The Great Saljuq Sultanate! Although the Turks had played an important role in the Islamic world, before the 11 th century, the arrival of the Saljuq Turks marks a new era in Islamic history. The purpose of this paper is to discuss the role of the Saljuq Turks' in Islam. In doing so, the paper will be divided in two parts. The first part will present the historical background of the arrival of the Saljuqs and their participation in Islamic politics. The second part will discuss the contribution of the Saljuq administrative system to Islamic politics. Turks had been participating in the Islamic politics well before the 11 th century.
For example, the Mamluks and the Ghaznawids were from Turkish origin. What made the Saljuqs distinct from these earlier Turks is how they have penetrated Islamic politics. Before the 11 th century, Mamluks and the Ghaznawids were slaves recruited as individuals and took power from inside. However, the Saljuqs came in as organized tribal groups and conquered the Persia and much of the border lands.
The Saljuq conquest marked the beginning of Turkish rule in Persia. This rule arguably lasted until 1925. In 426/1035, the Saljuq brothers Toghril Beg and Chaghri Beg led the Saljuq tribe to move into Khurasan. The brothers battled against the Ghaznawids to take over Khurasan. According to the course reader, the Khurasan population accepted the Saljuq rule just as they had earlier accepted the Ghaznawids. Five years later the Ghaznawids regrouped and waged war against the Saljuqs.
The Ghaznawids were defeated and never came back. The Beg brothers ruled together until the death of Chaghri Beg in 452/1060. Morgan notes that this shared power between the two brothers was "in accordance with the Turkish conception of the nature of political sovereignty, which the Saljuqs had brought with them from central Asia." After they had defeated the Ghaznawids from Khurasan, the brothers perceived that their major threat was the Buyids in western Persia and Iraq. It did not take long for the Saljuqs to eliminate the Buyids from Persia and Iraq. Toghril conquered Baghdad in 447/1055 and restored the Sunni rule. Consequently, Caliph Qa " im granted the title of Sultan on Toghril.
Although the Buyids and the Caliph coexisted in Baghdad, their relationship was not based on the Caliph's consent. The Buyids knew that most of their subjects in Baghdad were Sunni and half of their army were of Turkish origin whom may ally with the Sunnis. The Buyids did not want to create any tensions as long as the Caliph was under their control. The Sunni Caliph made history by separating religion from politics or (church / state ). This was accomplished when the Caliph granted the powers of the Sultan to the Saljuq leader and voluntarily kept the title of the Caliph Toghril Beg had ruled three more years after the death of his brother. Since Toghril had no sons, his nephew, Chaghri Beg's oldest son, Alp Arslan took over the leadership.
During Arslan's reign, Saljuq rule the society experienced stability. He also adopted new ways of governing and made significant historical moves. The only notable military threat Arslan had was from the Ghuzz tribesmen who was Toghril's earlier supporters. Arslan realized that he could not depend on the Ghuzz tribesmen for his military power. While the Ghuzz tribesmen were efficient soldiers in wartime. they were however undisciplined soldiers when there were no outside military threat.
Arslan also realized that the state needed standing army. Through his experience, Arslan knew that if more troops are needed in cases of war, he could always call the tribesmen. Therefore, he recruited slaves of Turkish origin and created strong standing army of about 1000-15000. The difference between a standing army and fighting force of tribesmen was that the tribesmen did not require any payment from the state.
According to the course reader, warfare was part of the tribesmen because hunting and war took the same format. The Saljuqs also realized that the existing Persian administration system was beneficial to their rule. A Persian bureaucrat, Al kunduri, managed the administration for Toghril. Similarly, another Persian, Nizam Al-Milk, managed the administration for Alp Arslan and Alp's son who succeeded his father, Malikshah. The administration of Persian bureaucrats established a pattern followed by Persian governments before and after the Saljuq rule. Another significant event that happened during the reign of Alp Arslan was the battle of Manzikert in 463/1071.
Alp Arsenal's intention was to deal with the Ghuzz tribesmen who were a nuisance to the Saljuq rule. The Ghuzz tribesmen had been crossing the Byzantine borders. This was unintended battle between Byzantine forces led by their Emperor Romanus Diogenes and the Saljuq troops led by Sultan Alp Arslan. The Byzantine army was defeated and Emperor Romanus Diogenes was captured. After the battle of Manzikert, the Byzantine Empire had never recovered to its fullest capacity. After the war, Ghuzz tribesmen moved into eastern and central Anatolia.
They settled in an area that had been one of the Byzantine Empire's sources of revenue. Consequently, the eventual decline of the Byzantine Empire was the emergence of the Seljuk Sultanate of Rum, which was formed in Anatolia. The Ottoman Empire and the contemporary Turkey were, in fact, the result of the battle of Manzikert. Arslan died in 465/1072. His son, Malikshah, who succeeded him, died in 485/1092. The death of Malikshah marked the end of three generations of Saljuq rule.
In short, this paper has presented some of the significant consequence of the Saljuq nomads' arrival in Persia. One of the first consequence was the erosion of the three main powers in the region. The expulsion of the Ghaznawids, the decline of the Buyids power from Iraq, and the deterioration of the Byzantine Empire were all the result of the Saljuq penetration in the Islamic politics. Also the Abbasid Caliph's granting powers voluntarily was a remarkable Saljuq victory..