Moʿin Moṣavver | Manuscripts | tāriḵ-e ʿālām-ārā-ye šāh esmāʿil

Manuscript M, SE_230

Khan Moḥammad ʿOstājlu Kills Moḥammad Beg Ẕuʾl-qadar in Battle at Āmada

In 913/1507-8 several battles were fought in the region of Diār Bakr between the Ẕuʾl-qadars under the command of various sons of ʿAlā al-Dowla, and the Safavids commanded by Khan Moḥammad ʿOstājlu and his brother Qarā Khan. The third encounter which pitted the joint Safavid forces of Khan Moḥammad ʿOstājlu and his brother against a larger Ẕuʾl-qadar force commanded by Kur Šāhroḵ and Khan Moḥammad Ẕuʾl-qadar (not to be confused with Khan Moḥammad Ostājlu), both sons of ʿAlā al-Dowla. Monshi makes no mention of Khan Moḥammad Ẕuʾl-qadar, but rather states that the Ẕuʾl-qadars were commanded by Kur Šāhroḵ and his brother Aḥmad Beg. However, in this text it is related that Ahmad Beg was also known as Orduvāneh Beg, and Orduvāneh Beg was killed, according to Eskandar Monshi, in the first engagement between the Ẕuʾl-qadars and ʿOstājlus. According tothe tāriḵ-e ʿālām-ārā-ye šāh esmāʿil Orduvāneh was burned at the siege of Qarā Ḥamid, but not killed.

The morale of the ʿOstājlu forces was uplifted by a preceeding dogfight (cf. SE_228), and in the ensuing battle the Ẕuʾl-qadars were decisively defeated. Monshi claims that Kur Šāhroḵ and Aḥmad Beg were taken prisoner and slain on the battlefield. Theʿālām-ārā-ye šāh esmāʿil, however, states that Khan Moḥammad Ẕuʾl-qadar was slain on the battlefield by Qarā Khan - no mention is made of his having been taken prisoner. Kur Šāhroḵ Ẕuʾl-qadar met his fate at the hands of another person of the same name, Kur Šāhroḵ ʿOståjlu, who apparently derived his name by suffering from the same affliction of having only one good eye. Obviously stunned by the confrontation, Kur Šāhroḵ Ẕuʾl-qadar was easily unhorsed by his ʿOståjlu counterpart, taken prisoner, and thrown before Khan Moḥammad ʿOstājlu, who ordered him executed.

The painting is a typical Moʿin battle scene: Safavid forces on the right, Ẕuʾl-qadar forces on the left. The dominant figure in red should be Qarā Khan, but here identified by inscription as his brother Khan Moḥammad Khan, who slices Khan Moḥammad Ẕuʾl-qadar in typical fashion from head to navel with a single thrust of his sword. Three other Safavid officers advance from the right, one firing a bow and arrow; four additional Ẕuʾl-qadars flee to the left before the Safavid advance. The setting is the typical barren hillside that rises to a craggy rock formation near the top, a few wisps of shrubbery, and a gold sky beyond.

Location: Private Collection
Folio size
: 31.8 x 21.6 cm.
Painting: ink, opaque watercolor and gold on paper. 15.8 x 13 cm wide (scaled from folio size)
Written surface: 22.5 x 13 cm wide (scaled from folio size)
Inscriptions: A marginal inscription in red describes the event depicted. On the sleeve of the Safavid in the red coat: Khan Moḥammad Khan. On the coat of the Ẕuʾl-qadar in the blue-gray coat: Moḥammad Beg

Painting references:
Text references:
Muntaẓer-Ṣāḥeb_1970, p.230.
See Savory, SA_1979, pp.52-53 for this event in the History of Shah ʿĀbbās.

Robert Eng
Last Updated: December 14, 2011 | Originally published:
December 14, 2011