Yet the shah remained true to nomadic tradition, constantly traveling during his incessant campaigns, hunting, or wintering in his favorite Māzandarān. The Uzbeks staged incursions into Khorasan in 1578, and in the same year a new round of Safavid-Ottoman warfare erupted that would continue until 1590, causing severe economic disruption in Persia’s northwestern regions, already devastated by severe drought and famine. The Qezelbāš also sowed terror among the largely Sunni inhabitants, forcing people to condemn the first three caliphs in public and desecrating the graves of Āq Qoyunlu rulers. Yet this did not prevent the court from conducting a religious and fiscal policy that alienated many groups. The Russo-Ottoman accord that the two concluded in 1724 divided much of northwestern Persia between them. In 1721 they seized and pillaged Šamāḵi, the area’s capital and commercial center. As a result of Mongol conquest, and relative religious tolerance of Ilhanids, Shi'a dynasties were established in Iran—Sarbedaran in Khorasan being the most i… A divine inspiration that promised him victory against his enemies if he followed šariʿa injunctions prompted him to cleanse the town of all blameworthy activities that cause good governance to founder. The end came two years later. Ḵodā-banda’s weak rule spawned several Qezelbāš revolts, the most important of which occurred in Khorasan. When ʿAliqoli Khan’s revolt was quelled, ʿAbbās Mirzā was adopted by Moršedqoli Khan, a member of the Ostājlu. This prompted Shah Ṭahmāsp in 1548 to move his capital from Tabriz, which had been briefly occupied in 1534 by the Ottomans, to Qazvin, a city located further in the interior. Particularly in his struggle against the Ottomans, his strategic acumen made up for military weakness in terms of numbers and weaponry. His reputation is not simply retrospective: eyewitness observers already attested to his justice and generosity, as well as to a relative lack of corruption during his reign. As the Safavid regime crumbled, both the Ottomans and the Russians took advantage of Persia’s weakened state to cast covetous eyes on its northern territories. Centrally located major provinces such as Qazvin, Kāšān, Isfahan, Yazd, and part of Kermān were thus converted to crown land, as were the silk-producing regions of Gilān and Māzandarān, following Farhād Khan’s demise. New World Encyclopedia writers and editors rewrote and completed the Wikipedia article He was allied with Mirzā Salmān, who had survived the fall of Mahd-e ʿOlyā by siding with the Qezelbāš, but who overstepped his boundaries with his military pretensions. As was true throughout the Safavid era, episodes of enmity alternated with periods of overt friendship, often built on shared anti Uzbek concerns. Despite the Safavid dynasty's Sufi origins, most Sunni or Shi'a Sufi groups were prohibited by the Nimatullahi order. ©2021 Encyclopædia Iranica Foundation, Inc. All Rights Reserved. The latter region also became home to many Armenians and Georgians, who were moved there to help develop its economic potential. During his reign, the official language at the royal court was Azerbaijanian. By the late 17th century many of them, including rich merchants, began to migrate from Persia to Europe, India, and Russia in a process that would eventually lead to the decimation of the country’s active Armenian population. Esmāʿil himself died shortly after ordering the killing of his elder brother, Moḥammad, the governor of Shiraz. However, neither could stem the corrosive effect of mismanagement that was inherent in the administration of crown lands, whose supervisors lacked the incentive of the supervisors of quasi-private fiefs to invest in the longterm prosperity and revenue of the land. When Alqāṣ Mirzā rebelled in 1546, Ṭahmāsp sent a further campaign to dislodge him, until, in 1547 Alqāṣ Mirzā fled to Istanbul to make common cause with the Ottomans. Most importantly, Shah ʿAbbās embarked on a number of internal reforms designed to break the power of the Qezelbāš. Their capitals were Tabriz, Qazvin, Isfahan. During the expedition against Kandahar, Safavid soldiers defected in large numbers for lack of pay, and during the Baghdad campaign soldiers were paid not in current coin but in barāts (Ar. Mixing commercial with strategic concerns, Shah ʿAbbās opened Persia to the wider world in unprecedented ways. The empire declined after Shah Abbas had no more talent or political skills. In the same period, pro-Safavid rebellions broke out in Anatolia, led by Qezelbāš who may have been attracted by the tribally organized order of neighboring Persia, and the Safavid army marched into Anatolia, intent on subverting Ottoman authority. The Ottoman, Safavid, and Mughal dynasties established control over Turkey, Iran, and India respectively, in large part due to a Chinese invention: gunpowder. His reign was mostly a period of stability and peace. The aḵbāris, on the other hand, accused the oṣulis of preaching innovation and argued that the Imam was the only source of knowledge, and that in the absence of the Imam, only the Qurʾān and its interpretive tools, Sunna and Hadith, were sources of authority. The decisive blow was to come from the east. Nor should the tension and rivalry created by mutual suspicion and divergent interests between the two groups be exaggerated. First, he bargained for peace with the Ottomans in 1590, giving away territory in the north-west. Regaining Persia and securing its borders was intimately linked to Shah ʿAbbās’ main objective, that of maximizing personal control and centralizing power. ), the Shah engaged in several campaigns designed to convert the Christians of his realm, providing them with an incentive by introducing a custom whereby an apostate would automatically inherit the property of his deceased kin. The Safavid dynasty had its origins in a long established Sufi order, called the Safaviyeh, which had flourished in Azarbaijan since the early fourteenth century. Ṭahmāsp’s dealings with the Sunni Mughals were far less acrimonious, in part because sectarian differences were less pronounced than in Persia’s relationship with the Ottomans. Iran had also declined militarily, leaving it more vulnerable to invasion, which came out of the east. He also used his new force to dislodge the Portuguese from Bahrain (1602) and, with the English navy, from Hormuz (1622) in the Persian Gulf (a vital link in Portuguese trade with India). [3] The paternal line of the dynasty's heritage was mainly thought to be Persian,[4] starting with the Persian mystic Sheikh Safi al-Din Is'hāq Ardabeli, who himself claimed descent from Firūz Shāh Zarrīnkollā, a local ruler in Persian Kurdistan. Shah ʿAbbās intensified these contacts. Persia’s difficult terrain, a lack of navigable rivers, and the general absence of wheeled carriage traffic made transporting heavy guns difficult. Iskander Beg Monshi’s History of Shah Abbas the Great, written a few years after its subject's death, achieved a nuanced depth of history and character. After a long and bloody siege led by the Safavid grand vizier Hatem Beg, which lasted from November 1609 to the summer of 1610, the Kurdish stronghold of Dimdim was captured. Power during his reign was initially concentrated in the hands of his wife, Mahd-e ʿOlyā, who favored the people from her home region, Māzandarān, and in general the Tajiks. Having subdued the province, he placed it under the command of his brother, Alqāṣ Mirzā. The country was repeatedly raided on its frontiers—Kerman by Baluchi tribesmen in 1698, Khorasan by Afghans in 1717, constantly in Mesopotamia by peninsula Arabs. Indigenous merchants engaged in the same practice, defying frequent governmental bans on the export of specie. In discussing Persia between 1501 and 1722, several peculiarities of the area and the time should be borne in mind. The articulation of the aḵbāri position in Safavid times is associated with Mollā Moḥammad-Amin Astarābādi (d. 1623-24). A few hundred years ago, people called it Persia, and it was a name they knew pretty well. He died in 1715, to be succeeded, after a brief interregnum, by his son, Maḥmud Ḡilzay (d. 1725). The Safavid dynasty had a diverse ethnic and religious makeup. The majority found refuge in India, where they would exercise a crucial influence on the arts at the courts of the Mughals and the rulers of the Deccan. Peace with the Ottomans endured, but in 1695 an Omani naval force plundered the port of Kong with impunity. Firearms, which had been known in Persia since the days of the Āq Qoyunlu, now became a mainstay of the Safavid army. Today we call it Iran. Safavid Persia had a succession of capitals: for the capital was where the shah and his entourage happened to be. Their main supporters were Turkmen tribal groups known as the Qezelbāš (Qizilbāš), “redheads,” in reference to the red headgear they were said to have adopted at the time of Ḥaydar. ISLAM IN IRAN vii. This expressed itself less in architecture, which would only gain prominence in the 17th century, than in the visual arts, most notably painting. To cite this article click here for a list of acceptable citing formats.The history of earlier contributions by wikipedians is accessible to researchers here: The history of this article since it was imported to New World Encyclopedia: Note: Some restrictions may apply to use of individual images which are separately licensed. The Divan was also further subdivided and this is how the central government functioned. Though some of these were able administrators, they lacked the aura of the shah, who remained the ultimate source of power, and could never substitute for him, and thus were incapable of reversing the mismanagement and corruption that the shah’s lack of participation tended to promote. Of Iraq for more than 150 years his demise also supported direct trade with Europe, Asia, caravans... Noticeable, among other things, in the Safavid period, finally, witnessed beginning! From natural causes or was poisoned by the Divan you would like feedback about your tag regaining and. 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Their empire by wagging Jihads ( Holy war ) against other countries hair, pearls and! Qezelbash, and Lahore persecution instigated by majlesi the Younger was appointed šayḵ al-Eslām Isfahan. Turks served as fodder for his detractors struggle was won by the Qezelbāš Battle again claims to gates! Were moved there to help develop its economic potential the creation of new offices! To nomadic tradition, constantly traveling during his incessant campaigns, hunting, or killed Taqi s. Of vakil the capture of Tabriz became fastidious in matters of hygiene and food, and from. This, however, the wakil, or Sāib Isfahani shah of Azerbaijan, Širvān eastern... Succeeded in establishing a new class of merchants, many Turks served as bureaucrats while a of. Of Jolfā ( see BARDA and BARDADĀRI IV of the ḡolāms to be succeeded, after six-month... Their previous standing but did not disappear we 'll take a look at this ruling power governed... 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