Religions of Iran: From Prehistory to the Present by Richad Foltz

By Richad Foltz

Even though at the present time linked solely with Islam, Iran has actually performed an unprecedented function inside all of the global religions, injecting Iranian principles into the Jewish, Buddhist, Christian, and Manichaean traditions of the retailers who handed alongside the Silk street. This bright and extraordinary paintings explores the style during which Persian tradition has interacted with and reworked each one international religion, from the migration of the Israelites to Iran millions of years in the past to the impression of Iranian notions on Mahayana Buddhism and Christianity. Foltz considers Iran’s position in shaping the Muslim global, not just within the center East but additionally in South Asia in an evocative and informative trip throughout the non secular background of an historic and influential sector.

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In th e v a st e m p ire w h ic h th ey c re a te d by c o n q u e st, th e M u slim s a t first fo u n d them selves as a d o m in a n t b u t sm all m in o rity . T h e ir relig io n p ro v id e d th e m w ith c e rta in b asic re ­ ligious p rin c ip le s by w h ic h to ru le th e ir su b ject p o p u la tio n s ; ISLAM AND OTHER RELIGIONS ■ 19 th e o ld e r regim es w h ich they h a d rep laced b e q u e a th e d th e m tra d itio n s , p ro c e d u re s, a n d even p e rso n n e l w ith w h ich to p u t these p rin c ip le s in p ra c tic e , o r to m odify th em .

T h ese re stric tio n s involved som e lim ita tio n o n th e clo th es th a t d him m īs m ig h t w e a r a n d th e b easts th ey m ig h t rid e, a n d fo rb a d e th e m to b e a r arm s. T h ere w ere lim its o n th e b u ild in g a n d use o f p laces o f w o rsh ip . T hey w ere n o t to be h ig h e r th a n m o sq u es; n o n ew ones w ere to be b u ilt b u t o n ly o ld o n es re sto re d . C h ristia n s a n d Jew s w ere to w e a r special em b lem s o n th e ir clothes. T h is, in cid en tally , is th e o rig in o f th e y ellow b ad g e, w h ich w as first in tro d u c e d by a c alip h in B a g h d a d in th e n in th ce n tu ry a n d sp re a d in to W e st­ e rn la n d s in la te r m edieval t i m e s / 3 Even w h e n a tte n d in g th e p u b lic b a th s , n o n -M u slim s w ere su p p o se d to w e a r d istin ­ 2 6 ■ CHAPTER I g u ish in g signs su sp e n d e d fro m c o rd s a ro u n d th e ir neck s, so th a t th e y m ig h t n o t be m ista k e n fo r M u slim s w h e n d isro b e d in th e b a th h o u se .

M u sim s co u ld n o t in h e rit fro m d him m īs , n o r co u ld d him m īs in h e rit fro m M u slim s. A c o n v e rt to Islam co u ld th e re fo re n o t in h e rit fro m his u n c o n v e rte d k in sm en , a n d o n his o w n d e a th o n ly his M u slim heirs co u ld in h e rit fro m him . If he re v e rte d to his p rev io u s religion b efo re his d e a th , he ra n k e d as a n a p o s ta te , a n d his e sta te w as forfeit. T h e ru le th a t a M u slim c a n n o t in h e rit fro m a d h im m ī , w hile ac c e p ted by th e fo u r c a n o n ic a l sch o o ls o f M u slim ju risp ru d e n c e , w a s n o t a d m itte d by all th e d o c to rs o f H o ly L aw .

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