About a half century after ruling Iran and shortly after conquering Central Asian lands (695–747 CE), the Muslim Arabs introduced political measures to Islamize these regions. Their policies generated discontent, and a period of uprisings followed that lasted nine decades (747–837 CE). This article investigates the sociopolitical upheavals of this period to explain the conversion of Iranians from Zoroastrianism to Islam as a two-stage process. The article argues that the Iranians first distanced themselves from conventional Zoroastrianism and followed insurgent leaders with new religious ideologies. After their leaders were defeated, they accepted the religion of their Muslim rulers.

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