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Mahmoud Ghazaan, the seventh ruler of the Mongol Empire's Ilkhanate division

Compiled By: Syed Ali Shahbaz
On May 11, 1304 AD, Mahmoud Ghazaan, the seventh ruler of the Mongol Empire's Ilkhanate division that was based in modern-day Iran, and included Iraq and parts of Central Asia and the Caucasus, died. He was the son of Arghun and grandson of Abaqa, continuing a line of rulers who were direct descendants of Genghis Khan.
Considered the most prominent of the Ilkhans, he is best known for accepting the truth of Islam in 1295 when he ascended the throne, although he was born a Buddhist, and because of his mother was baptized and raised as a Christian. On conversion to Islam at the hands of Ibrahim ibn Mohammad ibn Hamawaiyh Khorasani al-Juwaini, he changed his first name to Mahmoud, and Islam gained popularity within Mongol territories beyond Iran.
His principal wife was Kokechin, a Mongol princess sent to Iran by his distant cousin Kublai Khan the ruler of China, and escorted by the famous Italian traveler Marco Polo. Military conflicts during Ghazaan's reign included war with the Egyptian Mamluks for control of Syria, and battles with the Mongol Chaghatai Khanate of Central Asia. Ghazaan also pursued diplomatic contacts with Europe. The Mongol capital was Maragheh in today's Zanjan Province west of Tehran.

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