Berke Khan: First Mongol Ruler converts & Embraced Islam

Berke Khan (thirteenth century, precise date of delivery unknown) was a grandson of Genghis Khan and a Mongolian military commander and ruler of the Golden Horde (a division of the Mongol Empire)[1] who successfully consolidated the facility of the Blue Horde and White Horde[2] from 1257 to 1266. He succeeded his brother Batu Khan of the Blue Horde (West) and was liable for the primary official institution of Islam in a khanate of the Mongol Empire.

The waters of river Tigris (Dajla) had developed into crimson with the blood of slaughtered Muslims of Baghdad. Nearly all residents of the town have been both put to the sword or bought into slavery. It was 1258 AD when the Mongol military underneath the command of Hulagu Khan conquered and destroyed Baghdad – the fantastic centre of Islamic tradition and the capital of Abbasid Caliphate. Hulagu ordered the execution of Abbasid Caliph Al-Musta’sim Billah and with this, a golden age of Muslim Civilization met its finish.

Berke Khan

Berke Khan Converts to Islam

While within the metropolis of Saray-Jük, within the far west of modern-day Kazakhstan, Berke Khan met a caravan coming from the town of Bukhara. He questioned the travellers about their religion and was subsequently satisfied to transform to Islam by a person named Sufi Sheikh. Berke’s brother Tukh-Timur transformed to Islam as nicely. Berke Khan was the primary of the Mongols to simply accept Islam. 

The Golden Horde

When Batu died in 1255, he was briefly succeeded by his sons Sartaq Khan and Ulaghchi, earlier than Berke assumed management in 1257. He was an in a position ruler and succeeded in sustaining and stabilizing the Golden Horde, the western khanate of the Mongol Empire. During his authority, the Mongols lastly defeated the rebel of Danylo of Halych and made a second assault in opposition to Poland and Lithuania, led by basic Burundai in 1259. Also in 1265, there was a raid in opposition to Bulgaria and Byzantine Thrace. Michael of the Byzantine Empire additionally despatched a lot of worthwhile cloth to the Golden Horde as a tribute thereafter.

Berke Khan – Hulagu War

Berke Khan’s nephew, Hulagu, dominated northern Persia and was given directions by his brother Mongke to include the world from Persia to Egypt into the Mongol Empire. In 1256, Hulagu set off with a military of not less than 100.000 males, heading first for the mountain fortresses of the Ismailis, a Shia sect. Within a yr the Ismailis surrendered, and their chief, Rukn ad-Din Kurshah, was captured and murdered. Hulagu then turned his consideration to Iraq, and despatched a letter to the caliph, al-Mustasim, demanding his submission to Mongol rule. The caliph, after all, refused.

Hulagu headed in the direction of Iraq, decided to subjugate the caliph. Some Shias inside Iraq have been alienated from the caliph, who confirmed little respect for his or her neighbourhood. As an outcome, cities with a considerable Shia presence like Najaf, Karbala, and Mosul, surrendered to the Mongols and did not use combat. In January 1258 Hulagu’s whole military had arrived in Baghdad. The Mongols captured the town within two weeks. A month lateral-Mustasim was executed. Baghdad, a wonderful metropolis, a metropolis dwelling to intellectuals and artists, a metropolis which had stood for over six centuries, was sacked and burned to the bottom. Many of Baghdad’s residents have been massacred.

When this information reached the neighbouring Muslim states, they surrendered with no resistance to the Mongols out of concern. Syria was quickly integrated into Hulagu’s space of conquest. When Berke Khan heard of the sack of Baghdad, the slaughtering of its Muslim residents, and the following subjugation of different Muslim cities, he was enraged, and vowed to take revenge:

“He (Hulagu) has sacked all the cities of the Muslims. With the help of God, I will call him to account for so much innocent blood.”

Hulagu feared an invasion by Berke, and thus withdrew again into Persia, abandoning a small garrison in Syria. By 1260 the Mongols conquered most of Syria and set off added to the South, to subjugate Palestine, by which they succeeded. Their seemingly invincible military was delivered to a halt, nonetheless, by the Mamluk Turks, who have been on the time the rulers of Egypt, Cairo being their capital metropolis. The Mamluk sultan Qutuz despatched certainly one of his generals, Baybars, to Palestine. The Mamluks defeated the Mongols and thus introduced a halt to the growth of the Mongol space of conquest. The Mongol basic was captured and executed. The Mamluks quickly recaptured Palestine and Syria.

Hulagu wished revenge for the defeat of his troops in Palestine, and was getting ready for battle, however was unable to cope with the Mamluks as a result of Berke Khan launched a sequence of assaults on Hulagu’s empire within the Caucasus area, forcing Hulagu to confront him. Berke was nonetheless livid due to the sacking of Baghdad. The assaults resulted in an open battle between Berke and Hulagu, a battle additional intensified as a result of each supporting one other claimant to rule the jap khanate, present-day China and Mongolia.

Hulagu supported his brother Kublai, whereas Berke was loyal to Hulagu’s different brother Ariqboke. Both claimants joined their supporters in battle, however finally, Ariqboke surrendered to Kublai. Hulagu and Berke Khan each suffered critical defeats within the battle.

Though Ariqboke didn’t develop into khan of the jap khanate, Berke did achieve ruining Hulagu’s dream of a Middle Eastern empire that included Egypt. The battle was nonetheless ongoing when Hulagu died in 1265. A number of months later, Berke died as nicely, in 1266. Hulagu was capable of consolidating his energy in Persia earlier than his dying, his dynasty the Ilkhanids dominated Persia till 1335.

His successors transformed to Islam. Mengu-Timur, one other nephew of Berke, succeeded him as khan of the Golden Horde. Berke’s intervention in opposition to Hulagu, which compelled the latter to shift his consideration from the Mamluks within the West to the battle with Berke within the East, introduced a halt to the additional growth of Hulagu’s empire, and prevented the additional lack of Muslim land, thus saving different Muslim cities from the identical destiny as Baghdad.

As Berke khan sought to cross the Kura river to assault Hulagu’s son, Abaqa Khan, he fell ailing and died someday between 1266 and 1267. He was succeeded by his grandnephew, Mengu-Timur. The coverage of alliance with the Mamluks, and containment of the Ilkhanate, was continued by Mengu-Timur. Many historians are in settlement that the intervention by Berke in opposition to Hulagu saved the rest of the Holy Land, together with Mecca and Jerusalem, from the identical destiny as Baghdad.

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