Jalaluddin Muhammad Shah


Jalaluddin Muhammad Shah (Bengali: জালালউদ্দীন মুহম্মদ শাহ; born as Yadu or Jadu) was a 15th-century Sultan of Bengal and an important figure in medieval Bengali history. Born a Hindu to his aristocratic father w:Raja Ganesha, the patriarch of the Ganesha dynasty, he assumed the throne of Bengal after a coup which overthrew the Ilyas Shahi dynasty. He converted to Islam and ruled the Bengal Sultanate for 16 years. As a Muslim king, he brought Arakan under Bengali suzerainty and consolidated the kingdom's domestic administrative centres. He pursued relations with the Timurid Empire, Mamluk Egypt and Ming China|. Bengal grew in wealth and population during his reign. He also combined Bengali and Islamic architecture.


  • Haig writes that “it is evident, from the numerical superiority in Eastern Bengal of the Muslims… that at some period an immense wave of proselytization must have swept over the country and it is most probable that the period was the period of Jalaluddin Muhammad (converted son of Hindu Raja Ganesh) during whose reign of seventeen years (1414-1431)… hosts of Hindus are said to have been forcibly converted to Islam”. With regard to these conversions, Dr. Wise writes that “the only condition he offered were the Koran or death… many Hindus fled to Kamrup and the jungles of Assam, but it is nevertheless probable that more Muhammadans were added to Islam during these seventeen years (1414-31) than in the next three hundred years”.
    • Wolseley Haig, Dr Wise, C.H.I., III, p. 267. quoted from Lal, K. S. (1992). The legacy of Muslim rule in India. New Delhi: Aditya Prakashan. Chapter 6
  • In another instance, Sufi saint Nur Qutb-i-Alam played a central role in making a high profile convert in Bengal. In 1414, Ganesha, a Hindu prince, revolted against Muslim rule and captured power in Bengal. The ascension of a Hindu to power created strong revulsion amongst both the Sufis and the Ulema. They repudiated his rule and enlisted help from Muslim rulers outside of Bengal. Responding to their call, Ibrahim Shah Sharqi invaded Bengal and defeated Ganesha. Nur Qutb-i-Alam, the leading Sufi master of Bengal, now stepped in to broker a truce. He forced Ganesha to abdicate and Ganesha’s twelve year-old son Jadu was converted to Islam and placed on the throne under the name of Sultan Jalaluddin Muhammad. This conversion by a Sufi saint, call it peacefully or at the point of the sword, proved a boon for Islam. The Sufis (also the Ulema) trained the converted young sultan in Islam so well that he became a bloody converter of the infidels to Islam through extreme violence. There took place, says the Cambridge History of India, a wave of conversions in the reign of Jalaluddin Muhammad (1414–31).
    • Khan, M. A. (2011). Islamic Jihad: A legacy of forced conversion, imperialism and slavery.
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