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Muhammad Shaybani Khan (Uzbek: Muhammad Shayboniy, Persian: شیبک خان‎) also known as Abul-Fath Shaybani Khan or Shayabak Khan or Shahi Beg Khan (c. 1451 – 2 December 1510), was an Uzbek leader whose original name: shibägh, stands for wormwood and also black obsidian. He consolidated various Uzbek tribes and laid the foundations for their ascendance in Transoxiana and the establishment of the Khanate of Bukhara. He was a Shaybanid or descendant of Shiban (or Shayban), the fifth son of Jochi, Genghis Khan's eldest son.

Muhammad Shaybani
محمد شیبانی
Predecessor Abu'l-Khayr Khan
Successor Jan Wafa Mirza
Born 1451
Central Asia
Died 2 December 1510
Merv, Khorasan, Turkmenistan
Spouse Mihr Nigar Khanum
Khanzada Begum
Aisha Sultan Khanum
Zuhra Begi Agha
Khanzada Khanum
Full name
Abu 'I-Fath Muhammad
House Shaybanids
Dynasty Shaybanids
Religion Sunni Islam (Sufism)


Rise to PowerEdit

Shaybani was initially an Uzbek warrior leading a contingent of 3000 men in the army of the Timurid ruler of Samarkand, Sultan Ahmed Mirza under the Amir, Abdul Ali Tarkhan. However, when Ahmed Mirza went to war against Sultan Mahmud Khan, the Khan of Moghulistan, to reclaim Tashkent from him, Shaybani secretly met the Moghul Khan and agreed to betray and plunder Ahmed's army. This happened in the Battle of the Chirciq River in 1488 C.E., resulting in a decisive victory for Moghulistan. Sultan Mahmud Khan gave Turkistan[1] to Shaybani as a reward. Here, however, Shaybani oppressed the local Kazakhs, resulting in a war between Moghulistan and the Kazakh Khanate. Moghulistan was defeated in this war, but Shaybani gained power among the Uzbeks. He decided to conquer Samarkand and Bukhara from Ahmed Mirza. Sultan Mahmud's subordinate emirs convinced him to aid Shaybani in doing so, and together they marched on Samarkand.[2]

Foundation of Shaybanid DynastyEdit

Continuing the policies of his grandfather, Abul-Khayr Khan, Shaybani ousted the Timurids from their capital Samarkand by 1500. He fought successful campaigns against the Timurid leader Babur, founder of the Mughal Empire.[3] In 1505 he recaptured Samarkand and in 1507 also took Herat, the southern capital of the Timurids. Shaybani conquered Bukhara in 1506 and established the short-lived Shaybanid Dynasty of the Khanate of Bukhara. In 1508–09, he carried out many raids northward, pillaging the land of the Kazakh Khanate. However he suffered a major defeat from Kazakhs under Kasim Khan in 1510.


Shaybani married five times:


The battle between Shah Ismail I and Muhammad Shaybani in 1510.

Shah Ismail I was alarmed by Shaybani's success and moved against the Uzbeks. In the Battle of Marv (1510), Muhammad Shaybani was defeated and killed when trying to escape. At the time of Shaybani's death, the Uzbeks controlled all of Transoxiana, that is, the area between the Syr Darya and Amu Darya rivers. After capturing Samarkand from Babur, Shaybani married Babur's sister, Khanzada Begum. Babur's liberty to leave Samarkand was made contingent upon his assent to this alliance. After Shaybani's death, Ismail I gave liberty to Khanzada Begum with her son and, at Babur's request, sent them to his court. For this reason Shaybani was succeeded not by a son but by an uncle, a cousin and a brother whose descendants would rule Bukhara until 1598 and Khwarizm (later named Khiva) until 1687.

Ismail had Muhammad Shaybani's body parts sent to various areas of the empire for display and had his skull coated in gold and made into a jeweled drinking goblet which was drunk from when entertaining.[3]

From the accounts of Babur, i.e. the Baburnama, we came to know that the Shah of Persia beheaded Shaybani and had his skull turned into a bejeweled drinking cup which he later sent to Babur as a goodwill gesture. The rest of Shaybani's body was put on a spike at the main gate of Samarkand.[6]


  1. ^ This probably means Turkestan (city). Needs check and clarification.
  2. ^ Mirza Muhammad Haidar Dughlat. Tarikh-i-Rashidi, 1546.
  3. ^ a b Holden, Edward S. (2004). The Mogul Emperors of Hindustan (1398-1707 A.D). New Delhi, India: Asian Educational Services,. pp. 74–76. ISBN 81-206-1883-1. 
  4. ^ a b c d Begum, Gulbadan (1902). The History of Humayun (Humayun-Nama). Royal Asiatic Society. pp. 211–212, 250–251, 264, 297. 
  5. ^ Babur, Emperor; Beveridge, Annette Susannah (1922). The Baburnam in English (Memoirs of Babur) - Volume 1. Luzac & Co., London. pp. 329 n. 1. 
  6. ^ Abraham Eraly (17 September 2007). Emperors Of The Peacock Throne: The Saga of the Great Moghuls. Penguin Books Limited. p. 25. ISBN 978-93-5118-093-7. 

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