Thursday, July 29, 2021

Persian Safavid

Safavids was founded by Sufi mystics and religious preachers near the Caspian Sea. Safavids origins derived its name from the founder of the Sufi order, Shaykh Safi al-Din Ardabili (1252-1334).

During the last two Sufi leaders of Ardabil, Shaykh Joneyd and Shaykh Heydar, the order adopted Shi’ism as it main ideology. After centuries of warfare, Shah Ismā’īl I and his tribal forces captured Tabriz in 1501 eight different rulers held sway over what would become Safavid territory. During his coronation in Tabriz he declared Shi’ism the official state religion,

Within less than a decade Safavid forces had seized these rulers’ lands and drove out the Safavid’s enemies. They created a single political entity that dominated the Iranian plateau.

The Safavid socio-political state was dominated by an alliance between a coalition of different Turkic tribes – the Qizilbāsh confederation – that was the realm’s military backbone and the Tajiks (native Persians) who furnished the political/administrative elements.

Restoring Persia as a major center of political power and cultural creativity, they also established one of the strongest and most enduring centers of Shi’ism within the Islamic world.

The Safavi dynasty reached its apogee under Shah ‘Abbas (1587-1629). Shah ‘Abbas bequeathed to his successors a centralized administrative system, a standing army, and a state with well-defined boundaries. The reign of Shah ‘Abbas also was a time of a dramatic increase in diplomatic and commercial contacts with the west.

Later shahs were weak and were increasingly dominated both by haram women and, especially, by the rising political influence of an intolerant, orthodox clerical class. The latter crushed the philosophical renaissance of the earlier half of the century and forestalled any effective Court response to a series of political, economic and military crises that increasingly enveloped the realm.

The Afghan invasion and capture of the Safavid capital Esfahan in 1722 were the inevitable result thereof. Ottomans, Mughals, Afghani tribes besieged Ishfahan – fell Oct 1722 (80,000 inhabitant killed of starvation & disease).
Persian Safavid

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