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Möxämmädämin of Kazan

Khan of kazan
The basics
Date of birth
Date of death 1518 Kazan, Republic of Tatarstan, Russia
Mother: someone
Brother(s): Ghabdellatif of Kazan Ilham Ghali of Kazan
Father: Ibrahim of Kazan
The details

Möxämmät Ämin or Möxammädämin (Tatar: Мөхәммәдәмин, Мөхәммәт Әмин, [mœxæmˌmædæˈmin]; also spelled Muhammad Amin or Emin via Russian: Мухаммед-Амин) (c. 1469 – 1518) was three times a pro-Russian khan of Kazan.

Family: His father, khan Ibrahim of Kazan (r. 1467-79), had at least two wives. His first wife was the Nogai princess Fatima who gave birth to khan Ilham Ghali of Kazan (r 1479-84 and 1485-87). Another wife was Nur Soltan, daughter of the Nogai Timur, who had been married to Ibraham’s brother and predecessor, khan Xälil of Kazan (r c1466) and after his death married Crimean khan Mengli Ghirai (r 1478-1515). She gave birth to Muhammad Amin and his younger brother khan Ghabdellatif of Kazan (r. 1496-1502).


1479: When Ibrahim died in 1479 the pro-Russian party supported the 10-year old Muhammed Amin while the eastern or anti-Russian party wanted his elder half-brother Ilham. Ilham took the throne with Nogai help and Muhammed Amin fled, or was taken, to Moscow where he was given the fief of Kashira.

1479-84: first Ilham: In 1482 Ivan III sent an army against Ilham, but an arrangement was made and the Muscovite army went home. In this campaign, for the first time in history the Muscovite army had cannon. In 1484 another army was sent, Ilham was deposed and Muhammad Amin put in his place.

First reign 1484-85: He was probably too young to be an effective ruler and a year later Ilham returned to the throne with the support of a Russian army.

1485-87: second Ilham: A group of Kazan nobles sent a letter to Ivan III saying: We released Mahmet-Amin to you in case if Aleham does us foul, you would let Mahmet-Amin back to us. When Aleham found out of this, he asked as to a feast where tried to slay us, but we ran to the steppe. Ivan III sent another army to Kazan. Kazan was besieged in April 1487 and fell on 9 July. Ilham was arrested and exiled to Vologda, where he soon died. His wife and children were sent to Beloozero. A number of nobles were executed.

Second reign 1487-95: Möxammädämin became khan again. Although the khanate remained formally independent, Ivan III started to use the title Duke of Bulgaria among his other titles. During this reign Möxammädämin was closely monitored by Ivan III. Möxammädämin corresponded with Crimean Khanate. All correspondence was sent through Moscow, translated into Russian for Ivan III to read. In 1491, when the Great Horde attempted to invade the Crimean Khanate, Kazan troops participated in a raid against it, together with Muscovy, Qasim Khanate, and the Nogays.

1495-1502: In 1495, the "eastern" or Nogai faction called in Mamuq, a Shaibanid from the Siberian khanate. Muhammad Amin called in a Russian army and Mamuq drew back, but when the Russians went home Mamuq seized Kazan and Mohammad Amin fled to Moscow. Next year, when Mamuq returned from a raid on Arsk, the city closed its gates and Mamuq was forced to return to Siberia. This time the qarachi and particularly Qol Axmat objected to the return of Muhammad Amin, citing "abuse and dishonor to women" from him. The throne was given to his younger brother Ghabdellatif of Kazan. In 1502 Ghabdellatif was removed by Russia and a local faction.

Third reign 1502-18: Muhammad Amin again became khan, put Qol Axmat to death and married the widow of his brother Ilham. His new wife turned him against Moscow. In June 1505 he slaughtered the Russian merchants who had gathered for the annual fair and confiscated their goods. He marched west and burned the suburbs of Nizhny Novgorod but could not take the place because the local commander had armed 300 Lithuanian prisoners of war. He abandoned the siege because of a quarrel with his Nogai allies and returned home, the Russians not following him. In 1506 two armies were sent. The first went by water, attacked too soon and was defeated. The second arrived unexpectedly, almost won, but fell to looting and was destroyed by a counter attack. A third army was sent, but Kazan offered peace, which was accepted. In 1510 his mother Nur Soltan went from Crimea to Moscow and Kazan and improved relations between the two powers. He died in 1519 after a difficult illness. Since he left no children the throne went to Shahghali of the Qasim Khanate.

Möxammädämin was also a prominent Old Tatar language poet. His son Möxämmädyar, born from his wife Şäwliäbikä, also was one of the most prominent Tatar poets.

References and notes

  • Kołodziejczyk, Dariusz (2011). The Crimean Khanate and Poland-Lithuania: International Diplomacy on the European Periphery (15th-18th Century). A Study of Peace Treaties Followed by Annotated Documents. Leiden: Brill. ISBN 9789004191907.
  • Henry Hoyle Howorth, History of the Mongols,1880, Part 2, pp 376-385
Preceded by
Khan of Kazan
Succeeded by
Preceded by
Khan of Kazan
Succeeded by
Preceded by
Khan of Kazan
Succeeded by
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