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Volume :20 Issue : 77 1995      Add To Cart                                                                    Download

THE LETTER OF SULTAN SULIMAN, THE MAGNIFICENT, TO THE RULER OF BAHRAIN

Auther : By: Dr. Faisel A. Al-Kandari

Contemporary historical sources dealing with the Ottomans and Bahrain show a marked paucity of information relating to the first contacts between the Ottomans and the Island of Bahrain. But by searching in the old Ottoman books, a letter signed by Sultan Suleiman the magnificent and which was sent to Murad Khan (or Reis), the ruler of Bahrain was discovered. This letter is very important, because the researchers took no notice of its existence. Therefore, it is essential to focus on the letter and its contents. This letter shows clearly that Bahrain became part of the Ottoman territories. The Ottoman documents stated that Murad Khan, the Governor of Bahrain sent a letter to Sultan Suleiman in order to submit his homage in reply to which Suleiman sent an undated imperial letter to Murad, pointing him as sancak beg of the Island. Therefore this paper deals with the following points:- Firstly, the Ottoman – Bahrain relations and the reasons which led Murad Khan to become loyal to the Ottomans.

After the Portuguese discovery to the Cape of Good Hope in 1488, they were able to reach India few years latter. In 912 h/1506 Al-Buquerque came on an expedition to the East and went to the Gulf. He succeeded in capturing the town on the Omani coast, starting with Kalahat, Kuryat and Muscat where he set the place on fire and had the ears and noses of the prisoners cut off. He left for Suhar which the inhabitants agreed to pay the Portuguese a tribute. Then he proceeded to Fakkan. The town was pillaged and burnt. Thence Al-Buquerque captured Hormuz. It was in the third decade of the sixteenth century that the Portuguese gained control over Bahrain. The inhabitants of the island turned towards the Ottomans, especially after the latter had established themselves in Katif and Iasha in the second half of the 16 C. Then Murad sent a letter to the Ottoman Sultan to become loyal to him. In respond to this, Sultan Suleiman sent the letter – the subject of this paper – to Murad Khan.

Secondly, the letter of the Sultan to Murad ries.

Finally, the contents of the letter. The Sultan appointed Murad as a sancak beg of the island. He also decreed that when Murad dies, his brother Shihab Al-din should replace him in office. He stated also that there should be no delay in taking this matter into action. He said that the sancak beg should punish those who attack the merchants and the trade ships acting in the area. Last of all, he warned him against acting contrary to the orders and ordered him to continue corresponding with him.

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