Three Islamic Empires dominate from
southern Europe to Northern India from
• Ottoman Empire
Middle East, North
• Safavid Empire
• Mughal Empire
• Founded the Safavid
empire when he was 14
• reigned from 1501 to 1524
three elements of the Safavid empire
• The charismatic leadership
of the mushid
• The military support
provided by the nine
Turcoman tribes known as –
Qizilbash ( Red Heads)
• The support of the Shii
Rule of Religion
• Shah Ismail and his successors governed through careful
use and spread of propaganda and religious beliefs.
• The first thing he did during his reign was to declare that
the official religion of his realm would be Twelver Shiism
• The twelfth imam had gone into hiding around 874 to
escape persecution but the Twelver Shiites believed he was
still alive and would one day return to take power and
spread his true religion.
• Safavid propaganda suggested that Ismail was himself the
hidden imam, or even an incarnation of Allah.
Shi’ites place great value in personal martyrdom and heroic
sacrifice for their religion.
• Ismail called himself
“shah,” or king, of the
new Persian state.Ismail
was a Shiite Muslim.
The official religion of the
• Shia Muslims - the only
direct relatives of
Muhammad should be in
the most important
positions of leadership.
•His successful exploit In Tabriz 1501, where he proclaim himself
•Conquered western Iran, Iraq, and eastern Anatolia
•In Baghdad 1508 , mark the culminating process whereby
Turcoman dynasty becomes “revolutionary”.
Muhammad Shaybani – the
who persecuted the Shiis.
•1510 – Safavid
Vs Osbegz near
the Sunni Ottomans.
1514 Selim I- an Ottoman sultan, prepared for a full –scale invasion of
•He launched a
persecution of Shiites
•Tabriz – Ismail’s capital
•The Ottomans lacked
the resources to destroy
the Safavid state
•Ismail continue to rule
until 1524 & conflict still
Chaos In the Empire
• Tahmasp I – 10 years old successor of Shah
Ismail after he died in 1524.
• Qizilbash revolt- Ottoman takes advantage and made a
surprise attack and the Ozbegz in the east.
• Ottoman captured Baghdad remained under 100 years.
• Treaty of Amasya 1555 - after 20 years of war, the two
empire signed a treaty.
• Ismail II 1576 – mad leader. Attempted to return Safavid
to Sunnism, executed many members of his family, and
supporters for unclear reasons. He was murdered.
• Muhammad I – nearly blind , disposed by his son Abbas
• Shah Abbas the Great, who ruled
from 1588 to 1629, Safavids highest
point of glory
• He moved the capital to Isfahan, the
jewel of the Safavid Empire, and it is
still that for modern-day Iran.
• He encouraged trade with other
lands. Silk weaving flourished, but
carpet weaving flourished more –
Persian rugs are still prized today.
•Increased the use of gunpowder
Empire European assistance against the Ottomans and
the Portuguese in the Persian gulf
• He harassed the Ottomans mercilessly in a series of wars
from 1603 to the end of his reign.
His campaigns brought most of Northwestern Iran, the
Caucasus, and Mesopotamia under Safavid rule.
• He reclaimed Tabriz 1605,Baghdad1623 and died on
the military forces became less effective.
the Safavid Shahs became corrupt. Power passed to the Shi'a
ulama (a religious council of wise men) which eventually deposed the
Shahs and proclaimed the world's first Islamic Republic in the
eighteenth century. The ulama developed a theory that only a
Mujtahid (one very learned in the Shari'ah) and one who has had a
blameless life, could rule.
In 1726 an Afghan group destroyed the ruling dynasty. After the
conquest, a division of powers was agreed upon between the Afghan
Shahs and the Shi'a ulama. The Afghan Shahs controlled the state
and foreign policy, and they could levy taxes and make secular laws.
The ulama retained control of religious practice and enforced the
Shari'ah in personal and family matters.
Empire Iran After the Safavid Empire
Bandit chiefs and feudal lords plundered it at will, further
weakening the Empire.
The rise of the Pahlavis (1925 -79) The discovery of oil early in
the twentieth century, and the British and American interest
that came with it. The wealth from oil enabled the Shah
Pahlavis, to head a wealthy and corrupt court.
The ulama tolerated the non-religious Shahs until the 1970s.
They finally overthrew the monarchy in 1979. This led to
power being exercised through the highest officials of the ulama,
Ali Hosseini Khamenei is the Supreme Leader of Iran and a
Shia Marja'. He had also served as the President of Iran from
1981 to 1989. In 2012, Forbes selected him 21st in the list of
'World's Most Powerful People'.
• Comparative History of Civilization in Asia by:
Edward L. Farmer & co.