The light of Islam: Tipu Sultan as a practising Muslim

On Tipu Sultan’s tomb in Seringapatam, it is recorded in phrases which commemorate by the Abjad system the date of his death. The words are ‘ Nur Islam wa din z’ dunya raft ‘ i.e. ‘The light of Islam and the faith left the world’. Another phrase there is ‘Tipu ba wajah din Muhammad shahid shud’ i.e. ‘Tipu on account of the faith of Muhammad was a martyr’. These phrases are supposed to represent the year 1213 Hijri, corresponding with A.D. 1799. The inscription was composed by Mir Husein Ali, and was written by Abd-ul-Kadir.

The muslims of the subcontinent and especially of the Deccan term Tipu Sultan as a Hazrath as well as Shaheed. The title ‘Shaheed’ or Martyr is understandable as Tipu died fighting on the battlefield. However the title ‘Hazrath’ or ‘ Respectful one’ has through history been reserved for only the most important as well as pious Muslim personalities. Prominent among the Hazraths are the early Caliphs of Islam as well as the great Sufi saints of India.

Walk into any Muslim gathering of laymen in say Bangalore or Hyderabad and when asked about Tipu, the answers that strike you are not of his martial or administrative prowess, not even of his foreign policy and scientific bent of mind, but rather statements like here was one who did not miss even one Namaz in his lifetime or here was one who ran a perfect and model Islamic state that should be the ideal of Muslims from India to the hills of the Pyrenees.

I am often asked by my Muslim brothers, usually from India and Pakistan, if Tipu was a Sunni or a Shia. Some even associate him with even stricter forms of Islam like Wahabism. So, the purpose of this post is to throw light upon Tipu’s personal faith and his practise of Islam. I will only discuss Tipu here with respect to his Islamic belief and will not dwell upon his very cordial relationship with non-muslim religions and communities as that is another topic by itself.

But before this let us understand the peculiar socio-religious culture of 18th century India. This was a time when Islam in Southern India had developed a regional character absorbing elements of local belief and practise. Though the community subscribed to the fundamental Islamic precepts, there was no united definition of what was truly Islamic or orthodox. The dargahs or shrines of Sufi saints were revered by Muslims and Hindus alike.

Tipu Sultan’s earliest recorded ancestor as per Kirmani’s ‘History of Tipu Sultan’ was Shaikh Wali Muhammad who was supposed to have come to Gulbarga from Delhi along with his son Muhammad Ali during the reign of Muhammad Adil Shah (1626-56) of Bijapur. He was a religious man, and attached himself to the shrine of Sadruddin Husaini, commonly known as Gesudaraz Bande Nawaz, and was given a monthly allowance for subsistence. Gesudaraz Bande Nawaz was among the most prominent Sufi saints of the Deccan. Tipu’s ancestors, being Sunni Muslims themselves had even at that time decided to adopt the path of the Sufis.

Another anonymous version of Tipu’s ancestry is preserved in Karnama-i-Haidari where the origin of the family is traced to one Hasan b. Yahya, a Quraish of the same clan as Prophet Muhammad. Hasan b. yahya was the Sharif of Mecca. However it is possible that this pedigree may have been manufactured to bolster up the dynastic source of Haidar and Tipu. The manuscript mentions one Hasan b. Ibrahim, who sixth in descent from Yahya, emigrated to India after losing in business and began to live in Ajmer with the caretaker of the shrine of Khwaja Muinuddin Chishti and married his daughter. Nonetheless, both these sources bolster the fact that Tipu’s family origins were Sunni. And what strikes us here is that both sources attach the family members to 2 prominent Sufi mystics of India – Khwaja Muinuddin Chishti of Delhi and later Khwaja Bandanawaz Gesudaraz of Gulbarga.

Tipu’s father Haidar Ali himself relied upon a Sufi called Khaki Shah Wali who was a ‘Soldier saint’ in the army of Haidar Ali. Khaki Shah was killed in 1770, during the 1st Anglo-Mysore war and his dargah in Kolar was apparently constructed by both Haidar and Tipu. Tipu also maintained close contact with Muslim holy men all over the South.One whom Tipu frequently kept in touch with was ‘Boodhun Shah Kadiry’. Sufi saints like Khwaja Gesudaraz also featured prominently in Tipu’s dreams.  Dreams 6, 8, 15, 30 and 31 in Tipu’s book of Dreams relate to Sufi saints.

Tipu Sultan’s fascination with Sufism is also evident from the number and choice of books in his library. Charles Stewart in ‘A descriptive catalogue of the oriental library of the late Tippoo Sultan ‘ lists 115 books on Sufism in Tipu Sultan’s library, preceded only by 190 books on poetry and 118 books on history. Relative to this, books on the Koran and Hadith number only 90.

Tipu also had respect for the Shia adherents of Islam. Muharram, the Shiite festival of mourning was celebrated in Seringapatam and was a noisy, boisterous affair. Peixote has left us an account of it’s celebrations in 1771: ‘figures …walking in the street in fantastic postures, and dancing about grotesquely in long paper caps, painted in various ways; whilst others were bedaubed with ashes and other filth, and resembled monsters from the infernal regions’. Clearly Muharram celebrations in Seringapatam was not the average European’s cup of tea. Haidar had requested that the celebrations be less boisterous but on the fourth day the mourners could no longer restrain themselves and broke out. Amused, Haidar ordered alms to be given.

Following the spirit of his father, Tipu also observed the festival of Muharram. In a letter to Mohammad Baig Khan Hamdani in October 1786 following the capture of Adoni, Tipu writes of his decision to chastise the army of the Peshwa and the Nizam after celebrating the festival of Muharram. The Shias were well represented across all levels in his administration and army. The author of Tipu’s manual on military conduct, Fath ul-Mujahidin was Zein ul Abid ul Deen, a Shia Muslim.

Tipu held great veneration for Ali – the son-in-law of the prophet and the fourth Caliph. Ali was regarded by the Shiites as being the true successor to the Prophet Muhammad.  Invocations to Ali were inscribed upon Tipu’s weapons as well as the epithet ‘asad-allah-ul-ghalib’ used for Ali was extensively used by Tipu to portray his state and it’s departments. A battalion of his crack troops – the Asad-ilahis was named in honor of Ali. Tipu’s embassy to Constantinople in 1786 was given as one of it’s tasks soliciting permission from the Ottoman Sultan to arrange for the building of a canal, with funds provided by Mysore, from the Euphrates to Najaf, primarily for the benefit of pilgrims, predominantly Shia, visiting Ali’s burial place. Tipu also sent a mission to Shia Iran in 1798 with presents for Fath Ali Khan, the Shah of Iran. The mission was well received and the Shah proposed a return mission to Seringapatam. Unfortunately, the mission only reached Seringapatam after the death of Tipu.

However, the most important clue to the question if Tipu Sultan was Shia or Sunni was given by himself through his coinage. The coins of Tipu Sultan, a topic of discussion by itself were the most impressive in calligraphy, method of manufacture as well as precious metal content among all the contemporary Indian rulers of the time, including the Mughal monarch at Delhi.

The Gold and silver coins of Tipu are called after the Muslim saints, Khalifas in the former coins and Imams in the latter, while copper coins, with the single exception of the first name for the double paisa, which is that of a Khalifa, bear the Arabic or Persian names of stars.

The coins and their names are as follows:
1. Ahmadi: Equivalent to 4 pagodas which was the standard gold coin weighing about 3.4 grams , this gold coin is named after ‘Ahmad’, the ‘most praised’; one of the names of the Prophet Mohammad himself.
2. Sadiqi or Siddiqi: Equivalent to 2 pagodas, named after Abu Bakr ‘Saidiq’ – ‘the just’, who was the first Khalifa.
3. Faruqi: The pagoda named after Omar ‘Faruq’ – ‘the Timid’, the name of the second Khalifa.
4. Haidari: The double rupee, silver coin named after Haidar, ‘a lion’, the designation of Ali who was both the fourth Khalifa and the first Imam.
5. Imami: The rupee, silver coin whose name is derived from the word ‘Imam’, ‘leader’, no doubt intended to stand for the twelve Imams.
6. Abidi: The half rupee, silver coin with name derived from Ali Zain al Abidin, the fourth of the twelve Imams.
7. Baqiri: The quarter rupee, a silver coin with the name taken from Muhammad al Baqir, Muhammad the Great, the fifth Imam.
8. Jafari: The one-eighths rupee, silver coin with name derived from Jafar al Sadiq, Jafar the Just, the sixth Imam.
9. Kazimi: The one-sixteenth rupee, silver coin named after Musa al Kazimi, Musa the Silent, the seventh Imam.
10. Othmani: The double paisa, a large copper coin, commemorates Othman the third Khalifa.

The nomenclature of these coins is very important and this provides us a glimpse into Tipu Sultan’s religious leanings. But again, for this we should know something about the Khalifas, Imams and their importance to the Shia and Sunni sects of Islam.

According to Sunni teaching, Muhammad left the process of determining who would succeed him to the Muslim community to decide by consensus. The community chose the Prophet’s close companion Abu Bakr, a man known for his devotion and discernment. The next three caliphs were also former companions of the Prophet. Because of their direct connection to Muhammad and his teaching, Sunni Muslims call his first successors the “rightly guided” caliphs. After the passing of the fourth caliph, Muhammad’s son-in-law Ali, the caliphate’s authority became more political than religious.

But Shiite belief disputes the validity of the first three Khalifas, Abu Bakr, Omar and Othman and the lines of authority diverge after the passing of the fourth, Ali. This stance is what gives this branch of Islam its name, from “Shiat Ali,” the faction or partisans of Ali. According to Shiite teaching, the proper line of succession went through Muhammad’s family, not community consensus. In this view, the first legitimate successor was Ali, whom they regard as the first in the line of infallible and sinless successors referred to as imams.

On Tipu’s coinage, starting from the name of the Prophet Mohammad, we see the appearance of the names of all the Khalifas as well as many among the twelve Imams. No Shia ruler would place the names of the first three Khalifas on his coins. This would amount to blasphemy. The fact that the names of Abu Bakr, Omar and Othman appear prominently on Tipu’s coinage gives credence to the fact that Tipu Sultan was definitely not a Shia Muslim. The next question that springs to our mind is, if Tipu was Sunni, why are the names of the Imams prominent on his coins. The answer for this lies in the fact that Sunni theology, while not giving the same prominence to the Imams do not discount or disrespect them either. So Tipu Sultan was very much within his sectarian boundary and belief when he figured the names of the Imams on his coinage.

And in this act of his, his tolerance for the Shia sect of Islam is apparent. Mysore contained a good number of Shia Muslims and Tipu included their Imams on his coins to let them know that they were an important part of his subjects as well in the same way as Tipu’s depiction of the elephant on all his copper coins in spite of Islam strictly prohibiting the depiction of images was a signal to his Hindu subjects that the ancient traditions of Mysore would be respected and carried on.

Yes, Tipu was certainly an observant Muslim and would spend time every day reading the Koran and was particular with all the ritual and obligations expected of a Muslim. He was always sober and reserved when it came to participation in gala dinners unlike his father. That being said he was no prude as is sometimes made of him. While Kirmani mentions ‘ His (Tipu) main aim and object was, however, the encouragement and protection of the Muhammaddan religion, and the religious rules of the Sunni sect,and he not only abstained from all forbidden practices, but he strictly prohibited his servants from their commission’, he also mentions that ‘For the sake of recreation (tafnan), as is the custom of men of high rank, he sometimes witnessed dancing.’ Making and consuming arrack was prohibited in Tipu’s Mysore, however he allowed the French to consume liquor, even in the capital city of Seringapatam. Tipu life long remained steadfast in his belief on astrology and was particular on wearing holy talismans like rings set with jewels varying every day in colour according to the course of the seven stars as well as wearing  turbans with holy Islamic  quartrains embroidered on them and dipped in the waters of the holy ‘Zam Zam’ stream in Mecca. 

He did not tolerate Muslims who he felt were becoming a danger to Mysore’s religious plurality on account of their excess zeal to religion. Here we shall study Tipu’s reaction to two overtly-expressive groups among the muslims – the Mahdavis and the Wahabis. Initially, Tipu granted complete freedom of worship and belief to the Mahdavis, but the Mahdavis grew more assertive and this started to create fissures in the Muslim society in Mysore. The Mahdavis were in the habit of praying very loudly and Tipu knew that this would disturb other muslims engaged in prayer, leading to trouble. He organised tents and other facilities to the Mahdavis at a distance away from the city where they could assemble for prayer. However the Mahdavis refused this and one night, 3000 of them began to celebrate their rites. Tipu was greatly incensed at this act of indiscipline and exiled the whole community out of Mysore. This did prove costly to Tipu later as the Mahdavis enmasse, joined the Nizam and accompanied him while  invading Mysore on the eve of the forth Anglo-Mysore war.

As for the Wahabis, Tipu did not tolerate them at all and in his letter to the Ottoman Sultan who ruled over the Middle East, dated 10 February, 1799 he writes-‘Accordingly, having lately been informed of the excessive commotions excited by the son of Abdool Wahaub, in the neighbourhood of Mecca the holy, I immediately addressed letters to the supreme minister Yoosuf Vizier, to the sharif of Mecca, and the servants of the holy receptacle (the Holy Kaaba) purporting, that it was my intention to send a considerable force under the command of one of my approved sons..’ So, the venom being spread by the Wahabis then (and today by the followers of this ideology the world over from the Saudi ruling dynasty to Osama bin laden to the military despots ruling Sudan and the terrorists in Chechnya and Afghanistan) was countered by Tipu with an offer to send against them an army of his troops led by his son himself.

All in all, Tipu was a Sunni muslim and a follower of the Sufi path. He was very considerate to the Shias and did not spare the intolerant Wahabis. He followed an Islamic belief that was Middle Eastern in doctrine but very South Indian in practise.

Note:

It was my good friend, Adnan Rashid , Head of the Hittin Institute, London who pointed me in the direction of firmly establishing Tipu Sultan’s Sunni belief from his coinage. Though I have been a student of Mysore numismatics for over fifteen years now, the message of Shia-Sunni unity that Tipu wished to convey through his coinage had escaped me. I had certainly missed the forest for the trees.

References:

Tipu Sultan’s search for legitimacy, Kate Brittlebank

A review of the origin, progress and result of the decisive war with the late Tippoo Sultaun, James Salmond

History of Tipu Sultan, M.H.A. Khan Kirmani

History of Tipu Sultan, Mohibbul Hasan

A Descriptive catalogue of the oriental library of the late Tippoo Sultan, Charles Stewart

The Dreams of Tipu Sultan, Mahmud Husain (Trans.)

The coins of Haidar Ali and Tipu Sultan, J.R. Henderson

About Olikara

An engineer, history buff, collector of South Indian antiques.
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28 Responses to The light of Islam: Tipu Sultan as a practising Muslim

  1. Meera says:

    Well researched and a delight to read.

  2. Minoy says:

    Spent a few wonderful hours today reading this blog… it is so very well written with so much intricate details and deep research… great body of scholarship and research Nidhi– I am a fan! congratulations and keep it going please.
    -minoy

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  4. Syed Abbas Hassan says:

    A very cearly thought out article covering almost every aspect; this has added greatly to my knowledge as, previously, i had read and believed that Tipu was a shia. i havent seen his tomb as i live in Pakistan but have heard from people that the names of 12 imams of shias are written on the walls or the dome of the tomb. Adiitonally, i have read in the Encyclopaedia of Shia Islam published from Iran that Tipu was shia. Can you shed some more light on this?

    • olikara says:

      Abbas,
      No, the tomb has no reference to the 12 Imams either on it or on the walls. The walls and dome only have bubris and floral-creeper decorations, no inscriptions or verses. The verses on the tomb are the ones cryptically mentioning his birthdate, the one I have narrated in my post. Verses from Iqbal’s ‘Javed Nama’ related to his meeting Tipu in Paradise are also seen on shawls over the grave.

      However since you seem to be interested in this topic, a number of the Shia Imams have been mentioned in koftgari calligraphy on Tipu’s arms of offence (swords).
      1. Sword (Meyrick Collection, British Museum) – Murtuza (Ali) the 1st Imam finds mention. THe following Imams, Hasan and Husain are also invoked here.
      2. Abbasi Talwar (Wallace Collection, London) – Reference to Hasan, Hussain and Ali again. Praise to Jafar the sixth Imam is mentioned in a bubri cartouche separately.
      3. Blue Steel-Hilted Sword (Powis Collection, UK) – Reference to 1st Imam Ali.
      4. Sword(Armeria Reale, Italy) – Reference to Ali.
      5. Sword (National Museum, Delhi) – Reference to Ali.

      These are the ones, I know of. There will be others dispersed elsewhere too. Whatever the Iranian Encyclopedia may claim, the fact is that he was a Sunni Muslim who also treated the Shia as equal.

      Thank you for stopping by.

      • abbas hassan says:

        Thanks Olikara

        Its a pleasure visitng a place where scholarly discussions are seen without emotion or prejudice. will look forward to receiving more infomation on such topics particularly related to the culture and heritage of our subcontinent.

        I would also like to put forth a question for discussion; the subcontinent saw centuries of peace and harmony among varying ehtnic and religious communities. what were the reasons which brought the people of India to part their ways just on the basis of religion and create 2 separate states. i am not sure if this is an appropriate forum to discuss this but seeing the sanity among the people here i thought may be some information and views could be gathered.

        Thanks all

      • olikara says:

        Dear Abbas,
        Thank you again. I would be more than delighted to be of any help whatsoever.
        As for why this country split into 2, it is outside the purview of this blog and this question has been debated by 3 generations now.
        I am no expert in the causes that led to it but can only assume it happened because people stopped using their own mind and began to give it on rent to others whose motives were ulterior.
        Cheers,
        N. Olikara

  5. Nazeer Ahmed Nishandar says:

    Hi Nidhin,

    Great research work buddy. Three cheers to you. Please keep up the very very very good work. Hats off to your depth of study and collection of very authentic info from several sources. Its great work. Nice to have met you and your family today at Bangalore Fort. Three cheers to Ms.Alia and her team (Meera and others) for conducting such a great event. Keep writing. Will be in touch thru my email.

  6. Syed Farhan says:

    Here you have wrongly said that the Mahdavis after being exiled they came back with Nizams and attacked Tippu Sultan in 1799.

    Fact: Tippu Sultan wanted Mahdavis to read the tasbih with low volume and sent a man to tell them that the sultan wished them be in low volume,But instead the man(messenger) asked the Mahdavis to be louder saying sultan wishes it.So that sultan got angry and exiled Mahdavis out of his Kingdom.This is what happened after which some Mahdavis settled in Bannur,Kirgaval,Mandya,Maddur,Channapatna.When Mahdavis of Channapatna were asked to reveal information about his secret tunnels ,army strength and etc they did not reveal any thing to them.But the British asked them to stay till they come after getting srirangapatna,they stood there.For this thing British asked Mahdavis what they needed, they said we need land for burial,water to drink and wood to cook our food.Hence British granted Mahdavis The Daira(circle) Lake,Kikerbun Jungle and Bada Hazeera and chota hazeera(Big and Small burial grounds).And land around to build houses and stay.The one who betrayed Tippu sultan was not Mahdavi/s but a sunni named Mir Sadiq.Who put water into Tippu’s gun powder stock and stopped Tippu sultan from entering srirangapatna.But the British did not reward this traitor ,instead they put melted copper into his eyes and ears.He cannot be called as Hazrat or Wali as he was a ruler who was indulged in worldly activities and not a saint.

    • Anonymous says:

      I back Nidhin’s views here. And I back it with a strong Mysoori air and reference. Please desist from concocting ill baked stories. As for the title of Hazrath, I dont understand what your version of Hazrath means but, please address our King as “Hazrath Tippu Sultan Shaheed (r.a)”.

  7. olikara says:

    Dear Syed,

    Whatever you say contradicts Kirmani’s and Mohibbul Hasan’s version of events.
    The Mahdivis constituted a very important section of Tipu’s subjects in the general population as well as in the army. It was none other than Mir Sadiq who was sent by Tipu as his emissary to tone down the religious ‘volume’ of the Mahdavis. And whatever Mir Sadiq, a Sunni, may have said to them, I am sure Tipu would not take such a rash decision to expel them enmasse just upon hearsay.

    In fact he exiled the Mahdavis as a group and imprisoned 2 of their leaders Mahtab Khan and Alam Khan. However, he excused the most prominent of their leaders Sayyid Muhammad Khan whom he respected greatly. But Sayyid Muhammad decided to leave Mysore anyway and took his family out and was later placed in confinement by Tipu. While Mahtab and Alam Khan were released in 1795, Sayyid Muhammad stayed in prison till 1799 and was released by the British only after their capture of Seringapatam.

    However, there is no doubt that the large majority of the Mahdivis, waged war upon Tipu after they were exiled. This is referred to in manuscripts namely, Mly. Cons. Feb 21, 1799, vol. 254a and Kirkpatrick to Wellesley Letters Jan 1799, ff 20b-22b. Jafar Khan, Tipus emissary to Constantinople in 1786 and a prominent Mahdivi leader and his 200 horsemen were coopted by the British on a monthly salary of Rs. 12500. And at the end of the war Jafar Khan and all the other prominent Mahdavi leaders were conferred with marks of favour by the British.

    In the end, I do not blame the Mahdavis for it in toto. Tipu should also have done his best to co-opt them into his system and try to live with the ‘peculiar’ religious practises of the Mahdavis. Unlike his father Haidar, who was very flexible where he saw his and Mysore’s benefit, Tipu was often stone-hearted and stuck to his own rigid extreme. And this particular prejudice of Tipu often stood in his way when it came to dealing with sections of his own people.

    As for if Tipu should be called a Hazrat or not, most people, Mohameddans mostly in Seringapatam prefer to call him so and I will let them live in peace.

  8. Waquar Abid says:

    Am your Fan already…way to go…3 cheers

  9. Abbas says:

    Dear All,
    It is really a nice blog..
    explain me the Coins of Tipu sultan which is defined by 12 imami..

    • olikara says:

      The imami was the name Tipu gave to his silver rupee.

      1 Imami = 1 Rupee (11.6 grams Silver)
      1 Haidari = 2 Imami
      1 Faruqi = 1 Haidari – The faruqi was a Gold coin also called a Pagoda those days by the British weighing 3.4 grams.
      1 Sadiqi = 2 Faruqi
      1 Ahmadi = 2 Sadiqi ( or 4 Pagodas or 8 rupees(Imamis)

      12 Imamis would have got you 1 Ahmadi and 1 Sadiqi both Gold coins weighing 13.6 and 6.8 grams respectively.

  10. Friend says:

    Hi Nidhi, what makes you have such a deep interest in this subject? Typically, such indulgences are past time of Muslims and cater to their nostalgia of past glory. This was very good reading. Btw, many years ago, I saw ‘Tipoo Sahib’s’ head gear, arms, dress and shoes etc, which apparently he wore at the time of his death, mounted on horseback at the Windsor castle; the size of the shoe (the indian slip-on with a curve at the front), as well as dress amazed me, it seemed to be an XXX5 size and was very big in size (I am myself close to 6 feet). Any comments?

    Keep up the good work.
    – A friend

    • Olikara says:

      Dear Nadeem,
      Thank you for the kind words. Body armour always looks large because of the heavy padding underneath. Age has also had a part in changing the size of his footwear.
      Tipu fascinates me because I stay in karnataka and his intellect, foresight, love for his country-Mysore are a lesson for all of us. He had many faults and let us learn from them too.
      -Nidhi

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  12. Ayan Aamir says:

    Assalamualekum Brother

    thanks for providing the beautiful details of Hazrat tippu sultan shaheed R.A ..i wanted to ask you where can i get or buy the book of “Tipu’s Dreams”

  13. Thanks for this blog. I spent many hours in it. Will come back soon.

  14. Sajad Hussain MIR says:

    thank you all for providing the information about the Legend, Past is past i request my brothers and sisters all over especially in India that what rulers have done to some people is bad and to some it is good .But that is past let us in the present time do good only and have good only so that in future over progeny feel proud of us.
    if you want win world i.e rule the world it can be with continuous efforts and love and affection only…..as per Alama Iqbal.
    i am weeping in my loneliness for the atrocities,brutalities ,killings, rape,kidnapping ,massacre,destruction done by man to man, man to woman, for what on this planet…
    let us open our eyes see how this universe is moving with respect and in submission to Allah/Ram/God…….

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  16. Syed Mehdi says:

    Siddiq-e-Akbar, maula Ali (A.S)
    Farooq e Azam, maula Ali (A.S)
    Haider, maula Ali (A.S)
    No doubt be was a Shia.

  17. syed rahman says:

    Dear sir iam Syed rahman from Bangalore sir I want to know that one of my forefather was tippus right hand and his name is Syed yaseen so kindly give me information about this thank u.

    • Olikara says:

      Syed Rahman: The Yaseen I am aware of was Haidar Ali’s close friend and actually saved Tipu’s life at risk to his own when Tipu was a prince. However I am not sure if this is the same Yaseen. Do you have any other information about your ancestor?

  18. Indian first says:

    Tipu was Shia.in india it is not possible to distinguish between the Shia and Sunni .and especially during that time it was literally impossible.he was from basically gulbarga which was predominantly Shia kingdom .Sunnis who respect Sufis are nothing but Shia.and no one hates wahhabis more than Shia.tipu kept his muslims crediatials very strong hence many belief that he was a Shia.just like Mohammed Ali Jinnah whom very few know was actually a shia.

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