Alauddin Husain Shah

Sultan of Bengal

Ala-ud-din Husain Shah (Bengali: আলাউদ্দিন হোসেন শাহ); reign 1494–1519) was an independent late medieval Sultan of Bengal, who founded the Hussain Shahi dynasty. He became the ruler of Bengal after assassinating the Abyssinian Sultan, Shams-ud-Din Muzaffar Shah, whom he had served under as wazir. After his death in 1519 his son Nusrat Shah succeeded him. The reigns of Husain Shah and Nusrat Shah are generally regarded as the “golden age” of the Bengal sultanate.

Quotes edit

  • The Hindus' sense of gratitude knows no bounds to Muslim rulers like Zayn al-‘Abidin of Kashmir, ‘Alau d-Din Husayn Shah of Bengal, and Akbar the Great Mughal, who behaved towards Indians as Indians and at whose hands they could heave a sigh of relief from religious persecution. The three rulers tried their utmost to Indianize their rule and restore the dignity of Hindu community and culture, the latter essaying the uphill task of integrating Islam therewith, followed in this behalf by Prince Dara Shukoh. Who that has even the faintest sense of history can dispute the point that they were all intensely Indian, putting many a Hindu to shame in their patriotic fervour.
    • Harsh Narain, Myths of Composite Culture and Equality of Religions (1990)
  • The period of Husain Shah and his son in Bengal is usually held out as one of the most glowing examples of the Muslim patronage of Hindu culture. The high development of literature and philosophy of the Chaitanya school of Vaishnavism during the period under review is regarded as a sign of Hindu revival during the Medieval Age. It is, however, to be remembered that out of hundreds of Muslims rulers and officers in Bengal only three—Husain Shah, his son Nusrat Shah and his general Paragal Khan—arc known to have patronized Bengali poets whose obsequious flattery to their Muslim patrons is disgusting to modern taste.
    • RC Majumdar,ed., Volume 6: The Delhi Sultanate [1300-1526] (Preface)
  • Isana Nagara, another contemporary writer, describes the condition of the Hindus under Husain Shah as follows: “The wicked mlechchhas pollute the religion of the Hindus every day. They break the images of the gods into pieces and throw away the articles of worship. They throw into fire Srimad- Bhagavat and other holy scriptures, forcibly take away the conch-shell and bell of the Brahmanas (two necessary articles of worship), and lick the sandal paints on their bodies. They urinate like dogs on the sacred Tulasi plant, and deliberately pass faeces in the Hindu temples. They throw water from their mouths on the Hindus engaged in worship, and harass the Hindu saints as if they were so many lunatics let large.’’
    • Isana Nagara, quoted from The History and Culture of the Indian People, vol 6, Delhi Sultanate, p 633

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