The Mamluk Jan Bardi al-Ghazali and the Ottoman Sultanate: A New Historical Outlook

The Mamluk Jan Bardi al-Ghazali and the Ottoman Sultanate: A New Historical Outlook


2020 31. cilt – 2. sayı



aAl-Azhar University Faculty of Arts and Human Sciences, Department of History, Gaza, PALESTINE


Bu çalışma, hakkında çok sayıda tarihî rivayet bulunan, hain ve Osmanlı işbirlikçisi olarak nitelendirilen önemli bir Memlüklü şahsiyeti Canberdi Gazâlî’nin hayatını konu edinmektedir. Bu çalışma “Memlüklü Canbirdi Gazâlî ve Osmanlı Saltanatı: Yeni Tarihsel Bir Bakış Açısı” olarak isimlendirilmiştir. Bu çalışmanın önemi, bazı araştırmacıların hakikati ortaya koyarken kasten ihmalkâr davranmalarından ve eski tarihçilerin bu hakikatlerin anlatımını önyargılı ve taraflı ifadelerle yapmasından kaynaklanmaktadır. Bu önyargı, onun korkunç bir suç olan vatana ihanetini açıkça göstermemektedir. Tarihçiler, Canbirdi Gazâlî hakkında verdikleri rivayetlerin doğruluğunu hiç soruşturmadan ve hep aynı kaynaklara atıf yaparak anlatagelmişler ve böylece bu rivayetler doğru kabul edilmiştir. Ben bu mütevazı çabamda, Canbirdi Gazâlî’nin gerçek kişiliğini ve âlimler tarafından onu ihanetle suçlamaya sevk eden faktörleri açıklamak için nesnel ve tarafsız bir duruş sergilemeye çalıştım. Bu bağlamda bu çalışma, geleneksel olarak tartışılmaz kabul edilen tarihî bir konunun yeni bir tarihsel görünümünü üstlenmektedir.

Anahtar Kelimeler

Canbirdi Gazâlî; İbn Zunbul; İbn Iyas; Selim I; Hayır Bey


This study deals with the life of an important Mamluk around to whom there have been a number of Historical Narrations that label him as a traitor and a Collaborator with the Ottoman Sultanate that is Jan Bardi al-Ghazali. The study is entitled “the Mamluk Jan Bardi al-Ghazali and the Ottoman Sultanate: A New Historical Outlook.” The significance of this study arises from the deliberate failure of some researchers to reveal the truth, and their giving full credence to what old historians prejudiced Narration of this figures. Such prejudice is not manifested in their leveling the dreadful charge of treason at him. Researchers simply narrated the Narrations on al-Ghazali given historians without even trying to verify the authenticity of such Narrations never realizing that they date back to the same source, so that such Narrations have been assumed as facts. In the modest effort of mine, try to hold an objective and disinterested stance in my endeavor to disclose the true personality of al-Ghazali, investigating the factors motivating scholars to accuse him of treason. In this way, the study is a new historical view of a historical issue that has traditionally been assumed unquestionable.


Jan Bardi al-Ghazali; Ibn Zunbol; Ibn Iyas; Selim I; Khair Bey

Historical sources and references have consistently attached the accusation of “treason” to the Mamluk prince Jan Bardi al-Ghazali and other Mamluks, and the first to throw the accusation against Muhammad Ibn Iyas and Ahmad bin Zunbol in an attempt to throw the blame for the defeat of the Mamluks at the site of Marj Dabiq in 922 AH / 1516 AD, to an element The betrayal that was already present in the Mamluk House, and they poured out their anger against al-Ghazali and Khair Bey on the grounds that they were more accomplices to the Ottomans, knowing that the factors and reasons that led to this defeat are numerous and not limited to treachery.

The rest of the later historians of Ibn Iyas and Ibn Zunbol continued to transmit these narratives from one another or from others without verifying the authenticity of the origin of the narratives they were transmitting, until they became a reality recognized without realizing that their origin is one.

The importance of this study stems from the failure of some researchers to show the truth, and to hand, those over to what the ancient historians have reported without tracing their personal whims. And the accusation of treason and complicity on the person of Prince Jan Bardi al-Ghazali falls within the scope of this deficiency that we went to. The researchers ignored in the writings of Ibn Iyas and Ibn Zunbol their sympathy for the Mamluk authorities that ruled in Egypt and Syria.

This study is just a modest attempt to unveil the character of al-Ghazali to give him what he and what he has, and it is also a new vision for the events of that important period in the history of the modern Islamic world.

With regard to the research methodology in this study, it combined the descriptive and analytical approach, with not neglecting the narration of events that helps in the process of historical analysis.


Before we loaded Jan Bardi al-Ghazali or we loaded on him regarding the defeat of the Mamluks at the site of Marj Dabiq, we must get to know the political and military circumstances surrounding which constituted the elements of victory and defeat, the elements of the Ottoman victory and the elements of the Mamluk defeat, because this greatly contributes to revealing the historical truth, And sheds light on the manifestation of this research, the manifestation of al-Ghazali’s position, and an explanation of the reality of his historical role.

The Mamluk Sultanate had been hit in the end of its days by what happened to other countries prior to it, so the princes and Mamluks abandoned the spirit of courage and loyalty and obedience that their ancestors displayed, and the spirit of rebellion and disobedience became overpowered, as many of the senior princes looked to win the position of the Sultanate, so contact some of them with opponents The Sultan and his enemies sometimes, which caused their Sultanate to crack.[1]

There are several factors that led to the cracking and undermining of the Mamluk Sultanate, it is not possible to list them here, but we will suffice to highlight the most important of them, including the flight of entire Egyptian villages farmers from the countryside to the main cities, leaving behind the crops that they did not collect, and the tailors closed their stores in Cairo, and the same thing was done by the arms manufacturers, Threats and insults against the person of the Mamluk Sultan also rose in the streets,[2] while the situation in Syria was worse due to the central administration’s distance from it, as the people of Syria hated the Mamluk rulers, and the peasants deliberately carried out hostile actions against the Mamluk Sultanate, and several villages and areas Entire obedience, what called the Mamluk princes in it to write to Sultan Qansuh al-Ghouri and inform him of the seriousness of the situation in Syria, saying: “O Sultan, the land of Aleppo has escaped from our hands and moved to the hands of Ibn Ottoman (Sultan Selim I”. His name is mentioned there in the Friday sermon, and is engraved on the money[3]

The anti-Mamluk sentiments not only spread among the population; they also moved to the ranks of the army, so the degree of discipline in it decreased in an unprecedented manner, and the voices of the soldiers demanded the Sultan’s money and rewards, and they began to rebel and wreaked corruption on the public streets, and screamed in the face of the Sultan before the Battle of Marj Dabiq A few months ago, “Why don’t you follow the method of the previous kings, to reduce this injustice?”[4]

And the disintegration increased, and internal problems prevailed, and aggravated among the Mamluks, and some confirm that the disintegration that the hero among the Mamluks became who can manage a successful conspiracy, not the one who wins a fierce battle, and this approach deepened in them a lack of engagement in an external war for several long years, with the exception of that war The short that occurred between the Mamluks and the Ottomans in the late fifteenth century (For more details.[5] Thus, these interrelated Mamluk blocs turned into a deadly rivalry among them, and the Sultan resorted to supporting his authority to rely more and more on his purchases or what is called julban[6] and to hit the other blocks with each other to weaken them, and increased hostility between the sects of the Mamluks each group formed on itself by doing The association of Khaddashiya, or what is known as the loyalty of the Mamluk to his immediate colleague who was bought, studied and emancipated.[7]

More importantly, the Mamluk Sultanate is now facing developed countries of a new style based either on the basis of sectarian thought such as: the Shiite Safavid state in Persia, or on the basis of religious jihad such as the Ottoman Empire in Anatolia and the Balkans, or on an economic basis such as the Portuguese.[8] That was when the Mamluk Sultanate was declining – as we mentioned earlier. Likewise, the Ottomans succeeded in undermining the energy of this military sultanate, after they put obstacles on the path of buying young Mamluks from the Black Sea markets to transport them to Egypt.[9]

At a time when the Mamluks were folding the last pages of their country, the Ottoman conquests were expanding in Europe from one region to another, from the Balkans to Central Europe to the north of the Danube, but the sights of the Ottomans later turned towards the Islamic countries bordering their borders in Asia Minor, and they wished Sovereignty over the Islamic world, after the spread of religious enthusiasm among them in the late fifteenth century, was directed first to fight the Shiite Safavids in Persia, and hostility intensified at the time between the Shah Ismail Safavid[10] and the Ottoman Sultanate after the death of the Ottoman Sultan Muhammad II, where the Shah seized the conflict that erupted around a for the authority of the sons of the Ottoman house, and the Shiites in Asia Minor incited the revolution and rebellion against the Sunni Ottomans, as he lured the princes of the parties neighboring his country to leave the Ottoman Sultanate.[11]

When Sultan Selim I ascended the throne of the Ottoman Sultanate in 1512 AD, his relationship with the Shah Ismail, who embraced the sons of the Ottoman house opposing Selim, deteriorated, and the latter began his reign to quell the revolt of the Shiites in Asia Minor and their oppression. This led to Selim attacking the property of the Shah in 920 AH / 1514 AD, seizing Diyarbakir and Kurdistan and the Kurdish regions, incursion east into Persia, and finally meeting the Safavid army at Chalderan near Tabriz, and a battle raged that ended with the defeat of Shah Ismail on August 23, 1514 AD, and the entry of Selim Tabriz and the establishment of prayer Friday sermon to him and where.[12]

It seems that Sultan Selim had, before his war with the Safavids, had asked for help in their fight against Sultan Qansuh al-Ghuri, and although the Mamluk Sultanate could provide a helping hand to the Ottomans, and the Sultan al-Ghuri as leader of the Sunni Muslims could launch a campaign against the Safavid rulers, but he preferred to take a position Observer from afar, leaving the Sunni Ottomans alone against the Safavids.[13]

It is clear from the foregoing that the Mamluks wanted, with their neutral stance, a provocation of the Ottomans to provoke a clash between them and the Safavids, in order for one of the enemies to shatter the hand of the other, and facilitate them later to intervene and play the role of saviors of the Sunnis, and perhaps inherit the property of the Ottoman Sultanate itself.

Whatever the case, the Ottoman expansion in parts of Persia led to the extension of the property of the Ottoman Sultanate to the periphery of the Mamluk Sultanate, the region that extends from the Taurus Mountains in the northwest of the Levant to the city of Malatya in Asia Minor, which is subject to the rule of Prince Alaa al-Dawla Dulghadr, who is covered by the protection of the Mamluks, who stood by the Ottoman army heading for the Safavid war, stood armed and neutral, so Selim accused him of hostility, and seized his country in 1515 AD.[14] By this, the Ottomans became close to Mamluk lands in Syria.

Sultan al-Ghuri sensed the danger posed to his country after the Ottoman attacks, and the Ottoman disregard for protecting the Mamluks over the Emirate of Dulghadr (Al-Bustan) and annexing them to their properties without courtesy, as Selim began to misunderstand the Mamluks after they refused to support him in his war against the Safavids.[15]

In early 1516 AD / 922 AH, the news reached Cairo with the Ottoman preparations for Istanbul for the war, and al-Ghuri realized that his country was the destination of these preparations, so he prepared his army and took him to Aleppo, Syria, on the 15th of Rabi ‘Al-Akhir 922 AH / July 1516 AD, and this work went on to send A Messenger to Selim confirms his desire for peace and non-war, but Selim refused to talk about the matter of reconciliation and said to the Messenger: “Say to your teacher, find me on Marj Dabiq”[16] inside the Syrian lands subject to the Mamluk Sultanate.

Selim appears to have resolved to settle an old account with the Mamluks, who were defeated by the Ottoman armies within Ottoman lands in the late fifteenth century – as we have already said.


The circumstances wished that the last page in the history of the Mamluk Sultanate would be related to a number of princes, such as Khair Bey[17] and Jan Bardi al-Ghazali, who were accused by sources and references of treason and collusion for the Ottomans when they entered the Levant and Egypt between 16-1517 AD / 922-923 AH.

This study includes a follow-up to the life of Jan Bardi al-Ghazali in a serious attempt to shed light on it through historical sources and references that dealt with his personality, from near or far, to reveal the truth of this serious accusation and its roots.

The birth date of Prince al-Ghazali is not known, and he is originally from the Mamluks of Sultan al-Ashraf Qaitbay, He had bought it and then freed him, and he rose to positions in the ladder of the Mamluk Sultanate, and was later appointed as a Kashef[18] of an area in Sharqiya called “Mounia Ghazal” so he was attributed to it[19] then al-Ashraf Qaitbay made it Jamdar[20] and decided to reveal Sharqiyaç.[21] In the late Qaitbay days, al-Ghazali was promoted to Amir Ashra (Ten).[22] At the beginning of the rule of Sultan Qansuh al-Ghouri, he was appointed as a Mohtaseb to Cairo in place of Prince Qurqmas al- Maqri, then a Hajeb[23] to Aleppo in the Levant, as a deputy to Safed in 917 AH, then Hama a year later, and continued this position until defeating the Mamluks at the site of Marj Dabiq in 922 AH / 1516 AD.[24]

Ibn Iyas described Prince al-Ghazali as frivolous.[25] This description seems to contradict exactly what Ibn Iyas himself went when he spoke about the period of al-Ghazali’s rule of the Levant after the Ottoman Sultan Selim I assumed it. He said; “When al-Ghazali assumed the office of Syria, it was very great from the abundant sanctity and the effective word, and al-Ghazali reformed the Syrian authorities in his days until the wolf and the sheep walked in them either.”[26] This is indicative but indicates the justice that characterized him al-Ghazali during his rule in Syria before his rebellion to Ottoman rule later.

Before the Battle of Marj Dabiq, in which the Ottomans completely ended the influence of the Mamluks Sultanate from Syria, the opinions of the Mamluk princes differed on how to confront the Ottomans, and al-Ghazali, the deputy of Hama, saw the necessity of retreating to Damascus and burning the agricultural crops that were on the way so that the Ottoman forces would not benefit from them, so the road would go on them and not They find food for them or their animals, and consequently the Safavids, who were lying in wait for the Ottomans, could attack and block them, and put them off from the end of them, but some princes apparently were not convinced of this opinion because they doubted al-Ghazali’s loyalty, and he was rejected.[27]

In fact, none of the historical sources and references gave any concrete evidence for doubts about al-Ghazali’s loyalty and his betrayal of the Ghouri authority. Everything mentioned about questioning al-Ghazali’s loyalty or betrayal, was in its entirety vague words lacking clarification, which we will address during this study.

Whatever the case, the battle of Marj Dabiq circled in 922 AH / 1516 AD defeated the Mamluks and the Sultan al-Ghuri was killed.[28] The contemporaries of that period, the defeat to the element of treachery that was present inside the Mamluk House, and poured out their anger on al-Ghazali and Khair Bey, on the basis that they were the most complicit in the account of the Ottoman Sultan Selim I, and the rest of the later historians of Ibn Iyas and Ibn Zunbol continued to transfer Those narrations from each other or from others Without realizing their efforts to verify the authenticity of the origin of the novel, until those novels they quoted became reality without realizing that the origin of the novel is the same.

Both Ibn Iyas and Ibn Zunbol did not mention the role played by the Lebanese princes, especially Prince Fakhr al-Din I, concerned in the battle of Marj Dabiq. During the battle, these princes stood by, waiting for their results to join the victorious team. Haider al-Shihabi confirms this position by saying; “Prince Fakhr al-Din said to his men and his people, let us look at those who are victorious and fight with him.”[29] In other words, there were other factors to defeat the Mamluks in Marj Dabiq other than the element of treachery that was present in the Mamluk line.

In this study, we will not stop at length when what has been said about the betrayal of Prince Khair Bey, unless the study requires stopping by him through his relationship with Prince al-Ghazali.

Ibn Zunbol reported the first accusation against al-Ghazali of treason and collusion, when Prince Sibaye, the deputy of Damascus, discovered Prince Khair Bey, the deputy of Aleppo, with Sultan Selim before the battle of Marj Dabiq, so he arrested and handed him over to the Sultan al-Ghuri who was determined to kill him.[30] But al-Ghazali interfered in the interest of his colleague Khair Bey and defended him, and showed that killing him at this time and in the difficult situation that the Mamluks were going through would ignite strife among the soldiers, then Prince al-Ghazali rose and said: “Oh, Mawlana Sultan, do not fascinate the military and start fighting each other and your news goes to your enemy, and his ambition increases in you, and the opinion is yours, and this was a conspiracy by al- Ghazali, otherwise he would have chosen Khair with all he perished”[31] and this means that al-Ghouri has reversed his decision and kept the life of Khair Bey.

Regardless of the fact that Khair Bey betrayed and cooperated with the Ottomans, we could not prove the validity of al-Ghazali’s intervention in favor of his colleague Khair Bey, perhaps al-Ghazali’s interference in this situation was in the public interest, for fear that the insurgency would spread within the Mamluk army, especially among the agents of Khair Bey himself if He was already killed. Since the Sultan al-Ghuri was in an unenviable position about to go to war, had this novel of Khair Bey betrayed, the Sultan would have been able to remove Khair Bey from his position and arrest him until the end of the war order with the Ottomans.

Through what Ibn Zunbol wrote in the entirety of what he wrote about the history of the Mamluk Sultanate and his apparent bias towards the Mamluk sultans, we conclude that he mentioned that narration as if the element of treason was the only cause of the defeat of the Mamluks and not anything else, and without confirming with the evidence the validity of al-Ghazali’s collusion in the interest of his colleague Khair Bey.

Some sources point to the role of al-Ghazali and others in betraying the Mamluk army during the fighting at the site of Marj Dabiq. Ibn Zunbol indicates that victory was in favor of the Mamluks until Khair Bey, who was leading the facilitator, and al-Ghazali with the defeated remnants of the army retreated, and entered the tent of Sultan al-Ghouri.[32] Khair Bey called with the loudest voice of the necessity of desertion because the sultan was killed, and that the Ottomans attacked and believed him, and he fled to Aleppo accompanied by most of the Mamluk julbans, and this was only a plot from him to disperse the Mamluk army.[33]

Anwar Zaqlmah asserts that al-Ghazali followed the path of Khair Bey and withdrew from the battle with another part of the army, and the Mamluks’ regime defected after the Ottomans used artillery that they had not started using before, and they reaped many of the Mamluk forces.[34]

The well-informed person in the aforementioned narration of Ibn Zunbol does not find evidence of al-Ghazali’s betrayal and his escape from the battle. Rather, everything he mentioned belongs to Khair Bey alone. As for the narration of Anwar Zaqlmah, it is weak because he did not specify the correct time that al-Ghazali withdrew from the battlefield, and it is most likely that this withdrawal or retreat took place, but after the killing of al-Ghouri Sultan, the imbalance of the entire Mamluk army system, and the certainty of the inevitability of defeat, he was afraid to himself and his soldiers decided to flee.

It is possible to demonstrate the validity of what we went to, that al-Ghazali was not the only one who escaped after verifying the defeat, but was followed by Muhammad the son of al-Sultan al-Ghuri himself who went to Damascus with al-Ghazali,[35] as it is inconceivable that the son of Sultan escaped from the battlefield leaving his father to his fate Without defending him, unless he has already verified his father’s death.

In one of the Turkish studies, it was said that Sultan Qansuh al-Ghuri was afraid of al-Ghazali and Khair Bey, as this trio was not loyal to each other; Therefore, Al-Ghouri placed both of them on the front line in the Battle of Marj Dabiq.[36]

If Prince Khair Bey joined the Ottomans after the battle and went to Hama and followed their path,[37] then Prince Jan Bardi al-Ghazali did not do the same, and this indicates that he had not yet joined the Ottomans, as historical sources confirmed that al-Ghazali was appointed as a deputy On Damascus with the approval of the defeated Mamluks.[38] While some stated that al-Ghazali wanted to be an authoritarian in Damascus, but his comrades of the defeated Mamluks objected to that, and said that the first was to be the Sultanate of Muhammad the son of Sultan al-Ghuri, then they unanimously agreed to return to Egypt, the seat of the Sultanate, and there the Sultan was chosen from one of the competent princes. Brave, and entrusted the rule of Damascus to one of the dignitaries of the sheikhs of the Arabs, Prince Nasser al-Din bin Al-Hanash, at the instigation of al-Ghazali, who said to the new ruler: “The country is yours, received it until we look at it how it is.”[39]

While Ibn Iyas mentions in his blogs that after the Battle of Marj Dabiq, Syria’s news about Egypt was interrupted for forty days. “There was no true good in it, and there was a lot of saying and saying about that on various kinds. Among other things, it was rumored that al-Ghazali, the deputy of the Levant, prevented the news from reaching to Egypt, and he obstructed the military in Syria.”[40]

We can conclude from the narration of Ibn Iyas several things worthy of note, including:

  1. That al-Ghazali, according to Ibn Iyas and Ibn Tulun, was appointed deputy of the Mamluks in Damascus, while Ibn Zunbol contradicted them, and he never mentioned that al-Ghazali assumed thisposition; rather, he tried to dominate it, and failed to object to his colleagues on this idea – as we mentioned above.
  2. That Ibn Iyas says; “Among all that was rumored” that al-Ghazali, the deputy of the Levant, prevented the news from reaching Egypt, and he worked to impede the return of the Mamluks to Egypt, and he notes here his saying”, and from what was rumored …” that is, Ibn Iyas was not certain in the collusion of al-Ghazali Rather, he relied only on the rumors that were circulated in this regard, while Ibn Zunbol’s narration – whose narrations and that of Ibn Iyas were the main source of what was said about the betrayal and collusion of al-Ghazali – contradicted this, in the indication that we mentioned that the latter had descended at the will of his Mamluk companions and all of them went to Egypt without Slow down
  3. That Ibn Iyas in his previous narration of what was rumored about al-Ghazali’s obstruction of the Mamluks fleeing from returning to Egypt contradicted himself in another narration stating that: The people of Syria, when they were sure of the killing of Sultan al-Ghuri, no longer deterred them from attacking each other, and the emergence of za’ur[41] of Syria plundered al-Samra neighborhood, and disturbed the security situation in Damascus.[42] If the security situation in Syria is so bad, then it is better for al-Ghazali to return with his colleagues to Egypt, not to stay in these turbulent environments.
  4. What Ibn Iyas mentioned about al-Ghazali’s prevention of the arrival of news that occurs in Syria to Egypt is exaggerated, because the difficult circumstances experienced by the Mamluks fleeing from the face of the Ottomans made them occupy a preoccupation with writing their government in Cairo, especially since he did not receive any help from them they could It has to rearrange their affairs again to confront the imminent Ottoman menace.

There is a weak version, which none of the historical sources cited, mentioning that after the victory of Sultan Selim in Marj Dabiq, with the help of Khair Bey and al-Ghazali, he promised them their assumption of Egypt and Syria. And that narration adds that when Selim decided to go to Damascus, the two mentioned princes evacuated that city to him, and they went out to meet him, then they called him and honored them.[43]

The weakness in the previous version is clearly visible and does not need a response to it, because Khair Bey simply did not go to Damascus as al-Ghazali and others did; rather, he went to Hama – as we have said before.

In any case, the Mamluk remnants that survived the Battle of Marj Dabiq returned to Egypt in Ramadan 922 AH / 1516 AD, and they are in the worst case, and the opinion of all Mamluk princes agreed on the appointment of Tuman Bey[44] as authority over them despite his strong opposition to this appointment.[45] It seems that Tuman Bey’s objection is due to the difficult circumstances that the Mamluk Sultanate went through at that time, and his feeling that he would not be able to play a role to ward off the Ottoman threat to Egypt.

And according to what Ibn Zunbol reported, when al-Ghazali When his colleagues refused to appoint him as a ruler over them in Damascus, he erased anger, and conspired to build his kind of treachery; thus his heart tended to see his colleague Khair Bey in inciting Sultan Selim to take over Egypt, after the Ottoman Sultan had intended not to seize it and return to Istanbul, and the aim of this incitement As Ibn Zunbol says is that Selim bestows Egypt on Khair Bey and al-Ghazali together.[46]

Ibn Zunbol confirms this by saying; “Likewise, Sultan Selim did not take the Levant and Aleppo in order to return to his country. Khair Bey, al-Ghazali and Nasir al-Din Ibn al-Hanash, seduced him to go to Egypt.[47]

It can be said; al-Ghazali was angry that his colleagues refused to appoint him authority over them, but Ibn Zunbol or other historians did not give concrete evidence of al-Ghazali’s tendency to Khair Bey’s opinion, nor how he contacted him to give him approval to incite the Ottoman Sultan, so all that Ibn Zunbol said General lacking proof to confirm the collusion of al-Ghazali – as mentioned above.

As for his saying: Both Khair Bey, al-Ghazali and Nasir al-Din Ibn al-Hanash persuaded Sultan Selim to go to Egypt and seize it; it does not pertain to reality because Ibn al-Hanash did not link him to the Ottoman Sultan any relationship, which will kill him – as will be discussed later.

It seems that Selim was not really interested in the meantime in conquering Egypt after he shattered the possibility of a Mamluk-Safavid alliance, and Syria came under his direct control, not to mention his belief that his campaign against Egypt would expose him to the dangers of crossing the Sinai desert; thus the possibility of his forces being attacked by the Bedouin tribes in it, In addition to the length of its transportation lines. The Mamluks in Egypt had amassed their forces under the leadership of Sultan Tuman Bay, who obtained the pledge of allegiance from the father of the Abbasid caliph, after the Ottomans seized the caliph after the battle of Marj Dabiq.[48]

There are other reasons that prompted Sultan Selim to wait until he decided to march to Egypt, including: that the Ottomans going to Egypt would encourage the Safavids to take advantage of this and work to attack their property, and perhaps cut off the road to his forces that would go to Egypt. His seizure of Egypt would entail major defense responsibilities, such as collision with the Portuguese in the Red Sea and the Indian Ocean.

For all these reasons combined, Selim, who is in Damascus, considered it necessary to write Tuman Bey to persuade him to remain in the rule of Egypt, provided that his name is mentioned in the Friday sermon, and that his name be minted on money, but Tuman Bay rejected this offer under pressure from the Mamluk princes, because it means their complete subservience to the rule Ottoman, Selim was forced to complete his expansion project after Khair Bey urged him to do it, after the latter feared for his life from the survival of the Mamluk Sultanate.[49]

It seems that Selim had written to Tuman Bay when he appointed al-Ghazali at the head of the Mamluk campaign heading to Gaza to defend the eastern borders of Egypt. Jan Bardi is called in the state of Gaza near Egypt, Cairo used to spoil many people, and we issued a decree to the Grand Minister Sinan

Pasha by preparing to move with a number of soldiers. Also, a high judgment in this regard was issued from the upper threshold and sent to Jan Bardi mentioned.[50]

The foregoing is evidence that al-Ghazali did not yet have any relationship with the Ottoman Sultan, as indicated by Sultan Selim’s request from Tuman Bey to send al-Ghazali not to spoil against the Ottomans in Gaza, just as the choice of Tuman Bay to head al-Ghazali’s campaign for Gaza is further evidence of The latter was with the good of his authority. If there were rumors of al-Ghazali’s collusion with the Ottomans before, Tuman Bay would not accept his choice for this task, on which the fate of the Mamluk Sultanate in Egypt would depend on.

And to demonstrate that al-Ghazali’s communication in any way with the Ottomans was not correct before that date, some Ottoman ministers sent several letters to al-Ghazali and some Circassian princes to urge them to offer obedience and loyalty to the Ottomans. These correspondences were in implementation of the orders of Sultan Selim himself, and at the instigation of Khair Bey, who in turn sent several letters to some of the Circassian princes, urging them to follow his example, and their desire to enter under the obedience of the Ottoman Sultan, who used to describe his merits and justice.[51]

al-Ghazali did not respond to all these messages and did not care about them, and given the importance of al-Ghazali’s role in the ruling regime in Egypt, Selim himself decided to write to him. In that letter, Selim mentions that he heard from Khair Bey and Muhammad Agha Ibn Qurqmas, the former Emir of Hama, praising him a lot for this he calls him to surrender and those with him who are princes and offer loyalty to him. Sultan Selim says in his book for al-Ghazali: “When this honorable judgment of obedience arrives this time, hurry to come, given what we have heard about you from the perfection of your sincerity and the fulfillment of your specialization and you seek a beautiful endeavor, to be honored by kissing my generous fingers. If you come, God willing, then when you meet you, our patronage and you are accepted with the types of beautiful bowl care, and the types of care more than you think.”[52]

We conclude from the text of the book of the Ottoman Sultan to al-Ghazali, that we should mention several things:

  1. This book differs in its formulation from the book that was previously sent to Sultan Tuman Bay. It is a delicate expression in which al-Ghazali is always addressing the conscience of the addressees, even though his message is the Ottoman Sultan himself, and the recipient is the Emir of Gaza al-Ghazali.[53]
  2. That this book confirms beyond any doubt, that al-Ghazali’s accession to the Ottomans had not yet taken place, which denies the validity of al-Ghazali’s dealings with the Ottomans in Marj Dabiq.
  3. Sultan Selim’s urgent desire to include al-Ghazali in his ranks, because of the importance of his position in the Mamluk arena on the one hand, and to divide the ranks of the Mamluk princes, and to stir up a kind of confusion that would facilitate his later moves on the other hand.
  4. That Selim’s primary goal is to bring al-Ghazali himself to offer obedience to him, and not as some have stated that al-Ghazali had already given his allegiance to the Ottomans during the site of Marj Dabiq.

Whatever the matter, Tuman Bay and al-Ghazali did not give Selim’s books any importance, and they did not respond to them. Rather, Tuman Bay resolved to escalate the situation and meet the Ottomans, whatever the results. Selim had no choice but to complete his mission to seize Egypt, and he ordered the Grand Vizier Sinan Pasha on 3 Dhul-Qi’dah 922 AH / 27 November 1516 AD, to move at the head of an army of four thousand soldiers to seize Gaza.[54]

In Cairo, it was agreed between the Mamluk princes to appoint al-Ghazali as the leader of the campaign heading to Gaza to fight the Ottomans, and to grant him powers to rule that region, and ten thousand soldiers[55] accompanied him. This happened at a time when news from Syria reached the poor conditions of the Ottomans as a result of the increasing unrest against them, the most important of which was the revolution of Nasir al-Din Ibn al-Hanash, who “was constrained (i.e. by Sultan Selim) in the streets and the Arabs began killing everyone who had his own army outside the cities.”[56]

Ibn Iyas reminds that Nasir al-Din Ibn al-Hanash was sent to Sultan Tuman Bay, urging him to send a military campaign as soon as possible to Syria to prevent Sultan Selim from reaching Gaza.[57] On 2 Dhul-Hijjah / December 26 of the same year, Sinan Pasha met with al-Ghazali’s army inside the Palestinian territories near Gaza, and a fierce battle took place between them in the morning and ended at the afternoon with the victory of the Ottomans and the defeat of al-Ghazali, their seizure of Gaza and the appointment of Muhammad Bey Ibn Issa ruler after opening it, The defeat of the Mamluks in this battle was due to their low morale. Contemporary Ottoman sources confirm the events that al-Ghazali escaped after his defeat in Gaza thus no resistance was prevented Sultan Selim from reaching Egypt.[58]

If the Ottoman sources confirmed that al-Ghazali escaped after his defeat, we find contemporary Arab sources for the same period remembering that al-Ghazali after his defeat was captured, and then he managed to escape with the help of his servants after they killed large numbers of Ottomans.[59]

Although the Arab sources did not mention anything about al-Ghazali’s betrayal in Gaza; rather, he confirmed that he fought fiercely and did well in his fight, but we are surprised by what the modern references trying to inflict on that defeat in Gaza have shown to al-Ghazali, accusing him of deliberately colluding, determined that he had begun his complicity not in Marj Dabiq, but before it, and that he met the Ottomans with a small force that defeated him before his arrival in Gaza because he did not fight a serious fight.[60] This is not identical to the historical reality: Turkish sources stated that the battle took place in Jaljulia near Gaza; while Ibn Iyas stressed that, the battle between the two parties took place in the areas of Bisan, that is, inside the Palestinian territories, not in Egypt.

And it increases to some that al-Ghazali, after his return to Egypt, was defeated and played a dual role; he is on the side of Sultan Tuman Bay ostensibly, and in secret communication with Sultan Selim and Khair Bey in the subcontinent, and he provided the Ottomans on the eve of the Battle of al- Raidaniyah in 1517 AD, with detailed information on the organization of the Mamluk Army.[61]

In fact, there is no contemporary source for that period, whether Arab or Ottoman that confirmed this narration, meaning that al-Ghazali until that time had no connection with the Ottomans, neither from near or from far.

In short; If al-Ghazali had concluded secret agreements with Sultan Selim, he would have certainly met him before, or had come to him immediately after the Battle of Marj Dabiq just as Khair Bey had done to you, especially since he had stayed in Syria like some of the Mamluks Beys, he could not return to Egypt after the war ended, and he could meet Sultan Selim in Damascus, or at least he could respond to the message that Selim sent to him. But what happened was that when Sultan Selim approached Damascus, al-Ghazali fled from Damascus at night in Bedouin clothes, fearing his arrest. If he had held secret meetings with the Ottoman Sultan, he would not be afraid of being arrested and wearing Bedouin clothes. In addition, if a meeting had taken place between them, then surely this would have caught the attention of the Mamluk commanders or soldiers.[62]

A Turkish source – whom Ahmad Fouad Mitwalli relied on in his study – states that Sultan Selim said in the letter he sent to his son, Prince Suleiman, dealing with the Gaza battle: “Jan Bardi mentioned some aspects of sincerity in these areas (Gaza), then he retreated and fled to Egypt, and he met Tuman Bay.”[63]

Mitwalli concludes from the context of the words of Sultan Selim that al-Ghazali helped the Ottomans to victory in Gaza, and then retreated after victory was achieved for them and fled to Egypt, and perhaps returned to Egypt to work from behind the Mamluks lines in favor of the Ottomans.[64]

But the person who is well informed in the words of Sultan Selim does not find recognition of al- Ghazali’s complicity in his account. Perhaps some people understand that al-Ghazali was saved in the fight against the Ottoman army, as indicated by Sultan Selim himself in his message to his son; “Tuman Bay mentioned that he gave Syrian rule to the defeated al- Ghazali, and when we learned that he sent him to Gaza, I sent him Minister Sinan Pasha … at the head of the armies so that Meet him, the battles took place, and the aforementioned minister won, and the aforementioned sect was defeated and dispersed.”[65] Selim never mentioned the return of al-Ghazali to Egypt, to work behind the Mamluks’ lines for him.

Whatever the case, the Ottomans joined the Mamluk army in a decisive battle in the desert of al- Raidaniyah on the outskirts of Cairo on January 22, 1517 AD, which ended with the defeat of the Mamluks and the entry of the Ottomans to Cairo, the sermon was sealed to its mosques, and Tuman Bay fled out of Cairo (Ibn Iyas, Volume: 5, 1984: 144-148). Note that some Ottoman sources confirmed that Sultan Tuman Bay had appointed al-Ghazali as the supreme commander of the Mamluk forces in the Battle of al- Raidaniyah.[66]

The entry of the Ottomans to Cairo did not mean the end of the war, and that matters were settled in their favor, as the battles continued in the streets for several days, forcing Sultan Selim to grant amnesty to the Mamluks, whether they were in or outside Cairo, including, of course, al-Ghazali,[67] whom Selim honored with good reception, As he showed his valor in fighting the Ottomans in al- Raidaniyah.[68]

In the message of the conquest sent by Sultan Selim to his son Suleiman to confirm the same meaning, Selim says; “… in the meantime we have verified from Mustafa Pasha, the former emir of Rumeli, and from the Circassians that Jan Bardi al-Ghazali came at the time, performed obedience, and showed slavery and submission with sincerity.”[69]

It seems that Selim wanted to grant him pardon from the Mamluks fighters in general and Al- Ghazali in particular, later on to eliminate the last resistance of Tuman Bay outside Cairo who was armed with the Bedouin tribes, and we demonstrate this with what Ibn Zunbol said from his saying: “As for what was from Sultan Selim, he was fed up.” Chest and regretted entering Egypt, and he was afraid that the prolonged period will prolong him and winter enter and the news of his country will be interrupted by the matter of the Christian powers in Europe in order not to contemplate an issue in his absence to take Istanbul, so he worked his thought.[70]

So, al-Ghazali finally entered the obedience of the Ottoman Sultan Selim I after the end of the Battle of al-Raidaniyah, after he became convinced that the last page of the history of the Mamluk Sultanate in Egypt had been folded, and the contract of its Sultanate was broken. He had no choice but to turn himself in to the new ruling authority in Cairo, trying to save himself from the physical liquidation that would have awaited him if he had delayed more than that. In other words, al-Ghazali opted to show his personal interest at the time, and that is a trait that permeates many leaders and soldiers after defeating them and making them feel safe, so that they may obtain a new position in the new state.

al-Ghazali’s behavior could not be considered in any way an opportunist act. If al-Ghazali were indeed an opportunist, he would have joined before that date for the Ottomans to benefit and obtain a position in the Ottoman Sultanate, but given the need of the Ottomans and his skill they accepted pardon, and assigned him some military tasks in Egypt for two reasons. The first is to test his sincerity in obeying their country, and the second is for his knowledge of the conditions of Egypt.

And some recent Turkish studies have confirmed the validity of our findings that al-Ghazali did not betray his people from the Mamluks in the Battle of al-Raydaniyah, by saying: “The escape of Jan Bardi al-Ghazali did not mean treason, or providing the opportunity for the Ottoman side to win, but to save his life like all the masters and soldiers Others. In addition, al-Ghazali did not abandon his conscience in this battle easily, because he was one of the greatest leaders of the Mamluk Sultanate, and he treated his Sultanate with lasting sincerity”. Thus: the forgiveness document that Sultan Selim presented to al- Ghazali could not be evidence of the latter’s betrayal alone. In other words, this document indicates that there was no meeting between Sultan Selim and al-Ghazali before, nor that Sultan Selim forgave him during the battle, as this document was presented not only to al-Ghazali, but to all the Mamluks, including Sultan Tuman Bay after the Battle of al-Raydaniyah. Because of this document, historians who have stigmatized al-Ghazali as treacherous are far from the truth.[71]

Due to the increasing sense of Sultan Selim’s involvement in the Egyptian quagmire, after many Egyptian regions went out of obedience to the Ottomans, especially the Bedouin tribes that sympathized with Tuman Bay, he decided to send a military campaign to the Atfih area and others in the Delta of Egypt to eliminate their rebellion. And al-Ghazali was appointed to it, in order to know him about the conditions of this region, and his previous experience in fighting the Arabs. al-Ghazali was already able to inflict a severe defeat on these tribes, dispersed them, ordered the looting of their hamlets, and the families of their women and children, and sent them to Sultan Selim, who ordered to sale them in Cairo at the lowest prices.[72]

Sultan Selim ordered al-Ghazali to launch attacks on Tuman Bay and his associates, so he pursued him from one place to another, and inflicted on his forces many losses with the help of a Bedouin tribe called Arab Ghazala, until Tuman Bay managed to arrest him, but he soon pardoned him after he took a covenant By not fighting his Mamluks, “al-Ghazali removed the dust from the head of Tuman Bay, kissed his foot, crying and repented for what he did, and went to his horse and his knee and pointed to his group. Return from the fight, as I swore to him that I would not fight him.”[73]

But al-Ghazali later broke his oath and pointed to Selim with a war plan whereby he could easily achieve victory over Tuman Bay and whoever remained with him, a plan called in contemporary military expression jaws pliers. By their application, they managed to inflict many losses on the remnants of Tuman Bay in the Wardan region, 50 kilometers north of Cairo, on April 2, 1517 AD, which prompted Ibn Zunbol to say: “And they separated in this way, and the Circassians broke away from each other, and they returned and did not know each other about the severity of what happened from that day.”[74]

The large number of strikes directed at Tuman Bay led to his conviction that the end of the war with the Ottomans was imminent, and he found no choice but to resort to Sheikh Hassan bn Mara’i, Sheikh of the Bedouin, and he took a pledge from him not to betray him and hand him over to the Ottoman authorities, but the aforementioned Sheikh feared himself and delivered him to the Ottomans who hanged him on Bab Zewaila, Cairo, Rabi’ al-Awwal 923 AH / April 13th 1517AD.[75]

Sultan Selim’s intention was not to kill Tuman Bay with admiration for the courage he had shown, as he had also intended to take him to Istanbul after he made a pledge not to go out of his obedience, but Khair Bey and al-Ghazali feared for themselves if the relations between Selim And Toman Bay improved, they pressed Sultan Selim to kill him.[76]


After matters settled in Egypt in favor of the Ottomans, Sultan Selim appointed Prince Khair Bey a deputy for him as a reward for him to stand with him and help him seize it, and then began the journey back to Istanbul on 23 Sha’ban 923 AH / September 10, 1517 AD, and he stayed with Khair Bey Beyond the five thousand Janissary soldiers, in addition to the military installed to maintain order.[77] As for Prince al-Ghazali, who demonstrated his loyalty and sincerity to the Ottoman Sultan, he accompanied him on the return journey, and when the Royal Ride arrived in Gaza on 9 Ramadan / 25 September of the same year, Sultan Selim granted the rule of the Provinces of Safed, Jerusalem, Gaza, Karak and Nablus to al-Ghazali.[78]

Prior to Selim’s arrival in Damascus on 6 Shawwal / 22 October, revolutions in Syria had been ignited by the new Ottoman measures such as the abolition of the old currency, the issuance of a new currency, and the strengthening of measures to ensure security.[79] These measures were followed by the Ottomans, with another measure that the residents of Damascus were forced to accept, which was to halve the price of the new Ottoman currency, which resulted in the damage of the population. They also took strict security measures to deter the Zu’irs, who were active in Damascus in the wake of conflicting reports about the fate of the Ottomans in Egypt.[80]

It seems that these disturbances persuaded Sultan Selim upon his entering Damascus of the necessity of appointing a new ruler over it, who would be able to suppress it, and found his sought after in the person of al-Ghazali. Together, the two proceeded to eliminate those opposing the Ottoman rule in the Levant. On 26 Dhul-Hijjah 923 AH / January 8, 1518 AD, they went to Prince Nasser al-Din Ibn al-Hanash to arrest him, but they failed in their mission and returned to Damascus and Sultan Selim issued a decision to isolate Ibn al-Hanash the Governor of the Lebanese Bekaa, Hama, Sidon and the assumption by Muhammad Agha Ibn Qurqmas of the Circassian.[81]

Sultan Selim left Damascus on 27 Muharram 924 AH / 8 February 1518 AD., leaving al-Ghazali as a ruler over it and granting it a fief to him until his death. He was not obliged to pay any money to the treasury of the Ottoman Sultanate, after he saw loyalty and loyalty.[82] He was allowed to own his own military forces,[83] made up of Arabs and Mamluks fleeing Egypt, and they had soldiers authorized to carry firearms.[84]

al-Ghazali, at the beginning of his reign, applied the Ottoman policy carefully, and remained loyal to Sultan Selim, and he soon eliminated the rebellion of Nasir al-Din Ibn al-Hanash and his ally Ibn al- Harfoush – whose historical sources did not give him a name – near Baalbek on 26 Rabi’al-Awwal 924 AH / April 7, April 1518 AD, he cut off their heads, and sent them to the Sultan in Aleppo, who had previously failed to kill him. This is what Ibn Iyas called to say; “Were it not for al-Ghazali to conquer Ibn al-Hanash and kill him with a ploy, he would never have killed Ibn Al-Hanash and the sultans of Egypt and the princes had failed to do so.”[85]

al-Ghazali also reprimanded some of the local princes in Nablus and others, including Karajah Ibn Tarabay al-Harthi, and subjected them to the Ottoman authority.[86] He launched several campaigns against the Bedouin tribes of Horan and Ajlun, who always subjected the Syrian Hajj Caravan on the Gaza Road, and defeated them, killing many of them, and looting their money, and returning what they had taken from the Hajj caravan.[87] Thus, the mandate of al-Ghazali extended from Maarat al-Numan to al-Arish, Egypt.[88] And al-Ghazali is also credited with being able to defeat the European pirates who landed the coast of Beirut in 926 AH / 1520 AD, and stayed there for three days, when he seized several sheep and captured three hundred of their men in addition to three large ships.[89] It appears that these Europeans were the knights of Saint John of Jerusalem, who were then settling on the island of Rhodes in the Mediterranean before Sultan Suleiman the Magnificent later seized them and expelled them to the island of Malta.

These victories achieved by al-Ghazali, led to the admiration of Sultan Selim, and his delight, especially with regard to his protection of the Syrian Hajj convoy. He was overwhelmed with dislocation, and his influence in Damascus increased and his prestige was completed throughout the governorate.[90]

However, the death of Sultan Selim on 9 Shawwal 926 AH / September 22, 1520 AD led to the awakening of the dream hidden within the depths of al-Ghazali, which is the establishment of an independent state in the Levant under his leadership, far from Ottoman sovereignty.[91] That dream that he had in his dream one day after Marj Dabiq and failed to achieve it – as mentioned above. The death of Selim opened the door wide open to tempting possibilities on the one hand, and the severe consequences on the other hand for al-Ghazali.[92]

It appears that before the death of Sultan Selim, al-Ghazali had begun to restore some Mamluk customs, which the Ottomans had abrogated, such as pounding the drum in the castle and the gates of the city of Damascus, and returned the witnesses to the courts as before. He attracted residents around him, by punishing the Ottoman soldiers who had been subjected to them, and he strengthened the defense of Damascus by fortifying the gates of the city,[93] and his relationship worsened with the Hanafi judge, Wally Ad-Din Ibn al-Farfour, known for his loyalty to the Ottoman authorities, and forced him to flee to Aleppo.[94] It seems some Turkish novels, al-Ghazali had contacted the Safavid Shah Ismail before the death of Sultan Selim.[95]

al-Ghazali underestimated the new Ottoman Sultan Suleiman, nicknamed the Magnificent for his young age, and began to wish for himself by being an authoritarian in the Levant. It seems that he has revealed what he is wishing in Suwaida his heart among those aspirations in front of those close to him, so they opposed him because of his lack of military forces that could withstand any Ottoman reaction, reminding him of the previous Ottoman victories in Marj Dabiq and al-Raidaniyah, and they advised him to write to the deputy of Egypt, Khair Bey, to help him with Intended to do.[96]

But al-Ghazali underestimated the previous Ottoman victories. Ibn Zunbol mentioned al-Ghazali’s response to those close to him: “This was from Sultan Selim, but this (i.e. Sultan Suleiman) is a little boy, and he has no ability to do any of that and I do not think that he will be enacted in the kingdom.”[97]

Such behavior on the part of al-Ghazali, if indicated, is indicative of the extent of his recklessness that Ibn Iyas previously referred to, and of his lack of appreciation for the political and military data that existed at the time in the region. al-Ghazali believed that he could achieve results that major powers were unable to achieve. It is clear from Ibn Zunbol’s narration that al-Ghazali is mortgaging his political future in the Levant that the new Sultan of the Ottoman Sultanate is young and will have no power. He has forgotten that this authority has advisors and leaders who run the affairs of the state on his behalf.

al-Ghazali has already decided to write to Egypt’s deputy, Khair Bey, to urge him to join him in his revolt against the Ottoman authorities. And it seems that the historical sources varied in their presentation of the content of the letters exchanged between al-Ghazali and Khair Bey. Ibn Zunbul, for example, decides that Khair Bey tried to dissuade al-Ghazali from his intention, but the latter repeated the correspondence with the deputy of Egypt and threatened him that if he did not obey him, he would strip him of an army to fight him. Ibn Zunbol also decides, that Khair Bey, when he saw al-Ghazali’s insistence on his opinion, “Send to deceive him and tell him whether or not… Go to Aleppo and take it, if you belong to it, I will be your assistant in what you want and agree with what you say.”[98]

It is clear that Khair Bey was a wicked cunning in his response to what al-Ghazali requested of him, as his condition to join the rebellion is dependent on al-Ghazali’s seizure of the important city of Aleppo, which is the key to the Levant. And Khair Bey seems to have been certain of al-Ghazali’s inability to capture it because of her fortifications – as will be described.

Ibn Iyas, who mentioned that al-Ghazali sent a book to Khair Bey with a messenger called Khashgad al-Yahyawi informing him of his intention to deviate from obedience to the new Ottoman Sultan Suleiman, adopted the other narration. According to Ibn Iyas, the mood of Khair Bey was changed after reading the book, and he ordered the arrest of the Messenger of al-Ghazali, and proceeded to fortify the Citadel of Cairo, then he sent the Messenger of al-Ghazali and accompanied the mentioned book to Istanbul, to inform Sultan Suleiman of the rebellion of al-Ghazali in the Levant.[99]

From what Ibn Iyas mentioned, it is possible to conclude that there was already correspondence with Khair Bey from al-Ghazali, but Ibn Iyas differs in his narration from Ibn Zunbol in the process of dealing with the two princes. This book is submitted to the Ottoman Sultan for his information on al- Ghazali revolt.

Whatever the case, it is possible to reconcile the previous two narratives, that Khair Bey would have liked indeed if the Ottoman rule had subsided from the Levant and Egypt, and would also like if al- Ghazali succeeded in his rebellion, or if so to speak, if he succeeded in his separatist movement, he would in turn carry out a revolution in Egypt It also got rid of the Ottoman rule. He seems to have waited to see what will happen in the events until he dares to announce the revolution,[100] lest he implicate himself in something that is difficult for him to remedy later, thus losing the reins of power in Egypt, the most important Ottoman Provinces in the Levant.

It seems that Khair Bey was not in any doubt, that his colleague’s separatist attempt would be doomed to failure, so he sent him his conditional approval to join that attempt, by seizing Aleppo. Note that he had previously advised him of the consequences of doing this – as mentioned above. Then we see him send the book of al-Ghazali, in which he announced his intention to separate, to Sultan Suleiman.

It seems that al-Ghazali seized the opportunity of the dispute that broke out between the Ottomans and the Safavids, and the latter is willingness on the border to attack the Ottoman Sultanate after the death of Sultan Selim. He prevented mosque preachers from mentioning the name of Sultan Suleiman on the pulpits, he ordered his prayers personally in his Friday sermon, his name was engraved on the coin minted in Damascus[101] and he took for himself a Mamluk title, “The Noble King.”[102]

In an attempt by al-Ghazali to gather supporters around him, al-Hanash returned to the rule of the Bekaa Ahmed Ibn al Hanash took the place of Prince Sinan Pasha. And around him in Damascus, the remnants of the Mamluks and the young men of the streets from Za’ur, who seized the opportunity as usual to show their strength,[103] balso managed to seize Tripoli, Homs, Hama, and other cities.[104] And provide him with the soldiers after contacts between the two parties. In one of his letters to Shah Ismail, he said; “Come yourself or send us a military, that we open this state (the Levant), and that you know that who in Egypt (i.e. its deputy is better for you) is with us too”. The document states that Shah Ismail was able to gather about twelve thousand soldiers to assist al-Ghazali in his rebellion.[105]

In any case, the contemporary historical sources of the events did not mention anything about the reaction of Shah Ismail regarding al-Ghazali rebellion in Damascus. It is possible that the Shah had gathered this large number of soldiers, pending the outcome of the movement of al-Ghazali, and if he was sure of its success, he entered the battle as a champion against the Ottomans, because he knew well since his defeat in Chalderan, the strength of the power of the Ottoman soldiers and feared on their side.[106]

And it appears through what was mentioned in the previous document, the Shah’s unbridled desire to destroy the power of the Ottomans in the Levant, to restore his glory in Persia and other areas that were under his control before the fall of Chalderan after the Ottomans tore his reputation in the dirt, and thus he could easily overcome them, perhaps It would be able to eliminate their influence in Asia Minor.

Only the Citadel of Aleppo remained in the Levant in the strongholds of al-Ghazali, so he prepared a large campaign from the Druze, Bedouin of Nablus, the Kurds, and some other tribes.[107] Also, the knights of Saint John on the island of Rhodes sent him some artillery pieces to support him, and al- Ghazali mobilized approximately 23 thousand fighters for this campaign.[108]

On 14 Dhul-Hijjah 926 AH / November 25, 1520 AD, al-Ghazali himself went from Damascus to Aleppo to seize it. The governor of Aleppo, Karajah Pasha of Ottoman origin, began preparing to defend his city, and he sent to Sultan Suleiman asking him for help. al-Ghazali imposed a siege around it that lasted for twelve days, and managed to achieve victory, but he was not able to seize it, even though he cut the channel that enters the water into the city. However, he was later forced to lift the siege on Aleppo due to entering the cold winter and his fear of the arrival of Ottoman supplies to support the Ottoman protection in Aleppo, and for his failure to obtain the support he had expected from Egypt’s deputy, Khair Bey, and returned to Damascus.[109]

Ibn Iyas states in his blogs that Khair Bey’s intention was to strip a military campaign against al- Ghazali in Dhul-Hijjah 926 AH, that is, at the same time that al-Ghazali began his siege of the city of Aleppo, but a dispute broke out between him and the Ottoman soldiers stationed in Egypt, which made him amend On his opinion, after they said to him: “We do not go out to fight the deputy of the Levant (meaning al-Ghazali) except by a decree from Sultan Suleiman, and we only have to save the castle and the city” (meaning Cairo).[110]

What Ibn Iyas stated proves beyond any doubt that Khair Bey, after realizing the failure of al- Ghazali’s seizure of Aleppo, wanted to prove to the Ottoman Sultan Suleiman the extent of his sincerity and sincerity in assisting the Ottoman Sultanate, so he decided to send that campaign without prior permission from the Sultan himself, and thus to exclude any Suspicion could hover over his intention to help al-Ghazali in his rebellion.

In any case, al-Ghazali’s rebellion reached its inevitable end. Sultan Suleiman sent a huge campaign to draw the expected scenario for this end, and if historical narrations differ about the Ottoman leader who presided over that campaign, while Ibn Zunbul, Iyas Pasha,[111] makes it Muhammad bin Jum’a Al- Maqari, Farhad (Farhat) Pasha[112] which is what modern historians tend to do. Ibn Iyas states that Sultan Suleiman wrote to Khair Bey in Egypt, recommending him not to send any strikes to the Levant because of his confidence that the campaign he sent would achieve its goals without the need to assist Khair Bey.[113]

With the arrival of the Ottoman crowds in the Levant, the outskirts of the provinces of al-Ghazali began to disintegrate, as his deputies fled from Tripoli, Beirut, and other cities.[114] And that was at the time when al-Ghazali asked the people of Damascus to support him against the Ottoman attack, where he told them: “Do not fight the Ottomans for my sake, but rather fight them for fear of your freedom.[115]

On Safar 26, 927 AH / January 27, 1521 AD, a battle erupted at the village of al-Duwair, east of Barzeh village near Damascus, which ended in the defeat of the forces of al-Ghazali, who subsequently denied the garb of Darwish and attempted to flee, but he was captured and executed on February 6 From the same year, his head was sent to Istanbul, and the Ottomans occupied Damascus. This revolution was the last revolution undertaken by the Mamluks in the Levant.[116] And the period of al- Ghazali’s mandate over the Levant was three years and seven months.[117]

The failure of al-Ghazali’s separatist movement has produced several results, the most important of which are:

  1. The Ottomans abolished self-rule in the Levant, and it was divided into three Provinces: Damascus, Aleppo, and Tripoli, and it has since been placed under the administration of the Ottoman governors and directly subordinated to the authority of the High Porte.[118]
  2. Sultan Suleiman approved Iyas Pasha at the Damascus Province Office instead of al-Ghazali and Farhad (Farhat) Pasha in the state of Tripoli.[119]
  3. Khair Bey, Egypt’s deputy, arrested the Mamluks who were at al-Ghazali and ordered that some of them be killed.[120]


After completing this study, it is possible to take a number of results and noteworthy notes, including:

  1. It is difficult for any researcher to accuse the Mamluk prince Jan Bardi al-Ghazali of betraying the Mamluk Sultanate and colluding on behalf of the Ottoman Sultan Selim I, without providing concrete evidence of this collusion. The study proved that al-Ghazali had no hand in defeating the Mamluks in Marj Dabiq, but rather left the battlefield after he confirmed the killing of the Mamluk Sultan Qansuh al-Ghuri.
  2. al-Ghazali continued to work sincerely on behalf of the new Mamluk Sultan Tuman Bay, after he chose him to lead the military campaign heading to Gaza to repel the Ottoman progress towards Egypt, as it is inconceivable that Tuman Bay chose a figure like al-Ghazali for this difficult task, and he knows his betrayal of his race Before the glutinous meadow.
  3. That al-Ghazali’s entry into the service of the Ottoman Sultan Selim I took place after the end of al-Raidaniyah battle between the Mamluks and the Ottomans, and after he became convinced that the last page of the Mamluk Sultanate in Egypt had been folded, and the sultanate’s contract was overthrown, he had no choice but to surrender to the new ruling authority in Cairo, to save himself from the physical liquidation that would have awaited him if he was late. In other words, al-Ghazali chose to express his personal interest. Therefore, the study proved that what al-Ghazali did was not of betrayal or collusion with the enemies of his people who are mainly Sunni Muslims.
  4. al-Ghazali’s loyalty to his new grace, Sultan Selim, had invited him to appoint him as his representative in Damascus to save him from his enemies in the Levant.
  5. But what al-Ghazali did later by declaring a rebellion against the rule of the Ottoman Sultanate after the death of Sultan Selim and the appointment of his son Sultan Suleiman in his place was not also out of treachery; rather, the separatist adventure whose consequences were not calculated, tempted by his limited power that would soon collapse after his failure Get in milking. In any case, these separatist adventures will later be a general feature of the Mamluks in Egypt under the rule of the Ottoman Sultanate, such as the movements carried out by Janem al-Saifi, Inal al-Saifi, and Ali Bey al-Kabeer.


[1] Adel Abdul Hafez Hamzah, “The Role of Khair Bey Mamluk in the Battle of Marj Dabiq 922 AH / 1516 CE: A New Vision”, The Egyptian Historical Journal, 1989, Volume: 36, p. 241-242.

[2] Muhammad bin Ahmad bin Iyas, Bada’i al-Zuhur fi Waqa’i al-Duhur, Volume:5, Egyptian General Book Authority, 3rd edition, Cairo 1984, p.28, 31.

[3] Ibn Iyas, op. cit, p. Volume: 4, p. 463.

[4] Ibn Iyas, op. cit, p. Volume: 4, p. 485.

[5] Muhammad bin Tulun, The Fakehat al-Khelan in the Accidents of Time, (Published by: Muhammad Mustafa), Volume: 2, Cairo, 1962- 1964, p. 43-53; Abdul Aziz Suleiman Nawwar, History of Islamic Peoples, Dar Al-Fikr Al-Arabi, Cairo, no date, p. 79; Ahmad Fouad Mitwalli, The Ottoman Conquest of the Levant and Egypt and its Introductions from the Facts of documents and Contemporary Turkish and Arab Sources, Al-Zahraa for Arab Media, Cairo 1995, p. 45-51.

[6] Julban: They are the newly brought Mamluks, Dahman, 1990: 53.

[7] Abdul-Karim Rafeq, Arabs and Ottomans (1516-1916), 1st edition, Damascus, 1974, p. 6.

[8] Nawwar, op. cit., p. 79.

[9] Nikolai Ivanov, The Ottoman Conquest of the Arab Countries 1516-1574, 1st edition, (Trans. by: Youssof Atallah, reviewed and presented by Dr. Masoud Daher), Dar Al-Farabi, Beirut 1988, p. 55-56.

[10] Mar’i ibn Yusuf Al-Hanbali, The Picnic of the Beholder in the Governor and Sultans of Egypt, The National Library of Munich, Cod. Arab. 889, p. 206; Ibrahim Al-Adawi, Egypt and the Arab East, the Shield of Islam, The Anglo-Egyptian Library, Cairo 1985, p.183; Ibn Tulun, op. cit, Volume: 1, p. 343; Ibn Iyas, op.cit., Volume: 4, p.191, 205; Nawwar, op. cit., p. 68.

[11] al-Adawi, op. cit., p. 175.

[12] Muhammad b. Yusuf Al-Hallaq, A Master Piece of Loved Ones from Among the Kings and Representatives of Egypt, The Beinecke Rare Book and Manuscript Library at Yale University, Landberg 229, 73b; al-Adawi, op. cit., p. 175-176;

[13] Ibn Iyas, op.cit., Volume: 4, p. 372-73; Ivanov, op. cit., p. 57.

[14] When Selim began to advance across Anatolia toward the Safavid provinces, he hoped that Ala al-Dawla, the Prince of “Albustan” would assist the Ottoman army – and Alaa al-Dawla was very proper to Selim from his mother – but Alaa al-Dawla apparently came under caravans of supplies and Ottoman war supplies heading towards the Safavid front. And he allowed his Turkmen to raid the Ottoman forces. P. M. Holt, Egypt and the Fertile Crescent 1516-1922, Cornell University Press, New York, 1966, p. 36; Anwar Zaqlmah, The Mamluks in Egypt, 1st edition, Madbouly Library, Cairo 1995, p.100.

[15] al-Adawi, op. cit., p. 176.

[16] Ibn Iyas, op.cit., Volume: 5, p. 22-34, 38-39, 45, 53, 60-68.

[17] Khair Bey was born in 868 AH / 1463 AD, in the village of “Samsum” near the country of Karaj, and he is of Circassian origin, and his father was called Malbay the Circassian, and he presented it to the honorable Sultan Qaytbay. Khair Bey then assumed several positions in the Mamluk Sultanate, so he became a powerful authority and an audible word in the Mamluk court. The previous period of Khair Bey’s promotion was accompanied by the clashes that occurred between the Mamluks and the Ottomans on the outskirts of the northern borders of the Mamluk Sultanate, and the presence of spies for the Ottomans in Egypt in the year 894 AH / 1489 AD, especially from the people of Aleppo who corresponded to the Ottoman Sultan. Ibn Iyas, op. cit., Volume: 5, p. 265, 483.

[18] al-Kashef: Is the agent of Sanjak, where he rules a small Egyptian region the detector was chosen from among the Mamluks and appointed by the governor with the approval of the Diwan. Jalal Yahya, Outlined in the History of Modern Egypt, Modern University Office, Alexandria no date, p. 60.

[19] Jan Bardi al-Ghazali Slavic, originally from Croatia, had been captured by the Ottomans during the reign of Sultan Bayezid II, the father of Sultan Selim I, when the Balkan (Rumeli) region was opened. Then, as part of a group of prisoners, a gift was sent to the Mamluk Sultan al-Ashraf Qaitbay in Cairo, who freed him until he reached the rank of emirate during the reign of Sultan Qansuh al- Ghouri and Tumanbay. And Jan meaning: the soul and Bardi: means gave. Muhammad Harb, The Ottomans in History and Civilization, 1st edition, Dar Al-Qalam, Damascus, 1989, p. 143-144; Feridun Emecen, “Canbirdi Gazali”, Turkish Religious Foundation Islamic Encyclopedia, İstanbul 1993, Volume; 7, p. 141.

[20] al-Jamdar: From al-Jamdariya, who is the one who takes on the clothes of the Sultan or the Prince, his clothes and the origin of the word gamma Dar, Persian, meaning the dress inside the house, including the pajamas. Muhammad Ahmad Dahman, A Dictionary of Historical Words in the Mamluk Era,1st edition, Dar Al-Fikr, Damascus, 1990, p. 54; Saeed Abdul-Fattah Ashour, The Mamluk Era in Egypt and the Levant, 2nd edition, Arab Renaissance House, Cairo 1976, p. 427.

[21] Ibn Iyas, op.cit., Volume: 4, p. 383; Al-Mawsu’ah al-Filastiniyyah (The Palestinian Encyclopedia), Volume: 2, General Section, Damascus, 1984, p. 6.

[22] Amir Ten: A military rank in the Mamluk army, with ten horsemen at the service of it, and from this class the junior governors are appointed. Dahman, op. cit., p. 22; Ashour, op. cit., 415.

[23] Hajeb: a Mamluk position, whose owner used to be the deputy in the states, to which the Sultan refers, and to him the offer of soldiers and the like returns, and to him offers are presented. Dahman, op. cit., p. 59.

[24] Ibn Iyas, op. cit., Volume: 4, p. 383.

[25] Ibn Iyas, op. cit., Volume: 4, p. 382.

[26] Ibid.

[27] Hamzah, op. cit., p. 247-248.

[28] Ibn Iyas, op. cit., Volume: 5, 68-73, 86-87; Ibn Tulun, op. cit., p. 240-41.

[29] Haider Ahmad Al-Shihabi, History of Prince Haider Ahmad Al-Shihabi, Volume: 3, (Commentedon his notes: Dr. Maroun Raad), Beirut, 1993, p. 738.

[30] Ahmad bin Zunbul, History of Egypt, the National Library in Munich, Cod. Arab. 411, 14a.

[31] Ibid.

[32] al-Wataq: Turkish term meaning the big tent or camp in which the Sultan resides. Dahman, op. cit., p.155.

[33] Ibn Zunbul, op. cit., 19a-19b.

[34] Zaqlmah, op. cit., p. 104.

[35] Ibn Zunbul, op. cit., 25a; Ibn Tulun, op. cit, p. 241.

[36] Amar el-Hossary, Outbreaking Riots in Egypt and Damascus During the Period of Yavuz and Kanuni According to the Mamluk Resources, (Unpublished Master Thesis), Fatih Sultan Mehmet Vakıf University, Institute of Social Sciences, Istanbul 2015, p. 65.

[37] Ibn Iyas, op. cit., Volume: 5, p. 76.

[38] Ibn Iyas, op. cit., Volume: 5, p. 82; Ibn Tulun, op. cit., p. 241-242.

[39] Ibn Zunbul, op. cit., 25a-26b.

[40] Ibn Iyas, loc. cit., Volume: 5, p. 82.

[41] The term za’ur, which is used in the Levant, is matched by the term fatwas in Egypt and Qabadiyat in Lebanon.

[42] Ibn Iyas, op. cit., Volume: 5, p. 84.

[43] al-Hanbali, op. cit., 206b.

[44] Tuman Bay: It was originally from the writings of the Sultan al-Ashraf Qaitbay. Sultan Qansuh al-Ghuri bought it and they were related. Then he presented it to Qaitbay and Tuman Bay considered the forty-seventh Sultan of the Mamluk sultans in Egypt and the last of them. Ibn Iyas, Volume: 5, 1984: 102.

[45] Ibn Iyas, op. cit., Volume: 5, p. 85-86.

[46] Ibn Zunbul, op. cit., 26b.

[47] Ibn Zunbul, op. cit., 31a-31b.

[48] Muhammad Abi’l-Surur b. Al-Bakri Al-Siddiqi, The Gorgeous Master Piece in the Ownership of the Othman Al-Diar Al-Masria, The National Library in Vienna, No. Cod Arab.925, A.F. 283, 21a-23a; Ibn Iyas, op. cit., Volume: 5, p. 102-105.

[49] Ibn Iyas, op cit., Volume: 5, p.124-125; Ibn Zunbul, op. cit., 31b-34a; al-Siddiqi, op. cit., 29a-33b.

[50] Mitwalli, op. cit., p. 176-178.

[51] Ibn Iyas, op cit., Volume: 5, p.125.

[52] Mitwalli, op. cit., p. 179-181.

[53] Mitwalli, op. cit., p. 181.

[54] Mitwalli, op. cit., p. 182.

[55] Ibn Iyas, Volume: 5, op. cit., p. 108; Ibn Zunbul, op. cit., 34a-34b.

[56] Ibn Iyas, Volume: 5, op. cit., p. 116-17.

[57] Ibn Iyas, Volume: 5, op. cit., p. 117.

[58] Mitwalli, op. cit., p. 185; Emecen, op. cit., p. 141-142; el-Hossary, p. 65.

[59] Ibn Iyas, Volume: 5, op. cit., p. 128-131; Ibn Zunbul, op. cit., 35a.

[60] al-Adawi, op. cit, p. 177-178; Zaqlmah, op. cit., p. 106.

[61] Al-Mawsu’ah al-Filastiniyyah (The Palestinian Encyclopedia), Volume: 2, p. 6; Ivanov, op. cit., p. 69.

[62] el-Hossary, op. cit., p.71.

[63] Mitwalli, op. cit., p.186.

[64] Ibid.

[65] Ibid, p. 204-205.

[66] el-Hossary, op. cit., p. 66.

[67] Ibn Iyas, Volume: 5, op. cit., p. 159-160.

[68] Zaqlmah, op. cit., p. 108

[69] Mitwalli, op. cit., p. 208.

[70] Ibn Zunbul, op. cit., 69a

[71] el-Hossary, op. cit., p. 66, 70-71.

[72] Ibn Iyas, Volume: 5, op. cit., p. 168; Ibn Zunbul, op. cit., 69a-73b.

[73] Ibn Zunbul, op. cit., 93b-100b.

[74] Ibn Zunbul, op. cit., 102b-103b; Ivanov, op. cit., p. 70.

[75] Ibn Iyas, op. cit., Volume: 5, p. 174-177; al-Siddiqi, op. cit., 29a-33b.

[76] Ibn Zunbul, op. cit., 122a-123a; al-Hanbali, op. cit., 206b.

[77] Ibn Zunbul, op. cit., 128b; Ibn Iyas, op. cit., Volume: 5, p. 203; Mitwalli, op. cit., p. 234.

[78] Emecen, op. cit., p. 142; Jean-Louis Bacqué-Grammont, “Şah İsmail ve Canberdi Gazali İsyanı”, (Translated by: Mahmut H. Şakiroğlu),

Erdem: Journal of Humanities and Social Sciences, 1989, Volume: 5, Issue: 13, p.228.

[79] Ibn Tulun, op. cit.,Volume:2, 1962-64, p. 43-47, 58-59.

[80] Ibid, p. 41-43.

[81] For more details about the battle that took place between al-Ghazali and Nasser al-Din Ibn al-Hanash. Mitwalli, op. cit., p. 234; Muhammad bin Jum’a, al-Bashat wa’l-Quda, (ed. Salah al-Din al-Munajjid), Damascus, 1949, p.1. Look: Yassin Swayyed, The Military History of the Lebanese Provinces During the Two Emirates Era, Volume:1, Arab Institute for Studies, Beirut 1985, p.129-130.

[82] Ibn Zunbul, op. cit., 130b; Ibn Iyas, op. cit., Volume: 5, p. 244.

[83] Ivanov, op. cit., p. 77.

[84] Bacqué-Grammont, op. cit., p. 228-229.

[85] Ibn Iyas, op. cit., Volume: 5, p. 252-253; Ibn Tulun, op. cit., 1973, p. 255-256; Swayyed, op. cit., p.130; Henri Lammens, La Syrie: Précis Historique, Volume: 1, Beyrouth 1921, p. 56.

[86] Ibn Iyas, op. cit., Volume: 5, p. 295; Ibn Tulun, op. cit., Volume: 2, 1962-64, p. 119-121.

[87] Ibid, p. 293; Ibn Tulun, op. cit., 1, p. 258.

[88] Ibn Tulun, op. cit., p. 255; Al-Mawsu’ah al-Filastiniyyah (The Palestinian Encyclopedia),Volume: 2, p. 6.

[89] Ibn Iyas, op. cit., Volume: 5, p. 359-360; Ibn Tulun, op. cit., p. 259.

[90] Rafeq, op. cit., p. 65.

[91] Mitwalli, op. cit., p. 244; Ibn Zunbul, op. cit., 130b.

[92] Holt, op. cit., p. 43.

[93] Ibn Tulun, op. cit., 1973, p. 260; Rafeq, op. cit., 83-84.

[94] Ibn Tulun, op. cit., 1956, p. 309.

[95] Bacqué-Grammont, op. cit., p. 229-235.

[96] Ibn Zunbul, op. cit., 130b-131a.

[97] Ibn Zunbul, op. cit., 131a.

[98] Ibn Zunbul, 131a-131b.

[99] Ibn Iyas, op. cit., Volume: 5, 1984, p. 367-368.

[100] Mitwalli, op. cit., 1995: 244.

[101] Ibn Jum’a, op. cit., p. 1; Ibn Zunbul, op. cit., 133a-133b; Ibn Tulun, op. cit., 1973, p. 260; Ivanov, op. cit., p.78.

[102] Ibn Iyas, op. cit., Volume: 5, p. 370.

[103] Mitwalli, op. cit., p. 247; Rafeq, op. cit., p. 84.

[104] Ibn Jum’a, loc. cit.

[105] Mitwalli, op. cit., p. 244-246.

[106] Mitwalli, op. cit., p. 246.

[107] Ibn Zunbul, op. cit., 131b.

[108] Ivanov, op. cit.,p. 78.

[109] Ibn Zunbul, op. cit., 131b- 132b; Mitwalli, op. cit., p. 251; Ibn Tulun, op. cit., 1973, p. 262-265.

[110] Ibn Iyas, op. cit., Volume: 5, p. 373-375.

[111] Ibn Zunbul, op. cit., 133b.

[112] Ibn Jum’a, op. cit., p. 3.

[113] Ibn Iyas, op. cit., Volume: 5, p. 376-377.

[114] Ivanov, op. cit., p. 78; Holt, op. cit., p. 47.

[115] Ibn Jum’a, op. cit., p. 2.

[116] Ibn Jum’a, op. cit., 3-4; Ibn Zunbul, op. cit., 133b-136b.

[117] Ibn Iyas, op. cit., Volume: 5, p. 382.

[118] Ivanov, op. cit., p. 78-79.

[119] Ibn Iyas, op. cit., Volume: 5, p. 391.

[120] Ibn Iyas, op. cit., Volume: 5, p. 387-88.