Ruknuddin Barbak Shah

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Ruknuddin Barbak Shah
as-Sulṭān al-ʿĀdil Rukn ad-Dunyā wa ad-Dīn Abū al-Mujāhid Bārbak Shāh[1][2]
Sultan of Bengal
Reign1459-1474
Coronation1459
PredecessorNasiruddin Mahmud Shah
SuccessorShamsuddin Yusuf Shah
BornBarbak
Sultanate of Bengal
Died1474
Sultanate of Bengal
Burial1474
IssueYusuf
HouseIlyas Shahi
FatherNasiruddin Mahmud Shah
ReligionSunni Islam

Ruknuddīn Bārbak Shāh (Bengali: রোকনউদ্দীন বারবক শাহ, Persian: رکن الدین باربک شاه; r. 1459–1474) was the son and successor of Sultan Nasiruddin Mahmud Shah. Initially appointed as the governor of Satgaon during the reign of his father, Barbak ascended the throne of the Bengal Sultanate in 1459. He was the first ruler to give prominent roles in the Sultanate's administration to the Abyssinian community.[3] Historian Aniruddha Ray credits Barbak Shah as the pioneer of urbanisation in Bengal.[4]

Early life and ascension[edit]

A mosque near Zafar Khan Ghazi's dargah was built when Prince Barbak was governing the Satgaon region.[2][5]

Barbak was born into an aristocratic Bengali Muslim Sunni family known as the Ilyas Shahi dynasty that had founded the Bengal Sultanate in 1352 CE. Despite his family's long presence in the region, Barbak's ancestors were of Sistani origin, hailing from what is now eastern Iran and southern Afghanistan. His father, Sultan Nasiruddin Mahmud Shah, ruled Bengal for over twenty years.

During his father's reign, Barbak served as the Governor of Satgaon (Arsah Sajla Mankhbad).[6] During his governorship in 1455, Ulugh Ajmal Khan established the Zafar Khan Ghazi Mosque in Tribeni.[2] Barbak inherited the throne of the country in 1459 CE, after his father's death.[7]

Reign[edit]

In 1459, Barbak upgraded Mahisantosh into a mint town known as Barbakabad. This acquisition helped his kingdom extended to the Buriganga river in north. In 1474, he re-established his authority in Chittagong.[8] The extent of Barbak Shah's kingdom can be discovered through various inscriptions commemorating the construction of jame mosques and royal gates across Malda, Rajshahi, Rangpur, Chittagong, Dhaka, Sylhet, Mymensingh and for the first time, Barisal.[2]

Barbak Shah was a patron of Bengali and Persian literature. During his time Zainuddin wrote his Rasul Bijay and Ibrahim Qawwam Faruqi composed a Persian lexicon Farhang-i-Ibrahim (known as Sharafnamah). Raimukuta Brhaspati Mishra, Maladhar Basu, Krittibas Ojha and Kuladhar were the most noted Hindu scholars that time.[8]

Warfare[edit]

Barbak was the first ruler in Bengal to recruit large numbers of Habshis (Abyssinians) to the administration of the royal palace and army, which would eventually lead to a Habshi usurp permanently ending the Ilyas Shahi dynasty several years after Barbak's death.[9][10] According to the 17th-century work Risalat ash-Shuhada, Raja Kapilendra Deva (r. 1434-1467) of the Gajapati Kingdom (present-day Orissa) invaded southern Bengal during the early years of Sultan Barbak's reign and managed to capture the fort of Mandaran. Barbak sent his military general, the Muslim missionary Shah Ismail Ghazi, who defeated the Gajapati army and recovered Fort Mandaran.[6]

The Sultanate's next expedition was against Kameshwar of Kamarupa who had gained control of eastern Dinajpur. Barbak's army, again led by general Ismail Ghazi, suffered a heavy defeat in Mahisantosh, although Kameshwar was impressed by the general's spiritual characteristics and embraced Islam. In January 1474 CE however, Barbak executed Ismail Ghazi after an malicious instigation led by Bhandsi Rai, who commanded the Sultanate's Ghoraghat frontier. Rai had accused Ghazi of attempting to establish a separate independent kingdom with Kameshwar in the regained territory.[8][6]

Barbak Shah was also known to have invaded Mithila (present-day Janakpur) and conquered the region. He appointed Kedar Rai as the governor of that region. He also invaded Hajiganj Fort and surroundings at Tirhut in 1468.

Death[edit]

Rukunuddin Barbak Shah died in 1474 after ruling Bengal for 15 years.

Ruknuddin Barbak Shah
Preceded by Sultan of Bengal
1459–1474
Succeeded by

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ The Philological Secretary, Journal of the Asiatic Society of Bengal, Volume 43 (1874), p.295
  2. ^ a b c d Ahmad Hasan Dani (1957). "Analysis of the Inscriptions". Asiatic Society Of Pakistan Vol-ii. pp. 21–28.
  3. ^ Jairath, Vinod K. (2013-04-03). Frontiers of Embedded Muslim Communities in India. Routledge. p. 68. ISBN 978-1-136-19680-5.
  4. ^ Ray, Aniruddha (2012). "Gaur, City". In Islam, Sirajul; Miah, Sajahan; Khanam, Mahfuza; Ahmed, Sabbir (eds.). Banglapedia: the National Encyclopedia of Bangladesh (Online ed.). Dhaka, Bangladesh: Banglapedia Trust, Asiatic Society of Bangladesh. ISBN 984-32-0576-6. OCLC 52727562. Retrieved 4 August 2022.
  5. ^ Khan, Muhammad Hafizullah (2012). "Zafar Khan Ghazi Mosque and Dargah". In Islam, Sirajul; Miah, Sajahan; Khanam, Mahfuza; Ahmed, Sabbir (eds.). Banglapedia: the National Encyclopedia of Bangladesh (Online ed.). Dhaka, Bangladesh: Banglapedia Trust, Asiatic Society of Bangladesh. ISBN 984-32-0576-6. OCLC 52727562. Retrieved 4 August 2022.
  6. ^ a b c Sarkar, Jadunath, ed. (1973) [First published 1948]. "VI: Later Ilyās Shahis and the Abyssinian Regime". The History of Bengal. Vol. II: Muslim Period, 1200–1757. Patna: Academica Asiatica. OCLC 924890.
  7. ^ Salim, Gulam Hussain; tr. from Persian; Abdus Salam (1902). Riyazu-s-Salatin: History of Bengal. Asiatic Society, Baptist Mission Press. p. 119.
  8. ^ a b c Ahmed, ABM Shamsuddin (2012). "Ruknuddin Barbak Shah". In Islam, Sirajul; Jamal, Ahmed A. (eds.). Banglapedia: National Encyclopedia of Bangladesh (Second ed.). Asiatic Society of Bangladesh.
  9. ^ Ahmed, ABM Shamsuddin (2012). "History". In Islam, Sirajul; Miah, Sajahan; Khanam, Mahfuza; Ahmed, Sabbir (eds.). Banglapedia: the National Encyclopedia of Bangladesh (Online ed.). Dhaka, Bangladesh: Banglapedia Trust, Asiatic Society of Bangladesh. ISBN 984-32-0576-6. OCLC 52727562. Retrieved 4 August 2022.
  10. ^ Abdul Karim (2012). "Islam, Bengal". In Islam, Sirajul; Miah, Sajahan; Khanam, Mahfuza; Ahmed, Sabbir (eds.). Banglapedia: the National Encyclopedia of Bangladesh (Online ed.). Dhaka, Bangladesh: Banglapedia Trust, Asiatic Society of Bangladesh. ISBN 984-32-0576-6. OCLC 52727562. Retrieved 4 August 2022.