Join Date: Apr 2007
Location: Nothern Mexico
[QUOTE=Ibrahiim al Balooshi]"From medieval times through the nineteenth century, archers of the Islamic crescent, stretching from Turkey eastward to India, were renowned for both their exceptional skills and superior weapons. As a necessary means of advancing the spread of Islam, weapons traditionally held a religious association in Muslim cultures. The bow and arrow, which are extolled in many sayings of the Prophet Muhammad, held a special place above all others. Training in archery was seen as a religious duty and a sign of status, and the craftmanship of archery equipment was highly esteemed. The legacy of Islamic archery is exemplified by the archery traditions and equipment of Ottoman Turkey (1453–1922), of Iran during the Safavid–Qajar periods (1502–1925), and of the Indian subcontinent throughout the Mughal era (1526–1857), which blended Islamic and Hindu cultural elements"
Just for precison, Ibrahim, though I don't disagree with the cultural and religious importance of archery in the Muslim culture, the role of archery, its cultural importance and even the type of bow from the Persians, Ottomans, Mughal and Mamluke dynasties in India, does not derive from their religion, but from their Central Asian cultural and military heritage. It was there before the islamization of the Persians and Turks and is the same of that of the Mongols, and before them the Partians and Scythians, Hsiung-nu and many others. Remember that the Ottomans and Seljuks were only part of an inmense confederation of the Oghuz Turks, who roamed in the Eurasian steppe and just latter some of them converted to Islam. The same apply to the Mongols and Turks integrated in a Central Asian Empire which is the origin of the Mughals of India. Maybe Islam reinforced this cultural current, or maybe it was the other way around, that this pre-existing culture of archery among those peoples reinforced that of the already had by the Islamic conquerors who spread their religion to Persia and part of Central Asia.