SULTAN ABUL HASAN QUTB SHAH(MAY PEACE BE UPON HIM)
Sultan Abul Hasan Qutb Shah was the seventh and the last ruler of the Kingdom of Golconda(Deccan, Southern India) under the Qutb Shahi Dynasty. He ruled from 1672 A.D. to 1687 A.D. He is also known as Abul Hasan Tana Shah and more popularly, he is known as ” TANI SHAH ” meaning ” benevolent ruler “. He did not discriminate against those of other ethnicities or religions. He had hired Hindus as his ministers and generals. Madanna was his Chief Minister. Madanna had a nephew by name Kancharla Gopanna. He had appointed Gopanna as a “Tehsildar”( a revenue official) of Palvancha county. Gopanna had inadvertently used the public funds for the construction of RAMA temple on the banks of River Godavari at a place known as Bhadrachalam. Sultan Tani Shah found Gopanna was guilty of the misuse of the funds and had him imprisoned at the Golconda Fort.
A LEGEND ABOUT DIVINE INTERVENTION:
Gopanna spent about 12 years in prison. According to legend, God intervened on behalf of Gopanna to obtain his release from the prison at Golconda Fort. As per the legend, Lord Rama in disguise had come before the King and returned the money owed by Gopanna and the debt was repaid with gold coins. God who came to rescue Gopanna from the prison had met the Sultan but not the prisoner. Upon his release from the prison, Gopanna did express his sorrow for missing the opportunity to meet the Lord. Gopanna was released from the prison and he successfully finished the construction of the Rama temple which stands even today. Sultan Tani Shah publicly acknowledged that he had met ” ALLAH ” and had recognized the fact of Gopanna’s release from the prison was made possible by divine intervention. He made permanent arrangements for the upkeep of this temple. The funds that were collected as tax from Palvancha county were allocated to the temple and also he had established an annual tradition of sending pearls to shower the Deity during the annual temple festival. This tradition of offering pearls was continued by the rulers of the princely State of Hyderabad popularly known as the ‘Nizams of Hyderabad’, who ruled the Telangana region continuously until India’s independence. The Hyderabad State became a part of the Indian Union and the State of Andhra Pradesh came into existence in 1956. The Government of Andhra Pradesh and later Telangana followed the tradition established by Sultan Tani Shah in the 17th century and the tradition of offering pearls to Lord Rama still exists.
VERILY A BLESSED SOUL:
Did Lord Rama actually visit Golconda Fort to obtain the release of Kancharla Gopanna from the prison? Sultan Tani Shah had believed that it was God or Allah who had come to him and cleared the debt owed by Gopanna. He had further expressed that belief in his actions. He had allowed Gopanna to complete the construction of Lord Rama’s Temple in Bhadrachalam and had financially supported the maintenance of that Temple. By doing so, the Shia Ruler of Golconda gave us a chance to reflect upon Lord’s Mercy, Grace, and Compassion.
This benevolent ruler defended the Golconda Fort for eight months when the Mughal Emperor Aurangzeb had attacked it in 1687 A.D. In October 1687, the Fort was captured by bribery and Sultan Tani Shah was taken as a prisoner and was imprisoned in Daulatabad Fort until his death.
I would call Sultan Tani Shah is a Blessed Soul for he had recognized God’s plan and purpose and had supported Gopanna to build the temple and had provided for the maintenance of the temple and gave us the opportunity to know about God’s Compassion, Grace, and Mercy. Secondly, Sultan Tani Shah had received the biggest gift that a man could ever seek. Man always cherishes the idea of meeting his Creator, the Father in Heaven, Allah, the Lord, RAMA the divine reincarnation of VISHNU and very few actually realize that dream. Gopanna was rescued but could not meet RAMA. Sultan Tani Shah did not pray or ask for this favor from God. He is a Blessed Soul because God had granted him that gift. He had received a sensory experience of that Reality called God and I fully trust this experience he had shared with others. Sultan Tani Shah’s actions substantiate his claim. Most importantly, he did not seek any personal reward or personal gain while he acted in the obedience of a God he never actually believed and had never intended to worship in any manner. He had acted without seeking the fruits of his actions. I bless this Shia Ruler of Golconda and pray for Lord’s Peace be upon him forever.
Dr. R. Rudra Narasimham,
Kurnool Medical College, Kurnool, A.P., India.,
M.B.B.S., Class of April 1970.