Seid Mohammed-Gali ibn Mirhudja
(Kul Gali)
1172 - 1240

Note. Most of the dates are found in the sources, but some are interpolated as plausible approximations - Translator's Note

Mohammed-Gali ibn Mirhudja is better known under his literary pseudonym Kul Gali

Genealogy of Seid Mohammed-Gali

Ahmed ibn Fadlan (Bagdad Caliph's ambassador - Translator's Note) had son Nasyr,
his son was Mohammed,
his son was Hamid,
his son was Nugman,
his sons were sheikh Daud and kazyi Yakub.

Sheikh Daud dared to show his discontent about the Kan Adam deporting the Emir Akhad Mosha, and for that he himself was exiled from the Echke (Old) Bulgar to the Saksin province, where in the city Saksin Bolgar (aka Sarai Batu, 48.5°N 45.0°E, since Batu located his palace sarai there) was born his son Suleiman.
Emir Kolyn returned Suleiman to Bulyar and he became a Seid. The highest minaret of the "Baradj" mosque has been named by his name. And Sulejman had son Sada.
Sada was appointed the Seid after a suppression of Mamli-Omar revolt, his son was Kylych,
Kylych wrote a famous dastan about Tahir and Zuhra and he also was a Seid.

And the son of kazyi Yakub was Saint Isbel, who consecrated with his pray founding of the city Kazan in 1103, his son was sheikh Kul-Daud,
his son was Mirhudja Nakkar,
his son was Mohammed-Gali (1172 - 1240),
his son was Mir-Gali,
his son was Yadkar,
his son was Radjap,
his son was Isbel Hudja, who died in 1359, his sons were  Hammad and Husain.

Hammad was forced to flee from the Bolgar to the Chirmyshan, at the age of 93 years, when Idegay returned. All sons of this pious sheikh were martyred in the Ulug-Bolgar, defending its holy relics from the Mongol's desecration.
His brother Husain after the death of his favorite wife left in sorrow to the Bashkort, and died there near the mountain Mamlitüba in 1393 at the age of 83 years, without leaving any children. As him and Hammad remained completely alone, he blessed Ashraf, the son of Emir Chally-Mohammed to accept the title of Seid to return to the Bulgar its appropriate power.


1171 (566 A.H.) The son of Seid Kul-Daud, Mullah Mirhudja tried forbidding the traditional Bulgarian fight matches between men and women during the popular celebrations, and one of fighters, the daughter of the Tabyn Biy Ümart-Tabyn, became Mirhudja's wife.

1172 (567 A.H.) Tabyns’ Biy Ümart-Tabyn daughter gave birth to Mirhudja's son Mohammed-Gali. Mullah Mirhudja is appointed to Bulyar. During a move of the family to the Bulyar she caught a cold and soon died...

1172 (567 A.H.) Bulyarians nicknamed the new seid Nakkar, for his sonorous and beautiful calls to pray.

1178 (573 A.H.) When Mohammed-Gali is 6 years old, Kan Otyak (1164-1178) dies, Gabdulla Chelbir (1178-1225) is raised to the Kan throne.

1179 (574 A.H.) Kan Chelbir appointed the father of Mohammed-Gali, Mirhudja, as the Seid of the capital Bulyar, to replace Seid Mamil, the senior son of Hyzyr-Hudja, who was appointed the Seid of the capital after the death of Mirhudja's father Seid Kul-Daud. Seid Mamil left to the Tatyak and headed there the brotherhood “El-Khum”.

1182 (577 A.H.) Kan Chelbir was ousted from the capital by a rebellion of Seid Mamli-Omar or Seid Mamil. The rebels raised Chalmati for the reign, Seid Mamil became the Vizier, and Mirhudja remained the Seid of the capital Bulyar. The Mamil mutiny intoxicated  the ten years old Mohammed-Gali and for a time made him an adherent of violent actions in establishing the Kaganate of Goodness and Fairness dear to his heart.

1182 (577 A.H.) The lead in the brotherhood “El-Khum” was seized by a most aggressive group named “Amin”, the Alp Simbir-Karga becames their banner symbol. It opposed excessive taxes and duties, and stood for elimination of the allodial lands.

1187 (582 A.H.)  House of sciences “Mohammed-Bakir” became a propagator for the Aminian ideas, began to be called “Rooks”. Two shakird friends of the same 15-year old age, Mohammed-Gali and Mir-Gazi, fall under their influence.

1192 (588 A.H.) After graduation from the medresé (medresseh, madrasah, Muslim school - Translator's Note) 20-year old Mohammed-Gali became an imam-khatib in the Hasan mosque in the Bolgar, and became a very popular preacher.

1192 (588 A.H.) People's discontent pushed Amines to a new plot, lead by the mullah Gali. He spread the web of the plot, called the “Rook’s” after the image on the Amines’ banner, through all the country. The purpose of the “rooks” brothers was installation of Mir-Gazi as the Kan sharing their views, gentle and sensitive to injustice, in contrast with the Kan Chelbir.

1193 (589 A.H.) A new plot against Chelbir, headed by 21-year old future great Bulgarian poet Mohammed-Gali (Kul Gali)

1193 (589 A.H.) A signal to rebellion were the calls for the morning prayer. In the Bolgar the people were to be raised by Gali himself, and in the capital by the voice of his assistant mullah Kylych. Kylych betrayed and reported to the Kan Chelbir about the upcoming revolt.  Mergen, who was promoted to the post of the Tubdjak Tarkhan, seized 500 main participants of the plot including Gali. All 500 were sentenced to execution.

1193 (589 A.H.) Bulyar Tarkhan Mer-Chura learned about the events and decided to protect Gali in memory of his kind father. He bought the lives of 500 sentenced in exchange for 500 captured Galidjians. After that the “Rooks” were paraded for sale into slavery, and Gali, who turned grey at once, was banished to the Alabuga tower, and was chained there to the wall. Mir-Gazi was exiled from the Bolgar to the Kashan.

1203 (599 A.H.) Ar’s revolt.  Kan Chelbir forgave the 31-year old mullah Mohammed-Gali, expressed hope that he would cease revolting against the rulers, and endorsed him, as a Mir-Gazi's friend, for the post of the Kashan Seid. After receiving this message, Gali told Mir-Gazi with a weak chuckle: “The “kind” Khan first chained me in bondage, but the ”malicious heathens” tore it off. Now the Kan desires that I would start hating those who ripped his chains off me. But how can I be angry for it?” Seid Mohammed-Gali after incarceration in the Alabuga began to call himself Kul-Gali, as a sign of his sympathy for the oppressed and his humble status...

1204 (600 A.H.) Bulgarian poet Mohammed-Gali ibn Mirhudja (pseudonym - "Kul Gali") completes his immensely long ingenious poem "Kyssa-i Yusuf" ("Tale of Joseph"), using the achievements of the Persian and Arabian literatures, and giving us a literary monument written in the indigenous Bulgarian language of the 12th century (first legally printed in Russia in 1989, in quasi-Cyrillic "Tatar" alphabet. Second edition was prepared by Nurmukhammet Khisamov and printed in New Turkic Latin).

I completed this work in six hundred (or ninth or thirtieth? Hijra),
During sacred Radjab, the thirtieth day.
I finished writing this poetic composition, -
The favor of Creator supported me till now.

The modest slave Kul Gali composed many lines,
Each one crowned with a twenty fourth syllable...

30 Radjab 600 AH Saturday 3 April 1204 AD A plausible date, after 10-year incarceration
30 Radjab 609 AH Tuesday 25 December 1212 AD An implausible date, in the height of the revolt
30 Radjab 630 AH Thursday 12 May 1233 AD An implausible date, in the height of the social reforms
Radjab is the seventh month of the lunar calendar. In numerous (i.e., about 170 extant) manuscripts of the poem are given mostly the three dates: 600, 609 and 630 year of Hijra. The thirtieth of Radjab 630 corresponds to the May, 12, 1233.  The real date of 30 Radjab 600 AH, that makes any sense is ignored, and as the most likely are recognized these two dates: 609 and 630. In the Türkic original, tukuz ("nine") and utuz ("thirty") in the stanza rhyme system (yituzenden - utuzyndan - tukuzyndan) are easily replaced, and because of that arose the erroneous line. The copyists also could do it out of the professional consideration, to avoid tautology in the rhymes. But the recurrence of the same words in Kul Gali's rhymes is not a rarity. Ironically, because of all these reasons, and also of the ignorance about the social and historical timing of the ideas and motives of the poem, its further fate, as well as the fate of the author, the least plausible date of 630 AH is recognized as the most truthful.

1207 (603 A.H.) Before his exile, Seid Gali married the daughter of Dayr and grand-daughter of the slave-trader Appak.

1207 (603 A.H.) In exile as Kashan Seid, Seid Gali was widowed, and his son Mir-Gali from the daughter of Dayr grew up in the house of the suvarbashi (in the Bolgar? - Translator's Note).

1207 (603 A.H.) The period of 1207- 1212 (603-608 A.H.), when Mohammed-Gali served as the Kashanian Seid, and could extensively travel in the Central Asia area, appear as the potential time when he could compose the "Hon Kitaby" ("Book of Huns"), which is traditionally dated to unlikely ca. 1235.

1212. (608 A.H.) Seid Gali taught about the laws, causing the Kashanian revolt, which was supported by the Ars' revolt. Gali writes a letter to Kan Chelbir spelling out the rebel's request, and protecting those igenchis whom he converted to Islam. Seid Gali presented Kan Chelbir the restored book about Üsuf. The Kan saw there a verse about the transition of the power from the senior to the younger brother, and became furious.  Kan Chelbir ordered to seize the Seid again, as the instigator of the mutiny. In response, Gali declared that those trying to cross Agidel to seize him would sink. Out of the superstitious fear, many were afraid to deal with the saint and refused to execute the order of the Kan, and only sardar Guza went to the Kashan. ”Be careful”, told him Elaur, “You may drown”. The fearless sardar in response only laughed. But the Gali's prediction came true...

1213 (609 A.H.) A wave of sanctification swipes around Mohammed-Gali's image. Gali consecrates fortress, declares a complete abdication from the power, and the places he ever visited are converted into the mosques.

1214 (610 A.H.) Emir Mir-Gazi promised Seid Gali to ensure the fate of the rebels. He persuaded Seid Gali to leave from the country.  First the Seid fled to the Bolgar and from there left with a caravan to Khoresm, with Yaldau's help, because of his hate of his father Kan Chelbir. In Khoresm, Emir Djelaletdin hospitably received Seid Gali and appointed him a secretary of his archive...

1214 (610 A.H.) The period of 1214 - 1224 (610-621 A.H.), when Mohammed-Gali served as a secretary of the Khoresmian Emir archive, and could extensively travel in the Central Asia area, also appear as the potential time when he could compose the "Hon Kitaby" ("Book of Huns"), which is traditionally dated to unlikely ca. 1235.

1224 (621 A.H.) Bulgarian poet Mohammed-Gali ibn Mirhudja (pseudonym - "Kul Gali") creates his annalistic compilation "Hon Kitaby" ("Book Of Huns").

1224 (621 A.H.) Khorezmian Emir Djelaletdin sent an embassy to the Bulgarian Kan Chelbir to ask for help against Juchi's advance. Seid Gali was in the ambassadorial caravan. The embassy was intercepted by the Kypchakian Ak-Oimek Khan Karabash, who was trying to pacify Juchi. Seid Gali was taken prisoner but was not harmed, because Kypchaks treasured chichens (storytellers) who, as they believed,  were saints and could talk with the sky, and for some years he wandered in the steppes with the Kypchaks. Gali composed for Oimeks a few songs.

1225 (622 A.H.) Juchi pursued Khan Karabash Oimeks and forced them to cross Djaik. To please Juchi, Kan Chelbir refused to let Oimeks hide inside the Bulgarian State, and cornred them against Djaik river. Kan Chelbir suddenly died, and immediately in the field the Beks raised Mir-Gazi to the reign (1225 - 1229 AD). Seid Gali, cornered with Oimeks, came to the new Kan and asked to spare the poor Kypchaks. Kan Mir-Gazi could not refuse his friend and, ordered to settle Oimeks in the Bashkort. Kan Mir-Gazi took Seid Gali to the Bulyar, expelled dishonorably Kalych from the capital, and installed Gali instead. Soon Seid Gali persuaded Mir-Gazi to cancel the tax increase on all subashes, al-chirmyshes, merchants and and small craftsmen.

1227 (624 A.H.) Kul Gali devises a plan for his friend Kan Mir-Gazi to improve the position of the Muslim igencheys, small and middle craftsmen, and alpars, the enlisted knights.

1229 (626 A.H.) Kan Mir-Gazi died, and Altynbek, absolutely apathetic to the reforms of Gali, was raised to the Bulgarian Kan throne (1229, 1230-1236 ).

1229 (626 A.H.) Emir Iljas Yaldau rebelled in Bulyar, dethroning Altynbek and installing Gazi Baradj (1229-1230) instead, and causing a popular revolt. Said Gali advocates a reform to the newly enthroned Kan telling him: “Instability of our Kans, all disasters of our State are from non-observance of our faith, which prohibits the slavery. Relax taxes on small freeholders, subashes and al-chirmyshes to the size of the time of Talib, confirm the law of conversion of igenchis to subashis and al-chirmyshes when they accept Islam, enlist the remaining heathen kurmyshes into the category of kara-chirmyshes, and make ulans into the bakhadirs , and you will act in accordance with the Koran”. The Kan Gazi Baradj immediately carried out his will, and the Mohammed-Gali law was announced on all maidans of the State. The kurmyshes, especially Ars and Serbiyans of the Mountain Side and heathen Bulgars of the Ar’s district, began to accept Islam in masses, and declare themselves subashis or ak-chirmyshes. The Kan Gazi Baradj with the support of the Seid Mohammed-Gali with an iron fist quashed any resistance to Kan by the Seid Kylych followers.

1230 (627 A.H.) Altynbek re-instated to the throne, Gazi Baradj fled to Rus. The fate of Mohammed-Gali reform law is unknown, all real control is with the local authorities.

1231 (628 A.H.) Seid Gali married Mir-Gazi’s widow Sauliya who was given in marriage at five years old, and whom he loved all his life.

1231 (628 A.H.) 1231 - 1236 Seid Gali is criss-crossing the country working to unite the State. This time of high tension in the state, and high external threats, appear as the most unlikely time to compose the thoroughly written and saturated with innumerable details "Hon Kitaby" ("Book of Huns"), which is traditionally dated to this ca. 1235 period.

1236 (633 A.H.) Gazi-Baradj returns as Mongol Batu's ally and becomes Bulgar's Emir again, in vassalage to Batu (1236-1242 AD). Storm of Bulyar  by Mongols and execution of its defenders. During the battle Seid Gali's grandson was lost, and trying to find him Sauliya fell behind. The grandson was found alive, but the unfortunate woman who brought him up as a son was killed. Gali was among the captured, holding his grandson in his arms. Seid was pointed to to Batu,  Mankay Subyatai, and Guük: “He cannot be executed, he is the Supreme Kakhin of the Bulgars. His death will bring misfortune to Mongols”. Seid, who tried to cheer townspeople with a pray, only illegible words coming off his lips, was pulled out from the crowd and saved.

1236 (633 A.H.) Gali refused to become the Bulgar Seid and departed for a voluntary confinement in the Alabuga in protest of destruction of Bulyar. Seid Kylych, the predecessor and opponent of  Mohammed-Gali and Mohammed-Gali reform, was installed the Bulgarian Seid, and the head of “El-Khum”.

1240 (637 A.H.) Emir Iljas Yaldau raised a mutiny against Kan Gazi Baradj, called a djien to declare Mohammed-Gali the head of the country with a title of Seid. Mohammed-Gali agreed to become the head of the State, but did not leave Alabuga in view of his feebleness. He immediately sent to the Nur-Suvar his firman which said: “By the will of Allah, I, Seid Mohammed-Gali, accept the control of the Bulgarian State and declare jihad to the damned Tatar troops."

Preserved fragment of the Mohammed-Gali Firman

1240 (637 A.H.) Subyatai suppressed the Mohammed-Gali revolt in a "Gali War", restoring Kan Gazi Baradj control of Bulgar State. Suppression of the ”Gali War” happened before the end of October, 1240. Seid Gali, learning in his solitude about the disastrous events, collapsed and did not rise any more. Kul-Burat transported dying Seid to the Nur-Suvar, arriving with already lifeless body of Gali with the book ”Hon Kitaby” on his chest. Seid Mohammed-Gali was buried near the Kan's palace.

1242 (639 A.H.) Kan Gazi Baradj raised his son Hisam to the throne of the State and left to Batu to become his Visier.

1246 (643 A.H.) After another revolt that deposed Hisam,  Nur-Suvar is completely destroyed. Burilday tramped with his horse’s hoofs the Gali’s tomb near the Emir’s palace, and an elder brother of the “El-Khum” told him: “What are you doing? This is the tomb of a saint! You yourself are calling the death on your head!” But Burilday continued his sacrilege. The grave of the Seid Mohammed-Gali ibn Mirhudja, known under his pseudonym Kul Gali, remains buried, covered by 750 years of sediments, in the barely visible remnants of the Nur-Suvar.

1612 A first book in Tatar was published in Leipzig (Germany) in 1612

1722 First Tatar native publishing-house in Russia, 110 years following the German publication

1983 UNESCO  celebrated Kul Gali's 800-th anniversary.


Imam - man who leads prayers in a mosque.
Khatib - orator, speaker, i.e preacher, sermonizer

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