Chapter 21: The Muslim Empires

Chapter 21: The Muslim Empires
 “Gunpowder Empires”
 Ottoman: peak 17th century: north Africa to
southern Russia, Hungary to the port of Aden
 Safavid Dynasty: east in Iran and Afghanistan
 Mughals: Delhi region of the Ganges plain
The Ottomans: From Frontier Warriors to Empire
 Ottomans arose in the 13th and 14th centuries
 Founder of Ottomans= Osman
 By 1350’s Ottomans moved into Europe and
conquered a large part of the Balkans
 Mehmed II “The Conqueror”: Ottoman sultan
who led the conquering of Constantinople
(renamed Istanbul). 1453
 1683: Ottoman armies lay siege to Vienna
(capital of the Austrian Hapsburg dynasty)
A State Geared to Warfare
 Economy was geared to warfare and expansion
 Turkic cavalry became a warrior aristocracy
 Janissaries: conscripted as adolescents, initially
Christian, then converted (DEVSHIRME System)
o Elite fighting force
o Also involved in court politics
The Sultans and Their Court
 Even most powerful sultans had to play groups
off of one another (warrior elite vs. janissaries)
 Muslim traders/ Christian and Jewish merchants
 Dhimmis “people of the Book”
 Large Bureaucracy
 Grand Vizier (wazir) overall head of the imperial
Constantinople Restored and the Flowering of
Ottoman Culture
 Church of Hagia Sophia (Holy Wisdom) was
converted to a mosque
 Aqueducts added, city was restored
 Suleymanieye mosque: one of the great
engineering achievements of Islamic Civilization
 Suleyman the Magnificent (r. 1520-1566): Most
successful of the Ottoman Sultans, nicknamed
“the Lawgiver”
 Sizable merchant and artisan classes in
 Artisans were organized into Guilds
 Transition to Turkish language
 Key Exports: COFFEE and CERAMICS
The Problem of Ottoman Decline
 Eventually known as the “sick man” of Europe in
18th and 19th centuries
 At the height of its power, the Ottoman Empire
was too large to be maintained
 Corruption by many local officials who
squeezed the peasants and laborers for
additional taxes and services
 Peasant rebellions
 Princes: no longer trained in military, kept
sequestered in palace
Military Reverses and the Ottoman Retreat
 Ottomans relied on huge siege guns while
Europe started using light field artillery
 Battle of Lepanto: 1571- between Ottomans
and combined Spanish and Venetian fleet.
Ottomans lost. Known as one of the greatest
sea battles in history. Rammed ships into each
 Ottomans were also not able to prevent
Portuguese expansion into the Indian Ocean in
the 1500’s
 Inflation in Ottoman Empire caused by influx of
New World Silver
The Shi’a Challenge of the Safavids
 Founded in what is today Iran
 Center of Shi’ism in the Islamic World
 1722: end of Safavid Empire
 Shi’a believed that only the fourth successor
(Ali, Mohammed’s cousin and son-in-law) had
the right to succeed the prophet.
 Long rivalry developed between the Sunni
Ottomans versus Shi’a Safavids
 Safavid Dynasty began in early 14th century by
Sail al-Din, a Sufi mystic. Began a militant
campaign to purify and reform Islam and spread
Muslim teachings among the Turkic tribes of the
 Red Heads: followers of Safavids
 Isma’il: military leader who led his Turkic
followers to string of victories and in 1501
conquered the city of Tabriz, proclaimed shah,
or emperor
 Battle of Chaldiran, August 1514, between the
Ottomans and Safavids, use of muskets and
field cannons, Safavids were beat by the
Ottomans led by Selim the Grim.
o Result: Shi’ism was confined largely to
Persia, or present-day Iran, and neighboring
areas in what is today southern Iraq.
Politics and War Under the Safavid Shahs
 Tahmasp I (r. 1534-1576) tried to restore the
power of the Safavid Dynasty
 Shah Abbas I (r. 1587-1629) also known as
Abbas the Great, the empire reached the height
of its strength and prosperity. Created slave
regiments from Russian youths who were
educated and converted to Islam. Empire
became center of international trade and
Islamic culture. Infrastructure: roads and rest
 Safavid warrior nobles were assigned villages,
whose peasants were required to supply them
and their troops with food and labor
 Persians were recruited for the bureaucracy to
balance the power of the Warrior elite
 Use of slave regiments
State and Religion
 Persian became the language of the court and
 Rulers Claimed descent from one of the Shi’a
 Mullahs: local mosque officials and prayer
leaders, supervised by the state
 Shi’ism became dominant religion, others were
pressured to convert
Elite Affluence and Artistic Splendor
 Abbas I encouraged trade
 Capital at Isfahan: several colleges, public baths
and rest houses, workshops
 Great Mosques at Isfahan
 Decoration: Geometric designs (arabesque),
floral patterns, and verses from the Qur’an
Society and Gender Roles: Ottoman and Safavid
 Dominated by warrior aristocracies: shared
power with the absolutist monarchs of each
 Growth of handicraft production and trade in
their realms
 Public Works Projects
 Women faced legal and social disadvantages
compared to other areas: subordinated to their
fathers and husbands. Practices of seclusion
and veiling especially among the elites
 Many women were involved in trade and
 Women could use court system to protect their
rights to inheritance and divorce
The Rapid Demise of the Safavid Empire
 Abbas killed or blinded all who could
legitimately succeed him.
o Weak grandson was put on throne
following Abbas’ death (easily manipulated)
 March 1722: Isfahan was besieged by Afghani
tribes…by October, 80,000 of capital’s
inhabitants died from starvation and disease,
city fell and Safavid power was ended.\
 Nadir Khan Afshar: emerged as leader and
proclaimed himself shah in 1736.
The Mughals and the Apex of Muslim Civilization in
 Babur: founder of the Mughal dynasty. Traced
decent from Mongol khans and Tamerlane. Led
his followers into India in 1526 because he lost
his original kingdom.
 Babur used gun carts, movable artillery, and
cavalry techniques to defeat the Muslim Lodi
o Also frightened the war elephants
 Babur conquered large portions of the Indus
and Ganges plains
 Babur: wrote a history of India, musician,
gardens, patron of arts
 Hamayan: son and successor to Babur in 1530.
Forced to flee to Persia by 1540…and remained
in exile
Akbar and the Basis for a Lasting Empire
 Akbar: son of Hamayan, became ruler at 13.
One of the greatest leaders of all of history.
Strong Military and Bureaucracy
o Patron of arts
o Took charge of government in 1560
o Encouraged intermarriage between Hindus
and Mughal aristocracy.
o Abolished the jizya (head tax)
o Promoted Hindus to highest ranks in
o Ordered Muslims to respect cows
o Din-i-Ilahi: new faith created by Akbar.
Tried to unite his Hindu and Muslim
Social Reform and Social Change
 Akbar tried to improve calendar, take care of
beggars, and regulate consumption of alcohol.
 Encouraged widow remarriage and discouraged
child marriage
 Legally prohibited SATI
 Special market days for women to counteract
Purdah (seclusion)
Mughal Splendor and Early European Contacts
 Jahangir (r. 1605-1627)
 Shah Jahan (r. 1627-1658)
 By late 17th century, India was as major
destination for European traders
 Cotton/ Indian Textiles important
Artistic Achievement in the Mughal Era
 Tolerance towards Hindu majority
 Jahangir and Shah Jahan were remembered as
great patrons of the arts
 Taj Mahal: built by Shah Jahan as a tomb for his
wife, Mumtaz Mahal.
Court Politics and the Position of Elite and Ordinary
 Nur Jahan: Jahangir’s wife who wielded a lot of
power. Died giving birth to their 19th child.
 Mumtaz Mahal: consort of Shah Jahan..much
loved by Shah Jahan
 Seclusion was more strictly enforced for uppercaste women, both Hindu and Muslim
 Child marriage continued as young as 9
The Beginnings of Imperial Decline
 Arangzeb: Shah Jahan’s son and successor
o Wanted to extend Mughal control over the
whole Indian subcontinent
o Wanted to purify Indian Islam
o Series of long wars that bankrupt the
o Reinstated the head tax on unbelievers
 Sikhs: new religious sect that initially tried to
bridge the differences between Hindus and
Muslims…but were persecuted and eventually
became anti-Muslim
Old Book:
Chapter 16: The Muslim Empires
The Ottoman Empire
led by Osman (1280-1326)
Anatolian peninsula- Bosporus and Dardanelles
Beys: provincial governors in the Ottoman Empire
Janissaries: recruited from local Christian population- converted to Islam and became
an elite fighting force
Mehmet II- successfully conquered Constantinople in 1453-renamed Istanbul
Selim: Defeated the Safavids, gaining territory in Mesopotamia
Selim: Defeated the Mamluks, gaining territory in Syria and Egypt
o Selim declared himself a caliph
Ottomans eventually lost power in North Africa
Suleyman I the Magnificent (1520-1566): greatest of the Ottoman sultans- Ottomans
overran most of Hungary, and into Austria
Turkish Rule:
o “gunpowder empires”= important success due to mastery of firearms
o Sultan: supreme authority: politically and militarily
o Beys: Tribal leaders Booty: taxes
o Eventual Hereditary rule w/ Sultans (execution common w/ silk bowstring)
o Topkapi Palace :Istanbul
o Harem “sacred place”: private domain of sultan and his concubines
 Concubine’s status increased if gave birth to a son…if their son became
sultan, they became “Queen mother” and were an advisor to the
 Members of the harem were often of slave origin: by 15 th c. royal heirs
were exclusively from slave mothers
 Harem more like a nunnery than brothel
Nickname “Sultanate of Women”
“Devshirme” System: prisoners provided to sultan as part of taxation,
Muslims could not be slaves, that is why they were usually Christian
 opportunity for women and men to be educated
o Grand Vizir= Chief advisor
o Empire divided into provinces
 Religion and Society in Ottoman world
o Sunni Muslims
o Ottoman sultans also claimed title of Caliph
o Non-Muslims paid a head tax
 Organized in religious administrative units called Millets
 Own justice system, education, and welfare- reported to the
o Women could own and inherit property
 Ottomans in Decline
o KEY exports of Ottomans: coffee and ceramics
o Suleyman executed two of his sons and his remaining heir, Selim II was not very
o Corruption in taxation
o Trade routes were being diverted away from the Med. Sea
 Ottoman Art
o Craft guilds
o Architecture: mosques- ceramic tile
The Safavids 1501-1723
founded by Shah Ismail- traced origins to Ali- 4th imam of the Muslim faith
followed Shi’i Islam
o followers were called “red heads” b/c of their distinctive red caps w/ 12 folds
symbolizing the 12 imams of the Shi’i faith
conquered territory from Baghdad to Bokhara to Anatolia
Shah Abbas I (1587-1629)
o Lost territory to the Ottomans
o Created a traditional warrior elite
Safavid Politics and Society
o Iran
o Used Shi’ite faith as a unifying force
o Shah claimed to be spiritual leader of all Islam
o Meritocracy
Art and Literature
o Abbas capital= Isfahan
o Architecture- ornate
o Textiles: Silk and carpet weaving
The Mughals
16th to 18th Century India
“Gunpowder Empire”?
o Founder Babur (1483-1530)
 Descended from Tamerlane and Genghis Khan
 Had advanced weapons and a mobile calvary
 Son= Hamayun
o Akbar (1556-1605)
 Brought Mughal rule to most of the subcontinent
 Heavy artillery vs. “carrot and stick” (negotiations)
 Religious toleration
 Divine Faith (Din-I-Ilahi) combined characteristics of several religionscentral concept of infallibility of emperor
 Zamindars: officials given agricultural land and they kept part of the
taxes as their payment
 Muslims: Islamic law (Shari’ah), Hindu law (the Dharmashastra)
o Shah Jahan
 Grandson to Akbar
 Executed all his rivals to secure throne
 Famine, treasury empty
 Built the Taj Mahal for wife Mumtaz Mahal
o Aurangzeb
 Decline of empire
 Outlawed sati, castration of eunuchs, but reinstated measures against
Western European Powers in India
1st Portuguese
16th c. English and Dutch
British power grew in India while Mughal power waned
Sir Robert Clive: chief representative of the East India Company on subcontinent:
Society and Culture Under the Mughals
Muslim, Hindu and Persian influences
Women: weaving, property rights
Purdah, sati, child marriage
Ramayana in vernacular
o Tulsides wrote Ramacaritmanas-devotional story w/ deified Rama and Sita