Safavid

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Related to Safavid dynasty: Ottoman Empire, Qajar dynasty

Safavid

(säfä`wēd), Iranian dynasty (1499–1736), that established Shiite Islam in Iran as an official state religion. The Safavid state provided both the territorial and societal foundations of modern Iran. Founded by Shah IsmailIsmail
, 1486–1524, shah of Persia (1502–24), founder of the Safavid dynasty. He restored Persia to the position of a sovereign state for the first time since the Arab invasion of Persia.
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, this Turkic-speaking dynasty claimed descent from a Shiite Sufi order. Shiite views, propagated with the help of clerics recruited from Jabal Amil (today in Lebanon) and Iraq, endowed Iran with an identity distinct from its Sunni neighbors. The consolidation of Safavid rule was completed during the reign of Shah Abbas IAbbas I
(Abbas the Great) , 1557–1629, shah of Persia (1587–1628), of the Safavid dynasty. In 1597 he ended the raids of the Uzbeks, and subsequently (1603–23) he conquered extensive territories from the Turks.
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. Recognizing his military inferiority vis-à-vis the Ottoman Sultanate, Abbas accepted the Ottoman occupation of the western parts of his domain and was thus able to concentrate his efforts on creating a standing army and halting Uzbek incursions from the east. He established Isfahan as his capital and transformed it into an architectural showcase. The strategic location of Iran and Safavid animosity toward the Ottomans, who were a continuing threat to European powers, generated European interest. Shah Abbas received numerous European legations and, with the help of English warships, conquered Hormoz, the Portuguese colony at the entrance of the Persian Gulf. His project to create a major competing maritime trade center at Bandar Abbas failed. Benefiting from a change in the balance of power, he expanded into Ottoman territory, annexing the holy Shiite cities of Karbala and Najaf. A period of upheaval followed his death, during which Ottoman pressure from the west and Mughal attacks from the east led to substantial territorial losses. Abbas II (1642–66) attempted to eliminate bureaucratic corruption, and gained a peace, largely due to the military exhaustion of Iran's neighbors. Husayn (1694–1722, see Sultan HusaynSultan Husayn
, d. 1729, Safavid shah of Persia (1694–1722). A weak and superstitious man, Shah Sultan Husayn was surrounded by astrologers and fanatics and was able to offer little opposition to the uprising of the Afghans.
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) devoted his energy to reconquering the island of Bahrayn, ignoring the opposition centered in Afghanistan. In 1722, Afghan forces entered Isfahan and forced Husayn to abdicate, putting an effective end to Safavid rule. The final blow came in 1736 when the Afshar Nadir, regent of young Abbas III, deposed him, becoming shah himself (see Nadir ShahNadir Shah
or Nader Shah
, 1688–1747, shah of Iran (1736–47), sometimes considered the last of the great Asian conquerors. He was a member of the Afshar tribe.
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).

Bibliography

See L. Lockhart, The Fall of the Safavi Dynasty (1958); I. Munshi, History of Shah Abbas the Great (1978); R. Savory, Iran under the Safavids (1980).

Safavid

 

(also Safawiyah), a dervish order of the Sufi sect. The Safavid order was founded in the late 13th century by Sheikh Safi al-Din (1252–1334) in the city of Ardebil, in Iranian Azerbaijan. Initially the order defended its followers against oppression by feudal lords. In the 15th century, however, its leaders themselves became feudal lords, sheiks of Ardebil, and initiated a struggle for political power, using propaganda based mainly on Safavid beliefs incorporated with elements of Shiism. The army of the Safavid sheikhs was drawn largely from the Kizilbash people. In 1499, Ismail Safavid led the followers of the Safavid order in a successful campaign against the Ak-Koy-unlu, which eventually led to the formation of the Safavid state.

References in periodicals archive ?
The final visit was a drive through the city of gardens called Esphahan.It was developed by the Safavid dynasty, duly earmarked as bridge over a river, designed for summer evenings.
Among these eras, the emergence of the Seljuk and Safavid dynasty in Iran's ancient history is of great importance in several respects, the most important reasons are national unity and progress of arts and industries.
It has twice been the capital city of Persia -- during the Parthian Empire and again in the sixteenth century Safavid dynasty. It was here that the Safavids declared Shiite Islam to be the empire's official religion, one of the most important markers in Islamic history.
In the first volume, Heidi Walcher argues that the year 1501, which at first seems to be the conventional date for the establishment of the Safavid dynasty in Iran, looks different when viewed as part of wider Asian histories, including those of Central Asian and Chinese empires, Shiism, and European states.
Establishment of Safavid dynasty in 907- 1135 / 1501-1723 was the beginning of a new chapter in the history of Iran.
Dilras Banu Begum was born a princess of the prominent, Safavid dynasty, the ruling dynasty of Iran (formerly Persia) and one of its most significant ruling dynasties.
But it has also been described as the epitome of the "vase" technique, perfected during the Safavid dynasty in Persia.
Iran adopted Shiite Islam under the Safavid Dynasty (1500-1722), which ended a series of Turkic and Mongol conquests.
The Safavid dynasty ruled Shiite Iran -- which at times also controlled parts of modern-day Iraq -- from the 16th to the 18th centuries.
Moreover, the Safavid dynasty (1501-1722), made up of Azeri Turks as well as Persians, rivaled the Ottomans.
Even its ideology belongs to the time zone of the Safavid dynasty (in Arabic Safawi), which was at war with the Ottoman Empire - the 5th Caliphate (see rim6IranSafawidsHistoryJun28-04)