September 7th, 2012
Tipu Sultan–Beard or No Beard
I know, it’s an odd topic but due to a Facebook post, I got drag into this. Few days a go, I came across a FB post:
He is one of the greatest freedom fighter and a very pious person. He never missed a single tahjudh namaz ( night prayers ). He had a big beard. The photo of Tipu sultan that is all over the internet is fake. This is the real picture of Tipu Sultan …
I searched “Tipu Sultan” on Google and found illustration of him something similar to this:
Images found on several websites including Wikipedia are the illustrations based on the description of historians. If we assume that the images on Wikipedia and other websites are fake, even then it doesn’t mean that the above image of Tipu Sultan (shared on FB) is the real deal. Also since when having beard is the benchmark of piousness. Nowadays, It is easy to spread false information over internet using social media. Give it a try, fabricate anything and share it on social media. It will take few days to be all over internet. Most of the time, we share stuff without even verifying its source and in a way, we also become part of spreading disinformation. Another example of “disinformation” propagated over internet is a quote of Albert Einstein,
“I fear the day technology will surpass our human interaction. The world will have a generation of idiots.”
Even though it’s true but after little bit of research, one would come to a conclusion that Einstein never said that.
Anyway, coming back to Tipu Sultan’s beard. After reading that FB post, I decided to do some research on that topic (I don’t know why) and found two references about the appearance of Tipu Sultan. I couldn’t find about him in “Tareekh-e-Firishta” (History from Firishta), as the author died years before Tipu Sultan.
“Tipu has a dignified appearance. He was of a brown complexion, and had small delicate hands and feet, an aquiline nose, lustrous eyes and a short, thick neck. He had splendid health and with years his royal person assumed greater amplitude. He wore no beard, but, unlike his father, retained his eyebrows, eyelashes and moustache.”
(History of Tipu Sultan By Mohibbul Hasan, Pg 369 )
“Contrary to the custom of deceased Nawab, he the Sultan retained the hair of his eyebrows, eyelashes and moustaches. His beard, however, which was chiefly on his chin, he shaved thinking it not becoming to him.”
(History of Tipu Sultan By Mir Hussain Ali Khan Kirmani, Pg 133)
From these references, we may fairly conclude that Tipu Sultan didn’t have the beard. But I think, There are several other characteristics that can be discussed about a ruler. Judging them by their physical appearances won’t be beneficial in any way.
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