Safavids are a Turkish-Azerbaijani dynasty

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Safavids was the name of a ruling dynasty in Iran that existed from 1501 - 1736 AD. ruled and pretended the Shia as the state religion, even if the ruling structures were not always compatible with it.

The origins of the dynasty can be traced back to Sheikh Safi al-Din, to whose name or the Sufi order he founded, the Safavids can be traced back. This was in 1301 AD. founded in Ardabil, which from the middle of the 15th century increasingly organized itself politically and also militarily.

Under Ismail I (1484 - 1524 AD) the conquest of Tabriz and the overthrow of the Turkmen Aq Qoyunlu succeeded in 1501. After the establishment of the Safavid dynasty, Iran and Iraq (1507 AD) were conquered in the following years. After the east of Iran had also been conquered and secured with a victory at Herat (1510 AD) over the Uzbeks, there was a conflict with the Ottomans in the west. The Safavids were born in 1514 AD. badly beaten at Tschaldiran and lost the capital Tabriz.

The Shia of the Twelve Imams became the state religion under Ismail I, but without any emphatic reference to Imam Mahdi (a.). He also tried to find a balance between the predominantly nomadic Turkmens in the military and the sedentary Persians in the administration. Thus, among the Safavids, the union of the "red heads" [qizilbasch], whose name was derived from a military headgear, came into being.

They were Turkish-Persian elite soldiers who achieved much esteem and fame among the Safavids. The red color is said to have been chosen based on the martyrdom of Imam Husain (a.). Tahmasp I (1524 - 1576 AD) was still in conflict with the Ottomans and Uzbekistan. While he was able to maintain Khorasan in constant battles against the latter, Iraq and Azerbaijan went on until 1534 AD. lost to the Ottomans. At that time, the Ottomans made the claim that whoever kills a certain number of Shiites, paradise [janna] is safe. Although that conflict was a clash between two systems of rule, religious motives were misused to motivate their own soldiers.

After some dynastic turmoil, Abbas I (1587 - 1629 AD) achieved a consolidation of the empire, which is why he was given the title "the great". Bahrain became under him in 1601 and AD 1603. Azerbaijan, Armenia and Georgia and 1623 AD. even Iraq with Baghdad conquered or recaptured. This brought the pilgrimage centers of Najaf, Karbala and Kazimein under Safavid control. Thanks to a successful economic policy, the country achieved great prosperity, which can be seen, among other things, in the great expansion of the new capital Isfahan.

Under the weak successors of Abbas I, the central administration again lost its influence. Only under Abbas II (1642 - 1666 AD) was it possible to consolidate the empire through reforms. Under him there were also close trade contacts with the European naval powers England and Holland. In 1648, Kandahar in Khorasan, which had been claimed by the Mughals in India up to that point, could also be conquered.

Towards the end of the 17th century, Sultan Husain (1694-1722 AD) experienced a severe economic decline in the Safavid Empire. 1719 AD there was an uprising by Sunni Afghans from the Ghilzai tribe, who probably received appropriate support from the Ottomans. These conquered Isfahan in 1722 and ended in 1736 AD. finally the Safavid dynasty.

Some rulers (e.g. Nadir Shah) later installed Safavids as rulers, but they were only puppets. In some provinces the Safavids were able to hold out until 1773. After the Afghans were driven out, the Safavids were replaced by the Afsharids and Nadir Shah.

The rulers of the Safavids were (the reign in brackets):

  1. Ismail I (1501–1524 AD)
  2. Tahmasp I. (1524-1576)
  3. Ismail II (1576-1577)
  4. Muhammad (1577–1587)
  5. Abbas I (1587-1629)
  6. Safi I (1629-1642)
  7. Abbas II (1642–1666)
  8. Safi II (Sulaiman I) (1666-1694)
  9. Husain (1694-1722)