The Architecture of Firuz Shah Tughluq, by William Jeffrey

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.

The Architecture of Firuz Shah Tughluq, by William Jeffrey

Postby admin » Tue Nov 23, 2021 8:08 am

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
© by William Jeffrey McKibben 1988

To my father

TABLE OF CONTENTS

• ACKNOWLEDGMENTS
• VITA
• LIST OF FIGURES
• LIST OF PLATES
• NOTE ON TRANSLITERATION
• I. INTRODUCTION
o Introduction
o Literature Survey
o Notes
• II. LIFE OF FIRUZ SHAH
o Life of Firuz Shah
o Historical Epigraphy of the Reign of Firuz Shah
o Notes
• III. SURVEY OF MONUMENTS
o Urban Foundations
o Mosques
o Madrasas
o Tombs
o Palaces
o Khanaqah
o Waterworks
o Acts of Restoration to pre-existing monuments
o Notes
• IV. THE JAMI MASJID AND LAT PYRAMID OF FIRUZABAD
o Literary Sources
o Description of the Archaeological Remains
o Inscriptions and the Futuhat-i Firuz Shahi
o The Lat Pyramid: Form and Meaning
o Notes
• V. THE MADRASA AND ASSOCIATED STRUCTURES AT HAUZ KHAS
o Firuz Shah’s madrasa in literature
o Description of the Archaeological Remains
o Inscriptions
o Conclusion
o Notes
• VI. THE PALACE AND LAT -KI MOSQUE AT HISSAR
o Literary Sources
o Description of the Buildings
o Notes
• VII. CONCLUSION
o Stylistic Analysis
o Classes of Structures
o Geographical Factors
o Motives for Building
o Notes
• BIBLIOGRAPHY
• FIGURES
• PLATES
• LIST OF FIGURES
o 1. Map of India.
o 2. Map of Delhi. Reproduced from Burton-Page, "Dihli," Encyclopedia o f Islam, v.n, p.
261.
o 3. Mosque, Firuzabad, drawing of east facade. Reproduced from Page, A Memoir on
Kotla Firoz Shah.
o 4. Mosque, Firuzabad, plan. Reproduced from Welch and Crane, "The Tughluqs," Figure
2.
o 5. Mosque, Firuzabad, reconstruction drawing. Reproduced from Page, A Memoir on
Kotla Firoz Shah.
o 6. Lat pyramid, plan of first storey.
o 7. Lat pyramid, cross-section. Reproduced from Welch and Crane, "The Tughluqs,"
Figure 3.
o 8. Lat pyramid, elevation. Reproduced from Welch and Crane, "The Tughluqs," Figure
3.
o 9. Lat pyramid, plan of second storey.
o 10. Lat pyramid, plan of third storey.
o 11. Hauz Khas, site plan. Redrawn from plan provided by Howard Crane and revised by
author.
o 12. Hauz Khas, mosque, plan. Redrawn from plan provided by Howard Crane.
o 13. Hauz Khas, tomb of Firuz Shah, plan. Redrawn from plan provided by Howard
Crane.
o 14. Hissar, Lat-Ki Mosque, plan. Redrawn from drawings provided by Howard Crane.
• LIST OF PLATES (All plates, unless otherwise noted, are by the author.)
o I. Mosque and lat pyramid, Firuzabad, view looking east.
o II. Manuscript illustration depicting arrival of lat beside Firuz Shah’s jami masjid,
Firuzbad, from a sixteenth century copy of the Sirat-i Firuz Shahi, Bankipur Library.
Plate reproduced from Page, A Memoir on the Kotla.
o III. Manuscript illustration depicting the building of the first storey of the lat pyramid,
Firuzabad, from a sixteenth century copy of the Sirat-i Firuz Shahi, Bankipur Library.
Plate reproduced from Page, A Memoir on the Kotla.
o IV. Manuscript illustration depicting the building of the second storey of the lat pyramid,
Firuzabad, from a sixteenth century copy of the Sirat-i Firuz Shahi, Bankipur Library.
Plate reproduced from Page, A Memoir on the Kotla.
o V. Manuscript illustration depicting the building of the third storey of the pyramid,
Firuzabad, from a sixteenth century copy of the Sirat-i Firuz Shahi, Bankipur Library.
Plate reproduced from Page, A Memoir on the Kotla.
o VI. Watercolor illustration of the lat pyramid from a nineteenth century diary of Sir
Thomas Metcalf. Plate reproduced from M.M. Kaye, The Golden Calm.
o VII. Mosque, Firuzabad, view to southeast.
o VIII. Mosque, Firuzabad, view from lat pyramid looking south.
o IX. Mosque, Firuzabad, south ground level passage.
o X. Mosque, Firuzabad, west ground level passage.
o XI. Mosque, Firuzabad, west exterior facade.
o XII. Mosque, Firuzabad, east facade.
o XIII. Mosque and lat pyramid, Firuzabad, view looking west (formerly the riverfront).
o XIV. Mosque, Firuzbad, south exterior facade.
o XV. Mosque, Firuzabad, gate, view looking southeast.
o XVI. Mosque, Firuzabad, north interior facade.
o XVII. Khirki Mosque, view of courtyard. Plate reproduced from Welch and Crane, "The
Tughluqs," plate 8.
o XVIII. Mosque, Firuzabad, west interior wall (qibla).
o XIX. Mosque, Firuzabad, northwest corner exterior facade. View looking south.
o XX. Mosque, Firuzabad, northwest corner interior facade. View looking northwest.
o XXI. Mosque, Firuzabad, west interior wall (qibla) elevation.
o XXII. Mosque, Firuzabad, west wall (qibla), five central bays and mihrabs.
o XXIII. Mosque, Firuzbad, west wall (qibla), central mihrab.
o XXIV. Lat Pyramid, Firuzabad, west facade.
o XXV. Lat Pyramid, Firuzabad, view looking northwest.
o XXVI. Lat Pyramid, Firuzabad, view looking northeast
o XXVII. Lat Pyramid, Firuzabad, lat (Asokan column).
o XXVIII. Lat Pyramid, Firuzabad, lat, detail.
o XXIX. Mosque and lat pyramid, Firuzabad, view looking northeast.
o XXX. Lat Pyramid, Firuzabad, second storey, detail.
o XXXI. Lat Pyramid, Firuzabad, third storey, detail.
o XXXII. Hauz Khas, madrasa, view looking southeast from ba'oli.
o XXXIII. Hauz Khas, ba’oli.
o XXXIV. Hauz Khas, madrasa, view from south block looking north.
o XXXV. Hauz Khas, mosque, west facade.
o XXXVI. Hauz Khas, mosque, gate.
o XXXVII. Hauz Khas, mosque, west prayer hall.
o XXXVIII. Hauz Khas, mosque, prayer hall, south arcade looking west
o XXXIX. Hauz Khas, mosque, prayer hall, central bay ((left) and mihrab (center).
o XL. Hauz Khas, madrasa, view from mosque looking south.
o XLI. Hauz Khas, madrasa, view of central section of madrasa and tomb of Firuz Shah
from ba’oli, west and north facades.
o XLII. Hauz Khas, madrasa, central block (south side), upper floor colonnade.
o XLIII. Hauz Khas, madrasa, central block (south side), upper floor colonnade.
o XLIV. Hauz Khas, madrasa, central block (east side), end chamber.
o XLV. Hauz Khas, madrasa, central block (south side), lower floor arcade.
o XLVI. Hauz Khas, madrasa, central block (south side), lower floor arcade.
o XLVII. Hauz Khas, madrasa, central block (south side), north facade.
o XLVIII. Hauz Khas, madrasa, central block (south side), north facade.
o XLIX. Hauz Khas, madrasa, central block (east side), west facade.
o L. Hauz Khas, madrasa, central block (east side), west facade.
o LI. Hauz Khas, madrasa, central block (south side), south facade.
o LII. Hauz Khas, madrasa, central block (east side), east facade.
o LIII. Hauz Khas, madrasa, central block, end chamber, detail of arch spandrel with
roundel of inscription.
o LIV. Hauz Khas, madrasa, east block, view from ba’oli looking east.
o LV. Hauz Khas, madrasa, east block, lower floor, entrance to cell.
o LVI. Hauz Khas, madrasa, east block, lower floor, view looking south.
o LVII. Hauz Khas, madrasa, south block, view from ba’oli looking south.
o LVIII. Hauz Khas, madrasa, south block extension, north facade.
o LIX. Hauz Khas, madrasa, south block extension, view of foundation looking west.
o LX. Hauz Khas, madrasa, south block extension, lower floor, north facade.
o LXI. Hauz Khas, madrasa, south block extension, south facade.
o LXII. Hauz Khas, tomb of Firuz Shah, south facade.
o LXIII. Hauz Khas, tomb of Firuz Shah, south facade.
o LXIV. Hauz Khas, tomb of Firuz Shah, east facade.
o LXV. Hauz Khas, tomb of Firuz Shah, northwest corner.
o LXVI. Hauz Khas, tomb of Firuz Shah, south entrance, arch inscription.
o LXVII. Hauz Khas, tomb of Firuz Shah, inscribed parapet on dome drum.
o LXVIII. Hauz Khas, tomb of Firuz Shah, interior, cenotaphs.
o LXIX. Hauz Khas, tomb of Firuz Shah, interior, east wall.
o LXX. Hauz Khas, tomb of Firuz Shah, interior, northwest corner wall.
o LXXI. Hauz Khas, tomb of Firuz Shah, west wall.
o LXXII. Hauz Khas, tomb of Firuz Shah, dome.
o LXXIII. Hauz Khas, south block, lower floor, end chamber, plaster dome motif.
o LXXIV. Hauz Khas, view from roof of tomb of Firuz Shah looking west.
o LXXV. Hauz Khas, unidentified domed structure at southwest corner of compound.
o LXXVI. Hauz Khas, three-cupola chhatri ("convocation" hall), east side of east block
within compound wall.
o LXXVII. Hauz Khas, view of chhatris on east side of compound from position in front
of tomb of Firuz Shah.
o LXXVIII. Hauz Khas, graveyard on east side of compound.
o LXXIX. Hissar, palace, view looking south toward Lat-ki Mosque.
o LXXX. Hissar, palace, view of interior courtyard.
o LXXXI. Hissar, palace, entrance on northeast side.
o LXXXII. Hissar, palace, subterranean chambers.
o LXXXIII. Hissar, palace, subterranean chambers.
o LXXXIV. Hissar, palace, carved column reused as threshold.
o LXXXV. Hissar, palace, upper floor chamber.
o LXXXVI. Hissar, Lat-ki Mosque, north and west exterior facades.
o LXXXVII. Hissar, Lat-H Mosque, view of courtyard looking northwest
o LXXXVIII. Hissar, Lat-ki Mosque, view of trench looking north.
o LXXXIX. Hissar, Lat-ld Mosque, view of courtyard looking northeast
o XC. Hissar, Lat-ki Mosque, prayer hall, south facade.
o XCI. Hissar, Lat-ki Mosque, courtyard, looking southeast.
o XCII. Hissar, Lat-ki Mosque, view of mosque and courtyard looking southwest.
o XCIII. Hissar, Lat-ki Mosque, west prayer hall.
o XCIV. Hissar, Lat-ki Mosque, north arcade, east facade.
o XCV. Hissar, Lat-ki Mosque, prayer hall, east facade.
o XCVI. Hissar, Lat-ki Mosque, prayer hall, interior, view looking south.
o XCVII. Hissar, Lat-ki Mosque, prayer hall, interior, view looking north.
o XCVIII. Hissar, Lat-ki Mosque, prayer hall, central mihrab.
o XCIX. Hissar, Lat-ki Mosque, prayer hall, northwest bay, lower floor.
o C. Hissar, Lat-ki Mosque, prayer hall, northwest bay, maqsura.
o CI. Hissar, Lat-ki Mosque, prayer hall, carved column.
o CII. Hissar, Lat-ki Mosque, view of domed structure and lat.
o CIII. Hissar, Lat-ld Mosque, view of domed structure and lat.
o CIV. Hissar, Lat-ki Mosque, view from inside domed structure looking west.
o CV. Fathabad, lat.
o CVI. Delhi, kushk-i shikar, lat.
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Re: The Architecture of Firuz Shah Tughluq, by William Jeffr

Postby admin » Tue Nov 23, 2021 8:14 am

NOTE ON TRANSLITERATION

Persian and Arabic words appear in transliterated form in this text. I have followed conventions used in the Encyclopedia of Islam, New Edition (Leiden: E. J. Brill, 1960, et seq.), with minor modifications. Diacritical marks have been omitted.
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Re: The Architecture of Firuz Shah Tughluq, by William Jeffr

Postby admin » Tue Nov 23, 2021 8:14 am

ACKNOWLEDGMENTS

I wish to express my sincere gratitude to the Samuel H. Kress Foundation for supporting my research in India. I am especially thankful to my adviser, Dr. Howard Crane, for his insight, enthusiasm, and direction throughout the course of this project. I also want to thank Drs. Susan Huntington, Stephen Dale and Marilyn Waldman for their advice and support In addition, my appreciation is extended to Drs. Anthony Welch, Catherine Asher, Ebba Koch, Wayne Begley, and to the staff of the Archaeological Survey of India for generously devoting their time to answer my questions. For their encouragement and assistance, I am indebted to Dr. Gary Wells, Deborah Wells, Dennis May, and Mark Ford. I am particularly grateful to my parents. Bill and Gene McKibben, for their love and support.
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Re: The Architecture of Firuz Shah Tughluq, by William Jeffr

Postby admin » Tue Nov 23, 2021 8:14 am

VITA

January 31,1954.............................................. Born - Wheeling, West Virginia
1978..................................................................B.A., The Ohio State University
1980..................................................................M.A., The Ohio State University

AWARDS

1984-1985, Samuel H. Kress Foundation Fellowship in Art History

FIELDS OF STUDY

Major Field: History of Art
Studies in Islamic and Indian art
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Re: The Architecture of Firuz Shah Tughluq, by William Jeffr

Postby admin » Tue Nov 23, 2021 8:17 am

Part 1 of 2

CHAPTER 1: INTRODUCTION

Among the gifts which God bestowed on 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.

-- Firuz Shah Tughluq, Futuhat-i Firuz Shahi1


Firuz Shah Tughluq (r. 752-790/1351-1388),2 the fourteenth century sultan of Delhi, allegedly had these words inscribed on the jami masjid or Friday mosque of his capital, Firuzabad. He ascended the throne at a time when Muslim rule of northern India had been established for 150 years. During this span of time, the successive rulers of the Delhi sultanate had changed the course of Indian history, culture, and architecture.

Firuz Shah continued a building tradition which commenced at the turn of the twelfth century A.D. with the building of the Quwwat al-Islam mosque.3 The early rulers of the Delhi sultanate quickly built other mosques, fortified cities, founded madrasas (colleges), constructed palaces and many other architectural monuments which still dot the landscape around modern Delhi. This energetic building activity continued under Firuz Shah whose monuments, built 150 years after the Quwwat al-Islam mosque, encompass a wide spectrum of architectural forms.4 The subject of this study is his architecture.

Firuz Shah was a prolific builder and generous benefactor of projects of public welfare. The scope of his building activity reveals that he was a man with broad interests and extensive resources. In fact, one historian of the age remarked that, in his architectural achievements, he surpassed his predecessors and monarchs of all countries.5 Firuz Shah’s monuments represent the last phase of sultanate architecture prior to Timur’s capture of Delhi in 801/1398.

Firuz Shah’s architecture stands in marked contrast to that of his predecessors. The physical characteristic of rubble and plaster construction, which typifies his buildings, is not encountered as frequently in the architecture of the early Delhi sultanate. The reasons for this are uncertain. Whether they include aesthetic concerns or personal preferences, or were the result of more practical concerns such as economic duress, availability of materials, or unavailability of craftsmen or stone masons who possessed the technology is unclear. His buildings possess a simplicity and modest scale compared to the monuments of later epochs. Although his monuments have distinctive architectural features which associate them with indigenous building traditions, many buildings produced under his patronage incorporate architectural forms and manifest stylistic continuities which link them with the architecture of the Islamic west.

Firuz Shah was sovereign of an Islamic state situated in the midst of a predominantly Hindu society -- an infidel society from the Islamic perspective. The architectural monuments of the Muslim rulers of Delhi were created as much from a need to hold up signs to the non-Muslim population as to provide places for religious practices of the Muslim population.6 For example, the Quwwat al-Islam mosque and Qutb Minar, inscribed with Quranic verse, were such monuments. The scale and grandeur of these monuments provided the physical means of expressing ideas of political supremacy and religious dominance. Although modern scholars have suggested specific motives for Firuz Shah’s architecture, which are addressed briefly later, these concerns are beyond the scope of this study.

Firuz Shah is believed to have taken a keen interest in his various projects. For example, his personal involvement and supervision of the construction of the lat pyramid in the kotla (citadel) of Firuzabad is recorded by contemporary historians, and his knowledge and skill in engineering matters were, according to these historians, irrefutable.7 Firuz Shah also took special pride in his efforts to preserve the monuments of his predecessors. The sultan actively repaired and restored earlier Muslim monuments and he records many of these acts in his edicts.8 In addition, Firuz Shah cultivated an environment which permitted others to patronize architectural projects. Several monuments attributed to high court officials survive. These are among the earliest instances of sub-imperial patronage of religious foundations during the period of the Delhi sultanate.9

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.10 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.11 The historian, Shams al-Din Siraj ‘Afif, describes the revitalization of endowments during his reign but records of these are not extant.12

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.

-- XVII. Futuhat-i Firoz Shahi of Sultan Firoz Shah, 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. 374, 1871


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.

Although Firuz Shah’s reputation as a builder is well-known, the monuments which are commonly pointed to as representative Tughluq architecture of Firuz Shah’s reign are those whose patrons have been identified as high-ranking officials. The Kalan Masjid, built by Firuz Shah’s vizier or chief minister, and the so-called Tilangani tomb, situated on the grounds of Nizamuddin complex, are often singled out as typical examples. Why are Firuz Shah’s monuments ignored? In part, many do not survive, or survive in significantly altered appearances. In this study, three complexes of monuments, are selected for close examination. These complexes -- the sultan’s imperial mosque in Firuzabad, the Hauz Khas madrasa compound, and the frontier town at Hissar -- are most representative of Firuz Shah’s building projects. In all three sites, the monuments have survived nearly unaltered from the fourteenth century. Other structures attributed to Firuz Shah are more problematic. Some have suffered less fortunate fates, while others’ attributions are not widely accepted.

In this study, historical, epigraphic, and art historical evidence is brought together. Questions concerning the basis for attributions to Firuz Shah, the stylistic features of his architecture, and the historical circumstances of his reign are discussed in order to understand the complexities of this unique patron. In Chapter II, a biography of Firuz Shah’s life is summarized in order to provide a historical perspective for his patronage. In Chapter III, the known corpus of monuments, based on literary record, is compiled. Chapter IV focuses on Firuz Shah’s imperial mosque in Firuzabad and the adjacent structure, the lat pyramid. Chapter V examines the sultan’s foundation at Hauz Khas, located on the south perimeter of Firuzabad, site of a madrasa (college), associated structures, and his tomb, which contains the only surviving major corpus of religious epigraphy of the reign. Chapter VI examines the remains of his frontier establishment at Hissar, located 130 kilometers northwest of Delhi. Finally, in Chapter VII, stylistic features of these three complexes are reviewed in the broader contexts of Indo-Islamic and western Islamic architecture, and motives for Firuz Shah’s building are suggested.

Literature Survey

Modern scholarship on Tughluq architecture is still in its infancy. Firuz Shah’s monuments have surprisingly figured less prominently in studies of the architecture of the Delhi sultans than one might expect from the esteemed reputation of the builder given in contemporary sources. The earliest record of Firuz Shah’s achievements was written by the pre-eminent historian of the age, Ziya’ al-Din Barani.13 Barani is known from four surviving works, Ta’rikh-i Firuz Shahi, Fatawa-yi Jahandari, Na’t-i Muhammadi, and Akhbar-i Barmakiyyan.14 His family was well-connected with the Delhi court since the time his father had risen to prominence under ‘Ala’ al-Din Khalji. Barani served Muhammad bin Tughluq for over seventeen years as nadim or court chronicler and continued to serve the court in that capacity under Firuz Shah. However at the beginning of Firuz Shah’s reign, Barani was implicated in a coup attempt and was banished from court.15 He spent his remaining years in exile seeking to be restored to the favor of the sultan. During this time he wrote the Ta'rikh-i Firuz Shahi until his death in 759/1357. The Ta’rikh-i Firuz Shahi recorded the history of the Delhi sultans from Balban (664-686/1266-1287) through the sixth year of Firuz Shah’s reign. Barani advocated strict adherence to the shari’a and judged the success or failure of the sultans he discussed accordingly. While 101 chapters were planned, Barani had only completed a portion of these at the time of his death. Those chapters which deal with Firuz Shah focus on the events surrounding his accession to the throne and his early reforms. Barani includes in two chapters a discussion of the sultan’s buildings and canals. His description of the madrasa at Hauz Khas is the only contemporary literary record of that institution. (His descriptions of the earlier Tughluq foundations at Jahanpanah and Tughluqabad are included in earlier chapters.) Other matters which he addresses are Firuz Shah’s military feats: the campaign to Bengal (Barani lived to witness only the first expedition) and the repelling of early Chaghatai marauders. He eulogizes the personal character of the sultan and remarks on his fondness for hunting. He also records the occasion of the sultan’s investiture by the Mamluk caliph.

Two editions of the Ta’rikh-i Firuz Shahi have been published. The Bibliotheca Indica edition, edited by Saiyid Ahmad Khan under supervision of Captain W. Nassau Lees and Maulavi Kabir al-Din, was published in 1862. This edition was a collation of two manuscripts in the possession of Sir H. Elliot, one of which bore a transcription colophon 1010/1610 and was borrowed from the Nawab of Tonk. The second edition was published by Elliot and Dowson, who translated parts of the Ta’rikh in the third volume of The History of India As Told By Its Own Historians. Their translation was largely based on the Bibliotheca Indica edition. Only two chapters of those on Firuz Shah’s reign are translated.

Barani’s other work which is relevant to the reign of Firuz Shah is the Fatawa-yi Jahandari, completed in 1358-1359 A.D. The Fatawa is written in the form of advice from Mahmud of Ghazni to his sons and the rulers of Delhi. The work is his own personal theory of kingship and is representative of the tradition of nasihat literature of the time.16 Barani viewed history as the instrument to teach religious morality through examples of the past. Barani casts Firuz Shah as an ideal ruler. Barani’s interpretation of the sultan’s actions may have been influenced by his own personal misfortune and his desire to be restored to the favor of the sultan.

The Fatawa-yi Jahandari is known from the India Office Library Persian manuscript (Persian MS 1149). An English translation by Dr. Afsar Begum (Mrs. Afsar Umar Salim Khan) from a manuscript in the Commonwealth Library was published in Medieval India Quarterly and was reprinted in Muhammad Habib and Afsar Begum, The Political Theory of the Delhi Sultanate.

Barani’s unexpected death was an occasion of great mourning to Firuz Shah. The sultan despaired to find another historian who could rival Barani’s skills and reputation. His despair prompted him to assume the task himself and he wrote his own account of events of his reign in the Futuhat-i Firuz Shahi.

The Futuhat-i Firuz Shahi was a record of the achievements in the religious affairs of the state, not military victories.
By his own testimony, Firuz Shah wrote the Futuhat to express gratitude to God and to provide a model which men could emulate in their lives. In this latter regard, the Futuhat may be categorized as belonging to the nasihat literary tradition. The Futuhat includes a long list of the sultan’s architectural projects and restoration measures.

Firuz Shah’s authorship of the Futuhat-i Firuz Shahi is attested to in a number of sources.
‘Afif, for example, states that Firuz Shah wrote his edicts after the death of Barani and had them inscribed in Firuzabad.17


Little is known of Shams-i Siraj ['Afif] beyond what is gleaned from his own work....

The work has met with scarcely any notice, whilst every historian who writes of the period quotes and refers to Ziau-d din Barni. The reason of this may be ... [due] to the fact of its having at a comparatively late period been rescued from some musty record room....

[In style, this history has no pretensions to elegance, being, in general, very plain. The author is much given to reiterations and recapitulations, and he has certain pet phrases which he constantly uses. Sir H. Elliot desired to print a translation of the whole work, and he evidently held it in high estimation. A portion of the work had been translated for him by a munshi, but this has proved to be entirely useless. The work of translation has, consequently, fallen upon the editor, and he has endeavoured to carry out Sir H. Elliot's plan by making a close translation of the first three chapters, and by extracting from the rest of the work everything that seemed worthy of selection. The translation is close, without being servile; here and there exuberances of eloquence have been pruned out, and repetitions and tautologies have been passed over without notice, but other omissions have been marked by asterisks, or by brief descriptions in brackets of the passages omitted. Shams-i Siraj, with a better idea of method than has fallen to the lot of many of his brother historians, has divided his work into books and chapters with appropriate headings.

[Besides this history of Firoz Shah, the author often refers to his Manakib-i Sultan Tughlik, and he mentions his intention of writing similar memoirs of the reign of Sultan Muhammad, the son of Firoz Shah. Nothing more appears to be known of these works. Copies of the Tarikh-i Firoz Shahi are rare in India, and Colonel Lees, who has selected the work for publication in the Bibliotheca Indica, has heard only of "one copy in General Hamilton's library, and of another at Dehli, in the possession of Nawab Ziau-d din Loharu, of which General Hamilton's is perhaps a transcript."1 [Journ. R.A.S., New Series, iii., 446.] The editor has had the use of four copies. One belonging to Sir H. Elliot, and another belonging to Mr. Thomas, are of quite recent production. They are evidently taken from the same original, most probably the Dehli copy above mentioned. The other two copies belong to the library of the India Office, one having been lately purchased at the sale of the Marquis of Hastings's books. These are older productions; they are well and carefully written, and although they contain many obvious errors, they will be of the greatest service in the preparation of a correct text. None of these MSS. are perfect. The two modern copies terminate in the middle of the ninth chapter of the last book. The Hastings copy wants several chapters at the end of the first and the beginning of the second book; but it extends to the eleventh chapter of the last book, and has the final leaf of the work. The other MS. ends in the middle of the fifteenth chapter of the last book, and some leaves are missing from the fourteenth. Fortunately these missing chapters seem, from the headings given in the preface, to be of no importance.

-- XVI. Tarikh-i Firoz Shahi, of Shams-i Siraj 'Afif, 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. 269, 364 1871


'Afif's statement is repeated by the later historians, Firishta ... [Fn 23. Firishta is believed to have depended heavily on Barani’s Ta’rikh-i Firuz Shahi, but he seems to be unaware of ‘Afif's work. See Hardy, "Firishta," Encyclopedia of Islam 2 (1966), pp. 921-922.]

Firishta or Ferešte, full name Muhammad Qasim Hindu Shah, was a Persian historian, who later settled in India and served the Deccan Sultans as their court historian. He was born in 1560 and died in 1620....

Contemporary scholars and historians variously write that the works of Firishta drew from Tabaqat-i-Akbari by Nizamud-din, Tarikh-i-Rashidi by Mirza Haider, and Barani's Tarikh. At least one historian, Peter Jackson, explicitly states that Firishta relied upon the works of Barani and Sarhindi, and that his work cannot be relied upon as a first hand account of events, and that at places in the Tarikh he is suspected of having relied upon legends and his own imagination....

Firishta's account is the most widely quoted history of the Adil Shahi, but it is the only source for asserting the Ottoman origin of Yusuf Adil Shah, the founder of the Adil Shahi dynasty. Devare believes that to be a fabricated story. ...

In 1768, when the East India Company officer and Orientalist Alexander Dow, translated Firishta's text into English language, it came to be seen as an authoritative source of historical information by the English.


-- Firishta, by Wikipedia


and Sayyid Ahmad Khan.

After the failure of the 1857 War of Independence, where reestablishing Bahadur Shah Zafar as the emperor of India was an important objective, the Wahabi movement of 1857–58, under Enayet Ali, did not join hands with the leaders of the 1857 movement. They fought for the establishment of a theocratic Islamic state, or dar-ul-Islam, in India. The Hindus were completely aloof from this long-drawn Wahabi struggle. After this, the Muslims as a community, by and large, did not take active part in any political organizations, including the INC. Being perceived as among the chief conspirators in 1857 further reduced their influence with the British and a general dejection gripped the community. At this point, Sir Syed Ahmed appeared as a beacon of hope. He took it as his mission to both mend fences between the Muslim community and the British, and also introduce the community to modern education. In fact, he published an entire tract, The Loyal Mohammedans of India, in which he took pains to explain that if there was any community in India that could be trusted and were fast bound with Christians, it was the Muslims of the country, who would be their staunch friends and loyalists. Inculcating this sense of loyalty to the British was one of the declared objectives of the Mohammedan Anglo-Oriental College that he set up in Aligarh in 1877. He vehemently opposed those of the community who were against the British—be it ulemas or those associated with the Congress. According to Syed, the Congress was fighting for a representative government on British lines—one in which the majority voice reigned, which would entail a fourth of the population comprising Muslims getting a short shrift. He never tired of emphasizing that India was a conglomerate of several nations and that the Muslims formed a distinctive unit. In a speech, he articulates this belief:

In a country like India where homogeneity does not exist in any one of the fields (nationality, religion, way of living, customs, mores, culture, and historical tradition), the introduction of representative government cannot produce any beneficial results; it can only result in interfering with the peace and prosperity of the land . . . the aims and objects of the Indian National Congress are based upon an ignorance of history and present day realities; they do not take into consideration that India is inhabited by different nationalities; I consider the experiment which the Indian National Congress wants to make fraught with dangers and suffering for all the nationalities of India, specially for the Muslims. The Muslims are in a minority, but they are a highly united minority. At least traditionally they are prone to take the sword in hand when the majority oppresses them. If this happens, it will bring about disasters greater than the ones which came in the wake of the happenings of 1857 . . . the Congress cannot rationally prove its claim to represent the opinions, ideals, and aspirations of the Muslims.3


The thrust of his Aligarh movement was that Hindus and Muslims were separate entities with distinctive outlooks, conflicting interests, and in a way, separate nationalities. In fact, he was the first proponent of the ‘two-nation’ theory that was to have catastrophic results on the future of India. To quote Sir Syed:

In whose hands shall the administration and the Empire of India rest? Now, suppose that all English, and the whole English army, were to leave India, taking with them all their cannon and their splendid weapons and everything, then who would be rulers of India? Is it possible that under these circumstances two nations—the Mahomedans and the Hindus—could sit on the same throne and remain equal in power? Most certainly not. It is necessary that one of them should conquer the other and thrust it down. To hope that both could remain equal is to desire the impossible and the inconceivable.4


Regarding the Congress demand that a section of the viceroy’s council should be elected by the people, Sir Syed debated:

Let us imagine the Viceroy’s Council made in this manner. And let us suppose, first of all, that we have universal suffrage, as in America, and that all have votes. And let us also suppose that all Mohammadan electors vote for a Mohammadan and all Hindu electors for a Hindu member, and now count how many votes the Mohammadan member will have and how many the Hindu. It is certain that the Hindu member will have four times as many, because their population is four times numerous . . . and now how can the Mohammadan guard his interests?5


Thus, democratic representation or appointments based on competition would work to the Muslim detriment and result in a Hindu rule. As a result, British rule was in the best interests of the community, which should also stay away from political agitation and act as a counter to the agitating Hindus, Sir Syed postulated. That the Congress suffered from an acute lack of Muslim participation in its early years is seldom mentioned. Over the first twenty-one years, from 1885 to 1905, the average attendance of Muslim delegates in the first five sessions was 15 per cent; that fell to 5 per cent and below in the subsequent fifteen sessions.6 Muslims of Allahabad, Lucknow, Meerut, Lahore, Madras and other places passed resolutions condemning the Congress. Newspapers such as Mahomedan Observer, Victoria Paper, The Muslim Herald, Rafiq-i-Hind, and Imperial Paper spoke unequivocally against the Congress, as did a powerful Muslim organ of northern India—the Aligarh Institute Gazette.7 Riots over issues such as cow slaughter and processional music in front of mosques further widened the growing gulf between the two communities, which the British took advantage of.

For instance, Lord Curzon managed to win over Muslims who were initially opposed to the Partition of Bengal by convincing them that it was in their favour. Nawab Salimullah of Dacca, one of the most influential Muslim leaders of East Bengal, sided with the British. Many Muslims saw in the creation of the province of East Bengal and Assam a culmination of the dreams of the Aligarh movement—a separate Muslim unit within the Indian body politic. At a meeting held in Dacca on 30 December 1906, a resolution of prominent Muslim leaders upheld the Partition of Bengal plan and criticized the swadeshi movement raging against it.8

The British actively encouraged petitions from prominent Muslim leaders seeking employment of a due proportion from the community in government service, abolition of competitive examinations for the community for recruitment to services, appointments of Muslim judges in every high court and chief court, communal or separate electorates for municipalities and Muslim electoral colleges for elections to legislative councils. Correspondence between Viceroy Lord Minto’s private secretary, Colonel Dunlop Smith, and Muslim leaders clearly demonstrates this, where, among other things, he carefully orchestrates the whole plan of action:

But in all these matters I want to remain behind the screen and this move should come from you. You are aware, how anxious I am for the good of the Musalmans, and I would, therefore, render all help with the greatest pleasure. I can prepare and draft the address for you. If it be prepared in Bombay then I can revise it because I know the art of drawing up petitions in good language. But Nawabsaheb, please remember that if within a short time any great and effective action has to be taken, then you should act quickly.9


This ‘engineered’ deputation submitted its memorandum to Lord Minto who gladly accepted it. Ramsay Macdonald, the future prime minister of Britain, too had reminisced: ‘The Mahomedan leaders are inspired by certain Anglo-Indian officials and that these officials have pulled wires at Simla and in London, and of malice aforethought sowed discord between the Hindu and the Mahomedan communities by showing the Muslims special favours.’10 The British press also picked up and played on this division of interests within the country and that the distinctive Muslim views entitled them to be constituted as a separate entity.

Elated by the favourable reception from the government, the Muslim leadership felt the urgent need of a political association to voice their demands better and also act as a counter to the Congress. There was no pan-Indian organization of the Muslims; all they had were loosely knit local units and groups of nawabs and eminent persons. Nawab Salimullah of Dacca advocated the idea of a Central Muhammadan Association whose chief goals were to support the British government and to look after the rights and interests of all the Muslims of India, in addition to acting as a bulwark against the Congress. The scheme was accepted, and at a meeting held on 30 December 1906, it was resolved that a political association called All India Muslim League should be established. At a meeting held in Karachi on 29 December 1907, the aims of the League were drawn— promoting pro-British feelings and loyalty towards the government among Muslims, protecting the rights and interests of Muslims of India and preventing rise of feelings of hostility towards other communities, without prejudice to the earlier mentioned objectives.11 There was opposition to movements like the Shivaji festival promoting a Hindu leader—more so one who fought against the Mughals—as a national hero was anathema.12 The secretary of the League declared:

We are not opposed to the social unity of the Hindus and the Mussalmans . . . but the other type of unity (political) involves the working out of common political purposes. This sort of our unity with the Congress cannot be possible because we and the Congressmen do not have common political objectives. They indulge in acts calculated to weaken the British Government. They want representative Government, which means death for Mussalmans. They desire competitive examinations for employment in Government services and this would mean the deprivation of Mussalmans of Government jobs. Therefore, we need not go near political unity [with the Hindus]. It is the aim of the League to present Muslim demands through respectful request, before the Government. They should not, like Congressmen, cry for boycott, deliver exciting speeches and write impertinent articles in newspapers and hold meetings to turn public feeling and attitude against their benign Government.13


It was in this context of intense distrust and discord that we had earlier seen the letter from Ziauddin Ahmad—later vice chancellor of Aligarh Muslim University—to Abdullah Suhrawardy who was at India House in London, asking Muslims to refrain from participating in activities of Shyamji, Vinayak and other revolutionaries. The spirit of British loyalty and seeking distinctiveness from the Hindus and the Congress that Sir Syed had induced in the community was to remain for a long time with most leaders, barring a few exceptions. As Sir Percival Joseph Griffiths, a prominent businessman who also worked for Indian Civil Service largely in eastern India, noted: ‘Whatever may have been other effects of the foundation of the Muslim League, it set the seal upon the Muslim belief that their interests must be regarded as completely separate from those of the Hindus and that no fusion of the two communities was possible.’14

In its annual session held at Amritsar in December 1908, the Muslim League expressed vehement opposition to all the ‘mischievous efforts’ to unsettle the settled fact of the Partition of Bengal.15 In the Imperial Council in 1910, when Bhupendra Nath Bose raised the question of reversing the Partition of Bengal, members Shams-ul-Huda of Bengal and Mazhar-ul-Huq of Bihar strongly opposed the move. They warned that if the government meddled with this ‘beneficent measure, it would be committing an act of supreme folly and would create unrest and discontent where none existed now’.16 That the views of prominent leaders of the community remained unchanged is evident from Muhammad Ali’s speech as Congress president in 1923, in which he referred to the government’s policy of reversing the Partition of Bengal as an important cause for the alienation of the Muslims from the British government.17

Throughout 1907 and 1908, heated debates were held regarding separate electorates and the weightage that was proposed by the Muslim deputation and consented to by Viceroy Lord Minto. The Muslim leadership argued that owing to the vast social, cultural and religious differences between the two communities, they feared that a Hindu majority would not be able to deal with them suitably or represent them fairly. It was also pointed out that Muslims should get a greater representation in the different councils than was warranted by their numerical strength in the country’s population. The logic offered for this was rather perverse. The deputation had stated that Muslims had ruled India for 700 years before the British arrival and hence they had a natural claim to greater ‘political importance’, which should be reflected in the councils. They also maintained that the community had played a vital role in defending the country and this enhanced its importance further.

The Morley–Minto Reforms of 1909 not only awarded separate Muslim electorates, but also the number of their members in the council was much more than the numerical strength of their population. The seeds of discord and of being two separate nations had thus been sown several decades before the freedom movement took birth. Gopalkrishna Gokhale lamented:

It was a commonplace of Indian politics that there can be no future for India as a nation unless a durable spirit of cooperation was developed and established between the two great communities . . . the union of all communities is no doubt the goal towards which we have to strive, but it cannot be denied that it does not exist in the country today and it is no use proceeding as though it existed, when in reality it does not 18 . . . over the greater part of India, the two communities had inherited a tradition of antagonism which though it might ordinarily lie dormant, broke forth into activity at the smallest provocation. It was this tradition that had to be overcome.19


-- Savarkar: Echoes from a Forgotten Past: 1883-1924, by Vikram Sampath


Sir Syed Ahmad Khan, KCSI. Awards: Star of India. Institutions: East India Company; Indian Judicial Branch; Aligarh Muslim University; Punjab University; Government College University. Influences: Thomas Walker Arnold....

On 2 June 1869, Syed Ahmad Khan was appointed a Companion of the Order of the Star of India (CSI), for his service as Principal Sadr Amin. He was appointed a fellow of the Calcutta and Allahabad Universities by the Viceroy in the years 1876 and 1887 respectively.
Syed Ahmad was later bestowed with the suffix of 'Khan Bahadur' and was subsequently knighted by the British government in the 1888 New Year Honours as a Knight Commander of the Order of the Star of India (KCSI) for his loyalty to the British crown, through his membership of the Imperial Legislative Council and in the following year he received an LL.D. honoris causa from the Edinburgh University.

-- Syed Ahmad Khan, by Wikipedia


It was Ahmed Khan who, with the help of Captain Nassau Lees and Maulvi Kabiruddin Ahmed, compiled the first printed edition of the Persian text of the Tarikh, using one complete manuscript and three incomplete manuscripts to finish what Ishtiyaq Ahmad Zilli tells us is the first Persian edited text. It was published by the Asiatic Society of Bengal (Calcutta) in 1862 and was one of the achievements which earned him his Fellowship of the Royal Asiatic Society.

-- Traces of the Great: A medieval history of the Delhi Sultanate, by Francis Robinson
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Re: The Architecture of Firuz Shah Tughluq, by William Jeffr

Postby admin » Tue Nov 23, 2021 8:17 am

Part 2 of 2

The Futuhat thus must date from after the death of Barani, which occurred in 1357, and, because noted achievements of the latter part of the reign are absent, was probably completed within a few years.

Architectural epigraphs recording Firuz Shah’s edicts have long disappeared but the contents of Firuz Shah’s Futuhat-i Firuz Shahi survive in the form of appendices to manuscripts of the Ta’rikh-i Firuz Shahi by another noted historian, Shams al-Din Siraj ‘Afif, who will be discussed below. One of these manuscripts containing such an appendix is in the British Library (Or.2039), a second in the collection of Aligarh Muslim University (copied 1299/1882), and a third is allegedly in the collection of Khan Bahadur Zafar Hasan. An edited Persian text and English translation by B. De, based on the Aligarh manuscript, was published in the Bibliotheca Indica series in 1927. An English translation of the Futuhat by Elliot and Dowson appears in their History (3: 374-388).

The Sirat-i Firuz Shahi, by an unknown author, is also believed to have been written during the reign of Firuz Shah. The vivid and detailed descriptions suggest that the author possessed firsthand knowledge of the events he recorded.


Besides the works, particularly by Muslim historians referred to by Mr. Page in his Memoir, there exists another trustworthy and contemporary account of Firoz Shah's reign as narrated in the pages of Sirat-i-Firozshahi, a Persian manuscript in Nastaliq characters deposited in the Oriental Public Library at Bankipore and enlisted in its Catalogue as No. 547. From the Catalogue it appears that nothing is known about the author of Sirat-i-Firozshahi but the verse at the end of the manuscript assigns the work to A.H. 772 (A.D. 1370). i.e., the twentieth year of the reign of Firoz Shah. Sirat-i-Firozshahi thus chronicles the events of the earlier part of Firoz Shah's reign.
God said it, I believe it, That settles it.


-- Memoirs Of the Archaeological Survey of India, No. 52: A Memoir on Kotla Firoz Shah, Delhi, by J.A. Page, A.R.I.B.A., Late Superintendent, Archaeological Survey of India, With a Translation of Sirat-i-Firozshahi by Mohammad Hamid Kuraishi, B.A., Superintendent, Archaeological Survey of India, 1937


In several passages of the work he relates details of the celebrated occasion of the sultan’s discovery of an Asokan column north of Delhi and his extraordinary efforts to retrieve it and transport it to Delhi.18 He includes a step-by-step description of the building of the monument into which the column was installed. This author also discusses many other engineering projects, particularly waterworks, which Firuz Shah undertook.

As noted, the identity of the author of the Sirat-i Firuz Shahi is unknown and his relationship to the sultan is also not known although he must have been close to the court.19 The Sirat was probably written circa 1370, in the mid-part of the reign, because the author records the year 764/1367 as the time of the completion of the monument just mentioned. The text is known from a Persian manuscript in the Oriental Public Library at Bankipore, Patna dated 1002 A. H. Mohammad Hamid Kuraishi translated a portion of the work that concerned the transport of the Asokan column from Topra to Firuzabad. His translation appears in the monograph on the monument by J. A. Page in the Memoirs of the Archaeological Survey of India in 1937.

Another valuable source for the period is a collection of documents written by ‘Ain al-Mulk, on behalf of the sultan, to the high-ranking nobles of the empire. These letters and petitions, the Insha-i Mahru or Munshat-i Mahru, provide details of the administrative and political undertakings of the sultan. Collections of Mahru’s letters are presently in the possession of Aligarh Muslim University and the Asiatic Society of Bengal.20

Shams-i Siraj ‘Afif, author of the Ta'rikh-i Firuz Shahi, completed his work after the death of Firuz Shah.21 The work was written after the capture of the city of Delhi by Timur’s army in 1398-1399. ‘Afif's relationship to the court is not known. He was not known to be a nadim like Barani and his patron is not known. ‘Afif devotes several chapters to the architectural endeavors of the sultan, most notably the foundations at Firuzabad and Hissar. He also provides a list of monuments where Firuz Shah undertook restoration and also discusses the transport of the Asokan columns to Delhi. Since ‘Afif witnessed the destruction of Delhi by Timur, his history is a nostalgic recollection of a past era. His account is not always firsthand and he frequently relies on the testimony of other authorities, such as his father, as well as his own memory. According to the author, the Ta’rikh is only part of a larger composition which records the history of the Delhi sultanate from the time of Ghiyath al-Din Tughluq through the time of Timur’s capture. However, the known manuscripts of the work include only the reign of Firuz Shah. The name Ta’rikh-i Firuz Shahi has been ascribed to the work by modern historians on the basis of the surviving portions. Even these, however, are incomplete according to the author’s table of contents. ‘Afif refers to his work as the Manaqib-i Firuz Shahi.22

The Ta’rikh-i Firuz Shahi survives in several manuscripts, all imperfect copies. Two copies in India, one formerly in the possession of General Hamilton and another owned by Nawab Zia al-Din Loharu, were the basis for other copies owned by Sir H. Elliot, a certain Mr. Thomas, [Edward Thomas? ] and two copies in the India Office Library (one by way of the Marquis of Hastings). The Bibliotheca Indica edition, edited by Maulavi Vilayat Husain, was published in 1891. Elliot and Dowson published an English translation of the Ta’rikh in their History. Translated abstracts of the work by Lieut. Henry Lewis first appeared in the Journal of the Archaeological Society of Delhi in 1849.


Additional sources for the reign of Firuz Shah which make brief references to his architectural achievements were written after his death. These include Yahya Sihrindi’s Ta’rikh-i Mubarak Shahi, completed ca. 1428, Saraf al-Din ’Ali Yazdi’s Zafarnamah, written ca. 1435, and Timur’s Malfuzat-i Timuri, or Tuzuk-i Timuri, completed by 1405 A.D. Timur is said to have admired the buildings of the Tughluqs. Portions of all these works appear in English translation in the third and fourth volumes of Elliot and Dowson.

Muhammad Qasim Firishta completed the Gulshan-i Ibrahim, also known as the Ta'rikh-i Firishta and Ta'rikh-i Nawras-nama, in 1015/1606-1607. In it he recorded the history of early Indo-Muslim dynasties, from the time of Sebuktigin of Ghazna. Writing under the patronage of Ibrahim ’Adil Shah of Bijapur, Firishta's Ta'rikh is an assimilation of earlier histories and oral tradition.23 In it he draws on Barani and the Tabakat-i Akbari of Nizam al-Din Ahmad Bakshi (1001/1592-93). As a historical source, Firishta was considered by European scholars to be authoritative from the end of the 18th century when parts of his history first appeared in English translation. Alexander Dow translated and published the Ta'rikh in London in 1798 in two volumes as The History of Hindostan, from the Earliest Account of Time, to the Death of Akbar. A Persian manuscript of Firishta's Ta'rikh was edited by John Briggs and Mir Khairat ‘Ali Khan but was not published until 1247/1831-32 in Bombay under its Persian title Ta'rikh-i Firishtah. Briggs published an English translation of the work almost in its entirety in 1829 under the title History of the Rise of the Mohammedan Power in India, which appeared in four volumes. As a historical source, Firishta's account is suspect and his references to the architecture of Delhi are probably secondhand.

The most important source for early modern scholarship on the architectural history of Delhi is the Athar al-Sanadid by Sayyid Ahmad Khan. Written in Urdu, the work remains one of the key documents upon which many subsequent scholars have relied. The work was initially published in 1846 and an abridged and revised edition appeared in 1854. The Athar al-Sanadid includes historical information about key monuments of the Delhi sultans and includes several woodcut illustrations of sketches of these monuments by the artist Mirza Shah Rukh Beg Musawwir. A French translation, "Description des monuments de Delhi an 1852, d'après le texte Hindoustani de Saiyid Ahmad Khan," by M. Garcin de Tassy appeared in Journal asiatique (Juin 1860, pp. 508- 536; Août-Septembre 1860, pp. 190-254; Octobre-Novembre 1860, pp. 392-451; Décembre 1860, pp. 521-543, and Janvier 1861, pp. 77-97). The work was republished in Cawnpore in 1904 shortly after the author’s death in 1898, under the same title Athar al-Sanadid (English title -- Asar-oos-Sanadid, i.e. The first literary venture of Jawad-ud-dowla Arif-i-Jang Dr. Sir Syed Ahmad Khan). Recently, R. Nath has issued an edited English translation, Monuments of Delhi, A Historical Study, published under the auspices of the Indian Institute of Islamic Studies, New Delhi, 1979.

Early scholars’ attention to sultanate architecture focused on the impressive remains in the Delhi region: James Blunt, "A Description of the Cuttub Minar, Asiatick Researches IV (1795) and Walter Ewer, "An Account of the Inscriptions on the Cootub Minar and on the Ruins in its Vicinity," Asiatick Researches XTV (1822).

Firuz Shah’s monuments were first published by Henry Colebrooke in "Translation of one of the Inscriptions on the Pillar at Delhi, called the Lat of Feeroz Shah," Asiatick Researches VII (1801). The Archaeological Survey of India also focused attention on the remains of Firuz Shah’s monuments and reports on them first appear in Arthur Cunningham, "Report of the Proceedings of the Archaeological Surveyor to the Government of India for the season 1862-1863," Journal of the Asiatic Society of Bengal XXXIII (1864), and then in Reports of the Archaeological Survey of India I (1871), IV (1874), V (1875), and XX (1882-83).

By the mid-nineteenth century, other scholars turned their attention to the urban complexes of Delhi. Henry Lewis and Henry Cope examined the ruins at Firuzabad in "Some Account of the Town and Palace of Feerozabad in the vicinity of Delhi,...," Journal of the Asiatic Society of Bengal XVI (1847), and the same authors focused on an early mosque in their article "Some Account of the ’Kalan Musjeed" commonly called the ’Kalee Musjeed’ within the new town of Delhi," published in the same issue of Journal of the Asiatic Society of Bengal XVI (1847). Some years later C. J. Campbell published "Notes on the History and Topography of the Ancient Cities of Delhi," Journal of the Asiatic Society of Bengal XXXV (1866-1867).

In 1855 James Fergusson first examined the architectural remains in his Illustrated Handbook of Architecture but his well known survey of Indian and East Asian architecture. History of Indian and Eastern Architecture, 2 volumes, did not appear until 1876. His survey offered for the first time to a general audience a view of the material remains of the Indian culture. Alongside J. Briggs’s History of the Rise of Mahomedan Power in India, Fergusson’s survey of Muslim history and architectural history remained undisputed into this century.

One of the most significant works for early sultanate history appeared in 1867- 1877. Sir H. M. Elliot and John Dowson, The History of India as Told Its Own Historians, The Muhammadan Period, in eight volumes, which appeared in London in 1867-1877, continues today to be an invaluable resource for Indo-Muslin history. The volumes include English translations of portions of key historical works of the reign of Firuz Shah Tughluq, including the sultan’s Futuhat-i Firuz Shahi, ‘Afif's Ta’rikh-i Firuz Shahi, Barani’s Ta’rikh-i Firuz Shahi, and others. Elliot and Dowson’s history remains a landmark contribution. At the same time, Edward Thomas published The Chronology of the Pathan Kings of Delhi, illustrated by coins, inscriptions, and other antiquarian remains (London, 1871), drawing upon Sayyid Ahmad Khan’s Athar al-Sanadid.

A number of handbooks and guides on the material remains in the Delhi area appear throughout the century. Besides Fergusson’s Illustrated Handbook of Delhi (mentioned above), other guides appeared: Frederick Cooper, The Handbook for Delhi (Delhi 1863), H. G. Keene’s Handbook for Visitors to Delhi, and Carr Stephen’s The Archaeology and Monumental Remains of Delhi (Ludhiana 1876). The latter author derived much of his information from Sayyid Ahmad Khan. All offered annotated descriptions of numerous points of interest in Delhi.

After the turn of the century, H. C. Fanshawe, Delhi, Past and Present (London 1902), G. R. Hearn, The Seven Cities of Delhi (London 1906) and E. A. Duncan’s updated edition of Keene's Handbook for the Visitors to Delhi (Calcutta 1906) appeared. More recently T. G. Percival-Spear published Delhi: Its Monuments and History (London 1943) and Y. D. Sharma prepared Delhi and Its Neighborhood for the XXVI International Congress of Orientalists. The volume was published under the auspices of the Archaeological Survey of India (New Delhi, 1964).

The Archaeological Survey of India published from 1916-1922 the List of Muhammadan and Hindu Monuments: Delhi Province in four volumes. Volumes on Delhi Zail (v. 2, Delhi 1919) and Mahrauli Zail (v. 3, Delhi 1922) include Firuz Shah’s buildings. In addition, the Archaeological Survey also published in its Memoirs a series of monographs on sites of importance. Noted among these are Zafar Hasan, Guide to Nizammudin (1922) and J. A. Page, An Historical Memoir on the Qutb: Delhi (1926). The buildings of Firuz Shah were the focus of Memoir No. 52 (1937) published by J. A. Page in A Memoir on Kotla Firuz Shah, Delhi. This volume includes the English translation of portions of the Sirat-i Firuz Shahi relevant to the buildings of the kotla referred to above. Alongside the Memoirs, the Archaeological Survey continued to publish its Annual Reports of the Archaeological Survey of India (Northern Circle) between 1910-11 and 1920-21.

Two major studies of Indo-Islamic epigraphy were compiled under the auspices of the Archaeological Survey of India; Epigraphica Indo-Moslemica, 9 volumes (1909- 1938) and Epigraphica Indica (Arabic and Persian Supplement), 8 volumes (1955-1968). Of particular interest is Zafar Hasan’s "Inscriptions of Sikandar Shah Lodi in Delhi," EJM . 1919-20 (Calcutta 1924) which includes the historical epigraph of the mausoleum of Firuz Shah.

Other scholars have made significant contributions to the study of epigraphy of early Indian Islamic monuments. These include Maulvi Muhammad Ashraf Husain’s Record of All the Quranic and Non-historical Epigraphs on the Protected Monuments in the Delhi Province published in Memoirs of the Archaeological Survey of India No. 47 (Calcutta 1936), V. S. Bendrey, A Study of Muslim Inscriptions (Bombay 1944), and relevant sections of Qeyamuddin Ahmad’s Corpus of Arabic & Persian Inscriptions of Bihar (A.H. 640-1200) (Patna 1973). Subhash Parihar published Muslim Inscriptions in the Punjab, Haryana And Himachal Pradesh in 1985 and brought attention to many neglected monuments of those regions.

Much has been written about the architecture of the Delhi sultanate. The best known surveys are found in Percy Brown’s, Indian Architecture: The Islamic Period (Calcutta 1942) and R. Nath’s History of Sultanate Architecture (Delhi 1982). Other accounts include those in R. A. Jairazbhoy, An Outline of Islamic Architecture (New York 1972); Ziya ud-Din Desai, Indo-Islamic Architecture (New Delhi 1970) and Mosques of India (New Delhi 1971); and Satish Grover, The Architecture of India, Islamic 727-1707 AD . (New Delhi 1981). John Marshall’s survey in the Cambridge History of India (1928) and J. Burton-Page’s surveys in the Encyclopedia of Islam, "Dihli," II (1966) pp. 255-266, and "Hind, pt. vii. Architecture," III (1971), pp. 440-454, are all useful. Anthony Welch and Howard Crane published a survey of Tughluq monuments in "The Tughluqs: Master Builders of the Delhi Sultanate," Muqarnas (1983).

The most extensive survey of sultanate architecture published by the University of Tokyo, Institute of Oriental Culture (Tokyo Daigaku. Indo Shiseki Chosa Dan) in 1967-1970 is a three volume work entitled Deri: Deri shoocho-jidai no kenzobutsu no kenkyu (English tide: Delhi: Architectural Remains of the Delhi Sultanate Period). The authors, Tatsuo Yamamoto, Matsuo Ara, Tokifusa Tsukinowa and Taichi Oshima, using photogrammetrical means, compiled plans and elevations of numerous monuments and supplemented these with photographs. The first volume contains a general list of about 400 monuments, classified among mosques, graveyards, tomb-buildings, waterworks, and miscellaneous structures, which are subdivided by form, function, and chronology. The second volume focuses on tomb architecture and discusses the typology, forms, methods of construction, and historical backgrounds of 142 monuments. Four tombs were selected for intensive study: those of Ghiyath al-Din Tughluq, Shaikh Shihab al-Din Taj Khan, Muhammad Shah Saiyid, and an unidentified twelve-pillared tomb near Mehrauli. The third volume focuses on waterworks and lists 52 remains of stepped wells (ba’olis), dams (bands), bridges, and sluices, of which a few are examined more extensively than the rest. Unprecedented in scope, these volumes present a comprehensive inventory and photographic survey of the Delhi sultanate. These volumes were published in limited editions and are difficult to obtain. A reprinted edition, with English translations, is planned.

Several studies of the architecture of other sultanates of India have been published. These are useful for comparative purposes as well as for the fact that they provide occasion reference to the Delhi sultans. Both Brown and Nath include regional developments in their respective surveys. Those surveys whose contents are germane to the study of Firuz Shah include George Michell (Editor), The Islamic Heritage of Bengal (UNESCO 1984); and Ahmad Nabi Khan, Multan: History and Architecture (Islamabad 1983). A. Fiihrer’s early study, Sharqi Architecture ofJaunpur (London 1909), examines the architecture of Jaunpur after Firuz Shah’s foundation. A comprehensive survey of Muslim architecture of the Punjab and Haryana does not exist; however, articles on individual monuments are listed in two bibliographic sources: S. Y. Quraishi, Haryana Rediscovered: A Bibliographical Area Study, v. 1 (1985) and K. C. Yadav and S. R. Phogat, History and Culture of Haryana: A Classified and Annotated Bibliography (1985).

Thus, scholarship on sultanate architecture has included typological and formal studies as well as archaeological and historical surveys. As noted, Firuz Shah’s monuments constitute a small part of these studies of Indo-lslamic architecture. A limited number of historical references have produced a small number of attributions yet the physical remains of many buildings commonly assigned to his patronage are scattered around the Delhi area. Epigraphic evidence which support these attributions is virtually lost. The surviving evidence culled from these sources is brought together here in an attempt to formulate some conclusions about Firuz Shah’s architecture.

In the following pages, the corpus of architectural monuments attributed to Firuz Shah is reconstructed from evidence gleaned from the literary record and scant epigraphy as well as physical evidence of three of his most significant undertakings: the imperial mosque and so-called lat pyramid of his capital, the religious complex at Hauz Khas, and his frontier establishment at Hissar. By doing so, some questions about this important builder should be kept in mind. What are the characteristics of the architectural forms of Firuz Shah’s monuments? What functions or purposes can be ascribed to these architectural forms? What are the prototypes or sources for these forms? What is the basis for associating these forms to Firuz Shah? To what degree does the corpus of extant monuments correspond to the literary record? With these questions in mind, let us first examine the historical events of his life and survey his known monuments.

______________

Notes:

1 Firuz Shah, Futuhat (Elliot and Dowson), p. 382.

2 Both Hijra and Christian era dates are used in this text (Hijra preceding Ciiristian). All dates which stand alone are designated by A.H., A.D., or B.C.

3 The Quwwat al-Islam mosque is examined by J. A. Page, An Historical Memoir on the Qutb: Delhi, Memoirs of the Archaeological Survey of India No. 52, Delhi, 1937.

4 Firuz Shah’s city of Firuzabad was the fifth of the seven medieval cities of Delhi: Qila Rai Pithora, Siri, Tughluqabad, Jahanpanah, and Firuzabad. The mosque at Qila Rai Pithora had fallen into disrepair by Firuz Shah’s day. See Firuz Shah, Futuhat (Elliot and Dowson), p. 383.

5 ‘Afif, Ta'rikh (Elliot and Dowson), p. 354.

6 See A. Welch, "Qur’an and Tomb," p. 257; and Welch, "Islamic Architecture and Epigraphs in Sultanate India," in Studies in South Asian Art and Archaeology, edited by A. K. Narain (forthcoming).

7 ‘Afif, Ta’rikh (Elliot and Dowson), pp. 350-353; Sirat-i Firuz Shahi, pp. 33-42.

8 Firuz Shah, Futuhat (Elliot and Dowson), pp. 383-385.

9 The most impressive examples of sub-imperial patronage include the mosques built by Khan-i Jahan Junan Shah, Firuz Shah’s prime minister. Carr Stephen, The Archaeology and Monumental Remains of Delhi, pp. 148-149, lists seven mosques attributed to Khan-i Jahan, based on Sayyid Ahmad Khan’s attributions, but not all of the attributions are accepted. Khan-i Jahan is identified by inscription on two of the seven, the Kali Masjid and Kalan Masjid, dated 772/1370-71 and 789/1387 respectively. Some other examples in Delhi include the dargah of Shaikh Salah al-Din, near Mauda Khirki, dated 754/1353 (Nath, Monuments of Delhi, p. 36) and a saubate tomb dated 777/1375-76, near Hauz Khas (Archaeological Survey of India, Lists of Monuments, v. 3, pp. 73-74, no. 112).

10 Firuz Shah is identified by inscription in the entrance gate of the tomb at the dargah of Hazrat Nasir al-Din Roshan, Chiragh-i Delhi, dated 775/1373. The Lodi inscription on his mausoleum at Hauz Khas identifies him as the occupant, not the builder. See Carr Stephen, Archaeology and Monumental Remains, p. 146, footnote.

11 Firuz Shah, Futuhat (Elliot and Dowson), p. 382; Sirat-i Firuz Shahi, translated in Rashid, "Firoz Shah’s Investiture," p. 71.

12 ‘Afif, Ta’rikh (Elliot and Dowson), pp. 354-355.

13 Authors whose works predate Firuz Shah’s reign provide descriptions of the topography and monuments of Delhi. Their accounts are useful in setting the stage for Firuz Shah’s reign, one which witnessed a proliferation of architectural monuments.

Most noted among these authors is the poet Amir Khusrau (b. 651/1253) whose Tughluk-nama, one of his many prose works which describes the glorious victories of Khalji and Tughluq rulers makes no reference to their architectural achievements. Amir Khusrau was patronized by ‘Ala’ al-Din Khalji, Qutb al-Din Mubarak Shah and Ghiyath al-Din Tughluq. See P. Hardy, "Amir Khusraw Dihlawi," Encyclopedia of Islam I (1960), pp. 444-445.

’Isami, a court poet under Muhammad bin Tughluq, was embittered over his family’s forced migration to Daulatabad so he retired to the court of ‘Ala’ al-Din Hasan Bahman Shah and wrote his Futuh al-Salatin in 750-751/1349-1350 under the patronage of the Bahman sultan. The Futuh, written in the manner of Firdausi’s Shah-nama, recounts the conquests of India since the Ghaznavids (English trans. Agha Mahdi Husain, Bombay 1967). In it, he provides one of the few early descriptions of Delhi. See A.S. Bazmee Ansari, "’Isami," Encyclopedia of Islam IV (1978), pp. 92-93.

Ibn Battuta served as a qadi to the court of Muhammad bin Tughluq between 1333-1343 A.D. In his Rihla, completed in 756/1357, he described the urban landscape of Delhi. See A. Miquel, "Ibn Battuta," Encyclopedia of Islam III (1971), pp. 735-736. Chapters on India translated by C. Defrémery and B.R. Sanguinetti, Voyage d'Ibn Batoutah, 4 vols (Paris, 1853-59); H. A. R. Gibb, The Travels of Ibn Battuta, 2 vols (Cambridge, 1958-62); and Mahdi Husain, TheRehla of Ibn Battuta (Baroda, 1953).

The poet Badr al-Din Chach wrote a panegyric description of Delhi and the palace of Khurrambad in the Qasa’id (portions translated by Elliot and Dowson).

Shihab al-Din ‘Abbas al-’Umari wrote about monuments of Delhi and Daulatabad without having visited the subcontinent. Based on traveler’s descriptions, he completed the Masalik al-absar fi mamalik al-amsar in Damascus (Trans. I.H. Siddiqi and Q.M. Ahmad, Fourteenth Century Account of India under Muhammad bin Tughluq, Aligarh 1971.

14 Biographical details about Barani’s life are provided by Hardy, Historians of Medieval India, pp. 20-39; Hardy, "Diya’ al-Din Barani," Encyclopedia of Islam I, pp. 1036-1037; and Habib, "Life and Thought of Ziauddin Barani," in Political Theory of the Delhi Sultanate, pp. 117-172.

15 Ibid. Details about his banishment are sketchy. Barani himself relates in his Na’t-i Muhammadi that he was confined to the Pahtez fortress for five months.

16 Nasihat literature consisted of books of advice which were paradigms or mirrors for princes to emulate.

17 According to ‘Afif the text of the Futuhat was inscribed on the walls of the Kushk-i Shikar, the dome of the Kushk-i Nuzul, and the minaret of the stone mansion at Firuzabad. Elsewhere he repeats that it was inscribed on the tower of the Kushk-i Nuzul. ‘Afif Ta’rikh (Elliot and Dowson), p. 316.

18 There were two columns ["Asokan" pillars] brought to Delhi but the author of the Sirat-i Firuz Shahi mentions only one. ‘Afif discusses both columns. ‘Afif, Ta’rikh (Elliot and Dowson), pp. 350-353.

19 Hodivala suggests that the author of the Sirat-i Firuz Shahi may be ‘Abd al- ‘Aziz Shams Bahanuri, author of an alleged work Tawarikh-i Firuz Shahi and translator of a Hindu text, Brihat Samhita of Varahamihira, a text found by Firuz Shah during his plunder of a library in Nagarkot (Kangra). See Hodivala, Studies of Indo-Muslim History, v. 2, p. 130-131.

20 Hodivala, Studies in Indo-Muslim History, v. 1, p. 338. Hodivala discusses the Asiatic Society of Bengal group. The Aligarh University collection is edited by S. A. Rashid assisted by Muhammad Bashir Husain (Lahore, 1965).

21 For a discussion of ‘Afif s work and biographical details, see Hardy, Historians of Medieval India, pp. 40-55.

22 The manaqib ("merit" or "virtue") is a literary genre which is usually reserved for biographies of saints and Muslim holymen. According to Hardy, the application of this genre to a biography of a sultan is unusual and he claims that ‘Afif "superimposes upon events a pattern required by the literary genre..." The same author contends that ‘Afif models the sultan "in conformity with an abstract ideal." See Hardy, Historians of Medieval India, p. 41.

23 Firishta is believed to have depended heavily on Barani’s Ta’rikh-i Firuz Shahi, but he seems to be unaware of ‘Afif's work. See Hardy, "Firishta," Encyclopedia of Islam 2 (1966), pp. 921-922.

Firuz Shah’s authorship of the Futuhat-i Firuz Shahi is attested to in a number of sources. ‘Afif, for example, states that Firuz Shah wrote his edicts after the death of Barani and had them inscribed in Firuzabad. 'Afif's statement is repeated by the later historians, Firishta. [???]

-- 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
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Re: The Architecture of Firuz Shah Tughluq, by William Jeffr

Postby admin » Tue Nov 30, 2021 5:32 am

Part 1 of 4

CHAPTER II. LIFE OF FIRUZ SHAH

The history of Firuz Shah’s reign is given by numerous modern authors.1 Their accounts are derived largely from contemporary texts by Barani and ‘Afif, and the Sirat-i Firuz Shahi. Later historians, Firishta and Nizam al-Din, who draw upon these early authors’ accounts, present little new information. These authors provide biographical facts about the man and record the main events of his reign. Although they offer dates of major campaigns and noted events, a decisive chronology is only partially known. Our understanding of Firuz Shah’s life is further enlightened by the sultan’s own statements, which he records in the Futuhat-i Firuz Shahi. He is believed to have been a lavish patron but this role is only partially understood. The Sirat-i Firuz Shahi relates that Firuz Shah participated in the conception and design of the lat pyramid and closely supervised its construction, but little is revealed in other contemporary sources about the part he played in the building process. Whether he provided revenue from personal or state resources is unknown. Likewise, information about the patron-worker relationship is scant, and records of endowments and revenue dispersal are altogether lacking. But, nonetheless, the contemporary histories and the sultan himself remark about his fondness for building.

In addition to contemporary literature, the history of Firuz Shah can also be reconstructed, in part, using historical epigraphy [the study and interpretation of ancient inscriptions.]. This evidence, contained on monuments constructed during his reign, has largely disappeared. Although this evidence is severely lacking, a small body of historical epigraphs survives which points to a broader scope of patronage, at times influenced by the sultan, than that on the imperial level. With these considerations in mind, let us begin by examining the life of Firuz Shah known from literary sources.

The Tughluqs were of Turkic origin and came to India from Khurasan,2 [The designation "Tughluk" (alternatively "Tughluq") is a modern innovation and is not mentioned by contemporary Persian authorities.] In his Ta’rikh-i Firuz Shahi, ‘Afif traces back the origin of the line to three brothers who came to India during the reign of ‘Ala’ al-Din Khalji (r. 695-715/1296-1316) and resided in the region of Dipalpur.3 [Details of Tughluq ancestry are given, according to ‘Afif, in his Manakib-i Sultan Tughlik. This manuscript is now lost.] The collapse of the Khalji sultanate occurred when Khusraw Khan, an individual favored by the Khalji sultan Mubarak Shah (r. 716-720/1316-1320), renounced his conversion to Islam and usurped the throne of Delhi. Ghiyath al-Din Tughluq, the military governor of Dipalpur and Multan, seized power in 720/1320 and established a new ruling Muslim line.4

Abu’l-Muzaffar Firuz Shah was born in 709/1309, the son of an sipahsalar (army commander), Rajab, who was the brother of Ghiyath al-Din Tughluq Ghazi.5 [His full name, Abu al-Muzzafar Firoz Shah, is given in the Sirat-i Firuz Shahi.] His mother, Bibi Na’ila, was a Hindu from the Punjab, the daughter of the Rana of Dipalpur, a zamindar (landholder).6 [Hardy, Historians of Medieval India, p. 43, states that the events surrounding the parents of Firuz Shah and his life prior to his accession were intended by ‘Afif to "read as hagiology, full of signs and portents of coming greatness. Events are mentioned for their symbolical import."]


Little is known about Firuz Shah’s childhood.7 His father died when he was seven whereupon his upbringing fell into the hands of his uncle Ghiyath al-Din Tughluq. When Ghiyath al-Din ascended the throne in 720/1320, Firuz Shah’s education in the affairs of state began. When he was eighteen, Ghiyath al-Din died and his tutelage was continued under Muhammad bin Tughluq, the brother of Ghiyath al-Din. Muhammad bin Tughluq appointed Firuz Shah as naib-i amir-hajib (deputy of the lord chamberlain) and granted him the title na’ib bar-bak which carried a command of 12,000 horses. When Muhammad bin Tughluq divided his empire into four administrative territories, he placed one under Firuz Shah so the young man could gain experience.8

The circumstances surrounding Firuz Shah’s accession are confusing. Both Barani and ‘Afif devote significant attention to it but their versions of the events do not always agree. Muhammad bin Tughluq had reigned for 45 years when he met his death while campaigning in Thatta, most likely a result of food poisoning. He is believed to have designated Firuz Shah as his successor.9 Firuz Shah was present in the royal encampment in Thatta on the campaign to Sind during which Muhammad died and he was elected to succeed his uncle by members of court and ‘ulama' who accompanied the campaign.10 ‘Afif mentions that Firuz Shah was reluctant to assume the responsibilities of sultan and instead desired to make the pilgrimage to Mecca.

Firuz Shah was in his early forties when he ascended to power. The preceding reign of Muhammad bin Tughluq had been a tumultuous one, marked by continuous campaigning and administrative reform. From Muhammad bin Tughluq’s tutelage, he possessed the necessary requisites for the job and he was a seasoned veteran in affairs of state but despite his talents, Firuz Shah’s reticence about succeeding him underscored his perception of the burdens which temporal leadership of the age carried. But the decision of the members of the imperial camp prevailed and Firuz Shah was convinced to accept. Nonetheless, much controversy has surrounded the circumstances of Firuz Shah’s accession.11 Although Barani and ‘Afif diverge on details of his selection, both authors assert the logic of Firuz Shah’s selection and emphasize his popularity. Firuz Shah’s investiture took place in Thatta on 24 Muharram 752/March 23, 1351 A.D. In his first act as sultan he appointed Shirabru Chashm as his chief minister or Imad al-Mulk (Pillar of State).12 His career as a builder began shortly after his accession. While enroute back to Delhi from Thatta, Firuz Shah founded the town of Fathabad, in commemoration of the birth of his son Fath Khan. This foundation is the earliest foundation attested to in contemporary sources.

Firuz Shah was not the military giant that his predecessor was nor did he take excessive pride in his military achievements. He had inherited a secure empire from Muhammad bin Tughluq. [???!!!]

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
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Re: The Architecture of Firuz Shah Tughluq, by William Jeffr

Postby admin » Tue Nov 30, 2021 5:37 am

Part 2 of 4

The latter was the empire builder of the dynasty, consolidating a territorial expanse which extended from Gujarat to Bengal and from the Punjab to the Deccan. In fact, he collapsed and died while in pursuit of conquest of Sind. In contrast, Firuz Shah focussed his attention less on military engagements and territorial expansion and more on administrative and leisurely pursuits. Empire building was not among his ambitions. This may be in part due to the belief that he shunned bloodshed, often in the guise of sparing fellow Muslims, and he frequently acquiesced to political factions and relinquished territories. He made overtures of conquest and jihad on more than one occasion but his imperial ambitions paled beside those of his predecessor. Moreover Firuz Shah makes no mention of military campaigns in his edicts, the Futuhat-i Firuz Shahi, in which he records his victories or achievements.

Firuz Shah’s first military encounter after assuming command was directed against the Chaghatai mercenaries who had plundered the encampment at Thatta. Firuz also successfully prevented Chaghatai bands from entering Delhi shortly before his return from Thatta.13 However, Firuz Shah’s career as a military commander was spotted with indecision and impulsivenesss.14 Some authors have attributed his actions to imperial ambition. Other motivating forces are betrayed in his concern for maintaining stability and he frequently accepted territorial losses in turn for peace.15 His major campaigns took place early in his reign, when he undertook two expeditions into Bengal. His ventures into the region are better known for the legacy he left behind him -- in particular, his architectural foundation of Jaunpur -- rather than the battles he fought.16

Although the motive for the initial campaign to Bengal in 754/1353 has been disputed, it is likely that Firuz Shah intended to suppress Haji Ilyas Shah who had set himself up as an independent ruler of Bengal in 746/1345 and assumed the title Sultan Shams al-Din Ilyas Shah.17 Firuz Shah encountered Shams al-Din on the banks of the Kosi River and forced his troops to flee to the fortress on the island of Ikdala which offered protective jungle and waterways. Firuz Shah’s feigned retreat succeeded in luring Shams al-Din out of the fort and his troops pursued him until he sought refuge once more in the fort at Ikdala. Firuz Shah’s troops then besieged the fort. But, to avoid the bloodshed of Muslims, he negotiated peace.

The first expedition to Bengal (Lakhnauti) took eleven months. Upon returning to Delhi, Firuz Shah commenced building his palace at Firuzabad (ca. 755/1354). Firuz Shah’s Kotla was the first city of Delhi to be situated on the banks of the Jumna River. During the time following his campaign to Bengal, Firuz Shah also ordered construction of a college or madrasa at the tank of ‘Ala’ al-Din Khalji at Hauz Khas on the southern fringe of Firuzabad. In addition, he also founded Hissar (ca. 757/1356), to the northwest of Firuzabad, in Haryana, only a few miles from his earlier foundation at Fathabad.18 The region underwent significant change as a result of the excavation of two canals by his orders. While he was in residence in Hissar, he received an emissary, Zafar Khan, who requested that he return to Bengal. Firuz Shah returned to Bengal at the plea of Sultan Fakhr al-Din, the ruler at Sonargaon, who sought revenge for his father-in-law’s death at the hands of Shams al-Din.19

The second campaign to Bengal has been described as a leisurely procession. Firuz Shah conducted his army through Kanauj and Awadh where he stayed for six months, founded the city of Jaunpur (760/1359) as a base for future campaigns in the east, and arrived in Bengal only after Shams al-Din had died. The latter’s son Sikandar succeeded him and like his father, Sikandar retreated to the fort at Ikdala to permit his ministers time to appeal for peace on the basis of Muslim fellowship. Their negotiations resulted in Sikandar’s concession of the throne at Sonargaon to the khan-i ’azam, Zafar Khan. Zafar Khan however declined and returned with Firuz Shah to Jaunpur.

Although Firuz Shah had responded to threats against his empire during his expeditions to Bengal, the Bengal rulers had already set themselves up as autonomous rulers in eastern Bengal as early as 737/1336. Ilyas Shah (r. 746-759/1345-1358) and his successors annexed western territories and united all Bengal as a separate sultanate.20 Firuz Shah’s loss of territory is glossed over by contemporary historians. Instead, the sultan’s expeditions are presented as campaigns to protect the interests of oppressed Muslims.

Shortly after Firuz Shah arrived back in Jaunpur, he embarked upon a campaign to Orissa. The campaign was the most impulsive of Firuz Shah’s military ventures. Although his motives for the expedition are unclear, ‘Afif remarks that he pursued Adaya, the Rai of Jajnagar, in emulation of the Ghaznavid ruler, Mahmud Sebuktigan, and he removed the idol of Jajnagar from the Hindu holy city of Puri to Delhi and placed it in an ignomious position, but it is equally likely that the reputed wealth of the temple had attracted the sultan’s attention.21 The author of the Sirat-i Firuz Shah and ‘Ain al- Mulk, in the Insha-i Mahru, describe the destruction of the Puri temple, the confiscation of the idol, and the massacre of Hindus.22 The campaign to Orissa typifies Firuz Shah’s impulsive temperament and indecision. The campaign took nearly six months during which time the absence of news concerning the whereabouts of the Tughluq ruler and army created panic in Delhi. The campaign to Bengal and the excursion to Orissa lasted two years and seven months before Firuz Shah and his army returned to Delhi in Rajab 762/1360. If not for the extraordinary leadership and loyalty of Firuz Shah’s vizier Khani Jahan, the situation in Delhi could have had tragic consequences.

From Muhammad bin Tughluq’s tutelage, he possessed the necessary requisites for the job and he was a seasoned veteran in affairs of state but ...

-- 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.


Firuz Shah spent the four years following the Bengal campaign preoccupied with hunting, conducting affairs of state, and building.23

Eleventh Mukaddama. — Arrival of Sultan Firoz at Hansi.

The Sultan being relieved from all apprehension on account of Dehli, marched in great state from Karoda towards the city. After several stages he arrived at Hansi, where he went to wait upon the Shaikhu-l Islam Shaikh Kutbu-d din. *** The Shaikh said to him, "I have heard it said that you are addicted to wine; but if Sultans and the heads of religion give themselves up to wine-bibbing, the wants of the poor and needy will get little attention." *** The Sultan thereupon said that he would drink no more.

After this the Shaikh said that he had been informed that the Sultan was passionately fond of hunting; but hunting was a source of great trouble and distress to the world, and could not be approved. To kill any animal without necessity was wrong, and hunting ought not to be prosecuted farther than was necessary to supply the wants of man — all beyond this was reprehensible. The Sultan, in reverence of the Shaikh, promised to abstain from hunting. ***

-- XVI. Tarikh-i Firoz Shahi, of Shams-i Siraj 'Afif, 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. 269-364, 1871


During this time he completed the palace (kushk) at Firuzabad and began a second. Despite the debacle in Orissa, Firuz Shah commanded the respect of his army and when a plea for troops was sounded for a campaign to Sind, many were eager to join.

Firuz Shah undertook the campaign to Sind (767-768/1366-1367) to carry out the wishes of his predecessor, Muhammad bin Tughluq, whose death had stopped short its conquest. Sind was now ruled by a certain Jam Babinya.24 According to ‘Afif, Firuz Shah’s vizier, Khan-i Jahan encouraged him to undertake the campaign to carry out his predecessor’s will and to besiege one fortress a year in accordance with his duties as sultan.25 It proved to be Firuz Shah’s most disastrous military venture.26 He returned home with a fraction of the men who left with him. The ill-fated campaign to Thatta was Firuz Shah’s last major military undertaking.

Kism III. — Concerning the affairs of Thatta and the Submission of the Jam and Babiniya. Establishment of the Tas-i Ghariyal.

First Mukaddama. — Resolution of the Sultan with Khan-i Jahan about Thatta.


* * * Four whole years passed after the Sultan's return from Lakhnauti, during which he stayed principally at Dehli and attended to the affairs of his people, though from time to time he turned his thoughts towards the concerns of the people of Thatta. Whenever he spoke of this place he used to stroke his beard, and exclaim that it was a hundred thousand pities that his predecessor, Sultan Muhammad Shah Tughlik, had failed in conquering it. From these indications the nobles and attendants clearly perceived that his thoughts were bent upon an expedition to that country. One day, in private consultation with his wazir, Khan-i Jahan, he disclosed the secret thoughts of his heart, saying, "What sort of men are they of Thatta, and are they exempt from apprehension, because they opposed the late Sultan when he entered their territory, and he ended his life before the contest was concluded? Often, during his illness, he looked at me and said, 'Would that God would turn my sickness into health, so that I might subdue these people of Thatta! If God should please to take me, still this desire will remain constant in my heart.'" Sultan Firoz recalled to the mind of the Khan-i Jahan how Sultan Muhammad had died without accomplishing this dearest wish of his heart; and went on to say that as God had made him the successor to Muhammad, had not, then, the duty of exacting vengeance devolved upon him? The minister carefully pondered over the matter, and replied that the Sultan's views were right and expedient. Two objects might be gained: First, it was a duty to carry out the testaments and precepts of predecessors; children and brethren are bound to be zealous in avenging their deceased relatives, and this duty is more especially incumbent on kings. Secondly, it is an obligation on kings that every year they should strive to subdue fortresses, for, as Sa'di says,

"If a holy man eats half his loaf, he will give the other half to a beggar; ''But if a king conquers all the world, he will still seek another world to conquer." [!!!]


The minister being thus in accord with the wishes of the Sultan, he ordered the necessary preparations to be made for an expedition to Thatta. The ministers accordingly proceeded to inquire into the number of soldiers present and absent, and made a report of the numbers of horse and foot who were present, and of those who were absent. The report soon spread abroad that the Sultan meditated an expedition against Thatta. He had undertaken in the course of his reign several enterprizes, which had gratified his people, and they now eagerly came forward to join his army. When the muster was called, four, ten, and eleven fold of irregulars (ghair-wajh) appeared;1 [I translate this passage somewhat doubtfully with the light of the context, which evidently implies that more men were ready than were required. The words are [x]. See infra, p. 327.] and the regulars (wajh-dar) through long tranquillity attended in great numbers with horses and arms. So the Sultan started for Thatta, accompanied by his nobles and followers.

Second Mukaddama. — March of Firoz Shah to Thatta.

Before the Sultan departed on his expedition he made pilgrimages to the saints and holy men who were buried near Dehli, as other great kings had done before him, to invoke the assistance of their prayers. This was the usual practice of the Sultan. Whenever he was about to make a journey for a month or two, he used to visit the shrines of holy men and famous kings, to invoke their aid and to cast himself on their protection, not trusting to his own power and greatness. [Account of his devotions and charities.]

The Sultan having thus discharged his religious duties, he placed himself at the head of his brave and numerous army, and turned towards Thatta. The author intends, in his fourth book, to give an account of the many servants who joined the royal army. In those days the author's father served in the minister's office (dar mahal-i diwan-i wizarat) among the great officials. The Sultan's army consisted of 90,000 cavalry and 480 elephants. The Khan-i 'azam, Tatar Khan, was now dead. The wazir, Khan-i Jahan, was left as viceroy in Dehli [Tents and equipage]. When the Sultan started, he resolved to pay a visit to the shrine of Shaikh Faridu-d din, at Ajodhan, and, on arriving at that town, he accomplished this object. When he reached the confines of Bhakkar and Siwistan, he issued an order for collecting all the boats of the country, and when as many as five thousand had been brought together, he placed them by thousands under the command of his principal officers, and the author's father had command of one division. The order was given to descend the river Sind, and in a few days they reached Thatta. The Sultan himself marched in company with a force along the hither bank of the river.

Third Mukaddama. — Descent of Sultan Firoz on Thatta.

In these days the territory of Thatta was divided into two parts, one division lying on the hither (kirana) or Dehli side of the river Sindh, and the other on the farther (guzara) or Thatta side; both of them populated by a numerous and warlike people. At that time the Jam, brother of Rai Unar, and Babiniya, his brother's son, were masters of Thatta.1 [[This is according to the version of the two MSS. of the East India Library. Sir H. Elliot's and Mr. Thomas' MSS. are here defective. They omit the name "Unar," and change "Babiniya" into "Thatta," making sheer nonsense. Firishta gives only one name, ''Jam Bany, the son of Jam Afra" (or, according to the text, Ghafra). See Mir Ma'sum, Vol. I. of this work, p. 226.]] They made great show of their prowess and [collecting their forces they prepared for resistance]. Mud forts had also been built in both divisions of Sind. The Jam, and Babiniya the arrogant,2 [[Khud-kam; this epithet is appended to his name until he made his submission.]] made ready for battle; the Sultan also, having approached Thatta, arrayed his forces, and a battle seemed imminent from day to day. But grain became scarce in the army of the Sultan. A pestilence also broke out among the horses, which was a very grievous calamity, and greatly disheartened the troops of every rank. Of the whole 90,000 horses which had marched with the Sultan, only one-fourth, at the utmost, remained alive. The dearness of grain caused great dismay; the price rose from two to three tankas a man, and even beyond that. When the men of Thatta saw these sufferings of their adversaries, the Jam and Babiniya resolved to seize the opportunity and to make an attack.

Fourth Mukaddama. — Engagement with the army of Thatta.

The Jam, and Babiniya the arrogant, came forth from their fort with a large force of horse and foot, and drew up in array against the royal forces. When the Sultan heard of their advance, he also drew out his forces, and, upon examination, there proved to be hardly one-fourth cavalry. Famine also had broken down the vigour and spirit of his men. Still, like a valiant king, he made ready for battle, and arranged his forces in three divisions — a centre and two wings. The elephants were divided among the three divisions. He then put on his armour, and, baton in hand, rode through the whole array, encouraging and cheering the men. This raised the spirits of his people and incited their devotion.

The Sultan passed along in front of his forces speaking words of encouragement, and all men offered up their prayers for him.
Although he affected not to fear the vast force of his enemies, still, in his heart, [he looked with apprehension on the weakness of his own army, and prayed to God for assistance. The enemy's numbers amounted to about 20,000 cavalry and 400,000 infantry. With all this enormous force the enemy were unable to force an action, but discharges of arrows were interchanged. Heaven fought on the side of the Sultan, and such a storm of wind arose that the men were unable to open their eyes. Still, the brave men on both sides maintained a struggle. The Sultan, notwithstanding the weakness of his force, resolved to advance, and [the whole army, making one vigorous and united charge, the enemy fled and took refuge in their fort. *** The Sultan was thus left master of the field. He then held a council, and announced his intention to retire upon Gujarat and reinforce his army, but he added that if God spared him he would return again the following year and push his enterprize.

Fifth Mukaddama. — Retreat of Firoz Shah from Thatta to Gujarat.

[Full account of what passed at the council, and of the determination to retreat into Gujarat to recruit, and return in the following year, when the crops would be ripe and grain plentiful.]


The Sultan then gave orders for the march, which spread universal joy throughout the army. * * The Khan-i 'azam (Zafar Khan), who had under his command a large force of Bengalis, had charge of the rear. When the enemy found that the Sultan had retreated, with all his forces and baggage (as they supposed), towards Dehli, they pursued. The first day the royal army made a march of ten kos, and the enemy coming up, a sharp encounter took place between them and Zafar Khan, in which they were repulsed. The heads of several Thatta men were cut off and sent to the Sultan. All the fleet of boats fell into the hands of the enemy, but the baggage was carried off with the army to Gujarat.

Sixth Mukaddama. — Falling of the army into Kunchi-ran (the Ran of Kach)

When Sultan Firoz fell back victorious, grain, which was dear, became dearer; day by day it rose higher, and the state of the horses' feet is beyond description. Grain rose to one tanka and two tankas a sir, and even at that price was not to be obtained. Men, through craving hunger and helpless nakedness, could not pursue their way, and in their extreme distress gave up in despair. As no com was to be procured, carrion and raw hides were devoured; some men even were driven by extreme hunger to boil old hides, and to eat them. A deadly famine reigned, and all men saw death staring them in the face. All the horses were destroyed, and the khans and maliks were compelled to pursue their weary way on foot. Not one steed remained in the army, and by the will of God all ranks were reduced to the same state of destitution. The guides who led the way and conducted them, had maliciously misled them into a place called Kunchi-ran. In this place all the land is impregnated with salt to a degree impossible to describe, and if the water was held upon the tongue it crystalized.

When the army was thus reduced to the extremity of despair, the Sultan had one of the false guides beheaded.
Then the others came honestly before him and said: "We have dealt falsely toward you, and have led you into a place where none but you could have survived; not even things which could fly in the air and drive along like the wind. This place is called Kunchi-ran, and the sea is near. The saltness of the water arises from this proximity, and the district is deadly." When the people heard these words of their guides, they gave themselves utterly up to despair. The Sultan ordered (the guides) to find fresh water for him and his followers, and to lead them away from this salt water. The water, indeed, was so excessively salt that all men were in amazement and despair. As far as the eye could reach, all was salt water. When, after endless labours and hardships, the wretched men found fresh water, they rushed into the middle of it. So excessive was the prevalence of salt, that if a pot of fresh water was placed upon the impregnated ground, the fresh water became salt, and no one could bear it on his tongue.

When with great difficulty and exertion they escaped from that salt country they came into a desert where no bird laid an egg, or flapped its wing, where no tree was to be seen, and where no blade of grass grew. If even a lethal weed had been wanted it could not have been found. No other desert, however fearful, could be compared with this. [Despair of the men and distress of the Sultan.] Four calamities had at once assailed them: famine, the necessity of walking on foot, the terrors of the deadly desert, and separation from beloved ones.

For six months no news of the army reached Dehli
, where every one, small and great, was in distress, believing that the Sultan and his army were lost. Khan-i Jahan, the wazir, by his great prudence and sagacity, managed to maintain order; and fear of him restrained all disposition to create disturbances. The fact of the disappearance of the Sultan and his army became known through all the country, and every house was filled with mourning. ***

When Khan-i Jahan saw the perilous condition in which the country was placed, he removed all the Sultan's valuables from the palace to his own house, and issued numerous orders to restrain any exhibition of individual power. Every day he rode about the city displaying his own strength, but when he perceived that the rumour (of the king's destruction) gathered force from day to day, he feigned to have received a despatch from the Sultan announcing the safety of the royal person. This allayed all apprehension, and was the cause of great rejoicing, after which every one went on as usual with his own business. If kings had not wise and able ministers they could never leave their kingdoms, and never engage in conquest. [Eulogy of Khan-i Jahan.]

Seventh Mukaddama. — Lamentations of the sodiers, and anxiety of the Sultan in Kanchi-ran.

*** In every march thousands of men and horses died. *** At length the Sultan in his trouble prayed earnestly for rain, * * and God in his great mercy raised clouds in the sky. On every side they rolled up swiftly, cloud upon cloud; the rain fell, and the water-courses ran. All men drank and used the water, and were delivered from their trouble. On the same day a road of escape was discovered. ***

As soon as he emerged from the desert the Sultan returned humble thanks to the Almighty, and then sent a despatch to Dehli for Khan-i Jahan, "informing him of the safety of the Sultan and of all his army"1
[[x]. [The inconsistency of this statement with the picture of suffering and death, previously drawn, exceeds even the ordinary stretch of Oriental license.] [which gave rise to great rejoicings in the capital].

Eighth Mukaddama. — Arrival of Sultan Firoz in Gujarat.

The Sultan, on escaping from the desert, marched speedily with his army into Gujarat, and his men then rested from their troubles. At that time Amir Husain, son of the late Amir Mirau, Mustaufi of the State, governed the country of Gujarat with the titles Maliku-sh Shark, Prince of the East, and Nizamu-l Mulk, Administrator of the State, and Nek-nam, of good repute. He was an active ruler, but when he waited on his sovereign, the Sultan demanded with much warmth why he had sent no supplies and assistance for the relief of the army, and why he had allowed the army to perish. He was dismissed from his government, and his estates were resumed. The Sultan remained in Gujarat recruiting his army. The irregulars1 [The word translated "irregulars" is ghair wajh, "one without pay;" it is opposed to the wajh-dars, i.e., the regulars or pay-receivers. The first sentence of this passage is ambiguous; it runs thus: [x] The general tense is obvious, and is sufficiently indicated by the translation.] having received six, ten, and eleven (tankas?) from the kindness of the Sultan, in a short time they were all horsed. Under these circumstances Malik 'Imadu-l Mulk, one of the pillars of the State of Dehli, took up the case of the regulars (wajh-dars) and represented to his Majesty that the irregulars had by his bounty become mounted while the regulars, through great distress, were obliged to go on foot, and were in deep trouble and despair. Their villages were in the neighbourhood of Dehli, while they were (far away and) in great distress. They had come into this country (of Gujarat) in straggling parties,2 [[Hashtad ba hashtad, literally "eighty by eighty."]] and how could they obtain anything from Dehli — they were indeed in a pitiable condition. The Sultan replied that he knew his regular soldiers (wajh-dar) were in great distress and were reduced to go on foot through the hardships they had undergone. They had rendered him their aid, but their villages were far distant, and they had the greatest difficulty to get a handful of corn. Their children, too, required maintenance, so that they were in the greatest possible difficulty. Under these circumstances he directed that loans should be advanced to them from the public treasury. In accordance with this order every man received an advance, some of a hundred, some of seven hundred, and some of a thousand tankas; thus they obtained new outfits and remounts. Orders were also written to Khan-i Jahan at Dehli, that no interference of any kind should be made in the villages of the regular soldiers, and that the officers of Government should be strictly enjoined to do them no harm, so that something might come to the soldiers and that their children might be maintained in comfort at home.

Sultan Firoz expended the whole revenue (mal) of Gujarat, amounting to about two krors, in refitting his army and in the payment of his troops, so that he might march once more against Thatta. When he was on the point of departure he wrote Khan-i Jahan [announcing his intention and directing the Khan to send him ample supplies].


Ninth Mukaddama. — Khan-i Jahan sends supplies to the Sultan in Gujarat.

When Firoz Shah was about to march for Thatta, Khan-i Jahan made great efforts to send supplies, and gave orders to the officials urging them to exert themselves in the collection of supplies, munitions and money. The vast quantities collected exceed all description; seven lacs of tankas were expended upon only one kind of military weapon. These provisions were despatched from day to day, and they arrived in such vast quantities in Gujarat that it was difficult to provide carriage for them. Khan-i Jahan sent with them a letter [expressing his hope for the safety and success of the Sultan in his enterprize].  

The Sultan gave orders for the march to Thatta, which was received with much joy by the army. *** Just at this time letters were received from Bahram Khan, son-in-law of Hasan Khan Kangu from Daulatabad, representing that Bahram Khan held Daulatabad, but that a dispute had arisen between him and the son of Hasan Kangu, he therefore solicited the Sultan to come himself and assume the seat of royalty. [After consultation the Sultan replied that he must first conquer Thatta; he would afterwards proceed to Daulatabad].

Postponing the affairs of Daulatabad to those of Thatta, he left Zafar Khan in charge of Gujarat. He had at first intended to place Malik Naib Barbak in charge, and the robes and titles had all been prepared; but the Sultan never transacted any business without referring to the Kuran for an augury, and now when he tried the fal (augury) it was against Naib Barbak, and in favour of Zafar Khan. The latter was accordingly sent for, and the robes of investiture, the estates and full powers were given to him. Such was the trust of Firoz Shah in the indications of the Divine will.

Tenth Mukaddama. — March of Sultan Firoz from Gujarat to Thatta.

When the Sultan marched the second time for Thatta, many of his men, who had gone through the hardships of the first campaign, went off with their outfits to their homes. On being apprized of this, the Sultan consulted his officers, who advised him to appoint sentinels, to prevent desertions. The Sultan [among other reasons for rejecting this advice] said, "If the Almighty wills that I should conquer Thatta, the presence of these men is unnecessary; but if I am to fail, what can they do?" He then sent orders to Khan-i Jahan, directing him to look after all men who returned from the army to the city, and, for the sake of example, to apprehend and inflict the tadaruk-i ma'nawi upon all those who had been regularly retained (chakar) and had received money from the State. They were not to be subjected to the tadaruk-i khusrawi. In affairs of State the tadaruk'i khusrawi, or imperial remedy, signifies execution, banishment or amercement; but the tadaruk-i ma'nawi, or moral remedy, is to expose a man to the shafts of public reproach. This was following the precepts of the Prophet. * * * In obedience to these orders Khan-i Jahan directed his officers to apprehend every man who returned from the army. If, after due inquiry, a man proved to be a regular retainer, he was subjected to the tadaruk-i ma'nawi. Some well known offenders were exposed in the bazars for a day or two to the gaze of all men, and were then set free without further chastisement, and without their villages or pay being touched.

Eleventh Mukaddama. — Descent of Sultan Firoz Shah upon Thatta in a favourable season.

At the commencement of his march to Thatta, the Sultan consulted the Shaikhu-l Islam. * * * On this occasion the boats employed were few. When he arrived in the vicinity of Thatta, the inhabitants were all busily engaged in agricultural operations, totally ignorant of his return, which was quite unexpected. When the Sultan retreated to Gujarat, the people of Thatta made a verse, which was currently repeated among them, saying, "By the will of God Sultan Muhammad Tughlik died in pursuit of us, and Sultan Firoz Shah has fled before us." The news of the Sultan's approach reached Thatta, and it was in every Sindian's mouth that the King of Hind was approaching with large armies, and that Sultan Firoz was advancing once more in great force from Gujarat. In fear of the Sultan they destroyed their crops on the bank of the Sindh, and, crossing the river, took refuge in mud forts.1 [[x]. Possibly a proper name, "the fort of Kali," though more likely, as translated, "mud forts."] When the Sultan arrived he perceived that the inhabitants had destroyed all their spring crop, and that they had crossed to the other side of the river, where they were busily engaged in forming batteries and entrenchments. The Sultan's troops were in good case and in high spirits, although the price of grain was as high as eight and ten jitals for five sirs, because the crop was not yet ripe. When the new grain came in the price fell. Under the orders of the Sultan the troops went out in all directions, foraging in the villages for grain. The villages on the hither side (kirana) of the Sindh were numerous, and the inhabitants of some had not been able to escape over the river. These were taken prisoners, and when the fact became known to the Sultan, he issued a proclamation, in which he said the prisoners were a mere handful; they were Musalmans, and nothing was to be gained by keeping them captive, and making them slaves. Those who had prisoners were ordered not to keep them, on pain of being deemed criminal, but to hand them over to the proper authorities. About 4,000 Sindians were accordingly brought to the government office, and were directed to be kept in secure custody; three sirs of grain being allowed to each one daily from the minister's office. At that time mung was five tankas a man, and bread (jarrat) four tankas a man. According to the orders of the Sultan mung was given to the prisoners, and all his orders in respect of them were obeyed. Behold the kindness and clemency of Firoz Shah!

Twelfth Mukaddama. — Malik 'Imadu-l Mulk and Zafar Khan cross the Sindh and fight a battle with the Sindians.

When the Sultan was posted on the hither side (kirana) of the river Sindh, the enemy, in great numbers, was on the opposite side (guzara), and occasionally crossing over skirmishes occurred. The Sultan determined to send a force over the river and harass the enemy. 'Imadu-l Mulk and Zafar Khan were appointed to the command, and were directed to cross the river. A body of Sindians, in strong force and with great bravery, disputed the passage of the river,1 [The words of this sentence down to this point, are to be found in only one of the four MSS., No. 1002 of the East India Library.] and resisted the crossing of men in boats. After much examination and exertion the transit was found to be impracticable. Consultations were held, and it was then determined that Malik 'Imadu-l Mulk and Zafar Khan, with a strong force, should fall back, as if proceeding towards Dehli. The fleet of boats also was directed to accompany them. The plan of operations was that they were to proceed a hundred and twenty kos up the near bank of the Sindh, and effect a crossing just below Bhakkar. After the passage, they were to march back on the opposite side of the river, and give battle to the enemy. The plan succeeded, and the force marched down in to the territory of the enemy.1 [["Dar zamin-i Thatthiyan into the country of the men of Thatta." The enemy are generally called "Thatthiyam," men of Thattha.]] Upon this the enemy, horse and foot, came forth from their forts in great numbers, and a fierce battle (jang) ensued which cannot be described.

Sultan Firoz was a very cautious man. The fort of Thatta was visible (from his side of the river), but from the great breadth of the stream, the land on the opposite side was not discernible. Therefore, it could not be seen how the fight with the army progressed. Sultan Firoz stood watching in expectation, his eyes now lifted to heaven and now strained over the river, in order to learn what was passing. By divine inspiration he sent a trusty man across the river in a boat with orders directing his forces to desist from battle and return to him. The combatants on both sides were Musulmans, and if the fighting went on, many innocent persons would be slain. They were accordingly directed to return by the same way they had gone. When the messenger delivered these commands to 'Imadu-l Mulk and Zafar Khan, they retreated with their whole force— marching the 120 kos up the farther or Thatta side of the river to Bhakkar, where they crossed back and rejoined the main army. The Sultan then said to 'Imadu-l Mulk, where can this handful of Thattians fly to, unless they creep into an ant-hole like a snake. My army shall remain here, and we will build a large city.


Thirteenth Mukaddama. — 'Imadu-l Mulk goes to Dehli for reinforcements.

Some days after the Sultan held a privy council, in which it was determined that 'Imadu-l Mulk should proceed to Dehli, in order to raise reinforcements, and then return to Thatta. On his taking leave the Sultan charged him not to give any orders to Khan-i Jahan about collecting the forces, for the Khan was not the man to slight or neglect the directions of his master in the smallest degree. Upon his arriving in the capital, he directed him to wait upon the Khan, and say that he had been sent to advise with him on the matter. The simple order of the Sultan was quite sufficient to ensure the despatch of reinforcements by the Khan.

[Friendly and courteous reception of 'Imadu-l Mulk]. Khan-i Jahan sent a lac of tankas to 'Imadu-l Mulk for subsistence money ('alufa), and despatched demands for men to all the various dependencies of the State: to Badaun, Kanauj, Sandila, Oudh, Jaunpur, Bihar, Tirhut, Chanderi, Dhar, the interior and exterior of the Doab, Samana, Dipalpur, Multan, Lahor, and other dependencies (ikta'at). Khan-i Jahan used to take his seat every day for expediting the business, and 'Imadu-l Mulk used to attend and assist him. In time the force was assembled, and was despatched under the charge of 'Imadu-l Mulk, who marched with all possible speed and joined the Sultan. When he arrived he highly praised the zeal and activity of Khan-i Jahan, and the Sultan was greatly pleased to hear this commendation, and to see the arrival of the reinforcements. The new men passed in review before him, and each man received a present of clothes.

When the Sindians heard of the arrival of the reinforcements from Dehli their hearts failed them, and they began to quarrel with each other. The troops of the Sultan were, by God's grace, very well supplied with comforts, and those who had formerly deserted, being informed of this, greatly repented the step they had taken.

But a terrible famine now appeared among the enemy.
As on the former occasion, famine had occurred in the army of the Sultan, when the scarcity of grain was the cause of great misery; so now on the second occasion, the dearness of grain brought dismay upon the enemy. The cause of the scarcity was that when the Sultan retreated from his first attempt on the country, the people of Thatta returned to their old homes with great satisfaction. Being free from all apprehension of any future attack they sowed all the grain which they possessed. When harvest time came, Sultan Firoz returned from Gujarat and took possession of the crops. The Sultan's forces were thus well supplied, while the price rose very high among the enemy, amounting to one and two tankas per sir. Every day men, of high and low degree, through hunger, deserted the enemy and crossed over the river in boats to the Sultan's army. Thatta was verging to its fall, when the Jam and Babiniya reflected over the state of affairs, and resolved that the best course was to escape from trouble by timely submission. They accordingly, after much deliberation, notified their willingness to surrender through Saiyid Jalalu-l hakk wau-s shara' wau-d din Husain Bukhari.

Fourteenth Mukaddama. — Peace with the People of Thatta.

When the people of Thatta made up their minds to seek for peace, they determined upon making their overtures through Saiyid Jalalu-d din.1 [Here and all through this chapter he is referred to as "Khidmat Saiyid Jalalu-d din."] The Jam and Babiniya, after consideration, sent a confidential agent to Uch to make known their views. Saiyid Jalalu-d din started, and when he reached the Sultan's camp all the army turned out to show their reverential respect. *** On his arrival the Sultan went forth to meet him and brought him with due honour into his camp. After they had met and shaken hands, the Saiyid said there was a holy woman in Thatta whose prayers had prevented the conquest of the place, * * * but she had now been dead three days, and consequently the submission might be expected. The inhabitants of Thatta heard that the Saiyid was in the Sultan's camp, and they sent messages to him representing their great distress, and the Saiyid communicated to the Sultan all the matters which in the sorrow of their hearts they had made known to him. This excited the commiseration of the Sultan.

The state of affairs having thus been made known to the Sultan, Babiniya consulted with the Jam, and said that it had been stated to the Sultan that all the disturbance (shor) had arisen through him (Babiniya); it therefore seemed in every way most desirable that he should go first to the Sultan and make his submission; the Jam might follow, and a way might thus be opened for a satisfactory conclusion. This proposition of Babiniya's1 [His epithet of khud-kam is now changed to nek'nam.] pleased the Jam. He gave him permission to proceed, and next day Babiniya reached the royal camp.

Fifteenth Mukaddama. — Arrival of Babiniya in the camp of the Sultan.

The Sultan was out hunting, when he was informed that Babiniya had arrived in his camp. * * He allowed no indication of his feelings to appear in his countenance. * * Babiniya followed the Sultan to the hunting ground, where he had just killed a wolf, * * * and there he presented himself, with his turban in front of his throat and a sword upon his neck, like a repentant criminal, and, humbly approaching the Sultan, kissed his stirrup and begged forgiveness. The Sultan then graciously placed his hand on the back of Babiniya and said, "Why were you so afraid of me? I did not wish to hurt any one, especially you; cheer up your spirits and dispel your anxiety, for you shall be twice the man you were before." He then ordered an Arab horse to be presented to Babiniya, and, closing his discourse, he went on hunting again.

On the same day, and soon after Babiniya, the Jam came to make his submission, and he also, like a wise man, went out to the hunting ground. On his being brought into the presence of the Sultan, he advanced with his turban on his head, and cast himself at the feet of the Sultan. Hanging the turban from the throat, and placing a sword upon the neck, is practised only by the offender who first approaches the sovereign, and Babiniya had already made this sign of submission. The Jam therefore retained his turban in the presence of the Sultan, but paid him due homage. The Sultan very kindly placed his hand on the back of the Jam, and spoke graciously to him. Very submissively  the Jam expressed his surrender, and, in a line of his own composition, he said:


"Thou art my gracious sovereign; I am thy abashed servant."


The Sultan treated him with great kindness and care, and to him also he presented a horse. On returning to the camp, the the Jam and Babiniya received embroidered robes, and their attendants also received presents suited to their respective stations. The two captive chiefs were told to send for their wives and families, and accompany the Sultan to Dehli. This royal command they obeyed, and, with their wives and children, followed in the train of the Sultan.

Sixteenth Mukaddama. — Return of Firoz Shah to Dehli.

The surrender of the Jam and Babiniya spread great delight throughout the royal camp, and the Sultan determined to return to Dehli. The son of the Jam, and Tamachi brother of Babiniya, were placed over Thatta, and titles were conferred upon them. They paid four lacs of tankas in cash, by way of marking their allegiance, and agreed to pay several lacs of tankas in money and goods yearly.1 [[This is taken from the MS. of the East India Library, No. 1002. The other three MSS. omit rather more than a line, and quite reverse the meaning. They say "(the new governors) accepted several lacs and horses." The three are, however, probably right in reading aspan instead of asbab, i.e, "horses" instead of ''goods."]] The Sultan then marched for Dehli, taking the Jam and Babiniya with all their establishment in his train. Orders were given that they were to alight in front of the royal tents, and they were supplied with white carpets from the royal stores. Malik Saifu-d din Khwaju was directed to instruct them in the etiquette of the Court, and to keep watch over them. Their followers were brought from the farther side of the river, and were placed in boats to make the journey. Saifu-d din attended to them, and carefully watched over them night and day.

One day an alarm was raised that the boat containing the wives and children of Babiniya had sunk, and that therefore he must hasten (to the scene of the disaster) up the bank of the river. Saifu-d din Khwaju thought that this was a stratagem to enable Babiniya to escape and return home, so he sent his son [to inform the Sultan of his suspicions,] and to enquire whether he was to restrain Babiniya. The Sultan considered the point, and then said, "Go and tell your father that if Babiniya wishes to go to the river to ascertain the facts, he must go with him. If Babiniya shows any intention of going on board a boat and escaping to his home, do not attempt to prevent him, but say to him, 'Babiniya, if you have the manliness and boldness, go!' Then return back. I know what will happen, and so does Babiniya.1" [[x].]

Before the messenger returned from the Sultan to his father, Saifu-l Mulk, news reached Babiniya that the boat containing his children had not been lost. He then returned. * * * Meanwhile the Sultan, with his army, was marching homewards, the men being delighted with the prospect of seeing home again after two and a-half year's absence. He halted for a while at Multan, and from thence he sent his "despatch of victory" to Khan-i Jahan in Dehli, which on its arrival caused great rejoicing.

-- XVI. Tarikh-i Firoz Shahi, of Shams-i Siraj 'Afif, 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. 269-364, 1871
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Re: The Architecture of Firuz Shah Tughluq, by William Jeffr

Postby admin » Tue Nov 30, 2021 5:41 am

Part 3 of 4

During the campaign to Sind, it is likely that Firuz Shah passed through Multan, whose architectural heritage included at this time the tomb of Rukn-i ‘Alam, purportedly intended for Ghiyath al-Din Tughluq. Following the Sind expedition, Firuz Shah discovered the pillars or lats in Topra and Meerut, north of Delhi, and had them brought to Firuzabad in 769/1367 where they were erected beside the jami masjid in the kotla and in the kushk-i shikar on the northern ridge of Delhi.

Throughout his reign Firuz Shah undertook expeditions to suppress rebellious factions, Hindu insurgents, and religious heretics. When he undertook the campaign to Nagarkot (Kangra) to destroy the temple located there he did so with the same religious zeal which prompted the mission to Puri.27 In other cases, insurgents in Gujarat and Etawa were thwarted by imperial armies dispatched by the sultan.28 And, when a zamindar of Kutehr brutally assassinated the governor of Badaoun and his brothers, Firuz Shah pursued the assassin with vengeance.29 The zamindar escaped but Firuz Shah returned to the region annually on the pretext of hunting to pursue him.

Firuz Shah’s intolerance of non-Muslims sometimes gave way to brutal and vicious measures which one author has described as the "blackest spot on his character." The sultan was an orthodox Sunni and in his religious bigotry, he is regarded by some historians as a precursor of Sikandar Lodi and Aurangzeb.30 In regard to infidels he was unrelenting and exacted severe punishments. For example, the author of the Sirat-i Firuz Shahi describes the mission to Puri in terms of a holy war or jihad.31 The author states that Firuz Shah ordered the destruction of the temple and the casting into the sea of its spoils, the defilement of the main image of Jagannath, and the confiscation of the idols to be placed upon the thresholds of mosques for Muslims to tread upon. This level of desecration and the impulse which motivated it can only be understood as an act of Jihad. ‘Afif's attempts to rationalize the sultan’s actions are refuted by these authors’ accounts.

Firuz Shah enacted similar atrocities upon Hindus in Nagarkot (Kangra) in 764/1363 when he ordered his troops to desecrate the temple of Jvalamukhi by having the idol broken, and its fragments mixed with cow’s flesh and placed into bags which were hung from the necks of brahmins.32 It is said that he sent the main image to Medina or Mecca to be placed beneath the feet of pilgrims.

In the Futuhat-i Firuz Shahi Firuz Shah records several occasions when he dealt with religious heretics and Hindus insurgents. At the village of Maluh he states: "I forbad the infliction of any severe punishments on the Hindus in general, but I destroyed their idol temples and instead thereof raised mosques."33 He is said to have destroyed numerous temples and idols, burned books, killed Hindu leaders and prohibited zimmi (non-believer) practices in a Muslim country.34 in addition, he required the jizya and zar-i zimmiya, taxes on non-believers, from all Hindus.35 The levying of these taxes had been eased in prior times but he no longer exonerated brahmins from paying the jizya. However, the brahmins' protests, fasts, and threats of self-immolation caused Firuz Shah to at least reduce the amount.36

He was also, of course, intolerant of atheists and those who claimed divine status. He describes in the Futuhat-i Firuz Shahi, for instance, the banishment of Ahmad Bahari, who claimed himself to be a prophet and referred to himself as possessing divine status, and the imprisonment of his followers.37 In another case, a certain Rukn al-Din, a man who claimed himself to be Madhi and Imam and to have received divine revelations, was convicted by him of heresy, brutally killed and his bones ordered broken.38 Firuz Shah says in his Futuhat: "God in His mercy and favour made me, His humble creature, the instrument of putting down such wickedness, and abolishing such heresy; and guide me to effect a restoration of true religion."39

He also was an opponent of religious "innovation" or fasad. He states in the Futuhat that in Gujarat, for example, he punished a pupil of ’Ain Mahru, who set himself as a shaikh and claimed to be divine, ordered his books to be burned and his disciples disbanned.40 He was also relentless in his actions against partisans and heretics. He suppressed the shi’as and ordered their books burnt.41 His actions against heretics (mulhid) and sectarians (abahtiyan) who indulged in wine, sexual intercourse, and other "abominable" acts were harsh.42 He had the leaders of sects beheaded and the practices stopped.


Although Firuz Shah took decisive action against "irreligion and sins opposed to the Law" he was equally concerned to stop atrocities against fellow Muslims.43 Throughout his reign Firuz Shah devoted himself to the prevention of unlawful killing and the inflicting of torture on fellow Muslims. He often stopped the course of a battle in order to urge peaceful negotiations and spare bloodshed of fellow Muslims.

Firuz Shah is attested to have been a devout orthodox Muslim and his adoption of the Shari’a as a basis for his administration points to his strong theological commitment to Sunni doctrine. But in addition, the profusion of mosques and madrasas and other religious architecture represents the physical manifestation of his commitment and his concern for the salvation of his people through observance of basic practices of the Islamic faith.44 The observance of prayer (salat) was one of the compulsory obligations of all Muslims. Firuz Shah encouraged prayer and urged infidels to embrace Islam. Although these are perfunctory duties of a sultan, the importance of prayer was underscored by his employment of Qur’an readers and his erection of a tas-i ghariyal (clock tower). The tas-i ghariyal was probably not an architectural monument but an apparatus which publicly announced the hour of the day to alleviate doubts of devout Muslims regarding the hour of prayer.45 In addition, the Hauz Khas madrasa, a Sunni institution, functioned as the center of religious education of the capital. Its reputation reflected the increasing importance of the shari’a in the administrative framework of the state.

Many of Firuz Shah’s buildings reflect his concern for the Muslims’ observance of the basic tenets of the faith. For example, Hissar, located on the road between Firuzabad and parts of the empire to the northwest, served as a serai for travellers and pilgrims on Hajj to the Islamic homelands. In addition, he frequently aligned himself with religious orders through his charitable support and personal visits to holy men and pilgrimages to shrines of saints.46 [Asher suggests that the linkage between saints and royalty was a means of creating an elevated and fabricated genealogy; for Sher Shah, it underscored his legitimacy. See Asher, Patronage of Sher Shah Sur, pp. 298 and 301.] In fact, it will be shown from epigraphic evidence, that Firuz Shah intended his own tomb at Hauz Khas to serve as a pilgrimage spot. In the cultural milieu of India, pilgrimage was an important practice. The tirtha or pilgrimage site was an integral part of both the Buddhist and Hindu religions. Firuz Shah revived the Islamic practice by repairing the tombs of saints and former sovereigns and encouraging pilgrims to visit them.47 His support of religious orders and encouragement of Islamic practices of prayer (salat), charity (zakat), and pilgrimage (hajj) indicates that piety was a significant element of Firuz Shah’s architectural patronage. Many of Firuz Shah’s monuments, then, were intended to uphold observance of Islamic ritual. Even his building projects which served utilitarian purposes, such as his numerous water works, fulfilled the sultan’s responsibility to oversee the welfare and protection of the population, both Muslim and non-Muslim.

From the time of his accession, he was preoccupied with acts of personal piety.48 For example, he took pity on and provided for fakirs (ascetics) and encouraged the practice of zakat or alms-giving, one of the basic tenets of the Muslim faith. His endowments and personal largesse to the devout and their institutions, for example Sufi khanaqahs, also were charitable gestures. He often sought the counsel of holy men, such as Shaikh al-Islam Shaikh Kutb al-Din who advised that he abstain from wine and hunting. He attempted to relocate Shaikh Nur al-Din from Hansi to his newly created town at Hissar but the shaikh preferred to remain in Hansi. ‘Afif records that it was a usual practice for the sultan to make pilgrimages to the tombs of holy men and saints to invoke their prayers prior to embarking on long journeys.49 On his return to Delhi after his accession he made a pilgrimage to Ajodhan to visit the tomb of Shaikh al-Islam Farid al-Hakk and he returned to the shrine before his conquest to Sind.50 In the Futuhat-i Firuz Shahi Firuz Shah mentions many tombs and shrines which he had restored to use.51 ‘Afif also records that, as a practice, Firuz Shah consulted the Qur’an for "augury" and that Firuz Shah’s trust in Divine will was strong.52 In 776/1374 he went on a pilgrimage to the tomb of Salar Mas’ud Ghazi at Bahraich where he claimed to have seen the spirit of Salar Mas’ud in a dream. Firuz Shah was moved by the apparition and underwent initiation into a dervish order shortly after.53

Firuz Shah’s devotion to the ‘ulama’ was also firm. His predecessor, Muhammad bin Tughlug, had alienated many member of the ‘ulama’ and elite population of Delhi with his forced relocation to Devgir (Daulatabad) in the Deccan. Firuz Shah undertook many measures to restore the ’ulama’s trust in his leadership and he often provided for their needs and religious education through endowments. His alliance with the ‘ulama’ had been formed from the beginning of his reign as a means of securing his position as the rightful heir to the Tughluq throne. His accession had been clouded by a tenuous political crisis which ensued upon Muhammad bin Tughluq’s unexpected death. Recognition of his right to be sultan by the religious authority of the community was therefore necessary.

To affirm this right, Firuz Shah reinstated the recitation of the names of former sovereigns during the khutba, an action which served to emphasize his legitimacy.54 In addition, he records in the Futuhat-i Firuz Shahi that his greatest honor was to receive robes of investiture from the Abbassid Caliph in Egypt.55 Firuz Shah was the last sultan of the period to receive this honor. Recognition by the Caliph reinforced his claim to the throne and served as a testament to his legitimacy.

From the perspective of contemporary sources, Firuz Shah was an adept administrator. Both Barani and ‘Afif are generous in their praise. ‘Afif points in nostalgic retrospect to the prosperity of his reign. His interpretation however must be cast in light of the fact that he wrote his Ta’rikh-i-Firuz Shahi when Delhi’s fortunes had turned bitter following the destruction of the city by Timur’s army. Although Firuz Shah’s reign is usually described as one of prosperity and abundance, and his compassion for the welfare of his people unprecedented, it is likely that such hyperbolic accounts were exaggerated and masked an otherwise grave economic situation. Indeed the economic condition of the Tughluq empire took a precipitous decline after Firuz Shah’s death.

In the same manner that his military and political career was never seriously challenged, the governmental organization under Firuz Shah, in place since the time of ‘Ala’ al-Din Khalji, was also not seriously tested. Contemporary sources do not report periods of famine or economic hardships such as had existed in the 1330s and 1340s under Muhammad bin Tughluq. Most goods were readily available and prices were not controlled by any centralized mechanism. Firuz Shah did not usually interfere with the activities of the mercantile class.56 [Raychaudhuri and Habib, The Cambridge Economic History of India, v. 1, p. 188. The authors state that Firuz Shah abandoned all attempts at controlling prices, resulting in a "happy time" for merchants and engrossers.]

The economy of fourteenth century India was, of course, agrarian-based.57 The cultivation of heavily forested lands in the Doab came about in the 14th century with the introduction of new means of artificial irrigation. The digging of wells, the building of bands (dams), and the excavation of canals permitted cultivation of large tracts of land in the Gangetic plains and areas of Haryana and Punjab. Although wells and bands already existed, the excavation of canals is believed to have been introduced from Central Asia by the Tughluqs.58 Under Firuz Shah large networks of canals were formed to provide water to dry regions. The cutting of two canals, Rajab-wah and Ulugh-khani, from the Jumna and Sutlej Rivers to provide irrigation to Hissar is the most frequently noted of these projects by historians.59 With the diversion of a continuous water supply to dry areas, new lands were opened for cultivation. Thus, for example, Firuz Shah was able to order 1200 gardens and orchards of fruit-bearing trees planted outside Delhi in an area which had been previously unused for agriculture.60

Despite descriptions of apparent prosperity enjoyed during his reign, Firuz Shah did little to revive an economy which was already in decline from the time he inherited it from Muhammad bin Tughluq.61 In order to alleviate the discontent of the population, he enacted a number of reforms immediately upon his accession. For example, he abolished a number of taxes on market goods and services such as market dues, taxes on brokers, butchers, scribes and booksellers, taxes on the manufacture and sale of indigo, fish, grain, soap, ropes, oil, and vegetables. These he enumerates in the Futuhat-Firuz Shahi.62 All levels of the rural classes, from the nobility (khuts and muqaddams') to the peasantry (ra'iyat), enjoyed a level of prosperity previously unknown.63 Under the severe taxation of Muhammad bin Tughluq, the peasant class had rebelled. A resultant famine lasted seven years and was recorded by Ibn Battuta in 1334-35 A.D. Under Firuz Shah, however, concessions were made to the heavily taxed agrarian classes. He also granted concessions to the nobility. Most important among these was the restructuring of the system of land revenue, reforms which increased distribution of state revenues among the nobility.64

In addition to the iqta', a grant of land to members of the nobility, Firuz Shah restored the practice of assigning wajh, villages allotted to soldiers as a means of pay, a practice which had been abolished by ‘Ala’ al-Din Khalji.65 Revenue distribution was controlled through mandatory estimates every four years and audits by the imperial court. Firuz Shah says in the Futuhat that he reversed the practice of allotting one-fifth of the spoil gained from military campaigns to the captors and four-fifths to the State treasury; instead the captors benefited from the four-fifths reward.66 Furthermore, he established a hereditary system for the nobility in which the offices held by members of the nobility and their respective iqta' and wajh assignments were inherited by their sons, sons-in-law, slaves, and widows.67 The reign of Firuz Shah also witnessed considerable subimperial patronage which is indicative of the level of comfort that the nobility enjoyed and the large amounts of revenue they controlled.68

The consumption of state revenue by the nobility, by the military and the massive slave population, and for the financing of the elaborate building projects undertaken by Firuz Shah has not been entirely evaluated but at least one author has questioned the practicality of "wholesale alienation of the revenues to the military and bureaucratic classes."69

Firuz Shah implemented the waqf, a permanent grant of revenue generated from lands or villages, to maintain religious foundations such as mosques, madrasas, and tombs, and to help finance his architectural projects.70 The waqf was likewise extended to other establishments for public welfare such as a hospital (dar al-shifa), for the benefit of Muslims, where physician care, medicine, and food were provided to the sick and needy.71 He established institutions like the Diwan-i Khairat for widows and orphans and to provide dowry for unwed daughters of poor Muslim families and one for the unemployed.72

Up to the middle of the fourteenth century, the Delhi sultanate had experienced an expansion of its money economy. The disturbance of the economy under Muhammad bin Tughluq, due to his ambitious campaigns, monetary reforms, and lavish distribution of wealth to the Mideast in the form of pious largesse and trade investments, produced a critical economic situation which left the imperial treasury nearly depleted. The mid-fourteenth century economic strain continued under Firuz Shah due to the loss of territories in Bengal and the Deccan and his public projects. Although waqf permitted religious institutions to perpetuate their existence, the burden on the state treasury continued during Firuz Shah’s reign. Even ‘Afif remarks that directing proceeds from a tax on water (sharb) retrieved from newly excavated canals in Hissar to provide for "the learned and religious" was a welcome relief to the public treasury.73 Under Firuz Shah, silver became rare especially after the loss of territories in Bengal and the Deccan, the primary source of the precious metal.74

The influence of the 'ulama' [In Islam, the ulama ["scholar", literally "the learned ones", are the guardians, transmitters, and interpreters of religious knowledge in Islam, including Islamic doctrine and law.] on the state has been deemed by modern historians as a "retrograde step" and these authors attribute the weakening of the "administrative machinery" to their influence.75 Firuz Shah’s loyalty to the 'ulama' remained strong and his growing orthodoxy was manifested in life at the court. He forbad the practice of using gold and silver ornaments and other displays of covetous wealth such as the wearing of lavish silk and gold brocade garments. He had pictures and portraits removed from garments and furnishings and had the same effaced from the walls and doors of the palaces. He also prohibited the painting of images in the private apartments of the palace and on banners and ensigns.76 His actions were motivated by religious constraints rather than economic concerns.

Being an educated man himself, Firuz Shah was a strong advocate of learning and is credited with establishing as many as thirty madrasas. Barani wrote on the king’s justice in the Fatawa-yi Jahandari:77 [Barani’s advice is presented in the form of a paradigm for Muslim rulers. He does not cite Firuz Shah by name.]

But as to the king’s gifts to the leaders of the Saiyyeds, religious scholars, shaikhs, men of virtue or wisdom or skill, persons or merit, travellers, the helpless and the needy -- his grants to schools and mystic houses (khanaqahs) and his expenditures on all occasions where charity is recommended -- the more there is of all this, the greater will be the king’s success in this world and his rewards in the next. In such matters there can be no question of excessive expenditure or lack of thrift. The precept that there can be no over-expenditure in good works is based on this principle.


The preservation and education of the Muslim community were primary concerns of Barani, who gave little regard to the economic distress such expenditure might cause. Under Firuz Shah, teachers were paid by the state and students received stipends. The sultan granted allowances to learned men and Qur’an readers.78 In the Futuhat-i Firuz Shahi, he states that allowances made to the learned doctors of the Law were recorded in his waqf-nama.79 He encouraged learned men to travel to all parts of the empire to pass on their knowledge. He had books translated and on one occasion he had a Hindu text on philosophy, astrology, and divination, which he found in Nagarkot (Kangra) at the Temple of Jvalamukhi, translated into Persian as Dala’il-i Firuz Shahi.80 He was fond of history and, as noted, patronized Barani. He is known from contemporary sources to have been a patron of the performing arts. On the sabbath, following prayers, as many as 3000 musicians, story-tellers, and athletes entertained at court. He publicly observed the 'id festivals, Shab-i bara‘t, and Nau-roz (New Year).81

The slave population associated with Firuz Shah’s court is said to have included artisans of all kinds. It is probable that he maintained an atelier of calligraphers, bookbinders, and illuminators at court in order to copy and embellish manuscripts of religious texts. ‘Afif refers to the copying of books by slaves at the court.82 It is equally probable that he employed painters to illustrate manuscripts but no specific reference is given in contemporary sources. However, in the latter part of his reign, his growing orthodoxy changed the character of his patronage and he directed his efforts almost exclusively to architecture.

He mentions his fondness for building in the Futuhat-i Firuz Shahi.83 Firishta credits him with building 50 dams, 40 mosques, 30 colleges with attached mosques, 20 palaces, 100 carvanserais, 200 towns, 30 reservoirs, 100 hospitals, 5 mausolea, 100 public baths, 10 monumental pillars, 10 public wells, 150 bridges, and numerous gardens and pleasure houses.84 Such numbers of building projects are astonishing even in spite of his long reign but only a fraction of these structures are known today. Construction plans were reviewed by the diwan-i wizarat and money was allocated from the royal treasury. Firuz Shah ordered that no expense be spared and ‘Afif reports that, "work should not be stopped for want of funds."85 The chief architect Malik Ghazi Shahna oversaw projects and ‘Abdu-l Haqq (Jahir Sundhar) supervised the artisans.86 Indeed, the character of his buildings, constructed primarily of rubble masonry and decorated with plaster in contrast to the polychromed stone of earlier Tughluq monuments, may be a reflection of the economic strain on the treasury. ‘Ala’ al-Din Khalji is reported to have employed as many as 70,000 men for his architectural projects and Firuz Shah probably employed a significant number also.87 Except for Barani’s statement in the Fatawa-yi Jahandari, noted before [Barani’s advice is presented in the form of a paradigm for Muslim rulers. He does not cite Firuz Shah by name.], contemporary historians are silent about the details of expenditures involved in building construction.

But as to the king’s gifts to the leaders of the Saiyyeds, religious scholars, shaikhs, men of virtue or wisdom or skill, persons or merit, travellers, the helpless and the needy -- his grants to schools and mystic houses (khanaqahs) and his expenditures on all occasions where charity is recommended -- the more there is of all this, the greater will be the king’s success in this world and his rewards in the next. In such matters there can be no question of excessive expenditure or lack of thrift. The precept that there can be no over-expenditure in good works is based on this principle.


Firuz Shah’s administrative talents permitted him to maintain control of a fragile economy. The prosperity so frequently noted by historians is a transient moment, albeit a prolonged one, in the early sultanate. Upon Firuz Shah’s death, the political and economic fate of the sultanate took a precipitous decline.

The last years of Firuz Shah’s life were chaotic and the extent to which he exercised his authority vacillated. In these years Firuz Shah twice abdicated the throne and designated his son and subsequently grandson as his successors.88 Prince Nasir al- Din Mahmud was unable to exercise authority over insurgent factions at court and Firuz Shah resumed his authority for a short period. Some authors have suggested that he and his son co-reigned. However, Firuz Shah preferred to retire to a religious life in his latter years and asserted no active role.89 The brief interim during which he resumed the throne was likely used to designate and secure the legitimate succession of his grandson Ghiyath al-Din, the son of his deceased son Fath Khan. Firuz Shah died on 3 Ramzan 790/23 October 1388 and was buried in a mausoleum at Hauz Khas.90 [Firishta, Ta’rikh (Briggs), p. 267, states that Firuz Shah died at the age of 90 however if one accepts ‘Afif's word that he was born in 709/1309, then he was 79 years old when he died.] A rapid succession of sultans in the following years did nothing to stabilize the weakened Tughluq sultanate. Timur’s capture of Delhi in 801/1398-1399 brought an uneventful conclusion to the era.

Historical epigraphy of the reign of Firuz Shah

The body of epigraphic evidence available from Firuz Shah’s reign is limited. The epigraphs which survive from his reign fall within two general categories: religious or historical. The religious, or non-historical, epigraphs will be examined later, in the discussion of the monuments of Hauz Khas, where these occur. The historical epigraphs, examined here, can be divided between those which identify Firuz Shah as builder and those which identify Firuz Shah as the reigning monarch during the time the edifice to which they are attached was built. The former group is virtually non-existent. The latter group, however, includes a small group of epigraphs in Delhi, a few in the Punjab, and a group concentrated on monuments in Biharsharif, in the province of Bihar several hundred kilometers east of Delhi.

The body of historical epigraphy which identifies Firuz Shah as builder is confined to one inscription on the gate of the enclosure of the tomb of the Chisti saint Nasir al-Din Mahmud Chiragh in Delhi.91

In the name of God! Auspicious is the mention of His name. The building of this glorious dome was [finished] in the year of the august, strengthened with the help of the merciful, Abu al-Muzaffar Firoz Shah, Sultan; May God perpetuate his kingdom; in the year 775, date of the flight of the Messenger of God, on whom be God's blessing. Greeting.


The inscription attributes that foundation to Firuz Shah but the monument to which it is attached is an accretion of forms which belong to several later time periods.

The other important inscription is one found on the Qutb Minar which identifies Firuz Shah as the person who repaired the minar after it had been struck by lightning.92

The Minar was injured by lightning in [the months of] the year 770 [1369 A.D.]. By the Divine grace Firoz Sultan, who is exalted by the favour of the Most Holy, built this portion of the edifice [muqam] with care. May the inscrutable Creator preserve it from all calamities.


These two examples directly associate surviving structures with Firuz Shah. All other buildings thus far attributed to his patronage are missing foundation inscriptions. In addition, other restoration projects such as the unique qibla portico on the madrasa-tomb of Nasir al-Din Mahmud (the "Sultan Ghari" tomb) are attested to by the sultan in the Futuhat-i Firuz Shahi but not by inscription.93

The virtual absence of historical epigraphy associated with Firuz Shah leaves a number of questions about his role as patron unanswered. This is not to suggest that historical epigraphy was not employed by Firuz Shah on his monuments. To the contrary, Firuz Shah probably did incorporate foundation epigraphs in his buildings but, due to the ephemeral plaster medium he preferred, they have perished. It must be pointed out here that the Futuhat-i Firuz Shahi was only alleged to have been an architectural inscription. No trace of it survives in the physical remains of the period.

Q. What is the story of Aku Tompa and the shit from heaven?

A. Aku Tompa was a wily rascal who at one time served a lord in the capacity of jester, procurer, gambling adviser, etc. One day, the lord was crossed with him for chasing one of the maids that the lord had already put his eye on. The lord had banished Aku Tompa to spend the night out on the roof, where the temperature dropped precipitously in the thin Tibetan air. As the night wore on and the chill bit into Aku Tompa's bones, the glow of a brazier through the skylight in the shrine room was like a ray of hope. Eventually butter lamps were kindled and the lord arrived for his morning devotions. His mind racing, Aku Tompa scraped a pile of lime white-wash from the wall and spreading it in a fine powder on the flat rooftop, he relieved himself liberally.

Aku Tompa stuck a stick into the steaming mass, and in the sub-arctic temperatures, the steaming mass was soon solid, the arrangement soon assumed the shape of a demonic popsicle. Once the confection had congealed, Aku Tompa flipped it over and, using a bit of charcoal he found on the roof, scribbled some characters on the flat bottom. This he heaved through the skylight into the lap of the pious lord.

When his devotions received this sign of divine approval, the lord was, to put it mildly, elated. Even the local Rinpoche had not been so favored! When he looked at the characters on the base of this unusual torma, of course, being illiterate, he was vexed. Particularly vexed because Aku Tompa was the only person in the house who could read. And he was still very put out with him.

After struggling with his conscience in this fashion, the lord concluded that poor Tompa must be suffering terribly in the cold dark, with the stars piercing his bones like needles, and resolved immediately to display Chenresig-like compassion and summon Tompa to his pure land. Tompa appeared, teeth chattering, lips blue, his attention not to be commanded until after several restorative cups of tea. When he was looking quite chipper, and the lord was about to become annoyed, Tompa finally asked what the lord was holding. "Oh this," replied the lord, "It's nothing." Tompa teased it out of him presently as he was wont to do, since the lord was always shy about his learning disability.

Finally, Tompa looked at the words on the bottom of the now slightly softer torma, and unctuously read, "This is the shit that falls from heaven, blessed is the ruler into whose lap it falls." The ruler was well-pleased, and Aku Tompa drank much tea that day, chang later that night, and chased the maid after the lord passed out.


-- Frequently Asked Questions About Tibetan Buddhism, by Charles Carreon


This little work, the production of the Sultan Firoz Shah, contains a brief summary of the res gestae [achievements] of his reign, or, as he designates them, his "Victories." Sir H. Elliot was unable to obtain a copy of it, but considered its recovery very desirable, "as everything relating to the noble character of Firoz is calculated to excite attention." Colonel Lees also speaks of it, but he had never seen it, and was not well informed as to its extent. Mr. Thomas was more fortunate, for he possesses a copy which purports to have been written in 1139 H. (1726 A.D.), but it is quite modern; the date therefore must be that of the MS. from which it was copied. The work is a mere brochure of thirty-two pages, and the editor has translated the whole of it, with the exception of a few lines in the preface laudatory of the prophet. It exhibits the humane and generous spirit of Firoz in a very pleasing unostentatious light, recording his earnest endeavours to discharge the duties of his station with clemency, and to act up to the teaching of his religion with reverence and earnestness.

-- XVII. Futuhat-i Firoz Shahi of Sultan Firoz Shah, 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. 374-, 1871


And the contents of an inscription on a column in Fathabad, believed to belong to Firuz Shah, are unknown [???] so assignation to Firuz Shah is premature. Thus, the corpus of historical inscriptions is unimpressive but, a significant group of epigraphs appear on buildings which were built during his reign on the sub-imperial level by high-ranking nobles and provincial officials. Although these generally identify the builder, the date and function of the building, they also provide the name and titulature of the ruling monarch. The most significant example in Delhi is an inscription attached to the Kalan Masjid, built by Firuz Shah’s vizier, Khan-i Jahan Junan Shah, son of his first vizier Khan-i Jahan Maqbul.94 The inscription, located on the domed gate, identifies him as the patron of the mosque and Firuz Shah as the reigning sultan:95

By the grace and mercy of God, in the reign and sovereignty of the religious King, strong by the help of the Merciful, Abu’l-Muzafar Firoz Shah, Sultan, may his reign last forever, this mosque was built by the son of the slave of the threshold of Junah Shah Maqbal entitled Khan Jahan, son of Jahan, may God be merciful to this slave. Any one coming to this mosque is to pray for the benefit of the King of the Muslim and of this slave, and remember [them] in [their] Fateha and Ikhlas, and may God forgive [such a man] for ever. By the grace of the prophet and his posterity, this mosque was finished, on the date the 10th of Jamad al- Akhir, the year 789 [Hijra].


The Kalan Masjid mosque, dated 789/1387, is located in Shahjahanabad, near the Kotla. The mosque remains in good repair today. It belongs to the two-storied plinth plan and shares close affinities with the Firuz Shah’s imperial mosque in the kotla and was probably copied after it.96 The fact that the vizier patronized a mosque of this magnitude points to the level of wealth among the nobility. In all, seven mosques in the Delhi area have been attributed by Sayyid Ahmad Khan to Khan-i Jahan but not all of these attributions are accepted.97 For example, it has been demonstrated that the Begampur mosque (Jahanpanah) was in fact Muhammad bin Tughluq’s congregational mosque of Jahanpanah, an attribution accepted here.98 The basis for Sayyid Ahmad Khan’s attributions are stylistic similarities. Of the seven mosques mentioned by him, though, the Kalan Masjid and the Kali Masjid are the only ones inscribed. The Kali Masjid, located near the dargah of Nizamuddin, also contains an epigraph identifying Khan-i Jahan Junan Shah as the patron and the date of construction as 772/1370-71. This mosque, belonging to the cross-axial plan mosque type, was probably copied after Firuz Shah’s Khirki Masjid.99

The Kalan Masjid inscription refers to Firuz Shah as a religious king, whose strength was a mark of divine sanction. The mosque was erected to facilitate daily prayer and, in addition, to be a place of prayer for the benefit of Firuz Shah and the builder, a sentiment echoed in Firuz Shah’s own words in the Futuhat-i Firuz Shahi (page 1 above). This congregational mosque, therefore, served a dual purpose: for prayer in general and for prayers specifically to benefit the sultan. It is possible that, by ascribing such a purpose to the mosque, the vizier had premonitions of the sultan’s death the following year.

The reference to Firuz Shah’s religious temperament is also made in an epigraph attached to a small tomb, known as the Saubate-tomb, located to the northwest of Shah Abdul Haq’s tomb near the dargah of Qutb Sahib.100 The epigraph, inscribed in the dome, is dated to 777/1375-76, and refers to "the emperor Firuz Shah, the cherisher of religion."

The deficiency of historical epigraphs from the reign of Firuz Shah on Delhi monuments is unfortunate. However, a number of epigraphs exist on monuments outside of Delhi.101 Besides the Fathabad [Fatehabad] column, whose contents have been alluded to by Horn and Parihar,...

Image
Figure 4. Pillar, Fatehabad. Photo: author.

The third lat (fig. 4) is located in the town of Fathabad, or Fatehabad,16 Firuz Shah's earliest urban foundation, built in the first year of his reign, A.H. 752/A.D. 1351-52, and located on the road connecting the important sites of Delhi, Hansi, and Multan. The lat may date from this time, although no firm evidence supports this claim. Today it stands in the center of the courtyard of a modern 'idgah, but its original context is not known, and whether the pillar was free-standing or associated with a prior architectural structure remains a mystery. Fatehabad continued to be an important site into Mughal times, when a Humayun-period mosque was built on the site. Mughal patronage of the pillar is unlikely, and there is no evidence of any other builder at the site after the Tughluq period.17

The Fatehabad lat consists of a single column of beige stone standing 3.1 meters above the foundation. This piece is surmounted by a drum of white stone and four sections of red stone. The column is crowned by a red stone amalaka, a round fluted element of Indian origin,18 and a white stone cap raising the height of the column to 4.8 meters above the foundation. There is an estimated 1 to 1.5 meters below the ground. The diameter of the lat is 59 centimeters at its base and 52 centimeters at its top.

Image
Fig. 5. Detail of pillar inscription, Fatehabad. Photo: author.

The most remarkable feature of the Fatehabad lat is its inscription (fig. 5), one of the longest Indo-Islamic epigraphs of the Delhi sultanate; it is historical in content and specific to the Tughluq dynasty.19 [[Mehrdad] Shookoohy, Haryana I, 15-22 and pls. 1-70. [Haryana I. The Colum of Firuz Shah and Other Islamic Inscriptions from the District of Hisar. Plates i-xc. Shokoohy, Mehrdad. School of Oriental and African Studies, London 1988. 42 pp. + 90 plates. Publisher's cloth. 33,5x28,5 cm. Library stamps and bookplate. Corpus Inscriptionum Iranicarum. Part I IV Persian Inscriptions down to the early Safavid Period. Vol. XLVII India: State of Haryana.]] The date of the lat's installation is not known or given in the epigraph, but specific historical events referred to in the epigraph support attribution to Firuz Shah. The bottom section of the lat appears to be part of an ancient pillar brought to the site during the Tughluq period. Although a Mauryan origin is unlikely, it is nevertheless reused.20 [John Irwin expresses doubt about an Asokan origin for the Fatehabad lat in pt. 4, p. 744, n. 47 of John Irwin, "'Asokan' Pillars: A Reassessment of the Evidence," pts. 1-4, The Burlington Magazine 115 (Nov. 1973): 706-20; 116 (Dec. 1974): 712-27; 117 (Oct. 1975): 631-43; 118 (Nov. 1976): 734-53.] Citing similarities in stone type and column diameters, Cunningham believed that the pillar at Fatehabad and the pillar in nearby Hissar were originally parts of the same piece of stone. If his supposition is correct, then these columns were probably installed simultaneously.

-- The Monumental Pillars of Fīrūz Shāh Tughluq, by William Jeffrey McKibben, Ars Orientalis, Vol. 24 (1994), pp. 105-118 (14 pages), Published by: Freer Gallery of Art, The Smithsonian Institution and Department of the History of Art, University of Michigan


On the uppermost part of the fort, there is an Idgah. In the precinct of this Idgah, there is a thick lofty pillar in the centre. Constructed with the mixture of Balua soil, red marble, white marble and iron, the pillar is 15.6 feet in height, and six feet in circumference. Verses from the Koran and some brief information about the Tughlaq dynasty have been carved out on 36 slabs of the pillar. Some historians claim this pillar to be the "Kirti Stambha" of Ashoka the Great. The Hisar gazetteer also mentions that the pillar seemed to have been constructed by some Hindu king as words from Sanskrit language have also been found on the slabs. Besides this, the artistic work on the two mosques in this fort also resemble the work on the ancient Hindu temples. These historians believe that the pillar was constructed during the Ashoka period and was given touches of Muslim art by Firoz Shah Tughlaq during 14th century. In the same Idgah, on the west side of the pillar, there is an inscription. On this has been engraved in Arabian language that the Mughal emperor Humanyun came here and constructed a mosque at this place.

-- Fatehabad: A town steeped deep in history, by Sushil Manav, 1999


Standing at a height of over 6 metres, the Lat appears to be a portion of one of the pillars erected by Emperor Ashoka possibly at Agroha or Hansi. The Ashokan epigraph that was once engraved on the pillar was apparently very systematically chiseled off for writing the Tughlaq inscription, recording the genealogy of Firoz Shah in beautiful Tughra-Arabic characters carved in high relief. This Lat (the pillar) stands in the centre of what now looks like an ancient walled Idgah.

-- Lat of Feroz Shah, by fatehabad.nic.in


a group of epigraphs concentrated primarily in Biharsharif identify Firuz Shah as sovereign of that region. All are foundation inscriptions, usually identifying the builder, date, and function of the building, but many provide useful insights about Firuz Shah. The Tughluqs held sway over Bihar from 1327 A.D., when it was acquired by Muhammad bin Tughluq, through ca, 1372 A.D., when the province was lost under Firuz Shah. Many of the inscriptions contain titulature which reflects how Firuz Shah’s authority was perceived in outlying regions. Most of the epigraphs coincide with Firuz Shah’s expeditions through that region while enroute to Bengal. The epigraphs, ranging from 753/1353 through 774/1373 have been collected by Qeyamuddin Ahmad in his study of epigraphy of Bihar although many, as Ahmad notes, had attracted the attention of earlier scholars. All the inscriptions are Persian, with the exception of one mixed Persian-Arabic epigraph, written in a thuluth script.

The first of these epigraphs, dated 753/1353, is contained on the entrance to the mausoleum of Malik Ibrahim Bayyu, a Sufi saint, in Biharsharif, near Patna. The inscription begins;102

During the reign of the world-conquering monarch [???], may he be nauroz [new year’s day] in the spring of the kingdom,

the emperor of the world, Sultan Firuz, who became victorious over the rulers of the world... [???]


The couplets of the inscription go on to identify Malik Bayyu and record the time of his death. Another inscription on the same monument identifies Malik Bayyu as an iconoclast who broke idols and wielded the sword of truth against infidelity. Ahmad relates that, in fact, little is known about the Malik and suggests that he was the governor of Bihar whom Shams al-Din Ilyas Shah of Bengal conquered and killed, an act which instigated Firuz Shah’s first campaign.103

Another Persian inscription, dated 761/1359-60, on a building of unidentified function in Biharsharif, is a record of restoration. In it, Firuz Shah’s sovereignty is recognized.104

This auspicious building was renovated in the reign of the justice-fostering king,

emperor of the world, Firuz Shah
, through whom niches and pulpits [mosques] flourished;

through the efforts and at the instance of the favorite servant, [who is] the barid of the khitta in the period of the just king,

angel-natured, Malik of perfect competency, Fahim [who is] renowned in the seven climes.

Seven hundred [years] were past since the date of the [Prophet’s] Migration and sixty-one besides [A.H. 761=1359-60]

May the king be on the throne of good fortune forever, as victorious and successful as his name [Firuz=victorious].


The allusions to world conqueror, emperor, and victorious king certainly invoke an image of a military giant but in fact, it has been shown that Firuz Shah’s military prowess was relatively non-aggressive, if not conciliatory. The inscription coincides with Firuz Shah’s second campaign to Bengal. A reference in a contemporary manuscript reiterates the fervor of the campaign: "there was panic among God’s creation on account of the presence of the victorious armies of Firuz Shah."105
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Re: The Architecture of Firuz Shah Tughluq, by William Jeffr

Postby admin » Tue Nov 30, 2021 5:43 am

Part 4 of 4

Another inscription in the Amber dargah in Biharsharif also records the construction of a mosque:106

The edifice of this mosque of blessed foundation and the ka'ba-like arch was constructed during the reign of the lord of the earth and king of Solomon’s standard, who is confident of the Merciful,

Abu’l-Muzaffar Firuz Shah
, the Sultan, may God perpetuate his kingdom; and, during the governorship of the great Khan, Asadu’l Haqwad-Din, Ulugh A'zam Da’ud Khan, may God honour his helpers;

[by] the humble one [who is] hopeful of the [favour of the] Mighty Lord [namely] Khwaja Bangal Khani may God recompense him with a fine reward, on the first of the month of Rabi' I, year five and sixty and seven hundred (8 December 1363).


Da’ud Khan is thought to be the son of Malik Ibrahim mentioned above and his successor as governor of Bihar. [!!!]

An undated inscription in the dargah of Shah Qumais in Biharsharif, which probably records the construction of a mosque, again alludes to Firuz Shah’s religious temperament and his encouragement of the building of mosques.107

[God, the most High, has said] One who believes in God and the Last Day causes mosques to be built. This auspicious [mosque] was built

[in the reign of] the king of the world, [who is] confident of the support of the Merciful, Abu’l Muzaffar Firuz Shah
, the Sultan, [may God] perpetuate...

[by] the servant of the honourable Khanzada Malik Siraj al-Din [son of] Sulaiman, dated the second of [Shawwal]...


Khanzada Malik Siraj al-Din was probably a high-ranking official whose position is uncertain.

Another Persian inscription, dated 767/1365, now in the Indian Museum, Calcutta, was originally attached to Bayley Sarai in Biharsharif. The inscription is fragmentary but in it the reference, "Firuz Shah, the prop of the Universe" is still intelligible.108

Bayley Sarai (Biharsharif): It is situated in the town itself the most remarkable building is huge inn, erected about 100 year ago. The dispensary is housed in this building and in front of it is an elaborately designed clock tower.

-- Nalanda (Bihar Sharif) District, by biharattractions.com


A fragmentary inscription, dated 774/1373, in situ in a private house in Biharsharif refers to "the merciful, Abu'l Muzaffar Firuz Shah, the Sultan," but the purpose for which it was intended is not known.109

An undated epigraph bearing Firuz Shah’s name also appears on a slab of uncertain provenance but last traceable to Biharsharif. The fragment reads:110


[Sultan] who is shelter of the world, [and who is] confident of the support of the merciful, Firuz Shah the Sultan...


The inscription appears on the reverse side of a two-sided tablet. The obverse of the slab mentions an officer, perhaps the builder, who was hajib or "chamberlain for the Hindus of the kingdom," but the name of the reigning monarch is obliterated. Ahmad believes that the slab was removed from its original location by Firuz Shah who had the former king’s name effaced and its reverse side inscribed.

Yet another fragmentary inscription, in situ in an enclosure wall of Fadlu’llah Gosain’s tomb in mahalla Baradari in Biharsharif, includes the phrase; "took place in the prosperous reign of the ruler of the world, Firuz Shah."111

Ahmad also includes an Arabic and Persian inscription, dated 774/1373, in situ in a mosque in Tajpur Saran in Saran District, which records the construction of a fort by a certain Mukhlis Da’ud Khani.112 The fragmentary epigraph refers to "Abu’l Muzaffar Firuz Shah, the Sultan, May God perpetuate his kingdom and sovereignty." Ahmad points to this epigraph as evidence of Tughluq dominion in northwest Bihar.


Image
Location of Bihar


Several observations can be made about this group of Bihar inscriptions. First, of course, is that building activity in the area was enthusiastically pursued. Although none of the known inscriptions identify Firuz Shah as the builder, they point to a considerable level of sub-imperial patronage, perhaps as a result of Firuz Shah’s encouragement. Most, if not all, monuments were built by high-ranking officials who, in some cases, continued their own dynastic precedents. For example, successive foundation epigraphs can be assigned to a dynasty of governors of Bihar. All of the epigraphs which contain Firuz Shah’s name recognize his sovereignty and most identify him as sultan. Many reiterate his religious beliefs, his just disposition, and his reputation as a builder of mosques. The perceptions of him as an imperialist, however, are stated in universal nomenclature: shelter of the world, prop of the universe, emperor of the world, lord of the world, world-conquering monarch, and victorious over rulers of the world. Ahmad points out that the phraseology of these inscriptions was stereotypic and that they were nearly interchangeable without any substantive change in their meanings.113 It is possible that the repetitive titulature found in them is based on prototypes formulated in Muhammad bin Tughluq’s reign.114 If this were the case, then the Tughluqs encouraged sub-imperial patronage in Bihar over an extended period of time. However the inscriptions dated to Firuz Shah’s reign depart from those of his predecessor’s in their omission of the name of the caliph, contained in at least two epigraphs belonging to the latter’s reign.

The concentration of the epigraphs in Biharsharif suggests that it was an outpost of the Tughluq governors and a religious center of the province. Its former reputation as a major Buddhist center perhaps influenced its growth as a Muslim center.115 in fact, the sub-imperial initiative is pointed to as an acceptable means of stating piety.116 The Bihar inscriptions collectively provide valuable evidence which has almost disappeared from the Delhi monuments. [???!!!] Although these epigraphs do not provide direct evidence about Firuz Shah’s patronage, they shed light on his influence on sub-imperial patronage in this part of his empire.

[T]he mind seems persistently to formulate what Claude Lévi-Strauss has called a science of the concrete... mind requires order, and order is achieved by discriminating and taking note of everything, placing everything of which the mind is aware in a secure, refindable place, therefore giving things some role to play in the economy of objects and identities that make up an environment. This kind of rudimentary classification has a logic to it, but the rules of the logic by which a green fern in one society is a symbol of grace and in another is considered maleficent are neither predictably rational nor universal. There is always a measure of the purely arbitrary in the way the distinctions between things are seen. And with these distinctions go values whose history, if one could unearth it completely, would probably show the same measure of arbitrariness.... But if we agree that all things in history, like history itself, are made by men, then we will appreciate how possible it is for many objects or places or times to be assigned roles and given meanings that acquire objective validity only after the assignments are made....

It is perfectly possible to argue that some distinctive objects are made by the mind, and that these objects, while appearing to exist objectively, have only a fictional reality. A group of people living on a few acres of land will set up boundaries between their land and its immediate surroundings and the territory beyond, which they call “the land of the barbarians.” In other words, this universal practice of designating in one’s mind a familiar space which is “ours” and an unfamiliar space beyond “ours” which is “theirs” is a way of making geographical distinctions that can be entirely arbitrary....

The French philosopher Gaston Bachelard once wrote an analysis of what he called the poetics of space. The inside of a house, he said, acquires a sense of intimacy, secrecy, security, real or imagined, because of the experiences that come to seem appropriate for it. The objective space of a house -- its corners, corridors, cellar, rooms -- is far less important than what poetically it is endowed with, which is usually a quality with an imaginative or figurative value we can name and feel: thus a house may be haunted, or homelike, or prisonlike, or magical. So space acquires emotional and even rational sense by a kind of poetic, process, whereby the vacant or anonymous, reaches of distance are converted into meaning for us here. The same process occurs when we deal with time. Much of what we associate with or even know about such periods as "long ago” or “the beginning” or “at the end of time” is poetic -- made up. For a historian of Middle Kingdom Egypt, “long ago” will have a very clear sort of meaning, but even this meaning does not totally dissipate the imaginative, quasi-fictional quality one senses lurking in a time very different and distant from our own. For there is no doubt that imaginative geography and history help the mind to intensify its own sense of itself by dramatising the distance and difference between what is close to it and what is far away....

We need not decide here whether this kind of imaginative knowledge infuses history and geography, or whether in some way it overrides them. Let us just say for the time being that it is there as something more than what appears to be merely positive knowledge....

Consider how the Orient, and in particular the Near Orient, became known in the West as its great complementary opposite since antiquity. There were the Bible and the rise of Christianity; there were travellers like Marco Polo who charted the trade routes and patterned a regulated system of commercial exchange, and after him Lodovico di Varthema and Pietro della Valle; there were fabulists like Mandeville; there were the redoubtable conquering Eastern movements, principally Islam, of course; there were the militant pilgrims, chiefly the Crusaders. Altogether an internally structured archive is built up from the literature that belongs to these experiences. Out of this comes a restricted number of typical encapsulations: the journey, the history, the fable, the stereotype, the polemical confrontation....

[A] new median category emerges, a category that allows one to see new things, things seen for the first time, as versions of a previously known thing. In essence such a category is not so much a way of receiving new information as it is a method of controlling what seems to be a threat to some established view of things. If the mind must suddenly deal with what it takes to be a radically new form of life -- as Islam appeared to Europe in the early Middle Ages -- the response on the whole is conservative and defensive. Islam is judged to be a fraudulent new version of some previous experience, in this case Christianity. The threat is muted, familiar values impose themselves, and in the end the mind reduces the pressure upon it by accommodating things to itself as either “original” or “repetitious.” Islam thereafter is “handled”: its novelty and its suggestiveness are brought under control so that relatively nuanced discriminations are now made that would have been impossible had the raw novelty of Islam been left unattended....

The point is that what remained current about Islam was some necessarily diminished version of those great dangerous forces that it symbolised for Europe. Like Walter Scott’s Saracens, the European representation of the Muslim, Ottoman, or Arab was always a way of controlling the redoubtable Orient, and to a certain extent the same is true of the methods of contemporary learned Orientalists, whose subject is not so much the East itself as the East made known, and therefore less fearsome, to the Western reading public.

***

Orientalism is after all a system for citing works and authors. Edward William Lane’s Manners and Customs of the Modern Egyptians was read and cited by such diverse figures as Nerval, Flaubert, and Richard Burton. He was an authority whose use was an imperative for anyone writing or thinking about the Orient, not just about Egypt: when Nerval borrows passages verbatim from Modern Egyptians it is to use Lane’s authority to assist him in describing village scenes in Syria, not Egypt. Lane’s authority and the opportunities provided for citing him discriminately as well as indiscriminately were there because Orientalism could give his text the kind of distributive currency that he acquired....

Orientalism was fully formalized into a repeatedly produced copy of itself.

-- Orientalism, by Edward W. Said


The historical perspective provided by evidence in contemporary literature and epigraphy establishes a framework for examining individual monuments attributed to Firuz Shah. The attributions of extant monuments to him is based almost entirely on literary evidence. In the next chapter, these literary sources are compiled and a list of monuments is reconstructed and surviving structures are identified. Without the confirmation of foundation inscriptions, all attributions can be called into question, but where textual and epigraphic evidence is lacking, art historical evidence -- similarity of architectural form and stylistic conventions -- provides.

_______________

Notes:

1 Probably the best known modern histories of Firuz Shah include Jamini Mohan Banerjee’s History of Firuz Shah Tughluq (1967), Manazir Ahmad’s History of Firoz Shah Tughlaq (1978), and chapters on Firuz Shah in Agha Mahdi Husain’s Tughluq Dynasty, to name only a few.

2 Riazul Islam, "Firuz Shah Tugluk," Encyclopedia of Islam, p. 924. The designation "Tughluk" (alternatively "Tughluq") is a modern innovation and is not mentioned by contemporary Persian authorities.

3 ‘Afif, Ta’rikh (Elliot and Dowson), p. 271. Details of Tughluq ancestry are given, according to ‘Afif, in his Manakib-i Sultan Tughlik. This manuscript is now lost.

4 Bosworth, The Islamic Dynasties, pp. 190-191.

5 ‘Afif, Ta’rikh (Elliot and Dowson), p. 271. His full name, Abu al-Muzzafar Firoz Shah, is given in the Sirat-i Firuz Shahi. See Rashid, "Firoz Shah’s Investiture," p. 70. It also appears in several instances in architectural epigraphy (as reigning monarch, not the builder).

6 Hardy, Historians of Medieval India, p. 43, states that the events surrounding the parents of Firuz Shah and his life prior to his accession were intended by ‘Afif to "read as hagiology, full of signs and portents of coming greatness. Events are mentioned for their symbolical import."

7 ‘Afif, Ta’rikh (Elliot and Dowson), pp. 273-274.

8 ‘Afif, Ta’rikh (Elliot and Dowson), p. 274. ‘Afif notes in the Ta’rikh that he explains the motives for Muhammad bin Tughluq’s actions in his Manaqib-i Muhammad bin Tughluq, a manuscript now lost.

9 The accession remains a question of debate. Both Barani, Ta’rikh (Elliot and Dowson), pp. 266-267, and ‘Afif, Ta’rikh (Elliot and Dowson), pp. 275-286, assert that his election was by unanimous consent of those who accompanied the royal entourage to Thatta. It is not certain who was in attendance and whether this was an election by the ‘ulama’ or the military. Barani mentions Makhdum Zada ‘Abbasi, the Shaikh al- Shaiyukh of Egypt, Shaikh Nasir al-Din Mahmud Oudhi, and "chief man" attending the camp. ‘Afif identifies members of the camp as khans, princes, learned men, shaikhs, and officials. In either event both ‘Afif and Barani have chosen to downplay the possibility of struggle and emphasize Firuz’s election as logical, legitimate, and even ordained by God. Bosworth, Islamic Dynasties, p. 186, recognizes the short interim during which Mahmud was placed on the throne in Delhi by Khwaja Jahan. Although ‘Afif reports that Firuz Shah forgave the Khwaja for his actions, he acquiesced to his execution. Some authors have suggested that Firuz Shah was designated as regent by Muhammad bin Tughluq and that he usurped the throne (Wolseley Haig, JRAS (1922), p. 365); for discussion of this point, see Majumdar (Editor), The Delhi Sultanate in The History and Culture of the Indian People, p. 90 and p. 107, footnote 1). Modern historians accept the belief that Firuz Shah was elected. Banerjee, History of Firuz Shah Tughluq, pp. 12-18, discusses the question of his succession at length in light of traditional Muslim practice.

10 The 'ulama' was the collective religious community. Members included not only the pious clergy ('ulama'-i akhirat) but people who were were knowledgeable of Islamic Law (‘ulama’-i dunya or "worldly").

11 The accession of Firuz Shah was clouded by circumstances in Delhi. Khudawand Zada, the daughter of Ghiyath al-Din Tughluq and sister of Muhammad bin Tughluq, advanced her own son, Dawar Malik, the nephew of Muhammad. Malik Saif al-Din Khaju was sent from Thatta to thwart the claim, insisting that the youth was incompetent and unable to assume the responsibilities of rule. His argument was convincing and Dawar Malik was instead given the title of naib bar-bak. Afterwards Firuz Shah considered the claim without animosity and he regularly visited Khudawand Zada in the harem following the Friday sabbath. Moreover, he spared her life when she was implicated in an assassination attempt on him a few years later. See ‘Afif, Ta’rikh (Elliot and Dowson), pp. 276, 278, 290, 292.

A second claimant to the throne was advanced by Khwaja Jahan Ahmad Ayas, the vizier left in charge of Delhi during Muhammad bin Tughluq’s absence in Sind. Rumors of Muhammad bin Tughluq’s death, the attack on the imperial troops by the Chaghatai bands at Thatta, and the uncertain fate of Firuz Shah led Khwaja to react to the exigencies of the moment and he advanced a son of that sultan, Mahmud. Although Mahmud’s accession is recognized by Bosworth, he never actually exerted authority or gained recognition of the ‘ulama’. See Bosworth, The Islamic Dynasties, p. 186.

Later, as Firuz Shah approached the city of Delhi, members of the court who had supported the Khwaja’s action defected in the face of the former’s popularity and military advantage. Firuz Shah granted the vizier leave from court but was afterwards indicted in the Khwaja’s subsequent death. See Husain, Tughluq Dynasty, pp. 390-391; Majumdar, The Delhi Sultanate" p. 91; Hardy, Historians of Medieval India, p. 45; ‘Afif, Ta’rikh (Elliot and Dowson), p. 279. ‘Afif refutes the idea that Khwaja Jahan had acted out of line. The relationship between Firuz Shah and Khwaja Jahan was good. When Firuz Shah approached Delhi, the Khwaja fled to Hauz Khas from where he appealed for forgiveness (pp. 284-285). Firuz Shah banished him from the court and he was killed while enroute to Samana.

12 Barani, Ta’rikh (Elliot and Dowson), p. 267, and ‘Afif, Ta’rikh (Elliot and Dowson), pp. 277-278.

13 ‘Afif, Ta’rikh (Elliot and Dowson), p. 278.

14 Riazul Islam, "Firuz Shah Tughluk," p. 924, says that Firuz Shah was "thoroughly incompetent as a general: his conduct of war suffered from his professed desire to avoid all bloodshed and his vacillating judgment."

15 Ibid., p. 924. Riazul Islam states that Firuz Shah had a "keen desire to regain provinces lost by Muhammad bin Tughluq particularly Bengal and Deccan but his campaign to Bengal resulted in a loss of the territory and the campaign to Sind was concluded in a similar manner. He never undertook a campaign to the Deccan.

16 His campaigns to Bengal are described at length by ‘Afif, Ta’rikh (Elliot and Dowson), pp. 293ff and pp. 303ff. The extent of his architectural legacy is only beginning to be understood. The foundation of Jaunpur during his second Bengal campaign is well known. Epigraphy is the key to rediscovering some of these monuments. See Qeyamuddin Ahmad, Corpus of Arabic & Persian Inscriptions of Bihar (A.H. 640-1200), Patna, K. P. Jayaswal Research Institute, 1973. Pages 23 through 73 deal with inscriptions of the Tughluq sultans.

Dani, Muslim Architecture of Bengal, p. 58, contends that the Bengal ruler Sikandar Shah constructed the famous Adina Masjid in emulation of Firuz Shah’s capital of Firuzabad.

17 Firishta, Ta’rikh (Briggs), p. 259, and Majumdar, The Delhi Sultanate, p. 91. ‘Afif attributes the pursuit of Shams al-Din as the motive for the campaign. It is unlikely that Firaz Shah had other motives. It is not certain whether his campaign was a calculated move to regain the Bengal or in response to a plea for help. Barani states that Ilyas Shah was harassing Muslims and Hindus. See Ahmad, "Barani’s References to ‘The Hindus’," p. 297. The Insha-i Mahru contains a letter justifying the invasion of Bengal to suppress the tyrant and injustice of Haji Ilyas and invites all classes of men to desert him. See Hodivala, Studies in Indo-Muslim History, v. 1, p. 338; Riazul Islam, "Firuz Shah Tughluk," p. 924, suggests that Bengal was already lost by Muhammad bin Tughlug but Majumdar, p. 91, suggests that Firuz Shah acknowledged its independence in 1356, subsequent to the first campaign implying that his peace negotiations after the first campaign granted this concession. Hardy, Historians of Medieval India, p. 46, says that Firuz Shah went to Bengal the first time in search of fame.

18 Although he does not provide a specific chronology, ‘Afif gives the dates of the founding of Firuzabad and Hissar as occurring between the two Bengal campaigns. ‘Afif, Ta’rikh (Elliot and Dowson), pp. 298-299 and 302-303.

19 ‘Afif, Ta’rikh (Elliot and Dowson), pp. 303-305. The plea was delivered by Zafar Khan, the son-in-law of Shams al-Din, who was loyal to Fahr al-Din.

20 See Bosworth, Islamic Dynasties, pp. 193-194. An inscribed tablet, dated 769/1367, whose provenance is believed to be Champanagar in Bihar, records the foundation of a mosque by a general Ulugh Taghi Khan. The inscription begins:

In the name of God, the best of Names. This mosque was constructed in the reign of the Sultan, warrior in the cause of religion, Sikandar Shah, son of Ilyas Shah, the Sultan.

See Ahmad, Corpus of Arabic & Persian Inscriptions of Bihar, p. 54.


21 ‘Afif, Ta’rikh (Elliot and Dowson), pp. 312-315. The Puri temple is identified as the Jagannatha temple, a Vasinava temple built by the Ganga rulers in the mid-eleventh century A.D. It remains in active worship today.

22 Majumdar, The Delhi Sultanate, p. 94.

23 ‘Afif, Ta’rikh (Elliot and Dowson), p. 317.

24 ‘Afif, Ta’rikh (Elliot and Dowson), p. 322, refers to Jam and Babiniya as two separate persons. Firishta (Briggs, p. 263) considers them one and the same.

25 ‘Afif, Ta’rikh (Elliot and Dowson), pp. 320.

26 Firuz Shah’s troops approached Sind by water. Embarking his troops on 5000 boats to Thatta, the sultan accompanied the fleet along the riverbank. A grain shortage and pestilence killed nearly three quarters of his horses and interrupted the campaign. The troops had hoped to retire to Gujarat for reinforcements and supplies but instead were plagued by continuing famine, equine pestilence, and disloyalty. For six months no news was received in Delhi. The vizier Khan-i Jahan maintained order in Delhi despite rumors of Firuz Shah’s disappearance. Following this tragic interim, the rains alleviated the dire situation and Firuz Shah was able to continue into Gujarat where he dismissed the governor, Amir Husain, for treason. The imperial troops returned to Sind during the harvest season to find the people of Thatta unprepared. Peace was quickly negotiated and Firuz Shah extended generous concessions in return for recognition of his sovereignty.

27 ‘Afif, Ta’rikh (Elliot and Dowson), pp. 317-318; Firishta, Ta’rikh (Briggs), p. 263.

28 Firishta, Ta’rikh (Briggs), p. 264; Majumdar, The Delhi Sultanate, p. 96.

29 Majumdar, The Delhi Sultanate, p. 76; Firishta, Ta’rikh (Briggs), p. 265. Majumdar, The Delhi Sultanate, pp. 103 and 106.

31 See Banerjee, History of Firuz Shah Tughluq, pp. 58-59; and Majumdar (Ed.), The Delhi Sultanate, v. 5, pp. 93-94. Both authors discuss the interpretations by modern scholars of Firuz Shah’s motives for undertaking the expedition to Puri.

32 Firishta, Ta’rikh (Elliot and Dowson), p. 63.

33 Firuz Shah, Futuhat (Elliot and Dowson), p. 381.

34 Ibid., p. 381.

35 Ibid., p. 380.

36 ‘Afif, Ta’rikh (Elliot and Dowson), p. 366.

37 Firuz Shah, Futuhat (Elliot and Dowson), p. 378.

38 Ibid., pp. 378-379

39 Ibid., p. 379.

40 Ibid., pp. 379-380.

41 Ibid., pp. 377-378. In his actions against Shi’as, Firuz Shah singled out the Rawafiz.

42 Ibid., p. 378.

43 Ibid., p. 375.

44 Welch and Crane see the broadening of the base of architectural patronage as an acceptable means of expressing piety as well as a significant element in the development of an architectural style. See Welch and Crane, "The Tughluqs," p. 160.

45 The tas-i ghariyal was allegedly placed near the kushk-i shikar. Hodivala speculates its location near the observatory which he identifies as Pir Ghaib on the northern ridge of Delhi. Hodivala, Indo-Muslim History, v. 1, p. 325.

46 Asher suggests that the linkage between saints and royalty was a means of creating an elevated and fabricated genealogy; for Sher Shah, it underscored his legitimacy. See Asher, Patronage of Sher Shah Sur, pp. 298 and 301.

47 Firuz Shah’s prohibition against Muslim women visiting graves, expressed in the Futuhat, seems to have been motivated as much out of concern for their personal safety as proscribed by Muslim Law. Firuz Shah, Futuhat (Elliot and Dowson), p. 380.

48 Firuz Shah, Futuhat (Elliot and Dowson), p. 387 and 377.

49 ‘Afif, Ta’rikh (Elliot and Dowson), p. 321.

50 Ibid., p. 282 and 321.

51 Firuz Shah, Futuhat (Elliot and Dowson), pp. 383-384.

52 ‘Afif, Ta’rikh (Elliot and Dowson), p. 329.

53 Ibid., p. 362.

54 Firuz Shah, Futuhat (Elliot and Dowson), p. 376.

55 Ibid., p. 387.

56 Raychaudhuri and Habib, The Cambridge Economic History of India, v. 1, p. 188. The authors state that Firuz Shah abandoned all attempts at controlling prices, resulting in a "happy time" for merchants and engrossers. See also ‘Afif, Ta’rikh (Elliot and Dowson), pp. 344-347.

57 Raychaudhuri and Habib, The Cambridge Economic History of India, v. 1, p. 98.

58 Ibid., p. 49.

59 Ibid., p. 49; ‘Afif, Ta’rikh (Elliot and Dowson), p. 300; Firishta, Ta'rikh (Briggs), p. 260.

60 ‘Afif, Ta’rikh (Elliot and Dowson), p. 345; Raychaudhuri and Habib, Cambridge Economic History, pp. 53 and 101.

61 Raychaudhuri and Habib, Cambridge Economic History, p. 73.

62 Firuz Shah, Futuhat (Elliot and Dowson), p. 377; Banerjee, History of Firuz Shah Tughluq, pp. 122-123.

63 Raychaudhuri and Habib, Cambridge Economic History, p. 55.

64 ‘Afif, Ta’rikh (Elliot and Dowson), p. 347.

65 ‘Afif, Ta’rikh (Elliot and Dowson), p. 289; Hardy, Historians of Medieval India, p. 47; Raychaudhuri and Habib, Cambridge Economic History, p. 73.

66 Firuz Shah, Futuhat, p. 377.

67 Ibid., p. 387.

68 Anthony Welch and Howard Crane, "The Tughluqs," p. 127.

69 Hardy, Historians of Medieval India, p. 50, makes note of the alienation of wealth when he assesses ‘Afif’s positive comments about the prosperity of the reign.

The institution of slavery grew to unprecedented proportions under Firuz Shah. According to ‘Afif, the slave population in Delhi was 180,000, compared to 50,000 under ‘Ala’ al-Din Khalji. Firuz Shah forbade the export of slaves which closed the slave market. The slaves included artisans, attendants, soldiers, concubines, and personal bodyguards of the sultan. One modern author points to the large slave population as a disturbing factor in the state.

70 Firuz Shah, Futuhat (Elliot and Dowson), pp. 384-385; Raychaudhuri and Habib, Cambridge Economic History, p. 75.

71 ‘Afif, Ta’rikh (Elliot and Dowson), p. 361; Firuz Shah, Futuhat (Elliot and Dowson), p. 385.

72 ‘Afif, Ta’rikk (Elliot and Dowson), p. 361.

73 ‘Afif, Ta’rikh (Elliot and Dowson, p. 301.

74 Raychaudhuri and Habib, Cambridge Economic History, p. 97, attribute the exhaustion of the royal treasury to the scale of military operations, the loss of the provinces of Bengal and Deccan (both sources for the precious metals of the currency), and the already depressed money economy of the middle of the 14th century.

75 Majumdar, The Delhi Sultanate, p. 107.

76 Firuz Shah, Futuhat (Elliot and Dowson), p 382; ‘Afif, Ta’rikh (Elliot and Dowson), p. 363. Simon Digby gives a different translation of ‘Afif’s passage than that in Elliot and Dowson:

And that quantity of the customs which were established as governmental usage [?] and those customs appeared in conflict with the Shar’iat, he forbade them all; one of these [was] the drawing of animate forms [naqqashi-yi-musawar] in the private apartments [mahall-i-khilvatgah] of the Sultan: and [as for] that, it is the custom of kings that they always arrange picture galleries with figures in their place of rest [albatta dar maqam-i-aramgah ishan nigarkhanahayi-musawar rast kunand]. Sultan Ferozshah, out of his great fear of God, ordered that they should not make pictures of living forms in those galleries...because it is in conflict with the Shar’iat: and in the place of the depictions of figures [suratgari] they should draw a design [naqsh] with various kinds of Bostan [orchard, garden, sc. flowering trees] in accordance with the desires of friends...for the spectacle [tamasha].


See Simon Digby, "Literary Evidence for Painting in the Delhi Sultanate," Bulletin of the American Academy of Benares, vol. I, Varanasi, 1967, p. 53.

77 Barani, Fatawa-yi Jahandari, parts translated and edited by Habib and Begum as The Political Theory of the Delhi Sultanate, p. 18. Barani’s advice is presented in the form of a paradigm for Muslim rulers. He does not cite Firuz Shah by name.

78 ‘Afif, Ta’rikh (Elliot and Dowson), p. 361.

79 Firuz Shah, Futuhat (Elliot and Dowson), p. 382.

80 Firishta, Ta’rikh (Briggs), p. 263.

81 ‘Afif, Ta’rikh (Elliot and Dowson), pp. 361-362.

82 Ibid., p. 341.

83 Firuz Shah, Futuhat (Elliot and Dowson), pp. 382-385.

84 Firishta, Ta'rikh (Briggs), p. 270.

85 ‘Afif, Ta’rikh (Elliot and Dowson), pp. 354-355.

86 Ibid., p. 354.

87 Raychaudhuri and Habib, Cambridge Economic History, p. 81.

88 Firishta, Ta’rikh (Briggs), pp. 266-267.

89 Majumdar, The Delhi Sultanate, p. 97; ‘Afif, Ta’rikh (Elliot and Dowson), p. 362. ‘Afif writes: "As long as he lived he paid attention to the elders of the religion, and towards the end of his reign, he himself became a shaveling." Shaveling is a reference to tonsure, or shaving of the head in preparation for initiation into a dervish order.

90 Firishta, Ta’rikh (Briggs), p. 267, states that Firuz Shah died at the age of 90 however if one accepts ‘Afif's word that he was born in 709/1309, then he was 79 years old when he died. See also Majumdar, The Delhi Sultanate, p. 108, footnote 21.

91 Stephen, Archaeology and Monumental Remains, p. 146, fn.

92 The Persian inscription given in the text in located on the doorway of the fifth storey. Firuz Shah’s repairs to the Qutb Minar have been been the topic of much discussion. Page, Historical Memoir on the Qutb, pp. 19-20, indicates that the fourth and fifth stories of the minar were probably Firuz Shah’s construction. Besides the Persian inscription, two nagari inscriptions on the minar refer to repairs in 1369 A. D. Page (pp. 34 and 42-43) gives the following translations from the Archaeological Survey’s reports. The first nagari inscription (on the 8th course of the third balcony):

On Thursday, the 15th day of the dark fortnight of Phalguna in the year Samvat 1425 (i.e., 1369 A.D.) lightning fell. The [monument] was [then] repaired in the year Samvat 1425. The architects were Nana, Salha, Lola and Lashmana.


The second nagari inscription (on the left abutment of the fourth balcony):

Om. In the auspicious reign of the illustrious Firoz Shah Sultan on Friday the 5th of the bright fortnight of Phalguna in the year Samvat 1426, the restoration of the Minar was carried out in the palace or temple of Visvakarman. The architect was the maternal grandson of the son of Chahadadevapala; the measuring cord was drawn and the foundation laid.


93 Welch and Crane, "The Tughluqs," p. 154.

94 ‘Afif mentions that Khan-i Jahan Maqbul was a convert from Hinduism. See Stephen, Archaeology and Monumental Remains, p. 152, fn.

95 Stephen, Archaeology and Monumental Remains, pp. 151-152.

96 Welch and Crane, "The Tughluqs," p. 139.

97 The attributions of the seven mosques were made by Sayyid Ahmad Khan. Stephen, Archaeology and Monumental Remains, p. 149) accepted Sayyid Ahmad Khan’s attributions but only two of the mosques, the Kalan Masjid and Kali Masjid, have foundation epigraphs.

98 Nath, Sultanate Architecture, pp. 56-57; Husain, Rise and Fall, pp. 119-120; Welch and Crane, "The Tughluqs," p. 161, fn 45.

99 Welch and Crane, "The Tughluqs," p. 139; Husain, A Record of All Quranic and Non-Historical Epigraphs, p. 21.

100 Archaeological Survey, Lists of Monuments, v. 2 Mahrauli Zail, p. 73-74, no. 112. The authors state that they do not know why the tomb is referred to as the "Saubate-tomb." The tomb, belonging to the chhatri type is situated within a walled enclosure. The latter contains three mihrabs on the west. It is presently maintained by waqf of Mutawalli Khadims of the dargah of Qutb Sahib. The identity of Shah Abdul Haq is uncertain but it is doubtful that he is Firuz Shah’s deputy architect referred to in the Futuhat.

101 Welch and Crane have pointed out the existence of epigraphs on four mosques which date from the reign of Firuz Shah: a mosque built by an amir, Malik Shahin Bek, dated 767/1366, in Hansi; a Friday mosque, dated 772/1371 in Ladnum, built by Firuz Shah’s master of the hunt; and two mosques in Didwana, both dated 779/1377, built by a weaver and a baker, respectively. See Welch and Crane, "The Tughluqs," p. 127; Epigraphica Indica: Arabic and Persian Supplement (1953-1954), p. 2; (1949-1950), pp. 18-20.

102 Ahmad, Arabic & Persian Inscriptions of Bihar, p. 35.

103 Ibid., pp. 36. Ahmad (p. 38) identifies Malik Bayyu as Ibrahim ibn Abu Bakr popularly known as Ibrahim Bayyu, who carried the title of Saif al-Daulat and was a maqta' of Bihar. Desai believes that he was the governor of Bihar. Ahmad (pp. 38-40) discusses the historical evidence, sometimes contradictory, surrounding this man.

104 Ibid., p. 43.

105 Ibid., p. 44 and fn 1. Ahmad cites this reference from a copy of a manuscript, Malfuz al-Safar, dated 927/1520-21, in Phulwari Khanaqah Library. The quote is part of a conversation, under the heading date of 12 Safar 762/December 23, 1360, between the author of the Malfuz and a saint Sharf al-Din.

106 Ibid., pp. 45-46. Ahmad suggests that Da’ud Khan belonged to a family whose descendents were treated favorably by Firuz Shah. Also, Ahmad notes that the builder Bangal Khani had probably rendered service to the sultan during his previous expedition.[/b][/size]

107 Ibid., p. 52.

108 Ibid., p. 48. The inscription also refers to Khanzada Sulaiman, the son of Ulugh Da’ud, who is believed to be yet another successor as governor of Bihar.

109 Ibid., p. 56.

110 Ibid., p. 61.

111 Ibid., p. 63.

112 Ibid., p. 58.

113 Ibid., p. 61.

114 Ibid., pp. 23-32.

115 Ibid., pp. 41-42. Ahmad notes that Sufi saints often selected Buddhist sites as their base.

116 Welch and Crane, "The Tughluqs," p. 160.
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