It is said that one day, in his youth, Amír Taimúr

Origin of Tarkháns,

Kúrkán, Sáhib Kirán, going out on a hunting excursion lost his way. The night was dark and the cold was extreme. Loitering about in the jungle for some time, he came to some tents or huts wherein there was a light. The occupants of the huts believing him to be a thief, came out in a body to beat him. But soon learning who he was, took him in their huts and lodged him in one of their best cellars under ground and tried their best to keep him comfortable. This was when Taimúr was 18 years old. At the age of 34, when he occupied the throne of a vast empire, he called those people and enlisted them in his service, simply to patronise them, without requiring them to do any service at all. On this account he gave them the title of “Tarkhán,” which word means ‘Excused of service.’

Some say ‘Tarkhán’ was originally ‘Tarkhún’ meaning ‘wet with blood.’ That was because the ancestors of these Tarkháns had once fought a battle with some enemy and there was so much blood shed in it, that they all returned ‘wet with blood.’

Mírzá Ísá was the son of Mírzá Muhammad who was

Mírzá Ísá Tarkhán.

the son of Mírzá Abdul-alí Tarkhán. He took the reins of government in the beginning of 961 A.H.* From his youth he had remained in the company of Mírzá Sháhbeg Arghún and was considered one of his selected chiefs. In the days of Mírzá Sháh Hasan when Āmir Amrání had invaded Tattá, Mírzá Ísá came from Multán and fought with the invading army, numbering 40,000 men. He showed much skill and bravery in that battle, as 10,000 men of the enemy lay slain on the battle-field. After Mírzá Sháh Hasan’s death, he was elected to the seat of govern­ment by the united voice of Arghún and Tarkhán nobles. He was a very good and kind hearted person and was always partial to his soldiers and lenient to the people in general. These qualifications of his, therefore made him very popular.*

After about one year, at the instigation of some

He fights with Sultán Mahmúd Khan at Bakhar.

Arghúns he broke with Sultán Mah­múd Khán and collecting a force morched forth in the direction of Bakhar. In the commencement of Rabí-ussání 963 A.H. (1555 A.D.) he encamped opposite Bakhar and carried on fighting with his troops for about a fortnight. Sultán Mahmúd Khán had sheltered himself in his fort, from which twice or thrice he made a sortie and fought severe battles with Mírzá Ísá. The latter was soon obliged to go back to Tattá.

In his absence from Tattá a party of Europeans, whom

Europeans make an attack on Tattá.

Mírzá Ísá had sent for, for employ­ment under him, came from the port of Gudah to Tattá. Not seeing the ruler there, they plundered the city, took some men prisoners, set fire to the buildings close to the bank of the river and went away. When Mírzá Ísá got this news, he left Bakhar abruptly, as mentioned above, and came back to Tattá, soon after the departure of the Europeans.*

On his return journey, Mírzá Ísá Tarkhán was pursued by Sultán Mahmúd Khán up to Sehwán, where the latter destroyed the wheat crops and caused some other damage. But soon through the intercession of Sayyed Mír Kalán, a reconciliation was brought about between them, and Sultán Mahmúd returned to Bakhar.

In the beginning of 967 A.H. (1559 A. D.) Mírzá Ísá’s

Fight between Mírzá Ísá’s sons.

two sons Mírzá Muhammad Bákí and Mírzá Muhammad Sálih quarrelled, and a battle was fought between them. Mírzá Ísá taking the side of Muhammad Sálih, Muhammad Bákí was defeated and he fled to Wangó, a village of Sódhás and thence to Umarkót. Then passing through Jesalmer, he came to Bakhar where he was kindly received by Sultán Mahmúd Khán. Muhammad Bákí wanted to go to Hindustán, but Sultán Mahmúd Khán, fearing lest he should bring some succour and pass through Bakhar, induced him to give up that idea and remain at Bakhar.*

In 970 A.H. (1562 A.D.) Mírzá Muhammad Sálih, who

Death of Mírzá Sálih, one of Mírzá Bákí’s sons.

was known to be a brave soldier, was murdered by the hand of a Balóch.* On losing one of his sons Mírzá Ísá yearned to see his other son, Mírzá Muhammad Bákí. He therefore sent some kind messages by his nephews to Sultán Mahmúd Khán, whom he requested to induce his son to come back to him. This was easily done and Sultán Mahmúd Khán gave necessary provisions for a journey to Mahmúd Bákí and sent him away. The father and the son met very affectionately and in token of his kind feelings Mírzá Ísá gave Sehwán to his son as a Jágír and permitted him to go and live there.

The Arghúns in Sind, being rather dissatisfied with

Fighting between Mírzá Ísá and Sultán Mahmúd Khán at Sehwán and Darbelah.

Mírzá Ísá, united and made an attack on Tattá, but they were defeated. They then betook themselves to Bakhar, where Sultán Mahmúd Khán treated them kindly and enlisted them under his own banner. Being thus encouraged by a new addition to his army Sultán Mahmúd Khán marched against Sehwán. Mírzá Ísá learning of the attack came to Sehwán and put him to flight in a battle that was fought near the village of Rafiyán, in which Sultán Mahmúd Khán lost a large number of men. At Darbelah another battle was fought between them, but soon peace was made. Mírzá Ísá came back to Tattá and Sultán Mahmúd Khán went to Bakhar.

In 974 A.H. (1566 A.D.) Mírzá Ísá Tarkhán died after

Death of Mírzá Ísá Tarkhán.

a reign of 18 years.* Just before his death he expressed a desire to appoint his youngest son Ján Bábá as his successor, but his wife Máh Begum recommended his eldest son Mírzá Muhammad Bákí for the honourable post. The dying man pronounced Muhammad Bákí as a very cruel and hard-hearted person and rejected her proposal. “He will,” said Mírzá Ísá “oppress the people, and one day you may die at his hands.” This prediction was ultimately fulfilled. The fact of Mírzá Ísá’s death was hushed up for some days by his wife till Mírzá Muhammad Bákí came from Sehwán to Tattá. Then the dead body was taken out and buried on the Maklí hill and Mírzá Muhammad Bákí proclaimed as a ruler and seated on his father’s throne.