BADĪʿ-AL-ZAMĀN MĪRZĀ, by most accounts the last of the Chaghatay/Timurid rulers of Badaḵšān. He was either the grandson (by a daughter) of Solaymān Mīrzā (or Solaymān Shah) (Baḥr, f. 70b; Selselat al-salāṭīn, f. 167a), who was a cousin of Bābor and a direct descendant of Tīmūr (Lowick, 1965, p. 222), or the grandson (az aḥfād-e) (again by a daughter) of Moḥammad Ḥakīm Mīrzā (Baḥr, f. 69a) and died or was killed on or about 12 Šawwāl 1011/25 March 1603.

Despite the expulsion of the Timurids from Transoxania and Khorasan during the first decade of the sixteenth century, Badaḵšān remained a stronghold of Chaghatay/Timurid sentiment until the early seventeenth century, first under Solaymān Mīrzā (920/1514-997/1589), then under another grandson and often rival, Šāhroḵ Mīrzā b. Ebrāhīm (r. 983/1575-992/1584) (Lowick, 1972, p. 285). In 992/1584, the Shaybanid khan, ʿAbd-Allāh (Khan) b. Eskandar took Badaḵšān and its chief city, Qondūz, from Šāhroḵ but sometime not long thereafter, the region was again in Timurid hands.

According to Tārīḵ-erāqemī (f. 202a), Badīʿ-al-Zamān Mīrzā seized Qondūz and Badaḵšān from Šāhroḵ and killed him (but according to Abu’l-Fażl ʿAllāmī, Akbar-nāma III, p. 423, cited by Lowick, 1972, p. 285, the latter died peacefully in 1016/1607). When the Toghay-Timurids succeeded the Shaybanids in Transoxiana and Balḵ during 1007-09/1599-1601, Badīʿ-al-Zamān Mīrzā at first accepted their sovereignty but then in 1011/1603, while the Toghay-Timurids were coping with a Safavid invasion of Balḵ led by Shah ʿAbbās, he opened negotiations with Shah Jahāngīr (Baḥr, f. 69a). After the Safavid defeat and withdrawal (and apparent inconclusive outcome of the negotiations with Jahāngīr), Badīʿ-al-Zamān Mīrzā was forced to confront a Toghay-Timurid army alone and was killed shortly after his fortress at Qondūz fell (Baḥr, f. 70b; Tārīḵ-erāqemī, f. 202a; Selselat al-salāṭīn, f. 167a).

There is some evidence that Badīʿ-al-Zamān Mīrzā was not the last Timurid and that the strength of Badaḵšāni loyalty to that dynasty had not waned. According to one source, the Toghay-Timurid army leader named another Timurid, Mīrzā Moḥammad Zamān, a son of Šāhroḵ, to govern Badaḵšān. He survived about one year and then was killed by a Shaybanid pretender seeking refuge after defeat at the hands of the Toghay-Timurids (Selselat al-salāṭīn; Tārīḵ-erāqemī, loc. cit.).



N. S. Lowick, “Coins of Sulaiman Mirza of Badakhshan,” Numismatic Chronicle, Ser. 7, 5, 1965, pp. 221-29.

Idem, “More on Sulaiman Mirza and his Contemporaries,” ibid., 12, 1972.

Maḥmūd b. Amīr Wālī, Baḥr al-asrār fī manāqeb al-aḵyār, ms., India Office Library, no. 575.

Mollā Šaraf-al-Dīn b. Nūr-al-Dīn Andejānī, Tārīḵ-erāqemī, ms., Royal Asiatic Society, no. 166.

Ḥājī Mīr Moḥammad Salīm, Selselat al-salāṭīn, ms., Bodleian Library. no. 169.

Search terms:

بدیع الزمان میرزا badi al zaman mirza baadi al zamaan mirza bade al zaman merza

(R. D. McChesney)

Originally Published: December 15, 1988

Last Updated: August 22, 2011

This article is available in print.
Vol. III, Fasc. 4, p. 379