Finished Summary International Workshop “From the Mashhad Archives: Eighteenth Century Documents on Iran and Afghanistan”


Category: Workshop

Research Group: A01 Islamic EconomyB01 State Systems

The International Workshop “From the Mashhad Archives: Eighteenth Century Documents on Iran and Afghanistan” will be jointly organized by Islamic Trust Studies Gruoup B01“The Ideas of the Muslim Community and State Systems(Principal Investigator: KONDO Nobuaki)” and A01 “Mobility and Universality in the Islamic Economy (Principal Investigator:Shinsuke Nagaoka)”.

Date & Time: March 12, Tuesday, 2024, 14:00~17:00 (JST)

14:00~14:10 Introduction by Nobuaki Kondo (ILCAA)
114:10~15:10 Ryuichi Sugiyama (Kyoto Tachibana University)
“Organization and Administration of the Emam Reza Mausoleum during the Afsharid Period”
15:20~16:20 Andras Barati (Institute for Medieval Research, Vienna)
“Illuminating Eighteenth-Century Persian Historical Documents: Royal Decrees of Aḥmad Shāh Durrānī (1747–1772) at the Āstān-i Quds-i Rażawī”
16:30~17:00 Discussions



Organization and administration of the Emam Reza mausoleum during the Afsharid period
Ryuichi Sugiyama
The mausoleum of Emam Reza (‘Alī ibn Mūsā al-Riḍā, d. 818) in Mashhad, a city located in the north-eastern part of Islamic Republic of Iran, was mainly developed since the Safavid dynasty, which promoted shiization policies in the Iranian region. Many scholars agree that vaqf endowments have played a great role in the expansion and development of this mausoleum and these vaqf endowments changed it into a religious complex that included mosques and charitable institutions for the pilgrims and the poor in the pre-modern period. Although recent studies about this mausoleum have produced steady results in focusing on each of the vaqf endowments, royal edicts for appointments of administration staff, and documents on revenue and expenditure written in the siyāq script, scholars have never tried to grasp a complete view of this mausoleum as a management unit; therefore, its organization and administration as a religious complex expanded by many vaqf endowments still remains unclear.
The aim of this presentation is to elucidate the organization and administration of this mausoleum during the Afsharid period, primarily using a historical material entitled “Ṭūmār-e ‘Alīshāhī.” This material was compiled in 1747 during the reign of the second Afsharid ruler ‘Ādel Shāh in order to learn how to manage the mausoleum as a religious complex before the confiscation of vaqf properties by Nāder Shāh. It is one of the most valuable sources related to the management of this mausoleum due to its recording of detailed data of vaqf properties and other income sources, and provides a complete overview of its administration staff as well as the charitable services offered to pilgrims and the poor during that period. My presentation will reveal the realities of Shiite sacred mausoleum management in pre-modern Iran and examine its characteristics.


Illuminating eighteenth-century Persian historical documents: royal decrees of Aḥmad Shāh Durrānī (1747–1772) at the Āstān-i Quds-i Rażawī
Andras Barati
Given the scarcity of historical sources from eighteenth-century Iran in comparison to earlier and later periods, the use of new and hitherto unknown sources is of great importance. Archival documents represent a group of primary sources that are more difficult to access and have been seldom utilised in the study of this era. The Central Library of the Āstān-i Quds-i Rażawī has preserved five royal decrees promulgated by the first Durrānī ruler, Aḥmad Shāh. In my presentation, I will examine these documents from both a content and diplomatics perspective.
Two interlinked areas of Aḥmad Shāh’s policies concerning western Khurāsān become apparent from the decrees: Mashhad and the Āstān-i Quds-i Rażawī. Hence, I will identify the extent of Aḥmad Shāh’s rule over the region and analyse the measures he undertook in relation to the Āstān-i Quds-i Rażawī, with the aim of placing the foundation under his direct oversight.
Furthermore, these documents allow us to observe the degree to which earlier Safavid diplomatic elements or Nādir’s innovations were incorporated into Aḥmad Shāh’s edicts. As a result, the decrees not only offer new insights into the historical events from a local and regional standpoint, but also serve as unparalleled sources for the study of chancery practices during that time period and enhance our understanding of the administrative history as seen through diplomatics.


Language: English

Venue:  Lecture room 415, 4th floor, Research bldg. No. 2, Yoshida Campus, Kyoto University (No. 34 on the campus map) (registered participants may also access the workshop online by Zoom), Open to public/Admission free, Pre-registration is required.

Pre-registration: please use this form for in-person participation. 
                                     please use this form for online participation. 

Co-organizer: Grant-in-Aid for Transformative Research Areas (A), “The Ideas of the Muslim Community and State Systems” (Principal Investigator: KONDO Nobuaki (ILCAA); 20H05827)/Grant-in-Aid for Transformative Research Areas (A),“Mobility and Universality of Islamic Economy” (Principal Investigator: Shinsuke Nagaoka (Kyoto University), 20H05824)

Contact: MORITA Madoka (mmorita[at]



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