Karkiya dynasty

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The Kar-Kiya dynasty, or Kia dynasty, was a Zaydi Shia dynasty which ruled over Bia pish (eastern Gilan) from the 1370s to 1592. They claimed Sasanian ancestry as well.

Zaidiyyah branch of Shia Islam

Zaidiyyah or Zaidism is one of the Shia sects closest in terms of theology to the Ibadhi and Mutazila schools. Zaidiyyah emerged in the eighth century out of Shi'a Islam. Zaidis are named after Zayd ibn ʻAlī, the grandson of Husayn ibn ʻAlī and the son of their fourth Imam Ali ibn 'Husain. Followers of the Zaydi Islamic jurisprudence are called Zaydi and make up about 50% of Muslims in Yemen, with the vast majority of Shia Muslims in the country being Zaydi.

Shia Islam group of denominations of Islam which holds that Muhammad designated Ali as his successor and leader (imam), whose adherents form the majority of the population in Iran, Iraq, Azerbaijan, and Bahrain

Shia Islam is one of the two main branches of Islam. It holds that the Islamic prophet Muhammad designated Ali ibn Abi Talib as his successor and the Imam (leader) after him, most notably at the event of Ghadir Khumm, but was prevented from the caliphate as a result of the incident at Saqifah. This view primarily contrasts with that of Sunni Islam, whose adherents believe that Muhammad did not appoint a successor and consider Abu Bakr, who they claim was appointed Caliph through a Shura, i.e. community consensus in Saqifa, to be the first rightful Caliph after the Prophet.


The Karkiya dynasty helped Shah Ismail I to establish the Safavid Empire and later became a vassal state of the empire. The Safavid shah, Abbas I put an end to the Kia'i dynasty by dispatching an army to Gilan in 1592. [1]

Shah Persian title

Shah is a title given to the emperors, kings, princes and lords of Iran. It was also adopted by the kings of Shirvan namely the Shirvanshahs. It was also used by Persianate societies such as the rulers and offspring of the Ottoman Empire, Mughal emperors of the Indian Subcontinent, the Bengal Sultanate, as well as in Afghanistan. In Iran the title was continuously used; rather than King in the European sense, each Persian ruler regarded himself as the Shahanshah or Padishah of the Persian Empire.

Ismail I Shah of Persia

Ismail I, also known as Shah Ismail I, was the founder of the Safavid dynasty, ruling from 1501 to 23 May 1524 as Shah of Iran (Persia).

Karkiya rulers

Khan Ahmad Khan, was the last king of the Karkiya dynasty in Gilan, ruling from 1538 to 1592. In 1591, the Safavid shah Shah Abbas asked Khan Ahmad Khan's daughter Yakhan Begum to marry his son Mohammad Baqer Mirza, since Khan Ahmad Khan had no male successor. Khan Ahmad Khan disagreed due to the age of his daughter. This and some other economic factors caused a Safavid raid in 1591 and Khan Ahmad Khan escaped to Ottoman territories, and spent the rest of his life in Constantinople and Baghdad, spending fruitless attempts to return to power. He died in 1596 and was buried in Najaf, one of the holiest cities of Shia Islam.

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  1. Kasheff 2001, pp. 635–642.


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