Silver Half Tanka of Ghiyas Shah– Malwa Sultanate




al wathiq bilmulk al multaji abul fath ghiyath shah

अल-वसिक़ बिलमुल्क अल मूलतजी आबु फ़तह ग़यास शाह

الواثق  بالملک الملتجی

ابوالفتح غیاث شاہ


The truster in the kingdom, and seeking refuge in the Father of victory, Ghiyas Shah

राज्य में भरोसा रखने वाला, विजय के पिता में शरण मांगने वाला,

ग़यास शाह

ملک میں اعتماد رکھنے والا


غیاث شاہ



bin mahmud shah

al sultan al khilji

878 khuld mulkahu

बिन महमूद शाह

अल सुल्तान अल ख़िलजी

878 ख़ुलद मूलकहु

بن محمود شاہ

السلطان الخلجی

خلد ملکہ 878


Son of Mahmud Shah

Khilji the Sultan,

May [God] preserve the country


महमूद शाह ख़िलजी के पुत्र,


[भगवान] इस राज्य को कायम रखे 878


بن محمود شاہ الخلجی  سلطان

 اس سلطنت کو قائم [خدا]  878 رکھے




The region of Malwa, which Alauddin Khilji annexed to the Delhi Sultanate in 1305, became an independent state in 1401, governed by Dilawar Khan Ghori. The coinage was started by Hoshang Shah (1405–132), his son. The province reached its broadest borders under the usurping minister Mahmud I, Khilji, following endless battles with Gujarat (1436-68). However, following a civil war in 1510, a gradual fall began. In 1530, Gujarat's Bahadur Shah took control of Mandu, the capital, and the nation became a province of his realm for four years. Humayun then succeeded in capturing it.

Then, Qadir Shah, a governor from Gujarat, controlled it from 1536 to 1542. From 1554 until 1560, it was finally ruled by Baz Bahadur, a son of Sher Shah's nominee, Shuja’at Khan, when Akbar captured it and turned it into a Mughal province.[i]

A number of embellishments start to emerge on the coinage with Ghiyas Shah's reign; their function is unknown, but they appear to be linked to the dates of issue. The Malwa sovereigns inscribe their names with ornate honorific titles, just like the Bahmanis do.

The one of Mahmud I, who refers to himself as "The powerful sovereign, the victorious, the exalted in the Faith and in the world, the second Alexander, the right hand of the Khalifate, the defender of the leader of the faithful," is arguably the most stunning.

Ghiyas Shah

Ghiyas-ud-Din Shah or Ghiyasuddin or Ghiyas Shah (reigned: 1469-1500) was a Sultan of the Malwa Sultanate. He was the eldest son of Mahmud Shah Khilji I, who started the Khilji dynasty’s rule over Malwa. Ghiyas Shah had served his father as a military leader. He established his policies to safeguard the enormous lands that he inherited from his father. He aided Rana Udai Singh to secure his boundary on the Mewar side. He made an attempt to bring Malwa prosperity and harmony.[ii]

The coin

His coins were first made in a circular flan at the start of his reign, but later coins were struck in square flans such as the example featured here. On each side, the legend is divided into two parts by   the extension of the Arabic letter ‘ye’. This style is also seen on other coins of the Malwa Sultanate. The coin features Ghiyas Shah’s lofty title on one side alongside a peculiar “star-like” symbol.

The reverse presents the name of his father, Mahmud Shah I, alongside the prayer “Khuld [Allah] Mulkahu which is quite common on Islamic coins. The date is off to the bottom-left side.  

[i] Brown, C. J. (1980). The Heritage of India Series: The Coins of India. University of Toronto Library.

[ii] Hasan, S. B. (1992). Malwa under the Mughals (1562-1707) . Aligarh: Department of History Aligarh Muslim University.