Alp Tigin

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Emir of Ghazna
Reign 962-963
Predecessor Lawik dynasty
Successor Abu Ishaq Ibrahim
Died 963
Religion Islam

Alp Tigin, (Persian: الپتگین‎; Alp Tegīn, Turkic for brave prince) sometimes spelled as Alptigin, was the first Turkic emir of Ghazna between 962 to 963 after replacing the Lawiks, a native ruling dynasty.[1] A Turk by origin or ethnicity, he is believed to have ruled this new territory as an extension of the Persian Samanid Empire in the north.[1] He ruled for around 15 years and died in 365 AH.[2]

Before becoming governor of Ghazni, Alp Tigin was a general from Balkh (modern-day Afghanistan) who had risen from a mercenary to a general of the Governor of Khorasan. In a political fallout over succession of the Samanids he crossed the Hindu Kush mountains southward and captured Ghazni, located strategically between Kabul and Kandahar in modern Afghanistan, and thereby establishing his own kingdom, which, however, was still under Samanid authority.[1] He was succeeded by his son, Abu Ishaq Ibrahim.


When the Samanid Emir 'Abd al-Malik I died in 961 CE, it created a succession crisis between 'Abd al-Malik I's brothers. He and Abu al-Hasan Simjuri, as Samanid generals, competed with each other for the governorship of Khorasan and control of the Samanid empire by placing on the throne emirs they could dominate. Abu al-Hasan died in 961, but a new rival Fa'iq rose and eventually Mansur I was elected by the court ministers, and having backed the wrong candidate Alp Tigin retired from Khorasan to Ghazni, where he dispossessed a local ruling family, thus starting the Ghaznavid list in 962 CE. Coins of the era however show that he still nominally acknowledged the Samanid authority.[1]

He was succeeded in 975 briefly by his son Abu Ishaq Ibrahim. During his son's rule, important government affairs were handled to Sabuktigin. Upon the death of Abu Ishaq in 977 CE, Sabuktigin became the new governor of Ghazni, and also laid foundation to the Ghaznavids.[1] Later Sabuktigin was married to Alp Tigin's daughter.[2]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ a b c d e Encyclopædia Iranica, "Ghaznavids", by C. Edmund Bosworth. December 15, 2001. Accessed July 3, 2012.
  2. ^ a b Tareekh-e-Firishta, by Mohammad Qasim Firishta, written in 1611 CE, Accessed 2013 CE

External links[edit]

Preceded by:
Lawik dynasty
Emir of Ghazna
Followed by:
Abu Ishaq Ibrahim