Sayyid Dynasty in India (1414-1450)

Sayyid Dynasty in India

Quick Facts;

Dynasty: Sayyid

Country: India

Ruled from: 1414-1450

Capital: Delhi

Religion: Islam

Preceded by: Tughlaq Dynasty

Succeeded By: Lodi Dynasty

Sayyid dynasty was the fourth dynasty of Delhi Sultanate which came to power after Tughlaq dynasty. They ruled from 1414-1450AD. The family claimed to be Sayyid's or descendants of Mohammed started the Sayyid Dynasty.  The founder of Sayyid Dynasty was Khizir Khan, the governor of Multan and Timur’s deputy in India. After the fall of Tughlaq dynasty there was no proper authority to take control on Delhi.  At the same time this dynasty came to power with lot of chaos.

Khizr Khan

Khizr Khan

Khizr Khan was the founder of Sayyid Dynasty. He ruled from 1414-1421. In this brief period of his ruling it can be said that Khizir Khan was an able administrator and was not in favour of blood shed. He was soft by nature and took good care of his subjects. Earlier Khizir Khan was appointed as governor of Multan by Fizur Shah Tuglaq. Later Timur invaded India and appointed Khizir Khan as governor of Multan and Lahore.

On seeing an opportunity Khizir Khan took control over Delhi and started the Sayyid Dynasty in 1414. He claimed himself to be the descendant of Prophet. Even after starting Sayyid Dynasty, Khizr Khan did not take complete control but ruled under the name of Timur. To pay tributes and respect to Mongol ruler Shah Rukh who was the fourth son of Timur Lane his name was recited in kutbha.

During his reign he defeated the Hindus of Daob, Khalithar and Chandwar as they refused to pay tributes Har Singh who was the king of Katehar revolted again to pay tributes in 1417 but was completely demolished by Malik us Sharq Tuhfa. Khizr Khan appointed Malik us-Sharq Tuhfa as Wazir who was there in office till 1421. He was given the title as Taj ul Mulk. While campaiginig Khizr Khan fell sick and hence had to return to Delhi He died on 20th May 1421. Mubarak Shah succeeded his father and took over the throne in 1421.

Mubarak Shah 

Coins of Mubarak Shah

Mubarak Shah took over the throne without any opposition after the death of his father Khizr Khan. He ruled from 1421-1434 as the second ruler of Sayyid Dynasty.

After ascending the throne, Mubarak assumed the title Shah and issued the coins in his name. He followed his father’s footsteps and took disciplinary actions against Jagirdhars and nobles to collect revenue. This displeased the Jagirs and the governors. The nobles started to rebel against the King.  But Sultan was able to snub the revelled nobles at Bathinda and Doab. 

Mubarak Shah was able to keep a check on the foreign powers at distance. For 13 years he fought internally and externally to keep Delhi Sultanate safe and intact. All his life he spent in curbing one or the other revolt. Mubarak Shah established a new city called Mubarakabad on the banks of River Yamuna and made it as his new capital city. Mubarak Shah was returning from a successful war campaign in Bhatinda Punjab when one of former minister Sarvar-ul-Mulk along with other Hindu courtiers plotted to kill Mubarak Shah. 

At last Mubarak Shah fell a prey to the conspirators and was killed in the year 1434 AD in his city Mubharakabad when he was getting ready for his daily prayers. As Mubarak Shah had no sons to succeed him his nephew Mohammed Shah took over Sayyid Dynasty.

Tomb of Mubarak Shah:

The tomb of Mubarak Shah was built during his lifetime and is in the Octagonal shape. The gates on the South and West still exist while the other gates have disappeared. To the west are the Mihrab and the other three sides have arch shape openings. The tomb is in Delhi and is now known by the name as Kotla Mubarakpur Complex. The tomb is very small with flat base. The entrance Hall consists of Verandah and three entrances. The low dome is supported by turrets on all the corners and the ceiling has inscriptions from Holy Quran.  To the west wall of the tomb is the mosque which was meant for offering prayers and making public address by the visitors to the tomb. There are also many other tombs and mosque in the vicinity of Mubarak Shah tomb.

Muhammad Shah of Sayyid Dynasty

Muhammad Shah

Muhammad Shah (1434-1445)

After Mubarak got killed one of the grandson of Khizr Khan took over the control of this dynasty and called himself as Mohammed Shah. He ruled for 12 years. During his rule mismanagement and no law and order prevailed over the state. When the ruler of Malwa attacked Delhi during his period, Muhammad Shah took help of Bahlol Lodi and was able to manage the challenges faced during his period.

The nobles who were against Mubarak came back and supported Muhammad Shah. Since nobles were supporting Mohammed Shah had a great opportunity to reorganise the affairs of the state but he preferred enjoyment and pleasures. He was not an able ruler. He was very incapable. The Sultan of Malwa camped near Delhi to invade Delhi. The Wazir who enjoyed the power gave importance to Royal officers. After Kamal – ul – mult took the command he displaced wazir and returned to his capital with army.

Later on taking help from Bahlul Lodi Muhammad Shah defeated Muhammad Khiliji. Muhammad Shah called Bahlul Lodi as his son and conferred him with the title Khan-I- Jahan. Bahlul Lodi later on occupied large parts of Punjab and attacked Delhi in 1443 without any success. Mohammed Shah died in 1445 and he nominated Ala-ud-din Shah as his successor before his death. 

The tomb of Muhammad Shah is located in Lodi Gardens in Delhi.

Ala-ud –din Alam Shah (1445-51)

Ala-ud-din-Alam Shah was the fourth and the last ruler of Sayyid Dynasty. He ruled from 1445-1451 and took the regnal name of Alam Shah. He was born as Ala-ud-Din and later after taking over the Dynasty he took the regnal name as Alam Shah.

Even Alam Shah was not a good ruler or administrator.  He voluntarily abdicated the throne and went to Badaun.  Three years later Bahlul Lodi took control of Delhi and established Lodi Dynasty. Alam Shah died in the year 1478. With this the Sayyid dynasty came to an end.

Conclusion:

The dynasty established by Khizr Khan started to deteriorate after Mubarak Shah as the other leaders were weak and could not control the attacks from the invaders. It was disestablished on 19th April 1450 and was succeeded by Lodi Dynasty.

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