AḤMAD INALTIGIN (in the sources, usually spelt Yenāltegīn or, erroneously, Nīaltegīn), Turkish commander and rebel under the early Ghaznavid sultan Masʿūd I (421-32/1030-41), d. 426/1035. Aḥmad had been treasurer under Maḥmūd and in favor with him. When Masʿūd succeeded Maḥmūd in 421/1030, he made a clean sweep of the adherents of the old regime (Maḥmūdīān), and Aḥmad was compelled to disgorge the monies which he had amassed. Although he had no particular military experience, he was then (422/1031) appointed commander-in-chief of the Ghaznavid troops in India in place of the fallen general Eryāroq, with instructions to collect the stipulated tribute from the Hindu princes. Instead, impelled according to Gardīzī by the rough treatment he had received during the process of moṣādara “squeezing-out” of ill-gotten gains, he secretly purchased a personal guard of Turkish slaves from Central Asia and in 424/1033 rebelled. Masʿūd sent a punitive expedition which Aḥmad easily defeated and whose general he killed, but the sultan then sent an Indian secretary, one Telak, with an army. Telak defeated Aḥmad in several clashes; the latter fled to Sind and was drowned attempting to cross the Indus. The whole episode illustrates the volatility of the Ghaznavid position in northern India, where there were large numbers of unruly troops and ḡāzīs and extensive financial resources for tempting commanders there into rebellion.
Gardīzī, ed. Nazim, pp. 97, 102-03, ed. Ḥabībī, pp. 197, 200.
Bayhaqī, pp. 400ff., 423, 433ff., 494, 497.
Ebn al-Aṯīr, Beirut, 1385-87/1965-66, IX, pp. 441-2.
These sources are utilized in Bosworth, Ghaznavids, pp. 72, 76-77, 101, 108.
See also W. Haig in Cambridge History of India III, pp. 28-30.
R. Gelpke, Sulṭān Masʿūd von Ġazna, Munich, 1957, pp. 103-06.
(C. E. Bosworth)
Originally Published: December 15, 1984
Last Updated: July 28, 2011
This article is available in print.
Vol. I, Fasc. 6, p. 647
C. E. Bosworth, “AḤMAD INALTIGIN,” Encyclopædia Iranica, I/6, p. 647; an updated version is available online at http://www.iranicaonline.org/articles/ahmad-inaltigin-in-the-sources-usually-spelt-yenaltegin-or-erroneously-nialtegin-turkish-commander-and-rebel-under- (accessed on 16 March 2014).