Malwa had broken free from the Delhi Sultanate in the confusion following the invasion of Timur in 1398. In the century and a half that followed, Malwa history is a continual story of strife with Gujarat, Delhi and various forces in the Deccan. In 1531, Sultan Bahadur Shah of Gujarat annexed Malwa, but by 1535 he was forced to hand it over to Humayun as part of a peace treaty with the Mughal emperor. When Sher Shah deposed Humayun, the Malwa sultanate had a brief reconstitution, but the back and forth continued until Akbar in 1562 finally annexed Malwa for good into the Mughal empire.

The Malwa Sultanate issued a somewhat sophisticated system of coinage over its 150-year existence. First breaking off from the Delhi Sultanate, and later ruled by the Khilji Sultanate, Malwa minted coins that echoed the coins of those areas. Somewhat unusually for the time, many Malwa Sultanate coins are square, while others are round. Like other coins of the Islamic sultanates, Malwa coins feature no busts or other pictorial representations; they are designed purely with script.

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