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I have discussed a bit with someone who strongly dislikes IRI(surley because they are shia) long. But as we have discussed regarding IRI, we also tok about  the Safavid dynasty. The person I have discussed with is  a religious person. He is Persian and Sunni Muslim (!). He talks about the only reason that the Persians are Shia Muslims now is because the Safavid dynasty forced them to be. All the great people that Persians look up to when it comes to poetry and medicine, etc. was not Shia Muslims.

He gave me all this from wikipedia about the Safavid dynasty:

Shia Islam as the state religion
 
Shah Abbas I of Safavid at a banquet. Detail from a ceiling fresco; Chehel Sotoun Palace; Isfahan.
 
Shah Suleiman I and his courtiers, Isfahan, 1670. Painter is Ali Qoli Jabbador, and is kept at The St. Petersburg Institute of Oriental Studies in Russia, ever since it was acquired by Tsar Nicholas II. Note the two Georgian figures with their names at the top left.

Even though Safavids were not the first Shia rulers in Iran, they played a crucial role in making Shia Islam the official religion in the whole of Iran. There were large Shia communities in some cities like Qom and Sabzevar as early as the 8th century. In the 10th and 11th centuries the Buwayhids, who were of the Zaidiyyah branch of Shia, ruled in Fars, Isfahan and Baghdad. As a result of the Mongol conquest and the relative religious tolerance of the Ilkhanids, Shia dynasties were re-established in Iran, Sarbedaran in Khorasan being the most important. The Ilkhanid ruler Öljaitü converted to Twelver Shiism in the 13th century.

Following his conquest of Iran, Ismail I made conversion mandatory for the largely Sunni population. The Sunni Ulema or clergy were either killed or exiled. Ismail I, despite his heterodox Shia beliefs (Momen, 1985), brought in Shi'a religious leaders and granted them land and money in return for loyalty. Later, during the Safavid and especially Qajar period, the Shia Ulema's power increased and they were able to exercise a role, independent of or compatible with the government. Despite the Safavid's Sufi origins, most Sufi groups were prohibited, except the Nimatullahi order.

Iran became a feudal theocracy: the Shah was held to be the divinely ordained head of state and religion. In the following centuries, this religious stance cemented both Iran's internal cohesion and national feelings and provoked attacks by its Sunni neighbors.

And a other source : Safavid conversion of Iran from Sunnism to Shiism

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Safavid_conversion_of_Iran_from_Sunnism_to_Shiism#cite_note-31

So I wonder if anyone on this forum have a clue pertaining to Shia and Sunni Islam in Iran (Persia)

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unfortunately it is true that iran was forced to adopt shia islam but shah ismael. He had a strong hate for the caliphs omar and abu bakrs lineage . convert or die , imagine trying to convert afghanistan to shia islam....what a job that would be. This was the first time iran was run by velayat faghih but with a sassanid influence (shah , nowrooz celebrations , farsi as the main language and so on) and this was the reason the osmanli caliphate invaded iran , Iran had left islam they declared but were shocked when they heard the iranian cries of allaho akbar.

As for Sunni islam in Iran . I couldnt imagine a different Iran todayif it were sunni , even khomeini didnt emphasis sunni or shia , it was always islam , islam , islam. Sunni islam is not differentiated one bit in todays iran only in the fact that majority shia areas cannot have sunni mosques , which is not a big deal.

Most of the Iranian scientists we all love were sunni muslims : ibn e sina , khawarizmi , rumi (especially) , hafez , saadi , omar khayam (disputed) . Not many shia names you can put in that list , given that most muslims in the world are sunni.
They search from house to house , they capture the youth , they imprison the youth , they kill the youth. These events are unfolding and America is sitting and fanning the flames, and worse than that is that the Muslims are sitting and watching. Justice cries out O Muslims ! O Muslims of the world , O so called Islamic Governments , rush to the aid of Islam . Rush to the aid of those oppressed by the great powers. From the beginning that we have come to this revolution , one of our big issues is that Israel must be removed ,yes truly ,Palestine will remain alive , for the Palestinians.

When a nation of a Billion cries out ,Israel is terrified of that cry , the cry of our nation : Death to Israel ! Death to America !

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Wasnt Rumi a sufi ?..

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"He is Persian and Sunni Muslim", I guess you mean an Iranian Sunni. I have never in my life come across a Fars Sunni.

Those who claim Iran was forced by some entity to become Shi'a Muslims, are just as ignorant as those who claim Iranians were forced to convert from Zoroastrianism to Islam. Especially Iranians, that can't be forced to do anything. :sleep: As far as I am aware it was due to the treatment (which I'm not going to go into) that the Iranians leaned to Imam Ali (as) and eventually became Shi'a. Then again I'm not a historian and neither do I care at all.

The way we choose our faith is by realising it is the truth and then following it based on that fact. Allah (swt) specifically warns in the Qor'aan of people who say they follow what their forefathers followed. You will be judged on what you do and what you choose to do, not what your father/mother/forefather/people thousands of years ago did.

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A sufi is a branch of sunni islam

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"He is Persian and Sunni Muslim", I guess you mean an Iranian Sunni. I have never in my life come across a Fars Sunni.

Those who claim Iran was forced by some entity to become Shi'a Muslims, are just as ignorant as those who claim Iranians were forced to convert from Zoroastrianism to Islam. Especially Iranians, that can't be forced to do anything. :sleep: As far as I am aware it was due to the treatment (which I'm not going to go into) that the Iranians leaned to Imam Ali (as) and eventually became Shi'a. Then again I'm not a historian and neither do I care at all.

The way we choose our faith is by realising it is the truth and then following it based on that fact. Allah (swt) specifically warns in the Qor'aan of people who say they follow what their forefathers followed. You will be judged on what you do and what you choose to do, not what your father/mother/forefather/people thousands of years ago did.

That they are not very common, doesn't mean they don't exist. There are always a few.
East Kurdistan is still Iranian, the rest of Kurdistan will be Iranian again. Pan-Turkists burn in hell!

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S. Sergeant (گروهبان سو
I also received a shock. He is a Persian, that he is a fars  I have never believed that there are Persians, who are Sunni. I asked even the person if he has "converted" to Sunni Islam, and he said no. But there are certainly a few Persians who are Sunnis.

It's the same when I  that there are also  Somalis who are Shia .. soo

But I disagree that the Sufister  are Sunni Muslims. Sufism's not a direction that I had imagined. There are various varienter of Sufism. Some Sufi  are more related to Shia Islam, others to Sunni Islam.

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I have discussed a bit with someone who strongly dislikes IRI(surley because they are shia) long. But as we have discussed regarding IRI, we also tok about  the Safavid dynasty. The person I have discussed with is  a religious person. He is Persian and Sunni Muslim (!). He talks about the only reason that the Persians are Shia Muslims now is because the Safavid dynasty forced them to be. All the great people that Persians look up to when it comes to poetry and medicine, etc. was not Shia Muslims.

People in Iran are not Shi'ah because of the Safavids. Shi'ah were in Iran and in ruling dynasties much prior to the arrival of the Safavids. Also, what many fail to understand is that people are Shi'ah Muslims because they find truth and guidance in it, not because it is a national trend or it is 'cool' or whatever. It is a religious bias that the Shi'ah of Ali have no real basis in Eslam and they they were created for the purposes of partition. Emam Ali (A) answered this in his own time, 'my people, when you hold the truth in the palm of your hands, the world will always be against you.' Please see the section I have made on quotations by Emam Ali (A). Had the above been the case, they would have been the first to renounce their belief.

The Safavids brought clergy and spread knowledge about Shi'ah Eslam. That is their donation and with it people came into the faith in droves. It was not because of the sword, but because of the love of the Ahlul-Bayt, who are themselves the most knowledgeable and hence the best teachers of the faith. Also, people in Iran have traditionally been religious and have have given birth to numerous notable religious scholars who dispersed further knowledge. Hence, people in Iran have studied their religion in depth and know of its workings. Had they found some pervasion in it, they would not have remained the same. Belief always comes from the inside. It comes through acceptance and not force.

If some feel hatred for Iran because of Shi'ah Eslam, then surely the failing is with them for religion obstructs hatred. The hater is deprived of knowledge and so cannot prove otherwise. Thus, hate becomes his only friend as he finds that hate aids him without logic. Emam Sadiq (A) said, "He who attends to a matter without knowledge, cuts of his own nose." Also, as for hatred, the Prophet (peace be upon him) said, "He who has a drop of hatred in him will not see heaven." In another instance, the Prophet (peace be upon him) says, "Take away all hatred and vain from thy heart and I shall take you by the finger to heaven myself."    

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He gave me all this from wikipedia about the Safavid dynasty:

Shia Islam as the state religion
 
Shah Abbas I of Safavid at a banquet. Detail from a ceiling fresco; Chehel Sotoun Palace; Isfahan.
 
Shah Suleiman I and his courtiers, Isfahan, 1670. Painter is Ali Qoli Jabbador, and is kept at The St. Petersburg Institute of Oriental Studies in Russia, ever since it was acquired by Tsar Nicholas II. Note the two Georgian figures with their names at the top left.

Even though Safavids were not the first Shia rulers in Iran, they played a crucial role in making Shia Islam the official religion in the whole of Iran. There were large Shia communities in some cities like Qom and Sabzevar as early as the 8th century. In the 10th and 11th centuries the Buwayhids, who were of the Zaidiyyah branch of Shia, ruled in Fars, Isfahan and Baghdad. As a result of the Mongol conquest and the relative religious tolerance of the Ilkhanids, Shia dynasties were re-established in Iran, Sarbedaran in Khorasan being the most important. The Ilkhanid ruler Öljaitü converted to Twelver Shiism in the 13th century.

Following his conquest of Iran, Ismail I made conversion mandatory for the largely Sunni population (This is unfounded. Religion can be taught not forced upon. An influence that is felt to be occupying, will never succeed).


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The Sunni Ulema or clergy were either killed or exiled. (This would only compel the people to take more action against their rulers. Am I to understand that the Safavids went from Mosque to Mosque on a killing spree, yet none present amongst the worshipers felt any compulsion to stop them)

Also, Wikipedia is not a valid source in all instances. The information within it has been derived by members and historical matters often tend to end up in the opinion of the chronicler. You should do further reading on your own before you come to a judgement and if you wish I can assist you in it.

Also, I am sure many would find it offensive if you were to say the majority of Turkey is Sunni because the Ottomans forcibly converted Animist Turkic tribes to Sunni Eslam, or that Indian Muslims are largely Sunni because of the ruthlessness of Mughals in forcing Hindu conversion and so on.. You must remember though, that the Shi'ah have been at a forefront of persecution from ages and one which hasn't stopped. The fact that despite every attempt to eliminate them, yet the live, is a testament to the believers and their identification of it with the truth rather than some age-gone dynasty.      
"My Lord, grant me success in struggling during failure, in having patience in disappointment, in going alone, in Jihad without weapons, in working without pay, in making sacrifice in silence, in having religious belief in the world, in having ideology without popular traditions, in having faith without pretensions, non-conformity without immaturity, beauty without physical appearance, loneliness in the crowd, and loving without the beloved knowing about it. My Lord, You teach me how to live; I shall learn how to die."
- Ali Shariati
Last Edit: April 05, 2010, 09:59:16 PM by Sadiq

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unfortunately it is true that iran was forced to adopt shia islam but shah ismael. He had a strong hate for the caliphs omar and abu bakrs lineage . convert or die , imagine trying to convert afghanistan to shia islam....what a job that would be. This was the first time iran was run by velayat faghih but with a sassanid influence (shah , nowrooz celebrations , farsi as the main language and so on) and this was the reason the osmanli caliphate invaded iran , Iran had left islam they declared but were shocked when they heard the iranian cries of allaho akbar.

As for Sunni islam in Iran . I couldnt imagine a different Iran todayif it were sunni , even khomeini didnt emphasis sunni or shia , it was always islam , islam , islam.

I accept the fact that there was official pressure during the early period of the Safavid dynasty but are you really under an assumption that a Shah, sitting in a palace, was able to convert the majority of his population with a small band of forceful soldiers and they, the people, accepted because it was official (so why not?) and taught this to their children? Does a sword win a heart? If that is true, then I do not understand why a stronger Pahlavi Shah, supported by a superpower, with an intense security network, was not able to pull of the same, which should have been much-much easier as there was no mention of official religious-conversion and only of a cultural revolution of sorts. Had he not power in his hand? Had he not force? Had the White Revolution not been official? In the above situation, a Safavid population is ideal for any government-- Make something official, kill religious/political leaders, plunder their religious places/centres and they will accept even if you are few in numbers initially. Moreover, they will make sure their own offspring adapt the newer teachings. If the above is true, I know of only the Safavids who have been so successful in it. In other parts of the world it has led to revolutions and civil war.

"Convert or die." Try convert or die on religious people, even in today's day and and age. Why didn't the Sunni majority people uprise against the extreme minority Sunni killing evil Safavids and why didn't Persia descend into complete civil war? Please explain. I am dying to know given your evident scholarly abilities on the Safavids.

Lastly, as your knowledge on the Safavids surpasses even their knowledge on themselves, I would like to point to one thing which of course you can correct me on afterwards. I thought the first confrontation between the Ottomans and Safavids was on a territorial dispute, and the fact that the Safavids had no intention on being anything less than equal to the Ottomans in their own standing. What is surprising is that, the recently forced-to-convert-or-die Shi'ah of the adjoining areas had been recruited and fought against their recent former-same-sect Sunni brethren. Please enlighten us with the true turn of events.

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Sunni islam is not differentiated one bit in todays iran only in the fact that majority shia areas cannot have sunni mosques , which is not a big deal.

Most of the Iranian scientists we all love were sunni muslims : ibn e sina , khawarizmi , rumi (especially) , hafez , saadi , omar khayam (disputed) . Not many shia names you can put in that list , given that most muslims in the world are sunni.


In Iran, people are free to pray in any mosque. Different mosques for different sects creates divisions within the people. Because of this, no differentiation in mosques is made as no differentiation is needed for that matter. Sunni Iranians are free to worship in any mosque unless of course they themselves feel that they musn't. In Pakistan, there are also different mosques or different sects within Sunni Muslims-- Wahhabi mosques, Berelvi mosques, Deobandi mosques, Ahl-Hadis mosques, etc... Such a level of 'mosque specialisation' is not needed in Iran.

As for the scientists and poets mentioned, none were keen on particular sect based association. They were good human beings and made sincere efforts. Calling them Sunni or Shia is irrelevant as being of either sect does not reflect on intellect. They were Muslims. They are loved for that and their work, regardless of religious association.     

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S. Sergeant (گروهبان سو
And we continue to discuss. See what he writes something like that :

u know well Hafiz Shirazi,? He was Persian, Persian true and what was he? Exactly, Sunni, he has a lot of poetry about Omar
Maulana jalaluddin Balkhi (Rumi), Persian, Sunni Muslim, velpriser Khalifa in his poetry.
 
Saadi, persian, again big fan of Omar
 
Shia is kommetmer pressure and violence in Safawi period, people were killed or forced to convert, ayatullaene play with people, Shia is a shop, they say Imam Mahdi is in jamkaran ditch, lool, it's not rude and contemptuous towards the Imam Mahdi?
 
each ayatulla says he has contact with the Imam Mahdi, the question people to do everything for them. Retail brother, do not get me to say more. we are discussing something else. I grew up in Iran until I was 13

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Saadi, persian, again big fan of Omar


Roo sare Omar. What makes you say that?

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It is not m4 who wrote it. It's the person I "discuss" with.

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You all have heard about the book: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Red_Shi 'ism_vs._Black_Shi' ism.
What I wonder is whether Ali Shariati criticize the Safavid dynasty? What kind of view, the majority Shiite Muslims,have  in terms of Safavid Dynasty? Since the Safavid arrived, thr  Shia Islam was the official state religion, but I have read where many criticize the Safavid Dynasty?

Or have I been wrong? : P

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Yes you are wrong and so is your "friend" and your agenda was clear from day one.

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Anyone who cannot take the effort of buying a book about Iranian history should not be given this much attention. The Islamic conversion of Iran is not up for debate, it is a well documented history and the scholars of Jabal Amel are accredited and widely respected for their work during that era.

Yes Shariati, like most Iranian intelligentsia dislike the Safavid era, it is seen as corrupt, unislamic. Not because they forced Shia Islam, but because Shia Islam was treated as apolitical, void of intellectual discourse in the political arena and confined to ritualism, dogma, etc. Shia Islam then was very much the same as Sunni Islam is today, only worthy of performing rituals.

Last Edit: April 27, 2010, 09:26:10 AM by Bolbol

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Yes you are wrong and so is your "friend" and your agenda was clear from day one.

What the hell are you talking about dude ?

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Anyone who cannot take the effort of buying a book about Iranian history should not be given this much attention. The Islamic conversion of Iran is not up for debate, it is a well documented history and the scholars of Jabal Amel are accredited and widely respected for their work during that era.

Yes Shariati, like most Iranian intelligentsia dislike the Safavid era, it is seen as corrupt, unislamic. Not because they forced Shia Islam, but because Shia Islam was treated as apolitical, void of intellectual discourse in the political arena and confined to ritualism, dogma, etc. Shia Islam then was very much the same as Sunni Islam is today, only worthy of performing rituals.



Hmm, interesting. I have read a little about it, but I was a little surprised when I saw that many famous Iranian profiles criticized Safavid Dynasti.

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