Murad I

Coordinates: 42°42′07″N 21°06′15″E / 42.70194°N 21.10417°E / 42.70194; 21.10417
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Murad I
  • Bey
  • Emîr-i a’zam
  • Gazi
  • Han
  • Hüdavendigâr
  • Sultânü’s-selâtîn
  • Melikü’l-mülûk
Miniature of Murad I from 16th-century manuscript
Sultan of the Ottoman Empire (Padishah)
ReignMarch 1362 – 15 June 1389
SuccessorBayezid I
Born29 June 1326
Bursa,[1][2] Ottoman Beylik
Died15 June 1389(1389-06-15) (aged 62)
Kosovo field, District of Branković
Organs buried at Tomb of Murad I, Kosovo
42°42′07″N 21°06′15″E / 42.70194°N 21.10417°E / 42.70194; 21.10417
Body buried at Sultan Murad Türbe, Osmangazi, Bursa
SpousesGülçiçek Hatun
Thamara Hatun
Paşa Melek Hatun
Among others
Bayezid I
Yakub Çelebi
Nefise Hatun
Savci Bey
Murad bin Orhan
MotherNilüfer Hatun
ReligionSunni Islam
TughraMurad I's signature

Murad I (Ottoman Turkish: مراد اول; Turkish: I. Murad, Murad-ı Hüdavendigâr (nicknamed Hüdavendigâr, from Persian: خداوندگار, romanizedKhodāvandgār, lit.'the devotee of God' – meaning "sovereign" in this context); 29 June 1326 – 15 June 1389) was the sultan of the Ottoman Empire from 1362 to 1389. He was the son of Orhan Gazi and Nilüfer Hatun. Murad I came into the throne after his elder brother Süleyman Pasha's death.

Murad I conquered Adrianople, renamed it to Edirne,[2] and in 1363 made it the new capital of the Ottoman Sultanate.[3] Then he further expanded the Ottoman realm in Southern Europe by bringing most of the Balkans under Ottoman rule, and forced the princes of Serbia and Bulgaria as well as the East Roman emperor John V Palaiologos to pay him tribute.[2] Murad I administratively divided his sultanate into the two provinces of Anatolia (Asia Minor) and Rumelia (the Balkans).


According to the Ottoman sources, Murad I's titles included Bey, Emîr-i a’zam (Great Emir), Ghazi, Hüdavendigâr, Khan, Padishah, Sultânü’s-selâtîn (Sultan of sultans), Melikü’l-mülûk (Malik of maliks), while in Bulgarian and Serbian sources he was referred to as Tsar. In a Genoese document, he was referred to as dominus armiratorum Turchie (Master lord of Turks).[4]


Map of the conquests of Murad I
16th century miniature depicting Murad I

Murad fought against the powerful beylik of Karaman in Anatolia and against the Serbs, Albanians, Bulgarians and Hungarians in Europe. In particular, a Serb expedition to expel the Turks from Adrianople led by the Serbian brothers King Vukašin and Despot Uglješa, was defeated on September 26, 1371, by Murad's capable second lieutenant Lala Şâhin Paşa, the first governor (beylerbey) of Rumeli. In 1385, Sofia fell to the Ottomans. In 1386, Prince Lazar Hrebeljanović defeated an Ottoman force at the Battle of Pločnik. The Ottoman army suffered heavy casualties, and was unable to capture Niš on the way back.

Battle of Kosovo[edit]

Tomb of Sultan Murad on Kosovo field
Tomb of Sultan Murad

In 1389, Murad's army fought the Serbian Army and its allies under the leadership of Lazar at the Battle of Kosovo.

There are different accounts from different sources about when and how Murad I was assassinated. The contemporary sources mainly noted that the battle took place and that both Prince Lazar and the Sultan lost their lives in the battle. The existing evidence of the additional stories and speculations as to how Murad I died were disseminated and recorded in the 15th century and later, decades after the actual event. One Western source states that during the first hours of the battle, Murad I was assassinated by Serbian nobleman and knight Miloš Obilić by knife.[5][6] Most Ottoman chroniclers (including Dimitrie Cantemir)[7] state that he was assassinated after the finish of the battle while going around the battlefield. His older son Bayezid, who was in charge of the left wing of the Ottoman forces, took charge after that. His other son, Yakub Bey, who was in charge of the other wing, was called to the Sultan's command center tent by Bayezid, but when Yakub Bey arrived he was strangled, leaving Bayezid as the sole claimant to the throne.

In a letter from the Florentine senate (written by Coluccio Salutati) to the King Tvrtko I of Bosnia, dated 20 October 1389, Murad I's (and Yakub Bey's) killing was described. A party of twelve Serbian lords slashed their way through the Ottoman lines defending Murad I. One of them, allegedly Miloš Obilić, had managed to get through to the Sultan's tent and kill him with sword stabs to the throat and belly.[8][page needed]

Murad's internal organs were buried in Kosovo field and remain to this day on a corner of the battlefield in a location called Meshed-i Hudavendigar which has gained a religious significance for the local Muslims. It was vandalized between 1999 and 2006 and was renovated recently.[when?] His other remains were carried to Bursa, his Anatolian capital city, and were buried in a tomb at the complex built in his name.[9]


He was the son of Orhan and Nilüfer Hatun, a slave concubine who was of ethnic Greek descent.[10]


Murad I had at least seven consorts:[11][12][13][14][15]

  • Gulçicek Hatun. Slave concubine, mother of Bayezid I.
  • Fülane Hatun. Daughter of Ahî Seyyid Sultân, married Murad in 1366.
  • Paşa Melek Hatun. Daughter of Kızıl Murad Bey.
  • Fülane Hatun. Daughter of Constantine of Kostendil, she married Murad in 1372. Two of her sisters married two of Murad's sons, Bayezid I and Yakub Çelebi.
  • Kera Tamara Hatun. Bulgarian princess, daughter of Tsar Ivan Alexander of Bulgaria. Renowned for her beauty, she was forced to marry Murad when he conquered Bulgaria, in 1378.
  • Fülane Hatun. Daughter of Cândâroğlu Süleyman II Paşah and his first wife, married Murad in 1383.
  • Maria Hatun. Born Maria Paleologa, she was the daughter of the Byzantine emperor John V and his wife Helena Kantakouzene. She married Murad in 1386, while two of her sisters married Murad's sons Bayezid I and Yakub Çelebi.


Murad I had at least five sons:[11][12][14][15]

  • Bayezid I (1360 - 1403) - with Gulçiçek Hatun. Ottoman Sultan.
  • Yakub Çelebi (c. 1362 - 20 June 1389). Drowned on Bayezid's orders.
  • Savci Bey (c. 1364 - November 1385). Executed by his father after he rebelled against him. He had a son, Davud Murad Bey, who fled to Hungary when his father died.
  • Ibrahim Bey (c. 1365 - c. 1385). Buried in the Osman I mausoleum.
  • Yahşi Bey (? - before 1389) - with Gülçiçek Hatun.


Murad I had at least five daughters:[12][14][15]

  • Nefise Melek Sultan Hatun (c. 1363 - after 1402). She was married off to Karamânoğlu Alâeddîn Alî Bey in an unsuccessful attempt to stop the war. She had at least three sons by him: Mehmed II Bey (1379 - 1423), Alaeddin Ali II Bey (1381 - 1424) and Oğuz Bey (probably died in infancy). Widowed in 1397, she returned to live in Bursa, but on the death of Bayezid I returned to Karaman, where her eldest son assumed the throne.
  • Özer Hatun. Married with issue. Her grandson Mehmed Bey held a post at court in 1426.
  • Erhundi Hatun. She married Saruhânoğlu Hızır Bey before 1389.
  • Mihriali Devlet Sultan Hatun. She married Karamânoglu Turgut Bey, by whom she had a son, Mahmud Bey.
  • Nilüfer Hatun. She built a mosque at Bursa.

Further reading[edit]

16th century miniature of Murad I
  • Harris, Jonathan, The End of Byzantium. New Haven and London: Yale University Press, 2010. ISBN 978-0-300-11786-8
  • Imber, Colin (2009). The Ottoman Empire, 1300–1650: The Structure of Power (Second ed.). Basingstoke: Palgrave Macmillan. ISBN 978-1-1370-1406-1.


  1. ^ "Murad I".
  2. ^ a b c "Murad I". Encyclopædia Britannica Inc., 2014. Web. 19 Dec. 2014.
  3. ^ "In 1363 the Ottoman capital moved from Bursa to Edirne, although Bursa retained its spiritual and economic importance." Ottoman Capital Bursa. Official website of Ministry of Culture and Tourism of the Republic of Turkey. Retrieved 19 December 2014.
  4. ^ Halil İnalcık (2006). "Murad I". TDV Encyclopedia of Islam, Vol. 31 (Muhammedi̇yye – Münâzara) (in Turkish). Istanbul: Turkiye Diyanet Foundation, Centre for Islamic Studies. pp. 156–164. ISBN 978-975-389-458-6.
  5. ^ Helmolt, Ferdinand. The World's History, p.293. W. Heinemann, 1907.
  6. ^ Fine, John. The Late Medieval Balkans, p. 410. University of Michigan Press, 1994. ISBN 0-472-08260-4.
  7. ^ Cantemir, Dimitrie, History of the Growth and Decay of the Osman Ottoman Empire, London 1734.[page needed]
  8. ^ Wayne S. Vucinich, Thomas A. Emmert (1991). Kosovo: Legacy of a Medieval Battle. University of Minnesota. ISBN 9789992287552.
  9. ^ "Meşhed-i Hüdavendigar –" (in Turkish). Retrieved 2019-01-14.
  10. ^ Lowry, Heath (2003). The Nature of the Early Ottoman State. Albany: SUNY Press. p. 153. ISBN 0-7914-5636-6.
  11. ^ a b Nikolay Antov - The Ottoman Wild West
  12. ^ a b c Mustafa Çağatay Uluçay - Padişahların Kadınları ve Kızları
  13. ^ Jennifer Lawler - Encyclopedia of the Byzantine Empire
  14. ^ a b c Necdet Sakaoğlu - Bu Mülkün Kadın Sultanları
  15. ^ a b c Yılmaz Öztuna, Devletler ve Hanedanlar Cilt 2

External links[edit]

Media related to Murad I at Wikimedia Commons

Murad I
Born: 1326 Died: 1389
Regnal titles
Preceded by Ottoman Sultan
1362 – 15 June 1389
Succeeded by