Muslim Empires

Topics: Ottoman Empire, Islam, Afghanistan Pages: 2 (412 words) Published: February 27, 2014
Week 4

What were the main characteristics of each of the Muslim empires, and in what ways did they resemble each other? How were they distinct from their European counterparts?

The Ottoman Turks consisted of Turkic-speaking nomadic people who had spread westward from Central Asia in the ninth, tenth, and eleventh centuries. They were located in the northwestern corner of the peninsula, which allowed them to expand westward and eventually take over empires between the Mediterranean and the Black Seas. The sultan was the supreme authority in both a political and a military sense. Administrative and military power were centralized under the bey, who was only a tribal leader, tribal law was before Muslim law. The Ottoman authorities were Sunni Muslims. The sultan assigned duties to a supreme religious authority, who then maintained a system of schools to educate Muslims. There were some who believed in Sufism or other doctrines, but the government allowed it as long as they were still loyal to the empire. Non-Muslims had to pay a head tax since they were exempt from military service. The Ottoman Empire was divided into four main occupational groups: peasants, artisans, merchants, and pastoral people.

Shah Ismail founded the Safavid Dynasty. The Safavids was a mixed society like the Ottoman Empire; majority of the population were Iranian. They used the Shi’ite faith, and Shi’ism was declared the state religion. Like the Ottoman’s sultan, the Safavids had their shahs who would check up on their people. This empire was not as wealthy as the Ottomans and the Mughals. Their greatest area of productivity was in textiles.

The founder of the Mughal Dynasty is known as Babur. Ruling of the dynasty was passed down from Babur to his son, Humayun, and then to his grandson, Akbar. As emperor, Akbar didn’t just focus on the views of Muslim but also gave Christian views a chance. He later formed a new type of worship called the Divine Faith, which...
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