'ABD US-SAMAD KHĀN (d. 1737), governor of Lahore from 1713 to 1726, a descendant of the Naqashbandī saint 'Abdullā Ahrār, a great grandson of Khwājā Bākī of Baghdād, was born at Āgrā when his father, Khwājā 'Abd ul-Karīm Ansārī, had come out with his family from Samarkand on a tour of India during the reign of Emperor Auraṅgzīb. When Samad Khān was two years old, his parents returned to Samarkand where he passed the early years of his life and where he attained the office of Shaikh ul-Islām. Soon thereafter he came to India obtaining appointment at the court of Auraṅgzīb. He served for many years in the Deccan without attracting much notice. However, when Farrukh-Sīyar came to the throne of Delhi, he appointed 'Abd us-Samad Khān governor of Lahore in February 1713 charging him with the annihilation of the Sikh leader, Bandā Siṅgh Bahādur, who had raised a revolt in the Punjab. 'Abd us-Samad Khān's son, Zakarīyā Khān, was sent to Jammū as faujdār to render assistance to his father. 'Abd us-Samad Khān's troops succeeded in driving Bandā Siṅgh and his Sikhs out of their strongholds in the plains - Saḍhaurā and Lohgaṛh - into the hills. As Bandā Siṅgh descended from his mountain retreat in February 1715, Samad Khān assembled an army of Mughals, Paṭhāns, Bundelā Rājpūts and the Rājpūts of Kaṭoch and Jasroṭā and moved northwards to attack Bandā Siṅgh. According to Akhbār-i-Darbār-i-Mu'allā, 'Abd us-Samad Khān marched from Lahore at the head of twelve thousand sowārs and an equal number of foot-soldiers, besides a big topkhānā (artillery), and closed in upon Bandā Siṅgh as he was putting up his defence fortifications in a village, near Baṭālā. Artillery firing forced Bandā Siṅgh to come into the open field. He made a determined stand and fought fiercely, but overwhelmed by a force vastly superior in strength and resources, he escaped northwards and took shelter in the havelī or fortress of one Dunī Chand at the village of Gurdās-Naṅgal, about 6 km to the west of Gurdāspur. 'Abd us-Samad Khān threw such a tight cordon around the havelī that "not a blade of grass or a grain of corn could find its way in. " For eight months the garrison resisted the siege under gruesome conditions. The royal troops at last broke through and captured Bandā Siṅgh and his famishing Sikhs (17 December 1715). Under the orders of Samad Khān over two hundred of the prisoners were executed. The rest, including Bandā Siṅgh and his family, were put in chains and taken to Lahore, thence to Delhi. In 1726, Samad Khān was transferred to Multān, his son, Zakarīyā Khān, replacing him as governor of Lahore.

        'Ābd us-Samad Khān died on 26 July 1737. For more than two decades he had enjoyed the confidence of the Delhi emperors and received from them titles such as Daler Jaṅg (Brave in Battle) and Saif ud-Daulā (Sword of the State), with a rank of seven thousand.


  1. Irvine, W. , Later Mughals. London, 1922
  2. Nijjar, B. S. , Panjab under the Later Mughals. Jalandhar, 1972
  3. Giān Siṅgh, Giānī, Twārīkh Gurū Khālsā [Reprint]. Patiala, 1970
  4. Bhagat Singh, trans. and ed. , Akhbār-i-Darbār-i-Mu'allā. Patiala, 1984
  5. Harbans Singh, The Heritage of the Sikhs. Delhi, 1987

Bhagat Siṅgh