Abu Taleb Rostam (Persian: 'ابو طالب رستم), known as
Majd al-Dawla, was the
Buyid emir of Rayy, a city in Iran
(997–1029). He was the eldest son of Fakhr al-Dawla. His reign saw
the removal of the Buyids as a power in central Iran.
Abu Taleb Rostam succeeded his father upon the latter's death in 997,
and was given the laqab of "Majd al-Dawla". At the time he was four
years old. His younger brother, Abu Taher ("Shams al-Dawla"),
meanwhile, became the ruler of Hamadan. Since both brothers were in
the age of minority, power was assumed by their mother Sayyida Shirin.
Both sons initially declared themselves independent and assumed the
title of Shâhanshâh, but by 1009 or 1010 at the latest had
recognized the authority of Baha' al-Dawla, who controlled Fars and
Iraq, and abandoned the title.
According to Persian traditions, he was suffering from an illusion
that he is a cow, and he was cured by Avicenna.
In 1006 or 1007, with the assistance of his vizier Abu 'Ali ibn 'Ali,
Majd al-Dawla attempted to throw off the regency of his mother.
Sayyida, however, escaped to the
Kurd Abu Najr Badr ibn Hasanuya, and
Shams al-Dawla they put Ray under siege. After several
battles, the city was taken and
Majd al-Dawla was captured. He was
imprisoned by his mother in the fort of Tabarak, while Shams al-Dawla
took to power in Ray. After a year,
Majd al-Dawla was released and
reinstated in Ray;
Shams al-Dawla returned to Hamadan. Power continued
to be held by his mother.
Majd al-Dawla's reign saw the gradual shriking of
Buyid holdings in
Tabaristan had been lost to the Ziyarids in
997, while several of the western towns were seized by the Sallarids
of Azerbaijan. Sayyida later prevented
Shams al-Dawla from seizing Ray
from Majd al-Dawla. In ca. 1015, Majd al-Dawla, who was suffering
melancholia, was treated by the famous Persian scholar Avicenna.
Ibn Fuladh, a
Dailamite military officer, who claimed
himself, revolted against
Majd al-Dawla in 1016. Majd al-Dawla,
however, refused to make him governor of Qazvin, which made Ibn Fuladh
threaten him around the countryside of his capital in Ray. Majd
al-Dawla then requested the aid of his vassal, the
Bavandid ruler Abu
Ja'far Muhammad, who managed to defeat
Ibn Fuladh and repel him from
Ibn Fuladh then requested aid from the
Ziyarid ruler Manuchihr.
Ibn Fuladh agreed to become Manuchihr's vassal in return for his aid.
The following year, a combined army of
Ibn Fuladh and Manuchihr
besieged Ray, which forced
Majd al-Dawla to make
Ibn Fuladh the
governor of Isfahan. However, the
Kakuyid ruler Muhammad ibn Rustam
Dushmanziyar, who was a
Buyid vassal king of Isfahan, defeated Ibn
Fuladh, possibly killing him during the battle.
Shams al-Dawla later
died in 1021 and was succeeded by his son Sama' al-Dawla.
The fragility of Majd al-Dawla's kingdom later encouraged Muhammad to
extend his domains in the Kurdish held mountains of Iran. In 1023,
Hamadan from Sama' al-Dawla, and then proceeded to
Khorramabad from its Kurdish leaders. He spent
the following years in protecting his realm from invasions by the
Kurds and princes (ispahbadh) from Tabaristan.
Five years later,
Majd al-Dawla sent a combined Buyid-Bavand army
Abu Ja'far Muhammad
Abu Ja'far Muhammad and his two sons against Muhammad. Muhammad,
however, managed win a great victory over the Buyid-Bavand army at
Nahavand, and managed to capture Abu Ja'far including his two sons.
After this great victory, Muhammad consolidated his position as the
strongest ruler of Jibal, even though
Majd al-Dawla was his overlord,
Muhammad minted coins in his own name. He was later personally
awarded, and without the intervention of the Buyids, from the Caliph
Abbasid Al-Qadir, the title of "Ḥusām Amīr-al-muʾmenīn" (Sword
of the Commander of the Faithful).
When Sayyida died in 1028, the consequences of the political seclusion
Majd al-Dawla became apparent. He was soon faced with a revolt by
Dailamite soldiers, and requested the assistance of Mahmud of
Ghazni in dealing with them. Mahmud came to Ray, deposed Majd al-Dawla
as ruler, and sacked the city, bringing an end to
Buyid rule there.
One of his sons, Fana-Khusrau, would attempt to restore the power of
the Buyids in the following years, but failed.
^ Gutas 1987, p. 67–70.
^ Bosworth 1998, p. 359-362.
^ C.E. Bosworth, The Ghaznavids 994-1040, (Edinburgh University Press,
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Buyid Amir (in Ray)
In Fars (934–1062)
Abu Mansur Fulad Sutun
Abu Sa'd Khusrau Shah
Abu Mansur Fulad Sutun
In Kerman (940–1048)
In Rey (943–1029)
In Jazira (978-989)
Diya' al-Dawla (Basra, 980s)