We use cookies to enhance your experience on our website. By continuing to use our website, you are agreeing to our use of cookies. You can change your cookie settings at any time. Find out more Suleyman - Oxford Islamic Studies Online
Select Translation What is This? Selections include: The Koran Interpreted, a translation by A.J. Arberry, first published 1955; The Qur'an, translated by M.A.S. Abdel Haleem, published 2004; or side-by-side comparison view
Chapter: verse lookup What is This? Select one or both translations, then enter a chapter and verse number in the boxes, and click "Go."
:
  • Previous Result
  • Results
  • Highlight On / Off
  • Look It Up What is This? Highlight any word or phrase, then click the button to begin a new search.
  • Next Result

Suleyman

Source:
The Islamic World: Past and Present What is This? Accessible coverage of Islam from the seventh century to the twenty-first century

    Suleyman

    1494 – 1566 Ottoman

    ruler

    The reign of Suleyman marked the point when the Ottoman Empire reached its peak of power and prosperity as well as the highest development of its governmental, social, and economic systems. Known as Kanuni (the Lawgiver) within the empire and the Magnificent in Europe, Suleyman was the only son of the Ottoman sultan Selim I. He served in the administrations of his grandfather, Bayezid II , and his father. In 1520 Suleyman succeeded Selim I as sultan.

    Soon after taking power, Suleyman embarked on a campaign of military conquest in central Europe. His troops captured Belgrade in 1521 . His notable victory at the Battle of Mohacs in 1526 brought Hungary under Ottoman control. Three years later, Suleyman laid siege to Vienna, but harsh weather and lack of supplies prevented him from taking the city. The Ottomans, nonetheless, remained a strong presence in central Europe. Suleyman created a force of warriors whose primary function was to carry out raids on European cities. Taking advantage of the rise of Protestantism within the Holy Roman Empire, a political body in central Europe composed of several states, he also sent financial support to Protestant countries to weaken Catholic control over the continent and to destabilize the region.

    During the 1530s, Suleyman sought to expand the Ottoman Empire eastward. He took Iraq and the southern Caucasus from the Safavid dynasty. Suleyman also established a powerful navy under the leadership of Khayr ad-Din, known in the West as Barbarossa. After defeating the Spanish and Venetian fleets in 1538 , the Ottoman navy dominated the Mediterranean Sea. The empire's eastern fleet even traveled to India and Indonesia to assist Muslim rulers against European invaders.

    Suleyman declared himself the supreme caliph of Islam. He regarded Christian-dominated Europe as the principal threat to the Muslim faith and considered his invasions of the continent to be part of a holy war against the enemies of Islam. In addition to European territories, Suleyman invaded Muslim lands, justifying these conquests by claiming that their rulers had abandoned orthodox beliefs and practices. He was thus restoring true Islam to those areas.

    The sultan also sponsored ambitious construction projects. During his reign, the Ottomans built mosques, palaces, fortresses, bridges, and aqueducts across the empire. These structures represented a triumph of Islamic architecture. Suleyman's projects helped transform Istanbul, the seat of the empire, into an impressive center of Muslim civilization.

    Many Muslims regard Suleyman as the perfect ruler. He helped to establish an Ottoman code of laws separate from the shari'ah. Historians celebrate his reign as a period of justice and harmony. Art, music, and philosophy thrived under Suleyman, and the sultan himself was a talented poet.

    Internal conflict plagued the later years of Suleyman's reign. The sultan had one of his sons executed for creating disorder in Asia Minor. A long-standing dispute between the princes Selim and Bayezid over succession to Suleyman's throne resulted in Bayezid's death. In 1566 Suleyman died while leading a military campaign in Hungary. Later sultans could not match Suleyman's ability, and the Ottoman Empire began an era of decentralized rule. See also Christianity and Islam; Istanbul; Ottoman Empire; Safavid Dynasty.

    • Previous Result
    • Results
    • Highlight On / Off
    • Look It Up What is This? Highlight any word or phrase, then click the button to begin a new search.
    • Next Result
    Oxford University Press

    © 2020. All Rights Reserved. Cookie Policy | Privacy Policy | Legal Notice