SULEYMAN THE MAGNIFICENT Biography - Royalty, Rulers & leaders


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Suleyman 1, was born on November 6, 1494, in Trabzon (Trebizond), the son of Selim I. Suleyman 1 ,in his time was regarded as the most significant ruler in the world, by both Muslims and Europeans. His military empire expanded greatly both to the east and west, and he threatened to overrun the heart of Europe itself. In Constantinople, he embarked on vast cultural and architectural projects. Istanbul in the middle of the sixteenth century was architecturally the most energetic and innovative city in the world. While he was a brilliant military strategist and canny politician, he was also a cultivator of the arts. Suleyman’s poetry is among the best poetry in Islam, and he sponsored an army of artists, religious thinkers, and philosophers that outshone the most educated courts of Europe.       


In Islamic history, Suleyman is regarded successful Islamic ruler in history. He is asserted as embodying all the necessary characteristics of an Islamic ruler, the most important of which is justice (’adale ). The reign of Suleyman in Ottoman and Islamic history is generally regarded as the period of greatest justice and harmony in any Islamic state.


Western historians know Suleyman primarily as a conqueror, for he made Europe know fear like it had never known of any other Islamic state. Conquest, like every other aspect of the Ottoman state and culture, was a multicultural heritage, with origins as far back as Mesopotamia and Persia, and as far a field as the original Mongol and Turkish peoples in eastern and central Asia.


Suleyman had many titles; in inscriptions he calls himself:                                                                Slave of God, powerful with the power of God, obeying the commands of the Qur’an and enforcing them throughout the world, master of all lands, the shadow of God over all nations, Sultan of Sultans in all the lands of Persians and Arabs, the propagator of Sultanic laws (Nashiru kawanin al-Sultaniyye ), the tenth Sultan of the Ottoman Khans, Sultan, son of Sultan, Suleyman Khan.


In 1521, at the beginning of his reign, Süleyman captured the Hungarian city of Belgrade (now in Serbia). The following year he repelled the Knights of Saint John of Jerusalem, a military and religious order, from the island of Rhodes in the Aegean Sea. In 1526 he again invaded Hungary, killing Louis II, king of Hungary, and incapacitating the Hungarian army at the Battle of Mohács. He returned to Hungary in 1529 as the supporter of John I Zápolya, who had been elected king by the Hungarian nobility, but whose claim was contested by Archduke Ferdinand of Austria (later Holy Roman Emperor Ferdinand I). Ferdinand was driven back into Vienna, which Süleyman then attempted to besiege. He was unsuccessful, thus limiting the extent of his invasion into central Europe.