Saturday, October 17, 2015

Afghan nobility under Mughal Emperor Aurangzeb

The Afghans had a chequered  history within  the Mughal nobility.They cannot properly be regarded as foreign immigrants because their homelands lay within the Mughal Empire. During the time of the Delhi Sultans,, some of the Afghans acquired prominence as nobles. With the establishment of the Lodi Empire, they came to constitute the governing class, and the lnflux or the Afghans from 'Roh' to Hindustan proper reached its height. When their Kingdom was overthrown by Babur, some of them made their peace with conqueror. The short-lived Sur Empire, followed by the Mughal restoration made the Afghan chiefs suspects in the eyes of the Mughals, and Akbar seems to have kept most of them at arm's length. Jahangir, however, began to encourage the Afghans, as evidenced particularly by the position accorded by him to Khan-i-jahan Lodi. Under Shahjahan, after Khan-i Jahan Lodi's rebellion, the Afghans apparently suffered a set-back and, we are told, that Shah-jahan placed no trust in the Afghans.

Aurangzeb as a prince Seems to have made an attempt to win over Afghans.  In a letter he expresses surprise that  his  proposal for promoting an Afghan officer was turned down by the Emperor simply because of his race.   Still more revealing is the fact that out of the 124 nobles of 1,000  zat and above, who supported Aurangzeb up to the battle of Samugarh, 23 were Afghans, while there was only one Afghan among 87 nobles of this status on the side of Dara Shikoh .

 According to Abul Fazl Mamuri, Aurangzeb in the early years of his reign exercised great care to see that Afghans did not get undue promotions. In our list of mansabdars of 1000 and above during 1658-78, we find 43 Afghan officers out of a total of 486. In the second period , 1679-1707, the Afghans numbered 34 out of a total of 575. But this decline is probably due to incompleteness of our lists for the lower ranking mansabdars. Thus, while there were only three Afghans holding the rank of 5,000 and above in 1658-78, there were no less than ten in the same category in the period 1679-1707. Aurangzeb's later years, therefore, showed a. considerable increase in the number of the Afghan nobility But it appears that this was mainly owing to the recruitment of a large number of Afghans formerly serving in the Bijapur Kingdom.

 Contemporary observers write of the Afghan nobility with an obvious feeling of aversion. The Afghans came from a tribal society and even when they were appointed Mughal officers, they still remained tribal leaders and employed men from their own tribes and clans. Manucci points out that they wore aristocratic dress only for the court. When they returned, they put away the dress for the simple costumes of their  race . Bhimsen has even graver objections to the Afghans.The Afghans were spread all over India and were everywhere a cause of turbulence and disorder. Their power increased after Aurangzeb's departure for the Deccan, and many of them, who were not admitted to the imperial service, raised private armies which put into the shade the contingents of many imperial officers . The growth in the number of Afghan nobles weakened the internal cohesion of the nobility, and in turn, reacted unfavourably on the fortunes of the Empire, particularly when the dominating personality of Aurangzeb was removed from the scene and still new weaknesses crept into the central government.

List of Afghan nobles in the service of Aurangzeb


Afghan Mansabdars who held or reached the rank of 1,000 zat and above , during the period, 1658 to 1678


1- Jalal Khan, title Diler Khan:    5000 zats, 5000 sawars. (Zats determined the status and standing position further, it was mark of his dignity , ability and respectability. Sawars, indicates the actual number of soldiers held by the officer under his command)

2- Ikhlas Khan, title Abul Muhammad:  5,000 zats, 4000 sawars

3-Ranmast Khan Panni, title Bahadur Khan: 5000 zats

4- Daud Khan Panni:   4000 zats

5- Qutbuddin Khan Kheshgi:  3500 zats, 3500 sawars

6- Fateh Rohela, title Fateh Jang Khan:  3500 zats, 3000 sawars

7- Hayat Tareen, title Shamsher Khan :   3000 zats, 2500 sawars

8- Hasan Khan Deccani : 3000 zats, 2500 sawars

9- Muzaffar Lodi, title Lodi Khan:  3000 zats,  2500 sawars

10- Bakhtiar Khan, title Khawas Khan: 3000 zats, 2500 sawars

11- Shamsuddin Kheshgi:  3000 zats, 2000 sawars

12- Ahmad Kheshgi, title Ikhlas Khan: 3000 zats, 1000 sawars

13- Bheel Afghan, title Purdil Khan: 
2500 zats, 2000 sawars

14- Beg Muhammad Kheshgi, title Dindar Khan:  2500 zats, 1200 sawars

15- Mubarak Khan Niazi:  2000 zats, 2000 sawars

16- Ismail Kheshgi, title Janbaz Khan: 2000 zats, 500 sawars

17- Kamal Lodi: 2000 zats, 600 sawars

18- Dilar Khan s/o of Bahadur Rohela: 1500 zats, 1000 sawars

19- Shehbaz Khan Afghan: 1500 zats, 1500 sawars

20- Hayat Afghan, title Zabardast Khan:  1500 zats, 1500 sawars

21- Kamil Khan: 1500 zats, 1500 sawars

22- Sikander Rohela: 1500 zats, 1200 sawars

23-  Mangli Khan: 1500 zats, 1000 sawars

24- Misri Afghan : 1500 zats, 1000 sawars

25- Hameed Kakar, title Kakar Khan:  1500 zats, 1000 sawars

26- Jalal Afghan : 1500 zats, 800 sawars

27- Sardar Qiyam Khan, title Alaf Khan:  1500 zats, 700 sawars

28- Munawar Khan Zamindar:  1500 zats, 600 sawars

29- Alah Dad s/o of Ikhlas Khan : 1500 zats, 400 sawars

30: Shaikh Ali Bijapuri : 1500 zats

31- Sarbaz Khan : 1000 zats, 800 sawars

32- Umar Tareen:  1000 zats, 1000 sawars

33- Qalandar Daudzai, title Qalandar Khan : 1000 zats, 900 sawars

34-  Ghulam Muhammad Afghan: 1000 zats, 700 sawars

35- Kamaluddin s/o Dilar Khan : 1000 zats, 700 sawars

36- Daulat Afghan:  1000 zats, 500 sawars

37- Inayat Afghan: 1000 zats, 800 sawars

38- Abbas Afghan : 1000 zats, 800 sawars

39: Jamal Khan :  1000 zats, 400 sawars

40: Malik Jewan, title Bakhtiar Khan : 1000 zats, 400 sawars

41: Badal Bakhtiyar : 1000 zats, 350 sawars

42- Sher Afghan:  1000 zats, 200 sawars


Afghan Mansabdars who held or reached the rank of 1,000 zat and above , during the period, 1678 to 1707

1-Abdul Rauf Miyana, title Diler Khan: 7000 zats, 7000 sawars

2- Daud Khan Panni: 6000 zats, 6000 sawars

3- Ismail Khan Mokha: 
6000 zats, 5000 sawars

4- Hasan Khan Rohela: 
6000 zats, 5000 sawars

5-Hussian Khan, title Fateh Jang Khan Miyana : 6000 zats, 5000 sawars

6- Jalal Khan, title Diler Khan : 5000 zats, 5000 sawars

7- Abdul Muhammad, title Ikhlas Khan Miyana: 5000 zats, 5000 sawars

8- Ran Mast Ali Khan Panni, title Bahadur Khan alias Rustam Khan: 5000 zats, 5000 sawars

9- Sher Baz Khan: 5000 zats, 3000 sawars

10- Jang Ju Khan Deccani: 5000 zats

11- Ibrahim Ghori: 4000 zats, 3000 sawars

12- Aziz Khan Bahadur s/o of Bahadur Khan: 3000 zats, 1500 sawars

13- Nahar Khan : 3000 zats, 1000 sawars

14- Shamsher Khan Tareen, title Hussain Khan: 3000 zats

15- Abdul Nabi b/o of Hasan Khan Rohela: 2500 zats, 1200 sawars

16- Kamaluddin Khan:  2500 zats, 1000 sawars

17: Alah Dad Khan Kheshgi: 2000 zats, 1000 sawars

18: Lodi Khan: 2000 zats, 1500 sawars

19- Sar Andaz Khan Panni:  2000 zats, 1000 sawars

20- Suilaman Khan: 2000 zats

21- Abdul Aziz Miyana: 2000 zats

22- Khudadad Khan Kheshgi: 1500 zats, 1000 sawars

23: Abdul Salam s/o AbdulRahim Khan Miyana : 1500 zats, 1300 sawars

24: Kakar Khan: 1500 zats, 1200 sawars

25: Dilawar Khan s/o of Bahadur Khan Rohilla:1500 zats, 1000 sawars

26: Abdul Samad Khan: 1500 zats, 1000 sawars

27: Shabbir Panni: 1500 zats, 900 sawars

28: Hasan : 1500 zats, 800 sawars

29-Sangram Khan Ghori: 1500 zats, 600 sawars

30- Mamur Khan, title Diler Khan:  1000 zats, 1200 sawars

31- Muhammad Khan Bijapuri:  1000 zats, 1000 sawars

32: Miyana Khan:  1000 zats, 500 sawars

33- Fateh s/o Hasan Rohela : 1000 zats, 400 sawars

34- Muhammad Zaman Khan Lohani : 1000 zats, 200 sawars


Source:
 The Mughal Nobility Under Aurangzeb: M. Athar Ali