I am not clear as to the rôle of such institutions under Islam, and would welcome any comments or suggestions from readers.
The minaret lies in the northern part of the old jewish quarter of Isfahan, known as Jubareh. There have been jews in Isfahan since the time of the Achamaenid empire although this part of Isfahan is no longer predominantly Jewish. The minaret stands some 21 metres high. The local people also call the minaret "Gar Lang" according to Honarfar, and he tells the story of the derivation of this name from that of an English missionary, Father Garland, who had moved into the area at the start of the twentieth century with the express aim of converting the local jewish population. The minaret was constructed by a certain 'Abu Fath Nahuji according to one of the inscriptions on it.
This minaret stands in a small alleyway leading south from Khiaban-e-Sorush. It is best approached from this street, from which it is moderately visible, as it is otherwise difficult to find amongst the maze of back streets in this old part of the town. It dates from 1107 and the richness and variety of its brickwork decoration show the extent to which this form had been mastered under the Seljuks. The opening in the shaft faces Mecca and is surmounted by a slightly concave arch supported on brick pillars let into the side. A spiral staircase can be seen inside but is not accessible from the alleyway.