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Dawlatshāh Samarqandī

(801 words)

Author(s): Melvin-Koushki, Matthew
Amīr Dawlatshāh b. Amīr ʿAlāʾ al-Dawla Bukhtīshāh Ghāzī Samarqandī, takhalluṣ (pen name) ʿAlāʾī (b. c.842/1438, d. 900/1495 or 913/1507) was the author of the seminal Tadhkirat al-shuʿarāʾ, a biographical dictionary of 152 poets incorporating important historical information on Tīmūrid Iran. It is the second earliest work of this type to survive, preceded only by the Lubāb al-albāb of ʿAwfī (fl. early seventh/thirteenth century), of which Dawlatshāh was unaware. Like his father, Amīr ʿAlāʾ al-Dawla Bukhtīshāh, and his cousin Amīr Fīrūzshāh (d. 848/14…
Date: 2019-05-08

ʿAlāʾ al-Dīn ʿAṭṭār Bukhārī

(1,255 words)

Author(s): Falahati, Maryam | Melvin-Koushki, Matthew
ʿAlāʾ al-Dīn ʿAṭṭār Bukhārī (d. 802/1399), Muḥammad b. Muḥammad, the first khalīfa of Bahāʾ al-Dīn Naqshband, eponym of the Naqshbandiyya order. He was apparently born in Bukhārā, the son of an immigrant from Khwārazm. After his father’s death, ʿAlāʾ al-Dīn renounced his inheritance and took up residence in a madrasa in Bukhārā, studying various sciences there and observing a strict ascetic lifestyle (Kāshifī, 139–140; Ghulām Sarwar, 1/551–552). It is related that Khwājah Bahāʾ al-Dīn Naqshband received inspiration directing him to give his daughter in marriage to …

Bābā Qāsim, Mausoleum

(1,090 words)

Author(s): Gholami, Yadollah | Melvin-Koushki, Matthew
Bābā Qāsim, Mausoleum. The mausoleum of Bābā Qāsim al-Iṣfahānī, a prominent mystic of the 8th/14th century, is located in the Shahshahān area of Iṣfahān (see Fig. 2). According to an inscription over the entrance, and several within the mausoleum, the building was erected in 741/1340 by Sulaymān b. Abī al-Ḥasan b. Ṭālūt Dāmghānī, one of Bābā Qāsim’s disciples and an official of the late Īlkhānid and post-Īlkhānid era (see Iṣfahānī, 73; Rafīʿī, 785–786; Godard, ‘Le tombeau de Bābā Ḳāsem et la Madrasa Imāmī’, 165, ‘Le tombeau’, 38). The architectural style of the Bābā Qāsim mausoleu…


(10,606 words)

Author(s): Karamati, Younes | Melvin-Koushki, Matthew
, Abū Rayḥān Muḥammad b. Aḥmad al-Khwārazmī (362–after 440/973–after 1048), a famous Central Asian polymath of Persian extraction and one of the greatest Muslim scholars, sages and scientists. In the Islamic world he is sometimes referred to by his kunya Abū Rayḥān, while Western scholars call him al-Bīrūnī. By his own account, al-Bīrūnī did not know his father or grandfather (Yāqūt, 5/2335). Writing in 427/1036, he gave his age as 65 lunar or 63 solar years (see Fihrist, 29–30). He was born, then, in 362/973, in an outlying district ( bīrūn) of Kāth, the capital of the Afrīghid Khwārazmshāh…


(2,603 words)

Author(s): Rezvani, Ahmad | Melvin-Koushki, Matthew
Barāʾa, an important principle in various schools of jurisprudence, and one of the four ‘procedural principles’ ( al-uṣūl al-ʿamaliyya) in later Shiʿi fiqh. It denotes the release or exemption from legal obligation ( taklīf); and the removal of a punishment of a mukallaf (a person ‘obligated’ by the law, on account of being fully capacitated) in cases where the latter either commits an action which is probably forbidden, or else omits to perform an action which is probably prescribed. This principle comes into operation in cases where there is no ‘real’ or ‘actual’ legal ruling ( ḥukm wāqi…

al-Amr bi al-maʿrūf wa al-nahy ʿan al-munkar

(3,540 words)

Author(s): Pakatchi, Ahmad | Melvin-Koushki, Matthew
al-Amr bi al-maʿrūf wa al-nahy ʿan al-munkar, two terms that occur together in the Qurʾān, meaning ‘commanding what is right and forbidding what is wrong’. In Sūrat Āl ʿImrān, verse 104 decrees it to be a communal obligation and verse 110 praises the Muslim community for its faith and its practice of this obligation. According to some early commentaries, these terms denote in particular the command to follow the Prophet and the religion of Islam and prohibits denying God and disbelief in His Messenger and religion (see e.g…

The Amīr Kiyāʾids of Gīlān

(7,383 words)

Author(s): Sajjadi, Sadeq | Melvin-Koushki, Matthew
The Amīr Kiyāʾids of Gīlān, this line of sayyids, also known as the Kār Kiyāʾids, ruled Gīlān for more than 300 years following the death of their eponymous founder Sayyid Amīr Kiyā in 763/1362. They held in particular the territory to the east of the Sapīd-rūd (i.e., Biyahpīsh in eastern Gīlān). One of the ancestors of Sayyid Amīr Kiyā (d. 763/1362), was Abū Muḥammad al-Ḥasan (Ḥusayn) b. Aḥmad al-ʿAqīqī al-Kawkabī, who ruled Zanjān, Abhar and Qazwīn in the time of al-Ḥasan b. Zayd (251/865–253/867) (al…

Bahār, Muḥammad Taqī

(5,826 words)

Author(s): Samiʿi, Ahmad | Melvin-Koushki, Matthew
Bahār, Muḥammad Taqī, Malik al-Shuʿarāʾ (10 December 1886–22 April 1951), poet, journalist, parliamentary representative, minister of culture, professor and member of the Persian Language Academy of Iran ( Farhangistān-i Īrān). His father was Muḥammad Kāẓim Ṣabūrī, the poet-laureate at the shrine in Mashhad, and his mother was Ḥājiyya Sakīna Khānum, a pious woman of Georgian stock whose forebears had been brought as captives to Iran during the rule of ʿAbbās Mīrzā Qājār in the course of the Russo-Persian wars and eventually…

Bābā Rukn al-Dīn Shīrāzī, Mausoleum

(1,054 words)

Author(s): Alizadeh, Mahbanoo | Melvin-Koushki, Matthew
Bābā Rukn al-Dīn Shīrāzī, Mausoleum, the mausoleum and takiyya of Bābā Rukn al-Dīn Shīrāzī (q.v.) is an Īlkhānid structure located in the Takht-i Fūlād district of Iṣfahān (see Fig. 3). The earliest reference to this building in historical sources relates to its renovation during the Ṣafawid period by order of Shāh ʿAbbās I (r. 995–1038/1587–1629) (see Jābirī Anṣārī, 326). This information, together with the style of its structure, suggest that the mausoleum was first built in the Īlkhānid period, i.e. …

ʿAṭṭār Nīsābūrī

(7,935 words)

Author(s): Daadbeh, Asghar | Melvin-Koushki, Matthew
ʿAṭṭār Nīsābūrī, Farīd al-Dīn Abū Ḥāmid Muḥammad b. Abī Bakr Ibrāhīm b. Isḥāq Kadkanī Nīsābūrī, the well-known mystic and Persian poet of the second half of the 6th/12th century and first half of ¶ the 7th/13th; his pen-name was ʿAṭṭār or Farīd (ʿAwfī, 2/337; Dawlatshāh, 187, 192; Mustawfī, 740; Shūshtarī, 2/99). ʿAṭṭār gives his name in some of his works ( Muṣībat-nāmah, ed. Nūrānī Wiṣāl, p. 367, l. 21). We have little information on ʿAṭṭār’s life; even his dates of birth and death are the subject of debate. Nor do the extant sources reveal anything abou…

Asadī Ṭūsī

(5,744 words)

Author(s): Khatibi, Abolfazl | Melvin-Koushki, Matthew
Asadī Ṭūsī, Abū Manṣūr (or Abū Naṣr) ʿAlī b. Aḥmad (d. ca. 465/1073), was a poet, linguist and copyist of Persian origin. Despite his stature and extensive research by both Western and Eastern scholars, even the basic outlines of his life are still unknown. The little information that we have comes from sources of two kinds. The first comprises scattered references in Asadī’s own works and brief references in other sources. In the colophon of the copy he made of Abū Manṣūr Muwaffaq Harawī’s medical treatise al-Abniya, he gives his proper name, takhalluṣ or laqab as ʿAlī b. Aḥmad Asadī Ṭū…

Bahāʾ al-Dīn Walad (Bahāʾ Walad or Sulṭān al-ʿUlamāʾ)

(1,226 words)

Author(s): Mohammadi, Parvaneh | Melvin-Koushki, Matthew
Bahāʾ al-Dīn Walad (Bahāʾ Walad or Sulṭān al-ʿUlamāʾ), Muḥammad b. Ḥusayn Khaṭībī Bakrī (543–628/1148–1231), a prominent Sufi master and preacher ( wāʿiẓ), and ¶ the father of Mawlānā Jalāl al-Dīn Muḥammad Balkhī Rūmī. Bahāʾ Walad’s lineage is said to have gone back to the first caliph, Abū Bakr al-Ṣiddīq, while on his mother’s side he was the grandson of ʿAlāʾ al-Dīn Muḥammad Khʷārazm-Shāh (Aflākī, 1/7–9; see also Jāmī, 459), but this lineage is not attested to in reliable historical accounts (see Furūzānfar, 7–8). In the Maʿārif, a record of his sermons and sayings, his honori…

ʿAlī b. Mahziyār

(1,396 words)

Author(s): Pakatchi, Ahmad | Melvin-Koushki, Matthew
ʿAlī b. Mahziyār, Abū al-Ḥasan al-Ahwāzī, was a Shiʿi jurist and traditionist of the first half of the 3rd/9th century. Reports treating his life between the years 220–229/835–844 are extant (al-Ṣaffār, 357; al-Kashshī, 549; al-Kulaynī, 1/384; al-Najāshī, 145). He may have died in the following decade. His family was originally from the village of Dawraq in Khūzistān (al-Najāshī, 253) or Hindikān (apparently the same place referred to as Hindījān in modern Khūzistān) in Fārs (al-Kashshī, 548), but he became known as al-Ahwāzī after moving to that city (al-Kashshī, 548; al-Ṭūsī, al-Ri…

Bābā Luqmān, Mausoleum

(895 words)

Author(s): Alizadeh, Mahbanoo | Melvin-Koushki, Matthew
Bābā Luqmān, Mausoleum. A mausoleum associated with Bābā Luqmān al-Sarakhsī, the well-known 4th/10th-century mystic, located in Sarakhs (see Fig. 1). His mausoleum bears many similarities with other Khurāsānī mausolea associated with Sufi masters such as Abū al-Faḍl al-Sarakhsī, Abū Saʿīd b. Abī al-Khayr (q.q.v.) and Abū Ḥāmid al-Ghazālī al-Ṭūsī. Anecdotes recorded about Bābā Luqmān identify him as one of al-ʿuqalāʾ al-majānīn (‘holy fools’) (see Muḥammad b. al-Munawwar, 24–25, 217, 42, 199, 244–225, 264; Jāmī, 301–303), and he became the object of such …

ʿĀlī-Qāpū Palace

(6,691 words)

Author(s): Poornaderi, Hossein | Melvin-Koushki, Matthew
ʿĀlī-Qāpū Palace, one of the most important royal palaces of the Ṣafawid period. It is located on the western side of the Maydān-i Naqsh-i Jahān in Iṣfahān and constitutes one of the four primary architectural components of this complex. There is a dearth of reliable information on the initial phases of the construction of this palace, although different theories have been put forward based in large part on historical records and travelogues dating from the rule of Shah ʿAbbās I (r. 996–1038/1588–1629) and the following periods. The …


(5,374 words)

Author(s): Mehrvash, Farhang | Melvin-Koushki, Matthew
ʿĀshūrāʾ, the tenth day of Muḥarram, marks the anniversary of the martyrdom of Imam Ḥusayn b. ʿAlī as observed by the Shiʿa with rites of mourning. Ḥusayn’s martyrdom on ʿĀshūrāʾ was the culmination of the events of Muḥarram of the year 61/681. He had set out for Iraq in response to invitations from his followers and supporters there asking him to come and provide them with guidance. At the beginning of Muḥarram of that year had reached the area of Karbalāʾ. There he encountered soldiers from Kūfa who barred his way. Man…

Bābāʾī Movement

(1,454 words)

Author(s): Hamedani, Ali Karam | Melvin-Koushki, Matthew
Bābāʾī Movement, a socio-religious insurrectionist movement that arose in Anatolia during the reign of the Saljūqs of Rūm in the first half of the 7th/13th century, at the ¶ time of the Mongol invasion. The founder of this movement seems to have been one Bābā Ilyās Khurāsānī (q.v.), a prominent Turkoman Sufi shaykh, who came to Anatolia from Khurāsān at the beginning of the 7th/13th century. Ibn Bībī, the contemporary court chronicler of the Saljūqs of Rūm, refers instead to a certain Bābā Isḥāq of Kafarsūd in northern Syri…

ʿAlī Riḍā ʿAbbāsī

(3,904 words)

Author(s): Afsari, Hamid Reza | Melvin-Koushki, Matthew
ʿAlī Riḍā ʿAbbāsī, a prominent Persian calligrapher and manuscript illustrator of the Ṣafawid period. Life ʿAlī Riḍā was from Tabrīz (Qāḍī Aḥmad, 40, 124; Awḥadī, 2/609; Naṣrābādī, 207), but chose to sign his work as ‘ʿAbbāsī’ and became known by this name once he joined the court of Shāh ʿAbbās I as official calligrapher (Falsafī, 2/373; Bayānī, Aḥwāl, 2/457). The year of his birth remains unclear, but we do know that he studied the principal scripts with ʿAlāʾ al-Dīn Tabrīzī (Qāḍī Aḥmad, 40; Bayānī, Aḥwāl, 2/456); it also appears that he studied the nastaʿlīq script with Muḥammad Ḥusa…

Aḥmad Mūsā

(3,536 words)

Author(s): Semsar, Mohammad Hassan | Melvin-Koushki, Matthew
Aḥmad Mūsā, an innovative Persian painter and founder of a style of painting in the 8th/14th century. His name is first mentioned in Dūst Muḥammad’s prefatory essay (‘Account of Past and Present Painters’) to the Bahrām Mīrzā album concerning the evolution of calligraphy, compiled in 951/1544, where he is identified as a painter from the reign of the Īlkhān Abū Saʿīd (Soucek, 652; for a précis of Dūst Muḥammad’s prefatory essay, see Binyon et al., pp. 184–188). Data put forward by experts in the field suggest that from the late ʿAbbāsid era to the time of the Mongol inva…


(1,378 words)

Author(s): Kermani, Mohammad Javad Hojjati | Melvin-Koushki, Matthew
Anfāl (sing. nafal), a Qurʾānic and juridical term denoting a portion of goods or property. The basic lexical meaning of the singular nafal, however, is the subject of debate, since it was only used as such in the earliest Islamic period; with the passage of centuries its usage as a technical term predominated and its original meaning was forgotten. The main piece of evidence cited by linguists, from which they derive the word’s lexical meanings, is a verse of poetry attributed to Labīd b. Rabīʿa, a mukhaḍram poet, in which taqwā (piety, being God-fearing) is described as ‘the best nafal’. On…
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