Who was Ibrahim Lodi?

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Who was Ibrahim Lodi?

Ibrahim Lodi was the last Sultan of Delhi Sultanate. He was defeated and killed in the First Battle of Panipat fought with Mughal Emperor Babur in 1526.

He ascended the throne of Delhi in 1517 A.D., after the death of his father Sikandar Lodi.

Soon after his accession to the throne he had to march against his own younger brother who at the instigation of some nobles set himself as an independent king at Jaunpur. The headstrong Sultan could never tolerate such a thing, so he at once marched against his brother and after facing a good deal of trouble he was able to crush his rebellion. The ill-fated prince was caught and beheaded by the Sultan’s order. Then followed a reign of terror and the different nobles began to be insulted by him one by one. The situation took such a serious turn that under the leadership of Azam Humayun and his son Islam Khan, who were deprived of their high posts and thereafter disgraced, there was raised a standard of revolt against the Sultan which caused him much trouble. Thousands of people perished in this desperate fight between the royalists and the rebels. At last the Sultan was victorious and most of the leaders of rebels were slain.

Now Ibrahim Lodi turned against all his relatives and chiefs alike. He lost his faith in them and began to punish both his friends and foes alike. As a result of these repressive and blind measures he turned all the Lodi, Luhani, Formuli and other powerful nobles into his worst enemies.

In Oudh, Jaunpur and Bihar, Darya Khan Luhani declared himself independent and in the Punjab, Daulat Khan Lodi asserted his independence when he came to know that his son Dilawar Khan was greatly insulted by the Sultan. Similarly Alam Khan, the Sultan’s uncle, ran to the Punjab for his life. It was under these circumstances that Alam Khan and Daulat Khan Lodi invited Babur, the ruler of Kabul, to invade India.

Babur’s Invasion and the First Battle of Panipat, 21st April, 1526

Babur defeated the army of Ibrahim Lodi in the First Battle of Panipat. Ibrahim Lodi lost his life in the battle. As a result of this victory Babur occupied Delhi and Agra and laid the foundation of the Mughal dynasty in India.

Causes of defeat of Ibrahim Lodi in the First Battle of Panipat

Babur’s army was smaller in number as compared to the army of Ibrahim Lodi. Even then he succeeded against his opponent. There were many causes responsible for his success and the defeat of Ibrahim Lodi, the chief among them are as follows:

  1. The first cause responsible for the defeat of Ibrahim Lodi was his general unpopularity. Because of his ruthless persecutions and general massacre of his opponents and friends alike he turned all his people against him.
  2. Babur’s use of artillery was another cause of his success against Ibrahim. The Indian soldiers were not familiar with the use of artillery so they were completely taken aback and fled in terror.
  3. Babur’s army was better disciplined and was fully conversant with the latest war tactics. His soldiers knew how to create panic in the enemy. On the other hand the Indian army was not so experienced and were ill-organized, ill-trained and ill-disciplined.
  4. Again, Babur himself was much responsible for his success. He was born leader of mess and was master of great willpower. He was a veteran general and enjoyed the full confidence and loyalty of his soldiers. On the other hand, Ibrahim Lodi was careless young man who lacked in experience and generalship and fought without any definite plan.
  5. While the Indian soldiers were merely fighting for money, Babur’s soldiers cherished great respect for their leader and were ready to sacrifice everything for him.
  6. The political condition of India and the lack of unity in this country also proved a great blessing for Babur. It was easy for him to defeat petty states and small principalities one by one rather than facing a well organized and all-powerful empire. Moreover, the mutual jealousies and quarrels among the Hindu and the Muslim monarchs and also among the Muslims and the Hindus themselves proved very advantageous for the Mughals. Hence, Babur succeeded in the First Battle of Panipat against his opponent Ibrahim Lodi.


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