ABU’L-FATḤ KHAN BAḴTĪĀRĪ, a chieftain of the Haft Lang branch of the Baḵtīārī and paramount chief (īlḵānī) of the tribe. Abu’l-Fatḥ was governor of Isfahan at the time of Nāder Shah’s death in 1160/1747; he was confirmed in this post by Nāder’s immediate successors, ʿĀdel Shah, Ebrāhīm, and Šāhroḵ. When ʿAlī Mardān of the Čahār Lang Baḵtīārī and Karīm Khan Zand captured the city in spring 1163/1750, he was obliged to put at their disposal his prestige and influence in the former Safavid capital. The three constituted a junta wielding power in western Iran under the pretense of establishing a neo-Safavid empire in the name of a puppet monarch, Esmāʿīl III. A few months later, while Karīm Khan was campaigning in Kurdistan, ʿAlī Mardān had Abu’l-Fatḥ blinded and subsequently killed; he replaced him as governor with a cousin of his own and set off to occupy Fārs. This precipitated the rupture with Karīm Khan, who advanced to recapture Isfahan and by the following year had gained sole power in western Iran.


Mīrzā Moḥammad Ṣādeq Nāmī, Tārīḵ-e Gītīgošā, ed. S. Nafīsī, Tehran, 1317 Š./1938, pp. 14-17.

Abu’l-Ḥasan Golestāna, Moǰmal al-tawārīḵ, ed. Modarres Rażawī, Tehran, 1344 Š./1965, pp. 172, 180.

East India Company, Persia and the Persian Gulf Records: Gombroon Diary VI, under 10 September 1750.

J. R. Perry, Karim Khan Zand, a History of Iran, 1747-79, Chicago, 1979, index.

(J. R. Perry)

Originally Published: December 15, 1983

Last Updated: July 21, 2011

This article is available in print.
Vol. I, Fasc. 3, p. 285

Cite this entry:

J. R. Perry, “ABU’L-FATḤ KHAN BAḴTĪĀRĪ,” Encyclopædia Iranica, I/3, p. 285; an updated version is available online at http://www.iranicaonline.org/articles/abul-fath-khan-baktiari (accessed on 31 January 2014).