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IslamisationComparative Perspectives from History$
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A. C. S. Peacock

Print publication date: 2017

Print ISBN-13: 9781474417129

Published to Edinburgh Scholarship Online: May 2021

DOI: 10.3366/edinburgh/9781474417129.001.0001

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The Role of the Domestic Sphere in the Islamisation of the Mongols

The Role of the Domestic Sphere in the Islamisation of the Mongols

(p.353) 18 The Role of the Domestic Sphere in the Islamisation of the Mongols*

Bruno De Nicola

Edinburgh University Press

The Islamisation of the Mongols in the thirteenth and fourteenth centuries exhibits some distinctive features compared with the adoption of Islam by other groups. Unlike the cases of the Christian communities of the Middle East during the initial Islamic conquest or the Zoroastrians of Iran, in which the native populations adopted the religion of their conquerors, for the Mongols in the Middle East and Central Asia, conversion followed the opposite trajectory: the conquerors adopted Islam from the native peoples.2 Thus the historical context within which the Mongols (or rather, some Mongols) adopted Islam was more akin to the Germanic peoples who adopted Christianity in the fifth century, or to the Hungarians in the ninth century, rather than to most populations that historically adopted Islam. This difference represents a shift in the power relationship between the converter and the convert that needs to be taken into account when approaching the Islamisation of the Mongols.

Keywords:   Islamisation, Mongols, Conversion, Sufis

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