عنوان مقاله [English]
In addition to creating political developments, the emergence of the Safavids brought about many cultural changes in Iran. One of these changes was in historiography, which created changes not only in the appearance, but also in the content, and changed the way historians recorded the events. The promotion of the Twelver Shi'ism was one of the most important issues that the Safavid historians focused on in their works. Meanwhile, in the historiography of this age, the character of Amir al-Mu'minin Ali (AS) as an individual who was a common role model for the Shiites and Sufis has been taken into account from different aspects.
After Safavids swept into power in Iran, a special unity among Iranians was formed to consolidate Shiism, and the attention paid to the Ahlul-Beit (PBUH) and, specifically, Imam Ali (AS) in the literary and artistic works of this period, was even beyond what was expected at the beginning of this dynasty. The historians of the Safavid era were considered elites who played a significant role in introducing the image of Amir al-Mu'minin (AS) as the hidden aid for Safavids in their extraordinary political, social achievements..
In this research, we will try to investigate the reasons why the historians of the Safavid era wrote so much about the various dimensions of Imam Ali’s (AS) character, and tried to depict the general image Amir al-Mu'minin (AS) in the historiography of the Safavid era logically and without any Shia sentiments. This research deals with the above-mentioned issues through utilizing a descriptive-analytic method. This research is based on the evidence extracted from the historical resources of the Safavid era and analyses have been presented along with the various topics discussed in this paper. Even in some cases, through a comparative outlook, a certain issue which has been addressed by two historians is compared and by doing so we have avoided being biased and try to pay special attention to the real truth.
The introduction of the status of Imam Ali (AS) to the Safavid authorities and the general public was one of the most important objectives that the historians of the Safavid era sought to institutionalize by narrating stories about Amir al-Mu'minin (AS) in the community. The introduction of Amirul-Mu'minin (AS) ,as the first role model of the Shia was accompanied by many praises regarding the character of Imam Ali (AS).
Most of the historians of the Safavid period, who recorded the events of the Safavid government’s sweeping to power, referred to the great event of declaring Shiism as the official religion in the Tabriz Mosque, and specifically mentioned the reciting of the statement: "Ashhad Ana Aliun Valiol Lah" after many years. Uttering this statement was forbidden during the ruling of Sunni officials in Iran but the historians reported this event in their writings proudly.
Also, historians of this period have recorded the stories related to the status of Amir al-Mu'minin (AS) in the eyes of Safavid kings which shows the respect they had for Amir al-Mu'minin (AS). The response of Shah Ismail to the sarcastic statement of Shibak Khan Uzbek, clearly shows his attitude regarding Amir al-Mu'minin (AS), and this event was recorded by one of the Safavid writers. In a sarcastic letter to Shah Isma'il, Shibak Khan Uzbek wrote: " Ismail Mirza must know that we wish to go on pilgrimage to Mecca. Please make sure that all the broken bridges in our way are repaired. We are not interested in seizing the destroyed land of Iraq so we will not rest until we have captured Mecca and Medina .
On the back of the letter, Shah Isma'il wrote: Anyone who does not serve our Imam (Ali) will have nothing even if he has 100 Mecca and Medina "(unknown author, 1984, 259).
Also, the history of the Safavid era is full of writings about dreaming. A significant number of these dreams was about saying Amir al-Mu'minin (AS) and receiving guidelines on how to make decisions in difficult situations. In most cases, the dreams were related to Shah Isma'il and Shah Tahmasb, in which, intentionally or unintentionally, these kings are introduced as superhuman. These dreams were retold by Shah Isma'il and Shah Tahmasb, which strengthened the devotion and belief of the disciples of the Safavids towards them.
Part of the material written by the historians of the Safavid period regarding Amir al-Mu'minin (AS) in their books relates directly or indirectly to the discussion of relating the Safavids to the family of the Ahlul well-Bayt (PBUH). By doing this, they have confirmed the Safavids’ nobility, either unwillingly or unwillingly.
Among the other effects mentioned in the history of the Safavid era about Amir al-Mu'minin (AS) are the issues raised about Imam Ali's holy shrine. These reports mainly speak of the pilgrimage of this holy place by the Safavid kings, the burial of the main figures of this period in the holy shrine and the news about the construction work of the holy shrine.
Supplicating to the infallible Imams (AS) and asking help from them was one of the most common issues in the Safavid era, which, has not been ignored by the historians of this era and has been pointed out on several occasions. Safavid kings did most of these supplications and there are also stories of supplications of others. Of all the Imams (AS), Imam Ali (AS) was the main focus of such writings, and the second Imam was the center of attention was Imam Reza (AS) to whom people referred for help in the history of the Safavid period.
The historians of the Safavid period have been the most effective individuals to introduce the Safavids' intentions and religious beliefs. In their writings, these historians, who, like the Safavids themselves, followed Twelver Shiism, supported the Safavid dynasty and advocated their actions in expanding Shiism in various ways.
In the Safavid period, historians wrote about Ahlul Beit (peace be upon him) and, in particular, Imam Ali (AS), without creating a new style compared to their predecessors, they took advantage of the previous writing styles but gave them a religious fragrance, and focused on spreading Shiite culture.
Historians of the Safavid period made great attempts to clarify the position of Amir al-Mu'minin (AS) in their works. They did so by focusing on the name of Imam Ali (PBUH) in an effort to explain the status of Imam Ali by narrating the dreams and vision, supplications, asking for help from the Imams and introducing the family of Safavid as the descendants of Imam Ali (AS) and spreading news about the holy shrine of Imam Ali.
Considering the popularity of Imam Ali (AS) as a moral role model that was the link between Shiism and Sufism, the historians expressed the connection the Safavids had with the shining example of courage and spirituality, which could have turned the situation in favor of Safavids at the beginning of the ruling. The highest number of spiritual stories regarding Imam Ali in the historiography of Safavid era was related to Shah Ismail and Shah Tahmasb, and but later when Shia jurists took on the religious leadership and fought against Sufism, which had developed from the beginning of Shah Ismail’s ruling and reached its highest point during Shah Tahmasb’s ruling, rationality and pragmatism in religion took the place of dreaming and focusing on supernatural elements..