From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to navigation Jump to search
Miniature of Barkiyaruq
Sultan of the Seljuk Empire
PredecessorMahmud I
SuccessorMalik-Shah II
Died1105 (aged 25)
IssueMalik-Shah II
HouseHouse of Seljuq
FatherMalik-Shah I
ReligionSunni Islam

Abu al-Muzaffar Rukn ud-Din Barkyaruq ibn Malikshah (Persian: ابو المظفر رکن الدین رکن الدین برکیارق بن ملکشاه‎), better known as Barkyaruq. The Turkic word Berk Yaruq means (firm, unwavering light),[1] was the sultan of the Seljuk Empire from 1092 to 1105.

Early life[edit]

Barkiyaruq was born in 1079/1080,[2] the oldest son of Malik Shah I[3] and a Seljuk princess. He had five brothers; Mahmud I, Ahmed Sanjar, Mehmed I, Dawud, and Ahmad.

During his youth, the succession to the Seljuk Sultanate was complicated by the death of two of his half-brothers: Dawud (died 1082) and Ahmad (died 1088), whom both were sons of the Kara-Khanid Princess Turkan Khatun, she also had a son named Mahmud (born 1087) which she wanted to succeed his father, while the vizier Nizam al-Mulk and most of the Seljuk army was in favor of Barkiyaruq.[4] Turkan Khatun then allied with Taj al-Mulk Abu'l Ghana'im to try to remove Nizam from his post. Nizam was assassinated in 1092, which made Barkiyaruq lose a powerful supporter. Barkiyaruq's father eventually died some months later. Turkhan Khatun then took the opportunity of his death, and with the support of Taj al-Mulk, put her 4 year old son, Mahmud I, on the throne, while Barkiyaruq was proclaimed as Sultan of the Seljuk Empire at Ray by the faction of the late vizier Nizam al-Mulk.


However, Mahmud I was not the only Seljuk claimant to the throne, several other Seljuk princes such as Arslan-Argun, Mehmed I, and Tutush I, also claimed the throne.[5] Taj al-Mulk was later assassinated by the ghilmans of Nizam al-Mulk,[6] while Turkhan Khatun and her son Mahmud I died in 1094. One year later, Barkiyaruq clashed with Tutush I at Ray, where Barkiyaruq managed to emerge victorious and kill Tutush I along with his supporter Ali ibn Faramurz.[7]

In 1105, Barkiyaruq died in Borujerd, and was succeeded by his son Malik Shah II.

Affairs of the Empire During His Reign[edit]

During Barkiyaruq's short reign, he had five viziers, three of them were the children of Nizam al-Mulk: Izz al-Mulk Husain, Mu'ayyid al-Mulk and Fakhr al-Mulk.[8] The two other viziers were Abd-al-Dihistani Jalil and Khatir al-Mulk Abu Mansur Maybudi. During his reign, Barkiyaruq mostly focused on a way to find money to keep the expenses of the state.


  1. ^ Bosworth 2001, p. 305.
  2. ^ Bosworth 1968, pp. 220-221.
  3. ^ Van Donzel 1994, p. 464.
  4. ^ Bosworth 1968, pp. 68-80.
  5. ^ Lewis 2003, p. 51.
  6. ^ Bosworth 1968, p. 57.
  7. ^ Bosworth 1968, p. 38.
  8. ^ Bosworth 1968, p. 105.


  • Bosworth, C. E. (1968). "The Political and Dynastic History of the Iranian World (A.D. 1000–1217)". In Frye, R. N. The Cambridge History of Iran, Volume 5: The Saljuq and Mongol periods. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press. pp. 1–202. ISBN 0-521-06936-X.
  • Bosworth, C.E. (2001). Notes on Some Turkish Names in Abu 'l-Faḍl Bayhaqī's Tārīkh-i Masʿūdī. Oriens. Vol. 36. Brill.
  • Lewis, Bernard (2003). The Assassins: A Radical Sect in Islam. Basic Books Inc.
  • Van Donzel, E. J. (1994). Islamic Desk Reference. E.J.Brill.

Preceded by
Mahmud I of Great Seljuk
Sultan of Seljuq Empire
Succeeded by
Malik Shah II