Section 10

On the accession of His Excellency Muhammad Khan to the khan's throne, and the nature of his rule

It is reliably narrated that ʿAbd al-Karim Khan (May God illuminate his example!) passed from this ephemeral world to the heavenly mansions. At that time, Muhammad Khan had led an army towards Chu and Talas. When ʿAbd Saʿid Sultan, who was the sixth child of ʿAbd al-Rashid Khan, heard of the death of ʿAbd al-Karim Khan, he made a claim to Yarkand from Hotan. Khoja ʿUbaydullah had died before the Khan, and Mirza Firuz Barlas passed away seven days after the death of the Khan. Mirza Muhammad Yaʿqub Dughlat and the other amirs sent word to ʿAbd Saʿid Sultan that it would be better for him to go back to Hotan until Muhammad Khan returned from Chu and Talas, and that it would be more appropriate for the sultan to come after that. Abu Sa’id Sultan had camped in the area of Makulya.[ref]A village on the southwestern edge of the Guma oasis, about halfway between Yarkand and Hotan. The modern Uyghur spelling is Mukuyla.[/ref] Someone came from the amirs and delivered this message. Mirza Tengriberdi Barlas, who was the Sultan’s ataliq, recommended to him that at this time it was unwise to proceed any further, saying that if did not turn back then Muhammad Khan would bear a grudge against him. So he returned to his customary domains.

Three months had passed since the death of ʿAbd al-Karim Khan when Muhammad Khan returned from the battlefield and acceded to the throne of the kingdom. He sent Abu Saʿid Sultan to the khanate of Kashgar and Yangihissar, and made Amir Tengriberdi his ataliq. He appointed Shah Haydar Muhammad Sultan son of ʿAbd al-Karim Khan to the government of Hotan, and he made Mirza Yusuf son of Mirza Muhammad Yaqub Dughlat the Sultan’s ataliq. Amir Muhammad Yaʿqub had left for Keriya after the accession of Muhammad Khan and died. Muhammad Khan consolidated his rule. He assigned the township of Qarghaliq to Yunus Sultan and he bestowed the country of Sarikol and Wakhan to ʿAbd al-Rahim Khan according to his former dispensation. At that time ʿAbd al-Rahim Khan was thirty-three years old. Muhammad Khan witnessed him acting foolishly, and asked “Dear brother, I see some grey in your beard.”[ref]An idiom indicating foolish behaviour.[/ref] ʿAbd al-Rahim Khan said in reply, “Elder brother, His Majesty ʿAbd al-Karim Khan has returned to the company of God, I see the grey in my beard.” Muhammad Khan listened to the reply from ʿAbd al-Rahim Khan on this occasion, and it weighed on his mind. ʿAbd al Rahim Khan made a declaration of repentance.

In short, the kingdom was stabilised. Mirza Shah was granted the government of Yarkand, and he made Khoja Latif his keeper of seals and appointed him plenipotentiary vazir. He made Mirza Ghiyas Saghrichi his qoshbegi and uchbegi, and appointed him amir of the amirs. He gave as soyurghal to ʿAbdullah Aqbaraq the duties of ishikagha. He entrusted the affairs of state to his four amirs.