– 1012


Who was Qabus?

Qabus ibn Wushmagir was the Sunni Muslim Ziyarid ruler of Gurgan and Tabaristan in medieval Iran. He was the son of Vushmgir and a daughter of the Bavandi Ispahbad Sharvin.

Upon Vushmgir's death in 967, his eldest son Bisutun marched to the capital Gurgan to take control of the Ziyarid state. A Samanid army that had arrived shortly before Vushmgir's death for a joint campaign against the Buyids, however, threw its support behind Qabus. When Bisutun gained the assistance of the Buyid Rukn al-Daula the Samanid army left for Khurasan. Qabus found a new ally in al-Hasan ibn al-Fairuzan, who ruled in Simnan, but Bisutun occupied both Gurgan and Simnan, forcing Qabus to give up his claims as his father's successor.

Bisutun's death in 977 provided Qabus with another opportunity to take control of the Ziyarids. Bisutun's governor of Tabaristan, the Gilite Dubaj ibn Bani, supported the deceased ruler's young son, and could rely on Samanid support. Qabus gained the loyalty of the Ziyarid army, however, and received assistance from the Buyid 'Adud al-Daula. Taking Gurgan from Dubaj, he captured Bisutun's son in Simnan. In 978 or 979 the caliph al-Ta'i granted Qabus the title Shams al-Ma'ali.


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