- Muhammad bin Tughlaq
- (?-1351)Fakhr al-Din Jauna, the son of Ghiyas al-Din Tughlaq, ascended the throne in 1325 with the title Sultan Muhammad Shah bin Tughlaq. He was a very accom-plished person and had remarkable proficiency in prose writing and composition as well as in different branches of learning such as math-ematics, medicine, and Greek philosophy. Muhammad bin Tughlaq was strict in observing religious rites and abstained from the vices forbidden in the Quran.These characteristic of his were, however, in contrast to his cru-elty and lack of consideration for the common people's difficulties. His whole life was spent pursuing his wild, sometimes visionary, schemes, such as the transfer of the capital and a token currency, ac-tions that often brought immense suffering to his subjects. The strict discipline that he tried to enforce on the nobles combined with his policy of taking the nobles to task for their failure to account for the revenues farmed out to them turned a large number of middle-ranking officers (amiran-i sada) hostile, leading to recurring rebel-lions. One such rebellion gave rise to the Bahmani kingdom in the Deccan (1347).Although Muhammad bin Tughlaq tried to strengthen his position by securing a diploma of investiture from the Abbasid caliph, he never allowed the theologians to dictate the state policy. When his own judgment differed from that of a religious doctor, he did not hes-itate to overrule the latter. Muhammad bin Tughlaq did not impose on the Hindus any curbs on the observance of their religious rites. A number of new temples were built in the territories of the Delhi sul-tanate during his reign. Muhammad bin Tughlaq participated in the Hindu religious festivals and also mixed frequently with Hindu men-dicants. One Hindu practice discouraged by him was that of sati (widow burning), which could be performed only with the permis-sion of the sultan.
Historical dictionary of Medieval India. Iqtidar Alam Khan. 2011.
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