The Ottoman, Safavid, and Mughal Empires
The Ottoman Empire: The Ottoman dynasty, in which, was named for its founder Osman Bey, a leader of a band of semi-nomadic Turks who migrated to northwestern Anatolia in the thirteenth century. Osman and his followers sought to become ghazi warriors who fought for their faith. The Ottoman’s location on the borders of the Byzantine Empire, allowed Osman and his men the opportunity to wage holy war. The dynasty lasted from 1289 to 1923, but it gained its most power during the sixteenth century, when it expanded its control from the base of Anatolia and spread across most of Europe, Egypt, and North Africa.
The Safavid Empire: Like the Ottomans, the Safavid Empire grew from Turkish nomadic descendents. But, unlike the Ottomans, the Safavids were Shiite, not Sunni Muslims. “In 1499, a twelve year old boy who was in hiding for five years, named Ismail, came out to seek revenge upon the enemies of his family. He entered Tabriz at the head of an army and claimed the ancient Persian imperial title of shah.” (Bentley, Streets, & Ziegler, 2008, pg. 460). Ismail Shah reigned from 1501-1524; he also proclaimed that the official religion would be the Twelver Shiism after, Safi al-Din, who was the leader of religious order in northwestern Persia (1252-1334). Safavids, named after the holy man himself. The Twelver Shiism was said to have twelve prophets and the twelfth one being hidden. Many believed that Ismail was this hidden prophet. The Sunni Ottomans feared that the Shiite Safavids would spread their