Daniel Chen, Nov.21
Compare & Contrast - Ottomans and Safavids
During the Renaissance, many Asian empires also rose, becoming powerful
threats to one another. An empire that can be said as one of the most powerful empire
during the time is the Islamic-Based Ottoman Empire. Another Muslim empire that also
built an empire around the same time is the Safavid Empire. Although both empires are
Islamic-based empires, they still have many differences among them. Their section of
religion, social structure, as well as economy has many similarities, as well as
differences between the two empires.
First of all, religiously the Ottomans and Safavids follow the same religion,
though through ...view middle of the document...
The practice of rituals or traditions of other religions is
allowed as long as the people who are not Muslim pay an extra tax to the government.
Once the tax was paid, they’ll then have the right to practice whatever they want. By
this, it can be shown that the Ottomans are more acceptable towards another culture.
On the other hand, the Safavids are Shiite (Shia) Muslims, and they are much more
centralized within themselves. The government controls the religion, and do not tolerate
any other kind of religion within their empire, not even Sunni Muslim. Shia Muslims
believe that they are the only right religion, that’s also what made the empire more
centralized within their own “good and right” people. Ones who aren’t Shiite (Shia)
Muslim will be forced to convert or else they’ll be punished.
They also started their
military based on idea where their army’s purpose is to try and wage jihad wars to and
convert unbelievers to Shiite Muslims. They are much more harsh comparing to the
Ottomans, and are less opened towards another culture, so they didn’t get to be as
strong as the Ottomans, getting gunpowder and more soldiers while conquering other
places during this time. And because of their little contact with other empires, their army
can’t withstand the Ottomans’ gunpowder during the Battle of Chaldiran. The Safavids
aren’t as strong as the Ottomans until Abbas became the shah. When Abbas was in
control, he copied lots of things from Ottomans as a model, bringing a lot more
similarities into the empire compare to the Ottomans. They captured men from Russia to
ﬁght for them, just like the Ottoman’s Janissaries, as well as taking the gunpowder
technology. Once the Safavids started taking in new things, they claim back the Uzbeks
and gained back lands they lost to the Ottomans. The greatest difference between the
Daniel Chen, Nov.21
two governments was caused by the different section of Islam they follow, effecting their
degree on openness.
Secondly, the social structure within the two empires appeared to be a system of
separation while having different views among each other. By being the leader of the
empire, the Ottoman ruler Orhan I took the title “sultan” for himself, which means “ruler”
in Arabic. The Safavids also have a special title for their leader. The Safavid leader
Esma’il used the Persian title “shah”, meaning “king”. Both empires have a special title
of their rulers, and the titles were being passed down to later rulers of the empire. For
other people in the empire except the ruler, there was a separation of people for both
Ottoman and Safavid Empire. In Safavid Empire, there was the social ranking system.
After the shah (the most powerful one) and royal classes was followed by nobilities, rich
merchants, artisans, then peasants. Within these classes, women were viewed as lower
to men, where they do not have equal power or right compare to men. On the other
hand, the sultan for Ottomans were...