IMĀM UD-DĪN, FAQĪR (d. 1847), second son of Ghulām Mohīy ud-Dīn and younger brother of Faqīr 'Azīz ud-Dīn, foreign minister to Mahārājā Raṇjīt Siṅgh, was Qilādār or garrison commander of the Gobindgaṛh Fort at Amritsar, where the bulk of the Sikh crown jewels was kept in deposit. Capable and scholarly, Imām ud-Dīn was entrusted with multifarious duties by the Mahārājā. He virtually acted as the chief treasurer of the kingdom, authorizing payments on behalf of the Darbār and carrying out commercial transactions through cash and huṇḍīs for the purchase of grain. As the Fort commander, he looked after the magazine, arsenal and studs. He was also responsible for the maintenance of the fortifications of Amritsar city. He also performed protocol duties on behalf of the State when foreign dignitaries arrived for visits.

         Faqīr Imām ud-Dīn also held command of 500 horse and took part in military campaigns. At times he was assigned to diplomatic duty. In August 1808, he was deputed to go to Paṭiālā to receive Charles T. Metcalfe, the British envoy, who was on his way to Lahore to call on the Mahārājā. At Paṭiālā, Faqīr Imām ud-Dīn also had the chance of meeting the cis-Sutlej Sikh chiefs. In April 1827, he accompanied Dīwān Motī Rām to Shimlā to wait on Lord Amherst with a mission sent by Mahārājā Raṇjīt Siṅgh. In March 1828, on behalf of the Mahārājā, he called upon Lord Combermere, the British commander-in-chief at Ludhiāṇā.

         Contemporary chronicles describe Faqīr Imām ud-Dīn 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 Darbār.

         Faqīr Imām ud-Dīn died at Lahore on 5 December 1847. His only son, Tāj ud-Dīn, succeeded him as Qilādār of the Gobindgaṛh Fort.


  1. Sūrī, Sohan Lāl, 'Umdāt-ut-Twārīkh, Lahore, 1885-89
  2. Griffin, Lepel, Ranjit Siṅgh. Delhi, 1957
  3. Waheeduddin, Syed Faqir, The Real Ranjit Singh. Karachi, 1965
  4. Bhagat Singh, Maharaja Ranjit Singh and His Times. Delhi, 1990

Hameed ud-Dīn