Mehmed I Giray
Mehmed I Giray was khan of the Crimean Khanate. He was followed by his son Ğazı I Giray, he gained control of the steppe nomads, put his brother on the throne of Kazan and was killed after taking Astrakhan. Had he not been killed he might have joined the three khanates with the Nogais and re-created something like the Golden Horde; as his father’s Kalga or designated successor and co-ruler, he participated in a number of raids northward. In 1505 he and his father raided. In 1507 they turned back on learning of a Nogai raid on Crimea. Mehmed became ill; the force returned to Crimea. In 1509 the Nogais planned to attack Crimea. Mehmed and a large army defeated them as they were crossing the Volga. Much booty was taken. In 1510 he was successful against the Nogais. In 1512 he was driven back by troops from Ryazan. In 1514 he was driven back from the Severia. In 1515, in alliance with the Lithuaneans he besieged Novgorod-Seversky. Starodub and Chernogov and took many captives. For these raids see Crimean-Nogai Raids#List of raids for years 1505-1523.
When his father died in April 1515 Mehmed was at Perekop. The old Khan's death was concealed for forty days. Akhmed's rebellion: He appointed as Kalga his younger brother Akhmed the Lame. Akhmed was given raided Lithuania but soon revolted, he intrigued with Moscow and sent his eldest son Gemmet to Istanbul to request military aid against Mehmed. In the spring of 1519 Mehmed sent his sons Alp and Bakhadyr against Akhmed, killed in the steppe beyond Perekop. Bakhadyr became Kalga. Alp became Kalga in 1523 when Bakhadyr became khan of Astrakhan.. Nogais: A major problem of his reign was gaining control of the Nogai nomads to the north who had become fragmented after the fall of the Golden Horde in 1502. In 1519 a Kazakh invasion drove many Nogais west of the Volga, they asked asylum in the Khan’s territory. Two years the Kazakh khan died and the Nogais pushed back east, but their oath was not forgotten and the Crimean khan could claim sovereignty as far east as the Emba. Crimea continued to raid Russia.
Kazan and Moscow: In 1519 the Russians placed their protégé Shah Ali on the throne of Kazan. The local mirzas asked Mehmed to send one of his family to replace Shah Ali. In the spring of 1521 Mehmed’s brother Sahib I Giray arrived at Kazan and expelled Shah Ali with local help; the two brother Khans launched an attack on Muscovy. Sahib Giray captured and burned Nizhny Novgorod and Vladimir. At the same time 100,000 Crimeans and Lithuanians moved north and crossed the Oka River in July; the two forces moved on Moscow. Vasili III of Russia fled his capital for Volokolamsk to gather troops, they looted the area around Moscow from 1 to 12 August. On the approach of Vasili’s army they drew back and looted the regions of Kolomna, Bobrovsk and Ryazan. An attempt to besiege Ryazan failed. Mehmed returned to the steppe with a huge number of captives. Astrakhan: At the end of 1522 Mehmed decided to capture Astrakhan; the Nogai Mirzas Agish and Mamai joined him. In the spring of 1523 he arrived with a large army.
The town was taken without fighting and Khan Hussein fled. Mehmed appointed his eldest son Kalga Bakhadyr as Khan of Astrakhan and unwisely disbanded most of his army. Agish and Mamai grew fearful of Mehmet’s increasing power, they killed Mehmet and Bakhadyr along with their guards. The remaining Crimean troops were scattered across the steppe. Mehmet's sons Baba reached Crimea along with fifty Mirzas, they were followed by a Nogai army which could not take the towns. Mehmed's son Ğazı. For the next nine years the throne was contested Mehmet’s sons Gazi and Islam and his brothers Saadet and Sahib until his youngest brother Sahib I Giray achieved a long reign, he was married to daughter of Hasan Bey, of the Manghits. The founder of the dynasty Hacı I Giray had several sons including Mengli, Hayder of Crimea and Nur Devlet. Mengli Giray had 8 sons including the eldest Mehmed I Giray, Saadet I Giray, the youngest Sahib I Giray, Mubarek, Biti and Akhmed. Mehmed had at least these sons: Ğazı I Giray, İslâm I Giray, Alp, Choban, Uzbeg.
Mubarek, a son of Mengli had a son Devlet I Giray. Henry Hoyle Howorth, History of the Mongols, 1880, part 2, pp 468-477 Oleksa Gaivoronsky «Повелители двух материков», Kiev-Bakhchisarai, 2007, ISBN 978-966-96917-1-2, pages 119—145 "Центр информации и документации крымских татар". Cidct.org.ua. Archived from the original on February 18, 2009. Retrieved October 16, 2016
The Crimean Khanate was a Turkic state of the Ottoman Empire from 1441 to 1783, the longest-lived of the Turkic khanates that succeeded the empire of the Golden Horde of Mongol origin. Established by Hacı I Giray in 1441, the Crimean khans were the patrilineal descendants of Toqa Temür, thirteenth son of Jochi and grandson of Genghis Khan through marriage. Though, according to a well-know Russian historian, Doctor of Historical Sciences, professor of the Russian Academy of Sciences Zaitsev Ilya Vladimirovich, the Crimean Khanate was an independent state during all its history; the khanate was located in present-day Russia, Ukraine and Moldova. Ottoman forces under Gedik Ahmet Pasha conquered all of the Crimean peninsula and joined it to the khanate in 1475. In 1774, it was released as a sovereign political entity, following the Russo-Turkish Treaty of Küçük Kaynarca, formally annexed by the Russian Empire in 1783, becoming the Taurida Governorate. English-speaking writers during the 18th and early 19th centuries called the territory of the Crimean Khanate and of the Lesser Nogai Horde Little Tartary.
The name "Little Tartary" distinguished the area from Tartary – those areas of central and northern Asia inhabited by Turkic peoples or Tatars. The Khanate included the Crimean peninsula and the adjacent steppes corresponding to the parts of South Ukraine between the Dnieper and the Donets rivers; the territory controlled by the Crimean Khanate shifted throughout its existence due to the constant incursions by the Cossacks, who had lived along the Don since the disintegration of the Golden Horde in the 15th century. The London-based cartographer Herman Moll in a map of c. 1729 shows "Little Tartary" as including the Crimean peninsula and the steppe between Dnieper and Mius River as far north as the Dnieper bend and the upper Tor River. The Crimean Khanate originated in the early 15th century when certain clans of the Golden Horde Empire ceased their nomadic life in the Desht-i Kipchak and decided to make Crimea their yurt. At that time, the Golden Horde of the Mongol empire had governed the Crimean peninsula as an ulus since 1239, with its capital at Qirim.
The local separatists invited a Genghisid contender for the Golden Horde throne, Hacı Giray, to become their khan. Hacı Giray traveled from exile in Lithuania, he warred for independence against the Horde in the end achieving success. But Hacı Giray had to fight off internal rivals before he could ascend the throne of the khanate in 1449, after which he moved its capital to Qırq Yer; the khanate included the Crimean Peninsula as well as the adjacent steppe. The sons of Hacı I Giray contended against each other to succeed him; the Ottomans installed one of the sons, Meñli I Giray, on the throne. Menli I Giray, took the imperial title "Sovereign of Two Continents and Khan of Khans of Two Seas." In 1475 the Ottoman forces, under the command of Gedik Ahmet Pasha, conquered the Greek Principality of Theodoro and the Genoese colonies at Cembalo and Caffa. Thenceforth the khanate was a protectorate of the Ottoman Empire; the Ottoman sultan enjoyed veto power over the selection of new Crimean khans. The Empire annexed the Crimean coast but recognized the legitimacy of the khanate rule of the steppes, as the khans were descendants of Genghis Khan.
In 1475, the Ottomans imprisoned Meñli I Giray for three years for resisting the invasion. After returning from captivity in Constantinople, he accepted the suzerainty of the Ottoman Empire. Ottoman sultans treated the khans more as allies than subjects; the khans continued to have a foreign policy independent from the Ottomans in the steppes of Little Tartary. The khans continued to mint coins and use their names in Friday prayers, two important signs of sovereignty, they did not pay tribute to the Ottoman Empire. On, Crimea lost power in this relationship as the result of a crisis in 1523, during the reign of Meñli's successor, Mehmed I Giray, he died that year and beginning with his successor, from 1524 on, Crimean khans were appointed by the Sultan. The alliance of the Crimean Tatars and the Ottomans was comparable to the Polish-Lithuanian Union in its importance and durability; the Crimean cavalry became indispensable for the Ottomans' campaigns against Poland and Persia. In 1502, Meñli I Giray defeated the last khan of the Great Horde, which put an end to the Horde's claims on Crimea.
The Khanate chose as its capital Salaçıq near the Qırq Yer fortress. The capital was moved a short distance to Bahçeseray, founded in 1532 by Sahib I Giray. Both Salaçıq and the Qırq Yer fortress today are part of the expanded city of Bahçeseray; the Crimeans mounted raids into the Danubian principalities, Poland-Lithuania, Muscovy to enslave people whom they could capture. These campaigns by Crimean forces were either sefers declared military operations led by the khans themselves, or çapuls
The Polish–Lithuanian Commonwealth – formally, the Crown of the Kingdom of Poland and the Grand Duchy of Lithuania and, after 1791, the Commonwealth of Poland – was a dual state, a bi-confederation of Poland and Lithuania ruled by a common monarch, both King of Poland and Grand Duke of Lithuania. It was one of the largest and most populous countries of 16th– to 17th-century Europe. At its largest territorial extent, in the early 17th century, the Commonwealth covered 400,000 square miles and sustained a multi-ethnic population of 11 million; the Commonwealth was established by the Union of Lublin in July 1569, but the Crown of the Kingdom of Poland and the Grand Duchy of Lithuania had been in a de facto personal union since 1386 with the marriage of the Polish queen Hedwig and Lithuania's Grand Duke Jogaila, crowned King jure uxoris Władysław II Jagiełło of Poland. The First Partition of Poland in 1772 and the Second Partition of Poland in 1793 reduced the state's size and the Commonwealth collapsed as an independent state following the Third Partition of Poland in 1795.
The Union possessed many features unique among contemporary states. Its political system was characterized by strict checks upon monarchical power; these checks were enacted by a legislature controlled by the nobility. This idiosyncratic system was a precursor to modern concepts of democracy, constitutional monarchy, federation. Although the two component states of the Commonwealth were formally equal, Poland was the dominant partner in the union; the Polish–Lithuanian Commonwealth was marked by high levels of ethnic diversity and by relative religious tolerance, guaranteed by the Warsaw Confederation Act 1573. The Constitution of 1791 acknowledged Catholicism as the "dominant religion", unlike the Warsaw Confederation, but freedom of religion was still granted with it. After several decades of prosperity, it entered a period of protracted political and economic decline, its growing weakness led to its partitioning among its neighbors during the late 18th century. Shortly before its demise, the Commonwealth adopted a massive reform effort and enacted the May 3 Constitution—the first codified constitution in modern European history and the second in modern world history.
The official name of the state was The Kingdom of Poland and the Grand Duchy of Lithuania and the Latin term was used in international treaties and diplomacy. In the 17th century and it was known as the Most Serene Commonwealth of Poland, the Commonwealth of the Polish Kingdom, or the Commonwealth of Poland, its inhabitants referred to it in everyday speech as the "Rzeczpospolita". Western Europeans simply called it Poland and in most past and modern sources it is referred to as the Kingdom of Poland, or just Poland; the terms: the Commonwealth of Poland and the Commonwealth of Two Nations were used in the Reciprocal Guarantee of Two Nations. The English term'Polish–Lithuanian Commonwealth' and German'Polen-Litauen' are seen as renderings of the Commonwealth of Two Nations variant. Other names include the Republic of Nobles and the First Commonwealth, the latter common in Polish historiography. Poland and Lithuania underwent an alternating series of wars and alliances during the 14th century and early 15th century.
Several agreements between the two were struck before the permanent 1569 Union of Lublin. This agreement was one of the signal achievements of Sigismund II Augustus, last monarch of the Jagiellon dynasty. Sigismund believed, his death in 1572 was followed by a three-year interregnum during which adjustments were made to the constitutional system. The Commonwealth reached its Golden Age in the early 17th century, its powerful parliament was dominated by nobles who were reluctant to get involved in the Thirty Years' War. The Commonwealth was able to hold its own against Sweden, the Tsardom of Russia, vassals of the Ottoman Empire, launched successful expansionist offensives against its neighbors. In several invasions during the Time of Troubles, Commonwealth troops entered Russia and managed to take Moscow and hold it from 27 September 1610 to 4 November 1612, when they were driven out after a siege. Commonwealth power began waning after a series of blows during the following decades. A major rebellion of Ukrainian Cossacks in the southeastern portion of the Commonwealth began in 1648.
It resulted in a Ukrainian request, under the terms of the Treaty of Pereyaslav, for protection by the Russian Tsar. Russian annexation of part of Ukraine supplanted Polish influence; the other blow to the Commonwealth was a Swedish invasion in 1655, known as the Deluge, supported by troops of Transylvanian Duke George II Rákóczi a
Ğazı II Giray
Ğazı II Giray was a khan of the Crimean Khanate. Born in 1554, he distinguished himself in the Ottoman–Safavid War, gaining the trust of his Ottoman suzerains, he was appointed khan in 1588. He failed to capture Moscow during his 1591 campaign against Tsardom of Russia, however he managed to secure a favorable peace treaty two years later, he was summoned to support his Ottoman allies in the Long Turkish War, taking part in multiple military expeditions centered in Hungary. In late 1596, the Ottoman sultan unseated Ğazı II Giray in favor of Fetih I Giray after heeding the advice of Grand Vizier Cığalazade Yusuf Sinan Pasha, he returned to power three months continuing his reign until his death in November 1607. Ğazı Giray was born in 1554. Little is known about his youth, it is speculated that while being hanzade he was sent to the Circassian tribe of Besleni to receive training in horsemanship and the military arts, his name is first mentioned in a document detailing a 1575 Tatar raid on Podolia.
The raid was sparked by the revolt of Moldavian voivode John III the Terrible who refused to accept the raise in tribute he had to pay to the Ottoman Empire. The Ottomans requested the Crimean Khanate to aid them in the conflict after realizing that Zaporozhian Cossacks had intervened on John's side; the conflict ended when the Ottomans unseated John. In November 1578, Crimean khan Mehmed II Giray entered the Ottoman–Safavid War on the Ottoman side. Ğazı Giray was among the soldiers taking part in the expedition. The Crimean army under the khan's brother Adil Giray relieved the besieged Shemakha garrison at a critical point, defeating the Safavids; the first rift between the allies appeared when the Ottomans prohibited the Tatars from conducting booty raids and insisted on organizing them into a regular unit of their army. Looting had been the primary objective of all Tatar military campaigns and a major source of wealth for the common soldier as they did not receive salaries; the dispute was settled after the Tatars managed to pillage a convoy carrying the treasury of Aras Khan.
On 30 November, the Tatar army clashed with the main Safavid force on the Menla Hasan river. The battle lasted three days and ended with a Tatar defeat, Adil Giray was captured yet Ğazı Giray managed to escape. Due to Adil's death in captivity Mehmed II Giray appointed his son Saadet II Giray as kalgay. A year Mehmed II Giray arrived at the front with reinforcements, departing in the summer after a successful raid on Gence netted him enough booty. In the meantime Mehmed's younger brother Alp Giray instigated a revolt, in an effort to take the throne for himself; the Ottomans questioned the loyalty of the khan after he declared that he was an independent ruler rather than an Ottoman vassal, ordering İslâm II Giray to ascend.Ğazı Giray remained in the Caucasus at the head of a small force. In the winter of 1579, Ğazı Giray distinguished himself during a surprise attack on a Safavid encampment in Gence; the Ottoman sultan rewarded him for this action with 50,000 akçes. In the spring of 1581, Ğazı Giray taken prisoner.
After refusing numerous proposals of collaboration he was imprisoned in the Alamut Castle. He managed joining Özdemiroğlu Osman Pasha in Erzurum, he continued his participation in the campaign until the death of Osman Pasha on 30 November 1585. He traveled to Constantinople where he was granted the salyane of Yambol where he continued to live until 1588; that year he received news. The Ottomans chose Ğazı Giray due to his familiarity of the inner workings of the empire and his experience in military affairs. Upon his arrival his authority was not disputed by the Crimean tribal aristocracy. Ğazı Giray's first action as khan was to appoint his brother Fetih Giray and nephew Nepht Giray as the first and second heirs apparent to the throne. Alp Giray and his Nura ` l-din Sakay Giray fled to Circassia respectively, he moved in to secure the khanate's external borders from the Cossacks who had stepped up their raids following the death of Stephen Báthory in 1586. A fort was erected on the mouth of river Dnieper and a punitive expedition was launched on Podolia.
The expansion of Russian influence in the Caucasus the successive reigns of Ivan the Terrible and Feodor I caused concern in Crimea. Ğazı Giray seized opportunity of a Swedish offer of an alliance to attack Muscovy from the south, while the Swedes invaded from the north. On 13 July 1591, the Crimeans besieged Moscow, realizing that their cavalry was no match for the city's modern fortifications they lifted the siege; the khan was wounded in the campaign. After negotiations over a peace agreement broke down Fetih Giray raided Tula and Ryazan, taking numerous prisoners to be sold in the khanate's lucrative slave markets. Fearing a war on two fronts the Muscovites yielded, gifting the khan 10,000 rubles and agreeing to withdraw the Cossacks from Terek and Don. In return the Tatars swore not to attack Russia during the summer of 1594, the agreement was concluded in October 1593; the agreement paved the way for the Crimean intervention into the Long Turkish War in Hungary, while Russia was able to augment its northern borders.
On 28 April 1594, the Tatar army crossed into the Polish–Lithuanian Commonwealth en route to Hungary. The Tatars found the Balkan pass blocked by ruble and marched to the so called Tatar pass, guarded by Kaspar Kornis an officer of the Voivode of
The Ottoman Empire known in Western Europe as the Turkish Empire or Turkey, was a state that controlled much of Southeast Europe, Western Asia and North Africa between the 14th and early 20th centuries. It was founded at the end of the 13th century in northwestern Anatolia in the town of Söğüt by the Oghuz Turkish tribal leader Osman I. After 1354, the Ottomans crossed into Europe, with the conquest of the Balkans, the Ottoman beylik was transformed into a transcontinental empire; the Ottomans ended the Byzantine Empire with the 1453 conquest of Constantinople by Mehmed the Conqueror. During the 16th and 17th centuries, at the height of its power under the reign of Suleiman the Magnificent, the Ottoman Empire was a multinational, multilingual empire controlling most of Southeast Europe, parts of Central Europe, Western Asia, parts of Eastern Europe and the Caucasus, North Africa and the Horn of Africa. At the beginning of the 17th century, the empire contained numerous vassal states; some of these were absorbed into the Ottoman Empire, while others were granted various types of autonomy during the course of centuries.
With Constantinople as its capital and control of lands around the Mediterranean basin, the Ottoman Empire was at the centre of interactions between the Eastern and Western worlds for six centuries. While the empire was once thought to have entered a period of decline following the death of Suleiman the Magnificent, this view is no longer supported by the majority of academic historians; the empire continued to maintain a flexible and strong economy and military throughout the 17th and much of the 18th century. However, during a long period of peace from 1740 to 1768, the Ottoman military system fell behind that of their European rivals, the Habsburg and Russian empires; the Ottomans suffered severe military defeats in the late 18th and early 19th centuries, which prompted them to initiate a comprehensive process of reform and modernisation known as the Tanzimat. Thus, over the course of the 19th century, the Ottoman state became vastly more powerful and organised, despite suffering further territorial losses in the Balkans, where a number of new states emerged.
The empire allied with Germany in the early 20th century, hoping to escape from the diplomatic isolation which had contributed to its recent territorial losses, thus joined World War I on the side of the Central Powers. While the Empire was able to hold its own during the conflict, it was struggling with internal dissent with the Arab Revolt in its Arabian holdings. During this time, atrocities were committed by the Young Turk government against the Armenians and Pontic Greeks; the Empire's defeat and the occupation of part of its territory by the Allied Powers in the aftermath of World War I resulted in its partitioning and the loss of its Middle Eastern territories, which were divided between the United Kingdom and France. The successful Turkish War of Independence against the occupying Allies led to the emergence of the Republic of Turkey in the Anatolian heartland and the abolition of the Ottoman monarchy; the word Ottoman is a historical anglicisation of the name of Osman I, the founder of the Empire and of the ruling House of Osman.
Osman's name in turn was the Turkish form of the Arabic name ʿUthmān. In Ottoman Turkish, the empire was referred to as Devlet-i ʿAlīye-yi ʿOsmānīye, or alternatively ʿOsmānlı Devleti. In Modern Turkish, it is known as Osmanlı Devleti; the Turkish word for "Ottoman" referred to the tribal followers of Osman in the fourteenth century, subsequently came to be used to refer to the empire's military-administrative elite. In contrast, the term "Turk" was used to refer to the Anatolian peasant and tribal population, was seen as a disparaging term when applied to urban, educated individuals. In the early modern period, an educated urban-dwelling Turkish-speaker, not a member of the military-administrative class would refer to himself neither as an Osmanlı nor as a Türk, but rather as a Rūmī, or "Roman", meaning an inhabitant of the territory of the former Byzantine Empire in the Balkans and Anatolia; the term Rūmī was used to refer to Turkish-speakers by the other Muslim peoples of the empire and beyond.
In Western Europe, the two names "Ottoman Empire" and "Turkey" were used interchangeably, with "Turkey" being favoured both in formal and informal situations. This dichotomy was ended in 1920–23, when the newly established Ankara-based Turkish government chose Turkey as the sole official name. Most scholarly historians avoid the terms "Turkey", "Turks", "Turkish" when referring to the Ottomans, due to the empire's multinational character; as the Seljuk Sultanate of Rum declined in the 13th century, Anatolia was divided into a patchwork of independent Turkish principalities known as the Anatolian Beyliks. One of these beyliks, in the region of Bithynia on the frontier of the Byzantine Empire, was led by the Turkish tribal leader Osman I, a figure of obscure origins from whom the name Ottoman is derived. Osman's early followers consisted both of Turkish tribal groups and Byzantine renegades, many but not all converts to Islam. Osman extended the control of his principality by conquering Byzantine towns along the Sakarya River.
It is not well understood how the early Ottomans came to dominate their
Khan Qirim Girai, was one of the most influential rulers of the Crimean Khanate. He was the patron of the Bakhchisaray Fountain and many Mosques throughout Crimea, is known to have extended the Bakhchisaray Palace. Qirim Girai's first reign lasted, he gathered a large army in Căușeni and prepared to invade Poland after some Tatar merchants were robbed, some of his forces managed to raid and pillage a few important Polish strongholds. Poland agreed to pay indemnity to him and the conflict ended. Qırım Giray intended to wage war against Stanisław August Poniatowski, placed as ruler of Poland by Catherine II but was halted by the Ottoman Empire and was deposed by his nephew Selim III Giray, but regained power after the reign of Maqsud Giray. Qırım Giray's second reign lasted from, he gathered once again gathered a large army in Căușeni consisting of Tatars and Polish allies and invaded the Russian held territories in modern-day Ukraine. In 1764 Khan Qirim Girai commissioned the fountain master Omer the Persian to construct the Bakhchisaray Fountain.
The Bakhchisaray Fountain or Fountain of Tears is a real case of life imitating art. The fountain is known as the embodiment of love of one of the last Crimean Khans, Khan Qirim Girai for his young wife, his grief after her early death; the Khan was said to have fallen in love with this Polish girl in his harem named Maria Potoçka. Despite his battle-hardened harshness, he was grievous and wept when she died, astonishing all those who knew him, he commissioned a marble fountain to be made, like him, forever. The tradition of building such Salsabil fountain is well established in Islamic architecture in the cities of Baghdad and Damascus. Salsabil fountains involved several basins, sometimes channels that distributed water through basins and pools. Inscribed in gold above the Fountain of Tears is a verse of Surah 76 of the Quran, which names, among the benefits the righteous will enjoy including a spring, called "Salsabil". According to many Muslim scholars, the word Salsabil means "seek the way".
It refers to a particular spring in heaven, it contains allusions to such concepts as "nectar," "smooth" and "easy on the throat". The Arabic word Sabil refers to public fountains built for philanthropic purposes to provide water for wayfarers. Crimean Khanate
Sufism or Taṣawwuf, variously defined as "Islamic mysticism", "the inward dimension of Islam" or "the phenomenon of mysticism within Islam", is mysticism in Islam, "characterized... values, ritual practices and institutions" which began early in Islamic history and represents "the main manifestation and the most important and central crystallization of" mystical practice in Islam. Practitioners of Sufism have been referred to as "Sufis". Sufis have belonged to different ṭuruq or "orders" – congregations formed around a grand master referred to as a wali who traces a direct chain of successive teachers back to the Islamic prophet, Muhammad; these orders meet for spiritual sessions in meeting places known as khanqahs or tekke. They strive for ihsan, as detailed in a hadith: "Ihsan is to worship Allah as if you see Him. Sufis regard Muhammad as al-Insān al-Kāmil, the primary perfect man who exemplifies the morality of God, see him as their leader and prime spiritual guide. All Sufi orders trace most of their original precepts from Muhammad through his cousin and son-in-law Ali, with the notable exception of one.
Although the overwhelming majority of Sufis, both pre-modern and modern and are adherents of Sunni Islam, there developed certain strands of Sufi practice within the ambit of Shia Islam during the late medieval period. Although Sufis were opposed to dry legalism, they observed Islamic law and belonged to various schools of Islamic jurisprudence and theology. Sufis have been characterized by their asceticism by their attachment to dhikr, the practice of remembrance of God performed after prayers, they gained adherents among a number of Muslims as a reaction against the worldliness of the early Umayyad Caliphate and have spanned several continents and cultures over a millennium expressing their beliefs in Arabic and expanding into Persian and Urdu, among others. Sufis played an important role in the formation of Muslim societies through their missionary and educational activities. According to William Chittick, "In a broad sense, Sufism can be described as the interiorization, intensification of Islamic faith and practice."Despite a relative decline of Sufi orders in the modern era and criticism of some aspects of Sufism by modernist thinkers and conservative Salafists, Sufism has continued to play an important role in the Islamic world, has influenced various forms of spirituality in the West.
The Arabic word tasawwuf translated as Sufism, is defined by Western authors as Islamic mysticism. The Arabic term sufi has been used in Islamic literature with a wide range of meanings, by both proponents and opponents of Sufism. Classical Sufi texts, which stressed certain teachings and practices of the Quran and the sunnah, gave definitions of tasawwuf that described ethical and spiritual goals and functioned as teaching tools for their attainment. Many other terms that described particular spiritual qualities and roles were used instead in more practical contexts; some modern scholars have used other definitions of Sufism such as "intensification of Islamic faith and practice" and "process of realizing ethical and spiritual ideals". The term Sufism was introduced into European languages in the 18th century by Orientalist scholars, who viewed it as an intellectual doctrine and literary tradition at variance with what they saw as sterile monotheism of Islam. In modern scholarly usage the term serves to describe a wide range of social, cultural and religious phenomena associated with Sufis.
The original meaning of sufi seems to have been "one who wears wool", the Encyclopaedia of Islam calls other etymological hypotheses "untenable". Woollen clothes were traditionally associated with mystics. Al-Qushayri and Ibn Khaldun both rejected all possibilities other than ṣūf on linguistic grounds. Another explanation traces the lexical root of the word to ṣafā, which in Arabic means "purity"; these two explanations were combined by the Sufi al-Rudhabari, who said, "The Sufi is the one who wears wool on top of purity". Others have suggested that the word comes from the term ahl aṣ-ṣuffah, who were a group of impoverished companions of Muhammad who held regular gatherings of dhikr; these men and women who sat at al-Masjid an-Nabawi are considered by some to be the first Sufis. According to Carl W. Ernst the earliest figures of Sufism are Muhammad his companions. Sufi orders are based on the "bay‘ah", given to Muhammad by his Ṣahabah. By pledging allegiance to Muhammad, the Sahabah had committed themselves to the service of God.
Verily, those who give Bai'âh to you they are giving Bai'âh to Allâh. The Hand of Allâh is over their hands. Whosoever breaks his pledge, breaks it only to his own harm, whosoever fulfils what he has covenanted with Allâh, He will bestow on him a great reward. — Sufis believe that by giving bayʿah to a legitimate Sufi shaykh, one is pledging allegiance to Muhammad. It is through Muhammad that Sufis aim to learn about and connect with God. Ali is regarded as one of the