1. ABDUR RASHID KHANMuslim heros

Muslim heros
‘Abdur Rashid Khan’ was an Uyghur Muslim heros and an Uyghur Hero born in 1508 to ‘Sultan Said Khan’. He reigned the Xinjiang area between 1533-1560. The reason Abdur Rashid Khan is on the list of forgotten Uyghur Muslim heroes is due to his achievements and his immense love for Sufism (a sect of Islam that believes in the primary principle of ‘Wahdat al Wujood’). He was a specialist in fighting with the ‘bow and arrow’ and no one during that period had enough skill to compete with him. Apart from fighting skills, he was a talented musician and was a specialist in all forms of ‘Maqam’. ’Maqam’ is a name given to ‘classic Uyghur Music’ and there are about 12 types of Maqams. In all these 12 Maqams, Abdur Rashid Khan was a specialist. According to Historical sources, ‘Amannisa Khan’ (the wife of ‘Abdur Rashid Khan’) has the credit to collect and preserve the Twelve Maqams (classic Uyghur Music), and now it is considered the traditional Music style of today’s Uyghurs. ‘UNESCO’ has also designated Maqam as one of the intangible ‘Heritage of Humanity’
Various achievements accomplished by this great Uyghur are worth noticing. He is remembered for his sign of treaty with Uzbek chief ‘Ubeydullah Sultan’ in 1538 and with the Mughal Empire of India.
It was due to his love for Islam and Sufism that he granted the land to ‘Ahmed Kasani’ of Samarkand in Kashgar (now present Southern Xinjiang) during the sign of treaty with ‘Ubeydullah Sultan’. ‘Ahmed Kasani’ was one of the great spiritual teachers of that era and was known as ‘Makhdum-i-azam’, meaning ‘the Grand Master’. Later, the sons of Ahmed Kasani spread the teachings of the Sufism form of Islam and found the ‘Naqshabandi Khojagan’ tariqa (order) of Sufism.

Muslim heros
The love for Islam and Sufism of Abdur Rashid witnessed the great history of Xinjiang. According to the traditions, he was the follower of the king ‘Harun al Rashid’. Just like ‘Harun al Rashid’ used to wander among the population without getting recognized, ‘Abdur Rashid Khan’ also used to follow the same rule and style of the king ‘Harun al Rashid’.
This great Uyghur Muslim king died in the year 1560 during his trip to ‘Khotan’, a town in today’s ‘Southwestern Xinjiang’.
The book ‘Tarikh e Rashidi’ written by the famous historian and ruler of Kashmir ‘Mirza Muhammad Haider Dughlat’ mentions the genealogy, history, and achievements of ‘Abdur Rashid Khan’.
According to the book ‘Tarikh e Rashidi’, ‘Abdur Rashid Khan’s bloodline links to the famous Mongol ‘Chenghiz Khan’. The ‘Babarnama’ written by Babar (First Mughal Emperor in India) mentions the genealogy of ‘Yunus Khan’, the maternal grandfather of ‘Abdur Rashid Khan’ on page 19.
This great Uyghur gem was somewhere lost in history and people seeing Uyghur Muslims with a shameful eye these days must be aware of the golden period and the great missions accomplished by these great Uyghur Muslims, and ‘Abdur Rashid Khan’ was one of them.

Mahmood Khan (also known by the name ‘Moghul Khan’) is another famous Uyghur Muslim king whose name has been forgotten in the historical records. This great Uyghur was born in 1462 and is the famous ruler who ruled the Tashkent area of current Uzbekistan and western Moghulistan (parts of Kyrgystan, Kazakhstan, and northwest Xinjiang). Born to ‘Yunus Khan’ in the year 1462, Mahmud Khan was a brave warrior who possessed great military and leadership skills. Upon his father’s death, he took the throne and great responsibilities were already on his path after taking up the throne. His brother ‘Ahmad Alaq’ was already reigning the Eastern Moghulistan (present ‘Xinjiang’), while the western Moghulistan and Tashkent fell under the responsibility of Mahmood khan after the demise of his father Yunus Khan. According to the Historical records, Mahmood Khan ruled Tashkent from 1487-1503, while western Moghulistan was under his reign from 1487-1508.
During his reign, Mahmood Khan gave his sister ‘Khub Nigar Khanam’ to ‘Dughlat Amir Muhammad Hussain Mirza’. They gave birth to ‘Mirza Muhammad Haider Dughlat’ who later became the famous historian and the ruler of Kashmir.
Mahmood Khan fought various battles to defend the Tashkent area and Western Moghulistan. His battles with ‘Sultan Ahmad’ of the ‘Timurid Dynasty’ of ‘Samarkand’ and ‘Omar Sheikh’ of ‘Ferghana (eastern Uzbekistan)’ is famous for his great bravery and military leadership skills and also a little luck on his side. Both Omar Sheikh and Sultan Ahmad lost their cities to Yunus Khan in the past and to gain victory over those cities again, they fought with the battle with Mahmood Khan. However, they lost the battle and all their plannings and efforts went in vain. Sultan Ahmed was on the verge to win the battle against Mahmood Khan and ‘Tashkent’ was not far away from seizure by his army. Unluckily, one of the men serving in his army named ‘Uzbek Muhammad Shaybani’ betrayed him and started to fight from the side of Mehmood Khan. Sultan Ahmed lost the battle and his dream to capture Tashkent was shattered and he returned empty-handed to his land along with the rest of the soldiers who survived. Mahmood Khan gave some part of the land of ‘Western Moghulistan’ to ‘Uzbek Muhammad Shaybani’, and today that part given to ‘Muhammad Shaybani’ is known by his name ‘Uzbekistan’.
After the death of Sultan Ahmad of Samarkand, the Timurid Dynasty became weaker. Mahmood Khan used this opportunity and tried his best to take the areas of Samarkand from Sultan Ahmed’s grandson ‘Baysunkur’. However, Mahmood Khan did not succeed and was defeated badly. This great Uyghur Muslim ruler along with his five sons was later killed by his fellow man ‘Uzbek Muhammad Shaybani’ in 1508 on the bank of ‘Syr Darya’ in Khujand (city of Tajikistan).
This great story about this great Uyghur Muslim ruler tells us the capabilities possessed by the Uyghur Muslims who are currently looked at by the people as weak. One needs to understand that Uyghur Muslims have a great and strong historical backing.

Muslim heros

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