ʿALĪ B. ASAD B. ḤĀREṮ (second half of the 5th/11th cent.), the amir of Badaḵšān to whom Nāṣer(-e) Ḵosrow dedicated his Jāmeʿ al-ḥekmatayn; his titles, as given by Nāṣer Ḵosrow, were ʿAyn-al-dawla wa’l-dīn, Abu’l-Maʿālī Malekzāda Zayn-al-mella, and Šams-al-dīn al-Aʿlā Faḵr-al-omma, or Šams-al-aʿālī Mawlā Amīr-al-moʾmenīn. The local dynasty held sway from soon after the Islamic conquests down to the Timurid period, claiming descent from Alexander the Great (The Book of Marco Polo, tr. H. Yule, London, 1875, vol. I, p. 157). ʿAlī’s reign can be placed around 462/1069, the year of the composition of the Jāmeʿ al-ḥekmatayn. According to Nāṣer Ḵosrow, he was forced by an incident into temporary exile, but later resumed the governorship; he showed the same concern for his religious as for his worldly responsibilities, and devoted time to studying theology, acquiring insights, and discovering truths (Jāmeʿ al-ḥekmatayn, pp. 16, 17, 18, 314). Nāṣer Ḵosrow quotes three short didactic poems by him (Jāmeʿ, pp. 16, 100, 315). When Abu’l-Hayṯam Gorgānī presented ʿAlī with an ode (qaṣīda) containing a number of questions, ʿAlī sent it to Nāṣer Ḵosrow with a request for answers and explanations, and Nāṣer Ḵosrow gave them in Jāmeʿ al-ḥekmatayn.
Nāṣer Ḵosrow, Jāmeʿ al-ḥekmatayn, ed. M. Moʿīn and H. Corbin, Tehran, 1332 Š./1953.
EI2 I, p. 852.
Originally Published: December 15, 1985
Last Updated: August 1, 2011
This article is available in print.
Vol. I, Fasc. 8, p. 848
ʿA. Ḥabībī, “ʿALĪ B. ASAD,” Encyclopædia Iranica, I/8, p. 848, available online at http://www.iranicaonline.org/articles/ali-b-asad (accessed on 30 December 2012).