Afaqi Khoja revolts

From Kazakhstan Encyclopedia

Template:Infobox military conflict During the early and mid-19th century in China, the Afaqi Khojas in the Khanate of Kokand (descended from Khoja Burhanuddin) unsuccessfully tried to invade Kashgar and regain Altishahr from the Qing dynasty.


Hui merchants fought for the Qing dynasty in 1826 against Turkic Muslim rebels led by the Jahangir Khoja. The Muslim Khojas and Khanate of Kokand were resisted by the Qing army and Dungan merchants. Among those who died in battle in 1826 against Jahangir Khoja's forces was Zhang Mingtang, who led the merchant militia of Kashgar.Template:Sfn

During the 1826 invasion, Jahangir Khoja's forces took six Hui Muslims as slaves (Nian Dengxi, Liu Qifeng, Wu Erqi, Ma Tianxi, Tian Guan and Li Shengzhao) and sold them in Central Asia. They escaped and returned to China via Russia.Template:Sfn

When the Khojas attacked in 1826 and 1830, the Yarkand, Kashgar, Dungan and merchant militia fought them off. The Dungan were also part of the Qing Green Standard Army.[1]

Ishaqi (Black Mountain) Khoja followers helped the Qing oppose Jahangir Khoja's Afaqi (White Mountain) Khoja faction. The Black Mountain Khojas (Qarataghliks) supported the Qing against the White Mountain (Aqtaghlik) Khoja invasions.Template:Sfn The Qing–Black Mountain Khoja alliance helped bring down Jahangir Khoja's White Mountain rule.Template:Sfn

Chinese rule in Xinjiang was supported by the Black Mountain Turkic Muslims, called Khitai-parast (China worshipers, or followers of China), who were based in Artush. The White Mountain Aqtaghlik Khojas, opposed to China, were called sayyid parast (sayyid worshipers or followers, based in Kucha) and guided by Turkic nationalism. The Qarataghliks did not say bismillah before eating melons; the Aqtaghliks did, and there was no intermarriage between the factions.[2]Template:Sfn

Ishaqi followers mounted opposition to forces backed by Jahangir Khoja's Kokandi, and the Ishaqis aided Qing loyalists. Ishaqi followers opposed the "debauchery" and "pillage" of Afaqi rule under Jahangir Khoja, and allied with Qing loyalists against Jahangir.[3]

In the Kokandi and Jahangir invasions, the Qing were assisted by the Black Hat Muslims (the Ishaqiyya) against the Afaqiyya.Template:Sfn The Kokandi spread false information that the local Turkic Muslims were conspiring with them, which reached the ears of Chinese merchants in Kashgar.Template:Sfn

Yarkand was besieged by the Kokandi. The Chinese merchants and Qing military declined to battle openly, taking cover inside fortifications and killing Kokandi troops with guns and cannons. Yarkand's Turkic Muslims helped the Qing capture or drive off the remaining Kokandis, and some prisoners were executed after capture.Template:Sfn

Kokandi-supported Khoja of the White Mountain faction first launched his attack on the Qing in 1825, killing Chinese civilians and the small Chinese military force as he attacked Kashgar. They killed the Turkic Muslim pro-Chinese Governor of Kashgar, and the Jahangir took Kashgar in 1826. In Ili, the Chinese called up a large army of nomads from the northern and eastern steppes and 80,000 Dungans to fight Jahangir.Template:Sfn Jahangir brought his 50,000-strong army to fight them at Maralbashi, and the armies began the fight by challenging each other to a duel between two champions of their armies. A Kokandi with a rifle and sword was the champion of Jahangir, and a Kalmyk archer was the champion of the Chinese. The Kalmyk killed the Kokandi with an arrow, and the two armies then joined in battle. The Chinese army overwhelmed Jahangir's, which tried to escape.

Jahangir hid, but was turned over to the Chinese by the Kyrgyz; he was tortured and put to death. Yusuf, Jahangir's brother, invaded the Qing in 1830 and besieged Kashgar.Template:Sfn The Qing and Kokandi negotiated an end to the conflict. The Aksakal was the Kokandi representative in Kashgar after China and Kokand signed a treaty ending the conflict.[4]

The Chinese used 3,000 criminals to help crush the 1846 Revolt of the Seven Khojas, and the local Turki Muslims refused to help the Khojas because the Khojas had abducted the Chinese-supporting Muslims' daughters and wives. Wali Khan, known for his brutality and tyranny, led a rebellion in 1855 and began by attacking Kashgar.Template:Sfn The Chinese were massacred, and the daughters and wives of subordinates of the loyalist Turki governor were seized. Adolf Schlagintweit, a German, was beheaded by Wali Khan and his head put on display. Wali Khan would kill courtiers under the flimsiest of pretexts. If a call to prayer was too loud, he would kill the muezzin. A 12,000-strong Chinese army defeated Wali Khan's army of 20,000 in a 77-day battle. Wali Khan was abandoned by his "allies" because of his cruelty; the Chinese inflicted harsh reprisals on his forces, and had his son and father-in-law executed.Template:Sfn The Uyghurs of Altishahr despised Wali Khan's forcible introduction of Kokandi culture, his suppression of Kashgari culture and his brutality.Template:Sfn

Template:AnchorThe khojas

The disagreement with Bukhara which broke out soon after Madali's accessionTemplate:Clarify ended peaceably in 1825; the following year he joined Jihangyr Hodja (from the Appak family) to recover Kashgar, from whose throne his ancestors were driven by the Chinese in 1756. After a few skirmishes Madali gave himself the title of Ghazi (conqueror of the infidels); following a 12-day campaign he returned home, leaving part of his troops to help Jihangyr Hodja (who took Kashgar) and making himself temporary master of the country. A Chinese army of 70,000 soon arrived, and in 1827 the Khokandians withdrew.

In 1828–29 another attempt was made on Kashgar by Yusnf Hodja, Jihangyr's elder brother. Madali Khan again supplied his army and his best generals. Again Kashgar, Yangy-Hissar and Yarkand were taken, and again the Khokandians withdrew at the approach of a Chinese army. Yusuf Hodja escaped to Khokand, where he died. Years later, thousands of Kashgarians were massacred by the Chinese; 70,000 took refuge in Khokand, where they lived in the city of Shahri-Khana (built by Omar Khan) and on the Syr Darya below Hodjent.[5]

The Muslims of eastern Turkistan follow the Naqshbandi tariqa, headed ny a pir (generally a descendant of Muhammed). He has a body of disciples (murid), consisting of a lay chief and those descended from the people originally converted (or recruited) by his ancestor's preaching. He also has a band of disciples known as khalifa.[6]

In 1828–29, Yusuf Khoja (Yehanghir's brother) requested permission from Madali to reconquer his fatherland. The khan gave him royal robes and twenty-five thousand men, and accompanied them to Ush. Twenty days after leaving Ush they reached a Chinese frontier stations, garrisoned by about one hundred fifty men, which they assaulted until the garrison destroyed the station.

Ishak Beg withdrew with his supporters to another Chinese fort, which contained about thirteen hundred men, and besieged it. Four months after Yusuf left the capital, word arrived that a 100,000-strong Chinese army had reached Faizabad.Template:Sfn In 1846, there were new disturbances in Kashgar.[7]

In 1825, Jehangir (grandson of the prince of Kashgar) attempted to regain Turkestan; winter ended the campaign. The next year, the khan of Kokand made an incursion as far as Hotan. Jehangir went to Hotan from Yarkand, but was repelled by about 60,000 Chinese troops. The khoja's followers fled towards Badakhshan, and he and his family were killed.[8]

In 1842 the Khan of Khokand, Mahomed Ali, died and was succeeded by Muhammad Khudayar Khan. Although Khudayar Khan was reluctant to fight, the Khokandian chiefs went to Jehangir's seven sons and persuaded them to make another attempt to drive the Chinese out of Central Asia. The seven khojas issued a proclamation in the winter of 1845-46, rallied their adherents and made allies of the Kirghiz tribes.

The Muslim forces advanced to Kashgar and besieged it for two weeks. They gained part of the town, but the citadel held out until the Chinese expelled the invaders.[9][10][11]

A decade later another attempt was made by Wali Khan, who occupied Kashgar in 1857 and massacred the Chinese. Imposing Islam on the population, he forbade plaiting the hair and murdered German traveler Adolf Schlagintweit. The Chinese army attacked, and the khoja fled back to Andijan.[12]


The Turkistan Islamic Party mentioned the war in issue 1 of its magazine, Islamic Turkistan, in an article about the region's history.[13] and in issue 19 of its magazine, Islamic Turkistan, in an article about the region's history.[14]

See also




Cite error: <ref> tags exist, but no <references/> tag was found