AKBAR KHAN ZAND (d. 1196/1782), youngest son of Zakī Khan Zand. Cruel and ambitious, Akbar never rose to primacy, but he played an active and violent role in the internecine power struggle that followed the death of Karīm Khan Zand in 1193/1779. Zakī Khan, who first seized power, left Akbar in charge of Šīrāz while he advanced against the rebellious ʿAlī Morād Khan Zand. Zakī was killed on the way, and his protégé Fatḥ-ʿAlī Khan (son of Karīm Khan) returned to Šīrāz as ruler and placed Akbar under arrest. During the subsequent rule of Ṣādeq Khan Zand, Akbar escaped and joined ʿAlī-Morād Khan, who in summer 1195/1781 laid siege to Šīrāz. On 18 Rabīʿ I 1196/2 March 1782, Akbar Khan gained control of the Bāḡ-e Šāh Gate and led his men in to capture the city. Ṣādeq Khan and his family took refuge in the citadel (arg), but two days later Akbar lured them out under promise of safe conduct, and on ʿAlī-Morād Khan’s orders blinded Ṣādeq (whom he later killed) and his sons (except for Jaʿfar, who had earlier made terms) and the surviving sons of Karīm Khan, Abu’l-Fatḥ and Moḥammad-ʿAlī (according to other accounts, e.g., Kalāntar, Rūz-nāma, p. 81, and Malcolm, II, p. 162, these last had already been blinded by Ṣādeq). ʿAlī-Morād, however, soon became suspicious of his able lieutenant’s ambitions, and encouraged Jaʿfar Khan to avenge his father and brothers by blinding and killing Akbar Khan. Akbar’s son Rostam Khan and a few other Zands continued to resist the Qajars into the reign of Fatḥ-ʿAlī Shah; in 1212/1797-98 they seized Isfahan, but soon after were captured, blinded and imprisoned (Reżā-qolī Khan Hedāyat, Rawżat al-ṣafāʾ IX, pp. 331, 352). 


Nāmī, Tārīḵ-egītīgošā, ed. S. Nafīsī, Tehran, 1317 Š./1938, pp. 236-37, 242-43.

Mīrzā Moḥammad Kalāntar, Rūz-nāma, ed. ʿA. Eqbāl, Tehran, 1325 Š./1946.

Golestāna, Moǰmal al-tawārīḵ, ed. Modarres Rażawī, Tehran, 1344 Š./1965, pp. 348, 492 (Kūhmarraʾī’s supp.).

Malcolm, The History of Persia, London, 1815, II, p. 166.

(J. R. Perry)

Originally Published: December 15, 1984

Last Updated: July 29, 2011

This article is available in print.
Vol. I, Fasc. 7, pp. 713-714

Cite this entry:

J. R. Perry, “AKBAR KHAN ZAND,” Encyclopædia Iranica, I/7, pp. 713-714; an updated version is available online at http://www.iranicaonline.org/articles/akbar-khan-zand-d (accessed on 25 April 2014).