Shah Tahmasp’s advice to Humayun on Pashtuns and Rajputs

Tahmasp I (1514 – 1576) was an influential Shah of Iran of the Safavid dynasty. After getting defeated by Sher Shah Sur, Humayun sought refuge with Shah Tahmasp. Zakhirat-ul-Khawanin (Eng.trans, Vol-I, pp-103-104) records an interesting conversation that took place between Humayun and Shah Tahmasp:

Shah Tahmasp: “Among Indian which class commands the obedience of big tribes, possess princely grandeur and are brave”?

Humayun: “The Afghans and the Rajputs”

Shah Tahmasp: “Are they friendly with each other”?

Humayun: “No”

Shah Tahmasp: “You cannot win the friendship of the Afghans; deprive them of military service and force them to become merchants and artisans. Establish close relations with the Rajputs and promote them, for it is not possible to rule India, for it is not possible to rule India without controlling the zamindars.”

According to Muntakhab-ut-Tawarikh, Sher Shah Sur had contemplated to form an alliance with the Ottoman Sultan against Safavid Persia. For this purpose, Sher Shah Sur sent Mir Saiyid Rafiuddin with his letters to the court of Sultan of Rum. (Muntakhab-ut-Tawarikh, English transl. Vol-I, pp-480-481.

The painting below depicts the meeting between Shah Tahmasp and Humayun at Isfahan.


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