Friday, July 6, 2007


Kita ikuti sebahagian dari penyelidikkan Dr Muhammad Enamul Huq dan Sahitya-sagar Abdul Karim Sahitya Visarad bertajuk “Benggali Literarure in the Kings Court of Arakan 1600-1700 AD”.Ia mengisahkan raja-raja Arakan, satu wilayah dalam kerajaan Toung Oo di Burma yang mempunyai raja-raja yang beragama Islam. Namun begitu nama-nama Islam mereka telah dipadamkan sepertimana yang berlaku di Ayuthia. Sama-sama kita ikuti,

The Muslim influence in Roshang (Arakan) and modern Chattagram (Chittagong), has been noticeable from ancient times. The Arab traders established trade link with the East Indies in the eighth and ninth century AD. During this time Chittagong, the lone seaport of East India, became the resting place and colony of the Arabs. We know from the accounts of the ancient Arab travellers and geologists6 including Sulaiman (living in 851 AD), Abu Jaidul Hasan (contemporary of Sulaiman), Ibnu Khuradba (died 912 AD), Al-Masudi (died 956 AD), Ibnu Howkal (wrote his travelogue in 976 AD), Al-Idrisi (born last half of 11th century) that the Arab traders became active in the area between Arakan and the eastern bank of the Meghna River.

We can also learn about this from the Roshang national history: when Roshang King, Maha Taing Chandra (788 - 810 AD) was ruling in the 9th century, some ship wrecked Muslim traders were washed ashore on “Ronbee” or “Ramree” Island. When they were taken to the Arakanese king, the king ordered them to live in the village (countryside) in his country. Other historians also recognised the fact that Islam and its influence developed in Arakan in the 9th and 10th century AD. From this period of time. After the tenth century the country was professedly Buddhist, notwithstanding the spread of Mahomedanism which reached Achin in 1206 and dotted the coast from Assam to Malay with the curious mosques known as Buddermokan refered by the Buddhists and China-men as well as Mahomedans.

The Arabic influence increased to such a large extent in Chittagong during mid 10th century AD that a small Muslim kingdom was established in this region, and the ruler of the kingdom was called “Sultan”. Possibly the area from the east bank of the Meghna River to the Naf was under this “Sultan”. We can know about the presence of this “Sultan” in the Roshang national history.

In 953 AD Roshang King, Sulatan Chandra (951- 957 AD) crossed his border into Bangla (Bengal) and defeated the “Thuratan” (Arakanese corrupt form of Sultan), and as a symbol of victory setup a stone victory pillar at a place called “Chaikta-gong” and returned home at the request of the courtiers and friends10. This Chaik-ta-gong was the last border of his victory, since according to Roshang national history – “Chaik-ta-gong” means “war should not be raised” (arahan ini adalah dari Maharaja China Monggol, Dinasti Yuan yang berkuasa ketika itu). Many were surprise that the modem name of Chittagong district originated from “Chaik-ta-gong”.

In this way the religion of Islam spread and the Muslim influence slowly extended from the eastern bank of the Meghna to Roshang Kingdom in the 8th and 9th centuries. From the travelogues of the Egyptian traveller to India, Ibn Batuta (14th century AD) and from the accounts of the Portuguese pirates in the 16th century, the influence of the “Moors” or Arabs was waxing till then. So it is evident that long before the Muslim race was established in Bengal in the 13th century, Islam reached to this remote region of Bengal. A conclusion may easily be drawn that after the establishment in Bengal, Islam further spread in the region. That is why Bengali literature was for the first time cultivated among the Muslim of the region.

Since the 15th century onwards the Muslims of this region began to engage themselves in the study of Bengali, that is, began to write books in The study of Bengali literature that the Muslim initiated reached perfection under the aegis of the courtiers of the Roshang kings. It is needless to say that the Kings’ Court of Roshang got filled up with Muslim influence long before this. From the beginning of the 15th century AD the Kings’ Court of Roshang by luck was compelled to heartily receive the Muslim influence. Roshang king Meng-tsau-mwun (1404 -1434 AD) (known as Narameikhla in the Burmese history) after ascended the throne in 1404 AD forcibly gained possession of a lady named Tsau-bongyo, the sister of the chief called Anan-thiu.

The brother, determined on revenge, went to the king [court] of Ava Meng-tshwai=Minhkaung (1401-1422 AD). Minkaung with a strength of 30,000 troops attacked Roshang and defeated Mang Saw Mwan in 1406 AD. Mang Saw Mwan fled and took refuge under the Sultan of Gaur14 [also written as Gaud by some historians]. At that time Sultan Shamsuddin II (1406 -1409) of Ilyas Shahi lineage was ruling Gaur. He cordially received Roshang King Mang Saw Mwan and granted him asylum. The Roshang King lived there for twenty-four years till 1430 AD. Meanwhile there was a rebellion in Gaur; King Ganesh (1409 -1414 AD) occupied the throne of Gaur; Sultan Ibrahim Shah Sharki of Jounpur attacked Bengal to oust King Ganesh.

Probably the Roshang King assisted the Sultan of Gaur during the rebellion. After the revolt, Jalaluddin Muhammad Shah (1414-1431 AD) ascended the throne of Gaur; peace was established. Jalaluddin Muhamad Shah sent a general, Wali Khan (Ulu-Kheng in Roshang history, [lihat perbezaan nama ini, orangnya tetap sama]) with Mang Saw Mwan to regain Arakan in 1430 AD. Wali Khan betrayed his trust and joined with an Arakanese feudal lord. Tsenka [or Tse-u-ka according to Phayre] and imprisoned Mang Saw Mwan. Roshang King tactfully escaped and fled to Bengal; again the Sultan sent two more generals with the Roshang King to regain Arakan. The two generals killed the traitor Wali Khan and reinstated Mang Saw Mwan to the throne of Roshang in 1430 AD16. The Roshang king got back his kingdom but became tributary to the Sultan of Gaur17. His Mahomedan followers built Sandihkan mosque at Mrohaung [kerajaan islam Mrauk-U].

Mang Saw Mwan or Narameikhla (1430 -1434) by regaining his lost kingdom remained tributary to Gaur for four years. Thereafter it is common for the kings, though (using) Buddhist (names) to use Mahomedan designations in addition to their own names, and even to issue medallions bearing the Islamic kalima, the Mahomeden confession of faith in Persian script .

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