Bahadur Shah I

Bahadur Shah I

Infobox Monarch

name =Bahadur Shah
title =Emperor of Mughal Empire
full name =
coronation =
date of birth =14 October, 1643
place of birth =Burhanpur
date of death =death date and age|1712|2|27|1643|10|14
place of death =Lahore
place of burial =
reign =1707 - 1712
predecessor= Aurangzeb
successor =Jahandar Shah
spouse 1 =Nizam Bai
father =Aurangzeb
mother =
issue =Jahandar Shah
*Khujista Akhtar Jehan Shah
*Buland Akhtar
dynasty =Timurid
religion =Islam

Muazzam Bahadur Shah (Persian: _fa. بهادر شاه "Bahādur Shāh"; his name "Bahādur" means "brave"; October 14, 1643 – 27 February 1712), also known as Shah Alam I was a Mughal emperor who ruled India from 1707 to 1712.

Early life

Muazzam, the second son of the emperor Aurangzeb through Nawab Bai Begum Saheba, the daughter of Raja of Rajauri (Jarral Rajput), was born in Burhanpur in 1643. In his father's lifetime, Muazzam was deputed governor of the northwest territories by Aurangzeb. His province included those parts of the Punjab where the Sikh faith was blossoming. As governor, Muazzam relaxed the enforcement of Aurangzeb's severe edicts, and an uneasy calm prevailed in the province for a brief time. In fact, he maintained a friendly relationship with the last Sikh spiritual leader, Guru Gobind Singh. When Muazzam was challenging his brothers for the Mughal throne, Guru Gobind provided military assistance and spiritual guidance to the liberal prince.dubious


After Aurangzeb's death, Muazzam Bahadur Shah took the throne. A war of succession began immediately after Aurangzeb died. One younger brother, Prince Azam Shah, proclaimed himself emperor and marched towards Delhi, where he unsuccessfully fought Bahadur Shah and died after a nominal reign of three months. Another brother, Muhammad Kam Baksh, was killed in 1709.

Aurangzeb had imposed Sharia law within his kingdom with harsh enforcement of strict edicts. This led to increased militancy by many constituencies including the Marathas, the Sikhs and the Rajputs. Thus, rebellion was rife at the time of Aurangzeb's death and Bahadur Shah inherited a very unstable polity. A more moderate man than his father, Bahadur Shah sought to improve relations with the militant constituencies of the rapidly crumbling kingdom. Bahadur Shah was successful in retreating Banda Bahadur to hills and was also able to gain control over Assam purely because of the assistance he got from his son, Azim-ush-Shan. Bahadur Shah never abolished jizyah, but the effort to collect the tax became ineffectual. There was no destruction of temples in his reign. During Bahadur Shah's brief reign of five years, although the empire remained united, factionalism in the nobility reached a new height. However, he could do little to mitigate the damage already done by his father. Indeed, Bahadur Shah's shortcomings — his lack of military skills and leadership qualities — added to the problems of the empire. After his short reign of less than five years, the Mughal Empire entered a long decline, attributable both to his ineptness and to his father's geographical overextension. Historians of his time had recorded him to be a learned man and that he possessed a mild temper and was dignified. Bahadur Shah hardly shared Aurangzeb's orthodox views. Unlike his father, Aurangzeb, he was a liberal sufi in outlook. In fact, it is true that after his sudden death the disintegration of the Mughal Empire became very much evident.

Bahadur Shah died on February 27, 1712 in Lahore while making alterations to the Shalimar Gardens. He was succeeded by his son Jahandar Shah. His grave lies, next to the dargah of 13th century, Sufi saint, Qutbuddin Bakhtiar Kaki at Mehrauli, in a marble enclosure, along with that of Shah Alam II, and Akbar II.

ee also

* Shah Alam II

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