Nizam Khan, often known as Sikandar Lodi, was the Delhi Sultanate’s Pushtun ruler. He succeeded his father Bahlul Lodi as king of the Lodi Dynasty in July 1489. He was the Lodi Dynasty’s second king and is regarded as the most successful ruler of the Delhi Sultanate. Additionally, he was a Persian poet who composed a diwan of 9000 lines.
Sikandar Lodi is considered as the most competent, greatest, and successful of the three Lodi Sultans, namely Bahlol Lodi (1451–1489), Sikandar Lodi (1489–1517), and Ibrahim Lodi (1517–1526).
Throughout his reign, the Lodi Dynasty’s rule was always just and orderly.
Bahlol Lodi spent most of his time suppressing revolts and strengthening his power. He had virtually little left to work with in terms of administrative changes. Ibrahim Lodi was instrumental in the demise of the Lodi dynasty.
In comparison to these two Sultans, Sikandar Lodi demonstrated his abilities as a military, administrator, empire consolidator, and man of literature.
Early Life of Sikandar Lodi
There is little information on Sikandar Lodi’s early childhood in books or scriptures. Sikandar, according to various sources, was the second son of Sultan Bahlul Lodi, an Afghan monarch of the Lodi Sultanate.
Sikandar was a competent king who promoted commerce across his domain. He extended Lodi’s dominion into the Gwalior and Bihar areas. He entered into a contract with Alauddin Hussain Shah and his Bengali realm. In 1503, he commissioned the construction of what is now known as Agra. He established Agra.
Sikandar Lodi had almost all of the characteristics that distinguished him as the master of a beautiful personality and a decent character. He had considerable political acumen and foresight. Apart from being an effective ruler, he was a patron of the arts and literature.Moreover he was particularly fond of discipline. Lodhi was kind to everyone and generous to the poor and needy. He was the Muslim community’s benefactor. He was known for unconditionally favoring his Muslim people, which prompted the Hindus to rise out against him. His religious conservatism and rigidity as his most glaring flaws in an otherwise beautiful personality.
The Lodi Sultans were Muslims, and like their forefathers, they recognized the Abbasid Caliphate’s sovereignty over the Muslim World. Due to Sikandar’s Hindu mother, he attempted to establish his Islamic credentials via strong Sunni orthodoxy as a political expedient. He demolished Hindu temples and, under duress from the ulama, permitted the death of a Brahmin who proclaimed Hinduism to be as authentic as Islam. He also prohibited women from attending the Mazars (mausoleums) of Muslim saints and the yearly procession of Salar Masud’s spear.
in addition Before Sikandar’s reign, smaller villages and towns were administered by local officials, with the Sultan consulting Islamic law experts (sharia). Sikandar created sharia courts in several cities, allowing the qazis to administer sharia law to a wider populace. While these courts were created in regions with a sizable Muslim population, they were also accessible to non-Muslims, even for non-religious issues such as property disputes.
Rise to Power
Following the death of Bahlol Lodi, the question of succession arose, leading to the formation of competing factions.likewise One party sought to enthrone Sikandar Lodi, the third son of Bahlol Lodi, while the other group, which was more powerful, opposed the idea because Sikandar was born to a mother who was the daughter of a goldsmith, and the other group,urther which was less strong, supported the proposal. The followers of this party wished for the enthronement of the oldest son of the dead sultan Barbaq Shah, who was the eldest son of Barbaq Shah.
At the time, he was the ruler of the city of Jaunpur. When Sultan Bahlol Lodi was on his deathbed, they tried all they could to keep Sikandar away from his father, but they were unsuccessful. They were skeptical that Sikandar would succeed his father on the throne so soon after his father’s death. The situation changed dramatically when a relative of Sikandar used harsh words towards his mother, causing many opponents to flock to his side and enabling him to win the succession battle. On the 17th of July, A.D. 1489, he was successful with their assistance.
Sikandar Lodi Rule
Sikandar was the most important king of the Lodi dynasty. He earned every accolade bestowed upon him by contemporaneous and modern historians. He was very courageous and generous, and his military prowess enabled him to effectively quell revolts and bolster the Sultanate’s authority and reputation.
Sikandar Lodi was an extremely capable ruler. He had acquired considerable administrative experience before his ascension, having served in a variety of important positions throughout his father’s rule. As a result, he was able to eradicate disorder and anarchy and create a powerful central authority. He increased his authority and reputation by retaining control over the Sultanate’s nobility and Amirs. Additionally, he restructured the army and increased its effectiveness and efficiency. He meticulously audited the provincial authorities’ finances to eliminate any chance of royal funds misappropriate. Due to further the severity of his penalties, the number of crimes decreased throughout his rule.
Sikandar Lodi was a courageous fighter and an accomplished commander. His whole life devote to putting down rebellions and waging battles against his adversaries. He defeated Jaunpur, Bihar, Chanderi, Dholpur, and Nagor, among other important states. Due to his administrative reforms and major triumphs. He carved out a place for himself in the history of medieval India.
Sikandar, in addition to expanding and consolidating his kingdom.He was an avid patron of the arts and literature. He was a patron of many men of literature. Sikander lodi was a learned guy who aided the academics.During his life time he translated many important works on Ayurveda under the title Tibb-i-Sikandari. He constructed many structures that demonstrate his passion for architecture. Sikandar’s biggest flaw as a successful ruler was his unrelenting prejudice; otherwise, he was the most important king of the Lodi dynasty and had all the necessary characteristics of mind and heart.
Sikandar Lodi Conquests
To begin, Sikandar Lodi fought his older brother and conquered Jaunpur, bringing it directly under his authority. He then launched his assault on Bihar, defeating its king and annexing the state.Further Lodhi conquered Dholpur, Bidar, Gwalior, and Chanderi, as well as other neighboring kingdoms. He concluded an amicable arrangement with the king of Bengal. Sikandar’s dominion stretched from Punjab to the Bengali border, including the regions between the Sutlej and Bundelkhand rivers.
Support from Nobles
His hold over his noble so strong that he could brag, “If I command one of my slaves to be placed in a palanquin,in addition the whole body of nobility would carry him on their shoulders at my command.” He gain the esteem of his nobility via his harsh justice, a code of behavior for nobles and its unwavering obedience, a spy system, and a strategy of pleasant mixing of sternness with kindness. Sikandar’s only objective was to restore the Sultan’s status, which he accomplished.
Effective Administration of Sikandar Lodi
Sikandar Shah was an upright Sultan. He was very arduous. Lodhi attended to the tiniest administrative detail. He worked tirelessly from dawn to night supervising administrative tasks.
Roaming in Disguise
Sikandar Lodi often toured cities disguised in order to get firsthand knowledge on the people’s plight and the activities of the Amirs and Ulemas.
System of Espionage
Sikandar Lodi so thoroughly informed on everything important in the state through his spy system and his own travels that the populace thought the Sultan had magical abilities.
Sikandar made a number of changes to the court system. He was himself the supreme court of justice. He administered justice impartially to his people.
Individuals’ economic well-being
The sultan carried a price list for all items of daily usage in order to evaluate the people’s economic situation. In the market, an informal system of price regulation existed, enabling individuals to get basic needs at reasonable prices.
Relief for Agriculture and Trade
He eliminated grain duties and pushed farmers to improve their agricultural practices. Additionally, the Sultan eliminated all internal trade tariffs.
Concentration on literature
The Sultan was a well-known scholar. He was fluent in Persian and wrote poetry in the language. He presided over a council of educated men.
Emphasis on education in Sikandar Lodi rule
The Sultan recruited two renowned thinkers from outside India to help him enhance his empire’s educational system.
He promoted education, especially among the children of Afghan nobility, in order to instill a culture in them. He established mosques as educational institutions.
Lodhi assigned a religious speaker, a teacher, and a scavenger at the cost of the state in each mosque. His court was a place of study, and it was decorated by many academics.
It is claimed that about seventy academics met each night at the side of his bed to discuss academic and theological issues.
Numerous academic works have been translated into Persian from Sanskrit.
Promotion of music
The Sultan was a music enthusiast. He adored ‘sehnai’. During his reign, a renowned book on music named ‘Lahjat-i- Sikandar Shahi’ was compiled.
The Sultan constructed the city of Agra, which became an important administrative and cultural center for the Mughals. In Delhi, he constructed many mosques as well as his father Bahlol Lodi’s mausoleum.
Public welfare activities
The Sultan established appropriate procedures for the free distribution of rations to the needy from the royal treasury and established a free kitchen.
Reforms in Islam
Sikandar attempted to reform Islam by putting an end to some practices he believed to be harmful to Islam. He prohibited Muslim women from visiting saints’ shrines. He forbade the parade of ‘Tazias at the Moharram festival.
During his last days, Sikandar Lodi was preoccupied with expeditions against Gwalior, Dholpur, Rajasthan, Malwa, and other states, and his health began to fail as a result of the constant battles he was engaged in. He was preparing to invade Malwa when he became ill with a high fever, and despite receiving the finest medical care possible, he died on the 21st of November, 1517, at the age of thirty-one. Ibrahim Lodhi succeeded him as the ruler of the Lodhi Dynasty.