Azerbaijan possesses a rich history of statehood which extends over a period of approximately 5000 years. The first state organizations here first appeared at the end of fourth millennium and the beginning of the third millennium before our era.
Due to its advantageous geographical location and favorable climatic conditions, Azerbaijan has, from ancient times, attracted great interest from various empires and states. In the period from 3rd century to 7th century AD, Azerbaijan was occupied first by the Iranian Sassanid Empire, and then by the Arab Caliphate. Both empires relocated a large population of Iranian and Arab origin to the country. However, it was the Caliphate and Islam, which they practised, that played one of the key roles in the history of the formation of the peoples and the state of Azerbaijan. It was with the adoption of the Islamic religion that the history of Azerbaijan began to undergo radical change. Islam gave a strong impulse to the formation of a unified nation, language, customs, etc.
The adoption of Islam also played an important role in political development, and the states of of Sajids, Shirvanshahs, Salaries, Ravvadids and Shaddadis were established on the lands of Azerbaijan. The renaissance era had started and, by becoming a part of its cultural heritage, each of these states left an important marker on the nation’s history.