Ibrahim I of Shirvan

Ibrahim I
Shah of Shirvan
Reign 1382 - 1417
Predecessor Hushang
Successor Khalilullah I
Born Shakki, Shirvan
Died 15 September 1418
Shamakhi, Shirvan
Spouse Bika Khanum
House House of Shirvanshah
Father Sultan Muhammad

Ibrahim I (Persian: ابراهیم) was the 33rd Shirvanshah (ruler of Shirvan, r. 1382-1418). Because of his cunning politics he managed to remain independent and avoid getting deposed by the Turko-Mongol ruler Timur.

Family and accession to the throne

The son of the Shirvanian prince Sultan Muhammad, Ibrahim was born in a village in Shakki, where he took care of the agriculture. After the death of Shirvanshah Hushang in 1382, Ibrahim I was selected to be the ruler by the local nobility.[1]


Map of Caucasus and its surroundings.

In 1386, Ibrahim recognized the powerful Turko-Mongol ruler Timur as his suzerain.[2] When Timur arrived to Caucasus in 1394, Ibrahim gave him gifts and riches as presents in order to maintain good relations with him. However, one of these gifts were eight slaves, which Timur did not see as enough—when he asked Ibrahim why he had only given eight slaves, Ibrahim replied: "I am myself the ninth". This made Timur glad, who due to the kindness of Ibrahim gave him much land and promised to protect him.[1] From 1399 to 1402, Ibrahim fought alongside Timur in his campaigns in Syria and Anatolia. Timur later died in 1405, fighting and rebellion broke, causing great disruption. Ibrahim was one those; he used the death of Timur as an opportunity to declare independence[2] and seize Ganja and Karabakh.

In 1412, the Kara Koyunlu ruler Qara-Yusuf, who ruled Azerbaijan, invaded the territory of Ibrahim, who requested aid from the Georgian ruler Constantine I of Georgia, who came to his assistance; a battle shortly ensured near Chalagan, which resulted in the defeat of the combined Shirvanian-Georgian forces. Ibrahim, along with his sons and Constanine were then imprisoned.[1]

Some time later, due to the bad behavior of Constantine, Qara-Yusuf had him, his son and other Georgians executed. Furthermore, Qara-Yusuf had also caused great destruction in Shirvan. Ibrahim later paid a huge amount of money in return of being freed. Ibrahim went back to his kingdom and struggled to restore order in it.[1] He died in 1418 and was succeeded by his son Khalilullah I.


Mosque in Baku constructed during the reign of Ibrahim I.

Ibrahim I revived Shirvan's fortunes, and through his cunning politics managed to avoid Timurid conquest, letting his kingdom continue without paying tribute. Furthermore, Ibrahim also greatly increased the limits of his state as far as Derbent in north and the Mugan plain to the south.


Ibrahim was married to Bika khanum (d. 1435), a noblewoman, with whom he had 11 sons and a daughter:



Ibrahim I of Shirvan
Born: ? Died: 1418
Regnal titles
Preceded by
1382 - 1418
Succeeded by
Khalilullah I
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