Sarfaraz Khan শরফরাজ খাঁ (1739-1740 AD)

A fter the death of  Shuja Khan or Suja-ud-Daulla or Suja-ud-din Muhammad Khan his son Sarfaraz Khan  by Zainab-un-nisa Begum or Azim-un-nisa Begum (daughter of Murshid Quli Khan) ascended the masnad of Murshidabad in 1739 with the title of Alauddin Haidar Jang. He was a deeply religious man but lacked the abilities of a good administrator. According to the advice of his father he did not bring any substantial change in the government. Sarfaraz Khan sent his ambassador to Mughal Samrat Muhammad Shah (grand grand son of Aurangzeb)  at Delhi, for permission to continue as the Subahdar of Bengal. Delhi at that time was invaded by Nadir Shah, and power was in his hand.

Sarfaraz Khan on his accession to the Masnad fell out with his Dewan, Haji Ahmed. Haji Ahmed brought over to his side Jagat Seth, Fatteh Chand and Rai Royan Alam Chand, planned the Nawab's deposition and with that object in view, visited Alivardi Khan, then at Delhi, asking him to march against Sarfaraz Khan. The conspiracy was, however, leaked out and Haji Ahmed (Brother of Alivardi) was removed from the post of dewan. The disgruntled Haji brought within his fold Alivardi Khan, his younger brother and deputy Subahdar of Bihar and Alam Chand and Jagat Sheth to conspire against Sarfaraz. Alivardi Khan, utilising this short respite, secured the adhesion of Mustafā Khan, Shamshēr Khan, Sardār Khan, Umar Khan, Rahim Khan, Karam Khan, Sirāndāz Khan, Sheikh Masūm, Sheikh Jahāngir Khan, Muhammad Zulfiqar Khan, Chidan Hazāri (Bakhshi of the Bhaliahs), Bakhtāwar Singh, and other Generals and officers of the Army. Alivardi Khan received fabricated news of his elder brother's humiliation and was agitated. He obtained recognition from the Mughal Durbar as the Subahdar of Bengal, Bihar and Orissa.

At the instigation of Haji Ahmed, Ataulla Khan, Faujdār of Akbarnagar (Rajmahal), had taken steps to prevent all movements of messengers and spies, and to interdict all communication through news-letters between Azimābād (Patna) and Bengal viâ the passes of Tiliagadhi and Sakrigali, until Alivardi Khan had crossed through those passes. Ataulla Khan intercepted all correspondence and thus kept the preparation of Alivardi Khan concealed. Alivardi Khan proceeded with a huge army against Sarfaraz.

Detailing Ghaus Khan and Mir Sharf-ud-din, who were Sarfaraz Khan's' old officers, to lead the vanguard, and leaving his son, Hāfizulla surnamed Mirza Amani, together with Yeāsin Khan Faujdār, to guard the Fort and the City, Nawab Sarfaraz Khan together with Ghazanfar Hossein Khan and a son of Mirza Muhammad Taqi Khan, (both of whom were his sons-in-law), and with Mir Muhammad Bāqir Khan, Mirza Muhammad Īraj Khan, Mir Kāmil, Mir Gadāi, Mir Haidar Shāh, Mir Diler Shāh, Baji Singh, Rāja Ghandarab Singh, Shamshir Khan Qureshi, (Faujdār of Sylhet), Shujā Quli Khan, (Faujdār of the port of Hūgli), Mir Habib, Murshid Quli Khan Faujdār, Mardān Ali Khan (the late Shujā Khan’s Bakhshi) and other Generals and Mansabdars and Zamin­dars of Bengal, marched out from the City with a large army and fire-pouring artillery, and encamped at Bahmaniah, which is two Karoh distant from Murshidabad. Marching on the second day, the Nawab reached Sarāi Diwān, and marching on the third day, he encamped at Khamra, when he heard of Alivardi Khan's advance through the defiles of Sakrigali and Tēliāgaḍhi. Through Jagat Seth's help, the Nawab's men had been suborned and he found in his magazines bricks and clods in the place of Cannon balls and powder. The Nawab superceded the men and gave Panchu Feringee, the son of Antony Feringee, the Portuguese physician, the charge of his artillery. The forces of Mahābat Jang Alivardi Khan were arranged in the form of a circle from Aurangābād, at the mouth of the Sūti River (near the shrine of Shāh Murtazā Hindi) to the plain of Balkata.
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The Battle of Giria

At Giria (a village on the banks of the river Bhagirathi near Jangipur 24°52'N 88°07'E), the attack began on 9th April 1740 AD. The Nawab finished his prayer, took up his Koran, and mounting his elephant, advanced towards the enemy. The Barqāndāzes and the Bhaliahs of the enemy's Army, who had from before ranged themselves like a ring round Sarfaraz Khan's tent, discharged from all sides cannon-shells on his elephant; and over and above, rockets and cannon-balls, arrows and muskets were showered incessantly by the hostile army. Mir Gadāi, who was a special favourite of Sarfaraz Khān, was shot down by a rocket. Mir Kāmil, brother of Mir Muhammad Bāqir surnamed Bāqir Ali Khān (nephew of Shujā-ud-Daulla), and a young unmarried boy of Mirzā Muhammad Irāj Khān Bakhshi, and other personal attendants, including Bahrām Said and other slaves, who had not fled from the battlefield, were hit by rockets, cannon-shells and bullets, and fell right in front of Sarfaraz Khan’s elephant. Mirzā Irāj Khān was also mortally wounded. Mir Diler Ali gallantly attacked the Afghan column of Alivardi Khān, exhibited feats of prowess and bravery, but receiving sword-cuts gallantly fell with a number of his comrades. At this moment, Sarfaraz Khan himself was hit on the forehead by the bullet of a gun shot by a traitor from his own camp. As soon as they saw this mishap, Mir Habib, Murshid Quli Khān, Shamshir Khan Qureshi (Faujdār of Syllet) and Rāja Ghandrab Singh, who with their forces stood aloof at a distance from the battle, and were silent spectators of the scene, took to their heels. His son-in-law Ghazanfar Hossein, and Hassan Mohamed Khan, reached the city the next day and made preparations to defend the capital; but all was over.

Haji Ahmed and then Alivardi Khan entered the city and laying hold of the treasures, which were seventy lakhs in Cash and fifty crores in jewels, placed them in charge of Yeasin Khan. As Alivardi did not care to have more than one wife, the seraglio of Sarfraj Khan, including five hundred beautiful women, was taken possession of by his relatives, while the principal wife, with two sons, was sent by the Nawab to Dacca, with a scanty allowance for their support, from the revenue of the Khas Mahal (private estate) of Sarfraj Khan. His sister, Nafissa Begum (w/o Syud Reza Khan), condescended to the post of waiting-maid in the seraglio of Nawajesh Muhammad Khan, and thus contrived to save the son of her brother Aka Baba, whom she had adopted.

Sarfaraz Khan was a man of valour and of religion temperament. He received the imperial title of 'Motamul-ul-Mulk, Alauddowla, Hyder Jang (Guardian of the country, promoter of the State, Lion in War)'. His short career ended in 1740 AD only after 13 months of reign.

In Naktakhali, known locally as Khan's Lengtakhali or, more commonly, as Naginabagh the Palace of Sarfaraz Khan was situated. Not far from the Murshidabad railway station, is the grave of Sarfaraz Khan. He was killed at the battle of Giria, and his faithful mahaut brought the body to Murshidabad, where He was buried secretly, and at dead of night in the grounds of his palace. Of Sarfaraz Khan's palace no trace remains, but at Kumrapur (three quarters of a mile from the Hazarduari palace) there is a mosque called the Phuti Masjid, which was built by Him in 1740 AD. It is one of the largest mosques in Murshidabad, but appears never to have been completed.

It is said that when the news of the death of Sarfaraz Khan and Alivardi's victory reached Delhi Muhammad Shah wept and said : "Nearly all the countries of my Empire have gone, and now a place from which I could expect a morsel of food has gone also". Bengal was practically independent and paid little respect to the Emperor.
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Family Tree :: Nasiri Dynasty

Nawab Sarfaraz Khan [Mirza Asadullah], Nawab Nazim of Bengal, Bihar and Orissa was the elder son of Suja-ud-Daulla by his first wife Zainab-un-nisa Begum Sahiba [Azim-un-nisa Begum] (daughter of Nawab Murshid Quli Khan). He Succeeded upon the death of his maternal grandfather on 30th June 1727 and was deposed in favour of his own father on July 1727. He ascended the Masnad of Murshidabad after his fathers death on 13th March 1739. He had five sons and five daughters
  • Mirza Mughal
  • Mirza Amani
  • Mirza Burhan. He died on April 1795
  • Shukrullah Khan [Mirza Aga Baba]. born on the day of his father's death on 29th April 1740 (s/o a concubine) He was Adopted by his paternal aunt Nafissa Begum Sahiba. Exiled to Dacca by Siraj-ud-Daulla in 1756. He married (nikah) at Murshidabad before 28th October 1753 a daughter of Nawab Nawajesh Muhammad Khan And Mehar-un-nisa Begum Sahiba [Ghaseti Begum] (daughter of Alivardi Khan)
  • A daughter married before 1739 Nawab Ghazanfar Hossein Khan Bahadur (son of her paternal uncle Mirza Muhammad Taqi Khan Bahadur)
  • A daughter married Hassan Mohamed Khan
  • A daughter married Murad Ali Khan
  • A daughter married Yusuf Ali (died 1770 son of Ghulam Ali), author of 'Ahwal-i-Mahabat Jang','Hadiqat us-Safa' and 'Majmu'a-i-Yusufi'
  • A daughter prisoner of Nawab Alivardi Khan at Dacca
Reference : Christopher Buyers, Murshidabad Genealogy, Royal Ark

Page Updated : November 27, 2016 02:20 am