After defeating the tenth Mughal Emperor Jahandar Shah, his nephew Farrukhsiyar became the next Emperor. He too nearly had the same fate as that of his uncle. Here, let’s see the chapters of his life
Muhammad Farrukhsiyar, the second son of Azim-ush-Shan was born on 11 September 1683 (9th Ramzan 1094 AH) in the city of Aurangabad. He was the grandson of Mughal Emperor Bahadur Shah I and great grandson of Mughal Emperor Aurangzeb.
13 years later, Farrukhsiyar accompanied his father on his campaign to Bengal in 1696. His father, Azim-ush-Shan was then called back from Bengal in 1707. During this time, Farrukhsiyar who was 24 was ordered by Aurangzeb to take charge of the province.
This is the reason why Farrukhsiyar though born in Aurangabad spent most of his early years in the Bengal city of Dhaka (now the capital of Bangladesh). However, during the reign of Bahadur Shah I, he moved to Murshidabad.
He Fought Alongside His Father Against Jahandar Shah
After Azim-ush-Shan anticipated the death of his father Bahadur Shah I, he called Farrukhsiyar to help him in the war of succession. Farrukhsiyar was on his way (near present day Patna) when he heard about his grandfather’s death.
Soon, Farrukhsiyar proclaimed his father’s accession to the throne and even ordered khutba (public prayer) in his name. 15 days later he learned of his father’s defeat and death at the hands of his uncle Jahandar Shah. Disheartebed, the prince decided to suicide. His friends from Bengal somehow dissuaded from taking such a drastic step.
From a Saddened Son to the eleventh Mughal Emperor Farrukhsiyar
While, Jahandar Shah became the Mughal Emperor, Farrukhsiyar was determined to dethrone him. Next, he along with the Sayyid brothers Abdullah Khan and Husain Ali Khan was able to defeat Jahandar Shah in a battle. This is how he became Abu’l Muzaffar Muin ud-din Muhammad Shah Farrukh-siyar Alim Akbar Sani Wala Shan Padshah-i-bahr-u-bar or Mughal Emperor Farrukhsiyar.
The Reign of Mughal Emperor Farrukhsiyar
From Agra, Ajmer, Awadh, Allahabad, Bengal, Bihar, Delhi, Lahore, Kashmir, Kabul, Multan to Gujarat, present day Orissa, Malwa and Berar, Bidar, Bijapur, Burhanpur as well as present day Hyderabad and Karnataka, he ruled all the areas.
During his reign, he campaigned against several people and areas. Maharaja Ajit Singh of Ajmer not only surrendered but also gave his daughter as a bride to the Emperor. He also campaigned against the Jats. It was during Mughal Emperor Farrukhsiyar time that Banda Bahadur was executed after he and his men refused to convert to Islam.
His first wife was Fakhr-un-nissa Begum, the daughter of Mir Muhammad Taqi from the Persian province of Mazandaran. His second wife as mentioned above was Bai Indira Kanwar, the daughter of Maharaja Ajit Singh whom he married on 27 September 1715.
Mughal Emperor Farrukhsiyar’s third wife was Bai Bhup Devi, daughter of Bakhtiyar Khan (before conversion – Jaya Singh, the raja of Kishtwar). She was married to Farrukhsiyar after her father’s death and when her brother succeeded the throne in 1717.
Farrukhsiyar had no son, he only had one daughter Badshah Begum from his first wife Fakhr-un-nissa Begum. Badshah Begum was the wife of 14th Mughal Emperor Muhammad Shah who ruled for 28 years from 1719 to 1748.
The Death & Legacy
The Sayyid brothers who helped him to become the Mughal Emperor played against him when they sensed they would lose power and influence. Many of the nobles from Farrukhsiyar including Ajit Singh and Khan Durran joined the Sayyid brothers. Together they fought against Mughal Emperor Farrukhsiyar and disposed him on 28 February 1719.
Rafi ud-Darajat was made to sit on the throne. Farrukhsiyar was.imprisoned and jailed where he spent most of his time in reading the verses of Quran. 2 months later on 29 April 1719 he was strangled by unknown assailants. He was then buried in Humayun’s Tomb next to his father, Azim-ush-Shan.
It was during his reign, Seesh Mahal was built. The town of Farrukhnagar in present day Gurgaon district was named after him.
Source and Reference:
Medieval India: From Sultanat to the Mughal Empire by Satish Chandra
The Later Mughals by Irvine William