Bawarij were Sindhi pirates from Gujarat, India that chased Arab shipping bound for the Indian subcontinent and China, they entirely converted to Islam during the rule of the Samma Dynasty (AD 1335–1520). They are mentioned by Ma'sudi as frequenting the pirate den at Socotra and other scholars describes them as pirates and sailors of Sindh. Ibn Batuta describes them being warships with oars, fifty rowers, and fifty men-at-arms and wooden roofs to protect against arrows and stones. Tabari describes them in an attack upon Basra in 866 CE as having one pilot (istiyam), three fire-throwers (naffatun), a baker, a carpenter and thirty-nine rowers and fighters making up a complement of forty-five.
These ships were unsuited for warlike maneuvers and lacked the sleek prows or ramming capabilities of other contemporary naval units, but were intended to provide for hand-to-hand battles for crew upon boarding.
- Laurier, pg. 132
- Hourani pg. 114
- George F. Hourani, John Carswell, Arab Seafaring in the Indian Ocean in Ancient and Early Medieval Times, Princeton University Press, 1995, ISBN 0-691-00032-8
- Laurier Books Limited, Horatio John Suckling, Ceylon: A General Description of the Island, Historical, Physical, Statistical, Asian Educational Services, 1994, ISBN 81-206-0934-4