Burmese Muslims during Amarapura Kings era

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Two thousand families, 8000 population, 40 (may be up to 120 mosques) in a relatively small Amarapura Capital in 1885 is impressive. THOSE Bigot authorities giving 3 fold IC or National Registration cards to those Muslims in Amarapura and Mandalay should notice this strong evidence…

Muslims in Amarapura were about 20,000 families, at the time of Innwa (Ava) kingdom (1855 AD). Most of them were Sunni Muslims. The first mosque in Yangon was built in 1826 AD, at the end of first Anglo-Burmese Wars. It was destroyed in 1852 AD when the British attacked Yangon again.[96]

During the Konbaung dynasty Alaungpaya‘s attack of Mons near Pyay, Mon warrior Talapan was assisted by Muslim soldiers. Because of their artillery fire, a lot of Burmese soldiers were wounded and died.[105]

In 1755 Alaungpaya conquered Dagon and renamed it Yangon (meaning ‘The End of Strife’). Mon soldiers surrendered and four Muslim rich men also surrendered with the expensive presents, ammunitions and four warships.[99] Although conquered Yangon there are more battles to fight with Mons. So Alaungpaya rearranged the army. Pyre Mamet was one of the “Thwe Thauk Gyi” assigned to serve as the Royal Bodyguard.[106] Alaungpaya attacked Thanlyin or Syriam, and many Muslim artillery men were captured.[100] Alaungpaya captured four warships and Muslim soldiers. They were later allowed to serve him.[101] On the page 203 of the Twin Thin Teik Win’s Cronicles of Alaungpaya’s battles, it was recorded as only three warships.

After Alaungpaya captured Pegu, and at the parade, those Pathi Muslim soldiers were allowed to march with their traditional uniforms.[107] Four hundred Pathi Indian soldiers participated in the Royal Salute March.[108][109] King Bodawpaya Bodaw U Wine (Padon Mayor, Padon Min) (1781–1819) of the Konbaung Dynasty founded Amarapura as his new capital in 1783. He was the first Burmese King who recognized his Muslim subjects officially by the following Royal decree. He appointed Abid Shah Hussaini and assistants, Nga Shwe Lu and Nga Shwe Aye to decide and give judgment regarding the conflicts and problems amongst his Burmese Muslim subjects.[110] Abid Shah Hussaini burial place was well known as a shrine in Amarapura Lin Zin Gone Darga. Before Ramu and Pan War battles, Burmese army had a march. Among the Burmese army, Captain Nay Myo Gone Narrat Khan Sab Bo’s 70 Cavalry (horse) Regiment, was watched by Maha Bandula.[111] Burmese Muslim Horsemen were famous in that Khan Sab Bo’s 70 Cavalry (horse) Regiment. Khan Sab Bo’s name was Abdul Karim Khan and was the father of the Captain Wali Khan, famous Wali Khan Cavalry Regiment during King Mindon and King Thibaw. Khan Sab Bo was sent as an Ambassador to Indo China by Bagyidaw. During Bagyidaw’s reign, in 1824, Gaw Taut Pallin battle was famous. British used 10,000 soldiers but defeated. During that battle Khan Sab Bo’s 100 horsemen fought vigorously and bravely.[112] More than 1300 loyal brave Kala Pyo Muslims (means young Indian soldiers) were awarded with colourful velvety uniforms.[113]

When Konbaung Dynasty’s 8th. Tharrawaddy Min (King) marched Okkalapa, more than 100 Pathi Muslim Indian Cannoners took part.[114] There are also a lot of Muslim soldiers in other parts of the Tharrawaddy Min‘s army.

But during the Konbaung Dynasty’s 9th. Pagan Min 1846-52 there was a blemish in Muslim’s history. Royal Capital Amarapura‘s Mayor Bai Sab and his clerk U Pain were arrested and sentenced to death. U Pain was the one who constructed and donated the Taunthaman bridge with more than 1000 teak piles and is still in good condition. Although the real background or aim of building the bridge was not known, before the bridge was built, British Ambassador Arthur Fair’s ship could sailed right up to the Amarapura city wall but the bridge actually obstruct the direct access by British.

 King Mindon

During Pagan Min reign, Mindon Prince and brother Ka Naung Prince run away with their servants to Shwe Bo and started a rebellion. U Bo and U Yuet were the two Muslims who accompanied the princes. Some Kala Pyo Burmese Muslim artillery soldiers followed them.[115] U Boe later built and donated the June Mosque, which is still maintained in 27th. street, Mandalay. U Yuet became the Royal Chief Chef.

Regent Prince Ka Naung sent scholars to study abroad. Malar Mon @ U Pwint was a Burmese Muslim sent to study the explosives. He became the Yan Chet won or Minister of explosives.

In the Royal Defence Army, many Cannoners were Kindar Kala Pyos and Myedu Muslims.[116] In 1853 King Mindon held a donation ceremony. He ordered to prepare halal food for his Muslim soldiers from, Akbart Horse Cavalry, Wali Khan Horse Cavalry, Manipur Horse Cavalry and Sar Tho Horse Cavalry altogether about 700 of them.

U Soe was the Royal tailor of King Mindon .[117]
Kabul Maulavi was appointed an Islamic Judge by King Mindon to decide according to the Islamic rules and customs on Muslim affairs.

Captain Min Htin Min Yazar’s 400 Muslims participated to clear the land for building a new Mandalay city.

Photograph by Linnaeus Tripe with a view looking towards the ornately embellished minaret of a mosque at Amarapura in Burma (Myanmar), from a portfolio of 120 prints. Tripe, an officer from the Madras Infantry, was the official photographer attached to a British diplomatic mission to King Mindon Min of Burma in 1855.

This followed the British annexation of Pegu after the Second Anglo-Burmese War in 1852. Aside from official duties, the mission was instructed to gather information regarding the country and its people. Tripe’s architectural and topographical views are of great documentary importance as they are among the earliest surviving photographs of Burma.

Tripe wrote of this mosque,’This is in China Street. There are some thousands of Mahomedans and numbers of Mosques in and about Amerapoora. The architecture of the latter partakes much of the Burmese element’.

Photograph by Linnaeus Tripe, from a portfolio of 120 prints, showing a view of the wooden bridge (U Bein Bridge) at Amarapura in Burma (Myanmar).

In 1855 an officer from the Madras Infantry, Linneaus Tripe, was attached as official photographer to the diplomatic mission sent from India to the Burmese capital of Amarapura. The mission’s goal was two-fold: to negotiate with King Mindon Min his acceptance of British rule over Pegu, and to gather information about the country in every detail. During the journey up the Irrawaddy (Ayeyarwady) from Rangoon to Amarapura, Tripe produced a portfolio of 120 large views of scenery and architecture which are amongst the earliest – and finest – surviving images of this then little-known kingdom. A few years after they were taken, the royal capital was transferred 11 km upriver to Mandalay. While the teak bridge on the left of this photograph still exists, few old buildings in the abandoned capital survive and Tripe’s photographs remain the only accurate visual record of the old royal capital.

Amarapura, on the Irrawaddy (Ayeyarwady) river, was twice the capital of the Burmese kings of the Konbaung dynasty: from 1782 (the year of its foundation by King Bodawpaya) to 1823 and again from 1837 to 1860, after which Mandalay, 11 km to the north, became capital. Amarapura was the site of the first British Embassy to Burma in 1795, and played host again to Tripe’s Mission.

Sayagyi U Nu’s teachings for moral values

At the age of seven yrs he studied together with young Bodaw Payah at the Royal Ava, Monastry (Sae Daw Phongyi Kyaung). Bodaw Paya appointed him as the head of a mission to India to retrieve books and scriptures. Actually he was sent as… the spy, disguising as the persons searching for the books and scriptures. He also got the contact with few city state kings in India, some of them sent some presents and requested the Burmese Army’s help to fight back the British.U Nu was later sent again as a spy to India by Bagyidaw who succeeded Bodawpaya. King Bodawpaya (1782–1819), with the help of U Nu’s Bengal team’s information and maps managed to capture the western kingdom of Rakhine, which had been largely independent since the fall of Bagan, in 1784. Bodawpaya also managed to formally annex Manipur, a rebellion-prone protectorate, in 1813.

Badon Min sent him to go to Bengal on 12 February 1807 to search and bring back religious, medical and other books.[45] King Mindon and King Thibaw’s Minister Naymyo Min Htin Kyaw Khaung’s grandfather Shwe Taung Thiri Sithu U Myae accompani…ed U Nu on that India trip.[46] The diplomatic group brought back various books, scriptures and presents from King Thargara and King Bayanathi. After the trip Shwe Taung Thargathu U Nu was rewarded by appointing as the Mayor ofYammar Waddy.[47] Buddha is believed to have achieved enlightenment in Bodhgaya in India while meditating under a banyan tree of the species Sacred Fig. The tree is known as Bodhi Tree. King Bodawpaya sent U Nu to India again to draw the map of the surrounding area and to bring back Buddhist Scriptures on 12 October 1808. In that expedition team, the Indians who came to Ava, Brahmans, Zayya Kyaw Thu, Zayya Kyaw Htin and Zayya Kyaw Swar accompanied U Nu.[48] The left Ava by taking Salin Pha Aing Dalet route to Danyawaddy and continued to Chittagong, Longipura Dacca , Muthu, Yaza Mayan, Ganges river and confluence with Asirawaty river, Damma Nagarat, Monkarit and Pathana town. Then they divided into two groups, one going to Bodhi Tree in Bodhgaya another to search and brought back books, scriptures and various memorabilia and presents for King Bodawpaya. They all arrived back Sagaing on 18 May 1810. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Saya_Gyi_U_Nu#Loyal_Royal_Service 

Amarapura palace (British Embassy Michael Syme...

Image via Wikipedia

U Nu had written 60 books but only 9 books were published.[21] King Bodawpaya or Badon Min recognized him as a poet and also appointed him as the Royal Custom Officer and Royal Purchasing Officer.[22] He became an Iman or an Islamic religio…us leader.[23]

1.At the age of 29 he finished translation into Burmese from Arabic, the “Islamic book in Eleven Chapters”,[24] where 150 Farḍ (فرض), plural Fara’id (فرأض) furud : a religious duty, or an obligatory action. He wrote about the list to do and to avoid in Islam.[25] Fard (Arabic: الفرض) also farida (Arabic: الفريضة) is an Islamic term which denotes a religious duty. The word is also used in Persian, Turkish, and Urdu (spelled farz) in the same meaning.
2.At 32 he finished the “Islamic book in Three Chapters” where he emphasized on Islamic Belief” or Basic concepts that Muslims must accept.[26]
3.“Diary on Bengal trip written as a poem.” [27][28][29][30][31][32][33]
4.At the age of 50 yr, he finished the “Islamic book in Six Chapters” [34]
5.At the age of 51 yr, he finished the, “Analysis of Philosophy (Panyat Khwetan) in 16 paragraph poem”. (1814) [35]
6.In 1176 A.D. He finished the “Saerajay Sharaei in 35 Chapters” This is famous in Burma amongst Muslims as “35 Chapters book” and wrote about various topics in Islam. Published in 1929 A.D. and named as the “Sirajay Shuraei or 35 Chapters book”. Second publish was in 1931 A.D. and renamed as the “Guardian of the Burmese-Muslim Race Oopanisha scripture.” [36] Saerajay Sharaei means the Light of Islam.[37] The slogan, “If the wrongs prevail, the Rightful path will disappear” was published in Burmese and Arabic.[38]
7.”Disciplinary teachings in Seven Paragraph Poems”. This book was printed and published as the appendix to the “35 Chapters book” 1st edition. We could see these poems in the Khone Min U Yit’s hand-written book. In the “Diary on Bengal trip written as a poem.” the poem number 39th paragraph 45 was actually referring these Seven Paragraph Poems.[39]
8.”Royal Report Book” was written in response or reply to Bodawpaya query about the various religions. U Nu’s book explained His Majesty about Islam.[40][41]
9.Golden book on Miraj (المعراج) (the Ascension to the Seven Heavens during the Night Journey).[42] Published based on three slightly different versions hand written books.
10.Other poems [43]
Early Summer Days
Southern Island Eugene in Six Chapters
Sacred Southern Island in Thirty Five Chapters
Southern Island Depa in Thirty Five Chapters
Let me report to the Royal Highness in Eleven Chapters
Poems Praising the Royal Highness

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5 Responses to “Burmese Muslims during Amarapura Kings era”

  1. My friends « Dr Ko Ko Gyi’s Blog Says:

    […] Burmese Muslims during Amarapura Kings era (drkokogyi.wordpress.com) […]

  2. Burmese king’s palace in India gets makeover « Dr Ko Ko Gyi’s Blog Says:

    […] Burmese Muslims during Amarapura Kings era (drkokogyi.wordpress.com) […]

  3. Thura Aung (Nyi Nyi) Says:

    I had a question. Where did you get this history about Islam in Burma? One of the main reason I asked is because I am looking for information on Hninzi (rose) Saya Gyi’s history and also on a person named U Pho Tu who was supposedly a pathan royal interpreter for the King Thibaw or maybe Mindon. I think that U Pho Tu was some how related to Bo Khan sab. I may be wrong ofcourse. U Pho Tu’s two sons’ last names were Khan. Anyway, long comment. Sorry.

  4. 100 year anniversary of Myanmar Chinese Muslim’s “PANTHAY Masjid” in Mogyoke « lumyochit Says:

    […] Burmese Muslims during Amarapura Kings era (drkokogyi.wordpress.com) […]

  5. Pho Thu Daw Says:

    This is very good compilation of the Burmese Muslims during Amarapura Royal Dynasty. I was following with interest about the history and there is some piece of information missing about King Mindon’s donation of Bamar Zayat (Robat) near the Grand Mosque (Kaba). As far as I recall, the Saudi Kings made several requests to the Burmese Government during Ne Win’s era, and the Burmese authorities remain indifferent. This info should fit into the history timeline, somewhere.

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