Converting Persia: Religion and Power in the Safavid Empire by Rula Jurdi Abisaab

By Rula Jurdi Abisaab

Lower than the Safavids (1501-1736 CE) Persia followed Shi'ism as its reputable faith. Rula Abisaab explains how and why this particular model of Shi'ism--urban and legally-based--was dropped at the sector by way of major Arab 'Ulama from Ottoman Syria, and altered the face of the zone until eventually at the present time. those emigre students provided special resources of legitimacy for the Safavid monarchs, and an ideological safety opposed to the Ottomans. simply as vital on the time was once a unsleeping and vibrant technique of Persianization either on the nation point and in society. changing Persia is essential analyzing for anthropologists, historians and students of faith, and any drawn to Safavid Persia, in Shi'ism, and within the wider heritage of the center East.

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See Appendix III) Almost all the works on Shi’ite Tradition produced by the mid sixteenth century were authored by Husayn b. ‘Abd al-Samad. Equally significant during the early Safavid reign was the composition of original polemical works against Sunnism and Sufism. Except for Husayn b. ‘Abd al-Samad who expressed a marked interest in literature, ethics and ‘classical’ Sufism, the ‘Amili scholars were jurists par excellence who defined their religious outlook and profession in legalistic terms.

The rationalists, on the other hand, allow reason a larger share in the elaboration of law and theology. Husayn’s interest in the verification of Tradition, reflected in his legal discussion of the purification of mats, the Imam’s share and the sifting of Traditions (diraya), placed him in a traditionist category. On other legal matters such as Friday prayer, imitation of a deceased mujtahid and association with secular government, Husayn drew on rationalist positions, strengthening the interconnection between the two legal trends that lasted until the mid seventeenth century CE.

Curiously, the futuvvat milieu also became a bedrock for devotional folk Shi’ism as well as Sunnite ahl al-bayt pietistic attitudes. 120 During the fifteenth century CE, Kamal al-Din Husayn Sabzavar, also known by the pen-name, Kashif (d. 910AH/1504CE), laid down Rawdat al-Shuhada’, the first Persian work on the sufferings of the house of ‘Ali and the great martyrs of Karbala. Kashif belonged to a youth fraternity where he emerged as a chivalrous local hero (javanmard). 121 By the late Safavid period, themes of heroism, chivalry and noble manliness familiar to the social and spiritual system of futuvvat could be gleaned in the recital of the suffering of the third Imam, Husayn son of ‘Ali (d.

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