Timur (1336-1405) was a 14th Century Turko-Mongol military leader who conquered most of the Muslim world, central Asia, and parts of India. His Timurid Empire rivaled the size and power of the Mongolian domain forged by Genghis Khan a century earlier.
He is known as Timur, from the Turkic word for “iron” and he claims his ancestry to Genghis Khan, which has not been proved. A man of contrasts his name has continued to inspire as well as fascinate us to this day. Was he the vicious conqueror, who made a mound of skulls and put some 80,000 to sword during his foray into Delhi? It is estimated that his armies killed 17 million people, which was about 5% of the global population at the time.
On the other hand, he is also known as a great patron of the arts, literature, and architecture. One of his signal achievements is his capital at the beautiful city of Samarkand, in modern-day Uzbekistan.
Known by his nickname, Tamerlane, began as the leader of petty thieves. They stole livestock from farmers, and property from travelers and merchants.
In his twenties, Tamerlane fought under the rule of various Khans and Sultans. His leadership skills led to him being given command of a thousand soldiers for an invasion of Khorasan (in north-east Iran).
When his leader, Kurgan, died, the subsequent struggle for power was eventually halted by the invasion of Tughlugh Khan from the Mongol Chagatai Khanate. The head of the Barlas tribe fled the invasion, and Timur was chosen by the Mongols as his replacement.
When Tughlugh Khan died and entrusted Transoxiania to his son Ilyas, Timur and his brother-in-law, Amir Husayn, sensed their opportunity and took the region by force.
Tamerlane’s descendents include Babur, founder of the Indian Mughal Empire.
Tamerlane’s ambition was to rebuild the empire of Genghis Khan, who had died a century earlier.
His military conquests saw him conquer land that comprises the modern day countries of Iraq, Iran, Afghanistan, Pakistan, Azerbaijan, Georgia, Uzbekistan, Turkmenistan, Tajikistan, Kyrgyzstan, large parts of Turkey and Syria, and the north-western portion of India (Delhi).
He referred to himself as the `Sword of Islam’ and converted much of his empire to the religion.
He was a highly intelligent politician who spoke Turkish, Mongolian and Persian.
The Timurid Empire lasted until 1507. The Persian Safavid dynasty took most of Iran in 1501, while a contingent of Uzbek tribes invaded from the north to take Herat in 1507.
Timur’s tomb was allegedly inscribed with the words “When I rise from the dead, the world shall tremble”.
His coffin supposedly read: “Whoever opens my tomb shall unleash an invader more terrible than I”. Hitler invaded the USSR within two days of the exhumation, and when Timur was finally reburied, the Soviet victory at Stalingrad shortly followed.(Owlcation.com)