April 25

Sayyid Dynasty – Dynasty on ruins of Delhi

Sayyid Dynasty

Sayyid Dynasty – India’s Rise after Timur invasion

Sayyid Dynasty

The Sayyid Dynasty was the fourth and the second-last Dynasty of the Delhi Sultanate. The Timur Invasion on the Delhi Sultanate led to the decline of the Tughluq dynasty and the rise of the Sayyid Dynasty in its ruins. Before he left, Timur is thought to have named Khizr Khan, who later formed the Sayyid dynasty, as the viceroy in Delhi. Khizr Khan was initially only able to establish his rule over Multan, Dipalpur, and some of Sindh. He soon began his war against the ruling Tughlaq dynasty, and finally, on June 6, 1414, he triumphantly reached Delhi. The founder and rulers of this dynasty identify themselves to be the ancestors of the Prophet.

The Rise of the Sayyid Dynasty:

Khizr Khan has been mentioned as the descendant of Prophet Muhammad in Tarikh-i-Mubarak Shahi. Members of the dynasty claimed to be descended from the Islamic prophet Muhammad through his daughter Fatima, which is how they got the name Sayyid, or the lineage of Muhammad. But this view has been contradicted by some the other historians and scholars such as Richard M. Eaton and Simon Digby. They affirm that Khizr Khan had been a Punjabi leader from the Khokhar clan who was sent to Timur as an envoy and negotiator from the most nearby region, the Punjab. And due to the relationships he made, he eventually rose to power in Delhi.

Khizr Khan served as the viceroy of Multan under Sultan Firuz Shah and was initially a noble in the Delhi Sultanate under the Tughlaq Dynasty. One of the most significant Indian lords to take part in Timur's invasion and defy Delhi's rule was Khizr Khan.

Khizr Khan was chosen by Timur to serve as Multan's (Punjab)  when Delhi was looted in 1398.  After Khizr Khan assembled his soldiers in Multan, Mallu Iqbal Khan, who was acting as the de facto ruler, was defeated and murdered in Delhi in 1405 . On May 28, 1414, he finally took Delhi, creating the Sayyid dynasty. Khizr Khan did not assume the title of Sultan, and he continued to pretend to be Timur's Rayat-i-Ala (vassal), first serving Timur and then his son Shah Rukh.

Khizr Khan led the Punjab, Uttar Pradesh, and Sindh back together under the Delhi Sultanate after his rise to power, where he spent his time putting down uprisings. Khizr Khan and his successors derived the majority of the Delhi army during their reigns from Multan and Dipalpur and made Punjab their political stronghold.

After Khizr Khan passed away on May 20, 1421, his son Sayyid Mubarak Shah took over. By replacing the Timurid name on his coinage with the name of the Caliph, Mubarak Shah designated himself as Muizz-ud-Din Mubarak Shah and proclaimed himself a Shah.

The Rulers of the Sayyid Dynasty:

1.  Khizr Khan: Sayyid Khizr Khan, who ruled the north of India from 1414 until 1421, promptly after Timur's invasion and the demise of the Tughlaq dynasty, founded the Sayyid dynasty. Delhi was in an awful situation when he ascended to the throne. There was chaos, turmoil, and commotion across the entire realm. Hindu doab lords had made similar declarations of freedom and no longer paid tributes to the Sultan. He put down a rebellion to establish order and peace in the realm.

Khizr Khan achieved a certain degree of success and widened the sphere of his influence. The armies of Khizr Khan seized Gwalior, Gujarat, and Bayana.  Gradually, he became ill, and on May 20, 1421, despite all efforts to rescue him, he died. He was replaced by his son Mubarak Shah.


2.  Mubarak Shah: Mubarak Shah was the second ruler of the Sayyid Dynasty. He assumed the throne in place of his father, Khizr Khan. To put a stop to the anarchy and quell uprisings, Mubarak Shah led expeditions throughout the realm. He was successful in putting down the Punjabi Khokhars, but only in Bhatinda and the Doab. He called himself Muizz-ud-Din Mubarak Shah, and he also had coins struck in his honor.

Early in his authority, he drove back the Malwa Sultanate's invading Hoshang Shah Ghori and had him pay a large tribute. During his reign, he built Mubarakabad, a new city, on the banks of the Yamuna River. Mubarak Shah was eventually the victim of a plot to assassinate him in 1434 A.D. Mubarak Shah was having no heir apparent, so his nephew Muhammad Shah accessed the throne.


3.     Muhammad Shah: Because he lacked sons to take his position, Mubarak Shah adopted his nephew Mohammed Shah.  Sarwar ul Mulk assisted Muhammad Shah in assuming the throne. But when Shah attempted to break free from Sarwar ul Mulk's rule, the latter developed a conspiracy to kill the Sultan. However, his plan was unsuccessful since the other faction continued to be loyal to and support the Sultan. As a result of the Sultan's failure to assassinate him, Wazir Sarvar-ul-Muld was put to death by his troops.

The Malwa Sultan Mahmood Shah built their camp near Delhi in preparation for an assault. When Muhammad Shah realized he couldn't manage the situation, he called Sirhind's commander, Bahlul Lodhi. The warriors of Bahlul Lodhi attacked the troops of Sultan Mahmood Shah. Mahmood struggled, but he and Muhammad Shah finally settled on a deal. Muhammad Shah named his son Ala-ud-din Alam Shah as his successor before passing away in 1445.


4.     Alam Shah: Ala-ud-din-Alam Shah was the Sayyid Dynasty's fourth and final ruler. He was known as Alam Shah, and he reigned from 1445 and 1451. Although being born Ala-ud-Din, he took the title of Alam Shah after inheriting the Dynasty. Alam Shah, like Muhammad Shah, was an ineffective administrator and monarch. He spent his entire life in Badaun because he enjoyed it as a tourist.

Because the Central Authority was ineffective and unruly, the governor of Lahore and Sarhind, Bahlol Lodhi, managed to consolidate his influence and take over Delhi. In 1451, Bahlul Lodhi deposed Alam Shah as king. Alam Shah established his rule over Badaun and put an end to the Sayyid dynasty in 1478.

The Sayyid Administration:

The Sultan of the Sayyid Dynasty had unrestrained authority and the administration was tightly controlled. An efficient administrative system was in place under the Sayyid Dynasty, and it was executed by several officials who were each assigned a certain responsibility to perform. The Sultan functioned as the ruler of the state and had unrestrained power in all areas of governmental activity. Wazir functioned as the state's prime minister and was controller of the finances, while Naib had a position equivalent to that of the Sultan.

The Shariah served as a guide for decisions. Non-Muslims were dealt with in cases according to their own religions' rules. The whole kingdom was split up into different-sized and small land units called Iqtas.

The Economy during the Sayyid Dynasty:

Under the Sayyids' control, trade and business declined. Sayyids levied maize levies, which Lodhi later repealed. In the 14th and 15th centuries CE, a reduction in commercial channels led to the collapse of supply lines in the Deccan area, which functioned as a marine commerce route. As a result of the empire's decline, it was no longer able to obtain supplies from the shore. The Sayyid era's political structure had already started to deteriorate by the time of Lodhi. The Sultanate's deteriorating economy ultimately caused it to disintegrate.

The Decline of the Sayyid Dynasty:

During Mubarak Shah and Muhammad Shah, rebellions in Jaunpur, Etawah, Gwalior, Doab, and other districts caused problems for the Sultanate. Following his ascension, Muhammad Shah also cut links with other kingdoms and said he had no connection to them. Numerous uprisings subsequently erupted in the northwest, northeast, and central regions. The rulers of the Sayyid dynasty were consumed with quelling these uprisings and were unable to concentrate on governance and the well-being of the public.

During Alam Shah's reign, the Afghans' authority considerably grew, and Bahlul Lodhi finally had absolute sovereignty over the whole of Punjab. The Sayyid Wazir, Hamid Khan, joined forces with Bahlul Lodhi when he invaded Delhi and helped to destroy the Sayyid dynasty by establishing him as the Delhi Sultanate's ruler.


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