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Nima

Persia And Islam.

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Why did iran just islamized,and but not arabized?

This is an issue I will write a school report. We know that Persian for many years was illegal in persia \ Iranians, etc., but gradually as they were able to get back the language. EKS: egypt was the Egyptians, but was eventually Arabs, that now they speak Arabic. The main task of mine is that I should write why the Persians were not Arabs. I know that Wikipedia is not a very safe side, therefore I ask you. Have you no you already know or good links. We must see that the Persians had an accessory role in the Arabic language. My teacher thinks it is an interesting topic. What do you think?

According to Bernard Lewis:

"Iran was indeed Islamized, but it was not Arabized. Persians remained Persians. And after an interval of silence, Iran reemerged as a separate, different and distinctive element within Islam, eventually adding a new element even two Islam itself. Culturally, politically, and most remarkable of all even religiously, the Iranian contribution to this new Islamic civilization is of Immense importance. The work of Iranians can be seen in every field of cultural endeavor, including Arabic poetry, to which poets of Iranian origin Composing their poems in Arabic made a very significant contribution. In a sense, Iranian Islam is a second advent of Islam itself, a new Islam sometimes referred to as Islam-i aJames. It was this Persian Islam, rather than the original Arab Islam, that was brought to new areas and new peoples: to the Turks, first in Central Asia and then in the Middle East in the country which came to be called Turkey, and of course to India. The Ottoman Turks brought a form of Iranian civilization to the walls of Vienna. .. "[1]

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Why did iran just islamized,and but not arabized?

This is an issue I will write a school report. We know that Persian for many years was illegal in persia \ Iranians, etc., but gradually as they were able to get back the language. EKS: egypt was the Egyptians, but was eventually Arabs, that now they speak Arabic. The main task of mine is that I should write why the Persians were not Arabs. I know that Wikipedia is not a very safe side, therefore I ask you. Have you no you already know or good links. We must see that the Persians had an accessory role in the Arabic language. My teacher thinks it is an interesting topic. What do you think?

According to Bernard Lewis:

"Iran was indeed Islamized, but it was not Arabized. Persians remained Persians. And after an interval of silence, Iran reemerged as a separate, different and distinctive element within Islam, eventually adding a new element even two Islam itself. Culturally, politically, and most remarkable of all even religiously, the Iranian contribution to this new Islamic civilization is of Immense importance. The work of Iranians can be seen in every field of cultural endeavor, including Arabic poetry, to which poets of Iranian origin Composing their poems in Arabic made a very significant contribution. In a sense, Iranian Islam is a second advent of Islam itself, a new Islam sometimes referred to as Islam-i aJames. It was this Persian Islam, rather than the original Arab Islam, that was brought to new areas and new peoples: to the Turks, first in Central Asia and then in the Middle East in the country which came to be called Turkey, and of course to India. The Ottoman Turks brought a form of Iranian civilization to the walls of Vienna. .. "[1]

Lewis is right about the spread of Persianised Islam [no negative connotations] in regions like Asia Minor, Central Asia and the Subcontinent. Persian contribution to Arabic literature and works of theology is immense. For a small example, some of the Sunni Sihahs [the six great collection of hadith] in Arabic were compiled by Persians. Persians also made outstanding contributions to the development of the Arabic language itself. But Persia not only survived Arabisation it also stood in the way of the Arabisation of Turkey and India. This is why Arabic language has not found a footing in the said countries.

I don't know the details but one reason why Persia survived the cultural onslaught of Arabia is because they sticked to their language, of which poetry and folklore played the vital role. It was poets like Firdawsi whose poetical works like Shahnameh kept the original language alive. Language is just like a fortress. Kill the language and you kill a people, their culture and their character. The Levant [syria, Lebanon, Palestine] calls itself Arab and speaks Arabic. It wasn't. North African Arabic speaking, some of Arab descent and other Berbers etc, also call themselves Arab. They weren't. They became victims of Arabisation because they failed to protect their language and lost everything.

Farsi was influenced a great deal by Arabic but it was inevitable due to the religious and political ties between Persia and Arabia. I think it has enriched the language.

Nima don't know if that answers your question but I hope you are doing well. Long time. :) No SC chats anymore. . .

Edited by Marbles

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Ayatullah Mutahhari

http://www.al-islam.org/al-tawhid/Iran/mutual.htm

(i dont know what happened to part 1)

Historical evidence reveals that the `Abbasids, themselves Arab and of Arab stock, were more active in promoting Persian than Iranians. The reason was that they in their fight against the Umayyads, who pursued a policy that favoured Arabs to non-Arabs, adopted an antiArab political line. Because of this policy, the Arab nationalists of today laud the rule of the Umayyads and are more or less critical of the `Abbasids. The `Abbasids, for the sake of struggle against the Umayyads, whose policy was based on Arab nationalism and Arab racism, opposed all elements that supported the Arab domination over non-Arabs and promoted the non-Arab elements with a view to weaken the hold of Arabs on other nationalities. With this aim in view, they promoted Persian and even opposed the Arabic language. Imam Ibrahim, the founder of the `Abbasid dynasty, wrote to Abu Muslim Khurasani: "See that not a single person in Iran speaks Arabic, and whosoever is found speaking Arabic kill him".

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Ayatullah Mutahhari

http://www.al-islam.org/al-tawhid/Iran/mutual.htm

(i dont know what happened to part 1)

Historical evidence reveals that the `Abbasids, themselves Arab and of Arab stock, were more active in promoting Persian than Iranians. The reason was that they in their fight against the Umayyads, who pursued a policy that favoured Arabs to non-Arabs, adopted an antiArab political line. Because of this policy, the Arab nationalists of today laud the rule of the Umayyads and are more or less critical of the `Abbasids. The `Abbasids, for the sake of struggle against the Umayyads, whose policy was based on Arab nationalism and Arab racism, opposed all elements that supported the Arab domination over non-Arabs and promoted the non-Arab elements with a view to weaken the hold of Arabs on other nationalities. With this aim in view, they promoted Persian and even opposed the Arabic language. Imam Ibrahim, the founder of the `Abbasid dynasty, wrote to Abu Muslim Khurasani: "See that not a single person in Iran speaks Arabic, and whosoever is found speaking Arabic kill him".

Interesting.

Also, some Abbasids caliphs were so fond of Persia that they moved the seat of caliphate to Persia. If I remember correctly Maamum's capital was Tus. He was born to Persian mother. Despite Abbasid policies favouring non-Arab elements in Persia, the fact that Persia survived Arabisation of Ummayyads is a proof of their self-preservation.

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Aha, thanks. Should read the link later tonight. But one thing I wonder. I shall first say something about how the Persians became Muslim, and how they managed to hold on to their language and culture and. It is the only encyclopedia that is a page that has written a lot about it, that is how the Persians were Muslims. Thus, the Muslims attacked the Persians, burned their books, their women raped, and they were Muslims eventually. That's what I've read from many sides.

Therefore, I need help from someone who knows A LOT better, who knows how this happened?

From wikipedia " After the Islamic conquest of the Persian Empire, during the reign of the Ummayad dynasty, the Arab conquerors tried to impose Arabic as the primary language of the subject peoples throughout their empire. Hajjāj ibn Yusuf was not happy with the prevalence of the Persian language in the divan, ordered the official language of the conquered lands to be replaced by Arabic, sometimes by force.[4]

Contemporary attestations of Persian speakers being violent anti-persianism are given in Kitab al-aghani[5] and Biruni[6]

However after the reign of the Umayyads, Iran and its society in particular experienced reigning dynasties who legitimize Persian languages and customs, while still encouraging Islam."

So what is important is how the language of their return. Omar Khayam, etc. wrote in the Arabic? How come farsi back and their culture? The celebration Nowrouz was banned when the Muslims came.

One Abbasid Caliph is even quoted as saying:

"The Persians ruled for a thousand years and did not need us Arabs even for a day. We have been ruling them for one or two centuries and cannot do without them for an hour."[18]

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you shouldn't use wikipedia for a school report b/c anyone can write anything, there is no accountability or responsibility for it and no one is saying it is accurate

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Salaam

If you want to write an honest report on this topic, you have to be very careful, because:

(1) There is a lot of emotion. Some people project their anger and hatred into the past (for instance, some anti-relgious Persians might complain "the Arabs came and forced us to become Muslims and destroyed our culture, and now we have to stop being Arab"). Other people imagine the past was perfect. (It wasn't)

(2) Even the words you are using have very strong assumptions behind them. If you look at this topic:

Why did iran just islamized,and but not arabized?

You have to ask, what does 'islamized' mean? What does 'Arabized' mean? Speaking Arabic? Eating Arab food? Riding camels? Etc

Here are a few points to consider:

* For thousands of years BEFORE Islam, everyone in the entire Middle East interacted a lot and influenced each other. People used to trade, fight wars, travel, intermarry, etc. There are shared words between Arabic and Farsi, or Arabic and Latin, or other languages, that were shared BEFORE Islam.

In the past century, nationalism became popular, so all Middle Eastern cultures started to present themselves as different from each other. "We in Turkey are different from Iranians." "Arab food isn't like Persian food." "Kurdish music isn't like Lebanese music." But in reality..... there really are a lot of cultural similarities, and these cultural similarities are very, very old.

In fact, before Islam (and even before Christianity), there were many religious beliefs that were shared between peoples living in the Mediterranean and the Middle East. Gods and goddesses would be imported from one country to another.

And don't forget the Jews - they went from Palestine to Persia too.

So what I am saying is, there was not one big boundary say "THIS SIDE IS ARAB" and "THIS SIDE IS PERSIAN".

* Most of the great early Islamic scholars - especially Sunni scholars - came from Iran (Khorasan). They travelled a lot though. They used to travel in search of hadith and spent a lot of time in Arab countries. Obviously they spoke Arabic perfectly and wrote in it. Were they Arabized? Did they even think about it? I have no idea.

* After Islam, people still continued to move around a lot. Look at Rumi, for instance. The borders were not fixed. Even today, you find that in some parts of Iran, people are more 'Arabized' (for instance, they speak Arabic). Whereas if you go to Iraq, you find more people who speak Farsi and more Iranian cultural influences than, say, in Egypt.

* From what I understand, the first Shah pushed to build a strong Iranian national identity to unite the different tribes and other peoples inside Iran who were not united. Although people have always had ethnic/cultural/tribal/family identities, making the nation-state the primary identity wasn't common in the Middle East before the 20th century. There were definitely Arabs and Persians and Turks, etc, but it was more of an issue of common ancestry and cultural practice, not the idea that "this here is Iran and you there are Arabs".

Plus, many cities (such as Kufa) had people of different cultures living in the same space.

* I suspect certain aspects of Arab culture just didn't 'work' as well there as they did in Arab countries (due to climate, other peoples around, etc). No one will pick up a cultural value if it doesn't 'work'. For instance, we don't build igloos (houses built of snow) in Mexico.

Anyway good luck on your report!

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Salaam

I reread your question. I think that the answer is simpler than what I was saying.

In many cultures, there is an 'official' language and a 'language of the people'.

Even in Arab countries, there is one language for official work (school, TV news, etc), and that is 'formal Arabic'.

But no one actually speaks it; they speak their own dialects which can be very different.

Probably the same thing happened in Iran. People used Arabic for formal documents, speaking to the caliph, writing academic books, etc. (Just like in Europe they used Latin for these things) However, people probably didn't sit around and chat in Arabic.

So that's why people in Iran don't speak Arabic, although many people were fluent in it as a book language.

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You should watch the documentary Islam: Empire of Faith. It will give you a good context within which to begin your research. Additionally, there are some excellent books that you may also refer to. Seyyed Hossein Nasr has written Islam: Religion, History, and Civilization which is also an excellent resource from which you can get to other books. I can't remember all the relevant resources at the time but there are tons out there, all you need to do is look in the library.

Just be wary of Bernard Lewis and the like however, he's a well known Orientalist scholar. I just ran a quick search to find a sample for you of how he is perceived in academia.

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^Thanks for bringing this back up.

 

(salam)

 

I remember from a read maybe 15-20 years ago that this is tied to when Shi'ism was made the "national religion".  The things written above, I think, tend to dove tail with what I remember.

 

Somebody, probably one of our Iranians, knows this from schooling.

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