NUR UD-DIN, FAQIR
NUR UDDIN, FAQIR (d. 1852), third son of Ghulam Mohy udDin and the youngest brother of Faqir `Aziz udDin, was one of the prominent Muslim courtiers serving the Sikh sovereign Maharaja Ranjit Singh and his successors. In 1801, when Ranjit Singh assumed the title of Maharaja, Nur udDin was appointed hakim or physician to the court and put in charge of dispensaries in the city of Lahore. He also performed protocol duties on behalf of the State. Foreign travellers such as Moor craft, Jacquemont, Burnes, Wolff, Hugel and Fane, whom he received on behalf of the Maharaja or whom he otherwise met on State occasions, have paid tributes to his outstanding abilities.
Hugel, for instance, described him as “an upright yet versatile courtier, who has acquired the respect of the natives and the strangers.” Nur udDin was indeed a versatile man who was entrusted by Maharaja Ranjit Singh with diverse responsibilities such as the administration of the capital, superintendence of artillery stores, and commissariat arrangements for visiting dignitaries. He was at times also assigned to important administrative responsibilities outside the capital. In June 1810, he took Wazirabad and was soon after appointed governor of Gujrat.
In the beginning of 1817, he was sent to settle the Ramgarhia territories seized by Ranjit Singh towards the end of 1816. In 1827, he went to Kapurthala on a mission to restore normal relations after a temporary estrangement between Ranjit Singh and the local chief, Fateh Singh Ahluvalia.Even after the death of Maharaja Ranjit Singh, Faqir Nur udDin retained his position of eminence at the court. At the conclusion of the first AngloSikh war, he was one of the signatories, on behalf of the State, to the Treaty of Lahore, 9 March 1846, and to the Articles of Agreement, 11 March 1846.
He was appointed a member of the Council of Regency formed, under the treaty of 16 December 1846, to conduct the administration of the country during the minority of Maharaja Duleep Singh. The Council ceased to exist with the annexation of the Punjab to the British dominions on 29 March 1849. Nur udDin`s jdgirs of the annual value of Rs 20,885 were confirmed to him by the British. Nur udDin died at Lahore on 26 March 1852.
He was survived by four sons: from his first wife, Zahur udDin (1824-1893), who was for a time tutor to Maharaja Duleep Singh, and Hafiz udDin (1835-1899), and from the second, Shamas udDin (1825-1872) and Qamar udDin (1826-1910), who travelled with his father as escort to Maharani Jind Kaur when she was exiled to Banaras. Like his brother `Aziz udDin, Nur udDin was a man of learning. He was also a poet and left a collection of verse
1. Suri,Sohan Lal, `Umdat ut-Twarikh. Lahore, 1885-89 4.
2. Waheed-ud-Din, Faqir, The Real Ranjit Singh. Karachi, 1965
3. Bhagat Singh, Maharaja Ranjit Singh and His Times Delhi, 1990.
4. Harbans Singh, Maharaja Ranjit Singh. Delhi, 1980