عنوان مقاله [English]
The region of Khurasan has undergone territorial expansions from pre-Islamic to present day. The current perspective on the realm of Khurasan in the early Islamic centuries places it in the south of the Jayḥūn River (Oxus). Nevertheless, a brief analysis and comparison of the views of Muslim geographers in the 3rd and 4th centuries AH cast doubt on the validity of this proposition. Therefore, the question that can be raised is the transformation that the concept of Khurasan has undergone in the works of geographers in these centuries. The present study, by adopting an analytical descriptive method, seeks to explore the views of Muslim geographers in the 3rd and 4th centuries AH to shed further light on the evolution of Khurasan in the Islamic period. The findings suggest that Khurasan covered a massive area until the early 4th century. Gradually, Khurasan became confined to the south of the Oxus (Madun-i-Nahr), following the separation of provinces of Khwarazm, Transoxiana, Qumis, and Sistan. Accordingly, terms such as “Great Khurasan" and "Small Khurasan" were proposed. In the next step, the question arises as to the relationship between this evolution and the geographical schools of Muslims. The findings of this study demonstrated that the focus of the representatives of the Iraqi school on concept of great Khurasan as opposed to the focus of the the representatives of the Balkhi School on the concept of small Khurasan could be seen as instances of the distinctions between these two schools.
Keywords: Khurasan, Transoxiana, Madun-i-Nahr, Oxus, Turk territories, Balkhi School, Iraqi school.