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The New Muslims of Post-Conquest Iran

Details

  • 11 b/w illus. 6 maps
  • Page extent: 294 pages
  • Size: 228 x 152 mm
  • Weight: 0.55 kg

Library of Congress

  • Dewey number: 297.0955
  • Dewey version: 23
  • LC Classification: BP63.I68 S28 2013
  • LC Subject headings:
    • Islam--Iran--History
    • Conversion--Islam--History

Library of Congress Record

Hardback

 (ISBN-13: 9781107014084)

How do converts to a religion come to feel an attachment to it? The New Muslims of Post-Conquest Iran answers this important question for Iran by focusing on the role of memory and its revision and erasure in the ninth to eleventh centuries. During this period, the descendants of the Persian imperial, religious and historiographical traditions not only wrote themselves into starkly different early Arabic and Islamic accounts of the past but also systematically suppressed much knowledge about pre-Islamic history. The result was both a new 'Persian' ethnic identity and the pairing of Islam with other loyalties and affiliations, including family, locale and sect. This pioneering study examines revisions to memory in a wide range of cases, from Iran's imperial and administrative heritage to the Prophet Muhammad's stalwart Persian companion, Salman al-Farisi, and to memory of Iranian scholars, soldiers and rulers in the mid-seventh century.

• First book to focus on Iran's conversion to Islam • Challenges notions of a primordial 'Iranian' identity • Analyses the early Islamic history of Iran from a history of memory viewpoint, providing an opening for cross-cultural comparisons

Contents

1. Prior connections to Islam; 2. Muhammad's Persian companion, Salman al-Farisi; 3. Finding meaning in the past; 4. Reforming Iranians' memories of pre-Islamic times; 5. The unhappy prophet; 6. Asserting the end of the past.

Reviews

'The New Muslims of Post-Conquest Iran will prove fascinating to anyone interested in identity narratives and how authors shape the past in the service of the present. Savant builds a bridge between the history of Persia and the memory of Persia, and atop this bridge we can clearly witness the inherent tension in any identity between the old and the new.' Elizabeth Urban, Marginalia

'The New Muslims of Post-Conquest Iran might ultimately shape Iranian and Islamic studies not only by contributing novel scholarship to the field, but also by speaking to non-specialists' interests as well.' Mahdi Tourage, American Journal of Islamic Social Sciences

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