ʿALĪ B. MASʿŪD I, BAHĀʾ-AL-DAWLA ABU’L-ḤASAN, Ghaznavid sultan, reigned ca. 440/1048-49. Masʿūd II b. Mawdūd and then ʿAlī b. Masʿūd I were the two ephemeral successors of Sultan Mawdūd b. Masʿūd I (r. 432-41/1041-50). Little is known about their reigns; many later sources do not even mention their existence. Our main knowledge of ʿAlī’s brief reign derives from Ebn Bābā Qāšānī’s 6th/12th century adab work, the Ketāb raʾs māl al-nadīm, from Jūzǰānī’s Ṭabaqāt, and from Ferešta; these indicate that the dying Mawdūd appointed his infant son Masʿūd as his heir, but he reigned only for a few days before the military commanders and great men of state in Ḡazna deposed him and raised to the throne in his stead Mawdūd’s brother ʿAlī. This last is a wholly obscure figure, and such historians as Gardīzī and Bayhaqī do not mention him in the extant parts of their works as having previously played any part in affairs. According to Ebn Bābā, ʿAlī reigned for only forty-five days before the new army leaders removed him and consigned him to imprisonment in a fortress; during his few weeks’ reign he had acquired the honorific of Bahāʾ-al-dawla, but apparently he did not issue any coins. His uncle ʿAbd-al-Rašīd b. Maḥmūd was then raised to power. Ferešta has several details about ʿAlī and his reign but places his accession to power in Šaʿbān, 441/December, 1049-January, 1050, which is probably too late a date, and states that he reigned for two years before his deposition; it is possible that some events relating to the next reign have been transferred backwards to ʿAlī’s sultanate.
Ebn Bābā Qāšānī, Ketāb raʾs māl al-nadīm, ed.
M. S. Badawī, unpublished dissertation, 2 vols., Manchester, 1975.
Bosworth, The Later Ghaznavids, pp. 37-40, 141; the appendix of this book includes a translation, with commentary, of Ebn Bābā’s section on the history of the Ghaznavids.
(C. E. Bosworth)
Originally Published: December 15, 1985
Last Updated: August 1, 2011
This article is available in print.
Vol. I, Fasc. 8, pp. 852-853