Daisam was a Kurdish Kharijite who rose to prominence while serving the Sajid Yusuf Ibn Abi'l-Saj. With Kurdish support he managed to take over Azerbaijan by 938. His position in Azerbaijan was soon threatened by Lashkari b. Mardi, a Gilite formerly in the service of the Ziyarids. Lashkari's Gilite and Dailamite army expelled Daisam from Azerbaijan, but he was able to recover the province with the help of the Ziyarid Vushmgir.
In 941 or 942 Daisam's vizier, Abu'l-Qasim Ja'far b. 'Ali, fled due to an intrigue against him to the Sallarids of Tarum. There he convinced Marzuban bin Muhammad to take Azerbaijan from Daisam. Daisam met Marzuban's army on the field by his Dailamite mercenaries (whom he had hired to counterbalance the power of his unruly Kurdish troops) defected to the Sallarid and he was forced to flee to the court of the Ardzrunid king of Vaspurakan.
Ja'far b. 'Ali became Marzuban's vizier after he conquered Azerbaijan, but soon feared for his position. He went to Tabriz and invited Daisam to return to the province. When he arrived at the city he gained the support of the Kurds. His army was defeated by Marzuban's, however, and the Sallarid besieged him in Tabriz. At this point Ja'far abandoned Daisam again, but Daisam managed to escape from Tabriz and enter Ardebil. Marzuban was not far behind and he laid siege to Ardebil. Eventually Daisam's new vizier, who had been bribed by the Sallarids, convinced Daisam to surrender. Daisam was treated with leniency by Marzuban, who gave him his castle in Tarum after he requested it.
In 949 Marzuban was captured by the Buwayhids, who sent an army under Abu Mansur Muhammad to conquer Azerbaijan. Marzuban's brother Wahsudan ibn Muhammad sent Daisam to Azerbaijan to protect Sallarid interests there. Abu Mansur Muhammad's approach forced Daisam to retreat to Arran, but after Abu Mansur Muhammad suffered a setback he retreated, allowing Daisam to take control of the province.
Marzuban escaped from the Buwayhids in 953 and sought to regain his territory. Daisam was defeated by a Sallarid army near Ardebil, and the Dailamite leaders deserted from his side. He fled to Armenia, where he was given aid by the Christians. A year later, however, he was expelled from Armenia; he made his way to Baghdad, where the Buwayhid Mu'izz al-Daula received him with honor.
After the Buwayhids made peace with the Sallarids, Daisam realized that he could not count on them for help in regaining Azerbaijan. He therefore left them for the Hamdanids; with the aid of Saif al-Daula of Aleppo he occupied Salmas in 955/956 as a Hamdanid vassal. Marzuban expelled from there, and Daisam found refuge with the Ardzrunids of Vaspurakan. The Ardzunid king, however, facing threats from Marzuban, seized Daisam and handed him over to the Sallarid. Daisam was blinded and imprisoned. He was killed by some of Marzuban's supporters after the latter's death in 957.
- Madelung, Wilferd. "Minor Dynasties of Northern Iran." The Cambridge History of Iran, Volume 4: The Period From the Arab Invasion to the Saljuqs. Ed. R. N. Frye. New York, New York: Cambridge University Press, 1975. ISBN 0-521-20093-8