The Seljuk Empire
The Seljuks were credited with many achievements .
Especially made popular with the Turkish TV series :
uyanis buyuk selcuklu
The Seljuks – I have heard in history but did know who they were. To be exact- The Seljuk Turks. The Turks, were from Turkey (or that’s what I thought). The Seljuk Empire was founded in 11th Century by Tughrul Bey. He was given the title of “King of the East and West” by the Abbasid Caliph in Baghdad. The then capital of the Muslim world.
The Seljuks were from the Kinik Tribe, from the famous Oghuz Turkish Tribes (Oghuz Khan).
Seljuk Beg or Bey was a famous warrior from Central Asia. He lived to be 100 years.
Homeland of the Turks
Turkey is not the original homeland of the Turks. They came from high plateau of Mongolia is the home land. The Turks were involved in agriculture and some were nomads.
Religion: The previous religion of the Turks was shamanism and believed in Tengri, sky Lord’.
Conversion to Islam was after 700 CE, when Turks sided with the Muslim against the Chinese. The first Sultan of the Turks to gain fame was Sultan Satuq Bughra khan of the Karakhaniads.
Gokturk Empire-At first could not make head or tail who they were and how they were related to Turks.
The Ashina tribe from the Turks founded the Gokturk Empire in 552 CE. Gokturks means Celestial Turks or Blue Turks. It was formed after the Hun State. After the collapse of the Gokturk Empire, the some of the branches from Ashina Tribe became the khagans of the Khazars. The Khazars were a Turkic clan from the Caucaus region.
The Ashina tribe developed a writing system which was adapted from the Sogodian language.
There was a time where the Mongolians and Turks were related very close in religion and culture as well.
This fact was said by Noyan’ in Resurrection Ertrugrul which I did not know and was surprised.
Well known to both Mongolian and Turkish people was Oghuz Khan who lived around 4000 years ago. He has many legends associated with him and supposed to have converted to monotheism.
From Yafith(Japeth),son of Prophet Nuh(Noah) ,Peace be upon him.
Oghuz Khan was descended from Qara Khan who was descended from Mogul Khan. Mogul Khan descended from Turk who descended from Yafith(Japeth), a son of Prophet Nuh(AS)- also known as Prophet Noah.
The Seljuks came from the Kinik Tribe, one of the 24 grand children of Oghuz Khan. The Empire was named after Seljuk Beg but it was founded by his grandson Tughril Beg in 1037 CE. He along with brother was raised by his grandfather Seljuk Beg.
Tugril Beg did not have any children so he left empire to Alp Arslan.
Conquests and achievements
Alp Arslan was son Chagri Beg,brother of Tughril Beg. He conquered Armenia and Georgia in 1064 CE. The most important of his victories was Battle of Manzikert against the Byzantine Emperor Romanus, which took place at 1070 CE. According to Turkish historians, Alp Arslan is supposed to have opened gates to Anatolia.
- Battle of Manzikert -Opening Anatolia to the Muslims. The 1st ever Muslim solider to defeat a Byzantine Emperor and bring him as a prisoner. The Seljuks were 15000 and Byzantine army was 300,000 according to Iranian Historian Isfahani. According to other sources Arab News, it was 15,000 to 30,000 soldiers of Byzantine Army. Whatever the number in any side. This event ultimately probably gave the zeal to conquer Constantinople.
- Siege of Mardasi Empire-He managed to shift loyalties of thus Empire to Abbasids Caliphate.
Alp Arslan was accompanied by his Nizam al-Mulk, Abu Ali al-Hasan ibn al-Hasan ibn Ali ibn Ishaq al-Tusi and was responsible for the state and wars. He was the equivalent of US “Secretary of State” or number two of the State.
My interest in the Seljuk history was started with the Turkish TV serial Uyanis Buyuk Seckelu . I was like what the heck is this film about? I can’t understand it and was reluctant to watch it. Well already watched two Turkish TV series:
- Resurrection Ertrugul in Netflix.
- Kurlus Osman. (son of Ertrugrul), also founder of Osmani Empire, known as Ottoman Empire.
The best being Resurrection Ertrugrul as a Islamic Turkish TV series but chronologically Uyanis Buyuk Sekelu comes first (1097 CE-1194 CE). Uyanis Buyuk Sekelu is in Turksih which means The Great Seljuks.
The Seljuk Dynasty
The Seljuk Empire consisted of:
- The Great Seljuks- Founded by Tughril Bey.
- Sultanate Of Rum’-Suleiman ibn Kultumish
- Seljuk sultans of Hamadan-Founded by Mahmud II
- Kerman Seljuk Sultanate-Qawurd. Turan Shah ruled at 1084-1096 CE ,at time of Malik Shah. This was shown in the TV Series: Uyanis Buyuk Seckelu.
All were relatives, kith and kin from the Seljuks. In history as kid read about Seljuk Turks and Arabs. I was wondering who were they and it is not like I cared. Truth is they have left a heritage and great achievements, in particularly to world of Islam.
Nizam ul Mulk Abu Hasan Tusi
Nizam ul Mulk” means Minister of the State continued his job with son of Alp Arslan’ son Malik Shah.
This post is not enough since every name here deserves an article at least about the names. Nizam ul Mulk was number two as well as a senior friend /partner to Malik Shah. He was in fact the government of the Great Seljuks at time of Malik Shah. He was a Persian Muslim from Tus and his father had worked for the Ghaznavids.
The Ghaznavids getting defeated by the Seljuks went to India later on. Mahmud of Ghazni was from the same empire.
He served both father and son, Alp Arslan and Malik Shah. He was defacto the State in Malik Shah’s rule .
Nizam ul Mulk Abu Hasan Tusi was one of the greatest statesmen of the Islamic Turkish world or Islamic world. He was also a scholar as well as warrior and would have proved as an asset to any State or country at that time. He belonged to family of land owners called Dhiqans from Radkhan. A surb urb of Tus,Iran.
He studied fiqh and hadith in a place called Nishapur. There he did meet Omar Khayyam who became his friend and the TV series shows Hassan Sabbah founder of the Assassins did study with or was his friend. But actually, this is a fabrication according to other authoritative sources.
His achievements were many and some are listed below:
- Establishment of madrasah for Shafi Scholar Al Juywani
- Establishment of Nizamiyah Madrasah in Baghdad
- He discovered Imam Ghazali (Algazelle) and appointed him head of this madrasah.
- Conversation and mentorship from Sufi saint Abu Said Abu Khair.
- Guided by his teacher Abu Ali Farmadi
- Having Omar Khayyam, Al Ghazali and enemies like Hassan Sabah.
- Construction of Jalali Calendar by Omar Khayyam and getting sanctioned by Sultan Malik Shah.
Once the treasurer of the Seljuk state complained to Sultan Malik Shah about high donation given to Islamic jurists every year. (About 300,000 dinars). When asked about this expenditure by Sultan Malik Shah, he replied:
“You spend twice as much on soldiers every year; however, the arrow shot by the strongest and most accurate of them does not go further than a mile. They can only kill people close to them, with the swords in their hands. I, on the other hand, equip such an army with the money I spend that their prayers go up to the Heaven like arrows and nothing can prevent it from reaching Allah.”(src:dailysabah).
Malik Shah was grieved hearing this reply and increased this expenditure. Even though the Seljuk State collapsed but this spiritual army laid foundations of the Ottoman Empire in Anatolia.
We see that in Resurrection Ertrugrul and Kurulus Osman, some dervishes advising both former and latter rulers of Ottoman Islamic Empire.