The Muslim state in Anatoliia between 1300

The three major Muslim empires are located across Europe, Africa, and Asia. They are The Ottoman, Safavid, and Mughal empires. These empires have many things in common and they have many differences.
The Ottoman Empire was started by a man named Osman, who was a very important Gazi. They called his followers Ottomans. The Ottoman Empire began as a small Muslim state in Anatoliia between 1300 and 1326 and this land was expanded on by buying land, forming alliances with emirs, and by conquering other people. They had a very successful military because they were one of the first ones to use gunpowder. They had cannons and had horseback riders instead of archers. When the Ottomans conquered someone they were nicer to them than most conquerors would be. They ruled through local officials who were appointed by the sultan (overlord). Most of the Muslims were required to serve in Turkish armies but in return they did not have to pay their taxes. If you were not Muslim there was no requirement for you to join the army but you had to pay taxes. The expansion of the Ottoman Empire was interrupted by the Battle of Ankara in 1402, which they lost. After that, the four sons in the Ottoman sultan started to fight. Mehmed I defeated his brothers and became the sultan. Murad the II, Mehmed I’s son, became the first of four powerful sultans who helped lead the expansion of the Ottoman Empire. Mehmed II, Murad’s son, did one of the most important things for the Ottoman empire: he conquered Constantinople. Once he conquered Constantinople he opened it up to many religions and backgrounds. The different religions and backgrounds helped rebuild the city which is now Istanbul. In 1512 Selim the Grim came to power and he defeated the Safavids at the Battle of Chaldiran in 1514. The Ottomans conquered the island of rhodes and parts of the North African coastline to get control over the East Mediterranean and trade routes. Suleyman is known for giving the Ottoman Empire a workable social structure. He also made changes in taxation and government bureaucracy to better the society. The heart of their military came from conquered Christians. They would take their kids and educate them so that they could join the army. Since Suleyman was a Muslim, he had to obey the Islamic law, which made it to where citizens were able to worship different religious communities. During his rule art and literature really flourished. The painters and poets looked to Persia and Arabia for ideas and they used these to express original Ottoman ideas in new ways. The slow decline of the empire started when Suleyman began to kill his sons. After that each ruler would kill his brothers and son.
Conquest and cultural interactions is what fueled the growth of the Safavid Empire. It started out as an Islamic brotherhood founded by Safi al-Din. The Safavid Empire was between three other groups of people so, to protect themselves, they had to build a powerful army. In 1499, the 12-year-old Ismail took control. He conquered what is now Iran to begin his rule. After that he made Shi’a Islam the state religion. This destroyed the Sunni Islam population because he had the people that did not convert to Shi’a Islam killed. Then the Battle of Chaldiran happened and the Safavids suffered defeat. After their defeat they began to use artillery in their military thanks to Tahmasp. He expanded the empire into the Caucasus Mountains and brought Christians under their rule, laying the foundation for the golden age of the Safavid Empire. Shah Abbas was the next Safavid ruler in 1587. He helped create a culture and golden age for the Safavids by taking the best from the Ottoman, Persia, and Arab worlds. He also split the military up into two separate armies that would only be loyal to him. Both Armies had modern artillery. In the government he punished corruption severely and he only let people be in the government that had proven to be loyal. To prove his tolerance of other religions he brought Christians into the empire and this convinced the Europeans to come there. They also made the new Capital Esfahan. They built a large structure there and the city became known as one of the most beautiful cities in the world. The collaboration of artwork between the Persians and Chinese led to art work that blended the two’s ideas. Another important thing was the Persian carpets. At first the carpets only represented Persian ideas, but, with all the cultural blending, they ended up incorporating many different themes. The decline of this empire came when Abbas killed his son. Since he had killed his son, his grandson took over as ruler and led the Safavids in the wrong direction and was eventually assassinated leading to the destruction of this empire.
The Mughal Empire began when the 11-year-old, Babur, built an army and took over parts of India after he got his inherited kingdom taken away from him in 1494. Babur was a great general who defeated armies that were bigger and stronger than his. He conquered much land but some of that was lost when his son became ruler. Akbar, Babur’s grandson, was the next important ruler. He thought the military should be most important. He equipped them with heavy artillery, like cannons. To make some of his allies he appointed Rajput’s as officers. Since he had so much military power and was politically wise, he was able to unify a land of 100 million people. He also let the people in his empire practice which ever religion they want and even had wives of different religions. He also got rid of taxes on Hindu pilgrims and non-Muslims. Akbar even let natives and foreigners be in his government. One of them, Todar Mal, came up with came up with the empires taxation policy. He had it fixed to where the amount of money you paid was based on how many crops you had. This gave the empire money it really needed. Akbar would give land to his officials but when they died, he took the land back and did what he wanted with it and since the officials knew they weren’t going to get to keep the land they didn’t work on it at all. In this empire they had many different cultures which influenced art, education, politics, and language. They had a good variety of languages in their empire. The two main languages were Persian and Hindi. In the military the spoke Urdu. The arts flourished in this empire through book illustrations and miniatures during Akbar’s rule. Literature also flourished during this time. He had also devoted himself to architecture and the style developed during his rule his call Akbar period architecture. The structures showed Hindu themes. After Akbar, his son, Jahangir, became “ruler”. The real ruler during this time was his wife, Nur Jahan. She knew how everything worked so she tried to use her sons to maintain control of the empire. Shah Jahan ruled next and he didn’t like competition, so he killed off the competition. He had a passion for buildings and his wife so when she died, he had a beautiful building built for her called the Taj Mahal. During this time the empire went through a famine and his sons were scrambling for the throne. Aurangzeb won the battle and became the ruler. He got the empire to its height, in size. The empire weakened in his reign though and the Rajput’s rebelled against him. He also got rid of all taxes that did not come from the Islamic law. The Mughal Empire fell when Aurangzeb died, and his sons fought for it.
In all three of these Muslim empires they had strong armies and highly regarded them. All their armies equipped artillery at some point too. They also all began as smaller territories that grew by either conquering other places, alliances, buying land, or all three of these things. Another thing all these empires had in common was that art and literature flourished during them. These three Muslim empires even fell in the same way. It all began with the emperor’s sons fighting over who would be the next ruler. One thing that only occurred in the Mughal and Ottoman empires was that through the existence of them you were able to practice whatever religion you want the whole time, no matter who the ruler was.
One thing that was different between all three empires was the way they chose their government officials. In the Ottoman Empire the Sultan chose who he wanted to be in the government. In the Safavid Empire you had to prove your loyalty to the emperor to get into the government. In the Mughal Empire they appointed Rajput’s as government officials so that neighboring territories would become their allies. Something else that was different between the three empires was the way they do their taxes. In the Ottoman Empire if you joined the army you did not have to pay taxes. In the Safavid Empire taxation was based on your religion. In the Mughal Empire Hindu pilgrims and non-Muslims did not have to pay taxes. Another thing that was different was the type of art/architecture that was important to the empires. In the Ottoman Empire miniatures and poetry was important in expressing their ideas. In the Safavid Empire they had Persian carpets that were important to them and expressed their ideas. The Mughal Empire’s leader really liked architecture so they had large, beautiful architectures.


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