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A Tribute to Tipu Sultan. Part II

May 17, 2006

kr’s note: ehh, this is a history lesson, I know.

By 1798, it was apparent to the British that their tactics needed to be intensified and changed if they wished to defeat Tipu Sultan and pave the way for the conquest of India. All the other provinces and kingdoms were more or less under the control of the British; only the “Sultan-e-Khudadad” (as Tipu named his kingdom) stood in their path. Despite Tipu’s lossses and the harsh terms of the peace treaty in the Third Battle of Seringapatnam, the Tiger of Mysore had quickly re-built his kingdom, consolidated his forces, and even made diplomatic and military alliances with foreign powers such as France, Afghanistan, and Turkey. It’s interesting to note here that while foreign nations such as France responded to Tipu’s call, the Sultan of Turkey (the so called Muslim Caliph of the world at the time) not only refused to enter into a military alliance with Tipu, but in fact wrote to him and advised him not to take up arms against the British.

Other Muslim rulers around Tipu began to betray him as well. The Nizam of Hyderabad, as previously mentioned, was already in league with the British. With the appointment of Lord Richard Wellesley as commander of the British forces in the subcontinent, the Nizam became even more subservient to the whims and demands of the British. By October of 1798, a new and more stringent treaty was signed between Hyderabad and the East India Tea Company… some of the more salient details of this treaty include: the Nizam had to house 6,000 British soldiers; he would have to pay them 1,400,000 rupees as salary (do the math), and the Nizam was now a formal feudatory to the British. As always, Muslims selling out other Muslims leads to the Muslims’ collective defeat.

At the same time, Wellesley expressed to the Sultan that he wished to maintain the peace treaty between the two forces. With Mir Sadiq and his cohorts (including many Muslims such as Mir Moinuddin, Mir Qamruddin, and Gulam Ali) telling the Sultan that he should accept the British’s good intentions (once again, Muslims selling other Muslims out based on the illusions of rewards from others). In the meantime, they supplied the British with maps of secret and strategic points of access into the capital city. As the winter of 1798 wore on, the British and their allies amassed a force greater than 50,000 to prepare for the final strike against the Sultan-e-Khudadad. In March of 1799, the British began their initial marches onto the city, but the lightning-fast cavalry of the Sultan was able to win a few early victories; unfortunately for Tipu, he left traitors in charge of the mop-up forces of pursuing the enemy while he returned back to the capital. Since no pursuit of the retreating forces was ever made, the defeated-armies of the British continued their advance on Seringapatnam. This was to be a common-theme that set up the final fall of Tipu: all the armies he sent out to face the British attack from different sides never fought the British, since all their commanders were on the British payroll. The only actual fighting took place between the Sultan-led army against British armies, and while Tipu was annihilating anything thrown his way, the tides of conspiracy had become waves that no force could have stopped.

By May of 1799, the British had succeeded in surrounding the capital city. By May 4th, a major gap in the western ramparts had been made as a result of the incessant fire; Mir Sadiq informed Wellesley of this gap, and they agreed that the latter was to attack the fissure at noon. As the siege continued, Tipu’s forces were spread thin, trying to protect the walls of the city and return the enemy fire. By this time, it was apparent to the Sultan that many of his allegedly-loyal officers and ministers were in league with the British. It is here that Tipu did something that is telling of who he was a human being. He approached the French officers of his army (he had employed them to teach his forces modern warfare); the French told him that the Sultan should escape with as much wealth as possible. They told him that they could trust them with safeguarding the fort, and if he didn’t trust them, he could turn the French over to the British, since the British had made the fact that Tipu had hired French soldiers as one of their complaints against him. The French told him that perhaps by handing them over to the British, their anger would be appeased and they would stop the war and come to a peace treaty. Tipu, overwhelmed by their generosity and loyalty (while everyone else around him showed their disloyalty) wept and said: “How can my conscience permit me to hand over such loyalists to the enemies? I can accord to let my Sultanate slip out of my hands but handing you over to the enemy is unimaginable.”

As the attack intensified, some of the Sultan’s well-wishers too told him to escape with his family. Tipu responded that he could not allow his soliders to die while he lived; he could not bear the shame of cowardice that history would label him with if he were to turn and run. He asked, “What kind of tiger is this that runs away from a fox?” On the morning of May 4th, after he prayed his Fajr, his closest and most loyal companions urged him to make peace with the British and/or escape. Tipu ascended the pulpit and gave the following impromptu sermon: “I am trying my level best to guard the Sultan-e-Khudadad, which belongs to the Muslims by right, for the past many decades. Nonetheless, the officers and ministers of the Sultanate want it to be ravaged and destroyed. A man only dies once. There’s no need to be afraid of it. No one knows when and where he will die. I have decided to sacrifice my life and that of my offspring for the religion of my Prophet Muhammad (salallahu `alayhi wa sallam).”

As the sun rose on that day, the legacy of Tipu Sultan was in its sunset. The world was supposed to witness the triumph of self-respect and freedom, but instead would be now made to witness the triumph of cruel aggression, treachery, and evil. The very land of the Sultan-e-Khudadad was shedding tears for it was to be trampled by the feet of devils and no longer cared for by the hands of its beloved Sultan. Today was the day of the devil. Conspiracies had been hatched and souls had been exchanged for a few coins. The British moved into position, ironically having more faith in the faithfulness of Tipu’s traitors than in the power and might of their own forces. In this stygian darkness of despair, a streak of light still existed: those fortunate few, the band of loyal aides of Tipu were prepared to follow the path of their Sultan. They were ready to fight for their religion and country until their last breaths and write a golden chapter in history with their blood. Today, a battle was to be fought between vice and virtue. And today was destined to be the last day in the life of the great son of the soil, of a man who had always dreamt of the dignified and complete independence of his country, and a man who had always desired to unite the masses under a single banner. And yet, the irony of these situations, of the one who gives his all for others is that in the end, he is the one that suffers and triumphs in the eyes of God. As one of the poets writes:

Joh sab ka hay muhafiz
Ghar us ka lutgaya hai

He who is the guardian of everyone
It is his house that has been pillaged.

I’m tired. The final part–Tipu’s final hours–to follow, Inshallah.

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18 Comments
  1. Anonymous permalink

    yeh…too long…
    nigger-ul-haq

  2. Anonymous permalink

    I’m sorry, I gotta skip this one.  History was always my worst subject. Props for writing it though. Seems pretty detailed and well-written.

  3. Anonymous permalink

    “And yet, the irony of these situations, of the one who gives his all for others is that in the end, he is the one that suffers and triumphs in the eyes of God.”.. word.. on a side note, why do you guys eprop/comment if you haven’t even read the post?

  4. Anonymous permalink

    Because Kamran won’t pay us otherwise. Which reminds me, I’m still waiting for my last month’s paycheck.

  5. may Allah expand the grave of Tipu Sultan (rahimahullah) and fill it with the smell and noor of Jannah.

  6. Like I said last time: “I wish we had leaders like this nowadays.”One of the sad points of this story is that the non-Muslim French soldiers were more loyal to Tipu Sultan than the Muslims were. And we wonder why Muslims are in the state we are.Subhan’Allah we suck.

  7. Sad…how the best Muslims suffer the hands of treachery…
    Echoes of earlier today…

  8. You should add this to the Wikipedia article on Tipu Sultan. Good stuff.

  9. Anonymous permalink

    haha lol @ falooda…true that…
    nigger-ul-haq

  10. …still trying to think of a way to put part 30 online…..
    loved the post though

  11. i can’t believe i read the whole thing…but i hav to admit it was kind of interesting

  12. Anonymous permalink

    Mm history tales zindabad!!

  13. so your basically saying he was a pimp (the good kind as in stud).

  14. Anonymous permalink

    Interesting.
    Fi aman Allah

  15. Anonymous permalink

    by the way is that prince of persia in your pic? Hope i don’t sound dumb lol.

  16. ^yes, that is the Prince from the third game.

  17. Anonymous permalink

    why have I not read a propped this yet?
    awesome post.
    -Saima

  18. After the death of Hazrath Tipu sultan,his family faces a lot of difficulties .Allah expand the grave of all the family members of Hazrath Tipu sultan and his families

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