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Humayun
Mughal Emperor
(1508-56)

Other names:
Jannat 'Ashiani

Biographical

The eldest son of the emperor Babar, Humayun succeeded his father on the throne at Agra on the 26th of December 1530, and conferred the government of Kabul, Qandahar, Ghazni, and the Panjab on his brother Mirza Kamiran; to Mirza Askari he gave the government of Sarkar Sambhal; to Mirza Handal, Sarkar Alwal; to Mirza Sulaiman (the son of Khan Mirza, the son of Sultan Muhammad, the son of Sultan Abu Said), the government of Badakhshan. Humayun was defeated the first time by Sher Khan (afterwards Sher Shah) in a battle fought on the banks of the Chaunsa in Behar on the 26th of June 1539, and the second time at Qannoj on the 17th of May 1540. The capital no longer afforded him a place of refuge; even his brothers became his enemies, and would not grant him shelter in their provinces. He fled from one place to another, subject at times to the greatest hardships; and was at last obliged to quit the kingdom and seek an asylum in Persia, where he arrived in July 1544, and was hospitably and honourably entertained for some time by Shah Tahmasp of Persia, who assisted him with troops. During the absence of Humayun, which extended to a period of fifteen years, five kings ascended the throne of Delhi: Sher Shah, his son Salim Shah, Muhammad Shah Adili, Ibrahim Khan, and Sikandar Shah. Humayun having overcome his brothers at Kabul and Kandahar, commenced his march from the former city in the month of January, 1555, towards India. He took the Panjab, and advancing towards Delhi defeated Sikandar Shah on the 22nd of June 1555, in a battle fought at Sarhind. Sikandar, after his defeat, fled to the mountains of Sewalik, and Humayun having reached Delhi in triumph, became a second time emperor. Bairam Khan, to whose valour and talent the king was principally indebted for his restoration, was rewarded with the first offices in the state with the title of Khan Khanan. The year of this victory was found by Bairam Khan to be contained in the words, 'The sword of Humayun'. Seven months after this victory, on the 21st of January 1556, as Humayun was coming down at the time of evening prayers from the terrace of the library at Delhi, he fell headlong down the steps, and died on the 25th January 1556. The words 'Alas ! my sovereign fell from the terrace', are the English of the line recording the year of his demise. A splendid monument was erected over his remains some years after by his son Akbar, who succeeded him. The foundation of his mausoleum was laid in 1565, was superintended by Haji Begum, mother of Akbar, and was finished in 16 years. Farrukhsiyar, 'Alamgir II. Dara Shikoh and other princes are also buried in this mausoleum, where the last of the dynasty took refuge in 1857. Humayun, after his death, received the title of Jannat 'Ashiani.

Place of birth: Kabul
Place of death: Delhi
Place of burial: Kiloghari, Shahjanabad

 



 

Sources

1
. H.G. Keene. An Oriental Biographical Dictionary Founded on Materials Collected by Thomas William Beale. London: W. H. Allen & Co., Limited, 1894.

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