Kadi Burhan al-Din

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to navigation Jump to search

Kadi Ahmad Burhan al-Din (died 1398) was an Oghuz vizier (high-ranking minister) and atabeg (a noble custodian of the crown prince) to the Eretnid rulers of Anatolia. In 783 AH (1381–1382), he took over Eretnid lands and claimed the title of sultan for himself. He is most often referred to by the title kadi, or Islamic judge, his first position under the Eretnids.

Origin and early career[edit]

He was born on 8 January 1345 in Kayseri. His father, Muhammad Shams al-Din, like his grandfather and great-grandfather, was a kadi, descended from the Oghuz Turkish tribe of Salur.[1] His father gave him his first education, which he furthered in Egypt, Damascus, and Aleppo. When he returned to his hometown in 1364/65, one year after his father's death, the local ruler, the Eretnid Giyath al-Din Muhammad, so esteemed his education and character that he gave the young man not only the post of kadi, but also the hand of his daughter.[1]

Despite this unusual favour, Burhan al-Din secretly participated in the rebellion of the local magnates (beys) in which Giyath al-Din was killed in 1365.[1] The latter's successors were incompetent, and Burhan al-Din rose further to the posts of vezir and atabeg, before proclaiming himself as the sovereign sultan of the Eretnid domains in 1381/82.[1]


The Eretnid sultanate he inherited had a large Turkmen and Mongol population but also contained many of the older, established urban centers of the Seljuks of Rum and Ilkhanid Anatolia. The sultanate resembled these older states more than the Turkmen beyliks then ascendant in other parts of Anatolia.[2]

The Kadi’s eighteen-year rule was not peaceful. He challenged the Turkmen Karamanids and Beylik of Erzincan and twice fought Kötürüm Bayezid, Jandarid bey of Kastamonu. In 1387, he was defeated by the Mamluks of Egypt. The Ottoman Sultan Bayezid I, accompanied by his vassal the Byzantine Emperor Manuel II Palaeologos, campaigned against Burhan al-Din in 1391, but was defeated at the Battle of Kırkdilim.[3] He met his end in 1398 at the hands of the Ak Koyunlu and was succeeded by his son Zayn al-‘Abidin, who ruled for a short time between 1398 and 1399.[4] His türbe, or mausoleum, survives in Sivas.[5]


He was an outstanding poet, who wrote primarily in Persian.[6] Qāżi Aḥmad Borhān al-Din played significant role in the development of the Azeri Turkish poetry.[7][8]


'Aziz ibn Ardashir Astarbadi, a companion of Kadi Burhan al-Din, wrote a Persian language history of his rule called Bazm-u Razm which was edited by M. F. Köprülüzade in 1928. An analysis and commentary has been provided by H. H. Giesecke, Das Werk des ‘Azīz ibn Ardašīr Astarābādi (Leipzig, 1940).


  1. ^ a b c d Rypka, J. (1960). "Burhãn al-Dīn". In Gibb, H. A. R.; Kramers, J. H.; Lévi-Provençal, E.; Schacht, J.; Lewis, B.; Pellat, Ch. The Encyclopaedia of Islam, New Edition, Volume I: A–B. Leiden: E. J. Brill. pp. 1327–1328. ISBN 90-04-08114-3.
  2. ^ Claude Cahen, Pre-Ottoman Turkey: A general survey of the material and spiritual culture and history c. 1071-1330 (New York: Taplinger, 1968), pp. 362-3.
  3. ^ Elizabeth A. Zachariadou, "Manuel II Palaeologos on the Strife between Bāyezīd and Kādī Burhān Al-Dīn Ahmad" Bulletin of the School of Oriental and African Studies, Vol. 43, No. 3. (1980), p. 471.
  4. ^ Stephen Album, A Checklist of Islamic Coins, 2nd ed. (1998), p. 114.
  5. ^ Bernard McDonagh, Blue Guide Turkey, 2nd ed. (London: A&C Black, 1995), p. 585.
  6. ^ Cahen, Pre-Ottoman Turkey, p. 363.
  7. ^ electricpulp.com. "AZERBAIJAN x. Azeri Turkish Literature – Encyclopaedia Iranica". www.iranicaonline.org. Retrieved 23 April 2018.
  8. ^ https://www.princeton.edu/~turkish/aatt/azeri.htm, American Association of Teachers of Turkic Languages