عنوان مقاله [English]
The defeat of Sassanid dynasty against Arabs, marked a new “historical” era for the land of Iran; but not only the ancient and rich culture of Iran lost by this defeat, but also it continued in the Islamic era. One of the beliefes and rituals which has taken many forms and shapes and has been through many ups and downs over the course of history is “chivalry” .The common theory in this regard is that chivalry is derived from Sufism; Since Sufism was originated from Islamic training, chivalry has Islamic origin too. Although one cannot completely ignore the influence of Islamic culture in chivalry, ignoring Iranian culture and civilization whose foundation is wisdom, goodness and art, isn’t rational and fair. The author has attempted to refer to the origins of this doctrine and its probable effect from pre Islamic culture and civilization in spite of different and controversial views of researchers about chivalry and difference existing in its origins and principles. Therefore, the effects of ancient Iran, Zoastrianism and Mehri and Manavi religions on chivalry are examined in three independent sections and it is believed that these effects don’t mean complete agreement or adaption.
Although the last ancient period of Persia ended with the Arab attack and the fall of the Sassanid dynasty, the Persians were experiencing new traditions and customs, but the Sassanian historical defeat was not the end of Iranian culture and civilization. Ancient Iran’s old culture continued its survival in the Islamic era; even the heavy attack of Arabs was unable to break the relationship between Islamic Iran and the rich, ancient heritage of pre-Islamic period. In this respect, the periodic connection between Sassanid and Islamic era is not the period of interruption but “the period of transfer of Iran’s culture and civilization from an epoch, with its own characteristics, into another in which other characteristics have been produced as a result of dealing with other factors and on the path of its gradual, historical evolution” (Mohammadi Malayeri, 2000, p.6). One of the customs that has undergone many changes during the course of history, is “chivalry” which has many kinds in history and culture of Iran. In this study, it is tried to refer to the Iranian sources of chivalry and the probable effects of pre-Islamic Iranian culture and civilization on it.
In the early centuries of the advent of Islam in Iran, the devotees founded the ideology of “Sufism”, using the teachings of Islam, Quran, and Hadiths. Many researchers believe that the foundations of Sufism are Islam and Quran. According to many books on Sufism, “generosity and chivalry” is retrieved from Sufism; also chivalry, as well as Sufism, first had a primitive form, then began to expand day after day. The issue of retrieving generosity from Sufism does not end here; because there are many reasons which represent that awareness of older sources of generosity requires looking at the heritage of ancient Iran, including the Sassanian and even the Parthian period. Perhaps chivalry, at least in some aspects, has roots in such a viewpoint. According to the prevailing perspective, “generosity” is rooted in Sufism and Sufism itself comes from the teachings of Islam; therefore, generosity has Islamic origin. Accepting this vision, conflicts with researchers’ remarks and requires reflection on the issue. Sahrverdi clarifies that not all codes of generosity are in accordance with Islam’s principles but ofcourse it does not deprecate the principles (Saraf, 1991). Sahrverdi (2001) has applied the interpretation of “fati beyza” to “Hallaj”; on the other hand, Abo Abdullah Dastani has introduced Bayazid Bastami Zartoshtizade as one of the first believers who reached the highest levels of generosity (Haman, 2006); the fact that these two with “Kharaghani” and “Abul Abbas Ghasab” formed the kernel of “Khamire Khosravanin” can indicate the close relationship of chivalry with some ancient Iranian traditions and pre-Islamic culture.
The author does not seek to attribute all documents to pre-Islamic Iran by overlooking the influence of the productive Islamic culture and its role in generosity or to look for all roots in that period; in fact, he argues that it is impossible to renounce the influence and role of Iran’s culture and tradions. He also mentions that this delicate, narrow path requires fair, cautious steps as well as avoiding absolutism, generalization, bias, and jaundice. The influence of pre-Islamic culture on expansion and development of chivalry in Islamic period has many different manifestations, including the ancient Iran and its influence on chivalry; also it includes traditions and religions of Zoroastrianism, Manichaeism, and Mithraism in addition to their influence on chivalry, which have been discussed in detail in this study.
The chivalry as a belief and a manner, having ancient origins, has never been destroyed by the extinction of governments. In addition to accepting new requirements as well as environmental, cultural, and social conditions, chivalry is transferred from one age to another. The custom of chivalry, which grew simultaneously with the expansion and development of Sufism, has connection with Iranian origins; in a way that some relevant Zoroastrianism customs can be referred to, such as the refusal of perfidy, hospitality to strangers, altruism, igniting five-burner light kerosene lamp, changing “kosti” to “shad”, changing “sodre” to “saravil”, changing wine to “kasolfotove”, forgiving in the midst of need, and continuing the custom of writing books on generosity. Furthermore, some characteristics of Mithraism and Manichaeism has influenced generosity, such as equality, brotherhood, love, friendship, honesty, respecting elders, respecting masters, and making sacrifices in order to refine human’s soul. Yet, the most influential contribution to historical influences belongs to the Sassanid dynasty, since Zoroastrianism, Manichaeism, and Mithraism had better opportunity to grow in this very period.