The Ghaznavid dynasty was a Persianate Muslim dynasty of Turkic mamluk origin, at their greatest extent ruling large parts of Iran, Afghanistan, much of Transoxiana and the northwest Indian subcontinent from 977 to 1186. The dynasty was founded by Sabuktigin upon his succession to rule of the region of Ghazna after the death of his father-in-law, Alp Tigin, who was an ex-general of the Samanid Empire from Balkh, north of the Hindu Kush in Greater Khorasan.
Although the dynasty was of Central Asian Turkic origin, it was thoroughly Persianised in terms of language, culture, literature and habits and hence is regarded as a “Persian dynasty”.
Sabuktigin’s son, Mahmud of Ghazni, declared independence from the Samanid Empire and expanded the Ghaznavid Empire to the Amu Darya, the Indus River and the Indian Ocean in the East and to Rey and Hamadan in the west. Under the reign of Mas’ud I, the Ghaznavid dynasty began losing control over its western territories to the Seljuq dynasty after the Battle of Dandanaqan, resulting in a restriction of its holdings to modern-day Afghanistan, Pakistan (Punjab and Balochistan). In 1151, Sultan Bahram Shah lost Ghazni to the Ghurid king Ala al-Din Husayn.
List of rulers
- Nasir-ud-din Sabuktigin (977–997)
- Ismail (997–998)
- Yamin ad-Dawlah Abu Qasim Mahmud (998–1030)
- Jalal ad-Dawlah Muhammad (1030) [1st reign]
- Shihab ad-Dawlah Masud I (1030–1041)
- Jalal ad-Dawlah Muhammad (1041) [2nd reign]
- Shihab ad-Dawlah Mawdud (1041–1048)
- Masud II (1048)
- Baha ad-Dawlah Ali (1048–1049)
- Izz ad-Dawlah Abd al-Rashid (1049–1052)
- Qiwam ad-Dawlah Toghrul (1052–1053)
- Jamal ad-Dawlah Farrukh-Zad (1053–1059)
- Zahir ad-Dawlah Ibrahim (1059–1099)
- Ala ad-Dawlah Masud III (1099–1115)
- Kamal ad-Dawlah Shirzad (1115–1116)
- Sultan ad-Dawlah Arslan-Shah (1116–1117)
- Yamin ad-Dawlah Bahram Shah (1117–1157)
- Muizz ad-Dawlah Khusrau-Shah (1157–1160)
- Taj ad-Dawlah Khusrau Malik (1160–1186)