Ilyas Shahi dynasty

The Ilyas Shahi dynasty (Bengali: ইলিয়াস শাহী খান্দান, Persian: الیاس شاهی خاندان‎) was the first independent dynasty to set the foundations of the late medieval Sunni Muslim Sultanate of Bengal. Hailing from the Sistan region,[1][2][3] their rule extended from 1342 to 1487, though interrupted with an interregna by their slaves as well as the House of Ganesha.[4]

Ilyās Shāhī
  • الیاس شاهی
  • ইলিয়াস শাহী
Royal house
CountryBengal Sultanate
Current regionBengal, Bihar
EtymologyName of Ilyas Shah
Place of originSistan
Founded1342 (1342)
FounderShamsuddin Ilyas Shah
Final rulerJalaluddin Fateh Shah
Connected membersShihabuddin Bayazid (slave)
TraditionsSunni Islam
Estate(s)Satgaon (from 1338)
Hazrat Pandua (from 1352)
Dissolution1487 (1487)
Deposition1415 (1415)

Initial dynastyEdit

The Adina Mosque, once the largest mosque in the subcontinent, built by Sikandar Shah in Hazrat Pandua.

The ancestors of Ilyas Shah originated from Sistan, and according to Syed A M R Haque, arrived to the subcontinent as Muslim missionaries and the family were granted jagirs in Bengal in the year 1227. Bengal was under the Delhi Sultanate at the time.

During the governorship of Izz al-Din Yahya in Satgaon, Shamsuddin Ilyas Shah took service under him. Following Yahya's death in 1338, Ilyas Shah took control of Satgaon and declared himself as a Sultan, independent of Delhi. He then waged a campaign, defeating both the Sultans Alauddin Ali Shah and Ikhtiyaruddin Ghazi Shah of Lakhnauti and Sonargaon respectively by 1342. This led to the foundation of Bengal as single political entity and the start of the Bengal Sultanate and its first dynasty, the Ilyas Shahi.

After Shamsuddin's death, his son Sikandar Shah ascended the throne. Sikandar ruled for the next 30 years and built the Adina Masjid in Pandua in 1368 and Kotwali Darwaza in Gauḍa. Ghiyasuddin Azam Shah, son of Sikandar Shah succeeded the throne and established friendly relationships with the Ming Empire of China and encouraged trade. During his reign, Ma Huan, a Chinese traveller visited Bengal.


In 1415, political confusion and weakness of the Ilyas Shahi dynasty led to Saifuddin Hamza Shah's rule being overthrown by slave Shihabuddin Bayazid Shah's family and the House of Ganesha shortly after.[5] Ganesha's son Jadu embraced Islam and assumed the title of Jalal ad-Din Muhammad Shah. He was succeeded by his son, Shams ad-Din Ahmad Shah. Ahmad was killed by his nobles in 1436 in an attempt to restore the Ilyas Shahi dynasty.

Restored dynastyEdit

After the death of Shams ad-Din Ahmad, the rule of the Ilyas Shahi dynasty was restored by Mahmud Shah, a descendant of Shamsuddin Ilyas Shah, who ascended the throne in 1437 as Nasiruddin Mahmud Shah I. In 1487, the last ruler of this dynasty Jalal ad-Din Fatih Shah was killed by his Habshi commander of the palace guards, Shahzada Barbak, who ascended the throne under the title, Sultan Barbak Shah. With this, the Ilyas Shahi dynasty's rule over Bengal came to an end.[6] The current

List of rulersEdit

Titular Name(s) Personal Name Reign
Sultan Shams ad-Din
سلطان شمس الدين
Bengali: সুলতান শামসউদ্দীন
Ilyas Shah
إلياس شاه
Bengali: ইলিয়াস শাহ
Sultan Abu al-Mujahid
سلطان أبو المجاحد
Bengali: সুলতান আবুল মুজাহ্বিদ
Sikandar Shah
سكندر شاه
Bengali: সিকান্দর শাহ
Sultan Ghiyath ad-Din
سلطان غياث الدين
Bengali: সুলতান গিয়াসউদ্দীন
Azam Shah
أعظم شاه
Bengali: আজ়ম শাহ
Sultan Sayf ad-Din
سلطان سيف الدين
Bengali: সুলতান সাইফউদ্দীন
Hamzah Shah
حمزة شاه
Bengali: হামজ়া শাহ
Sultan Abu al-Muzaffar
سلطان أبو المظفر
Bengali: সুলতান আবুল মুজ়াফফর
Muhammad Shah
محمد شاه
Bengali: মোহাম্মদ শাহ
Sultan Nasir ad-Din Abu al-Muzaffar
سلطان ناصر الدین أبو المظفر
Bengali: সুলতান নাসিরউদ্দীন আবুল মোজ়াফ্ফর
Mahmud Shah
محمود شاه
Bengali: মাহমূদ শাহ
Sultan Rukun ad-Din
سلطان ركن الدين
Bengali: সুলতান রোকনউদ্দীন
Barbak Shah
باربک شاه
Bengali: বারবক শাহ
Sultan Shams ad-Din Abu al-Muzaffar
سلطان شمس الدین أبو المظفر
Bengali: সুলতান শামসউদ্দীন আবুল মোজ়াফ্ফর
Yusuf Shah
يوسف شاه
Bengali: ইউসুফ শাহ
Bengali: সুলতান
Sikandar Shah II
سکندر شاه دوم
Bengali: দ্বিতীয় সিকান্দর শাহ
Sultan Jalal ad-Din
سلطان جلال الدين
Bengali: সুলতান জালালউদ্দীন
Fateh Shah
فتح شاه
Bengali: ফতেহ শাহ
Habshi rule takes over Sultanate of Bengal under Shahzada Barbak in 1487 C.E.
  • Silver shaded row signifies the start of the Restored Ilyas Shahi dynasty.
Preceded by
Delhi Sultanate
Sultanate of Bengal
Succeeded by
House of Raja Ganesha
Preceded by
House of Raja Ganesha
Sultanate of Bengal
Succeeded by
Habshi rule[7]

See alsoEdit


  1. ^ André Wink (2003). Indo-Islamic society: 14th – 15th centuries. p. 139. ISBN 9004135618.
  2. ^ Siegbert Uhlig (2003). Encyclopaedia Aethiopica: D-Ha. p. 151.
  3. ^ Ainslie Thomas Embree, Asia Society (1988). Encyclopedia of Asian history, Volym 1. p. 149.
  4. ^ For a map of their territory see: Schwartzberg, Joseph E. (1978). A Historical atlas of South Asia. Chicago: University of Chicago Press. p. 147, map XIV.4 (b). ISBN 0226742210.
  5. ^ Ali, Mohammad Mohar (1988). History of the Muslims of Bengal, Vol 1 (PDF) (2 ed.). Imam Muhammad Ibn Saud Islamic University. pp. 683, 404. ISBN 9840690248. Retrieved 12 December 2016.
  6. ^ Majumdar, R.C. (ed.) (2006). The Delhi Sultanate, Mumbai: Bharatiya Vidya Bhavan, pp.205–14
  7. ^ Majumdar, R.C. (ed.) (2006). The Delhi Sultanate, Mumbai: Bharatiya Vidya Bhavan, pp.827–8

External linksEdit