year 3, Issue 2 (Fall & Winter 2018)                   CIAUJ 2018, 3(2): 83-95 | Back to browse issues page

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Kheirjoo sadat H, Feizi M, Vasiq B. The Impact of the Sunni and Shiite Doctrines on the Construction of Ilkhanid Tombs. CIAUJ. 2018; 3 (2) :83-95
1- Jundi Shapur University of Technology
2- Jundi Shapur University of Technology ,
Abstract:   (555 Views)
The history of Iranian architecture has changed in line with changes in religion, and rulers’ ethnic affiliations and lifestyles. After the arrival of Islam to Iran, two different faiths namely the Shiite and Sunni began to grow, each one periodically ruling over parts of the country. The many differences between the Shiite and Sunni intellectual and theoretical foundations are reflected in art and architecture of the two sects as well. The discrepancies are mainly rooted in the fun­damental difference existing in their respective reli­gious jurisprudence.
Needless to say, religious sources do not make ex­plicit mention of architectural orders. However, the differences can be recognized by examining buildings and their correspondence to the general principles of the given religion.
Many researches have focused on such structures as mosques and others, but in this article, a compari­son has been made between the positions of these two sects on death and related laws.
In this article, the term “Iran” denotes the geo­graphical area of the historical Greater Iran, which includes parts of modern-day Turkey, central Asia, Afghanistan, Iraq, and the Caspian littorals. It should also be noted that where Sufism is mentioned, its affiliation with Shiite and Sunni is also mentioned. The introduced buildings were also selected based on the availability of evidence and documents.
One of the most important points in the design of religious buildings is the adherence to the religious principles and edicts insinuated in the structure of the religion, and construction of tombs and mausoleums is no exception. Islamic tombs must abide by the reli­gious tenets at the same time that they venerate the buried deceased who deserves respect for religion or other grounds.
Incessant vagaries of the 7th-8th A.H./13th-14 AD centuries in Iran were associated with changes in the state religion, and its impacts on architectural forms are obvious. The ideological differences between the Shitte and Sunni doctrines gave rise to two types of tomb architecture. Tombs, as it were, represented the eternal resting place of the deceased and a medium to communicate his and the society’s thoughts and beliefs. The structures can thus be studies as some benchmarks to measure to what extent the architec­ture was inspired by the socio-political, ideology and religion that dominated the society in a certain peri­od. Individual affiliated with both Shiite and Sunni sects alternatively sized political power and always tried to use the opportunity to the best advantage to propagate their respective ideologies. The Ilkhanid period is particularly important both because the two sects possessed the required authority to express and promote their doctrines and we today have standing instances of mausoleums attributed to both sects. Therefore, here we study a representative sample of these religious constructions in an attempt to investi­gate the Shiite and Sunni positions on and the reflec­tion of these positions in these structures.
The major research questions are as follows:
  • What is the position of the theoretical and ideo­logical foundations of the Shiite and Sunni doc­trines on tomb architecture?
  • What are the similarities and dissimilarities be­tween the tomb architecture in the two sects?
  • How were the status of tomb construction and observance of Islamic tenets reflected in tomb architectures of the two sects?
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