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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. Through these renegotiations, Iranians developed a sense of Islam as an authentically Iranian religion, as they simultaneously shaped the broader historiographic tradition in Arabic and Persian.Read more
- 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
Reviews & endorsements
"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, MarginaliaSee more reviews
"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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- Date Published: May 2015
- format: Paperback
- isbn: 9781107529854
- length: 302 pages
- dimensions: 229 x 152 x 16 mm
- weight: 0.4kg
- contains: 11 b/w illus. 6 maps
- availability: Available
Table of 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.
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