Of the anger and alarm aroused by these proceedings in the neighbouring kingdoms, and especially in the Ottoman Rival rulers in Persia at this time, 907/1501-2. Empire, we shall have to speak presently, but first we may with advantage give from the Aḥsanu't-Tawáríkh * the list of potentates in Persia itself who at this time claimed sovereign power: (1) Sháh Isma'íl in Ádharbáyján; (2) Sulṭán Murád in most of 'Iráq; (3) Murád Beg Báyandarí in Yazd; (4) Ra'ís Muḥammad Karra (? <text in Arabic script omitted>) in Abarqúh; (5) Ḥusayn Kiyá-yi-Chaláwí in Samnán, Khwár and Fírúzkúh; (6) Bárík Parnák in 'Iráq-i-'Arab; (7) Qásim Beg ibn Jahángír Beg ibn 'Alí Beg in Diyár Bakr; (8) Qáḍí Muḥammad in conjunction with Mawláná Mas'úd in Káshán; (9) Sulṭán Ḥusayn Mírzá (the Tímúrid) in Khurásán; (10) Amír Dhu'n-Nún in Qandahár; (11) Badí'u'z-Zamán Mírzá (the Tímúrid) in Balkh; and (12) Abu'l-Fatḥ Beg Báyandarí in Kirmán.
Many of these petty rulers (Mulúku'ṭ-Ṭawá'if) were quite insignificant, and several of them I cannot even identify.Isma'íl disposes of his minor rivals. None of them long stood in Sháh Isma'íl's victorious path. His old enemy Alwand of the “White Sheep” dynasty suffered a decisive defeat at his hands in the summer of A.D. 1503, and died a year or so later at Diyár Bakr or Baghdád. * His brother Murád was defeated and Shíráz occupied about the same time, and Sunní doctors put to death at Kázarún. stern punishment overtook the Sunní doctors of Kázarún, many of whom were put to death, while the tombs and foundations of their predecessors were destroyed. * The words Raḥmatun li'l-'Ála- mín (“a Mercy to the Worlds”) were found, not very appropriately from an impartial point of view, to give the date 909 (A.D. 1503-4) of this event; while the equivalent chronogram Shaltáq-i-Sipáhí (“Military Coercion”) was observed by the poets and wits of Fárs to commemorate in like manner the appointment by Sháh Isma'íl of his captain Ilyás Beg Dhu'l-Qadar as governor of Shíráz. Káshán, always a stronghold of the Shí'a, * received Isma'íl with enthusiasm, and he held a great reception at the beautiful suburb of Fín. Thence he passed to the holy city of Qum, intending, apparently, to winter there, but hearing that Ilyás Beg, one of his most trusted officers, “a Ṣúfí of pure disposition and right belief,” * had been murdered by Ḥusayn Kiyá-yi-Chaláwí, he marched out on February 25, 1504, to avenge him. Three weeks later he was at Astarábád, where he was met by Muḥammad Muḥsin Mírzá, the son of the Tímúrid Sulṭán Ḥusayn Mírzá, and, having attacked and destroyed the fortresses of Gulkhandán and Fírúzkúh, he reduced the stronghold of Ustá by cutting off the water-
Of the increasingly strained relations between Turkey and Persia, culminating in the Battle of Cháldirán (August, 1514), we shall have to speak very shortly, but we must first conclude our brief survey of Sháh Isma'íl's career of conquest. To describe in detail his incessant military activities would be impossible in a work of the scope and character of this book, and only the barest summary is possible.
During the years A.H. 911-915 (A.D. 1506-1510) Sháh
Isma'íl's conquest in the West,
Isma'íl was for the most part busy in the West.
He first entered Hamadán and visited the tomb
of the Imám-záda Sahl 'Alí. A serious revolt
of the “Yazídí” Kurds
next demanded his attention.
Their leader, Shír Ṣárim, was defeated and captured in a
bloody battle wherein several important officers of Sháh
Isma'íl lost their lives. To their relatives the Kurdish
prisoners were surrendered to be put to death “with torments
worse than which there may not be.” War was next
waged against the conjoined forces of Sulṭán Murád, the
and last of the “White Sheep” dynasty, and
'Alá'u'd-Dawla Dhu'l-Qadar (the “Aliduli” of the Italian
travellers of this period), who, refusing Isma'íl's proposal
that he should “set his tongue in motion with the goodly
word 'Alí is the Friend of God, and curse the enemies of
the Faith” (to wit, the first three Caliphs), appealed for
help to the Ottoman Turks. Sháh Isma'íl, however, was
in A.D. 1508.
not to be denied, and successively captured
Diyár Bakr, Akhláṭ, Bitlís, Arjísh, and finally
in 914/1508 Baghdád itself, whereby he obtained
possession of the Holy Shrines of Karbalá and Najaf,
so dear to Shí'a hearts, where he hastened to offer prayers
and thanksgivings. At Ḥuwayza he showed that, ardent
Shí'a as he was, he would not tolerate the exaggerated
veneration of 'Alí characteristic of
the Ghulát, represented there by certain Arabs
called Musha'shi', who venerated 'Alí as God, and, invoking
his name, would cast themselves on sharp swords without
sustaining injury, after the fashion of the modern 'Ísáwiyya
of North Africa. Their leader, Mír Sulṭán Muḥsin, died
about this time, and was succeeded by his son Sulṭán
Fayyáḍ, who claimed for himself divine honours.
Isma'íl ruthlessly suppressed these heretics, and proceeded
to Dizful and Shúshtar, receiving the submission
of the Lur chieftain Sháh Rustam, who won his
favour by “the utterance of prayer and praise
in the Lurí tongue with extreme sweetness.” Thence Sháh
Isma'íl made his way eastwards to Fárs, encamped for a
while at Dárábjird, and organised a great hunting expedition,
of which the special object was a kind of mountain goat
Doings in Fárs.
which yields the “animal antidote” (pádzahr-