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ʿAlāʾ al-Dawla Simnānī’s Religious Encounters at the Mongol Court near Tabriz

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Chapter Summary

This chapter outlines ʿAlāʾ al-Dawla Simnānī's life and the development of his Sufi career: the diverse religious influences to which he was exposed during the critical period following his initial turn to Sufism, while in Ilkhanid service. That period saw an increasing tension between Simnānī's wish to withdraw from court service, and his growing desire to travel to Baghdad to meet a particular Sufi teacher, on the one hand, and the efforts of the Mongol elite, including the īlkhān Arghun himself, and his own family to keep him at the Mongol court near Tabriz, or, if that proved impossible, then at least to prevent him from going to Baghdad; those efforts included a series of religious encounters arranged for Simnānī while he was detained at the royal ordu near Tabriz for several months in 687/1288.

Keywords: ʿAlāʾ al-Dawla Simnānī; Baghdad; Mongol court; Religious; Sufism; Tabriz



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