Parents: Said bin Sultan, sultan of Muscat and Oman
Date of Birth: 1837
Spouse: Sultana bin Ahmed bin Muhammad Al-Sudairi, then Iffat Al-Thunayan
Reign: 1870 – 1888
Summary: Not much is known about Barghash's childhood. He was sent into exile from Zanzibar in 1859 after the Shortest War broke out and Barghash and the sultan, Majid, fought for control of the state. It was resolved when an English gunboat decided on the side of Majid, forcing Barghash to live in India for two years. Barghash became sultan eleven years later upon the death of his brother.
When he ascended the throne, he immediately imprisoned his brother, Khalifah, out of fear that he may rise up against Barghash. He only released his brother three years later when a sister threatened him with a curse if Khalifah not be released. Barghash was the last independent rulers of Zanzibar before colonialism took its toll. He ended slavery in the state after an agreement with the United Kingdom and he expanded the infrastructure of the state, expanding piping, building public bathhouses, creating a police force, paving roads, and erecting administrative and public service buildings. But the dominion of Zanzibar was coming to an end by the later years of his reign. Germany annexed great lands surrounding Zanzibar, taking tributary states away from Zanzibar and threatening control over the country. By 1886, Germany and the United Kingdom had limited the sultan's control to a 10-mile strip of land between Mozambique and the Tana River. Germany soon reneged on the treaty in order to secure sea access through Zanzibar. Barghash fortunately died before Germany took control over the country late in 1888 and prompted the start of a short war which saw Germany take direct control over the Zanzibar government. The sultan was succeeded by his brother, Khalifah. Within two years, Germany had abandoned the state to Britain which retained control until 1963.
Date of Death: 26 March 1888
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