Sunday 20 May 2018

Sayyid Dynasty - Delhi Sultanate

The Sayyid dynasty was the fourth dynasty of the Delhi Sultanate, with four rulers ruling from 1414 to 1451. Founded by a former governor of Multan, they succeeded the Tughlaq dynasty and ruled the sultanate until they were displaced by the Lodi dynasty. 

Delhi Sultanate

Following the 1398 Sack of Delhi, Amir Timur appointed the Sayyids as the governors of Delhi. Their dynasty was established by Sayyid Khizr Khan, deputised by Timur to be the governor of Multan (Punjab). He did not take up any royal title due to fear of Amir Timur (better known historically as Tamerlane) and contended himself with the titles of Rayat-i-Ala (Sublime Banners) and Masnad-i-Aali or (Most High Post). He was in office from 1414 until 1421.

Amir Timur

After his accession to the throne, Khizr Khan appointed Malik-us-Sharq Tuhfa as his wazir and he was given the title of Taj-ul-Mulk and he remained in office until 1421. In 1414, an army led by Taj-ul-Mulk was sent to suppress the rebellion of Har Singh, the Raja of Katehar. Raja fled to the forests but finally was compelled to surrender and agree to pay tributes in future. In July, 1416 an army led by Taj-ul-Mulk was sent to Bayana and Gwalior.


As a mark of recognition of the suzerainty of the Mongols, the name of the Mongol ruler (Shah Rukh) was recited in the khutba but as an interesting innovation, the name of Sayyid ruler Khizr Khan was also attached to it. But strangely enough the name of Mongol ruler was not inscribed on the coins and the name of old Tughlaq sultan continued on the currency. No coins are known in the name of Khizr Khan.

Billon Tanka of Khizr Khan INO Firoz Shah Tughlaq

Mubarak Shah (r. 1421–1434) was the second monarch of the Sayyid dynasty which ruled the Delhi Sultanate. He succeeded his father, Khizr Khan to the throne. He was a man of great vision, but the nobles were against him and kept revolting. He was murdered in 1434 and succeeded by his nephew, Muhammad Shah.

Mubarak Shah's tomb in Kotla Mubarakpur.

Muhammad Shah (r. 1434–1445) was the third monarch of the Sayyid dynasty which ruled the Delhi Sultanate. He succeeded his uncle, Mubarak Shah to the throne. Muhammad Shah's tomb is a notable monument within the Lodi Gardens of New Delhi.

Lodi Gardens

Alam Shah (r. 1445–1451) was the fourth and last ruler of the Sayyid dynasty which ruled the Delhi Sultanate. Both Muhammad Shah and his son, Alam Shah who succeeded him, were incapable rulers. Alam Shah was an incapable ruler who abandoned his charge in 1448 and retired to Budaun. Three years later, Bahlul Lodi, who had made two prior attempts at capturing Delhi, took control of the capital to mark the beginning of the Lodi dynasty.

Indo-Islamic Architecture

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