Zafar Khan, the founder of the Muzaffarid Dynasty of Gujarat
Compiled By: Syed Ali Shahbaz
On June 30, 1342 AD, Zafar Khan, the founder of the Muzaffarid Dynasty of Gujarat, was born in Delhi to Wajih ul-Mulk, who before embracing the truth of Islam was a Rajput of the Tanka clan by the name of Sadharan. Wajih ul-Mulk’s sister was married to Sultan Feroze Shah Tughlaq, who in 1391 appointed his wife’s nephew Zafar Khan as governor of the western province of Gujarat.
When after the death of Feroze Shah, the subcontinent was invaded by the fearsome Turkic conqueror, Amir Timur in 1398, and Tughlaq Sultante collapsed, Zafar Khan declared himself sultan of an independent Gujarat with the title Muzaffar Shah I. His son, Ahmad Shah I established the capital at Ahmadabad. Muzaffar Shah died in 1411 after a 20-year reign.
The dynasty ruled for almost 200 years, until the conquest of Gujarat by the Mughal Empire. The sultanate reached its peak of expansion under Mahmud Shah I Begara, reaching east into Malwa and west to the Gulf of Kutch. During the Muzaffarid rule, Ahmadabad grew to become one of the largest and wealthiest cities in the world, and the sultans were patrons of a distinctive architecture that blended Islamic elements with Gujarat's indigenous Hindu and Jain architectural traditions. The court language was Persian and the Sultans of Gujarat maintained infrequent ambassadorial relations with Iran.