Most Iranians have been fooled into believing that the Safavid Dynasty was a Golden Age in Iran, a period that witnessed a cultural flowering under the charismatic Isma’il and and his son Tahmasp, the first two Shahs of the dynasty. Iran’s border were restored again and other romanticised half-truths. What most Iranians are not told (neither by the Shia clergy nor ultra-Iranian nationalits) is how the Turkic Safavids slaughtered thousands upon thousands of Persians (Sunnis), starting with the elite, the thinkers and scholars.
During the Safavid era, after the genocide of the Sunni population of Khorasan/Persia, Shah Ismail (the Safavid) arrested the Sunni Mufti of these lands: Maulana Taftazani (not to be confused with Sa’ad al-Din al-Taftazani), and urged him (Taftazani) to leave Sunnism and embrace Shi’ism. Taftazani gave a condition. He said that Shah Ismail should bring his Shia scholars, and if they can refute him (Taftazani) then he is ready to become a Shi’ite, but if he (Taftazani) refutes them, then they (including Shah Ismail) have to become Sunnis. Shah Ismail consulted with the Shia scholars but they refused and said: “There is no discussion with these people”. Thereupon Shah Ismail ordered the worst form of execution for Taftazani (and other Sunni scholars).
(‘Tarikh Rashidi’, page 367-368, by Mirza Mohammad Haidar)
This is why Mohammad Aref Espanagheshi (Iranian historian) writes: “Every Sunni scholar in those times (Safavid era) who challenged the Shia scholars for debates and discussion was facing execution. This is why some Sunni scholar kept silent (did not speak out) and other left the country.”
(‘Inqilab Al-Islam bain Al-Khawaas wa Al-Awaam’, page 48 by Mohammad Aref Espanagheshi)
Related article: https://sonsofsunnah.com/2013/11/13/iranian-shia-intellectual-questions-the-core-of-shiism-and-the-ayatollahs-go-nuts/
Since at least the mid-fifteenth century, the Safavid order, which was established by Shaykh Ṣafī al-Dīn of Ardabil (d. 1334) as an ostensibly Sufi tariqah (Sufi order), had become increasingly important as a political force in the territories of the Aqquyunlu in Iraq, Anatolia, and Azerbaijan. It was during the period when Shaykh Junayd ibn Ibrahīm (d. 1460) assumed leadership of the Safavid order that it became explicitly Shi’ite and closely affiliated with the more ghulati (extremist/heterodox) strands of Shi‘ism.
The Ottoman sultan, Bayezid II, in his message congratulated the first Safavid king (Shah) Isma’il on his victories and advised him to stop destroying the graves and mosques of Sunni Muslims. Shah Isma’il was convinced of the righteousness of his cause and the evil of Sunni Islam; he did ignore the request and later even massacred entire Persian towns that refused to accept Twelver Rafidi Shi’sim. The new sultan in Constantinople after 1512, Sultan Selim, warred against the extreme form of Twelver Rafidi Shi’ism that was enforced on the lands of Persia, he started killing 40,000 Shi‘is accused of being Kizilbash or Safavid agents, and imprisoned or deported thousands of others.
Sultan Selim waged war also against the Safavids. On 23 August 1514, just west of Tabriz in Chalderan plain, Shah Isma’il’s army suffered a crushing defeat, which its cavalry and infantry were armed with spears, bows and swords, fighting against Ottoman’s superior numbers as well as field artillery and musketeers. Shah Isma’il and his followers firmly believed that Allah was on their side, but they were confused by their military setback, Tabriz, their capital was briefly occupied. This battle and defeat of Safavid Shah paved the path for the Ottoman conquest of Diyarbakr, Erzinjan, and other parts of eastern Anatolia as well as northern Iraq. Shah Isma’il himself found relief from psychological depression in wine, and died ten years later, at the age of thirty-seven.
Reference: ‘The history of Shah Isma’il Safawi – The bringer of Shi’ism’ by the Iranian historian Amir Hussein Khonji
The Major Powers in the west favoured the Safavids because they were an obstacle to the Islamic expansion of the Sunni Ottomans i.e. they (Shia Safavids) were one of the major causes why the Muslims couldn’t conquer Europe. Ferdinand, the ambassador to the Austrian King remarked:
“Had it not been for the (Shi’ite) Safavids in Persia, we would have been reading the Qur’an this day like the Algerians”
Meaning that his nation would have been conquered by the Ottoman Muslims. It was the Safavid state that kept the Ottoman state busy with fighting the Safavids, instead of the crusaders. The Safavids had never beaten their western neighbours in a straight fight. Hence Safavid Persia and Europe formed an alliance against the Sunni Ottomans. A dramatic example of this is the role of the English engineer/adventurers, known as the Sherley brothers who helped Shah Abbas create an indigenous musket and cannon industry to fight the formidable Ottomans. Shah Abbas’ personal bodyguard were recruited from the Armenians and the Georgians of the Caucasus. How true is the famous statement of Shaykh Al-Islam Ibn Taymiyyah who more than two centories before the emergence of the Safavid dynasty said:
“The Rafidis are the donkeys of the Jews, they ride them for every fitnah”
[Ibn Taymiyyah, Minhaaj-us-Sunnah 1/20-21]
Those who do not learn history are doomed to repeat it.
Shiism was so scarce in Persia that the Safavid rulers had problems finding a single Shia book or scholar in a city such as Tabriz. They had to import scholars from lebanon!
When Ismail 1st seized Baghdad in 1508 AD, Sunni Muslims were massacred. The tombs of the Abbasid Caliphs were destroyed. Even the tombs of the jurist Imam Abu Hanifah and Abdul-Qadir al-Jilani were not spared and were literally desecrated. After the Safavids were pushed out the Ottomans on the other hand never retaliated against Shi’ite shrines and populations in Iraq. Here a list of the crimes of the savage pagan, Isma’il Safawi:
Ismail’s (the founder of the Safavid Dynasty) battle with Uzbek warlord Muhammad Shaybani Khan in 1510, on a folio from the Kebir Musaver Silsilname. After the battle Ismail is said to have gilded the skull of Shaybani Khan for use as a wine goblet.
In a nutshell: They were:
- Non-Persian, Azeri Turks (with Kurdish ancestry as stated by some historians)
- Former Sufis (extreme forms of Sufism have always been a gateway to Shi’ism)
- Revived Zoroastrian holiday (Norooz) with the help of the likes of Mullah Majlisi
- Opium addicts
- Allies of the crusading west against the Ottomans
- Self-proclaimed semi-divine rulers (copying ancient Persian Zoroastrian rulers who like Shia Imams were infallible and divine)
The only Sunni Mosque of Shiraz, founded by Dr. Mozaffarian from Shiraz. He was a Physician who converted to orthodox Islam after having travelled to the southern parts and coastal areas of Iran (which are predominantly Persian and Sunni but unknown to many Iranian Shias, except some holiday destination like Kish etc.) and built the first Sunni Mosque of Shiraz (after the Safavids destroyed every single Sunni Mosque) by converting his house into a Mosque when the authorities refused to give him the permission to buy land and build a Sunni Mosque from scratch for the Sunni community of Shiraz (which is the largest minority of Shiraz, yet to this day they have only a single Mosque). Dr. Mozaffarian was arrested and executed in 1991 on the false charge spying for the United States. Under immense pressure by the large Sunni population of Shiraz and southern Iran in general, the Mosque has been eventually built, however as a form of humiliation the regime prevented the buidling of minarets and even loudspeakers for the Adhan.
Shiraz, like most of modern day Iran was Sunni. As a matter of fact, Shirazi was a renowned stronghold of Sunnism in Islamic history, beacons of knowledge emerged from there such as Imam Abu Ishaq al-Shirazi (known as “The Shaykh of the Shafi’is of his time”!) 476H Scholars from Cairo and Baghdad travelled to the Persian lands of Shiraz to seek knowledge. It eventually became a stronghold of the Shafi’is (still most Persians south of Shiraz, who fled the Safavid onslaught are majority Sunni Shafi’i) right until just 500 years ago i.e. before the onslaught of the Safavids the hit the ethnic Persians of Iran the most (who ironically admire the Turkic Safavids the most, religious Shia and non-religious ones alike). Today Shirazi is one of the few Persian Shia cities with a native Sunni minority, the Safavids either destroyed all Sunnis Mosques or removed any sign of Sunnism (such as calligraphies with the names of the four rightly caliphs) from Shiraz’s landscpape. Many Persian Shirazi Muslims did not submit and refused to accept Shi’ism, they either fled (further to the south, were many Persian Sunnis of Shirazi descendant still live in Iran) or were slaughtered on spot.
ِNematullah al-Jazairi (1640 AD), a prominent Shia scholar in post-Safavid Iran, an accomplice and student of the palace scholar of the Safavid Kings, the Sunni-hating Baqir al-Majlisi. A believer in the distortion of the Qur’an, a Shia saint, fruit of post-Safavid Persia and Shiraz (where he studied) says in his “Anwar al-Nu’mania”, 1/ 27:
This is a detailed treatise divided in 8 sections, illustrating the heretical and Sassanian-Zoroastrian (Majoosi) nature of Twelver Shiism that was propagated by the Safavids and their palace scholar Mullah Baqir Majlisi and their followers to this very day – SonsOfSunnah.com
Muhammad Baqir Majlisi (1616–98), also known as Majlisi II (the second) was of Lebanese origin ( Jabal ‘Amel, southern Lebanon) and one of the most important Twelver Shia scholars of all time. He was the son of Muhammad Taqi Majlisi, known as Majlisi I. Muhammad Baqir Majlisi devoted himself the eradication of Sunnism in Iran (he never really succeeded considered the vast amount of Sunnis still living in Iran). The Safavid state (founded by Turkic Azeris who championed Shiism and Persian sentiments in order to oppose their Turkic Ottoman Sunni rivals and effectively create their own empire on the skulls of the Persian Sunni population) made major efforts in the 17th century to Persianize Shiite practice and culture in order to facilitate its spread in Iran among its Sunni Persian populace. Majlisi was appointed as the palace scholar of the Safavids, he himself repeatedly embellished the reputation of the Safavid Empire (whose kings were known as notorious alcoholics, blatant fornicator and allies of the crusaders) by citing Shi’ite traditions which allegedly confirmed the Safavids’ genuine Imamism,
Did you know that many educated Ottoman Turks (just like Pakistanis a few decades ago) were fluent in Farsi? In fact Farsi was THE language when it came to poetry in the Ottoman empire, this is why basically every Ottoman ruler was raised from childhood on to learn Farsi and to write poems in Farsi.
A portray of Sultan Abdul Hamid II (may Allah have mercy upon him and forgive his sins) and a sample of his handwritten poetry in Persian language and scripts, which was taken from the book “My Father Abdul Hameed,” written by his daughter Ayşe (‘Aisha) Sultan.
Q: Please tell me more on what Abdul-Rahmaan Jami writes about the battle of Siffeen and about Ali (RA) is true in his Shawahid un Nubuwwah ‘I testify there is no God but Allah. I testify that Muhammad is the Prophet of Allah, and I testify that Ali is the Wasi of the Prophet Muhammad‘. Is Abdul-Rahman Jami a reliable author or scholar of the Sunni.
A: My response to the incident allegedly quoted by Mawlana Jami follows:
Mawlana ‘Abd ar-Rahman ibn Ahmad al-Jami was a great scholar and Sufi who died in 898 AH. He excelled in various fields, such as grammar, philosophy, logic, theology and jurisprudence, in which field he followed the Hanafi school. In addition he was a refined poet of the Persian language.
Ismail’s conversion policy had the following historical outcomes:
“Shiraz” (شیراز) was one of the most important centers of knowledge not just in Sunni Persia but in all of the Islamic world, as well as cradle of jurisprudence (Fiqh) and poetry in the history of Iran. Shiraz glimmered like a bright star in the sky of civilization by providing the nation geniuses scholars and experts in both art and knowledge (E’lm). Shiraz flourished a prosperous generation in the past; then it was becoming failure only in Islamic knowledge (elm) after the time when it was haven of the students as they used to com from different parts of the world.
The city of “Shiraz”, the provincial capital of “Fars” located in the southern-western Iran, its area is 340 km, one of the three biggest cities of Iran in terms of area, and it comes in its place after “Tehran” and “Mashhad”. Shiraz ends to “Isfahan” in the north, in eastern side it is surrounded by “Yazd” and “Kerman” and in the south it is closest to “Hormozgan” province, as it ends in western side to “Bushehr”. Its population is more than 1,722,331 inhabitants; Shiraz is the fourth largest city on the map of Iran in terms of population.
Were Safavids Persian? No. Safavids were Azerbaijanis. They did choose Shia Islam and with the force of the sword killed and forced hitherto Sunni Iranians to convert to Shia Islam.
When the Shias took over the power in Iran they massacred thousands of people as they were not ready to abandoned Sunnism and convert to Shiism.
The Iranian great historian, Kasrawi wrote that 20 thousand people were killed in Tabriz, capital of Azerbayjan, as the Sunnis refused to become Shia. The urgent pressure for converting the Sunni Muslim of Iran into Shia resulted in the disintegration of Iran as Afghanistan, Pakistan, Tajikistan, Uzbekistan, Turkmenistan, Gherghizistan, and all parts of Central Asia seceded from Iran. About three million sq m of Iranians soil seceded from Iran as the residents of these places were not prepared to abandon Sunnis in and convert to Shiism.
This is bigger than Karbala.
BRITISH COLLABORATION WITH SAFAVIDS
Persia was a Sunni country initially, from the days it was conquered by Muslims in the caliphate of ‘Omar [ra]. It was much later, around the sixteenth century, that a Shia dynasty , the Safavids, whose founder was not even Persian, converted Persia into a Shia country by force.
Were Safavids Persian? Ethnically not, but politicaly yes, as in the sense that they actively promoted and revived Pre-Islamic Persian Sassanian-Zoroastrian traditions under the guise of Shi’ism. Ethnically they were Azeri Turks, Safavids were Azerbaijanis. They did choose Shia Islam and with the force of the sword killed and forced Sunni Iranians to convert to Shia Islam. The Bektashi Sufi Order… Continue reading