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The Tughluq Dynasty : Feroz Shah Tughluq (1351 – 88)

The Tughluq Dynasty : Feroz Shah Tughluq (1351 – 88)

Feroz Shah Tughluq (1351 – 88):

  • He was born to a Hindu Rajput lady and so suffered from an inferiority complex and therefore, in order to establish his credibility as the sovereign of an Islamic state and leader of the faithful, he publicly demonstrated his zeal for Islam and contempt for Hinduism.
  • He was equally intolerant of the shias and other muslim dissenters. He always attempted to win the support of the ulema and extended the influence of theologians in the state affairs.
  • He gave land grants to the ulema. He banned practices which the orthodox theologians considered unislamic such as the visit of muslim women to the graves of saints.
  • He persecuted a number of muslim sects considered heretical by the theologians. He showed immense respect for the Caliph and describes the recognition of the sultanate by the Caliph and describes the recognition of the sultanate by the Caliph as the greatest honour he ever had.
  • For the first time, he introduced in India, the fashion of styling the Sultan as naib (deputy) caliph. He reimposed the shariat law.
  • During his reign, Jajiya became a separate tax, earlier it was part of the land revenue. He refused to exempt the Brahmins from the payment of Jajiya since this is not mentioned in the Shariat.
  • Much worse was the public burning of a Brahmin for stating that it was against Shariat. However, women, children, the disabled and the indigent were exempt from it. Also, the Sultan ordered the beautiful wall paintings in his palace to be erased.  The Tughluq Dynasty : Feroz Shah Tughluq (1351 – 88)

Feroz Shah Tughluq was not a good military general. He led two expeditions into Bengal both of which failed, thus Bengal was lost to the Sultanate. He then sacked Jajnagar (Orissa) and desecrated the Puri Jagannath temple.

He sacked Kangra and got the Sanskrit manuscripts from Kangra to be translated into Persian and Arabic and called it as dalayal-i-feroze shahi.

He waived his claims over the Deccan in favour of the Bahmani Sultans, and went to deal with rebellions in Gujarat and Thatta (Sind).

His expedition to Sind is considered the worst ever in this history of the Delhi Sultanate. So the public expression of religiosity was also an attempt to cover his mediocrity as a military general.

  • Under Feroz Shah Tughluq, the Turkish nobility degenerated into peace making debauchees. The discipline in the army was scandalous and made the offices of the nobles and their iqtas hereditary and permanent.
  • The iqtaholders, instead of paying full taxes, supplied slaves to the Sultan with the result that the revenue of the state decreased while the burden on the treasury increased, for it had to maintain 1,80,000 slaves.
  • In spite of all these deficiencies, Feroz Shah Tughluq was a builder par excellence. No other Sultan of Delhi did as much for the material prosperity of his subjects. He constructed five canals in Haryana under chief architect Malik Ghazi Sahana.
  • They were taken out of Yamuna and were so deep and broad that even ships navigated in these canals. One canal Ulugh Khanni was named after Mohammed-bin-Tughluq and another Rajab Wahi was named after his father.
  • He repaired Hauz-i-Shams (tank of Iltutmish) and Hauz-i-llahi (tank of Alauddin Khalji). He built Hauz Khas, a pleasure resort and Kotla Fort at Delhi.
  • He constructed as many as 1200 gardens and rest houses. He constructed the Feroze-Shahi madrassa at Delhi and also constructed the magnificent darush-shifa at Delhi.     The Tughluq Dynasty : Feroz Shah Tughluq (1351 – 88)
  • He constructed three cities of Jaunpur, Hissar and Ferozabad and also the town of Fatehbad in Uttar Pradesh. He shifted the Asokan pillars of Meerut and Topra to Delhi.
  • He repaired the fourth story of Qutub Minar when it was damaged due to lightning and added the fifth storey. He constructed a water clock and sun clock at Delhi.
  • He also established a department of ‘Public Works’. He established 36 state owned Karkhanas for the manufacture of various accessories of life and luxurious goods used by royalty.
  • His revenue policy fostered agricultural prosperity. He wrote off loans and lowered state revenue demand. The system of measurement of land was discarded.
  • He formed a charity department to assist in the marriage of muslim girls. He did whatever was possible to free trade and commerce and abolished a number of duties.
  • Prices of commodities remained low without any market regulations. So, on the whole his reign was peaceful and filled with prosperity.  The Tughluq Dynasty : Feroz Shah Tughluq (1351 – 88)


Medieval History

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