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IMAM UD-DIN, FAQIR

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IMAM UDDIN, FAQIR (d. 1847), second son of Ghulam Mohly udDTn and younger brother of Faqir `Azi/ udDin, foreign minister to Maharaja Ranjit Singh, was Qiladar or garrison commander of the Gobindgarh Fort at Amritsar, where the bulk of the Sikh crown jewels was kept in deposit. Capable and scholarly. Imam udDin was entrusted with multifarious duties by the Maharaja. He virtually acted as the chief treasurer of the kingdom, authorizing payments on behalf of the Darbar and carrying out commercial transactions through casli and hund is 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 Slate when foreign dignitaries arrived for visits. Faqir Imam udDin also held command of 500 horse and look part in military campaigns.

At times he was assigned to diplomatic duty. In August 1808, he was deputed to go to Patiala to receive Charles T. Metcalfc, the British envoy, who was on his way to Lahore to call on the Maharaja. At Patiala, Faqir Imam udDin also had the chance of meeting the cis Sutlcj Sikh chiefs. In April 1827, he accompanied Diwan Moti Ram to Sliimla to wait on Lord Amhcrst with a mission sent by Maharaja Ranjit Singh.

In March 1828, on behalf of the Maharaja, he called upon Lord Combermcre, the British commanderin chief at Ludhiana. Contemporary chronicles describe Faqir Imam udDin 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 Darbar. Faqir Imam udDin died at Lahore on 5 December 1847. His only son, Taj udDin, succeeded him as Qiladar of the Gobindgarh Fort.

References :

1. Suri, Sohan Lal, `Umdal ut-Twdnj
2. Griffin, Lcpel, Ranjit Singh. Delhi, 1957
3. Waheeduddin, Syed Faqir, The, Real Ranjit Singh. Karachi, 1965
4. Bhagat Singh, Maharaja Ranjit Singh and His Time^. Delhi, 1990

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