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Mahmud Shah Bahadur

  (Redirected from Jahan Shah IV)

Bidar Bhakt Mahmud Bahadur Jahan Shah IV assumed thr titles of Jahan Shah IV and Muhammad Shah II.He lived from 1749 to 1790. He was Mughal Emperor of India for a brief period in 1788 as a puppet of Ghulam Qadir,[1] after Shah Alam II had been deposed and blinded.[2] He was the son of the former Mughal Emperor Ahmad Shah Bahadur.[3] He was deposed in the same year by the Marathas and killed in 1790 on the orders of Emperor Shah Alam II, though it was he who had helped Shah Alam II during his brief reign by sending him water and food secretly when Ghulam Qadir had ordered that no food or water be supplied to the deposed Emperor. He had been made Subahdar of Punjab on 12 November 1752 as a child.


Early lifeEdit

Shahzada Bidar Bakht was born to Emperor Ahmad Shah in the year 1749, and afterwards given the titles Mahmud Shah Bahadur and Banka (champion). Little is known about his childhood except that he was appointed as the titular Subahdar (governor) of the province of Punjab on 12 November 1752 (when in fact, the province had already been ceded to Ahmad Shah Abdali).

After his father's deposition in 1754, he was kept in confinement in the Salatin quarters of Delhi, where the progeny of all previous Mughal Emperors resided in poverty and neglect. As a result, these princes had in them a desire to be named Mughal Emperor at any cost, even though they knew that their reigns, imposed only through usurpation of any previous emperor's rule, would likely be short and fatal. This would manifest itself very clearly in the case of Prince Mahmud Shah.

Enthronement and ReignEdit

In 1788, Ghulam Qadir took over the Red Fort of Delhi from Emperor Shah Alam II's supporters through false promises, and an opportunity presented itself to the children of the ex-emperor Ahmad Shah. The ex-queens, Malika-uz-Zamani and Sahiba Begum, widows of emperor Muhammad Shah, entreated Ghulam Qadir to place Prince Mahmud Shah, the eldest living son of Ahmad Shah, as the new emperor, upon payment of 1.2 million Rupees. Ghulam Qadir, already looking for a way lo legitimize to some extent his treatment of the Timurid family, accepted. Hence, Mahmud Shah ascended the throne on 31 July as Nasir-ud-Din Muhammad Kuchuk Jahan Shah Padshah Ghazi.

But his titular reign was full of misery. The plunder of the palaces had begun the previous day, and after some time, when the ex-emperor's immediate family had been robbed of all wealth, Mahmud Shah's turn came next. Ghulam Qadir plundered the female quarters, the widows of Muhammad Shah, and even took away Bidar Bakht's only kingly ornament, a string of pearls round his neck.

Finally Mahadji Sindhia's forces arrived to the rescue of Shah Alam II. Attacking the Rohilla forces of Ghulam Qadir, they imposed a blockade on Delhi by the beginning of October. The situation became so dire that grain sold at 2 rupees a seer in Delhi, and Ghulam Qadir escaped from the city on 12 October, taking with him Mahmud Shah and some sons of Shah Alam II as prisoner. Mahmud Shah was deposed in absentia on 16 October 1788, upon Sindhia's capture of Delhi City. He was afterwards captured from the Rohillas.


Mahmud Shah was allegedly put to death in 1790 by order of Shah Alam II, supposedly for usurping his authority in 1788. He left behind 2 daughters.

Preceded by
Shah Alam II
Mughal Emperor
Succeeded by
Shah Alam II


  1. ^ Mehta, Jaswant Lal (2005). Advanced Study in the History of Modern India 1707-1813. Sterling Publishers. p. 595. ISBN 9781932705546. 
  2. ^ Tikkiwal, Harish Chandra (1974). Jaipur and the Later Mughals (1707-1803 A.D.): A Study in Political Relations. University of Rajasthan. p. 175. OCLC 825766812. 
  3. ^ Hasan, Iqtida (1995). Later Moghuls and Urdù literature. Ferozsons. p. 48. ISBN 9789690101204. 
  • Decline of the Mughal Empire by Safdar Hiyat Safdar