Khalil Sultan

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Khalil Sultan
Reign 1405–1409
Predecessor Timur
Successor Shahrukh Mirza
Born 1384
Died November 4, 1411
Dynasty Timurid dynasty
Father Miran Shah
Religion Islam

Khalil Sultan (Chagatai/Persian: خلیل سلطان‎‎) was the Timurid ruler of Transoxiana from 1405 to 1409. He was a son of Miran Shah and a grandson of Timur.


During Timur's lifetime, Khalil Sultan gained Timur's particular favor. He distinguished himself during the campaign in India and in 1402 was given rule of Ferghana valley. Upon Timur's death in 1405 Khalil viewed himself as his successor. Timur's appointed successor Pir Muhammad was quickly cast aside, and Khalil gained control of Samarkand. Khalil gained Timur's treasury and bestowed the puppet title of Chagatai Khan (which before had always been granted by Timur to a descendant of Genghis Khan to legitimize his rule) to a Timurid prince. Khalil also gained an ally, Sultan Husain, who had previously also made claims to the throne as a grandson of Timur.[1]

Meanwhile, Shahrukh Mirza, who was ruling in Herat, also decided to press his claims. He advanced to the Oxus River against Khalil but turned back when Khalil's father Miran Shah, as well as his brother Abu Bakr ibn Miran Shah, marched from Azerbaijan in support. Nevertheless, Khalil's position began to weaken. He was unpopular in Samarkand, where the nobility despised his wife Shad Mulk. The latter had considerable influence over Khalil, convincing him to appoint people of so-called low birth to high positions at the expense of the nobility. A famine caused him to be even more despised. He decided to return to Ferghana valley with his former mentor, Khudaidad Hussain, who went to Moghulistan (the realm of the eastern Chagatai Khans) in an attempt to win their support.[2] However, Persian historian Khwandamir instead claims that Khudaidad Hussain began a civil war against Khalil and took him prisoner, delivering him along with his territory to eastern Chagatai Khan Shams-i-Jahan (r. 1399–1408). Shams-i-Jahan, however, had Khudaidad Hussain executed for his treason to Khalil and returned Khalil his kingdom.[3]

Khalil's rule in Samarkand finally ended when Shahrukh Mirza entered the city unopposed on May 13, 1409. Transoxiana was then given to Shahrukh Mirza's son Ulugh Beg. Khalil decided to surrender to Shahrukh Mirza, who had captured Shad Mulk. He received his wife back, and was appointed governor of Ray. He died there in 1411. His wife committed suicide shortly after his death.[4]


  1. Roemer, p. 100
  2. Roemer, pp. 100–1
  3. Stevens, John. The history of Persia. Containing, the lives and memorable actions of its kings from the first erecting of that monarchy to this time; an exact Description of all its Dominions; a curious Account of India, China, Tartary, Kermon, Arabia, Nixabur, and the Islands of Ceylon and Timor; as also of all Cities occasionally mention'd, as Schiras, Samarkand, Bokara, &c. Manners and Customs of those People, Persian Worshippers of Fire; Plants, Beasts, Product, and Trade. With many instructive and pleasant digressions, being remarkable Stories or Passages, occasionally occurring, as Strange Burials; Burning of the Dead; Liquors of several Countries; Hunting; Fishing; Practice of Physick; famous Physicians in the East; Actions of Tamerlan, &c. To which is added, an abridgment of the lives of the kings of Harmuz, or Ormuz. The Persian history written in Arabick, by Mirkond, a famous Eastern Author that of Ormuz, by Torunxa, King of that Island, both of them translated into Spanish, by Antony Teixeira, who liv'd several Years in Persia and India; and now render'd into English.
  4. Roemer, p. 101


  • Roemer, H. R. "The Successors of Timur." The Cambridge History of Iran Volume 6: The Timurid and Safavid Periods. Edited by Peter Jackson. New York: Cambridge University Press, 1986. ISBN 0-521-20094-6
Khalil Sultan
Preceded by Timurid Empire
Succeeded by
Shahrukh Mirza