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The State of Sajid

One of the greatest state, established in the territory of Azerbaijan in the period of collapse of Caliphate was the state of Sajid. The founder of this state was Abu Sac, who was Turk from the Middle Asia by origin – soldier, general and statesman in the presence of Baghdad caliph. Even in his youth Abu Sac activly participated in the suppression of Khurramid uprising and in the surrender of Babek to Afshin (in 837). In the 40-50s of the 9th century Abu-Sac was in the profitable post – the chief of Mecca way and since 856, he has been the governor of the cities of Kufa and Haleb (Aleppo) in Syria. In 874 caliph appointed him the governor of the city of Akhvaz and ordered him to press the rebellors here, but Abu-Sac couldn’t implement this order. After his death (in the year of 879) his sons, Avya Muhammad and Yusuf ibn Abu Sac came to the military-political scene of Caliphate.

Avya Muhammed firstly implemented duties in Arabia, Irag and finally in 890, he was appointed the governor of Cibal and Azerbaijan.

After two years he took part in the suppression of disorder in Baghdad (the year of 892) and after six years (the year of 898) he returned to the north but as the governor of not only Azerbaijan, but also Arabic province of Arminiyya. He conducted wars for the strengthening of the authority of Caliphate through South Caucasus, being in this post during the 90s of the 8th century.

Second son of Abu Sac, Yusuf was also appointed to the posts in Arabia, took part in suppression of the khariccits movement in the first years and then he came to Maragha (Azerbaijan) to his brother. After the death of Ayva Muhammed Yusuf eliminated his son Davdad and managed to became the governor of Maragha and the whole Azerbaijan by caliph’s order.

In 913, Yusuf ibn Abu Sac conducted war against Sumbat I, who declared himself the king of Armenia, overcame and executed him, then appointed his nephew-Ashot the governor of Armenia. So in 915, former provinces of Caliphate-Arminiyya and Azerbaijan passed to the hands of Yusuf ibn Abu Sac. Yusuf ibn Abu Sac, the most prominent representative of the dynasty of Sajid, united lands from Ani and Dvin in the West to the Caspian Sea in the East, from Derbend in the North- West to Zancan in the South-East, and the capital of Sajid was Ardebil. The governors of Shirvan, Shaki, Khachen, Syunik and other provinces and areas payed taxes to Sajid and were its vassals-dependers. “Yusuf- Ibn al-Asir informed – hold back the sent of taxes to Baghdad, he became so rich that felt himself in the circumstances not to obey to caliph”. At the first time, during the reign of Caliphate, all Azerbaijanian lands were united in the frame of sole independent state.

It’s also important to mention that, the Rus made their first campaign to Azerbaijan, crossing the Volga through Caspian Sea especially, in the presence of Yusuf’s reign, in 913. According to Al-Masudi, the prominent Arabic traveller-scientist of the 10th century, Rus plundered the pre-Caspian cities and killed civil people.

Anyway, the strengthening of Yusuf, his behavour as independent ruler, rejection of payment of taxes to Treasure, the conquer of Rey (contemporary Teheran) by him and some other reasons obliged the Caliph to send punitive army, led by the Turk general-Hakan al-Muflikhi against Yusuf. Yusuf defeated this army, but then, the caliph sent great army “servant, Munis”. Yusuf ibn Abu Sac won in the first battle near Zancan, but in the second, decisive battle “next to the gates of Ardebil” his army was destroyed, he was captivated and brought to Baghdad by Munis, where he was sent into prison. But, as well as Munis left Azerbaijan, Subuk, Yusuf’s reliably servant became the owner here.

Subuk entrusted in the support of Christian and muslim governors of South Caucasus, who were the vassals of Sajid as well. Munis, who observed the strengthening of Subuk, asked caliph to liberate Yusuf and re-appoint him the governor of Azerbaijan. So, in 922/923 Yusuf returned to the capital of Azerbaijan-Ardebil.

After strengthening his power in Azerbaijan Yusuf made campaign to Rey in 924/25, again subordinated this city, as well as captured the city of Hamadan. Then caliph called Yusuf to Baghdad and sent him to press the movement of karmats (successors of ideological- religious movement in shiism, who established their chaliphate in Bahreyn) with the army of about 40 thousand soldiers. But here he lost the battle, was captivated by the leader of karmats-Abu Tahir and was executed in 927.

After the death of Yusuf, who reigned in Azerbaijan for 27 years, caliph appointed his nephew – Abu-l-Musaffa, which according to one version was sent to Ardebil, to another version was killed in Maragha by his gulams. Namely this gulams occupied the reign in Azerbaijan (the year of 928). Much stronger among them was Deysem ibn Ibrahim, who ruled Azerbaijan approximately a quarter century with some breaks (932-957). At the beginning he was defeated by the governor of Gilan, Lashkari twice, who “conquered his regions, except of Ardebil, the capital of Azerbaijan”. Deysam even obliged to escape from Ardebil and the troops of Lashkari entered to this city, but after a while they were withdrawn by civil people. Lashkari attacked to Ardebil twice, in one of them he was defeated and killed.

After the death of Lashkari, Deysam obliged to withdraw the son of Lashkari to the western provinces of Azerbaijan-to Khoy and Salmas and he managed to preserve political independence of the whole Azerbaijan during 40-50 s of the 10th century. It was not casual that there were minted coins from the name of Deysam in the capital of the state-Ardebil and in the north part of the state-Derbend. These coins are preserved in the numismatics foundation of the state Ermitage in Sankt-Peterburg.

In the beginning of 40 s of the 10th century there was shaped another dynasty-Salarids in the political arena of Azerbaijan; the founder of this dynasty was Salar Marzban ibn Muhammed (941-957). Being the ruler of Deylam (Gilan) in Iran (with the capital castles of Tarom and Semiran) he directed against Deysam with his army in 941/42. Deysam firstly fortificated in Tabriz, but when this city was besieged by the troops of Marzban he was able to escape to Ardebil. But, soon Marzban encircled Ardebil too. Then Deysam obeyed to Marzban, who encountered him with respect and sent him to live in the castle of Taram.

So, there happened the replace of the supremacy of Sajid by Salarids, when Marzban ibn Muhammed was referred to.

About Ismayil bey Zardabli

Author of t extbook for the higher educational institutions "THE HISTORY OF AZERBAIJAN, from ancient times to the present day"