The names of the principal officers of the early Ṣafawid ṣtate are well known and need only a brief recapitulation here. They were: (1) the wakīl; (2) the amīr al-umarā; (3) the qūrchībāshī; (4) the wazīr; (5) the ṣadr. Of these, the wakīl was the vicegerent of the Shāh, representing him in both his temporal capacity as pādishāh and in his spiritual capacity as murshid-i kāmil. He was thus the most powerful official in the early Ṣafawid state. The amīr al-umarā was, as his name denotes, the principal amīr; he was the commander-in-chief of the qizilbāsh Turkomān tribesmen who constituted the military basis of Ṣafawid political power. The function of the qūrchībāshī during the early Ṣafawid period is extremely obscure. As commander of the qūrchīs or qizilbāsh; tribal cavalry his authority would appear to have been in conflict with that of the amīr al-umarā. The office of qūrchībāshī was from the beginning distinct from that of amīr al-umarā, and during at least the first 30 years of Ṣafawid rule it was of less importance than the latter. From about 940/1533–4 onwards, however, there was a decline in the power of the amīr al-umarā, and a corresponding increase in that of the qurchībāshī, and under Isma'īl II and Muḥammad Khudābanda the qūrchībāshī became the most influential officer in the state. The wazīr was the head of the bureaucracy, and was traditionally the principal officer of state. Up to the time of 'Abbās I, however, his authority was restricted by the overriding authority of the wakīl, by the intervention of the amīr al-umarā in political affairs, by the existence of the ṣadr, who deprived him of the possibility of exercising general supervision over the religious institution, and by the predominantly military character of the early Ṣafawid state in general, which placed the ‘men of the pen’ at a disadvantage vis-à-vis the ‘men of the sword’. The ṣadr was the head of the religious institution, but since in practice the religious institution was subordinated to the political institution, the authority of the ṣadr was necessarily subordinated to that of the wakīl. The main function of the ṣadr was the imposition of doctrinal unity, namely Shi'ism, throughout the Ṣafawid empire. Once this object had been achieved, the power of the ṣadr declined, although from time to time the ṣadr made attempts (largely unsuccessful) to intervene in political matters.