By: Mir M.Hosseini
While trying to beseige Darband in 1488, Sheikh Heydar (Shah Ismail's father), was killed by allied forces of the Shervanshah king Farrokh Yasar, and the Ak Koyunlu leader Soltan Yaghub.
Soltan Yaghub imprisoned Ismail, his mother and two of his brothers. Soltan Yaghub died on Jan, 2, 1490 and Ismail was freed from prison. After spendng some time in hiding in Guilan, he married Sheikh Zahed's daughter and became the new heir of the Sufi sect. He gradually gathered a considerable number of cavalries from Shamloo and Rumlou tribes and built the nucleus of his Kizilbash army.
Shah Ismail founded the Safavid Empire. Shiite Safavids first met the Ak Koyunlu in battle at Nakhjevan in 1501, where the Ak Koyunlu forces were forced to withdraw. The decisive victory came when Shah Ismail defeated Morad, the leader of the Ak Koyunlu tribe near Hamedan on June, 21, 1503 and gradually took all of Iran and the greater Khorasan under his realm.
Although Morad briefly established himself in Baghdad in 1508, he soon withdrew back to Diyarbakir, signalling the end of the Ak Koyunlu rule with the expansion of the Ottoman Empire.