The unknown efforts of the Arab architect “Ikhtiyar Al-Din” in building the city of Beijing The capital of the Mongol Yuan Dynasty (665 AH / 766 AH)
Keywords:Ikhtiyar al-Din, Mongols, Kublai Khan, China, Beijing
Beijing is one of the most famous Asian cities in the Middle Ages, and it gained even greater fame when the Mongol Yuan Dynasty declared Beijing its capital. With its distinctive architecture, beautiful alleys, and stunning gardens, it attracted the attention of travelers such as the Italian Marco Polo and the Moroccan Ibn Battuta, and he was commissioned to build it. Al-Din", an Arab Muslim architect by the Mongol Emperor Kublai Khan, who was ruling China (658 AH/693 AH), however, many people do not realize that he was also its architect and attempts have been made to obscure the truth about the efforts of the Arab Muslim architect." "Choice of Religion" in historical studies dealing with the history of Beijing. The Arab engineer was not able to live long to wander around his new city, which he designed and supervised its construction, as he grew tired and died shortly after the city was built and his giant project was completed. Ironically, the engineer’s name, “Ikhtiyar al-Din,” was not mentioned in the official history of Chinese engineers, while it was He mentioned his colleagues, the Chinese engineers who were working under his supervision, and it seems like a kind of racism because Kublai the Khan (d. 693 AH / 1394 AD) imposed on the Chinese a class system that they did not like. He placed the Mongols at the top of the state’s social pyramid, followed by the Arabs, Persians, and Turks, then the Chinese and minorities, and he placed them at the bottom of the pyramid. This matter was not understood by the official Chinese historians, who wanted to take revenge for this insult, and so they deliberately deleted the name “choice of religion” from the history of the construction of the city of Beijing.