Amīn Rāzī

Amin Razi (Amīn Ahmad Rāzī امین احمد رازی; also known as Al-Razi) was a Safavid-era (16th to 17th century) Persian[1] geographer, author of a geographical and biographical encyclopedia (tadhkirah) called Haft iqlīm (هفت اقلیم "seven climes") based on the system of seven climes of Ptolemy's Almagest.

Al-Razi was born in Ray, Persia into a prestigious family; his father was Kvajeh Mirza Ahmad, the mayor of Ray by appointment of Tahmasp I (r. 15241576). His paternal uncle was Kvajeh Mohammad Sharif, a poet and minister to the governor of Khorasan and later to the Shah.

Al-Razi states that he completed his encyclopedia in AH 1002 (1593/4) after six years of work, although the work as extant includes additions of younger date. His dates of birth and death are unknown. He may have visited Mughal India during the reign of Akbar.[2]

Haft iqlīm (also Haft eqlīm) provides extensive historical, biographical and topographical information, arranged by "clime", i.e. the major division of the known world by geographic latitude according to Ptolemy. The total number of biographies in the work is 1,560, in many cases giving more detail than those found in medieval works such as Lubab ul-Albab or Tazkirat al-Awliya. The work also cited samples of poetry which is not recorded elsewhere, and some prose passages, e.g. by Ubayd Zakani.

Al-Razi's sources have been researched by Naqawī,[3] who identified thirty-nine. Ethé provides a table of the contents of the work.[4] The work survives in numerous manuscripts. The only complete edition is by Jawād Fāżel (1961). The Calcutta edition by Ross et al. is superior to Fāżel's but is incomplete, omitting the fourth clime (which encompasses more than half of the work).[5]


  1. Donzel, E. J. van (1 January 1994). Islamic Desk Reference. BRILL. p. 372. ISBN 90-04-09738-4. Razi, Amin Ahmad: Persian biographer; xvith c. He owes his fame to a great collection of biographies of famous men, which is arranged geographically according to the seven climes.
  2. Storey, p. 1169.
  3. Taḏkera-nevīsī, pp. 118-19
  4. Cat. Ind. Off. I, pp. 380-499, no. 724.
  5. M. U. Memon (1984)
  • M. U. Memon (1984-12-15). "AMĪN AḤMAD RĀZĪ". Encyclopædia Iranica. Archived from the original on 2010-12-08. Retrieved 2011-06-21. 
  • E. D. Ross et al. (eds.), Haft eqlīm, Calcutta, 1918-72.
  • Rypka, Hist. Iran. Lit., pp. 452, 495.
  • Storey, I., pp. 1169-71.
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