Abu Bakr Shah: Medieval Indian History Notes

abu bakr shah

Sultan Abu Bakr Shah was a Muslim ruler of the Tughlaq dynasty who reigned from 1389 to 1390. He was Zafar Khan’s son and the grandson of Sultan Feroze Shah Tughluq.

Read this article further to explore more about Abu Bakr Shah. It will be beneficial for the aspirants preparing for the UPSC Exam. This article is a part of the Medieval Indian History of UPSC syllabus.

Also, check out our blog on Ala Ud Din Sikandar Shah I – Tughlaq Dynasty

Background of Abu Bakr Shah

  1. The grandson of Fruz Tughluq, Ghiyas-ud-Din Tughluq Shah II, succeeded him in kingship.
  2. The newly crowned king gave into a life of luxury and attempted to secure his position by getting rid of anyone who could potentially challenge him.
  3. His brother, Salar Shah, was imprisoned. Abu Bakr, his cousin, joined the conspiracy to protect himself. Rukn-ud-Din also supported him.
  4. Ghiyas-ud-Din Tughluq Shah II tried to flee his palace by going through a door that led to the Jamuna, but he was caught and killed by a group of household troops who were led by Rukn-ud-Din.
  5. Abu Bakr became the next king of the Tughlaq empire after Ghiyas-ud-Din Tughlaq II was assassinated. Sultan Feroze Shah Tughluq had been the previous ruler before Ghiyas-ud-Din Tughlaq II.
  6. However, his uncle, Muhammad Shah, was also vying for the throne, and the two fought for control.
  7. After Abu Bakr was defeated in August 1390. Muhammad Shah became the new ruler and ruled until 1394. He was a very successful ruler who greatly improved the kingdom. He built many new mosques and schools, and he also improved the economy.
  8. After his defeat, Abu Bakr was captured in the Meerut fort. He spent his last days in captivity.

Also Read: Muhammad Bin Tughluq Of Tughluq Dynasty

Regime of Abu Bakr Shah

  1. Abu Bakr Shah took the throne on February 19, 1389, and appointed Rukn-ud-Din as his minister. However, Rukn-ud-Din was executed for his involvement in a plot to overthrow the throne.
  2. Nasir-ud-din Muhammad and Abu Bakr Shah were vying for power. On April 24, 1389, Abu Bakr became king after marching from Kangra to Samana.
  3. Muhammad Shah centred his activity in Jalesar. Numerous Amirs displeased with Abu Bakr supported Muhammad Shah such as Malik Sarvar and Nasirul Mulk Khizr Khan, who were very strong and competent. Thus, the number of followers of Muhammad Shah was on the rise.
  4. Finally, Islam Khan, the Kotwal of Delhi, joined the rebellion.
  5. Abu Bakr Shah marched on towards Delhi and finally defeated Nasir-ud-din Muhammad. The latter crossed the Jamuna River into Doab before retreating to Jalesar, where he made his headquarters.
  6. In July 1389, Nasir-ud-Din Muhammad attempted to return to Delhi but was unfortunately defeated again, resulting in him having to retire to Jalesar.
  7. Abu Bakr Shah, in April 1390, left Delhi in an attempt to thwart Nasir-ud-din Muhammad’s plans. However, as he approached Jalesar, Nasir-ud-din Muhammad escaped and made a beeline for Delhi with an army of 4,000 horses. He was successful in occupying the palace once he arrived.
  8. Abu Bakr promptly turned towards Delhi, and Muhammad shah fled to Jalesar.
  9. When Abu Bakr was aware of the plot, he retreated to Mewat with his followers. Under these circumstances, Nasir-ud-Din Muhammad stormed the capital and was crowned in the palace of Firuzabad on August 31, 1390.

You Might Also Like: Nasir Ud Din Mahmud Shah Tughluq


Through this blog for UPSC preparation, you learnt that Abu Bakr Shah was a ruler of the Tughluq dynasty who reigned for a very short span of time.

He took the throne after beheading his cousin, Tughluq Shah, in A.D. 1389. He was a reasonably intelligent and efficient ruler, but he quickly became embroiled in internal conspiracies and civil war. He died in captivity.

Related Reading: Nasir Ud Din Nusrat Shah Tughluq

FAQs related to Abu Bakr Shah

When did Abu Bakr Shah ascend the throne?

March 15, 1389.

How long did the reign of Abu Bakr Shah last?

March 15, 1389 – August, 1390

Which dynasty did Abu Bakr Shah belong to?

Tughluq dynasty

Who was declared the successor of the throne after the imprisonment of Abu Bakr Shah?

Nasir-ud-din Muhammad Shah III

Who was the grandfather of Abu Bakr Shah? 

Sultan Feroze Shah Tughluq

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