Here is the earliest history of Turks when they became known first time in the 6th century AD during the caliphate of Abbasids and before converting to Islam.


The Turks first became known in the sixth century AD, nomadic people who roamed East and Central Asia and from time to time invaded and devastated the populations of Asia and Eastern Europe. In the sixth century AD, they established a mighty empire, which stretched from the northern border of Mongolia and China to the Black Sea. The name of the founder of this empire was "Tumen" in Chinese history and "Bumin" in Turkish books.

Tumen died in 552, his brother named Istami won victories in the western regions, the two brothers ruled separately. In the first century AH (seventh century AD), these two governments had to submit to the rule of the Chinese Empire, but in 63 AH (682 AD), the northern Turks regained their former independence from Chinese rule and regained their former sovereignty. 

"Kutbat-e-Orkhan "named after Mongolia's river Orkhan and is one of the oldest monuments in the Turkish language, it belongs to the same northern Turkish kingdom. This empire lasted until 126 AH (744 AD). The tribe of "Turgesh" was the most prominent among the Western Turks. The Arabs overthrew the Turgesh government under Nasr Bin Sayyar.

Turks in Islam:

Relations between Turks and Arabs began in the first century AH with the reign of Walid I. In the same period, Qutaybah ibn Muslim conquered the Turkish territories of Pakiz, Bukhara, Samarkand, Khwarazm (Khiva), Far'ana, Shash (Tashkent) and Kashgar and established an Islamic government there, but these conquests had little effect on the Turks' conversion to Islam, they continued to worship idols. However, Qutaybah's idol-breaking in Samarkand also put an end to idolatry. When Qutaybah arrived there, he saw many shrines, which were generally believed that whoever disrespects them would be destroyed immediately. Qutayba set fire to these idols, but nothing happen to him. Seeing this, the idolaters converted to Islam (reference from "The Preaching of Islam By T. W. Arnold").

Hazrat Umar bin Abdul Aziz (may Allah be pleased with him) in his short reign of Khilafah 99-101 AH (717-720 AH) made a special effort to spread Islam. Some of them converted to Islam (reference from "Fatuh-ul-Baldan By Zari"). Then Abdullah Ibn Mu'ammar al-Shukri was sent to Transoxiana to preach Islam and some of the tribes there became Muslims. After this, during the reign of Caliph Hisham in 105-125 AH (724-743 AH), the people of Transoxiana converted to Islam in large numbers due to the preaching of Abu Sayyidah. From Samarkand, Bukhara, etc., which were the areas of Turkestan, the Jizya (poll tax or head tax, paid by non-Muslims)and tribute money used to come to the treasury. However, until the caliphate of Mu'tasim-Billah (213-227 AH) (833-842 AD), the spread of Islam among the Turks couldn't became widespread.

First of all, Caliph Mansour (754-775 AD) began to recruit Turks into the army, but during his reign their strength was very less and the army and government were dominated only by Arabs and Iranians. The rivalry between Arabs and Russians which started during the caliphate of Caliph Harun-al-Rashid, it also destroyed the power of the Arabs with the fall of Amin and during the reign of Mamun, whose mother was of Iranian descent, the power of the Iranians increased greatly. Later, when Mu'tasim became caliph, he feared the power of the Iranians and sought help from the Turks, and since his mother was a Turk, he naturally had a tendency towards the Turks, so he bought thousands of Turkish slaves. 

They were given Islamic education and military training and now the number and strength of the Turks in the army began to increase rapidly. Gibbon writes that "Mu'tasim, the first founder of this dangerous example, brought more than 50,000 Turks to the capital and settled them" (reference from Decline and Fall of The Roman Empire By E. Gibbon Vol. IV, Fredrich Warne & Co. London, 1890). 

He suggested a gold silk dress for them and added gold dots to the uniform, which distinguished Turkish troops from other armies. Every year thousands of the Turkish slaves were brought to the capital. Some of them were added as guards to the royal contingent and the rest were recruited into the army. Those who excelled in their abilities were appointed commanders of the armies. 

As the power of the Turks increased in the army, the Arab forces dwindled, and the Turks, because they had the special patronage of the Caliph, did not care for anyone and rode wild horses through the streets of Baghdad, due to which sometimes women and children were injured in the collision and some died, so the people of Baghdad were soon overwhelmed by their atrocities. 

Read Full Book:

Istanbul: City of Majesty at the Crossroads of the World

When his grievances began to reach Mu'tasim, he decided to set up a camp for the Turks outside Baghdad, choosing Samarra, about 60 miles from Baghdad. He liked the place so much that he changed his name to Sarman Rai (who was happy to see it). In addition to military barracks, magnificent palaces were built for the caliph and ministers, and since the Mu'tasim had renounced Baghdad and settled in Samarra with his Turkish troops, people from all walks of life flocked to the new city. They came and settled down and in a few days Samarra became a very prosperous city. 

Samarra was the capital of 7 Abbasid Caliphs from 221 AH to 279 AH (836 AD to 894 AD). When the Mu'atmid ascended the throne, he left Samarra and made Baghdad his capital.


Read Previous Post: