BESṬĀMĪ (Basṭāmī), SHAIKH ŠEHĀB-AL-­DĪN (d. 807/1405), a Sufi shaikh of Herat during the Timurid period. He began his career as an ʿālem, studying Hadith with Qoṭb-al-Dīn Yaḥyā Jāmī and feqh with Sayyed Jalāl-al-Dīn Kermānī. He then turned to asceticism, and soon became renowned for his piety. Numerous followers attached themselves to him as moršed, and two ḵānaqāhs were built for him, one by the wife of Malek Moʿezz-al-Dīn Ḥosayn of the local Kort dynasty, in the Ḵīābān area of Herat, and the other by the wife of Mīrānšāh, the Timurid, near the bāzār of Herat. Besṭāmī is said never to have deigned to set foot in either ḵānaqāh, nor even to have glanced in its direction when passing by. Likewise, when Ḵᵛāja Maḥmūd Šehāb, the minister of Tīmūr, constructed a madrasa for his use, he never consented to teach there, although he did appoint teachers to take his place. Despite Besṭāmī’s disdain for rulers, he is said to have been respected by Tīmūr, who once accepted his intercession on behalf of the people of Herat. When he died in 807/1405, soon after Tīmūr, he was buried close to the tomb of Faḵr-al-Dīn Rāzī. His son, Mawlānā Ṣafī-Allāh (d. 838/1434), inherited Besṭāmī’s influence and became Šayḵ-al-Eslām of Herat.



Aṣīl-al-Dīn Wāʿeẓ Heravī, Resāla-ye mazārāt-e Herāt, ed. Fekrī Saljūqī, Kabul, 1346 Š./1967, pp. 74-76.

(Hamid Algar)

Originally Published: December 15, 1989

Last Updated: December 15, 1989

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Vol. IV, Fasc. 2, p. 186