CENTRAL ASIA vi. In the 16th-18th Centuries



vi. In the 16th-18th Centuries

I. The appanage state system. An overview (Table 28a; Table 28b).

With the beginning of the 10th/16th century a significant political transformation occurred in Central Asia. After governing for more than a century the Timurids were expelled from Transoxania, Balḵ, and Khorasan and founded the Mughal state in northwest India. The Chaghatay khans, the legitimizers of Timurid rule in Central Asia, were dislodged from eastern Transoxania and established a new state centered in Kashgar and Yarkand. Khorasan, which had been oriented for over a century toward Central Asia, was annexed to the new Safavid/Qezelbāš state. In the 10th/16th and 11th/17th centuries Central Asia, includ­ing Transoxania, Greater Balḵ, and Ḵᵛārazm, witnessed a neo-Chingizid (Jochid) political revival, spearheaded by the ʿArabshahid/Shibanid (Shaibanid) lineage in Ḵᵛārazm (see ʿARABŠĀHĪ) and the Abulkhairid/Shibanid and Toqay-Timurid lines in Transoxania and Greater Balḵ. Though marked by the restoration of Chingizid khanates, by the competition between the khanates and the Safavid/Qezelbāš state for control of Khorasan, and by rivalry between the khanates and the Mughal state in India for influence in Badaḵšān, in the main political life was shaped by the neo-Chingizid appanage system of state and its internal dynamic.

Sovereignty and succession. In the neo-Chingizid state installed by Moḥammad Šïbānī (Šaybānī) Khan at the beginning of the 16th century, sovereignty was corporate, embodied in the ruling or royal clan and shared among its eligible members. Its focus was the khanate (ḵānīyat), an ancient institution, whose archetypal representative was the mythologized figure of Čengīz Khan. Ideally, the khan (or khaqan) was a first among equals who presided over the assemblies (qoreltāy, kangāš) of the royal clan members and their supporters, at which matters of mutual interest were settled. The precepts of neo-Chingizid sovereignty were contained in an unwritten body of ordinances referred to in the sources by such terms as the yāsā(q) and yūsūn, tūra, and āʾīn-e čengīzī or “Chingizid constitution,” which political behavior was measured by and conformed to.

In a system in which sovereignty was corporate, membership in the royal clan was of obvious importance. In the 16th and 17th centuries, the first requirement was lineage through agnates to Jočī, the eldest son of Čengīz Khan. At the beginning of the 16th century circumstances further limited eligibility to the agnates of Šïbān, son of Jočī. The Transoxanian Jochids of the 16th century and the Khwarezmian Jochids of the 16th and 17th centuries legitimized their khanates on the basis of Shibanid descent. The Jochids of 17th-century Transoxania traced their legitimacy to another son of Jočī, Toqāy Tīmūr. The process of formalizing eligibility was complex and fluid. Factors such as the resources controlled by the clan, the outcome of contests for those resources, and the size of the royal cohort determined eligibility.

One of the principal institutions prescribed by the Chingizid constitution and adhered to throughout the 16th and 17th centuries was succession by seniority, which meant that succession could not be predicted. This made it difficult for power to accrue to the khanate and raised the level of conflict among the eligibles. The institution of heir apparency (qaʿalḵān, qaʿalḡa, qonalḡah) evolved in response to this problem. On two of the three occasions in the 16th century when an heir apparent was designated, the heir apparent predeceased the khan (during the reign of Kūčkonjī Khan). On the third occasion (under ʿAbd-Allāh Khan b. Eskandar Khan) the attempt was to circumvent, not facilitate succession by seniority. This indeterminacy of the seniority principle combined with corporate sovereignty and clan eligibility gave the system its special characteristics.

Membership in the ruling/royal clan and succession to the khanate came to be characterized as much by contest between competing “cousin clans” within the royal clan as by strict adherence to the seniority rule. Although the theoretical group of eligibles might be large, the political prestige arising from the outcome of contests and the control of economic and military resources foreordained a much smaller cohort—what M. Dickson (1960) has labeled the “neoeponymous clan,” that is, the periodic rise of new royal clans out of the old.

The appanages. The neo-Chingizids adopted an appanage system of state compatible with their notions of corporate sovereignty and succession, and the territories of the region subordinate to the royal clan were distributed among its male members. The four major appanages of the Abulkhairid/Shibanids and the Toqay-Timurids were the regions of Bukhara, Samarqand, Tashkent, and Balḵ. Lesser appanages included the Mīānkalāt between Samarqand and Bukhara, with the towns of Nūr, Karmīna, Dīzaq (Jīzaq), and Kūfīn; Sogd, with its center Āfarīnkent; Andejān, Aḵsīkat, Khojand, and Šāhroḵīya (formerly Fanākat) in the Farḡāna valley; Orā Tīpa; Ḥeṣār-e Šādmān (near present-day Dushanbe) and the Vaḵš river valley; Šahr-e Sabz (Kaš); and Badaḵšān. These tended to fall under the influence, if not jurisdiction, of the major appanages. Thus the Farḡāna region was contested between the appanage holders of Tashkent and Samarqand for much of the 16th century while Šahr-e Sabz was alternately subordinate to Bukhara and Samarqand.

Within the Arabshahid/Shibanid state of Ḵᵛārazm the major appanages were cities and their surrounding oases. Abu’l-Ḡāzī (pp. 213, 222, 243 [text]; Dickson, 1958, appendix I, p. xi) divides the two major appanage regions into the “mountainside” (oases along the northern flanks of the Kopet-Dag) and the “riverside” (Amu Darya delta towns). The two major “riverside” appanages were Ūrganj and Ḵīva (Ḵīvaq), lesser appanages were Wazīr and Kāt. The appanages were further divided into subappanages, whose distribution was supervised by the head of the branch of the royal clan assigned to the appanage, and, as time passed, the heads of appanages began to be styled “khan,” although it was always clear that there was a distinction between an appanage khan and the khan of the entire Jochid state (who headed his own family’s appanage as well).

The system was fundamentally decentralized. The appanage holder generally had the power to appoint, as well as to assess and collect revenues and to muster the military forces of the appanage. Throughout the period component parts of a combined campaign army are often named after the appanages they come from: laškar-e Balḵ, sepāh-e Tāškent, and so on. The reigning khan’s power of jurisdiction, as well as his ability to initiate and direct military campaigns, derived in large part from his persuasive powers and individual prestige, however, not from any prescriptive right. Nonetheless, a powerful reigning khan could exert direct control over the fiscal and military affairs of the individual appanages through the power to conduct military and fiscal audits, which in turn meant some inherent subordination of the appanages to central control. Control of the ataliqate was another indicator of central control. Every appanage holder had an atālīq/atalïq, an amir, a non-Chingizid, who supervised the adminis­tration and the military. During the reigns of powerful khans the atālīqs were appointed by and reportedto the khan. An indicator of appanage autonomy, there­fore, is the source of the atālīq’s appointment. When the reigning khan exercised the power of appointment, it shows a greater degree of central authority. This standard also applied at the appanage level when the holder appointed atālīqs to the subappanages. But when the appanage or subappanage holder chose his own atālīq greater local autonomy may be assumed.

Appanage holders mutually consolidated and expanded their power through internal and external alliances, direct contests, and conquests of other appanages. The sources give the impression of autonomous appanages, self-reliant in military and diplomatic affairs, and yet bound into a loose confeder­ation through adherence to the Chingizid constitution and acceptance of the legitimacy of a particular royal clan and its right to the khanate. The appanage system was neither static nor rigid. Although the boundaries of the individual territories retained a certain consistency over the two centuries in which the system held sway and devotion to the Chingizid way remained constant, the actual form in which the appanage state appeared at any given moment was a product of the political circumstances of the time.

Amirs, sultans, khans, ʿālems, and shaikhs. The appanage framework contained two formal, prescribed classes of participants, the Uzbek amirs and the Chingi­zid khans and sultans, and one group of informal participants: the ʿālems and shaikhs. Probably the most influential class were the amirs, leaders or highly placed members of Mongol and Turkic tribal groupings (ayl, ūlūs, ūymāq, tūmān, qošūn, ṭāʾefa, qabīla, qawm, etc.) with no claim to the Chingizid khanate. Though many of them were descendants of Čengīz’s ascendants or descendants of cognates, this conveyed no legitimacy within the political context of 16th- and l7th-century Central Asia. The tribal attributives of amirs frequently given in the sources: Kerāyt, Mangḡīt, Mīng, Ūyḡūr, Qalmāq, Qerḡez, Dūrmān, Qonḡrāt, Merkīt, Qaṭaḡan, Jalāyer, Qārlūq, Ūḡlān, Qūšjī, Bahrīn, Būyrāk, Qānqlī, Āḷčīn, and others, reveal them as the Uzbeks par excellence, or more precisely the “Mongols and Uzbeks” as distinct from the Chingizids. But the sources often mention amirs of non-Uzbek (i.e., Tajik) lineage, as well, including religious figures and members of the main brotherhood organizations, such as Sayyed Atāʾī, Pārsāʾī, ʿAzīzān, Naqšbandī, Jūybārī, Dahpīdī, Ṣāleḥī, and so on, and others with no discernible intellectual orientation but who held either a military or bureau­cratic office.

By and large the term amir seems to have been generally limited to those who performed some military function, but the line between military and civil administration is not at all sharp. On one hand we encounter men like Qol Bābā Kūkaltāš, probably the greatest military genius of the 16th century, who was also prominent as a bureaucrat at the khanate level, conducting fiscal audits (taḥqīqāt) in his capacity as mošarref-e dīvān, and held the post of ṣadr-e ḵānī, which supervised the judiciary. On the other hand, men like Ḥasan Ḵᵛāja Naqšbandī, a Tajik and the naqīb of Bukhara in the second half of the 16th century, played a preeminently military role. The differences between familiar concepts like amir and aʿyān or Turk and Tajik become less clear in individual cases. One might say that the distinguishing aspects of amirhood were military rank or participation in military campaigns and administrative rank other than clerical.

There is little evidence that members of the Turko-Mongol tribal groups acted in concert in a way comparable to the contemporary Qezelbāš ūymāqs. On numerous occasions amirs are assigned to military duties “with their ūlūsāt” or “at the head of their qošūn,” but whether military units such as the čohragān or īčakīān were organized along tribal lines is difficult to say. It is clear, however, that within a large tribal grouping like the Naymān, Dūrmān, or Qūšjī, for example, there was little if any solidarity vis-à-vis other tribal organizations or the royal clan. At the height of the civil war between the Janibegid, Soyunjokid, and Kuchkonjid subclans of the Abulkhairid/Shibanid lineage, one finds Naymān amirs fighting alongside each of the contenders. In addition, if we look at the main amirid supporters of any one of the contenders, the Soyunjokid, Bābā b. Nowrūz-Aḥmad, ʿAbd-Allāh b. Eskandar, the Janibegid, or Javānmard-ʿAlī, the Kuchkonjid, no one Uzbek group predominates. Amirid loyalties appear to have been to individuals and families, and sons of amirs often worked for the same subclan as their fathers. The commitment of the amirs as a group to the legitimacy of the Jochids tended to mute expressions of tribal solidarity. This is not to say that tribal solidarity did not exist. The initial campaign of ʿAbd-Allāh b. Eskandar against his Janibegid cousin at Balḵ was precipitated by complaints from Naymān amirs there that they were being collectively persecuted by the Balḵ appanage holder. At the beginning of the 17th century, the Toqay-Timurid leader Bāqī-­Moḥammad b. Dīn-Moḥammad established a foothold at Bukhara because of the disaffection of the Dūrmān amirs there from the Janibegid appanage holder. But in both cases, the people involved were few, and neither the Naymān nor Dūrmān as a whole played any role. More of a sense of tribal solidarity is displayed much later, in the late 17th and early 18th century, with the emergence of the Mangḡīt as the preeminent tribal group of Bukhara and the Qaṭagān in Balḵ.

The second formal class of participants in the appanage system is that of the Chingizid eligibles, the khans and sultans. In Shibanid and Toqay-Timurid usage the terms have a very precise meaning. In theory there is but one khan or khaqan, the head of the khanate. As the appanage system evolved, the title khan also came to be applied to the head of a major appanage, especially if that individual was also the senior member of one of the subdivisions of the royal clan. Khan was also a nontechnical term used to indicate Chingizids of exceptional military achievement who were, as junior members of the royal clan, the puissant khan as distinct from the regnant khan. Contemporary sources use phrases like “apparent khan” and “real khan” (ḵān-e ṣūrī, ḵān-e maʿnawī) and “greater” and “lesser” khan (ḵān-e kalān/aʿẓam and ḵān-e ḵord/aṣḡar). There are thus three contexts within which the term is used: 1. to designate the nominal, titular head of state, 2. to designate the head of an appanage, and 3. to single out the most vigorous and military active Chingizid figure, often himself the head of an appanage.

The title sultan was appended to the name of every member of the royal clan as well as other descendants of Čengīz Khan, (e.g., Maḥmūd-Solṭān, Dīn-Moḥammad-Solṭān) and only those members. Thus it was not limited to members of the royal clan but was used by all Chingizids. Within the Abulkhairid/Shibanid state there were at least two prominent groups of sultans who did not belong to the Abulkhairid clan. These were the so-called “Ḥeṣārī sultans,” more properly the Bakhtiyarid/Shibanids and the Toqay-Timurids. As Chingizids their right to the title sultan is always acknowledged, even in the Abulkhairid sources.

There was a third class of participants in the political process, who might be called “the learned,” those whose charisma and influence arose from their identification with sacred lore, whether scriptural or spiritual. These included the ʿālems, or scholars of the disciplines derived from Muslim scripture, logic, rhetoric, exegesis, jurisprudence, and grammar, as well as the sheikhs of the mystic brotherhoods, the leaders of the Kobrawīya and Naqšbandīya suborders in Central Asia, the ḵᵛājagān, members of those orders, and darvīšān, individuals of recognized spiritual merit who avoided denominational affiliation (eremites, qalandars, and the like). In general, the most influential figures on the 16th-century political scene, men like Sheikh ʿAbd-­al-Walī Pārsā (Ḵᵛāja Jān-Ḵᵛāja) in Balḵ, Ḵᵛāja Saʿd Jūybārī (Ḵᵛāja Kalān-Ḵᵛāja) in Bukhara, and Ḵᵛāja Hāšem Aḥrār in Samarqand were centrists, with credentials covering a broad part of the spectrum.

The learned class had no formal role in the Chingizid scheme, but the function it served of intercession and mediation was indispensable to the operation of the appanage system. It mediated both between individuals in the other two groups and between the disenfranchised (all those who did not belong to either of these three categories) and the ruling caste. In addition, most nonmilitary offices (šayḵ al-Eslām, qāżī, moftī, raʾīs, modarres, wazīr, dīvān) and the military office of naqīb were filled by members of this class.

II. The Abulkhairid khanate (Table 26).

The empire of Šïbānī (Šībānī) Khan, r. 907-16/1501-10. In the late 9th/15th century only Tashkent and Mo­ḡūlestān (eastern Turkestan) were subject to the revived Chaghatay khanate. The rest of Central Asia was still under the Timurids: ʿOmar Sheikh Mīrzā (d. 899/1494) governed the Farḡāna valley from Andejān; Sultan Aḥmad Mīrzā (d. 899/1494) governed the rest of Transoxania from Samarqand; and Sultan Ḥosayn Mīrzā ruled the lands south of the Oxus, Balḵ, and eastern Khorasan. The death of ʿOmar Sheikh Mīrzā set off a bitter universal struggle for control of Transoxania and Khorasan. Although Mīrzā Bāysonḡor (d. 905/1499), the son of Sultan Maḥmūd Mīrzā (d. 900/1495), and after him ʿOmar Sheikh Mīrzā’s son, Ẓahīr-al-Dīn Bābor (d. 937/1530), would press Timurid claims to the region for almost two decades, neither was an effective strategist and battlefield tactician.

Moḥammad Šībānī (aka Šāhī Beg, Šaybāq, Šaybak, and Šāhbaḵt), grandson of Abu’l-Ḵayr, had been a mercenary horseman in the service of a Timurid prince before becoming governor of Tashkent on behalf of the Chaghatay/Chingizid khan Sultan Maḥmūd at the beginning of 899/1494, and in 907/1501 he took control of Samarqand, at first on behalf of Sultan Maḥmūd. He launched a series of campaigns that brought him control over the Farḡāna region, Turkestan, and Tashkent (907-08/1502), the Amu Darya delta (Ūrganj and Kiva; 910-11/1504-05), Balḵ (911/1505), and Herat (913/1507), and by mid-913/end of 1507, he held the largest area of any political figure since the time of Šāhroḵ Mīrzā (d. 850/1447).

Moḥammad Šībānī’s achievements were based on military genius and personal charisma, and the loyalties generated by his successes were to his person rather than to his clan. When he was killed at Marv in Ramażān 916/December 1510, the “empire” he had created fell into the hands of competing powers, such as the Safavid shah Esmāʿīl I (eastern Khorasan and Herat) and the Timurid Ẓahīr-al-Dīn Bābor partly backed by Esmāʿīl (Balḵ, Bukhara, Samarqand). In eastern Transoxania amirs loyal to the Chaghatay khans ousted the Abulkhairids from the Farḡāna valley and Tashkent. In Ḵᵛārazm a rival Shibanid clan, the Arabshahid, seized control of the lower Amu Darya region. By the end of 917/1511, the Abulkhairids had lost every major city taken by Moḥammad Šībānī.

The corporate khanate of the Abulkhairids, 918-59/1511-50. In late winter 917/1512, encouraged by popular dissatisfaction with the rulers, Moḥammad Šībānī’s uncle Soyūnjok b. Abi’l-Ḵayr marched against Tash­kent and his nephew ʿObayd-Allāh against Bukhara, defeating Bābor at Kūl Malek in spring 918/1512. Bābor fled south to Ḥeṣār-e Šādmān, where his Chaghatay allies also turned on him. In the following winter a large Qezelbāš army was routed by the Abulkhairid forces at Ḡejdovān, just north of Bukhara.

After Šībānī Khan’s death the leaders of the Soyun­jokid, Kuchkonjid, Shahbudaqid, and Janibegid clans, as well as some of the non-Abulkhairid clans (e.g., the Bakhtiyarid), resorted to a system incorporating consultation and consensus between the major clans and their amirid backers, an acceptance of the idea of appanage autonomy, and a weak form of overall leader­ship based on seniority within the Abulkhairid house. The apparent inability of the clans to operate under a strong central leadership and their political success as individual appanages set the pattern for the politics of the 16th century. This pattern was formalized in two qoreltāys of the clan leaders, one probably held in the spring of 916/1511 after Šībānī’s death, in which the senior Abulkhairid, Kūčkonjī Moḥammad (or Kūčūm), was elected khan.

The second qoreltāy was held after the reestablish­ment of Abulkhairid control over Tashkent, Samar­qand, and Bukhara and fixed the shape of the political order for the next two hundred years. It confronted two main issues: succession to the Chingizid khanate and the distribution of territory. According to Ḥāfeẓ Tanīš (Šaraf-nāma, 1983, fol. 33b/p. 87), the election of the khan was based on established principle. “According to ancient [Chingizid] law, the sultans consulted together on the issue of the khanate. Since Kūčkonjī-Solṭān was the eldest they gave him the title khan. The (title) qaʿalḡah which means “heir apparent” they conferred on Soyūnjok-Solṭān (Šaraf-nāma, 1983, fol. 33b). In the distribution of territory, Bukhara went to the Shahbudaqid clan led by ʿObayd-Allāh; Mīānkal and Soḡd-e Samarqand were given to the line of Ḵᵛāja Moḥammad headed by Jānī Beg. Tashkent was allotted to Soyūnjok, and Samarqand was awarded jointly to Kūčkonjī and Moḥammad-Tīmūr, the son of Moḥammad Šībānī. This last arrangement reflected the ancient status of Samarqand as “capital” and therefore the appropriate seat for a head of state, as well as the fact that Samarqand had been Moḥammad Šībān’s center and thus properly belonged to his lineage.

Certain regions consequently became associated with particular Abulkhairid subclans, and the principle of seniority succession was accorded historical roots. In the 930s-40s/1520s-30s the four main Abulkhairid clans consolidated and expanded their appanage holdings. The Janibegids, allotted the least valuable appanage, improved their fortunes considerably when one of the clan members, Kīstan-Qarā-Solṭān, succeeded in wresting control of Balḵ from the Timurids in 932­-33/1526. In Samarqand, where appanage control was at first jointly shared by Kuchkonjids and Shahbudaqids, the death of Moḥammad-Tīmūr in 920/1514 left Kuchkonjids in complete control. Kūčkonjī and his successors directed their expansionist ambitions to the south in the direction of Badaḵšān and to the Farḡāna valley, where their interests conflicted with the Soyun­jokids in Tashkent. In Tashkent the Soyunjokids, under the leadership of Soyūnjok and then his son, Nowrūz-Aḥmad, first fended off the Chaghatay khans in the east, later they joined forces with them against the “Qazaq” Shibanid khans of the Talas-Chu basin. In Bukhara the Shahbudaqid clan placed its expansionist hopes in Khorasan.

ʿObayd-Allāh’s succession on the basis of seniority as regnant khan in 940/1533, after nearly a decade as puissant khan, signaled a temporary end of the struggle for Khorasan; by the end of his reign the Abulkhairid khanate had solidified into a quadripartite state centered on Balḵ, Bukhara, Samarqand, and Tashkent with the capital moving to the appanage center of each succeeding khan. The khanate maintained its integrity, with succession by seniority within the royal clan, but the regnant khanate was now formal, titular, and for the most part nominal, and real power rested in the hands of the heads of the appanages, now microcosms of the khanate. Nominal leadership was conferred on the senior Janibegid, Soyunjokid, Kuchkonjid, or Shahbudaqid; energetic younger sultans solicited amirid support and exercised authority from their subappanage centers.

After ʿObayd-Allāh two sons of Kūčkonjī succeeded to the nominal ḵānīyat, ʿAbd-Allāh and ʿAbd-al-Laṭīf. Nowrūz-Aḥmad, appanage khan at Tashkent in 930-31/1524, became puissant khan of Transoxania. Few of Nowrūz-Aḥmad’s early efforts are known, but sometime between 959 and 963 (1552-56), he joined ʿAbd-al­-Rašīd Khan, Chaghatay khan of Kashgar, in a major successful campaign against the “Qazaq Shibanids.” Of the other appanage khans and sultans during the period 946-57/1540-50, Pīr-Moḥammad, the Janibegid appanage khan at Balḵ, was drawn into the internecine Timurid struggle over Badaḵšān, when, in early 955/1549, Homāyūn, the Mughal leader, led a force from Kabul through Aybak and Ḵolm toward Balḵ, which was routed by a combined Shahbudaqid/Janibegid army.

By 957/1550 the individual appanages in general enjoyed internal autonomy and set their own foreign policies. Succession to the nominal khanate was based on seniority within the royal, Abulkhairid/Shibanid, clan. The appanage structure appeared stable at this point, capable of defending its component parts against external enemies, and able to meet the expectations of its amirid and sultanic elements. After 957/1550 this all changed.

Most of what we know of the appanages in the 940s-50s/1530s-40s pertains to the development of the cities. ʿObayd-Allāh’s son ʿAbd-al-ʿAzīz rebuilt the city walls of Bukhara, developed the shrine of Bahāʾ-al-Dīn Naqšband with a ḥaẓīra and ḵānaqāh (both of which still stand) and built a congregational mosque inside the Outer City, a madrasa (951/1544), and several mosques; the madrasa of Mīr ʿArab was completed in 942/1535. In Balḵ, in the 940s/1530s-40s, Kīstan-Qarā completed work on a congregational mosque, whose foundations were laid by Sultan Ḥosayn Mīrzā Bāyqarā (d. 911/1506), and rebuilt the city’s fortifications.

Civil War in Transoxania and Balḵ, 957-90/1550-82. 

1. Elimination of the Shahbudaqids, 957-64/1550-56. In the first four decades of clan rule (918-57/1512-50) four major appanages had formed, loosely federated under the moral authority of the regnant khan but by and large autonomous in internal and international affairs: the Soyunjokids in Tashkent, Turkestan, and the Farḡāna valley; the Kuchkonjids at Samarqand, Šahr-e Sabz, and as far west as Qaršī/Nasaf; the Janibegids represented in 957/1550 by two main subclans, the Eskandarid at Mīānkāl and Sogd-e Samarqand in Transoxania and the Pirmohammadid at Balḵ; and the Shahbudaqids at Bukhara, with two subclans, the descendants of Moḥammad Šībānī and those of his brother Maḥmūd and ʿObayd-Allāh b. Maḥmūd. Of the four clans, the Shahbudaqid was the weakest. Allied with the Kuchkonjids was a fifth Shibanid, but non-­Abulkhairid, clan, the “Ḥeṣārī sultans,” at Ḥeṣār.

Succession had been fairly uneventful. Since both great and appanage khans were barely primi inter pares, little seems to have been at stake in the way of resource redistribution at the time of succession. But in 957/1550 the situation changed with the death of ʿAbd-al-ʿAzīz. The senior surviving Mahmudid was his brother Moḥammad-Raḥīm, himself a political nonentity, but important as the stalking horse for his son Borhān’s political ambitions. In 957/1550 leadership of the Bukharan appanage passed to Moḥammad-Yār, grand­son of Moḥammad Šībānī and the head of the other Shahbudaqid subclan. The adjustments made would probably not have had any wider significance had not another appanage involved itself in the succession and ignited a civil war involving all four appanages.

War began when Pīr-Moḥammad, the senior Jani­begid and the appanage holder of Balḵ, attempted to seize control of Bukhara. It is the first of many recorded instances of one Abulkhairid trying to annex the territory of another. Responding to Moḥammad-Yār’s plea for help, Nowrūz-Aḥmad and ʿAbd-al-Laṭīf led a joint army against Mīānkāl and expelled all the Janibegid sultans. Pīr-Moḥammad returned Bukhara to Moḥammad-Yār and withdrew to Balḵ, where he now had to find appanage room for his brother, Eskandar, and his brother’s sons and amirs. But Moḥammad-­Yār’s status was diminished by this episode, and Borhān, the most powerful of the Bukharan sultans, forced him to accept his father as co-ruler.

By the end of 958/1551, the balance of the previous forty years had been destroyed: the Eskandarid/Jani­begid appanage had been conquered and divided be­tween the Soyunjokids and Kuchkonjids, and the Shah­budaqids were at war with themselves. Over the next six years, the Janibegids at Balḵ, in particular the displaced Eskandarids, tried to exploit the weaknesses of the Shahbudaqids as well as any opportunities offered them by their Soyunjokid and Kuchkonjid cousins to recoup the position they had lost, and in Rajab 964/May 1557 the subclan led by Jānī Beg’s grandson, ʿAbd-Allāh b. Eskandar, finally estab­lished itself at Bukhara. The Shahbudaqid clan was ousted and vanished from the political scene.

2. Elimination of the Soyunjokid and Kuchkonjid clans, 964-90/1557-82. For the next quarter century, appanage politics were factional with the fragmentation of politics in every appanage. Bukhara was soon polarized between the two most powerful Janibegids, ʿAbd-Allāh and Yār-Moḥammad’s son Ḵosrow. At Balḵ Pīr-Moḥammad and his son Dīn-­Moḥammad opposed both ʿAbd-Allāh and Ḵosrow. In Samarqand the brothers Javānmard-ʿAlī and Solṭān-Saʿīd and later the sons of Javānmard-ʿAlī emerged as competitors. In Tashkent, Nowrūz-Aḥmad’s sons, Darvīš and Bābā, similarly became the focus of rival factions. Sometimes (as in the case of Samarqand) an internal faction would bring in its allies from other appanages. After the death of ʿAbd-al-Laṭīf, two of his sons and three of his nephews sought appanage leader­ship. Although the senior member was Solṭān-Saʿīd, Javānmard-ʿAlī soon challenged him. Solṭān-Saʿīd won the backing of Nowrūz-Aḥmad and later even secured, briefly, the backing of the Chaghatay khan at Kashgar, ʿAbd-al-Rašīd. Javānmard-ʿAlī found his allies among both the Janibegids and his Kuchkonjid cousins, but after Solṭān-Saʿīd had been eliminated both cousins and sons challenged Javānmard-ʿAlī. The same pattern of events was repeated all over Transoxania and Balḵ. As soon as one faction was ousted and its territories and amirs redistributed, new factions appeared to challenge the new order. Clan solidarity both between and within the appanages broke down as generational change and the increase in the number of sultans in each appanage put intolerable pressure on available resources.

This continual warfare resulted in the creation of two appanage superpowers: One was the Eskandarid branch of the Janibegids, whose main figures after the death of Ḵosrow were Eskandar’s son ʿAbd-Allāh and his brothers, ʿAbd-al-Qoddūs (Dūstom-Solṭān) and ʿEbād-Allāh, and a cousin, Ūzbak b. Rostam. Through­out a period noted for the lack of cooperation between clansmen these four men maintained an extraordinary degree of unity. The other appanage power was the Soyunjokid family at Tashkent led by Bābā, son of Nowrūz-Aḥmad.

During the latter part of Nowrūz-Aḥmad’s life, a pattern was established in which inter-Kuchkonjid factionalism became the arena for contests between Soyunjokids and Eskandarids. After Nowrūz-Aḥmad’s death the pattern persisted but increasingly seems to have been polarized around the personalities of Bābā and ʿAbd-Allāh. The Kuchkonjid pretenders were eliminated through their own disunity and reliance on Eskandarid or Soyunjokid support. The case of Javānmard-ʿAlī (khan at Samarqand 980-84/1572-76) is illustrative: In 961/1554 he assisted Bābā in a battle against the Janibegids for control of Nasaf. Two years later, while appanaged at Aḵsīkat and Andejān in the Farḡāna valley, he backed his cousin Gadāy b. ʿAbd-al-Laṭīf against his brother, Sultan Saʿīd, who had the support of Bābā, for the khanate of Samarqand, thereby alienating the powerful Soyunjokid leader. He then tried to form ties with the Janibegid ʿAbd-Allāh, sending him troops during the siege of Termeḏ in the spring of 979/1572. Soon after, he and his son Abu’l-Ḵayr were with ʿAbd-Allāh in the army center at the battle of Kūk Gombad against Bābā (Ṣafar 980/July 1572). At the end of that year he brought troops to aid ʿAbd-Allāh against his first cousin Dīn-Moḥammad at Balḵ. But towards the end of 985/early 1578, as he faced pressure from his own son, he again renewed his alliance with Bābā. This alliance and Abu’l-Ḵayr’s request for aid from the Eskandarids led to a month­-long siege of Samarqand (Ṣafar 986/April-May 1578), at the end of which Javānmard-ʿAlī surrendered, was imprisoned, and finally put to death at ʿAbd-Allāh’s orders.

The fall of Samarqand and its annexation to the Eskandarid appanage, now including Balḵ and Šahr-e Sabz as well as Bukhara, isolated the Soyunjokids and their Kuchkonjid allies. For the next four years the Janibegids mounted campaigns against Tashkent, at first in defense of the claims of Darvīš b. Nowrūz-­Aḥmad to control of the khanate against his brother Bābā, and later in order to annex it to the Janibegid lands of Bukhara, Balḵ, and Samarqand. As Soyunjokid power waned in Tashkent, the “Qazaq” Shibanids, especially Ḥaqq-Naẓar Khan and his son and grandson, Šīḡāy and Tawakkol (Tevkel) reemerged as a potent new force in eastern Transoxania.

By 990/1582 the Eskandarid clan under the military leadership of ʿAbd-Allāh and the nominal khanate of his father Eskandar had consolidated the appanages of Tashkent, Samarqand, Bukhara, and Balḵ into one unified state. But adherence to the appanage principles remained as strong as ever.

The new age of empire, 992-1006/1584-98. Badaḵšān and Khorasan. Badaḵšān the nearest outpost of Mughal influence, had long been viewed by Mughal policy-makers as the staging ground for recapturing the ancestral lands of Balḵ and Transoxania. But it also served equally well, as Bābor, Homāyūn, and Akbar were to discover, as a hotbed for ambitious Timurids to nurture their hopes for Kabul and northwest India. From the Transoxanian perspective, Badaḵšān was an attractive object because of its proximity to Balḵ and to the southern reaches of the Samarqand appanage. In 956/1549 Homāyūn led an army against Balḵ but was defeated in no small part because of the refusal of his half brother, Kāmrān, who resided in Badaḵšān, to send him reinforcements. Later that same year there was a struggle between Kāmrān on one side and his half brother Hendal and two other Timurids, Solaymān Mīrzā (or Solaymān Shah), whom Bābor had first sent to Badaḵšān in 935/1528-29, and his son Ebrāhīm. In 967/1560, apparently trying to capitalize on the inter-­appanage problems of the Janibegids, Solaymān marched against Balḵ but was defeated by Pīr-Moḥammad and ʿAbd-Allāh at Čašma-ye Jarzovān (Garzovān), where his son Ebrāhīm Mīrzā was killed.

From then on Badaḵšān’s politics and the policies of Solaymān Shah were generally directed toward Kabul. But in 982/1574, when ʿAbd-Allāh conquered Ḥeṣār­-e Šādmān and installed an Eskandarid as appanage holder, Solaymān intervened on the side of the Ḥeṣārī sultans. But his candidate lost, and in a struggle between two parties at his own capital, Qaḷʿa-ye Ẓafar, he was ousted, and his seven-year-old grandson, Šāhroḵ Mīrzā, was installed in his place. In 986-87/1577-78, returning from a penitential ḥajj by way of Qazvīn, Solaymān obtained a commitment of military support from Shah Esmāʿīl II, but a few months later the shah was murdered. Nevertheless, with the backing of the Mughal sovereign, Jalāl-al-Dīn Akbar, Solaymān regained control of part of Badaḵšān. But his rivalry with the supporters of his grandson continued, which encouraged ʿAbd-Allāh to intervene. The campaign opened at Bukhara on 6 Moḥarram 992/19 January 1584 and concluded ten months later. In the course of the campaign, Qondūz, Ṭālaqān, Kāhmard, Ḡūrī, and Kūlāb were all wrested from Timurid control. Solaymān and Šāhroḵ attempted to restore their rule in Badaḵšān towards the end of Rabīʿ II 994/April 1586 but were dispersed by the army of ʿAbd-Allāh’s son, ʿAbd-al-Moʾmen, the appanage holder of Balḵ.

The expansion into Khorasan involved a greater commitment of resources and produced greater rewards. In the struggle to control the Safavid monarch, ʿAlīqoli Khan Šāmlū, the Qezelbāš governor of Herat, after losing the battle for control of the prince, ʿAbbās b. Moḥammad Ḵodābanda, who was soon to be shah, attempted to form an alliance with ʿAbd-Allāh at Bukhara in 994/1586. But faced with the reality of a Shibanid/Uzbek army come to occupy Herat at his request, ʿAlīqoli Khan in early Rajab 995/June 1587 locked the gates of the city. Nine months later, on 1 Rabīʿ II 996/29 February 1588 Herat was stormed and the garrison killed. From there the Shibanid/Uzbek armies extended their control over all the major cities of Khorasan, Qohestān, and Sīstān. Mašhad fell in the middle of Ḏu’l-ḥejja 997/November 1589, then Nīšāpūr, Sabzavār, and Esfarāʾen. Janibegid allies exploited Qezelbāš factionalism in Qohestān to extend Bukharan control there as well. The maleks of Sīstān acknowledged Transoxanian hegemony, while the Safavids of Qandahār also reached an accommodation with the new lords of Khorasan. From 996/1588 until the Safavid/Qezelbāš reconquest of 1006-07/1598, Transoxania had jurisdiction over most of northeastern and eastern Persia.

The Khorasan period had a pronounced influence on the development of appanage politics. In the siege and conquest of Herat and at Mašhad, Nīšāpūr, Sabzavār, and Esfarāʾen ʿAbd-al-Moʾmen played the leading role. In fact after the fall of Herat, over which ʿAbd-al-Moʾmen himself presided, ʿAbd-Allāh, though regnant khan, played no further part in the conquest of Khorasan but appears to have been satisfied with conferring Herat on his most trusted amir, Qol Bābā Kūkaltāš, turning Qohestān over to the Toqay-­Timurid sultans, and then giving his son a free hand in the rest of Khorasan. In the confrontations between Safavid/Qezelbāš and Shibanid/Uzbek forces during the decade ʿAbd-al-Moʾmen represented the Shibanid house. From Iranian sources and letters exchanged by Shah ʿAbbās and ʿAbd-al-Moʾmen it is clear that ʿAbd-al-Moʾmen felt he was not properly rewarded for his services in Khorasan and was especially unhappy at not having been granted Herat, which was adjacent to his own appanage. But at the end of Ṣafar 999/late 1590 ʿAbd-Allāh convened a qoreltāy in Bukhara and named ʿAbd-al-Moʾmen heir apparent.

Another consequence of the Khorasan period was the rise of the Toqay-Timurid house to military promi­nence. The leading figures in the family (see below and Table 27) were Dīn-Moḥammad and his brothers Bāqī-Moḥammad and Walī-Moḥammad. ʿAbd-Allāh had given the governorship of the strategic city of Qondūz to Dīn-Moḥammad after its capture from the Timurids in Ṣafar 992/February 1584. Later Baḡlān was added to his territory. For his participation in the conquest of Herat in 996/1588, Dīn-Moḥammad was awarded Bāḵarz and Ḵargerd, and during the next decade, with the help of his brothers, he brought all of Qohestān under his control as far west as Ṭabas(-e Gīlagī?) on the road to Yazd. From there he conducted razzias that took him at times into Fārs. In 1003/1595 ʿAbd-Allāh gave Sīstān to Dīn-Moḥammad. By the time of the Safavid/Qezelbāš reconquest of Khorasan, the Toqay-Timurid line with Dīn-Moḥammad as its most powerful sultan had established itself as a credible representative of Chingizid constitutional politics.

Collapse of the Abulkhairid/Shibanid khanate, 1006­-07/1598-99. ʿAbd-Allāh Khan died in Rajab 1006/February 1598. For the Janibegids the politics of succession were theoretically mitigated by ʿAbd-al-Moʾmen’s appointment as heir apparent. But his activi­ties after his succession destroyed any political advan­tage he might have had. He immediately began to liquidate his uncles and cousins and execute a number of his father’s amirs, among whom was Qol Bābā Kūkaltāš, but was himself assassinated after about six months by a group of amirs near Żāmen, between Orā Tīpa and Samarqand.

III. The Toqay-Timurid Khanate (Table 27).

The Interregnum, summer 1006-07/1598-spring 1007/1599. In Tashkent, a revived Qazaq Shibanid entity led by Tawakkol Khan b. Šīḡāy Khan had emerged as a major challenger to Janibegid legitimacy as a result of ʿAbd-Allāh’s death and ʿAbd-al-Moʾmen’s purges. Shortly after ʿAbd-al-Moʾmen had put the Janibegid appanage holder at Tashkent, Ūzbak b. Hazāra, to death, Tawakkol Khan occupied the city. On ʿAbd-al-Moʾmen’s death there was no prominent Janibegid sultan with the military and administrative credentials to capture wide amirid support and to combat the immediate Qazaq threat. In Samarqand and Balḵ amirid factions sought a legitimate candidate to sponsor. The Balḵ faction proclaimed the khanate of ʿAbd-al-Amīn, reportedly a son of ʿEbād-Allāh, ʿAbd-Allāh’s brother and until Ramażān 994/October 1586 the appanage holder of Samarqand. At Samar­qand, where concern was greatest about the Qazaq approach, a Kanīkas amir and loyal servant of the Janibegids since at least 957/1550, ʿAbd-al-Wāseʿ Bī (Biy), first secured control of Samarqand and then sent a delegation of amirs to Bukhara, where they proclaimed the khanate of Pīr-Moḥammad b. Solaymān b. Jānī Beg. By the end of 1006/mid-1598 there were in effect three khanates in Transoxania and Balḵ, the Qazaq Shibanid khanate of Tawakkol b. Šīḡāy (with growing support from the Uzbek amirs) at Tashkent and the Janibegid khanates of ʿAbd-al-Amīn at Balḵ and Pīr-Moḥammad at Bukhara.

In Khorasan and Sīstān, sometime between February and August 1598, the Toqay-Timurids led by Dīn-Moḥammad b. Jānī-Moḥammad proclaimed their khanate in the name of the senior member, the grandfather of Dīn-Moḥammad, Yār-Moḥammad (who declined the honor) and then in the name of the next senior member, Jānī-Moḥammad. Dīn-Moḥammad moved on Herat at about the same time an army launched by Shah ʿAbbās at the news of ʿAbd-Allāh Khan’s death was approaching the city from the northwest. The Toqay-Timurid leader and his brothers reportedly debated whether to return to the “patrimonial lands” of Balḵ and Transoxania and establish the khanate there or stay and defend Herat. The decision was to stay, and in the ensuing fighting Dīn-Moḥammad was killed and Khorasan reoccupied by the Safavid/Qezelbāš. The surviving Toqay-Timurids and their amirid backers retreated to Transoxania. There, under the leadership of Bāqī-Moḥammad the family offered its services to the Janibegid khan of Bukhara in his fight with the Qazaqs, who in the preceding months had forced Samarqand’s surrender, taken two of the major fortress towns of Mīānkāl, Dabūsīya, and Kūfīn, and laid siege to Bukhara. But now some of those who had joined Tawakkol b. Šīḡāy abandoned him and rejoined the amirs supporting Pīr-Moḥammad Khan, and unable to take Bukhara he withdrew from Samarqand by the fall of 1007/1598. In return for his help Pīr-Moḥammad Khan awarded Samarqand to Bāqī-Moḥammad, who began to rebuild Toqay-Timurid fortunes. In late winter 1007/1598-99, the khan dismissed one of the leading Dūrmān amirs, Moḥammad Bāqī Bī, from his post as dīvānbegī and refused to bow to the appeals of Moḥammad-Bāqī Bī’s fellow Dūrmān amirs to reinstate him. These then invited Bāqī-Moḥammad to oust the khan. The Toqay-Timurid leader brought an army to Bukhara and at the battle of Bāḡ-e Šamāl in the spring of 1007/1599 he defeated the Bukharan force and killed Pīr-Moḥammad, ending a century of Shibanid sovereignty.

The Unified Khanate, 1007-20/1599-1612. The Toqay-Timurid clan immediately met in qoreltāy, elected Jānī-­Moḥammad, the senior member after Yār-Moḥammad (who refused the khanate for a second time), regnant khan. Jānī-Moḥammad presided at the first Toqay­-Timurid appanage distribution, at which Bāqī-Moḥammad as puissant khan received Bukhara. The new khan sat at Samarqand, the historic taḵt-gāh. The rest of the appanages were distributed in the spring of 1007/1599: Walī-Moḥammad, the next most powerful figure after Bāqī-Moḥammad received Sāḡarj; Pīr-Moḥammad, of unknown lineage, Orā Tīpa; Šahr-e Sabz (Kaš) went to ʿAbbās-Solṭān, and Ḵozār, a dependency of Bukhara, was given to Raḥmānqolī-Solṭān. Tashkent, Balḵ, Ḥeṣār-e Šādman, the Farḡāna region, and Badaḵšān were still outside Toqay-Timurid jurisdiction.

By and large the Uzbek amirs approved the new khanate as a worthy upholder of the Chingizid political constitution. At Balḵ the amirs installed ʿAbd-al-­Amīn (see above), but there was no general amirid consensus on his khanate, and within a short period dissident amirs assassinated him and sometime early in mid-1007/1599 installed Moḥammad-Ebrāhīm, a man alternately styled a Janibegid (grandnephew of Jānī Beg) or a Toqay-Timurid (grandson of Yār­-Moḥammad), who had been captured by the Qezelbāš in the 1006-07/1598 campaign and gone with Shah ʿAbbās to Isfahan. The shah apparently saw in Moḥammad-Ebrāhīm an instrument for his Khorasan policies in the wake of the recapture of Herat. There is little sign that the Balḵ amirs who conspired in support of Ebrāhīm, were in any way pro-Safavid. Instead the indications are that he was seen as far more capable than ʿAbd-al-Amīn. On Ebrāhīm’s death the amirs turned to a scion of the house of the Ḥeṣārī sultans, Maḥmūd-Solṭān, who had been forced out of Deh-e Now as the Toqay-Timurids consolidated their hold on Transoxania. When Walī-Moḥammad occupied Balḵ in 1009/late September 1600 with the help of two of Maḥmūd’s top Mīng administrators, Barūtī Bī and Šokr Bī, Maḥmūd fled to Ḥeṣār and then disappeared completely from the political scene. Except for a brief interlude in 1056-57/1646-47, Balḵ remained in Toqay-Timurid hands for the next 130 years.

After Jānī-Moḥammad’s election to the khanate in 1007/1599, Bāqī-Moḥammad assumed the role of “real” khan. At home he had to root out residual support for the Janibegids and deal with his own family’s unhappiness over appanage assignments. Two Janibegid/Shibanid sultans, Moḥammad-Salīm b. Pīr-­Moḥammad, and Jahāngīr b. Sayyed-Moḥammad were given asylum by Shah ʿAbbās and became surrogates for Safavid ambition for Balḵ. But a campaign in the fall of 1011/1602 ended in disaster, and Safavid plans to annex the city were dropped.

Over the winter of 1010/1601-02 Bāqī-Moḥammad was also faced with the unsuccessful “rebellion of the uncles,” ʿAbbās and Raḥmānqolī, who were reportedly angered by the grant of Balḵ to Walī-Moḥammad rather than to one of them. This is the first sign of Toqay-Timurid infighting and indicates the fear representatives of collateral lines had about losing influence in the face of increasing consolidation of appanage power in the hands of the khan’s own line. At Badaḵšān Mīrzā Badīʿ-al-Zamān, a nephew of the Mughal padshah, Jalāl-al-Dīn Akbar, tried to reestablish Timurid power, but in mid-Šawwāl 1011/late March­-1603 Bāqī-Moḥammad led a campaign in which he defeated and killed the prince.

When Jānī-Moḥammad died, another qoreltāy was held, and Bāqī-Moḥammad assumed the khanate (Yār-Moḥammad declined for the third time). His greatest military and political challenge came from a Soyunjukid, Kīldī-Moḥammad-Solṭān, grandson of Nowrūz-­Aḥmad. In 1012/1603 a coalition of Qerḡez and Qazaq formed behind his candidacy, and by the spring of 1604 Tashkent, Turkestan, and the Farḡāna valley recognized his khanate. Bāqī-Moḥammad led a force as far as Šāhroḵīya (Fanākat), but face to face with Kīldī-Moḥammad Khan’s army his own troops turned and fled to Samarqand. Kīldī-Moḥammad was unable to take the city and died immediately afterwards.

In the spring of 1013/1605 Bāqī-Moḥammad again campaigned, but to no effect, against the representatives of the descendants of Nowrūz-Aḥmad, now led by an individual designated in the sources only by the name Ḵānzāda “son of the khan,” probably a son of Kīldī-Moḥammad. At the end of the campaign Bāqī-Moḥammad died in 1014/1605. During his rule he established Toqay-Timurid legitimacy in Transoxania and Balḵ, reinvigorated the appanage system, and fended off two of the perennial rivals of the Jochid state: the Mughal/Timurids, who had a base of loyal support in Badaḵšān, and the Safavid/Qezelbāš, who adjusted their policies in Khorasan to encompass overt support first for Shibanid claimants of the ḵānīyat and later for ousted Toqay-Timurids. Bāqī-Moḥammad was also the first of the Toqay-Timurids to have continued the Shibanid practice of underwriting public build­ings. Records survive of a congregational mosque and madrasa in Bukhara, a festival mosque (ʿīd-gāh), a park (čārbāḡ) and an audience hall (kūronoš-ḵāna) in Samarqand.

The amirid and ʿalemid leaders of Bukhara backed Walī-Moḥammad, senior member of the Toqay-Timurid family who held Balḵ and Badaḵšān. A faction, though, was beginning to coalesce behind the sons of the late Dīn-Moḥammad, Emāmqolī and Naḏr-Moḥammad. Walī-Moḥammad’s reign was marked by a revival of separatist forces in Badaḵšān and the Ḥeṣār-e Šādmān/Čaḡānīān region. The latter area had long had a tradition of autonomous rule by the “Ḥeṣārī sultans” that was not apparently ended by the disappearance of Maḥmūd-Solṭān. In a similar fashion, Badaḵšān remained a congenial environment for Mughal (Timurid) politicians interested in the possibility of recapturing the ancestral lands across the Amu Darya. Walī-Moḥammad was not much involved in the campaigning, assigning his nephew Emāmqolī and his amirs to deal with the disturbances.

The Qazaqs, meantime, now led by Īšem b. Šīḡāy Khan had extended their control from Turkestan and Tashkent as far south and west as the right bank of the Jaxartes, but an army led by two of Walī-Moḥammad’s amirs won an important victory over Īšem there (probably in 1016-17/1608) and retook Tashkent. In an attempt to regain the support of the people of that city and perhaps to stimulate Tashkent’s economy in the wake of the Qazaq occupation, the khan announced an indefinite lifting of the basic land tax (ḵarāj) and tax relief for artisan organizations and businessmen. In addition, he wooed the ʿalemid class of Tashkent with new revenue grants and other awards. But maintaining control of Tashkent became increasingly difficult for the khan at Bukhara, and its administration alternated between Qazaq and Toqay-Timurid loyalists in the five years of his khanate.

When Walī-Moḥammad succeeded to the khanate the appanages of Samarqand and Šahr-e Sabz were held by his nephews Emāmqolī and Naḏr-Moḥammad and Qondūz by his own son Rostam(-Moḥammad). In about 1014-15/1606 the khan reassigned the 15-year­-old Naḏr-Moḥammad to Balḵ in response to amirid requests for a Toqay-Timurid representative in order to combat more effectively Shibanid irredentism. Naḏr-Moḥammad, with Ḥājī Bī Qūšjī, one of Walī-­Moḥammad’s most trusted supporters, as his atalïq, and the Balḵ amirs were able to put down the insurgency centered around the two Shibanid exiles, Jahāngīr and Moḥammad-Salīm, by mid-1016/late 1607. This was the end of all Shibanid attempts to reclaim the Chingizid khanate in Transoxania and Balḵ. Naḏr-Moḥammad expected to be rewarded for his anti-Shibanid efforts, but Walī-Moḥammad, apprehensive of his rising prestige, appointed Šāh Beg Kūkaltāš, an amir at Bukhara, as new atalïq in Balḵ. When Šāh Beg was assassinated in the ʿAbd-Allāh Khan Madrasa at Balḵ Naḏr-Moḥammad took refuge at Samarqand, and the struggle between the Walid (the supporters of Walī-Moḥammad and his son Rostam) and Dinid (the sup­porters of Emāmqolī and Naḏr-Moḥammad, sons of Dīn-Moḥammad) factions began to dominate Central Asian politics. By early spring 1019-20/1611 Walī-­Moḥammad had lost so much amirid support that he stepped down from the khanate and sought asylum with Shah ʿAbbās, and Emāmqolī made Bukhara his appanage. Walī-Moḥammad made one attempt to regain the khanate in 1020/1611. Backed by Safavid military forces he returned to Transoxania by way of Marv. Emāmqolī was forced to retreat to Samarqand when a number of Bukharan amirs indicated they would support Walī-Moḥammad. In Transoxania both Walid and Dinid factions now campaigned for amirid support, and dissension in the ranks of the amirs supporting Emāmqolī at Samarqand indicates the effectiveness of Walī-Moḥammad’s propaganda. Both sides also sought support from the Qazaqs. Abūlī Solṭān (b. Īšem Khan?) accepted (unspecified) promises made by Emāmqolī, while other Qazaq groups backed Walī-Moḥammad. The final battlefield confrontation at Jarjī near Samarqand in Rajab 1020/September 1611 had all the earmarks of a civil war: “Qazaqs were set opposite Qazaqs and other ūlūsāt and ūymāqāt stood facing their own kind” (Maḥmūd b. Amīr Walī, Baḥr al-asrār VI/4, fol. 98b). Walī-Moḥammad was slain and the Walid hold on the khanate terminated.

The first double khanate, 1020-51/1612-42. With the elimination of the Walid claim, the Chingizid khanate of Transoxania and Balḵ evolved into a bipartite state divided between two brothers, Emāmqolī as “great khan” and Naḏr-Moḥammad as “little khan.” Bukhara, including Samarqand and for most of the next 30 years Turkestan and Tashkent, and Balḵ, including Badaḵšān, evolved as political equals. The principal political problems for Bukhara were the Qazaqs in the northeast, Ḵᵛārazm on the lower Amu Darya, particularly with regard to the northern (trans-Caspian) pilgrimage route and the caravan routes to the Volga ports, and the Farḡāna valley, especially Andejān. Bukhara’s foreign policy focused on relations with the Qazaqs, the Shibanids of Ḵᵛārazm, and the Chaghatayids in Kashgar and Yārkand. Balḵ’s foreign policy concerns were in Khorasan, Badaḵšān, and Kabul. Under Naḏr-Moḥammad relations with Agra/Delhi and Isfahan were of prime importance and produced many ambassadorial exchanges.

Bukhara. The Qazaq problem and relations with Kashgar. To reward his Qazaq supporters Emāmqolī ceded or perhaps formally acknowledged de facto Qazaq control of Tashkent, Turkestan, and Sāḡarj, one of the original Toqay-Timurid appanages, in early 1021/1612. Tashkent and Turkestan went to Īšem b. Šīḡāy and Sāḡarj to Jānī Beg b. Īšem. But probably as early as 1021/mid-1612 Emāmqolī Khan successfully sent an army under Yalangtūš Bī Āḷčīn, the premier military administrator of the first half of the century, against Īšem and another against Abūlī. In the “third year” of his reign (1023/1614, if his reign is dated from the final encounter with Walī-Moḥammad) Emāmqolī launched a campaign against the Qazaqs, when word arrived of a rebellion at Andejān, a town still under the control of Ḵānzāda, whom his uncle Bāqī-Moḥammad had not been able to wholly suppress. Though it turned out to be a false alarm, the Qazaq campaign was called off and Tashkent conferred on Torsūn Solṭān b. Čālem, a Qazaq loyal to Bukhara.

Tashkent and the Farḡāna valley were not easily controlled from Bukhara, and for the next year the Qazaq were as often rivals as allies. The intermittent struggles arose at least in part from the movement westward of nomadic tribes out of the Dašt-e Qepčāq. There are references in the sources to groups not encountered before, like the Āq Būryā and Qūrama, who suddenly appear as arbiters and power brokers. Other tribal groups, the Qerḡez, Qalmāq, Qepčāq, and Qarāqalpāq, though long active in the politics of Transoxania and Balḵ, appear to have been playing an increasingly prominent part. This phenomenon is most evident further east in Moḡūlestān, where the Qerḡez and Qalmāq became more and more dominant as the 17th century progressed. In 1093/1682 the process culminated with the subjugation of the Chaghatay state in Moḡūlestān (Kashgar, Yārkand, Āqsū, Khotan, and Turfan) by the Qalmāq.

The continual intrusion of nomadic groups into Transoxania and Balḵ was not a new phenomenon, but it differed from the incursions associated with the end of the 15th and early 16th centuries in terms of the loyalties of these tribal entities, specifically their lack of commitment to the Chingizid tradition as it had evolved in Transoxania and Balḵ under Shibanid and Toqay-Timurid auspices.

The Toqay-Timurid policy in the east was connected with the politics of Moḡūlestān. In 1045/1635, the Chaghatay ruler of Moḡūlestān, Sultan Aḥmad Khan, was deposed, escaped to Balḵ, and eventually received asylum at the court of Emāmqolī in Bukhara. In 1048/1638-39 the khan outfitted him and sent him off to try and recapture his throne, but for unexplained reasons Sultan Aḥmad Khan decided to lay siege to Andejān en route and in the course of the siege was killed, thus ending any hopes Emāmqolī might have had for a Bukhara-Kashghar alliance.

The Balḵ khanate, 1020-51/1612-42. Several challenges engaged the political and military resources of Balḵ during the thirty years of the bipartite khanate, the first of which were the irredentist forces of the Shibanids, Jahāngīr and Moḥammad-Salīm, and next that of the Walid restorationists led by Rostam-Solṭān. Both problems were entwined with relations between the Toqay-Timurids and the Safavids. On another plane, relations were tied to the relations each had with the Mughal state. A cooling or warming of ties between any two of these neighboring states had repercussions on their relations with the third. And on all sides foreign relations were inextricably linked to domestic policies and problems.

One of the domestic factors in the foreign policy of the Balḵ khanate were the subappanages formed to absorb the demand created by Naḏr-Moḥammad’s six sons. Two subappanages were formed in 1030/1621 to meet the claims of the two eldest: one in the east that included Ḵoṭlān and Badaḵšān was given to ʿAbd-al-ʿAzīz (see ʿabd-al-ʿazǰz b. naḏr-moḥammad), the eldest, and one in the west that included Maymana, Šebarḡān, Andḵūd, and Jejaktū was given to Ḵosrow.

In 1011-32/1602-23 the Safavid state adopted a policy of supporting first Shibanid then Walid pretenders. The Shibanid problem was eliminated by 1019/1610-11 but was almost immediately superseded by the similar challenge of Rostam-Solṭān after his father’s ouster in 1020/1611-12 and even more after the latter’s death in early 1021/1612. During 1020-32/1611-23, Rostam himself or groups representing him launched seven offensives in the Balḵ region, one of which put the city of Balḵ under siege in 1023/1614. Some of these campaigns involved the direct participation of Qezelbāš troops under the command of the Šāmlū governor of Herat, but for the most part the incursions were small-­scale affairs involving only Rostam’s own followers.

In 1032/1622, after Yalangtūš Bī Āḷčīn had destroyed the fort at Šāfelān and led Toqay-Timurid forces onto Herat territory and Bālā Morḡāb had been taken from its Qezelbāš governor, Shah ʿAbbās agreed to relocate Rostam. The Balḵ khan sent an embassy to Isfahan offering to return Bālā Morḡāb in exchange for Shah ʿAbbās’ removing Rostam from the marches. The shah pensioned him off far from Khorasan; there he stayed until 1038/1629. The agreement brought some six years of peace to the marchlands. Shah ʿAbbās’ death in 1038/1629 loosed the tribal elements on both sides of the frontier from the constraints under which they operated. From the Toqay-Timurid perspective what followed was a direct result of Shah Ṣafī’s refusal to renew relations with Naḏr-Moḥammad on the existing terms. Over the next two years raids across the border, disruption of the caravan trade, loss of customs dues, some devastation of agriculture and herds within Balḵ’s territory, and the reappearance of Rostam at Ōba and Šāfelān gave Naḏr-Moḥammad considerable anxiety. In 1040-41/1631 he reorganized the subappanages of Balḵ, transferring ʿAbd-al-ʿAzīz from Ḵoṭlān to the western one and Ḵosrow to Ḵoṭlān. The amirs who accompanied ʿAbd-al-ʿAzīz were an illustrious group: Baqi dīvānbegī Ūyrāt; ʿAbd-al-Raḥmān Bī Ūšūn, ex-dīvānbegī to Naḏr-Moḥammad and for the past ten years atalïq to ʿAbd-al-ʿAzīz; and two other amirs with the rank of atalïq, Yalangtūš Bī Āḷčīn and Ūrāz Bī Mīng, along with several other top-ranking military leaders, all veterans of campaigns against Rostam, the Qazaqs, Qerḡez, and various insurgents in Badaḵšān and Ḵoṭlān. An Uzbek force led by ʿAbd-al-ʿAzīz assaulted Bālā Morḡāb, where it negotiated terms, and Marūčāq, which Ḥosaynqolī Khan Šāmlū surrendered. But a Qezelbāš force under Ḥasan Khan Šāmlū, the beglarbegī of Khorasan, responded with a show of force, and ʿAbd-al-ʿAzīz withdrew.

Three years later the sultan and his amirs conducted another incursion into Safavid territory, one in which the dynamic of appanage politics played a major part. Naḏr-Moḥammad appears to have had no interest in war with Iran. The campaign of 1631 had been aimed only at restoring some order to the frontier region, and when he heard of his son’s plans for an invasion of Khorasan he tried to stop it. But just as he reserved to himself the right to conduct his own foreign policy independent of the khan in Bukhara, appanage politics provided his son with a similar argument. ʿAbd-al-ʿAzīz and his amirs opened a major campaign reminiscent of the Shibanid/Uzbek campaigns of the 1580s and 90s. An army of some 3,000 cavalry marched west from Maymana, skirting Herat to the north, passed through Ṭayabād (Ṭayyebāt) and then turned northwest for Nīšāpūr. The object of the campaign was reportedly to take Mašhad and force Shah Ṣafī to conclude a new treaty with Balḵ. Perhaps there was some thought of taking Mašhad, although the force seems somewhat small for the purpose. It reached as far as Dūḡābād (Dawḡāʾī northwest of Mašhad?), when intelligence came of an approaching Qezelbāš army. Taking the advice of his amirs, ʿAbd-al-ʿAzīz retreated. He and his atalïq, ʿAbd-al-Raḥmān Ūšūn, were recalled to Balḵ by Naḏr-Moḥammad and reprimanded for disobeying his orders against the campaign. The khan dismissed ʿAbd-al-Raḥmān Ūšūn and appointed Ūrāz Bī Mīng in his place.

Balḵ’s relations with the Mughal state were linked to domestic appanage issues like border security, inter­nal Mughal politics, and relations with the Safavids. When Jahāngīr b. Akbar died on 9 Ṣafar 1037/20 October 1627 it was rumored that the Qezelbāš gover­nor of Qandahār (which had been taken by the Safavids from the Mughals four years earlier) was marching on Kabul, and, ʿAbd-al-ʿAzīz with his father’s approval led an army to Kabul. It included some of the top military figures in Balḵ; his own atalïq, ʿAbd-al-Raḥ­mān Bī Ūšūn, as well as Ūrāz Bī Mīng, Yalangtūš Bī, Bāqī dīvānbegī Ūyrāt, Waqqāṣ Ḥājī (who would later explain the campaign to Šāh-Jahān as Naḏr-Mo­ḥammad’s envoy), Allāh-Bīrdī Bī Būyrāk, Manṣūr Ḥājī Tarḵān, and Moḥammad-Baqī Bī Qalmāq. The army set up base at Laḡmān near Kabul but was unable to force Kabul to surrender. Between 1036/1627 and 1048/1638-39, relations between Delhi/Agra and Balḵ were cordial and maintained by a series of reciprocal embassies.

But despite these amicable exchanges the Balḵ khan remained uncertain about Mughal intentions, both because of the inconclusive campaign against Kabul and possible retaliation for it and because Šāh-Jahān’s adoption of the title ṣāḥeb-e qerān-e ṯānī (Timur being the first ṣāḥeb-e qerān) suggested that Agra might revive its claims to Central Asia. Not longer after Naḏr-­Moḥammad sent off an ambassador to negotiate a treaty with the Mughals it was rumored that Šāh-­Jahān’s widely publicized trip to Kabul in 1048-49/1639 was in preparation for a campaign against Balḵ and Badaḵšān, and Naḏr-Moḥammad was told that 100,000 cavalrymen had marched from Agra to Lahore and were heading for Kabul. The khan immediately mustered some 80,000 horsemen from all of Balḵ. By mid-summer 1049/1639 Naḏr-Moḥammad received a report from his ambassador, now with Šāh-Jahān at Kabul, that Šāh-Jahān had indeed come to Kabul with plans for a campaign against Balḵ, but the Balḵ mobilization had persuaded him to forego it. On 22 Jomādā II 1049/19 October 1639 an embassy from Šāh-Jahān with suggestions for coordinating a cam­paign against the Qezelbāš apparently further reassured Naḏr-Moḥammad that Šāh-Jahān was not about to open a northern front. A year later, however, another Mughal initiative in the southern Hazārajāt again raised anxiety in Balḵ.

Against this background of Mughal activity along the southern borders of the Balḵ khanate and an unresolved situation in the west with the Safavids and their Qezelbāš allies, the Chingizid khanate was plunged into a succession crisis by the voluntary abdication in 1051/1641 of Emāmqolī Khan. In Šaʿbān 1051/Novem­ber 1641 he traveled to Samarqand to pay his final respects at the tomb of Ḵᵛāja ʿObayd-Allāh Aḥrār and there was joined by Naḏr-Moḥammad, whom he had summoned from Balḵ, and ʿAbd-al-ʿAzīz, who at the time had been at Čaḡānīān. On 7 Šaʿbān/11 November they attended Friday services at the Friday Mosque in Samarqand. Naḏr-Moḥammad’s name was invoked in the ḵoṭba as khan, and ʿAbd-al-ʿAzīz was designated qaʿalḵān. Emāmqolī left Bukhara on 20 Ḏu’l-ḥejja 1051/22 March 1642, traveled through Persia, where ʿAbbās II, who was awaiting his arrival in Isfahan had prepared a lavish welcome, and then spent his remaining days at Medina.

The reunified khanate, 1051-55/1642-45. Naḏr-Moḥammad’s first official act was to preside at the distribution of appanages. His sons received the most important regions: ʿAbd-al-ʿAzīz, Samarqand; Ḵosrow, Badaḵšān; Bahrām, Tashkent; Sobḥānqolī, Balḵ; and Qoṭloq-Moḥammad, Ḥeṣār-e Šādmān. Andḵūd, Še­barḡān, and Maymana were reserved for his sixth son ʿAbd-al-Raḥmān, an infant.

Naḏr-Moḥammad inherited the perennial eastern problem, increasingly dominated by Qerḡez and Qal­māq politics. By mid-century the remnants of the Qazaq Shibanids were trying to maintain their positions against these newer groups with the aid of their old enemies, the Toqay-Timurids, for whom Qazaq support became crucial to maintaining some authority over Tashkent, Turkestan, and eastern Farḡāna.

New problems arose when the khan allegedly tried to introduce a strongly opposed land reform policy, the description of which suggests an attempt to convert all amirid-held grants of pasture land to cash grants to be collected from the treasury. Naḏr-­Moḥammad also found himself drawn into the politics of Ḵᵛārazm. Shortly after he was installed as khan at Bukhara he received a petition from unnamed sources in Ūrganj informing him that in the wake of the death of the Arabshahid/Shibanid Esfandīār Khan b. ʿArab Khan b. Ḥājī Moḥammad Khan, civil war had erupted between Esfandīār Khan’s sons and Esfandīār’s broth­er, Abu’l-Ḡāzī, over the succession. The petitioners said they had invoked Naḏr-Moḥammad’s name in the ḵoṭba and requested he send a governor to Ūrganj. The khan awarded this new appanage to a Toqay-Timurid of the Torsunid line, Ṣūfī-Solṭān b. Torsūn b. Yār-Moḥammad. Ṣūfī went to Ḵᵛārazm with two amirs from Balḵ, Naẓar Bī Barūtī (a Ming amir) and Ṭāher bakāvol and established his administration at Ḵīva and Ūrganj.

Over the next three years Ṣūfī-Solṭān and his amirid allies in Ūrganj became sufficiently well-established to challenge Naḏr-Moḥammad’s nominal khanate. Naẓar Bī Barūtī, like a number of other amirs, became disenchanted with Naḏr-Moḥammad’s regime, threat­ened to declare Ṣūfī’s khanate in Ḵᵛārazm, and then in the ensuing turmoil had his charge put to death, ending all Bukharan influence there.

The khan reportedly lost the loyalty of one of his most powerful amirs, Yalangtūš Bī, when he gave Balḵ to Sobḥānqolī and inexplicably included the Yalangtūš Bī’s eqṭāʿ in that grant. Yalangtūš Bī is said to have accepted the loss of these territories without complaint, but from then on he became a key figure in the coalescence of anti-Nadhrid sentiment.

At Bukhara the ascendance of the Balḵ amir ʿAbd-al-Raḥmān dīvānbegī Ūšūn in Bukharan politics disturbed many Bukharan amirs. An incident involving Bahrām, Naḏr-Moḥammad’s son at Tashkent, brought together a coalition of powerful amirs including Bāqī Bī Yūz, Bahrām’s atalïq, and Yalangtūš Bī Āḷčīn. Sometime early in 1055/early spring 1645 this faction, under the leadership of Yalangtūš Bī, persuaded ʿAbd-al-ʿAzīz to take Bukhara and force his father to return to Balḵ. ʿAbd-al-ʿAzīz was proclaimed khan of Transoxania in a ceremony near Ḵojand on 1 Rabīʿ I 1055/27 April 1645. Numismatic evidence suggests that along with Bukhara Naḏr-Moḥammad also lost the nominal recognition due the regnant khan, for there are coins with ʿAbd-al-ʿAzīz’s name dated at least as early as 1055/1645-46 or 1056/1646-47 (Davidovich, 1964, p. 44).

Civil war and foreign occupation, 1055-61/1645-51. When ʿAbd-al-ʿAzīz was established at Bukhara, he and his amirs gradually expelled Naḏr-Moḥammad’s other sons and amirid allies from Transoxania. At the same time a new and disruptive tribal element begins to be reported: the alamān Uzbek tribes. In one source there is reference to “a group of corrupt and wicked alamān, Shah Moḥammad Qaṭaḡan, Qol-Moḥammad jībajī Qaṭaḡan, and Qāsem Qaṭaḡan” (Selselat al-salāṭīn, fol. 225a), which suggests the term should be considered a generic rather than ethnic term used to denote a band of amirs outside the pale of constituted authority. In 1055/1645 they attacked Naḏr-Moḥammad when he retired from Bukhara to Balḵ and raised havoc at Qondūz. Trouble with the alamā Uzbeks reportedly led Naḏr-Moḥammad to appeal to Šāh-Jahān for help. But when a Mughal army reached Qondūz, Naḏr-­Moḥammad decided not to cooperate and sent his harem to safety in Bukhara. He had one engagement with a Mughal force at Šebarḡān on 2 Jomādā II 1056/16 July 1646 and then retired into Khorasan, to pass the duration of the occupation under the protection of the Safavid shah. The Mughal occupation turned out to be an expensive and futile adventure for Šāh-Jahān. Although the Rajput army was able to garrison most of the towns of the region, ʿAbd-al-ʿAzīz Khan and Sobḥānqolī waged successful guerrilla war, and the Mughal withdrew in 1057/1647.

Naḏr-Moḥammad’s last four years at Balḵ were not particularly peaceful and were marked by a struggle between Sobḥānqolī and ʿAbd-al-ʿAzīz for control of the region. Finally, in 1061/1651, Naḏr-Moḥammad stepped down from the khanate of Balḵ and Badaḵšān, handed it over to Sobḥānqolī, and set out on the pilgrimage to Mecca. He never reached his destination, dying at Semnān on the last day of Jomādā I 1061/19 June 1651. Shah ʿAbbās II composed a long funeral tribute (taʿzīa-barrasī) and sent it to ʿAbd-al-ʿAzīz.

The second double khanate, 1061-92/1651-81. For the next thirty years the Chingizid appanage state was again divided between Transoxania (or Bukhara) and Balḵ. The two khanates were again held by brothers, though no longer on friendly terms. For Bukhara the principal political problems came from the east and from Ḵᵛārazm. In 1056/1646 ʿAbd-al-ʿAzīz led a campaign force to Tashkent to assist his Qazaq allies against the Qalmāq and went to campaign with the Qazaq khan against Qalmāq forces that had seized Turkestan and Sayrām.

From the foundation of the Shibanid state at the beginning of the 16th century, Ḵᵛārazm had often been prey to Bukharan expansionism. In the latter half of the 17th century the situation was reversed as an aggressive Chingizid revival under Abu’l-Ḡāzī and his son Anūša Moḥammad put Bukhara and Samarqand under repeated military threat, including brief but devastating occupations of both cities. In 1065/1655, Abu’l-Ḡāzī Khan invaded Transoxania at Karmīna. There is some uncertainty about his first incursion into Transoxania. One source describes four campaigns, the second of which was against Karmīna in 1065/1655 (Moḥīṭ al-tawārīḵ, fol. 97b). However, the Karmīna campaign appears to be the first major deployment of military forces against the Toqay-Timurid khanate in Bukhara. Abu’l-Ḡāzī was turned back at the Zarafšān river but two years later again led an expedition to Qarākūl midway between Bukhara and Čārjūy, the crossing point on the Amu Darya on the road to Marv, but ʿAbd-­al-ʿAzīz again fended off this attempt. Abu’l-Ḡāzī launched his last campaign in 1072/1661, two years before his death, apparently also without long-lasting consequences. The succession of Anūša b. Abu’l-Ḡāzī in 1074/1664 revived Khwarezmian attacks on Transoxania. Anūša Khan launched numerous expeditions against Transoxania, and in Šaʿbān 1092/September 1681 he occupied Bukhara while ʿAbd-al-ʿAzīz was out of the city. This appears to have been the final straw for ʿAbd-al-ʿAzīz, who, nearly 70 years of age, was de­scribed as exhausted and demoralized by continual trouble with Ūrganj. He invited Sobḥānqolī to Bukhara and announced his decision to abdicate and make the pilgrimage to Mecca.

Most of the Transoxanian sources praise ʿAbd-al-ʿAzīz for his devotion to Islamic learning and to both “Šarīʿa and ṭarīqa.” He left two large madrasas in Bukhara, one on the Rīgestān, which does not survive, and another still standing opposite the Oloḡ Beg Madrasa. He also left a khanate considerably reduced in territory and in political authority.

The reunified khanate: 1092-1114/1681-1702. On 15 Šawwāl 1092/28 October 1681, with the ceremonial “white carpet” enthronement, Sobḥānqolī assumed the again unified khanate of Bukhara and Balḵ, which he held until his death on 1 Rabīʿ I 1114/26 July 1702. In domestic affairs, the main issue of his khanate was the status of Balḵ. When he made Bukhara his capital he apparently thought he could succeed where his father had conspicuously failed, keeping Balḵ’s adminis­tration under his control while allowing it to continue as the seat of the heir-apparent. Between early 1094/1683 and Moḥarram 1097/December 1685, four of his sons were appointed qaʿalḵān in succession, but all died in office, victims of amirid political infighting. From 1098/1685 to 1107/1695 no qaʿalḵān was authorized by Bukhara, and Balḵ was administered as a governorship. But the polarization of its politics between the so-called qūrama sardārs, a coalition of urban notables and Mīng and Yūz amirs, and an amirid faction under the increasingly prominent Qaṭaḡan amir Maḥmūd Bī b. Beg Morād forced reconsideration of the policy. In 1107/1695-96 Maḥmūd Bī proclaimed the qaʿalkhanate at Balḵ of Ṣāleḥ Ḵᵛāja, a Pārsāʾī shaikh and nephew of Sobḥānqolī. Finally, in 1109/1697-98, the khan capitulated and agreed to the qaʿalkhanate of his grandson Moḥammad-Moqīm b. Eskandar-Solṭān.

The problems in Balḵ probably prompted Anūša to invade Transoxania on three occasions between Šaʿbān 1095/July 1684 and Ḏu’l-ḥejja 1096/November 1685. Samarqand was captured on 5 Šaʿbān 1096/7 July 1685. Its occupation brought Anūša’s reign to an end, how­ever. The Uzbek amirs of Ḵᵛārazm deposed him, and after a prolonged succession crisis a delegation of amirs came from Ūrganj, perhaps as late as Rabīʿ II 1109/October-November 1697, and offered Ḵᵛārazm to Sobḥānqolī.

There are signs that Sobḥānqolī responded to chang­ing religious attitudes by asserting his “caliphate” and by opening a front against Persia, perhaps in conjunction with Awrangzīb (ʿĀlamgīr) in India. The familiar issue of Safavid obstruction of the pilgrimage routes was again aired. Domestically, political life was becoming increasingly shaped by the identification of warrior Uzbek tribal groupings with specific territories within the khanate. One of the consequences of this process was the gradual polarization of the Balḵ appanage between the former western mamlakat (Maymana, Andḵūd, Šebarḡān) dominated by the Mīng and the eastern region of Badaḵšān dominated by the Qaṭaḡan. The effect on Transoxania is somewhat less clear.

Sobḥānqolī left a notable cultural legacy. He erected a large madrasa, a Friday Mosque, and kūronoš-ḵāna at Balḵ and rebuilt the entryway (pīšṭāq) of the mazār of Ḵᵛāja Abū Naṣr Pārsā. He was also a patron of scholarship and of the ḵᵛājagān. The ḵᵛāja groups most influential in his time, as throughout the 17th century, included the Sayyed Aṭāʾī, Jūybārī, Naqšbandī, Aḥrārī, Dahpīdī (Maḵdūm-e Aʿẓamī), Pārsāʾī and Mīr Ḥaydarī. Sobḥānqolī is remembered as having tried to balance the influence of the ḵᵛājas with the ʿālems proper, the legal scholars. He patronized the latter group both with court rank and by the sponsorship of their scholarship (e.g., the Fatāwā Sobḥānīya). After 1114/1702, the Uzbek amirs dominated the khanate in an unprecedented fashion. This domination and the inter-Uzbek rivalries it occasioned also hardened the division between Bukhara and Balḵ.


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Badr-al-Dīn Kašmīrī, Ẓafar-nāma, Dushanbe, Institut Vostokovedeniya Akademii Nauk, Tadzh.S.S.R., ms. no. 61.

Idem, Rawżat al-reżwān wa ḥadīqat al-ḡelmān, Tashkent, Institut Vostokove­deniya Akademii Nauk Uz.S.S.R., ms. no. 2094.

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Eskandar Beg, Tārīḵ-e ʿalamārā-ye ʿabbāsī, Tehran ed.; tr. Savory. Mīrzā Beg b. Ḥasan Jūnābādī, Rawżat al-ṣafawīya, ms. British Library, Or. 3338.

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Moḥammad-Amīn b. Mo­ḥammad Mīrzā Boḵārī, Moḥīṭ al-tawārīḵ (also known as Tārīḵ-e Sobḥānqolī Ḵān), Paris, ms. Blochet no. 472; Tashkent, Institut Vostokovedeniya Akademii Nauk Uz.S.S.R., ms. no. 835.

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(Robert D. McChesney)

Originally Published: December 15, 1990

Last Updated: January 1, 2000

This article is available in print.
Vol. V, Fasc. 2, pp. 176-193

Cite this entry:

Robert D. McChesney, “CENTRAL ASIA vi. In the 16th-18th Centuries,” Encyclopædia Iranica, V/2, pp. 176-193, available online at http://www.iranicaonline.org/articles/central-asia-vi (accessed on 30 December 2012).