Malik Maqbul Tilangani

Malik Maqbul (Nagaya Ganna,[1] also referred to as Khan-i-Jahan Maqbul Tilangani[2] and Jahan Khan[3]) was a commander in the Kakatiya Empire, who rose to become the Wazir of the Delhi Sultanate under Firuz Shah Tughluq (r. 1351–1388).[4]

Career in WarangalEdit

Malik Maqbul, born Nagaya Ganna, was a commander of the Kakatiya Empire under Prataparudra (r. 1289–1323). Marana's Markandeya Puranamu (in Telugu) names him as "Nagaya Ganna Vibhudu" and describes him as the commander (Kataka paludu) of Warangal Fort, the capital of Kakatiyas. The term Vibhudu (meaning "Lord") implies that he was very high up in the hierarchy.[1]

After Giasudeen tuglaq's son and general Ulugh Khan ( Muhammad bin tuglaq ) captured Warangal in 1323, Ulugh Khan himself took over the Governorship of what is now a new province of "Teling" (Telangana) in the Sultanate. Nagaya Ganna accepted Islam and changed his name to Malik Maqbul to find a place in the new regime. When Ulugh Khan left for Delhi soon afterwards, he left Warangal in the charge of Malik Maqbul, who became the new Governor. Ulugh Khan succeeded Giasudeen tuglaq as the new Sultan of Delhi under the name Muhammad bin Tughluq.[1][5]

The new regime was beset with rebellions and the Muslims were not welcomed as rulers. The coastal region around Rajahmundry slipped out immediately after Ulugh Khan's departure, the area south of Krishna river in 1325, Bhadrachalam area in 1330 and western Telangana between 1330–1335.[6] The Sultan marched on South India in 1334 in order to suppress the rebellions, but his army was struck by an epidemic, and he was forced to return to Delhi.[7] Soon afterwards, Musunuri Kapaya Nayaka captured Warangal, and Malik Maqbul fled to Delhi. Facing significant losses in his army due to the epidemic, the Sultan was in no position recover Telangana.[8]

Career in DelhiEdit

Malik Maqbul was initially made the governor of Multan and sent to administer Punjab.[9]

After his return to Delhi, Maqbul earned the trust of Tughlaq. He accompanied the sultan on an expedition to Gujarat to subdue the rebels in Broach. He put all the rebels to death and captured enormous amount of wealth.[10] Subsequently, by making himself indispensable in the Delhi durbar (court), he became the finance minister and finally, the Wazir, of the Delhi Sultanate under Feroz Shah Tughlaq.[11] When Feroz Shah was away on a Campaign to Sind and Gujarat for six months and no news was available about his whereabouts Maqbul ably protected Delhi.[3] He was the most highly favoured among the significant number of the nobles in Feroz Shah's court and retained the trust of the sultan.[12] Feroz Shah used to call Maqbul as 'brother'. The sultan even remarked that Khan-i-Jahan was the real ruler of Delhi. The fiscal and general administration were entirely left to Maqbul. On his part, Maqbul never exceeded his powers, and kept the sultan fully informed. He was also scrupulously honest. Although he did take presents from the governors of the provinces, he entered them in the royal treasury. He was also strict in collecting government dues. His powers, however, were restricted by the auditor (mustaufi) and by the Accountant-General (mushrif). Sometimes it led to bitter disputes in which the sultan mediated.[13] On one occasion, Maqbul threatened to leave for Mecca when he came into conflict with Ain-i-Mahru, the Accountant General. Sultan had to retrench Ain-i-Mahru. Maqbul was paid annually 13 lakh tankas over and above the expenses of his army and servants and separate allowances for his sons and sons-in-law. Maqbul also maintained a retinue of 2000 concubines.[14]


Firoz Shah gave an undertaking that the position of Wazir will be inherited by Maqbul's son. After the death of Maqbul in 1369 CE, his son Jauna Khan became the Wazir.[15] Jauna Khan was as competent as his father but he was no military leader. He failed in the conflict for succession, which began even during the lifetime of Feroz Shah. Jauna Khan was captured and executed. Also known as Junan Shah, he built seven large mosques in and around Delhi of which Khirki Masjid is very well known.[16]


Malik Maqbul's tomb in Delhi

Built in 1388 by Junan Shah (son of Malik Maqbul), his tomb (Tughluq tombs) [17][18][19] was the first octagonal mausoleum to be built in Delhi. The only other octagonal mausoleum that pre-dates this tomb in the Indian subcontinent is the Tomb of Shah Rukn-i Alam in Multan. The mausoleum occupies the northwestern corner of Nizamuddin West.[20] The plan is composed of an octagonal burial chamber wrapped by a larger octagonal veranda. The verandah has three arched openings on each side, with a finial bearing cupola crowning the central arches. A large raised dome sits on top of the central chamber. While the parapet wall of the veranda is articulated with crenellations, a slanting stone overhang (chhajja) runs beneath it, encasing all sides of the structure. The main entry to the structure is through the central arch of its south façade. The walls of the chamber are substantially thick. The mihrab is set in a stepped niche on the west wall of the chamber. A stairwell leading to the crypt below is also built into the western wall and accessed from inside a doorway. A large rectangular sarcophagus sits centred in the chamber beneath the dome in a two tiered arrangement. The tomb stands today in a very poor state of repair.[21]


  1. ^ a b c Wagoner & Rice 2001, p. 48.
  2. ^ Khan-i-Jahan's Tomb - Tomb of Malik Maqbul Khan, Delhi Information, retrieved 17 April 2019
  3. ^ a b Kulke, Hermann; Rothermund, Dietmar (1998), A History of India (Third ed.), Routledge, p. 167, ISBN 0-415-15482-0
  4. ^ Sen, Sailendra (2013). A Textbook of Medieval Indian History. Primus Books. p. 97. ISBN 978-9-38060-734-4.
  5. ^ Somasekhara Sarma 1945, p. 25, footnote 1.
  6. ^ Rama Rao 1947, p. 297.
  7. ^ Jackson 1993, p. 268.
  8. ^ Jackson 1993, pp. 268–269.
  9. ^ T. H. Beale and H. G. Keene, An Oriental Biographical Dictionary, W. H. Allen, 1894, p. 214
  10. ^ The History of India, as Told by Its Own Historians, Vol. III, H. M. Elliot, Adamant Media Corporation, p. 256, ISBN 1-4021-8212-0
  11. ^ Sultan Firoz Shah Tughlaq by M. Ahmed, 1978, Chugh Publications, New Delhi p. 46 and 95
  12. ^ Jackson 1993, p. 186.
  13. ^ Medieval India; From Sultanat to the Mughals, S. Chandra, 2007, Har Anand Publications, p.122, ISBN 81-241-1064-6
  14. ^ The Cambridge Economic History of India, T. Raychaudhuri and I. Habib, Orient Longman, 2005, p. 90, ISBN 81-250-2730-0
  15. ^ Medieval India; From Sultanat to the Mughals, S. Chandra, 2007, Har Anand Publications, p.161, ISBN 81-241-1064-6
  16. ^ Gaur, Abhilash (15 April 2007). "Sacred Seven". The Hindu. Retrieved 3 May 2018. CS1 maint: discouraged parameter (link)
  17. ^ "Khan-i Jahan Maqbul Tilangani Mausoleum". Archived from the original on 1 July 2012. Retrieved 3 May 2007.
  18. ^ Bunce, Fredrick W. 2004. Islamic Tombs in India: The Iconography and Genesis of Their Design. New Delhi: D.K. Printworld, 52-55
  19. ^ Sharma, Y.D. 2001. Delhi and its Neighbourhood. New Delhi: Directory General Archaeological Survey of India, 27, 118.
  20. ^ Tomb of Telanga nawab: Anon (1997) Delhi, The Capital of India; Asian Educational Services. pp. 85. ISBN 81-206-1282-5, 9788120612822
  21. ^ Sanatani, Rohit Priyadarshi. "The Tomb of Khan - i Jahan Tilangani: A forgotten gem". The Speaking Arch. Retrieved 27 March 2015. CS1 maint: discouraged parameter (link)