Comprehensive Biography of Firuz Shah Tughlaq

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Firuz Tughluq (1351-1388):

Muhammad Tughluq was succeeded by Firuz Tughluq. The latter was born in 1309 and died in 1388. He was the son of Rajab who was the younger brother of Ghiyas-ud-Din Tughluq. His mother was a Bhatti Rajput girl who agreed to marry Rajab to save the kingdom of her father Ran Mai, Chief of Abohar, from destruction at the hands of the Muslims.

When Firuz grew up he was trained in the art of administration and warfare but he did not distinguish in either of them. Muhammad Tughluq had great love for Firuz and consequently associated him with the administration of the country.

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Succession

When Muhammad Tughluq died on 20 March, 1351, there »vas complete confusion and disorder in the camp which was plundered by the rebels of Sind and Mongol mercenaries who had been hired by Muhammad Tughluq to fight against Taghi. The Sindhis and the Monglos would have decided the fate of all. It was at that time that Firuz was approached to ascend the throne. He hesitated but when the nobles, Shaikhs and Ulema put pressure on him, he agreed to become the Sultan. It was under these circumstances that Firuz was coronated in a camp near Thatta on 23 March, 1351.

Opposition

Firuz had to meet another difficulty. Khawaja-i-Jahan, Deputy of tha late Sultan, proclaimed at Delhi a boy as the son and heir of Muhammad Tughluq and also put him on the throne. The situation was serious and consequently Firuz consulted the nobles and Muslim jurists.

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The nobles contended that Muhammad Tughluq had no son. The jurists maintained that the candidate of Khawaja-i-Jahan was disqualified on the ground that the was a minor and not fit to be seated on the throne at a time when the situation was serious. It was also contended that there was no inherited right of succession to throne under the Muslim law.

Circumstances demanded that there should be a powerful ruler on the throne of Delhi. When Khwaja-i-Jehan found his position weak, he surrendered. Firuz pardoned him in consideration of his past services and allowed him to retire to Samana. However, he was beheaded on the way by a follower of Sher Khan, the Commandant of Samana.

Controversy

There is some controversy with regard the succession of Firuz Tughluq. Zia-ud-Din Barani says that Muhammad Tughluq left a testament nominating Firuz as his heir-apparent. However, the authenticity of the testament has been questioned by Sir Wolseley Haig.

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The latter is of the view that the child whom Khawaja-i-Jahan put on the throne was not “a suppositious son” of Muhammad Tughluq but was an issue of his blood. Consequently, the succession of Firuz was not regular and he could he called a usurper.

However, this view is not shared by other Historians. It is pointed out that there is nothing to show that the boy in question was the son of Muhammad Tughluq. Even if the child was the real son of Muhammad Tughluq, the succession of Firoz could not be called irregular as there was nothing like an inherited right of succession to a Muslim throne.

According to Dr. R. P. Tripathi, the succession of Firuz “asserted once more with great force the right of election that had been gradually receding in the background without, however, denying the right of the son to rule. The case also emphasized fitness against merely close relationship to the sovereign.”

The succession of Firuz also emphasised two more principles. The first principle was that it did not matter if the new ruler was bom of a mother who was a non- Muslim before her marriage.

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The second principle was that it was not necessary that the new ruler should be a distinguished soldier. It has rightly been stated that the succession of Firuz was “as important as it is interesting.”

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