ʿALĀʾ-AL-DĪN MOḤAMMAD, naqīb of Isfahan in the Timurid period and ancestor of prominent religious-legal dignitaries of the Safavid period. On his mother’s side he was related to the Golestāna sayyeds. In the reign of Šāhroḵ (807-50/1405-47), son of Tīmūr, the officials of the Isfahan administration were unable to pay the sums due to the state treasury at Herat. ʿAlāʾ-al-dīn Moḥammad sided with them and, together with some other notables, backed a move for annexation of Isfahan to the domain of Šāhroḵ’s grandson, Moḥammad Solṭān, who had rebelled (Ṣafar, 850/May, 1446). After entering the city, Moḥammad Solṭān honored the notables and singled out the naqīb by choosing him as a special adviser and making him the richest landowner in ʿErāq-e ʿAǰam. Later in the same year, however, while Moḥammad Solṭān was away besieging Šīrāz, Šāhroḵ recaptured Isfahan. He took the leading notables, who were suspected of Shiʿite leanings, with him to Sāva and on 16 Ramażān 850/5 December 1446 had some of them, including ʿAlāʾ-al-dīn Moḥammad and Afżal-al-dīn Torka, executed outside its gates. Others, among them the naqīb’s brother, Qewām-al-dīn Ḥosayn, were spared. After Šāhroḵ’s death on 25 Ḏu’l-ḥeǰǰa 850/13 March 1447, Moḥammad Solṭān sallied forth from his refuge in Lorestān and again made himself the master of ʿErāq-e ʿAǰam. On his orders, ʿAlāʾ-al-dīn’s remains were brought to Isfahan, and a mausoleum for them, called the Boqʿa-ye Šahšahān after his title, was erected in the Dardašt ward beside the square of the ḥosaynīya which had been built with the naqīb’s patronage. Moḥammad Solṭān also assigned the income of certain villages near Isfahan for the upkeep of the mausoleum by making them an endowment under the administration of ʿAlāʾ-al-dīn Moḥammad’s descendants. The first administrator (motawallī) was his son Qoṭb-al-dīn Moḥammad (J. Aubin, “Note sur quelques documents Āqā-Qoyunlu,” Mélanges Louis Massignon I, Damascus, 1956, pp. 133-47). The family managed to retain control of these properties through all the military and political conflicts of the following decades. Their rights were still recognized when the Safavid regime was at its height. The office of naqīb of Isfahan likewise remained firmly in the hands of ʿAlāʾ-al-dīn Moḥammad’s descendants. The Boqʿa-ye Šahšahānī has survived and was repaired by its custodian, Ḥāǰǰī Sayyed Ḥosayn Šahšahānī (d. 1340 Š./1961), and his brother Ḥāǰǰ Sayyed Mortażā (Honarfar, Eṣfahān, p. 336).


Abū Bakr Ṭehrānī, Ketāb-e Dīārbakrīya, ed. N. Lugal and F. Sümer, Ankara, 1962-64, pp. 285-93.

Aḥmad b. Ḥosayn Kāteb, Tārīḵ-eǰadīd-e Yazd, ed. Ī. Afšār, Tehran, 1345 Š./1966, pp. 235, 242.

ʿAbd-al-Karīm b. Mahdī Jazī, Reǰāl-e Eṣfahān, 2nd ed., Isfahan(?), 1328 Š./1949, pp. 188-91.

R. Quiring-Zoche, Isfahan im 15. und 16. Jahrhundert, Freiburg, 1980, pp. 34-38, 172, 210ff.

(R. Quiring-Zoche)

Originally Published: December 15, 1984

Last Updated: July 29, 2011

This article is available in print.
Vol. I, Fasc. 7, pp. 779-780

Cite this entry:

R. Quiring-Zoche, “ʿALĀʾ-AL-DĪN MOḤAMMAD,” Encyclopædia Iranica, I/7, pp. 779-780; an updated version is available online at http://www.iranicaonline.org/articles/ala-al-din-mohammad-naqib-of-isfahan (accessed on 15 May 2014).