Murad IV

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to: navigation, search
Murad IV
Caliph of Islam
Amir al-Mu'minin
Sultan of the Ottoman Empire
Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques
Murad IV.jpg
Murad IV in classic Ottoman warrior outfit
Sultan of the Ottoman Empire
Reign January 20, 1623 – February 8, 1640
Predecessor Mustafa I
Successor Ibrahim
Regent Kösem Sultan
(10 September 1623 – 1632)
Born (1612-07-26)July 26, 1612
Died February 8, 1640(1640-02-08) (aged 27)
Consorts Ayşe Sultan
Şemsperi Hatun
Huriçehre Hatun
Sanevber Hatun
Şemsişah Hatun
Mahziba Hatun
Issue Şehzade Süleyman
Şehzade Ahmed
Şehzade Mehmed
Şehzade Alaaddin
Kaya Sultan
Safiye Sultan
Gevherhan Sultan
İsmihan Sultan
Sahra Sultan
Zeynep Sultan
Rukiye Sultan
Royal house House of Osman
Father Ahmed I
Mother Kösem Sultan
Religion Sunni Islam

Murad IV (Ottoman Turkish: مراد رابع Murād-ı Rābi‘‎; July 26/27, 1612 – February 8, 1640) was the Sultan of the Ottoman Empire from 1623 to 1640, known both for restoring the authority of the state and for the brutality of his methods. Murad IV was born in Constantinople, the son of Sultan Ahmed I (1603–17) and the ethnic Greek[1][2][3] Valide Kösem Sultan (1589-1651). Brought to power by a palace conspiracy in 1623, he succeeded his uncle Mustafa I (r. 1617–18, 1622–23). He was only 11 when he took the throne. His reign is most notable for the Ottoman–Safavid War (1623–39), of which the outcome would permanently part the Caucasus between the two Imperial powers for around two centuries, while it also roughly laid the foundation for the current Turkey - Iran - Iraq borders.


Ottoman miniature painting depicting Murad IV

In the early years of Murad's reign, he was under the control of his relatives. During this period, peace and harmony in the Ottoman lands were completely lost, and tyrants took control of the cities. His absolute rule started around 1632, when he took the authority and repressed all the tyrants, and he re-established the supremacy of Sultan.

Ottoman miniature painting depicting Murad IV during dinner

Early reign (1623–32)[edit]

Murad IV was for a long time under the control of his relatives and during his early years as Sultan, his mother, Kösem Sultan, essentially ruled through him. The Empire fell into anarchy; the Safavid Empire invaded Iraq almost immediately, Northern Anatolia erupted in revolts, and in 1631 the Janissaries stormed the palace and killed the Grand Vizier, among others. Murad IV feared suffering the fate of his elder brother, Osman II (1618–22), and decided to assert his power.

At the age of 16 in 1628, he had his brother-in-law (his sister Fatma Sultan's husband) and the former governor of Egypt Kara Mustafa Pasha executed for a claimed action "against the law of God".[4]

Absolute rule and imperial policies (1632–40)[edit]

Murad IV tried to quell the corruption that had grown during the reigns of previous Sultans, and that had not been checked while his mother was ruling through proxy.

Murad IV also banned alcohol, tobacco, and coffee in Constantinople.[5] He ordered execution for breaking this ban. He would reportedly patrol the streets and taverns of Constantinople in civilian clothes at night, policing the enforcement of his command by summarily killing civilians for breaking this decree. He restored the judicial regulations by very strict punishments, including execution. Historians including Halil İnalcık as well as primary sources report that even though he was a ruthless supporter of alcohol prohibition, Murad IV was a habitual drinker himself.[6][7]

War against Safavid Iran[edit]

Murad IV's reign is most notable for the Ottoman–Safavid War (1623–39) against Persia in which Ottoman forces managed to conquer Azerbaijan, occupying Tabriz, Hamadan, and capturing Baghdad in 1638. Murad IV himself commanded the invasion of Mesopotamia and proved to be an outstanding field commander. By the Treaty of Zuhab which followed after the war, it roughly comprised and confirmed the borders as per the Peace of Amasya, with Eastern Armenia, Eastern Georgia, Azerbaijan, and Dagestan staying Persian, while Western Armenia, and Western Georgia staying Ottoman.[8] Mesopotamia was irrevocably lost for the Persians.[9] the borders per the outcome of the war is more or less the present border line between Turkey - Iraq and Iran.

During the siege of Baghdad, the city withstood the siege for forty days, but was compelled to surrender, and the bulk of the population were butchered by the conquerors, in spite of the promises which they had made to spare them. It is said that the officers of Murad arranged a sort of tableau, in which the heads were struck off one thousand captives by one thousand headsmen at the same moment, and that Murad IV enjoyed the sight. The sultan had a famous quote about the fall of Baghdad: ("Trying to conquer Baghdad, was almost more beautiful than Baghdad itself.").[10]

Murad IV himself commanded the Ottoman army in the last years of the war, and proved to be an outstanding field commander. He was the second Ottoman Sultan to command an army on the battlefield since the death of Suleiman the Magnificent in 1566. During his campaign to Persia, he annihilated all rebels in Anatolia and restored order in the Empire.[citation needed]

After his return to Constantinople, he ordered respected statesmen of the Empire to prepare a new economic and political project to return the Empire to the old successful days.

Physical power[edit]

Murad IV was the last Warrior Sultan who led campaigns in front of his army and fought on the battlefield. His physical strength was phenomenal, which is described in detail on the books of Evliya Çelebi. He was especially known for his exceptional strength in wrestling - capable of fighting several opponents at the same time. His favorite weapon was a huge mace, which, according to legend, he wielded effortlessly with a single hand despite it reportedly weighed 60 kilograms (132 lbs).[11] Among his other favorite weapons are a longbow and a large two-handed broadsword apparently weighing more than 50 kilograms (110 lbs), despite the fact that even the largest known swords (used for combat) rarely weigh more than 10 lbs, and ceremonial parade swords weighing more than 15 lbs are exceedingly rare.[12] His weapons are today displayed at the Topkapı Palace Museum in Fatih, intact and well preserved.[citation needed]


Sultan Murad IV put emphasis on architecture and in his period many monuments were erected. Some of them are Meydanı Mosque, Bayram Pasha Dervish Lodge, Tomb, Fountain, Primary School, Konya Serefeddin Mosque.

The Mughal Emperor Shah Jahan had exchanged ambassadors with the Ottoman Sultan Murad IV, it was through these exchanges that he received Isa Muhammad Effendi and Ismail Effendi, two Turkish architects and students of the famous Koca Mimar Sinan Agha. Both of them later comprised among the Mughal team that would design and build the Taj Mahal.

Relations with the Mughal Empire[edit]

In the year 1626, the Mughal Emperor Jahangir began to contemplate an alliance between the Ottomans, Mughals and Uzbeks against the Safavids, who had defeated the Mughals at Kandahar. He even wrote a letter to the Ottoman Sultan Murad IV, Jahangir's ambition however did not materialize due to his death in 1627. However, Jahangir's son and successor Shah Jahan pursued the goal of alliance with the Ottoman Empire.

While he was encamped in Baghdad, Murad IV is known to have met the Mughal Emperor Shah Jahan's ambassadors: Mir Zarif and Mir Baraka, who presented 1000 pieces of finely embroidered cloth and even armor. Murad IV gave them the finest weapons, saddles and Kaftans and ordered his forces to accompany the Mughals to the port of Basra, where they set sail to Thatta and finally Surat.[13]

Marriages and progeny[edit]


  • Ayşe Sultan, daughter of Hasan Bey Jonima, an Albanian nobleman;
  • Şemsperi Hatun, daughter of Osman Bey Progon, an Albanian nobleman;
  • Huriçehre Hatun, lady from the Georgian princely family, Machutadze;
  • Sanevber Hatun, daughter of Abdullah Bey, a Bosnian nobleman;
  • Şemsişah Hatun, née Zilikhan Dadiani, daughter of Levanti II Dadiani, Duke of Mingrelia and Nestan-Darejan Dchiladze, a Georgian;
  • Mahziba Hatun, née Ayşe Şogenukov, daughter of Prince Aleguko Şogenukov, ruler of Kabardia from 1624 to 1654, a Circassian.


  • Şehzade Ahmed (21 December 1627 - 1628) - with Şemsperi
  • Şehzade Numan (1628 - 1629) - with Şemsperi
  • Şehzade Orhan (1629 - 1629) - with Huriçehre
  • Şehzade Hasan, March 1631 - 1632) - with Ayşe
  • Şehzade Suleiman (2 February 1632 -1635) - with Sanevber
  • Şehzade Mehmed (8 August 1633 - 1637) - with Şemsperi
  • Şehzade Osman (9 February 1634 - February 1634) - with Ayşe
  • Şehzade Alaeddin (26 August 1635 - 1637) - with Sanevber
  • Şehzade Selim (1637 - 1640) - with Sanevber
  • Şehzade Abdul Hamid (15 May 1638 - 1638) - with Ayşe
  • Şehzade Mahmud (May 1640 - 1647) - with Mahziba
  • İsmihan Sultan (1630 - 1630) - with Huriçehre
  • Gevherhan Sultan (February 1630 - ?) - with Şemsperi, married 1645, Damat Haseki Mehmed Pasha, sometime Fifth Vizier;
  • Hanzade Sultan (February 1631 - 1675) - with Ayşe, married August 1645, Damat Nakkaş Hasan Pasha, Vizier of Egypt 1640-1642;
  • Kaya Sultan (1633 - 28 February 1659) - with Sanevber, married August 1644, Damat Abaza Melek Ahmed Pasha, Vizier 1638 and 1650-1651;
  • Hafsa Sultan (1634 - 1636) - with Şemsişah
  • Safiye Sultan - with Huriçehre, married 1659, Damat Abaza Husein Pasha, Vizier 1674-1675, son of Abaza Siyavuş Pasha;
  • Fatma Sultan (1636 - 1640) - with Şemsişah
  • Rabia Sultan (1636 - 1639) - with Huriçehre
  • Rukiye Sultan (1640 - January 1690) - with Sanevber, married January 1663, Şeytan Divrikli Ibrahim Pasha, Vizier.


Murad IV died from cirrhosis in İstanbul at the age of 27 in 1640.[14]

Rumours had circulated that on his deathbed, Murad IV ordered the execution of his mentally disabled brother, Ibrahim I (reigned 1640–48), which would have meant the end of the Ottoman line. However, the order was not carried out.[15]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ E. van Donzel, Islamic Desk Reference: Compiled from the Encyclopaedia of Islam, Brill Academic Publishers, p 219
  2. ^ Robert Bator, Daily Life in Ancient and Modern Istanbul, Runestone Press, p 42
  3. ^ Douglas Arthur Howard, The History of Turkey, Greenwood Press, p 195
  4. ^ Accounts and Extracts of the Manuscripts in the Library of the King of France 2. R. Faulder. 1789. p. 51. The sultan Morad put him to death in the year 1037 [AH], for some action which was contrary to the law of God. 
  5. ^ Hopkins, Kate (2006-03-24). "Food Stories: The Sultan's Coffee Prohibition". Retrieved 2006-09-12. 
  6. ^ İnalcık, Halil; Imber, Colin (1989). The Ottoman Empire : the classical age, 1300-1600. New Rochelle, N.Y.: Aristide D. Caratzas. p. 99. ISBN 0-89241-388-3. 
  7. ^ Traian Stoianovich (1 January 1994). Balkan Worlds: The First and Last Europe. M.E. Sharpe. p. 57. ISBN 978-0-7656-3851-9. 
  8. ^ "Genocide and the Modern Age: Etiology and Case Studies of Mass Death". Retrieved 2014-12-30. 
  9. ^ Roemer (1989), p. 285
  10. ^ Akın Alıcı, Hayata Yön Veren Sözler, 2004
  11. ^ Tarih-i Na'imâ Vol 3 p 454
  12. ^ "The Two-Handed Great Sword". Retrieved 2015-06-14. 
  13. ^ Farooqi, N.R. (1989). Mughal-Ottoman relations: a study of political & diplomatic relations between Mughal India and the Ottoman Empire, 1556-1748. Idarah-i Adabiyat-i Delli. Retrieved 2015-06-14. 
  14. ^ Selcuk Aksin Somel, Historical Dictionary of the Ottoman Empire, 2003, p.201
  15. ^ Barber, Noel (1973). The Sultans. New York: Simon and Schuster. p. 87. 

External links[edit]

Media related to Murad IV at Wikimedia Commons

Murad IV
Born: June 16, 1612 Died: February 9, 1640
Regnal titles
Preceded by
Mustafa I
Sultan of the Ottoman Empire
Sep 10, 1623 – Feb 9, 1640
Succeeded by
Sunni Islam titles
Preceded by
Mustafa I
Caliph of Islam
Sep 10, 1623 – Feb 9, 1640
Succeeded by