Monday, March 18, 2013

Abu 'l-Barakat - Afsharids

Abu ’l-Barakat
Abu ’l-Barakat (1077-1164).   Philosopher and physician in Iraq whose main work deals with logic and metaphysics.
Barakat, Abu 'l- see Abu ’l-Barakat

Abulelizor.  See Ibn Zuhr.

Abu ’l-Faraj ‘Abd Allah ibn al-Tayyib
Abu ’l-Faraj ‘Abd Allah ibn al-Tayyib (Abulpharagius Abdalla Benattibus) (d.1043).   Nestorian monk, physician, philosopher and theologian of Baghdad.
Abulpharagius Abdalla Benattibus see Abu ’l-Faraj ‘Abd Allah ibn al-Tayyib
Benattibus, Abulpharagius Abdalla see Abu ’l-Faraj ‘Abd Allah ibn al-Tayyib

Abu ’l-Faraj al-Isfahani
Abu ’l-Faraj al-Isfahani (Abu al-Faraj al-Isfahani) ('Ali ibn Husain Abu'l-Faraj al-Isfahani) ('Ali ibn al-Husayn ul-Isbahani) (Abu-l-Faraj) (Abulfaraj) (897-967).  Iranian scholar of Arab-Quraysh origin who is noted for collecting and preserving ancient Arabic lyrics and poems in his major work, the Kitab al-Aghani -- the Book of Songs.

Abu al-Faraj al-Isfahani was born in Isfahan, Persia, but spent his youth and made his early studies n Baghdad, Iraq.  He was a direct descendant of the last of the Umayyad caliphs, Marwan II, and was thus connected with the Umayyad rulers in Spain, and seems to have kept up a correspondence with them and to have sent them some of his works.  He became famous for his knowledge of early Arabian antiquities. 
His later life was spent in various parts of the Islamic world, in Aleppo with its governor Sayf ad-Dawlah (to whom he dedicated the Kitab al-Aghani), in Ray with the Buwayhid vizier Ibn 'Abbad, and elsewhere. 

Abu'l-Faraj was a prolific writer.  He wrote poetry as well as an anthology of verses on the monasteries of Mesopotamia and Egypt, and a genealogical work.   However, today he is principally remembered for a large literary encyclopedia entitled Kitab al-Aghani (Book of Songs).  The Kitab al-Aghani is a collection of songs chosen by famous musicians, to which Abu 'l Faraj added rich information about the poets who were the authors of the songs and about ancient Arab tribes.

Kitab al-Aghani is a history of Arabian poetry down to Abu 'l-Faraj’s own time.  It is based on a collection of 100 poems that had been set to music for Harun al-Rashid.  Abu 'l-Faraj added others of his own choice, and interspersed the biographical and other information that he supplied with a great deal more poetry, both ancient and modern.  Because of the accompanying biographical annotations on the authors and composers, the work is an important historical source.  It contains a mass of information as to the life and customs of the early Arabs, and is the most valuable authority we have for their pre-Islamic and early Islamic days.

The Kitab al-Aghani is one of modern scholar's chief sources for information concerning life, culture and social conditions in pre-Islamic and early Muslim Arabia.  It became so popular in the Muslim world that one leading statesman, accustomed to traveling with a camel-load of books restricted himself to the Kitab al-Aghani alone.

Ibn Khaldun, the great Arab historian, said of the Kitab al-Aghani, “It is the final resource of the student of literature, for he can desire nothing more.” 
Isfahani, Abu 'l-Faraj al- see Abu ’l-Faraj al-Isfahani
‘Ali ibn Husain Abu 'l-Faraj al-Isfahani see Abu ’l-Faraj al-Isfahani
'Ali ibn al-Husayn ul-Isbahani see Abu ’l-Faraj al-Isfahani
Abu-l-Faraj see Abu ’l-Faraj al-Isfahani
Abulfaraj see Abu ’l-Faraj al-Isfahani
Abu al-Faraj al-Isfahani see Abu ’l-Faraj al-Isfahani

Abu ’l-Faraj ibn Mas‘ud Runi
Abu ’l-Faraj ibn Mas‘ud Runi (Abu-al-Faraj Runi) (Abul Faraj Runi) (d. 1091 [1099?]).  Persian court poet of the Ghaznavid period of the eleventh century.  His family came from Nishapur in Khorasan.  He was born in Lahore and the scene of his career was mainly at the court of Lahore.  He had great influence on Persian poetry and was the author of Mathnavi. 
Runi, Abu 'l-Faraj ibn Mas'ud  see Abu ’l-Faraj ibn Mas‘ud Runi
Abu-al-Faraj Runi see Abu ’l-Faraj ibn Mas‘ud Runi
Abul Faraj Runi see Abu ’l-Faraj ibn Mas‘ud Runi

Abu ’l Fazl
Abu ’l Fazl (Abu'l-Fazl ibn Mubarak) (Abu al-Fazl ibn Mubarak) (Abu'l-Fazl) (Abu'l Fadl) (Abu'l-Fadl 'Allami) (January 14, 1551 - August 12, 1602).  Adviser and historiographer of the Mughal emperor Akbar.  Abu 'l Fazl rose from being the son of a persecuted religious preacher to a high position in court, gaining the personal confidence of Akbar.  Although Abu 'l Fazl died as a lone ambushed soldier, his principal contribution was an official history of Akbar’s reign until 1601.  The work, Akbarnama, originally comprised three volumes, two of narrative history and the third a detailed gazetteer of information of the empire, the ‘Ain-i Akbari. The Akbarnama was the point of departure in medieval Indian historiography.  Unlike its predecessors, this was a well-researched work and not an impressionistic narrative of events.  Its argument was a mix of the notion of the semi-divinity of Akbar’s personality and a secular projection of events.   Abu 'l Fazl’s treatment of history was essentially teleological.  He began his narrative with Adam and showed history moving toward its fulfillment in Akbar’s reign.  The language of the Akbarnama is high ornate Persian. 

Abu 'l Fazl was the fifth descendant of Shaikh Musa who lived in Rel in Siwistan (Sindh).  His grandfather, Shaikh Khizr settled at Nagaur, where his father Shaikh Mubarak was born.  Initially Shaikh Mubarak studied in Nagaur under Khwaja Ahrar.  Later he went to Ahmedabad and studied under Shaikh Abu 'l Fazl, Shaikh Umar and Shaikh Yusuf.  Finally, he settled in Agra, where his eldest son, poet Abu 'l Faizi and his second son Abu 'l Fazl were born.  Shaikh Mubarak came to Akbar's court in 1575 and was influential in Akbar's religious views becoming more liberal into the 1580s and 1590s.  He also led the Mughal imperial army in its wars in the Deccan.

Abu 'l Fazl was assassinated by Vir Singh Bundela (who later became the ruler of Orchha) between Sarai Vir and Antri (near Narwar) in a plot contrived by the Mughal Prince Salim, who later became the Emperor Jahangir in 1602, because Abu 'l Fazl was known to oppose the accession of Prince Salim (Jahangir) to the throne.  His severed head was sent to Salim at Allahabad.  Abu 'l Fazl was buried at Antri.  Abu 'l Fazl's son Shaikh Abdur Rahman Afzal Khan (December 29, 1571 - 1613) was later appointed governor of Bihaj in 1608 by Jahangir.

Abu 'l Fazl's Akbarnama is a document of history of Akbar's reign and his ancestors spread over three volumes.  It contains the history of Akbar's ancestors from Timur to Humayun, Akbar's reign up to the 46th regnal year (1602), and an administrative report of Akbar's empire, the Ain-i-Akbari, which itself is in three volumes.  The third volume of Ain-i-Akbari gives an account of the ancestery and life of the author.  The Ain-i-Akbari was completed in the 42nd regnal year, but a slight addition was made to it in the 43rd regnal year on the account of the conquest of Berar.

The Ruqa'at-i-Abu 'l Fazl is a collection of private letters from Abu 'l Fazl to Muran, Daniyal, Akbar, Mariam Makani, Salim (Jahangir), Akbar's queens and daughters, his father, mother and brothers and several other notable contemporaries compiled by his nephew Nur al-Din Muhammad.

The Insha-i-Abu 'l Fazl or the Maqtubat-i-Allami contains the official dispatches written by Abu 'l Fazl.  It is divided into two parts.  The first part contains Akbar's letters to Abdullah Khan Uzbeg of Turan, Shah Abbas of Persia, Raja Ali Khan of Khandesh, Burhan-ul-Mulk of Ahmadnagar and his own nobles such as Abdur Rahim Khan Khanan.  The second part consists of Abu 'l Fazl's letters to Akbar, Daniyal, Mirza Shah Rukh and Khan Khanan.  This collection was compiled by Abd-us-samad, son of Afzal Muhammad, who claims that he was Abu 'l Fazl's sister's son as well as his son-in-law.
Fazl, Abu 'l see Abu ’l Fazl
Abu'l-Fazl ibn Mubarak see Abu ’l Fazl
Abu al-Fazl ibn Mubarak see Abu ’l Fazl
Abu'l-Fazl see Abu ’l Fazl
Abu'l Fadl see Abu ’l Fazl
Abu'l-Fadl 'Allami see Abu ’l Fazl

Abu ’l-Fida
Abu ’l-Fida (Abu al-Fida) (Abul Fida Ismail Hamvi) (Abu al-Fida Isma'il ibn 'Ali ibn Mahmud al-Malik al-Mu'ayyad 'Imad ad-Din) (Abulfeda) (Abu Alfida) (November 1273 - October 27, 1331).  Syrian prince of the Ayyubid dynasty.  He is mainly known as a historian and geographer.  His fame rests on a universal history (Tarikhu 'l-mukhtasar fi Akhbari  'l-bashar) covering the pre-Islamic period and Islamic history down to 1329, and on a descriptive geography. 

Abu al-Fida was born in Damascus, where his father Malik ul-Afdal, brother of the prince of Hamah, had fled from the Mongols.  He was a descendant of Ayyub, the father of Saladin.  In his boyhood, he devoted himself to the study of the Qur'an and the sciences, but from his twelfth year was almost constantly engaged in military expeditions, chiefly against the crusaders.

In 1285, Abu al-Fida was present at the assault of a stronghold of the Knights of Saint John, and took part in the sieges of Tripoli, Acre and Qal'at ar-Rum.  In 1298, he entered the service of the Mamluk Sultan Malik al-Nasir and after twelve years was invested by him with the governorship of Hama.  In 1312, he became prince with the title Malik us-Salhn, and in 1320 received the hereditary rank of sultan with the title Malik ul-Mu'ayyad. 

For more than twenty years all together he reigned in tranquillity and splendour, devoting himself to the duties of government and to the composition of the works to which he is chiefly indebted for his fame.  He was a munificent patron of men of letters, who came in large numbers to his court.  He died in 1331.

Tarikhu 'l-mukhtasar fi Akhbari  'l-bashar (The Concise History of Humanity or Chronicles) also known as Tarikh Abu al-Fida (History of Abu al-Fida); his Geography; Taqwim al-Buldan; and Kunash are Abu al-Fida's most well known works. 
Fida, Abu 'l see Abu ’l-Fida
Abu al-Fida see Abu ’l-Fida
Abul Fida Ismail Hamvi see Abu ’l-Fida
Abu al-Fida Isma'il ibn 'Ali ibn Mahmud al-Malik al-Mu'ayyad 'Imad ad-Din see Abu ’l-Fida
Abulfeda see Abu ’l-Fida
Abu Alfida see Abu ’l-Fida

Abu ’l-Ghazi Bahadur Khan
Abu ’l-Ghazi Bahadur Khan (b. 1603).  The ruler of Khiba (r. 1644-1663) and a Chagatay historian who wrote a history of the Mongols and another of the Shaybanids.

Abu ’l-Hazan ibn Abi 'l-Rijal
Abu ’l-Hazan ibn Abi 'l-Rijal (Abu 'l-Hasan 'Ali ibn Abi 'l-Rijal) (Abenragel) (Albohazen) (Haly) (Hali) (Albohazen Haly filii Abenragel) (Haly Abenragel) (Ibn Rijal) (d. c. 1037).  An Arab astrologer at the Zirid court of Qayrawan in the late tenth and early eleventh century.  He wrote an important scientific work on astrology, which was translated into Latin, Old Castilian and Old Portuguese. 

Ibn Rijal is best known for his Kitab al-bari' fi akham an-nujum.  He was a court astrologer to the Tunisian prince al-Mu'izz ibn Badis in the first half of the eleventh century.  Haly died after 1037 in Kairouan in what is now Tunisia. 

Ibn Rijal's Kitab al-bari' fi akham an-nujum was translated by Yehuda ben Moshe into Old Castilian for Alfonso X of Castile in 1254 under the title El libro conplido en los iudizios de las estrellas (The complete book on the judgment of the stars).  The only surviving manuscript of the Old Castilian translation is at the National Library in Madrid, which however only contains five of the eight boods of the complete Old Castilian translation.

In 1485, at Venice a complete copy of the Old Castilian manuscript was translated into Latin and published by Erhard Ratdolt as Praeclarissimus liber completus in judiciis astrorum (The very famous complete book on the judgment of the stars).  This printing (and later Latin versions) is commonly known as De iudiciis astrorum (or De judiciis astrorum).
Abenragel see Abu ’l-Hazan ibn Abi 'l-Rijal
Albohazen see Abu ’l-Hazan ibn Abi 'l-Rijal
Abu 'l-Hasan 'Ali ibn Abi 'l-Rijal see Abu ’l-Hazan ibn Abi 'l-Rijal
Haly see Abu ’l-Hazan ibn Abi 'l-Rijal
Hali see Abu ’l-Hazan ibn Abi 'l-Rijal
Albohazen Haly filii Abenragel see Abu ’l-Hazan ibn Abi 'l-Rijal

Abu ’l-Hudhayl al-‘Allaf
Abu ’l-Hudhayl al-‘Allaf (752-840).  The first speculative theologian of the Mu‘tazila.   His theology is essentially polemical and is opposed to the anthropomorphism of popular Islam.  He also became an apologist of Islam against other religions.

Abu 'l-Hudhayl al-'Allaf was born in Basra, where he lived in the quarter of the 'allafun (or foragers), thus the origin of his surname, al-'Allaf.  He was indirectly a disciple of Wasil ibn 'Ata', through the intermediary of one of Wasil's companions, 'Uthman al-Tawil.  Like Wasil, he was lettered.  His profound knowledge of poetry was especially celebrated.  Some hadiths also are quoted under his name.

The theology which he inherited from the school of Wasil was still rudimentary.  Essentially polemical, it opposed -- in a rather unsystematic fashion -- the anthropomorphism of popular Islam and of the traditionists, the doctrine of determinism favored for political reasons by the Umayyads, and the divination of 'Ali preached by the extreme Shi'ites.  While continuing his polemic, Abu 'l-Hudhayl was the first to engage in the speculative struggles of the age, a task for which he was exceptionally well equipped by his philosophical mind, his sagacity and his eloquence.  He became the apologist of Islam against other religions and against the great currents of thought of the preceding epoch: the dualists, represented by the Zoroastrians; the Manichaeans and other Gnostics; the philosophers of Greek inspiration, the dahriyya, mainly represented by the champions of the natural sciences; and the increasingly numerous Muslims who were influenced by these foreign ideas.  Crypto-Manichaean poets like 'Ali ibn 'Abd al-Quddus, the theologians of the "modern" type who had adopted certain gnostic and philosophical doctrines, etc.   It seems that it was only at a mature age did Abu 'l-Hudhayl become acquainted with philosophy.  On the occasion of his pilgrimage (the date of which is unknown) he met in Mecca the Shi'ite theologian Hisham ibn al-Hakam and disputed with him concerning his anthropomorphist doctrines, which show a gnostic influence; and it was only then that he began to study the books of the dahriyya.  Later historians observe certain similarities between his doctrine of the divine attributes and the philosophy of Pseudo-Empedocles, forged by the Neo-Platonists and natural scientists of late antiquity. 

In effect, the philosophical sources of Abu 'l-Hudhayl must have been of such a kind which are represented in general by medieval Aristotelianism.  These philosophers attracted, as well as repelled, him.  While combatting the Neo-Platonists, he adopted their methods and their manner of looking at problems.  Naive as a thinker, and having no scholastic tradition, he approached speculative problems with a daring that did not even recoil from the absurd.  Thus, all the prematurity and the lack of balance that characterize his theology, but also the freshness of his attempts.   Abu 'l-Hudhayl was the first to set many of the fundamental problems at which the whole of the later Mu'tazila was to labor.

The unity, spirituality and transcendence of God are carried in the theology of Abu 'l-Hudhayl to the highest degree of abstraction.  God is one.  God does not resemble God's creatures in any respect.  God is not a body.  God has no figure (hay'a), form (sura), or limit.  God is knowing with a knowledge; is powerful with a power; is alive with a life; is eternal with an eternality; is seeing with a faculty of sight; etc.  This abstract philosophy is in contrast to the philosophy of the Shi'ites who asserted that God is knowledge.

For Abu 'l-Hudhayl, God is omnipresent in the sense that God directs everything and God's direction is exercised in every place.  God is invisible in the other world.  The believers will see him with their hearts.  The knowledge of God is unlimited, as to what concerns God's knowledge of God's self.  As for God's knowledge of the world, it is circumscribed by the limits of God's creation, which forms a limited totality.  The same applies to the divine power. 

Abu 'l-Hudhayl strove to reconcile the Qur'anic doctrine of creation ex  nihilo with Aristotelian cosmology, according to which the world, set in motion by God, is eternal, movement being co-eternal with the prime mover himself.  While accepting movement as the principle of the universal process, Abu 'l-Hudhayl declared it to be created in the Qur'anic sense.  In consequence, movement also will reach its end and will cease.  This end is placed by Abu 'l-Hudhayl in the other world.  After the last day, movement having ceased, paradise and hell will come to a standstill and their inhabitants will be fixed in a state of immobility, the blessed enjoying for eternity the highest pleasures and the damned enduring the most cruel torments. 

This unorthodox doctrine, which, according to tradition, Abu 'l-Hudhayl himself revoked, is unanimously rejected by all the Muslim theologians, Mu'tazilites or not; nor have its grave consequences for the doctrine of God's omniscience and omnipotence escaped them.  In regard to theodicy, Abu 'l-Hudhayl taught that God has the power to do evil and injustice, but God does not do it, because of God's goodness and wisdom.  God admits the evil actions of man, but God is not their author.  Man has the power to commit evil acts and Man is responsible for them, and responsible even for the involuntary consequences resulting from his actions.  The responsible being is Man in his entirety, his ruh together with his visible body.  It was Abu 'l-Hudhayl who introduced into Mu'tazilite speculation the concept of the accidents (a'rad) of bodies, and that of the atom, which Abu 'l-Hudhayl called dhawhar.  These concepts, which originally had a purely physical relevance, were made by Abu 'l-Hudhayl to serve as the basis for theology proper, cosmology, anthropology and ethics. 

This is Abu 'l-Hudhayl's most original innovation, as well as the most heavy with consequences.  It was this which gave to Mu'tazili theology its mechanical character.  Life, soul, spirit, the five senses, are accidents and therefore not enduring.  Even spirit (ruh) will not endure.  Human actions can be divided into two phases, both of them movements.  The first is the approach ("I shall do"), the second the accomplished action ("I have done").   Man having free will, the first movement can be suspended in the second phase, so that the action remains unaccomplished.  It is only the accomplished action that counts.  Divine activity is interpreted in the light of the doctrine of accidents.  The whole process of the world consists in an incessant creation of accidents, that descended into the bodies.  Some accidents, however, are not to be found in a place or in a body; e.g., time and divine will (irada).  The latter is identical with the eternal creating word kun.  It is distinct from its object (al-murad) and also from the divine order (amr), which man can either obey or disobey.   Those who are not acquainted with the Qur'anic revelation, but have nevertheless accomplished laudable acts prescribed by the Qur'an, have obeyed God without having intention to do so.  The Qur'an is an accident created by God; being written, recited or committed to memory, it is at the same time in various places. 

During his long life, Abu 'l-Hudhayl had an enormous influence on the development of theology and he collected around him a large number of disciples of different generations.  The best known amongst them is al-Nazzam, though he quarrelled with his master because of his destructive theories concerning the atom.  Abu 'l-Hudhayl condemned him and composed several treatises against him.  Among his disciples are named Yahya ibn Bishr al-Arradhani, al-Shahham, and others.  His school continued to exist for a long time.  Even al-Dhubba'i still avowed his indebtedness to Abu 'l-Hudhayl's theology, in spite of the numerous points on which he differed from him. 

'Allaf, Abu 'l-Hudhayl al- see Abu ’l-Hudhayl al-‘Allaf

Abu ’l-Kalam Azad
Abu ’l-Kalam Azad (Mohiuddin Ahmad) (Abul Kalam Muhiyuddin Ahmed) (Maulana Azad) (November 11, 1888 - February 22, 1958).  The reviver of Muslim thought in India.  He was an Indian journalist, politician, and religious thinker and an ardent opponent of Sir Sayyid Ahmad Khan.  Educated along traditional lines in India, Azad toured the centers of Muslim learning in the Arab world (1907-1909).  Emerging as a nationalistic critic of the Raj, he also repudiated the Aligarh movement and Muslim separatism.  Not easily classified as a thinker, his writings stressed the Qur’an as the highest authority in matters of faith.  On shari’a, he advised scholars to consolidate the opinions of previous generations of thinkers in order to establish a core of fundamental doctrines.  Such notions indicate Azad’s agreement with traditional religious thought.  At the same time, his stress on the importance of evolutionary adaptation to environment resembled the “naturalism” of Sayyid Ahmad Khan and the “vitalism” of Muhammad Iqbal.  He also showed interest in Hindu and Buddhist doctrines and accepted religious pluralism.  Although it is certainly acceptable in “orthodox” terms, traditionalist scholars have either criticized or ignored Azad’s work.  His influence was primarily political.  A close associate of Gandhi, he became the most prominent Muslim in the Congress Party and was the first minister of education in independent India. 

Abu 'l-Kalam Azad was born in Mecca in 1888 in an Indian family which had emigrated from the subcontinent, but they returned to settle in Calcutta in the mid-1890s.  Azad studied at home, receiving his lessons from his father, Khairuddin Dihlawi, who was a sufi pir of the Qadiri and Naqshbandi orders, and from several other teachers.  He received a thorough knowledge of the classical foundations of Islam, but the family atmosphere was extremely conservative and there was no room for the question "why,"  and Azad came to decide that the beliefs he had been brought up with were "nothing but taqlid of ancestors, devotion to ancient customs and inherited dogma."

The writings of Sayyid Ahmad Khan had a profound influence on Azad's religious and intellectual development, initially inciting him to be free from the limitations of the religion of his family, and then infused in him a passion for modern knowledge.  He read profusely and claimed to have read nearly everything on modern knowledge published in Arabic.  He was open to all sorts of trends of thought and belief but maintained that everything should be in moderation.  Azad recognized that the Mu'tazilites and Sayyed faced similar challenges, each in their own time.

Azad believed that God called him to arouse the Muslims of India and persuade them to join the movement for political liberation.  He began publishing his own newspaper Al-Hilal (The Crescent Moon) in 1912 to arouse a new political consciousness, a desire for freedom in the religious class and a reverence for religion in the western-educated class.  He called for a revival of the faith, to win the freedom represented by Islam, which was relevant to all aspects of life.  He resisted, however, the establishment of Pakistan as a separate Muslim state. 

Azad edited or co-edited numerous periodicals:  Al-Balagh (Calcutta, 1915-1916); Al-Hilal (Calcutta, 1912-1914, 1927); Al-Jami'a (Calcutta, 1923-1924); Al-Nadwa (Lucknow, 1905-1906); Lisan al-Sidq (Calcutta, 1903-1905); and Paigham (Calcutta, 1921). 

Azad started a column in his journal Al-Hilal on "scientific matters"  (muzakira-e-'ilmiya') in February 1913 to make up for what he considered Muslims' current lack of knowledge in all things scientific.  He complained that western-educated Muslims could not believe that learned ulama studied philosophy thoroughly, and he criticized those Westernized college graduates for their lack of a true love of knowledge, saying that no Aligarh graduates write books, translate great works, or make any contribution to knowledge. 

Although Azad was reluctant to admit the benefits of western education, and disdained the products of Aligarh, his columns on scientific matters focused on marvels of modern science.  He wrote an article on radium, followed by one on Scott's expedition to the South Pole, wherein he praised European devotion to science and the search for truth.  He translated articles from Scientific American, the first was on Montessori educational methods.

Abu 'l Kalam Azad was elected president of the Indian Congress in 1923, and was re-elected in 1940.  He served as Gandhi's adviser in Muslim affairs.  He was also minister for education in independent India from 1947 until his death in 1958.  Imprisoned six times throughout his politically active life, he cherished his time in detention.  At age 53, in August 1942, he was imprisoned for the sixth time in Fort Ahmadnagar, having spent a total of ten and a half years in jail.  Towards the end of his life, he commented that "a seventh part of my life I have been detained.  Thus, the English gave me a fine Sabbath-rest."

In his early years, Azad had a derogatory attitude toward science.  Later, he developed his idea that science is concerned with things that can be perceived by the senses, religion with the supra-sensual.  He wrote "true science and true religion, although they travel on different paths, in the end arrive at the same destination."  Azad maintained that religion is the only source of moral values.

Azad avoided trying to find evidence of scientific theories in the Qur'an.  In his Tarjuman, he said, "The aim of the Qur'an is to invite the attention of man to His power and wisdom and not to make an exposition of the creation of the universe."  Azad postulated that the Qur'an contains things which the people of that time understood according to their own conceptions of life and custom, and could not contain any discussion of the facts of science and history in it, because the people of the time had no comprehension of them.  He maintained that the Qur'an is the "word from God" (kalam min 'inda llah) rather than the "word of God" (kalam Allah).  In a collection of Azad's letters, published as Malfuzat-e-Azad, he states that we should understand the "divine word" in the sense that it is divine (khuda'i<), while at the same time being in the words of the Prophet.

On the problem of the existence of God, Azad based his solutions on intuition, rather than rational reasoning.  Without God, there can be no understanding of the origin of life in the universe.  There is only one solution to this problem.  There is one way out of the maze.  There is one piece to solve the puzzle.   The problem of life in the universe is like a book with the first and last page missing.  We know neither the beginning nor the end.  If there is an omniscient being behind the curtain, everything has meaning, if not, all is dark. 

Azad also argued from the position that man is so superior to animals that he must have superior inspiration.  Everything around him is distraction, but he aspires to higher things.  This can only be the case if there is something higher in front of him, which can only be God.  The natural answer to the search is inherent in man's nature; man's quest for rising higher is a natural search, for which the answer is God.  Azad gives an example that in learning to talk, children need living examples, and this requirement is naturally met by the mother and the father.

Without denying the validity of either religion or modern knowledge, Azad insisted that the realm of religious knowledge must be regarded as forbidden territory for reason.  He insisted that modern knowledge must not be allowed to cut away what belongs to religion.  Azad dissociated himself from both the modernist rejection of religious knowledge, and the ulama's lack of respect for modern knowledge.

Azad pursued questions of spirit and nature throughout his life.  He concluded that the true relation between science and religion is not one of controversy but of harmonious coexistence and leads to the discovery of the actual existence of a Universal Religion, despite all the extant divergent rites and creeds.  For this primary purpose, Azad wrote his commentary Tardjuman al-Qur'an (1930).  this commentary is esteemed by Urdu readers because of the excellent Qur'an translation which it contains. 

Azad died in New Delhi in 1958.  He is buried in a simple tomb within a garden surrounded by a stone wall, between Jama Masjid and the Red Fort in the old city of Delhi.
Azad, Abu 'l-Kalam see Abu ’l-Kalam Azad
Mohiuddin Ahmad see Abu ’l-Kalam Azad
Ahmad, Mohiuddin see Abu ’l-Kalam Azad
Abul Kalam Muhiyuddin Ahmed see Abu ’l-Kalam Azad
Maulana Azad see Abu ’l-Kalam Azad

Abu ’l-Khattab al-Ma‘afiri
Abu ’l-Khattab al-Ma‘afiri (Abu Khattab al-Maafiri) (d. 761).  The first Imam elected by the Ibadis of the Maghrib.  He was one of the five missionaries sent from Basra to preach the Ibadi creed in the West. 

Ma'afiri, Abu 'l-Khattab al- see Abu ’l-Khattab al-Ma‘afiri
Abu Khattab al-Maafiri see Abu ’l-Khattab al-Ma‘afiri

Abu ’l-Khayr
Abu ’l-Khayr (Abu 'l-Khayr Khan) (1412-1468).  Founder of the Shaybanid dynasty.  He reigned from 1429 to 1468.  Abu 'l-Khayr Khan was the leader who united the nomadic Uzbek tribes from which the Kazakh khanate later separated in rebellion under Janybek Khan and Kerei Khan beginning in 1466. 

Abu 'l-Khayr Khan was born in 1412.  He was a descendant of Jenghiz Khan, through Jochi's fifth son Shiban, and a bej of the White Horde.  At the time of his birth, the ulus (tribe) of Siban had divided into separate nomadic groups, one of which was led by Jumaduq Khan.  Abu 'l-Khayr served in Jumaduq's army, and was taken prisoner when Jumaduq was killed in battle in 1427.

After being released in 1428, Abu 'l-Khayr began consolidating various nomadic groups of the old Sibani ulus in the area around Tynmen and the Tura River.  He deposed and killed the khan of the Khanate of Sibir after a battle on the Tobol River, after which he was proclaimed khan of western Siberia.  The next four years were spent strengthening his control throughout the region.

Abu 'l-Khayr Khan was assisted in his consolidation by the Manghits, another tribe in the White Horde, and especially by Vaqqas Bej, Edigu's grandson.

In 1430-1431, Abu 'l-Khayr, joined by Vaqqas, launched an attack on Khwarezm, occupying the regional capital Urganj.  The Uzbeks could not hold the city, however, and retreated in the summer of 1431.  Abu 'l-Khayr's army pulled back to the step, where they defeated two opposing khans near Astrakhan.  In 1435-1436, the Uzbek armies attacked Khwarezm again, and several years later they raided Astrakhan.  Starting in 1446, Abu 'l-Khayr and his forces invaded the Syr Darya region, eventually wresting some lands from Timurid control.  The town of Sighnaq became Abu 'l-Khayr's new capital, from where he later launched raids into Mawarannahr.

In 1451, Abu Sa'id requested Abu 'l-Khayr Khan's assistance in battle against 'Abdullah.  Abu 'l-Khayr agreed to support Abu Sa'id, and the two armies marched on Samarkand.  'Abdullah was defeated and killed, after which Abu Sa'id quickly moved his forces into the city and locked the gates, leaving Abu 'l-Khayr and the Uzbeks outside.  To avoid reprisal, Abu Sa'id presented the Uzbeks with many presents and riches.

Abu 'l-Khayr Khan died in 1468.  After Abu 'l-Khayr Khan's death two separate lines of descent controlled the twin Uzbek states of Mawara al-Nahr and Khwarezm. 

In the first decade of the 16th century of the Christian calendar, the grandson of Abu 'l-Khayr Khan, Muhammad Shaybani, finally succeeded in the unification of the Uzbeks and established the short lived Shaybanid Empire, centered in Samarkand.

Abu 'l-Khayr Khan see Abu ’l-Khayr

Abu ’l-Mahasin ibn Taghribirdi
Abu ’l-Mahasin ibn Taghribirdi (1409-1470).   An Arab historian who wrote biographies of the Burji Mameluke sultans and a history of Egypt covering the period from 641 until the mid-1400s.

Abu ’l-Mutarrif ibn Wafid
Abu ’l-Mutarrif ibn Wafid (Abenguefith) (Ibn Wafid) (1007-1074).  An Andalusian physician, pharmacologist and agricultural theorist.  One of his works was translated into Latin by Gerard of Cremona with the title Liber Albenguefith philosophi de virtutibus medicinarum et ciborum.

Ibn Wafid held a number of political positions during the reign of al-Mamun, but was fundamentally a man of science.  Three of his works have been preserved.  In Spanish the titles are: Libro de los medicamentos, Libro de la almohada, and Suma de agricultura. 
Abenguefith see Abu ’l-Mutarrif ibn Wafid

Abulpharagius Abdalla Benattibus
Abulpharagius Abdalla Benattibus.   See Abu ’l-Faraj ‘Abd Allah ibn al-Tayyib.
Benattibus, Abulpharagius Abdalla see Abulpharagius Abdalla Benattibus.
Abu ’l-Faraj ‘Abd Allah ibn al-Tayyib see Abulpharagius Abdalla Benattibus.

Abu ’l Qasim As’ad ibn Billita
Abu ’l Qasim As’ad ibn Billita (c. 1050).  Arab poet.

Abu’l-Su‘ud (Khoji Celebi) (1490-1574).  Ottoman Shaykh al-Islam who succeeded in bringing the administrative law of the Ottoman Empire into agreement with the sacred law of Islam.
Khoji Celebi see Abu’l-Su‘ud
Celebi, Khoji see Abu’l-Su‘ud

Abu Lu’lu’a
Abu Lu’lu’a.  Christian Persian slave of al-Mughira ibn Shu‘ba who in 644 killed the Caliph ‘Umar ibn al-Khattab.  Abu Lu'lu'a used a dagger and stabbed 'Umar in the back.  The dagger may also have been poisoned. 
Lu'lu'a, Abu see Abu Lu’lu’a.

Abu ’l-Wafa’ al-Buzajani
Abu ’l-Wafa’ al-Buzajani.  See Abul Wefa.
Buzajani, Abu'l-Wafa' al- see Abu ’l-Wafa’ al-Buzajani.
Abul Wefa see Abu ’l-Wafa’ al-Buzajani.

Abul Wefa
Abul Wefa (Abul Wafa' Buzjani) (Abu al-Wafa' Muhammad ibn Muhammad ibn Yahya ibn Isma'il ibn al-'Abbas al-Buzjani) (June 10, 940 - July 1, 998).  Mathematician and astronomer who played a major role in the development of sines and cosines as they apply to the field of trignonometry.  These he used to correct astronomical calculations carried forward from classical into Islamic times.

Born on June 10, 940, in either Buzshan, Khorasan Province, or Buzadhan, Kuhistan Province, Iran, during the reign of the ‘Abbasid caliph al-Mutaqqi, Abul Wefa lived during a period of extraordinary cultural and intellectual productivity.  His own fields of accomplishment, mathematics and astronomy, were already widely recognized as essential elements of high Islamic civilization.  Very little is known about Abul Wefa’s early life.  Apparently, his early education in mathematics occurred under the tutelage of two uncles, one of whom (Abu Amr al-Mughazili) had received formal training from the famous geometricians Abu Yahya al-Marwazi and Abu ’l Ala ibn Karnib. 

Whatever the possible source of patronage for the young man’s further education may have been, his decision to move to Baghdad at the age of nineteen (in 959) greatly benefitted the ‘Abbasid court.  Baghdad at this time was politically troubled, following the seizure of de facto control by a military clique headed by the Persian Buyid emirs.  Thereafter, the Buyids dominated the house of the caliphs until their fall from power in 1055.  The Buyids were inclined to favor talented Persians who were drawn toward scholarly circles in the center of the empire.  It is reported, for example, that it was Abul Wefa, himself then forty years of age and well established (circa 980), who introduced the Persian scholar and philosopher Abu Hayyan al-Tawhidi into the Baghdad entourage of the vizier Ibn Sa’dan.  Abu Hayyan soon became famous under the vizier’s patronage, composing a major work, al-Imta’ wa’l mu’anasa (a collection of notes drawn from philosophical and literary “salon” meetings), with a dedication to Ibn Sa’dan.

Patronage for Abul Wefa’s work in courtly circles, however, must have come from a different milieu, that of the so-called Baghdad School.  This scientific assembly flourished in the ‘Abbasid capital in the last century before its conquest by the Seljuk Turks in 1055.  According to some historians, patronage for the natural sciences in particular came precisely during the period in which Abul Wefa passed into the main stages of his scholarly career.  The Buyid emir Adud al-Dawlah (978-983) had nurtured an interest in astronomy through his own studies.  He passed this interest on to his son, Saraf al-Dawlah, who built an observatory next to his palace and called scholars from all regions of the empire to glorify the reputation of his reign by carrying out scientific experiments.  Abul Wefa was among this group. 

The environment for learning in the Baghdad School, with its circle of eminent Islamic scientists, may explain how the young Persian scholar mastered so many technical fields in such a limited period of time.  Beyond mere speculation regarding Abul Wefa’s early personal contacts, however, one must consider the importance of translation work in the Baghdad School.  Abul Wefa himself translated the work of the Greek algebraist Diophantus (fl. c. 250), who had explored the field of indeterminate algebraic equations.  Abul Wefa was also known for his studies of, and commentaries on, Euclid.  There are, however, no surviving texts to indicate what use he made of the work of these two forerunners of the classical pre-Islamic period. 

By contrast, Abul Wefa’s attention to the work of the second century Greek astronomer Ptolemy not only contributed to the preservation and transmission to the medieval West of the classical knowledge contained in Ptolemy’s Mathematike suntaxis (c. 150; Almagest) but also earned for him an original and lasting reputation as an Islamic mathematician.  The Almagest examined the field of trigonometry, which proposed mathematical relationships in terms of the angles and sides of right triangles.  This called for the development of sines, or systematic relationships defined in a right triangle working from one of the acute angles, symbolically represented as A.  Modern trigonometry expresses this relationship as sin A = a/c, or sin A is equal to the ratio of the length of the side opposite that angle (a) to the length of the hypotenuse (c). 

Ptolemy, in pioneering the field of spherical trigonometry, had laid down an approximate method for calculating sines (which he described as “chords”).  Abul Wefa, however, drew on his studies of Indian precedents in the field of trigonometry that were unknown to Ptolemy, as well as models provided by Abul Wefa’s predecessor al-Battani (858-929), to perfect Ptolemy’s chords.  This was done by applying algebraic, instead of geometric, methods of systematizing the sines.  In particular, Abul Wefa’s development of the “half-chord” made it possible to achieve much more precise measurements that would eventually be used in surveying and navigation.  The most immediate application of his tables of sines, however, was in the field of astronomy. 

One of Abul Wefa’s contributions which left a legacy that lasted for many centuries involved the study of evection, or irregularity, in the longitude of the moon.  Later European commentators looked at the Islamic astronomer’s work and concluded that he, not Tycho Brahe (1546-1601), had been the first scientist to posit the theory of the “third inequality of the moon.”  Although this theory was later proved to be erroneous, the debate at least drew attention to the importance of Abul Wefa’s originality in the field.

Abul Wefa himself compiled, in addition to his well-known tables of sines, a book of astronomical tables entitled Zif al-wadith (that which is clear).  Like his earlier work on sines, this text is not extant in the original.  Scholars tend to agree, however, that certain anonymous manuscripts preserved in European libraries, such as the Zij al-shamil, are taken from Abul Wefa’s work.

Works that have survived and that have been at least partially translated include a book of arithmetic entitled Kitab fi ma yahtaj ilayh al-kuttab wa l-‘ummal min ‘ilm al-hisab (Book on What is Necessary from the Science -- of Arithmetic for Scribes and Businessmen [961-976]), the Kitab fi ma yahtaj ilayh al-sani ‘min al-a’mal al-handasiyha (Book on What is Necessary from Geometric Construction for the Artisan [after 990]), and a book entitled Kitab al-kamil.  It is thought that Abul Wefa may have still been living in Baghdad at the time of his death in 998 (July 1, 998). 

The crater Abul Wafa on the Moon is named after Abul Wefa.

Wefa, Abul see Abul Wefa
Abul Wafa' Buzjani see Abul Wefa
Buzjani, Abul Wafa' see Abul Wefa
Abu al-Wafa' Muhammad ibn Muhammad ibn Yahya ibn Isma'il ibn al-'Abbas al-Buzjani see Abul Wefa

Abu Madyan
Abu Madyan (Sidi Abu Madyan Shuayb ibn al-Hussein al-Ansari) (c.1126-1197).  Andalusian mystic whose fame rests on the memory of him handed down by his disciples and on the maxims attributed to him.

Abu Madyan was a Sufi teacher, scholar, writer and poet.  He is the single most important founder of Sufism in the Maghreb and Andalusia.  He was born in Cantillama in the region of Sevilla and died in Tlemcen.  He was the teacher of Abdeslam Ben Mchich and through Ben Mchich of Abu-l-Hassan ash-Shadhili. 

Still young, Abu Madyan moved to Morocco where he lived in Ceuta, Tangier and Marrakech.  He received his religious education in Fes, where he underwent the influence of the teachings of al-Jilani, Abu Yaza, and al-Ghazali (through Ibn Hirzihim et Abu Bakr ibn al Arabi), master of Abu Yaza.  After his pilgrimage to Mecca and studies in the Middle East, he returned to teach in Bougie (now in Algeria). 

Abu Madyan is the patron saint of Tlemcen.  His mausoleum and the nearby mosque in that city are masterpieces of Merinid art.  Ibn Arabi called Abu Madyan "the teacher of teachers."
Madyan, Abu see Abu Madyan
Sidi Abu Madyan Shuayb ibn al-Hussein al-Ansari see Abu Madyan
Ansari, Sidi Abu Madyan Shuayb ibn al-Hussein al- see Abu Madyan

Abu Mahalli
Abu Mahalli (d. 1613).   A jurist and mystic of Morocco who played a part in the final years of the Sa‘did dynasty. 
Mahalli, Abu see Abu Mahalli

Abu Marwan ibn Abu ’l-‘Ala’ ibn Zuhr
Abu Marwan ibn Abu ’l-‘Ala’ ibn Zuhr.  See Ibn Zuhr.

Abu Ma‘shar al-Balkhi
Abu Ma‘shar al-Balkhi (Albumasar) (Ja'far ibn Muhammad Abu Ma'shar al-Balkhi) (al-Falaki) (August 10, 787 - March 9, 886).  Arab astrologer from Balkh who was known in the West as Albumasar.   He wrote several works on astrology, some of which were translated into Latin with such titles as Introductorium in astronomiam Albumasaris Abalachii; De magnis coniunctionibus; and Flores astrologiae.

Abu Ma'shar was a South Asian Afghan mathematician, astronomer, astrologer and Islamic philosopher.  Many of his works were translated into Latin and were well known amongst many European astrologers, astronomers, and mathematicians during the European Middle Ages.

It has been argued that the writings of Abu Ma'shar were very likely the single most important original source of Aristotle's theories of nature for European scholars, starting a little before the middle of the 12th century.  It was not until later in the 12th century that the original books of Aristotle on nature began to become available in Latin.  The works of Aristotle on logic had been known earlier, and Aristotle was generally recognized as "the master of logic."  However, during the course of the 12th century, Aristotle was transformed into the "master of those who know," and in particular a master of natural philosophy.  It is especially interesting that the work of Abu Ma'shar in question is a treatise on astrology.  Its Latin title is Introductorium in Astronomiam, a translation of the Arabic Kitab al-mudkhal al-kabir ila 'ilm 'ahkam an-nujjum, written in Baghdad in the year 848.  It was translated into Latin first by John of Seville in 1133, and again, less literally and abridged, by Hermann of Carinthia in 1140.  Amir Khusrav mentions that Abu Mashar came to Benaras (Varanasi) and studied astronomy there for ten years.

Abu Ma'shar has been credited as the first astronomer to define astrological ages -- the Age of Pisces, the Age of Aquarius, etc. -- on the basis of the precession of the equinoxes through the zodiac.

Abu Ma'shar developed a planetary model that some have interpreted as a heliocentric model.  This is due to the orbital revolutions of the planets being given as heliocentric revolutions rather than geocentric revolutions, and the only known planetary theory in which this occurs is in the heliocentric theory.  His work on planetary theory has not survived, but his astronomical data was later recorded by al-Hashimi and al-Biruni. 

Balkhi, Abu Ma'shar al- see Abu Ma‘shar al-Balkhi
Albumasar see Abu Ma‘shar al-Balkhi
Ja'far ibn Muhammad Abu Ma'shar al-Balkhi see Abu Ma‘shar al-Balkhi
Falaki, al- see Abu Ma‘shar al-Balkhi

Abumeron.  See Ibn Zuhr.

Abu Muhammad al-Hasan al-‘Askari
Abu Muhammad al-Hasan al-‘Askari (Hasan al-'Askari) (844-873).  Eleventh Imam of the Twelver Shi‘a.  At his death, dissension arose on the question whether or not he had a child named Muhammad al-Qa’im. 

Hasan al-'Askari, whose ancestor was the Prophet Muhammad, was born in Medina to 'Ali al-Hadi and Saleel.  His title al-Askari derives from the Arabic word Asker which means Army.  Hasan's title was reflective of his living most of his life in a garrison town.  He married a Byzantine princess who was the granddaughter of a Byzantine emperor, named Narjis.

Hasan al-'Askari lived almost his entire life under house arrest in Samarra and under supervision of 'Abbasid caliphs.  Despite his confinement as a prisoner, he was occasionally allowed to go to Baghdad, although it was under guard. 

Hasan al-'Askari was very knowledgeable and despite being confined to house arrest for almost his entire life, Hasan al-'Askari was able to teach others about Islam, and even compiled a commentary on the Qur'an that would be used by later scholars.  Hasan al-'Askari was like a roaring river of wisdom, which quenched the thirst of those thirsty for it.  As per Khawarzami's, eighteen thousand men, thirsty for knowledge, benefitted from Hasan al-'Askari's assembly.  The first one out of al-Mu'tazz's court, who took an oath of allegiance for him was the famous Iranian genius and talented person named Mohammad ibn Masood Shirazi.  It is narrated that such was Hasan al-Askari's wisdom that even al-Kindi the teacher of Abu Nasr Farabi, was defeated and failed in discussion with him,  and burned his book which he had written against Islam.

Hasan al-'Askari died without apparent issue.  However, Twelver Shi'a believe that Hasan al-'Askari had one son, Muhammad al-Mahdi, who was five at the time of Hasan al-'Askari's death and who was hidden from the 'Abbasids.  Nevertheless, many Muslims and scholars question the historical existence of this son.

Twelver Shi'as believe Muhammad al-Mahdi to be the Mahdi -- a very important figure in Islamic teaching who it is believed will reappear at the end of time to fill the world with justice, peace and to establish Islam as the global religion.
'Askari, Abu Muhammad al-Hasan al- see Abu Muhammad al-Hasan al-‘Askari
Hasan al-'Askari see Abu Muhammad al-Hasan al-‘Askari

Abu Muslim
Abu Muslim (Abu Muslim Khorasani) (Abu Muslim Abd al-Rahman ibn Muslim al-Khorasani) (c.700-755).  Persian leader of the revolutionary  ‘Abbasid movement in Khurasan who was executed by the second ‘Abbasid Caliph al-Mansur.

Abu-Muslim was an 'Abbasid general of Persian (Tajik) origin, born in the city of Balkh in Khorasan (modern day Afghanistan) who led the first liberal movement against the Umayyad dynasty.  He grew up in Kufa, in Iraq.

Abu Muslim was a major supporter of the 'Abbasid cause, having met with their imam Ibrahim ibn Muhamad in Mecca, and was later a personal friend of Abu al-'Abbas al-Saffah, the future caliph.  Abu Muslim observed the revolt in Kufa in 736 tacitly.  With the death of the Umayyad Caliph Hisham ibn Abd al-Malik in 743, the Islamic world was launched into civil war.  Abu Muslim was sent to Khorasan by the 'Abbasids initially as a propagandist and then to revolt on their behalf.  He took Merv in December 747 (or January 748), defeating the Umayyad governor there Nasr ibn Sayyar, as well as Shayban al-Khariji, a Kharijite aspirant to the caliphate.  He became the de facto 'Abbasid governor of Khorasan, and gained fame as a general in the late 740s in defeating the peasant rebellion of Bihafarid, the leader of a syncretic Persian sect that was Mazdaism.  Abu Muslim received support in suppressing the rebellion both from purist Muslims and Zoroastrians.  In 750, Abu Muslim became leader of the 'Abbasid army and defeated the Umayyads at the Battle of the Zab.  Abu Muslim stormed Damascus, the capital of the Umayyad caliphate, later that year.

His heroic role in the revolution and military skill, along with his conciliatory politics toward Shi'a, Sunnis, Zoroastrians, Jews, and Christians made him extremely popular among the people.  Although it appears that Abu al-'Abbas trusted him in general, he was wary of his power, limiting his entourage to 500 men upon his arrival to Iraq on his way to Hajj in 754.  Abu al-'Abbas's brother, al-Mansur (r.754-775), advised al-Saffah on more than one occasion to have Abu Muslim killed, fearing his rising influence and popularity.  It seems that this dislike was mutual, with Abu Muslim aspiring to more power and looking down in disdain on al-Mansur, feeling al-Mansur owed Abu Muslim for his position.  When the new caliph's uncle, Abdullah ibn Ali rebelled, Abu Muslim was requested by al-Mansur to crush this rebellion, which he did, and Abdullah was given to his nephew as a prisoner.  Abdullah was ultimately executed.

Relations deteriorated quickly when al-Mansur sent an agent to inventory the spoils of war, and then appointed Abu Muslim governor of Syria and Egypt, outside his powerbase.  After an increasingly acrimonious correspondence between Abu Muslim and al-Mansur, Abu Muslim feared he was going to be killed if he appeared in the presence of the Caliph.  He later changed his mind and decided to appear in his presence due to a combination of perceived disobedience, al-Mansur's promise to keep him as governor of Khorasan, and the assurances of some of his close aides, some of whom were bribed by al-Mansur.  He went to Iraq to meet with al-Mansur in Madain in 755, where al-Mansur proceeded to enumerate his grievances against Abu Muslim while Abu Muslim kept reminding al-Mansur of his efforts to enthrone him.  Al-Mansur then signaled five of his guards hidden behind a portico to kill Abu Muslim. 

Abu Muslim's mutilated body was thrown in the river Tigris, and his commanders were bribed to acquiesce to the murder.

The murder of Abu Muslim was not well-received by the Persians, particularly not by the residents of Khorasan, and there was resentment among the population over the brutal methods used by al-Mansur.  He became a legendary figure for many in Persia, and several Persian heretics started revolts claiming he had not died and would return.  The latter included his own propagandist, Ishaq al-Turk, the Zoroastrian cleric, Sunpadh, in Nishapur, and al-Muqanna in Khorasan.  Even Babak claimed descent from Abu Muslim.
Muslim, Abu see Abu Muslim
Abu Muslim Khorasani see Abu Muslim
Abu Muslim Abd al-Rahman ibn Muslim al-Khorasani see Abu Muslim

Abu Nasr al-Farabi
Abu Nasr al-Farabi (c.872-950). One of the most outstanding and renowned Muslim philosophers.  Of Turkish origin, he was known as “the second teacher”, the first being Aristotle.  He was influenced by the Aristotelian teaching in Baghdad and the late Alexandrian interpretation of Greek philosophy.  He had a great impact on authors such as Ikhwan al-Safa’, al-Mas‘udi and Miskawayh.  Ibn Sina (Avicenna), Ibn Rushd (Averroes) and Ibn Maymun (Maimonides) appreciated him greatly.  {See Farabi.}

Abu Nidal
Abu Nidal (Sabri Khalil al-Banna) (May 1937 - August 16, 2002).  Palestinian politician and guerilla leader.  He was the founder

of Fatah -- The Revolutionary Council, more commonly known as the Abu Nidal Organization (ANO).  At the height of his power in the 1970s and 1980s, Abu Nidal, or "father of the struggle," was widely regarded as the world's most dangerous terrorist leader. 

Abu Nidal, whose real name is Sabri Khalil al-Banna, was born in Jaffa in may 1937.  His father, Hajj Khalil al-Banna, was a wealthy merchant who made his money from the 6,000 acres of orange groves he owned that extended from the south of Jaffa to Majdal, today Ashkelon in Israel.  He raised his large family in luxury in a three story stone house with a large porch overlooking the beach.

Khalil's money meant that he could afford to take several wives.  Khalil had 13 wives who gave birth to 16 sons and eight daughters.  Abu Nidal's mother had been one of the family's maids.  The young Alawite girl was just 16 years old when Khalil married her against the wishes of his family.  She gave birth to Sabri, Khalil's 12th child.  Because the family disapproved of the marriage, Abu Nidal was allegedly scorned from an early age by his older half-brothers and half-sisters.

Khalil sent Abu Nidal to the College des Freres, a French Roman Catholic mission school in the Old Jaffa quarter.  However, when Khalil died in 1945, when Abu Nidal was seven years old, the family turned his mother out of the house.  The older brothers, more devout Muslims than the father had been, took Abu Nidal out of the mission school and enrolled him in a Muslim school in Jerusalem, now known as al-Umaria, at the time one of the most prestigious private schools in the country.  He attended the school for about two years.  It is theorized that Abu Nidal's unhappy formative years created a psychopathic and paranoid Abu Nidal.

At the outset of the 1948 Arab-Israeli war, Jaffa found itself under siege.  Life became difficult, and the disruption of the citrus business hit the family's income.  Booby-trapped cars were exploding in the center of Jaffa and there were food shortages.  In 1948, Abu Nidal's family fled Jaffa and moved into their house near Majdal, intending to be away from Jaffa for only a few days.  However, the Jewish militias arrived in Majdal too, and they had to flee again.  This time they ended up in the al-Burj refugee camp in Gaza, then under the control of Egypt.  There the family spent nine months living in tents, dependent on the United Nations Relief and Work Agency for their weekly allowane of oil, rice, and potatoes.  The experience had a powerful effect on Abu Nidal, wha was accustomed to wealth and servants, but who then found himself living in abject poverty. 

Later the al-Banna family moved to Nablus on the West Bank, where Abu Nidal spent his teenage years.  He completed elementary school and graduated from high school in 1955. 

In 1955, Abu Nidal joined the Ba’ath party of Jordan.  In 1957, when the Ba’ath Party was suppressed, Abu Nidal moved to Saudi Arabia and became a secret member of Al Fatah.  In 1960, he set himself up as a painter and electrician in Riyadh, and later went on to work as a casual laborer for Aramco.

Abu Nidal remained very close to his mother and returned to Nablus from Saudi Arabia every year to visit her.  During one of those visits in 1962, he met his future wife, Hiyam al-Bitar, whose family had also fled from Jaffa.  They had a son, Nidal, and two daughters, Bisan and Na'ifa.  Decades later, in the 1980s, he boasted that his daughter Bisan had no idea he was Abu Nidal.

In Saudi Arabia, Abu Nidal helped found a small group of young Palestinians who called themselves the Palestine Secret Organization.  His political activism and vocal denunciation of Israel drew the attention of his employer, Aramco, which fired him, and then the Saudi government, which imprisoned, tortured, and expelled him as an unwelcome radical.  Abu Nidal returned to Nablus with his wife and young family, and it was around this time that he joined Yasser Arafat's Fatah faction of the PLO.

Abu Nidal worked as an odd job man in Nablus until June 1967.  He was committed to Palestinian politics but was not particularly active.  All that changed after Israel won the 1967 Six Day War, capturing the Golan Heights, the West Bank, and the Gaza Strip.  The sight of Israeli tanks rolling into Nablus, after he had already been forced to flee from Jaffa because of the war, and from Saudi Arabia because of his activism, was a traumatic and pivotal experience for Abu Nidal.  Afterwards, his passive involvement in Palestinian politics was transformed into a deadly hatred of Israel.

Abu Nidal moved to Amman, Jordan, setting up a trading company called Impex, and joining the Fatah underground, where he was asked to choose a nom de guerre.  He chose Abu Nidal, in part after his son, Nidal, since it is a custom in the Arab world for men to call themselves Abu ("father of"), followed by their first son's name; and in other part because the name means "father of the struggle." 

Impex soon became a front for Fatah activities, serving as a meeting place for members and as a conduit for funds with which to pay them.  This was to become a hallmark of Abu Nidal's business career.  Companies controlled by the ANO served to make him a rich man by engaging in legitimate business deals, while acting as cover for his political violence and his multi-million dollar arms deals, mercenary activities, and protection rackets.

In 1969, Abu Nidal was selected Al Fatah’s representative in Sudan and, in July 1970, he was sent to Baghdad as Al Fatah’s representative, where he was strongly influenced by Iraqi political views.   Abu Nidal arrived in Iraq just two months before Black September when Hussein's army drove the fedayeen out of Jordan, with the loss of between 5,000 and 10,000 Palestinian lives in just ten days.  Abu Nidal's absence from Jordan during this period, where it was clear that King Hussein was about to act against the Palestinian, raised the suspicion within the movement that he had acted only to save himself.

Just before the PLO expulsion from Jordan, and during the three years that followed it, several radical Palestinian and other Arab factions split from the PLO and began to launch their own military or terrorist attacks against Israeli military and civilian targets as well as civilian targets overseas.  These included George Habash's PFLP, DFLP, Arab Liberation Front, as-Sa'iqa, Palestine Liberation Front (at the time headed by Ahmed Jibril who went on to set up the radical PFLP-GC), and Black September, a group of radical fedayeen associated with Arafat's Fatah, who carried out operations using Black September as a cover.

Shortly after King Hussein expelled the fedayeen, Abu Nidal began broadcasting criticism of the PLO over Voice of Palestine, the PLO's own radio station in Iraq, accusing them of cowardice for having agreed to a ceasefire with Hussein, and during Fatah's Third Congress in Damascus in 1971, Abu Nidal emerged as the leader of a leftist alliance against Arafat.  Together with Abu Daoud (one of Fatah's most ruthless commanders, who was later involved in the 1972 Black September kidnapping and killing of 11 Israeli athletes at the Olympic Village in Munich) and Palestinian intellectual Naji Allush, Abu Nidal called for Arafat to be overthrown as an enemy of the Palestinian people, and demanded more democracy within Fatah, as well as violent revenge against King Hussein. 

In 1974, Abu Nidal was expelled from Al Fatah after criticizing Al Fatah’s establishment of a national authority for a liberated Palestine.  Abu Nidal responded to this expulsion by building his own group, called Fatah Revolutionary Council, which received financial support from Iraq. Abu Nidal also used Baghdad as his base.  In November of 1974, Al Fatah accused Abu Nidal of murder plots, and sentenced him to death.  In 1983, Abu Nidal was thrown out of Baghdad because Iraq needed United States support in its war against Iran. Abu Nidal then moved to Syria where he started to cooperate with the government.  

In 1985, Abu Nidal was employed to hinder an agreement between Jordan, Israel and the Palestine Liberation Organization (PLO).  Abu Nidal’s operatives were used to attack international airlines in Vienna and Rome, and a Pan-Am flight was hijacked in Karachi. In September 1986, after Western accusations of Syrian participation in international terrorism, Abu Nidal’s training camps there were closed down.  It is believed that Abu Nidal then moved to Libya.  In 1991, one of the PLO’s highest officers, Salah Khalaf, was killed in Tunis by attack of Abu Nidal’s men. 

Abu Nidal is believed to have ordered attacks in 20 countries, killing or injuring over 900 people.  The group's most notorious attacks were on the El Al ticket counters at Rome and Vienna airports in December 1985, when Arab gunmen doped on amphetamines opened fire on passengers in simultaneous shootings, killing 18 and wounding 120. 

Abu Nidal died of between one and four gunshot wounds in Baghdad in August 2002, believed by Palestinian sources to have been killed on the orders of Saddam Hussein, although the Iraqi government claimed that he committed suicide.
Sabri Khalil al-Banna see Abu Nidal
Nidal, Abu see Abu Nidal
Banna, Sabri Khalil al- see Abu Nidal
Father of the Struggle see Abu Nidal

Abu Nidal Organization
Abu Nidal Organization (ANO).  Anti-Western and anti-Israel international terrorist organization led by Sabri al-Banna (Abu Nidal) which left the Palestine Liberation Organization (PLO) in 1974.  Its organizational struture was composed of various functional committees, including political, military and financial.  The ANO carried out terrorist attacks in 20 countries, killing or injuring almost 900 people.  Targets included the United States, the United Kingdom, France, Israel, moderate Palestinians, the PLO, and various Arab countries.  Major attacks included the Rome and Vienna airports in December 1985, the Never Shalom synagogue in Istanbul, the Pan Am flight 73 hijacking in Karachi in September 1986, and the City of Poros day excursion ship attack in Greece in July 1988.  The ANO is suspected of assassinating PLO deputy chief Abu Iyad and PLO security chief Abu Hul in Tunis in January 1991.  The ANO assassinated a Jordanian diplomat in Lebanon in January 1994, but has not attacked Western targets since the late 1980s.  Al-Banna relocated to Iraq in December 1998, where the group maintained a presence.  Financial problems and internal disorganization reduced the group’s capabilities, activities shut down in Libya and Egypt in 1999. 

By all accounts, the ANO reflected its founder's personality and was more a mercenary group willing to act on behalf of diverse interests, than one guided by political principle.  A variety of names were used as cover for different operations:  Fatah (the Revolutionary Council); the Palestinian National Liberation Movement; Black June; Black September; The Revolutionary Arab Brigades; the Revolutionary Organization of Socialist Muslims; the Egyptian Revolution; Revolutionary Egypt; Al-Asifa (The Storm), a name also used by Fatah; Al-Iqab (The Punishment); and The Arab Nationalist Youth Organization.

Abu Nidal originally chose the name Black June for the group, in order to mark his disapproval of the 1976 Syrian intervention in Lebanon in support of the Christians, but changed it to Fatah-Revolutionary Council when he switched bases from Iraq to Syria in 1981. In later years, the group was most commonly referred to as the Abu Nidal Organization or Abu Nidal group.

The group was based on terror and intimidation, with members not being allowed to leave once recruited, and everyone living under suspicion of being a double agent.  The ANO's official newspaper Filastin al-Thawra regularly carried stories announcing the execution of traitors within the movement.  Each new recruit was given several days to write out his entire life story by hand, including names and addresses of family members, friends, and lovers, then was required to sign a paper saying he agreed to be executed if anything was found to be untrue.  Every so often, the recruit would be asked to rewrite the whole thing; any discrepancies were taken as evidence that he was a spy, probably for Israel or Arafat, and he would be asked to write it out again, often after days of being beaten and nights spent forced to sleep standing up.

By 1987, Abu Nidal had turned the full force of his terror tactics inwards on the ANO itself.  Members were tortured until they confessed to betrayal and disloyalty.  There were also a number of mass purges. 

Abu Nidal died on August 19, 2002. 
ANO see Abu Nidal Organization

Abu Nuwas
Abu Nuwas (Hasan ibn Hani Abu Nuwas) (Abu Nuwas al-Hasan ibn Hani al-Hakami) (c.747 - c.813).  Arab poet who is known for his poems on wine and pederasty, his panegyrics and hunting poems.  He was connected with the Caliph Harun al-Rashid, and his name appears in the Thousand and One Nights (The Arabian Nights).  Abu Nuwas was actually of half Persian heritage.  He became a favorite of the Caliph Harun al-Rashid, but was constantly on the verge of imprisonment or execution on account of his tendency to speak his mind. 

Abu Nuwas was born in the city of Ahvaz in Persia.  He was born to a father whom he never knew, Hani, who was a soldier in the army of Marwan II.  His Persian mother, named Golban ("Rose"), worked as a weaver.  His given name was al-Hasan ibn Hani al-Hakami.  The name "Abu Nuwas" is actually a nickname meaning "Father of the Lock of Hair" or "Father of Curls," a reference ot the two long sidelocks that hung down to his shoulders.

When Abu Nuwas was still a boy, his mother sold him to a grocer from Basra, Sa'ad al-Yashira.  Sa'ad took Abu Nuwas from Ahvaz, the townof his birth to his home in Basra, in those days a great seaport, and the abode of the mythical Sinbad the Sailor.

In Basra, Abu Nuwas studied the Qur'an and grammar at the mosque.  His grace and beauty attracted the attention of his older cousin, the handsome blond poet Waliba ibn al-Hubab.  Having been granted his freedom by Sa'ad, Waliba became Abu Nuwas' lover and teacher, taking his student to live with him in Kufa.  A couple of years later, the adolescent Abu Nuwas returned to Basra to study under Khalaf al-Ahmar, a master of pre-Islamic poetry.  He then spent a year among the Bedouin (desert nomads) to gain purity of language.  However, the young man, already a lover of the finer things in life, was not enamored of the primitive life of the ascetic nomads.

Abu Nuwas set aside older, traditional writing forms for drinking songs and witty, erotic lyrics on male love that resonate with an authenticity born of experience, soon becoming famous, if not notorious.  His love poems celebrate love for a beautiful boy, often embodied in the figure of the saqi,  the Christian wine boy at the tavern.  The theme was picked up time and again over the ensuing centuries by the best poets of Iran and Arabia, such as Omar al-Khayyam, Hafiz, and countless others who shared his tastes.

Abu Nuwas migrated to Baghdad, possibly in the company of Walibah ibn al-Hubab, and soon became renowned for his witty and humorous poetry, which dealt not with the traditional desert themes, but with urban life and the joys of wine and drinking (khamriyyat), and ribald humor (mujuniyyat).  Abu Nuwas arrived in Baghdad around the time that the young Harun al-Rashid ascended to the throne.   In those days, Baghdad was the capital of both Arabia and Persia.  The time was a golden age of Arab culture and learning, and the city was the biggest in the world of its day.  Perhaps he was hoping to curry favor with the new caliph, a more enlightened ruler than his brutal predecessor.  However, being a court poet exposed Abu Nuwas to the whims and vagaries of an absolute monarch.  Though not as capricious as some, Harun al-Rashid was conscious of having to maintain the aura of propriety incumbent upon the Defender of the Faith, and more than once threw Abu Nuwas into prison for his drinking and his impertinent verse.

His commissioned work includes poems on hunting, the love of women, and panegyrics to his patrons.  He was infamous for his mockery and satire, two of his favorite themes being the sexual passivity of men and the sexual intemperance of women.  Despite his celebration of male sexual freedom, he was less than sympathetic towards lesbianism, and often mocked what he perceived as its inanity.  Abu Nuwas liked to shock society by openly writing about things which Islam forbade.  He may have been the first Arab poet to write about masturbation.

Abu Nuwas was forced to flee to Egypt for a time, after he wrote an elegiac poem praising the Barmakis, the powerful family which had been toppled and massacred by the caliph, Harun al-Rashid.  He returned to Baghdad in 809 upon the death of Harun al-Rashid.  The subsequent ascension of Muhammad al-Amin, Harun al-Rashid's twenty-two year old libertine son (and former student of Abu Nuwas) was a mighty stroke of luck for Abu Nuwas.  In fact, most scholars believe that Abu Nuwas wrote most of his poems during the reign of Al-Amin.  His most famous royal commission was a poem which he composed in praise of al-Amin.  Al-Amin shared the poet's tastes for hunting, wine and boys, and was famous in his own right for his affair with his eunuch.  However, even he grew impatient with the poet, and had him thrown in jail for his exploits at the tavern table.

However, Abu Nuwas outlived caliph al-Amin as well, who lost his life in a war over the succession waged by his brother only four years after ascending to the throne.  Amin was overthrown by his puritanical brother, al-Ma'mun, who had no tolerance for Abu Nuwas. 

Some later accounts claim that fear of prison made Abu Nuwas repent his old ways and become deeply religious, while others believe his later, penitent poems were simply written in hopes of winning the caliph's pardon.  It was said that al-Ma'mun's secretary Zonbor tricked Abu Nuwas into writing a satire against Ali, the son-in-law of the Prophet, while Nuwas was drunk.  Zonbor then deliberately read the poem aloud in public, and ensured Nuwas' continuing imprisonment. 

Abu Nuwas either died in prison or was poisoned by Ismail bin Abu Sehl, or both.

Abu Nuwas is considered one of the greats of classical Arabic literature.  He influenced many later writers, to mention only Omar Khayyam, and Hafiz -- both of them Persian poets.  A hedonistic caricature of Abu Nuwas appears in several of the Thousand and One Nights tales.  Among his best known poems are the ones ridiculing the "Olde Arabia" nostalgia for the life of the Bedouin, and enthusiastically praising the up-to-date life in Baghdad as a vivid contrast. 

Abu Nuwas’ poetry represents an intermediate stage between the Traditional and Modern styles.  Abu Nuwas broke away from the traditional themes and language of the pre-Islamic poets.  He abandoned the qasida-- the long ode -- which was then regarded as the real test of a poet’s mastery.  Instead, Abu Nuwas turned to more lyrical love poetry, wine songs, panegyric and satire. 

Abu Nuwas achieved a spectacular success with his revival of the Bedouin hunting song as an art form.  Many of these genres had been used in the preceding century, but Abu Nuwas was regarded as the greatest exponent of them who had yet appeared.  Abu Nuwas was one of the last poets to learn his craft by association with his predecessors and with desert Arabs.  The successors of Abu Nuwas were generally trained in schools of philology and, therefore, were more concerned with linguistic innovations and survivals than with the subject matter of their poetry.

Abu Nuwas also appeared frequently in the Arabian Nights as a salacious member of Harun al-Rashid’s court rather than as a poet.  Many anecdotes are told about him in Arabic literature.  In most of these anecdotes, Abu Nuwas appears unfavorably.  However, it would be unjust to judge him by such anecdotes. 

Abu Nuwas' freedom of expression especially on matters forbidden by Islamic norms continue to excite the animus of censors.  While his works were freely in circulation until the early years of the twentieth century, in 1932, the first modern censored edition of his work appeared in Cairo.

In East Africa's Swahili culture, the name of Abu Nuwas is quite popular as "Abunuwasi."  There it is connected to a number of stories which otherwise go by names like Nasreddin, Guba or "the Mullah" in folktale and literature of Islamic societies.
Nuwas, Abu see Abu Nuwas
Hasan ibn Hani Abu Nuwas see Abu Nuwas
Abu Nuwas al-Hasan ibn Hani al-Hakami see Abu Nuwas
Father of the Lock of Hair see Abu Nuwas
Father of Curls see Abu Nuwas

Abu Qurra, Theodore
Abu Qurra, Theodore (c. 740-c. 820).  Melkite bishop of Harran who is known for his polemic writings against Islam.
Qurra, Theodore Abu see Abu Qurra, Theodore

Abu Sa‘id ibn Abi’l-Khayr
Abu Sa‘id ibn Abi’l-Khayr (Abu Sa‘id Abu ’l Khayr) (Abu Sa'id Abu al-Khayr) (967-[1048?] 1049).  Persian mystic and poet who is known for his extreme ascetic practices and his service to the poor.
Abu Sa‘id Abu ’l Khayr see Abu Sa‘id ibn Abi’l-Khayr
Khayr, Abu Sa'id Abu 'l see Abu Sa‘id ibn Abi’l-Khayr
Abu Sa'id Abu al-Khayr see Abu Sa‘id ibn Abi’l-Khayr
Khayr, Abu Sa'id Abu al- see Abu Sa‘id ibn Abi’l-Khayr

Abu Sa‘id ibn Timur
Abu Sa‘id ibn Timur (Abu Sa'id ibn Muhammad ibn Miranshah ibn Timur) (1424-1469).  Sultan of the Timurid dynasty (r. 1449-1469).  Taking advantage of the desperate situation of Ulugh Beg, he succeeded in extending his power, but was unable to prevent the Ozbegs from raiding the south of the Oxus.  His campaign of 1468 to help the Qara Qoyunlu against the Aq Qoyunlu ended in disaster.  Abu Sa‘id had a great interest in agriculture.

Abu Sa'id was a Timurid Empire ruler in what is today parts of Kazakhstan, Uzbekistan, Iran and Afghanistan and member of the Timurid dynasty.  Abu Sa'id was the great grandson of Timur, the grandson of Miran Shah, and the nephew of Ulugh Beg.  He was the grandfather of Babur, the founder of the Mughal Empire in India.  As a young man, his ancestry made him a principal in the century long struggle for the remnants of Timur's empire waged between Timur's descendants, the Black Sheep Turkomans, and the White Sheep Turkomans.

Abu Sa'id raised an army but failed to gain a foothold in Samarkand or Bukhara (1448-1449); established his base at Yasi and conquered much of Turkestan in 1450.  In June of 1451, he captured Samarkand with the aid of the Uzbek Turks under Abu'l-Khayr Shaybani Khan, thus securing rulership of the eastern part of Timur's Empire, Transoxiana.  He fought an inconclusive war with Babur ibn-Baysunkur of Khorasan in 1454; and took advantage of his cousin Jahan Shah's capture of Herat late in 1457 to capture for himself in 1458, thus acquiring the rest of Timur's heartland and becoming the most powerful of the Timurid princes in central Asia.  He defeated an alliance of three other Timurid princes at the Battle of Sarakhs in March 1459, and conquered eastern Iran and most of Afghanistan by 1461, agreeing with Jahan Shah to divide Iran between them.  When the White Sheep Turkoman chieftain Uzun Hasan attacked and killed Jahan Shah, Abu Sa'id spurned Uzun Hasan's peace offer and answered Jahan Shah's son's request for aid.

Captured with a small force in the mountains of Azerbaijan during a campaign against the Ak Koyunlu (White Sheep) Turkomans, he was executed by Uzun Hasan in 1469.

A capable and conscientious ruler, Abu Sa'id tried to re-capture the glory and prosperity of Miran Shah.  He did much to restore economic prosperity in his kingdom, by promoting well-planned irrigation, and a reasonable tax system for peasants.  He was also a Sufi disciple, and worked closely with the Naqshbandi order, under Shaykh Khwafa Ubaydallah Ahrar.  He was also linked to Mawlana Muhammad Qadi, a shaykh in the Khwajagan, linked to the Naqshbandiyya.

Abu Sa'id ibn Muhammad ibn Miranshah ibn Timur see Abu Sa‘id ibn Timur

Abu Shama
Abu Shama (Shihab ad-Din Abu'l-Qasim Abu Shama) (1203-1268).  Arab historian in Damascus.  Among other works, he wrote the histories of the Zangid Nur al-Din Mahmud and of Saladin. 

Abu Shama was a teacher and philologist from Damascus whose surviving works provide valuable information on the dynasties of Nur-ad Din and Saladin.  His Kitab ar-Raudatain, or The Book of the Two Gardens, cites the works of previous Islamic sources for the Crusades including Imad al-Din and Ibn al-Qalanisi.

The patchwork of sources found in Abu Shama's work include valuable selections of the account of Saladin's administrator, Al-Qadi al-Fadil, and his description of the Templar's castle at Jacob's Ford.   Additionally, a source by Ibn Ali Tayy, only survives in the selections incorporated into Abu Shama's work.  In it, Saladin is recorded as offering the Franks first 60,000 dinars, then 100,000 dinars to destroy the castle.

Abu Shama also claims to record an interesting early appeal of Saladin to other Muslims for action against the Crusaders.  In his appeal, Saladin calls for God's help to end the suffering of Muslims at the hands of the Franks and mentions the strategic necessity of shutting off the Crusaders' ability to re-supply by sea.  He also attacks the lack of zeal shown among Muslims in responding to the Crusaders' threat and contrasts it with all the Crusaders accomplished because of their unity of purpose.
Shama, Abu see Abu Shama
Shihab ad-Din Abu'l-Qasim Abu Shama see Abu Shama

Abushiri bin Salimu
Abushiri bin Salimu (Abushiri bin Salimu bin Abushiri al-Harthi) (Abushiri bin Salim) (Bushiri) (c.1845-1889).  Leader of the coastal East African resistance movement against German occupation.  Abushiri was the son of an African mother and an Arab father.  His father was a member of one of the oldest Arab families in East Africa.  As a young man, Abushiri organized and led trade caravans from the coast to Lake Tanganyika.   The principal commodities that he traded for were ivory and slaves.  By the 1870s, Abushiri was operating a sugar plantation near Pangani.  On this plantation, Abushiri commanded thousands of free men and slaves.  During the late 1870s, Abushiri led a division of the Zanzibari ruler Barghash’s troops against the Nyamwezi chief Mirambo.  However, while acting in this capacity, Abushiri never recognized Zanzibar’s sovereignty over the mainland.  In 1882, Abushiri repelled a force sent by Barghash to punish him for defaulting on some commercial loans.  The defeat suffered by Barghash at the hands of Abushiri dissuaded Barghash from attempting to administer the mainland region.

German interest in mainland Tanzania began in 1884.  In 1885, Barghash virtually ceded the coast to the Germans -- a move not recognized by Abushiri and other coastal peoples -- other Swahili.  In mid-1888, the Germans occupied the coastal towns and attempted to collect customs duties.  Faced with economic ruin, Abushiri and other Swahili townsmen spontaneously drove the Germans away.  The Germans then launched a counter-offensive under Hermann von Wissmann.  Over the next year, Abushiri rallied the Swahili between Pangani and Dar es Salaam and waged a see-saw war with the Germans.  Eventually, Abushiri’s support began to wane as his followers tired of German naval bombardment and costly battles.  Additionally, his followers had become suspicious of Abushiri’s own political motives.

By December of 1889, Abushiri was a lone fugitive. He attempted to flee north to join forces with the Zigua leader Bwana Heri, but was captured.  Abushiri was subsequently executed.
Bushiri see Abushiri bin Salimu
Abushiri bin Salimu bin Abushiri al-Harthi see Abushiri bin Salimu
Harthi, Abushiri bin Salimu bin Abushiri al- see Abushiri bin Salimu

Abu Shuja’, Ahmad ibn Hasan
Abu Shuja’, Ahmad ibn Hasan (1042-c.1106).  Shafi‘ite jurisconsult who was the author of a short compendium of Shafi‘ite law, which acquired a considerable number of commentaries. 
Ahmad ibn Hasan Abu Shuja' see Abu Shuja’, Ahmad ibn Hasan

Abu Sufyan
Abu Sufyan (Abu Sufyan ibn Harb) (Sakhr ibn Harb) (560-650).  Meccan merchant who, having at first resisted the Prophet, submitted to Islam in 630.  His daughter Umm Habiba was married to the Prophet.  The first Umayyad Caliph Mu‘awiya was one of his sons.  

Abu Sufyan was a leading man of the Quraysh of Mecca.  He was a staunch opponent of the Arabian Prophet Muhammad before converting to Islam later in his life.

Abu Sufyan was born in 560 as a son of Harb ibn Umayya.  Abu Sufyan's grandfather was Umayya, after whom the Umayyad dynasty was named, and his great-grand father was Abd Shams ibn Abd Manaf, brother to Muhammad's great-grandfather Hashim.

Abu Sufyan was married to Hind bint Utbah, who in 602, gave birth to Muawiyah I, who would later establish the Umayyad dynasty.  Abu Sufyan also had relations with his kinswoman Saffya bint abi al-A'as, who bore him a daughter called Ramlah.  Ramlah was married to Ubayd-Allah ibn Jahsh and both husband and wife converted to Islam against the wishes of Abu Sufyan.  When the first Muslims migrated to Abyssinia, Ramlah and Ubayd-Allah, were among them.

Abu Sufyan was the chieftain of the Banu Abd-Shams clan of the Quraish tribe, which made him one of the most powerful and hated men in Mecca.  Abu Sufyan viewed Muhammad as a threat to Mecca's social order, a man aiming for political power and a blasphemer of the Quraysh gods.

When several Muslims emigrated to Abyssinia to escape harassment in Mecca, Abu Sufyan's daughter Ramlah was among those emigrating to Abyssinia for refuge.

After Muhammad had migrated to Medina in 622, the Quraysh confiscated the belongings they had left behind.  From Medina, the Muslims attacked several of the Quraysh's caravans coming from Syria to Mecca.  In 624, Abu Sufyan was the leader of such a caravan and as a Muslim force moved to intercept him, he called for help from the Quraysh.  This resulted in the Battle of Badr, which ended in a Muslim victory.  Abu Sufyan however managed to bring his caravan home to Mecca.  The death of most Quraysh leaders in the battle left him the leader of Mecca. 

Subsequently, Abu Sufyan was the military leader in the Meccan campaigns against Medina, such as the Battle of Uhud in 625 and the Battle of the Trench in 627, but could not attain final victory.  Eventually the two parties would agree to an armistice, the Treaty of Hudaybiyya in 628, which allowed Muslims to make the pilgrimage to the Kaaba.

When the armistice was violated in 630 by allies of the Quraysh, Muhammad moved towards conquering Mecca.  Abu Sufyan, sensing that the balance was tilted in Muhammad's favor and that the Quraysh were not strong enough to prevent the Muslims from conquering the city, travelled to Medina, trying to restore the treaty.  No agreement was reached between the two parties and Abu Sufyan returned to Mecca empty handed.  These efforts ultimately ensured that the conquest occurred without battle or bloodshed.

Abu Sufyan travelled back and forth between Mecca and Medina, still trying to reach a settlement.  According to the sources, he found assistance in Muhammad's uncle al-Abbas, though some scholars consider that historians writing under the rule of Abbas's descendants, the 'Abbasid dynasty, had exaggerated Abbas's role and downplayed the role of Sufyan, who was the ancestor of the Abbasids' enemies.

After the conquest of Mecca, Abu Sufyan fought as one of Muhammad's lieutenants in the subsequent wars.  During the Siege of Taif, he lost an eye.

When Muhammad died in 632, Abu Sufyan was in charge of Najran.

Abu Sufyan also fought in the Battle of Yarmouk in 636, in which he lost his second eye.

Abu Sufyan died in 650 at Medina.  His kinsman Uthman ibn Affan, who had become the third caliph in 644 led the prayer over his grave.

Abu Sufyan's son Muawiyah became the founder of the Umayyad dynasty, the first Muslim dynasty which ruled the Islamic realm for a century from 661 to 750.  Muawiyah fought a war against Ali ibn Abi Talib and his son, Yasid, was involved in the military conflict that led to the death of Husayn ibn Ali.  The Shi'a view Abu Sufyan as a hypocrite, who converted only after Muslims had conquered Mecca and who managed to infiltrate Islamic ranks and be included among the Muslims.   This viewpoint also accounts for some of the Shi'a hatred of most of Abu Sufyan's lineage especially Uthman and Yazid.
Sufyan, Abu see Abu Sufyan
Abu Sufyan ibn Harb see Abu Sufyan
Sakhr ibn Harb see Abu Sufyan

Abu Talib
Abu Talib  (Abu Talib ibn 'Abd al-Muttalib) (549-619).  The name by which ‘Abd Manaf ibn ‘Abd al-Muttalib was known.  Abu Talib was Muhammad’s uncle and protector and head of the Hashimite clan after the death of Muhammad’s grandfather.  While it seems certain that he did not convert to Islam, Abu Talib remained a loyal supporter of Muhammad and protected him against Meccan persecutions, even at the expense of having to lead his clan into confinement during an economic boycott.  Abu Talib died three years before the Hijra.  As the father of 'Ali, Abu Talib is held in higher regard by the Shi‘a than by the Sunni.

Abu Talib was a full brother of Muhammad's father 'Abdullah ibn 'Abdul Muttalib, who died before Muhammad's birth.  He was a scion of the noble Banu Hashim clan.  As such, he held high status and respect among the Meccans, and owned a prosperous trading caravan business.

After the death of Muhammad's mother Aminah bint Walab, Muhammad was taken into the care of Abdul Muttalib (father of Abu Talib, grandfather of Muhammad).  When Muhammad reached 8 years of age, Abu Talib inherited his care as well as the chiefdom of the Banu Hashim as a result of the death of Abdul Muttalib.  Abu Talib treated Muhammad as his very own son, and raised the young Muhammad with overwhelming love.  Once Muhammad grew older, he began to work for his uncle, and he took responsibility for Abu Talib's son Ali ibn Abu Talib. 'Ali was among the first to accept the call to Islam.

The business sense Muhammad displayed while working for Abu Talib was one of the catalyst for his first wife Khadijah bint Khuwaylid's interest in him.

Abu Talib died in 619 at around the same time as Muhammad's wife Khadijah.  This year was known as the saddest year in life of the Prophet, the Year of Sorrow.
Talib, Abu see Abu Talib
‘Abd Manaf ibn ‘Abd al-Muttalib  see Abu Talib
Abi Talib see Abu Talib
Abu Talib ibn 'Abd al-Muttalib see Abu Talib

Abu Tammam
Abu Tammam (Habib ibn Aus) (804-845).  Arabic poet and anthologist who collected fragments by lesser known poets in a work called Hamasa.  He was the most celebrated panegyrist of his time.

Abu Tammam was born in Jasim (Josem), Syria, a place to the north-east of the Sea of Tiberias or near Hierapolis Bambyce.  He seems to have spent his youth in Homs, though, according to one story, he was employed during his boyhood in selling water in a mosque in Cairo.  His first appearance as a poet was in Egypt, but as he failed to make a living there he went ot Damascus, and then to Mosul.  From there he made a visit to the governor of Armenia, who rewarded him richly.  After 833, he lived mostly in Baghdad, at the court of the caliph Mo'tasim.  From Baghdad, he visited Khorasan, where he enjoyed the favour of Abdallah ibn Tahir.  About 845, he was in Ma'arrat un-Nu'man, where he met the poet al-Buhturi (820-897).  He died in Mosul.

Abu Tammam is best known in literature for his 9th century compilation of early poems known as the Hamasa (Hamasah).  The Hamasa (Arabic, "exhortation") is one of the greatest anthologies of Arabic literature ever written.  Abu Tammam gathered these works together when he was snowbound in Hamadan, where he had access to an excellent library.  There are ten books of poems in the Hamasa, all classified by subject.  Some of them are selections from long poems.  This is one of the treasuries of early Arabic poetry, and the poems are of exceptional beauty.  A later anthology by the same name was compiled by the poet al-Buhturi, and the term has been used in modern times to mean "heroic epic."

Two other collections of a similar nature are ascribed to abu Tammam.  His own poems have been somewhat neglected owing to the success of his compilations, but they enjoyed great repute in his lifetime.  His poems of valor, often describing historical events, are important as source material.  They were distinguished for the purity of their style, the merit of the verse, and the excellent manner of treating subjects. 
Tammam, Abu see Abu Tammam
Habib ibn Aus see Abu Tammam

Abu ‘Ubayd al-Bakri
Abu ‘Ubayd al-Bakri (Abu 'Ubayd 'Abd Allah ibn 'Abd al-'Aziz ibn Muhammad al-Bakri) (1014-1094).  The greatest geographer of the Muslim West.   He was also a theologian, philologist and botanist who became one of the most characteristic representatives of Arab Andalusian erudition in the eleventh century.

Abu 'Ubayd al-Bakri was a Spanish-Arab geographer and historian.  He was born in Huelva, the son of the governor of the province.  Al-Bakri spent his entire life in Spain, living in Cordoba, and never travelling to the location of which he wrote.

Al-Bakri wrote about Europe, North Africa, and the Arabian peninsula.  His primary works were Kitab al-Masalik wa-al-Mamalik ("Book of Highways and of Kingdoms") and Mu'jam.  The first mentioned work was composed in 1068, based on literature and the reports of merchants and travellers, including Yusuf al-Warraq and Abraham ben Jacob.  His works are noted for the relative objectiveness with which they are presented.  For each area, he describes the people, their customs, as well as the geography, climate, and main cities.  That information was also contained in his written geography of the Arabian Peninsula, and in the encyclopedia of the world in which he wrote.  He also presents various anecdotes about each area.  Unfortunately, parts of his main work have been lost.

The crater Al-Bakri on the Moon is named after Abu 'Ubayd al-Bakri.

Bakri, Abu 'Ubayd al- see Abu ‘Ubayd al-Bakri
Abu 'Ubayd 'Abd Allah ibn 'Abd al-'Aziz ibn Muhammad al-Bakri see Abu ‘Ubayd al-Bakri

Abu ‘Ubayda Ma‘mar ibn al-Muthanna
Abu ‘Ubayda Ma‘mar ibn al-Muthanna (728-824). Arabic philologist in Basra.  He composed dozens of treatises on points of Arab and Islamic history, and on tribal traditions.  Abu 'Ubayda also was one of the most prolific compilers in the golden age of classical Arabic literature.  Indeed, some scholars estimte that half of the information on pre-Islamic Arabia transmitted by later authors is derived from the work of Abu 'Ubayda.

Abu 'Ubayda was a mawla -- a convert.  He thrived thanks to the open-minded approach of the Islamic society at its inceptive stages towards non-Arab converts, for all the prejudice against them, and the Muslims' preparedness to acknowledge their contributions and talents.  Conversion to Islam was, of course, a fundamental requirement.  Together with his new religion, the convert adopted the emerging civilization which accompanied it.  Through the vehicle of Arabic, the mawla who possessed the necessary intellectual gifts and the right disposition could compete with other mawali, and with the Arabs in the field of historical and linguistic studies.

Abu 'Ubayda was one of the major contributors to Arab and Islamic civilization in the eighth century of the Christian calendar.  Although he was probably not an attractive figure, it was his character and presumably his Jewish origin which made him extremely unpopular among many of his Basran contemporaries.  The sources abound with anecdotes about this unusual intellectual who devoted his life to scholarship and aroused both feelings of admiration and rancour. 

Abu Ya‘qub Yusuf
Abu Ya‘qub Yusuf (Yusuf I) (d. July 29, 1184).  Ruler of the Almohad dynasty (r. 1163-1184).  He was the second Almohad Amir.  Considered the most gifted of the Almohad rulers, he was a friend of scholarship.  He had the Giralda in Seville constructed.  He perished before Santarem. 
Yusuf, Abu Ya'qub see Abu Ya‘qub Yusuf
Yusuf I see Abu Ya‘qub Yusuf

Abu Yazid
Abu Yazid (Abu Yazid Bistami) (Bayazid Bastami) (Tayfur Abu Yazid al-Bustami) (804-874).  One of the most celebrated Islamic mystics.  Some five hundred of his sayings have been handed down.

Abu Yazid (Bayazid) Bastami was a Persian Sufi born in Bastam, Iran.  The name Bastami means "from the city of Bastam."  Bayazid's grandfather was a Zoroastrian who converted to Islam.  His grandfather had three sons, Adam, Tayfur and 'Ali.  All of them were ascetics.  Abayazid was born to Tayfur.

Bastami's predecessor Dhu'l-Nun al-Misri had formulated the doctrine of ma'rifa (gnosis), presenting a system which helped the murid (initiate) and the shaykh (guide) to communicate.  Bayazid Bastami took this another step and emphasized the importance of ecstasy, referred to in his words as drunkenness (sukr or wajd), a means of annihilation in the Divine Presence.  Before Bastami, Sufism was mainly based on piety and obedience.  Bastami played a major role in placing the concept of divine love at the core of Sufism. 

Bastami was truly the first to speak openly of "annihilation of the self in God" (fana fi 'Allah') and "subsistence through God" (baqa' bi 'Allah).  Bastami's paradoxical sayings gained a wide circulation and soon exerted a captivating influence over the minds of students who aspired to understand the meaning of the wahdat al-wujud, -- unity of being.

When Bayazid died, he was over seventy years old.  Before he died, someone asked him his age.  He said:  "I am four years old.  For seventy years, I was veiled.  I got rid of my veils only four years ago."

Bastami died in 874 and is buried either in the city of Bistam in north central Iran, or in Semnan, Iran.  However, interestingly enough, there is a shrine in Chittagong, Bangladesh, that local people believe to be Bastami's tomb as well.  This seems unlikely to be true, as Bastami was never known to have visited Bangladesh.  However, Sufi teachers were greatly influential in the spread of Islam in Bengal and this might explain the belief.  The Islamic scholars of Bangladesh usually regard the tomb at Chittagong attributed to Bastami to be a jawab, or imitation.

One explanation is the local legend that Bayazid did indeed visit Chittagong.  At the time of his return, he found that his local followers did not want to leave.  Overwhelmed by the love of his local followers, Bastami is supposed to have pierced his finger and dropped a few drops of his blood on the ground and allowed his followers to build a shrine in his name where his blood drops fell.

This is also explained by the traditional Sufi masters as a mash-had, or site of witnessing, where the spiritual presence of the saint has been witnessed, and is known to appear.  This is explained through the Sufi concept of the power of the saint's soul to travel in its spiritual form, even after death, to appear to the living.  The Qur'an mentions that some of those who have proven their sincerity have achieved a life beyond the grave, and it is posited that Bastami made such spiritual appearance at Chittagong.

Yazid, Abu see Abu Yazid
Bayazid Bastami see Abu Yazid
Bistami, Abu Yazid al- see Abu Yazid
Tayfur Abu Yazid al-Bustami see Abu Yazid
Bustami, Tayfur Abu Yazid al- see Abu Yazid

Abu Yazid al-Nukkari
Abu Yazid al-Nukkari (Abu Yazid Mukhallad ibn Kayrad) (Abu Yazid Makhlad ben Kaydad al-Nukkari) (883-947).  Kharijite leader who shook the Fatimid realm in North Africa to its foundations. 

Nicknamed "Sahib al-Himar" or "Owner of the Donkey", Abu Yazid was a member of the Banu Ifran tribe.  He was a Kharijite Berber who led a rebellion against the Fatimids in Ifriqiya (modern Tunisia and eastern Algeria) starting in 944.  He conquered Kairouan for a time, but was eventually driven back and defeated by the Fatimid caliph al-Mansur.

Abu Yazid's father Kayrad was a trans-Saharan trader from Qastilia, where he was born.  He grew up in Tozeur.  He inclined towards the Nakkariyya brance of Sufri Kharijism.  After he grew up, he went to Tahert, the Rustamid capital and the main center of (Ibadi) Kharijism in the Maghreb of the time, and took up teaching.  In 909, however, the Shia Fatimids conquered the Rustamids, and soon after the Sufri state of Sijilmassa to the west.  He moved to Tiqyus, and in 928 began agitating against Fatimid rule.  When the Fatimid "Mahdi" died in 944, he launched a rebellion in the Aures mountains and declared himself Shaykh al-Mu'min ("Elder of the Believers"), seeking aid from the Umayyads of Andalus.  Early in his rebellion Abu Yazid was given a gray donkey which he would ride, and for which he received his nickname "Owner of the Donkey".  He is said to have habitually worn a short woolen jubla cloak.  In this conspicuous frugality, he recalled the Kharijite imams of Tahert and Sijilmassa.

Abu Yazid was initially successful.  He took Baghai, then Tebessa, then Medjana, then several Tunisian cities including Beja, where he is said to have massacred the civilizn population.  The people of Tunis threw out their governor and let Abu Yazid in.  By the end of the year, Abu Yazid had conquered Kairouan itself, dealing several severe defeats to the Fatimid armies.

In 945, as Abu Yazid besieged Sousse, the Fatimid ruler al-Qaim died, and was succeeded by his son al-Mansur.  Under al-Mansur's leadership, the Fatimid forces recovered their position, first breaking the siege of Sousse, then driving Abu Yazid's forces out of Kairouan, back into the Aures Mountains.  In 947, the Fatimids finally defeated them in the mountains of Kiyana, near what would later become Qalaat Beni Hammad.

Nukkari, Abu Yazid al- see Abu Yazid al-Nukkari
Abu Yazid Mukhallad ibn Kayrad see Abu Yazid al-Nukkari
Sahib al-Himar see Abu Yazid al-Nukkari
Owner of the Donkey see Abu Yazid al-Nukkari

Abu Yusuf al-Kufi
Abu Yusuf al-Kufi (Abu Yusuf Ya'qub ibn Ibrahim al-Ansari al-Kufi) (731-798).  A religious lawyer who was one of the founders of the Hanafite school of law.  He served as a chief religious judge (qadi) under the 'Abbasid caliph Harun al-Rashid.  Abu Yusuf wrote Kitab al-Kharaj (Book on Taxation), which is a basic treatise on the issues of public finance in Islamic law.
Kufi, Abu Yusuf al- see Abu Yusuf al-Kufi
Abu Yusuf Ya'qub ibn Ibrahim al-Ansari al-Kufi see Abu Yusuf al-Kufi
Kufi, Abu Yusuf Ya'qub ibn Ibrahim al-Ansari al- see Abu Yusuf al-Kufi

Abu Yusuf Ya‘qub al-Mansur
Abu Yusuf Ya‘qub al-Mansur (Moulay Yacoub) (c.1160 - January 23, 1199).  Ruler of the Almohad dynasty (r.1184-1199).  His reign marked the apogee of the Almohad empire.  He finished the minaret of the Kutubiyya mosque in Marrakesh and built the Giralda of Seville and the ensemble of the mosque of Hassan in Rabat.  

Succeeding his father, Abu Ya'qub Yusuf, Ya'qub al-Mansur reigned from 1184 to 1199 with distinction.  During his tenure, trade, architecture, philosophy and the sciences flourished, to say nothing of military conquests.  In 1191, Ya'qub al-Mansur repelled the occupation of Paderne Castle and the surrounding territory near Albufeira, in the Algarve which had been controlled by the Christian army of King Sancho I since 1128. 

In the Battle of Alarcos, on July 18, 1195, he defeated Castilian King Alfonso VIII.  After victory, he took the title al-Mansur Billah ("Made Victorious by God").  The battle is recounted by the historian Abou Mohammed Salah ben Abd el-Halim of Granada in his Roudh el-Kartas in 1326.

Ya'qub al-Mansur died in Marrakech, Morocco.  During his reign, he undertook several major projects.  He constructed the Koutoubia Mosque and the El Mansouria mosque in Marrakech and a kasbah, accessed by Bab Agnaou and Bab Ksiba in the southern part of its medina.  He attempted to build what would have been the world's largest mosque in Rabat.  However, construction on the mosque stopped after al-Mansur died.  Only the beginnings of the mosque had been completed, including the Hassan Tower.  Al-Mansur protected the philosopher Averroes and kept him as a favorite at court.

The town of Moulay, Yacoub, outside of Fez, Morocco, is named after Al-Mansur, and is best known for its therapeutic hot springs.

Mansur, Abu Yusuf Ya'qub al- see Abu Yusuf Ya‘qub al-Mansur
Moulay Yacoub see Abu Yusuf Ya‘qub al-Mansur
Yacoub, Moulay see Abu Yusuf Ya‘qub al-Mansur
al-Mansur Billah see Abu Yusuf Ya‘qub al-Mansur
Made Victorious by God see Abu Yusuf Ya‘qub al-Mansur

Abyssinians (Ethiopians) (in Arabic, Habash, Habasha, Habesha).  The name Habash, said to be of South Arabian origin, is applied in Arabic usage to the land and peoples of Ethiopia, and at times to the adjoining areas in the Horn of Africa.  Muslim traditions mention friendly relations between the Prophet and the Negus (in Arabic, al-Najashi), but the Muslim conquests severed Christian Ethiopia from its ally Byzantium and from the Patriarchate of Alexandria, its spiritual source.  Islam was established gradually in the ports on the Red Sea and the lowlands, and the nomadic groups living between the sea and eastern slopes of the escarpment became Islamicized.  The slave trade accelerated conversion to Islam because a Muslim could not be enslaved by another Muslim. 

Islam in Ethiopia dates back to 615.  During that year, a group of Muslims were counseled ty the Prophet Muhammad to escape persecution in Mecca and travel to Ethiopia, which was ruled by, in the Prophet Muhammad's estimation, a pious Christian king (al-Najashi).  The Prophet Muhammad's followers crossed the Red Sea into Ethiopia and sought refuge in the Kingdom of Axum, possibly settling at Negash, a place in Northern Ethiopia, Tigray region.  Moreover, Islamic tradition states that Bilal, one of the foremost companions of the Prophet Muhammad, was from Ethiopia.  Ethiopia was thus the earliest home outside of Arabia for the dispersal of the Islamic world faith. 

Between the fourteenth and sixteenth century, a war of attrition was waged between the sultanates of Adal, Ifat, Dawaro, Harar, Bali, Hadya, Arababni, Sharkha and the Christian kingdom on the high plateau.  The Ethiopian king Amda Tsion defeated Hadya and Ifat, and his victories caused mass conversions to Christianity.  In the sixteenth century Ahmad ibn Ibrahim (nicknamed “Gran” -- “the left-handed one”) almost brought Ethiopia to its knees.  With the help of Portuguese troops under Christovao da Gama, he was defeated and slain in 1543. 

Despite some isolated Muslim successes, Ethiopia was not confronted with Islamization until the nineteenth century.  In 1875, Egyptian troops invaded the country but were defeated by Emperor Yohannes.  The Sudanese Mahdists were defeated in the battle of Metemma in 1889, in which the emperor lost his life.  Since then religious toleration has prevailed in general between the Christians and the important minority of Muslims.  Islam is spreading slowly in the southwestern lowlands.  Of the four law schools, the Hanafites, the Malikites, and the Shafi‘ites are represented.

After the revolution of 1974, which brought an end to imperial power, Ethiopia was officially laicized.  At that date, the number of Muslims was estimated at 35% of the population.
Ethiopians see Abyssinians
Habash see Abyssinians
Habasha see Abyssinians
Habesha see Abyssinians

Acar, Kayahan
Kayahan Açar, stage name Kayahan, (March 29, 1949 – April 3, 2015) was a Turkish pop music singer and songwriter. He was an accomplished composer, consistently ranking among the best-selling Turkish musicians of all time. Kayahan composed all of his own material and released more than eight best-selling albums during a career spanning three decades.

Kayahan was born in Izmir, Turkey, on March 29, 1949. He spent his childhood and young adulthood years in Ankara before moving to Istanbul. 

Kayahan, whose full name was Kayahan Acar, released his first album in 1975 and went on to release nearly two dozen more. Best known for his love songs, he built his musical legacy on his use of idiomatic Turkish to describe emotions. Many of his songs are considered pop classics.

He first won global recognition at the 1986 International Mediterranean Music Contest in Antalya, a Turkish Mediterranean town, and in 1990 he represented Turkey in the Eurovision Song Contest with his composition "Gozlerinin Hapsindeyim" (“I Am Entrapped by Your Eyes”). The song did not win, but it became a hit in Turkey.

Açar was married three times. He made his first marriage to Nur in 1973. From this marriage, which lasted 24 years long, he became father of a daughter Beste (Turkish for music composition), born in 1975. Beste was runner-up for Miss Turkey in 1995. Kayahan remarried to Lale Yılmaz in 1990. The couple divorced in 1996. In 1999, at age fifty, he remarried to his third wife,1976-born İpek Tüter. In August 2000, İpek gave birth to their daughter Aslı Gönül.

Acehnese (Achehnese).  One of the indigenous peoples of the northernmost part of the island of Sumatra in Indonesia.  The Acehnese dominate the province of Daerah Istimewa Aceh, which includes the islands of Pulo Weh.  The Acehnese are known throughout Indonesia for the zealousness of their belief in Islam.

Adherence to Islam is perhaps the primary factor in a person’s identification as Acehnese, one of the indigenous peoples of the northernmost part of the island of Sumatra in Indonesia.  This devotion to Islam takes precedence over language and custom (adat). 

Islam (Sunni Islam) seems to have arrived in the area about the middle of the twelfth century, although there is speculation that it may have arrived as early as the seventh century when Chinese sources indicate the presence of “Arab” settlements on the west coast of Sumatra.  It is, however, an arguable point whether such a presence can be interpreted as Islamic influence, if indeed these outsiders themselves were Muslims.

The kingdom of Pasai (1270) appears to have been Islamic, although the Hikayat Raja Raja Pasai (Chronicle of the Kings of Pasai) still shows considerable Hindu influence in this kingdom.  From Pasai, Islam spread to other parts of Aceh.  The first sultan of Aceh appeared in the sixteenth century.  His sultanate has been characterized as a harbor kingdom in which the sultan controlled the port region but the hinterland was in the hands of his ulee-balangs (lords). 

In the early seventeenth century, Sultan Muda unified Aceh and incorporated into it the area of Pidie, which until that time had either dominated Aceh or been independent of it.  This was Aceh’s golden age. 

After the surrender of the last sultan, Tuanku Muhamad Dawud, to the Dutch in 1603, the state underwent a steady decline.  European influence was first felt in the sixteenth century with the arrival of the Portuguese (c. 1509) and the Dutch (c. 1599).  By 1601, Dutch influence prevailed, although Holland’s relationship with Aceh never became stable.  As the Acehnese resisted colonization, a state of war continued officially until 1903, although in reality conditions remained turbulent long after.

At the beginning of World War II, Acehnese leaders actively invited the Japanese with the aim of using them to drive out the Dutch.  Soon, however, disenchantment arose with the Japanese as well.  After the war, the Acehnese were semi-autonomous, although in theory they were part of the Republic of Indonesia, which declared its independence on August 17, 1945. 

After the traditional leaders, some of whom had sided with the Dutch, were killed or driven out in what is known as the Cumbok affair, and until sovereignty was transferred, Aceh was governed by Islamic leaders such as Daud Beureueh.  Until 1961, conditions in Aceh remained unstable as various factions vied for influence and power in the area.  In 1961, Aceh was recognized as a special area and designated Daerah Istimewa Aceh by the government of Indonesia. 

Aceh has been trying to regain its political independence ever since it joined Indonesia.  Indonesian, under President Sukarno, had at various periods undermined the rights of the Acehnese people including the dissolution of Aceh into the province of North Sumatra in the 1950s and the failure to keep the promise it made to Aceh with regards to its religious freedom.  Brutal repressions of their political struggle by Jakarat have further hardened the Acehnese resolve for a political separation.

Aceh received international attention as being one of the hardest hit regions of the 2004 Indian Ocean earthquake and tsunami that resulted in the loss of 120,000 lives.
Achehnese see Acehnese

Achakzai.  Sub-tribe of the Durranis, located in an area east of Kandahar (Afghanistan).  The eponymic ancestor of the Achakzai was Achak Khan, a grandson of Barak Khan.  Smaller communities of Achakzai are also found in Herat and Farah as well as in Chaman, Pakistan.

Achakzai is the name of a group of families who belong to the Pashtun subtribe of the Tareen-Abdal Tareen clan.  Members of this group use Achakzai as their title or last name so that they can keep record of their family tree and to easily recognize one another.  The Achakzais are found primarily in southern Afghanistan and the region around Quetta, Pakistan.  The tribe has a reputation in some circles for its raiding and smuggling activities since at least the time of Elphinstone.  Achakzai do not have a whole lot of population as compared to other Durrani tribes in Afghanistan.  They are more loyal to Pakistan than their homeland of Afghanistan.

This tribe is mainly divided into three subtribes: (1) Ali Sher, (2) Badin, and (3) Gujjan.  These tribes are further divided into various other sub-groups.  There are other subtribes within the three subclans.  Examples are: Asheyzai, Malayzai, Adozai, Shamshozai, Sultanzai, Matakzai, Ishaqzai, Alizai, Shakarzai, Hamidzai, and Ghabizai.  These sub-groups are mainly settled in Pakistan.

The home area of teh Achakzai is mainly in Southern Kandahar District Afghanistan and the bordering areas in Baluchistan Province, Pakistan.  Major cities of the Achakzai are Spin Boldak in Afghanistan and Chaman and Qilla Abdullah in Pakistan.  They are also in Gulistan, Toba Achakzai, Ghazi Abdullah Khan and Quetta.

Ghazi Abdullah Khan Achakzai was one of the leaders of the Afghan War of Independence of 1839.  This war resulted in the destruction of a British Army that was 18,000 strong.  The lone survivor was a doctor who made it to the fort of Jalalabad.

Ghazi Maedad Khan Achakzai was a commander of the Afghan Army in the second Anglo-Afghan War.  He was given the duty to collect warriors of the Achakzai tribe and command them in the second Anglo-Afghan war against the British army.  He fought on the side of Ghazi Ayub Khan in the Battle of Maiwand and was injured in this battle.  Maedad Khan Achakzai was the son of Badin Khan Achakzai, grandson of Gul Mohammad Khan Achakzai.  He belonged to the Tharhatzai sub-tribe of Hamidzai Achakzais and was born in the Jilga district of Toba Achakzai.  He died in the province of Herat where he had been serving in the Afghan Army. 

Madat Khan Ghabizai was chief of the Ghabizai sub-tribe of Achakzai who was living in Gulistan and fought a war against the British alongside Tareens and Syed.  

Esmat Muslim was an Achakzai of the Adozai sub-clan and was a renowned military leader of the Soviet-backed regime in Afghanistan.  His role in the conflict remains controversial, however, as he frequently changed sides between the Government and the rebels.  He refused to work for the Americans and also opposed Hekmatyar's group.  Because of this, he was pressured and compelled to leave Pakistan to join the regime of Najibullah in Kabul. 

The Achakzais have been active in the Pashtun nationalist movement.  They are demanding, among other things, a separate province for the Pashtuns living in Pakistan to be named Pashtunistan, which includes: Quetta, Qilia Abdullah, Mianwali and the Pashtun parts of Balochistan, NWFP, FATA.  Historically, the Achakzais have always fought for their land and most of the Achakzais are good in negotiation and conflict resolution.  In addition, Achakzais are famous for their outspokenness.

Adam (Aadam).  The name of the first human creature in the creation narratives found in the Hebrew scriptures -- the Old Testament.  The word "adam" may refer to the fact that this being was an “earthling” formed from the red-hued clay of the earth.  Indeed, in Hebrew, "adom" means “red” and "adamah" means “earth.”

Adam is the first prophet of Islam and is mentioned in the Qur'an as the husband of Eve (Hawwa).

Adam is mentioned in the Qur'an as the first man created by Allah.  A verse in Sura al-Imran states: "The similitude of Jesus before Allah is as that of Adam: He created him from dust, then said to him: 'Be' ... and he was."   (3:59)

Eve is not mentioned by name in the Qur'an, but is referred to as Adam's spouse.  Islamic tradition refers to her as "Hawwa," an etymologically similar name.  Muhammad ibn Jarir al-Tabari recounts the tale of her creation, stating that she was named because she was created from a living thing (since the Arabic word meaning "living" is "hayy").

The early Islamic commentator Muhammad ibn Jarir al-Tabari adds a number of details to the Torah, based on claimed hadith as well as specific Jewish traditions (so-called isra'iliyat).   Tabari records that when it came time to create Adam, God sent Gabriel (Jibril), then Michael (Mika'il), to fetch clay from the earth.  However, the earth complained, saying "I take refuge in God from you, if you have come to diminish or deform me."  So the angels returned empty-handed.  Tabari goes on to state that God responded by sending the Angel of Death, who took clay from all regions, hence providing an explanation for the variety of appearances of the different races of mankind.

According to Tabari's account, after receiving the breath of God, Adam remained a dry body for 40 days, then gradually came to life from the head downwards, sneezing when he had finished coming to life, saying "All praise be to God, the Lord of all beings."  Having been created, Adam, the first man, is described as having been given dominion over all the lower creatures, which he proceeds to name. As one of the people to whom God is said to have spoken to directly, Adam is sent as a prophet in Islam.

At this point, Adam takes a prominent role in Islamic traditions concerning the fall of Shaytan (Satan), which is not recorded in the Torah, but in the Book of Enoch which is used in Oriental Orthodox churches.  In these, when God announces his intention of creating Adam, some of the angels express dismay, asking why he would create a being that would do evil.  Teaching Adam the names reassures the angels as to Adam's abilities, though commentators dispute which particular names were involved; various theories say they were the names of all things animate and inanimate, the names of the angels, the names of his own descendants, or the names of God.

When God orders the angels to bow to Adam one of those present, Shaytan Iblis in Islam, a Djinn who said, "why should I bow to Adam one of those present, Shaytan Iblis in Islam, a Djinn who said "why should I bow to man, I am made of pure fire"), refuses due to his pride, and is summarily banished from the Heavens.  Liberal movements within Islam have viewed God's commanding the angels to bow before Adam as an exaltation of humanity, and as a means of supporting human rights, others view it as an act of showing Adam that the biggest enemy of humans on earth will be their ego.

More extended versions of the fall of Shaytan also exist in works such as that of Tabari, and the Shi'a commentator al-Qummi.  In these explanations, Iblis is sent against the jinn, who had angered God by sin and fighting.  In such versions where Satan leads the battle on God's behalf, rather than his own, it is the pride and conceit resulting from his victory which results in his expulsion, since pride is seen as a sin.  Islamic traditions further record that, in vengeful anger, Iblis promises God that he will lead as many humans astray as he can, to which God replies that it is the choice of humans -- those who so desire will follow Satan, while those who so desire will follow God.

Eve is referred to in the Qur'an as Adam's spouse, and Islamic tradition refers to her by an etymologically similar name Hawwa. In fact, although her creation is not recounted in the Qur'an, Tabari recounts the biblical tale of her creation, stating that she was named because she was created from a living thing (her name means living).  The Torah gives an etymology for woman since she was taken out of man (ish in Hebrew).  The etymology is regarded as implausible by most semitic linguists.  The Qur'an blames both Adam and Eve for eating the forbidden fruit and as a punishment they were both banished from Heaven to the Earth.  Muslims therefore interpret that this event does not pose a problem of women inferiority to men intrinsically.  The concept of original sin does not exist in Islam.  Adam and Eve were forgiven after they repented on Earth.

Al-Qummi records the opinion that Eden was not entirely earthly, and so, having been sent to earth, Adam and Eve first arrived at mountain peaks outside Mecca, Adam on Safa, and Eve on Marwa.  In this Islamic tradition, Adam remained weeping for forty (40) days, until he repented, at which point God rewarded him by sending down the Kaaba, and teaching him the hajj.

The Qur'an also describes the two sons oof Adam (named Qabil and Habil in Islamic tradition) that correspond to Cain and Abel.

Eve is said in local folklore to be buried in "Eve Grave" in Jeddah, KSA.

According to some Islamic traditions, Adam is buried beneath the site of the Kaaba in Mecca.  Shi'a Muslims on the other hand, believe that Adam is buried next to Ali, within Imam Ali Mosque in Najaf, Iraq.

In the Qur’an, Adam appears in a number of passages.  Those passages are:

Sura 2:25-35
Sura 3:30-35
Sura 3:50-60
Sura 7:10-30
Sura 19:55-60

worshipped by the angels
Sura 2:25-35
Sura 7:10-15
Sura 15:25-45
Sura 17:60-65
Sura 18:45-55
Sura 20:115-120
Sura 38:70-80

expelled from Paradise
Sura 2:25-35
Sura 7:20-30
Sura 20:120-125

children of Adam
Sura 7:25-35
Sura 7:170-175
Sura 17:70-75
Sura 36:60-65
Aadam see Adam

Adama (1771-1848).  Founder and first ruler of the Fula emirate of Adamawa (Nigeria) (r.1806 to1848).  The large emirate of Adamawa was the southeasternmost district of the empire of Fula revolutionary ‘Uthman dan Fodio.  Adama was the son of a Fula noble who had been killed in battle with his Bata landowners around 1803, before ‘Uthman’s call to arms.  Adama had studied in Bornu and in Sokoto, ‘Uthman’s homeland, where he had earned the title of modibo (learned one).  When ‘Uthman declared the jihad (holy war), Adama and leaders from his home went to him to receive the green flag indicating that they were his official representatives in the campaign.  Adama at first permitted another leader to take command, but on learning of this man’s dishonesty in dealing with ‘Uthman, he went back and received a flag himself.  He returned home in 1806 accompanied by a band of Fula followers and Hausa mercenaries, and spent the next forty-two years extending the emirate and putting down revolts.  As with many of the other leaders of the Fula jihad, he is said to have preferred the role of scholar to warrior.  He died at age seventy-seven and was succeeded by four of his sons in turn.
modibo see Adama
learned one see Adama

Aden-Abyan Islamic Army
Aden-Abyan Islamic Army (AAIA).  The Aden-Abyan Islamic Army is allegedly affiliated with the Yemeni Islamic Jihad and has been implicated in acts of violence with the stated goal to “hoist the banner of al-Jihad, and fight secularism in Yemen and the Arab countries.”  Aden-Abyan Islamic Army leader Zein al-Abideen al-Mehdar was executed on October 19, 2001, for participating in the December 1998 kidnapping of 16 Western tourists.  Four of the hostages were killed and remaining hostages were freed when Yemeni security forces attacked the place where the hostages were being held.  In March 1999, the group warned the United States and British ambassadors in Yemen to leave immediately.

The Aden-Abyan Islamic Army was believed to have been involved in the 2000 USS Cole bombing in Aden.
AAIA see Aden-Abyan Islamic Army

‘Adid li-Din Allah, al-
‘Adid li-Din Allah, al- (1151-1171).  The last Fatimid caliph of Egypt (r.1160-1171).  He died a few days after Saladin had the Sunni Caliph of Baghdad, al-Mustadi, proclaimed in Cairo.

‘Adil-Shahs. Muslim dynasty which ruled over Bijapur (r. 1489-1686).  They were great patrons of art and literature.

The Adil Shah dynasty ruled the Sultanate of Bijapur in the Western area of the Deccan region of Southern India from 1489 to 1686.  Bijapur had been a province of the Bahmani Sultanate (1347-1518), before its political decline in the last quarter of the 15th century and eventual break-up in 1518.  The Bijapur Sultanate was absorbed into the Mughal Empire on September 12, 1686, after its conquest by the Emperor Aurangzeb.

Adivar, Halide Edib
Adivar, Halide Edib (Halide Edib Adivar) (Halide Edip Adivar) (1883-1964).  Turkish novelist.  Halide Edib Adivar was educated at the American Girls’ College, Uskudar.  She was thus one of the few prominent figures of her generation to be educated in an Anglo-Saxon rather than in a French environment. 

Halide Edip Adivar was a Turkish novelist and feminist political leader.  Best known for her novels criticizing the low social status of Turkish women and what she saw as the disinterest of most women in changing their situation, she also served as a soldier in the Turkish military during the Turkish War of Independence.  As follower of Young Turkish politics, she participated in the re-education of Armenian Genocide orphans in 1916 in Lebanon.

Halide Edip was born in Istanbul, Ottoman Empire, as a girl, she studied Arabic and mathematics, and graduated from the American College for Girls in 1901.  The college was an influential force for reformist social change at the time.  Halide Edip Adivar was only 15 years old in 1897 and translated Mother by Jacob Abbott and was awarded by Ottoman Sultan Abdulhamid II with The Order of Charity (Nishan-i-Shafakat/Sefkat Nisani).

With her first husban, Salih Zeki, she had two children before they divorced.

Halide Edip's first novel, Seviye Talip, was published in 1909.  She remarried, to Adnan Adivar, in 1917, and the next year took a job as a lecturer in literature at Istanbul's Faculty of Letters.  It was during this time that she became increasingly active in Turkey's nationalist movement.

As Young Turkish headmaster she re-educated Armenian orphans in 1916.  After the end of World War I, she and her husband travelled to Anatolia to fight in the War for Independence.  She served first as a corporal and then as a sergeant in the nationalist military.

After the fighting ended, she and her husband moved to Western Europe.  The would live in the French Third Republic and the United Kingdom from 1926 to 1939.  She travelled widely, teaching and lecturing repeatedly in the United States and in British Raj India.  After returning to Turkey in 1939, she became a professor in English literature at the Faculty of Letters in Istanbul.  In 1950, she was elected to Parliament, resigning in 1954; this was the only formal political position she ever held.

Common themes in Halide Edip's novels were strong, independent female characters who succeeded in reaching their goals against strong opposition.  She was also a strong Turkish nationalist, and several stories highlighted the central role of women in the fight for Turkish Independence.

Adivar became known as an ardent patriot and feminist because of her impetuous political novels, Yeni Turan and Khandan.  Yeni Turan and Khandan were both published in 1912.  After World War I, Adivar and her husband, the scholar Adnan Adivar, joined Mustafa Kemal in Anatolia and worked devotedly for the nationalist cause.  Adivar’s experiences at this time produced the novel Atesten Gomlek (The Daughter of Smyrna) which was published in 1922.

After Turkey became a republic, Adivar and her husband lived abroad.  They lived in France, England, the United States and even India.

In 1938, Adivar and her husband returned to Turkey and Adivar became Professor of English Literature at the University of Istanbul. 

During her years away from Turkey, Adivar wrote two books of reminiscences, Memoirs of Halide Edib and The Turkish Ordeal.  Memoirs of Halide Edib was published in 1926 and covered Adivar’s life through 1918.  The Turkish Edib was published in 1928 and dealt with Adivar’s experiences during the Turkish War of Independence.  Both Memoirs of Halide Edib and The Turkish Ordeal provide invaluable glimpses into the Turkey of those years as seen through the eyes of a Western educated Turkish patriot who was also a woman. 

One other notable work by Adivar was The Clown and his Daughter.  The Clown and his Daughter was published in 1935 and examined Istanbul life at the turn of the century and the tension between the Western and Islamic outlooks.
Halide Edib Adivar see Adivar, Halide Edib
Halide Edip Adivar see Adivar, Halide Edib

Adli Yakan
Adli Yakan (Adli Yakan Pasha) (Adly Pasha) (January 18, 1864 - October 22, 1933).  The great grandnephew of Muhammad Ali Pasha, Adli Yakan was Egypt’s Prime Minister in 1921.  He served as Prime Minister of Egypt between 1921 and 1922, again between 1926 and 1927, and finally in 1929.  He held several prominent political posts including Foreign Minister, Interior Minister and Speaker of the Senate.  He died in Paris, France. 
Yakan, Adli see Adli Yakan
Adli Yakan Pasha see Adli Yakan
Adly Pasha see Adli Yakan

‘Adnan.  The name of the ancestor of the Northern Arabs, the Adnani (Neo-Arabs), as opposed to the Qahtani of Southern Arabia who descend from Qahtan.  Adnan is said to be a descendant of Ishmael through his son Nebaioth.  His descendants are said to have included Muhammad. 

Adonis (Adunis) ('Ali Ahmad Sa'id Asbar) (b. 1930).  Syrian poet. 

Adonis was born in Kassabin (Al Qassabin), near Latakia, Syria, into an Alawite family.  From an early age, he worked in the fields, but his father regularly had him memorize poetry, and he began to compose poems of his own.  In 1947, he had the opportunity to recite a poem for Syrian president Shukri al-Kuwatli, that led to a series of scholarships, first to a school in Latakia and then to the Syrian University in Damascus, where he received a degree in Philosophy in 1954.

'Ali Ahmad picked the name Adonis for himself after being rejected by a number of magazines under his real name.  In 1955, he was imprisoned for six months for being a member of the radical pan-Syrian Syrian Social Nationalist Party.  Following his release from prison in 1956, he settled in Beirut, Lebanon, where in 1957 he and Syro-Lebanese poet Yusuf al-Khal founded the magazine Shi'r (Shiar) ("Poetry").  At this time, he abandoned Syrian nationalism in favor of pan-Arabism.  He also became a less political writer.

Adonis received a scholarship to study in Paris from 1960 to 1961.  From 1970 to 1975, he was professor of Arabic literature at the University of Lebanon.  In 1976, he was a visiting professor at the University of Damascus.  In 1980, he emigrated to Paris to escape the Lebanese Civil War.  In 1980-1981, he was professor of Arabic at the Sorbonne in Paris.

From 1957 to 1963, Adonis co-edited the literary magazine, Shiar. In 1967, following the Six Day War, which shaked the entire Arab world, much interest was given to Adonis and his poems, which depicted a hope in the future.

From 1968 to 1978, Adonis published the magazine Mawaqif. 

Adonis is considered to be among the most important modern Arab poets.  Using the basis of traditional poetic styles, he developed a new manner of expressing modern sentiments.  Adonis was influenced by classical Shi‘a poets, but started at a relatively early age (his twenties) to experiment with the prose poem, giving it density, tension, metaphors and rhythm.  He also broke with the diction and style of traditional poems, and introduced a new and powerful syntax.  He used myths from older religions, where the resurrecting gods of Tammuz, Adonis and Phoenix were central symbols.

Similar to most other poets using the Arabic language, Adonis employs the technique of tarab.  Tarab aims at a sort of ecstasy reached when the musicality of the verse corresponds with the visions and thoughts expressed in the poem.

Adonis has written over twenty books in his native Arabic.  The works of Adonis include Songs of Mihyar, the Damascene (1961); Introduction of Arab Poetry (1971); The Shock of Modernity (1978); and Manifesto of Modernity (1980).   Several of his poetry collections have been translated into English.

Adonis is today considered to be a pioneer of modern Arabic poetry.  He is often seen as a rebel, an iconoclast who follows his own rules.  He was considered to be a candidate for the 2005, 2006, 2007 and 2008 Nobel Prize in Literature.  However, the awards went to British playwright Harold Pinter, Turkish novelist Orhan Pamuk, British novelist Doris Lessing and French novelist J. M. G. Le Clezio. 

In 2007, Adonis was awarded the Bjornson Prize.
'Ali Ahmad Sa'id Asbar see Adonis
Asbar, 'Ali Ahmad Sa'id see Adonis
Adunis see Adonis

‘Adud al-Dawla
‘Adud al-Dawla ('Adud al-Daula) (Azod od-Dowleh Fana Khusraw) (September 24, 936 - March 26, 983).  The greatest emir of the Buyid dynasty (r. 949-983).  He ruled in Iraq and Iran, and was a builder and patron of the learned, and of poets.

The son of Rukn al-Dawla, Fana Khusrau was given the title of 'Adud al-Dawla by the 'Abbasid caliph in 948 when he was made emir of Fars after the death of his childless uncle 'Imad al-Dawla, after which Rukn al-Dawla became the senior emir of the Buwayhids.  In 974, 'Adud al-Dawla was sent by his father to crush a rebellion by his cousin 'Izz al-Dawla.  After defeating his cousin's forces, he claimed the emirate of Iraq for himself, angering his father, though he would become the senior emir after the death of his father.

'Adud al-Dawla became emir of Iraq while the capital of Baghdad was suffering from violence and instability owing to sectarian conflict.  In order to bring peace and stability to the city, he ordered the banning of public demonstrations and polemics.  At the same time, he patronized a number of Shi'a scholars such as al-Mufid, and he sponsored the renovation of a number of important Shi'a shrines.

In addition, 'Adud al-Dawla is credited with sponsoring and patronizing other scientific projects during his time.  An observatory was built on his orders in Isfahan where Azophi worked.   Al-Muqaddasi also reports of a great dam be built under his orders between Shiraz, Iran and Istakhr in 960.  The dam irrigated some 300 villages in Fars province and became known as Band-i Amir.

'Adud al-Dawla also founded the Bimaristan-i Adhudi (Al-Adudi Hospital) which is where the great Rhazes spent his last days practicing medicine.

'Adud al-Dawla died in 983 and is buried in Najaf.
Dawla, 'Adud al- see ‘Adud al-Dawla
Azod od-Dowleh Fana Khusraw see ‘Adud al-Dawla
'Adud al-Daula see ‘Adud al-Dawla

Afar (Danakil) (Adal).  People of the eastern Horn of Africa.  The Afar are tribal Muslims who are also known by their Arabic name, Danakil, or the Amharic name, Adal.  Most Afar live in Ethiopia and in Djibouti.

The Afar are tribal Muslims who are among the least known people in the eastern Horn of Africa. Their forbidding desert homeland and their reputation for ferocity (it is widely reported that an Afar male cannot be considered an adult until he has killed an enemy) prevented successful exploration of their country by Europeans until the early 1930s.

The Afar began to convert to Islam in the tenth century of the Christian calendar after contact with Arab merchants from the Arabian Peninsula.  The earliest surviving written mention of the Afar was in the 13th century by the Arab writer Ibn Sa'id, who reported that they lived in the area from around the port of Suakin as far south as Mandeb, near Zeila.  They are mentioned intermittently in Ethiopian records, first as helping Emperor Amda Seyon in a campaign beyond the Awash River, then over a century later when they assisted Emperor Baeda Maryam when he campaigned against their neighbors the Dobe'a.  In the late 17th century, the Aussa Sultanate had emerged, which became the first amongst equals of the Afar rulers.

Prior to the late nineteenth century expansion of Amhara domination under King Menelik II, contacts between Muslim Afar and the Christian farmers of Ethiopia’s central plateau and eastern escarpment were sporadic and predominantly hostile.  During periods of dynastic strength on the plateau, Christian rulers tried to expand their power into the Afar lowlands.  Conversely, whenever it seemed possible, Muslims attempted to overrun the highlands. 

Afar fought in the vanguards of such Muslim rulers as Mahfuz of Zeila (who ruled Adal, a coastal Afar-Somali kingdom) and the Amir of Harar, Ahmad Gran, both of whom devastated the highlands in the sixteenth century.  A major East Africa-Arabia slave route traversed Afar country, and as recently as 1928 the Afar were active participants in the trans-Red Sea slave trade, mainly as guides to the Arab slavers.  

On the whole, though, in comparison to Middle Eastern nomadic peoples, the Afar were relatively self-sufficient economically.  They lived mainly on meat -- both domestic and wild -- and dairy products supplemented by agricultural produce stolen or, less frequently, obtained in peaceful trade from villagers of the adjacent Rift Valley escarpment and the highlands. The building of the railroad from Addis Adaba to the city of Djibouti in what was then French territory in the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries and the resettling of highlanders on the fringes of Afar country under the “Pax Amharica” served to weaken somewhat the economic and cultural insularity of the Afar, as more trade goods and agricultural produce became available to them. 

In 1975, the Afar Liberation Front (ALF) began in Ethiopia after an unsuccessful rebellion led by a former Afar sultan.  The Derg established the Autonomous Region of Assab (now called Aseb and located in Eritrea), although low level insurrection continued until the early 1990s.  In Djibouti, a similar movement simmered throughout the 1980s, eventually culminating in the Afar Insurgency in 1991.

Danakil see Afar
Adal see Afar

Afdal ibn Badr al-Jamali, al-
Afdal ibn Badr al-Jamali, al- (al-Malik al-Afdal ibn Badr al-Jamali Shahanshah) (al-Afdal Shahanshan) (1066 - December 11, 1121).  The Fatimid vizier in Egypt for twenty-seven years.  During his office, the country enjoyed internal tranquility, although in 1103 Acre fell to the Crusaders.

Afdal ibn Badr al-Jamali was born in Acre, the son of Badr al-Jamali, an Armenian Mameluke.  Badr was vizier for the Fatimids in Cairo from 1074 until his deth in 1094, when al-Afda succeeded him.  Caliph Ma'ad al-Mustansir Billah died soon afterwards, and al-Afdal appointed as caliph al-Musta'li, a child, instead of al-Mustali's much older brother Nizar.  Nizar revolted and was defeated in 1095.  His supporters, led by Hassan-i-Sabah, fled west, where Hassan established the Ismai'li community, sometimes erroneously called the Hashashin, or Assassins.

At this time, Fatimid power in Palestine had been reduced by the arrival of the Seljuk Turks.  In 1097, he captured Tyre from the Seljuks, and in 1098 he took Jerusalem, expelling its Ortoqid governor Ilghazi in place of a Fatimid.  Al-Afdal restored most of Palestine to Fatimid control, at least temporarily.

Al-Afdal misunderstood the Crusaders as Byzantine mercenaries.  This misperception caused al-Afdal to conclude that the crusaders would make for natural allies, as each were enemies of the Seljuk Turks.  Fatimid overtures for an alliance with the Crusaders were rebuffed, and the crusaders continued southward from Antioch to capture Jerusalem from Fatimid control in 1099.

When it became apparent that the Crusaders would not rest until they had control of the city, al-Afdal marched out from Cairo, but was too late to rescue Jerusalem, which fell on July 15, 1099.  On August 12, the Crusaders under Godfrey of Bouillon surprised al-Afdal at the Battle of Ascalon and completely defeated him.  Al-Afdal would reassert Fatimid control of Ascalon, as the Crusaders did not attempt to retain it, and utilize it as a staging ground for later attacks on the crusader states.

Al-Afdal marched out every year to attack the nascent Kingdom of Jerusalem, and in 1105 attempted to ally with Damascus against them, but was defeated at the Battle of Ramla.  Al-Afdal and his army enjoyed success only so long as no European fleet interfered, but they gradually lost control of their coastal strongholds.  In 1109, Tripoli was lost, despite the fleet and supplies sent by al-Afdal, and the city became the center of an important Crusader county.  In 1110, the governor of Ascalon, Shams al-Khalifa, rebelled against al-Afdal with the intent of handing over the city to Jerusalem (for a large price).  Al-Khalifa's Berber troops assassinated him and sent his head to al-Afdal.  The Crusaders later took Tyre and Acre as well, and remained in Jerusalem until the arrival of Saladin decades later.

Al-Afdal also introduced tax (iqta) reform in Egypt, which remained in place until Saladin took over Egypt.  Al-Afdal was nicknamed Jalal al-Islam) ("Glory of Islam") and Nasir al-Din ("Protector of the Faith").  Ibn al-Qalanisi describes him as "a firm believer in the doctrines of Sunnah, upright in conduct, a lover of justice towards both troops and civil population, judicious in counsel and plan, ambitious and resolute, of penetrating knowledge and exquisite tact, of generous nature, accurate in his intuitions, and possessing a sense of justice which preserved him from wrongdoing and led him to shun all tyrannical methods."

Al-Afdal was murdered during Eid ul-Adha in 1121.  According to Ibn al-Qalanisi, "it was asserted that the Batinis (Hashshashin) were responsible for this assassination, but this statement is not true.  On the contrary it is an empty pretence and an insubstantial calumny."  The real cause was the growing boldness of the caliph al-Amir Bi-Ahkamillah, who had succeeded al-Musta'li in 1101, and his resentment of al-Afdal's control.  Ibn al-Qalanisi states that "all eyes wept and all hearts sorrowed for him; time did not produce his like after him, and after his loss the government fell into disrepute."  He was succeeded as vizier by al-Ma'mun.

In Latin, his name was rendered as "Lavendalius" or "Elafdalio."

Malik al-Afdal ibn Badr al-Jamali Shahanshah, al- see Afdal ibn Badr al-Jamali, al-
Afdal Shahanshan, al- see Afdal ibn Badr al-Jamali, al-
Jalal al-Islam see Afdal ibn Badr al-Jamali, al-
Glory of Islam see Afdal ibn Badr al-Jamali, al-
Nasir al-Din see Afdal ibn Badr al-Jamali, al-
Protector of the Faith see Afdal ibn Badr al-Jamali, al-

Afghan. The Persian designation applied to the western tribes of Afghanistan, the eastern ones being called Pathan, the Indianized form of the native name Pashtun.  For the language and the literature of the people of Afghanistan the term Pashto is generally used. 

Afghani Arabs
Afghani Arabs.  Radical Islamists, mostly of Arab nationality, but also from other Muslim countries, who gained fighting experience in the Soviet-Afghan war and returned to their countries with the intention of toppling their governments and establishing an “Islamic State.” They are said to include Saudis, Yemenis, Egyptians, Algerians, Tunisians, Iraqis, Libyans, Jordanians as well as citizens of other Muslim countries.  They were a serious threat to the military regime in Algeria, started terrorist activities in Egypt, and fought as volunteers in regional wars from Bosnia to Kashmir and in the Philippines.  Between 1987 and 1993, as many as 3,340 registered Arabs left Pakistan, but some 2,800 remained in Afghanistan and in the North-West Frontier Province of Pakistan.  Most of the Afghani Arabs fought in the ranks of Hekmatyar, Sayyaf, and Jamilurrahman.  Osama bin Laden, a wealthy Saudi citizen, financed a number of Islamist groups.  He and one Islamboli, a relative of the assassin of President Anwar al-Sadat of Egypt, found shelter in Afghanistan.

Apart from entering Afghanistan during the Soviet invasion of Afghanistan, Arabs entered the area today known as Afghanistan in earlier centuries in two distinct waves.  During the Islamic conquest of Afghanistan, many Arabs settled throughout the region, while another wave arrived during the Bolshevik Revolution.  "Afghan Arabs" who entered Afghanistan during the Soviet-Afghan War began arriving in the early 1980s.

Sheikh Abdullah Yusuf Azzam (1941-1989) is often credited with creating enthusiasm for the Afghan mujahideen cause in the Arab Muslim and greater Muslim world.  When the Soviets invaded Afghanistan in 1979, Shaikh Azzam issued a fatwa declaring defense jihad in Afghanistan fard ayn -- a personal obligation -- for all Muslims.  The fatwa was supported by other sheikhs including Saudi Arabia's Grand Mufti (highest religious scholar), Abd al-Aziz bin Bazz.

Sometime after 1980, Abdullah Azzam established Maktab al-Khadamat (Services Office) to organize guest houses in Peshawar just across the Afghan border in Pakistan and paramilitary training camps in Afghanistan to prepare international recruits for the Afghan front.  Using financing of Saudi Arabi and a wealthy young Saudi recruit, Osama bin Laden, Maktab al-Khadamat paid for "air tickets and accommodation, dealt with paperwork with Pakistani authorities and provided other such services for the jihad fighters" from the Muslim world.  During the 1980s, Azam had forged close links with two of the Afghan mujahideen faction-leaders, Gulbuddin Hekmatyar the Pakistan favorite, and Abdul Rasul Sayyaf, an Islamic scholar from Afghanistan whom the Saudis had sent to Peshawar to promote Wahhabism.

Abdullah Azzam toured not only the Musim world but also the United States, in search of funds and young Muslim recruits.  He inspired young Muslims with stories of miraculous deeds, mujahideen who defeated vast columns of Soviet troops virtually single-handed, who had been run over by tanks but survived, who were shot, but were unscathed by bullets.  Angels were said to ride into battle on horseback, and falling bombs were intercepted by birds, which raced ahead of the jets to form a protective canopy over the warriors. 

It is estimated that Azzam organized paramilitary training for more than 20,000 Muslim recruits from about 20 countries around the world.

By 1986, the Soviets were talking about withdrawing from Afghanistan.  As it became clear the Mujahideen's fight against the Soviet's had been a success, it became more popular with Muslims worldwide, and drew more of them to volunteer in Afghanistan.  Consequently, many of the Afghan Arabs arrived to fight the Soviets when they were least needed.  The late arrivals were reportedly twice the number who came for the war against the Soviet occupation.

Many of the later volunteers were different from the early "Afghan" Arab volunteers inspired by Sheikh Azzam's tours, and were criticized for being less serious, or more sectarian and undisciplined in their violence.  Violence escalated in Peshwar Pakistan, the mujahideen staging area and center of Afghan Arab activity. 

Sometime after August 1988, Sheikh Azzam was replaced as the leader of the Arab Afghans in Peshwar by Osama bin Laden.  Sheikh Azzam himself was assassinated there in November 1989 by roadside bomb that some think was the work of the radical jihadi Egyptian Islamic Jihad and his opponent Ayman al-Zawahiri. 

These later expatriate volunteers included many sectarian Salafi and Wahhabi who alienated their hosts with their aloof manner and disdain for the Sufi Islam practiced by most Afghans.  While the first Arab Afghans were "for the most part" welcomed by native Afghan mujahideen, by the end of the Soviet-Afghan war, there was a great deal of mutual antagonism between the two groups.  The Afghan mujahideen resented "being told they were not good Muslims" and called the expatriate volunteers "Ikhwanis" or "Wahhabis." This hostility may have played an important role in the relatively easy manner in which the United States overthrew the Taliban in 2001 when Afghans turned against these foreigners.

However minimal the impact of the Afghan Arabs on the war against the Soviets, the return of the volunteers to their home countries was not.  The Afghan Arabs saw the Soviet defeat as a victory for Islam against a superpower that had invaded a Muslim country.  Estimates of the number of Afghan Arabs who fought in Afghanistan begin in the low thousands.  Some spent years in combat, while others came only towards the end in what amounted to a jihad "vacation."  Nevertheless, the Afghan Arabs gained legitimacy and prestige from their triumph both within the militant community and among ordinary Muslims, as well as the confidence to carry their jihad to other countries where they believed Muslims required assistance.  When veterans of the guerrilla campaign returned home with their experience, ideology, and weapons, they destabilized once peaceful countries and inflamed already unstable ones.

After the war, many foreign mujahideen stayed in Afghanistan and took Afghan wives.  The Afghan Arabs served as the essential core of the foot soldiers of Osama bin Laden's Al Qaeda, with Bin Laden being seen as the undisputed leader of the Afghan Arabs by fall of 1989.  Others returned with their experience, ideology, and weapons, to their countries, often proceeding to fight jihad against the government there.  The most extreme case was Algeria where jihadis fought the government in a bloody civil war that cost 150,000 - 200,000 lives.  Also, many of them went to Bosnia to fight against Bosnian Serbs and Croats.

In the mid- and late- 1990s, the Afghan Arabs, in the form of the Wahhabi-oriented Al-Qaeda, became more influential in Afghanistan helping and influencing the Taliban.  Several hundred Afghan Arabs participated in the 1997 and 1998 Taliban offensives in the north and helped the Taliban carry out the massacres of the Shia Hazaras there.  Several hundred more Afghan Arabs, based in the Rishkor army garrison outside Kabul, fought on the Kabul front against General Ahmed Shah Massoud.  At the same time, the Taliban's ideology changed.  Until the Taliban's contact with the Afghan Arabs and their pan-Islamic ideology was non-existent.

By 1996 and 1998, Al Qaeda felt comfortable enough in the sanctuary given to them to issue a declaration of war against Americans and later a fatwa to kill Americans and their allies.  The Afghan Arabs had come full circle.  From being mere appendages of the Afghan jihad and the Cold War in the 1980s they had taken center stage for the Afghans, neighboring countries and the west in the 1990s.  This was followed by Al Qaeda's 1998 American embassy bombings in Africa and the September 11, 2001 attacks.

Following the 9/11 attack, America attacked Afghanistan and deposed the Taliban, ending the heyday of the Afghan Arabs.  During the American campaign in Afghanistan in late 2001, many coherent units of Arab fighters were destroyed.  Some Afghan Arab fighters were also captured and held by Afghan tribesmen for ransom -- ransom to be paid by Americans.

Arab Afghans see Afghani Arabs.

Afghani, Jamal al-Din al-
Afghani, Jamal al-Din al- (Sayyid Jamaluddin Afghani) (Sayyid Muhammad ibn Safdar al-Husayn) (Sayyid Jamal-al-din Asadabadi) (1838 - March 9, 1897).  Muslim reformer, apologist, and anti-colonialist who is known as the “Father of the Pan-Islamic Movement.” 

Afghani was born near Hamadan and educated in Iran and the Shi‘ite shrine cities of Ottoman Iraq.  Educated in rationalist philosophy, taught more in Iran than elsewhere in the Muslim world, Afghani was also influenced by the philosophically oriented and innovative Shaikhi school of Shi‘ism.   Around 1857, he went to India, where he seems to have acquired his lifelong hatred of British imperialism.  After a trip, probably via Mecca and Iraq, he went to Afghanistan and entered the counsels of the Afghan emir, advising him to fight the British.  When his patron was defeated by Amir Shir Ali, the latter expelled Afghani. 

Afghani went briefly to India and Cairo, and then to Istanbul, where he became a friend of the head of the Dar al-Fonun, a new university.  In 1870, Afghani gave a lecture at the university.  He compared philosophy to prophecy and implied that prophecy was a craft, thus giving the Ottoman ulama (religious scholars), already hostile to the secular university, an excuse to attack the university and bring on Afghani’s expulsion.

Afghani stayed then in Cairo from 1871 to 1879. There he did his most fruitful work.  He was given a stipend by the Egyptian government to teach young Egyptians.  Among his disciples was the later great Muslim reformer Muhammad Abduh.  From 1875 onwards, Afghani entered politics by (1) leading an Arab Masonic lodge, which he tried to use to achieve the abdication of Isma‘il in favor of his son Tawfiq, (2) promoting the formation of political newspapers by his disciples, and (3) giving effective mass orations, directed especially against Westerners in Egypt.  When Tawfiq took power with Franco-British aid in 1879 and Afghani continued to attack the British, he was exiled to India in August 1879.

In India, Afghani went to the Muslim principality of Hyderabad, where he published several Persian articles and his one treatise, known as the Refutation of the Materialists, which was aimed mainly at the pro-British Sir Sayyid Ahmad Khan and his school.  After detention by the British in Calcutta, Afghani left for Paris, stopping in London.  In London and Paris, Afghani wrote articles against the British occupation of Egypt, and also wrote the irreligious French “Answer to Renan,”a notable defense of Islam against Ernest Renan.  He got Abduh to join him in Paris, where they published the reformist and anti-British paper, Al-urwa al-wuthqa, in 1884.  It was at this time that Afghani first expressed the pan-Islamic views most often associated with him.  Until then, he had spoken rather in terms of regional nationalisms.

In 1886, Afghani sailed to the Iranian port of Bushehr, where his books and papers had been sent from Egypt.  He planned to go to Russia, where the Slavophile editor Mikhail Katkov had invited him, but the Iranian minister of press invited him to Tehran.  Jamal al-Din stayed with the wealthy Amin al-Zarb.  His anti-foreign talk evidently disturbed the shah, who asked Amin al-Zarb to take Afghani with him to Russia, which he did.  There he made futile attempts to convince Russia to fight Britain.  Afghani overtook the shah’s party in Munich in 1889, and after a brief return to Russia he came back to Iran, where the prime minister refused to see him. Afghani then began to encourage secret organization and leaflets against the government, and forestalled expulsion by taking sanctuary at a shrine.  In January 1891, he was expelled from Iran after a leaflet attacked the government for its concessions (especially the tobacco concession) to foreigners. When the Qajar Shah (Nasir al-Din) had Afghani forcibly removed from a place near Tehran which had been regarded as an inviolable sanctuary (in Persian, bast) Afghani developed feelings of hatred and a desire for vengeance towards the shah. 

Afghani went to Iraq, and when the Tobacco Rebellion broke out in Iran, a mujtahid expelled from Shiraz visited Afghani, who wrote a letter against the shah and the tobacco concession to the leading mujtahid, Mirza Hasan Shirazi, who was important in the concession’s cancellation.

Frequently opposed by the ulama (the Muslim clergy) and suspected as dissident by the temporal powers, Afghani was often on the run.  In 1891 and 1892, Afghani spent months speaking and writing in England with Malkom Khan.  In 1892, Afghani was invited to be the guest of the Ottoman Sultan Abdulhamid in Istanbul.  In Istanbul, Afghani was employed by Sultan Abdulhamid (‘Abd al-Hamid II) to promulgate pan-Islamic ideals.  There he worked with a group of Iranians and Shi‘ites to get Shi‘ites to recognize Abdulhamid’s claim to be caliph of all Muslims.

In 1896, Afghani’s disciple, Mirza Riza Kirmani, visited Afghani.  Afghani inspired Mirza to kill Nasir al-Din Shah on May 1, 1896.    The friendship between Afghani and the Sultan subsequently cooled, essentially because of Afghani’s complicity in the assassination of the Persian ruler.  Indeed, Afghani was placed under house arrest by the Sultan.  Iran’s futile efforts to extradite Afghani ended with Afghani’s death in 1897. 

Afghani died on March 9, 1897 in Istanbul and was buried there.  However, in late 1944, at the request of the Afghan government, his remains were taken to Afghanistan and laid to rest in Kabul inside the Kabul University where a mausoleum was erected for him.

Jamal al-Din al-Afghani was most effective as a pamphleteer, journalist, orator, and revolutionary activist. As a Muslim modernist and political propagandist, he advocated unity of the Islamic world and selective borrowing from the West for the purpose of stemming the tide of Western imperialism.  He was the adviser of Muslim rulers in many parts of the Islamic world and a political activist in Iran, Afghanistan, Egypt, and the Ottoman empire.  With him, began the reform movement which gave rise to the Salafiyya and, later on, to the Muslim Brothers.

Afghani, above all else, called for unity amongst all Muslims.  However, he did not believe that all Muslims ought to unify under one ruler, or Caliph.  Instead, cooperation amongst Muslims was his answer to the weakness that had allowed Muslims to be colonized by the Europeans (namely Britain, Russia, and France).  He believed that, in fact, Islam (and its revealed law) was compatible with rationality and thus, Muslims could become politically unified whilst still maintaining their faith based on a religious social morality.  These beliefs had a profound effect on Muhammad 'Abduh, who went on to expand on the notion of using rationality in the human relations aspect of Islam (mu'amalat).

Afghani’s development of the philosophical bases for Islamic modernism was left to his most illustrious pupil from the Cairo period, Muhammad ‘Abduh.  However, in Afghanistan, Afghans revere his memory and believe him to be a descendant of a family of Sayyids from Asadabad in Kunar Province of Afghanistan, even though most Western scholars agree on Afghani’s Iranian origin.

As a believer in reform and as a pioneer in various forms of political activisim and agitation in many countries, Afghani had an important influence that continues in the Muslim world today. 
Jamal al-Din al-Afghani see Afghani, Jamal al-Din al-
Sayyid Jamaluddin Afghani see Afghani, Jamal al-Din al-
“Father of the Pan-Islamic Movement”   see Afghani, Jamal al-Din al-
Sayyid Muhammad ibn Safdar al-Husayn see Afghani, Jamal al-Din al-
Sayyid Jamal-al-din Asadabadi see Afghani, Jamal al-Din al-

Afrasiyab.  The legendary king of the Turanians according to Iranian tradition.  It is also the name of the founder of a line of governors of Basra (r. 1612-1668).

Afrasiyabids.  A minor dynasty of Mazandaran (r. 1349-1503).  The eponym of the clan, Afrasiyab ibn Kiya Hasan, put an end to the rule of the Bawandids.  In 1503, Shah Isma‘il I forced the last Afrasiyabid ruler to surrender.

Afridi.  Pashtu-speaking tribe of the North-West Frontier Province in Pakistan, inhabiting the Afghan-Pakistan border region, a mountainous area that contains the Khyber Pass.  The tribe is related linguistically and ethnologically to the Pathans, a people of Afghanistan and Pakistan.  Herodotus, the Greek historian, mentions the "Aprytae," the tribe of Osman who called himself “God’s Creature” (afrideh-ye khoda) whom some Afghan scholars consider the eponymic ancestor of the Afridis.  For centuries, the Afridis saw themselves as the “guardians” of the gate to India because, since ancient times, invaders have found it preferable to pay for passage rather than fight their way through the Khalibar. 

The Afridis are said to have been initially converted to Islam during the time of Mahmud of Ghazni, and then during the time of Muhammad of Ghor.  At times, Afridis entered the services of Afghan rulers, primarily as bodyguards and tribal militias, and in conflicts between Afghanistan and British India supported the Afghans; although they could not resist the temptation to loot the Afghan arsenal when the British bombed Jalalabad in 1919. 

At the end of the Third Anglo-Afghan War in 1919, Sir Hamilton Grant, chief commissioner of the North-West Frontier, complained to the viceroy of India that “the constant raiding by Afridi gangs into the Peshawar District is sorely discrediting our administration.  It is astounding that such a state of affairs should be possible with the number of troops we have got in the Peshawar Valley and shows how very difficult it would be to make any military operation of trans-frontier area really successful.”  He added that only subjugation of the Afridis would help, but this would be “a most formidable and undesirable undertaking.”

In the 1960s, the Afridis were said to be able to muster an armed force of 50,000 men.  A British officer described them as “wiry, shaven-headed, full-bearded, Pashtu-speaking hillmen of uncertain origin”.  During the 1980s, the Kabul government attempted to enlist Afridis into a militia to attack the supply lines of the mujahedin, and the Afridis accepted their pay but did not perform their assigned functions.

"The guardians of the gate to India" see Afridi.
"Aprytae" see Afridi.

Afsharids.  Afghan dynasty in Persia (Iran) and Afghanistan (r.1736-1796).  Their main capital was Mashhad.  The dynasty was founded by General Nadir Shah Afshar from the Afghan Qizilbash tribe, part of the Afshars.  Nadir advanced as the military leader of a Safavid shadow shah, expelled the Afghans (Ghalzai) from Persia in 1730 with the conquest of Isfahan, and finally rose to the throne himself as Nadir Shah (1736-1747).

Nadir’s empire, at its zenith, included the whole of Iran and Afghanistan, with vassals in Iraq, Central Asia (Khiva), and northern India.  After his death, the rule of his successors was soon confined to the city of Mashhad and the metropolitan province of Khurasan.

Nadir’s last years were punctuated by rebellions throughout his empire.  His nephew Ali Quli Khan, sent to quell a revolt in Sistan, joined the rebels and was already marching on Mashhad when Nadir was assassinated in June of 1747.  Ali Quli Khan was proclaimed king under the regnal name Adil Shah (“the just king”).  Having secured Nadir’s fortress of Kalat, he massacred all his uncle’s male issue, preserving only Shahrukh, a teenage grandson by a daughter of the last Safavid monarch, as a hedge against a pro-Safavid coup.  Adil sent his younger brother Ibrahim to govern western Iran from the old Safavid capital of Isfahan.  He himself remained in Mashhad.  Most of Nadir’s tribal levies, however, were returned home, especially to the hinterland of Isfahan.  Ibrahim used these reinforcements in a bid for power and defeated Adil Shah’s forces near Zanjan in June 1748. 

Ibrahim was proclaimed shah at Tabriz in December, but meanwhile Shahrukh, the grandson of Nadir, had been raised to the throne in Mashhad by a junta of Kurd and other tribal chiefs.  In the spring of 1749, Ibrahim’s army evaporated on the advance of Shahrukh’s forces.  Ibrahim was taken to Mashhad (together with his brother, Adil, whom Ibrahim had already blinded) and executed.

Mir Sayyid Muhammad -- like Shahrukh a grandson of the last Safavid shah and an influential figure as warden of the shrine mosque at Mashhad -- became the figurehead of a popular insurrection orchestrated by yet another military faction.  Shahrukh Shah was deposed (and later blinded), and in January 1750 the sayyid was crowned Shah Sulayman II of the Safavid dynasty.  He soon alienated his patrons by disbursing Nadir’s waning treasury to parasitical relatives.  Within three months, Shah Sulayman had been deposed and blinded.  Shahrukh was reinstalled and ruled nominally for a further forty-five years.

By 1750, Iran’s political center of gravity had shifted to Isfahan and Shiraz, under Karim Khan Zand.  Afghanistan and Mughal India were ruled by Ahmad Shah Durrani, who had escaped with his Afghan contingent from the debacle of Nadir’s assassination to be elected first shah of Afghanistan.  Afsharid Khurasan remained an impoverished buffer zone between these states, ravaged by continuing power struggles between tribal chieftains and Shahrukh’s sons Nasr Allah Mirza and Nadir Mirza, and invaded three times by Ahmad Shah.  The booty Nadir had brought from India was long dissipated, and Shahrukh’s sons resorted to stripping the shrine of ornaments to pay their fickle forces.  Although Mashhad retained its prestige as a Shi‘ite shrine, chronic anarchy reduced commercial and pilgrim traffic and plunged Khurasan into an economic depression that lasted well into the nineteenth century.  In 1796, Aqa Muhammad Qajar, having secured western Iran, stormed Mashhad and tortured Shahrukh to death to reveal the remnants of the fabled Afsharid jewels.

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