Sunday, 14 December 2014 00:00

Victory of Sultan Mohammed Alparslan and Some Islamic States

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[09 December 2014 – 16 Safar 1436 Tuesday]

Prof. Dr. Ramazan Ayvallı

M. U. Faculty of Theology Assistant Professor

There are very important victories in Turkish-Islamic history. The “Battle of Manzikert”, which took place on August 26, 1071, on the Manzikert Plain in Eastern Anatolia, between the forces of the Great Seljuk Sultan Alp Arslan and the Byzantine Emperor Romanos Diogenes, is one of the greatest victories in Turkish-Islamic history. This Seljuk-Byzantine War, which opened the gates of Anatolia to the Turks, is very important in terms of its religious, national, political and military results.

After the Victory of Manzikert, in just fifteen years, the whole of Anatolia's title deed passed into the control of the Turks. Within this regard, the Victory of Manzikert was a very important turning point in Turkish and history of the world.

The Seljuk Turks, years before the aforementioned war, organized war raids into Anatolia in order to spread the religion of Allah. In these raids, it was determined that Anatolia had the geographical characteristics and resources suitable for the settlement of the Turks.


Some brief information about the Battle of Manzikert:

The Byzantine Emperor Romanos Diogenes went to Anatolia on March 13, 1071, took mercenaries from Istanbul to Anatolia by recruiting more than 200,000 Franks, Normans, Slavs, Georgians, Abaza, Armenians and Pechenegs and Uz Turks living in Rumelia who did not accept the Islamic religion.

In the speech he gave before his eastward movement, Romanos Diogenes expressed his determination as follows:

“A great danger of Islam has appeared on our eastern borders. We must eliminate this danger before it grows. I myself am going to eliminate this danger once and for all by being at the head of the army.”

The emperor not only wanted to hold Anatolia and destroy the Turks, but also to take all Islamic countries under his control. Khorasan, Ray, Syrian, Iraqi Iranians and Iraqi Arabs had planned and even promised to give their governorship to their commanders. He also aimed to open churches instead of mosques in the Islamic countries that he would invade, and thus to abolish the Islam.

Sultan Alp Arslan informed the Abbasid Caliph in Baghdad that he would fight the enemy, and he sent a scholar to him.

Before the war started, the Great Sultan sent Ibnu'l-Mahlebân, sent by Al-Qa'im (Abbasid caliph at Baghdad) (1031-1075), together with his valuable commander, Sav Tigin, to Romanos Diogenes, just as all Muslim armies did.

The delegation of Sultan Alp Arslan was not seen seriously in the Byzantine camp on the morning of 25 August 1071 and was insulted, despite all the good intentions and peace offers from the Muslims.

Even Romanos Diogenes said to the head of the delegation: He asked, “Is Isfahan or Hamadan better to spend the winter?”

The head of the delegation of the Muslims replied to Diogenes by saying, “I am sure that your horses will spend the winter in Hamadan, but I do not know where you will spend the winter”.

Romanian Diogenes strongly rejected the Muslims' offer of peace and said, “Tell your Sultan, I will negotiate peace with them in Ray, I will spend the winter in Isfahan and irrigate in Hamadan”.


Sultan Alp Arslan, who achieved a great victory in the Battle of Manzikert, took all kinds of physical and moral precautions in this battle:

1- Before the battle, he asked the Caliph for prayers. The Abbasid Caliph sent a khutbah to all parts of the Islamic world to be read in mosques before the Friday prayer and prayed for Alp Arslan and his army to be victorious.

2- The Seljuks came into contact with troops of Turkish origin, which the Byzantines deceived and added to their ranks. They ensured that they would leave the Byzantine camp and join the Seljuk army.

3- On the night of the battle, Alp Arslan, with a force he chose, fired arrows at the Byzantines and harassed them all night with shouts, making them tired.

4- Seljuk Sultan Alp Arslan Ghazi preferred to fight on the blessed Friday, with the advice of scholars and statesmen.

5- Gathering his soldiers on Friday, August 26, Muhammad Alp Arslan got off his horse and prostrated with great humility; “O Lord, I put my trust in You, I put my face to the ground in front of your majesty, and I struggle for your sake. O Lord, my intention is clear. Help me; Damn me if my words are wrong!”.

6- Then, turning to his soldiers, he said, “There is no sultan but Allah here, the command and destiny are in His hands. Therefore, you are free to make jihad with me or to separate from me”

 7- The soldiers were enthused and answered in unison, “We will never leave your command”. Then they all wrote off each other's debts by crying.

8- The Sultan wore white. He tied the tail of his horse himself, took the mace with his private weapon in his hand, and addressed them as follows:

“My soldiers! If I become a martyr, let this white dress be my shroud, then my soul will ascend to the skies. Assign my son Malik-Shah to the throne after me and be loyal to him. If we win the victory, the future is ours.”

This speech had all the subtleties of the art of oratory and the psychological conditions before the battle. The soldiers got excited.

The proud Byzantine Emperor Romanos Diogenes, who was very arrogant before the war and trusted his large army, which was 5 times that of the Muslims despite all his bravery, he could not do anything against the heroic army of Sultan Alp Arslan, and he was captured with all his entourage while wounded, and his army was defeated and devastated.


Above, the “Battle of Manzikert”, which opened the gates of Anatolia to Muslims-Turks and was one of the greatest victories of Turkish-Islamic history, was briefly discussed. We have stated that after this Seljuk-Byzantine War, the title deed of all Anatolia passed into the hands of the Turks in just fifteen years.

Indeed, the Victory of Manzikert was a very important turning point in Turkish, Islamic and history of the world. As it is known, in the speech he gave before his eastward movement, Diogenes spoke of a “great danger of Islam and stated that he would definitely eliminate this danger”. But as it is known, neither he nor others who thought like him throughout history were able to achieve their goals.

 Islam is undoubtedly a religion that has been a cause in establishing the most states in the world. Today, this last divine religion is adopted by many people from other religions, even though there is no missionary organization and state treasury is not spent for its propaganda, and the number of Muslims is increasing day by day. Islam, which has grown like an avalanche, especially in Africa, is spreading rapidly in states all over the world such as America, Europe, China, Japan. Today, more than one billion (around 1.5 billion according to estimates) Muslims live on approximately 26 million square kilometers of land on earth.

After stating these as an introduction, let's take a look at the history now:


After the death of our Prophet Muhammad (pbuh) in 632; Hazrat Abu Bakr (632-634), Hazrat Umar (634-644), Hazrat Osman (644-656), and Hazrat Ali (656-661) were elected caliph from among the Companions, respectively.

By this way, the “Rashidun Era” began. This era is about thirty years [when the 6-month caliphate of Hazrat Hasan is included]. They are called “Four Caliphs” because they fulfilled the duties of our Prophet exactly. The Period of the Four Caliphs (632-661) is considered to be the “Golden Age” when Islamic virtues were realized.

In this period, Islamic armies went on expeditions to North Africa, Cyprus, Syria, Anatolia, Iraq and Iran. They conquered many countries and cities and brought Islam to different people. With the war booty taken from the battles, Islamic lands were built, Muslims and even all the people under their rule lived in comfort and peace.


In the history of Islam, the Umayyad caliphs followed the Four Caliphs. In the meantime, Hazrat Hasan had a short caliphate period lasting about 6 months. After the Era of the Four Caliphs, Hazrat Muawiya, one of the brother-in-law and clerks of the Prophet, was elected as the caliph (head of state) of the Islamic state. Because of his affiliation with the Umayyeids, the state was called “Umayyads”. Thus, the era of the Umayyads began in the history of Islam.

The Umayyads reigned intermittently for eight centuries in a wide geography from China, Central Asia, the Caspian country, India, all Middle Eastern countries, North Africa (including Spain) to the interior of Europe. The Umayyads brought the religion of Islam to Europe from Spain. They established the Universities of Morocco, Cordoba and Granada and spread science to the West.

The Umayyad caliphs in Damascus continued from 661 to 750 and the Andalusian Umayyad Sultanate in Spain from 756 to 1492. The Abbasid era followed the Umayyad Caliphate in Damascus.


After the Umayyads, the presidency (caliphate) of the Islamic state was seized by Saffah, a descendant of Hazrat Abbas, the uncle of our Prophet. In 750, the Abbasid era began. The capital city of the state was transferred from Damascus to Baghdad.

The religion of Islam spread from the Pacific Ocean in the east, to the shores of the Atlantic Ocean in the west, from the interior of Russia in the north to the shores of the Indian Ocean in the south, and Islamic states dominated on three continents.

During the Abbasid period [750-1517], emirates and states were established that delivered sermons on behalf of Abbasid caliphs.

The Abbasid caliphate in Iraq lasted from 750 to 1256 and the Abbasid caliphate in Egypt from 1257 to 1517.

After the Abbasids, the caliphate [although it remained in other states in between - for example, the Mamluks] finally passed to the Ottoman sultans.


It is the longest-lived Turkish-Islamic state. This state became the head of all Muslims in the world after the last Abbasid caliph in Egypt left the caliphate to the Ottoman Sultan Selim the Resolute Khan in 1517. It was founded in the town of Söğüt in 1299 by Osman I, who has been the Chief of the Kayı Tribe since 1281.

Their first capital city was Yenişehir [and Iznik]. Later on, Bursa in 1326, Edirne in 1364, and Istanbul in 1453 were made the capital city. They were governed by Islam.

The Ottoman Sultans became the caliphs of all Muslims after the conquest of Egypt by Selim the Resolute Khan in 1517 and the caliphate given to him.

In 1908, the powers of the caliphs were limited. After the collapse of the Ottoman Empire in 1922, the caliphate was ended in 1924 and the Islamic caliphate was abolished.

The dominance of the Ottoman Empire continued in Europe up to Vienna, in Asia, in the Crimea, the Caucasus, all Middle Eastern countries, in Africa in North Africa, the Indian and Atlantic Oceans, and in the Black Sea, Marmara, Aegean, Mediterranean, Adriatic and Oman seas. Valuable scholars were trained and magnificent works of science and art were built.


As we mentioned above, Islam is undoubtedly a religion that has been a cause in establishing the most states in the world. Apart from the great Islamic states established since the Era of Bliss, many Islamic states were established in various parts of the world at various times throughout the history of Islam.

Let us mention the Islamic states [only their names, dates of establishment and collapse], which were established first in Anatolia, then in the places where our close neighbors are located, and then in other countries of the world.


Danishmendids (1072-1177), Saltukids (1072-1202), Menkujakids (1072-1277), Rum Seljuk Sultanate (1077-1307), Beylik of Dilmaç (1085-1192), Inalids (1098-1183), Shah-Armens (1100-1207), Chobanids (1227-1309), Eshrefids  (mid-13th century-1320), Beylik of Lâdik (1261-1368), Sahib Ataids (1275-1341), Pervâneoğlu (1277-1322), Isfendiyarids (1292-1462), Alaiye (1293-1471), Karasids (1297-1360), Germiyanids (1300-1429), Hamidids (1301-1423), Sarukhanids (1302-1410), Aydınids (1308-1426), Eretnids (1335-1381), Beylik of Dulkadir (1339-1521), Beylik of Tadjeddin (1348-1428), Ramadanid Emirate (1352-1608), Aq Qoyunlu (1378-1508), Kadı Burhâneddin State (1381-1398).


Qarmatians (894-end of 11th Century), Ressis/Yemen Zaidi Imams (9th century-1969), Sulayhid Dynasty (1047-1138), Rasulid Dynasty (1229-1454), United Arab Sultanate (1741-1964), Kingdom of Saudi Arabia (1746-).


Mazyadid dynasty (661-1150), Tulunids (868-905), Hamdanid dynasty (905-1004), Fatimid Caliphate (909-1171), Ikhshidid dynasty (935-969), Marwanids (983-1085), Uqaylid dynasty (990-1096), Mirdasid dynasty (1023-1079), Ayyubid dynasty (1169-end of 15th century), Mamluks (1250-1517), Muhammad Ali dynasty (1805-1953).


Caliphate of Córdoba (756-1031), Almoravid dynasty (1056-1147), Almohad Caliphate (1130-1269), Nasrid dynasty (1230-1493), Idrisid dynasty (789-926), Rustamid dynasty (777-909), Aghlabids (800-909), Zirid dynasty and Hammâdîs (972-1152), Marinid Sultanate (1196-1549), Hafsid dynasty (1228-1574), Moroccan Shariffs (1711-), Senusiyya (1837-1969).


Gao Sultanate (1009-1593), Keita Dynasty (1200-1670), Timbuktu Sultanate (1336-1468), Bagirmi Sultanate (1512-1935), Emirate of Vaday (1635-1912), Sokoto Caliphate (1801-) Emirate of Futa Callon (1692-1900), Emirate of Adamawa (1809-1901), Emirate of Kaarta (1670-1891), Bornu Sultanate (1097-), Kano Sultanate (998-1807), Katsina Sultanate (1554-1806), Nupe Sultanate (1531-1835), Kebbî Sultanate (1515-), Emirate of Kano (1807-), Sultans of Dagomba (1500-). [The rest are in form of principality.]


Bavand dynasty   (665-1349), Samanid Empire (819-1005), Tahirid dynasty (821-873), Kara-Khanid Khanate (840-1212), Saffarid dynasty (867-1495), Ziyarid dynasty (927-1090),  Buyid dynasty (932-1062), Shaddadids (951-1174), Ghaznavids (963-1186), Sallarid dynasty (10th century-11th century), Rawadid dynasty (10th century-1071), Khwarazmian Empire (10th century-mid 13th century), Kakuyids (1008-1119), Order of Assassins (1090-1273), Seljuk Empire (1038-1194), Artuqids (1102-1408), Zengid dynasty (1127-1222), Eldiguzids (1137-1225), Salghurids (1148-1286), Delhi Sultanate (1206-1555), Chagatai Khanate (1227-1370), Golden Horde (1227-1502), Ilkhanate (1256-1353), Muzaffarids (1314-1393), Jalayirid Sultanate (1336-1432), Bengal Sultanate (1336-1576), Kashmir Sultanate (1346-1589), Bahmani Sultanate (1347-1527), Timurid Empire (1370-1506), Qara Qoyunlu (1370-1468), Farooqui dynasty (1370-1601), Gujarat Sultanate (1391-1583), Jaunpur Sultanate (1394-1479), Malwa Sultanate (1401-1531), Giray dynasty (1426-1792), Khanate of Bukhara (1428-1924), Khanate of Kazan (1435-1552), Qasim Khanate (1445-1556), Astrakhan Khanate (1460-1556), Shaybanids (1500-1598), Safavid Iran (1501-1732), Mughal Empire (1526-1858), Afsharid dynasty (1736-1786), Durrani Empire (1747-1973), Zand dynasty (1750-1794), Qajar dynasty (1779-1924), Hyderabad State (1724-1948), Khanate of Khiva (1804-1924), Pahlavi dynasty (1924-1979), Islamic Republic of  [Shiite] Iran (1979-).

Just as people are born, develop, grow and die, states also suffer the same fate, that is, they are born, grow and die. When we look at the pre-Islamic periods in various geographies, especially in Anatolia, at various dates, we see that almost too many states and civilizations have been established and destroyed. In that case, we must protect our beautiful country so that it does not fall into the control of others like the previous ones and do not become a part of history.

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