When Shamsuddin Muhammad had been in Tabriz once or more times,
he became known as Shams-i Tabriz.
There had been another Shams-i Tabriz, the master of Jalaluddin Rumi (d. 672/1273) in the same period, who was not tracable after 645/1247 in Koniya.
It is therefore possible that Shamsuddin Muhammad had chosen to cloak his identity in Tabriz for some times under the name of the master of Jalaluddin Rumi in the Sufic circles. Rida Quli Khan (d. 1872) writes in "Majmau'l Fusaha" that, "Shaikh Abu Hamid Awhaduddin Kirmani had seen and met Shams-i Tabriz in Tabriz."
To this we must add the likelihood that Shaikh Abu Hamid had veritably seen Shamsuddin Muhammad in the mantle of Shams-i Tabriz. When Shamsuddin Muhammad was identified as the "son of the last ruler of Alamut", he was ultimately considered as the "son of Alauddin Muhammad", incorporating him in the above tradition.
A cloud of mystery has surrounded the life of another contemporary Shams-i Tabriz, the master of Jalaluddin Rumi after 645/1247. Shamsuddin Aflaki, who wrote in 754/1353 that the death of Shams-i Tabriz took place in Koniya in 645/1247. It seems that a group of the Sufis had cultivated a story that after leaving Koniya, Shams-i Tabriz had gone to Tabriz, and there Shamsuddin Muhammad, known as Shams-i Tabriz had been identified as same Shams-i Tabriz after few years. Thus, Shamsuddin Muhammad began to be equated with that of Shams-i Tabriz, and henceforward, two Shams-i Tabriz at one period were confounded.
When the people conclusively identified Ruknuddin Khurshah as the last ruler, most probably after 671/1272, one another tradition seems to have been originated to distinguish these two characters. Shamsuddin Muhammad had been deleted from that story from being the son of Alauddin Muhammad, but Shams-i Tabriz was made known as the son of Alauddin Muhammad instead. Being influenced with this tradition, Daulatshah (d. 900/1494) was the first to show Shams-i Tabriz, the master of Jalaluddin Rumi as the son of Alauddin Muhammad, in his "Tazkertush Shuara".
A question then arises, who was Shams-i Tabriz?
He indeed was an Ismaili, the master of Jalaluddin Rumi, but not the son of Alauddin Muhammad. As to the early life of Shams-i Tabriz, we are yet in dark.
Shamsuddin Aflaki (710-754/1310-1354) in "Manaqibu'l Arifin" and Abdur Rahman Jami (d. 898/1493) in "Nafhatu'l Uns" concur that Shams-i Tabriz was the son of a certain Muhammad bin Ali bin Malikad. Rida Quli Khan (d. 1872) in his "Majmau'l Fusaha" also relied on Aflaki and Jami. According to "Silsilatu'ad-Dhahab", it is wrong to allege Shams-i Tabriz to have been the son of Alauddin Muhammad.
It was only Daulatshah (d. 900/1494) who made him the son of Alauddin Muhammad being influenced by the wrong tradition. Prof. Muhammad Iqbal of Punjab University, who prepared the Lahore edition of Daulatshah's work, makes his remarks that:
"...it is evident that Daulatshah has not written historical facts carefully in his book. He has accepted all sorts of traditions, right or wrong, owing to which several errors have crept into his work."
Edward G. Browne writes in "A Literary History of Persia" (3rd vol., p. 436):
"This is an entertaining, but inaccurate work, containing a good selection of historical errors."
It is also worthy of notice, however, that Daulatshah quoted another tradition of parentage of Shams-i Tabriz:
"Some people say that he was originally a native of Khorasan and belonged to the town of Bazar. His father had settled in Tabriz for the purpose of doing business in cloth."
It is probable that Shams-i Tabriz was the son of Muhammad bin Ali bin Malikad according to Aflaki and Jami, and he seems to be a native of Khorasan as per another tradition cited by Daulatshah. Nurullah Shustari (d. 1019/1610) in his "Majalis al-Mominin" (6th vol., p. 291) states:
"Shams-i Tabriz descended from 'Ismaili headman' (daiyani Ismailiyya budand)".
His father had settled in Tabriz, and was a cloth merchant. Shams-i Tabriz was indeed an Ismaili like his father, but it needs further scholarly scanning to trace his biography.
There is also a reason to believe that Jalaluddin Rumi must have been known both Shams-i Tabriz and Imam Shamsuddin Muhammad, but did not described palpably in his Diwan. He however addresses Shams-i Tabriz as:
- the heir of the Prophet (verse no. 2473) and
- compares him to Ali (verse no. 1944),
which seems to have been referred only to the Imam.
Shamsuddin Muhammad is reported to have betrothed to a Sufi lady at Daylam in 675/1276, or next year. His sons, Momin Shah and Kiya Shah penetrated Ismaili dawaas far as Gilan. Momin Shah also travelled in Syria and served many years as a hujjat of the Imam. When he returned to Gilan, a section of the Syrian Ismailis, considered him the Imam's successor, who later on, became known as the Momin-Shahis. Muhibb Ali Qunduzi however writes in "Irshadu't Talibin" (comp. in 929/1523):
"The schism took place after the death of Momin Shah in 738/1338."
The descendants of Momin Shah mostly lived in Khwand, a village in Qazwin, where they became known as Sadat-i Khwandia.
Shamsuddin Muhammad died in 710/1310 in Azerbaijan after vesting the office of Imamate in Kassim Shah...