DAŠTAKĪ,AMĪR SAYYED GĪĀṮ-AL-DĪN MANṢŪR b. Ṣadr-al-Dīn Moḥammad Šīrāzī Ḥosaynī (866-948/1462-1541), scholar, philosopher, and motakallem (theologian) of the late Timurid and early Safavid period, and, for a brief interval under Shah Ṭahmāsb (930-84/1524-76), one of two ṣadrs (chief clerical overseers).
His family was originally from Shiraz. In the late 16th century Ḥasan Rūmlū (pp. 303-04) and Aḥmad Ḥosaynī Qomī (I, p. 296) reported that the Safavid shah Esmāʿīl I (905-30/1499-1524) had initially summoned Ḡīāṯ-al-Dīn, who was a student of mathematics and astronomy, from Shiraz to repair the observatory of Naṣīr-al-Dīn Ṭūsī (d. 672/1274) in Marāḡa, but Ḡīāṯ-al-Dīn’s contemporary Ḵᵛāndamīr mentioned no such commission, nor did Nūr-Allāh Šūštarī (d. 1019/1610-11).
Although Ḡīāṯ-al-Dīn’s father and teacher, Ṣadr-al-Dīn (d. 903/1498), is often accounted the first of the family to have openly professed Twelver Shiʿism, Ḵᵛānsārī (II, pp. 193-94) was skeptical of the family’s commitment to the faith in this early period. Like his cousin ʿAṭāʾ-Allāh Daštakī (q.v.), Ḡīāṯ-al-Dīn’s branch of the family was probably much influenced in its religious affiliation by the changing political climate in Persia. Ḡīāṯ-al-Dīn himself dedicated an essay to the Ottoman sultan Bāyazīd II (886-918/1481-1512), and Ḵᵛānsārī noted reports that he served Solṭān-Ḥosayn Bāyqarā (q.v., Supp.), Timurid ruler of Khorasan (874-911/1469-1506), as vizier.
Like his father, Ḡīāṯ-al-Dīn criticized the Persian Sunni Jalāl-al-Dīn Davānī (q.v.; d. 908/1502), who initially rejected claims of Shah Esmāʿīl to be “imam of the age.” Ḡīāṯ-al-Dīn debated Davānī openly and in such essays as Ešrāq hayākel al-nūr ʿan ẓolmāt šawākel al-ḡorūr (al-Ḏarīʿa II, pp. 103-04; Brockelmann, GAL I, p. 565, SI, p. 782), a treatise in which he attacked Davānī’s commentary on Hayākel al-nūr by Šehāb-al-Dīn Sohravardī (d. 578/1191), and al-Moḥākamāt, in which he evaluated disagreements between his father and Davānī over the Shiʿite-oriented treatise Tajrīd al-kalām by Naṣīr al-Dīn Ṭūsī. Ḡīāṯ-al-Dīn’s Ḥojjat al-kalām was a critique of the thought of Abū Ḥāmed Moḥammad Ḡazālī (d. 505/1111). Moḥammad-Taqī Dānešpažūh (Dānešpažūh and Monzawī, III, pp. 353-54) thought that Mollā Ṣadrā (d. 1050/1640) had been influenced by Ḡīāṯ-al-Dīn’s ešrāqī (illuminationist; see CORBIN) essay Merʾāt al-ḥaqāʾeq.
In 936/1529 Ḡīāṯ-al-Dīn was appointed ṣadr at the Safavid court, sharing the post with Sayyed Neʿmat-Allāh Ḥellī (d. 940/1533), who had been appointed a year earlier. Ḥellī, a student of Moḥaqqeq-e Ṯānī ʿAlī Karakī (d. 940/1534), was dismissed after challenging Karakī’s ruling permitting Friday prayer during the occultation of the Twelfth Imam. Shortly thereafter Ḡīāṯ-al-Dīn himself challenged Karakī’s calculation of the qebla. A council was convened in the presence of Shah Ṭahmāsb to settle the disagreement. Karakī triumphed: In 938/1531-1532 Ḡīāṯ-al-Dīn was dismissed and replaced by another student of Karakī. He returned to Shiraz, where he was said to have founded and taught at the Madrasa-ye Manṣūrīya (Ḵᵛānsārī, VII, pp. 176, 194; cf. Forṣat Šīrāzī, pp. 497-98, who reported that the madrasa had been founded by Ḡīāṯ-al-Dīn’s father). He died there and was buried in the school.
The two failed challenges to Karakī, though based on religious grounds, were certainly fueled by Persian clerics, court officials, and several princes allied to the Tekkelū tribes, whose domination of both the Qezelbāš confederation and the young shah was declining, while the fortunes of the opposing Šāmlū tribe were on the rise. In 939/1532, at the height of the Šāmlū domination of the Safavid confederation, a farmān declaring Karakī nāʾeb al-emām (deputy of the imam) was issued (for a detailed discussion of these events, see Newman, pp. 96-104).
Qomī (I, p. 297), whose father had studied with Ḡīāṯ-al-Dīn, reported an agreement between Karakī and Ḡīāṯ-al-Dīn to exchange instruction in philosophy and Twelver Shiʿism, an account accepted by Roger Savory (p. 82). In other notices, however, no such exchange is mentioned, and Twelver biographers ascribed such an agreement to Karakī and Jamāl-al-Dīn Estarābādī (d. 931/1524-25), sixth ṣadr of the Safavids and a student of Davānī (Rūmlū, pp. 253-56; Šūštarī, fols. 208a-209a, ad. 7th majles; Ḵᵛānsārī, II, p. 212, IV, p. 369; Aʿyān al-Šīʿa XLI, pp. 176-77).
Šūštarī reported that Ḡīāṯ-al-Dīn replied to questions submitted to the court by the Ottoman sultan, according to Ḵᵛānsārī (VII, p. 192) in the reign of Ṭahmāsb, presumably while he was ṣadr. Rūmlū and Qomī mentioned no such reply, however.
The Shiʿite scholar Ṣadr-al-Dīn ʿAlī b. Aḥmad b. Maʿṣūm, known both as Ebn Moḥammad Maʿṣūm and as Sayyed ʿAlī Khan (d. 1118/1706 or 1120/1708), author of Solāfat al-ʿaṣr, was a descendant of Ḡīāṯ-al-Dīn.
S. Amir Arjomand, The Shadow of God and the Hidden Imām. Religion, Political Order, and Societal Change in Shʿite Iran from the Beginning to 1890, Chicago, 1984, pp. 134-35, 145.
Aʿyān al-Šīʿa XLVIII, Beirut, 1960, p. 116.
M.-T. Dānešpažūh and ʿA-N. Monzawī, eds., Fehrest-e ketāb-ḵāna-ye ehdāʾī-e Āqā-ye Sayyed Moḥammad Meškāt be ketāb-ḵāna-ye Dāneshgāh-e Tehrān, Tehran, 1332-35 Š./1953-56, II, pp. 581-84, 760; III, pp. 144-45, 353-54; VI, pp. 2191-92.
al-Ḏarīʿa I, pp. 108, 378-79; II, pp. 103-04; V, pp. 24-25; VI, pp. 67, 117, 132, 135, 262; XIII, pp. 138-39; XIV, pp. 176-78, 240-41; XVIII, p. 94; XX, pp. 131-32; XXI, p. 352; XXV, p. 253.
Mīrzā ʿAbd-Allāh Eṣbahānī, Rīāż al-ʿolamāʾ V, Qom, 1401/1981, pp. 250-52.
Eskandar Beg, I, pp. 144-45, 148; tr. Savory, I, pp. 231, 236.
Moḥammad-Naṣīr Forṣat Šīrāzī (Forṣat-al-Dawla), Āṯār-e ʿajam, Bombay, 1354/1935. Fasāʾī, II, p. 139.
Moḥammad-Bāqer Ḵᵛānsārī, Rawżāt al-jannāt fī aḥwāl al-ʿolamāʾ wa’l-sādāt, ed. A. Esmāʿīlīān, Qom, 1390-92/1970-72, IV, pp. 372-73; VII, pp. 176-99.
W. Madelung, “al-Karakī,” EI2 IV, p. 610.
A. J. Newman, “The Myth of the Clerical Migration to Safawid Iran. Arab Shīʿite Opposition to ʿAlī al-Karakī and Safawid Shīʿism,” Die Welt des Islams 33/1, 1993, pp. 66-112.
Aḥmad b. Šaraf-al-Dīn Ḥosayn Ḥosaynī Qomī, Ḵolāṣat al-tawārīkò I, Tehran, 1359 Š/1980, pp. 149, 160, 195, 218, 296-98.
Ḥasan Rūmlū, ed. Seddon, pp. 189-91, 224, 253-56, 303-04.
R. M. Savory, “The Principle Offices of the Safawid State during the Reign of Shah Ṭahmāsp I (930-984/1524-1576),” BSO(A)S 24/1, 1961, pp. 81-82.
Qāżī Nūr-Allāh b. ʿAbd-Allāh Šūštarī, Majāles al-moʾmenīn, Bodleian Library, ms. no. Ousley 366. Modarres, Rayḥānat al-adab IV, pp. 258-60.
Shah Ṭahmāsb Ṣafawī, Taḏkera-ye Šāh Ṭahmāsb, 2nd ed., ed. A. Ṣafarī, Tehran, 1363 Š./1984, pp. 13-14.
(Andrew J. Newman)
Originally Published: December 15, 1994
Last Updated: November 18, 2011
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Vol. VII, Fasc. 1, pp. 100-102