Ismail I

Orfeas Katsoulis | Oct 30, 2022

Table of Content


Ismail I full name is Abu l-Muzaffar Ismail bin Heydar as-Sefevi also Ismail Bahadur shah or Ismail Sefevi also Ismail Khatai (July 17, 1487, Ardabil, Azerbaijan Ibid or near Tabriz) - Shahinshah, commander and poet, founder of the Sefevid dynasty. In 1500, with the support of the Qizilbash, he began the conquest of Azerbaijan. After capturing Baku in 1501, thereby capturing the treasury of Shirvan, as well as Shemakha and Tabriz, he took the title of the Shah of Azerbaijan. Under Ismail I the territory of the Safavid state reached its largest dimensions. A prominent representative of classical Azerbaijani literature.


According to the currently accepted version, the Safavids descended from Sheikh Sefi ad-Din, who founded the Sufi-Dervish order Sefeviye in Ardabil at the beginning of the 14th century. The origin of Sefi ad-Din is covered by mystery, and opinions have been expressed that he was Kurd, Turk, Arab, and Iranian (see Sefevids for details).

According to the Encyclopedia of Islam, there is now a consensus among scholars that the Safavids came from Iranian Kurdistan and later migrated to Azerbaijan. Louis Lucien Bellant believes that Shah Ismail I was a Turk from Ardabil. According to Roger Savory, historian and expert on the Safavids, it is now safe to say that the Safavids were of indigenous Iranian origin, rather than Turkic. According to Seyvory, it is likely that this family originated in Persian Kurdistan and then moved to Azerbaijan, adopting the Azerbaijani form of the Turkic language there and eventually settling in the small town of Ardabil in the 11th century. Authoritative Orientalist Vladimir Minorsky notes that Ismail I was of mixed descent; for example, one of his grandmothers was a Greek princess of Trapezund. The German Iranist Walter Hinz concludes that Ismail had mainly non-Turkic blood in his veins. Already his son Tahmasp I began to get rid of his Turkoman praetorians.

Ismail Sefevi's father was Sheikh Heydar, head of the Shi'ism-worshipping Turkic tribal union known as the Kyzylbashi, and his mother was Alamshah Beyim, daughter of Uzun-Hasan, ruler of Ak-Koyunlu and granddaughter of the last Emperor of Trebizond John IV Komnin. Before her marriage she was an Orthodox Christian and had the name Marfa (Despina). Thus, on a maternal line in veins Ismail flowed Turkic and Greek blood, he was the descendant of Turkic governors Ak Koyunlu and the Byzantine emperors Komnenos.

In Sufi circles it was believed that the Safavids descended from the seventh Shiite Imam Musa Kazim and thus were descendants of the Prophet Muhammad and Ali ibn Abu Talib; however, this is considered a legend invented to legitimize Safavid spiritual authority.

Childhood and Youth

Ismail Mirza was born on Tuesday, July 17, 1487 in Ardabil into the family of Sheikh Heydar, head of the Safaviyya tariqat, and Alamshah Beyim (also Halima Beyim Agha), daughter of Uzun Hasan, Sultan of Ak-Koyunlu. He was born after long prayers of Sheikh Heydar's father, who wanted a successor. Ismail was born in the constellation of Scorpio, which was the lucky star of Ali ibn Abu Talib, the fourth caliph of the Righteous Caliphate and son-in-law of the Prophet Muhammad. Sheikh Heydar raised him and treated him differently from his other sons, giving him special respect and honor, making him his heir. The young prince also received the kunya Abu l-Muzaffar and the title "Sahib Giran" ("Lord of the Beneficial Connection"). According to the Tarikh-i Ilchi yi Nizam Shah, on the day of his birth Sheikh Heydar was told that the child's fists were clenched and covered in blood, indicating his future bravery and ruthlessness, from which "Bahram himself would hide under the tent of Nahid."

On Tuesday, July 1, 1488, when he was only a year old, Ismael's father Sheikh Heydar was killed in battle with Shirvanshah's troops at Tabasaran. Sultan Yagub, learning of Heydar's death, rejoiced, for he was greatly afraid of him. Ismail was imprisoned along with his mother and older brothers in the fortress of Istakhr in Fars under the custody of Governor Mansur-bek Pornak in late March 1489 by order of Yagub Mirza, ruler of Azerbaijan. Sultan Yagub did not kill them for the sake of their mother, who was his sister. His thought was that when the boys were imprisoned in this fortress, their disciples and followers would be deprived of access to them and thus deprived of their support. Mansur-bek Pornak sided with the Safavid family and sought to satisfy the wishes of his prisoners in everything. After nearly four and a half years of imprisonment, he was released in early August 1493 by Rustam Mirza, ruler of Azerbaijan and Sultan of Ak-Koyunlu, who sent an envoy to the children of Sheikh Heydar in the fortress of Istahr. His brother Sultan Ali was met by Rustam in the capital of Ak-Koyunlu, Tabriz, with great respect. Then Rustam Mirza ordered to give Sultan Ali Mirza royal supplies such as a crown with coat of arms, an embroidered belt, a sword and a belt with a dagger, as well as Arab horses with golden saddles and other luxury items and told the Safavid leader: "I gave you the title of padishah, you will no longer be called Mirza. What has been done to you, in the past, with God's help I will rectify it. You are like a brother to me, and after my death you will become the ruler of Iran." Now the followers of the Safavid family were increasing in number and strength by the day.

Sultan Rustam Khan invited Sultan Ali padishah to Tabriz when he was 18 years old and asked him to join the fight against Sultan Yagub Baysungur's son, as he was certainly capable of leadership and military command. Sultan Rustam encouraged Sultan Ali to take revenge on common enemies represented by members of the Ak Koyunlu dynasty who were involved in the death of his father. Among them were Gödek Ahmed, Muhammad Mirza, Alvend-bek, and Sultan Murad. Having thus got rid of Baysungur, Rustam Mirza knew that it would be easy to get rid of Sultan Ali as well. He joined the army of Ak-Koyunlu and with him the Qizilbashi. Ali's forces played a vital role in defeating Rustam's main rival. After spending some time in Tabriz, Sultan Ali padishah accompanied his mother and brothers to Ardebil. When Rustam Mirza learned that everyone was flocking around Sultan Ali, jealousy inflamed his heart and he was filled with anxiety lest the prince turn his back on him. The growing influence of the family made Rustam Mirza suspicious, and he re-arrested Ali and his brothers and sent them to his camp. After hearing from one of his Turkoman followers that Rustam was planning to kill him, Ali escaped from Rustam's camp by mid-1494 and headed for Ardebil, accompanied by a small group of seven loyal Safavid supporters known as "ahl-i ikhtisas," or persons selected for a special duty. Hüseyin-bek Lala, Gara Piri-bek Kajar, Dede-bek Talysh, and Ilyas-bek Aygutoglu said to him, "May we become victims for your sake! Get up and go to Ardabil, because there and in that area there are many followers. If Rustam the Padishah wants to pursue us, we will give him a fight. However, if he refuses to follow us, we will remain unharmed." Sultan Ali agreed with them. Rustam realized the urgency of intercepting the Safavid brothers before they made contact with their base in Ardabil. "If Sultan Ali once enters Ardabil, (that, God forbid!) the death of 10,000 Turkomans would be useless," he said. On his way to Ardabil he sensed death approaching, and he appointed his brother Ismail as his successor as head of the Safavid order. He said: "Oh, my brother, it is predestined that on this day I shall be killed. The followers will take my body and place it in the mausoleum of my ancestors from the side. I want you to avenge me and your father and your ancestors on the son of Hassan the Padishah. For the lot chosen by Heaven is cast upon your name, and soon you will come out of Gilan like a scorching sun, and with your sword you will sweep away unbelief from the face of the earth." Having said this, he took off the turban of Sultan Heydar from his head and put it on Ismael's head, and then he tied it around him with his own belt. Then he spoke in his ear the sayings he had inherited from his ancestors. Then he ordered the Ahl-i Ikhtisas to go to Ardebil with Ismael and Ibrahim. They were overtaken by a detachment of 5,000 men sent by Rustam Mirza and led by Hussein-bek Alihani and Ayba Sultan in Shamasi, a village near Ardebil. When Ayba Sultan saw the prince advancing with his army of 300 men, he turned and fled with Hussein-bek Alihani. Sultan Ali's army pursued them persistently and killed many of them with sword and spear until they reached the river, which prevented them. Here the prince fell with his horse and, unable to get out, drowned.

Princes Ibrahim Mirza and Ismail Mirza reached Ardabil safely. When they reached the city, the news of Sultan Ali's death overtook them. Their mother Alamshah Beyim was seized with grief on learning of the death of her son, and her mind was full of anxiety, as if Ismail and Ibrahim had not fallen into the hands of the enemy. So she hid them in the mausoleum of Sheikh Sefiaddin. Alashah-beyim ordered Ali's body to be taken to Ardabil to be buried next to his ancestors. Hussein-bek Lala, Khadim-bek Khalifa and Dede-bek Talysh carried out the order. The next day, Ayba Sultan arrived in Ardabil and began searching for the princes and looting the city. As the eyewitness says: "They stretched out their hands of violence and oppression to the inhabitants of Ardebil, and proceeded to kill and plunder. After that they left the mausoleum and hid in the house of Ahmed Kakuli. Fearing the wrath of Ayba the Sultan, Ahmed Kakuli took them out and took them to the house of a woman named Khanjan, where they remained for a month, unknown to everyone except their aunt Pasha-khatun, daughter of Sultan Junaid and wife of Mohammed-bek Turkman. From there they were taken to the house of a woman named Ubai Jarrah of the Zulkadar tribe, who, to avoid the diligent search initiated by Ayba Sultan, hid them in the crypt of the Allahvermish-agi mausoleum, situated in the Jami mosque in Ardebil. Her house was in the "Rumiyan" ("mahalliye Rumiyan") quarter, descendants of the Anatolian captives of Tamerlane who had been freed and settled in Ardebil by Sheikh Haji Ali. Ayba Sultan received Rustam's insistent instructions to find Ismail and his brother at all costs; he searched Ardebil "block by block, house by house." While they were there, she took the opportunity to inform Alamshah Beyim. The mother was overjoyed to learn of her sons' safety, she thanked God and prayed for her sons' lives. Meanwhile, one of their followers, who had hidden in the Jami Mosque after being wounded in a battle between Sultan Ali padishah and Ayba sultan, learned of the princes' presence and kissed the ground at Ismail's feet, reporting the followers who were eager to serve the prince. He conveyed this information to Rustam-bek Karamanly, who also fled from the same battlefield and took refuge with eighty men on Mount Bagrau near Ardebil. Rustam-bek Karamanly took the princes by night to Kargan, a village on that mountain, and hid them in the house of the preacher Farrukhzad Gurgani, where they spent several days. Ismail's mother Alamshah-beyim was tortured by Ak-Qoyunlu, but to no avail, for she knew not the whereabouts of her son.

Mansur-bek Kypchaki, Hussein-bek Lala, Kurk Sidi Ali, Julban-bek, Khadim-bek Khalifa, Dede-bek Talysh and Kök Ali-bek decided to settle the princes in the house of Emir Ishag, the governor of Resht who had long been on friendly terms with Mohammed-bek (the husband of the princes' aunt) and his brother Ahmed-bek. Then, together with eighty men, they were first taken to the house of Emir Muzaffar, governor of Thul and Naw (Eng.). Ayba Sultan learned of this and sent a letter to Muzaffar demanding that the princes be extradited. Jafar-bek, the governor of Khalkhal, sent a similar letter, but ignoring this, Emir Muzaffar sent the princes to Emir Siyavush, the governor of Kasgar. Three days later, Emir Siyavush accompanied them to Emir Ishag, the governor of Resht, and despite his requests, they stayed at the mosque known as the White Mosque. A jeweler named Emir Najm, who lived near the mosque, was the princes' servant during their stay in Resht. The princes remained there for some time, from seven days to one month, when Karkiya Mirza Ali, the ruler of Lahijan, who surpassed all the rulers of Gilan in great strength and antiquity of family, learned of the princes' presence in Reshta and realizing that they had been driven there by the hardships of time and that Emir Ishag could not protect them, asked them to come to Lahijan. The princes accordingly went to Lahijan at the end of 1494, where they were hospitably welcomed and were allocated beautiful buildings next to the madrasah of Kiya Firudin.

Soon after learning that the princes had settled in Lahijan, Ayba Sultan returned to Tabriz with Ubai Jarraha, who had protected the princes, and told the whole story to Rustam Mirza, who, in an excessive rage, hanged the woman in the marketplace in Tabriz. Mohammed-bek and Ahmed-bek also suffered from his wrath, and their property was confiscated, but in the end, after paying a fine of 30,000 tenge, they were pardoned at Gara Dede's request. In addition to the other services that Karkiya Mirza Ali rendered to the princes, he appointed Shamsaddin Lahiji to teach them the holy Quran, Persian and Arabic. During this period, Emir Najm, Karkiya Sultan Hussein and Emir Hashim, brothers of Karkiya Mirza Ali, often came to see the princes. A few months later, Ibrahim Mirza begged his brother's permission to go to his mother, to which Ismail replied, "My dear brother, do not break our hearts and be merciful to our frail old mother." He changed his turban with twelve wedges for the headdress of Ak-Qoyunlu and left for his mother Alamshah beyim in Ardabil, where he continued to hide from persecution.

At that time, Ismail fell ill, but thanks to Mowlana Neimatullah's doctor, he was cured. He asked his aunt Pasha Khatun to send him treats. She then sent him offerings of dainties from Ardebil and wanted to know about his health. When her envoys reached Resht, Ismail sent Kök Ali to meet them and escort them to him. They delivered gifts and letters to the prince from his mother, brother, half-brothers and aunt, and expressed their gratitude to heaven that they had seen Ismail healthy. Rustam Mirza twice sent a message to Karqiyya Mirza Ali in Lahijan demanding that the princes be extradited, but he received evasive answers. Once he sent spies to Lahijan dressed in Qizilbash attire, who introduced themselves as followers of the Safavids, and learned of Ismail's whereabouts. Rustam threatened to massacre all the inhabitants of the province if he did not give up Ismail. Karkiya Mirza became worried and decided to give the boy up, but he dreamed of Ali ibn Abu Talib who dissuaded him from doing so. Rustam Mirza then decided to use force and sent Gasym-bek Turkman with 300 men to Lahijan to arrest the princes, but Karkiya Mirza Ali hid Ismael in a hanging basket on a tree and swore on the holy Koran that the prince was not in Lahijan. Gasym-bek Turkman, accordingly, returned to Tabriz with an empty message from Karkiy Mirza Ali, and Rustam Mirza himself decided to invade Lahijan, but his plan could not materialize because of his death at the hands of his cousin Ahmed-bek on the bank of the Arax River on July 8, 1497. It was then that Ismail Mirza began to lead a peaceful life in Lahijan and to bless his followers.

Ismail remained in Lahijan for about five years when, wishing to avenge his ancestors and put an end to the civil war that followed the death of Rustam Mirza, he left for Ardebil in the middle of August 22, 1499. Karkia Mirza tried to dissuade Ismail from his way, saying: "It is not yet time for this bud to blossom. Be patient some more time so that your highest goal can be better achieved with the help of more supporters," stressing his extreme youth (he was only twelve years old) and recalling the fates of his predecessors, to which he replied, "I rely on Allah and draw my strength from him, I fear no one." Karkiya Mirza prepared everything necessary for the journey and accompanied him to Ardua, a village not far from Deylam. The next day Ismail went hunting with some of his disciples. Not far from Lasht Nashi they came to the edge of a dense forest. In the earliest annals of Shah Ismail's life it is written of a legendary encounter between him and Imam Mahdi at this spot. Ismail, after crossing the river that flowed there, said to his men, "None of you must follow me across this river, but you must wait for my return on the other side." Then Ishmael went into the forest, and no one knew what became of him until he came out again. The prince's followers, who, obeying his order, waited on the bank of the river near the forest, after about two hours, seeing no sign of him, began to worry for his safety. But since they were forbidden to cross the river, they could not enter the woods to see if anything had happened to him. In the midst of their anxiety they saw Ismael coming out of the forest with a sword on his belt but no dagger. Not frightened, Ismail went to Taram (ang.) via Deylam with seven of his loyal followers, namely Hussain-bek Lala, Dede-bek Talish, Hadim-bek Khalifa, Rustam-bek Karamanli, Bayram-bek Karamanli, Ilyas Aygutoglu and Gara Piri-bek Kajar. When he heard that he went to Ardebil, his followers rushed to him, and their number increased to 1500, when he camped in Taram. He set out for Khalkhal. His first stop was at the village of Berendik, and the next day he stopped at the arable lands belonging to the Shamla tribe and known as "Sham-i Kiziluzen." Then Ismail went to the village of Nisaz, where he spent several days and was well received by Sheikh Gasim. From there he went to Khoi and stayed there for a month in the house of Melik Muzaffar, known as Hulafa-bek, who was the standard-bearer of the Sultan Ali Padishah. His mother sent a message persuading Ismail not to come to Ardabil and to wait. Hussein-bek Lala also confirmed that Alamshah beyim was right, and that this was not the best time to attack. He continued his journey to Ardabil, where he paid a visit to Sheikh Sefiaddin's mausoleum, but he received an ultimatum from Sultan Ali-bek Chakirli, the governor of the city, to leave the place immediately or prepare for war. Thereafter, due to a lack of followers, Ismail left the place and struck at the village of Mirmi near Ardabil.

Muhammad Sultan of Talysh personally asked Ismail to visit Talysh, writing a letter saying, "This country belongs to your servants. I hear the prince is contemplating spending the winter in this country. This servant would be most grateful if he could be allowed to serve the prince for a few days," and on the advice of Mohammed-bek Turkman Ismail, went there and camped out in Archivan, a village near Astara on the shores of the Caspian Sea. Muhammad-sultan Talysh proved his loyalty to Ismail, first, by rejecting the offer of Alvend Mirza, ruler of Azerbaijan and sultan of Ak-Koyunlu, to give Ismail to him in exchange for the rule of Ardebil and Khalkhal and, second, by rejecting the sum of 1000 tumen offered by Shirvanshah Farrukh Yassar, for the same purpose.

Ismael spent the winter of 1499-1500 in Archivan, and the following spring he consulted with his chief devotees as to where he should go next and offered to invade "infidel" Georgia himself. The proposal was accepted, but he realized that since the number of his followers was very small, only 300, he should first send envoys to the various provinces of Asia Minor and Syria to call on his followers. The proposal was accepted and implemented. He then made a short visit to Ardabil, where he stayed at the mansion of his father, Sultan Heydar. Here he found his mother Alamshah beyim, his brothers and his half-brothers who were anxious to see him after such a long period of separation and visited the mausoleum of Sheikh Sefiaddin. Ismail again consulted with his chief devotees as to the route he should take in his proposed campaign. They decided that it would be best for him to go to Azerbaijan. Thus, he kept his route in the direction of Karabakh and Ganja. The prince's supporters also suggested that before he left his gishlag in Archivan to send envoys to Asia Minor and Syria to summon his followers, he should first go to Erzincan through Lake Goychu, where his followers would have easy access to him. After that, Ismail said goodbye to his mother and left for Erzincan.

Not far from Goycha, Ismail learned that Sultan Hussein Baranly, one of the grandsons of Jahanashah Kara-Qoyunlu, who lived in the neighborhood of Goycha, was raiding neighboring territories with the intention of regaining the power that his ancestors had lost. While Ismail was consulting with his chief devotees about Sultan Husayn Baranly, a messenger came from him, and then he arrived in person to ask Ismail to be his guest. Isma'il's troops in this area also included the Areshli and Zulkadar tribes. Along with 1,500 of his followers, Ismail spent a few days in the house of Sultan Hussein Baranly, but, suspecting his intentions, left at night for Dogguz Alam. At Dogguz Alam he received reinforcements from Karaj Ilyas and his men of Asia Minor, who had fled after being robbed in Shuragil by a neighboring chief named Mantasha. Ismael captured Mantash's fortress, which managed to escape, but its garrison was put to the sword. He went to the yaylag of Sangigul, inhabited by the Ustajli tribe. When news of his approach reached them, the whole tribe, led by their elders, set out to greet him, singing and dancing, and accompanied him just as centuries ago the old companions (the Ansars) welcomed the Prophet Muhammad in Medina when he arrived there from Mecca. In their stories, Ismail appeared as a messenger of the Lord of Time. The Shah spent a few days in the house of Oglan Ummat and left for Sarygaya, where he spent two months in the summer of 1500. In this village he encountered a ferocious bear that disturbed the local population, and despite his young age, he also single-handedly slayed the bear with an arrow in Erzinjan. His 7,000 followers from the Azerbaijani tribes of Shamli, Ustajli, Rumlu, Tekeli, Zulkadar, Afshar, Qajar and Warsak, for whom he had sent messengers, joined him there. Among them were Muhammad-bek Ustajli and Abdi-bek Shamli with 200 and 300 soldiers.

Reunited with his army, Ismael decided to march against his enemies. So, after consulting with his chief followers for his next expedition, he set out for Shirvan in mid-1500 to avenge the deaths of his ancestors. On arriving in Yassin, he sent Hulaf-bek to subdue Georgia; the latter successfully returned with a large booty, which Ismail distributed to his troops. Ilyas-bek Aygutoglu, the leader of another expedition to reconquer the fortress of Mantashi, was equally successful. Then Ismail Mirza went to Hasanabad, where Mantasha came to him and apologized for his previous behavior. He was pardoned and allowed to return to his fortress, and Ismail continued his march. Emir Najm, being one of the Safavid followers, fled from Resht for fear of being executed by Emir Ishag, arrived at Ismael as he marched on Shirvan, and was accepted for service. Then Ismail sent Bairam-bek Karamanly with a contingent of Tekeli and Zulkadar tribes to cross the river Kura before these places were occupied by Shirvanshah. Because of the depth of the river they could not cross it and remained in Goyunelumyu until Ismail arrived. He realized the problem and crossed the river on horseback, prompting the army to follow him. Bairam-bek Karamanly threw his horse into the river and crossed with the main army, moving to Shamakhi around December 1500.

On the way Ismail received information that Shirvanshah Farrukh Yasar, was ready for battle and camped near the fortress of Gibla with 7,000 infantry and 20,000 cavalry. He sent Gulu-bek to occupy Shabran, and the next day he himself went first to Shabran and then to Shamakhi, which he found abandoned. Meanwhile, the Shirvanshah had set up his camp in the forest between the fortresses of Gulistan and Bigurd. When Ismail moved towards the Shirvanshah, the latter headed towards the fortress of Gulistan. The two sides met at Jabani near the fortress of Gulistan and lined up their armies in battle order. Ismail assigned the Shamli on the right flank, the Ustajli on the left, and the Tekeli, Rumla and Zulkadars as a fighting group, while he himself commanded the center. Among the Kyzylbash leaders, who participated in the battle, are mentioned the following "pillars of the power" with the indication of the tribal attribution: Abdi-bek Shamli, Hussein-bek Lala Shamli, Mohammed-bek Ustajli, Ahmed-bek Sufioglu Ustajli, Bayram-bek Karamanli, Kylydj-bek Karamanli, Karaja Ilyas Bayburdlu (Jush Mirza), Ilyas-bek Hunuslu, Soltanshah-bek Afshar, Dana-bek Afshar, Khalil-bek Afshar, Hussein-bek Afshar, Piri-bek Afshar, Lala Muhammad Tekeli, Bekir-bek Chakirli, Hara Piri-bek Kajar, Salman-bek Hazin Zulkadarli. On the other hand, the Shirvanshah appointed his generals on the right and left and commanded the center himself. A fierce battle ensued, and Ismail, though less than fourteen years old, fought for hours in the front lines and urged his supporters to follow his example. Their battle cry in the battle was "Allah! Allah! And Ali the Vicar of Allah!". Most of the Shirvanshah's warriors fell dead on the battlefield, and the rest, unable to withstand the heavy attacks of the Qizilbash, fled with Farrukh Yasar to the fortress of Gulistan. They were impatiently pursued by the Kyzylbashis, and again most of them fell at the swords of their pursuers. Hussein-bek Lala, whose name was Shahgyaldi-aga, recognizing the Shirvanshah, seized him, and having cut off his head, brought him to Ismail. He burned the corpse of Shirvanshah Farrukh Yasar and built pyramids of the enemy's heads.

In this war against the Shirvanshahs, Ismail lost only one notable officer, namely Mirza-bek Ustajla, the father of Muhammad-bek Ustajla. A large booty fell into the hands of the victors, which Ismail Mirza distributed to his army. Three days later Ismail returned to Shamakhi, met by representatives of the town nobility, received news that Farrukh Yasar's son Sheikh Shah, who had fled from the battlefield to Shahrinav, was preparing for battle. Ismail then sent Hulaf-bek against him, but Shaykh Shah got on a ship and sailed to Gilan. Ismail himself got to Shahrinav, appointed Hulaf-bek as viceroy of the city, and went to Mahmudabad to spend the winter of 1500-1501. Muhammad Zakariya, who had been prime minister of the rulers of Ak-Qoyunlu in Azerbaijan for many years, came to Ismail and was taken into service. Then Ismail sent Mohammed-bek Ustajli and Ilyas-bek Aigutoglu to conquer the fortress of Baku. They besieged it for a long time, and finally, the following spring, Ismail himself approached Baku and sent a message to Gazi-bek, the son-in-law of the late Shirvanshah and governor of the city, to submit, but the envoy was killed. Gazi-Bek's wife was the daughter of Farrukh Yassar and had great influence on her husband and his entourage. The Baku daruga Abulfadh-bek tried to deter her from this step by frightening Ismail's anger. But she ordered to execute the daruga as well. Following this, Ismail launched an attack that lasted for three days. Ismael ordered some of the soldiers to build earthen ramparts for themselves and to fire from behind them at the besieged, while another group was instructed to cover the castle moat with earth and stones so that the troops could easily cross it. The sappers made a dig under the fortress tower and when they split a large stone at its base, the tower toppled over and a hole was created in the wall. The sieurs dug a tunnel in the tower. The group of Baku nobility consisting of 70 people with Koran in their hands came to Ismayil to save the city and asked him to spare the city. Ismail ordered the killing and looting to cease. Most of the garrison was killed in battle, the rest were pardoned, and Khulafa-bek was ordered to seize the treasures of the Shirvanshah. A considerable part of it was distributed among the Qizilbash.

After the capture of Baku, Ismail officially ascended the throne of Shirvan. He decided to subdue the fortress of Gulistan and wrote a letter to Gazi-Bek's son, who also occupied Bigurd and Surkhab, ordering him to hand over control of the forts. He refused and said that Ismail could take the forts only by conquest. A messenger sent by his general, Sheikh Mohammed Khalifa, who had gone to Karabakh to inquire about the ruler of Ak-Koyunlu, Alvend Mirza, returned the disturbing report that Alvend Mirza-the ruler of Azerbaijan-was in Nakhichevan with 30,000 men, and that he had sent Mohammed Karaju to Shirvan, Hasan-bek Shukuroglu to Karajadag and Karachagai-bek to Ardabil to stop the advance of Ismael's army. Thereafter, on the advice of the Imams in his dream, from whom he asked: "Which do you want the throne of Azerbaijan or the fortress of Gulistan?" to which the reply was "Azerbaijan," Ismail lifted the siege. He ordered Jush Mirza to move to the place of confluence of Kura and Araks - Javad to collect a pontoon bridge in order to provide urgent forcing of the river by the main forces, to attack Alvend before he tried to cross to the northern bank of the river. Ismael then crossed the Kura River by a bridge of boats around May 1501, and sent Gara Piri-bek Qajar against Hasan-bek Shüküroğlu, who was killed. Ismail himself moved toward Karabakh, and, hearing of his approach, Karachagai-bek and Mohammed Karadja retreated to Nakhichevan.

Then Ismail moved on Nakhichevan with Gara Piri-bey Qajar and Ilyas-bek Halvacioglu. Osman-bek Mosullu, sent by Alvend Mirza to intercept the invaders, was captured by Gara Piri-bek Qajar along with his comrades and put to the sword by the order of Ismail. Alvend Mirza then wrote a letter to Ismail Mirza asking him to return to Shirvan and govern the province as his candidate. The offer was rejected, and both sides went into action: Alvend Mirza and his 30,000 men moved toward Chukhursaad and camped at Sharur, a village on the bank of the Arax River. Ismail wrote a letter to Alvend:

"The descendants of Hasan the Padishah have brought dishonor upon the descendants of Sheikh Sefi and disgraced them for no reason. Despite the grievous insults inflicted upon our majesty, I do not intend to avenge the blood of my ancestor upon you, and I have never aspired to the throne or to rule. My only intention is that I want to spread the religion of my ancestors, the Immaculate Imams. As long as I live, I will bare my sword for God and His Immaculate Imams and the true religion until justice is established in its place. One should ask for help from the pure spirits of the Immaculate Imams with sincere faith, constantly repeating and confessing, "Ali is the Vicar of God," in order to obtain salvation in both worlds and to become the most prosperous king among all others. And if I conquer any territory, I will carve your name on coins, and they will bear your name. In the hutba I will consider you my elder brother. If you refuse to accept this salvation because of your stubbornness, that is your business and you may come to the battlefield. In that case I may avenge the blood of my innocent brother. Peace be with you."

Alvend Mirza, after reading the letter, replied: "I will never do that and I will fight. Do everything in your power and do not neglect anything," through Nakhichevan, joined him in the battle of Sharur in the middle of 1501. The distribution of the troops was as follows: his chief devotees, such as Hussein-bek Lala, Dede-bek Talysh, Khadim-bek Khalifa, Muhammad-bek Ustajli, Bayram-bek Karamanli, Abdi-bek Shamli, Karaja Ilyas Bayburdlu, Gara Piri-bek Cajar, Ilyas-bek Halvacioglu, Ilyas-bek Aygutoglu, Sary Ali-bek Tekeli, and Ali-bek Rumlu, aka Div Sultan Ismail assigned to the right and left flanks, while he himself commanded the center. Ismail's participation emboldened the warriors. The Kyzylbash troops wore no armor and were willing to risk their lives. They uttered, "O my spiritual mentor and teacher, of whom I am the victim. Alvend Mirza, ordering the camels in his army to be chained and to stand behind the army to prevent the troops from fleeing, assigned Latif-bek, Seyyid Gazi-bek, Musa-bek, Karachagai-bek, Gulabi-bek, Khalil-bek and Mohammed Karaju on the right and left flanks, while he himself stood in the center on the hill and hoped that none of his army would cross the line of camels chained behind them. In the desperate battle that followed, Ismail showed his courage by attacking the enemy's front line and betraying Karachagai-bek and many others to the sword. This was the signal for a general attack, in which Latif-bek, Sayyid Ghazi-bek, Musa-bek, Mohammed Karadja, the generals, and most of Alvend Mirza's soldiers were killed. The rest turned to flee, but chains of camels blocked their way, and they fell from the swords of their pursuers. Alvend Mirza barely escaped to Erzincan. While a large number of camels, horses, mules and many costly materials fell into the hands of the victors. After this Ismail Mirza generously rewarded his troops. With his victory over Alvend at Sharur in 1501, Ismail effectively broke the power of the Ak Koyunlu, although the resistance was far from over.

Coming to Power

The Safavid family itself was part of the Ak Koyunlu tribal group. Ismail was just another claimant to the throne from the Ak Koyunlu. The day after his victory over Alvend Mirza, Ismail Mirza left Sharur and went to Tabriz to take the vacated throne of Azerbaijan. He was greeted with great enthusiasm by the dignitaries of the city and was crowned in July 1501, and henceforth he was known as Shah Ismail of Azerbaijan. Sources often began to refer to him by his full title "Hagan Sahib Giran Suleiman-shan Ismail Bahadur-khan" ("Ruler, Lord of the Favorable Junction similar to Suleiman in state Ismail Bahadur-khan") and "Hagan-i-Iskander-shan" ("Ruler similar to Alexander in state"). He later assumed the title "Padishah-i-Iran" ("Padishah of Iran") previously held by his grandfather Uzun Hasan, whose legitimate heir he considered himself. But Ismail and his followers had no idea of the idea of Iran; they denoted Khorasan and Transoxiana by this word, not the conquered territories. His rise to power was essentially the result of the successful fusion of Shiism with the political order of the Bayandour dynasty. On the Friday following his coronation, Shah Ismail ordered the khutba to be recited in his presence in the name of the Twelve Imams. Coins of the Shah minted in Tabriz, have an inscription on the face: "There is no deity but Allah, Mohammed is the Messenger of Allah, and Ali is the deputy of Allah. Isnaashari Shiism, alien to Iranian society, was adopted as the state religion. Henceforth, Shi'a fear of the Sunnis disappeared and Shi'a Islam was no longer hidden from the public. But Shiites and Sunnis remained equal before the law and carried the same penalties.

Shah Ismail appointed Hussein-bek Lalu as his advisor and prime minister, Shamsaddin Lahiji, who was his teacher, as his secretary, and Mohammed Zakariya as his minister. He spent the winter of 1501-1502 in Tabriz because of his nomadic lifestyle. Ismail received the main support for the enthronement from the Qizilbash, but did not enjoy the same support in Iran and even faced discontent and hatred from most of the Sunni Iranians. He had to ensure the early arrival of the Qizilbash from Asia Minor, for in the eyes of the Persians of Iran he and his supporters were outsiders whom they hated. His detachment of seven close kyzylbash advisors played a major role in Ismail's success.

The War for the Unification of the State

In the spring of 1502 Shah Ismail celebrated Novruz and thought of making a move against Sultan Murad, the ruler of Persian Iraq and Fars; but news came that, having assembled his forces in Erzindjan, Alvend Mirza intended to attack Azerbaijan, after which the Shah changed his mind and moved towards Erzindjan on May 2, 1502. Thanks to their possession of the arsenal of Tabriz, the shah and his soldiers were better armed this time, and they took the gold with them. Ismail had no desire to go deep into the Iranian Plateau and planned to build a kingdom in Azerbaijan and Eastern Anatolia, between the possessions of the Ottomans and the Ak Koyunlu. However, the state of affairs in the rest of the Ak Koyunlu territories forced him to advance eastward. Alvend Mirza fled and took refuge in a fortress near Sarigaya, but was pursued by the Shah and fled to Avjan via Tabriz. The Shah followed him and sent his units after the fugitive sultan, who fled from Awjān to Hamadān and from there to Baghdad. The Shah then returned from Awcian to Tabriz to spend the winter of 1502-1503. Alvend Mirza found that his power in Baghdad was threatened by Gasym-bek Bayandur and left for Diyarbakir. After defeating the eponymous Gasym-bek ibn Jahangir-bek, ruler of the province, he ruled the province until his death in 1504-1505.

Sultan Murad spent the winter of 1502-1503 in Dyalijan and, fearing the growing power of Shah Ismail, he gathered 300 cannons and 70,000 men and moved toward Hamadan without waiting for the end of winter. He also sent his mother, Gowhar Sultan-hanim, to Qom to persuade Islamish-bek, the ruler of the city, to come to his aid in the coming battle with Shah Ismail. Islamish-bek and his men went to Hamadan and supplemented Sultan Murad's army. Ismail wrote a letter to Murad:

"Since we are kinsmen, it would be better for you not to feud or fight, but to accept my position of supremacy, to mint your coins and sign your decrees in my name, and in return I will give you several provinces of Iraq. And if you even think of the words "corruption" or "disorder," or speak of conquest and victory or despotism, I and my warriors will head for that place."

On receiving this letter, Sultan Murad gathered his Turkoman emirs, including his most informed advisers, and consulted with them. They told him that it would be better for him to remain at peace with Shah Ismail; they declared that "a wise man does not click his whip when he can achieve the same ends by talking; neither does he use swords and arrows when he could achieve the same results by using the whip. Shah Ismail celebrated Nowruz in the spring of 1503 and sent an envoy named Ganbar-aga to Sultan Murad with a letter telling him of their kinship ties and asking him to submit. But Murad decided to fight Ismail. He asked the messenger why he was sent and not someone else. Ganbar-aga replied, "Since I am now the Shah's old instructor and his close friend who knows his secrets, he sent me to you to give you his exact message and to consult with you." Murad told him:

"The Shah wanted a suitable chance to destroy me, and since he was not sure of Alvend Mirza, he did not attack me and thought that it would be better not to take any action against me until he had first killed Alvend Mirza. On the other hand, he was sure of my weakness and so he called me "Namurad" -- "Murad the Unfortunate." I obeyed him because it seemed right and appropriate for the occasion, expedient at the time. However, now that I have heard from my brother Alvend that Khandahar has given my brother 120,000 soldiers who are like ferocious lions, why should I miss this promising opportunity to confront Shah Ismail? I am a king myself, and it would be better for me not to submit to another ruler. You say to me, Ganbar-aga, "I take my oath by the family of Sheikh Sefi," which of them is the wiser?"

Ganbar-aga replied to Sultan Murad:

"Your Majesty, I have listened to what you have said, now listen to what I have to say to you. Think of what the all-conquering ruler has written to you, and do not think of your brother. Surely Shah knew the goodness of your heart better than you do. For although he is capable of seizing and imprisoning you at this very moment, he did not do so, instead he called you "Namurad." On the other hand, Navvab Ashraf (Shah Ismail) needs no help whatsoever and rose up with God's support so that he could help spread the Isnaashari current. He whom God supports never needs to be afraid, even if the whole world is his enemy. Because he was kind to you and did not want you to be burned in your brother's fire and the children of Hasan-bek thus completely destroyed, Navvab Ashraf sent you his letter of announcement. And the will of our victorious king is only for you, for your welfare."

Sultan Murad answered him:

"Tell your master to tell the truth, I am his enemy, and no one in the world wants his enemy alive. Now my brother and I will attack on both sides and destroy him. We will treat the wives and children of the Kyzylbash the same way they treat their enemies."

When the ruler of Ak Koyunlu hinted that he could easily kill him, Ganbar-aga responded defiantly, declaring the sultan to be rude and ignorant of diplomacy. Sultan Murad ordered that he be trampled to death. Ganbar-aga was declared a shahid, and parallels were drawn in sources between him and Bilal, who was also a black slave and associate of the Prophet Muhammad. The Shah then went to Hamadan with 12,000 men and encamped at Almagulagy near Hamadan. Sultan Murad moved with his army toward Shah Ismail's camp. The Shah's army, unfamiliar with the climate and landscape of the area, could not find a place with drinking water. The soldiers were forced to dig wells and were finally able to quench their thirst and move on. Before the battle, the Shah encouraged the warriors by quoting ayats from the Qur'an 41:30: "Verily, to those who said, 'Our Lord is Allah,' and then were steadfast, angels descended, 'Do not be afraid or grieved, but rejoice in Paradise, which was promised you,' and 8:65: 'O Prophet! Inspire the believers to fight the battle. If there are twenty of you who are patient, they will overcome two hundred; but if there are a hundred of them among you, they will overcome a thousand unbelievers, because they are foolish men." On Monday morning, June 21, 1503, the troops lined up in battle order and the battle of Almagulagy (Azerb.) was launched. Dede-bek Talysh, Hussein-bek Lala, Mohammed-bek Ustajli, Bayram-bek Karamanli, Abdi-bek Shamli, Yakan-bek Tekeli and Sary Ali-bek Tekeli commanded the right and left flanks of the Qizilbash army. Hulafa-bek and Mansur-bek Kypchaki were the leaders of the attacking force, Gara Piri-bek Kajar controlled the 1,500 reserves, and Shah Ismail himself led the battle from the center. On the other hand, Sultan Murad assigned Ali-bek Turkman to the right wing and Murad-bek to the left wing and gave control of the attacking detachment to Islamish-bek. He then ordered 300 cannons and other guns chained to the front line and took command in the center. During the battle, the Shah also recited Ayat 2:250: "When they appeared before Jalut and his army, they said, 'Our Lord! Pour out patience on us, strengthen our feet and help us to defeat the disbelievers." In the fierce fight that followed, Islamysh-bek with his Turkoman warriors repulsed the Kyzylbashis, who retreated to the center. But at that moment Gara Piri-bek Kajar attacked with reserve army on Islamysh-bek who has been caught alive, and his people have been chopped on pieces. Shah Ismail could not restrain his warlike ardor, and, attacking his opponents, engaged in a "royal war" (jang-e soltani) and killed a large number of them, while his kizilbashi defeated the army of Sultan Murad. The entire Safavid army attacked the Ak-Qoyunlu camp in droves, shouting "Allah, Allah!" Ali-bek Turkman fell with 10,000 men, Kizil Ahmed, brother of Ayba Sultan and prime minister of Sultan Murad, Islamish-bek and others were captured alive and executed by order of the Shah, and only Sultan Murad managed to escape with the help of a few men to Shiraz. As usual, the victors captured rich booty consisting of camels, horses, mules, and equipment. The Shah also recruited a large number of Ak Koyunlu troops after the victory.

After distributing the spoils among his troops and sending victory letters to provincial rulers, Shah Ismail went to the valley of Mount Alwend to spend the summer of 1503. Here he received the grim reward of the heads of his enemy from Ilyas-bek Aygutoglu, ruler of Tabriz, who had defeated Nasir Mansur Turkman and other outlaws and betrayed most of them to the sword. The shah, however, had to leave the mountain valley suddenly. Sultan Murad began to recruit troops in Fars, and the wary shah set out for Fars via Isfahan. On the way he received news of Hussein Kiya Chelebi, ruler of Khwar, Simnan and Firuzkuh (Eng.), who with his 12,000 men had flooded the borders of Iraq. He was a Shiite and had gathered the Turkomans of Qara Qoyunlu around him. The Shah ordered Ilyas-bek Aygutoglu in Tabriz to go immediately toward Ray to stop the invasion of Husayn Qiyah.

The Shah continued his march to Isfahan, where he was greeted with great honor by the townspeople. Durmush-khan of Shamli, eshikagasibashi, was appointed governor of Isfahan, but he delegated the authority to one of his servants, named Shah Hussein Isfahani. At this time Kirman was ruled by Mahmud-bek Bayandur, whose cousin Abulfat-bek, the previous governor of the city, had captured Shiraz, but had been killed while hunting by an accidental fall from a mountain top near Firuzabad, on Saturday, February 7, 1503. The Shah sent Muhammad-bek Ustajli with 600 men to capture Kirman. Murad-bek Bayandur, the governor of Yazd, then left the city under the supervision of his minister, Sultan Ahmed-bek Sara, and fled to Kirman. The Bayandur chiefs commanded 2,000 men, but when Muhammad-bek Ustajli approached, they left the city and fled toward Khorasan. Muhammad-bek Ustajli occupied the city and then returned to the Shah's camp, which meanwhile headed for Shiraz. Muhammad Gara, the governor of Abarquh, sent gifts to the shah and remained in his government.

Meanwhile, Sultan Murad had consolidated his power in Fars with the help of Yagub Jan-bek, another brother of Ayba Sultan, and camped in Shulistan near the Safid fortress. On hearing of Shah Ismail's advance, Sultan Murad and Yagub Jan-bek fled to Baghdad. The former, after spending some time in Baghdad, where he was put on the throne by Barik-bek Pornak, went to Aleppo and, after spending some days with Sultan Ashraf Gansu, ruler of Egypt and Syria, went to Alauddovla Zulkadar, chief of the Zulkadar tribe, in Marash. The latter went to Mosul, where he was killed by Basharat-bek, which was revenge for the death of his brother Gasym-bek, executed by Sultan Murad in Isfahan.

Shah Ismail continued his march to Shiraz, where he arrived on Saturday, September 24, 1503. The governors of the various sub-provinces of Fars paid tribute to the shah and remained in their governments. About the same time, Sultan Ahmed-bek Sary, acting governor of Yazd, apologized and asked the shah to appoint someone as governor of Yazd. Shah Ismail appointed Hussein-bek Lalu as governor of Yazd, who transferred power to Shayb-aga, one of his relatives and servants, while he himself remained in the Shah's camp. Shayb-aga went to Yazd with Tagiuddin Isfahani and took charge of his office, retaining Sultan Ahmed-bek Sary as his minister. Shah Ismail appointed Ilyas-bek Zulkadar, also known as Kajal-bek, as governor of Fars and on November 21, 1503, he set out on a return march to Kashan, where he was honored. The Shah reciprocated by throwing a feast and distributing gifts, and in particular he honored Qadi Muhammad Kashani by appointing him secretary and colleague of Shamsaddin Lahiji. The shah then went to Qom to spend the winter of 1503-1504.

In the winter of 1503-1504 in Qom, Shah Ismail heard that Ilyas-bek Aygutoglu, the governor of Tabriz, who had been ordered to go to Rey to stop the invasion of Husayn Qiyya Celebi, had been killed by deception in Qabud Gonbad. Realizing that he could not resist with his few soldiers against the 12,000 men assembled by Hüseyin Kiyoy, Ilyas-bek Aygutoglu sought refuge in the fortress of Varamin. There he was besieged for some time, but, seduced by fair promises, he and his comrades paid a visit to the camp of Hüseyin Kiyya, where they were treacherously killed. Then Hussein Kiya invaded the surrounding territories and returned to Firuzkuh. To avenge the murder of Ilyas-bek, Shah Ismail moved from Qom on Sunday, February 25, 1504, toward Firuzkuh (Eng.) via Varamin, where he celebrated Novruz. On March 17, 1504 he reached the fortress of Gulkhandan and after a fierce fight with Kiya Ashraf, the keeper of the fortress, he won, destroyed and razed the fortress to the ground. He then moved on to the fortress of Firuzkuh (English), where he arrived on March 29, 1504. Hussein Kiya put Kiya Ali at the head of the fortress and fled from Shah Ismail to the fortress of Usta. There was a river running by the walls of the fortress, and the defenders drew water from the river through a hole cut in the rock. When this was reported to Ismail, he ordered that the river be diverted from its course. Given the volume of water and the strength of the current, the Safavid troops readily set to work and within a few days had cut a new channel and diverted the river's current aside. After a fierce battle lasting ten days, in which Shah Ismail personally participated and in which he lost many of his men, Mahmud-bek Qajar reached the battlements of the fortress on the eleventh day. Others followed him and defeated the enemy's forces. Kiya Ali demanded peace and was pardoned at the request of Emir Najm, but the garrison was destroyed and the fortress razed to the ground.

On April 11, 1504, Shah Ismail moved toward the fortress of Usta. Hussein Kiya left it with a strong detachment of his soldiers and set an ambush. The Shah sent Abdi-bek Shamli and Bairam-bek Karamanli to attack the fortress from one gate, while he himself commanded the troops from the other. Abdi-beg Shamly and Bayram-bek Karamanly were suddenly attacked, and though they showed great valor, they failed to reach the fortress. Kiya and Murad-bek Jahanshah retreated before the Shah and his 200 men attacked and shut down the fortress. After several days of incessant fighting, the shah cut off the water supply from the river Khabla, and on the fourth day he forced the besiegers to submit. The citadel, in which Hussein Kiya, Murad-bek Jahanshah and Sayaltmysh-bek had taken refuge, lasted another three days, but was finally taken by storm on May 13, 1504. The refugees fell into the hands of the victors. At the other gate Murad-bek, Jahanshah, and Sayaltamysh-bek were burned alive; while Hussein Kiya was imprisoned in an iron cage, which the victim himself had prepared for the prisoners he hoped to capture in battle. 10,000 soldiers of the garrison were killed, and only a few scholars and a few others were pardoned at the request of the Shah's officers. The fortress was razed to the ground, and the large booty that fell into the Shah's hands was distributed among the troops. For several days the Shah Ismail rested, hunting in the neighborhood. Mohammed Husayn Mirza, governor of Astrabad; Aga Rustam and Nizamuddin Abdul Karim, rulers of Mazendaran; and Karkiya Sultan Husayn, brother of Karkiya Mirza Ali, ruler of Lahijan, came to congratulate the shah on his victory.

Shah Ismail began his return march on May 19, 1504. On the way Hüseyin Qiyah wounded himself and died in Kabud Günbad near Ray, the same town in which he killed Ilyas-bek Aygutoglu, but his corpse remained caged until it was burned in the square of Isfahan. The burning of Hüseyin Kı's body recalls the practice of burning heretics in order to convince their followers of their death. The Shah proceeded to Soyugbulag (now in present-day Tehran Province) and was honored by Zohrab-bek Chelebi, governor of the fortress of Erd-Sanad near Soyugbulag. From there he moved to the Yaylag of Surluq, where he received news of the rebellion of Muhammad Ghara, the governor of Abarquh.

When Shah Ismail waged his campaign in Firuzkuh (Eng.) and Usta against Ḥusayn Qiyyah, Sultan Ahmed-sary took the opportunity to execute Sheib-agha and his servants and took the reins of power again. Following this, Muhammad Gara, governor of Abarquh, led a night attack on Yazd with 4,000 horsemen, executed Sultan Ahmed-bek Sary, and occupied the territory. He then appointed Mir Hussein Maibudi as his minister and imposed taxes on the inhabitants of the town. Leaving the yaylag of Surluq in mid-1504, the shah hurried through Isfahan to Yazd, and though Yazd was heavily besieged, he took the town after a month through successive skirmishes. But Muhammad Ghara and Mir Hussein Maibudi did not last long in the fortress. Eventually they were taken alive. Muhammad Ghara was imprisoned in the same iron cage in which Husayn Qiya's corpse was kept. On the orders of Shah Ismail, his body was smeared with honey and subjected to a painful death by bees, and later he was burned in the square of Isfahan. Mir Hussein Maibudi was beheaded immediately. Among the captives was also Tajli Beyim (Az.) of the Mosullu tribe, whom the Shah took as his wife.

About the same time Reis Ghaybi, a cousin of Muhammad Gara, who was left in charge of Abarquh, revolted, whereupon the shah sent Abdi-bek Shamli of Yazd to punish the rebels. During the siege of Yazd, Shah Ismail received Kemaleddin Sadr, envoy of Sultan Husayn Mirza, ruler of Khorasan, who came to congratulate the Shah on his victories. But Sultan Husayn Mirza's misspelled letter and his modest gifts provoked the Shah's anger, who immediately moved to the border of Khorasan to invade Tabas. This city was ruled by Mohammed Wali-beg, the head of the stables of Sultan Hussein Mirza, who handed over power to Tardi Baba. Ignoring the fortress where Tardi Baba had taken refuge, the Shah sacked the city and destroyed 7,000 of its inhabitants. Sultan Hussein Mirza then pacified the Shah's anger and secured his return to Yazd by lowering the tone of his speech and increasing the value of his gifts. About the same time Ilyas-bek Zulkadar, known as Kajal-bek, ruler of Fars, was executed for his cruel treatment of his subjects, and he was replaced by Ummat-bek Sary Zulkadar, who was given the title "Khalil Sultan.

Shah Ismail reappointed Husayn-bek Lalu as governor of Yazd and returned to Isfahan to spend the winter of 1504-1505. A few days later an embassy from the Ottoman sultan Bayazid II arrived with suitable gifts to congratulate Shah Ismayil on his victories. The reception took place in the garden of the newly built Nagshi Jahan Palace. Armed cavalry and infantry lined up in two lines in front of the audience. Durmush Khan Shamli, an eshikagasibashi, with a jeweled staff, and guards with gilded maces stood beside the shah. On one side of the throne were armed maces and archers, while on the other were civil officers and theologians such as Qadi Muhammad Kashani, Shamsaddin Lahiji, Sharafaddin Shirazi, and Ali Jabal Amili. The Ottoman embassy was then granted an audience with the Shah. To impress the Ottomans with the greatness of the Safavids, Mohammed Gara, with the corpses of Husayn Qiyah and Reis Ghaybi and other prisoners whom Abdi-bek Shamli had taken from Abarquh to Isfahan, were publicly burned, living and dead, in the presence of the ambassadors, who were then escorted off with honorary robes, Arab horses and trappings, and a friendly message.

Civil and military problems caused the violent deaths of Giyasaddin and Tagiaddin Isfahani by order of the shah. The former broke his oath to the shah by not supplying his army with grain from his large reserves of wheat, to which the shah replied, "Taking false oaths with the head of a ruler and the soul of an emir of mummins Ali shows nothing but hostility to the family of Allah's messenger," the latter conspired with Sultan Ahmed-bek Sary and Muhammad Ghara in their rebellion against the shah. In Lahijan, Karkiya Sultan Hussein organized a successful rebellion against his brother Karkiya Mirza Ali, whose minister Kiya Firudin he had executed. Qarqiyya Mirza Ali handed over control to his brother and became a hermit in Rancukh (Eng.). The Shah celebrated Novruz in 1505 and led a hunting expedition near Ulang Qaniz Yaylag in which 6,700 animals were killed and a minaret in Isfahan was built from the skulls of these animals.

From Isfahan yaylag the shah went to Hamadan and from there to the tomb of Imamzadeh Sahl Ali in a village near Hamadan. He issued an order to reconstruct the mausoleum, and after completing the work, fencing the tomb in the garden, the shah moved to the yaylag of Surlug. The following winter, 1505-1506, the shah marched to the border of Azerbaijan to suppress Shir Sarim, the leader of the Kurdistan brigands. After killing his followers and looting the camp, since Shir Sarim managed to escape, the Shah moved toward the Kiziluzun River. Husamaddin, the ruler of Resht and Fuman, revolted, but the troops of the Qizilbash, whom the Shah followed through Taram, suppressed the rebellion. Through the intercession of Najmuddin Masud Reshti, Husamaddin was pardoned and remained in power. The Shah decided to spend the winter in Taram (Eng.) and sent Dede-bek Talysh to Tabasaran to avenge the death of his father Kizil Heydar. The general returned successfully before the end of the winter. That winter Julban-bek, the governor of Taram (Eng.), was executed by order of the Shah for his cruel treatment of his subjects.

Karkia Mirza Ali and his brother Karkia Sultan Hussein were assassinated by rebels at Rancukh. The new governor appointed by the Shah was Karkiya Sultan Ahmed, who established his rule by executing the murderers of his father and uncle. After celebrating Nowruz at Taram (Eng.) and taking part in races and polo at Sultaniyah, the shah set out for Surlug in mid-1506. A punitive expedition under the command of Bairam-bek Karamanli, Khadim-bek Khalifa, Abdi-bek Shamli and Sara Ali-bek Tekeli looted the camp of Shir Sarim and in a second skirmish captured his son, brother and some of his officers alive. Abdi-bek Shamly and Sary Ali-bek Tekeli were killed in the battle. Shir Sarim escaped. The captives brought to the shah in Khoi in the winter of 1506-1507, among whom was Shir Sarim's son and brother, were brutally killed, which was revenge for the death of the Qizilbash officers.

While Shah Ismail was celebrating Novruz in Khoi, Alahuaddovla Zulkadar fought to restore the power of Sultan Murad, whom he gave refuge to in Marash, and subsequently his daughter, seized the fortress of Diyarbekir from Emir-bek Mosullu, who had appropriated the province after the death of Alvend Mirza in 1505. In 1506, Ismail followed in the footsteps of his father and grandfather by proposing an alliance with the Zulkadars through marriage. Alauddovla agreed to his daughter's marriage to the young shah. Ismail again decided to use one of his Qizilbash emirs to represent him in this diplomatic venture. The Shah chose a particularly venerable Qizilbash general, Oğlan Ummat Çavushlu, to present the dowry to Alauddovla, but when Oğlan Ummat Çavushlu arrived, he was immediately imprisoned in the lake of Öğögülü. The Shah with 20,000 men moved toward Erzincan around May 1507. During his campaign against Alauddovla, he supplied himself with provisions, paying for everything, and announced abroad that everyone could bring supplies he had bought to the camp, and that anyone who took anything without payment would be put to death. After this, Alawaddowla Zulkadar fled to the fortress of Elbistan. In the first clash, when the advanced units under the command of Dede-bek Talysh and Alauddovl's son, Sary Gaplan Gasym, fought, victory was on the side of the Zulkadars, but when the Safavid army approached Elbistan, Gasym was forced to retreat.

Oğlan Ummat Çavushlu, finally hearing of Shah Ismail's march through Kayseri, fled from Elbistan to Mount Durna. When Alauddovla realized that he could not withstand Ismail's army, he took refuge in the castle on Mount Durna, where the steep mountain slopes were favorable to the defense. Immediately he sent a message to the Mamelukes and the Ottomans, asking them to give him military and political support. The Mamelukes did not respond to this message, and the Ottomans sent an army under the command of Yahya Pasha to Zulkadar territory. The purpose of this army, however, was not to help the Zulkadars, but to control the activities of the Safavids and prevent them from harming the Ottoman lands. The Ottoman troops did not advance further than Ankara. Shah Ismail surrounded Alauddovla on Mount Durna, but was unable to take the castle, and Alauddovla did not leave the fortress. Alauddovla became greatly disturbed, and resorted to cunning. He sent his envoy to Ishmael with a letter offering a truce. In contrast to the actions of Alauddawla, who broke the rules for receiving envoys, his envoy was received with honor and respect. A lavish reception was given in his honor. Then Ismael read the contents of Alauddawla's message and felt that there was some cunning and foul play being contrived. In response, he wrote his condition for an armistice and sent a messenger of Alauddawla, as was proper. The envoy arrived at Alauddovla and told him of what he had seen and heard. Shah Ismail was young and impatient-he was tired of waiting for Alauddawla to come out of the castle. Unable to fight Alauddovla and frustrated, the shah began to insult Alauddovla and shout mocking words, calling him obscenely, "Ala Dana," mangling Alauddovla's lacab. On the third day the enemy broke and fled, the shah seized rich booty, of which he ordered the wheat stocks to be burned to the ground. Hussein-bek Lala, wading across the river, was taken by surprise by Gasym-bek, nicknamed Sary Gaplan, and lost 300 men. The Shah decided to move towards Diyarbekir. Emir-bek Mosullu, who was a relative of Shah Ismail's wife, brought the keys of Diyarbekir and jewels to the Shah and went into the service of the Safavids, he was appointed keeper of the seal. The fall of Harpurt forced several forts to surrender. Muhammad-bek Ustajli, the shah's son-in-law, was appointed governor of Diyarbekir with the title of "Khan" and sent to the fortress of Gara Hamid, while the shah himself went to Akhlat. The success of the Safavids' arms in Diyarbekir, which brought the Safavids into closer contact with their followers within the Ottoman Empire, made the province strategically desirable in the eyes of the Ottomans. After receiving the honors of Sharafaddin-bek, governor of Bitlis, and spending a few days hunting in Bitlis, Arjish, and Akhlat, the shah returned to Khoi for the winter of 1507-1508.

Gaytmysh-bek, brother of Emir-bek Mosullu, owned the fortress of Gara Hamid, in front of which Mohammed-khan Ustajli, the newly appointed governor of the Safavids, camped to spend the winter of 1507-1508. Spurred on by the Gayıtmısıbeg, the Kurds attacked the kızılbashi camp, whereupon Muhammad-khan Ustajli invaded Kurdish territories and killed 700 Kurds on the battlefield in a determined and bloody battle.

Alarmed at the success of the expedition, Gaytmysh-bek sought help from Alauddovla Zulkadar, who immediately sent 10,000 men under the command of his own sons, Sary Gaplan and Orduvan-bek. To counter this new threat, Muhammad-khan Ustajli had only 2,000 men, of whom 800 were from the detachment of his brother Gara-bek. The battle began, and the latter were surprised by Sara Gaplan's fierce attack, but in the end, Muhammad-khan Ustajli's rare courage allowed him to win a complete victory. The enemy lost 732 officers in the battle, including Sary Gaplan and Orduvan-bek who were captured and immediately beheaded, and the spoils of their heads were sent as a gift to the Shah in Khoi. Gaytmysh-bek and his retinue were slaughtered when, after a brief siege of the fortress of Gara Hamid, they fell into the hands of Muhammad-khan Ustajli.

To avenge the loss of his sons and his army, Alauddovla Zulkadar sent another detachment of 15,000 men in the early spring of 1508, under the command of his other two sons, Kur Shahrukh and Ahmed-bek. Meanwhile Muhammad-khan Ustajli had moved to Mardin, and his brother Gara-bek had invaded Jazira, killing and plundering Kurds. The appearance of Zulkadar's second army forced Muhammad-khan Ustajli to retreat to Gara Hamid. His 3,000 men were transformed into a right wing under his command; a center under Acha Sultan Qajar, and a left wing under Gara Bey. The 15,000 enemy soldiers constituted the right wing under the command of Kur Shahrukh, Murad bey and Gaytmysh bey, the center under Muhammad bey and the left wing under Ahmed bey, Abdullah bey and Arkamaz bey. The battle began with the repulsion of the Kyzylbash attack on the center; then the right and left wings of the enemy simultaneously moved on the Kyzylbash, the right and left wings of which closed in the center to withstand the attack. A fierce compact attack by the Kyzylbash followed, which broke the enemy. Among the prisoners were Arkamaz-bek, Gaytmysh-bek, and two grandsons of Alauddovl Zulkadar (sons of Kur Shahrukh) named Mohammed-bek and Ali-bek, who fled from the slaughter, in which Kur Shahrukh, Ahmed-bek, Abdullakh-bek, Mohammed-bek, Murad-bek and fifty other officers were killed without mercy. The heads of the victims were sent with four prisoners and a victory letter to the Shah at Hamadan, who was on his way to Baghdad. The prisoners were released, Alauddovl Zulkadar's grandchildren received a pension, and Mohammed Khan Ustajli was rewarded with a golden sash, a cap and a vestment of honor.

In the winter of 1507-1508 Najmaddin Masud was appointed counselor in Khoi. Sultan Murad's flight from Baghdad allowed Barik-bek Pornak to take the reins. Shah Ismail decided to depose the usurper and, to gain voluntary submission, sent Khalil-bek from Hamadan in the spring of 1508. When this happened, the shah demanded of Abu Ishag that his master Barik-bek Pornak submit. In the beginning Barik-bek Pornak decided to submit and even sent Abu Ishag with gifts to the shah in Hamadan. He was honored with the Qizilbash tajj and clothes and ordered all his men to wear the tajj as well. But later he openly rebelled against the shah and threw the theologian Muhammad Kamun of Najaf into a dark pit and collected weapons and provisions. Later the usurper fell in spirit and fled to Aleppo, the theologian was freed, and Hussein-bek Lala, who represented the vanguard of Shah Ismail, peacefully captured Baghdad. A khutba was recited in the city and coins were minted in the name of Shah Ismail. Khadim-bek Khalifa was appointed governor of Baghdad, which the shah entered on October 21, 1508, amid public jubilation and bull sacrifice, and began his entrance by executing the followers of Barik-bek Pornak.

The Shah visited various shrines of the Imams: Husayn ibn Ali in Kerbela on October 25, 1508, where he presented twelve gilded chandeliers, silk carpets, and screens, Ali ibn Abu Talib in Najaf, where he appointed Muhammad Qamun as curator, with instructions for the restoration of the shrine, and presented a manuscript of the Holy Qur'an which he himself had transcribed as a child in Lahijan; finally, Musa al-Qasim, Muhammad al-Taqi, Ali al-Hadi, and Hasan al-Askari. The mausoleums of the latter were presented with carpets and gilded and silvered chandeliers from the religious devotion of the Shah, who ordered the restoration of the shrines. He then visited Taki Kisra and on his way to Baghdad killed a huge lion with an onion. On his second visit to the shrines, rations were prepared, of which old chests were replaced, and in Najaf Qadi Jahan Husseini spent 2,000 tumen to repair the canal cut off from the Euphrates by Aladdin Ata Malik Juweini, brother of Sahib-Divan Khoja Shamsaddin Muhammad. Khadim-bek Khalifa, governor of Baghdad, was appointed governor of Arab Iraq with the title "caliphate al-khulafa.

The Arabs of the Mushashiya (ang.) sect in Haywaz, ruled by Sayyid, believed in the divinity of Ali ibn Abu Talib and reportedly enjoyed immunity from fire, sword, or arrow during their prayers. At the beginning of Shah Ismail's wars, Sultan Muhsin was the chief of the Mushashiyya (English), but his son and successor, Sultan Fayyad, claimed his divine origin and incurred the wrath of Shah Ismail. On his way to Khaywaz, the shah separated Najmuddin Masud, Bairam-bek Karamanly, and Hussein-bek Lalu with 10,000 men to crush Malik Shah Rustam, ruler of Luristan, at Khurramabad. The fanatics, including Sultan Fayyad, were killed, after which the Shah annexed the territory and proceeded through Dizful to Shushtar. There he was joined by a detachment from Luristan, which succeeded in capturing Malik Shah Rustam. After asking forgiveness in the Lurish language, he was allowed to retain his rule, and his beard was strung with the pearls of Durmush Khan Shamla by order of the shah.

The governor of Dizful appeared at the shah's court and handed over the keys of the city and the citadel. Thus, these regions, together with the fortress of Salacel, were subdued. Shah Ismail appointed one of his confidants as commandant of the fortress and went from Shushtar through the Giluya mountains to Shiraz to spend the winter of 1508-1509. At Daruljird he organized a hunting expedition and killed many animals, including mountain goats, which are believed to contain an "animal antidote." At Shiraz, the Shah received letters of submission from the rulers of Hormuz and Lara through his envoy Ahi-bek. A khutba was read in these regions and coins were minted in Ismail's name. Yar Ahmed Isfahani was appointed minister, Kadi Mohammed Kashani was executed for misconduct in May-June 1509, and he was succeeded by Sharafaddinn Ali Astrabadi, a descendant of Said Sharafaddin Ali Gurgani, finally Dede-bek Talysh, governor of Kazvin, Union of Bulag, Ray and Khwar, was replaced by Zeynal-bek Shamli (Azerb), who was given the title "khan". In the early summer of 1509 the shah left for Isfahan. After two weeks of horse-racing, polo and archery "kabak" and the expansion of Isfahan's famous square, the shah headed for Hamadan. Autumn passed in the valley of Mount Alvend. The shah went to Khoi via Tabriz. After the death of Najmuddin Masud, Yar Ahmed Isfahani took his place and received the title of "Nəcm-i-Sani" ("Second Star") as he succeeded "Nəcm-i-Əvvəl" ("First Star").

In the early winter of 1509-1510, Shah Ismail crossed the Kura River by a boat bridge in Javad to crush the rebellious Sheikh Shah ibn Farrukh Yasar of Shirvan, who had expelled Shahgyaldi aga, representative of Safavid governor Hussein-bek Lala and seized the province. Sheikh Shah fled to the fortress of Bigurd, the vanguard of kyzylbash occupied Shamakhi, Baku, Shabran and other fortresses, as well as Derbent with its high ramparts and two gates overlooking Shirvan and Dagestan. Its foundations went into the Elburz mountain range, and its length stretched to a distance of three archery shots in the Caspian Sea. The commandants of Baku and Shabran presented the keys of the city and fortress gates to the Shah of Qizilbash. All other rulers of the fortresses of Shirvan did the same, appearing to Ismail with gifts. The governor was reassigned to the post, Mansur-bek became governor of Derbent, and the Shah's chief servant, Mohammed-bek Ustajli, was appointed prime minister with the title "Jahan Sultan" after ordering the body of his father, Kizil Heydar, exhumed from Tabasaran and buried in the ancestral cemetery in Ardebil. The Shah re-crossed the river Kura to spend the winter in Karabakh. The spring of 1510 was spent in Tabriz. With the onset of summer the Shah gave orders from Sultaniyah for a general recruitment of troops from the provinces and moved on Khorasan through Ulangi Kargan.

Shah Ismail also destroyed many Kurdish tribal leaders and appointed his own people as governors. Or, when they left local power in the hands of the local population, they recognized not the old noble families, but their less powerful rivals. Rebellions by Kurdish chiefs who resisted this policy and tried to remain or become independent were brutally suppressed. A delegation of sixteen Kurdish tribal chiefs who agreed to express their submission to the Shah and to pay their respects to him in the hope of more lenient treatment were thrown into prison when they paid the Shah a visit at his summer camp at Hoy in 1510. The shah then sent trustees from the Qizilbash tribes into the territories of these Kurdish emirs for the purpose of subduing them.

Domestic Policy

In the new state Azerbaijani became the language of the court, army, trials and poetry, while Persian was the language of administration and literature; also inscriptions on coins were minted in Persian. The ruling role in the state was placed in the hands of the Azerbaijani (Qizilbash) nomadic nobility. Shah Ismail appointed Shamsaddin Lahiji Sadr, Hussein-bek Lalu and Dede-bek Talysh as emir al-umar, Div Ali Rumlu as sultan, Bayram-bek Karamanli married the shah's sister. In addition to being in charge of the administration of Tabriz, Hussein-bek Lala. Dede-bek Talysh was given control of Persian Iraq and Kurdistan, while Ilyas-bek Zulkadar served as governor of Fars. Abdi-Bek Shamli was given the post of tawachibashi, Mowlana Masud Beidili controlled Qom, and Kashan was under the leadership of Qazi Muhammad Kashani. The Shah used the driving force of a dynamic religious ideology in the service of the new state and thus gave the latter the strength to overcome its initial problems and the impetus to overcome serious crises. The declaration of Isnaashari Shiism as the official religion of the state led to a greater awareness of national identity and thus to a stronger and more centralized government.

After Ismael declared Isnaashari Shiism the official religion of the Safavid state, there was an urgent need for uniformity of doctrine, guiding and accelerating the spread of the Shiite faith. To control the spread of Shi'ism and to act as the head of all members of the religious classes, Ismail appointed an officer called a sadr. The office of sadr existed in the Timurid state and the Turkoman ba'liqs. An important difference between this office in the Safavid state was that the sadr was a political appointee, and the office of the sadr was used by the Safavid shahs as a means of controlling the religious classes. On the successful imposition of doctrinal uniformity depended the smooth operation of the secular branch of government and the state's ability to withstand hostile attacks from its neighbors. This task, originally a major part of the sadr's duties, was largely accomplished by the end of Ismael's reign; thereafter the efforts of the sadr were devoted mainly to the general administration of the religious establishment and the supervision of the property of the waqf. As a result, the political influence of the sadras declined.

In Ismail's political career a significant role in the founding of the Safavid state was played by the Turkomans. Two factors played a part in this: his kinship with the Ak Koyunlu and the rapidly growing retinue of Turkoman tribesmen. It was on their chiefs that he relied when appointing people to public office. A strong link was established with the Turkoman tradition of government and a central bureaucracy was formed that worked in conjunction with the administrative provinces for administration and taxation. The dynasty established by Ismail was in some ways an extension of the Ak Koyunlu. Many of the Qizilbash who joined the Safavid movement had previously been subordinated to Ak Qoyunlu. Ismail's reign was a continuation of Ak-Koyunlu in another sense. He adopted many of the existing administrative structures of the Ak Koyunlu and his regime was very similar to that of the Ak Koyunlu and other Turkic states that had ruled in one part of Iran or another for centuries. The new Safavid regime was also based on the military might of the Turkic nomadic tribes, like his predecessors. The Shah also conducted propaganda among his supporters in his native Azerbaijani language. Subsequently, Ismail granted the conquered lands to the Qizilbash tribes, just as the rulers of previous Turkic-Mongol states had done. In these provinces, the Qizilbash warriors roamed at the expense of the sedentary rural and urban population. They had freedom of action. Azerbaijan was one of the most desirable provinces for the emirs. The Safavid order was also pleased with the retention of the Ak-Koyunlu emirs as governors of the newly conquered territories. Members of the Ak-Qoyunlu families also occupied an important place in the government of the state. Ismail used to appoint his sons as provincial governors, but they were nominal. His sons were young children, and in practice they were land grants to the Kyzylbash tribes, and the Kyzylbash emirs were the real rulers of the provinces. Ismael appointed his eldest son Tahmasib as ruler of an important province like Khorasan, where he in turn was placed under the control of a powerful Turkic emir, a key feature in the evolving notion of supreme power in medieval Iran under the Seljuk, Hulaguid and Timurids in that era. Ismail's decision to give Khorasan to his three-year-old son Tahmasib (as Ghazan Khan and his sons had once been appointed) was a prudent observance of the well-established Turkic-Mongol tradition of appointing an heir to the throne in that particular province. The new Safavid regime resembled the tribal confederations that had ruled Iran for centuries. Ismail's bureaucratic structure was largely a continuation of Ak-Qoyunlu and its Turkic-Mongol tradition. This was due to the continued patronage of Turkoman officials. The only difference was that a line of Sufi piri elders was in power. But there was no practical difference between the way the leaders of the Qara Qoyunlu and the Ak Qoyunlu or Timurids ruled their tribal confederations and the way Shah Ismail I ruled the Safavid state. Nor were there practical differences in how these states were structured. Tabriz, which was the capital of the Ak Koyunlu, was also designated as the capital.

The Shah led a nomadic lifestyle. He continued this tradition by staying in a tent and participating in seasonal migrations. Every spring he would set out with his yard and flocks of sheep to spend the summer in the high mountain pasture. Typically the places around southern Azerbaijan: Mount Sahand, a high volcano near Tabriz, was his favorite, but he also spent summers further afield, in Sultanie or Takht-e Soleiman. Winters were often spent in Tabriz, but he also spent winters elsewhere. Sometimes he was not in Tabriz because he was on a military campaign, but he maintained a nomadic lifestyle even when he was not on a campaign. Even in the last decade of Ismail's reign, after the battle of Chaldiran in 1514, he still spent most of his time traveling around the country, spending two winters in Nakhichevan and one in Isfahan. So his habit of moving around the country was not always due to military necessity. It was simply a normal way of life for him. He was fully adapted to the Turkic nomadic way of life. The Safavids as a new political regime retained some significant continuity with the Ak-Koyunlu they had replaced. The early Safavid era under Ismail and the young Tahmasib continued the patterns of rule of the Turkic-Mongol dynasties that preceded them. Turkic nomadic herding was the basis of their rule. Turkic tribes formed the basis of their military might, and provinces were distributed among the tribes as land grants. The court continued to respect and practice the steppe way of life by participating in seasonal migrations. Even some of the elite families of the Ak-Koyunlu era became part of the Kyzylbash. The reluctance to conduct a series of systematic campaigns against their enemies, being content with large-scale raids in 1501-1504, elaborate hunting, nomadic court and general reluctance to camp in one particular city, disinterested in initiating a diplomatic dialogue with the surrounding states, were also Turkic-Mongol traditions that the Safavids observed.

The administrative system of the early Safavid state was complex: on the one hand, the Safavids were heirs to a bureaucratic system that resembled the traditional bureaucracy of a medieval Muslim state; on the other hand, Shah Ismail faced the problem of the new Safavid order's system, which was responsible for the Safavids' success. The problem was compounded by the fact that even after the establishment of the state in 1501, the Shah's revolutionary followers continued to arrive in the Safavid Empire from Anatolia. The state he founded perpetuated the Safavid religious order. Ismail was the head of the tariqat and bore the title murshid-i qamil. Therefore, his adherents were called murids and sufis or ghazis. The battle cry of the Qizilbash was in Azerbaijani: "Qurban olduğum, sədəqə olduğum pirim, mürşidim" ("O my spiritual instructor and teacher, whose victim I am"). Another factor which complicated the situation faced by Shah Ismail in 1501 was the mutual antipathy between the Tajik or Iranian elements in the Safavid society and the tribal forces of the Azerbaijani-speaking Qizilbash Turks. The friction between these two elements was inevitable because the Kyzylbashi were not part of the national Iranian tradition. The Qizilbashis could barely speak Persian, if at all, and could hardly trust or even tolerate the rise of the Iranian element in the Safavid court and administration, much less Iranian society in the remote provinces where they were appointed military governors. The Qizilbashis and the Persians did not provide administrative continuity amid a succession of foreigners who affected both the military and civil administration of the Safavid state. The mix freely, and the dual nature of the population deeply expresses the opinion of the Qizilbash about "Tajiks" or "non-Turks," who used the word in a pejorative sense. Iranians tended to be "men of letters" and represented a long Iranian bureaucratic tradition. They were appointed to the position of vizier, whose importance was low compared to that of the sadr and the emir of al-umar. According to the Qizilbash, who were "men of the sword," Iranians were generally suitable only for accounting and general administrative affairs. They had no right to exercise military leadership, and the Qizilbash considered it a disgrace to serve under an Iranian officer. If the Kyzylbash officers were given political posts for entire administrative districts, which the Iranians considered their property, the latter resented. The provinces were also dominated by the Qizilbash nobility, while the Iranian-speaking sedentary element occupied a degraded and disenfranchised position. The Persian families in the divan, who were initially included in the Safavid bureaucracy, could not exert any serious influence and oppose the Qizilbash aristocracy for a number of reasons. First, Ismail's retinue was loyal to its Turkic-Mongolian roots, moving from one military campaign to another and stopping only for the winter in any newly conquered region. Second, the wave of terror and brute force that swept over the Persian urban centers seriously disrupted routine administration. Third, the centers of the Persian bureaucratic tradition - Isfahan, Yazd, and Qom - were not incorporated into the state until 1504-1505. The sedentary population was also dissatisfied with the Qizilbash, who actually held an administration from the former viziers of Ak-Qoyunlu, who were accused of excessive taxation and enrichment in the Safavid cities.

The Shah was the apex of the whole administrative structure. His rule was theoretically absolute. The Shah's power was absolute, indeed, this astute observer. The absolute nature of the Shah's power was not a threat, but rather a guarantee of the individual freedom and security of the lower classes of society. It was the people who stood between the shah and the mass of his people, the nobility, the court officials, and the cohesive ranks of officials, both civil and military, secular and ecclesiastical, who could incur the shah's wrath, be punished without warning, and who stood in constant fear for their lives. Anyone who held an office in the state was considered a subject of the shah; his property, his life, and the lives of these children were at the disposal of the shah, who had absolute power. The use of such terms to describe the Safavid state as "Galamrav-i Qizilbash" ("Qizilbash kingdom"), "Devlet-i Qizilbash" ("Qizilbash state") and "Memleket-i Qizilbash" ("Qizilbash country") shows the role of Qizilbash in creating and ruling the state. Similarly, the Shah was commonly referred to as "Padishah-i Kyzylbash" ("Kyzylbash king"), a term that, completely excludes the Shah from Iranian subjects. Therefore, the Qizilbash demanded and received the main state positions after Shah Ismail came to power. The kizilbashi were appointed to the new position of vakil-i nafs-i nafis-i khumayun, and became the most influential person in the state after the shah. The title vakil-i nafs-i nafis-i khumayun reflected the original Sufi concept of vakil, a viceroy to whom the shah delegated both his secular and spiritual authority. Vakil-i nafis-i nafis-i khumayun played a leading role in political affairs, was one of the chief military leaders, and had considerable influence in the selection of officials for the office of sadr. He represented the Shah both religiously and politically. In fact, he was the Shah's alter ego and was responsible for the orderly arrangement of affairs of religion and state (nazim-i manazim-i din va dovlat). The importance of this title is evidenced by the fact that Hussein-bek Lala was the first to be appointed to this position. Kyzylbash officers held two highest military posts: emir al-umara, the commander-in-chief of the army, to which ustajl and shaml were usually appointed, and gorchubashi, the commander-in-chief of gorchu or kyzylbash tribal regiments, which more often were ustajl, zulkadar and tekeli. Of the five main state posts under Ismail I, the three most important were held by the kyzylbash officers.

During the reign of Shah Ismail I, the different branches of government, religious, political, and military, were not very separate parts. There was considerable overlap of authority, and the relative importance of the principal offices changed over time. Perhaps the most striking illustration of the effect of state domination over the military is how members of the religious classes, such as the Sadr and Ghazi, often held not only military ranks but also military command.

Ismail's bureaucracy also adhered to the external form of the Ak-Qoyunlu edicts, but with some subtle changes. While the addresses in Ak-Qoyunlu documents read "huwa al-ghani" ("He is the victor!") or "huwa al-azim" ("He is mighty!"), the Safavid equivalent almost always read "huwa Allahu subhanahu, bismillah al-rahman al-rahim," and with one key addition: "Ya Ali!" ("O Ali!"). The title "al-mulk l-llah, Abu l-Muzaffar Ismail Bahadur" with "Sözümüz" ("Our word") was also retained, but the use of tamga was excluded. Ismail's honorific title "Abu l-Muzaffar" was directly inherited from Uzun Hasan, Sultan Yagub and Rustam, who also used it in their decrees. Changes were also made to the royal seals used to verify documents. Turkoman seals were invariably round and stamped at the bottom and left of the text. The seals were often divided and the upper half contained Qur'anic text, such as: "Allah administers justice" or "O believers of the ayats and surahs who dwell in the possession of the gracious Allah." The lower part contained the genealogy of the ruler, which in the case of Yagub read: "Yagub ibn Hasan ibn Ali ibn Osman." In Ismail's first surviving document, dated 1502, the seal is moved under the heading. Now in bulbous form, it contains a couplet composed by Ismail himself:

Love for Ali, For us like life. Ismail son of Heydar. Ghulam of Shah's men Ali.

Some decrees also mentioned the name of Ali ibn Abu Talib. There were also seals in the manner of Ak-Qoyunlu, for example, one document from 1503 quotes the Qur'an: "The heavens and the earth are encompassed by His throne, and He does not bother to care about them. He is. The Almighty, the Great!" and contains the genealogy of Shah Ismail: "Ismail ibn Heydar ibn Junaid Sefevi." Beginning in 1508 there appears a seal referring to the supreme authority of the Twelve Imams: "Allahu Salah, Ali, Muhammad, Mustafa, Ali, Murtaza, Hasan ibn Murtaza, Hussein Shehid Kerbely, Muhammad Baghir, Jafar, Musa, Kazim, Ali ibn Musa, Rza, Muhammad al-Taqi, Ali Nagy, Hasan Askari, Muhammad Mahdi al-Abd, Ismail ibn Heydar Sefevi." Also traced on the seals is the inscription "Ismail Bahadur al-Husseini." The Safavids continued the Turkoman formula "hutima bi l-hair" ("let it end well"), which was in the lower right corner of the document. The phrase originally read "Rabbi ikhtim bi l-hair va ikhsan" or "bi l-hair va l-igbal," but Ismail shortened it to "hutima." The certification process, in which a prominent figure witnessed the king's decree, also went to the Safavid office. The titles also contain evidence of a deep reverence for astrology, where the ruler may be "he who raises the banners of true religion in the world" and at the same time possesses "the perfection of Venus" and "the happiness of Saturn", and various historical and mythological characters such as Caesar, Alexander, Kay-Khosrow, and Süleyman.

During the Ismael I period, developed centers of book production that included calligraphers, illustrators, miniaturists and bookbinders, each of whom required many special materials. The businesses that flourished in Tabriz, Shiraz and Herat, under the patronage of the former political institutions, continued to produce books in their own style. Once a manuscript of the collection of poems "Khamse" by Nizami Ganjavi, written at the request of the Mughal emperor Babur, was published in a workshop in Tabriz. It was decorated with various illustrations depicting the Qizilbash Taj with twelve wedges. In Fars, the Zulkadar elite maintained the reputation of Shiraz as a center of book and miniature production: the city workshop produced manuscripts of some classical texts that featured illustrations clearly based on the earlier styles of the city as well as others that used both Herat and earlier Turkic styles and also depicted the Shiraz-style Taj. Herat, whose craftsmen remained in the city after its capture by the Safavids in 1510, also continued to exist as a metalworking center. The Timurid style, consisting of small close arabesques and interlocking lobed cartouches, existed in the early Safavid period, but they also included the Qizilbash Taj and the name of Ali ibn Abu Talib. The Shah also restored the Imam Rza mausoleum in Mashhad. In addition, in 1512 in Isfahan, where Ismail and his retinue often wintered, the architect Mirza Shah Hussein, vizier of Durmush Khan Shamla, built the tomb of Harun-i Vilayat for the son of one of the Imams in the square of the same name, which was then the center of city life. Some of the inscriptions on them have the messianic Shiite aspects of the region's spiritual discourse and Ismail's own identification with them in his poetry. The Hadith on the portal facade mentions Harun, associates Ismail with Ali as his descendant, and bestows titles such as Ghazi and Mujahid. There are also other inscriptions such as the Prophet Muhammad's saying, "I am the city of knowledge and Ali is its gateway." The names Ali, Muhammad, and Allah appear in a Kufic cartouche at the top of the entrance arch of the eastern door.

Foreign Policy

After the annexation of Khorasan in 1507, Sheibani Khan invaded Safavid territory, Kerman, in the winter of 1509-1510. At that time, Shah Ismail was in Derbent, which enabled the Shaybanids to execute the governor of Kerman, Sheikh Muhammad, and to plunder the province and the surrounding territory. Shah Ismail sent two ambassadors, Diyauddin Nurullah and Sheyzadeh Lahiji, to negotiate with the khan for the withdrawal of troops, but they failed. There was also an attempt by Lahiji to induce Mohammed Sheibani Khan to Shi'ism during their meeting at the Uzbek Majlis. Khan, entering the council, defiantly turned the meeting into a religious dispute, asking the Ghazi, "Why does this doctrine insist that the Prophet's companions be defamed?" Lahiji replied that he was astonished that the khan had not yet accepted the untainted truth of Shi'ism. He said:

"About three or four hundred of your pious and religious scholars are part of this tradition, and they have written many books and volumes on the specifics of this doctrine. Your own forefather, Hulagu Khan, was a follower of Haji Nasreddin Muhammad Tusi, who was the chronicler of the Shi'a madhab, and elevated the Shi'a madhab . Moreover, Sultan Muhammad Oljeitu, after one fleeting meeting with Sheikh Jamaleddin Mutahar Hilly, who was one of the greatest proponents of this doctrine of truth, raised Shi'ism to a prominent position."

Sheibani Khan sent a letter to the Shah through Kemaleddin Hussein Abiwardi in which he claimed sovereignty over the Safavid state on behalf of his grandfather Abulkhair Khan and also demanded that Ismail mint coins and read hutba in mosques in the name of the Uzbek ruler. In addition, the ultimatum demanded that the roads be repaired for "victorious Uzbek troops" wishing to visit the Kaaba. Otherwise he threatened that Ubaydullah Khan would march with his army from Bukhara, Samarkand, Hazara, Nikudari, Ghur and Garchistan and crush the Safavids. In response, Shah Ismail rebuked Sheibani Khan for the Uzbeks' senseless attack on Kerman, which he called his hereditary domain. To this Ismail received a mocking reply "that the Khan does not understand what Shah Ismail based his claim to hereditary possessions on, because supreme power passes through the father and not through the mother, through men and not through women, and that the kinship between his family and the women of Uzun Hasan (or Emir Hasan-bek) cannot give any rights. He reminded him of the proverb that a son should follow his father's trade and a daughter his mother's, and insultingly sent him the gift of a ladies' veil and a beggar's dish, adding that if he forgot his father's trade it might serve as a reminder of his memory, also suggesting that Ismail return to his original calling as a dervish (that is, Sufism). The khan also added that if the shah puts his foot on the steps of the throne, let him remember, "He who clutches the royal power to his breast as his bride must woo her in battle, overcoming sharp sabers" . Sheibani Khan concluded by noting that since he intended to make the pilgrimage to Mecca soon as a faithful Muslim, he would surely meet Shah Ismail on his way through Iraq. Ismail answered him:

"If every man were obliged to follow his father's craft, all being the sons of Adam, would have to adhere to the occupations of the prophets. If only hereditary descent gave the right to supreme power, it is not clear how this right passed from the Pishdadids to the Kejanid dynasty of Iran and from whom it passed to Genghis or to whom he writes".

In the summer of 1510 Ismail prepared supplies for his army and had already moved with a full contingent of Qizilbash troops in the direction of Khorasan. Sefevid's reply to the Uzbek message was harsh, it did not mention honorifics and contained a brief description of the victory over Alauddovla Zulkadar. He wrote, "We disbanded twelve thousand men with love for the twelve imams, and because of these twelve," and quoted numerous appeals of "Ya Ali madad!" ("O Ali, help us!") throughout the letter. The Shah decided to make a pilgrimage to Imam Rza's mausoleum in Mashhad, where he would have the opportunity to wait on the khan. In exchange for his "gift," Ismail sent him a spindle and a spinning wheel, and, referring to his words that royalty must be tended to on the battlefield, he concluded:

"That's what I say, too. Here, I have tightened my belt for the mortal combat and put my foot of determination in the quest for victory. If you come face to face like a man, our enmity will be resolved at once. But if you'd rather climb into a corner, you might find some use for what I've sent you. We have been spared long enough; let us now exchange hard blows on the field. He who falls in the fight, let him fall."

Shah Ismail gave his troops a lavish feast at Sultan Bulagy, distributed 23,000 tumens and other gifts to his officers, and began his march on Khorasan. Ahmed Sultan, son-in-law of Sheibani Khan and governor of Damgan, Ahmed Kunkurat, governor of Astarabad, and similar rulers of other forts fled from the Shah. Said Rafi, Baba Nudhar and other leaders paid tribute to the Shah at Bistam, and Khoja Muzaffar Bitikchi, minister to the fugitive governor of Astarabad, was appointed minister to the Shah at Jajarma. Shah Ismail was almost near Mashhad when Sheibani Khan, who had demobilized his troops after his return from the Khazar campaign, heard of the Shah's advance and hastily fled from Herat to Merv, followed by Jan Wafa Mirza, governor of Herat. A mass flight of Uzbeks from Herat followed, which forced the pro-Uzbek detachment, represented by Khoja Kurd and Sultan Mahmud, to take refuge in the fortress of Ihtiyaruddin. Shah Ismail was in Mashhad, in the mausoleum of Imam Ali al-Rid, while Sheibani Khan was in Merv, fortifying positions and calling for reinforcements from Ubaidullah Khan, Mohammed Timur Sultan and other khans from Bukhara, Samarkand and other places. The first clash between the advanced units of the Safavids and the Shaybanids occurred in Shahirabad, which resulted in the Uzbeks fleeing to Merv, despite the death of the Safavid leader Dan Muhammad-bek Afshar, whom the Shah had expelled from Serakhs. Shah Ismail reached Merv on November 22, 1510 and besieged the city. Within seven days, Qizilbash generals such as Div Sultan Rumlu, Chayan Sultan Ustajli, Badimjan Sultan Rumlu, Zeynal Khan Shamli (Azerb.) and in particular Mohammed Sultan Talysh, struck at the city gate, where the Uzbeks refused to leave the city for lack of reinforcements from Transoxiana. Fearing the enormous losses that would be incurred if his officers' plan to take the city by storm was accepted, the shah employed a ruse on Wednesday, November 30, 1510, and withdrew his army ten miles from Merv to the village of Mahmudi. Shah Ismail wrote a letter to Sheibani Khan:

"You wrote to us that you would go toward Iraq and Azerbaijan on your way to Mecca, and asked that we repair the road. We informed you of our desire to go to Khorasan to go around the tomb of Imam Ali al-Rid in Mashhad, and asked you to welcome our flag conquering the world. Behold, we visited the holy tomb, but you have not yet come to meet us. Then we came to meet you in Merv, but you closed the city gate before us, so we returned to spend the winter elsewhere in Khorasan, and will come again in the spring to meet you."

The letter was sent on Thursday night. On Friday morning, the Shah camped at Talahtan, leaving 300 horses under the command of Emir-bek Mosullu on the bridge of Mahmudi canal with instructions to leave when the Sheibanid army appeared. Sheibani-khan having made sure of the departure of the kizilbashy, has called a meeting. At this meeting he was advised to retreat to Transoxiana and, having gathered an army, to attack Shah Ismail in early spring. Jan Vefa and Gambar-bek thought that Khan should wait in the fortress until the arrival from Transoxiana of Ubaidullah Khan and Mohammed Timur Sultan. But Shahi-bek's wife, Mogabbele-khanim, objected to the khan: "If you, considering yourself the caliph of the era, do so, then the descendants of Genghis Khan will not escape shame. If you do not want to fight, then I myself will fight with Shah Ismail. Tempted by the feigned retreat and ignoring the advice of his generals, Sheibani-khan moved from Merv on Friday, December 2, 1510, at the head of an army that numbered up to 30,000 men. Shah Ismail sent a letter to Sheibani-khan:

"Considering yourself the caliph of the age, the deputy of the prophet, you gave me no rest with your letters; if you have the courage not to hide behind the walls of the fortress, but go out on the battlefield, or I am leaving now, because I heard that the son of the Ottoman sultan Bayazid Selim attacked Tabriz. Frankly, I did not want to take Khorasan. I wanted to give it to the sultan's sons. Besides, your humiliating letter, which hurt my dignity, made me come here. Now I'm going to Azerbaijan and I have no business with you. You may dispose of Khorasan as you please.

On the way he received a letter from the Shah and sent back his Prime Minister and former cupbearer Khoja Kemaleddin Mahmud with instructions to detain the Shah's envoy in Merv and send reinforcements from the city. The departure of Emir-bek Mosullu from the bridge over the canal Mahmudi confirmed the hasty conclusions of Sheibani Khan, and he crossed Siyah Ab, "like lightning", pursuing the enemy. The Safavid army was up to 17,000 men. Thus, between the Mahmudi Channel (ten miles from Merv) and Talahtan, on Friday, December 2, 1510, the Safavid army, personally led by the Shah, consisted of his famous generals: Najmi Sani, Bayram-bek Karamanli, Chayan sultan Ustajli, Div sultan Rumlu, Hussein-bek Lal, Dede-bek Talysh, Durmush-khan Shamli, Emir-bek Mosullu, Muhammad sultan Talysh, Badimjan sultan Rumlu and Zeinal-khan Shamli (az. ). Sheibani Khan attacked with his Uzbeks in the hope of intimidating the enemy. Bitterly repenting his mistake, the khan fought a desperate battle in which his commanders, Jan Vafa Mirza and Ganbar-bek, stopped the advancing Safavid units. At this critical moment, Shah Ismail prostrated himself before God and prayed for success with his sword drawn, and he rode his horse into the thick of the battle. He was followed by his soldiers who dealt a general blow to the enemy. The Uzbeks were utterly defeated, 10,000 of them were killed in battle, in pursuit, and drowned in Siyah Aba. Jalaleddin Mahmud, Muizuddin Hussein, Abdullah Mervi, Mamushi and Kadi Mansur, also the unit commanders Jan Wafa Mirza and Ganbar-bek were captured and executed by the Safavids.

Much more tragic was the fate of Sheibani-khan, who, fleeing with 500 horses, inadvertently drove into a fenced yard without a gate from the other side. In this deadly trap he and his companions were pierced by arrows of Burun Sultan Tekeli and his kizilbash and fell in a solid heap. The Safavid historian Giyasaddin Khondemir wrote: "The Uzbeks fell on each other, and many of them died under the hoofs of horses. Since those who still had breath of life got up on dead bodies and climbed up the walls of the fence, the soldiers threw them to the ground by blows of swords. The Shah has sent kyzylbashy to search for body of Sheibani-Khan among tens thousand corpses scattered on a battlefield. After a long search the body was found. Aziz-aga, aka Adi Bahadur, untangled the body of the Uzbek monarch, cut off the head, and hastened with the trophy to the Shah. After removing the skull, which was turned into a gilded drinking bowl, the head, stuffed with straw, was sent to the Ottoman Sultan Bayazid II with the message: "We have heard it said before in your assembly, 'It is strange that the supreme power we see manifested in the head of Sheibani Khan. Behold, now we send you the same head stuffed with straw." The Shah also ordered the hands to be cut off and sent one to Babur with the words, "If Sheibani Khan cut off your hand from ruling Samarkand, we cut off his hand from the world instead," and the other hand to Aga Rustam Ruzafsun with the words, "He has not helped you in any way, now his hand lies in your lap." Aga Rustam, frightened by this threatening message, became numb with fear, and his heart failed him, day by day he grew weaker and finally died. Further, after the fall of Merv, which happened without resistance, Shah Ismail arrived in Merv. The wealthy citizens, led by Khoja Kemaleddin solemnly met him, and those who met him had bowls full of gold in their hands. The Shah invited the Uzbek prime minister, Khoja Kemaleddin Mahmud, to a feast. "Do you recognize this bowl?"  - said the Shah, who drank from the gilded skull of Sheibani Khan. To which Kemaleddin replied, "Yes, thank God, and how lucky he was! No, luck still abides with him, so that even now he is in the hands of such an auspicious creature as you, who is constantly drinking the wine of Delight" .

This was the end of Sheibani Khan. He was sixty-one years old at the time of his death and had ruled for eleven years. Of the 10,000 of his followers who fell with him in battle, the victor erected pyramids of skulls to adorn the gates of the city of Merv, which peacefully surrendered. Dede-bek Talysh became the new governor of Merv, and the inhabitants, except the Uzbeks, were spared. To commemorate his success, Shah Ismail minted gold coins and sent out notices of victory to various provinces. After the victory, the young shah thought of recreating the territory of the Timurid Empire.

On December 8, 1510, Gulu Jan-bek, a servant of Najmi Sani, arrived in Herat as the predecessor of Shah Ismail. The Safavid supporters revolted against the police Muhammad Lakur and Muhammad Ali, who, along with a hundred Uzbeks, were executed. A week later Najmi Sani and Hoxha Mahmud persuaded Hoxha Kurd to leave the fortress of Ihtiyaruddin, and on December 21, 1510, the Shah publicly entered Herat and landed at Baghi Jahan. Hussein-bek Lala was appointed governor of the city and Giyasaddin Muhammad was appointed chief magistrate. Herat became the second city of the empire and the residence of his successor, Tahmasib I. All the land up to the banks of the Amu Darya River was placed under the control of the Qizilbash emirs. The chronogram of the date of this event was recorded as "The victory of the Shah, defender of the faith". Ismail remained in Herat that winter, and rulers and viceroys flocked there from all sides to congratulate him on his conquest of Khorasan. Among them was Sultan Uweys Mirza, who came from Badakhshan to introduce himself to the Shah. He was received with special favor, and a private banquet was given in his honor. He was given a letter of appointment as governor of Hisar-e-Shandam and Badakhshan. Similarly, Muhammad Yar Mirza sent ambassadors and assured the Shah of the sincerity of his friendship. Badi uz-Zaman Mirza, who had fled to India after his defeat at Astrabad by the Uzbek governor Ahmed Kunkurat, received a daily pension of a thousand dinars, and he was settled in Shunbi Ghazan near Tabriz, while his son Mohammed Zaman Mirza was appointed governor of Damgan.

Uzbek officials, including Muhammad Timur Sultan, who took the reins in Samarqand after the death of his father, Abdullah Khan, who ruled in Bukhara, and Janibek Sultan and other sultans of Transoxania gathered on the banks of the Ox. Ambassadors were sent to the shah to declare their submission to him and to offer appropriate gifts. A treaty was concluded on the following grounds: Transoxania was left in the hands of the Uzbeks; in return, the Uzbek sultans promised to obey the shah for the rest of their lives.

After the death of the ruler of eastern Mazendaran, Rustam Ruzafsun, his son and successor, Aga Muhammad, faced a challenger, Nizamuddin Abdul-Qarim, who took all Mazendaran for himself. To resolve the dispute between the adversaries and, in particular, to settle the tribute arrears, Hodja Muzaffar Bitikchi was sent to Mazendaran.

In early April 1511 Shah Ismail left Herat to conquer Transoxiana. Ubaidullah Khan and Mohammed Timir Sultan, rulers of Bukhara and Samarkand, respectively, tried to move reinforcements to Merv, but finding that Sheibani Khan was already dead, returned with his widow Mogul Khanim, whom Ubaidullah Khan took as his wife. Their envoys and Janibek Sultan, ruler of Karman and Khujand, met the Shah in Maiman with gifts. Thanks to the intercession of Khoja Mahmud, a treaty was signed under which the Uzbeks remained in the possession of Transoxiana, and the Shah was guaranteed no encroachment on his territories on this side of the Amu Darya. Balkh and its dependent territories, such as Andkhoy, Shibargan, Jijiktu, Maymana, Faryab and Margab up to the Amu Darya, were ceded to Bairam-bek Kamramanly. The Shuja-bek of Kandahar, who showed signs of disobedience, was imprisoned in the fortress of Ikhtiyaruddin, and after the restoration of order in Khorasan the Shah set up a camp for Iraq. In Simnan, the rival claimants for Mazendaran waited for the shah. Agha Muhammad was awarded the land ruled by his father Rustam Ruzafsun; the rest of Mazendaran was to be ruled by Abdul-Qarim. These rulers were to jointly pay 30,000 tumen to the shah's treasury, and Khoja Muzaffar Bitikchi was to collect this money.

To help his staunch ally Babur and destroy the Uzbeks, Shah Ismail sent part of his army of 12,000 horsemen, led by Zeynalabdin-bek Sefevi, Gara Piri-bek Qajar, Zeynal sultan of Shamli (Azerb.), Badimjan sultan Rumlu and Hodja Mahmud, under the supreme command of the new vakil Najmi Sani. This may have been as a result of his support of the Ustajli clan to weaken the other oimaks in the form of the Shamla and Tekeli. The appointment of Najmi Sani to the command was the cause of the rapidly growing discontent of the kyzylbash. Hussein-bek Lala and Giyasaddin Muhammad brought their units from Herat, and Dede-bek Talysh from Merv. After reaching Balkh, Najmi Sani sent Giyasaddin Muhammad to call Babur from Hisar-e-Shadman (English), and taking Bayram Khan Karamanly from Balkh, he crossed the Amu Darya River by a bridge of boats at Tirmid in September 1512. At Tan-i-Jugzhur, also known as Derbend-i-Akhanin, Babur joined the Safavid army, which marched to Bukhara.

The fortress of Khuzar voluntarily surrendered, but the garrison and the governor Ak-Fulad Sultan were killed. The fortress of Karshi was taken on the third day of the siege, and as revenge for the behavior of the governor, Sheikhum Mirza, who refused to submit, 15,000 Karshi residents were killed despite the intercession of Babur and Giyasaddin Muhammad. After this Najmi Sani went to Bukhara. As the Safavid army approached, the Uzbeks changed their tactics and took refuge in the fortress of Gijduvan. Najmi Sani besieged the fortress, and meanwhile the provisions of the besiegers were exhausted. Ignoring the suggestion of Babur and Khoja Mahmud to suspend the operation until spring, Najmi Sani decided to storm the fortress. Before it managed to do so, Ubaidulla Khan and Janibek Sultan came with a large army to the aid of the garrison, and as a result on November 12, 1512 an open battle began. The Uzbek attack was repulsed with a loss of 200 men, but Bairam-khan Karamanly died, and his death grieved the Kyzylbash army. When supplies began to run low, Babur and some of the Kyzylbash emirs advised them to go to gishlag and resume the offensive in the spring. Najmi Sani refused to agree. Either just before the battle or immediately after the battle began, many of the leading Qizilbash emirs left the battlefield because of their hostility to the Vakil-Iranian, under whose command they considered it a disgrace to serve. Dada-bek Talysh was the first to flee, followed by Babur and his reserves, Giyasaddin Muhammad and Khoja Mahmud. In spite of this retreat, Najmi Sani, who was a good soldier, though a bad general, fighting with his hand rather than his head, attacked the Uzbek ranks, and for a time his sword was red with the blood of the enemy, but in the end he was surrounded by Ubaydullah Khan's soldiers, fell off his horse and was captured alive. He was brought to Ubaidullah Khan and immediately beheaded. His head, raised on a spear, was exposed before the army of the Kyzylbash, pursued by the Uzbeks, who turned around and retreated. Muhiddin Yahya and Mir Jan were captured and killed. Hüseyin-bek Lala and Ahmed-bek Sufioglu left for Azerbaijan.

Inspired by the victory at Gijduvan, Dzhanibek Sultan crossed the river Oxus and moved to Herat. The news of this reached Herat on November 26, 1512, after which the refugees Hussein-bek Lala and Ahmed-bek Sufioglu appeared three days later, followed a little later by another refugee, Giyasaddin Mohammed, who had parted with Khoja Mahmud in Balkh. The fortifications of Herat were hastily fortified, and four city gates-Malik, Firuzabad, Khush, and Iraq-were placed under the command of Giyasaddin Muhammad, Imadeddin Muhammad, Sultan Mahmud, and another unnamed officer.

Janibek-sultan laid siege to Herat in January 1513, and although he was subsequently joined by Ubaidullah Khan, the city was held for two months until finally, on the morning of Nowruz, Friday, March 11, 1513, the siege was lifted to the great joy of the inhabitants. However, in the vicinity of Murghab the retreating Uzbeks met Mohammed Timur Sultan with his reinforcements, whereupon Janibek Sultan parted with those present to proceed to his residence in Karman, and Ubaidullah Khan with Mohammed Timur Sultan went back to occupy Tus and Mashhad. The fall of these cities and the lack of help from the Shah forced the Qizilbashis to abandon Herat; the city was taken over by Muhammad Timur sultan, who began minting coins in his own name and killed most of the Shi'ites of the city.

Meanwhile, Shah Ismail I was in the gishlag in Isfahan in 1513. On 3 March in Shahabad on the outskirts of Isfahan a son was born to him, named Abulfath Tahmasib Mirza. Almost immediately after this joyous event followed the news of the defeat in Gijouvan and the invasion of Khorasan by the Uzbeks. The Shah, thirsty for revenge, proceeded to Mashhad through Saveh, Firuzkuh (Eng.), Sultan Meydan, Kalpush and Ulangi Radkan. At Sawa he halted for ten days and ordered provisions for a three-month march; at Firuzkuh, where again a ten-day halt was made, he appointed (at Bistam (Eng. ) he held an inspection of his army for a few days, and, while at Kalpush (Eng.), received news that Ubaydullah Khan had fled from Mashhad to Merv, on his way to Bukhara, and that Mohammed Timur-sultan had also fled from Herat to Samarkand. When the Shah reached Khorasan the Uzbeks were swept from the field of Gijduvan. In the decisive battle that took place near Mashhad, the Shaybanid army was defeated. Many Uzbek emirs and sultans were captured by the Safavids.

After the flight of Muhammad Timur Sultan there was unrest in Herat, as the city lost its leading citizens, such as Giyasaddin Muhammad, Sultan Mahmud, Jalaladdin Muhammad Farnahudi, Gasim Hondamir and Shah Husayn Khiyabani, who were forced to accompany the Uzbek leader to Samarqand. For a time the city was seized by Abulgasym Balkhi; then, having been driven out by Safavid supporters, he returned with 2,000 men from Karkh and Badghis, and with the help of Shihabuddin Guri and Nizamuddin Abdulkadir Meshhedi, traitors, besieged the city. On the eighth day of the siege, Piri Sultan, the Shah's governor of Fusanj, stormed into the city; Shihabuddin Guri and 300 of his men were taken by surprise and killed, but Abulgasim Bakhshi and Nizamuddin Abdulkadir Meshkhedi managed to escape to Garchistan. Meanwhile, the Shah arrived in Ulangi-Radkan. The former governor of Merv, Dede-bek Talysh was later pardoned and given an honorary robe. Since Herat was reoccupied by Safavid forces, it was necessary to appoint a governor to it: Zeynal-sultan of Shamli (Azerb.) was chosen for this position, and he was granted the title of khan, while Emir-bek Mosullu was appointed governor of Cain with the title of "sultan." Khorasan becomes the province best suited to promote the most powerful of the Qizilbash emirs. The Shah nominates his men to key administrative positions.

After visiting the tomb in Mashhad, the shah moved to Badghis and from there to Baba-Haki. The punitive campaign of Chukhi Sultan was revenge on the nomads of Badghis, who had earlier unexpectedly attacked the Qizilbash refugees from Gijduvan, and a response to the murder of Hodja Mahmud in Pul-i-Chirag in early September 1513 at the hands of Adham, the nomad chief of Harzwan, when Hodja was going from Balkh to the shah's camp. Div Sultan Rumlu and Emir Sultan Mosul were ordered to subdue Shibargan, Andkhoy, and Balkh. Shibargan fell without a struggle; Andkhoy was taken after a six-day siege and its inhabitants were slaughtered, and its defender Kara Baggal was caged and sent to the Shah; as for Balkh, it, like Shibargan, surrendered without a fight. Acting on the Shah's order, Div Sultan Rumlu took charge of Balkh, and Emir Sultan Mosullu proceeded to his post in Cain.

The Sheibanids sent Janibek Sultan to the khan of the Kazakhs, Kasym-khan, for help. Kasym Khan sends a huge army to Transoxiana under the leadership of his son Abulkhair Khan. The Uzbek sultans together with Abulkhair-khan cross the Amu Darya River. However, in the ensuing battle with the troops of Ismail I, the sultans were defeated and Abulkhair Khan was killed in battle. After this defeat, the Sheibanid armies scattered and crossed the Amu Darya. Ubaydulla-khan, Mohammed Timur-sultan and Janibek-sultan consulted and decided to send Khoja Abdurahim Naqshbandi as mediator to Shah Ismail.

It remained for the Safavids to subdue Kandahar, which was seized by Shuja-bek after his escape from the fortress of Ikhtiyaruddin in the summer of 1511. The appearance of Shahrukh-bek Afshar forced the rebel to repent again and promise to pay regular tribute, after which the Safavid detachment returned back to the Shah's camp. After recapturing Khorasan, the Shah withdrew from the camp and set out for Iraq. A punitive detachment sent from Nishapur, commanded by Nizamuddin Abdulbagi and Chayan Sultan Ustajla, failed to capture the rebel Mohammed Timur-sultan, but slaughtered most of the rebel Nisa and Abiwerd and rejoined the Shah's camp at Isfahan. More formidable was the rebellion of the Shah's nephew, Suleiman Mirza. Taking advantage of the Shah's concerns in Khorasan, he left Ardebil and entered Tabriz at the head of a large number of followers, but the inhabitants showered stones and darts from the roofs of houses, and Suleiman Mirza, finding that his triumphant entrance had become a funeral procession, was forced to withdraw to Shunb-e Ghazan, where he was executed by Mustafa-bek Ustajli. For this service Mustafa-bek Ustajli, who was the brother of Prime Minister Chayan Sultan Ustajli, was given the post of governor of Tabriz and the title of "Mantasha Sultan." The Shah spent the winter of 1513-1514 in Isfahan and moved toward Hamadan when spring arrived.

After the battle of Merv, Khanzadeh-beyim was honorably sent to her brother Babur. This woman fell into the hands of Sheibani Khan in Samarkand in the summer of 1501 and bore him a son, Khurram Shah Sultan, who was appointed governor of Balkh in 1507. She was then given in marriage to Said Hadi, who fell fighting for Sheibani Khan in a battle against Shah Ismail. For the honor bestowed on Khanzadeh-beyim, Khan Mirza brought the shah a letter of gratitude from Babur, and Shuja-bek, the ruler of Kandahar, personally appeared to express his allegiance to the shah.

The news of the defeat of Sheibani Khan, brought by Khan Mirza in December 1510, prompted Babur to begin the struggle to regain his throne in Samarkand, and despite the harsh winter, he advanced from Kabul, joined forces with Khan Mirza in Badakhshan and went to Hisar-e-Shadman (English), then occupied by Hamza Sultan and Mehdi Sultan. This campaign proved unsuccessful. Babur returned to Kunduz, and Khan Mirza was sent to Shah Ismail expressing his gratitude for the safe escort of Khanzade-beyim and for his support and assistance.

On Khan Mirza's return, however, without the expected reinforcements, Babur moved on the Uzbeks a second time, and in early 1511 succeeded in scattering their ranks. Hamza Sultan and Mehdi Sultan were captured and executed as traitors because they had once been in Babur's service and had defected from him to Sheibani Khan. Inspired by this success, Babur requested assistance from Shah Ismail for the return of Samarkand and Bukhara, which belonged to him by right of succession, promising in return to become Shiite, mint coins in the Shah's name, read khutba in the Safavid manner and dress in Qizilbash attire. In the end, the reinforcements sent by the Shah, under the command of Ahmed-bek Sufioglu Rumlu and Shahrukh-bek Afshar, arrived at Hisar-e-Shadman to Babur, from where he later moved on to Bukhara and occupied it. The Uzbek rulers fled in the direction of Turkestan and the allied forces entered Samarkand in mid-October 1511. Babur became the Shiite with the inscription "Ali is the deputy of Allah", fulfilled the promise, willingly put on a red 12-pointed turban of Sheikh Heydar and joined the ranks of Qizilbash followers of Shah Ismail to whom he treated with respect. Henceforth Babur ruled as a Safavid vassal.

In the spring of 1512 the Uzbek rulers, seeing that the Qizilbashi had been demobilized and sent home, mustered their courage and completely defeated Babur in a desperate battle at Bukhara in May 1512. Babur was forced to abandon Bukhara and Samarkand and take refuge in Hisar-e-Shadman (English), where the Safavid governor of Balkh Bayram Khan Karamanly had urgently moved 300 Qizilbashis under the command of Sultan Muhammad Shirazi. This news forced the Uzbeks to turn back from Chaganian.

With the establishment of a number of Shiite states in the Deccan, the Safavids suddenly found themselves at the center of the larger Shiite community. The Safavid court was perceived by Shiites from other countries as a source of leadership and protection from the oppressive Sunni world. The Deccan sultanates of central and western India, appeared on the Deccan Plateau and along the west coast of India with the end of Bahmanid rule in the early sixteenth century, whose sultans were Shia. Many of them admired Shah Ismail I and his Safavid successors. Two of these sultanates, Golconda and Ahmednagar, proclaimed Shi'ism as their official confession, following Ismail's example. Although the creator of the Golkonda Sultanate, Sultangulu Baharlu, prided himself on the fact that his ancestors had practiced Shiism before the Safavids, from the time of Qara Muhammad and Qara Yusuf. He claimed:

"I also swore by the Prophet and his successor Ali that if I should ever succeed in gaining independence, I would promote the faith of the followers of the Twelve Imams in places where 'never before had the banners of the faithful flown; but do not think that I took this idea from Shah Ismail of Persia; may it be known that I have practiced the religion of the twelve (may Allah rest over them) before this, from the time of Sultan Yagub, for it was the faith of my ancestors. Now I am almost a hundred years old, most of which I have devoted to spreading the laws of the true religion; and now I wish to withdraw from the outside world and spend the rest of my days spending them in prayer.

Shah Tahir Husseini, a former supporter of Ismail who lived in India, helped to strengthen Shi'ism in these lands. The rulers of another sultanate, the Adil Shahs of Bijapur, alternately proclaimed themselves Sunni and Shiite, but often ordered the khutba to be read in the names of the Safavid Shahs rather than the Mughal emperors. The strong Shiite orientation of centers such as Hyderabad contributed to the impressive collections of Safavid materials assembled in the Deccan libraries.

In 1509-1512 the Safavids sent embassies to various countries of the world, including the Deccan sultanates. In October 1510 a Safavid mission arrived in Goa to pay homage to Yusuf Adilshah, ruler of Bijapur. It was a diplomatic response to an earlier Adilshah embassy led by one Seyyyid Ahmed Harawi, which had arrived at Ismael's court a few years earlier. However, the Gujrat landscape had changed radically, and the Safavid ambassadors now faced a Christian Portuguese power in Goa rather than a Deccan Shiite dynasty. After several months of negotiations, Ambassador Mir Abu Ishaq went back with a letter from the Portuguese captain to Shah Ismail. In November 1511 another mission was assembled and dispatched. The Safavid ambassador Yadigyar-bek Qizilbash was actually on his way to Bijapur, but decided to disembark at the court of Muzaffar Shah, ruler of Gujrat. Yadigyar-bek presented the necessary gifts and, in turn, received ceremonial robes and a mansion for his residence. He then went to Bijapur, the ultimate goal of this particular mission, to strengthen the bonds of brotherhood between the Safavids and the Adilshahs. The relationship was further strengthened in 1519 when Shah Ismail sent an embassy under the command of Ibrahim-bek Turkman with many gifts for the ruler Ismail Adilshah. The royal letter addressed to the Deccan ruler was high-handed in its praise of Ismail Adilshah as an Islamic ruler. This recognition of Adilshah's sovereignty by a Shi'a power outside the Indian subcontinent pleased Ismail so much that he staged a mass celebration of Ibrahim-bek Turkman's arrival and ordered all his Shi'a warriors to wear the Qizilbash taj.

In 1502 news came to Cairo from Aleppo that a foreigner named Shah Ismail Sefevi had come to power in Iran. This caused anxiety in Cairo. All the emirs assembled by order of the Mamluk Sultan to consult on the affairs of the Safavids. Some arrangements were also made for the deployment of troops to Aleppo. A couple of days later there was a rumor of the assassination of Shah Ismail by Emir Gasym-bek, but this was immediately refuted. On the other hand, Sultan Kansuh al-Ghauri, who was aware of the threat from Shah Ismail, wrote a letter to Bayazid. In the letter he referred to the appearance of a man in the East who defeated the rulers of the provinces. In his last letter to Bayazid, Kansuh used harsh language about Shah Ismail and the new Shiite rule in the East and stressed the need to confront him. Kansuh's religious stance against the Qizilbash in his letter was based on the impression the Sunni fugitives had made on him in Damascus. His view of Shiism as a dangerous heresy mirrored that of the Sunni residents of Damascus. There is no further information about Kansuh and Bayazid's next measures. In 1504 there was a rumor that "Khariji Heydar Sufi," meaning Ismail, son of Heydar Sufi, attacked the territory ruled by Alauddawla and advanced on Aleppo.

The news of Shah Ismail's victories in 1507 reached Cairo via Aleppo. It was reported that the vanguard of the Qizilbash army had reached Malatya. On hearing the news, the sultan summoned his emirs for a council. They decided to send an army. The sultan made an inspection of the army in the presence of a representative of the Ottoman sultan and began preparations to send it off, along with a number of emirs. A message was sent to Aleppo that the army was expected to arrive and to encourage the officials of Aleppo to recruit soldiers and gather information. Then another news reached Cairo, stating that the Sufi army had crossed the Euphrates and was approaching the Sultan's possessions, and that Alauddowla was leading Ottoman troops against him. This news filled Cairo with anxiety, and preparations for sending the army were suspended. Alauddovla's envoy arrived in Cairo with news of his victory over the Safavids. He presented several heads in distinctive red Qizilbash tajahs, claiming that they were the heads of some emirs. The Sultan was very pleased and ordered the heads to be hung on the gate of Bab Zuweil. When the reported news was confirmed, preparations for sending the army ceased. After the campaign against Alauddovla Zulkadar at the end of 1507, the Qizilbash troops also crossed into the territory of the Mamluk Sultanate. Shah Ismail sent Zakariya-bek to Cairo with a letter apologizing for the over-expansion of his troops in northern Syria during the campaign. Sultan Qansuh al-Ghauri accepted the apology and sent back a Mamluk delegation, which included the Safavid emir who had been captured and sent to Cairo by Alauddawla earlier in the summer of 1507. When Shah Ismail captured Baghdad in 1508, Sultan Murad tried to retake Baghdad by seeking help from Ottoman and Mamluk forces. For this reason, in 1508 an envoy of Sultan Murad arrived in Cairo to ask Sultan Kansuh for help. The Sultan welcomed him and, according to his customary practice, invited him to attend the ceremony held in Maidan. But if he expected the sultan to provide him with troops, he was disappointed. In the days that followed, rumors swirled around Cairo that Shah Ismail had attacked the Sultan's territory, but they were immediately refuted. Similar rumors circulated in 1510 that Shah Ismail's army had attacked Aleppo, but these rumors were also quickly dispelled.

In 1511 Sultan Kansuh sent Ismail his representative, Emir Temurbay Hindi. At the end of 1511 the news of Sheibani Khan's assassination reached Cairo. According to Ibn Ayas, news came from Aleppo of Ismail's 1510 defeat of Mohammed Sheibani Khan Uzbek, the founder of the Sheibani dynasty northeast of the Safavid kingdom, and that he had killed and beheaded him. Sultan Kansuh, at whose house the emirs stayed until noon, was extremely disturbed. Upon learning of Sheibani Khan's defeat and death, the sultan was frightened of Ismail's attack. In addition, the Egyptian sultan was very concerned about the eastern borders of the country on the banks of the Euphrates because of the advancing Qizilbash troops. In January 1511, Ismail sent an emissary with gifts from Merv or Herat to the Mamluk Sultan. According to al-Ansari, Shah Ismail's envoy arrived in Damascus on Monday March 1511. Sibay, the emir of Damascus, ordered that the local nobility officially attend and welcome him. Fireworks were set off, and soldiers lined the route from the Sultan's Mastaba to Ablak's palace near the fortress. Meanwhile, Yahshi-bek, the great chamberlain and Emir Kebir Khalaj were present. The emir himself, however, remained in the capital when the envoy arrived, greeting him there before his departure for Cairo. In the capital the envoy sat beside Seyyid Kemaleddin, a Shiite jurist from Dar al-Adl, and handed the emir a letter from Ismail in Persian. It began with "Bismillah," under which was written "O Ali," and continued, "a letter from Shah Ismail, Sultan of Iran and the two Iraqis. We have sent our envoy to the governors of Aleppo, Damascus, and Egypt to convey the glad tidings of our victory over Uzbek Khan, the ruler of Khorasan. We beheaded him and seized all his lands." Al-Ansari adds that the letter also threatened the governments of Damascus and Aleppo. It noted that the shah also sent his envoys to the Ottoman sultan. Briefly touching on the arrival of Ismail's envoys, Ibn Tulun wrote that some Muslims had their heads with them. The envoy arrived in Cairo in June 1511. According to al-Ansari, the army lined up from the dervish house to the fortress. The reception of the envoy was exceptional because of the large number of people as well as the presence of officials. The envoy paid a visit to Kansuh al-Ghauri. Among his gifts was a gold-covered skull of Muhammad Shaybani Khan, which Ismail used as a glass. Kansuh covered the skull and buried it. Later, the sultan invited the envoy as a guest and ordered him to be well entertained. The people asked the messenger, "Are you satisfied with Abu Bakr?" implying that he was a heretic and embarrassing him. The Sultan ordered the people to avoid such conversations, for he feared that the successors of the Prophet would be cursed in return. Ibn Ayas describes in detail the arrival of the messenger in Egypt. As soon as the messenger spotted the Sultan, he kissed the ground and then the Sultan's foot. Ibn Ayas also mentions the entertainment that the Egyptian sultan arranged for the Shah's envoy on Tuesday, June 4, 1511. The sultan took him to Maidan, and after firing several cannons, he sat down beside a small al-bahra pool built in Maidan. After the Safavid envoy was brought in, he was not only very well received but also received gifts. He was then taken back to his residence. The sultan appointed some of his special servants to be with him and not allow people to meet with him. Moreover, none of the Sufi members of the delegation were allowed to go shopping or meet people. Only once did they go out with their attendant Azdmar to pay their respects to the tomb of Imam Shafia and Imam Lais, and then they were taken back to their residence. A letter from Shah Ismail was also presented to the Sultan. It was typical of the Fathname and described the Shah's victory over the Uzbeks, the restoration of order in Khorasan and the Shah's desire to convey this glad tidings to the Mamluk Sultan. The letter was also followed by a poem in Arabic:

The sword and the dagger are our flowers, Our wine is the blood of our enemies, The daffodil and the myrtle, And our cup is the skull of our heads.

The gifts also included an ornamented copy of the Koran, a prayer rug, and a crossbow. The letter says: "was a branch of that tree of Chingzid wickedness" and explains how his pride and self-confidence were his ultimate undoing. In addition, it is poetic and in the last lines contains a bayt that Uzun Hasan had previously sent to Sultan Seyfeddin Gait-bek Ashraf:

Who turns away from happy times, His mind becomes free from the light of understanding spoils every plain and field, And gives to his seedling misery and disease.

The letter goes on to discuss the consequences of Muhammad Shaybani Khan's plunder, injustice, and oppression, and how this caused "the need to defend God's laws and maintain the rules of the caliphate, and the imperial rule demanded that there be sent to Khorasan to eradicate that rotten branch. The letter concludes with an ayat from Qur'an 48:16: "You will be called to battle with a very strong (brave and undaunted) people, with whom you will have to fight or they will submit to you." Literary circles in Cairo held a poetry contest to see whose contribution would be chosen for inclusion in the Mameluk response; poets and literati such as Ibn Iyas, al-Ushmuni, al-Hijar, al-Shirbini, and Ibn al-Tahhan wrote many suitable responses, but it was Sefiaddin al-Hilli's verse that summarized the Mameluk response:

I have a horse for good purposes, and this is her lead, I have a horse for evil purposes, and this is its saddle, Whoever wants to show me the right way, I'll do the same. Whoever wants to lead me astray, I will repay him in return.

After bidding farewell to Kansuh, Ismail's envoy left Cairo for Damascus on Monday, August 6. Ibn Tulun reports that on his return to Damascus he was welcomed by the governor. Al-Ansari mentioned his return to Damascus, the reception ceremony and his residence in al-Marjah. According to al-Ansari's version, the envoy of Shah Ismail arrived in Damascus on August 20 and was received by Kansuh. The sultan gave him an abu (a loose sleeveless male cloak, open in front) and a qabu (a long robe, open in front) as gifts and ordered the emirs of Cairo to receive him as his guest. He also supplied him with gold to cover the cost of his return journey. In the late summer of 1511, Ismail sent some ambassadors through Mamluk territory with ritual coverings (qiswa) for the Ka'ba in Mecca. Perhaps this was an attempt to symbolize his own universal authority. With the arrival of the Safavid mission to Cairo in 1512, they presented the Mamluk sultan with a detailed Safavid genealogical document that proved Ismail's kinship with the Ahli Beit as "the heir of Muhammad himself through Ali." In turn, Ismail proved to be "the rightful ruler of Mecca, Egypt, and all Syria." On June 21 the sultan received Shah Ismail's envoy and took him to Maidan, where entertainment was organized, which impressed the envoy with their systematic organization. On July 22, Kansuh al-Gauri again received envoy Ismail and presented him and the delegation that accompanied him with gifts. The Mamluk statesmen regarded the Safavid government as a powerful power that could be counted on in the event of Ottoman aggression.

Shah Ismail wrote poems under the poetic pseudonym "Khatai" in his native Azerbaijani and Persian languages. Although his son Sam Mirza, as well as some later authors, claimed that Ismail composed poems in two languages, only a few samples of his poems in Persian have survived.

In one of his verses, Shah Ismail wrote: "Xətai da natiq oldu, Türkistanın piri oldu," the semantic translation of which, according to Vladimir Minorsky, is "God came to speech in the person of Khatai, who became the mentor of the Turks (Azerbaijan).

The poem "Dehname", 400 ghazals and 100 kasids in Azerbaijani, four bayts and one mukamma (poem) in Farsi have reached us. According to V. Minorsky, Shah Ismail's preference for the Turkic language in his poetry can be explained by the fact that he wanted to be understood by his Turkic followers. Shah Ismail created in that poetic idiom which has its roots in the work of the poet Nasimi, and reached its apogee in the poems of his contemporary Ismail Fizuli. In addition to the traditional aruz, there is a significant number of his syllabic verses. Ismail used common themes and images in lyrics and textbook-religious poetry, but did so with ease and with a degree of originality. Professor Ahmed Karamustafa, one of the authors of an article about Shah Ismail in the Encyclopedia Iranica, notes that much of Shah Ismail's poetry was lyrical, not religious, and that Khatai is a representative of the Adari (Iranian-Azeri) lyrical tradition. The appeal to the Turkic language as a literary language was not an exception for an ascendant monarch like Ismail, like many of his contemporaries, including Sefevid mortal enemies Sultan Yagub Ak-Koyunlu and Uzbek khan Sheibani. The list of rulers who wrote in Turkic during this period also includes the founder of the Mogul dynasty, Babur, and the Mamluk Sultan Kansuh al-Gauri. An exception to this literary preference among the ruling elite is the Ottoman Sultan Selim I, who wrote his poems in Persian.

The oldest manuscript of poems, "Divan", is now stored in Tashkent and dates back to 1535. It was transcribed in the palace of Shah Tahmasib I by the famous calligrapher Shah Mahmud Nishapuri. It contains 262 qasidas and ghazals and 10 quatrains. A second, earlier copy, dated 1541 and preserved in Paris, contains 254 qasidahs and ghazals, three matnaks, one morabba, and one mosadda. In addition to the divan, Ismail composed at least two independent poems, namely Nasihat-nameh (1506). In Azerbaijani poetry his poem "Dehnameh" is considered to be a textbook poem.

Many manuscripts of Khatai are known. Shah Ismail used his poetry as propaganda, and his poems, which spread throughout the world with wandering ashugs and dervishes, are full of Shiite fanaticism. For a long time his poems were read in Bektashi and Alavi circles, as well as the Shabak sect from Iraq, which included some of them in their holy books.

Shah Ismail also patronized literati, and gathered at his court a poetic beau-monde (Habibi, Sururi, Shahi, etc.). He established a qitab-khaneh (library) in Tabriz where manuscript makers worked.

Shah Ismail is the prototype of the hero of the dastan "Shah Ismail", associated with the personality and life of the shah. Many literary works have been written about Shah Ismail, for example, the historical stories of Azerbaijani writers Aziza Jafarzade "Baku o1501", "Attack" and Anar "The Poet's Victory".

He was also fond of horse racing, hunting, painting and calligraphy techniques, played the barbat, had a good voice and tremendous physical strength. He encouraged the development of crafts and trade. A character of many folk legends and dastans.

The Kyzylbashi loved their ruler Ismail so much that they were ready to rush into battle without armor, to die on the battlefield for their Shah was considered an honor for them. Mohammed Fuzuli dedicated the poem "Hashish and Wine" in Azerbaijani language to Ismail. In it Fizuli praises the Shah:

Illuminating a Friend's Feast, Jam of the age, Shah Ismail, Thanks to him the rich man and the poor man alike are at peace, May Allah immortalize his kingdom forever and ever!

The Venetian agent-contemporary of the Shah Ismaila Morecini reported on him:

"Not since the days of Xerxes and Darius has there been in Persia a king so adored, so loved by his people, so militant, so possessed of such a large army, or so fortunate. At our present time the heavens have created such a miracle, which surpasses all other miracles, that a young man of twelve years and not of royal blood was so brave that he was able, by force of arms and his followers, to defeat the scions of the Iranian royal house, to drive them out and occupy Tabriz, and to subject all Iran in a manner in which Alexander himself was not subjected."

Ghulam Sarwar wrote about the bravery of Shah Ismail I:

"His most notable character trait was his bravery. When he was thirteen, he killed alone a bear in the vicinity of Sarygai, and later, as an adult, a lion in Iraq. Similarly, on the battlefield his courage was exceptional. At the age of thirteen and a half, with 7,000 men, he faced Shirvanshah in a bloody battle. Here, as in other moments, he fought in the front lines for hours on end. It was his bravery that defeated the Uzbeks, and it was in spite of it that he himself was defeated at Chaldiran."

David Morgan writes about Ishmael:

"His goal was to spread his power and that of his followers as widely as possible in all directions, and to consolidate this power by all the methods available to him, including religion. Nevertheless, we should not underestimate his achievement. The state he established will prove that it was firmly founded and enduring. Gifted with the ability to properly assess his capabilities, he did not succumb to the temptation of endless conquests. His contemporaries and European travelers alike rated Ismael very favorably. While he knew how to strike fear, he also won the most exceptional loyalty of his followers and subjects.

The Cambridge History of Iran describes the Shah:

"Ishmael is believed to have been shrewd, possessing a lively and quick mind. His personality on the basis of the accounts of the sources is not without positive qualities. Chronicles describe him as a fair ruler who took the situation of his subjects to heart. His poems betray an extraordinary religious enthusiasm. Herein lies perhaps the secret of his early military and political successes--his ability to inspire others, though the era was such that we may assume a certain susceptibility on their part. In battle he was noted for his courage and boldness, coupled with his physical strength and skill in the art of warfare--he was spoken of as an excellent archer. But in other places he had no shortage of courage either, as seen, for example, in his decision to introduce Shi'ism in Tabriz, where two-thirds of the population had previously been Sunnis. These qualities were characteristic of him from an early age. We read that while hunting in his youth he fearlessly dealt with bears, leopards and lions. He was famous for his boundless generosity, especially in the distribution of trophies; of course, his behavior was not due to altruism alone, but to the knowledge that this was the shortest way to recruit recruits. The spirit of messianism that inspired Ishmael had its complement in the religious mood of the people. Many seem to have had an awareness of the Apocalypse at this time. The insecurity caused by war, anarchy, bandits, catastrophes, plague, and famine created religious expectations, personified by the hope, not only among Shi'ites, of the return of Mehdi, which would mark the end of the world.

In the name of Ishmael I are named:


  1. Ismail I
  2. Исмаил I
  3. Географический регион на северо-западе современного Ирана, к югу от реки Аракс
  4. ^ a b c d Matthee, Rudi (13 June 2017) [28 July 2008]. "SAFAVID DYNASTY". Encyclopædia Iranica. New York: Columbia University. doi:10.1163/2330-4804_EIRO_COM_509. ISSN 2330-4804. Archived from the original on 25 May 2022. Retrieved 23 June 2022.
  5. ^ Streusand, Douglas E., Islamic Gunpowder Empires: Ottomans, Safavids, and Mughals (Boulder, Col : Westview Press, 2011) ("Streusand"), p. 135.
  6. Woodbridge Bingham, Hilary Conroy, Frank William Iklé, A History of Asia: Formations of Civilizations, From Antiquity to 1600, and Bacon, 1974, p. 116.
  7. Más változat szerint 1525. május 23-án halt meg. (royalark)

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