Ismail I

"Khatai" redirects here. For the village in Iran, see Khatai, Iran.
Ismail I
شاه اسماعیل یکم
Shahanshah of Iran

Shah Ismail I.
Reign 1501–1524
Successor Tahmasp I
Born July 17, 1487
Ardabil, Iran
Died May 23, 1524 (aged 36)
Tabriz, Iran
Burial Ardabil, Iran
Consort Daughter of Shirvanshah Khalilullah II
House Safavid dynasty
Father Haydar Safavi
Mother Halima Begum (also known as Martha)
Religion Twelver Shia

Ismail I, (July 17, 1487 – May 23, 1524), known in Persian as Shāh Ismāʿil, (Persian: شاه اسماعیل; full name: Abū l-Muzaffar Isma'il bin Haydar as-Safavī; Azerbaijani: بیرینجی شاه اسماعیل; Şah İsmayıl Xətai), was Shah of Iran (Persia) (1501)[1][2] and the founder of the Safavid dynasty which survived until 1736. Isma'il started his campaign in Iranian Azerbaijan in 1500 as the leader of the Safaviyya, a Twelver Shia militant religious order, and unified all of Iran by 1509.[3] Born in Ardabil, Iran, he was the king (shah) of the Safavid dynasty from 1501 to 1524.

The dynasty founded by Ismail I would rule for over two centuries, being one of the greatest Iranian empires (Persian empires) after the Muslim conquest of Persia and at its height being amongst the most powerful empires of its time, ruling all of Iran, Azerbaijan, Armenia, most of Georgia, the North Caucasus, Iraq, Kuwait, and Afghanistan, as well as parts of modern day Syria, Turkey, Pakistan, Uzbekistan, and Turkmenistan.[4][5][6][7] It also reasserted the Iranian identity in large parts of Greater Iran.[8] The legacy of the Safavid Empire was also the revival of Persia as an economic stronghold between East and West, the establishment of an efficient state and bureaucracy, its architectural innovations and its patronage for fine arts.

Ismail played a key role in the rise of Twelver Islam; he converted Iran from Sunni to Shi'a Islam, importing religious authorities from the Levant.[9][10] In Alevism, Ismail remains revered as a spiritual guide.

Ismail was also a prolific poet who, under the pen name Khaṭāʾī (which means "sinner" in Persian) contributed greatly to the literary development of the Azerbaijani language.[11] He also contributed to Persian literature, though few of his Persian writings survive.[12]


The battle between the young Ismail and Shah Farrukh Yassar of Shirvan

Ismail was born to Martha and Shaykh Haydar on July 17, 1487 in Ardabil. His father, Haydar, was the sheikh of the Safaviyya Sufi order and a direct descendant of its Kurdish[13][14][15] founder, Safi-ad-din Ardabili (1252–1334). Ismail was the last in this line of hereditary Grand Masters of the order, prior to his ascent to a ruling dynasty. Ismail was a great-great grandson of Emperor Alexios IV of Trebizond and King Alexander I of Georgia. His mother Martha, better known as Halima Begum, was the daughter of Uzun Hasan by his Pontic Greek wife Theodora Megale Komnene, better known as Despina Khatun.[16] Despina Khatun was the daughter of Emperor John IV of Trebizond. (She had married Uzun Hassan in a deal to protect the Greek Empire of Trebizond from the Ottomans.[17]) Ismail grew up bilingual, speaking Persian and Azerbaijani.[18][19] Not only did Ismail have Kurdish ancestors, but he also had ancestors from various other ethnic groups such as Azeri;[20][21][22][23] the majority of scholars agree that his empire was an Iranian one.[4][5][6][7][24]

In 700/1301, Safi al-Din assumed the leadership of the Zahediyeh, a significant Sufi order in Gilan, from his spiritual master and father-in-law Zahed Gilani. The order was later known as the Safaviyya. One genealogy claimed that Sheikh Safi (the founder of the order and Ismael's ancestor) was a lineal descendant of Ali. Ismail also proclaimed himself the Mahdi and a reincarnation of Ali.[25]


Ismail declares himself shah by entering Tabriz, painter Chingiz Mehbaliyev, in private collection.

In 1488, the father of Ismail was killed in a battle at Derbent against the forces of the Shirvanshah Farrukh Yassar and his overlord, the Aq Qoyunlu, a Turkic tribal federation which controlled most of Iran. In 1494 the Aq Qoyunlu captured Ardabil, killing Ali Mirza Safavi (the eldest son of Haydar), and forcing the 7-year old Ismail to go into hiding in Gilan, where he received education under the guidance of scholars.

When Ismail reached the age of 12, he came out of hiding and returned to Iranian Azerbaijan along with his followers. Ismail's rise to power was made possible by the Turkoman tribes of Anatolia and Azerbaijan, who formed the most important part of the Qizilbash movement.[26]

Invasion of Shirvan and Azerbaijan

In the summer of 1500, about 7,000 Qizilbash troops, including members of the Ustaclu, Shamlu, Rumlu, Tekelu, Zhulkadir, Afshar, Qajar and Varsak tribes, responded to the invitation of Ismail in Erzincan.[27] Qizilbash forces passed over the Kura River in December 1500, and marched towards the Shirvanshah's state. They defeated the forces of the Shirvanshah Farrukh Yassar near Cabanı (present-day Shamakhi Rayon, Azerbaijan) or at Gulistan (present-day Gülüstan, Goranboy, Nagorno-Karabakh),[28][29] and subsequently went on to conquer Baku.[29][30] Thus, Shirvan and its dependencies (up to southern Dagestan in the north) were now Ismail's. The Shirvanshah line nevertheless continued to rule Shirvan under Safavid suzerainty for some more years, until 1538, when, during the reign of Ismail's son, Tahmasp I (r. 1524-1576), from then on it came to be ruled by a Safavid governor.[31] After the conquest, Ismail had Alexander I of Kakheti send his son Demetre to Shirvan to negotiate a peace agreement.[32]

The successful conquest had alarmed the ruler of the Aq Qoyunlu, Alvand, who subsequently proceeded north from Tabriz, and crossed the Aras River in order to challenge the Safavid forces, and a pitched battle was fought at Sarur in which Ismail's army came out victorious despite being outnumbered by four to one.[29] Shortly before his attack on Shirvan, Ismail had made the Georgian kings Constantine II and Alexander I of respectively the kingdoms of Kartli and Kakheti, attack the Ottoman possessions near Tabriz, on the promise that he would cancel the tribute that Constantine was forced to pay to the Ak Koyunlu once Tabriz was captured.[32] After eventually conquering Tabriz and Nakhchivan, Ismail broke the promise he had made to Constantine II, and made both the kingdoms of Kartli as well as Kakheti his vassals.[32]


The battle between Ismail I and Muhammad Shaybani

Conquest of Iran and its surroundings

In July 1501, Ismail was enthroned as Shah of Azerbaijan,[33] choosing Tabriz as his capital. He appointed his former guardian and mentor Husayn Beg Shamlu as the vakil (vicegerent) of the empire and the commander-in-chief (amir al-umara) of the Qizilbash army.[34][35] His army was composed of tribal units, the majority of which were Turkmen from Anatolia and Syria with the remainder Kurds and Čaḡatāy.[36] He also appointed a former Iranian vizier of the Aq Qoyunlu, named Muhammad Zakariya Kujuji, as his vizier.[37] After proclaiming himself Shah, Ismail also proclaimed Twelver Shi'ism to be the official and compulsory religion of Iran. He enforced this new standard by the sword, dissolving Sunni Brotherhoods and executing anyone who refused to comply to the newly implemented Shi'ism [38]

After defeating an Aq Qoyunlu army in 1502, Ismail took the title of "Shah of Iran".[2] In the same year he gained possession of Erzincan and Erzurum,[39] while a year later, in 1503, he conquered Eraq-e Ajam and Fars; one year later he conquered Mazandaran, Gorgan, and Yazd. In 1507, he conquered Diyabakir. During the same year, Ismail appointed the Iranian Amir Najm al-Din Mas'ud Gilani as the new vakil. This was because Ismail had begun favoring the Iranians more than the Qizilbash, who, although they had played a crucial role in Ismail's campaigns, possessed too much power and were no longer considered trustworthy.[40][41]

One year later, he Ismail forced the rulers of Khuzestan, Lorestan, and Kurdistan to become his vassals. The same year, Ismail and Husayn Beg Shamlu seized Baghdad, putting an end to the Aq Qoyunlu.[42][43] Ismail then began destroying Sunni sites in Baghdad, including tombs of Abbasid Caliphs and tombs of Imam Abū Ḥanīfah and Abdul Qadir Gilani.[44]

By 1510, he had conquered the whole of Iran and Azerbaijan,[45] southern Dagestan (with its important city of Derbent), Mesopotamia, Armenia, Khorasan, and Eastern Anatolia, and had made the Georgian kingdoms of Kartli and Kakheti his vassals.[46][47] In the same year, Husayn Beg Shamlu lost his office as commander-in-chief in favor of a man of humble origins, Muhammad Beg Ustajlu.[40] Ismail also appointed Najm-e Sani as the new vakil of the empire due to the death of Mas'ud Gilani.[41]

Ismail I moved against the Uzbeks. In battle near the city of Merv, some 17,000 Qizilbash warriors ambushed and defeated an Uzbek force numbering 28,000. The Uzbek ruler, Muhammad Shaybani, was caught and killed trying to escape the battle, and the shah had his skull made into a jewelled drinking goblet.[48] In 1512, Najm-e Sani was killed during a clash with the Uzbeks, which made Ismail appoint Abd al-Baqi Yazdi as the new vakil of the empire.[49]

War against the Ottomans

Artwork of the Battle of Chaldiran

The active recruitment of support for the Safavid cause among the Turcoman tribes of Eastern Anatolia, among tribesmen who were Ottoman subjects, had inevitably placed the neighbouring Ottoman empire and the Safavid state on a collision course.[50] As the Encyclopaedia Iranica states, "As orthodox or Sunni Muslims, the Ottomans had reason to view with alarm the progress of Shīʿī ideas in the territories under their control, but there was also a grave political danger that the Ṣafawīya, if allowed to extend its influence still further, might bring about the transfer of large areas in Asia Minor from Ottoman to Persian allegiance".[50] By the early 1510s, Ismail's rapidly expansionist policies had made the Safavid border in Asia Minor shift even further west. In 1511, there was a widespread pro-Safavid rebellion in southern Anatolia by the Takkalu Qizilbash tribe, known as the Şahkulu Rebellion,[50] and an Ottoman army that was sent in order to put down the rebellion down was defeated.[50] A large-scale incursion into Eastern Anatolia by Safavid ghazis under Nūr-ʿAlī Ḵalīfa coincided with the accession of Sultan Selim I in 1512 to the Ottoman throne, and became the casus belli which led to Selim's decision to invade Safavid Iran two years later.[50] Selim and Ismail had been exchanging a series of belligerent letters prior to the attack. While the Safavid forces were at Chaldiran and planning on how to confront the Ottomans, Muhammad Khan Ustajlu, who served as the governor of Diyabakir, and Nur-Ali Khalifa, a commander who knew how the Ottomans fought, proposed that they should attack as quickly as possible.[51] This proposal was rejected by the powerful Qizilbash officer Durmish Khan Shamlu, who rudely said that Muhammad Khan Ustajlu was only interested in the province which he governed. The proposal was rejected by Ismail himself, who said; "I am not a caravan-thief; whatever is decreed by God, will occur."[51]

Personal items of Shah Ismail I captured by Selim I during battle of Chaldiran. Topkapi Museum. Istanbul

Selim I eventually defeated Ismail at the battle of Chaldiran in 1514.[52] Ismail's army was more mobile and his soldiers were better prepared, but the Ottomans prevailed due in large part to their efficient modern army, and possession of artillery, black powder and muskets. Ismail was wounded and almost captured in battle. Selim entered the Iranian capital of Tabriz in triumph on September 5,[53] but did not linger. A mutiny among his troops, fearing a counterattack and entrapment by fresh Safavid forces called in from the interior, forced the triumphant Ottomans to withdraw prematurely. This allowed Ismail to recover. Among the booty from Tabriz was Ismail's favorite wife, for whose release the Sultan demanded huge concessions, which were refused. Despite his defeat at the Battle of Chaldiran, Ismail quickly recovered most of his kingdom, from east of the Lake Van to the Persian Gulf. However, the Ottomans managed to annex for the first time Eastern Anatolia and parts of Mesopotamia, as well as briefly northwestern Iran.[54]

The Venetian ambassador Caterino Zeno describes the events as follows:

The monarch [Selim], seeing the slaughter, began to retreat, and to turn about, and was about to fly, when Sinan, coming to the rescue at the time of need, caused the artillery to be brought up and fired on both the janissaries [sic] and the Persians. The Persian horses hearing the thunder of those infernal machines, scattered and divided themselves over the plain, not obeying their riders bit or spur anymore, from the terror they were in ... It is certainly said, that if it had not been for the artillery, which terrified in the manner related the Persian horses which had never before heard such a din, all his forces would have been routed and put to edge of the sword.[55]

He also adds that:

If the Turks had been beaten in the battle of Chaldiran, the power of Ismail would have become greater than that of Tamerlane, as by the fame alone of such a victory he would have made himself absolute lord of the East.[56]

Late reign and death

After the Battle of Chaldiran, Ismail lost his supernatural air and the aura of invincibility, gradually falling into heavy drinking of alcohol.[57] He retired to his palace, never again participated in a military campaign,[58] and withdrew from active participation in the affairs of the state. He left these to his vizier, Mirza Shah Husayn,[59] who became his close friend and drinking companion. This allowed Mirza Shah Husayn to gain influence over Ismail and expand his authority.[60] Mirza Shah Husayn was assassinated in 1523 by a group of Qizilbash officers, after which Ismail appointed Zakariya's son Jalal al-Din Mohammad Tabrizi as his new vizier. Ismail died on 23 May 1524 at the relatively early age of thirty-six. He was buried in Ardabil, and was succeeded by his son Tahmasp I.

The consequences of the defeat at Chaldiran were also psychological for Ismail: His relationships with his Qizilbash followers were fundamentally altered. The tribal rivalries between the Qizilbash, which temporarily ceased before the defeat at Chaldiran, resurfaced in intense form immediately after the death of Ismail, and led to ten years of civil war (930-40/1524-33) until Shah Tahmasp regained control of the affairs of the state. The Safavids later briefly lost Balkh and Kandahar to the Mughals, and nearly lost Herat to the Uzbeks.[61]

During Ismail's reign, mainly in the late 1510's, the first steps for the Habsburg–Persian alliance were set as well, with Charles V and Ludwig II of Hungary being in contact with a view to combining against the common Ottoman Turkish enemy.[62]

Ismail's poetry

Bust of Ismail I in Ganja, Republic of Azerbaijan

Ismail is also known for his poetry using the pen-name Khaṭā'ī (Arabic: خطائی "Sinner").[63] He wrote in the Azerbaijani language, a Turkic language mutually intelligible with Turkish,[64] and in the Persian language. He is considered an important figure in the literary history of Azerbaijani language and has left approximately 1400 verses in this language, which he chose to use for political reasons.[64] Approximately 50 verses of his Persian poetry have also survived. According to Encyclopædia Iranica, "Ismail was a skillful poet who used prevalent themes and images in lyric and didactic-religious poetry with ease and some degree of originality". He was also deeply influenced by the Persian literary tradition of Iran, particularly by the Shahnameh of Ferdowsi, which probably explains the fact that he named all of his sons after Shahnameh-characters. Dickson and Welch suggest that Ismail's "Shāhnāmaye Shāhī" was intended as a present to his young son Tahmasp.[65] After defeating Muhammad Shaybani's Uzbeks, Ismail asked Hatefi, a famous poet from Jam (Khorasan), to write a Shahnameh-like epic about his victories and his newly established dynasty. Although the epic was left unfinished, it was an example of mathnawis in the heroic style of the Shahnameh written later on for the Safavid kings.[66]

Most of the poems are concerned with love—particularly of the mystical Sufi kind—though there are also poems propagating Shi'i doctrine and Safavi politics. His other serious works include the Nasihatnāme in Azerbaijani language,[12][67] a book of advice, and the unfinished Dahnāme in Azerbaijani language,[12][67] a book which extols the virtues of love.

Along with the poet Imadaddin Nasimi, Khatā'ī is considered to be among the first proponents of using a simpler Azeri language in verse that would appeal to a broader audience. His work is most popular in Azerbaijan, as well as among the Bektashis of Turkey. There is a large body of Alevi and Bektashi poetry that has been attributed to him. The major impact of his religious writings, in the long run, was the conversion of Persia from Sunni to Shia Islam.[68]

The following anecdote demonstrates the status of vernacular Turkish and Persian in the Ottoman Empire and in the incipient Safavid state. Khatā'ī sent a poem in Turkish to the Ottoman Sultan Selim I before going to war in 1514. In a reply the Ottoman Sultan answered in Persian to indicate his contempt.

One of the examples of his poems are:[69][70]

Poetry example 1

Today I have come to the world as a Master. Know truly that I am Haydar's son.

I am Fereydun, Khosrow, Jamshid, and Zahak. I am Zal's son (Rostam) and Alexander.
The mystery of I am the truth is hidden in this my heart. I am the Absolute Truth and what I say is Truth.
I belong to the religion of the "Adherent of the Ali" and on the Shah's path I am a guide to every one who says: "I am a Muslim." My sign is the "Crown of Happiness".
I am the signet-ring on Sulayman's finger. Muhammad is made of light, Ali of Mystery.
I am a pearl in the sea of Absolute Reality. I am Khatai, the Shah's slave full of shortcomings. At thy gate I am the smallest and the last [servant].

Poetry example 2

My name is Shāh Ismā'īl. I am God's mystery. I am the leader of all these ghāzīs.

My mother is Fātima, my father is 'Ali; and eke I am the Pīr of the Twelve Imāms.
I have recovered my father's blood from Yazīd. Be sure that I am of Haydarian essence.
I am the living Khidr and Jesus, son of Mary. I am the Alexander of (my) contemporaries.
Look you, Yazīd, polytheist and the adept of the Accursed one, I am free from the Ka'ba of hypocrites.
In me is Prophethood (and) the mystery of Holiness. I follow the path of Muhammad Mustafā.
I have conquered the world at the point of (my) sword. I am the Qanbar of Murtadā 'Ali.
My sire is Safī, my father Haydar. Truly I am the Ja'far of the audacious.
I am a Husaynid and have curses for Yazīd. I am Khatā'ī, a servant of the Shāh's.

Poetry example 3

"The light of all is Muhammed."

due to your desire my heart burned, will i see you ever?
i hope in the holy divan of truth, you will remember me

they call you generous, valiant oh' impeccable leader
the light of all is Muhammed, valiant thou' Ali valiant

i could not find anyone in this lone world who is like you
let me see your moon-faced effigy, so i will not stay in desire

all your servants who call your name will not be devoided in the hereafter
the light of all is Muhammed, valiant thou' Ali valiant

forgive this sinner, i lead my face to your holy dergah
my soul stayed in blasphemy, thou' will not insist on my sin

i soughed shelter and came to this revealed refuge
the light of all is Muhammed, valiant thou' Ali valiant

Hata-i says: "thou' Ali, my body is filled up with sins"
the light of all is Muhammed, valiant thou' Ali valiant


Poetry from other composers about Ismail, I.

From Pir Sultan Abdal:

He makes a march against Urum
The Imam of Ali's descent is coming
I bow down and kissed his Hand
The Imam of Ali's descent is coming

He fills the cups step by step
In his stable only noble Arab horses
His ancestry, he is the son of the Shah
The Imam of Ali's descent is coming

The fields are marked step by step
His rival makes his heart aking
Red-green is the young warrior dressed
The Imam of Ali's descent is coming

He lets him seen often on the field
Noone knows the secret of the saviour
Shah of the world goodman Haydar's grandson
The Imam of Ali's descent is coming

Pir Sultan Abdal, I am, if i could see this
Submit my self, if I could wipe my face at him
From ere he is the leader of the 12 Imams
The Imam of Ali's descent is coming

Emergence of a clerical aristocracy

An important feature of the Safavid society was the alliance that emerged between the ulama (the religious class) and the merchant community. The latter included merchants trading in the bazaars, the trade and artisan guilds (asnaf) and members of the quasi-religious organizations run by dervishes (futuvva). Because of the relative insecurity of property ownership in Persia, many private landowners secured their lands by donating them to the clergy as so-called vaqf. They would thus retain the official ownership and secure their land from being confiscated by royal commissioners or local governors, as long as a percentage of the revenues from the land went to the ulama. Increasingly, members of the religious class, particularly the mujtahids and the seyyeds, gained full ownership of these lands, and, according to contemporary historian Iskandar Munshi, Persia started to witness the emergence of a new and significant group of landowners.[72]

Appearance and skills

Ismail was described by contemporaries as having a regal appearance, gentlemanly in quality and youthfulness. He also had a fair complexion and red hair.[73] His appearance compared to other olive-skinned Persians, his descent from the Safavid Shaykhs, and his religious ideals, contributed to people's expectation based on various legends circulating during this period of heightened religious awareness in Western Asia.[73]

An Italian traveller describes Ismail as follows:

This Sophi is fair, handsome, and very pleasing; not very tall, but of a light and well-framed figure; rather stout than slight, with broad shoulders. His hair is reddish; he only wears moustachios, and uses his left hand instead of his right. He is as brave as a game cock, and stronger than any of his lords; in the archery contests, out of the ten apples that are knocked down, he knocks down seven.[61]


Ismail's greatest legacy was establishing an empire which lasted over 200 years. As Alexander Mikaberidze states, "The Safavid dynasty would rule for two more centuries [after Ismail's death] and establish the basis for the modern-nation state of Iran."[74] Even after the fall of the Safavids in 1736, their cultural and political influence endured through the era of Afsharid, Zand, Qajar, and Pahlavi dynasties into the modern Islamic Republic of Iran as well as the neighboring Azerbaijan Republic, where Shi'a Islam is still the dominant religion as it was during the Safavid era.


In the Safavid period, the famous Azeri folk romance Shah Ismail emerged.[75] According to Azerbaijani literaty critic Hamid Arasly, this dastan is related to Ismail I. But it is also possible that it is dedicated to Ismail II.

Memorial places and structures


Shah Ismayil is the name of an Azerbaijani mugham opera in 6 acts and 7 scenes composed by Muslim Magomayev,[77] in 1915-1919.[78]


Ismail I's Statue in Ardabil, Iran.




See also


  1. Ismāʿīl I, in Encyclopædia Britannica, online ed., 2011
  2. 1 2 Woodbridge Bingham, Hilary Conroy, Frank William Iklé, A History of Asia: Formations of Civilizations, From Antiquity to 1600, and Bacon, 1974, p. 116.
  3. Encyclopædia Iranica. R.M. Savory. Esmail Safawi
  4. 1 2 Helen Chapin Metz. Iran, a Country study. 1989. University of Michigan, p. 313.
  5. 1 2 Emory C. Bogle. Islam: Origin and Belief. University of Texas Press. 1989, p. 145.
  6. 1 2 Stanford Jay Shaw. History of the Ottoman Empire. Cambridge University Press. 1977, p. 77.
  7. 1 2 Andrew J. Newman, Safavid Iran: Rebirth of a Persian Empire, IB Tauris (March 30, 2006).
  8. Why is there such confusion about the origins of this important dynasty, which reasserted Iranian identity and established an independent Iranian state after eight and a half centuries of rule by foreign dynasties? RM Savory, Iran under the Safavids (Cambridge University Press, Cambridge, 1980), p. 3.
  9. Floor, Willem; Herzig, Edmund (2015). Iran and the World in the Safavid Age. I.B.Tauris. p. 20. ISBN 978-1780769905. In fact, at the start of the Safavid period Twelver Shi'ism was imported into Iran largely from Syria and Mount Lebanon (...)
  10. Savory, Roger (2007). Iran Under the Safavids. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press. p. 30. ISBN 978-0521042512.
  11. G. Doerfer, "Azeri Turkish", Encyclopaedia Iranica, viii, Online Edition, p. 246.
  12. 1 2 3 "ESMĀʿĪL I ṢAFAWĪ – Encyclopaedia Iranica". Retrieved 2014-10-15.
  13. Tapper, Richard (1997). Frontier Nomads of Iran: A Political and Social History of the Shahsevan. Cambridge University Press. p. 39. ISBN 978-0521583367. The Safavid Shahs who ruled Iran between 1501 and 1722 descended from Sheikh Safi ad-Din of Ardabil (1252–1334). Sheikh Safi and his immediate successors were renowned as holy ascetics Sufis. Their own origins were obscure; probably of Kurdish or Iranian extraction ...
  14. Savory 1997, p. 8.
  15. Kamal, Muhammad (2006). Mulla Sadra's Transcendent Philosophy. Ashgate Publishing, Ltd. p. 24. ISBN 978-0754652717. The Safawid was originally a Sufi order whose founder, Shaykh Safi al-Din, a Sunni Sufi master descended from a Kurdish family ...
  16. Peter Charanis. "Review of Emile Janssens' Trébizonde en Colchide", Speculum, Vol. 45, No. 3,, (Jul., 1970), p. 476
  17. Anthony Bryer, open citation, p. 136
  18. Roger M. Savory. "Safavids" in Peter Burke, Irfan Habib, Halil Inalci:»History of Humanity-Scientific and Cultural Development: From the Sixteenth to the Eighteenth Century", Taylor & Francis. 1999. Excerpt from pg 259:"Доказательства, имеющиеся в настоящее время, приводят к уверенности, что семья Сефевидов имеет местное иранское происхождение, а не тюркское, как это иногда утверждают. Скорее всего, семья возникла в Персидском Курдистане, а затем перебралась в Азербайджан, где ассимилировалась с говорящими по-тюркски азерийцами, и в конечном итоге поселились в маленьком городе Ардебиль где-то в одиннадцатом веке [Evidence available at the present time leads to the conviction that the Safavid family came from indigenous Iranian stock, and not from Turkish ancestry as it is sometimes claimed. It is probable that the family originated in Persian Kurdistan, and later moved to Azerbaijan, where it became assimilated to Turkic-speaking Azeris and eventually settled in the small town of Ardabil sometime during the eleventh century.]".
  19. Вопрос о языке, на котором говорил шах Исмаил, не идентичен вопросу о его «расе» или «национальности». Его происхождение было смешанным: одна из его бабушек была греческая принцесса Комнина. Хинц приходит к выводу, что кровь в его жилах была главным образом, не тюркской. Уже его сын шах Тахмасп начал избавляться от своих туркменских преторианцев. [The question of the language used by Shah Ismail is not identical with that of his race or of his "nationality". His ancestry was mixed: one of his grandmothers was a Greek Comnena princess. Hinz, Aufstieg, 74, comes to the conclusion that the blood in his veins was chiefly non-Turkish. Already, his son Shah Tahmasp began to get rid of his Turcoman praetorians.] — V. Minorsky, "The Poetry of Shah Ismail I," Bulletin of the School of Oriental and African Studies, University of London 10/4 (1942): 1006–53.
  20. "Peoples of Iran" Encyclopædia Iranica. RN Frye. The Azeri Turks are Shiʿites and were founders of the Safavid dynasty.
  21. RM Savory. Ebn Bazzaz. Encyclopædia Iranica
  22. Roger M. Savory. "Safavids" in Peter Burke, Irfan Habib, Halil İnalcık: History of Humanity-Scientific and Cultural Development: From the Sixteenth to the Eighteenth Century, Taylor & Francis. 1999, p. 259.
  23. Peter B. Golden: An Introduction to the History of the Turkic Peoples; In: Osman Karatay, Ankara 2002, p.321
  24. Alireza Shapur Shahbazi (2005), "The History of the Idea of Iran", in Vesta Curtis ed., Birth of the Persian Empire, IB Tauris, London, p. 108: "Similarly the collapse of Sassanian Eranshahr in AD 650 did not end Iranians' national idea. The name "Iran" disappeared from official records of the Saffarids, Samanids, Buyids, Saljuqs and their successor. But one unofficially used the name Iran, Eranshahr, and similar national designations, particularly Mamalek-e Iran or "Iranian lands", which exactly translated the old Avestan term Ariyanam Daihunam. On the other hand, when the Safavids (not Reza Shah, as is popularly assumed) revived a national state officially known as Iran, bureaucratic usage in the Ottoman Empire and even Iran itself could still refer to it by other descriptive and traditional appellations".
  25. Time in Early Modern Islam: Calendar, Ceremony, and Chronology Page 23 By Stephen P. Blake
  26. Encyclopædia Iranica. R. N. Frye. Peoples of Iran.
  27. Faruk Sümer, Safevi Devletinin Kuruluşu ve Gelişmesinde Anadolu Türklerinin Rolü, Türk Tarih Kurumu Yayınları, Ankara, 1992, p. 15. (Turkish)
  28. Roy 2014, p. 44.
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  53. The later Crusades, 1274–1580: from Lyons to Alcazar Door Norman Housley, page 120, 1992
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  64. 1 2 V. Minorsky, "The Poetry of Shah Ismail I," Bulletin of the School of Oriental and African Studies, University of London 10/4 (1942): 1006–53.
  65. M.B. Dickson and S.C. Welch, The Houghton Shahnameh, 2 vols. (Cambridge, Mass., and London, 1981. See p. 34 of vol. I).
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  67. 1 2 H. Javadi and K. Burrill. Azerbaijan. Azeri Literature in Iran. — Encyclopædia Iranica, 1998. — Vol. III. — P. 251-255.
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  71. Alevi Literature, no specified origin
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  75. Sakina Berengian. Azeri and Persian literary works in twentieth century Iranian Azerbaijan. — Berlin: Klaus Schwarz Verlag, 1988. — С. 20. — 238 с. — ISBN 9783922968696. It was also during the Safavid period that the famous Azeri folk romances — Shah Esmail, Asli-Karam, Ashiq Gharib, Koroghli, which are all considered bridges between local dialects and the classical language — were created and in time penetrated into Ottoman, Uzbek, and Persian literatures. The fact that some of these lyrical and epic romances are in prose may be regarded as another distinctive feature of Azeri compared to Ottoman and Chaghatay literatures.
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New creation Shah of Persia
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