Humayun, Mughal Emperor of India
1508-1556/913-963 AH (r. 1530-1540/937-947 AH & 1555-1556/962-963 AH)
Nasir al-Din Humayun was the second Mughal emperor of India. His father was Babur, the progenitor of the dynasty. He was given the epithet jannat-ashyani ("he who is nested in heaven") after his death. 

Upon his accession to the throne in 1530/937 AH, Humayun inherited the territories between the Indus and Bengal that Babur had only recently conquered. The new emperor immediately faced claims to land form his brothers Kamran, Hindal, and 'Askari, as well as opposition from the region around Delhi from Shir Shah Sur, the descendant of an Afghan tribe established in the area before the Mughal conquest.1 Shir Shah was able to take control of the provinces of Bihar and Jawnpur and then in 1540/947 AH, he defeated Humayun in battle and declared himself Sultan of Delhi. Meanwhile, Humayun's brothers had fortified themselves with armies at Lahore and Kabul, leaving the Mughal emperor no option but to flee the area and take refuge with the Safavid Shah Tahmasp. The next fifteen years were an interruption of Mughal rule in India, where Shir Shah and his successors maintained control.

After fifteen years in exile, Humayun sought to try his fortunes once again in Hindustan. In 1555/962 AH, he defeated the weakened army of the Suris in Sarhind at the half way point between Lahore and Delhi. He re-entered Delhi later that year and assumed the throne, having re-claimed the area around Delhi for the Mughals. Unfortunately, he died prematurely several months after his reconquest in an accident when he fell down a flight of stairs after evening prayer.

Humayun is described by historical sources as deeply spiritual, both dedicated to the Muslim faith and to the practice of astrology, which he used to determine his daily activities.2 


  1. Digby, "Humāyūn."
  2. Schimmel, Empire of the Great Mughals, 28.


Digby, S. “Humāyūn.” Encyclopedia of Islam, Second Edition, 2012.

Schimmel, Annemarie. The Empire of the Great Mughals: History, Art and Culture, 27-31. London: Reaktion Books, 2004.

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Variant Names
نصير الدين محمد همايون پادشاه
Nasir al-Din Muhammad Humayun Padishah