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The Kūfan Ghulāt and Millenarian (Mahdist) Movements in Mongol-Türkmen Iran

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Chapter Summary

This chapter illuminates the historical conditions in which the Mongol-era sects arose; to indicate the doctrinal influences or points of similarity with the Kūfan groups, their sectarian practices, and especially the millenarian aspects of their leadership and structure. It concentrates on the cardinal points established for these Mongol and Turkmen-era religious movements. The reforms of Ghazan Khan indicate the unsatisfactory conditions resulting from the conduct of local Mongol officials, and one may question how effective or lasting these "reforms" were in protecting the Iranians from Mongol malfeasance, whether late Il-Khānid, Jochid, Chubanid, Timurid or Turkmen. After approximately 740/1340, Iran experienced a series of clashes among different contenders for power in various parts of the country. The Sarbadārs share a fundamental and crucial feature, a violent commitment to the advent of the Mahdī and the transformation of the world associated with this figure.

Keywords: Iran; Kūfan groups; Mahdī; Mongol-era; Sarbadārs; Turkmen-era religious movements



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