» » » » Zafrabad -Great center of culture and religion of Buddhists as well as the Hindus.

Makhdum Sadr-u’d-din Aftab-i-Hind

Zafarabad is older than Jaunpur, but during the sharqi reign it was of secondary importance and was better known for its religious and literary activities than for its architectural attainments.

In ancient days this region had been a great center of culture and religion of Buddhists as well as the Hindus. Ruins of their ancient stupas and temples can still be seen here. It is the same area where the mythical Raja Ram Chandra once ruled, whose capital, Ajodhya, lies in ruins not far from the modern district of Faizabad. Afterwards the Pala princes of Banaras ruled over this territory. The last Hindu ruler here were of the Gahadavala clan, whose last ruler, Jaya Chandra 2, was finally overthrown by Shihab-u’d-din Ghori in 1193. The walls of the old fort of Jaya Chandra still stand, and enclose a space of eight acres to the west of the town. Its ancient name is said to have been Manaichgarh, and its fort was known as Asni.

From the conquest of Shihab-u’d-din Ghori till the time of Sultan Firuz this area had been permanently under Muslim influence and had also served as a route between Delhi and Lakhnauti. Many Muslin sufis such as Shaikh Barah and later on Makhdum Sadr-u’d-din Aftab-i-hind and Makhdum Asad-u’d-din Chiragh-i-hind settled here. Afterwards a good number of disciples of both the latter also settled here and worked for the establishment of Islam.

Raja Jaychand ruins

Zafar Khan was appointed  the first Muslim governor of this place in 721/1321. He is said to have given it the name of Shah-i-Anwar, i.e., the city of holy lights, but that appellation could never replace its popular name, Zafarabad. Shahr-i-Anwar is a chronogram giving the hijra year 762 (1360-61), the date of the re-foundation of the city. During the reign of Muhammad bin Tughluq, ‘Ain-u’l-Mulk Multani was governor of Zafarabad and Awadh.

Zafar Shah maqbara who developed Zafrabad

In 1376 Zafarabad and Jaunpur were allotted to another prince, Nasir Khan, also known as Malik Bahruz Sultani, who afterwards died and was buried in Jaunpur, i.e., the new city, whose foundations had already been laid down in the previous year 760/1358-59. The place of Zafarabad had now been taken by Jaunpur, nut it still remained the second city of the Sharqi Kingdom. It had become a seat of Islamic learning and Muslim mysticism for the previous half a century, i.e., since the arrival of Makhdum Sadr-u’d-din Aftab-i-Hind and Makhdum Asad-u’d-din Chiragh-i-hind. Even afterwards many saints and scholars from other parts of the country settled here. Because of the residence of many saints and sufis, this city was also known as Piran Shahr. People also used to call it Kaghaz Ka Shahr, as it had been a well-known Centre of the paper industry. Zafarabad is now a very small town.

Ref:The Sharqi Sultanat of Jaunpur  By mian Muhammad Saeed

History of Zafrabad by local people

About M.MAsum Syed

BSc.(Chem) Retired Banker(Branch Manager),freelance journalist,blogger and Web designer. आपकी आवाज़ और जौनपुर का इतिहास दुनिया तक पहुंचाती जौनपुर की पहली वेबसाईट| Cont:- smma59@gmal.com, PH. 9452060283.
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