Ghiyath al-Din Mahmud

Ghiyath al-Din Mahmud
Sultan of the Ghurid Empire
Reign 1206–1212
Predecessor Mu'izz al-Din Muhammad
Successor Baha al-Din Sam III
Born Ghor
Died 1212
House Ghurid
Father Ghiyath al-Din Muhammad
Religion Sunni Islam

Ghiyath al-Din Mahmud (Persian: غیاث الدین محمود), was Sultan of the Ghurid Empire from 1206 to 1212. He was the nephew and successor of Mu'izz al-Din Muhammad.

Rise to power

Ghiyath was the son of Ghiyath al-Din Muhammad, who was the brother of Mu'izz al-Din Muhammad. When Mu'izz al-Din Muhammad was assassinated in 1206 in India, the Ghurid Empire fell into civil war; the Turkish ghulams supported Ghiyath, while the native Iranian soldiers supported Baha al-Din Sam II. Baha al-Din Sam II, however, died after a few days later, which made the Iranian soldiers support his two sons Jalal al-Din Ali and Ala al-Din Muhammad. Meanwhile, Firuzkuh was controlled by the Ghurid prince Diya al-Din Muhammad. Ghiyath, however, managed to defeat them all and crown himself as Sultan of the Ghurid Empire.[1] However, Jalal al-Din managed to capture Ghazni, and made his brother the ruler of the city.


The Turkic general Taj al-Din Yildiz shortly managed to seize Ghazni from the sons of Baha al-Din Sam II, but shortly recognized the authority of Ghiyath. Ghiyath, not glad about Taj al-Din controlling Ghazni, and not daring to leave Ghur unprotected, requested help from the Khwarazmian Muhammad II of Khwarezm. Muhammad, however, instead invaded the domains of Ghiyath, capturing Balkh and Tirmidh.[2] Luckily for Ghiyath, Muhammad was captured by the Kara-Khitan Khanate. Husain ibn Kharmil, a former Ghurid general, who had changed allegiance to the Khwarazmians, shortly entered a negotiation with Ghiyath. However, the negotiation turned fruitless, and Ghiyath sent an army against Husain, which, was, however, defeated.

Thirteen months later, Muhammad was freed from captivity, and once again invaded the domains of Ghiyath, and captured Herat. Muhammad then invaded the Ghurid heartland of Ghur, and captured Ghiyath. Ghiyath then agreed to recognize Muhammad's authority, and remained ruler of the Ghurid dynasty until he was assassinated in 1212. He was succeeded by his son Baha al-Din Sam III.


  1. The Iranian World, C.E. Bosworth, The Cambridge History of Iran, Vol. 5, ed. J. A. Boyle, John Andrew Boyle, (Cambridge University Press, 1968), 161-170.
  2. Michel Biran, The Empire of the Qara Khitai in Eurasian History, (Cambridge University Press, 2005), 70.


Preceded by
Mu'izz al-Din Muhammad
Sultan of the Ghurid dynasty
Succeeded by
Baha al-Din Sam III
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