Muhammad Bin Tughlaq

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Muhammad Bin Tughlaq sultan of Delhi from 1325 AD to 1351. He was perhaps the most striking and enigmatical figure in the history of Mediaeval India. Endowed with extraordinary intellect and retentive faculty, Muhammad bin Tughlaq assimilated all the branches of learning like philosophy, history, medicine, calligraphy, mathematics, astronomy and all the physical sciences. Well versed in the Quran and Hadith, the sultan had also good command over the Persian and Arabic languages. He was so adept in the use of similes and metaphors that no learned and accomplished man of that period dared to argue with him.

Muhammad bin Tughlaq inherited a vast empire from his father, ghiyasuddin tughlaq. Immediately after his accession to the throne, the sultan turned his attention towards Bengal, because he scented danger from the east. At that time, Nasiruddin Ibrahim ruled lakhnauti and tatar khan alias Bahram Khan was in charge of sonargaon and satgaon. Both Nasiruddin Ibrahim and Bahram Khan were proteges of Sultan Ghiyasuddin Tughlaq. They were powerful and ambitious and in a position to rise in rebellion.

So in order to put a check on their ambition and for creating a balance in the politics of Bengal, Muhammad bin Tughlaq released ghiyasuddin bahadur from captivity, bestowed high honours upon him and sent him back to Sonargaon to rule the territory along with Bahram Khan. In pursuance of his new policy of introducing the system of dual governorship, Muhammad bin Tughlaq also made other appointments in Bengal about the same time. He appointed Malik Pindar or Bidar Khalji with the title of Qadar Khan as joint-governor of Lakhnauti. He also appointed Malik Husamuddin Abu Reza as Nizam-ul-Mulk and Wazir of Lakhnauti. Moreover, Muhammad bin Tughlaq made Satgaon a separate administrative unit and placed it under Azam-ul-Mulk Izzuddin Yahya.

Muhammad bin Tughlaq distrusted Nasiruddin Ibrahim, governor of Lakhnauti, because he apprehended danger from him. So, he felt the necessity of removing him tactfully from Bengal. Accordingly he removed him unceremoniously and sent him as a commander of the imperial army against Kishlu Khan of Multan. Numismatically it appears that Nasiruddin Ibrahim issued coins in the joint names of himself and Sultan Muhammad bin Tughlaq till 727 AH/1327 AD. After that no coin bearing the name of Nasiruddin Ibrahim was found. Hence it may be said that Nasiruddin Ibrahim died or was deposed some time in the year 1327 AD.

Ghiyasuddin Bahadur Shah, joint governor of Sonargaon also issued coins in the joint names of himself and Muhammad bin Tughlaq till 728 AH/1328 AD. As the sultan was very busy otherwise, Bahadur Shah threw off his allegianc to the Sultanate of Delhi and declared independence. But Bahram Khan led an army against him and in this conflict Bahadur was defeated and killed. Thus was cleared the possibility of turmoil in the east. Henceforth Lakhnauti, Satgaon and Sonargaon were governed by Qadar Khan, Malik Izzuddin Yahya and Bahram Khan respectively without any internal feud or any attempt at rebellion against the authority of Sultan Muhammad bin Tughlaq for about ten years.

But after the death of Bahram Khan his armor-bearer Fakhruddin declared himself independent at Sonargaon in 1338 AD. In Satgaon, after the death of Izzuddin Yahya, Haji Iliyas became the sole master in 1338 AD and Ali Mubarak ascended the throne of Lakhnauti in 1339 AD.

Thus ended the rule of the Delhi Sultanate over Bengal during the reign of Sultan Muhammad bin Tughlaq. [ABM Shamsuddin Ahmed]