ČERĀḠ KHAN ZĀHEDĪ b. Shaikh Šarīf, a descendant of Shaikh Zāhed Gīlānī (q.v.), the celebrated moršed (spiritual director) of Shaikh Ṣafī-al-Dīn, the eponymous founder of the Safavid order (Ṣafawīya); hence Čerāḡ Khan was also known as Pīrzāda (Haneda, p. 196, quoting the Ḵolāṣat al-sīar of Moḥammad Maʿṣūm Eṣfahānī, pp. 109-10). His father had been the motawallī of the Safavid shrine in Ardabīl, but the Šayḵāvand tribe is said not to have held him in much respect (Haneda, p. 196 n. 104).
Čerāḡ Khan had been a supporter of the sons of the powerful qūrcībāšī ʿĪsā Khan Ṣafawī (q.v.), but in 1042/1632-33 (thus Rawżat al-ṣafā; or 1040/1630-31, thus Kermānī) he denounced them to Shah Ṣafī (r. 1038-52/1629-42) and accused them of conspiring to stage a coup against the shah and to put one of their number on the throne. Shah Ṣafī began to put to death or blind the Safavid princes, including the sons of ʿĪsā Khan the qūrcībāšī and the four sons of Eʿtemād-al-Dawla, all grandsons of Shah ʿAbbās. ʿĪsā Khan himself was also put to death, and Čerāḡ Khan was rewarded for his “lies” with the posts of qūrcībāšī and jomlat al-molk (vizier; Wazīrī Kermānī, pp. 286-87; Hedāyat, p. 445). Five months later, however, Čerāḡ Khan himself was charged with still harboring sympathies for the sons of ʿĪsā Khan, and was executed in July 1632 (Hedāyat, p. 447; Haneda, p. 196 n. 104). This episode seems to indicate that the desire for revenge on the descendants of Shaikh Ṣafī on the part of the descendants of Shaikh Zāhed was still strong more than three centuries after the death of Shaikh Zāhed.
Aḥmad-ʿAlī Khan Wazīrī Kermānī, Tārīḵ-eKermān, ed. M.-E. Bāstānī Pārīzī, Tehran, 1340 Š./1961.
M. Haneda, Le Châh et les Qizilbāš. Le système militaire safavide, Berlin, 1987, p. 196.
R. Hedāyat, Tārīḵ-erawżat al-ṣafā-ye nāṣerī VIII, Qom, 1339 Š./1960.
H. R. Roemer, “The Safavid Period,” in Camb. Hist. Iran VI, 1986, pp. 280-81.
(Roger M. Savory)
Originally Published: December 15, 1991
Last Updated: October 10, 2011
This article is available in print.
Vol. V, Fasc. 3, p. 263