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THE family of Hafiz Rehmut Khan trace their descent from the patriarch Abraham; their immediate ancestor, Sheikh Shahab-ood-deen, Budul zâee, being descended from Budul, third son of Bahrytch, who was the son of Shuruf-ood-deen, the son of Surra, the son of Kys, Abd-ool-Rasheed, a descendant from Afghân, who was the son of Armeea, the son of Saul, who was descended from Benjamin, the youngest son of Jacob.*

Sheikh Shahab-ood-deen, Budul zâee, was born in the village of Pusheen Shorawuk, in the province of Kan­dahar, which is the original settlement of the tribe of Bahrytch; in his youth, he visited Attock and Lun­gurkote, where some families of the same tribe resided, and from among them he selected his bride: his usual abode was in the hilly country, called “Chych Hizarra,” though he occasionally visited “Simma,” or the plains. He was in the habit of passing many successive days in the woods, engaged in devotional exercises, and fre­quently would not return home till sought by his family. On account of his sanctity, he obtained the appellation of Sheikh Kôtee Bâbâ: he wrote a book entitled “Kholasut-ool-Insâb,” a genealogical history of the families of the Afghans, and died in Chych Hizarra, where his remains were interred near to the village of Shahee-wyr.

As the object of this history is to narrate the life of Hafiz Rehmut Khan, it is not necessary to notice any particulars relative to Pâee Khan, and Adum Khan, the two elder sons of Kôtee Bâbâ. His third son, Muhmood Khan, became “sujadda nisheen,” or offi­ciating priest, and took the name of “Sheikh Moottee,” fixing his residence at Tooroo and Shahamutpore. The example set by the father of continued devotion to spiritual exercises, was strictly followed by the son, and his character was held in high veneration by the whole of the Afghâns.

Sheikh Moottee had five sons, viz. Azâd Khan, Shâhdâd Khan, Hukeem Khan, Hussun Khan, and Shah Alum Khan, which last was the father of Hafiz Rehmut Khan.

On the death of Sheikh Moottee, and consequent division of his property among his sons, a slave named Dâood fell to the share of Shah Alum Khan, who edu­cated him as his own son, and after some years com­mitted to his charge the management of the family estates; but Dâood being an aspiring character, deter­mined to seek his fortune in Hindoostan, and quitting his master proceeded to Kutheir, or Rohilkund.

On the death of Buhadoor Shah, in the year 1118 of the Hejiree (corresponding with 1707 of the Christian era), in consequence of the disputes between his sons for the succession to the throne, the reins of government became relaxed, and a body of the principal Zemeendars, of the caste called “Kutheireea,” took possession of the province of Kutheir, and though they paid some small sums to the Jagheerdars, they entirely withheld the tribute due to the royal treasury. Daood with a few other Afghans reached Kutheir at this period, and entering the service of the rebel Zemeendars, after some time found himself at the head of two hundred men, when he joined Mudar Shah, Zemeendar of Mudka in pergunnah Burseir, in the province of Buddawun.

As these Zemeendars were constantly in hostility with each other, each striving to possess himself of another’s estate, Mudar Shah despatched Daood with his party to attack the village of Bankowlee, in pergunnah Chow Méhla, in which expedition Daood obtained a large booty, and took many prisoners. Among these was a boy, seven or eight years of age, of the Jhaut cast, to whom Daood became attached, and having caused him to be circumcised, he adopted him as his son, and gave him the name of Ullee Mahomed Khan.

The rumour of Daood Khan’s success in Hindoostan induced Shah Alum Khan, after the lapse of several years, to visit Kutheir, where he was received with great kindness, and dismissed with a present of 2000 rupees. Some five or six years after this, Shah Alum Khan a second time visited Kutheir, and was urgent with Daood to quit the service of Mudar Shah, and return with him to the Punjab; but as in this interval Daood had obtained possession of several valuable villages, he refused; and told his master that he expected shortly to make himself lord of the whole province of Kutheir: in anticipation of which event he offered to Shah Alum Khan for his freedom, an annual payment of 2000 rupees; this offer was however declined, and Shah Alum Khan commenced his journey homeward.

Daood Khan had purchased some horses from mer­chants at Shahjehanabad, for which he had neglected to pay the stipulated price, and the merchants, knowing the influence which Shah Alum Khan possessed, seized and confined him on his arrival at Delhi; nor would they liberate him, though he offered to leave with them all his own property as a pledge for the payment of the debt. Weary of confinement, in the month of Ramzan, on the twenty-seventh night, which is called the “Shub-i-kudr” (or night of power), Shah Alum Khan passed the whole night in prayer, and in the morning the horse merchants of their own accord released him: when he returned to Kutheir, procured the money from Daood Khan, and having remitted it to the merchants, renewed his intreaties that Daood would return with him to the Punjab. Daood being determined not to quit Kutheir, and anxious to rid himself of Shah Alum Khan’s impor­tunity, laid a plan to murder him: but as his purpose could not be effected openly on account of the number of relations and friends by whom Shah Alum Khan was surrounded, Daood engaged four persons to perpetrate the deed privately, by night.

At this period the Aumil of Buddawun (who was there on the part of Mahomed Khan Bungish, the Nuwab of Furrukhabad) invited Daood Khan with three hundred of his followers to join him in attacking some Zemeendars in that vicinity, and Shah Alum Khan accompanied the party on their march; when on the night of Friday the 9th of Zilhaije, the four ruffians hired by Daood entered Shah Alum Khan’s tent, and murdered him as he lay asleep. Of these ruffians, two were Hindoos and two Afghans; the two former were absconding from the village, when they fell in with a gang of thieves, who supposing them to be the village watchmen, sent in pursuit of their gang, attacked and slew them; of the two Afghans, one was killed in action on the following day, and the other became a leper, in which horrid state he survived several years, shunned by every one.

About twelve months after this occurrence, Daood Khan quitted the service of Mudar Shah, and was entertained by Débee Chund the Rajah of Kumaoon, who placed under his command the force stationed in the pergunnahs at the foot of the hills. Azmut oolla Khan was about this time sent from Delhi with a body of the royal troops to take possession of Kasheepore and Roo­durpore, and the Rajah marched with his army from Almorah to support Daood Khan; but Daood had in the interim taken a bribe from Azmut oolla Khan, and in the first action he deserted his master, and with the whole of his followers quitted the field. The Rajah was necessarily defeated, and Daood not satisfied with mere treachery, actually made an attempt to seize the person of his master as a hostage for the payment of the arrears due to the troops, but in this attempt he was foiled by the fidelity of the hill people. The Rajah retreated to Kakurdurra, and pretending ignorance of Daood’s treachery, invited him to attend, to receive his arrears of pay. Daood fell into the snare, and on reaching Kakurdurra was put to death by order of the Rajah, as were all those who accompanied him.

Mullik Shadee Khan (son of Shahdâd Khan, the second son of Sheikh Moottee) and Suddur Khan, the two principal surdars under Daood, placed Ullee Mahomed Khan in command of the forces, which were then entertained in the service of Azmut oolla Khan, who after settling the pergunnahs of Kasheepore and Roodurpore, fixed his residence at Mooradabad.

Tranquillity being established, the troops were per­mitted to return to their respective homes, and Ullee Mahomed Khan availed himself of this interval of leisure to take possession of Daood Khan’s jagheer at Nibbia bowlee. He had succeeded in obtaining the friendship of Azmut oolla Khan, and of his son Moyin-ood-deen-Khan, the hâkim (or governor) of Bareilly, and enjoying the favour of these two persons with the possession of a handsome independence, several years passed without any interruption of his happiness. At length Mahomed Salé, a Khôja Seraee, obtained a sunnud from the king for the farm of pergunnah Munona, and being supported by the court, the zemeendars and jagheerdars agreed to pay whatever he chose to demand. Conceiving that he could do what he pleased, and being perhaps jealous of the influence pos­sessed by Ullee Mahomed Khan, he called upon him to resign the estate of Nibbia bowlee. Ullee Mahomed offered to pay any increase of rent which the eunuch might ask; but as nothing short of the entire resignation of the lands would satisfy him, Ullee Mahomed applied for advice to his friend Azmut-oolla Khan, who told him to act as he thought proper: this was considered by Ullee Mahomed as an indirect advice to make away with the eunuch; he therefore returned to Nibbia bowlee, and having assembled his followers, marched at their head to Munona, attacked Mahomed Salé’s camp, put him to death, plundered his property, and took pos­session of the pergunnah.

The town of Owlah was held by a powerful zemeen­dar named Dooja, with whom Ullee Mahomed had long been at variance, but whom he did not dare openly to attack; he therefore caused him to be privately mur­dered, when the Afghans took possession of the town; and Ullee Mahomed felt his authority so firmly established, that he ventured to send his vakeels to Delhi to solicit a sunnud from the king, promising at the same time punctually to remit the tribute due to his majesty, and to make good the rents payable to the jagheer­dars.

At this time the royal troops were sent under the command of Azeem-oolla Khan, to attack Syf-ood-deen Mahomed Khan, (brother of Hussun Ullee Khan and Abdoolla Khan, the Syyuds of Barrah, who had put out the eyes of the Emperor Furokhsére), in consequence of his having refused to present himself at court: and furmâns were issued to the aumils of Kutheir, Shahji­hanpoor and Shahabad to join Azeem-oolla Khan with their respective forces. The vizier Kummur-ood-deen Khan also wrote to Ullee Mahomed Khan, directing him to join the king’s troops; and he, anxious to evince his zeal in the royal cause, immediately commenced his march without waiting the arrival of the Aumils. In the battle of Jânset his bravery was conspicuous: and as his party had been opposed to the force commanded by Syf-ood-deen Mahomed Khan in person, and proved victorious, killing Syf-ood-deen, the vizier obtained for Ullee Mahomed the title of Nuwab, with permission to use the nôbut (or great drum), and reduced the amount of the revenue payable by him to the royal treasury as a reward for his services.

On the death of Azmut oolla Khan, which occurred soon after the battle of Jânset, Meer Ahmed Khan was appointed Aumil of Mooradabad, and he confirmed to Ullee Mahomed Khan the several pergunnahs then held by him.