Timur Shah Durrani

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Timur Shah Durrani
تیمور شاہ درانی
Shah of the Durrani Empire
Emir of the Durrani Empire
ReignNovember 1772 – 20 May 1793
Coronation 1772
Predecessor Ahmad Shah Durrani
Humayun Mirza (disputed)
Successor Zaman Shah Durrani
BornDecember 1746 [1] [2]
Mashhad, Afsharid Persia
(present-day Iran) [3]
Died20 May 1793 (aged 46)
Char Bagh, Durrani Empire
(present-day Afghanistan)
Burial21 May 1793
Maqbara-i-Timur Shah, Kabul
SpouseGauhar-un-Nissa Begum
Maryam Begum [4]
Gauhar Shad Begum [5]
Ayesha Durrani [6]
Issue Zaman Shah Durrani
Mahmud Shah Durrani
Shah Shujah Durrani
Ahmed Mirza
Sultan Mirza
Nurdah Mirza
Malik Gawhwar
Akbar Mirza
Husein Mirza
Hasan Mirza
Abbas Mirza
Buland Mirza
Shahrukh Mirza
Shahpur Mirza
Jahan Wala
Humayun Mirza
Ibrahim Mirza
Faruk Mirza
Khawar Mirza
Ayub Mirza
Miran Mirza
Kohandil Mirza
Nader Mirza
Timur Shah Abdali Dur-e-Durran
Dynasty Durrani
Father Ahmad Shah Durrani
Religion Sunni Islam
Military career

Timur Shah Durrani (Pashto : تېمور شاه دراني; Dari : تیمور شاہ درانی;), also known as Timur Shah Abdali or Taimur Shah Abdali (December 1746 – May 20, 1793) was the second ruler of the Afghan Durrani Empire, from November 1772 until his death in 1793. [7] An ethnic Pashtun, he was the second eldest son of Ahmad Shah Durrani.


Early life (1746-1772)

Timur Shah was born in December 1746, [2] [1] in Mashhad. [8] [8]

He received the city of Sirhind as a wedding gift under his governorship, and was later given the title of Viceroy of Punjab, Kashmir and the Sirhind district in 1757 [8] (when he was only 11 years old), by his father Ahmad Shah Durrani for one year, from May 1757 until April 1758. Ahmad Shah Durrani had immediately appointed Toryal Khan Afridi, the eldest son of his army's commander and his most trustworthy soldier, Awalmir Khan Afridi, to teach horseback riding and swordsmanship to Timur Shah Durrani. Toryal Khan Afridi also had the responsibility for the safety and protection of Timur Shah Durrani, so he continuously stayed with Timur Shah Durrani in the royal palace. [9]

Death of Ahmad Shah and Battle with Humayun (1772)

Portrait of Timur Shah Durrani Timur Shah Durrani.jpg
Portrait of Timur Shah Durrani
Coin of Timur Shah Durrani as Nizam of the Punjab, minted in Lahore, dated 1757/8 Coin of Timur Shah Durrani (as Nizam of the Punjab), minted in Lahore, dated 1757-1758.jpg
Coin of Timur Shah Durrani as Nizam of the Punjab, minted in Lahore, dated 1757/8

[10] [11] [12] [13] [14] [15]

Reign (1772-1793)

Consolidation of power and rebellion of Al-Khaliq (1772-1774)

Timur Shah had ascended to the throne of the Durrani Empire in November 1772 [16] with Shah Humayun giving up his throne. [14] [17] [18] [19]

Representation of a Safavid Qizilbash Chardin Ghezelbash.jpg
Representation of a Safavid Qizilbash

Insurrection of Fayz Allah Khan and Attempted Assassination of Timur Shah (1774-1776)

Bala Hissar fort, Peshawar, in 1910 1910 Bala Hissar.jpg
Bala Hissar fort, Peshawar, in 1910

Timur Shah went to Peshawar to spend the winter there. [20] [21] [22] [22] [23] [24]

Timur Shah's campaign against the Sikhs (1776-1780)

Battle of Rohtas (December,1779)

A year before the death of Ahmad Shah Durrani, the Sikhs conquered Multan in 1772. [25] Timur Shah ascended to the throne of the Durrani Empire after his father's death. [26] Due to Sikhs having been in possession of the provinces of Lahore and Multan, these provinces served as a barrier for any attempt by Timur Shah to invade, many chiefs and nobility, dependencies of Durranis, paid no respect to the Durrani sovereignty, such as Sindh which reduced the amount of tribute and hardly paid it, mostly due to its concurrent civil war between the Talpurs, and the Kalhoras; Nasir Khan Baloch, the ruler of the Khanate of Kalat under Timur Shah did not acknowledge the authority of Afghan monarch, as a result, inducing other Durrani chiefdoms to do the same, including the chief of Bahawalpur, who treated the authority of Timur Shah with no respect. [27] Timur Shah thereupon tried to recover Multan by diplomacy and therefore sent Haji Ali Khan, as his agent, along with companions, to the Bhangi Sikh Chiefs to negotiate, with advice to behave and be polite, but instead, Haji Ali Khan threatened the Bhangi Chiefs to retire from Multan or face the royal wrath. The Bhangis tied Haji to the tree and shot him dead whereas his companions were left unharmed and sent back to report to Timur. [27] [28]

Upon the news of death of his agent, Timur Shah detached a force of 18,000 men that included Yusafzais, Durranis, Mughals and Qizalbashes under general Zangi Khan, [29] with orders to march by less known routes and fall upon the Sikhs unaware and Zangi Khan gave strict orders to his army to keep the movement secret. Zangi Khan halted 25 km from the Sikh camps with orders to imprison anyone who goes in the direction of the Sikh camp to make the Sikhs aware of their presence. Timur Shah positioned himself in the centre, at the head of 5,000 Yusafzai men. [30] Little before daybreak, early morning, the Sikhs completely unaware of Afghan army's presence, were attacked, and though unorganized, the Sikhs gave tough resistance but were eventually overwhelmed. About 3000 Sikhs were killed, and 500 others drowned in river Jhelum in trying to cross it during the Sikh retreat, while 2000 escaped by successfully reaching the opposite bank of the river. [31]

Siege of Multan (January–February,1780)

Timur Shah also marched on Multan, besieging the city in January 1780. [32] [33] [34] [35]

Timur Shah's second march to Multan and conquest of Bahawalpur (1780-1782)

Kashmir Rebellion of Azad Khan (1783-1786)

Azad Khan was confirmed as successor and ruled Kashmir, beginning his rule from Srinagar in 1783, at the age of 18 years old. [36] [37] [38] [39] [40] [41] [42] [43] [44] [45] [46] [47]

Protecting Shah Alam II (1788)

Portrait of Mughal Emperor Shah Alam II, brother-in-law to Timur Shah. Shah Alam II, 1790s.jpg
Portrait of Mughal Emperor Shah Alam II, brother-in-law to Timur Shah.
Tomb of Timur Shah Durrani in Kabul Tomb of Timur Shah.jpg
Tomb of Timur Shah Durrani in Kabul

By 1788, Timur Shah Durrani, attempted again to ford the plains of Punjab to rescue his brother-in-law, the Mughal emperor Shah Alam II. The emperor had been blinded by the Rohilla leader Ghulam Qadir, who occupied and plundered Delhi for two and a half months in 1788. Timur Shah prepared an invasion and wrote letters to the English authorities, including Earl Cornwallis, and pleaded for a quick restoration of Shah Alam II to the throne, but was informed that he already had been restored as emperor by the Marathas. Therefore, he retreated back again. Timur Shah ascertained this information by sending an ambassador to the Mughal court and later requested that the British protect and obey the Mughal dynasty. [48] [49]

March Against Shah Murad, Ruler of Bukhara (1788-1789)

After that, Shah Murad demanded that Timur Shah's governor of Aqcha and Balkh be recalled. When Timur Shah failed to comply, Shah Murad crossed the Amu Darya in the summer of 1788. [50]

Nonetheless, Timur Shah, with his army marched north, at a slow pace to make sure Shah Murad would not be notified of this attack. Timur Shah with his armies arrived at Aqcha on the month of Dhu al-Hijjah, Shah Murad was however prepared, and drew up his men for battle. [51] [50] [51]

Uprising of Arsalan Khan

Death and legacy (1793)

After the death of Timur Shah, Zaman Shah Durrani ascended the throne, inheriting the Durrani Empire. [52]

Five of his sons would eventually become rulers in their own right or contendents for power. According to Fayz Muhammad those sons were as follows (notable sons are in bold):

  1. Humayun Mirza (would rebel after Timur Shah's death in Kandahar and would attempt to take the throne on 3 separate occasions) [53]
  2. Mahmud Shah (ruled Afghanistan 1801-1803 and 1809–1818, ruled from 1818 to 1829 in Herat) [54]
  3. Ahmed Mirza
  4. Zaman Shah (ruled Afghanistan 1793–1801)
  5. Sultan Mirza
  6. Nurdah Mirza
  7. Malik Gawhar
  8. Akbar Mirza
  9. Husein Mirza
  10. Hasan Mirza
  11. Abbas Mirza
  12. Buland Mirza
  13. Shahrukh Mirza
  14. Shahpur Mirza
  15. Jahan Wala
  16. Firuz al-Din Mirza (ruled Herat virtually independent from 1801 to 1818) [54]
  17. Ibrahim Mirza
  18. Faruk Mirza
  19. Shuja ul-Mulk (ruled Afghanistan 1803–1809), controlled Peshawar briefly in 1810, fled into Sikh and later British protection, made an unsuccessful attempt to conquer Kandahar in 1834, was installed as ruler of Afghanistan by the British from 7 August 1839 until his assassination on 5 April 1842)
  20. Khawar Mirza
  21. Ayub Mirza
  22. Miran Mirza
  23. Kohandil Mirza
  24. Nader Mirza

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Preceded by Emir of Afghanistan
4 June 1772 – 18 May 1793
Succeeded by