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The story of Alp Arslan, “The Brave Lion,” Part One

 One of the greatest sultans in Islamic history, the pioneer of the Sunni revival in the 5th century A.H. and the leader of the Battle of Manzikert, which was a major transformation in Islamic history, during of the Byzantine state, and in the global conflict of the fifth century AH (11 AD).



He was nicknamed “Adad al-Dawla”. His name, Alp Arslan, means "brave lion", and he grew up in the ruling house of the father of one of the greatest Seljuk rulers, Jaghri Bey Dawud, who was declared sultan in 429 AH.


Birth and education

His full name is Muhammad bin Jaghri Bey Daoud bin Mikael bin Seljuk bin Daqqaq. He was born in Dhul-Hijjah in 421 AH. Al-Dhahabi described his father as having religion and justice, and he denounced injustice to his brother Tughrul Bey. Books relating the Seljuks mention that he shared with his brother Tughrul Bey. He ruled Khorasan, so he had the army and Tughrul Beg took care of administrative matters.


Al-Arslan had 6 brothers and 5 sisters, one of whom married Mawdud bin Masoud Al-Ghaznawi, the second married Prince Abu Al-Mansur, son of the Buyid king Abi Kalighar, and the third was engaged to the son of the Abbasid Caliph. Al-Qaim Bi-Amr Allah, but he died before he could marry her, and the fourth married Caliph Al-Qa'im Bi-Amr Allah in the year 448 AH.


Alp Arslan's name does not appear frequently in Seljuk news before he became sultan, and it appears that the military and political activity of his father, Çegri Bey Davut, along with his brother Tughrul Bey, drew a thick curtain over the names of the children's generation.


Alp Arslan took command of the army against Mawdud al-Ghaznawi, who attempted to capture Khorasan in 445 AH. He was then appointed ruler of Khorasan, succeeding his father upon his death in 451 AH. and his care of subjects in the company of his minister Nizam al-Mulk. He continued to hold this position until the death of Tughrul Bey on 24 Ramadan 455 AH.


Political experience

Seljuks and historical transformation

To know the biography of Alp Arslan and his role in history and in the Seljuk revival, it is necessary to shed light on the path of the Seljuk dynasty and its state until Alp Arslan took over his reign in 456 AH.


The Seljuk state represents a major development for the Turkish role in Islamic history, which went through three phases:


The first: the era of princes and atabegs, in which the Turkish rulers represented a military elite who led a large number of Turkish soldiers to protect the Abbasid state, and in which they controlled the decision and had everything in their hands, even by choosing the caliph. However, they remained at the Abbasid court, ruling through the caliph and not taking the titles of king and sultanate.


This influence began to form during the Caliphate of Al-Mu'tasim, the eighth Abbasid Caliph who died in 227 AH, and continued until the Daylam Buyids avowed by the Zaydi, then the Shiite Imamis took control of the Abbasid Caliphate from 434 AH until 454 AH.


The second: the phase of sultans and kings, during which the Turks established independent kingdoms which they ruled and administered while declaring their loyalty to the Abbasid caliph and drawing legitimacy from his formal decrees. This phase begins with the Seljuk state's control over. Baghdad, their elimination of the Buyids and their suppression of the Basasiri conflict in the year 454 AH.


Several Turkic states managed to rule the Islamic world at this time: the Seljuk State, the Zengid State, the Ayyubid State, and the State of the Mamluk Sultans. This era ended with the abdication of the caliphate by the last of the Abbasid caliphs. Muhammad bin Yaqoub, who trusted in God, to Sultan Selim I in the year 923 AH.


Third: The phase of the Ottoman Caliphate, during which the Turks assumed leadership of the Islamic world, declaring themselves caliphs by virtue of the abdication of the Abbasid Caliph before Sultan Selim. This era continued until the announcement of the fall of the Ottoman Caliphate. Rajab 27, 1342 AH, corresponding to March 3, 1924 AD.

The beginning in Khorasan

The appearance of the Seljuks on the scene of events began with the migration of a number of members of the Gazan Qanq tribe, led by Seljuk ben Duqqaq, to the Saihun River at the end of the 4th century AH, in part of a series of Turkish migrations from Central Asia. westward in what was known in some historical studies as the "Turkish bus" or "Turkish caravan". This was after the Seljuks entered Islam, learned the Hanafi doctrine, and fought the pagan Turks. succession of Seljuk sons to rule it: Arslan bin Seljuk, then his brother Michael, who took Khorasan as a more spacious space for the expansion of the family, and the new entity received the name Seljuk.


Seljuk influence continued to grow in Mesopotamia in light of conflicts with the Ghaznavid state until Tughrul Bey bin Mikael bin Seljuk announced the establishment of the Seljuk state in the city of Merv in 429 AH on the ruins of the Ghaznavid state. He declared himself sultan and was titled Shahenshah, meaning king of kings, and requested legitimacy from Caliph Al-Abbasi obtained it in 432 AH, and Caliph Al-Qaim Billah invited him to visit Baghdad.


In the year 447 AH, the Abbasid Caliph begged Tughrul Bey to rid him of the Bani Buyids due to their collusion with Al-Basasiri over the Fatimid intervention. Tughrul Bey marched towards Baghdad and faced the Buyids in battles and later defeated them. , in the year 450 AH, he killed Al-Basasiri, who had captured Baghdad for a year and forced the Abbasid caliph to sign allegiance to the Fatimid caliph. He gave the sermon to Al-Mustansir Al-Ismaili and minted money in his name. for one year.


By eliminating al-Basasiri, the Seljuks removed the Abbasid Caliphate from Buyid control, stopped the Fatimid tide eastward, and effectively launched the "Sunni Renaissance" project led by Alp Arslan and his minister Nizam al-Mulk.


Sultan Alp Arslan

Tughrul Bey had no children, but he married his brother's widow, Jaghri Bey Dawud, after her death in Safar in 452 AH. She managed to obtain the principality for her son, Suleiman bin Dawud. death of Tughrul Bey, his minister, King's Dean Al-Kandari, served on the will and helped Suleiman assume the sultanate while he was a minor so that he would remain in charge of the matter and have l influence, but the Seljuk princes rejected this plan and called Alp Arslan to the pulpits, and this became widespread until the senior king was forced to submit to him. The matter was therefore settled for Alp Arslan at Dhul-Hijjah in the year 455 AH. .


Alp Arslan appointed his vizier in Khorasan, Nizam al-Mulk, as his vizier to succeed Brigadier al-Malik al-Kandari, his uncle's vizier. The two friends found themselves facing a huge state extending over a vast territory and ruling a large people. His uncle, Tughrul Bey, had been named king of the world and was recognized as sultan over all the possessions of the Abbasid state. This means that the Seljuks went beyond the concept of statehood that prevailed at the time in the form of. the Ghaznavid State, the Qarakhanid State and before them the Samanid State, so they began to live in the concept of an empire based on continuous expansion.


Thus, Alp Arslan and Nizam al-Mulk developed their plan of action by protecting the Abbasid state from the Fatimids and the remnants of the Buyid rule and the Basasiri movement in Islamic countries, and then from the Nizari Ismailis represented by the sect Assassins, which appeared later. , and the external threat from the Byzantine quarter.

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