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Arghun was a Jat King in Afghanistan in late thirteenth century A D.


Bhim Singh Dahiya [1] writes that as mentioned above this dynasty was of the Oghlan clan of the Jats who were Buddhists at that time. It should be mentioned that Khan is not a Muslim title, it is a pre-Muslim Central Asian title adopted by many Buddhist kings. It is derived from Khakan/ Kagan/Khan. This title was being used in India, as late as the fourteenth century A.D. Kalhana's Rajatarangini mentions a king, Alakhan of Gujrat (Punjab), and Jonaraja's Chronicles show that at the time of its capture by Sultan Shihabuddin of Kashmir (1354-1373), the ruler of Udabhaṇḍa (modern Und, near Attock), was one Govinda Khan.

It is also well known to historians that in 1289 A.D. Jat king Arghun, son of Abaga had proposed to the Christians of Khurasan area, a joint attack on the Muslims who were a new rising power in the Oxus region. It was his successor Ghajan Khan who upon his accession to the throne in 1295 A.D., proclaimed himself a Muslim. He was the first Jat king who embraced Islam, and this marked the beginning of the process of conversion of Central Asia to that faith.

H. W. Bellew [2] writes about Arghun as under:

Nikodar Oglan "Master Nicholas," the youthful son of the Mughal Emperor, Hulagu Khan, held the Kandahar and Ghor country as his provincial government before he ascended the throne of Persia, 1282 A.D., as ninth emperor of the Changiz Khan dynasty. He was the first of the Mughal sovereigns (as D'Herbelot says, on the authority of Khondamir) who embraced Islam ; when he took the name of Ahmad, and favoured the Muhammadans. His conversion to Islam gave rise, it is said, to great troubles in his family and in his government, because the Mughal Tatar at that period had a great partiality for Christians, and an extreme aversion to Muhammadans, so that Ahmad could never gain them over to his views. His nephew, Arghun (son of his elder brother, Abaka, who was a Christian), who had been superseded on the throne, revolted against his uncle, and caused his death two years later — an occurrence which greatly exasperated the Muhammadans. Arghun succeeded Ahmad-Nikodar, and in the third year of his reign, having executed two prime ministers in succession, abandoned himself to the control of the Jew, Sa'Aduddaula, a physician by profession, who so completely gained the goodwill of the Sultan Arghun, that all the affairs of the empire, public and

[Page-39]: private, together with the interests of the grandees, depended on his credit and favour. He greatly raised all the Jews and Israelites, without interfering with the Christians, who were also very powerful in the court of Sultan Arghun. It was only the Muhammadans who were at this time without credit or influence, and they murmured continually against their rivals ; for at their instigation Arghun had deprived the Musalmans of all their offices of justice and finance, and even forbidden their access to his camp and presence at his court. The Muhammadans assert that Arghun had promised the Christians to convert the temple at Mekka into a Christian Church, but that Providence frustrated his design, for Arghun at this time fell sick and died shortly after, 1291, A.D. The Jew prime minister, seeing matters in this critical state, hastened to restore the Musalmans to their former status, but he was presently slain by his enemies. Abulfeda (says D'Herbelot) asserts that the Jew, Sa'Aduddaula, " Felicity of the State," had his throat cut, because he was suspected of having poisoned the Sultan. Anyhow, it is certain that the enemies of the Jews, who regarded with jealousy their great influence, and had suffered many injuries at their hands, took this opportunity of the deaths of the Sultan Arghun and his minister to avenge themselves by a great massacre of the Jews. Sultan Arghun was succeeded on the throne by Ganjaetu, son of Abaka, who, after a reign of four years, was murdered by Baidu, son of Targai, son of Hulahu, who then ascended the throne at Hamadan, 1294 A.D. Hamadan, I may here note, is the ancient Ecbatana in the Greater Media, and derives its present name from the Greek appellation of the ancient city as 'the winter residence' xaimadiov, khaimadion — of the Persian kings (Strabo, Geog. xi. 11), as it was of the Makedonian princes who overthrew the Persian empire, and got possession of Syria ; and which, in the time of Strabo, still served the same purpose to the kings of Parthia.Baedu was dispossessed and slain by Ghazan or Cazan, son of Sultan Arghun, who since the death of his father had held the government of Khorasan, and now, with the aid of Amir Nauroz, ascended the throne. This Amir Nauroz was the son of Arghun Agha. (who had possessed the government of the Kandahar and Ghor country far thirty- nine years under the children of Changiz Khan), and after the death of his father had attached himself to the Sultan Arghun, at whose court he resided till his friend and relative, the Amir Begu, was executed, when, fearing alike fate, he fled to Afghanistan, and there, embracing Islam, waged war against the enemies of that religion, whereby he acquired the title of Ghazi. These proceedings at first embroiled him with the Prince Cazan, who was the governor of the province, but the Amir Nauroz Ghazi

[Page-40]: promising to put him on the throne occupied by Baidu, if he would embrace Islam, Cazan made public profession of that religion in the city of Firozkoh, when many others, following his lead, became Muhammadans and joined his party. Cazan now made war against Baidu, under the conduct of Nauroz, who finally defeated and slew Baidu in Azarbijan, after he had reigned only eight months.

External Links


  1. Jats the Ancient Rulers (A clan study)/The Jats,p.67
  2. An Inquiry Into the Ethnography of Afghanistan By H. W. Bellew, The Oriental University Institute, Woking, 1891, p.38

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