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The Salience of Political Ethic in the Spread of Persianate Islam

In: Journal of Persianate Studies
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Abstract

Persianate Islam developed in close connection with the rise of independent monarchies and state formation in Iran from the last decades of the ninth century onward. Political ethic and norms of statecraft developed under the Sāmānids and Ghaznavids, and constituted a major component of Persianate Islam from the very beginning. When Islam spread to India under the Delhi Sultanate in the thirteenth century and to the Sultanates in Malaysia and Indonesia after the fifteenth, Persianate political ethic was one of its two salient components, Sufism being the other. The immigrating Persian bureaucratic class engaged in state formation for Indian rulers became the carriers of this political ethic, importing it in its entirety and together with symbols and institutions of royalty and justice. With the continued eastward expansion of Islam, Persianate political ethic and royal institutions spread beyond India into the sprawling Malay world.

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