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Tuesday, 08 July 2014 06:39

Iranian Notables, Sources of Global Honor (7)

Previously, we mentioned the expansion of realm of Iran’s cultural influence, after acceptance of Islam by the Iranians. We also studied the influence and rule of Turks over Iran throughout the Ghaznavid and Saljuqid dynasties, while pointing out that these Turk rulers did not maintain any tribal or ethnical dependence and acted like Iranian rulers.

The Saljuqid Turkmens, which had recently converted to Islam, initially entered Iran, vowing to protect the northern borders from the assailants. Meanwhile, after the Ghaznavid dynasty was undermined, the Saljuqid Turkmens were empowered. They ultimately dominated the cities of this region with their recurring attacks on Kharazm and Transoxiana, finally defeating Sultan Masoud Ghaznavi and ruling Iran plain.

Saljuqid rulers, after defeating Ghaznavid rulers, reinstated the majority of ministers and administrators, who were Iranians. Saljuqid Turkmens preferred the monarchic system and Iranian civilization over tribal dependencies, and tried to prevent their tribal members from pillage of developed regions. However, many of these tribes didn’t settle in cities and villages. The Saljuqid Turkmens, in a bid to remain safe from the attacks and pillages carried out by tribes, and in order to expand their conquests, motivated them, under the pretext of Jihad, to advance toward Asia Minor.

The Saljuqid Turkmens gradually captured the majority of the Roman Empire’s conquests and limited the realm of authority of the Roman Empire to Constantinople and its environs. Even after the fall of Saljuqid dynasty and Kharazam-Shahiyan; these Turkmen rulers established an independent administration in Asia Minor under the name of Rome’s Saljuqids, which remained in power until the empowerment of Ottoman Sultans.

Rome Saljuqid rulers, like Iran’s Saljuqid rulers, were under the influence of Iranian culture; and their official language was Farsi.

As of the 5th Century AH, the Iranian ruling systems gradually collapsed.

As of the Saljuqid era onwards, from the east to the west of civilized world, which covered India to Asia Minor, Turk rulers were instated. However, throughout this period of time which lasted roughly 1,000 years, in all of Turk rulers’ territories; Iranians were in charge of administrative, financial, religious, scientific, and literary affairs. Although in the post-Saljuqid era, no other large empire emerged in the Islamic-Iranian world; smaller empires such as the empire of Mongols in India, and Rome’s Saljuqid Empire were in power across the world. Rome’s Saljuqid rulers in fact made hard efforts to encourage and promote the Iranian culture and Farsi language.

In this period of time, for the first time in Iran’s culture and history, Farsi language had become the official language throughout the Turk rulers’ territories, from India to Asia Minor. As a result, Iranian culture and language spread within the civilized world; and the Iranian culture gained an unprecedented influence. Even during the Achaemenian, Parthian, and Sassanid eras, whose rulers governed Iran and half of the world; the ancient Farsi languages were not expanded as such. However, this development took place during the reign of Saljuqid Turks. Iran’s history proved that cultural dominance can be achieved without military superiority. Meanwhile, Iran’s culture and civilization started to expand toward the East and West. The then Iranian cultural figures were scattered in the Muslim World. The fact of the matter is that during the Saljuqid rule, with the exception of China, Africa, and Europe, the promoters of Iranian culture were spread in any part of the world, which maintained international relations, and artistic, commercial, and scientific exchanges.

The well-known historian and traveler, Ibn-e Batouteh, went on his journeys in 8th Century AH. En route his visits, Iranians were present and had occupied the most sensitive cultural posts.

A glance at his travelogue shows that in the 14th Century AD, Iranian tradesmen, theologians, sailors, politicians, and mystical figures were actively present in most of the global regions. The Majority of these Iranians had Arabic names. However, their cities of origin have been specified and it can be said that the then Iranians were actively present in the Muslim world, occupying prominent portfolios.

As of 10th to 17th Century AD, Iranians were present in a number of African countries, such as Kenya, Ethiopia, Central Africa, and Tanzania, promoting Iranian culture and civilization over there. Even a city, which had been the place of residence of Iranians, up to three hundred years ago, has been discovered in this region.

Mongols, initially occupied Iran for pillage and destruction of Iran’s culture and civilization, and following a period of pillage, massacres, and collection of spoils of war, they returned to their land of origin, Mongolia.

The first Mongol empire didn’t bring about any positive or constructive outcome for the Iranian culture and Iranians, and dealt a heavy blow against Iranian culture. Meanwhile, the second duration of Mongol rule over Iran commenced with the attack of Holagu Khan against Iran.

This time, Mongols remained in Iran. Meanwhile, in this period of time, Iranians occupied major posts. Even in this duration, the Iranian culture reached Chinese soil.

Based on evidences, at first Iranians promoted the sacred religion of Islam and Farsi language in China. The French professor, Shefer, notes that the majority of Muslims in China are of Iranian origin, who settled in China, later on. The famous traveler, Marco Polo, had mentioned the presence of a large number of Iranian Ulema, and officers in China in that period of time.

Many of Iran’s mystical figures have been born in Iran and have passed away somewhere else. Meanwhile, Muslim Iranian mystical figures, via their spiritual influence, led a large number of Indians to convert to the sacred religion of Islam, which we will speak of in the upcoming weeks.

In that era, many of Iranian scientists and Ulema, including Farabi and Avicenna, did not remain in their hometown and were destined to the then centers of science.

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