Defeats on Both Sides Failed Him
Portuguese Arranged for the Safavids a Plan of Attack on Islamic Sanctities with the Aim of Destroying Them
At the time when the Andalusian Arabs were destined to fall at the hands of the Spaniards in (1492), the Safavids were making strategic alliances with the rest of the European kingdoms: the Portuguese and the Austrians, targeting the Arabs of the East. The most important of them was what was later known as (the Persian Habsburg Pact). It was another betrayal woven by the Persians against the Arabs of Andalusia, who were desperate for any help from the Muslim East, as they perceived it to be. However, that was not important to the Persians. On the contrary, they seized the opportunity completely opposite to the aspirations of the Muslims of Andalusia.
The Safavids betrayed the Andalusians by converting their aspirations from victory to warfare.
The danger the Safavids posed to the seed of Islam and the lands of the Arabian Peninsula in particular was greater than we can imagine. The Safavids were not a rebellious group that seized power in Iran, but rather an extremist state with a fierce ideology, driven by deep hostility against the Arabs. They considered the Arabs and Sunni Muslims as direct enemies and legitimized the foreign presence in the Arab seas and states by concluding agreements with Portugal in the Arabian Gulf, understanding the Portuguese presence in the Red Sea. They even did not oppose the Portuguese who expressed in official correspondence with the Safavids their intention to occupy and bomb the city of Jeddah, thus destroying Makkah Al-Mukarramah.
In his publication entitled “Persian-Crusader Alliance Throughout History”, Researcher Hussein Al-Sabawi pointed out saying: ” Persian-Crusader alliance is an ancient alliance that began since the emergence of the Islamic religion and its spread in the Arabian Peninsula, the Levant, Egypt and Iraq, i.e., since the fall of both the Persian and Byzantine-Roman empires”. When we talk about the Persians, we mean the Persian peoples, including the Persians, the Mongols and the Tatars, who allied with the Crusaders against the Arabs and Muslims.
Here, the researcher confirms the establishment of three alliances between the Persians and the Crusaders against the Islamic world, which resulted, among other results, in the destruction of the Arab and Islamic states, killing of hundreds of thousands of Muslims. Iraq suffered the largest part of destruction, killing and displacement, as a result of this ill-fated alliance. However, the key result was the fall of the Abbasid Caliphate and the occupation and destruction of Baghdad in (1258).
The fall of the Abbasid Caliphate, and the occupation and destruction of Baghdad in the year (1258 AD).
The alliance actually began at the beginning of the sixteenth century, following the Safavid agreement of Shah Ismail and his alliance with Charles V, Emperor of Austria during (1516-1519). Then Carlos I of Spain joined this alliance and sent an envoy to Shah Ismail offering him his support. Correspondence and envoys went on between them until Shah Ismail responded to these messages with a letter written in Latin in the year (1523), to Charles V, offering to coordinate joint operations between them. Contacts between Austria and Persia were resumed in the year (1593) when Emperor Rudolph II of Prague sent a message to Shah Abbas for the purpose of resuming the alliance between them. That alliance lasted until 1615.
As for the alliance of the Safavids with the Portuguese, it was in the year (1509), when Albuquerque, the Portuguese commander, sent his envoy Gomiz to Shah Ismail, with a message in which he stated: “I appreciate your respect for the Christians in your country and I offer you the fleet, soldiers, and weapons to use against the fortresses of the Turks. If you wish to swoop into Arabia or attack Mecca, you would find me next to you in the Red Sea in front of Jeddah or in Aden or Al-Qatif”.
The most important results that yielded from the Safavid Crusader alliance was the state’s retreat from Islamic conquests in Europe, the occupation of the Portuguese fleet of Oman and the rest of the Gulf coasts, the occupation of Baghdad by the Safavid Shah Ismail and the conclusion of an agreement between Portugal and the Safavids in the year (1515). One of the key provisions of that alliance was to provide assistance to the Shah by the Portuguese fleet to occupy Qatif and Bahrain. The Shah also recognized the Portuguese’s control of the Strait of Hormuz and the unification of both forces in the face of their common enemies, as they agreed.
However, that alliance ended at the beginning of the eighteenth century, when the Safavid state lost several battles and the Portuguese withdrew from the Persian Gulf after they faced Oman’s resistance.
Therefore, Abdul Aziz Al-Mahmoud confirms in his book, Return of the Safavids, that the close relationship between the Europeans, especially the Portuguese with the Safavids, prompted them to present the idea of the Safavid Shah’s attack on the Holy Land and uprooting it completely.
- Basem Hamza Abbas, Iran During in Reign of Shah Tahmasp I Safavid 1524 1576”, Al-Khaleej Al-Arabi Magazine, Volume (40), Issues 1 and 2, (2012).
- Khonji Amir, Safavid Iran (Cairo: Al Nafaza Library, 2010).
- Abdul Aziz Al-Mahmoud, Return of the Safavids (Cairo: Imam Al-Bukhari Library, 2007).