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In the year 1220 AD, Genghis Khan lay siege to the Muslim city of Bukhāra. The Muslims were divided on the next course of action, if they should open the gates in humiliation or fight in defense of their honour. Most said they should save themselves from bloodshed and open the gates (i.e. surrender). Yet, a small number of daring Muslims refused to surrender and remained in their citadel to fight back.

The civilian population of Bukhara surrendered and opened the city gates. Genghis Khan promised them protection and amnesty if they helped him destroy the trenches the Muslim soldiers had built around the fortress. The people destroyed the trenches and helped Khan gain control over the city in hopes of being granted protection.

When the Mongols gained control, they killed the Muslim fighters along with the civilians, looted the city and stole all it’s goods.

Ibn-Kathir describes the fall of the city in his book: “Al-Bidaya wal-Nihaya” saying:

“They killed [so] many people that only Allah knows their number! They enslaved women and children. They raped women in the presence of their families. Of the Muslims, those who had fought were killed; and some who were captured were tortured badly. Then they burnt homes, masjids and schools and Bukhara fell into
ruins.”

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