The Reign of Sultán Sikandar Lodí.

Historians who have written concerning the reign of Sultán Sikandar say, that before his accession to the throne he was called Nizám Khán, and that he was remarkable for his beauty, which was unsurpassed, and that whoever looked on him yielded his heart captive. Shaikh Hasan, the grandson of the Shaikh Abú Lálá whose memory is revered in Raprí, was captivated by his appearance. This Shaikh Hasan was one of the most distinguished men of the period. One winter day, Prince Nizám Khán was sitting in his private chamber, when Shaikh Hasan was seized with a desire of beholding him, and he found no difficulty in reaching him, on account of the respect in which men of his pure mode of life are held. Sultán Sikandar was much astonished at seeing him enter, and asked him how he had come in without permission, in spite of the doorkeepers. The Shaikh answered, “You know best how and when I came.” The Sultán said: “You consider yourself fond of me?” He replied, “I cannot hinder myself from being so.” The Sultán ordered him to come forward; he did so, and there was a stove before the Sultán: the Sultán placed his hand on the Shaikh's head, and pressed it towards the burning coals; not­withstanding which, the Shaikh did not make the slightest movement or resistance. They remained in this position for a short time, when Mubárak Khán Lohání arrived: he wondered much at what he saw, and asked who that person (the Shaikh) was. The Sultán replied that it was Shaikh Hasan. Mubárak Khán said: “O man who fearest not God, what are you doing? Shaikh Hasan has suffered no damage or injury from the fire; tremble, lest you yourself should!” The Sultán said, “He calls himself my admirer!” Mubárak Khán answered: “You ought to be thankful for his doing so, and that you are pleasing in the sight of so holy a man: if you would obtain felicity in this world and the next, obey him.” Prince Nizám Khán then withdrew his hand from the Shaikh's neck; and every one saw that, notwithstanding the dreadful heat of the fire, neither the face nor hair of the Shaikh had been injured. In spite of all this, the Sultán ordered the Shaikh to be chained, neck and foot, and cast into a dungeon. This was also done; and a week afterwards they informed Sultán Sikandar, that Shaikh Hasan was dancing in the bázár; he ordered him to be seized and brought before him. When he came into the presence, the Sultán said to him: “You call yourself my admirer; why have you escaped from the captivity in which I placed you?” Shaikh Hasan answered:—“I did not do so of my own accord; my grandfather, Shaikh Abú Lálá, led me forth by the hand.” The Sultán ordered the room in which the Shaikh had been con­fined to be inspected; the door was opened, and the chains found lying on the ground; and the Shaikh had, nevertheless, been found dancing in the bázár! Thenceforth the Sultán did not treat the Shaikh with disrespect.*

It is also related of this prince, that before his accession, when a crowd of Hindus had assembled in immense numbers at Kurkhet, he wished to go to Thánesar for the purpose of putting them all to death. One of his courtiers represented to him that it would be better to consult the learned before doing this. Sultán Sikandar caused the doctors to assemble, and questioned the chief of them, whose name was Míán 'Abdu-lla, of Ajodhan. This Maliku-l Ulamá asked the King what there was in that place (Thánesar). He replied, “There is a tank in which all the infidels are accustomed to bathe.” The Maliku-l Ulamá said, “Since when have they been in the habit of doing so?” Nizám Khán replied that it was an ancient custom. Míán 'Abdu-lla asked what the Muhammadan sovereigns who had preceded him had been in the habit of doing. The Sultán answered, that up to his time they had left the Hindus unmolested. The Maliku-l Ulamá then assured the King that it would be very improper for him to destroy an ancient idol-temple, and that he ought not to forbid the accustomed rite of performing their ablutions in the tank. When this conversation had lasted a short time, the Sultán placed his hand on his dagger, and exclaimed, “You side with the infidels. I will first put an end to you, and then massacre the infidels at Kurkhet!” Míán 'Abdu-lla said, “Every one's life is in the hand of God—no one can die without His command: whoever enters the presence of a tyrant must beforehand prepare himself for death, let what may happen! When you asked me, I gave you an answer in conformity with the precepts of the Prophet; if you have no reverence for them, what is the use of inquiring?” Sultán Sikandar's wrath was slightly appeased, and he said, “If you had permitted me to do this, many thousands of Musulmáns would have been placed in easy circumstances by it.” Míán 'Abdu-lla replied: “I have said my say; you know what you intend doing:

What I say to you is dictated by eloquence.
Either take advice or be vexed.”

The Sultán then rose up from the assembly, and all the learned went with him, with the exception of Míán 'Abdu-lla, who remained standing in his place. The Prince requested that he would visit him occasionally, and then gave him leave to depart.

Another anecdote related of him is, that, in the time of Sultán Bahlol, when Tátár Khán and Saif Ján, grandees of the State, had rebelled, and seized many districts,* the revenues of which they applied to their own private use, it so happened that at the same period Prince Nizám Khán had seized Pánípat without the permission of Sultán Bahlol, and made it a jágír of his own. Certain nobles laid a complaint about this before the Sultán, who caused a farmán to be written to Khwájagí Shaikh Sa'íd, the Prince's díwán, to this effect: “The Prince has behaved thus at your instigation. If you have such a desire to display your courage, take forcible possession of Tátár Khán's estates! What courage do you show when you plunder my territory?” The Shaikh went to the Prince with the farmán in his hand, and on the Prince's inquiring if all went well, he answered that it did, inasmuch as Sultán Bahlol had himself made over the regal power to the Prince. The Prince asked why he spoke in that way. He answered, “Look at this farmán which he has written and sent.” The Prince opened it, and found that its contents were to the effect that if he possessed the courage and power, he should take possession of Tátár Khán's lands. The Sultán said, “O Khwájagí, they have given us a strange sort of kingdom.” The Khwájagí observed: “A kingdom is not to be gained easily. If you can perform what has been ordered, you are certain to succeed to the throne. The King commands you to take the management of important business, which he ought to transact himself; and by so doing he hints to you that he intends you to succeed him.” “Well,” said the Prince, “what must I do then?” He replied, “Arise, and try your fortune! As it is said in this verse:

No one receives a land as his heritage,
Unless he arms each of his hands with a sword!”

At that period, when the Prince Nizám Khán was staying at Pánípat, he had 1500 horsemen with him, all of whom were as much attached to him as Khwájagí Shaikh Sa'íd Farmulí, and his relations. Among these adherents were Míán Husain and his five brothers, Daryá Khán, Sher Khán Lohání, 'Umar Khán Sarwání, and others. One day the Prince mustered this force in Pánípat, and after consulting with all the chiefs about his affairs, they came to the conclusion that the best course would be to send a portion of the 1500 men he had with him against the parganas in the neighbourhood of Sirhind, and order them to take possession of them. When strife had thus commenced, Tátár Khán collected a large army, and Prince Nizám Khán advanced from Pánípat with the before-mentioned troops to meet him. They encountered each other in the pargana of Ambála, on the plain where subsequently the battle was fought between Salím Sháh and Haibat Khán Níází, whose title was 'Azam Humáyún.