AZERBAIJAN STATEHOOD AFTER ADOPTION OF ISLAM

Adoption of Islam in VII century led to significant turning point in Azerbaijan historical fate.

Islam stimulated formation of unit people and language, had decisive influence on this proses. Religion unity among Turkish and non-turkish ethnic communities caused formation of unit traditions, expansion of relationship ties, deepening of integration process throughout Azerbaijan. Islam unified Turkish and non-turkish etnic communities, adopted it, under unit Turkish-Islam flag against Byzantium, attempting to include the Southern Caucasus into influence sphere of Christianity, Armenian and Georgian feudal lords under Bizantium protection.

Nevertheless, Christian population of Albania stayed beyond of influence sphere of Islam during Arabic occupation, as convertinting to Islam of people of monotheistic worship contradicted principles of Islam. Thus, religious parting appeared in the country: Turkish-Moslem population, presented majority and spreaded throughout the country, including Albanians, adopted Islam, and chistian population, presented minority and lived mainly in the west regions of the Country, including Albanians. Struggle of Armenian and Georgian churches for including Christian Albanians to sphere of their religious-political and ethnic influence became stronger since this period. Azerbaijan tirned into confrontation point between Islam and Christianity. In time Chistian Albanians of Western Azerbaijan, including mountain territories of Karabakh, became subject of Armenianization and Gregorianization. Christian Albanians, lived in the north-west of Azerbaijan, were target of Georgian church.

Thus, claim period of Armenian and Georgian feudal lords against Azerbaijan began in result if religious parting in Albania. The purpose of neighbors' policy was as follows: to include Christian Albanians to influence sphere of Armenian and Georgian churches, Armenianize and Gergionize them, and at alst to appropriate Azerbaijan lands, where they lived.

Ancient statehood traditions of Azerbaijan revived after collapse of Chaliphate since the middles of IX century. New political reviving began in Azerbaijan: states like Sadjis, Shirvanshahs, Salaris, Ravvadis, Shaddadis appeared in Azerbaijan territories, where Islam was spreaded.

Shaki state appeared in the east-west of the country - in the Azerbaijan lands till Tiflis (present Tbilisi), the brderline city of Islam in aforesaid period. There was another Moslem state with capital Tiflis - Tiflis emirate in the west of Shaki as well. Shaki rulers had title of Albanian ruler and were heirs of Albania state. The territory of Shaki state in contradiction to other Azerbaijan states became acute confrontation point between Islam and Christianity. Islam was spreaded in the territory of this state along with Christianity and its influence sphere was expanding. Shaki rulers struggled against occupation of Georgian feudal lords in difficult condition and successfully defended the northern-western borders of the Azerbaijan land.

Resurrection in all spheres of political, economical and cultural life took place in result of birth of independent states. The Renaissance of Azerbaijan history started.

The Turkish language turned into main communication mean throughout the country with collapse of Arabic Caliphate and reviving of Azerbaijan statehood. This was historical achievement, able to have great influence on further development of Azerbaijan. Unification of Azerbaijan lands under unit Azerbaijan-Turkish Sadjis state during historical period, prolonged for more than half century since 870s (879-941), had positive influence on deepening of economical and cultural relations, eliminating of ethnic differences and speeding up of Azerbaijan-Turkish people formation.

Sadjis state covered wide territories from Zandjan to Darband, the Caspian shores to cities Ani and Dabil at the peak of its powers. All Azerbaijan territories were included in Sadjis state. Deafeting of Armenian and Georgian feudal lords, supported by Byzantium, and driving them into dependent state by Sadjis plaid important role in preserving of Azerbaijan territorial integrity and strengthening of ethnic-political unity in the country territory. Masterpiece of Azerbaijan literature "Kitabi-Dada-Gorgud" epos was spreaded troughout the country just in this period.

"Kitabi-Dada-Gorgud" is heroic epos, blending
heroism not of one dzhigit, but all people.
The main idea of it is to show readiness of
the young and old to sacrifize their live for
defending of native lands. The essence of the
epos is ideology of heroism. The importance of
Azerbaijan citizens' profiting by this ideology
of heroism is clear In the view of significant
problems solution, including strengthening of
republic's independence and sovereignty, defending
territorial integrity facing our people at present.

Heydar Aliyev

Thus, birth of local states like Sadjis, Shirvanshahs, Salaris, Ravvadis, Shaddadis, Shaki after 600 years Sasani and Arabic yoke, and turning of Islam into the main religion of the country occupied important part in ethnic evolution of the Azerbaijan people, formation of unit language and culture.

At the same time Islam plaid significant role in unification of different Turkish and non-Turkish ethnic communities against strangers, that contributied to formation of Azerbaijan people during to replacing of separate feudal dynasties, ruling Azerbaijan. This smashed the occupation plans of unit Christian bloc, consisted of Armenian, Georgian and Byzantium agressors, taking advantage of Arabic Caliphate weaking. Slavian-Russian interventionists, making frequent attacks via the Caspian Sea, could not strenghthen their position in Azerbaijan. The necessity of unification in struggle against common enemy lead to formation of unit religion, common traditions and ceremonies,

integration of population, that caused further strengthening of etnic-political union.

Nevertheless, durable stability did not established due to the fact that none of the Azerbaijan countries, appeared after the collapse of the Arabic caliphate, managed to turn into durable, unit and strong state, covering all territories of the country. Unit Christian bloc, consisted of Byzantium empire, Armenian and Georgian feudal lords, taking advantage of Caliphate's weaking, directed all its force against Azerbaijan at this time. Significant turning point began in the history of the Near and Middle East just in this period - XI century. The Great Saldjuc emperorship, covering wide territories from the Central Asia to the Miditerranean Sea and from Darband passage to the Persian Gulf, appeared. Azerbaijan was included in next Oghuz-Turkish state - Saldjuc emperorship.

Saldjuc period took decesive part in the Azerbaijan historic fate. Turkish-Islam union gained definitive victory over Christian bloc (Byzantium empire, Armenian and Georgian feudal lords), attemting to occupy Azerbaijan, with Sultan Alp Arslan's defeat over the Byzantium empire in the Malazgird battle (August 26, 1071). It destroyed the plans of Byzantium empire concernin strengthening of its position the Southern Caucasus and invasion sheme of Armenian and Georgian feudal lords.

Thus, the plan on including of the Southern Caucasus into influence sphere of Christianity failured, Christian factor generally fell into declay in this region.

Oghuz turks, generally turks definetly turned into the main ethnic-political factor in whole Southern Caucasus and the Southwest Asia in result of saldjuc flow. Turkish-Islam factor plaid definable role in further history of the Near and Middle East, including the Caucasus for long time.

New communities of turks setlled down in Azerbaijan during Saldjuc follow. Oghuz-saldjuc turks of the same origin, adopted Islam, integrated with Azernaijan turks in short time.

Thus, formation of Azerbaijan people, whose genesis based on iskits (skits, skifs), saks, massagets, huns, bulgars, khazars, barsils, pechenegs, suvars and especially oghuz turks (garagoyunlus, aghgoyunlus, saldjuck etc), lived in different historical times (as B.C as A.D ), came to the end. Azeri-turkic language became main communication mean in whole Southern Caucasus. Simple and intellible Azeri-turkic language, ousting dialects, as well as Arabic and Persian, turned into national language. Spreading of folk examples by ashugs' (folk poet and singer) paved the way for appearance of writing literature patterns in Azeri-turkic language.

Azerbaijan nation is one of the nations
distinguished with its peculiarity.
Azerbaijanians made great contribution into
treasures of
world culture as integral
part of human history during past two
thousand years. Our ancestors, using all
primitives' achievement in culture,
created rich specific cultural-spiritual
heritage. As monuments, found in the
territory of Azerbaijan in result of
archeological dig, so folk-lore and
witing literature herritage, extant
till nowadays testify this.

Heydar Aliyev

Nizami

Shirvanshahs and Eldanizes states took important role in continuation and upgrade of Azerbaijan people's statehood traditions after the collapse of the Great Saldjuc emperorship.

Eldanizes state, turning into the one of the powerful countries of the Near and Middle East, plaid significant role in Azerbaijan people's ethnic-political history. Unification of all Azerbaijan lands within unit state during Eldanizes ruling caused strong update in all spheres of economical, political and cultural life. Art, trade, science and culture developed still more. Internal and external trade relations expanded, madrasas (religious school) were opened, mosques and rare architecture monuments were ericted. The Renaissance of Azerbaijan culture is famous for creation of Khagani, Nizami, Adjami.

Tusi
Eminent statesmen Shamsaddin Eldaniz, Mahammad Djahan Pahlavan and Gizil Arslan created brilliant pages of Azerbaijan statehood history. The territory, where Azerbaijan turks, Azer-turkic language and culture spread, became larger.

Thus, the role of Turkic-Islam empires became larger in the Caucasus, as well as whole Near and Middle East after collapse of Arabic Caliphate since mid IX century. States, ruled by Sadjis, Shirvanshahs, Salaris, Ravvadis, Shaddadis, Saldjucs, Eldanizes, Mongols, Elkanis-Hulakus, Chobanis, Djalayirs, Teymuris, Ottomans, Garagoyunlus, Aghgoyunlus, Safavis, Afsharis, Gadjars and other Turkic-Islam dynasties, left deep trace in statehood history not only of Azerbaijan, but also the Caucasus, Near and Middle East.

Nasimi

Azerbaijan was the central province of majority of these states, while Tabriz - the capital for long period. Most Turkic-Islam empires was ruled by Azeri-Turkic dynasties.

Statehood culture of Azerbaijan enriched still more in XV-XVIII centuries. Large garagoyunlu, Aghgoyunlu, Safavi, Afshar and Gadjar empires of the East were directly ruled by Azerbaijan dynasties.

This significant factor had positive influence on internal and international relation of Azerbaijan, expanded military and political influence sphere of the country, usage place of Azerbaijan language, created favorable condition for development of Azerbaijan people's material and spiritual culture. Azerbaijan states took an active part in European-Est relations along with important role in military and political life, international relations of the Near and Middle East in aforesaid period.

Aghgoyunlu state became powerful military and political factor in whole the Near and Middle East during ruling years of Uzun Hasan (1468-1478), the Azerbaijan great statesman. The statehood culture of Azerbaijan developed still more. Uzun Hasan carried out policy of establishment of strong centralized state, coverd Azerbaijan lands. Special "Code of law" was drawn up by is order.

Uzun Hasan

Far-sighted statesman tried to improve position of taxpayers, develop settled economy fields, put an end to state officials' arbitrariness and tribe heads' milltary-political independence.

Uzun Hasan foresaw religious divergence and its affect on state, ethnic-political union of the country. Marring off her sister to Sheykh Djuneyd Safavi and daughter to Sheykh Heydar Safavi, he tried to prevent coming religious divergence and make peace between aghgoyunlus and safavis. Eminent military leader, closely observing changes in the world military science, tried to establish strong regular army, encreased number of mercenaries, made preparations for fire-arm production and strong artillery foundation.

He invited armourer and military specialists from Italy with this purpose.

Eminent statesman paid special attention to development of science and enlightenment. He gathered the most leading scientists of his time in the palace. About 60 scientists worked in the ruler's private library. Scientific assemble, consisted of eminent scientifists of that time, operated in Uzun Hasan's palace. The Koran was translated into Azeri, "Kitabi-Diyarbakriya" was written by Abu Bakr Al-Tehrani, eminent scientifist of that time, by order of Uzun Hasan.

The role of Azerbaijan in the East-West relations encreased in the period of his ruling. Azerbaijan established wide diplomatic relations with European states along with traditional eastern countries. Azerbaijan envoys conducted diplomatic negotiations in the palaces of the Venetian Republic, Papcy, Neapol kingdom, Albania, Hungary, Poland, Germany, Burgundian duchy, Cyprus, Rodos, Trabzon emperorship, Moscovy princedom and number of eastern countries in the period of Uzun Hasan's ruling. Uzun Hasan's mother - Sara Khatun, the only female diplomat in the East at that time, plaid important part in the negotiations, conducting with foregn states. Standing embassy of the Venetian Republic operated in the palace of Uzun Hasan, Tabriz. Azerbaijan plaid significant role in solution of international problems, representing common interest for the East and West.

Life and activity of Mahamad Jahan Pahlavan,
Gizil Arslan, Uzun Hasan, Shah Ismayil Khatayi
and other statesmen developed people's love
for native lands and statehood feelings, turned
it into the most important purpose of life.

Heydar Aliyev

Shah Ismayil Khatayi



New evolution stage began in the history of Azerbaijan statehood in late XV-early XVI centuries. Shah Ismayil Khatayi(1501-1524), the Uzun Hasan's grandson and eminent statesman, completed the work, begun by his grandfather, and managed to unify all Azerbaijan lands in the north and south under his ruling. He created unit centralized Azerbaijan state - Safavis state with the capital Tabriz.

Azerbaijan statehood culture developed still more, Azeri became official language at Safavis' ruling.

Safavi state turned into the one of the powerful empires of the Near and Middle East in result of succesful reforms, internal and foreign policy, carried out by Shah Ismayil, Shah tahmasib, Shah Abbas and other Safavi rulers.

Mechanism of perfect state management was created for ruling of large Safavi empire. Safavi rulers got religious power along with temporal one. Cetral power was strengthened in this way.

Safavis state

The Supreme consultative assembly or Supreme kingdom council (Madjlisi-ala) operated in the palace. Perfect bureaucratic system was established for regulation of central and local government bodies. Supreme divan (council) controlled all court cases throughout the country. Safavis' military forces turned into the one of the most powerful armies in result of reforms, carried out by Safavi rulers, particularly Shah Abbas. During Safavis' ruling the role of Azerbaijan language increased throughout the Near and Middle East. Diplomatic negotiations with foreign envoys as a rule were conducted in Azeri.

Azerbaijan maintained diplomatic relations with many European states from the Black Sea and Mediterranean Sea basin to Britain and Scandinavian peninsula during safavis' ruling, continuing Aghgoyunlus' foreign policy.

Fuzuli


Negotiations with a number of western diplomats were conducted in the palaces of Shah Ismayil Khatayi, Shah Tahmasib, Shah Mahammad Khudabanda, Shah Abbas and other Safavi rulers to establish close mutual relations. Azerbaijan continued to play important role in mutual relations between the East and West at Safavis as in the Aghgoyunlus' period as well.

Eminent Azerbaijan military leader Nadir Shah Afshar (1736-1747), come to power after collapse of Safavi state, expanded the borders of the Safavi empire still more. This great ruler of afshar-turk origin occupied Northern Indian, including Dehli, in 1739. But Azerbaijan ruler's plans on establishment of powerful centralizing state in these wide territories failed.

Koroghlu

Large empire collapsed after his death. Local states, striving for independence, appeared in the Azerbaijan territories still inter vivos of Nadir shah. Thus, Azerbaijan divided into small states like khanates and sultanates in II half of XVIII century. Military-political decay stage of the country began. Though separate khans, trying to keep ancient statehood traditions of Azerbaijan, attempted to unify the country, they did not have effect.

Political disunity became deeper and foreigners got suitable chance to occupy Azerbaijan. Azerbaijan dynasty Gadjars (1796-1925) came to power in Iran in late XVIII century. They began to carry out subordination policy of all territories, once been under power of their ancestors Garagoyunlus, Aghgoyunlus, Safavis and Nadir shah, to central power.

Northern Azerbaijan after Gulustan agreement
Thus, durable wars period between the Gadjars and Russia, trying to occupy the Southern Caucasus, began.

Azerbaijan turned into bloody battlefield between two large states. Armenian and Georgian generals, leading military operations, took the advantage of situation and committed genocide against Azerbaijan civilian. According to agreements Gulustan (1813) and Turkmanchay (1828), Azerbaijan was divided between two empire: Northern Azerbaijan was attached to Russia, while Southern Azerbaijan to Iran, ruled by Gadjars.

Northern Azerbaijan after Turkmanchay agreement
Thus, new political-geographic expressions appeared in Azerbaijan: "Northern Azerbaijan" ("Russian Azerbaijan") and "Southern Azerbaijan" ("Iranian Azerbaijan"). In contradictory to Southern Azerbaijan, under power of outdated shah regime, Northern Azerbaijan integrated into comparatively leading culture-economical of Russia and Western Europe.

Azerbaijan people's russification stage began in the north, while persianification in the south.


Gulustan and Turkmanchay agreements,
signed in 1813 and 1828, divided Azerbaijan,
its historical lands and people into two part.

Heydar Aliyev

Russia began to conduct ousting policy of Azerbaijanians from the Caucasus to move forward the East, make its way to warm seas. First of all it relied on Christian population of the Caucasus, particularly Armenians, removed from Iran and Turkey, as well as Georgians. Russia began convert local Moslem population into Christianity by force.

Thus, Christian factor revived in the Southern Caucasus with beginning of large-scale occupations by Russia. Tsar government attempted to resettle Christian population from Russia into Azerbaijan territories.

As this policy failed at first, Russia resettled Armenians from neighbor countries into occupied Azerbaijan lands, particularly mountain regions of Karabakh, Iravan and Nakhichevan khanates in order to create props in the Southern Caucasus. It established artificial "Armenian province" in western lands of Azerbaijan (former Iravan and Nakhichevan khanates), bordering with Turkey, with special purpose. Thus, basis of future Armenian state was laid on the Azerbaijan lands.

Javadkhan

Besides, Russia abolished independent Albanian church and subordinated it to Armenian Gregorian church in 1832. So, more favorable condition for converting of Albanians into Gregorian faith and armeniafication was created. Basis of Armenians' new territorial claims was laid. But Russia was not satisfied with it and armed Armenians against Turkic-Moslem population that lead to genocide.

Mirza Fatali Akhundzade


Azerbaijan population of the northwest (at the border with Georgia) was subjected to converting to Christianity by Georgian church. Georgian feudal lords, taking advantage of situation, began to realize their dream concerning converting Moslem population into Orthodoxy and their georgianification with support of Russian colonists.

Colonial policy of czarism and its assistants met with local population's obstinated resistance. However, colonists managed to convert some Albanian-ingiloy villager into Christianity due to distribution of confiscated Azerbaijan bays' lands and granting privileges. Colonists were not content with it and turned ancient Albanian churches into Orthodox churches, constructed new ones. This policy was carried out under direct control of Caucasian governor.

Mirza Kazim bay



At the same time resettlement of Christian population from Russia into Azerbaijan occupied significant place in the policy of czarism along with converting of local people into Christianity. The purpose was to strengthen the role of Christian factor in the Caucasus, including Azerbaijan.

The same policy was carried out by reactionary shah regime in the south lands of Azerbaijan.

Azerbaijan people's struggle for freedom strengthened in the north and south. Russia and Iran, waged bloody wars with one another, became true allies to crush Azerbaijan people's struggle for freedom and not allow unification of our states. Nevertheless, Azerbaijan people did not stopped struggle for independence against Russian government and Iranian shah regime, stirred up rebellions and met a loss.

Azerbaijan people fought for new independent and democratic state during the First Russian revolution (1905-1907) and 1905-1911 years revolution in Iran.

The March gemocide

Azerbaijan people rose to revive its national statehood traditions in the north and south at the First World War.

Struggle for freedom resulted in unexampled tragedies in Northern Azerbaijan. Sh.Shaumian's Dashnak-Bolshevik government committed terrible genocide against Azerbaijan people in March 1918. Turkey held out its assisting hand to Azerbaijan.

The freedom movement won. The Azerbaijan Democratic Republic, the first democratic republic in the East, was created in Northern Azerbaijan on May 28, 1918.

Independent and democratic Azadistan state ( Freedom state) was established in South Azerbaijan in 1920. Sheikh Mahammad Khiyabani became head of Azadistan National government. Wide national democratic reforms were carried out in both Azerbaijan states.

Thus, Azerbaijan people, taking advantage of historical situation, originated from the First World War, managed to revive its ancient statehood traditions in the north and south, proved that it deserved and capable to live independently one more. Like in European countries, in Azerbaijan also application of democratic management rules specific to parliamentary republic started. It was very big historical achievement of Azerbaijani people.
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