Select Persons in Islamic history with the Arabic Honorific title (laqab) Bahā' al-Dīn



بها الدين


Appendix II : A Chronological Listing of Select Persons in Islamic history with the Arabic Honorific title (laqab) Bahā' al-Dīn (The Glory of the Religion).

Stephen Lambden UCMerced.

1980s + 2017 - In progress, last updated 18-03-2017.

The following are a few examples of the many sometimes notable persons whose laqabs, titles or names included the word bahā' in the form of the title Bahā' al-Dīn (The Glory of Religion) and Baha' al-Dawlah (The Glory of the Empire). The granting or adoption of such titles would appear to have originated in the 11th cent. CE., probably after 1.000 CE. Some of those persons listed below are very well-known, others not so famous or in fact little known or distinctly obscure. I shall include below persons with this title listed in a multitde of sources. Especialy useful has been the well-known, extensive work entitled A'yan al-shī'a ... (Eyes of the Shi`a Community) of  al-'Āmilī  (see main bibliography below).


  • [X] Bahā’-al-Dīn 'Ali ibn Ahmad ibn ad-Dayf [al-Ta'i],  known as al-Muqtana Bahā’-al-Dīn or Bahā’-al-Dīn al-Muqtana  as well as  Bahā’-al-Dīn al-Samuqi  for he was born in Samuqi  near Aleppo in  979  and died in 1043 CE. From being al-Hakim’s governor in northern Syria (1015–1016),  He was the outward leadrer of the Druze religion from 1021.

This  Syrian born Bahā’-al-Dīn was a  leading figure in the Shi`i Isma'ili  movement and figures prominently in the emergence of the so-called Druze (for Duruz)  religious community (Druze is a misnomer after the secondary nissionary figure  al-Darazi; see Swayd 2006:xxxiif.). The origins of this important  mystically and esoterically inclined (loosely) neo-Abrahamic religious movement,  are closely associated with the  sixth Fatimid Caliph al-Hakim bi-Amr Allah (reigned 996-1021 CE) during whose reign it came into being. Baha al-Din was appointed the second spiritual leader by al-Hakim in 1021. With Hamza ibn 'Ali ibn Ahmad ( b, Zawzan, 9XX- d. after his withdrawal in 1027 ) who was appointed an Imam  by al-Hakim in 1017,  he authored certain of the 111 (in 6 books)  رسـائـل الـحـكـمـة‎‎, "The Epistles of Wisdom" (nos.109-110 written 1042 CE). These and associated sacred texts are foundational within the canon of the sacred writings of the Druze religion. Philip K. Hitti has referred to Bahā’-al-Dīn as one seen as "the "Left Wing" ...  the fifth and last supreme minister who stands at the head of a lower hierarchy and whose multitudinous treatises and epistles, together with those of Ḥamzah, form the Druze sacred literature" and adds, "This Bahā’-al-Dīn may have been of Christian origin as his writings reveal unusual familiarity with the New Testament and Christian liturgy".

Three figures are thus central to the Druze phenomenom; the Caliph al-Hakim bi-Amr-Allah,  his Imam Hamza ibn 'Ali ibn Ahmad al-Zawzani (Zozani, in Persian Khurasan) knwon (among many other things as al-‘Aql al-Kulli (the Universal Intellect) and huis appointed successor Bahā’-al-Dīn al-Samuqi, the fifth luminary, a major propagandist of high spiritual rank.

Of Baha' al-Din Swayd has written :

"Baha’ al-Din was born in Samuqa near Aleppo to a family known as Ta’i and is known in some historical sources as Abu al-Hasan al-Dayf, ‘Ali Ibn Ahmad Ibn al-Dayf, or ‘Ali Ibn al-Dayf. He was sent by the Fatimi caliph al-Hakim in 1015–1016 on a military mission to Syria in which he conquered Aleppo from the Hamdanis and became its governor. To distinguish him from the other luminaries, he was given a number of titles, including ‘‘The Left Wing’’ (al-Janah al-Aysar), that is, a helper to Hamza Ibn ‘Ali during the period when al-Tamimi was the hujjah between Hamza and other luminaries and al-Qurashi the Safara (ambassadorship) between Hamza Ibn ‘Ali and al-Hakim. Baha’ al-Din is also known as al-Muqtana (the owned), Lisan al-Mu’minin (the believers’ tongue), and Sanad al-Muwahhidin (the Unitarians’ pillar).
Baha’ al-Din has a number of honorary shrines and visitation sites, including one in the Shuf area in the district of ‘Alay, Lebanon, and a more recently constructed one in the town of Bayt-Jann, Israel. The one in ‘Alay is known by two names: ‘‘The Shrine of the Noble’’ and ‘‘The Shrine of Shamleikh’’ (Swayd, 2006:143)

The Druze religious movement had something of a closure or interregnum in 1041 when Baha' al-Din left Cairo, a few years before he died.

Select bibliography.

Philip K. Hitti, The Origins of the Druze People and Religion. New York: Colombia Univ, Press, 1928 [1924]. Samy Swayd, The Druzes: An Annotated Bibliography/ Kirkland, Wash: Isex Publications, 1998; idem, Historical Dictionary of The Druzes (= Historical Dictionaries of Peoples
and Cultures, No. 3). Lanham, Maryland • Toronto • Oxford: The Scarecrow Press Inc., 2006

  • [X] Bahā’ al-Dīn Karaki = Abu Bakht Muhammad ibn Ahmad ibn Abu Be'r Kharaqi (Marvaze) (d. 533/1138-39). According to Pingree he "was born in a village named Karaq near the city of Marv, where he apparently spent his professional life and where he died in 533/1138-39. His name is sometimes given as Abū Moḥammad `Abd-al-Jabbār b. `Abd-al-Jabbār b. Moḥammad; and he is sometimes identified with Bahā’-al-Dīn Abū Moḥammad K¨araqī, a philosopher and expert on the mathematical sciences of whom a biography is given by Bayhaqī (Wiedemann, pp. 72-73 [Aufsätze I, pp. 654-55]) " from D. Pingree EIr. art. ; See also Brockelmann, GAL Supp. I, (Leiden, 1937), X.
  • [X] Bahā’ al-Dīn Muhammad Walad ibn Husayn ibn Ahmad Katib Balkhi (546-628 AH = 1151-1231 CE), father of the famous poet Jalāl al-Dīn Rūmī (1207-1273 CE). See art. H. Algar, EIr. ADD , "In his lifetime he was generally known as Bahā’-e Walad, and often referred to in addition by the title solṭān al-`ulamā’ (king of the scholars)".
  • [X] Bahā' al-Dīn Zakariyyā, known as Bahā' al-Ḥaqq, ("the glory of the True One") a Suhrawardī saint (c.1182-3-1262 CE).


  • [X] Malik Bahā' al-Dīn Tugrul (late12th-early 13th cent CE),

This Indian slave-born architect was closely associated with the Sultans of Delhi.

See Abū 'Umar Minhaj al-Din 'Uthman ibn Siraj al-Din al-Awzjani, known as Minhaj-i Siraj, Tabaqāt-i Nāṣirī (Calcutta, 1864), pp. 144-46; H. G. Raverty's notes on Baha alDin Tughrul in his translation of the Ṭabaqāt-i Nāṣirī (London, 1881), vol. 2, pp. 554-57; Muhammad Qasim Hindu Shah, Tārfkh-i Firishata, vol. 1 (Lucknow, 1864), p. 59; Mehrdad and Natalie H. Shokoohy, The Architecture of Baha al-Din Tughrul in the Region of Bayana, Rajasthan' 1987 In Muqarnas IV: An Annual on Islamic Art and Architecture. Oleg Grabar (ed.). Leiden: E.J. Brill. 1987.See :   

He is several times cited by Shaykh Baha'i in his Kashkul (e.g. ed. Beirut: al-A`lami,1420/1999, vol.3:32-3, 289-90).His Diwan has been published (Brockelmann, GAL I:307-8 +Supp. I:465-6; J. Rikabi art. in EI2 1:912-3).

  • [X] Bahā' al-Dīn Baghdādī or Baghdādakī = Muhammad ibn Mu`ayyad Baghdādī (Baghdādakī) Khwārazmī (d. after 688/1289).

He was a "master of the art of Persian letter-writing (tarassol) in the 6th/12th century...from Baghdādak, a place in Khwārazm...His rise to fame began when he took charge of the dīvān-e enÞā' (chancellery) of the Kúarazmshah `Alā' al-Dīn TekeÞ b. Èl Arslān (r. 568/1172-596/1200). In the Haft eqlīm (I, p. 106) he is said to have also been the secretary of the next K¨úarazmÞah, Sultan Mohammad (596/1199-617/1220), but this is hard to verify" ( Z. Safar EIr. vol. ADD ).

  • [X] Baha al-Dīn Aslam ( d. ADD/ADD), a Mamluk who rose to the rank of silahdar (sword bearer) in Cairo during the reign of Sultan al-Nasir Muhammad ( ). See Behrens-Abouseif, Doris. 1989. Islamic Architecture in Cairo. Leiden: E. J. Brill. Williams, Caroline. 2002. Islamic Monuments in Cairo: The Practical Guide. Cairo: The American University in Cairo Press: 93-94.
  • Bahā’ al-Dīn Ḥaydar ibn `Ali ibn Ḥaydar al-Ubaydī,  al-Āmilī  (b. c. Āmil 719/1319–d. 787/1385).     
  • [X] Bahā’ al-Dīn Muhammad ibn Muhammad Naqshband (718-791 AH = 1318-1391 CE ). The founder of the Naqshbandiyya Sufi order "Bahā' al-Dīn left behind no writings (with the possible exception of a litany named after him , Awrād-i Bahā'iyya)" (VII: 934). See art. Algar, EI2 VII: 93 -934; cf. idem, EI2 VII Nakshbandiyya, VII:934-939 and idem., EIr. `Bahā' al-Din Naqshband ADD.
  • [X] Bahā' al-Dīn Yusuf Ibn Rafi Ibn Shaddad (d. ADDD / ADDD) author of a history of Salah al-Din (Saladdin). See H. A. R. Gibb, The Life of Saladin: From the Works of Imad ad-Din and Baha ad-Din. Clarendon Press, 1973. More recently published as `The Rare and Excellent History of Saladin' by Baha Al-Din Yusuf Ibn Rafi Ibn Shaddad and trans. Donald S. Richards. Ashgate Pub Ltd ,2001) ISBN-10: 0754601439.
  • [X] Bahā’ al-Dīn al-Astarabadi who according to Muḥsin ibn ʻAbd al-Karīm al-Amīn received an ijāza (certificate of religious authorization) from `Ali ibn Halal al-Jaza'iri  dated 889/1484 (see al-Amīn, A'yān al-Shi`a, 3:615).
  • [X] Bahā' al-Dawlah, Muhammad Ḥusaynī Nūrbakshī (d. c.1507 CE) an outstanding physician of the Safavid era. He received the title Bahā' al-Dawlah from the then Shāh.
  • [X] Shaykh Bahā' al-Din al-`Āmilī ( ??) Tunukabūnī, Qisas al-'ulama' ed. 2004, pp. 267,317, 324, 351, 371-2, 380, 425, 603.
  • [X] Bahā' al-Din al-`Āmilī = Shaykh Bahā'i = Muhammad ibn Ḥusayn al-Āmilī  (b. Baalbeck 953/1547- d. Isfāhān 1030/1622).He was perhaps the most famous Bahā’ al-Dīn as the erudite Safavid Qur;an exegete, theologian-philosopher, mathematician, Sufi mystagogue and man of letters. Bahā’ al-Dīn Muhammad ibn Ḥusayn al-Āmilī (b. Baalbeck 953/1547- d. Isfāhān 1030 AH/1622 CE), the author of around 100 works including a well-known Persian-Arabic anthology entitled Kashkūl ("Begging-Bowl"). A one time Shaykh al-Islām of Isfāhān appointed by Shāh `Abbās the Great, he was accorded the title Baha' al-Din and adopted the takhallus (`pen-name') Baha'i coming to be known as Shaykh Bahā’ī. There exists a Persian mathnawi mystical poem attributed to him which celebrates and highlights the mystery of the al-ism al-a`zam ( "greatest name" of God). He, for example, has it that this "greatest name" is the Name, by virtue of a sunburst of which, Moses experienced the luminous Sinaitic theophany. By reciting it Jesus resurrected the dead. Indeed, it enshrines the (Per.) kunuz-i-asmā', the "treasures of the Names".  See further

    According to the Baha'i writer and apologist `Abd al-Hamid, Ishrāq Khāvarī (d. Tehran, 1972), Muhammad Baha' al-Din al-`Amili (d. Isfāhān 1030 AH/1622 CE), Shaykh Bahā'ī, adopted his aforementioned pen-name in the light of the traditions of the Imāms about the Greatest Name of God and the occurrence of the word bahā' in both the Dawn Prayer of the 5th Imam Muhammad Bāqir ( d. c.126/743; see this website) and the Supplication of the Mother of David (Du`a-yi Umm Dawúd, the Shi`i transmitted supplication of the mother of the Israelite prophet David) in which the sixth Imām Ja`far al-Ṣādiq (d. c. 148/765) reckoned that the Greatest Name (al-ism al-a`zam) was contained (see Ishrāq Khāvarī, Jannāt-i Na'īm 1:469; cf. Noghabai, 149).

    See webpages on this site.

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  •  [XX] Bahā' al-Din Jubba`i (d. ADD/ADD).
  • [X] Bahā' al-Din al-Nabāṭī son of `Ali Āmilī (d. Addd/Addd) See Aqa Buzurg Tehrani, Tabaqat 5:88.
  • [X] Bahā' al-Dīn Muhammad ibn Hasan Isfahani, Fāḍil Hindī (1062-1134 AH =1652-1722). See Add ; Henry Corbin, 1976 [Anthologie des Philisophes Iraniens: XVIII] 29-33; Tunukabūnī, Qisas al-'ulama' ed. 2004, No. 74 pp. 404-416.
  • [X] Bahā' al-Dīn Muhammad ibn Khwajah Shams al-Din Muhammad... Tunikabūnī, Qisas al-'ulama' ed. 2004, pp. 493-4.

For some recent uses  (there are many variants) of  Baha' al-Din and its Turkish form Bahattin  in modern personal names see the basic notes in the pertinent Wikipedia page :

BIBLIOGRAPHY : Select works consulted for persons entitled Baha' al-Din aside from those detailed above.

al-'Āmilī, Sayyid Muḥsin ibn ʻAbd al-Karīm al-Amīn (b. Jabal 'Āmil, 1284/1867-d.1371/1952).

  • A`yān = A'yan al-shī'a, 56 parts, 1st ed. Damascus : Maṭbaʻat Dimashq,1935-1963.
  • A'yān al-shī'a. Beirut : Maṭbaʻat al-Inṣāf 1950s+
  • al-Amīn, A'yān al-Shi`a, 3: 615
  • A'yān al-Shi`a  10 vols. / + Ḥasan al- Amīn 10 suppl. vols., Beirut: Dār al-Ta'āruf li 'l-maṭbū'āt, 1984 +1406/1986 etc. The Baha' prefixed  or infixed names are listed in this edition in the main volume 3 pp. 615-6. I have not found any such baha' related titles for persons mentioned in the Ḥasan al- Amīn ten supplementary volumes to the  ten A'yān al-Shi`a referred to above - which are sometimes printed with the original Aʻyān al-Shīʻa  vols. and is entitled Mustadrakāt Aʻyān al-Shīʻa. Beirut : Dār at-Taʻāruf li'l-Maṭbūʻāt, 1984, etc.
  • Tunukabūnī, Qisas al-'ulama' ed. 2004, p. 531.
  • Butrus al-Bustani, Da'irat al-ma`arif 13: 62-63.

On the origins and relationship of names including _____al-Dīn (i.e. Bahā’ al-Dīn) see

  • Kramers, J `Les noms musulmans composés avec Dîn', Acta Orientalia V (1926) 63-67. See also Dehkhodā, Lughat-Nāmih, Bahā' al-Dawlih/ Bahā' al-Dīn..(397f); Butrus al-Bustani, Da'irat al-Ma`arif, `Bahā'' vol. 5: 633-5.