Khoja Zufar

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Khoja Zufar or Coge Cofar
Drawing of Coge Cofar (Khoja Zafar) from 1798.jpg
Drawing from 1798
Nickname(s)Cogeatar or Khoje Cofar or Coge Cofar
Born1500 (1500)
Otranto, Apulia, Kingdom of Naples
Died1546 (aged 45–46)
Diu, India
AllegianceOttoman Empire
Years of service1515–1546
RankGeneral
Commands heldOttoman naval forces
Battles/warsSiege of Diu
AwardsGovernor of Diu
RelationsFriend of Garcia de Orta

Khoja Zufar or Coje Çafar (1500 – June 24, 1546), also called Coge Sofar or Cogeatar in Portuguese, Cosa Zaffar in Italian, and Khwaja Safar Salmani in Turkish or Khuádja Tzaffar (خوجا زفار) in Arabic[1], was a soldier and local ruler in Western India during the 16th century. He was a leader in the failed Siege of Diu. Zufar was an experienced merchant with the distant markets of the Arabian Gulf around the Strait of Mecca and Lepanto at the Mediteranian[2].

Name[edit]

For centuries, his name has been given in different forms, depending on whether the writer is English, an Ottoman Turk, or Portuguese. These include Khoja Zufar,[3] Coje Çafar,[4] Coge Sofar,[5] Cogeatar, and Khojah Zaffar. Muhammad III of Gujarat had forced him to change his Christian name to "Khwaja". He was later known as Khudawand Khan Safar Salmani.[6]

Early life[edit]

Zufar was born in Otranto,[7] into an Albanian family.[8][9][10][11] His mother was from Brindisi. He was born to Catholic Albanian parents in Otranto in the Kingdom of Naples in modern-day Italy.[citation needed]

He began his career as a military adventurer, serving in the armies of Italy and Flanders, and was captured at sea at the age of fifteen by an Ottoman general Selim I, and the Ottoman sultan was impressed by the young Zufar and put him in command of several vessels to attack the Portuguese.[12][13]

War with the Portuguese[edit]

In February 1531, Khoja Zufar and Ottoman Admiral Mustafa entered the harbor of Diu, a Portuguese island fortress on the coast of the Gujarat Sultanate in what is now Western India.[14] In 1532, Zufar established himself in Gujarat, and obtained privileges in Surat and Diu,[15] becoming the general of the Muslim forces.[16] Here he was known as "Khoja Sofar of Surat". He initially cooperated with the Portuguese who put him in charge of Diu,[17] but when he heard of Hadım Suleiman Pasha's naval expedition, he betrayed the Portuguese and joined Suleiman[18].

In 1537, the Portuguese sent a fleet to attack Diu, which was defended by Zufar's land forces. Suleiman witnessed the preparations:

... venne un chiamato il Cosa Zaffer, il quale é da Otranto, ma renegato, et fatto turcho, et era patrone di una galea quando il Signore Turcho mandó l'altra armata ...[19]

... there came a lad called the Khoja Zuffar, who is from Otranto, but a renegade, and made Turk, and was the patron of a galley when the Sultan sent the other army ...[20]

In 1537, Sultan Bahadur and Khoja Zufar agreed to meet with the Portuguese governor Nuno da Cunha in Diu, on his ship and despite being warned, Bahadur was murdered and his body thrown into the ocean, while Zufar barely escaped onto the ship of Antonio de Soto-Maior[21]. Determined to avenge himself, Zufar wrote to his relative Nacoda Hamede, the ruler of Zebit, to send the Ottoman army to India, to which the Sultan approved[22].

In April 1538, Zufar, having received news of the Portuguese fleet preparing for war, secretly sent his wife and children to safety. He then presented himself before the new sultan, Mahmud III, who made him governor of Surat with the title of Khudawand Khan. Zufar then made an attack on the outer fort of Diu, driving the Portuguese into the city, and initiating the Siege of Diu which was made possible thanks to Zufar's close friend Ruy Freire, a Portuguese who collected information[23]. In June 1538, Zufar was wounded[24] by the Portuguese,[25] and attacked again on June 26 with 4,000 men outside the village of Rome.[26]

Throughout his reign as a governor, Zufar had urged the Muslim leader of Gujarat to expel the Portuguese,[27] who had taken possession of Surat Port and robbed the city at the beginning of the century.[citation needed] The following quote is attributed to him, as part of a speech to his men about the Portuguese:

Que temos que recear deste Império de loucos, que com um braço na Ásia e outro no Ocidente, querem abarcar o Mundo?

What do we have to fear from this Empire of mad-men, who with one arm in Asia and the other in the West want to embrace the world?[28]

Delayed by other conflicts, Suleiman arrived with a fleet of 72 vessels, and told his men of a certain "Cosazaffer who originally came from Otranto and was a renegade for Islam".[29] In 1540, to resist the attacks of the Portuguese, Zufar constructed a strong, high, and large fort in the place of the small old fort.[30]

Zufar had a personal relationship with Garcia de Orta as he would receive gifts of curcas (cataputia minor), from Zufar[31][32]. In 1542, a ship filled with 60,000 pieces of Venetian gold was sent to Zufar, to prepare for the incoming fleet.[33] In 1545, Zufar attempted another siege of Diu[34] and failed.

In 1546, Zufar complained that his merchant vessels were harrassed by the Portuguese cartaz which resulted in skirmishes with the Portuguese fleets. The Sultan, determined to retake Diu, applied for support from Indo-Islamic states[35].

In 1546, Zufar fortified his base at Surat and persuaded the sultan of Gujarat to once again attack Diu.[36][37][38] In March, 1546, Zufar appeared in front of Diu with 7,000 "guzatteres" and 1,000 Turks in order to take it from the Portuguese.[39][40] Their leader, Dom Joao Mascarenhas, defended the city as did his predecessor Antonio da Silveira. Portuguese women participated in the defence as well.[41] The sieges failed and Suleiman departed on November 5. Zufar then set fire to his encampment and abandoned the island of Diu.

According to Diogo do Cuoto, the keeper of the Portuguese Record Office in Goa, through out the 1540s, Zufar received letters every year from his mother, a Catholic, who was much upset that Zufar had converted to Islam[42].

Death[edit]

Before his death, Zufar had a wakil, a servant, named Bahar Khan Yagut Salmani, an Ottoman slave, who also accompanied him during the Siege of Diu. On June 24, 1546, while supervising the trenches, Zufar's head was taken off by a cannonball fired from the Portuguese in the fort of Diu.[43][44][45]. One of Zufar's men, Bilal Khairit Khani Habashi, was killed as well[46]. His son, Ramazan Rumi Khan, inherited the title and ruled Surat in 1554.[47]

References[edit]

  1. ^ Orta, García da (2014). Coloquios dos simples e drogas da India (in Portuguese) (Translation: seria Khuádja Tzaffar ed.). Editorial MAXTOR. p. 286. ISBN 9788490014516. Retrieved 7 November 2019.
  2. ^ Mathew, K. S. (1982). KHWAJA SAFAR, THE MERCHANT GOVERNOR OF SURAT AND THE INDO-PORTUGUESE TRADE IN THE EARLY SIXTEENTH CENTURY. pp. 232–242. Retrieved 6 November 2019.
  3. ^ Ta-ssi-yang-kuo ...: Archivos e annaes do Extremo-Oriente portuguez, colligidos ... (in Portuguese). 1902. p. 376.
  4. ^ "Drawing of Coge Cofar".
  5. ^ Welch, Sidney R. (1949). South Africa Under John III, 1521-1557. Juta. p. 120.
  6. ^ Chase, Kenneth; Chase, Kenneth Warren (2003). Firearms: A Global History to 1700. Cambridge University Press. p. 136. ISBN 9780521822749.
  7. ^ Cagle, Hugh (2018). Assembling the Tropics: Science and Medicine in Portugal's Empire, 1450–1700. Cambridge University Press. p. 159. ISBN 9781107196636.
  8. ^ London HENRY FROWDE logo OXFORD UNIVERSITY PRESS WAREHOUSE AMEN CORNER, E.C., Produced by Ron Swanson. The Project Gutenberg e-Book of Rulers of India: Albuquerque, by H. Morse Stephens. (OXFORD): LL.D. (CAMBRIDGE). p. 315.
  9. ^ "Heritage History | Albuquerque: Rulers of India by Morse Stephens". www.heritage-history.com.
  10. ^ YAMEY, Adam (2019). TRAVELS THROUGH GUJARAT, DAMAN, AND DIU. p. 160. ISBN 9780244407988.
  11. ^ YAMEY, Adam (2019). TRAVELS THROUGH GUJARAT, DAMAN, AND DIU. p. 160. ISBN 9780244407988.
  12. ^ Markotić, Vladimir (1987). Symposium: Emigrants from Croatia and their Achievements. Western Publischers. p. 35. ISBN 9780919119123.
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  14. ^ Mughal India According to European Travel Accounts: Texts and Studies. Institute for the History of Arabic-Islamic Science at the Johann Wolfgang Goethe University. 1997. p. 6.
  15. ^ Subrahmanyam, Sanjay (1993). The Portuguese empire in Asia, 1500-1700: a political and economic history. Longman. p. 95. ISBN 9780582050693.
  16. ^ Bouterwek, Friedrich (1805). Geschichte der Poesie und Beredsamkeit seit dem Ende des dreizehnten Jahrhunderts: Introduction (40 p.) Italy (in German). J.F. Röwer. p. 331.
  17. ^ Beirão, Caetano (1960). A Short History of Portugal. Edic̜ões Panorama. p. 61.
  18. ^ The Cambridge History of the British Empire. CUP Archive. 1940. p. 15.
  19. ^ Garcia de Orta (1891). Francisco Manuel de Melo Ficalho (ed.). Coloquios dos simples e drogas da India (in Portuguese). 1. Impresna Nacional. p. 286.
  20. ^ Viaggi fatti da Vinetia, alla Tana, in Persia, in India, et in Costantinopoli: con la descrittione particolare di città, luoghi, siti, costumi, & della Porta del gran Turco: & di tutte le intrate, spese, & modo di gouerno suo, & della ultima impresa contra portoghesi (in Italian). eredi di Aldo Manuzio 1. 1545. p. 149. Retrieved 6 November 2019.
  21. ^ Pearson, Michael Naylor (1976). Merchants and Rulers in Gujarat: The Response to the Portuguese in the Sixteenth Century. University of California Press. p. 78. ISBN 9780520028098. Retrieved 6 November 2019.
  22. ^ Portuguese and the Sultanate of Gujarat, 1500-1573, Kuzhippalli Skaria Mathew, p. 44-46,
  23. ^ Mathew, Kuzhippalli Skaria (1986). Portuguese and the Sultanate of Gujarat, 1500-1573. Mittal Publications. p. 138. Retrieved 6 November 2019.
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  26. ^ Welch, Sidney R. (1949). South Africa Under John III, 1521-1557. Juta. p. 126.
  27. ^ Welch, Sidney R. (1949). South Africa Under John III, 1521-1557. Juta. p. 125.
  28. ^ Recueil de morceux en prose: extraits del meilleurs auteurs français et portugais; tels que Fénélon, Lesage, Florian, Berquin, Jean de Barros, Freire de Andrada, etc, etc.; précédé d'un choix d'anecdotes, de bons mots et de pensées diverses. En français et en portugais (What do we have to fear from this Empire of madmen, who with one arm in Asia and the other in the West want to embrace the World? (in French). chez Théophile Barrois fils, libraire, quai Voltaire, no. 11. 1818. p. 168.
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