Safavid Dynasty

The Safavid dynasty (Persian: سلسلهٔ صفويان‎; Azerbaijani: صفویلر) was one of the most significant ruling dynasties of Iran. They ruled one of the greatest Persian empires after the Muslim conquest of Persia and established the Twelver school of Shi'a Islam as the official religion of their empire, marking one of the most important turning points in Muslim history. The Safavids ruled from 1501 to 1722 (experiencing a brief restoration from 1729 to 1736) and at their height, they controlled all of modern Iran, Azerbaijan and Armenia, most of Iraq, Georgia, Afghanistan, and the Caucasus, as well as parts of Pakistan, Turkmenistan and Turkey. Safavid Iran was one of the Islamic "gunpowder empires", along with its neighbours, the Ottoman and Mughal empires.

The Safavid dynasty had its origin in the Safaviyya Sufi order, which was established in the city of Ardabil in the Azerbaijan region. It was of mixed ancestry (Azerbaijani, Kurdish and Turkmen, which included intermarriages with Georgian and Pontic Greek dignitaries). From their base in Ardabil, the Safavids established control over all of Greater Iran and reasserted the Iranian identity of the region, thus becoming the first native dynasty since the Sassanid Empire to establish a unified Iranian state.

Despite their demise in 1736, the legacy that they left behind was the revival of Persia as an economic stronghold between East and West, the establishment of an efficient state and bureaucracy based upon "checks and balances", their architectural innovations and their patronage for fine arts. The Safavids have also left their mark down to the present era by spreading Shi'a Islam in Iran, as well as major parts of the Caucasus, South Asia, Central Asia, and Anatolia.

Read more about Safavid DynastyGenealogy – The Ancestors of The Safavids and Its Multi-cultural Identity, Background – The Safavid Sufi Order, Shia Islam As The State Religion, Military and The Role of Qizilbash, Society, State and Government, Legal System, Economy, Culture, The Languages of The Court, Military, Administration and Culture, Legacy, Safavid Shahs of Iran

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