ABU’L-RAYYĀN EṢFAHĀNĪ, AḤMAD B. MOḤAMMAD, Buyid vizier. Of unknown origin, Abu’l-Rayyān had been lieutenant in Baghdad of Moṭahhar b. ʿAbdallāh and the Christian Naṣr b. Hārūn, both viziers of ʿAżod-al-dawla. They had chosen him less for reasons of exceptional qualities than for his long experience in numerous positions. When ʿAżod-al-dawla died in the beginning of 375/985, Abu’l-Rayyān was temporarily imprisoned, then named the single vizier of the new amir, Ṣamṣām-al-dawla. Besides the liberation of Abū Esḥāq Ṣābī, the single salient feature of his vizierate was an attempt to negotiate with the Qarmaṭīs, and then a subsequent attack on them; but in only the seventh month of his vizierate, he was arrested and executed (end of 375/986) as a consequence of the intrigues of the queen-mother. The amir who shortly after replaced Ṣamṣām, Šaraf-al-dawla, had his corpse exhumed and buried honorably. Abu’l-Rayyān’s son, ʿAlī (354-482/965 to 1036-37), was lieutenant of the vizierate in Wāseṭ in 388/998 and was praised by the ʿAlid leader Rāżī and by Ebn Nobāta.


Ebn Meskawayh, Taǰāreb II, pp. 410-16.

Rūḏrāwarī, Ḏayl ketāb taǰāreb al-omam, ed. in Margoliouth and Amedroz, Eclipse III, pp. 24, 39, 78, 107-09, 118, 134.

Ebn al-Aṯīr, IX, pp. 102, 310.

Büsse, Chalif und Grosskönig, p. 240 and index.

(C. Cahen)

Originally Published: December 15, 1983

Last Updated: July 21, 2011

This article is available in print.
Vol. I, Fasc. 4, p. 368

Cite this entry:

C. Cahen, “ABU’L-RAYYĀN EṢFAHĀNĪ,” Encyclopædia Iranica, I/4, p. 368; an updated version is available online at http://www.iranicaonline.org/articles/abul-rayyan-esfahani-ahmad-b (accessed on 2 February 2014).