Mirza Abū'l-Khair Mūhammed Khan bin Qājı Abdūllah Sultan (Kazakh: Мырза Әбілқайыр Мұхаммед хан бин Қажы Абдұллаh Сұлтан, ميرزا أبو الخير محمد خان بن حاجي عبد الله سلطان, romanized: Myrza Äbılqaiyr Mūhammed Han bin Qajy Abdūllah Sūltan), more commonly known by his short name Abū'l-Khair Khan (1693–1748) was leader of the Kazakh Little jüz in present-day western and central Kazakhstan. During this period, the Little jüz participated in the Kazakh-Dzungar Wars mainly to avenge the "Great Disaster" Dzungar invasion of major Kazakh territories. Under the strong leadership of Abu'l-Khair, the Muslim Kazakh ghazis defeated Dzungar forces at the Bulanty river in 1726 and in the Battle of Anrakai in 1729.
|Abu'l Khair Khan |
أبو الخير خان
|1st Khan of the Junior jüz|
|Successor||Nur Ali Khan|
Turkistan, Kazakh Khanate
|Died||12 August 1748|
|Issue||Nur Ali Khan|
|House||House of Borjigin|
House of Urus Khan
|Father||Qajı Abdullah Sultan|
Abu'l Khair Khan was born as the second oldest son of Hajji (Qajı) Abdullah Sultan, a Kazakh mırza (aristocrat) who had quickly risen to the royal ranks after completing his hajj to Mecca. Like his father, Abu'l-Khair also began as a mırza before rising to the throne. This made him one of the few documented khans of the Kazakh Khanate to have not been descended from either Janibek Khan or Kerei Khan. Nonetheless, it was likely due to Abdullah's connections with the royal family that Abu'l Khair Khan himself became ruler.
Abu'l Khair Khan took the throne in 1718 as the new khan of the Kazakhs. In order to obtain Russian help against the Dzungars, Abul Khair Khan took an oath of allegiance to the Russian crown in 1731. In an attempt to unite his empire and prevent anyone from defecting and helping out the Dzungars, Abu'l Khair Khan also fostered a strong religious identity among the Sunni Muslim Kazakhs. He subsequently tried to limit the amount of Russian influence exercised over the Kazakh Little jüz since he still wanted his empire to function as an independent Islamic state. According to a 2019 study, "neither Kazakhs nor Russian officials thought of their relationship as a form of annexation, but rather merely an alliance."
- "History of the Republic of Kazakhstan", Embassy of the Republic of Kazakhstan in Belgium (English)
- Famous Kazakhs Website on the Kazakh Diaspora in Germany
- https://dergipark.org.tr/en/download/article-file/2018630 DİNÇ, Mehmet Ali. "RUSYA’NIN TÜRKİSTAN’DA YAYILMA SİYASETİNİN İLK ADIMI KAZAK KÜÇÜK CÜZ HANLIĞINI İŞGALİ." Akademik MATBUAT 5.2: 193-212. (Turkish)