عنوان مقاله [English]
Early Islamic centuries (1st to 3rd A.H) are significant in every scholarly study of different periods in Iranian history due to their intense transformation and profound developments within the Iranian society and also the encounter of Zoroastrian and Islamic worldviews and different methods of resistance against Arab domination. Zoroastrianism, as a religion, lost its dominant position and was gradually replaced by Islam. Thus, maintaining the integrity of Zoroastrian society became the main concern of the Zoroastrian priests, which can evidently be witnessed in apocalyptic texts of Zoroastrian faith. Accordingly, resistance against Arab invaders lost its initial violence and political fervor and took in a new momentum in the form of maintaining the integrity of Zoroastrian religion and society and concentration on the doomsday and spiritual salvation.
Zoroastrian apocalyptic texts contained teachings that tried to adapt different fields of life in Iranian society facing spread of Islam and the Arab domination of Iran. Although the history of these texts returns to oral narratives before Sasanians, but after the transition of Iranian society from oral literature to Sasanian writing literature and the compilation of Zoroastrian texts in Islamic period, the writing of apocalyptic texts also became important. By reviewing these texts, it would be possible to find out important political and social changes of Iranian society in the first Islamic centuries. Within this framework, the rise of non-Zoroastrian Iranian movements during the 2nd and 3rd centuries A.H against the Caliphate were deemed as a dangerous heresy and a serious challenge to Zoroastrian social identity and were vehemently criticized in Zoroastrian apocalyptic texts.
In other words, in the condition that there was no hope for Zoroastrian government to be restored, the preservation of the religious integrity of the people became a concern for the Zoroastrian clergy that became an apocalyptic cultural model, which was threatened by political and religious movements such as Behāfarīd, Abu Muslim and Bābak uprisings (that had a sectarian or non-Zoroastrian nature) in addition to the Arabs and the caliphate. Since these texts were written and analyzed at the same time as political events, it can be said that apocalyptic literature has been partly indicative of the reaction of Zoroastrian society to its events.
In the other words, the suppression of local sustainability along the lack of belief of society towards the fall of Sasanian provided the necessary grounds for the emergence of apocalyptic literature and its related teachings. These teachings opposed all political and religious actions which were challenging for Zoroastrians in order to preserve their social identity in that difficult and complicated condition. Regardless of the social, political, and religious aspects of the movements, their leaders sought to combine the ideas of ancient religion in order to gain support of different groups of people who were incompatible from religious point of view. But this led to their defeat and the emergence of numerous religious and political sects, which themselves were the heritage of contradictions and enhanced intellectual and cultural tensions.
From the point of view of the Zoroastrian apocalyptic texts, these movements were not only in the interest of the national and religious interests of the Zoroastrian community, but also threatened their coherence and integrity. The emergence of such movements, especially in the second and third centuries A.H, showed that despite the emphasis of the Zoroastrian clergy on the refusal of the Zoroastrians to cooperate with them, a wide range of society, hoping to escape Arab domination or to improve its economic conditions and social status accompanied these movements.
Regardless of the political results of the movements, which often failed, its harmful consequences in the vulnerability of Zoroastrian community's unity and solidarity should be mentioned. In apocalyptic Zoroastrian texts, the leaders of these movements, such as Abu Muslim and Bābak, were condemned and their uprising was mentioned as apocalyptic catastrophe. On the other hand, the beliefs of the followers of Abu Muslim and Bābak as the promised saviors shows domination of apocalyptic thoughts in Iranian society in that period.
On the other words, viewpoint of some Iranians towards Abu Muslim, Bābak and other leaders of movements against caliphate as religious leaders and promised saviors, was influenced by apocalyptic concepts of Zoroastrianism such as expectation and emergence of a savior. This paper aims to study the evolutions in the first Islamic centuries from Zoroastrian world-view in Iranian society, applying written evidence from 11th century (A.D), with descriptive and analytical method.