From 1325 to 1351, Muhammad ibn Tughluq was the Turkic Sultan of Delhi. He was the son of Turk Ghiyas-ud-din, the founder of the Tughluq dynasty that succeeded the Khilji in Delhi, and after his father’s death, he succeeded him. He was the second sultan of the Tughluq dynasty, and he was successful in extending the Delhi sultanate’s power over most of the subcontinent, albeit for a short time. It is thought that as the Sultan’s eldest son, he was groomed for succession from a young age. Despite the fact that little is known about his early years, there is enough evidence to suggest that he had a high-quality education and martial arts training. He was a bold young man who began demonstrating his fighting ability even before ascending to the king. During his father’s reign, he was dispatched to the Deccan city of Warangal to put down a Hindu raja revolt, which he achieved effectively. During his reign as Sultan, he had to deal with a number of rebellions and revolts. He was a mysterious figure with contradictory traits: he was recognized as a violent and merciless king, yet he also developed a reputation as a religiously tolerant and modest leader.
Childhood and Adolescence
Muhammad bin Tughluq was the eldest son of Turk Ghiyas-ud-din, the founder of the Tughluq dynasty, and was born around 1300 in Kotla Tolay Khan in Multan. His childhood and early life are largely unknown.
As a prince, he is thought to have had a good education as well as training in military management and martial arts. He was well-versed in the Quran, Muslim jurisprudence, astronomy, logic, philosophy, and medicine, according to reports.
He became a brave young man as he grew older. In the Deccan city of Warangal, his father dispatched him to put down Hindu raja revolts in 1321-22. The prince marched on valiantly and was successful in putting down the revolt.
Reign & Accession
In 1325, his father Ghiyas-ud-din Tughlaq arrived from a successful military expedition and was watching the elephants he had received as war loot parade. The stage he was sitting on suddenly collapsed, and he perished as a result of the unusual accident. Although some records indicate that the sultan’s assassination was plotted by Prince Muhammad bin Tughluq, current historians refute this assertion.
Following the death of his father, Muhammad bin Tughluq came to the throne as the Tughluq dynasty’s second sultan. Throughout his reign, he had to deal with revolts and rebellions on a regular basis. He had to deal with 22 revolts, the most significant of which occurred in the Deccan (1326, 1347), Mabar (point of Indian peninsula, 1334), Bengal (1338), Gujarat (1345), and Sindh (1345). (1350).
He endeavored to seek the help and support of the ulemas, or Muslim divines, and the sufis, or ascetic mystics, as sultan. He intended to use the mystics’ prestigious status to aid him in imposing his rulership. Sufis and ulemas, on the other hand, refused to cooperate with the government. After failing to gain their support, he began humiliating them and eventually pushed them out of northern Indian villages.
In 1327, he moved the capital from Delhi to Devagiri (now Daulatabad), which was a key step in his claim to the throne. He hoped that by doing so, he would be able to consolidate his gains in southern India while simultaneously defending the city from Mogol attacks.
In the years 1328–29, he ordered a large-scale movement of people from Delhi to Devagiri. To get to Devagiri, the subjects were compelled to trek 1,500 kilometers. Barani, Ibn Battuta, and Islamic, for example, provided a thorough and unpleasant description of the events surrounding the transfer of the capital from Delhi to Devagiri.
The residents of Delhi were coerced and forced to relocate all of their possessions to Devagiri, leaving Delhi in ruins. The sultan, on the other hand, made sure that his subjects’ travel was as comfortable as possible by providing transportation and free lodging at Devagiri. However, the scheme failed, and in 1335-37, the people were permitted to return to Delhi.
The ramifications of this botched scheme were far-reaching. Delhi had not only become nearly desolate, but it had also lost its former beauty and grandeur. The sultan attempted desperately to reconstruct the city, but he only had limited success.
He raised the land tax in 1328-29. Peasants in the Doab region revolted, already enraged by his reign. The sultan, enraged, ordered his revenue and military officials to loot the land in vengeance. More misery ensued when the region was struck by a seven-year famine in 1334-35.
He also commissioned another large-scale expedition into Kangra Hills in the 1330s, the Qarachil expedition of 1333. This quest, too, was a failure, resulting in the deaths of approximately 10,000 inhabitants.
He was able to bring various territories under his dominion during his reign, but the kingdom began to decline in the later years of his reign. He also sought to enact various monetary reforms, but his new coinage system failed terribly.
He is believed to be one of the most enigmatic kings of the Indian subcontinent in the fourteenth century. He was seen as a strong warrior and a religiously tolerant ruler who sincerely cared for his citizens on the one hand, and a violent, ruthless, and authoritarian sultan on the other.
Major Projects of Muhammad bin Tughluq
One of the most significant decisions he made as Sultan was to move the capital from Delhi to Devagiri. For this, he ordered a huge relocation of Delhi residents to Devagiri, resulting in significant losses for the city of Delhi, which had lost its former splendour. Despite the failure of this strategy, Daulatabad—as Devagiri was later known—became an important center of Islamic scholarship.
Personal History and Legacy
Muhammad bin Tughluq was married to the ruler of Dipalpur’s daughter.
He spent the majority of his reign engaged in battle. He died his route to Thatta, Sindh, in 1351, while on his way to mediate in a war between members of the Gujjar tribe.
Estimated Net Worth
The estimated net worth of Muhammad bin Tughluq is unknown.