Faiz Mohammad Khan

Faiz Muhammad Khan Bahadur
Nawab of Bhopal
Reign 1742-1777
Successor Hayat Muhammad Khan
Born 1731
Died 1777
Buried Fatehgarh, Bhopal
23°15′N 77°25′E / 23.25°N 77.42°E / 23.25; 77.42Coordinates: 23°15′N 77°25′E / 23.25°N 77.42°E / 23.25; 77.42
Religion Islam

Military career

Allegiance Mughal Empire
Service/branch Nawab of Bhopal
Rank Subadar
Battles/wars Mughal-Maratha Wars, Third Battle of Panipat (claimed)

Faiz Muhammad Khan Bahadur, (r.1742-1777) the third Nawab of Bhopal, was the son of Y Muhammad the second Nawab of Bhopal, and the stepson of Mamola Bai a very influential Hindu wife of Y Muhammad and a direct descendant of Dost Mohammad Khan.

Early life

Faiz Muhammad Khan was the son of Y Muhammad the second Nawab of Bhopal, who had fought to defend the Mughal Empire and the emperor Muhammad Shah from the renegade Marathas led by Balaji Rao.

After the sudden death of his father in the year 1742, Y Muhammad's renegade half-brothers Sultan Mohammad Khan and Sadar Khan made a second attempt to seize the title as the Nawab of Bhopal, together they seized the important Fatahgarh Fort and requested the help of the Marathas, promising one great fortress of Bhopal in return.

Nawab of Bhopal

Unable to halt the advancements of Sultan Mohammad Khan and Sadar Khan and their sponsored revolt in Islamnagar, the 27-year-old widow Mamola Bai the stepmother of the 11-year-old Faiz Muhammad Khan appointed him as the new Nawab of Bhopal and successfully had him recognized by the Mughal Emperor Muhammad Shah, through the efforts of the chief scribe Bijjeh Ram.

Battle against Sultan Mohammad Khan and his Maratha associates

The 11-year-old, Faiz Muhammad Khan, the third Nawab of Bhopal and his stepmother Mamola Bai appointed Bijjeh Ram as the commander of a Mughal Army consisting of 5000 troops and together they marched to confront Sultan Mohammad Khan at Eidgah Hill, the battle ended in complete mayhem when Sultan Mohammad Khan's forces abandoned him and recognized Faiz Muhammad Khan as the new Nawab.

Furthermore, Sultan Mohammad Khan was suddenly informed that a brigand of Marathas led by Holas Rai, were on their way to capture Fatahgarh Fort. Sultan Mohammad Khan and Sadar Khan fled the battlefield and entrenched themselves in a fort that Holas Rai successfully besieged and captured.

Sultan Mohammad Khan and Sadar Khan then retreated to Kurwai, thus conceding defeat to Faiz Muhammad Khan.


In the year 1743, Faiz Muhammad Khan the Third Nawab of Bhopal, informally abdicated his official duties which were now given to his young stepmother Mamola Bai and achieved great fame and even the status of a Sufi saint.


With a staggering height of nearly 7 feet, Faiz Muhammad Khan had devoted himself to prayer, meditation, recitation of the Quran and Qawali. He traveled throughout Bhopal and even into the dangerous Maratha held territories for the sake of spreading Sufi teachings. He often visited Delhi and prayed beside the Mughal Emperor Muhammad Shah in the Pearl Mosque.

Faiz Muhammad Khan is also known to have prayed beside Alamgir II during a visit to Delhi in 1758.

Invasion of Nanasaheb Peshwa, 1745

Although Mamola Bai managed a successful administration, she collected taxation and defended the territories of Bhopal. Her efforts were to be deterred by the invasion Nanasaheb Peshwa and his Maratha brigands who pillaged Malwa and all the territories that Yar Muhammad had recaptured from them. Wasil Mohammad Khan another brother of Yar Muhammad joined the Peshwa.

Mamola Bai actively sought restraint and organized a peace treaty between Faiz Muhammad Khan and Nanasaheb Peshwa in which half of the territories of the Nawab of Bhopal were unfairly annexed by the Marathas.

Mughal Civil War 1750-1754

Faiz Muhammad Khan expressed his opposition to the Grand Vizier Safdarjung, who eventually died in the year 1753, during the reign of Ahmad Shah Bahadur.

Siege of Raisen

In the year 1788, the Mughal Army of Faiz Muhammad Khan the Nawab of Bhopal was treacherously attacked by his stepmother Mamola Bai who suddenly besieged the Mughal garrison at Fortress of Raisen in 1788, according to the layout of the Marathas led by Nanasaheb Peshwa.

The outraged by this unfair provocation Mughal Emperor Alamgir II, then issued a strict Firman reestablishing an accomplished fact that Faiz Muhammad Khan was the Nawab of Bhopal the only chosen administrator of Raisen. The emperor also granted the title Bahadur to the Nawab of Bhopal. However the fort remained under the control of Mamola Bai and the renegade Nanasaheb Peshwa.

Prelude to the Third Battle of Panipat

After Imad-ul-Mulk and Sadashivrao Bhau plotted to murder the Mughal Emperor Alamgir II, death of the emperor was mourned throughout the Mughal Empire.

After the assassination of Alamgir II in 1759, the Peshwa under the sway of Sadashivrao Bhau had reached the peak of its short-lived power particularly when their involvement in the assassination had become eminent when he discussed abolishing the Mughal Empire and placing Vishwasrao on the throne in Delhi by bribing or deposing Imad-ul-Mulk.[1]

However, Sadashivrao Bhau then personally chose Shah Jahan III as the new Mughal Emperor

Faiz Muhammad Khan was among the first to recognize Shah Alam II as the next Mughal Emperor and also recognized Shuja-ud-Daula as the official Grand Vizier. Faiz Muhammad Khan then put his own authority at risk by organizing a small but formidable Mughal Army that attacked an recaptures the fortress of Raisen in the year 1760.

When Ahamd Shah Durrani and his massive army of 150,000 began their campaign to eliminate the renegade Marathas, Sadashivrao Bhau organized his Maratha brigands and marched northwards to Panipat, while on his way he passed through the territories of Faiz Muhammad Khan the Nawab of Bhopal, and invited him to a meeting. Faiz Muhammad Khan refused to meet Sadashivrao Bhau without his delegation that kept its distance from the Maratha leader. Sadashivrao Bhau ordered Faiz Muhammad Khan to pay homage and provide troops to fight Ahmad Shah Durrani. Faiz Muhammad Khan politely refused.

In service of Shah Alam II

Shah Alam II's absence from Delhi meant that his son Prince Mirza Jawan Bakht and Najib-ul-Daula, were the actual representatives of the emperor for the next 12 years. In the year 1764 the sudden Jat peasant uprisings led by the deviant Suraj Mal overran the Mughal garrison at Agra they plundered the city and the two great silver doors to the entrance of the famous Taj Mahal were looted and thoughtlessly melted down by Suraj Mal in 1764.[2]

Since then many Mughal Faujdars and commanders including Faiz Muhammad Khan vowed to avenge the ruins of the Mughal Empire caused by the tyrannical Jat's and during an ingenious counterattack Suraj Mal was defeated and executed by the Mughal Army led by Sayyad Muhammad Khan Baloch.


Faiz Muhammad Khan was suddenly diagnosed with the severe illness of Dropsy it lasted for 35 years and claimed his life in 12, December, 1777. During this illness Faiz Muhammad Khan's younger brother Yasin Khan organized the Nawab of Bhopal under the supervision of Mamola Bai. Faiz Muhammad Khan died childless leaving behind a widow Saleha Begum. after the death of Faiz Muhammad Khan his younger brother Hayat Muhammad Khan was appointed as the official Nawab of Bhopal by Shah Alam II.

See also


  1. Elphinstone, Mountstuart (1841). History of India. John Murray, Albermarle Street. p. 276.
  2. http://www.sscnet.ucla.edu/southasia/Culture/Archit/TajM.html
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