Zahiriddin Muhammad Bobur is the great son of Uzbek people
His name lives in literature, science, and enlightenment
February 14, 2023 is the 540th anniversary of the birth of Zahiriddin Muhammad ibn Umarshaikh Mirzo II, a great representative of Uzbek classical literature, poet, historian, geographer, statesman, talented commander, the founder of the Boburi dynasty, the Timurid prince. His poems and rubais have been cherished and read in the past and now.
Zahiriddin Muhammad, nicknamed "Bobur" (Lion) was born into the Timurid royal family in Andijan, now in Uzbekistan, on February 14, 1483. He was the fifth generation of Amir Temur.
Bobur was the eldest son of Umar Shaikh Mirza II, ruler of the Fergana Valley. He was the fourth son of Abu Sa'id Mirza, the emperor of the Timurid Empire.
His mother Qutlugh Nigar Khanum was the first wife and chief consort of Umar Shaikh Mirza. She was born as a princess of Moghulistan and was the second daughter of Yunus Khan, the Great Khan of Moghulistan, and his chief consort Aisan Daulat Begum.
In 1494, 12 year old Bobur became the ruler of Fergana, after Umar Shaikh Mirza died "while tending pigeons in an ill-constructed dovecote that toppled into the ravine below the palace".
Most of his life Bobur spent in military campaigns and battles. He conquered Samarkand two years later, only to lose the vilayat of Fergana soon after. In his attempt to reconquer Fergana, he lost control of Samarkand.
In 1501, his attempt to recapture both vilayats went in vain as he was defeated by Muhammad Shaybani Khan. In 1504, he conquered Kabul, which was under the rule of the infant heir of Ulugh Begh. Bobur formed a partnership with Safavid ruler Ismail I and reconquered parts of Turkistan, including Samarkand, only to again lose it and the other newly conquered lands to the Sheybanids.
In return for Ismail's assistance, Bobur permitted the Safavids to act as a suzerain over him and his followers. Shah Ismail reunited Bobur with his sister Khonzoda.
After losing Samarkand for the third time, Babur turned his attention to the South. At that time, the Indo-Gangetic Plain of the northern Indian Subcontinent was ruled by Ibrahim Lodi of the Afghan Lodi dynasty, whereas Rajputana was ruled by a Hindu Rajput Confederacy, led by Rana Sanga of Mewar. According to historical records and Boburnoma (autobiography written by Bobur himself) Daulat Khan Lodi invited him to attack on Delhi where Ibrahim Lodi was ruling at that time. He sent his ambassador to him to support him in his attack on Delhi.
Also in 1524, Daulat Khan Lodi, a rebel of the Lodhi dynasty, invited Bobur to overthrow Ibrahim and become ruler. Bobur defeated Ibrahim Lodi at the First Battle of Panipat in 1526 CE and founded the Boburi dynasty in India, which had existed for about 300 years.
Bobur was one of the greatest men of his time. Having created one of the most powerful empires in the history of the East, he, nevertheless, remained in his heart a fiery patriot of his Motherland and, until the end of his days, sought to establish diplomatic and friendly ties with his native city of Andijan.
With time, Bobur’s health also started to deteriorate. In October 1527, he suffered a bout of dysentery. In 1530, he fell seriously ill once again and died in the December of the same year. After being temporarily buried in Agra, he was put to rest according to his wishes, in Kabul.
Along with his military and political activities, Bobur was a great poet whose rubais (lyrical quatrains) delight and inspire many people today.
One of the most famous oriental works “Boburnoma” in the world literature belongs to his pen. During his 47-year life, Babur left a rich literary and scientific heritage. He authored his famous memoir the Boburnoma, as well as beautiful lyrical works or ghazals, treatises on Muslim jurisprudence (Mubayyin), poetics (Aruz risolasi), music, and a special calligraphy, known as khatt-i Baburi.
Bobur's Boburnoma is a collection of memoirs, written in the classical Uzbek language and later translated into Persian, the usual literary language of the Boburi dynasty, during the rule of emperor Akbar. However, Bobur's Turkic prose in Boburnoma is already highly Persianized in its sentence structure, vocabulary, and morphology, and also consists of several phrases and minor poems in Persian.
(Statue of Alisher Navoi and Bobur in the New Uzbekistan Park, Tashkent)
Today, the citizens of Uzbekistan proudly pronounce the name of Zahiriddin Muhammad Babur and honor his memory. The name of Zahiriddin Muhammad Bobur in the history of Uzbekistan is on a par with such political figures and military leaders as Jaloliddin Manguberdi, Amir Timur, Ulugbek, Alisher Navoi. A direct descendant of Timur, Babur created an empire of Baburids in India and was a loyal son of his country and the rest of his life he was fighting for its welfare and prosperity.