Section 11

On the Uzbek invasion of Kashgar and Yarkand, and the retreat of the Uzbek without accomplishing their goal

Certain of my companions relate that three years had passed after the death of ʿAbd al-Karim Khan when ʿAbdullah the Uzbek[ref]ʿAbdullah b. Iskandar, the penultimate Shaybanid sovereign (d. 1598).[/ref] assembled close to one hundred thousand troops, appointed Uzbek Sultan and Khoja Quli Qoshbegi as amirs of the army, and sent them towards Kashgar.

The explanation of this event is that when Muhammad Khan (May God keep him eternally in the gardens of paradise!) was about to send Abu Saʿid Sultan to Kashgar, it was confirmed that the authority of Abu Saʿid Sultan would apply and be obeyed in Kashgar and Yangihissar, and the Khan had no right to intervene there. As a consequence, the Sultan had complete jurisdiction in Kashgar. When the Khan gave someone an office and sent him to Kashgar, [the Sultan] brought him under his control. Then, when he appointed someone else and sent him, the Sultan compelled him to submit too. The Khan again appointed someone and sent him to Kashgar. On this third occasion, Abu Saʿid Sultan delegated the case to Tengriberdi Mirza Barlas, who was the Sultan’s ataliq. That man went before Tengriberdi Barlas. Mirza Tengriberdi said to him: “You are trying to deceive us, the Khan has granted to my Sultan as soyurghal lands as far as Qizil.” That man went back and explained the situation to the Khan, reporting on the conversation that had occurred. The Khan gave him a diploma and sent him back. He showed this diploma to Tengriberdi Mirza. Tengriberdi Mirza was the youngest son of Amir Muhammad Barlas, and was experienced in battle and enterprising, but he spent his days drinking four or five cups of wine every day. He was an old man, sitting there drunk. When [the Khan’s official] brought the diploma before Mirza Tengriberdi, Mirza Tengriberdi took the diploma, got up on his knees and said “Go and tell the Khan that kings do not go back on their word, and that Tengriberdi Mirza remembers his compact. Does he intend to act as a king should, or not?” After he was finished that man went back to the Khan and reported. The Khan was filled with dread, and he mounted rashly and set out for Kashgar. The amirs set out following the Khan.

The Khan reached the land of Kashgar, and had alighted in Qaraqir when news of the Uzbeks arrived. The Khan mounted and lodged in the orda of Kashgar. Abu Saʿid Sultan provided a servant for him. After that he held council, and sent men out to summon troops from the surrounding regions. He sent forty armed men out towards the Uzbeks, with instructions to clarify the situation and return. He had still not given an audience to Amir Tengriberdi, while the other amirs were busy in deliberation. It came to a point in the discussion when Mirza Shah, who was the greatest of the amirs of the age, began to speak. He said “We should fortify ourselves in Churlik, let the Uzbeks come, and we will have it out all at once. Should we be victorious, well and good. If not, we will run away.” The council agreed on this, and conveyed their opinion to the Khan. This did not please the Khan, and he commanded Mirza Sharif Hasan Barlas to go and summon that worthless fellow, i.e. Tengriberdi Mirza. (Tengriberdi Mirza was the paternal uncle of Mirza Sharif Hasan.) Mirza Sharif Hasan went and brought Tengriberdi Mirza. The Khan ordered the Sultan to ask Tengriberdi Mirza for his advice. Abu Saʿid Sultan turned to face Tengriberdi Mirza and said “Oh beg, the Uzbeks are leading their army towards us. What shall we do?” Tengriberdi Mirza said in reply “Our patrons are sitting here, let us first hear what they have to say, then I will venture to speak.” One by one, the amirs outlined their calculations. Mirza Shah began to speak, saying “Our view is that we should hold up in Churlik and do battle there. Churlik is a well-protected location within Alaku.” Then Amir Tengriberdi spoke, saying “Oh Shah, you are His Majesty’s commander-in-chief. What are you suggesting, that we leave behind the fort and the city and […] so that they come and occupy the city? The Uzbeks have come from Transoxiana with Kashgar as their goal, not for the sake of the security of Churlik. The best course of action would be for His Majesty the Khan to stay in the vicinity of Tömürchi, while my Sultan should camp in the Kunji neighbourhood. There we will face them and give battle, calling on God for help and salvation.” The plan of action was thus decided.

Tezek Bahadur, who had left to get news, approached in a rush and reported to the Khan that he had seen the Uzbeks in the vicinity of Sarïq Yazï. The Khan and the Sultan inspected the supplies and arms. After a few days the Uzbeks arrived and camped in a particular location, and the Sultan also went out. He put Mirza Shah in command of the troops from Hotan, and assigned Shah Haydar Sultan to him. Every day the Uzbeks would advance and engage in battle, and the hot-tempered youths and headstrong princes from this side would also fight. On the fifth day three thousand bold men split off from the Uzbek army and charged in unison with the intention of seizing the gate. The champions of the Moghuls stepped forward bravely, and demonstrated their courage and manliness. A fierce battle ensued. The Khan, the Sultan, ʿAbd al-Rahim Khan and the amirs and everyone else mounted and returned into the city. [Seeing this,] the Uzbeks thought that the Moghul troops had mutinied, and the Uzbek troops pressed with all their strength and a great battle occurred. Mirza Haydar Churas his brother Muhammad Vali and the other heroes held firm and turned the Uzbek soldiers back. The Khan and the Sultan reached the city of Kashgar with blessings and triumph. Every day they battled, until [the Uzbeks] eventually lost hope of capturing Kashgar and set out for Yarkand. When the Uzbeks reached Yarkand by the Bughraqum road, Qazi Riza and Ziya al-Din Divan were still in the city. Uzbek Sultan and Khoja Quli Qushbegi sent someone to the city, with a message that if every man in the city welcomes them and declares their allegiance then their lives and property would be safe, and if not that the men would be killed and the women and children enslaved. The Qazi and Ziya al-Din Divan came to a decision and announced that: “Tomorrow, Friday, after the midday prayers, we will present ourselves and hand over the city.” The Uzbeks consented to this declaration, and they became inattentive in their siege of the city. The Khan and Abu Saʿid Sultan reached Yarkand via the Qizil road. The people of the city came out to meet the Khan and rejoiced. His Majesty Muhammad Khan (May God ennoble his secret!) entered the citadel of Yarkand in the middle of the night, and the drum and the trumpet and other hallmarks of kingship were sounded. The Uzbeks were surprised and confounded, and sought news, asking “What has happened?” The Uzbeks brought word of the Khan. When day broke, Uzbek Sultan and Khoja Quli Qushbegi could not believe it. After dawn prayers, the Khan and Abu Saʿid Sultan encouraged their men and rode out to fight the Uzbek.

[The Khan] entrusted the right wing of the army to Abu Saʿid Sultan, and he gave the left wing to ʿAbd al-Rahim Khan. Muhammad Khan sent supplications to the court of the Lord, and beseeched his own spiritual master, Hazrat Azizan. He took command of the army as was fitting, and confronted the Uzbeks. A tough battle took place, in the end with the blessing of the Lord and the aid of Hazrat Azizan defeat fell upon the Uzbeks. The Uzbeks were routed and turned towards Kashgar, and those renowned champions and estimable heroes pursed them. The Uzbeks were unable to repel them, and instead of entering the country of Kashgar they returned to their original territory. Brave men of all tribes assembled and set out after the Uzbeks, and they slew and plundered the Uzbeks as far as the Alay Plateau. The Uzbeks were forced to flee in great hardship.

It is said that when Uzbek Sultan and Khoja Quli Qoshbegi, who were leading the Uzbek army, reached Oqsalar, a command was issued that every soldier should take one arrow from their quiver and leave it there, to determine how many men had been lost. The Uzbek soldiers in Oqsalar estimated the number of arrows without owners at forty thousand.[ref]This anecdote offers an explanation of the name Oqsalar, which in Turkic means “They leave an arrow” or “The place where they leave arrows”. This story is reminiscent of one told of Temür’s invasion of China, in which he instructed his soldiers to create a pile of stones before crossing into Moghul territory (the Ili Valley). Upon returning, the soldiers would retrieve a stone, with the number remaining indicating the number of casualties. Having lost a large number of men in the disastrous campaign (in which Temür himself died), a huge pile of stones was left standing, and the place was given the name Santash (“Number-Stone”). The Santash Pass lies on the border between Kirghizstan and Kazakhstan, to the west of Karkara.[/ref]

His Majesty Muhammad Khan reclined triumphantly on the throne of the sultanate, and Abu Saʿid Sultan became resident in Kashgar. Six months after this event Mirza Shah came from Hotan, and [the Khan] made him his protégé and honoured him. He also showed reverence towards Qazi Riza and Ziya al-Din Divan.