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Coinage Of The Suris Silver Rupee of Sher Shah: Mint of Sharifabad

Ruler: Sher Shah Suri

Mint: Sharifabad

Date: 946 A.H. (1539-1540 C.E.)

Reference: Goron & Goenka – D797

Denomination: AR Rupee

Weight: 11.43 grams

Diameter: 26.06 mm

Brief Description and Explanation of the Inscriptions

Obverse:

Farid (right margin)

al-Dunya (bottom margin)

wa al-Din (left margin)

Abu al-Muzaffar (top margin)

Sher Shah al-Sultan khallada Allah Mulkuhu Sharifabad 946 A.H. (center field)

In Nagari below the main center field: Shree Sher Shahi 

Translation: Unique in the world and (in his understanding/following/implementation of) religion, father of the victorious, Sher Shah the Sultan. May Allah eternalize his dominions.

Reverse:

Names (without ‘Laqab’: honorific titles) of the four Caliphs (Rashidun) in the margins

Shahadah in the main center field

al-Sultan al-Adil (trans: The Sultan, The Just i.e., the Just Sultan) below the Shahadah

Sher Shah Suri assumed the title of the Sultan of Bihar in 945 A.H., and based his rule out of the fortress of Rohtas in present day Sasaram, Bihar, and struck coins in his own name. The earliest silver coins of Sher Shah Suri are known for the year 945 A.H. The mints of the earliest issues include:

  • Qila’t Shergarh mint, that can be identified with the fortress of Rohtas in Bihar
  • Shergarh, another name for the fortress of Rohtas
  • Mintless issues from Bengal

Sher Shah defeated the last Hussain Shahi Sultan of Bengal: Mahmud Shah in 1538 C.E. (944-45 A.H.), however he had to leave Bengal shortly after his victory to check the movement of the Mughal emperor Humayun. Subsequently, Sher Shah defeated emperor Humayun at the battle of Chaunsa in 1539 C.E. (946 A.H.). Immediately following his victory over Humayun, Sher Shah reoccupied Gaur, establishing a firm grip on Bengal.

The coin illustrated here, was therefore struck during the first year of Sher Shah Suri’s stable rule in Bengal. Sharifabad, has been identified as lying within the present day Birbhum district of West Bengal, India. During the reign of the Mughal emperor Akbar, Sharifabad was one of the nineteen Sarkars of Bengal. It stretched from the northern regions of Birbhum to the southern regions of Burdwan, and included regions from the current district of Murshidabad.

References:

  1. Goron, S. and Goenka, J. P. The Coins of the Indian Sultanates: Covering the Area of Present-day India, Pakistan and Bangladesh, 2001.
  2. Beames, J., Notes on Akbar’s Subah. Journal of Royal Asiatic Society, 1896, pp. 88-135.
  3. Elliot, H.M. The History of India, as Told by Its Own Historians. The Muhammadan Period, 1867.

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