Shah Esmael Safavi
شاه اسماعیل ، شاه اسماعیل ختایی
Ismail I (born July 17, 1487, died May 23, 1524,
Shah of Iran (1501-1524) and founder of the
His father was
Sheikh Heydar and his mother was Alamshah (daughter of
Ak Koyunlu) Born into a
Shiite family with close ties to the Sufi tradition, he became head of a Shiite military force, the
Kizilbash, at age 14. He captured
Tabriz in 1501 and proclaimed himself shah of
Iran, bringing the whole country and portions of modern-day
Iraq under his control. In 1510 his troops defeated the
Sunni Uzbeks. His proclamation of Shiite faith as the official creed prompted the staunchly Sunnite sultan of the
Ottoman Empire to order an invasion of Iran in 1514.
Ismail lost the
Battle of Chaldoran, but mutiny among the
Ottoman troops forced their withdrawal. The conflict between the
Safavid and their Sunni neighbors continued for over a century.
The consequences of the defeat at
Chaldoran were also psychological for
Shah Ismail: the defeat destroyed Ismail's belief in his invincibility, based on his claimed divine status. His relationships with his Kizilbash followers were also fundamentally altered. The tribal rivalries between the Kizilbash, which temporarily ceased before the defeat at Chaldoran, resurfaced in intense form immediately after the death of Ismail, and led to ten years of civil war (1524-1533) until
Shah Tahmasp regained control of the affairs of the state.