Malik-Shah, The great Seljuq Sultan

Malik-Shah was born on August 16, 1055, and spent his youth in Isfahan. According to 12th-century Persian historian Muhammad bin Ali Rawandi, Malik-Shah had fair skin, was tall, and weighed a considerable amount of weight. In 1064, Malik-Shah, then only nine years old, and Nizam al-Mulk, a Persian vizier of the Seljuk Empire, took part in the Alp Arslan campaign in the Caucasus. In the same year, Malik-Shah was married to Terken Khatun, the daughter of Khanakhanid khan Ibrahim Tamghach-Khan. In 1066, Alp Arslan organized an event near Marv, where he appointed Malik-Shah as his successor and gave him Isfahan as his fief.

In 1071, Malik-Shah took part in his father's Syrian campaign, and he settled in Aleppo while his father fought the Byzantine emperor Romanos IV Diogenes in Amanzikert. In 1072, Malik-Shah and Nizam al-Mulk accompanied Alp-Arslan during his campaign in Transxiana against the Karakhanids. However, Alp-Arslan was seriously injured during his trip, and Malik-Shah took over the reins of the army. Alp-Arslan died a few days later, and Malik-Shah was proclaimed the new emperor.

After becaming the new Sultan of Seljuk Malik Shah spent some of his years defeating his uncle Qawurd, who had been trying to become sultan. After the insurgency was overthrown and killed by Qawurt, Malik Shah marched to the Qarakhanids and Gaznawids rebellious to secure Seljuk's rule. Both were defeated and forced to make peace. He moved the capital of Seljuk from Ray to Isfahan and organized three anti-Georgia campaigns and advanced to the Black Sea.

The Seljuk dynasty now extends from the Mediterranean coast to the mountains of Central Asia to the East. Armenians, Georgians, Abbasids, Qarakhanids, and Gaznawids were now under the rule of the Seljuk sultans. Nizam Al Mulq, a Sunni Persian, was a great vizier, who lived as the Seljuk Grand Vizier during the reigns of Alp Arslan and Maliq Shah. He was later persuaded by Hassan Sabbah's Shi'a Assasins. Nizam Al Mulq is credited with reorganizing the Iqta military program (similar to Byzantine Theme programs and Sui Chinese Fu programs) and was the founder of the famous Nizamiyah Madrasah (First Modern University) in Baghdad.

Malik Shah visited Baghdad twice: first in 1087 (when he was named “Sultan of East and West” by Abbasid Caliph) and again in 1091. He marched to the rebellious Qarakhanids in 1090 and brought them under Seljuk's control. By 1091, his generals had completed the conquests of Yemen, Syria, Hejaz, and Aden.

During his reign, Hassan Sabbah's Assassins became a major problem, who went as far as assassinating some famous Turcoman generals like Al Porsuq and Nizam Al Mulk. Even though Malik Shah sent some troops to besiege Alamut, Assassin Head Quater, the siege was halted due to the death of Maliq Shah in 1092.  If Malik Shah had lived longer, he might have killed the Assassins and vanquished Egypt, which was ruled by the Fatimids.

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