Published online by Cambridge University Press: 01 January 2022
From earliest times, religion has always been one of the most important factors in social cohesion and at the same time a major cause of urban factionalism and strife. The existence of opposing sects in the same city has invariably provided a breeding ground for economic, social, and political differences in the guise of sectarian disputes.
The basic elements of urban organization in the Islamic period were local government (ḥukūmat), religious solidarity (ummat), professional associations (the craft guilds, aṣnāf), and the city wards or quarters (maḥallāt). Occasionally, other social organizations rose to prominence such as esoteric fraternities, mystical and dervish orders, and chivalrous and paramilitary associations (futuvvat, Cayyārān); these too formed part of the overall social life of the city. The wards or city quarters were the centers of group activity based on kinship, or ethnic or sectarian affiliation. Iranian cities during the Islamic period saw political and social activities by the followers of the four rites of the Sunna--Shāfiᶜī, Ḥanbalī, Ḥanafī, and Mālikī--and by Shi'ite and other dissident sects such as the Zaydīs, Carmathians, Mu'tazilites, and Ismāᶜīlīs.
1. E.g., Iṣṭakhrī writes of Bam: “On Fridays, three mosques are in use--the Khārijite mosque in the bazaar, the Sunnī mosque in the drapers’ quarter, and a third one in the citadel” (Al-Masālik wa'l-Mamālik, ed. Afshār, Īraj [Tehran, 1957], p. 143).Google Scholar
2. Aḥmad al-Muqaddasī, Muḥammad ibn, Aḥsan al-Taqāsīm fī Maᶜrifat al-Aqālīm, ed. De Goeje, M. J. (Leiden 1906), p. 327.Google Scholar
3. Muᶜjam al-Buldān, ed. Wüstenfeld, F. (Leipzig, 1924; Tehran, 1965), II, pp. 893–94.Google Scholar
4. Ghiyā al-Dīn Khwāndamīr, Ḥabīb al-Siyar fī Akhbār Afrād al-Bashar (Tehran, 1955), III, p. 2.Google Scholar
7. Barthold, V. V., Historico-Geographical Survey of Iran (Taẕkira-yi Jughrāfiyā-yi Tārīkhi-yi Īrān), translated by Serdadver, H. (Tehran 1308/1930), p. 186Google Scholar
8. See, e.g., Abū Dulaf, Safarnāma (Cairo, n.d.), p. 41; Yāqūt, Muᶜjam al-Buldān, ed. Wüstenfeld, I, p. 53; Bosworth, W., Mussulman Culture (Calcutta, 1934), pp. 168–69.Google Scholar
9. See further Ahmad Ashraf's article “Vīzhagīhā-yi tārīkhī-yi shahrnishīnī dar Īrān-i dawra-yi Islāmī,” in Nāma-yi ᶜulūm-i Ijtimāᶜī I, No. 4 (Tehran, 1970).Google Scholar
10. Accounts of the life and works of Shāh Niᶜmatullāh Valī may be found in the following: Rasā'il-e Janābi Shāh Niᶜmatullāh Valī-yi Kirmānī, ed. J. Nūrbakhshi Kirmānī, Vols. I-V (Tehran, 1961-65); Dīvān-i Shāh Niᶜmatullāh Valī, ed. M. ᶜIlmī (Tehran, 1949)Google Scholar; Dīvāni Shāh Niᶜmatullāh Valī (Kerman, 1957)Google Scholar; Manuscript collections of the treatises of Shāh Niᶜmatullāh Valī in the Khānaqāh-i Shams al-ᶜUrafā, the Malik Library and the National Library, in Tehran; Majmūᶜa-yi tarjuma-yi aḥvāl-i Shāh Niᶜmatullāh Valī, ed. Aubin, Jean (Tehran, 1966).Google Scholar For the Niᶜmatullāhī order of dervishes, see Gramlich, Richard, Die Schiitischen Dervischorden Persiens (Wiesbaden, 1965Google Scholar: Abhandlungen für die Kunde des Morganlandes XXXVI; 1), pp. 27-69.
11. Zāva had not yet developed into anything resembling a town by the early 7th century A.H. (early 13th A.D.); in the geographical works prior to the Mongol invasions the cultivated area now comprising the town and its fields was included in the district of Khwāf, and only with the growth of a settlement round the nucleus of Quṭb al-dīn Ḥaydar's tomb did the present town, renamed for the Sẖaykh, come into being. See ᶜAbd al-Ḥamid Mawlavī, Aār-i Bāstānī-yi Khurāsān (Tehran, 1976), I, p. 3.Google Scholar
12. Riḥla, Part I, p. 252; cf. Guy Le Strange, Lands of the Eastern Caliphate, p. 356. In addition to this encounter, Ibn Baṭūṭa met yet another Shaykh Quṭb al-dīn Ḥaydar, surnamed ᶜAlavī, at the town of Awja in Sind, and was presented by him with an initiatory robe (khirqa) which he wore proudly until it was stolen from him by pagan Indian pirates (Riḥlay Part 2, p. 8).
13. Khwāndamīr, Ḥabīb al-Siyar III, p. 332. Khwāja Rukn al-dīn, with the laqab Shāh Sanjān, was a leading poet and mystic of the 6th/14th century; see Mustawfī, Ḥamdullāh, Tārīkh-i Guzīda, ed. Strange, Le (Leiden, 1917), p. 793Google Scholar; Jami, Nafaḥāt al-Uns, ed. Tawḥīdīpūr, M. (Tehran, 1968), p. 374.Google Scholar
14. Samarqandī, Dawlatshāh-i, Taẕkirat al-Shuᶜarā', ed. Browne, E. G. (Leiden, 1898), p. 192.Google Scholar There is a manuscript Ḥaydar-nāma with the title Dīvān-i Quṭb al-dīn Haydar in the Library of the Sipahsālār Mosque at Tehran (No. 248).
15. ᶜAmīd al-dīn Zakariyā ibn Muḥammad al-Qazvīnī, Āār al-Bilād wa Akhbār al-ᶜIbād (Beirut, 1969), pp. 382–83.Google Scholar
17. Karbalā'ī, Ḥāfiẓ Ḥusayn, Rawżat al-Jannāt va Jannāt al-Jinān (Tehran, 1965), pp. 467–68.Google Scholar Today Takya-yi Ḥaydar is the name of a spot at the edge of the Surkhab quarter of Tabriz, where the tomb of Sulṭān Mīr Ḥaydar used to be, in or near the former Darb-i Aᶜlā quarter. The shrine was frequented by great numbers of Sufis from near and far, even from Ottoman Turkey, and prospered accordingly. As an object of veneration to both Shīᶜī and Sunnī Muslims, it remained undamaged by zealots of either sect until the reign of Shāh ᶜAbbās (995-1038/1587-1629). He denounced the shrine as a heinous center of heresy and had it demolished. The ruins, or a part of them, were extant until the later Qajar period, but nothing of the original now remains except the name. The site has been built over, and part of the courtyard of the shrine has evidently been superseded by a street running north and south through the area (see Jaᶜfar Sulṭān al-Qarā'ī's notes to the Rawżat al-Jannāt, p. 597). Shāh ᶜAbbās’ motive in reviling and destroying the tomb was probably his fear of the strength of the Shaykh's following, and his desire to divert his subjects’ veneration in the direction of Shaykh Ṣafī and the Safavid family. This propaganda campaign is preserved in a saying still current in Tabriz: “What business has a good man with the Takya-yi Ḥaydar?”
20. Ibid., p. 82.
22. Muḥammad Maᶜṣūm Shīrāzī (Maᶜṣūmᶜalī Shāh), Ṭarā'iq al-Ḥaqā'iq, ed. Maḥjūb, M. J. (Tehran, 1960-66) II, p. 642.Google Scholar
23. Ḥājjī Zayn al-ᶜĀbidīn Shīrvānī, Riyāż al-siyāḥa, ed. Ḥāmid, A. (Tehran, 1960), p. 226.Google Scholar
24. Muḥammad ᶜAlī Mudarris-Tabrīzī, Rayḥānat al-Adab (Tehran, 1944-53) III, p. 303Google Scholar; Lughatnāma-yi Dihkhudā Fasc. 84, p. 349, s.v. Quṭb al-dīn Ḥaydar-i Tūnī.
25. Muḥammad Ḥasan Khān Ṣanīᶜ al-dawla, Eᶜtemād al-salṭana, Mir'āt al-Buldān-i Nāṣirī (Tehran, 1874) I, p. 55.Google Scholar The physical description of the dervishes, though attributed by the author to Chardin, appears in fact to be a slightly garbled version of Kaempfer's description (see below and note 34).
26. Petrushevsky, I. P., Islām dar Īrān, tr. Kishāvarz, K., 3rd ed. (Tehran, 1974), pp. 366–67.Google Scholar
27. Mawlānā Ṣunᶜullāh Niᶜmatullāhī, Sawāniḥ al-Ayyām fī Mushāhadāt al-Aᶜvām (Bombay 1307/1883), p. 5.Google Scholar See also the article by Ḥamīd Farzām, “Ikhtilāfāt-i Jāmā bā Shāh Valī,” in Nashrīya-yi Dānishkada-yi Adabīyāt-i Dānishgāh-i Iṣfahān, No. 1 (1964), pp. 48-57, and the same writer's book Shāh, Valī va Daᶜvī-yī Mahdavīyat (Isfahan, 1979)Google Scholar; Farzām establishes on the evidence of the poetry and other works of Shāh Niᶜmatullāh Valī that, contrary to general assumption, he was a Sunnī.
28. Shūshtarī, Majālis al-Mu'minīn II, p. 82.
29. From the time of Shaykh Ḥaydar, the father of Ismāᶜī I Ṣafavī (907-930/1502-24), there arose in several provinces of Anatolia an extreme Shi'ite sect known as Ḥaydarīya, which is not the same as our Ḥaydarīya. So fanatical were they that they considered the killing of one Sunnite to be as meritorious as the slaying in battle of five pagans, and held that the divine nature had been incarnated in ᶜAlī, and ultimately in the Safavid Ḥaydar (see Falsafī, Naṣrullāh, zindigānī-yi Shāh ᶜAbbās-i Avval, [Tehran, 1956-76], V, pp. 32–34).Google Scholar
30. Tâci-zâde Sa'di Çelebî, Münṣeât, ed. Lugal, N. § Erzi, A. (Istanbul, 1956), p. 28.Google Scholar
31. “Narrative of the Most Noble Vicentio D'Alessandri,” tr. Gray, Charles, in A Narrative of Italian Travels in Persia (London, 1873), Hakluyt Society Ser. 1, Vol. 49, p. 224.Google Scholar The names of the factions appear here as Nausitai and Himcaivatu, which forms are however more recognizable than many others of D'Alessandri's transcriptions of Persian names. His statement that when Shāh Ṭahmāsb was still resident in Qazvin (i.e., between 1524 and about 1533) the feud had already lasted thirty years lends support to the view that it probably predated the establishment of the Safavid dynasty. See also Jean Chardin, Voyages (Amsterdam, 1711) II, p. 316.
33. Chardin, VIII, pp. 11, 13.
34. Kaempfer, Engelbert, Am Hofe des Persischen Grosskönigs, German edition by Hinz, W. (Leipzig,1940), pp. 110–11.Google Scholar This description appears to have found its way in part into the Mir'āt al-Buldān (see above and note 25).
35. D'Alessandri, Kaempfer, ibid.; Chardin, VIII, p. 13.
36. Valle, Pietro della, Voyages dans la Turquie, l'Egypte, la Palestine, la Perse, les Indes orientales et autres lieux (Rouen,1745) III, p. 42.Google Scholar
37. Quoted in Falsafī, Naṣrullāh, zindagānī-yi Shāh ᶜAbbās-i Avval (Tehran, 1344) II, p. 328.Google Scholar
38. Krusinski, Tadeusz Judasz, The History of the Late Revolutions of Persia (London 1750), I, p. 91.Google Scholar This was copied by Hanway, (An Historical Account of the British Trade over the Caspian Sea, London, 1753, III, p. 32)Google Scholar--somewhat inaccurately, as the names of the factions appear here as Peleuk and Feleuk; it is also cited by Browne (Literary History of Persia, IV, p. 119 and note). We are unable to throw any light on the terms Pelenk and Felenk.
39. Ibid., pp. 91-93.
40. Kaempfer, p. 111.
41. Qājār, Nādir Mīrzā, Tārīkh va Jughrāfiyā-yi Dār al-Salṭana-yi Tabrīz (Tehran, 1972), p. 192.Google Scholar
42. “…bezanīd pidar-i Niᶜmatīhā dar ārīd!” I owe this anecdote to my friend the poet ᶜAlī Maẓāhirī, who heard it from a village headman of Isfahan.
43. Tavernier, I, p. 388.
44. Chardin, VII, pp. 12-13.
45. Chardin, II, p. 316.
46. Ḥusaynī Fasā'ī, Ḥājjī Mīrzā Ḥasan, Fārsnāma-yi Nāṣirī (Shiraz, 1933), II, p. 22.Google Scholar Note that Fasā'ī's geographical location of the factions is opposite to that of Chardin (VIII, p. 11), who places the Niᶜmatullāhīs in the eastern half and the Haydarīs in the western half of Isfahan.
48. Sayyid ᶜAbdullāh Dāᶜī-yi Dizfūlī, Taẕkirat al-Akhyār wa Majmaᶜ al-Abrār (Ahwaz, 1826)Google Scholar, passim.
52. This information was supplied by Muḥammad Ḥusayn Anṣārī Ardakānī, a history student at the University of Isfahan.
53. The materials relating to Julga-yi Rū-dasht were supplied by Nādir ᶜAlī Nāẓiriān Jazzī, a geography student at the University of Isfahan.
54. Reported by Majīd Hāshimī Ardakānī, local high school teacher. This place is not the Ardakān of Yazd mentioned above.