|تعداد مشاهده مقاله
|تعداد دریافت فایل اصل مقاله
Heroism of Perfect Master (Shah Ismail I) and his similarity with the hero of Abū Muslimʹnāmah
|Journal of Safavid Studies
|دوره 1، شماره 2، دی 2022، صفحه 41-54 اصل مقاله (439.85 K)
|نوع مقاله: Research Article
|شناسه دیجیتال (DOI): 10.22108/ssj.2023.135401.1013
|Faculty of Shia Studies. University of Religions and Denominations. Qom. Iran
|Several books and articles have been written about the different aspects of Safavid dynasty; however, less effort has been made to explore the relationship between the kings of this dynasty and the popular heroes of literary works. One of the important and influential works that was narrated by Qizilbashan and was able to establish the position of the first Safavid Shah was Ṭāhir Ṭarsūsī's narration about Abu Muslim Khorasani. The amazing similarities of these two characters indicate the influence of Tarsusi's narration at the beginning of Safavid rule. The present article seeks to investigate the benefit of Qizilbashan and the young king from Abū Muslimʹnāmah to indicate how they defeat their religious and political opponents by following the example of a popular hero and benefiting from other fields, while establishing the position of Ismail Mirza as the perfect master. Discourse theory of Laclau and Mouffe is suitable for the analysis of literary and fictional works, which by taking the advantage of this discourse theory as well as the knowledge of semiotics, the hidden layers of politics, religion and the relationship between them while analyzing classical literary texts can be represent. Moreover, by presenting a suitable model, it is possible to illustrate how and to what extent the exchange of political power and literary narratives was. In this article, the historical character of Shah Ismail I (perfect master) and the character of Abū Muslim in the story of Abū Muslimʹnāmah (epic hero) are analyzed and examined by the library sources, to explain how one of the most powerful governments of Iran was indebted to one of the heroes of classic stories.
|perfect master؛ tale؛ discourse semiotics؛ Shah Ismail I؛ Abu Muslim Khorasani؛ Abū Muslimʹnāmah
Some people have considered history as a recounting tool of past human actions, which makes the reader aware of the events and their causes. (Walesh; 1984, 12) On the other hand, in the tale, while emphasizing extraordinary events, the character is typically introduced to the audience. (Mirsadeghi; 2015, 64)
The tale is the product of the author's imagination and the history is taken from the real world; however, these two issues share the same incident and character. Therefore, this issue has caused a deep and inseparable bond between them. The commonality of man and incident has connected history and literature so much that it is difficult to separate history from tale or vice versa. Thus, the fans of historical characters have sometimes tried to achieve their goals by setting some characters of popular stories as their examples while equating or simulating their commander with the hero of the tale. Nevertheless, it can be stated that, at the beginning of the emergence of governments, this issue was more apparent. If not, at least the governments that were in favor of the tale have benefited from this example.
One of these governments was Safavid dynasty, that used the form of tales for their purposes; as they were followers of the discourse and current which was arose from the first century of Islamic history. The mentioned discourse was formed in the Islamic world by following the currents of Christianity and Judaism and found a social function, and as an influential discourse to advance religious goals by stating biographies of elders and religious leaders and narrating instructive stories, it benefited a lot to the extent which became known as Sufism. (Gibb; 2001, 148).
Due to the existence of some hadith and verses about non-attachment to the world and asceticism, an opportunity was provided for people who were asceticism, following the example of the history of monasticism in Christianity and Judaism, to mention the virtues and miracles attributed to the elders of the religion and narrate the stories of their life, in order to purify the soul and self-development of people; (Jaafariyan; 1999, 74) and reach the truth by staying away from the world and not depending on it. According to Gibb, these ascetic people who were influenced by the world of Christianity and Judaism, by benefiting from the experiences of monks, tried to promote Islam in the society in a purposeful way. (Gibb; ibid., 148) One of the tools of these people was to narrate the virtues, miracles and the story of the Saints in an attractive format, which was indeed the most attractive type of literature which helped them to take advantage of the fact that the history of Arabic and Persian literature is full of these stories and books to advance their goals. These people were sometimes noticed by caliphs and sultans, they tried to guide the people by preaching and telling instructive stories to the point where sometimes rulers and caliphs also participated in their sermons, while sometimes they were driven away and angry by the rulers, however, these ascetics, preachers and storytellers had a lot of influence among the masses of people and were popularly accepted.
One of these currents and ascetic groups was the family of Sheikh Safi-ad-din Ardabili, who preached to the people in Sufism that, in the following generations, sought to unite religion and the world by marrying the royal family of Aq Qoyunlu, in order to achieve political power. Sheikh Safi-ad-din's children and descendants worked hard to achieve their goals in Iran and Anatolia, and finally they came to power with the gathering of Qizilbashan around a young master named Ismail Mirza, son of Sheikh Haider. The perfect master rebelled against the rulers of the time with the help of his companions. At a time when unstable powers were ruling in every part of Iran and on the one hand plague, cholera, famine and drought had taken the lives of the people, by knowing the right place and the right time, they were able to form an important and influential government in Iran by dominating the opponents. This means that since a long time ago in the region of Azerbaijan and Diyarbakır Iraq, and Anatolia, there was a trend towards Shiism and extremism ideas, and on the other hand, these governments were in their weak period due to wars with each other and family conflicts. This was apart from the natural calamities that made the common people wait for a savior to get rid of this miserable situation.
The young king's companions were mostly Anatolian tribes and peoples who had been trained years ago by Sheikh Junayd and Sheikh Haider, grandfather and father of Ismail Mirza. Desert wanderer and Ilyati people who had shamanic and extremism ideas towards religious elders and loved tales. (Sumer, 1992; 10-12) Additionally, they considered Imam Ali (PBUH) as God, and they considered the perfect master to be like that. The devotion of this current was not to the rules but to their beliefs in the virtues, miracles and courage of religious leaders. Those who worshiped Shah and master as God and considered him a deity (Iskandar Beg Munshi; 1935; 1, 12 and Khunji Isfahani, 2003; 265). According to Nasiri, the sultans who had "divine ethics" (Nasiri, 137; 191) like their master, they loved to listen to old tales and legends to the extent that it caused ridicule of the opponents. In this regard, Khunji Isfahani accuses Sheikh Haider that instead of being in the school and reading Islamic teachings and getting to know the rules of Islam and "spiritual authorities", he travels more and goes everywhere by horse and reads legendary tales and anecdotes. (Khunji Isfahani; 2003; 265) In other words, "instead of acquiring knowledge, Sheikh Safavi sat on a horse and instead of reading mystical treatises, he studied legendary tales", (Azhand, 2001; 25) which perhaps meant reading and knowing the tale of ascetics and mystics, which had an extraordinary and otherworldly aspect.
However, possessing a Sufi life, living among tribes and clans, traveling freely among them, living in harmony with the masses, attracting the attention of the common people as the perfect master, is perhaps the best description that the first Safavid Shah inherited from his fathers and ancestors. Therefore, the young Ismail Mirzai, arising from this discourse, gave a new role and aspect to the world around him, and with the personal courage and social position he inherited from his fathers, he founded the Safavid dynasty in Tabriz in 907 AD. Moreover, after centuries, he freed the land of Iran from fragmentation and played an important role in the history of Iran and the world at that time as a powerful state against the religiously opposed governments of the Ottomans in the west and the Uzbeks in the east.
Knowing the young Safavid Shah and his charismatic power is not possible except by reconstructing the discourses hidden in the society and cultural-literary history of his period; the history that is hidden among complex political and literary issues, which can be discovered and expressed by searching and rereading the literary texts of the middle and lower classes of that period. Thus, the basic question of the present article is that the companions of Shah Ismail, who were fascinated by the tales, especially the tale of Abū Muslim, how did they use the hero of the popular tale of Abū Muslimʹnāmah, to make the character of the perfect master?
The hypothesis of the present research is based on this; from the life of Shah Ismail I in the two books Jahangosha-ye Khaqan and Ālam-ārā-ye Safavi, which were written after the death of the first Safavid Shah, describing the events of his life, it can be realized that after hearing the story of Abū Muslim according to Ṭarsūsī's narration, the epic of Abū Muslimʹnāmah, Qizilbashan benefited a lot in order to achieve their goals by following the example of this hero and simulating the perfect master, to the extent that many historical books were written to narrate the tale of perfect master, like Abū Muslimʹnāmah, in this style and context.
Researchers have written many articles about the various economic, cultural, political, military and bio-social aspects of the Safavid dynasty and each of them have paid attention to this government from a different point of view. Mahjoub Zweiri, a Jordanian-born researcher, in the book "Abū Muslimʹnāmah and its role in the social history of the Safavid era" has analyzed the position of the common masses in the history of this period with the help of the text of Abū Muslimʹnāmah with a sociological approach. In this work, he has tried to illustrate the social history of Iran during Safavid era through the book of Abū Muslimʹnāmah. However, the relationship among art, politics, religion and literature has been less discussed in this research.
In the introduction of the book "Abū Muslimʹnāmah", Hossein Esmaili has examined the validity of this work and its relationship with the first Safavid king. From his point of view, at first Shah Ismail I was interested in this story; but after a while, when the power of Safavid was established by winning over their opponents, the opposition to it was not due to religious issues, but rather it was because the young Shah wanted to replace the achievements and heroism of himself and his ancestors with previous epic heroes. In other words, from a political point of view, the young Shah banned the narration and reproduction of this work and imposed a severe punishment on his storytellers. In this introduction, the explanation of discourse and semiotics has not been taken the advantage in the research.
Muslem Naseri, in addition to his doctoral thesis entitled "Analysis of storytelling discourses in Safavid era (with a case study of the stories of Abū Muslimʹnāmah, Hossein Kord Shabestari and Kulthum Neneh), in several scientific-research articles, he has pursued the issue of the relationship between power, politics and religion in literary and classical works, and has tried to investigate the relationship between political power, religious power, culture and literature of the Safavid era by using the topics of discourse analysis and semiotics.
Moreover, he has discussed this issue in his articles from the perspective of semiotic discourse including: "A Critical Analysis of the Discourse of Tarigha (order) and Shari'a in the Story of Abū Muslimʹnāmah", historical researches of the new period of the twelfth year, summer 2020; "Dream: The Ordinary Shiite Identity Building Discourse in the Story of Abū Muslim Nāmeh", two quarterly journal of Shia studies 2020; Discourse semiotics of historical, epic-religious and imaginary aspects of the story of Hamzehnameh in comparison with Abu Muslim-Nameh, historical studies of the Islamic world; autumn 2021.
In general, knowing the manifestations and relationship between politics and politeness is significant from the point of view of political power. However, the benefit of politicians from the popular heroes of literary texts is a neglected issue that has been less investigated by researchers. In this article, for the first time, this issue has been discussed.
Theoretical framework and method
To analyze a literary and fictional work, three stages should be considered. In a classic literary work, what is important in the first step is the text that reflects a specific time and place (texture) that must be verified with historical propositions and represented by analyzing the sign systems that form the basis of the text.
The second stage is inter-textual analysis, which means that the relationship of the work with other texts should be examined; this means, what is the relationship between the mentioned work and the surrounding texts, and in other words, what influence did the text receive from the previous and contemporary texts and what influence did it have on the subsequent texts. On the other hand, what position did its characters and heroes have in the history or reality of their time. Therefore, after the analysis of the work, one should place the current perception in a wider scope, which means its relationship with the literary and historical texts before, at the same time and after it, as well as the current discourses of that period, in order to analyze and explain the work more consciously and with a deeper understanding of why and how and the causes of its emergence.
However, the analysis of a classical work will not be possible except by examining it in a larger social, political and historical environment. It is important to know what cultural and intellectual issues a classical work has addressed and how it helped to understand or solve the intellectual issues of its time, and today, how do social, historical and cultural issues lead to a better understanding of a classical work and what is its relationship with history and historical figures. The third and final stage is the analysis of "social context", based on which, by referring to the outside world of the story and a wider explanation from the perspective of social and cultural intellectuals, the relationship of the artwork with a larger space is determined (Sultani, 2014) which its model can be imagined and depicted like this. The main text and then other texts and their relationship with the mentioned work and the surrounding environment of it.
According to Fairclough's theory, in this analysis, it is necessary to consider three levels, which involve the text, its relationship with other texts, and then the surrounding space of the work. (Fairclough, 2000, 97-96) According to Fairclough the most significant issue is the relationship between grammatical and linguistic events, which should be analyzed and explained in terms of literary and grammatical aspects of sentences in order to realize the meaning of the text, which is almost impossible or impractical for a long work such as classical works. Furthermore, it is possible to take the advantage of other viewpoints that have been developed and are influenced by linguistics and consider all aspects of society as a source of discourse, and analyze a literary work and its relationship with history.
In the view of Laclau and Mouffe, which is influenced by the linguistic system of de Saussure, an attempt has been made to comprehend the relationship between the discourse systems in a literary work and the previous literary and religious works, and relation they have with the wider political-religious and cultural discourse environment of the society. Therefore, in this research, it will not be possible to explain the opposition and conflict between the existing discourses and the story tellers as a symbol of one of the cultural discourses, except by using Laclau and Mouffe's theory; as this theory, unlike other discourse theories, tries to explain the macro issues of society and not only its linguistic part like the theory of critical discourse analysis. Accordingly, the implementation of this theory requires a method to apply semiotics regarding the concepts and themes of a fictional work, which can be called discourse semiotics. By the use of this method, first the semiotics systems of the work and the text will be analyzed and then its relationship with the events before and after it will be considered and explained while utilizing intertextual analysis. In the final stage, the macro social context in which the work was narrated will be taken into consideration to find out how the relationship of this work was with the social environment in which it was created and narrated, and what kind of social, cultural and political issue this work has addressed and how it helped and will help the researcher to solve the social issues of the particular period. (Nasseri; 2020, 153)
According to Laclau and Mouffe's opinion, every action and phenomenon must be meaningful in order to become a discourse; because social phenomena and activities become understandable when they are placed in a specific discourse format; in other words, the social world can only be realized in the form of discourse and there is no fundamental fact. These discourses produce true and false propositions so that agents and social institutions act based on them. Laclau and Mouffe believe that society is the scene of conflict between different discourses, each of which attempts to define social relations in its own favor and to rule its power and ideology with its hegemonic dominance. (Ibid., 240)
In this article, an attempt has been made to explain the relationship between politics and historical characters and the hero of classic stories based on the discourse perspective of Laclau and Mouffe and the method of semiotics.
Personal identity and historical aspect of Shah Ismail
At the same time as the death of Uzun Hasan, the powerful ruler of Aq Qoyunlu, and the increase in family disputes between emirs and chiefs over succession and gaining power, the daughter of Uzun Hasan (Shah Ismail's mother) who was in prison with her sons, was able to gain the consent of Rostam Beyg, the ruler of Fars. The ruler of Fars, who was thinking about power in and thought that with the help of Qizilbash leaders, he would overcome his opponents, namely Baysunghur Mirza, the grandson of Uzun Hasan, he freed the king's daughter and her children from prison and sent them to Ardabil. However, sons of Sheikh Haider, after the murder of Baysunghur Mirza, because of the support of the people and their disciples, were feared by the rulers of Aq Qoyunlu, and in a tough battle, Sultan Ali, the eldest son of Sheikh Haider, after being severely wounded, in the last moments of his life, introduced his younger brother Ismail as his successor and as the perfect master. The companions and followers of the kid perfect master, along with his family, escaped from the battle and went to Gilan. (Qassimi Gonabadi, 2008; 52)
After living secretly in Gilan for five years, under the pretext of visiting his grandfather's grave in Ardabil - in fact, to avenge the blood of his grandfather and his father from the enemies and gain power - he left Gilan. Afterward, he camped near Khalkhal with seven thousand Qizilbash warriors, which included nine tribes of Turkmen, Shamlu, Takkalu, Dulkadir, Afshār, Qajar, Qaraman, Ustādjlu, Bayat, etc. (Rūmlu, 2008;937, 2) Additionally, with the help of some of the Mongol tribes in Talesh and Savadkuh called " Talish Sufis" (Qasmi Gonabadi, ibid.; 62), after the defeat of Farrukh Yasar Shirvanshahi, the murderer of his father, he moved towards Ardabil, and with the defeat of the army of Alvand Mirza Aq Qoyunlu, near Nakhchivan, in 905 AD, two years later, he took the royal crown in Tabriz and sat on the throne of Turkoman (Aq Qoyunlu). (Rūmlu, 2005; 937, 2 and Naji, 2008; 114) Without any fear, he declared Shia religion official on Friday from the pulpit, even though the majority of the people of Tabriz were Sunni, and ordered that anyone who does not acquit from the Sunni religion and the caliphs should be beheaded. (Khwandemir, 2001; 4,468) In Tabriz, "two hundred thousand out of three hundred" were the ideological opponents of perfect master and his followers. (Qomi, 2004; 1; 147) But perfect master boldly and courageously, referring to the fact that Amir al-Mu'minin had asked him such a thing in his dream, fearlessly legalized Shiism. Moreovre, in a short period of time, he was able to establish a powerful and nationwide Safavid government over most of his opponents throughout Iran, who had been weakened by successive wars and were tired because of drought and plague as they were looking for a savior (Collin; 2018, 78 and 28).
Young Shah needed a cultural tool to establish his position in Iranian society. According to the majority of the people who were illiterate and loved stories, Abū Muslimʹnāmah, which was a tale with an Iranian hero and was narrated and popular for centuries, helped Shah to establish his position as an avenger who is supposed to bring justice and return the right to its rightful owner after centuries, while identifying with the hero of the story. It should be mentioned that, just as one of the main and important promises of Abu Muslim was to establish justice; the tortures of Abu Muslim’s parents, Khwaja Kathir and other lovers of Amir al-Mu'minin were a reminder of the oppression that Shiites had suffered throughout history. These issues made the young king to take revenge of religion and to execute justice, which was in his mind all the time. (Ṭarsūsī, ibid.; 1,550-566) In this regard, the story of the young king and the events of his life and dreams were somehow similar to such a story.
Shah Ismail formed a special organization for the development of Shia thought and the promotion of Twelver Shīʿism. Because he was Al-Qāʾim Al-Mahdi, whose job was not only to establish a government, but to take revenge on those who had oppressed Imam Ali (peace be upon him) and his children. (Collin, ibid.; 78) To fulfill this purpose, he appointed seventeen groups of people to preach his purpose in a different place and in different position. For instance, some of them sang praises of imams, some of them recited purposeful poems in gymnasiums, and a group like Ghazis (warrior) used to give speeches to the soldiers and told the morals of religion and national and heroic customs. All these groups, in order to attract people to their words and the praise of Imam Ali (peace be upon him) and his holy family, had to replace their words with epic stories and narratives. Gradually this kind of storytelling, became popular and later it was realized that this issue is very significant" (Ashkouri; 1975, 142 to 148) Thus, Shah Ismail took the advantage of Shahnameh reciters and storytellers on the battlefields and in war trining, and one of the most important commanders of his army, Mohammad Khan Ustajlu, was among the best masters of Shahnameh reciting. This commander of Shah Ismail's army used the story as a tool for encouragement and revenge in the wars. (Collin, 2018; 58)
Abū Muslimʹnāmah, in which the Anti-Arabism and revenge against the opponents were very intense, was the best work that could play an important role in line with this movement. The story of Abū Muslimʹnāmah, along with other stories and Shahnameh, complemented the intellectual needs and beliefs of Qizilbashan who sought to establish a new government with a new identity. "Itinerant storytellers who belonged to Sufis of Ardabil, until the end of Safavid era, by narrating the story of Muhammad Hanafiyya and the story of Abu Muslim, encouraged the people to the goals of Safavid movement or what seemed to be their goals at the beginning. At the same time, they propagated and taught Sufi and Ghulat beliefs, which included the promise of reconciliation, unity, reincarnation, and manifestation, and which were related to the stories of Abu Muslim and Muhammad ibn Hanafiyya." (Zarrinkoob; 2001; 228)
Personal character of Shah Ismail (historical)
Personal identity and story aspect of Abu Muslim
Abu Muslim Khorasani (killed in 137 AH) was a historical character in the second century AH, whose biography was first written by Abu Abdullah Marzubani (384 AH) under the name "Akhbar Abi Muslim Sahib Al-Dawa" (Ibn Nadim; 1987, 221) Unfortunately, no copy of this writing is available today; however, there are narrations of Abu Muslim's historical biography in Tarikh al-Tabari, Murūj aḏ-Ḏahab Masoudi, Futūh al-Buldān Baladhuri and other historical books. According to these sources, he was an Iranian-born in Kufa who was supported by an Arab family. In his youth, he became one of the Abbasid preachers (da'i) in Khorasan due to his wit and intelligence, and with the help of other preachers, he invited people to revolt against Umayyad dynasty under the name of "Al-Reza Men Aleh Al-Muhammad" for many years.
A few centuries later, Abu Tahir Tarsusi (560 AD), a great storyteller, recreated this historical story in the form of a lasting epic. Abu Muslim narrated by Abu Tahir Tarsusi, Sahib al-Dawa who in a period of history, rose up and fought with his companions against the foreigners or the enemies of Ahl al-Bayt. Abu Muslim waged a long war against the Umayyad governors of Khorasan and finally killed Marwan ibn Muhammad, the last Umayyad caliph in Damascus, and expelled foreigners and infidels who were fake Muslims, finally, after not accepting the caliphate from Imam al-Sadiq (peace be upon him), he entrusted that position to al-Saffāḥ, the first Abbasid caliph. However, the reward for his efforts and bravery was nothing but the grudge of Mansur, the second Abbasid caliph, who targeted him with the swords of his soldiers in Baghdad and beheaded him. Afterward, Abu Muslim's companions took his body to his motherland, Khorasan, and buried him.
Abū Muslimʹnāmah is a story of a person who sacrifices himself for his ideals in order to get rid of fake Muslim foreigners. A legendary story, with a historical background and a religious theme, which surly was in line with the beliefs and ideals of the masses who were fed up with the discrimination of Arab against the Iranian, and were waiting for a hero to rise up.
This epic and heroic story of Khorasani commander, like the biography of hero, has faced many ups and downs throughout history. If it is assumed that this story was written during the time of Ghaznavid Sultan, the flourishing era of Iranian storytelling and ancient stories, and Abū Muslimʹnāmah was one of the favorite stories of Ghaznavid Sultan (Tarsusi; introduction to Abū Muslimʹnāmah, 1, 74-81.); therefore, this work should be considered the beginning of written storytelling from Ghaznavid period, after which, the narrators have made changes in it according to their own views and thoughts; but the whole work has been preserved; because this work was presented orally for the audience.
Considering the formation of political and religious grounds for the masters of Ardabil monastery, due to the importance of the story among Sufis, Abū Muslimʹnāmah and other stories such as "The Secrets of Hamza" received special attention. The past and beliefs of Qizilbashan originated from the Illiati society that had simple and untainted thought and were eager to hear the stories of heroes, religious leaders and elders; thus, for these people, Abū Muslimʹnāmah was a work that, while entertaining, encourages and helps them to achieve their goals.
Personal character of Abu Muslim (story)
Abū Muslimʹnāmah, a model for the hero of Iranian society in the Middle Ages
Abu Muslim Khorasani was a character whose story was written centuries ago, and even the Turkish version of it was narrated in Anatolia, the center for the adherents of Safavid dynasty. (Tarsusi, 2001; introduction of Abū Muslimʹnāmah) Abū Muslimʹnāmah, a story of the revenge of Prophet's family (peace be upon them) against the foreign Umayyad who were irreligious sect, was a great example for Anatolia Qizilbash to do the same to their opponents. On the other hand, the perfect master's interest in listening to epic stories including Shahnameh cannot be ignored, otherwise he would not have named his three sons Sam, Tahmasb and Rostam, the names of the Shahnameh's heroes. In addition, the hero of Abū Muslimʹnāmah's epic had a lot in common with the young Safavid Shah, which was effective in his acceptance among people. At the beginning of Safavid era, Abū Muslimʹnāmah was of special attention. Qizilbashan who had simple and untainted thought and were eager to hear the stories of heroes, religious leaders and elders, which on one hand, would entertain them and encourage and help them in the war with the opponents, and also have suitable intellectual foundations to destroy their enemies. Abū Muslimʹnāmah was the best work that could sympathize with Muslim Sufis and take revenge on the current foreigners who were the enemies of Ahl al-Bayt inside Iran and outer governments including Uzbek and Ottoman. On the one hand, the similarities of this story with the story of the perfect master can be another reason for the interest of the young Safavid Shah and his companions to this work. Because according to Ismaili's writing in the introduction of Abū Muslimʹnāmah, both believed in an important mission, that is, Sahib Khoroj (rising up). Both heroes had Hashemi origins, and the births of both were predicted by astrologers, and dreams played a fundamental role in both stories. Also, father and grandfather of both of them had the same meaning. Abū Muslim's father was Asad and his grandfather was Junayd, and the father of Shah Safavi was Haider and his grandfather was Junayd. Asad and Haider in Arabic mean lion and both were titles of Amir al-Mu'minin Imam Ali (peace be upon him). It was believed that the young Shah Ismail received the government and permission to rise up from the twelfth Imam, and Abu Muslim received government and charters to rise up from Imam Muhammad Baqir (peace be upon him). (Ibid., 1, 66) to rise up
Such similarities between the hero of Abū Muslimʹnāmah and the perfect master, in the beginning, could greatly help the continuation of Safavid movement. Abu Muslim's popularity among Sufis and Iranian people who were looking for an epic Iranian work caused this fascinating story to be a favorite of Sufi Qizilbash on the one hand, and on the other hand to gather dissatisfied Iranian and Shiites around themselves. But with the victory of Safavid dynasty over their opponents and the conquest of the western lands and the domination over Aq Qoyunlu and Qara Qoyunlu and other satellite governments, and the power establishment of the young Shah as the one who overthrew all his opponents and the entry of new forces with different thoughts and ideas (elders) into the government apparatus, narrating Abū Muslimʹnāmah was faced with unkindness. It is possible that the reason is political and to eliminate the mental rival of the people, and to replace the young king and his family among the masses of people (Ibid., 1, 65) or the legal reason and sanction by the jurists (Safa, Iran Zamin, 1986; 243-249). This work was noted during Safavid period.[i] Storytellers have narrated it sometimes in secret and in a period with the support of another Safavid king; though after Safavid, according to Ismaili, the importance of this work began to be declined and was forgotten; bur in other lands such as Ottoman and Caucasus, its narrative continued.
Heroism and similarity of the Perfect Master (Shah Ismail I) with Abū Muslim
Intertwining of the discourse systems of the world of story and the real world (history)
The discourse order of the fictional world and the real world can be divided into several categories. The discourse of the poor Shiites who do not stop helping Abu Muslim for a moment in order to take revenge on the religion; they seek their goals all the time and even in dreams. Successive dreams have been used for the authenticity of this discourse, in order to make them believe that Abu Muslim is connected with the other world, along with an epic narrative for the public listeners and the mass of people. (ref.: " Dream: The Ordinary Shiite Identity Building Discourse in the Story of Abū Muslim Nāmih") On the other hand, after hearing these dreams and knowledge about the way of Abu Muslim, the miniature discourses left behind in the society tend towards him and unite against the oppressive dominant discourse and get connected to those miniature discourses. This issue can be seen at the beginning of Safavid rule. Young Shah's use of the dream tactic was the best tool that made Qizilbashan look at Ismail Mirza with the eyes of a heavenly hero and consider him approved by God and Imams. As in the most difficult battle, Abu Muslim's stomach received a severe wound and his companions expected his death. But suddenly, upon hearing the voice of Abu Muslim, saying Shahada, they gain strength and win over the enemy. A dream that even his close companions do not believe until the hero of the story shows a deep scar on his chest so that they believe in the righteousness of their leader. (Tarsusi, ibid; 2, 394) This view and thought takes place in a spiritual way by giving good news of victory or by showing ways to achieve victory and by accompanying the unseen forces of Imams in Shah Ismail's wars. (Ahmadi, 2009; 10-12)
In the Shia discourse, Abū Muslimʹnāmah Tarsusi tries to make the dreams appear truthful while reminding the important Shia characters, so that the audience can increase the believability of the story by emphasizing the righteousness and then identification while considering religious beliefs. The dream, as a tool for intellectualization, is used to be more effective and at the same time, to convince the audience not to take a position against it, and if it were not so, the epic of Abū Muslimʹnāmah could not be accepted, heard or read in Sunni society. The close relationship between dreams in the characters of Abū Muslimʹnāmah and the narrator's reliance on beliefs of people, in accordance with their opinions, could strengthen the listener's mind and bring the audience along with him. On the other hand, familiarity with the Religious-Shia cultural background and historical events such as the battel of Imam Hussein (peace be upon him) has been used as a tool to align followers. Especially during Safavid era, when most of the pillars of power were Qizilbashan and Sufis, whose knowledge of Islam was not very deep and they were interested in stories and hearing the mind-boggling stories and transcendental events of religious and Sufism elders. (Sumer, 1992; 10-12)
Therefore, before Safavid gained power, their elders were looking for a work in which the mentioned role would be prominent and a mission statement for the unity and alliance and encouragement of primitive tribes to gather their allies around a single axis by taking revenge on the opponents. Due to the fighting spirit and bravery spirit of the Qizilbashan, who originated from the nomadic and peasant society of Anatolia, the story of Abū Muslimʹnāmah, which was mixed with history, dreams and fantasy, had an important role among them. Additionally, due to the primitive mentality and the interest of Qizilbashan in the fascinating and amazing narratives, Abū Muslimʹnāmah was their favorite. On the other hand, dreams were one of the best tools that were effective for the companions of Sufism from a long time ago. This fact is supported by the existence of many virtues that are listed in mystical and Sufi books and have been emphasized many times in the dreams of Shah Ismail's ancestor, Sheikh Safiuddin. (Pirzadeh, 2016; 143) Also, in Safvat as-safa, in many chapters, the anecdotes and virtues of Sheikh are mentioned, like how the Prophet (peace be upon him) asked Sheikh to care about disciples in dreams, and how the Sheikh saved the needy from many dangers. (Ibn Bazzaz Ardabili, 1994; 184-318)
In general, it should be stated that dreams were as the discourse to identify the viewpoint of Shiites, oppressed by the rulers and sultans of the time, who did not have the permission and opportunity to express their opinions in real terms, which first appeared in the epic of Abū Muslimʹnāmah. Storytellers and narrators of Abū Muslimʹnāmah before the emergence of Safavid dynasty, by using this trick and not expressing their opinions obviously and presenting their thoughts in an indirect format, have tried to be impressive in the era of the weakness of powers and governments, as tools who can organize and shape their believers and advance their goals in this regard. (Zarrinkoob; 2006; 288) As before, the chanters of the virtues were in charge of this role in the 6th century. (Qazvini, 1979; 67)
It is of a strong possibility that in the late 9th and early 10th centuries of Hijri, Abū Muslimʹnāmah was used for political and religious purposes, while helping Qizilbashan and Safavid government, by covering the interests of Qizilbash Sufis and other Shiite listeners. This can be clearly traced in the book that was written following the example of Abū Muslimʹnāmah in describing the fate of the first Safavid Shah, Shah Ismail.
The book Selselat al-Nasab Safavid is full of stories that Safavid elders had to prepare themselves to guide Shiites according to a dream. (Pirzadeh; ibid, 143) Jahangushay Khaqan and Tarikh-e Alam-ara-ye Safavid, although they are historical works in telling the story of Shah Ismail, but they have tried to bring the common people and Sufi listeners along with them and use them for the expansion of Shia thought by creating a Shia discourse and benefiting from the dream. For example, in the defeated discourse in which it is impossible to confront the ruling and dominant discourse in the real world, the only way is dreams that cause the transfer of power from Imam Ali (peace be upon him), to Abu Muslim; Tabrizin is made of steel, which is reminiscent of Zulfiqar and the famous war tool of the Shiite Imam, with which he decapitated infidels and opponents. The storyteller's use of the sacred object brings Abū Muslimʹnāmah into a different part. Tarsusi or the later narrators’ use of a war tool that was a sign of Imam Ali's bravery make the story highly ideological. As in the desert, the sword of rebellion was tied to Shah Ismail's waist (Alam-ara-ye Safavi, 1984; 64) and this shows the belief that the rebel and savior has the support of the spiritual and religious power of Imams. This bond becomes stronger when Abū Muslim met a luminous old man, who has been waiting for his hero for thirty years, in order to kill the tiger of "Kashmihan Grove ".
"I was told tonight that the person for whom I have been waiting for thirty years will come here tomorrow with two people. Thank God that the meeting you was possible and now the good news is that the kingdom of Khorasan and the tiger's life are in your hands!" (Tarsusi, ibid., 1, 583) In addition, this story also happened by one of the elders of Tariqat on the way to Tabriz to Shah Ismail, and it confirms this dream of emir who asked him to rise up. (Ālam-ārā-ye Safavi, 2019; 181) A man who has been approved by Imam Mahdi (peace be upon him) and with a sword tied to his waist and was asked to rise without any fear by Imam. Abu Muslim ordered Tabrizin, which was 90 kilograms, to a blacksmith named Khordak to "destroy the enemies and build a hell for them"" with it. As the blacksmith despaired of making it, his father appeared to him in a dream and emphasized that with this Tabrizin, Marwanids are going to be wiped off from the earth. Then he leads his son to the rusted steel that he bought from an Arab camel rider for a thousand dinars; a steel that he could not make anything with, and he saw in real at night that a person wearing green and bright told him that this steel belongs to Zulfiqar of Imam Ali.
“It was thrown into the sea of Najaf after Imam's seclusion, and as he was killed and the sea water dried up, it was found. Know that the owner of this steel is Abdul Rahman. Break the threshold of the house and that steel is in that cellar. Take it and see its power." (Tarsusi, ibid.; 1, 577)
The same thing happens to Shah Ismail, who in his dream world has a sword tied around his waist and a crown placed on his head to become a promoter of the right religion, according to Sheikh Zahed Gilani. (Pirzadeh, ibid; 32) As Abu Muslim heard the re-emphasis of this dream from another of his companions named "Ishaq Kondeh Shekan", he becomes certain that "the words of Amir al-Mu'minin should not be contradicted"; (Tarsusi, ibid., 1, 660) therefore, he left for Iraq. The influence of this proposition can be seen in Jahangushay Khaqan, the narration of the biography of Shah Ismail; when Ismail was in the moment of doubt and ambivalence and fear of the multitude of opponents and in the dream world, Amir al-Mu'minin asked him not to "concern his mind" and to formalize the Shia religion. (Jahangushay Khaqan, ibid.; 181) The close relationship between dreams in the characters of Abū Muslimʹnāmah and the narrator's reliance on beliefs of people, in accordance with their opinions, could strengthen the listener's mind and bring the audience along with him. On the other hand, familiarity with the Religious-Shia cultural background and historical events such as the battel of Imam Hussein (peace be upon him) has been used as a tool to align followers.
Ignorance is a factor that causes discourse conflict. One of the tools used in the story of Abū Muslimʹnāmah to turn his opponent into a supporter is trying to make the opponents aware. Ghurid king, who came to help Nasr Sayyār, when he heard that the name of "Ali Abu Torab" is stated there, with repentance from the past and the fact that he loves with Amir al-Mu'minin and he has been deceived by the enemy that the Abu Tarabian have rebelled, he joined the ranks of Abu Muslim's supporters and helped to defeat Nasr army. (Tarsusi, ibid.; 2, 532) Among such cases, we can refer to the story of " Ismail Khuzaima", which addresses the army of Abu Muslim Abu Torabi that he informs about the Prophet (peace be upon him) and Imam Ali (peace be upon him) and that Abu Torab is the same Imam Ali; afterward Ismail, due to his ignorance, gets off the horse crying and repents. (ibid.; 2, 77) In addition, "at the time of single combat", one of the enemy's warriors, curses Yazid and says that he loves Imam Ali more than both of his eyes. (Ibid; 2, 98) The history of Safavid dynasty is full of incidents in which Qizilbashan tried to promote this matter with consent or by striking the sword and bring the society to the awareness they wanted, and most likely these methods were the influence of the stories they had heard many times.
Expansion of awareness is one of the tasks of the story, which the narrator tries to show by citing examples, the discourse confrontation in the society and how it causes group identity; an identity that causes unity and finally overcomes the opponent.
The link between history and story is an important point that is investigated and analyzed in this article due to the commonality of its constituent factors which are incident and character. According to the findings of this research, an important factor that caused the unity, cohesion and then the establishment and stabilization of the position of Shah Ismail I was modeling of the followers of the young king from the hero of a popular story called Abū Muslimʹnāmah. Especially, because Qizilbashan and the followers of the young king had a strong desire to hear and tell the story, which was due to the social and cultural position in which this dynasty was fertilized and nurtured.
The ascetic approach of Sufis, that Safavid themselves were from this group, led them to seek profit from the story in order to achieve the purification of morals and the reform of the people and ultimately their goals. The interest of Sufis, especially Safavid elders, was such that they were ridiculed by the opponents; but by benefiting from this literary format and following the example of the popular hero who was written a few centuries ago and pursuing common goals with them, they were able to bring the mass of people with them by emphasizing the similarities of the young king with the hero of this literary epic. Moreover, this issue led to overcome the opponents by stimulating people on the one hand and uniting the forces on the other hand. The amazing similarities between these two historical and fictional characters are so wide that while writing books describing the bravery of the young Shah and considering his heroism, he won over his opponents and founded one of the most important dynasties of recent centuries. However, in the middle of this government, due to the dominance of another discourse called elders and Sharia, this discourse was marginalized and one of its powerful foundations was weakened and perhaps caused its downfall.
In conclusion, it should be stated that it is not possible to know a person or a dynasty except by knowing the hidden layers of its foundation. One of the famous dynasties in the past centuries, Safavid dynasty, had a great impact on the future of Iran. However, comprehending the causes of the formation of influential people and the factors of establishing and stabilizing and benefiting the first rulers to achieve their goals was one of the most important concerns of this research. In this regard, by realizing the description, interpretation and analysis of the similarities of these two heroes, the conclusion was reached that the first Qizilbashan and rulers, with the necessary knowledge and understanding of their environment and time, were able to benefit from one of the literary formats in the best way to advance their goals and were successful.
 Rasoul Jafariyan has listed many of these cases in his book "The History of Storytellers in Islam and Iran.
Refer to the third chapter of this book.
[i] Ref.: Critical analysis of Tariqat and Shari'ah discourse about the story of Abū Muslimʹnāmah " Historical researches, new period, 12th year, summer 2019, No. 2 (46 in a row)
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------------- Dream: The identity-giving discourse of the common Shia in the story of Abū Muslimʹnāmah, Shia research quarterly 2020, Volume: 6, No. 18.
------------ Discourse semiotics of Historical, Epic-Religious and Imaginary aspects of the tale of Hamza Nameh in comparison with Abū Muslimʹnāmah, historical studies of the Islamic World » Fall 2021 - No. 19 Scientific-Research 26, 216 to 241.
------------ Analysis of storytelling discourses in Safavid era (with a case study of the stories of Abū Muslimʹnāmah, Hossein Kord Shabestari and Kulthum Neneh), doctoral thesis, Qom, University of religions and belief, 2020.
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