Muhammad Shaybani

Muhammad Shayabak Khan Uzbek (Persian: شایبک خان ازبک‎, Uzbek: Muhammad Shayboniy), known in later centuries as Abul-Fath Shaybani Khan (c. 1451 – 2 December 1510), was an Uzbek Khan who consolidated various Uzbek tribes and laid the foundations for their ascendance in Transoxiana and the establishment of the Khanate of Bukhara. He was a descendant of Genghis Khan and considered the Timurids as usurpers of the Genghisid heritage in Central Asia

Shaybani was initially a warrior leading a contingent of 3000 men in the army of Ahmad Mirza, the Timurid emir of Samarkhand. However, when Ahmad Mirza went to war against Sultan Mahmud Khan, the khan of Moghulistan, to reclaim Tashkent from him, Shaybani secretly met the Moghul Khan and agreed to betray and plunder Ahmad's army. He did so at the battle of the river Chir, resulting in a decisive victory for Moghulistan. Sultan Mahmud Khan gave Turkistan to Shaybani as a reward. Here, however, Shaybani oppressed the local Kazakhs, resulting in a war between Moghulistan and the Kazakh Khanate. Moghulistan was defeated in this war, but Shaybani gained power among the Uzbeks. He decided to conquer Samarkhand and Bukhara from Ahmad Mirza. Sultan Mahmud's subordinate emirs convinced him to aid Shaybani in doing so, and together they marched on Samarkhand.

Continuing the policies of his grandfather, Abul-Khayr Khan, Shaybani ousted the Timurids from their capital Samarkand by 1500. He fought successful campaigns against the Timurid leader Babur, founder of the Mughal Empire. In 1505 he recaptured Samarkand and in 1507 also took Herat, the southern capital of the Timurids. Shaybani conquered Bukhara in 1506 and established the short-lived Shaybanid Empire. In 1508-09, he carried out many raids northward, pillaging the land of the Kazakh Khanate. However he suffered a major defeat from Kazakhs under Kasim Khan in 1510.

Shah Ismail I from the Safavid dynasty of Persia was alarmed by Shaybani's success and moved against the Uzbeks. In the Battle of Marv (1510), Muhammad Shaybani was defeated and killed when trying to escape. Ismail had Muhammad Shaybani's body parts sent to various areas of the empire for display and had his skull coated in gold and made into a jeweled drinking goblet which was drunk from when entertaining.

At the time of Shaybani's death, the Uzbeks controlled all of Transoxiana, that is, the area between the Syr Darya and Amu Darya rivers. After capturing Samarkand from Babur, Shaybani married Babur's sister, Khanzada Begum. Babur's liberty to leave Samarkand was made contingent upon his assent to this alliance. After Shaybani's death, Ismail I gave liberty to Khanzada Begum with her son and, at Babur's request, sent them to his court. For this reason Shaybani was succeeded not by a son but by an uncle, a cousin and a brother whose descendants would rule Bukhara until 1598 and Khwarizm (later named Khiva) until 1687.

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