The Mughals' Relationships With Iran And The Qandahar Issue: Medieval India



The fear of Uzbek power was the main thing that brought the Safavids and the Mughals together, despite the Uzbek attempt to foment anti-Shia feelings against Iran and the Mughal disliking the strict policies of the Safavid rulers. The two sides' sole bone of conflict was Qandahar, which was coveted for romantic, prestige, and economic as well as strategic and economic grounds. Before the Uzbeks overthrew them in 1507, Babur's cousins, the lords of Herat, were in charge of Qandahar, a province of the Timurid Empire. 
The Mughals' Relationships With Iran And The Qandahar Issue: Medieval India

The Importance of Qandahar

•    Qandahar was crucial to Kabul's security strategically. The fort at Qandahar, which had good water supplies, was thought to be among the strongest in the area.
•    At the intersection of the routes leading to Kabul and Herat, Qandahar controlled the southern part of Afghanistan and held a key strategic position.
•    Beyond Kabul and Khyber, there was no natural line of defense, the Kabul-Ghazni-Qandahar line was a logical and strategic barrier.
•    Having Qandahar also made it simpler to maintain control over the Afghan and Baluch tribes.
•    Qandahar became more crucial for the Mughals from a strategic and economic standpoint after Akbar's conquest of Sindh and Baluchistan.
•    The affluent and fertile province of Qandahar served as a crossroads for the transportation of people and merchandise between India and Central Asia.
•    The trade from Central Asia to Multan via Qandahar, and then down the Indus to the sea, rose in importance as a result of the frequent disruptions of the roadways across Iran caused by wars and political unrest.
•    Akbar informed Abdullah Uzbek that this was a different path for travelers and cargo flow to Mecca in order to encourage trade along this route.
•    Qandahar does not seem to have been as significant to the Persians as it was to the Mughals in light of all of these circumstances.
•    Qandahar served as "more of an outpost in a defense system than a vital bastion," according to Iran.

Mughals Conquest of Qandahar

•    Early on, it was forbidden for the Qandahar conflict to deteriorate bilateral ties. In 1522, when the Uzbeks once more threatened Khurasan, Babur seized control of Qandahar.
•    Shah Tahmasp seized Qandahar by taking advantage of the commotion brought on by Humayun's passing. Before the Uzbeks under Abdullah Uzbek posed a fresh danger to Iran and the Mughals, Akbar made no move to recover it.
•    Some contemporary historians contend that Akbar and the Uzbeks did not agree to divide the Persian Empire after the Mughals conquered Qandahar in 1595.
•    As Khurasan had already been seized by the Uzbeks and Qandahar was shut off from Persia, the goal was mainly to build a strong defensive line in the northwest against a potential Uzbek assault.

Iran And The Mughals: Relationship

•    Relations between Iran and the Mughals were friendly despite the Mughals' invasion of Qandahar.
•    The most powerful Safavid emperor, Shah Abbas I (1588–1629), was eager to maintain cordial ties with the Mughals.
The Mughals' Relationships With Iran And The Qandahar Issue: Medieval India
•    He and Jahangir frequently traded embassies and pricey gifts, including rare antiques.
•    Jahangir did not complain when Shah Abbas similarly established close diplomatic and business ties with the Deccani states.
•    A court artist imagined Jahangir and Shah Abbas cuddling while standing on a globe of the world since neither side felt threatened.
•    During this time, the two nations' cultures also grew closer with Nur Jahan's active assistance.
•    Shah Abbas, however, benefited more from the union than Jahangir, who neglected to forge relationships with Uzbek rulers because he felt secure in the affection of his "brother," Shah Abbas.
•    Shah Abbas made plans to assault Qandahar in 1620 and issued a cordial appeal for its restoration. Being isolated internationally and unprepared militarily took Jahangir off guard.
•    While making hasty preparations to relieve Qandahar, Prince Shah Jahan made impractical demands before to moving. Qandahar thus ended up in Persian hands (1622).
•    Shah Abbas sent Jahangir a magnificent embassy and made straightforward explanations that were formally accepted by Jahangir, but the amity that had characterized Mughal relations with Iran came to an end.


Following the death of Shah Abbas (1629), there was instability in Iran. This gave Shah Jahan the opportunity to convince Ali Mardan Khan, the Persian governor of Qandahar, to desert to the Mughals (1638) once he was free of Deccan issues.

Any suggestions or correction in this article - please click here

Share this Post:

Related Posts: