Contemporary historian Barani has not described this incident in detail. He remarks that lightning fell from the sky and the wooden structures collapsed. As a result of it the Sultan and several other persons died. Nizamuddin Ahmad, Badayuni, Abul Fazl and several other scholars believe that Ulugh Khan was responsible for it and Barani has purposely not mentioned this incident clearly keeping in view the soft feelings of Sultan Firoz Tughluq Sir Wolseley Haig, Dr. Iswari Prasad and many others feel that Ulugh Khan was a patricide. They put forth the following arguments in support of their view:
1. Ibn Batuta is a contemporary writer. He got all relevant information from Ruknuddin who was personally present there. He wrote his Rehla after returning to his home town and he had no grudge against Prince Juna Khan that he should have fabricated this story just of defame the Prince.
2. Ziauddin Barani has not related the story of lightning in a clear tone. His statement also shows that the accident was as terrible as lightning.
3. Yahiya-bin-Ahmad does not refer to lightning. He is an efficient and impartial historian and holds Barani responsible for putting a curtain on the faults of the Prince. Badayuni also agrees to it. Abul Fazl has utilized all available sources for writing his book, but he, too, does not refer to lightning.
4. Had there been no conspiracy in the heart of Prince Juna Khan, why should he have built a new palace so near the capital and why had he asked for the procession of elephants, when everybody except the Sultan and his son Mahmood were out of the palace?
5. Ulugh Khan was an ambitious prince. He had already revolted and it was not a special event to get the throne. Earlier, many persons had enthroned themselves after assassinating the Sultans.
6. The wooden palace was made under the supervision of Ahmad Ayag, the collapse of which caused the death of the Sultan. Hence he should have been punished for his fault but he was appointed Wazir and the title of Khwaja Jahan was showered on him. It indicates that he had rendered some such service as had put the Prince under his obligation. Thus the construction of an unstable palace was the only meritorious service rendered by Ahmad Ayaz which killed the Sultan.
But Dr. Mehdi Husain does not agree with the views of the scholars who hold Juna Khan responsible for patricide. He gives his own arguments in support of his theory that Prince Juna Khan was not responsible for the death of Ghiasuddin and it was only an accident which caused the death of the Sultan. Historians unnecessarily call Prince Juna Khan a patricide:
1. According to unpublished biography of Muhammad-bin-Tughluq. Ghiasuddin Tughluq breathed his last in the month of july and there was every possibility of a stroke of lightning, in that month.
2. Ain-ul-Malik Multani has referred in one of his letters that the palace was made quite strong.
3. Firoz Tughluq was not so much a devotee of Muhammad-bin-Tughluq that he could not have tolerated anything against him. In Sirat-in-Firozshahi, he himself has criticized Muhmmad-bin-Tughluq.
4. Barani had condemned Muhmmad-bin-Tughluq at several places and in case, he had been a patricide, he must have quoted it. Ferishta has also supported Barani.
5. Ibn Batuta was a member of the Ulema class. He was very much annoyed with Muhammad-bin-Tughluq. Ibn Batuta was married to a family of Mabar rulers who were against Mahammad-bin-Tughluq. He was also dissatisfied with Muhammad-bin-Tughluq due to some personal reasons and has quoted several rumors. Hence his statement is not worth belief.
6. Muhammad-bin-Tughluq was a man of character. He often used to criticize Alauddin Khalji for the murder of his uncle and hence there was no possibility that he should have murdered his own father.
If we consider the pros and cons of the matter, we will feel that the arguments of Dr. Ishwari Prasad are more convincing than those of Dr. Mehdi Husain. Hence Muhammad-bin-Tughluq was a patricide. Besides this some scholars opine that as Nizamuddin Auliya has declared “Hanuz Dilli Door Ast”, so the words uttered by a saint who possessed supernatural powers, became the sole reason of the death of the Sultan and the entire structure fell down.
It is also mentioned by a historian that Ulugh Khan was well versed in magic. He installed the palace by the power of his magic and as soon as he withdrew his magic, the palace collapsed.
Sultan Ghiasuddin Tughluq was an ideal monarch as he saved Islam in India from the invasions of Mongols. He revolted against the usurper Khusrau Shah and restrengthened Islam in India. Besides being a protector of Islam in India, he was endowed with many other qualities of head and heart.
His personal life was ideal. He was neither devoted to wine nor to women. He not only obeyed the principles of Islam but also paid honour to religious persons and saints. His attitude towards the Hindus was fanatic but he did not suppress them. His achievements testify that he was an ideal monarch.
Ghiasuddin Tughluq was an efficient commander. His achievements before and after his accession prove it. He devoted himself to the expansion of empire. Besides conquering south, he established his control over Bengal and thus extended the frontier far from the Khaljis.
He established his control over the conquered towns. He defeated the Mongols at several occasions and achieved success against Warangal, Bengal and Tirhut.
He showed extraordinary ability and farsightedness as a ruler. He abolished anarchy and confusion and established law and order. He made several administrative reforms. His revenue, judicial, administrative, army and financial reforms need special mention.
He was a sultan who loved his public very much and he took up many works for the people’s welfare. He was quite benevolent and charitable in nature. He tried to rule according to the rules of the Quran.
He was free from all these vices which were haunting the nobles of those days. Dr. Ishwari Prasad has remarked about him, “Born of an Indian mother, Ghazi Malik typified in his character the salient features of two races, the modesty and mildness of the Hindus and the virility and vigour of the Turk.”
Besides having the above virtues, Ghiasuddin was a patron of scholars. Amir Khusrau enhanced the grandeur of his court. He was lover of architecture. He founded a city about four kilometers away from Delhi, called Tughlaqabad and built a vast for there. His main palace was made of golden bricks which glittered in the light of the sun. ibn Batuta writes that there was a tank in the treasury of the Sultan in which melted gold was poured and it had become a solid rock.
Apart from these virtues, he had some vice. He used to believe every person. He should have remained cautious against his son, Juna khan, but he did not. He could not give up the fanaticism of his times and resorted to religious intoleration for the expansion of Islam. He adopted an anti-Hindu policy due to his intolerant nature.
However, Lanepoole has praised him, “The trusty warden of marches proved a just, high-mined and vigorous king.” Barani has also written about him, “All that Sultan Alauddin did with so much bloodshed, and crooked policy and oppression, and great violence in order that he might establish his rule throughout the cities of the empire, Sultan Tughluq Shah accomplished in four years without any contention of fraud or hardness of slaughter.”
S.R. Sharma, comparing him with Jalaluddin Khalji, writes, “Jalaluddin’s reign was weak, senile and fatuous: Ghiyasuddin was strong, virile and fruitful. In essential respects the former resembles the Mughal Emperor Bahadur Shah the latter reminds us of Sher Shah Sur. Specially in administrative policy Tughluq Shah I must be considered the prototype of the later Sher Shah.”