Muzaffarids (Iran)

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Muzaffarids

آل مظفر
1314–1393
MuzaffaridDynastyofIranMapHistoryofIran.png
Map of the Muzaffarid dynasty at its greatest extent
Capital Shiraz
Common languages Arabic and Persian
GovernmentMonarchy
History 
 Established
1314
 Disestablished
1393
Preceded by
Succeeded by
Ilkhanate in 1256-1353.PNG Ilkhanate
InjuidsMapHistoryofIran.png Injuids
Blank.png Atabegs of Yazd
Timurid Empire TimuridEmpire1400.png

The Muzaffarid dynasty (Persian : مظفریان) was a Persian dynasty [1] of Arab origin [2] [3] [4] [lower-alpha 1] which came to power in Iran following the breakup of the Ilkhanate in the 14th century. At their zenith, they ruled a kingdom comprising Iranian Azerbaijan, Central Persia, and Persian Iraq.

Persian language Western Iranian language

Persian, also known by its endonym Farsi, is one of the Western Iranian languages within the Indo-Iranian branch of the Indo-European language family. It is primarily spoken in Iran, Afghanistan, and Tajikistan, Uzbekistan and some other regions which historically were Persianate societies and considered part of Greater Iran. It is written right to left in the Persian alphabet, a modified variant of the Arabic script.

Arabs are a population inhabiting the Arab world. They primarily live in the Arab states in Western Asia, North Africa, the Horn of Africa, and western Indian Ocean islands. They also form a significant diaspora, with Arab communities established around the world. Arabs are the world's second largest ethnic group.

Ilkhanate breakaway khanate of the Mongol Empire

The Ilkhanate, also spelled Il-khanate, was established as a khanate that formed the southwestern sector of the Mongol Empire, ruled by the Mongol House of Hulagu. It was founded in the 13th century and was based primarily in Iran as well as neighboring territories, such as present-day Azerbaijan and the central and eastern parts of present-day Turkey. The Ilkhanate was originally based on the campaigns of Genghis Khan in the Khwarazmian Empire in 1219–24 and was founded by Hulagu Khan, son of Tolui and grandson of Genghis Khan. With the fragmentation of the Mongol Empire after 1259 it became a functionally separate khanate. At its greatest extent, the state expanded into territories that today comprise most of Iran, Iraq, Armenia, Azerbaijan, Georgia, Turkmenistan, Turkey, western Afghanistan, and the Northwestern edge of the Indian sub-continent. Later Ilkhanate rulers, beginning with Ghazan in 1295, converted to Islam.

Contents

Rise to power

The Muzaffarids were originally from Arabia and had settled in Khorasan from the beginning of Caliphal rule there. They stayed in Khorasan up until the Mongol invasion of that province, at which point they fled to Yazd. Serving under the Il-Khans, they gained prominence when Sharaf al-Din Muzaffar was made governor of Maibud. He was tasked with crushing the robber-bands that were roaming around the country.

Greater Khorasan historical region of Persia

Khorasan, sometimes called Greater Khorasan, is a historical region lying in northeast of Greater Persia, including part of Central Asia and Afghanistan. The name simply means "East, Orient" and loosely includes the territory of the Sasanian Empire north-east of Persia proper. Early Islamic usage often regarded everywhere east of so-called Jibal or what was subsequently termed 'Iraq Ajami', as being included in a vast and loosely-defined region of Khorasan, which might even extend to the Indus Valley and Sindh. During the Islamic period, Khorasan along with Persian Iraq were two important territories. The boundary between these two was the region surrounding the cities of Gurgan and Qumis. In particular, the Ghaznavids, Seljuqs and Timurids divided their empires into Iraqi and Khorasani regions.

Caliphate Islamic form of government

A caliphate is an Islamic state under the leadership of an Islamic steward with the title of caliph, a person considered a religious successor to the Islamic prophet Muhammad and a leader of the entire ummah (community). Historically, the caliphates were polities based in Islam which developed into multi-ethnic trans-national empires. During the medieval period, three major caliphates succeeded each other: the Rashidun Caliphate (632–661), the Umayyad Caliphate (661–750) and the Abbasid Caliphate (750–1258). In the fourth major caliphate, the Ottoman Caliphate, the rulers of the Ottoman Empire claimed caliphal authority from 1517. During the history of Islam, a few other Muslim states, almost all hereditary monarchies, have claimed to be caliphates.

Yazd City in Iran

Yazd, formerly also known as Yezd, is the capital of Yazd Province, Iran. The city is located 270 km (170 mi) southeast of Esfahan. At the 2011 census, the population was 529,673, and it is currently 15th largest city in Iran. Since 2017, the historical city of Yazd is recognized as a World Heritage Site by UNESCO.

Sharaf al-Din's son, Mubariz al-Din Muhammad, was brought up at the Il-Khan's court but returned to Maibud upon the death of the Il-Khan Öljeitü. In around 1319 he overthrew the atabeg of Yazd and was subsequently recognized as governor of the city by the central Il-Khan government. Following this he began fighting against the Neguderis, a Mongol tribal group. He managed to face this crisis with a minimum of loss.[ citation needed ]

Mubariz al-Din Muhammad (1301-1358), was the founder of the Muzaffarid dynasty, ruling from 1314 to 1358. He was born to a family of distant Arab origin which settled in Khurasan during the Islamic conquest. He was the son of Sharaf al-Din Muzaffar, a servant of the Ilkhanids and on his father's death in 1314 Mubariz inherited his father's offices.

Atabeg, Atabek, or Atabey is a hereditary title of nobility of a Turkic origin, indicating a governor of a nation or province who was subordinate to a monarch and charged with raising the crown prince. The first instance of the title's use was with early Seljuk Turks who bestowed it on the Persian vizier Nizam al-Mulk It was later used in the Kingdom of Georgia, first within the Armeno-Georgian family of Mkhargrdzeli as a military title and then within the house of Jaqeli as princes of Samtskhe.

In the wake of the loss of Il-Khan authority in central Iran following the death of Abu Sa'id (Ilkhanid dynasty), Mubariz al-Din continued to carry out his expansionary policy. In 1339 or 1340 he invaded the province of Kirman and seized it from its Mongol governor, Qutb al-Din b. Nasir. Kutb al-Din was able to retake the province for a short time after receiving aid from the Kartid dynasty of Herat, but Mubariz al-Din permanently gained control of Kirman in late 1340. The city of Bam was besieged and conquered a few years after this.

Herat City in Afghanistan

Herāt is the third-largest city of Afghanistan. It has a population of about 436,300, and serves as the capital of Herat Province, situated in the fertile valley of the Hari River in the western part of the country. It is linked with Kandahar, Kabul, and Mazar-i-Sharif via Highway 1 or the ring road. It is further linked to the city of Mashhad in neighboring Iran through the border town of Islam Qala, and to Mary in Turkmenistan to the north through the border town of Torghundi.

Bam, Iran City in Kerman, Iran

Bam is a city and capital of Bam County, Kerman Province, Iran. At the 2006 census, its population was 73,823, in 19,572 families.

After the conquest of Kirman, Mubariz al-Din became a rival of the neighboring Injuids, who controlled Shiraz and Isfahan. Although the Muzaffarids and Injuids had traditionally been on friendly terms with one another, the Injuid Abu Esshaq's desire to gain Kirman led him to start a drawn-out conflict with the Muzaffarids in 1347. He unsuccessfully besieged Yazd (1350–1351), after which his fortunes declined rapidly. Defeated on the field in 1353, Abu Esshaq was forced to take refuge in Shiraz and finally surrender. He managed to escape from Shiraz and fled to Isfahan, but Mubariz al-Din pursued him, took the city and executed the Injuid ruler. Fars and western Iran were now under his control.

Injuids former country

The House of Inju was a Shia dynasty of Mongol origin that came to rule over the Persian cities of Shiraz and Isfahan during the 14th century AD. Its members became de facto independent rulers following the breakup of the Ilkhanate until their defeat in 1357.

With the destruction of Injuid authority, the Muzaffarids were the strongest power in central Iran, and Shiraz was made their capital. Mubariz al-Din's strength was such that when the khan of the Golden Horde, Jani Beg, sent an offer to become his vassal, he was able to decline. In fact, he pushed on into Azerbaijan, which Jani Beg had conquered in 1357. He defeated the khan's governor Akhichuq and occupied Tabriz, but realized that he could not hold his position against the Jalayirid troops marching from Baghdad and soon retreated. The Jalayirids would therefore maintain a hold on Tabriz, despite further attempts by the Muzaffarids to take it.

Golden Horde Mongol Khanate

The Golden Horde was originally a Mongol and later Turkicized khanate established in the 13th century and originating as the northwestern sector of the Mongol Empire. With the fragmentation of the Mongol Empire after 1259 it became a functionally separate khanate. It is also known as the Kipchak Khanate or as the Ulus of Jochi.

Jani Beg Khan of the Golden Horde

Jani Beg also called Djanibek Khan was a khan of the Golden Horde from 1342 to 1357, succeeding his father Öz Beg Khan.

Tabriz City in Iran

Tabriz is the most populated city in northwestern Iran, one of the historical capitals of Iran and the present capital of East Azerbaijan province. It is the sixth most populous city in Iran. Located in the Quru River valley, in Iran's historic Azerbaijan region, between long ridges of volcanic cones in the Sahand and Eynali mountains, Tabriz's elevation ranges between 1,350 and 1,600 metres above sea level. The valley opens up into a plain that gently slopes down to the eastern shores of Lake Urmia, 60 kilometres to the west. With cold winters and temperate summers, Tabriz is considered a summer resort. It was named World Carpet Weaving City by the World Crafts Council in October 2015 and Exemplary Tourist City of 2018 by the Organisation of Islamic Cooperation.

Mubariz al-Din was known as a cruel ruler, and soon afterwards 1358, his son Shah Shoja blinded and imprisoned him. A temporary reconciliation was reached, but it failed to last and he died, again in prison, in 1363.

Reign of Shah Shoja

Tomb of Shah Shoja in Shiraz, Iran. Shah Shuja Shiraz2.JPG
Tomb of Shah Shoja in Shiraz, Iran.

Shah Shoja proved to be a less of a tyrannic figure, but he was constantly fighting with his brothers, causing a long period of instability. In 1363 he marched against his first brother Shah Mahmud, who had been given control of Isfahan, although a peace was soon brokered. In the following year however, Shah Mahmud, with the support of his father-in-law Shaikh Uvais of the Jalayirids, invaded Fars and captured Shiraz. Shah Shoja would not be able to reconquer his capital until 1366. Shah Mahmud would continue to play and influential role in Iranian politics, using his marriage alliance to claim Tabriz from the Jalayirids after Shaikh Uvais died in 1374. He occupied the city but soon gave up after he was struck by illness. He died the next year, allowing Shah Shoja to occupy Isfahan.

Shah Shoja then marched on Tabriz himself, but was forced to turn back when internal conditions in Fars deteriorated. His second brother Shah Muzaffar's son, Shah Yahya, rose in revolt in Isfahan. Having to make peace with the Jalayirids, Shah Shoja offered to marry his son Zain Al-Abidin to a sister of the Jalayirid ruler Husain. The Jalayirids refused the offer and invaded, although Shah Shoja managed to prevent them from getting any further than Sultaniyya. Before dying in 1384, he named his son Zain al-Abidin his successor and his third brother 'Imad ad-Din Ahmad as governor of Kirman. Not satisfied with the arrangement, Shah Yahya advanced against Shiraz, but was expelled from Isfahan by the city's populace and was forced to flee to Yazd. On his deathbed, Shah Shoja wrote a letter to Timur, who was then campaigning in Azerbaijan, in which he gave his sons' loyalty to the conqueror.

Mozaffari decline

When Zain Al-Abidin succeeded his father, he quickly ignored the declaration of loyalty. Timur therefore marched into the Muzaffarid lands. He came to Isfahan, where the governor gave him control of the city, but a rebellion in the city killed any goodwill Timur had, resulting in a slaughter of the populace. Zain Al-Abidin fled from Shiraz in an attempt to make it to the Jalayirids in Baghdad, who were enemies of Timur. However, he encountered Shah Yahya's brother Shah Mansur, who imprisoned him. Shiraz soon fell to Timur. Shah Mansur and 'Imad ad-Din Ahmad, along with other Muzaffarid princes, went to Shiraz to declare their loyalty, whereupon Timur restored them to their positions. The conqueror soon after returned to Transoxiana; Shiraz was given to Shah Yahya.

Unfortunately, the Mozaffarids soon began to resume their local feuding. Shah Mansur began by expelling Shah Yahya from Shiraz, whereupon Shah Yahya again fled to Yazd. Shah Mansur then conquered Abarquh, but failed to take Isfahan. Meanwhile, Zain al-Abidin escaped from prison and reached Isfahan. An alliance was then formed between Zain al-Abidin, Shah Yahya and 'Imad ad-Din Ahmad against Shah Mansur. The alliance proved to be unstable, however, and when they met Shah Mansur's army at Furg, Shah Yahya failed to show and 'Imad ad-Din Ahmad quickly retreated. The latter met Shah Mansur again, this time at Fasa, but lost and was captured in Ray. He was blinded and imprisoned. Shah Mansur then approached Kirman, where Sultan Ahmad and Shah Yahya had gone after the events at Furg. He offered a common alliance against Timur, but was rebuffed and thereafter returned to Shiraz.

Timur, who while campaigning elsewhere took note of these events, decided in 1392 that a campaign against Shah Mansur was in order. Shah Mansur gained the Sarbadar Muluk as his ally; Muluk was sent to defend Kashan and the Mozaffarid northern front. By March 1393 Timur had advanced down to Shushtar and Dizful, installing a Sarbadar as governor there. He also freed 'Imad-Din Ahmad from imprisonment. Shah Mansur fled Shiraz, but then turned around and met Timur's forces. With an army weakened by desertions, he fought bravely but was forced to retreat. Attempting to reach Shiraz, he was captured by forces of prince Shah Rukh and was decapitated. The other Muzaffarid princes then again swore alliegence to Timur. They were received honorably by the conqueror, but on May 22 in Qumisha they were executed. Only Zain al-Abidin and Sultan Shibli (another son of Shah Shoja) survived the purge; they were sent to Samarkand.

Muzaffarid rulers

See also

Notes

  1. MUZAFFARIDS, one of the successor dynasties which arose in Kirman, Fars and Irak-i 'Adjam following the disintegration of the Ilkhanid empire. Their ancestor, Ghiyath al-Din al-Hadjdji, was allegedly a member of an Arab family from Khwaf, in Khurasan... [5]

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References

  1. http://referenceworks.brillonline.com/entries/encyclopaedia-of-islam-1/muzaffarids-SIM_4963, ”a Persian dynasty. Their ancestors came from Arabia and had settled in Ḵh̲urāsān at the time of the Muslim conquest”
  2. Fundación José Manuel Lara (2006). IBN JALDUN: STUDIES. Fundación El legado andalusì. p. 111. ISBN   978-84-96556-34-8.
  3. William Bayne Fisher; Peter Jackson (6 February 1986). The Cambridge History of Iran. Cambridge University Press. p. 11. ISBN   978-0-521-20094-3.
  4. name="SyedAkhtar2011">Muzaffar Husain Syed; Syed Saud Akhtar; B D Usmani (14 September 2011). Concise History of Islam. Vij Books India Pvt Ltd. p. 192. ISBN   978-93-82573-47-0.
  5. Jackson, P. (1993). "Muẓaffarids". In Bearman, P.; Bianquis, Th.; Bosworth, C.E.; van Donzel, E.; Heinrichs, W.P. Encyclopaedia of Islam . VII. Leiden, The Netherlands: Brill Publishers. p. 820. ISBN   9004094199.

Sources