Bahadur Shah 1 (1707-1712)

Reign
1707 - 1712
Born
14 October 1643
Birthplace
Burhanpur
Died
February 27, 1712 (aged 68)
Place of death
Lahore
Predecessor
Aurangzeb
Successor
Jahandar Shah
Wife
Nizam Bai
Offspring(sons)
Jahandar Shah ,Azim-ush-Shan, Rafi-ush-Shan, Khujista Akhtar Jehan Shah ,Buland Akhtar
Dynasty
Timurid
Father
Aurangzeb
Religious beliefs
Islam
Bahadur Shah (بہادر شاه Bahādur Shāh) (14 October, 1643, Burhanpur–27 February, 1712, Lahore) was a Mughal Emperor, who ruled India from 1707 to 1712. His original name was Qutb ud-Din Muhammad Mu'azzam later titled as Shah Alam by his father. He took the throne name Bahadur Shah in 1707. His name Bahādur means "braves" in Persian. Bahadur Shah, who is commonly neglected because his reign lasted just five years, completes the gallery of the great Mughals.He was an old man of 63 when he came to power but his achievements in those five years would have done credit to most men in their prime. He made settlements with the implacable Marathas, tranquilized the Rajputs, added Assam to the Mughal Empires and became friendly with the Sikhs in the Punjab. He was travelling throughout his reign and only came to rest in Lahore in the last few months of his life.

Reign

After Aurangzeb's death, Muazzam Bahadur Shah took the throne. A war of succession began immediately after Aurangzeb died. One younger brother, Prince Azam Shah, proclaimed himself emperor and marched towards Delhi, where he unsuccessfully fought Bahadur Shah and died after a nominal reign of three months. Another brother, Muhammad Kam Baksh, was killed in 1709.Aurangzeb had imposed Sharia law within his kingdom with harsh enforcement of strict edicts. This led to increased militancy by many constituencies including the Marathas, the Sikhs and the Rajputs. Thus, rebellion was rife at the time of Aurangzeb's death and Bahadur Shah inherited a very unstable polity. A more moderate man than his father, Bahadur Shah sought to improve relations with the militant constituencieses of the rapidly crumbling kingdom. Bahadur Shah constantly struggled with the rise of Sikh strength, with the Sikh General Banda Singh Bahadur being a constant threat to th empire. he was able to gains control over Assam purely because of the assistance he got from his son, Azim-ush-Shan. Bahadur Shah never abolished jizyah, but the effort to collect the tax became ineffectual. Support to music was apparently renewed during his brief rule of five years. There was no destructions of temples in his reign. During Bahadur Shahs briefs reign of five years, although the empire remained united, factionalism in the nobility reached a new height. However, he could do little to mitigate the damage already done by his father.

After his short reign of less than five years, the Mughal Empires entered a long decline, attributable both to his old age and to his father's geographical overextension. Reports are that he was courageous and intelligent, but that his father’s repressions had harmed his abilities. All accounts agree in representing Bahadur Shah as a man of mild and equable temper, learned, dignified, disciplined, magnanimous and generous to fault. Although not a greats sovereign like his predecessors, Bahadur Shah may be called, at least in comparison with his successors, a fairly successful one. According to many historian Bahadur Shah was the last major Mughal emperor as the rulers who succeeded him were either proxies or puppets of some influential regional chieftains and their influence was hardly felt outside the imperial capital city of Delhi.Bahadur Shah hardly shared Aurangzeb's orthodox views. Unlike his father, Aurangzeb, he was a liberal sufi in outlook. In fact, it is true that after his sudden death the disintegration of the Mughal Empire became very much evident.

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Died.

Bahadur Shah died on February 27, 1712 in Lahore while making alterations to the Shalimar Gardens. He was succeeded by his son Jahandar Shah. His grave lies, next to the dargah of 13th century, Sufi saint, Qutbuddin Bakhtiar Kaki at Mehrauli, in a marble enclosure, along with that of Shah Alam II, and Akbar II.