Journal of history of Iran)

Document Type : Research Paper


The Safavid shah, political administrators, and the clergy took it upon themselves to implement the divine command of enjoining good and forbidding evil (amr bi l-maʻrūf wa nahī ʻani l-munkar). Within the religious structure of the Safavid state, this was one of the duties of the shaykh al-islam. The present paper, however, presents a document according to which the ṣadr al-mamālek-e maḥrūseh appoints someone as moḥtaseb of Qazvīn with instructions not only to oversee the moral & social reforms, but also to handle the economic affairs of the bāzār. This study then explores all the data gathered on the moḥtaseb, both from the document and other library sources of the period. All in all, what this study deems necessary is to re-examine the roles played by various posts constituting the complex machinery of the Safavid government with great attention paid to the time and place within which such posts were defined and assigned.