Amír Subuktigín.

The best historians derive the lineage of all the Sultáns of Ghaznín from Násiru-d dín Subuktigín, who was the slave of Alptigín.

During the period of the prosperity of the princes of the house of Sámání, Alptigín raised himself from a low origin to a state of authority, and in the reign of 'Abdu-l Malik bin Núh he was appointed Governor of Khurásán, but during the reign of Mansúr bin 'Abdu-l Malik, owing to some mistrust which he had formed of that prince, Alptigín left Khurásán, and exalted the standard of his desire towards Ghaznín, and conquered that country. According to Hamdu-lla, Alptigín passed there full sixteen years in prosperity, and, when he died, he was succeeded by his son Abú Is'hák, who delivered over all the affairs of the country, both civil and criminal, to Subuktigín, who was dis­tinguished above all the ministers of Alptigín for his bravery and liberality. Abú Is'hák had lived but a short time, when he died.* The chief men of Ghaznín saw the signs of greatness and nobility, and the fires of felicity and prosperity in the fore­head of Subuktigín, who widely spread out the carpet of justice, and rooted out injury and oppression, and who, by conferring different favours on them, had made friends of the nobles, the soldiers, and the leading men of the State. He several times led his army towards the confines of Hindustán, and carried off much plunder from the infidels. In the year 367 H. he took Bust and Kusdár, and, after these events, according to the request of Sultán Núh Sámání, he turned his attention towards Khurásán.

Amír Subuktigín died at the city of Balkh, in the month of Sha'bán, 387 H. (A.D. 997), and fourteen of his descendants* occupied the throne after him. Historians reckon the sovereignty of the Ghaznivides as beginning with the conquest of Bust, and they calculate that they flourished for 188 years.

Account of the taking of Bust and Kusdár, and of the arrival of
Amír Subuktigín at the summit of power

In the Rauzatu-s Safá, written by an elegant pen, and over the illustrious author of which the mantle of forgiveness of sins has been thrown, it is written thus. At the commencement of the reign of Amír Subuktigín, an individual named Tughán held sway in the fort of Bust. A certain Báítúz, having put on the girdle of enmity, rebelled and drove him out of Bust. Tughán flew for protection to the Court of Subuktigín, and prayed for help. Having consented to pay a large sum of money, he promised that, if by the aid of the amír, he should again become the possessor of Bust, he would carry the saddle-cloth of service on his shoulder, and pay tribute; and that during his whole life he would never depart from the path of obedience. Subuktigín consented to his request, led his army to Bust, routed Báítúz with blows of the soul-burning sword and flame-kindling spear, and Tughán arrived at the seat of his power; but he neglected the promises which he had made to Amír Násiru-d dín (Subuktigín), and displayed by his proceedings the banner of fraud and treachery.

One day, while riding out in the midst of his suite, Amír Subuktigín harshly required him to fulfil the engagements into which he had entered. Tughán returned an improper answer, seized his sword, and wounded Subuktigín in the hand. Násiru-d dín, with the wounded hand, struck Tughán with his sword, and was about to despatch him with another blow, when their servants getting mixed with one another, raised such clouds of dust, that Tughán, under cover of it, escaped to Kirmán; and Subuktigín made himself master of Bust. Of the many advantages which accrued to Násiru-d dín from that country having fallen into his fortune, one was, that Abú-l Fath was an inhabitant of Bust, a man who had not an equal in different varieties of learning, but more especially in composition and writing. Abú-l Fath had been the secretary of Báítúz, but after that individual had been expelled from Bust, he had lived in retirement. Subuktigín was informed about him, and issued a royal mandate that that learned man, who wore the garment of eloquence, should be brought before him. He adorned the stature of his fitness with robes of different sorts of kindness, and ordered that he should be appointed professor of the “belles lettres.” For several days, Abú-l Fath, considering the exigency of the time, begged to be excused from undertaking this important task, but at last he became the munshí and writer of Amír Subuktigín, and continued to hold that post until the time of Sultán Mahmúd of Ghaznín.* Having received some ill-treatment from Mahmúd, he fled to Turkistán, and there died. When Amír Subuktigín had settled the affairs of Bust, he turned the reins of his desire towards Kusdár. He suddenly appeared before that place, and its governor became the victim of the powerful decree of fate; but Amír Subuktigín, of his innate clemency and bounty, showed kindness towards him, and again made him governor of Kusdár, after fixing the sums of money which from the revenue of that country he should pay into the royal treasury.

About that time, Amír Subuktigín formed the desire of fighting with the infidels of Hindustán; and brought several important parts of that country into the courtyard of obedience. Jaipál,* who was then the greatest prince of Hindustán, fearing that he might lose the country which he had inherited from his ancestors, formed a large army, and directed his steps towards the country of the faithful. Amír Násiru-d dín Subuktigín came out to meet him, and a battle was fought most obstinate on both sides. In the middle of the heat of the battle, Amír Subuktigín ordered that they should throw a quantity of dirt into a fountain which was near the camp of Jaipál, the innate quality of the water of which was such that, when it became polluted with impurities, thunder and lightning flashed forth, and an overpowering frigidity followed. When they had done as Násiru-d dín had ordered, the nature of that water became fully apparent; for the Hindus were unable to resist any longer,* and sent messengers to Subuktigín, offering ransom and tribute. Amír Násiru-d dín was willing to consent to reconciliation; but his son Mahmúd wished to prevent him from acceding to this measure. At length, after Jaipál had repeatedly sent messen­gers and letters, Mahmúd also consented to peace. It was agreed that Jaipál should quickly deliver over 1000 dirhams and fifty elephants, and afterwards that he should surrender to the agents of Subuktigín possession of several forts and cities of his country. These were the conditions of the capitulations which were drawn up between them. Jaipál, after he had sent the money and the elephants, despatched several chiefs of his army, by way of hostages, to Subuktigín; and Subuktigín also sent several of the chief men of his threshold, which was the nest of felicity, with Jaipál, in order that they might take possession of the country which had been ceded to Ghaznín.

When Jaipál returned to his own country, he placed the book of his engagements on the shelf of forgetfulness, and imprisoned those noblemen, saying, “When Subuktigín sends back those hostages whom he took away with him, I will free these men, but not till then.”* When Amír Násiru-d dín heard this, he a second time hastened to Hind, and subdued Afghán* and several other places. Jaipál collected a great army from the cities of those parts of Hindustán, and nearly 100,000 men directed their steps towards the band of the faithful.*

Amír Násiru-d dín went out to meet him, and a dreadful battle was again fought on both sides. This time, Jaipál, being shamefully defeated, escaped into the furthest extremities of his own country, and the great land of Hind became established in the courtyard of submission to Subuktigín.* After Amír Násiru-d dín had returned from this expedition, in accordance with the request of Abú-l Kásim Núh bin Mansúr Sámání, he led his army to Khurásán and liberated that province. He then spent his time according to the desire of his heart, until the month of Sha'bán, 387,* when speedy death overpowered him. Amír Subuktigín declared his son Isma'íl, who was born of the daughter of Alptigín,* his successor, and then made his journey to the other world.