Bitlisi, Sharaf Khan

(1543-1603)
   Sharaf Khan Bitlisi was the Kurdish author of the Sharafnama, a very erudite history of the ruling families of the Kurdish emirates. The book was written in Persian, completed in 1596, and is arguably the single most important source for Kurdish history up to that time.
   The Sharafnama divides its history into four parts. The first deals with five Kurdish dynasties, which have actually enjoyed royalty (saltanat): the Marwanids of Diyarbakir and Jazire, the Hasan-wayhids of Dinawar and Shahrizur, the Fadluyids of the Great Lur, the princes of little Lur, and the Ayyubids. The second part lists those dynasties that have had coins struck and the khutba recited in their names. (The khutba is a religious invocation, pronounced at the Friday prayer meeting, that mentions the Prophet, the first four caliphs, and the current ruler.) The third part numbers the families of hereditary governors (hukkam), while the fourth details the history of the mirs of Bitlis.
   Sharaf Khan Bitlisi, the former ruler of the emirate of Bitlis, had abdicated in favor of his son when he wrote the Sharafnama. He apparently spent much of his life gathering the information for his history.

Historical Dictionary of the Kurds. .

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