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ASIATIC SOCIETY OF BENGAL.
Part I.-HISTORY, LITERATURE, &c.
Some Notes on the Bahmani Dynasty.—By MAJOR W. HAIG.
(1) THE ORIGIN OF THE COGNOMEN Bahmani.
The legends commonly related by historians regarding the origin of the cognomen Bahmani connect it with the name of the priestly caste of the Hindus. The story preferred by Firishta and repeated by Khāfi Khān in the third volume of the Muntakhabu-l-Lubab is that Hasan, the founder of the dynasty, was, in his youth, a servant of Kānkū, Gāngū, or Gangū, a Brahman astrologer who enjoyed the confidence of Muḥammad-bin Tughlaq before he ascended the throne. One day, as he was ploughing some waste land for the Brahman, his plough stuck fast. On digging it out of the ground he found that it had 1 In this article the editions referred to are the following Firishta-Bombay edition of 1832.
Badãoni-Bibliotheca Indica edition.
Burhān-i-Ma’āṣir and Tazkiratu-i Mylūk-translation by Major J. S. King,
Muntakhabu-l-Lubab, Vol. III.-MS. in writer's possession.
J. I. 1
caught in a chain and that to the chain was attached a chest containing ashrafis and uncoined gold, which he took straight to his master. The Brahman was so pleased with Hasan's honesty that he brought him to the notice of the prince, Muḥammad-bin Tughlaq, by whose influence he obtained an appointment in the imperial service. Shortly after this the Brahman informed Hasan that he had cast his horoscope, and foretold that he would rise to the highest dignity. He asked him to promise that he would, when this prophecy should be fulfilled, take the name of his original benefactor as part of his title, and Ḥasan made the required promise and, when the time came, fulfilled it by styling himself, as king, "Ḥasan Kānkū-i-Bahmani." In corroboration of this story Firishta records (i. 527) that Ḥasan, after being proclaimed king of the Dakan, made Kānkū the Brahman the controller of the finances of his kingdom, and that he was the first Muḥammadan ruler to employ a Brahman in so high a post.
The only authority which we have for this story is that of Firishta, for Khafi Khan, being admittedly little more than a copyist so far as the affairs of the Dakan are concerned, cannot be accounted an authority. The author of the Tabaqat-i-Akbari, the Burhan-i-Ma'aṣir, and the Tazkiratu-l-Muluk relate other legends, all more or less improbable, but do not commit themselves to Firishta's account of Hasan's servitude in the house of a Hindu. The predictions of his greatness are attributed variously to one Gangu, a Brahman, not said to be his master, Shaikh Nizamu-d-din Auliya of Dibli, and Shaikh Muhammad Siraj-iJunaidi, in whose service he is said to have held some post.
The titles of Hasan, as king of the Dakan, are variously given by historians as follows:-In Firishta's history (i. 525), 'Ala'u-d-din Ḥasan Kānkū-i-Bahmani, by Khāfi Khān in the third volume of the Muntakhabu-l-Lubab, Ala'u-d-din Kanku-i-Bahmani, curf Hasan, by Nizamu-d-din Aḥmad in the Tabagāt-i-Akbarī, ‘Ala'u-d-din Hasan Shah, by 'Ali-bin 'Azazi-'llah Tabaṭabā in the Burhan-i-Ma'aṣir, 'Ala'u-d-din Hasan Shah Gangu-i-Bahmanī, and ‘Alā’u-d-din Ḥasan Shah al Vali-ulBahmani, by the author of the Tazkiratu-l-Mūlūk, ‘Alā’u-d-din Bahman Shah, and by Badaoni in the Muntakhabu-t-Tawārikh (i. 231) “the Sulṭān who is known as Ḥasan Kānkū and at last obtained the Kingdom of the Dakan under the title of ‘Ala’u-d-din Bahman Shāh.”
The title given by Badāonī and the author of the Tazkiratu-lMulūk is correct. Hasan did not add to his title the epithet Bahmanī, but assumed the name of Bahman. There is in the fort of Gulbarga a contemporary inscription, bearing the date A.H. 754 (A.D. 1353) in which his titles are given as "Ala'u-d-dunyā wa'd-din Abu-'l-Muzaffar Bahman Shāh." The names Hasan and Kānkū, or Gangũ, and the
epithet Bahmani, which is used on the coins of his successors and is correctly applied to them only, are omitted. The inscription, which was cut while Bahman Shāh was still alive and reigning, and was placed over a mosque in his capital, is far better evidence of the style under which he reigned than any statements of historians. Other evidence, however, exists. I have a copper coin which bears the inscription "Aḥmad Shah bin Aḥmad Shah bin Bahman Shah." This inscription needs some explanation-a question which will be considered hereafter-but there is no doubt that the words "Bahman Shah" refer to the founder of the Bahmani dynasty. There is also the Bahman-nāma, a versified history of the Bahmanī kings, the authorship of which is uncertain, but which is often quoted by Firishta. The title of this history cannot refer to the epithet Bahmanī, but can and evidently does refer to the name Bahman.
The question of the title under which the founder of the Bahman dynasty assumed the sovereignty of the Dakan is important as an indication of the derivation of the name by which that dynasty is known. It is conceivable that a Muḥammadan king might have distinguished himself, from gratitude to a Brahman benefactor, by the epithet Bahmani, even though that epithet is never found in its uncorrupted form Brahmani, but no Muḥammadan king would have styled himself "King Brahman." The derivation of the title Bahman Shah must, therefore, be sought in Hasan's claim to descend from the Sāsānidīse. His pedigree, as given by Firishta, is as follows:-'Ala'u-d-din Ḥasan, the son of Kaikāūs, the son of Muḥammad, the son of 'Ali, the son of Hasan, the son of Sahām, the son of Simun, the son of Salām, the son of Ibrahim, the son of Nasir, the son of Munṣur, the son of Rustam, the son of Kaiqubad, the son of Minuchihr, the son of Namdār, the son of Isfandiyar, the son of Kaiyumarṣ, the son of Khurshid, the son of Șa'ṣā, the son of Faghfur, the son of Farrukh, the son of Shahryar, the son of Amir, the son of Suhaid, the son of Malik Dā'ūd, the son of Hushang, the son of Nik Kardār, the son of Firuz Bakht, the son of Nuḥ, the son of Sani', who was descended from Bahrām-i-gūr the Sāmānī, who was descended from Bahman the son of Isfandiyār. This pedigree is varied as follows by the author of the Burhan-i-Ma'āṣir : 'Ala'u-d-dunya wa-'d-din Hasan Bahman Shah, son of Kaikāūs Muḥammad, son of 'Ali, son of Hasan, son of Bahtām, son of Simūn, son of Salām, son of Nūḥ, son of Ibrāhim, son of Naşir, son of Manṣür, son of Nūḥ, son of Ṣāni', son of Bahrām, son of Shāhrin, son of Sād, son of Nūsin, son of Dāvād, son of Bahram-i-gür. Both historians express some doubts as to the authenticity of the pedigrees which they give, and there can be little doubt that both pedigrees are fictitious.