After defeating the eleventh Mughal Emperor Muhammad Farrukhsiyar, the second son of Azim-ush-Shan, the Syyed brothers made Rafi ud-Darajath the next emperor followed by his brother Rafi ud-Daulah. Here we share everything about the brothers who became the successive emperors.
Early Life of Mughal Emperor Rafi ud-Darajath and Rafi ud-Daulah
Born on 30 November 1699, Rafi ud-Darajath was only 19 when he was made the Emperor by the Syyed brothers in 1719 after dethroning his cousin Farrukhsiyar. Post his death, his brother Rafi ud-Daulah was made the emperor. Daulah was born in 1696.
They were the son of Rafi-ush-Shan (the third son of Mughal Emperor Bahadur Shah I) whom Farrukhsiyar killed when he killed his other uncle and Mughal Emperor Jahandar Shah. However, they had different mothers. While, Rafi ud-Darajath was the son of Raziyat-un-nissa Begum, Rafi ud-Dulah was the son of his other wife Nur-un-nissa Begum. He also had a younger brother Muhammad Ibrahim (born in 1703).
The Steps to Throne
With the support of, Ajit Singh, Khan Dauran and Mohammad Amin Khan, Syed Hussain fought with the Mughal Emperor Farrukhsiyar and deposed him after a night-long battle on 28 February 1719. The Sayyed brothers then placed Farrukhsiyar’s cousin 19 year old Rafi ud-Darajat on the throne.
The Reign and The Trouble
Now that the Syyed brothers played a key role in gaining the throne and Rafi-ul Darajat owed his throne to them, the brothers took full advantage of the situation. They therefore wanted the new Emperor to be a puppet ruler. They curtailed the power of the Emperor so that he wouldn’t have much independence.
When Furrukhsiyar, the previous member had tried to object their supremacy, he was deposed by them. So, there was little what Mughal emperor Rafi-ul Darajat could do.
The Conflict and Opposition
Less than three months of his reign, Rafi Ud-Darjat’s uncle Nekusiyar, assumed the Mughal throne at the Agra Fort as he was of the opinion that he was more eligible to be the ruler of the Mughal emperor than his 19 year old nephew.
Now that the Syed Brothers had raised Rafi Ul-Darjat to the throne, they became determined to defend him. They were successful in capturing Nekusiyar. He was then received by the Amir Ul-Umara and confined at Salimgarh where he died in 1723.
The Death of the Brothers
The reign of Mughal Emperor Rafi-ud-Darajat didn’t last long as he died either due to lung disease or he was murdered perhaps on 6 June 1719. However, before he died he requested the Sayyed brothers that they enthrone his brother only. They accepted the request.
Two days later his brother, Rafi ud-Daulah (Shah Jahan II), was enthroned. However, he too like his brother couldn’t rule for more than 3 months as he died on 19th September 1719. Post his death the Sayyed brothers thought of making his brother Muhammad Ibrahim the next emperor. However, because of his violent temper they made 17 year old Mahmud Shah the next Mughal Emperor. He ruled the then Indian subcontinent for a brief period of time.