ABDĀL BEG DEDE ḎU’L-QADAR or ṬĀLEŠ (other forms of his name in Safavid sources are DEDE BEG QŪRČĪBĀŠĪ, ABDĀL ʿALĪ BEG, ʿABDĀL BEG), one of the seven trusted Qezelbāš amirs (ahl-e eḵteṣāṣ) who, after the death of Solṭān ʿAlī (898/1493), accompanied the latter’s young brother and designated master of the Safavid order, Esmāʿīl, to Lāhīǰān, where he found refuge from the persecution of the Āq Qoyonlū rulers. Abdāl Beg participated in the thirteen year old Esmāʿīl’s rising (ḵorūǰ) based in Lāhīǰān and in his battles in Šīrvān and against Alvand Āq Qoyonlū. He was present in 907/1501 when Esmāʿīl I ascended the throne in Tabrīz and thus established the Safavid dynasty.

The sources do not clearly define the positions and functions which Abdāl Beg held, nor are the exact dates of his appointment and removal known. From Esmāʿīl’s first government appointments in his winter quarters at Maḥmūdābād (906/1500), Abdāl Beg was the partner (šarīk) of Ḥosayn Beg Lala in the office of amīr al-omarāʾ. In 911/1505-06 he was given, as a qūṛčībāšī, the task of persecuting those who had taken part in the battle (893/1488) in which Esmāʿīl’s father, Shaikh Ḥaydar, had been killed; so it is probable that Abdāl had taken part in the religious conflicts of that period. In 915/1509 the rank of amir was taken away from him with no reason given. His troop (laškar) and fief territories (olkā), Qazvīn, Sāvoǰ Bolāḡ, Ḵᵛar, and Ray, were transferred to Zaynal Beg Šāmlū. Almost at the same time Ḥosayn Beg Lala, the other loyal Qezelbāš amir, who had supported Esmāʿīl since the king’s childhood and had enjoyed the greatest power, lost his offices and fiefs. One may thus infer a basic change in Shah Esmāʿīl’s administrative policy. Esmāʿīl probably wanted to curb the power of Qezelbāš amirs, who with their clans impeded close centralization of the kingdom, in favor of Persian officials. (Yār Aḥmad Ḵūzānī Eṣfahānī, Naǰm-e Ṯānī, became vakīl at this time.)

However, the Qezelbāš amirs did not fall into complete disgrace. Abdāl Beg participated in the campaign of 916/1510 against the Uzbeks in Khorasan and was appointed by Shah Esmāʿīl as governor of the newly conquered city of Marv and its surrounding area. In 918/1513, however, when Naǰm-e Ṯānī was campaigning against the Uzbeks in Transoxania, Abdāl Beg surrendered Marv without any resistance and fled. Shah Esmāʿīl, arriving in Khorasan, punished him for his cowardice. Dressed in women’s clothes and ridden through camp on a donkey, Abdāl was given over to the mockery of the troops. Shah Esmāʿīl is supposed to have forgiven him eventually. Abdāl Beg is not mentioned again in the sources, and the date of his death is unknown.



Yaḥyā ʿAbd-al-Laṭīf Qazvīnī, Lobb al-tawārīḵ, Tehran, 1314 Š./1935.

A. Montaẓer Ṣāḥeb, ed., ʿĀlamārā-ye Šāh Esmāʿīl, Tehran, 1349 Š./1970, pp. 33, 170, 303.

Helmut Braun, Aḥvāl-e Šāh Esmāʿīl, eine unerschlossene Darstellung des Lebens des ersten Safawidenschahs, unpublished dissertation, Göttingen, 1947.

E. Denison Ross, “The Early Years of Shah Ismāʿīl, Founder of the Ṣafavī Dynasty,” JRAS 1896, pp. 249-340.

R. M. Savory, “The Principal Officers of the Ṣafawid State during the Reign of Ismāʿīl I (907-30/1501-24),” BSOAS 23, 1960, pp. 91-105.

Raḥīmzāda Ṣafavī, Šarḥ-e ǰanghā va tārīḵ-e zendagānī-ye Šāh Esmāʿīl Ṣafavī, ed. Yūsof Pūr-e Ṣafavī, Tehran, 1341 Š./1962, pp. 149, 153, 173, 191.

(E. Glassen)

Originally Published: December 15, 1982

Last Updated: July 15, 2011

This article is available in print.
Vol. I, Fasc. 2, pp. 174-175

Cite this entry:

E. Glassen, “Abdal Beg,” Encyclopædia Iranica, I/2, pp. 174-175; an updated version is available online at http://www.iranicaonline.org/articles/abdal-beg-qezelbas-amir-at-the-start-of-the-safavid-dynasty (accessed on 17 January 2014).