Sunday, 29 July 2018

The revolt of Shaikh Kamaluddin Daudzai and Khan Jahan Lodi against the Mughals

Khan Jahan Lodi (Pir Khan Lodi) was one of the foremost nobles during the reign of  Emperor Jehangir. Under his patronage the Makhzan-i-Afghani or the Tarikh-i-Khan Jahan Lodi was complied by Naimatullah Harvi. He was compelled to revolt against Emperor Shah Jahan in the second year of his reign.

Darya Khan Daudzai, another prominent Pashtun noble, joined hands with Khan Jahan Lodi in his rebellion against the Emperor. Darya Khan's brother-in-law , Shaikh Kamal-ud-Din, orchestrated the rising of Pashtuns against the Mughals in Peshawar, where he held a jagir. After suffering reverses at the hands of loyalists, Khan Jahan Lodi formed a plan to go to the Punjab on the advice of Darya Khan Daudzaey, Aimal Khan Tarin and Sardar Khan Ruhilla, so as to be nearer his homeland to foment trouble in the suburbs of the Punjab with the help of the Pashtuns living in Pakhtunkhwa. Nevertheless Khan Jahan could not reach Punjab, was intercepted and killed by the Mughals.

Khan Jahan Lodi died fighting barvely. The Badshahnama relates: '
"When the misfortunate [Khan Jahan Lodi] saw that the approaching army would in no way leave him alone, he dismounted from his horse and began hand-to-hand combat with Madho Singh and the group of mace-bearers and others. During the struggles Madho Singh struck him with a lance. Most of his companions were killed, and the mace-bearers cut off the heads of those wrong-headed rebels."

Uprising in Pakhtunkhwa

According to Badshahnama and Amal-i-Salih , it was Shaikh Kamaluddin (a Bazid Khel Daudzai) who started the trouble at the instance of Khan Jahan Lodi , who had written him letters to that effect. Even before impelled by Khan Jahan Lodi to revolt against the Mughals, he was thinking of establishing Afghan rule as we are informed by the author of Amal-i-Salih. According to the two contemporary authorities cited, Shaikh Kamaluddin gathered together the Pashtun tribes of Peshawar, and Ashnaghar, namely the Muhammadzais, the Gigyanis, the Khalils, the Mohmands, the Daudzais, the Yousafzais, the Tarklanis and others, and induced Abdul Qadir (great-grandson of Pir Roshan), to join him bringing with him Karim Dad , the blind son of Jalala (son of Pir Roshan), and Muhammad Zaman, son of Pir Dad, followed by the Dawars of Tochi valley, the tribes of Tirah and the upper and lower Bangash, the Khattaks (from southern areas), the Jajis and the Turis for the cause of Khan Jahan Lodi. Badshah-nama records ;
"Most of the Afghan tribes from the banks of the Attock river up to the environs of Kabul and other directions joining hands with him decided that, to begin with , the dust of disorder should be raised from Peshawar." (Vol-I, part-1, p.311)

Amal-i-Salih records;
"He (Khan Jahan Lodi) wrote a fool-entrapping letter, containing a thousands temptations and persuasions , to Kamal-ud-Din, son of Shaikh Rukh-ud-Din Rohilla, who in the reign of his late majesty, the inmate of the heavenly abode (emperor Jahangir), was raised to the dignity of holding the rank of 4,000 and the title of Sher Khan. That arrogant one, not probing deep into the matter, was at once taken in by his (Khan Jahan Lodi's) writing. He summoned all the Afghans to his help and began creating disorder and discord in that land". (Vol-1, pp-378-379)

Said Khan, who was stationed at Kohat, on the recipient of the news left a part of his force there and marched with the remainder into Peshawar. He was not strong enough to attack the rebels. On 12th June 1630, Pashtuns surrounded the city walls. Said Khan and his troops retired within the walls of Bala Hissar or citadel. But luck favored the Mughals and there was disruption among the Pashtuns. On seeing disunity and disruption among the ranks of Lashkar, Abdul Qadir retired to Tirah hills. Shaikh Kamaluddin and his followers, after the desertion of Abdul Qadir, had to bear the brunt of the Mughal onslaught. The author of the Tarikh-i- Murassa says;
"Abdul Qadir was the first to lay siege. When other tribes gathered, as is customary with the Pushtuns on account of their ignorance and lack of understanding, they became jealous of him : and give rise to disagreements with him , because of the credit going to Abdul Qadir. He thought that they would conspire with the Mughals , and hand him over to them. Owing to this apprehension, he marched off to Tirah along with his force at night. The Mughals, having learnt about the dissension among the rebel forces, came out of the fort. The rest of the Pashtuns fought them but were defeated, a great number of the Yusufzais and the Gigyanis having been killed."

As to what happened to Shaikh Kamaluddin Daudzai after the Mughal victory in the battle of Peshawar, we find that hence forward his name is not mentioned in the annals of the reign of Shah Jahan and thereafter. This shows that he never surrendered.

Death of Khan Jahan Lodi, ca.1633. From Badshahnama

Portrait of Khan Jahan Lodi, ca.1670 (made). 

Portrait of Khan Jahan Lodi, ca.1615 (made). Inscribed in Persian is 'likeness of Khan Jahan Afghan

Abdullah Khan Firoz Jang (Mughal officer) with the head of Khan Jahan Lodi, ca. 1631 (made)


1- "On a Foreign Approach to Khushhal: A Critique of Caroe and Howell", Dost Muhammad Khan Kamil, pp.15-29
2- "The Afghan nobility and the Mughals: 1526-1707", Rita Joshi, p-130
2- "History of the Pathans", Vol-ii, pp-430-431

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