Divisions in the Muslim World

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By the 10th century it was clear the entire Muslim world could not remain united under a single ruler in a single state. The groups that had been united by Islam were simply too diverse to remain a single political entity. States either seceded outright or governors or Turkish generals set up independent states within the empire that suppled lip service to the Abbasid rulers. North Africa slipped away, then Central Asia and then parts of the empire in what is now Pakistan, India and Afghanistan. Then Spain and Morocco formally broke away followed by Egypt.

Ethnic groups who were converted to Islam by the Arabs began to reassert themselves. The Persians retook their homeland and captured Baghdad in 945. During the next century Berbers took control of Spain and North Africa and Seljuk Turks moved into Central Asia and Asia Minor.

Instead of one single cultural center, there were several: Cordoba, Cairo, Samarkand, Bukhara. In the west, Arabic eventually was replaced local languages. In the east, Persian culture remained strong. People continued to speak Persian. The Abbasid caliph remained as a symbol but lost its power and rival caliphs arose in Egypt and Spain.

Websites on Islamic History: History of Islam: An encyclopedia of Islamic history historyofislam.com ; Oxford Encyclopedia of the Islamic World oxfordislamicstudies.com ; Sacred Footsetps sacredfootsteps.com ; Islamic History Resources uga.edu/islam/history ; Internet Islamic History Sourcebook fordham.edu/halsall/islam/islamsbook ; Islamic History friesian.com/islam ; Muslim Heritage muslimheritage.com ; Chronological history of Islam barkati.net

Rise and Fall of Regional Dynasties

Most of the dynasties rose and fell in a few decades or centuries. Few of them lasted more than a couple of centuries. This trend was blamed on: 1) the inherent weakness and corruption of the dynasties, 2) the inability of the dynasties to bond with their people, 3) over-taxation, wasteful spending and economic ineptitude, and 4) failure to change and address local problems and challenges and effectively deal with things like droughts, plagues and earthquakes.

Some scholars have argued the primary reason that these dynasties rose and fell like they did and the Ottoman Empire later endured for so long was that rulers and the local people were too closely related and after certain amount of time under autocractic rule, the masses lost either their fear or affection of the their rulers and were able to attack and weaken them from within. The Ottomans were able to hold on to power as long as they did at least partly because they relied on outsiders to fill positions in the military and the bureaucracy and therefore were able to maintain a healthy distance between themselves and the local people.

Jews and Christians

Jews were widely scattered throughout the Muslim world. There were relatively large Jewish communities in the Maghreb, Yemen and Iraq. They were well represented in the cities and played major roles in trade, finance, manufacturing and medicine. Most spoke Arabic (sometimes special forms of Arabic that were unique to their communities) and used Hebrew in religious rituals.

In the Maghreb, many peasants had converted to Judaism before the arrival of Islam and remained Jewish after it came.

Christians were widely scattered throughout the Muslim world. They too spoke Arabic. Aramaic (the language of Jesus) and Syriac (derived from Aramaic) were still used in religious ceremonies but shrunk as spoken languages. Christian communities were not as close knit and enduring as the Jewish communities.

Samanids The Samanids (also known as the Saffarids, (867-1495) were the first Islamic Persian rulers. They were Sunni Muslims loyal the caliph in Baghdad and admirers of Persian Shiite culture. They set up a local dynasty within the Abbasid Empire and presided over a period of creative and artistic energy. Iranians, Afghans and Tajiks embrace the Samanids as their own.

Starting in the 10th century ethnic groups who were converted to Islam by the Arabs began to reassert themselves. The Samanids ruled from A.D. 819 to 992 and were based in Bukhara in present-day Uzbekistan. They retook their homeland and captured Baghdad in 945. Their empire didn't last long. It waned in the early 10th century due to internal divisions.

The Samanids eventually ruled an area from central Iran to India, with the heart of their empire in eastern and southern Iran and southern Central Asia. The Abbasids ruled western Iran and other dynasties ruled other parts of the country. In 962 a Turkish slave governor of the Samanids, Alptigin, conquered Ghazna (in present-day Afghanistan) and established a dynasty, the Ghaznavids, that lasted to 1186.*


Spain Under Muslim Rule

Spain seceded from the Abbasid caliphate in A.D. 756, six years after the Abbasid dynasty was founded. An independent kingdom was set up under the leadership of an Umayyad family member.

Spain is the only western European nation to be controlled by Muslims, which segregated it from the rest of Europe during much of the Middle Ages. Under the Muslim Umayyad dynasty, Spain was the richest part of Europe and Muslim cities such as Grenada and Cordoba were much more advanced in science, medicine and the arts than their counterparts in Christian Europe.

There were fairly large waves of Arab immigrants to Spain in the early stages but after a while most of the newly arriving Muslims were Berbers. Muslims initially ruled over a non-Muslim majority. Over time many people accepted Islam and some even began speaking Arabic. It is estimated that by the 10th century, majority of the inhabitants in Spain were Muslims. For the most part they lived peacefully with Christians and Jews.

Muslims stayed in Spain for seven centuries and ruled there unchallenged for three centuries. Sometimes the Muslims controlled nearly all the Iberian peninsula. Other times they controlled only the southern half. They ruled mostly with great tolerance towards non-Muslims.

The Muslim period in Spain is often described as a 'golden age' of learning where libraries, colleges, public baths were established and literature, poetry and architecture flourished. Both Muslims and non-Muslims made major contributions to this flowering of culture. See Separate Article on Islam in Spain


The Almoravids (1056-1147) are a Berber group that emerged in the deserts of southern Morocco and Mauritania. They embraced a puritanical form of Islam and were popular among the dispossessed in the countryside and the desert. Within a short time they became powerful. The Almoravid movement initial impetus was religious, an attempt by a tribal leader to impose moral discipline and strict adherence to Islamic principles on followers. But the Almoravid movement shifted to engaging in military conquest after 1054. By 1106 the Almoravids had conquered Morocco, the Maghrib as far east as Algiers, and Spain up to the Ebro River. [Source: Library of Congress, May 2008 **]

The Almoravid (“those who have made a religious retreat”) movement developed early in the eleventh century among the Sanhaja Berbers of the western Sahara, whose control of trans-Saharan trade routes was under pressure from the Zenata Berbers in the north and the state of Ghana in the south. Yahya ibn Ibrahim al Jaddali, a leader of the Lamtuna tribe of the Sanhaja confederation, decided to raise the level of Islamic knowledge and practice among his people. To accomplish this, on his return from the hajj (Muslim pilgrimage to Mecca) in 1048-49, he brought with him Abd Allah ibn Yasin al Juzuli, a Moroccan scholar. In the early years of the movement, the scholar was concerned only with imposing moral discipline and a strict adherence to Islamic principles among his followers. Abd Allah ibn Yasin also became known as one of the marabouts, or holy persons (from al murabitun, "those who have made a religious retreat." Almoravids is the Spanish transliteration of al murabitun. [Source: Helen Chapan Metz, ed. Algeria: A Country Study, Library of Congress, 1994 *]

The Almoravid movement shifted from promoting religious reform to engaging in military conquest after 1054 and was led by Lamtuna leaders: first Yahya, then his brother Abu Bakr, and then his cousin Yusuf (Youssef) ibn Tashfin. Under ibn Tashfin, the Almoravids rose to power by capturing the key Saharan trade route to Sijilmasa and defeating their primary rivals in Fez. With Marrakech as their capital, the Almoravids had conquered Morocco, the Maghrib as far east as Algiers, and Spain up to the Ebro River by 1106.

At its height the Berber Almoravid empire stretched from the Pyrenees to Mauritania to Libya. Under the Almoravids, the Maghrib and Spain acknowledged the spiritual authority of the Abbasid caliphate in Baghdad, reuniting them temporarily with the Islamic community in the Mashriq.*

Almoravid Rule

Although it was not an entirely peaceful time, North Africa benefited economically and culturally during the Almoravid period, which lasted until 1147. Muslim Spain (Andalus in Arabic) was a great source of artistic and intellectual inspiration. The most famous writers of Andalus worked in the Almoravid court, and the builders of the Grand Mosque of Tilimsan, completed in 1136, used as a model the Grand Mosque of Córdoba. [Source: Helen Chapan Metz, ed. Algeria: A Country Study, Library of Congress, 1994 *]

The Almoravids established Marrakesh in A.D. 1070. The city began as a rudimentary camp of black wool tents with a kasbah called "the Castle of Stones." The city prospered on the trade of gold, ivory and other exotica that traveled by camel caravans from Timbuktu to the Barbary Coast.

The Almoravids were intolerant of other religions By the 12th century the Christian churches in the Maghreb had largely disappeared. Judaism, however, managed to endure in Spain As the Almoravids became rich they lost their religious zeal and military cohesion that marked their rise to power. The peasants that supported them regarded them as corrupt and turned against them. They were overthrown in revolt led by the Berber Masmuda tribes from the Atlas mountains.


The Almohads (1130-1269) displaced the Almoravids after capturing the strategic Sijilmasa trade routes. They relied on support that came from the Berbers in the Atlas mountains. The Almohads took control of Morocco by 1146, captured Algiers around 1151, and by 1160 had completed the conquest of the central Maghrib. The zenith of Almohad power occurred between 1163 and 1199. Their empire at its greatest extent included Morocco, Algeria, Tunisia and the Muslim part of Spain.

Like the Almoravids, the Almohads (“unitarians”) found their initial inspiration in Islamic reform. Their spiritual leader, the Moroccan Muhammad ibn Abdallah ibn Tumart, sought to reform Almoravid decadence. Rejected in Marrakech and other cities, he turned to his Masmuda tribe in the Atlas Mountains for support. Because of their emphasis on the unity of God, his followers were known as Al Muwahhidun (unitarians, or Almohads). [Source: Helen Chapan Metz, ed. Algeria: A Country Study, Library of Congress, 1994 *]

Although declaring himself mahdi, imam, and masum (infallible leader sent by God), Muhammad ibn Abdallah ibn Tumart consulted with a council of ten of his oldest disciples. Influenced by the Berber tradition of representative government, he later added an assembly composed of fifty leaders from various tribes. The Almohad rebellion began in 1125 with attacks on Moroccan cities, including Sus and Marrakech.*

Upon Muhammad ibn Abdallah ibn Tumart's death in 1130, his successor Abd al Mumin took the title of caliph and placed members of his own family in power, converting the system into a traditional monarchy. The Almohads entered Spain at the invitation of the Andalusian amirs, who had risen against the Almoravids there. Abd al Mumin forced the submission of the amirs and reestablished the caliphate of Córdoba, giving the Almohad sultan supreme religious as well as political authority within his domains. The Almohads took control of Morocco in 1146, captured Algiers around 1151, and by 1160 had completed the conquest of the central Maghrib and advanced to Tripolitania. Nonetheless, pockets of Almoravid resistance continued to hold out in the Kabylie for at least fifty years.*

Almohad Rule

The Almohads established a professional civil service—recruited from the intellectual communities of Spain and the Maghreb—and elevated the cities of Marrakesh, Fez, Tlemcen and Rabat into great centers of culture and learning. They established a powerful army and navy, built up the cities and taxed the population based on productivity. They clashed with local tribes over taxation and the distribution of wealth.

After Abd al Mumin's death in 1163, his son Abu Yaqub Yusuf (r. 1163-84) and grandson Yaqub al Mansur (r. 1184-99) presided over the zenith of Almohad power. For the first time, the Maghrib was united under a local regime, and although the empire was troubled by conflict on its fringes, handcrafts and agriculture flourished at its center and an efficient bureaucracy filled the tax coffers. In 1229 the Almohad court renounced the teachings of Muhammad ibn Tumart, opting instead for greater tolerance and a return to the Maliki school of law. As evidence of this change, the Almohads hosted two of the greatest thinkers of Andalus: Abu Bakr ibn Tufayl and Ibn Rushd (Averroes). [Source: Helen Chapan Metz, ed. Algeria: A Country Study, Library of Congress, 1994 *]

The Almohads shared the crusading instincts of their Castilian adversaries, but the continuing wars in Spain overtaxed their resources. In the Maghrib, the Almohad position was compromised by factional strife and was challenged by a renewal of tribal warfare. The Bani Merin (Zenata Berbers) took advantage of declining Almohad power to establish a tribal state in Morocco, initiating nearly sixty years of warfare there that concluded with their capture of Marrakech, the last Almohad stronghold, in 1271. Despite repeated efforts to subjugate the central Maghrib, however, the Merinids were never able to restore the frontiers of the Almohad Empire.*

For the first time, the Maghrib was united under a local regime, but the continuing wars in Spain overtaxed the resources of the Almohads, and in the Maghrib their position was compromised by factional strife and a renewal of tribal warfare. The Almohads were weakened by their inabilty to create a sense of statehood among the warring Berber tribes and by incursions from Christian armies in the north and rival Bedouin armies in Morocco. They were forced to divide their administration. After being defeated by the Christians in Las Nevas de Tolosa in Spain their empire collapsed.

Hamdanids and Buyids

The Hamdanids (A.D. 905-1003) were Arab tribesmen who ruled Aleppo in Syria and Mosul in northern Iraq. They were renowned as brilliant warriors. The court patronized scholars, poets and historians. According to Encyclopedia Britannica: Hamdān ibn amdūn brought the family, already well established in Al-Jazīrah, to political prominence by taking part in uprisings against the ʿAbbāsid caliph late in the 9th century. His sons, however, became ʿAbbāsid officials, al- usayn serving as a military commander and Abū al-Hayjāʾ ʿAbd Allāh initiating the amdānid dynasty by assuming the post of governor of Mosul (905–929). The dynasty struck an independent course under ʿAbd Allāh’s son Nā ir ad-Dawlah al- asan (reigned 929–969) and expanded westward into Syria. In 979 the amdānids were driven out of Mosul by the Būyid ʿA ud ad-Dawlah, who was then annexing Iraq to his domains, and Abū Taghlib (reigned 969–979) was forced to seek refuge and help from the Fā imids of Egypt, though without success. ʿA ud ad-Dawlah later maintained two amdānids, Ibrāhīm and al- usayn, as joint rulers of Mosul (981–991), but the dynasty’s power had already shifted to Syria. [Source: Britannica.com]

“Aleppo and Homs had been won about 945 by Abū Taghlib’s uncle, Sayf ad-Dawlah, who spent most of his reign (c. 943–967) defending his frontiers (from northern Syria to Armenia) against the Byzantine Greeks. It was in Sayf ad-Dawlah’s honour that the poet al-Mutanabbī (d. 965), during his stay at the amdānid court (948–957), wrote his famed panegyrics. Trouble with the Byzantine Empire increased during Saʿd ad-Dawlah’s tenure (967–971). The kingdom was invaded on several occasions, and even Aleppo and Homs were temporarily lost, while the Fā imids also began to infringe on the southern end of Syria. The Fā imids and the amdānids struggled for possession of Aleppo throughout Saʿīd ad-Dawlah’s reign (991–1002), even drawing the Byzantine emperor Basil II into the conflict. In 1002 control of Aleppo passed into the hands of the slave general Luʾluʾ, who ruled as regent (1002–04) for the last two amdānids, ʿAlī II and Sharīf II, and then as a Fā imid vassal.”

The Buyids (Buwayhids, 930-1030) were Twelver Shiites that were originally mountain people from Daylam in Iran. They began seizing power in western Iran in the 930. They seized power in Baghdad, southern Iraq and Oman in 945. Under their rule, Baghdad began losing its status to Shiraz, Iran, which became a major center of learning. The Buyids began to weaken in 983. They were eventually eclipsed by the Ghaznavids. By 1001, a new dynasty of Central Asian Muslim, the Ghaznavids, had extended ton the northwestern region of India.


The Ghaznavids, a Central Asian dynasty, was founded by the Karluk Turks in the 10th century. Named after the their ancient Afghan city, Ghazni, they established a kingdom in Afghanistan and helped establish Islam on the Indian subcontinent by conquering much of India in the name of Islam. Ghazni is not far from Kabul.

The Turks that became the Ghaznavids established themselves in Afghanistan in the late 9th century and created the first Afghan state. In A.D. 962, one of their leaders Alaptagin became the ruler of Ghazni. In 977, the first loya jirga (a form of government still found in Afghanistan) was convened. It chose the freed Tatar slave Naziruddi to head the Ghaznavid Empire, By 1001, the Ghaznavids, had extended its rule into the northwestern region of India.

The Ghaznavids made a fortune as raiders and slave traders. Mass conversions to Islam began at this time and Sufism introduced by Muslim saints such as Ali Makdum al Hujwiro was widely embraced. Ghazni and Lahore became centers of Islamic culture. The Punjab, Sindh and Balochistan were absorbed and became integral parts of the Ghaznavid empire.

Mahmud of Ghazni (971-1030), a Ghaznavid ruler, launched the Islamic conquest of India. He led seventeen raids against the Rajput kingdoms in northern India—looting, pillaging and bringing back everything thye could carry—under the pretext of bringing Islam to Hindus. He founded the slave kingdom of Delhi and rampaged across northern India, smashing many Hindu idols. Historians think he used religion as pretext to loot and steal.

The Ghaznavids battled with the Karakhanids, a rival empire that stretched from Kazakhstan to western China until they were subdued by the Seljuk Turks and were ousted by the Iranian Ghurids (1148-1206), who conquered Delhi in 1193 and extended Turkish rule to Bengal. Gauri was a 12th century Muslim invader who conquered parts of northern India. Pakistan has named a missile after him. Gauri defeated a Hindu ruler named Prithvi. India has a missile named after him.

Rulers of the Islamic Syria

Ayyubid—Damascus: 582–658: 1186–1260
Ruler, Muslim dates A.H., Christian dates A.D.
al-Afdal: 582–92: 1186–96
al-cAdil I: 592–615: 1196–1218
al-Mucazzam: 615–24: 1218–27
al-Nasir Salah al-Din Da'ud: 624–26: 1227–29
al-Ashraf: 626–34: 1229–37
al-Salih Ismacil (1st reign): 634–35: 1237–38
al-Kamil: 635: 1238
al-cAdil II: 635–36: 1238–39
al-Salih Najm al-Din Ayyub (1st reign): 636–37: 1239
al-Salih Ismacil (2nd reign): 637–43: 1239–45
al-Salih Najm al-Din Ayyub (2nd reign): 643–47: 1245–49
al-Mucazzam Turan Shah: 647–48: 1249–50
al-Nasir Salah al-Din II: 648–58: 1250–60
[Source: Department of Islamic Art, Metropolitan Museum of Art]

Ayyubid—Aleppo: 579–658: 1183–1260
Ruler, Muslim dates A.H., Christian dates A.D.
al-cAdil I: 579–82: 1183–86
al-Zahir Ghiyath al-Din: 582–613: 1186–1216
al-cAziz Ghiyath al-Din: 613–34: 1216–37
al-Nasir Salah al-Din II: 634–58: 1237–60
Ayyubid—Mayyafariqin, Sinjar: 581–658: 1185–1260
Ayyubid—Baclbakk: 568–658: 1172–1260
Ayyubid—Hama: 574–732: 1178–1332
Ayyubid—Hims: 574–661: 1178–1272
Ayyubid—Yemen: 569–626: 1174–1229
al-Mucazzam Shams al-Din Turan Shah: 569–77: 1174–1181
al-cAziz Zahir al-Din Tughtigin: 577–93: 1181–97
Mucizz al-Din Ismacil: 593–98: 1197–1202
al-Nasir Ayyub: 598–611: 1202–14
al-Muzaffar Sulayman: 611–12: 1214–15
al-Mascud Salah al-Din: 612–26: 1215–29 Ayyubid—Hisn Kayfa and Amid: 629–9th century: 1232–15th century

Rulers of the Arabian Peninsula

Dynasties and Rulers of the Arabian Peninsula
Dynasty, Ruler, Muslim dates A.H., Christian dates A.D.
Ziyadid: 204–409: 819–1018
Yacfurid: 247–387: 861–997
Qaramita: 281–5th century: 894–11th century
Zuray'id: 476–569: 1083–1173
Najahid: 412–551: 1021–1156
Mahdid: 554–569: 1159–1173
Sulayhid (Yemen): 439–532: 1047–1138
cAli ibn Muhammad: 439–59: 1047–67
al-Mukarram Ahmad: 459–77: 1067–84
al-Mukarram cAli: 477–84: 1084–91
al-Mansur Saba': 484–92: 1091–99
al-Sayyida Arwa: 492–532: 1099–1138
Hamdanid (Sanca'): 492–569: 1098–1173
Ayyubid: see above under Egypt, Ayyubid—Yemen:

[Source: Department of Islamic Art, Metropolitan Museum of Art]

Rasulid (Yemen): 626–858: 1229–1454
Ruler, Muslim dates A.H., Christian dates A.D.
al-Mansur cUmar I: 626–47: 1229–50
al-Muzaffar Yusuf I: 647–94: 1250–95
al-Ashraf cUmar II: 694–96: 1295–96
al-Mu'ayyad Da'ud: 696–721: 1296–1322
al-Mujahid cAli: 721–64: 1322–63
al-Afdal al-cAbbas: 764–78: 1363–77
al-Ashraf Ismacil I: 778–803: 1377–1400
al-Nasir Ahmad: 803–27: 1400–1424
al-Mansur cAbdullah: 827–30: 1424–27
al-Ashraf Ismacil II: 830–31: 1427–28
al-Zahir Yahya: 831–42: 1428–39
al-Ashraf Ismacil III: 842–45: 1439–42
al-Muzaffar Yusuf II: 845: 1442
Tahirid (Yemen): 850–923: 1446–1517
Rassid Zaydi Imams: 246–680: 860–1281

Qasimid Zaydi Imams: 1000–1382: 1592–1962
Ruler, Muslim dates A.H., Christian dates A.D.
al-Qasim al-Mansur: 1000–1029: 1592–1620
Muhammad al-Mu'ayyad I: 1029–54: 1620–44
Ismacil al-Mutawakkil: 1054–87: 1644–76
Muhammad al-Mu'ayyad II: 1087–92: 1676–81
Muhammad al-Hadi: 1092–97: 1681–86
Muhammad al-Mahdi: 1097–1128: 1686–1716
al-Qasim al-Mutawakkil: 1128–39: 1716–26
al-Husayn al-Mansur (1st reign): 1139: 1726
Muhammad al-Hadi al-Majid: 1139–40: 1726–28
al-Husayn al-Mansur (2nd reign): 1140–60: 1728–47
al-cAbbas al-Mahdi: 1160–90: 1747–76
cAli al-Mansur (1st reign): 1190–1221: 1776–1806
Ahmad al-Mahdi: 1221: 1806
cAli al-Mansur (2nd reign):

al-Qasim al-Mahdi: 1257–61: 1841–45
Muhammad Yahya: 1261–89: 1845–72
[Ottoman occupation: 1289–1308: 1872–90]
Hamid al-Din Yahya: 1308–22: 1890–1904
Yahya Mahmud al-Mutawakkil: 1322–67: 1904–48
Sayf al-Islam Ahmad: 1367–82: 1948–62
Muhammad Badr: 1382: 1962
al-Bu-Sacid: 1154–: 1741–

Rashidid: 1248–1342: 1832–1923
Ruler, Muslim dates A.H., Christian dates A.D.
al-Sacud: 1159–: 1746–
Muhammad ibn Sacud: 1159–79: 1746–65
cAbd al-cAziz I: 1179–1218: 1765–1803
Sacud ibn cAbd al-cAziz: 1218–29: 1803–14
cAbdullah I ibn Sacud: 1229–33: 1814–18
[Ottoman occupation: 1233–38: 1818–22]
Turki: 1238–49: 1823–34
Faysal I (1st reign): 1249–53: 1834–37
Khalid ibn Sacud: 1253–57: 1837–41
cAbdullah II ibn Thunayyan: 1257–59: 1841–43
Faysal I (2nd reign): 1259–82: 1843–65
cAbdullah III ibn Faysal (1st reign): 1282–87: 1865–71
Sacud ibn Faysal: 1287–91: 1871–74
cAbdullah III ibn Faysal (2nd reign): 1291–1305: 1874–87
cAbd al-Rahman ibn Faysal (Rashid gov): 1305–8: 1887–91
Rashidi occupation of Riyadh: 1308–19: 1891–1902
cAbd al-cAziz II: 1319–73: 1902–53
Sacud: 1373–84: 1953–64
Faysal II: 1384–95: 1964–75
Khalid: 1395–1402: 1975–1982
Fahd: 1402–: 1982–

Rulers of Islamic Central Asia

Transoxiana and Afghanistan
Dynasty, Ruler, Muslim dates A.H., Christian dates A.D.
Timurid: 771–912: 1370–1507
Timur: 771–807: 1370–1405
Khalil: 807–12: 1405–9
Shah Rukh: 807–50: 1405–47
Ulugh Beg: 850–53: 1447–49
cAbd al-Latif: 853–54: 1449–50
cAbdullah: 854–55: 1450–51
Abu Sacid: 855–73: 1451–69
Ahmad: 873–99: 1469–94
Mahmud ibn Abi Sacid: 899–906: 1494–1500
Shaybanid: 905–1007: 1500–1598
Janid: 1009–1199: 1559–1785
Mangit: 1170–1339: 1757–1920
[Source: Department of Islamic Art, Metropolitan Museum of Art]

Khans of Khiva: 921–1290: 1515–1872

Ghaznavid: 366–582: 977–1186
Nasir al-Dawla Sebüktigin: 366–87: 977–97
Ismacil: 387–88: 997–98
Mahmud: 388–421: 998–1030
Muhammad (1st reign): 421: 1030–31
Mascud I: 421–32: 1031–41
Muhammad (2nd reign): 432: 1041
Shihab al-Dawla Mawdud: 432–41: 1041–50
Mascud II: 441: 1050
cAli: 441: 1050
cAbd al-Rashid: 441–44: 1050–53
Qawam al-Dawla Toghril (usurper): 444: 1053
Farrukhzad: 444–51: 1053–59
Ibrahim: 451–92: 1059–99
Mascud III: 492–508: 1099–1114
Shirzad: 508–9: 1114–15
Arslan Shah: 509–12: 1115–18
Bahram Shah: 512–47: 1118–52
Khusraw Shah: 547–55: 1152–60
Khusraw Malik: 555–82: 1160–86
Ghurid: 390–612: 1000–1215

Rulers of the Caucasus before the Seljuks

Rulers of the Caucasus before the Seljuks Dynasty. Ruler, Muslim dates A.H., Christian dates A.D.
Sajid: 266–318: 879–930
Musafirid (or Sallarid or Kangarid): 304–483: 916–1090
Rawwadid: 4th century–463: 10th century–1071
Sharwan Shahs—First Dynasty: 183–381: 799–991
Sharwan Shahs—Second Dynasty: 418–455: 1027–1063
Sharwan Shahs—Fourth Dynasty: 1180–1236: 1766–1821
Shaddadid: 340–571: 951–1174
Dabuyid: 40–142: 660–760
[Source: Department of Islamic Art, Metropolitan Museum of Art]

Bawandid—Ka'usiya line: 45–466: 665–1074
Bawandid—Ispahbadiya line: 466–606: 1074–1210
Bawandid—Kinkhwariya line: 635–750: 1238–1349
Baduspanid: 40–1006: 665–1599
Zaydi cAlid (Tabaristan): 250–316: 864–928
Iran (before the Seljuqs)
Tahirid: 205–259: 821–873
Tahir I ibn al-Husayn: 205–7: 821–22
Talha: 207–13: 822–28
cAbdullah: 213–30: 828–45
Tahir II: 230–48: 845–62
Muhammad: 248–59: 862–73

Image Sources: Wikimedia Commons

Text Sources: Internet Islamic History Sourcebook: sourcebooks.fordham.edu ; Arab News, Jeddah; “Islam, a Short History” by Karen Armstrong; “A History of the Arab Peoples” by Albert Hourani (Faber and Faber, 1991); Metropolitan Museum of Art, Encyclopedia.com, National Geographic, BBC, New York Times, Washington Post, Los Angeles Times, Smithsonian magazine, The Guardian, Al Jazeera, The New Yorker, Reuters, Associated Press, AFP, Library of Congress and various books and other publications.

Last updated April 2024

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