Abd al-Malik I (Samanid emir)

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Abd al-Malik I
Emir of the Samanids
Coin of Abd al-Malik I
Reign 954–961
Predecessor Nuh I
Successor Mansur I
Born 944
Died 961 (aged 17)
House Samanid
Father Nuh I
Religion Sunni Islam

'Abd al-Malik I (died late 961) was emir of the Sāmānids (954–961). He was the son of Nuh I.


Nuh's death in 954 had potentially spelled disaster for the Samanid state, since the rebel Abu 'Ali Chaghani was in a good position to make good on his claims to Khurasan; he had the support of both the Buyids and the Caliph. He died before he could press his claims, however, sparing 'Abd al-Malik from having to deal with him.

Unfortunately the Samanid state became increasingly internally unstable during Abd al-Malik's reign. The governor of Khurasan, Bakr ibn Malik al-Farghani, was murdered by the amir's Turkish guard. He was replaced for some time by Muhammad ibn Ibrahim Simjuri, and Abu Ja'far 'Utbi was made vizier. However, the Turkish contingent of the military was rapidly gaining more and more power. The Turkish leader Alptigin managed to gain the governorship of Khurasan for himself, and had Muhammad ibn Abu 'Ali Muhammad Bal'ami, son of Emir Nasr's vizier, promoted to that post. The new vizier, however, fell under the influence of the Turks, further cementing their grip on power within the state.

'Abd al-Malik was not able to stop the expansion of the Turks' powers, resulting in the Turks being effectively in control by the time he died in 961 after falling from his horse at Bukhara. Following his death, Alptigin attempted to appoint his son as amir, but another group, led by Fa'iq, managed to put 'Abd al-Malik's brother Mansur I on the throne.


Preceded by
Nuh I
Amir of the Samanids
Succeeded by
Mansur I