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Religion and Politics in the Career of Badîʿ al-Zamân al-Hamadhânî

Everett K. Rowson
Journal of the American Oriental Society
Vol. 107, No. 4 (Oct. - Dec., 1987), pp. 653-673
DOI: 10.2307/603306
Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/603306
Page Count: 21
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Religion and Politics in the Career of Badîʿ al-Zamân al-Hamadhânî
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Abstract

Claims that the litterateur Badîʿ al-Zamân al-Hamadhânî was a Shîʿite are based on misinterpretations of the available evidence. Information from al-Hamadhânî's own works makes it clear that he was throughout his life an anti-Shîʿite Shâfiʿî and probably an Ashʿarite as well. His religious affiliation served him well in his career, as the Shâfiʿî elite of Jurjan, Nishapur, and probably other cities offered him their support. Nowhere was this support more crucial for him than in the celebrated literary contest in which he bested the famed poet and prose stylist Abû Bakr al-Khwârazmî, an ardent Shîʿite. Al-Hamadhânî's account of the events of this debate, and its audience, provides useful evidence for the effect of political and religious affiliation on the literary history of this period.

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