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Stewart, Sarah (2012)
Publisher: Routledge
Languages: English
Types: Article
Subjects: 1000
In Iran and India religious philanthropy has been a feature of Zoroastrian piety as well as providing the means by which both communities have prospered throughout their respective histories. In Iran an elaborate structure for the regulation of charitable donations was already in place during the Sasanian period and laid the foundation for the laws governing pious foundations, awqāf, after the Islamic conquest. The increased interaction between Iranian Zoroastrians and Parsis from the mid-nineteenth century\ud onwards led to the expansion of the Tehran Zoroastrian community and the rise of a wealthy merchant class which in turn enabled philanthropic activity to flourish. This\ud development will be discussed here with reference to a particular vaqf, that of the first ārāmgāh or Zoroastrian cemetery to be established in Tehran in the early twentieth\ud century. The case of Qasr-e Firuzeh spans three successive governments in Iran and gives an insight into the management of a charitable endowment within different political contexts.
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    • 17For patterns of growth, see the charts given by John Hinnells, “The Flowering of Zoroastrian Benevolence,” Zoroastrian and Parsi Studies: Selected Works of John R. Hinnells (Aldershot, 2000), 215-17.
    • 18J. Hinnells, “Authority and Parsis in British India,” in J. Hinnells and A. Williams, eds, Parsis in India and the Diaspora (Oxford, 2007), 101-02.
    • 19See Susan Styles Maneck, The Death of Ahriman: Culture, Identity and Theological Change among the Parsis of India (Bombay, 1997), 165-70.
    • 20V. B. Moreen, “Jezya,” Encyclopaedia Iranica XIV: 643-44.
    • 21Janet Kestenberg Amighi, The Zoroastrians of Iran: Conversion, Assimilation, or Persistence (New York, 1990), 130. Although the jizya was intended to protect dhimmis during wartime, in practice this did not always happen. One popular story tells of the Afghan raids on Kerman perpetrated by Mahmud Khan Ghilzai between 1719 and 1724. Zoroastrians, who were obliged to reside outside the city walls, were slaughtered in such numbers that a makeshift dakhmeh had to be constructed. See J. Choksy, “Despite Shās and Mollās: Minority Sociopolitics in Premodern and Modern Iran,” Journal of Asian Studies, 40, no. 2 (2006): 139.
    • 22See Michael Fischer, Zoroastrian Iran Between Myth and Praxis (Chicago, 1973), 1: 97-98.
    • 23See Choksy, “Despite Shās and Mollās,” 143-44.
    • 24Daniel Tsadik, Between Foreigners and Shi'is: Nineteenth-Century Iran and its Jewish Minority (Stanford, CA, 2007), 118.
    • 25See Eliz Sanasarian, Religious Minorities in Iran (Cambridge, 2000), 49. British officials exerted considerable effort to improve the rights of all dhimmis. As Tsadik notes, as a predominantly Christian nation, Britain was predisposed to support Christian minorities in Iran (Between Foreigners and Shi'is, 43-44). The Foreign Office minister in Tehran appointed in 1881, R. F. Thomson, entered into discussion with the shah and his minister for foreign affairs with respect to Nestorian Christians and Jewish as well as Zoroastrian communities (Between Foreigners and Shi'is, 113-15).
    • 26For example the repair of the Yazd Ātash-Bahrām (1855), and the Kerman Ātash Bahrām (1857). By 1864 Hataria had replaced the existing dakhmehs in Yazd, Kerman and the village of Sharifābād-e Ardakān-e Yazd, and the following year he had a small dakhmeh built at Qanāt-ghesan, near Kerman. See Mary Boyce, “Manekji Limji Hataria in Iran,” in K. R. Cama Oriental Institute Golden Jubilee Memorial Volume (Bombay, 1969), 23.
    • 27Maneckji Limji Hataria, “Support from the Sethias: Travels in Iran 5,” Parsiana (December 1990): 29-32.
    • 28See Monica Ringer, “Reform Transplanted: Parsi Agents of Change amongst Zoroastrians in Nineteenth-Century Iran,” Iranian Studies, 42, no. 4 (2009): 556-58 (with references).
    • 29In 1869 the population of Tehrān was given as 155,000 and increased steadily since that time, reaching 400,000 according to the census of 1939/40, and 2,719,730 by 1966 (see also note 39, below). F. Firoozi, “Tehrān: A Demographic and Economic Analysis,” in The Population of Iran: A Selection of Readings, ed. J. A. Momeni (Honolulu and Shiraz, 1977), 342.
    • 30Boyce, “Manekji Limji Hataria in Iran,” 28.
    • 31Maneckji Limji Hataria, “Education for Amelioration: Travels in Iran: 6,” Parsiana (January 1991): 14.
    • 32See D. Brookshaw “Instructive Encouragement, Tablets of Baha'ullah and 'Abdu'l-Baha to Baha'i Women in Iran and India,” in The Baha'is of Iran: Socio-Historical Studies, ed. Dominic Parviz Brookshaw and Seena B. Fazel (London and New York, 2008), 71, where he presents a table of the number of tablets addressed to Zoroastrian converts to Baha'ism by 'Abdu'l-Baha according to the geographic location of the recipient.
    • 33Amighi describes the dynamics of the relationship between Baha'is and Zoroastrians and the various influences for and against conversion (Zoroastrians of Iran, 119-27). Fischer devotes a section of his study to Baha'i development in Yazd (Zoroastrian Iran II: 351-9), in which he draws attention to the fact that relations between Zoroastrian elites and Baha'is remains a controversial subject (353).
    • 34See S. Stiles Maneck, “Conversion of Religious Minorities to the Baha'i Faith in Iran: Some Preliminary Observations,” Journal of Baha'i Studies, 3, no. 3 (1991): 35-48, where she describes the way in which Zoroastrians, Christians and Jews reconcile their respective eschatological teachings with those of Bahai'sm.
    • 35In 1890 the anjomans of Tehran, Kerman and Yazd were reorganized under the influence of Kai Khusrawji Khān, who was born in the village of Kucheh Buyuk, near Yazd. He went to India with his family, returning after Hataria's death as the emissary of the Amelioration Society to Iran. From this time until the end of the Qajar dynasty, these anjomans were known as Nāseri after Nāsir al-Dīn
    • 40At around the same time a Tehran resident, Arbāb Jamshīd Shahriyār Sorūshyār, built a khaile in memory of his son, Fereydun, further down the mountain, and made it accessible by road (Oshidari, Tārīkh-e Pahlavi, 372).
    • 41Mary Boyce, Zoroastrians: Their Religious Beliefs and Practices (London, 1979), 218. The estimated population of Tehran in 1900 was 200,000, as against Kermān (60,000) and Yazd (75,000). See J. Bharier, “The Growth of Towns and Villages in Iran, 1900-66,” in Momeni, ed., The Population of Iran, 333-34.
    • 42Amighi, Zoroastrians, 152.
    • 43Amighi, Zoroastrians, 159-61, 165.
    • 44Amighi, Zoroastrians, 169-71.
    • 45E. Abrahamian, Iran Between Two Revolutions (Princeton, 1983), 140-41.
    • 57See Shāhrokh and Writer, Memoirs, 15 and notes 6-10 for information about the donors.
    • 58The Deed of Ownership was issued by the Department of Registration of Documents and Properties of the Ministry of Justice, Vezārat-e 'Adliyyeh, and dated 1314/7/1 (24 September 1935).
    • 59Vaqfnāmeh, no. 7249, dated 1315/7/28 (20 October 1936) of the Records Registry no. 18 in Tehran. Keikhosrow Shāhrokh had already been made responsible for dealing with Zoroastrian endowments throughout Iran. In a letter from the Ministry to the TZA dated 1332 lunar calendar (1914), it is stated that Zoroastrians are free to manage their own awqāf, providing that they submit reports to the Ministry, and that none of the agents of awqāf are permitted to interfere with the awqāf of the Zoroastrians.
    • 60An example cited by Amighi was the housing project established by Rostam Giv on his property, Rostam Bagh, whereby Zoroastrians, mainly from Yazd, could obtain affordable housing provided they spoke in Dari and maintained “proper codes of Zoroastrian behaviour” (Amighi, Zoroastrians, 201).
    • 61For an account of the various disputes often voiced via anonymous pamphlets-for example Zang-e Khatar (“Bell of Warning”), and the response of Rostam Giv in his Bayān-e Haqāyeq (“Declaration of Truth”), both written in 1952-see Amighi, Zoroastrians, 195.
    • 621335/11/16 (5 February 1957).
    • 63Oshidiri, Tārikh- e Pahlavi, 374.
    • 78Authorization number 2840, dated 1361/6/21 (12 September 1982).
    • 79At a meeting held in January 1983, in the property section of the Ministry of Finance, the boundary between the lands of Qasr-e Firuzeh (pelāk 4478) and the 40 hectares of land belonging to the shah's palace that had been subject to the forced sale (pelāk 4480) was agreed between all parties. Accordingly, a letter was sent to the Prime Minister's Office and copied to the Department of Environment, the TZA, the Central Committee of the Islamic Revolution, the Property Records Office and the Department of Forestry, Ministry of Agriculture (letter no. 4689, dated 1361/10/27 [17 January 1983] and signed by the president of the property section of the Ministry of Finance and Economy). There followed an announcement by the Prime Minister's Office (NM/8018, dated 1361/11/23 [12 February 1983]), and a letter (NM/329, dated 1362/1/17 [6 April 1983]) to the TZA (Anjoman archive no. 32/3560, dated 1362/ 1/20 [9 April 1983]), both pertaining to Qasr e Fīrūzeh.
    • 80A copy of the report is kept in the TZA (report 21,171/100/10, dated 1361/11/14 [3 February 1983]). During the first decade of the Islamic Republic of Iran, the land seizure would increase from 300 hectares to approximately 4,500 hectares-that is, a large part of the original endowment.
    • 81Letter no. 10/9-10-1045, dated 1362/8/11 (2 November 1983).
    • 82The meeting was held on 1362/8/16 (7 November 1983), and the letter no. 32/4539, dated 1362/ 8/23 (14 November 1983), was sent to the Command Center of Sepāh-e Pāsdārān agreeing to their request to use the land for training purposes.
    • 83Letter from the president of TZA to Hāshemi Rafsanjāni, speaker of the Majles, dated 1366/5/6 (28 July 1987); letter from TZA to Brother Shamkhari, minister of Sepāh, dated 1367/9/26 (17 December 1988); letter from the president of TZA to General Mohsen Rezā'i, dated 1367/9/2 (23 November 1988); letter from the Zoroastrian representative of the Majles, Mr Ziāfat, to Mr Larijāni, deputy of legal affairs of Sepāh, dated 1367/8/24 (15 November 1988).
    • 84Letter from TZA to Brother Akhavān of the Sepāh command centre based in Qasr-e Firuzeh, dated 1367/8/17 (8 November 1988).
    • 85Letter from TZA to the Sepāh command centre, dated 1367/8/22 (13 November 1988).
    • 86Letter from TZA to Sepāh command centre dated 1365/3/20 (10 June 1986).
    • 871363/1/28 (17 April 1984). A government committee (Committee number 2 of the Sāzman e Awqāf e Iran) was established to consider and renegotiate all the documents pertaining to the nationalizing or sale of vaqf lands. Prime Minister Hossein Mousavi wrote to the Sāzmān-e Awqāf-e Iran revoking the law that had permitted the sale of awqāf water and lands (letter dated 1363/9/19 [10 December 1984]).
    • 88Letter no. 1/5,527, dated 1363/10/10 (31 December 1984).
    • 89The letter, no. 1/2,748 dated 1369/6/6 (28 August 1990) addresses Dr Firuzābādi as commanderin-chief of the army.
    • 90Reference no. 662, dated 1370/02/16 (6 May 1991), and document no. 8543, dated 1371/09/08 (29 November 1992).
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