Upon his father's death, Nasr inherited Samarkand and a significant part of Transoxiana. He soon found his position isolated from the rest of the Caliphate by the expanding Saffarids. As a result of this, he was invested with all of Transoxiana by Caliph Al-Mu'tamid in 875, in an effort to counter the claims of the Saffarids. Nasr sent his brother Isma'il to capture the city of Bukhara, which had recently been ravaged by troops of Khwarazm. The city opened its gates to him, and Isma'il was appointed governor by Nasr. Disagreement over where tax money should be distributed, however, caused a conflict to erupt between the brothers. Isma'il eventually proved victorious, and took control of the Samanid state. However, Nasr had been the one who had been invested with Transoxiana, and the Caliphs continued to recognize him as the rightful ruler. Because of this, Isma'il continued to recognize his brother as well, but Nasr was completely powerless, a situation that persisted until his death in 892.