Shaikh Uvais


Shaikh Uvais

Shaikh Uvais, also known as Uways or Oways (سلطان شیخ اویس), was a Jalayirid ruler of Iraq (1356-1374) and Azerbaijan (1360-1374). He was the son of Hasan Buzurg and the Chobanid Delsad Katun.

Life

Shortly after Uvais succeeded his father, the old enemy of the Jalayirids, the Chobanids, were overrun by the forces of the Blue Horde under Jani Beg in 1357. Malek Asraf was executed, and Azerbaijan was conquered. Following Jani Beg’s withdrawal from Azerbaijan, as well as his son Berdi Beg’s similar abandonment of the region in 1358, the area became a prime target for its neighbors. Uvais, who at first had recognized the sovereignty of the Blue Horde, decided to take the former Chobanid lands for himself, even as a former amir of Malek Asraf’s named Akhichuq attempted to keep the region in Mongol hands. Despite a campaign that ended prematurely, as well as the brief conquest of Azerbaijan by the Muzaffarids, Uvais conquered the area in 1360. In addition to Baghdad, he could now boast Tabriz as a large city under his control.

During his reign, Shaikh Uvais sought to increase his holdings in Persia. He became involved in the power struggles of the Muzaffarids, supporting Shah Mahmud in his efforts against his brother Shah Shuja. Shah Mahmud married one of Uvais’ daughters, and received support around 1363 in his conquest of Shiraz. In 1364 Uvais campaigned against the Shirvan Shah Kai-Ka’us, but a revolt begun by the governor of Baghdad, Khwaja Mirjan, forced him to return to reassert his authority. In 1366 Uvais marched against the Black Sheep Turkmen, defeating their leader, Bairam Khwaja, at the battle of Mush. Later, he defeated the Shirvan Shah, who had attacked Tabriz twice in the meantime. In an effort to extend further east, he fought against Amir Vali, who ruled in Astarbad, and defeated him in Ray. When his brother Amir Zahid died in Ujan, however, he was forced to turn back. The governorship of Ray was trusted in the hands of a Qutlugh Shah, who was followed two years later by ‘Adil Aqa.

Due to his campaigns, Uvais spent much time in Persia, and he died in Tabriz in 1374; Baghdad, however, remained his capital. During his lifetime, the Jalayirid state reached its peak in power. In addition to his military adventures, which were considerable, he was known for his attempts to revive commercial enterprise, which had suffered heavily in the past years, in the region, as well as his patronage to the arts. His chronicler, Abu Bakr al-Qutbi al Ahri, wrote of Uvais’ deeds in the "Tarikh-i Shaikh Uvais". Shaikh Uvais was succeeded by his son Hasan.

References

*Peter Jackson (1986). "The Cambridge History of Iran, Volume Six: The Timurid and Safavid Periods". ISBN 0-521-20094-6

ee also

*History of Iran


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