This article throws light upon the top six rulers of the Tahiri dynasty.
1. Tahir (818-872):
This dynasty was founded by Tahir. One of his ancestors was officer under Turlha, Governor of Sazistan. Razik’s son Musha-ab, was the ruler of Wushung, a town in Hirat.
With the death of Musha-ab in 814, his son Hussain became the ruler of Sushung and after him came Tahir, who had already distinguished himself in the reign of Mamun, for it was he who commanded the army sent by Mamun against his brother Amin.
As a reward for his success in conquering the Western provinces for Mamun, he was made Governor of Mesopotamia, commander of the Baghdad army and the ruler of Iraq.
2. Tulha (822-828):
Although Tahir revolted against Mamun and gave orders that the Caliph’s name should not be pronounced by the Imams in the mosques, the Caliph lacked the courage to remove sons of Tahir from their posts as rulers of the various provinces. One of the sons, Abdulla, was fighting in Egypt and Mesopotomia on behalf of Mamun, and another, Tulha, continued to be the viceroy of the East.
Tulha’s capital was not Merv, but Neshpor and from there he exercised complete control over Tukharistan, Khurasan and Autarved. It was during his reign that an army was sent to the north of Central Asia under the command of Ahmed, son of Abu Khalid. Kavus, the ruler of Ausrushana, refused to pay taxes to Mamun after he had shifted his capital from Baghdad to Merv.
Haider, son of Kavu killed one of the generals of Fazal and then fled to Baghdad. Fazal sent for help to the Takuj Aguz, in the North. When Kavus surrendered himself in Baghdad he had not yet embraced Islam. But in Baghdad the Caliph converted him to the Islamic faith and made him ruler of Ausrushana. He was succeeded later on by Haider, who became a distinguished noble of the Caliph’s court and was then known as Afshin. In 841, Afshin Haider was put to death, but his dynasty continued to rule over Ausrushana till 893. Coins minted by the last Afshin in 892, are in display in the Leningrad museum.
When Ahmed came to Central Asia, he was cordially received by Tulha.
Ahmed was one of the protectors of the Samanis and Tulha placed Ahmad, son of Asad, on the throne of Fargana.
3. Ali (828-837):
Ali kept the kingdom of his predecessor intact. It was during his reign that the Caliph sent an expedition towards Turkestan, but there was a revolt among the Kharazis as a result of which he was killed near Neshpor.
4. Abdulla (837-844):
After the death of Ali, the Caliph Motsim sent Abdulla as Viceroy. Abdulla sent his son, Tehir, to conquer the Aguz and he planted the banner of Islam in areas where it had never been before and the people living between the Sir and Amu were converted to the Islamic faih. These converts being animated with the new religious fervour immediately launched a crusade against their northern neighbours, the Turks.
Abdulla was the most powerful of all the Tahiri rulers. His allegiance to the Caliph was only formal and in reality he had become an independent ruler. Motsim was the last of the Abbasi Caliphs to exercise some control over this part of Central Asia and it was he who had dug a canal in Taskent at a cost of two million dirhams which was in use till the 13th century.
5. Tahir II (844-51):
After, the death of Abdulla Tahir and later Mohammed ruled over the kingdom, but by 872 this Iranian dynasty came to an end. At this time the Caliph of Baghdad was recognised merely as a spiritual ruler, even though he maintained some property in Bagdad till the time of Mohammed Tahir.
The Tahiris tried their utmost to keep the people with them, because they had to maintain their existence in the face of opposition from the Caliphs. They also tried in the interests of internal peace and tranquillity to protect the poor from the oppression of the rich. Tahir wrote a book on the Muslim religion, “Kitabul Kumiya” in which he wrote : ‘Allah feeds us through the hands of the peasants, welcomes us through them and forbids us to illtreat them.’ Like his father, (Tahir I) Abdulla was also a poet.
6. Mohammed, son of Abdulla (851-72):
Mohammed was at first the Governor of Baghdad and the personal property of the Caliph was administered by him. He sent the christian, Xavier to look after the land, and the latter not only looked after it, but even extended it by seizing the pastures of the neighbouring villages. This touched off a revolt led by the Shiyas. Hasan, the leader of the rebels, continued to rule over the area till 884. It was the support of the peasants that lay behind the success of the Shiyas. After 53 years of rule the Tahiri Dynasty came to an end at the hands of Yakub.