[Translator’s notes appear in square brackets.]

[Personal information has been redacted.]

[The excerpt below is from the section of the article that pertains to the Baha’i Faith]


[Adapted from website:] Adyannet

[Date:] 27 Ordibehesht 1394 [17 May 2015]


The Voluntary Conversion of Iranians to Islam From the Eyes of Ehsan Yarshater

Adyannet – Ehsan Yarshater, born in 1299 [1881], is the founder of the Centre for Iranian Studies and a retired professor of Iranian studies at Columbia University in New York. He is also the founder and editor-in-chief of the great Encyclopædia Iranica. His high scientific position in historical research is not hidden from anyone. [1]

In the introduction to Dinkard’s sixth book, he said that most Iranians converted to Islam of their own free will: “The Zoroastrian religion, under the pressure of the Arab army and the fascination of a religion free from ancient restrictions and traditions, paved the way for Islam, and most Iranians embraced the new religion. Zoroastrian society, once at its peak, was reduced to a desperate minority.” [2]

He said elsewhere, “The military defeat of the Sassanids, although it destroyed the Zoroastrian religion, brought freedom to the Iranians (the people of Iran), so that they would no longer be under the oppressive social and religious domination of the late Sassanid era. This stimulated their creative power. Elite Iranian intellectuals devoted themselves to Islam and the Arabic language and helped shape and expand the global Islamic civilization. Although no element such as religion in the Islamic world was effective in uniting Muslims, it is no exaggeration to say that the Iranians were the driving force behind the development of Islamic civilization. [3]


[1] See: Cohen, Patricia. “A Lifetime Quest to Finish a Monumental Encyclopedia of Iran” The New York Times, 12 August 2011, Click here & www.iranicaonline.org

[2] The Sixth Book of Dinkard, translated by Dr. Fereshteh Ahangari, Tehran, Saba Publications, 1392 [2013], p. 13

[3] The Persian Presence in the Islamic World, (Chapter 1, p. 90 By Ehsan Yarshater), edited by Richard G. Hovannisian and Georges Sabagh