The Buwaihid Confederation
Compiled By: Syed Ali Shahbaz
On 5th of the Islamic month of Jamadi al-Akher, in 404 AH, Baha od-Dowla Daylami, the Iranian Buwaihid ruler of Iraq and parts of Iran and Oman, died in Arrajan near Behbahan in southwestern Iran after a reign of 24 years and was succeeded by his son Sultan od-Dowla. He was the third son of the greatest ruler of the dynasty, Azod od-Dowla, and assumed power on the death of his eldest brother, Sharaf od-Dowla.
Another brother, Samsam od-Dowla, prevented him from gaining all of the eldest brother's possessions by taking control of Fars, Kerman and Khuzestan. The brothers, when threatened by their granduncle Fakhr od-Dowla, the ruler of northern Iran, who invaded Khuzestan, made peace, and Samsam od-Dowla recognizing Baha od-Dowla as the ruler of Iraq and Khuzestan, himself kept Arrajan, Fars and Kerman.
Both took the title of "king". A couple of years later Baha od-Dowla assumed the title of Shahanshah or emperor and invaded his brother's territory but was defeated by the latter who regained Khuzestan and took control of the Buwaihid territories in Oman across the Persian Gulf, by recognizing granduncle Fakhr od-Dowla as the senior Amir.
Six years later, Fakhr od-Dowla died and the next year Samsam od-Dowla was killed. Baha od-Dowla now took the opportunity to assert his authority in Fars and after taking Shiraz he did not return to Baghdad but spent the rest of his life in Iran, during which he gained indirect control over northern Iran as well.
His last years saw the beginning of the decline of the dynasty, with the Ziyarids of Gorgan and Tabaristan permanently asserting their independence while the Ghaznavid Turks kept putting pressure on Khorasan. The Buwaihid confederation, after 110 years of valuable service to Islam and Muslims by patronizing religious scholars and scientists; building public places like hospitals, schools, libraries, bridges, and dams; and renovating the shrines of the Infallible Imams in Najaf, Karbala, Kazemayn and Samarra; was overthrown by Turkic Seljuq invaders from Central Asia, who restored the Abbasid caliphate.