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(Notebook page title: Safavids and Shia Islam - 11-23 2020)
Safavid Empire (1501-1722)- Originated as a nomadic tribe, began to migrate into the Middle East- Sufi Islamic group
-Shia: Leader should be a member/descendant of Muhammad's family. (In Sunni islam the people/nobles choose a leader.) Shiism also kept a lot of Bedouin traditions that other sects didn't.
-Safi al-Din, 13th century- forefather of the Safavids
-Ismail, founder of the empire- Tribal leader, raised as Shiite Muslim
--used religion to consolidate beliefs, started as Sufi
1501: Ismail captures Tabriz, which becomes capital, starting point of the empire
-Warriors: Red Hats (Qizilbash) Religious fighters who want to spread Shia Islam
1508: Captures Baghdad, an important symbolic city (Abbasid Caliphate capital) and also strategically important (right near the Persian Gulf and Tigris)
(Problem: Consolidating all this land brings them into the Ottos' radar...)
Religious sect - "Twelver" Shiism: Ismail himself is the 12th Imam of Islam, spreading true Muslim faith
-Many had been waiting for the Mahdi, the return of their Messiah- popular religion
1514: Safavid forces get crushed by Ottoman cannons at Battle of Chaldiran (a decisive face-off)
-Reasons for the defeat:
--Safavids are overconfident (so far their victories have seemed divinely given)
--The current sultan, Selim the Grim, really hates Shiites in general
--Safavids are way behind in tech and manpower... 100,000 Ottoman troops versus 40,000 Safavid troops... 200 cannons versus 1 (though the 1 is probably apocryphal)
--Safavids seriously demoralized... Ismail's reputation is destroyed and the Qizilbash warriors become rebellious/abuse their power
--Ottomans gobble up northern Iraq + eastern Anatolia, permanently defined borders between the nations are established
1588: Shah Abbas comes into power in the now weakened and humiliated nation. "Savior of the empire"- reigned ~30 years, a true "modern leader" who funded public works, trade, etc.
-Comes into power at age 16, leading a coup against his father
-Modernizing public works, helps England fight against Portugal with a sweet trade deal
-Isfahan, new capital, new culture
-Prisoners fight in military for (ILLEGIBLE)
-Expansionist: (ILLEGIBLE)