In his Own Voice: What Hatayi Tells us about Shah Ismail’s Religious Views

February 5, 2018 @ 4:00 pm – 5:30 pm
Hatcher Gallery
913 S University Ave
Ann Arbor, MI 48109

This talk will look at religious views of Shah Ismail, the founder of the Safavid Empire, as reflected in his poetry. The speaker will argue that in Shah Ismail’s poetic corpus, we are faced with a peculiar combination of divinization of ‘Ali, monism, and a firm focus on the salvific community united with the love of ‘Ali and allegiance to the Safavid shaykh/pir. Shah Ismail’s bid on sovereignty, therefore, can be interpreted as a clear instance of the strategy of equating royal and sacred authority which became popular in the post-Mongol age: his sacred power, understood as the distillation of ‘Ali’s authority into his person as the Safavid Sufi master, elevates him to the position of royal authority, the sovereign king.