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Piety and pragmatism: The role of the islamic endowment

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Chapter Summary

The pious endowment, or vaqf, was a characteristic and ubiquitous feature of all medieval Islamic societies. Under the influence of socio-economic and political factors, the Islamic legal schools interpreted certain points of the law concerning vaqf differently in those regions where a given school prevailed. Many impressive public building activities and architectural restorations took place during Sulṭān-Ḥusain's reign and served as a basis for to be regarded as one of the outstanding periods in medieval Islamic cultural history. The chapter argues that it was the emphasis on financial accounting techniques in the administration of Timurid endowments that constituted the basis for the signal success of the Timurid agrarian economy. It highlights one example of endowment from the pre-Timurid period the endowment established by Qutluq Tärkän Khatun, the widow of the Qara Khitayid ruler of Kerman Quṭb al-Dῑn Muḥammad for the madrasa-mausoleum complex she built at Bardsῑr.

Keywords: Islamic pious endowment; pragmatism; Sulṭān-Ḥusain; Timurid agrarian economy; Timurid endowments; vaqf



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