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The Afghan usurper of Iran, Mahmoud Hotaki

Compiled By: Syed Ali Shahbaz
On 8th of the Islamic month of Sha’ban in 1137 AH, the Afghan usurper of Iran, Mahmoud Hotaki, died at the age of 28 after ruling the Safavid Empire for three years, during which he killed tens of thousands of Iranian people, including nobles, ministers and governors through deceit, as well as family members of the deposed Safavid king, Shah Sultan Hussain Safavi.
Mahmoud, who was the son of Mirwais Hotaki, the rebel chieftain of Qandahar, was able to conquer Iran because of disunity among the Iranians and lack of decisiveness among the rulers. During his siege and subsequent capture of Isfahan, as many as 80,000 Iranians died. He also destroyed as many as 500 mosques and madrasahs in and around Isfahan, which forced most of the ulema to migrate to other parts of the country, especially to the shrine cities of Najaf and Karbala in Iraq.
He soon became mad and is believed to have been murdered by his cousin, Ashraf, who seized the throne of Iran and unleashed a 4-year reign of terror, brutally killing the imprisoned Shah Sultan Hussain Safavi, until he was defeated and driven out by Nader Qoli Afshar, who subsequently seized power as Nader Shah.

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