ILBĀRS KHAN, name of two rulers of Ḵᵛārazm in the 16th and 18th centuries.
(1) Ilbārs Khan b. Buräkä (or Bürgä), from the ʿArab-šāhi (q.v.) branch of the Jochids, was the founder of the dynasty which ruled Ḵᵛārazm from 1511 to the end of the 17th century. This branch of the Jochids had hostile relations with another branch, the Abulkhairids, to which belonged Šïbāni Khan, the conqueror of Transoxania in the early 16th century; the Uzbek tribes which supported the ʿArabšāhis did not participate in Šïbāni Khan’s conquests and remained in the steppes to the north of the Aral Sea. When Ḵᵛārazm was briefly occupied by the Safavid Shah Esmāʿil I in 916/1510 (after Šïbāni Khan’s defeat in the battle at Marv), the inhabitants of the town of Vazir (in the northwest of Ḵᵛārazm) urged Ilbārs Khan to drive out the Qezelbāš. Ilbārs Khan, together with his brother Bālbārs, answered this call and conquered Ḵᵛā-razm in 917/1511 (Abu’l-Ḡāzi, I, p. 197; Munes, text, pp. 105-7; tr., pp. 27-29, and pp. 550-51, nn. 125-31). After that the Uzbeks under Ilbārs and Bālbārs also subjugated the Turkmen tribes on the Mangïšlaq peninsula and in the Qaraqum desert. Ḵᵛārazmian sources do not mention the date of death of Ilbārs Khan, but Safavid sources give it as 923/1518 (see the Tāriḵ-e jahān-ārā, p. 209; Dickson, appendices, pp. V-VI).
(2) Ilbārs Khan (II), who ruled in Ḵiva in 1140-52/1728-40. According to ʿAbd al-Karim Boḵāri (I, p. 44, II, p. 95), he was from among the Kazakh Chingisids and was invited to Ḵiva by Uzbek tribal chieftains; however, according to Munes, he was a son of Shah Niāz Khan (a khan of Uzbek origin), who ruled in Ḵiva in 1110-13/1698-1701 (Munes, text, p. 162; tr., p. 62 and n. 285, pp. 567-68). In 1147/1734-35 Ilbārs Khan sent a large party of Turkmens in a raid against Khorasan, where they plundered Čamešgezek Kurds in the regions of the Ālā Dāḡ mountain (q.v.) and Samalqān, but then were defeated by the Qezelbāš troops (Mahdi Khan, 1989, pp. 322-23; Munis, text, p. 163; tr., p. 63 and p. 575, nn. 346-49; Munis ascribes victory to Khivan troops). In 1150/1737, when Reżāqoli Mirzā, son of Nāder Shah, marched against Bukhara after having subdued the rulers of Balḵ and Andḵuy (qq.v.), Abu’l-Fayż Khan, the ruler of Bukhara, appealed for help to Ilbārs Khan, who set out to Transoxania with his army but turned back halfway, apparently in fear of confrontation with Reżāqoli (Mahdi Khan, p. 296; Moḥammad Kāẓem, facs., II, pp. 243-44, ed. Riāḥi, II, pp. 596-97, 629; Munes, text, p. 164; tr., pp. 63-64, 575, n. 353). In 1151/1738, Ilbārs Khan set out to invade Khorasan but withdrew after raiding a few localities south of Abivard (Munes, text, pp. 164-65; tr., p. 64, 576-77, note 355; Moḥammad Kāẓem, facs., II, pp. 283-95, ed. Riāḥi, II, pp. 626-34; Moḥammad Kāẓem gives many colorful details of this campaign, apparently mostly anecdotal). In 1153/1740, Nāder Shah, after his conquest of Bukhara, turned against Ḵᵛārazm and sent an embassy to Ilbārs demanding submission; the ambassadors, two of whom were Juybāri shaikhs, were executed by Ilbārs Khan. Nāder Shah routed the army of Ḵiva in a battle near Petnak at the southern limits of Ḵᵛārazm. Ilbārs Khan, besieged in the city of Ḵānqāh, surrendered to Nāder Shah and was executed together with twenty or more of his amirs (according to some accounts, they were buried alive). According to Mahdi Khan and ʿAbd al-Karim Boḵāri, the execution was ordered by Nāder Shah in revenge for the murder of the Juybāri shaikhs, upon the request of their heirs (Munes, text, pp. 165-66; tr., pp. 64-65, 577, nos. 356-60; Mahdi Khan, pp. 453-60; Moḥammad Kāẓem, facs., II, pp. 547-67; ed. Riāḥi, II, pp. 802-14; ʿAbd al-Karim Boḵāri, text, pp. 46-49; tr., pp. 101-6).
ʿAbd-al-Karim Boḵāri, tr. Charles Schefer as Histoire de l’Asie centrale, Paris, 1876.
Abu’l-Ḡāzi, Šajara-ye Tork, ed. and tr. J. P. Desmaisons, 2 vols., St.-Petersbourg, 1871–74.
Mahdi Khan Astarābādi, Tāriḵ-e jahāngošā-ye nāderi, Tehran, 1989.
Martin B. Dickson, “Sháh Tahmásb and the Úzbeks: The Duel for Khurásán with ʿUbayd Khán: 930-946 /1524-1540,” Ph.D. diss., Princeton University, 1958.
Laurence Lockhart, Nādir Shah: A Critical Study Based Mainly on Contemporary Sources, London, 1938, pp. 126, 164-69, 190-92.
Moḥammad-Kāẓem Marvi, ʿĀlamārā-ye nāderi, facs. edition, II, Moscow, 1965; ed. Moḥammad Amin Riāḥi, 3 vols., Tehran, 1985.
Šir-Moḥammad Mirāb Munes and Moḥammad-Reżā Mirāb Āgahi, Ferdaws al-eqbāl, ed., tr., and annotated by Yuri Bregel as Firdaws al-iqbal: History of Khorezm, 2 vols., Leiden, 1988-99.
Qāżi Aḥmad Ḡaffāri Qazvini, Tāriḵ-e jahānārā, ed. Ḥasan Narāqi, Tehran, 1963.
Originally Published: December 15, 2004
Last Updated: March 27, 2012
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