Humayun

Last updated

Nasir-ud-din Muhammad
Humayun
نصیرالدین محمد‬ همایون‬
Badshah of the Mughal Empire
Humayun
Darbar of Humayun, detail, Humayun. Akbarnama, 1602-4, British Library.png
2nd Mughal Emperor
1st Reign26 December 1530 – 17 May 1540
Coronation 29 December 1530, Agra
Predecessor Babur
Successor Sher Shah Suri (as Sur Emperor)
2nd Reign22 February 1555 – 27 January 1556
Predecessor Sikandar Shah Suri (as Sur Emperor)
Successor Akbar
BornNasir-ud-Din Muḥammad [1]
6 March 1508
Kabul (present-day Afghanistan)
Died27 January 1556(1556-01-27) (aged 47)
Delhi, Mughal Empire (present-day India)
Burial
Consort Bega Begum
WivesSeveral, including:
Issue
Full name
Nasir-ud-Din Muḥammad Humayun [1]
House Barlas Timurid
Father Babur
Mother Maham Begum
Religion Sunni Islam (later Shia Islam)

Nasir-ud-Din Muḥammad [1] (Persian : نصیرالدین محمد, romanized: Nasīr-ad-Dīn Muhammad; 6 March 1508 – 27 January 1556), better known by his regnal name, Humayun (Persian : همایون, romanized: Humāyūn), was the second emperor of the Mughal Empire, who ruled over territory in what is now Afghanistan, Pakistan, Northern India, and Bangladesh from 1530–1540 and again from 1555–1556. Like his father, Babur, he lost his kingdom early but regained it with the aid of the Safavid dynasty of Persia, with additional territory. At the time of his death in 1556, the Mughal Empire spanned almost one million square kilometres.

Contents

In December 1530, Humayun succeeded his father to the throne of Delhi as ruler of the Mughal territories in the Indian subcontinent. Humayun was an inexperienced ruler when he came to power, at the age of 22. His half-brother Kamran Mirza inherited Kabul and Kandahar, the northernmost parts of their father's empire. Kamran was to become a bitter rival of Humayun.

Humayun lost Mughal territories to Sher Shah Suri, but regained them 15 years later with Safavid aid. Humayun's return from Persia was accompanied by a large retinue of Persian noblemen and signalled an important change in Mughal court culture. The Central Asian origins of the dynasty were largely overshadowed by the influences of Persian art, architecture, language, and literature. There are many stone carvings and thousands of Persian manuscripts in India dating from the time of Humayun.

Subsequently, Humayun further expanded the Empire in a very short time, leaving a substantial legacy for his son, Akbar.

Background

The decision of Babur to divide the territories of his empire between two of his sons was unusual in India, although it had been a common Central Asian practice since the time of Genghis Khan. Unlike most monarchies, which practised primogeniture, the Timurids followed the example of Genghis and did not leave an entire kingdom to the eldest son. Although under that system only a Chingissid could claim sovereignty and khanal authority, any male Chinggisid within a given sub-branch had an equal right to the throne (though the Timurids were not Chinggisid in their paternal ancestry). [5] While Genghis Khan's Empire had been peacefully divided between his sons upon his death, almost every Chinggisid succession since had resulted in fratricide. [6] [ page needed ]

Timur himself had divided his territories among Pir Muhammad, Miran Shah, Khalil Sultan and Shah Rukh, which resulted in inter-family warfare. [5] [ full citation needed ][ non-primary source needed ] Upon Babur's death, Humayun's territories were the least secure. He had ruled only four years, and not all umarah (nobles) viewed Humayun as the rightful ruler. Indeed, earlier, when Babur had become ill, some of the nobles had tried to install his Brother-in-law, Mahdi Khwaja, as ruler. Although this attempt failed, it was a sign of problems to come. [7] [ full citation needed ][ non-primary source needed ]

Early reign

Babur celebrates the birth of Humayun in the Charbagh of Kabul. 1508-Babur celebrates the birth of Humayun in the Chahar Bagh of Kabul.jpg
Babur celebrates the birth of Humayun in the Charbagh of Kabul.

When Humayun came to the throne of the Mughal Empire, several of his brothers revolted against him. Another brother Khalil Mirza (1509–1530) supported Humayun but was assassinated. The Emperor commenced construction of a tomb for his brother in 1538, but this was not yet finished when Humayun was forced to flee to Persia. Sher Shah destroyed the structure and no further work was done on it after Humayun's restoration.[ citation needed ]

Humayun had two major rivals for his lands: Sultan Bahadur of Gujarat to the southwest and Sher Shah Suri (Sher Khan) settled along the river Ganges in Bihar to the east. Humayun's first campaign was to confront Sher Shah Suri. Halfway through this offensive Humayun had to abandon it and concentrate on Gujarat, where a threat from Ahmed Shah had to be met. Humayun was victorious annexing Gujarat, Malwa, Champaner and the great fort of Mandu.[ citation needed ]

During the first five years of Humayun's reign, Bahadur and Sher Khan extended their rule, although Sultan Bahadur faced pressure in the east from sporadic conflicts with the Portuguese. While the Mughals had obtained firearms via the Ottoman Empire, Bahadur's Gujarat had acquired them through a series of contracts drawn up with the Portuguese, allowing the Portuguese to establish a strategic foothold in north western India. [8]

In 1535 Humayun was made aware that the Sultan of Gujarat was planning an assault on the Mughal territories with Portuguese aid. Humayun gathered an army and marched on Bahadur. Within a month he had captured the forts of Mandu and Champaner. However, instead of pressing his attack, Humayun ceased the campaign and consolidated his newly conquered territory. Sultan Bahadur, meanwhile escaped and took up refuge with the Portuguese. [9]

Sher Shah Suri

The Mughal Emperor Humayun, fights Bahadur Shah of Gujarat, in the year 1535. Flight of Sultan Bahadur During Humayun's Campaign in Gujarat 1535.jpg
The Mughal Emperor Humayun, fights Bahadur Shah of Gujarat, in the year 1535.

Shortly after Humayun had marched on Gujarat, Sher Shah Suri saw an opportunity to wrest control of Agra from the Mughals. He began to gather his army together hoping for a rapid and decisive siege of the Mughal capital. Upon hearing this alarming news, Humayun quickly marched his troops back to Agra allowing Bahadur to easily regain control of the territories Humayun had recently taken. In February 1537, however, Bahadur was killed when a botched plan to kidnap the Portuguese viceroy ended in a fire-fight that the Sultan lost.[ citation needed ]

Whilst Humayun succeeded in protecting Agra from Sher Shah, the second city of the Empire, Gaur the capital of the vilayat of Bengal, was sacked. Humayun's troops had been delayed while trying to take Chunar, a fort occupied by Sher Shah's son, in order to protect his troops from an attack from the rear. The stores of grain at Gauri, the largest in the empire, were emptied, and Humayun arrived to see corpses littering the roads. [10] The vast wealth of Bengal was depleted and brought East, giving Sher Shah a substantial war chest. [8]

Sher Shah withdrew to the east, but Humayun did not follow: instead he "shut himself up for a considerable time in his Harem, and indulged himself in every kind of luxury". [10] [ full citation needed ][ non-primary source needed ] Hindal, Humayun's 19-year-old brother, had agreed to aid him in this battle and protect the rear from attack, but he abandoned his position and withdrew to Agra, where he decreed himself acting emperor. When Humayun sent the grand Mufti, Sheikh Buhlul, to reason with him; the Sheikh was killed. Further provoking the rebellion, Hindal ordered that the Khutba, or sermon, in the main mosque surrounded. [11]

Raja Todar Mal, an ally of Sher Shah Suri, constructed the Rohtas Fort to check Humayun from Persia, and also halt the local Muslim tribes from joining the claimant emperor. Rohtas Fort Magnificent Kabuli Gate.jpg
Raja Todar Mal, an ally of Sher Shah Suri, constructed the Rohtas Fort to check Humayun from Persia, and also halt the local Muslim tribes from joining the claimant emperor.

Humayun's other brother, Kamran Mirza, marched from his territories in the Punjab, ostensibly to aid Humayun. However, his return home had treacherous motives as he intended to stake a claim for Humayun's apparently collapsing empire. He brokered a deal with Hindal providing that his brother would cease all acts of disloyalty [11] in return for a share in the new empire, which Kamran would create once Humayun was deposed.[ citation needed ]

In June 1539 Sher Shah met Humayun in the Battle of Chausa on the banks of the Ganges, near Buxar. This was to become an entrenched battle in which both sides spent a lot of time digging themselves into positions. The major part of the Mughal army, the artillery, was now immobile, and Humayun decided to engage in some diplomacy using Muhammad Aziz as ambassador. Humayun agreed to allow Sher Shah to rule over Bengal and Bihar, but only as provinces granted to him by his Emperor, Humayun, falling short of outright sovereignty. The two rulers also struck a bargain in order to save face: Humayun's troops would charge those of Sher Shah whose forces then retreat in feigned fear. Thus honour would, supposedly, be satisfied. [14] [ non-primary source needed ]

Once the Army of Humayun had made its charge and Sher Shah's troops made their agreed-upon retreat, the Mughal troops relaxed their defensive preparations and returned to their entrenchments without posting a proper guard. Observing the Mughals' vulnerability, Sher Shah reneged on his earlier agreement. That very night, his army approached the Mughal camp and finding the Mughal troops unprepared with a majority asleep, they advanced and killed most of them. The Emperor survived by swimming across the Ganges using an air-filled "water skin", and quietly returned to Agra. [8] [ page needed ] [15] Humayun was assisted across the Ganges by Shams al-Din Muhammad. [16]

In Agra

Humayun, detail of miniature of the Baburnama Khumaiun. Detal' miniatiury iz Baburname. 1590e gg. Moskva, GMV.jpg
Humayun, detail of miniature of the Baburnama

When Humayun returned to Agra, he found that all three of his brothers were present. Humayun once again not only pardoned his brothers for plotting against him, but even forgave Hindal for his outright betrayal. With his armies travelling at a leisurely pace, Sher Shah was gradually drawing closer and closer to Agra. This was a serious threat to the entire family, but Humayun and Kamran squabbled over how to proceed. Kamran withdrew after Humayun refused to make a quick attack on the approaching enemy, instead opting to build a larger army under his own name.[ citation needed ]

When Kamran returned to Lahore, Humayun, with his other brothers Askari and Hindal, marched to meet Sher Shah 200 kilometres (120 mi) east of Agra at the battle of Kannauj on 17 May 1540. Humayun was soundly defeated. He retreated to Agra, pursued by Sher Shah, and thence through Delhi to Lahore. Sher Shah's founding of the short-lived Sur Empire, with its capital at Delhi, resulted in Humayun's exile for 15 years in the court of Shah Tahmasp I. [17]

In Lahore

The four brothers were united in Lahore, but every day they were informed that Sher Shah was getting closer and closer. When he reached Sirhind, Humayun sent an ambassador carrying the message "I have left you the whole of Hindustan [i.e. the lands to the East of Punjab, comprising most of the Ganges Valley]. Leave Lahore alone, and let Sirhind be a boundary between you and me." Sher Shah, however, replied "I have left you Kabul. You should go there." Kabul was the capital of the empire of Humayun's brother Kamran, who was far from willing to hand over any of his territories to his brother. Instead, Kamran approached Sher Shah and proposed that he actually revolt against his brother and side with Sher Shah in return for most of the Punjab. Sher Shah dismissed his help, believing it not to be required, though word soon spread to Lahore about the treacherous proposal, and Humayun was urged to make an example of Kamran and kill him. Humayun refused, citing the last words of his father, Babur, "Do nothing against your brothers, even though they may deserve it." [18] [ non-primary source needed ]

Withdrawing further

Humayun's Genealogical Order up to Timur Humayun's Genealogical Order up to Timure.jpg
Humayun's Genealogical Order up to Timur

Humayun decided it would be wise to withdraw still further. He and his army rode out through and across the Thar Desert, when the Hindu ruler Rao Maldeo Rathore allied with Sher Shah Suri against the Mughal Empire. In many accounts Humayun mentions how he and his pregnant wife had to trace their steps through the desert at the hottest time of year. Their rations were low, and they had little to eat; even drinking water was a major problem in the desert. When Hamida Bano's horse died, no one would lend the Queen (who was now eight months pregnant) a horse, so Humayun did so himself, resulting in him riding a camel for six kilometres (four miles), although Khaled Beg then offered him his mount. Humayun was later to describe this incident as the lowest point in his life. Humayun asked that his brothers join him as he fell back into Sindh. While the previously rebellious Hindal Mirza remained loyal and was ordered to join his brothers in Kandahar. Kamran Mirza and Askari Mirza instead decided to head to the relative peace of Kabul. This was to be a definitive schism in the family. Humayun headed for Sindh because he expected aid from the Emir of Sindh, Hussein Umrani, whom he had appointed and who owed him his allegiance. Also, his wife Hamida hailed from Sindh; she was the daughter of a prestigious pir family (a pir is an Islamic religious guide) of Persian heritage long settled in Sindh. En route to the Emir's court, Humayun had to break journey because his pregnant wife Hamida was unable to travel further. Humayun sought refuge with the Hindu ruler of the oasis town of Amarkot (now part of Sindh province). [19]

Rana Prasad Rao of Amarkot duly welcomed Humayun into his home and sheltered the refugees for several months. Here, in the household of a Hindu Rajput nobleman, Humayun's wife Hamida Bano, daughter of a Sindhi family, gave birth to the future Emperor Akbar on 15 October 1542. The date of birth is well established because Humayun consulted his astronomer to utilise the astrolabe and check the location of the planets. The infant was the long-awaited heir-apparent to the 34-year-old Humayun and the answer of many prayers. Shortly after the birth, Humayun and his party left Amarkot for Sindh, leaving Akbar behind, who was not ready for the grueling journey ahead in his infancy. He was later adopted by Askari Mirza.

For a change, Humayun was not deceived in the character of the man on whom he has pinned his hopes. Emir Hussein Umrani, ruler of Sindh, welcomed Humayun's presence and was loyal to Humayun just as he had been loyal to Babur against the renegade Arghuns. While in Sindh, Humayun alongside Emir Hussein Umrani, gathered horses and weapons and formed new alliances that helped regain lost territories. Until finally Humayun had gathered hundreds of Sindhi and Baloch tribesmen alongside his Mughals and then marched towards Kandahar and later Kabul, thousands more gathered by his side as Humayun continually declared himself the rightful Timurid heir of the first Mughal Emperor, Babur.

Retreat to Kabul

Humayun and his Mughal Army defeats Kamran Mirza in 1553. Humayun finally defeated his rebellious brother Kamran in Kabul in 1553.jpg
Humayun and his Mughal Army defeats Kamran Mirza in 1553.

After Humayun set out from his expedition in Sindh, along with 300 camels (mostly wild) and 2000 loads of grain, he set off to join his brothers in Kandahar after crossing the Indus River on 11 July 1543 along with the ambition to regain the Mughal Empire and overthrow the Suri dynasty. Among the tribes that had sworn allegiance to Humayun were the Leghari, Magsi, Rind and many others.[ citation needed ]

In Kamran Mirza's territory, Hindal Mirza had been placed under house arrest in Kabul after refusing to have the Khutba recited in Kamran Mirza's name. His other brother, Askari Mirza, was now ordered to gather an army and march on Humayun. When Humayun received word of the approaching hostile army he decided against facing them, and instead sought refuge elsewhere. Akbar was left behind in camp close to Kandahar, as it was December, too cold and dangerous to include the 14-month-old toddler in the march through the mountains of the Hindu Kush. Askari Mirza took Akbar in, leaving the wives of Kamran and Askari Mirza to raise him. The Akbarnama specifies Kamran Mirza's wife, Sultan Begam. [20]

Once again Humayun turned toward Kandahar where his brother Kamran Mirza was in power, but he received no help and had to seek refuge with the Shah of Persia. [21]

Refuge in Persia

Shah Tahmasp provided Humayun with 12,000 cavalry and 300 veterans of his personal guard along with provisions, so that his guests may recover their lost domains. Shah Tahmasp and Humayun.jpeg
Shah Tahmasp provided Humayun with 12,000 cavalry and 300 veterans of his personal guard along with provisions, so that his guests may recover their lost domains.
Shah Tahmasp I and the Mughal Emperor Humayun in Isfahan. Tahmasp, Humayun Meeting.jpg
Shah Tahmasp I and the Mughal Emperor Humayun in Isfahan.

Humayun fled to the refuge of the Safavid Empire in Persia, marching with 40 men, his wife Bega Begum, [23] and her companion through mountains and valleys. Among other trials the Imperial party were forced to live on horse meat boiled in the soldiers' helmets. These indignities continued during the month it took them to reach Herat, however after their arrival they were reintroduced to the finer things in life. Upon entering the city his army was greeted with an armed escort, and they were treated to lavish food and clothing. They were given fine accommodations and the roads were cleared and cleaned before them. Shah Tahmasp, unlike Humayun's own family, actually welcomed the Mughal, and treated him as a royal visitor. Here Humayun went sightseeing and was amazed at the Persian artwork and architecture he saw: much of this was the work of the Timurid Sultan Husayn Bayqarah and his ancestor, princess Gauhar Shad, thus he was able to admire the work of his relatives and ancestors at first hand.[ citation needed ]

He was introduced to the work of the Persian miniaturists, and Kamaleddin Behzad had two of his pupils join Humayun in his court. Humayun was amazed at their work and asked if they would work for him if he were to regain the sovereignty of Hindustan: they agreed. With so much going on Humayun did not even meet the Shah until July, some six months after his arrival in Persia. After a lengthy journey from Herat the two met in Qazvin where a large feast and parties were held for the event. The meeting of the two monarchs is depicted in a famous wall-painting in the Chehel Sotoun (Forty Columns) palace in Esfahan.

The Shah urged that Humayun convert from Sunni to Shia Islam, and Humayun eventually accepted, in order to keep himself and several hundred followers alive. Although the Mughals initially disagreed to their conversion they knew that with this outward acceptance of Shi'ism, Shah Tahmasp was eventually prepared to offer Humayun more substantial support. [24] When Humayun's brother, Kamran Mirza, offered to cede Kandahar to the Persians in exchange for Humayun, dead or alive, Shah Tahmasp refused. Instead the Shah staged a celebration for Humayun, with 300 tents, an imperial Persian carpet, 12 musical bands and "meat of all kinds". Here the Shah announced that all this, and 12,000 elite cavalry[ citation needed ] were his to lead an attack on his brother Kamran. All that Shah Tahmasp asked for was that, if Humayun's forces were victorious, Kandahar would be his.

Kandahar and onward

The infant Akbar presents a painting to his father Humayun. 'Abd al-Samad. Akbar Presents a Painting to His Father Humayun. Mughal, probably Kabul, c. 1550-1556. Golestan Palace Library, Tehran.jpg
The infant Akbar presents a painting to his father Humayun.

With this Persian Safavid aid Humayun took Kandahar from Askari Mirza after a two-week siege. He noted how the nobles who had served Askari Mirza quickly flocked to serve him, "in very truth the greater part of the inhabitants of the world are like a flock of sheep, wherever one goes the others immediately follow". Kandahar was, as agreed, given to the Shah of Persia who sent his infant son, Murad, as the Viceroy. However, the baby soon died and Humayun thought himself strong enough to assume power.

Humayun now prepared to take Kabul, ruled by his brother Kamran Mirza. In the end, there was no actual siege. Kamran Mirza was detested as a leader and as Humayun's Persian army approached the city hundreds of Kamran Mirza's troops changed sides, flocking to join Humayun and swelling his ranks. Kamran Mirza absconded and began building an army outside the city. In November 1545, Hamida and Humayun were reunited with their son Akbar, and held a huge feast. They also held another, larger, feast in the child's honour when he was circumcised.

Humayun is reunited with Akbar. The Emperor Humayun Returning from a Journey Greets his Son.jpg
Humayun is reunited with Akbar.

However, while Humayun had a larger army than his brother and had the upper hand, on two occasions his poor military judgement allowed Kamran Mirza to retake Kabul and Kandahar, forcing Humayun to mount further campaigns for their recapture. He may have been aided in this by his reputation for leniency towards the troops who had defended the cities against him, as opposed to Kamran Mirza, whose brief periods of possession were marked by atrocities against the inhabitants who, he supposed, had helped his brother.

His youngest brother, Hindal Mirza, formerly the most disloyal of his siblings, died fighting on his behalf. His brother Askari Mirza was shackled in chains at the behest of his nobles and aides. He was allowed go on Hajj, and died en route in the desert outside Damascus.

Humayun's other brother, Kamran Mirza, had repeatedly sought to have Humayun killed. In 1552 Kamran Mirza attempted to make a pact with Islam Shah, Sher Shah's successor, but was apprehended by a Gakhar. The Gakhars were one of the minority of tribal groups who had consistently remained loyal to their oath to the Mughals. Sultan Adam of the Gakhars handed Kamran Mirza over to Humayun. Humayun was inclined to forgive his brother. However he was warned that allowing Kamran Mirza's repeated acts of treachery to go unpunished could foment rebellion amongst his own supporters. So, instead of killing his brother, Humayun had Kamran Mirza blinded which would end any claim by the latter to the throne. Humayun sent Kamran Mirza on Hajj, as he hoped to see his brother thereby absolved of his offences. However Kamran Mirza died close to Mecca in the Arabian Peninsula in 1557.

Restoration of the Mughal Empire

Humayun receiving the head of his opponent, Qaracha Khan. Humayun Receives the Head of Qaracha Khan.jpg
Humayun receiving the head of his opponent, Qaracha Khan.
An image from an album commissioned by Shah Jahan shows Humayun sitting beneath a tree in his garden in India. Humayun sitting.jpg
An image from an album commissioned by Shah Jahan shows Humayun sitting beneath a tree in his garden in India.

Sher Shah Suri had died in 1545; his son and successor Islam Shah died in 1554. These two deaths left the dynasty reeling and disintegrating. Three rivals for the throne all marched on Delhi, while in many cities leaders tried to stake a claim for independence. This was a perfect opportunity for the Mughals to march back to India.[ citation needed ]

The Mughal Emperor Humayun gathered a vast army and attempted the challenging task of retaking the throne in Delhi. Humayun placed the army under the leadership of Bairam Khan, a wise move given Humayun's own record of military ineptitude, and it turned out to be prescient as Bairam proved himself a great tactician. At the Battle of Sirhind on 22 June 1555, the armies of Sikandar Shah Suri were decisively defeated and the Mughal Empire was re-established in India.[ citation needed ]

Marriage relations with the Khanzadas

The Gazetteer of Ulwur states:

Soon after Babur's death, his successor, Humayun, was in AD 1540 supplanted by the Pathan Sher Shah, who, in AD 1545, was followed by Islam Shah. During the reign of the latter a battle was fought and lost by the Emperor's troops at Firozpur Jhirka, in Mewat, on which, however, Islam Shah did not loose his hold. Adil Shah, the third of the Pathan interlopers, who succeeded in AD 1552, had to contend for the Empire with the returned Humayun. In these struggles for the restoration of Babar's dynasty Khanzadas apparently do not figure at all. Humayun seems to have conciliated them by marrying the elder daughter of Jamal Khan, nephew of Babar's opponent, Hasan Khan and, by causing his great minister, Bairam Khan, to marry a younger daughter of the same Mewatti. [25]

Bairam Khan led the army through the Punjab virtually unopposed. The fort of Rohtas, which was built in 1541–1543 by Sher Shah Suri to crush the Gakhars who were loyal to Humayun, was surrendered without a shot by a treacherous commander. The walls of the Rohtas Fort measure up to 12.5 meters in thickness and up to 18.28 meters in height. They extend for 4 km and feature 68 semi-circular bastions. Its sandstone gates, both massive and ornate, are thought to have exerted a profound influence on Mughal military architecture.[ citation needed ]

The only major battle faced by Humayun's armies was against Sikander Suri in Sirhind, where Bairam Khan employed a tactic whereby he engaged his enemy in open battle, but then retreated quickly in apparent fear. When the enemy followed after them they were surprised by entrenched defensive positions and were easily annihilated.[ citation needed ]

After Sirhind, most towns and villages chose to welcome the invading army as it made its way to the capital. On 23 July 1555, Humayun once again sat on Babur's throne in Delhi.[ citation needed ]

Ruling Kashmir

Copper coin of Humayun Copper coin of Humayun, 944 A. H., Delhi.JPG
Copper coin of Humayun

With all of Humayun's brothers now dead, there was no fear of another usurping his throne during his military campaigns. He was also now an established leader and could trust his generals. With this new-found strength Humayun embarked on a series of military campaigns aimed at extending his reign over areas in the east and west of the subcontinent. His sojourn in exile seems to have reduced his reliance on astrology, and his military leadership came to imitate the more effective methods that he had observed in Persia. [26]

Character

Edward S. Holden writes; "He was uniformly kind and considerate to his dependents, devotedly attached to his son Akbar, to his friends, and to his turbulent brothers. The misfortunes of his reign arose in great, from his failure to treat them with rigor." He further writes: "The very defects of his character, which render him less admirable as a successful ruler of nations, make us more fond of him as a man. His renown has suffered in that his reign came between the brilliant conquests of Babur and the beneficent statesmanship of Akbar; but he was not unworthy to be the son of the one and the father of the other." [27] Stanley Lane-Poole writes in his book Medieval India: "His name meant the winner (Lucky/Conqueror), there is no kind in the history to be named as wrong as Humayun", he was of a forgiving nature. He further writes, "He was in fact unfortunate ... Scarcely had he enjoyed his throne for six months in Delhi when he slipped down from the polished steps of his palace and died in his forty-ninth year (Jan. 24, 1556). If there was a possibility of falling, Humayun was not the man to miss it. He tumbled through his life and tumbled out of it." [28]

Humayun ordered the crushing by elephant of an imam he mistakenly believed to be critical of his reign. [29]

Death and legacy

Tomb entrance view Humayun Tomb, Delhi, from the entrance portal.jpg
Tomb entrance view
Humayun's Tomb in Delhi, India, was commissioned by his chief wife, Bega Begum Humayun's Tomb, Delhi, India 2019.jpg
Humayun's Tomb in Delhi, India, was commissioned by his chief wife, Bega Begum

On 24 January 1556, Humayun, with his arms full of books, was descending the staircase from his library when the muezzin announced the Azaan (the call to prayer). It was his habit, wherever and whenever he heard the summons, to bow his knee in holy reverence. Trying to kneel, he caught his foot in his robe, tumbled down several steps and hit his temple on a rugged stone edge. He died three days later. His body was laid to rest in Purana Quila initially, but, because of an attack by Hemu on Delhi and the capture of Purana Qila, Humayun's body was exhumed by the fleeing army and transferred to Kalanaur in Punjab where Akbar was crowned. Humayun's Tomb in Delhi is the first very grand garden tomb in Mughal architecture, setting the precedent later followed by the Taj Mahal and many other Indian monuments. It was commissioned by his favourite and devoted chief wife, Bega Begum. [30] [31] [32] [33] [34] [35] [36]

Akbar later asked his aunt, Gulbadan Begum, to write a biography of her brother, the Humayun nameh (or Humayun-nama etc), and what she remembered of Babur. The work begins:

There had been an order issued, ‘Write down whatever you know of the doings of Firdous-Makani (Babur) and Jannat-Ashyani (Humayun)’. At this time when his Majesty Firdaus-Makani passed from this perishable world to the everlasting home, I, this lowly one, was eight years old, so it may well be that I do not remember much. However in obedience to the royal command, I set down whatever there is that I have heard and remember.

The full title is Ahwal Humayun Padshah Jamah Kardom Gulbadan Begum bint Babur Padshah amma Akbar Padshah. [37] She was only eight when Babur died, and was married at 17, but her work, in a simple Persian style, has been found very interesting by its relatively few readers.[ citation needed ]

Unlike other Mughal royal biographies (the Zafarnama of Timur, Baburnama , and his own Akbarnama ) no richly illustrated copy has survived, and the work is only known from a single battered and slightly incomplete manuscript, now in the British Library, that emerged in the 1860s. Annette Beveridge published an English translation in 1901, [38] and editions in English and Bengali have been published since 2000. [39]

Full title

His full title as Emperor of the Mughal Empire was Al-Sultan al-'Azam wal Khaqan al-Mukarram, Jam-i-Sultanat-i-haqiqi wa Majazi, Sayyid al-Salatin, Abu'l Muzaffar Nasir ud-din Muhammad Humayun Padshah Ghazi, Zillu'llah .[ citation needed ]

Ancestry

See also

Footnotes

  1. 1 2 3 Mehta, Jaswant Lal (1986). Advanced Study in the History of Medieval India. Sterling Publishers Pvt. Ltd. p. 146. ISBN   9788120710153.
  2. Begum, Gulbadan (1902). The History of Humāyūn (Humāyūn-nāmah). Royal Asiatic Society. p. 260.
  3. Lal, Muni (1980). Akbar. Vikas. p. 7. ISBN   9780706910766.
  4. Mukhia 2004, p. 124.
  5. 1 2 Sharaf Al-Din: "Zafar-nama".
  6. Soucek, Svat (2000). A History of Inner Asia . Cambridge University Press. ISBN   978-0-521-65704-4.
  7. Tabakāt Akbarī, a translation from Volume V of The History of India, as Told by Its Own Historians, 1867
  8. 1 2 3 Rama Shankar Avasthy: "The Mughal Emperor Humayun".
  9. Banerji 1938
  10. 1 2 Jauhar: "Tadhkirat al-Waqiat".
  11. 1 2 Gascoigne 1971 , p. 50: "Hindal ... had been stationed ... for the purpose of securing Humayun's rear, but he had deserted his post ... another brother, Kamran, ... was also converging on Delhi from his territories in the Punjap – ostensibly to help Humayun but in reality ... to stake his own claim to his brother's crumbling empire. [Kamran] dissuaded Hindal from further open disloyalty, but ... the two brothers now disregarded Humayun's urgent appeals for help on his dangerous journey back through the territory which had been relinquished by Hindal to Sher Khan."
  12. The Life and Times of Humāyūn by Ishwari Prasad, Published by Orient Longmans, 1956, p. 36
  13. Rehman, Abdur (1989). "Salt Range: History and Culture". In Kamil Khan Mumtaz; Siddiq-a-Akbar (eds.). Temples of Koh-e-Jud & Thar: Proceedings of the Seminar on Hindu Shahiya Temples of the Salt Range, Held in Lahore, Pakistan, June 1989. Anjuman Mimaran. p. 8. OCLC   622473045. Babar established good relations with them [the Ghakhars] and hereafter they always sided with the Mughals. Sher Shah Suri therefore determined to crush the Ghakhars and built a fort at Rohtas;
  14. Badauni: "Muntakhab al-Tawarikh".
  15. Gascoigne 1971 , pp. 50–51: "Humayun's brief advance brought his army out of its prepared defensive position, and Sher Shah, having withdrawn a few miles, returned at night to find the Mogul camp asleep and unprepared. The emperor himself escaped only because one of his water-bearers inflated his water-skin with air for Humayun to hold in his arms and float [across the Ganges] ... Humayun crept back to Agra."
  16. Ruby Lal (22 September 2005). Domesticity and Power in the Early Mughal World. Cambridge University Press. p. 64. ISBN   978-0-521-85022-3.
  17. Sen, Sailendra Nath (2013). A Textbook of Medieval Indian History. Primus Books. p. 154. ISBN   978-93-80607-34-4. Kamran withdrew from Agra to Lahore. ... In the Battle of Kanauj (17 May 1540) ... Humayun was defeated. His two younger brothers, Askari and Hindal, also ... Humayun fled to Agra but was pursued by the Afghans, who drove him first to Delhi and then to Lahore. ... Finally ... he took shelter at the court of the Iranian king, Shah Tahmasp. Thus began a weary exile which lasted for nearly 15 years.
  18. Abul-Fazel: "Akbar-nama".
  19. Sarwani, Abbas Khan (2006). Tareekh-i- Sher Shahi. Lahore, Pakistan: Sang-i-Meel Publishers. ISBN   978-9693518047.
  20. Abū al-Faz̤l ibn Mubārak, ch. 29, 194-95 in Henry Beveridge trans.; Henry Sullivan Jarrett and Jadunath Sarkar, eds., The Akbar Nāmā of Abu-l-Fazl, Volume 1 (London: Royal Asiatic Society, 1907), pp. 395-96. Jadunath's editorial footnote adds, "This lady went, after her husband's death, to Mecca in company with Gulbadan Begam and others in 1574." (396) Akbar himself remained between Kandahar and Kabul until 1557, the year of his first marriage and imperial appointment, in Ghazni; see Jaswant Lal Mehta, Advanced Study in the History of Medieval India (London: Sterling, 1986), 189. ISBN   8120710150.
  21. Ikram, S. M. (1964). "X. The Establishment of the Mughal Empire". Muslim Civilization in India. New York: Columbia University Press. He ... turned toward Qandahar where his brother Kamran was in power, but he received no help and had to seek refuge with the Shah of Persia.
  22. Eraly, Abraham (2000). Emperors of the Peacock Throne: The Saga of the Great Mughals. ISBN   978-0-14-100143-2.
  23. Rapson, Edward James; Haig, Sir Wolseley; Burn, Sir Richard (1968). The Cambridge History of India. Volume 5. Cambridge University Press Archive. The tomb was built by Humayun's widow, Haji Begum, who shared his long exile at the court of the Safavids.
  24. Richards 1993 , p. 11: "At the Safavid court, Humayun, under extreme duress, accepted the Shia faith in order to keep himself and several hundred followers alive. After this initial test, Shah Tahmasp grew more friendly and eventually agreed to underwrite Humayun's attempt to regain power."
  25. Powlett, P. W. (1878). Gazetteer of Ulwur. London: Trübner & Co. pp. 7–8.
  26. Prasad, Ishwari (1976). The Life and Times of Humayun. Central Book Depot.
  27. Holden, Edward S. (2004) [1895]. Mughal Emperors of Hindustan (1398–1707). New Delhi, India: Asian Educational Service. pp. 123–127. ISBN   978-81-206-1883-1.
  28. Lane-Poole, Stanley (1903). Medieval India under Mohammedan Rule (712–1764). New York, USA: G. P. Putnam's Sons. pp. 230–237.
  29. Eraly, Abraham. ' Mughal Throne: The Saga of India's Great Emperors, Phoenix House, 2005. ISBN   0-7538-1758-6, p. 45.
  30. Kamiya, Takeo. "Humayun's Tomb in Delhi". UNESCO . Retrieved 12 July 2013.
  31. Banerji 1938 , pp. 97, 232
  32. Burke, S. M. (1989). Akbar, the Greatest Mogul. Munshiram Manoharlal Publishers. p. 191. OCLC   243709755. The mausoleum which Haji Begum built at Delhi to shelter her late husband's mortal remains ... Another pleasing feature is the laying out of a large garden round the building.
  33. Eraly, Abraham (2007). The Mughal world: Life in India's Last Golden Age . Penguin Books. p.  369. ISBN   9780143102625.
  34. Smith, Vincent Arthur (1919). Akbar: The Great Mogul 1542–1605. Clarendon Press. p. 125.
  35. Henderson, Carol E. (2002). Culture and Customs of India. Greenwood Press. p. 90. ISBN   9780313305139.
  36. "Mausoleum that Humayun never built". The Hindu . 28 April 2003. Retrieved 31 January 2013.
  37. The Humayun Namah, by Gulbadan Begam, a study site by Deanna Ramsay
  38. Begam, Gulbaden (1902). Beveridge, Annette Susannah (ed.). The history of Humāyūn (Humāyūn-nāma). London: Royal Asiatic Society. Retrieved 14 December 2017.
  39. Bengali: trans by Pradosh Chattopadhyay, 2006, pub. Chirayata Prokashan, ISBN   81-85696-66-7
  40. 1 2 3 4 Edward James Rapson, Sir Wolseley Haig, Sir Richard Burn, The Cambridge History of India Vol.IV (1937), p. 3
  41. B. S. Chandrababu, L. Thilagavathi, Woman, Her History and Her Struggle for Emancipation (2009), p. 201
  42. 1 2 John E Woods, The Timurid Dynasty (1990), p. 38-9
  43. Avasthy 1967, p. 25

Related Research Articles

Babur 1st Mughal Emperor

Babur, born Zahīr ud-Dīn Muhammad, was the founder of the Mughal Empire and first Emperor of the Mughal dynasty in the Indian subcontinent. He was a descendant of Timur and Genghis Khan through his father and mother respectively.

Second Battle of Panipat battle

The Second Battle of Panipat was fought on 5 November 1556, between the Hindu emperor of north India Hem Chandra Vikramaditya and forces of Akbar. Hemu had conquered the states of Delhi and Agra a few weeks earlier by defeating the Mughals led by Tardi Beg Khan at the Battle of Delhi and proclaimed himself Raja Vikramaditya at a coronation in Purana Quila in Delhi. Akbar and his guardian Bairam Khan who, after learning of the loss of Agra and Delhi, had marched to Panipat to reclaim the lost territories. The two armies clashed at Panipat not far from the site of the First Battle of Panipat of 1526.

Sher Shah Suri Padishah

Sher Shah Suri, born Farīd Khān, was the founder of the Suri Empire in the northern part of the Indian subcontinent, with its capital in Sasaram in modern-day Bihar. He introduced the currency of rupee. An ethnic Pashtun, Sher Shah took control of the Mughal Empire in 1538. After his accidental death in 1545, his son Islam Shah became his successor. He first served as a private before rising to become a commander in the Mughal army under Babur and then the governor of Bihar. In 1537, when Babur's son Humayun was elsewhere on an expedition, Sher Shah overran the state of Bengal and established the Suri dynasty. A brilliant strategist, Sher Shah proved himself as a gifted administrator as well as a capable general. His reorganization of the empire laid the foundations for the later Mughal emperors, notably Akbar, son of Humayun.

Hemu Samrat Vikramaditya"`UNIQ--ref-00000002-QINU`"

Hemu was a Hindu king who previously served as a general and Chief Minister of Adil Shah Suri of the Suri dynasty during a period in Indian history when the Mughals and Afghans were vying for power across North India. He fought Afghan rebels across North India from the Punjab to Bengal and the Mughal forces of Humayun and Akbar in Agra and Delhi, winning 22 battles for Adil Shah.

Bairam Khan Commander-in-chief, regent and a powerful statesman of the Mughal Empire

Bairam Khan was an important military commander, later commander-in-chief of the Mughal army, a powerful statesman and regent at the court of the Mughal Emperors, Humayun and Akbar. He was also guardian, chief mentor, adviser, teacher and the most trusted ally of Akbar. Humayun honored him as Khan-i-Khanan, which means "King of Kings". Bairam was originally called Bairam "Beg", but later became honored as 'Kha' or Khan. Bairam Khan was an aggressive general who was determined to restore Mughal authority in India. Two divans are attributed to him, one in Persian and the other in Chagatai.

Abdul Rahim Khan-I-Khana The court poet of Emperor Akbar famous for his couplets and astrology.

Khanzada Mirza Khan Abdul Rahim Khan-e-Khana, also known as Rahim, was a poet who lived during the rule of Mughal emperor Akbar. He was one of the nine important ministers (dewan) in his court, also known as the Navaratnas. Rahim is known for his Hindi dohe (couplets) and his books on astrology. The village of Khan Khana, which is named after him, is located in the Nawanshahr district of the state of Punjab, India.

The Arghun dynasty were a dynasty of either Mongol, Turkic or Turco-Mongol ethnicity, who ruled over the area between southern Afghanistan, and the Sindh province Pakistan from the late 15th century to the early 16th century. They claimed their descent and name from Ilkhanid-Mongol Arghun Khan. Arghun rule can be divided into two branches: the Arghun branch of Dhu'l-Nun Beg Arghun that ruled until 1554, and the Tarkhan branch of Muhammad 'Isa Tarkhan that ruled until 1591.

Kamran Mirza Shahzada of the Mughal Empire

Kamran Mirza was the second son of Babur, the founder of the Mughal Empire and the first Mughal Emperor. Kamran Mirza was born in Kabul to Babur's wife Gulrukh Begum. He was half-brother to Babur's eldest son Humayun, who would go on and inherit the Mughal throne, but he was full-brother to Babur's third son, Askari. A divan written in Persian and Chagatai is attributed to him.

The Battle of Ghaghra, fought in 1529, was a major battle for the conquest of India by the Mughal Empire. It followed the first Battle of Panipat in 1526 and the Battle of Khanwa in 1527. The forces of now Emperor Zahir ud-Din Muhammad Babur of the emerging Mughal Empire were joined by Indian allies in battle against the Eastern Afghan Confederates under Sultan Mahmud Lodi and Sultanate of Bengal under Sultan Nusrat Shah.

Gulbadan Begum Shahzadi of the Mughal Empire

Gulbadan Begum was a Mughal princess and the daughter of Emperor Babur, the founder of the Mughal Empire.

Raja Bharmal, also known as Bihari Mal, Bhagmal and Bihar Mal, was a Rajput ruler of Amer, which was later known as Jaipur, in the present-day Rajasthan state of India.

Akbar Third Mughal emperor

Abu'l-Fath Jalal-ud-din Muhammad Akbar, popularly known as Akbar the Great,, and also as Akbar I, was the third Mughal emperor, who reigned from 1556 to 1605. Akbar succeeded his father, Humayun, under a regent, Bairam Khan, who helped the young emperor expand and consolidate Mughal domains in India.

Turks in India are very small in number. They are believed to have migrated to India at the time of the Delhi Sultanate and the Mughal Empire. There are barely 150 Turkish people from Turkey in India. These are recent immigrants. Descendants of Turkic rulers also exist in India. Mughals who are part Turkic people also live in India in significant numbers. They are descendants of the Mughal rulers of India. Karlugh Turks are also found in the Haraza region and in smaller number in Azad Kashmir region of Pakistan. Small amount of Uyghurs are also present in India. Turks also exist in Pakistan in similar proportions. One of the tribe in Hazara region of Pakistan is Karlugh Turks which is direct descendant of Turks of Central Asia. Turkish influence in Pakistan can be seen through the national language, Urdu, which comes from a Turkish word meaning "horde" or "army". They comprise Turkish expatriates and Turkish-origin people living in India. In the 1961 census, 58 people stated that their mother tongue was Turkish. According to the 2001 census, 126 residents of India stated their place of birth as Turkey. In a state visit during early 2010, Prime Minister Abdullah Gül of Turkey met Turkish expatriates living in India and handed out Hindi–Turkish dictionaries to Turkish students in New Delhi. There is also a significant population of Turkic descendants who are known as Rowther. Rowther community is proud and former elite class. These were the sultans who ruled Madurai in Tamilnadu. Rowthers also known as "Brave cavaliers". They are believed to have migrated to India at the time of the Ottoman Empire. They are a highly assimilated community and their gene pool is highly diversified. They are mostly found in Southern India, especially in present-day Kerala and Tamil Nadu.

Hamida Banu Begum Mughal Empress

Hamida Banu Begum was a wife of the second Mughal emperor Humayun and the mother of his successor, the third Mughal emperor Akbar. She is also known by the title Maryam Makani, which was given to her by her son, Akbar.

The Battle of Tughlaqabad was a notable battle fought on 7 October 1556 between Hem Chandra Vikramaditya, also known as Hemu and the forces of the Mughal emperor Akbar led by Tardi Beg Khan at Tughlaqabad near Delhi. The battle ended in a victory for Hem Chandra who took possession of Delhi and claimed royal status, assuming the title of Raja Vikramaditya. Following his failure, Tardi Beg was executed by Akbar's regent, Bairam Khan. The two armies would meet again at Panipat a month later with opposite results.

Gulchehara Begum was a Mughal princess, daughter of Emperor Zāhir ud-Dīn Mohammad Babur of India, and sister of Emperor Humayun. Later, her nephew, Prince Jalal-ud-Dīn ascended the imperial throne as Emperor Akbar the Great.

Hindal Mirza 16th-century Mughal emperor in India

Abu'l-Nasir Muhammad, better known by the sobriquet Hindal, was a Mughal prince and the youngest son of Emperor Babur, the founder of the Mughal Empire and the first Mughal emperor. He was also the older brother of Gulbadan Begum, the younger half-brother of the second Mughal emperor Humayun, as well as the paternal uncle and father-in-law of the third Mughal emperor Akbar.

Ruqaiya Sultan Begum was empress consort of the Mughal Empire from 1557 to 1605 as the first wife and chief consort of the third Mughal emperor Akbar. She was also the longest serving Mughal empress, having a tenure of almost fifty years.

Salima Sultan Begum 16th and 17th-century Mughal empress

Salima Sultan Begum was the fourth wife of the Mughal Emperor Akbar, and the granddaughter of Babur.

Bega Begum was Empress consort of the Mughal Empire from 26 December 1530 to 17 May 1540 and 22 February 1555 to 27 January 1556 as the first wife and chief consort of the second Mughal emperor Humayun Bega was also known as Haji Begum after she performed the Hajj pilgrimage.

References

Bibliography

Humayun
Born: 17 March 1508 Died: 27 January 1556
Regnal titles
Preceded by
Babur
Mughal Emperor
1530–1540
Succeeded by
Sher Shah Suri
(as Shah of Delhi)
Preceded by
Muhammad Adil Shah
(as Shah of Delhi)
Mughal Emperor
1555–1556
Succeeded by
Akbar