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Arab Conquest and the Early Iranian Islamic Dynasties (636 - c. 1100)
The Muslim Arabs who toppled the Sasanid Empire were insprred by a new religion Islam. Although the Koran, the holy b k f h religion, considered people equal regardless their race and social status, the conquerors, especially the Umayyads (the Muslim rulers who succeeded the Prophet Mohammad), tended to stress the primacy of Arabs. Despite this, the Iranians rapidly integrated into the new Islamic community. They began to contribute Significantly to all branches of Islamic learning and to play an important role in the economic and even political life of the new Muslim Empire. The new caliph came to power due to the Iranian military leader called Abu Moslem, who led the armies of Saffah against the last of the Umayyad caliphs. Saffah was a great-grandson of Abbas, Prophet Mohammad's uncle, so he called his dynasty the Abbasids. The Abbasid dynasty was the most famous in the Islamic world. Abbasid caliphs were the generous patrons of Islamic culture and arts. However, despite the outstanding progress achieved in the cultural field, the military problems of the empire and its administrative organization were left unsolved. Moreover, Iranians who gladly accepted Islam, which freed them from the dictates of the taboo-ridden and excessively ritualized Zoroastrianism, could not bear invaders in their homeland. Numerous rebellions took the form of peasant revolts in Azerbaijan and Khorasan. Soon the first Iranian dynasties threatened the Abbasid empire with dreams of Iranian independence. Purely Iranian states were formed in the main part of Iranian territory (Tahirids in Khorasan with Nishapur as the capital, Saffarids in Sistan, Samanids in wealthy Tran-soxanian and east Khorasanian cities, Ziarids in Tabarestan, and Gorgans and Buyids all over Iran excluding the Samanid properties). The Buyids shared with the Samanids the fame for having brought to fruition the Iranian renaissance. Although the caliphate held no appeal for the Buyids, who were Shiites, they retained it as a stabilizing factor for the Muslims. Until its final days, the caliphate remained under Iranian influence. Within two centuries after the advent of Islam in Iran, Iranian civilization had completely revived, and managed to produce I new patterns of art and thought.
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