Muhammad Shaybani

Muhammad Shaybani Khan (Uzbek: Muhammad Shayboniy), also known as Abul-Fath Shaybani Khan or Shayabak Khan or Shahi Beg Khan (c. 1451 – 2 December 1510), was an Uzbek leader whose original name: shibägh, stands for wormwood and also black obsidian. He consolidated various Uzbek tribes and laid the foundations for their ascendance in Transoxiana and the establishment of the Khanate of Bukhara. He was a Shaybanid or descendant of Shiban (or Shayban), the fifth son of Jochi, Genghis Khan's eldest son. His father was Sheikh Haidar, son of Abu'l-Khayr Khan.

Muhammad Shaybani
محمد شیبانی
PredecessorSheikh Haidar
SuccessorJan Wafa Mirza
Central Asia
Died2 December 1510 (aged 58–59)
Merv, Khorasan, Turkmenistan
SpouseMihr Nigar Khanum
Khanzada Begum
Aisha Sultan Khanum
Zuhra Begi Agha
Khanzada Khanum
IssueMuhammad Temur Sultan
Khurram Shah Sultan
Muhammad Rahim Sultan
Full name
Abu 'I-Fath Muhammad
FatherBudaq Sultan
MotherAq Quzi Begum
ReligionSunni Islam (Sufism)

Rise to Power

Shaybani was initially an Uzbek warrior leading a contingent of 3000 men in the army of the Timurid ruler of Samarkand, Sultan Ahmed Mirza under the Amir, Abdul Ali Tarkhan. However, when Ahmed Mirza went to war against Sultan Mahmud Khan, the Khan of Moghulistan, to reclaim Tashkent from him, Shaybani secretly met the Moghul Khan and agreed to betray and plunder Ahmed's army. This happened in the Battle of the Chirciq River in 1488 C.E., resulting in a decisive victory for Moghulistan. Sultan Mahmud Khan gave Turkistan[1] to Shaybani as a reward. Here, however, Shaybani oppressed the local Kazakhs, resulting in a war between Moghulistan and the Kazakh Khanate. Moghulistan was defeated in this war, but Shaybani gained power among the Uzbeks. He decided to conquer Samarkand and Bukhara from Ahmed Mirza. Sultan Mahmud's subordinate emirs convinced him to aid Shaybani in doing so, and together they marched on Samarkand.[2]

Foundation of Shaybanid Dynasty

Continuing the policies of his grandfather, Abul-Khayr Khan, Shaybani ousted the Timurids from their capital Samarkand by 1500. He fought successful campaigns against the Timurid leader Babur, founder of the Mughal Empire.[3] In 1505 he recaptured Samarkand and in 1507 also took Herat, the southern capital of the Timurids. Shaybani conquered Bukhara in 1506 and established the short-lived Shaybanid Dynasty of the Khanate of Bukhara. In 1508–09, he carried out many raids northward, pillaging the land of the Kazakh Khanate. However he suffered a major defeat from Kazakhs under Kasim Khan in 1510.



Shaybani had five consorts:


He had three sons:


The Battle between Shah Ismail and Shaybani Khan
The battle between Shah Ismail I and Muhammad Shaybani in 1510.

Shah Ismail I was alarmed by Shaybani's success and moved against the Uzbeks. In the Battle of Marv (1510), Muhammad Shaybani was defeated and killed when trying to escape. At the time of Shaybani's death, the Uzbeks controlled all of Transoxiana, that is, the area between the Syr Darya and Amu Darya rivers. After capturing Samarkand from Babur, Shaybani married Babur's sister, Khanzada Begum. Babur's liberty to leave Samarkand was made contingent upon his assent to this alliance. After Shaybani's death, Ismail I gave liberty to Khanzada Begum with her son and, at Babur's request, sent them to his court. For this reason Shaybani was succeeded not by a son but by an uncle, a cousin and a brother whose descendants would rule Bukhara until 1598 and Khwarizm (later named Khiva) until 1687.

Ismail had Muhammad Shaybani's body parts sent to various areas of the empire for display and had his skull coated in gold and made into a jeweled drinking goblet which was drunk from when entertaining.[3]

From the accounts of Babur, i.e. the Baburnama, we came to know that the Shah of Persia beheaded Shaybani and had his skull turned into a bejeweled drinking cup which he later sent to Babur as a goodwill gesture. The rest of Shaybani's body was put on a spike at the main gate of Samarkand.[8]


  1. ^ This probably means Turkestan (city). Needs check and clarification.
  2. ^ Mirza Muhammad Haidar Dughlat. Tarikh-i-Rashidi, 1546.
  3. ^ a b Holden, Edward S. (2004). The Mogul Emperors of Hindustan (1398-1707 A.D). New Delhi, India: Asian Educational Services. pp. 74–76. ISBN 81-206-1883-1.
  4. ^ a b c d e f g h Begum, Gulbadan (1902). The History of Humayun (Humayun-Nama). Royal Asiatic Society. pp. 211–212, 223–24 250–251, 264, 289, 297.
  5. ^ Babur, Emperor; Beveridge, Annette Susannah (1922). The Baburnam in English (Memoirs of Babur) - Volume 1. Luzac & Co., London. pp. 329 n. 1.
  6. ^ Subtelny, Maria (August 30, 2007). Timurids in Transition: Turko-Persian Politics and Acculturation in Medieval Iran. BRILL. p. 252. ISBN 978-9-047-42160-3.
  7. ^ Balabanlilar, Lisa (January 15, 2012). Imperial Identity in Mughal Empire: Memory and Dynastic politics in Early Modern Central Asia. I. B. Tauris. p. 24. ISBN 978-1-848-85726-1.
  8. ^ Abraham Eraly (17 September 2007). Emperors Of The Peacock Throne: The Saga of the Great Moghuls. Penguin Books Limited. p. 25. ISBN 978-93-5118-093-7.

External links

Preceded by
Haider Sultan
Khan of the Uzbeks
Succeeded by
Kochkunju Muhammad bin Abul-Khayr Khan
Abu'l-Khayr Khan

Abu'l-Khayr Khan (1412–1468) was the leader who united the nomadic Central Asian tribes from which the Kazakh Khanate later separated in rebellion under Janybek Khan and Kerei Khan beginning in 1465.

Abu'l-Khayr was born in 1412. He was a descendant of Genghis Khan, through Jöchi's fifth son Shiban, and a bej of the White Horde. At the time of his birth the ulus (tribe) of Siban had divided into separate nomadic groups, one of which was led by Jumaduq Khan. Abu'l-Khayr served in Jumaduq's army, and was taken prisoner when Jumaduq was killed in battle in 1427.After being released in 1428, Abu'l-Khayr began consolidating various nomadic groups of the old Shaybani ulus in the area around Tyumen and the Tura River. He deposed and killed Kazhy-Mohammed, the Khan of the Khanate of Sibir, after a battle on the Tobol River, after which he was proclaimed Khan of Western Siberia. The next four years were spent strengthening his control throughout the region.Abu'l-Khayr Khan was assisted in his consolidation by the Manghits, another tribe in the White Horde, and especially by Vaqqāṣ Bej, Edigü's grandson.In 1430–1431 Abu'l-Khayr, joined by Vaqqāṣ, launched on attack on Khwarezm, occupying the regional capital Urganj. The Uzbeks could not hold the city, however, and retreated in the summer of 1431. Abu'l-Khayr's army pulled back to the steppe, where they defeated two opposing khans near Astrakhan. In 1435–1436 the Uzbek armies attacked Khwarezm again, and several years later they raided Astrakhan. Starting in 1446 Abu'l-Khayr and his forces invaded the Syr Darya region, eventually wresting some lands from Timurid control. The town of Sighnaq became Abu'l-Khayr's new capital, from where he later launched raids into Mawarannahr (Transoxiana).

In 1451 Abu Sa'id requested Abu'l-Khayr Khan's assistant in battle against ‘Abdullah. Abu'l-Khayr agreed to support Abu Sa'id, and the two armies marched on Samarkand. ‘Abdullah was defeated and killed, after which Abu Sa'id quickly moved his forces into the city and locked the gates, leaving Abu'l-Khayr and the Uzbeks outside. To avoid reprisal, Abu Sa'id presented the Uzbeks with many presents and riches.Abu'l-Khayr Khan died in 1468 (though some sources say 1469 or 1470). After Abu'l-Khayr Khan's death two separate lines of descent controlled the twin Uzbek states of Mawara al-Nahr and Khwarezm. In the first decade of the 16th century his grandson Muhammad Shaybani finally succeeded in the unification of the Uzbeks and established the short-lived Shaybanid Empire, centered in Samarkand.

Badi' al-Zaman Mirza

Badi' al-Zaman Mirza (Persian: بدیع الزمان‎; died 1514) was a Timurid ruler of Herat from 1506 to 1507. He was the son of Husayn Bayqarah, who was a great-great-grandson of Timur Beg.

Battle of Ab Darrah Pass

Muhammad Shaybani, the Khan of the Uzbeks had set up the Khanate of Bukhara and was so powerful and successful in his military exploits that he wrested Samarkand, Herat and Bukhara from the Timurid dynasty. He captured Khurasan as well but by 1510 he found in Shah Ismail I, the founder of a new Safavid Persian Empire, a serious threat. He decided to confront this threat head on and marched towards Merv where his army was ambushed by the Persians. Some 17,000 Qizilbash ambushed and defeated a superior Uzbek force numbering 28,000. The Uzbek ruler, Muhammad Shaybani, was caught and killed.

When news of the defeat of their Khan reached the Uzbeks in Bukhara and Samarkand the result was shock and panic. Those Mughals who had supported Muhammad Shaybani and presently stationed in Khurasan left for Kunduz. News of these new developments arrived in Babur’s Kabul. He immediately decided to recover the Kingdom of his forefathers.

Battle of Akhsi

In the early 16th century, Sultan Mahmud Khan, the Chagatai Khan of Western Moghulistan and Sultan Ahmad Alaq Khan, the Chagatai Khan of Eastern Moghulistan decided to counter the growing power of the Uzbeks under Muhammad Shaybani. Sultan Ahmed Tambol had rebelled against his Timurid master Babur and declared his independence. But when Babur tried to reconquer his territory with the help of his uncles (the above named Khans), Ahmed Tambol sought the assistance of the Uzbeks. The two Moghul brothers united their forces and launched a campaign against Tambol, but Muhammad Shaybani surprised the Khans and proved victorious in battle of Akhsi and took them both prisoner.

Battle of Marv

The Battle of Merv (or Marv) occurred on 2 December 1510 as a result of the Uzbek invasion of Khorasan. It ended with a decisive victory for the Safavid dynasty. The result was that the Safavids regained control of the Khorasan region. (north-eastern and east of present Iran, southern parts of present-day Turkmenistan, and western and northern Afghanistan).

Battle of Sar-e-Pul

After the Uzbeks were driven out of Samarkand in early 1501 C.E., they regrouped in Bukhara. Muhammad Shaybani began to prepare for another attempt to take Samarkand in April - May 1501 C.E. Babur, the Timurid leader, decided to meet this threat before it arrived at the city. The two armies met at Sar-e-Pul, where a decisive battle was fought which decided the fate of the Timurids and of the region, resulting in gradual conquest of Transoxiana, Khwarezm and Khorasan by the Uzbeks.

Battle of the Chirciq River

The Battle of the Chirciq River was fought between Sultan Mahmud Khan of Moghulistan and Sultan Ahmed Mirza, the Timurid ruler of Samarkand & Bukhara in 1488 C.E. over the city of Tashkent. The Moghuls decisively defeated the Timurids as a result of the defection of 3,000 Uzbeks under the command of Muhammad Shaybani Khan.

Burunduk Khan

Burunduk Khan (Kazakh: Бұрындық хан) also known as Muryndyq (Kazakh: Мұрындық) was a son of Kerei Khan and the third Khan of Kazakh Khanate in 1474 or from 1480 to 1511.Burunduk became a Khan in 1474. The sources describe the reign of Burunduk Khan with other names of the khans mentioned as well in which among the most authoritative was Kasym Khan, the son of Janibek Khan who roamed around Lake Balkhash and the Karatal River. At the same time, Burunduk Khan was inferior to Kasym Khan due to his number of supporters which had million and Janysh-Sultan, had only one hundred thousand. Although Burynduq was considered a Khan, Kasym who commanded Kazakh troops, was more famous due to his involvement in the battles with Muhammad Shaybani. The Kazakh sultans supported Kasym as well since in every military campaign he earned a victory due to his nobility, so his influence grew so much that he was declared as the Khan of all Kazakhs despite not having an official title and the recognized Khan, Burunduk, did not enjoy any popularity. Because of this, most of the power during Burunduk's reign belonged to Kasym Khan. In 1511, Burunduk was forcefully deposed, but Kasym spared his life and allowed him to retire to Maverannahr. Burunduk forever left his native steppes and instead went to Samarkand, where he lived with one of his daughters and died. Burunduk was the only Kazakh khan that was a descendant of Kerei Khan, while the rest were descended from Janibek Khan.

Eastern Afghanistan Operations

Eastern Afghanistan Operations was when Uzbek Khan and Muhammad Shaybani surrounded Kandahar, Babur found his developing Kingdom of Kabul in danger. He feared that Kabul would be the next target of the Uzbeks. Having consulted with his men, he decided the only way out was to leave to India. Babur's second Indian expedition (as considered by many Muslim historians, including Abu'l-Fazl ibn Mubarak), became an operation monitoring Kabul, traveling around eastern provinces of Afghanistan to subdue rebellious Afghans and plunder towns and villages for supplies for his army's survival.

List of Kazakh khans

Starting from the formation of the Kazakhs in the mid-15th century, the Kazakhs khans led both the unified Kazakh Khanate and later the three main Kazakh divisions. Khan is a title for a ruler used by nomadic and semi-nomadic groups throughout Central Asia.

The Kazakhs were originally members of the Uzbek tribes who, under the leadership of Abu'l-Khayr Khan, migrated from the northwestern part of the Dasht-i Qipchaq south towards Ma Wara'un-Nahr in the 1430s and 1440s and attacked parts of the Timurid Empire. Two tribal leaders, Kerei and Janibek, who were themselves descendants of Urus Khan and by extension Genghis Khan, decided to leave the service of Abu'l-Khayr Khan. Those who followed Kerei and Janibek become known as the Uzbek-Kazakhs, Kazakh being a Turkic word which roughly translates as "vagabond" or "freebooter". Abu'l-Khayr Khan died in 1468, and for the next three decades many of his followers began recognizing the authority of the Uzbek-Kazakh khans - Kerei, Janibek, and Kerei's son Burundyq. By 1500, however, a new leader known as Muhammad Shaybani Khan united many of the Uzbeks under his control and pushed further south into modern-day Uzbekistan, while the Uzbek-Kazakhs, who by this time were known simply as Kazakhs, remained in the steppe. The Uzbeks continued to be ruled by Muhammad Shaybani Khan and his descendants, while the Kazakhs were ruled by the descendants of Kerei and Janibek.

After the death of Tauke Khan in 1718 the Kazakh Khanate ceased to exist as a unified entity. Instead, the three different jüz, or hordes, of the Kazakhs became independent units, each with their own khan. Throughout the 18th century the Russians continued to expand into the steppe region. As part of diplomatic relations, the Kazakh khans, especially from the Junior jüz in the west, would declare allegiance to Russia and the tsar, though these declarations had no actual impact beyond words. By the turn of the 19th century, however, the Russians began to exert authority over the Kazakhs and the position of khan. The Russians chose to not appoint a new khan for the Middle jüz after 1819 and abolished the position of khan in the Junior jüz after Shergazy Khan's death in 1824.

The Russians also effected the creation of a new line of khans, the "Inner Horde" or "Bokei jüz". This jüz was made up of members of the Junior jüz who were allowed in 1801 to use pastures west of the Ural river in Russian territory. The position of khan in the Bokei jüz lasted until 1845, when it was also abolished by the Russians.In the 1840s a man named Kenesary, a descendant of Ablay Khan, launched a rebellion against Russian rule, which by this time extended across most of modern-day Kazakhstan. He was recognized by most Kazakh leaders as Kenesary Khan, and is considered in Kazakh histories today to be an official khan, though he was never recognized by the Russian authorities as such. Though the Russians pursued Kenesary for years across the steppe, he had broad support among the Kazakhs and as a result was able to eluded capture until 1847, when he was executed in northern Kyrgyzstan.The following list shows the known khans of the Kazakhs from 1456 to 1847.

Mahmud Khan (Moghul Khan)

Sultan Mahmud Khan (died 1508) (Uyghur: محمود خان‎), was Khan of Tashkent (1487–1502 or 1503) and of the Moghuls of western Moghulistan (1487–1508). He was the eldest son of Yunus Khan. He was born in 1462, his mother was Shah Begum, daughter of Badakhshan prince Lali (Shah Sultan Muhammad Badakhshi), who claimed his descent from Alexander the Great and gave one of his six daughters to Yunus Khan in marriage, pleasing his request.

Upon his father's death, Mahmud Khan succeeded him in Tashkent and western Moghulistan (present Kyrgyzstan), while his brother Ahmad Alaq had already taken control of eastern Moghulistan (present Xinjiang, China)

Mahmud Khan had to defend Tashkent from the Timurids Sultan Ahmad of Samarkand and Omar Shaikh of Ferghana, who resented the loss of the city to Yunus Khan a few years before. Mahmud Khan successfully thwarted their efforts to take Taskhent, and during his fight with Sultan Ahmad gained the defection of one of the men fighting under him, the Uzbek Muhammad Shaybani. As a reward to Muhammad Shaybani, Mahmud Khan gave him land in Russian Turkestan in 1488 (which was named "Uzbekistan" and eventually evolved into the present country with that name). This move, however, upset the Khazaks, who were enemies of the Uzbeks. Although the Moghuls were traditionally friends with the Khazaks, they went to war with each other, and Mahmud Khan was defeated.

Mahmud Khan maintained close and friendly relations with Dughlat Amir Muhammad Husain Mirza and gave his sister Khub Nigar Khanim in marriage to him in 1490, contracting an alliance. Their son was Mirza Muhammad Haidar Dughlat, famous historian and future ruler of Kashmir, born in Tashkent in 1500.

In the meantime, both Sultan Ahmad and Omar Shaikh died in 1494; their brother Sultan Mahmud ruled Samarkand for a six months but he died as well and the city passed to his son Baysunkur. Mahmud Khan attempted to wrest Samarkand from Baysunkur, but the Timurids were victorious on the battlefield. Having failed to take Transoxiana himself, Mahmud Khan decided to support Muhammad Shaybani, whose forces sharply increased from 3,000 to 50,000. The Uzbeks took Samarkand in 1501, but soon turned against his Moghul supporters. With Muhammad Shaybani threatening Mahmud Khan, Ahmad Alaq came from the east and the two brothers advanced against the Uzbeks. They were, however, defeated in the Battle of Akhsi, 1503 and taken prisoner. Muhammad Shaybani let them go but retained the Moghul soldiers and seized control of Tashkent.

Shortly after the defeat, Ahmad Alaq died and his realm fell to his sons. Mahmud Khan invaded from the west with the remnants of his followers, but ignored the towns, settling in the steppes of Moghulistan. Here he lived a difficult life for five years, before deciding to present himself before Muhammad Shaybani, in the hope that he would show some favor to him. Muhammad Shaybani, however, had the khan and all of his five sons killed on the bank of Syr Darya river near Khujand in 1508.

Mihr Nigar Khanum

Mihr Nigar Khanum was the first wife of Sultan Ahmed Mirza, the King of Samarkand and Bukhara. She was a princess of Moghulistan by birth and was the eldest daughter of Yunus Khan, the Great Khan of Moghulistan and his chief consort Aisan Daulat Begum. She was also the aunt of Emperor Babur, the founder of the Mughal Empire of India as well as its first Emperor.In July 1500, after her husband's death, she was captured by Muhammad Shaybani, the Khan of the Uzbeks; and was forcibly married to him as part of the spoils.

Qasim I of Astrakhan

Qasim I Khan (died 1500) was a ruler of the Astrakhan Khanate, from 1466-1500. He was crowned after the death of his father, Mäxmüd of Astrakhan.

Qasim gave refuge to Muhammad Shaybani and his brother Mahmud Sultan, allowing Shaybani to go on to reconquer most of the lands held by his grandfather, Abu'l-Khayr Khan.


The Registan was the heart of the ancient city of Samarkand of the Timurid dynasty, now in Uzbekistan. The name Rēgistan (ریگستان) means "Sandy place" or "desert" in Persian.

The Registan was a public square, where people gathered to hear royal proclamations, heralded by blasts on enormous copper pipes called dzharchis - and a place of public executions. It is framed by three madrasahs (Islamic schools) of distinctive Islamic architecture.


The Shaybanids (Persian: سلسله شیبانیان‎) were a Persianized dynasty of Mongol origin in Central Asia. They were the patrilineal descendants of Shiban, the fifth son of Jochi and grandson of Genghis Khan. Until the mid-14th century, they acknowledged the authority of the descendants of Shiban's brothers Batu Khan and Orda Khan, such as Öz Beg Khan. The Shaybanids originally led the grey horde southeast of the Urals, also known as the Uzbegs (Uzbeks), was converted to Islam in 1282. At its height, the khanate included parts of modern-day Afghanistan and parts of central Asia.

As the lineages of Batu and Orda died out in the course of the great civil wars of the 14th century, the Shaybanids under Abu'l-Khayr Khan declared themselves the only legitimate successors to Jochi and put forward claims to the whole of his enormous ulus, which included parts of Siberia and Kazakhstan. Their rivals were the Timurid dynasty, who claimed descent from Jochi's thirteenth son by a concubine. Several decades of strife left the Timurids in control of the Great Horde and its successor states in Europe, namely, the Khanates of Kazan, Astrakhan, and Crimea.

Siege of Samarkand (1497)

In May 1497 the two armies of Babur and Sultan Ali successfully besieged and captured the city of Samarkand.

Siege of Samarkand (1501)

The Siege of Samarkand was the third and last campaign against the city by both belligerents. Four years after its recapture by the forces of Babur, there was a rebellion that lost the King of Ferghana his kingdom and his capital. In 1501, Babur and his army felt ready to besiege the city again. However, his invasion attempt was beaten off by Shaybani, an Uzbek tribal chief whose conquests were known across Central Asia.

Sultan Mahmud ibn Nizam al-Din Yahya

Sultan Mahmud (c. 1464 – c. 1543) was the last Mihrabanid malik of Sistan, from c. 1495 until c. 1537.

Uzbek Khanate

The Uzbek Khanate of the Abulkhairids was the Shaybanid state preceding the Shaybanid Empire of Muhammad Shaybani and the Khanate of Bukhara. During the few years it existed it was the preeminent state in Central Asia. This is the first state of the Abulkhairids, a branch of the Shaybanids.

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