III. The Postclassical Period, 500–1500 > B. The Middle East and North Africa, 500–1500 > 2. The Muslim Middle East and North Africa, c. 945–1500 > b. Iran, Iraq, and Anatolia > 1082
  The Encyclopedia of World History.  2001.
Death of Kai Kavus ibn Iskandar, a ruler in northern Iran and author of the Qabus-nama, an important book of advice to rulers. The work offers the wisdom of an old king to his favorite son, teaching him how to be a statesman and a gentleman.  1
Suleyman, ruler of the Seljuk Sultanate of Rum, captured Antioch, which had been under Byzantine rule since 969. The city fell to the Crusaders 15 years later.  2
c. 1088
Death of Nasir-i Khusraw (b. 1004), an Isma'ili theologian and poet from Balkh. He wrote a travel account of his journeys west in 1045–52, noting the prosperity of Egypt and Syria, among others, in comparison with the eastern parts of the Middle East.  3
The Isma’ili (Assassin) stronghold in Alamut. An independent Isma’ili Shi’ite sect known as the Nizaris (or Assassins) maintained a base in the inaccessible fortress of Alamut in the Alborz Mountains south of the Caspian Sea. It was established by Hasan-i Sabbah (d. 1124), a Fatimid agent in Iran who took up the cause of Nizar, a Fatimid defeated in a struggle for succession to the caliphate in Egypt. The Nizaris saw themselves as representatives of the rightful Isma'ili imams and enemies of the Fatimids in Cairo. Despite their limited territorial power, they spread terror in the region by resorting to suicide missions of assassination directed against leaders (among them, Nizam al-Mulk). The Mongols destroyed the Nizari base in Alamut in 1256, but the Nizari sect has survived to this day, with the Aga Khan as its head.  4
Muslim confrontation with the First Crusade in Anatolia (See 1096–99). Moving from Constantinople into Anatolia, the Crusader forces captured Iznik from the Seljuks (June 1097) and then inflicted two more defeats on the Turks: at Dorylaeum (Eskishehir) in July 1097 and at Heraclea (Ereghli) in Aug. 1097. Edessa (Urfa) was taken and established as the first Crusader state in 1098, followed shortly thereafter by the creation of a Crusader principality at Antioch.  5
Death of Abu Hamid Muhammad AL-GHAZALI (b. 1058), the most celebrated Sunni theologian of all time. He wrote widely on Islam and its relationship to the sciences, philosophy, and mysticism. His monumental work, Ihya' ’ulum al-din (Revivification of the Religious Sciences), developed his conception of an ideal Islam that integrated the shari’a and Sufism as two essential parts representing the outer and inner life of Muslims. Tormented by inner conflicts about his faith and his worldly activities, he gave up his professorship at the prestigious Nizamiyya religious college in Baghdad and spent some ten years (1095–1106) wandering and in seclusion, resolving his spiritual dilemmas.  6
Ghazali added his authoritative voice to the Islamic debate over contraception, offering the most thorough statement permitting birth control, and specifically withdrawal, on medical and economic grounds. The majority of Muslim jurists allowed the practice of withdrawal, but required the woman's permission in order to protect her rights to children and to complete sexual fulfillment. Women's use of contraceptives, such as tampons and suppositories, was regarded as legal and, by most jurists, as the woman's prerogative, not requiring the husband's permission.  7
THE ZANGIDS OF MOSUL. Imad al-Din Zangi, the atabeg (tutor) of a Seljuk prince, established himself in Mosul in 1127 and in Aleppo the following year. He reconquered Edessa (Urfa) from the Crusaders in 1144. His dynasty held out in Mosul until 1222, although it was a dependent of the Ayyubids after 1187.  8
Death of Umar Khayyam, the Persian poet and scientist. While his Ruba’iyyat (Quatrains) has won him fame, his scientific achievements were no less considerable. He wrote works on algebra that advanced equations from the quadratic to the cubic stage, and participated in revising the old Persian solar calendar.  9
Shams al-Din Eldiguz, the atabeg of the Seljuk sultan of Baghdad, established an independent dynastic state in Azerbaijan and northwestern Iran that lasted until 1225.  10
The Seljuks of Rum defeated both the German army of the Second Crusade at Dorylaeum (Eskishehir) and the French forces at Laodicaea (Denizli).  11
Ascendancy of the Ghurids in Afghanistan. A dynasty based in the inaccessible mountains of central Afghanistan, the Ghurids were rivals of their Ghaznavid neighbors. They brought an end to Ghaznavid rule in Ghazna after destroying the city in 1150, and in 1187 expanded to take the Ghaznavid lands in the Punjab, thus ending the Ghaznavid state. Their expansion was halted, however, by the Khwarazm-shahs, who conquered the Ghurids' Afghan possessions by 1215 and forced them to withdraw to their lands in northern India.  12
ASCENDANCY OF THE KHWARAZM-SHAHS in Iran and Afghanistan. With the death of Sanjar, the supreme sultan of the Seljuks (1118–57), Seljuk power in Iran collapsed. The Khwarazm-shahs, who were descendants of the Turkish general appointed by the Seljuks to govern Khwarazm, stepped in and steadily extended their control to eastern and central Iran, in addition to conquering much of Afghanistan from the Ghurids and occupying Transoxania. Their empire reached its height in the period from 1200 to 1220, after which it was overrun by the Mongols.  13
The Encyclopedia of World History, Sixth edition. Peter N. Stearns, general editor. Copyright © 2001 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Maps by Mary Reilly, copyright 2001 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company. All rights reserved.