ANJEDĀN

 

ANJEDĀN, village located 37 km east of Arāk (former Solṭānābād) in Markazī province. A relatively large and prosperous market in medieval times, Anǰedān is chiefly associated with the revival of Nezārī Ismaʿili activities in the post-Alamūt period. Following the Mongol destruction of the Nezārī state in 654/1256, the Persian Nezārīs survived for a time in the guise of Sufism. In the second half of the 9th/15th century, the Nezārī imams reemerged in Anǰedān. Regarded as Sufi pirs by outsiders, they benefited from the advent of the Safavids (907/1501) and their patronage of certain Shiʿite dervish organizations to act more openly. Thus the imams were able to reestablish their authority over the outlying Nezārī communities and intensify their religious propaganda in Persia, India, and Central Asia. In the second half of the 11th/17th century, the imams moved to the neighboring village of Kahak, and Anǰedān rapidly lost its earlier importance, especially after the Afghan invasion of 1135/1722.

Architectural remains in Anǰedān include two mausolea containing the tombs of several Nezārī imams. These date back to 885/1480 and 904/1498 and are known locally under the names of Shah Qalandar and Shah Ḡarīb (W. Ivanow, “Tombs of Some Persian Ismaili Imams,” JBRAS, N.S. 14, 1938, pp. 49-56). In 1976 these antiquities were found by the present writer to be rapidly deteriorating. A 1036/1627 epigraph uncovered at the same time records the granting of certain tax exemptions to the Nezārī imam Shah Ḵalīlallāh by the Safavid Shah ʿAbbās I. The population of Anǰedān today is Eṯnāʿašarī Shiʿite and Persian-speaking. The main economic activity is orchard cultivation, but in recent years there has been a trend of migration to surrounding towns in search of better employment opportunities.

 

Bibliography:

See also Mustansir Billāh, Pandiyat-i jawanmardi or Advices of Manliness, ed. and tr. W. Ivanow, Leiden, 1953, pp. 5-10.

E. Dehgān, Kār-nāma yā do baḵš-e dīgar az tārīḵ-e Arāk, Tehran, 1345 Š./1966, pp. 9-56.

Razmārā, Farhang II, p. 26.

(F. Daftary)

Originally Published: December 15, 1985

Last Updated: August 5, 2011

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