ʿALĪ B. ʿOBAYDALLĀH ṢĀDEQ, ABU’L ḤASAN, called by Bayhaqī and Ebn Bābā Qāšānī ʿALĪ DĀYA (probably <day “maternal uncle,” bestowed by the ruler on a servant as a term of endearment or special confidence), Ghaznavid military commander under Sultan Masʿūd I b. Maḥmūd. The form of his name indicates a Tajik origin rather than a Turkish one, but nothing is known of his early career, which must have begun under Sultan Maḥmūd. It may be that he was one of the commanders who abandoned Moḥammad for Masʿūd’s side during the succession struggle of 421/1030; but the use of the simple name ʿAlī or ʿAlī Ḥāǰeb in the sources normally refers to ʿAlī b. Il-Arslan Qarīb. ʿAlī Dāya makes frequent appearances in the pages of Bayhaqī’s history. Although in the early part of the reign ʿAlī Qarīb spoke contemptuously of him as one of the group of feeble commanders who were “neither women nor men” (Bayhaqī, p. 53), when ʿAlī Qarīb, the Amir Yūsof b. Sebüktigin and other commanders were removed from office, ʿAlī Dāya became commander-in-chief of the army in Khorasan in place of the disgraced Astïḡtigin Ḡāzī, having the approval of the vizier Maymandī (1 Jomādā I 423/15 April 1032). He was then dispatched westwards with 4,000 cavalrymen (ibid., p. 342). During these years, the great poet Manūčehrī addressed at least one ode to him (Dīvān, ed. M. Dabīrsīāqī, Tehran, 1338 Š./1959, pp. 62-66, no. 30; see also p. 329). ʿAlī Dāya’s military efforts were, however, useless against the Saljuqs and their Oḡuz followers in Khorasan. He fought at the battle of Dandānqān when the Ghaznavid forces were decisively defeated and inevitably shared in the obloquy heaped on his commanders by Masʿūd. Together with Sübāšī, Begtoḡdī, and others he was seized (18 Ḏu’l-qaʿda 431/31 July 1040), made to disgorge large sums of money, and eventually, according to Gardīzī (ed. Nazim, p. 108, ed. Ḥabībī, p. 203), imprisoned in an Indian fortress, where he soon died.


See also Bayhaqī, passim (the main primary source).

R. Gelpke, Sulṭān Masʿūd I. von Ġazna. Die drei ersten Jahre seiner Herrschaft (421/1030-424/1033), Munich, 1937, pp. 86, 129.

Bosworth, Later Ghaznavids, pp. 21, 139, 148, 153 (includes a tr. of the work by Ebn Bābā mentioned above).


(C. E. Bosworth)

Originally Published: December 15, 1985

Last Updated: August 1, 2011

This article is available in print.
Vol. I, Fasc. 8, p. 853

Cite this entry:

C. E. Bosworth, “ʿALĪ B. ʿOBAYDALLĀH ṢĀDEQ,” Encyclopaedia Iranica, I/8, p. 853, available online at http://www.iranicaonline.org/articles/ali-b-obayd (accessed on 30 December 2012).