Short biography of Abdullah Qutb Shah (A.D. 1626—A.D. 1672)



The death of Sultan Muhammad Qutb Shah was a prelude to the decline and fall of Golkonda. The administration of the kingdom during the minority of Abdullah was carried on by a council of officers who were mutually jealous.

Shah Muhammad, the peshwa, was an incapable person and could not discharge his responsibilities. He was assisted by Shaikh Muhammad, Assistant Peshwa and Mansur who was appointed Mir Jumla. Shah Muhammad patronized brahmans who were given a free hand in dealing with financial matters.

On his accession to the Mughal throne, Shahjahan adopted a stern attitude towards the Deccan states. Their independence was incompatible with Mughal imperialism. Their immense wealth excited their cupidity still more.

Moreover, Shahjahan was a strict suntii and was determined to annihilate the shia States of Deccan which read the khutba in the name of the Persian monarch. So far he had been contented with exactions of tributes occasionally from the Qutb Shah and a formal acknowledgement of his suzerainty but now he wanted to settle the matter once for all.

Shahjahan sent a strong force to the south and himself arrived at Burhanpur on 1 March, 1630. Nizam Shahi territory was annexed on 17 June, 1633 and Baqar Khan, the Mughal governor of Orissa was deputed to advance towards Hyderabad.

Overawed by the presence of such a large army of the Mughals, Abdullah Qutb Shah agreed to all the demands of the Emperor and a deed of submission was signed (May 1636) which laid down that the khutba would be read in the sunni style and coins struck in the name of the Mughal emperor.

The Qutb Shahi monarch would send a fixed yearly tribute to the Mughal emperor. Thus this treaty brought the Qutb Shahi state under the direct surveillance of the Emperor. For the next eight years, the affairs of the Deccan were in the charge of Aurangzeb who had taken over as Viceroy.

He kept his representative at the Golkonda court and was kept informed of the state of affairs. Two decades passed away peacefully after the ratification of this treaty. This period was, however, not without unpleasantness.

The Mughal representative at Golkonda continued to interfere in the internal affairs of the kingdom which was resented by the Sultan and his nobles.