EFTEḴĀRĪĀN, a family of officials and poets from Qazvīn, reputed descendants of the caliph Abū Bakr, who flourished under the early Il-khans (13th century). They came to prominence with five brothers, all of whom held high posts under the Mongols.

The first is Efteḵār-al-Dīn Moḥammad b. Abī Naṣr, who entered the service of the Mongols at the time of Ögedey (626-39/1227-41), finding employment as the tutor of the future great khan Möngke and his brothers. Möngke rewarded his former teacher by making him governor of Qazvīn in 651/1253. Abaqa (q.v.) confirmed him in this position in about 663/1265, but in 676/1277-78 Efteḵār was accused of embezzlement, resigned his post, and died two years later a prisoner at the Mongol camp (Rašīd-al-Dīn, II, p. 1107). According to Mostawfī (p. 799), Efteḵār translated Kalīla o demna into Mongolian and the Sendbād-nāma into Turkish.

Efteḵār shared control of Qazvīn with his brother Emām-al-Dīn Yaḥyā. Later (presumably after his brother’s disgrace) Emām-al-Dīn was appointed governor of the whole of ʿErāq-e ʿAjam, and then also of ʿErāq-e ʿArab, residing in Baghdad. He died in Ḥella (outside Baghdad) in 700/1300-01, “after all his brothers” (Mostawfī, pp. 799-800) and was buried in the Šāfeʿī madrasa which he had founded in Darb Ferāšā. He was succeeded as governor of Baghdad by his son, another Efteḵār-al-Dīn.

Their brothers ʿEmād-al-Dīn Maḥmūd and Rokn-al-Dīn Aḥmad were appointed (or confirmed) at the beginning of the reign of Abaqa as governors of Māzandarān and Georgia respectively. At the same time the fifth brother, Rażī-al-Dīn Bābā, was made governor of Dīār Bakr (Eastern Anatolia). After his dismissal from this post he was appointed governor of Dīār Rabīʿa in Mosul, but was subsequently replaced as civil governor by a local Christian Masʿūd Barqūṭī, who was seconded by the military governor Ašnūṭ (or Ašmūṭ), a Mongol Christian. Two years later Rażī-al-Dīn returned to power and had Masʿūd and Ašnūṭ arrested for financial impropriety, but they appealed to Abaqa, who, after investigation, found them innocent and, in 679/1280-81, had Rażī-al-Dīn put to death. Moḥammad Jājarmī (II, pp. 506-08, 761-64) cites two poems by Rażī-al-Dīn praising Ṣāḥeb-e Dīvān Šams-al-Dīn Jovaynī, but Mostawfī (p. 733) quotes a quatrain of his mocking that same minister at the time when its author was dismissed as governor of Dīār Bakr.

Rażī-al-Dīn’s son, ʿEmād-al-Dīn Esmāʿīl b. Bābā b. Abī Naṣr Efteḵārī Bakrī Qazvīnī, was a poet whose dīvān is extant in an apparently unique 15th-century manuscript, Paris supplément persan 795, fol. 497-536 (described briefly in Cat. Bibliothèque Nationale, no. 1969; see also de Blois, where one poem is published). This contains poems in praise of various important figures during the reign of Öljeytü (703-17/1304-17), among them the ministers Saʿd-al-Dīn Moḥammad Sāvajī and Rašīd-al-Dīn Fażl-Allāh and the Mongol generals Ṭūqmāq and Esen Qotloḡ the latter is apparently the unnamed patron whom the poet addresses in the prose preface to his collected poems. Esmāʿīl died, according to Mostawfī (p. 742), at the beginning of the reign of Abū Saʿīd, i.e., about 717/1317. His dīvān is a doubtless important, but hitherto unused, source for the history of Il-khanid Persia.



Bar Hebraeus, Chronicon syriacum, Paris, 1890, pp. 535, 542-43, 549.

F. de Blois, “The Iftikhāriyān of Qazvīn” in the Festschrift for Īraj Afšār, forthcoming.

Ebn Fowaṭī, Talḵīṣ majmaʿ al-ādāb fī moʿjam al-alqāb, ed. M. Jawād, Damascus, 1962-67, II, pp. 683-84.

pseudo-Ebn Fowaṭī, al-Ḥawādeṯ al-jāmeʿa, ed. M. Jawād, Baghdad, 1351/1932, pp. 354, 361, 367, 397-98, 478, 498, 504.

Moḥammad b. Badr Jājarmī, Moʾnes al-aḥrār fī daqāʾeq al-ašʿār, ed. M. S. Ṭabībī, 2 vols., Tehran, 1337-50 Š./1959-71.

Ḥamd-Allāh Mostawfī, Tārīḵ-e gozīda, ed. ʿA.-Ḥ. Navāʾī, Tehran, 1362 Š./1983, pp. 797-800.

Rašīd-al-Dīn Fażl-Allāh, Jāmeʿ al-tawārīkò, ed. M. Rowšan and M. Mūsawī, 4 vols. Tehran, 1373 Š./1994, II, pp. 1061, 1113.

Ṣalāḥ-al-Dīn Ḵalīl Ṣafadī, al-Wāfī be’l-wafayāt, ed. H. Ritter et al., Leipzig and Wiesbaden, 1931-, X, p. 61.

Idem, Nakt al-hemyān fī nokat al-ʿomyān, ed. A. Zakī Pāšā, Cairo, 1911, p. 204.

(François de Blois)

Originally Published: December 15, 1998

Last Updated: December 9, 2011

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