Muhammad ibn Tughj al-Ikhshid
Muhammad ibn Tughj was an Abbasid commander and governor. He became the autonomous ruler of Egypt and parts of Syria from 935 until his death in 946. He was the founder of the Sunni Ikhshidid dynasty, which ruled the region until the Fatimid conquest of 969. His family was of Turkic origin from the Farghana Valley in Transoxiana.
About Muhammad ibn Tughj al-Ikhshid in brief
Muhammad ibn Tughj was an Abbasid commander and governor. He became the autonomous ruler of Egypt and parts of Syria from 935 until his death in 946. He was the founder of the Sunni Ikhshidid dynasty, which ruled the region until the Fatimid conquest of 969. His reign marks a rare period of domestic peace, stability and good government in the annals of early Islamic Egypt. His family was of Turkic origin from the Farghana Valley in Transoxiana. He claimed royal descent; the name of his ancestor, “Khaqan”, is a Turkic royal title. His father served the Abbasids, but later entered the service of the Tulunids, who had become autonomous rulers of Syria and Egypt. He played a major role in repelling the Qarmatian attack on Damascus in 903, although he held the city for seven months until the arrival of Qarmians. He died nine months later, leaving his son Unujur as ruler of his domains, under the tutelage of the powerful black eunuch Abu al-Misk Kafur. In 938 Caliph al-Radi granted his request for the title of al-IkhShid, which had been borne by the rulers of his ancestral Farghan Valley. According to the biographical dictionary compiled by Ibn Khallikan, Muhammad ibn T Hughj was born in Baghdad on 8 February 882, on the street leading to the Kufa Gate. He did not enter military service in the Abbasid court at Samarra, as did the father of his son, Ibn Tulun, and his son’s father, Muhammad’s father Tugh Juff, both served both Abbasids and Tulunid dynasty.
He had a turbulent early career: he was imprisoned along with his father by the AbbasIDS in 905, was released in 906, participated in the murder of the vizier al-Abbas ibn al-Hasan al-Jarjara’i in 908, and fled Iraq to enter theService of the governor of Egypt, Takin al-Khazari. Eventually he acquired the patronage of several influential Abbasid magnates, chiefly the powerful commander-in-chief Mu’nis al-muzaffar. He fought to preserve even his governorship of Damascus, and was re-appointed to Egypt in 935, where he quickly defeated aFatimid invasion and stabilized the turbulent country. He cede the northern half of Syria to Ibn Ra’iq between 939 and 942. After his departure, the ambitious Hamdanid prince Sayf al-Dawla seized Aleppo and northern Syria in the autumn of 944, and although defeated and driven out of Syria by Ibn TughJ himself in the next year, a treaty dividing the region along the lines of the agreement with Ibn Ra’iq was concluded in October. Although unsuccessful in persuading the caliph to come to Egypt, he received recognition of hereditary rule over Egypt, Syria and the Hejaz for thirty years.