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Coin minted during the reign of Ali-Tegin.
Ruler of Transoxiana
Reign 1020 - 1034
Predecessor Mansur Arslan Khan
Successor Ebu Shuca Sulayman
Died 1034
Dynasty Karakhanid dynasty
Religion Sunni Islam

Ali ibn Hasan, also known as Harun Bughra Khan and better known as Ali-Tegin (also spelled Alitigin) was a Karakhanid ruler in Transoxiana from 1020 to 1034 with a brief interruption in 1024/5.



He was the son of Hasan ibn Sulayman Bughra Khan[1] (simply called "Bughra Khan" in Persian sources[2]), who was the eponymous ancestor of eastern branch of the Karakhanid family, known as the "Hasanids", which Ali-Tegin belonged to. Furthermore, Hasan is only known in Persian sources because of his wars with the Iranian Samanids, who used to be the rulers of Transoxiana before the Karakhanids under Nasr Khan annexed their territories in 999.[3]

Rise to power[edit]

Ali-Tegin is first mentioned as being thrown in prison under the orders of his opponent Mansur Arslan Khan, but quickly managed to escape and receive help from a group of Oghuz Turks under the Seljuq chief Arslan Isra'il. With these Oghuz Turks under his grasp, Ali-Tegin seized Bukhara and soon occupied all of Sogdia; after his conquest of the region, he took the title of "Yïgan-tigin" and another title of "Arslan Ilig".[4] He then gave his daughter in marriage to Arslan Isra'il.[5] With the possession of the wealthy and important cities of Bukhara and Samarkand, Ali-Tegin became a powerful and influential figure in Central Asia; however, this made his relations with his jealous brother Yusuf Qadir Khan hostile, and resulted in Qadir Khan allying himself with the Ghaznavid Sultan Mahmud, who had received expression of discontent from Ali-Tegin's subjects and was himself annoyed by Ali-Tegin, who did not allow him to send envoys to Qadir Khan, whose territories consisted of the important cities of Khotan and Kashgar.[6] Ali-Tegin, after having received the news of his brother's alliance with the Ghaznavids, responded by allying himself with his other brother Muhammad Toghan Khan.[6]

Conflict with the Ghaznavids[edit]

In 1024/5, a combined army under Mahmud and Qadir Khan invaded Ali-Tegin's territories and completely defeated him and his Seljuq supporters.[7] Ali-Tegin then fled to the steppes, while Mahmud and Qadir Khan made a marriage alliance at Samarkand. Mahmud also managed to take the family of Ali-Tegin captive, which was fleeing towards the steppes, but was captured by an officer of Mahmud.[8] Meanwhile Arslan Isra'il fled to Ghaznavid territory in Khorasan and asked for permission to settle in the region in return for protecting the Ghaznavid borders from incursions by the other Turks of Transoxiana. Mahmud, who did not trust him, had him and his followers imprisoned.[9]

Fortunately for Ali-Tegin, however, Mahmud had to withdraw from Transoxiana in order to prepare another expedition in India, which gave Ali-Tegin the opportunity to make a counter-attack against Qadir Khan and re-conquer his former territories. Ali-Tegin, although not with the support of Arslan Isra'il any longer, had support from the latter's nephews Tughril and Chaghri Beg. Although Ali-Tegin quarreled with the Seljuqs in 1029, the Seljuqs still continued to serve and support Ali-Tegin.[9]

After a brief civil war in the Ghaznavid state in 1030, Mahmud's son Mas'ud I became the ruler of the Ghaznavid Empire, and continued his father's behavior of aggression towards Ali-Tegin; Mas'ud now began aiming to once and for all conquer Transoxania from Ali-Tegin and to give it to Qadir Khan's second son, who was his own brother-in-law, Muhammad Bughra Khan. In 1032, the Ghaznavid governor of Khwarazm, Altun Tash, captured Bukhara, and a battle was shortly fought at Dabusiyya, which became inconclusive; Altun Tash died during the battle,[10] but one of his most trusted officer, Ahmad Shirazi, managed to successfully negotiate with Ali-Tegin, who agreed to return to Samarkand, while the Ghaznavid army withdrew back to their own territories.[11]

Meanwhile, in Khwarazm, Altun-Tash's son Harun became the new ruler of the region. However, unlike his father, he was hostile to the Ghaznavids and in 1034 allied with Ali-Tegin, whom he together planned with to invade Khorasan. However, before the invasion occurred, Harun was assassinated by his own slaves, whom Mas'ud had persuaded to do so.[10] Ali-Tegin shortly died himself during the period, but his sons continued to fight the Ghaznavids until some years later, when their relative Böritigin (also known as "Tamghach Khan Ibrahim") conquered their territories.


  1. ^ Davidovich 1996, pp. 128-129.
  2. ^ Frye 1975, p. 157.
  3. ^ Bosworth 1975, p. 169.
  4. ^ Bosworth 1985, pp. 887-888.
  5. ^ Sevim & Bosworth 1996, p. 147.
  6. ^ a b Davidovich 1996, pp. 132-133.
  7. ^ Bosworth 1975, p. 175.
  8. ^ Bosworth 2011, p. 95.
  9. ^ a b Bosworth 1968, p. 19.
  10. ^ a b Bosworth 1975, p. 192.
  11. ^ Bosworth 1984, pp. 660–661.