Monday, March 18, 2013

'Abd ar-Rahman II - 'Abdul Rahman


‘Abd ar-Rahman II
‘Abd ar-Rahman II (788-852).  Umayyad emir of Cordoba (r. 822-852) who dealt with the revolt of Mozarab Christians of Toledo and Cordoba and with the raiding Northmen.  He was a builder and patron of letters and arts. 

The son of Emir al-Hakam I, 'Abd ar-Rahman II became Emir of Cordoba in 822 and engaged in nearly continuous warfare (from 822 to 842) against Alfonso II of Asturias, whose southward advance he halted.  In 837, he suppressed a revolt of Christians and Jews in Toledo and repulsed an assault by Vikings in 844. Thereafter, he constructed a fleet and naval arsenal at Seville to repel future raids.  He responded to William of Septimania's requests of assistance in his struggle against Charles the Bald's nominations.

'Abd ar-Rahman II was famous for his public building program in Cordoba.  A vigorous and effective frontier warrior, he was involved in the execution of the "Martyrs of Cordoba."
Rahman II, 'Abd ar- see ‘Abd ar-Rahman II


‘Abd ar-Rahman III
‘Abd ar-Rahman III ('Abd al-Rahman ibn Muhammad ibn 'Abd Allah) (January 11, 889 - October 15, 961).  The eighth (and arguably the greatest) Umayyad emir of Spain.  He ruled from 912 to 961.  He ascended to the throne when he was twenty-two years of age and reigned for half a century as the most powerful prince of the Umayyad dynasty in Iberia.

Called al-Nasir, or the Defender (of the Faith), he was born at Cordoba, and was the son of Prince Muhammad.  Succeeding to an emirate diminished by provincial governors who acted like independent rulers, ‘Abd ar-Rahman at once set out to assert Umayyad authority over all his territories. Initially, he had to suppress the dangerous revolt led by 'Umar ibn Hafsun.  In 913, he attacked Seville, a city that had allied with Hafsun, conquering it on December 20.  The following year, he campaigned in the Rayya mountains near Malaga, where his mild treatment gained him the surrender of most of the Christian castles.  In 917, Hafsun died, but the struggle was continued by his son, who surrendered only after the fall of Malaga on January 21, 928.

Seville and Cremona submitted in 917, Bobastro was captured in 928 and Toledo, the last of the wayward cities, surrendered in 932.   The emir checked the advance of the Christian prince Ordono II of Leon (d. 951) in 920. 

Once having al-Andalus firmly under his rule, 'Abd ar-Rahman restarted his war against King Ordono II of Leon, who had taken advantage of the previous troublesome situation to capture some bondary areas and to menace the Umayyad territory.  In 920, the emir's troops gained a first victory at Junquera (Valdejunquera).  This was one of several defeats ‘Abd ar-Rahman inflicted on the Christian kingdoms of Leon and Navarre, checking their expansion.   

In 924, Abd 'ar Rahman sacked the Basque capital of Pamplona of King Sancho I.  An attempt by Ramiro, the son of Ordono II, to help Toledo was repulsed in 932.

During this time, ‘Abd ar-Rahman built up a navy unmatched anywhere in the world.  With this navy, ‘Abd ar-Rahman proceeded to seize part of Morocco from the Fatimids. In 923, Ceuta was captured and the whole of the central Maghrib subdued, with the exception of the region of Tahert. This period also saw the formation of parties which were in the end to cause the greatest disorder: the Slav party and the Berber party.  The Slavs were prisoners from eastern Europe, Italy and northern Spain and soon formed a large class in Cordoban society.  The Berber party was to play a part in the early tenth century (of the Christian calendar). 

By 929, ‘Abd ar-Rahman felt confident enough to assume the title of amir al-mu'minin (“Commander of the Believers”).  On January 16, 929, he declared himself as the Caliph of Cordoba, effectively breaking all ties with the Fatimid and 'Abbasid caliphs,   thereby restoring in Spain the Umayyad caliphate of Cordoba.  His ancestors in Iberia had been content with the title of emir.  The caliphate was thought only to belong to the prince who ruled over the sacred cities of Mecca and Medina.  However, the force of this tradition had been so weakened that 'Abd ar-Rahman could proclaim himself caliph, and the assumption of the title gave him increased prestige with his subjects, both in Iberia and Africa.  'Abd ar-Rahman based his claim to the caliphate on his Ummayyad ancestry.  The Umayyads had held undisputed control of the caliphate until they were overthrown by the 'Abbasids.

In 930, Ibn Marwan surrendered, and in 932, Toledo was captured.  At this point all Arabs, Iberians and Berbers submitted to 'Abd ar-Rahman.  In 931, in order to counter the increasing Fatimid power in North Africa, the caliph had helped Berbers to conquer Ceuta and other territories, which accepted his suzerainty.  This was, however, lost a few years later.

In 934, after reassuring his supremacy over Pamplona and Alava, 'Abd ar-Rahman forced Ramiro, the son of Ordono of Leon, to retreat up to Burgos.  In 937, he conquered some thirthy castles in Leon and then compelled again the Navarese queen, Toda, to submit to him as a vassal.  Then came the time for Muhammad ibn Hashim at-Tugib, governor of Zaragoza, who had allied with Ramiro but was pardoned after the captured of his city.

Despite their early defeats, Ramiro II and Toda were able to crush the caliphate army in 939 at the Battle of Simancas, most likely due to treason from Arabic elements in the caliph's army.  After this defeat, 'Abd ar-Rahman stopped taking part in person in the military campaigns.  His cause was however helped by Fernan Gonzalez of Castile, one of the Christian leaders at Simancas, who declared war against Ramiro, only to be defeated after a while.  Ramiro's victory at Simancas enabled the advance of the Leonine border from the Duero to the Tormes.

In 951, he signed a peace with the new king of Leon, Ordono III, in order to have free hand against the Fatimids in North Africa.  He was, however, able only to launch an expedition against Ifriqiya, in the area of Tunis.

In 954, the Fatimids made a raid on the Spanish shore near Almeria.  As a reprisal, ‘Abd ar-Rahman burned Marsa ‘l-Kharaz on the North African coast.  About 955, ‘Abd ar-Rahman’s help was invoked by King Sancho and Queen Tota of Navarre against Ordono IV, an event without precedent in the annals of Muslim Spain.  Ordono III's son and successor, Sancho I, had been deposed by his cousin Ordono IV.  Sancho, together with Toda of Navarre, sued for an alliance with Cordoba.  In exchange for some castles, 'Abd ar-Rahman helped them to take back Zamora in 959 and Oviedo in 960 and to overthrow Ordono IV.

'Abd ar-Rahman spent the rest of his years in his new palace outside Cordoba.  He died in October 961 and was succeeded by his son al-Hakam II.

‘Abd ar-Rahman constructed near Cordoba the town of Madinat al-Zahra’ (Medina Azahara) for his own residence.  Ultimately, ‘Abd ar-Rahman’s greatest legacy was the transformation of Cordoba into the greatest cultural center in the Western world, a distinction Cordoba would hold for over two centuries.  'Abd ar-Rahman expanded the city's library, which would help make Cordoba the intellectual center of Western Europe.

By the end of ‘Abd ar-Rahman’s reign, the splendor of Cordoba rivaled that of Baghdad and Constantinople, the great cultural centers of the East.  Under 'Abd ar-Rahman, Islamic Cordoba became a city of beauty and enlightenment.

Rahman, 'Abd ar- see ‘Abd ar-Rahman III
'Abd al-Rahman ibn Muhammad ibn 'Abd Allah see ‘Abd ar-Rahman III
Nasir, al- see ‘Abd ar-Rahman III
Defender of the Faith see ‘Abd ar-Rahman III


'Abdel Kader
'Abdel Kader.  See ‘Abd al-Qadir ibn Muhyi al-Din.
Kader, 'Abdel see 'Abdel Kader.


‘Abd el-Krim
‘Abd el-Krim ('Abdul Karim) (Muhammad ibn 'Abd al-Karim al-Khattabi) (Mulay Abdelkrim) (c.1882 - February 6, 1963).  Leader of the Riffians, an Arab tribe of Morocco.  He became the leader of a wide scale armed resistance movement against French and Spanish colonial rule in North Africa.  His guerrilla tactics are known to have inspired Ho Chi Minh, Mao Zedong, and Che Guevara.

'Abd el-Krim was born in Ajdir, Morocco, around 1882, to 'Abd al-Karim al-Khattabi, a qadi (Islamic judge) of the Ait Yusuf clan of the Aith Uriaghel (or Warayaghar) tribe.  ‘Abd el-Krim was the eldest son of ‘Abd al-Karim ibn Muhammad al-Khattabi, a notable of the Ait Warayaghar, a Tamazight speaking Berber tribe of the Rif Mountains in northeastern Morocco. 

'Abd el-Krim was educated both in traditional zaouias and in Spanish schools, continuing his education at the ancient University of Qarawiyin in Fez.  After his studies, in 1906, 'Abd el-Krim was sent to Mellila by his father.  He worked there as a teacher and translator (until 1913) and became journalist for the Spanish newspaper Telegrama del Rif (1906-1915).  Working for the newspaper 'Abd el-Krim, following the ideas of his father, pleaded for intervention by Spain in the Rif. He insisted that this intervention would not be a colonization or submission to the Christians.  He made a distinction between two kinds of Moroccans, those who understood that intervention was necessary and those who opposed it.  He praised the many benefits Spain would bring to the region.

'Abd el-Krim entered Spanish governmental service and was appointed chief qadi for Melilla in 1914.  During the World War I, 'Abd el-Krim was punished by the Spanish government for pro-German activities and imprisoned for a short period.  At the end of the war, he briefly resumed his duties at the newspaper, but soon, fearful of extradition to the French for punishment, he returned to his home at Ajdir in January 1919.  He was alarmed by the appearance of Spanish agents in Beni Waryaghil territory and was determined to fight for tribal independence.  A more immediate provocation was the loss of his pension and his exclusion by the Spanish from an informal mining consortium.  The following year, 'Abd el-Krim, together with his father and brother, began a war of rebellion against the Spanish.  His goal was now to unite the tribes of the Rif into an independent Republic of the Rif.  He made it clear that this Republic was strictly provisional, confirming his allegiance to the Moroccan throne and the royal family.

In 1921, as a by-product of their efforts to destroy the power of a local brigand, Raisuli, Spanish troops approached the unoccupied areas of the Rif.  'Abd el-Krim sent their General, Manuel Fernandez Silvestre, a warning that if they crossed the Amekran River he would consider it an act of war.  Silvestre ignored the warning, and shortly afterwards set up a military post across the river to establish an outpost at the hills of Abaran.  In June 1921, a sizable Riffian force attacked this post killing 179 Spanish troops of the estimated 250.  Soon afterwards, 'Abd el-Krim directed his forces to attack the Spanish lines an Anual (Morocco).  ‘Abd el-Krim achieved great success.  In three weeks, 8,000 Spanish troops were killed, and the Spanish Army of 13,000 was forced to retreat to the coast by only 3,000 Riffians.  During the attack on Anual, General Silvestre either committed suicide or was killed while defending his post.  All told, the Spanish losses at the Battle of Anual may have numbered as many as nineteen thousand killed, making this battle the greatest defeat suffered by a European force in one battle in the colonial history of North Africa. This seminal victory established 'Abd el-Krim as a genius of guerrilla warfare, and thus began the Rif Rebellion, a major insurrection against the Spanish and French protectorate authorities in Morocco.

The embarrassing defeat of Spanish forces at Anual created a political crisis in Spain that subsequently led to General Miguel Primo de Rivera's coup d'etat of September 13, 1923, the installation of a military dictatorship (1923-1930), and the eventual collapse of the Spanish Monarchy in April 1931.

By 1924, the Spanish were forced to retreat to their holdings along the coast of Morocco. Meanwhile, France laid claim to territory in southern Er Rif.  The French realized that allowing another North African colonial power to be defeated by indigenous forces would set a dangerous precedent for their own territories, and after 'Abd el-Krim invaded French Morocco in April 1925, the French entered the fray.  A French force under Marshal Henri Philippe Petain and a Spanish army began operations against the Riffians.  Hard fighting continued for a year, but finally the combined European armies totalling 250,000 soldiers, and using such weapons as mustard gas, defeated the forces of ‘Abd el-Krim.  On May 26, 1926, 'Abd el-Krim surrendered to the French at his then headquarters of Targuist.

'Abd el-Krim was exiled to the French island of Reunion (an island in the Indian Ocean) from 1926 to 1947. In 1947, he was granted permission to live in southern France.  He left the ship carrying him to France and, accepting an offer of protection from the king of Egypt, became a resident of that country.  In Egypt, 'Abd el-Krim came to preside over the Liberation Committee for the Arab Maghreb, a North African nationalist opposition to European rule.  He died in 1963 in Cairo, just after seeing his hopes of a Maghreb independent of colonial powers fulfilled by the independence of Algeria.

The Rif Rebellion was the most important anti-colonial uprising in Morocco until the emergence of the Istiqlal party and modern mass nationalism in 1943.  In retrospect, it can be seen as a transitional political phenomenon, at once the last jihad and the first modern political movement.  The Rif Rebellion and the ripublik established by 'Abd el-Krim were a major political and strategic challenge to colonial rule.  To understand its significance, the history of the family of 'Abd el-Krim and of Morocco from 1900 to 1925 must be examined.

Between 1900 and 1912, when the French and Spanish protectorates were established, large areas of Morocco, including the Rif Mountains, escaped the rule of the makhzan (the central government).  In the early twentieth century, makhzan control of northern Morocco was shaken by a series of rebellions, culminating in the uprising of Abu Himarah (1902-1909) in northern Morocco.  In 1907 and 1908, a popular insurgency overthrew ‘Abd al-‘Aziz, the French supported sultan, and brought to power his brother, ‘Abd al-Hafiz.  From 1909, until the establishment of the French and Spanish protectorates in 1912, Morocco was in many respects already a colonized territory.  This was especially the case in the Moroccan Rif area around the Spanish enclave of Melilla, which became the center for ambitious mining schemes by Spanish and German capitalists.  By 1912, the Spanish presidio of Melilla had become one of the largest port cities in Morocco.  For Riffians, these changes created enormous risks as well as opportunities. 

The family of 'Abd el-Krim was well placed to take advantage of this rapidly changing situation.  'Abd el-Krim himself was the scion of a successful a‘yan (notable) family based in Ajdir, a community on the Mediterranean near the Spanish base at Alhuecemas. Around 1902, both 'Abd el-Krim and his brother studied for several years at the Qarawiyin mosque university in Fez, where they received a thorough grounding in Islamic law.  After his return to the Rif around 1906, Abd el-Krim was employed by the Spanish government in Melilla as a teacher and subsequently as editor of the Arabic language page in the Spanish newspaper, El Telegrama del Rif.  While his father served as a Moroccan government appointed amin (customs agent) and (after 1912) as representative of the Spanish protectorate authorities in the district around Melilla, 'Abd el-Krim held an appointment from the Moroccan sultan as qadi (religious judge) for the same district, and his brother was studying to be a mining engineer in Spain.  By playing off the makhzan, the local tribes, and the Spanish and French imperialists in the preceding decade, 'Abd el-Krim and his family were well positioned by 1912 to gain from the gradual collapse of the Moroccan state.

'Abd el-Krim was able to increase his power and influence after 1912, following the simultaneous establishment of Spanish and French protectorates in northern Morocco.  After the outbreak of World War I, his balancing act became more difficult to sustain.  Although 'Abd el-Krim secretly supported the efforts of the Ottomans to foment a rebellion, he was denounced by some Moroccans as a collaborator because of his public role as a Spanish functionary.  By 1921, in response to the increasing harshness of Spanish policy, 'Abd el-Krim launched his rebellion.

The Rif Rebellion was accompanied by the proclamation of a ripublik in 1923 by 'Abd el-Krim. It sought a far-reaching transformation of Riffian society based on the suppression of the feud, which was endemic, and the application of shari‘a in place of Berber customary law.  Religiously, 'Abd el-krim sought to present his rebellion as a modern state, a Dawlat al-Jumhuriyah al-Rifiyah, or Rifian Republic. The ripublik invoked the language of national self-determination and human rights in an effort to win support among European liberals.  Headed by 'Abd el-Krim as president, it had a national assembly composed of the heads of the Berber tribal councils.

At its height, the Riffian state embraced most of the Spanish protectorate zone, excluding the cities of Melilla, Alhuecemas, and Tetouan, and a portion of the French protectorate zone north of Fez.  New methods of military organization, added to exceptional fighting qualities, made the Ait Warayaghar a formidable opponent even to modern European armies.  Only in 1926, after the full military might of France and Spain was brought to bear (including massive artillery and aerial bombardments), was 'Abd el-Krim defeated.

The legacy of 'Abd el Krim is an ambiguous one.  His brave and resourceful struggle served as an inspiration to Moroccan contemporaries, notably the young nationalists, but the idea of a Riffian republic has also been seen as a potentially divisive one in independent Morocco.  Perhaps because of this,  'Abd el-Krim played no direct role in the nationalist movement that overthrew the Spanish and French protectorates in 1956.

Muhammad ibn ‘Abd al-Karim al-Khattabi see ‘Abd el-Krim
'Abdul Karim see ‘Abd el-Krim
Krim, 'Abd el- see ‘Abd el-Krim
Karim, 'Abdul see ‘Abd el-Krim
Khattabi, Muhammad ibn 'Abd al-Karim al- see ‘Abd el-Krim
Mulay Abdelkrim see ‘Abd el-Krim


Abdel-Meguid, Ahmed Asmat
Ahmed Asmat Abdel-Meguid (Arabic: أحمد عصمت عبد المجيد‎) (b. March 1924) is an Egyptian diplomat. He served as the Foreign Minister of Egypt between 1984 and 1991, and as the Secretary-General of the Arab League from 1991 until 2001.

Born in Alexandria in March 1924, Abdel Meguid received a law degree from Alexandria University in 1944 before going on to obtain a doctorate of international law from the University of Paris in 1947. He joined the Egyptian foreign ministry in 1950 and worked in several departments, notably the British and French sections. He became ambassador to France in 1970, deputy foreign minister in 1970, and Egypt's high representative to the United Nations in 1972. He served in that position until 1983, and was then foreign minister from 1984 to 1991, when he was elected secretary-general of the Arab League.

'Abdel Rahman, Omar
'Abdel Rahman, Omar (Omar 'Abdel Rahman) (Omar Ahmed 'Ali 'Abdel Rahman) ('Umar 'Abd al-Rahman) (b. 1938).  An Egyptian religious scholar and an Islamic fundamentalist leader.  Born to a poor rural family in the village of al-Jamaliyah in Lower Egypt, Omar Ahmed 'Ali 'Abdel Rahman was accidentally blinded at ten months of age.  He studied a Braille version of the Qur'an as a child and developed an interest in the works of the Islamic purists.  He received a traditional religious education in regional urban centers, memorizing the Qur’an.  In 1960, he entered the faculty of Fundamentals of Religion at al-Azhar University in Cairo, where he graduated first in his class in 1965.  Although he had hoped to become a teaching assistant at the university, he was appointed by the state as a mosque preacher in a poor rural village in the Fayyum, Upper Egypt.  He soon returned to al-Azhar, however, obtaining a master’s degree in 1967 and a faculty appointment in 1968.  He continued both his graduate studies and occasional preaching in the Fayyum.

'Abdel Rahman made the pilgrimage to Mecca in 1968 and there met Sa‘id Ramadan, an expatriate leader of the Egyptian Muslim Brotherhood who opposed the government of Gamal 'Abdel Nasser.  Ramadan persuaded him to transport funds back to Egypt for the families of jailed brotherhood members.  'Abdel Rahman was arrested in the process and, although he was soon released, he lost his faculty position.  He was appointed to a bureaucratic post later in 1969, but he saw this as a shameful demotion.

'Abdel Rahman continued to preach in the Fayyum.  At a public ceremony after Nasser’s death on September 28, 1970, he condemned Nasser as an infidel and prohibited prayers for him.  As a consequence, he was detained by the government for eight months.

The new regime of Anwar el-Sadat declared an amnesty for jailed Islamic fundamentalists with the aim of enlisting them as a counterweight to leftist forces.  'Abdel Rahman was re-appointed as a teaching assistant at the Azhari Institute in Fayyum, but he was still the subject of controversy among university administrators.  After completing his doctorate in 1972, he briefly held a professorship at al-Azhar before being transferred to the religious faculty in Asyut, a center of Islamic fundamentalist activity.  Both the regional and national governments supported the establishment there of the Jama‘ah (Jama'at) al-Islamiyah ("The Islamic Group"), the Muslim Brotherhood’s student organization, to which 'Abdel Rahman was strongly sympathetic.

In 1977, 'Abdel Rahman married ‘Isha’ Hasan Judah, the daughter of a brotherhood member, and left Egypt to spend four years in Saudi Arabia as a professor of Qur’anic interpretation at Saud University.  Soon after his return, he was arrested for his involvement in the fundamentalist Jihad Organization accused of assassinating President Sadat.  He was accused of leading the organization and of participating in the assassination but was acquitted on both counts and released in 1984.

While he was imprisoned in the Egyptian jails, 'Abdel Rahman was severely tortured as he awaited trial on charges of issuing a fatwa resulting in Sadat's assassination by Egyptian Islamic Jihad.  Although 'Abdel Rahman was not convicted of conspiracy in the Sadat assassination, he was expelled from Egypt following his acquittal. 

During this protracted trial (1981-1984), three factors led to 'Abdel Rahman’s emergence as the leading figure in his Islamist movement.  The first was his book Mithaq al-‘amil al-Islami (“Charter of Islamic Action”), an explanation of his view of correct Islamic life.  It marked his departure from the more moderate wing of the brotherhood and affiliation with the radical forces informed by the concept of jihad and the necessity to overthrow the secular state in order to restore the principles of the Qur’an.  Second, he married again, this time to Fatin Shu‘ayb, a kinswoman of several important activists, affirming his solidarity with the Jama‘ah al-Islamiyah in Upper Egypt and lending weight to his religious status as mufti al-jihad.  Third, most of the major leaders of the jihad organization were executed or imprisoned for life, leaving a power vacuum that 'Abdel Rahman readily filled.

During the decade that followed, 'Abdel Rahman came to be portrayed by his political opponents and the media as the high priest of radical fundamentalism both in and outside Egypt.  After leaving Egypt, he made his way to Afghanistan in the mid-1980s where he contacted his former professor, 'Abdullah Azzam, co-founder of Maktab al-Khadamat (MAK) along with Osama bin Laden.  'Abdel Rahman built a strong rapport with bin Laden during the Afghan war against the Soviets, and following Azzam's murder in 1989, 'Abdel Rahman assumed control of the international jihadists arm of MAK/Al Qaeda. 

In July 1990, 'Abdel Rahman emigrated to New York City in the United States to gain control of MAK's financial and organizational infrastructure in the United States.  He was issued a tourist visa to visit the United States despite his name being listed on a United States State Department terrorist watch list.  Rahman entered the United States via Saudi Arabia, Peshawar, and Sudan.

'Abdel Rahman traveled widely in the United States and Canada.  Despite the United States support for the mujahideen in Afghanistan, 'Abdel Rahman was deeply anti-American and spoke out against America, safe in the knowledge that he was speaking Arabic and was unmonitored by any law enforcement agency.  He issued a fatwa in the United States that declared lawful the robbing of banks and killing of Jews in America.  His sermons condemned Americans and called on Muslims to assail the West.

In March 1992, 'Abdel Rahman was stripped of his green card and was subsequently summoned to a federal hearing on charges that he lied on his visa application.  An INS administrative judge ordered that 'Abdel Rahman be deported from the United States, but 'Abdel Rahman successfully fought the deportation ruling.

Preaching at three mosques in the New York City area, 'Abdel-Rahman was soon surrounded by a core group of devoted followers that included persons who became responsible for the World Trade Center bombings in 1993.  The 1993 bombing utilized a powerful car bomb and was detonated at New York's World Trade Center.  Six people were killed and more than a thousand were wounded.  'Abdel Rahman had intended to cause the bombed tower to fall onto its twin, causing both towers to collapse and killing tens of thousands.

After the first World Trade Center bombing in February 1993, the FBI began to investigate 'Abdel Rahman and his followers more closely.  With the assistance of an Egyptian informant wearing a listening device, the FBI managed to record Rahman issuing a fatwa encouraging acts of violence against United States civilian targets, particularly in the New York and New Jersey metropolitan area. 
The most startling plan, the government charged, was to set off five bombs in ten minutes, blowing up the United Nations, the Lincoln and Holland tunnels, the George Washington Bridge and a federal building housing the FBI.  Government prosecutors showed videotapes of defendants mixing bomb ingredients in a garage before their arrest in 1993.  'Abdel Rahman was arrested on June 24, 1993, along with nine of his followers.  On October 1, 1995, he was convicted of seditious conspiracy, and in 1996 was sentenced to life in prison.

One of Rahman's followers, El Sayyid Nosair, was also linked to the 1990 assassination of Israeli nationalist Rabbi Meir Kahane, founder of the militant Jewish Defense League.  Nosair was subsequently acquitted of murder but was convicted on gun possession charges. Nosair later stood trial as a co-conspirator of Rahman.  Both men received life sentences for the 1993 World Trade Center bombing.
 
After 1993, 'Abdel Rahman became, in fact, the acknowledged spiritual guide of the Jama‘ah al-Islamiyah, and he assumed great importance to radical Islamists in much of the Muslim world.  His imprisonment became a rallying point for Islamic militants around the world, including Al Qaeda and Osama bin Laden.  In 1997, members of his group Jama'ah al-Islamiyah conducted two attacks against European visitors to Egypt, including the massacre of 58 tourists at Deir el-Bahri in Luxor.  In addition to killing women and children, the attackers mutilated a number of bodies and distributed leaflets throughout the scene demanding the release of 'Abdel Rahman.

In 2005, members of Rahman's legal team were convicted of facilitating communication between the imprisoned 'Abdel Rahman and members of Jama'ah al-Islamiyah in Egypt.  As for 'Abdel Rahman, he was incarcerated at the Butner Medical Center which is part of the Butner Federal Correctional Institution in Butner, North Carolina, United States. 

‘Umar ‘Abd al-Rahman see 'Abdel Rahman, Omar
Omar Ahmed 'Ali 'Abdel Rahman see 'Abdel Rahman, Omar
Omar 'Abdel Rahman see 'Abdel Rahman, Omar


'Abd el-Wahaab, Mohamed
'Abd el-Wahaab, Mohamed (Mohamed 'Abd el-Wahaab) (Mohammed Abdel Wahab) (Muhammad 'Abdul Wahaab) (1907 - May 3, 1991).  Egyptian singer and composer.  Known as the "artist of generations," 'Abd el-Wahaab was the last remaining figure from the old guard and the most controversial and respected member of the musicial fraternity.  His achievements span a long career from the 1920s as a singer, to film star and eventually composer, a talent crowned when Umm Kalthum agreed to sing his "Enta Omri", a 1964 song which featured an electric guitar for the first time. 

Born in the Bab El-Sheriyah area of Cairo, Egypt, 'Abd el-Wahaab played oud before the Prince of Poets, Ahmed Shawqi. 

As a composer, 'Abd el-Wahaab is remembered as the modernizer of Arabic music, liberating it, as his supporters see it, from the limitations of the takht ensemble and allowing it to embrace western-style tangos, waltzes and instrumentation.  Others criticize his music for overt plagiarism.  He stood by his vision for modernization of the music all his life, demanding that "the artist is the creator and has the full right to introduce new elements into his music as he sees fit.  We must always be open to new ideas and not resist change.  Change is inevitable in everything."

It is ironic that in his later years 'Abd el-Wahaab became so contemptuous of other modernizers that he took his initiative a step further.  In 1990, he released a classical song into a market awash with the synthesizers of the new Egyptian pop.   This was the first occasion in 32 years that he sang his own composition.  "Minrear Ley" ("Without Why") set out to test popular loyalty, but was viewed by many as the final gasp of a wounded musical genre.  Its immediate success, however, went a long way to proving that, despite ending his life in the knowledge that he had failed to pass on his musical tradition to a new generation, his vision for Arab music still lives on. 

'Abd el-Wahaab died on May 3, 1991.  He is still considered one of the five greats of Arabic music, along with Umm Kalthoum, Farid Al Attrach, Fayrouz, and Abdel Halim Hafez.
Mohamed 'Abd el-Wahaab see 'Abd el-Wahaab, Mohamed
Muhammad Abdul Wahaab see 'Abd el-Wahaab, Mohamed
Artist of Generations see 'Abd el-Wahaab, Mohamed
Wahaab, Mohamed 'Abd el- see 'Abd el-Wahaab, Mohamed
Mohammed Abdel Wahab see 'Abd el-Wahaab, Mohamed
Wahab, Mohammed Abdel see 'Abd el-Wahaab, Mohamed


‘Abdillaahi, Muuse
‘Abdillaahi, Muuse (b. c. 1880).  Somali oral poet and man of religion.  Known for his wisdom and piety, ‘Abdillaahi is the author of various topical and didactic poems.  He is particularly remembered for the saying used in one of his poems: "He who speaks to termite hills will not get any sense out of them."
Muuse 'Abdillaahi see ‘Abdillaahi, Muuse


‘Abduh, Muhammad
‘Abduh, Muhammad (Muhammad 'Abduh) (Muhammed 'Abduh) (1849 - July 11, 1905).  Egyptian scholar and reformer who is regarded as the architect of Islamic modernism.  The birth year of Muhammad ‘Abduh coincided with the death of Muhammad ‘Ali, the Albanian adventurer and creator of modern Egypt.  ‘Ali’s regime, in political terms, generated the issues of modern change associated in intellectual terms with ‘Abduh’s pioneer leadership as a journalist, theologian, jurist and – in the last six years of his life – grand mufti of Egypt.  The initial factors in his career were his traditional studies at al-Azhar University and an early commitment to Sufism with the Shadhili order of mystical discipline and the practice of dhikr and ta‘widh.  His university studies ensured not only his grounding in the skills of an ‘alim but also his awareness of the inhibitions of taqlid (adherence to tradition), against which his reforming energies were later directed.  Although he intellectually renounced his Sufi background, it continued to impart a quality of piety to his academic concerns for liberation from the harmful effects of taqlid.

The crucial influence in his development was the impact of Jalal al-Din al-Afghani (1839-1897), a strenuous advocate of a unitary Islam who emphasized the concept of umma (community) against the regionalism that in the twentieth century of the Christian calendar was to break up allegiance to the Ottoman empire into nationalism and the nation state.  Pan-Islam was al-Afghani’s response to British rule in Egypt and to European domination in general.  ‘Abduh was drawn into the cause and became editor of the journal Al-‘urwah al-wuthqa (“Firm Handhold” or "The Firmest Bond"), which took its title from a Qur’anic phrase (Suras 2:256 and 31:22).  Despite the brevity of its publication in the 1880s, the journal kindled the enthusiasm of a generation of writers, including Rashid Rida, ultimately ‘Abduh’s biographer and his chief literary legatee.

‘Abduh was exiled from Egypt between 1882 and 1888, when he made wide contact with kindred minds in Syria and North Africa, with a short sojourn also in France.  After his return to Cairo, his thoughts and efforts were drawn increasingly toward education and a renewal of Islamic theology.  Given the ambiguities implicit in Arab Ottomanism and the actualities of British power in Egypt, he sensed that political activism had to be accompanied, if not overtaken, by the invigoration of the Muslim mind.  Western influences had taken hold ever since Napoleon’s intrusion into the Arab East, but largely in practical forms – arms, trade, travel, and finance.  A response to modernity had to be made in the way Islam perceived itself.  ‘Abduh’s training in the familiar scholastic patterns of tafsir (Qur’anic exegesis or commentary) and fiqh (jurisprudence) had made him aware of the impediment to critical self-awareness in those habits and attitudes.  The zest he had acquired from al-Afghani he now harnessed to intellectual ends.  The attitude and training of the ‘ulama’, as he saw them, had entrenched them in the citation of authority, the appeal to sacrosanct exegesis, and a supine satisfaction with static norms.  This taqlid, or “hideboundness” (to adopt a harsh translation), had its origins in the bases of Islam’s concept of wahy (“revelation”) in the Qur’an and in the assumption of isnad (“reliance”) on which its handling of tradition had long relied.  Once an instinct of loyalty to the past and as such characteristic of Muslim scholarship, taqlid had come to sap the genuine articulation of Islam’s meaning and quality.

To achieve emancipation from the mentality of taqlid and yet retain Islamic authenticity was therefore a formidable task.  ‘Abduh shouldered it with admirable tenacity, patience, and resilience, corroborating his scholarly credentials by earning increasing personal stature, despite the toll on his health and resources caused by pressure from reactionary forces.  The idea that the shari‘a could be subject to wise discretion and that even theology could be flexible within limits served to enliven theological education, to increase student initiative, and to give scope to existing ideas of istihsan and istislah (considerations of equity through appeal to well-being and good sense).

The main ground of ‘Abduh’s “liberal-loyal” equation was the conviction that revelation and reason, each rightly perceived, were inherently harmonious.  In Risalat al-tawhid ("The Theology of Unity" or "On Monotheism"), his most popular work, ‘Abduh expounded his conviction that “every sound speculation led to a belief in God as He is described in the Qur’an.”  ‘Abduh held that the premise on which this belief rested was such as to make proof unnecessary.  There were things about which it was not permissable to inquire, where curiosity could lead only to “confusion of belief.”  Nevertheless, what was given in revelation should be rationally possessed – a task incumbent on every generation.  There was no need to raise questions of theodicy, but sound exegesis should avoid crudely reading into the Qur’an anticipations of new discoveries and inventions.  The purpose of revelation was essentially religious.  What reason as science could achieve on its own, God had left it to do, and faith must respect its methods.  ‘Abduh sustained the traditional case for the ‘ijaz (matchlessness) of the Qur’an as conclusive evidence of its divine origin.  He identified as a form of shirk (“associationalism,” or more broadly “not letting God be God”) any reluctance to apply rationality to issues of society or to refuse its scientific fruits.  Such reluctance would be a disavowal of divine creation.  Shari‘a law was to be interpreted by the same principle of divinely created status and human custody in harmony.

At the time of his death, ‘Abduh was in his middle fifties.  The bitter opposition he suffered from both academic and legal foes was proof of the measure of his influence and the range of his vision for a renewed Islam.  His ideas found some continuing expression through the pages of the influential journal Al-manar (“Lighthouse”), but his disciples lacked his stature, and there is evidence of an adverse reaction to his legacy soon after his demise. From a historical perspective, however, he came to epitomize an incipient modernism, opening up a fresh viewpoint yet leaving many issues unresolved. 

He died on July 11, 1905 in Alexandria, Egypt.
Muhammad ‘Abduh see ‘Abduh, Muhammad
Muhammed 'Abduh see ‘Abduh, Muhammad
Architect of Islamic Modernism see ‘Abduh, Muhammad


'Abdulaziz
'Abdulaziz (February 9, 1830 - June 4, 1876). Ottoman sultan (r.1861-1876).  Revolts in the Balkan provinces brought about the intervention of foreign powers.  Notwithstanding the policy of reforms, the government had to declare itself bankrupt, and the sultan was deposed.  He committed suicide a few days later.

'Abdulaziz was born on February 9, 1830, in Istanbul.  He was the son of Sultan Mahmud II.  He received an Ottoman education but was nevertheless an ardent admirer of the material progress that was made in the West.  He was interested in literature and was also a classical music composer.  Some of his compositions have been collected in the album "European Music at the Ottoman Court" by the London Academy of Ottoman Court Music.

The parents of 'Abdulaziz were Mahmud II and Pertevniyal Valide Sultan.  The name of his mother is also spelled as "Partav-Nihal."  By 1868, Pertevniyal was settled in the Dolmabahce Palace.  That year, Sultan 'Abdulaziz led the visiting Eugenie de Montijo, Empress of France, to see his mother.  Pertevniyal perceived the presence of a foreign woman within her quarters of the seraglio as an insult.  She reportedly slapped Eugenie across the face, almost resulting in an international incident. 

Between 1861 and 1871, the Tanzimat reforms which began during the reign of 'Abdulaziz's brother, Abdulmecid, were continued under the leadership of 'Abdulaziz's able chief ministers, Kececizade Mehmed Fuad Pasha and Mehmed Emin Aali Pasha.  New administrative districts (vilayets) were set up in 1864 and a Council of State was established in 1868.  Public education was organized on the French model and the Istanbul University was reorganized as a modern institution in 1861.

'Abdulaziz cultivated good relations with the Second French Empire and the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Ireland and was the first Ottoman sultan to visit Western Europe, in 1867, which included a visit to England, where he was made a Knight of the Garter by Queen Victoria and shown a Royal Navy Fleet review with his Khedive of Egypt.  He travelled by a private rail car, which today can be found in the RMK Museum in Istanbul. 

In 1869, 'Abdulaziz received visits from Eugenie de Montijo, Empress consort of Napoleon III of France and other foreign monarchs on their way to the opening of the Suez Canal.  The Prince of Wales, the future Edward VII of the United Kingdom, twice visited Istanbul.

By 1871, both Aali Pasha and Fuad Pasha were dead.  The Second French Empire, his Western European model, had been defeated in the Franco-Prussian War by the North German Confederation under the leadership of the Kingdom of Prussia.  In foreign policy, 'Abdulaziz turned to the Russian Empire for friendship, as turmoil in the Balkan provinces continued.  In 1875, the Herzegovinian rebellion was the beginning of further unrest in the Balkan provinces.  In 1876, the April Uprising saw insurrection spreading among the Bulgarians.  Ill feeling mounted against Russia for its encouragement of the rebellions. 

The crop failure of 1873, the sultan's lavish expenditures on the Ottonman Navy and the new palaces which he built, and the mounting public debt had also heightened public discontent.  'Abdulaziz was deposed by his ministers on May 30, 1876.  His death a few days later was attributed to suicide.

The biggest achievement of 'Abdulaziz was to modernize the Ottoman navy.  In 1875, the Ottoman navy had 21 battleships and 173 other types of warships, ranking as the third largest navy in the world after the British and French navies.

'Abdulaziz also established the first Ottoman railroad network and Sirkeci Train Station in Istanbul, terminus of the Orient Express.   Impressed by the museums of London, Paris, and Vienna, 'Abdulaziz established the Istanbul Archaeological Museum.  Under 'Abdulaziz's reign, Turkey's first postage stamps were issued in 1863, and Turkey joined the Universal Postal Union in 1875 as a founding member.


‘Abdu'l-Baha
‘Abdu'l-Baha ('Abbas Effendi) (May 23, 1844 - November 28, 1921).  Eldest son, and successor, of Baha’Ullah, the founder of the Baha'i faith.  He was his father’s successor as the leader of the Baha’i community and as the official interpreter of Baha’Ullah’s teachings.  ‘Abdu'l-Baha, whose name means “Servant of the Glory”, was chiefly responsible for the spread of Baha’ism to Europe and America. 

'Abdu'l-Baha was born in Tehran, Persia on May 23, 1844, the eldest son of Baha'Ullah and Navvab.  He was born on the same night on which the Bab declared his mission.  During his youth, 'Abdu'l-Baha was shaped by his father's station as a prominent member of the Babis.  One event that affected 'Abdu'l-Baha greatly during his childhood was the imprisonment of his father when 'Abdu'l-Baha was nine years old.  The imprisonment led to his family being reduced to poverty and being attacked in the streets by other children.  A mob sacked their house, and the family was stripped of their possessions and were left in destitution.

Baha'Ullah was eventually released from prison but ordered into exile, and 'Abdu'l-Baha joined his father on the journey to Baghdad in the winter of 1853.  During the journey, 'Abdu'l-Baha suffered from frost-bite.  When Baha'Ullah secretly left to the mountains of Sulaymaniyah, 'Abdu'l-Baha was no more than ten years old and grieved over his separation from his father.  During his years in Baghdad, 'Abdu'l-Baha spent much of his time reading the writings of the Bab, wrote commentary on Qur'anic verses and conversed with the learned of the city.  In 1856, when news of a personage in the mountains of Kurdistan arrived, 'Abdu'l-Baha along with some family and friends set out to ask Baha'Ullah to return to Baghdad. 

In 1863, Baha'Ullah was summoned to Istanbul.  Baha'Ullah and his whole family, including 'Abdu'l-Baha, then nineteen, made the 110 day journey.  'Abdu'l-Baha followed his father through the further exile to Adrianople (Edirne), and finally Akka, Palestine (now Acre, Israel).  During this time, he increasingly assumed the role of Baha'Ullah's chief steward.

Upon arrival in Acre, due to the unsanitary state of its barracks, many of the Baha'is fell sick, and 'Abdu'l-Baha tended the sick.  Furthermore, the inhabitants of Acre were told that the new prisoners were enemies of the state, of God and God's religions, and that association with them was strictly forbidden.  The Baha'is were faced with hostile officials and scornful inhabitants. 'Abdu'l-Baha had to shield his father from many of these attacks.  Over time, 'Abdu'l-Baha gradually took over responsibility for the relationships between the small Baha'i exile community and the outside world.  It was through his interaction with the people of Akka that, according to the Baha'is, they recognized the innocence of the Baha'is, and thus the conditions of imprisonment were eased.  Eventually, Baha'Ullah was allowed to leave the city and visit nearby places.

After Baha'Ullah died on May 29, 1892, the Will and Testament of Baha'Ullah named 'Abdu'l-Baha as Center of the Covenant, successor and interpreter of Baha'Ullah's writings.  In the Will and Testament 'Abdu'l-Baha's half brother, Muhammad 'Ali, was mentioned by name as being subordinate to 'Abdul-Baha.  Muhammad 'Ali became jealous of his half-brother and set out to establish authority for himself as an alternative leader with the support of his brothers Bad'ullah and Diya'ullah.  He began correspondence with Baha'is in Iran, initially in secret, casting doubts in others' minds about 'Abdu'l-Baha.  While most Baha'is followed 'Abdu'l-Baha, a handful followed Muhammad 'Ali including such leaders as Mirza Javad and Ibrahim Khayru'llah, the famous Baha'i missionary to America.

Muhammad 'Ali and Mirza Javad began to openly accuse 'Abdu'l-Baha of taking on too much authority, suggesting that he believed himself to be a Manifestation of God, equal in status to Baha'Ullah.  It was at this time that 'Abdu'l-Baha, in order to provide proof of the falsity of the accusations leveled against him, in tablets to the West, stated that he was to be known as "'Abdu'l-Baha", an Arabic phrase meaning the Servant of Baha to make it clear tha he was not a Manifestation of God, and that his station was only servitude.

It was as a result of this breakdown in relations between the half-brothers that when 'Abdu'l-Baha died, instead of appointing Muhammad 'Ali, he left a Will and Testament that set up the framework of an administration.  The two highest institutions were the Universal House of Justice, and the Guardianship, for which he appointed Shoghi Effendi as the Guardian.  For his part, Muhammad 'Ali worked with the Ottoman authorities to re-introduce stricter terms on 'Abdu'l-Baha's imprisonment in August 1901.  By 1902, however, due to the Governor of Acre being supportive of 'Abdu'l-Baha, the situation was greatly eased.  While pilgrims were able to once again visit 'Abdu'l-Baha, he was confined to the city.  In February 1903, two followers of Muhammad 'Ali, including Badi'u'llah and Siyyid 'Aliy-i-Afnan, broke with Muhammad 'Ali and wrote books and letters giving details of Muhammad 'Ali's plots and noting that what was circulating about 'Abdu'l-Baha was fabrication. 

By the year 1904, in addition to the building of the Shrine of the Bab that 'Abdu'l-Baha was directing, he planned the restoration of the House of the Bab in Shiraz and the construction of the first Baha'i House of Worship in Ashgabat.  Also in 1904, Muhammad 'Ali continued his accusations against 'Abdu'l-Baha which caused an Ottoman commission summoning 'Abdu'l-Baha to answer the accusations leveled against him.  During the inquiry, the charges against him were dropped and the inquiry collapsed.  The next few years in Acre were relatively free of pressures and pilgrims were able to come and visit 'Abdu'l-Baha.

The 1908 Young Turks revolution freed all political prisoners in the Ottoman Empire.  'Abdu'l-Baha was freed from the imprisonment.  With the freedom to leave the country, in 1910 he embarked on a three year journey to Egypt, Europe, and North America, spreading the Baha'i message.

From August to December 1911, 'Abdu'l-Baha visited cities in Europe, including London, Bristol, and Paris.  The purpose of these trips was to support the Baha'i communities in the west and to further spread his father's teachings. 

In the following year, he undertook a much more extensive journey to the United States and Canada to once again spread his father's teachings.  He arrived in New York City on April 11, 1912, after declining an offer of passage on the RMS Titanic, telling the Baha'i believers, instead, to "Donate this to charity."  He instead travelled on a slower craft, the S. S. Cedric, and cited preference of a longer sea journey as the reason.  Upon arriving in New York, he arranged a private meeting with the survivors of the ill-fated Titanic, who asked him if he had foreknowledge of the Titanic's doomed fate.  'Abdu'l-Baha replied, "God gives man feelings of intuition."  While he spent most of his time in New York, he visited Chicago, Cleveland, Pittsburgh, Washington, D. C., Boston and Philadelphia.  In August of the same year, he started a more extensive journey to places including New Hampshire, the Green Acre school in Maine, and Montreal.  He then travelled west to Minneapolis, San Francisco, Stanford, and Los Angeles before starting to return east at the end of October.  On December 5, 1912, he set sail back to Europe.

Back in Europe, 'Abdu'l-Baha visited London, Paris, Stuttgart, Budapest, and Vienna.  Finally, on June 12, 1913, he returned to Egypt, where he stayed for six months before returning to Haifa.

During World War I, 'Abdu'l-Baha stayed in Palestine, under the continued threat of Allied bombardment and threats from the Turkish commander.  As the war ended, the British Mandate over Palestine brought relative security to 'Abdul-Baha.  During his final year, a growing number of visitors and pilgrims came to see him in Haifa.

On April 27, 1920, 'Abdu'l-Baha was awarded a knighthood by the British Mandate of Palestine for his humanitarian efforts during the war. 

'Abdu'l-Baha died on November 28, 1921.  He was buried in the front room of the Shrine of the Bab on Mount Carmel.  Plans are in place to one day build a Shrine of 'Abdul-Baha.  In his Will and Testament, 'Abdu'l-Baha appointed his grandson Shoghi Effendi Rabbani as the Guardian of the Baha'i faith.
Servant of the Glory see ‘Abdu'l-Baha
The Master see ‘Abdu'l-Baha
'Abbas Effendi see ‘Abdu'l-Baha
Effendi, 'Abbas see ‘Abdu'l-Baha


'Abdul Bubakar
'Abdul Bubakar.   Ruler of Futa Toro (Senegal).  During his reign, he attempted to revive the Tukolor (Tukulor) confederation to oppose the French.

Although Futa Toro had been united in a jihad by the end of the 1700s, the Islamic confederation of states which resulted was always tenuous.  Each clan leader was territorial in orientation and determined to guard his own interests. 

The most powerful of the clan leaders in the 1870s was 'Abdul Bubakar.  Fearing the French advance up the Senegal River, Bubakar attempted to unite the Tukolor into a more cohesive resisting force.  His efforts met with little overall success.  Indeed, in 1877, 'Abdul Bubakar was compelled to recognize France and its protectorate over his provinces. 

Nevertheless, 'Abdul Bubakar continued to fight the French.  Allying himself with the Fula and the Wolof, Bubakar “resisted” until the 1890s. 


Bubakar, 'Abdul see 'Abdul Bubakar.


'Abdul Ghani
'Abdul Ghani (1864-1945).  Indian Muslim who graduated from medical school at Government College in Lahore in 1883.  He went to London for further study where he met Sardar Nasrullah, son of Amir Abdur-Rahman, and obtained a scholarship for study in England from the amir.  In 1891, he went to Kabul to serve as secretary to Amir Abdur Rahman.  Subsequently, he served for three years as principal of the Islamia College at Lahore but returned to Afghanistan under Amir Habibullah and was appointed chief medical officer, director of public instruction in Afghanistan, and principal of Habibia School.  He was a champion of political and social reform and attracted a circle of “Young Afghans” who formed a secret organization called sirr-i milli (“Secret of the Nation”).  In 1909, he and a number of his followers were arrested for having plotted against the life of Amir Habibullah.  He was freed when King Amanullah ascended the throne.  King Amanullah also appointed Abdul Ghani a member of the Afghan delegation to the Rawalpindi Peace Conference in August 1919.  Abdul Ghani subsequently returned to India and wrote about Afghanistan and Central Asia.  His A Brief Political History of Afghanistan was published posthumously by his nephew in 1979. 
Ghani, 'Abdul  see 'Abdul Ghani


'Abdul Ghani Mian
'Abdul Ghani Mian (Khwaja 'Abdul Ghani) (Nawab Bahadur Sir Khwaja Abdul Ghani Mian) (July 30, 1813 - August 24, 1896).  First Nawab of Dhaka recognized by the British Raj.  He served as a member of the Bengali Legislative Council in 1866 and as a member of the Legislative Council of the Governor General.  He is best remembered for donating the first waterworks in Dhaka.  'Abdul Ghani was succeeded as nawab by his son Nawab Khwaja Ahsanullah Khan.

'Abdul Ghani Mian was born on July 30, 1813, in Begum Bazaar, Dhaka, the second son of Khwaja Alimullah.  Khwaja Alimullah consolidated the Khwaja estates to become the first Nawab of the family.  He inherited the estate from his father, which included the French kuthi at Kumartuli bought by Alimullah in 1830, the Shahbag garden bought by Alimullah from P. Aratun, an Armenian zamindar, and Griffith Cook, a British Justice in 1840.  His mother was Zinat Begum  Alimullah had eight other wives and fifteen other children.

In 1846, 'Abdul Ghani inherited all the family proprieties, landed or otherwise, as an indivisible concern by a waqfnama executed by his father Khwaja Alimullah.  As the mutawalli (trustee) he was made the sole administrator of the estate, as well as the sole representative and spokesperson of the family.  He had the sole responsibility to distribute the family income as individual allowances to selecta successor as he deemed fit.

During the Sepoy Mutiny of 1857, 'Abdul Ghani supported the British Raj.  He also donated a large amount of money to the Debt Fund for people's welfare which had been launched by the government after the Mutiny.  He served the Raj long as member of the Municipality and the Magistracy, and was known as a fine arbiter of conflicts.  In 1869, he settled a violent Shi'ite-Sunni riot through arbitration.

'Abdul Ghani struck a good relation with Lord Northbrook, Governor General of India (1872-1876) who was against the Disraeli government in England, and Lord Dufferin, Viceroy of India, (1884-1888) who enacted the Bengal Tenancy Act of 1885.  The Raj eventually vested the title of Nawab, which was made hereditary and was upgraded to the title of Nawab Bahadur.

'Abdul Ghani developed the property he inherited and was put in charge of, taking it to the height of the history of the family.  He also contributed significantly to development of Dhaka.  He introduced gaslights to light Dhaka streets, and running water facilities at his own expense.  The Water Works foundation stone was laid by Lord Northbrook on August 6, 1874.  'Abdul Ghani also established a Langarkhana (asylum) in Dhaka in 1866 for the destitute, a high school at Kumartuli in 1863 (which later became Khwaja Salimullah College, named after his grandson), and the Abdul Ghani High School at Jamurki, Tangail.

'Abdul Ghani engaged Martin & Company, a European construction and engineering firm, from 1859 to 1872 to develop the kuthi in Kumartuli and rebuilt it into one of Dhaka's finest landmarks.  Renamed Ahsan Manzil after his favorite son and successor Khwaja Ahsanullah, it became the seat of power for the family.  In the newly built Rang Mahal (the older building was known as Andar Mahal) he received Lord Northbrook and Lord Dufferin as guests.

'Abdul Ghani restored former property of Aratun and Cook to its lost glory as Bag-e Badshahi (Garden of Kings) of the Mughals, and renamed it Shahbag.  He expanded the area further by buying land from the son of Nuruddin Hossain, who set up Nurkhan Bazar in the area.  It was further expanded by more land bought in 1876-77, bringing the whole land area to 26.5 hectares.  He started the garden house in 1873, which took several years to complete.

'Abdul Ghani was the first to donate funds for the project undertaken by City Commissioner C. T. Buckland to create a dam to protect Dhaka from flooding and river erosion, along with Kalinarayan Roy, the zamindar of Bhawal.  In the 1870s, he also undertook its extension westward from Wiseghat.  Like the Strand, the Buckland Bund came to serve Dhaka people as a promenade of enjoyment.  It is where the Bhawal Sannyasi appeared covered in ashes.

In 1866, Nawab 'Abdul Ghani purchased the land near the lake of Motijheel from E. F. Smith and made there a garden house named Dilkusha for his son Khwaja Ahsanullah.  Later, he expanded the garden by buying land from Armenian zaminder Manuk, whose name is still borne by a building in the Bangabhaban, official residence of the President of Bangladesh.  This Manuk House was a part of the land that was acquired by the British Governor General of India from the Dhaka Nawab Family.

'Abdul Ghani was one of the proprietors (1856-1858) of the Weekly Dhaka News, the first English newspaper from Dhaka.  It was printed by the first printing press in Dhaka, the Dhaka News Press, founded in 1856.

'Abdul Ghani was a great patron of the arts of the baijees, the hereditary dancing girls introduced to Bengal by Wajid Ali Shah, the Nawab of Awadh.  Baijees, known as the Tawaif in Northern India, danced a special form of Kathak focused at popular entertainment along with singing mostly in the form of Thumri.  Apart from the Nawab's mansions they also danced at Durga puja and at European mansions at that time.

During the reign of 'Abdul Ghani, baijees used to perform regularly for mehfils and mujras at the Rangmahal of Ahsan Manzil, Ishrat Manzil of Shahbagh, and the garden house of Dilkusha.  The performance of Mushtari Bai at Shahbag earned much praise from eminent litterateur 'Abdul Gafur Naskhan.

'Abdul Ghani introduced the first femal performers on Dhaka theater stages.  In 1876, he invited a theater troupe from Bombay (Mumbai) to stage two Hindi plays, Indrasabha and Yadunagar.

'Abdul Ghani was multilingual.  He spoke Urdu, his native tongue, Bangla, English and Persian.  He learned Arabic and Persian at home, and English at Dhaka Collegiate School.  He is known as patron of Urdu and Persian literature in Dhaka.  He observed the Shi'a Remembrance of Muharram, and contributed to renovate Hoseni Dalan, the Shi'ite center in Dhaka, although he was a Sunni himself.  He also had close relations with the Hindu, Armenian, and European communities.

'Abdul Ghani had four wives -- Ismatunnesa Khanam, Umda Khanam, Munni Bibi, and Dulhan Bibi.  His successor, Khwaja Ahsanullah, was his second son born to his first wife Ismatunnesa.  'Abdul Ghani had ten other children and twenty-one grandchildren. 

Ultimately, 'Abdul Ghani will be remembered for introducing the panchayat system, gaslights, water works, newspaper, and the zoological garden to Dhaka.  He established Ahsan Manzil, the residence and seat of power for Dhaka Nawab family, Victoria Park, the gardens at Dilkusha and Shahbag, where he initiated many annual events like Boli Khela and agricultural and industrial fair to celebrate the Christian New Year.  He was also responsible for the Buckland Bund and the first female ward in the first hospital in Dhaka, and was a founding commissioner of Dhaka Municipality.


Mian, 'Abdul Ghani see 'Abdul Ghani Mian
Khwaja 'Abdul Ghani see 'Abdul Ghani Mian
Nawab Bahadur Sir Khwaja Abdul Ghani Mian see 'Abdul Ghani Mian


'Abdul Hadi Dawai
'Abdul Hadi Dawai (Pareshan) (1894-1982).  Kakar Pashtun and a famous poet, diplomat and government official who published under the pen name Pareshan ("distressed").  He was elected senator and became president of the senate from 1966 to 1973.   Born in 1894 in Kabul, he was a graduate of the first class of Habibia School in 1912.  In the same year, he became assistant editor of the famous Seraj al-Akhbar Afghaniya and, in 1920, of the Aman-i Afghan.  He entered the foreign service, participating in the Rawalpindi and Mussoorie peace conferences.  He was appointed Afghan minister in London in 1922, served as minister of Commerce from 1925 until his resignation in 1928, and as Afghan minister in Berlin from December 1929-1931.  From 1933 until 1946 he was imprisoned as an Amanullah supporter.  In 1950, he was elected to Parliament and became speaker of the House.  He served as secretary of King Muhammad Zahir and tutor of the crown prince.  He was appointed ambassador to Cairo (1952-1954) and to Jakarta (1954-58).  He retired from political life and died in 1982 in Kabul.
Pareshan see 'Abdul Hadi Dawai
Dawai, 'Abdul Hadi see 'Abdul Hadi Dawai


'Abdul Hai
'Abdul Hai (Mirza 'Abdul Hai) (1919-1948).   Civil servant who also was a noted short-story writer and novelist.  He contributed to a wide range of magazines.
Hai, 'Abdul see 'Abdul Hai
Mirza 'Abdul Hai see 'Abdul Hai
Hai, Mirza 'Abdul see 'Abdul Hai


Abdulhak Adnan Adivar
Abdulhak Adnan Adivar (1882-1955).  Turkish author, scholar and politician who was a prominent member of the Committee of Union and Progress (in Turkish, Ittihad we Teraqqi Jem‘iyyeti).  He later joined the Nationalist Movement, but then founded the Progressive Republican Party which represented the main opposition to Mustafa Kemal Ataturk.  In 1940, he became chief editor of the Turkish Encyclopedia of Islam.  His principal work is a history of science in Turkey. 

Adnan Adivar was one of the intellectuals within Mustafa Kemal Ataturk's circle, active in the Turkish War of Independence with his wife the author Halide active in the Turkish War of Independence with his wife the author Halide Edip Adivar.  He escaped arrest in Istanbul by occupying British who were making a sweep of all Ottoman intellectuals and deporting to Malta at the end of World War I, by joining the Kemalist forces in Anatolia.  Later he parted ways with Mustafa Kemal Ataturk, disagreeing with the new direction the young Republic was taking.  He opposed the immense powers given to Ataturk by the parliament, fearing he was going to be a dictator.  He joined the short-lived opposition party and his name was later associated with an attempt on Ataturk's life in 1926 and he had to go abroad for a while.  Even though he was cleared, he stayed in exile until 1939.

Graduated from the Medical Facility in 1905, Adivar left for Berlin to be specialized in internal medicine.  Following the proclamation of the Second Constitution at 1908, Adivar went back to Istanbul.  As he was close to the Young Turks, he was appointed as the director of the Medical Facility at the age of 30.  He served in the Red Crescent during the war against Italians in Tripoli, participated to the Balkan Wars and the World War I.  In 1917, he married the novelist Halide Edip and both joined the team of Mustafa Kemal Ataturk in 1918 when foreign armies occupied Istanbul.  In Ankara, Adnan Adivar was named Ministry of Health, Minister of Internal Affairs and the Vice President of the National Assembly between 1920 and 1923.  Following the proclamation of the Republic, he founded in 1924 the opposition party with a small number of deputies.  He became the secretary general and did not hesitate to criticize the government.  Disappointed, Adivar left for Vienna to accompany his wife who needed to undergo medical treatment.  Allegations of Adivar's involvement in an attempt on Ataturk's life made Adivar extend his stay abroad where he seems to have developed an interest in philosophy and history of science.

Adivar directed publication of the Turkish edition of the Encyclopedia of Islam, contributing its introduction and a number of articles.  His other significant publication is La Science Chez les Turks Ottomans (Paris, 1939), which can be regarded as a first attempt to present together the activities displayed by Turkish scholars during the Ottoman period, 14th to 19th centuries.  His other works include a Turkish translation of Bertrand Russell's Philosophical Matters (1936), a two-volume work in Turkish on science and religion through history, and many essays and articles on cultural and scientific topics. 

Adnan Adivar held various government and parliamentary positions in the early years of the Turkish Republic.  He was a deputy in the first Turkish Parliament in 1920 and again elected there for the 1946-1950 session.


Adivar, Abdulhak Adnan see Abdulhak Adnan Adivar


Abdulhak Hamit
Abdulhak Hamit (Abdulhak Hamit Tarhan) (1852-1937).  Turkish poet and author of the first Turkish play.  His use of new metres and a sort of blank verse deeply influenced Turkish poetry between 1885 and 1905 and his early works recorded the clash between Western science and Muslim faith. 

Abdulhak Hamit Tarhan was born into a wealthy Istanbul family.  His grandfather was physician to the sultan of the Ottoman Empire.  He was privately tutored, then enrolled in a French school, and after a tour of Europe became one of the first Muslim students to enroll at Robert College (now part of Bosporus University).  In 1871, he married into an aristocratic family and served in the empire's embassy in Paris.  In 1878, his play Nestern was deemed subversive, and he was dismissed.  In 1881, he was readmitted to the Ottoman foreign service and was posted abroad (in Paris, Bombay, London, and Belgium) until 1921.  This was also Abdulhak Hamit Tarhan's most active period of literary production.  In 1922, he returned to Turkey, where he was soon elected to represent Istanbul in the new Turkish Grand National Assembly.

Tarhan was a major writer of the Tanzimat era.  His participation in the Servet-i Funun (Wealth of Sciences) movement, with its concern for technique and its valorization of art for its own sake, helped to prepare an environment for the flowering of modern literature in Turkey.   
Hamit, Abdulhak see Abdulhak Hamit
Abdulhak Hamit Tarhan see Abdulhak Hamit
Tarhan, Abdulhak Hamit see Abdulhak Hamit


'Abdul Hamid
'Abdul Hamid (1886-1963).  Born in the Sylhet District (which was then in Assam), 'Abdul was a member of the Assam Legislative Council from 1924 to 1937, and served in various ministerial positions from 1929 to 1937.  He was deputy leader of the Muslim League in the Assam Legislative Assembly from 1937 to partition and strongly supported the Pakistani position in the plebiscite that resulted in the transfer of most of the Sylhet District to East Bengal.  Abdul Hamid was minister of education of the Muslim League East Bengal government until its fall in the 1954 provincial election.
Hamid, 'Abdul see 'Abdul Hamid


Abdulhamid I
Abdulhamid I (Abdul Hamid I) (March 20, 1725 - April 7, 1789).  Ottoman sultan (r. 1774-1789) who was forced to sign the Treaty of Kucuk Qaynarja with Russia, a treaty which was dictated by the Russians.  Despite his benevolent nature and love of peace, Abdulhamid’s reign was marked by war with Persia, with Russia (mainly over the Crimea), and with Austria.

Abdulhamid was the son of Sultan Ahmed III (1703-1730) and succeeded his brother Mustafa III (1757-1774) on January 21, 1774.  Abdulhamid was imprisoned for most of the first forty-three years of his life by his cousins Mahmud I and Osman III, and his brother Mustafa III, as was the custom.  He received his early education from his mother Rabia Sem Sultana, from whom he studied history and learned calligraphy.  His imprisonment made him aloof in regards to state affairs and malleable to the designs of his advisors.  Yet he was also very religious and a pacifist by nature.  At his accession, the financial straits of the treasury were such that the usual donative could not be given to the Janissaries.  War was, however, forced on him and less than a year after his accession the complete defeat of the Turks at the Battle of Kozluja led to the Treaty of Kucuk Qaynarja (Treaty of Kucuk Kainarji) on July 21, 1774.

In spite of his failures, Abdulhamid was regarded as the most gracious Sultan of the Ottomans.  He administrated the fire brigade during the fire in 1782.  In Istanbul, he won the admiration of his people for his religious manner, so much so that he was called a "Veli" -- a saint.  He also initiated a reform policy, followed the governmental administrations closely and worked with statesmen. 

When Abdulhamid came to the throne, the army asked for gratuities and the sultan claimed that:  "There are, no longer, gratuities in our treasury, all of our soldier sons should learn."  He also began the restoration of the military system.  He is credited with better education standards.  He tried to renovate the Janissary corps and the naval forces.  Abdulhamid established a new artillery troop and conducted a census of the Janissary corps.

Slight successes against rebellious outbreaks in Syria and the Morea could not compensate for the loss of the Crimea which Russia greatly coveted.  War was once more declared against Russia in 1787 and in the following year Russians were joined by Austria.  The Swedes and Prussians joined the conflict on the side of the Ottomans but provided no assistance.  While the Ottomans held their own in the conflict -- and even "won" the Battle of Karansebes without firing a single shot -- they ultimately lost with Ochakov falling in 1788 to the Russians (all of its inhabitants being massacred).

Abdulhamid died four months later at the age of sixty-four.  He was buried in Bahcekapi, a tomb he had constructed for himself.

The wives of Abdulhamid were Ayse Sine-perver haseki sultan, Nakshedil Haseki Sultan (Aimee de Buc de Rivery -- the cousin of Josephine Beauharnais, the wife of Napoleon), Hatice Ruh-shah, Huma Shah, Ayse, Bimaz, Dilpezir, Mehtabe, Misl-i Na-yab, Mu'teber, Fatma Sheb-SafaNevres, and Mihriban.  His concubines were Nukhet-seza Hanimefendi (First Concubine) and Ayse Hammefendi (Second Concubine).

The sons of Abdulhamid were Mustafa IV (his son by Ayse Sine-perver and Ottoman Sultan 1807-1808), Mahmud II (his son by Nakshedil and Ottoman Sultan 1808-1839), Murad, Nusret, Mehmed, Ahmed, and Suleyman.  His daughters were Esma, Emine, Rabia, Saliha, Alimsah, Durusehvar, Fatma, Meliksah, Hibetullah and Zekiye.


Abdulhamid II
Abdulhamid II (Abdul Hamid II) (Ulu Hakan) (The Great Khan) (The Red Sultan) (Abdul the Damned) (The Great Assassin) (September 21, 1842 - February 10, 1918).  Ottoman sultan  (r. August 31, 1876 - April 27, 1909).  In order to put a stop to the intervention of European powers, Abdulhamid initiated an international conference in Istanbul and promulgated the first Constitution, which introduced a two-Chamber parliamentary system.  The parliament, however, was prorogued -- suspended -- in 1878 until 1918.  Wars were waged with Russia in 1877 and with Greece in 1897.  The Macedonian imbroglio led to interventions by the European powers which precipitated the Young Turk revolution.  The sultan was deposed by the National Assembly in 1909.  The reign of Abdulhamid II was marked by absolutism which, in its turn, led to fear and suspicion, and by Pan-Islamism.  Abdulhamid was noted for his advocacy of pan-Islamic ideas and for his opposition to constitutional government. This Pan-Islamism prompted the sultan to construct the Hijaz Railway connecting Turkey to the Holy Cities of Islam.

Known to some as the Ulu Hakan -- the Great Khan, Abdulhamid II is better known in the West as "The Red Sultan", "Abdul the Damned", or "The Great Assassin" for the massacres of Ottoman Armenians which occurred throughout his tenure.  His deposition following the Young Turk Revolution was hailed by most Ottoman citizens, who welcomed the return to constitutional rule.

Abdulhamid was the son of Sultan Abdulmecid and one of his many wives, the Circassian Tirimujgan (Virjin) Sultana.  Abdulhamid II was a carpenter and personally crafted most of his own furniture, which can be seen today at the Yildiz Palace and Beylerbeyi Palace in Istanbul.  Abdulhamid II was also interested in opera and personally wrote the first ever Turkish translations of many opera classics.  He also composed several opera pieces for the Mizika-i Humayun which he established, and hosted the famous performers of Europe at the Opera House of Yildiz Palace.

Abdulhamid II was the thirty-fourth Ottoman sultan. A profound political and economic crisis brought Abdulhamid II to the throne.  Dating from 1839, the open-door policy of the Ottoman government, the commercial and legal privileges granted to European powers, and the westernizing reform attempts – the Tanzimat – had ruptured the Ottoman social fabric.  Trade and budget deficits soared.  Heavy government borrowing abroad and at home delayed the inevitable financial crisis, but in 1875 the Treasury declared insolvency.  European creditors protested.  Unrest mounted everywhere, fanning nationalist revolts among Christians in the Balkans and anti-Tanzimat movements among Muslims.

The government in Istanbul lost control of events.  After the death of the last powerful Tanzimat minister, Mehmed Emin Ali Pasha, in 1871, senior statesmen engaged in a struggle to control the government.  In 1876, a group of ministers led by Midhat Pasha provoked the armed forces to stage a coup d’etat and deposed the reigning sultan Abdulaziz.  His successor Murad V suffered a mental collapse and was deposed within three months.  On August 31, 1876, Abdulhamid II succeeded Murad V on the throne.

Meanwhile, nationalist uprisings in the Balkans turned into bloody ethnic and religious confrontations.  The European powers put pressure on the Ottoman government to grant autonomy to the Christian population.  Midhat responded by promulgating a constitution (on December 23, 1876) that assured basic civil liberties, including the equality of all subjects before law, and provided for a parliament.

Forestalling foreign intervention was only one objective of the constitution, and in this it failed.  A disastrous war with Russia nearly brought the end of the Ottoman state in 1877.  In a series of difficult negotiations that lasted until 1882, the Ottomans surrendered large tracts of territory not only to the Balkan states and Russia but also to other major powers.

The constitution was also intended as a solution to the crisis of authority afflicting the Ottoman state.  As such, it reflected a consensus and set certain limits on executive authority but left the sultan with great powers vis-à-vis both the cabinet and the parliament.  Indeed, Abdulhamid dismissed and exiled Midhat in February 1877 and suspended the parliament in February 1878 on the basis of his constitutional prerogatives.  He did not meet any opposition, for the most influential Ottoman elite viewed him as a sensible sovereign capable of providing the leadership necessary to deal with the grave problems facing the government.  In 1878, he began to establish an authoritarian regime that eventually breached the spirit of the constitution and brought his downfall.

The reason for the Sultan's actions was war with Russia, declared April 24, 1877.  Military successes by the Slavic states and losses in the Caucasus caused the Ottomans to bow to the Russian presence at Yesilkoy (San Stefano) only ten miles from Istanbul.  The settlement of San Stefano in March 1878 was harsh for Turkey because it provided for Bosnian-Herzegovinian autonomy, the independence of Serbia, Montenegro, and Romania, establishment of "Greater Bulgaria,"  and an indemnity and cession of territory to the czar.  The terms were ameliorated by a revision announced in Berlin on July 13, 1878.

Domestically, German influence was on the rise (British support had helped Midhat Pasha).  Germans reorganized the army and the country's tangled finances.  Foreign control over finances was confirmed by a decree issued December 1881 consolidating the public debt and creating the Ottoman Public Debt Administration.  Its function was to collect assigned revenues, such as those from monopolies on tobacco and salt and assorted excise taxes and to use these funds to reduce the indebtedness owed European bondholders.

The Ottoman Public Debt Administration proved a spirited agency for economic betterment.  Tax collection techiniques improved and revenues increased; technological innovations were introduced in industries supervised by the agency; Turkish public administration training began here; improvements were made in transportation with railroad mileage increasing notably; and the credit of the empire improved to a point where foreign economic investments resumed.

However, the state of Ottoman finances was a major problem during the reign of Abdulhamid.  Around thirty percent of the government revenue went directly into the coffers of the foreign-controlled Public Debt Administration, and an additional forty percent was devoured by military expenditures.  Given the consequent dearth of funds, the government awarded many of the planned projects and important mines to European concerns as monopolistic concessions.  To a certain extent, Abdulhamid was able to use European vested interests to perpetuate his own policies.  However, the commercial and legal capitulations enjoyed by the European powers, backed by threats of force, left him with little room to maneuver. 

The Ottoman regime looked increasingly helpless in defending local interests at a time when limited but real achievements aroused expectations, and nationalistic sentiments therefore gained momentum even among Muslims, undermining Abdulhamid’s appeal to Islamic solidarity.  There also developed a Muslim religious opposition to the sultan, not least because of his emphasis on modern secular schools at the expense of traditional religious ones.  It was, however, among the graduates of the modern schools that the most formidable opposition to Abdulhamid’s regime took form.  Demanding a  more institutionalized and participatory regime, a large group of Ottoman officials, officers, and intellectuals organized the Committee of Union and Progress (CUP), the indigenous organization of the Young Turks.

Abdulhamid was anxious to appear as a religious champion against Christian encroachment.  He encouraged the building of the Mecca railroad to make Islam's holy places more accessible.  He subsidized the pan-Islamic policy of Jamal-ud Din al-Afghani, whom Abdulhamid invited to Istanbul but virtually imprisoned there, and encouraged widespread support for himself as the head of the caliphate.

Neither pan-Islamic nationalism nor efforts at economic development could quiet internal unrest, however.  Revolts broke out in various parts of the empire.  Yemen, Mesopotamia, and Crete were particularly troubled.  In Armenia, whose inhabitants wanted the changes promised at Berlin, a series of revolts occurred between 1892 and 1894, culminating in persecutions and massacres of an estimated 100,000 Armenians.  For these persecutions, Abdulhamid became known as "Abdul the Damned" and the "Red Sultan."

The government engaged increasingly in espionage and mass arrests.  By 1907, both military and civilian protests were widespread. 
In 1908, sporadic mutinies broke out among the army corps in Rumelia and Macedonia and rapidly evolved into a popular movement that forced Abdulhamid to call for elections and to agree to serve as a parliamentary-constitutionalist monarch.  Supporters of the CUP (Ittihad we Teraqqi Jem'iyetti) won the majority in the parliament.  But as the parliament and the cabinet became bogged down in a struggle over their respective rights, and as the separatist movements in the Balkans intensified, the political situation remained tense. 

Leadership of the protest movement fell to a Salonika-based liberal reform group, the Committee of Union and Progress.  In the summer of 1908, dogged by police, the leaders fled to the hills.  However, when the III Army Corps threatened to march on Istanbul unless the constitution was restored, Abdulhamid complied.  He also called for elections and appointed a liberal grand vizier.

On April 13, 1909, Abdulhamid, unreformed as ever, supported a military-religious counter coup which ousted the liberal Young Turk government.  Again the III Army Corps intervened, Istanbul was occupied, and on April 27, 1909, the committee deposed the Sultan in favor of his brother, Mehmed (Muhammad) V.  Abdulhamid was confined in Salonika until that city fell to the Greeks in 1912.  He died at Magnesia on February 10, 1918.

During the reign of Abdulhamid, the Ottoman Empire saw respectable accomplishments in the construction of highways, waterways, railroads, the telegraph, and other infrastructural public works.  Judicial and public security services improved and expanded significantly.  Institutions were formed to supply credit and technical advice to agricultural products.  General public education and literacy improved.  Many specialized schools were established and the old ones expanded with the specific purpose of training a corps of technical government personnel and better public administrators and jurists.

Abdulhamid made an effort to concentrate government investments and reforms in the predominantly Muslim parts of the empire.  He emphasized Islam as a basis of internal social and political solidarity.  Pan-Islamists such as Jamal al-Din al-Afghani viewed him as the symbol or focus of Islamic solidarity.  Recent territorial losses and the immigration of large numbers of Muslims from the Balkans and Russia had rendered the Ottoman population overwhelmingly Muslim and had raised religious sentiments.  Abdulhamid responded to this situation.  He did not breach the principle of legal equality, because he believed in it, and he did not want to create pretexts for foreign intervention.  He staunchly resisted, however, any attempt or pressure to obtain additional concessions and autonomy for the Christian population.  He maintained that European protection had already put the Christians in an unduly advantageous position over the Muslims, who were in his mind the truly loyal subjects of the Ottoman state.

Abdulhamid’s resistance to intervention in favor of Christians, particularly in eastern Anatolia and Macedonia, remained a sensitive issue in the government’s relations with European powers.  In this and other international problems, Abdulhamid tried to hold his ground by taking advantage of the rivalries among the powers and by resorting to delaying tactics.  He hoped to gain time until the Ottoman government attained a stronger position to defend its interests, relying on a better educated and unified population and a more prosperous economy.

His hopes were in vain. 

Abdul Hamid II see Abdulhamid II
Ulu Hakan see Abdulhamid II
The Great Khan see Abdulhamid II
The Red Sultan see Abdulhamid II
Abdul the Damned see Abdulhamid II
The Great Assassin see Abdulhamid II


'Abdul Haq
'Abdul Haq ('Abd al-Haqq) (Humayoun Arsala) (April 23, 1958 - October 26, 2001).  Mujahedin (Mujahidin) commander affiliated with the Hizb-i Islami (Islamic Party) of Yunus Khales who had been active in the Kabul area.  He fought against the Soviets and Afghan communists during the Soviet-Afghan War.  He was executed by the Taliban in October 2001 while trying to create a popular uprising in Afghanistan in the wake of the September 11 attacks.

'Abdul Haq was an Ahmadzai Pashtun, was born in Fatehbad (Afghanistan), a small village in Nangahar province, Afghanistan, although he soon moved with his family to Helmand.  His father, Mohammed Ana, was an official representative for the Nangarhar construction company in Helmand, and was relatively wealthy by Afghan standards.  His family was well connected, part of the Arsala Khel family, which is a part of the Jabar Khel (a sub-tribe of the land-owning Ahmadzai tribe).  His paternal great-grandfather, Wazir Arsala Khan, had once been the foreign minister of Afghanistan.  A cousin, Hedayat Arsala, was a World Bank director working in Washington, D. C. who later became Vice President of Afghanistan in Hamid Karzai's administration.  Haq also had two older brothers: Din Mohammed and Abdul Qadir.  Abdul Qadir was an early backer of Hamid Karzai, who was rewarded with a cabinet position, before he was assassinated in 2002.  Din Muhammad is the leader of the Khalis party.  From his own account, Haq was an unruly child, who after persuading his father to register him for school at the early age of five, once hit a teacher who was sleeping on the job.  A year after that his 51 year old father died of kidney disease, prompting Din Mohammed to assume leadership of the family, and prompting the family to move back to their extended family in Nangarhar.

Back in Fatehbard, Haq began attending Qur'anic school under the tutelage of local mullahs, and once reaching the age of eight, began studying at the Lycee.  It was there the he began challenging the Communist ideology of some of his teachers.  As a student, he was affiliated with the Islamic Youth (jawanan-i musulman) which opposed the reformist regime of President Muhammad Dawud Khan.  He was imprisoned in 1975 and freed in 1978 after the Saur Revolt. 

'Abdul first engaged in the fight against the communist domination of Afghanistan in 1978 when he fought in the Gulbuddin Hekmatyar faction of Hezb-i Islami.  He later switched to the faction led by Mohammad Yunus Khalis.  During the Soviet War in Afghanistan, 'Abdul Haq coordinated mujahideen activities in the province of Kabul.  He gained recognition for his tactical skills and bravery, and his reputation as a uniter led to leadership positions throughout Afghanistan. Based in the Shiwaki area, south of Kabul, he was responsible for organizing guerrilla attacks on government posts within Kabul. 

In 1987, 'Abdul Haq suffered a crippling injury to his foot that limited his active participation in raids.  Indeed, over his career, 'Abdul Haq was injured twelve times, including the loss of part of one leg.  Because of his injuries, 'Abdul Haq often fought battles against the Soviets from horse-back.

After the fall of the Marxist regime in April 1992, 'Abdul Haq was appointed chief of police and security as well as commander of the gendarmerie but resigned from his posts at the beginning of the civil war between the mujahedin groups.  He and his brother, 'Abdul Qadir who became acting governor of Jalalabad, remained neutral between the Taliban and Jam’iat forces.  'Abdul Haq settled in Dubai, where he became a successful merchant engaged in commerce with Pakistan and the Gulf area. 

In 1998, 'Abdul Haq became a United Nations Peace Mediator.

In January 1999, unknown assailants killed 'Abdul Haq's watchman, entered his home, and murdered his wife and son in Hayatabad.  Another of Haq's sons survived the raid.

Following the al-Qaeda attacks of September 11, 2001 against the United States, 'Abdul Haq entered Afghanistan from Pakistan in an attempt to build support for resistance to the Taliban.  After a spectacular chase reminiscent of a Hollywood scene, he was captured by the Taliban along with nineteen others between the towns of Hisarak and Azro.  He was executed on October 26, 2001.  
Haq, 'Abdul see 'Abdul Haq
'Abd al-Haqq see 'Abdul Haq
Haqq, 'Abd al- see 'Abdul Haq
Humayoun Arsala see 'Abdul Haq
Arsala, Humayoun see 'Abdul Haq


Abdul-Jabbar, Kareem
Abdul-Jabbar, Kareem (Kareem Abdul-Jabbar) (Ferdinand Lewis Alcindor, Jr.) (Fredrick Ferdinand Lewis Alcindor, Jr.) (b. 1947).  African American professional basketball player and author.  Originally named Ferdinand Lewis Alcindor, Jr., Abdul-Jabbar was born in New York City.  He was educated at the University of California at Los Angeles (UCLA), where he led the university’s basketball team to an unprecedented three consecutive National Collegiate Athletic Association championships (1967-1969) while being named the Player of the Year in 1967, 1968 and 1969.  While a college student, Abdul-Jabbar converted to Islam.  He changed his name in 1971.  From 1969 to 1975, Abdul Jabbar played center for the Milwaukee Bucks of the National Basketball Association (NBA).  He was the NBA Rookie of the Year in 1970.   He led the Bucks to the NBA championship during the 1970-71 season.  In 1975, the 7 ft., 1 3/8 in. player was traded to the Los Angeles Lakers.  As a Laker, Abdul-Jabbar won five more NBA championships (1980, 1982, 1985, 1987 and 1988).  During his career, Abdul-Jabbar was named the NBA’s Most Valuable Player a record six times (1971, 1972, 1974, 1976, 1977 and 1980) and was named Sports Illustrated’s Sportsman of the Year in 1985.  At his retirement in 1989, Abdul-Jabbar held nine records, including points scored (38,387), seasons played (20), playoff scoring (5,762), MVP awards (6), minutes played (57,446), games played (1,560), field goals made and attempted (15,837 of 28,307), and blocked shots (3,189).

Kareem Abdul-Jabbar is widely considered one of the greatest NBA players of all time.  During his 20 years in the NBA from 1969 to 1989, he scored 38,387 points -- the highest total of any player in league history -- in addition to winning a record six Most Valuable Player Awards.  He was known for his "Skyhook" shot, which was famously difficult to block because it put his long body between the basket and the ball.  Abdul-Jabbar's success began well before his professional career.  In college, he played on three national championship teams, and his high school team won 71 consecutive games.

After his retirement from basketball, Abdul-Jabbar became a bestselling author.  He also served as a special assistant coach for the Los Angeles Lakers. 
Kareem Abdul-Jabbar see Abdul-Jabbar, Kareem
Alcindor, Ferdinand Lewis, Jr. see Abdul-Jabbar, Kareem
Ferdinand Lewis Alcindor, Jr. see Abdul-Jabbar, Kareem
Alcindor, Fredrick Ferdinand Lewis, Jr. see Abdul-Jabbar, Kareem
Fredrick Ferdinand Lewis Alcindor, Jr. see Abdul-Jabbar, Kareem


Abdul Jalil Riayat Syah
Abdul Jalil Riayat Syah (d. 1721).  Bendahara (chief minister) of the Malay state of Johor from 1697 to 1699.  He became sultan in 1699 after the murder of Sultan Mahmud.  His right to the Johor throne was challenged in Perak, Palembang, and in some quarters of Johor itself (notably among the Orang Laut) because he was not a direct descendant of the Melaka (Malacca) sultans and therefore did not carry the magical “white blood” of Paramesvara, the founder and first ruler of Melaka.  These initial problems were overcome by the energetic rule of his two brothers, but despite efforts to establish Abdul Jalil’s daulat (magical right to rule), mounting difficulties led to a rebellion in 1718 in which Abdul Jalil was deposed.  He was murdered in Pahang in 1721.  With the help of immigrant Bugis warriors, his son Sulaiman regained the throne in 1722, but Johor remained fragmented, split between Raja Kecil in Siak, the Bugis, and the original Malay forces.
Syah, Abdul Jalil Riayat see Abdul Jalil Riayat Syah


Abdul Kader
Abdul Kader (c.1723-1804).  Ruler of Futa Toro (r. 1776-1804).  During his reign, he consolidated the Tukolor state after the Islamic revolution.  Abdul Kader was designated the successor of Suleiman Bal, leader of the Islamic revolution, who was killed in 1776.  Futa Toro was established as a federation.  Lands were distributed among the new clerical aristocracy (torobe), upon whom Abdul Kader called to provide soldiers for jihads (holy wars) against his Wolof neighbors in Walo and Cayor.  The lands that Abdul Kader controlled directly were governed along theocratic principles.  He built mosques in every village and appointed village religious and administrative officials himself.  However, the new aristocracy differed little from the one which it replaced.  Abdul Kader was assassinated by a group of nobles in 1804 at the age of eighty-one.

Kader, Abdul see Abdul Kader


'Abdul Karim
'Abdul Karim.  See ‘Abd el-Krim.
Karim, 'Abdul see 'Abdul Karim.
'Abd el-Krim see 'Abdul Karim.
Krim, 'Abd el- see 'Abdul Karim.


'Abdul Karim
'Abdul Karim. Ghilzai mullah in Afghanistan.  He was the son of Din Muhammad, the famous Mulla Mushk-i Alam.  Amir 'Abdul Rahman gave him the title Khan-i Ulum (“Chief of [religious] Sciences”), but he became disaffected when the amir ended the virtual autonomy enjoyed by the Ghilzai tribes and imposed taxes on hitherto exempt lands.  He was one of the leaders of the Ghilzai Rebellion of 1886-1887, which was suppressed only with great difficulty.  It was the last of three uprisings of this tribe in the nineteenth century. 
Khan-i Ulum see 'Abdul Karim.
Chief of [religious] Sciences see 'Abdul Karim.
Karim, 'Abdul see 'Abdul Karim.


Abdul Karim
Abdul Karim (Maulvi Abdul Karim) (1863-1943).  Educator and Muslim League politician.  He entered politics after serving in the presidency education department.  Abdul Karim was president of the Bengal Muslim League and a member of the Council of State and the Bengal Legislative Council from 1926 to 1937.
Maulvi Abdul Karim see Abdul Karim
Karim, Abdul see Abdul Karim
Karim, Maulvi Abdul see Abdul Karim


Abdul Khaliq
Abdul Khaliq. Son of a Hazara servant of Ghulam Nabi Charkhi (executed by King Nadir).  He avenged the killing of his master by assassinating Nadir Shah a year later on November 8, 1933.  He was a student at Najat (Amani) High School and attended a graduation ceremony in the palace garden where the assassination took place.  He was handed over to the King’s bodyguard for execution.  A number of relatives, students, and teachers of Najat and Istiqlal schools were executed in December 1933.  This was the last bloodletting in the struggle for power between supporters of King Amanullah and the new royal family. 


'Abdullah II
'Abdullah II (b. January 30, 1962).  King of Jordan.  'Abdullah became king of Jordan on February 7, 1999, after the death of his father, King Hussein.  'Abdullah ibn al-Hussein was born on January 30, 1962, to King Hussein and his second wife, the British-born, Antoinette Gardiner (Toni Gardiner), who is known as Princess Muna (Mona).

In 1963, 'Abdullah was named the crown prince but in 1965, he was replaced as crown prince, by his uncle, Hassan, after King Hussein amended the constitution so that it would allow brothers to be heirs of the Jordanian throne.  The background for this change was that Hussein had been exposed to a number of assassination attempts, and did not want to risk leaving Jordan in the hands of an infant.

'Abdullah began his education at the Islamic Educational College in Jordan.  He later studied at Saint Edmund's School in Surrey, England, and Eaglebrook School and Deerfield Academy in Deerfield, Massachusetts.  After completing his secondary education, 'Abdullah enrolled in 1980 at the Royal Military Academy at Sandhurst, where he received his military education.  In 1984, he enrolled at Oxford University to take a one year course in international politics and foreign affairs.

After studying at Oxford, 'Abdullah returned to active duty in Jordan's military service.  He quickly rose to the rank of captain and won command of a tank company in the 91st Armored Brigade.  From 1986 to 1987, he was attached to the Helicopter Anti-Tank Wing of the Royal Jordanian Air Force as a tactics instructor.  During this period, 'Abdullah was qualified as a Cobra attack helicopter pilot.

Late in 1987, 'Abdullah traveled to Washington, D. C., to attend Georgetown University's School of Foreign Service.  He undertook advanced study in international affairs.  After completing his studies in Washington, 'Abdullah returned to Jordan to resume his military career.  He was first assigned to the 17th Tank Battalion, 2nd Royal Guards Brigade.  In the summer of 1989, he was elevated to the rank of lieutenant colonel and given command of the 2nd Armored Car Regiment in the 10th Brigade.  In January 1993, 'Abdullah became a full colonel and named deputy commander of Jordan's Special Forces.  In June 1994, he was advanced to brigadier general and given command of Special Forces, in which capacity he continued until October 1997 when he was named commander of the Special Operations Command.  In May of 1998, he was promoted to the rank of major general.

In June of 1993, 'Abdullah married the Palestinian born Princess Rania (Rania al-Yasin).  As of 2008, they had four children, Prince Hussein, born on June 28, 1994; Princess Iman, born on September 27, 1996; Princess Salma, born on September 26, 2000; and Prince Hashem, born on January 30, 2005. 

On January 25, 1999, 'Abdullah was announced as the new crown prince, replacing his uncle, Hassan.  Essentially, 'Abdullah was named crown prince less than two weeks before the death of his father.  'Abdullah's ascension to the throne was a surprise.  In the final months of King Hussein's life, he had entrusted power to his brother, Crown Prince Hassan, heir apparent to the Jordanian throne.  Less than two weeks before his death, some feuding within the royal family angered Hussein and caused him to announce that 'Abdullah was now next in line for the throne.  It was an announcement that shocked and worried many in Jordan.  'Abdullah, Hussein's eldest son by his second wife, Princess Mona, was known as a competent military leader, serving as a major general in charge of Jordan's elite Special Forces.  However, he had no experience in handling affairs of state, particularly worrisome in a country that required delicate diplomatic maneuvering just to maintain a fragile state of peace with its neighbors.

Throughout his adult life before being reinstated as the crown prince, 'Abdullah was a career soldier.  As a career officer in the Jordanian army, 'Abdullah attained the rank of major general.  Until the time of his being declared crown prince, he served as the commander of the Special Forces of Jordan.  The Special Forces was central in controlling internal order in Jordan, and, during 'Abdullah’s tenure with them, they were in action no later than 1998. 

'Abdullah was among a handful of younger Western-educated, technology-oriented Arab leaders to come to power in the late 1990s.  In the first month of his reign, the Jordanian king reshuffled his cabinet, appointing ministers known for backing market reforms and Southwest Asian peace efforts.  He sought aid and debt reduction among wealthy nations, including the United Kingdom and the United States.  

'Abdullah ushered in his reign speaking of democracy, governmental efficiency, globalization, and technology.  He was one of several young "Internet Kings" who emerged in the Arab world at the turn of the twenty-first century.  His habit of making unannounced inspection visits to government offices around the country, dressed as an ordinary citizen, demonstrated his zeal in improving bureaucratic efficiency, as did his interest in "e-government."  'Abdullah's "Jordan First" (al-Urdunn Awwatan) campaign also seemed to signal his attempt at promoting a unitary Jordanian national agenda.  Although his father also spoke of the "one Jordanian" family, he also promoted a more personalized Hashimite rule than 'Abdullah.

'Abdullah escalated Jordan's traditional pro-Western orientation by identifying strongly with the United States and its regional policies.  His embrace of globalization and his support of President George W. Bush's war on terrorism, including the permission 'Abdullah gave for United States forces to be based in Jordan during the 2003 United States invasion of Iraq, was a departure from his father's subtler policies.  Like his father, however, 'Abdullah became a mediator in the ongoing Israeli-Palestinian dispute, and hosted a summit in Aqaba in 2003 that brought together Bush, Palestinian Authority prime minister Mahmud Abbas, and Israeli prime minister Ariel Sharon.

Abdullah al-Baradouni

Abdullah al-Baradouni (1929–1999) was a Yemeni writer and poet. He published 12 poetry books as well as six other books on such topics as politics, folklore, and literature. He is considered Yemen's most famous poet.

Al-Baradouni was born in Zarajat Baradoun in Dhamar, Yemen. He contracted small pox at the age of five, leading him to lose his eyesight completely by the age of six.

Al-Baradouni began school in his village at the age of seven, and two years later moved to Dhamar city where he enrolled at the Shamsia School. When he was 13 years old, he simultaneously started reading old poetry and writing his own.

As an adolescent, al-Baradouni satirized the Imamate in some of his poems which he circulated in secret, and in 1948 was arrested and thrown into prison for nine months. Al-Baradouni moved to Sana’a before he was 20, after his release. He studied in its Grand Mosque, then moved to Dar al-Ulum at the beginning of 1940 to study poetry and language.

Al-Baradouni graduated from Dar al-Ulum with distinction and with a certificate in Islamic law and Arabic language sciences. After graduation, he became a teacher at Dar al-Ulum.

From 1954 to 1956, al-Baradouni practiced law, specializing in arguing the cases of divorced women, earning himself the name “the divorcees’ lawyer.”

After the 1962 revolution, al-Baradouni began working for Sana’a Radio, where he became manager in 1969 and, later, head of the programs until 1980.

Al-Baradouni continued preparing a rich literature program called “Magazine of Thought and Literature” each week until his death in 1999.

Al-Baradouni worked as supervisor for the army magazine from 1969 until 1975 and had a weekly article entitled “Thought and Literature Issues” and a weekly article in Al-Thawra newspaper entitled “Cultural Issues.”

Al-Baradouni was one of the first people to call for the creation of the Union for Yemeni Authors and Men of Letters, and was voted in as its first chairman.

Al-Baradouni was a prolific writer and published 12 volumes of poetry. Among these were: From the Land of Sheba, On the Path of Dawn, The City of Tomorrow, Journey to the Green Days, Smokey Faces in Night Mirrors, The Quality of Time, Creatures of the Second Nostalgia, The Fluidity of Light, Answer to the Ages, and The Return of Wiseman Ben Zaid.

Al- Baradouni also authored a number of books and studies, including: A Journey in Modern and Ancient Yemen Poetry, Popular Culture in Yemen, Yemeni Experience and Sayings, Culture and the Yemeni Revolution, and From the First Poem to the Last Bullet: A Poetic Study of Zubairi Poetry and his Life.

Al- Baradouni was not only a prominent poet, but a distinguished intellectual in local and Arab cultural affairs. He was also a link between modernity and Arab heritage. His writings were a profound analysis of the realities of Arab life, with all its triumphs, advances, and defeats.
On August 30, 1999, during his last journey to Jordan for medical treatment for various aliments, his heart stopped beating. He is considered by many to be one of the greatest Arab poets of the twentieth century.


Alternative names include:

Abdullah al-Baradoni
Abdullah al-Baradouni
Al-Baradoni, Abdullah
Al-Baradouni, Abdullah
Baradoni, Abdullah al-
Baradouni, Abdullah al-







'Abdullah ibn al-Hussein see 'Abdullah II




'Abdullah bin Abdul Kadir
'Abdullah bin Abdul Kadir ('Abdullah bin Abdul Kadir Munshi) ('Abdullah bin Abdulkadir Munsyi) (1797-1854). Considered  to be the father of modern Malay literature.  'Abdullah bin Abdul Kadir was born in Malacca of mixed Arabic, South Indian and Malay parentage.  His father was a writer and language teacher.  'Abdullah grew up as a Malay and very early on became interested in languages and language teaching. 

'Abdullah translated and taught Malay in the service of the British.  While working in Melaka (Malacca) and Singapore, 'Abdullah was influenced by British government officials (including Thomas Stamford Raffles) and missionary employers.  'Abdullah became the secretary to Raffles in Malacca and Singapore and many of his ideas and interests came from this association.

Although they often follow the conventions of traditional Malay, 'Abdullah’s writings are marked by a realistic and individualistic prose style and articulate a view of the world greatly influenced by contemporary European notions of the self and of government.  His best known writings are the Voyage of 'Abdullah (Kesah Pelayaran 'Abdullah), which describes his journey up the east coast of the Malay Peninsula, and his autobiography, The Story of 'Abdullah (Hikayat 'Abdullah), a valuable account of events and personalities up to 1845.

'Abdullah’s best known work, the Hikayat 'Abdullah, is the first true autobiography in the Malay language. Hikayat 'Abdullah was completed in 1845.   Hikayat 'Abdullah is important for the historical material it contains -- particularly about the coming of British influence to Malacca and Singapore -- and also for the contemplative individuality it struck in Malay literature.

'Abdullah also wrote Kesah Pelayaran 'Abdullah.  Kesah Pelayaran 'Abdullah is a pleasant account of a journey up the relatively primitive eastern coast of Malaya in 1838. 

'Abdullah bin 'Abdul Kadir Munshi is the best known Malay writer of the nineteenth century.  He is regarded as both a traditionalist formally grounded in classical Malay language and literature and as an innovator.  His writings are the first which took account of the impact of western influences on Malaya.  'Abdullah’s style can be prolix and prosy but is usually vivid.  The quality of thought and observation as well as the writer’s curiosity about his surroundings made his prose works interesting reading.

'Abdullah died in Jeddah while on a pilgrimage to Mecca in 1854.


'Abdullah bin 'Abdul Kadir Munshi see 'Abdullah bin Abdul Kadir
Father of modern Malay literature see 'Abdullah bin Abdul Kadir
'Abdullah bin Abdulkadir Munsyi see 'Abdullah bin Abdul Kadir
Munsyi, 'Abdullah bin Abdulkadir see 'Abdullah bin Abdul Kadir
Munshi, 'Abdullah bin 'Abdul Kadir see 'Abdullah bin Abdul Kadir


'Abdullah ibn Husein
'Abdullah ibn Husein ('Abdullah I) ('Abdullah bin al-Hussein) (1882-1951). King of Jordan (r.1946-1951).  The son of King Husein ibn 'Ali (1856-1931) and Abdiya bint 'Abdullah, 'Abdullah was born in Mecca but was educated in Istanbul, Turkey, where he became active in Arab circles.  From 1912 to 1914, 'Abdullah represented Mecca in the Ottoman legislature.  During World War I, however, 'Abdullah and his father sided with the Allies and, in 1916, 'Abdullah led an Arab revolt against the Ottomans, working with the British guerrilla leader T. E. Lawrence ("Lawrence of Arabia"). 

When French forces captured Damascus at the Battle of Maysalun and expelled his brother Faisal, 'Abdullah moved his forces from Hijaz towards Syria to liberate Syria and dislodge the French from Damascus, where his brother had been proclaimed King in 1918.  Having heard of 'Abdullah's plans, Winston Churchill invited 'Abdullah to a famous "tea party" where he convinced 'Abdullah to stay put and not attack Britain's allies, the French.  Churchill told 'Abdullah that French forces were superior to his and that the British did not want any trouble with the French.  'Abdullah acquiesced and was rewarded when the British created a protectorate for him, which later became a state -- Transjordan. 

'Abdullah embarked on negotiations with the British to gain independence, resulting in the announcement of the Emirate of Transjordan's independence on May 25, 1923.  This date is Jordan's official independence day.  'Abdullah's brother Faisal became King of Iraq.  

Under British auspices, 'Abdullah became the nominal ruler -- the amir -- of the British mandate of Transjordan in 1921, and when the mandate ended in 1926, 'Abdullah proclaimed himself king, as the son of Amir (Husayn) Husein of Mecca (Arabia).  'Abdullah was effectively the ruler of Transjordan from 1921 to 1951. 

'Abdullah, alone among the Arab leaders of his generation, was a moderate with a modestly pro-Western outlook.  He would actually have signed a separate peace agreement with Israel, but for the Arab League's militant opposition.  Because of his dream for a Greater Syria comprising the borders of what was then Transjordan, Syria, Lebanon, and the British Mandate for Palestine under a Hashemite dynasty with "a throne in Damascus," many Arab countries distrusted 'Abdullah and saw him as both a threat to the independence of their countries and they also suspected him of being in league with the enemy.  In return, 'Abdullah distrusted the leaders of other Arab countries.  In 1946-1947, 'Abdullah had no intention to resist or impede the partition of Palestine and creation of a Jewish state. 

By 1948, the neighboring Arab states pressured 'Abdullah into joining them in an "all-Arab military intervention" against the newly created State of Israel, which he used to restore his prestige in the Arab world, which had grown suspicious of his relatively good relationship with Western and Jewish leaders.  'Abdullah's role in this war became substantial.  He saw himself as the supreme commander of the Arab forces and persuaded the Arab League to appoint him to this position.  However, 'Abdullah's forces under their British commander Glubb Pasha did not approach the area set aside for the new Israel, even though they did clash with the Yishuv forces around Jerusalem, intended to be the International Zone.

In May 1948, immediately after the creation of the nation of Israel, King 'Abdullah, pressured by other Arab countries, led his British-trained army against the new state, capturing a large area of its territory in the process.  After the armistice in 1949, Jordan -- as the kingdom was renamed -- retained control of this area, and today this area is well known as the “West Bank”.  In 1950, the West Bank was annexed to Jordan.  Violently opposed by Palestinian Arabs, who suspected him of collusion with Israel, 'Abdullah was assassinated by a Palestinian Arab on July 20, 1951. 

On July 20, 1951, 'Abdullah, while visiting the Al Aqsa Mosque in Jerusalem, was shot dead by Mustapha Shukri Usho, a Palestinian from the Husseini clan.  On July 16, Riad Bey al-Solh, a former Prime Minister of Lebanon, had been assassinated in Amman, where rumors were circulating that Lebanon and Jordan were discussing a joint separate peace with Israel.  The assassin passed through apparently heavy security.  'Abdullah was in Jerusalem to give a eulogy at the funeral and for a prearranged meeting with Reuven Shiloah and Moshe Sasson.

'Abdullah was shot while attending Friday prayers at the Dome of the Rock in the company of his grandson, Prince Hussein.  The Palestinian gunman, motivated by fears that the old king would make a separate peace with Israel, fired three fatal bullets into the King's head and chest.  'Abdullah's grandson, Prince Hussein, was at his side and was hit too.  A medal that had been pinned to Hussein's chest at his grandfather's insistence deflected the bullet and saved his life.

The assassin was a 21 year old tailor's apprentice Mustafa Ashu.  Ten conspirators were accused of plotting the assassination and were brought to trial in Amman.  The prosecution named Colonel 'Abdullah Tell, ex-Military Governor of Jerusalem, and Musa 'Abdullah Husseini as the chief plotters of "the most bastardly crime Jordan ever witnessed."  The Jordanian prosecutor asserted that Colonel Tell had given instructions that the killer, made to act alone, be slain at once thereafter to shield the instigators of the crime.  Tell and Husseini fled to protection in Egypt and four local co-conspirators were sentenced to death in Amman.  Jerusalem sources added that Colonel Tell had been in close contact with the former "Grand Mufti of Jerusalem," Amin al-Husayni, and his adherents in Arab Palestine.

'Abdullah was succeeded by his son Talal.  However, since Talal was mentally ill, Talal's son Prince Hussein became the effective ruler as King Hussein at the age of seventeen.

'Abdullah married three times.  In 1904, he married his first wife Musbah bint Nasser (1884 - March 15, 1961) at Stinia Palace, Istanbul, Turkey.  She was the daughter of Emir Nasser Pasha and his wife Dilber Khanum.  They had three children: Princess Haya (1907-1990); King Talal I (February 26, 1909 - July 7, 1972); and Princess Munira (1915 -1987). 

In 1913, 'Abdullah married his second wife Suzdil Khanum (d. August 16, 1968), at Istanbul.  They had two children: Prince Naif (November 14, 1914 - October 12, 1983), a colonel in the Royal Jordanian Land Force who was the regent for his older half-brother Talal from July 20 to September 3, 1951, and Princess Maqbula (February 6, 1921 - January 1, 2001). 

In 1949, 'Abdullah married his third wife Nahda bint Uman, a lady from Sudan, in Amman.  They had no children.
'Abdullah I see 'Abdullah ibn Husein
'Abdullah bin al-Hussein see 'Abdullah ibn Husein
'Abdullah the Founder see 'Abdullah ibn Husein


‘Abdullah ibn Muhammad
‘Abdullah ibn Muhammad (d.1829).  Leader of the Fula Islamic revolution in Hausaland (Nigeria).  He was the younger brother of ‘Uthman dan Fodio, the founder of the Fula empire of Nigeria.  He traveled with ‘Uthman on most of his missionary journeys in the Hausa states of Gobir and Zamfara before the declaration of jihad (holy war).  In 1804, when the jihad began against the Hausa, ‘Abdullah became one of ‘Uthman’s military advisers and commanders, ‘Uthman having little prowess in military matters.  In 1812, ‘Uthman, his conquests virtually completed, divided the empire between his son, Muhammad Bello, and ‘Abdullah.  ‘Abdullah ruled his portion from Gwandu.  ‘Uthman himself retired to pursue his scholarship.

When, in 1817, ‘Uthman died without proclaiming his successor, ‘Abdullah was away from the capital, Sokoto.  He hurried back to contest for leadership, to find that Muhammad Bello’s supporters barred his entrance to the city.  Muhammad Bello assumed leadership without violence and the two men were eventually reconciled when Muhammad Bello helped 'Abdullah put down a revolt in the part of the caliphate he still controlled (around 1820).

Afterwards ‘Abdullah went into semi-retirement to devote himself to study and writing, leaving the conduct of affairs to his own son and nephew.  Like ‘Uthman and Muhammad, he was a prolific poet and author, writing in Arabic, Fula and Hausa.  One of his works was a biography of ‘Uthman.  After his death, the caliphate was consolidated under Muhammad Bello. 


'Abdullah, Muhammad
'Abdullah, Muhammad (Muhammad 'Abdullah) (Mohammad 'Abdullah) (December 5, 1905 - September 8, 1982).  One of the most complex political figures of modern India, Shaikh 'Abdullah spent much of his life in office or in prison, under house arrest or residing outside his province in Kashmir.  Born into a family of shawl merchants, he was educated at Islamia College in Lahore and Aligarh Muslim University, where he earned a master of science degree in physics in 1930.  The following year, he began his political career and was arrested for the first time.  While he campaigned to oust the Hindu maharaja of Kashmir, he did not support an accession to Pakistan and was a signatory of the Indian constitution.  Although once arrested on suspicion of having dealings with Pakistan, he was also believed to support a completely independent Kashmir.  Both Muslim and non-Muslim Kashmiris revered him and called him the Lion of Kashmir.  At his death, he was serving as chief minister of Jammu and Kashmir.

Muhammad 'Abdullah was born to a merchant family in Soura a few miles outside the capital city of Srinagar, Kashmir, on December 5, 1905, 'Abdullah was orphaned in childhood.  He graduated from Jammu's Prince of Wales College and Islamia College in Lahore, Pakistan.  It was at this time that he first developed an interest in political reform.  Working his way through school, he completed a graduate degree in physics from Aligarh Muslim University at age 25 and became a high school science teacher.  In 1933, he married Begum Akbar Jehan, daughter of a wealthy European businessman in Gulmarj.  'Abdullah and his wife would later raise two daughters and three sons.

To preserve Muslim rights, 'Abdullah first came to the political fore by defying the autocratic Maharaja of Kashmir, spokesman for India's Hindu majority.  In 1931, 'Abdullah joined with high priest Mirwaiz Maulvi Yusuf Shah against the tyrannical Maharaja, but abandoned the Maulvi upon learning that he regularly accepted bribes from India.  The disclosure of corruption caused 'Abdullah to reject the communal politics of the Muslim Conference.  From that point on, he supported the rights of all people over the rule of a single religious group.

As punishment for advocating a secular state, 'Abdullah was transferred to a teaching post at Muzzafarabad.  He resigned his classroom position and, on May 19, 1946, received the first of nine prison sentences.  His family left a comfortable hom to live in meager rented rooms in Srinagar while Begum Jehan led her husband's party.  Upon completion of a nine-year sentence, he established the Ali Jammu and Kashmir Muslim Conference, later called the National Conference of Kashmir to acknowledge a coalition of Hindus, Muslims, and Sikhs.  This group pressed for home rule and the creation of a democracy in Kashmir.

When Great Britain restored Indian home rule, 'Abdullah supported Prime Minister Jawaharlal Nehru and the pacifist Mohandas K. Gandhi of the Indian National Congress.  During the partitioning of India and Pakistan into separate Hindu and Muslim states, 'Abdullah gained control of Kashmir in a 1947 coup.  However, he opposed siding with Muslim Pakistan in favor of secular autonomy.  Initially, Kashmiris received economic safeguards and recognition as a unique nation and culture while avoiding the bloodshed of territorial wars that raged around them.

'Abdullah summarized much of the passion and intrigue of this period of unrest in his autobiography, Aatish-e-Chinar (The Fire of Chinar Trees).  He recounted the failed attempts of Mohammed Ali Jinnah, the founder of Pakistan, to win Kashmir to Pakistan's pro-Muslim cause.  The distancing of the two men was largely a result of perceived character flaws in Jinnah.  Jinnah ruined his chances for a coalition with 'Abdullah by maligning Maulvi Mirwaiz Yusu Shah and by discounting the will of the Kashmiri people.

As Kashmir's prime minister and delegate to the United Nations in 1948, 'Abdullah stirred citizens and outsiders alike with patriotic oratory.  Concerning the nation's constitution, enacted in 1944, he reminded Kashmiris that their assembly was "the fountain-head of basic laws laying the foundation of a just social order and safeguarding the democratic rights of all the citizens of the State."  He championed free speech, a free press, and a higher standard of living for the poor.  At the core of his speech lay his belief in "equality of rights of all citizens irrespective of their religion, color, caste, and class."

Placing three choices before the nation -- yield to India, yield to Pakistan, or remain independent -- 'Abdullah maintained moderation until 1953, when India accused him of sedition and formally charged him with illegally seeking Kashmir's independence.  Stripped of power and imprisoned once more by the Maharaja for demanding the national rights that India guaranteed in 1947, 'Abdullah remained adamantly opposed to an alliance with India during 11 years of house arrest.  His family was turned out into the streets and refused shelter even by relatives.  'Abdullah's enemies twice assaulted his wife, who, in her husband's absence, took charge of the party mascot and flag.

Against raids on Kashmir by the Pakistani army, 'Abdullah organized a home guard of mostly unarmed volunteer to defend the area from rape, arson, and pillage.  This militia had to remain vigilant to threats of sabotage to bridges and intervention in supplies of gasoline, salt, and currency, which had to pass through Pakistan from India.  While the nation was in grave danger, 'Abdullah dispatched Farooq, his son and political heir, to safety in London.

Caught between two hostile nations, 'Abdullah had little choice but accept the Maharaja's demand that Kashmir yield to India, which was ostensibly a more tolerant state than Pakistan.  On October 27, Lord Louis Mountbatten, governor-general of India, accepted the nation's capitulation and dispatched troops from the Indian Army to halt Pakistani insurgents.  Allama Iqbal, Pakistan's philosopher-poet, praised 'Abdullah for eliminating "the fear of the tyrant from the hearts of the people of Kashmir."  Of his courage, Ayub Khan, president of Pakistan, declared, "Sheikh 'Abdullah is a lion-hearted leader."  Ayub Khan's phrase popularized 'Abdullah's nickname, "Lion of Kashmir."

In 1964, Nehru granted 'Abdullah's freedom.  He returned to solid public support and a more positive atmosphere for guaranteeing Kashmiri autonomy constitutionally under Article 370 of Indian law.  In 1968, he won the heart of devout Muslims by remodeling the Hazratbal Mosque, the seventeenth century repository of the Moi-e-Muqqadus, a sacred hair of the prophet Muhammad, for display on holy days.  The nation's prime Muslim shrine Dal Lake in Srinagar, it took shape in marble under the leadership of the Muslim Auqaf Trust, chaired by 'Abdullah, and reached completion in 1979.

To shore up international goodwill, 'Abdullah toured Algeria and Pakistan.  His position shifted once more as the public began doubting his loyalty during the uncertainty of the political climate on the Indian subcontinent.  In 1953, the deterioration of relations with India caused him to demand an end to Kashmir's subservience.  He returned to a benign house arrest until 1968, when he headed the Plebiscite Front, a political movement seeking a nationwide vote on independence.  After the party failed to gain enough popular support to override the Congress Party in 1972, 'Abdullah moderated his stance on self-determination for Kashmir.

After Syed Mir Qasim and the Congress party relinquished power on February 24, 1975, 'Abdullah became Kashmir's chief minister.  He gained support of the State Congress Legislative Party for the formation of a new government led by deputy chief minister Mirza Afzel Beg and under-ministers Sonam Narboo and D. D. Thakur.  In talks with India's prime minister Indira Gandhi, 'Abdullah moved beyond their differences of opinion to negotiate more independence for Kashmir.  On March 13, 1975, Parliament approved the Indira-'Abdullah Accord, granting partial autonomy to Kashmir.  To implement the transition to a new constitutional status, he appointed a four-member coordination committee on October 13.

'Abdullah's political position seemed certain after his election as president of the National Conference on April 13, 1976, and the first cabinet session at Doda on December 8.  He initiated a youth wing of the ruling National Conference, led by his son Farooq.  By the following March 25, 'Abdullah's followers lost sympathy during investigations of corruption and the dissolution of the state assembly.  Under a local governor, on July 8, 'Abdullah once more reconstructed the machinery of home rule.  Refusing confrontational politics, he maintained his popularity as a critic of the dynastic control of Kashmir.  In a show of honest dealings with the people, in September 25, 1978, he demanded the resignation of his former deputy chief minister Mirza Afzal Beg and oversaw his expulsion from the National Conference.

In 1981, when the Begum Jehan refused to replace her ailing husband, 'Abdullah engineered the rise of surgeon Farooq 'Abdullah, the son whom he had educated in diplomacy by taking him along during his boyhood on state missions to Pakistan.  'Abdullah publicly declared Farooq's succession to the leadership of moderate Kashmiris.  Still highly visible after Farooq 'Abdullah was elected head of the National Conference on March 1, Mohammad 'Abdullah dedicated the Tawi Bridge on August 26, only three weeks before his death from an acute illness in Srinagar on September 8, 1982.  At his funeral, over a million mourners paid their respects to the loyal statesman.  His son replaced him as chief minister and pledged to continue the fight for religious tolerance and an independent Kashmir. 

Muhammad 'Abdullah see 'Abdullah, Muhammad
Lion of Kashmir see 'Abdullah, Muhammad
Mohammad 'Abdullah see 'Abdullah, Muhammad


'Abdul Latif
'Abdul Latif (1828-1893).  Muslim intellectual figure in Calcutta in the nineteenth century, a period when Muslims lagged well behind Hindus in education.  He was an educator, author and later prime minister of the princely state of Bhopal in central India from 1885 to 1886.  'Abdul Latif was born in Faridpur District and studied in Calcutta.  He taught for some time and then was appointed a deputy magistrate in 1849.  He served in a number of positions, including presidency magistrate, before retiring in 1887.  'Abdul Latif was a member of the Bengal Legislative Council from 1862 to 1864 and from 1870 to 1874.  He was the founder of the Mohammadan Literary and Scientific Society in 1863, the goal of which was the education of Muslims and the dissemination of Western knowledge.  'Abdul Latif worked with Syed Ahmed Khan in the founding of the Muslim Anglo-Oriental College (now Aligarh Muslim University) and agreed with Syed that Muslims would fare best under British rule in the face of the large Hindu majority in India.  He was also a founder of the Central Mohammedan Association.
Latif see 'Abdul Latif


'Abdulmejid I
'Abdulmejid I ('Abdulmecid I) (April 23, 1823 - June 25, 1861).  Ottoman sultan (r.1839-1861).  During his reign, the Crimean War (1853-1856) and a whole series of troubles and insurrections in various regions of the Empire took place.  He is known for his legislative work and for important reforms in administration, army, education and coinage. 

'Abdulmejid I was the 31st sultan of the Ottoman Empire and succeeded his father Mahmud II on July 2, 1839.  His reign was notable for the rise of nationalist movements within the empire's territories.  'Abdulmejid wanted to encourage Ottomanism among the secessionist subject nations and stop the rise of nationalist movements within the empire, but failed to succeed despite trying to integrate non-Muslims and non-Turks more thoroughly into the Ottoman society with new laws and reforms.  He tried to forge alliances with the major powers of Western Europe, namely the United Kingdom and France, who fought alongside the Ottoman Empire during the Crimean War against Russia.  In the following Congress of Paris on March 30, 1856, the Ottoman Empire was officially included among the European family of nations.  'Abdulmejid's biggest achievement was the announcement and application of the Tanzimat (Reorganization) reforms which were prepared by his father Mahmud II and effectively started the modernization of Turkey in 1839.

'Abdulmejid received a European education and was a fluent speaker of the French language while being interested in literature and classical music like 'Abdulaziz who succeeded him.  He was an advocate of reforms like his father Mahmud II, and was lucky enough to have the support of progressionist viziers like Mustafa Resit Pasha, Mehmet Emin Ali Pasa and Fuat Pasha.  Throughout his reign he had to struggle against conservatives who opposed his reforms.  'Abdulmejid was also the first emperor to personally listen to the public's complaints in special reception days, usually every Friday, without any middlemen.  'Abdulmejid toured the empire's territories to see in first person how the Tanzimat reforms were being applied, travelling to Ismit, Mudanya, Bursa, Gallipoli, Canakkale, Lemnos, Lesbos and Chios in 1844.  He toured the Balkan provinces in 1846.

When 'Abdulmejid succeeded to the throne, the affairs of the Ottoman Empire were in an extremely critical state.  At the very time his father died, the news was on its way to Istanbul that the empire's army had been defeated at Nizip by that of the rebel Egyptian viceroy, Muhammad Ali (Mehmet Ali).  The empire's fleet was at the same time on its way to Alexandria, where it was handed over to the same enemy by its commander Ahmed Fevzi Pasha, on the pretext that the young sultan's advisers were sold to Russia.  However, through the intervention of the European powers, Muhammad Ali was obliged to come to terms, and the Ottoman Empire was saved from further attacks while its territories in Syria, Lebanon and Palestine were restored.

In compliance with his father's express instructions, 'Abdulmejid immediately carried out the reforms to which Mahmud II had devoted himself.  In November 1839, an edict known as the Hatt-i Serif of Gulhane, also known as Tanzimat Fermani was proclaimed, consolidating and enforcing these reforms.  The edict was supplemented at the close of the Crimean War by a similar statute issued in February 1856, named the Hatt-i Humayun.  By these enactments it was provided that all classes of the sultan's subjects should have security for their lives and property; that taxes should be fairly imposed and justice impartially administered; and that all should have full religious liberty and equal civil rights.  The scheme met with keen opposition from the Muslim governing classes and the ulema, or religious authorities, and was but partially put in force, especially in the remoter parts of the empire; and more that one conspiracy was formed against the sultan's life on account of it.

The most important measures of reform promoted by 'Abdulmejid were (1) introduction of the first Ottoman paper banknotes (in 1840); (2) reorganization of the army (1843-44); (3) adoption of an Ottoman national anthem and Ottoman national flag (1844); (4) reorganization of the finance system according to the French model; (5) reorganization of the Civil and Criminal Code according to the French model; (6) establishment of the Meclis-i Maarif-i Umumiye (1845) which was the prototype of the First Ottoman Parliament (1876); (7) institution of a council of public instruction (1846); (8) establishment of the first modern universities and academies (1848); (9) abolition of an unfairly imposed capitation tax which imposed higher tariffs on non-Muslims (1856); (10) non-Muslims were allowed to become soldiers (1856); and (11) various provisions for the better administration of the public service and for the advancement of commerce.

Another notable reform was that the turban was officially outlawed for the first time during 'Abdulmejid's reign, in favor of the fez.  European fashions were also adopted in full swing by the Court.  (Note that the fez itself would later be banned with the "Hat Law" in 1925 by the Republican National Assembly which had already abolished the sultanate and proclaimed the Turkish Republic in 1923. 

Samuel Morse received his first ever patent for the telegraph in 1847, at the old Beylerbeyi Palace (the present Beylerbeyi Palace was built in 1861-1865 on the same location) in Istanbul, which was issued by Sultan 'Abdulmejid who personally tested the new invention.

When Kossuth and others sought refuge in Turkey after the failure of the Hungarian rising in 1849, the sultan was called on by Austria and Russia to surrender them, but he refused.  He also would not allow the conspirators against his own life to be put to death.  Commentators have observed that 'Abdulmejid bore the character of being a kind and honorable man, although somewhat weak and easliy led.  However, tragically, he was prone to excessive extravagance, especially towards the end of his life.

Due to 'Abdulmejid's extravagances, the Ottoman Empire began to go into debt.  The Empire took its first foreign loans on August 25, 1854 during the Crimean War.  This major foreign loan was followed by those of 1855, 1858 and 1860, which culminated in default and led to the alienation of European sympathy from Turkey and indirectly to the dethronement and death of 'Abdulmejid's successor, 'Abdulaziz, in the following years.

'Abdulmejid died of tuberculosis (like his father Mahmud II) at the age of 39 on June 25, 1861, and was succeeded by his brother, 'Abdulaziz, the oldest survivor of the family of Osman.  He left several sons, of whom four, Murad V, 'Abdulhamid II, Mehmet V, and Mehmet VI, eventually succeeded to the throne.

One historical footnote concerning 'Abdulmejid concerns the Irish Famine.   A popular tale says that, in 1845, the onset of the Great Irish Famine resulted in over 1,000,000 deaths.  'Abdulmejid declared his intention to send 10,000 sterling to Irish farmers.  However, Queen Victoria requested that the Sultan send only 1,000 sterling, because she had sent only 2,000 sterling.  The Sultan sent the 1,000 sterling but also secretly sent three ships full of food.  The English courts tried to block the ships, but the food arrived at Drogheda harbor and was left there by the Ottoman sailors.  For this act of charity, the Irish people, especially those in Drogheda, became friendly to the Turks.  Indeed, this event and subsequent affinity for the Turks led to the appearance of Ottoman symbols on Drogheda's coat of arms.

 
'Abdulmecid I see 'Abdulmejid I


'Abdulmejid II
'Abdulmejid II ('Abdulmecid II) (May 29, 1868 - August 23, 1944).  Ottoman sultan (r. November 19, 1922 - March 3, 1924).  After the sultanate had been abolished on November 1, 1922, 'Abdulmejid II was elected caliph on November 18.  On October 29, 1923, however, the Republic was proclaimed and, on March 3, 1924, the caliphate was abolished.  Thereafter, 'Abdulmejid II left Istanbul.  He died in Paris, France.

On May 29, 1868, he was born at Dolmabahce Palace of Istanbul to then Sultan 'Abdulaziz.  He was educated privately.  On July 4, 1918, his first cousin Mehmed VI became Sultan and 'Abdulmejid II was named Crown Prince.  Following the deposition of his cousin on November 1, 1922, the Sultanate ws abolished.  However, on November 19, 1922, the Crown Prince was elected Caliph by the Turkish National Assembly at Ankara.  He established himself in Istanbul, on November 24, 1922.  On March 3, 1924, he was deposed and expelled from the shores of Turkey with the rest of his family. 

'Abdulmejid II was given the title of General of Ottoman Army and served as Chairman of the Ottoman's Artist's Society.  He is considered as one of the most important painters of late period Ottoman art. His paintings of the Harem, showing a modern musical gathering, and of a woman reading Goethe's Faust were displayed at an exhibition of Ottoman paintings in Vienna in1918.  his personal self-portrait can be seen at Istanbul Modern. 

On December 23, 1896, he was married for the first time at the Ortakoy Palace to Shahsuvar Bash Kadin Effendi (May 2, 1881 - 1945).  They had a son, Prince Shehzade Omer Faruk Effendi (February 27, 1898 - March 28, 1969).  On June 18, 1902, he was married for the second time at the Ortakoy Palace to Hair un-nisa Kadin Effendi (March 2, 1876 - September 3, 1936).  They had a daughter, Princess Hadice Hayriye Ayshe Durruhsehvar (January 26, 1914 - February 7, 2006) who was married to Azam Jah, son of the last Nizam of Hyderabad.  On April 16, 1912, he was married for the third time at Camlica Palace to Atiya Mihisti Kadin Effendi (January 27, 1891 - 1964).  She was the sister of Kamil Bey.  On March 21, 1921, he was married for the fourth time at Camlica Palace to Bihruz Kadin Effendi (b. May 24, 1903). 

On August 23, 1944, 'Abdulmejid II passed away at his house in the Boulevard Suchet, Paris XVIe, France.  He was buried at Medina, Saudi Arabia.
Abdulmecid II see 'Abdulmejid II


'Abdul Muis
'Abdul Muis (July 3, 1883 - June 17, 1959). Writer, editor, political activist, and influential figure among the early Indonesian nationalist intelligentsia.  Strongly opposed to communism and a leader of the Muslim party Sarekat Islam, Muis was elected in 1920 to the Volksraad, one of Holland’s modest concessions to Indonesian nationalism.  In 1922, he was arrested for labor agitation and confined to Java.  His political influence then waned, but he later wrote several novels and translated Tom Sawyer and Don Quixote into Indonesian.  Muis’s best remembered book is Salah Asuhan (Wrong Upbringing), his 1928 tragedy about the failure of a racially mixed marriage and the painful social and intellectual dilemmas confronting Western educated Indonesians coming of age in a modern colonial society.

Born on the Sungai Puar in West Sumatra, Muis studied medicine in Jakarta for three years before being forced to pull out due to illness.  Muis first found employment in the civil service.  He later switched to journalism, becoming known for his inflammatory articles, which were highly critical of Dutch involvement in Indonesia. 

Hoping to take a more practical role in the political struggle, Muis joined the nationalist movement Sarekat Islam ("Islamic Union").  He became an active member of the organization, and was promoted to its executive board.  He argued that, if peaceful measures proved insufficient in securing Indonesian independence, the Union should be prepared to use violence against the Dutch administration.

Attempting to appease the Union, the Dutch administration appointed Muis to the newly-created Volksraad ("People's Council").  As a member of the Council, Muis was theoretically empowered to advise the government.  However, the Volksraad was rarely heeded and widely seen as powerless, and Muis continued to fight through other means. 

Muis ran afoul of the Dutch administration many times.  Already arrested once, he led a protest strike in Yogyakarta in 1922, and was consequently arrested and confined to the city of Garut, in West Java.  He remained in West Java, and died in 1959, and was buried in Bandung. 

Muis is today seen as an important freedom fighter in Indonesia's history.  In many cities, he has a street or "Jalan" (road) named after him.
Muis, 'Abdul see 'Abdul Muis


'Abdul Qadir
'Abdul Qadir.  See 'Abd al-Qadir.


'Abdul Qadir
'Abdul Qadir.  Parchami member of the PDPA (People’s Democratic Party of Afghanistan).  Born in 1944 to a Tajik family in Herat Province, he went to military school and attended pilot training and staff college in the Soviet Union. Commander of the Air Defense Forces in 1973, he supported Muhammad Daud in his coup against Zahir Shah.  'Abdul actively participated in the Saur Revolt and was head of the Revolutionary Council until a civilian government was formed under Nur Muhammad Taraki.  He became minister of Defense for three months in May 1978, but in August he was sentenced to death (commuted to 15 years) for plotting against the Khalqi regime.  Freed when Babrak Karmal came to power, he was restored to his party positions and served again as minister of Defense (September 1982-85).  In November 1985, he resigned from the Politburo for “reasons of health” and in November 1986 was appointed ambassador to Warsaw.  Recalled two years later and elected a lowly member of Parliament, he is said to have moved to Bulgaria in 1989 and sought asylum in Europe after the fall of the Marxist regime. 
Qadir, 'Abdul see 'Abdul Qadir.


'Abdul Quddus
'Abdul Quddus. Nephew of Amir Dost (Dust) Muhammad and a general who lived with Amir Abdul Rahman in exile in Bukhara and Samarkand.  Upon their return, he assisted the Amir in extending his power over Afghanistan.  He captured Herat from Ayub Khan, son of Amir Shir 'Ali, in 1881 with a small force of 400 cavalry and 400 infantry soldiers and two machine guns, and during the period 1890 to 1893 he conquered the Hazarajat.  Amir Habib-ullah (Habib Allah) gave him the title Itimad-ud-Daula (“Confidence of the State”) and appointed him prime minister, in which position he was confirmed by King Amanullah (Aman Allah).  In the Third Anglo-Afghan War, 'Abdul Quddus commanded the Kandahar front.  A British officer characterized him as “A Tory of the most crusted type in politics, and an apostle of Afghanistan for the Afghans.”  His descendants who were prominent in Afghan government, adopted his title, Etemadi, as their family name.
Quddus see 'Abdul Quddus.
Etemadi see 'Abdul Quddus.
Itimad-ud-Daula see 'Abdul Quddus.
Confidence of the State see 'Abdul Quddus.


'Abdul Rahim
'Abdul Rahim (b. 1886).  Safi from Kuh Daman, north of Kabul (Afghanistan), who, from the age of 16, served in various military units and rose from the ranks to become general.  At the outbreak of the civil war in 1928, he espoused the cause of Habibullah Kalakani.  He captured Maimana and Herat for Habibullah and became governor of Herat.  Because 'Abdul Rahim had a powerful base in Herat, the Afghan king was unable to remove him from his post until 1934.  In June 1935, he was appointed minister of Public Works and subsequently served as deputy prime minister from 1938 to 1940.  He was imprisoned from 1946 to 1948 on suspicion of plotting against the government of Prime Minister Muhammad Hashim.  Abdul Rahim is the maternal uncle and father-in-law of Kahlilullah Khalili, the famous poet laureate.
Rahim, 'Abdul see 'Abdul Rahim


'Abdul Rahman
'Abdul Rahman (Raja Jumaat or Si Komeng).  Sultan of Johor (Lingga) (r.1812-1830).   Younger of the two sons of Sultan Mahmud III of Johor and Riau.  In 1819, the English recognized 'Abdul Rahman’s elder brother, Hussein, as sultan of Johor and Singapore.  The existence of two “rival” sultans symbolized the effective breakup of the old Johor/Riau state into what became British and Dutch spheres and, ultimately, the states of Malaysia, Singapore, and Indonesia.  'Abdul Rahman was proclaimed sultan on the death of Mahmud by the Bugis Yamtuan Muda Raja Jaafar.  Since he maintained a residence on the island of Lingga, 'Abdul Rahman became known as the sultan of Lingga after 1819.  The famous Malaysian chronicle the Tufhat al-Nafis credits him with a reputation for piety and claims that he did much to make Riau and Lingga centers of Islamic study. 
Raja Jumaat  see 'Abdul Rahman
Si Komeng see 'Abdul Rahman
Rahman, 'Abdul see 'Abdul Rahman
Jumaat, Raja see 'Abdul Rahman
Komeng, Si see 'Abdul Rahman

'Abdul Rahman
'Abdul Rahman (Amir 'Abdul Rahman) (Abdur Rahman) (Abdur Rahman Khan) (b. between 1840 to 1844 - d. October 1, 1901).  Amir of Afghanistan who assumed the Kabul throne at the end of the Second Anglo-Afghan War and reigned from 1880 to 1901.  'Abdul Rahman was the third son of Afzul Khan, and grandson of Dost Mohammad Khan, who had established the Barakzai dynasty in Afghanistan.  'Abdul Rahman was considered a strong ruler who re-established the writ of the Afghan government in Kabul after the disarray that followed the second Anglo-Afghan war.

Before his death at Herat, on June 9, 1863, Dost Mohammad had nominated as his successor Shir Ali, his third son, passing over the two elder brothers, Afzul Khan and Azim Khan.   At first, the new amir was quietly recognized.  However, after a few months Afzul Khan raised an insurrection in the northern province, between the Hindu Kush mountains and the Oxus River, where he had been governing when his father died.  This began a fierce contest for power between Dost Mohammad's sons, which lasted for nearly five years.

In this war, 'Abdul Rahman became distinguished for ability and daring energy.  Although his father, Afzul Khan, who had none of these qualities, came to terms with the Amir Shir Ali, the son's behavior in the northern province soon excited the amir's suspicion, and 'Abdul Rahman, when he was summoned to Kabul, fled across the Oxus into Bukhara.  Shir Ali threw Afzul Khan into prison, and a serious revolt followed in southern Afghanistan. 

The amir had scarcely suppressed the rebellion by winning a desperate battle when 'Abdul Rahman's reappearance in the north was a signal for a mutiny of the troops stationed in those parts and a gathering of armed bands to his standard.  After some delay and desultory fighting, 'Abdul Rahman and his uncle, Azim Khan, occupied Kabul (March 1866).  The amir Shir Ali marched up against them from Kandahar.  However, in the battle that ensued at Sheikhabad on May 10, he was deserted by a large body of his troops. After Shir Ali's signal defeat, 'Abdul Rahman released his father, Afzul Khan, from prison in Ghazni, and installed him upon the throne as amir of Afghanistan.

Notwithstanding the new amir's incapacity, and some jealousy between the real leaders, 'Abdul Rahman and his uncle, they again routed Shir Ali's forces, and occupied Kandahar in 1867.  When Afzul Khan died at the end of the year, Azim Khan became the new ruler, with 'Abdul Rahman as his governor in the northern province.  However, towards the end of 1868, Shir Ali's return, and a general uprising in his favor, resulted in 'Abdul Rahman and Azim Khan's defeat at Tinah Khan on January 3, 1869.  Both sought refuge in Persia, where 'Abdul Rahman placed himself under Russian protection at Samarkand.  Azim died in Persia in October 1869.

'Abdul Rahman lived in exile in Tashkent, then part of Russian Turkestan, for eleven years, until the 1879 death of Shir Ali, who had retired from Kabul when the British armies entered Afghanistan.  The Russian governor-general at Tashkent sent for 'Abdul Rahman, and pressed him to try his fortunes once more across the Oxus.  In March 1880, a report reached India that 'Abdul Rahman was in northern Afghanistan.  The governor-general, Lord Lytton, opened communications with him to the effect that the British government were prepared to withdraw their troops, and to recognize 'Abdul Rahman as amir of Afghanistan, with the exception of Kandahar and some districts adjacent to it.  After some negotiations, an interview took place between him and Lepel Griffin, the diplomatic representative at Kabul of the Indian government.  Griffin described 'Abdul Rahman as a man of middle height, with an exceedingly intelligent face and frank and courteous manners, shrewd and able in conversation on the business in hand.

At the durbar on July 22, 1880, 'Abdul Rahman was officially recognized as amir, granted assistance in arms and money, and promised, in case of unprovoked foreign aggression, such further aid as might be necessary to repel it, provided that he align his foreign policy with the British.  The British evacuation of Afghanistan was settled on the terms proposed, and in 1881, the British troops also handed over Kandahar to the new amir.

However, Ayub Khan, one of Shir Ali's sons, marched upon that city from Herat, defeated 'Abdul Rahman's troops, and occupied the place in July.  This serious reverse roused the amir, who had not at first displayed much activity.  He led a force from Kabul, met Ayub's army close to Kandahar, and the complete victory which he won there forced Ayub Khan to fly into Persia.  From that time, 'Abdul Rahman was fairly seated on the throne at Kabul, and in the course of the next few years he consolidated his dominion over all Afghanistan, suppressing insurrections by a sharp and relentless use of his despotic authority.  The powerful Ghilzai tribe revolted against the severity of his measures, but they were crushed by the end of 1887.  In that same year, Ayub Khan made a fruitless inroad from Persia.  In 1888, the amir's cousin, Ishak Khan, rebelled against him in the north.  However, these two enterprises came to nothing.

In 1885, at the moment when the amir was in conference with the British viceroy, Lord Dufferin, in India, the news came of a skirmish between Russian and Afghan troops at Panjdeh, over a disputed point in the demarcation of the northwestern frontier of Afghanistan.  'Abdul Rahman's attitude at this critical juncture is a good example of his political sagacity.  To one who had been a man of war from his youth, who had won and lost many fights, the rout of a detachment and the forcible seizure of some debatable frontier lands was an untoward incident.  However, it was not a sufficient reason for calling upon the British, although they had  guaranteed his territory's integrity, to vindicate his rights by hostilities which would certainly bring upon him a Russian invasion from the north, and would compel his British allies to throw an army into Afghanistan from the southeast.  His interest lay in keeping powerful neighbors, whether friends or foes, outside his kingdom.  He knew this to be the only policy that would be supported by the Afghan nation.  Although for some time a rupture with Russia seemed imminent, and while the Indian government made ready for that contingency, the amir's reserved and circumspect tone in the consultations with him helped to turn the balance between peace and war, and substantially conduced towards a pacific solution.  'Abdul Rahman left on those who met him in India the impression of a clear-headed man of action, with great self-reliance and hardihood, not without indications of the implacable severity that too often marked his administration.  His investment with the insignia of the highest grade of the Order of the Star of India appeared to give him much pleasure.

From the end of 1888, the amir spent eighteen months in his northern provinces bordering upon the Oxus, where he was engaged in pacifying the country that had been disturbed by revolts, and in punishing with a heavy hand all who were known by revolts, and in punishing with a heavy hand all who were known or suspected to have taken any part in rebellion.

Shortly afterwards (in 1892), 'Abdul Rahman succeeded in finally beating down the resistance of the Hazara tribe, who vainly attempted to defend their independence, within their highlands, of the central authority at Kabul.  In the late 1880s, many of the Hazara tribes revolted against 'Abdul Rahman, the first ruler to bring the country of Afghanistan under a centralized Afghan government.  Consequent on this unsuccessful revolt, numbers of Hazaras fled to Quetta in Baluchistan and to the area around Mashhed in northeastern Iran.  Most active in the revolt were the Uruzgani, the southernmost of the Hazara tribes.  Following their defeat, a considerable number of Uruzgani left the country, as did many Jaghuri, their nearest neighbors to the northeast.  The territory, which they abandoned, was occupied by Afghans of the Ghilzai tribe, supported by the Amir as a plan for Pashtunization of Afghanistan.

By sending Sunni clerics to every village in Hazarajat, 'Abdul Rahman forced the Hazaras to attend Sunni mosques and abandon Shiism.  He imposed tougher regulations on Hazaras by forcing them to pay heavy taxes.  In Daya Fulad, Zawuli and Sepai districts, the state forced the Hazara girls into marriage.  In the Shikhali district an estimated 7,000 head of cattle were taken away from Hazaras and 350 men and women of the Jaghori district were sold at Kabul markets.  As 'Abdul Rahman's brutal suppression compelled a large number of Hazaras to seek refuge in Iran, India and Russia.  'Abdul Rahman could only succeed in subjugating Hazaras and conquering their land when he effectively utilized internal differences within the Hazara community, co-opting sold out Hazara chiefs into his bureaucratic sales of the enslaved Hazara men, women and children in 1897, the Hazaras remained de facto slaves until King Amanullah declared Afghanistan's independence in 1919.

In 1893, Mortimer Durand was deputed to Kabul by the government of India for the purpose of settling an exchange of territory required by the demarcation of the boundary between northeastern Afghanistan and the Russian possessions, and in order to discuss with the amir other pending questions.  The amir showed his usual ability in diplomatic argument, his tenacity where his own views or claims were in debate, with a sure underlying insight into the real situation.  The territorial exchanges were amicably agreed upon; the relations between the Indian and Afghan governments, as previously arranged, were confirmed; and an understanding was reached upon the important and difficult subject of the border line of Afghanistan on the east, towards India.  In 1895-96, he conquered Nuristan province (formerly called Kafirstan) and using the sword he forcedly converted the people to Islam.  In 1895, the amir found himself unable, by reason of ill-health, to accept an invitation from Queen Victoria to visit England, but his second son Nasrullah Khan went to his stead.

'Abdul Rahman concluded an agreement with the British government, in which Britain guaranteed him protection from unprovoked Russian aggression, provided he permitted Great Britain to conduct his foreign relations.   He obtained a subsidy in money and materiel to strengthen the defenses of his country.  'Abdul Rahman considered this treaty an alliance between equals and, having protected his northern borders, he kept the British at arms length, never allowing them to gain any influence in the country under the aegis of their common defense.  He formulated a “buffer-state policy” which aimed at playing off Afghanistan’s imperialist neighbors against each other.  This policy served Afghanistan well until the end of World War II, when changed conditions required new approaches in the conduct of Afghan foreign policy.  Afghanistan’s northern and eastern boundaries were demarcated during the Amir’s tenure, including the Durand Line (1893), which he accepted under “duress” in the Durand Agreement.  He built the Bagh-i Jahan Noma in Khulm, the Salam Khana castle in Mazar-i Sharif, in Kabul the Masjid-i Idgah, the Arg, the Shahrara tower, and the Bagh-i Bala castle.  In 1896, he adopted the title of Zia-ul-Millat-Wa-ud Din (Light of the nation and religion); and his zeal for the cause of Islam induced him to publish treatises on jihad.  'Abdul Rahman's two eldest sons, Habibullah Khan and Nasrullah Khan, were born at Samarkand.  His youngest son, Mahomed Omar Jan, was born in 1889 of an Afghan mother, connected by descent with the Barakzai family.

'Abdul Rahman died on October 1, 1901, being succeeded by his son Habibullah.  He had defeated all enterprises by rivals against his throne.  He had broken down the power of local chiefs, and tamed the refractory tribes, so that his orders were irreversible throughout the whole dominion.  His government was a military despotism resting upon a well-appointed army.  It was administered through officials absolutely subservient to an inflexible will and controlled by a widespread system of espionage.  Additionally, the exercise of 'Abdul Rahman's personal authority was often stained by acts of unnecessary cruelty.  'Abdul Rahman held open courts for the receipt of petitioners and the dispensation of justice.  In the disposal of business, 'Abdul Rahman was indefatigable.  He succeeded in imposing an organized government upon the fiercest and most unruly population in Asia.  He availed himself of European inventions for strengthening his armament, while he sternly set his face against all innovations which, like railways and telegraphs, might give Europeans a foothold within his country.  'Abdul Rahman's adventurous life, his forcible character, the position of his state as a barrier between the Indian and the Russian empires, and the skill with which he held the balance in dealing with them, combined to make 'Abdul Rahman a prominent figure in contemporary Asian politics and would mark his reign as an epoch in the history of Afghanistan.      

'Abdul Rahman was buried in Bustan Saray in Kabul. 








Rahman, 'Abdul  see 'Abdul Rahman
Amir 'Abdul Rahman see 'Abdul Rahman
Abdur Rahman see 'Abdul Rahman
'Abdul Rahman Khan  see 'Abdul Rahman
Amir of Kabul and its Dependencies see 'Abdul Rahman
Abdur Rahman Khan see 'Abdul Rahman


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