RUHILASIKH RELATIONS. The Ruhilas came from the Yusafzai tribe of Afghans originally belonging to Roh, a tract of land south of Chitral in the North-West Frontier region. They established themselves in the early years of the eighteenth century as a semi independent power in the district lying between the River Ganges and the Kumaon hills and extending eastwards up to Shahjahanpur. Their first powerful chief, `All Muhammad, received from the Emperor Muhammad Shah a mansab or rank of the 4,000 grade and was appointed faujdar of Sirhind in 1745. Ala Singh, the founder of Patiala state, made alliance with him and joined him in a campaign against the Muslim chief of Raikot.
But `Ali Muhammad suddenly attacked Ala Singh`s capital, Barnala, which was given over to plunder. Ala Singh himself was taken prisoner and detained in the Fort of Sunam, but he escaped through a stratagem in 1747. `Ali Muhammad died in September 1748. The next great leader of the Ruhilas was Najib Khan who started life as a foot soldier under `Ali Muhammad, but rose in rank soon after his master`s death. He received from the Mughal Emperor `Alamgir II the mansab of 5,000 zo
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