Mohammad Begda. The name of a ruler of Gujarat whose period is called the ‘Golden Age of Sultanate in Gujarat’. whose birth name was Fateh Khan.
As he conquered two forts namely Pavagadh and Junagadh, it is believed that ‘Begdo’ was attached to his name, but there are some other legends associated with his ‘nickname’.
Muhammad Begda defeated the rulers of Sindh, Malwa, Junagadh and Dwarka. He improved the condition of the roads and made them safe and planted fruit trees on a large scale.
However, had it not been for his mentor-protector and step-father, Shah Alam, he might not have reached this point and would have succumbed to ‘palace politics’.
Palace politics in the family
Three days after Sultan Muhammadshah’s death, the Amirs installed his eldest son Jalal Khan as ‘Qutbuddin Ahmadshah’. He is also known as Ahmadshah II. His tenure was in AD. He lived from 1451 to 1459.
It is written in the book ‘History of Gujarat – Sultanatkal’ (Rasiklal Parikh, Hariprasad Shastri, page no. 86-89) that he assumed power at the age of 20 only. Along with this, he had to face a major invasion by Sultan Mahmudshah Khilji of Malwa.
Is. Around 1453, when a succession dispute continued in Nagor, Mujahid Khan replaced him with his nephew Shams Khan. Shams Khan sought an army from his son-in-law Sultan Qutbuddin in Gujarat to protect Nagor. An army was sent from Gujarat, but the Rana defeated it. ravaged the Nagor region, but could not capture its fort. Shams Khan’s daughter Sultana was married to Qutbuddin. During these years, Shamskhan’s involvement in the Sultan’s life increased.
According to the details of ‘Mirate Sikandari’ (Translation – Atmaram Motiram Dewanji, Page No. 48), a raid was made against Shahzada Jalal Khan’s father who was in Nadiad at that time. The nobles decided to give him the throne of Gujarat if he showed readiness to fight against Mahmudshah Khilji.
From the gate of Mirzapur Shahjad came to Ahmedabad, and then the life-like cup of the Sultan was poured with deadly poison and he left the mortal world.
He fought against Khilji. After his return from war, his father’s half-brother Hazrat Shah Alam gave him a sword, which spelled his end. He married Rupmanjari. She was very graceful and intelligent, who was also the Sultan’s chief queen. Apart from this, he was also a disciple of Hazrat Shah Alam.
‘One day will hold your hand’
After the death of her husband, Bibi Mughali moved there with her son Fateh Khan to her sister Mirghi. Bibi Mirghi’s husband Shah Alam had promised her abhay.
As narrated in ‘Mirate Sikandari’ (pages 64-66), Bibi Mughali could not live peacefully due to the fear of Sultan Qutbuddin. Once Qutbuddin remembered his half-brother Fateh Khan and asked ‘Where is he?’ Then got the reply that he was staying with Hazrat Shah, Masi. He is very much loved by Hazrat Shah.
Hearing this, Qutbuddin’s joy disappeared, he was burning with jealousy and anger. He thought of killing Fateh Khan.
One day the Sultan sent a message to Shah Alam saying, “Whether you agree or not, send Fateh Khan.” Hazrat said, “Fearing for his life he has taken refuge with dervishes, so it is not proper to capture him and hand him over to you. You are the ruler, you find and take from every place.”
The Sultan sent spies to Hazrat’s village Rasulabad and himself moved to the nearby palace of Khedpur, so as to get information about Fateh Khan. After that Sultan made a trick. He sent Rani Rupmanjari to the residence of Hazrat Shah Alam and instructed her to pick up Fateh Khan and bring him if found. Some servants were also sent along with Rupamanjari.
Rani saw her step-brother Fateh Khan sitting with Shah Alam and tried to take him by the hand. Seeing this, Hazrat Shah Alam smiled and said, “Today you pull Fateh Khan’s hand, but one day he will pull your hand.”
Hearing this, he let go of Fateh Khan’s hand and apologized to Shah Alam and returned. He told Sultan Qutbuddin, “I made many appeals, but he did not get it.”
Shah Alam’s words about Rani Rupmanjari and the future Muhammad Begda i.e. Fateh Khan were to come true in the future.
Shahe Alam with Sultan’s side
‘Mirate Sikandari’ (supra, pp. 67-68) King Jam Januh of Sindh had two daughters, Bibi Mughali and Bibi Mirghi. Bibi Mirghi was courted by Sultan Muhammadshah II of Gujarat (1442-1451 AD), while Bibi Mughali’s hand was considered to be given to Hazrat Shah Alam.
Bibi Mughali’s beauty was discussed in the country, so when the Sultan heard about it, he got Bibi Mughali married to him by some pressure and giving some money to the nobles from the ruler of Sindh.
When Shah Alam came to know about this, he told this to his father Hazrat Qutb Alam (Watwa), who said, “Son, you have both in your fortune.” His prediction was to come true in the future.
Sultan Qutbuddin’s anger against Shah Alam grew day by day, but he did not let it out. One day Shah Alam’s wife Bibi Maryam (Bibi Mirghi) died. Shah Alam then told Bibi Mughali, “As long as your sister lived, there was a claim of kinship. Now you should find another good house.”
Bibi Mughali, worried for the safety of her son Fateh Khan, panicked at this message. Finally she told her uncle Jam Firoz, “My parents had first decided to marry me to Shah Alam, but Sultan Muhammad (II) insisted on marrying me to himself.”
Remembering his father’s promise, Shah Alam remarried Bibi Mughali. Thus the father’s prediction came true. According to a note in Mirat Sikandi, in the later years of his life, Mahmudshah Bhi used to repent for many acts of life.
Sultan’s protector Shah Alam
After Nikah, Bibi Mughli used to serve her husband wholeheartedly day and night and Hazrat Shah Alam also respected and loved her.
One day, Shah Alam, who was very pleased with Bibi Mughali, said, “The doors of grace have been opened for you. Ask for whatever you want.”
Bibi Mughali said, “You care so much about Fateh Khan, so please grant him the kingdom of his paternal grandfather. I would like you not to be angry with him for the time being if he is causing any indiscretion.”
In response, Shah Alam said, “The kingdom of Gujarat has been built for Fateh Khan and he will get it in a few moments. Also, it will happen that he shows indiscretion towards me and I will forgive all that for your sake.”
Instances of Hazrat Shah Alam miraculously saving the life of Fateh Khan several times from Sultan Qutbuddin during his residence there are recorded in ‘Mirate Sikandari’ (pp, 66-67).
Once spies informed that Fateh Khan was sitting with Shah Alam in a certain house. The Sultan immediately arrived there and saw a hunchbacked old man with a long white beard and eyebrows, in fact Fateh Khan was ten years old at that time.
As a child, Mohammad Begda was kept dressed in girls’ clothes, so that even if anyone saw him, he would not be recognized. Once child Fateh Khan and his nanny were on the roof. Then, based on the information given by the spy, Sultan Qutbuddin rushed to the roof.
Seeing Sultan, Aya’s senses flew away. When the sultan took her hand, the nanny said that she is the daughter of so-and-so amir. Sultan unzipped his pajama and saw the mark of a girl. So he let go of his hand and went down.
Going down, he mentioned this to his friends, who suggested to bring it down anyway. Sultan climbed back to the top of the house and took Fateh Khan’s hand, his hand looked like a tiger’s claw. He let go of the hand and never thought of holding it again.
Ratnamani Rao Jote (Cultural History of Gujarat History of Islam Age Vol-2, Page – 561) in reference to ‘Mirate Sikandari’ “even those talks sound like the talk of a small boy.” observed to be.
Sultan, Shahe Alam and the end
Parikh and Shastri (supra, pp. 88-89) note that after returning to Pyatakht without any success in the battle of Chittor, he fell ill and died on May 23, 1459 at the age of 28.
Sultana is said to have poisoned Sultan Qutbuddin to allow his father Shams Khan to inherit the throne. Qutbuddin was buried along with his grandfather Ahmadshah in Roja at Manekchowk.
As narrated in ‘Mirate Sinkdari’ (supra, 69-70), Sultan Qutbuddin’s mother ordered the younger women to dismember the Sultana, while the nobles killed Shams Khan.
One more incident is recorded in the above book regarding death. According to which, once drunk Sultan Qutbuddin ordered the destruction of Rasulabad. People gathered in large numbers, but no one did anything.
Sultan Qutbuddin started galloping his horse and started talking about destruction. Then a crazy camel rushed towards him. To finish him off, Sultan Qutbuddin drew his sword and struck him on the head, but missed and the blow hit him on the thigh.
The Sultan fell from his horse, got into a palanquin and took them to their destination. Locals thought this was a miracle and the camel was an angel sent by God.
According to another story, once it occurred to Qutbuddin to show his Begum Ahmedabad. On that day the male caste was ordered not to go out. After that, he took his bag and walked around the streets.
At that time, Qutbuddin saw a man coming from behind from the street. The sultan, enraged, threw his sword at him, but the man disappeared and the sword fell on his thigh and wounded him. Because of that wound, Sultan marched from the world. It has also been suggested that Qutbuddin was poisoned by Begum Sultana after being wounded.
If a camel was charging towards the Sultan, wouldn’t a bodyguard intervene? If the sultans went out with their begums, were they not accompanied by a bodyguard or perhaps, as was customary, a kinnar or eunuch bodyguard, or was the sultan himself to be put to the sword? The writer of ‘Mirate Sikandari’ fails to answer such rational questions.
Perhaps the answer is given by the author himself in the book. After mentioning several possibilities about Sultan Qutbuddin’s death, he notes, “God knows the truth!”
After Qutbuddin’s death (Pareikh and Shastri, p. 89) his uncle Daud Khan succeeded to the throne for a few days, but was deposed within 27 days (according to some chroniclers in seven days) due to the intrigues of the Amirs. He spent his remaining years as a disciple of a Sufi dervish.
During the time of Muhammad Begda, Hazrat Shah Alam came to power and his correspondence shows that he interfered in the propagation of Islam.
Ratnamani Rao Jote (supra, page – 526-527) writes that when Muhammad Begda succeeded to the Padshahi after the death of Sultan Qutbuddin, Rupmanjari became his Begum.
Rani Rupmati Masjid in Mirzapur Only as Mohammad Begdani Begum could build such a beautiful mosque. A comparison of the beauty with other buildings built during the Sultanate period suggests that the Rupmanjari itself is actually Rupmati. He also notes that there was no other woman with such a name during the Sultan’s time.