Tughluq Dynasty

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During his rule, Khusraw replaced Muslim officers by Hindu officers in all key positions of the country. These Hindu officers openly insulted Islam, dishonored mosques and used copies of the Quran as pedestals for idols. This situation was very difficult for the Muslim of South Asia to digest. They gathered around a Tughluq noble popularly known as Ghazi Malik, who defeated and killed Khusraw. He wanted to give power back to the Khalji Dynasty, but could not find any survivor amongst the decedents of Alauddin. In this situation, the nobles asked him to become Sultan. He ascended the throne on September 8, 1320, and assumed the title of Ghiyas-ud-din Tughluq Shah, thus becoming the founder of the Tughluq dynasty. The Tughluqs belonged to the Qarauna Turk tribe. After becoming Sultan, Ghiyas-ud-din concentrated on crushing the Hindu rajas, who had gained power during the short rule of Khusraw. He conquered Bengal, which was no longer part of the central empire since the death of Balban. When he came back after the successful Bengal expedition, his son Jauna Khan gave him a very warm welcome. When Ghiyas-ud-din was taking the guard-of-honor, the special stage that had been constructed for the occasion fell down, killing Ghiyas-ud-din and six other people. His son Muhammad bin Tughluq succeeded him. Muhammad Tughluq was a man of ideas. He tried to implement a number of his own schemes. Unfortunately for him, almost all his schemes failed and he became unpopular amongst the masses. When he died, his cousin, Firuz Shah was raised to the status of Sultan. Firuz Shah’s long rule of 37 years is known for his marvelous administrative reforms. Due to old age, Firuz Shah handed over power to his son Muhammad Shah during his lifetime. The new Sultan proved incompetent and was not liked by the nobles. A civil war like situation was created. Firuz Shah helped in cooling down the tension and replaced Muhammad Shah with Ghiyas-ud-din, his grandson, as Sultan. However, after the death of Firuz Shah in 1388, a tussle once again began between the power-hungry princes of the house of Tughluqs. The nobles, who in order to gain more power, started supporting one prince or the other, further worsened the situation. This period of fighting amongst the Tughluq princes continued for about quarter of a century. Amir Timur’s invasion on Delhi in 1398 further destroyed the political and economic standing of the Tughluqs. The dynasty eventually came to an end in 1414 when Khizar Khan founded the Saiyid Dynasty in Delhi.

This article was last updated on Sunday, June 01, 2003