Bahlul Lodi

Summary

Bahlūl Khān Lōdī (… – July 12, 1489) was a Pakistani leader. He was a Pashtun chieftain of the Lōdī tribe. Founder of the Lodi dynasty that ruled the Sultanate of Delhi after the abdication of the last pretender of the Sayyid dynasty. Bahlūl became Sultan on April 19, 1451 (855 AH).

Bahlūl”s grandfather, Malik Bahram Lōdī, was a Pashtun chieftain of the Lodi. He served under the governor of Multan, Malik Mardan Dawlat. Malik Bahram had five sons. The eldest, Malik Sulṭān Shāh Lōdī, served in turn under the Sayyid dynasty lord, Khiḍr Khān, and distinguished himself by killing in battle one of his lord”s chief enemies, Mallu Iqbāl Khān. He was rewarded with the title of Islām Khān and in 1419 was appointed governor of Sirhind. Bahlūl, son of Malik Kala, younger brother of Malik Sulṭān, married the daughter of his uncle Malik Sulṭān. In Islamic (and other) culture, marriage to a cousin is called a “preferential marriage” by anthropologists, since it does not disperse the family heritage.

As a young man, Bahlūl was involved in the horse trade and on one occasion sold his well-bred horses to Sultan Sayyid Muḥammad Shāh. As payment he was guaranteed a pargana (administrative unit, productive of income) and thus earned the title of amīr (Emir). After the death of Malik Sulṭān, he became governor of Sirhind and was then allowed to extend his rule to Lahore as well. Once, Sultan Muḥammad Shāh asked him for help when the Sultan of Malwa, Maḥmūd Shāh I invaded his territories. Bahlūl joined the sultanal army with 20,000 mounted soldiers. For his skills of cunning he was able to be considered victorious over the invading army and the Sultan Muḥammad Shāh gave him the honorary title of Khān-i Khānan (Lord of Lords) and accepted the occupation carried out by Bahlūl of large parts of the Punjab.

In 1443, Bahlūl attacked Delhi, but unsuccessfully. During the reign of the last member of the Sayyid dynasty, Sultan ʿĀlam Shāh, in 1447 a further attempt to conquer Delhi and the Sultanate was carried out by Bahlūl, but again unsuccessfully. Finally, however, when ʿĀlam Shāh retired to Bada”un in 1448, a minister of ʿĀlam Shāh, Ḥamīd Khān, invited him to occupy the throne of Delhi. After the voluntary abdication of ʿĀlam Shāh, Bahlūl Shāh ascended the throne on April 19, 1451, and took the title Bahlūl Shāh Ghāzī. ʿĀlam Shāh continued to live in Bada”un until his death in July 1478.

After his accession to the throne, Bahlūl decided to eliminate Ḥamīd Khān. His cousin and brother-in-law Malik Maḥmūd Khān, namely Quṭb al-Dīn Khān (governor of Samana) imprisoned Ḥamīd Khān.

In 1479, Sultan Bahlūl Lōdī defeated and annexed to his dominions those of the Sharqi dynasty that ruled the Sultanate of Jaunpur (Uttar Pradesh. Bahlūl was very committed to stopping rebellions and insurrections in his territories, and extended his control over Gwalior, Jaunpur and the northern part of Uttar Pradesh. Just like the previous Sultans of Delhi, he elected Delhi as his capital.

In 1486, he appointed his son Babrak Shāh Viceroy of Jaunpur. In time, the choice proved problematic, so much so that a second son of his, Niẓām Khān (Sikandar Lōdī) was appointed as successor, generating, however, fierce confrontation after Bahlūl”s death in July of.

The site of his burial is not certain.

Bahlūl married twice:

Sources

  1. Bahlul Lodi
  2. Bahlul Lodi