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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 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 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.
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, 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).
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.
Shah Abbas II, was the seventh Safavid king (shah) of Iran, ruling from 1642 to 1666. Born Soltan Mohammad Mirza, he was the eldest son of Safi I with his Circassian wife, Anna Khanum.
Allahverdi Khan was an Iranian general and statesman of Georgian origin who, initially a gholām, rose to high office in the Safavid state.
Shaykh Ali Khan Zanganeh, was an Iranian statesman of Kurdish origin, who served as the grand vizier of the Safavid king (shah) Suleiman I from 1669 to 1689. Due to his efforts in reforming the declining Iranian economy, he has been called the "Safavid Amir Kabir" in modern historiography.
Mirza Mohammad Taqi, better known as Saru Taqi was a eunuch of Safavid Empire, who served as the Grand Vizier of the Safavid king (shah) Safi and the latter's son Abbas II until he was assassinated on 11 October 1645.
Sayyed Ala al-Din Hoseyn, better known as Khalifeh Soltan, and also known as Sultan al-Ulama (سلطانالعلماء), was an Iranian statesman and cleric, who served as the grand vizier of the Safavid king (shah) Abbas I, the latter's grandson Safi, and Abbas II.
Durmish (Dormish) Khan Shamlu was a Qizilbash officer of Turkoman origin, who occupied high offices under the Safavid king (shah) Ismail I and the latter's son Tahmasp I. Durmish Khan later died in 1525.
Mohammad Beg, was a Muslim of Armenian origin, who served as the Grand Vizier of the Safavid king (shah) Abbas II from 1654 to 1661.
Farhad Khan Qaramanlu, also known by his honorific title of Rokn al-Saltana, was a Turkoman military officer from the Qaramanlu family, and was the last member of the Qizilbash to serve as commander-in-chief (sipah-salar) of the Safavid Empire.
Isa Khan Safavi, also known as Isa Khan Shaykhavand was a Safavid prince, who occupied high offices under king (shah) Abbas I.
Sultan Kalanjar, better known as Gharib Shah, was an Iranian aristocrat who rebelled against Safavid rule in 1629/30, but was defeated and later executed.
Shah Mansur Lahiji was an Iranian military commander of the Kia'i dynasty. His surname "Lahiji" implies that he was a native of Lahijan, and thus probably of Gilaki origin. He is first mentioned during the reign of Khan Ahmad Khan, where he served as the military commander of Lahijan and also as the governor of Kuchesfahan, which was claimed by its original ruler Amira Sasan. On June 1567, Shah Mansur Lahiji inflicted a heavy defeat on Amira Sasan near Siah-rudbar, making him and his men rout. Shah Mansur Lahiji thereafter disappears from mention.
Salman Khan Ustajlu was a Turkoman military leader from the Ustajlu tribe, who became a powerful and rich figure during his service in Safavid Iran. He briefly served as the grand vizier of the Safavid king (shah) Abbas I from 1621 until his death in 1623/4. He was succeeded by Khalifeh Sultan.
Mehdi Qoli Khan Shamlu was a Turkoman military officer from the Shamlu tribe, who briefly served as the Safavid governor of Bia-pish from 1592 to 1593.
Yakhan Begum was a Karkiya princess, who was the daughter of the last Karkiya ruler Khan Ahmad Khan, and the Safavid princess Maryam Begum. In 1591, the Safavid prince Mohammad Baqer Mirza was engaged to Yakhan Begum, but in the end a marriage did not take place due to the opposal of her father. Mohammad Baqer's father Shah Abbas I himself later married Yakhan Begum in 1602, but she died in the same year.
The Khalifeh family, also known as the Khalifeh sayyids, were a branch of the Marashi dynasty of Mazandaran, whose ancestor, Amir Nezam al-Din, had settled in the Golbar quarter of Isfahan in the 15th-century.
Mirza Sayyed Hasan was a Safavid prince. He was the son of the high-ranking Iranian statesman Khalifeh Sultan, and the Safavid princess Khan-Agha Begum. In 1632, Mirza Sayyed, together with the rest of his three brothers, were blinded by Shah Safi, who feared that his place was in danger from other Safavid royal members. Because of this, Mirza Sayyed was not able to occupy any post. He did, however, become one of the most dominant ulama of his time. At an unknown date, he married the Safavid princess Zobeydeh Khanum, who was the daughter of Shah Suleiman I, and the sister of the later Shah Sultan Husayn. She bore him Mirza Mohammad Baqer and Mir Sayyed Morteza, who both served as the sadr-i khasseh and sadr-i mamalik under their cousin Sultan Husayn.
Mirza Mohammad Mahdi Karaki was an Iranian cleric and statesman, who served as the grand Vizier of the Safavid king (shah) Abbas II, and the latters son and successor Suleiman I. He was the son of Mirza Habibollah Karaki, who served as the sadr-i mamalik from 1632/3 till his death 1650.
Agha Jamal Fumani, also known as Hajji Jamal Fumani, was a Gilaki tribal chieftain from Fuman, who controlled Gilan from 1749 to 1753.
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