Khoja Shams-ud-din Gillani

From Khoja Wiki
Khoja Shams-ud-din Gillani
Town of birth
Country of birth
Date of Birth
  • 1520
Place of longest stay
Where-City or Country

Born in 1520 Cannamore

A great merchant, Khoja[1] Shams-ud-din had his commercial establishments in Arabia & Persia. He received the "cartes" from the Portuguese to send his cargo ships to Mecca & Ormuz. In 1543, he sent three ships with commodities to Mecca and the Persian Gulf.

He had his brother, Abdul Jabbar, (Jaffer?ed.) in Arabia and there were great trading houses in the Red Sea. It was through this way that spices reached Cairo and other marts of the Mediterranean and finally various parts of the Continent (Europe ed.)

Thus, Shams-ud-din had a large network of international trade besides being one of the most important merchants of India collaborating with the Portuguese.[2]

European travel literature of the Sixteenth and Seventeenth centuries refers to the Jains, when the ‘Banias’ of Muscat are described. Among other details,it was noted that they were pure vegetarians who took great care in preserving all forms of life, even insects. Among the Muslim merchant communities, the Shia Khojas and Sunni Memons were highly active in the Arabian Sea trade.[3]

In 1550, a new equilibrium of relations was struck; the Portuguese state managed to reach an accommodation with some major Pardesi traders, such as Khoja Shams-ud-din Gilani of Cannanore.[4]

The growing cooperation with such persons as Shams-ud-din was in part the consequence of strategic considerations; from him, the Portuguese received crucial information on the Ottoman Empire.[5]

Then, separate from these, there were important Isma’ili groups in coastal Gujarat which, according to tradition, all originated in the reign of Siddharaja (1094-1143). The Ismaili communities of Bohras and Khojas became larger in Gujarat than anywhere else in India, largely through conversion. Thanks to their connections with non-Muslim mercantile groups they were relatively successful in penetrating inland markets in western India as well, and they made their presence felt in many parts of the western Indian Ocean littoral.[6]

1553-The Portuguese manage to reach an accommodation with some Middle Eastern merchants, such as Khoja Shams ud-Din Gilani of Kannur. ref>Sanjay Subrahmanyam. "The Political Economy of Commerce: Southern India 1500–1650". Cambridge University Press, 2002</ref>

References & Notes

  1. Onley,James Indian Communities in the Persian Gulf, c.1500–1947" (2014) The Persian Gulf in Modern Times: People, Ports, and History (edited by Lawrence Potter).The word Khoja is both the name for anyone belonging to the Khawaja and the title used by them, coming before one’s name.
  2. Teotonio R. De Souza - Indo-Portuguese History:Old Issues,New Questions (pp-5) (Concept,Delhi)
  3. S. Jeyaseela Stephen - The Indian Trade at the Asian Frontier (pp-194)
  4. Luis de Albuquerque and IndIcio Guerrciro - Khoja Shams-ud-din, Comerciante de Cananor na primeira metade do sIculo XVI’, A etas do II Seminario Intemacional de Historia Indo-Portuguesa, Lisbon, 1985, (pp. 227-40.)
  5. S. Jeyaseela Stephen - The Indian Trade at the Asian Frontier (pp-118)
  6. André Wink - Indo-Islamic Society: 14th - 15th centuries Part lll (pp 197)