BADĪʿ-AL-ZAMĀN B. ḤOSAYN BĀYQARĀ, Timurid prince (mīrzā) of the line of ʿOmar Šayḵ. He was the eldest son of Sultan Ḥosayn Bāyqarā (r. Herat 873-911/1469-1506) and Begā Solṭān Begīm, the daughter of Sultan Moʿezz-al-Dīn Sanjar of Marv (Ḥabīb al-sīar (Tehran) IV, p. 320). His father had originally entrusted him with the government of Jorjān and Astarābād, but after joining his father in a successful war against Ḥeṣār, he was named ruler of Balḵ (Ḥabīb al-sīar IV, p. 198). Badīʿ-al-Zamān then asked Ḥosayn Bāyqarā to confirm his son, Moḥammad Moʾmen Mīrzā, as ruler of Astarābād, arguing that he had assigned it to him at the time of his circumcision (Bābor, fol. 41). Ḥosayn Bāyqarā, however, decided to give Astarābād to his own favorite son, Moẓaffar Ḥosayn Mīrzā, while, according to Bābor, he gave Badīʿ-al-Zamān Balḵ “in the interests of Transoxania” (Bābor, fol. 36). This incident became the cause of enmity between father and son and, according to Bābor, resulted in the rebellion of Ḥosayn Bāyqarā’s other sons against him (Bābor, fol. 166).

Badīʿ-al-Zamān eventually allied himself with the powerful amirs, Ḵosrow Shah and Šojāʿ-al-Dīn Ḏu’l-Nūn Arḡūn, against his father (Ḥabīb al-sīar IV, p. 207). His first battle against his father took place at Pol-e Čerāḡ in Šaʿbān, 902/May, 1497, and ended in Badīʿ-al-Zamān’s defeat and narrow escape (Bābor, fol. 416). The next day, Moḥammad Moʾmen, who was holding Astarābād, was captured after a battle against his uncle, Moẓaffar Ḥosayn, and sent to Herat where he was imprisoned in Ṣafar, 903/September, 1497. As a result of an intrigue on the part of Moẓaffar Ḥosayn’s mother, Ḵadīja Bīkī Āḡā, who was also Sultan Ḥosayn Bāyqarā’s most influential wife, and the powerful vizer, Neẓām-al-Molk, Ḥosayn Bāyqarā was induced to sign the death warrant of his young and popular grandson, Moḥammad Moʾmen (Ḥabīb al-sīar IV, p. 214).

Badīʿ-al-Zamān was defeated by his father a second time at Alang Nešīn in Šawwāl, 903/June, 1498, and was then persuaded to make peace with his father in 904/1498 by the latter’s foster-brother and confidant, Mīr ʿAlī-Šīr, who often acted as mediator in the frequent disputes between the two. Badiʿ-al-Zamān now asked to be granted the government of Balḵ again, but acquiesced in his father’s offer of Farāh and Sīstān (Ḥabīb al-sīar IV, pp. 237-38).

After the death of Ḥosayn Bāyqarā in 911/1506, Badīʿ-al-Zamān and his brother, Moẓaffar Ḥosayn, ruled together as co-regents in Herat until the city was taken by the Uzbek Moḥammad Šaybānī Khan in 913/1507, at which time Badīʿ-al-Zamān fled, leaving his harem and treasure behind (Ḥabīb al-sīar IV, pp. 363-76; Bābor, fols. 183, 205b). After a long period of peregrination which included a year’s stay in India, Badīʿ-al-Zamān returned to Khorasan, now under Safavid rule, in 919/1513. He was allowed to live in Azerbaijan and was sent 1,000 dinars daily from Tabrīz as a stipend from Shah Esmāʿīl (Ḥabīb al-sīar IV, p. 394). When the Ottoman sultan, Selīm, conquered Tabrīz in 920/1514, he treated Badīʿ-al-Zamān with great respect and took him back with him to Istanbul where, according to the Ḥabīb al-sīar, he died a few months later of the plague (see also Loṭfī, p. 236; Sām Mīrzā, p. 13, says he died 14 months later). He was survived by a son, Moḥammad Zamān Mīrzā. Like his fellow Timurid princes, Badīʿ-al-Zamān was a poet, who wrote under the pen-name Badīʿī (Faḵrī Heravī, pp. 46-47).



Primary sources: Bābor, Bābor-nāma, ed. A. S. Beveridge, The Bābur-nāma, Leiden, 1905.

Solṭān Moḥammad Faḵrī Heravī, Taḏkera-ye rawżat al-salāṭīn, ed. ʿA. Ḵayyāmpūr, Tabrīz, 1345 Š./1966.

Ḥabīb al-sīar IV, Tehran, 1333 Š./1954.

Loṭfī Pasha, Tawārīḵ-e āl-e ʿOṯmān, Istanbul, 1341/1923.

Sām Mīrzā Ṣafawī, Toḥfa-ye sāmī, ed. Waḥīd Dastgerdī, Tehran, 1314 Š./1935.

Secondary sources: V. V. Bartol’d, “Mir Ali-Shir i politicheskaya zhizn’,” in his Sochineniya II/2, Moscow, 1964, pp. 249-53; German tr. W. Hinz, Herāt unter Ḥusein Baiqara dem Timuriden, Leipzig, 1938; Eng. tr., V. and T. Minorsky, Four Studies on the History of Central Asia III, Leiden, 1962.

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 بدیع الزمان badi al zaman badi al zamaan badiolzaman


(M. E. Subtelny)

Originally Published: December 15, 1988

Last Updated: August 22, 2011

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