Wednesday, January 15, 2020

Saiyid Brothers - The King Makers of Indian History

There were two brothers in Indian History who were known as king makers. There were de facto rulers of delhi sultanate for almost a decade. They throned and dethroned 5 Mughal rulers in a single decade. These two brothers were Abdullah Khan and Hussain Ali Khan also known as Saiyid Brothers.

Iintial Phase of Saiyid Brothers

During Aurangzeb's reign, in 1697, Abdullah khan was Faujdar of Sultanpur. He was later appointed as subedar of Khandes in 1678. Abdullah was also one of the chiefs in last mission of Aurangzeb in 1705.

Hussain Ali Khan,the younger one, had first the charge of Ranthambhore in Ajmer. Then he took the charge of Hindaun Bayna in Agra.

Rise of Saiyid Brothers

After Aurangzeb's death in 1707, Civil war broke out in Mughal Empire, in which 65 years year old Bahadur Shah emerged victorious.

Bahadur Shah died in 1712 and again civil war as well as disintigration of Mughal empire began. With the support of one of the finest noble of that time, Zulfiqar Khan, less abled Jahandar Shah emerged victorious. Still there was always hustle between Zulfiqar khan and Jahandar Shah related to authority.

Saiyid brothers utilised this situation to the fullest and intrigued against Jahandar Shah. Farrukh Siyar, The nephew of Jahandar Shah, with their support, defeated Jahandar Shah in Agra in January 1713.

Farrukh Siyar after becoming emperor made Abdullah Khan his Wazir while he made Hussain Ali Khan his Mir Bakshi. He owed his victory to them.

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Role of Saiyid brothers as King Maker

After holding the two most important positions in the administration, They started to influence the whole working system. Worried with their growing Power, Farrukh Siyar started putting restrictions on them.

Conflict between ruler and Saiyid brothers started and this continued till 1719, when these two brothers finally found a way to tackle this problem.

Saiyid brothers with the support of Balaji Vishwanath Bhat, the Peshwa of Maratha Kingdom, assassinated Farrukh Siyar and replaced Rafi-ud-darajat on the throne in february 1719 but he died of consumption in June 1719.

Then Shah Jahan II was throned but he also died of consumption in september 1719. Then they placed Muhammad Shah on the throne.

All three being mere puppets of Saiyid Brothers and they remained de facto ruler of the empire from 1713 to 1720.

End of Saiyid Brother's dominance

After the assassination of the emperor Farrukh Siyar, courtiers and nobles became frightened and started forming anti-Saiyid brothers group. Many Aurangzeb's trusted noble joined this group because they considered many policies of their policies as Anti-Islamic.

Muhammad Shah, the emperor, who wanted to make himself free from the hands of Saiyid brothers, got support of this group. He also got support of two most powerful Nobles of that time, Nizam-ul-Mulk and Muhammad Amin Khan.

They conspired against them and killed the younger one, Hussain Ali Khan in 1720.

Abdullah Khan tried to fight back but was ultimately defeated at Agra.

This is how the dominance of Saiyid brothers ended but they got their name registered in the history as the King Makers.

This is all for now, for any queries and suggestions feel free to comment.
Thank You.


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