By Rula Jurdi Abisaab
Lower than the Safavids (1501-1736 CE) Persia followed Shi'ism as its professional faith. Rula Abisaab explains how and why this particular model of Shi'ism--urban and legally-based--was dropped at the zone by means of best Arab 'Ulama from Ottoman Syria, and adjusted the face of the quarter till today. those emigre students provided distinctive assets of legitimacy for the Safavid monarchs, and an ideological safeguard opposed to the Ottomans. simply as very important on the time used to be a unsleeping and shiny strategy of Persianization either on the kingdom point and in society. changing Persia is essential analyzing for anthropologists, historians and students of faith, and any attracted to Safavid Persia, in Shi'ism, and within the wider historical past of the center East.
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Extra resources for Converting Persia: Religion and Power in the Safavid Empire (International Library of Iranian Studies)
137 For his part, al-Karaki provided the governors with a manual (dustur al-‘amal) instructing them on various socioeconomic matters, particularly the collection and administration of land tax. 138 He specifically called for the appointment of a prayer leader in every village and city and gave him clear instructions as how to carry out his tasks. By ‘force or by the power of conviction’, many embraced religious learning and adhered to Shi’ite ritual. 140 Serious translation efforts ensued among Persian scholars, the most noteworthy of whom was ‘Ali b.
22 Husayn explained that Shi’ites are not bound by the Sunnite schools of law or their Traditions simply because Sunnite leaders unlike ‘Ali and his descendants from Fatima, are fallible. Husayn tells his readers that his Aleppine friend succumbed to his proofs and would have been positively inclined toward Shi’ism, if it were not for Shi’ite ritual cursing of the Companions of the Prophet, particularly the first two Caliphs, ‘Umar and Abu Bakr. At first, Husayn did not know how to proceed with this debate.
Shah Isma’il and Shah Tahmasb, however, could hardly maintain their imperial sovereignty on the basis of the old Sufi allegiance invested in the concept of shahsevan (love for the ruler as Sufi master). The Shahs also struggled against the Qizilbash sense of entitlement to political supremacy and their internal 32 Converting Persia competitions. 6 As a temporal ruler and builder of a state, Shah Tahmasb increasingly turned to stable sources of religious legitimacy, ones that could be harnessed by him or which lend themselves to state control.