Ertugrul Gazi(Part 1): The Rise of a Lion
The sun of Muslim rule will never set down!- The Ottomans were the foremost among the Muslim empires that began to make such a dream to a reality. The time was crucial for Muslims that day. Abbasid Caliphate was under attack by the Mongols on the one hand and the Seljuk Empire was at war with the Christians of Constantinople on the other hand. The Ottoman sun peeked out from behind the clouds in the sky of Islam at such a calamitous time in history. Ottoman sultans spread Islam's message of peace around the world, shaking the hearts of everyone from Anatolia to the Christian empires of Europe.
The few centuries of Ottoman rule were the golden age of Muslims. Power, finance, religious discipline, and effective administrative systems spread the luster of the Ottoman Empire. The name is Ertugrul Gazi, who built this great empire in the history of Islam. Today we will learn about Ertugrul Gazi, the hero behind building a nomadic tribe into one of the great empires of the world. Ertugrul Gazi was born in the twelfth century. History does not provide any detailed and reliable information about his birth. However, Ertugurul was born in the city of Ahlat sometime between 1191-1998 AD. His father Sulaiman Shah was the leader of the Kayi tribe. The word kai means one who has power established by a relationship. In the 11th century, the Turkish scholar Mahmud Al Kashgari first coined the term qazi. The Kai tribe was originally a nomadic community. Genghis Khan invaded Khorasan at the beginning of the seventh Hijri. And the Mongols at that time did not attack the state to capture land, rather their main purpose was banditry. Due to this unprecedented looting and banditry by the Mongol forces, the small tribes of Khorasan fled for their own safety and settled in the Marv region of Turkmenistan. These were the people of the Kai tribe.
People of this community are geopolitically known as Aghuz Turki. The head of this tribe was Sulaiman Shah. Sulaiman Shah was very conscious of the safety of his tribe. He decided to raise an army and focused on collecting weapons so that the bandits and marauders of the Mongols could not touch his tribe. In fact, everyone in the Anatolian region was afraid of the Mongol armies at that time. Therefore, the responsibility of their own safety had to be kept on their own shoulders.
It was at this time that the Khwarizm empire fell. As a result, many warriors sought refuge among these nomadic tribes for livelihood and security. which was then known as Beylik. Basically, the beyliks were like individual states. Each boylike had an army to protect them from Mongol raids in the region. By the end of the 13th century, many beylic clans existed in Anatolia and the surrounding areas. However, with the fall of the Khwarizm Empire, Sulaiman Shah was able to raise a number of troops in a short period of time. Also, they collected their weapons.
The Sultanate of Rum was later formed in the part of Anatolia where the former Roman Empire or Byzantine Empire was formed. However, they are better known as the Seljuk Empire rather than the Rum Sultanate. The Roman Empire was called 'Rum' in Persian. At the time of Erturgrul's birth, the Seljuks were carrying the flag of Islam on earth. However, that pre-Seljuk charm was a distant lighthouse then. Sultan Alauddin Kaikobad I was on the throne of the Seljuks who were dimming like a lamp that ran out of oil. When the Qai tribe applied to the Seljuk Sultan for land to live on, Sultan Alauddin granted them the opportunity to live and raise livestock on the Karaka Dag land. Thus the members of the Qai tribe became indebted to the Seljuks. After a few days, an opportunity came in front of them to lighten the burden of that debt.
In 1224, Genghis Khan attacked the Seljuk Empire. A huge Mongol army attacked the Seljuk capital of Konya. Qai patriarch Sulaiman Shah came to know about the plight of the Seljuk emperor. He decided to help the Seljuks in their dire straits to ease their debt burden. After that, Ertugrul Gazi, the eldest son of Sulaiman Shah, appeared for the first time in history. A small force was sent by the Kayi tribe under the command of Ertugrul to help the Seljuks. Erturgrul marched forward with only 444 strong troops to stop the banditry of the Mongols in large numbers. However, upon reaching the battlefield, an unprecedented event occurred.
When Ertugurul arrived at the battlefield, he found two sides fighting. However, he could not understand which side was Seljuk and which side was Mongol. Then he made a strange decision. He decided to join the side which was in a weaker position in the war. Fortunately, his decision brought benefits to the Seljuks. Because the Seljuks were utterly helpless on the battlefield under the attack of the ruthless Mongol forces. The collapse of Seljuk resistance was then only a matter of time. Hence, the Seljuks were definitely at a disadvantage on the battlefield. However, the situation changed as soon as Ertugurul's forces joined them. Artugrul fought bravely with only 444 soldiers. The Mongols could no longer withstand this extraordinary bravery of the Kayans. They were forced to retreat. History's great general Ertugrull Gazi has the single credit behind such a success in a battle that the Seljuks were losing. The Seljuk Sultan also admired Erturgrul's extraordinary bravery. He gave the Angora part of the empire, which is now Ankara, the capital of Turkey, for the Qai tribe to live and herd. Further, he appointed Sulaiman Shah as the head of his army.
Through this war, the Qai clan came into close contact with the Seljuk Sultans. Also, Ertugrul showed his rise through his bravery. The way in which he defeated a huge army of Mongols with only a little more than four hundred soldiers is a rare instance in the history of the whole world. Through his bravery, the Mongols also realized that a new lion had risen in Anatolia. Ertugrul Gazi then fought with the Qai tribe in several more wars. Gradually the Qai clan emerged as one of the great empires of history whose descendants ruled almost the entire world for 700 years. The calm and cool message of Islam spread everywhere during that period. In the next episode of Ertugrul Gazi, we will know how Ertugrul led a tribe to the brink of emerging as a great empire during his lifetime.