Tughlaq Dynasty : Ghiyasuddin Tughlaq, Muhammad-bin-Tughlaq- Political and administrative experiments, Feroze Shah Tughlaq

Tughlaq Dynasty

Third of the five dynasties that ruled Delhi, the Tughluq Dynasty was, perhaps, one of the strongest of the Delhi Sultanates.The Tughlaqs were basically of Turkish origin and the family was essentially Muslim. Around the year 1321, Ghazi Tughlaq ascended the throne and was given the title Ghiyath al-Din Tughlaq. The Tughlaq dynasty was able to withhold its rule due to their strong allies like the Turks, Afghans and the Muslim warriors of south Asia.



Ghiyath al-Din Tughluq was the founder of the Tughlaq dynasty in India. His real name was Ghazi Malik and he ruled from 1320 – 1325. He was the one who founded the city of Tughlaqabad outside Delhi. He waged a gruesome battle against Khusrao Khan, who killed the last Khilji ruler. His successful defence against the Mongols made him an able ruler and the founder of a dynasty in India. He conquered many areas including eastern portion of Bengal, a huge territory

Ghiyas-ud­din restored order everywhere. By 1324, the Sultanate’s power reached up to Madurai. Ghiyas-ud-din died in 1325, after a fall from a high-raised pavilion. Historians opine that his death was due to sabotage arranged by his son, Juna Khan.

He resumed the grants that were revoked and allowed them to enjoy their privileges. Ghiyas-ud-din succeeded in getting the support of the nobles and the people through these measures.

Ghiyas-ud-din attempted to improve the finances of the state and perused a policy to encourage agriculture. His twin object was to increase land under cultivation and improve economic condition of the cultivators. The state demand of revenue was fixed between one-fifth and one-third of the produce.

He ordered the revenue to be increased only gradually and in no case could increase beyond one- eleventh to one-tenth. The privileges of the previous Hindu rulers were restored. The practice of mea­surement and survey of land was abandoned. The measures of Ghiyas-ud-din succeeded and the area under cultivation increased and the condition of the farmers improved.

Ghiyas-ud-din continued the system of dagh and chehra instituted by Alauddin. However the market regulations were also abandoned under him He insisted on paying the army better to increase its efficiency. He was successful in increasing the strength of the army.

Mohammed bin Tughlaq

One of the most controversial rulers in India, Mohammed bin Tughlaq was the successor of Ghazi Tughlaq. The empire was spread and his rule grew. He was a brilliant person who had full command over mathematics and medicine. Yet, he was considered crazy by those who were there in his court. He was known to mete out very cruel and brutal punishments to people who were found guilty of even small mistakes. He shifted his capital from Delhi to a place in the outskirts known as Daulatabad which harmed his reputation amongst policy makers.

Firuz Shah Tughlaq(1351-1388) 

Firuz Shah Tughlaq was the successor of Mohammed Bin Tughlaq. Firuz Shah was a caring ruler unlike Mohammed bin Tughlaq. He made sure that people in his kingdom were happy and heard out their problems patiently. However, he was not militarily strong and could not sustain any sort of external attacks or aggression. Firuz Shah breathed his last in the year 1388 and after that the Tughlaq dynasty faded away in no time.

Firuz was born in 1309. He was Muhammad’s cousin. Firuz was at Thatta when Muh~mmad-bin- Tughlaq breathed his last in 1351. He was chosen the Sultan by the nobles.

Firuz was of a merciful and pious disposition, and he preferred peace to the glories of conquest. He was a true friend of the peasants and he cancelled the loans which had been advanced by his predecessor. He reduced taxation to the limits prescribed by the Quran. Agriculture was devel­oped by the reclamation of waste lands and by providing irrigation facilities. Firuz mitigated the severity of the criminal law by abolishing torture and mutilation as forms of punishment. His other measures included the establish­ment of a charitable department in Delhi (diwan-i-khairat).

Firuz re-introduced the system of jagirs or grant of land with its revenue to his military officers in lieu of cash salaries. He decreed hereditary succession to iqta.
Firuz Tughlaq was an enthusiastic builder and is famous for his enlightened public works. He built a new capital at Delhi and named it Firuzabad. Its ruins are the Kotla Firuz Shah. He also founded the cities of Hissar, Fatehabad, Firuzpur and Jaunpur. Firuz Tughlaq constructed the Yamuna canal to supply water to the cities of Firuzpur and Hissar.

He built the Kali Masjid and Lal Gumbad. He had two of Asoka’s pillars brought to Delhi; one from Khizrabad and the other from Meerut. Barani and AsH wrote noteworthy historical works in his reign.

Firuz Shah himself authored the Fatuhat-i-Firuz Shahi. He got several Sanskrit works translated into Persian. Firuz is also credited with organising the institution of slavery into a system. He took special care to maintain and educate the slaves, and utilise their services as soldiers, bodyguards and artisans.

Firuz declared his principle of levying taxes strictly according to the Shariat. As such, he insisted on the payment of jaziya by all non-Muslims. He was the first Muslim sultan to strictly impose jaziya on the brahmans who had so far been allowed to escape the tax. Surprisingly for a man of humanitarian actions, Firuz was intolerant towards non­Muslims especially in his later years; within the Muslim community, Firuz accepted only the Sunnis not the Shias or Ismailis. He is reported to have demolished Hindu temples. He is also supposed to have publicly burnt a brahman for preaching to Muslims. He got the painted murals in his own palaces erased.

Firuz Tughlaq is largely held responsible for the down­fall of the Tughlaq dynasty. His revival of the jagir system and establishment of a slave system proved ruinous for the kingdom. On top of this, his intolerant religious policy alienated the Hindus and Shias. His death was followed by succession wars and only a small area around Delhi remained with the Tughlaqs.

TIMUR’S INVASION (1398-99) Amir Timur or Timurlane was a mighty conqueror of Central Asia. His capital was at Samarqand. He invaded India in 1398 during the reign of Mahmud Tughlaq. He occupied Delhi on December 18, 1398 and remained there for 15 days. Delhi was sacked and plundered. The Tughlaq empire could never recover from such a terrible blow and came to an end in 1412.

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