Islamic Cultures in Asia By: Valerie Colón

Ottoman Empire

Government: Supreme Rulers - The Sultans, Second in command - Grand Viziers

Süleyman the Magnificent - the greatest Sultan from this empire

Society divided into 2 groups: one group was a small ruling class, the other was a group called Reaya

Relations with neighbors: They traded with Europe and Asia and had sea routes to Asia

The Ghazis were the warriors for Islam, as Ottoman Empire expanded the Janissaries warriors [formed by Christian slave soilders - highly trained troops]


They practiced Islam: Sunni- Religious Minorities within the empire were divided up within the "millet system"


Timeline of the Ottoman Empire
Map of Ottoman Empire


They traded with Europe and Asia and had sea routes to Asia. Eventually lost control of silk trade. Their economy was pretty good up until the 1600s. Once they reached the 1600s, their government and economy started to decline.


The official language was Turkish. Architecture: Some buildings they built during their empire include: Süleymaniye Mosque, Hagia Sophia, Sultan Ahmed Mosque, Faith Mosque - Istanbul. Their contribution to science and technology was incredible, some things include: contribution to astronomy - [astronomic clock], they made new instruments, etc.

Neighboring Empires

The Ottoman Empire were direct neighbors with Europe. When Süleyman the Magnificent died, European states such as France, Spain, and Poland became stronger. This was when the Empire began to decline. And eventually France conquered the empire.

Religious Interactions

The interactions they had with other religions was through the millet system. There they were organized into separate religious communities, though they were all under the control of the sultan, but still governed themselves.

Ethnic Minority Interaction

Ethnic minorities in the empire included Muslim Roma, Phanariotes, Cretan Turks, Turkish Jews, Turks in the Republic of Macedonia, Turks in Khazakhstan, Turks in Italy, Turks in Finland, Turks in Egypt, Turks in South America, Turks in Uzbekistan, Turks in Libya, and Turks in Lebanon. They would all interact with ethnic blending.

The Safavid Empire


Important Leader: Shah ‘Abbās the Great
As the Safavid expanded their empire, they clashed with the Ottomans for control of territory.

He reformed his military using the Ottoman Empire's army as a model and then fought against them for control of territory.


Their official religion was Islam: Shia after the shah decided it would be that. Still, many practiced Sunni, but at this point it was considered a minority religion.

Timeline of Safavid Empire from when they started in the 1500 to when they declined in 1736
Map of the Safavid Empire


The Silk Road helped boost the economy of their empire. Shah ‘Abbās the Great supported direct trade with Europe, particularly England and The Netherlands. The main imports were money, textile, spices, metals, coffee, and sugar.


Their official language was Persian. There was a lot of art within this empire, painting and poetry especially. New age Iranian architecture began growth in theological sciences. Architecture from their empire include The Imperial Mosque, the Imami Mosque, the Lutfullah Mosque and the Royal Palace.

Neighboring Empires

The Safavid Empire was neighbors and would interact with the Ottoman Empire. This began with the establishment of the Safavid Empire. Yet, their relationship wasn't the best. They were in constant conflict up until the Treaty of Zuhab, which gave the Ottoman control.

Religious Interaction

There were other religions practiced within the empire, which was respected because of religious freedom.

Ethnic Interaction

Ethnicities would interact with ethnic blending. Throughout the empire there was a lot of ethnic blending and cultural blending.

The Mughal Empire


Akbar - Greatest Mughal Emperor

After Emperor Akbar married a Rajput princess, the Rajput began taking part in government position. They also had a huge military because they believed it was important for the empire or have it.


During the ruling of Akbar, he supported religious freedom. But eventually began to believe that he was a god and created a religion that worshipped and served him.


Timeline of Mughal Empire
Map of Mughal Empire


They had a well built economy. They had wealth and resources which attracted the Europeans for trade. They would trade crops, which was a luxury because of the well climate they had to harvest them.


They had great architecture during the empire, some include the Taj Mahal at Agra which remains one of the architectural wonders of the world and the Hall of Private Audience, which is in the Red Fort at Delhi and was Shah Jahān’s palace. Their official language was Persian. During their empire they also contributed to astronomy and rockets.

Neighboring Empire

Interaction the Mughal Empire had was with the Europeans through trade. Later on, they also had contact with the Portuguese and the English.

Religious interaction

The Mughal Empire had peaceful religious and cultural interaction and blending between the Hindus and Muslims of India. This meant there wasn't much conflict between other religions.

Ethnic Minorities

Mughal Empire consisted of Rajputs, Marathas Tamils, Telegus, Kannadigas, Gujaratis, Jats, Bengalis, North Indians, Pushtuns, Sindhis, Balochs and Kashmiris. They were all considered minorities except the Rajputs. They eventually earned government position.


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