The son of the Mughal Emperor Muhammad Shah ruled for almost three decades and post his demise his son Ahmad Shah Bahadur succeded to the throne. Here we share everything about the Emperor who couldn’t control the gear of the Mughal Empire unlike his father.
Born on December 23, 1725 in Delhi, Ahmad Shah Bahadur was the son of Muhammad Shah and his third wife Qudisa Begum. He however was given to his first wife and also his cousin Padshah Begum to ensure he is brought up under her guidance. She loved him like her own son.
However, Prince Ahmad had a weakness for women even though it was restricted under his father’s control. It is believed that he was illiterate and throughout his youth never took part in any military training.
In addition, he was also supported by his biological mother who controlled the administration during the reign of her son who looked after the harem more than this empire.
The Reign and The Trouble
Post the death of Mughal Emperor Muhammad Shah, his son Prince Ahmad ascended the throne on 18 April 1748 at Red Fort in Delhi. He was given the title Abu Nasir Mujahid-ud-Din Ahmad Shah Ghazi.
He appointed Muin ul-Mulk, the son of Qamaruddin Khan, as the governor of Punjab, Feroze Jung III as Mir Bakshi, and Safdarjung, the Nawab of Oudh, as Grand Vizier. Now that he concentrated more on the harem, he gave the head eunuch, Javed Khan, the official title of Nawab Bahadur along with an army of 5000. Next, Javed Khan became an effective regent along with with the emperor’s mother, who was also given a force of 50,000.
Javed Khan’s rise to power was seen as an affront to the nobility and the aristocracy of the Mughal empire. Safdargunj the Grand Vizier opposed this favortisim of Javed Khan and Qudisa Begum. Javed Khan tried to assasinate Safdargunj but he survived the assasination.
The Internal Tensions
To counter the growing influence of Safdarjung, the emperor chose the son of late Intizam-ud-Daula, his 18-year-old son Feroze Jung III. He became the new regent and created trouble for the emperor himself, so much that the emperor feared Feroze Jung III.
In 1754, he blinded and imprisoned Emperor Ahmad Shah Bahadur. Three years later, he even invited Marathas to invade Delhi to drive out the Afghans and Rohillas from Delhi. He was later named the Wazir ul-Mamalik-i-Hindustan.
Mughal Emperor Ahmad Shah Bahadur had several wives,and 7 sons – Hamid Shah Bahadur, Bidar Bakht Mahmud Shah Bahadur (Jahan Shah IV), Tala Said Shah Bahadur, Muhammad, Jamiyat Shah Bahadur, Muhammad Dilawar Shah Bahadur, Mirza Rujbi and Mirza Mughlu. He also had two daughters – Muhtaram-un-Nissa Begum and Dil Afruz Banu Begum. His son Jahan Shah IV later became the 19th Mughal Emperor and ruled for hardly 3 months.
The Death of Mughal Emperor Ahmad Shah Bahadur
After Ahmad Shah Bahadur was disposed, he was imprisoned at the Salimgarh Fort. He stayed in the imprisonment for the rest of his life. He finally died during the reign of Mughal Emperor Shah Alam II in 1775 at the age of 50. He was buried in Delhi.