Faqir Imam Ud Din

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Faqir Imam Ud Din (d. 1847) was the second son of Ghulam Mohly ud Din and the younger brother of Faqir 'Aziz ud Din the foreign minister to Maharaja Ranjit Singh. He was the Qiladar or Garrison Commander of Gobindgarh (Garh = Fort) at Amritsar (the bulk of the Sikh crown jewels was deposited in Gobindgarh. Capable and scholarly, Imam ud Din was entrusted with multifarious duties by the Maharaja. He virtually acted as the chief treasurer of the kingdom, authorizing payments on behalf of the Darbar and carrying out commercial transactions through casli and hundis for the purchase of grain. As the Fort commander, he looked after the magazine, arsenal and studs.

(Sikhs are reknowed for their love of horses and horsemanship. Since the days of Guru Hargobind and his call for weapons and animals, the Sikhs Gurus and later Sikh Maharajas rank with Queen Elizabeth and the Princes of Sa'udi Arabia in their attention to the breeding of horses. All of this started, of course, with the story of a young Sikh and his gift of Gulbagh and Dilbagh, their theft and the daring adventures of Bidi Chand).

Faqir Imam ud Din also held command of 500 horse and took part in military campaigns. At times he was assigned to diplomatic duty or protocol duties on behalf of the State State when foreign dignitaries arrived for visits.

Assorted Missions

  • In August 1808, he was deputed to go to Patiala to receive Charles T. Metcalfe, the British envoy, who was on his way to Lahore to call on the Maharaja.
  • At Patiala, Faqir Imam udDin also had the chance of meeting the cis Sutlej Sikh chiefs.
  • In April 1827, he accompanied Diwan Moti Ram to Shimla for a meeting with Lord Amherst (Governor-General of India 1823–1828) at the beheast of Maharaja Ranjit Singh.
  • In March 1828, on behalf of the Maharaja, he called upon Lord Combermere, (the officer who was prevented from leading the charge at Waterloo) the British commander-in-chief at Ludhiana.

A Devout Muslim and loyal Officer of the Sikh Darbar

Contemporary chronicles describe Faqir Imam ud Din as a devout Muslim and a learned man of his time. A person of proven integrity and political wisdom, he was one of the most devoted and loyal servants of the Sikh Darbar.

Faqir Imam udDin died at Lahore on 5 December 1847. His only son, Taj ud Din, succeeded him as Qiladar of the Gobindgarh Fort.