The Buyid dynasty in 970
(Buyids of Fars, 934-1062)
(Buyids of Jibal, 943-1029)
(Buyids of Iraq, 945-1055)
(also Sunni, Mu'tazila Islam, Christianity, Zoroastrianism, Judaism)
|Abu Mansur Fulad Sutun|
|Historical era||Middle Ages|
o Imad al-Dawla proclaimed himself "Emir"
o Adud al-Dawla becomes the supreme ruler of the Buyid dynasty
|980 est.||1,600,000 km2 (620,000 sq mi)|
The Buyid dynasty, or the Buyids (Persian: ? Âl-e Buye; also known as Buwaihids, Bowayhids, Buyahids, or Buyyids), was a Shia Iranian dynasty of Daylamite origin. Coupled with the rise of other Iranian dynasties in the region, the approximate century of Buyid rule represents the period in Iranian history sometimes called the 'Iranian Intermezzo' since, after the Muslim conquest of Persia, it was an interlude between the rule of the Abbasid Caliphate and the Seljuk Empire.
The Buyid dynasty was founded by 'Ali ibn Buya, who in 934 conquered Fars and made Shiraz his capital. His younger brother Hasan ibn Buya conquered parts of Jibal in the late 930s, and by 943 managed to capture Ray, which he made his capital. In 945, the youngest brother, Ahmad ibn Buya, conquered Iraq and made Baghdad his capital. He received the laqab or honorific title of Mu'izz al-Dawla ("Fortifier of the State"). The eldest, 'Ali, was given the title of 'Imad al-Dawla ("Support of the State"), and Hasan was given the title of Rukn al-Dawla ("Pillar of the State").
As Daylamite Iranians, the Buyids consciously revived symbols and practices of Iran's Sasanian Empire. Beginning with 'Adud al-Dawla, they used the ancient Sasanian title Shahanshah (?), literally "king of kings".
At its greatest extent, the Buyid dynasty encompassed territory of most of today's Iran, Iraq, Kuwait, and Syria, along with parts of Oman, the UAE, Turkey, Afghanistan and Pakistan. During the 10th and 11th centuries, just prior to the invasion of the Seljuq Turks, the Buyids were the most influential dynasty in the Middle East. Under king 'Adud al-Dawla, it became briefly the most powerful dynasty in the Middle East.
The word B?ya (Arabic Buwayh) is a Middle Persian name ending in the diminutive ? (Middle Persian -, modern Persian -?yeh, Arabic -uwayh). The Buyids were descendants of Panah-Khusrow, a Zoroastrian from Daylam. He had a son named Buya, who was a fisherman from Lahijan, and later left Zoroastrianism and converted to Islam.:274 Buya later had three sons, named Ahmad, 'Ali, and Hasan, who would later carve the Buyid kingdom together. Most historians agree that the Buyids were Daylamites.:251-52 The Buyids claimed royal lineage from Bahram V, 15th king of the Sasanian Empire.
The founder of the dynasty, 'Ali ibn Buya, was originally a soldier in the service of the Daylamite warlord Makan ibn Kaki, but later changed his adherence to the Iranian ruler Mardavij, who had established the Ziyarid dynasty, and was himself related to the ruling dynasty of Gilan, a region bordering Dailam. 'Ali was later joined by his two younger brothers, Hasan ibn Buya and Ahmad ibn Buya. In 932, 'Ali was given Karaj as his fief, and thus was able to enlist other Daylamites into his own army. However, 'Ali's independent actions made Mardavij plan to have him killed, 'Ali was informed of Mardavij's plan by the latter's own vizier. The Buyids brother, with 400 of their Daylamite supporters, then fled to Fars, where they managed to take control of Arrajan. However, the Buyids and the Abbasid general Yaqut shortly came into a struggle for the control of Fars, which the Buyids eventually emerged victorious in. This victory opened the way for the conquest of the capital of Fars, Shiraz.
'Ali also made an alliance with the landowners of Fars, which included the Fasanjas family, which would later produce many prominent statesmen for the Buyids. Furthermore, 'Ali also to enlist more soldiers, which included the Turks, who were made part of the cavalry. 'Ali then sent his brother Ahmad on an expedition to Kirman, but was forced to withdraw from them after opposition from the Baloch people and the Qafs. However, Mardavij, who sought to depose the Abbasid caliph of Baghdad and recreate a Zoroastrian Iranian Empire, shortly wrested Khuzestan from the Abbasids and forced 'Ali to recognize him as his suzerain.
Luckily for the Buyids, Mardavij was shortly assassinated in 935, which caused chaos in the Ziyarid territories, a perfect situation for the Buyid brothers; Ali and Ahmad conquered Khuzistan, while Hasan captured the Ziyarid capital of Isfahan, and in 943 captured Rey, which became his capital, thus conquering all of Jibal. In 945, Ahmad entered Iraq and made the Abbasid Caliph his vassal, at the same receiving the laqab Mu'izz ad-Dawla ("Fortifier of the State"), while 'Ali was given the laqab Im?d al-Dawla ("Support of the State"), and Hasan was given the laqab Rukn al-Dawla ("Pillar of the State").
In addition to the other territories the Buyids had conquered, Kirman was conquered in 967, Oman (967), the Jazira (979), Tabaristan (980), and Gorgan (981). After this, however, the Buyids went into a slow decline, with pieces of the confederation gradually breaking off and local dynasties under their rule becoming de facto independent.
The death of Adud al-Dawla is considered the starting point of the decline of the Buyid dynasty; his son Abu Kalijar Marzuban, who was in Baghdad at the time of his death, first kept his death secret in order to ensure his succession and avoid civil war. When he made the death of his father public, he was given the title of "Samsam al-Dawla". However, Adud's other son, Shirdil Abu'l-Fawaris, challenged the authority of Samsam al-Dawla, resulting in a civil war. Meanwhile, a Marwanid chieftain named Badh, seized Diyabakr and forced Samsam al-Dawla to recognize him as the vassal ruler of the region. Furthermore, Mu'ayyad al-Dawla also died during this period, and he was succeeded by Fakhr al-Dawla, who with the aid of Mu'ayyad al-Dawla's vizier Sahib ibn 'Abbad became the ruler of Mu'ayyad al-Dawla's possessions. Another son of Adud al-Dawla, Abu Tahir Firuzshah, established himself as the ruler of Basra and took the title of "Diya' al-Dawla", while another son, Abu'l-Husain Ahmad, established himself as the ruler of Khuzistan, taking the title of "Taj al-Dawla".
Shirdil Abu'l-Fawaris (known by his title of "Sharaf al-Dawla") quickly seized Oman from Samsam al-Dawla, and in 983, the Turkic troops of Samsam al-Dawla mutinied against him, and left Iraq for Fars, but most of them were persuaded by his relative Ziyar ibn Shahrakawayh to stay in Iraq. However, Iraq was in grim affairs, and several rebellions occurred, which he however, managed to suppress, the most dangerous rebellion being under Asfar ibn Kurdawayh, who tried to make Abu Nasr Firuz Kharshadh (known by his title of "Baha' al-Dawla") the ruler of Iraq. During the same period, Samsam al-Dawla also managed to seize Basra and Khuzistan, forcing his two brothers to flee to Fakhr al-Dawla's territory.
During the mid-11th century, the Buyid amirates gradually fell to the Ghaznavid and Seljuq Turks. In 1029, Majd al-Dawla, who was facing an uprising by his Dailami troops in Ray, requested assistance from Mahmud of Ghazna. When Sultan Mahmud arrived, he deposed Majd al-Dawla, replaced him with a Ghaznavid governor and ended the Buyid dynasty in Ray.
The Buyids established a confederation in Iraq and western Iran. This confederation formed three principalities - one in Fars, with Shiraz as its capital - the second one in Jibal, with Ray as its capital - and the last one in Iraq, with Baghdad as its capital. However, during their late period, more principalities formed in the Buyid confederation. Succession of power was hereditary, with fathers dividing their land among their sons.
The title used by the Buyid rulers was amir, meaning "governor" or "prince". Generally, one of the amirs would be recognized as having seniority over the others; this individual would use the title of amir al-umara, or senior amir. Although the senior am?r was the formal head of the B?yids, he did not usually have any significant control outside of his own personal amirate; each amir enjoyed a high degree of autonomy within his own territories. As mentioned above, some of the stronger amirs used the Sassanid title of Shahanshah. Furthermore, several other titles such as malik ("king"), and malik al-muluk ("king of kings"), were also used by the Buyids. On a smaller scale, the Buyid territory was also be ruled by princes from other families, such as the Hasanwayhids.
During the beginning of the Buyid dynasty, their army consisted mainly of their fellow Daylamites, a warlike and brave people of mostly peasant origin, who served as foot soldiers. The Daylamites had a long history of military activity dating back to the Sasanian period, and had been mercenaries in various places in Iran and Iraq, and even as far as Egypt. The Daylamites, during a battle, normally bore a sword, a shield, and three spears. Furthermore, they were also known for their formidable shield formation, which was hard to break through.
But when the Buyid territories increased, they began recruiting Turks into their cavalry, who had played a prominent role in the Abbasid military. The Buyid army also consisted of Kurds, who, along with the Turks, were Sunnis, while the Daylamites were Shi'i Muslims. However, the army of the Buyids of Jibal mainly composed of Daylamites.
The Daylamites and Turks often quarrelled with each other in an attempt to be the dominant force within the army. To compensate their soldiers the Buyid am?rs often distributed iqts, or the rights to a percentage of tax revenues from a province (tax farming), although the practice of payment in kind was also frequently used. While the Turks were favoured in Buyid Iraq, the Daylamites were favoured in Buyid Iran.
Like most Daylamites at the time, the Buyids were Shia and have been called Twelvers. However, it is more likely that they began as Zaydis. As the reason of this turning from Zaydism to Twelverism, Moojen Momen suggests that since the Buyids were not descendants of Ali, the first Shi'i Imam, Zaydism would have urged them to install an Imam from Ali's family. For that reason Buyids tended toward Twelverism, which has an occulted Imam, which was more politically attractive to them.
The Buyids rarely attempted to enforce a particular religious view upon their subjects except when in matters where it would be politically expedient. The Sunni Abbasids retained the caliphate but were deprived of all secular power. In addition, in order to prevent tensions between the Shia and the Sunnis from spreading to government agencies, the Buyid amirs occasionally appointed Christians to high offices instead of Muslims from either sect.
Generally, the three most powerful Buyid amirs at any given time were those in control of Fars, Jibal and Iraq. Sometimes a ruler would come to rule more than one region, but no Buyid rulers ever exercised direct control of all three regions.
Buyids in Fars
Buyids in Ray
Buyids in Iraq
It was not uncommon for younger sons to found collateral lines, or for individual Buyid members to take control of a province and begin ruling there. The following list is incomplete.
Buyids in Basra
Buyids in Hamadan
Buyids in Kerman
Buyids of Khuzistan
|Abu Ishaq Ibrahim||Izz al-Dawla|
|Sanad al-Dawla||Marzuban||Zubayda||Abu Tahir||Ali ibn Kama|
|Marzuban ibn Bakhtiyar||Salar||Unnamed princess|
|Al-Malik al-Aziz||Abu Mansur Ali|
|Abu Ali Fana-Khusrau||Abu Mansur Fulad Sutun|
|Kamrava||Abu'l-Muzaffar Bahram||Abu Sa'd Khusrau Shah|
Middle Persian was now replaced by new Persian as the popular language; and thus, the writings of historians , scientists and theologians of the Buyid court, which were in either Middle Persian or Arabic, were accessible to the vast majority of the Iranians only after translation"