AḤMAD, NEẒĀM-AL-DIN b. Neẓām-al-Din Shaikh Maḥmud, vizier and amir under the Timurids (d. 912/1507). Both his maternal uncle, Ḵᵛāja Šams-al-Din Moḥammad b. Ḵᵛāja Sayyedi Aḥmad Širāzi, and his father, Mawlānā Neẓām-al-Din Shaikh Maḥmud, worked in the service of the Timurids. His father had served until his death as the vizier and counselor (mošir) of various governors in the province of Balḵ. When Badiʿ-al-Zamān b. Ḥosayn Mirzˊā Bayqara became governor of Balḵ, Aḥmad Neẓām-al-Din acquired the office of his vizier and deputy. In the year 903/1496, when Sultan Ḥosayn Mirzā put his rebellious son to flight at the battle of Pol-e čerāḡ, and then proceeded to Balḵ, Aḥmad Neẓām-al-Din was provided with a position at the Sultan’s court. He accompanied him to Herat to take up his duties, but after only a few days he resigned and returned to Balḵ. In the year 904/1498, Badiʿ-al-Zamān was again appointed as governor of Balḵ, and once again he appointed Aḥmad as his vizier, before subsequently promoting him to the rank of emir.

Aḥmad therefore wielded considerable influence in Balḵ for about five years, during which time he collaborated with the famous amir, ʿOmar Beg. In the argument between Badiʿ-al-Zamān Mirzā and his father Sultan Ḥosayn, ʿOmar Beg often sided with the latter. The consequent clash between Badiʿ-al-Zamān and ʿOmar Beg in 909/1503 resulted in his incarceration in the fortress of Šebarḡān (Širḡān). Since Aḥmad Neẓām al-Din was a close friend ofʿOmar Beg, his position also began to come under threat. However, he continued to work in Badiʿ-al-Zamān’s service, and was appointed governor of the province of Šebarḡān, where his just actions are reported to have earned him the respect of the local population.

When the Uzbeks began to lay siege to the fortress of Šebarḡān, Aḥmad managed at first to prevent a conquest by means of various ploys. However in the year 912/1506, he decided to give up Šebarḡān and flee from the advancing Uzbek leader Šaybāni Khan. Once the whole of Khorasan was subsequently conquered by the Uzbeks, Aḥmad offered his services to the newly-appointed governor of Balḵ, Qanbar Beg. Unfortunately, the latter remembered the resistance that Aḥmad had put up against the Uzbeks at Šebarḡān, and executed him.


Mirḵᵛānd, Rawżat al-ṣafā VII, Tehran 1339 Š./1960.

Ḵᵛāndamir, Ḥabib al-siar, ed. Homāʾi, Tehran 1333 Š./1954, IV, p. 300.

Dehḵodā, III, pp. 1468 ff.

(Erika Glassen)

Originally Published: July 20, 2002

Last Updated: July 28, 2011

Cite this entry:

Erika Glassen, “AḤMAD, NEẒĀM-AL-DIN,” Encyclopædia Iranica, online edition, 2012, available at http://www.iranicaonline.org/articles/ahmad-nezam-al-din (accessed on 16 October 2017).