By: Muhammad Qasim Firishta.
Tareekh-i-Firishta. / The History by Firishta.
The Tareekh-i-Firishta is a history of Muslim rule in India based upon a compilation of earlier histories, oral tradition and events that Firishta witnessed during his lifetime. Almost the entirety of the work is devoted to the annals and history of Muslim rule in Hindustan, though it also contains an abstract of Hindu beliefs, a brief history of Hindustan prior to Muslim rule and a section on Indian saints. Perhaps also of note is the authoritative status that was accorded to Tareekh-i-Firishta in 18th century England before the rise to power of the East India Company.
THE introduction of the Mahomedan faith into Mooltan first took place in the latter end of the first century of the Hijra, by the conquest of that country by Mahomed Kasim; after whom, until the reign of Mahmood of Ghizny, no account is to be traced of its history. It is mentioned in the Ghizny annals that Mahmood conquered Mooltan from the infidels; but that on the decline of the Ghizny power, the inhabitants, taking to arms, succeeded in expelling the Ma-homedans, and in establishing a separate government. From the period of its subjugation by Myiz-ood-Deen Mahomed Ghoory, it remained tributary to Dehly until the yearÃ A.D 1443. When the governor of that province, like most others of the kingdom at the same period, declared his independence; after which time several princes reigned in succession.
When the sceptre was transferred from the hands of Alla-ood-Deen, the son of Mahomed, the son of Feroze Toghluk, into those of Syud Khizr Khan, the Dehly empire fell into anarchy and disorder, and the province of Mooltan, wholly unprotected, became open to invasion from the contiguous kingdoms of Ghoor, Ghizny, and Ka-bul. Without a regular governor, and having suffered severely from these predatory inroads, the inhabitants of Mooltan, seeing the necessity of having a leader to direct their exertions, and to protect the country from their troublesome neigh-bours, assembled in the year A.D 1443, and selected one Sheikh Yoosoof, a man of learning, wisdom, and high character, of the tribe of Kooreish, to be ruler over the people of Mooltan and Oocha, when the public prayers were read, and money coined, in his name. This prince fully repaid their confidence by re-organising the government, and gaining the esteem and friendship of the surrounding zemindars. Among other persons, was one Ray Sehra,Ã the chief of the town of Seevy and its neighbourhood, who sent a message of congratulation to Sheikh Yoosoof Kooreishy, stating that his ancestors and those of the Sheikh had known each other for many generations, and he therefore courted his friendship. He represented, also, that as Bheilole Lody had taken advantage of the disÃÂtracted condition of the Dehly kingdom, and proclaimed himself king, it was but just of Sheikh Yoosoof to take into favour the tribe of Lunga, which was in his neighbourhood, and by enrolling himself and followers among his most faithful servants, afford them an opportunity of showing their attachment. As a proof of his regard, Ray Sehra offered to give his daughter to Sheikh Yoosoof, who having consented to the match, the marriage was celebrated according to the custom of kings. After this the Afghan chief frequently came from Seevy to Mooltan to visit his daughter, and generally brought some presents with him. On these occasions he used to occupy some spot outside of the town, where he pitched his tents, and came in to see his daughter and son-in-law without attendants. At last he came to Mooltan with a number of his tribe, having made up his mind to endeavour to seize Sheikh Yoosoof, and to usurp the government. On coming into the neighbourhood, he sent word to his son-in-law that he had brought the whole of his tribe to Mooltan, in order to give the Sheikh an opportunity of seeing, and of allowing them to pay their respects to him. The simple Sheikh, unacquainted with the artifices and subtlety of the world, agreed. The Afghan arrived in the evening; and having reÂmained in his tents some time after prayers, three separate messages were sent by his daughter for him to go into the town. He at length complied; and desired his servant, when he called for someÃÂthing to drink at dinner, to give him, instead of water, a cup full of fresh duck's blood, which the Afghan drank off. During the evening he complained of severe pains in his bowels; and on an emetic being administered he threw up the blood which he had just drank. This circumstance so alarmed the Sheikh that he sent for the Afghan's doctor from his camp, as also for several of his kinsmen and clansmen, who were admitted with their arms without suspicion. After a certain number had entered Ray Sehra threw off the mask, and seized the Sheikh. Sheikh Yoosoof only reigned for a period of two years.
RAY SEHRA, having secured the person of Sheikh Yoosoof, caused the public prayers to be read in his name, under the title of Kootb-ood-Deen Mah-mood Lunga; and the inhabitants of Mooltan subÃÂmitted to his government without murmur or disÃÂcontent. After ascending the throne, he sent his predecessor, Sheikh Yoosoof, out of the city under a guard to Dehly by the south gate; and in commemoration of that event, he caused that entrance to be built up with brick and mortar; and I understand it is to be seen in the same state at this day, being the year A. D. 1609 (The year when book was translated).
Sheikh Yoosoof on arriving at Dehly was met by Bheilole Lody, and was received with respect; afterwhich such an intimacy arose between those two great personages, that the King of Hindoostan gave his daughter in marriage to Sheikh Abdoolla, the son of the deposed ruler of the province of Mooltan.
Kootb-ood-Deen Lunga reigned for a period of sixteen years, and died, much lamented, in the year A.D 1469.
AFTER the death of Kootb-ood-Deen Lunga, the principal nobles in Mooltan elected his son Hoos-sein to succeed him, and the public prayers were read in his name. This prince was not only a great promoter of literature, but himself a very learned man. He erected colleges, in which were some of the most eminent scholars of the time. In the beginning of his reign he marched to reduce the fort of Sheevur, at that time held by Ghazy Khan, who on hearing of the approach of the Mooltanies advanced to oppose them, to the distance of twenty miles from his capital; and although he behaved with great bravery in the war which ensued, he was compelled to fly, and before he could reach the fort of Sheevur was reduced to seek protection in Bheemra. The members of his family who were in the fort of Sheevur, however, made a gallant resistance, and held out under the expectation of receiving aid from the town of Khooshab, then under Ameer Syeed Khan. Disappointed in these hopes, they eventually surrendered the fort of Sheevur, but obtained permission to proceed to Bheemra. Hoossein Lunga having remained some time to recruit his army, marched towards the fortress of Hoot. Mullik Kazy Gukkur, who was nearly related to Ameer Syeed Khan, was governor of the place; and, for form's sake, having defended it for a few days, gave it up to Hoossein Lunga, who after remaining there a short period returned to Mooltan; and from thence he marched against Kotgirvur and Dhunkote, both of which places he reduced to subjection. Meanwwhile Sheikh Yoosoof persuaded Bheilole Lody to assist him in recovering his country. At this time, when Hoossein Lunga had advanced so far to the eastward as Dhunkote, Bheilole Lody deputed his son, the Prince Barbik (who is mentioned both in the Dehly and Joonpoor histories), with an army to reduce Mooltan. Barbik having been joined by the forces of Tartar Khan Lody in the Pun-jab, proceeded towards Mooltan. The brother of Hoossein, who had been left in the fort of Kot-girvur after its fall, had proclaimed himself king, under the name of Shahab-ood-Deen. On receipt of this information, Hoossein Lunga marched to reduce the place; and having confined his rebelÃÂlious brother in fetters, was on his return, when he heard that the Prince Barbik and Tartar Khan had arrived near the city of Mooltan, which they were on the point of attacking. Hoossein Lunga moved his camp without delay; and making rapid marches, crossed the Indus, and threw himself into the fort, before the arrival of the Dehly army; and drawing up his soldiers, he thus addressed them: "My brethren and fellow-soldiers, I do not suppose that every man in my army is necessarily a hero, nor do I expect too much from any of you. Some there are, however, who, seeking preferment, and ambitious for fame in the field of battle, lay aside all other considerations; while there are others whose attachment to their families will induce them to hold back, and merely keep their situations in the service, by not positively flying before the enemy. Both these classes have their value: the former are useful for foreign conquest, and the latter for protecting our homes. All those of the latter class will be required on the present occasion for the defence of the garrison, while those of the former, I trust, will be ready to join me at daylight to-morrow morning under the walls". On the following day at sunrise twelve thousand men prepared to follow Hoossein, whom he led out against the invaders. After having brought his front opposite the Dehly forces, he directed his cavalry to dismount, himself showing the example, and then ordered the whole to discharge three rounds of arrows in rapid succession into the enemy's lines. This discharge shook the Dehly army, who were prepared only for skirmishing; and the Mooltany horse having mounted again, broke the enemy's ranks, and completed the defeat. Barbik Khan and Tartar Khan fled, passing by the fort of Sheevur, which they did not venture to attack; but proceeding direct to Hoot, they succeeded in obtaining possession of that fort by promising advantageous terms to the garrison, in the first place, after which they inhumanly put them to the sword.
At this period, one Mullik Sohrab Dodhy ( Founder of Dera Ismail Khan) Ã with his two sons, Ismael and Futteh Khan, arrivÃÂing from Mikran, engaged in the service of Hoos-sein Lunga, who gave over to them the country lying between Kotgirvur and Dhunkote, for the support of himself and tribe. Many other Bulo-chies, also, hearing of the reception of Mullik Sohrab, flocked in great numbers to Mooltan, and were also received into his service, and a portion of the country of Sind, lying contiguous to Bulo-chistan, was also given up to them; till at length all the country lying between Setpoor and Dhun-kote was occupied by Bulochies. It was at this time, also, that Jam Bayezeed and Jam Ibrahim, of the tribe of Sahna, being offended with the treatment they experienced from Jam Nunda, King of Sind, came to the court of Hoossein Lunga of Mooltan.
The tribe of Sahna appears to be of obscure origin. The Sahnas seem originally to have occupied the tract lying between Bhukkur and Tutta, in Sind, and pretend to trace their pedigree from Jam Jumsheed, King of Persia. Being a warlike race, Jam Nunda used to boast he was also deÃÂscended from Jumsheed, though he was at vaÂriance with the tribe of Sahna. A dissension arising among the Sahna tribe, Jam Nunda took advantage of it to instigate them against Jam Bayezeed and Jam Ibrahim, two brothers, who being eventually compelled to seek safety in flight, found protection in Mooltan. Hoossein Lunga afforded them an asylum, and conferred the district of Sheevur on Jam Bayezeed, and that of Oocha (Uch) Ã on Jam Ibrahim.
Bheilole Lody of Dehly dying, and being sucÃÂceeded by his son Sikundur, Hoossein Lunga deemed the opportunity favourable to gain the alliance of that court; and consequently deputed an ambassador with rich presents to Dehly, conÂveying letters of condolence and congratulation: the former, on account of the death of Bheilole, and the latter, on Sikundur Lody's accession to the throne.
On the arrival of the Mooltan ambassador, Sikundur Lody received the presents, and entered into a treaty of alliance, by which it was agreed that the respective armies of Mooltan and Dehly should keep within their present limits, but that, if required, they should assist each other in case of external invasion. It is related that Hoossein Lunga also sent ambassadors to Moozuffur Shah of Guzerat, the particular object of which was to procure architects, and to bring a plan and model of the several buildings at Ahmudabad. The envoy, Kazy Mahomed, having returned, the King questioned him as to the King's palace at Ahmudabad, and asked if such a one could be built at Mooltan. The envoy replied, It behoves servants, when required to answer, tospeak the truth; and I am, therefore, constrainedto acquaint your Majesty, that I really cannot even describe the magnificence of the palace of Ahmudabad; and I doubt if the whole revenue of Mooltan were set aside for a year, whether it would defray the expense of such a building.Â Hoossein Lunga was offended at this blunt speech; and although he made no observation, he was evidently stung at the contemplation of his own relative insignificance. The prime minister, Imad-ool-Moolk, perceiving the King's dejection, reÃÂmarked, that his Majesty had no cause to lament, since, though India might be the country of riches, yet Mooltan could boast of being a country of men, some of whom were famed in the field of battle, while others were as renowned for their literary acquirements. Among the latter he enumerated Sheikh Yoosoof Kooreishy, Sheikh Baha-ood-Deen Zacharia, and others brought up in the philosophic school of Hajy Abdool Wahab; besides Futteh Oolla and his disciple Azeez Oolla, both inhabitants of Mooltan, and who had each thousands of disciples. The King was pleased at the ingenious turn which his minister had given to the conversation; but it is evident it had an effect on his mind; for very shortly afterwards he abdicated his throne in favour of his son Feroze, asserting as a reason that he was old, and found his faculties failing him. After this he retired from public life; and living in a humble style, contented himself by having about him holy perÃÂsonages, who expounded the laws of the prophet, and explained the tenets of the faith.
On the accession of the Prince Feroze to the throne, Imad-ool-Moolk still held the office of prime minister; but the young king becoming jealous of the great popularity of Beilal, the prime minister's eldest son, he resolved on that youth's destruction, and employed one of his own servants to assassinate him, by shooting an arrow through his heart in the public streets. The minister, unable to obtain redress, and bent on revenge, caused poison to be administered to the young king, of which he died. On the death of Feroze, the old king Hoossein was again prevailed on to ascend the throne, and proclaimed his grandson, Mahmood, the son of the late Feroze, heir-appaÂrent, and successor to the government. Imad-ool-Moolk continued to hold the office of prime minister, nor did Hoossein Lunga openly profess to consider him the murderer of his son; but in due time he intimated to Jam Bayezeed, the Sahna emigrant, that he would confer on him the office of vizier, if he could get rid of Imad-ool-Moolk, who was accordingly seized the next day, and put in irons.
Ã A few days after which, on Sunday, the Aug 29th , A.D 1502Ã , Hoossein Lunga, King of Mooltan, quitted this perishable state of existence for that of eternity, after a reign of thirty or of thirty-four years. I regret that the Towareekh Bahadur Shahy,Ã which conÃÂtains the history of this prince, is so full of errors; to detail which would be useless, and only tend to lengthen the work to no purpose.
ON the day after the death of Hoossein Lunga, Jam Bayezeed, the prime minister, in concert with the other nobles, placed Mahmood Khan, the heir-apparent, on the throne; but this youth being very young, and silly withal, chose the society of low fellows, who administered to his foibles and vicious propensities, and prevented the approach of reÃÂspectable people to his person, so that they withdrew from court, leaving him to his own favourites. These profligates resolved to displace Jam Bayezeed, the minister, from office; and he, having obtained intimation of their plan, feigning indisposition, confined himself to his house, built on the banks of the Chunab, where he transacted the public business. Jam Bayezeed having one day sent for some of the revenue collectors of the neighbouring towns, they behaved disrespectÃÂfully, and even insolently, to the minister, who ordering their heads to be shorn, caused each of them to be mounted on an ass, with his face to the tail, and to be exposed in this state through the city of Mooltan. The minister's enemies, exagÂgerating the circumstance, represented that he had disgraced some of the King's personal servants, and had, without any cause, for some time transÃÂacted public business at his own house, without consulting the King, excepting through the means of his son Alum Khan. They said that such conduct was degrading to his Majesty, and that the minister was in reality assuming the entire control of the state. Some days after this, when Alum Khan, the minister's son, was at the durbar, a few of the King's associates attacked him in the most abusive lanÃÂguage, regarding the conduct of his father. Alum Khan, the most elegant young man of the times, unaccustomed to such usage, stood in amazement, without uttering a word. From abuse they proÃÂceeded to threats, and at length commenced kicking and beating him in the presence. The King rose, and though he did not actually assist yet did not check them. Alum Khan, recoverÃÂing himself a little from his surprise, drew his dagger, and in brandishing it to clear his way it came in contact with the King's head, and enÃÂtered the skin just over a vein, which bled proÃÂfusely. The sight of the King's blood, fortunately for Alum Khan, withdrew the attention of the asÃÂsailants from him to the monarch, who in a minute or two fainted, and Alum Khan effected his escape to his father's house. Jam Bayezeed directed him immediately to fly to Sheevur, and collect the army at that place; while he, assembling all his Mooltan adherents, also left the city to join him. Mahmood Lunga now deputed a force after the minister, who being overtaken, halted to give battle, in which he defeated the royal army. He then proceeded to Sheevur, and caused the public prayers to be read in the name of Sikundur Lody of Dehly. At the same time he addressed a petition to that throne, giving in detail an account of the whole of the late proceedings. Sikundur Lody sent an honorary dress, and appointed him his governor of Sheevur. He also directed Dowlut Khan Lody, governor of the Punjab, to aid him in case he required his assistance.
Mahmood Lunga having collected his army marched towards Sheevur, to reduce his revolted minister; but the latter, and his son Alum Khan, quitting Sheevur, proceeded to the Ravy, * and applied to Dowlut Khan. Before he arrived, howÃÂever, the contending armies were absolutely enÃÂgaged. Dowlut Khan, on reaching the ground, sent some respectable officers to Mahmood Lunga; and it was eventually agreed that the river Ravy should form the boundaries between the country of Jam Bayezeed and Mahmood Lunga. After which, Dowlut Khan having accompanied Mah-mood Lunga to Mooltan, also visited Jam Baye-ezeed at Sheevur, from whence he returned to Lahore. Notwithstanding this treaty, to which such a person as Dowlut Khan became guarantee, it was not long before some of the principal articles were broken, the origin of which was as follows: One Meer JakurÃ Zund (Mir Chakar Rind ), with his two sons, Meer Sheheed and Meer Shahida, came from Solypoor to Mooltan. Nizam-ood-Deen Bukhshy states, that Meer Shahida was the first person who disseÂminated the principles of the Sheea faith in India; but he leaves us quite in the dark as to who this Meer Jakur Zund was, from whence he came, or what was his origin, his family, or connections. Mullik Sohrab Duvally having great influence with Mah-mood Lunga, prevented the reception of Ameer Jakur in Mooltan, who out of revenge went over to Jam Bayezeed, by whom he was graciously reÃÂceived, and who gave him a jageer in the district of Oocha, to the great vexation of Mahmood Lunga. Jam Bayezeed was a man of strong mind, exceedingly learned himself, and a liberal patron of literature. Some ignorant writers have stated that he used to send provisions ready cooked, as daily food, from Sheevur to Mooltan, down the river Chunab, for the holy persons residing in the latter city; but such idle stories are too abÃÂsurd to merit belief.
Ã In the yearÃ A.D 1523Ã Babur Padshah having conquered the country of Pun-jab proceeded to Dehly; from whence he wrote an order to Hoossein Arghoon, governor of Tutta, informing him that he intrusted him henceÃÂforward with the direction of affairs in Mooltan. That chieftain, in consequence, crossed the Indus, near the city of Bhukkur, with a large army. Mahmood Lunga of Mooltan no sooner heard of this circumstance than he deputed Sheikh Baha-ood-Deen Kooreishy to wait on Hoossein Arghoon, accompanied by Mowlana Bheilole, one of the most learned men of the age. The ambassadors, on reaching Hoossein Arghoon's camp, were reÃÂceived with all possible politeness. He replied to their remonstrances against his approach, by assurÃÂing them that he was only going to Mooltan to carry into effect some new regulations ordered by Babur Padshah, and also to pay his devotions at the shrine of Sheikh Baha-ood-Deen Zacharia. Mow-lana Bheilole replied, that there appeared no neÃÂcessity for his going in person to enforce his reÃÂgulations; for he had only to express them, and his master would carry them into effect; and that with regard to his visit to the shrine of Sheikh Baha-ood-Deen , * he himself had come to anticipate his steps. Hoossein, however, was not to be thus averted from his purpose, but continued his march, and the ambassadors returned. Shortly afterwards,
Mahmood Lunga, being seized with the cholic, died, A. D. 1524, after a reign of twenty-seven years.
ON the death of Mahmood, one Lushkur Khan, at the head of the tribe of Lunga, deserted to Hoos-sein Arghoon, having previously laid waste the small villages surrounding the city of Mooltan. The rest of the army, left without leaders, sought protection in the fortress; and the ameers raised the son of the late King, although a minor, to the throne, under the name of Hoossein Lunga II. Notwithstanding the title which the boy received, he was only a pageant in the hands of his sister's husband, Shooja-ool-Moolk, who assumed the office of protector, under the appellation of vizier; and although he had not a month's provisions in the fort, he was so fool-hardy as to prepare to stand a siege; and Shah Hoossein Arghoon, conceiving the capture of the city as already accomplished, marched to invest it. The place had been atÃÂtacked but a very short time, when provisions becoming scarce, the cavalry officers went to the protector, proposing that they might be led out against the enemy while their horses had yet strength, and adopt the only method of raising the siege. Shooja-ool-Moolk gave no answer to this proposition at the moment; but afterwards, having sent for the officers, rejected their offer, by stating that the King was not yet firmly seated on his throne; that the army had no personal attachment to him, and that it was probable many of the soldiers would go over to the enemy, while the few who did fight would fall victims, without conferring any good on their country. From a document in my possession in the hand-writing of Mowlana Sad-oolla of Lahore, who was himself in the city during the siege of Mooltan, I have made the following extract: After the garrison hadbeen besieged for some months, and the place so closely invested that it was impossible for any one either to enter or quit it, the distress for provisions was so great, that if one of the garrison could catch a dog or cat he killed it, and hoarded up the flesh as a treasure. Besides this, Shooja-ool-Moolk promoted a vagabond by the name of Jooma to the command of the fort, and placed him at the head of three thousand militia infantry. Wherever this monster heard of any grain, he used to march down with a party and seize it; so that the inhabitants were driven Ã¢â¬Åto the alternative either of submitting to die by famine, by the sword of the enemy, or, by throwing themselves over the walls, attempt, if possible, to escape. At length, at midnight, in the year A.D 1525, Mooltan was carried by escalade,and many poor creatures were killed. On the following morning all the inhabitants between the ages of seven and seventyyears were imprisoned, among whom were my father and myself. When our situation became known we were released from fetters, but the treatment we experienced brought my poor father's grey hairs to the grave. The city of Mooltan thus fell into the hands of Hoossein Arghoon. The young prince was kept a state prisoner; and the place so completely sacked,and the habitations so destroyed, that no one could then suppose it would ever regain its Ã¢â¬Åformer splendour; but Hoossein Arghoon left one of his ameers, called Shums-ood-Deen, in charge, with orders to rebuild it; and having Ã¢â¬Ånominated Lushkur Khan Lunga his deputy, he returned to Tutta. Lushkur Khan was the means of rebuilding Mooltan; after which, having Åprocured a party to assist him, he expelled Shums-ood-Deen, and assumed the title of governor.
When Babur Padshah abdicated the throne in favour of his son Hoomayoon, the latter prince gave the country of Punjab in jageer to Mirza Kamran. On his arrival at Lahore, he sent for Lushkur Khan, and appointed a place for him to reside in, which is now included in one of the mohullas or wards of Lahore, and is called after him. At the same time he made over the district of Kabul to him, in lieu of that of Mooltan; since which time the kingdom of Mooltan has continued a province of the empire of Dehly.