Sanskrit inscriptional evidence for Muslims in 12th-century Bengal

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Herewith, I would like to call your attention to a new article by Ryosuke Furui (Institute for Advanced Studies on Asia, The University of Tokyo) titled "Sujanagar Stone Inscription of the Time of Bhojavarman, Year 7" in Pratna Samiksha, A Journal of Archaeology (Centre for Archaeological Studies & Training, Eastern India, Kolkata), New Series, Volume 10 (2019), 115-122.

Abstract : The present article offers the edition of the Sujanagar stone inscription of the time of Bhojavarman, year 7, with notes and translation, and the discussion on its contents and implications. The inscription records the two acts of mahāsāmanta Avūdeva, a subordinate ruler of Bhojavarman, in relation to a religious institution called a vihāra protected by Allahabhaṭṭārakasvāmin, namely, the withdrawal of cash endowment and the donation of right to tax at a market. It is the sole inscription mentioning the activity of a subordinate ruler under the Varmans. The transactions recorded in it attests to the developed monetary economy based on cowrie-shells. The inscription can also be the earliest epigraphic evidence for the presence of Islam and Muslims in Bengal, with possible references to a subordinate ruler from Arab or Persian merchant family and his establishment of a madrasa, though we need more evidence to buttress this possibility.

VHM:  I have a pdf of the article if anyone would like to read it.

This study is a good example of how history, archeology, and philology come together to enlarge our understanding of the past.

[h.t. Geoff Wade]

1 Comment

  1. Jonathan Silk said,

    December 23, 2019 @ 6:15 pm

    No need to bother Victor: the article is online:

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