Ghiyasuddin Azam Shah

Ghiyasuddin Azam Shah

Tomb of Ghiyasuddin Azam Shah in Sonargaon, Bangladesh
3rd Sultan of Bengal
Reign 13901411
Predecessor Sikandar Shah
Successor Saifuddin Hamza Shah
House Ilyas Shahi dynasty

Ghiyasuddin Azam Shah (Bengali: গিয়াসউদ্দীন আজম শাহ) was the third Sultan of Bengal and the Ilyas Shahi dynasty.[1] He was one of the most prominent medieval Bengali sultans. He established diplomatic relations with the Ming Empire of China, pursued cultural contacts with leading thinkers in Persia and conquered Assam.[2]


Ghiyasuddin Azam Shah became the Sultan of Bengal after overthrowing and killing his father Sultan Sikandar Shah at the Battle of Goalpara in 1390. During the early part of his reign, he conquered and occupied Kamarupa in modern-day Assam. His interests included establishing an independent judiciary and fostering Persianate and Bengali culture.

Diplomatic and regional affairs

The Sultan pioneered diplomatic relations with China by sending embassies to the Ming dynasty court in Peking. He exchanged envoys and gifts with the Yongle Emperor. Bengal was interested in establishing a strategic partnership with China to counter the influence of its neighbors, including the Delhi Sultanate. The Chinese mediated in several regional disputes. The Sultan also built strong relations with the Sultanate of Jaunpur in North India. He sent envoys to the Hejaz and financed the construction of madrasas in Mecca and Medina.[3][4]

Literary patron

Ghiyasuddin was a patron of scholars and poets. Among others, the Persian poet Hafez kept correspondences with him. Shah Muhammad Sagir, a Muslim Bengali poet, wrote his famous work, Yusuf-Zulekha, during Ghiyasuddin's reign. The Hindu poet, Krittibas Ojha, also translated the Ramayana in Bengali as Krittivasi Ramayan during his reign.

See also

Preceded by
Sikandar Shah
Sultan of Bengal
Succeeded by
Saifuddin Hamza Shah


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