Hasan (died September 976), better known by his laqab as Rukn al-Dawla
(Persian: رکنالدوله دیلمی), was the first
of northern and central
Iran (c. 935-976). He was the son of Buya.
1 Struggle for power
2 Senior ruler of the
2.1 First invasion of Azerbaijan and aftermath
2.2 Clash with the ghazis, the second invasion of Azerbaijan and
2.3 Rebellion, family issues and death
3 Death and legacy
Struggle for power
Map of northern Iran
Hasan was the son of Buya, a
Dailamite fisherman from Lahijan, who
Zoroastrian faith and converted to Islam. Ahmad had an
older brother named 'Ali and a younger brother named Ahmad. He also
had a sister named Kama.
In around 928, Hasan's brother 'Ali joined the services of Makan, who
Samanid governor of Ray. 'Ali then managed to gain military
positions for Hasan and their other brother Ahmad. At the time, Hasan
was about thirty years old. When
Makan attacked his
and was subsequently defeated by the
Ziyarid prince Mardavij, the
brothers transferred their allegiance to the latter.
In the following years, 'Ali repudiated his subservience to Mardavij
and, after some time, managed to create an empire in Fars. During this
time, Hasan distinguished himself in the battles over that province.
Mardavij, however, marched south and forced 'Ali to recognize his
authority in around 934. Hasan was sent to Madavij's court as a
hostage. The death of
Mardavij in 935 allowed Hasan to escape, and
also provided an opportunity for the Buyids to expand into central
Iran. 'Ali therefore sent Hasan to take Isfahan. The Ziyarids, now
under Vushmgir, were busy dealing with the Samanids, allowing the
Buyid to easily take the city. This success did not last, however.
Internal disruptions, combined with an invasion by Vushmgir, forced
Hasan to abandon Isfahan to the Ziyarids three years later. In 940,
Abu 'l-Fadl ibn al-'Amid
Abu 'l-Fadl ibn al-'Amid as his vizier.
Although he did not receive much support from 'Ali, Hasan continued to
be involved in central Iran. In 940 he recaptured Isfahan, then
Vushmgir in battle and occupied Ray, which had been taken by
the Samanids, in 943. Meanwhile, in 945 Hasan's brother Ahmad had
managed to capture Baghdad, occupying the Abbasid Caliphate. The
caliph al-Mustakfi gave Ahmad the honorific title of "Mu'izz
al-Dawla", while Ali' received the title of "'Imad al-Dawla". Hasan
himself was bestowed with the title "Rukn al-Dawla".
That same year, 945, saw
Rukn al-Dawla expelled from all of central
Iran by Ibn Muhtaj, the governor of
Samanid Khurasan. Only in 946 or
947 was he able to make his return to Ray. He was, however, able to
expand his territory after doing so, stripping
Tabaristan. Some time later, Abu Mansur Muhammad, a former Samanid
general who had rebelled against them, took refuge in Ray, and was
honored by Rukn al-Dawla, who, along with his brothers, greatly
awarded him with riches.
Rukn al-Dawla shortly sent Abu Mansur to
Damghan in order to protect Ray from an
In 948 or 949, the
Sallarid ruler of Azerbaijan, al-Marzuban, became
angry over a diplomatic insult sent to him by Mu'izz al-Dawla. He
sought revenge against the Buyids by attempting to seize Ray from Rukn
al-Dawla. The amir, however, convinced al-Marzuban by diplomatic
measures to delay his expedition until his brothers sent him
additional armies; he then sent an army under Abu Mansur which
defeated al-Marzuban near
Qazvin and imprisoned him.
Senior ruler of the
In around 948 '
Imad al-Dawla named Rukn al-Dawla's eldest son, Fana
Khusrau ('Adud al-Dawla) as his successor. In September 949 he died,
Rukn al-Dawla claimed the title of senior amir for himself. He
traveled to Shiraz and stayed there for at least nine months in order
to secure his son's succession there, despite the fact that the
Samanids were threatening his own possessions. Mu'izz al-Dawla,
meanwhile, accepted Rukn al-Dawla's position of senior amir and also
sent troops to Shiraz to assist 'Adud al-Dawla.
With his substantial territories in central Iran, as well as pledges
to respect his authority by both
Mu'izz al-Dawla and 'Adud al-Dawla,
Rukn al-Dawla was now the most powerful ruler in the
Buyid empire. The
center of power therefore shifted from Shiraz to Ray. As a consequence
Rukn al-Dawla was able to request troops from the other Buyid
rulers. His own position was not secure; during his time in Shiraz the
Samanid Khurasan seized
Jibal for a time.
First invasion of Azerbaijan and aftermath
Map of Azerbaijan and Caucasus.
Rukn al-Dawla sent Abu Mansur to Azerbaijan with orders to
take control of the province. Marzuban's brother and the Sallarid
ruler of Dailam, Wahsudan, shortly sent an army under the Kurdish
general Daisam, but the latter was forced to retreat to Arran.
Furthermore, the vizier of Daisam, Ibn Mahmud, betrayed him and joined
Abu Mansur, who managed to successfully conquer Azerbaijan, and was
shortly appointed as the governor of the region by Rukn al-Dawla. Ibn
Mahmud was shortly appointed by Abu Mansur as his personal
However, an unnamed secretary of Abu Mansur, who had greatly helped
him during his conquest of Azerbaijan, felt insulted that he had
chosen Ibn Mahmud as his minister instead of him, and shortly raised
an army, and joined Daisam. Meanwhile, Abu Mansur, who was not used to
the environment of Azerbaijan, left the region with Ibn Mahmud, and
returned to Ray. Thus ending the short-lived
Buyid rule over
Azerbaijan. In 952 or 953 al-Marzuban escaped, and after some fighting
retook control of Azerbaijan. By 955,
Rukn al-Dawla made peace with
him, and married his daughter.
The fight between the Buyids and the Ziyarids, along with their
Samanid overlords over
Tabaristan also continued until 955,
with control of the provinces switching hands several times. Rukn
al-Dawla was forced to sign a treaty with the Samanids, in which he
promised to respect the independence of the Ziyarids in exchange for
peace. The peace did not last long, however; in 958
Ray for a short time, while in 960
Rukn al-Dawla briefly gained
control of Gurgan. In 962, the
Buyid managed to take both
Tabaristan for a short time.
Clash with the ghazis, the second invasion of Azerbaijan and
In 966, a large group ghazis from Khorasan, plundered Jibal, and also
managed to wound Rukn al-Dawla's vizier Abu 'l-Fadl. The ghazis
shortly marched towards an important
Buyid library in Ray, which was,
however, saved by Abu 'l-Fadl's chief librarian Ibn Miskawayh.
Rukn al-Dawla shortly sent an army under his nephew
Ali ibn Kama which
managed to repel the ghazis. The next year, under the orders of
Rukn al-Dawla, Abu 'l-Fadl conquered Azerbaijan, and restored Rukn
al-Dawla's son-in-law the
Ibrahim I ibn Marzuban I
Ibrahim I ibn Marzuban I as the
ruler of the region. Abu 'l-Fadl shortly urged
Rukn al-Dawla to depose
Ibrahim and impose direct
Buyid control on the region. Rukn al-Dawla,
however, declined his advice. In 970,
Rukn al-Dawla sent Abu
'l-Fadl on an expedition against the Kurdish ruler Hasanwayh, but died
before he managed to deal with the latter, and was shortly succeeded
as vizier by his son Abu'l-Fath ibn al-'Amid, who shortly managed
to deal with Hasanwayh.
During the same period, Rukn al-Dawla's fighting with his rivals began
to work in his favor, and he was able to sign a less humiliating
treaty with the Samanids in 971 or 972, though he continued to pay
Rebellion, family issues and death
Buyid amirates in ca. 970
Rukn al-Dawla sent
'Adud al-Dawla to suppress a large revolt
against 'Izz al-Dawla, who had succeeded
Mu'izz al-Dawla in
'Izz al-Dawla had also recognized
Rukn al-Dawla as senior amir,
but he and
'Adud al-Dawla had a dislike of each other. 'Adud al-Dawla
successfully destroyed the rebellion, but ended up deposing his cousin
as well and proclaimed himself the ruler of Iraq. Rukn al-Dawla,
however, vehemently protested this, claiming that the line of Mu'izz
al-Dawla could not be removed from power. 'Adud al-Dawla's offer to
his father to pay tribute for his possession of
Iraq was rejected, and
he reluctantly reinstated
'Izz al-Dawla and returned to Fars.
'Adud al-Dawla began to grow concerned that his father would deny him
the succession as senior amir. Although he had never been explicitly
designated as successor, it was assumed that as the eldest son that
the position would be his upon Rukn al-Dawla's death. The fiasco in
Iraq, however, cooled the relationship between the two. At this point,
Abu'l-Fath attempted to reconcile them by arranging a meeting in
Isfahan in January of 976.
The meeting proved to be a success, at least for 'Adud al-Dawla. Rukn
al-Dawla may have been pressured to give in to his son's demands; in
any case he agreed to name
'Adud al-Dawla as his successor to the
senior amirate. All he asked for in exchange was that Ray would go to
his second son, Fakhr al-Dawla, while
Hamadan would go to a third son,
Mu'ayyad al-Dawla. Both sons would recognize
'Adud al-Dawla as senior
amir. The issue of
Iraq was not discussed.
Death and legacy
Only a few months later,
Rukn al-Dawla died. He was succeeded by his
two younger sons in Ray and Hamadan, while
'Adud al-Dawla claimed the
senior amirate. 'Izz al-Dawla, however, refused to recognize this,
paving the way for conflict between the two sides.
Rukn al-Dawla's campaigns in central
Iran were done almost entirely
without the support of 'Imad al-Dawla. As a result of this, Rukn
al-Dawla was in nearly all aspects independent of his brother. His
coins bear only his name after that of the caliph's, and he was
considered by contemporary sources to be an independent ruler. For the
remainder of the
Buyid presence in central Iran, the amirs there were
either independent of the rest of the empire, or were the senior amirs
that ruled the empire.
The failure of '
Imad al-Dawla to extend his authority over the Buyids
Iran was later to present problems for the
Buyid state, as
the descendants of both brothers each considered themselves to be the
best candidate for the senior amirate. This led to multiple
independent rulers, destroying the unity of the
Buyid state and
allowing for internal dissent.
In terms of a capital, Isfahan at first served Rukn al-Dawla's his
city of choice, and continued to be a favorite even after Ray was
captured and the court was moved there. His successors would continue
to use Ray as the capital. Like the other Buyids,
Rukn al-Dawla was a
Shi'ite. While he recognized the authority of the caliph of his coins
and allowed the caliph's name to be said in the Friday prayers, in all
other aspects he ruled as a Shi'ite. On the other hand, he was no
fanatic; he recognized that the
Sunni citizens of his empire must be
protected in order to prevent internal discord.
^ Wolfgang & Madelung 1995, pp. 342–347.
^ Bosworth 1975, p. 274.
^ Kennedy 2004, p. 244.
^ Bosworth 1975, p. 257.
^ Madelung 1975, p. 214.
^ Amedroz & Margoliouth 1921, p. 121.
^ Bosworth 1975, p. 234.
^ Amedroz & Margoliouth 1921, pp. 141-142.
^ Amedroz & Margoliouth 1921, p. 157.
^ Bosworth 2002.
^ a b Zetterstéen 1987, p. 360.
^ Madelung 1975, p. 236.
^ Bosworth 1975, p. 269.
^ Ch. Bürgel & R. Mottahedeh 1988, pp. 265-269.
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Buyid Amir (in Ray)
943– September 976
Buyid Amir (in Hamadan)
?– September 976
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)