FŪMANĪ, ʿABD-AL-FATTĀḤ, author of the Tārīḵ-e Gīlān, a local history of Gīlān covering the years 923-1038/1517-1628. In 1018-19/1609-10, he was in the company of Behzād Beg Astarābādī, the vizier of Gīlān, in the village of Lašta-nešā. Behzād Beg ran into difficulties when Ḵvāja Moḥammad-Reżā, known as Sārū Ḵvāja, (Blonde Ḵᵛāja), the vizier of Azerbaijan, imprisoned his officials. Upon hearing this news, Behzād Beg armed the peasants of his region and headed for Gaskar and Āstārā. These events were reported to Shah ʿAbbās, who decided to make further inquiries into the matter. When Behzād Beg heard this news, he was in the home of Ḵvāja Kamāl-al-Dīn, and ʿAbd-al-Fattāḥ Fūmanī was also present (Fūmanī, ed. Sotūda, pp. 190-94; Eskandar Beg, pp. 758, 990, tr. Savory, pp. 951, 1212).

In 1021/1611-12, Shah ʿAbbās dismissed Behzād Beg and his employees from their positions in the dīvān (q.v.; Eskandar Beg, p. 853; tr. Savory, p. 1063), and Fūmanī was one of three people the king nominated to examine the accounts of Bīapas “beyond the river,” one of the two regions of Gīlān divided by the Safīdrūd River (B. Spuler, “Gīlān,” in EI2, pp. 1111-12; Fūmanī, ed. Sotūda, p. 204). On 29 Šawwāl 1039/1 June 1630, ʿĀdelšāh, the son of Jamšīd Khan, a hereditary ruler of Gīlān, invaded Fūman. When this happened, Fūmanī and his family, along with several other individuals, left Fūman for ʿErāq (Fūmanī, ed. Sotūda, pp. 262-63, p. 266-67).

The Tārīḵ-e Gīlān is Fūmanī’s only extant work. The author does not mention any patron. He explains his reason for writing: over the past fifty years, he had seen Gīlān come out from under the control of the Ṣafavid kings and enter a period of turmoil, revolts, and revolution, such as the invasion of ʿĀdelšāh. Fūmanī states that although he was an introverted, secluded type of individual, it nevertheless occurred to him to write down the events that he witnessed, since no one else had done so. These include accounts of the hereditary rulers of Māzandarān, Gaskar, Āstārā, and Langarkonān during the time of the Safavid kings, in order that it become clear why they were overthrown (Fūmanī, ed. Sotūda, p. 5).

Fūmanī divides his Tārīḵ thematically into two chapters (faṣl) and numerous subheadings (goftār). The first chapter is devoted to the events related to the defeat of Moẓaffar Solṭān, the governor of eastern Gīlān, and the end of the Ishaqid dynasty (Barthold, p. 236), which had been in power for the past 142 years. The second chapter consists of (1) an account of Khan Aḥmad Khan, the ruler and governor of western Gīlān; (2) the misfortunes of the descendants of Shah Jamšīd Khan; (3) the murder of Sīāvoš Khan, the ruler of Gaskar; (4) the rebellion of Ḥamza Khan, the ruler of Āstārā and his murder in Šarvān; (5) the end of the rulers of Māzandarān (the Marʿašī sayyeds; Barthold, p. 240, n. 62); and (6) the Safavid kings bringing Gīlān and Māzandaṟan under their control (Fūmanī, ed. Sotūda, pp. 6-7)

Fūmanī’s account is valuable because he focuses on local leaders and governors of the region in much greater detail than official court chroniclers such as Eskandar Beg. At the same time, however, he also describes the involvement of the Safavid monarchs in the area, such as the marriage alliances they forged with the local elite. He does all of this from the perspective of an individual writing in Gīlān, and criticizes the behavior and actions of the people of Gīlān for the disorder and chaotic times in which he was living (Fūmanī, ed. Sotūda, p. 5). The history ends with a description of Shah Ṣafī’s involvement in the region, in particular in putting down the uprising of ʿĀdelšāh.



W. Barthold, An Historical Geography of Iran, tr. S. Soucek, Princeton,1984.

ʿAbd-al-Fattāḥ Fūmanī, Tārīḵ-e Gīlān, ed. B. Dorn as ʿAbdu’l Fattâh Fûmeny’s Geschichte von Gîlân, St. Petersburg, 1858; ed. M. Sotūda, Tehran, 1349 Š./1970; also printed in one vol. with Naqš-e Gīlān dar nahżat-e mašrūṭīyat-e Īrān, ed. ʿA. Tadayyon, Tehran, 1353 Š./1974.

Storey, pp. 363, 1298. Storey-Bregel, I, p. 7.

(Sholeh Quinn)

Originally Published: December 15, 2000

Last Updated: January 31, 2012

This article is available in print.
Vol. X, Fasc. 3, pp. 228-229