Buraq Hajib

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Buraq Hajib, also spelt Baraq Hajib (died 1234),[1] was a Khitan who founded a dynasty in the southern Persian province of Kirman the early 13th century after the conquest of the sinicised Central Asian Qara Khitai by the Mongol Empire. Buraq Hajib's Kirmani Qara Khitai Khanate ended in the 14th century.[2]


The Khitan in northern China were known as خطا in Arabic (Khata) and are mentioned by Muslim chroniclers as having fought against Muslims and founded the Qara Khitai. After the destruction of the Qara Khitai realm by the Mongols under Genghis Khan in 1218, the former land of the Qara Khitai became absorbed into the Mongol Empire. A small part of the population under Buraq Hajib settled in the Persian province of Kirman, converted to Islam, and established a local dynasty there.[3]

Establishment of the dynasty[edit]

Buraq Hajib was a scion of the Qara Khitai Gurkhan Yelü Zhilugu. Buraq Hajib and his brother Hamīd Pur were detained or captured by Muhammad of Khwarezm in 1210, and were given important posts in the service of the Khwarazm Shah. While on his way to India, Buraq was attacked by the local governor of Kirman, but Buraq managed to defeat him and decided to stay on in Kirman as ruler. In 1228 a Khwarazm Ghiyas-ad-Din sought refuge in Kirman after incurring the wrath of his brother, Sultan Jalal ad-Din, but Buraq executed him.[4] Buraq converted to Islam and requested the Abbasid Caliph for investiture, and was granted a title of Qutlugh Sultan.[5]

Buraq later submitted to the Mongol Empire, and he and his successors were conferred the title of Qutlugh Khan, and allowed to ruled as vassal of the Mongols. Throughout its rule the dynasty continued to be known as Qara Khitai. There were a total of 9 rulers of the Kirmanid dynasty, two of whom were female.[2]

Buraq Hajib had a son, Rukn al-Din, and four daughters. He was succeeded by his son Rukn al-Din (d. 1252), and then by his cousin Qutb al-Din (d. 1257), who was married to his daughter Kutlugh Turkan (d. 1282); when Qutb al-Din died in 1257 when his son Hajjaj was only a minor, the Kirman notables asked the Mongol overlords to recognize his mother, Buraq Hajib's daughter and Qutb al-Din's mother, as the sovereign of Kirman, which they did, and she ruled until 1282, establishing an alliance with Mongolia by sending her son to the army of Hulagu and marrying her daughter Padishah Khatun to Abaka Khan, Hulagu's son: she was officially confirmed in her title by Hulagu 1264, named 'Ismat al-dunya wa al-din, and had the khutba proclaimed in her name.[1] She was deposed by her stepson Suyurghatamish in 1282, who was in turn deposed by her daughter Padishah Khatun in 1291, who ruled until 1295.[1]

End of the Kirmanid dynasty[edit]

The Mongol Ilkhanid ruler Öljeitü (r.1304-1316) ended the Kirman Qara Khitan dynasty in 1306 after the last of the Qutlugh Khans, Quțb al-Dīn II, neglected to pay his dues to the Mongol treasury. The Qutlugh Khan escaped to Shiraz, and his daughter later became the wife of Mubariz al-Din Muhammad, the founder of the Muzaffarid dynasty.[2]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ a b c Mernissi, Fatima; Mary Jo Lakeland (2003). The forgotten queens of Islam. Oxford University Press. ISBN 978-0-19-579868-5.
  2. ^ a b c Biran, Michal. (2005). The Empire of the Qara Khitai in Eurasian History: Between China and the Islamic World. Cambridge University Press. pp. 87–89. ISBN 0-521-84226-3. 
  3. ^ Tjong Ding Yih. "Qarakhitay (Hsi Liao) Cash Coins Inscribed KANGGUO". 
  4. ^ Ata-Malik Juvayni. The History of The World Conqueror Vol II. Then, a week or two later, they put a rope round the Sultan's neck to strangle him. He cried out : * After all, did we not make a covenant not to plot against each other? How canst thou justify the breach of that covenant when there has been no hasty action? His mother heard her son's voice and realized that he had placed his neck in the noose. In sorrow and compassion for her child she was unable to restrain herself and began to moan and wail. She too was strangled; and in the same manner they cast the whole of his army into the furnace of calamity, breaking their covenants, falsifying their oaths and throwing dust into the eyes of their good faith. 
  5. ^ Ata-Malik Juvayni. The History of The World Conqueror Vol II. After putting to death Sultan Ghiyas-ad-Din who had sought his aid and protection [...] he sent a messenger to the Commander of the Faithful to announce his conversion to Islam and to beg that he might be honoured with the title of Sultan. His request was granted and he was accorded the honour of being addressed as qutlugh-sultan. 

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