Nasr al-Din (Yunnan)

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For other uses, see Nasir al-Din.
Nasr al-Din
Governor of Yunnan (Karadjang)
In office
1279–1292
Preceded by Sayyid Ajjal Shams al-Din Omar
Succeeded by Husayn (Hussein or Hussain)[1]
Personal details
Born Bukhara
Died 1292
Yunnan
Nationality Khwarezmian
Children twelve sons in total, the names of five of which are given in his biography, viz. 伯顏察兒 Bo-yen ch'a-r, 烏馬兒 Wu-ma-r, 答法兒 Dje-fa-r (Djafar), 忽先 Hu-sien (Hussein) and 沙的 Sha-di (Saadi)
Religion Islam
Military service
Allegiance Yuan dynasty
Battles/wars Mongol invasion of Burma, Mongol invasions of Vietnam

Nasr al-Din (Persian: نصرالدین‎; Chinese: 納速剌丁, pinyin: Na-su-la-Ding) (died 1292) was a provincial governor of Yunnan during the Yuan dynasty, and was the son of Sayyid Ajjal Shams al-Din Omar.

Life[edit]

Nasr al-Din was of Central Asian origin, being a Muslim Khwarezmian from Bukhara. His father was the prominent leader Sayyid Ajjal Shams al-Din Omar. When Genghis Khan attacked the city during the war between the Khwarizmi shah and the Mongols, Sayyid Ajjal Shams al-Din Omar's family surrendered to him. Sayyid Ajjal served the court of the Mongol Empire. Later, Sayyid Ajjal was in charge of Imperial finances in 1259,[2] sent to Yunnan by Kublai Khan after conquering the Kingdom of Dali in 1274.

In the thirteenth century the influence of individual Muslims was immense, especially that of the Seyyid Edjell Shams ed-Din Omar, who served the Mongol Khans till his death in Yunnan AD 1279. His family still exists in Yunnan, and has taken a prominent part in Muslim affairs in China.[3]

Nasr al-Din is identified as the ancestor of many Chinese Hui lineages in Yunnan's Panthay Hui population as well as in Ningxia and Fujian provinces.

A Hui legend in Ningxia links four surnames common in the region - Na, Su, La, and Ding - with Nasr al-Din (Nasruddin), who "divided" their ancestor's name (Nasulading, in Chinese) among themselves.[4][5] The Ding family of Chendai, Fujian claims descent from him.[6] The Ding family has branches in Taiwan, the Philippines, and Malaysia among the diaspora Chinese communities there, no longer practicing Islam but still maintaining a Hui identity.

Marco Polo claimed that Nasr al-Din was a commander in the 1277 Mongol invasion of Burma and defeated the Burmese in the war.[7] Marco Polo recorded his name as "Nescradin".[8][9] This claim by Marco Polo was false.[citation needed]

The widspread presence of Islam in Yunnan is due to Nasir Al-Din and his father Sayyid Ajall.[1]

Nasr became Yunnan's governor after his father, the first governor of Yunnan, died.[10] served in his office from 1279 to 1284.[11] He was sent to participate in the 1284 Mongol invasion of Burma, which caused his term as governor to end.[12]

Nasr also battled the native "Gold Teeth" people in Yunnan, and the Vietnamese during the Mongol invasion of Annam. Marco Polo had been wrong in claiming that Nasr had participated in the 1277 attack on Burma, Nasr fought in the 1284 invasion in reality. He was transferred to Shaanxi and appointed as its governor.[13]

His service as Governor there ended in his death in 1292, when he was charged wiyh corruption and executed.[14] Husayn, a brother of his, then became the next governor.(In Yunnan)[15]

Family[edit]

Nasr al-Din's father was the Governor of Yunnan, Sayyid Ajjal Shams al-Din Omar, whose Chinese name was Sai-dien-ch'i. Nasr al-Din's name in Chinese was "Na-su-la-ding".

Five sons of Sai-dien-ch'i are mentioned, viz. 納速剌丁 Na-su-la-ding (Nasr-uddin), 哈散 Hasan (Hassan), 忽辛 Hu-sin (Hussein), 剌丁 兀默里 Shan-su-ding wu-mo-li and 馬速忽 Ma-su-hu. All these held high offices.

Na-su-la-ding has a separate biography in the same chapter. He was governor in Yunnan, and distinguished himself in the war with the southern tribes of 交趾 Kiao-chi (Cochin-china) and 緬 Mien (Burma). He died in 1292, the father of twelve sons^ the names of five of which are given in the biography, viz. 伯顏察兒 Bo-yen ch'a-r, who had a high office, 烏馬兒 Wu-ma-r, 答法兒 Dje-fa-r (Djafar), 忽先 Hu-sien (Hussein) and 沙的 Sha-di (Saadi).

The Sai-dien-ch'i of the Chinese authors is without doubt the same personage spoken of by Rashid (D'Ohsson, torn, ii, p. 467) under the name of Sayid Edjell. According to the Persian historian, he was a native of Bokhara, and governor of Karadjang (Yunnan) when Kubilai entered the country, under the reign of Mangu. Subsequently he was appointed vizier, and in the beginning of Kubilai's reign he had charge of the finances. His son Nasruddin was appointed governor in Karadjang, and retained his position in Yunnan till his death, which Rashid, writing about A. D. 1300, says occurred five or six years before (according to the Yüan shi, Na-su-la ding died in 1292). Nasr-uddin's son Abubeker, who had the surname Bayan Fenchan (evidently the Boyen ch'a-r of the Yüan shi), was governor in Zaitun at the time Bashid wrote. He bore also his grandfather's title of Sayid Edjell, and was minister of Finance under Kubilai's successor (D'Ohsson, torn, ii, pp. 476, 507, 508). Nasr-uddin is mentioned by M. Polo, who styles him Nescradin (vol. ii, p. 66).[16][17][18]

Footnotes[edit]

  •  This article incorporates text from The preaching of Islam: a history of the propagation of the Muslim faith, by Sir Thomas Walker Arnold, a publication from 1896 now in the public domain in the United States.
  •  This article incorporates text from The Chinese people: a handbook on China ..., by Arthur Evans Moule, a publication from 1914 now in the public domain in the United States.
  •  This article incorporates text from Journal of the North-China Branch of the Royal Asiatic Society, Volume 10, by Royal Asiatic Society of Great Britain and Ireland. North-China Branch, a publication from 1876 now in the public domain in the United States.
  •  This article incorporates text from Notices of the mediaeval geography and history of central and western Asia, by E. Bretschneider, a publication from 1876 now in the public domain in the United States.
  •  This article incorporates text from Journal of the North China Branch of the Royal Asiatic Society, Volume 10, by Royal Asiatic Society of Great Britain and Ireland. North China Branch, Shanghai, Royal Asiatic Society of Great Britain and Ireland. China Branch, Shanghai Literary and Scientific Society, a publication from 1876 now in the public domain in the United States.
  1. ^ a b M. Th Houtsma (1993). First encyclopaedia of Islam: 1913–1936. BRILL. p. 847. ISBN 90-04-09796-1. Retrieved December 20, 2011. "Although Saiyid-i Adjall certainly did much for the propagation of Islam in Yunnan, it is his son Nasir al-Din to whom is ascribed the main credit for its dissemination. He was a minister and at first governed the province of Shansi : he later became governor of Yunnan where he died in 1292 and was succeeded by his brother Husain. It cannot be too strongly emphasised that the direction of this movement was from the interior, from the north. The Muhammadan colonies on the coast were hardly affected by it. On the other hand it may safely be assumed that the Muslims of Yunnan remained in constant communication with those of the northern provinces of Shensi and Kansu." 
  2. ^ Sir Thomas Walker Arnold (1896). The preaching of Islam: a history of the propagation of the Muslim faith. WESTMINSTER: A. Constable and co. p. 248. Retrieved 2011-05-29. "several Muhammadans also occupying high posts under the Mongol Khaqaans : such were 'Abdu-r Rahman, wh9o in 1244 was appointed head of the Imperial finances and allowed to farm the taxes imposed upon China 1 ; and Sayyid Ajal, a native of Bukhara, to whom Khubilay Khan, on his accession in 1259, entrusted the management of the Imperial finances ; he died in 1270, leaving a high reputation for honesty, and was succeeded by another Muhammadan named Ahmad, who on the other hand left behind him a reputation the very reverse of that of his predecessor." (Original from the University of California)
  3. ^ Arthur Evans Moule (1914). The Chinese people: a handbook on China .... LONDON : Society for Promoting Christian Knowledge, Northumberland Avenue W.C. : 43 Queen Victoria Street. E.C.: Society for promoting Christian knowledge. p. 317. Retrieved 17 July 2011. "their Mosques at Ganfu (Canton) during the T'ang dynasty (618–907 AD) is certain, and later they spread to Ch'iian-chou and to Kan-p'u, Hangchow, and perhaps to Ningpo and Shanghai. These were not preaching or proselytising inroads, but commercial enterprises, and in the latter half of the eighth century there were Moslem troops in Shensi, 3,000 men, under Abu Giafar, coming to support the dethroned Emperor in AD 756. In the thirteenth century the influence of individual Moslems was immense, especially that of the Seyyid Edjell Shams ed-Din Omar, who served the Mongol Khans till his death in Yunnan AD 1279. His family still exists in Yunnan, and has taken a prominent part in Moslem affairs in China. The present Moslem element in China is most numerous in Yunnan and Kansu; and the most learned Moslems reside chiefly in Ssuch'uan, the majority of their books being printed in the capital city, Ch'eng-tu. Kansu is perhaps the most dominantly Mohammedan province in China, and here many different sects are found, and mosques with minarets used by the orthodox muezzin calling to prayer, and in one place veiled women are met with. These, however, are not Turks or Saracens, but for the most part pure Chinese. The total Moslem population is probably under 4,000,000, though other statistical estimates, always uncertain in China, vary from thirty to ten millions; but the figures given here are the most reliable at present obtainable, and when it is remembered that Islam in China has not been to any great extent a preaching or propagandist power by" (Original from Harvard University)
  4. ^ Dillon, Michael (1999). China's Muslim Hui community: migration, settlement and sects. Routledge. p. 22. ISBN 0-7007-1026-4. 
  5. ^ ( )Meaghan Morris, Brett De Bary (2001). Meaghan Morris, Brett De Bary, ed. "Race" panic and the memory of migration. Volume 2 of Traces (Ithaca, N.Y.). Hong Kong University Press. p. 297. ISBN 962-209-561-5. Retrieved December 20, 2011. "In addition to the Muslim soldiers and officials who had arrived with the Mongol forces in Yunnan in 1253, many other Muslims settled here as well, and within 50 years the Muslim population of the region was sufficiently large to be noted by both Rashid al-Din (the Persian historian) and Marco Polo in their writings. . . Among Sayyid 'Ajall's twelve sons and numerous grandsons, many served throughout China and there are Muslim communities scattered across the country who can trace their genealogies back to him. The largest number, however, remained in Yunnan. His eldest son, Nasir al-Din (Ch. Na-su-la-ding), also held a high office in Yunnan, and is commonly credited with providing the source for traditional Han Chinese surnames that all Muslims were required by the state to adopt during the Ming period (1368–1644). In Yunnan, after Ma (the surname which derives from the transliteration of the name of the Prophet Mohammad) the most common surnames for Muslims are Na, Su, La, and Ding." 
  6. ^ Angela Schottenhammer (2008). Angela Schottenhammer, ed. The East Asian Mediterranean: Maritime Crossroads of Culture, Commerce and Human Migration. Otto Harrassowitz Verlag. p. 123. ISBN 3-447-05809-9. Retrieved 2010-06-28. 
  7. ^ Greville Stewart Parker Freeman-Grenville, Stuart C. Munro-Hay (2006). Islam: an illustrated history (illustrated, revised ed.). Continuum International Publishing Group. p. 226. ISBN 0-8264-1837-6. Retrieved 17 July 2011. "Yunnan - centuries later destined to achieve a brief autonomy as a rebellious Muslim state ~is said, after the Mongol conquest, to have been given to Sayyid Ajall Shams al-Din 'Umar as governor, who introduced Islam there. His son Nasr al-Din's victory over the king of Mien (Burma, now Myanmar) was recorded by Marco Polo (1277)" 
  8. ^ M. Th Houtsma (1993). First encyclopaedia of Islam: 1913–1936. BRILL. p. 847. ISBN 90-04-09796-1. Retrieved December 20, 2011. "Cingiz Khan took as one of his officers a man who was said to come from Bukhara and claimed to be a descendant of the Prophet, namely Shams al-Din 'Omar, known as Saiyid-i Adjall. . . with notices of his sons Nasir al-Din, the Nescradin of Marco Polo, and Husain. . . According to Fa-Hsiang, Saiyid-i Adjall was the fifth descendant of a certain Su Fei-erh (Sufair?) and 26th in line from the Prophet. . . appointed him governor of Yunnan to restore order there. He was afterwards also given the honorary title "Prince of Hsien Yang". He left five sons and nineteen grandsons. Lepage rightly doubts the authenticity of the genealogical table in Fa-Hsiang. . . According to the usual statements Saiyid-i Adjall came originally from Bukhara and governed Yunnan from 1273 till his death in 1279; he was buried in Wo-erh-to near his capital. His tomb here with its inscriptions was first discovered by the d'Ollone expedition and aroused great interest particularly aas there was a second tomb, also with inscription, in Singan-fu. It has now been ascertained that the second grave in Shensi is a cenotaph which only contained the court-dress of the dead governor. . . Among the further descendants may be mentioned Ma Chu (c. 1630–1710) (in the fourteenth generation) who was a learned scholar and published his famous work "The Magnetic Needle of Islam" in 1685; he supervised the renovation of the tomb and temple of his ancestor Saiyid-i Adjall; one of the inscriptions on the tomb is by him. The present head of the family is Na Wa-Ch'ing, Imam of a mosque in the province (d'Ollone, p. 182)" 
  9. ^ ( )E. J. van Donzel (1994). E. J. van Donzel, ed. Islamic desk reference (illustrated ed.). BRILL. p. 67. ISBN 90-04-09738-4. Retrieved December 20, 2011. "Genghis Khan took as one of his officers Shams al-Din 'Umar, known as Sayyid-i Ajall, who was said to come from Bukhara and claimed to be a descendant of the Prophet. According to the usual statements, Sayyid-i Ajall governed Yunnan from 1273 till his death in 1279. The main credit for the dissemination of Islam in Yunnan is ascribed to Sayyid-i Ajall's son, Nasir al-Din (the Nescradin of Marco Polo; d. 1292). A further descendant was Ma Chu (c. 1630–1710) who published a famous work, called "The Magnetic Needle of Islam"." 
  10. ^ (Original from the University of Virginia)Institute of Muslim Minority Affairs, Jāmiʻat al-Malik ʻAbd al-ʻAzīz. Maʻhad Shuʻūn al Aqallīyat al-Muslimah (1986). Journal Institute of Muslim Minority Affairs, Volumes 7-8. The Institute. p. 385. Retrieved December 20, 2011. "On his death he was succeeded by his eldest son, Nasir al-Din (Ch. Na-su-la-ting, the "Nescradin" of Marco Polo), who governed Yunnan between 1279 and I284. Whilst Arab and South Asian Muslims, pioneers of the maritime expansion of Islam in the Bay of Bengal, must have visited the" 
  11. ^ (Original from Indiana University)Institute of Muslim Minority Affairs (1986). Journal, Volume 7. King Abdulaziz University. Retrieved December 20, 2011. "Nasir al-Din (Ch. Na-su-la-ting, the "Nescradin" of Marco Polo), who governed Yunnan between 1279 and 12844. Whilst Arab and South Asian Muslims, pioneers of the maritime expansion of Islam in the Bay of Bengal, must have visited the" 
  12. ^ ( )Thant Myint-U (2011). Where China Meets India: Burma and the New Crossroads of Asia. Macmillan. ISBN 1-4668-0127-1. Retrieved December 20, 2011. "In this way, Yunnan became known to the Islamic world. When Sayyid Ajall died in 1279 he was succeeded by his son Nasir al-Din who governed for five years and led the invasion of Burma. His younger brother became the Transport Commissioner and the entire family entrenched their influence." 
  13. ^ ( )Stephen G. Haw (2006). Marco Polo's China: a Venetian in the realm of Khubilai Khan. Volume 3 of Routledge studies in the early history of Asia (illustrated ed.). Psychology Press. p. 164. ISBN 0-415-34850-1. Retrieved December 20, 2011. "Nasir al-Din (Nasulading) was the eldest son of Sa'id Ajall Shams al-Din (see Chapter 7) and followed his father in holding high office in the government of Yunnan. He led campaigns to subjugate various peoples of the province, including the Gold Teeth, and also commanded the invasion of Mien and took part in fighting in Annam. He was rewarded with titles and gifts of money for his prowess. In 1291, he was moved to the government of Shaanxi province, but died of illness the following year (YS: liezhuan 12, 1936). He did not, in fact, command the Mongol army that defeated the invasion by the King of Mien in 1277, as Marco state (MP/Lathan: 185; MP/Hambis: 310). He did, however, lead the attack on Mien immediately afterwards that followed up the defeat of the King's army (see Chapter 7)." 
  14. ^ Forbes, Andrew; Henley, David. Traders of the Golden Triangle. Cognoscenti Books. p. 284. ISBN 1300701463. Retrieved December 20, 2011. 
  15. ^ ( )Raphael Israeli (2002). Islam in China: religion, ethnicity, culture, and politics. Lexington Books. p. 284. ISBN 0-7391-0375-X. Retrieved December 20, 2011. "Sayyid Adjall probably did much for the spread of Islam in Yunnan, but it is his son Nasir al-Din who is given the main credit for its spread there. The latter had been governor of Shenxi, and when he died in Yunnan as governor there in 1292, he was succeeded by his brother Husayn. Other sons of Sayyid Adjall and their sons in turn hold high office under the Yuan emperors, and the family remained famous in Chinese life. Thus the famous scholar Ma Zhu (Mazhu) (c. 1630–1710) supervised the renovation" 
  16. ^ (Original from Harvard University)Royal Asiatic Society of Great Britain and Ireland. North-China Branch (1876). Journal of the North-China Branch of the Royal Asiatic Society, Volume 10. NEW SERIES No. X. SHANGHAI: Printed At The "CELESTIAL EMPIBE" Office 10-HANKOW BOAD—10.: The Branch. p. 122. Retrieved December 20, 2011. "from which we learn that he submitted to Chinhiz when the latter waged war in western Asia, and entered his life-guard. Under Ogotai and Mangu khans he was governor, and held other offices. Kubilai khan appointed him minister (see also the list of the ministers, in the Yuan shi, chap. cxii). He died in Yunnan, where he had been governor. Five sons of Sai-dien-ch'i are mentioned, viz. Na-su-la-ding (Nasr-uddin), Ha-san (Hassan), Hu-sin (Hussein), Shan-su-ding su-mo-li and Ma-su-hu. All these held high offices. Nasu-la-ding has a separate biography in the same chapter. He was governor in Yunnan, and distinguished himself in the war with the southern tribes of Kiao-chi (Cochin-china) and Mien (Burma). He died in 1292, the father of twelve sons, the names of five of which are given in the biography, viz. Bo-yen ch'a-r, who had a high office, Wu-ma-r, Dje-fa-r (Djafar), Hu-sien (Hussein) and Sha-di (Saadi). The Sai-dien-ch'i of the Chinese authors is without doubt the same personage spoken of by liashid (D'Ohsson, torn, ii, p. 467) under the name of Sayid Edjell. According to the Persian historian, he was a native of Bokhara, and governor of Karadjang (Yunnan) when Kubilai entered the country, under the reign of Mangu. Subsequently he was appointed vizier, and in the beginning of Kubilai's reign ho had charge of the finances. His son Nasruddin was appointed governor in Karadjang, and retained his position in Yunnan till his death, which Rashid, writing about A. D. 1300, says occurred five or six years before (according to the Yuan shi, Na-su-la ding died in 1292). Nasr-uddin's son Ahubeker, who had the surname Bayan Fenchan (evidently the Boyen ch'a-r of the Yuan shi), was governor in Zaitun at the time Bashid wrote. He bore also his grandfather's title of Sayid Edjell, and was minister of Finance under Kubilai's successor (D'Ohsson, torn, ii, pp. 476, 507, 508). Nasr-uddin is mentioned by M. Polo, who styles him Nescradin (vol. ii, p. 66). 44. In chap, exxiii of the Yuan shi, we find the biography of A-la-icu-r-sze, who is stated there to have been a Hui-ho and a native of Ba-wa-r (probably Baurd a city of Khorassan of which I shall speak further on, in Part VI). He was commander of a thousand in his own country. When Chinghiz arrived at Ba-wa-r, he surrendered and entered his army. His son A-la-wu-ding (Alai-eddin) was a valiant warrior in Kubilai's army. He died in 1292, at the age of a hundred and two." 
  17. ^ (Original from Harvard University )E. Bretschneider (1876). Notices of the mediaeval geography and history of central and western Asia. London: Trübner & co. p. 48. Retrieved December 20, 2011. "There is a long biography of Sai-dien-ch'i, from which we learn that he submitted to Chinhiz when the latter waged war in western Asia, and entered his life-guard. Under Ogotai and Mangu khans he was governor, and held other offices. Kubilai khan appointed him minister (see also the list of the ministers, in the Yuan shi, chap. cxii). He died in Yunnan, where he had been governor. Five sons of Sai-dien-ch'i are mentioned, viz. Na-su-to-ding (Nasr-uddin), Ha-san (Hassan), Hu-sin (Hussein), Shan-su-ding wu-moli and Ma-su-hu. All these held high offices. Na-su-la-ding has a separate biography in the same chapter. Ha was governor in Yunnan, and distinguished himself in the war with the southern tribes of 3jg g£ Kiad-chi (Cochin-china) and jgg Mien (Burma). He died in 1292, the father of twelve sons, the names of five of which are given in the biography, viz. Bo-yen ch'a-r, who had a high office, Wu-ma-r, Dje-fa-r (Djafar), Hu-sien (Hussein) and Sha-di (Saadi). The Sai-dien-ch'i of the Chinese authors is without doubt the same personage spoken of by Hashid (D'Ohsson, tom, ii, p. 467) under the name of Sayid EdjelI. According to the Persian historian, he was a native of Bokhara, and governor of Karadjang (Yunnan) when Kubilai entered the country, under the reign of Mangu. Subsequently he was appointed vizier, and in the beginning of Kubilai's reign he had charge of the finances. His son Nasruddin was appointed governor in Karadjang, and retained his position in Yunnan till his death, which Rashid, writing about A. D. 1300, says occurred five or six years before (according to the Yuan shi, Na-su-la ding died in 1292). Nasr-uddin's son Abubeker, who had the surname Bayan Fenchan (evidently the Boyen ch'a-r of the Yuan shi), was governor in Zaitun at the time Rashid wrote. He bore also his grandfather's title of Sayid Edjell, and was minister of Finance under Kubilai's successor (D'Ohsson, tom, ii, pp. 476, 507, 508). Nasr-uddin is mentioned by M. Polo, who styles him Nescradin (vol. ii, p. 66)." 
  18. ^ (Original from the University of Michigan )Royal Asiatic Society of Great Britain and Ireland. North China Branch, Shanghai, Royal Asiatic Society of Great Britain and Ireland. China Branch, Shanghai Literary and Scientific Society (1876). Journal of the North China Branch of the Royal Asiatic Society, Volume 10. NEW SERIES No. X. SHANGHAI: Printed At The "CELESTIAL EMPIBE" Office 10-HANKOW BOAD—10.: Kelly & Walsh. p. 122. Retrieved December 20, 2011.