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Alauddin Ali Shah


Alauddin Ali Shah (1339-1342) ruled lakhnauti as an independent Sultan. His previous name was Ali Mubarak. In his early life he was one of the trusted servants of Malik Firuz (later Sultan firuz shah tughlaq). He was, perhaps, the foster brother of Shamsuddin iliyas shah. Having been ousted from Delhi, he came to Bengal and took service under Qadar Khan, the governor of Lakhnauti, and gradually rose to the position of Ariz-i-Mumalik.

After the death of Qadar Khan, Ali Mubarak killed the deputy governor, captured power, paid allegiance to the Delhi Sultan muhammad bin tughlaq, and made repeated representations so that he could be appointed as the governor of Lakhnauti. Muhammad Bin Tughlaq, however, appointed Malik Yusuf as the governor of Lakhnauti who died on his way to Lakhnauti. As the sultan was involved in other issues, he could not pay attention to Lakhnauti. Taking advantage of this opportunity, Ali Mubarak declared independence in 1339 and issued coins under the title of Alauddin Ali Shah. He also described himself as the helper of the Commander of the Faithful.

After the death of Bahram Khan, fakhruddin mubarak shah became independent at sonargaon and Haji Iliyas became the sole master of satgaon, both in 1338. Thus Bengal was divided into three parts with Fakhruddin, Iliyas and Ali Shah ruling respectively at Sonargaon, Satgaon and Lakhnauti. As Lakhnauti enjoyed a special position in terms of political importance, there arose a tripartite struggle among these three.

According to ibn battuta, the contest for supremacy was very bitter between Ali Shah and Fakhruddin. For his naval superiority, Fakhruddin would lead attacks against Lakhnauti during the monsoons, while Ali Shah, having strong land forces, retaliated in the dry season. In these intermittent battles none could overcome the other.

Ali Shah was involved in a long drawn hostility with Iliyas Shah too. Hostilities between them began from 740 AH / 1339 AD. In the first encounter Haji Iliyas got the upper hand. But Iliyas' victory was not conclusive, for, Ali Shah is found to have issued coins from 741 to 743 AH. Haji Iliyas, however, finally defeated Ali Shah in 1342.

Alauddin Ali Shah died or was slain in 1342. During his rule of nearly three years, he transferred his capital from Lakhnauti to Firuzabad (pandua), perhaps to get rid of repeated attacks from the Sonargaon side. He built a Mausoleum for jalaluddin tabrizi on his tomb at Pandua. Ghulam Hussain Salim mentions in his riyaz-us-salatin that he noticed the spot of the shrine in 1788 AD. [ABM Shamsuddin Ahmed]