صور الصفحة
النشر الإلكتروني

the two Sayyads and offered himself to carry them into execution. Since Farrukhsiyar looked with apprehension upon everything, Muḥammed Murad boldly counselled him to take heart and not to be afraid. "Such fears," he said, "amount to a defect: you are Emperor: no one has the strength to oppose you: you should free your heart of dread, and issue whatever orders you may please."

The Emperor moved to Hijjah (3rd Dec., 1717) It was the common talk

Another hunting expedition was planned. the mansion at Khizrabad on the 29th Zu,1 and remained there for two or three weeks. of the town that Qutb-ul-mulk would be seized, a task which the Emperor's advisers had persuaded him could be easily accomplished. Qutbul-mulk, too, left his house with a large force of men, and camped outside the town near Kilūkahri,3 by this move allaying the rumours and causing the conspirators to stay their hand. At night the Emperor sent him trays of fruit and food. Next day (23rd Dec., 1717), the advance tents were moved towards Pālam. Muḥammad Murad increased in favour. The following march (27th Muḥarram, 1130, 30th Dec., 1717) was to Masjid-i-Moth. Here the new appointments were made, by which Muhammad Murad was advanced to second Mir Tozak. On the second Şafar (4th Jan., 1718) they reached Pālam, on the 17th they moved to Șadipur, and on the 29th back to Āgharābād near the city. Nothing had been effected.4

Instead of returning to the palace the Emperor moved out from

1 Kāmwar Khān, 175, Mirzā Muḥammad, 337.

& Khizrābād is on the Jamnah bank, about five miles south of the Dihli gate of Shāhjahānābād, see Carr Stephen, map, page 1. Āṣār-uṣ-ṣanādīd chap. III, p. 25, says it was a town built on the river bank by Khizr Khan in 861 H. (1418) A. D.). There is no trace now of any fort; possibly the site of it was that now known as Khizrābād village.

8 Kilūkahri is probably the site of the palace built on the Jamnah bank by Mu'izzud-din, Kaikobād, (1286-1288), H. M. Elliot, "Bibliographical Index," 284, and Am II., 279. The Ãin says that Humāyūu's tomb is on this site, but the village itself is about 1 miles S.E. of the tomb.

4 Kāmwar Khan, 179. Pālam is in the Dihlī district, 11 miles S.W. of the city : it lies about 10 miles W. of Mothki masjid. (Indian Atlas, Sheet 49 N.E.) Masjidi-Moth, C. Stephen, plate opposite p. 1, is 5 miles S.W. of the Dihli gate of the city, id. 166, and was built in 894 H. (1488). The tradition is that a man picked up a grain of moth, sowed it, and in time built this mosque from the produce. Şadipur, not traced; there is a Madipur on Sheet 49 N.E. of the Indian Atlas. This lies half-way between Pālam and Bādlī (Āgharābād). I can find no Sadipur in that direction ; but there is a Sadīpur near the 'Idgah, west of the city, see Constable's “Hand Atlas,” Plate 47. Agharābād is N. of the city and the same as Shālihmār close to Șarãe Bādlī. Mīrzā Muḥammad, 331, says the camp was for three months


[ocr errors]

Agharābād to Siūlī,1 on the 1st Rabi' II. 1130 H. (3rd March, 1718); and a few days afterwards Muḥammad Murad was created I'tiqād Khan, Bahadur, Farrukhshahi, received a standard, kettle-drums, two eléphants and several horses, with the rank of 5,000, 2,000 horse, and replaced Amir Khan as superintendent of the pages (khawas), with the right to come and go at all hours of the day or night. His influence increased in a marked degree every day. As one writer says, he was promoted daily; on one day to 5000, the next to 6,000, and the next to 7000.3 On the 16th Rabi' 11, (18th March), they came back to ‘Āgharābād, and on the 22nd, Muḥammad Murad was made dāroghah of the mace-bearers. Whole nights were spent by Farrukhsiyar in conclave with Muḥammad Murad and other favourites; sometimes he did not retire to rest until break of day. As Muḥammad Murad had a bad reputation and was pointed at for secret vices, this constant companionship gave rise to undesirable reports, defamatory of a descendant of Taimur and derogatory to the lustre of his rule. On the 21st Rabi' II, a mansion in Dihli was given to Muḥammad Murad. Finally, on the 12th Jamādi I, 1130 H. (12th April, 1718), the Emperor left Agharābād and re-entered the palace.

Presents continued to be showered lavishly on Muḥammad Murad. On the 9th Jamadi II. (9th May, 1718), he was raised to 6,000, 5,000 horse, various gifts were added, and he was appointed faujdār of Jammā, with power to appoint a deputy. His son and two of his officers were given manṣabs of 1,000. Twenty days afterwards he was again promoted, becoming 7,000, 7,000 horse, received a valuable fringed litter (pālki) and other gifts, with the office of Nazir, or governor of the imperial harem. On the 2nd Rajab (21st May, 1718) a gold bedstead, covered with gold plates and studded with jewels, which had belonged to the Emperor Jahangir, was given to the favourite. In fact, not a night passed without his receiving silver and gold coin, valuable jewels or rich clothes. The best jāgirs in the Gujarat, Dihli, and Agrah provinces were also allotted to him. In the course of one year and some months he had become the owner of one hundred elephants, with

from Jan. 1718 at Sarãe Bādlī, which was close to Agharābād and the Shālibmā, garden.

1 Siūlī, just S. or E. of Panipat.

* In honour of the occasion he had the following motto (shaja') cut on his seal; Murād yáft, zi Farrukhsiyar, khudeo-i-jahān,

Ba ḥusn-i-nīyat-i-khud i'tiqād-i khān-i-jahän.

Murad (Desire) obtained from Farrukhsiyar, Ruler of the World,

"By virtue of good intent, the confidence (i'tiqād) of the Lord of the World,

8 Yahya Khan, fol. 124a.

everything else in proportion. He also realized much money by force, but most of it passed from him into the hands of young men of evil reputation in the city, who in a very short time had collected round him to the number of three or four thousand. As the saying is, "Soon got is soon spent."'l

Farrukhsiyar's reckless mode of enriching Muḥammad Murad is shown by one anecdote. One day he spoke to the Emperor about a ring. Orders were at once given to bring a valuable ring from the imperial jewel-house; and ten or twelve trays, full of rings, were brought. Farrukhsiyar said to Muḥammad Murad: "Hold out your skirt." He did Then Farrukhsiyar several times took up double handfuls of rings, and emptied them into his skirt. Qütb-ul-mulk and others present remonstrated but without effect.



[ocr errors]

About this time (April 1718) the settlement with Curaman, Jāţ, had been forced through by Qutb-ul-mulk, quite against the wishes of Farrukhsiyar himself. From this cause the smouldering quarrel again broke into activity. More especially was this noticeable after the arrival of Rājah Jai Singh, who asserted that in another month Curāman, who was very hard-pressed, would have been utterly defeated; that Qutb-ul-mulk had been so strenuous in pressing the Jat's application, only owing to his desire to prevent the Rajah's success. As Farrukhsiyar fully believed that the two Sayyads were working for his destruction, this complaint added fuel to the flames. Contemporaries concur in asserting that, although Muḥammad Murad had liberality (sakhawat) and kindliness (maravvat), he had not the talent (honṣlah) required in a wazir, or even in a great noble. Nor was he valorous. He was even less so than Mir Jumlah; though, all the while, Farrukhsiyar believed that in him he had won a splendid piece to play in his game against Qutb-ul-mulk. But Muḥammad Murad himself felt that he was not the man to enter upon an open contest with the Sayyads. He therefore cast about for somebody more fitted to undertake the enterprize with some hope of success. His first selection was Sarbuland Khan, who had a reputation for wisdom and courage, and though just removed from the governorship of Bahar, was still at the head of a large army. On the favourite's advice, Sarbuland Khān was summoned to Court, where he

1 Daulat-i-tez rā bagāe nīst, literally, "Rapid fortune has no permanence.' Aḥwāl-i-khawāqin, fol. 126, Kāmwar Khan, 176, 177, 178, 179, Shiū Dās, 16b. 2 Shiū Dās, 16.

3 Yaḥyā Khān, 124b, Aḥwāl-i-khawāqīn, 126b.

J. I. 40

arrived on the 10th Sha'ban 1130 H. (8th July, 1718), Muḥammad Murad going out to meet him. His troops were paraded before the Emperor on the 21st of that month.1

Sarbuland Khan had come to Court with the anticipation that when the Sayyads had been successfully dealt with, he would receive as his reward the exalted office of wazir. Full of zeal, he had started with seven to eight thousand well-armed horsemen and some artillery. As this force approached, it was the common belief that at last the Sayyads were to be effectually crushed, that at last the Emperor had come to a firm determination, having set up in Sarbuland Khan a sagacious and energetic rival fit to cope with them; that when Qutb-ul-mulk had been got rid of at Court, to dispose of Husain 'Ali Khan would be a comparatively easy matter. Sarbuland Khan was promoted to 7,000, 6,000 horse, with the titles of Mubariz-ul-mulk, Sarbuland Khan, Namwar Jang,* and by promises of further reward he was induced to undertake the business.

Qutb-ul-mulk had long been on his guard; he now redoubled his precautions. He never moved to darbar without being escorted by three or four thousand horsemen. It was not long before, by chance, it came to Sarbuland Khan's knowledge that, even if he carried the attempt to a successful issue, he might be rewarded liberally, but the office of wazir was intended for another. He resolved to obtain confirmation of this from the Emperor's own lips, although to do so demanded great care in the way the question was put. Accordingly he framed it in the following way: "As Your Majesty has decided on the disgrace of these two brothers, you must have in your mind some one capable of bearing the burden of chief minister, an office of supreme importance." simple-minded Emperor replied: "For this post I have I'tiqād Khan (i.e. Muhammad Murad) in my mind; and to speak the truth, there is no one better than him for it." Sarbuland Khan, who in his hope of the wazirship had been hitherto hot as flame, now grew cold as ice. The position suggests to the author of the Ma,āṣir-ul-umarā the verse, "I am in love, and the loved one desires another; Like the first of Shawwal called the Feast of Ramazan." Qutb-ul-mulk had already warned


1 For the secret letter sent to Sarbuland Khan by Amin-ud-din Khan with a shuqqah from the Emperor, see Dastür-ul-Inshā, p. 29. Mirzā Muḥammad, 379, copy of Farmān in Shiū Dās, 19a, Kāmwar Khān, 179-180.

[ocr errors]

* Tārīkh-i-Muḥammadi (1154 H.) has Dilawar Jang () instead of Nāmwar

.) نامور )

3 Man ashiq, o ma'shuq ba kām-i-digarān ast;
Chún ghurrah-2-Shawwal, kih 'Id-i-Ramaṇān ast,


Sarbuland Khan that he and his brother meant the contest to be one for death or life, that they meant to stake their heads on the cast of the dice. From that day Sarbuland Khan drew back. Although in appearance he continued to act and talk as before, in his heart he resolved to do nothing further. Finally he was appointed to Agrah on the 19th Shawwāl (14th September, 1718), but on the 1st Muharram 1131 H. (23rd November, 1718) he resigned office and returned from Farīdābād, having gone no further than that place on his way to his new government.1


The next phase in the struggle was a project to seize Qutb-ul-mulk in the ‘Īdgāh on the day of the 'Id (1st Shawwal, 1130 H., 27th August, 1718). It was argued that the Emperor's party would be there in force, to the number of seventy or eighty thousand men, ready to sacrifice their lives, while Qutb-ul-mulk would have round him none but a few relations and followers. They could fall upon him and cut off his head before he could cry out. But spies had warned Qutb-ul-mulk of this plot, and he redoubled his precautions. The night before the 'Id, while one watch of the night still remained, Sayyad Khān Jahān, the minister's maternal uncle, repaired with his sons and his soldiers to the 'Idgāh, and occupied it. Before daybreak Qutb-ul-mulk's men reached the spot, and they sufficed to fill the whole of the space. In the morning, when the Emperor's people arrived and saw what had been done, they drew in their claws and made no attempt at violence. Nawab Qutb-ul-mulk reached the 'Idgah before His Majesty and at the head of his followers came out to make his bow. Farrukhsiyar saw it was useless to attempt anything, and much dejected left directly the prayers were over.


Sarbuland Khan's defection did not trouble Farrukhsiyar very much; his hopes now centred in his father-in-law, Mahārājah Ajit Singh, for whom he had sent through Nahar Khan, the only person believed to have sufficient influence over the Rajah to secure his adhesion. Nahar Khan is the man whose good offices the Rajah had employed to secure

1 Shiū Dās, fol. 19a and b, Khāfi Khān, II, 792. Farīdābād, 16 miles S. of city, Indian Atlas, Sheet 49, 8.E.

• Mīrzā Muḥammad, 384, Khāfĩ Khận, II., 792. Mirza Muḥammad (385), whọ was there, says that even after the Emperor, with many nobles and a number of spectators had left, there were still so many of Qutb-ul-mulk's men present, that you could not tell that anyone had gone away. As a consequence of this attempt, Qutb'ul-mulk enlisted twenty thousand new men, and, contrary to his previous practice accepted the services of men who were not Barhah Sayyads.

« السابقةمتابعة »