Murad I

Murad I (Ottoman Turkish: مراد اول‎; Turkish: I. Murad, Murad-ı Hüdavendigâr (nicknamed Hüdavendigâr, from Persian: خداوندگار‎, romanizedKhodāvandgār, lit.'the devotee of God' – meaning "sovereign" in this context); 29 June 1326 – 15 June 1389) was the Ottoman Sultan from 1362 to 1389. He was a son of Orhan Gazi and Nilüfer Hatun. Murad I came into the throne after his elder brother Süleyman Pasha's death.

Murad I
مراد اول
  • Bey
  • Emîr-i a’zam
  • Gazi
  • Han
  • Hüdavendigâr
  • Sultânü’s-selâtîn
  • Melikü’l-mülûk
Murad I.jpg
Miniature of Murad I from 16th century manuscript
3rd Sultan of the Ottoman Empire (Padishah)
ReignMarch 1362 – 15 June 1389
SuccessorBayezid I
Born29 June 1326
Bursa,[1][2] Ottoman Beylik
Died15 June 1389(1389-06-15) (aged 62)
Kosovo Field (near Pristina) in the Serbian Branković District, present-day Kosovo[a]
Organs buried at Tomb of Sultan Murad, Kosovo Field, in present-day Pristina District, Kosovo[a]
42°42′07″N 21°06′15″E / 42.70194°N 21.10417°E / 42.70194; 21.10417Coordinates: 42°42′07″N 21°06′15″E / 42.70194°N 21.10417°E / 42.70194; 21.10417
Other remains buried at Sultan Murad Türbe, Osmangazi, Bursa
SpousesGülçiçek Hatun
Thamara Hatun
Paşa Melek Hatun
IssueSee below
Murad bin Orhan
Ottoman Turkishمراد اول
TurkishMurad-ı Hüdavendigâr
MotherNilüfer Hatun
ReligionSunni Islam
TughraTughra of Murad I.svg

Murad I conquered Adrianople, renamed it to Edirne,[2] and in 1363 made it the new capital of the Ottoman Sultanate.[3] Then he further expanded the Ottoman realm in Southern Europe by bringing most of the Balkans under Ottoman rule, and forced the princes of Serbia and Bulgaria as well as the East Roman emperor John V Palaiologos to pay him tribute.[2] Murad I administratively divided his sultanate into the two provinces of Anatolia (Asia Minor) and Rumelia (the Balkans).


According to the Ottoman sources, Murad I's titles includes Bey, Emîr-i a’zam (Great Emir), Ghazi, Hüdavendigâr, Khan, Padishah, Sultânü’s-selâtîn (Sultan of sultans), Melikü’l-mülûk (Malik of maliks), while in Bulgarian and Serbian sources he was referred to as Tsar. In a Genoese document, he was referred to as dominus armiratorum Turchie (Master lord of Turks).[4]


Murad I was illiterate and could not even sign his own name. In 1353, Murad I signed a treaty by dipping his hand in ink and impressing it with his finger marks.[5]


Map of the conquests of Murad I

Murad fought against the powerful beylik of Karaman in Anatolia and against the Serbs, Albanians, Bulgarians and Hungarians in Europe. In particular, a Serb expedition to expel the Turks from Adrianople led by the Serbian brothers King Vukašin and Despot Uglješa, was defeated on September 26, 1371, by Murad's capable second lieutenant Lala Şâhin Paşa, the first governor (beylerbey) of Rumeli. In 1385, Sofia fell to the Ottomans. In 1386 Prince Lazar Hrebeljanović defeated an Ottoman force at the Battle of Pločnik. The Ottoman army suffered heavy casualties, and was unable to capture Niš on the way back.

Battle of KosovoEdit

Tomb of Sultan Murad on Kosovo field
Tomb of Sultan Murad

In 1389, Murad's army defeated the Serbian Army and its allies under the leadership of Lazar at the Battle of Kosovo. There are different accounts from different sources about when and how Murad I was assassinated. The contemporary sources mainly noted that the battle took place and that both Prince Lazar and the Sultan lost their lives in the battle. The existing evidence of the additional stories and speculations as to how Murad I died were disseminated and recorded in the 15th century and later, decades after the actual event. One Western source states that during first hours of the battle, Murad I was assassinated by Serbian nobleman and knight Miloš Obilić by knife.[6][7] Most Ottoman chroniclers[citation needed] (including Dimitrie Cantemir)[8] state that he was assassinated after the finish of the battle while going around the battlefield. His older son Bayezid, who was in charge of the left wing of the Ottoman forces, took charge after that. His other son, Yakub Bey, who was in charge of the other wing, was called to the Sultan's command center tent by Bayezid, but when Yakub Bey arrived he was strangled, leaving Bayezid as the sole claimant to the throne.

In a letter from the Florentine senate (written by Coluccio Salutati) to the King Tvrtko I of Bosnia, dated 20 October 1389, Murad I's (and Jakub Bey's) killing was described. A party of twelve Serbian lords slashed their way through the Ottoman lines defending Murad I. One of them, allegedly Miloš Obilić, had managed to get through to the Sultan's tent and kill him with sword stabs to the throat and belly.[9][page needed]

Sultan Murad's internal organs were buried in Kosovo field and remains to this day on a corner of the battlefield in a location called Meshed-i Hudavendigar which has gained a religious significance by the local Muslims. It has been vandalized between 1999–2006 and renovated recently. His other remains were carried to Bursa, his Anatolian capital city, and were buried in a tomb at the complex built in his name.[10]

Establishment of sultanateEdit

He established the sultanate by building up a society and government in the newly conquered city of Adrianople (Edirne in Turkish) and by expanding the realm in Europe, bringing most of the Balkans under Ottoman rule and forcing the Byzantine emperor to pay him tribute. It was Murad who established the former Osmanli tribe into an sultanate. He established the title of sultan in 1363 and the corps of the janissaries and the devşirme recruiting system. He also organised the government of the Divan, the system of timars and timar-holders (timariots) and the military judge, the kazasker. He also established the two provinces of Anadolu (Anatolia) and Rumeli (Europe).


He was the son of Orhan and the Valide Hatun Nilüfer Hatun, daughter of the Lord of Yarhisar, who was of ethnic Greek descent.[11]



  • Yahşi Bey;
  • Şehzade Savcı Bey – son. He and his ally, Byzantine emperor John V Palaeologus' son Andronicus,[12] rebelled against their fathers. Murad had Savcı killed. Andronicus, who had surrendered to his father, was imprisoned and blinded at Murad's insistence.[13]
  • Sultan Bayezid I (1354–1402) – son of Gülçiçek Hatun;
  • Şehzade Yakub Çelebi (? – d. 1389) – son. Bayezid I had Yakub killed during or following the Battle of Kosovo at which their father had been killed.
  • Şehzade Ibrahim;


Further readingEdit

  • Harris, Jonathan, The End of Byzantium. New Haven and London: Yale University Press, 2010. ISBN 978-0-300-11786-8
  • Imber, Colin (2009). The Ottoman Empire, 1300–1650: The Structure of Power (Second ed.). Basingstoke: Palgrave Macmillan. ISBN 978-1-1370-1406-1.

Notes and referencesEdit


  1. ^ a b Kosovo is the subject of a territorial dispute between the Republic of Kosovo and the Republic of Serbia. The Republic of Kosovo unilaterally declared independence on 17 February 2008. Serbia continues to claim it as part of its own sovereign territory. The two governments began to normalise relations in 2013, as part of the 2013 Brussels Agreement. Kosovo is currently (this note self-updates) recognized as an independent state by 98 out of the 193 United Nations member states. In total, 113 UN member states recognized Kosovo at some point, of which 15 later withdrew their recognition.


  1. ^ "Murad I".
  2. ^ a b c "Murad I". Encyclopædia Britannica Inc., 2014. Web. 19 Dec. 2014.
  3. ^ "In 1363 the Ottoman capital moved from Bursa to Edirne, although Bursa retained its spiritual and economic importance." Ottoman Capital Bursa. Official website of Ministry of Culture and Tourism of the Republic of Turkey. Retrieved 19 December 2014.
  4. ^ Halil İnalcık (2006). "Murad I". TDV Encyclopedia of Islam, Vol. 31 (Muhammedi̇yye – Münâzara) (in Turkish). Istanbul: Turkiye Diyanet Foundation, Centre for Islamic Studies. pp. 156–164. ISBN 9789753894586.
  5. ^ Lord Eversley (2020). The Turkish Empire. p. 20.
  6. ^ Helmolt, Ferdinand. The World's History, p.293. W. Heinemann, 1907.
  7. ^ Fine, John. The Late Medieval Balkans, p. 410. University of Michigan Press, 1994. ISBN 0-472-08260-4.
  8. ^ Cantemir, Dimitrie, History of the Growth and Decay of the Osman Ottoman Empire, London 1734.[page needed]
  9. ^ Wayne S. Vucinich, Thomas A. Emmert (1991). Kosovo: Legacy of a Medieval Battle. University of Minnesota.
  10. ^ "Meşhed-i Hüdavendigar –" (in Turkish). Retrieved 2019-01-14.
  11. ^ Lowry, Heath (2003). The Nature of the Early Ottoman State. Albany: SUNY Press. p. 153. ISBN 0-7914-5636-6.
  12. ^ Gibbon, Edward, Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire, Modern Library, v. iii, p. 651
  13. ^ Finkel, C., Osman's Dream: The History of the Ottoman Empire, 2005, p. 19, Basic Books

External linksEdit

  Media related to Murad I at Wikimedia Commons

Murad I
Born: 1326 Died: 1389
Regnal titles
Preceded by
Ottoman Sultan
1362 – 15 June 1389
Succeeded by
Bayezid I