Malek Ashraf

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Malek Ashraf (ملک اشرف), (died 1357) was a Chupanid ruler of northwestern Iran during the 14th century. He was the last of the Chupanids to possess a significant influence within Persia. He was the son of Timurtash.

Malek Asraf distinguished himself while serving under his brother Hasan Kucek, defeating an army of Khurasan sent by Togha Temur against Hasan in 1341. He then became embroiled in the conflict with the Injuids over Shiraz. Malek Asraf received a request for assistance by the Injuid Abu Ishaq against the former's cousin Pir Hosayn, following which Malek defeated Pir Hosayn in August 1342, allowing Abu Ishaq to temporarily regain control of Shiraz.

Upon the death of Hasan Kucek in 1343, the Chobanid lands were at first split between Malek and his uncles Yagi Basti and Surgan. However, the division did not last, and Malek defeated Surgan in battle. After having Yagi Basti murdered, he again triumphed over Surgan in 1345. Having unified the Chobanid lands, he placed a puppet (Anusirvan-i 'Adel) on the throne and ruled in his name.

Malek soon became embroiled with the Jalayirids, under the rule of Hasan Buzurg. Malek sent his brother, Malek Astar, to capture Baghdad in the first half of 1347, but the campaign failed with heavy losses. In 1350 he also attempted to wrest Fars from the Injuids, but failed to take Isfahan and was forced to settle for tribute.

During his time as ruler, Malek became increasingly violent and quickly grew unpopular with many of his subjects. This, combined with the spread of the bubonic plague in the region, prompted many citizens to leave the area. His hated rule was finally ended when Jani Beg of the Golden Horde invaded in 1357. Malek fled, but was captured and hung in Tabriz, to the joy of the local populace. Malek's mother and children were taken by Jani Beg upon his departure from the region. His son Temürtas was killed by Hasan Buzurg's successor Shaikh Uvais in 1360, while his daughter Soltanbakt was mentioned as having been in Shiraz. Malek's death signified the end of Chobanid rule in Persia.