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Shamsuddin Yusuf Shah


Shamsuddin Yusuf Shah (1474-1481) was the son and successor of Sultan ruknuddin barbak shah of the later Iliyas Shahi dynasty. He ascended the throne with the title of Shamsuddin Abul Muzaffar Yusuf Shah in 879 AH/1474 AD. It appears from his inscriptions that he also took titles like 'Khalifat Allah bil Huzzat wal Burhan', 'Sultan al-Salatin', 'Zil Allah fil Alamin' and 'Khalifat Allah fil Ardin'.

During his reign the Bengal Sultanate extended over western and northern Bengal. It appears that a large part of eastern Bengal also was included in his Sultanate.

Shamsuddin Yusuf Shah was an ideal, judicious and able ruler. The chief feature of his administration was that he applied the laws of the xariah (shariat) strictly and impartially and prohibited drinking of wine within his dominions. A lover of justice, Yusuf Shah often summoned the Ulama and Qazis to his Darbar (court) and advised them to be impartial at the time of imparting justice. Being well versed in the law he often assisted the judges in difficult cases.

Poet Jaynuddin wrote his Rasul Vijaya under his patronage. A devout Muslim, Yusuf Shah treated his subjects, irrespective of caste or creed, on the same footing. During his reign a number of mosques were erected. Of these, the most noted were the Sakomohan mosque of Maldah, the tantipara mosque , the lattan mosque, the Kadam Rasul Mosque and the darasbari mosque of Gaur.

A virtuous sovereign of gentle temperament, Shamsuddin Yusuf Shah died most probably in 886 AH/1481 AD after a prosperous reign of seven years. [ABM Shamsuddin Ahmed]