Shams al-Mulk Isma'il

Shams al-Mulk Isma'il (1113 – February 1, 1135) was the Burid atabeg (or Seljuk ruler) of the Emirate of Damascus from 1132 to 1135.

Shams al-Mulk Isma'il
Atabeg of Damascus
Reign1133 – 1135
PredecessorTaj al-Muluk Buri
SuccessorShihab al-Din Mahmud
Died1 February 1135(1135-02-01) (aged 21–22)
Shams al-Mulk Isma'il
FatherTaj al-Muluk Buri
ReligionSunni Islam

Early lifeEdit

Shams al-Mulk Isma'il, born in 1113,[1] was the son of Taj al-Muluk Buri, the atabeg of Damascus, and his wife Zumurrud.[2][3] Two Assassins wounded Buri in the stomach in May 1132 in revenge for the massacre of their fellows in Damascus.[4][5] Buri suffered for 13 months before he died in June 1133.[4][5] Ismail succeeded his father and decided to seize Banias, which had previously been taken by Baldwin II of Jerusalem with the Assassins' assistance.[6] Ismail attacked Banias and captured it on 11 December 1132.[4][5]

Ailba, a female slave of Ismail's grandfather, Toghtekin, made an attempt on Ismail's life in 1134.[1] After being captured, she listed the names of many peoples who desired Ismail's death because of his tyrannical acts.[7] He ordered the arrest of the alleged conspirators, including his half-brother, Sawinj, who starved to death in the prison.[8] Fearing for his life, Ismail left Damascus and settled in the fortress of Salkhad.[7] He also sent envoys to his father's old enemy, Imad ad-Din Zengi, the atabeg of Aleppo and Mosul, seeking his protection in exchange for Damascus.[7]

Ismail was murdered on February 1, 1135.[9] The author of the contemporaneous Damascus Chronicle of the Crusades accused Ismail's mother of ordering his servants to kill him, because Ismail also wanted to kill her lover.[7] She appointed her younger son Shihab al-Din Mahmud to rule Damascus.[7]


  1. ^ a b Maalouf 1984, p. 119.
  2. ^ Maalouf 1984, pp. 117, 120.
  3. ^ Barber 2012, p. 164.
  4. ^ a b c Maalouf 1984, p. 117.
  5. ^ a b c Lock 2006, p. 41.
  6. ^ Lock 2006, pp. 40–41.
  7. ^ a b c d e Maalouf 1984, p. 120.
  8. ^ Maalouf 1984, pp. 120–121.
  9. ^ Lock 2006, p. 42.


  • Barber, Malcolm (2012). The Crusader States. Yale University Press. ISBN 978-0-300-11312-9.
  • Lock, Peter (2006). The Routledge Companion to the Crusades. Routledge. ISBN 9-78-0-415-39312-6.
  • Maalouf, Amin (1984). The Crusades Through Arab Eyes. SAQI. ISBN 978-0-86356-023-1.