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 > 1166
  The Encyclopedia of World History.  2001.
Death of Abd al-Qadir al-Jilani (b. 1078), founder of the Qadiriyya Sufi order. Beginning as a local chapter centered around his tomb in Baghdad, the order spread throughout the Arab world and sub-Saharan Africa, and now forms the oldest of the still-surviving Sufi orders in the region.  1
1176, Sept
BATTLE OF MYRIOKEPHALON. The army of the Seljuks of Rum ambushed and defeated the Byzantine army advancing on the Seljuk capital of Konya. The decisive encounter ended any possibility of a Byzantine reconquest of lost Anatolian territories.  2
Reign of the Abbasid caliph al-Nasir, the last great figure of the Abbasid family. He revived the temporal power of the caliphate and established himself as the leading authority in Iraq in the wake of the Seljuks' declining control. He built his position partly by giving state support to the futuwwa brotherhoods, which organized craftsmen and urban dwellers around an ideology of manly virtue and social justice.  3
Death of Ahmad al-Rifa’i (b. c. 1106), founder of the Rifa’iyya Sufi order. The order, which is still widespread in Egypt and Syria, involves practices of self-mortification as part of its initiation rites and devotional exercises.  4
Death of Nizami, perhaps the greatest romantic poet to write in Persian. His verses are so filled with learning and allusion that they defy direct translation. His five masterpieces, known as the Khamsa (Quintet), have been superbly illustrated by miniaturist painters over the centuries.  5
Death of Fakhr al-Din al-Razi (b. 1149), a prominent theologian whose work integrated philosophy and logic into Islamic theological doctrines.  6
THE FIRST MONGOL INVASION OF IRAN (See 1190s). Leading a punitive expedition against the Khwarazm-shahs, Chinggis Khan invaded Transoxania and Khurasan. In a massive campaign of terror in eastern Iran, the Mongols razed cities and exterminated their populations. After this brutal assault, the main Mongol army withdrew from Iran, although the northern parts of the country remained under Mongol viceroys. The empire of the Khwarazm-shahs was brought to an end. The last ruler of the dynasty, Jalal al-Din, led a futile movement of resistance against the Mongols before his murder in 1231.  7
Death of Farid al-Din Attar (b. 1142), a highly accomplished Sufi poet from Khurasan. His works dwell on the stages of the soul's progressive journey from this world to the next.  8
Death of Yaqut (Ya’qub al-Hamawi), a Baghdadi scholar who authored a monumental geographical lexicon (Mu’jam al-buldan). The work is a mine of information, incorporating material from geographers whose original work has been lost.  9
Death of Ali ibn al-Athir (b. 1160), a scholar of Mosul whose monumental history, al-Kamil fi al-ta'rikh, ranks among the greatest Middle Eastern chronicles.  10
Death of Umar al-Suhrawardi (b. 1145), founder of the Suhrawardiyya Sufi order in Baghdad. The order was carried to India by Baha' al-Din al-Multani.  11
The Seljuks of Rum suppressed the revolt led by the messianic figure Baba Ishak (Baba Resul) in central Anatolia. Many of the rebels fled for refuge in the frontier regions of western Anatolia, where they spread their syncretic religious beliefs and practices.  12
THE MONGOL INVASION OF ANATOLIA. Mongol forces routed the Seljuk army at the Battle of Köse Dagh (June 1243) and reduced the Seljuk Sultanate of Rum to a vassal state. The Mongol advance changed political and social conditions dramatically in Anatolia. As the authority of the central state represented by the Seljuks weakened, a host of Turkoman principalities began to arise, waging frontier warfare against the Byzantines. They drew on the large waves of Muslim refugees who fled the Mongol advance and sought new fortunes in Anatolia.  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.