Patrons or murids? Mongol women and shaykhs in Ilkhanid Iran and Anatolia

De Nicola, Bruno. 2014. Patrons or murids? Mongol women and shaykhs in Ilkhanid Iran and Anatolia. Iran: Journal of British Institute of Persian Studies, 52(1), pp. 143-156. ISSN 0578-6967 [Article]

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Abstract or Description

The interactions between the Mongols and religious leaders from different confessions have been documented since the early period of the Mongol Empire. When the Mongols conquered Iran and Anatolia and established the Ilkhanid dynasty, the interaction between the Mongol court and Sufi shaykhs became more apparent. Mongol courtly women (khātūns), who had enough economic capability and financial autonomy, played an important role in securing political favour and economic support for religious leaders. This paper explores the interaction between courtly women and Sufi shaykhs in Ilkhanid Iran and Anatolia. Firstly, it investigates the role of Mongol women in religion and secondly, it examines their patronage activities. Finally, it addresses the personal interaction between some of these ladies and Shaykh Ṣafī al-Dīn Ardabīlī, which provides an interesting case study to facilitate an understanding of the relationship between khātāns and shaykhs in the fourteenth century.

Item Type:



Mongol, women, shaykhs, patronage, Islamic hagiographies

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Date Deposited:

17 Nov 2017 17:02

Last Modified:

17 Nov 2017 17:02

Peer Reviewed:

Yes, this version has been peer-reviewed.


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