The Asaf Jahi (Hindi: आसफ़ जाहि, Urdu: آصف جاہ) was a Turkic dynasty from the region around Samarkand in modern day Uzbekistan. The family came to India in the late 17th century, and became employees of the Mughal Empire. As the Mughals, Turco-Mongol origin, were great patron of Persian culture , language, literature: the family found a ready patronage.
The dynasty was founded by Mir Qamar-ud-Din Siddiqi, a viceroy of the Deccan under the Mughal emperors from 1713 to 1721 and he intermittently ruled after Aurangzeb's death in 1707 and under the title Asaf Jah in 1724, the Mughal Empire crumbled and the viceroy in Hyderabad, the young Asaf Jah, declared himself independent.
Nawab Khwaja Abid Siddiqi, grandfather of the first Nizam, was born in Aliabad near Samarkhand in the kingdom of Bukhara. His father, Alam Shaik, was a well-known Sufi and celebrated man of letters. Khaja Abid's mother was of the family of Mir Hamdan, a distinguished Syed of Samarkhand.
Khaja Abid, who had held the high office of Qazi (Judge) and Shaik-ul-Islam, first visited India during the reign of Shah Jehan (Mughal Emperor) in 1655 on his way to Mecca. He presented himself at the Imperial Court where he won favours and robe of honour. He was offered a position in the Emperor's service, which he agreed to accept after his return from Mecca.
In 1657 Khaja Abid returned from his pilgrimage and joined the service of Aurangzeb (Mughal Emperor). At that time Aurangzeb was in the Deccan preparing for the war of succession to the Mughal throne. Khaja Abid, besides being a learned man, was well versed in the art of war. Aurangzeb gave him an important post in the Imperial army. He was granted a high rank of 3000 Zat and 500 Sawars and the title of Khan.
After succeeding in the war of succession, Aurangzeb made him the Governor of Ajmer and subsequently of Multan with the title of Qalich Khan. He served the Emperor with distinction particularly during the early years of Aurangzeb's reign while he was consolidating and restoring peace in his newly acquired territory.
On 30 January 1687 during the siege of Golconda while leading the Imperial armies against the Qutb Shahi King, Qalich Khan died when he was struck fatally by a cannonball.
Qalich Khan was survived by five sons, and his eldest son Shahabuddin Khan, entitled Ghaziuddin Khan Feroz Jung, earned the position of highest distinction in the Mughal Court. He married Safia Khanum, daughter of Saadullah Khan, the famous Prime Minister of Shah Jehan, and by her had a son named Qamaruddin, afterwards the celebrated Nizam-ul-Mulk, the founder of the Asaf Jahi Dynasty.
The founder of this dynasty was Mir Qamaruddin Khan, a noble and a courtier of the Mughal Muhammad Shah, who negotiated for a peace treaty with Nadirshah, the Iranian invader; got disgusted with the intrigues that prevailed in Delhi. He was on his way back to the Deccan, where, earlier he was a Subedar. But he had to confront Mubariz Khan, as a result of a plot by the Mughal emperor to kill the former. Mubariz Khan failed in his attempt and he was himself slain. This took place in AD 1724, and henceforth Mir Kamaruddin, who assumed the title of Nizam-ul-Mulk, conducted himself as an independent prince. Earlier, while he was one of the Ministers of the Mughal emperor Muhammad Shah, the latter conferred on him the title of Asaf Jah. Thus begins the Asaf Jahi rule over Golconda with the capital at Aurangabad.
The Asafjahi Nizams are generally counted as seven, though they were ten. Nasir Jung and Muzaffar Jung, son and grandson of the Nizam I who were killed by the Kurnool and Cuddapah Nawabs and Salabatjung who also ruled for a decade, were not counted by the historians though the Mughal emperors at Delhi recognised them as Subedars of the Deccan.
The authority of the founder of the State of Hyderabad, Asafjah I, extended from Narmada to Trichinapally and from Machilipatnam to Bijapur. During the period of Afzal-ud-Daula (AD 1857–1869) it was estimated to be 95,337 sq.miles (2,46,922.83 km2), forming a lateral square of more than 450 miles (724.17 km) each way.
After Nizam I, Asaf Jah, died in AD 1748, there was tussle for power among his son, Nasir Jung, and grandson Muzaffar Jung. The English supported Nasir Jung whereas Muzaffar Jung got support from the French. These two heirs were subsequently killed by Nawabs of Kurnool and Cuddapah, one after another, in AD 1750 and AD 1751 respectively. The third son of Nizam I, Salabat Jung became the ruler as Nizam under the support of the French.
Hostilities recommenced in India between the French and the English in AD 1758 on the outbreak of Seven Years' War in Europe in AD 1756. As a result, the French lost their power in India and consequently it also lost influence at Hyderabad. In AD 1762 Nizam Ali Khan dislodged Salabat Jung and proclaimed himself as Nizam.
The fourth son of the Nizam-ul-Mulk, Nizam Ali Khan was born on 24 February 1734. He assumed the Subedari of the Deccan at the age of 28 years and ruled the Deccan for almost 42 years - The longest period among the Nizams. His reign was one of the most important chapters in the history of the Asaf Jahi dynasty. Among his efforts to consolidate the Nizam empire was the shift of the Deccan capital from Aurangabad to Hyderabad. He ruled the Deccan at a most critical period and got very successful support from the Paigah Party. He protected the Deccan from the attack of the Marathas and Tippu Sultan of Mysore by signing a mutual protection treaty with the British.
After a reign that played a pivotal role in the establishment of the Nizam dynasty, Nizam Ali Khan died in 1803 at the age of 69. He was buried at the Mecca Masjid alongside the tomb of his mother Umda Begum.
Mir Akbar Ali Khan Sikander Jah, Asaf Jah III was born on 11th Nov 1768 .After the death of the Nizam Ali Khan he became the Subedar Jah was ratified by the emperor Shah Alam Khan and he also conferred all his father's titles on Sikander Jah.
Mir Farkhunda Ali Khan Nusir-ud-Dawlah was born in Bidar on 25 April 1794. He was the eldest son of Sikander Jah and after his father's death he succeeded him on 23 May 1829. During the reign of his father a number of British officers were employed on several civil services. Hence on ascending the throne in 1829 one of the first ads of this highness was to request the Governor general, Lord William Bentick to the European officers.
Mir Tahniath Ali Khan Afzal-ud-daula was born on 11 October 1827. He was the eldest son of Nawab Nasir-ud-daula. He ascended the throne on 18 May 1857 and Indian mutiny was stated on 17 July 1857 Rohilas attacked the residency but Sir Salar Jung put down the attack with a firm hand. Similarly trouble was stated in Solapur but the Maharaja of Solapur was unable to control.
Mir Mahaboob Ali Khan was born on 17 August 1866. He was the only son of Nawab Afzal-ud-Daula. When his father died he was two years and seven months old. He was installed as the Munsab by Sir Salar Jung, Nawab Rasheeduddin Khan, Shar-ul-Ummul and the Resident, there functioned as the Reyab. Shar-ul-Ummul died on 12 December 1881 and Salar Jung become the sole regent. He was remembered administrator and regent till his death.
Mir Osman Ali Khan was born in Hyderabad on 5 April 1886 at Purani Haveli. Since he was the heir-apparent, great attention was paid to his education, and eminent scholars were engaged to teach him English, Urdu, Persian. On 14 April 1906 he was married to Dulhan Pasha Begum, daughter of Nawab Jahangir Jung, at Eden Bagh at the age 21.Azam Jah, Prince of Berar, GCIE, GBE, MSM (21 February 1907 - 9 October 1970). Granted the title of His Highness the Prince of Berar (13 November 1936). Passed over in the line of succession in 1967 in favour of his elder son. He had two sons, the elder Mukarram Jah & the younger Muffakham Jah
Barkat Ali Khan Mukarram Jah, Asaf Jah VIII, 11th Nizam of Hyderabad (6 October 1933-). Succeeded his grandfather as titular monarch on 24 January 1967; titles abolished by the Indian Government on 28 December 1971. He has children that include two sons.
* These three rulers are not enumerated in the serial order of the ASAF JAHs mainly because they were not granted the title of ASAF JAH by the Mughal Emperor.