THE KOJAJANI FAMILY AND IRAN’S POLITICAL DEVELOPMENTS (13-16TH CENTURY) KOJAJANİ AİLESİ VE İRAN SİYASİ GELİŞMELERİ (13-16. YÜZYIL)
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The analysis of power gaining process and, the rise and fall of families influencing social developmentscan be an appropriate way to study history. The period from the Mongol invasion of Iran to the rise ofSafavid dynasty marks one of the most complicated epochs of history in social and cultural perspectives.Perhaps the emergence of religious identity crisis resulting from the absence of a caliphate position is themost outstanding social and cultural incident in this period. Like many other regions, Azerbaijan region andAzari families were affected by these incidents. Identifying influential families in this region will be a goodguide for an in-depth study of political, social and cultural developments of this time. One of the influentialfamilies in that period was Kojajani Family with a rural origin and which has risen to fame through businessactivities, mystical tendencies and interests. During these developments, the family shaped their political,social and cultural thoughts and acts. This paper intends to clarify and analyze in detail the trend KojajaniFamily has been through ever since its formation in the 7th century through the 16 century. The findingsof the paper indicate that families reposition themselves with the changes in conditions and make use ofsocial instability as an opportunity to gain power. Throughout their lives, the outstanding members of theKojajani Family acted according to the political circumstances. The actions of the family members havetaken various forms, e.g., from mystical Qutb (infallible and trusted spiritual leader) to Sheikh ul-Islamor the chief judge, from mere spiritual-religious rank to the position of viziership (ministerial position).The family’s shift from Sunni to Shia school of jurisprudence and finally their use of the title of Seyyedor direct descendant of the Prophet constitute the political, social, and intellectual curve of developmentsin this dynasty. The findings of this paper show that the Kojajani Family could progress better during theera of political and military instability rather than during stability. Not only instability did not prevent theirprogress but also paved the way for them. The heads of the family through their expedient actions werepreparing the grounds for progress. They achieved the position of Chief Judge from their mystic positions andlater attained the ministerial position. They changed their religion from Sunni Muslims to Shia Muslims. Thesechanges were timely and were concomitant with the sociopolitical conditions of the society.