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  • 12/18/2011

A – Z of Iranian History

"R" & "S"


Ramadan (Ramazan):  The Muslim month of fasting. All healthy adult Muslims are required to fast from sunrise to sunset during the month and refrain from sexual activity while fasting.


Resurgence (Rastakhiz) Party: In 1975, the Shah replaced the two legitimate state run political parties with one called, Rastakhiz. When criticized by the foreign journalists for being a totalitarian, he commented that those who do not agree with the system should leave the country. 


Sadeh Festival (Jashn i Sadeh): Sadeh means 100, and is a mid-winter feast marking the 100 days before Nowruz. It had lost its significance, and then renewed by Zoroastrians in the 20th century and has become popular amongst many Iranians.


Saka: A Scythian group invading Iran from around 8th century BC and gradually settled down in Iran. They gave their name to the town of Sakiz to the south of Lake Urmia.


Salour (Salur): A major Sunni Turkmen group in Iran. From the 8th until the 11th centuries along with the other Oghuz Turks, they inhabited the area between the Caspian Sea and the Aral Sea in central Asia. Their woven products and rugs are well known.


Sanjabi: a Kurdish tribe and a dialect from South Kurmanji origin. Most live in Iran.


Sarmatians: Coalition of Iranian nomadic tribes who lived on the plains between the Black and Caspian Seas. They had a hierarchical society with slaves and their women had better status compared to other societies.


Scythians: War like Indo-Iranian nomadic tribes, they occupied an area extending from European Russia to northern China.


Seezdeh Beh Dar (Getting rid of the omen of the 13th day): This festival happens on the 13th day of the first Iranian month and ends the No Ruz celebrations. All Iranians will spend the day in nature. Originally it has been a celebration of ancient deities, protectors of rains and waters.


Shafi’i School:  One of the four orthodox schools of law in Sunni Islam. Along with Hanafi, Maliki and Hanbali, the four provide different readings or interpretations of legal matters related to Quran or Hadith literature.


Shahilu: The most prominent family amongst the Qashqa‘i belonging to the Amaleh group. The chief of the Qashqa‘i confederation is usually chosen from amongst the Shahilu family.


Sayyid Jamal al-Din Asad Abadi (al-Afghani, 1839-1897): He was born in Iran from a Turkish speaking Shiite family in Hamadan. He studied theology in Iraq and came under the influence of the Shaykhy school of Shi‘ism. He traveled extensively throughout the Middle East, India, and Europe. He opposed European domination and propagated nationalism. He promoted Pan Islamism, as a way to fight European dominance.


Shahnameh: The book of the kings, Shahnameh is an icon by itself, and is a translation of pre-Islamic stories, myths, and contains the legendary histories of Iranians before Islam. Written in New Persian in 10th century, its writer Firdusi, declared, that by writing Shahnameh he saved the Persian language. It indeed became the standard in Persian language, and greatly influenced later writers and poets.


Shakak:  A Kurdish tribe in Iran, Iraq and turkey. Their dialect is of Kurmanji origin.


Shaykh al-Islam: A title in the ranking system applied to the clergy. In different countries and different Muslim sects, it has different connotations.


Shi’i: Supporters of Ali (A.S), Prophet Muhammad’s (PBUH) son-in-law and cousin. Imam Ali (A.S) and his family are the only rightful heirs after Prophet’s death. Shi‘i Jaffari Twelfth Imamate: Is the official religion of Iran. They believe in twelve Imams, direct descendents of Prophet Muhammad through his daughter Fatima. They place great emphasis on the works of Imam Jaffar Sadiq the seventh Imam as the basis of their doctrine.


Sogdiana: In modern day Uzbekistan, Sogdiana was part of the ancient Persian Empire from 6th century BC. The name of the country in mentioned in Avesta and they spoke the same language as the people of Areia (Heart) and Bactria. Their language is a branch of the eastern Middle Iranian languages.


Sufism: Followers of mystical sects in Islam. Sufi believe that there is an inner or and mystical path to the discovery of God. It has many variations and many sects. Very generally the Sufi believes that they should surrender to God body and soul.


Sultan Abdulhamid: The last Ottoman Sultan. Born in 1842, he was removed by the Ottoman Senate pressured by the group called the “Young Turks”‌. He reigned from 1876 to 1842. He was fluent in Persian and Arabic and had extensive relations with the Qajar kings.


Sunni: They accept the first four caliphs as the rightful successors of the Prophet Muhammad (PBUH). They do not deny Imam Ali (A.S), but only accept him as the fourth caliph.

Other Links:

Haft Keshvar (7 Countries)-part 1    

History of Ancient Medicine in Mesopotamia & Iran-part 1   

Iran, a Brief History (part 1)    

A – Z of Iran History (A)   

History of Ancient Medicine in Mesopotamia & Iran-part 2   

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