The Muslim Empires
The Muslim Empires
After the destruction of the Mongols
1243, another Turkic group moved
into the Middle East and took
advantage of the chaos.
Seljuk Turks – their empire had
collapsed by the time of the Mongols
OSMAN – his dream led him to
develop the foundations that became
the Ottoman Empire
MEHMED II – “the Conqueror” – took
Constantinople in 1453 and ended
the Byzantine Empire.
The Ottoman armies moved into the
Arab lands as well as into Europe –
by 1683, they laid seige to Vienna.
Ottoman – Safavid – Mughal Empires
Early Ottoman successes were
due, in large part, to the cavalry –
where they were granted tracts of
land and the labor of peasants as
rewards. They were at times
seen as possible threats to the
power of the sultans.
Janissaries – by the mid 1400s,
the power of the Ottoman may be
seen as coming from their
infantry divisions – Janissaries.
Young boys were taken and
forced into military service – with
that came an education and
many converted ti Islam.
As the use of firearms and
artillery developed – the power of
the Janissaries increased.
Sultans and Their Courts
In theory the sultans were absolute in their power – but
in reality, the sultans maintained their power by
manipulating the various aspects of the military,
religious scholars, and legal experts into compeating
Trade within the empire was often controlled by
Many of the people conquered by the Ottomans initially
were pleased by the tax relief and efficiency of the
Ottoman sultans grew distant from their people as they
lived in isolated lives of luxury and extravagence.
VIZIER – head of the imperial bureaucracy
SULEYMAN the Lawgiver –
Ottoman sultan r. 1520-1566
Codified Ottoman law
Developed infrastructure of
the Ottoman Empire: schools,
hospitals, roads, mosques,
1529 – pushed his empire as
far as Vienna, Austria –
besieging the city. His failure
to take Vienna marked the
highpoint of Ottoman land
Hagia Sophia – turned into a mosque
Used Byzantine technology to reinvigorate the
ancient aqueduct and irrigation system – all
leading to increased farm production and better
Languages – Arabic but the rise of Turkish over
1571 - The Battle of Lepanto and Ottoman
In the chaos after the Mongols
and rivalry among Turkish
groups, the Safavids rose to
power as frontier warriors who
pursued a militant form of Islam.
Sail al-Din – Sufi mystic and
preacher who began a campaign
to purify Islam and spread Islam
among the Turks.
Red Heads – Safavid followers –
promoted Shi’a and developed
Isma’il – led Turkic followers to
victory and was proclaimed
SHAH in 1501.
Battle of Chaldiran 1514
The Safavids consoldiated
power in Persia and were
poised as a threat to the
In August 1515, the Sunni
Ottomans battled the Shi’a
The Safavids were defeated
and the Shi’a pish west was
halted – BUT the Ottomans
were unable to take
advantage of the victory and
bring down the Safavid
Politics and War Under the Safavid Shahs
Ozbeg – nomadic Turkic people
often at odds with the Safavids
Isfahan and Tahmasp I were
successors to Isma’il – they
maintained power by balancing
the demands of Turkish leaders
(who were granted areas of local
control) with the Persians who
were used to run the imperial
bureacracy. Armies of slave boys
were developed – similar to the
Shah Abbas I – Abbas the Great
– developed stronger Russian
boy slave armies – contact with
European technology – firearms.
State and Religion
Padishah – “king of kings”
Imams – Safavids claimed descent from one of
the Shi’a imams or successors of Ali
Mullahs – local mosque officials and prayer
leaders who were supported by the state –
more Persian than Arab.
Sunnis, Christians, Jews, and Zoroastrians
were pressured to convert to Shi’a Islam –
even today, Iranian identity is linked to Shi’a
Decline of the Safavids
Safavid Empire did not last as long as its opulence may have led
one to expect.
Abbas feared his own family and murdered or blinded most of
them – he was succeeded by a weak grandson who what thought
to be easily manipulated by his advisors.
Able shahs were few – most were isolated in luxury and easily
1722 – the capital of ISFAHAN was seiged by Afghanis - +80,000
Nadir Khan Afshar – soldier took power briefly and claimed
Safavid descent – but the empire was divided and for years was a
trarget for its neighbors and nomad invaders.
The Mughal Empire
Founder of the Mughal
Empire - Babur – part
Turkic and Mongol,
Babur moved into India
in order to claim an
empire – NOT because
of religious motivation.
Humayan – son and succesor
of Babur – he assume dpower
in 1530 – large empire but it
needed bureacratic reform.
Humayan was ousted by a
brother who used Afghani and
Rajput forces. Humayan lived
with the Safavids until he was
able to reclaim the capital of
Delhi – then books killed him.
Akbar – son of Humayan
Din-i-Ilahi – new faith of Islam
Mughal and European Contacts
Aurangzeb – son of
One of the most famous
Mughal rulers was the
IN 1631, his favorite wife
Mumtaz Mahal died
giving birth to their
The despondent Shah
Jahan had a tomb built
for his wife which is still
considered to be one of
the most beautiful
buildings in the world –
the Taj Mahal.
Sikh Golden Shrine – Amritsar, India – the holiest
shrine of the Sikh religion
Sikhism is a religion that originated in Punjab –
an area in India and Pakistan.
Belief in one supreme god
Gurus – religious philosophers and teachers
Sikh is to: mediate, work diligently and to share
Male Sikhs have the name SINGH somewhere
in their name.
Male Sikhs are recognized by their turbans
Sikhs traditionally wear:
***all designed to show
honesty, equality, fidelity,
meditating on God, and
never bowing to tyranny.