Mongol Rule, 1220-1506
In 1220, the Islamic lands of Central Asia were overrun by the armies of theMongol invader Genghis Khan (ca. 1155-1227), who laid waste to manycivilizations and created an empire that stretched from China to the CaspianSea. But he failed to destroy the strength of Islam in Central Asia. In fact, bythe end of the thirteenth century, Genghis Khan's descendants had themselvesbecome Muslims. From the death of Genghis Khan in 1227 until the rise of Timur(Tamerlane) in the 1380s, Central Asia went through a period of fragmentation.
A product of both Turkish and Mongol descent, Timur claimed Genghis Khan asan ancestor. From his capital of Samarkand, Timur created an empire that, by thelate fourteenth century, extended from India to Turkey. The turn of thesixteenth century brought an end to Timurid Empire when another Mongol-Turkishruler overwhelmed the weak Timurid ruler in Herat. Muhammad Shaybani (also adescendant of Genghis Khan) and his successors ruled the area around the AmuDarya for about a century, while to the south and west of what is nowAfghanistan two powerful dynasties began to compete for influence.
|Country Studies main page | Afghanistan Country Studies main page|