ʿALĪ-MORĀD KHAN ZAND (r. 1195-99/1781-85), fourth of the Zand rulers. After the death of ʿAlī-Morād’s father, Qayṭas Khan of the Hazāra clan of the Zands, his mother (a sister of Zakī Khan) married Ṣādeq Khan of the Bagala clan; ʿAlī-Morād was thus nephew to Zakī and to Ṣādeq and his brother Karīm Khan the Wakīl, and half-brother to Ṣādeq’s son Jaʿfar, his own successor. On the Wakīl’s death in 1193/1779, ʿAlī-Morād helped Zakī secure power in the name of Karīm Khan’s second son, Moḥammad-ʿAlī. Zakī then dispatched him with his best troops in pursuit of Āḡā Moḥammad Qāǰār, who had fled from Shiraz to Māzandarān. At Isfahan he rebelled in the name of Abu’l-Fatḥ, the Wakīl’s eldest son deposed by Zakī; and, on his way to quell this threat, Zakī was killed in a mutiny. When Abu’l-Fatḥ was acclaimed by the mutineers, ʿAlī-Morād returned to Tehran to campaign against the Qajars. Ṣādeq Khan seized this chance to march on Shiraz and take over the government; ʿAlī-Morād defeated Ṣādeq’s son, ʿAlī-Naqī, secured Isfahan, and early in 1195/1781 reduced Shiraz after an eight-month siege. Ṣādeq and all his adult sons except Jaʿfar were butchered, and Abu’l-Fatḥ was blinded (though Kalāntar, Rūz-nāma, p. 81, and Malcolm, History II, p. 162, state that Ṣādeq had already blinded him). ʿAlī-Morād returned to rule from Isfahan, the better to confront the Qajar menace, sending Jaʿfar to quell a revolt in Ḵamsa province. In 1187/1792 the bulk of his army, under the command of his son, Shaikh Oways Khan, drove the Qajars back from Sari to Astarābād; but his pursuit force was trapped and annihilated in the Alborz defiles. Panic affected the main army, and the troops fell back on Tehran. The enraged ʿAlī-Morād killed several officers who had fled and, though already ill, prepared another force. Jaʿfar Khan took advantage of this setback to rebel and march on Isfahan. Against his physicians’ advice, ʿAlī-Morād hastened back in midwinter to defend his capital, but died at Moṛča-ḵᵛort in Rabīʿ I, 1199/February, 1785. His army dispersed, and Jaʿfar Khan seized Isfahan and the government.

ʿAlī-Morād was blind in one eye and is characterized as a heavy drinker. His generalship, however, was highly respected by Āḡā Moḥammad Qāǰār. His brief reign marks the turning point of Zand fortunes; they were never again to exercise authority north of Isfahan. As part of his attempt to stem Qajar expansion, ʿAlī-Morād had offered to cede to Russia the provinces north of the Aras claimed by Iran, in return for recognition and support; but he died before negotiations could be completed (Comte L. F. Ferrières de Sauveboeuf, Mémoires II, Maastricht, 1790, pp. 202-03).


Abu’l-Ḥasan Ḡaffārī, Golšan-e morād, British Library Ms. Or. 3592, pp. 253-416.

Moḥammad Ṣādeq Nāmī, Tārīḵ-egītīgošāy, ed.

S. Nafīsī, Tehran, 1317 Š./1938, pp. 291-375.

Mīrzā Moḥammad Kalāntar, Rūz-nāma, ed.

ʿA. Eqbāl, Tehran, 1325 Š./1946, pp. 81-86.

J. Malcolm, The History of Persia II, London, 1815, pp. 164-69.

J. R. Perry, Karim Khan Zand, Chicago, 1979, pp. 297-98 and passim.

(J. R. Perry)

Originally Published: December 15, 1985

Last Updated: August 2, 2011

This article is available in print.
Vol. I, Fasc. 8, p. 869

Cite this entry:

J. R. Perry, “ʿALĪ-MORĀD KHAN ZAND,” Encyclopædia Iranica, I/8, p. 869, available online at http://www.iranicaonline.org/articles/ali-morad-khan-zand-r (accessed on 30 December 2012).