MANGHITS, self denomination of Mongol and Turkic tribes (Mangkut, Mānḡit, Manḡit, Manqit, Manqiṭ, Mangqit, Manḡut; also known as “Noḡay”) which played an eminent role in the Golden Horde, mainly nomadized in the Dašt-e Qepčāq, and from the 16th century onwards migrated partly to the Crimean Khanate and North Caucasus, and with the Shaybanid (Shibanid) dynasty partly invaded Transoxiana, and Ḵᵛārazm (see Bregel, pp. 417-18; Trepavlov, passim ).It is also the name of a Mongolian-Turkic dynasty that reigned over the Khanate of Bukhara from 1160/1747 (de jure since 1170/1756) until 1920.

The founder of the Manghit rule as a clan dynasty was Moḥammad Raḥim from the Tuq-Manghit clan. With him, for the first time after Čengiz Khan, a member of a non-Genghisid tribe ruled over Transoxiana. The Manghits were considered by local historiographers as belonging to the Uzbeks, that is Turco-Mongolian nomad tribes whose number is said to have varied between thirty-two and ninety-nine (Sultanov, pp. 165-76; McChesney, p. 232; von Kügelgen, 2002,pp. 14-15). Moḥammad Raḥim was legitimated by marriage with a Genghisid woman and by the claim that he had a common ancestor with Čengiz Khan. Most of the Manghit’s historiographers trace Moḥammad Raḥim’s genealogy back to the fifth generation, starting with Šāwoš Bāy/Šawšan Biy, who is said to have conquered Šahr-e Sabz (Kaš) together with the Kanigas tribe, which in fact remained lords of the town until the Russian protectorate; his grandson, Ḵodāyqol(i) Biy (Divānbegi), or great-grandson, Ḵodāyār Biy Atāliq, is said to have been governor of Šahr-e Sabz under the rule of the Janid (Astrakhanid) dynasty. Moḥammad Raḥim’s father, Moḥammad Ḥakim Biy, who served as ataliq/ātāliq (Turk. atalïq “guardian of a young prince”) under the last Janid ruler Abu’l-Fayż Khan (r. 1123-160/1711-747), is praised for having prevented Nāder Shah Afšār (r. 1736-747) from taking Bukhara by force in 1740 (Marvi, pp. 786-802). Moḥammad Raḥim himself served as a commander of a great number of Uzbek warriors in the army of Nāder Shah, who is said to have been very well disposed towards him, and who had sent him at the head of a thousand men to pacify Bukhara. He established himself in Bukhara, eventually killed Abu’l-Fayż Khan shortly after the murder of his Persian protector, and became the active ruler with the title of ataliq in the name of puppet khans (Marvi, p. 1102, 1120 ff.). Under his rule the Khanate of Bukhara slowly recovered from the hard economic and thus also social and cultural crisis it had passed through in the second third of the 18th century. Moḥammad Raḥim also gained back some of the territory that had been lost and he dominated over the provinces and towns of Bukhara, Samarqand, Karminiā (Kermine), Miānkāl, Qarši (Nasaf), Ḵozār, Qarākul, and several settlements up on the bank of the Amu Daryā (Amuya, Oxus); this territory which local historians mostly called Mā Warāʾ al-Nahr or Turān and was expanded by the annexation of Marv and the province of Balḵ was under his successors only temporarily. Moḥammad Raḥim had no male heir, and, after some power struggle, his uncle Moḥammad Dāniāl Biy was installed in his place as ataliq. Moḥammad Dāniāl is the progenitor of the Manghit dynasty as a family dynasty. Starting with his grandson Amir Ḥaydar, the Manghit dynasty was able to legitimize their rule by claiming descent from both the Prophet M oḥammad and Genghis Khan, although descent from the Prophet only on the mother side had not been considered as the basis of legitimacy until that time.

The only Manghit who was able to stay in power without Genghisid and Mongolian legitimization was Šāh Morād, who marks a turning point in the well established but fragile balance between the Islamic and Mongolian traditions. His rule was characterized by a certain neglect of the tribal forces and an enormous support of the Naqšbandiya Mojaddediya Sufi order, of which he had himself become a devoted member. Under the influence of this extremely šariʿa-orientated Sufi brotherhood (ṭariqa), Šāh Morād, whose sole legitimation was his piety as a person and ruler (there is no evidence that he assumed the title of amir al-moʾmenin as is claimed by later historiographers, see Kügelgen, 2002, pp. 76-80, 281-87), forbade every custom which did not fit into the Islamic teachings of that ṭariqa. Thus, he is for instance reported to have abolished all “non-Islamic” taxes, public places of entertainment, and even the water-pipe. Also his frequent invasions into Khorasan, in the course of which he deported almost all the inhabitants of Marv to Bukhara and forced them to become Sunnites, were officially claimed as holy war (jehād, ḡazwa) against “the infidels,” that is the Shiʿites. Several of contemporary historiographers, however, characterized these wars as pure forays. Besides, the fight against the Shiʿites did not concern the twelve Imams, since Šāh Morād and his entourage respected the mausoleum of Imam ʿAli al-Reżā in Mashhad and held the descendents of Imam ʿAli in high esteem. In domestic policy, Šāh Morād enforced centralization and tried to have the main public activities under his personal control. He supervised the restoration and improvement of the irrigation system, reinforced and personally authorized old and new waqf-property, and thus re-opened neglected mosques, madrasas, Sufi convents (ḵānaqāh) and maktabs, established new ones, and personally appointed imams and teachers (von Kügelgen, 2002, pp. 69-80, 274-287, 321-367).

Šāh Morād’s successors followed his policy by further marginalizing the tribal forces and centralizing the administration that functioned in a patrimonialistic manner, which meant that offices, titles, and the limits of competencies were not strictly fixed (Bregel, 2000). They could not, however, maintain Šāh Morād’s rigid anti-Genghisid orientation, and so some Mongolian symbols were reestablished, like, for instance, the title of khan and elements of the Mongolian ceremony of enthronement. The balance, nevertheless, remained with the Islamic frame of rule. Amir Ḥaydar practiced himself as a Sufi master, gave lessons in Islamic (Hanafite) law, compiled a book on it (Fawāʾed al-alfiya), and claimed himself amir al-moʾmenin (the prince of the faithful), that is caliph. (von Kügelgen, 2002, pp. 81-85, 287-92, 367-78). Whether his successors maintained this claim is not clear. Sayyed ʿĀlem Khan, the last Manghit ruler, wrote in his small memoirs (p. 33) that the Muslim scholars regarded the amirs of Bukhara as deputies of the Prophet and guardians of the šariʿa. The first four rulers have been quite differently judged by the historians of their time. The succeeding Manghit rulers seem to have held up Šāh Morād and Amir Ḥaydar as exemplar rulers, since almost every coin minted by them bear their names (Vel’yaminov-Zernov, 1859b, pp. 424-27; Kochnev, pp. 436-37). Yet their politics differed in several respects from the one of their predecessors. Amir Sayyed Naṣr-al-Allāh Khan, nicknamed amir-e qaṣṣāb (the butcher amir) because he killed most of his potential rivals, undertook a certain reform of the army by establishing an infantry and using canons and temporarily opened the country to foreigners, but the relations with England and Russia had seriously deteriorated already in the 1840s. His successor, Amir Sayyed Moẓaffar-al-Din Khan had to face the steady expansion of the Russians into Central Asia. When Tashkent was taken in 1866, the Bukharan ulema and finally also the khan himself proclaimed jehad against the Russian infidels. Due to the badly organized and poorly equipped army, Samarqand was lost in 1868 and a peace treaty was established in which Bukhara was nominally respected as an equal partner. In reality, however, the amir was bound in many of his decisions, mainly in those concerning foreign affairs but also in some concerning domestic ones as, for instance, the implementation of new techniques like telegraph and railway lines. In most of the other domestic fields the amirs remained autonomous and are almost unanimously characterized by native historiographers and foreign travelers as cruel despots and exploiters. So ʿAbd-al-Aḥad never fulfilled his promise to humanize the law-system, and imposed taxes on the peasants, which were eight times higher than those in Russian-Turkestan. ʿĀlem Khan who had spent four years at the military college in St. Petersburg and had announced the abolishment of corruption and the modernization of the system of education in line with the Jadids (followers of an intellectual, modernist movement among the Muslims of Russia in the late 19th century), in fact, mainly pursued ultra-conservative politics. Eventually, his attempts to fight the oppositional groups failed. With the unification of the Young Bukharans and the Bukharan Communist Party and the help of the Bolshevikis who had taken power in Turkestan in 1917, the last Manghit amir, ʿĀlem Khan, was deposed in 1920 and the Bukharan People’s Republic was proclaimed (see Becker; Carrère d’Encausse).

See also BUKHARA iii.



Amir ʿĀlem Khan, Ḵāṭerahā-ye Amir ʿĀlem Khan: tāriḵ-e ḥozn al-melal-e Boḵārā, ed. Aḥrār Moḵtārof,Tehran, 1994; publ. with French tr. as Émir Said Alim Khan, La voix de la Boukharie opprimée, 2 vols., Paris 1929.

Seymour Becker, Russia’s Protectorates in Central Asia: Bukhara and Khiva, 1865-1924, Cambridge, Mass., 1968; repr. London and New York, 2004.

Bakhtiyor M. Babadzhanov, “On the History of the Naqshbandiya Mujaddidiya in Central Māwarāʾannahr in the Late 18th and Early 19th Centuries,” in Michael Kemper et al., eds., Muslim Culture in Russia and Central Asia ... I, pp. 385-413.

Yuri Bregel, “ Mangït,” in EI2 VI, pp. 417-19.

Idem, The Administration of Bukhara under the Manghïts and Some Tashkent Manuscripts, Papers on Inner Asia 34, Bloomington, Indiana, 2000.

Hélèn Carrère d’Encausse, Réforme et révolution chez les musulmans de l’empire russe, Bukhara 1867-1924, Paris, 1966.

Bahadir Kazakov, Bukharan Documents: The Collection in the District Library, Bukhara, tr. from the Russian by Jµürgen Paul, ANOR9, Berlin, 2001.

Michael Kemper et al., eds., Muslim Culture in Russia and Central Asia from the 18th to the Early 20th Centuries, 4 vols., Berlin, 1996-98.

Boris Dimitrievich Kochnev, “The Last Period of Muslim Coin Minting in Central Asia (18th-early 20th Century),” in Michael Kemper et al., eds., Muslim Culture in Russia and Central Asia ... I, pp. 431-444.

Anke von Kügelgen, Die Legitimierung der mittelasiatischen Mangitendynastie in den Werken ihrer Historiker (18.-19. Jahrhundert), Istanbul and Würzburg, 2002; tr. in Russ. as Legitimaciya Sredneaziatskoĭ dinastiĭ Mangitov v proizvedeniyakh ikh istorikov, XVIII-XIXvv., Almaty, 2004.

Idem, “Sufimeister und Herrscher im Zwiegespräch: Die Schreiben des Faḍl Aḥmad aus Peschawar an Amır Ḥaydar in Buchara,” in Michael Kemper et al., eds. Muslim Culture in Russia and Central Asia ... III: Arabic, Persian and Turkic Manuscripts (15th-19th Centuries), pp. 219-351.

Idem, “Buchara im Urteil europäischer Reisender des 18. und 19. Jahrhunderts,” in Michael Kemper, et al., eds., Muslim Culture in Russia and Central Asia ... I, pp. 415-30.

Idem, “Die Entfaltung der Naqshbandıya Mujaddidıya im mittleren Transoxanien vom 18. bis zum Beginn des 19. Jahrhunderts: Ein Stück Detektivarbeit,” in Michael Kemper et al., eds., Muslim Culture in Russia and Central Asia ... II: Inter-regional and Inter-ethnic Relations, Berlin, 1998, pp. 101-51.

Moḥammad-Kāẓem Marvi, ʿĀlamārā-ye nāderi, ed. Moḥammad Amin Riāḥi, 3 vols., Tehran, 1985.

Robert D. McChesney, “Özbeg,” in EI2 VIII, pp. 232-33. Mir Izzet Ullah, “Voyage dans l’Asie Centrale, en 1812,” in Magasin Asiatique, ou Revue géographique et historique de l’Asie Centrale et Septentrionale, July 1826, pp. 1-51.

Idem, “Suite du Voyage dans l’Asie Centrale – De Khokand à Samarkand,” Magasin Asiatique, July 1827, pp. 161-86.

R. Sela, Ritual and Authority in Central Asia: The Khan’s Inauguration Ceremony, Papers on Inner Asia no. 37, Bloomington, Indiana, 2003.

T. I. Sultanov, “Opyt analiza tradicionnykh spiskov 92 ‘plemen ilatiya’,” in B. G. Gafurova and B.Y. Litvinskogo, eds., Srednyaya Aziya v drevnosti i srednevekov’e (istoriya i kul’tura), Moscow, 1977, pp. 165-76.

Maria Szuppe, “En quête des chevaux turkmènes: le journal de voyage de Mīr ʿIzzatullāh de Delhi à Boukhara en 1812-1813,” in Inde-Asie Centrale, Cahiers d’Asie Centrale, no. 1-2, Tachkent, 1996, pp. 91-111.

Vadim V. Trepavlov, The Formation and Early History of the Manghït Yurt, Papers on Inner Asia 35, Bloomington, Indiana, 2001.

V. Vel’yaminof-Zernov, “L’Emir Haïder de Boukhara et ses trois fils,” Mélanges asiatiques 3, 22 April-4 May 1859a, pp. 631-42.

Idem, “Monety Bukharskiya i Khivinskiya,” in Zapiski Imperatorskago Archeologicheskogo obshchestva 13, St. Petersburg, 1859b, pp. 328-456.

Franz Wennberg, An Inquiry into Bukharan Qadımism: Mīrzā Salīm-bīk, ANOR 13, Berlin, 2002.


September 21, 2004


Manghit Dynasty

  • Moḥammad-Raḥim Atāliq (1160-172/1747-759, the last three years as khan)
  • Moḥammad Dāniāl Biy Atāliq (1172-199/1759-785), uncle of Moḥammad-Raḥim
  • Šāh Morād b. Dāniāl (1199-1215/1785-1800), nicknamed Amir-e Maʿṣum
  • Sayyed Mir Ḥaydar b. Šāh Morād (1215-242/1800-826)
  • Sayyed Amir Ḥosayn b. Ḥaydar (1242/826)
  • Amir ʿOmar Khan b. Ḥaydar (1242/1826-27)
  • Amir Sayyed Naṣr-Allāh Khan b. Ḥaydar (1242-277/1827-860), nicknamed Amir-e Qaṣṣāb
  • Amir Sayyed Moẓaffar-al-Din Khan b. Naṣr-Allāh (1277-302/1860-885)
  • Amir Sayyed ʿAbd-al Aḥad Khan b. Moẓaffar-al-Din (1303-328/1885-1910)
  • Amir Sayyed ʿĀlem Khan b. ʿAbd-al-Aḥad (1328-39/1910-1920).

    Originally Published: July 20, 2004

    Last Updated: July 20, 2004