ḠAFFĀRĪ, NEẒĀM-AL-DĪN Mohandes-al-Mamālek, Qajar minister and engineer (b. in Borzābād, a village near Kāšān, 10 Šaʿbān 1260/24 August 1844; d. Tehran, 15 Jomādā II 1333/30 April 1915; FIGURE 1). At the age of fifteen, he was among the forty-two students sent by the government to France to continue their education under the supervision of Moḥammad-Ḥasan Khan Amīr(-e) Neẓām Garrūsī (q.v.). After studying French at schools in Dieppe and Rouen, he attended the St. Louis school in Paris and graduated first in his class. He then went on to the École Polytechnique while, at the same time, holding a teaching position at St. Louis. After two years, he entered the École des Mines in Paris, from which he graduated in 1284/1868. Back in Persia, he held positions at the justice and war ministries until he left for Tabrīz in the entourage of the crown prince, Moẓaffar-al-Dīn Mīrzā, as the latter’s private tutor. He stayed in Tabrīz until 1294/1877, when he was dismissed and left for Kāšān. In the early 1880s, he was commissioned to build the roads between Tehran and Āmol in Māzandarān and Tehran and Qom, for which he received the title of Mohandes-al-Mamālek. After the completion of these projects, he devoted his time to writing books on science and mathematics, most of which have remained unpublished. In November 1889, he was appointed the high commissioner of the Imperial Bank of Persia by the Persian government but was dismissed in 1896, only to be re-appointed two years later. He was among the entourage of both Nāṣer-al-Dīn Shah and Moẓaffar-al-Dīn Shah when they were touring Europe, during which he received a variety of decorations from European governments. In his later years, Ḡaffārī held several important positions, including the minister of mines (wazīr-e maʿāden; 1316/1898-99), the minister of public services (wazīr-e fawāʾed-e ʿāmma; 1325/1907-8; 1326/1908-9; 1332/1913-14), and minister of education (wazīr-e maʿāref; 1326/1908-9; 1333/1914-15).
Bāmdād, Rejāl IV, pp. 383-87.
G. P. Churchill, “Biographical Notices of Persian Statesmen and Notables,”MS Kew, U.K., Public Record Office, FO 881/9748(2), pp. 51-52; tr. Ḡ.-H.ṟ M. Ṣāleḥ as Farhang-e rejāl-e Qājār, Tehran, 1369 Š./1990, pp. 190-91.
Eʿtemād-al-Salṭana, al-Maʾāṯer wa’l-āṯār, pp. 174, 397, 736 (comm).
Maḥbubī, Moassasāt I, pp. 324-25.
M. Modarresī Čahārdehī, “Bozorgtarīn dānešmand-e rīāżī-e ʿaṣr-e nāṣerī Mīrzā Neẓām-al-Dīn Ḡaffārī,” Armaḡān 26, 1336 Š./1957, pp. 106-10.
Mīrzā Mahdī Khan Momtaḥen-al-Dawla Šaqāqī, Ḵāṭerāt-e Momtaḥen-al-Dawla, ed. Ḥ. Ḵān-šaqāqī, Tehran, 1353 Š./1974.
Ḥ. Narāqī, “Ḵānadān-e Ḡaffārī-e Kāšānī,” FĪZ 20, pp. 186-89 (copy of the biographical notice in Sepehr).
M. Sepehr, Īrān dar jang-e bozorg, 1914-1918, Tehran, 1336 Š./1957, pp. 172-73.
Originally Published: December 15, 2000
Last Updated: February 2, 2012
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Vol. X, Fasc. 3, pp. 251-252