Table of Contents

  • ĀB

    Multiple Authors

    Persian word meaning “water.”

  • ĀB i. The concept of water in ancient Iranian culture

    Mary Boyce

    The ancient Iranians respected water as the source of life, which nourished plants, animals, and men. In their cosmology water was the second of the seven “creations.”

  • ĀB ii. Water in Muslim Iranian culture

    I. K. Poonawala

    Water constitutes an essential element in Islamic ritual, as a means of purification, and serves as a common theme in folklore. 

  • ĀB iii. The hydrology and water resources of the Iranian plateau

    P. Beaumont

    Over the most of the central part of the plateau, in the Dašt-e Kavīr and Dašt-e Lūt, annual precipitation averages less than 100 mm, making these among the most arid parts of the world.

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  • ĀB-ANBĀR

    R. Holod, M. Sotūda

    "Water reservoir,” a term commonly used throughout Iran as a designation for roofed underground water cisterns.

  • ĀB-ANBĀR i. History

    R. Holod

    The āb-anbār was one of the constructions developed in Iran as part of a water management system in areas reliant on permanent (springs, qanāts) or on seasonal (rain) water. A settlement’s capacity for storing water ensured its survival over the hot, dry season when even the permanent water supply would diminish.

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  • AB-ANBĀR ii. Construction

    M. Sotūda

    Cisterns are built in towns and villages throughout Iran, as well as at crossroads, caravanseries, and hospices (rebāṭ). While town cisterns may be filled with rain water or from qanāts, most āb-anbārs along caravan routes are filled from the spring torrents of nearby streams.

  • ĀB-E DEZ

    H. Gaube

    a major river of Ḵūzestān and the one most vital to its economy. It rises in the central Zagros mountains about 20 km northeast of Borūǰerd near the village of Čahār Borra.

  • ĀB-E GARM

    E. Ehlers

    There is a special kind of spring, the karst spring, in areas which have no consistent water table. The water usually collects in great clefts within chalky formations or flows in a subterranean channel and often includes the best-known springs in Iran.

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  • ĀB-E ḤAYĀT

    Cross-Reference

    Āb-e Ḥayāt, also called ʿAyn al-Ḥayāt or Nahr al-Ḥayāt, meaning the fountain of life, is associated with Ḵeżr, who is identified with the unnamed companion of Moses in the Koran (18:65-82). See ĀB ii. Water in Muslim Iranian culture.

  • ĀB-E ĪSTĀDA

    C. E. Bosworth

    “Still water,” a salt lake in the province of Ḡazna in modern Afghanistan, lying 30 km southeast of the present Ḡazna-Kandahār highway and 100 km south of Ḡazna itself.

  • ĀB-ḠŪRA

    N. Ramazani

    (or ĀB-E ḠŪRA), the juice of unripe grapes, used in Persian cuisine.

  • ĀB-GŪŠT

    EIr and N. Ramazani

    “meat juice,” a popular Persian meat-based soup or stew, consisting of lamb, some legume, and herb and seasoning.

  • ĀB-NĀHĪD

    Mary Boyce

     “Nāhid of the Water,” a Zoroastrian woman’s name, first attested in the poem Vis o Rāmīn.

  • ĀB-ZŌHR

    Mary Boyce

    “offering of water,” the Middle Persian form of a Zoroastrian technical term, Av. Ape zaoθra. Making the offering of water is the culminating rite of the main Zoroastrian act of worship, the yasna; and preparing and consecrating it is at the center of the rituals of the second part of this service.

  • ʿABĀʾ

    H. Algar

    (in Arabic, also ʿabāʾa and ʿabāya), a loose outer garment, generally for men, worn widely throughout the Middle East, particularly by Arab nomads. 

  • ABAD

    Joseph van Ess

    “Eternity a parte post,” Arabic theological term meaning “eternity a parte post” (already in early Muʿtazilite theology); it corresponds to Greek atéleuton. It sometimes also serves as a general term for unlimited time (dahr).

  • ĀBĀDA

    C. E. Bosworth

    Name of (1) a small town in northern Fārs province, and (2) a medieval town near the northern shore of Lake Baḵtegān in Fārs.

  • ĀBĀDĀN

    Multiple Authors

    island and city in the ostān (province) of Ḵūzestān at the head of the Persian Gulf.

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  • ĀBĀDĀN i. History

    L. P. Elwell-Sutton

    In medieval sources, and up to the present century, the name of the island always occurs in the Arabic form ʿAbbādān; this name has sometimes been derived from ʿabbād “worshiper.”

  • ĀBĀDĀN ii. The modern city

    X. de Planhol

    At the turn of this century the alluvial island of ʿAbbādān had a few peasant hamlets and a scattering of palm groves along the coast. The city which devel­oped after 1900 under a foreign impulse has a struc­ture unique among Iran’s urban forms.

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  • ĀBĀDĀN iii. Basic Population Data, 1956-2011

    Mohammad Hossein Nejatian

    the population growth from 1956 to 2011, age structure, average household size, literacy rate, economic activity status for 2006 and/or 2011, and population projection from 2014 to 2021.

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  • ĀBĀDĪ

    Ahmad Ashraf

    “Settlement, inhabited space,” Persian term usally applied to the rural environment; in colloquial usage it often refers to towns and cities as well.

  • ABĀLIŠ

    Aḥmad Tafażżolī

    Zoroastrian of the 9th century A.D. who apostatized to Islam.

  • ĀBĀN

    Mary Boyce

    Middle Persian term meaning “the waters” (Av. āpō). In Indo-Iranian the word for water is grammatically feminine; the element itself was always characterized as female and was represented by a group of goddesses, the Āpas.

  • ABĀN B. ʿABD-AL-ḤAMĪD

    I. Abbas

    late 2nd/8th century poet. He was of a Persian family, originally from Fasā, which had settled (probably at an early date) in Baṣra.

  • ĀBĀN MĀH

    Mary Boyce

    the eighth month of the Zoroastrian year, dedicated to the waters, Ābān.

  • ĀBĀN YAŠT

    Mary Boyce

    Middle Persian name of the fifth hymn among the Zoroastrian hymns to individual divinities. It is the third longest, with 131 verses.

  • ĀBĀNAGĀN

    Cross-Reference

    the name used by Bīrūnī (Āṯār, p. 224) for the Zoroastrian feast-day dedicated to the Waters, which was celebrated on the day Ābān of the month Ābān. See further under ĀBĀN MĀH.

  • ĀBĀNDOḴT

    W. L. Hanaway, Jr.

    Character in the prose romance Dārāb-nāma of Abū Ṭāher Moḥammad b. Ḥasan b. ʿAlī b. Mūsā al-Ṭarsūsī, a storyteller of the Ghaznavid period.

  • ABAQA

    Peter Jackson

    (or ABAḠA, “paternal uncle” in Mongolian; ABĀQĀ in Persian and Arabic), eldest son and first successor of the Il-khan Hülegü.

  • ʿABAQĀT AL-ANWĀR

    ʿA.-N. Monzavi

    a large Persian and Arabic work by Mīr Ḥāmed Ḥosayn b. Moḥammad-qolī b. Moḥammad b. Ḥāmed of Lucknow on the legitimacy of the imamate and the defense of Shiʿite theology.

  • ABAR NAHARA

    Cross-Reference

    Aramaic name for the lands to the west of the Euphrates—i.e., Phoenicia, Syria, and Palestine (Parpola, p. 116; Zadok, p. 129; see ASSYRIA ii). These regions apparently passed from Neo-Babylonian to Persian control in 539 B.C.E. when Cyrus the Great conquered Mesopotamia. See EBER-NĀRĪ.

  • ABARKĀVĀN

    M. Kasheff

    Late Sasanian name of Qešm island in the Straits of Hormoz.

  • ABARQOBĀḎ

    C. E. Bosworth

    Ancient town of lower Iraq between Baṣra and Vāseṭ, to the east of the Tigris, in the region adjacent to Ahvāz, known in pre-Islamic and early Islamic times as Mēšūn (Mid. Pers. form) or Maysān/Mayšān (Syriac and Arabic forms).

  • ABARQUH

    Multiple Authors

    (or ABARQŪYA), a town in northern Fārs; it was important in medieval times, but, being off the main routes, it is now largely decayed.

  • ABARQUH i. History

    C. E. Bosworth

    In present-day Iran, Abarqūh is situated in the tenth ostān, that of Isfahan, and forms a baḵš or district of the šahrestān of Yazd.

  • ABARQUH ii. Monuments

    R. Hillenbrand

    Numerous pre-Safavid monuments survive in Abarqūh, but the lack of important later buildings suggests a sharp decline in the city’s wealth.

  • ABARŠAHR

    H. Gaube

    Name of Nīšāpūr province in western Khorasan. From the early Sasanian period, Nišāpur, which was founded or rebuilt by Šāpur I in the first years of his reign, was the administrative center of the province.

  • ABARSĀM

    E. Yarshater

    (APURSĀM in Middle Persian), a dignitary and high-ranking officeholder of the court of the Sasanian king Ardašīr I (A.D. 226-42).

  • ABARSĒN

    C. J. Brunner

    Middle Persian form of the Avestan name Upāiri.saēna, designating the Hindu Kush mountains (Av. iškata; Mid. Pers. kōf, gar) of central and eastern Afghanistan.

  • ABASKŪN

    C. E. Bosworth

    (ĀBASKŪN), a port of the medieval period on the southwest shore of the Caspian Sea in Gorgān province.

  • ABBĀ ISAIAH

    N. Sims-Williams

    (i.e., “Father” Isaiah), late 4th century A.D., author of Christian ascetical texts; from these it appears that he was a hermit who lived in the desert of Scete in Egypt, of whom several anecdotes are told in the Apophthegmata patrum.

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  • ʿABBĀD B. SALMĀN

    W. Madelung

    (or SOLAYMĀN), Muʿtazilite theologian of the 3rd/9th century.

  • ʿABBĀS AḤVAL

    D. M. Dunlop

    Leader of an Arab invasion of the lower Euphrates region in which the Savād of Iraq was ravaged, in about A.D. 589, toward the end of the reign of Hormozd IV.

  • ʿABBĀS B. ʿALĪ B. ABŪ ṬĀLEB

    J. Calmard

    half brother of Imam Ḥosayn, who fought bravely at the battle of Karbalā. According to most traditions, he was killed on the day of ʿĀšurā (10 Moḥarram 61/10 October 680) while trying to bring back water from the Euphrates river to quench the unbearable thirst of the besieged Ahl-e Bayt (holy family).

  • ʿABBĀS B. ḤOSAYN

    C. Cahen

    Buyid vizier, d. 362/973.

  • ʿABBĀS B. REŻĀ-QOLĪ KHAN NŪRĪ

    P. P. Soucek

    calligrapher and civil servant, d. 1255/1839-40.

  • ʿABBĀS EFFENDI

    Cross-Reference

    the eldest son of Bahāʾallāh and founder of the Bahaʾi movement. See ʿABD-AL-BAHĀʾ.

  • ʿABBĀS I

    R. M. Savory

    Shah Abbas, Safavid king of Iran (996-1038/1588-1629). Styled "Shah ʿAbbās the Great," he was the third son and successor of Solṭān Moḥammad Shah.

  • ʿABBĀS II

    Rudi Matthee

    Safavid king of Iran (1052-77/1642-66).  The expedition to Kandahar, which had been lost to the Mughals under Shah Ṣafi I, counts as Shah ʿAbbās II’s main military venture.

  • ʿABBĀS III

    R. M. Savory

    son of Shah Ṭahmāsp II, roi fainéant of the Safavid dynasty (1732-40).

  • ʿABBĀS MĪRZĀ QAJAR

    H. Busse

    son of Fatḥ-ʿAlī Shah and father of the line of Qajar rulers from Moḥammad Shah on (1789-1833).

  • ʿABBĀS, ḤĀJĪ

    J. W. Allan

    Signature found on a number of pieces of metalwork from Iran.

  • ʿABBĀS-QOLĪ KHAN

    D. M. Lang

    persian viceroy in eastern Georgia (1099-1105/1688-94), under the Safavid shahs Solaymān and Solṭān Ḥosayn.

  • ʿABBĀS-QOLĪ MĪRZĀ QAJAR

    H. Busse

    a grandson of Fatḥ-ʿAlī Qajar (d. 1824 or 1825).

  • ʿABBĀSĀBĀD

    Kamran Ekbal

    Fortress built in 1810 by ʿAbbās Mīrzā on the northern bank of the Araxes river; it commanded the passage of the Araxes and was of special strategic importance for the defense of the Naḵjavān khanate.

  • ʿABBĀSĀBĀD Caravan Station

    W. Kleiss

    Flourishing caravan station of the Safavid period.

  • ʿABBĀSĪ

    P. Avery, B. G. Fragner, J. B. Simmons

    A name first applied to the principal gold and silver coins issued by the Safavid king ʿAbbās I (1581-1629); it continued in use until the beginning of the 20th century.

  • ʿABBĀSĪ GOJARĀTĪ

    Y. Richard

    Indian literary figure who wrote in Persian (d. 1048/1638).

  • ʿABBĀSĪ RABENJANĪ

    Dj. Khaleghi-Motlagh

    10th century Samanid poet.

  • ʿABBĀSĪ, ŠAYḴ

    R. Skelton

    Apart from an apparently early work in the standard Isfahan style of the second quarter of the 17th century (Cristie’s 10 July 1975, lot 197), Šayḵ ʿAbbāsī departed from the established conventions of Safavid painting and embarked upon an eclectic manner in which European and Indian elements played an important role.

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  • ʿABBASID CALIPHATE

    C. E. Bosworth

    the third dynasty of caliphs who built their capital in Baghdad after overthrowing the Umayyad caliphs in Damascus.

  • ABD, ABDĪH

    Cross-Reference

    “marvel, wonder” in Middle Persian. See  MIRACLES i. In Ancient Iranian Tradition.

  • ʿABD-AL-ʿALĪ BAḤR-AL-ʿOLŪM

    F. Robinson

    A leading Indian theologian of the Ḥanafī school (18th century).

  • ʿABD-AL-ʿALĪ BĪRJANDĪ

    D. Pingree

    (or BARJANDĪ) Islamic astronomer, said to have died in 934/1527-28.

  • ʿABD-AL-ʿALĪM NAṢRALLĀḤ KHAN

    Hameed ud-Din

    “QAMAR,” government official, historian, biographer, translator, and grammarian in British India (19th century).

  • ʿABD-AL-ʿAẒĪM AL-ḤASANĪ

    W. Madelung

    Shiʿite ascetic and transmitter buried in the main sanctuary of Ray (9th century).

  • ʿABD-AL-ʿAZĪZ B. ʿABD-AL-VAHHĀB

    D. Duda

    painter of the Safavid period employed in the royal workshops of Tabriz who lost his nose under mysterious and debated circumstances. According to the historian Qāẓī Aḥmad, both father and son were excellent painters from Kāšān.

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  • ʿABD-AL-ʿAZĪZ B. NAḎR MOḤAMMAD

    M. H. Siddiqi

    Toghay-Timurid (Janid) dynast of the Uzbeks in Bukhara (r. 1647-80).

  • ʿABD-al-ʿAZĪZ ḤEKĪMBĀŠĪ

    T. Yazici

    Ottoman physician and translator (d. 1782-83).

  • ʿABD-AL-ʿAZĪZ MOḤADDEṮ DEHLAVĪ

    Azduddin Khan

    Sunni theologian and mystic (1746-1824).

  • ʿABD-AL-ʿAZĪZ QARA ČELEBIZĀDA

    T. Yazici

    Ottoman historian and translator (1591-1658).

  • ʿABD-AL-ʿAZĪZ SOLṬĀN

    Yu. Bregel

    Shaibanid ruler of Bokhara (d. 1550).

  • ʿABD-AL-BAHĀʾ

    A. Bausani, D. MacEoin

    epithet assumed by ʿAbbās Effendi, the eldest son of Bahāʾallāh, founder of the Bahaʾi movement. The epithet means “servant of the glory of God” or “servant of Bahāʾallāh.”

  • ʿABD-AL-BĀQĪ LAʿLĪZĀDA

    T. Yazici

    (d. 1746 A.D.), Ottoman scholar, son of Shaikh Laʿlī Meḥmed, the grandson of Sarı ʿAbdallāh, a commentator on the Maṯnavī

  • ʿABD-AL-BĀQĪ NAHĀVANDĪ

    Hameed ud-Din

    Mughal noble and biographer.

  • ʿABD-AL-BĀQĪ TABRĪZĪ

    ʿAbd-al-ʿAlī Kārang

    religious scholar and notable of Azerbaijan (d. 1039/1629-30).

  • ʿABD-AL-BĀQĪ YAZDĪ

    P. P. Soucek

    Safavid official and poet skilled in calligraphy, killed at the battle of Čālderān in Raǰab 920/August 1514.

  • ʿABD-AL-BARĪ

    F. Robinson

    early 20th century Indian scholar and pīr of the Ferangī Maḥal family.

  • ʿABD-AL-FATTĀḤ GARMRŪDĪ

    H. Algar

    (ca. 1200-64/1786-1848), a scribe and minor author of the mid-Qajar period.

  • ʿABD-AL-FATTĀH ḤOSAYNĪ

    M. B. Badakhshani

    Indian scholar of Persian and Arabic.

  • ʿABD-AL-ḠANĪ KHAN

    M. Baqir

    Indian literary scholar and a poet in Persian and Urdu (d. 1916).

  • ʿABD-AL-HĀDĪ ŠĪRĀZĪ

    H. Algar

    (1305-82/1888-1962), a Shiʿite scholar of Naǰaf, highly regarded for his learning and piety.

  • ʿABD-AL-ḤAMĪD B. ABUʾL-ḤADĪD

    W. Madelung

    Muʿtazilite scholar and man of letters (13th century).

  • ʿABD-AL-ḤAMĪD B. AḤMAD

    C. E. Bosworth

    vizier of the Ghaznavids in the late 5th/11th to early 6th/12th century. He is described as serving Sultan Ebrāhīm b. Masʿūd (451-92/1059-99).

  • ʿABD-AL-ḤAMID b. AḤMAD b. ʿABD-AL-ṢAMAD ŠIRĀZI

    C. E. Bosworth

    long-serving vizier to the Ghaznavid sultans Ebrāhim b. Masʿud (r. 451-92/1059-99) and his son Masʿud III (r. 492-508/1199-1215).

  • ʿABD-AL-ḤAMĪD B. ʿĪSĀ

    G. C. Anawati

    physician, theologian, philosopher, and jurist (580-652/1184-1254).

  • ʿABD-AL-ḤAMĪD B. VĀSEʿ

    D. Pingree

    mathematician, often referred to as Ebn Tork, who apparently flourished at the beginning of the 2nd/9th century.

  • ʿABD-AL-ḤAMĪD B. YAḤYĀ

    W. N. Brinner

    an important figure in the development of Arabic epistolary style, especially in the stablishment of chancery style during the Umayyad period (d. 132/750).

  • ʿABD-AL-ḤAMĪD LĀHŪRĪ

    R. M. Eaton

    17th-century Indo-Persian historian and author of the Pādšāh-nāma, the official account of the reign of the Mughal emperor Shah Jahān (1037-67/1628-57).

  • ʿABD-AL-ḤAMĪD MALEK-AL-KALĀMĪ

    P. P. Soucek

    calligrapher, poet, and government official (d. 1949).

  • ʿABD-AL-ḤAQQ DEHLAVĪ

    N. H. Zaidi

    noted Mughal traditionist, historian, essayist, and biographer of saints (16th century).

  • ʿABD-AL-ḤAYY AWRANGĀBĀDĪ

    M. Baqir

    administrator, poet, and biographer (1729-82).

  • ʿABD-AL-ḤAYY, ABŪ’L-ḤASANĀT

    F. Robinson

    (1264-1304/1848-86), Indian theologian from the distinguished Farangī Maḥall family.

  • ʿABD-AL-ḤAYY, ḴᵛĀJĀ

    P. P. Soucek

    miniaturist (late 8th/14th century).

  • ʿABD-AL-JABBĀR

    D. Duda

    calligrapher at the Safavid court in Isfahan in the time of Shah ʿAbbās I (17th century).

  • ʿABD-AL-JABBĀR ASTARĀBĀDĪ

    D. Duda

    calligrapher of the taʿlīq script and bookpainter. 

  • ʿABD-AL-JABBĀR AZDĪ

    D. M. Dunlop

    Governor of Khorasan, executed in 142/759.

  • ʿABD-AL-JABBĀR B. AḤMAD

    W. Madelung

    prominent theologian of the late Muʿtazilite school (10th century).