ZAYNAB BEGUM

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ZAYNAB BEGUM (d. Qazvin, 9 Ṣafar 1050/31 May 1640), the fourth daughter of Shah Ṭahmāsp (r. 1524-76) and one of the most influential princesses in Safavid Iran.

Zaynab Begum was born from a Georgian princess called Ḥuri.  Her guardian (lala), Šāh-qoli Beg, came from the Šāmlu and had the rank of qurči-e šamšir or commander of the cavalry under Shah Ṭahmāsp (Astrābādi, p. 56).  Zaynab Begum’s date of birth is unknown.  Under Shah Esmāʿil II (r. 1576-78), she was married off to ʿAli-qoli Khan Šāmlu, a grandson of Durmiš Khan. This union appears to have been brokered shortly before 26 Ramażān 985/7 December 1577, the day ʿAli-qoli Khan Šāmlu arrived in Herat as the new governor-general of Khorasan (Monajjem Yazdi, p. 37; Szuppe, p. 221, n. 46).