Chapter 21: The Muslim Empire

Theme 2: Development and Interaction of Cultures

      The three Muslim empires were the Ottoman Empire, the Safavids, and the Mughals. All three empires produced artistic and cultural renaissance, started from Turkic nomadic cultures with each of the empires possessed religious enthusiasm. The Mughals ruled Hindu peoples, the Safavids mostly Shi'a Muslims and the Ottomans are a mixture of both Muslims and Christians. The famous architecture by the Ottomans was the Hagia Sophia as the huge church symbolizes as the long one of the wonders of the Christian world. Shah Mosque belongs to the Safavid empire where the monument itself is the center of all political, religious and culture activities. The Taj Mahal became the symbol for Indian civilization and is built in honor of Jahangir and Shah Jahan for they expanded the painting workshops that, started by the Mughals, thousands of exquisite minature paintings could be produced during their reigns.

Ottomans: - turkic people who built an empire, based in Anatolia, that went against the Abbasid absolute power

                  - control their empire on the ideas and institutions of earlier Muslim civilization, architecture, and engineering

                  - alternated between alliances and warfare with the Byzantines, who supported the Ottomans to capture of well-fortified city. 


Mehmed II: - Ottoman Muslim sovereign, also known as "The Conqueror", who took over Constantinople and used it as a city to open new citizens of many religions and background, and renamed as Istanbul.


Janissaries: - troops of the infantry division who fought for the imperial armies

                    - consists of adolescents slave boys who lived in conquered areas, where majority of the population keep how of Christian faith. 

Vizier: - was the overall head of the imperial administration, who sometimes have more power than sultan.

Suleymaniye Mosque: - the mosque was built under the command of Suleyman the Magnificent, who reigned from 1520-1566      

                                     - Suleyman hired a famous architect Sinan to design the largest domed structures in the world with mansions, rest houses, religious schools, and hospitals.

                                      - the architecture is one of the greatest engineering achievements of the Islamic civilization

Safavid dynasty: - similar to the Ottomans, arose from the struggles of rival Turkic nomadic groups in the wake of the Mongol and Timurid invasions.

                            - established one of the strongest and most enduring centers of Shi'ism within the Islamic world.

                             - conquered what is now Iran


Safi al-Din: - gave the name to the dynasty

                    - began a militant campaign to restart Islam and spread Muslim teachings to the Turkics tribes throughout the region.


Ismâ’il: - surviving Sufi commander out of the three successive Safavid leaders who suffered death, due to fierce local struggles.

            - led his Turkic followers to victory on the city of Tabriz, where he was declare shah, or emperor.


Chaldiran: - located in northern Persia, where two most powerful empires met for a most fateful battle.

                  - demonstrated the importance of muskets and field cannon.


Abbas I (the Great): - Safavid shahs, who made the greatest use of youths.

                                  - youths were educated, convert Islam, and form his military forces.

                                  - youths were awarded with provincial governorships and high offices at court. 



Mullahs: - who were both local mosque officials and prayer leaders


Isfahan: - Safavid capital under the control of Abbas the Great, to glorify his reign.

             -build colleges, public baths, rest house, and did business with workshops where miniatures were produced by master painters and their apprentices.


Mughal dynasty: - a combination of Hindu and Islamic civilizations who produced the most sublime architecture and art.

                            - Islamic imperial power, which ruled most of Indian subcontinent.


Babur: - directly raids the plains of north India to gain back his lost kingdom.

           - a fine military strategist and fierce fighter who went to battle alongside with his troops.  

           - cultivated a desire for arts and music.

           - a fine musician and designed gardens for his capital at Delhi.

           -introduced a new calendar, helped the poor, made an anti-alcohol campaign, and tried to improve the lives of women, was actually trying to raid in order to get other kingdom back


-Son and successor of Babur, ruled from 1530-1540

 -Expelled from India in 1540 after his armies were defeated by Afghanistan and Rajput states

-Ruled again in 1555-1560 died in January 1560



-He is the son and successor of Humayan

-Most illustrious sultan of the Mughal Empire in India (1556-1605)

-He expanded the empire and pursued a policy of conciliation with Hindus.

- Personally oversaw building of military and administrative systems that would form the backbone of the Mughal Empire for centuries

- Pursued policy of cooperation with Hindu princes; attempted to create new religion called Din-i-Ilahi



-Invented by Akbar in Mughal India

-It blended elements of the many faiths of the subcontinent

-He intended to unite his Hindu and Muslim subjects, but it failed



-This was a ritual in India of immolating surviving widows with the bodies of their deceased husbands

-This was done gladly and if a woman didn't comply with this she would be disgraced.


Taj Mahal

-Most famous architectural achievement of Mughal India

-Originally built as a mausoleum for the wife of Shah Jahan, Mumtaz Mahal


Nur Jahan:

-She was the wife of Jahangir

-Continually amassed power 

-Dominated the Empire for most of the later years of Jahangir's reign


-Succeeded Shah Jahan

-He was a despotic ruler, his strict laws led to divisions and decentralisation of the government


Red Heads:

-Name given to Safavid followers because of their distinctive red headgear

-Began in the mid-15th century to preach Shi'a doctrines 



-The title of the ruler of certain South Asian and Central Asian countries, especially Persia (modern Iran)

-Derives from the Persian word shah, meaning "king".



-Safavid term used for king of kings


Nadir Khan Afsher

-(1688 – 1747) - Soldier-adventurer following the fall of Safavid dynasty in 1722

-Fought for the throne in the decade of war and destruction 

-He emerged victorious and proclaimed himself shah in 1736, however his dynasty was short lived



-Head tax paid by all non-believers in Islamic territories

-Eliminated by Akbar during his reign, but reinstated by Aurangzeb

-He reinstated the tax on unbelievers, he hoped it  might prod hem to covert to Islam

-Tax fell heavily on the poor 


Mumtaz Mahal:

-(1593 – 1631) - Shah Jahan's wife who had a building named after her (Taj Mahal), her burial tomb

-She was actively involved in four politics and was much more able ruler than Jahiangir



-Western Indian peoples who rebelled against Mughal control early in the 18th century 

-Contributed to its downfall mainly because of Aurangzeb's draconian religious policies



-Sect in northwest India

-Early leaders tried to bridge gap between Hindus and Muslims, but Mughal persecution led to anti-Muslim feelings


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