Adud al-Dawla al-Daylami

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Adud al-Dawla al-Daylami
The most important ruler of Buyid dynasty
Full NameAbu Shuja' 'Adud al-Dawla al-Daylamī
Religious AffiliationTwelver Shi'a
Well-known RelativesHasan Rukn al-Din al-Daylami
Place of BirthIsfahan
Places of ResidenceIsfahan • Baghdad
Burial PlaceHoly Shrine of Imam Ali (a), Najaf
EraBuyid dynasty
ActivitiesReconstructing Imams' shrines • building 'Adud al-Dawla hospital • reconstructing roads and cities

Abū Shujāʿ ʿAḍud al-Dawla al-Daylamī (Arabic:عَضُد الدولَة الدَیلَمی), the son of Hasan Rukn al-Dawla al-Daylami, was the greatest Emir of Buyid dynasty and a prominent Shi'ite leader. He managed to rule over vast areas in Iran and Islamic territories. Restoration of Baghdad, building dams and large water tanks, improving agriculture, resolving issues between Shi'ite and Sunni Muslims in Baghdad, building Al-Adudi Hospital in Baghdad, setting up fences around Medina for the first time are among the significant actions taken by Adud al-Dawla al-Daylami. He also restored the holy shrines of Imam Ali (a), Imam al-Husayn (a), Holy Shrine of Kazimayn (a) and Holy Shrine of al-'Askariyyayn (a).


Adud al-Dawla Al-Daylami, the son of Al-Hasan Rukn al-Dawla, was born in Isfahan, in 324/936.[1] He ruled over Iran and Iraq for almost 34 years. Adud al-Dawla passed away after 48 years and was buried in the holy shrine of Imam Ali (a), as he wished in his will.[2]

The text carved on his gravestone is: "This is the burial site of Adud al-Dawla Abu Shuja' al-Din, the son of Rukn al-Dawla. He desired to be buried near the burial site of Imam Ali (a) as he anticipated to be redeemed in the Judgment Day. May he receive regards from God and Ahl al-Bayt (a)."[3]

The eighteenth verse of sura al-Kahf was also carved on his gravestone: "وَكَلْبُهُم بَاسِطٌ ذِرَ‌اعَيْهِ بِالْوَصِيدِ" (their dog [lies] stretching its forelegs at the threshold.)


When he was thirteen, Adud al-Dawla became the successor of his uncle, Ali 'Imad al-Dawla, who passed away in 338/949-950. He did not have any son, so he recommended Adud al-Dawla as his successor in Fars. It was a vast area of Buwayhid territory.


Adud al-Dawla conquered Kerman in 357/967-8 and gained a huge treasury and properties. Afterward, he was granted the leadership of ruling over the region by order of the caliph of Baghdad.[4]

Abid b. Ali, one of the commanders of Adud al-Dawla's army, managed to conquer Jiroft and later Hormoz in Iran as a part of Buyid territory. Meanwhile, Adud al-Dawla conquered Oman.[5]

Meanwhile, Abu Ahmad Khalaf, the governor of Sistan, accepted to submit to Adud al-Dawla.[6]

In 367/977-8, a dispute arose between 'Adud al-Dawla and Izz al-Dawla Bakhtiyar, the son of Ahmad Mu'izz al-Dawla. He was a Buyid governor of Baghdad. As a result, Adud al-Dawla attacked Baghdad and defeated 'Izz al-Dawla and seized Iraq's territory.[7]

Al-Ta'i' Billah, the Abbasid caliph of the time, accepted him as the ruler of Iraq and ordered to perform governmental ceremonies for him every day so that he will be officially announced as the ruler. According to Ibn Miskawayh, Adud al-Dawla was the first non-Arab ruler accepted and honored by an Abbasid caliph.[8] In that time, the territory of 'Adud al-Dawla was extended from Oman sea to Syria and Egypt.[9]

There was a constant disagreement between 'Adud al-Dawla's brothers, Mu'ayyid al-Dawla and Fakhr al-Dawla. However 'Adud al-Dawla always supported Mu'ayyid al-Dawla, and even they united and attacked Fakhr al-Dawla, in which they conquered Gorgan and Tabarestan. Adud al-Dawla decided to let Mu'ayyid al-Dawla rule over the seized territory. After these attacks, Fakhr al-Dawla fled and joined Qabus b. Washmgir, a true enemy of Buyid.[10]


Rebuilding Baghdad

After taking over Baghdad, the city was severely damaged due to the fights between 'Adud al-Dawla and 'Izz al-Dawla. In 369/979-80, Adud al-Dawla ordered to restore the city and the grand mosque of Baghdad. He also offered loans to those who could not afford to restore their houses.[11]

Building Bazaar

Adud al-Dawla built a specific bazaar for cotton makers in Kazerun, Shiraz, which brought huge money for the government. He also ordered to build a beautiful and decorated bazaar near the grand mosque of Ramhormoz.[12]

Water Tanks

Adud al-Dawla built huge water tanks to save water and set irrigation systems in Fars. He also built a dam near Shiraz in 349/960-1.[13]

Al-Maqdisi stated about the Amir dam: "It was an exceptional dam that nourished the region's soil around Karbala, as it was a complete desert before. Amir dam provided water for about three hundred villages."[14]

Adud al-Dawla also built huge water tanks in Estakhr; an important city in the Buyid era.[15]

Ibn Miskaway has mentioned 'Adud al-Dawla actions in Baghdad in 369/979-80: "There were streams of water through Baghdad which provided water for houses, gardens, and farms. However, after some time they were dry and people had to use unhealthy sources of water or they had to travel to bring water from the Tigris River. When 'Adud al-Dawla came to power he ordered to dredge streams in the city and bring back water to them."[16]


Adud al-Dawla also ordered to restore the damaged bridges and build some new ones. The grand bridge of Baghdad was widened and secured in his time.[17]

Supporting Agriculture

Adud al-Dawla always supported agriculture and appointed reliable supervisors to support and guide farmers in order to increase the efficiency of lands. Therefore, the level of products increased vastly in that time.[18]

Decorating City

Adud al-Dawla encouraged the people of Baghdad to decorate their houses and walls of the city. He asked landowners near the Tigris River to embellish their houses.[19]


At the beginning of his rule in Baghdad, Adud al-Dawla noticed deficiencies in roads' safety reaching Baghdad. The roads were destroyed and threatened by bandits and thieves. Then he ordered his army to arrest bandits around the city and provide safety of the roads.[20] In his ruling time, Adud al-Dawla managed to eliminate bandits and thieves around important cities of Iraq and Iran including Yazd, Kerman, Tabas and Baluchistan.[21]

After dealing with Bandits and thieves, Adud al-Dawla arrested and imprisoned their leaders. He had a policy of exchanging prisoners in which he allowed to release a number of their leaders from prison under the condition of imprisoning another group of them. As a result, having a number of bandits in prison made them unable to attack travelers.[22] In addition, Adud al-Dawla ordered to exile a number of them to other cities and regions, making them weak.[23]

Building caravanserais and providing security for travelers as well as eliminating thieves and bandits from roads are regarded as the main contributions of Adud al-Dawla to the development of his reign.[24]

Adam Mez wrote about the contributions of Adud al-Dawla in Shiraz:

"In the beginning of the Islamic era, there was no law concerning traveling in and out of the country. For the first time in the eastern Islamic lands, for security reasons, Adud al-Dawla ordered to secure the gates of the capital (Shiraz) and that people who wanted to enter or leave his territory had to have an authorized pass. Those who traveled without an authorized pass were arrested."[25]

Resolving Religious Disputes

During the reign of Mu'izz al-Dawla and his son, 'Izz al-Dawla, over Baghdad, tensions had risen between Sunni and Shi'ite Muslims. Even in some cases, these disputes led to killings, injuries, or bloodshed. Sunni Muslims, regarded Baghdad as their religious and scientific center. Also in Buyid time, Shi'a Muslims were allowed to freely hold their religious ceremonies in Baghdad which was unacceptable to Sunni Muslims. On the other hand, narrators were telling historical and religious stories with different standpoints, which were mostly inaccurate or incorrect from the viewpoint of Sunnis. It consequently led to disputes and fights between them.

When Adud al-Dawla took control over Baghdad, he ordered storytellers and raconteurs to end their activities in mosques and public places.[26]

Also holding Shi'ite ceremonies publicly, such as Eid al-Ghadir were ceased, as they made Sunni Muslims irritated. These actions significantly decreased the rate of disputes between Sunni and Shi'ite Muslims and increased safety in society.[27]


Supporting Needy People

Adud al-Dawla took great care of needy people. For instance, he ordered to pay a monthly payment to homeless Shi'a Muslims living near Imams' shrines as well as the needy.[28] He also told his Christian agent to take care of needy Christians.[29]

He paid huge money to needy people every year. Moreover, he paid shoemakers on the way of Hamadan to Baghdad to repair the shoes of Hajj pilgrims. Besides, he supported traders, religious scholars, the Qur'an reciters and needy people of Mecca, Medina, Baghdad and Kufa.[30]

Al-Adudi Hospital

Adud al-Dawla built a hospital in Baghdad which was regarded as one of the most important Islamic constructions. It was a well-equipped medical and scientific center in Iraq in the time of development of Shi'ite governments. The hospital was built under the supervision of Muhammad b. Zakariyya al-Razi, a well-known scholar in medicine. After doing research, al-Razi recommended building the hospital in the west of Baghdad. The hospital was built there in 372/982-3 which provided service for people until the sixth century. Adud al-Dawla made a lot of efforts to bring medical equipment and medicine from other cities to this hospital.[31]

Adud al-Dawla hospital included different specialized sections such as surgery, ophthalmology, and traditional medicine. Adud al-Dawla chose and appointed eighty staff members for the hospital as well as twenty-four medics. This hospital was also an educational center as medics were learning medicine there.[32] In addition, he built a psychiatric hospital in Baghdad and another hospital in Isfahan.[33]

Restoration of Holy Shrines

'Adud al-Dawla gave order to restore the holy shrines of Shi'a Imams in Iraq including shrines of Imam Ali (a), Imam al-Husayn (a), Imam Musa b. Ja'far (a), Imam al-Taqi (a), Imam al-Hadi (a) and Imam Hasan al-Askari (a).


At the end of his lifetime, Adud al-Dawla ordered to build a fence around Medina in order to prevent attacks from bandits and enemies to the city. Some believe it was the first fence around Medina.[34]

The Shrine of Imam Ali (a)

In 371/981-2, Adud al-Dawla ordered to build a magnificent and decorated shrine on Imam Ali's (a) burial site. In addition, he moved his family and his army to stay in Najaf for a year in order to provide supervision over the process of building the shrine.[35] Afterwards, he appointed servants, mua'dhdhins and guards for the shrine and allocated a budget to pay their salary.

After the development of the shrine of Imam, Adud al-Dawla encouraged Shi'a Muslims to build their houses around it. He also provided financial support as well as a bonus for people to build their houses near the shrine of Imam Ali (a). It was a big step in the development of Najaf.[36]

The Shrine of Imam al-Husayn (a)

After the destruction of the shrine of Imam al-Husayn (a) by Mutawakkil, an Abbasid caliph, Abu Muhammad Hasan b. Qasim b. Hasan restored it in 280/893-4. In 369/979-80, Adud al-Dawla ordered to restore and develop the shrine. He commanded to build a glorious dome on it as well.

He tried his best to financially support settlers around the shrine of Imam al-Husayn (a) as well as those who were working and giving service in the shrine. He regularly visited and made a pilgrimage to Imam's shrine.[37]

Holy Shrine of Kazimayn

When Buwayhid came to power in Iraq, Mu'izz al-Dawla traveled to Samarra, then he ordered to build a wooden shrine on the gravestones of Imam al-Hadi (a) and Imam Hasan al-Askari (a).

In 368/978-9, Adud al-Dawla ordered to build a magnificent shrine for both Imams. Then he developed its courtyard and commanded to build a fence around the city.[38]

The Shrine of Ahmad b. Musa b. Ja'far

Some historians believe the shrine built on Ahmad b. Musa b. Ja'far's burial site in Shiraz was constructed in the time of Adud al-Dawla's reign.[39]

The Shrine of Al-Hurr b. Yazid

The shrine on the gravestone of Al-Hurr b. Yazid was built by the order of Adud al-Dawla in 370/980-1 which is located near Karbala.[40]

Quotations on 'Adud al-Dawla

  • Ibn Abi l-Hadid: " 'Adud al-Dawla had an ineffable love for Shi'a Imams and Shi'ism. The icon of Imam Ali (a) was carved on the sword of 'Adud al-Dawla and also his father's, Rukn al-Dawla."[42]
  • Al-Shaykh al-Baha'i: "Adud al-Dawla was a prominent religious leader and was absorbed in Shi'ism. He built shrines on the burial sites of Imam Ali (a) and Imam al-Husayn (a)."[43]


  1. Ibn Athīr, al-Kāmil, vol. 5, p. 420.
  2. Khwāndamīr, Tārīkh ḥabīb al-sayr, vol. 2, p. 427.
  3. Maḥallātī, Maʾāthir al-kubrāʾ, p. 275.
  4. Ibn Miskawayh, Tajārub al-umam, vol. 6, p. 309.
  5. Ibn Miskawayh, Tajārub al-umam, vol. 6, p. 360.
  6. Kabīr, Māhīgīrān-i tājdār, p. 68.
  7. Ibn Miskawayh, Tajārub al-umam, vol. 6, p. 440-452.
  8. Ibn Miskawayh, Tajārub al-umam, vol. 6, p. 467.
  9. Ibn Athīr, al-Kāmil, vol. 5, p. 155.
  10. Mustawfī, Tārīkh-i barguzīda, p. 414.
  11. Ibn Miskawayh, Tajārub al-umam, vol. 6, p. 477-478.
  12. Mez, ‘‘Renaissance of Islam, vol. 2, p. 516.
  13. Farshād, Tārīkh-i ʿilm dar Iran, vol. 2, p. 790.
  14. Maqdisī, Aḥsan al-taqāsīm, p. 166.
  15. Farshād, Tārīkh-i ʿilm dar Iran, vol. 2, p. 791.
  16. Ibn Miskawayh, Tajārub al-umam, vol. 6, p. 426.
  17. Ibn Miskawayh, Tajārub al-umam, vol. 6, p. 426.
  18. Ibn Miskawayh, Tajārub al-umam, vol. 6, p. 479.
  19. Ibn Miskawayh, Tajārub al-umam, vol. 6, p. 480.
  20. Faqīhī, Āl Būya, p. 75.
  21. Mez, ‘‘Renaissance of Islam, vol. 2, p. 534.
  22. Mez, ‘‘Renaissance of Islam, vol. 2, p. 534.
  23. Mez, ‘‘Renaissance of Islam, vol. 2, p. 534.
  24. Mez, ‘‘Renaissance of Islam, vol. 2, p. 534.
  25. Mez, ‘‘Renaissance of Islam, vol. 2, p. 458.
  26. Mez, ‘‘Renaissance of Islam, vol. 2, p. 371.
  27. Kabīr, Māhīgīrān-i tājdār, p. 340.
  28. Ibn Miskawayh, Tajārub al-umam, vol. 6, p. 481.
  29. Ibn Miskawayh, Tajārub al-umam, vol. 6, p. 481-482.
  30. Mez, ‘‘Renaissance of Islam, vol. 1, p. 42.
  31. Farshād, Tārīkh-i ʿilm dar Iran, vol. 2, p. 849-851.
  32. Faqīhī, Āl Būya, p. 751.
  33. Farshād, Tārīkh-i ʿilm dar Iran, vol. 2, p. 849-851.
  34. Samhūdī, Wafāʾ al-wafāʾ, vol. 2, p. 766.
  35. Muẓaffar, Tārīkh-i Shīʿa, p. 298.
  36. Muẓaffar, Tārīkh-i Shīʿa, p. 298.
  37. Jaʿfarīyān, Rasūl, p. 165.
  38. Āl Yāsīn, Tārīkh ḥaram al-kāẓimayn, p. 27-29.
  39. Zāriʿī, Āftāb-i Shīrāzī, p. 54.
  40. Qāʾidān, ʿAtabāt-i ʿāliyāt, p. 146.
  41. Mustawfī, Tārīkh-i barguzīda, p. 413-414.
  42. Ibn Abī l-Ḥadīd, Sharḥ nahj al-balāgha, vol. 1, p. 29.
  43. Shaykh Bahāʾī, Tawḍīḥ al-maqāṣid, p. 19.


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