Delhi Sultanate, Khiljis: Jalal al-Din Firoz ( 689-695 AH, 1290–1296AD), Jital

Started by Overlord, January 11, 2009, 06:00:16 PM

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Malik Firoz was a Turk of the Khilji tribe. His ancestors, having migrated from Turkistan, had lived in Garmsir in Afghanistan for over 200 years. Firoz's family migrated to Delhi and took up service under the Turkish sultans. Firoz rose to the important position of sar-i-jandar (head of the royal bodygard) and was subsequently appointed the governor of Samana. Later, Sultan Kaiqubad promoted him to the high office of army minister. At this time, he was among the most experienced and powerful Turkish noblemen in Delhi. The orthodox Turks regarded Firoz and his tribe as Afghans and were not too happy with his success. Two Turkish nobels, Malik Aitemar and Malik Surkha, planned to get rid of Firoz and the other "non-Turkish" officers. This led to a conflict between the two parties in which Firoz emerged victorious. Firuz now set himself up as the regent of the infant king Shams al-Din Kayumarth. The next step was to put both Kaiqubad (who was paralyzed) and Kayumarth to death and sieze the throne. This accomplished, Firoz ascended to the throne in March 1290 and assumed the title of Sultan Jalal al-Din Firuz. He was an old man of about 70 at this time.

His election was so unpopular that he did not even reside in Delhi. Instead, he lived in Kaiqubad's palace in the village of Kilokhri, the short distance outside. His administration is criticized as having been too lenient. On one occasion, 1000 thugs (cheats) were arrested in Delhi, but instead of punishing them Firoz ordered them to be transported through boats to Gaur, the captal of Bengal, where they were set free. Only on one occasion did he exercise capital punishment. The person executed was a holy man by the name of Sidi Maula, whose death was followed by a dust storm and a severe famine. People believed these events to be a result of the saint's curse on the sultan.

In 1294, 'Ala' al-Din Muhammad, his nephew and son-in law, obtained his permission for leading an expedition into Malwa. But he went much further, plunging into the heart of Deccan, keeping his movements concealed from the court. He marched through Berar and Khandesh and compelled Ramachandra, the king of Deogiri and the Western Deccan, to surrender Ellichpur. 'Ala' al-Din collected vast amount of treasure and showed no disposition to share it with his sovereign.  His treasonable intentions were clear to everybody except his doting uncle and father-in-law Firoz, who closed his ears to all warnings and behaved like a person infatuated. Ultimately, Jalal al-Din  was persuaded to place himself in the power of his nephew at Kara in the Allahbad district. When the sultan grasped the traitor's hand, the signal was given. He was thrown down and decapitated. His severed head was stuck on a spear and carried round the camp.

Obverse   Al-Sultan Al-Azim Jalal Al-Dunya Wa Al-Deen (The Sultan, the greatest one, the glory of the world and of the faith)

Here is a crude illustration depicting my take on the legend.

Reverse Inside central square (in Arabic): Firuz Shah. In margin (in Nagari): Sri Sultan Jalaludin

(Ref. R966, Goron D200, Tye 414.1)

Break-up of the inscription: Please point out any mistakes you spot in this.

First line: Alif+Lam=Al
             Sin (medial)+Lam+Toe+Alif+Nun (detached form)=Sultan
Second line: Ain (initial)+Zoe+Mim=Azim
                 Da (of Dunya)
Third line:    Nun+Ye (medial form)=Dunya


Shin (initial form)+Alif+He (detached form)=Shah