DEHESTĀNĪ , AʿAZZ-AL-MOLKNEẒĀM-AL-DĪN ABU’L-MAḤĀSEN ʿABD-AL-JALĪL b. ʿAlī, twice vizier to the Saljuq sultan Barkīāroq (q.v.; 487-98/1094-1105).
In Rabīʿ I 493/January-February 1100, after Barkīāroq succeeded in taking control of Baghdad, he appointed Dehestānī vizier with the honorific Neẓām-al-Dīn. Slightly later, however, Barkīāroq was defeated at Espīḏrūḏ near Hamadān by his brother Moḥammad b. Malekšāh, and Dehestānī was captured; he was well treated by Moḥammad’s vizier, Moʾayyad-al-Molk b. Neẓām al-Molk, and was appointed civil governor of Baghdad. In the second battle between Barkīāroq and Moḥammad, in 494/1101, Barkīāroq was victorious, and Dehestānī again became vizier (Ṣafar 494/December 1101). Barkīāroq’s extreme indigence and inability to pay his troops led Dehestānī to impose stringent financial mulcts and demands for taxation. Early in 495/1101, as he accompanied Barkīāroq at the siege of Isfahan, where Moḥammad was installed, he was murdered, either as an act of private vengeance or by an assassin of the Ismaʿilis, whose adherents in the region had recently been slaughtered by Barkīāroq’s troops. Dehestānī was succeeded as vizier by Ḵaṭīr-al-Molk Abū Manṣūr Moḥammad b. Ḥosayn Maybodī.
The hostile picture of Dehestānī provided by Anūšervān b. Ḵāled (q.v.; Bondārī, p. 89) is that of a rapacious tyrant, but in Ebn al-Aṯīr’s more balanced view (ed. Beirut, X, p. 336) he was generous and noble-minded, driven to his exactions only by the parlous state of his master’s finances; he especially enjoyed the confidence of the merchant community, and the contemporary poet Abū Bakr Aḥmad Arrajānī included in his dīvān two Arabic qaṣīdas (odes) dedicated to Dehestānī.
Fatḥ b. ʿAlī Bondārī, Zobdat al-noṣra wa noḵbat al-ʿoṣra, in Houtsma, Recueil II. C. Defrémery, “Recherches sur le règne du sultan seldjoukide Barkiarok (485-498 de l’hégire 1092-1104 de l’ežre chrétienne),” JA, ser. 5/2, 1853, pp. 254-61, 265-66, 287.
Ebn al-Jawzī, al-Montaẓam, IX, pp. 112, 120.
Ebn al-Aṯīr, ed. Beirut, X, pp. 294, 298-99, 304-05, 307-08, 311-12, 335-36.
ʿA. Eqbāl, Wezārat dar ʿahd-e salāṭīn-e bozorg-e saljūqī, Tehran, 1338 Š./1959, p. 115-16, 151.
C. L. Klausner, The Seljuk Vezirate. A Study of Civil Administration 1055-1194, Cambridge, Mass., 1973, pp. 39, 50, 53.
Moḥammad b. ʿAlī Rāvandī, Rāḥat al-ṣodūr wa āyat al-sorūr, ed. M. Eqbāl, London, 1921, p. 139.
M. F. Sanaullah, The Decline of the Saljūqid Empire, Calcutta, 1938, pp. 44-45.
(C. Edmund Bosworth)
Originally Published: December 15, 1994
Last Updated: November 18, 2011
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