Ulugh Muhammad

Ulugh Muhammad (1405–1445; Urdu, Persian and Arabic: ألوغ محمد; Tatar: Олуг Мөхәммәт; Russian: Улуг Мухаммед), written as Ulanus by orientalists, was twice Khan of the Golden Horde and founder of the Khanate of Kazan.

Ulugh Muhammad
Khan of the Golden Horde
(1st reign)
Reign1419 – 1423
PredecessorHajji Muhammad Khan ibn Oghlan Ali
SuccessorBarak Khan
Khan of the Golden Horde
(2nd reign)
Reign1428 – 1437
PredecessorBarak Khan
SuccessorSayid Ahmad I
Khan of the Tatar Kazan Khanate
Reign1438 – 1445
SuccessorMäxmüd of Kazan
FatherJalal al-Din Khan ibn Tokhtamysh (?)

Golden Horde

Ulugh Muhammad first came to power following the death of Yeremferden. His main competitor for control of the Horde was his cousin[1] Dawlat Berdi, the son of Yeremferden. For much of his reign Ulugh Muhammad controlled Sarai, and was therefore seen as the more legitimate ruler within the Horde, although it was captured by his rival after the Siege of Sarai in 1420 and held by him for two years.

In 1422 Baraq Khan defeated both Ulugh Muhammad and Dawlat and drove them out of the country. while Dawlat remained in the outskirts of Crimea, Ulugh Muhammad fled to the Grand Duchy of Lithuania and plead for assistance from Vytautas the Great. With this assistance, he was able to march on Baraq and capture Sarai.

After regaining control over the Khanate, Ulugh Muhammad marched on Crimea, where Dawlat Berdi had re-established himself following Baraq's defeat and death. After a series of indecisive skirmishes his invasion was cut short due to the death of Vytautas, which forced Ulugh Muhammad to concentrate his forces on Lithuania, where he supported Sigismund Kęstutaitis against Švitrigaila in the fight for the Lithuanian throne. Švitrigaila, in turn, supported Dawlat Berdi and later Sayid Ahmad I, as did Vasili II of Moscow.


He lost control of the Golden Horde 1436, fled to Crimea, quarreled with the Crimeans, led a 3000-man army north and took the border town of Belyov. In 1437 Vasily II sent against him a huge army under the command of Dmitry Shemyaka, but they were defeated in the battle of Belyov. Soon after he moved to Volga and in 1438 captured Kazan, separating it from the Golden Horde. In 1439 he raided Russia and burned Kolomna and the outskirts of Moscow. We have no information for the next five years. In 1444–45 he occupied Nizhny Novgorod and marched on Murom. When Vasily counterattacked (1445) he was defeated and captured at the Battle of Suzdal, but soon ransomed. Muhammad died a few months later, possibly murdered by his son Mäxmüd.


Ulugh Muhammad was most likely the son of Jalal ad-Din khan, and the grandson of Tokhtamysh, although he may have been descended from Hassan Jefai, a relative of Tokhtamysh.[2] Either way, he was a descendant of Jochi and therefore of Genghis Khan.[3] Note that the above contradicts the genealogy section below. The Russian Wikipedia says that his ancestry is uncertain and that there are several opinions. His son Mustafa died fighting near Ryazan in 1444. His son Qasim Khan went to collect ransom after the battle of Suzdal, entered Russian service and in 1452 founded the Qasim Khanate. His son Mäxmüd of Kazan succeeded him. A son Yusuf may have been killed by Mäxmüd when he came to power.


  • Genghis Khan
  • Jochi
  • Touka-Timour
  • Ureng-Timour (Khan de Crimée)
  • Saridja
  • Toulak-Timour
  • Touka-Timour
  • Kendjé-Tok-Timour
  • Ali-Bek-Toula-Timour
  • Hassan-Tak-Timour
  • Ulugh Muhammad (1437–1446)
  • Yakoub
  • Shaykh Ahmed
  • Hussein-Ivan Vassiliévitch

See also

Further reading

  • Paine, Sheila: The Golden Horde: From the Himalaya to the Mediterranean, Penguin Books, 1998.
  • Crummey, Robert: Formation of Muscovy 1304-1613, Longman Group, 1987.=


  1. Bosworth, Clifford Edmund, The New Islamic Dynasties: A Chronological and Genealogical Manual, p. 253. Edinburgh University Press, 2004.
  2. Howorth, Henry Hoyle, History of the Mongols from the 9th to the 19th Century: Part 2: The So-Called Tartars of Russia and Central Asia, p. 449. Adamant Media Corporation, 2006.
  3. Bosworth, Clifford Edmund, The New Islamic Dynasties: A Chronological and Genealogical Manual, p. 253. Edinburgh University Press, 2004.
Ulugh Muhammad
Regnal titles
Preceded by
Khan of the Golden Horde (with Dawlat Berdi)
Succeeded by
Preceded by
Khan of the Golden Horde (with Dawlat Berdi)
Succeeded by
Sayid Ahmad I
Preceded by
the Khanate established
Khan of the Kazan Khanate
Succeeded by
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