Zaman Shah Durrani

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to navigation Jump to search
Zaman Shah Durrani
زماں شاہ درانی
Shah of the Durrani Empire
Emperor Zaman Shah Durrani of Afghanistan-cropped-3.jpg
3rd Emir of the Durrani Empire
Reign18 May 1793 – 25 July 1801
PredecessorTimur Shah Durrani
SuccessorMahmud Shah Durrani
Died1844 (aged 74)
Ludhiana, Sikh Empire (Present day India)
Full name
Shah Zaman Abdali Dur-e-Durran
FatherTimur Shah Durrani
MotherMaryam Begum[1]

Zaman Shah Durrani (Pashto, Persian, Urdu, Arabic: زماں شاہ درانی), (c. 1770 – 1844) was ruler of the Durrani Empire from 1793 until 1800. He was the grandson of Ahmad Shah Durrani and the fifth son of Timur Shah Durrani. An ethnic Pashtun, Shah Zaman became the third King of Afghanistan.

Early Years[edit]

Zaman Shah Durrani in Durbar
Silver rupee of Zaman Shah Durrani, struck at the Peshawar mint, dated 1797

Durrani seized the throne of the Durrani Empire on the death of his father, Timur Shah. He defeated his rivals, his brothers, with the help of Sardar Payenda Khan, chief of the Barakzais. He extracted an oath of allegiance from the final challenger, Mahmud, and in return relinquished the governorship of Herat. In so doing, he divided the power base between Herat and his own government in Kabul, a division which was to remain in place for a century. Kabul was the primary base of power, while Herat maintained a state of quasi-independence. Kandahar was fought over for the spoils.

During his reign he tried to combine his dispersed relatives together who were deported by his father Timur Shah. His uncle Saifullah Khan Durrani, his sons Mohammad Umar, Bashir Ahmad Khan and Shams Ur Rehman, his cousins Faizullah Khan and Abdullah Khan lived in Akora Khattak[citation needed] in present-day Khyber Pakhtunkhwa. They were contacted to come back to Afghanistan but without success. Saifullah Khan died in 1779 and after that the family was led by Faizullah Khan but he disliked the bad habits of Abdullah Khan and Bashir Ahmad Khan and left Akora Khattak and went to Bannu without informing his relatives.[citation needed] Later on, after the death of his wife, Abdullah Khan Durrani migrated to Kohat in 1791, where he married a widow, Pashmina.

Shah Zaman tried his best to recombine his family members and relatives so as to gain power but many of them were living an unknown life. Some of them had forgotten their identity.

He attempted to repeat his father's success in India, but his attempts at expansion attempts were failed by the Sikhs and also brought him into conflict with the British. The British induced the Shah of Persia to invade Durrani, thwarting his plans by forcing him to protect his own lands.

In his own lands things went well for Zaman, at least initially. He was able to force Mahmud from Herat and into a Persian exile. However, Mahmud established an alliance with Fateh Khan, with whose support he was able to strike back in 1800, and Zaman had to flee toward Peshawar. But he never made it; on the way, he was captured, blinded and imprisoned in Kabul, in the Bala Hissar.

Later Years[edit]

Zaman Shah was rescued when his brother Shuja Shah Durrani became the king after toppling Mahmud Shah Durrani in 1803. He lived in 'blinded' luxury up to 1809 when Mahmud Shah Durrani again seized the throne. While his brother, Shuja Shah was captured by the Governor of Attock, Zaman Shah managed to escape with the zenana (ladies of the house) of his brother and his own to Lahore and sought asylum from Maharaja Ranjit Singh in 1810. He was first allowed to stay at Rawalpindi but, in 1811, Zaman Shah received full state honours at Lahore by Sikh ruler Ranjit Singh. After a few years, Zaman Shah moved to Ludhiana where he lived with a pension of Rs 24,000 from the British. Zaman Shah never went back to Afghanistan even after his brother, Shuja Shah Durrani was reinstated on the throne with the help of the British and the Sikhs under Ranjit Singh.

Death and Burial[edit]

Shah died at Ludhiana on 13 September 1845.[2] He is buried at the Ahmad al-Fārūqī al-Sirhindī Mazar in Sirhind, Punjab (India).[2]

Cultural Depictions[edit]


  1. ^ The History of Afghanistan (6 vol. set) Fayż Muḥammad Kātib Hazārah’s Sirāj al-tawārīkh. Editors: Robert McChesney and Moh
  2. ^ a b Husain, Farrukh (2018). Afghanistan in the Age of Empires. Silk Road Books. p. 362. ISBN 978-1-5272-1633-4.

Further reading[edit]

External links[edit]

Regnal titles
Preceded by
Timur Shah Durrani
Emir of Afghanistan
18 May 1793 – 25 July 1801
Succeeded by
Mahmud Shah Durrani