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Trust as a Social Capital in Beihagi History

Parvaneh Adelzadeh1, Mohammad Pashayi2, Rasoul Kazemzade3, Masoud Dehghani 4, Fattaneh Semsar Khiabanian5, Kamran Pashayi Fakhri6
  1. Department of Persian literature, College of Persian Literature and Foreign Languages, Tabriz Branch, Islamic Azad University, Tabriz, Iran
  2. PH.D Student of Persian Literature, Azarbaijan Shahid Madani University
  3. PH.D student of Persian Literature, Tabriz University
  4. PH.D Student of Persian Literature of Azarbaijan Shahid Madani University
  5. Department of Persian Literature, College of Persian literature and Foreign Languages, Tabriz Branch, Islamic Azad University, Tabriz, Iran
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Social capital has been paid attention in sociology recently that defines the relationships among members of a group or society by observing the special norms and rules. Observing such regulations and considering social capital guilds man to achieve his personal and collective goals. Trust, integration, collaboration and participation, responsibility taking and loyalty are social capitals. Social capital is defined as unintentional capital that is does not have any personal owner that inherited by generation to next generation. This capital requires preservation and structuring due to its collective benefits. Beihagi narrates success and failure of Ghaznavid dynasty. This historical text reminds us that there were different kinds of capitals leading to culmination and inclination of a government. Beihagi identifies aspects of social capital and refers to the reasons for frequency or lack of these components.


Beihagi History, Social Capital, Trust, Participation, Responsibility.


Human being is a social creature and he needs to communication for meeting his needs. He helps others and tries to meet their requirements. In order to investigate the quality of communications and individuals’ behavior the interaction among individuals should be studied. Social capital is one of the elements needed to studying these relations and offering acceptable results. By identification of social capital and effort to its progress the society will be valuable based on the positive criteria that problems are resolved accordingly. Social capital incorporates concepts like trust, collaboration and participation, values, beliefs, discipline and loyalty and it facilities achievement of goals. Thus identification of the social capital and investigation the valuable literary works lead to uncovering of value of literary texts and attitude toward social capital and its root in the past. The primary goal of this article is to offer different perspectives of literature besides poetry and story and considering value of literary works from sociology viewpoints. By studying these works it is concluded that the aim of the poets and writes is not just expressing his capabilities but showing this fact that they have tried to transfer a subject matter that could change the conditions. Literature is a dynamic world that tries to survive since it has uncovered subjects waiting to disclosure. Literary works refer to sciences like medicine, astronomy, philosophy, geometry, music and sociology. So the literary works can be investigated from sociology perspectives since literature and sociology are humanities sciences fields. The secondary goal of this article is to investigate social capital uncovered aspects in Beihagi period and indicate similarities in social capitals in all periods of social life history.


“Beihag” is old name of part of Khorasan that its main city is Sabzevar. Beihagi the great writer and historian was born in385 AH in Hares Abad and died in 470 AH. He studied in Neishapur. He was apprentice of Abu Nasr Ben Moshkan as a secretary of Sultan Mahmud palace for nineteen years. He was considered by Abu Nasr and learned rules of writing and took responsibility of writing Divan’s important letters. He was head of Divan in period of Azedin Abdol Rashid the seventh sultan of Ghaznavid [3].
Masoudi history or Beihagi history is one of the valuable works of Persian literature and it is manifestation of perfection and attitude and writing art of the great historian Abolfazal Beihagi. He has depicted life dimensions accompanied by his capabilities. It can be said that Beihagi history reflects Ghaznavid period events. Beihagi history was composed in three volumes only Masoud kingship and history of Khwarizmi from inclination of Mammon dynasty to domination of Sultan Mahmud and governance of Altontash to Seljuk’s are reminded [3]. In addition to Beihagi history it can be referred to “Zinatol Ketab” (Ornaments of the book) in rules of writing that referred by Iben Fandag the fellow citizen of Beihagi and Mahmud status [3]. Beihagi considers honesty and authentic resources as criteria of the narrating events [3].These criteria add to value of the book and assure the reader about the reliability of the information. This book is significant from linguistic and literary perspectives. Beihagi is successful in transferring Khorasani language. The significant part of this book involves Persian words and according to the poet laureate Bahar; “ less ten percent of the vocabularies in Beihagi history is Arabic and if Beihagi forgot them certainly this valuable work was lost” [3]. Beihagi history is an artistic work, since reading this book adds to greed of the reader for more reading due to artistic expressing the events in that period [5]. “It can be hesitated in Beihagi’s book since all the past events and personalities were alive in his mind. He judges about events and offers the best solution and invites toward history eternal target and finally gathers together the enemy and friend and form a family in this book” [4].
“Beihagi suggests his rational opinion at the end and concludes that this world is temporary and it should not be proud and behave good”[4]. “Beihagi expresses personages and their characteristics and gives information about their status and opinions” [10].He explains his personages behaviors and even their clothes. All these factors lead to creation of significant and different work [10]. Beihagi have had all required characteristics for an ideal social life and he has tried to promote the social life and social capitals. So, Beihagi is one of the main personalities of the Beihagi history and significant indicator of social life. Such a context uncovers realties and tries to guide people toward better life. He advises individuals to good deeds and judges about people behavior in the court but does not issue an order. He never ignores the traitors and condemns them by his secret words and considers himself responsible for all individuals [6].
Social capital
Social capital has gained attention of sociologists in recent years and it is one of the fundamental elements of social relations and interactions. Although social capital is a new concept in sociology, economics and politics, but by studying this capital it is concluded that social capital is rooted in beliefs, values, identity, nationality and religion of human and it needs to consideration and correct application for improvement of individuals interaction. Social capital coordinates interactions and meets people needs. The individuals invest on beliefs and values and moralities and obtain benefits in long term. Collective benefits are considered in social capital and all individuals try to improve collective and organizational goals. The groups can be a family or one group with members and it can be expanded to a society and apolitical system. Social capital is an element of progress of other capitals. The scholars concluded that stable social capital guides the society toward progress of human, cultural and economic advantages .Social capital is important and directs the society to progress with a few cost and time. Although social capital poses unite concept but it is changed according to different societies’ beliefs, values, religion and historical background. It is possible that one factor is considered as a social capital in one society and it is antisocial in another society. There are different definitions about social capital but there is no consensus definition about it and the scholars refer to one aspect of the social capital. These definitions show that social capital is multidimensional concept in the sociology that needs to consideration. The problems could be solved by social capital. According to this fact that social capital involves broad scope of groups and individuals, so in case of susceptibility it leads to significant loses and vice versa. In book of “Management and Social Capital” it is refer to the importance of social capital .It is believed that other capitals are like beautiful flowers on the table called social capital ,if one of the legs of the table is broken the capitals vase will be broken[7].
James Coleman defines social capital based on its function: social capital is defined by its function and it involves different elements by two common specifications-all of them involve an aspect on a social foundation-they are different individuals interactions in a structure like real or legal person that facilitates achievement of defined goals” [1]. Pier Boudreaux believes that “social capital is collection of potential and active resources that relate to the relatively stable network of the organized relations reused from reciprocal familiarity, in other hands membership in a group provides advantages by support of a collective capital that guides them to reliability in different meanings” [9].Robert Putnam does not consider social capital from personal perspective, but he considers it from collective aspect that a person by joining to the networks and utilization of norms establishes reciprocal trust and participation. In his opinion the criterion of social capital is the principle of generalized collaboration. I do something without expecting and even get familiarity with you by this belief that I will be helped by you or other one” [1]. Positive and negative social capital is based on trust and collaboration and trust is the first aspect of social capital. Pier Bordeaux considers trust as the main indicator of social life and trust and cooperation as foundation of development and progress. Putnam refers to trust and considers it as the main element of social capital since it leads to empowerment of collaboration. He considers negative aspect of social capital and believes that as in a terroristic operation, human and physical capital is misused; social capital could be used in negative aspect. Francis Foukoyama believes that social capital can be defined as a set of defined norms and unofficial values that the members of collective groups share these values. The norms producing social capital should pose characteristics like honesty, commitment and reciprocal relations” [2].Although social capital poses numerous indicators but the scholars agree about traits like trust, values and norms, social participation and reciprocal relationships. In addition to mentioned characteristics it can be referred to loyalty, responsibility taking and social commitment, following rules, counseling and helping in decision making, social protection and spiritual aids and morality.


Social trust is the main indictor of the social capital since trust is the foundation of communication among people. The individuals collaborate based on trust and they achieve their goals according to collaboration. In a society that individuals trust in each other it is tried to achieve common goals in reliable way. In less trusted society the individuals try to promote own social status and there is no motivation for collaboration and as a result most of the moral virtues are ignored and relationships are weaken. Chalapi explains that Gidnez considers trust as capability of a person or a system in indicating belief in individuals’ honesty or love. White defines trust as belief in people and Engel Hart defines trust as predictability of individuals and Personas defines it related to the role of the actors in the society. Chalpi identifies trust as all members belief to social relations far from group belongings (like racial, tribal and religious). It is considered as effective factor in expansion of inner group relation” [8]. Christoformner studies trust from psychological view point and he believes that hostility and disputes should be replaced by trust and collaboration. He introduces five factors leading to hostility and dispute 1-negative feeling 2- unreliability 3-individuals needs legitimacy 4- cliché ideas 5-weak interaction and communication. According to above mentioned trust is necessity of a dynamic society that all individuals achieve their goals collectively. In trusted society, the people work in better way. In an unreliable society, the individuals encounter with many problems in achieving goals. Trust increases social capital. Examples are referred in Beihagi history and the reasons of lack of trust in Ghaznavid dynasty are explained.
The heads of Tagina bad use the words in his letter to Masoud indicating their effort to building trust. They call Masoud as the great king of the world and owners of affluences”[3]. “In the beginning the subordinates disobeyed and at time of the rest they worked and uncovered this disobedience near sultan and now that they have other king and obey him and now they are waiting for respond” [3].Certainly the heads were not safe and they were waiting for punishment since they ascended to the throne elder brother and they tried to assure the sultan. They knew that security and welfare is result of trust .According to Beihagi history Masoud believed only in common religious customs fro and he behaved in contrary to religious beliefs. In this book it has been referred frequently to praying especially when he received Caliph’s gifts in Neishapor and began to pray. “Sultan Masoud wears gifted clothes and says prayer according to the recommendation of Bosahal”(ibid:39). Masoud shows himself believing in religious affairs and assures people that his government is based on Islam. He knows that he could establish powerful government by trust of people. He assures that Ghaznavid government is religious one. Masoud established unsafe and fearful atmosphere by conspiring and confiscating the rich properties .This policy making led to noninsurance of the government and fearful conditions. Bonasr points to getting ready of Ali Gharib for attending in the court: “writing these letters and correspondences and calling brother are fraud since I know that all of them are done purposeful”[3]. Ali Gharib writes these words when Sultan has called him as his brother [3].“Everybody knows that his status is superior than others” [3]. Sultan Masoud deceived Ali Gharib and arrested him. He ignored his officers’ performance and tried to trap them by false trust. Abolishment of Indian ruler shows lack of trust in the sultan’s court. Since Mahmudi dynasty did not bear these individuals and tried to kill them. “Some individuals were lucky. Sultan asked Abdos to deceive their heads and invited them to the court. The king accepted them and they told to Abdos and he reported to the king”[3]. Amir Yusuf the uncle of sultan Masoud was respected by sultan at first, then he recalled and arrested.“ Yusuf was far from Sultan and he had own officers. His respected chamberlain deceived him by order of the king”[3].It was concluded that the chamberlains betrayed their lords in Sultan Masoud period. Spying was common in this period. “Sultan Mahmud had appointed spies for his son and he had also spies for his father”[3].The father and son did not trust to each other. Masoud should have been trusted his father since he was his successor. The relationship between father and son was unreliable so they had own spies. When Khajeh Ahmad Hussein Mamimandi -minster of Sultan Mahmud and Masoud-was released from fort for deceiving Eryagsaid:“it is better to attend in sultan court since there are gossips about you. I tell you truth. A generous king like Masoud is coroneted now “[3].Khajeh tried to have Eryag and in appropriate time take revenge. When the king decided to arrest Eryag he asked Khajeh opinion and Khajeh said:
“I swear I consider the king interest”[3].Although he showed himself indifferent but he was happy for eliminating Masoud’ seven one officer. Ahmad Yenalitgin was appointed as ruler of India and his son was held as pledge in the court. Khajeh said “so Ahamd should swear and his son should be held in the court as pledge”[3].Masoud accepted Khajeh recommendation since they feared about treachery of Ahmad. They did not trust on their officers. They had built false trust among theirofficers. Masoud points that Aobiedollahiben Aboabass Esfarayeni and Abolfatah Hatami as secretaries of Bonaser Moskan were his spies during kingship of his father. “They were my spies in your divan and they could not be in your divan now”[3].Bonasrsaid:“I know that now”.When Mahmud and Masoud were in Ray, Mahmud intent to arrest Masoud by deceive of Mohammad but he could release by his spies.“The servants and officers of Mahmud came to Masoud with turban and said that sultan wants to kill you”. Lack of trust between father and son is obvious even there was not trust among servants since they were Mahmud’s servants but they obeyed Masoud’s orders. Revenge was common in this period. It can be referred to revenge of Ahmad Hasssan Mimandi during his ministry. He misbehaved with Abobakr and his son for insignificant mistake and reduced his post to subordinate post and even investigated Abolgasem Kasir properties when he was dying(ibid:498). Bosahl complained about Hassank and offended him. He plotted against Altontash and Masoud took back properties of Mohammad. These factors cause to fear, discord revenge, unreliability and insecurity. Beihagi writes about new events from trusted individuals .He writes to Abdol Gafar Fakheriben Sharif“ I always wanted to hear events from reliable person but it was not happened”.
“Anevent is true that it is based on wisdom and honesty”. Honesty and trust were important for Beihagi since finding reliable person for hearing true events was difficult. The officers were dishonest and there was no unity among them. If a minster was recalled it meant end of his life since he was assured that the jealous individuals introduce him as dangerous for king. It can be referred to Ali Gharib, Eryag, Ghazi and Altontash. Deposal of heads, imprisonment, killing, punishment and revenge are indicators of lack of trust in the government. Mean Individual like Bosahl Zozani provided background for unreliability. Even there was duality and dishonesty in praising the king. The subordinates tried to eliminate his master. The heads obeyed sultan orders because of fear since they were assured that in case of disobedience they were imprisoned. These factors caused to dishonesty and unreliability, flattery and insecurity in Ghaznavid court.


By studying valuable Beihagi history it was concluded that social capital indicators have been referred in this book. Beihagi has tried to found passive indicators of social capital and he has encouraged the reader to good deed and blamed mean behavior. He refers to factors affecting on human relations and points to doubt and revenge, treachery, dishonesty and unreliability as reasons for inclination. These factors cause to chaos and provide context for negative dimensions of social capital and reduce capitals.


[1] -Coleman, J, Principles of social theories, translated by ManuchehrSabouri, Tehran: Nei publication,1998.

[2] -Foukoyama, F,End of order, Translated by Golam Abbas Tavasoli, Tehran: Iranian society publication, 1st edition,2000.

[3] -Khatib Rahbar, Kh,Beihagi History ,13th edition, Mahtab Publication, Abfam,2011.

[4] -Islami Nadoushan, M.A,Ideology of Abolfazal Beihagi, Memory of Beihagi ,2nd edition, Mashhad: Firdausi university,1995.

[5] -Mostafavi Sabzevari, R, Beihagi history, Tehran: Payam-e-Nour University publication,2011.

[6] -Nourani Vesal, A,The personality of Altontash from Beihagiviewpoint,2nd edition, Mashhad: Firdausi university,1995.

[7] -Salehi Amiri, R,Management and social capital,quarterly,n.29,group 12,Tehran: cultural and social researches,2008.

[8] -Taj Bakhsh, K,Social capital of trust and democracy of development, translated by Afshin Pakbaz and Hassan Pouyan, Tehran: Shiraz publication,2005.

[9] -Tavasoli, G. Mosavi, F,The meaning of capital in classic and modern theories, social sciences letter,n.26, winter of 2005.

[10] -Yusefi, G,The art of Beihagi’s writing, memory of Beihagi, 2nd edition, Mashhad: Firdausi University,1995.