The Iranian History 1694 AD


Sultan Hossein Ascends The Throne

Aug, 6, 1694 AD

The dome at Sheikh Lotfollah Mosque is used as a classical design on Persian carpets. At center, glittering tiles form a shape that resembles a peacock always pointing the KiblahOn his dead bed, Shah Soleyman asked the royal Safavi court to choose one of his two sons Hossein or Abbas as his successor. Hossein who had a reputation for being easy-going and had little interest in political affairs was a more attractive choice for the corrupt administration, thus he ascended the throne. He soon became addicted to alcohol and opium and spent most of his time inside his harem.
Sultan Hossein did not have the necessary capabilities of a king and was confronted by rebellions resulting from his religious policy which promoted Shiite sect and had little tolerance towards minorities. Forced conversions to Shiite Islam led to revolts in many provinces. But the main threat was to come from Mahmoud Ghandahari who captured Isfahan after a brief siege and dethroned him in 1722, thus ending the glorious Safavid dynasty. Sultan Hossein's unfortunate destiny continued in captivity and seeing massacre of his family one by one. After Mahmoud's death, Ashraf came to power and cut Sultan's head off thus ending his miserable life in 1726. (Updated: Aug, 27, 2008)

Hossein Becomes King

Aug, 14, 1694 AD

Sheikh Lotfollah Mosque is located at the Eastern corner of the Naghshejahan square in Isfahan. With no minarets, it was used as the royal mosque and a secret gathering place for Safavid officialsSultan Hossein, the eldest son of the deceased king Shah Soleyman was announced the new Safavid king. In his last will, Shah Soleyman who ruled the country for more than 28 years had asked Morteza, the younger son to become king. This was mainly due to the soft temper of Hossein, and the fact that he was a lazy person. But the royal court was already corrupt and the Vezir who wished to have a more controllable person in charge decided to ignore the shah's wish and chose Morteza. In this lobby, so to say the role of harem had been significant. The events that followed led to total decomposition of the great Safavid dynasty to the extent that a group of bandits leaded by Mir Mahmoud Ghandahari could occupy Kerman in 1709 and 1711 without being punished. This encouraged Mir Mahmoud to occupy the capital Isfahan in 1713 with a small army and put and end to the Safavid dynasty. It's been recorded that he sent spies to Isfahan before the attack in order to learn what was going on. The coming reports indicated such a corrupt administration that even though the country was under attack, top clerics and officials were busy entertaining themselves or discussing unnecessary issues that left the capital virtually defenseless.
This is a great lesson from history on what may happen to an empire if pride and personal goals overcome national interests. (Updated: Aug, 16, 2008)

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