The Era Of The Safavid Empire Under The Rule Of Shah Ismail

951 Words Mar 13th, 2016 4 Pages
As a political tactic, rulers often portray themselves in a certain way in order to stabilize their reign and rule more effectively. Some take the approach of uniqueness by setting themselves apart from their subject population while others take the approach of sameness by emphasizing the similarities in which they share with the people. Not exclusively limited to apartness or sameness, some rulers have shown to employ a mix of both ruling styles. It is these versatile rulers who have experienced more successes in their reign because they are not compelled to only one ruling style, allowing them to better adapt to the needs of their ruling population. The apartness ruling style is best seen in the Safavid Empire under the rule of Shah Ismail. Shah Ismail uses religion as a political tool to control his state and does so by declaring Shi’ism, a smaller branch of Islam, as the state religion (#). After separating himself & his people from those who are not willing to abide to his ideologies, Shah Ismail can now demand the absolute loyalties from his subjects and persecute those who are deviant. This radical act further creates a deep chasm between Shi’ite Muslims and nearby Sunni Muslims neighbors. As a result, cultural flow and the exchange of beliefs between Sunni & Shi’ite states are essentially hindered. Ismail’s apartness ruling approach is taken to the extreme with social, religious, and legal systems being strictly confined to Shi’ite doctrines (@). It is noted that…
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