The Rise of Shia Islam in Iran and the Sunni-Shia Divide

TLDR The rise of the Safavids in Iran led by Shah Ismail established Shia Islam as the official religion of Iran, solidifying Persia as a stronghold of Shiism. The Sunni-Shia divide intensified with violence and massacres between the Ottomans and Safavids, creating clear boundaries between Persia and modern-day Turkey.

Timestamped Summary

00:00 The episode discusses the split in the Muslim community between the Shia and Sunni sects, which originated after the death of Muhammad in 632 A.D.
04:57 Iran became Shia in the 1400s and 1500s, but there were active Shia empires in Egypt, the Arabian Peninsula, and Iran in the 10th century.
09:41 The rise of the Safavids in Iran, led by Shah Ismail, who came from a respected line of Sufi shakes and led a Holy War with Shia armies, ultimately turning Iran into a Shia state.
14:24 Shah Ismail, the leader of the Safavids, was described as a charismatic and ruthless ruler who encouraged art and poetry, but also pursued his enemies and committed cruel acts, ultimately establishing Shia Islam as the official religion of Iran.
19:06 Shah Ismail conquers Azerbaijan, Dagestan, and Georgia, establishes his power in Tabriz, and calls upon great scholars from the Arab world to ensure the proper teaching of the sheikh tradition in Iran.
23:40 Shah Ismail could have reunited the whole Islamic community and was opposed by the Ottoman Empire, who were Sunni, but admired his revival of Islamic traditions.
28:20 Shah Ismail's followers were so passionate about Shiaism that they were willing to gallop ahead of his frontiers and even the Ottoman Empire would have transferred its allegiance to him, but Prince Selim, who took over the Ottoman Empire, condemned the Shiite traditions and massacred thousands of Shiite devotees, creating a major Sunni-Shia division.
33:00 The intensification of violence and massacres between Sunni and Shia Muslims throughout history, particularly during the Bouyad, Fatah-Mid, and Karmatian wars, is the most documented and intense instance of the Sunni-Shia divide, with the Ottomans and Safavids becoming absolute enemies representing Sunni Islam and Shiaism respectively.
37:31 During the reign of Ismail, Persia transitions from a mix of Sunni and Shia to becoming a stronghold of Shiism, which is solidified after the Battle of Kuldehan where Ismail is defeated by Selim and his superior artillery.
42:14 Ismail escapes the Battle of Kuldehan as a broken man, but reaffirms his devotion to the Shiite cause and solidifies Persia as a fortress of Shia Islam.
46:58 Persia solidifies as the leading bastion of the Shiite nation, while the Ottomans push the Sunni card and become more religious to maintain support of their army, resulting in the establishment of clear boundaries between Persia and modern-day Turkey.
Categories: History

The Rise of Shia Islam in Iran and the Sunni-Shia Divide

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