Sultanum Begum

Sultanum Begum (c. 1516 – 1593) was the Queen consort of Iran from 23 May 1524 to 25 May 1576 as the first wife and chief consort[1] of the second Safavid king Tahmasp I. She was the mother of her husband's successor, Ismail II, and the mother of Mohammad Khodabanda, who reigned from 1578 until his overthrow in 1587.

Sultanum Begum
Queen consort of the Safavid Empire
Tenure23 May 1524 – 25 May 1576
Bornc. 1516
Diedc. 1593 (aged 76–77)
Qazvin, Persia
SpouseTahmasp I
IssueMohammad Khodabanda
Ismail II
Murad Mirza
Gowhar Sultan Begum
HouseMawsillu (by birth)
Safavid (by marriage)
FatherMusa Sultan bin ‘Isa Beg Musullu
ReligionSunni Islam


Sultanum Begum was the daughter of Musa Sultan bin ‘Isa Beg Mawsillu, of the Aq Quyunlu, governor of Azerbaijan. Like Tahmasp's mother Tajlu Khanum, Sultanum belonged to the Turcoman Mawsillu tribe and was a maternal third cousin of her husband.[2] Tahmasp had most likely married her around the time of his father, Ismail I's death. She became his principal wife and bore him two sons, including Mohammad Khodabanda who was born in 1532, during the early years of the Shamlu-Ustalju regency, when Tahmasp himself was only eighteen years old, and Ismail II, born in 1537.[1]

Sultanum Begum rose to become the harem's leader after Tajlu Khanum's exile to Shiraz in 1540. She had an independent royal court and her vizier was Khwaja Ibrahim Khalil. She also gained the honorific title of Mahd-i Ulya[disambiguation needed].[1] She owned the tiyul and muqarariyat (perpetual fixed assignation) payable on lands in Western Khurasan.[3]

Reign of her sonsEdit

She mainted her strong position during the reign of Ismail II as her tribe, Mawsillu, also supported him. She was alive during her son Mohammad Khodabanda's and grandson Abbas I's reigns.


  1. ^ a b c Newman, Andrew J. (2005). Safavid Iran : Rebirth of a Persian Empire. London [u.a.]: I. B. Tauris. p. 29. ISBN 9781860646676.
  2. ^ John E. Woods, The Aqquyunlu: Clan, Confederation, Empire (1999) p. 193
  3. ^ Nashat, edited by Guity; Beck, Lois (2003). Women in Iran from the rise of Islam to 1800. Urbana: University of Illinois Press. p. 152, 154. ISBN 9780252071218.CS1 maint: extra text: authors list (link)