Humayun was the second Mughal emperor to rule the subcontinent of India.
The areas of Indian subcontinent which Humayun ruled then include a few parts of northern India, Pakistan and Afghanistan in the present day.
Even though when he got the throne he was experienced as a ruler.
He never lost hope. He was an adventurous and a brave person. No matter how many times he lost to his rivals and he always fought back after his defeats.
He was a ruler who would not sit back with the defeats. People do not consider him as a great Mughal emperor compared to other Mughal emperors.
But Humayun’s works, achievements left a great and rich inheritance for his son, Akbar.
Life of Humayun
In the year 1508, Humayun was born at Kabul on March 17th. At the present day Kabul is in Afghanistan which was under the Mughal Empire at that time.
His full name was Nasir-ud-din Muhammad Humayun. His parents were Babur and Maham Begum.
The Mughal Dynasty was founded by Babur. Humayun had many siblings. He was sure that most of his brothers and half-brothers would be his rival later in the future.
Babur had made many arrangements for Humayun so that he received good and proper education.
This is how he learnt Persian, Turki and Arabic. He wanted to learn more on astrology, mathematics and philosophy.
After Babur took over the northern India, he learnt Hindi as well. He got training in the field of military too.
When he turned twenty, he became the governor of Badakhashan. He was very young to be a governor but he proved his bravery even though he was young in the fight of Khanwa and Panipat.
These two battles are considered as a significant one in the history of India. Babur made it sure that Humayun was properly trained to become a warrior and an administrator.
Humayun had many wives and mistresses. But only few of them were given importance.
Some of them were Hanida Banu Begum, Bibi Gunwar Begum, Shaham Aghacha, Mah Chuchak Begum, Khanish Aghacha and Maywa Jan Aghacha.
He had several children as well but he knew his son Akbar would be successful in the future.
His thought became true because Akbar is considered as on the greatest Mughal emperors.
Humayun had a lot of patience and a peace mind and personality. This was what him earn the title of ‘Insan-i-Kamil’. This means Perfect Man.
Ascension and Reign of Humayun
Humayun was given the throne in the year 1530 on December 26th after Babur died. He became Mughal Dynasty’s second emperor.
As he had many siblings, he had to face a lot of rivalry from his brothers. His life was in threat because of other rulers too.
These other rulers included Sher Shah Suri who was also known as Sher Khan and Sultan Bahadur. He even faced rivalry even from his half-brothers.
One of his half-brother Kamran took away the Indus Valley and Punjab by deceitful means. When Humayun’s reign started his major enemies started to extend their territories.
Sultan even tried attacking the territories of Humayun but Humayun fought back soon. After this he took over the forts of Champaner and Mandu.
This made Sultan Bahadur take shelter under the Portuguese. But he died in the year 1537.
On the other side Sher Shah Suri was taking over in Bengal and Bihar. He started to become a very powerful ruler.
The Mughal Empire was challenged by him. Humayun could throw him out of Bengal only for some time. But his territories could not be saved from him for a very long time.
There was battle between the Mughals and Sher Shah in the year 1539 at Chausa. The Mughals lost this battle and around eight thousand of the Mughal forces lost their lives in the battle. This battle reduced the strength of Humayun.
He had come out from the miseries due to this battle that his brothers started to make plans against him in order to defeat him.
The Mughal’s were continuously attacked by Sher Shah Suri and Humayun was forced to go towards the west.
The Mughal were again defeated by Sher Shah Suri’s forces in the year 1540. This was the Battle of Kanauj. After this defeat, there was no end to the defeats of the Mughal’s.
They continuously lost in the battle. This made the Mughal’s leave the battlefield. Soon Sher Shah Suri took over Agra too.
Agra was the capital city of the Mughal’s. He forced the Mughal emperor to leave India. Humayun left India and went to Persia with some of his companions and his wife.
He was given shelter and treated royally by Shah Tahmasp. After that Humayun conquered Kabul and Kandahar by the help of Tahmasp.
Soon the rule of Sher Shah Suri ended as he died in 1545 followed by the death of his son who was his successor as well after a few years.
This gave Humayun the right opportunity to get back his empire and whatever he had lost. He made a huge army and put Bairam Khan as the leader.
Bairam Khan took the responsibility of leading the army and was successful in giving back the throne to the Mughal’s. Humayun was back on the throne.
After getting back the throne, Humayun became stronger and increased his rule over the western and eastern parts of India as well. When Humayun died, the Mughal Empire measured around one million square kilometers.
Difficulties Humayun had to face
Humayun had to face a lot of difficulties from the time his reign started till his death. When Babur died, Humayun could not over the throne of the Mughal Empire immediately.
The taking over of the throne was four days late. During these four days, plans were made so that Humayun could not get the throne and instead Mahdi Khwaja would get the throne.
It was not easy for Humayun to get the throne as all the plannings were done by people who had changed their appearance.
It was dangerous for him. Mahdi was Humayun’s brother-in-law. The Prime Minister then did not have good opinion about Humayun so he gave all his support to Mahdi.
None of Humayun’s cousins and sibling supported him to get the throne. They became his rivals and made plans against him.
Three of Humayun’s brothers could get the throne but not him because in the Muslim religion, primogeniture theory was not followed.
The nobles of Humayun were busy plotting so that Humayun could get the throne. But most of his provinces were not organized properly.
The Mughal’s had to struggle a lot to maintain their power as Sher Shah was trying to make the Afghans as powerful army as he could so that he could make his own kingdom from their help.
There were conflicts between Humayun and Sher Shah Suri as well. Sher Shah had a big army and it was very tough for Humayun to face them.
Humayun was defeated by Sher Shah and he lost all his territories. So, he left India and was taking over other areas in Persia. But he got back everything he had lost after Sher Shah and his son died.
Death of Humayun
It was in the year 1556, on January 24th the Mughal Emperor Humayun was sitting on his roof of the library during the evening time.
Humayun’s library was presented in Din Panah and was also known as Sher Mandal. This Din Panah included many other groups of buildings and his library was situated in one of these groups.
At that he was busy talking to a few of his important astrologers and nobles.
They planned to call for a durbar when the planet Venus would appear.
After this from the mosque which was nearby, he heard the call of Muazzin. After hearing the call he got up and was going downstairs so that he could attend the evening prayer.
But when he was going down he fell from the stair as he slipped. After he fell down his skull was fractured.
After his subjects came to know about this accident, they took him to the palace. When he came back to his senses, he was told he had a very serious condition.
He knew he was going to die soon. So, he asked to send message to Akbar and let him know about his serious condition.
After that he appointed Akbar as his successor. After appointing him as the successor, he left abode on 26th January, 1556.