http://tajikam.com

Culture
Nawroz in the Islamic Era E-mail

Professor Shapur Shahbazi

Introduction

The Islamic conquest altered many Iranian traditions specifically associated with national ideology, imperial institutions, and Zoroastrian rituals. Although Nowruz was an established symbol of these three aspects, it did survive while less significant festivals were eclipsed by their Islamic rivals and gradually became abandoned by indifferent Mongol and Turkish rulers or hostile clerical authorities during Safavid and Qajar periods. Nowruz survived because it was so profoundly engrained in Iranian traditions, history, and cultural memory that Iranian identity and Nowruz mutually buttressed each other, and the emergence of a distinctly Persian Muslim society—and later the emergence of a nation state with the advent of the Safavids—legitimized the ancient national festival and allowed it to flourish with slight modifications or elaborations.

 
Read more...
 
Origins of Now-Ruz (New Year), the Nissanu and the 365 Day Year E-mail


To investigate the origins of the Iranian Nowruz (literally New day, New Year), one is compelled to go back a great deal in time, well beyond 3000 years in fact. The date of today’s Nowruz may have its origins in the Babylonian Lunar Year, known as the Nisannu.

The Nissanu – The Babylonian Year

Although not generally acknowledged, it was the Babylonians who, since the beginning of recorded civilization, have devised techniques for measuring the passage of time, namely day, night and year. The day was viewed as lying between the onset of two consecutive evenings. The Babylonian calendar month was defined as that time when the full moon appeared. There were tow problems with this of course. First, is the problem that the moon’s visibility could be limited by factors such as cloud thickness or density. The second problem is that the Babylonian lunar system is out of synchrony with the solar year and the regular seasons. Today, it is generally acknowledged that the earth takes approximately 365 ¼ days to revolve around the sun. Therefore, the solar system is eleven days longer than the twelve full moons of the Babylonian system. As a result, the Babylonian system was asynchronous with the earth’s natural seasons. To rectify this problem, the Babylonians responded by adding an extra month from time to time, to their twelve full moon (lunar) months.
Read more...
 
Persian influence on Arabic E-mail


In the early days of the Prophet’s mission, there were only seventeen men in the tribe of Quraysh, who could read or write. (Professor Edward Browne, A Literary History of Persia, Vol. I, p. 261)

It is said that Mo’allaqat, the seven Arabic poems written in pre-Mohammedan times and inscribed in gold on rolls of coptic cloth and hung up on the curtains covering the Ka’aba were selected by the Iranian Hammad who seeing how little the Arabs cared for poetry urged them to study the poems.

In this period, Hammad knew more than any one else about the Arabic poetry. Before the advent of Islam, the Arabs had a negligible literature and scant poetry. It was the Iranians who after their conversion to Islam, feeling the need to learn the language of the Qur’an, began to use that language for other purposes.

The knowledge of Arabic was essential and indispensable for religious worship, and the correct reading of the Qur’an was impossible without it. In the first century of Islamic ascendancy, the Arabs did not produce anything of literary value. If any poetry was composed, it was on the old pagan models and celebrated the poets’ amatory adventures, in stereotyped fashion, rather than the victories of Islam.

They adopted the pattern of the Sassanians for the administration of their state. They took the postal system of the Sassanids, and with these adoptions went many Farsi (Persian) terms into the day-to-day vernacular of the Arabs and they were arabicized. In time, they were unrecognizable. Farsi (Persian) words abounded everywhere. Inside the houses as outside they had to make use of "Persian means of comfort" and with them went the Persian terms for them. (The Legacy of Persia)
Read more...
 
Influence of Indo-Iranian Literature on Indian Literature E-mail

 

 


 

The post-Islamic introduction of Iranian literature into India begins with the reign of Sultan Mahmud-e-Ghaznavi who took the work of his father Saboktagin seriously and began the conquest of Northern India. Although the major aim of his expeditions were the propagation of Islamic faith and the capture of spoils of war, however, with these expeditions Farsi (the Persian language) began to penetrate into India.

 

With the defeat of Sultan Mas’ud-e-Ghaznavi from the Saljuk Turks, the successors of Mas’ud came to reside permanently in India and shifted, their capital to Lahore. We find three Iranian poets of the time settling in Lahore. These were Abul-Faraj Runi who died in 1099 in that city, Mas’ud Sa’ad Salman, a native of Gurgan who was imprisoned by his patron, Sultan Ibrahim Ghaznavi, for 12 years and died in 1131, and Hakim Sanaii of Ghazni, who is the first of the great mystic poets, who died also in Lahore in 1131 A.D.

 

Then we have a succession of poets, writers, historians who arrived into India during the Slave dynasty from 1206 to 1526. Among these one can mention Juzjani the author of "Tabaqat Nasiri", (1260), Mohammed Aufi of Bukhara who wrote "Lubab-al-Al-bab," the oldest biographical work in Iranian literature, and "Jawami’ al-Hekayat", Nizam addin Hassan Nizami Nishaburi (son of the famous Nizami Aruzi), Fakhruddin Mobarakshah the author of "Silsilat al-Ansab and "Adab-al-Harb".

 

Read more...
 
Persian roots of Christian traditions E-mail

 

 


By Ramona Shashaani

A while ago, I was invited to give a talk at a Christmas party about the Persian tradition of celebrating the winter solstice on December 21st. In order to speak intelligently to a spiritually and psychologically keen audience, I set out to research the subject. I was scrambling to find resource material when my day was saved by our list co-moderator, Peter Bridge, who provided me with more references than I had hoped to find in my attempt to unravel the historical, symbolic and mythic bases behind the Persian people's celebration of this festive occasion.

What I did not expect to find, however, was a fascinating history of how Christmas may have its origins in the ancient Persian Mithraic tradition of worshipping Mithra or Mehr, the sun-god or god of love. With the approaching winter solstice, I thought it might be appropriate share this history with you.

While Christians around the world are preparing to celebrate Christmas on Dec. 25th, the Persians are getting ready to tribute one of their most festive celebrations on Dec. 21st, the eve of winter solstice, the longest night and shortest day of the year. In Iran this night is called SHAB-E YALDAA, also known as SHAB-E CHELLEH, which refers to the birthday or rebirth of the sun.

In the east more than in the west, lifestyles have often remained more in tune with nature. This integration of natural rhythms into life cycles is especially true in ancient Persia and has survived the ages. YALDAA, like other major Persian celebrations, is focused on the changing of the seasons. It is as ancient as the time that people organized their lives around the precession of equinoxes.

Read more...
 
<< Start < Prev 1 2 3 4 Next > End >>

Results 1 - 9 of 29

Tajikam on Facebook

Tajikvision

Iranica


Tajik Leaders

author150.jpg

Tajikam in Persian


Polls

Which synonymous term do you use the most?
 

Our Partners

Tajik Media
Jawedan