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After the death of Allaudin Khalji, his son Mubarak Shah Khalji ascended the throne. But it was not in his fate to rule and hence he was overthrown by Khusro Khan. While all of this was happening, a man who went by the name, Ghazi Malik (Ghiyasuddin Tughlaq) had his eyes on the throne, as he was eager to become the Sultan of Delhi. When Ghazi Malik was serving under Allaudin; the sultan asked him to accompany his son (Mubarak Shah) to a place that later became Tughlaqabad. Upon reaching, Ghazi Malik was fascinated by the place, as he was surprised with the natural defensive position of the area. in awe, he told Mubarak Shah, that this would be an amazing place to build a fort, to which Mubarak Shah replied, “You could make it into one if you ever became the Sultan”. Hence it was one of his first acts when he became the Sultan.

History identifies Ghiyasuddin as a very rough, ready and greedy Sultan. When Ghiyasuddin came into power, the Sufi Saint, Nizamuddin Auliya was staying in a settlement called “Ghiyaspura”, which was named not after Tughlaq, but after Ghiyasuddin Balban who was the penultimate of the Mamluk Slave Dynasty. While historians don’t count this as an area of contention between the two, I believe it was one of those ‘firsts’ that rubbed both of them on the wrong foot. It is texts from the mid-14th century that show contention between the two. One of the first incidence between the two started with Khusro Khan, as he had given 5 lakh rupees to the Sufi saint to win him over. But, as Ghiyasuddin assumed the throne, he declared that all the grants and titles given by the previous Sultan are illegal and demanded all of them back. The 5 lakhs that Nizamuddin Auliya was given had already been distributed between disciples of Auliya and hence he told the Sultan that he had distributed all of it and hence he cannot return the amount back. Ghiyasuddin became very unhappy after hearing this and this started a series of episodes of feud between the two.

The second incidence that took place between the two was when, laborers used to work for the Sultan during the day and on Nizamuddin’s Baoli during the night, and when they used to work in the morning that would often doze off. After this Ghiyasuddin cut the supply of burning oil for Auliya so that the workers wouldn’t be able to work during the night. But this is when a disciple of Auliya presented the laborers with burning oil, as he had already stocked it up. The disciple then became the spiritual successor of Nizamuddin Auliya and he was given the title “Hazrat Roshan Chirag e Dilli”. Read Full incidence here.

The final nail in the coffin was when Hazrat Nizamuddin Auliya was called to the court of Ghiyasuddin Tughlaq in Tughlaqabad to attend a meeting on the practice of listening to music in mehfils. When Nizamuddin Auliya entered the court, everyone stood to pay respects to him, and the Qazi- ul Sultan (Chief Justice) couldn’t digest it as he thought that he was the hero of the assembly. In envy, he showed a pen to Auliya and told him that “I can write your faith with it”, to which Auliya replied, “You could be dismissed before you do that”. Nizamuddin Auliya was in favor of music at mehfils and hence he presented a hadith of the Prophet where he had permitted Ayesha to listen to music of weddings and festivals. The Qazi was annoyed with Auliya’s argument as he was proven wrong and he wanted music banned. He then stood up and asked for evidence that Imam Hanafi [founder of Sunni Hanafi school of fiqh (jurisprudence)]had sanctioned music. In reply to this, Nizamuddin Auliya got up and said that he didn’t want to be part of an assembly that didn’t accept the Prophet’s hadith as the final proof.

According to Syed Farid Nizami, it was at this point when Mehboob e Illahi Hazrat Nizamuddin Auliya cursed the court and Tughlaqabad Fort and said “Ya rahe ujar, yaa basse gujjar”. After this incident, Ghiyasuddin left for a conquest to Bengal and he had warned Auliya to leave Delhi before he came back, or face dire consequences. Auliya was adamant to stay in Delhi, and to everyone’s surprise, Ghiyasuddin didn’t return from Bengal as he got crushed under a tent only 6kms away from Delhi while he was resting. But this makes for another article, with Jaunah Khan (Muhammad Bin Tughlaq), Ibn Battuta, Ziauddin Barani, and an elephant as new members. Whether Ghiyasuddin was murdered? Or did he die in an accident?


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Interested in History, Culture, and Arts? PublicTunes Media is an open resource on the History and Culture of India. We publish a magazine called ‘Insaniyat’ that has articles that dwell deep into the History, Arts, and Culture of India. It is the perfect journal for creative individuals,  researchers, students, or anyone who enjoys reading. Insaniyat is a journal handcrafted for the lovers of Social Sciences and Arts. First edition coming August 15th, 2020.

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