History and Biography of Firuz Shah Tughlaq
Firuz Shah Tughlaq was the ruler of Delhi Sultanate from 1351 to 1388. He was born in 1309. His father was Malik Rajab. His mother, Bibi Nala, was a Hindu Princess. He was also a cousin of Muhammed-bin-Tughlaq.
After the death of Muhammad-bin-Tughlaq, his cousin Firuz Shah Tughlaq was placed on the throne by the nobles. Firuz Shah Tughlaq was a mild person and preferred the art of peace to the glories of conquest. His reign was a welcome break in the long chain of tyranny that made up the gloomy annals of the Delhi Sultans. But he was weak-willed and lacked the qualities of good generalship.
Immediately after his accession Firuz Shah faced many rebellions in Bengal, Deccan and Sind. He failed to crush the rebellion in Bengal. He did not make any serious attempt of re-conquering Deccan. He, however, defeated Sind rebels and conquered Orissa and Nagarkot. But he lacked military capabilities.
Administrative Reforms: Though he met failure in military field Firuz Shah Tughlaq attained some success in his administrative reform measures.
Tax reforms: Firuz Shah was generally sympathetic to his subjects. He remitted loans advanced by Muhammad Tughlaq. He abolished many taxes.
Appeasement of the nobles and the Ulemas: In order to appease the nobles and military leaders Firuz Shah re-introduced the Jagir system. To please the Ulemas he decreed that his kingdom would be run on the basis of Islamic law.
Welfare activities: For the welfare of the needy people Firuz Shah Tughlaq set up Diwan-e-Khairat which gave charities. In order to improve the lot of the peasants he dug four canals and many wells for irrigation purpose. An Employment bureau was established to provide employment to the needy.
Promoter of learning: Firuz Shah Tughlaq was promoter of learning. He patronised scholars, poets, historians etc. The scholars and historians like Ziauddin Barani, Rumi etc. received his patronage.
Recruitment of slaves: An important feature of Tughlaq’s administration was the role of the slaves. He collected about 2 lakhs slaves and well-treated them. Most of them were given military training and they remained under the personal control of the Sultan.
Death: Firuz Shah Tughlaq died on 20th of September, 1388.
Estimate of Firuz Shah Tughlaq: In many spheres Firuz Shah Tughlaq had shown great zeal to improve the lots of his subjects. Some reform measures adopted by him were praiseworthy. He looked after the welfare of the peasants. As a result the condition of the peasants was substantially improved. Trade and commerce also increased substantially and that brought prosperity. Some historians had even compared him with Akbar the Great. But Firuz lacked the generosity and efficiency of Akbar.