عنوان مقاله [English]
The establishment of the Safavid dynasty with its Shia religion in 906 A.H brought about excitation and anger in its powerful and Sunnite Ottoman Empire. This Ottoman Turks were eager to conquer Muslim world, so they considered this new Safavid dynasty as an impediment in realization of their favorable purpose. In addition to religious differences which existed between these two dynasties, territorial expansion policies which were adopted by those Turks caused sanguineous confrontations between these two countries. These confrontations were continued until overthrow of Safavid dynasty. These political and ideological differences wasted military and economic resources of these two countries and gave direction to their internal and external policy, as well.
This study has been done by historical method, by which historical texts and new relevant studies are investigated by reference to libraries and database necessary evidence are gathered for conducting this study. The next step is allocated to critical analysis of those documents which are organized with descriptive-analytic and used for the final version of the research.
The Turks conquered the religious centers of Iraq; so, they benefit it for resisting against their rival. These Turks abused hearty devotion of Persian pilgrims for making the pilgrimages in these religious centers of the Mesopotamia region by taking considerable amount of money from those pilgrims with different pretexts .They also treated them with a manner that hurt the dignity of Shiites and Iranians. Since Persian pilgrims must pay the expenses and the shares of Ottoman officers with golden coins, which were scarce in the territories of the Safavid dynasty; so, this event would greatly affect the local market and foreign trade and the harmful economic outcomes which were caused by these pilgrimages became more severe afterwards. On the other hand, these financial resources which were achieved by those Turks reinforced economic and military potency of the Turks and it was not a pleasant matter for the Safavid dynasty, as well. Actually they witnessed the transition of the large amount of gold from the Safavid territory to the Ottoman Empire that weakened economical potency of the Safavids, and these resources were achieved by their competitor and used for the improvement and development of their economic and military potency.
However, there was not any practical measure for confronting these proceedings until the coronation of Shāh Abbās the Great, who changed these conditions. Shāh Abbās was a great and mighty king of the Safavid dynasty with a religious characteristic, though this king took different measures regarding religion and the religious policy. Shāh Abbās considered political and economic interests of the Safavids in his relations with religious minorities. Thus, because of this characteristic and despite of his great respect to the twelve imams, this great king took an appropriate measure to resolve the transitional issues of Persian pilgrimages, as well as its economic outcomes in the religious cities of the Mesopotamia region. This mighty king considered restrictive regulations for the Persian pilgrims in their visit to those shrines in Mesopotamia region. According to these rules, the pilgrimages that were eager to go to this region must have payed an amount to the Safavid court for issuing a permission, in addition to the expenses and prices which were received by the Ottoman Turks. As the majorities of pilgrims had financial problems and were not able to pay the court’s expense, which was an additional payment besides the huge expense and price of the pilgrimage itself, there was a considerable reduction in this kind of pilgrimage. However, this circumstance brought about dissatisfaction in the pilgrims who considered the cruel politics of the kings as the barriers of their desire and wish. On the other hand, there was no reaction from the clergies against these acts of the kings, since there was a settlement between them and government.
Furthermore, Shāh Abbās motivated the peasantries to visit Imam Reza's shrine in Mashhad with his publicities and construction affairs. So, this mighty king made two essential proceedings in order to realize this purpose. The first was the construction of Imam Reza's shrine as well as the centers for the welfares and the services in a route that lead to Mashhad. On the other hand, this mighty king made some publicity affairs such as his several visits to Mashhad and consecrated an amount from his own properties to the development, improvement and rebuilding of this shrine and livelihood of its servants, as well. So, these proceedings developed the infrastructures both for the shrine and the city of Mashhad that were advantageous for reception of those Shia pilgrims and the importance of the pilgrimage visits to Mashhad were understood by the peasants with those publicities in turn. This mighty king has done several proceedings in constructions and development of this shrine and its infrastructure as well as the centers for the welfares and the services. In his several pilgrimages to Mashhad, he made the attempts to improve this shrine from its unorganized situation which was caused by Uzbek’s invasion so it was prepared for the visits of those pilgrims. According to this context, his proceedings can be studied in four different levels.
The first was the organization of the staff and servants of the shrine, the second was providing the required tools and instruments for this sacred place such as utensils and carpet, the third was providing water for the residents and the pilgrims as well as the improvement and expansion of the green spaces on the shrine’s site, and the forth was the extension and development of the inner space which was accomplished with the changes as well as the new aprons and porches. In addition to these improvements and development, he made some other developments in the infrstructure of Mashhad in order to facilitate the travel of the pilgrims in different regions and areas. One of these changes was the construction of a street that guided the pilgrims to shrine. This mighty and powerful king gave a considerable attention to the construction of the caravanserais in the route of the pilgrims to Mashhad as well as security and the centers for the services and the welfares such as the mosques, so there were more facilities for the travel of those pilgrims in Mashhad afterwards. In addition to those constructions, the publicities had a considerable role in the development of those aforementioned policies by this mighty king. This mighty king made several visits to Khorasan both in time of the wars or in his pilgrimage visits while he had done the affairs such as a long trek as well as the services in the shrine. These matters showed his sincerity to the Twelve Imams and inspired his own peasants, as well. In addition to consecration of property to this shrine that secured the expenses of the servants in this shrine, the importance for pilgrimage of this shrine increased among his peasants afterwards.
These proceedings which were realized by this mighty king were accompanied with some favorable results afterward and he fulfilled his purposes partially in this context. In other words, these two essential proceedings made by this king for the reduction of economic loss accrued to the pilgrims in their visits to the Atabat Al-Aliya,t such as the restrictive laws, the constructions and publicities caused a reduction in the visits of the pilgrims to the religious cities which were located in Mesopotamia before conquering Baghdad by the Safavids in 1032 A.H. Afterwards, those proceedings which were legislated by this king could not be performed anymore since Baghdad became a part of Safavid dynasty as a center of Shia