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The Signifigance of Mosques within

Political Culture in the 17th Century


Comparing the Mosques of Shahjahanabad and Isfahan

Painting by William Carpenter of Jami Masjid, Shahjahanabad, 18521

Painting by Pascal Coste of Masjid-I Shah in Isfahan, 18412

Essay: Final draft


Name: Willem van der Sluis
Course: Political Culture
Theme: The Mughals
Teacher: Anjana Singh
Date: 13-6-2014
Words:
1 http://collections.vam.ac.uk/search/?limit=15&q=William+Carpenter&commit=Search&quality=1&afteradbc=AD&before-adbc=AD&material%5B0%5D=62&narrow=1&offset=15&slug=0 (referenced on 14-4-2014)

2 http://islamic-arts.org/2012/imam-shah-mosque-in-isfahan-iran/ (referenced on 14-4-2014)

Table of Content
Introduction

page: 3-5

One: The Empires of Shahjahan and Shah Abbas I

page: 6

1.1: Empires and Their New Capitals


1.2: The Role of Islam

page: 6-8
page: 9-12

Two: The Mosque as a Political Building

page: 13

2.1: A Mosque
2.2: The Place of the Mosque in the City
2.3: The Khutba
2.4: The Madrasa
2.5: The Administration of Justice

page: 13-14
page: 14
page: 14
page: 14
page: 14

Conclusions

page: 15

Literature

page: 16-17

Introduction
Wherever you pray, that place is a mosque.3
The Prophet Muhammad(570-632 A.D.) himself has been recorded saying this sentence in relation to
prayer. On a technical level the mosque, the English translation of the term Masjid, therefore does not
necessarily indicated the building like we know it today. It only needed to consist of one wall with its
main feature being that it provides the direction towards the qibla, the black stone within the Kaba in
Mecca.4 But as we can see, mosques are numerous in the Islamic world and have also been built in
every other part of the world. As the most important religious building in Islam, it became the central
place for worship for Muslims and it started from the very beginning to develop various functions, one
of which is a political function.5
The role of the mosque within political culture will be examined in this essay. This will be done for
two congregational mosques in cities that became the new capitals of two empires in the seventeenth
century eastern Islamic world. These are the Jami Masjid in Shahjahanabad, the new capital of the
Muhgal emperor Shah Jahan(1628-1658)6 of India and the Masjid-I Shah in Isfahan, the new capital of
the Safavid emperor Shah Abbas I(1586-1628)7 of Iran.
Shah Jahan and Shah Abbas I both decided they needed a new capital as their political,
administrative and religious centers. In order to establish this they built, besides a large congregational
mosque, different constructions like a palace and a bazaar centered around a grand square. All these
constructions had different functions in relations to economics, culture and politics. In order to get a
sense of a part of the political culture of both empires and their most important cities and buildings,
this essay will provide a comprehensible comparison between the role of the two congregational
mosques within the political culture of their respective Islamic empires. The focus will be on Shah
Jahan and Shah Abbas I, but because their mosques were built at the end of their reigns and preformed

3 Robert Hillenbrand, Islamic architecture: form, function and meaning. (Edinburgh: Edinburgh University
Press, 1994), 31.

4 Idibem.
5 Hillenbrand, Islamic Architecture, 61.
6 Ebba Koch, Mughal architecture: an outline of its history and development (1526-1858). (Munich: Prestel,
1991.), 93.

7 Stephen P. Blake, Fathpur Sikri and Isfahan: the founding and layout of capital cities in Mughal India and
Safavid Iran. In Cities in the Pre-Modern Islamic World: the urban impact of religion, state and society, eds.
Amira K. Bennison and Alison L. Gascoigne, 145-157. (Oxon: Routledge , 2007), 145.

also their functions afterwards, the reigns of their successors also needs to be taken into account.
Therefore the research question is:
What was the significance of the Jami Masjid of Shahjahanabad and the Masjid-I Shah of Isfahan
within the political cultures of seventeen century Mughal India and Safavid Iran respectively?
But what then is political culture? For starters, political culture tries to be something more than
only political history. It looks beyond what we call default history and it therefore covers a wide
variety of things. Among these are the conditions outside the political realm that create a certain kind
of political system, political rituals and speech from an anthropological perspective, norms and values
that are dominated within the political realm and how they change overtime 8, and the significance of
religion in politics. Besides this, according to Henk te Velde, political culture is not just about the
small political elite, but takes the relation between politics and society into account. It is therefore a
constant struggle about the boundaries of the political realm and the way people should behave
within.9 He states: At the core of the study of political culture is the research of the forms in politics
and the form of politics.10 In regards to this essay the significance of religion, with a focus on
mosques, will be at the heart of the political cultures that will be examined. By looking at the
significance of the mosque within the political culture it is clear that the mosque finds it way in both
the religious and the secular domain.
A comprehensible answer to the research question will be given according to themes, with
each theme providing a different aspect of the significance of the mosque within the political culture.
But before examining these themes, some historical background is needed. This first part will
therefore provide an introduction for both empires and Shahs, covers their motives to (re-)built a new
capital and looks into the role of Islam within their empires.
The second part will provide an introduction to what a mosque actually is. Besides this, it will
cover the following four themes. The first theme is the place of the mosque within the city. Both being
the Friday or congregational mosque, they took a prominent place within the city. They both were built
in the center of the city near the palace of the Shahs, the political leaders of the two empires . 11 This
shows their political importance.

8 Henk te Velde, Politieke cultuur en politieke geschiedenis, Groniek, 391-393.


9 te Velde, Politieke cultuur en politieke geschiedenis, 398.
10 te Velde, Politieke cultuur en politieke geschiedenis, 399.
11 C. Edmund Bosworth, ed., Historic Cities in the Islamic World (Leiden: Brill, 2007), 133 and 176.
4

The second theme is the khutba. This is an important part of the Friday Jumuah prayers given
in the mosque. It consist of a part prayer, a part sermon and a part formal address. This khutba, given
by the khatib, has an important political role because the rulers legitimacy depended on his name
being mentioned during the Jumuah, it was a tool to affirm allegiance and it was the platform from
which political announcements were made.12
The third theme is the madrasa. This is commonly known as a place for religious study
adjacent to the mosque. Both mosques in question had one or more madrasas which fulfilled a role
within Islamic education. This in turn is important for the formation and the function of the Islamic
religious establishment which could influence the two Shahs bureaucracy and administration.
The fourth theme is the administration of justice. According to Hillebrand there exists a longstanding relationship between mosques and the administration of justice. 13 So this part will look at
what the role of both mosques was in relations to the administration of justice and which other forms
regarding this administration existed.
Most these themes are chosen according to what Robert Hillebrand sees in general to be the
important political functions of a mosque. He deals with the madrasa separately, but as is mentioned
above education and the religious establishment preformed an important political function. It is the
aim of this essay to show to what extent the Jami Masjid and the Masjid-I Shah made use of these
functions.
To conclude, a comprehensible answer to the research question will be given. The significance
of the JamiMasjid and the Masjid-I Shah within the political cultures of the Mughal and Safavid
empires and their main similarities and differences will be given in an overview and the main
conclusion will be provided.

One: The Empires of Shahjahan and Shah Abbas I


1.1: Empires and Their New Capitals
Together with the Ottoman Empire, the empires of the Safavids and the Mughals were the major
Islamic empires of the pre-modern world. They were established at the beginning of the sixteenth
century, in 1501 and 1526 respectively, and reached their apogee of power in the seventeenth century,
to which Shah Abbas I and Shah Jahan made important contributions. But after this century decline
and eventually collapse followed. In the case of the Safavids, this came much earlier than for the
Mughals. The last Safavids were overthrown in 1722, this did not happen to the Mughals until 1857.

12 Hillenbrand, Islamic Architecture, 46 and 61.


13 Hillenbrand, Islamic Architecture, 61.
5

The Safavid empire was known to many by different names. For the inhabitants the name of the
country was Iran, to Arabs and Turks it was Ajamistan, land of the barbarians, and in Europe it was
known as Persia.14
The empires geography was characterized by mountains and deserts with only three rivers flowing
through. It stretched out from what we now know as Iraq and Azerbaijan to Afghanistan, but its
borders depended on the outcome of the battles with the Ottomans, Uzbegs and Mughals. 15 Due to the
lack of arable land it had only an

Map of Safavid empire16

estimated population

between eight and ten million people, a major contrast with the large plains of Mughal India and its
population in the tens of millions.17 This explains why almost half of the population of Safavid Iran
were nomadic tribesmen.18

14 Stephen P. Blake, Half the World, The Social Architecture of Safavid Isfahan, 15901722. (Costa
Mesa: Mazda Publishers, 1999), 3.
15 Blake, Half the World, 4.
16 http://www.zonu.com/detail-en/2010-01-05-11618/The-Safavid-Empire-or-Safavid-Dynasty-15011722.html (Referenced 4-5-2014)
17 Blake, Half the World, 5.
18 Blake, Half the World, 6.
6

The Safavid dynasty originated


with the fourteen century Islamic mystic,
Shaykh Safi al-Din, and over the years his
successors gained more followers, called
Sufis or Muslim mystics. This grew out to
be the Safaviyya Sufi Order of which the
future Shahs were the spiritual leaders. 19
The first of them was Shah Ismail I(15011524), he founded the Safavid empire in
1501 after he defeated the Aq Quyunlu forces, who ruled western Iran in the late fifteenth century. The
Safaviyya Sufi Order had already a long time alliance with Turkish tribesmen, known as the
Qizilbash, and together they made this victory and further expansion of the empire possible. The
tribesmen regarded Ismail, as well as his successors, as their divine leaders.

20

But in order to keep

individual tribe leaders from gaining too much power, Ismails son Tahmasp I(1524-76), divided the
Qizilbash tribes internally and moved them around. This weakened the power relationship between
them and the emperor. The effect was a civil war between Qizilbash tribes after the death of Tahmasp
I.21
The first two successors of Tahmasp failed to end the civil war, but the third did not. Shah
Abbas I(1587-1629) succeeded to end this civil war in 1590 and became the fifth Safavid emperor.
The civil war was a period of political and economic instability, it undermined the authority of the
emperor and resulted in the loss of territory both to the Ottomans in the west and the Uzbegs in the
east. It would therefore be the main incentive for Abbas to undertake sweeping reforms. 22 First of all,
he executed a group of tribal leaders and his viceroy, Murshid Quli Khan, who had helped getting him
on the throne.23 In order to prevent subsequent civil wars he increased his personal bodyguard, still
consisting of Qizilbash tribesmen, but he made them more loyal by incorporating them into the
imperial household. The same did he with his newly created

Shah Abbas I24

19 R.S.Canby, Shah 'Abbas: the remaking of Iran. (London: British Museum Press, 2009),14.
20 Blake, Half the World, 6-7
21 Blake, Half the World, 8.
22 Ibidem.
23 Ibidem.
24 http://www.superstock.com/stock-photos-images/1566-781588 (Referenced on 1-5-2014)
7

corps of

household slaves composed of Christian converts to Shia Islam from the northwest of the empire.
Both these groups held the most important imperial positions.25 To do this he needed more income, so
he incorporated agricultural land from the tribal leaders into the imperial domain and established a
imperial monopoly on the export of silk.26 He reorganized the empire, but his reforms also included the
seeds of decline. Among these are the disappearance of the theocratic basis, conflict between old and
new elements in the military class and the upbringing of successors within the harem with no idea of
the outside world. 27 A French jeweler and traveler to the Safavid empire, Jean Chardin, stated it in
these fine words: As soon as this great and noble prince ceased to live, Persia ceased to prosper. 28
Shah Abbas Is most important move would be the establishment of his new capital, Ishafan.
The city had been the capital of Iran during the Saljuq period in the eleventh to thirteenth century.
With rise of the Safavids Tabirz and later Qazvin became the capital, but Isfahan stayed a provincial
center.29
The relocation of the capital from Qazvin in the
northwest to Isfahan in the center occurred in 1697-98, and
changed the political geography of the empire. The motives for
the relocation differ and include geopolitical and economic
reasons, but also the influence of the Qizilbash. 30

25 Blake, Half the World, 9.


26 Ibidem.
27R.W. Ferrier, ed., A Journey to Persia : Jean Chardin's portrait of a Seventeenth-century empire. (London:
Tauris, 1996), 5.

28 Ibidem.
29 Blake, Half the World, 15-16.
30 Blake, Half the World, 15.
8

1.2: The Role of Islam


The role of Islam differt between the empires of Mughals and the Safavids. In the first place because
of the difference between Sunni and Shia Islam, but also to what extent they were theocratic empires.
At least one thing is clear, they both used their form of Islam to legitimize their power.31
At the heart of the division of the Islamic community between Sunnis and Shias lays a fundamental
disagreement about who should hold the political leaderships of this community. Sunni Muslims
accept the line of caliphs starting with the Rashidun caliphs, followed by the Umayyads and the
Abbasids. Shia Muslims reject all these caliphs except for one, Ali, the last Rashudin caliph, and his
decedents.32 Ali was murdered in 661 after a civil war broke out between him and Muawiyah, the
governor of Syria, who won and subsequently established the Umayyad dynasty. His successor and
son, Yazid, dealt with the last Shia rebellion of Husayn, Alis son, and his followers in 680 at
Karbala, which became the holiest place in Shia Islam. 33
Apart from the dispute about succession, there exist a difference about the role of the leader of the
Islamic community. Sunni Muslims acknowledge the caliphs as the religious leadership, but they have
no divine power and thus are mortal beings with temporal authority. Their task was to uphold the
sharia and the Islamic way of life, while they left matters of doctrine and jurisprudence to the ulama,
the religious establishment.34 In Shia Islam the religious leaders are called Imams, and were direct
decedents from Ali. These Imams did, in contrast to the Sunni caliphs, poses divine inspiration
31 Harbans Muhkia, The Mughals of India (Oxford: Blackwell Publishing, 2004), 40.; Blake, Half
the World, 6.
32 William L. Cleveland, A History of the Modern Middle East (Colorado: Westview Press, 2004), 31.
33 Ibidem.
9

because it is believed that Muhammad transmitted this over to Ali. This provided them with
knowledge about the hidden meanings of the Quran. According to the mainstream Shia belief,
Twelver Shiism, the twelfth Imam, Muhammad al-Mahdi, entered into a state of occultation in 874
and remains alive, but concealed by God. This problem of religious and political leadership was
eventually solved when the Shia ulama claimed to represent this so-called Hidden Imam. 35
Harbans Mukhia provides in his book, The Mughals of India, two criteria to examine whether
empires where theocratic. The first looks if the state would use all its power to convert all subjects to
Islam and eliminate all non-Islamic presence in its lands. The second concerns the jurisdiction of
sharia and if this Islamic law had been applied to all subjects, no matter their religion. 36 According to
these two criteria a judgment will be made about the theocracy of both the Safavid and Mughal
empires.
The Mughals were a Sunni Muslim dynasty in a predominately Hindu land. Most Mughal
rulers used Islam to legitimize their authority by battling kufr(infidelity), demolishing temples,
prohibiting the construction of new ones, erecting mosques instead and collecting the jiziya, the tax
non-Muslims had to pay to practice their own religion.37 But in Mughal India theory and practice in
regards to religion were very different. Consumption of wine and pork were no exceptions among
some of the rulers and also flirting with other religions was not uncommon. 38 In the case of Shah
Jahan, his court chronicle, the Shah Jahan Nama, paints the picture of his forces as the armies of Islam
fighting for the glorification of this religion, yet there is little evidence of him emphasizing his Islamic
identity.39
This ambivalent attitude was also present when looking at the two criteria mentioned above by
Mukhia. You can say that total conversion of the Indian population had failed under the Mughals,
because after their reign in 1857 less than 25% of the population, mainly from the periphery regions
what is now Pakistan, Kashmir and Bangladesh, was Muslim. 40 Given the fact that these regions were
34 Ibidem.
35 Cleveland, , A History of the Modern Middle East, 32.
36 Muhkia, The Mughals of India, 22-23.
37 Muhkia, The Mughals of India, 17.
38 Muhkia, The Mughals of India, 20.
39 Muhkia, The Mughals of India, 22.
40 Muhkia, The Mughals of India, 27-28.
10

never under total control of the Mughals, not even during the height of their reign under Shah Jahan,
there thus exist a divergence between regions with a high percentage of Muslims and regions with a
strong Muslim authority.41 The reasons for this are various, but, although conversions did happen, it is
clear that there was no real intent to converse the whole Indian subcontinent to Islam. 42
There is much evidence of the demolishing of Hindu temples by various emperors prior to
Shah Jahan, but also of the saving of, the permission to reconstruct and even to extent temples. 43 Thus
there existed a kind of tolerance of religion within the Muhgal empire in the beginning of the
seventeenth century. This tolerance continued with the enthronement of Shah Jahan, although he was
a little less tolerant then his predecessors. He was vehement against the construction of new Hindu
temples and he ordered that whatsoever idol-temples had been recently built be razed out to the
ground.44 But even if the emperors wished to eliminated all forms of infidelity, they would never
succeed. India, with its large Hindu population, simply had too many temples across the vast territories
of the subcontinent.45
In regard to the second criteria, the sharia as the only form of jurisprudence, it must, as for the first
criteria, be concluded that this was not applicable to Mughal India. The sharia was used for criminal
offenses, but with concerns to other parts of life, marriage, family life and property, the different kinds
of civil law within each community were exercised. So the Hindu, Zoroastrian, Christian, Sikh, Jain
and Buddhist communities followed their own religio-legal traditions and codes. 46 Looking at the two
criteria, it is obvious that the Muhgal empire was not a theocracy.
The role of Shia Islam within the Safavid empire was a whole different story. The Safavid
emperors were know by different names referencing to geography, time and age, but in the religious
context they were known as a sayyid, a descendant of Ali, the first Imam of Twelver Shiism. The
emperors had three main sources to legitimize their rule: the pre-Islamic Iranian tradition of divine
kinship, the claim to represent the Mahdi, the twelfth and Hidden Imam, and their role as leader of the
Safaviyya Sufi Order.47 As explained above, the Safavid dynasty started off as leaders of this order.
Originally a Sunni Sufi order, it was exposed to Shiism due to their allegiance with Shia Turkish
41 Muhkia, The Mughals of India, 28.
42 Muhkia, The Mughals of India, 30-39.
43 Muhkia, The Mughals of India, 23-24.
44 Muhkia, The Mughals of India, 24.
45 Muhkia, The Mughals of India, 25.
46 Muhkia, The Mughals of India, 39-40.
11

tribesmen, and eventually turned to Shiism. With the enthronement of Shah Ismail I in 1501 Shiism
became the state religion.48
Applying the criteria by Mukhia to the Safavid empire, it can be concluded that the emperors
established a theocracy by promoting Shiism. According to Robert Cleave All evidence suggests
that the Safavid shahs took this responsibility very seriously. 49 This was much easier for them than for
the Mughal emperors because the Safavids had to deal with an already predominantly Muslim
population, but not all followers of Shiism. In the second half of the fifteenth century the leaders of
the Safaviyya Sufi Order proclaimed a jihad against the Christian populations, in 1501 Shiism
became the state religion, and Shah Tahmasp issue two Edicts of Sincere Repentence, in 1532-33 and
1555, in which he disallowed all non-Islamic behavior and forbid gambling, prostitution and alcohol.
Also he started with the conversion of Christian slaves within his government, a policy continued and
increased by Shah Abbas I.50
As part of his reforms, Shah Abbas tried to counter treats to his authority from Sufi groups by
giving preference to the Shia ulama and bringing Shia practice more in line with the sharia51,
although he did not always uphold the Islamic law.52 He thus preferred to emphasize his legitimacy as
a sayyid over his lineage from Shaykh Safi al-Din. Although Shah Abbas was, unlike his grandfather
Tahmasp, more tolerant towards Christians53, his religious policy had to disseminate Twelver Shiism
in order to create a stable empire. He did this by seeking advice of prominent Shia theologians of
which Shaykh Bahai as the Shaykh al-Islam, the leading authority on matters of religious law, was the
most important. Just as consistent laws were needed, a new congregational mosque would also help to
achieve his goal. This became the Masjid-I Shah. 54

47 Blake, Half the World, 6.


48 Canby, Shah Abbas, 15.
49 Canby, Shah Abbas, 88.
50 Ibidem.
51 Canby, Shah Abbas, 17.
52 Canby, Shah Abbas, 18.
53 Canby, Shah Abbas, 18 and 24.
54 Canby, Shah Abbas, 27-28.
12

Comparing the role of Islam within both empire, it can be concluded that Islam was much
more dominant within Safavid Iran than in Mughal India. First of all, the majority of the population
was Muslim, in contrast to Mughal India. Therefore it was much easier to convert people and to
prohibit non-Islamic practices. Secondly, the sharia was the dominant jurisprudence in Safavid Iran
for all subjects. R.W. Ferrier writes, based on the work of Chardin: The important events of every day
live, marriage and death were strictly prescribed in accordance with the precepts and rites of the
faith.55 If we define a theocracy as an political entity in which one form of religion is the basis for
governing this entity, we can conclude that this was the case of Safavid Iran and not for the Mughal
India in the seventeenth century. This difference will have its effect in regards to the political
significance of the two congregational mosques of both capitals.

Two: Mosques within Political Culture


2.1: A Mosque
As mentioned in the introduction a mosque, on a technical level, does not imply a building of any kind
and was in essence an open place with a wall directed to Mecca. It remained an open place for worship
and the centre for a Muslim community, but it also developed some key characteristics. The main three
will be described below.
Before turning to the characteristics the two types of mosques, masjid and jami must be
mentioned. The masjid, which means to prostrate oneself, is the smaller mosque for daily private
prayer. Every Muslim community has a masjid and it became associated with a secondary place of
worship.56 A jami, which means to assemble, is a congregational mosque used for the collective
Friday prayers. Because of its collective function these mosques are much larger, mostly needed the
approval of the ruler and were most of the time located in the centre of the city. 57 The two mosques
examined in this essay thus perform the function of a jami, although the name of Shah Abbas
mosque, the Masjid-I Shah, not directly indicates this. The name Jami Masjid is the common name for
a congregational mosque.
The first characteristic and most important is the mihrab. In the form of a semicircular niche in a
wall of the mosque it provides the worshippers the qibla, the direction to Mecca.58 The Imam, or the
55 Ferrier, A Journey to Persia, 97.
56 Robert Hillenbrand, Islamic architecture: form, function and meaning. (Edinburgh: Edinburgh
University Press, 1994), 44.
57 Ibidem.
58 Hillebrand, Islamic architecture: form, function and meaning 45.
13

prayer leader, stands in front of the mihrab during prayer.59 The second is the minbar, the elevated
platform of which the khatib performs the khutba.60 The minbar is mostly placed right to mihrab and it
was elevated for the simple reason that the khatib needs to be visible and audible.61 The Masjid-I Shad
contained two minbars, one covered in case of bad weather and one in open air for good weather.62
The third is the most recognizable of them all, the minaret. It is used to perform the adhan, the call to
prayer for Muslims. This is done by the muazzin and leads to the filling up of the mosques by
Muslims after they preformed the pre-prayer washing ritual which is done in the courtyard of the
mosque. Although the call to prayer is commonly its function, the minaret in Safavid Iran was not used
for this purpose.63
For most mosques it was common to have three officers performing different tasks. For the
administration of the property and revenue there was the mutavalli or the superintendent, the muazzin
gave the call to prayer and the Imam led the Muslims into prayer.64 Larger mosques employed more
people. The Masjid-I Shah, for example, had seventy-six officers and servants. 65 Now that it is clear
what a mosque is, the significance of the congregational mosques within the political culture of both
the Mughal and the Safavid empires will be examined according to the themes laid out previously.
2.2: The Place of the Mosques within the City
Both mosques, the Masjid-I Shah and the Jami Masjid, took a prominent place along the new
constructed central squares of their respective capitals. As the imperial congregational mosques they
dominated the religious architecture of their cities, reveal a great deal about the religious organization
of the empires and functions as the central space for worship.
2.3: The Khutba

59 Stephen P. Blake, Half the World, The Social Architecture of Safavid Isfahan, 15901722. (Costa Mesa: Mazda
Publishers, 1999), 139.

60 Ibidem.
61 Hillebrand, Islamic architecture: form, function and meaning, 46.
62 Blake, Half the World, 143.
63 Hillebrand, Islamic architecture: form, function and meaning, 129.; Blake, Half the World, 139.
64 Blake, Half the World, 139.
65 Ibidem.
14

The main political function of the Khutba is to legitimize the rulers as the sovereign, to form loyalty
from its subjects and to proclaim political announcements. But what if the large majority of the subject
are not Muslims and therefore do not attend the collective Friday prayers? Its function will not have its
affect on the whole population, so there are other forms are needed. This is the case in Mughals India
and straightaway the main difference with Safavid Iran in regards to this theme.
2.4: The Madrasa

Conclusions
The first conclusion so far is that the place of the mosques within their respective cities are very
important for religious organization of both empires
The second is that the political significance of mosques(Khutba) in Safavid Iran is larger than in
Mughal India due to the difference in Muslim/Non-Muslim ratio. So the percentage of Muslim within
the empire sais someting about the political reach of mosques.
The third is that the role of the Ulema (Madrasa) is larger in Safavid Iran than in Mughal India due to
the difference in applicability of the sharia

15

List of literature
Secondary sources:
Blake, Stephen P., Half the World, The Social Architecture of Safavid Isfahan, 15901722. Costa
Mesa: Mazda Publishers, 1999.
Blake, Stephen P., Shahjahanabad: The Sovereign City in Mughal India 1639-1739. Cambridge:
Cambridge University Press, 1991.
Blake, Stephen P. Fathpur Sikri and Isfahan: the founding and layout of capital cities in Mughal India
and Safavid Iran. In Cities in the Pre-Modern Islamic World: the urban impact of religion, state and
society, eds. Amira K. Bennison and Alison L. Gascoigne, 145-157. Oxon: Routledge , 2007.
Bosworth, C. Edmund, ed., Historic Cities in the Islamic World. Leiden: Brill, 2007.
Canby, R, Sheila. Shah 'Abbas: the remaking of Iran. London: British Museum Press, 2009.
Cleveland, William L., A History of the Modern Middle East. Colorado: Westview Press, 2004.
Dale, Stephen F. Empires and Emporia: Palace, Mosque, Market, and Tomb in Istanbul, Isfahan,
Agra, and Delhi. In Journal of the Economic and Social History of the Orient 53 (2010): 212-229.

16

Hillenbrand, Robert, Islamic architecture: form, function and meaning. Edinburgh: Edinburgh
University Press, 1994.
Kheirabadi, Masoud, Iranian cities: formation and development. Austin: University of Texas Press,
1991.
Nicholl, Fergus. Shah Jahan: the rise and fall of the Mughal emperor. London: Haus, 2009.
Te Velde, Henk. Politieke cultuur en politieke geschiedenis. In Groniek (1997), nr 137: 391-401.
Primary sources:
Ferrier, R.W. ed., A Journey to Persia : Jean Chardin's portrait of a Seventeenth-century empire.
London: Tauris, 1996.
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