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Muhammad ibn Tughj al-Ikhshid facts for kids

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Muhammad ibn Tughj al-Ikhshid
Hereditary emir of Egypt, Syria and the Hejaz
Rule 26 August 935 – 24 July 946
Successor Unujur
Born 8 February 882
Died 24 July 946(946-07-24) (aged 64)
Burial Jerusalem
Dynasty Ikhshidid dynasty
Father Tughj ibn Juff
Religion Sunni Islam

Abū Bakr Muḥammad ibn Ṭughj ibn Juff ibn Yiltakīn ibn Fūrān ibn Fūrī ibn Khāqān (8 February 882 – 24 July 946), better known by the title al-Ikhshīd (Arabic: الإخشيد ) after 939, was an Abbasid commander and governor who became the autonomous ruler of Egypt and parts of Syria (or Levant) from 935 until his death in 946. He was the founder of the Sunni Ikhshidid dynasty, which ruled the region until the Fatimid conquest of 969.

The son of Tughj ibn Juff, a general of Turkic origin who served both the Abbasids and the autonomous Tulunid rulers of Egypt and Syria, Muhammad ibn Tughj was born in Baghdad but grew up in Syria and acquired his first military and administrative experiences at his father's side. He had a turbulent early career: he was imprisoned along with his father by the Abbasids in 905, was released in 906, participated in the murder of the vizier al-Abbas ibn al-Hasan al-Jarjara'i in 908, and fled Iraq to enter the service of the governor of Egypt, Takin al-Khazari. Eventually he acquired the patronage of several influential Abbasid magnates, chiefly the powerful commander-in-chief Mu'nis al-Muzaffar. These ties led him to being named governor first of Palestine and then of Damascus. In 933, he was briefly named governor of Egypt, but this order was revoked after the death of Mu'nis, and Ibn Tughj had to fight to preserve even his governorship of Damascus. In 935, he was re-appointed to Egypt, where he quickly defeated a Fatimid invasion and stabilized the turbulent country. His reign marks a rare period of domestic peace, stability and good government in the annals of early Islamic Egypt. In 938 Caliph al-Radi granted his request for the title of al-Ikhshid, which had been borne by the rulers of his ancestral Farghana Valley. It is by this title that he was known thereafter.

Throughout his governorship, al-Ikhshid was engaged in conflicts with other regional strongmen for control over Syria, without which Egypt was vulnerable to invasion from the east, but unlike many other Egyptian leaders, notably the Tulunids themselves, he was prepared to bide his time and compromise with his rivals. Although he was initially in control of the entirety of Syria, he was forced to cede the northern half to Ibn Ra'iq between 939 and 942. Following Ibn Ra'iq's murder, al-Ikhshid reimposed his control over northern Syria, only to have it challenged by the Hamdanids. In 944 al-Ikhshid met Caliph al-Muttaqi at Raqqa; the caliph had fled there from the various strongmen vying to kidnap him and control the caliphal government in Baghdad. Although unsuccessful in persuading the caliph to come to Egypt, he received recognition of hereditary rule over Egypt, Syria and the Hejaz for thirty years. Following his departure, the ambitious Hamdanid prince Sayf al-Dawla seized Aleppo and northern Syria in the autumn of 944, and although defeated and driven out of Syria by Ibn Tughj himself in the next year, a treaty dividing the region along the lines of the agreement with Ibn Ra'iq was concluded in October. Ibn Tughj died nine months later, and was buried in Jerusalem. He left his son Unujur as ruler of his domains, under the tutelage of the powerful black eunuch Abu al-Misk Kafur.

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