Seljuk Sultan Malik-Shah I

Seljuk Sultan Malik-Shah I

Seljuk Sultan Malik-Shah I, His father Chaghri remained in Khorasan while Alp Arslan accompanied his uncle Tughril on campaigns against the Fatimids in the south. After Alp Arslan returned home, his father suggested he work in administration. His father introduced him to Nizam al-Mulk, one of the eminent statesmen of early Muslim history and Alp Arslan’s future vizier.

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In his youth, Malik-Shah participated in his father Alp Arslan’s campaigns and it was during one of those expeditions in 1072 that the latter sustained a fatal wound from which he died a few days after. Subsequently, Malik-Shah became Sultan of the empire, but his uncle Qavurt challenged him for the throne. Although Malik-Shah was nominally at the helm of Seljuk state, it was Nizam al-Mulk who wielded most power. For remainder of his reign, Malik-Shah tackled Karakhanids on East and pacified Caucasus region.

The death of Maki-Shah is still disputed; some scholars claim that he was poisoned by the Abbasid caliph al-Muqtadi, while others claim that his death was orchestrated by Nizam al-Mulk’s supporters. He was most commonly known as “Malik-Shah”, a combination of the Arabic word malik (king) and the Persian word shah (king).

Malik-Shah first saw the light of day on 16 August 1055 in Isfahan, where he spent his childhood. According to Persian historian Muhammad bin Ali Rawandi, he was fair-skinned, tall and slightly imposing in stature.[6] As a nine-year-old in 1064, Malik-Shah joined Alp Arslan’s campaign in the Caucasus accompanied by Nizam al-Mulk, one of the Empire’s viziers.[7] That same year he married Terken Khatun, daughter of Ibrahim Tamghach-Khan of the Karakhanid dynasty.[6] Later that year at Merv, Alp Arslan proclaimed Malik-Shah his heir and conferred upon him Isfahan as his fiefdom.[8][6]


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