ʿABDALLĀH B. EBRĀHĪM, called Mīrzā Solṭān ʿAbdallāh Šīrāzī, grandson of Tīmūr’s son Šāhroḵ, born 27 Raǰab 836/19 March 1433 in Shiraz of Mehr Solṭān Ḵātūn, daughter of Alūčehra. By Šāhroḵ’s command he succeeded his father in the government of Fārs at the latter’s death (4 Šavvāl 838/3 May 1435) under the regency of Shaikh Moḥebb-al-dīn Abu’l-Ḵayr. The latter kept him short of money and influence and was twice removed from office after complaints of the amirs of Shiraz, but reappointed (845/1441-42 and 850/1446, Maṭlaʿ al-saʿdayn II, pp. 756-59).
ʿAbdallāh’s cousin, Solṭān Moḥammad, tried to incorporate the province of Fārs into his dominion and besieged Shiraz in Ramażān 850/November-December 1446, but withdrew before the approach of Šāhroḵ’s army (Jaʿfar, cited by Barthold, tr. Hinz, ZDMG 90, p. 394). But after Šāhroḵ’s death (12 March 1447) he succeeded in defeating ʿAbdallāh’s army (851/1447). ʿAbdallāh, who fled to Eṣṭaḵr, was left free to choose his place of exile; taking advantage of a favor promised by Uluḡ Beg (in the days of his cordial and congenial relations with Ebrāhīm Solṭān), ʿAbdallāh went to Herat. Perhaps he had been promised the government of Khorasan (Maṭlaʿ al-saʿdayn II, pp. 898f.; Ḥasan Rūmlū, p. 267), but in the struggles of the Timurid princes for supremacy such a claim was not to be asserted. On the approach of Uluḡ Beg to Herat in 1448 to defend his succession to his father against other pretenders, ʿAbdallāh crossed over to him during battle at the Tarnāb. Uluḡ Beg sent him and his own son ʿAbd-al-Laṭīf as his representatives to Besṭām and Astarābād, but ʿAbdallāh rejoined him before his return to Transoxania and did not enter ʿAbd-al-Laṭīf’s plot against him. Though captured by ʿAbd-al-Laṭīf in the skirmishes between the armies of father and son in 1449, he was immediately set free. We do not know how he gained the confidence of influential court circles in Samarqand; but shortly after the murder of the parricide ʿAbd-al-Laṭīf himself (9 May 1450), the amirs elected ʿAbdallāh as successor. His main support seems (according to the list in Moʿezz al-ansāb, fol. 143a) to have come from traditional Turkish and Mongol chiefs in Samarqand, to whom the surviving grandsons of Šāhroḵ in Herat and Iran may have appeared too distant to be pretenders to the throne, but also from the šayḵ-al-eslām Borhān-al-dīn b. ʿEṣām-al-dīn (d. 1472), who left Samarqand before the accession of ʿAbdallāh’s successor, Abū Saʿīd.
According to his coinage, ʿAbdallāh claimed central power as khan of the traditional Chaghatay dominions; but he was apparently not recognized outside Transoxania, and some sources mention ʿAlāʾ-al-dawla, Abu’l-Qāsem Bābor, or even Abū Saʿīd, with more respect. The most serious opposition rose with the new pretender Abū Saʿīd, who was immediately set free from imprisonment in Bokhara after the murder of ʿAbd-al-Laṭīf, and behind whom stood a party of opponents against the liberal and enlightened court of Ebrāhīm Solṭān and Uluḡ Beg. Only once, in 854/1450, was ʿAbdallāh able to defend himself against troops of Abū Saʿīd, but when these occupied Yasī (Turkestan), his army withdrew for fear of a pretended incursion of Uzbegs . When the Uzbeg Khan Abu’l-Ḵayr joined Abū Saʿīd the following year, they easily defeated ʿAbdallāh’s army and put him to death near Samarqand on 22 Jomādā I 855/22 June 1451.
There seem to be no traces left of ʿAbdallāh’s rule in Transoxania. Barthold has suggested that it was he who erected the tombstone to Uluḡ Beg in the Gūr-e Mīr with an accusation of the parricide, but this monument may pertain to Abū Saʿīd’s reign (Barthold, Four Studies II, p. 163). There exists a short description of his court in Shiraz (Dawlatšāh, p. 350, Bābornāma, fol. 10a). He apparently had no offspring from his two marriages with daughters of Uluḡ Beg and Amir Ḵodāy-qolī.
Moʿezz al-ansāb, ms. Bibliothèque Nationale, pers. 67, fol. 143a.
ʿAbd-al-Razzāq Samarqandī, Maṭlaʿ al-saʿdayn (Lahore) II, pp. 756-59, 894-900, 938, 949, 985f., 1006, 1019-22.
Ḥabīb al-sīar (Tehran) III, pp. 621-25; IV, pp. 39-50, 104f.
Mīrḵᵛānd (Tehran) VI, pp. 771-78.
Ḥasan Rūmlū (Tehran), index. Asfezārī, Rawżāt al-ǰannāt, Tehran, 1339 Š./1960, II, pp. 123f., 138f., 168f.
Bābornāma, ed. A. Beveridge, GMS 1, Leiden and London, 1905, fol. 10a; tr. idem, London, 1921, pp. 20, 85.
Moḥammad Ḥaydar Doḡlāt, Tarikh-i Rashidi, tr. Elias and Ross, London, 1895, p. 83.
Qāżī Aḥmad Ḡaffārī, Tārīḵ-e ǰahānārā, Tehran, 1342 Š./1963, p. 233.
Dawlatšāh, ed. Browne, pp. 339, 350f., 380.
Vāʿeẓ Kāšefī Sabzavārī, Rašaḥāt ʿayn al-ḥayāt, Lucknow, 1890, pp. 288-90.
S. Lane-Pool, Catalogue of Oriental Coins in the British Museum VII, no. 111, X, no. 111b, c.
İ. and C. Artuk, İstanbul arkeoloji müzeleri teşhirdeki islâmî sikkeler kataloğu II, Istanbul, 1974, no. 2528.
W. W. Barthold, “Ulugh Beg,” Four Studies, tr. V. Minorsky, Leiden, 1956-62, II, pp. 163-65.
V. V. Bartol’d, “Novyĭ istochnik po istorii timuridov,” Sochineniya VIII, Moscow, 1973, pp. 558f.; tr. W. Hinz, “Quellenstudien,” ZDMG 90, 1936, pp. 392-94.
R. Grousset, L’empire des steppes, Paris, 1960, p. 541.
Istoriya Uzbekskoĭ SSR I, Tashkent, 1967, pp. 478ff.
O. D. Chekhovich, ed. Samarkandskie dokumenty XV-XVI vv., Moscow, 1974, p. 20.
R. M. Savory, “The Struggle for Supremacy in Persia after the Death of Timur,” Der Islam 40, 1965, p. 44. H. Roemer, “Timurlular,” İA.
(C. P. Haase)
Originally Published: December 15, 1982
Last Updated: July 15, 2011
This article is available in print.
Vol. I, Fasc. 2, pp. 180-181
C. P. Haase, “Abdallah B. Ebrahim,” Encyclopædia Iranica, I/2, pp. 180-181; an updated version is available online at http://www.iranicaonline.org/articles/abdallah-b-ebrahim-timurid-khan-k-1451 (accessed on 17 January 2014).