Volume 1, Number 6 (2-2015)                   JIAS 2015, 1(6): 65-85 | Back to browse issues page


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Qayyoomi Bidhendi M, Soltani S. A Lost Architecture: Khaniqah in Fifth/Eleventh Century Khurasan. JIAS. 2015; 1 (6) :65-85
URL: http://jias.kashanu.ac.ir/article-1-568-en.html

Abstract:   (1487 Views)
Khaniqah in the history of Iran, especially in pre-Safavid era, was among the most frequent building types. Nevertheless what we know about its architecture is almost nothing. Identifying the khaniqah architecture requires a vast multi-disciplinary research, which would cover all of the Islamic lands through all of the periods of their histories, based on the most related Arabic, Persian, and Turkish primary sources and also the all remained relics of Sufi and religious architecture. This research is about the Khaniqah architecture in its formation phase, in the first Islamic centuries in its birthplace Khurasan (in Rob’e-i Nishapur). Since the second (AH)/ eighth (AD) century, Sufis gradually inhabited in buildings other than mosques. It was about the fifth (AH)/ eleventh (AD) century that a certain building type dedicated to Sufis was called “khaniqah”. The khaniqah’s content, or its organization, was established by the fifth century Sufi saint Abu-Saeid Abul-Khayr in Khurasan. This organization had some basic elements: from human elements to ritual and ethics. Khaniqah contained various functions: from public functions, such as preaching sessions, to private ones, such as isolation for worship and Sufis ceremonial dance (samā’). As the khaniqah organization, khaniqah building had a variety of open, semi-open, and closed spaces. The open spaces − court and roof − was dedicated to the public functions the closed spaces − gathering hall (jamā’t-khāna), cells (hujras), and the sheikh’s cell (sawma’a) – to the private functions. The semi-open spaces – iwan (suffa) and arcade (riwāq) – were used for semi-private or semi-public functions. The gathering hall, as required by its functions, was a domed hall. The court was located in the center of khaniqah with an iwan in one side (usualy opposite to the court entrance). The gathering hall had access to the court, directly or through the iwan. The cells were located around the court (in its four, three, or two sides) and the entrance was in the middle of one side.
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Type of Study: Research | Subject: Special
Received: 2015/03/7 | Accepted: 2015/03/7 | Published: 2015/03/7

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