Ahmed I

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"Ahmad I" redirects here. For others named Ahmed I and Ahmad I, see Ahmad I (disambiguation).
Ahmed I
Caliph of Islam
Amir al-Mu'minin
Sultan of the Ottoman Empire
Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques
Sultan Ahmed I.jpg
Sultan of the Ottoman Empire
Reign Decemberr 22, 1603 (1012 Hijri, month of Rajab[1]) – November 22, 1617
Predecessor Mehmed III
Successor Mustafa I
Consorts Kösem Sultan (Legal wife)
Mahfiruz Hatice Sultan
Royal house House of Osman
Father Mehmed III
Mother Handan Sultan
Religion Sunni Islam

Ahmed I (Ottoman Turkish: احمد اولAḥmed-i evvel; Turkish: I. Ahmed; April 18, 1590 – November 22, 1617) was the Sultan of the Ottoman Empire from 1603 until his death in 1617.


In the earlier part of his reign Ahmed I showed decision and vigor, which were belied by his subsequent conduct. The wars which attended his accession both in Hungary and in Persia terminated unfavourably for the empire, and its prestige received its first check in the Treaty of Zsitvatorok, signed in 1606, whereby the annual tribute paid by Austria was abolished. Following the crushing defeat in the Ottoman–Safavid War (1603–18) against the neighbouring rivalling Safavid Empire led by Shah Abbas the Great, Georgia, Azerbaijan and other vast territories in the Caucasus were ceded back to Persia per the Treaty of Nasuh Pasha in 1612, territories which had earlier been temporarily conquered per the outcoming result of the Ottoman–Safavid War (1578–90). The new borders were drawn per the exact same line as confirmed in the Peace of Amasya of 1555.[2]

Personal life[edit]

Ahmed I's mother was Valide Handan Sultan, an ethnic Greek who was originally named Helena. He was born at Manisa Palace. He succeeded his father Mehmed III (r. 1595–1603) in 1603 at age 13. He broke with the traditional fratricide and sent his brother Mustafa to live at the old palace at Bayezit along with their grandmother Safiye Sultan. He was known for his skills in fencing, poetry, horseback riding, and fluency in numerous languages. A half-brother of Ahmed, Yahya, resented his accession to the Ottoman throne in 1603, and spent his life scheming to become Sultan.

Ahmed was a poet who wrote a number of political and lyrical works under the name Bahti. But while supportive of poetry, he displayed an aversion to artistry and continued his father's neglect of miniature painting.[citation needed] This was connected to a devout religiosity that declared depiction of living things in art an immoral rivalry to Allah's creation.[3] Accordingly, Ahmed patronized scholars, calligraphers, and pious men. Hence he commissioned a book entitled The Quintessence of Histories to be worked upon by calligraphers. He also attempted to enforce conformance to Islamic laws and traditions, restoring the old regulations that prohibited alcohol and he attempted to enforce attendance at Friday prayers and paying alms to the poor in the proper way.

He was responsible for the destruction of the musical clock organ that Elizabeth I of England sent to the court during the reign of his father.[4] The reason for this may have been Ahmed's religious objection to figurative art or the fact that the complex organ served as a daily reminder of the waxing influence and power of the West.

Ahmed I died of typhus in 1617.

His türbe.

Marriages and Issue[edit]

Sultan Ahmed I was married twice:

  1. Valide Sultan Mahfiruze Hatice Sultan, originally named Hatice, a Circassian, daughter of Prince Mirza Alkas Bey and mother of Osman II;
  2. Valide Sultan Mahpeyker Kösem Sultan, originally named Anastasia, a Greek, daughter of a priest on the island of Tinos and the mother of Murad IV, Ibrahim I, Fatma Sultan, Gevherhan Sultan, Ayşe Sultan, Hanzade Sultan, Şehzade Suleiman and Şehzade Kasim.


Bilingual Franco-Turkish translation of the 1604 Franco-Ottoman Capitulations between Ahmed I and Henry IV of France, published by François Savary de Brèves in 1615.[5]

Today, Ahmed I is remembered mainly for the construction of the Sultan Ahmed Mosque (also known as the Blue Mosque), one of the masterpieces of Islamic architecture. The area in Fatih around the Mosque is today called Sultanahmet. He died at Topkapı Palace in Istanbul and is buried in a mausoleum right outside the walls of the famous mosque.

See also[edit]


  1. ^ George Sale; George Psalmanazar; Archibald Bower; George Shelvocke; John Campbell; John Swinton (1759). An universal history: from the earliest accounts to the present time. Printed for C. Bathurst. pp. 425–. 
  2. ^ Ga ́bor A ́goston,Bruce Alan Masters Encyclopedia of the Ottoman Empire pp 23 Infobase Publishing, 1 jan. 2009 ISBN 1438110251
  3. ^ "Figural Representation in Islamic Art | Thematic Essay | Heilbrunn Timeline of Art History | The Metropolitan Museum of Art". Metmuseum.org. Retrieved 2012-01-26. 
  4. ^ Jardine, Lisa (2007-12-21). "UK | Magazine | An eye for detail". BBC News. Retrieved 2012-01-26. 
  5. ^ ''The Encyclopaedia of Islam: Fascicules 111-112 : Masrah Mawlid'' by Clifford Edmund Bosworth p.799. Books.google.com. Retrieved 2012-01-26. 

External links[edit]

Media related to Ahmed I at Wikimedia Commons

Wikisource logo Works written by or about Ahmed I at Wikisource

Ahmed I
Born: April 18, 1590 Died: November 22, 1617[aged 27]
Regnal titles
Preceded by
Mehmed III
Sultan of the Ottoman Empire
December 22, 1603 – November 22, 1617
Succeeded by
Mustafa I
Sunni Islam titles
Preceded by
Mehmed III
Caliph of Islam
December 22, 1603 – November 22, 1617
Succeeded by
Mustafa I