Reign of Malik Shah I of the Seljuq Empire

19 Nov 2020  Thu

Malik Shah, I was the third and most famous sultan of the Seljuq Empire. He was born on 16th August 1055 and spent his youth in Isfahan. During his youth, Malik-Shah along with Nizam al-Mulk, the Persian vizier of the Empire, took part in Alp Arslan’s (father) campaign in the Caucasus.

He succeeded his father, Alp Arsalan in 1072 under the guidance of the great Vizier Nizam al-Mulk, who was the real manager of the empire until his death. Malik Shah spent the rest reign waging war against the Karakhanids on the eastern side and establishing order in the Caucasus.

Malik-Shah displayed a great interest in literature, science, and art. His reign is memorable for the splendid mosques of his capital, Esfahan, for the poetry of Omar Khayyam, and for the reform of the calendar. His people enjoyed internal peace and religious tolerance. Malik-Shah died on 19 November 1092 while he was hunting.

Depicted here is a gold Dinar issued under his reign from Hirat mint in 498 AH. The obverse of a coin depicts Arabic inscription Allah laa ilah illa al-Muztazhir billah Sanjar bin Malikshah adl, in margin Surah IX verse 33, facing bull’s head at 12 o’clock flanked by double dragon’s heads with mouths agape. The reverse of a coin depicts Allah Muhammad rasul al-sadah al-mu’azzam Muhammad bin Malikshah, inner margin: mint name and date, outer margin: Surah XXX verses 4 and 5, triangle or pyramid at 12 o’clock flanked by double dragon’s heads with mouths agape.

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