Silver Tanka of Alauddin Husain Shah – Husainabad


Year: [8]89 AH

Regnal year: N/A

Weight: 10.61g



Al-Sultan Al-Adil

‘Ala Al Duniya wa Al Din

Abu Al-Muzaffar

Husain Shah Al-Sultan

अल-सुल्तान अल-आदिल

आला अल दुनिया व अल दीन

अबू अल मुज़फ़्फ़र

हुसैन शाह अल-सुल्तान

السلطان العدل

علا الدنیا الدین

ابو المظفر

حسین شاہ السلطان


The Sultan, The Just

Excellence of the World and of Faith

Father of the Conqueror

Husain Shah, The Sultan

न्यायप्रिय सुल्तान

दुनिया और धर्म का श्रेष्ठ

विजेता के पिता

सुल्तान हुसैन शाह

عدل سلطان

دنیا اور دین کا چراغ

ابو مظفر

سلطان حسین شاہ



Ibn Sayyid Ashraf Al-Husaini

Khuld Allah Mulkahu wa Sultanahu



इब्न सैयद अशरफ़ अल-हुसैनी

ख़ुलद अल्लाह मूलकहु व सुल्तानहू



ابن سید اشرف الحسینی

خلد اللہ ملکہ و سلطانہ





Son of Sayyid Ashraf Al-Husaini

May God preserve his kingdom and rule



पुत्र सैयद अशरफ़ अल-हुसैनी

भगवान इस राज्य और राज को कायम रखे



ابن سید اشرف الحسینی

خدا اس سلطنت اور حکمرانی کو قائم






Sultanate of Bengal

In 1202 AD, during the Ghorid invasion of India, Bakhtiyar Khilji, a commander of Qutbuddin Aibak who himself was one of the slave generals of Muhammad Ghori conquered Bengal. He became the first governor of the province. Bengal was ruled by officials chosen by the Delhi Sultans till 1338 AD. The province was divided in two in the year 1310 AD, and Eastern and Western Bengal were eventually under the control of independent governors. Fakhruddin Mubarak Shah, the governor of Eastern Bengal, successfully revolted against Delhi in 1338 AD, severing relations with Delhi forever. Shamsuddin Ilyas Shah became the Sultan of a united Bengal in 1352 AD after a period of internal strife among the earlier rulers.

The Bengal Sultanate had Bengali, Turco-Persian, Pashtun and Abyssinian elites. The empire was renowned for its religious pluralism and the peaceful coexistence of non-Muslim minorities. Bengali originally acquired court recognition as an official language under the Sultanate, while Persian was still the main language used for governmental, diplomatic, and commercial purposes.

A significant commercial hub on the Bay of Bengal coast was the Bengal Sultanate. It drew traders and people from all over the world. Ships and traders from Bengal traded across the area, notably in Malacca, China, and the Maldives. The Bengal Sultanate was described by contemporary European and Chinese visitors as a prosperous kingdom. Due to the abundance of goods in Bengal, the region was described as the "richest country to trade with". It was only in 1576 that Bengal was finally brought firmly under Delhi's control, by the Mughal empire.[i]

Alauddin Husain Shah

Alauddin Husain Shah (reigned: 1494-1519) was one of the prominent Sultans of Bengal. He and his son’s reign is generally regarded as the “golden age” of the Bengal Sultanate. After a period of misrule by Habshi (Ethiopian) Sultans, who were considered tyrants by their subjects, Alauddin reorganized the administration, instilled discipline into the army and undertook a series of military campaigns.[ii]

His most significant military campaign was against the Sultanate of Jaunpur, which was another successor state to the Delhi Sultanate encompassing most of Ganges-Yamuna Doab. It led to him capturing parts of Bihar. Trade also flourished, not least because of the increasing activity of the Portuguese, who for a number of years virtually commanded the coasts of Bengal.

The coin

The ruler’s title and name is spread over both sides of the coin. The coin also mentions his father’s name, Sayyid Ashraf Al-Husayni, who was a Sharif of Mecca. Al-Husaini indicates descent from Husain Ibn Ali, the grandson of the Prophet Muhammad.

The coin only has the last two digits of the Hijri date i.e. [8]89. The mint of Husainabad has been generally identified as Lakhnauti or a town close to it in the Malda district of West Bengal.[iii]

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

[ii] Gupta, P. L. (1969). India - The Land and People: COINS. New Delhi: National Book Trust.

[iii] Goenka, S. G. (2022). The Coins of the Indian Sultanates: Covering the Areas of Present Day India, Pakistan and Bangladesh. New Delhi: Manoharlal Publishers & Distributors.