Chapter

The Economic Role of the Ulama in Qajar Persia

Willem Floor

in The Most Learned of the Shiʿa

Published in print August 2001 | ISBN: 9780195137996
Published online October 2011 | e-ISBN: 9780199849055 | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/acprof:oso/9780195137996.003.0005
The Economic Role of the Ulama in Qajar Persia

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This chapter focuses on the role of the religious class, in particular of its leading proponents, the ulama, in the economy of 19th-century Persia. It begins by describing the context in which the religious class functioned as well as the estimated size of this class. In the first section, those groups that made up the religious class are identified and discussed. In the second section, the alleged financial independence of the religious class and, in the third section, their main sources of income are reviewed. In the last section, the economic role of the religious class is assessed and some conclusions are drawn.

Keywords: religious class; ulama; Persian economy; financial independence

Chapter.  16637 words. 

Subjects: Islam

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