Why did the first Safavid Shia become Shia?

The imposition of Shiism was especially harsh in Shirvan, where a large Sunni population was massacred. Thus, the population of Azerbaijan was forcibly converted to Shiism in the early 16th century at the same time as the people of what is nowadays Iran, when the Safavids held sway over it.

Was the Safavid Empire Shia?

Like most Iranians the Safavids (1501-1722) were Sunni, although like many outside Shi’ism they venerated Imam Ali (601-661), the first of the 12 Shia imams.

How did Persia become Shia?

Until the 16th century, Persia was mostly Sunni. At the turn of that century, the Safavid dynasty conquered much of what is now Iran and made Shiism the official religion. The conversion was accompanied by a massive crackdown on Sunnis, so that over time much of the population became Shia.

Why was Shia Islam created?

Shia Islam originated as a response to questions of Islamic religious leadership which became manifest as early as the death of Muhammad in 632 CE. The issues involved not only whom to appoint as the successor to Muhammad, but also what attributes a true successor should have.

Was the Safavid Empire Shia Islam?

Soon after the Safavids rose to power, they established Twelver Shiism (the largest branch of Shi’a Islam), as the official religion of their dynasty. This distinguished the Safavids from their neighboring and rival empires—the Ottomans (to their west in Turkey), and the Mughals (to their east in India).

What two things caused tension between the Safavid and Ottoman empires?

The Ottoman and Safavid empires were both muslim, but the Ottoman empire was sunni while the Safavid empire was Shiite. This caused conflict between the two empires along with fighting over territory, considering they bordered each other, so they went into a war called the Battle of Chaldiran.

Why was the Safavid Empire important?

Safavid dynasty, (1501–1736), ruling dynasty of Iran whose establishment of Twelver Shiʿism as the state religion of Iran was a major factor in the emergence of a unified national consciousness among the various ethnic and linguistic elements of the country.

Is Turkey Sunni or Shia?

Turkey is a secular state. Even though over 85 percent of its population is Sunni Muslim and its Religious Affairs Directorate represents Sunni Islam, Turkey’s secular tradition and legal structure help it refrain from pursuing a sectarian policy. The institutional structure is different in Iran.

Were Ottomans Sunni or Shia?

The Turkish-speaking Ottoman royal family, the administration it created, and the educational and cultural institutions it eventually favored were all Sunni Muslim. However, subordinate Christian and Jewish sects also coexisted with Islam, which enjoyed the support and favor of the state.

Was Ottoman Sunni or Shia?

Sunni Islam was the official religion of the Ottoman Empire. The highest position in Islam, caliphate, was claimed by the sultan, after the defeat of the Mamluks which was established as Ottoman Caliphate.

What are two significant legacies of the Safavid Empire?

The most apparent legacy of the Safavids is that Shi’ism became the official religion of Persia. In addition, one can add to the list cultural and artistic achievements. The Safavids made Iran a center of art, architecture, poetry, and philosophy, which influenced her neighbors in the region.

How did Isma’il rule affect the Islam religion?

Isma’il became a religious tyrant. Any citizen who did not convert to Shi’ism was put to death. Isma’il destroyed the Sunni population of Baghdad in his confrontation with the Ottomans. Their leader, Selim the Grim, later ordered the execution of all Shi’a in the Ottoman Empire.

Why did the Ottoman and Safavid empires battle?

The two states were the greatest powers of West Asia, and the rivalry was further fueled by dogmatic differences: the Ottomans were Sunnis, while the Safavids were staunchly Shia Muslims of the Qizilbash sect, and seen as heretics by the Ottomans.

Is Egypt Shia or Sunni?

Islam is the dominant religion in Egypt (Arabic: مِصر‎, romanized: Miṣr) with around an estimated 90.3% of the population. Almost the entirety of Egypt’s Muslims are Sunnis, with a very small minority of Shia. Islam has been recognized as the state religion since 1980.

Is Azerbaijan Shia or Sunni?

The Muslim population is approximately 85% Shi’a and 15% Sunni; differences traditionally have not been defined sharply. Azerbaijan has the second highest Shia population percentage in the world after Iran.

Is Syria a Shia?

The Sunni Muslims make up the overwhelming majority in the country (74% of Syria’s total population)). The Alawites are the minority group (10% of the country’s population), followed by Shia Ismailis (1%). Christians are the main non-Muslim group in the country, they comprise 10% of the population .

Are Druze Shia?

Even though the faith originally developed out of Ismaili Islam, most Druze do not identify as Muslims, and they do not accept the five pillars of Islam. The Druze have frequently experienced persecution by different Muslim regimes such as the Shia Fatimid Caliphate, Sunni Ottoman Empire, and Egypt Eyalet.

Was Saddam Hussein a Shia?

A majority of Iraqi Arabs are Shias, but Sunnis ran the show when Saddam Hussein, himself Sunni, ruled Iraq. Saddam spread a false belief, still surprisingly persistent in the country today, that Sunnis were the real majority in Iraq.

Is Iraq Shia or Sunni?

The majority of Iraq’s Muslims are Shia, and the Isis militants gaining ground there are Sunni. According to the Pew Research Center, Iraq is one of only a handful of countries with a Shia majority.

What did Saddam do to Shias?

An Iraqi appeals court on Dec. 26 upheld a previous ruling that Saddam and two of his top associates, Barzan Ibrahim al-Tikriti and Awad al-Bandar, be put to “death by hanging” for the killing of the Shiites. Those killed in the massacre had been detained after an attempt to assassinate Hussein.

Is Kuwait Sunni or Shia?

The Kuwaiti Constitution states that Islam is the main, official religion of Kuwait. Islam and the Islamic Sharia (Islamic law) are the main sources of the Kuwaiti Laws and Legislations. Most of the Kuwaiti population embraces Islam. Majority of the Kuwaiti Muslims are Sunnis and the rest are Shia’a.

What percentage of Bahrain is Shia?

Shia Islam in Bahrain is estimated to be approximately 70% of the Muslim population in Bahrain.

What percentage of Iraq is Shia?

95–99% of the population are Muslims. The CIA World Factbook reports a 2015 estimate according to which 29–34% are Sunni Muslims and 64–69% Shia Muslims. According to a 2011 survey by Pew Research, 51% of the Muslims identify as Shia and 42% as Sunni.

What percentage of Iran is Shia?


Statistics on religious belief and religiosity
Islam was the religion of 99.6% of Iranians of which approximately 89% are Shia – almost all of whom are Twelvers. Of all Iranian Muslims, 90-95% are Shi’ites.

Are there Shia in Saudi Arabia?

An estimated 5-10% of citizens in Saudi Arabia are Shia Muslims, most of whom are adherents to Twelver Shia Islam. Twelvers are predominantly represented by the Baharna community living in the Eastern Province, with the largest concentrations in Qatif, Half the population in al-Hasa,.

Are Lebanese Shia?

Shia Islam

The Lebanese Shia Muslims are around 27%–29% of the total population. Twelvers are the predominant Shia group, followed by Alawites and Ismailis. The Speaker of Parliament is always a Shi’a Muslim, as it is the only high post that Shi’as are eligible for.

Are Shia allowed to perform Hajj?

In 2009 a group of Shiites on their way to perform hajj pilgrimage (one of the five pillars of Islam that all able-bodied Muslims are required to perform once in their lives) in Mecca were arrested by Saudi religious police due to the involvement in a protest against the Saudi government.

Are there Sunnis in Iran?

Sunni Muslims constitute approximately 10% of the Iranian population. A majority of Lari people (Persians), a part of Kurds, virtually all Baluchis and Turkomans, and a minority of Arabs and Lurs are Sunnis, as are small communities of Persians in southern Iran and Khorasan.

Who converted Iran to Shia?


The Safavid conversion of Iran to Shia Islam was a process of forced conversion that took place roughly over the 16th through 18th centuries and turned Iran (Persia), which previously had a Sunni majority population, into the spiritual bastion of Shia Islam.

Why did the Sunni and Shiite split?

The divide originated with a dispute over who should succeed the Prophet Muhammad as leader of the Islamic faith he introduced. Today, about 85 percent of the approximately 1.6 billion Muslims around the world are Sunni, while 15 percent are Shia, according to an estimate by the Council on Foreign Relations.

Which Islamic group has the most followers?

Sunni Islam (/ˈsuːni, ˈsʊni/) is the largest branch of Islam, followed by 85–90% of the world’s Muslims.

Why is Islam so popular in Indonesia?

Islam in Indonesia is considered to have gradually spread through merchant activities by Arab Muslim traders, adoption by local rulers, and the influence of Sufism since the 13th century. During the late colonial era, it was adopted as a rallying banner against colonialism.

Is Singapore religious?

43.2 percent of Singapore’s population is Buddhist or Taoist, making this the largest religious group in the state. Christianity accounts for 18.7 percent, Islam 14 percent, Hinduism five percent, other religions 0.6 percent. Approximately 18.5 percent of Singaporeans identify as having no religion.