ABU’L-ḤASAN KHAN MOJTAHED, MĪRZĀ (1121-1279/1806-63), member of a prominent family of Shiraz who led a turbulent life alternating between government service and the cultivation of religious knowledge in a manner unusual in Qajar Iran. His father, Mīrzā Moḥammad Hādī Fasāʾī, had married the daughter of Ḥosayn ʿAlī Mīrzā Farmānfarmā, so that Abu’l-Ḥasan grew up in affluence and enjoyed the protection of Farmānfarmā. Although this encouraged him in the practice of debauchery, he showed early signs of interest in religious sciences. In 1247/1831, his grandfather appointed him governor of Fasā. Shortly after his arrival in the town, he was besieged in the citadel by rebels, who were soon defeated by loyal forces. Discouraged, however, by this experience and still more by the death, soon after, of his grandfather, he abandoned government service to devote himself to studying the religious sciences with various teachers in Shiraz—feqh and oṣūl with his paternal uncle, Ḥāǰǰī Mīrzā Ebrāhīm, known as raʾīs al-moǰtahedīn, and Ḥāǰǰī Mīrzā Jawād Šīrāzī, and ḥekmat with Āḵᵛond Mollā Moḥammad Taqī Ḵorāsānī. After a period of further study first in the ʿatabāt and then in Isfahan, he returned to Shiraz to begin teaching. On the death of Ḥāǰǰī Mīrzā Ebrāhīm, he assumed the administration of the awqāf of the Madrasa-ye Manṣūrīya that had formerly been held by his uncle. In 1263/1847 the intrigues of a certain Āḵᵛond Mollā Moḥammad Rūnīzī caused an edict to be issued that deprived him of the awqāf and ordered him to pay compensation to a rival claimant, Mīrzā ʿAlī. He thereupon fled to Eṣṭahbānāt, taking refuge in the house of a butcher until an amicable division of the awqāf between the two claimants was worked out by a local mollā. In 1272/1855 Abu’l-Ḥasan was again appointed governor of Fasā, but he delegated the post to his servant, Mīrzā ʿAbd-al-Razzāq, and continued to shun further government service until his death in 1279/1863. He wrote several glosses and commentaries, including one on the Taǰrīd of Naṣīr-al-dīn Ṭūsī. None of the five sons he left behind appears to have distinguished himself.

Bibliography: Fasāʾī, II, pp. 34-35.

(H. Algar)

Originally Published: December 15, 1983

Last Updated: July 21, 2011

This article is available in print.
Vol. I, Fasc. 3, pp. 310-311

Cite this entry:

H. Algar, “ABU’L-ḤASAN KHAN MOJTAHED,” Encyclopaedia Iranica, Online Edition, 1982, available at http://www.iranicaonline.org/articles/abul-hasan-khan-mojtahed