Timurid dynasty

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Timurid dynasty
گورکانیان, Gūrkāniyān
Timur reconstruction03.jpg
Parent house Barlas
Current region Central Asia
Greater Iran
Indian peninsula
Founder Timur
Final ruler Bahadur Shah II
Traditions Sunni Islam (Hanafi)
  • 1507 (Timurid Empire)
  • 1857 (Mughal Empire)
Cadet branches Mughal dynasty

The Timurid dynasty, self-designated as Gurkani (Persian : گورکانیان, romanized: Gūrkāniyān), was a Sunni Muslim [1] dynasty or clan of Turco-Mongol origin [2] [3] [4] [5] descended from the warlord Timur (also known as Tamerlane). The word "Gurkani" derives from "Gurkan", a Persianized form of the Mongolian word "Kuragan" meaning "son-in-law". [6] This was an honorific title used by the dynasty as the Timurids were in-laws of the line of Genghis Khan, [7] founder of the Mongol Empire, as Timur had married Saray Mulk Khanum, a direct descendant of Genghis Khan. Members of the Timurid dynasty signaled the Timurid Renaissance, and they were strongly influenced by Persian culture [2] [8] and established two significant empires in history, the Timurid Empire (1370–1507) based in Persia and Central Asia, and the Mughal Empire (1526–1857) based in the Indian subcontinent.



The origin of the Timurid dynasty goes back to the Mongol tribe known as Barlas, who were remnants of the original Mongol army of Genghis Khan, [2] [9] [10] founder of the Mongol Empire. After the Mongol conquest of Central Asia, the Barlas settled in what is today southern Kazakhstan, from Shymkent to Taraz and Almaty, which then came to be known for a time as Moghulistan – "Land of Mongols" in Persian – and intermingled to a considerable degree with the local Turkic and Turkic-speaking population, so that at the time of Timur's reign the Barlas had become thoroughly Turkicized in terms of language and habits.

Additionally, by adopting Islam, the Central Asian Turks and Mongols adopted the Persian literary and high culture [11] which had dominated Central Asia since the early days of Islamic influence. Persian literature was instrumental in the assimilation of the Timurid elite into the Perso-Islamic courtly culture. [12]

List of rulers

Timurid Empire

Titular namePersonal nameReign
Timur ruled over the Chagatai Khanate with Soyurghatmïsh Khan as nominal Khan followed by Sultan Mahmud Khan. He himself adopted the Muslim Arabic title of Amir. In essence the Khanate was finished and the Timurid Empire was firmly established.
Timur Lang
تیمور لنگ
Timur Beg Gurkani
تیمور بیگ گورکانی
Pir Muhammad bin Jahangir Mirza
پیر محمد بن جہانگیر میرزا
Khalil Sultan bin Miran Shah
خلیل سلطان بن میران شاہ
Shahrukh Mirza
شاھرخ میرزا
Ulugh Beg
الغ بیگ
Mirza Muhammad Tāraghay
میرزا محمد طارق
Division of Timurid Empire
Abdal-Latif Mirza
میرزا عبداللطیف
(Father Killer)
Abdullah Mirza
میرزا عبد اللہ
Abul-Qasim Babur Mirza
میرزا ابوالقاسم بابر بن بایسنقر
Mirza Shah Mahmud
میرزا شاہ محمود
Ibrahim Sultan
ابراھیم میرزا
Abu Sa'id Mirza
ابو سعید میرزا
(Although Abu Sa'id Mirza re-united most of the Timurid heartland in Central Asia with the help of Uzbek Chief, Abul-Khayr Khan (grandfather of Muhammad Shayabani Khan), he agreed to divide Iran with the Black Sheep Turkomen under Jahan Shah, but the White Sheep Turkomen under Uzun Hassan defeated and killed first Jahan Shah and then Abu Sa'id. After Abu Sa'id's death another era of fragmentation follows.)
**Transoxiana is divided Sultan Husayn Bayqara
سلطان حسین میرزا بایقرا
1469 1st reign
Yadgar Muhammad Mirza
میرزا یادگار محمد
1470 (6 weeks)
Sultan Husayn Bayqara
سلطان حسین میرزا بایقرا
1470–1506 2nd reign
Uzbeks under Muhammad Shayabak Khan Conquer Herat
Sultan Ahmad Mirza
سلطان احمد میرزا
Umar Shaikh Mirza II
عمر شیخ میرزا ثانی
Sultan Mahmud Mirza
سلطان محمود میرزا
Ulugh Beg Mirza II
میرزا الغ بیگ
1469 – 1502
Sultan Baysonqor Mirza bin Mahmud Mirza
بایسنقر میرزا بن محمود میرزا
Sultan Ali bin Mahmud Mirza
سلطان علی بن محمود میرزا
Sultan Masud Mirza bin Mahmud Mirza
سلطان مسعود بن محمود میرزا
1495 – ?
Zahir-ud-din Muhammad Babur
ظہیر الدین محمد بابر
Khusrau Shah
خسرو شاہ

? – 1504
Mukim Beg Arghun
مقیم ارغون
? – 1504
Uzbeks under Muhammad Shayabak Khan
محمد شایبک خان ازبک
Jahangir Mirza II
جہانگیر میرزا
(puppet of Sultan Ahmed Tambol)
1497 – 1503
Zahir-ud-din Muhammad Babur
ظہیر الدین محمد بابر
Uzbeks under Muhammad Shayabak Khan
محمد شایبک خان ازبک
Zahir-ud-din Muhammad Babur
ظہیر الدین محمد بابر
Zahir-ud-din Muhammad Babur
ظہیر الدین محمد بابر
(Never till his conquest of India were the dominions of Babur as extensive as at this period. Like his grandfather Abu Sa'id Mirza, he managed to re-unite the Timurid heartland in Central Asia with the help of Shah of Iran, Ismail I. His dominions stretched from the Caspian Sea and the Ural Mountains to the farthest limits of Ghazni and comprehended Kabul and Ghazni;Kunduz and Hissar; Samarkand and Bukhara; Farghana; Tashkent and Seiram)
Uzbeks under Ubaydullah Sultan عبید اللہ سلطان re-conquer Transoxiana and Balkh
Zahir-ud-din Muhammad Babur
ظہیر الدین محمد بابر
Timurid Empire in Central Asia becomes extinct under the Khanate of Bukhara of the Uzbeks. However, Timurid dynasty moves on to conquer India under the leadership of Zahir-ud-din Muhammad Babur in 1526 C.E. and established the Timurid dynasty of India.

Mughal Empire

EmperorBirthReign PeriodDeathNotes
Babur 14831526–15301530Was a direct descendant of Genghis Khan through his mother and was descendant of Timur through his father. Founded the Mughal Empire after his victories at the First Battle of Panipat and the Battle of Khanwa.
Humayun 15081530–15401556Reign interrupted by Sur Empire. Youth and inexperience at ascension led to his being regarded as a less effective ruler than a usurper, Sher Shah Suri.
Sher Shah Suri 14861540–15451545Deposed Humayun and led the Sur Empire.
Islam Shah Suri 15071545–15541554Second and last ruler of the Sur Empire, claims of sons Sikandar and Adil Shah were eliminated by Humayun's restoration.
Humayun 15081555–15561556Restored rule was more unified and effective than the initial reign of 1530–1540; left a unified empire for his son, Akbar.
Akbar 15421556–16051605He and Bairam Khan defeated Hemu during the Second Battle of Panipat and later won famous victories during the Siege of Chittorgarh and the Siege of Ranthambore; He greatly expanded the Empire and is regarded as the most illustrious ruler of the Mughal Empire as he set up the empire's various institutions; He married Mariam-uz-Zamani, a Rajput princess who became the mother to his successor Jahangir. One of his most famous construction marvels was the Lahore Fort and Agra Fort. [13]
Jahangir 15691605–16271627Jahangir set the precedent for sons rebelling against their emperor fathers. Opened first relations with the British East India Company.
Shah Jahan 15921628–16581666Under him, Mughal art and architecture reached their zenith; constructed the Taj Mahal, Jama Masjid, Red Fort, Jahangir mausoleum, and Shalimar Gardens in Lahore. Deposed by his son Aurangzeb.
Aurangzeb 16181658–17071707He reinterpreted Islamic law and presented the Fatawa-e-Alamgiri; he captured the diamond mines of the Sultanate of Golconda; he spent the major part of his last 27 years in the war with the Maratha rebels; at its zenith, his conquests expanded the empire to its greatest extent; the over-stretched empire was controlled by Mansabdars, and faced challenges after his death. He is known to have transcribed copies of the Qur'an using his styles of calligraphy.
Bahadur Shah I 16431707–17121712First of the Mughal emperors to preside over an empire ravaged by uncontrollable revolts. After his reign, the empire went into steady decline due to the lack of leadership qualities among his immediate successors.
Jahandar Shah 16611712–17131713The son of Bahadur Shah I, he was an unpopular incompetent titular figurehead; he attained the throne after his father's death by his victory in battle over his brother, who was killed.
Farrukhsiyar 16851713–17191719His reign marked the ascendancy of the manipulative Syed Brothers, execution of the rebellious Banda. In 1717 he granted a Firman to the English East India Company granting them duty-free trading rights in Bengal. The Firman was repudiated by the notable Murshid Quli Khan the Mughal appointed ruler of Bengal.
Rafi Ul-Darjat 169917191719 
Rafi Ud-Daulat 169617191719 
Nikusiyar c.167917191723 
Muhammad Ibrahim 170317201746 
Muhammad Shah 17021719–1720, 1720–17481748Got rid of the Syed Brothers. Tried to counter the emergence of the Marathas but his empire disintegrated. Suffered the invasion of Nadir-Shah of Persia in 1739. [14]
Ahmad Shah Bahadur 17251748–541775
Alamgir II 16991754–17591759He was murdered according to by the Vizier Imad-ul-Mulk and Maratha associate Sadashivrao Bhau.
Shah Jahan III 17111759-17601772Was ordained to the imperial throne as a result of the intricacies in Delhi with the help of Imad-ul-Mulk. He was later deposed by Maratha Sardars. [15] [ full citation needed ] [16]
Shah Alam II 17281759–18061806He was proclaimed as Mughal Emperor by the Marathas. [15] Later, he was again recognized as the Mughal Emperor by Ahmad Shah Durrani after the Third Battle of Panipat in 1761. [17] 1764 saw the defeat of the combined forces of Mughal Emperor, Nawab of Oudh and Nawab of Bengal and Bihar at the hand of East India Company at the Battle of Buxar. Following this defeat, Shah Alam II left Delhi for Allahabad, ending hostilities with the Treaty of Allahabad (1765). Shah Alam II was reinstated to the throne of Delhi in 1772 by Mahadaji Shinde under the protection of the Marathas. [18] He was a de jure emperor. During his reign in 1793 British East India company abolished Nizamat (Mughal suzerainty) and took control of the former Mughal province of Bengal marking the beginning of British reign in parts of Eastern India officially.
Akbar Shah II 17601806–18371837He became a British pensioner after the defeat of the Marathas in the Third Anglo-Maratha war who was until then the protector of the Mughal throne. Under the East India company's protection, his imperial name was removed from official coinage after a brief dispute with the British East India Company.
Bahadur Shah II 17751837–18571862The last Mughal emperor was deposed in 1858 by the British East India Company and exiled to Burma following the War of 1857 after the fall of Delhi to the company troops. His death marks the end of the Mughal dynasty but not of the family.

Family Tree

Timurid Dynasty

Timurid Empire
Timurid Empire of Farghana
Timurid Empire of Kabul
Timurid Empire of Herat
Timurid Empire of Samarkand
Timurid Empire of Transoxiana
Timurid Empire of Hissar
Timurid Empire of Khurasan
Mughal Empire

Jahangir Umar-Shaykh Miran-Shah Shah-Rukh
Muhammad-Sultan Pir-Muhammad
Bayqara Khalil-Sultan
Muhammad Ulugh-Beg I
Ibrahim-Sultan Baysunghur Muhammad-Juki
Mansur Abu Sa'id
Abd al-Latif
Abd Allah
Ala al-Dawla
Abu'l-Qasim Babur

Umar-Shaykh II
Ulugh-Beg II
Badi' al-Zaman

Jahangir II
Abd ar-Razaq
Akbar I
Shah-Jahan I
Bahadur Shah I
Muhammad-Azam Shah
Muhammad-Akbar Muhammad-Kam-Bakhsh
Jahandar Shah
Rafi-ush-Shan Khujista-Akhtar Nikusiyar
Muhi us-Sunnat
Alamgir II
Shah-Jahan II
Rafi ud-Darajat
Muhammad Shah
Shah-Jahan III
Shah-Alam II
Ahmad Shah
Akbar II
Shah-Jahan IV
Bahadur Shah II

See also

References and notes

  1. Maria E. Subtelny, Timurids in Transition: Turko-Persian Politics and Acculturation in Medieval Persia, Vol. 7, (Brill, 2007), 201.
  2. 1 2 3 B.F. Manz, "Tīmūr Lang", in Encyclopaedia of Islam, Online Edition, 2006
  3. Encyclopædia Britannica , "Timurid Dynasty", Online Academic Edition, 2007. (Quotation: "Turkic dynasty descended from the conqueror Timur (Tamerlane), renowned for its brilliant revival of artistic and intellectual life in Iran and Central Asia. ... Trading and artistic communities were brought into the capital city of Herat, where a library was founded, and the capital became the centre of a renewed and artistically brilliant Persian culture.")
  4. "Timurids". The Columbia Encyclopedia (Sixth ed.). New York City: Columbia University. Archived from the original on 2006-12-05. Retrieved 2006-11-08.
  5. Encyclopædia Britannica article: "Consolidation & expansion of the Indo-Timurids", Online Edition, 2007.
  6. A History of the Muslim World Since 1260: The Making of a Global Community, by Vernon Egger, p. 193
  7. ""The Man Behind the Mosque"". Archived from the original on 2020-11-09. Retrieved 2015-08-09.
  8. Maria Subtelny, Timurids in Transition, p. 40: "Nevertheless, in the complex process of transition, members of the Timurid dynasty and their Persian Mongol supporters became acculturate by the surrounding Persianate millieu adopting Persian cultural models and tastes and acting as patrons of Persian culture, painting, architecture and music." p. 41: "The last members of the dynasty, notably Sultan-Abu Sa'id and Sultan-Husain, in fact came to be regarded as ideal Perso-Islamic rulers who develoted as much attention to agricultural development as they did to fostering Persianate court culture."
  9. "Timur". Columbia Encyclopedia (Sixth ed.). 2005.
  10. "Consolidation & expansion of the Indo-Timurids". Encyclopædia Britannica . 12 January 2024.
  11. B. Spuler (2006). "Central Asia in the Mongol and Timurid periods". Encyclopædia Iranica . Like his father, Olōğ Beg was entirely integrated into the Persian Islamic cultural circles, and during his reign Persian predominated as the language of high culture, a status that it retained in the region of Samarqand until the Russian revolution 1917 [...] Ḥoseyn Bāyqarā encouraged the development of Persian literature and literary talent in every way possible
  12. David J. Roxburgh (2005). The Persian Album, 1400–1600: From Dispersal to Collection. Yale University Press. p. 130. Persian literature, especially poetry, occupied a central in the process of assimilation of Timurid elite to the Perso-Islamicate courtly culture, and so it is not surprising to find Baysanghur commissioned a new edition of Firdawsi's Shanama.
  13. Klingelhofer, William G. (1988). "The Jahangiri Mahal of the Agra Fort: Expression and Experience in Early Mughal Architecture". Muqarnas. 5: 153–169. doi:10.2307/1523115. ISSN   0732-2992. JSTOR   1523115.
  14. S. N. Sen (2006). History Modern India. New Age International. pp. 11–13, 41–43. ISBN   978-81-224-1774-6.
  15. 1 2 Advanced Study in the History of Modern India 1707–1813, p. 140
  16. S.R. Sharma (1999). Mughal Empire in India: A Systematic Study Including Source Material. Vol. 3. Atlantic Publishers & Dist. p. 765. ISBN   9788171568192.
  17. S.R. Sharma (1999). Mughal Empire in India: A Systematic Study Including Source Material. Vol. 3. Atlantic Publishers & Dist. p. 767. ISBN   9788171568192.
  18. N. G. Rathod, The Great Maratha Mahadaji Scindia, (Sarup & Sons, 1994), 8:

Further reading

Related Research Articles

The Barlas were a Mongol and later Turkicized nomadic Turkic confederation in Central Asia. With military roots in one of the regiments of the original Mongol army, the Barlas spawned two major imperial dynasties in Asia: the Timurid Empire in Central Asia and Persia; and its later branch, the Mughal Empire in the Indian subcontinent.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Timurid Empire</span> Central Asian Persianate Turco-Mongol empire (1370–1507)

The Timurid Empire was a late medieval, culturally Persianate Turco-Mongol empire that dominated Greater Iran in the early 15th century, comprising modern-day Iran, Iraq, Afghanistan, much of Central Asia, the South Caucasus, as well as parts of contemporary Pakistan, North India and Turkey. The empire was culturally hybrid, combining Turko-Mongolian and Persianate influences, with the last members of the dynasty being "regarded as ideal Perso-Islamic rulers".

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Persianate society</span> Society strongly influenced by Persian culture

A Persianate society is a society that is based on or strongly influenced by the Persian language, culture, literature, art and/or identity.

Baghatur is a historical Turkic and Mongol honorific title, in origin a term for "hero" or "valiant warrior". The Papal envoy Plano Carpini compared the title with the equivalent of European Knighthood.

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<span class="mw-page-title-main">Turco-Mongol tradition</span> 14th-century ethnocultural synthesis in Asia

The Turco-Mongol or Turko-Mongol tradition was an ethnocultural synthesis that arose in Asia during the 14th century, among the ruling elites of the Golden Horde and the Chagatai Khanate. The ruling Mongol elites of these Khanates eventually assimilated into the Turkic populations that they conquered and ruled over, thus becoming known as Turco-Mongols. These elites gradually adopted Islam as well as Turkic languages, while retaining Mongol political and legal institutions.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Mughal dynasty</span> Indian Turco-Mongol dynasty

The Mughal dynasty comprised the members of the imperial House of Babur (Persian: خاندانِ آلِ بابُر; Khāndān-e-Āl-e-Bābur), also known as the Gurkanis, who ruled the Mughal Empire from c. 1526 to 1857.

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<span class="mw-page-title-main">Timur</span> Turco-Mongol military leader and conqueror (1336–1405)

Timur or Tamerlane was a Turco-Mongol conqueror who founded the Timurid Empire in and around modern-day Afghanistan, Iran, and Central Asia, becoming the first ruler of the Timurid dynasty. An undefeated commander, he is widely regarded as one of the greatest military leaders and tacticians in history, as well as one of the most brutal and deadly. Timur is also considered a great patron of art and architecture as he interacted with intellectuals such as Ibn Khaldun, Hafez, and Hafiz-i Abru and his reign introduced the Timurid Renaissance.

The Uzbeks were one of the first Karluk Turks to arrive in the modern-day region of Pakistan, they ruled the area of Pakhli for over 200 years from 1472 to 1703. Uzbeks form a significant minority group in Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa province and FATA of Pakistan.

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Persian people were one of the major ethnic groups, who accompanied the ethnic Turco-Mongol ruling elite of the Mughal Empire after its invasion of the Indian subcontinent. Throughout the Mughal Empire, a number of ethnic Persian technocrats, bureaucrats, traders, scientists, architects, teachers, poets, artists, theologians and Sufis migrated and settled in different parts of the Indian Subcontinent.

Bodonchar Munkhag was a renowned Mongol Borjigin tribal chieftain and warlord. He was a direct ancestor of Genghis Khan who was the founder of Mongol Empire in 1206, as well as the Mongol Barlas tribe of the Central Asian Conquer Amir Timur who was the founder of Timurid Empire in 1370.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Saray Mulk Khanum</span> Empress consort of the Timurid Empire

Saray Mulk Khanum was the empress consort of the Timurid Empire as the chief consort of Timur, also known as Tamerlane the Great, the founder of the Timurid Empire as well as the Timurid dynasty, also she was the Great-Great-Great-Great-Great-Granddaughter of Genghis Khan the founder Khagan of the Mongol Empire.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Timurid Renaissance</span> 14th–16th-century Asian cultural movement

The Timurid Renaissance was a historical period in Asian and Islamic history spanning the late 14th, the 15th, and the early 16th centuries. Following the gradual downturn of the Islamic Golden Age, the Timurid Empire, based in Central Asia ruled by the Timurid dynasty, witnessed the revival of arts and sciences. Its movement spread across the Muslim world. The French word renaissance means "rebirth", and defines a period as one of cultural revival. The use of the term for the description of this period has raised reservations among scholars, some of whom see it as a swan song of Timurid culture.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Timurid conquests and invasions</span> Wars and campaigns of the Timurids

The Timurid conquests and invasions started in the seventh decade of the 14th century with Timur's control over Chagatai Khanate and ended at the start of the 15th century with the death of Timur. Due to the sheer scale of Timur's wars, and the fact that he was generally undefeated in battle, he has been regarded as one of the most successful military commanders of all time. These wars resulted in the supremacy of Timur over Central Asia, Persia, the Caucasus and the Levant, and parts of South Asia and Eastern Europe, and also the formation of the short-lived Timurid Empire. Scholars estimate that his military campaigns caused the deaths of 17 million people, amounting to about 5% of the world population at the time.

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Ichil Barlas, also known Ichil Noyan was a Head of Barlas Confederation, advisor and minister of Chagatai Khan's, he was ruled a region named Transoxiana, the land based on Middle Asia, he was the son and successor of his father Qarachar who was the founder of Barlas confederation and governor of transoxiana, he was the paternal Great-Great-Grandfather of Timur the central Asian conquer, who founded the Timurid Empire, Ichil paternally direct descendent of Tumanay Khan, Khan of the Mongol Borjigin Confederation.