Mir Jafar মীরজাফর (1757-1760 AD & 1763-1765 AD)

Syud Mir Muhammed Jafar Ali Khan, formal title 'Shuja ul-Mulk, Hashim ud-Daulla, Nawab Ja'afar Ali Khan Bahadur, Mahabat Jang (Hero of the Country, Sword of the State, Horror in War)' commonly known as Mir Jafar,  belonged to the Syud dynasty. Hazrat Ali the first khalifa, and the son-in-law of Hazrat Muhammad, was the 30th predecessor of Mir Jafar. The mortal remains of Hazrat Ali the first khalifa of Islam lies buried in Iraq. Mir Jafar's fathers name was Syud Ahmed Najafi and his grandfather's name was Syud Hussain Najafi. Mir Jafar's grandfather Syud Hussain Najafi was the caretaker of the world famous fabulously decorated mausoleum of Hazrat Ali. In 1677 AD Aurangzeb went to Mecca on pilgrimage and met Hussain Najafi. Aurangzeb was impressed seeing his depth of knowledge and personality; and brought him to Delhi, appointing him as Kazi-a-Koajud (Chief Justice of Supreme Court).

Ahmed Najafi married the daughter of Dara who was the elder brother of Aurangzeb (captured and killed by Aurangzeb), and their son was Mir Jafar. Dara's wife was the daughter of Rana Jaswant Singh of Chitore. Mir Jafar married Shah khanum the niece of Alivardi Khan, and their elder son was Miran. Alivardi raised Mir Jafar to the post of bakhshi, a position next only to the nawab himself.

Mir Jafar married (first) at Murshidabad on 1727, Shah Khanum Sahiba (half-sister of Nawab Alivardi Khan and daughter of Shah Quli Khan [Mirza Muhammad Madani]). She died at Jafarganj Palace, Murshidabad on August 1779 and was burried at Jafarganj Cemetery. Married (second) H.H. Babbu Begum Sahiba (Gaddinashin Begum) daughter of Sammen Ali Khan by Bisu. She died at Murshidabad in 1809, burried at Jafarganj Cemetery. Married (third) in 1746, H.H. Munny Begum Sahiba (or Mani Begum), a former dancing girl in the household of Sammen Ali Khan. (she died at Murshidabad on 10th January 1813, burried at Jafarganj Cemetery). He also had Mut'ah wife Rahat-un-nisa begum. Mir Jafar had six sons and six daughters.

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Early Life

Mir Jafar had gained a reputation for valour by his rapid march to rescue Alivardi Khan's nephew, Sauquat Jang from the clutches of Mirza Baqir near Katak before his defeated and fleeing captors could murder him (in 1741) and later by a victory over the Marathas on 14 December 1746. But he proved his cowardliness when in February 1747 he was ordered to make a stand against the Marathas at Mednipur; he fled to Burdwan on hearing of the advance of the Maratha forces under Raghuji Bhosle, and abandoned Mednipur to the Maratha ravagers. Soon afterwards he entered into a conspiracy with Ataullah (the faujdar of Rajmahal) to overthrow and murder Alivardi. The conspiracy was unearthed and he was dismissed along with his fellow conspirator.
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Rise to Power

Soon after Alivardi Khan's natural death, Siraj-ud-Daulla became the Nawab of Bengal at Murshidabad. On ascending the throne, he made the controversial decision of elevating a Kayastha Hindu named Mohanlal as his supreme Dewan. This elevation of a Hindu to such a prominent position caused the established nobility, and in particular Mir Jafar, great offence. He was then the bakshi or head of the armed forces, second only to the Nawab, and the elevation of Mohanlal to a post above him was taken almost as a personal insult. He became determined to overthrow Siraj-ud-Daulla and gain the Nawabi for himself.

After Alivardi Khan's death Mir Jafar sent a secret letter to Purnea urging Shaukat Jang to invade Bengal, assuring him of his own support as well as the support of other disgruntled elements in the army and the court of Murshidabad. His unbridled ambition made him plan for the dethronement of Siraj-ud-Daulla, and with that aim in view he started intrigues at the Delhi Imperial Court for a farman granting Shaukat Jang the three eastern subahs. But the conspiracy became known to Siraj-ud-Daulla, and he foiled it in time. Siraj-ud-Daulla reshuffled appointments, placing his own partisans in important posts. Mir Jafar was replaced by Mir Madan as the bakhshi. When the English decided to overthrow Siraj-ud-Daulla and set up a friendly nawab on the throne, it became apparent at Calcutta that the great Hindu banker, Jagat Seth; Rai Durlabh, the former dewan, and Mir Jafar had joined hands with the English to overthrow the nawab. Towards the end of April 1757 the English got promises of cooperation from these conspirators, and on 1st May 1757 the Calcutta Council agreed to a secret treaty with Mir Jafar, promising to place him on the throne on certain conditions. William Watts, the chief of the English factory at Cossimbazar, conducted and completed the conspiracy with remarkable diplomatic skill, secrecy and courage. On 5th June 1757 he visited Mir Jafar and obtained his oath of allegiance.
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Nawab Years

After the Battle of Plassey পলাশী on 23rd June 1757 AD, Clive placed Mir Jafar on the viceregal throne at Murshidabad on 29th June 1757 AD. Clive met Mir Jafar at Siraj-ud-Daulla's Heera Jheel Palace and there, in the presence of the rajas and other courtiers, he led Mir Jafar by the hand to the masnad, and saluted him as the nawab of Bengal, Bihar and Qrissa, upon which the courtiers congratulated him and paid him the usual homage.

As a reward the company was granted undisputed right to free trade in Bengal, Bihar and Orissa. It also received the Zamindari of the 24 Parganas near Calcutta. Mir Jafar paid a sum of Rs. 17,700,000 as compensation to the company for Siraj-ud-Daulla's attack on Calcutta and the traders of the city. In addition, he paid large sums as 'gifts' to high officials of the company. Moreover, it was understood that British merchants and officials would no longer be asked to pay any taxes on their private trade. The company's officials wished to grasp all they could by using Mir Jafar as a 'golden sack' into which they could dip their hands at pleasure.

The following is a copy of the Treaty (the original of which was in Persian) between Clive on behalf of The East India Company and Mir Jafar upon being invested with the Nawabship of Bengal :
"I swear by God and the Prophet of God, to abide by the terms of this Treaty whilst I have life.
(Sd.) "Mir Mohamed Jafar Khan Bahadur,
"Servant to King Alamgir.

"1. Whatever at tides were agreed upon in the time of peace with the Nawab Siraj-ud-Daulla, Mansur-al-Muluk, Shah Kuli Khan Bahadur Hybut Jang. I agree to comply with."
"2. The enemies of the Enghsh are my enemies, whether they be Indians or Europeans."
"3. All the effects and factories belonging to the French in the province of Bengal (the Paradise of Nations) and Bihar, and Orissa, shall remain in the possession of the English, nor will I ever allow them any more to settle in the Three Provinces."
"4. In consideration of the losses which the English Company have sustained by the capture and plunder of Calcutta by the Nawab, and the charges occasioned by the maintenance of the forces, I will give them one crore of rupees."
"5. For the effects plundered from the English inhabitants at Calcutta, I agree to give fifty lacs of rupees."
"6. For the effects plundered from the Gentoos, Mussalman, and other subjects of Calcutta, twenty lacs of rupees shall be given."
"7. For the effects plundered from the Armenian inhabitants of Calcutta, I will give the sum of seven lacs of rupees. The distribution of the sums allotted to the natives, the English inhabitants, Gentoos, and Mussalman, shall be left to the Admiral and Colonel Clive (Sabut Jung Bahadur) and the rest of the Council, to be disposed of by them to whom they think proper."
"8. Within the ditch which surrounds the borders of Calcutta are tracts of land belonging to several zamindars; besides this. I will grant the English Company six hundred yards without the ditch."
"9. All the land lying south of Calcutta, as far as Kulpi, shall be under the zamindary of the English Company and all the Officers of those parts shall be under their jurisdiction. The revenues to be paid by them (the Company) in the same manner with other zamindars."
"10. Whenever I demand the English assistance, I will be at the charge of the maintenance of them."
"11. I will not erect any new foitifications below Hoogly, near the river Ganges."
"12. As soon as I am established in the Government of the Three Provinces, the aforesaid sums shall be faithfully paid. Dated 15th Ramzan, in the 4th year of the reign."
** Additional Article **

"13. On condition that Mir Jafar Khan Bahadur shall solemnly ratify, confirm by oath, and execute all the above articles, which the under-written on behalf of the Honourable East India Company do, declaring on the Holy Gospels, and before God, that we will assist Mir Jafar Khan Bahadur with all our force, to obtain the subahship of the Provinces of Bengal, Bihar, and Orissa; and further that we will assist him to the utmost against all his enemies whatever, as Soon as he calls upon us for that end; provided that he, on his coming to be Nawab, shall fulfill the aforesaid articles."

But Mir Jafar failed to satisfy the constant demand of money from the British. Many extravagant charges were brought against Mir Jafar in justification of his deposition. Among these were his tyrannical, avaricious and indolent temper; his retention of abject surroundings, the instruments of his vices, the removal of which was necessary for good government; the banishment and slaughter of Khwaja Hadi (Commander-in-Chief); the assassination of his general Mir Kazem at the gates of the Palace; the slaughter of Yar Mohamed (the Superintendent of buildings); the massacre of the survivors of the family of Alivardi Khan, Nawajesh Muhammad Khan and Siraj-ud-Daulla, namely Ghaseti Begum, the widow of Nawajesh Muhammad Khan, Amina Begum the mother of Siraj-ud-Daulla, Murad-ud-Daulla who had been adopted by Nawajesh Muhammad Khan; Confinement of Lutf-un-nisa Begum, widow of Siraj-ud-Daulla and her infant daughter Qudsia Begum alias Umme Zohra, together with 70 women in the Jinjira palace at Dacca after the battle of Plassey and accession of Mir Jafar; the imposition of heavy taxes, to which was ascribed the unusual scarcity and dearness of provisions at Murshidabad; and the non-payment of Salaries to the army. Tradition goes that Ghaseti Begum and Amina Begum were taken out and drowned with their barge into the Dhaleswari river (June 1760) at the instance of Mir Sadeq Ali Khan alias Miran son of Mir Jafar.

In 1758 Clive discovered that Mir Jafar, through an agent, Khojah Wajid, had made a treaty with the Dutch at Chinsurah. Dutch ships of war were seen in the Hughli. Peace existed between the Dutch and English, but Clive heard that Dutch troops had been sent for from Batavia. Mir Jafar was asked to direct the withdrawal of the Dutch. The Nawab went to Hughli (Chinsurah), and from there sent word to Clive that at the proper season the Dutch ships would depart. Clive was suspicious, and when the Dutch ships attacked Fort Tanah south of Calcutta, he was ready for them and repulsed them. They next attacked Captain Francis Forde in a fort below Chinsurah (known as The Battle of Chinsurah or The Battle of Biderra). With an order from Clive to back him up, Forde engaged the Dutch and defeated them. Clive left India in 1760, and shortly after his departure Mir Qasim, as Mir Jafar's Dewan visited Calcutta. The governor Mr. Henry Vansittart proposed that as the Nawab was old and not able to cope with the difficulties of administration, Mir Qasim should act for him as Deputy-Nazim. Ultimately, in October 1760, the company forced Mir Jafar to abdicate in favour of his son-in-law, Mir Qasim. But soon the independent spirit of Mir Qasim led to his overthrow and the English restored Mir Jafar as nawab in 1763 and collected huge sums for the company and its high officials.

Mir Jafar being re-instated as Nawab, gave up to the English the revenues of Burdwan, Midnapur, Chittagong, and paid five lakhs of rupees per month as the pay of the English soldiers till to the end of war with Shuja-ud-Daulla of Oudh. Three lakhs of this Sum from the revenues of Bengal were allotted from the Murshidabad treasury, and two lakhs from the Bihar revenue from the Patna treasury. Mir Jafar entered Murshidabad on Sunday, July 24th, 1763. After remaining six days at Murshidabad, and taking a loan of twenty-one lakhs of rupees from the Jagat Seth's for the expenses of the war, and making Eruj Khan (father-in-law of Siraj-ud-Daulla) his representative, he set out with the Nizamat and English army to punish and quell Mir Qasim. Mir Jafar was at the head of nearly nineteen thousand soldiers, of which twelve thousand were from the English army. The Governor of Calcutta wrote a letter of congratulation to the re-instated Nawab on his success in the contest with Mir Qasim : "Bengal now has come into your hands, and the inhabitants, being freed from the oppression of Mir Qasim, have come under your protection. If God please, the country will again flourish".

Mir Jafar became the Nawab of Bengal two times. First he ruled from 1757 to 1760 AD, then from 1760 to 1763 AD his son-in-law Mir Qasim was the Nawab. Again he became the Nawab on 25th July 1763 AD till his death on 17th January 1765 AD. He was buried at Jafarganj Mokbara.

Mir Jafar built a palace at Jafarganj, though nothing remains of this palace only a huge Deorhi (gate) speaks of the past. After the battle of Plassey Miran captured and killed Siraj-ud-Daulla in a room inside this palace. From that time local people call this gate Nimak Haram Deorhi or the Traitor's gate.

He was a faithful friend of Lord Clive, to whom he left an enormous legacy known as the Nurjashim 'light of his eyes' valued at 5 lakhs of rupees, gold mohurs and jewellery. From this legacy the Clive Fund was established to provide relief and maintenance to invalid and superannuated European soldiers, officers and their families. In 1756 Mir Jafar sheltered some European ladies in his own quarters to protect them from Siraj-ud-Daulla. He sent them in his own special boat at night with his trustworthy companion Mirza Amir Beg, to Governor Drake. This was the original cause of the friendship between the English and Mir Jafar.
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The Najafi Dynasty

Islam began in an area of the Arabian Peninsula inland from the northeast shore of the Red Sea. This dry hilly area, called the Hijaz, was dominated by a number of different tribes in the latter half of the sixth century, when Mohammad was born. The Koreish tribe was one of the strongest tribes in the Hijaz and it controlled the city of Mecca, which housed a sacred sanctuary called the Kaba. It was here where Mohammad was born and spent most of his life. The people in the Hijaz were polytheistic, worshipping many gods, and the Kaba was a shrine to over three hundred of them. Since they gained income both from trade that passed through their territories and from pilgrimage to the Kaba, they opposed Mohammad's message of monotheistic worship of Allah . After the Muslims left for Medina , the Koreish tribe led armies out to defeat the Medinans. After their own defeat in 630, the Koreish tribe converted to Islam.
  • Abdul Mutabe (Head of the Koreish tribe and Chief of Mecca)
    • Abutaleb
      • Prophet Muhammad
        • Fatima az-Zahra daughter of the prophet Muhammad from his first wife Khadija. Born in Mecca on Friday, 20th jumada c. 605. Died at the age of 18 in Medina on 14th Jumada 11 AH (632 AD); buried in the graveyard called Jannatul-Baqi in Medina. Married to prophet Muhammad's cousin Ali bin Abu Talib. Fatimah was survived by two sons and two daughters
          • Zaynab bint Ali
          • Umm Kulthum bint Ali

Syud Hussain Najafi [Taba Tabi], son of Syud Ali Reza migrated to India at the invitation of Emperor Alamgir. He reached Delhi on 24th April 1676 n.s., appointed Qazi ul-Quzzah (Chief Justice), later Daroga Byutat (Lord Steward). He married a niece of Emperor Aurangzeb and had issue, six sons and a daughter.
  • Syud Nasir Najafi. He remained in Persia. Ancestor of the Brojardi family
  • Syud Mahmud Najafi. His descendants settled in Iraq. Ancestor of the Tabatabai and Hakimi families
  • Najaf Khan I. Naib Darogha Byutat, and Qiladar of Gwalior
  • Najaf Khan II. Naib Subahdar of Orissa
  • Syud Zainal-Abidin Khan
  • Sharf-un-nisa Begum Sahiba. She Married Alivardi Khan, Nawab Nazim of Bengal, Bihar and Orissa (born in the Deccan, before 9th May 1671; died at Murshidabad, 9th April 1756, burried at Khosh Bagh). Alivardi was the second son of Shah Quli Khan [Mirza Muhammad Madani]
Reference : Christopher Buyers, Murshidabad The Najafi Dynasty Genealogy, Royal Ark

Page Updated : July 07, 2017 11:23 am