The Tughlaq dynasty (Ṭughlāq or Arabic script:
تغلق/طغلق) also referred to as Tughluq or Tughluk dynasty, was a Muslim dynasty of Turkic origin which ruled over the Delhi sultanate in medieval India. Its reign started in 1320 in Delhi when Ghazi Malik assumed the throne under the title of Ghiyath al-Din Tughluq. The dynasty ended in 1413.
The etymology of the word Tughluq is not certain. The 16th-century writer Firishta claims that it is a corruption of the Turkic term Qutlugh, but this is doubtful. Literary, numismatic and epigraphic evidence makes it clear that Tughluq was the personal name of the dynasty’s founder Ghiyath al-Din, and not an ancestral designation. Historians use the designation Tughluq to describe the entire dynasty as a matter of convenience, but the dynasty’s kings did not use Tughluq as a surname: only Ghiyath al-Din’s son Muhammad bin Tughluq called himself the son of Tughluq Shah (“bin Tughluq”).
The ancestry of the dynasty is debated among modern historians because the earlier sources provide different information regarding it. Tughluq’s court poet Badr-i Chach attempted to find a royal Sassanian genealogy for the dynasty from the line of Bahram Gur, which seems to be the official position of the genealogy of the Sultan, although this can be dismissed as flattery. The Moroccan traveler Ibn Battuta states that Tughluq belonged to the “Qarauna tribe of the Turks“, who lived in the hilly region between Turkestan and Sindh, based on the claim of a Sufi saint Rukn-e-Alam. However, this is not corroborated by other contemporary sources.Qara’unas were Mongols or associated with Mongol armies, whom Tughlaq despised, and it is unlikely that Tughlaq was a Qara’una. Another Tughluq’s court poet Amir Khusrau in his Tughluq Nama makes no mention of Tughluq’s arrival in India from a foreign land, which seems to imply he was born in India. His own court poet states that Tughluq described himself frankly as a man of no importance (“awara mard“) in his early life and career. The historian Ferishta, based on inquiries at Lahore, wrote that the knowledgeable historians and the books of India had neglected to mention any clear statement on the origin of the dynasty, but wrote that there was a rural founding myth that Tughluq’s father was a Turkic slave of Balban who made an alliance with a Jatt chieftain of Punjab, and that Tughluq’s mother may have been a Jatt lady. However there is no contemporary sources corroborate this statement. The historian Fouzia Ahmed points out that as per Amir Khusrau’s assertion, Tughluq was not a Balbanid slave because he was not part of the old Turkic nobility and his family only became emergent during Khalji rule. Instead, Tughluq expressed his loyalty to the ethnically heterogenous Khalji regime through which he first entered military service rather than to Balban because his father was never part of Balban’s old Sultanate household. According to historian Peter Jackson, Tughlaq was of Mongol or Turko-Mongol stock.