battle-studies: A medieval monument to religious pluralism, hidden in the mountains of Afghanistan
What’s remarkable is that the writing on the minaret and archaeological remains nearby strongly suggest that the city harbored a population of Muslims, Christians and Jews. Writing on the minaret is a detailed transcription from the Koran that celebrates the life of Mary, mother of Jesus, highlighting the connections between Islam and other religions. Nearby there is a Jewish graveyard, which is another hint that people of different religions were living peacefully together.
The Minaret of Jam has always fascinated me and is one of the many reasons I have to visit Afghanistan. The region was once called فيروزكوه (Firuzkuh) and was the capital of the سلسله غوریان (Ghori), the Persian speaking Muslim dynasty that stretched across what is now Afghanistan and parts of eastern Iran, Pakistan and northern India.
The entire 19th Surat of the Qur’an is written on the lower part of the tower.