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Of saints and scribes: The Timurid shrine as a vehicle for agromanagement

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Chapter Summary

This chapter illustrates the ways in which acculturated Turko-Mongolian rulers utilized the full range of possibilities afforded by Muslim religious custom and Islamic law in order to respond to the exigencies of the agrarian economy in creative ways. It was through the institution of vaqf that the patronage of tomb shrines both by members of the Timurid elite and by private individuals manifested itself most tangibly. There was a marked increase in endowment activity during the Timurid period and the systematic revival, patronage, and development of many tomb shrines and other charitable and educational foundations in Khorasan. According to the author, agricultural activity during the Timurid period was organized to a large extent through the institution of vaqf, and that the Timurids transformed their major endowed shrine complexes into vehicles for developing the irrigated agriculture of Khorasan, especially the Herat region. The chapter presents three examples to illustrate this point.

Keywords: agromanagement; Herat region; Khorasan; Timurid shrine; vaqf



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