A Brief History of Zurkhāne in Iran Cover Image

A zúrkháne: egy vallási-nemzeti intézmény a síita Iránban
A Brief History of Zurkhāne in Iran

Author(s): Miklós Sárközy
Subject(s): Islam studies
Published by: Korunk Baráti Társaság
Keywords: Islamic civilization; zurkhāne; Iran; Sufism; Shiitism

Summary/Abstract: The present paper addresses the brief history of the zurkhāne (literally ‘house of strength’), a socio-reli-126 gious gymnasium of Iranian origins. In the first part of the paper, we try to shed light on the origins of this institution. Unlike many Iranian and Western authors who support the idea of the ‘pre-Islamic’ Iranian origins of the zurkhānes, we believe that zurkhānes developed gradually in the Iranian Islamic civilization, and different social and religious influences contributed to its formative period, such as Iranian military traditions of the early Islamic period, the movements of urban outlaw circles of Iranian bazars and the institutionalization of their sport guilds. Furthermore, one can detect a certain impact of Sufi and Shii rituals on the zurkhānes as well. It is worth noting that zurkhānes appeared only in the second half of the 16th century. In the second part of paper, we offer a brief overview of the inner structure of the contemporary Iranian zurkhānes, including their different rituals and their symbols used during the ceremony. Furthermore, a brief summary is added to demonstrate the modern zurkhāne revival and to introduce the different ideological concepts behind the present popularity of the zurkhāne movement in the Middle East.

  • Issue Year: 2018
  • Issue No: 06
  • Page Range: 34-42
  • Page Count: 9
  • Language: Hungarian