Safdarjung was born Muhammad Muqim in Khurasan, Persia and migrated to
India in 1722. He succeeded his father-in-law and maternal uncle
Saadat Khan to the throne of Awadh, apparently by paying Nadir Shah
two crores of rupees. The Mughal Emperor Muhammad Shah gave him the
title of "Safdarjung".
Safdarjung was an able administrator. He was not only effective in
keeping control of Awadh, but also managed to render valuable
assistance to the weakened Muhammad Shah. He was soon given
governorship of Kashmir as well, and became a central figure at the
Delhi court. During the later years of Muhammad Shah, he gained
complete control of administration in the Mughal Empire. When Ahmad
ascended the throne at Delhi, Safdarjung became his Wazir
ul-Mamalik-i-Hindustan or Chief Minister of India. However, court
politics eventually overtook him and he was dismissed in 1753. He then
propped up an eunuch, Akbar Shah, as the claimant to the Delhi throne.
Later that year, he reconciled with Ahmad Shah Bahadur and was given
back Awadh. He returned to Awadh in November, 1753, but died while
travelling from Lucknow to Sultanpur in 1754.
Safdarjung Enclave and Safdarjung Development Area are also upper
middle class residential neighborhoods of South Delhi located near
Hauz Khas and Green Park.