Section 8

On the early affairs of Muhammad Khan and the events of those days

Muhammad Khan was the fifth son of ʿAbd al-Rashid Khan. He was born to Chüchük Khanim, the daughter of Adik Sultan, son of Jani Beg Khan. After ʿAbd al-Latif Sultan, ʿAbd al-Rashid Khan had sent him to the Khanate of Aqsu.

In those days Küsän was in the hands of Shah Khan, the son of Mansur Khan. Shah Khan was a bold and brave king but he was a tyrant and foolish. He had a well-disciplined army and used to carry out raids often. He had a son named Turay Sultan, who committed a minor crime. For this he ordered Shahyari Ilqichi, who was the best of his amirs, to kill Turay Sultan. Shahyari killed Turay Sultan without hesitation. Mansur Khan had once commissioned Yarika Beg to kill Amin Khoja Sultan. Yarika Atagha hid him and reported that he had killed him. One day when Amin Khoja Sultan was required, Yarika Beg brought him before Mansur Khan. Mansur Khan was very pleased and praised Yarika. Shah Khan had the same expectation of Shahyari Ilqichi, but he did not realise, and so killed Turay Sultan.

When Shah Khan decided to wage holy war against the Qalmaq, he summoned Shahyari one day and told him to restore Turay to life. In reply Shahyari said that Turay Sultan would only come back to life on judgement day. Shah Khan was distressed and said ‘Ilqichi, you bastard, I promoted you from the rank of Yarika to an exalted position. This is your job.’ So saying, he set out towards the Qalmaq. He set upon the Qalmaqs and took loot and prisoners in the appropriate fashion, and then returned. The Qalmaq came at his rear and confronted him. Shah Khan arranged the lines of battle, and a fierce battle occurred. At this time Shahyari took his kin and his followers, broke ranks and fled in disloyalty. (21) The side of Shah Khan was defeated. Shah Khan showed bravery but in the end he was martyred.[ref]According to Chinese sources, Shah Khan died in 1570.[/ref]

Meanwhile, Muhammad Khan was ruling Aqsu. One day in the audience of Muhammad Khan a description was given of Shah Khan’s daughter. Muhammad Khan was seized with a desire to take the daughter of Shah Khan as his wife. By chance at that time Shah Khan had ridden out against the Qalmaq. Those close to Muhammad Khan reported that the daughter of Shah Khan was spending her days at leisure in a fort in Küsän, that he should take advantage of the opportunity and go and capture her. Muhammad Khan agreed to this and they set out towards Küsän. Shah Khan had set a hundred armed men to guard his daughter. They were stationed everywhere to protect her. One day they were staying in a small fort outside of Kusan. Muhammad Khan came from Aqsu and laid siege to that fort. The men who were guarding the princess suddenly seized her and headed for Küsän. The men of Muhammad Khan had been lax and left the road clear. The princess did not even have the chance to put her boots on. Muhammad Khan returned frustrated to Aqsu, and the daughter of Shah Khan returned bare-footed to her residence. At this point Shah Khan came back from battle and took up residence in his orda. His daughter arrived and Shah Khan inquired as to her situation. The princess’ men explained to the Khan that Muhammad Khan had come in force and besieged them, but by a surprise attack at night and all sorts of trickery they had brought her back safely. Shah Khan was agitated and said ‘Muhammad Khan wants to take our daughter like a prisoner? He should send an emissary and say the khutba [in my name]. Who would I give her to, if not to Muhammad? But he wants to take my daughter as booty! I will not rest until I have taken revenge on him!” He led his troops towards Aqsu in pursuit of Muhammad Khan. Muhammad Khan heard of Shah Khan’s coming and made ready to defend the fort. Shah Khan surrounded the fort of Aqsu and made camp.

The siege dragged on, and Shah Khan gave up hope of achieving his goal, so he returned. A few rowdy ones took a woman’s toiletries, fixed them to a staff and passed them to Shah Khan, saying impertinent things. Shah Khan’s patience snapped; he beseeched the court of the Lord and again laid siege to the fort of Aqsu. One night through trickery they captured the city wall of Aqsu, Muhammad Khan remained holed up inside the citadel, sorely pressed. In this situation Muhammad Khan sent Mir Mahdi Shah, son of Mir Sayyid Yusuf, son of His Grace Sayyid Qasim (22) (May God illuminate his tomb!), before Shah Khan as his emissary. Mir Mahdi Shah took a copy of the Quran and set off. The meeting took place at the gate of the citadel. Mir Mahdi Shah explained his message to Shah Khan. Shah Khan became angry and ordered that the sayyid be hung upside down. For several days Mir Mahdi Shah suffered in that way. Shah Khan descended on the citadel, and they brought Muhammad Khan and his insignia of rule before Shah Khan. They threw [Muhammad Khan’s] standard at the feet of Shah Khan—such is the old custom. Shah Khan plundered and murdered and caused the people of Aqsu all sorts of suffering, and he took Muhammad Khan with him back to Chalish.

In Chalish there is a large pond, and in the middle of it there is a dry patch which the Turks call “the island” (aral). He gave Muhammad Khan, his wife Mihrnush Begim and one servant a place on that island. They remained there for five months. Muhammad Khan gave thanks to God from the bottom of his heart, and the khan’s son Shah Shujaʿ al-Din Ahmad Khan (commonly known as Khan Shahid) was born on that island. ʿAbd al-Karim Khan sent an envoy, saying that Muhammad Khan was like a son in relation to him, and that [Shah Khan] should forgive him his mistake. Shah Khan acquiesced immediately, and dispatched Muhamamd Khan, Mihrnush Begim, and their entourage to ʿAbd al-Karim Khan. ʿAbd al-Karim Khan consoled Muhammad Khan, and Muhammad Khan remained for a while in the service of his elder brother. When Sufi Sultan died in Kashgar, [ʿAbd al-Karim Khan] sent Muhammad Khan there in his place.