AḤMAD B. ASAD B. SĀMĀN ḴODĀ (d. 250/864), early member of the Samanid family and governor of Farḡāna under the ʿAbbasids and Taherids. Ca. 204/819-20 Aḥmad and his three brothers (Nūḥ, Yaḥyā, and Elyās) were made subordinate governors of various cities of the east by Ḡassān b. ʿAbbād, the caliph Maʾmūn’s governor of Khorasan, as a reward for their part in suppressing Rāfeʿ b. Layṯ’s revolt in Samarqand. Aḥmad was allotted Farḡāna (Naršaḵī, tr. R. N. Frye, The History of Bukhara, Cambridge, Mass., 1954, p. 76, erroneously has Marv, pace such authorities as Ebn al-Aṯīr and Gardīzī). The Samanids were thus set upon the way to becoming hereditary rulers in Transoxania. Nothing is known about the internal rule of Aḥmad in Farḡāna. When Nūḥ died in 227/842, Aḥmad became the senior member of the family; and in 241/855-56 after Yaḥyā’s death he also took over Šāš; he himself remained in Farḡāna but sent his son Naṣr to rule in Samarqand. After Aḥmad’s death in 250/864, his sons Naṣr and Esmāʿīl became successive rulers in Transoxania, where they consolidated their power so that eventually Esmāʿīl was able to succeed to the heritage of the Taherids in Khorasan.


Ebn al-Aṯīr, VII, pp. 279-80.

Gardīzī, ed. Ḥabībī, pp. 145-47.

Naršaḵī, pp. 104-06.

Barthold, Turkestan3, pp. 209-10.

R. N. Frye, “The Samanids,” in Camb Hist. Iran IV, pp. 136-37.

Bosworth, The Islamic Dynasties, Edinburgh, 1967, p. 101.

(C. E. Bosworth)

Originally Published: December 15, 1984

Last Updated: July 28, 2011

This article is available in print.
Vol. I, Fasc. 6, p. 639

Cite this entry:

C. E. Bosworth, “AḤMAD B. ASAD,” Encyclopædia Iranica, I/6, p. 639; an updated version is available online at http://www.iranicaonline.org/articles/ahmad-b-2 (accessed on 16 March 2014).