Gujarat Sultanate

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The Gujarat Sultanate was a Medieval Indian kingdom established in the early 15th century in Western India, primarily in the present-day state of Gujarat, India. The dynasty was founded by Sultan Zafar Khan Muzaffar, identified variously as a Jats from southern Haryana.


  • Thereafter in AH 823 (AD 1420-21) he proceeded to different parts of his Kingdom for establishing order and good government… He got temples demolished and palaces and mosques constructed in their stead…
    • Sultãn Ahmad Shãh I of Gujarat (AD 1411-1443) General Order Mir‘ãt-i-Sikandarî in S.A.A. Rizvi in Uttara Taimûr Kãlîna Bhãrata, Aligarh, 1959, Vol. II, p. 273
  • …The Rãjã of Îdar ran away to the mountains and on the fourth day the Sultãn started from Morãsã and halted near Îdar. He ordered that the houses and temples of Îdar should be destroyed in such a way that no trace of them should remain.
    • Sultãn Muzaffar Shãh II of Gujarat (AD 1511-1526) Idar (Gujarat) Mir‘ãt-i-Sikandarî in S.A.A. Rizvi in Uttara Taimûr Kãlîna Bhãrata, Aligarh, 1959, Vol. II, p. 350
  • Afterwards he went towards Bhîlsã which country had been conquered for Islãm by Sultãn Shamsu’d-dîn (Altamsh), King of Delhî. Since eighteen years the estate of Bhîlsã had been subject to Silahdî, and the laws of Islãm had been changed there for the customs of infidelity. When the Sultãn reached the above place, he abrogated the ordinances of infidelity and introduced the laws of Islãm, and slew the idolaters and threw down their temples…
    • Sultãn Bahãdur Shãh of Gujarat (AD 1526-1537) Vidisha (Madhya Pradesh) Mir‘ã-i-Sikandarî, translated by Fazlullah Lutfullah Faridi, Dharampur (Gujarat), Gurgaon Reprint, 1990, p. 171.
  • In 1420 Ahmad Shah punished the ‘infidels’ of Satpura; in 1433 he raided Dungarpur and in 1440 he brought about Idar’s submission. All his conquests were accompanied by conversions and boosted Muslim demography. Mahmud Beghara’s (1458-1511) exertions in the field of proselytization were equally impressive. In 1469 he led an army into Sorath against the Mandalik of Girnar. To the Raja’s protests that he had paid the tribute regularly, Mahmud replied that he had come “neither for tribute nor for plunder, but to establish the true faith in Sorath.”
    • Lal, K. S. (1990). Indian muslims: Who are they.
  • About conversions through enslavement, Dr. Satish C. Misra, who has made a special study of the history of Gujarat, writes that “the conflict (in Gujarat) veered round two main objectives - land and women. The conqueror inexorably demanded, more often forcibly wrested, both land and women…”
    • Satish C. Misra, The Rise of Muslim Power in Gujarat (Bombay, 1963), quoted from Lal, K. S. (1990). Indian muslims: Who are they.
  • Because of the constant threat from the Rajputs and other neighbouring peoples, the Sultan of Gujarat (maintained) a large standing army, recruited mostly from foreign Muslim adventurers to whom he (paid) handsome salaries.” On the basis of the writings of Barbosa, Cortesao and Azevedo, Professor Donald F. Lach summarises the situation thus: “Moors from all over the Islamic world congregate in the cities of Gujarat to carry on trade or to find employment as soldiers of the sultan. In addition to the native Moors and their co-religionists of Delhi, a cosmopolitan flavour is given to life by the presence of Turks, Mamlukes, Arabs, Persians, Khurasanis, Turcomans, Abyssinians, and a sprinkling of renegade Christians.
    • Castanheda, Historia do descobrimento e conquista de India pelos Partugueses (Third Ed. Coimbra, 1928);Lach, Asia in the Making of Europe, p. 399. Quoted from Lal, K. S. (1990). Indian muslims: Who are they.
  • Ahmud Shah having a great curiosity to see the hill-fort of Girnal pursued the rebel in that direction… After a short time, the Raja, having consented to pay an annual tribute, made a large offering on the spot. Ahmud Shah left officers to collect the stipulated amount, and returned to Ahmadabad; on the road to which place he destroyed the temple of Somapoor, wherein were found many valuable jewels, and other property.
    • Tãrîkh-i-Firishta by Firishta . Sultãn Ahmad Shãh I of Gujrat (AD 1411-1443)Sompur (Gujrat)
  • In the year AH 817 (AD 1414), Mullik Tohfa, one of the Officers of the King’s government was ennobled by the title of Taj-ool-Moolk, and received a special commission to destroy all idolatrous temples, and establish the Mahomedan authority throughout Guzerat; a duty which he executed with such diligence, that the names of Mawass and Girass were hereafter unheard of in the whole kingdom.
    • Tãrîkh-i-Firishta by Firishta . Sultãn Ahmad Shãh I of Gujrat (AD 1411-1443)General order
  • In the year AH 819 (AD 1416), Ahmud Shah marched against Nagoor, on the road to which place he plundered the country, and destroyed the temples…
    • Tãrîkh-i-Firishta by Firishta . Sultãn Ahmad Shãh I of Gujrat (AD 1411-1443) On way to Nagaur (Rajasthan)
  • …In the year 832 he marched again to Idur; and on the sixth of Suffur, AH 832 (AD Nov. 14, 1428) carried by storm one of the principal forts in that province, wherein he built a magnificent mosque…
    • Tãrîkh-i-Firishta by Firishta . Sultãn Ahmad Shãh I of Gujrat (AD 1411-1443) Idar (Gujarat)
  • The author of the history of Mahmood Shah relates, that in the year AH 872 (AD 1468), the King saw the holy Prophet (Mahomed) in a dream, who presented before him a magnificent banquet of the most delicate viands. This dream was interpreted by the wise men as a sign that he would soon accomplish a conquest by which he would obtain great treasures, which prediction was soon after verified in the capture of Girnal....“In the year AH 873 (AD 1469), Mahmood Shah marched towards the country of Girnal, the capital of which bears the same name…“…The victorious army, without attacking the fort of Girnal, destroyed all the temples in the vicinity; and the King sending out foraging parties procured abundance of provisions for the camp…“The King, being desirous that the tenets of Islam should be propagated throughout the country of Girnal, caused a city to be built, which he called Moostufabad, for the purpose of establishing an honourable residence for the venerable personages of the Mahomedan religion, deputed to disseminate its principles; Mahmood Shah also took up his residence in that city…
    • Tãrîkh-i-Firishta by Firishta . Sultãn Mahmûd BegDhã of Gujarat (AD 1458-1511)Girnar (Gujarat)
  • Mahmood Shah’s next effort was against the port of Jugut, with a view of making converts of the infidels, an object from which he had been hitherto deterred by the reports he received of the approaches to it…”“The King, after an arduous march, at length arrived before the fort of Jugut a place filled with infidels, misled by the infernal minded bramins… The army was employed in destroying the temple at Jugut, and in building a mosque in its stead; while measures, which occupied three or four months in completing, were in progress for equipping a fleet to attack the island of Bete…
    • Tãrîkh-i-Firishta by Firishta . Sultãn Mahmûd BegDhã of Gujarat (AD 1458-1511) Dwarka (Gujarat)
  • The King, hearing of this disaster, instantly marched towards Idur. On reaching Mahrasa he caused the whole of the Idur district to be laid waste. Bheem Ray took refuge in the Beesulnuggur mountains; but the garrison of Idur, consisting of only ten Rajpoots, defended it against the whole of the King’s army with obstinacy; they were, however, eventually put to death on the capture of the place; and the temples, palaces, and garden houses, were levelled with the dust…
    • Tãrîkh-i-Firishta by Firishta . Sultãn Muzaffar Shãh II of Gujarat (AD 1511-1526)Idar (Gujarat)
  • Sultãn Ahmad… encamped near Chãmpãner on 7 Rabî-us-Sãni, AH 822 (AD 3 May, 1419). He destroyed temples wherever he found them and returned to Ahmadãbãd.
    • Sultãn Ahmad Shãh I of Gujarat (AD 1411-1443) Champaner (Gujarat)
    • Tabqãt-i-Akharî by Nizamuddin Ahmad.
  • “In Rajab AH 836 (AD February-March, 1433) Sultãn Ahmad mounted an expedition for the conquest of MewãR and Nãgaur. When he reached the town of Nãgaur, he sent out armies for the destruction of towns and villages and levelled with the ground whatever temple was found at whichever place… Having laid waste the land of Kîlwãrã, the Sultãn entered the land of Dîlwãrã, and he ruined the lofty palaces of RãNã Mokal and destroyed the temples and idols…”
    • Sultãn Ahmad Shãh I of Gujarat (AD 1411-1443) Mewar (Rajasthan)
    • Tabqãt-i-Akharî by Nizamuddin Ahmad.
  • “…Sultãn Qutbu’d-Dîn felt insulted and he attacked the fort of Kumbhalmîr in AH 860 (AD 1455-56)… When he reached near Sirohî, the Rãjã of that place offered battle but was defeated....“From that place the Sultãn entered the kingdom of RãNã Kumbhã and he sent armies in all directions for invading the country and destroying the temples…”166
    • Sultãn Qutbu’d-Dîn Ahmad Shãh II of Gujarat (AD 1451-1458) Kumbhalgadh (Rajasthan)
    • Tabqãt-i-Akharî by Nizamuddin Ahmad.
  • “In AH 871 (AD 1466-67) he started for the conquest of Karnãl [Girnãr] which is now known as JûnãgaDh. It is said that this country had been in the possession of the predecessors of Rãi Mandalîk for the past two thousand years… Sultãn Mahmûd relied on the help of Allãh and proceeded there; on the way he laid waste the land of SoraTh… From that place the Sultãn went towards the temple of those people. Many Rajpûts who were known as Parwhãn, decided to lay down their lives, and started fighting with swords and spears in (defence) of the temple… Sultãn Mahmûd postponed the conquest of the fort to the next year… and returned to Ahmadãbãd.”
    • Sultãn Mahmûd BegDhã of Gujarat (AD 1458-1511) Junagadh (Gujarat)
    • Tabqãt-i-Akharî by Nizamuddin Ahmad.
  • “After some time the Sultãn started contemplating the conquest of the port of Jagat which is a place of worship for the BrahmaNas… With this resolve he started for the port of Jagat on 16 Zil-Hajjã, AH 877 (AD 14 July, 1473). He reached Jagat with great difficulty due to the narrowness of the road and the presence of forests… He destroyed the temple of Jagat…”
    • Sultãn Mahmûd BegDhã of Gujarat (AD 1458-1511) Dwarka (Gujarat)
    • Tabqãt-i-Akharî by Nizamuddin Ahmad.
  • “Sultãn Muzaffar… started for Îdar. When he arrived in the town of Mahrãsã, he sent armies for destroying Îdar. The Rãjã of Îdar evacuated the fort and took refuge in the mountain of Bîjãnagar. The Sultãn, when he reached Îdar, found there ten Rajpûts ready to lay down their lives. He heaped barbarities on them and killed them. He did not leave even a trace of palaces, temples, gardens and trees…”
    • Sultãn Muzaffar Shãh II of Gujarat (AD 1511-1526) Idar (Gujarat)
    • Tabqãt-i-Akharî by Nizamuddin Ahmad.

Muzaffar Shah I

  • “He made efforts at the proclamation of the word of God (confession of the Muslim faith). He led an army for plundering the temple of Somnat, that is, Pattan Dev. He spread Islam at most of the places…”
    • Sultãn Muzaffar Shãh I of Gujarat (AD 1392-1410) Somnath (Gujarat). Mirat-i-Ahmdi, translated into English by M.F. Lokhandwala, Baroda, 1965,pp 34
  • “On his return (from Îdar) the Khãn made up his mind to destroy Somnãt, that is, the temple of PaTandev. But in the meanwhile he received a report that ‘Ãdil Khãn, the ruler of Ãsir and Burhãnpur, had crossed the border and stepped into die province of Sultãnpur and Nadrabãr which was under Gujarat… The Khãn postponed his march to PaTandev…“In AH 799 (AD 1394-95) he invaded Jahdand (JûnãgaDh) which was in the Kindgdom of Rãi Bhãrã and slaughtered the infidels there. “From there he proceeded towards Somnãt, and destroyed the famous temple. He embellished that city with the laws of Islãm.”
    • Sultãn Muzaffar Shãh I of Gujarat (AD 1392-1410) Somnath (Gujarat) Mir‘ãt-i-Sikandarî in S.A.A. Rizvi in Uttara Taimûr Kãlîna Bhãrata, Aligarh, 1959, Vol. II, p. 256
  • “In AH 796 (AD 1393-94), it was reported that Sultãn Muhammad bin Fîrûz Shãh had died at Delhî and that the affairs of the kingdom were in disorder so that a majority of zamîndãrs were in revolt, particularly the Rãjã of Îdar. Zafar Khãn collected a large army and mountain-like elephants and proceeded to Îdar in order to punish the Rãjã… The Rãjã of Îdar had no time to prepare a defence and shut himself in the fort. The armies of Zafar Khãn occupied the Kingdom of Îdar and started plundering and destroying it. They levelled with the ground whatever temple they found… The Rãjã of Îdar showed extreme humility and pleaded for forgiveness through his representatives. Zafar Khãn took a tribute according to his own desire and made up his mind to attack Somnãt…“In AH 803 (AD 1399-1400) ‘Ãzam Humãyûn paid one year’s wages (in advance) to his army and after making great preparations, he attacked the fort of Îdar with a view to conquer it. After the armies of the Sultãn had besieged the fort from all sides and the battle continued non-stop for several days the Rãjã of Îdar evacuated the fort one night and ran away towards Bîjãnagar. In the morning Zafar Khãn entered the fort and, after expressing his gratefulness to Allãh, and destroying the temples, he appointed officers in the fort…”
    • Sultãn Muzaffar Shãh I of Gujarat (AD 1392-1410) Idar (Gujarat) . Tabqãt-i-Akharî by Nizamuddin Ahmad in S.A.A. Rizvi in Uttar Taimûr Kãlîna Bhãrata, Aligarh 1959, Vol. II. p 177 ff.
  • “In AH 797 (AD 1394-95)… he proceeded for the destruction of the temple of Somnãt. On the way he made Rajpûts food for his sword and demolished whatever temple he saw at any place. When he arrived at Somnãt, he got the temple burnt and the idol of Somnãt broken. He made a slaughter of the infidels and laid waste the city. He got a Jãmi‘ Masjid raised there and appointed officers of the Shari‘h…”“In AH 804 (AD 1401-02) reports were received by Zafar Khãn that the infidels and Hindûs of Somnãt had again started making efforts for promoting the ways of their religion. ‘Ãzam Humãyûn started for that place and sent an army in advance. When the residents of Somnãt learnt this, they advanced along the sea-shore and offered battle. ‘Ãzam Humãyûn reached that place speedily and he slaughtered that group. Those who survived took shelter in the fort of the port at Dîp (Diu). After some time, he conquered that place as well, slaughtered that group also and got their leaders trampled under the feet of elephants. He got the temples demolished and a Jãmi‘ Masjid constructed. Having appointed a qãzî, muftî and other guardians of Shari‘h… he returned to the capital at PaTan.”
    • Sultãn Muzaffar Shãh I of Gujarat (AD 1392-1410) Somnath (Gujarat). Tabqãt-i-Akharî by Nizamuddin Ahmad in S.A.A. Rizvi in Uttar Taimûr Kãlîna Bhãrata, Aligarh 1959, Vol. II. p 177 ff.
  • In 1391 AD the Muslims of Gujarat complained to Nasiruddin Muhammad, the Tughlak Sultan of Delhi, that the local governor, Farhat-ul-Mulk, was practising tolerance towards the Hindus. The Sultan immediately appointed Muzaffar Khan as the new governor. He became independent after the death of the Delhi Sultan and assumed the title of Muzaffar Shah in 1392 AD. Next year he led an expedition to Somnath and sacked the temple which the Hindus had built once again. He killed many Hindus to chastise them for this “impudence”, and raised a mosque on the site of the ancient temple.
  • “…On the return of Moozuffur Khan to Guzerat, he learnt that in the western Puttun district the Ray of Jehrend, an idolater, refused allegiance to the Mahomedan authority. To this place Moozuffur Khan accordingly marched, and exacted tribute. He then proceeded to Somnat, where having destroyed all the Hindoo temples which he found standing, he built mosques in their stead; and leaving learned men for the propagation of the faith, and his own officers to govern the country, returned to Puttun in the year AH 798 (AD 1395).”
    • Tãrîkh-i-Firishta by Firishta . Sultãn Muzaffar Shãh I of Gujarat (AD 1392-1410)Somnath (Gujarat)
  • “…From Mundulgur Moozuffur Khan marched to Ajmeer, to pay his devotions at the shrine of Khwaja Moyin-ood-Deen Hussun Sunjury, from the whence he went towards Guzerat. On reaching Julwara, he destroyed the temples; and after exacting heavy contributions, and establishing his authority, he returned to Puttun…”
    • Tãrîkh-i-Firishta by Firishta . Sultãn Muzaffar Shãh I of Gujarat (AD 1392-1410) Jhalawar (Rajasthan)
  • “…In the following year AH 804 (AD 1402), he marched to Somnat, and after a bloody action, in which the Mahomedans were victorious, the Ray fled to Diu. Moozuffur Shah having arrived before Diu laid siege to it, but it opened its gates without offering resistance. The garrison was, however, nearly all cut to pieces, while the Ray, with the rest of the members of his court, were trod to death by elephants. One large temple in the town was razed to the ground, and a mosque built on its site; after which, leaving his own troops in the place, Moozuffur Shah returned to Puttun.”
    • Tãrîkh-i-Firishta by Firishta . Sultãn Muzaffar Shãh I of Gujarat (AD 1392-1410) Diu (Gujarat)
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