Arghun Dynasty

Arghun Dynasty

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The Arghun Dynasty was a dynasty of either Mongol, Turkish
Turkic peoples
The Turkic peoples are peoples residing in northern, central and western Asia, southern Siberia and northwestern China and parts of eastern Europe. They speak languages belonging to the Turkic language family. They share, to varying degrees, certain cultural traits and historical backgrounds...

 or Turko-Mongol ethnicity that ruled parts of Afghanistan
Afghanistan
Afghanistan , officially the Islamic Republic of Afghanistan, is a landlocked country located in the centre of Asia, forming South Asia, Central Asia and the Middle East. With a population of about 29 million, it has an area of , making it the 42nd most populous and 41st largest nation in the world...

 and Pakistan
Pakistan
Pakistan , officially the Islamic Republic of Pakistan is a sovereign state in South Asia. It has a coastline along the Arabian Sea and the Gulf of Oman in the south and is bordered by Afghanistan and Iran in the west, India in the east and China in the far northeast. In the north, Tajikistan...

 in the late 15th and early 16th centuries, and would later be focused around the region of Sindh
Sindh
Sindh historically referred to as Ba'ab-ul-Islam , is one of the four provinces of Pakistan and historically is home to the Sindhi people. It is also locally known as the "Mehran". Though Muslims form the largest religious group in Sindh, a good number of Christians, Zoroastrians and Hindus can...

 in south east Pakistan for most of the 16th century. The Arghuns can be divided into two branches: the Arghun branch of Dhu'l-Nun Beg Arghun that ruled until 1554, and the Tarkhan branch of Muhammad 'Isa Tarkhan that ruled until 1591.

Arghun governors of Kandahar


In the late 15th century the Timurid sultan of Herat
Herat
Herāt is the capital of Herat province in Afghanistan. It is the third largest city of Afghanistan, with a population of about 397,456 as of 2006. It is situated in the valley of the Hari River, which flows from the mountains of central Afghanistan to the Karakum Desert in Turkmenistan...

, Husayn Bayqarah
Husayn Bayqarah
Husayn Bayqarah was a Timurid ruler of Herat from 1469 to 1506, with a brief interruption in 1470. His father was Mansur, a great-grandson of Timur...

, appointed Dhu'l-Nun Beg Arghun as governor of Kandahar
Kandahar
Kandahar is the second largest city in Afghanistan, with a population of about 512,200 as of 2011. It is the capital of Kandahar Province, located in the south of the country at about 1,005 m above sea level...

. Dhu'l-Nun Beg soon began to ignore the authority of the central government in Herat and in around 1479 he began expanding in the direction of Baluchistan, taking over Pishin, Shal
Shal
Shal is a city in and the capital of Shal District, in Buin Zahra County, Qazvin Province, Iran. At the 2006 census its population was 15,104, in 3,348 families....

 and Mustang
Mustang (kingdom)
Mustang is the former Kingdom of Lo and now part of Nepal, in the north-central part of that country, bordering the People's Republic of China on the Tibetan plateau between the Nepalese provinces of Dolpo and Manang...

. In 1485 his sons Shah Beg and Muhammad Mukim Khan also seized Sibi
Sibi
Sibi is a city of Balochistan province of Pakistan. The city is located at 29°33'0N 67°52'60E at an altitude of 130 metres and is headquarters of the district and tehsil of the same name.. According to the 2001 census of Pakistan the population of Sibi is 52,100...

 from the Samma Dynasty of Sindh, although this gain was only temporary.

In 1497 Dhu'l-Nun Beg threw his support behind the revolt of Husayn Bayqarah's son Badi' al-Zaman against his father. Dhu'l-Nun Beg, who married off his daughter to Badi' al-Zaman, subsequently gained a prominent position in the latter's government when the Timurid succeeded Husayn Bayqarah in Herat in 1506. Unfortunately for them, the Uzbeks
Uzbeks
The Uzbeks are a Turkic ethnic group in Central Asia. They comprise the majority population of Uzbekistan, and large populations can also be found in Afghanistan, Tajikstan, Kyrgyzstan, Turkmenistan, Kazakhstan, Russia, Pakistan, Mongolia and the Xinjiang Uyghur Autonomous Region of China...

 under Muhammad Shaybani
Muhammad Shaybani
Abu 'I-Fath Muhammad , known in later centuries as Shaybani Khan , was a khan of the Uzbeks who continued consolidating various Uzbek tribes and laid foundations for their ascendance in Transoxiana. of Genghis Khan through his grandson Shayban and considered the Timurids as usurpers of the...

 invaded Khorasan
Greater Khorasan
Greater Khorasan or Ancient Khorasan is a historical region of Greater Iran mentioned in sources from Sassanid and Islamic eras which "frequently" had a denotation wider than current three provinces of Khorasan in Iran...

 shortly after Badi' al-Zaman's ascension. In 1507 Dhu'l-Nun Beg was killed in battle against the Uzbeks and succeeded by his sons Shah Beg and Mukim.

Wars with Babur


The Arghuns ultimately lost control of their portion of Afghanistan to the Timurid prince Babur
Babur
Babur was a Muslim conqueror from Central Asia who, following a series of setbacks, finally succeeded in laying the basis for the Mughal dynasty of South Asia. He was a direct descendant of Timur through his father, and a descendant also of Genghis Khan through his mother...

, who had been expelled from Transoxiana
Transoxiana
Transoxiana is the ancient name used for the portion of Central Asia corresponding approximately with modern-day Uzbekistan, Tajikistan, southern Kyrgystan and southwest Kazakhstan. Geographically, it is the region between the Amu Darya and Syr Darya rivers...

 by the Uzbeks and had made his way south to Husayn Bayqarah's kingdom. In 1501/1502 Mukim had peacefully gained the submission of Kabul, which was in chaos after the death of its ruler Ulugh Beg ibn Abu Sa'id
Abu Sa'id (Timurid dynasty)
Abū Saʿīd b. Muḥammad b. Mīrānshāh b. Timūr , was a Timurid Empire ruler in what is today parts of Kazakhstan, Uzbekistan, Iran and Afghanistan and member of the Timurid dynasty....

. This was contested by Babur, who besieged and took the city in 1504; Mukim fell back to Kandahar.

After Dhu'l-Nun Beg's death Babur decided that as long as Shah Beg and Mukim remained in Kandahar they would remain a threat to them. In 1507 or 1508 he attacked them, but the brothers saved their position by agreeing to submit to the Uzbek Muhammad Shaybani. In the following years Babur spent his time fighting against the Uzbeks in an attempt to regain Samarkand
Samarkand
Although a Persian-speaking region, it was not united politically with Iran most of the times between the disintegration of the Seleucid Empire and the Arab conquest . In the 6th century it was within the domain of the Turkic kingdom of the Göktürks.At the start of the 8th century Samarkand came...

, giving Shah Beg and Mukim a degree of respite.

Shah Beg, however, seems to have realized that in the long term it would be impossible to hold Kandahar against Babur. In 1520, in the hopes of establishing a new power base, he invaded Sindh, where the Samma
Samma
The Samma Dynasty ruled in Sindh and parts of Punjab and Balochistan from 1335-1520 AD, with their capital at Thatta in modern Pakistan before being replaced by the Arghun Dynasty. The Samma dynasty has left its mark in Sindh with magnificent structures including the necropolis of kings and...

 dynasty was struggling under Djam Firuz. Shah Beg defeated Jam Firuz's army and proceeded to sack Thatta
Thatta
Thatta is a historic town of 220,000 inhabitants in the Sindh province of Pakistan, near Lake Keenjhar, the largest freshwater lake in the country. Thatta's major monuments especially its necropolis at Makli are listed among the World Heritage Sites. The Shah Jahan Mosque is also listed...

. The two sides agreed to a peace, where Shah Beg gained the upper half of Sindh while the Sammas retained the lower half. Jam Firuz almost immediately broke this agreement, but was defeated by Shah Beg and forced to flee to Gujarat. This marked the end of Samma rule in Sindh, as Shah Beg gained control of the whole region.

Arghun Branch


In 1522 Babur took Kandahar after a drawn out siege and annexed it. Following this, Shah Beg made Bhakkar
Bhakkar
Bhakkar is the principal city of Bhakkar District, Punjab, Pakistan. It lies on the left bank of the Indus river. It has a population of almost 300,000 and was given status of district in 1981.-Administration:...

 his official capital. He died in 1524 and his son Shah Husayn succeeded him. Shah Husayn had the khutba
Khutba
Khutbah serves as the primary formal occasion for public preaching in the Islamic tradition.Such sermons occur regularly, as prescribed by the teachings of all legal schools. The Islamic tradition can be formally at the dhuhr congregation prayer on Friday...

 read in Babur's name and attacked Multan
Multan
Multan , is a city in the Punjab Province of Pakistan and capital of Multan District. It is located in the southern part of the province on the east bank of the Chenab River, more or less in the geographic centre of the country and about from Islamabad, from Lahore and from Karachi...

, probably at Babur's insistence. Multan
Multan
Multan , is a city in the Punjab Province of Pakistan and capital of Multan District. It is located in the southern part of the province on the east bank of the Chenab River, more or less in the geographic centre of the country and about from Islamabad, from Lahore and from Karachi...

, which was ruled by the Langah
Langah (tribe)
For the Article on the folk musicians, see LanghaLangah is a clan of the Afghan tribe settled in Sindh and Punjab provinces of Pakistan. They are not a baloch tribe. They have no connection with the Rajasthani Langha community.-History and origin:...

, fell in 1528 after an extended siege and Shah Husayn appointed a governor of the city. Shortly after Shah Husayn departed Multan for Thatta
Thatta
Thatta is a historic town of 220,000 inhabitants in the Sindh province of Pakistan, near Lake Keenjhar, the largest freshwater lake in the country. Thatta's major monuments especially its necropolis at Makli are listed among the World Heritage Sites. The Shah Jahan Mosque is also listed...

, however, the governor was thrown out of the city. The rebels administered Multan for a time independently, but soon afterwards submitted to the Mughal Empire
Mughal Empire
The Mughal Empire ,‎ or Mogul Empire in traditional English usage, was an imperial power from the Indian Subcontinent. The Mughal emperors were descendants of the Timurids...

, which had been founded by Babur after his capture of Delhi
Delhi
Delhi , officially National Capital Territory of Delhi , is the largest metropolis by area and the second-largest by population in India, next to Mumbai. It is the eighth largest metropolis in the world by population with 16,753,265 inhabitants in the Territory at the 2011 Census...

 in 1526.

In 1540 Shah Husayn had to deal with the arrival of Babur's successor Humayun
Humayun
Nasir ud-din Muhammad Humayun was the second Mughal Emperor who ruled present day Afghanistan, Pakistan, and parts of northern India from 1530–1540 and again from 1555–1556. Like his father, Babur, he lost his kingdom early, but with Persian aid, he eventually regained an even larger one...

, who had been expelled from Hindustan
Hindustan
Hindustan or Indostan, literal translation "Land of River Sindhu ", is one of the popular names of South Asia. It can also mean "the land of the Hindus"...

 by Sher Shah Suri
Sher Shah Suri
Sher Shah Suri , birth name Farid Khan, also known as Sher Khan , was the founder of the short-lived Sur Empire in northern India, with its capital at Delhi, before its demise in the hands of the resurgent Mughal Empire...

. Humayun implored Shah Husayn to provide assistance in fighting against Sher Shah, but was unable to convince him to do so. Some time after this Humayun later attempted to wrest Sindh
Sindh
Sindh historically referred to as Ba'ab-ul-Islam , is one of the four provinces of Pakistan and historically is home to the Sindhi people. It is also locally known as the "Mehran". Though Muslims form the largest religious group in Sindh, a good number of Christians, Zoroastrians and Hindus can...

 from Shah Husayn, but the latter was able to force a stalemate. The Mughal Emperor eventually agreed to leave Sindh and made his way to Kandahar in 1543.

Shah Husayn became increasingly incapable of ruling as he approached the end of his life. Because of this, the nobles of Sindh decided to elect Mirza Muhammad 'Isa Tarkhan, who was a member of a senior branch of the Arghuns, as their ruler in 1554. Shah Husayn was set aside and died childless in 1556.

Tarkhan Branch


During the civil war between Shah Husayn and Muhammad 'Isa Tarkhan, the latter had sent a request for the help to the Portuguese
Portuguese Empire
The Portuguese Empire , also known as the Portuguese Overseas Empire or the Portuguese Colonial Empire , was the first global empire in history...

 at Bassein
Vasai-Virar
Vasai-Virar is a city in Maharashtra state in western India. As per 2011 census this is the 5th largest city in Maharashtra . It is located in Thane District, 50 km north of Mumbai. The city is located on the north bank of Vasai Creek, part of the estuary of the Ulhas River...

. A 700 man force under the command of Pedro Barreto Rolim sailed up to Thatta in 1555, only to find that Muhammad 'Isa Tarkhan had already won the conflict and there was no need for their assistance. Furious at the governor of Thatta's refusal to pay them, the Portuguese sacked the defenseless city and killed several thousand people.

Muhammad 'Isa Tarkhan was soon forced to deal with a rival claimant, Sultan Mahmud Gokaldash. He was eventually compelled to make peace with Sultan Mahmud; the two agreed that Muhammad 'Isa Tarkhan would keep lower Sindh, with his capital at Thatta, while Sultan Mahmud would rule upper Sindh from Bakhar. In 1567 Muhammad 'Isa Tarkhan died and was succeeded by his son Muhammad Baki. During the latter's reign upper Sindh was annexed by the Mughal Emperor Akbar in 1573.

Muhammad Baki committed suicide in 1585, and was succeeded by his son Jani Beg. In 1591 Akbar sent an army to conquer lower Sindh. Jani Beg put up a resistance but was defeated by the Mughal forces and his principality was annexed. In 1599 he died of delirium tremens
Delirium tremens
Delirium tremens is an acute episode of delirium that is usually caused by withdrawal from alcohol, first described in 1813...

.