Seven Asaf Jah Rulers – Seven Nizams

Qamar-ud-din Khan, Asif Jah I (Nizam I)

Qamar-ud-din Khan, Asif Jah I

(20 August 1671 – 1 June 1748)

Mir Qamar-ud-din Khan Siddiqi (20 August 1671 – 1 June 1748) was a Mughal and Turkic nobleman the founder of the Asaf Jahi dynasty. He established the Hyderabad state, and ruled it from 1724 to 1748. He is also known by his titles Chin Qilich Khan (awarded by Aurangzeb in 1690–91[1]), Nizam-ul-Mulk (awarded by Farrukhsiyar in 1713) and Asaf Jah (awarded by Muhammad Shah in 1725).

He was born to Ghazi ud-Din Khan Siddiqi Feroze Jung I and his first wife Wazir un-nisa Begum at Agra, 20 August 1671 as Mir Qamar ud-din Khan Siddiqi. The name was given to him by the Mughal Emperor Aurangazeb. His paternal and maternal grandparents were both important Mughal generals and courtiers namely; Kilich Khan II (Paternal) and Jumlat-ul-Mulk Allami Sa’adullah Khan (Maternal), the Prime Minister of Emperor Shah Jahan.
He had five sons and a daughter. 1.Sahebzada Mir Ghaziuddin Khan Siddiqi Bahadur, Firuz Jung, 2.Sahebzada Mir Ahmed Ali Khan Siddiqi Bahadur, Nasir Jung, 3.Sahebzada Sayyid Mohammed Khan Siddiqi Bahadur, Salabath Jung, 4.Sahebzada Mir Nizam Ali Khan Siddiqi Bahadur, Fateh Jung and 5.Sahebzada Mir Mohammed Sharif Khan Siddiqi Bahadur, Basalath Jung.

Titles of Mir Qamaruddin Chin Qilij Khan:
Asaf Jah I, Nizam I, Yamin us-Sultanat, Rukn us-Sultanat, Jumlat ul-Mulk, Madar ul-Maham, Nizam ul-Mulk, Nizam ud-Daula, Khan-i-Dauran, Nawab Mir Ghazi ud-din Khan Bahadur, Fath Jang, Sipah Salar, Nawab Subadar of the Deccan
Mir Qamaruddin Chin Qilij Khan traced his descent on his father’s side to Abu Bakr, the first Caliph of Islam. On his mother’s side, he is believed to have descended from the Prophet Mohammed (PBUH) himself. Possessing such an illustrious lineage and ancestry, he also was one of the strongest personalities who emerged during the chaotic times following Aurangzeb’s death.

A fearless soldier, diplomat and shrewd statesman, Mir Qamaruddin rose in favour with the Mughal Emperor Aurangzeb; while young, he was made the Subedar (Viceroy) of the Deccan. In 1713, the Mughal Emperor Farukh Siyar bestowed the title Nizam-ul-Mulk Fateh Jung or “Regular of the Realm” upon him.

Mir Qamaruddin, foresaw the unstable situation in the imperial capital of Delhi that followed Aurangzeb’s death in 1707, in particular, the weakening hold of the Mughals in the Deccan and the dissensions amongst Aurangzeb’s successors. Assessing the state of affairs, he set his eyes on ruling the Deccan and asserting his independence he soon established his rule there.

But this assertive independence became the cause of jealousy; the imperial court secretly directed Mubrez Khan, the official Subedar of the Deccan to challenge and oppose him. A battle ensued at Shaker Kheda between the two in 1724 and the Nizam emerged victorious, thereby signaling his supremacy in the Deccan. It was in this manner that Mir Qamaruddin Chin Qilij Khan, Nizam-ul-Mulk Asaf Jah I founded the Asaf Jahi dynasty which ruled the Deccan for the next 224 years. Though Asaf Jah merited the hereditary vice royalty, he never ceased to acknowledge the supremacy of the Mughal throne in Delhi and continued to pay a nominal allegiance to the Mughal emperor.

Asaf Jah I single-handedly instituted the title of the Nizam, which became the dynastic title of all the successive rulers of the State of Hyderabad ever since. He ruled his new dominions for the next twenty four years. A wise and able ruler, his efforts safeguarded his kingdom from the hostile Marathas and even kept the English, Portuguese and the French at bay.

As a wise administration in the Mughal tradition, along with his personal attention to the welfare of the peasantry and the public alike, Asif Jah I established an efficient and stable government.