ČORĀS, ŠĀH-MAḤMŪD b. Mīrzā Fāżel, historian of the 17th-century Chaghatay khanate (see chinese turkestan v) in Moḡūlestān and hagiographer and staunch supporter of the “Black Mountain” khojas. Čorās (Jarās in Ḥaydar Dūḡlāt, tr., p. 308) was the name of a Mongol tribe, attested from the mid-14th century; through the 15th and 16th centuries it played a small role in Chingizid politics and then, at the beginning of the 17th century, was restored to prominence at the court of Yarkānd, where Mīrzā Fāżel Čorās held the positions of qošbegī (on which see Bregel) and governor under ʿAbd-Allāh Khan b. ʿAbd-al-Raḥīm Khan.
Little is known about Šāh-Maḥmūd’s life. He was apparently born some time in the 1620s, perhaps at Āqsū, and died some time after 1107/1696. He did not follow in his father’s military and administrative footsteps and instead attached himself to Ḵᵛāja Moḥammad Yaḥyā (Ḵᵛāja Šādī) and later his son Moḥammad ʿAbd-Allāh (Ḵᵛājom Pādšāh), leaders of the Black Mountain faction of the Naqšbandī suborder founded by Ḵᵛāja Aḥmad Kāšānī (“Maḵdūm-i Aʿẓam,” d. 949/1542-43) in Samarkand. In the “biography” provided by a later partisan and hagiographer of the “White Mountain” khojas, Mīr Ḥāl-al-Dīn Yārkandī, Šāh-Maḥmūd is portrayed as a lifelong opium addict and debauchee.
Two works by Šāh-Maḥmūd have survived, both in Persian: Tārīḵ-eŠāh-Maḥmūd Čorās and Anīs al-ṭālebīn:
Tārīḵ-e Šāh-Maḥmūd Čorās (ed. O. F. Akimushkin, Khronika, Moscow, 1976: text, tr., comm., and notes) was written between 1083/1672 and 1087/1676 and conceived as a continuation of Mīrzā Moḥammad Ḥaydar Dūḡlāt’s Tārīḵ-erašīdī. Approximately the first half of Šāh-Maḥmūd’s work is a recasting of the latter work. The second half is an original and very important source for the Chaghatayids of Moḡūlestān (Kāšḡar, Yarkānd, Āqsū, Ḵotan, Tūrfān) from the early 1530s to the late 1660s.
Anīs al-ṭālebīn (Bodleian ms., A. F. L. Beeston, Catalogue, no. 2494), written about 1107/1696, is a hagiography of the Black Mountain khojas. It also contains considerable information on the political events of Moḡūlestān in the late 16th and 17th centuries.
Yu. Bregel, “Ḳosh-Begi,” in EI2 V, pp. 273-74.
Mīr Ḥal-al-Dīn, Hedāyat-nāma, ms. (see N. D. Miklukho-Maklaĭ, Opisanie tadzhikskikh i persidskikh rukopiseĭ Instituta Narodov Azii, vyp. 11, no. 196).
Mīrzā Moḥammad Ḥaydar Dūḡlāt, Tārīḵ-erašīdī, tr. E. Denison Ross, new ed. N. Elias (with commentary, notes, and map) as A History of the Moghuls of Central Asia Being the Translation of Tarikh-i Rashidi of Mirza Muhammad Haidar Dughlát, London, 1895; repr. London and New York, 1972, pp. 308-09.
(Robert D. McChesney)
Originally Published: December 15, 1993
Last Updated: October 31, 2011
This article is available in print.
Vol. VI, Fasc. 3, pp. 267-268
b. Mīrzā Fāżel, historian of the 17th-century Chaghatay khanate in Moḡūlestān and hagiographer and staunch supporter of the “Black Mountain" khojas.