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Who was Ahmad Shah Durrani?

    In the history of Afghanistan, there have been many mighty rulers and sovereigns, however, one stood out from all of them. He was a  pious, patriotic, and merciful man who had all the profound traits of an exceptional leader, and ruled his lands with justice. He not only became the hero of all Afghans but also saved Islam in the subcontinent. In this video, we will go through the chapters of the life of Ahmad Shah Durrani, the Afghan ruler who united the Afghan tribes and became the founder of modern Afghanistan, as well as the father of his nation.   Ahmad Shah Durrani      Ahmad Khan Abdali was born in Herat, in 1723. He was the son of Zaman Khan, and the grandson of Dawlat Khan. He was from the Pashtun Sadouzai Tribe, a sub tribe of the Abdali Tribe. The story starts in  1732 CE, in Farah, Afghanistan, when Ahmad Khan's older brother, Zulfiqar Khan was defeated by his enemies. Zulfiqar Khan took his younger brother Ahmad Khan with him and fled to Kandahar, where they sought

Who was Ertugrul Ghazi?

    During the beginning of the 13th century, the Islamic world was facing its hardest times. The bloodthirsty Mongol Empire was making all the world's greatest empires bow down to their oppression. On the other hand, the Khwarazm  Empire was at its peak and conquered many areas of Khorasan, Iran, Syria, and Iraq. However, after being invaded by the Mongols, the entire empire was torn to pieces. After the destruction of this empire, Turkish tribes there started migrating further toward Iran, Syria, and even Egypt. At the time the Kayi Tribe was a warrior tribe, which was a bit stronger and more populated than other tribes. The Kayis had left their homeland Khorasan and were headed for Ahlat. However, after the onslaught of the Mongols, the Turkmen had to migrate from the Caucasus and surrounding areas to the east and Central Anatolia. The Karakeceli clan of the Kayis moved to Erzurum. However, after Ertugrul's father passed away, the Kayi Tribe split. Ertugrul had three brothers: Sungurtekin, Gundugdu, and Dundar. His two older brothers, Sungurtekin and Gundugdu, decided on taking a large part of the tribe with them to live peacefully in Ahlat. They did not support Ertugrul's path, and over time they faded away in history. They lived a quiet and unremarkable life. They suffered big losses during a great Mongol invasion. And those who were left alive lived subserviently under Mongol rule.

Ertugrul Ghazi  

    Ertugrul had a brave and fearless personality and would walk on a path separate from that of his older brothers. He wanted to have the tribe settle near the Byzantine border, a place with nice, fertile land. Settling there would also pave the way for the Seljuks to prosper and expand. So the remainder of the tribe along with Dundar chose Ertugrul as their leader. And so Ertugrul, with just four hundred families, headed towards the west and arrived in the Sivas-Tokat region of modern-day Turkey. 

Ertugrul Ghazi and his Alps

    In 1230, Erugrul and his men helped the Sultan of the Anatolian Seljuks, Aladdin Keyqubad, in the Battle of Yassicemen, against the Khwarezm Shah. Following the battle,  Sultan Ala'eddin gifted his tribe a hilly area near Ankara, possibly so that the Seljuk borders would be protected from Byzantine attacks.  Ertugrul Ghazi not only protected the border, but also helped expand it. And so the city of Sogut and Domanic and their neighboring territories (which he had conquered) were then given to him upon the request of the Kayis to the sultan. Not to mention, he had also conquered the Karacahisar castle during this time. Ertugrul Ghazi and his tribe would spend their summers in the Domanic plateaus and their winters in Sogut, protecting the northwest border of the Seljuks, and ensuring order in the region at the same time. In the meantime, hundreds of thousands of Turkmen who had had to migrate due to Mongol pressure first from the Caucasus to the east and Central Anatolia, and then from Central Anatolia to the west, invaded the Aegean region and founded Turkmen Ghazi principalities there. The ghaza spirit was kept alive by various Turkmen principalities, who not only fought against Christian warlords in the name of Ghaza but also settled the Turkmen who were returning to the regions that they had previously conquered. After settling into the region, the kayis, just like other much larger tribes, began conducting Ghaza (holy defensive wars). During that period, besides participating in ghazas, Ertugrul ghazi and his clan also lived in peace with local Byzantine governors, some of whom paid tribute to the sultan of the Anatolian Seljuks. Under the leadership of Ertugrul Ghazi, the Karakecili clan became more powerful as they acted together with notable commanders in surrounding regions such as Akcakoca, Samsa Cavus, Kara Tegin, Aykut Alp, and Konur Alp.

    Ertugrul Ghazi followed a peace-centered, cautious policy due to the low population of his tribe during his administration. He also went along very well with Byzantine governors around him and evaluated their situation and political conditions very well, and kept his tribe and those living under his administration in peace and tranquility. Peace and security were eminent in the lands under his rule. As a result, Ertugrul was loved and respected by the people living in his lands, including his Christian subjects. 
    The Seljuk Dynasty was still on the verge of decline. On one side the Mongols had occupied a large area; while on the other, Christian forces had reoccupied many old Byzantine provinces. The border areas were always in a state of war. And there was always a threat of attack from the Mongols. To make matters worse, many corrupted Seljuk leaders started establishing their own factions. The current state of the Seljuks was not the best, however, the future was promising, as a great amount of Turkmen began conquering of western territories and making new homelands for themselves. 

Ertugrul Ghazi builds the foundations for a new state

    Ertugrul's legacy would never be forgotten, he would be named "Ghazi" for his brilliant successes against the neighboring Byzantine lords, and his son, Osman the First, would establish the Ottoman Empire, which would go on to last six hundred years (the longest a Muslim Empire has ever lasted). The last ten years of his life were spent quietly in his tribe, when due to old age, he transferred all his responsibilities to his youngest son, Osman. A historical artifact we have regarding him are the coins minted by Osman, which identify Ertugrul as the name of his father. In 1288, Ertugrul Ghazi passed away at the age of ninety. After his death, his tomb became a spiritual destination. The locals in karakecili have visited the tomb every year since then and still continue to hold festivities.

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