EBN BAZZĀZ, DARVĪŠ TAWAKKOLĪ b. Esmāʿīl b. Ḥājī Ardabīlī, author of the Ṣafwat al-ṣafāʾ, a biography of Shaikh Ṣafī-al-Dīn Esḥāq Ardabīlī (d. 935/1334), founder of the Safavid order of Sufis and the eponym of the Safavid dynasty. Ebn Bazzāz was a disciple of Shaikh Ṣadr-al-Dīn Ardabīlī (d. 794/1391-92), the son and successor of Shaikh Ṣafī-al-Dīn. The work, also entitled al-Mawāheb al-sanīya fī manāqeb al-Ṣafawīya, deals mainly with Shaikh Ṣafī-al-Dīn’s miracles and sayings and contains little of a biographical nature (see Browne, Lit. Hist. Persia IV, pp. 38-39, for a list of its contents). Ebn Bazzāz completed this voluminous work (over 800 folios) around 759/1358, only twenty-four years after the death of Shaikh Ṣafī-al-Dīn. It is written in a straightforward style, without much rhetorical embellishment. Ideologically-motivated alterations were already present in a manuscript dated 914/1508, during the reign of Shah Esmāʿīl I (Aya Sofya 2123; Togan). Shah Ṭahmāsb (930-84/1524-76) ordered Mīr Abu’l-Fatḥ Ḥosaynī to produce a revised edition of the Ṣafwat al-ṣafāʾ. This official version contains textual changes designed to obscure the Kurdish origins of the Safavid family and to vindicate their claim to descent from the Imams.


Bibliography: (For cited works not given in detail, see “Short References.”)

E. Glassen, “Ibn al-Bazzāz al-Ardabīlī” in EI2, supp., pp. 382-83.

Storey, pp. 939-40.

For mss. and the question of alterations, see Z. V. Togan, “Sur l’Origine des Safavides,” in Mélanges Louis Massignon, Damascus, 1957, III, pp. 345-57.

For the authenticity of the Safavid genealogy given in the Ṣafwat al-ṣafāʾ, see S. A. (Kasrawī) Tabrīzī, “Nežād o tabār-e Ṣafawīya,” Āyanda II, 1306-07 Š./ 1927-28, pp. 357-65, 489-97.

Idem, “Bāz ham Ṣafawīya,” ibid., pp. 801-12.

Idem, Šayḵ Ṣafī wa tabār-aš, Tehran, 1323 Š./1944.

M. M. Mazzaoui, The Origins of the Safavids. Šīʿism, Ṣūfism, and the Ġulāt, Wiesbaden, 1972, pp. 47, n. 3, and 50, n. 7.

(Roger Savory)

Originally Published: December 15, 1997

Last Updated: December 6, 2011

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