The Info List - Saffarids

--- Advertisement ---

(i) (i) (i) (i)

The SAFFARID DYNASTY (Persian : سلسله صفاریان‎‎) was a Muslim
Persianate dynasty from Sistan that ruled over parts of eastern Iran
, with its capital at Zaranj (a city now in southwestern Afghanistan
). Khorasan , Afghanistan
and Sistan from 861 to 1003. The dynasty, of Persian origin, was founded by Ya\'qub bin Laith as-Saffar , born in 840 in a small town called Karnin (Qarnin), which was located east of Zaranj and west of Bost, in what is now Afghanistan
- a native of Sistan and a local ayyar , who worked as a coppersmith (_ṣaffār_) before becoming a warlord . He seized control of the Sistan region and began conquering most of Iran
and Afghanistan, as well as parts of Pakistan, Tajikestan and Uzbekistan.

The Saffarids used their capital Zaranj as a base for an aggressive expansion eastward and westward. They first invaded the areas south of the Hindu Kush in Afghanistan
and then overthrew the Persian Tahirid dynasty , annexing Khorasan in 873. By the time of Ya'qub's death, he had conquered the Kabul
Valley , Sindh
, Tocharistan , Makran (Balochistan), Kerman , Fars , Khorasan, and nearly reached Baghdad but then suffered a defeat by the Abbasids .

The Saffarid empire did not last long after Ya'qub's death. His brother and successor, Amr bin Laith , was defeated at the Battle of Balkh against Ismail Samani in 900. Amr bin Laith was forced to surrender most of his territories to the new rulers. The Saffarids were subsequently confined to their heartland of Sistan, with their role reduced to that of vassals of the Samanids and their successors.


* 1 Founding * 2 Culture * 3 Rulers of the Saffarid dynasty * 4 Gallery * 5 See also * 6 References * 7 External links


The dynasty began with Ya\'qub ibn al-Layth al-Saffar (Ya'qub, son of Layth, the Coppersmith), a coppersmith who moved to the city of Zaranj. He left work to become an Ayyar and eventually got the power to act as an independent ruler. From his capital Zaranj he moved east into al-Rukhkhadj and Zamindawar followed by Zunbil and Kabul
by 865. He then invaded Bamyan , Balkh , Badghis , and Ghor . In the name of Islam
, he conquered these territories which were ruled mostly by Buddhist tribal chiefs . He took vast amounts of plunder and slaves from this campaign. Nancy Dupree in her book _An Historical Guide to Afghanistan_ describes Yaqub's conquests as such:

Arab armies carrying the banner of Islam
came out of the west to defeat the Sasanians in 642 and then they marched with confidence to the east. On the western periphery of the Afghan area the princes of Herat
and Sistan gave way to rule by Arab governors but in the east, in the mountains, cities submitted only to rise in revolt and the hastily converted returned to their old beliefs once the armies passed. The harshness and avariciousness of Arab rule produced such unrest, however, that once the waning power of the Caliphate
became apparent, native rulers once again established themselves independent. Among these Saffarids of Sistan shone briefly in the Afghan area. The fanatic founder of this dynasty, the coppersmith’s apprentice Yaqub ibn Layth Saffari, came forth from his capital at Zaranj in 870 and marched through Bost , Kandahar
, Ghazni
, Kabul
, Bamyan , Balkh and Herat
, conquering in the name of Islam. —  Nancy Dupree , 1971

The Tahirid city of Herat
was captured in 870 and his campaign in the Badghis region led to the capture of Kharidjites which later formed the _Djash al-Shurat_ contingent in his army. Ya'qub then turned his focus to the west and began attacks on Khorasan, Khuzestan
, Kerman (Southeastern Iran) and Fars (southwestern Iran). The Saffarids then seized Khuzestan
(southwestern Iran) and parts of southern Iraq, and in 876 came close to overthrowing the Abbasids, whose army was able to turn them back only within a few days' march from Baghdad. These incursions, however, forced the Abbasid caliphate to recognize Ya'qub as governor of Sistan, Fars and Kerman , and Saffarids were even offered key posts in Baghdad.

In 901, Amr Saffari was defeated at the battle of Balkh by the Persian Samanids, which reduced the Saffarid dynasty to a minor tributary in Sistan.

In 1002, Mahmud of Ghazni
invaded Sistan, dethroned Khalaf I and finally ended the Saffarid dynasty.


The Saffarids gave great care to the Persian culture. Under their rule, the eastern Islamic world witnessed the emergence of prominent Persian poets such as Fayrouz Mashriqi , Abu Salik al-Jirjani , and Muhammad bin Wasif al-Sistani , who was a court poet.

In the later 9th century, the Saffarids gave impetus to a renaissance of New Persian literature and culture. Following Ya'qub's conquest of Herat, some poets chose to celebrate his victory in Arabic, whereupon Ya'qub requested his secretary, Muhammad bin Wasif al-Sistani, to compose those verses in Persian.

From silver mines in the Panjshir Valley , the Saffarids were able to mint silver coins.





Mythological history

* Pishdadian dynasty * Kayanian dynasty

Ancient period

BC _

Prehistory of Iran Ancient Times–4000

Kura–Araxes culture 3400–2000

Proto-Elamite 3200–2700

Elam 2700–539

Akkadian Empire 2400–2150

Kassites c. 1500 – c. 1155

Neo-Assyrian Empire 911–609

Urartu 860–590

Mannaeans 850–616

Imperial period

Median Empire 678–550 BC

(Scythian Kingdom ) 652–625 BC

Neo-Babylonian Empire 626 BC–539 BC

Achaemenid Empire
Achaemenid Empire
550–330 BC

Kingdom of Armenia 331 BC – 428 AD

Atropatene 320s BC – 3rd century AD

Seleucid Empire 312–63 BC

Frataraka dynasty 3rd-century BC – c. 222 AD

Parthian Empire 247 BC – 224 AD

Suren Kingdom 119 BC – 240 AD

Sasanian Empire 224–651

Zarmihrids 6th century – 785

Qarinvandids 550s – 11th century


Rashidun Caliphate

Umayyad Caliphate

Abbasid Caliphate 750–1258

Dabuyids 642–760

Bavandids 651–1349

Masmughans of Damavand 651–760

Paduspanids 665–1598

Justanids 791 – 11th century

Alid dynasties 864 – 14th century

Tahirid dynasty 821–873

Samanid Empire 819–999

Saffarid dynasty 861–1003

Ghurid dynasty pre-879 – 1141

Sajid dynasty 889–929

Sallarid dynasty 919–1062

Ziyarid dynasty 930–1090

Ilyasids 932–968

Buyid dynasty 934–1062

Ghaznavid dynasty 977–1186

Kakuyids 1008–1141

Nasrid dynasty 1029–1236

Shabankara 1030–1355

Seljuk Empire 1037–1194

Khwarazmian dynasty 1077–1231

Eldiguzids 1135–1225

Atabegs of Yazd 1141–1319

Salghurids 1148–1282


Mihrabanids 1236–1537

Kurt dynasty 1244–1396

Ilkhanate Empire 1256–1335

Chobanid dynasty 1335–1357

Muzaffarid dynasty 1335–1393

Jalairid dynasty 1337–1376

Sarbadars 1337–1376

Injuids 1335–1357

Afrasiyab dynasty 1349–1504

Marashis 1359–1596

Timurid Empire 1370–1507

Karkiya dynasty 1370s–1592

Kara Koyunlu 1406–1468

Aq Qoyunlu 1468–1508

Early modern period

Safavid dynasty 1501–1736

( Hotak dynasty ) 1722–1729

Afsharid dynasty 1736–1796

Talysh Khanate 1747–1826

Zand dynasty
Zand dynasty

Qajar dynasty 1789–1925

Modern period

Pahlavi dynasty 1925–1979

Interim Government of Iran 1979–1980

History of the Islamic Republic of Iran 1980–present

Related articles

* Name * Monarchs * Economic history * Military history * Wars

Timeline _ Iran

* v * t * e




Indus Valley Civilisation 2200–1800 BC

Oxus civilization 2100–1800 BC

Aryans 1700–700 BC

Median Empire 728–550 BC

Achaemenid Empire
Achaemenid Empire
550–330 BC

Seleucid Empire 330–150 BC

Maurya Empire 305–180 BC

Greco-Bactrian Kingdom 256–125 BC

Parthian Empire 247 BC–224 AD

Indo-Greek Kingdom 180–130 BC

Indo-Scythian Kingdom 155–80? BC

Kushan Empire 135 BC – 248 AD

Indo-Parthian Kingdom 20 BC – 50? AD

Sasanian Empire 230–651

Kidarite Kingdom 320–465

Alchon Huns 380–560

Hephthalite Empire
Hephthalite Empire

Nezak Huns 484–711


Shahi 565–879

Principality of Chaghaniyan 7th–8th centuries

Rashidun Caliphate

Umayyads 661–750

Abbasids 750–821

Tahirids 821–873

Saffarids 863–900

Samanids 875–999

Ghaznavids 963–1187

Ghurids before 879–1215

Seljuks 1037–1194

Khwarezmids 1215–1231

Qarlughids 1224–1266

Ilkhanate 1258–1353

Chagatai Khanate 1225–1370

Khiljis 1290–1320

Karts 1245–1381

Timurids 1370–1507

Arghuns 1479–1522

Mughals 1501–1738

Safavids 1510–1709

Afsharids 1738-1747


Hotak dynasty 1709–1738

Durrani Empire 1747–1826

Emirate of Afghanistan

Kingdom of Afghanistan

Republic of Afghanistan

Democratic Republic of Afghanistan

Islamic State of Afghanistan

Islamic Emirate of Afghanistan

Interim /Transitional Administration 2001–2004

Islamic Republic of Afghanistan
since 2004

* Book
* Category * Portal

* v * t * e


Independence from the Abbasid Caliphate .

Amir_ أمیر _al-Saffar_ coppersmith الصفار Ya\'qub ibn Layth یعقوب بن اللیث 861-879 CE

_Amir_ أمیر Amr ibn al-Layth عمرو بن اللیث 879-901 CE

_Amir_ أمیر _Abul-Hasan_ أبو الحسن Tahir ibn Muhammad ibn Amr طاھر بن محمد بن عمرو co-ruler Ya\'qub ibn Muhammad ibn Amr 901-908 CE

_Amir_ أمیر al-Layth ibn \'Ali اللیث بن علي 908-910 CE

_Amir_ أمیر Muhammad ibn \'Ali محمد بن علي 910-911 CE

_Amir_ أمیر Al-Mu\'addal ibn \'Ali المعضل ابن علي 911 CE

_Amir_ أمیر _Abu Hafs_ ابو حفص Amr ibn Ya\'qub ibn Muhammad ibn Amr عمرو بن یعقوب بن محمد بن عمرو 912-913 CE

Samanid occupation 913-922 CE.

_Amir_ أمیر _Abu Ja'far_ ابو جعفر Ahmed ibn Muhammad ibn Khalaf ibn Layth ibn \'Ali 922-963 CE

_Amir_ أمیر _Wali-ud-Daulah_ ولي الدولة Khalaf ibn Ahmad ibn Muhammad ibn Khalaf ibn al-Layth ibn \'Ali 963-1002 CE

Conquered by Mahmud ibn Sebuktigin of the Ghaznavid Empire in 1002 CE.



The Saffarid dynasty and its neighbors at its peak in 900 CE *

Saffarid Soldier


* Iranian Intermezzo * Nasrid dynasty (Sistan) * Mihrabanids * Samanids * Ghaznavids * List of kings of Persia * List of Sunni Muslim


* ^ "Persian Prose Literature." World Eras. 2002. HighBeam Research. (September 3, 2012);"_Princes, although they were often tutored in Arabic and religious subjects, frequently did not feel as comfortable with the Arabic language and preferred literature in Persian, which was either their mother tongue—as in the case of dynasties such as the Saffarids (861–1003), Samanids (873–1005), and Buyids (945–1055)..._". * ^ Robinson, Chase F. (2009). _The new Cambridge history of Islam. Vol 1, Sixth to eleventh centuries_ (1. publ. ed.). Cambridge: Cambridge Univ. Press. p. 345. ISBN 978-0-521-83823-8 . The Tahirids had made scant use of Persian, though the Saffarids used it considerably more. But under the Samanids Persian emerged as a full "edged language of literature and (to a lesser extent) administration. Court patronage was extended to Persian poets, including the great Rudaki (d. c. 940). Meanwhile Arabic continued to be used abundantly, for administration and for scientific, theo logical and philosophical discourse. access-date= requires url= (help ) * ^ _The Islamization of Central Asia in the Samanid era and the reshaping of the Muslim
world_, D.G. Tor, BULLETIN OF THE SCHOOL OF ORIENTAL AND AFRICAN STUDIES, University of London, Vol. 72, No. 2 (2009), 281;"_The Saffārids were the first of the Persianate dynasties to arise from the remains of the politically moribund ʿAbbāsid caliphate_". * ^ _The Cambridge History of Iran_, by Richard Nelson Frye, William Bayne Fisher, John Andrew Boyle (Cambridge University Press, 1975: ISBN 0-521-20093-8 ), pg. 121. * ^ _The Encyclopedia of World History_, ed. Peter N. Stearns and William Leonard Langer (Houghton Mifflin, 2001), 115. * ^ _A_ _B_ Clifford Edmund Bosworth , _Encyclopædia Iranica_ SAFFARIDS * ^ "_First, the Saffarid amirs and maliks were rulers of Persian stock who for centuries championed the cause of the underdog against the might of the Abbasid caliphs._" -- Savory, Roger M.. "_The History of the Saffarids of Sistan and the Maliks of Nimruz (247/861 to 949/1542-3)._" The Journal of the American Oriental Society. 1996 * ^ "_The provincial Persian Ya'kub, on the other hand, rejoiced in his plebeian origins, denounced the Abbasids as usurpers, and regarded both the caliphs and such governors from aristocratic Arab families as the Tahirids with contempt_". -- Ya'kub b. al-Layth al Saffar, C.E. Bosworth, THE ENCYCLOPAEDIA OF ISLAM, Vol. XI, p 255 * ^ _Saffarids: A Persian dynasty....._", ENCYCLOPEDIA OF ARABIC LITERATURE, Volume 2, edited by Julie Scott Meisami, Paul Starkey, p674 * ^ "_There were many local Persian dynasties, including the Tahirids, the Saffarids...._", MIDDLE EAST, WESTERN ASIA, AND NORTHERN AFRICA, by Ali Aldosari, p472. * ^ "_Saffarid, the Coppersmith, the epithet of the founder of this Persian dynasty..._", _The Arabic Contributions to the English Language: An Historical Dictionary_, by Garland Hampton Cannon, p288. * ^ "_The Saffarids, the first Persian dynasty, to challenge the Abbasids..._", _Historical Dictionary of the Ismailis_, by Farhad Daftary, p51. * ^ _The Development of Persian Culture under the Early Ghaznavids_, C.E. Bosworth, IRAN, Vol. 6, (1968), 34. * ^ _Saffarids_, C.E. Bosworth, Encyclopedia of Islam
, Vol. VIII, Ed. C.E.Bosworth, E. van Donzel, W.P.Heinrichs and G. Lecomte, (Brill, 1995), 795. * ^ Dupree, Nancy (1971) "Sites in Perspective (Chapter 3)" _An Historical Guide To Afghanistan_ Afghan Tourist Organization, Kabul, OCLC 241390 * ^ _Saffarids_, Encyclopedia of Islam, Vol. VIII, 795. * ^ Esposito, John L., _The Oxford History of Islam_ (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1999), p. 38. * ^ _The Development of Persian Culture under the Early Ghaznavids_, C.E. Bosworth, 34. * ^ C.E. Bosworth, _The Ghaznavids 994-1040_, (Edinburgh University Press, 1963), 89. * ^ _The Ṭāhirids and Persian Literature_, C. E. Bosworth, IRAN, Vol. 7, (1969), 104. * ^ _The Tahirids and the Saffarids_, C.E.Bosworth, THE CAMBRIDGE HISTORY OF IRAN: THE PERIOD FROM THE ARAB INVASION TO THE SALJUQS, Vol. IV, Ed. R.N.Frye, (Cambridge University Press, 1999), 129. * ^ _Pandjhir_, Encyclopedia of Islam, Vol. VIII, 258.


_ Wikisource has the text of the 1911 Encyclopædia Britannica_ article _ṢAFFāRIDS _.

* _Encyclopædia Iranica_ Saffarids

* v * t * e