Jafari Shia Islam has been the official religion of Iran since the 16th century. Followers of Shia Islam differ with Sunni Muslims in beliefs (see Sunni Islam, Sunni form the majority of Muslims in the Middle East and the Islamic world) over the rightful succession to the Prophet Muhammad (PBUH), the founder of Islam. Iran’s 1979 constitution assigns to the Shia clergy important political leadership roles in the government. An estimated 93 percent of all Iranians follow Shia Islam, and nearly all are members of the Jafari group. Because Jafaris’ believe there are 12 legitimate successors, or imams of Muhammad (PBUH), they are often called Twelvers. Most of the remaining religious population belongs to other Islamic denominations, primarily Sunni Islam. In towns where there is mixed Muslim communities, some religious tensions have surfaced, especially during major religious observances. Sufism, or Islamic mysticism, is popular among Shia and Sunni Muslims seeking spiritual interpretations of religion. Iran also has small communities of Armenian and Assyrian Christians, Jews, and Zoroastrians. The Baha’i faith, which originated in Iran during the 19th century, has several thousand followers, since it is considered controversial for many years by members within Iranian parliament.
Archive for October 2011
Hamadan-astronomer, chemist, geologist, Hafiz, Islamic psychologist, Islamic scholar, Islamic theologian, logician, paleontologist, mathematician, Maktab teacher, physicist, poet, and scientist-Islam’s Golden Age-Avicenna-mathematical systems, astronomy, algebra, trigonometry and medicine-(Persian پورسينا Pur Sina /’puːr siːnɑː/ son of Sina) (c. 980, Afshana near Bukhara– 1037, Hamadan), commonly known as Ibn Sīnā or by his Latinized name Avicenna, was a Persian polymath.
Ibn Sīnā studied medicine under a physician named Koushyar. He wrote almost 450 treatises on a wide range of subjects, of which around 240 have survived. In particular, 150 of his surviving treatises concentrate on philosophy and 40 of them concentrate on » Read more
Urbanization has contributed to significant growth in the service sector. In 2006 the sector ranked as the largest contributor to the GDP (45 percent) and employed 45 percent of workers. Important service industries include public services (including education), commerce, personal services, professional services (including health care), and tourism. The tourist industry declined dramatically during the war with Iraq in the 1980s but has subsequently revived. About 1,659,000 foreign tourists visited Iran in 2004; most came from Asian countries, including the republics of Central Asia, while a small share came from the countries of the European Union and North America. The most popular tourist destinations are Eşfahān, Mashhad, and Shīrāz.
Government planning plays an important role in Iran’s economy. Since the late 1940s the government has designed and implemented multiyear planning programs with the goal of industrial diversification. After the 1979 revolution, the government continued the industrialization that the shah had pursued but emphasized economic self-sufficiency, which required greater investment in agriculture. However, the flight abroad in 1978 and 1979 of most of the social and political elite, along with their capital (estimated at more than $28 billion), combined with the costly war with Iraq in the 1980s, left Iran’s economy severely damaged.
After the war, the Iranian government declared its intention to privatize most state industries in an effort to stimulate the ailing » Read more