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Anjudan (Persian: انجدان, also Romanized as Anjedān; also known as Andījān, Anjidān, and Injadān) is a village in Amanabad Rural District, in the Central District of Arak County, Markazi Province, Iran. At the 2006 census, its population was 446, in 154 families. it situated near the major Shi'i centres of Qumm and Kashan in Iran, to which the Nizari Ismaili Imamate was transferred during the late 14th century CE. Owing to the village’s name, Ismaili history between the 14th and 16th centuries is dubbed the “Anjudan period”.
History of the Ismailis in Anjudan
The earliest evidence of an Ismaili presence in Anjudan is in the late 14th century at the time of Tamerlane’s attack on the community. Various Persian historians including Mirkhwand and Khwadamir record that Anjudan was prepared for attack, with a village fortress and intricate underground tunnels. These however did not prevent Tamerlane’s troops from prevailing. Despite the forays of Tamerlane in the region, Mirkhwand has pointed out in the late 15th century, that the village of Anjudan remained Ismaili.
Factors leading up to the transference of the Imamate
While the precise rationale for establishing the Imamate in Anjudan is unclear, there are various factors that likely contributed to this decision. Earlier efforts by the Ismailis to reestablish at Alamut were unsuccessful and the failure to fully obscure their religious convictions with the practice of taqiyya created a dangerous environment for the community in the South Caspian region. Anjudan’s distant location from the major centers of Sunni dominance, Tabriz and Herat also made it advantageous for the Imamate to be situated here.
Timur's Siege of Anjudan
In May 1393 Timur's army invaded the village of Anjudan. This crippled the Ismaili village only one year after his assault on the Ismailis in Mazandaran. The village was prepared for the attack. This is evidenced by it containing a fortress and a system of underground tunnels. Undeterred, Timur's soldiers flooded the tunnels by cutting into a channel overhead. Timur's reasons for attacking this village are not yet well-understood. However, it has been suggested that his religious persuasions and view of himself as an executor of divine will may have contributed to his motivations. The Persian historian Khwandamir explains that an Ismaili presence was growing more politically powerful in Persian Iraq. A group of locals in the region was dissatisfied with this and, Khwandamir writes, these locals assembled and brought up their complaint with Timur, possibly provoking his attack on the Ismailis there.
The Imams at Anjudan
- Imam Mustansir bi’llah (died 1480). The first known Ismaili Imam to have taken up residence in Anjudan was Mustansir bi’llah ‘Alishah, better known as Imam Mustansir bi'llah and locally as Shah Qalandar. His mausoleum in Anjudan, known to the family of the Ismaili Imams, was first brought to the attention of Western scholarship by one of the pioneers of the study of the Ismailis, Wladimir Ivanow.
- Imam ‘Abd Al-Salam (died 1493). The successor to Imam Mustansir bi’llah, Mahmud ibn Mustansir bi’llah, also known as Salaam Allah is recorded to have once commented that “contentment was more important than conquest”. It was for this reason that Mustansir bi’llah bestowed his son with the title ‘Abd al-Salam, meaning “servant of peace”. His works include: Five Discourses (Panj Sukhan), Decree of the Imam ‘Abd al-Salaam (Farmān-i Shāh ‘Abd al-Salām, and A Poem of Shah ‘Abd al-Salam b. Shah Mustansir bi’llah Bandī az Shāh ‘Abd al-Salām [b.] Shāh Mustanṣir bi’llah.
- Imam Gharib Mirza (died 1498). Imam ‘Abbas Shah acquired the epithet “Gharib Mirza” due to his exile (ghurba) on account of political opposition. His works include: From the Discourses of Shah Gharib Mirza (Min Kalām-i Shāh Gharīb Mīrzā) on the mystical import of the alphabet and a poetic composition on similar topics. The Pandiyāt-i Jawānmardī, which was also authored anonymously under a certain Imam Mustansir bi’llah also likely contains the teachings of the Imam Gharib Mirza, who was also known as Mustansir bi’llah. The mausoleum of this Imam is known locally as “Shah Gharib” and is still located in Anjudan today.
Financial support was regularly sent by Aga Khan I and Aga Khan II to the Anjudan people, in the late 19th century. In addition the Imams conducted restoration projects of various monuments and buildings of sentimental significance in the region.
- Among the major exponents of literature during the Anjudan revival was a poet known as Da'i Anjudani, likely a high-ranking member in the Ismaili hierarchy (hudūd), and brother Mawlana Malik Tayfur Anjudani.
- The famous fortress of Nurabad[disambiguation needed] near Anjudan is owes its name to the brother of Imam Gharib Mirza, Nur al-din.
- Shi'a Islam
- Murād Mīrzā
- Nuqta-yi Ula (Báb)
- Mahmoud Pasikhani
- List of Ismaili imams
- List of extinct Shia sects
- Anjedan can be found at GEOnet Names Server, at this link, by opening the Advanced Search box, entering "-3053253" in the "Unique Feature Id" form, and clicking on "Search Database".
- "Census of the Islamic Republic of Iran, 1385 (2006)". Islamic Republic of Iran. Archived from the original (Excel) on 2011-11-11.
- Virani, Shafique N. The Ismailis in the Middle Ages: A History of Survival, A Search for Salvation (New York: Oxford University Press), 2007, p.113.
- Virani, Shafique N.. The Ismailis in the Middle Ages: A History of Survival, A Search for Salvation (New York: Oxford University Press), 2007, p.113.
- Virani, Shafique N. The Ismailis in the Middle Ages: A History of Survival, A Search for Salvation (New York: Oxford University Press), 2007, p. 116.
- Virani, Shafique N.. The Ismailis in the Middle Ages: A History of Survival, A Search for Salvation (New York: Oxford University Press), 2007, p.120.
- Virani, Shafique N.. The Ismailis in the Middle Ages: A History of Survival, A Search for Salvation (New York: Oxford University Press), 2007, p.126.
- Virani, Shafique N.. The Ismailis in the Middle Ages: A History of Survival, A Search for Salvation (New York: Oxford University Press), 2007, p.116.
- Virani, Shafique N.. The Ismailis in the Middle Ages: A History of Survival, A Search for Salvation (New York: Oxford University Press), 2007, p.122.
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