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Counsel for Kings: Wisdom and Politics in Tenth-Century IranVolume I: The Nasihat al-muluk of Pseudo-Mawardi: Contexts and Themes$
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L. Marlow

Print publication date: 2016

Print ISBN-13: 9780748696901

Published to Edinburgh Scholarship Online: May 2018

DOI: 10.3366/edinburgh/9780748696901.001.0001

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Religion and the Samanid Amirs

Religion and the Samanid Amirs

(p.173) 6 Religion and the Samanid Amirs
Counsel for Kings: Wisdom and Politics in Tenth-Century Iran

L. Marlow

Edinburgh University Press

To situate Naṣīḥat al-mulūk in the religious culture of the tenth-century Samanid domains, this chapters explores the orientations and practices of the Samanid amirs from the later ninth century onwards. It portrays the proclivities towards austerity (zuhd) and religious devotion (ʿibāda) of the earlier amirs, especially the generation of Naṣr I and his brothers, the memory of whose conduct significantly shaped Pseudo-Māwardī’s conception of good governance. The chapter presents the efforts of this generation of amirs to develop mutually supportive relations with the religious scholars, and their active participation in the public religious sphere, in, for example, the hearing and transmission of ḥadīth and participation in the funerary rites of prominent scholars. It treats the social prominence and economic means of religious scholars and renunciants, whose support and co-operation Pseudo-Māwardī urges the king to cultivate. The chapter concludes with a discussion of religious developments during the reign of Naṣr II.

Keywords:   austerity, zuhd, ḥadīth, religious scholars, renunciants, funerary practices, religious devotion, ʿibāda

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