ABŪ BAKR B. SAʿD B. ZANGĪ B. MAWDŪD, also known as MOẒAFFAR-AL-DĪN QUTLUḠ KHAN, 623-58/1226-60, member of the Salghurid dynasty, atabeg of Fārs. He rebelled against his father, Saʿd I, during the latter’s disputes with two princes of the Khwarazmian royal house and was cast into prison. Shortly before his father’s death, however, he was set free and thereafter took up the reigns of government. His father had finally acknowledged the suzerainty of the Ḵᵛārazmšāh Jalāl-al-dīn Mängübirdī, who was fleeing from the Mongols. But Abū Bakr immediately dispatched his brother (or perhaps nephew) Tahamtan to the Great Khan Ögädäy and voluntary acknowledged him as overlord. In consequence the land was spared any devastating struggle against the mighty conquerors. The difficulties which this policy created for Abū Bakr when the Ḵᵛārazmšāh Jalāl-al-dīn marched through his territory toward the Indus were short-lived (the shah met defeat on the banks of the Indus). Abū Bakr had to pay tribute to the Mongols and endure the presence of a Mongolian governor (šeḥna), but the latter had scarcely any contact with the populace.

Abū Bakr surrounded himself with scholars and artists and showed a keen interest in learning. The poet Moṣleḥ-al-dīn Saʿdī (1184[?]-1291) lived at his court. He built various mosques, madrasas, and other edifices and issued a series of tax laws to make it easier for him to raise the tribute for the Mongols. These laws also enabled him to expand the army. Furthermore he endeavored to carry out a redistribution of wealth, though this task had in part to be abandoned. His supporters in all these efforts were his ministers Moḡreb-al-dīn Mofāḵer Masʿūd and Amīr Faḵr-al-dīn Abū Bakr. The supreme judge was Jamāl-al-dīn Abū Bakr Meṣrī, who had just recently entered Abū Bakr’s domains. These counselors were supported by an extensive bureaucracy whose reports were daily laid before the atabeg.

Except during an insurrection by Prince Salḡur Shah Qarāndāš Khan b. Saʿd (probably his brother), who was overthrown and poisoned, Abū Bakr was free to deploy his military power against foreign enemies. On 4 Moḥarram 628/12 November 1230, he conquered the island of Kīš (Qays), where he could watch over the trade between the Persian Gulf and India and impose dues on it. The ḵoṭba was read in his name on the island. In Ḏu’l-ḥeǰǰa, 633/August, 1236, Abū Bakr attached the islands of Baḥrayn, which were officially under the rule of the caliph. This led to long drawn-out campaigns against the Arab inhabitants. Not until the spring of 641/1244 was Ṭārūt on Qaṭīf island captured, but the struggle continued even after the execution of the local shaikh. Several attempts to reach a peace agreement failed. In 654/1256-57 Abū Bakr managed to install two reliable amirs of his own choosing.

After Hülägü had overrun northern Persia and occupied Baghdad, Abū Bakr sent his son (and subsequent successor) Saʿd (II) to the new Mongol ruler and thereby reaffirmed his vassalage. But Abū Bakr died on 5 Jomādā II/18 May 1260, before Saʿd had returned from his mission.


Waṣṣāf, lith. Bombay, 1269/1852-53, pp. 155-79 (the principal source).

Jovaynī, I, p. 189.

Jūzǰānī, Ṭabaqāt tr. Raverty, repr. London, 1970, I, p. 180.

Rašīd-al-dīn Fażlallāh, Jāmeʿ al-tawārīḵ, ed. E. Blochet, Leiden and London, 1912, II, pp. 54, 262.

Tārīḵ-e gozīda I, p. 507.

Ebn Zarkūb Šīrāzī, Šīrāz-nāma, ed. B. Karīmī, Tehran, 1350/1931-32, pp. 55-61.

Mirkᵛānd, The History of the Atabeks of Syria and Persia, ed. W. H. Morley, London, 1848, pp. 33-38.

Spuler, Mongolen3, pp. 140-42.

Zambaur, p. 232.

E. Mercil, Fars atabegleri salgurlular, Ankara, 1975, pp. 85-98.

(B. Spuler)

Originally Published: December 15, 1983

Last Updated: July 19, 2011

This article is available in print.
Vol. I, Fasc. 3, p. 261

Cite this entry:

B. Spuler, “ABŪ BAKR B. SAʿD,” Encyclopædia Iranica, I/3, p. 261; an updated version is available online at http://www.iranicaonline.org/articles/abu-bakr-b-3 (accessed on 30 January 2014).