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Timur the Zoroastrian

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Timur the Zoroastrian
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Timur the Lame was a member of the tribe of Barlas, a powerful clan among the Mongol Hordes in the Chagatai Khanate. His father, Taraghay, was the first among this clan to convert to Islam. As Timur was aging from childhood to adolescence, it was only his father's devout hand that molded the young Timur into an unquestioning Muslim. But Timur the Lame had always used religion as a means to attain power. So as Timur was readying his invasion of the Islamic world, or earlier, when he was a teenager preparing for his future, perhaps Timur saw the political advantage of rejecting Islam, of throwing off the bounds of a foreign faith, and of making his military invasion both a political takeover and a religious liberation all in one.

Zoroastrianism was the one monotheistic faith that had sprung up in that region, with the teachings of the prophet Zarathustra two and a half millennia ago. As it happened, the Zoroastrians were also the most persecuted group in the Islamic world. When Timur invaded in the name of their faith, they hailed him as Hero and Savior. And as in the days of the great emperors of old, Cyrus, Darius, and Chosroes, Zoroastrianism once again becomes the state religion of Persia and Central Asia, under Timur the Great, a man whose choice of faith would alter the fate of a world.

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