ʿALIDS

OF ṬABARESTĀN, DAYLAMĀN, AND GĪLĀN. From its beginnings in 250/864 until the early Safavid age, ʿAlid rule in the coastal regions south of the Caspian Sea was based chiefly on Zaydī Shiʿite support.

 

ʿALIDS OF ṬABARESTĀN, DAYLAMĀN, AND GĪLĀN. From its beginnings in 250/864 until the early Safavid age, ʿAlid rule in the coastal regions south of the Caspian Sea was based chiefly on Zaydī Shiʿite support. There is no evidence that the brief stay of the Hasanid rebel Yaḥyā b. ʿAbdallāh with some Kufan Zaydī supporters in Rūdbār under the protection of the Jostanid king of the Daylamites during the early reign of Hārūn al-Rašīd (170-93/786-809) opened the area to effective Zaydī influence. Zaydism was spread, however, during the lifetime of the Medinese Zaydī Imam Qāsem b. Ebrāhīm Rassī (d. 246/860) by some of his followers in western Ṭabarestān, the region of Rūyān, Kalār, and Čālūs. In 250/864 the people of this area revolted against the Taherid government and, on the advice of a local ʿAlid, invited the Hasanid Ḥasan b. Zayd from Ray to assume their leadership. Ḥasan, who adopted the regnal name al-Dāʿī ela’l-Ḥaqq, quickly wrested control of Ṭabarestān from the Taherid Solaymān b. ʿAbdallāh and transferred the capital from Sārī, where the Taherids had resided, to Āmol, close to the regions from which came most of his support. Three times during his reign he was expelled from Ṭabarestān by invaders, first in 251/865 by a counterattack of the Taherid Solaymān, then in 255/869 by the ʿAbbasid general Mofleḥ, and again in 260/874 by the Saffarid Yaʿqūb b. Layṯ. Each time he found refuge in the inaccessible mountains of the Daylamites and, with their support, soon regained his domains. Outside Ṭabarestān, he succeeded in adding Gorgān to his territories. First conquered in 253/867, the town changed hands several times but eventually came safely under his sway and, during the last years of his reign, was governed by his brother Moḥammad. Attempts to expand south of the Alborz mountains, carried out by other ʿAlids with his backing, ended in failure. Ray, first taken in 250/865, was definitely lost in 257/871. Qazvīn, Zanǰān, and Qūmes were also held for a few years.

Ḥasan died in Āmol in 270/884, having named his brother Moḥammad al-Dāʿī ela’l-Ḥaqq in Gorgān as his successor. However, his brother-in-law, the ʿAlid Abu’l-Ḥosayn Aḥmad b. Moḥammad Qāʾem, usurped power in Āmol, and it took Moḥammad ten months to overthrow him. In 277/891 Rāfeʿ b. Harṯama, having taken possession of Khorasan, invaded Ṭabarestān and forced Moḥammad to seek refuge among the Daylamites and Gilites. In 279/892, however, as Rāfeʿ lost control of Khorasan to his rival ʿAmr b. Layṯ, who had gained the backing of the ʿAbbasid government, he decided to recognize the suzerainty of Moḥammad b. Zayd and returned Ṭabarestān to him while governing Gorgān in his name. In 283/896 he occupied Nīšāpūr in the name of the ʿAlid but was shortly expelled by ʿAmr and soon afterwards killed in Ḵᵛārazm. In 287/900 Moḥammad b. Zayd was killed near Gorgān in a battle with the Samanid army and buried in Gorgān. His Zayd, whom he had appointed as his successor, was carried off to Bokhara, and Ṭabarestān came under Samanid rule.

In religious policy Ḥasan b. Zayd officially supported Shiʿite law and ritual and Muʿtazilite theology, and Moḥammad employed two prominent Muʿtazilite theologians, Abu’l-Qāsem Balḵī and Abū Moslem Eṣfahānī, as his secretaries. Ḥasan is known to have written books on Zaydī law and the imamate, and Moḥammad provided money for the restoration of the shrines of ʿAlī and Ḥosayn in Iraq; but neither ruler was recognized by the later Zaydīs as an Imam, because of reservations concerning the justice of their government.

Zaydī ʿAlid rule in Ṭabarestān was restored in 301/914 by the Hosaynid Ḥasan b. ʿAlī Oṭrūš known as al-Nāṣer le’l-Ḥaqq. Nāṣer, originally from Medina, had come to Ṭabarestān under the reign of Ḥasan b. Zayd and participated in the battle in which Moḥammad b. Zayd was killed. He escaped first to Ray and from there followed an invitation of the Jostanid king of the Daylamites, who promised him support in the reconquest of Ṭabarestān. After two abortive campaigns to Ṭabarestān, Nāṣer undertook successfully to convert the Daylamites north of the mountains and the Gilites east of the Safīd-rūd to Islam. Since his legal doctrine differed in some points from that of Qāsem b. Ebrāhīm, which had been adopted by the Zaydīs in Rūyān and eastern Daylamān, his converts came to form a separate Zaydī community known as the Nāṣerīya. In 301/914 he inflicted a crushing defeat on the Samanid army on the river Būrrūd west of Čālūs and took possession of Ṭabarestān. His reign received high praise from the contemporary Sunnite historian Ṭabarī for its justice. The later Zaydīs universally considered him as one of their Imams in recognition of his outstanding scholarship and exemplary conduct. Some of his numerous works on theology and law are extant. He died in 304/917 and was buried in Āmol. His shrine there became a place of pilgrimage for the Nāṣerīya, who retained a strong attachment to his descendants, all of whom were given the honorific surname Nāṣer.

In accordance with the wishes of his Zaydī supporters in Ṭabarestān Nāṣer Oṭrūš had appointed the commander-in-chief of his army, the Hasanid Ḥasan b. Qāsem al-Dāʿī ela’l-Ḥaqq, as his successor, in preference to his own sons, who were generally supported the Nāṣerī Daylamites and Gilites. Of these sons, Abu’l-Qāsem Jaʿfar consistently opposed Ḥasan Dāʿī while another, Abu’l-Ḥosayn Aḥmad, initially cooperated with him. In 306/919, however, Aḥmad joined forces with Jaʿfar in Gīlān and the two of them expelled Ḥasan from Ṭabarestān and Gorgān. After seven months he reconquered his kingdom and, having come to terms with Aḥmad, appointed him governor of Gorgān. In 309/921 his Gilite general Līlī b. Noʿmān set out to conquer Khorasan from the Samanids but after briefly occupying Dāmḡān, Nīšāpūr, and Marv, was defeated and killed.

After their return to Gorgān several Daylamite and Gilite leaders of the defeated army plotted to kill Ḥasan Dāʿī, probably in favor of the sons of Nāṣer. Ḥasan, secretly informed, hurried to Gorgān and cunningly killed seven of them at a reception. This episode resulted in further disaffection and desertion of part of the Daylamite and Gilite army. In 311/923 Aḥmad Nāṣer again made common cause with his brother Jaʿfar, and Ḥasan was forced to flee from Āmol. Aḥmad ruled there for two months before he died and was succeeded by Jaʿfar, who repulsed an attack of Ḥasan. When Jaʿfar died in 312/925, a son of Aḥmad, Abū ʿAlī Moḥammad, was chosen as his successor by the army leaders in Āmol. Shortly afterwards, however, the Daylamite chief Mākān b. Kākī, in control of Gorgān, and his cousin, Ḥasan b. Fīrūzān, conspired in favor of Esmāʿīl, a minor son of Jaʿfar and half-brother of Ḥasan b. Fīrūzān by his mother. Abū ʿAlī was seized and carried to Gorgān, while Mākān put Esmāʿīl on the throne in Āmol. In Gorgān Abū ʿAlī forestalled an attempt on his life by a brother of Mākān by killing him and, with the aid of Mākān’s rival Asfār b. Šīrūya, regained the throne in Āmol. When he fell from his horse in the racecourse a few months later and died, he was succeeded by his brother Abū Jaʿfar Moḥammad, who soon lost the backing of Asfār; in 314/926 he was expelled from Āmol by Mākān, who restored Ḥasan Dāʿī to the rule. In 316/928 the two set out to conquer Ray and Qom. In their absence Asfār, who was governing Gorgān under Samanid suzerainty, invaded Ṭabarestān. Ḥasan returned there without Mākān and met Asfār outside Āmol. His army was defeated, and he was mortally wounded by Mardāvīǰ b. Zīār, who thus avenged the death of his uncle, who had been among the Daylamite and Gilite chiefs killed by Ḥasan in Gorgān. Ḥasan’s reign, in contrast to that of the sons of Nāṣer, had been popular in Ṭabarestān, especially since he effectively curbed the Daylamite army, much disliked by the people. Ebn Esfandīār calls him the most competent and just of all the ʿAlids ruling Ṭabarestān. Zaydī tradition also judged him favorably, though it did not grant him the title of Imam, most likely because his religious learning was below the high standards required by Zaydī law for this rank.

Religious sentiment in favor of ʿAlid rule still ran high among the Daylamite and Gilite soldiers, and Asfār’s Daylamite governor of Āmol once more put Abū Jaʿfar Moḥammad Nāṣer on the throne and had him named as the ruler in the Friday prayer. But Asfār was forced by the objections of his Samanid overlord Naṣr b. Aḥmad to arrest Abū Jaʿfar and send him together with some other ʿAlids to Bokhara. In 318/930 Mākān reconquered Ṭabarestān; setting out for Khorasan, he put his cousin Ḥasan b. Fīrūzān in charge. The latter again raised to the throne his half brother Esmāʿīl b. Jaʿfar, who was soon poisoned at the instigation of the mother of his cousin Abū Jaʿfar Moḥammad. About the same time Abū Jaʿfar was released from his captivity in Bokhara and found the support of the Ziyarid Mardāvīǰ, who had revolted against Asfār and occupied Ray. In 319/931 he sent the ʿAlid on an abortive campaign to conquer Ṭabarestān from Mākān. Later Mardāvīǰ’s brother and successor Vošmgīr sent him to rule Āmol under Ziyarid suzerainty. Eventually Abū Jaʿfar returned to Ray and continued to live there until his death; but after the Buyid Rokn-al-dawla Ḥasan took possession of the town (33l/943), he had no political authority. The ʿAlids, who had more and more been reduced to mere pawns in the hands of rival Daylamite and Gilite chiefs, lost their dominion over Ṭabarestān.

However, ʿAlid rule survived in the solidly Zaydī regions of Daylamān and eastern Gīlān. The town of Hawsam (modern Rūdsar), where Nāṣer Oṭrūš had been active converting the Gilites, became a center of learning of the Nāṣerīya and the seat of a local ʿAlid dynasty, founded about 320/932 by Abu’l-Fażl Jaʿfar b. Moḥammad, a grandson of Nāṣer’s brother Ḥosayn Šāʿer and, through his mother, of Nāṣer himself. He and most of his descendants assumed the regnal name al-Ṯāʾer fi’llāh, though none of them claimed the Zaydī imamate. Variously allied with powers interested in the region, Abu’l-Fażl Ṯāʾer seized Āmol three times between 337/948 and 341/953, but was unable to hold the town. He died in 350/961 and was buried in Mīāndeh, some thirty km east of Hawsam. His son Abu’l-Ḥosayn Mahdī al-Qāʾem be’l-Ḥaqq, whom he had early chosen for the succession, survived him only a short time before he died of small-pox. He was succeeded by his brother Abu’l-Qāsem Ḥosayn Ṯāʾer, who was soon captured and partially blinded by Langar, a son of the Ziyarid Vošmgīr. Langar had previously attempted in vain to wrest eastern Gīlān, the homeland of the Ziyarids, from Abu’l-Fażl Ṯāʾer and Mahdī. Hawsam was shortly afterwards seized, however, by Abū Moḥammad Ḥasan Nāṣer, a son of Abū Jaʿfar Moḥammad b. Aḥmad, who fought Langar and killed him in battle. He probably had the support of the Buyid Rokn-al-dawla, who was also interested in the area and opposed to the Ziyarids. Abū Moḥammad was in turn quickly expelled from Hawsam by a third son of Abu’l-Fażl Ṯāʾer, Abū Moḥammad Ḥasan Amīrkā, and sought refuge with Rokn-al-dawla in Ray. Amīrkā came into conflict with Manāḏer, Jostanid king of the Daylamites residing in Alamūt, who wrote to a son of Ḥasan b. Qāsem Dāʿī, Abū ʿAbdallāh Moḥammad al-Mahdī le-dīn Allāh, urging him to claim the Zaydī imamate among the Daylamites and Gilites and promising him support.

In his youth Abū ʿAbdallāh Mahdī had traveled widely in Iran, ʿOmān, and Iraq and had won the hearts of many Zaydīs as an attractive candidate for the imamate. Their support had rendered him suspect to the rulers, and he had repeatedly been imprisoned and deported. In 337/948-49 he came to Baghdad where he studied law with the prominent Hanafite Abu’l-Ḥasan Karḵī and theology with the Muʿtazilite Abū ʿAbdallāh Baṣrī. In 348/959-60 he was pressed by the Buyid Moʿezz-al-dawla into accepting the position of syndic (naqīb) of the ʿAlids; on his own insistence he was exempted from the obligation of visiting the ʿAbbasid caliph and from wearing the official black dress of the ʿAbbasids. Accepting the invitation of Manāḏer, he left Baghdad secretly in 353/964. In his struggle against Amīrkā, he was soon joined by the Naserid Abū Moḥammad Ḥasan, who had been provided by Rokn-al-dawla with money to fight the Thaʾerid. They took Hawsam from Amīrkā, and Abū Moḥammad left the rule to Abū ʿAbdallāh Mahdī, since the latter was his maternal uncle and more learned than himself. Mahdī was indeed the first Caspian ʿAlid after Nāṣer to gain universal recognition by the later Zaydīs as an Imam. He devoted his teaching efforts in particular to overcoming the antagonism between the Nāṣerīya and the Qāsemīya, who clung to the doctrine of Qāsem b. Ebrāhīm, maintaining that the doctrines of both schools were equally valid. Though this view was later generally accepted by the two communities, it did not prevent them from recognizing often different ʿAlid rulers in their midst.

Amīrkā continued to harass Mahdī from a castle near Hawsam, but was eventually captured and soon pardoned. When Mahdī set out to conquer Rūyān, he left Amīrkā in Hawsam as his deputy. Amīrkā revolted in his absence forcing him to return in haste. Though Mahdī soon regained Hawsam, Amīrkā escaped and kept up his attacks. In 358/969 Amīrkā captured him, but after a few months was forced by Manāḏer and other Daylamites to release him. Mahdī continued to rule in Hawsam until he died, perhaps poisoned, in 360/970. He was buried in Hawsam.

Amīrkā now returned to Hawsam, but the Naserid Abū Moḥammad, who had twice deserted Mahdī in protest against his preference for Amīrkā, disputed his rule with the backing of Rokn-al-dawla. He captured and killed Amīrkā and ruled Hawsam, recognizing the overlordship of Rokn-al-dawla. The Ziyarid Bīsotūn in turn dispatched the half-blind Ḥosayn Ṯāʾer, providing him with money, to conquer the town. After Ḥosayn was defeated and killed by Abū Moḥammad, his son Abū’l-Ḥasan ʿAlī undertook to avenge him. In 364/974-75 he expelled the Naserid from Hawsam and ruled there acknowledging the Ziyarid overlordship. He continued to be in control in 369/980, while Abū Moḥammad had vainly sought the support of various rulers.

After this date, much of the history of ʿAlid reign in Daylamān and Gīlān is obscured by a lack of sources, which are confined to a few biographies of Zaydī Imams, some of which contain little information on their rule, and occasional scattered information. The next two Caspian Zaydī Imams were Abū’l-Ḥosayn Aḥmad b. Ḥosayn al-Moʾayyad beʾllāh of the Boṭḥānī family and his elder brother Abū Ṭāleb Yaḥyā al-Nāṭeq be’l-Ḥaqq. Born in Āmol, both studied in Baghdad and later belonged to the circle of the Buyid vizier Ṣāḥeb b. ʿAbbād and his Muʿtazilite chief judge ʿAbd-al-Jabbār in Ray. They gained fame as outstanding scholars of theology and the law, where they espoused and elaborated the doctrine of the Qāsemīya. Several of their works are extant. Moʾayyad rose in 380/990 in eastern Gīlān claiming the Zaydī imamate. At first he attempted to establish himself in Hawsam, which had remained the object of dispute between the descendants of Ṯāʾer and Nāṣer. Though he twice gained possession of the town and held it for some years, the support of the Nāṣerī Gilites for him remained lukewarm, and he was both times expelled and returned to Ray. When he returned to the Caspian coast for the third time, he chose Langā, in the territory of the Qāsemī Daylamites between Hawsam and Čālūs, as his residence. Other Qāsemī ʿAlids had been active in this region before him, among them Yaḥyā al-Hādī ela’l-Ḥaqq’s grandson, who had transmitted his ancestor’s legal doctrine among the Caspian Zaydīs. (Hādī was a grandson of Qāsem b. Ebrāhīm and the founder of the Zaydī imamate in the Yemen.) While Moʾayyad established himself in Langā, an ally, the Thaʾerid Kīā Abu’l-Fażl took possession of Hawsam acknowledging his overlordship as the Imam. In about 400/1009-10, Moʾayyad, supported by Kīā Abu’l-Fażl and the Ostandār of Rūyān, attempted to wrest Āmol from a Naserid governing the town for the Ziyarid Qābūs. He was defeated, and the Ostandār defected and recognized the Ziyarid overlordship. Later Moʾayyad concluded a peace treaty with Qābūs’s son and successor Manūčehr under which the latter paid him an annual subsidy of 2,000 dinars. He died in 411/1020 and was buried in Langā.

Langā remained for some time the seat of ʿAlid rulers claiming the imamate among the Qāsemīya, though little is known about the dates of their reign. Abū Ṭāleb Nāṭeq (d. ca. 424/1033) was active there some time after the death of his brother Moʾayyad. The Hosaynid Aḥmad b. Abī Hāšem Mānakdīm, otherwise known for his commentary on Qāżī ʿAbd-al-Jabbār’s Šarḥ al-oṣūl al-ḵamsa, rose there in 417/1026 assuming the regnal name Mostaẓher beʾllāh, but he did not remain long. Probably soon after the death of Nāṭeq the Hasanid ʿAlī b. Jaʿfar Ḥoqaynī al-Mahdī le-dīn Allāh was recognized as the Imam. He, too, had been a student of Qāżī ʿAbd-al-Jabbār in Ray and gained a reputation as a theologian and a jurist of the Qāsemīa. His reign may have lasted over a decade, and he was buried in Langā.

Hawsam during the same period probably continued to be disputed between the descendants of Nāṣer and Ṯāʾer. In 432/1040-41 the Nāṣerī scholars of the town chose a Naserid, Ḥosayn b. Jaʿfar Nāṣer, for the rule. Since they found some deficiencies in his knowledge of religious matters, they instructed him secretly before pledging allegiance to him as the Imam. His territories eventually came to extend from Ḵānakǰā on the Ṣafīd-rūd to the borders of Ṭabarestān and included the Ostandārīya (Rūyān) and the fortress of Alamūt. He was married to a daughter of the Bavandid espahbad, ruler of Ṭabarestān, who used to send her every month a shipload of goods and a slave girl. This did not prevent Nāṣer from making war upon him. Ḥosayn Nāṣer died in 472/1079-80 and was buried in Hawsam. After him Yaḥyā Hādī Ḥoqaynī, a son of Mahdī Ḥoqaynī, claimed the imamate in Rūyān among the Qāsemīya. Langā seems to have slipped out of his control, while in eastern Gīlān a descendant of Nāṣer Oṭrūš, Abu’l-Reżā Kīsomī, ruled as the deputy of the deceased Ḥosayn Nāṣer without claiming the imamate. There was strife between the followers of the two ʿAlids but eventually they agreed on a formal division of the territories. Hādī Ḥoqaynī, like his father, was learned in the religious sciences and elaborated the legal doctrine of the Qāsemīya. His reign was shaken by an invasion of Turks which forced him to rely on confiscation, for which he later tried to compensate the victims. Moreover, Ismaʿilism began to spread rapidly among the Daylamites after Ḥasan b. Ṣabbāḥ gained possession of Alamūt in 483/1090. The Zaydīs were traditionally fanatical opponents of Ismaʿilism, and Hādī Ḥoqaynī, like other Zaydī Imams, gave legal judgment proscribing any truce with the heretics and executed a qāżī accused of corresponding with them. In 490/1097 he was killed in Kaǰū in Rūyān by an assassin from Alamūt. After his death Abu’l-Reżā Kīsomī claimed the imamate for himself and gained recognition among the Zaydīs throughout Gīlān and Daylamān. Though he personally adhered to the doctrine of the Nāṣerīya, he also commented the Qāsemī legal works of Moʾayyad. He did not long survive, however, and was buried in Kīsom in eastern Gīlān.

An ʿAlid ruler named Kīā Bozorg al-Dāʿī ela’l-Ḥaqq Reżā b. Hādī and “king of Daylamān” in Ebn Esfandīār’s history (II, pp. 69, 87-88, 96, 143) is probably a son or, more likely, grandson of Hādī Ḥoqaynī. He is first mentioned as coming with 5,000 Daylamites to the aid of the Bavandid ruler of Ṭabarestān ʿAlāʾ-al-dawla ʿAlī when he was attacked by the Saljuq Masʿūd ca. 522/1128. Under ʿAlāʾ-al-dawla’s successor Šāh-Ḡāzī Rostam he held Rūdbast in fief and was in charge of the war against the Ismaʿilis in Daylamān. His sister was married to the Baduspanid Hazārasf and the mother of Kaykāʾūs, Ostandār of Rūyān. He participated in Šāh-Ḡāzī’s siege of the Ismaʿili castle of Mehrbon and Manṣūr-kūh ca. 551/1156 and died shortly afterwards. His land was now given by Šāh-Ḡāzī to the Ostandār Kaykāʾūs.

In 502/1108-09 a great-grandson of Moʾayyad, Abū Ṭāleb Aḵīr Yaḥyā b. Aḥmad, rose claiming the imamate in Ḵānakǰā. Backed by a learned and highly respected descendant of Oṭrūš, Nāṣer Reżā, he quickly gained recognition in eastern Gīlān as far as Hawsam and in the regions of Daylamān not yet lost to the Ismaʿilis. Only Lāhīǰān under the Thaʾerid amir Solaymān b. Esmāʿīl, resisted him. Lāhīǰān had risen to replace Hawsam as the chief town of eastern Gīlān and had become the seat of Thaʾerid amirs who remained its traditional rulers at least until the early 7th/15th century. Abū Ṭāleb seized the town by force and burnt it. He engaged in bitter warfare with the Ismaʿilis and is said to have captured thirty-eight of their castles and to have laid siege to Alamūt. The ruler of ʿOmān, who was a Zaydī, corresponded with him and supported him. In 511/1117 he sent his call to allegiance (daʿwa) to the Yemen, and the amir Moḥsen b. Ḥasan, a descendant of Yaḥyā Hādī, recognized him as the Imam and became his deputy in Ṣaʿda. Abū Ṭāleb was challenged, however, by an ʿAlid from Gorgān, Ḥasan Jorǰānī, who conquered Hawsam and Lāhīǰān and pursued him as far as Ḵānakǰā. There a local Gilite lord aided Abū Ṭāleb against his rival and drove him out of Gīlān and Daylamān. But Abū Ṭāleb was forced to rely on confiscation and extortion, which provoked violent protests by the Zaydī ʿolamāʾ, and he withdrew to Tanheǰān in Daylamān. Though he returned repeatedly to Gīlān, he was unable to restore his control permanently. In contrast, the cause of the Ismaʿilis was greatly furthered by the quarrel of the ʿAlid rivals. After Abū Ṭāleb died in Tanheǰān in 520/1126, Ḥasan Jorǰānī came there in the hope of gaining support. He was seized by the people of Tanheǰān and, after consulation with the chiefs of the Gilites and Daylamites, put to death. In 526/1131-32 another Zaydī pretender, Abū Hāšem Kīā Jorǰānī, who may have been related to Ḥasan Jorǰānī, was captured and killed by the Ismaʿilis, who now took possession of the region.

In Gīlān, the Zaydī imamate lapsed until 544/1149-50, when a foreign ʿAlid, Ašraf b. Zayd Ḥasanī, appeared in Lāhīǰān claiming it. Initially he gained general recognition, but then a Zaydī scholar impugned his qualifications and he lost support. A few years later he died and was buried in Teǰen. After the year 560/1165, a Hasanid from Ḡazna, ʿAlī b. Moḥammad Ḡaznavī, rose in Gīlān calling for support in restoring justice and morality in accordance with Zaydī law, but without claiming the imamate. Shortly another ʿAlid from Ṭabarestān, Moḥammad b. Esmāʿīl Dāʾūdī Ḥasanī, appeared pretending to the imamate. He advocated Sufism and wrote a book entitled al-Wasīla ela’l-fażīla similar to Ḡazālī’s Monqeḏ men al-żalāl. The two ʿAlids repudiated each other, and the Zaydīs in Gīlān were divided into two parties around them, a few scholars who were not very scrupulous about the Šarīʿa supporting Dāʾūdī. This situation lasted for nearly three decades until death put an end to their quarrel, which had severely hurt the Zaydī cause in Gīlān. In 605/1208-09 the contemporary Yamanī Imam al-Manṣūr beʾllāh ʿAbdallāh b. Ḥamza (d. 614/1217) gained recognition among the Zaydīs of Gīlān.

For the following century and a half, information on the ʿAlids of Gīlān and Daylamān is almost totally lacking. In 674/1275-76 the Yamanī Zaydī Imam al-Motawakkel ʿalaʾllāh Moṭahhar b. Yaḥyā (d. 697/1298) sent messengers to Gīlān and Daylamān and was recognized there by some of the ʿolamāʾ (Yaḥyā b. Ḥosayn, Ḡāyat al-amānī, ed. S. ʿA. ʿAšūr, Cairo, 1388/1968, I, p. 461). In his description of Gīlān in the time of Ölǰeytü (703-16/1304-16) Abu’l-Qāsem Kāšānī mentions a descendant of Nāṣer Oṭrūš, Moḥammad b. Ḥaydar, as ruling in Kūčesfān and other regions of eastern Gīlān among the Nāṣerīya. Among the Qāsemīya, a dynasty descended from Moʾayyad Boṭḥānī gained control of Tonokābon and some adjacent regions in this period. One of them, Sayyed Rekābzan Kīā, was killed in a campaign to conquer Lāhīǰān in 769/1367-68.

The cause of the ʿAlids in the Caspian provinces was greatly strengthened when the Sayyed Qewām-al-dīn b. ʿAbdallāh, a descendant of the Hosaynid Ḥasan Maṛʿašī, came to rule in Āmol in 760/1359 and brought all of Māzandarān under his sway. Like the majority of the people of Māzandarān, he was an Emāmī Shiʿite, but he rose to power as the leader of a Sufi movement. The dynasty founded by him ruled Māzandarān until the Safavid age (for its history see Maṛʿašī.) Qewām-al-dīn received and supported the Zaydī Sayyed ʿAlī Kīā with his followers, Zaydī penitents (tāʾebān), after the death of ʿAlī Kīā’s father Amīr Kīā Malāṭī. Sayyed Amīr Kīā was a descendant of ʿAlī b. Moḥammad Ḡaznavī; he had risen in Malāṭ on the eastern border of Gīlān but did not prevail in his struggle with the local lords. With the aid of Qewām-al-dīn, ʿAlī Kīā set out after 769/1367-68 to conquer eastern Gīlān. He expelled a son of Rekābzan Kīā from Tonokābon and was formally recognized as the Imam by the Zaydī scholars of Rānekūh and Lāhīǰān. His descendants ruled in Lāhīǰān on the basis of dynastic succession, though they remained Zaydīs until 933/1526-27, when Solṭān-Aḥmad Khan, with most of his Zaydī subjects, converted to Emāmī Shiʿism (for the history of the dynasty see Kīāʾī).

 

Bibliography:

Among the chronicles, the most important sources are Ṭabarī; Ebn Esfandīār, I, pp. 94-107, 224-301; Ẓahīr-al-dīn Maṛʿašī, Tārīḵ-eṬabarestān o Rūyān o Māzandarān, ed.

ʿA. Šāyān, Tehran, 1347 Š./1968; idem, Tārīḵ-eGīlān o Daylamestān, ed. M. Sotūda, Tehran, 1347 Š./1968.

An extant fragment of Abū Esḥāq Ṣābī’s Ketāb al-tāǰī describes the history of the ʿAlids in Hawsam down to the year 369/979.

It is edited together with relevant Zaydī sources in W. Madelung, ZaydīTexts concerning the History of the ʿAlids of Ṭabaristān, Daylamān and Gīlān (forthcoming).

These source include in particular the biographies of the Caspian Zaydī Imams in Abu’l-ʿAbbās Ḥasanī, Ketāb al-maṣābīḥ, Abū Ṭāleb al-Nāṭeq, Ketāb al-efāda, Moḥallī, Ketāb al-ḥadāʾeq al-wardīya, and the letter of Yūsof Jīlānī to the Yemenite scholar ʿEmrān b. Ḥasan. R. Strothmann, Das Staatsrecht der Zaiditen, Strasburg, 1912.

H. L. Rabino di Borgomale, “Les dynasties Alaouides du Mazandéran,” JA 210, 1927, pp. 253-77.

Idem, “Deux descriptions du Gîlân du temps des Mongols,” JA 238, 1950, pp. 325-33.

W. Madelung, Der Imam al-Qāsim ibn Ibrāhīm, Berlin, 1965, pp. 153-220.

Idem, “The ʿAlids of Ṭabaristān, Daylamān and Gīlan,” in Atti del III Congresso di Studi Arabi e Islamici, Naples, 1967, pp. 483-92.

Idem, “Abū Isḥāq al-Ṣābī on the ʿAlids of Ṭabaristān and Gīlān,” JNES 26, 1967, pp. 17-57.

Idem, “The Minor Dynasties of Northern Iran,” Camb. Hist. Iran IV, pp. 206-12, 219-22.

A. Ḥakīmīān, ʿAlawīān-e Ṭabarestān, Tehran, 1348 Š./1969.

M. S. Khan, “The Early History of Zaydī Shiʿism in Daylamān and Gīlān,” ZDMG 125, 1975, pp. 301-14.

D. Pingree and W. Madelung, “Political Horoscopes Relating to Ninth Century ʿAlids,” JNES 36, 1977, pp. 247-75.

(W. Madelung)

Originally Published: December 15, 1985

Last Updated: August 2, 2011

This article is available in print.
Vol. I, Fasc. 8, pp. 881-886

W. Madelung, “ʿALIDS,” Encyclopaedia Iranica, Online Edition, 1982, available at http://www.iranicaonline.org/articles/alids-of-tabarestan-daylaman-and-gilan