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Evgeny I. Zelenev and Milana Iliushina

This paper focuses on the theory and practice of jihād in the Mamlūk Sultanate, especially during the Circassian period (1382-1517). Some ideas of Ibn Taymiyya (d. 1328), Ibn Khaldūn (d. 1406), Ibn Kathīr (d. 1373), Ibn al-Naḥḥās (d. 1411), as well as scholars of the pre-Mamlūk epoch are taken in consideration. The authors explore the issue of understanding jihād as the responsibility of the community (farḍ al-kifāya) and/or personal duty (farḍ al-ʿayn) and the role of jihād ideology in the inner- and international Mamlūk politics.

Timirlan Aytberov and Shakhban Khapizov

The paper presents the publication of several inscriptions in the Arabic Kufic script carved on stone in the period of the 10th-13th centuries and discovered in the Avar ethnic area of Dagestan. All of them, except the first one, are published for the first time. This epigraphic material indicates that the process of the gradual spread of Islam started in Dagestan already at the end of the 10th century.

Victoria Arakelova

The paper is an attempt to analyse the emergence of virtual “alliances” based on imagined kinship between some ethnic groups and peoples of the Irano-Caucaso-Anatolian region. It focuses on several illustrative examples, particularly the case of the Talysh-Zaza rapprochement, which has been developed recently as a result of popular interpretation of the postulated theory of the Caspian-Aturpatakan language union, implying a close symbiosis, in the historical past, of the ancestors of the present-day speakers of several New Iranian dialects.

Ali Bahadori

This article, focused on the Persian Gobryas, the head of Patischorian tribe and a member of the mysterious circle bringing Darius I (the Great) to the throne called the “Seven” by Herodotus, aims to argue that the concept of seven families was originally derived from the tribal structure of the Achaemenid society rather than from traditions found in classical writers. Mainly based on the administrative Elamite texts from Persepolis, the paper attempts to add contextual and practical detail to the classical narrative about the status of the “Seven” in the Achaemenid imperial system. This data leads us to the Fahliyān region in southwestern Persia as the house of the Patischorians and shows how Gobryas and his house were involved in the political, economic and administrative structures of the Persian Achaemenid Empire especially during the reign of Darius. The case also provides a valuable context for the study of various aspects of social organization particularly the land tenure.

Editors Iran and the Caucasus

Ronen A. Cohen and Dina Lisnyansky

The main effort of the Azerbaijani government regarding the historical conflict between the Shiites and the Sunnis in the state, is to keep the status quo between these factions. However, the Arab Spring’s regional impact and the emergence of ISIS (ISIL and IS) led to waves of religious radicalisation, especially in the Sunnite part of Azerbaijan, which is more Turkic aligned, yet far territorially from the immediate influence of the Islamic radicalism. The article’s main conclusion is that the Islamic radicalisation in Azerbaijan could emerge only as a result of the structurally unbalanced status quo, which the Sunnis view as favouring more the Shiites.

Editors Iran and the Caucasus

Anastasia Fedorenko

Traditionally, functioning of major classes of lexical items is described as follows. Nouns prototypically function as arguments, but can also serve as predicates and attributes; verbs are normally used as predicates, but can also appear for arguments and attributes; and adjectives are categorically attributes, while secondary they can be used as predicates. The question arises, whether adjectives can serve as arguments (and how). The answer is, undoubtedly, “yes”, they can. When an adjective is used without a head, it begins to function as a noun. The current research aims to describe the morphological behaviour of such nominalised adjectives in the East Caucasian languages. The study of 31 grammatical descriptions of these languages, based on the analysis of nominalised adjectives, reveals 5 groups of the East Caucasian languages.