Bābur, Sulṭān Ẓāhīr al-Dīn Muḥammad d. 937/1530
Founder of Mughal Empire/Soldier of fortune/Poet
Ẓāhīr al-Dīn Muḥammad Bābur was descended on his father's side from Tīmūr (see author 211) and on his mother’s side from Čingīz Ḫān. Bābur’s early military campaigns for the towns and fertile areas of Central Asia were met with few successes, his securing of Kābul in 911/1506 a notable exception. His greatest military triumph, if only for its imperial consequences, came in his occupation of Kandahar in 929/1522, which led to an invitation to enter Hindūstān at the behest of the Sultans of Agra and Lahore to help against a common rival. Once in the heartland of Hindūstān, Bābur spent the final years of his life accruing territory and thus laying the foundations for the establishment of the Mughal Empire. Perhaps best known for his military career and success, Bābur’s literary contributions display his skill well beyond the battles and alliances that occupied most of his life. His literary works include an eclectic mix of different genres: a detailed autobiography, a treatise on prosody and a manavī on the problems of Ḥanafī law. His autobiography is considered a remarkable work of Turkish prose. He died at Agra in 937/1530.