Muhammad Karim Khan Kirmani (1810-1871) - Some Biographical Notes.

Hājj Mirzā Muhammad Karīm Khān Kirmānī  (d. 1288/1871)

Hajjī Mirza Muhammad Karim Khān Kirmānī (1225-1288 AH= 1810-1871 CE) - Some Biographical Notes.

 Stephen Lambden UCMerced 

In progress 2017 - last corrected and updated 05-05-2017

Hājj Mirza Muhammad Karim Khan  Kirmānī (d. 1288/1871)is reckoned the first (or 3rd after the two preceding founder figures) Kirmānī Shaykhī leader. He  was the son of Ibrāhīm Khān Ẓahīr al-Dawla (d. 1240/1824), a cousin and son-in-law of Fatḥ `Ali Shāh (1771-1834), the second Qajar Shah who ruled from 1797 until 1834.  Kirmani's father was at one time the governor of Khurasan and later, for the last 21 years of his life, was governor of Kirmān and Baluchistan (Raḍawī, Tadhkirat al-awlīyā,  56 ref.  MacEoin, 1982). He apparently had forty wives and something like 20 sons and 21 daughters. The mother of Karim Khan Kirmani, who gave birth to him on 18 Muḥarram 1225/ 23rd February 1810,  was the daughter of Mīrzā Raḥīm the mustawfi  of Tiflis (ibid, 8+refs.).... Ibrāhīm Khān had a great respect for the second Shaykhi leader Sayyid Kazim Rashti (d.1259 / 1843) and had him accept his son as a pupil. He was a pious Shi`i Muslim and poet as well as a great benefactor of emergent Shaykhism.

GENEALOGY

Towards the beginning of the Risala-yi Tadhkirat al-awliya'  the following (simplified) paternal genealogical tree of Ibrahim Khān Zahir al-Dawlah ( I have added the dates and notes), the father of Muhammad Karim Khan, is set down :

  • [0] Muhammad Karīm Khān Kirmānī (d.1871) the son of
  • [1] Ibrahim Khān Zahir al-Dawla (d. Tehran 1240/1824), a military commander , Governor of Khurasan then Kirman and Baluchistan, the ancestor of the Ibrahimis and a cousin, stepson and son-in-law of Fath `Ali Khān Shah Qajar. He was married to the first daughter of Fath `Ali Shah named  Humanun and known ( among other things) as Sultan Khanum. He was the son of
  • [2] Mihdi Quli Khān (d. c. 1783) the son of
  • [3] Muhammad Hasan Khān Qajar (1722-1758) the son of
  • [4] Fath `Ali Khān (1686-1139/1726) Qajar, execuited on order of Nadir Shah (c.1698-1747), buried Mashhad. The second Qajar Shah of Persia, Fath `Ai Shah Qajar (1772-1834. Reg. 1797-1834) is decended from one of his sons, Husayn Quli (d.1777). He was the son of
  • [5] Shah Quli Khān Qajar Quyunlu,  the son of
  • [6] Muhammad Vali-Khān son of
  • [7] Mihdi [Kuli] Khān son of
  • [8] Muhammad Quli Khān Qajar (see Tadhkirat, 56).

For further details about Ibrahim Khān Zahir al-Dawla, the father of Karim Khan Kirmani,  see the imporatnt EIr. aricle by Mehrnoush Soroush and its bibliography: http://www.iranicaonline.org/articles/zahir-al-dawla-ebrahim-khan

    Karīm Khān Kirmānī   was an extremely well-educated and polymathic individual. He clalmed leadership of the Shaykhī school after the passing of Sayyid Kazim Rashti (d.1259[60]/ 1843[4]) its second leader. He very early on rejected the messianic and related claims of Sayyid `Ali Muhammad (1819-1850) the Bāb  in his  رساله ازهاق الباطل فى رد البابيه   Risāla izhāq al-bāṭil fī radd al-bābiyya..   ("The Crushing of Falsehood in Refutation of Bābism") and produced half a dozen or more anti-Babi-Baha'i tracts and works. For some details see URL ADD

The writings of Karim Khan  Kirmānī are listed in the Ibrahimi Fihrist and in the links on the main Shaykhi page on this website. Note also `The Shaykhi Collection of the University of California' which includes several important works of Muhammad Karim Khan Kirmani:

Karīm Khān Kirmānī   was the son of Ibrāhīm Khān Ẓahīr al-Dawla (d. 1240/1824-5), a cousin and son-in-law of Fatḥ `Ali Shāh (1771-1834), the second Qajar Shah who ruled from 1797 until 1834.  Kirmani's father was at one time the governor of Khurasan and later, for the last 21 years of his life, was governor of Kirmān and Baluchistan (Raḍawī, Tadhkirat al-awlīyā,  56 ref.  MacEoin, 1982). He apparently had forty wives and something like 20 sons and 21 daughters. The mother of Kirmani, who gave birth to him on 18 Muḥarram 1225/ 23rd February 1810, was the daughter of Mīrzā Raḥīm the mustawfi  of Tiflis (ibid, 8+refs.)....

Karīm Khān Kirmānī  clalmed leadership of the Shaykhī school after the passing of Sayyid Kazim Rashti (d.1259[60]/ 1843[4]) its second leader. He very early on rejected the messianic and related claims of the Sayyid `Ali Muhammad (1819-1850) the Bāb  in his   رساله ازهاق الباطل فى رد  البابيه     Risāla izhāq al-bāṭil fī radd al-bābiyya   ("The Crushing of Falsehood in Refutation of Bābism") and produced a dozen or more anti-Babi-Baha'i tracts and works. See ADD

KIRMANI SHAYKHI SUCCESSORSHIP

Karim Khān Kirmānī wrote a fairly lengthy Persian `Will and Testament' in his own script. Dated Jumadi II 1288 /late August-September 1871, it is printed in the  Risala tadhkirat al-awliya  (PDf. above) pages 112-121 and clearly appoints a successor. Its author specifically appoints his distinctly Qajar royalty related younger son Muhammad [ibn Karim Khan Kirmani] to be the second Kirmani Shaykhi leader. The elder son named Muhammad Raḥīm Khān Kirmānī (b. Kirman, Shawwal  1241/May-June 1826  died Tehran [later buried Karbala]  Dhu’l-Ḥijja 1307/July-August 1889) was bypassed but wrote a fair amount and also attacted a following in and outside of Kirman (e.g. Hamadan, Isfahan, Tehran, etc).  A certain Hajji Mirza Muhammad Baqir Hamadani (d. 1319/1901) was the leader of the Hamadani branch of Kirmani Shaykhism when under the headship of Karim Khan Kirmani. On the latter's death in 1871, Muhammad Baqir  came to oppose the leadership role of  the younger son Muhammad Khan Kirmani (d. 1324/1906). He opposed this hereditary successorship in favour of a learned `ulama' type successor being a preminently learned Shaykhi individual (maybe thinking of himself ?). He came to support Rahim Khan Kirmani. 

His Kirmani based Shaykhi descendants and successors who headed the Persian Kirmani Shaykhi branch are laregly decendants of Karīm Khān Kirmānī :

  • [0] Muhammad Raḥīm Khān Kirmānī (b. Kirman, Shawwal  1241/May-June 1826  died Tehran [later buried Karbala]  Dhu’l-Ḥijja 1307/July-August 1889). His followers came to be called Raḥīm Khānis (MacEoin, Messiah, 152).
  • [II] or [IV].  Āqā Ḥajjī Muhammad Khan Kirmānī (d.1323/1906). The 2nd Kirmānī Shaykhī leader and second eldest son of Karim Khan.
  • [III] or [V]. Zayn al-`Abidin Khān Ibrahīmī, Kirmānī (d. 1360/1941). The 3rd Kirmānī Shaykhī leader. Another son of Karim Khan and brother of II above.
  • [IV] or [VI].  Ḥajjī Abul-Qasim Khān al-Ibrahīmī, Kirmānī (d. 1389/1969). The 4th Kirmānī Shaykhī leader.
  • [V] or [VII]. Ḥajjī `Abd al-Riḍā' Khān al-Ibrahīmī (d. 1400/1979). The 5th Kirmānī Shaykhī leader. 
  • [VI] or [VIII]. Ḥajjī `Sayyid `Ali Mūsāwī al-Ḥifzih Khān (d. ADD ). The 6th Kirmānī Shaykhī leader.

For details of publications of these Kirmani Shaykhi leaders see the main Shaykhism page and associated links.

Select Persian, Arabic and other sources for a biography Karim Khān Kirmānī

  • Risala-yi Tadhkirat al-awliya' dar sharḥ-i aḥvāl-i marḥūm Āqā-yi Ḥājj Muḥammad Karīm Khān Kirmānī (Treatise on the Memorials of the Chosen Ones).

رساله شرح احوال شيخ جليل اوحد امجد مرحوم شيخ احمد بن زين الدين احسائى

  • Risala-yi Tadhkirat al-awliya' dar sharḥ-i aḥvāl-i marḥūm Āqā-yi Ḥājj Muḥammad Karīm Khān Kirmānī. Bombay: [Murtada al-Husayni al-Sirjani]. Nasiri Press, 1313/1895-6.
  • Risālah-i sharḥ-i aḥvāl-i Shaykh-i ajal awḥad marḥūm Shaykh Aḥmad ibn Zayn al-Din al-Aḥsāʼī ...  va Tadhkirat al-awliya, Sharḥ-i aḥvāl-i marḥūm Āqā-yi Ḥājj Muḥammad Karīm Khān Kirmānī. dated 1387 AH/  
  •  2nd ed.  Kirmān : Chapkhana Sa`āda, nd. [after 1387/ 1967] 196? or early 1970s?. There follows the 2nd edition of this work in two Pdfs :
  • A - PDf Risālah-i sharḥ-i aḥvāl-i Shaykh-i Aḥmad ... Risala Ahsai.pdf  This Persian treatise was written by one of the sons of Shaykh Ahmad.  
  • B -PDf  Risala-yi Tadhkirat al-awliya' ... Āqā-yi Ḥājj Muḥammad Karīm Khān Kirmānī... Risala tadhkirat al-awliya.pdf

The opening biographical section on the life, circumstances and writings of al-Aḥsāʼī translated into Persian by Aqa Muhammad Tahir Khan occupies pp. 1-51. This is followed by the Risala-yi Tadhkirat al-awliya' dar sharḥ-i aḥvāl-i marḥūm Āqā-yi Ḥājj Muḥammad Karīm Khān Kirmānī  (Treatise on the Memorials of the Chosen Ones)  is basically a commentary on the life circumstances (ahwal) of the late Āqā-yi Ḥājj Muḥammad Karīm Khān Kirmānī [and others]), from pages 52-181. This second part was composed by Ni`mat-Allah Ridawi. The Risala-yi Tadhkirat al-awliya' dar sharḥ-i aḥvāl-i marḥūm Āqā-yi Ḥājj Muḥammad Karīm Khān Kirmānī  (Treatise on the Memorials of the Chosen Ones)  is centered upon a commentary on the life circumstances (ahwal) of the late Āqā-yi Ḥājj Muḥammad Karīm Khān Kirmānī.