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AFGHANS. A tribal people inhabiting the trans-Indus hilly tract whose cultural identity is shaped by the literary flavor of Pushto, an IndoAryan dialect, and also by their tribal customs, which were often modified by a fierce attachment to Sunni Islam. Ghiyas al-Din Balban (1266–1286) is known to have established Afghan garrisons around Delhi and in many places along the Ganges River. Afghan chiefs first came to be included among minor nobles under the Tughlaqs (1320–1412). Afghans joined the revolt of amiran-i sada against Muhammad bin Tughlaq in 1342.
Qxd 34 • 4/1/08 1:32 PM Page 34 BAHADUR NAHIR BAHADUR NAHIR. A chief of the Meo tribe who inhabited the tract to the southwest of Delhi with his headquarters at Alwar. He wielded considerable military clout toward the end of Firuz Shah Tughlaq’s reign (1351–1388). Bahadur Nahir is described by a contemporary as the chief of the hills around Delhi. In the tussle for succession that broke out after Firuz Shah Tughlaq’s death, Bahadur Nahir was inclined to support Abu Bakr, who initially controlled Delhi.
Ala al-Din continued to govern Badaun and the surrounding territory until the time of his death in 1476. ‘ALA AL-DIN ‘ALI AJODHANI, SHAIKH. The son of Ahmad Sabir, he was included among the prominent disciples of Shaikh Farid al-Din Mas‘ud Ganj-shikar. He, along with Shaikh Nizam al-Din Auliya, is reported to have predicted Firuz Shah Tughlaq’s sovereignty (1351–1388). His son Shaikh Mu‘iz al-Din was appointed governor of Gujarat by Muhammad bin Tughlaq (1325–1351) for controlling the situation there but was killed by the insurgents.