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Bawarij were Sindhi pirates from Sindh that looted Arab shipping bound for the South Asia and China, they entirely converted to Islam during the rule of the Samma Dynasty (AD 1335–1520).[1] They are mentioned by Ma'sudi as frequenting the pirate den at Socotra and other scholars describes them as pirates and sailors of Sindh. Ibn Batuta describes them being warships with oars, fifty rowers, and fifty men-at-arms and wooden roofs to protect against arrows and stones. Tabari describes them in an attack upon Basra in 866 CE as having one pilot (istiyam), three fire-throwers (naffatun), a baker, a carpenter and thirty-nine rowers and fighters making up a complement of forty-five.[2]

These ships were unsuited for warlike maneuvers and lacked the sleek prows or ramming capabilities of other contemporary naval units, but were intended to provide for hand-to-hand battles for crew upon boarding.[1]

See also


  1. 1.0 1.1 Laurier, pg. 132
  2. Hourani pg. 114