Kara-Khanid Khanate - Conquest of Transoxiana

Conquest of Transoxiana

At the final decade of the tenth century, the Karakhanids began a struggle against the Samanids for control of Transoxiana, with first a campaign led by d Satuk Bughra Khan's grandson Hasan (or Harun) b. Sulayman (title: Bughra Khan). Between 990-992, the Karakhanids took Isfijab, Ferghana, Ilaq, Samarkand, and the Samanid capital Bukhara. However, Hasan Bughra Khan died in 992 due to an illness, and the Samanids returned to Bukhara. Hasan's cousin Ali b. Musa (title: Kara Khan or Arslan Khan) resumed the campaign against the Samanids, and in 999, Ali's son Nasr retook Bukhara meeting little resistance. The Samanid domains were split up between the Ghaznavids, who gained Khorasan and Afghanistan, and the Karakhanids, who received Transoxiana; the Oxus River thus became the boundary between the two rival empires.

The Karakhanid state was divided into appanages as was common of Turkic and Mongol nomads. The Karakhanid appanages were associated with four principal urban centers, Balasaghun (then the capital of the Karakhanid state) in Semirechye, Kashgar in Xinjiang (Kashgaria), Uzgen in Fergana, and Samarkand in Transoxiana. The dynasty's original domains of Semirechye and Kashgaria conserved their prestige within the Karakhanid state, and the khagans of these domains retained an implicit seniority over those who ruled in Transoxiana and Fergana. The four sons of Ali (Ahmad, Nasr, Mansur, Muhammad) each held their own independent appanage within the Karakhanid state. Nasr, the conqueror of Transoxiana, held the large central area of Transoxiana (Samarkand and Bukhara), Fergana (Uzgen) and other areas, although after his death his appanage was further divided. Ahmad held Semirechye and Chach, and became the head of the dynasty after the death of Ali. He was succeeded by Mansur.

After the death of Mansur, the Hasan Bughra Khan branch of the Karakhanids became dominant. Hasan's sons Muhammad Toghan Khan II, and Yusuf Kadir Khan who held Kashgar, became in turn the head of the Karakhanid dynasty. The two families, i.e. the descendents of Ali Arslan Khan and Hasan Bughra Khan, would eventually spilt the Karakhanid Khanate in two.

During the reign of Ahmad b. Ali, the Karakhanids engaged in wars against the non-Muslims to the North-East and East. In 1006, Yusuf Kadr Khan of Kashgar conquered the Kingdom of Khotan. In 1017-1018, the Karakhanids repelled an attack by a large mass of nomadic Turkish tribes, in what was described in Muslim sources as a great victory. The brothers Ahmad and Nasr conducted different policies towards the Ghaznavids in the South - while Ahmad tried to form alliance with Mahmud of Ghazna, Nasr attempted to expand, unsuccessfully, into the territories held by Ghazvanids.

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