Baharistan-i-Shahi – Chapter 6

Baharistan-i-Shahi – Chapter 6 – CHAK RULERS

Ghazi Shah

Ghazi Khan became the ruler of this domain in the aforesaid year (A.D. 1554). In early spring the same group of his near and distant people whose mission was only to perpetrate mischief, disorder and bloodshed, once again entered into an alliance to put an end to the lives of Ghazi Khan and Malik Husain and to become the masters of this land. But they were not destined to succeed in their mission and Ghazi Khan learnt of their intentions. He summoned Nusrat Khan, Yusuf Chak, son of Regi Chak, and Shankar Malik to his presence, and told them that he had learnt of [their] conspiracy. He spoke to them in soft tone so that their kinsmen would not unite with them. He detained them at his house for the night. Next morning, Nusrat Chak’s brethren and their associates destroyed the bridges in the city, took defensive positions in a certain quarter [of the city], and rose in opposition against him. Ghazi Khan came out to meet them. He crossed the river by boats and inflicted a crushing defeat upon them. Nusrat Chak’s brothers and some of their accomplices were slain in the battle and he himself was taken prisoner. A short while later, Yusuf Chak, the son of Regi Chak, was captured and enchained in prison.

Some time later, a group of people, comprising Shankar Chak, Bahram Chak and others raised a band of their soldiers and offered stubborn resistance to Ghazi Khan in the town of Soipor (Sopor). Ghazi Khan struck hard at them and put them to rout. Bahram Chak was brought as a captive from Khuihama and was beheaded. Although an attempt was made to gouge out the eyes of Yusuf Chak, yet, by God’s supreme will, his eyes remained intact.[1] After some days he escaped from the prison and went to India. His brother, Ibrahim Chak was also put to the sword. In combination with his brothers, Malik Husain Chak and Ali Chak, he (Ghazi Khan) converted the domain of Kashmir into a veritable fortress.

Mughal menace

During his rule, Ghazi Khan demonstrated qualities of courage and manliness in crushing the army of the Mughals which had been joined by a section of Kashmiri soldiers and had attacked him. Stories of his
bravery and extraordinary heroism spread in the domain of India. Here is one of these.
Shah Abu’l-’Ma’ali [2] aspired to conquer India and, therefore, adopted a policy of confrontation with Jalalu’d-Din Akbar and Bairam Khan. A large number of Kashmiri nobles aligned themselves with him and brought him into Kashmir via the Baramulla route[3] to head towards the city (Srinagar). A large number of Kashmiris, in small and large groups, joined the army of Abu’l-Ma’ali. Ghazi Khan had with him only two of his brothers, his sons and a handful of kinsmen. Nusrat Chak was brought on the battlefield in chains. At this time, Ghazi Khan adopted a soft conciliatory attitude towards Mir Sayyid Ibrahim Khan. He also established matrimonial relations with him.[4] Thus, after appeasing Mir Sayyid Ibrahim Khan, he proceeded to meet his foe. A confrontation between the two armies took place at Hanjiverah.[5] Ghazi Khan demonstrated remarkable bravery and overpowered and destroyed the enemy. In this battle, Nasi Chak and Husi Chak, the sons of Zaiti Chak, and a considerable number of Kashmiri warriors fell on the battlefield; the Mughals also suffered numerous casualties.[6] The slaving of a large number of Mughal soldiers bred a feeling of fear in their hearts which remained there for many years. Shams Raina, the son of ‘Idi Raina, was captured in a forest and put to the sword.[7] Thus commenced the period of Ghazi Khan’s independent and autocratic government over Kashmir; he distributed presents to his soldiers.

Second encounter

Some years later, Khwaja Hajjl, Naji Malik and Nusrat Chak united together, took Qara Bahadur and a contingent of Mughal sordiers with them, and entered into Kashmir via the Nowshehr route. [8] Ghazi Khan, accompanied by his brothers, Mir Sayyid Ibrahim Khan and their troops praceeded to face them via the Hirpur route. His troops occupied the posts over the mountains from Bahram Gala to Soel [sic]. At this time Fath Chak and Lohar Chak were in the mountains of Poonch. They held consultations with their advisers and did not go over to the Mughal troops but joined Ghazi Khan. Nusrat Chak also happened to be in India at that time.[9] He sent a message to Ghaazi Khan informing him of his intention of joining him[10] and not the Mughals. This discouraged the Mughal army. Not feeling itself strong enough to proceed further, it decided to halt at Rajouri under these circumstances. Ghazi Khan attacked them and a big battle followed. The Mughal army consisted of brave and dauntless soldiers like Kuchak Bahadur and several others. From dawn to early afternoon, there was heavy fighting in which many people on both sides were slain. In late afternoon the Mughals suffered a defeat and they lost a large number of their warriors on the battlefield. With great difficulty, their commanders managed to escape to India. Victorious Ghazi Khan and his brothers entered into Kashmir along with their troops.[11]

These two wars with the Mughals are among the notable events in Ghazi Khan’s career. Otherwise his record is inglorious. In acts of cruelty and oppression in causing bloodshed and in gouging out eyes of his enemies, in inflicting physical tortures and in chopping off the limbs of human beings and in killing near and distant ones, no one has ever known or heard of a tyrant like him. It must also be mentioned that during the days of Ghazi Khan, as long as Sultan Isma’il Shah lived, he was a Sultan only in name, living in the palaces of the former (Sultan’s). After his death, Ghazi Khan installed his nephew Habib Shah on the throne in his place. Finding that Habib Shah was not even worth the name of the office to which he had been elevated, Ghazi Khan aspired to adopt this title, ascend the throne, and assume the status of an independcnt ruler.[12] Consequently he held consultations with his counsellors and advisers and formally ascended the throne in the year A.H. 960 (A.D. 1552)

It was Ghazi Khan who first established a kingship for the tribe of Chaks. Two hundred and eight years after Sultan Shamsu’d-Din, the kingdom of Kashmir passed from the hands of his descendants into those of the descendants of Lankar Chak.

Husain Shah

Ghazi Khan reigned for a period of nine years. After he was inflicted with leprosy which made him blind, he abdicated in favour of his blood brother Husain Shah. But some of the courtiers and nobles made him to repent over his decision of abdicating the throne so much so that he thought of taking back the reins of power from him.[l3] This resulted in a quarrel between the two; Husain Shah aligned some of the nobles with himself and took by force the reins of the state. Ghazi Chak was deposed and interned in his house.

At the beginning of his reign Husain Shah adopted a just and benevolent policy towards his subjects so much so that aliens and natives of this land considered him Nowsherwan the Just[14] in comparison to the tyrant Ghazi Khan. On finding him a benign and just ruler, some of the poets [of the time] produced a chronogram of his accession to the throne as Khusraw-i-’Adil (the Just King).

Fath Khwaja’s revolt

Some time later, those of the miscreants who had been responsible for creating enmity and discord between Ghazi Shah and Malik Daulat and had escaped reprisals at the hands of the former, joined hands to work towards the decline and fall of Husain Shah. However, Husain Shah came to know their nefarious designs and reprimanded some of them. He ordered that the eyes of Allamad Khan, son of of Ghazi Shah. and Muhammad Khan, son of Abdal Magray, be gouged out. A short while after, owing to the provocations of some wicked persons whose habit was to foment trouble, Fath Khwaja,[15] a protege of Husain Shah and titled Khan Zaman, was made to fear Husain Shah. Hence out of fear to his life he aligned with himself some Kashmiri chiefs, like Fath Malik, sons of Zaiti Malik, Shams Duni.[16] Haidar Khan, son of Ibrahim Khan, and others, and waited for a suitable opportunity to kill some of his opponents. [17] It came his way on a day when Husain Shah had gone on shikar[l8] and Khan Zaman and his opponents were in the secretariat.[19] Khan Zaman took time by the forelock and made a sudden attack on them. The followers of Husain Shah found themselves trapped in the royal house. Fath Chak and Bahadur Khan opened several passages and entered the mansion of Husain Shah. But it did not please God Almighty to crown them with success and both were slain on the spot. Khan Zaman and Shams Duni suffered reverses and fled, but their pursuers captured and brought them back. Husain Shah ordered amputation of their limbs. Now Mubarez Khan assumed authority, though, not much later, his religious bigotry made him to invent excuses to get rid of Husain Shah.[20] The Sultan came to know of his foul intentions, and therefore, got him arrested and his hands and feet were cut off. Lohar Malik also met with a similar fate, and Nusrat Chak, who had already been under arrest, was deprived of his eyesight by a royal command on the same day. This group which had acted treacherously with Ghazi Khan in arresting and blinding Malik Daulat Chak, met with the same fate which they had meted out to others. So did it please God Almighty and thus was proved the axiom “as you sow, so shall you reap.”

After some time, Looli Malik was dismissed as chief Vizir and divested of his authority. He was succeeded by Ali Koka. On account of his sectarian bigotry,[21] he was not disposed favourably towards the beneficiaries of the Shia’faith (muhibban) and the aliens.[22]

Yuuf Inder’s episode

During his times there lived a person popularly known as Yusuf Inder’[23] who once happened to meet Qadi Habib on a roadside. The Qadi was notorious for his malice towards the members of the house of the Prophet: he hurled abuses on the adherents of Rafidi faith and spat at Yusuf Mir Inder, who retaliated by meting out the same treatment to him, though somewhat recklessly. The Qadi lashed him with his whip on his head. Since Yusuf Mir Inder happened to be a soldier by profession, his (soldier’s) pride was touched and, drawing his sword, he inflicted one or two wounds upon the Qadi. Wounded and bleeding, the Qadi fell down from his horse and Yusuf Mir Inder ran away. ‘Ali Koka, the bigot that he was, sent many people in search of him so that he was caught and brought back. ‘Ali Koka and Dati,[24] thereupon, conspired to obtain permission from Husain Shah to the effect that the judgement of the Qadis and the dispensers of Muhammadan religious law be enforced in regard to this matter. They got this when Husain Shah was under the effect of drink and narcotics.[25] ‘Ali Koka and Dati Koka plotted to call in Qadi Musa, Mulla Petcheh [sic] Ganai and Mulla Yusuf Almas and elicit from them a unanimous decree condemning Inder to death. Extreme brutality which resulted from this bigotted action was reflected in his execution.[26] The flesh of his body was cut into pieces which people carried as a gift for their womenfolk, and many people drank his blood as sherbet.

This execution engineered by ‘Ali Koka and Dati Koka with the connivance of the Qadis and jurisconsults brought to surface the hidden calamity. The blood of a large number of Muslims was spilt and many people on either side lost their lives.[27] Husain Shah was unaware of these harpenings.

Shortly after the execution of that poor man (Yusuf Inder), a group of Sunni divines sought a meeting with Qadi Zen and Mulla Reza, son of Mulla Salman Mufti, in which they offered to enter into a debate with the party of the mullas who claimed to have issued the decree of Yusuf Mir Inder’s execution in conformity with the provisions of Islamic religion. They argued that no religion justified his execution and that in issuing a decree sentencing him to death the Qadis and the theologians had only been prompted by malice and bigotry. The sentence, they claimed, was unwarranted and uncalled-for.

Qadi Zen and Mulla Reza then undertcok the mission of calling at the private lodgings of the nobles, courtiers, and distinguished persons of Husain Shah’s court one by one and placed before them the case of Mir Inder. These people brought the matter also to the notice of Husain Shah.

Akbar’s envoy to Kashmir

While the issue continued to be a subject of hot discussion, Mirzaa Muqim arrived in these lands as the envoy of Jalalu’d-Din Akbar Badshah. Husain Shah had a son, Ibrahim Khan by name, who had unparalleled physical beauty and charm; he had also attained excellence in the skills of archery, horsemanship and soldiery. He died because of some incurable disease.[28] Husain Shah was told that he had to pay the heavy price of his son’s life for the bloodshed of innocent Yusuf Mir. In fact, Husain Shah repented over Yusuf’s killing and directed that the issue which was being debated by the mullas, be left to the judgement of Mirza Muqim, the messenger and envoy of Jalalu’d-Din Akbar Badshah. He would preside over the meeting of the mullas in which they would debate the issue. Among the persons present were Mulla Petcheh Ganai and Mulla Almas, the two mullas who were signatories to the decree of Yusuf Mir’s execution. The rest of the Qadi’s hid themselves. Qadi Zen and Mulla Reza put questions to Petcheh Ganai and Mulla Yusuf Almas in the presence of Mirza Muqim and a large number of learned and scholarly men, dignitaries, theologians and the elite of the city. They asked them the authority book and religionÑon the basis of which they had issued a verdict of Yusuf Mir’s execution. Their argument was that he had not inflicted more than two or three wounds by his sword upon Qadi Habib and although he did not die of those wounds and would not have died, they had issued the decree of his execution. They were told that if they had issued the said verdict in accordance with the postulates of the Hanafi sect, the books of the sect were available there, and if they had done it in accordance with the postulates of Shafi’i faith, their books, too, were at hand. It was now for them to cite the relevent authority and the source that justified the death penalty on the innocent victim. They were further told that in the Islamic community and in the religion of the Prophet and among the jurisconsults ( mujtahids ) throughout the length and breadth of the Islamic world restribution for each wound inflicted and injury caused had been set forth in the books of each padagogue and also on the handbook of each theologian. They were asked to explain as to under the sanction of which sect did they put that defenceless man into the hands of his executioners.

Both of them found themselves unable to furnish any reply, but pointed out that they had only carried out the orders of Husain Shah. They stated that ‘Ali Koka had openly told them of Hasain Shah’s intention of putting an end to Yusuf Mir Inder’s life for political reasons and had insisted upon them to issue a decree to the effect. In this way, they contended, it was the King who got him executed for political reasons and they were not to be held responsible for the act.

But Husain Shah made a solemn declaration that he, for one, had absolutely no intention of putting Yusuf to death and that he had left the case to the judgement and dispensation of the Qadis and the learned men of religion so that nobody would make an attempt to kill him.


When this statement of Husain Shah was announced in the assembly, both the mullas were struck dumb and had nothing to say. The ‘ulema of sunnat and Jama’at present in the assembly unanimously agreed to issue a decree in conformity with the creed of Imam Shafi’i.

It is said that the ruler of this domain, the sitting Qadi and the executed person, all professed the creed of Imam Shafi’i. The mullas of sunnat and the jama’at were shown the letters with royal signets and they declared the decree as sound. The decree pronounced that both the mullas on account of having issued false judgement and unjustifiable order [of execution] regarding the shedding of an innocent person’s blood, should suffer retribution endorsing the aforesaid decree Qadi Abdu’l-Ghaffur of Hanafi faith and Qadi Zenu’d-Din of Shafi’i faith announced the verdict of retribution.[29] On the basis of this verdict of the Qadis and the learned men of theology, Husain Shah permitted the handing over of the two Mullas to the next of kin of the late Yusuf Mir, who completed the retribution. The rest of the mullas emigrated to parts of India and Lahore. Some of them however succeeded in resuming their original offices, but only after the intercession for and advocacy of some of the nobles, governors and their former patrons, ‘Ali Koka, and Dati Koka, the main accomplices in the conspiracy not still satisfied with enormous bloodshed caused by them, kept lying low and waited for a suitable opportunity when they could forment trouble once again.

Envoy returns

After some time, Husain Shah attended to the arrangements concerning the gifts to be sent to Jalalu’d-Dln Akbar Badshah. He then permitted Mirza Muqim to return along with Ya’qub Mir as his (Husain Shah’s) envoy.[30] .’Ali Koka and Dati Koka, seizing the opportunity, sought the permission of Husain Shah to send Khwaja Hajjl Gani, a prominent and trusted man of theirs, with the party of Mirza Muqim and Ya’qub Mir under the pretext that he would look to the needs of the party on its way and also give them presents at Lahore. But close at their heels, they sent a party of wicked persons of this country, with despatches and gifts to (Mulla) ‘Abdulla, Shaykh ‘Abdu’n-Nabi, and a number of Qadis and Mulla’s – all ot whom were rabid bigots. They also entreated and implored them to give false witness and to leave no stone unturned in getting rid of them[31] (Mirza Muqim and Ya’qub Mir).

Muqim’s fate

Mulla ‘Abdullah headed a delegation of mullas to Agra the purpose being the one already mentioned. He sought a meeting with Jalalu’d-Din Akbar and having briefed the false witnesses, got Mirza Muqim and Mirza Ya’qub executed. The flames of disturbance and turmoil [following this event] leapt so high that Mir Sayyid Sibi [sic], in spite of being a true descendant of the line of Husaini Sayyids, was engulfed in it and martyred. [32]

Mullas punished

At last when, because of his mature understanding, Jalalu’d-Din Badshah could see through the subversive activities of Mulla ‘Abdullah and the disruptive role of the other mullas, he ordered their expulsion from the kingdom of India. Some of them were ordered to be beheaded. Mulla ‘Abdullah was banished to Gujerat and all the troublemongers and miscreants were exiled. In this way the Indian lands and Gujerat were totally freed from the malevolence of the miscreants and malefactors. The country was restored to prosperity and plenty through the dispensation of justice and by initiating works of public welfare. People and communities of different faiths and professions; of difflerent religions; worshippers of idols and followers of Islamic faith and its teachings; people of all ranks, high and low, lived cordially and even extended cooperation and support to one another. No one would become a cause of hindrance to the other nor would anyone have the courage and audacity to object to or assail the religion and faith of others.[33]

‘Ali Shah revolts

‘Ali Koka and Dati did not rest satisfied with (this) trouble and disturbances they had caused. After some time, H.usain Shah suffered a stroke of paralysis. Through craftiness and cunning, ‘Ali and Dati Koka made Husain Shah agree to detain and put in chains his brother ‘Ali Shah, his virtuous son Yusuf and also his close and intimate associate, the warrior Sayyid Mubarak Khan. They planned to install one of the children of Husain Shah on the throne so that they would share between themselves the Government and authority of the domain of Kashmir with the consent of Naji Malik.

Some courtiers of Husain Shah informed ‘Ali Shah about this; fearing their cunning, he moved between Maraj and Kamaraj under the pretext of shikar and sight-seeing. A few days later, on the advice and promptings of Miran Sayyid Mubarak Khan, he left the city under the pretext of shikar and encamped in the town of Sopor. As a matter of political expediency, however, Miran Sayyid Mubarak himself negotiated an accord with Ali’ Khan, Ibeh Shah and Luli Malik Lavand. Then he sent Muhammad Bhat to take them out [of the city]. Taking leave of Husain Shah, he himself headed towards Sopor. But ‘Ali Koka got wind of it and deputed a couple of his trusted men to seek ‘Ali Khan and bring him to his lodging where he wanted to imprison him. ‘Ali Khan left his house and showed great courage in heading towards Sopor. ‘Ali Koka’s men brought back the news to him of ‘Ali Khan’s move towards Sopor upon which he sent a large number of troops in his pursuit. ‘Ali Khan and his companions were overtaken, but his brother Daulat Chak, with a handful of his people, offered resistance and by sheer toughness of spirit succeeded in repulsing them. In this encounter a fair number of people on either side including Daulat Chak sustained wounds. ‘Ali Khan succeeded in reaching Sopor along with his men. On the same day, Ibeh Shah ran away from shikar and came to ‘Ali Shah. After a few days, Abdal Khan, who was in the mountains of Poonch, learnt of these developments and wasted no time in joining ‘Ali Shah. Luli Malik also escaped from the city along with his sons and associates via the Shihabu’d-Din Pora route and established contact with ‘Ali Shah. When ‘Ali Shah’s troops increased in number, he left Sopor and marched to the city. That day he halted at the village of Fath Yari.

On the other side, after holding consultations among themselves. ‘Ali Koka, Dati and Nali Malik agreed to make a night assault on ‘Ali Shah, hoping that taking him by surprise would yield the desired result. The aforesaid Dati Koka lost no time in conveying the news of this strategy to ‘Ali Shah at the village of Fath Yari. He summoned Daud Bhat Paloo [sic], an employee of Mirza Sayyid Mubarak Khan, and told him about it:

[ verses ]

Along with his troops, Daud Bhat waited for the enemy at Hanjivereh. The enemy made a night-assault on the army of Ali Shah and he forthwith sent this information to ‘Ali Shah [who was in the rear] and engaged himself in a fierce battle with his opponents. Many warriors were wounded on either side. Husain Shah’s troops could make no headway; they succeeded only in killing a few of Sayyid Mubarak Khan’s soldiers with their arrows and then announced a retreat to rejoin their army:

[ verses ]

Early in the morning ‘Ali Shah made Sayyid Mubarak Khan the commander of his troops and turned towards the city, halting at the village of Zenakot.

‘Ali Koka subdued

On the other side, Naji Malik, ‘Ali koka and some prominent people of this land made an assessment of the fighting that had taken place recently, and came to the conclusion that if the whole lot of their choicest soldiers could not cope just with Da’ud Bhat, how could they expect them to be able to fight and subdue the veteran commanders and stalwarts of ‘Ali Shah’s army. Thinking over this situation, they conceded that none but ‘Ali Shah deserved to be the rightful successor to the throne. After careful consideration and taking a practical view of the situation, they sent the royal crown and the fly-whisker (qutas) to ‘Ali Shah through Baba Khalilu’llah the “exponent of divine light and the fountain of divine secrets.” Apprehending possible disruption in the army, and also oppressed by their own doubts, the sons of Naji Malik and Daulat Khan and some of the army commanders of this land defected to Sayyid Mubarak Khan and sought refuge in his house.

‘Ali Shah

In A.H. 978 (A.D. 1570), Husain Shah was deposed[34] and ‘Ali Shah succeeded him to the throne. He had already won over Sayyid Mubarak Khan to his side during the times of Ghazi Shah and, through promises and an understanding with him, he worked towards the strengthening and consolidation of his position as ruler. To fulfil his promises and also with a view to consolidating his position soon after succeeding to the throne, he left the entire administrative authority of the state in the hands of the aforesaid Sayyid and, besides, gave his daughter in marriage to his son Shah Abu’l-Mu’ali. Thus ‘Ali Shah stood steadfast by his commitments and promises.

As already mentioned the sons of Naji Malik and Daulat Khan and others had sought refuge in the house of Miran Sayyid Mubarak Khan. Although ‘Ali Shah nursed sinister malice against them, yet in deference to the wishes of Miran Sayyid Mubarak Khan, he desisted from causing any embarrassment to the Sayyid. On the contrary, he extended his favours to him. In order to substantiate this, the writer feels prompted to recount a few stories to show in what high esteem ‘Ali Shah held the Sayyid.

In the beginning of his ( ‘Ali Shah’s ) reign, all the kith and kin of Husain Shah conspired with the counsellors and advisers of ‘Ali ‘Shah to gouge out the eyes of Husain Shah and imprison him. The aforesaid Sayyid Mubarak Khan came to know of their intentions. He implored ‘Ali Shah to be kind to Husain Shah and to abandon that idea. He conceded that during Husain Shah’s rule over the lands of Kashmir, there had been a decline in its prosperity and although even with much strenuous effort it would not be possible to restore it to its prosperity, yet he should take pity on him.

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‘Ali Shah acts discreetly

This considered and welcome opinion was liked by ‘Ali Shah, with the result that he refrained from gouging out his eyes and putting him in prison. Not only that, he even began to show compassion for Husain Shah, a gesture which gave him a new lease of life. He was allowed to retain such of his treasures as were already in his possession and also the staff he had in his employ, and was permitted to take up his dwelling at Zenapore.

[ verses ]

After a lapse of a year and some days, Husain Shah died in the aforesaid village.

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The cruel spheres do not let honest souls enjoy even a moment of rest in this desolate abode. This example of ‘Ai Shah’s magnanimity and the administrative prudence of Sayyid Mubarak Khan shall be remembered in this country down to the day of judgement.

Here is another anecdote in this context. Two years after the occurrence of the event mentioned above, ‘Ali Khan, the son of Nawroz Chak, made pledges and promises to the nobles of his clan to stage opposition to ‘Ali Shah and wrest for themselves the governorship and revenue authority of this country. But the government authorities came to know of their intention, which they conveyed to ‘Ali Shah. They told him that “thousands of eyes of the opponents continued to be wide awake day and night in support of ‘Ali Khan.” The matter was thus put before him in an exaggerated manner because they wanted ‘Ali Shah to issue an order of ‘Ali Khan’s execution. The above-named Sayyid came to know of it. Through soft and subtle methods, he at once undertook to dissuade the Sultan from issuing such an order. ‘Ali Khan was relieved of his ministry and sent back to his native place in Kamaraj.

But ‘Ali Khan was not a person to rest contented. Ungratefully forgetting ‘Ali Shah’s kindness and Sayyid Mubarak Khan’s intercession in his behalf, he escaped to Lahore in search of help from Hasan Quli Khan. The miscreants in ‘Ali Shah’s kingdom seized this opportunity of throwing their lot with the rebel ‘Ali Khan. The story of the rebels was related to ‘Ali Shah in the presence of Sayyid Mubarak Khan; and news came in the meanwhile from the city of Lahore that ‘Ali Khan had not been able to get along with Hasan Quli Khan[35] on account of the latter’s arrogance and, consequently, had left his services. He was reported to have fled to Muhammad Kot mountains. Thereupon Ali Shah’s troops marched on to Muhammad kot, besieged him and brought him as a captive before ‘Ali Shah

[ verses ]

For some time he remained interned in the house of the landlord of Chatr (gatr?). A year and some months later, the above-mentioned Sayyid pleaded on his behalf with ‘Ali Shah and succeeded in making him to forget his spite against ‘Ali Khan. He got him released from prison-chains and a hundred dinars[36] of pure gold were gifted away to him.

[ verses ]

Thus did the above-mentioned Sayyid graciously answer the prayer of the supplicants as long as he had the power and authority of the government in his hands.

Yet another story runs like this. Ibeh Shah, the son of Ghazi Shah, often aspired to gain power and authority of this country. He would, therefore, criticise and find fault with Yusuf Shah. When Yusuf Shah came to know of this, he walked straight into his chamber, held him by his shirt collar, and had him killed by the stroke of a sword of his attendant. Then he set out for Sopor followed by most of the nobles of this land. This marked the signs of disintegration in ‘Ali Shah’s rule.

Abdal Khan told Sayyid Mubarak Khan that he had assured Ibeh Shah by swearing in the name of God that he would plead his case before ‘Ali Shah, and see that he remained unhurt. Ibeh Shah had trusted him to the time of his murder, but as things were, his life was put to an end.

[ verses ]

Abdal Khan overemphasized the incident and ‘Ali Shah provided him with troops to exterminate the unruly elements. ‘Ali Shah warned him not to break his promise, as otherwise he would come to harm.

The above-mentioned Mubarak Khan, without paying much heed to ‘Ali Shah, told Abdal Khan that “by faithful adherence to your pledges and by your life-giving breath, you cannot revive [ Ibeh Shah ] to life. Hence, whatever good you had intended for him, better offer that to his heirs.” In the course of these happenings, the above-mentioned Sayyid wrote an admonishing letter to Yusuf Shah on receipt of which he abandoned his intention of fighting his adversaries and returned to the city. This sort of explosive situation could certainly not have been brought under control by an indiscriminate use of brute force and bloodshed by the recalcitrant warriors of this land. It was a single stroke of an auspicious pen that averted an impending calamity of great magnitude and put ‘Ali Shah in grateful obligation to Sayyid Mubarak Khan.

[ verses ]

There is one more story of ‘Ali Shah’s magnanimity and Sayyid Mubarak Khan’s intercession with him. Chroniclers and historians have mentioned that during the reign of ‘Ali Shah, Shams Dooni and Muhammad Maraj, two of the nobles of this land, entered into collusion with some chieftains of Kashmir, with the intention of fomenting trouble and discord in ‘Ali Shah’s kingdom. Their activities were regularly reported by authorities to the staff officers at the royal court. When ‘Ali Shah was apprised of this, he forthwith despatched a select armed contingent to apprehend the miscreants and insurgents. But the latter received advance information of this and sought refuge in the house of Sayyid Mubarak Khan. This was also brought to the notice of ‘Ali Shah. In order to show due regard to the Sayyid, which would result in the strengthening and consilidation of his rule, ‘Ali Shah condescended to pardon their misdeeds. However, Yusuf Shah, after ascending the throne, did not agree to Sayyid Mubarak’s such intercessions and his support [to the people] in the manner in which ‘Ali Shah did. The result was that it led to such a chaos and confusion as could not be set right to this day. God willing, the details of these events will be recorded at their proper place.

Mir Badla

The above-mentioned Sayyid was a follower of Mir Badla Rizvi, a person of spiritual and temporal eminence, who died in the early hours of Friday at the time for offering namaz. It was under the influence of his association and teachings that Sayyid Mubarak regularly attended the congregational prayers and visited the graves and tombs of saints and dervishes whose lone attachment is with God. Further notice of him shall be recorded in this book.

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‘Ali Shah’s character

‘Ali Shah abolished all brutal punishments like gouging out of eyes, wanton killings, and amputation of limbs of human beings, which had been in vogue during the days of earlier Sultans. Instead, he provided even-handed justice to his subjects and was compassionate towards them. He lost no opportunity in being equitable and kind to them. He extended his patronage to all sections and groups of nobles and officials, in order to help them regain their previous positions. His reign lasted nine years.[37] In his public dealings he strictly adhered to godliness; performed duties and obligations; refrained from what was forbidden and vile; observed the mandates of the Prophet of Islam by conforming to what was allowed and disallowed in his religion.[38]

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His death

During his reign, ‘Ali Shah regularly played the game of polo (chowgan) on the Idgah maidan on mornings and late afternoons. It so happened that Baba Khalilu’llah, who had the power of knowing the unknown, insistently solicited ‘Ali Shah to stop participating in future in the game of polo. But as God willed it, in the year A.H. 986 (A.D. 1578), the angel of death suddenly brought him the message there on the very polo-ground where his nobles and his whole retinue were attending upon him. In order to hit the ball, the king bent his body which pressed his belly against the pommel and ripped open his intestines. His heart began to sink and he forthwith retired to his palace where he reached in the early hours of the morning, and then died.

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Abdal vs Yusuf Shah

When Abdal Khan learnt of the death of his brother ‘Ali Shah, he galvanized his troops into action to capture kingship and government of this country. In order to achieve this objective, he decided to fight Yusuf Khan with full might and main in the locality of Nowhatta. When Yusuf Khan came to know of these developments, he held consultations with the commanders and counsellors of his late father[39] to drive out this menace. But nobody could provide a remedy for this and the two adversaries, like pawns being manouvered on a chess-board, found themselves locked in a stalemate. This situation was reported to Sayyid Mubarak Khan. He activised a group of soldiers and his sons and proceeded towards the palace of Ali Shah. Simultaneously he deliberated with Yusuf Khan over the possibility of reconciliation with Abdal Khan and, outlining the conditions of an accord, he sent word to Abdal Khan through Baba Khalilu’llah, one of the Kashmiri Shaykhs.[40] Abdal Khan had not forgotten that, in spite of his intervention, Ibeh Shah had been tragically murdered by Yusuf Khan and, therefore, he did not trust his word and deed. Consequently, he considered Baba Khalilu’llah’s entreaties and admonitions no more than an exercise in futility. The result was that their mutual jealousy and acrimony deepened and they appeared to be on the verge of fighting each other. In short, Baba Khalilu’llah failed in his mission of preventing the impending disorder. But once again at the behest of Yusuf Khan, Sayyid Mubarak Khan proceeded to meet Abdal Khan in person along with Baba Khalilu’llah and Muhammand Bhat. He brought home to him the facts that “the royal robes fitted well on the body of no man other than Yusuf Shah for he was the heir to ‘Ali Shah in letter and spirit and that ‘Ali Shah had always shown his singular favour and affection for him.” The Sayyid told him that Yusuf’s authority had an edge over his (Abdal’s) command; he also told him to desist from taking any precipitate action, and take the counsel of well-meaning friends as something highly helpful in the situation in which he was placed . He emphasised to him the need for reestablishing cooperation and goodwill with Yusuf Shah and of ceasing hostilities. The Sayyid invited his whole-hearted attention to these counsels and warned him that if he did not pay heed to his advice, he would have to face dire consequences.

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Sayyid Mubarak’s role

Abdal Khan was in no mood to heed the advice of the abovementioned Sayyid, and then followed what was inevitable. Abdal did not act with wisdom and far-sightedness. and Sayyid Mubarak Khan returned to Yusuf Shah.[41] Having noticed Abdal Khan’s intransigence and obstinacy, some prominent persons of the land spoke of him critically, and wanted to induce Sayyid Mubarak Khan to an open confrontation with him. They insisted that he should take quick action. But wise people gifted with far-sightedness, clear and piercing intelligence, first try for peace, which is a good beginning. As long as issues can be settled amicably through negotiations and peaceful means, they desist from the use of brute force and do not take recourse to active fighting.

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The decisive battle

Sayyid Mubarak Khan was infuriated by Abdal’s attitude to Abdal Khan to adopt the path of peace and friendship, but again he turned it down which added to his animosity [towards him].

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Sayyid Mubarak Khan was infuriated by Abdal’s attitude. He forthwith undertook to see that Yusuf Shah assumed the royal robes. He put the crown on his head after the manner of powerful kings: drew the fly-whisker (qutas) on his head, and unfolded the royal parasol over his head. At the same time, he made a firm resolve to fight Abdal Khan and, in vindication of this pledge, he recruited a brigade of local warriors, and placed them under the command of Muhammad Khan, son of Husi Chak to serve as vanguard to Yusuf’s army. Himself, he commanded a contingent of crack soldiers, including his sons, and took the central position in the formation of troops. He marched towards Abdal Khan’s camp to the beat of war drums.

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After putting Yusuf Shah’s troops in their proper position, he put them behind his own for support and strength. But before Yusuf’s contingents could join him, Muhammad Khan, leading Yusuf’s force, came under enemy attack. Shams Chak, son of Daulat Chak, Mir Muhammad, son of ‘Idi Raina, Mir Hasan, son of Naji Malik, and the rest of their group launched a fierce attack on his (Muhammad Khan’s) troops and mauled them, after which they turned towards the Sayyid’s troops.

Abdal defeated

The first to make a gallant counter-attack on them were Sayyid Jalal Khan and Sayyid Abul-Mu’ali, the two sons of the aforesaid Sayyid Mubarak Khan. In the fierce battle that followed both sides exhibited feats of extraordinary valour. Nusrat Chak, son of Shams Chak, was slain by Jalal Khan on the battlefield.

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Shah Abu’l-Mu’ali made a swift attack on Shams Chak, who, after sustaining wounds on his hands rejoined his troops. Mulla Muhammad Amin found the date of this event in the chronogram awwalan Shah bar sar-i saf zad.[42]

Abdal Khan saw the signs of disruption and disorder in his army, but continued to offer tough resistance
to Sayyid Mubarak. In the course of fighting he received a wound from an arrow shot at him by Abu’l-Mu’ali. Then he came in confrontation with Sayyid Husain Khan who lost no time in wielding his sword and killing him.

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On finding his father slain, Habib Khan left the battlefield, but Sayyid Jalalu’d-Din riding a swift horse, gave him a hot pursuit in the hope of inflicting a wound on him. The fleeing Habib Khan turned round and shot an arrow at him, which, after piercing his coat of mail went deep into his heart. He died instantaneously on his horse.

The clan of the Baihaqi Sayyids displayed such remarkable feats of heroism in this battle that the war
veterans of this land eulogised them and their ancestors in very eloquent words.

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Yusuf Shah had not, so far, arrived on the scene. Beating the drums or victory, the victorious Sayyid Mubarak Khan marched off the field and joined him half way. They heartily exchanged felicitations on their success and thanked God for upholding unity among friends.

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Abdal’s dead body

The Sayyid then proceeded to his private quarters and Yusuf Shah to the battlefield, where he saw the dead body of Abdal Khan lying in a pool of blood. Nobody was permitted to give it a burial. Yusuf Shah then retired to his palace .

At this time Qadi Musa dispensed justice in the country in accordance with the Islamic law. Without seeking the permission of Yusuf Shah, but working with the sole purpose of pleasing God, he courageously went to the battlefield and removed the dead body of Abdal Khan from dust and blood to the graveyard of his ancestors. Since it happened to be a day of sporadic fighting and skirmishes, he did not get time to carry out the task of burying the dead. Early next morning, Sayyid Mubarak Khan got the dead body of his son, who had been slain on the previous day, buried with full rites in the burial ground of his ancestors. Then he rejoined Yusuf Shah for deliberations over state affairs. Yusuf Shah, too, carried the dead body of his father, the late ‘Ali Shah, to his ancestoral burial ground.


1. Hasan does not confirm that he did not become blind. See THK. p. 274.

2. According to Hasan he was a Sayyid from Kashghar and an adopted son of Humayun. See THK. p. 274.

3. Hasan’s version is that it was through cunning that he succeeded in bringing him to the town of Pattan along with his troops. See THK. p. 275.

4. Ghazi Khan’s daughter was given in marriage to Ibrahim’s nephew. Ibid.

5. About three kilometers from Pattan on road to Srinagar.

6. Malik Haidar computes the number of the slain at four thousand TMH MS. f. 57b.

7. Hasan says that Shams Raina was captured because he had helped the Mughals in leaving Kashmir. See THK p. 276.

8. Qara Bahadur had five to six thousand troops with him and about two to three thousand Kashmiri soldiers also joined him. TMH. MS f 59b.

9. In the outskirts of Lahore. THK. p. 278.

10. Ghazi Khan stationed his troops at Lohar Kot. TMH. MS. f. 59b.

11. Ghazi Khan had promised to pay the Doombs one gold coin as a prize for each severed Mughal head. The Doombs performed the duties of sentries or border scouts. In fact it was they who put the Mughals to rout and Kashmiri regular troops were not deployed. See TMH MS. f. 60a. They brought seven thousand severed heads of Mughal soldiers to Ghazi Khan. See TNK. MS. f. 64.

12. The story of Habib Khan’s deposition is described by Malik Haidar like this. Once he behaved in his court in such a manner that the nobles present at that occasion were put to great embarrassment. ‘Ali Khan, the younger brother of Ghazi Khan, took it as an offence and declared that Habib Khan was misfit as a Sultan. He lifted the crown from his head and put it on the head of Ghazi Khan and made him sit on the throne. See TMH MS. f. 58b.

13. Malik Haidar makes no mention of Ghazi Khan’s attempting to change his previous decision.

14. Nowsherwan-i ‘Adil, the famous Sasanian king of Iran, who reigned in the 6/7 century. But Hasan writes that in his zeal for propagating Shia’ faith and custom, he oppressed the Sunnis and the Hindus. Although he showed regard to the ‘ulema of Hanafi school in their service to religion, it is also a fact that he engineered the killing of a number of men of Sunni faith. See THK. p. 283.

15. Malik Haidar says that he was a grocer but received favours from Husain Khan and was given the title Khan Zaman by him. He aligned some of the commanders with himself and tried to stage a revolt. See TMH. MS. f. 61b. It appears that soon after Husain Shah’s accession to the throne, there started a rivalry for power between his Chief Vizir Malik Muhammad Naji and Fath Khwaja (Khan Zaman). This Khan Zaman and Bahadur Khan were the associates of the ‘lord of the border’ (marzban). See THK. p. 281. Marzban (Marz=border+ban=keeper, appears to be the Persian equivalent of Sanskrit dvarnayaka or dvarpati (Lord of the Gate). Regarding his title and functions, see Rajat. v, 214 et seq.

16. Shams Dubi in THK. p. 281.

17. The author does not mention the name of Muhammad Naji as an opponent of Khan Zaman.

18. At a place called Wothnar. See THK. p. 281

19. Daru’l-Amareh.

20. The inference is that Mabarez Khan did not subscribe to Shia’ faith.

21. He professed Sunni faith. See THK p. 282.

22. The two words in the text are muhibban and mawaliyan. Perhaps the allusion is to the followers of the Imams and of ‘Ali.

23. Yusuf Muno in Waga’at-i-Kashmir. p. 91. Hasan writes that this Yusuf Inder was in the entourage of Mirza Muqim, the Shia’. See THK. p. 283.

24. They were Shias. See THK. p. 284.

25. Hasan contradicts this and writes that the orders of the Sultan were obtained when he was holding the public court (Diwam-i-’amm) See THK. p. 284.

26. Hasan says that he was killed by a mob. Ibid.

27. It apparently seems to be a Sunni-Shia’ riot.

28. Probably small-pox. See THK. p. 284.

29. The descendants of Yusuf stated that as he was practising swordsmanship outside the mosque, he inadvertantly struck a blow which wounded the Qadi in his hand. Hasan further writes that on the particular day on which the two muftis were ordered to be beheaded, most of the people of the city [sic] had gone on an excursion to the Dal lake. The city had almost become empty and Husain Shah seized the opportunity of getting them executed. THK. p. 286. The executioner was Fath Khan Chak. See Ferishta, History. p . 364.

30. Hasan writes that after the martyrdom of those two elderly persons, Muqim Khan hastened his departure from Kashmir. By agreeing to comply with royal orders, Husain Chak ‘threw round his neck the collar of servility,’ and along with many excellent presents, sent his daughter through Muqim Khan for Akbar to marry. THK, p. 286.

31. From this and the preceding sentence it appears that Khwaja Hajji’s mission was to mould the opinion of some prominent men of religion, such as Mulla ‘Abdullah and Shaykh ‘Adbu’n-Nabi and others so that the matter could be brought to the notice of Akbar.

32. It may be inferred from these sentences that after the execution of Mir Muqim and Ya’qub Mir, Shia’-Sunni riot, erupted there.

33. Malik Haidar makes no mention of Yusuf Mir Inder’s episode and its aftermath and Hasan makes no mention of Akbar’s reprisals on mullas.

34. Both Malik Haidar and Hasan write that he spent his remaining days of life at Zenapore. TMH. MS. f. 62a and THK. p. 288.

35. Husain Quli Khan Turkman was the governor of Panjab. See THK. p. 291 n.

36. For dinar see Rajat. Vol. II. p. 308 et seq.

37. He ascended the throne in A.H. 978/A.D. 1570.

38. Hasan records that he used to present himself before Shaykh Makhdum Hamza (Sultanu’l-Arifin. d. A.D. 1566) and the saint Hardi Baba Rishi. Three couplets from an encomium called qaside lamiyyeh composed by the famous poet and saint Baba Da’uld-Khaki in praise of ‘Ali Shah have been included by Hasan in his history. See THK. pp. 288-89.

39. The dead body of Sultan ‘Ali Shah was temporarily buried in the compound of Jami’-Masjid. See THK. p. 294.

40. Sayyid Mub’arak Khan had tried to resolve the deadlock through the mediation of Muhammad Chak, Baba Khalil and some more nobles, but the effort yieded no result. See THK. p. 294.

41. Malik Haidar gives a different version of the struggle for power between Yusuf Khan and Abdal Khan. When the news of Yusuf Khan’s taking over the reins of the government reached his uncle Abdal Khan, everybody suggested to him that he (Abdal) should put up resistance. But he did not agree to do so and said that Yusuf Khan was like his child, and in his old age he did not have the physical strength to bear the strain of fighting. He said that he was prepared to accept him as the new ruler. He then sent a few persons to Yusuf Khan directing them to join the funeral procession of the late Sultan. He even prepared himself to join it. But his eldest son Habib Khan dissuaded him from doing so. It was then resolved that they should draft an agreement and then proceed to the house of Yusuf Khan. When the news of the contemplated agreement reached Yusuf Khan, he did make promises and commitments to them. But malicious people played mischief and Yusuf Khan deferred giving funeral to his dead father. On the same day, he initiated fighting with Abdal Khan. In the battle which was fought in the locality of Nowhatta, Abdal Khan was slain by Sayyid Mubarak. TMH. MS. ff. 64b-65a. For more details see Tabaqat-i-Akbari. p 629 and Tarikh-i-Firishta, Vol. II, p. 365.

42. A.H. 987/A.D. 1579.