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Perception of Islam in Zoroastrian Zand Literature

Mehmet Alıcı

Abstract


http://doi.org/10.12730/13091719.2017.82.166

This study analyses the perception of Islam presented in Zand literature, namely, the exegetical literature of the Zoroastrian tradition that gradual-ly lost power as a result of Muslim conquests. Zand texts, which grew during the Sasanian era and indicate a lively theological discourse, were codified and took their final form after the Muslim conquests. Zand litera-ture talks about Islam and Muslims in an implicit manner by means of concepts such as Tāzīg (Arab) Ag-dēnīh (evil/superstitious religion). Written for guiding Zoroastrian clergy in every subject, including theolo-gy and morals, these texts have a biased and negative attitude towards Islam and Muslims. Zands initially interpret Muslim conquests in an apoc-alyptic sense and emphasize that the end of world is near and conse-quently that evil reigns now. On the other hand, due to the obligation of living together with Muslims, Zands advise minimizing relations with Muslims in daily life. They present objections to the doctrinal attitude of Islam and aim at preserving the religious status of Zoroastrians. This pa-per stresses the view of the Zoroastrian tradition regarding Muslim con-quests, the eventual coexistence experience and Islamic theology with-in the framework of Zands.

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