(2,682 words)

Bast is a place of refuge and sanctuary for those facing prosecution or injustice, or seeking to safeguard their rights. Furthermore, criminals, those accused of crimes or under suspicion were able to seek shelter there from the authorities. The act of going to a sanctuary (bast) and taking refuge therein is known as bast-nishīnī (refuge seeking).


The term is derived from upastām (prefix upa and root verb stā) meaning h…

Cite this page
Matin, Payman and Abbas, Najam, “Bast”, in: Encyclopaedia Islamica, Editors-in-Chief: Wilferd Madelung and, Farhad Daftary. Consulted online on 19 June 2018 <>
First published online: 2013
First print edition: ISBN: 9789004246911, 20131209

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