Sultan Satuq Bughra Khan

From Kazakhstan Encyclopedia

Hazrat Sultan Satuq Bughra Khan Ghazi (حضرت سلطان ستوق بغرا خان غازي)[1] (Template:Lang-ug (also spelled Satuk; died 955[2]) was a Kara-Khanid Khan; in 934, he was one of the first Turkic rulers to convert to Islam,[3] which prompted his Kara-Khanid subjects to convert.[4]

There are different historical accounts of the Satuq's life with some variations. Sources include Mulhaqāt al-Surāh (Supplement to the "Surah") by Jamal Qarshi (b. 1230/31) who quoted an earlier 11th-century text Tarikh-i Kashghar (History of Kashgar) by Abū-al-Futūh 'Abd al-Ghāfir ibn al-Husayn al-Alma'i, an account by Ottoman historian known as the Munajjimbashi, as well as a fragment of a manuscript in Chagatai, Tazkirah Bughra Khan (Memory of Bughra Khan).


Satuq was said to have come from Artush, identified in the 10th century book Hudud al-'alam (The Limits of the World) as a "populous village of the Yaghma", the Yaghma being one of the Turkish tribes that formed the Karakhanids.[5]

Conversion to Islam

File:Sutuq Bughraxan Qebrisi.JPG
Tomb of Sultan Satuk Bughra Khan, the first Muslim khan, in Artush, Xinjiang

According to an account by Munajjimbashi, based on a tradition ultimately stemming from a Karakhanid emissary in 1105 to the Abbasid court, he was the first of the khans to convert to Islam under the influence of a faqīh from Bukhara.[5] According to Tazkirah Bughra Khan, Satuq converted to Islam when he was twelve.[6] He was taught about Islam by Abu-an-Nasr from Bukhara. Nasr befriended the King of Kashgar, Satuq's father (or step-father, or uncle, varies according to different accounts), and was granted special dispensation to build a mosque in the town of Artush just outside Kashgar. Here Satuq would often come to watch the caravans arrive.[7] When Satuq saw Nasr and other Muslims observing their daily prayers he became curious and was instructed by them in the Islamic religion.

Satuq kept his faith secret from the king, but convinced his friends to convert. However, when the king heard that Satuq had become a Muslim, he demanded that Satuq build a temple to show that he hadn't converted. Nasr advised Satuq that he should pretend to build a temple but with the intention of building a mosque in his heart.[8] The king, after seeing Satuq starting to build the temple, then stopped him, believing that he had not converted. Afterwards, Satuq obtained a fatwa which permitted him in effect to commit patricide, and killed his father, after which he conquered Kashgar.[5]

Religious wars

Satuq was variously stated as twelve and a half or twenty-five when he became khan,[7][9] and he began to wage religious war against non-Muslims. According to Tazkirah Bughra Khan, "as far as the River Amu that is before Balkh on this side towards sun-rising as far as the place called "Karak" on the north as far as the place called "Qarà-qurdum" (the said) Sultan, having converted the infidels to Islam by his sword, established the laws and religion of the Holy Muhammad, the Messenger of God, and gave them currency."[10]


Satuq Boghra Khan died in 955 according to Jamal Qarshi, and was buried in a mausoleum that can still be visited in Artush today. He was said to have four sons and three daughters.


In an article published in the 19th edition of the Turkistan Islamic Party's magazine "Islamic Turkistan", the Syrian Ahrar ash-Sham member Abdurazak al Mahdi praised Sultan Satuq Bughra Khan's conversion to Islam and Qutayba bin Muslim's conquest.[11]

See also


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