Encyclopedia of Jews in the Islamic World

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Zaynab Begum
(199 words)

Zaynab Begum (d. 1641/42), the aunt of Shah ʿAbbās I (r. 1587–1629) of Iran, was an influential figure at his court. The fourth daughter of Shah Ṭahmāsp I (r. 1524–1576), she became head matron of the royal harem at Shah ʿAbbās’s court, thus wielding considerable power over him. Zaynab Begum was one of the shah’s close and trusted companions and sat in his councils. She was famous for her charitable works and architectural projects. The Judeo-Persian chronicle Kitāb-i Anusī (The Book of a Forced Convert) by Bābāī b. Luṭf recounts her crucial role in assuring the smooth succession o…

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Vera B. Moreen, “Zaynab Begum”, in: Encyclopedia of Jews in the Islamic World, Executive Editor Norman A. Stillman. Consulted online on 26 February 2024 <http://dx.doi.org/10.1163/1878-9781_ejiw_SIM_0022580>
First published online: 2010

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