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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

Baycu Noyan and the Fall of the Seljuqs

    Seljuqs: the great, powerful dynasty of Qiniq-Oguz Turkic descent, that emerged during 10th century, led by Sultan Tughril Beg. After the victory of the Battle of Malazgirt his nephew, Alp Arslan would extend this empire, which was based in Central Asia, to Anatolia. However, after two centuries of rulership, their power would slowly diminish. The huge Mongol Empire, which was rapidly gaining power, would send the Seljuqs a nightmare: Baycu Noyan. The man who spread terror through all of Persia, Syria, Egypt, Bukhara, Iraq, and Anatolia. In this article, we will explain in detail; the attacks of Baycu Noyan, the end of the Seljuqs, and the struggle of the Ghazis.
Mongol Commander Baycu Noyan

  Baycu Noyan belonged to the Besut tribe of the Mongols; which in turn, meant he had grown up in an environment that was surrounded by warrior-like nomads. Baycu was a relative of Jebe, who was one of Genghis Khan's most prominent commanders. Furthermore, his father was the commander of a Mingghan unit, which meant he had control over a regiment which consisted of 1,000 Mongol households. As the eldest son of his father, Baycu was destined to become a powerful commander. 

    Baycu Noyan too, soon became a great commander, as he inherited the troops under the command of his father. Not to mention, he soon became the second in command of Chormaqan (one of the highest ranking commanders who had served both Genghis Khan and Ogedie Khan), and would take part in major attacks on Shah Jalal-uddeen (the last Shah of the Khwarezm Empire), near Isfahan, in 1228. These attacks would play an instrumental role in the ending of the Khwarezm Empire. After Chormoqan's paralysis in 1241, Baycu took over his corpse and became a Tumen, meaning he would have total command of 10,000 Mongol soldiers. This position was given to him by Ogedei Khan, who was the successor of his father, Genghis Khan. After Ogedei's death, Noyan started to take commands from Batu, who was Ogedei's nephew, as well as the founder of the Golden Horde. 

Baycu becomes the Supreme Commander

    Prior to 1240, Mongols had expressed little to no interest in the Seljuk Sultanate of Rum. During the reign of Sultan Ala'iddeen Kayqubad, hostilities between the Seljuks and Mongols amounted to nothing more than a few raids. However, after his son, Sultan Ghiyath-Uddin came to the throne, the situation had worsened. Though the Seljuks still believed there was little indication of a Mongol invasion (due to a peace treaty), they would soon be surprised. As just one year later, in 1242, the Mongols, who were accompanied by Armenian & Georgian contingents, would take advantage of the Babai revolt (which was a Turkmen revolt led by Baba Ishak), and raid the fortress of Zarid, besiege the town of Karin, and sack it. Upon sacking the city, the Mongols and their troops looted everything and anything they would see, and would even ransack the churches. Most notably, the Christian Georgians and Armenians would also take part in the looting of the churches. The commander of all the forces happened to be none other than Baycu Noyan. 

    After the news of the terrible incidents had reached the Seljuk's Sultan, Ghiyath-Uddin, he immediately began preparations to stop Baycu and his forces. The sultan had assembled his imperial army, along with a sizable force of mercenaries consisting of soldiers from Aleppo, as well as Greeks and Franks. The Seljuk army met the Mongol army at Kose Dagh, which was located between Karin and Erzincan. Though the exact numbers are not certain, the Mongols were definitely few in numbers, as compared to the Seljuks. In fact, at the very view of the huge army of the Seljuks, one of Baycu's Georgian officials was frightened. However, Baiju would encourage his troops, and tell them not to fear the large army, saying that it would be in their glory to defeat such a large number of troops. And so, the year was 1243, and a terrible fate was awaiting the Seljuks.

Ghiyath-Uddin's Army at Kose Dagh

    As soon as the 2 armies had met, Sultan Ghiyath-Uddin would immediately order his vanguard, which consisted of 20,000 warriors; to operate a full-on attack on the invaders. However, the 30,000 strong Mongol army would flee, and lure the Seljuk's vanguard into a trap, encircling them. And so, this feign retreat would destroy the whole of the Seljuk's vanguard. To make things worse, the right wing of the Seljuk army would be defeated by Aghbagha, a Georgian prince. Seeing the defeat of their fellow comrades; many commanders, soldiers, and mercenaries would flee from battle. Soon enough, the Sultan himself fled to Ankara. The entire withdrawal of the army happened overnight. And so, the day after the battle, Baycu Noyan and his army would discover a deserted Seljuk army camp. At the sight of it, Baycu had thought the Seljuk's abandoning of the camp to be a trap. But when he found that they had truly fled from battle, he went on and conquered the rest of the sultanate. 

Baycu & the Mongols Sack Konya

    During the course of the conquests, Baycu and his army would trample and sack Sivas, Kayseri, Ankara, and even the great capital of the Seljuks, Konya; which had been the pride of the Seljuks Sultans for almost 150 years! After his entire realm was conquered, Sultan Ghiyath-Uddin was left with no choice but to submit to Baycu and the Mongols. And so, he was forced to pay tribute to the Mongols in gold, horses, cattle, sheep, and slaves. This tribute amounted to 400,000 dinars in total. On top of that, Baycu would install a Darughachi to govern Rum. Meaning, he had left behind a governor to collect heavy taxes annually from the folk of the Seljuks. And so, it was then, that the Seljuk Sultanate of Rum was finished. Their power was not enough to fend off their enemies. Just like that, they became nothing but a vassal state to the Mongols. 
Sultan Izz-Uddin Battles Mongol Overlords

    However, years later, after the death of Sultan Ghiyath-Uddin, rulership came upon a young, valiant Seljuk prince, by the name of Izz-Uddin. Izz-Uddin, who was the eldest son of Sultan Ghiyath-Uddin, was a man who knew no such thing as submission. And so, as soon as Baycu had left Anatolia, the prince, along with fellow Turkmen, Arabs, and Kurds; attacked his Mongol troops, who were based at the city of Tokat. And though Izz-Uddin had met little success, his brother Rukn-Uddin Kilic Arslan came to his aid with a counter-attack, and helped liberate the city of Tokat. While they achieved this success, and defeated the troops of the Mongols; Baycu was busy launching raids in Syria and Iraq. However, there he had met less success.

    Meanwhile, Baycu would be replaced by the new Khagan Guyuk (who was Ogedei's eldest son), with Eljiqidei. However, it was not for long, as Eljiqidei and his entire family would be purged by Batu Khan, as a result to their opposition against the election of Mongke Khan, in 1251. And so, it was now when Baycu would return to his prominence. 

Arrival of Hulagu Khan in the Middle East

    At the same time, Rum's status as a vassal state would ultimately change with the arrival of the new Mongol commander (Hulagu Khan) in the Middle East, in 1256. This arrival took power away from Baycu, and so he was left with no choice but to seek pasture land for his troops in Rum. As Rum was now part of the Mongol Empire, Baycu Noyan decided to go and ask Sultan Izz-Uddin for some pasture land for his troops. However, the sultan rejected his request, and so Baycu would prepare for war.

Battle of Aksaray

    It was 1256, and the Muslims happened to be fasting then, as it was the time of Ramadan. The 2 armies would meet at Aksaray. However, the odds were once again in favor of Baycu, as the Seljuks would once again lose the battle. This war would weaken the Sultan's power, lessen his allies, and make Baycu an even more powerful commander. 

    After the battle of Aksaray, Hulagu himself, would summon Seljuk's Sultan Izz-Uddin and his brother, Rukn-Uddin to his headquarters. During this meeting, the Mongol prince would divide the Empire of Rum between the 2 brothers. Rukn-Uddin was given the lands from Caesarea to Armenia. Meanwhile, Izz-Uddin would be given the lands from Aksaray to the sea coast, and would rule from Konya to the frontier of the Greeks. And although this splitting of the empire really diminished his power, Sultan Izz-Uddin still, wished to continue his fight against Baycu Noyan, and the Mongol overlords. 

Hulagu Forces Division of Seljuqud Rum

    Soon enough, Sultan Izz-Uddin began preparing his army, and making an alliance with the polity of Malatya. However, Baycu's move was again swift and decisive. He and his forces set out in April 1257 into Galatia and Cappadocia, wreaking destruction upon Izz-Uddin's domains. As an even further punishment, Baycu Noyan would give Sultan Izz-Uddin's captured forts to his brother, Rukn-Uddin. Yet, Baycu would not forget about Malatya. For its part in the rebellion, he would force Malatya to submit and obey Rukn-Uddin. This would in turn, effectively give control of Seljuqud Rum to Rukn-Uddin. Fortunately for Izz-Uddin, Baycu would finally leave Rum, and join Hulagu's forces. 

    Seeking to ward off possible further Mongol attacks, Izz-Uddin would sent his brother, Rukn-Uddin, to Mongke Khan. However, instead of assisting his brother in restoring the empire, Rukn-Uddin would set his eyes on the whole of Rum. Rukn-Uddin would choose betrayal. And so, Mongke would support him by giving him his Commander, Aljaktu's daughter in marriage. Furthermore, he would send Aljaktu with Rukn-Uddin to take over all of Rum. Rukn-Uddin was now in the path of betrayal, and he would seek no return.
Izz-Uddin Confronts his Treacherous Brother
     Devastated upon hearing the betrayal of his brother, Izz-Uddin knew he had to act quick. And so, he fled to an ally of his, Aor Khan. It was then, that Izz-Uddin would set out to confront his treacherous brother, whom had only added on to the endless troubles of the Seljuks. And so, it was not long before Rukn-Uddin and the Mongols were defeated, and the rulership of Rum was back in the Sultan's hands. Not to mention, Rukn-Uddin, too, was captured and imprisoned, so that Izz-Uddin's rule would be restored, and the division would come to an end. 

    Though Sultan Izz-Uddin had lived his entire life fighting for his nation, his efforts could not be enough. After all, the Seljuk Sultanate was in no shape to be fighting with mighty Mongol Empire of Mongke Khan. Like all other mighty empires, the Seljuks were destined to be ended. With the constant raids and attacks led by Baycu Noyan and other Mongol commanders, Izz-Uddin's kingdom was upon its termination. The Mongol ruler, Mongke would send the amount of troops, that a weakened, small kingdom could not possibly stand. Izz-Uddin's battles in Rum would surely come to an end; however, unlike his brother, his legacy would not. In 1262, Izz-Uddin was left with no choice but to flee from Konya to Crimea, where he would ally with his Muslim friend, Berke Khan. It was then that he would marry Berke's daughter, Urbay Khatun. Berke had made Sultan Izz-uddin the ruler of all of Crimea. And so, Izz-Uddin showed the world that no matter where he went, he was truly meant to be a king. 

Berke Khan Declares Izz-Uddin as Ruler of Crimea

    Sultan Izz-Uddin Kayka'us II would pass away in 1279, in Crimea. Though deposed and exiled, he had remained very popular and influential among the Turkmen of Anatolia. He had surely won the hearts of his people, whom he had fought for. Meanwhile, Rukn-Uddin, who worked for the Mongols, had earned himself a rather dishonorable reputation; and in 1266, he was soon executed by his own personal aid, Pervane. Two brothers: one was loved and respected by his people, lived honorably, fought for his people, and died as a hero. The other: a puppet of the Mongols, whom only had intention to gain power; whether his people suffered or enjoyed it. Today, historians and professors live to tell their tales; and no matter how powerful they were, how much wealth they had, it no longer matters. The only thing that could possibly be of use to them now, is their legacy: which has become history.

Sultan Izz-Uddin Kayka'us Passes Away

    As for the powerful Mongol commander, Baycu Noyan, his power was decreasing as time was going by. The reason being, ever since 1256, when the Mongol prince, Hulagu arrived near Anatolia, Baycu's influence had already somewhat lessoned. The coming of Hulagu made it known that Baycu was no longer the supreme commander; and so, he was in fact, being replaced by Mongke Khan. The reason for this was the fact that Baycu had failed to send Mongol power further, leaving the beyliks of Anatolia and Georgia free from Mongol rule. From then on, Baycu would serve and take commands from Hulagu. It was Hulagu who sent him to dethrone Izz-Uddin in 1256, help with the sacking of Baghdad in 1258, and advance towards Syria & Egypt in 1259. However, after the death of Mongke Khan, Hulagu would leave his army, and hurry towards Karakorum. The next in command was Kitbuqa, a Christian Lieutenant of Hulagu. And so, Baycu would yet again, work under the command of a superior.

Failure & Death Penalty of Baycu Noyan  

    However, it was not for long that Baycu Noyan would continue his role as a Mongol official. He would soon be executed by Hulagu, as a result for his failure in stopping the force of the Golden Horde from fleeing to Russia (during the battles between Kitbuqa & Kublai). And so, it was the end of the famous Baycu Noyan, who had brought terror to all his enemies. The one who had single handedly ended the whole of the Seljuk Dynasty in but one battle. Baycu had become the nightmare of the Middle East, yet, he couldn't prevent his own death. He died without honor, or a purpose. He sought glory through position, status, bloodshed, wealth, & victory; yet, he died with none of those. All his life, his efforts, were wasted. How could he have known, that himself: the bloodthirsty, fearless Mongol commander, Baycu Noyan, would have his end no different than that of his victims? Could it ever have possibly crossed his mind? 

Izz-Uddin's Legacy Lives on

    Meanwhile, Sultan Izz-Uddin Kaykaus Ibn Kaykhusraw was still standing proudly, up in the mountains of Crimea, waiting for a resurrection; with his pride & dignity intact. He waited so that a day would come, and a valiant Turk would again liberate the lands, unite the tribes, and rule over 3 contents for over 600 years; with justice, equality, & morality. A mighty, honorable empire would surely come, and Izz-Uddin knew it. It was only a matter of time for history to witness the rest...

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