ABU’L-QĀSEM KHAN EBRĀHĪMĪ, ḤĀJJ, SARKĀR ĀQĀ, fourth head of the Kermānī branch of the Šayḵī school of Shiʿism. Abu’l-Qāsem was born in Kermān on 23 Ḏu’l-Ḥeǰǰa 1314/25 May 1897, the son of Ḥāǰǰ Zayn-al-ʿābedīn Khan, his predecessor in the office, and the grandson of Ḥāǰǰ Moḥammad Karīm Khan Kermānī, the first head of the Kermānī Šayḵīs. His family had close links with the Qajar house and hence with most of the governors of Kermān in the Qajar period. His great-grandfather was Ebrāhīm Khan Ẓahīr-al-dawla, a cousin and son-in-law of Fatḥ-ʿAlī Shah and governor of Kermān from 1218/1803 to 1240/1824-25; his grandfather, Karīm Khan, was married to a daughter of Moḥammad-qolī Mīrzā Molk-ārā (the third son of Fatḥ-ʿAlī Shah, while two of his grand uncles were married to other daughters of the late Shah. His own mother was a daughter of Ḥāǰǰ Moḥammad-qolī Khan, son of Mūsā Khan Qāǰār Qavānlū and Tayḡūn Ḵānom, a daughter of Fatḥ-ʿAlī Shah. Most of his childhood was spent in Rafsenǰān to the west of Kermān, where he studied under Āqā Mīr Moḥammad Davānī. In 1324/1906, he was brought to Kermān by his father to study the traditional sciences under Aḥmad Bahmanyār (see Bāmdād, Reǰāl VI, pp. 31-32). During the later period of the constitutional revolution, Bahmanyār was forced to leave Kermān for Mašhad, but his elder brother, Moḥammad Jawād, assumed responsibility for the boy’s education, teaching him logic, oṣūl and feqh.
Following the latter’s death, Abu’l-Qāsem began to associate more closely with his father, Zayn-al-ʿābedīn Khan, attending his public classes and composing replies to his more straightforward correspondence. During this period, he began to write on oṣūl, feqh and logic, submitting his efforts to his father for correction and developing his own views under his direction. A general eǰāza was given him by his father in 1348/1930; on the latter’s death in 1360/1942, he succeeded him without contest to the headship of the school. As leader of the Šayḵī community, Abu’l-Qāsem Khan devoted the bulk of his time to teaching at the Ebrāhīmīya madrasa, preaching, writing and cataloguing the works of his predecessors. His own works are comparatively few in number, amounting to only about 23 titles, including translations and collections of sermons. Several of his works are of importance, however, and three in particular have been discussed by Henry Corbin (with whom he was in close and regular contact) in his “L’École shaykhie” and En islam iranien. These are Eǰtehād va taqlīd (1362/1943), Resāla-ye tanzīh al-awlīāʾ (1265/1946), a lengthy defense of Karīm Khan Kermānī’s magnum opus Eršād al-ʿawāmm, and the Resāla-ye Falsafīya (1369/1950), a statement of Šayḵī belief on several important topics, written in reply to Shaikh Moḥammad-Taqī Falsafī. But his major contribution to the systematization of the Šayḵī school may perhaps be his compilation of the well-organized and comprehensive Fehrest-e kotob-e Šayḵ . . . Aḥmad Aḥsāʾī va sāyer-e mašāyeḵ-e ʿeẓām, which contains details of the lives of the heads of the school together with a full catalogue of works by them printed and in manuscript. A third, much-improved edition of this book was issued in Kermān in 1977, under the aegis of Abu’l-Qāsem’s son, ʿAbd-al-Reżā Khan. Abu’l-Qāsem died in the course of a pilgrimage to Mašhad in 1389/1969 and was buried there despite objections from local ʿolamāʾ. He was succeeded by his son ʿAbd-al-Reżā.
Ḥāǰǰ Abu’l-Qāsem Khan Ebrāhīmī, Fehrest-e kotob-e Šayḵ . . . Aḥmad Aḥsāʾī va sāyer-e mašāyeḵ ʿeẓām, 3rd ed., Kermān, 1977, pp. 3-7, 637-53.
H. Corbin, “L’Ēcole shaykhie en théologie shî’ite,” Annuaire de l’Ēcole Pratique des Hautes Ētudes, Section des Sciences Religieuses, 1960-61, pp. 1-59.
Idem, En islam iranien, 4 vols., Paris, 1971-72, vol. 4, pp. 248-55.
Idem, Terre céleste et corps de resurrection de l’Iran mazdéen à l’Iran shi’ite, Paris, 1960, pp. 363-401 (translation of a passage from the Tanzīh al-awlīāʾ).
Bāmdād, Reǰāl V, p. 15.
Solṭān Aḥmad Mīrzā ʿAżod-al-dawla, Tārīḵ-e ʿAżodī, ed. ʿA. Nawāʾī, Tehran, 1355 Š./1976, pp. 29, 318.
Shaikh Yaḥyā Aḥmadī, Farmāndehān-e Kermān, ed. M. E. Bāstānī Pārīzī, Tehran, 1354 Š./1975, p. 50, n. 1.
Originally Published: December 15, 1983
Last Updated: July 21, 2011
This article is available in print.
Vol. I, Fasc. 4, pp. 363-364