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  • 3/12/2014

Ancient Athletics in Islamic Civilization Era


Because of continued magnanimity tradition, new myths were created about the origins of these athletics that related it to Islam. These myths, however, were not purely fictional. Tradition of magnanimity apparently had been common in western Asia since very long times however we are sure of its existence in Arabia before Islam and apparently Imam Ali (PBUH) was among the first to achieve this title. Among other reasons for popularity of Zurkhane after Islam we may point to tradition of magnanimity, athletics, Ayariand Shateri movements with the rankings of wearing Long[1], naked fighting, striding, having proper body conditions, bravery and fastening a bell. The royal Fotovat Name says having physical power and physical practice and preparing for fights were of premier conditions to join Ayari tradition after Islam and people in this tradition regarded powerful body and fighting preparations as of their primal duties.

The Firdausi centurial ceremony in 1934 by the Council of Nobles made traditional athletics to be part of ceremonies in all provinces.

Broadcasting of traditional athletics program in Tehran Radio in 1941 was another step reviving traditional athletes when later the Ministry of Sports developed conditions inside Zurkhane. In most provinces Zurkhanes were formally registered in the name of one mentor. Selection of Athlete of the Capital was restarted after years of negligence. Athlete’s armlet was again highly honored and fastened to the arm of the Athlete of the Country each year. Construction of public and private Zurkhane and special one for entities and organizations once again became popular.

Translated by: Sadroddin Musawi


[1] A traditional red unsewn cloth

Other links:

Historical Foundations of Zurkhane

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