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Abu Sa'id Bahadur Khan

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Abu Sa'id Bahadur Khan
ابوسعید بهادرخان
Bahadur Khan (Valiant King)
Sultan Abu Sa'id
"In the Court of Abu Saʿid". Folio from a manuscript of Nigaristan, Iran, probably Shiraz, dated 1573-74
9th Il-Khan
SuccessorArpa Ke'un
Governor of Khorasan and Mazandaran
Reign1315 - 1316
SuccessorAmir Yasaul
BornJune 2, 1305
Ujan, Tabriz
DiedDecember 1, 1335(1335-12-01) (aged 30)
ConsortUljay Qutlugh Khatun
Baghdad Khatun
Dilshad Khatun
Malika Khatun
Adil Shah Khatun
Sarqadaq Khatun
IssueUnnamed daughter[1]
Al-Sultan Al-Adil Abu Sa'id Bahadur Khan
DynastyIlkhanate of the Mongol Empire
ReligionSunni Islam
Silver coin of Abu Sa'id

Abu Sa'id Bahadur Khan (June 2, 1305 – December 1, 1335) (Persian: ابو سعید بهادر خان ), also spelled Abusaid Bahador Khan, Abu Sa'id Behauder (Modern Mongolian: Абу Саид Бахадур хан,[2] Abu sayid Baghatur Khan, [ˈabusæt ˈbaːtər xaːŋ] in modern Mongolian), was the ninth ruler (c. 1316 – 1335) of the Ilkhanate, a division of the Mongol Empire that encompassed the present day countries of Iran, Azerbaijan, Georgia, and Armenia, as well as portions of Iraq, Turkey, Afghanistan, and Pakistan.

Early life

He was born on 2 June 1305, near Ujan, Tabriz to Öljaitü and Hajji Khatun. He became his father's heir after deaths of his elder brothers.[3] He was assigned to govern Khorasan and Mazandaran in 1315 with Uyghur noble Amir Sevinch as his guardian.


He was brought back to Soltaniyeh by Sevinch in December, 1316. But his coronation was delayed until April, May, July or August 1317 due to a conflict between Chupan and Sevinch.[4] Abu Said employed Rashid-al-Din Hamadani and Taj Al-Din Ali Shah Gilani as his viziers. However, viziers were at odds and it led to Hamadani's dismissal in October 1317.[5] Amir Sevinch also died in January 1318, leaving young Abu Sa'id to hands of Chupan. Although Chupan recalled Hamadani to serve in court, Gilani accused Hamadani (and his son Ibrahim Izzaddin, the cupbearer) of poisoning the late Ilkhan Öljaitü,[5] which led to their eventual execution on 13 July 1318[6] near Abhar.[7] This left the emir Chupan as the de facto ruler of Ilkhanate. Following years were tumultuous for Abu Sa'id's reign.

Golden Horde invasion and rebellion of amirs

Golden Horde khan Özbeg invaded Azerbaijan in 1319 in coordination with Chagatayid prince Yasa'ur who pledged loyalty to Öljaitü earlier but revolted in 1319.[8] Prior to that, he had Amir Yasaul, governor of Mazandaran killed by his subordinate Begtüt. Abu Sa'id was forced to send Amir Husayn Jalayir to face Yasa'ur and while himself marched against Özbeg. Özbeg was defeated shortly thanks to reinforcements by Chupan, while Yasa'ur was killed by Kebek in 1320. Several amirs didn't come to aid of Abu Sa'id, therefore they were subject to punishment by Chupan. Yet another revolt started in 1319, this time by Keraite emirs Irinjin, a former governor of Diyar Bakr and Qurumishi, governor of Georgia who were among the amirs rebuked by Chupan. Qurumishi and Irinjin were related in addition to both being from Keraite tribe - Irinjin was father of Öljaitü's widow Qutluqshah Khatun and a son-in-law to Tekuder, while Qurumshi's father Alinaq Noyan was also a son-in-law of Tekuder.[8] 40.000 strong rebel army caught Chupan with his two sons and 2000 strong entourage unguarded near Georgia and caused him to flee. Chupan arrived in Tabriz and later went to Abu Sa'id to report. Hearing news, Ilkhan moved against rebels and met them near Mianeh.

A decisive battle was fought on 20 June 1319 near Mianeh with Ilkhanate victory. This victory granted young Abu Sa'id the honorific titles of Baghatur (from Mongolian "баатар", meaning "hero, warrior") and al-Sultan al-Adil (the just Sultan). In total 36 emirs and 7 khatuns, including Amir Toqmaq, Qurumishi, Princess Könchek (daughter of Tekuder), her husband Irinjin and their sons Sheykh Ali and Vafadar were executed while Qurumushi's son Abdurrahman fled to Özbeg.[8] Chupan subsequently was given hand of Sati Beg, sister of Abu Sa'id on 6 September 1319, thus growing his family's power greatly. His sons Timurtash, Shaikh Mahmud, Hasan and Demasq Kaja were given governorships of Anatolia, Georgia, Khorasan and Azerbaijan respectively.

Chupanid rebellion

However, Timurtash rose in rebellion in 1322, claiming to be the Mahdi. Chupan went to obtain his surrender personally and even managed to get reappointment to the post by Abu Sa'id. Abu Sa'id sometime fell in love with Baghdad Khatun, one of emir Chupan's daughters. The emir's efforts to keep Abu Sa'id from marrying his daughter, who was still married to Hasan Buzurg (another powerful kingmaker of the era), did not help the situation. Abu Said approached Chupan in 1325, claiming her unsuccessfully. Chupan sent his daughter and son-in-law to Karabakh instead while himself went against Özbeg and Tarmashirin who invaded Azerbaijan and Khorasan respectively. Using opportunity, on 25 August 1327, Abu Sa'id had one of Chupan's sons, Demasq Kaja, killed, apparently for his activities with a former concubine of Öljaitü's.[5] Hearing this, Chupan marched against Abu Sa'id seeking revenge. But many emirs including Muhammad Beg, uncle of Abu Sa'id deserted him near Ray, taking 30.000 soldier with them, leaving Chupan no choice but to retreat to Herat. However he was soon strangled to death by Kartid ruler Ghiyath-uddin under orders of Abu Sa'id in 1327. His daughter soon forced to divorce Hasan Buzurg and marry Abu Sa'id. In compensation, Hasan was awarded former post of Chupan, rising to be new commander-in-chief of Ilkhanid army.

Later years

Now ruling personally, Abu Sa'id invited Ghiyas al-Din, son of Rashid al-Din to be his vizier. Narin Taghai (a nephew of Taghachar and grandson of Kitbuqa[9]) who was responsible for Chupan's downfall[3] and Abu Sa'id's uncle Ali Padshah were granted governorates of Khorasan and Baghdad respectively. However Ghiyas al-Din's enforcement of central authority didn't coincide with other amirs' plans. Narin Taghai left his post in 1329 to kill Ghiyas al-Din. He was aided by emirs Ali Padshah and Misr Khwaja. Narin Taghay was executed in September[5] or 29 July 1329,[7] ending another serious threat. Later Hasan Buzurg too was accused of treason with Baghdad Khatun in 1332 but reinstated as governor of Anatolia later.[4] However, Abu Sa'id divorced from Baghdad and married to her niece Dilshad Khatun in 1333.

In 1334, Abu Sa'id appointed Amir Musaffar Inaq as governor of Shiraz to the resentment of Sharaf al-Din Mahmudshah Inju, founder of Injuid dynasty, who was ruling Fars region for a while since Chupan's death. He pursued Musaffar to Abu Sa'id's tent, accidentally making attempt on his life. Mahmudshah's rebellious act got him imprisoned.

Foreign relations

Abu Sa'id signed a commercial treaty with Venice in 1320, while also granting them to establish oratories throughout the empire.[citation needed] He also improved relations with Mamluk Egypt the same year, signing a treaty. He is also known to have corresponded with Muhammad b. Tughluq of Delhi Sultanate.[citation needed]


Abu Sa'id had to face another invasion by Özbeg in 1335 and left to face him, but died on his way in Karabakh, on night of 30 November to 1 December 1335. His body was taken to Soltaniyeh and buried there. According to Ibn Battuta, he was poisoned by Baghdad Khatun on grounds of jealousy.[5] He may have been a victim to Black Death as well.[10]

Abu Sa'id died without an heir or an appointed successor, thus leaving the Ilkhanate vulnerable. This led to clashes of the major families, such as the Chupanids, the Jalayirids, and new movements like the Sarbadars. On his return to Persia, the great voyager Ibn Battuta was amazed to discover that the realm which had seemed to be so mighty only twenty years before, had dissolved so quickly. The Ilkhanate lost cohesion after the death of Abu Sa'id, and that of his successor, Arpa Ke'un, becoming a plethora of little kingdoms run by Mongols, Turks, and Persians.




Abu Sa'id married six times from different clans including Borjigin, Oirat and Suldus:

  • Uljay Qutlugh Khatun (m. 5 July 1317), daughter of Ghazan and Bulughan Khatun, and widow of his elder brother Bastam;
  • Baghdad Khatun (m. 1327 – div. 1333, executed December 16, 1335), daughter of Amir Chupan, and former wife of Hasan Buzurg;
  • Malika Khatun, daughter of Tuq b. Sulaimish b. Tengiz Güregen;
  • Dilshad Khatun (m. 1333, died 27 December 1351), daughter of Demasq Kaja and Tursin Khatun, daughter of Irinjin Kurkan and Konchak Khatun, daughter of Tekuder;
  • Adil Shah Khatun (died 7 May 1332, near Ujan[11]), daughter of Tukal ibn Essen Qutlugh (Governor of Khorasan, d. 10 October 1318);
  • Sarqadaq Khatun, daughter of Dawlat Shah Suldus, relative of Amir Chupan;

Abu Sa'id had one daughter

  • A daughter (born 18 May 1336) - with Dilshad Khatun;


According to Ibn Battuta, Abu Sa'id was one of "the most beautiful of God's creatures". Being a cultured ruler, he was the only Il-Khan to be known to author poetry as well as music.[4]



  1. ^ Charles, Melville; Zaryab, Abbas. "DELŠĀD ḴĀTŪN". Encyclopaedia Iranica. Retrieved 10 March 2018.
  2. ^ "АБУСАИД ХААНЫ АЛТАН ЗООС". (in Mongolian).
  3. ^ a b Hope, Michael (2016). Power, Politics, and Tradition in the Mongol Empire and the Īlkhānate of Iran. Oxford University Press. pp. 189–193. ISBN 978-0-19-876859-3.
  4. ^ a b c "ABŪ SAʿĪD BAHĀDOR KHAN – Encyclopaedia Iranica". Retrieved 2020-03-26.
  5. ^ a b c d e The Cambridge history of Iran. Fisher, W. B. (William Bayne). Cambridge: University Press. 1968–1991. pp. 407–413. ISBN 0-521-06935-1. OCLC 745412.((cite book)): CS1 maint: others (link)
  6. ^ Lewis, Bernard (2014-04-24). The Jews of Islam. Princeton University Press. p. 101. ISBN 978-1-4008-2029-0.
  7. ^ a b Hamd Allah Mustawfi Qazvini, fl 1330-1340; Browne, Edward Granville; Nicholson, Reynold Alleyne (1910). The Ta'ríkh-i-guzída; or, "Select history" of Hamdulláh Mustawfí-i-Qazwíní, compiled in A.H. 730 (A.D. 1330), and now reproduced in fac-simile from a manuscript dated A.H. 857 (A.D. 1453). Boston Public Library. Leyden : E.J. Brill; London, Luzac & Co.((cite book)): CS1 maint: numeric names: authors list (link)
  8. ^ a b c Melville, Charles P. "Abu Sa'id and the revolt of the amirs in 1319". L'Iran Face a la Domination Mongole, ed. D. Aigle, Tehran, 1997, Pp. 89-120.
  9. ^ Melville, Charles (1999). The Fall of Amir Chupan and the Decline of the Ilkhanate, 1327-37: A Decade of Discord in Mongol Iran. Indiana University, Research Institute for Inner Asian Studies.
  10. ^ Continuity and Change in Medieval Persia By Ann K. S. Lambton
  11. ^ Howorth, Henry H (1880). History of the Mongols from the 9th to the 19th century ... London: Longmans, Green, and Co. p. 215. OCLC 1046528205.


  • Atwood, Christopher P. (2004). The Encyclopedia of Mongolia and the Mongol Empire. Facts on File, Inc. ISBN 0-8160-4671-9.
Regnal titles Preceded byÖljeitü Ilkhanid Dynasty 1316–1335 Succeeded byArpa Ke'un
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Abu Sa'id Bahadur Khan
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