FAḴR-AL-MOLK b. Neẓām al-Molk, ABU’L-FATḤ MOẒAFFAR (b. 434/1043; d. 500/1106-7), eldest son of the great Saljuq vizier and himself vizier to the Saljuq sultans Barkīāroq (q.v.; 485-98/1092-1105) and Moḥammad b. Malekšāh (498-511/1105-18).

He seems to have had no qualifications for office beyond the distinguished name of his father. In 488/1095, after a brief period in the service of Tutuš b. Alp Arslān in Syria, he offered Bārkīāroq money and rich gifts to dismiss his much more capable brother Moʾayyed-al-Molk and appoint him in his stead; nevertheless, for the period of his vizierate, which lasted until 492/1099, he was substantially the puppet of the influential financial supervisor (mostawfī) Majd-al-Molk Balāsānī (q.v.), whereas Moʾayyed-al-Molk was driven to espouse the cause of Bārkīāroq’s brother and rival Moḥammad. Faḵr-al-Molk’s appointment marked the beginning of a sharp decline in the influence of viziers and in the sultans’ ability to choose their own officials; this power now fell more into the hands of the great amirs. In 494/1101 Faḵr-al-Molk became vizier to Sanjar b. Malekšāh in Khorasan, who was functioning as subordinate to his two brothers in the west, Barkīāroq and Moḥammad. He was assassinated, allegedly by an Ismaʿili, in 500/1106-7 and was succeeded as vizier by his son Ṣadr-al-Dīn Abū Jaʿfar 500-511/1106-17.



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(C. Edmund Bosworth)

Originally Published: December 15, 1999

Last Updated: January 20, 2012

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Vol IX, Fasc. 2, pp. 164-165