Persian people

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2nd row: Ismail SamaniAl-KhwārizmīRudakiFerdowsiAbu Rayhan BiruniAvicennaOmar Khayyám

3rd row: Al-GhazaliAsadi TusiAttar NeyshapuriAl-RaziRumiHafezAmir Kabir

Persian

Shia Islam (mainly Twelver and Ismaili), Sunni Islam, Bahai, Christianity, Judaism and Zoroastrianism

The Persian people are defined by the use of the Persian language as their mother tongue. However, the term Persian has also a supra-ethnic significance and has been historically referred to a part of Iranian peoples. The origin of the Persian people is traced to the ancient Indo-Iranians, who arrived in parts of Greater Iran circa 2000-1500 BCE. Starting around 550 BCE, from the region of Persis in southern Iran, encompassing the present Fars province, the ancient Persians spread their language and culture to other parts of the Iranian plateau [22][23]

Numerous dialects and regional identities emerged over time, while a Persian orientation fully manifested itself in Iran by the 20th century, mirroring developments in post-Ottoman Turkey, Europe, the Caucasus and the Arab world. With the disintegration of the final Persian Empires of the Afsharid and Qajar dynasties, territories in the Caucasus,[24] and Central Asia either became independent from Iran or incorporated into the Russian Empire.

As Persian was the lingua franca of the Iranian plateau (the highlands between Iraq and the Indus) it has come to be used by numerous groups as a second language including Turkic and Arab groups. While most Persians in Iran adhere to Shia Islam, those to the east remain followers of Sunni Islam, apart from Farsiwans and most Hazaras. Small groups of Persians continue to follow Bahá'í Faith, Zoroastrianism, Christianity, and Judaism.

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