Ghurid dynasty
Map of Ghurid territory, before the assassination of Muhammad of Ghor.[1][2][3] In the west, Ghurid territory extended to Nishapur and Merv,[4][5] while Ghurid troops reached as far as Gorgan on the shores of the Caspian Sea.[6][7] Eastward, the Ghurids invaded as far as Bengal.[8]
Ghazni (1170s–1215)[11]
Common languagesPersian (court, literature)[12][13]
Before 1011:
From 1011:
Sunni Islam[15]
GovernmentHereditary monarchy
Diarchy (1173–1206)
• 8th-century
Amir Banji (first)
• 1214–1215
Zia al-Din Ali (last)
• Established
• Disestablished
1200 est.[16]2,000,000 km2 (770,000 sq mi)
Preceded by
Succeeded by
Great Seljuq Empire
Chahamanas of Shakambhari
Gahadavala dynasty
Khwarazmian Empire
Mamluk dynasty (Delhi)
Khalji dynasty of Bengal
Delhi Sultanate

The Ghurid dynasty (also spelled Ghorids; Persian: دودمان غوریان, romanizedDudmân-e Ğurīyân; self-designation: شنسبانی, Šansabānī) was a Persianate dynasty of presumably eastern Iranian Tajik origin, which ruled from the 8th-century in the region of Ghor, and became an Empire from 1175 to 1215.[17] The Ghurids were centered in the hills of the Ghor region in the present-day central Afghanistan, where they initially started out as local chiefs. They gradually converted to Sunni Islam after the conquest of Ghor by the Ghaznavid ruler Mahmud of Ghazni in 1011. The Ghurids eventually overran the Ghaznavids when Muhammad of Ghor seized Lahore and expelled the Ghaznavids from their last stronghold.

The Ghurids initially ruled as vassals of the Ghaznavids and later of the Seljuks. However, during the early twelfth century the long-standing rivalry between the Seljuks and Ghaznavids created a power vacuum in eastern Afghanistan and Panjab which the Ghurids took advantage of and began their territorial expansion. Ala al-Din Husayn ended the Ghurid subordination to the Ghaznavids, ruthlessly sacking their capital, although he was soon defeated by the Seljuks after he stopped paying tribute to them. The Seljuk imperial power, however, was itself swept away in eastern Iran with the contemporaneous advent of the Khwarazmian Empire.

During the dyarchy of Ala al-Din Husayn nephews - Ghiyath al-Din Muhammad and Muhammad of Ghor, the Ghurid empire reached its greatest territorial extent, holding encompassed territory from eastern Iran through easternmost India. While Ghiyath al-Din was occupied with the Ghurid expansion in the west, his junior partner in the dyarchy, Muhammad of Ghor and his lieutenants were active east of the Indus Valley as far as Bengal and eventually succeeded in conquering wide swaths of the Gangetic Plain, while in the west under Ghiyath al-Din, engaging in a protracted duel with the Shahs of Khwarazm, the Ghurids, reached as far as Gorgan (present-day Iran) on the shoreline of the Caspian Sea, albeit for a short time.

Ghiyath al-Din Muhammad died in 1203 of illness caused due to rheumatic disorders and soon after the Ghurids suffered a crushing defeat against the Khwrezmians aided by timely reinforcements from the Qara Khitais in the Battle of Andkhud in 1204. Muhammad was assassinated soon after in March 1206 which ended the Ghurid influence in Khurasan. The dynasty became extinguished all together within a decade when Shah Muhammad II uprooted the Ghurids in 1215. Their conquests in the Indian Subcontinent nevertheless survived for several centuries under the evolving Delhi Sultanate established by Qutb ud-Din Aibak.


Coinage of Mu'izz al-Din Muhammad. Dated AH 601 (1204/5 CE), Ghazni mint.

In the 19th century some European scholars, such as Mountstuart Elphinstone, favoured the idea that the Ghurid dynasty was related to today's Pashtun people[18][19][20] but this is generally rejected by modern scholarship and, as explained by Morgenstierne in the Encyclopaedia of Islam, is for "various reasons very improbable".[21] Most scholars state that the dynasty was of Tajik origin.[22][23][24][25][7][26] Many Ghurid princes married into local ethnicities such as Tajiks, Persians, Turks, and Afghans, thus characterizing them as some of these ethnicities.[27]

Encyclopædia Iranica states: "Nor do we know anything about the ethnic stock of the Ḡūrīs in general and the Šansabānīs in particular; we can only assume that they were eastern Iranian Tajiks".[7] Bosworth further points out that the actual name of the Ghurid family, Āl-e Šansab (Persianized: Šansabānī), is the Arabic pronunciation of the originally Middle Persian name Wišnasp.[7]

The Ghurids originated from Ghor Province in central Afghanistan.

Historian André Wink explains in The New Cambridge History of Islam:[28]

The Shansabānī dynasty superseded the Ghaznavids in the second half of the twelfth century. This dynasty was not of Turkish, nor even Afghan, but of eastern Persian or Tājīk origin, speaking a distinct Persian dialect of its own, like the rest of the inhabitants of the remote and isolated mountain region of Ghūr and its capital of Fīrūzkūh (in what is now central Afghanistan).

When the Ghurids started to distinguish themselves through their conquests, courtiers and genealogists (such as Fakhr-i Mudabbir and al-Juzjani) forged a fictive genealogy which connected the Ghurids with the Iranian past. They traced the Ghurid family back to the mythical Arab tyrant Zahhak, mentioned in the medieval Persian epic Shahnameh ("The Book of Kings"), whose family had reportedly settled in Ghur after the Iranian hero Fereydun had ended Zahhak's thousand-year tyranny.[13][7]

Additionally, nothing is known of the pre-Islamic religious beliefs of the Ghurids.[13]


The Ghurids' native language was apparently different from their court language, Persian. Abu'l-Fadl Bayhaqi, the famous historian of the Ghaznavid era, wrote on page 117 in his book Tarikh-i Bayhaqi: "Sultan Mas'ud I of Ghazni left for Ghoristan and sent his learned companion with two people from Ghor as interpreters between this person and the people of that region." However, like the Samanids and Ghaznavids, the Ghurids were great patrons of Persian literature, poetry, and culture, and promoted these in their courts as their own. Modern-day authors refer to them as the "Persianized Ghurids".[29] Wink describes the tongue of the Ghurids as a "distinct Persian dialect".[28]

There is nothing to confirm the recent conclusion that the inhabitants of Ghor were originally Pashto-speaking, and claims of the existence of "Pashto poetry", such as Pata Khazana, from the Ghurid period are unsubstantiated.[30][21]


Early history

Jam Minaret
The Minaret of Jam in Ghor Province of Afghanistan, established by the Ghurids and finished in 1174/75 CE. Inscription on the Minaret, showing the name and titles of Sultan Ghiyath al-Din Muhammad (1163–1202 CE).

A certain Ghurid prince named Amir Banji was the ruler of Ghor and ancestor of the medieval Ghurid rulers. His rule was legitimized by the Abbasid caliph Harun al-Rashid. Before the mid-12th century, the Ghurids had been bound to the Ghaznavids and Seljuks for about 150 years. Beginning in the mid-12th century, Ghor expressed its independence from the Ghaznavid Empire. The early Ghurids followed Paganism before being converted to Islam by Abu Ali ibn Muhammad.[7] In 1149 the Ghaznavid ruler Bahram-Shah of Ghazna poisoned a local Ghurid leader, Qutb al-Din Muhammad, who had taken refuge in the city of Ghazni after having a quarrel with his brother Sayf al-Din Suri. In revenge, Sayf marched towards Ghazni and defeated Bahram-Shah. However, one year later, Bahram returned and scored a decisive victory against Sayf, who was shortly captured and crucified at Pul-i Yak Taq. Baha al-Din Sam I, another brother of Sayf, set out to avenge the death of his two brothers, but died of natural causes before he could reach Ghazni.

Ala al-Din Husayn (1149–61), one of the youngest of Sayf's brothers and newly crowned Ghurid king, also set out to avenge the death of his two brothers. He managed to defeat Bahram-Shah, and then had Ghazni sacked; the city burned for seven days and seven nights. He also sacked the Ghaznavid fortresses and palaces of Bost.[31] These actions earned him the title of Jahānsūz, meaning "the world burner".[32] The Ghaznavids retook the city with Seljuq help, but later lost it to Oghuz Turks.[32]

In 1152, Ala al-Din Husayn refused to pay tribute to the Seljuks and instead marched an army from Firozkoh but was defeated and captured at Nab in the Harīrūd Valley by Sultan Ahmed Sanjar after his forces defected to the Seljuqs.[33] During the battle, 6000 nomads from Ala al-Din's forces went over to the Seljuk army. Despite relatively smaller size of both armies, the defection of nomads at critical point of the battle eventually decided the issue in favour of the Seljuks.[34] Ala al-Din Husayn remained a prisoner for two years, until he was released in return for a heavy ransom to the Seljuqs and was allowed to reclaim his principality in Ghor. However, Sanjar was soon captured and imprisoned by the Ghuzz nomads in 1153, which allowed the Ghurids to expand their polity again.[35] Meanwhile, a rival of Ala al-Din named Husayn ibn Nasir al-Din Muhammad al-Madini had seized Firozkoh, but was murdered at the right moment when Ala al-Din returned to reclaim his ancestral domain. Ala al-Din spent the rest of his reign expanding the domains of his kingdom; he managed to conquer Garchistan, Tukharistan, Zamindawar, Bust, Bamiyan and other parts of Khurasan. Ala al-Din died in 1161, and was succeeded by his son Sayf al-Din Muhammad, who died two years later in a battle against the Oghuz Turks of Balkh.[36]

During the reign of Ala ad-Din, the Ghurids firmly established themselves at Firuzkuh and made it their capital, at the same time, the minor branches of the family who were the offshoot of concubinage with Turkish slave girls whom chronicler Juzjani called "Kanizak-i-turki" established themselves in Bamiyan and elsewhere.[37]

The Ghurids at their zenith

Fortress and Ghurid arch of Qala-e-Bost as printed on an Afghan banknote.

Sayf al-Din Muhammad was succeeded by his cousin Ghiyath al-Din Muhammad, who was the son of Baha al-Din Sam I, and proved himself to be a capable king. Right after Ghiyath's ascension, he, with the aid of his loyal brother Muhammad of Ghor (later known as "Shihabuddin Ghuri"), killed a rival Ghurid chief named Abu'l Abbas. Ghiyath then defeated his uncle Fakhr al-Din Masud who claimed the Ghurid throne and had allied with the Seljuq governor of Herat and Balkh.[38]

In 1173, Muhammad of Ghor after multiple attempts reconquered the city of Ghazni from the Ghuzz Turks, who had deposed the Ghaznavids from there earlier.[36] In 1175, the Ghurids took control of Herat from the Seljuks, and the city became one of their main power bases and centers of cultural development, together with Firozkoh and Ghazni.[39][40] They also took control of the areas of Nīmrūz and Sīstān, and extended their suzerainty as far as the Seljuks of Kerman.[41]

Conquest of Khorasan (1192)

Afterwards, Muhammad assisted his brother Ghiyath in his contest with the Khwarezmian Empire, who were at times supported by their "pagan" suzerains the Qara Khitai, for the lordship of Khorasan.[42] Seljuk power in Khorasan had collapsed since the defeat of Ahmad Sanjar against the Ghuzz Turks in 1153, which left the region at the hands of the Turkmen.[43][44] In 1181, Sultan Shah, a pretendent to the Khwarezmian throne, managed to take control of Khorasan, until 1192 when he was defeated near Merv by the Ghurids, who captured his territories.[42] The Ghurids then took control of all Khorasan following the death of his successor Tekish in 1200, capturing Nishapur in 1200, and reaching as far as Besṭām in the ancient region of Qūmes.[42][40]

After the death of his brother Ghiyath on 13 March 1203,[45] Muhammad became the successor of his empire and ruled until his assassination in 1206 near Jhelum by Ismāʿīlīs whom he persecuted during his lifetime.[46][47]

Conquest of India (1175 to 1205)

Main article: Indian campaigns of Muhammad of Ghor

The last stand of Rajputs, depicting the Second Battle of Tarain in 1192
Bengal coinage of Turkic general Bakhtiyar Khalji (1204–1206 CE). Struck in the name of Mu'izz al-Din Muhammad, dated Samvat 1262 (1204 CE).[49][50]

On the eve of the Ghurid invasion of the subcontinent, northern India was ruled by many independent Rajput kings, often fighting with each other, such as the Chahamana ruler Prithviraja III in Delhi and Ajmer, the Chaulukya ruler Mularaja II in Gujarat, the Gahadavala ruler Jayachandra in Kanauj,[51] further in the east of Ganges Plain there were other independent Hindu powers such as the Sena's under Lakshmana in Bengal etc.[52]

Northern India and Bengal were conquered by Muhammad of Ghor during the period from 1175 to 1205, just before his death in 1206. His capital was in Ghazni, while his elder brother Ghiyath al-Din Muhammad with whom Muhammad ruled in a diarchy, governed the western part of the empire from his capital at Fīrōzkōh.[53][54] In 1175, Muhammad crossed the Indus River, approaching it through the Gomal Pass instead of Khyber Pass, in order to outflank the Ghaznavids in Panjab. Muhammad captured Multan from the Carmathians, and also took Uch by 1176.[55][56]

In 1178, he turned south and again marched through the Gomal Pass, marching by the way of Multan and Uch to enter into the present-day Gujarat via Thar desert, where his armies got exhausted in their long march from Ghazna and were routed in the Battle of Kasahrada fought near Mount Abu at Kasahrada in the southern Aravalli Hills by a coalition of Rajput chiefs, which forced him to change his route for further incursions into India.[57][58] Afterwards, Muhammad pressed upon the Ghanzavids, whose domain was considerably truncated, though they were still controlling parts of Punjab and Pakistan down to the valley of Kabul which were of strategic importance in the pathway to northern India.[59] Thus by the turn of next decade, Muhammad conquered Sindh,[56] Peshawar, Sialkot and annexed the last Ghaznavid principality in Punjab, with their capital in Lahore, in 1186 through stratagem after three incursions.[60][61][62]

In 1191, the Ghurids seized Bathinda and marched towards Delhi, but were defeated in the First Battle of Tarain by the Rajput confederacy led by the Ajmer-Chahamana king Prithviraja III. Nevertheless, Muhammad returned a year later with an army of Turkish mounted archers and routed the Rajput forces in the Second Battle of Tarain, and executed Prithviraja shortly afterwards.[63][64] Govindaraja IV, son of Prithviraj Chauhan, submitted to the Ghurids the region of Ajmer, which became a vassal state.[65][66] In 1193, Delhi was conquered by Mu'izz al-Din Muhammad's general Qutbu l-Din Aibak.[62][54] The newly conquered territories were then put under the governorship of Qutb ud-Din Aibak, who was now Viceroy in Delhi.[67][68]

In 1194, Muhammad returned to India and crossed the Yamuna River with an army of 50,000 horses and at the Battle of Chandawar defeated the forces of the Gahadavala king Jayachandra, who was killed in action. After the battle, Muhammad continued his advance to the east, with his general Qutb ud-Din Aibak in the vanguard. The city of Benares (Kashi) was taken and razed, and "idols in a thousand temples" were destroyed.[69][67][70] It is generally thought that the Buddhist city of Sarnath was also ravaged at that time.[70][71] In 1196, Qutb ud-Din Aibak vanquished Sulakshanapala, the ruler of the Kachchhapaghata dynasty of Gwalior, capturing Gwalior fort.[72] Also in 1196, Qutb ud-Din Aibak vanquished a coalition of the Rajputs of Ajmer and the Chaulukyas under king Bhima II at Mount Abu, thereafter sacking Anhilwara.[72]

In 1202–1203 CE, Qutbu l-Din Aibak, now Ghurid governor of Delhi, invaded the Chandela kingdom in the Ganges Valley.[73] The Ghurids toppled local dynasties and destroyed Hindu temples during their advance across northern India, in place constructing mosques on the same sites.[54] The revenue and booty gained after sacking the Hindu temples fuelled the efforts of Muhammad to finance his imperial aspirations in the west.[74]

Around 1203, Bakhtiyar Khalji, another Turkic general of Muhammad of Ghor, swept down the lower Gangetic Plain and into Bengal. In Bihar, he is said to have destroyed Buddhist centers of learning such as Nalanda University, greatly contributing to the decline of pre-Islamic Indic scholarship.[75][76] In Bengal, he sacked the ancient city of Nudiya in central Bengal, and established an Islamic government in the former Sena capital of Lakhnauti in 1205.[77][78][79][80]

Muhammad placed his faithful Turkic generals, rather than his own Ghurid brethens, in position of authority over local tributary kings, throughout the conquered Indian lands.[54] After the asssasination of Muhammad in March 1206, his territories fragmented into smaller Sultanates led by his former Mamluk generals. Tajuddin Elduz became the ruler of Ghazni, Nasir-ud-Din Qabacha became Sultan of Multan, Bahauddin Tughril became Sultan of Bayana and Qutb al-Din Aibak became Sultan of Delhi.[81] Bakhtiyar Khilji became Sultan of Bengal, but was soon assassinated and succeeded by several Khalji rulers, until Bengal was incorporated into the Delhi Sultanate in 1227.[82][83] Between 1206 and 1228 the various Turkic rulers and their successors rivaled for preeminence until the Sultan of Delhi Iltutmish prevailed, marking the advent of the Mamluk dynasty. This was the first dynasty of the Delhi Sultanate, which in total had five dynasties and would rule most of India for more than three centuries until the advent of the Mughal Empire in 1526.[54]

Decline and fall

Main article: Battle of Andkhud

See also: Battle of Jhelum (1206)

Ghiyath died on 13 March 1203 due to gout[84] and was succeeded by Muhammad of Ghor as the sole ruler of the vast Ghurid Empire. Soon after, Alauddin Khwarazm Shah besieged and captured some of the strongholds of the Ghurids around Merv, although Muhammad drove him back and further besieged their capital Gurgānj.[85]

Alauddin then appealed to his nominal suzerain the Qara-Khitai, who dispatched a large contingent led by Yelü Zhilugu.[85] In the ensuing Battle of Andkhud (1204), fought near the river Oxus, the Ghurid troops were completely routed by the combined forces of the Qara-Khitai and the Khwarizmians.[85] The defeat at Andkhud was a watershed for the Ghurids who lost their control over most of the Khurasan. Notwithstanding, Muhammad within a year or so raised a vast army and build bridge across the Oxus to launch a full-scale invasion of Transoxiana to avenge his defeat. However, he was forced to move towards Punjab to crush a Khokhar rebellion whom he defeated and massacred in large number. On his way back, Muhammad of Ghor was assassinated near the Indus on March 15, 1206.[86][87]

After the death of Muhammad Ghori in 1206, a confused struggle then ensued among the remaining Ghūrid leaders and the Khwarezmians. The Khwarezmians under Ala al-Din Muhammad captured Herat and Ghor in 1206, and finally Ghazni in 1215, completing the takeover of the western part of the Ghūrid empire.[85][54] The Ghurid capital was transferred to Delhi, recognizing Khwarazmian rule on north and central Afghanistan. The Ghurids continued their rule on much of the Indian subcontinent, Sisitan region of Iran and south of Afghanistan.[88] Though the Ghūrids' empire was short-lived, Mu'izz al-Din Muhammad's conquests strengthened the foundations of Muslim rule in India.


The Ghurids positioned themselves as defenders of Sunnism. They had good relations with the Abbasids in Baghdad, who urged them to repel the advances of the Kwarizmians into western Persia.[89] Their conquests in India were also presented as a battle between the armies of Islam (lashkar-i Islam) and the armies of the unbelievers (lashkar-i kuffar), and gave them great prestige in the Islamic world as defenders of the orthodoxy.[90]


Ornamental bands on the Minaret of Jam, bearing the 19th Sura of the Koran.

The Ghurids were great patrons of Persian culture and literature and lay the basis for a Persianized state in the Indian subcontinent.[7][91][92] However, most of the literature produced during the Ghurid era has been lost. They also transferred Persian architecture to India.[93] According to Amir Khusrau (died 1325), the Indians learned Persian because of the influence of the "Ghurids and Turks."[94] The notion of Persian kingship served as the basis for the imperial formation, political and cultural unity of the Ghurids.[95]

Out of the Ghurid state grew the Delhi Sultanate which established the Persian language as the official court language of the region – a status it retained until the late Mughal era in the 19th century.

There was a strong Turkic presence among the Ghurids, since Turk slave-soldiers formed the vanguard of the Ghurid armies.[96] There was intense amalgamation between these various ethnic groups: "a notable admixture of Tajik, Persian, Turkish and indigenous Afghan ethnicities therefore characterized the Shansabanis".[96] At least until the end of the 13th century when they ruled the Mamluk Sultanate in India, the Turks in the Ghurid realm maintained their ethnical characteristics, continuing to use Turkish as their main language, rather than Persian, and persisting in their rude and bellicose ways as "men of the sword", in opposition to the Persian "men of the pen".[97]

Metalwork of the Ghurid period

Ewer inscribed in the name of Mahmud b. Muhammad al-Harawi Khurasan, at Herat, and dated A.H. Sha'ban 577 (December 10, 1181–January 7, 1182). Georgian National Museum. Exhibit "Court and Cosmos: The Great Age of the Seljuqs" (2016), Metropolitan Museum of Art.[99]

An important metalwork school was located in Herat during the Ghurid period, following the conquest of the Seljuk city by the Ghurids in 1175.[49] In the Islamic world, inlaid metalworking, consisting of patterned silver inlays in a brass background, was first developed in the region of Khurasan in the 12th century, by silversmiths facing a shortage of silver.[100] By the mid-12th century, Herat in particular had already gained a reputation for its high-quality inlaid metalwork, with works such as the Bobrinski Bucket (dated inscription of 1163).[100]

A series of remarkable ewers is attributed to this Herat school of metalwork at the time of Ghurid rule, during the 1180–1200 period. One of them, now in the Georgian National Museum, is marked with a poem in Persian which specifically records its manufacture in Herat in 1181–1182, and permits the attribution and dating of this group of ewers to 1180–1200 in Herat, at the time of Ghurid rule.[101][102][99]

My ewer is the most beautiful ewer of all time. Who in this world has anything like this today? Everyone who has seen it has said it is very beautiful. No one has seen its equal, for it is unparalleled

Look at the ewer from which spirit is born. It is the water of life that flows from it. Any stream that comes from it into the hand. Creates a new pleasure every moment

Look at the ewer that is praised by everyone. It would be worthy of service to an honored person like you Every eye that sees it opens wide. And says that nothing could be better than this

This water vessel is made in Herat. Who else could product anything like it (in the world)? Although the seven stars the Planets of the celestial sphere lift their heads high, May they look favorably upon him who produces such a ewer

Mercy be on him who makes such a ewer. May he be given silver and gold for making it. May good fortune come to him and caress him in friendship. May affliction be removed and given to his enemies

— Ewer in the name of Mahmud b. Muhammad al-Harawi Khurasan, Herat, dated A.H. Sha'ban 577 (December 10, 1181–January 7, 1182). Brass; raised, repousse, engraved, inlaid with copper and silver. Georgian National Museum, Janashia Museum of Georgia, Tbilisi (19-2008;32).[103][99]

The practice of inlaying "required relatively few tools" and the technique spread westward, perhaps by Khurasani artisans moving to other cities.[100] By the turn of the 13th century, the silver-inlaid-brass technique had reached Mosul under the Turkic Zengid dynasty (area of modern Iraq).[100]

List of rulers

Coinage Titular Name(s) Personal Name Reign
Amir Banji
امیر سوری
Amir Suri
امیر سوری
9th-century – 10th-century
Muhammad ibn Suri
محمد بن سوری
10th-century – 1011
As vassals of the Ghaznavid Empire
Abu Ali ibn Muhammad
ابوعلی بن محمد
Abbas ibn Shith
عباس بن شیث
1035 – 1060
Muhammad ibn Abbas
محمد بن عباس
1060 – 1080
Qutb al-din Hasan
قطب‌ الدین حسن
1080 – 1100
As vassals of the Seljuk Empire
Izz al-Din Husayn
عز الدین حسین
Sayf al-Din Suri
سیف‌ الدین سوری
Baha al-Din Sam I
بهاء الدین سام
Sultan al-Muazzam
سلطان المعظم
Ala al-Din Husayn
علاء الدین حسین
As independent rulers
Sayf al-Din Muhammad
سیف‌ الدین محمد
Ghurids (Ghur & Ghazna). Ghiyath al-Din Muhammad. AH 558–599 AD 1163–1203. Baldat Herat mint. Dated AH 599 (AD 1202–3). Sultan Abul-Fateh
سلطان ابوالفتح
Ghiyath al-Din Muhammad
غیاث‌ الدین محمد
Coin of Mu'izz al-Din Muhammad, AH 599–602 1171–1206 CE Indian coinage (Pagoda) of Mu'izz al-Din Muhammad. Obverse: Lakshmi seated facing. Reverse: śri maha/[mi]ra mahama/da sama in Devanagari. Sultan Shahāb-ud-din Muhammad Ghori
سلطان شهاب‌ الدین محمد غوری
Mu'izz al-Din Muhammad
معز الدین محمد
As vassals of the Khwarazmian Empire
Coin of Ghiyath al-Din Mahmud. AH 602–609 1206–1212 CE Sultan
Ghiyath al-Din Mahmud
غیاث‌ الدین محمود
Baha al-Din Sam III
بهاء الدین سام
Ala al-Din Atsiz
علاء الدین دراست
Ala al-Din Ali
علاء الدین علی
Khwarazmian conquest

Bamiyan Branch

Coinage Titular Name(s) Personal Name Reign
As independent rulers
Fakhr al-Din Masud
فخرالدین مسعود
Ghurids (Bamiyan). Shams al-Din Muhammad. AH 558–588 AD 1163–1192. Malik
Shams al-Din Muhammad ibn Masud
شمس‌ الدین محمد بن مسعود
Abbas ibn Muhammad
عباس بن محمد
Ghurids (Bamiyan). Baha' al-Din Sam. AH 588–602 AD 1192–1206. Wakhsh mint. Malik
Baha al-Din Sam II
بهاء الدین سام
As vassal of the Khwarazmian Empire
Coin of Jalal_al-Din_Ali. Malik
Jalal al-Din Ali
جلال‌ الدین علی
Khwarazmian conquest

Ghurid family tree

See also



  1. ^ Schwartzberg, Joseph E. (1978). A Historical Atlas of South Asia. Oxford University Press, Digital South Asia Library. p. 147, Map "g".
  2. ^ a b Eaton 2019, p. 38.
  3. ^ Bosworth, C.E. (1 January 1998). History of Civilizations of Central Asia. UNESCO. pp. 432–433. ISBN 978-92-3-103467-1.
  4. ^ Thomas 2018, p. 26, Figure I:2.
  5. ^ Schmidt, Karl J. (2015). An Atlas and Survey of South Asian History. Routledge. p. 37, Map 16.2. ISBN 978-1-317-47681-8.
  6. ^ History of Civilizations of Central Asia. UNESCO. 1998. ISBN 978-92-3-103467-1. In 1201 Ghurid troops entered Khurasan and captured Nishapur, Merv, Sarakhs and Tus, reaching as far as Gurgan and Bistam. Kuhistan, a stronghold of the Ismailis, was plundered and all Khurasan was brought temporarily under Ghurid control
  7. ^ a b c d e f g Bosworth 2001b.
  8. ^ Turkish History and Culture in India: Identity, Art and Transregional Connections. Brill. 2020. p. 237. ISBN 978-90-04-43736-4. In 1205, Bakhtīyar Khilji sacked Nudiya, the pre-eminent city of western Bengal and established an Islamic government at Laukhnauti, the capital of the predecessor Sena dynasty. On this occasion, commemorative coins were struck in gold and silver in the name of Muhammad b. Sām
  9. ^ Auer 2021, p. 6.
  10. ^ Firuzkuh: the summer capital of the Ghurids Archived 6 April 2012 at the Wayback Machine, by David Thomas, p. 18.
  11. ^ The Grove Encyclopedia of Islamic Art & Architecture: Three-volume set, by Jonathan Bloom, Sheila Blair, p. 108.
  12. ^ The Development of Persian Culture under the Early Ghaznavids, C.E. Bosworth, Iran, Vol. 6, (1968), 35;;"Like the Ghaznavids whom they supplanted, the Ghurids had their court poets, and these wrote in Persian"
  13. ^ a b c O'Neal 2015.
  14. ^ Minorsky, Vladmir (1970). Ḥudūd al-'Ālam, "The Regions of the World,". Leningrad: University Press, Oxford. p. 110. ISBN 9780906094037.
  15. ^ The Ghurids, K.A. Nizami, History of Civilizations of Central Asia, Vol.4, Part 1, ed. M.S. Asimov and C.E. Bosworth, (Motilal Banarsidass Publishers, 1999), 178.
  16. ^ Bang, Peter Fibiger; Bayly, C. A.; Scheidel, Walter (2020). The Oxford World History of Empire: Volume One: The Imperial Experience. Oxford University Press. pp. 92–94. ISBN 978-0-19-977311-4.
  17. ^ Barisitz, Stephan (2017). Central Asia and the Silk Road: Economic Rise and Decline over Several Millennia. Springer. p. 94. ISBN 978-3-319-51213-6.
  18. ^ Elphinstone, Mountstuart. The History of India. Vol. 1. J. Murray, 1841. Web. 29 April 2010. Link: "...the prevalent and apparently the correct opinion is, that both they and their subjects were Afghans. " & "In the time of Sultan Mahmud it was held, as has been observed, by a prince whom Ferishta calls Mohammed Soory (or Sur) Afghan." pp. 598–599
  19. ^ A short history of India: and of the frontier states of Afghanistan, Nipal, and Burma, Wheeler, James Talboys Archived 9 June 2007 at the Wayback Machine, (LINK): "The next conqueror after Mahmud who made a name in India, was Muhammad Ghori, the Afghan."
  20. ^ Balfour, Edward. The Cyclopædia of India and of Eastern and Southern Asia, Commercial Industrial, and Scientific: Products of the Mineral, Vegetable, and Animal Kingdoms, Useful Arts and Manufactures. 3rd ed. Vol. 2. London: Bernard Quaritch, 1885. Web. 29 April 2010. Link: "IZ-ud-DIN Husain, the founder of the Ghori dynaasty, was a native of Afghanistan. The origin of the house of Ghor has, however, been much discussed, – the prevailing opinion being that both they and their subjects were an Afghan race. " p. 392
  21. ^ a b M. Longworth Dames; G. Morgenstierne; R. Ghirshman (1999). "AFGHĀNISTĀN". Encyclopaedia of Islam (CD-ROM Edition v. 1.0 ed.). Leiden, The Netherlands: Koninklijke Brill NV. "... there is no evidence for assuming that the inhabitants of Ghūr were originally Pashto-speaking (cf. Dames, in E I1). If we are to believe the Paṭa Khazāna (see below, iii), the legendary Amīr Karōṝ, grandson of Shansab, (8th century) was a Pashto poet, but this for various reasons is very improbable ..."
  22. ^ Richard Eaton (2000). Essays on Islam and Indian History. Oxford University Press. p. 100. ISBN 978-0-19-565114-0. The dynamics of north Indian politics changed dramatically, however, when the Ghurids, a dynasty of Tajik (eastern Iranian), origina arrived from central Afghanistan towards the end of twelfth century
  23. ^ Encyclopaedia of Islam, "Ghurids", C.E. Bosworth, Online Edition, 2006: "... The Shansabānīs were, like the rest of the Ghūrīs, of eastern Iranian Tājik stock ..."
  24. ^ Wink 2020, p. 78.
  25. ^ Cynthia Talbot, The Last Hindu Emperor: Prithviraj Chauhan and the Indian Past, 1200–2000, (Cambridge University Press, 2016), 36.
  26. ^ Flood, Finbarr B. (2018). Objects of Translation: Material Culture and Medieval "Hindu-Muslim" Encounter. Princeton University Press. p. 92. ISBN 978-0-691-18074-8.
  27. ^ Avari, Burjor (2013). Islamic Civilization in South Asia: A History of Muslim Power and Presence in the Indian Subcontinent. Routledge. p. 41. ISBN 978-0-415-58061-8.
  28. ^ a b Wink, André (2010). "The early expansion of Islam in India". In Morgan, David O.; Reid, Anthony (eds.). The New Cambridge History of Islam, Volume 3: The Eastern Islamic World, Eleventh to Eighteenth Centuries. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press. p. 96. ISBN 978-0-521-85031-5.
  29. ^ Flood, Finbarr Barry (2009). Objects of Translation: Material Culture and Medieval "Hindu-Muslim" Encounter. Princeton University Press. p. 3. ISBN 978-0-691-12594-7.
  30. ^ Encyclopaedia of Islam, "Ghurids", C.E. Bosworth, Online Edition, 2006: "... There is nothing to confirm the recent surmise that the Ghūids were Pashto-speaking [...] the Paṭa Khazāna "Treasury of secrets", claims to include Pashto poetry from the Ghūid period, but the significance of this work has not yet been evaluated ..."
  31. ^ "Encyclopaedia Iranica (Ghurids)". Ḡazna and Bost suffered frightful sackings by ʿAlāʾ-al-Dīn Ḥosayn, in which colleges and libraries were despoiled, and the buildings of previous sultans destroyed (Jūzjānī, pp. 343–345; Čahār maqāla, ed. Qazvīnī, p. 31), earning him the uneviable epithet of Jahānsūz (world incendiary).
  32. ^ a b Bosworth 2001a, pp. 578–583.
  33. ^ Wink 1991, p. 136.
  34. ^ Thomas 2018, p. 55.
  35. ^ Thomas 2018, p. 56.
  36. ^ a b Wink 1991, p. 138.
  37. ^ Wink 1991, pp. 136–137.
  38. ^ Bosworth 1968, p. 163.
  39. ^ Flood, Finbarr Barry (2022). Objects of Translation: Material Culture and Medieval 'Hindu-Muslim' Encounter. Princeton University Press. p. 105. ISBN 978-1-4008-3324-5.
  40. ^ a b Flood, Finbarr Barry (2022). Objects of Translation: Material Culture and Medieval 'Hindu-Muslim' Encounter. Princeton University Press. p. 90. ISBN 978-1-4008-3324-5.
  41. ^ Bosworth, Edmond. "Encyclopaedia Iranica (Ghurids)". In the west, Ḡīāṯ-al-Dīn, often in concert with his brother, extended his suzerainty over the maleks of Nīmrūz or Sīstān and even over the Kermān branch of the Saljuqs.
  42. ^ a b c Encyclopaedia Iranica, Ghurids. The actual fighting in Khorasan at this time was largely between the Ghurids and Tekeš's brother Solṭānšāh, who had carved out for himself personally a principality in western Khorasan, until in 586/1190. Ḡīāṯ-al–Dīn and Moʿezz-al-Dīn defeated Solṭānšāh near Marv in 588/1192, captured him, and took over his territories (Jūzjānī, I, 303–304, tr. I, pp. 246–247). When Tekeš died in 596/1200 (Ebn al-Aṯīr, Beirut, XII, pp. 156–158), Ḡīāṯ-al-Dīn was able to take over most of the towns of Khorasan as far west as Besṭām in Qūmes.
  43. ^ Encyclopaedia Iranica, Ghurids. ʿAlāʾ-al-Dīn Ḥosayn's expansionist policies raised the Ghurids into a power of significance well beyond Ḡūr itself. Latterly, he was able to take advantage of a certain power-vacuum in the eastern Islamic world which had arisen through the decay of the Ghaznavids and the collapse of Saljuq power in Khorasan consequent on Sanjar's defeat and capture by the Ḡozz (q.v.) in 548/1153.
  44. ^ "Encyclopedia Iranica, Sanjar".
  45. ^ Mohammad Habib (1992). "The Asiatic Environment". In Mohammad Habib; Khaliq Ahmad Nizami (eds.). A Comprehensive History of India: The Delhi Sultanat (A.D. 1206–1526). Vol. 5 (Second ed.). The Indian History Congress / People's Publishing House. p. 44. OCLC 31870180. At this juncture Sultan Ghiyasuddin Ghuri died at Herat on 27 Jamadi I.A H 599 (13 March A.D 1203)
  46. ^ Bosworth 1968, p. 168.
  47. ^ Chandra 2007, p. 73:"Muizzuddin led his last campaign into India in 1206 in order to deal with the Khokhar rebellion. He resorted to large-scale slaughter of the Khokhars and cowed them down. On his way back to Ghazni, he was killed by a Muslim fanatic belonging to a rival sect"
  48. ^ Schwartzberg, Joseph E. (1978). A Historical atlas of South Asia. Chicago: University of Chicago Press. pp. 37, 147. ISBN 0226742210.
  49. ^ a b c Flood, Finbarr B. (2018). Objects of Translation: Material Culture and Medieval "Hindu-Muslim" Encounter. Princeton University Press. pp. 115–117. ISBN 978-0-691-18074-8.
  50. ^ Goron, Stan; Goenka, J. P.; Robinson (numismatist.), Michael (2001). The Coins of the Indian Sultanates: Covering the Area of Present-day India, Pakistan, and Bangladesh. Munshiram Manoharlal. ISBN 978-81-215-1010-3. Obverse: horseman to left holding a mace, margin with date in Nagari Samvat 1262 Bhadrapada . Reverse : legend in Nagari śrīmat mahamada sāmaḥ . Issued in AD 1204
  51. ^ Thapar 2004, pp. 421, 433–434: "The campigns saw Muhammad in control of Lahore and led to the visions of further conquests in India. An attack was launched on the Rajput kingdoms controlling the watershed and the western Ganges Plain, now beginning to be viewed as the frontier.."
  52. ^ Thapar 2004, p. 433.
  53. ^ Wink 1991, p. 139–140.
  54. ^ a b c d e f Eaton 2019, pp. 39–45.
  55. ^ Wink 1991, p. 143.
  56. ^ a b Thapar 2004, p. 434.
  57. ^ Asoke Kumar Majumdar (1956). Chaulukyas of Gujarat. Bharatiya Vidya Bhavan. pp. 131–132. OCLC 4413150.
  58. ^ Chandra 2007, p. 68: "In 1173, Shahabuddin, Muhammad (1173–1206 (also known as Muizzuddin Muhammad bin Sam) ascended the throne at Ghazni, while his elder brother was ruling at Ghur. Proceeding by way of the Gomal pass, Muizzuddin Muhammad conquered Multan and Uchch. In 1178, he attempted to penetrate into Gujarat by marching across the Rajputana desert. But the Gujarat ruler completely routed him in a battle near Mount Abu, and Muizzuddin Muhammad was lucky in escaping alive. He now realised the necessity of creating a suitable base in the Punjab before venturing upon the conquest of India. Accordingly he launched a campaign against the Ghaznavid possessions in the Punjab. By 1190, Muizzuddin Muhammad had conquered Peshawar, Lahore and Sialkot, and was poised fora thrust towards Delhi and the Gangetic doab"
  59. ^ Bosworth 1977, p. 129.
  60. ^ Wink 1991, p. 144.
  61. ^ Bosworth 2001a.
  62. ^ a b Eaton, Richard M. (1993). The Rise of Islam and the Bengal Frontier, 1204–1760. Berkeley · Los Angeles · London: University of California Press. p. Chapter 1–2.
  63. ^ Hermann Kulke; Dietmar Rothermund (2004). A History of India. Psychology Press. p. 167. ISBN 978-0-415-32919-4. "The first battle of Tarain was won by the Rajput confederacy led by Prithviraj Chauhan of Ajmer. But when Muhammad of Ghur returned the following year with 10,000 archers on horseback he vanquished Prithviraj and his army
  64. ^ Thapar 2004, pp. 434–435.
  65. ^ Jayapalan, N. (2001). History of India. Atlantic Publishers & Distri. ISBN 978-81-7156-928-1.
  66. ^ Jayapalan, N. (2001). History of India. Atlantic Publishers & Distri. pp. 1–3. ISBN 978-81-7156-928-1.
  67. ^ a b Mohammad Habib (1981). K. A. Nizami (ed.). Politics And Society During The Early Medieval Period Vol. 2. People's Publishing House. p. 116. In the winter of A.D. 1194–1195 Shihabuddin once more marched into Hindustan and invaded the doab. Rai Jaichand moved forward to met him....then description of Chandwar struggle (...) Shihabuddin captured the treasure fort of Asni and then proceeded to Benaras, 'where he converted about thousand idol-temples into house for the Musalmans.
  68. ^ Jayapalan, N. (2001). History of India. Atlantic Publishers & Distri. p. 2. ISBN 978-81-7156-928-1.
  69. ^ Chandra 2007, p. 71: "In 1194, Muizzuddin returned to India. He crossed the Jamuna with 50,000 cavalry and moved towards Kanauj. A hotly contested battle between Muizzuddin and Jaichandra was fought at Chandawar near Kanauj. We are told that Jaichandra had almost carried the day when he was killed by an arrow, and his army was totally defeated. Muizzuddin now moved on to Banaras which was ravaged, a large number of temples there being destroyed"
  70. ^ a b Asher, Frederick M. (2020). Sarnath: A Critical History of the Place Where Buddhism Began. Getty Publications. p. 11. ISBN 978-1-60606-616-4. And then, in 1193, Qutb-ud-din Aibek, the military commander of Muhammad of Ghor's army, marched towards Varanasi, where he is said to have destroyed idols in a thousand temples. Sarnath very likely was among the casualties of this invasion, one all too often seen as a Muslim invasion whose primary purpose was iconoclasm. It was of course, like any premodern military invasion, intended to acquire land and wealth
  71. ^ Asher, Frederick M. (2020). Sarnath: A Critical History of the Place Where Buddhism Began. Getty Publications. p. 74. ISBN 978-1-60606-616-4.
  72. ^ a b Jayapalan, N. (2001). History of India. Atlantic Publishers & Distri. ISBN 978-81-7156-928-1.
  73. ^ Sisirkumar Mitra 1977, pp. 123–126.
  74. ^ Thapar 2004, pp. 434, 436.
  75. ^ Roy, Himanshu (2021). Political Thought in Indic Civilization. Sage Publishing India. p. 6. ISBN 978-93-5479-159-8. After the arrival of Islam, the universities such as Nalanda and Vikramshila were no longer existent. The destruction of Nalanda by Bakhtiyar Khalji was the last nail in this pre-Islamic Indic university, which had survived three major destructions
  76. ^ Koh, Tommy; Singh, Hernaikh (2020). India on Our Minds: Essays by Tharman Shanmugaratnam and 50 Singaporean Friends of India. World Scientific. p. 91. ISBN 978-981-12-2453-9.
  77. ^ Turkish History and Culture in India: Identity, Art and Transregional Connections. Brill. 2020. p. 237. ISBN 978-90-04-43736-4.
  78. ^ Majumdar, R. C. (1973). History of Mediaeval Bengal. Calcutta: G. Bharadwaj & Co. pp. 1–2. OCLC 1031074. Tradition gives him credit for the conquest of Bengal but as a matter of fact he could not subjugate the greater part of Bengal ... All that Bakhtyār can justly take credit for is that by his conquest of Western and a part of Northern Bengal he laid the foundation of the Muslim State in Bengal. The historians of the 13th century never attributed the conquest of the whole of Bengal to Bakhtyār.
  79. ^ Mehta, Jaswant Lal (1986) [First published 1979]. Advanced Study in the History of Medieval India. Vol. I (2nd ed.). Sterling Publishers. pp. 81–82. ISBN 978-81-207-0617-0. OCLC 883279992. The Turkish arms penetrated into Bihar and Bengal, through the enterprising efforts of Ikhtiyaruddin Muhammad bin Bakhtiyar Khalji ... he started plundering raids into Bihar and, within four or five years, occupied a large part of it ... Nadia was sacked by the Turks and a few districts of Bengal (Malda, Dinajpur, Murshidabad and Birbhum) were occupied by them ... Bathtiyar Khalji could not retain his hold over Nadia and made Lakhnauti or Gaur as his capital.
  80. ^ Thakur, Amrendra Kumar (1992). India and the Afghans: A study of a neglected region, 1370–1576 A.D. Janaki Prakashan. p. 148. ISBN 9788185078687.
  81. ^ K. A. Nizami (1992). "The Early Turkish Sultans of Delhi". In Mohammad Habib; Khaliq Ahmad Nizami (eds.). A Comprehensive History of India: The Delhi Sultanat (A.D. 1206–1526). Vol. 5 (Second ed.). The Indian History Congress / People's Publishing House. p. 201. OCLC 31870180.
  82. ^ Nafziger, George F.; Walton, Mark W. (2003). Islam at War: A History. Praeger Publishers. p. 56. ISBN 9780275981013.
  83. ^ Chandra, Satish (2004). Medieval India: From Sultanat to the Mughals-Delhi Sultanat (1206–1526) – Part One. Har-Anand Publications. pp. 43–44. ISBN 978-81-241-1064-5.
  84. ^ Bosworth 1968, p. 164.
  85. ^ a b c d Sicker, Martin (2000). The Islamic World in Ascendancy: From the Arab Conquests to the Siege of Vienna. Bloomsbury Publishing. p. 103. ISBN 978-0-313-00111-6.
  86. ^ Satish Chandra (2004). Medieval India: From Sultanat to the Mughals-Delhi Sultanat (1206–1526) – Part One. Har-Anand Publications. p. 29. ISBN 978-81-241-1064-5.
  87. ^ Bosworth 1968, p. 165.
  88. ^ Ira M. Lapidus, A History of Islamic Societies 2nd ed. Cambridge University Press 2002
  89. ^ Bosworth, Edmond. "Encyclopaedia Iranica (Ghurids)". The Ghurids adopted the role of defenders of Sunnism. They had cordial relations with the ʿAbbasids in Baghdad, frequently exchanging embassies (Jūzjānī's father took part in one of the last, Jūzjānī, I, p. 361, tr. p. 383). Ḡīāṯ-al-Dīn was admitted to al-Nāṣer's fotūwa order, and the caliph more than once urged the Ghurids to halt the advance into western Persia of the Ḵᵛārazmšāhs (Jūzjānī, I, 302, tr. I, p. 243).
  90. ^ Flood, Finbarr Barry (2022). Objects of Translation: Material Culture and Medieval 'Hindu-Muslim' Encounter. Princeton University Press. p. 106. ISBN 978-1-4008-3324-5.
  91. ^ Persian Literature in the Safavid Period, Z. Safa, The Cambridge history of Iran: The Timurid and Safavid periods, Vol. 6, Ed. Peter Jackson and Laurence Lockhart,(Cambridge University Press, 1986), 951; "...Ghurids and Ghurid mamluks, all of whom established centres in India where poets and writers received ample encouragement.".
  92. ^ Patel, Alka (University of California) (2017). The Coming of the Mongols. Bloomsbury Publishing. pp. 19–25. ISBN 978-1-78673-383-2.
  93. ^ Hambly & Asher 1994, pp. 242–250.
  94. ^ Auer 2021, p. 30.
  95. ^ Auer 2021, p. 12.
  96. ^ a b Avari, Burjor (2013). Islamic Civilization in South Asia: A History of Muslim Power and Presence in the Indian Subcontinent. Routledge. p. 41. ISBN 978-0-415-58061-8.
  97. ^ Eaton 2019, pp. 48–49.
  98. ^ Flood, Finbarr Barry (2022). Objects of Translation: Material Culture and Medieval "Hindu-Muslim" Encounter. Princeton University Press. pp. 105–106. ISBN 978-1-4008-3324-5.
  99. ^ a b c Canby, Sheila R.; Beyazit, Deniz; Rugiadi, Martina; Peacock, A. C. S. (2016). Court and Cosmos: The Great Age of the Seljuqs. Metropolitan Museum of Art. p. 155, item 85. ISBN 978-1-58839-589-4.
  100. ^ a b c d Raby, Julian (2012). "The Principle of Parsimony and the Problem of the 'Mosul School of Metalwork'". In Porter, Venetia; Rosser-Owen, Mariam (eds.). Metalwork and Material Culture in the Islamic World (PDF). Bloomsbury Publishing. pp. 11–85. ISBN 978-0-85773-343-6. Retrieved 18 November 2022.
  101. ^ "Ewer". The Metropolitan Museum of Art.
  102. ^ a b "Ewer". The Metropolitan Museum of Art. Retrieved 4 January 2024. At the time that this ewer and the group of long-necked ewers to which it relates were produced, Herat was under the control of the Ghurids, not the Seljuqs, but evidence strongly suggests that these pieces were exported to centers in Seljuq Iran and elsewhere.
  103. ^ Metropolitan Museum of Art notice