mysterious influence. It is not paranoia to believe that the elites scheme against the common man. Inform yourself about their schemes here.

Re: Tarikh-i Firoz Shahi, of Ziaud Din Barni/Shams-i Siraj '

Postby admin » Mon Nov 22, 2021 4:15 am

Part 2 of 2

16. Formerly the garments of great men were generally made of silk and gold brocades, beautiful but unlawful. Under Divine guidance I ordered that such garments should be worn as are approved by the Law of the Prophet, and that choice should be made of such trimmings of gold brocade, embroidery, or braiding as did not exceed four inches (asabi') in breadth. Whatever was unlawful and forbidden by, or opposed to, the Law was set aside.

Among the gifts which God bestowed upon me. His humble servant, was a desire to erect public buildings. So I built many mosques and colleges and monasteries, that the learned and the elders, the devout and the holy, might worship God in these edifices, and aid the kind builder with their prayers. The digging of canals, the planting of trees, and the endowing with lands are in accordance with the directions of the Law. The learned doctors of the Law of Islam have many troubles; of this there is no doubt. I settled allowances upon them in proportion to their necessary expenses, so that they might regularly receive the income. The details of this are fully set forth in the Wakf-nama.

The one who makes Waqf is called Wakif. Deed is Wakf-nama. According to the accepted view, Wakf is the detention of the property in the ownership of God. ... In simple words, when a person ties up his property to God and keeps the usufruct for the benefit of the public. It may be religious or charitable.

-- Meaning of Wakf in Muslim Law, by WritingLaw.com


The attribution of monuments to the patronage of Firuz Shah raises many questions. A large number of buildings have been attributed to Firuz Shah but only a few of these monuments can be identified today. Those which remain are mostly in ruinous conditions. Only one epigraph which specifically associates the foundation of a monument with Firuz Shah survives. No waqf document from the reign is known to survive although the sultan refers in an edict to a waqf-nama, a document also noted in a historical chronicle of the reign. The historian, Shams al-Din Siraj ‘Afif, describes the revitalization of endowments during his reign but records of these are not extant. In spite of the absence of this critical evidence, however, attributions to Firuz Shah have been made on the basis of references in contemporary literature and the stylistic unity of the architectural forms themselves. Many of these buildings have been neglected in modern scholarship of Tughluq architecture. The structures most frequently discussed by modern art and architectural historians are Firuz Shah’s lat pyramid, an anomalous monument in Indo-Islamic architecture, and the sultan’s tomb at Hauz Khas, referred to as a quintessentially typical sultanate tomb and most representative of Firuz Shah’s use of building materials.

-- The Architecture of Firuz Shah Tughluq, Dissertation Presented in Partial Fulfillment of the Requirements for the Degree Doctor of Philosophy in the Graduate School of The Ohio State University, by William Jeffrey McKibben, B.A., M.A., 1988


Again, by the guidance of God, I was led to repair and rebuild the edifices and structures of former kings and ancient nobles, which had fallen into decay from lapse of time; giving the restoration of these buildings the priority over my own building works. The Masjid-i jami of old Dehli, which was built by Sultan Mu'zzu-d din Sam, had fallen into decay from old age, and needed repair and restoration. I so repaired it that it was quite renovated.

The western wall of the tomb of Sultan Mu'izzu-d din Sara, and the planks of the door, had become old and rotten. I restored this, and, in the place of the balcony, I furnished it with doors, arches, and ornaments of sandalwood.

The minara of Sultan Mu'izzu-d din Sam had been struck by lightning. I repaired it and raised it higher than it was before.

The Hauz-i Shamsi, or tank of Altamsh, had been deprived of water by some graceless men, who stopped up the channels of supply. I punished these incorrigible men severely, and opened again the closed up channels.

The Hauz-i 'Alai, or tank of 'Alau-d din, had no water in it, and was filled up. People carried on cultivation in it, and had dug wells, of which they sold the water. After a generation (karn) had passed I cleaned it out, so that this great tank might again be filled from year to year.

The Madrasa (college) of Sultan Shamsu-d din Altamsh had been destroyed. I rebuilt it, and furnished it with sandal-wood doors. The columns of the tomb, which had fallen down, I restored better than they had been before. When the tomb was built its court (sahn) had not been made curved (kaj), but I now made it so. I enlarged the hewn-stone staircase of the dome, and I re-erected the fallen piers (pushti) of the four towers.

Tomb of Sultan Mu-zzu-d din, son of Sultan Shamsu-d din, which is situated in Malikpur. This had fallen into such ruin that the sepulchres were undistinguishable. I re-erected the dome, the terrace, and the enclosure wall.

Tomb of Sultan Ruknu-d din, son of Shamsu-d din, in Malikpur.  I repaired the enclosure wall, built a new dome, and erected a monastery (khankah).

Tomb of Sultan Jalalu-d din. This I repaired, and I supplied it with new doors.

Tomb of Sultan 'Alau-d din. I repaired this, and furnished it with sandal-wood doors. I repaired the wall of the abdarkhana, and the west wall of the mosque, which is within the college, and I also made good the tesselated pavement (farsh-i ta'shib).

Tomb of Sultan Kutbu-d din and the (other) sons of Sultan 'Alau-d din, viz., Khizr Khan, Shadi Khan, Farid Khan, Sultan Shahabu-d din, Sikandar Khan, Muhammad Khan, 'Usman Khan, and his grandsons, and the sons of his grandsons. The tombs of these I repaired and renovated.

I also repaired the doors of the dome, and the lattice work of the tomb of Shaikhu-l Islam Nizamu-l hakk wau-d din, which were made of sandal-wood. I hung up the golden chandeliers, with chains of gold in the four recesses of the dome, and I built a meeting room, for before this there was none.

Tomb of Malik Taju-l Mulk Kafuri, the great wazir of Sultan 'Alau-d din. He was a most wise and intelligent minister, and acquired many countries, on which the horses of former sovereigns had never placed their hoofs, and he caused the khutba of Sultan 'Alau-d din to be repeated there. He had 52,000 horsemen. His grave had been leveled with the ground, and his tomb laid low. I caused his tomb to be entirely renewed, for he was a devoted and faithful subject.

The Daru'l aman, or House of Rest. This is the bed and resting place of great men. I had new sandal-wood doors made for it, and over the tombs of these distinguished men I had curtains and hangings suspended.

The expense of repairing and renewing these tombs and colleges was provided from their ancient endowments. In those cases where no income had been settled on these foundations in former times for (procuring) carpets, lights, and furniture for the use of travelers and pilgrims in the least of these places, I had villages assigned to them, the revenues of which would suffice for their expenditure in perpetuity.

Jahan-panah. This foundation of the late Sultan Muhammad Shah, my kind patron, by whose bounty I was reared and educated, I restored.

Sultan Muhammad bin Tughlik Shah, the heir apparent, succeeded his father, and ascended the throne at Tughlikabad in the year 725 H. (1325 A.D.)....

The dogmas of philosophers, which are productive of indifference and hardness of heart, had a powerful influence over him. But the declarations of the holy books, and the utterances, of the Prophets, which inculcate benevolence and humility, and hold out the prospect of future punishment, were not deemed worthy of attention. The punishment of Musulmans, and the execution of true believers, with him became a practice and a passion. Numbers of doctors, and elders, and saiyids, and sufis, and kalandars, and clerks, and soldiers, received punishment by his order. Not a day or week passed without the spilling of much Musulman blood, and the running of streams of gore before the entrance of his palace....

If I were to write a full account of all the affairs of his reign, and of all that passed, with his faults and shortcomings, I should fill many volumes. In this history I have recorded all the great and important matters of his reign, and the beginning and the end of every conquest; but the rise and termination of every mutiny, and of events (of minor importance), I have passed over. ***

Sultan Muhammad planned in his own breast three or four projects by which the whole of the habitable world was to be brought under the rule of his servants, but he never talked over these projects with any of his councillors and friends. Whatever he conceived he considered to be good, but in promulgating and enforcing his schemes he lost his hold upon the territories he possessed, disgusted his people, and emptied his treasury. Embarrassment followed embarrassment, and confusion became worse confounded. The ill feeling of the people gave rise to outbreaks and revolts. The rules for enforcing the royal schemes became daily more oppressive to the people. More and more the people became disaffected, more and more the mind of the king was set against them, and the numbers of those brought to punishment increased. The tribute of most of the distant countries and districts was lost, and many of the soldiers and servants were scattered and left in distant lands. Deficiencies appeared in the treasury. The mind of the Sultan lost its equilibrium. In the extreme weakness and harshness of his temper he gave himself up to severity. Gujarat and Deogir were the only (distant) possessions that remained. In the old territories, dependent on Dehli, the capital, disaffection and rebellion sprung up. By the will of fate many different projects occurred to the mind of the Sultan, which appeared to him moderate and suitable, and were enforced for several years, but the people could not endure them. These schemes effected the ruin of the Sultan's empire, and the decay of the people. Every one of them that was enforced wrought some wrong and mischief, and the minds of all men, high and low, were disgusted with their ruler. Territories and districts which had been securely settled were lost. When the Sultan found that his orders did not work so well as he desired, he became still more embittered against his people. He cut them down like weeds and punished them. So many wretches were ready to slaughter true and orthodox Musalmans as had never before been created from the days of Adam. * * * If the twenty prophets had been given into the hands of these minions, I verily believe that they would not have allowed them to live one night....

The first project which the Sultan formed, and which operated to the ruin of the country and the decay of the people, was that he thought he ought to get ten or five per cent, more tribute from the lands in the Doab. To accomplish this he invented some oppressive abwabs (cesses), and made stoppages from the land-revenues until the backs of the raiyats were broken. The cesses were collected so rigorously that the raiyats were impoverished and reduced to beggary. Those who were rich and had property became rebels; the lands were ruined, and cultivation was entirely arrested. When the raiyat in distant countries heard of the distress and ruin of the raiyats in the Doab, through fear of the same evil befalling them, they threw off their allegiance and betook themselves to the jungles. The decline of cultivation, and the distress of the raiyats in the Doab, and the failure of convoys of corn from Hindustan, produced a fatal famine in Dehli and its environs, and throughout the Doab, Grain became dear. There was a deficiency of rain, so the famine became general. It continued for some years, and thousands upon thousands of people perished of want. Communities were reduced to distress, and families were broken up. The glory of the State, and the power of the government of Sultan Muhammad, from this time withered and decayed.

The second project of Sultan Muhammad, which was ruinous to the capital of the empire, and distressing to the chief men of the country, was that of making Deogir his capital, under the title of Daulatabad. This place held a central situation: Dehli, Gujarat, Lakhnauti, Sat-ganw, Sunar-gauw, Tilang, Ma'bar, Dhur-samundar, and Kampila were about equi-distant from thence, there being but a slight difference in the distances. Without any consultation, and without carefully looking into the advantages and disadvantages on every side, he brought ruin upon Dehli, that city which, for 170 or 180 years, had grown in prosperity, and rivaled Baghdad and Cairo. The city, with its sarais and its suburbs and villages, spread over four or five kos. All was destroyed. So complete was the ruin, that not a cat or a dog was left among the buildings of the city, in its palaces or in its suburbs. Troops of the natives, with their families and dependents, wives and children, men-servants and maid-servants, were forced to remove. The people, who for many years and for generations had been natives and inhabitants of the land, were broken-hearted. Many, from the toils of the long journey, perished on the road, and those who arrived at Deogir could not endure the pain of exile. In despondency they pined to death. All around Deogir, which is an infidel land, there sprung up graveyards of Musulmans. The Sultan was bounteous in his liberality and favours to the emigrants, both on their journey and on their arrival; but they were tender, and they could not endure the exile and suffering. They laid down their heads in that heathen land, and of all the multitudes of emigrants, few only survived to return to their home. Thus this city, the envy of the cities of the inhabited world, was reduced to ruin. The Sultan brought learned men and gentlemen, tradesmen and landholders, into the city (Dehli) from certain towns in his territory, and made them reside there. But this importation of strangers did not populate the city; many of them died there, and more returned to their native homes. These changes and alterations were the cause of great injury to the country.

The third project also did great harm to the country. It increased the daring and arrogance of the disaffected in Hindustan, and augmented the pride and prosperity of all the Hindus. This was the issue of copper money. The Sultan, in his lofty ambition, had conceived it to be his work to subdue the whole habitable world and bring it under his rule. To accomplish this impossible design, an army of countless numbers was necessary, and this could not be obtained without plenty of money. The Sultan's bounty and munificence had caused a great deficiency in the treasury, so he introduced his copper money, and gave orders that it should be used in buying and selling, and should pass current, just as the gold and silver coins had passed. The promulgation of this edict turned the house of every Hindu into a mint, and the Hindus of the various provinces coined krors and lacs of copper coins. With these they paid their tribute, and with these they purchased horses, arms, and fine things of all kinds. The rais, the village headmen and landowners, grew rich and strong upon these copper coins, but the State was impoverished. No long time passed before distant countries would take the copper tanka only as copper. In those places where fear of the Sultan's edict prevailed, the gold tanka rose to be worth a hundred of (the copper) tankas. Every goldsmith struck copper coins in his workshop, and the treasury was filled with these copper coins. So low did they fall that they were not valued more than pebbles or potsherds. The old coin, from its great scarcity, rose four-fold and five-fold in value. When trade was interrupted on every side, and when the copper tankas had become more worthless than clods, and of no use, the Sultan repealed his edict, and in great wrath he proclaimed that whoever possessed copper coins should bring them to the treasury, and receive the old gold coins in exchange. Thousands of men from various quarters, who possessed thousands of these copper coins, and caring nothing for them, had flung them into corners along with their copper pots, now brought them to the treasury, and received in exchange gold tankas and silver tankas, shash-ganis and du-ganis, which they carried to their homes. So many of these copper tankas were brought to the treasury, that heaps of them rose up in Tughlikabad like mountains. Great sums went out of the treasury in exchange for the copper, and a great deficiency was caused. When the Sultan found that his project had failed, and that great loss had been entailed upon the treasury through his copper coins, he more than ever turned against his subjects.

The fourth project which diminished his treasury, and so brought distress upon the country, was his design of conquering Khurasan and 'Irak. In pursuance of this object, vast sums were lavished upon the officials and leading men of those countries. These great men came to him with insinuating proposals and deceitful representations, and as far as they knew how, or were able, they robbed the throne of its wealth. The coveted countries were not acquired, but those which he possessed were lost; and his treasure, which is the true source of political power, was expended.

The fifth project * * * was the rising of an immense army for the campaign against Khurasan. * * * In that year three hundred and seventy thousand horse were enrolled in the muster-master's office. For a whole year these were supported and paid; but as they were not employed in war and conquest and enabled to maintain themselves on plunder, when the next year came round, there was not sufficient in the treasury or in the feudal estates (ikta) to support them. The army broke up; each man took his own course and engaged in his own occupations. But lacs and krors had been expended by the treasury.

The sixth project, which inflicted a heavy loss upon the army, was the design which he formed of capturing the mountain of Kara-jal. His conception was that, as he had undertaken the conquest of Khurasan, he would (first) bring under the dominion of Islam this mountain, which lies between the territories of Hind and those of China, so that the passage for horses and soldiers and the march of the army might be rendered easy. To effect this object a large force, under distinguished amirs and generals, was sent to the mountain of Kara-jal, with orders to subdue the whole mountain. In obedience to orders, it marched into the mountains and encamped in various places, but the Hindus closed the passes and cut off its retreat. The whole force was thus destroyed at one stroke, and out of all this chosen body of men only ten horsemen returned to Delhi to spread the news of its discomfiture....

The first revolt was that of Bahram Abiya at Multan....At this time the country of the Doab was brought to ruin by the heavy taxation and the numerous cesses. The Hindus burnt their corn stacks and turned their cattle out to roam at large. Under the orders of the Sultan, the collectors and magistrates laid waste the country, and they killed some landholders and village chiefs and blinded others. Such of these unhappy inhabitants as escaped formed themselves into bands and took refuge in the jungles. So the country was ruined. The Sultan then proceeded on a hunting excursion to Baran, where, under his directions, the whole of that country was plundered and laid waste, and the heads of the Hindus were brought in and hung upon the ramparts of the fort of Baran.

About this time the rebellion of Fakhra broke out in Bengal, after the death of Bahram Khan (Governor of Sunar-ganw).... At the same period the Sultan led forth his army to ravage Hindustan. He laid the country waste from Kanauj to Dalamu, and every person that fell into his hands he slew. Many of the inhabitants fled and took refuge in the jungles, but the Sultan had the jungles surrounded, and every individual that was captured was killed.

While he was engaged in the neighbourhood of Kanauj a third revolt broke out....When the Sultan arrived at Deogir he made heavy demands upon the Musulman chiefs and collectors of the Mahratta country, and his oppressive exactions drove many persons to kill themselves....

The Sultan proceeded to Dhar
, and being still indisposed, he rested a few days, and then pursued his journey through Malwa. Famine prevailed there, the posts were all gone off the road, and distress and anarchy reigned in all the country and towns along the route. When the Sultan reached Dehli, not a thousandth part of the population remained. He found the country desolate, a deadly famine raging, and all cultivation abandoned. He employed himself some time in restoring cultivation and agriculture, but the rains fell short that year, and no success followed. At length no horses or cattle were left; grain rose to 16 or 17 jitals a sir, and the people starved. The Sultan advanced loans from the treasury to promote cultivation, but men had been brought to a state of helplessness and weakness. Want of rain prevented cultivation, and the people perished....

From thence he went to Agroha, where he rested awhile, and afterwards to Dehli, where the famine was very severe, and man was devouring man....

The Sultan again marched to Sannam and Samana, to put down the rebels, who had formed mandals (strongholds?), withheld the tribute, created disturbances, and plundered on the roads....

While this was going on a revolt broke out among the Hindus at Arangal. Kanya Naik had gathered strength in the country. Malik Makbul, the naib-wazir, fled to Dehli, and the Hindus took possession of Arangal, which was thus entirely lost.... The land of Kambala also was thus lost, and fell into the hands of the Hindus....

About this time, during the Sultan's stay at Dehli and his temporary residence at Sarg-dwari, four revolts were quickly repressed. First. That of Nizam Ma-in at Karra. *** 'Ainu-l Mulk and his brothers marched against this rebel, and having put down the revolt and made him prisoner, they flayed him and sent his skin to Dehli....Many of the fugitives, in their panic, cast themselves into the river and were drowned. The pursuers obtained great booty. Those who escaped from the river fell into the hands of the Hindus in the Mawas and lost their horses and arms....

When the Sultan returned to Dehli, it occurred to his mind that no king or prince could exercise regal power without confirmation by the Khalifa of the race of 'Abbas, and that every king who had, or should hereafter reign, without such confirmation, had been or would be overpowered....The Sultan directed that a letter acknowledging his subordination to the Khalifa should be sent by the hands of Haji Rajab Barka'i, * * * and after two years of correspondence the Haji returned from Egypt, bringing a diploma in the name of the Sultan, as deputy of the Khalifa....

The Sultan supported and patronized the Mughals. Every year at the approach of winter, the amirs of tumans (of men) and of thousands etc., etc., received krors and lacs, and robes, and horses, and pearls. During the whole period of two or three years, the Sultan was intent upon patronizing and favouring the Mughals....He applied himself excessively to the business of punishment, and this was the cause of many of the acquired territories slipping from his grasp, and of troubles and disturbances in those which remained in his power. *** The more severe the punishments that were inflicted in the city, the more disgusted were the people in the neighbourhood, insurrections spread, and the loss and injury to the State increased. Every one that was punished spoke evil of him...

The Sultan having thus appointed the base-born 'Aziz Himar to Dhar and Malwa, gave him several lacs of tankas on his departure, in order that he might proceed thither with befitting state and dignity. * * * He said to him, "Thou seest how that revolts and disturbances are breaking out on every side, and I am told that whoever creates a disturbance does so with the aid of the foreign amirs. *** Revolts are possible, because these amirs are ready to join any one for the sake of disturbance and plunder. If you find at Dhar any of these amirs, who are disaffected and ready to rebel, you must get rid of them in the best way you can." 'Aziz arrived at Dhar, and in all his native ignorance applied himself to business. The vile whoreson one day got together about eighty of the foreign amirs and chiefs of the soldiery, and, upbraiding them with having been the cause of every misfortune and disturbance, he had them all beheaded in front of the palace. * * * This slaughter of the foreign amirs of Dhar, on the mere ground of their being foreigners, caused those of Deogir, and Gujarat, and every other place to unite and to break out into insurrection. *** When the Sultan was informed of this punishment, he sent 'Aziz a robe of honour and a complimentary letter....

About the time when this horrid tragedy was perpetrated by 'Aziz Himar, the naib-wazir of Gujarat, Mukbil by name, having with him the treasure and horses which had been procured in Gujarat for the royal stables, was proceeding by way of Dihui and Baroda to the presence of the Sultan.... The amirs having acquired so many horses and so much property grew in power and importance. Stirring up the flames of insurrection, they gathered together a force and proceeded to Kanhayat (Cambay). The news of their revolt spread throughout Gujarat, and the whole country was falling into utter confusion. At the end of the month of Ramazan, 745 H. (Feb. 1345), the intelligence of this revolt and of the defeat and plunder of Mukbil was brought to the Sultan. It caused him much anxiety, and he determined to proceed to Gujarat in person to repress the revolt....

He appointed Firoz, afterwards Sultan, Malik Kabir, and Ahmad Ayyaz to be vicegerents in the capital during his absence....

Insurrection followed upon insurrection. During the four or five days of Ramazan that the Sultan halted at Sultanpur, late one evening he sent for the author of this work, Zia Barni...."You have read many histories; hast thou found that kings inflict punishments under certain circumstances?" I replied, "I have read in royal histories that a king cannot carry on his government without punishments, for if he were not an avenger God knows what evils would arise from the insurrections of the disaffected, and how many thousand crimes would be committed by his subjects. Jamshid was asked under what circumstances punishment is approved. He replied, 'under seven circumstances, and whatever goes beyond or in excess of these causes, produces disturbances, trouble, and insurrection, and inflicts injury on the country... The servants of God are disobedient to him when they are disobedient to the king, who is his vicegerent; and the State would go to ruin, if the king were to refrain from inflicting punishment in such cases of disobedience as are injurious to the realm.'" ... The Sultan replied, ''Those punishments which Jamshid prescribed were suited to the early ages of the world, but in these days many wicked and turbulent men are to be found. I visit them with chastisement upon the suspicion or presumption of their rebellious and treacherous designs, and I punish the most trifling act of contumacy with death. This I will do until I die, or until the people act honestly, and give up rebellion and contumacy. I have no such wazir as will make rules to obviate my shedding blood. I punish the people because they have all at once become my enemies and opponents. I have dispensed great wealth among them, but they have not become friendly and loyal. Their temper is well known to me, and I see that they are disaffected and inimical to me."

The Sultan marched from Sultanpur towards Gujarat, and when he arrived at Nahrwala he sent Shaikh Ma'izzu-d din, with some officials, into the city, whilst he, leaving it on the left, proceeded into the mountains of Abhu to which Dihui and Baroda were near. The Sultan then sent an officer with a force against the rebels, and these being unable to cope with the royal army, were defeated....The Sultan then proceeded from the mountains of Abhu to Broach from whence he sent Malik Makbul ...

The Sultan remained for some time at Broach, busily engaged in collecting the dues of Broach, Kanhayat (Cambay), and Gujarat, which were several years in arrear. He appointed sharp collectors, and rigorously exacted large sums. At this period his anger was still more inflamed against the people, and revenge filled his bosom. Those persons at Broach and Cambay, who had disputed with Malik Makbul, or had in any way encouraged insurrection, were seized and consigned to punishment. Many persons of all descriptions thus met their ends.

While the Sultan was at Broach he appointed Zin-banda and the middle son of Rukn Thanesari, two men who were leaders in iniquity and the most depraved men in the world, to inquire into the matters of the disaffected at Deogir. Pisar Thanesari, the vilest of men, went to Deogir; and Zin-banda, a wicked iniquitous character, who was called Majdu-l Mulk, was on the road thither. A murmuring arose among the Musulmans at Deogir that two vile odious men had been deputed to investigate the disaffection, and to bring its movers to destruction....They marched toward Broach, but at the end of the first stage the foreign amirs, who were attended by their own horsemen, considered that they had been summoned to Broach in order to be executed, and if they proceeded thither not one would return. So they consulted together and broke out into open resistance, and the two nobles who had been sent for them were killed in that first march. They then turned back with loud clamour and entered the royal palace, where they seized Maulana Nizamu-d din, the governor, and put him in confinement. The officials, who had been sent by the Sultan to Deogir, were taken and beheaded. They cut Pisar Thanesari to pieces, and brought down the treasure from (the fort of) Dharagir. Then they made Makh Afghan, brother of Malik Yak Afghan, one of the foreign amirs, their leader, and placed him on the throne. The money and treasure were distributed among the soldiers. The Mahratta country was apportioned among these foreign amirs, and several disaffected persons joined the Afghans. The foreign amirs of Dihui and Baroda left Man Deo and proceeded to Deogir, where the revolt had increased and had become established. The people of the country joined them.

The Sultan, on hearing of this revolt, made ready a large force and arrived at Deogir, where the rebels and traitors confronted him. He attacked them and defeated them. Most of the horsemen were slain in the action....The inhabitants of Deogir, Hindus and Musulmans, traders and soldiers, were plundered....

[N]ews arrived of the revolt, excited by the traitor Taghi, in Gujarat. This man was a cobbler, and had been a slave of the general, Malik Sultani. He had won over the foreign amirs of Gujarat, and had broken out into rebellion. Many of the mukaddims of Gujarat joined him.... I, Zia Barni, the author of this history, just at this time joined the Sultan, after he had made one or two marches from Ghati-sakun towards Broach. I had been sent from the capital by the present Sultan (Firoz), Malik Kabir, and Ahmad Ayyaz, with letters of congratulation on the conquest of Deogir. The Sultan received me with great favour. One day, as I was riding in his suite, the Sultan conversed with me, and the conversation turned upon rebellion. He then said, "Thou seest what troubles these traitorous foreign amirs have excited on every side. When I collect my forces and put them down in one direction, they excite disturbances in some other quarter. If I had at the first given orders for the destruction of all the foreign amirs of Deogir, Gujarat, and Broach, I should not have been so troubled by them. This rebel, Taghi, is my slave; if I had executed him or had sent him as a memorial to the King of Eden, this revolt would never have broken out." I could not help feeling a desire to tell the Sultan that the troubles and revolts which were breaking out on every side, and this general disaffection, all arose from the excessive severity of his Majesty, and that if punishments were suspended for a while, a better feeling might spring up, and mistrust be removed from the hearts of the people. But I dreaded the temper of the king, and could not say what I desired, so I said to myself, What is the good of pointing out to the Sultan the causes of the troubles and disturbances in his country, for it will have no effect upon him?...

Taghi, with his remaining horsemen, reached Nahrwala; there he collected all his family and dependents, and proceeded to Kant-barahi...

While the Sultan was engaged in settling the affairs of the country, and was about to enter Nahrwala, news came from Deogir that Hasan Kangu and other rebels, who had fled before the royal army in the day of battle, had since attacked 'Imadu-l Mulk, and had slain him and scattered his army. Kiwamu-d din and other nobles left Deogir and went towards Dhar. Hasan Kangu then proceeded to Deogir and assumed royal dignity. Those rebels who had fled before the Sultan's army to the summit of Dharagir, now came down, and a revolution was effected in Deogir. When intelligence of this reached the Sultan's ears, he was very disheartened, for he saw very well that the people were alienated. No place remained secure, all order and regularity were lost, and the throne was tottering to its fall....

The success of the rebels, and the loss of Deogir, greatly troubled the king. One day, while he was thus distressed, he sent for me, the author of this work, and, addressing me, said: "My kingdom is diseased, and no treatment cures it. The physician cures the headache, and fever follows; he strives to allay the fever, and something else supervenes. So in my kingdom disorders have broken out; if I suppress them in one place they appear in another; if I allay them in one district another becomes disturbed. What have former kings said about these disorders?" I replied,... The Sultan replied, "If I can settle the affairs of my kingdom according to my wish, I will consign my realm of Dehli to three persons, Firoz Shah, Malik Kabir, and Ahmad Ayyaz, and I will then proceed on the pilgrimage to the holy temple. At present I am angry with my subjects, and they are aggrieved with me. The people are acquainted with my feelings, and I am aware of their misery and wretchedness. No treatment that I employ is of any benefit. My remedy for rebels, insurgents, opponents, and disaffected people is the sword. I employ punishment and use the sword, so that a cure may be effected by suffering. The more the people resist, the more I inflict chastisement."...

[H]e resolved to make Taghi prisoner and deliver him up
...After the rains were over, the Sultan took Karnal, and brought all the coast into subjection.... Before the Sultan went to Kondal he received from Dehli the intelligence of the death of Malik Kabir, which deeply grieved him. Thereupon he sent Ahmad Ayyaz and Malik Makbul from the army to take charge of the affairs of the capital. He summoned Khudawand-zada, Makhdum-zada, and many elders, learned men and others, with their wives and families, to Kondal. Every one that was summoned hastened with horse and foot to join the Sultan at Kondal, so that a large force was gathered there and was formed into an army. Boats were brought from Deobalpur, Multan, Uch, and Siwistan to the river. The Sultan recovered from his disorder, and marched with his army to the Indus. He crossed that river in ease and safety with his army and elephants. He was there joined by Altun Bahadur, with four or five thousand Mughal horse, sent by the Amir of Farghan. The Sultan showed great attention to this leader and his followers, and bestowed many gifts upon them. He then advanced along the banks of the Indus towards Thatta, with an army as numerous as a swarm of ants or locusts, with the intention of humbling the Sumras and the rebel Taghi, whom they had sheltered.

As he was thus marching with his countless army, and was thirty kos from Thatta, the 'ashura or fast of the 10th of Muharram happened. He kept the fast, and when it was over he ate some fish. The fish did not agree with him, his illness returned and fever increased. He was placed in a boat and continued his journey on the second and third days, until he came to within fourteen kos of Thatta. He then rested, and his army was fully prepared, only awaiting the royal command to take Thatta, and to crush the Sumras of Thatta and the rebel Taghi in a single day, and to utterly annihilate them. But fate ruled it otherwise. During the last two or three days that he was encamped near Thatta, the Sultan's malady had grown worse, and his army was in great trouble, for they were a thousand kos distant from Dehli and their wives and children, they were near the enemy and in a wilderness and desert, so they were sorely distressed, and looking upon the Sultan's expected death as preliminary to their own, they quite despaired of returning home. On the 21st Muharram, 752 H. (1350 A.D.), Sultan Muhammad bin Tughlik departed this life on the banks of the Indus, at fourteen kos from Thatta....

1. — Accession of Firoz Shah.

* * * On the third day after the death of Mahammad Tughlik, the army marched from (its position) fourteen kos from Thatta towards Siwistan, on its return homewards. Every division of the army marched without leader, rule, or route, in the greatest disorder. No one heeded or listened to what any one said, but continued the march like careless caravans. So when they had proceeded a kos or two, the Mughals, eager for booty, assailed them in front, and the rebels of Thatta attacked them in the rear. Cries of dismay arose upon every side. The Mughals fell to plundering, and carried off women, maids, horses, camels, troopers, baggage, and whatever else had been sent on in advance. They had very nearly captured the royal harem and the treasure with the camels which carried it. The villagers (who had been pressed into the service) of the army, and expected the attack, took to flight. They pillaged various lots of baggage on the right and left of the army, and then joined the rebels of Thatta in attacking the baggage train. The people of the army, horse and foot, women and men, stood their ground; for when they marched, if any advanced in front, they were assailed by the Mughals; if they lagged behind, they were plundered by the rebels of Thatta. Those who resisted and put their trust in God reached the next stage, but those who had gone forward with the women, maids, and baggage, were cut to pieces. The army continued its march along the river without any order or regularity, and every man was in despair for his life and goods, his wife and children. Anxiety and distress would allow no one to sleep that night, and, in their dismay, men remained with their eyes fixed upon heaven. On the second day, by stratagem and foresight, they reached their halting ground, assailed, as on the first day, by the Mughals in front and the men of Thatta in the rear. They rested on the banks of the river in the greatest possible distress, and in fear for their lives and goods. The women and children had perished. Makhdum Zada 'Abbasi, the Shaikhu-s Shaiyukh of Egypt, Shaikh Nasiru-d din Mahmud Oudhi, and the chief men, assembled and went to Firoz Shah, and with one voice said, "Thou art the heir apparent and legatee of the late Sultan; he had no son, and thou art his brother's son; there is no one in the city or in the army enjoying the confidence of the people, or possessing the ability to reign. For God's sake save these wretched people, ascend the throne, and deliver us and many thousand other miserable men. Redeem the women and children of the soldiers from the hands of the Mughals, and purchase the prayers of two lacs of people." Firoz Shah made objections, which the leaders would not listen to. All ranks, young and old, Musulmans and Hindus, horse and foot, women and children, assembled, and with one acclaim declared that Firoz Shah alone was worthy of the crown. "If he does not assume it to-day and let the Mughals hear of his doing so, not one of us will escape from the hands of the Mughals and the Thatta men." So on the 24th Muharram, 752 H. (1351 A.D.), the Sultan ascended the throne.

On the day of his accession the Sultan got some horse in order and sent them out to protect the army, for whenever the Mughal horse came down they killed and wounded many, and carried off prisoners. On the same day he named some amirs to guard the rear of the army, and these attacked the men of Thatta when they fell upon the baggage. Several of the assailants were put to the sword, and they, terrified with this lesson, gave up the pursuit and returned home. On the third day he ordered certain amirs to attack the Mughals, and they accordingly made several of the Mughal commanders of thousands and of hundreds prisoners, and brought them before the Sultan. The Mughals from that very day ceased their annoyance; they moved thirty or forty kos away, and then departed for their own country.

-- XV. Tarikh-i Firoz Shahi, of Ziaud Din Barni [Ziauddin Barani], Excerpt from The History of India As Told By Its Own Historians: The Muhammadan Period, edited from the posthumous papers of the Late Sir H.M. Elliot, K.C.B., East India Company's Bengal Civil Service, by Professor John Dowson, M.R.A.S., Staff college, Sandhurst, Vol. III, P. 93-269, 1871


All the fortifications which had been built by former sovereigns at Dehli I repaired.

For the benefit of travelers and pilgrims resorting to the tombs of illustrious kings and celebrated saints, and for providing the things necessary in these holy places, I confirmed and gave effect to the grants of villages, lands, and other endowments which had been conferred upon them in olden times. In those cases where no endowment or provision had been settled, I made an endowment, so that these establishments might for ever be secure of an income, to afford comfort to travelers and wayfarers, to holy men and learned men. May they remember those (ancient benefactors) and me in their prayers.

I was enabled by God's help to build a Daru-sh shija, or Hospital, for the benefit of every one of high or low degree, who was suddenly attacked by illness and overcome by suffering. Physicians attend there to ascertain the disease, to look after the cure, to regulate the diet, and to administer medicine. The cost of the medicines and the food is defrayed from my endowments. All sick persons, residents and travelers, gentle and simple, bond and free, resort thither; their maladies are treated, and, under God's blessing, they are cured.


Under the guidance of the Almighty I arranged that the heirs of those persons who had been executed (kushta) in the reign of my late lord and patron Sultan Muhammad Shah, and those who had been deprived of a limb, nose, eye, hand, or foot, should be reconciled to the late Sultan and be appeased with gifts, so that they executed deeds declaring their satisfaction, duly attested by witnesses. These deeds were put into a chest, which was placed in the Daru-l aman at the head of the tomb of the late Sultan, in the hope that God, in his great clemency, would show mercy to my late friend and patron, and make those persons feel reconciled to him.


Another instance of Divine guidance was this. Villages, lands, and ancient patrimonies of every kind had been wrested from the hands of their owners in former reigns, and had been brought under the Exchequer. I directed that every one who had a claim to property should bring it forward in the law-court, and, upon establishing his title, the village, the land, or whatever other property it was should be restored to him. By God's grace I was impelled to this good action, and men obtained their just rights.

I encouraged my infidel subjects to embrace the religion of the prophet, and I proclaimed that every one who repeated the creed and became a Musulman should be exempt from the jizya, or poll-tax. Information of this came to the ears of the people at large, and great numbers of Hindus presented themselves, and were admitted to the honour of Islam. Thus they came forward day by day from every quarter, and, adopting the faith, were exonerated from the jizya, and were favoured with presents and honours.

Through God's mercy the lands and property of his servants have been safe and secure, protected and guarded during my reign; and I have not allowed the smallest particle of any man's property to be wrested from him. Men often spoke to me officiously, saying that such and such a merchant had made so many lacs, and that such and such a revenue collector had so many lacs. By reproofs and punishments I made these informers hold their tongues, so that the people might be safe from their malignity, and through this kindness men became my friends and supporters.

"Labour to earn for generous deeds a name,
Nor seek for riches to extend thy fame.
Better one word of praise than stores of gold,
Better one grateful prayer than wealth untold."


Under God's favour my heart was occupied with an earnest desire to succour the poor and needy (fukra wa masakin) and to comfort their hearts. Wherever I heard of a fakir or religious recluse, I went to visit him and ministered to his necessities, so that I might attain the blessing promised to those who befriend the poor.

Whenever a person had completed the natural term of life and had become full of years, after providing for his support, I advised and admonished him to direct his thoughts to making preparation for the life to come, and to repent of all things which he had done contrary to the Law and religion in his youth; to wean his affections from this world, and to fix them on the next.

I desired to act upon the sentiment of these lines—

"The practice of the great should be
To succour honest men;  
And when a good man dies, to see
His children find a friend."


When any government servant filling an important and responsible position was carried off under the decrees of God to the happy future life, I gave his place and employment to his son, so that he might occupy the same position and rank as his father and suffer no injury.

"Kings should make their role of life
To lore the great and wise;
And when death ends this mortal strife,
To dry their loved ones' eyes."


The greatest and best of honours that I obtained through God's mercy was, that by my obedience and piety, and friendliness and submission to the Khalifa, the representative of the holy Prophet, my authority was confirmed; for it is by his sanction that the power of kings is assured, and no king is secure until he has submitted himself to the khalifa, and has received a confirmation from the sacred throne. A diploma was sent to me fully confirming my authority as deputy of the khilafat, and the leader of the faithful was graciously pleased to honour me with the title of "Saiyidu-s Salatin.'' He also bestowed upon me robes, a banner, a sword, a ring, and a foot-print as badges of honour and distinction.

My object in writing this book has been to express my gratitude to the All-bountiful God for the many and various blessings He has bestowed upon me. Secondly, that men who desire to be good and prosperous may read this and learn what is the proper course. There is this concise maxim, by observing which, a man may obtain God's guidance: Men will be judged according to their works, and rewarded for the good that they have done.  
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