ḴĀTUNĀBĀDI, MIR ʿABD-AL-ḤOSAYN (b. Isfahan, 8 Šaʿbān 1038/23 March 1630; d. Isfahan, Rajab 1105/March 1694), 17th-century Persian historian.

Life.  ʿAbd-al-Ḥosayn Ḵātunābādi was born into a family of sayyed notables.  His forebears claimed descent from the fourth Shiʿi imam Zayn-al-ʿĀbedin ʿAli b. Ḥosayn, and his father, Moḥammad-Bāqer (d. 1060/1650), an expert in Hadith scholarship, held a teaching post in Isfahan (Ḵātunābādi, p. 517).  The family was originally from Qom, where Ḵātunābādi’s ancestors were hereditary holders of the office of naqib or head of sayyed families. Ḵātunābādi’s paternal great-grandfather, Mir ʿEmād-al-Din Moḥammad, also known as Šāhmorād, left Qom for Isfahan in the 16th century, where he settled down together with his family in Ḵātunābād, a small village a few miles east of the city (Gazi, p. 218, note 107; Mahdawi, p. 90).  ʿAbd-al-Ḥosayn’s younger brother, Mir Moḥammad-Esmāʿil was very close to Shah Solṭān-Ḥosayn (r. 1105-35/1694-1722), and after his death and burial in 1116/1704, the Safavid ruler spent funds on the construction of a mausoleum and a convent (takia) on the site of his tomb in the Taḵt-e Pulād cemetery in Isfahan (Mahdawi, p. 91).

Ḵātunābādi completed his studies in Isfahan.  He did his primary studies with his father, Moḥammad-Bāqer, and later attended the lectures of Mollā Reżā-qoli (d. 1072/1661-62), the prayer imam (pišnamāz) of Isfahan, at the Šāh congregational mosque.  Ḵātunābādi also studied with Mollā Moḥammad-Bāqer Sabzevāri, who, under Shah ʿAbbās II (1052-77/1642-66), held office as ḵaṭib or court preacher (Ḵātunābādi, p. 524).  According to a genealogical account from 1139/1726-27, which is penned by Ḵātunābādi’s grandson, ʿAbd al-Kāẓem, Moḥammad-Taqi Majlesi (d. 1070/1659-60) had taught him in Isfahan and issued an ejāza (license, authorization) in his name in 1069/1658 (Āqā Bozorg Ṭehrāni, 1983, IV, no. 778, p. 159, XXV, no. 738, p. 128; idem, 2009, IX, p. 419).  Ḵātunābādi was survived by his three sons, Moḥammad-Jaʿfar (d. 1100/1688-89), Moḥammad Ḥosayn (d. 1139/1726-27), and Moḥammad Maʿṣum (Āqā Bozorg Ṭehrāni, 2009, IX, p. 419).

Work.  Ḵātunābādi’s chronicle, the Waqāyeʿ al-senin wa’l-aʿwām is a universal history in Persian written in 1099/1687-88 and structured into three parts (maqṣads).  In the first part, Ḵātunābādi focuses on world history from Adam up until the birth of the Prophet Moḥammad.  The second part is devoted to the life and career of the Prophet Moḥammad, while in the third part, which consists of eleven chapters (faṣl) each dealing with one hejri century, he writes a universal history based on almost all major chronicles of Islam and Iran in Arabic and Persian.  In the opening pages of the Waqāyeʿ al-senin, he calls his work rather modestly “a collection containing the dates of birth and death of notables, famous figures, and worthies of the time from the outset of the Prophet Adam’s creation up until the hejri year 1099, which is the year in which this notes are written down” (Ḵātunābādi, p. 2).

The real value of Ḵātunābādi’s chronicle lies in its coverage of the dynastic phase of Safavid history during the 16th and 17th centuries.  Under each year, he gives a brief account of major events in Safavid Iran and its neighboring lands, including deaths, appointments, promotions, the movements of royal court, battles and military activities, and diplomatic relations.  In dealing with the biographies of Twelver Shiʿi religious dignitaries, the Waqāyeʿ al-senin provides valuable information regarding their family background, dates, and careers.  Important historical details can also be found in Ḵātunābādi’s chronicle concerning the long reign of Shah Ṭahmāsp (930-84/1524-76), including a separate section on the sayyed notables in service of the Safavid bureaucracy during the last two-thirds of the 16th century (Ḵātunābādi, pp. 488-90). Events in Mughal India as well have attracted much notice in his writings.  For the most part, Ḵātunābādi relies on and recycles the contents of Abu’l-Fażl ʿAllāmi’s Akbar-nāma as well as Ḥasan Beg Rumlu’s Aḥsan al-tawāriḵ and Eskandar Beg’s Tāriḵ-e ʿālamārā-ye ʿabbāsi.

Ḵātunābādi’s narrative in the Waqāyeʿ al-senin ends sub anno 1105/1693-94, the year in which he passed away.  Yet his younger brother, Mir Moḥammad Esmāʿil and his descendants continued it up until the closing quarter of the 18th century.  The last event recorded in this chronicle details a major earthquake in Tabriz, which took place on the night of Tuesday 29 Ḏu’l-ḥejja 1193/7 January 1780.  Starting with the year 1100/1688-89, these later additions constitute the twelfth chapter of the Waqāyeʿ al-senin and revolve for the most part around the lives and careers of prominent Twelver Shiʿi clerics and sayyeds active in the 18th century.  The final draft of Ḵātunābādi’s chronicle was prepared in 1199/1785 in Isfahan.


Āqā Bozorg Ṭehrāni, al-Ḏariʿa elā taṣānif al-Šiʿa, 25 vols. in 29, Beirut, 1983. 

Idem, Ṭabaqāt aʿlām al-Šiʿa, ed. Moḥammad Ṭabāṭabāʾi Behbahāni, 17 vols., Beirut, 2009. 

ʿAbbās Eqbāl, “Ketāb-e Waqāyeʿ al-senin wa’l-aʿwām: Eṭṭelāʿāt-i dar bāb-e tāriḵ-e Madrasa-ye Čahār Bāḡ,” Yādgār 3/3, 1946, pp. 55-8. 

ʿAbd-al-Karim Gazi, Rejāl-e Eṣfahān yā Taḏkerat al-qobur, ed. Moṣleḥ-al-Din Mahdawi, Isfahan, 1949.

ʿAbd-al-Ḥosayn Ḵātunābādi, Waqāyeʿ al-senin wa’l-aʿwām, ed. Moḥammad-Bāqer Behdudi, Tehran, 1973.

Moṣleḥ-al-Din Mahdawi, Taḏkerat al-qobur yā dānešmandān wa bozorgān-e Eṣfahān, Isfahan, 1969.

C. A. Storey and Yuri E. Bregel, Persidskaya literatura: Bio-bibliograficheskiĭ obzor, 3 vols., Moscow, 1972.

(Kioumars Ghereghlou)

Originally Published: August 7, 2017

Last Updated: August 29, 2017

Cite this entry:

Kioumars Ghereghlou, “ḴĀTUNĀBĀDI, MIR ʿABD-AL-ḤOSAYN,” Encyclopædia Iranica, online edition, 2017, available at http://www.iranicaonline.org/articles/khatunabadi-mir-abdalhosayn (accessed on 08 August 2017).