Ismaili History 737 - Ismaili Influence in Deccan
Lack of material does not enable us to give a detailed account of the Ismaili influence after the death of Shah Tahir Hussain Dakkani on 956/1549 in Ahmadnagar, India. We do not have explicit details, whether his descendants continued the Ismaili mission in the cloak of Shiism or not. There are however certain indications that a lady ruler, named Chand Bibi was secretly an Ismaili, but her faith is shrouded in her political activities. She was born in 957/1550 and died in 1006/1599, which implies that she was the contemporary of both Hyder bin Shah Tahir (d. 994/1586) and Sadruddin Muhammad bin Hyder (d. 1032/1622). Her father was Hussain Nizam Shah of Ahmadnagar, and mother was Khonza Humayun. Chand Bibi got married to Ali Adil Shah (1558-1580) of Bijapur at the age of 14 years in 970/1562. Ali Adil Shah was killed in 988/1580 when she was about 28 years old. She had no child, therefore, the nephew of her late husband aged 10 years, Ibrahim Adil Shah I was crowned in Bijapur, and herself ruled as a regent with great prudence and intelligence till the young king came of age. When order was restored in Bijapur kingdom, Chand Bibi went back to her motherland Ahmadnagar when she was about 35 years old. When Murtada Shah, the ruler of Ahmadnagar died at a moment when the foreign relations of the state were strained to breaking-point and was imminent, she returned to Bijapur, and mustered some reliable troops in consideration of the defence of Ahmadnagar fort against the mighty army of the Mughals led by their able general.
It was a question of saving the whole Deccan from Mughals, so Bijapur and Golconda kingdoms sent contingents. The Mughal force commanded by Prince Murad (d. 1007/1599) took field against Ahmadnagar. The three tunnels were dug in the fort, two of them were discovered and the third one was repaired in a night. At length, the Mughals were severely repulsed. Murad was compelled to negotiate truce, and recognized the rule of Ahmadnagar. It was the first time that Ahmadnagar was recognized by the Mughals out of the five states of Deccan. Accordingly, the Birar was to be retained with the Mughals and Ahmadnagar would rule independently. After this great defence, Chand Bibi came to be known as Chand Sultana. After some times, once again the opponents of Chand Bibi made approach to Prince Daniel (d. 1013/1604), the third son of emperor Akbar, who attacked Ahmadnagar with 30,000 men, and a terrible fight took place in the plain of Sonipat near the bank of Godawari river. The Mughals succeeded to turn the troops of Chand Bibi and had a siege over Ahmadnagar in 1008/1599. This time, emperor Akbar himself rushed to Deccan and pitched his tents outside the city. Chand Bibi became desperate and resisted the Mughal attacks with such courage that the invaders were repelled at many places. At length, Hamid Khan, the traitor allowed the Mughal force to enter Ahmadnagar, and entered the palace of Chand Bibi to kill her. At that moment of disaster, Chand Bibi came out of her apartments and fought bravely and was killed, and thus, Ahmadnagar was captured by the Mughals in 1009/1600.