Ahmad Shah I, born Ahmad Khan, was a ruler of the Muzaffarid dynasty,
who reigned over the
Gujarat Sultanate from 1411 until his death in
1 Early life
2.1 Consolidation of Sulatanate
2.2 Idar and Ahmadnagar
Mahim and Baglan
Ahmad Shah was a Rajput Muslim born to
Muhammad Shah I aka Tatar Khan
who was a son of Muzaffar Shah I.
Muhammad Shah I was probably killed
by his uncle Shams Khan in favour of his grandfather Muzaffar Shah
when he imprisoned him.
According to Mirat-i-Ahmadi, he abdicated the throne in favour of his
grandson Ahmad Shah in 1410 due to his failing health. He died five
months and 13 days later. According to Mirat-i-Sikandari, Ahmad Shah
was going to an expedition to quell the rebellion of Kolis of Ashawal.
After leaving Patan, he convened an assembly of Ulemas and asked a
question that should he took retribution of his father's unjust death.
Ulemas replied in favour and he got the written answers. He returned
to Patan and forced his grandfather Muzaffar Shah to drink poison
which killed him. Ahmad Shah succeeded him at the age of 19 in
Áhmad succeeded with the title of Násir-ud-dunya Wad-dín Abúl
fateh Ahmed Shah.
Jama Mosque of
Ahmedabad was built by him in 1424.
Copper coins of Ahmad Shah I
Soon after assuming power, his cousin Moid-ud-dín Fírúz Khán,
governor of Vadodara, allying himself with Hisám or Nizám-ul-Mulk
Bhandári and other nobles, collected an army at Nadiad, and, laying
claim to the crown, defeated the king’s followers. Jívandás, one
of the insurgents, proposed to march upon Patan, but as the others
refused a dispute arose in which Jívandás was slain, and the rest
sought and obtained Ahmed Shah’s forgiveness. Moid-ud-dín Fírúz
Khán went to
Khambhat and was there joined by Masti Khán, son of
Muzaffar Sháh, who was governor of Surat; on Ahmed Shah’s advance
they fled from
Khambhat to Bharuch, to which fort Ahmed Shah laid
siege. As soon as the king arrived, Moid-ud-dín’s army went over to
the king, and Masti Khán also submitted. After a few days Ahmed Shah
sent for and forgave Moid-ud-dín, and returned to Asáwal (future
Ahmedabad). Moid-ud-dín was moved from
Vadodara to Navsari.
Foundation of Ahmedabad
Ahmed Shah, while camping on the banks of the Sabarmati river, saw a
hare chasing a dog. The sultan was intrigued by this and asked his
spiritual adviser for explanation. The sage pointed out unique
characteristics in the land which nurtured such rare qualities which
turned a timid hare to chase a ferocious dog. Impressed by this, the
sultan, who had been looking for a place to build his new capital in
the centre of his domain. In the following year (1413–14 AD)
Áhmed Sháh defeated Ása Bhíl, chief of Asáwal. Ahmad Shah laid
the foundation of the city at the site of Asáwal on 26 February
1411 (at 1.20 pm, Thursday, the second day of Dhu al-Qi'dah, Hijri
year 813) at Manek Burj. He chose it as the new capital on 4 March
1411. Ahmad Shah, in honour of four Ahmads, himself, his
religious teacher Shaikh Ahmad Khattu Ganj Baksh, and two others, Kazi
Ahmad and Malik Ahmad, named it Ahmedabad.[A] The new capital
was surrounded by Bhadra Fort.
Ahmed Shah's Mosque
Ahmed Shah's Mosque and Jama Mosque (1424) in Ahmedabad.
Consolidation of Sulatanate
During 1414, Moid-ud-dín Fírúz Khán and Masti Khán again
revolted, and, joining the Rao of Idar State, took shelter in that
fortress. A force under Fateh Khán was despatched against the rebels,
and finally Fírúz Khán and the Rao of Idar were forced to flee by
way of Kheralu. Moid-ud-dín now persuaded Rukn Khán governor of
Modasa, fifty miles north of Áhmedábád, to join. They united their
forces with those of Badri-ûlá, Masti Khán, and Ranmal-the Rao of
Ídar and encamped at Rangpura, an Ídar village about five miles from
Modása and began to strengthen Modása and dig a ditch round it. The
Ahmed Shah camped before the fort and offered favourable terms. The
besieged bent on treachery asked the Ahmed Shah to send Nizám-ul-Mulk
the minister and certain other great nobles. The Sultán agreed, and
the besieged imprisoned the envoys. After a three days’ siege
Modása fell. Badri-ûlá and Rukn Khán were slain, and Fírúz Khán
and the Rao of Ídar fled. The imprisoned nobles were released
unharmed. The Ráo seeing that all hope of success was gone, made his
peace with the king by surrendering to him the elephants, horses and
other baggage of Moid-ud-dín Fírúz Khán and Masti Khán, who now
fled to Nágor, where they were sheltered by Shams Khán Dandáni.
Áhmed Sháh after levying the stipulated tribute departed.
Moid-ud-dín Fírúz Khán was afterwards slain in the war between
Shams Khán and Rána Mokal of Chittor. In 1414–15 AD, Uthmán
Áhmed and Sheikh Malik, in command at Pátan, and Sulaimán Afghán
called Ázam Khán, and Ísa Sálár rebelled, and wrote secretly to
Sultán Hushang of
Malwa Sultanate, inviting him to invade Gujarát,
and promising to seat him on the throne and expel Áhmed Sháh. They
were joined in their rebellion by Jhála Satarsálji of Pátdi and
other chiefs of Gujarát. Áhmed Sháh despatched Latíf Khán and
Nizám-ul-Mulk against Sheikh Malik and his associates, while he sent
Imád-ul-Mulk against Sultán Hushang, who retired, and Imád-ul-Mulk,
after plundering Málwa, returned to Gujarát. Latíf Khán, pressing
in hot pursuit of Satarsál and Sheikh Malik, drove them to Sorath.
Ahmad Shah returned to Áhmedábád.
Sorath and Junagadh
Sorath was ruled by Chudasama king Ra Mokalasimha. He had to move the
Vanthali due to order from the Governor of
Gujarat Zafar Khan (grandfather of Ahmad Shah) on behalf of Delhi
Sultan Firuz Shah Tughluq. Zafar Khan had occupied his capital
Junagadh in 1395-96. In 1414, his son
also gave refuge to some of rebels (probably Jhala chief Satrasal).
This irked Ahmad Shah and he attacked Sorath. Ahmad Shah won pitched
Vanthali in 1413. Later he imposed siege of
Meliga retired to the hill fortress of Girnar. Áhmed Sháh,
though unable to capture the hill, gained the fortified citadel of
Junagaḍh. Finding further resistance vain, the chief tendered his
submission, and Junágaḍh was admitted among the tributary states.
Several other Sorath chief also submitted. Sayad Ábûl Khair and
Sayad Kásim were left to collect the tribute, and Áhmad Sháh
returned to Áhmedábád.
Rudra Mahalaya Temple
Rudra Mahalaya Temple of
Sidhpur was destroyed and
western part of it was converted in congregational mosque by Ahmad
Shah in 1415. Surviving ruins in 1874.
The partially damaged
Rudra Mahalaya Temple
Rudra Mahalaya Temple of
Siddhpur was further
destroyed and the western part of it converted into a congregational
mosque (Jami mosque) by him in 1415. From Siddhpur, he
advanced to Dhár in Málwa. Hindu kings believed that he is attacking
Hindu pilgrimage places to bolster his image. So they formed an
alliance in 1416 which included Idar, Champaner,
Zalod and Nandod.
Sultan Hushang Shah of
Malwa also agreed to help them.
In 1399, Ahmad aka Malek II, the ruler of
Khandesh died. He had
divided his kingdom in his princes. Nasir was given east part while
Iftikhar aka Hasan was given west. Nasir established
1400[B] and also won nearby fort of Asir from Hindu king. Hasan
settled in Thalner. Nasir won Thalner from Hasan and imprisoned him,
with help of his relative Hushang Shah of Malwa, before he receive
help from Ahmad Shah. Nasir attacked and imposed siege of Nandarbar
and Sultanpur of
Gujarat Sultanate in 1417. Áhmed sent an expedition
against Nasír of Asír under Malik Mahmúd Barki or Turki and left
for Modasa. When the Malik reached Nándoḍ he found that Gheirat
Khán had fled to Málwa and that Nasír had retired to Thálner. The
Malik advanced, besieged and took Thálner, capturing Nasír whom
Áhmed forgave and dignified with the title of Khán.
The alliance of Hindu kings rebelled knowing that Ahmad Shah is busy
in his expedition against Nasir. As Ahmed Shah returned quickly and
went to Modasa, the rebellion broke and all kings returned to their
states including Hushang Shah. After quelling these rebellions Áhmed
Sháh despatched Nizám-ul-Mulk to punish the ruler of Mandal near
Viramgam, and himself marched to Málwa against Sultán Hushang in
1418. He reached
Ujjain where both armies fought battle. Ahmad Shah
won and Hushang Shah took refuge in Mandu. In November 1419, he
imposed siege on
Champaner (Pavagadh) but later the king Trimbakdas of
Chámpáner relented and agreed to give annual tribute in February
1420. Ahmad Shah later attacked and ravaged Sankheda-Bahadurpur in
March 1420. He built a fort at
Sankheda and a mosque within the fort;
he also built a wall round the town of Mángni, and then marched upon
Mándu. On the way ambassadors from Sultán Hushang met him suing for
peace. Áhmed Sháh later forgave Hushang Shah. On returning towards
Chámpáner, again laid waste the surrounding country. He returned to
Ahmedabad in May 1420.
In 1420-21, he started building and repairing forts and establishing
military outposts to strengthen state from attacks. He built the forts
Dahod on the Málwa frontier and of Jítpur in Lunawada. In 1421 he
repaired the fort in the town of Kahreth, otherwise called Meimún in
Lúnáváḍa, which had been built by Ulugh Khán Sanjar in the reign
of Sultán Alá-ud-dín Khalji and changed the name to Sultánpur. In
December 1421, he advanced against Málwa and took the fort of Mesar.
He attacked and received tributes from other border states before he
reached Mandu in March 1422. Hushang Shah was in Jajnagar (Orissa) at
that time. After 48 days of unsuccessful siege and several clashes,
Ahmad Shah had to moved to
Ujjain in May due to incoming monsoon. He
again imposed siege in September 1421 but Hushang Shah had returned to
Mandu with large number of war elephants from Orissa. Ahmad Shah left
Mandu knowing that it would be difficult to win. He moved and camped
Sarangpur when he was reached by ambassadors sent by Hushang Shah for
treaty of peace. Ahmad Shah agreed but, on the night of 26 December
1421, an army of Hushang Shah attacked the camp. Ahmad Shah repelled
the attack but had to endure heavy casualty. Hushang Shah took refuge
in fort of Sarangpur. Áhmed Sháh again laid siege to Sárangpur.
Failing to take the fort, Ahmad Shah decided to return
Ahmedabad on 7
March 1423 but he was chased by an army of Hushang Shah. Both armies
met and after fierce battle, Ahmad Shah won. He returned to Ahmedabad
on 23 May 1423.
Idar and Ahmadnagar
He spent next two years without any wars and focused on administration
and agriculture development. He had known that Rao Punja of Idar State
had held talks with Hushang Shah during the last battles. He attacked
Idar in 1425. Rao Punja left to hills but the state was ravaged. To
keep permanent check on Idar, Ahmad Shah established town of
Ahmadnagar (now Himatnagar), on the banks of the Hathmati river,
eighteen miles south-west of Idar in 1426 and completed its fort in
1427. Rao Punja left in hiding but kept attacking soldiers and
supplies of Sultanate. In 1428, Rao Punja died in ambush with
soldiers. In 1428, Ahmad Shah ravaged Vishalnagar (now Visnagar) and
ordered to capture all domains of Idar. He later made peace with
Harrai, son of Punja, and reverted his state to him on condition of
tribute. Ahmad Shah had to again attack and capture Idar in November
1428 when Harrai did not pay tribute. He took the fort and built also
an assembly mosque.
Fearing that their turn would come next the chief of
Kánha apparently chief of
Dungarpur fled to Nasír Khán of Asír.
Nasír Khán gave Kánha a letter to Áhmed Sháh Báhmani, to whose
son Alá-ud-dín Násír’s daughter was married, and having detached
part of his own troops to help Kánha they plundered and laid waste
some villages of Nandurbár and Sultánpur. Sultán Áhmed sent his
eldest son Muhammad Khán with Mukarrabul Mulk and others to meet the
Dakhanis who were repulsed with considerable loss. On this Sultán
Áhmed Báhmani, under Kadr Khán Dakhani, sent his eldest son
Alá-ud-dín and his second son Khán Jehán against the Gujarátis.
Kadr Khán marched to Daulatabad and joining Nasír Khán and the
Gujarát rebels fought a great battle near the pass of Mánek Púj,
six miles south of Nándgaon in Nasik. The confederates were defeated
with great slaughter. The Dakhan princes fled to Daulatábád and
Kánha and Nasír Khán to Kalanda near Chálisgaum in south
Mahim and Baglan
In 1429, on the death of Kutub Khán, the Gujarát governor of the
Mahim (now neighbourhood of Mumbai), Áhmed Sháh of Bahmani
Sultanate smarting under his defeats, ordered Hasan Izzat, otherwise
called Malik-ut-Tujjár, to the
Konkan and by the Malik’s activity
Konkan passed to the Deccans. On the news of this, Áhmed
Sháh sent his youngest son Zafar Khán, with an army under Malik
Iftikhár Khán, to retake Máhim. A fleet, collected from Diu, Ghogha
Khambhat sailed to the Konkan, attacked
Thane by sea and land,
captured it, and regained possession of Máhim.
In 1431, Áhmed Sháh advanced upon Champaner, and Áhmed Sháh
Bahmani, anxious to retrieve his defeat at Máhim, marched an army
into and Baglan, and laid it waste. This news brought Áhmed Sháh
back to Nandurbár. Destroying Nándod he passed to Tambol, a fort in
Báglán which Áhmed Sháh Báhmani was besieging, defeated the
besiegers and relieved the fort. He then went to Thane, repaired the
fort, and returned to Gujarát by way of Sultánpur and Nandurbár. In
1432, after contracting his son Fateh Khán in marriage with the
daughter of the Rái of Máhim to the north of Bassein (now Vasai),
Áhmed Sháh marched towards Nágor, and exacted tribute and presents
from the Rával of Dúngarpur. From Dúngarpur he went to Mewad,
enforcing his claims on
Bundi and Kota, two Hára Rájput states in
south-east Rájputána. He then entered the Delváda country,
levelling temples and destroying the palace of Rána Mokalsingh, the
chief of Chittor. Then he invaded Nágor in the country of the
Ráthoḍs, who submitted to him. After this he returned to Gujarát,
and during the next few years was warring principally in Málwa,
where, according to Farishtah, his army suffered greatly from
pestilence and famine.
Ahmad Shah's Tomb, Ahmedabad
Áhmed died in 1442 in the fifty-third year of his life and the
thirty-third of his reign and was buried in the mausoleum, Badshah no
Hajiro, near Manek Chowk, Ahmedabad.
His after-death title is Khûdaigán-i-Maghfûr the Forgiven Lord.
His queens were buried at Rani no Hajiro, just opposite his mausoleum.
Teen Darwaza (Triple Gateway) in Ahmedabad, built by Ahmad Shah I
He is honoured for his bravery, skill, and success as a war leader as
well as for his piety and his justice. His piety showed itself in his
respect for three great religious teachers: Sheikh Rukn-ud-dín, the
representative of Sheikh Moinuddin Chishti, the great Khwájah of
Ajmer; Sheikh Áhmed Khattu who is buried at Sarkhej Roza,
Ahmedábád; and the Bukháran Sheikh Burhán-ud-dín known as Kutbi
Álam the father of the more famous Sháh Álam.
Of Áhmed’s justice two instances are recorded. Sitting in the
window of his palace watching the Sábarmati in flood Áhmed saw a
large earthen jar float by. The jar was opened and the body of a
murdered man was found wrapped in a blanket. The potters were called
and one said the jar was his and had been sold to the headman of a
neighbouring village. On inquiry the headman was proved to have
murdered a grain merchant and was hanged. The second case was the
murder of a poor man by Áhmed’s son-in-law. The Kázi found the
relations of the deceased willing to accept a blood fine and when the
fine was paid released the prince. Áhmed hearing of his
son-in-law’s release said in the case of the rich fine is no
punishment and ordered his son-in-law to be hanged.
^ Shaikh Ahmad Khattu is buried at Sarkhej Roza. Kazi Ahmad is buried
at Patan and Malik Ahmad is buried near Kalupur Gate in Ahmedabad.
^ Nasir had named
Burhanpur after Sufi saint Burhanuddin.
^ Nayak 1982, pp. 66-72.
^ Taylor 1902, pp. 6-7.
^ Nayak 1982, p. 73.
^ a b c d e f g h i j k l m n o p q James Macnabb Campbell, ed.
(1896). "II. ÁHMEDÁBÁD KINGS. (A. D. 1403–1573.)". History of
Gujarát. Gazetteer of the Bombay Presidency. Volume I. Part II. The
Government Central Press. pp. 236–241. This article
incorporates text from this source, which is in the public domain.
^ Nayak 1982, pp. 74-75.
^ a b "Lonely planet". Lonely Planet.
^ Pandya, Yatin (14 November 2010). "In Ahmedabad, history is still
alive as tradition". dna. Retrieved 26 February 2016.
Ahmedabad Municipal Corporation. Archived from the
original on 23 February 2016. Retrieved 27 February 2016. Jilkad is
anglicized name of the month Dhu al-Qi'dah,
Hijri year not mentioned
but derived from date converter
^ Google Books 2015, p. 249.
^ a b Nayak 1982, p. 75.
^ Nayak 1982, pp. 75-81.
^ Nayak 1982, pp. 81-82.
^ Watson, James W., ed. (1884). Gazetteer of the Bombay
Presidency : Kathiawar. VIII. Bombay: Government Central Press.
pp. 497–498. This article incorporates text from this
source, which is in the public domain.
^ Harold Wilberforce-Bell (1916). The History of Kathiawad from the
Earliest Times. London: William Heinemann. pp. 75–76.
This article incorporates text from this source, which is in the
^ Burgess; Murray (1874). "The Rudra Mala at Siddhpur". Photographs of
Architecture and Scenery in Gujarat and Rajputana. Bourne and
Shepherd. p. 19. Retrieved 23 July 2016.
^ "Sidhpur". Official website of Gujarat Tourism. Retrieved 8 April
^ Patel, Alka (2004). "Architectural Histories Entwined: The
Rudra-Mahalaya/Congregational Mosque of Siddhpur, Gujarat". Journal of
the Society of Architectural Historians. University of California
Press. 63 (2): 144–163. doi:10.2307/4127950. Retrieved 23 July
^ Nayak 1982, pp. 82-83.
^ Nayak 1982, pp. 83-85.
^ Nayak 1982, pp. 85-89.
^ Nayak 1982, pp. 89-95.
^ Nayak 1982, pp. 95-98.
^ Sen, Sailendra (2013). A Textbook of Medieval Indian History. Primus
Books. pp. 114–115. ISBN 978-9-38060-734-4.
^ More, Anuj (October 18, 2010). "Baba Maneknath's kin keep alive
600-yr old tradition". The Indian Express. Retrieved February 21,
^ Nair-Gupta, Nisha (2017-01-19). "Was Ahmedabad's founder Ahmed Shah
a wise ruler or an ambitious tyrant?". Scroll.in. Retrieved
Taylor, Georg P. (1902). The Coins Of The Gujarat Saltanat. XXI.
Mumbai: Royal Asiatic Society of Bombay. hdl:2015/104269.
(Public Domain source) This article incorporates text from this
source, which is in the public domain.
Nayak, Chhotubhai Ranchhodji (1982). ગુજરાતમાંની
ઇસ્લામી સલ્તનતનો ઈતિહાસ
(ઇ.સ. ૧૩૦૦થી ઇ.સ.૧૫૭૩ સુધી)
[History of Islamic Sultanate in Gujarat] (in Gujarati). Ahmedabad:
Gazetteer of the Bombay Presidency: Ahmedabad. Google Books 2015. 7
January 2015. pp. 248–262. Retrieved 1 February 2015.
This article incorporates text from this source, which is in the