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The Story of an Ambition: The Power Struggle of The Saljuk Statesman Taj Al-Mulk
Vizierate, which became the most important government office after the caliph or sultan since the Abbasids in Islamic history, was first created by Sultan Toghril Beg in the Great Seljuk Empire. The first person to be assigned to the vizier was Amid al-Mulk Kunduri during the reign of Sultan Toghril Beg. Serving a long period of time as the grand vizier of the Great Seljuk Empire, Nizam al-Mulk organized the state entirely so to speak. Taj al-Mulk, who got hold of the primary government offices shortly after being recommended to Sultan Malik Shah and became an administrator responsible from the Sultan’s treasury, court affairs, education of princes and administrative affairs, was assigned as vizier after Nizam al-Mulk who was assassinated by a Batin bouncer. Playing a significant role in struggles for the throne between the Seljuk maliks, Taj al-Mulk supported Mahmud, together with Terken Khatun and the caliph, against Berk-Yaruq whom Nizam al-Mulk supported in his lifetime, and played a major role in delivering a khutbah in his name and declaring him sultan. When Mahmud was defeated in the fight with Berk-Yaruq, Taj al-Mulk was captured and brought to Berk-Yaruq. Despite all his previous negative attitude toward Berk-Yaruq, the new sultan wanted to make Taj al-Mulk vizier to benefit from his experience. However, he was torn to pieces at the age of forty seven in 486/1093 by the supporters of Nizam al-Mulk who did not accept his vizierate. Taj al-Mulk built two architectural works: Madrasa-i Tajiya in Baghdad and Taj-al-Mulk Dome (of Friday Mosque) in Isfahan. Historical sources recorded that Taj-al-Mulk was a generous, virtuous and good man, but an ambitious politician.

Seljuk Empire, Vizierate, Taj al-Mulk.

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