The educational-mystical role of intermediate centers (Ribat) along the Silk Road from China to Iran
The silk road path to the northern part from China to Europe and from southern paths to lateral paths of Iran- Mesopotamia to Antioch and Mediterranean, had been the place of construction the historical monuments and works such as castles, towers, mills, graves, and intercity Ribats. Sufi Ribats as the mystical orientation and educational centers had a special place in the Silk Road, these intermediate buildings are buildings that functioned militarily in the first centuries of Islam (8th, 9th, and 10th centuries AD), and over time have been used to mean monasteries. The architectural style of the Ribats was similar to that of a military castle, and most of them consisted of a rectangular building with four watchtowers. Examining the Ribats of the Silk Road, it will become clear that the architectural form and plan of the Ribats are very similar to those of religious schools and Caravanserais. The Sufi historians and researchers have recorded many reports over these Ribats, have investigated the introduction, application, and position of Ribats in detail and have left fairly invaluable information to the futures. In this regard, the historical books and Sufi educational books and mystical literature are endowed with reports over intra-city and intercity Ribats built mainly on the way of main paths, particularly the main path of the Silk Road and its lateral ways. In this article, these Ribats have been described in detail as well as their role on the Silk Road.
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