Mu'izz al-Dawla

Mu'izz al-Dawla
Buyid Emir of Iraq
Mu'izz al-Dawla coin.jpg
Coin of Mu'izz al-Dawla
SuccessorIzz al-Dawla
DiedApril 8, 967 (aged 52)
IssueAbu Ishaq Ibrahim
Izz al-Dawla
Sanad al-Dawla
Abu Tahir
Full name
Ahmad ibn Buya
ReligionShia Islam

Ahmad ibn Buya (Persian: احمد بن بویه, died April 8, 967), after 945 better known by his laqab of Mu'izz al-Dawla (Arabic: المعز الدولة البويهي‎, "Fortifier of the Dynasty"), was the first of the Buyid emirs of Iraq, ruling from 945 until his death.

The son of Daylamite fisherman who had converted to Islam, Ahmad ibn Buya was born in the mountainous region of Daylam, and by 928, he along with his two brothers served the Daylamite military leader Makan ibn Kaki. However, they quickly changed their allegiance to the Ziyarid ruler Mardavij, but some years later rebelled against him after founding out that he planned to murder one of the brothers. In 935/6, Ahmad ibn Buya unsuccessfully invaded Kerman, and was later sent to Istakhr. From there he started making incursions into Khuzestan and later Iraq; by 945, he was officially recognized as the ruler of Iraq and Khuzestan and had received the title of "Mu'izz al-Dawla" from the Caliph, while his two other brother were the rulers of other territories and had also received titles from the Caliph.

Throughout his rule, Mu'izz al-Dawla was devoted in conflicts with other dynasties for control over Iraq—in 946, an important battle took place in Baghdad between Mu'izz al-Dawla and the Hamdanid amir Nasir al-Dawla, which lasted several months, with Mu'izz al-Dawla ending as the victor. Mu'izz al-Dawla also fought against the Batihah amirate several times, but was unable to decisively defeat it. Mu'izz al-Dawla also had problems with some of his Daylamite kinsmen, who would sometimes rebel against him, the most dangerous rebellion being under Ruzbahan from 955 to 957. By Mu'izz al-Dawla's death in 967, he had defeated all his foes and was the unchallenged ruler of Iraq. He was succeeded by his son Izz al-Dawla.

Family and early career

Ahmad was the son of Buya, a Daylamite fisherman from Lahijan,[1] who had left his Zoroastrian faith and converted to Islam.[2] Ahmad had two older brothers named 'Ali and Hasan, and a sister named Kama.[3]

In around 928, Ahmad's brother Ali joined the services of Makan ibn Kaki, who was the Samanid governor of Ray. 'Ali then managed to gain military positions for Ahmad and another their other brother Hasan. At the time, Ahmad was about thirteen years old. When Makan attacked his Samanid overlords and was subsequently defeated by the Ziyarid prince Mardavij, the brothers transferred their allegiance to the latter. In the following years, 'Ali repudiated his subservience to Mardavij and, after some time, managed to create an empire in Fars, where Ahmad distinguished himself in battle.

In 935 or 936, 'Ali sent Ahmad to Kerman with the task of conquering that province from the Banu Ilyas. Ahmad overran much of Kerman, but encountered resistance from the Baluchis and Arab Qafs,[4] receiving a wound to the head and losing a hand and several fingers on the other. Direct Buyid control over Kerman was not established, resulting in 'Ali's recall of Ahmad. The latter was then sent to Istakhr to await further orders.

Ahmad's next opportunity to expand the possessions of the Buyids came when the Baridis requested help from 'Ali. The Baridis, who ruled in Khuzestan, were nominally subordinate to the Abbasid Caliphate, but were attempting to establish their independence. Ahmad was sent by 'Ali to the area; he succeeded in uprooting the authority of the Baridis and taking control of that province.