Death of Sultan Alp Arslan | Seljuk-Byzantine Empire battle of Manzikert | Nazuk Surat e Haal

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Sultan Alp Arslan was the second and the most powerful Sultan of the Seljuk empire. his victory over the byzantine at the battle of manzikert was remarkable. Alp Arslan was able to defeat an army of 50,000 soldiers with the help of 20,000 soldiers. Not only he defeated the Roman Army, but he also captured Roman Emperor Romanos. His victory at Manzikert is often cited as the beginning of the end of Byzantine power in Anatolia, and the beginning of Turkic identity there.

Alp Arslan and Romanos army in the battle of Manzikert
Alp Arslan and Romanos army in the battle of Manzikert

He was the only Muslim leader in history who was able to capture the Roman Emperor. He opened the gate for Islam in Anatolia modern-day Turkey. If one person was to be credited for the spread of Islam in Anatolia, then that would be Alp Arslan. His real name was Muhammad bin Dawud Chaghri. For his military courage and fighting skills, he obtained the name Alp Arslan, which means “Heroic Lion” in Turkish.

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Read more: Battle of Manzikert


No doubt Alp Arslan was a great military general, but his death was not as great as he was. The great sultan of the Seljuk Empire was killed by his own mistake as he was unable to target his prisoner. He was killed by an ordinary governor who was Sultan’s prisoner. though historians disagreed with the method of killing, however, all agreed that Sultan Alp Arslan was killed by his prisoner Yousuf Al Khwarizmi. We will mention the point of view of a highly influential historian Ibn Kathir.

Romanos was captured by Alp Arslan in battle of Manzikert
Romanos was captured by Alp Arslan in battle of Manzikert


Ibn Kathir wrote that After capturing manzikert in 1071, Sultan went on an expedition for the conquest of Turkestan. Turkestan was located in the Xinjiang province of China and also includes some parts of central Asian countries. At that time Turkestan was controlled by the Khwarezm Empire. Alp Arslan with his powerful army reached the banks of the Amudarya River. Before crossing the river, he decided to capture the fortress at the bank of the river. he pitched his tents in front of a fortress.

Alp arslan near Amudarya river before his death
Alp Arslan near Amudarya river before his death


At the start, the local inhabitants of Khwarezm opposed the Seljuk Army. Sultan won the hearts of local inhabitants with some promises and seized the ruler of the fortress. The Governor of the fortress defended vigorously but surrendered in the end. He was carried as a prisoner in front of the Sultan. Sultan sentenced him to death. Governer had hidden a dagger in his sleeves.

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He took his dagger out and rushed towards the sultan. Sultan knew he could handle this as he was a brilliant archer, so he ordered his soldiers not to interfere. Sultan drew his bow and arrow. His foot slipped, he shot an arrow but missed. the man leaped on the Sultan, grabbed a knife, and stuck it into the Sultan’s Chest.

At this point, one of the Armenians setting up the tents came and killed the Khwarezm man with a blow to the head. A few days after this incident the Sultan died from his wounds and was taken to Marv and buried next to his father Chaghri Beg. According to the Sultan’s will, his son Malik-Shah 1 took his place.

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