Birthpangs of the Ashtarkhānid dynasty (1598-1605)
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Birthpangs of the Ashtarkhānid dynasty (1598-1605) book
'Abd al-Mu'min's death was followed by a period of instability and weakness in the khanate. Several Princes contended for overall power and took over in turns until 1603 when the new dynasty of the Astarkhanids was at last firmly established. The very choice of 'Abd al-Mu'min's immediate successor was fraught with difficulties. In Balkh the local amirs decided that 'Abd al-Mu'min's two-year-old son was too young to succeed. Yar Muhammad, who originated in Astrakhan, was the first of a new dynasty of rulers, the Ashtarkhanids, who were to reign over the khanate for nearly 200 years, and who were connected with the Janibegids, both Yar Muhammad and his son Jani Muhammad having married daughters of Iskandar Khan. Shah 'Abbas was still determined to impose a ruler of his choice on Balkh and in the years that followed the Ashtarkhanids would face more than one pretender supported by Iran.