ʿAMĪD, ABŪ ʿABDALLĀH AL-ḤOSAYN B. MOḤAMMAD, known as Kolah (said to be an opprobrious term), secretary and official in northern Persia and Transoxania during the 4th/10th century, and father of Abu’l-Fażl Moḥammad b. ʿAmīd, the celebrated vizier of the Buyid amir Rokn-al-dawla. He was allegedly of lowly birth, originally a hawker in the wheat-merchants’ market in Qom, or a ḥammāl, or a food-cleaner (monqī, according to Abū Ḥayyān Tawḥīdī. He served as a secretary to various soldiers of fortune who appeared in northern Persia during the upsurge of the Daylamīs, including Mardāvīǰ b. Zīār until his assassination in Isfahan in 323/935, and then Mākān b. Kākī. After the latter’s rebellion and defeat in 329/940 by Abū ʿAlī Moḥtāǰī, Ḥosayn was taken with other captives to the Samanid capital of Bokhara. There the amir Nūḥ b. Naṣr (331-43/943-54) appointed him head of his dīvān-e rasāʾel or chancery, with the titles of Shaikh and ʿAmīd, although according to Yāqūt, it was his deputy Abu’l-Qāsem ʿAlī Eskāfī who did the real work. It seems that Ḥosayn was on bad terms with his son Abu’l-Fażl Moḥammad—perhaps through professional rivalry—and had a formal deposition laid before the qāżī of Isfahan that he would have no further dealings with him. Like his son, he was famed as an Arabic epistolary stylist. Ṯaʿālebī says that his rasāʾel were collected together, and he quotes Abū Esḥāq Ebrāhīm Ṣābī’s Ketāb al-tāǰī that some of Ḥosayn’s fine expressions were plagiarized from his son’s work; but he regards this as a calumny motivated by professional jealousy.


Tawḥīdī, Maṯāleb (Aḵlāq) al-wazīrayn, ed.

M. Ṭanǰī, Damascus, 1965, pp. 81-82, 352-53, 358-60.

Ṯaʿālebī, Yatīma III, pp. 3-4.

Yāqūt, Odabāʾ V, p. 330.

(C. E. Bosworth)

Originally Published: December 15, 1989

Last Updated: August 2, 2011

This article is available in print.
Vol. I, Fasc. 9, p. 937

Cite this entry:

C. E. Bosworth, “ʿAMĪD, ABŪ ʿABDALLĀH,” Encyclopædia Iranica, I/9, p. 937, available online at http://www.iranicaonline.org/articles/amid-abu-abdallah-al-hosayn-b (accessed on 30 December 2012).