ÏNĀNČ ḴĀTUN (Inānj Ḵātun), wife of the Atābeg Noṣrat-al-Din Jahān-Pahlavān Moḥammad b. Šams-al-Din Eldigüz (r. 571-82/1175-86), the Eldigüzid or Ildegizid ruler in Arrān, most of Azerbaijan, and then Jebāl. She was the daughter of the powerful Turkish governor of Ray, nominally for the later Saljuqs, Ḥosām-al-Din Ïnānč Sonqor, who was killed at the instigation of Eldigüz in 564/1169 (Rāvandi, rev. ed., pp. 292-96; Ebn al-Aṯir, XI, p. 348).

Obviously an ambitious and forceful personality, Inānč Ḵātun played a leading role in the confused political and military maneuverings in northwestern Persia after Jahān-Pahlavān Moḥammad’s death. The latter’s brother and successor, Moẓaffar-al-Din Qïzïl (Qezel) Arslān ʿOṯmān (r. 582-87/1186-91), married his brother’s widow according to the custom of the levirate (Ḥosayni, p. 179, tr. p. 464; Abu Ḥāmed, p. 86; Rāvandi, p. 363; Ebn al-Aṯir, XI, pp. 525-26; cf. Bondāri, ed. Houtsma, pp. 142-44). Jahān-Pahlavān Moḥammad seems to have made an arrangement for his four sons to share out his personal lands under the general supervision and overlordship of Qïzïl Arslān (Ḥosayni, p. 173, tr. p. 455; cf. Luther, p. 396). In the internecine squabbles which ensued, Inānč Ḵātun supported the claims of her own two sons by Jahān-Pahlavān Moḥammad, Qutluḡ Ïnānč Maḥmud and Amir-e Amirān ʿOmar, against her first husband’s two sons by slave mothers.

Meanwhile, the last of the Great Saljuqs of the west, Ṭoḡrïl (III) b. Arslān, was attempting to break free from Qïzïl Arslān’s tutelage. He allied with Qutluḡ Inānč Maḥmud against Qïzïl Arslān and the latter’s son Noṣrat al-Din Abu Bakr, but after failing to secure outside help had to surrender to Qïzïl Arslān in 586/1190 and suffer imprisonment at the Atābeg’s hands (Bondāri, pp. 301-2; Rāvandi, p. 362; Ebn al-Aṯir, XI, p. 560, XII, p. 76; cf. Houtsma, pp. 145-50). However, Qïzïl Arslān, who had now assumed for himself, with the Abbasid caliph al-Nāṣer’s approval, the title of sultan, was murdered in mysterious circumstances in Šaʿbān 587/August-September 1191, apparently by one of his own ḡolāms, but possibly at the prompting of his wife Ïnānč Ḵātun (Ḥosayni, p. 181; tr., pp. 467-68; Abu Ḥāmed, p. 89; Rāvandi, p. 363; Bon-dāri, ed. Houtsma, p. 302; Ebn-al-Aṯir, XII, pp. 75-76). Ṭoḡrïl, now released from captivity by the amirs of Azerbaijan, quickly defeated Qutluḡ Ïnānč Maḥmud and Amir-e Amirān ʿOmar near Qazvin and drove the former to seek security in the citadel of Ray (Ebn al-Aṯir, XII, pp. 94, 106). Ïnānč Ḵātun surrendered to Ṭoḡrïl and married him, probably in 588/1192 (Abu Ḥāmed, p. 90; according to Rāvandi, pp. 366-67, in the following year), but died at Hamadān shortly afterwards (Ḥosayni, pp. 183-84, 189-90; tr. 471-73, 481, according to whom her son Qutluḡ Ïnānč Maḥmud suspected the Saljuq sultan of killing her; Rāvandi, pp. 366-67, specifically says that Ṭoḡrïl had her strangled).



Abu Ḥāmed Moḥammad b. Ebrāhim, Ḏayl-e Saljuq-nāma, in Ps.-Ẓahir-al-Din Nišāpuri, Saljuq-nāma, ed. Esmāʿil Afšār, Tehran, 1953.

Fatḥ b. ʿAli Bondāri, Zobdat al-noṣra wa noḵbat al-ʿoṣra, Cairo, 1900; ed. M. Th. Houtsma, in idem, ed, Recueile textes relatifs à l’histoire des Seldjoucides, 4 vols., Leiden, 1886-1902, II.

C. Edmund Bosworth, “The Political and Dynastic History of the Iranian World,” in Camb. Hist. Iran V, pp. 1-202, esp. pp. 179-81.

Idem, The New Islamic Dynasties, Edinburgh, 1996, pp. 199-200, no. 99.

Ebn al-Aṯir, al-Kāmel fi’l-taʾrikò, 13 vols., Beirut, 1967.

Ṣadr al-Din Ḥosayni, Aḵbār al-dawla al-saljuqiya, ed. M. Iqbal, Lahore, 1933; tr. Qibla Ayaz as “An Unexploited Source for the History of the Saljūqs: A Translation of and Commentary on the Akhbār al-Dawlat al-Saljūqiyya,” unpubl. Ph.D. diss., Edinburgh University, 1985.

M. Th. Houtsma, “Some Remarks on the History of the Saljuks,” Acta Orientalia 3, 1924, pp. 136-52.

Kenneth Allin Luther, The Political Transformation of the Seljuq Sultanate of Iraq and Western Iran, 1152-1187, unpubl. Ph.D. diss., Princeton, 1964.

Idem, “Rāvandī’s Report on the Administrative Changes of Muḥammad Jahān Pahlavān,” in C. E. Bosworth, ed., Iran and Islam: In Memory of the Late Vladimir Minorsky, Edinburgh, 1971, pp. 393-406.

Moḥammad b. ʿAli Rāvandi, Rāḥat al-ṣodur wa āyat al-ṣodur, ed. M. Iqbal, London, 1921; rev. with corrections and notes by Mojtabā Minovi, Tehran, 1985.

(C. Edmund Bosworth)

Originally Published: December 15, 2004

Last Updated: March 27, 2012

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