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3.19 History of Persia: K̲h̲urāsān
(1,175 words)

In Volume 1-1: Qurʾānic Literature, History, and Biography | Section 2, History, Biography, etc.

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§ 466. Ẓahīr al-Dīn Abū ’l-Ḥasan ʿAlī b. Zaid al-Baihaqī, called also Ibn Funduq, a member of an old and distinguished Baihaqī family, was born at Sabzawār (of Baihaq) on 27 Shaʿbān 499/1106. Among his teachers was al-Maidānī (see Brock. i 289), whose classes he attended in 516/1122, doubtless in Naisābūr. In 526/1132 he was appointed Qāḍī of Baihaq, but he resigned this post after a few months. After living for short periods at Raiy, Naisābūr, Baihaq and Sarak̲h̲s he settled at Naisābūr from 537/1143 until 549/1154, teaching in certain of the mosques and receiving much honour from the inhabitants. In Ṣafar 543/1148 by order of Sulṭān Sanjar he answered an inquiry received in Arabic and Syriac from the Georgian king Demetrius. He died in 565/1169–70. Among his numerous works were

Mas̲h̲ārib al-tajārib, an Arabic general history (Ḥ. K̲h̲. v p. 544, No. 12043),
Wis̲h̲āḥ Dumyat al-qaṣr, a supplement to al-Bāk̲h̲arzī’s work (for which see Brock. i 252, Ḥ.K̲h̲. iii p. 238 no. 5136),
a commentary on the Ḥamāsah,
a commentary on the Maqāmāt of al-Ḥarīrī,
Tatimmat Ṣiwān al-ḥikmah or Taʾrīk̲h̲ ḥukamāʾ al-Islām, in Arabic (for a ms. see Ahlwardt 10,052).

These five works were all in Arabic and all except the last appear to be lost. At least four of his works were in Persian, including

Ḥiṣaṣ al-aṣfiyāʾ fī qiṣaṣ al-anbiyāʾ, now apparently lost, and
Tārīk̲h̲ i Baihaq, a history of the district of Baihaq with biographies of its famous men, completed ah 563/1168: Ḥ.K̲h̲ ii, p. 122, Rieu Suppt. 89 (apparently defective at end. ah 835/1432), Berlin 535 (1) (different beginning. ah 1265/1848–9), Tashkent (see Kahl 9a).

[ʿImād al-Dīn al-Iṣfahānī K̲h̲arīdat al-ʿaṣr; Yāqūt Irs̲h̲ād al-arīb v 208–18; Brockelmann i 324; Ency. Isl. under Baihaqī]

§ 467. “Saifī” Harawī, i.e. Saif b. M. b. Yaʿqūb al-Harawī, tells us that he was six years old in 687/1288. He composed 80 qaṣīdahs and 150 qiṭʿahs in praise of the third ruler of the Kart1 dynasty, Malik Fak̲h̲r al-Dīn (reigned 684/1285–708/1308), and to the fourth ruler, Malik G̲h̲iyāt̲h̲ al-Dīn (reigned 708/1308–729/1328), he dedicated a treatise on ethics entitled Majmūʿah i G̲h̲iyāt̲h̲ī and also his Tārīk̲h̲ i Mulūk i Kart. For Jamāl al-Dīn M. Sām, who killed Danis̲h̲mand Bahādur in 706/1306, he wrote a Sām-nāmah of 20,000 verses celebrating his exploits.

(Tārīk̲h̲ i Harāt) or (Tārīk̲h̲ i Mulūk i Kart), a history of Harāt from 618/1221 to 721/1321,2 being the first (and perhaps the only) daftar of a work planned to consist of at least two daftars: Būhār 58 (contemporary or nearly contemporary with author).

Description: Notes on a unique History of Herat, discovered in the Būhār Collection of MSS. in the Imperial Library, Calcutta. By K̲h̲ān Ṣāḥib Maulavī ʿAbdul Muqtadir (in j.a.s.b., n.s., vol. xii (1916), pp. 165–84).

[j.a.s.b. loc. cit.]

§ 468. Muʿīn al-Dīn M. Zamajī Isfizārī was a distinguished letter-writer (mutarassil) and the author of a collection of model letters and other documents (Ins̲h̲ā i Muʿīn al-Zamajī: for a ms. see Ethé 2041). According to his own statement in his Risālah i qawānīn (Bānkīpūr xi, 1098 xxxiv) he left home in early youth to seek knowledge and arrived at Harāt in 873/1468–9. At the beginning of the reign of Sulṭān Ḥusain, as he tells us incidentally, he was asked to draw up a royal nis̲h̲ān. He was also a poet and calligraphist. His patron was Qiwām al-Dīn Niẓām al-Mulk, who after being Wazīr to Sulṭān Ḥusain for about twenty years fell into disfavour and was put to death in 903/1497–8.

Rauḍāt al-jannāt fī auṣāf madīnat Harāt, a history of Harāt to 875/1470–1, written in 897/1491–2, dedicated to Sulṭān Ḥusain and divided into 26 rauḍahs: Ḥ.K̲h̲. iii p. 493 no 6608, Ivanow 108 (ah 911/1505–6), 109 (slightly defective. 17th cent.), Ethé 570 (ah 920/1514), Rieu Suppt. 94 (ah 933/1526), Rieu i 206a (ah 1002/1594), 207a (ah 1002/1594), K̲h̲āliṣ Efendī 7472 = Tauer 472 (10th/16th cent.), Blochet i 506 (defective. 17th cent.), 507 (ah 1044/1634), 508 (late 17th cent.), 509 (ah 1295/1878), Bodleian 310 (defective), Rehatsek p. 94 no. 43 (ah 1225/1810), Buk̲h̲ārā Semenov 77, Chanykov 95 (defective at both ends), Leningrad Pub. Lib. (?) (see Mélanges asiatiques iii (St. Petersburg 1859) p. 731), Salemann-Rosen p. 16 no. 588, Lahore Panjāb Univ. Lib. (breaks off in Rauḍah xxv. See Oriental College Magazine, vol. ii, no. 3 (May 1926) p. 70).

Description and French translation of extracts by Barbier de Meynard: Journal asiatique, 5e série, vol. xvi (July–Dec. 1860) pp. 461–520, vol. xvii (Jan.–June 1861) pp. 438–57, 473–522, vol. xx (July–Dec. 1862) pp. 268–319.

Risālah i qawānīn, a short tract in the form of a letter praising Sulṭān Ḥusain and Harāt: Bānkīpūr xi 1098 xxxiv.

[Ḥabīb al-siyar iii, 3, 342; Browne Lit. Hist. iii 430–1.]

§ 469. ʿAbd Allāh b. ʿAbd al-Raḥmān al-Ḥusainī al-Wāʿiẓ, i.e. apparently Amīr S. Aṣīl al-Dīn ʿAbd Allāh b. ʿAbd al-Raḥmān al-Ḥusainī al-S̲h̲īrāzī, who has already been mentioned (p. 144 supra) as the author of the Durj al-durar, and who died in 883/1 1478, wrote

Maqṣad al-iqbāl al-Sulṭānīyah wa-marṣad al-aʿmāl al-K̲h̲āqānīyah, on the distinguished persons buried at Harāt: Asʿad 2428, Leningrad Mus. Asiat. (see Mélanges asiatiques iv (St. Petersburg 1860–3), p. 54).

§ 470. Risālah i mus̲h̲tamilah ba-aḥwāl i Harāt fī ḥudūd i sanah i 1273 [1856–7] wa-mus̲h̲ājarah i daulat i Irān maʿ daulat i Inkilīz.

Edition: place ? 1273/1856–7 (see Mélanges asiatiques iv/ (St. Petersburg 1863) p. 60 and v (1868) p. 519).

§ 471. M. Ḥasan K̲h̲ān Marāg̲h̲ī, entitled Ṣanīʿ al-Daulah and afterwards Iʿtimād al-Salṭanah, died at Ṭihrān in 1896 (see p. 120 supra). He accompanied Nāṣir al-Dīn S̲h̲āh on his journey to Mas̲h̲had in 1300/1882.

Maṭlaʿ al-s̲h̲ams, an account of K̲h̲urāsān in 3 vols. ((1) the route to Mas̲h̲had from Damāwand, (2) detailed description of Mas̲h̲had, its history from 428/1306 to 1302/1885, its eminent men, the Imām ʿAlī al-Riḍā and a list of the books in the Mosque library,3 (3) the S̲h̲āh’s return journey through Nīs̲h̲āpūr, Sabzawār, S̲h̲āhrūd, Dāmg̲h̲ān and Simnān with accounts of these and intervening places and their eminent men).

Edition: [Ṭihrān ?] 1301/1884°–1303/1886° (cf. Browne Lit. Hist. iv 455–6, Yate Khurasan and Sistan, pp. 313–14).

Descriptions: (1) S. Churchill in jras. 1887 p. 164 (relates to vol. iii only). (2) Browne Lit. Hist. iv 455–6.

next chapter: 3.20 Kirmān


^ Back to text1. For the spelling of this name see Minorsky in bsos. viii, pt. 1 (1935), p. 257, where it is pointed out that the word is vocalised Kart in the ms. of the Muʾnis al-aḥrār and that this vocalisation is implied by a rhyme found by A.Z. Walīdī. The spelling Kurt was adopted by E.G. Browne (Lit. Hist. iii p. 173) on the authority of a carefully-written ms. of the Rauḍāt al-jannāt, in which the word is repeatedly vocalised in this way.

^ Back to text2. Muʿīn i Isfizārī’s account of this period is a mere abridgment of this work.

^ Back to text3. Pp. 165–216 are devoted to S̲h̲āh Ṭahmāsp’s autobiography (for which see p. 239 supra).

Cite this page
“3.19 History of Persia: K̲h̲urāsān”, in: Storey Online, Charles Ambrose Storey. Consulted online on 10 June 2023 <>
First published online: 2021

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