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Contribution of Arabs during Asif Jahi period

Hyderabad: “Nazm-e-Jamiat” was a military organization which was also called irregular army. The founder of Asif Jahi Dynasty, Nawab Meer Qamaruddin Khan, Asif Jah I had constituted this irregular force which consisted of Arabs, Sikhs, Rajputs, Biloch and Turks.

This was a period when Moghal Kingdom had become weak and the nobles were making an attempt to save their provinces. Suja-ud-Dowla had formed his own kingdown Awadh. In the same manner, Asif Jah I saved Deccan from getting disintegrated.

Meer Nizam Ali Khan, Asif Jah II waged a war with Marathas at Khadla in which he was defeated and as a result of which he had to compromise by giving some territories of the State, Revenue and the Prime Minister, Arastu Jah to Marathas. He was kept in a garden where in addition to the officers of regular army, 1000 arabs were posted.

The book “Tareeq-e-Hadramot” published in 1964 by Aijaz printing press gives the details of the Arabs in Deccan. Dr. M.A. Nayeem has also given the details about the Arabs.

In 1795 when PM Arastuja came back to Hyderabad along with British Army, he was accompanied by a contingent of 1000 Arabs. Dr. Nayeem has mentioned that the Arabs who migrated from Hadramot were the Yafai/Quayti.

Mohammed bin Awad-al-Quwaiti was born in 1775 in Arab. His elder brother, Abdullah bin Awad was a military officials with Maharaja of Nagpur. Omer bin Awad came to his brother in Nagpur. The Raja of Nagpur was very much pleased with the bravery of Abdullah bin Awad. After the death Abdullah bin Awad, Raja made use of the services of Omer bin Awad. After the death of Raja, Omer bin Awad came to Hyderabad in 1818. This was the period when Shivraj Bahadur was the PM of Hyderabad. He made him the Jamadar of 100 Arab soldier. He promoted him later to supervise 500 Arabs. The Nizam of Hyderabad bestowed on him the titles of Janbaz Jung, Shamshir ud Dowla, Shamshir ur Mulk. Omer bin Awad had five sons. All of them were called Jamadars.

The ancient historians opine that the irregular army was not aware of the military exercises. They were posted at the palace of Nizam and at the Devdis of the Nobles. Police also used to take their help for shifting Govt. documents and treasury from one place to other.

The statement made by Dr. M.A. Nayeem is contradicted with the writings of Sir Richard Temple. He admitted the bravery of the Arab soldiers.

During Asif Jahi period, Army had various battalions. One of them was “Ladies Army” which was posted as security guards in ladies palaces. Langer procession of Hyderabad was very important, which used to be taken out on 7th Mohram. Arab Jamadars used to accompany the procession.

During the tenure of office of Meer Turab Ali Khan, Salarjung I as PM “Nazm-e-Jamiat” was constituted in 1875. Mr. Mohammed Nawazuddin, incharge of irregular army codified the rules and regulations of “Nazm-e-Jamiat” in 1313 Fasli. It contains 3 volumes spread over 256 pages.

In the progeny of Omer bin Awad, Shamshir ud Dowla, many Arabs were given awards and rewards. Awad bin Omer was given the title of Sultan Nawaz Jung and his brother Saleh bin Omer (Second son of Shamshir ud Dowla) was given the title of Barkh Jung, Barkhud Dowla. Saleh bin Omer’s son Mohsin bin Saleh was awarded the title Barkh Jung II and Sultan Nawaz Jung elder son was awarded the title of Janbaz Jung. His second son was awarded the title of Shamsir Nawaz jung.

Janbaz Jung’s son was given the title Saif Nawaz Jung, Hamad bin Omer’s grandson Mohammed bin Salah was awarded the title of Shamshir Yawarjung and Shamshir Nawaz Jung’s son was given the title Omer Nawaz jung.

Shamsir Yawar jung used to consider himself as the loyal official of Asafia Dynasty. He has donated a golden version of Quran to the Nizam which was given to his grandfather Omer bin Awad Shamsir ud Dowla by an elderly saint of a Dargah in Aurangabad.

(Dr. Laeeq Salah, Former Chairperson, Karnataka Urdu Academy)

–Siasat News