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Suleyman the Magnificent

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The Oxford Dictionary of Islam What is This? Covers the religious, political, and social spheres of global Islam in the modern world

    Suleyman the Magnificent

    Tenth and greatest sultan of the Ottoman Empire (r. 1520 – 66 ). As messianic “lord of the age” and “Grand Turk,” he extended Ottoman sovereignty from Hungary (Mohacs, 1526 ) to Iraq, Moldavia to Yemen; exerted naval power in the western Mediterranean and the Indian Ocean and threatened the gates of Vienna ( 1529 ). Enforced Sunni Islam to counter Safavid Shiism in Iran. As lawgiver (kanuni), he reconciled dynastic and Islamic law, enforced justice, and organized provincial administration, land tenure, taxation, and educational/religious hierarchy. Presided over a revival of the arts, literature, and the Ottoman literary language; patronized the architect Sinan and wrote poetry for his wife Hurrem ( Roxelana ), the first of the dynasty's powerful women. Executed two viziers and two sons whose power grew excessive but was succeeded by the weakest, Selim II . Suleyman's reign was later considered a golden age and he “the second Solomon .”

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