BARḠAŠI, ABU’L MOẒAFFAR MOḤAMMAD b. EBRAHIM, vizier to two of the last Samanid Amirs of Transoxiana and Khorasan. Neither his birth nor death date is known, nor is the origin of his nesba clear, but it seems that he began what was presumably a secretarial career in the time of Amir Naṣr (II) b. Aḥmad (II) (r. 331-43/943-54). He comes into mention in the closing years of the emirate, being appointed vizier to Amir Nuḥ (II) b. Manṣur (I) (r. 365-87/976-97) in 386/996 when the Amir was under the influence of one the contenders for power in Khorasan, Sebüktegin, subsequently founder the Ghaznavids (ʿOtbi, p. 142). After Amir Nuḥ’s death, Barḡaši remained in power under his successor Manṣur (II) b. Nuḥ (II) (r. 387-89/997-99) (ʿOtbi, pp. 148, 151), but was in 398/998 dismissed from office under pressure from the commander Fāʾeq Ḵāṣṣa and exiled to Guzgān (ʿOtbi, pp. 161-62; Gardizi, ed. Nazim, pp. 58-9; idem, ed. Ḥabibi, p. 172; Kermāni, p. 39; cf. Barthold, pp. 264-50). This does not accord with a story in Bayhaqi’s Tāriḵ-e Masʿudi (ed. Fayyāż, pp. 456-59), according to which Barḡaši, conscious of the impending demise of the emirate, sought demission from office by feigning a serious injury, retired to Guzgān and then to an estate of his at Nishapur. It was in this last place that the youthful Bayhaqi (p. 458) saw him in 400/1009, enjoying an honored status. According to Kermāni (p. 39), Maḥmud of Ghazna, by then ruler of Khorasan, held him in high esteem, would address him in official documents as ḵvāja and sought on several occasions, without success, to make him his vizier.
Bayhaqi, ed. Fayyāż. Gardizi, ed., M. Nazim, Berlin, 1928; ed. Ḥabibi, Tehran, 1968.
Nāṣer-al-Din Kermāni, Nasāʾem al-asḥār, ed. Jalāl-al-Din Ormavi Moḥaddeṯ, Tehran, 1959.
ʿOtbi, al-Ketab al-Yamini, ed. Eḥsān Ḏonun al-Ṯāmeri, Beirut, 2004.
(C. E. Bosworth)
Originally Published: November 24, 2010