ʿALĪ B. IL-ARSLAN QARĪB or ḴᵛĪŠĀVAND, ZAʿĪM-AL-ḤOJJĀB, Turkish military commander of the early Ghaznavids Maḥmūd, Moḥammad and Masʿūd I, and a dominant figure in the disputes over the succession at Maḥmūd’s death in 421/1030. Under Sultan Maḥmūd, ʿAlī had been commander-in-chief (ḥāǰeb-e bozorg, al-ḥāǰeb al-kabīr) of the army; the designation qarīb/ḵᵛīšāvand “kinsman” may denote actual physical relationship to the sultan, foster-relationship, or perhaps a highly-honored status, as conveyed for example, by such a term as ʿamm “uncle.” ʿAlī, together with the vizier Abū ʿAlī Ḥasan b. Moḥammad (called Ḥasanak, q.v.), was a strong supporter of the succession claims of Maḥmūd’s younger son Moḥammad; both of them no doubt hoped that they would be the real power behind the throne. ʿAlī rallied the Ghaznavid troops in the capital to Moḥammad’s side, whilst Masʿūd was far away in western Persia; according to the sources, ʿAlī became a “universal influence” (nāʾeb-e koll), controlling every civil official from the vizier downwards. However, he became estranged from Ḥasanak and resolved, as Masʿūd marched eastwards, to betray Moḥammad and to go over to Masʿūd’s side. Moḥammad marched out from Ḡazna to confront Masʿūd’s army, then at Herat. When Moḥammad reached Tegīnābād in Zamīn-Dāvar, ʿAlī sent his brother Il-direk to offer allegiance to Masʿūd on behalf of himself and Moḥammad’s uncle Yūsof b. Sebüktigin. Moḥammad’s forces melted away; he was seized, deposed, and imprisoned, while his brother assumed power (422/1031). ʿAlī attempted to ingratiate himself with the new sultan, but Masʿūd, rightly fearing that the habits of treachery and king-making—ʿAlī had openly boasted of himself as amīr-nešān—might well re-assert themselves, arrested ʿAlī and others of his entourage. He was imprisoned and presumably died in jail; in 432/1040-41 his son was active in the deposition of Masʿūd and the transient restoration of Moḥammad.
Gardīzī, ed. Nazim, pp. 93, 96; ed. Ḥabībī, pp. 185, 194.
Bayhaqī, pp. 13, 52-62, 94.
Ebn Bābā Qāšānī, Ketāb raʾs māl al-nadīm, tr. in Bosworth, Later Ghaznavids, pp. 137-38, 148, 151-52.
Ebn al-Aṯīr (repr.) IX, pp. 398-400.
These sources are utilized in Bosworth, Ghaznavids, pp. 231-33, and R. Gelpke, Sulṭān Masʿūd I. von Ġazna. Die drei ersten Jahre seiner Herrschaft (421/1030-424/1033), Munich, 1957, pp. 31-53.
(C. E. Bosworth)
Originally Published: December 15, 1985
Last Updated: August 1, 2011
This article is available in print.
Vol. I, Fasc. 8, p. 872