Ahmad Sanjar was born in 1085 in a small town Sinjar, Iraq which was then named after him the “Sanjar”. He was the last emperor of the Great Seljuk Empire. He ruled Seljuk Empire from 1118 till his death 1157. Ahmad Sanjar is known in the history for his bravery and the dream and struggle for united empire.
Ahmad Sanjar was the son of Sultan Malik Shah I. Sanjar is a Turkish originated name with the meaning “he who pierces”, “he who thrusts”.
He fought many wars of succession against his three brothers Mahmud I, Barkiyaruq, Malik Shah II and his nephew Muhammad I.
He was given the land name Khorasan to govern. He took this as an opportunity to serve the great Seljuk Empire. In few years he became the ruler of most of Iran. His capital was Nishapur.
Observing the dynastic wars, many rulers waged war against Sanjar to split Great Seljuq Empire. In 1102, he killed Jibrail Arslan Khan near Termez to repulse an invasion from Kashgaria. After 5 years, in 1107, he invaded Izz al-Din Husayn, a Ghurid ruler, and captured him. But to give him a tribute, he released him.
He tried to protect Muslims living in western Indian territories. He started campaign against Assassins within Persia. He operated successfully to get them out from their strong hold like Quhistan and Tabas. One the route to Alamut, he woke up in morning and found a dagger with a pinned note from Hassan Sabbah stating that “he would like peace”. This made him shocked. After that Ahmed sent envoy to the Hassan and they both decided to stay out of each other’s way. They respected this agreement and didn’t interfere.
Sultan of The Great Seljuk Empire:
After the death of Sultan Barkiyaruq, Malik Shah II taken over the throne. But “Muhammad” who was the uncle of Sultan Malik Shah thought that he is too weak to rule and it’s very difficult for him to protect the throne. With this thought in his mind, he took the throne from him and declared himself the protector of the throne of Seljuk Empire. He ruled the empire for almost 10 years. After his death, his son Mahmud II succeeded him. The new ruler of the Seljuk Empire, Mahmud II was very young. The enemies of the Seljuk Empire understand that he is young and inadequate to rule that’s why they continued to attack the Seljuk Empire.
Ahmed Sanjar had the same thought in his mind as the Seljuk Empire enemies and he thought himself to become a ruler to protect the empire. It was not easy but Sanjar declare himself the Seljuk Sultan in Khorasan. Obviously, it was impossible for Mahmud II to accept his move. Sanjar’s this move started a war between them and in this war Sultan Ahmed Sanjar destroyed the opponent army completely. Mahmud II manage to save his life and ran away. After sometime Mahmud II accepted that he cannot win against Sanjar and decided to normalize relation with him. For this purpose he Mahmud II sent his vizier for peace agreement. After that he also met with him and presented a peace agreement that Sanjar accepted. With this agreement, Mahmud II step backed and declared Sanjar as the Sultan of the Seljuk Empire and took the Iraq and made it as an independent state of Iraq.
After the settlement of Mahmud II’s problem, there raised another serious problem that had to be faced by him. That was Khwarezm Shah. Khwarezm Shah wanted to go independent from the Seljuk Empire and started to capture more and more land. That was the huge unrest in the region. Seeing all that development, the other Turks tried to go independent as well. They refused to pay due taxes. To crush these movement Ahmad Sanjar had to wage a war against them and finally he attacked the Turks. But Sanjar failed in those attacks because of betrayal. His own army betrayed him. Khwarezm Shah took this as a best opportunity and Khwarezm Shah’s army attacked him. Unfortunately, he lost the war, and he was made a war prisoner for the next three years
When he was in prison, his wife stepped forward to run the empire. But she could not succeeded because the people were leaving the empire and not paying taxes. And infect, many of them wanted and tried to be the next Sultan. But the army and viziers were not ready to accept anyone as their leader. In 1156 Turkan died and Sultan Ahmad managed to escape the prison. He went to Khorasan. He reassembled him to lead the empire and to take revenge from his enemies. But here his time comes, he died in died in 1157. Sanjar had no son to rule the empire that’s why the Seljuk Empire came to an end. He was buried in Merv which was damaged by Mongol invasion.