(Last Updated on : 23/09/2013)
Alauddin Husain Shah was the Sultan of Bengal in the late medieval era of India. He reigned over the period of 1494-1519 AD. He was the founder of Hussain Shahi dynasty. Before gaining power he used to serve the Sultan of Abyssinian, Shams-ud-Din Muzaffar Shah as his 'Wazir'. He captured Bengal after assassinating him.
Early Life of Alauddin Husain Shah
Alauddin Husain Shah, originally known as Sayyid Husain, was born to a Sharif of Mecca, Ashraf Husaini, who was the inhabitant of Tirmiz of Turkestan. Historians believe that Alauddin Husain Shah moved and settled in a village of Murshidabad district
called Chandpara. Chandpara and its surrounding villages also house numerous inscriptions of his early life. A mosque named Kherur Mosque also stand in this region which was built by Alauddin Husain Shah in the year 1494. Sheker Dighi is a lake which is also said to be associated with him. He had always supported the rebels and, later, also joined them and besieged the citadel as the lead of the rebels where Muzaffar Shah had locked himself with several soldiers. He, along with the palace guards, secretly killed Muzzaffar Shah and put an end to the Abyssinian rule in Bengal.
Reign of Alauddin Husain Shah
During the reign of Husain Shah, peace and prosperity prevailed in the region. He was also quite liberal towards Hinduism
in his kingdom. After attainment of power, he ordered his soldiers to discontinue robbing his capital city Gaur. However, when the soldiers continued their activities, he executed twelve thousand soldiers and the robbed articles were recovered including 13,000 gold plates. Afterwards he disbanded the palace guards who were another group of rebels in the palace. All the Habshis were then removed from administrative posts and Arabs, Turks, Afghans and the local folks replaced them.
In the period of his rule, Husain Shah had sent his son Daniyal along with an army to battle with Delhi
army and both the armies met at Barh situated near Patna
. Then a treaty of friendship was signed between Husain Shah and Sikandar Lodi. As per the treaty, the country west of Barh was assigned to Sikandar Lodi
whereas the country east of Barh went under Alauddin Husain Shah. Later, after the dissolution of Jaunpur
Sultanate, the soldiers of this empire joined the Bengal army and strengthened it further.
During the period of 1499 to 1502 AD, the general of Husain Shah worked for the expansion of their territory up to Hajo
region of Kamata kingdom. The king of the empire was imprisoned and the kingdom was robbed. This incident was recorded in the form of inscriptions at Malda
Alauddin Husain Shah also tried to capture Tripura
, and sent his army to the region, four times, for this. But his army constantly failed in their endeavours. However, inscriptions at Sonargaon unfold that fact that a little portion of the Tripura was actually annexed by Husain Shah. During the endeavours of Husain Shah, the king of Tripura, Dhanya Manikya, was helped by the ruler of Arakan. He expelled the army of Hussain Shah from Chittagong. Hussain Shah then assigned the expedition to Paragal Khan in the year 1513, which resulted in the death of Paragal Khan. His son, Chhuti Khan, then took over the expedition and finally succeeded in bringing Chitagong under their control. By the year 1498, after the arrival of Vasco da Gama
, the Portuguese explorer, in India, a Portuguese mission entered the country to form diplomatic relations with Bengal while the reign of Husain Shah was declining.
Contributuon of Alauddin Husain Shah in Literature
Bengali literature blossomed during the rule of Alauddin Husain Shah. Paragal Khan, the governor of Husain Shah greatly patronised literature and a Bengali adaptation of the Mahabharata
was written during this period in the form of 'Pandabbijay' by Kabindra Parameshvar. Another Bengali adaptation of the same was written later by Shrikar Nandi under the patronage of Chhuti Khan, the son of Paragal Khan. In Pandabbijay, Husain Shah has been depicted as the incarnation of Lord Krishna
in the Kaliyuga
. Manasamangal Kavya was also written in this period by Bijay Gupta where Husain Shah was compared with Arjuna
. Numerous Vaishnava padas were composed by Yashoraj Khan who was an official of Husain shah. Important monuments were built during this era which included Chota Sona Masjid, constructed by Wali Muhammad in Gaur.
Religious Tolerance of Alauddin Husain Shah
Alauddin Husain Shah was also famous for having religious tolerance towards Hinduism. Chaitanya
Mahaprabhu who was a renowned saint of medieval period, along with his followers preached the Bhakti cult all over the Bengal. Knowing about the fame of Chaitanya Mahaprabhu, Husain Shah had also ordered his 'qazis' not to harm him in any way and granted him complete freedom in his ventures. The ruler also had two high rank Hindu officials namely Sanatana Goswami
, his Intimate Minister, and Rupa Goswami
, his Private Secretary, also became the followers of Chaitanya Mahaprabhu.