Muhammad bin Tughluq
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- Sultan Muhammad bin Tughlak acquired the throne by murdering his father, became a great scholar and an elegant writer, dabbled in mathematics, physics and Greek philosophy, surpassed his predecessors in bloodshed and brutality, fed the flesh of a rebel nephew to the rebel’s wife and children, ruined the country with reckless inflation, and laid it waste with pillage and murder till the inhabitants fled to the jungle. He killed so many Hindus that, in the words of a Moslem historian, “there was constantly in front of his royal pavilion and his Civil Court a mound of dead bodies and a heap of corpses, while the sweepers and executioners were wearied out by their work of dragging” the victims “and putting them to death in crowds.”76 In order to found a new capital at Daulatabad he drove every inhabitant from Delhi and left it a desert; and hearing that a blind man had stayed behind in Delhi, he ordered him to be dragged from the old to the new capital, so that only a leg remained of the wretch when his last journey was finished. The Sultan complained that the people did not love him, or recognize his undeviating justice. He ruled India for a quarter of a century, and died in bed.
- At the end of the tenth century Turks from Afghanistan began raiding India, a country of enormous wealth, ripe for conquest and incorporation into the Islamic world. In 1206 the Turks established the Sultanate of Delhi, which dominated the subcontinent for 300 years. The Sultans reached the height of their power in the reign of Muhammad bin Tughlak. His expansionist policies, which brought most of India under his control, reflected an uncontrollable and erratic ambition that eventually impoverished the country, and provoked a series of devastating revolts. He was famed for his learning, piety—and cruelty.
- Clive Foss, The Tyrants: 2500 Years of Absolute Power and Corruption, London: Quercus Publishing, 2006, ISBN 1905204965, p. 12
- The Sultan is not slack in jihad. He never lets go of his spear or bridle in pursuing jihad by land and sea routes. This is his main occupation which engages his eyes and ears. He has spent vast sums for the establishment of the faith and the spread of Islam in these lands, as a result of which the light of Islam has reached the inhabitants and the flash of the true faith brightened among them. Fire temples have been destroyed and the images and idols of Budd have been broken, and the lands have been freed from those who were not included in the darul Islam, that is, those who had refused to become zimmis. Islam has been spread by him in the far east and has reached the point of sunrise. In the words of Abu Nasr al-Aini, he has carried the flags of the followers of Islam where they had never reached before and where no chapter or verse (of the Quran) had ever been recited. Thereafter he got mosques and places of worship erected, and music replaced by call to prayers (azan), and the incantations of fire-worshippers stopped by recitations of the Quran. He directed the people of Islam towards the citadels of the infidels and, by the grace of Allah, made them (the believers) inheritors of wealth and land and that country which they (the believers) had never trodden upon.
- Tughlaq Kalina Bharata, Persian texts translated into Hindi by S.A.A. Rizvi, 2 Volumes, Aligarh, 1956-57. p. 325 ff. Vol I. (Shihabuddin Al Umari.) Also quoted (using a different translation) in Jain, Meenakshi (2011). The India they saw: Foreign accounts. 8th to 15th Centuries, p. 274.
- The Sultan who is ruling at present has achieved that which had not been achieved so far by any king. He has achieved victory, supremacy, conquest of countries, destruction of the forts of the infidels, and exposure of magicians. He has destroyed idols by which the people of Hindustan were deceived in vain.
- Tughlaq Kalina Bharata, Persian texts translated into Hindi by S.A.A. Rizvi, 2 Volumes, Aligarh, 1956-57. p. 327 ff. Vol I.
- I am not at all perturbed by these revolts.
- Barani, Zia-uddin, "Tarikh-e-Firoz Shahi", p.509
- Muhammad ibn Tughlaq “led forth his army to ravage Hindostan. He laid the country waste from Kanauj to Dalmau [on the Ganges, in the Rai Baréli District, Oudh], and every person that fell into his hands he slew. Many of the inhabitants fled and took refuge in the jungles, but the Sultan had the jungles surrounded, and every individual that was captured was killed.”
- Vincent Arthur Smith, The Oxford History of India: From the Earliest Times to the End of 1911 (Clarendon Press, 1920), 241-2. as quoted in Spencer, Robert (2018). The history of Jihad: From Muhammad to ISIS.
- Muhammad Tughlaq confined Shaikhzada Jami in an iron cage leading to his death. Under him punishments laid down by the Shariat were scrupulously awarded. The mother of prince Masud was ordered by the Sultan to be stoned to death for adultery, the verdict having been pronounced by Qazi Kamaluddin. Ibn Battutah relates that on one occasion he himself as Qazi gave eighty stripes to one Razi of Multan for making himself drunk and stealing five hundred dinars. He also says that during Muhammad Tughlaq's reign people used to admit uncommitted crimes and courted death to escape torture. When the royal order was issued for the execution of any person, he was executed at the gate of the palace where his corpse remained for three days. The Diwan-i-Siyasat worked vigorously and every day hundreds of culprits were brought for punishments.
- Lal, K. S. (1999). Theory and practice of Muslim state in India. New Delhi: Aditya Prakashan. Chapter 3
- During Muslim rule in India, foreign and Indian Muslims were freely bestowed jobs and gifts. Foreign Muslims were most welcome here. They came in large numbers and were well provided for. Muhammad Tughlaq was specially kind to them, as averred by Ibn Battutah. He writes that "the countries contiguous to India like Yemen, Khurasan and Fars are filled with anecdotes about... his generosity to the foreigners in so far as he prefers them to the Indians, honours them, confers on them great favours and makes them rich presents and appoints them to high offices and awards them great benefits". He calls them aziz or dear ones and has instructed his courtiers not to address them as foreigners. 'The sultan ordered for me," writes Ibn Battutah, "a sum of six thousand tankahs, and ordered a sum of ten thousand for Ibn Qazi Misr. Similarly, he ordered sums to be given to all foreigners (a'izza) who were to stay at Delhi, but nothing was given to the metropolitans."... There are scores of instances of Muhammad Tughlaq's generosity to foreigners.... The point to note here is that under Sultan Muhammad so much wealth was awarded to so many deserving and undeserving foreign Muslims that at the close of his reign the Delhi treasury had become bankrupt. There was also the loss of popularity because "the people of India hate the foreigners (Persians, Turks, Khurasanis) because of the favour the sultan shows them."
- Ibn Battutah, trs. Mahdi Husain, p. 105-140. quoted from Lal, K. S. (1999). Theory and practice of Muslim state in India. New Delhi: Aditya Prakashan. Chapter 5
- "So great was the faith of the Sultan in the Abbasid Khalifas," says he, "that he would have sent all his treasures in Delhi to Egypt, had it not been for the fear of robbers."
- Ziyauddin Barani, quoted from Lal, K. S. (1999). Theory and practice of Muslim state in India. New Delhi: Aditya Prakashan. Chapter 5. Also quoted in Robert Spencer, The history of Jihad, 2018.
- All sultans were keen on making slaves, but Muhammad Tughlaq became notorious for enslaving people. He appears to have outstripped even Alauddin Khalji and his reputation in this regard spread far and wide. Shihabuddin Ahmad Abbas writes about him thus:
“The Sultan never ceases to show the greatest zeal in making war upon infidels… Everyday thousands of slaves are sold at a very low price, so great is the number of prisoners”. Muhammad Tughlaq did not only enslave people during campaigns, he was also very fond of purchasing and collecting foreign and Indian slaves. According to Ibn Battuta one of the reasons of estrangement between Muhammad Tughlaq and his father Ghiyasuddin Tughlaq, when Muhammad was still a prince, was his extravagance in purchasing slaves. Even as Sultan, he made extensive conquests. He subjugated the country as far as Dwarsamudra, Malabar, Kampil, Warangal, Lakhnauti, Satgaon, Sonargaon, Nagarkot and Sambhal to give only few prominent place-names. There were sixteen major rebellions in his reign which were ruthlessly suppressed. In all these conquests and rebellions, slaves were taken with great gusto. For example, in the year 1342 Halajun rose in rebellion in Lahore. He was aided by the Khokhar chief Kulchand. They were defeated. “About three hundred women of the rebels were taken captive, and sent to the fort of Gwalior where they were seen by Ibn Battutah.” Such was their influx that Ibn Battutah writes: “At (one) time there arrived in Delhi some female infidel captives, ten of whom the Vazir sent to me. I gave one of them to the man who had brought them to me, but he was not satisfied. My companion took three young girls, and I do not know what happened to the rest.” Iltutmish, Muhammad Tughlaq and Firoz Tughlaq sent gifts of slaves to Khalifas outside India. .... Ibn Battutah’s eye-witness account of the Sultan’s gifting captured slave girls to nobles or arranging their marriages with Muslims on a large scale on the occasion of the two Ids, corroborates the statement of Abbas. Ibn Battutah writes that during the celebrations in connection with the two Ids in the court of Muhammad bin Tughlaq, daughters of Hindu Rajas and those of commoners, captured during the course of the year were distributed among nobles, officers and important foreign slaves. “On the fourth day men slaves are married and on the fifth slave-girls. On the sixth day men and women slaves are married off.” This was all in accordance with the Islamic law. According to it, slaves cannot many on their own without the consent of their proprietors. The marriage of an infidel couple is not dissolved by their jointly embracing the faith. In the present case the slaves were probably already converted and their marriages performed with the initiative and permission the Sultan himself were valid. Thousands of non-Muslim women were captured by the Muslims in the yearly campaigns of Firoz Tughlaq, and under him the id celebrations were held on lines similar to those of his predecessor. In short, under the Tughlaqs the inflow of women captives never ceased.
- Lal, K. S. (1994). Muslim slave system in medieval India. New Delhi: Aditya Prakashan. Chapter 5 (quoting Masalik-ul-Absar, E.D., III, 580., Battutah)
- Writing about the days of Sultan Muhammad bin Tughlaq (1325-51), Shihabuddin Al-Umari writes:
“The Sultan never ceases to show the greatest zeal in making war upon the infidels… Every day thousands of slaves are sold at a very low price, so great is the number of prisoners… (that) the value at Delhi of a young slave girl, for domestic service, does not exceed eight tankahs. Those who are deemed fit to fill the parts of domestic and concubine sell for about fifteen tankahs. In other cities prices are still lower…” Probably it was so because Ibn Battuta while in Bengal says that a pretty Kaniz (slave girl) could be had there for one gold dinar (or 10 silver tankahs). “I purchased at this price a very beautiful slave girl whose name was Ashura. A friend of mine also bought a young slave named Lulu for two gold coins.”32...Umari continues, “but still, in spite of low price of slaves, 20000 tankahs, and even more, are paid for young Indian girls. I inquired the reason… and was told that these young girls are remarkable for their beauty, and the grace of their manners.”
- Battuta, Mahdi Husain, 235; Quaunah Turks, 155 n. ; Masalik-ul-Absar, E.D., III, 580-81. (Shihabuddin al-Umri, Masalik-ul-Absar fi Mumalik-ul-Amar) quoted from Lal, K. S. (1994). Muslim slave system in medieval India. New Delhi: Aditya Prakashan. Chapter 10
- Muhammad bin Tughlaq became notorious for enslaving captives, and his reputation in this regard spread far and wide... Ibn Battuta’s eye-witness account of the Sultan’s arranging marriages of enslaved girls with Muslims on a large scale on the two Ids confirms the statement of Al Umri. “First of all,” writes he, “daughters of Kafir (Hindu) Rajas captured during the course of the year, come, sing and dance. Thereafter they are bestowed upon Amirs and important foreigners. After this the daughters of other Kafirs dance and sing… the Sultan gives them to his brothers, relatives sons of Maliks etc. On the sixth day male and female slaves are married.” It was a general practice for Hindu girls of good families to learn the art of dancing. It was a sort of religious rite. They used to dance during weddings, festivals and Pujas at home and in temples. This art was turned ravenous under their Muslim captors or buyers.
- Masalik-ul-Absar, E and D, III, p. 580. Ibn Battuta, p. 63, Hindi version by S.A.A. Rizvi in Tughlaq Kalin Bharat, Part I, Aligarh, p. 189. quoted from Lal, K. S. (1992). The legacy of Muslim rule in India. New Delhi: Aditya Prakashan. Chapter 7
- Muhammad bin Tughlaq became notorious for enslaving women and his reputation in this regard spread far and wide. Ibn Battuta who visited India during his reign and stayed at the Court for a long time writes:
“At (one) time there arrived in Delhi some female infidel captives, ten of whom the Vazir sent to me. I gave one of them to the man who had brought them to me… My companion took three girls, and - I do not know what happened to the rest.” On the large scale distribution of girl slaves on the occasion of Muslim festivals like Id, he writes: “First of all, daughters of Kafir (Hindu) Rajas captured during the course of the year, come and sing and dance. Thereafter they are bestowed upon Amirs and important foreigners. After this daughters of other Kafirs dance and sing… The Sultan gives them to his brothers, relatives, sons of Maliks etc. On the second day the durbar is held in a similar fashion after Asr. Female singers are brought out… the Sultan distributes them among the Mameluke Amirs…” Thousands of non-Muslim women were distributed in the above manner in later years.
- Ibn Battuta, 123. quoted from Lal, K. S. (1994). Muslim slave system in medieval India. New Delhi: Aditya Prakashan. Chapter 12
- Muhammad Tughlaq always preferred foreign Muslims to Indians for appointment as officers. The rebellion of Ain-ul-mulk Multani (1339) during his reign was a symptom of the resentment felt by the India-born nobles against this policy of prejudice.... Foreign nobles looked down upon Indian Muslim nobles, and considered them as ‘lowborn’, although not all foreign Muslims were of high lineage.
- Lal, K. S. (1992). The legacy of Muslim rule in India. New Delhi: Aditya Prakashan. Chapter 5
- Under Muhammad Tughlaq, wars and rebellions knew no end. Even an enhancement of land-tax ended in massacres in the Doab. Many more perished on the way when the capital was shifted to Daulatabad. His Qarachal expedition cost him a whole army. His expeditions to Bengal, Sind and the Deccan, as well as ruthless suppression of twenty-two rebellions, meant only depopulation.15 From all accounts it is certain that in the thirteenth and first half of the fourteenth century the loss of population was immense.
- Lal, K. S. (1990). Indian Muslims, who are they.
- “…It is said that the star-shaped Jaina Temple built in the Chalukya style at Bodhan in the 9th or 10th century was, also, transformed into a Mosque during the reign of Muhammad Tughlaq (AH 726-52/AD 1325-51).”
- Bodhan (Maharashtra).Syed Mahmudul Hasan, Mosque Architecture of Pre-Mughal Bengal, Dacca (Bangladesh), 1979, p. 50
- Ulugh Khan destroyed the great Svayambhusiva temple, whose fragments remain scattered around Warangal’s fort area. He built an enormous mosque on the site of the temple, along with a huge audience hall...
By the time Ulugh Khan ascended the throne, considerable parts of the Deccan and south India had acknowledged the suzerainty of Delhi.
- Jain, M. (2019). Flight of deities and rebirth of temples: Episodes from Indian history. p. 249
- The jurist Abul Fadhail Omar bin Ishaq ash-Shibli narrated to me that this Sultan does not leave the company of learned men whether in travel or in residence. He says: We were with him in one of his conquests. When we were on the way news of the victory reached him from the advance guard while we were in his presence. Then a joy befell him and he said: This is due to the blessing of those Ulama. Then he ordered them to enter the public treasury and they carried away as much wealth as they could. Those who were weak amongst them appointed a substitute who carried this wealth for them. The narrator continues, “They entered the treasury, but I did not enter, not did many of my peers because we did not belong to that group. Every one of those carried away two purses, each one containing 10,000 dirhams. But one of them carried three purses, two beneath his armpit, the other one on his head. When the Sultan saw them, he laughed in astonishment at the avarice of him who carried three. He (Sultan) asked about the rest of the persons and those who had not entered like me. It was said to him that these were below those because those were professors and these were assistants. He then ordered 10,000 dirhams to be given to everyone of them, and they were distributed among us. The narrator continues: the beacon of shariat, (Muslim Law) is standing on account of him and love for men of letters is found with him. They are shown honour and veneration. They exert to the highest to preserve that by which their reputation is established, by improving their mind and their appearance and in persevering in studying and in imparting knowledge, and right deliberation in all matters and moderation in all their affairs.
- Sultan Muhammad bin Tughlaq Loves the company of learned men, Shihabuddin al Umari Zaki, pp., 36-37 Zaki, M., Arab Accounts of India (during the fourteenth century), Idarah-I Adabiyat- I Delli, 1981. quoted from Jain, M. (editor) (2011). The India they saw: Foreign accounts. New Delhi: Ocean Books. Volume II Chapter 12
- The king of India, Sultan Muhammad Shah, makes a practice of honouring strangers and distinguishing them by governorships or high dignities of State. The majority of his courtiers, palace officials, ministers of state, judges, and relatives by marriage are foreigners, and he has issued a decree that foreigners are to be given in his country the title of ’Aziz [Honourable], so that this has become a proper name for them.
- Sultan Muhammad bin Tughlaq Foreigners honoured by Sultan Muhammad bin Tughlaq, Ibn Battuta Ibn Battuta. Travels in Asia and Africa 1325- 1354, trans. by H.A.R. Gibb, Low Price Publications, 1999 reprint, first published 1929. 184. quoted from Jain, M. (editor) (2011). The India they saw: Foreign accounts. New Delhi: Ocean Books. Volume II Chapter 12
- This king is of all men the fondest of making gifts and of shedding blood. His gate is never without some poor man enriched or some living man executed, and stories are current amongst the people of his generosity and courage and of his cruelty and violence towards criminals... In spite of all we have said of his humility, justice, compassion for the needy, and extraordinary generosity, the sultan was far too ready to shed blood. He punished small faults and great, without respect of persons, whether men of learning, piety, or high station. Every day hundreds of people, chained, pinioned, and fettered, are brought to his hall, and those who are for execution are executed, those for torture tortured, and those for beating beaten. It is his custom that every day all persons who are in his prison are brought to the hall, except only on Fridays; this is a day of respite for them, on which they clean themselves and remain at ease – may God deliver us from misfortune ! The sultan had a half-brother named Masud Khan, whose mother was the daughter of Sultan ‘Ala ad-Din, and who was one of the most beautiful men I have ever seen on earth. He suspected him of wishing to revolt, and questioned him on the matter. Masud confessed through fear of torture, for anyone who denies an accusation of this sort which the sultan formulates against him is put to the torture, and the people consider death a lighter affliction than torture. The sultan gave orders that he should be beheaded in the market place, and his body lay there for three days according to their custom.
- Cruelty of Sultan Muhammad bin Tughlaq, Ibn Battuta Ibn Battuta. Travels in Asia and Africa 1325- 1354, trans. by H.A.R. Gibb, Low Price Publications, 1999 reprint, first published 1929. 197-204 quoted from Jain, M. (editor) (2011). The India they saw: Foreign accounts. New Delhi: Ocean Books. Volume II Chapter 12
- One of the gravest charges against the sultan is that of compelling the inhabitants of Delhi to leave the town. The reason for this was that they used to write missives reviling and insulting him, seal them and inscribe them, “By the hand of the Master of the World, none but he may read this.” They then threw them into the audience-hall at night, and when the sultan broke the seal he found them full of insults and abuse. He decided to lay Delhi in ruins, and having bought from all the inhabitants their houses and dwellings and paid them the price of them, he commanded them to move to Dawlat Abad. They refused, and his herald was sent to proclaim that no person should remain in the city after three nights. The majority complied with the order, but some of them hid in the houses. The sultan ordered a search to be made for any persons remaining in the town, and his slaves found two men, in the streets, one a cripple and the other blind. They were brought before him and he gave orders that the cripple should be hung from a mangonel and the blind man dragged from Delhi to Dawlat Abad, a distance of forty days’ journey. He fell to pieces on the road and all of him that reached Dawlat Abad was his leg. When the sultan did this, every person left the town, abandoning furniture and possessions, and the city remained utterly deserted. A person in whom I have confidence told me that the sultan mounted one night to the roof of his palace and looked out over Delhi, where there was neither fire nor smoke nor lamp, and said “Now my mind is tranquil and my wrath appeased.” Afterwards he wrote to the inhabitants of the other cities commanding them to move to Delhi to repopulate it. The result was only to ruin their cities and leave Delhi still unpopulated, because of its immensity, for it is one of the greatest cities in the world. It was in this state that we found it on our arrival, empty and unpopulated, save for a few inhabitants.
- Sultan Muhammad bin Tughlaq Inhabitants asked to leave Delhi, Ibn Battuta Ibn Battuta. Travels in Asia and Africa 1325- 1354, trans. by H.A.R. Gibb, Low Price Publications, 1999 reprint, first published 1929. 204-5 quoted from Jain, M. (editor) (2011). The India they saw: Foreign accounts. New Delhi: Ocean Books. Volume II Chapter 12
- It is related that his army consists of 900,000 horsemen, a part of them are at His Majesty’s court, others are scattered in the whole country. His Diwan provides for the means of subsistence for all of them. The army consists of Turks, Khitais, Persians, Indians and people of various nations. All of them have branded horses, excellent weapons and are elegant in appearance. The officers of his army are the Khans, Maliks, Amirs, Sipah-Salars and then the ranks.
He relates that in the Sultan’s service there are eighty Khans or more and that each of them has followers according to his rank. The Khan has ten thousand horsemen, the Malik one thousand, the Amir one hundred, and the Sipah-Salar less than that. None of the Sipah-Salars are considered worthy to be near the Sultan, but they can be appointed as Valis or to posts equal to the rank of Vali. The Sultan has ten thousand Turkish slaves and ten thousand eunuchs; one thousand cashholders and one thousand Bashmaqdars [in charge of horseshoes of the Sultan]. He has two lakhs of stirrup slaves, who wear weapons, accompany him always and fight on foot in front of him. The whole army is exclusively attached to the Sultan and his Diwan pays them, even those who are in the service of the Khans and Maliks and Amirs. Fiefs cannot be given to them by their masters as it is the custom in Egypt and Syria….
Besides these he has one thousand falconers (bazdar) who carry the birds of prey for hunting while riding the horses and three thousand drivers who obtain the game; five hundred courtiers (nadim) and two hundred musicians besides his one thousand slaves who are specially trained for music; one thousand poets of fine taste and wit in Arabic, Persian and Hindi. His Diwan pays all these as long as they are men of spotless purity and chastity, in public and private life.
- Sultan Muhammad bin Tughlaq The army and officers of the Government, Subh-ul-A’sha Zaki, M., Arab Accounts of India (during the fourteenth century), Idarah-I Adabiyat- I Delli, 1981. Zaki, pp., 99-101 quoted from Jain, M. (editor) (2011). The India they saw: Foreign accounts. New Delhi: Ocean Books. Volume II Chapter 12
- The Sultan has 3000 elephants which are covered in battle with iron trappings inlaid with gold. In times of peace they are covered with housing of silk brocade and different kinds of silk adorned with figures. They are adorned with canopy and seats overlaid with plates; and wooden towers are fixed on them with nails and the Indians construct their seats for fighting. On an elephant are from 10 to 6 men according to the strength of the elephant. The Sultan has 20,000 Turkish slaves. Al-Bazzi says: 10,000 eunuchs, 1,000 treasurers, 1,000 Bashmaqdars, 2,00,000 attendants, who wear weapons and march with the Sultan in front of him.
- Sultan Muhammad bin Tughlaq Royal elephants and slaves, Shihabuddin al Umari Zaki, M., Arab Accounts of India (during the fourteenth century), Idarah-I Adabiyat- I Delli, 1981.22ff quoted from Jain, M. (editor) (2011). The India they saw: Foreign accounts. New Delhi: Ocean Books. Volume II Chapter12
- This Sultan has an embroidery house in which 4,000 silk-workers who make different kinds of cloth for robes of honour and garments and gifts in addition to the stuff which is imported from China, Iraq and Alexandria. The Sultan distributes every year 2,00,000 complete garments, namely 1,00,000 in spring and 1,00,000, in autumn. The garments, of spring are mostly from Alexandrian stuffs made in Alexandria; the garments of summer are all of silk made in the factory in Delhi and stuff from China and Iraq. He distributes (them) in Khanqahs and hospices. The Sultan has 4,000 embroiderers who manufacture the brocades for the harem and manufacture things for his use which he bestows upon the officers of the state and presents (them) to their wives…
- ( Sultan Muhammad bin Tughlaq) Karkhanas, Shihabuddin al Umari Zaki, M., Arab Accounts of India (during the fourteenth century), Idarah-I Adabiyat- I Delli, 1981.23ff
- The first place which was conquered was the country of Tilink [the Kakatiya kingdom of Telengana, was conquered by Muhammad bin Tughluq before his accession]. It is an extensive province with many villages, the number of which is nine hundred thousand and nine hundred. Then the province of Jajnagar [capital of Orissa] was conquered. In it there are 70 fine cities all ports on the sea, the revenue of which consists of pearls, elephants, different kinds of cloth, perfumes and aromatics. Then the province of Lakhnauti [Bengal, it was conquered by the Sultan’s father] was conquered which has been the seat of nine kings. Then the province of Devagir [the northern most Hindu kingdom of the south] was conquered. It has 84 strong hill forts. Sheikh Burhanuddin Abu Bakr bin al-Khallal aI-Bazzi related that there are one crore and two lakh villages in it. Then the province of Dursamand [Dwarasamudra] was conquered where Sultan Bilal Deo [Vira Ballala III, the Hoysala king of Dwarasamudra] and five infidel kings reigned. Then the province of Mabar was conquered.
It is a big country having ninety ports on the seacoast the revenue of which is derived from perfumes, muslin (lains), various kinds of cloth and other beautiful things.…
The Sufi Shaikh Burhanuddin Abu Bakr bin al-Khallalh Muhammad al-Bizzi has related to me the following: This Sultan sent his army to the province of…[ name cannot be deciphered, Telingana?] and it is in the neighbourhood of Dewogir, in the extremity of its frontiers. The people were infidels and every king was called ‘rai’. When the troops of the Sultan took the field against him he sent a messenger saying: Say to the Sultan that he should refrain from us and whatever he wishes in the form of wealth it will be given to him, he should send as many beasts of burden as he likes to carry away. The commander of the army sent information to the Sultan as to what he (the rai) had said. His answer came back that he should refrain from fighting them and give quarter to the Rai. When he presented himself before the Sultan, he honoured him very much and said to him: I have never heard the like of what you have said. What is the amount of wealth you have got that you have told me to send you as many beasts of burden as I like to carry that. The Rai replied: Seven rais have preceded me in this country and everyone of them collected 70,000 Babin and all of them are still with me. He said: A bobin is very wide cistern from the four sides of which one descends into it with ladders. The Sultan was surprised at his speech and ordered the sealing of the babins with his name (to preserve them). So they were sealed with the name of the Sultan. Then he ordered the Rai to nominate a viceroy in his country and that he himself should reside in Delhi and he offered him Islam, but he refused. So he let him act freely in the matter of his religion and he stayed in his court appointing a regent for him in his country and the Sultan assigned attendants for him, suitable for one like him and sent to that country great sums to be distributed to his people as alms saying that they were counted amongst the number of his subjects. The Sultan did not interfere with the babins, but only put on them the seal and left them in the same condition under his seal. I have related this according to what al-Bazzi related and he is known for his veracity. The responsibility is with him. He who wants further information should turn to him.
- (l) Conquests of Sultan Muhammad bin Tughlaq, Shihabuddin al Umari Zaki, M., Arab Accounts of India (during the fourteenth century), Idarah-I Adabiyat- I Delli, 1981. 8-10, 53. quoted from Jain, M. (editor) (2011). The India they saw: Foreign accounts. New Delhi: Ocean Books. Volume II Chapter 12
- This Sultan is not slow in waging Holy War (Jihad). In the holy war by land or by sea his bridle or his spear do not deviate (from it). This is the sole object which engages his eye and his ear. He has spent a large amount in exalting the word of Faith and in spreading Islam in these regions, so that the light of Islam was spread in these parts and the lightning of the true guidance flashed in these regions and the fire-temples were destroyed and the Buddha’s statues and idols were broken and the land was freed from those who were not (included) in the land of security, that is, those who had not entered the contract of a Zimmis and through him Islam was spread up to the farthest East, and reached up to where the Sun rises, and he carried the banners of the Islamic people as Abu Nasr-al-Aini says, to where never a banner had reached and no chapter, surat, or verse (ayat) was read of the Quran. Then he built mosques and places of worship and replaced music by prayer-call and silenced the mumblings of the Magians by the recitation of the Quran, and he directed the people of this faith (Islam) against the fortresses of the infidels. And he has appointed them with the help of God as the heirs of their property and their lands and the country which they had never trodden under foot: land after land was placed under the banner of this Sultan. On land his banners are like eagles and on sea the banners are like the crows of the running ships, so that no day passes without the sale of thousands of slaves for the lowest prices on account of the great number of captives and prisoners.
- ( Sultan Muhammad bin Tughlaq His Holy Wars, Shihabuddin al Umari Zaki, M., Arab Accounts of India (during the fourteenth century), Idarah-I Adabiyat- I Delli, 1981. pp., 37-38 quoted from Jain, M. (editor) (2011). The India they saw: Foreign accounts. New Delhi: Ocean Books. Volume II Chapter 12
- Muhammad bin Tughluq is generally, and perhaps rightly, regarded as a man of liberal views. The Chinese Emperor asked for his permission to build a temple at Samhal, a place of pilgrimage in the Himalayan hills frequented by the Chinese, which the Muslim army “had seized, destroyed and sacked”. But the Sultan, who accepted the rich presents sent by the Chinese Emperor, wrote to him a reply to this effect: ‘Islam does not allow the furthering of such an aim and the permission to build a temple in a Muslim country can be accorded only to those who pay the jizya.
- RC Majumdar, editor, Volume 6: The Delhi Sultanate [1300-1526] XVII.C.