Sayyid dynasty

The Sayyid dynasty was the fourth dynasty of the Delhi Sultanate, with four rulers ruling from 1414 to 1451. Founded by Khizr Khan, a former governor of Multan, they succeeded the Tughlaq dynasty and ruled the sultanate as a vassal of the Timurid Empire, until they were displaced by the Lodi dynasty.

Sayyid dynasty
(Delhi Sultanate)
Common languagesPersian (official)[2]
Sunni Islam
• 1414–1421
Khizr Khan Sayyid
• 1421-1434
Mubarak Shah
• 1434-1443
Muhammad Shah
• 1443-1451
Ala-ud-Din Shah
• Established
28 May 1414
• Disestablished
20 April 1451
Preceded by
Succeeded by
Tughlaq dynasty
Lodi dynasty
Langah Sultanate
Today part ofIndia


A contemporary writer Yahya Sirhindi mentions in his Takhrikh-i-Mubarak Shahi that Khizr Khan was a descendant of prophet Muhammad.[3] Members of the dynasty derived their title, Sayyid, or the descendants of the Islamic prophet, Muhammad, based on the claim that they belonged to his lineage through his daughter Fatima. However, Yahya Sirhindi based his conclusions on unsubstantial evidence, the first being a casual recognition by the famous saint Sayyid Jalaluddin Bukhari of Uch Sharif of his Sayyid heritage,[4] and secondly the noble character of the Sultan which distinguished him as a Prophet's descendant.[5] Abraham Eraly and Surendra Nath Sen are of the opinion that Khizr Khan's ancestors might have been descendents of an Arab family who settled in region of Multan under the rule of Tughluq dynasty, but both doubt his Sayyid lineage.[6][7] According to Richard M. Eaton, Khizr Khan was a Punjabi chieftain belonging to the Khokhar clan.[8] Other scholars also agree on Khizr Khan's status as a Khokhar chieftain.[9] According to the Dayal Das Bikaner Khyat, Malik Sulaiman, the father of Khizr Khan, while working as the Nawab of Multan, led an expedition for the recapture of Nagaur from the Rathore Rajputs and installed Firoz Khan the son of Jalal Khan Khokhar as the ruler of Nagaur.[10]


Territory of the Sayyids, as vassals of the Timurid Empire. The Malwa Sultanate ruled the areas to the south of the Sayyids.
The tomb of Muhammad Shah at Lodi Gardens, New Delhi.

Following Timur's 1398 Sack of Delhi,[11] he appointed Khizr Khan as deputy of Multan (Punjab).[12] He held Lahore, Dipalpur, Multan and Upper Sindh.[13][14] Khizr Khan captured Delhi on 28 May 1414 thereby establishing the Sayyid dynasty.[12] Khizr Khan did not take up the title of Sultan and nominally, continued to be a Rayat-i-Ala (vassal) of the Timurids - initially that of Timur, and later his son Shah Rukh.[15] After the accession of Khizr Khan, the Punjab, Uttar Pradesh and Sindh were reunited under the Delhi Sultanate, where he spent his time subduing rebellions.[16]

Khizr Khan was succeeded by his son Sayyid Mubarak Shah after his death on 20 May 1421. Mubarak Shah referred to himself as Muizz-ud-Din Mubarak Shah on his coins. A detailed account of his reign is available in the Tarikh-i-Mubarak Shahi written by Yahya-bin-Ahmad Sirhindi. After the death of Mubarak Shah, his nephew, Muhammad Shah ascended the throne and styled himself as Sultan Muhammad Shah. Just before his death, he called his son Sayyid Ala-ud-Din Shah from Badaun, and nominated him as successor.[citation needed]

The last ruler of the Sayyids, Ala-ud-Din, voluntarily abdicated the throne of the Delhi Sultanate in favour of Bahlul Khan Lodi on 19 April 1451, and left for Badaun, where he died in 1478.[17]


Khizr KhanEdit

Billon Tanka of Khizr Khan in the name of Firoz Shah Tughlaq.

Khizr Khan was the governor of Multan under Firuz Shah Tughlaq. When Timur invaded India, Khizr Khan, a Sayyid from Multan joined him. Timur appointed him the governor of Multan and Lahore. He then conquered the city of Delhi and started the rule of the Sayyids in 1414. He was ruling in the name of Timur. He could not assume an independent position in all respects. As a mark of recognition of the suzerainty of the Timurids, the name of the Timurid ruler (Shah Rukh) was recited in the khutba but as an interesting innovation, the name of Khizr Khan was also attached to it. But strangely enough, the name of the Timurid ruler was not inscribed on the coins and the name of the old Tughlaq sultan continued on the currency. No coins are known in the name of Khizr Khan.[18]

Mubarak ShahEdit

Double falls of Mubarak Shah

Mubarak Shah was the son of Khizr Khan, who ascended the throne in the year 1421. Mubarak Shah discontinued his father's nominal allegiance to Timur.[19] He freely used the royal title of Shah along with his own name, and professed allegiance to the Khalifah alone.[20] He was the ablest ruler of the Sayyid dynasty.[21]

Muhammad ShahEdit

Tomb of Mubarak Shah.

Muhammad Shah was a nephew of Mubarak Shah. He ruled from 1434 to 1443. Muhammad Shah acceded to the throne with the help of Sarwar ul Mulk. After that Shah wanted to free himself from the domination of Sarwar ul Mulk with the help of his faithful vizier Kamal ul Mulk. His reign was marked by many rebellions and conspiracies, and he died in the year. Multan became independent under the Langahs during his rule.[22]

Alam ShahEdit

The last ruler of the Sayyid dynasty, Alauddin Alam Shah was defeated by Bahlol Lodi, who started the Lodi dynasty.

See alsoEdit


  1. ^ Schwartzberg, Joseph E. (1978). A Historical atlas of South Asia. Chicago: University of Chicago Press. p. 39, 148. ISBN 0226742210.
  2. ^ "Arabic and Persian Epigraphical Studies - Archaeological Survey of India". Retrieved 14 November 2010.
  3. ^ Porter, Yves; Degeorge, Gérard (2009). The Glory of the Sultans: Islamic Architecture in India. Though Timur had since withdrawn his forces , the Sayyid Khizr Khān , the scion of a venerable Arab family who had settled in Multān , continued to pay him tribute: Flammarion. ISBN 978-2-08-030110-9.
  4. ^ The Cambridge History of India. The claim of Khizr Khān , who founded the dynasty known as the Sayyids , to descent from the prophet of Arabia was dubious , and rested chiefly on its causal recognition by the famous saint Sayyid Jalāl - ud - dīn of Bukhārā .: S. Chand. 1958.
  5. ^ Ramesh Chandra Majumdar (1951). The History and Culture of the Indian People: The Delhi sultanate. Bharatiya Vidya Bhavan.
  6. ^ Surendra Nath Sen (1935). The Groundwork of Indian History. p. 158.
  7. ^ Eraly, Abraham (1 April 2015). The Age of Wrath: A History of the Delhi Sultanate. Penguin UK. p. 261. ISBN 978-93-5118-658-8. The first of these two dynasties was founded by Khizr Khan, who bore the appellation 'Sayyid', which identified him as a descendant of prophet Muhammad, so the dynasty he founded came to be known as the Sayyid dynasty. The veracity of Khizr Khan's claimed lineage is uncertain, but it is likely that his forebears were Arabs, who had migrated to India in the early Tughluq period and settled in Multan. The family prospered in India, gaining wealth and power. This advancement culminated in Malik Suleiman, Khizr Khan's father, becoming the governor of Multan under the Tughluqs. When Suleiman died, Khizr Khan succeeded him to the post, but lost it during the political turmoil following the death of Firuz Tughluq.
  8. ^ Richard M. Eaton (2019). India in the Persianate Age: 1000–1765. p. 117. ISBN 978-0520325128. The career of Khizr Khan, a Punjabi chieftain belonging to the Khokar clan...
  9. ^ Digby, Simon (13 October 2014), "After Timur Left", After Timur Left, Oxford University Press, pp. 47–59, retrieved 25 January 2023"And we find that a Khokhar chieftain, Khizr Khan who was sent to Timur as an ambassador and negotiator from the most adjacent area, the Punjab, ultimately became the power holder in Delhi, thanks to the contacts he had aquired"
  10. ^ Rajvi Amar Singh (1992). Mediaeval History of Rajasthan: Western Rajasthan. the University of Michigan. p. 139. It appears from Dayal Das Bikaner Khyat that the two sons of Jalal Khan Khokhar, the governor of Nagaur, Mahmud and Firoz fled to Multan to Saleman Khan, who has been described as the Nawab of Multan. It was the army under this very Saleman Khan, which had come from Multan, that obtained the victory over the Rathores and occupied Nagaur. So it was Firoz Khan son of Jalal Khan who entered into possession of Nagaur after its reconquest.
  11. ^ Jackson 2003, p. 103.
  12. ^ a b Kumar 2020, p. 583.
  13. ^ Kenneth Pletcher (2010). The History of India. p. 138.
  14. ^ V. D. Mahajan (2007). History of Medieval India. p. 229.
  15. ^ Mahajan, V.D. (1991, reprint 2007). History of Medieval India, Part I, New Delhi: S. Chand, ISBN 81-219-0364-5, p.237
  16. ^ Rajasthan [district Gazetteers] Bharatpur. Printed at Government Central Press. 1971. p. 52.
  17. ^ Mahajan, V.D. (1991, reprint 2007). History of Medieval India, Part I, Now Delhi: S. Chand, ISBN 81-219-0364-5, p.244
  18. ^ Nizami, K.A. (1970, reprint 2006) A Comprehensive History of India, Vol-V, Part-1, People Publishing House, ISBN 81-7007-158-5, p.631
  19. ^ Journal: Issues 1-3. Aligarh Historical Research Institute. 1941. p. 73.
  20. ^ V. D. Mahajan (2007). History of Medieval India. p. 239.
  21. ^ Arihant Experts (2021). CTET and TET Social Science and Pedagogy for Class 6 to 8 for 2021 Exams. p. 43.
  22. ^ Masudul Hasan, Abdul Waheed. Outline History of the Islamic World. the University of Michigan. p. 1974.


  • Kumar, Sunil (2020). "The Delhi Sultanate as Empire". In Bang, Peter Fibiger; Bayly, C. A.; Scheidel, Walter (eds.). The Oxford World History of Empire. Vol. 2. Oxford University Press.
  • Jackson, Peter (2003). The Delhi Sultanate: A Political and Military History. Cambridge University Press.

External linksEdit