Learn about the Islamic empire. The lasted native 1501 come 1722 and was strong enough to difficulty the Ottomans in the west and the Mughals in the east.

You are watching: Why did the safavid empire decline so quickly


The Safavid empire (1501-1722)


The Safavid realm was based in what is today Iran.

This Islamic empire was solid enough to difficulty the Ottomans in the west and the Mughals in the east.


The Safavid empire lasted indigenous 1501-1722It bsci-ch.orgvered all of Iran, and parts the Turkey and also GeorgiaThe Safavid empire was a theocracyAll other religions, and forms of Islam were suppressedThe Empire"s ebsci-ch.orgnomic strength came native its ar on the profession routesThe capital, Isfahan, is one of the many beautiful cities in the worldThe key figures in the realm were:Isma"il IAbbas IThe Empire declined when it ended up being bsci-ch.orgmplacent and bsci-ch.orgrrupt


The empire was founded by the Safavids, a Sufi order the goes back to Safi al-Din (1252-1334). Safi al-Din bsci-ch.orgnverted to Shi"ism and also was a Persian nationalist. The Safavid brotherhood was initially a religious group.

Over the following centuries the brotherhood came to be stronger, through attracting regional warlords and by politics marriages. It ended up being a armed forces group as well as a religious one in the 15th century.

Many to be attracted through the brotherhood"s allegiance come Ali, and also to the "hidden Imam".

In the 15th century the brotherhood became much more militarily aggressive, and waged a jihad (Islamic holy war) versus parts of what room now modern-day Turkey and Georgia.

The Safavid Empire days from the dominance of shah Ismail (ruled 1501-1524).

In 1501, the Safavid Shahs declared independence as soon as the Ottomans outlawed Shi"a Islam in their territory. The Safavid empire was strengthened by important Shi"a soldiers from the Ottoman army who had fled native persecution.

When the Safavids involved power, shaman Ismail was proclaimed leader at the age of 14 or 15, and by 1510 Ismail had bsci-ch.orgnquered the totality of Iran.



Religion in the Safavid empire - the negatives

One of shaman Ismail"s most necessary decisions to be to declare the the state religious beliefs would be the kind of Islam dubbed Shi"ism, that at the moment was bsci-ch.orgmpletely international to Iranian culture.

The Safavids launched a vigorous campaign to bsci-ch.orgnvert what to be then a primarily Sunni populace by persuasion and by force. The Sunni ulama (a religious bsci-ch.orguncil of way men) either left or were killed.

To promote Shi"ism the Safavids lugged in scholar from Shi"ite bsci-ch.orguntries to kind a new religious elite. They appointed an official (the Sadr) come bsci-ch.org-ordinate this upstream - and ensure the it walk what the shah wanted. The religious leaders effectively became a tool of the government.

The Safavids also spent money to promote religion, making sponsor to temples and religious schools. And most craftily of all, they provided grants the land and money to create a brand-new class the wealthy religious aristocrats that owed every little thing to the state.

In specifically spiritual terms the Safavids not only persecuted Sunni Muslims, but Shi"ites with various views, and all other religions. Alien shrines were vandalised, and also Sufi mystic teams forbidden.

This to be surprising, due to the fact that the Safavids fan their origins to a Sufi order and to a type of Shi"ism that they currently banned. They likewise reduced the prestige of the Hajj (pilgrimage come Mecca), replacing it with pilgrimage to Shi"ite shrines.

Religion in the Safavid realm - the positives

The at an early stage Safavid realm was efficiently a theocracy. Spiritual and political power were bsci-ch.orgmpletely intertwined, and encapsulated in the human of the Shah.

The people of the realm soon taken on the new faith with enthusiasm, celebrate Shi"ite festivals with great piety. The most far-ranging of these was Ashura, as soon as Shia Muslims mark the fatality of Husayn. Ali was additionally venerated.

Because Shi"ism was currently a state religion, with significant educational establishments dedicated to it, the philosophy and also theology emerged greatly during the Safavid Empire.



The Safavid Empire, back driven and also inspired by strong spiritual faith, rapidly constructed the structures of strong central secular government and administration.

The Safavids benefits from your geographical position at the center of the trade routes of the old world. They ended up being rich ~ above the growing trade in between Europe and the Islamic civilisations of central Asia and also India.

Art and culture

Under Safavid rule eastern Persia became a great cultural centre.

During this period, painting, metalwork, textiles and carpets reached brand-new heights of perfection. For art to succeed at this scale, patronage had actually to bsci-ch.orgme indigenous the top.

This was not entirely for love of beauty. Lot of the at an early stage art was specialized to celebrating the glories the the earlier Iranian kingdom, and also thus, by implication, making legitimate the Safavids as that kingdom"s current heirs.

The Safavids were regularly artists themselves. Shaman Ismail was a poet and Shah Tahmasp a painter. Your patronage, which included opening imperial workshops for artists, created a favourable climate for the advancement of art.



The artistic accomplishments and the prosperity of the Safavid period are ideal represented by Isfahan, the capital of shah Abbas.

Isfahan had actually parks, libraries and mosques that amazed Europeans, who had actually not checked out anything prefer this at home. The Persians dubbed it Nisf-e-Jahan, "half the world", definition that to see it to be to see fifty percent the world.

Isfahan became one of the world"s many elegant cities. In that heyday the was additionally one of the largest with a populace of one million; 163 mosques, 48 spiritual schools, 1801 shops and 263 public baths.



The Safavid realm was held together in the at an early stage years through bsci-ch.orgnquering new territory, and also then by the need to protect it from the adjoining Ottoman Empire. But in the seventeenth century the footrest threat to the Safavids declined. The very first result the this was the the army forces came to be less effective.

With their major enemy maintaining quiet, the Safavid Shahs came to be bsci-ch.orgmplacent, and then bsci-ch.orgrrupt and decadent. Strength passed come the Shi"a ulama (a spiritual bsci-ch.orguncil of wise men) which ultimately deposed the Shahs and also proclaimed the world"s first Islamic Republic in the eighteenth century. The ulama emerged a concept that just a Mujtahid - one deeply learned in the Sharia (Qur"anic law) and one that has had actually a blameless life, bsci-ch.orguld rule.

In 1726 one Afghan group destroyed the judgment dynasty. After the bsci-ch.orgnquest a department of powers to be agreed between the new Afghan Shahs and also the Shi"a ulama. The Afghan Shahs bsci-ch.orgntrolled the state and also foreign policy, and also bsci-ch.orguld levying taxes and also make secular laws. The ulama retained bsci-ch.orgntrol of spiritual practice; and enforced the Sharia (Qur"anic Law) in personal and family matters.

The troubles of this division of spiritual and political government is something the Iran is still working out today.

Iran after the Safavid Empire

However by this period the empire was disintegrating, and also for the next two century it place in decay. Bandit chiefs and feudal lords plundered it at will, more weakening the Empire, and people yearned for strong central rule and also stability.

The climb of the Pahlavis (1925 -79) saw the reaffirmation the a strong main authority in Iran and the re-emergence that the dynastic principle. The disbsci-ch.orgvery of oil early in the twenty century and the interest of it come the British and then the Americans determined the layout and function of the sebsci-ch.orgnd Pahlavi Shah. The riches from oil permitted him to head one opulent and bsci-ch.orgrrupt bsci-ch.orgurt.

See more: How Many Months Is 52 Days Of Pregnancy Means? ? I How Many Weeks Nd Months

The ulama bsci-ch.orgntinued come tolerate the non-religious Shahs ideal up till the 1970s yet they lastly overthrew the monarchy in 1979. This resulted in power being exercised through the highest officials that the ulama, the Ayatollahs. Ayatollah Khomeini"s challenge to the Shah"s imperial authority bsci-ch.orgnfirmed a deep spiritual tradition in Iranian society and history.