Ancient Islamic state with multiculturalist traditions - Shirvanshahs


The ancient Islamic state with multicultural traditions - Shirvanshahs


In our country with an ancient history, we can see that different peoples have lived in unity and equality for centuries. There were multicultural traditions not only in Azerbaijan, but also in the state of Shirvanshahs, which has an important place in world history. The Shirvanshahs ruled the north-eastern lands of Azerbaijan for about a thousand years and left traces on the glorious page of our history.

 During the rule of the Shirvanshahs, about half a million people lived in these areas. Although the basis of this nation was the Oghuz Turks, at the same time, the Persian families that settled here during the Sassanid period, played a key role in the political and social life of the country among the representatives of different peoples living in the Caucasus.


 Shirvan has long been inhabited by settled and nomadic tribes from the north, east and south through the Derbent and Daryal passes. For thousands of years, the land of Shirvan has been a crossroads between the Caucasian and Turkic-speaking tribes. This is confirmed not only by written sources, but also by archeological and toponymic data.

 If we look at the toponymy of Shirvan, we come to the conclusion that since ancient times the territory of Shirvan has been inhabited by various tribes that have left their mark on the toponymy of this place. Sources and toponymic data show that the local population, consisting of Caucasian, Iranian-speaking and Turkic-speaking tribes, has been mixed with the arrival of nomadic Turks since the beginning of our era. The settlement of Turkic tribes here played an important role in the formation of the Azerbaijani people.


 The official state language in the Shirvanshah state was Persian. Arabic was used in religious institutions. Turkish-Azerbaijani language was the main language. Literary and scientific works were written in both Persian and Arabic. The works written and created by our various writers and masters of speech during the Shirvanshahs form the golden fund of our literature today.


 In the 13th and 13th centuries, poetry was highly developed in Shirvan, as in the entire Middle East. Persian prevailed in literature, as well as in poetry, replacing Arabic. Along with Persian and Arabic languages, we can find the works of poets of this period in Turkish. Examples of this are the lyrical poems of Hasanoglu, one of the poets of the 13th century, in Turkish and Persian, and the poems of his contemporary Baku poet Nasir. Nasir's Azerbaijani muhammad, written by Hulaki ruler Oljaytu Mohammad Khudabende about the exemption of Baku, the capital of the Shirvanshahs, from a number of taxes and the decree on the improvement of the city, has also survived.


 In the Middle Ages, in the whole Middle East, as well as in the territory of Shirvan, the main place in the literary language was occupied by poems, ghazals and rubai. The Shirvan rulers of the time took great care of literature, and often organized poetic meetings in their palaces. Shirvanshah I Fariburz I, who was in power in the 11th century, patronized the palace of poets who wrote hymns to Shirvanshah in Arabic. During the reigns of the Shirvanshahs III Manuchohr III and Akhsita I, who ruled in the 12th century, a Persian poetry school was established in the palace. The school was headed by Nizameddin Abulula Ganjavi, who had the title of Malik Ush-Shuara (King of Poets). This school brought up such prominent poets of Shirvan as Felaki and Khagani. The world-famous poet Nizami Ganjavi wrote the third poem "Leyli and Majnun" dedicated to love by the order of Shirvanshah I Akhsita. The concern of the Shirvanshahs of Arab origin for the Persian language and its literature proves once again that the Shirvanshahs have a multicultural tradition.



The rulers of the Shirvanshah dynasty, regardless of religion, origin and belief, always treated each individual with equal rights. During the reign of Shirvanshah Ibrahim I, the Huruf sect began to spread rapidly in the country. The ulema of the country were concerned about this issue, and even though they often protested against the shah, Shirvanshah Ibrahim took the disciples of the Huruf sect under his protection. However, the march of the Conqueror of the East Teymurlang to Shirvan changed this issue. The famous poet Imamaddin Nasimi, who is celebrating his 650th anniversary in our country this year, was born and educated in Shirvan. There are dozens of khanagahs and caravanserais in the territory of Shirvan, where the Hurufs also gathered. Caravanserais have played an important role in the history of multiculturalism, and throughout history, representatives of different countries have demonstrated and introduced their cultures here and spread their cultures to different countries.


 As Queen Elizabeth Tudor, the most powerful female ruler of the Middle Ages, put it, "What matters is England, not religion!" This idea was the main policy not only in England, but also in the Shirvanshahs at certain times.


Along with the state of Shirvanshahs, we can find multicultural values ​​within the dynasty. Thus, during the rule of the Shirvanshahs, they introduced marriage diplomacy with various neighboring countries. During marriage diplomacy, they brought different cultures to their palaces and sent their cultures to different palaces.


As we know, Shirvanshahs were ruled by three dynasties - Mazyads, Kasrais and Derbents. Prof. By researching, Sara Ashurbeyli proved that all three dynasties were of the same lineage and that there were only ethnic changes within the dynasty. It is distinguished by the period of Arab tribal culture in Mazyads, Sassanid-Persian culture in Kasranis, and medieval Turkish culture in Derbent.


In the 11th century, ie during the reign of Yazid ibn Ahmad, a period of integration of Arabic and Sassanid-Persian culture began in the Shirvanshah state. Beginning in the 11th century, the Shirvanshahs of Arab origin became related to the noble families of Sassanid origin, and the female representatives of these families spoke the old Sassanid traditions in the palace. It is known that the caliphate was in decline in the 10th century, so the Shirvanshahs had to justify their affiliation with the aristocratic dynasty in order not to lose their prestige, for which they put kinship with the local Sassanid dynasty and overshadowed the Sheibani tribe of Arab origin. At the same time, the period of Sassanid-Persian culture began in Shirvanshahs.


In 1111, Tamar, daughter of Georgian Tsar David IV, married Manuchohr, son of Shirvanshah Afridu I, thus beginning a cultural integration between the Bagrationis and Kasranis of Georgian origin. One of the events that has not happened in the history of Islam, and even today is not welcomed in some countries, is when a Muslim marries a Christian. The Buddha once again proves that the Shirvanshahs have multicultural values.


 In 1120, during the reign of Manuchehr III, the relations of the Shirvanshahs with the Georgian Empire further improved, and a period of stability and prosperity began in Shirvan. After Manuchohr's death in 1060, his son Akhistan I came to power. During the Axis period, friendly relations developed with both the Eldeniz and the Bagrationians. With Manuchohr's consent, Tamar raised her youngest son according to Georgian customs. After Manuchehr's death, Tamar went to Georgia with her youngest son, and using the right of inheritance in the lands of Abkhazia ruled by her father David IV to her children, appointed her youngest son as the prince of Abkhazia. As a result, a princely dynasty named Shervashidze emerged from the Kasrani and Bagrationi. Representatives of this dynasty today live in different countries of the world as a proof of Christian and Islamic friendship.


Along with the Georgians, the Shirvanshahs established kinship relations with the Sarir dynasty of Avar origin, the Shaddadid state of Kurdish origin, the Teymur Empire of Turkish-Mongol origin, the Emirate of Derbent of Arab origin, the Eldenizs, Aghgoyunlus and Safavids of Turkic origin. As a result of these relations, we can see traces of many cultures in the Shirvanshah Palace.


This state, which confirms that the multicultural traditions of our people have been formed since the Middle Ages, makes the adoption of Article IV of the Declaration of Independence in 1918, the policy of multiculturalism of modern Azerbaijan a historical necessity. Today, the Azerbaijani state is moving forward with confidence on the path of successful development and progress, preserving the best of ancient historical traditions.


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    This work speaks about the state of Shirvanshahs, which has multicultural traditions that existed in the Middle Ages in our country with an ancient history. During the reign of the Shirvanshahs for nearly a thousand years, there was no discrimination between peoples living on their lands or worshiping different religions. This shows that such multicultural traditions existed in our country in the Middle Ages.