Yousuf Shah Chak (Urdu; یُوسف شاہ چک) was a ruler of Kashmir. He was the successor of his father Ali Shah Chak and ruled Kashmir from 1579 to 1586 AD.
Chak is a well-known clan / gotra (52 गोत्र) among the modern Kamboj. The Chaks of Kashmir are not its original inhabitants but are known to have migrated there from Daradistan. Since in ancient times, the Daradas and Kambojas were next-door neighbours in the cis-Hindukush region, it is very likely that Yusuf Chak, the ruler of Kashmir and his dynasty, could be traceable to an ancient clan of the Kambojas living as neighbours to the Daradas in/around Kashmir. It is a known fact of history that ancient Kambojas had ruled over Kashmir during and prior to epic times. So, it is very possible that the Chaks of Kashmir may not be of Daradic origin but rather may have come from Kamboja background.
Yusuf Shah Chak the last independent Muslim ruler of the Valley. The Chaks suffered sectarian divisions with the main Sunni segment of the tribe led by Regi Chak and Shams Chak, and Nurbakhshiya Sufis, that some have described as an offshoot of Shiism. The Chaks were recent converts to Islam during this period and maintained names such as Shankar, Pandu, Lankar, etc. While smaller in number, the Nurbakshiya Sufi Chaks included the leaning of Ghazi Shah Chak, Ali Shah Chak, and the Yousuf Shah Chak. They were formidable and ferocious fighters of huge structure and soundly defeated the great Mughal Emperor Akbar twice and that too with a much smaller army. Some disgruntled Kashmiri nobles were often pushing Akbar to annex Kashmir.
Yousuf Shah Chak sought refuge in Sialkot, before he was brought to Delhi for talks with Akbar. Akbar's forces betrayed Yousuf, and imprisoned him for the rest of his life. It is narrated that Habba Khatoon, Yousuf's love interest and a well-known poetess of Kashmir, had opposed Yousuf's travel to Delhi, for she sensed Akbar's offer as bait. She later made mentions of this in her writings. Chaks successfully resisted the attempts of Babur and Humayun to annex Kashmir.[non-primary source needed]
Yusuf was succeeded by his son Yakub Shah Chak (a great warrior as well) who ruled Kashmir for three years until 1589 AD when it was annexed to Mughal Empire by Akbar. Tomb of Kashmir's last Muslim ruler lies in ruins at Nalanda Yusuf Shah Chak, the last independent Muslim Ruler of Kashmir Valley, is buried in Nalanda and his tomb is in disrepair and unprotected. Updated: Aug 07, 2019 13:02 IST By Reena Sopam, Hindustan Times Patna. Yousuf was exiled to Bengal and later shifted to Bihar where he died. His grave remains in Bihar while Habba Khatoon's lies in Athwajan, Jammu and Kashmir.