Shah Shuja (Muzaffarid)

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Picture of the tomb of Shah Shuja in Shiraz

Shah Shuja (Persian: شاه شجاع‎‎), was the ruler of the Muzaffarid dynasty from 1358 to 1384. He was the son and successor of Mubariz al-Din Muhammad.


In 1358, Shah Shuja blinded and imprisoned his cruel father Mubariz al-Din Muhammad, and thus succeeded him as the ruler of the Muzaffarid dynasty. Shah Shuja proved to be a less of a tyrannic figure than his father, but he was constantly fighting with his brothers, causing a long period of instability. In 1363 he marched against his first brother Shah Mahmud, who had been given control of Isfahan, although a peace was soon brokered. In the following year however, Shah Mahmud, with the support of his father-in-law Shaikh Awais Jalayir of the Jalayirids, invaded Fars and captured Shiraz. Shah Shuja would not be able to reconquer his capital until 1366. Shah Mahmud would continue to play and influential role in Iranian politics, using his marriage alliance to claim Tabriz from the Jalayirids after Shaikh Awais Jalayir died in 1374. He occupied the city but soon gave up after he was struck by illness. He died the next year, allowing Shah Shuja to occupy Isfahan.

Shah Shuja then marched on Tabriz himself, but was forced to turn back when internal conditions in Fars deteriorated. His second brother Shah Muzaffar's son, Shah Yahya, rose in revolt in Isfahan. Having to make peace with the Jalayirids, Shah Shuja offered to marry his son Zain al-Abidin to a sister of the Jalayirid ruler Shaikh Hussain Jalayir. The Jalayirids refused the offer and invaded, although Shah Shuja managed to prevent them from getting any further than Sultaniyya. Before dying in 1384, he named his son Zain al-Abidin his successor and his third brother Imad al-Din Ahmad as governor of Kirman. Not satisfied with the arrangement, Shah Yahya advanced against Shiraz, but was expelled from Isfahan by the city's populace and was forced to flee to Yazd. On his deathbed, Shah Shuja wrote a letter to Timur, who was then campaigning in Azerbaijan, in which he gave his sons' loyalty to the conqueror.


  • Jackson, Peter. "Muzaffarids." Encyclopaedia of Islam, Volume VII (Mif-Naz). New ed. 1993. ISBN 90-04-09419-9
  • M. Ismail Marcinkowski, Persian Historiography and Geography: Bertold Spuler on Major Works Produced in Iran, the Caucasus, Central Asia, India and Early Ottoman Turkey, with a foreword by Professor Clifford Edmund Bosworth, member of the British Academy, Singapore: Pustaka Nasional, 2003, ISBN 9971-77-488-7.
  • Roemer, H. R. "The Jalayirids, Muzaffarids and Sarbadars." The Cambridge History of Iran Volume 6: The Timurid and Safavid Periods. Edited by Peter Jackson. New York: Cambridge University Press, 1986. ISBN 0-521-20094-6
Preceded by
Mubariz al-Din Muhammad
Muzaffarid ruler
Succeeded by
Zain al-Abidin