Nizam of Hyderabad

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Nizam-ul-Mulk of Hyderabad
Former Monarchy
Hyderabad Coat of Arms.jpg
Coat of Arms
Osman Ali Khan
First monarch Qamaruddin Khan
Last monarch Osman Ali Khan
Style His Exalted Highness
Official residence Chowmahalla Palace
Monarchy started c. 1720
Monarchy ended 17 September 1948
Current pretender Mukarram Jah

Nizam (Urdu: نظام‌), a shortened version of Nizam-ul-Mulk (Urdu: نظام‌الملک), meaning Administrator of the Realm, was the title of the native sovereigns of Hyderabad State, India, since 1719. They belonged to the Asaf Jah dynasty. The dynasty was founded by Mir Qamar-ud-Din Siddiqi, a viceroy of the Deccan under the Mughal emperors from 1713 to 1721. After Aurangzeb's death in 1707, the Mughal Empire fell apart and the viceroy in Hyderabad said he was independent. From 1798 Hyderabad was one of the princely states of British India, but it kept local control.

Seven Nizams ruled Hyderabad for two centuries until Indian independence in 1947. The Asaf Jahi rulers used money to support much literature, art, architecture, culture, jewelry and rich food. The Nizams ruled the state until September 1948 after independence from the British.

Family Origins[change | edit source]

The Asaf Jahi dynasty began near Samarkand. The family came to India from Baghdad in the late 17th century. They were direct descendants of the first Khalifa of Islam, Hazrat Abu Baker Al-Siddiq (R.A).

Origin of the Nizam Title[change | edit source]

Nizām-ul-mulk was a title first used in Urdu around 1600. It comes from the Arabic word, nizām (نظام), meaning order, arrangement. The Nizam was also called Ala Hadrat, Ala Hazrat, or Nizam Sarkar.

Rise of the Nizams[change | edit source]

The first Nizam ruled in place of the Mughal emperors. After Aurangzeb died, the Nizams left the Mughals to make an independent kingdom. When the British got power over India, the Nizams were allowed to continue to rule for the British. The Nizams kept power in Hyderabad State until 17 September 1948. Hyderabad then became part of the new Indian Union.

The Asaf Jah dynasty had only seven rulers. However, for 13 years after the rule of the first Nizam, three of his sons (Nasir Jung, Muzafar Jung and Salabath Jung) ruled. They were not officially recognized as the rulers.

A legend about the first Nizam says that, on one of his hunting trips he was offered some kulchas (an Indian bread) by a holy man. He asked the Nizam to eat as many as he could. The Nizam ate seven kulchas and the holy man predicted that seven generations of his family would rule the state.

By tradition no Nizam has ever left India, even if there was good a reason.

Hyderabad did not join the first war of Indian Independence of 1857 against the British. Therefore its Royal Family had special, official status of Faithful Ally with Britain.

A cover story by TIME on February 22, 1937 called the last Nizam as the wealthiest man in the world
Lineage
Nizam-ul-Mulk Reign
Qamar-ud-din Khan Siddiqi, Asaf Jah I 31 July 1720 – 1 June 1748
Mir Ahmed Ali Khan Siddiqi, Nizam-ud-Dowlah Nasir Jang 1 June 1748 – 16 December 1750
Nawab Hidayat Mohi-ud-din Sa'adu'llah Khan Bahadur, Muzaffar Jang 16 December 1750 – 13 February 1751
Nawab Syed Mohammed Khan Siddiqi, Amir ul Mulk, Salabat Jang 13 February 1751 – 8 July 1762
Nawab Mir Nizam Ali Khan Siddiqi Bahadur, Nizam ul Mulk, Asaf Jah II 8 July 1762 – 6 August 1803
Nawab Mir Akbar Ali Khan Sikandar Jah Siddiqi, Asaf Jah III 6 August 1803 – 21 May 1829
Nawab Mir Farkhonda Ali Khan Siddiqi Nasir-ud-Daulah, Asaf Jah IV 21 May 1829 – 16 May 1857
Nawab Mir Tahniat Ali Khan Siddiqi Afzal ud Daulah, Asaf Jah V 16 May 1857 – 26 February 1869
Fateh Jang Nawab Mir Mahboob Ali Khan Siddiqi, Asaf Jah VI 26 February 1869 – 31 August 1911
Fateh Jang Nawab Mir Osman Ali Khan Siddiqi, Asaf Jah VII 31 August 1911 – 24 February 1967
Barkat Ali Khan Mukarram Jah, Asaf Jah VIII 24 February 1967 – Present

Palaces of the Nizams[change | edit source]

The Asaf Jahis were built many buildings. Several palaces of the Nizams were:

Other landmarks like the Andhra Pradesh High Court, Jubilee Hall, Asafia library, The Assembly building, the Osmania Arts College and the Osmania Medical College are some of their important buildings.

The Nizams liked the European style of architecture and created a fusion of European traditions with Hindu and Islamic forms and images.

The last Nizam[change | edit source]

After the British left India in 1947, the princely state of Hyderabad did not join either of the new dominions of India or Pakistan. The Nizam's rule ended on 17 September 1948. His soldiers surrendered to Indian soldiers.

All Nizams are buried in the royal graves at the Makkah Masjid near Charminar in Hyderabad. Only the last Nizam, Mir Osman Ali Khan is buried in a different place. His mausoleum is in the Judi Mosque facing King Kothi Palace.

Places and things named after the Nizam[change | edit source]

Related pages[change | edit source]

References[change | edit source]

Further reading[change | edit source]

  • Mughal Administration of Deccan Under Nizamul Mulk Asaf Jah, 1720-48 A.D.By M. A. Nayeem, Indian Council of Historical Research, University of Poona, Dept. of History [1]

"The Days of the Beloved" Harriet Ronken Lynton and Mohini Rajan, Berkeley University Press

Other websites[change | edit source]