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    * Khalifa Sultan *

    خلیفه سلطان

    (Wikipedia) - Khalifa Sultan

    Khalifa Sultan (Persian: خلیفه سلطان‎), also known as Sultan al-Ulama (سلطان آل علما), was a Iranian aristocrat, who served as the vizier of the Safavid king (shah) Abbas I (r. 1588–1629) the latter''s grandson Safi (r. 1629–1642), and Abbas II (r. 1642–1666). Khalifa Sultan died in 1654.



    Khalifa Sultan was born in ca. 1592/3 in Isfahan; his father Mirza Rafi al-Din Muhammad was a prominent aristocrat who occupied high offices in the Safavid Empire, and was an descendant of Shah Nimatullah, the founder of the Nimatullahi order, while Khalifa Sultan''s mother was related to shah Abbas I''s Marashi mother Khayr al-Nisa Begum, due to her ancestor being Amir Nezam al-Din, a Marashi prince who had settled in Isfahan in the 15th-century. Khalifa Sultan had a brother named Mirza Qavam al-Din Muhammad, who later, like himself and their father, occupy high offices.


    In 1608/9 (or 1609/10), Khalifa Sultan married shah Abbas I''s third daughter, Khan-Agha Begum, and was later in 1623/4 appointed by the shah as his vizier. However, after that, he is barely mentioned in any sources. Abbas I later died in 1629 and was succeeded by his grandson Safi, who in 1632 executed and exiled most of the officers who had served his grandfather, which included Khalifa Sultan, who dismissed and exiled to Qom, while his sons were blinded. During his exile in Qom, he focused in scholarship and commenting on several important texts. According to the person who edited the Dastur al-wuzara, Khalifa Sultan was the author of that work, which was written between 1645-1654.

    In 1638/9, Khalifa Sultan may have returned to Isfahan. However, it is known that by 1645 he was living in the city, after having performed a pilgrimage to Mecca. During his pilgrimage, he had met the shaykh of Mecca, who described him as a "man of great scholarship and perspicacity", and "someone with whom he had had "many enjoyable sessions of learned discussions".

    In 11 October 1645, the vizier Saru Taqi was murdered under the orders of Abbas II, who then appointed Khalifa Sultan as his vizier. In 1648, Khalifa Sultan accompanied Abbas II during his expedition against the Mughals, which ended in a victory for the Safavids, who managed to capture Bost and Qandahar. In 1651/2, one of Khalifa Sultan''s daughters married the son of the minister of religion (sadr al-mamalik) Mirza Mohammad Mahdi Karaki.

    After having been ill for 40 days, Khalifa Sultan died on 5 March 1654 in Mazandaran, the homeland of his ancestors. His body was then taken to Najaf in Iraq, where he was buried. He was succeeded by Mohammad Beg, a Muslim of Armenian origin.

    Tags:Armenian, Beg, Bost, Iranian, Iraq, Isfahan, Khalifa Sultan, Khan, Mahdi, Mazandaran, Mecca, Mirza, Mughals, Muslim, Najaf, Persian, Qavam, Qom, Safavid, Safavid Empire, Safavids, Safi, Shah, Sultan, Ulama, Wikipedia

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