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Sayyids

The Sayyid Dynasty was the fourth of five dynasties that ruled over the Delhi Sultanate. They succeeded the` Tughlaqs and ruled Delhi from 1414 CE to 1451 CE when Bahlul Khan Lodi took over the Sultanate and established the Lodi Dynasty.

The Sayyid Dynasty was established by Khizr Khan who was deputised by Timur to his territories in Multan in an administrative capacity. The central authority of the Delhi Sultanate had been weakened by Timur’s attacks and the kingdom had broken up into various small Sultanates towards the end of the Tughlaq Dynasty rule. Khizr Khan took over the throne of Delhi from Daulat Khan Lodi and established the rule of the Sayyid Dynasty. Khizr Khan had three successors – Mubarak Shah, Muhammad Shah and Alauddin Alam Shah. The last Sayyid ruler, Alauddin Alam Shah, voluntarily abdicated the throne in 1451 CE in favour of Bahlul Khan Lodi and left for Badaun where he died in 1478 CE.

The Sayyids claimed to be descendants of Muhammad, the Islamic prophet.

Khizr Khan, the founder of the Sayyid Dynasty rule in Delhi in 1414 CE, did not assume a royal title. He struck coins in the name of Timur; and after Timur’s death, in the name of his son Shah Rukh. The Sayyid ruler was succeeded by his son, Mubarak Shah in the year 1421 CE upon his death. Mubarak shah ruled Delhi from his ascension till his death in 1434 CE. During this period, he undertook many expeditions to suppress revolts in the Delhi Sultanate.

Mubarak Shah was succeeded by his nephew, Muhammad Shah in 1434 CE, after Mubarak Shah was murdered by Delhi nobles. Muhammad Shah was an inefficient ruler and contributed to the weakening of the Sayyid Dynasty. He was succeeded by his son, Alauddin Alam Shah in 1445 CE. Alauddin abdicated the throne of the Sultanate in favour of Bahlul Khan Lodi in 1451 CE and retired to Badaun where he died in 1478 CE.

Trade and economy was not flourishing during the rule of Sayyids and Lodis. Sikander Lodi abolished corn duties and patronised trade and commerce. The Deccan region was a coastal trade route and by late 15th Century CE, the supply lines had collapsed due to a decline in trade routes. Because of this collapse, supplies from the coast to the empire were cut off. By the time Ibrahim Lodi ascended the throne, the political structure dissolved due to abandoned trade routes and depleted treasury. This eventually led to the downfall of the Sultanate. The Lodis could not use these trade routes as they could not protect themselves if war broke out on these roads. As a result, trade and the royal treasury declined.

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