Originally, the Safaviyeh was a spiritual, less denominational response to the upheavals and unrest in northwest Iran/eastern Anatolia in the decades following the Mongol invasion. Sufis bore the brunt of the renewed persecution instigated by Majlesi the Younger, but non-Muslims suffered as well. A lack of unity, borne out of resentment and jealousy played an unmistabkable role in the denouement, both on the part of the hard pressed Zoroastrians of Kermān, who are said to have welcomed the Afghans, and on the part of the Qezelbāš who, embittered with the Georgians and the number of high positions held by them, seem to have encouraged the Afghans. The treaty that ended this latest war, signed in 1612, stipulated a return to the Peace of Amasya, but in effect made Persia cede substantial parts of Iraq and Georgia, in addition to the undertaking to pay the Turks 200 bales of raw silk annually. The Safavids descended from a long line of Sufi shaikhs who maintained their headquarters at Ardabil, in northwestern Iran. Once known as Persia, the area encompassing and surrounding modern day Iran has seen many empires rise and fall. Aware that he would not be able to fight on two fronts simultaneously, and intent on having his hands free in the east, Shah ʿAbbās initially concluded a peace with the Ottomans that cost him Azerbaijan, Qarābāḡ, Širvān, Dāḡestān, and Baghdad, aside from partial losses in Kurdistan and Lorestān. Originating as it did in a frontier region rife with primordial beliefs mixing cabbalistic and millenarian elements, their belief system had long borne little relation to orthodox Twelver Shiʿism. One of these empires is the Safavids. Many of its members were bi- or multilingual, with Azeri Turkish and Persian being the linguae francae of the dynasty. Initially dominated by his Qarāmānlu and Šāmlu associates, Shah Esmāʿil managed in 1508 to rid himself of these so-called “Sufis of Lāhijān,” and appointed a new group of Ostājlu and Rumlu advisers, led by Shaikh Najm Zargar. Taking revenge against those Qezelbāš amirs he held responsible for the murder of Ḥamza Mirzā, he had his own tutor, Moršedqoli Khan, murdered as a potential rival and the latter’s tribe, the Ostājlu, broken up. Shah Ṣafi I (r. 1629-42) and Shah ʿAbbās II (r. 1642-66). One of the most renowned Muslim philosophers, Mulla Sadra (1571-1640), lived during Shah Abbas I's reign and wrote the Asfar, a meditation on what he called "meta philosophy," which brought to a synthesis the philosophical mysticism of Sufism, the theology of Shi'ism, and the Peripatetic and Illuminationist philosophies of Avicenna and Suhrawardi Maqtul (1155-1191). As the shah was either a minor upon accession or one who retreated into seclusion after taking office, Safavid royal women, who are said to have numbered 500 under Shah Solṭān Ḥosayn, and especially the queen-mother, played a crucial role in state affairs, serving on the secret royal council by the late 17th century. In 1696 it took six months to mobilize 12,000 soldiers. He also decreed Shiʿism to be the official faith of the realm, thus endowing his new state with a strong ideological basis while giving Persia overlapping political and religious boundaries that would last to this day. He reestablished road security in Persia, which had lapsed in the tumultuous period preceding his reign, and had a great many caravanserais constructed throughout his realm (although the number of 999 traditionally given is much exaggerated). Like most Safavid rulers, he tolerated the existence and economic activities of important groups other than (Shiʿite) Muslims in society, most notably large Armenian and Hindu Indian merchant communities in Persia’s urban centers. Mashad evolved into an important artistic center with the appointment of Ebrāhim Mirzā, Ṭahmāsp’s nephew, as governor in 1554-55. While the shah resided in Faraḥābād for long periods of time, court eunuchs dominated politics, thwarting the adoption of any effective solution to the country’s pressing problems through manipulation and intrigue. The first Safavid king, Esmāʿīl I (907-30/1501-24), initiated a process of political and religious change in Persia that profoundly affected the economic structure. Iran had also declined militarily, leaving it more vulnerable to invasion, which came out of the east. Thus, the end of his reign, 1666, marked the beginning of the end of the Safavid dynasty. The Afghans rode roughshod over their conquered territory for a dozen years, but were prevented from making further gains by Nadir Shah Afshar, a former slave who had risen to military leadership within the Afshar tribe in Khorasan, a vassal state of the Safavids. Conversely, Esmāʿil’s religious policy made the Qezelbāš waver in their loyalty to him, fearing that a tilt toward Sunnism would mean greater power for Tajik families. MAHDI IN TWELVER SHIʿISM, OTTOMAN-PERSIAN RELATIONS UNDER SULTAN SELIM I. In the sixteenth century, carpet weaving evolved from a nomadic and peasant craft to a well-executed industry with specialization of design and manufacturing. Despite their collective name, these seminomadic warriors of Turkish ethnic origin did not claim a common descent. Safavid dynasty, (1501–1736), ruling dynasty of Iran whose establishment of Twelver Shiʿism as the state religion of Iran was a major factor in the emergence of a unified national consciousness among the various ethnic and linguistic elements of the country. Under them a political system emerged in which political and religious boundaries over-lapped. In the 15th and 16th centuries, three great powers arose in a band across western and southern Asia. barawāt), promissory notes that upon cashing would have lost much of their value, or in commodities such as cloth that often proved unvendible. With Ḵalifa Solṭān, an official of Marʿaši descent who was married to the shah’s daughter, Shah ʿAbbās’ reign saw the first appointment of an official of clerical background as grand vizier. Commerce, which the shah had facilitated by standardizing weights and measures, received a boost. Most importantly, the Safavids introduced a concept of patrimonial kingship, combining territorial authority with religious legitimacy that, with modifications, would endure until the 20th century. All the while Sunnis were persecuted, driven out, or killed. In 1501, various disaffected militia from Azerbaijan and eastern Anatolia who were known as the Kizilbash (Azeri for "red heads" due to their red headgear) united with the Ardabil Safaviyeh to capture Tabriz from the then ruling Sunni Turkmen alliance known as Ak Koyunlu (The White Sheep Emirate) under the leadership of Alwand. were more strictly enforced, with ordinances issued against them venturing out during rainfall for fear of polluting the Muslim population. They retained their individual clan affiliation, and the different clans continued to be one another’s bitter rivals. As Shah Solṭān-Ḥosayn took power, the country’s weakness became apparent in numerous insurrections and invasions around the country, and in the problems the state faced in quelling them. The state’s drastic financial crisis was exacerbated by the record number of people who annually performed the pilgrimage to Mecca in this peirod, draining huge sums of gold from the country. The reign of his son and successor, Shah ʿAbbās II, has been called the Indian summer of the Safavid era, in reference to his success in recapturing Kandahar, and the favorable conditions foreign observers detected in his realm. They unified much of Persia under a single political control, transforming an essentially tribal nomadic order into a sedentary society deriving most of its revenue from agriculture and trade. A major problem faced by Ismail I after the establishment of the Safavid state was how to bridge the gap between the two major ethnic groups in that state: The Qezelbash Turkmens, the "men of the sword" of classical Islamic society whose military prowess had brought him to power, and the Persian elements, the "men of the pen," who filled the ranks of the bureaucracy and the religious establishment in the Safavid state as they had done for centuries under previous rulers of Persia, be they Arabs, Turkic, Mongols, or Turkmens. Until the 20th century, all of Persia’s ruling dynasties had their origins in tribal ambitions. To what extent they actually migrated to Persia and helped shape the faith is a matter of some controversy, but it is clear that a number of these Arab ulema heeded the call and became the nucleus of a scholarly class in the service of the state. Between 1715 and 1720, many parts of the country either erupted in rebellion or were threatened by outside forces. At the same time, the “Isfahan school of philosophy”, represented by Mollā Ṣadrā and other thinkers, became known for its metaphysical speculation. Thus the outbreak of the Ottoman-Venetian war of 1570-73, and the eruption of rebellions in Anatolia in the same period, made the flow of money between the Ottoman Empire and Persia dry up. The fate of the Armenian community, whose outward prosperity could not conceal mounting problems, is a case in point. This enabled him to recapture Tabriz, taken by the Ottomans in 1585, and Sistān, which the Uzbeks had invaded, as well as Kandahar, lost to the Mughals in 1595. Increased contact with distant cultures in the seventeenth century, especially Europe, provided a boost of inspiration to Iranian artists who adopted modeling, foreshortening, spatial recession, and the medium of oil painting (Shah Abbas II sent Zaman to study in Rome). Later, Shah Abbas I moved the capital even deeper into central Iran, to the city of Isfahan, building a new city next to the ancient Persian one. The Safavid Empire. The latter region also became home to many Armenians and Georgians, who were moved there to help develop its economic potential. In frequent clashes with the Safavids, Šamaḵa, the capital of Širvān and the center of Persia’s northern silk trade, was destroyed. After 1603, he systematically engaged in depopulating regions and resettling tribes to far-off regions with the aim of strengthening frontiers and breaking up existing loyalties. Shah ʿAbbās II’s reign witnessed a continuation of many longstanding trends. The increased power of both groups, eunuchs and women, was a function of a royal household that had more than doubled in size since the late 1500s to become a fixed place centered on the harem. He died in 1715, to be succeeded, after a brief interregnum, by his son, Maḥmud Ḡilzay (d. 1725). Shah Abbas II was known as a poet, writing Turkic verse with the pen name of Tani. Still, New Jolfā, prospered under the protection of the queen mother. Thousands of Afšārs were thus relocated, while a great many Qajars as well as Kurds were moved to Khorasan and Māzandarān. Marriage and family was very important; divorce was allowed but not encouraged; Role of women. In the 1590s, the shah transferred his capital from Qazvin to Isfahan (see CAPITAL CITIES ii.). A manifestation of this was the launch in 1645 of an officially sanctioned morality campaign directed against brothels and wine taverns. ), in 1512, the Uzbeks regained Transoxania and briefly occupied Herat and Mashad. The most important painter to flourish under him was Reżā ʿAbbāsi, an artist of subtle and refined imagery. The Safavid empire was better known for it’s art than it’s literature. Persia had benefited from two decades of relative peace. Members of the Safavid Dynasty likely were of Kurdish Persian descent and belonged to a unique order of Sufi -infused Shi'a Islam called Safaviyya. In 1544, he underwent a definitive transformation. Thus, Abbas I was able to break the dependence on the Qizilbash for military might and centralized control. Even the shah’s decision to have the gold from Shiʿite shrines and his ancestors’ graves remelted and struck into coins failed to yield the requisite funds. Sāru Taqi’s murder did not spell the end of the prominence of the grand vizier. Yet, rather than simply reflecting the ascendance of the ulema, this was part of a religious policy marked by pragmatism and designed to enhance the legitimacy of the dynasty. Due to his fear of assassination, Shah Abbas either put to death or blinded any member of his family who aroused his suspicion. The carpets of Ardebil were commissioned to commemorate the Safavid dynasty. Here too, the effect was a loss of power for the Qezelbāš. 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