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Ashtarkhanids Dynasty in the statehood history of Central AsiaDilorom Sangirova, Oybek Rustamov, Gulistan State University, UzbekistanAbstractThis paper investigates Ashtarkhanids Dynasty in the statehood history of Central Asia as well as the khanate ofBukhara which had a significant role in the statehood history of Central Asia during the rule of the Ashtarkhanidsdynasty played an important role in political processes of the region. Basic role of article is referred to study, atmeantime to analyze mutual attitude between rulers and local aristocrats. The attitude of the local aristocraticpeople of Bukhara to Ashtarkhanids dynasty as “strangers” (“kelgindi”lar) always made Ashtarkhanids dynasty beonly in agreement and mutual relation with them.IntroductionThe khanate of Bukhara which had a significant role in the statehood history of Central Asiaduring the rule of the Ashtarkhanids dynasty played an important role in political processes ofthe region. The abler men of the dynasty who governed more than hundred years were mainfigureheads of the great changes in social-economy and spiritual-cultural life of the country. There are different information theories about the designation of the dynasty.“Ashtarkhanids” that’s specifically referred to as the origin from the khanate of Hajji Tarhan,and “Janid” because of the true founder of the dynasty Jonibek (B. Ahmedov. Historic-geographic literature of Central Asia of the 16 th – 18th centuries. Tashkent, FAN 1985), as well as“Tuqay Temurid” (А.К.Alekseev. Central Asia in Ashtarkhanids period in the XVII—XVIIIcenturies (dissert.) 2004) because of the links with the generation of Chinghiz Khan’s TuqayTemurid. We called this dynasty as Ashtarkhanids as given in other sources. Main assignments of the new dynasty’s rulers after Shaybanids were to strengthen feeblestates in political sphere. It should be taken into account that observation on political, social-economical processes was profoundly during Ashtarkhanids, and important parts of the policywere carried out by main figureheads of the dynasty.Political, social and economical policy carried out by the rulers of theAshtarkhanids in Bukhara khanate At meantime, we don’t take into consideration the elder representative of AshtarkhanidsYar Muhammad and his relatives because they hadn’t exerted influence on policy of Bukhara.According to the given information in “Bahr-al asrar” (the 17th century), the dynasty’s influencein the khanate was heightened due to his Yar Muhammad’s (he had 6 sons and 2 daughters)(А.К.Alekseev. Central Asia in Ashtarkhanids period in the XVII—XVIII centuries (dissert.)2004) son Jani Muhammad married the daughter of Iskandar Khan of Bukhara aristocrats whohad a significant role here. Moreover, coins inscribed with the name of Jonibek Khan inform usthe strengthening of Ashtarkhanids dynasty as well as a khanate power. Besides, according to theinformation of Audrey Burton, the first and true founder of the dynasty was Jonibek. (AudreyBurton. Who were the first Ashtarkhanid rules of Bukhara? Bulletin of the school of Oriental andAfrican Studies.University of London Vol. LI. Part3 1988)
The territory of Bukhara khanate in the16th-17th centuries The second son of the family Din Muhammad who was going to be on the throne afterJani Muhammad was killed in the war against Iranians, and after a short reign, his brother BaqiMuhammad ascended the throne of Samarqand. Baqi Muhammad (1601-1605) reduced internal political fights and strengthened hisborder patrol system against nomadic tribes in the northern borders of the khanate. Implementingclose relations with adjoining rulers of Khwarazm, Baqi Muhammad increased power of thekhanate in western and southern parts of the state. After establishment a great khanate in theterritory, his brother was awarded the governorship of Balkh by him, and at this time Balkhbecame a second developed center of Bukhara khanate and was ruled by heir Wali Muhammad. It is important to note that Balkh was controversial territory between Ashtarkhanids andIran Safavids, and Baqi Muhammad won a victory over them in 1603. But his goal in therestoration of the power of Bukhara khanate in Khurasan wasn’t reached because of thecampaign of the Qazaq Khan Keldi Muhammad against Tashkent in 1604. After establishmentclose relations with Qazaq Khan (Muhammad Yusuf Munshe. Muqim Khans History.Translation from Tadjik, preface and indices by Prof. A. A. Semenov. Print House of theAcademy of Sciences of USSR. Tashkent), later Baqi Muhammad died in 1605 and WaliMuhammad ascended the throne (Azamat Ziyo: History of Uzbek Statehood, “Sharq”Administrative Printing, Tashkent). Wali Muhammad (1605-1611). The ascension of Wali Muhammad was lead by variousadministrative skills. According to the information given in several sources, he spent most of histime taking pleasure and thus, it brought disagreement and confusion among citizens. WaliMuhammad tried to make close policy with Iranian rulers. His attempts in making agreementswere necessary in this period in comparison with the attempts of former rulers in obtainingsouthern lands to Bukhara. Taking opportunity from such cases several groups sent a letter toImam Quli, cousin of Wali Muhammad and asked to rule Bukhara. At meantime, mistake of ValiMuhammad was that he established Shahbek Kukaldash as a ruler of Balkh. And his duty was togive a great attention to Imom Quli and Nadir Muhammad but he didn’t accomplish his dutiesand tried to become a ruler himself. Registon Assembly (Sherdor, Tilla Qori) built in the period of Ashtarkhanids dynasty Afterwards, Imam Quli Khan campaigned against to Bukhara. After getting to know aboutthe rides of Imam Quli Khan and his brother Nadir Muhammad in Balkh and Badakhshan, WaliMuhammad and his two sons went to Abbas I of Iranian ruler through Khurasan. Abbos I (1587-1628) gave his troop of 80 000 people against Imam Quli Khan in order to get control on thepolicy of Central Asia (Azamat Ziyo: History of Uzbek Statehood, “Sharq” AdministrativePrinting, Tashkent). 2
The war between Wali Muhammad and Imam Quli Khan, execution of Wali Muhammadand proscription of Iranians were given in “Tarikh-i Muqim Khan”. The sons of WaliMuhammad Rustam Sultan and Muhammad Rahim stayed in Iran after their father’sunsuccessful ride to Mawara’al-nahr. The ruler of Iran gave them Ubah and Shofilon (adjoiningterritories of Khirat). Imam Quli Khan (1611-1642). After hard-won over this territory, Nadir Muhammadascended the throne of Balkh. He made attempts to strengthen border defense and internalpolicy. Especially, Imam Quli Khan sent his counselors to Indian ruler Jahangir to reinforceexternal affairs. At meantime, Indian counselors in the head of Hakim Haziq visited Bukhara(Nizomiddinov I. M. Relations of Central Asia with eastern countries. Tashkent: Uzdavnashr1961). For almost 40 years, Imam Quli Khan had paid a great attention to make close contactswith prominent scientists of this period. Among them there were Iranian Mavlana YusufQarabagiy who was well-known as Ohundi Kalon in Bukhara, a wonderful speaker MavlanaTurabiy, historian Hafiz Tanish Bukhari who was well-known as “Nahli” (Sagdullaev А.,Aminov B., Mavlanov U. Uzbekistan History: State and Society Development. Tashkent,Academy, 2000). Imam Quli Khan was informed about bazaars and public places through Abdulvose’Qurchi, his close assistant. Imam Quli Khan also personally visited the living places of traderswho came from different parts of the world in order to observe his state’s position. It is obvious that the mutual fights were reduced at all and administrative centre of thedynasty was reinforced. And it resulted to a successful defense against Qazaq, qalmiq, mogultribes and broadening its territory to northern-east. Why did he refuse his throne? After refusing his throne and property, he made apilgrimage to Mecca. The ruling of Nadir Muhammad began with internal fights among citizens.According to information given in the sources, (in the period of Imam Quli Khan) executivecommittee involved in state activities and important financial and propertial affairs were notbeneficiary during Nadir Muhammad’s reign. The reasons of that were as follows, from onehand they were suspicious about prosperity of the policy, on another hand they were worriedabout deprivation of their present position and on the third the blind ruler (Imom Quli Khan)was profitable for them. Not being supported by the important leaders of the policy of the state Nadir Muhammadshared the state’s territory to his sons and relatives as a property. Thus, Husraf Sultan took - Gur,Bahrom Sultan - Kulob, Subkhan Quli Sultan - Solu choharyak, Qutlug Sultan - Qunduz, and hisgrandson Qosim Sultan (the son of the Husraf Sulton) - Maymana and Andkhud, and otherterritories were given to amirs (Muhammad Yusuf Munshe. Muqim Khans History. Translationfrom Tadjik, preface and indices by Prof. A. A. Semenov. Print House of the Academy ofSciences of USSR. Tashkent-1956). This case shows us the destruction of Bukharaadministration and later his son Abdulaziz Khan ascended the throne. Abdulaziz Khan (1645-1681). His ruling was prepared by internal groups. Thus, in spiteof ascending the throne in 1645 he didn’t have any strong political impact. Even one of thestrongest dynasties which was situated in Balkh didn’t subordinate to the centralized dynasty ofNadir Muhammad and it brought into double-ruling khanate during this period. According to theinformation given in “Tarikh-i Muqim Khan”, Abdulaziz Khan was under influence of severalgroups. Moreover, as historians noted that after establishing as a ruler, he sent a letter to hisfather, explained all in details and begged his pardon. (This information is not given in othersources). The struggle with the rulers of Khiva made complications and he had to make pilgrimageto Mecca and his brother Subhon Quli Khan (1680-1702) ascended the throne. And hisbrother’s period began with the struggle of his sons for Balkh throne and rides of Khiva troopsinfluenced on economic situation of the state. After Abdulaziz Khan’s death, his son UbaydullaKhan (1702-1711) who was on the throne tried to strengthen certain situation. Strengthening ofthe tax payment even from the largest landlords who were released from taxes and otherprivileged people reinforced the power against him. As a result, Ubaydulla Khan was killed by 3
hired assassin. Abulfayz Khan (1711-1747) who was on the throne with the help of the plannedfinesse was under influence of amirs, largest traders and landlords. The weakness of the statebrought into colonization of Iran state in 1740. After Abulfayz Khan death, his son Abdulmuminascended the throne as an official ruler. Taking this opportunity Muhammad Rahimbiy gave hisdaughter to Abdulmumin (he was 8 years old, in several sources 12 years old) and it gave anopportunity to mangit tribes to get the throne.The princesses of Ashtarkhanids dynasty ruled in Balkh: Iskandar Khan – son of Quli Muhammad Khan (1681-1683) Abu-l-Mansur Khan – son of Subhan Quli Muhammad khan (1683) Siddiq Muhammad Khan – son of Subhan Quli Muhammad Khan (1683-1687) Abu-l-Muzaffar Muhammad Muqim Khan – son of Iskandar Khan (1687-1707) Abdulla Khan – son of grandson of Vali Muhammad Khan (1711-1712) Sanjar Khan – son of previous (1712-1717) Muhammad Khan – step brother of previous (1717-1720)ConclusionAccording to the information in several sources, the latest rulers of Ashtarkhanids, Abul-Ghazibecame one of the largest aristocrats during mangits period. Thus, Ashtarkhanids dynasty ruled almost half of the century in Central Asia. During theruling period of the rulers (Baqi Muhammad, Imam Quli Khan) and their ruling policy of thestate resulted to prosperity. The ruler Wali Muhammad Khan established close relations with Iran rulers and it gavean end to the internal policy fights and made a substantial support to strengthen the state’s powerand impact. In its turn, the close relations with adjoining states gave much progress in improvingsocial-economy and cultural-spiritual life of the khanate of Bukhara.There were great changes and developments during the ruling periods of Imam Quli Khan,Subhan Quli Khan, and Abdulaziz Khan. The polygamy and possessing of many children referring to this period brought the stateinto destruction. (It was mostly shown during Nadir Muhammad Khan).The tax process that was lead during (Subhan Quli Khan) and money affairs during (UbaydullaKhan) couldn’t save the state from its destruction. The state’s ruling by amirs and aristocraticpeople brought into weakness of the state during Abulfayz Khan’s period. The attitude of the local aristocratic people of Bukhara to Ashtarkhanids dynasty as“strangers” (“kelgindi”lar) always made Ashtarkhanids dynasty be only in agreement and mutualrelation with them. This case was kept in the latest rulers too, and Ubaydulla Khan who didn’tagree with this was killed. The dynasties that were not in the agreement with the localaristocratic people of Bukhara had their destruction. Nevertheless during the time of the Ashtarkhanids dynasty there were a huge number ofpositive events in political, social, economical and cultural life of Bukhara khanate. This periodhas a special place in the statehood history of Central AsiaReferencesNizomiddinov I. M. Relations of Central Asia with eastern countries. Tashkent: Uzdavnashr1961Sagdullaev А., Aminov B., Mavlanov U. Uzbekistan History: State and Society Development.Tashkent, Academy, 2000.Muhammad Yusuf Munshe. Muqim Khans History. Translation from Tadjik, preface and indicesby Prof. A. A. Semenov. Print House of the Academy of Sciences of USSR. Tashkent-1956 4
Muhammad Yusuf Munshe. Muqim Khans History. Translation from Tadjik, preface and indicesby Prof. A. A. Semenov. Print House of the Academy of Sciences of USSR. Tashkent-1956Azamat Ziyo: History of Uzbek Statehood, “Sharq” Administrative Printing, Tashkent -2001А.К.Alekseev. Central Asia in Ashtarkhanids period in the XVII—XVIII centuries (dissert.)2004Audrey Burton. Who were the first Ashtarkhanid rules of Bukhara? Bulletin of the school ofOriental and African Studies.University of London Vol. LI. Part3 1988.History of Uzbekistan. Part III (during early 16th and 19th centuries). The Academy of Sciences ofthe Republic of Uzbekistan, “Fan”, Tashkent. 1993The Ashtarkhanid Rulers of Bukhara by Iraj Bashirihttp://www.angelfire.com/rnb/bashiri/Ashtarkhanid/Ashtar.html 5