Archive for July 2007

Alp Arslan from Nizam al-Mulk Tusi by S. Rizwan Ali Rizvi

July 21, 2007

Alp Arslan after the capture of Romanus IV, reached the Oxus, and there the prisoner Yusuf Barzami OR Narzame or al-Khwarazmi, mortally wounded him with a dagger. Alp Arslan lingered on for a day or two after he had received his fatal wound and gave his dying instruction to his faithful minister, Nizam al-Mulk about his brother and sons. He chose his son Malik Shah to succeed him. Alp Arsaln was a devout Muslim and this, in great measure, must have been due to Nizam al-Mulik’s influence on him. His dying words according to Ibn al-Athir are

    “Never”, said he, ” did I advance on a country or march against a foe without asking help of God in mine adventure, but yesterday when a stood on a hill, and the earth shock beneath me from the greatness of my army and the host of my soldiers, I said to myself, ‘I am the King of the world and none can prevail against me’ ; wherefore God Almighty hath brought me low by one of the weakest of his creatures. I ask pardon of him and repent of this my thought”. He died with utmost resignation and was buried at Merv with the following epitaph quoted by Sir Percy Sykes, History of Persia, Vol. II, op. cit., p.33

Thou has seen Alp Arslan’s head in pride exalted to the sky;

come to Merv, and see how lowly in the dust that head doth lie