GĀZORGĀHĪ, MĪR KAMĀL-AL-DĪN ḤOSAYN, b. Šeḥāb-al-Dīn Esmāʿīl Ṭabasī (b.874/1469-70), a Timurid ṣadr and author of a collection of biographies of Sufis known as the Majāles al-ʿoššāq (sometimes mistakenly ascribed to Sultan Ḥosayn Bāyqarā, q.v.). Through his mother, a sister of Mīr Rafīʿ-al-Dīn Ḥosayn, he belonged to a prominent family of sayyeds in Nīšāpūr.

Gāzorgāhī studied various religious sciences in Khorasan; he is said to have been versed in both letters and mysticism. During the reign of Sultan Yaʿqūb (r. 1478-90), he moved from Ṭabas to Azerbaijan. The Aq Qoyunlu sultan gave him the small village of Bayābang as a fief (soyūrḡal), the income from which amounted to ten thousand dinars a year. He rejected it and left for Herat, where he began to live as a dervish. He studied Sufi technical terms with ʿAbd-al-Raḥmān Jāmī (d. 1492) and wrote a commentary on Ḵᵛāja ʿAbd-Allāh Anṣarī’s Manāzel al-sāʾerīn (see EIr I, p. 189). He is reported to have lived a secluded life in the manner of the Malāmatīya (ʿAlī Šīr Navāʾī, pp. 146-47; Ḥabīb al-sīar IV, p. 325). According to Bābor (Bābor-nama, fol. 176a), he was not a professed Sufi but inclined to mysticism.

After his return from Azerbaijan, Gāzorgāhī was appointed by the Timurid Sultan Ḥosayn Bāyqarā (q.v.) to be the shaikh of the shrine of ʿAbd-Allāh Anṣārī at Gāzorgāh (q.v.) near Herat as well as the motawwalī for its waqf property. This appointment, taking place possibly in 904/1498, when the previous motawallī Ḵᵛāja Šams-al-Dīn Moḥammad Marvārīd died, coincided with his other appointment by the same ruler to the post of ṣedārat, the function of which included the control of waqf endowments (cf. Aḥmad Ḵᵛāfī, pp. 229 ff.). These appointments were made only out of consideration for Gāzorgāhī’s birth into a family of notables (Bābor-nāma, fol. 176a).

Gāzorgāhī finished writing the Majāles al-ʿoššāq in 909/1503-4. The book was ridiculed by Bābor as consisting mostly of insipid and potentially heretical lies (Bābor-nāma, fol. 176a-b), while ʿAlī Šīr Navāʾī praised the author’s erudition (p. 147).



Aḥmad Ḵᵛāfī, Manšāʾ al-enšāʾ, ed. R. Homāyūn Farroḵ, Tehran 1357 Š./1978.

ʿAlī Šīr Navāʾī, Majāles al-nafāʾes, ed. S. Ganieva, Tashkent, 1961.

Storey, II, pp. 960-62.

M. Subtelny, “The Cult of ʿAbdullah Anṣārī under the Timurids,” in J. C. Bürgel and A. Giese, eds., Gott ist schön und Er liebt die Schönheit: Festschrift für Annemarie Schimmel, Bern and New York, 1994.

(Shiro Ando)

Originally Published: December 15, 2000

Last Updated: February 3, 2012

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