Malik Ahmad Raja Faruqi, the founder of the Khandesh Sultanate in Central India
Compiled By: Syed Ali Shahbaz
On April 29, 1399 AD, Malik Ahmad Raja Faruqi, the founder of the Khandesh sultanate (1382-1601) of Central India, died after a reign of 17 years as independent ruler, and was succeeded by his son, Nasser Khan. Son of Khan-e Jahan Faruqi, a minister in the court of Sultan Mohammad bin Tughlaq in Delhi, on separation of the Deccan in 1347, he cast his lot with Ala od-Din Hassan Bahman Shah, but in 1365 turned against his son, Mohammad Shah Bahmani, by joining the abortive rebellion of the governor of Daulatabad, Bahram Khan Mazandarani.
As a result, he fled the Deccan and settled in Thalner, which later, along with Karanda, was conferred upon him as fiefdom by Sultan Ferouz Shah Tughlaq of Delhi. He soon defeated the Raja of Baglana and subdued the neighbouring chieftains, prompting Ferouz Shah to raise him to the rank of Sipah-Salar. Within a few years he mustered a force of twelve thousand cavalry, and by 1382 virtually became independent.
His son Nasser Khan ruled for 38 years that saw fluctuating fortunes for the kingdom because of constant warfare with Gujarat and the Bahmani Kingdom. Khandesh, with its capital, Burhanpur, was annexed by the Mughal Emperor Jalal od-Din Akbar in 1601. The Sultanate was a Persianate society, with its rich contribution to Persian literature, art and architecture. Islam was also promoted through peaceful means, as is evident today by the large number of Tadvi Bhils, and Raj Gonds, who are Muslims.