Jalaluddin Muhammad Shah

Jalaluddin Muhammad Shah (1415-1433) sultan of Bengal. Jalaluddin Muhammad Shah was the son of raja ganesha. His early name was 'Jadu' and he was renamed Jalaluddin Muhammad at his conversion to Islam. He ruled Bengal in two phases 1415 to 1416 and 1418 to 1433 (818-36 AH). In 1416 AD Ganesa dethroned and confined Jadu to reconvert him to Hinduism. His effective rule began in 1418 AD after the final overthrow of Raja Ganesa and the Raja's younger son Mahendra.

A peaceful reign of about two decades helped Jalaluddin to exercise authority over almost the whole of Bengal, including eastern Bengal (Muazzamabad) and Chittagong. He conquered fathabad (Faridpur) and extended his territory towards southern Bengal. He was pious, just and a benevolent ruler.

Jalaluddin adhered to the Hanafi madhab (School of Shariat) and won the support and cooperation of the ulama and the Saikhs .He reconstructed and repaired the mosques and other religious buildings destroyed by Raja Ganesa and also erected new ones. Jalaluddin beautified the city of pandua with many splendid buildings. He transferred his capital from Pandua to gaur where he constructed a mosque, a reservoir named the 'Jalali tank' and a sarai. During his reign the administrator of Sutia constructed a Jami Mosque-cum madrasah. He sent money to the holy city of Makka for distribution and built an impressive madrasah there. Bengal grew in wealth and population during his reign.

Jalaluddin established diplomatic relations with the Timurid ruler Shah Rukh of Herat, Yung Lo of China and al-Ashraf Barsbay, the Mamluk ruler of Egypt. He used both the titles of 'Sultan' and 'amir' and received from the Abbasid Caliph a 'robe of honour' and 'investiture'. He issued a new coin in 1431 AD, assuming the significant title of 'Khalifat Allah'. He inscribed 'Kalima' on his coins.

Two Inscriptions of sultan Jalaluddin Muhammad Shah has so far been discovered: One is Sultanganj Inscription from Godagari, Rajshahi and the other is Mandra inscription from Dhaka. Both the Epigraph recorded the construction of mosques. The inscriptions also show the record that, the sultan had occupied those area and established Muslim rule in the respective regions.'

Sympathetic, tolerant and liberal towards the non-Muslims, Jalaluddin appointed Rajyadhar, a Hindu, as the commander of his army and patronised scholars and Brahmans. He died in Rabi-us-Sani, 837 AH/1433-34 AD and was buried in the famous eklakhi mausoleum at Pandua. [MA Taher]