This article examines the history of Gujarat-Red Sea relations in the first quarter of a century after the Ottoman conquest of the Hijaz, in the light of Arabic narrative sources that have hitherto been largely neglected. While earlier historians have made use of both Ottoman and Portuguese archives in this context, we return here to the chronicles of Mecca itself, which prove to be an unexpectedly interesting and rich source on the matter. Our main interest is in the figure of Jarullah ibn Fahd and his extensive annalistic work, Nayl al-munā. A good part of our analysis will focus on the events of the 1530s, and the dealings of Sultan Bahadur Shah Gujarati's delegation to the Ottomans, headed by ‘Abd al-‘Aziz Asaf Khan. But we shall also look at the longer history of contacts, and conclude with brief remarks on the relevance of the career of the celebrated Gujarati-Hijazi intellectual, Qutb al-Din Muhammad Nahrawali. We thus hope to add another important, concrete dimension to our understanding of India's location in the early modern Indian Ocean world, as a tribute to the career and contribution of David Washbrook, our friend and colleague.
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