Monday, March 18, 2013

Akbari, Ustad Muhammad - Ali, Muhammad

Akbari, Ustad Muhammad
Akbari, Ustad Muhammad.  See Ustad Muhammad Akbari.

Akbar, Sardar Muhammad
Akbar, Sardar Muhammad.  See Sardar Muhammad Akbar.

Akef, Mohammed
Mohammed Mahdi Akef (Arabic: محمد مهدى عاكف) (b. July 12, 1928, Kafr Awad Al Seneita, Dakahliya Province, Egypt – d. September 22, 2017, Cairo, Egypt) was the head of the Muslim Brotherhood, an Egypt-based Islamic political movement, from 2004 until 2010. He assumed the post, that of "general guide" (Arabic: المرشد العام - frequently translated as "chairman") upon the death of his predecessor, Ma'mun al-Hudaybi. Akef was arrested on July 4, 2013. On July 14, 2013 Egypt's new prosecutor general Hisham Barakat ordered his assets to be frozen.
Akef was born in 1928 in Kafr Awad Al Seneita in Dakahliya Province, in the north of Egypt. The year of his birth was the year the Muslim Brotherhood Movement was founded.
Akef obtained his Primary Certificate of Education at Al Mansoura Primary School, and obtained his Secondary Certificate of Education at Cairo- Fuad 1st Secondary School. He then joined the Higher Institute of Physical Education and graduated in May 1950, after which he worked as a teacher at Fuad 1st Secondary School.
Akef first became involved with the Muslim Brotherhood in 1940, which was then led by Hassan al Banna.
Akef joined the Faculty of Law and assumed responsibility for the Brotherhood's training camps at Ibrahim University (present-day Ain Shams University).  This was during the struggle against the British occupation in the Canal preceding the 1952 Revolution, after which he left responsibility to Kamaleddin Hussein, then National Guard Chief.
The last Sections Akef headed in the Muslim Brotherhood before 1954 were the Students Section and the PE Section at the Groups Headquarters.
Akef was arrested on August 1, 1954 and stood trial on charges including smuggling Major General Abdul Munem Abderraoof (one of the Army chiefs who spearheaded the ouster and expulsion of King Farouq), and was sentenced to death in absentia before the ruling was commuted to life imprisonment.
Akef was released in 1974 and was reappointed General Manager of Youth – a department affiliated to the Ministry of Reconstruction.
Akef then moved to Riyadh, Saudi Arabia to work as an advisor for the World Assembly of Muslim Youth and was in charge of its camps and conferences. He took part in organizing the biggest camps for the Muslim youth on the world arena; in Saudi Arabia, Jordan, Malaysia, Bangladesh, Turkey, Australia, Mali, Kenya, Cyprus, Germany, Britain and America.
Beginning in 1987, Akef was a member of the Steering Bureau (Guidance Bureau) of the Muslim Brotherhood.
Akef was elected Member of Parliament in 1987 for the East Cairo electoral constituency.
In 1996, Akef was court-martialed, charged with being head of the Muslim Brotherhood International Organization, and was sentenced to three years. He was released in 1999.
In 2005, he denounced what he called "the myth of the Holocaust" in defending Iranian president Mahmoud Ahmadinejad's denial of the Holocaust, and accused the United States of attacking anyone who raised questions about the Holocaust. 
On October 19, 2009, Egyptian newspapers reported that Akef had resigned as the general guide of the Muslim Brotherhood after a dispute among various leaders in the group. However the following day reports on the Muslim Brotherhood website stated that Akef had not resigned and would continue to serve as the group's general guide until elections in January 2010.
Akef's health deteriorated while he was imprisoned by the Egyptian authorities after the 2013 Egyptian coup d'etat, his daughter affirmed that he was isolated in the prison hospital and was only allowed a visit once a week, despite his old age and poor health.
He died on September 22, 2017 at the age of 89.

Akef, Naima
Naima Akef (Arabic: نعيمة عاكف‎,; 7 October 1929 - 23 April 1966) was a famous Egyptian belly dancer during the Egyptian cinema's golden age and starred in many films of the time. Naima Akef was born in Tanta on the Nile Delta. Her parents were acrobats in the Akef Circus (run by Naima’s grandfather), which was one of the best known circuses at the time. She started performing in the circus at the age of four, and quickly became one of the most popular acts with her acrobatic skills. Her family was based in the Bab el Khalq district of Cairo, but they traveled far and wide in order to perform.

The circus disbanded when Naima was 14, but this was only the beginning of her career. Her grandfather had many connections in the performance world of Cairo and he introduced her to his friends. When Naima’s parents divorced, she formed an acrobatic and clown act that performed in many clubs throughout Cairo. She then got the chance to work in Badeia Masabny's famous nightclub, where she became a star and was one of the very few who danced and sang. Her time with Badeia, however, was short-lived, as Badeia favored her, which made the other performers jealous. One day they ganged up on her and attempted to beat her up, but she proved to be stronger and more agile and won the fight. This caused her to be fired, so she started performing elsewhere.

The Kit Kat club was another famous venue in Cairo, and this is where Naima was introduced to film director Abbas Kemal. His brother Hussein Fawzy, also a film director, was very interested in having Naima star in one of his musical films. The first of such films was “Al-Eïch wal malh” (Bread and Salt). Her costar was singer Saad Abdel Wahab, the nephew of the legendary singer and composer Mohammed Abdel Wahab. The film premiered on the 17th of January 1949, and was an instant success, bringing recognition also to Nahhas Film studios.  Naima quit acting in 1964 to take care of her only child, a son from her second marriage to accountant Salaheldeen Abdel Aleem. She died two years later from cancer, on April 23, 1966, at the age of 36. The filmography of Naima Akef reads as follows:

  • Aish Wal Malh (1949)
  • Lahalibo (1949).
  • Baladi Wa Khafa (1949).
  • Furigat (1950).
  • Baba Areess (1950).
  • Fataat Al Sirk (1951).
  • Ya Halawaat Al Hubb (1952).
  • Arbah Banat Wa Zabit (1954).
  • Aziza (1955).
  • Tamr Henna (1957) with Ahmed Ramzy, Fayza Ahmed and Rushdy Abaza.
  • Amir El Dahaa (1964).

Akhbariyya.  Term which, for the Twelver Shi‘a, denotes those who rely primarily on the traditions (in Arabic, akhbar) of the Prophet Muhammad and the Twelve Imams as a source of religious knowledge and of legal ordinances (ahkam) equal in authority to the Qur’an itself.  A traditionalist current of jurisprudence existed in the lifetimes of the imams themselves, but it was not until the twelfth century that the position of the traditionalists crystallized and the designation Akhbari is first encountered.  The Akhbaris remained generally subordinate to their Usuli rivals until Mullah Muhammad Amin Astarabadi (d. 1624) gave luster to their doctrine and caused it to predominate in Shi‘ite circles -- both in Iran and the Arab lands -- during most of the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries.  The Akhbaris’ supremacy was brought to an end largely by the efforts of the great Usuli scholar, Agha Muhammad Baqir Bihbahani.  Their defeat enabled the scholars of Shi‘ite Islam to be more than sifters of tradition and to assume a direct role in society. After Bihbahani, the Akhbari school survived only in Shi‘ite communities in Khuzistan and on the eastern shore of the Persian Gulf. 

Akhi.  Arabic term which refers to an early Turkish trade guild (or Turkish religious brotherhood).  The term also refers to a member of the fourteenth century Anatolian (Turkish) groups of young men who held to the ideals of futuwwa -- to the ideals of the virtuous.  The akhi were generally of the urban, artisan and middle class.

Akhtar Khan, 'Abdul Rahman
Akhtar Khan, 'Abdul Rahman.  See 'Abdul Rahman Akhtar Khan.

Akhtar-ul-Iman (1915-1996).  An Urdu poet.

Born in Qila, Najibabad, in Bijnor district of Uttar Pradesh in 1915, Akhtar-ul-Iman was a leading Urdu poet and film writer of his time. He had a major influence on modern Urdu nazm. After graduating from Delhi University, he worked in the Civil Supplies Departmant and All India Radio at Delhi. From 1945, after he moved to Mumbai (then Bombay), he started working for Hindi cinema as a script writer. His poetry is highly individualistic and innovative. He stands apart from other poets of his time in his themes, style, langauage. He preferred nazm over more popular ghazal as a means of poetic expression. Akhtar ul Iman's language is coarse and for some seemingly unpoetic. He uses coarse and mundane poetic expressions to make his message effective and realistic. His poetry strives to find a balance between the conflicting or extreme choices faced by man. He chose free verse for his nazms to make his conversational style of expression more realistic. He was strongly influenced by Meeraji and N. M. Rashid and is more closer and similar to them than other poets of his era. He was a close friend of Meeraji and Meeraji lived with him until his death. They together formed Halqa-e-Arbab-e-Adab (Circle of Friends of Poetry). Poets who belong to this circle wrote independent of the idealogy and standards set by the Progressive Writers Movement.  Although they were few in numbers, they contributed significantly and had major influence on later generations of poets. It was also a starting point of Modernisnm in Urdu.

Akhtar-ul-Iman left behind a substantial legacy for a new generation of poets to follow and explored new trends and themes in modern Urdu poetry giving a new direction to the modern and contemporary Urdu nazm with emphasis on philosophical humanism.

His initial education happened at Bijnor, where he came in contact with Khurshid ul Islam (a poet and scholar who taught at Aligarh Muslim University, and developed a long association with Ralph Russell).  He graduated from the Anglo-Arabic College, Delhi.

Akhtar-ul-Iman is the author of Iss Aabad Kharabe Mein, an autobiography of a famous Urdu writer that was published by the Urdu Academy, Delhi, India.  He also has seven collections of poetry to his credit including Tareek Sayyara (1943); Gardyab (1946); Aabjoo (1959); Yaden (1961); Bint-e-Lamhaat (1969); Naya Ahang (1977); and Sar-o-Samaan (1983).  His play Sabrang (1948) is a one verse play.

The contribution Akhtar-ul-Iman to Hindi cinema is quite significant in view of the number of landmark and hit movies he has contributed to as a script writer (dialogue, story and screenplay). His first landmark movie was Kanoon, which became a big hit of its time. Kanoon became a hit despite the fact that it had no songs or comedy sequences. This achievement was unparalleled in Hindi cinema. His other important movies where he contributed as a script writer are Dharmputra (1961), for which he received filmfare award. He also wrote lyrics for Hindi cinema, and the one movie which has lyrics written by him is Bikhare Moti.

The filmography credits for Akhtar-ul-Iman include: Chor Police (1983 - writer); Lahu Pukarega (1980 - director); Do Musafir (1978 - writer); Chandi Sona (1977 - writer); Zameer (1975 - writer); 36 Ghante (1974 - writer); Roti (1974 - writer); Naya Nasha (1973 - writer); Bada Kabutar (1973 - writer); Daag (1973 - writer); Dhund (1973 - writer); Joshila (1973 - writer); Kunwara Badan (1973 - writer); Dastaan (1972 - writer); Joroo Ka Ghulam (1972 - writer); Aadmi Aur Insaan (1969 - writer); Chirag (1969 - writer); Ittefaq (1969 - writer); Aadmi (1968 - writer); Hamraaz (1967 - writer); Patthar Ke Sanam (1967 - writer); Gaban (1966 - writer); Mera Saaya (1966 - writer); Phool Aur Patthar (1966 - writer); Bhoot Bungla (1965 - writer); Waqt (1965 - writer); Shabnam (1964 - writer); Yaadein (1964 - writer); Aaj Aur Kal (1963 - writer); Akeli Mat Jaiyo (1963 - writer); Gumrah (1963 - writer); Aaj Aur Kal (1963 - writer);
Akeli Mat Jaiyo (1963 - writer); Gumrah (1963 - writer); Neeli Aankhen (1962 - writer); Dharmputra (1961 - writer); Flat No. 9 (1961 - writer); Barood (1960 - writer); Kalpana (1960 - writer); Kanoon (1960 - writer); Nirdosh (1950 - writer); Actress (1948 - writer); and Jharna (1948) - writer).

Akhund.  The word akhund has several possible meanings.  As a Persian word, "akhund" means “religious scholar” or “leader.”  Iranian, Turkish and Western writers posit that the prefix "a" is actually a corrupted form of agha, meaning “lord” or “master.”  Focusing on the "khund", another source states that this is derived from the Persian "khandan", meaning “to read”.  However, some Iranian scholars contend that khund is an abbreviation of "Khudavandigar" (“Almighty God”), while some Turkish researchers reject all Persian etymologies.  These Turkish researchers posit that akhund is a transposition of the Greek "arkun" (or "argun"), which was a common title of the Nestorian priests in pre-Islamic Asian regions. These etymological discrepancies point to the fact that no agreement exists as to the derivation of this term.  What can be stated with certainty is the fact that it connotes a title given to religious personalities.  Indeed, among Chinese Muslims, the imam in the mosque is called "ahung".

The first usage of akhund in Iran can be traced to the Timurid period (1409-1506), when personalities of distinguished accomplishments were called akhund.  A Timurid prince by the name of Amir ‘Alishah Nava’i refers to his mentor Mawlana Fasih al-Din Nizami (d. 1513) as akhund for his broad knowledge of traditional and contemplative sciences. Nizami also directed madrashahs (seminaries), which again may explain the usage of this word for religious scholars or leaders.  It can be stated with certainty that akhund was used as an honorific reserved for scholars of distinguished accomplishments during the Timurid period.  The word maintained this connotation during the Safavid period (1501-1722) as well.  Two great philosophers of this period, Mulla Sadra (d. 1640), and Mulla Nasr Allah Hamadani (d. 1632), were referred to as akhund.

In the Qajar period (1796-1925), the usage of akhund became more frequent, and the term was used interchangeably with mullah.  Even teachers of the old fashioned elementary schools (maktabkhanahs) were sometimes referred to as akhunds.  In spite of this wider usage, the term still continued to have an elevated honorific meaning, and the most distinguished religious scholar of the Qajar period, Kazim Khurasani (1839-1911), was called akhund.  Akhund Khurasani’s books are still required readings in the madrasahs of Iran and Iraq.  His Kifayat al-usul has been endorsed by over a hundred leading mujtahids.  However, it is acknowledged that the expanded application of the term akhund resulted in a “devaluation,” and came gradually to signify not a religious leader, but on the contrary one who had failed to reach the degree of ijtihad and whose competence was restricted to the leading of prayers and the teaching of children.

During the Pahlavi period (1925-1979), the usage of akhund as a pejorative term was encouraged by the monarchy, whose distaste for the religious hierarchy was anything but subtle.  The secular anti-religious forces gave a contemptuous ring to the term.  In the government sanctioned press, the term was applied to those who were anachronistic and opposed to “modernization.”  The legacy of this has been the entry of several pejorative derivations of akhund into the Persian language.  These are akhundzadah (one whose father is an akhund), akhundbazi (those who commit illegal acts), and hukumat-i akhundha (rule of the clergy).  Aside from these, one can use the term akhund to simply mean a religious leader. 
“religious scholar” see Akhund.
“leader”   see Akhund.

Akhund-zada (1811-1878).  The first writer of original plays in Azeri Turkish.

Akkoyunlu.  See Aq-Qoyunlu.

‘Alawi.   An offshoot of Shi‘i Islam prevalent in part of northern Syria.  The ‘Alawis (Alawites) were devotees of a sect evolving out of Shi‘ism in nineteenth century Syria.  The term ‘Alawi came to replace that of Nusayri, which had been in usage since the Middle Ages.

The ‘Alawi were an Islamic sect, stemming from the Twelver Shi‘is.  Today, they live in Syria, mainly in the mountains near the city of Latakia, but many also live in the cities of Hama and Homs, and in recent decades there has been a migration to Damascus.  Most ‘Alawis earn their living from agriculture, but the ‘Alawis are also central in the leadership of Syria, as the president, Bashir al-Assad, is an ‘Alawi, as was his father, Hafez al-Assad.

The name ‘Alawi is a recent one -- earlier they were known as Nusayris, Namiriya or Ansariyya. The names “Nusayri” and “Namiriya” came from their first theologian, Muhammadu ibn Nusairi Namiri.  The name “Ansariyya” came from the mountain region in Syria where this sect lived.

From the perspective of the ‘Alawis, ‘Ali, the cousin and son-in-law of Muhammad, is the bearer of the divine essence, in that he is the second most elevated prophet (second only to Muhammad).

The ‘Alawis have seven pillars in their religion.  Five of these are similar to other Muslims, (the creed, the prayers, almsgiving, the pilgrimage to Mecca, and fasting during the month of Ramadan), but the ‘Alawis consider these as symbols, and therefore do not practice what other Muslims consider as duties.  The other two pillars are jihad (holy struggle) and waliya (devotion to Ali, and struggle against his enemies).

The ‘Alawis celebrate the same festivals as most other Shi‘is, like Id al-Fitr, Id al-Kabir and Ashura.  However, they also celebrate some of the same festivals as the Christians, like Christmas and Epiphany, as well as Nawruz, which originally is the Zoroastrian New Year.

Through their history, the ‘Alawis have often been in conflict with the rulers as well as with other Muslims, who often have claimed that the 'Alawis are not Muslims.  In 857, Muhammadu ibn Nusair claimed to be the gate -- the bab -- or the representative of the tenth imam among the Shi‘is, Ali al-Hadi.  In the tenth century, the sect was firmly established by Husayn ibn Hamdan al-Khasibi, during the Shi‘i Hamdanid dynasty of Aleppo.  In 1004, the Hamdanid dynasty fell, and the ‘Alawis were driven out of Aleppo.  Centuries of hardship would follow.  In the twelfth century, the ‘Alawis were badly mistreated by the Crusaders.

In 1971, the 'Alawi, Hafez al-Assad, became president of Syria.  This meant the end of the ‘Alawis being an outcast group in Syrian society.  Since then their status has strongly improved, as well as their living standards.  In 1974, the Lebanese leader of the Twelver Shi‘is, Imam Musa al-Sadr, issued a legal decision saying that the 'Alawis were Shi‘i Muslims. Today, the ‘Alawis consider themselves to be moderate Shi‘i Muslims. 

The Alawis ‎(in Arabic, ‘Alawīyyah) — also known as Nu'sayrī (in Arabic, an-Na'sīriyyah, and al-An'sāriyyah, or in English as Alawites —are a sect of Shī‘a Islam prominent in Syria. Alawi is not to be confused with Alevi, a different religious sect based in Turkey, although they share the same etymology, and may share a common origin.

The Alawis take their name from ‘Alī ibn Abī Tālib, cousin and son-in-law of Muhammad, who was the first Shi'a Imam and the fourth and last "Rightly Guided Caliph" of Sunni Islam.
The origin of the Alawis is disputed. The Alawis themselves trace their origins to the eleventh Imām, Hassan al-‘Askarī (d. 873), and his pupil ibn Nusayr (d. 868).

The sect seems to have been organised by a follower of Muhammad ibn Nusayr known as al-Khasibi, who died in Aleppo in about 969. Al-Khasibi's grandson, al-Tabarani, moved to Latakia on the Syrian coast. After the fall of the Ottoman Empire, Syria and Lebanon came under French mandate. The French recognized the term "Alawi" when they occupied Syria in 1920. The French gave autonomy to the Alawi and other minority groups and accepted them into their colonial troops. Under the mandate, many Alawi chieftains supported the notion of a separate Alawi nation and tried to convert their autonomy into independence. A territory of "Alaouites" was created in 1925. In May 1930, the Government of Latakia was created; it lasted until February 28, 1937, when it was incorporated into Syria.
In 1939, a portion of northwest Syria, the Sanjak of Alexandretta, now Hatay, that contained a large number of Alawis, was given to Turkey by the French, greatly angering the Alawi community and Syrians in general. Zaki al-Arsuzi, the young Alawi leader from Antioch in Iskandarun (later renamed Hatay by the Turks) who led the resistance to the annexation of his province to the Turks, later became a founder of the Ba'ath Party along with the Eastern Orthodox Christian schoolteacher Michel Aflaq. After World War II, Salman Al Murshid played a major role in uniting the Alawi province with Syria. He was executed by the newly independent Syrian government in Damascus on December 12, 1946 only three days after a hasty political trial.

Syria became independent on April 16, 1946. Following the 1948 Arab-Israeli War, Syria endured a succession of military coups in 1949, the rise of the Ba'th Party, and unification of the country with Egypt in the United Arab Republic in 1958. The UAR lasted for three years and broke apart in 1961, when a group of army officers seized power and declared Syria independent again; a further succession of coups ensued until a secretive military committee, which included a number of disgruntled Alawi officers, including Hafez al-Assad and Salah Jadid, helped the Ba'th Party take power in 1963. In 1966, Alawi-oriented military officers successfully rebelled and expelled the old Ba'ath that had looked to the Christian Michel Aflaq and the Sunni Muslim Salah al-Din al-Bitar for leadership. They promoted Zaki al-Arsuzi as the "Socrates" of their reconstituted Ba'ath Party.
In 1970, then-Air Force Colonel Hafez al-Assad took power and instigated a "Correctionist Movement" in the Ba'ath Party. In 1971, al-Assad became president of Syria, a function that the Constitution allows only a Muslim to hold. Then, in 1974, Imam Musa Sadr, leader of the Twelver Shi'ites of Lebanon and founder of the Amal Movement, proclaimed that ‘Alawīs are the brothers of the Shi'ites. Under the dictatorial but secular Assad regime, religious minorities were tolerated, political dissent was not.

After the death of Hafez al-Assad in 2000, his son Bashar al-Assad maintained the outlines of his father's regime. Although the Alawis predominate among the top military and intelligence offices, the civilian government and national economy is largely led by Sunnis, who represent about seventy percent (70%) of Syria's population. The Assad regime is careful to allow all of the religious sects a share of power and influence in the government. Today the Alawis exist as a minority but politically powerful sect in Syria.
Theologically, modern Alawis claim to be Twelver Shi'ites, but traditionally they have been designated as "extremists" (Arabic: ‎ghulat) and outside the bounds of Islam by the Muslim mainstream for their high level of devotion to 'Ali.

The Alawi faith is a somewhat esoteric version of Shia Islam. The Alawis believe 'Ali is the true successor of Muhammad. The Alawis do not accept converts or openly publish their texts, which are passed down from scholar to scholar. The vast majority of the Alawis (the Ammah) know little about the contents of their sacred texts or theology, which are guarded by a small class of male initiates (the Khassah). For initiation, a person must be at least 15 and cannot be a non-’Alawī.

Although the Alawis recognize the five pillars of Islam, they do not believe that anyone has the privilege of practicing them because they are too pure to be performed by "any" soul. The Alawis believe that there is no back door entrance to the gates of Heaven (i.e. follow the five pillars and you receive the keys to heaven). Instead they believe that one should devote his life the way that the prophet Muhammad would have approved by following the example of 'Ali.

Nusayri see ‘Alawi.
Namiriya see ‘Alawi.
Ansariyya see ‘Alawi.
Alawites see ‘Alawi.
Alawiyyah see ‘Alawi.
Na'siriyyah see ‘Alawi.

‘Alawi, Ahmad al-
‘Alawi, Ahmad al- (Abu al-‘Abbas Ahmad ibn Mustafa al-‘Alawi) (1869 - July 14, 1934).  Algerian Sufi and poet.  Called by some, “one of the most celebrated mystic sheikhs of our times,” al-‘Alawi overcame humble origins and a lack of formal education to create a substantial religious clientele with disciples and affiliated zawiyahs throughout the Maghrib, Mashriq, East Africa, Yemen, and even Europe.  His story is one of remarkable spiritual renewal within the idiom of Sufism in an era when Sufis and Sufism were under attack by the reformist Salafiyah movement.

Ahmad al-‘Alawi was born in Mostaganem in western Algeria during the period of intense colonization.  The popular appeal of his teachings and the response they elicited were in part linked to the travails of the Muslim population under the French civilian administration.  Al-‘Alawi’s great-grandfather had been a local notable.  However, the family had fallen on hard times, and his father’s death when the young man was only sixteen forced him into the profession of cobbler, ending what minimal Islamic education he had received.  Al-‘Alawi’s first association with formal Sufism came in the 1880s when he joined the ‘Isawi tariqah.  After attending Isawiyah dhikr gatherings and participating in their more extravagant practices, such as snake charming, al-‘Alawi began to doubt the spiritual merit of the tariqah.  By the time he encountered the celebrated Darqawi Shadhili shaykh, Muhammad al-Buzidi (d. 1909), al-‘Alawi had already distanced himself from the ‘Isawiyah.

Received into the Darqawa tariqah at the hands of al-Buzidi, who also instructed the novice, al-‘Alawi was a muqaddam (one authorized to initiate members into a particular tariqah) by the age of twenty-five, with authority to initiate others into the order.

Al-‘Alawi apparently remained in the Oran until 1909, the year his spiritual master al-Buzidi died.  Then he embarked on a journey to Tunis, Tripoli, and Istanbul, where he lingered until 1910.  The Ottoman Empire was at that time rent by the political upheavals of the Young Turk revolution that deposed the sultan in April 1909.  His experiences in the Ottoman capital during the Committee of Union and Progress’ rule appear to have reinforced al-‘Alawi’s conservative orientation. He returned to his native land shortly thereafter and only returned to the Mashriq for the hajj to Mecca and Medina, visiting Jerusalem and Damascus on the way, just before his death in 1934.

In the Oran, al-‘Alawi’s followers persuaded him after 1909 to serve as head shaykh.  Some five years later he established an order independent from the Moroccan Darqawa.  In Tidgitt, Mostaganem’s purely Muslim quarter, a great zawiyah was constructed overlooking the sea and drew growing numbers of disciples.  The master’s position on the Muslims’ relationship with the colonial regime and on Salafiyah teachings caused conflict with both the Europeans and fellow Muslims.  Denouncing Algerians who had become naturalized French citizens, the shaykh also decried westernization, secularism, and modernization.  As a riposte to the reformist publication Al-shihab, al-‘Alawi created a weekly newspaper to defend Sufism against its detractors.  By his death, al-‘Alawi had written some fifteen works, mostly on Sufism, as well as a diwan of poetry.  Some of these works exist only in manuscript form even today and are found at the Tidgitt zawiyah, where the shaykh was buried in 1934. 

The Alawiyya spread throughout Algeria, as well as in other parts of North Africa, as a result of Sheikh al-Alawi's travels, preaching and writing, and through the activities of his muqaddams (representatives). By the time of Sheikh al-Alawi's death in 1934, he had become one of the best known and most celebrated shaykhs of the century.

The Alawiyya was one of the first Sufi orders to establish a presence in Europe, notably among Algerians in France and Yemenis in Wales. Sheikh Al-Alawi himself traveled to France in 1926, and led the first communal prayer to inaugurate the newly built Paris Mosque in the presence of the French president. Sheikh Al-Alawi understood French well, though he was reluctant to speak it.

The Alawiyya branch also spread as far as Damascus, Syria where an authorization was given to Muhammad al-Hashimi who spread the Alawi branch all throughout the lands of the Levant.

Sheikh Al-Alawi was a Sufi shaykh in the classic Darqawi Shadhili tradition, though his order differed somewhat from the norm in its use of the systematic practice of khalwa and in laying special emphasis on the invocation of the Supreme Name [of God].

In addition to being a classic Sufi shaykh, Sheikh al-Alawi addressed the problems of modern Algerians using modern methods. As well as writing poetry and books on established Sufi topics, he founded and directed two weekly newspapers, the short-lived Lisan al-Din (Language of Faith) in 1912, and the longer-lived Al-balagh al-jazairi (Algerian Messenger) in 1926.

In his preaching and his writings, Sheikh al-Alawi attempted to reconcile Islam and modernity. On the one hand, he criticized Westernization, both at a symbolic level (by discouraging the adoption of Western costumes that lead to ego attachment) and at a practical level (by attacking the growing consumption of alcohol among Algerian Muslims). On the other hand, he encouraged his followers to send their children to school to learn French, and even favored the translation of the Koran into French and Berber for the sake of making it more accessible, a position that was at that time most controversial.

Although Sheikh al-Alawi showed unusual respect for Christians, and was in some ways an early practitioner of inter-religious dialogue, the centerpiece of his message to Christians was that if only they would abandon the doctrines of the trinity and of incarnation "nothing would then separate us."

The great size of his following may be explained by the combination of classic Sufism with engagement in contemporary issues, combined with his own personal charisma, to which many sources, both Algerian and French, speak.


Abu al-‘Abbas Ahmad ibn Mustafa al-‘Alawi see ‘Alawi, Ahmad al-
“one of the most celebrated mystic sheikhs of our times” see ‘Alawi, Ahmad al-

Alawids ('Alawiyyah).  Ruling Sharif dynasty in Morocco since 1666.  Their main capitals were Fez, Meknes (1672-1727) and Rabat (from 1912).  The Alawids, descendants of the Prophet’s grandson al-Hasan, came to Morocco at the end of the thirteenth century and settled to the south of the Haut Atlas and in the oases of Tafilelt. 

With the help of religious brotherhoods, the Alawids were rulers of the Tafilelt region from 1631.  Mulai al-Rashid (r. 1664-1672) conquered Fez and the sultanate in 1666.  His son, Mulai Isma‘il (r. 1672-1727), reorganized the country, created economic prosperity, developed the “dynastic town” of Meknes as a stage for the most important festivals of the Maghreb, and won back Moroccan towns from Europeans (Tangier in 1684, Arzila in 1691).  The ensuing political anarchy was ended by his grandson Sidi Muhammad (r. 1757-1790), who stabilized the country’s economy, via trading agreements with Western powers.  From the start of the nineteenth century, its economy became increasingly dependent on European powers and it suffered military defeats against the French and Spaniards. 

In 1863, a protection treaty was signed with France (the Beclard Convention).  Mulai Hasan (r. 1873-1894) implemented reforms based on the European example.  Young sultans then reigned until 1927 under the tutelage of France, which imposed a French and Spanish protectorate on Morocco in 1912.  The growing nationalist forces gathered around Sultan Sidi Muhammad (r. 1927-1961), who proclaimed Morocco’s independence in March 1956 and assumed the title of king as Muhammad V.   The authoritarian government of his son, Hassan II (r. 1961-1999), completed the decolonization process with partially democratic institutions and great foreign policy flexibility but had to defend itself against a number of attempted coups.  In 1975/76, Hassan occupied the Spanish Sahara and, in 1979, the western Sahara (the “Green Marsh”).  In July 1999, he was succeeded by his son, Muhammad VI. 
'Alawiyyah see Alawids

‘Alawiyah.   Term derived from the name of the cousin and son-in-law of the Prophet Muhammad, ‘Ali ibn Abi Talib (d. 661).  The term ‘Alawiyah was applied originally to those who supported ‘Ali’s exclusive right to lead the Muslim community after the death of the Prophet in 632.  The tenth century Shi‘a writer al-Nawbakhti called them al-Shi‘ah al-‘Alawiyah in his Firaq al-Shi‘ah (“The Shi‘a Sects”).  These Shi‘a – these partisans of ‘Ali – were also called ‘Alawiyun.  According to a Shi‘a source, the Prophet is reported to have told ‘Ali, “At the Day of Resurrection you and your partisans [Shi‘ah] shall come riding on she-camels of light shouting:  We are the followers of ‘Ali [‘Alawiyun]!” Throughout history, the term ‘Alawiyah has been generally used to include all the Shi‘a, whether orthodox or heterodox, who place ‘Ali and his descendants, the imams, at the center of their religious system.  Thus, there is no contradiction in the fact that the Zaydiyah of Yemen, an orthodox school of thought, and the Ithna ‘Ashariyah (Twelvers), considered moderate Shi‘a, are both ‘Alawiyah.  Likewise, heterodox Shi‘a groups, such as the Kizilbash, Takhtajis, and Cepnis of Turkey, the Mutawilah (Mutawallis) of Lebanon, the Shabak and Sarliyah-Kaka’iyah of Iraq, and the ‘Ali Ilahis or Ahl-i Haqq (“People of the Truth”) of Iran, are considered ‘Alawiyah.  However, in modern times , the terms ‘Alawiyah, ‘Alawiyun, ‘Alawites, and ‘Alids exclusively denote the Nusayriyah, an extremist Shi‘a school of thought whose adherents live in the northwestern mountain range of Syria (al-‘Alawiyun Mountain).

The major city of al-‘Alawiyah district is al-Ladhiqiyah (Latakia), famous for its choice tobacco.  The term Nusayriyah is derived from the name Muhammad ibn Nusayr, a follower of the eleventh Shi‘a imam, al-Hasan al-‘Askari (d. 873).  At first, Ibn Nusayr claimed to be the bab (“the gate”) of this imam and privy to the divine mysteries of the twelve Shi‘a imams.  But he went further, proclaiming the apotheosis of al-‘Askari, who therefore condemned him.  The teachings of Ibn Nusayr led to the growth of a school of thought originally called al-Namiriyah because of Ibn Nusayr’s association with the Arab tribe of this name.  But since the time of Abu ‘Abd Allah al-Husayn ibn Hamdan al-Khusaybi (d. 957), the great propagandist of this school, it has been known as Nusayriyah.

In the nineteenth century, because of harsh living conditions, the ‘Alawiyah, who were mostly farmers, began to leave their mountain abode and seek employment in other parts of Syria.  Many of them engaged in menial work and were despised by the Sunni Muslim majority.  In the wake of World War I, the French occupied Syria, and in 1922, they established Dawlat al-‘Alawiyin (the ‘Alawiyun State) for the ‘Alawiyah, whom they called ‘Alawiyun (“Followers of ‘Ali).  Under the French mandate, young ‘Alawi men readily enlisted in the newly established Syrian army, while the Sunni majority, who hated the French imperialists, shunned military service.  When the Arab Socialist (Ba‘th) party was established in the 1940s, many ‘Alawis joined.  By the middle 1960s, they occupied key positions in both army and government.  In 1970, Hafez al-Assad, a high-ranking ‘Alawi military officer, overthrew the government in a coup d’etat, and in February 1971 he became the first ‘Alawi president of Syria.

The ‘Alawiyah are extremist Shi ‘a, known as ghulat (“exaggerators”), whose religious system separates them from Sunni Muslims.  The fundamental article of their religion is the absolute oneness of God, but they do not attempt to define God’s existence or attributes either philosophically or theologically.  Like another group of ghulat, the Ahl-i Haqq, they believe that God appeared on earth seven times in human form, and that ‘Ali was the last manifestation of the deity and the consummate reality in whom all previous manifestations found their ultimate end and completion.  But this God who appeared in seven forms has three personalities, corresponding to a trinity comprised of ‘Ali, also called the Ma‘na (Meaning or Causal Determinant), Muhammad (God’s ism, or “name”), and Salman al-Farisi (God’s bab).  This God ‘Ali, the creator of heaven and earth, also created Muhammad and charged him to preach the message of the Qur’an.  Thus, Muhammad cannot be homologous with ‘Ali in his divinity; he occupies an inferior position in the trinity.  Like the Ithna ‘Ashariyah, the ‘Alawiyah believe that the twelve imams possess divine knowledge and have babs who transmit this knowledge to the faithful of their generation.  When the twelfth and last imam, Muhammad (the Mahdi), disappeared at the end of the ninth century, Ibn Nusayr claimed to be his bab, as he had done before with his father al-Askari.  The ‘Alawiyah maintain that every generation should have an imam to uphold the Shi‘a faith.

Worship of light forms is an essential part of the ‘Alawiyah religious system, which probably has its origin in the astral religion of the Sabaeans.  This light, symbolized by the sun, is the mystery of God; thus ‘Ali is surrounded by light and dwells in the sun (shams).  Those who hold this belief are called Shamsis.  The Qamaris, however, believe that the God ‘Ali dwells in the moon (qamar), and that the black spots which appear on the moon are the embodiment of the worshiped ‘Ali, who carries his famous sword Dhu al-Fiqar (that which has splitting power).

One of the unique doctrines of the ‘Alawiyah concerns spiritual hierarchies.  They believe that there are countless worlds known to God, chief among them al-‘Alam al-Nurani (World of Light), inhabited by spirits of many ranks, including the Aytam (Incomparables), Naqibs (Princes), Najibs (Excellent Ones), Mukhtassun (Peculiars), Mukhlisun (Pure in Faith), and Mumtahanun (the Tried), who correspond to the ranks of angels.  They also acknowledge al-‘Alam al-Turabi (Earthly World), where men reside.  They believe in the metempsychosis of human beings, animals, and plants.  At death the soul of a good ‘Alawi will pass into another human body, while that of a wicked one will pass into an unclean or predatory animal.  The ‘Alawiyah are very secretive, refusing to divulge their beliefs to strangers.  They resort to taqiyah (dissimulation) to preserve their ancient religion, especially the belief in the principles of good and evil, symbolized by light and darkness, which depends on an allegorical interpretation of the Qur’an and the traditions of the prophet Muhammad.  For this reason, initiation into the mysteries of this school is an extremely important ceremony which may have its origins in Sufism and Hikmat al-Ishraq (Neoplatonism).

The ‘Alawiyah celebrate many of the Muslim festivals, like ‘Id al-Fitr and ‘Id al-Adha.  Like the rest of the Shi‘a, they observe ‘Ashura’ to commemorate the martyrdom of the imam al-Husayn, whom they regard as divine and liken to Jesus Christ.  They also celebrate Persian festivals, chiefly the Nawruz (New Year), because of their belief in the superiority of the Persians over the Arabs.  They believe that after the Arabs rejected ‘Ali, he appeared as the Ma‘na in the person of the Persian Sassanian kings.  They also celebrate some Christian festivals including Epiphany, Pentecost, Palm Sunday, and the feasts of John the Baptist, John Chrysostom, Barbara, and Mary Magdalene.   The ‘Alawiyah also celebrate Mass, including consecration of bread and wine, albeit in a Shi‘a context.  In the Mass, the great mystery of God is the sacrament of the flesh and blood which Christ offered to his disciples at the Last Supper, but the ‘Alawiyah maintain that the mystery of faith is ‘Ali the light, who is manifested in the wine.  This indicates that they may have Christian origins.  At the very least, they were greatly influenced by their Christian neighbors. 
Shi‘ah al-‘Alawiyah, al-  see ‘Alawiyah.
‘Alawiyun see ‘Alawiyah.

‘Alawiyya.   Another name (the other being Filali) under which the reigning Alawid dynasty in Morocco is known.  The ‘Alawiyya/Filali dynasty was established in 1631 by Muhammad I al-Sharif of Tafilalt.  {See also Alawids and Filali.}
Alawids see ‘Alawiyya.
Filali see ‘Alawiyya.

Albanians. Albania is the only European state of which the majority of the population is Muslim.  No religious census exists for contemporary Albania, but it is generally accepted that seventy percent are Muslim or the unpracticing descendants of Muslims. In northern Albania, there is a Roman Catholic population (ten percent of the total), and in the south, an Orthodox one (twenty percent of the total), with an almost exclusively Muslim Albania population in the central region.  In addition, there are roughly half as many Albanians in Yugoslavia as in Albania proper.  Some seventy percent of these reside in Kosovo (an autonomous province of Serbia), with most of the remainder in Macedonia, Montenegro and southern Serbia, but also scattered as migrant workers elsewhere in Yugoslavia.  Nearly all of these Yugoslav Albanians are Muslim. 

There also exists an immigrant population of Albanian Muslims in Turkey, which continues to be replenished from Yugoslavia, and a still smaller group in Egypt.  All other major communities of expatriate Albanians (in Italy, Greece, Bulgaria, the United States) are overwhelmingly Christian. The Albanian people are thought to be derived predominantly from Illyrians who inhabited the Dinaric region in classical and post-classical times. 

By the end of the Roman Empire, of which the area now Albania was a part, much of the region had been converted to Christianity.  With the schism between Eastern and Western churches, the Albanians divided their allegiance accordingly.  Later, following the Ottoman conquest in the late fourteenth century, great numbers converted to Islam.  Many Albanian Muslims served in the Ottoman armies (often converting specifically for this purpose) and played a significant role in the Ottoman administration.  A national consciousness developed relatively late, and an independent Albania was not created until 1912.  The majority of Albanian Muslims are Sunni.  However, some are followers of the Bektashiyya Sufi order, a tariqa of the Shi‘a branch of Islam.

Today, the Albanian people, from southeast Europe, live in Albania and neighbouring countries and speak the Albanian language. About half of Albanians live in Albania, with other large groups residing in Kosovo, the Republic of Macedonia, Serbia, and Montenegro. There are also Albanian minorities and immigrant communities in a number of other countries (Turkey, Greece and Italy).

Albanians are the descendants of a Paleo-Balkans people, perhaps the ancient Illyrians or the Thracians and Dacians. Scholarly opinion is divided on specifics. Names similar to the ones used to describe the Albanians, albeit much later, were used in the 2nd century B.C.T. by Polybius (Arbanios, Arbanitai with their city Arbon), the 1st century C.C. by Pliny (Olbonensis), and the 2nd century C.C. by geographer and astronomer Ptolemy (Albanoi), to describe an Illyrian tribe situated in what is now Central Albania with Albanopolis as their main city.

The ethnonym applied to the people now known as Albanians is first attested from the 11th century, although such a nominal connection does not prove an actual link to the Illyrian tribe. The first reference to a lingua albanesca dates to the later 13th century.

Due to the high rate of migration of various ethnic groups throughout the Balkans in the last two decades, exact figures are difficult to obtain. A tenuous breakdown of Albanians by location is as follows:

Approximately 6 million Albanians are to be found within the Balkan peninsula with only about half this number residing in Albania and the other divided between Kosovo, Montenegro, the Republic of Macedonia, Greece and to a much smaller extent Bosnia, Croatia, Slovenia and Romania. Approximately 1,5 million are dispersed throughout the rest of Europe, most of these in the United Kingdom, Germany, Switzerland, Sweden, Italy (the majority having arrived since 1991, but also older populations of Arbëreshë), Austria and France.

Both the Kosovo and the western regions of the Republic of Macedonia have in recent years seen armed movements aiming either for independence, greater autonomy, or increased political rights. Further clashes were also reported in the Preševo Valley during the period between 2000 to 2001 (in the lead-up to the Macedonian conflict).

In February 2008, the Provisional Institutions of Self-Government declared Kosovo's independence as the Republic of Kosovo (Republika e Kosovës). Its independence is recognized by some countries and opposed by others, including the Republic of Serbia, which continues to claim sovereignty over it as the Autonomous Province of Kosovo and Metohija.

The conflict in the Republic of Macedonia seems to have calmed down. It was resolved by the Macedonian government giving the Albanian minority a greater role in the government and the right to use the Albanian language in areas where the Albanians form a majority.

It is worth mentioning that rights to use the Albanian language in education and government were given and guaranteed by the Constitution of SFRY and were widely utilized in Serbia, Macedonia, and in Montenegro long before Dissolution of Yugoslavia. The only thing that changed in that matter is that before NATO intervention in 1999, there were information services and news ("Dnevnik") broadcaster in Albanian language on the Serbian National Radio and Television, RTS.

According to a 2008 report prepared for the National Security Council of Turkey by academics of three Turkish universities in eastern Anatolia, there were approximately 1,300,000 Albanians living in Turkey. Most of these people are assimilated into the Turkish nation, and consider themselves Turkish rather than Albanian. Around 500,000 Albanians remain unassimilated.
Albanians in Greece are divided into different groupings, due to distinct historical waves of migration. The first comprises the Chams, a group of ethnic Albanians who originally resided in areas of Greek Epirus but today live mainly in Albania, Turkey and the United States. Chams speak the Albanian language and are predominantly Muslim. The designation of the Orthodox Christian Albanophone minority of Epirus as Chams is controversial, as most prefer to identify as Arvanites. The Arvanites are descendants of Albanian immigrants from the 11th to the 15th century that have been largely assimilated by the dominant Greek-speaking population and generally self-identify as Greeks. They reside mainly in Attica, Euboea and Morea. Finally, Albanian nationals who entered Greece during the 1990s, mainly as illegal immigrants, comprise the largest single expatriate group in the country. According to the 2001 census, there were 481,663 holders of Albanian citizenship in Greece.

At the end of World War II, nearly all Muslim Chams in Greece were expelled to Albania. They were accused by EDES for having collaborated with occupation forces. Indeed, several hundred Chams had collaborated with the Axis Powers, as part of the Balli Kombëtar. However, approximately the same amount of Muslim Chams provided military support to the Greek resistance forces of the ELAS (Greek People's Liberation Army), while the rest were civilians uninvolved in the war.

According to Miranda Vickers, Greek Orthodox Chams remained in Greece, but have suffered from assimilation and public suppression of their Albanian heritage and language.

In the United States the number Albanians reached 500,000 according to the latest 2006 United States Census estimates, while in Canada approximately 15,000 as of the 2001 census. In Australia and New Zealand, there are 12,000 Albanians in total. In Egypt, there are 18,000 Albanians, mostly Tosk speakers. Many are descendants of the soldiers of Mehmet Ali (Muhammad Ali). A large part of the former nobility of Egypt was Albanian in origin. A small community also resides in South Africa.

Albategnius.  See Abu-Abdullah Muhammad ibn Jabir al-Battani.

Albatenius.  See Abu-Abdullah Muhammad ibn Jabir al-Battani.

Albohali.  See Abu ‘Ali Yahya al-Khayyat.

Albohazen.  See Abu ‘l-Hasan ibn Abi ‘l-Rijal.

Albubather.  See Abu Bakr ibn al-Khasib.

Albuleizor.  See Ibn Zuhr.

Albumasar.  See Abu Ma‘shar al-Balkhi.

Alcabitius.  See ‘Abd al-‘Aziz al-Qabisi.

Alcindor, Lew
Alcindor, Lew. See Kareem Abdul-Jabbar.

Alexander of Aphrodisias
Alexander of Aphrodisias (in Arabic, al-Iskandar al-Afrudisi).   As was the case in medieval Europe and at the time of the Renaissance, the Peripatetic philosopher was regarded in Islamic countries as the most authoritative of the ancient commentators of Aristotle.  His materialistic arguments against the immortality of the human soul gave rise to wide discussions which spread from Islamic to Christian learned circles.  A major theme in the correspondence between Emperor Frederick II Hohenstaufen and the Sufi Ibn Sab‘in is the difference between Aristotle and Alexander over this question. 

Alexander of Aphrodisias was the most celebrated of the Ancient Greek commentators on the writings of Aristotle. He was styled, by way of pre-eminence, "the expositor"  Alexander was a native of Aphrodisias in Caria and came to Athens towards the end of the second century. He was a student of the two Stoic, or possibly Peripatetic, philosophers Sosigenes and Herminus, and perhaps of Aristotle of Mytilene. At Athens, he became head of the Lyceum and lectured on Peripatetic philosophy. Alexander's dedication of On Fate to Septimius Severus and Caracalla, in gratitude for his position at Athens, indicates a date between 198 and 209. A contemporary inscription from Aphrodisias confirms that Alexander was head of one of the Schools at Athens and gives his full name as Titus Aurelius Alexander. His full nomenclature shows that his grandfather or other ancestor was probably given Roman citizenship by the emperor Antoninus Pius, while proconsul of Asia. The inscription honors his father, also called Alexander and also a philosopher. This fact makes it plausible that some of the suspect works that form part of Alexander's corpus should be ascribed to his father.

Alexander composed several commentaries on the works of Aristotle, in which he sought to escape a syncretistic tendency and to recover the pure doctrines of Aristotle. His commentaries are still extant on Prior Analytics (Book 1), Topics, Meteorology, Sense and Sensibilia, and Metaphysics (Books 1-5, together with an abridgment of his commentary on the remaining books).

There are several original writings by Alexander still extant. The most important of these are a work entitled On Fate, in which Alexander argues against the Stoic doctrine of necessity; and On the Soul, in which he contends that the undeveloped reason in man is material (nous hulikos) and inseparable from the body. He argued strongly against the doctrine of the soul's immortality. He identified the active intellect (nous poietikos), through whose agency the potential intellect in man becomes actual, with God.

The commentaries of Alexander were greatly esteemed among the Arabs, who translated many of them.  Alexander was heavily quoted by Maimonides.

In 1210, the Church Council of Paris issued a condemnation, which probably targeted the writings of Alexander among others.

In the early Renaissance, Alexander's doctrine of the soul's mortality was adopted by Pietro Pomponazzi (against the Thomists and the Averroists), and by his successor Cesare Cremonini. This school is known as Alexandrists.

Alexander's band, an optical phenomenon, is named after him.

Iskandar al-Afrudisi, al- see Alexander of Aphrodisias
The Expositor see Alexander of Aphrodisias
Titus Aurelius Alexander see Alexander of Aphrodisias

Alexander the Great
Alexander the Great (356 B.C.T. -  June 13, 323 B.C.T.).  Macedonian general and empire builder.  It is generally agreed that the epithet “the two-horned” in Qur’an 18:82-98 is to be identified with Alexander the Great.  There it is said that he was given power on earth and that he built a wall or rampart of iron and brass against the incursions of Gog and Magog.

Alexander the Great , also known as Alexander III of Macedon was an ancient Greek King (basileus) of Macedon (336–323 B.C.T.). He was one of the most successful military commanders of all time and is presumed undefeated in battle. By the time of his death, he had conquered the Achaemenid Persian Empire, adding it to Macedon's European territories. 

Alexander the Great, also known as Alexander III or Alexander of Macedonia  (b. 356 B.C.T., Pella, Macedonia—d. June 13, 323 B.C.T., Babylon), king of Macedonia (336–323 B.C.T.). He overthrew the Persian Empire, carried Macedonian arms to India, and laid the foundations for the Hellenistic world of territorial kingdoms. Already in his lifetime the subject of fabulous stories, he later became the hero of a full-scale legend bearing only the sketchiest resemblance to his historical career.

Alexander was born in 356 B.C.T. at Pella in Macedonia, the son of Philip II and Olympias (daughter of King Neoptolemus of Epirus). From age 13 to 16 he was taught by Aristotle, who inspired him with an interest in philosophy, medicine, and scientific investigation; but he was later to advance beyond his teacher’s narrow precept that non-Greeks should be treated as slaves. Left in charge of Macedonia in 340 during Philip’s attack on Byzantium, Alexander defeated the Maedi, a Thracian people; two years later he commanded the left wing at the Battle of Chaeronea, in which Philip defeated the allied Greek states, and displayed personal courage in breaking the Sacred Band of Thebes. A year later Philip divorced Olympias; and, after a quarrel at a feast held to celebrate his father’s new marriage, Alexander and his mother fled to Epirus, and Alexander later went to Illyria. Shortly afterward, father and son were reconciled and Alexander returned; but his position as heir was jeopardized.

In 336, however, on Philip’s assassination, Alexander, acclaimed by the army, succeeded without opposition. He at once executed the princes of Lyncestis, alleged to be behind Philip’s murder, along with all possible rivals and the whole of the faction opposed to him. He then marched south, recovered a wavering Thessaly, and at an assembly of the Greek League at Corinth was appointed generalissimo for the forthcoming invasion of Asia, already planned and initiated by Philip. Returning to Macedonia by way of Delphi (where the Pythian priestess acclaimed him “invincible”), he advanced into Thrace in spring 335 and, after forcing the Shipka Pass and crushing the Triballi, crossed the Danube to disperse the Getae; turning west, he then defeated and shattered a coalition of Illyrians who had invaded Macedonia. Meanwhile, a rumor of his death had precipitated a revolt of Theban democrats; other Greek states favored Thebes, and the Athenians, urged on by Demosthenes, voted help. In 14 days Alexander marched 240 miles from Pelion (near modern Korçë, Albania) in Illyria to Thebes. When the Thebans refused to surrender, he made an entry and razed their city to the ground, sparing only temples and Pindar’s house; 6,000 were killed and all survivors sold into slavery. The other Greek states were cowed by this severity, and Alexander could afford to treat Athens leniently. Macedonian garrisons were left in Corinth, Chalcis, and the Cadmea (the citadel of Thebes).

From his accession Alexander had set his mind on the Persian expedition. He had grown up with the idea. Moreover, he needed the wealth of Persia if he was to maintain the army built by Philip and pay off the 500 talents he owed. The exploits of the Ten Thousand, Greek soldiers of fortune, and of Agesilaus of Sparta, in successfully campaigning in Persian territory had revealed the vulnerability of the Persian Empire. With a good cavalry force Alexander could expect to defeat any Persian army. In spring 334 he crossed the Dardanelles, leaving Antipater, who had already faithfully served his father, as his deputy in Europe with over 13,000 men; he himself commanded about 30,000 foot and over 5,000 cavalry, of whom nearly 14,000 were Macedonians and about 7,000 allies sent by the Greek League. This army was to prove remarkable for its balanced combination of arms. Much work fell on the lightarmed Cretan and Macedonian archers, Thracians, and the Agrianian javelin men. But in pitched battle the striking force was the cavalry, and the core of the army, should the issue still remain undecided after the cavalry charge, was the infantry phalanx, 9,000 strong, armed with 13-foot spears and shields, and the 3,000 men of the royal battalions, the hypaspists. Alexander’s second in command was Parmenio, who had secured a foothold in Asia Minor during Philip’s lifetime; many of his family and supporters were entrenched in positions of responsibility. The army was accompanied by surveyors, engineers, architects, scientists, court officials, and historians; from the outset Alexander seems to have envisaged an unlimited operation.
After visiting Ilium (Troy), a romantic gesture inspired by Homer, he confronted his first Persian army, led by three satraps (Persian provincial governors), at the Granicus (modern Kocabaş) River, near the Sea of Marmara (May/June 334). The Persian plan to tempt Alexander across the river and kill him in the melee almost succeeded; but the Persian line broke, and Alexander’s victory was complete. Darius’ Greek mercenaries were largely massacred, but 2,000 survivors were sent back to Macedonia in chains. This victory exposed western Asia Minor to the Macedonians, and most cities hastened to open their gates. The tyrants were expelled and (in contrast to Macedonian policy in Greece) democracies were installed. Alexander thus underlined his Panhellenic policy, already symbolized in the sending of 300 panoplies (sets of armour) taken at the Granicus as an offering dedicated to Athena at Athens by “Alexander son of Philip and the Greeks (except the Spartans) from the barbarians who inhabit Asia.” (This formula, cited by the Greek historian Arrian in his history of Alexander’s campaigns, is noteworthy for its omission of any reference to Macedonia.) But the cities remained de facto under Alexander, and his appointment of Calas as satrap of Hellespontine Phrygia reflected his claim to succeed the Great King of Persia. When Miletus, encouraged by the proximity of the Persian fleet, resisted, Alexander took it by assault; but, refusing a naval battle, he disbanded his own costly navy and announced that he would “defeat the Persian fleet on land,” by occupying the coastal cities. In Caria, Halicarnassus resisted and was stormed; but Ada, the widow and sister of the satrap Idrieus, adopted Alexander as her son and, after expelling her brother Pixodarus, Alexander restored her to her satrapy. Some parts of Caria held out, however, until 332.

In the winter of 334–333 Alexander conquered western Asia Minor, subduing the hill tribes of Lycia and Pisidia; and in the spring of 333 he advanced along the coastal road to Perga, passing the cliffs of Mt. Climax, thanks to a fortunate change of wind. The fall in the level of the sea was interpreted as a mark of divine favor by Alexander’s flatterers, including the historian Callisthenes. At Gordium in Phrygia, tradition records his cutting of the Gordian knot, which could only be loosed by the man who was to rule Asia; but this story may be apocryphal or at least distorted. At this point Alexander benefitted from the sudden death of Memnon, the competent Greek commander of the Persian fleet. From Gordium he pushed on to Ancyra (modern Ankara) and thence south through Cappadocia and the Cilician Gates (modern Külek Boğazi); a fever held him up for a time in Cilicia. Meanwhile, Darius with his Grand Army had advanced northward on the eastern side of Mt. Amanus. Intelligence on both sides was faulty, and Alexander was already encamped by Myriandrus (near modern Iskenderun, Turkey) when he learned that Darius was astride his line of communications at Issus, north of Alexander’s position (autumn 333). Turning, Alexander found Darius drawn up along the Pinarus River. In the battle that followed, Alexander won a decisive victory. The struggle turned into a Persian rout and Darius fled, leaving his family in Alexander’s hands; the women were treated with chivalrous care.

From Issus, Alexander marched south into Syria and Phoenicia, his object being to isolate the Persian fleet from its bases and so to destroy it as an effective fighting force. The Phoenician cities Marathus and Aradus came over quietly, and Parmenio was sent ahead to secure Damascus and its rich booty, including Darius’ war chest. In reply to a letter from Darius offering peace, Alexander replied arrogantly, recapitulating the historic wrongs of Greece and demanding unconditional surrender to himself as lord of Asia. After taking Byblos (modern Jubayl) and Sidon (Arabic Ṣaydā), he met with a check at Tyre, where he was refused entry into the island city. He thereupon prepared to use all methods of siegecraft to take it, but the Tyrians resisted, holding out for seven months. In the meantime (winter 333–332) the Persians had counterattacked by land in Asia Minor—where they were defeated by Antigonus, the satrap of Greater Phrygia—and by sea, recapturing a number of cities and islands.

While the siege of Tyre was in progress, Darius sent a new offer: he would pay a huge ransom of 10,000 talents for his family and cede all his lands west of the Euphrates. “I would accept,” Parmenio is reported to have said, “were I Alexander”; “I too,” was the famous retort, “were I Parmenio.” The storming of Tyre in July 332 was Alexander’s greatest military achievement; it was attended with great carnage and the sale of the women and children into slavery. Leaving Parmenio in Syria, Alexander advanced south without opposition until he reached Gaza on its high mound; there bitter resistance halted him for two months, and he sustained a serious shoulder wound during a sortie. There is no basis for the tradition that he turned aside to visit Jerusalem.

In November 332 Alexander reached Egypt. The people welcomed him as their deliverer, and the Persian satrap (provincial governor) Mazaces wisely surrendered. At Memphis, Alexander sacrificed to Apis, the Greek term for Hapi, the sacred Egyptian bull, and was crowned with the traditional double crown of the pharaohs; the native priests were placated and their religion encouraged. He spent the winter organizing Egypt, where he employed Egyptian governors, keeping the army under a separate Macedonian command. He founded the city of Alexandria near the western arm of the Nile on a fine site between the sea and Lake Mareotis, protected by the island of Pharos, and had it laid out by the Rhodian architect Deinocrates. He is also said to have sent an expedition to discover the causes of the flooding of the Nile. From Alexandria he marched along the coast to Paraetonium and from there inland to visit the celebrated oracle of the god Amon (at Sīwah); the difficult journey was later embroidered with flattering legends. On his reaching the oracle in its oasis, the priest gave him the traditional salutation of a pharaoh, as son of Amon; Alexander consulted the god on the success of his expedition but revealed the reply to no one. Later the incident was to contribute to the story that he was the son of Zeus and, thus, to his “deification.” In spring 331 he returned to Tyre, appointed a Macedonian provincial governor for Syria, and prepared to advance into Mesopotamia. His conquest of Egypt had completed his control of the whole eastern Mediterranean coast.

By July 331 Alexander was at Thapsacus on the Euphrates. Instead of taking the direct route down the river to Babylon, he made across northern Mesopotamia toward the Tigris, and Darius, learning of this move from an advance force sent under Mazaeus to the Euphrates crossing, marched up the Tigris to oppose him. The decisive battle of the war was fought on October 31, on the plain of Gaugamela between Nineveh and Arbela. Alexander pursued the defeated Persian forces for 35 miles to Arbela, but Darius escaped with his Bactrian cavalry and Greek mercenaries into Media.

Alexander now occupied Babylon, city and province; Mazaeus, who surrendered it, was confirmed as satrap in conjunction with a Macedonian troop commander, and quite exceptionally was granted the right to coin. As in Egypt, the local priesthood was encouraged. Susa, the capital, also surrendered, releasing huge treasures amounting to 50,000 gold talents; here Alexander established Darius’ family in comfort. Crushing the mountain tribe of the Ouxians, he now pressed on over the Zagros range into Persia proper and, successfully turning the Pass of the Persian Gates, held by the satrap Ariobarzanes, he entered Persepolis and Pasargadae. At Persepolis he ceremonially burned down the palace of Xerxes, as a symbol that the Panhellenic war of revenge was at an end; for such seems the probable significance of an act that tradition later explained as a drunken frolic inspired by Thaïs, an Athenian courtesan. In spring 330 Alexander marched north into Media and occupied its capital Ecbatana. The Thessalians and Greek allies were sent home; henceforward he was waging a purely personal war.

As Mazaeus’ appointment indicated, Alexander’s views on the empire were changing. He had come to envisage a joint ruling people consisting of Macedonians and Persians, and this served to augment the misunderstanding that now arose between him and his people. Before continuing his pursuit of Darius, who had retreated into Bactria, he assembled all the Persian treasure and entrusted it to Harpalus, who was to hold it at Ecbatana as chief treasurer. Parmenio was also left behind in Media to control communications; the presence of this older man had perhaps become irksome.

In midsummer 330 Alexander set out for the eastern provinces at a high speed via Rhagae (modern Rayy, near Tehrān) and the Caspian Gates, where he learned that Bessus, the satrap of Bactria, had deposed Darius. After a skirmish near modern Shāhrūd, the usurper had Darius stabbed and left him to die. Alexander sent his body for burial with due honors in the royal tombs at Persepolis.

Darius’ death left no obstacle to Alexander’s claim to be Great King, and a Rhodian inscription of this year (330) calls him “lord of Asia”—i.e., of the Persian Empire; soon afterward his Asian coins carry the title of king. Crossing the Elburz Mountains to the Caspian, he seized Zadracarta in Hyrcania and received the submission of a group of satraps and Persian notables, some of whom he confirmed in their offices; in a diversion westward, perhaps to modern Āmol, he reduced the Mardi, a mountain people who inhabited the Elburz Mountains. He also accepted the surrender of Darius’ Greek mercenaries. His advance eastward was now rapid. In Aria he reduced Satibarzanes, who had offered submission only to revolt, and he founded Alexandria of the Arians (modern Herāt). At Phrada in Drangiana (either near modern Nad-e ʿAli in Seistan or farther north at Farah), he at last took steps to destroy Parmenio and his family. Philotas, Parmenio’s son, commander of the elite Companion cavalry, was implicated in an alleged plot against Alexander’s life, condemned by the army, and executed; and a secret message was sent to Cleander, Parmenio’s second in command, who obediently assassinated him. This ruthless action excited widespread horror but strengthened Alexander’s position relative to his critics and those whom he regarded as his father’s men. All Parmenio’s adherents were now eliminated and men close to Alexander promoted. The Companion cavalry was reorganized in two sections, each containing four squadrons (now known as hipparchies); one group was commanded by Alexander’s oldest friend, Hephaestion, the other by Cleitus, an older man. From Phrada, Alexander pressed on during the winter of 330–329 up the valley of the Helmand River, through Arachosia, and over the mountains past the site of modern Kābul into the country of the Paropamisadae, where he founded Alexandria by the Caucasus.

Bessus was now in Bactria raising a national revolt in the eastern satrapies with the usurped title of Great King. Crossing the Hindu Kush northward over the Khawak Pass (11,650 feet), Alexander brought his army, despite food shortages, to Drapsaca (sometimes identified with modern Banu [Andarab], probably farther north at Qunduz); outflanked, Bessus fled beyond the Oxus (modern Amu Darya), and Alexander, marching west to Bactra-Zariaspa (modern Balkh [Wazirabad] in Afghanistan), appointed loyal satraps in Bactria and Aria. Crossing the Oxus, he sent his general Ptolemy in pursuit of Bessus, who had meanwhile been overthrown by the Sogdian Spitamenes. Bessus was captured, flogged, and sent to Bactra, where he was later mutilated after the Persian manner (losing his nose and ears); in due course he was publicly executed at Ecbatana.

From Maracanda (modern Samarkand) Alexander advanced by way of Cyropolis to the Jaxartes (modern Syrdarya), the boundary of the Persian Empire. There he broke the opposition of the Scythian nomads by his use of catapults and, after defeating them in a battle on the north bank of the river, pursued them into the interior. On the site of modern Leninabad (Khojent) on the Jaxartes, he founded a city, Alexandria Eschate, “the farthest.” Meanwhile, Spitamenes had raised all Sogdiana in revolt behind him, bringing in the Massagetai, a people of the Śaka confederacy. It took Alexander until the autumn of 328 to crush the most determined opponent he encountered in his campaigns. Later in the same year he attacked Oxyartes and the remaining barons who held out in the hills of Paraetacene (modern Tadzhikistan); volunteers seized the crag on which Oxyartes had his stronghold, and among the captives was his daughter, Roxana. In reconciliation Alexander married her, and the rest of his opponents were either won over or crushed.

An incident that occurred at Maracanda widened the breach between Alexander and many of his Macedonians. He murdered Cleitus, one of his most trusted commanders, in a drunken quarrel; but his excessive display of remorse led the army to pass a decree convicting Cleitus posthumously of treason. The event marked a step in Alexander’s progress toward Eastern absolutism, and this growing attitude found its outward expression in his use of Persian royal dress. Shortly afterward, at Bactra, he attempted to impose the Persian court ceremonial, involving prostration (proskynesis), on the Greeks and Macedonians too; but to them this custom, habitual for Persians entering the king’s presence, implied an act of worship and was intolerable before a man. Even Callisthenes, historian and nephew of Aristotle, whose ostentatious flattery had perhaps encouraged Alexander to see himself in the role of a god, refused to abase himself. Macedonian laughter caused the experiment to founder, and Alexander abandoned it. Shortly afterward, however, Callisthenes was held to be privy to a conspiracy among the royal pages and was executed (or died in prison; accounts vary); resentment of this action alienated sympathy from Alexander within the Peripatetic school of philosophers, with which Callisthenes had close connections.

In early summer 327 Alexander left Bactria with a reinforced army under a reorganized command. If Plutarch’s figure of 120,000 men has any reality, however, it must include all kinds of auxiliary services, together with muleteers, camel drivers, medical corps, peddlers, entertainers, women, and children; the fighting strength perhaps stood at about 35,000. Recrossing the Hindu Kush, probably by Bamiyan and the Ghorband Valley, Alexander divided his forces. Half the army with the baggage under Hephaestion and Perdiccas, both cavalry commanders, was sent through the Khyber Pass, while he himself led the rest, together with his siege train, through the hills to the north. His advance through Swāt and Gandhāra was marked by the storming of the almost impregnable pinnacle of Aornos, the modern Pir-Sar, a few miles west of the Indus and north of the Buner River, an impressive feat of siegecraft. In spring 326, crossing the Indus near Attock, Alexander entered Taxila, whose ruler, Taxiles, furnished elephants and troops in return for aid against his rival Porus, who ruled the lands between the Hydaspes (modern Jhelum) and the Acesines (modern Chenāb). In June Alexander fought his last great battle on the left bank of the Hydaspes. He founded two cities there, Alexandria Nicaea (to celebrate his victory) and Bucephala (named after his horse Bucephalus, which died there); and Porus became his ally.

How much Alexander knew of India beyond the Hyphasis (probably the modern Beas) is uncertain; there is no conclusive proof that he had heard of the Ganges. But he was anxious to press on farther, and he had advanced to the Hyphasis when his army mutinied, refusing to go farther in the tropical rain; they were weary in body and spirit, and Coenus, one of Alexander’s four chief marshals, acted as their spokesman. On finding the army adamant, Alexander agreed to turn back.

On the Hyphasis he erected 12 altars to the 12 Olympian gods, and on the Hydaspes he built a fleet of 800 to 1,000 ships. Leaving Porus, he then proceeded down the river and into the Indus, with half his forces on shipboard and half marching in three columns down the two banks. The fleet was commanded by Nearchus, and Alexander’s own captain was Onesicritus; both later wrote accounts of the campaign. The march was attended with much fighting and heavy, pitiless slaughter; at the storming of one town of the Malli near the Hydraotes (Ravi) River, Alexander received a severe wound which left him weakened.

On reaching Patala, located at the head of the Indus delta, he built a harbor and docks and explored both arms of the Indus, which probably then ran into the Rann of Kutch. He planned to lead part of his forces back by land, while the rest in perhaps 100 to 150 ships under the command of Nearchus, a Cretan with naval experience, made a voyage of exploration along the Persian Gulf. Local opposition led Nearchus to set sail in September (325), and he was held up for three weeks until he could pick up the northeast monsoon in late October. In September Alexander too set out along the coast through Gedrosia (modern Baluchistan), but he was soon compelled by mountainous country to turn inland, thus failing in his project to establish food depots for the fleet. Craterus, a high-ranking officer, already had been sent off with the baggage and siege train, the elephants, and the sick and wounded, together with three battalions of the phalanx, by way of the Mulla Pass, Quetta, and Kandahar into the Helmand Valley; from there he was to march through Drangiana to rejoin the main army on the Amanis (modern Minab) River in Carmania. Alexander’s march through Gedrosia proved disastrous; waterless desert and shortage of food and fuel caused great suffering, and many, especially women and children, perished in a sudden monsoon flood while encamped in a wadi. At length, at the Amanis, he was rejoined by Nearchus and the fleet, which also had suffered losses.

Alexander the Great’s conquests freed the West from the menace of Persian rule and spread Greek culture. Alexander now proceeded farther with the policy of replacing senior officials and executing defaulting governors on which he had already embarked before leaving India. Between 326 and 324 over a third of his satraps were superseded and six were put to death, including the Persian satraps of Persis, Susiana, Carmania, and Paraetacene; three generals in Media, including Cleander, the brother of Coenus (who had died a little earlier), were accused of extortion and summoned to Carmania, where they were arrested, tried, and executed. How far the rigor that from now onward Alexander displayed against his governors represents exemplary punishment for gross maladministration during his absence and how far the elimination of men he had come to distrust (as in the case of Philotas and Parmenio) is debatable; but the ancient sources generally favorable to him comment adversely on his severity.

In spring 324 he was back in Susa, capital of Elam and administrative centre of the Persian Empire; the story of his journey through Carmania in a drunken revel, dressed as Dionysus, is embroidered, if not wholly apocryphal. He found that his treasurer, Harpalus, evidently fearing punishment for peculation, had absconded with 6,000 mercenaries and 5,000 talents to Greece; arrested in Athens, he escaped and later was murdered in Crete. At Susa Alexander held a feast to celebrate the seizure of the Persian Empire, at which, in furtherance of his policy of fusing Macedonians and Persians into one master race, he and 80 of his officers took Persian wives; he and Hephaestion married Darius’ daughters Barsine (also called Stateira) and Drypetis, respectively, and 10,000 of his soldiers with native wives were given generous dowries.

This policy of racial fusion brought increasing friction to Alexander’s relations with his Macedonians, who had no sympathy for his changed concept of the empire. His determination to incorporate Persians on equal terms in the army and the administration of the provinces was bitterly resented. This discontent was now fanned by the arrival of 30,000 native youths who had received a Macedonian military training and by the introduction of Orientals from Bactria, Sogdiana, Arachosia, and other parts of the empire into the Companion cavalry; whether Orientals had previously served with the Companions is uncertain, but if so they must have formed separate squadrons. In addition, Persian nobles had been accepted into the royal cavalry bodyguard. Peucestas, the new governor of Persis, gave this policy full support to flatter Alexander; but most Macedonians saw it as a threat to their own privileged position.

The issue came to a head at Opis (324), when Alexander’s decision to send home Macedonian veterans under Craterus was interpreted as a move toward transferring the seat of power to Asia. There was an open mutiny involving all but the royal bodyguard; but when Alexander dismissed his whole army and enrolled Persians instead, the opposition broke down. An emotional scene of reconciliation was followed by a vast banquet with 9,000 guests to celebrate the ending of the misunderstanding and the partnership in government of Macedonians and Persians—but not, as has been argued, the incorporation of all the subject peoples as partners in the commonwealth. Ten thousand veterans were now sent back to Macedonia with gifts, and the crisis was surmounted.

In summer 324 Alexander attempted to solve another problem, that of the wandering mercenaries, of whom there were thousands in Asia and Greece, many of them political exiles from their own cities. A decree brought by Nicanor to Europe and proclaimed at Olympia (September 324) required the Greek cities of the Greek League to receive back all exiles and their families (except the Thebans), a measure that implied some modification of the oligarchic regimes maintained in the Greek cities by Alexander’s governor Antipater. Alexander now planned to recall Antipater and supersede him by Craterus; but he was to die before this could be done.

In autumn 324 Hephaestion died in Ecbatana, and Alexander indulged in extravagant mourning for his closest friend; he was given a royal funeral in Babylon with a pyre costing 10,000 talents. His post of chiliarch (grand vizier) was left unfilled. It was probably in connection with a general order now sent out to the Greeks to honor Hephaestion as a hero that Alexander linked the demand that he himself should be accorded divine honors. For a long time his mind had dwelt on ideas of godhead. Greek thought drew no very decided line of demarcation between god and man, for legend offered more than one example of men who, by their achievements, acquired divine status. Alexander had on several occasions encouraged favorable comparison of his own accomplishments with those of Dionysus or Heracles. He now seems to have become convinced of the reality of his own divinity and to have required its acceptance by others. There is no reason to assume that his demand had any political background (divine status gave its possessor no particular rights in a Greek city); it was rather a symptom of growing megalomania and emotional instability. The cities perforce complied, but often ironically: the Spartan decree read, “Since Alexander wishes to be a god, let him be a god.”

In the winter of 324 Alexander carried out a savage punitive expedition against the Cossaeans in the hills of Luristan. The following spring at Babylon he received complimentary embassies from the Libyans and from the Bruttians, Etruscans, and Lucanians of Italy; but the story that embassies also came from more distant peoples, such as Carthaginians, Celts, Iberians, and even Romans, is a later invention. Representatives of the cities of Greece also came, garlanded as befitted Alexander’s divine status. Following up Nearchus’ voyage, he now founded an Alexandria at the mouth of the Tigris and made plans to develop sea communications with India, for which an expedition along the Arabian coast was to be a preliminary. He also dispatched Heracleides, an officer, to explore the Hyrcanian (i.e., Caspian) Sea. Suddenly, in Babylon, while busy with plans to improve the irrigation of the Euphrates and to settle the coast of the Persian Gulf, Alexander was taken ill after a prolonged banquet and drinking bout; 10 days later, on June 13, 323, he died in his 33rd year; he had reigned for 12 years and eight months. His body, diverted to Egypt by Ptolemy, the later king, was eventually placed in a golden coffin in Alexandria. Both in Egypt and elsewhere in the Greek cities he received divine honors.

No heir had been appointed to the throne, and his generals adopted Philip II’s half-witted illegitimate son, Philip Arrhidaeus, and Alexander’s posthumous son by Roxana, Alexander IV, as kings, sharing out the satrapies among themselves, after much bargaining. The empire could hardly survive Alexander’s death as a unit. Both kings were murdered, Arrhidaeus in 317 and Alexander in 310/309. The provinces became independent kingdoms, and the generals, following Antigonus’ lead in 306, took the title of king.

Of Alexander’s plans little reliable information survives. The far-reaching schemes for the conquest of the western Mediterranean and the setting up of a universal monarchy, recorded by Diodorus, a 1st-century Greek historian, are probably based on a later forgery; if not, they were at once jettisoned by his successors and the army. Had he lived, he would no doubt have completed the conquest of Asia Minor, where Paphlagonia, Cappadocia, and Armenia still maintained an effective independence. But in his later years Alexander’s aims seem to have been directed toward exploration, in particular of Arabia and the Caspian.

In the organization of his empire, Alexander had been content in many spheres to improvise and adapt what he found. His financial policy is an exception; though the details cannot be wholly recovered, it is clear that he set up a central organization with collectors perhaps independent of the local satraps. That this proved a failure was partly due to weaknesses in the character of Harpalus, his chief treasurer. But the establishment of a new coinage with a silver standard based on that of Athens in place of the old bimetallic system current both in Macedonia and in Persia helped trade everywhere and, combined with the release of vast amounts of bullion from the Persian treasuries, gave a much-needed stimulus to the economy of the whole Mediterranean area.

Alexander’s foundation of new cities—Plutarch speaks of over 70—initiated a new chapter in Greek expansion. No doubt many of the colonists, by no means volunteers, deserted these cities, and marriages with native women led to some dilution of Greek ways; but the Greek (rather than Macedonian) influence remained strong in most of them, and since the process was carried further by Alexander’s Seleucid successors, the spread of Hellenic thought and customs over much of Asia as far as Bactria and India was one of the more striking effects of Alexander’s conquests.

His plans for racial fusion, on the other hand, were a failure. The Iranian provincial governors were perhaps not efficient, for out of 18, ten were removed or executed—with what justice it is no longer possible to say. But, more important, the Macedonians, leaders and men alike, rejected the idea, and in the later Seleucid Empire the Greek and Macedonian element was to be clearly dominant.

How far Alexander would have succeeded in the difficult task of coordinating his vast dominions, had he lived, is hard to determine. The only link between the many units that went to make up an empire more disparate than that of the Habsburgs, and far larger, was his own person; and his death came before he could tackle this problem.

What had so far held it all together was his own dynamic personality. He combined an iron will and ability to drive himself and his men to the utmost with a supple and flexible mind. Alexander knew when to draw back and change his policy, though he did this reluctantly. He was imaginative and not without romantic impulses. Figures like Achilles, Heracles, and Dionysus were often in his mind, and the salutation at the oracle of Amon clearly influenced his thoughts and ambitions thereafter. He was swift in anger, and under the strain of his long campaigns this side of his character grew more pronounced. Ruthless and self-willed, he had increasing recourse to terror, showing no hesitation in eliminating men whom he had ceased to trust, either with or without the pretense of a fair trial. Years after his death, Cassander, son of Antipater, a regent of the Macedonian Empire under Alexander, could not pass his statue at Delphi without shuddering. Yet he maintained the loyalty of his men, who followed him to the Hyphasis without complaining and continued to believe in him throughout all hardships. Only when his whim would have taken them still farther into unknown India did he fail to get his way.

As a general Alexander is among the greatest the world has known. He showed unusual versatility both in the combination of different arms and in adapting his tactics to the challenge of enemies who commanded novel forms of warfare—the Śaka nomads, the Indian hill tribes, or Porus with his elephants. His strategy was skillful and imaginative, and he knew how to exploit the chances that arise in every battle and may be decisive for victory or defeat; he also drew the last advantage from victory by relentless pursuit. His use of cavalry was so effective that he rarely had to fall back upon his infantry to deliver the crushing blow.

Alexander’s short reign marks a decisive moment in the history of Europe and Asia. His expedition and his own personal interest in scientific investigation brought many advances in the knowledge of geography and natural history. His career led to the moving of the great centers of civilization eastward and initiated the new age of the Greek territorial monarchies; it spread Hellenism in a vast colonizing wave throughout the Middle East and created, if not politically at least economically and culturally, a single world stretching from Gibraltar to the Punjab, open to trade and social intercourse and with a considerable overlay of common civilization and the Greek koinē as a lingua franca. It is not untrue to say that the Roman Empire, the spread of Christianity as a world religion, and the long centuries of Byzantium were all in some degree the fruits of Alexander’s achievement.

Alexander the Great in the Qur'an refers to the conjecture that the story of Dhul-Qarnayn (in Arabic, literally "The Two-Horned One", also transliterated as Zul-Qarnain or Zulqarnain), mentioned in the Qur'an, is in fact a reference to Alexander III of Macedon, popularly known as Alexander the Great. Dhul-Qarnayn is a figure who was well-known in the lore of the ancient dwellers of the Arabian Peninsula and is mentioned in the Qur'an, the sacred scripture of Islam. Dhul-Qarnayn is regarded by some Muslims as a prophet, and is identified with Alexander the Great in early Islamic literature. The Qur'an indicates that the people during Muhammad's time already knew tales of a person of great power by the name of Dhul-Qarnayn. There have been many different cultural depictions of Alexander the Great since antiquity. Muslims have generally endorsed the identification of Dhul-Qarnayn with Alexander the Great, at least until recent times. At the same time, secular philologists studying ancient Syriac Christian legends about Alexander the Great independently came to the conclusion that the epithet Dhul-Qarnayn in the Qur'an refers to Alexander the Great. The Alexander legends, known as the Alexander romance have many similarities to the story in the Qur'an but are also more elaborate and describe Alexander's fantastical deeds in detail, such as the story of Alexander building a wall at the end of the flat Earth. The identification of Alexander with Dhul-Qarnayn has been a matter of theological controversy amongst Islamic scholars since early times, but similarities between the Qur'an and the Alexander romance folklore were only identified in relatively recent academic research based on the discovery of certain medieval Syriac manuscripts.

“the two-horned” see Alexander the Great
Alexander III of Macedon see Alexander the Great
Alexander of Macedonia see Alexander the Great
Dhul-Qarnayn  see Alexander the Great

Alfarabius.  See Abu Nasr al-Farabi.

Alfraganus (in Arabic, Abu ’l-‘Abbas Ahmad al-Farghani).  An astronomer from Farghana from the ninth century.  His work was translated into Latin by John of Seville and Gerard of Cremona, and is known under the title Elementa astronomica. There also exists a Hebrew translation.

Abū al-'Abbās Ahmad ibn Muhammad ibn Kathīr al-Farghānī also known as Alfraganus in the West was a Persian Muslim astronomer and one of the famous astronomers in 9th century.

Abu al-'Abbas was involved in the measurement of the diameter of the Earth together with a team of scientists under the patronage of al-Ma'mūn in Baghdad. His textbook Elements of Astronomy on the Celestial Motions, written about 833, was a competent descriptive summary of Ptolemy's Almagest. It was translated into Latin in the twelfth century and remained very popular in Europe until the time of Regiomontanus. In the seventeenth century, the Dutch orientalist Jacob Golius published the Arabic text on the basis of a manuscript he had acquired in the Near East, with a new Latin translation and extensive notes.

Later Abu al-'Abbas moved to Cairo, where he composed a treatise on the astrolabe around 856. There he also supervised the construction of the large Nilometer on the island of al-Rawda (in Old Cairo) in the year 861.

The crater Alfraganus on the Moon is named after Abu ’l-‘Abbas Ahmad al-Farghani.

Abu ’l-‘Abbas Ahmad al-Farghani see Alfraganus
Abu al-'Abbas Ahmad ibn Muhammad ibn Kathir al-Farghani see Alfraganus

Alhagiag bin Thalmus
Alhagiag bin Thalmus (in Arabic, Abu ’l-Hajjaj ibn Tumlus) (c.1164-1223).  Physician and philosopher of Alcira.  He succeeded Averroes as personal physician to the Almohad Muhammad al-Nasir (r. 1199 -1214).
Abu ’l-Hajjaj ibn Tumlus see Alhagiag bin Thalmus

Alhazen.   See Ibn al-Haytham.
Abu ‘Ali al-Hasan ibn al-Haytham  see Alhazen.

Alhazen.  See Ibn al-Haytham.

Ibn al-Haytham see Alhazen.

Ali. Sultan of Johor (r.1855-1877).  He was the eldest son of Sultan Hussein of Singapore and Johor (d. 1835) and the last of his line to hold a royal title.  His claim to the office of sultan of Johor was not recognized until 1855, by which time the Temenggongs had assumed solid control of the government there and brought in Chinese settlers.  In 1855, he signed a controversial treaty with Temenggong Ibrahim and Governor W. J. Butterworth of Singapore in which he was recognized as his father’s successor, but by which he also recognized the Temenggong as “the sole and absolute sovereign of Johor.”  He retained control over only the small territory between the Kessang and Muar rivers (approximately 260 square miles), but even this was absorbed into Johor after his death.

Sultan Ali Iskandar Shah ibni Hussein Muazzam Shah was the 19th Sultan of Johor.  He succeeded his father, Sultan Hussein, after Sultan Hussein died of natural causes in 1835. Over the next twenty years, Sultan Ali's claims to the office of Sultan of Johor were only recognised by some merchants and a few Malays. Like his father, Sultan Ali was mostly a puppet monarch and played a very minimal role in the administrative affairs of the state, which came under the control of the Temenggong and the British. In 1855, Sultan Ali ceded the sovereignty rights of Johor (except Muar) to Temenggong Daing Ibrahim, in exchange for a formal recognition as the "Sultan of Johor" by the British and a monthly allowance. Following the secession of Johor, Sultan Ali was granted administrative charge over Muar until his death in 1877, and in most administrative matters, was often styled as the "Sultan of Muar".

Tengku Ali succeeded his father in 1835 as the Sultan of Johor, but was not recognised as the Sultan of Johor for the first few years of his reign. A proclamation by the British colonial government in September 1840 granted him the right as the legitimate heir as his father's successor, but the proclamation did not amount to a formal recognition as the Sultan of Johor.

In the 1840s, Johor began to receive the first Chinese settlers (mainly immigrants from Swatow and Chaozhou), the young Temenggong, Tun Daeng Ibrahim took up the administrative tasks of the state. He imposed taxes upon these settlers, which went to the Temenggong's charge. However, unlike the Temenggong, Sultan Ali was unwilling to involve himself with the affairs of the state but at the same time complained of receiving insufficient allowance from the British. He was well-known for his penchant for an extravagant lifestyle, and was chalking up considerable debts by the 1850s.

Meanwhile, loyalty among the local Malays in Johor to the ruling classes became increasingly divided between the royalty and the nobility.

Nevertheless, there was no major hostility as a result of the division of loyalty between the royalty and the nobility. In 1852, an English merchant, W.H. Read, controlled Sultan Ali's royal seal in exchange for a promise to liquidate his debts. Read had been an active supporter of Sultan Ali's claims for recognition as the legitimate ruler of Johor and the states' revenue, with the Temenggong as his vassal. As a result of economic and political pressure from these traders, the Governor did consider granting a formal recognition to Sultan Ali as the legitimate ruler of Johor, but in the process, he received a strong protest from the Temenggong and his young son, Abu Bakar.

By the early 1850s, Johor was effectively under the control of the Temenggong; followers who attempted to act in Sultan Ali's interests were quickly expelled by force by the Temenggong's followers.

A series of negotiations between Sultan Ali and the Temenggong ensued with the British colonial government acting as the intermediary, after Sultan Ali had questioned the Temenggong's rights of keeping the state revenue to himself. Initially, the Temenggong proposed to split the trade revenue of Johor on condition that Sultan Ali surrendered his claims of sovereignty over Johor. The term was declined by Sultan Ali. Both parties agreed to seek the direct intervention of the British government, among which, the British Governor of the Straits Settlement, Colonel William Butterworth, and his successor, Edmund Blundell were brought in to act as meditators.

The British favored the prospect of the Temenggong in taking over the administration of Johor from the Sultan. Sultan Ali's claims to sovereignty were quickly refuted by the British and the Temenggong, who was quick to point out that the Sultan's late father, Sultan Hussein had never pursued active claims to his sovereignty rights over Johor in spite of his recognition by the British in the 1824 Anglo-Dutch Treaty. At that time, Johor came under the effective charge of the Temenggong's late father, Abdul Rahman, as with Pahang, which was under the control of the Bendahara. Further documents revealed that if Johor were to be under the control of a monarch, de jure sovereignty would have been laid under the charge of the Sultan of Lingga, Sultan Mahmud Muzaffar Shah and not with Sultan Ali.

The Temenggong and Sultan Ali submitted their proposals to the British Governor in April 1854. The Temenggong agreed to the Sultan's request of his titular recognition as the Sultan of Johor, but was adamant at maintaining absolute charge over the whole of Johor. On the other hand, Sultan Ali had expressed his wish to the governor that the Kesang territory (around Muar) should be directly governed by him, citing reasons that some of his ancestors were buried there. The British persuaded the Temenggong to concede to Sultan Ali's request.

A treaty was concluded on 10 March 1855, in which Sultan Ali formally ceded his sovereignty rights of Johor to the Temenggong permanently with the exception of the Kesang territory (around Muar). In exchange, Sultan Ali was guaranteed the recognition to the title of "Sultan" by the Temenggong and the British government and received a lump sum of $5000 as compensation. Sultan Ali was also promised a further incentive of a monthly allowance of $500 from the Temenggong, under the pressure of Governor Edmund Blundell (the British Governor of Singapore), who hoped to put an end to Sultan Ali's financial complaints and problems.

Sultan Ali delegated the administrative affairs of Muar to the Temenggong Paduka Tuan of Muar and spent most of his time in Malacca. Muar was sparsely populated in 1855 with a population of about 800 and had no formal structure of government. In 1860, Sultan Ali reportedly borrowed $53,600 from a Chettiar money lender, Kavana Chana Shellapah. Sultan Ali signed an agreement with Shellapah to contribute a portion of his monthly allowance to repay his debt. However, Sultan Ali found himself unable to pay or settle his debts in time, and an angry Shellapah wrote to the British government in 1866. Pressured to liquidate his debts in time, Sultan Ali granted Shellapah the right to trade off Muar to the Temenggong of Johor as mortage if he was unable to pay off his debts in time.

His relations with Temenggong Daing Ibrahim remained strained. In 1860, Sultan Ali allowed a Bugis adventurer, Suliwatang, the chiefs of Rembau and Sungei Ujong to settle in Muar and prepare themselves for an attack on Johor. Such bad blood between the Sultan and Temenggong Daing Ibrahim passed down to the Temenggong's son, Abu Bakar, who succeeded his father after the former died in 1862. Shortly after Abu Bakar became the Temenggong of Johor, he sent a letter to Sultan Ali to reassert Johor's sovereignty over Segamat. Continued disputes over the sovereignty of Segamat led to an outbreak of a war between the Temenggong's men with the Sultan's. Eleven years later in 1873, attempts made by Suliwatang to collect custom taxes from inhabitants at the Muar estuary led to further conflict with Abu Bakar (who became Maharaja in 1868).

During the remaining years of Sultan Ali's reign, there was no visible economic activity in Muar. Nevertheless, he delegated the duty of collecting Muar's revenues to Suliwatang and his agents, all of whom were later poisoned and killed by the Temenggong Paduka Tuan of Muar. In 1868, Sultan Ali appointed Babu Ramasamy, a Tamil schoolmaster the duty to collect the Muar revenues. A European miner approached Sultan Ali in 1872, and was granted exclusive mining rights over the entire Kessang territory for five years. Three years later, an American trader approached the Sultan, and the Sultan gave the American the concessionary grant of purchasing 45 square miles of land within the Kessang territory.

Sultan Ali spent his last years in Umbai, Malacca, and supported himself with a small monthly stipend which the British East India Company had granted him. He built a palace for himself and lived with his third wife, Cik' Sembuk, until his death in June 1877, and was buried in a Mausoleum within the confines of the Umbai mosque. Shortly before his death, Sultan Ali willed the Kessang territory to him shortly before his death. His decision was met with considerable disapproval among the Malays in Singapore.  The Malays of Singapore felt that Tengku Alam should be the heir to the Kessang territory as he was the oldest son, along with Daing Siti, who was the daughter of a Bugis nobleman. At the time of Sultan Ali's death, custody of the Kessang territory lay in the hands of Ungku Jalil, Sultan Ali's elder brother. Ungku Jalil handed over the custodianship of the Kessang territory to Maharaja Abu Bakar, after the British government held an election for the Temenggong Paduka Tuan of Muar and the territory's chieftains to decide on the destiny of the Kessang territory.  The Temenggong Paduka Tuan of Muar and the territory's chieftains voted unanimously for Maharaja Abu Bakar as their leader. The British Governor handed over administrative charge of the Kessang territory to the Maharaja. This transfer upset Tengku Alam and many of his supporters. Their continued claims to the Kessang territory led to the instigation of the Jementah Civil War in 1879.

Ali Iskandar Shah ibni Hussein Muazzam Shah see Ali.

‘Ali (Hajj ‘Ali) (d.c. 1684). Ruler of the Kanuri state of Bornu (r. 1654-1684).  His long reign began at the death of his father and predecessor, ‘Umar.  At that moment, the Tuareg were pressing Bornu from the north and the Kwararafa from the south, but he defeated them both (c. 1668) and also put down an internal rebellion.  Bornu became so secure during his rule that he made the pilgrimage to Mecca three times.  He turned his capital into an Islamic intellectual center, able to support four large mosques.  Bornu’s commercial situation remained favorable during his rule because of his control of the trans-Saharan trade routes, but the benefits were largely offset by the first of a series of famines which continued to plague Bornu after his death.  He spent the last four years of his life in effective retirement, with his son and successor, Idris, controlling the affairs of state.
Hajj ‘Ali see ‘Ali

'Ali Ahmad
'Ali Ahmad (1883-1929).  Known as the Wali (the Governor) of Kabul under King Amanullah.  He was proclaimed “king” by Afghan tribes in Nangarhar after the abdication of Amanullah in January 1919.  Born in 1883, the son of Loinab Khushdil Khan, he was educated in India and served as chamberlain, shahghasi mulki, of Amir Habibullah.  He was president of the Afghan Peace Delegation at Rawalpindi in 1919 and was successful as a commander in the Mangal Revolt in 1924 and the Shinwari rebellion in 1928.  He fought Habibullah Kalakani and was defeated.  Subsequently, he was brought to Kabul in chains.   'Ali Ahmad defiantly kissed the cannon by which he was executed in July 1929.
Ahmad, 'Ali see 'Ali Ahmad

'Ali, Ahmad
'Ali, Ahmad (b. July 1, 1910, in Delhi, India -  d. January 14, 1994, in Karachi, Pakistan).  Pakistani writer.  Ahmad 'Ali first attracted attention in the 1930s as a writer of Urdu short stories strongly socialist in tone.  However, most of his subsequent work has been in English.  Among Ahmad 'Ali’s notable works are Twilight in Delhi and The Falcon and the Hunted Bird.  The novel, Twilight in Delhi, was published in 1940.  Twilight in Delhi provides a portrayal of Muslim domestic life in Delhi at the beginning of the present century, tinged with a bitter awareness of the decline of Muslim fortunes in India.  The Falcon and the Hunted Bird is a 1950 collection of English verse translations of the classical Urdu poets.
Ahmad 'Ali see 'Ali, Ahmad

‘Ali al-Hadi
‘Ali al-Hadi (Abu 'l-Hassani ‘Ali ibn Muhammad) (March 5, 826 - June 27, 868).   Tenth imam of the Twelver Shi‘a Islam (r. 833-868).  He was born in Medina to a Moroccan slave called Samana (Sumanah).  Like his father, Muhammad at-Taqi, he was only seven when he received the imamate.  ‘Ali al-Hadi was his honorary title, meaning “the guided”.  His other title was ‘an-Naqiyy, meaning “the distinguished”. At the beginning, conditions were fairly good for the  Shi‘a, but, like so many times before, their fortunes took a dramatic down turn.  Brought to Samarra by the Caliph Mutawakkil in 848, ‘Ali al-Hadi was to spend the rest of his life under house arrest in the military district of Samarra.  He and his son, Hassan are known as Askari because of the military (in Arabic, askar) quarter in which they lived.  During this period the Shi‘a were severely persecuted and communication was limited severely between the imam and his followers.   ‘Ali al-Hadi was succeeded by Hassan al-Askari.

‘Alī al-Hādī, also known as ‘Alī an-Naqī, was the tenth of the Twelve Imams. He was born ‘Alī ibn Muhammad ibn ‘Alī in Medina to the ninth Shī‘ah Imām, Muhammad al-Taqi, and Lady Sumānah. He was seven years old when his father died and he was appointed the Imām. During the remaining years of the Caliphate of al-Mu‘tasim and the five year Caliphate of al-Wāthiq, al-Hādī and the Shī‘ah community of Medina lived in relative peace, with al-Hādī mostly engaged in teaching.

In 848, during the caliphate of Al-Mutawakkil, he was summoned to Baghdad and put under house arrest in Samarra, along with his son Hasan al-Askari. His time in prison was a time of great persecution against the Shi'a. The quarter of the city where al-Hadi lived was known as al-Askar since it was chiefly occupied by the army (askar) and, therefore, al-Hadi and his son Hasan are both referred to as 'Askari or together as 'Askariyayn (the two 'Askaris). According to twelvers, it is reported that at least once al-Mutawakkil attempted to kill al-Hadi but was frustrated by a miracle.

In Twelver Shi'a Islam, he is described as being endowed with the knowledge of the languages of the Persians, Slavs, Indians, and Nabateans in addition to foreknowing unexpected storms and as accurately prophesying deaths and other events. He is reported to have correctly predicted Mutawakkil's death within three days after the caliph had either humiliated him or had him imprisoned. In the presence of Mutawakkil, he unmasked a woman falsely claiming to be Zaynab, the daughter of Ali, by descending into a lions' den in order to prove that lions do not harm true descendants of Ali (a similar miracle is also attributed to his grandfather, Ali al-Rida). A theological treatise on human free will and some other short texts and statements ascribed to al-Hadi are quoted by Ibn So'ba Harrani.

'Ali al-Hadi lived out his life under house arrest until, pursuant to the orders of al-Mu‘taz, he was poisoned. Thereafter, al-Hādī was buried at his house in Samarra by his son, who was also the only person to attend his funeral. His burial spot is now the al-‘Askarī Mosque, one of the holiest Shī‘a shrines.

On February 22, 2006, a bomb attack in Iraq badly damaged the shrine of Askari, the burial place of Imam Ali al-Hadi and his son Imam Hasan al-Askari, another attack was executed on June 13, 2007 which led to the destruction of the two minarets of the shrine, both attacks were made by Wahabi/Sunni militants.

The descendants of 'Ali al-Hadi are called Naqvi's (also spelled Naqhavi or Naqavi in Iran and the Arab world respectively). They primarily reside in Pakistan as well as a small but prominent minority in India.

Abu 'l-Hassani ‘Ali ibn Muhammad see ‘Ali al-Hadi
Hadi, 'Ali al- see ‘Ali al-Hadi
“the guided” see ‘Ali al-Hadi
‘an-Naqiyy see ‘Ali al-Hadi
'Ali ibn Muhammad ibn 'Ali see ‘Ali al-Hadi
'Ali an-Naqi see ‘Ali al-Hadi

‘Ali al-Rida
‘Ali al-Rida ('Ali ibn Musa al-Rida) ('Ali ar-Ridha) (Ali Reza) (c. December 29, 765 - August 23, 818).  Eighth Imam of the Twelver Shi‘a (r. 799-818).  He was born in Medina and was summoned from a quiet, scholarly life by the reigning Abbasid caliph al-Ma’mun to accept appointment as heir apparent, with the title al-Rida.

‘Ali al-Rida’s imamate coincided with a great reversal of fortune for the Shi‘a.  He attained the imamate at the age of 35 after the brutal persecution and martyrdom of this father, Musa al-Kazim, at the hands of the Caliph Harun ar-Rashid.  After Harun’s death, however, events rapidly evolved.  After a civil war between Harun’s sons Amin and Ma’mun ended in Ma’mun’s victory, ‘Ali al-Rida was summoned to Ma’mun’s capital at Merv (Marv) in northeastern Iran.

 ‘Ali al-Rida, as the head of the house of 'Ali and, therefore, leader of the Shi‘a, could bring a vast claim of potential support for the cause of whoever made an alliance with him.  The caliph brought him to Transoxiana, named him the heir apparent, and replaced the black insignias of the ruling 'Abbasids with those of 'Alid green.  This strange episode ended soon, however, when ‘Ali al-Rida died while traveling with Ma’mun from Merv back to Baghdad. The Shi‘a, doubting the honesty of the caliph’s motives in the first place, believe that he had ‘Ali al-Rida poisoned.  ‘Ali al-Rida was interred at Tus by Ma’mun in a mausoleum already containing the remains of Ma’mun’s father Harun al-Rashid, the Abbasid caliph of Arabian Nights fame.  The spot soon grew in significance because of the presence there of the 'Alid imam.  Its name was changed to Masshad (literally, “shrine” or “sanctuary”).  It became one of the most important centers for Shi‘a pilgrimage and is now at the center of Iran’s third largest city, to which it gives its name.  

Alī ibn Mūsā al-Ridā was the seventh descendant of the Islamic prophet Muhammad and the eighth of the Twelve Imams. His given name was ‘Alī ibn Mūsā ibn Ja‘far.
On the eleventh of Dhu al-Qi'dah, 148 AH (December 29, 765), Ali ibn Musa al-Rida was born in the house of Imam Musa al-Kadhim (the seventh Imam of Islam) in Medina. He was named Ali and titled al-Ridha. He was born one month after the death of his grandfather, Ja'far as-Sādiq. The mother of Ali al-Ridha was Najmah, a former slave purchased and freed by Hamidah Khatun, wife of Imam Ja'far al-Sadiq.

During his childhood, Ali al-Ridha accompanied his father, Musa al-Kadhim, who repeatedly used to tell his friends, "Ali al-Ridha shall be the Imam after me." Since an extreme choking atmosphere and pressure prevailed in the period of Musa al-Kadhim, he added, "What I said must remain (restricted) up to you and do not reproduce it to anybody unless you know he is one of our friends and companions."

Ali al-Ridha’s father was martyred in 799, when Ali al-Ridha was 35, and he was given the responsibility of the Imamate. Ali al-Ridha was not looked upon favorably by Hārūn Rashīd, and the people of Medina were disallowed from visiting Ali al-Ridha and learning from him. Harun attempted to kill him but was unsuccessful.

After the death of Hārūn Rashīd, Hārūn's two sons began fighting for control of the Abbāsid Empire. One son, Al-Amin, had an Arab mother and thus had the support of Arabs, while his half-brother Al-Ma'mun had a Persian mother and the support of Persia. Al-Ma'mun believed that Persia was sympathetic to the Hashemites and asked for Ali al-Rida to meet him in Persia. Ali al-Rida left his only son, Muħammad at-Taqī, and his wife and set out for Merv.

After defeating his brother, al-Ma'mun named Ali al-Ridha his successor. He hoped to win Shī'a support through this move, but the passage of caliphate would occur only if Ali al-Rida outlived al-Ma'mun (as with all promises of succession). Al-Ma'mun even changed the black Abbāsid flags to green, the traditional color of the house of Alī ibn Abī-Tālib, the first Shī'a imam.

Ali al-Ridha did not outlive al-Ma'mun.  He was killed in Persia while accompanying al-Ma'mun at Tus. Most scholars agree he was poisoned by al-Ma'mun but it's impossible to verify it. Ali al-Ridha is buried within Imam Ridha Mosque, in Mashhad, Iran.

Rida, 'Ali al- see ‘Ali al-Rida
'Ali ibn Musa al-Rida see ‘Ali al-Rida
'Ali ar-Ridha see ‘Ali al-Rida
Ali Reza see ‘Ali al-Rida
'Ali ibn Musa ibn Ja'far see ‘Ali al-Rida

Ali-Baba.  Child-god worshipped by Muslim slaves in Brazil.

'Ali Bey
'Ali Bey (Ali Bey al-Kabir) (1728 - May 8, 1773).  Mameluke ruler of Egypt, born in Abkhasia, in the Caucasus.  In his youth, he was carried off to Egypt as a slave.  However, by 1766, he had become one of the Mameluke beys, or governors, of Egypt.  Gaining followers in the next five years, he slaughtered the other beys, proclaimed Egypt independent of Turkey, and took the title of sultan.  He conquered Syria and part of Arabia, but one of his sons-in-law turned against him and defeated him in battle near Cairo in 1773.

Ali Bey was a politician and general and the Mameluke Sultan of Egypt from 1760 to 1772. He was born in 1728, in Western Georgia (Abkhazia). His father was a Georgian monk. In 1741 he was kidnapped by Turkish soldiers.

In 1743 he was purchased in Cairo and gradually rose in influence, winning the top office of sheikh al-balad (chief of the country) in 1760. In 1768, Ali Bey deposed the Ottoman governor and assumed the post of acting governor. He stopped the annual tribute to Istanbul and in an unprecedented usurpation of the Ottoman Sultan's privileges had his name struck on local coins in 1769 (alongside the sultan's emblem), effectively declaring Egypt's independence from Ottoman rule. In 1770 he gained control of the Hijaz and a year later temporarily occupied Syria, thereby reconstituting the Mameluke state that had disappeared in 1517. However, in June 1771, the commander of his troops in Syria, Abu al-Dhahab, refused to continue to fight against the Ottomans, and turned against Ali Bey. As a result, Ali Bey lost power in 1772.

Ali Bey was killed in 1773, in Cairo.

Ali Bey al-Kabir see 'Ali Bey

‘Alids.  Descendants of the Prophet’s cousin, ‘Ali ibn Abi Talib, and members of  the family which claims to be the heirs of the Prophet’s religious and political legacy and the rightful heads of the Muslim community.  ‘Ali was the father of fourteen (14) sons and at least seventeen (17) daughters, with at least as many as twenty-two (22) women.  The ‘Alids are his descendants through all of these offspring.  Some of the recorded wives of ‘Ali are: Fatima, who was his only wife until she died in 633; Ummu al-Banin; Layla; Asma’; Ummu al-Habib (Sahba); Umama; Khawla; Umm Sa’id; and Mayhat. Other women were recorded too, but for these we do not know much, and little about whether they bore ‘Ali children or not.  (Although women named “Umm” first must have been mothers since Umm is an honorary title meaning “Mother of”).  These women include: Umm Hani’; Maimuna; Zainab; Ramla; Umm Kulthum; Fatima; Umama; Khadija; Ummu al-Kiram; Umm Salama; Umm Jafar; Jumana; and Nafisa.

The principal ‘Alids were the ones from the marriage with Fatima, Hasan and Husayn, the second and the third Imams of Shi‘a Islam.  It was to ‘Ali’s three sons al-Hasan, al-Husayn and, for a time, Muhammad ibn al-Hanafiyya al-Nafs al-Zakiyya and their descendants that the loyalties of the different groups of the Shi‘a were given.  Many dynasties, known as Hasanids and Husaynids, claimed to be of ‘Alid descent.  Most of the early ‘Alids were unfortunate, and their sad stories fill large parts of the historical texts from this period.

All through Muslim history, groups have claimed to be of ‘Alid origin, often without much justification.  Dynasties like the Fatimids and the Almohads, were probably not really ‘Alids, even when claiming to be so.  In more recent times, ‘Alids have carried titles like sayyid and sharif, and have had the right to wear a green turban.  An ‘Alid of modern times must prove his heritage by a certificate or genealogical tree.  In modern times, ‘Alid descendancy carries little but lineage status, and has lost all political importance compared to earlier times. 

‘Ali Duuh
‘Ali Duuh (b. probably mid-19th century- d. shortly before World War II).  Somali oral poet.  Some of his poems have been written down by Somali private collectors, and one has been published with English translation and notes.  He is renowned for his wit, invective and forcefulness.  As one of the elders of his clan, he was involved in various interclan disputes and intrigues and used his poetry powerfully as propaganda.
Duuh, 'Ali see ‘Ali Duuh

‘Ali Eisami
‘Ali Eisami (William Harding) (b. c. 1788).  Kanuri citizen of Bornu captured and sold as a slave.  Freed by the British at Freetown, he later gave an account of the wars at Bornu and of his travels.  The son of an Islamic teacher, he received an Arabic education.  When the Fula overran Bornu he was enslaved and taken to the Hausa states of Kano and Katsina, and the Yoruba state of Ilorin which was in the process of toppling the Oyo empire.  In 1818, he was sold to European slavers at Porto Novo.   En route to the New World, he was captured by a British squadron, which freed him in Sierra Leone.  There he took the name William Harding.  He recounted his life and travels to Sigismund Wilhelm Koelle, a German linguist working in Freetown, who published the narrative in a book African Native Literature (1854), parts of which have since been reprinted.  The account is most important as social history, demonstrating how the common man was affected by revolutionary changes in nineteenth century West Africa. 
Eisami, 'Ali see ‘Ali Eisami
Harding, William see ‘Ali Eisami

‘Ali Gaji
‘Ali Gaji (d. c. 1503).  Ruler of the Kanuri state of Bornu (r. c. 1470-c.1503).  He is regarded as one of the three greatest rulers of the thousand year Sefawa dynasty of Kanem-Bornu.  During his reign, he ended a period of internecine strife in the empire.  The Sefawa dynasty had earlier split into two houses which held the kingship alternately.  But this system gave way to warfare and intrigue.  In the twenty to thirty years before ‘Ali’s reign began, nine mai (kings) had ascended the throne.  He was immediately challenged by a candidate from the rival house, whom he defeated and killed in battle.  ‘Ali then restricted the power of potential challengers from the opposing house.  ‘Ali then faced Bornu’s chief external threat, the Bulala nomads who had driven his people from Kanem to Bornu in the 14th century, during the reign of ‘Umar ibn Idris.  They too were defeated.  ‘Ali’s third major accomplishment was the founding of a new capital, Birni Gazargamu, in a location distant from Bornu’s chief antagonists, but close enough to the Hausa states to extract tribute.  His successors ruled from there for the next three centuries. 
Gaji, 'Ali see ‘Ali Gaji

‘Ali Golom
‘Ali Golom.  Founder of the Sunni dynasty of rulers of Songhay.  During the thirteenth century, Songhay was under the rule of the Mali empire.  According to the Ta’rikhs, ‘Ali Golom was either a prince of Songhay living in Mali as a hostage, or a Malian official.  He secured Songhay’s independence for a brief period.  Songhay was back under the control of Mali by the time of the rule of Mansa Musa (1312-1337).  ‘Ali Golom’s descendants continued to rule Songhay under the dynastic name of Sunni (or Shi); one of them, Sunni ‘Ali, created the Songhay empire at the end of the fifteenth century.
Golom, 'Ali see ‘Ali Golom.

'Ali Haji, Raja
'Ali Haji, Raja (Raja Ali Haji) (c.1808-1868).  Malay historian.  Raja 'Ali Haji was the son of a Muslim Bugis ruler in the Riau Archipelago south of Singapore.  He was brought up in court circles and appears later to have played the role of diplomat, civil servant and court historian.  'Ali Haji’s best known work is Tuhfat al-Nafis.   Tuhfat al-Nafis was begun in 1865 and it is widely considered to be the first proper Malay history.  The early portions of Tuhfat al-Nafis contain the standard legendary material.  However, 'Ali Haji blazed new ground by criticizing the status and value of the traditional sources.  'Ali Haji’s other main historical work, is Silsilah Melayu dan Bugis.  Silsilah Melayu dan Bugis deals primarily with Bugis infiltration from the Celebes into the Malay world in the 18th century.  Raja 'Ali also wrote some verse; an early (1857) Malay grammar entitled Bustan al-Katibin; and a discursive, encyclopedic dictionary Kitab Pengetahuan Bahasa (1858). 
Haji, Raja 'Ali see 'Ali Haji, Raja
Raja 'Ali Haji see 'Ali Haji, Raja

‘Ali ibn Abi Talib
‘Ali ibn Abi Talib (597-661).  Cousin and son-in-law of the Prophet Muhammad.  ‘Ali was also the fourth Caliph of the Sunni and the first Imam of the Shi‘a.  ‘Ali was born in Mecca, the son of Abu Talib, Muhammad’s uncle.  ‘Ali was one of the first converts to Islam and one of the bravest and most faithful followers of the Prophet.  He married Muhammad’s daughter, Fatima, who bore him two sons, Hasan and Husayn.  In 632, when Muhammad died, ‘Ali claimed that he, ‘Ali, should succeed Muhammad as the leader of Islam.  However, ‘Ali’s claim was denied and he was preceded in the caliphate by Abu Bakr, 'Umar I (581?-644), and 'Uthman ibn Affan (575?-656).  ‘Ali only became caliph after 'Uthman was murdered in 656.

In the first year of ‘Ali’s reign, ‘Ali was forced to deal with a rebellion led by ‘A’isha, the widow of Muhammad.  ‘A’isha bitterly opposed ‘Ali’s claim of succession, perhaps because ‘Ali had opposed the caliphate of her father Abu Bakr. Although ‘A’isha’s rebellion was suppressed in 657, disputes over ‘Ali’s right to the caliphate were not resolved.  Mu‘awiyah I, a member of ‘Uthman’s family, refused to recognize ‘Ali as caliph and claimed the caliphate himself.  This dispute continued until 661 when ‘Ali was murdered at Kufa by a member of the Kharijite sect.  Mu‘awiyah I was then acknowledged as caliph.

Dissension between ‘Ali’s adherents and his opponents continued to trouble the Muslim world.  This conflict led to the first and most important schism in Islam, between the Shi‘a (adherents of ‘Ali) and the Sunni (orthodox Muslims). 

‘Ali is the ancestor of the Fatimid line of caliphs, who traced their descent from ‘Ali and Fatima.

‘Ali was about ten years old when he embraced Islam.  He is considered to have been the second of Muhammad’s converts, the first being Muhammad’s wife, Khadija.  ‘Ali grew up in Muhammad’s household, and on the night of the Hijra he occupied the Prophet’s bed in order to facilitate Muhammad’s flight to Medina.

Some months later, ‘Ali married Muhammad’s daughter, Fatima, and from their marriage were born Hasan and Hussein (Husayn). 

During Muhammad’s lifetime, ‘Ali took part in almost all the military expeditions.  One exception was Tabuk, during which ‘Ali had the command at Medina.  ‘Ali’s bravery as standard-bearer and sometimes commander of these expeditions became legendary.

After Muhammad’s death, a dispute arose between ‘Ali and other companions of Muhammad concerning the succession, resulting in ‘Ali, at first, refusing to recognize Abu Bakr’s election as caliph.  This dispute ultimately divided the Muslims into two major factions: those sympathetic to ‘Ali’s claim, known as the Shi‘a -- the “partisans” -- of ‘Ali; and the Sunni -- those who accepted the caliphates of Abu Bakr, ‘Umar, and ‘Uthman with ‘Ali as the fourth caliph. 

Although regarded as a valued counsellor, it is doubtful whether ‘Ali’s advice was accepted by the second caliph ‘Umar ibn al-Khattab.  During the caliphate of ‘Uthman ibn ‘Affan, ‘Ali accused the caliph of innovation -- bid‘a -- in religious matters, and on political questions he joined ‘Uthman’s opponents.

After the killing of ‘Uthman, ‘Ali allowed himself to be nominated caliph by the rebels who had the former caliph’s blood on their hands. This provoked strong reactions in Mecca, Syria and Egypt.  Mu‘awiya, governor of Syria and cousin of the slain ‘Uthman, accused ‘Ali of complicity with the murderers and refused to pay homage to him. 

As the fourth caliph, ‘Ali inherited events which he could not avert.  Turmoil brewed.  The Prophet’s widow ‘A’isha, perhaps harboring a long standing resentment against ‘Ali for ‘Ali’s participation in making slanderous allegations against her many years before, engaged in Mecca in an active propaganda campaign against the new caliph, and was soon joined by Talha ibn ‘Ubayd Allah and al-Zubayr ibn al-‘Awwam.  In the famous Battle of the Camel of 656, Talha and al-Zubayr lost their lives, and ‘A’isha was peremptorily ordered by ‘Ali to return to Medina under escort. 

Meanwhile, Mu‘awiya, the Syrian governor, continued to demand the surrender of the murderers of ‘Uthman and continued to refuse to pay homage to ‘Ali.  The deeper cause of the struggle was whether pre-eminence lay with Syria or with Iraq.  ‘Ali took the offensive, and the two armies met on the plain of Siffin.  Mu‘awiya, about to lose the battle, had his soldiers hoist copies of the Qur’an on their lances.  ‘Ali was forced to submit the difference to consultation of the Qur’an i.e., to arbitration.

Already at Siffin, a group of individuals rejected arbitration with the cry “there is no decision save that of God”.  After ‘Ali’s return to Kufa in Iraq, they learned that he had sent his arbitrator Abu Musa al-Ash‘ari to meet ‘Amr ibn al-‘As, Mu‘awiya’s arbitrator.  The group then secretly left Kufa and were joined by dissidents from Basra at al-Nahrawan on the eastern bank of the Tigris river.  These dissidents, those who had “departed”, were thereafter called Kharijites.  ‘Ali’s troops attacked and massacred them at al-Nahrawan, but as a consequence many more defections from ‘Ali’s cause followed and he had to give up the campaign against Mu‘awiya.

The arbitrators met at Adhruh.  Abu Musa and ‘Amr agreed to declare both ‘Ali and Mu‘awiya deposed, but in the public discourses that followed, ‘Amr declared ‘Ali deposed and confirmed Mu‘awiya’s nomination.  In the end, no decision on the caliphate was taken.

‘Ali continued to be regarded as caliph by his partisans (although their numbers were daily diminishing) while Mu‘awiya continued to be supported by his followers.  ‘Ali remained passive at Kufa when Mu‘awiya made small incursions into Iraq, Arabia and Yemen.  In 661, the Kharijite Ibn Muljam, in revenge for the men slain at al-Nahrawan, struck ‘Ali in the mosque of Kufa with a poisoned sword.  ‘Ali died two days later at the age of sixty-three.  His burial site was at al-Najaf, some miles from Kufa, where his Masshad -- his burial shrine as a martyr -- subsequently arose in the time of the ‘Abbasid Caliph Harun al-Rashid.  This site became an important destination for the Shi‘a pilgrimage and center for the Twelver Shi‘a learning.

The murder of ‘Ali represents a watershed in the understanding of history among not only the Shi‘a, but also among the Sunni.  ‘Ali was the last caliph coming from the group of Muslims that had converted before the hijra (in 622), and he was also the last elected caliph. After ‘Ali, the Caliphate became hereditary and without the nominal legitimacy. 

The personality of ‘Ali is difficult to assess.  While his stature as a distinguished judge, pious believer, and ardent warrior for Islam is unquestioned, the Shi‘a concept of ‘Ali alongside God and the Prophet as a pivot of religious belief is rejected by the Sunni. Indeed, there are actually two competing perspectives of ‘Ali, one held by the Sunni and one held by the Shi‘a.  Though both perspectives recognize ‘Ali’s legitimacy as caliph, the Sunni perspective views ‘Ali as being a weak ruler with many faults.  On the other hand, the Shi‘a regard ‘Ali as being infallible and the possessor of a divine light passed on from Muhammad to him, and later from him on to the other imams. 

‘Ali ibn Bello
‘Ali ibn Bello (Aliyu Babba) (c.1808-1859).  Ruler of the Fula Sokoto caliphate (in Nigeria) (r. 1842-1859).  He was the grandson of ‘Uthman dan Fodio who had initiated the Fula empire in northern Nigeria.  His father, Muhammad Bello (d. 1837), consolidated the empire and set up its administration.  Aliyu succeeded his brother, Abubakar Atiku I (1837-1842), who had ruled after their father.  During his seventeen year reign, he conducted twenty campaigns to expand the borders of the caliphate and quell revolts, notably in Kebbi and Zamfara.  At the time of his death, the Sokoto caliphate was fully established and aggressive military expansion virtually ceased afterwards. 
Aliyu Babba see ‘Ali ibn Bello
Babba, Aliyu see ‘Ali ibn Bello

'Ali ibn Hariq
'Ali ibn Hariq (d. 1225).  Islamic poet.

‘Ali ibn ‘Isa
‘Ali ibn ‘Isa (Ali Ben Isa).  Afro-Arab astronomer, geographer and ophthalmologist of the 9th century.

He wrote the landmark textbook on ophthalmology in medieval Islam, Notebook of the Oculists, for which he was known in medieval Europe as Jesu Occulist, with "Jesu" being a Latin translation of "Isa", the Arabic name for Jesus.

In Islamic astronomy and Islamic geography, together with Chalid Ben Abdulmelik in 827, 'Ali ibn 'Isa measured the Earth's circumference, getting a result of 40,248 km (or, according to other sources, 41,436 km). The actual circumference of the Earth in kilometers being 46,350 km.

Ali Ben Isa see ‘Ali ibn ‘Isa

‘Ali ibn Yusuf ibn Tashfin
‘Ali ibn Yusuf ibn Tashfin (1084-1142).  Ethnic Berber and Amir of the Almoravid dynasty (r. 1106-1142).  He ruled over a large part of North Africa and of southern Spain. 

'Ali Khan, Nusrat Fateh
'Ali Khan, Nusrat Fateh (Nusrat Fateh 'Ali Khan) (October 13, 1948 – August 16, 1997), was a Pakistani musician, primarily a singer of Qawwali, the devotional music of the Sufis (a mystical tradition within Islam). He featured in Time magazine's 2006 list of 'Asian Heroes'. Among other honorary titles bestowed upon him, Nusrat was called Shahenshah-e-Qawwali, meaning The Emperor of Qawwali.

Nusrat Fateh Ali Khan was born on October 13, 1948 in the city of Faisalabad, Pakistan. He was the fifth child and first son of Ustad Fateh Ali Khan, a distinguished and legendary musicologist, vocalist, instrumentalist, and Qawwal. Nusrat's family, which included his four older sisters and his younger brother, Farrukh Fateh Ali Khan grew up in central Lyallpur, in a small flat which was rented from a local businessman. In 1979, Nusrat married his first cousin, Naheed (the daughter of Fateh Ali Khan's brother, Salamat Ali Khan); they had one daughter, Nida.

Qawwali is a performance art that has traditionally been passed down within families. Nusrat's family has an unbroken tradition of performing Qawwali for approximately 600 years. Nusrat's father was initially reluctant to allow him to enter the family business, instead hoping that Nusrat would become a doctor or an engineer, having felt Qawwals had a low social status. However, Nusrat's enthusiasm for Qawwali eventually persuaded his father to train him in the art. Nusrat began by learning to play tabla alongside his father before progressing to learn Raag Vidya and Bolbandish. He then went on to learn to sing within the classical framework of khayal in the Qawwal Bachchon Ka Gharana and was taught dhrupad from the Dagar family. Khan's training with his father was cut short when his father died in 1964, leaving Nusrat's paternal uncles, Ustad Mubarak Ali Khan and Ustad Salamat Ali Khan, to complete his training.

His first performance was at a traditional graveside ceremony for his father, known as chehlum, which took place forty days after his father's death. In 1971, after the death of Ustad Mubarak Ali Khan, Nusrat became the official leader of the family Qawwali party and the party became known as Nusrat Fateh Ali Khan, Mujahid Mubarak Ali Khan & Party. Nusrat assumed leadership of the party, despite the fact that Mujahid Mubarak Ali Khan, who was Ustad Mubarak Ali Khan's son, was considerably older than him.

Nusrat's first public performance as the leader of the Qawwali party was at a studio recording broadcast as part of an annual music festival organized by Radio Pakistan, known as Jashn-e-Baharan. Nusrat went on to distinguish himself from other Qawwals and became renowned on the Indian subcontinent and in the Muslim world. He sang mainly in Urdu and Punjabi and occasionally in Persian, Brajbhasha and Hindi. His first major hit in Pakistan was the song Haq Ali Ali, which was performed in a traditional style and with traditional instrumentation. The song featured restrained use of Nusrat's sargam improvisations and attracted a large number of listeners.

Early in his career, Nusrat was signed up by Oriental Star Agencies [OSA] of Birmingham (United Kingdom) to their Star Cassette Label. OSA sponsored regular concert tours by Nusrat to the United Kingdom from the early '80s onwards, and released much of this live material (albeit not always very well recorded) on cassette, CD, videotape and DVD. The vast majority of Nusrat's qawwali performances that are available today in video format on various labels comes from these OSA-sponsored concert tours.

Nusrat reached out to Western audiences through his work with Peter Gabriel on the soundtrack to The Last Temptation of Christ in 1985, his collaborations with Canadian musician Michael Brook (on the albums Mustt Mustt (1990) and Night Song (1996)), and his work with Pearl Jam lead singer Eddie Vedder in 1995 on two songs for the soundtrack to Dead Man Walking. He also contributed to the soundtrack of Natural Born Killers. However, Nusrat was unhappy with the use of his vocals on the Natural Born Killers soundtrack, stating that the nature of the film was contrary to the beliefs and the ideals conveyed in his work.

Peter Gabriel's Real World label later released five albums of Nusrat's traditional Qawwali, together with some of his experimental work which included the albums Mustt Mustt and Star Rise. Nusrat provided vocals for The Prayer Cycle, which was put together by Jonathan Elias, but died before the vocals could be completed. Alanis Morissette was brought in to sing with his unfinished vocals. He also performed traditional Qawwali before international audiences at several WOMAD world music festivals and the single "Dam Mast Qalandar" was remixed by electronic hip hop group Massive Attack in 1998.

Nusrat's album Intoxicated Spirit was nominated for a Grammy award in 1997 for best traditional folk album.

When Nusrat toured in foreign countries, he would watch television commercials in order to identify the melodies and chord progressions popular in that country. He would then try to choose similar sounding songs from his repertoire for his performances.  After his death, the song "Solemn Prayer", on which Nusrat provided vocals, was used by Peter Gabriel on his album Up and in the soundtrack to the film Blood Diamond.

Nusrat possessed a six-octave vocal range and could perform at a high-level of intensity for several hours.

Nusrat contributed songs to, and performed in, several Pakistani films. Shortly before his death, he recorded a song each for two Bollywood films, Aur Pyaar Ho Gaya (in which he also appeared) and Kachche Dhaage. He also sang the immensely-popular title song of the film, Dhadkan. There was also a song sung by him in the movie Kartoos, starting Sanjay Dutt and Manisha Koirola

Nusrat contributed the song "Gurus of Peace" to the album Vande Mataram, composed by Oscar-winning composer A.R. Rahman, and released to celebrate the 50th anniversary of India's independence.

According to the Guinness Book of World Records, Nusrat Fateh Ali Khan holds the world record for the largest recorded output by a Qawwali artist—a total of 125 albums as of 2001. Since then, many posthumous albums have been released, but an accurate count of the total number of albums is not available.

Nusrat became ill with kidney and liver failure on August 11, 1997 in London, England while on the way to Los Angeles in order to receive a kidney transplant. Nusrat died of a sudden cardiac arrest at Cromwell Hospital, London, on Saturday, August 16, 1997, at age 48, at the height of his career. His body was returned to Faisalabad, Pakistan, and his funeral was attended by thousands of people.

Nusrat is responsible for the modern evolution of Qawwali. Though not the first to do so, he popularized the blending of singing and techniques with Qawwali. This, in short, took the form of improvised solos during the songs using the sargam technique, in which the performer sings the names of the notes he is singing. He also attempted to blend Qawwali music with more western styles such as electronic music.

Nusrat's Qawwali usually follows the standard form. A song begins with a short instrumental prelude played on the harmonium, accompanied by percussion. Then the instruments refrain, and the main singers launch into the alap, which establishes the raag, the tonal structure of the music. At this point, introductory poetic verses are sung. These are usually drawn not from the main song, but from thematically related songs. The melody is improvised within the structure of the raag.

After the introductory verses, the main song starts, and the rhythmic portion of the song begins. The tabla and dholak begin to play, and the chorus aids and abets percussion by clapping their hands. The song proceeds in a "call and response" format. The same song may be sung quite differently by different groups. The lyrics will be essentially the same, but the melody can differ depending on which gharana or lineage the group belongs to. As is traditional in Qawwali, Nusrat and the side-singers will interject alap solos, and fragments of other poems or even improvised lyrics. A song usually has two or three sets of refrains, which can be compared to the verse chorus structure found in western music. Songs last about twenty minutes on average, with a few lasting an hour or more.

Nusrat was noted for introducing other forms of improvisation into the style. From his classical music training, he would interject much more complex alap improvisations, with more vibrato and note bending. He would also interject sargam improvisations.

While it is undoubtedly difficult to put into words what makes Nusrat's music so deeply appealing to so many listeners, many of whom do not understand a single word of the languages he sings in, here is one fan's attempt to explain: "Nusrat's music invites us to eavesdrop on a man communing with his God, ever so eloquently. He makes the act of singing a passionate offering to God. But we do not merely eavesdrop. The deepest part of Nusrat's magic lies in the fact that he is able to bring our hearts to resonate with the music, so deeply, that we ourselves become full partners in that offering. He sings to God, and by listening, we also sing to God".

Born in Faisalabad, Pakistan, the young Nusrat could hardly avoid music.  His father, Ustad Fateh Ali Khan, was a famous classical musician and qawwal who sang with his brothers in a legendary “party”, or group.  But Ustad had different ambitions for his son.  He wanted him to be a professional, a doctor, in fact anything except a performer, because he knew only too well how difficult the profession of music could be. 

As a small boy, Nusrat would spend hours secretly eavesdropping on the classes his father was giving.  One day they found him listening and practicing, and realized he was already hooked on singing.  He was just nine years old.

In 1965, one year after his father’s death, Nusrat started singing properly, initially concentrating on classical music.  Then he joined the group led by his uncle, Ustad Mubarik 'Ali Khan, whose son Mujahed later came to sing with Nusrat.  His other uncle, Ustad Salamat 'Ali Khan, had taught the keen teenager the art of qawwali. 

The performing partnership ended in 1971 after six fruitful years, when Nusrat’s uncle Ustad Mubarik died.  But the young man pressed on undeterred, gradually building up a formidable reputation throughout Pakistan.  He listened to recordings by his father and his uncles for inspiration, and then created his own style, increasing the tempo very slightly to make the audience more receptive.  In short, he updated qawwali to suit the times.

Nusrat’s recurring dream of performing at a shrine in which no qawwal had ever sung finally convinced him to become a qawwal and follow in his six century old family tradition.  Latterly, his father had encouraged him by telling him that one day the dream might come true. 

Nusrat did not know the shrine in the dream was that of Hazratja Khwaja Mohin-ud-din Chisti in Ajmer, India, but both his uncles had recognized it from his descriptions.  In 1979, the dream became reality when the group visited the shrine as pilgrims. Nusrat became the first visiting qawwal invited to sing there. 

Above all, Nusrat loved to perform.  He stated that if an artist is not enjoying himself then the audience will not enjoy his performance.  Conversely, his experience of touring in Europe and North America demonstrated to him that people who do not understand the language can still appreciate the music. 

Nusrat noted that his music does not need words.  Even though the poems that are sung convey the message of the Sufi and the saints, his music, he remarked, is not exclusively for Muslims but for anyone who believes in God, for music is an international language.

Nusrat Fateh 'Ali Khan see 'Ali Khan, Nusrat Fateh

Ali, Mahershala
Mahershalalhashbaz "Mahershala" Ali Gilmore (b. February 16, 1974, Oakland, California), an American actor and rapper, began his career as a regular on series such as Crossing Jordan and Threat Matrix before his breakthrough role as Richard Tyler in the science-fiction series The 4400. His first major film release was in the 2008 David Fincher-directed romantic fantasy drama film The Curious Case of Benjamin Button, and his other notable films include Predators, The Place Beyond the PinesFree State of JonesHidden Figures, and as Boggs in The Hunger Games series. Ali is also known for his roles in the Netflix series House of Cards as Remy Danton and as Cornell "Cottonmouth" Stokes in Luke Cage. 
For his performance as mentor Juan in the drama film Moonlight (2016), Ali received universal acclaim from critics and won the Academy Award for Best Supporting Actor, the SAG Award and the Critics' Choice Award for Best Supporting Actor, and received a Golden Globe and a BAFTA Award nomination.  his win at the 89th Academy Awards made him the first Muslim actor to win an Oscar. 
Ali was born in 1974, in Oakland, California, the son of Willicia and Phillip Gilmore. He was raised in Cleveland, Ohio, and returned to Oakland when he was fourteen. He is named after Maher-shalal-hash-baz, a biblical prophetic-name child. Raised Christian by his mother, an ordained minister, he later converted to Islam, changing his surname from Gilmore to Ali, and joining the Ahmadiyya Muslim Community. His father appeared on Broadway.  He attended St. Mary's College of California (SMC) in Moraga, where he graduated in 1996 with a degree in mass communication.
Though Ali entered SMC with a basketball scholarship, he became disenchanted with the idea of a sports career because of the treatment given to the team's athletes. Ali developed an interest in acting, particularly after taking part in a staging of Spunk that later landed him an apprenticeship at the California Shakespeare Theater following graduation. Following a sabbatical year where Ali worked for Gavin Report, he enrolled in New York University's graduate acting program, earning his master's degree in 2000.
Ali was known professionally as Mahershalalhashbaz Ali until 2010. He is known for his portrayal of Remy Danton in the Netflix series House of Cards, Cornell Stokes in Luke Cage, Colonel Boggs in The Hunger Games: Mockingjay - Part 1 and The Hunger Games: Mockingjay - Part 2, and Tizzy in the 2008 film The Curious Case of Benjamin Button. 
His first major film release was in the 2008 David Fincher-directed romantic fantasy drama film The Curious Case of Benjamin Button, and his other notable films include Predatorsthe Place Beyond the PinesFree State of JonesHidden Figures, and as Boggs in The Hunger Games series.  
For his performance as mentor and drug dealer Juan in the drama film Moonlight (2016), Ali received universal acclaim from critics and won the Academy Award for Best Supporting Actor, the Screen Actors' Guild (SAG) Award and Critics' Choice Award for Best Supporting Actor, and received a Golden Globe and a BAFTA Award nomination. His win at the 89th Academy Awards made him the first Muslim actor to win an Oscar.
Ali married Amatus-Sami Karim in 2013.

Alimin Prawirodirdjo
Alimin Prawirodirdjo (1897-1964).  Indonesian Marxist and architect of the 1926-1927 Indonesian Communist Party (Partai Komunis Indonesia, or PKI) uprisings.  He stressed the need to coordinate revolution in Indonesia with international conditions.  He was returning from Moscow, where he had requested authorization for the uprisings, when the uprisings broke out.  On his return to Indonesia in 1946 after twenty-two years in exile, including a period in Yan’an with Mao Zedong, he argued in favor of postponing social revolution until Western recognition of Indonesian independence had been secured.  He later resisted the policies of Aidit, arguing that the PKI had become opportunist and insufficiently class-conscious.  He left the Party in 1956. 
Prawirodirdjo, Alimin see Alimin Prawirodirdjo

'Ali, Mohamed
'Ali, Mohamed (Mohamed 'Ali) (Maulana Mohammad Ali Jouhar) (1878 - January 4, 1931).  One of the leading Indian Muslim political activists of his generation.  He attended Aligarh College and gained renown in the Union debating society.  Mohamed studied at Oxford but failed to gain entrance to the Indian Civil Service.  Instead, he entered government service in the princely state of Baroda.  He took an active interest in the affairs of Aligarh College and its alumni association.  Mohamed wrote frequent articles championing the university and Muslim involvement in national politics.  In 1911, he started his famous English weekly, Comrade, and a year later an Urdu journal, Hamdard.  Mohamed and his brother Shaukat became firm opponents of British rule under the combined shock of the Balkan wars, British refusal of university status to Aligarh College in 1912, and the Kanpur Mosque incident in 1913.  They were interned for four years during World War I for their pro-Turkish activities.  Released in 1919, they led the Khilafat movement and were imprisoned again in 1921.  Following their release, Mohamed served as president of the Indian National Congress in 1923 and briefly revived Comrade and Hamdard.  Mohamed died in London during the first Round Table Conference and, as he wished not to return to an India that was unfree, was buried in Jerusalem.

Mohamed Ali, who later became well-known as Maulana Muhammad Ali Jauhar, was born in Rampur state in 1878 to a family of the Rohilla sub-tribe of Yousafzai Pashtun ancestry. He was the brother of Maulana Shaukat Ali and Maulana Zulfiqar Ali. Despite the early death of his father, the family strived and Ali attended the Aligarh Muslim University (AMU) and Lincoln College, Oxford University in 1898, studying modern history.

Upon his return to India, he served as education director for the Rampur state, and later joined the Baroda civil service. He became a writer and orator, and wrote for major English and Indian newspapers, in both English and Urdu. He himself launched the Urdu weekly Hamdard and English Comrade in 1911. He moved to Delhi in 1913.

Mohamed Ali worked hard to expand the AMU, then known as the Mohammedan Anglo-Oriental College, and was one of the co-founders of the Jamia Millia Islamia in 1920, which was later moved to Delhi.

Mohamed Ali had attended the founding meeting of the All India Muslim League in Dhaka in 1906, and served as its president in 1918. He remained active in the League till 1928.

Ali represented the Muslim delegation that travelled to England in 1919 in order to convince the British government to influence the Turkish nationalist Mustafa Kemal not to depose the Sultan of Turkey, who was the Caliph of Islam. British rejection of their demands resulted in the formation of the Khilafat committee which directed Muslims all over India to protest and boycott the government.

Accorded the respectful title of Maulana, Ali formed, in 1921, a broad coalition with Muslim nationalists like Maulana Shaukat Ali, Maulana Azad, Hakim Ajmal Khan, Mukhtar Ahmed Ansari and Indian nationalist leader Mahatma Gandhi. Gandhi enlisted the support of the Indian National Congress and many thousands of Hindus, who joined the Muslims in a demonstration of unity. Ali also wholeheartedly supported Gandhi's call for a national civil resistance movement, and inspired many hundreds of protests and strikes all over India. He was arrested by British authorities and imprisoned for two years for what was termed a seditious speech at the meeting of the Khilafat Conference. He was elected as President of the Indian National Congress in 1923.

Maulana Mohammad Ali was, however, disillusioned by the failure of the Khilafat movement and Gandhi's suspension of civil disobedience in 1922, owing to the Chauri Chaura incident.

He re-started his weekly Hamdard, and left the Congress Party. He opposed the Nehru Report, which was a document proposing constitutional reforms and a dominion status of an independent nation within the British Empire, written by a committee of Hindu and Muslim members of the Congress Party headed by President Motilal Nehru. It was a major protest against the Simon Commission which had arrived in India to propose reforms but containing no Indian nor making any effort to listen to Indian voices.

Mohamed Ali opposed the Nehru Report's rejection of separate electorates for Muslims, and supported the Fourteen Points of Muhammad Ali Jinnah and the League. He became a critic of Gandhi, breaking with fellow Muslim leaders like Maulana Azad, Hakim Ajmal Khan and Mukhtar Ahmed Ansari, who continued to support Gandhi and the Indian National Congress.

Ali attended the Round Table Conference to show that only the Muslim League spoke for India's Muslims. He died soon after the conference in London, on January 4, 1931 and was buried in Jerusalem according to his own wish.

Maulana Muhammad Ali Jauhar is remembered as a fiery leader of many of India's Muslims. He is celebrated as a hero by the Muslims of Pakistan, who claim he inspired the Pakistan movement. But in India, he is remembered for his leadership during the Khilafat Movement and the Non-Cooperation Movement (1919-1922) and his leadership in Muslim education.

The famous Muhammad Ali Road in south Bombay, India's largest city, is named after Maulana Muhammad Ali Jauhar. The Gulistan-e-Jauhar neighborhood of Karachi, Pakistan's largest city, and Mohammad Ali Co-operative Housing Society (M.A.C.H.S.) are named in honor of Maulana Mohammad Ali Jauhar. Johar Town, Lahore is also named after him.

Mohamed 'Ali see 'Ali, Mohamed
Muhammad Ali see 'Ali, Mohamed
Maulana Muhammad Ali Jauhar see 'Ali, Mohamed

Ali, Muhammad
Ali, Muhammad (Muhammad Ali) (Cassius Marcellus Clay, Jr.) (b. January 17, 1942, Louisville, Kentucky - d. June 3, 2016, Phoenix, Arizona).  African American boxer.  Born in Louisville, Kentucky, as Cassius Marcellus Clay, Jr., Ali was raised in a clapboard house in a middle class Louisville neighborhood.  Known as a shy and somewhat old-fashioned youth, he began boxing at the age of 12.  A European American patrolman named Joe Martin, who trained local amateur boxers, started Cassius Clay working out in Louisville’s Columbia Gym, but it was an African American trainer named Fred Stoner who taught Cassius the science of boxing.  Stoner taught Cassius to move with the grace of a dancer, and impressed upon him the subtle skills necessary to move beyond good and into the realm of greatness.

After winning an Olympic gold medal as a light heavyweight at the Rome Olympics in 1960, an eighteen year old Cassius Clay signed the most lucrative contract -- a 50-50 split -- negotiated by a beginning professional in the history of boxing, with a twelve member group of millionaires called the Louisville Sponsoring Group.  Later, he worked his way into contention for the coveted heavyweight title by boasting and creating media interest at a time when, by his own admission, he was only ranked number nine on the list of contenders.  Even from the beginning, it was clear that Clay was his own man -- quick, strong-willed, original, and witty. Clay knew that his rhymes and press-grabbing claims would infuse more interest and more money into the sport of boxing, and he was his own best public relations man.   

In February of 1964, he told readers of Sports Illustrated, “If I were like a lot of ... heavyweight boxers ... you wouldn’t be reading this story right now.  If you wonder what the difference between them and me is, I’ll break the news: you never heard of them.  I’m not saying they’re not good boxers.  Most of them ... can fight almost as good as I can.  I’m just saying you never heard of them.  And the reason for that is because they cannot throw the jive. Cassius Clay is a boxer who can throw the jive better than anybody.”

The following month Clay fought Sonny Liston for the world heavyweight title in Miami, Florida.  In a stunning upset, Clay utilized his skills and courage to first outbox Liston and then to knock him out.  After only 20 professional fights Clay upset Sonny Liston (1934-1970).  At the tender age of 22, Cassius Marcellus Clay became the heavyweight champion of the world.  

While in Miami, Clay was inspired by the Nation of Islam leader Malcolm X to become a member of the Muslim sect known as the Nation of Islam.  It was after his conversion that Cassius Clay was given the name Muhammad Ali by the Nation of Islam patriarch, Elijah Muhammad.

The newly named Muhammad Ali retained his world heavyweight championship in June of 1965 by again knocking out Sonny Liston, this time with a stunning right hand punch to the side of the head.  The knock-out blow was thrown with an astounding speed.  With these two Liston bouts, the legend of Muhammad Ali began. 

As a member of the Nation of Islam, Muhammad Ali was a conscientous objector to the Vietnam War.  Because of his stance, and also because of his race, his religion and his personality, a tremendous public outcry erupted against Ali.  Although Ali had not been charged or arrested for violating the Selective Service Act, the New York State Athletic Commission and the World Boxing Association suspended Ali’s boxing license and stripped him of his title in May of 1967, minutes after he officially announced that he would not submit to induction. 

Eventually Ali was sentenced to five years in prison, but was released on appeal and three years later was allowed to fight again.  

In November of 1970, Ali fought Jerry Quarry in Atlanta.  It was his first fight in over three years.  His victory over Quarry was a symbol of release and freedom to the 5,000 people watching the fight.  Ali had personally survived his vilification by much of the American public, but more, he had reclaimed his professional reputation and prominence.  Four months later, Ali had the world as his audience when he went up against Joe Frazier.  Showing some of the rust that still remained from his three year layoff, Ali fought valiantly but lost.

Ali made another comeback in 1974 by defeating Frazier in January and by regaining the heavyweight title with a stunning knockout of George Foreman (b.1949) on October 30, 1974 in Kinshasa, Zaire.  Four years later, Ali lost his title to Leon Spinks (b.1953) in a fight on February 15, 1978, at Las Vegas, Nevada.   Within the same year, however, he regained the title, beating Spinks in a 15 round bout at New Orleans, Louisiana, on September 15.  Ali thus became the first heavyweight in history to win the championship three different times.

Ali retired in 1979 but came out of retirement the following year to challenge Larry Holmes (b.1949) for the World Boxing Council heavyweight championship. 

After retirement, in 1982, Ali was diagnosed with Parkinson’s disease.   Some doctors attributed Ali’s Parkinson’s disease -- his Pugilistic Parkinsonism -- to the repetitive head trauma he endured during his long ring career.  However, while the disease slowed Ali’s reflexes and his mobility, Ali continued to persevere and inspire.  Indeed, one of the great moments in Olympic Games history came in 1996 at the Atlanta Olympic Games when Muhammad Ali was chosen as the last torch bearer -- the bearer who lights the Olympic Games flame.   

Because of his athletic accomplishments, his world-wide acclaim, his stances against social injustice, and his inspirational personal story, many consider Muhammad Ali to be the most influential athlete of the twentieth century. 


Muhammad Ali (b. Cassius Marcellus Clay, Jr., January 17, 1942, Louisville, Kentucky — d. June 3, 2016, Phoenix, Arizona) was a professional boxer and social activist. Ali was the first fighter to win the world heavyweight championship on three separate occasions. He successfully defended this title 19 times.
Cassius Marcellus Clay, Jr., grew up in the American South in a time of segregated public facilities. His father, Cassius Marcellus Clay, Sr., supported a wife and two sons by painting billboards and signs. His mother, Odessa Grady Clay, worked as a household domestic.
When Clay was 12 years old, he took up boxing under the tutelage of Louisville policeman Joe Martin. After advancing through the amateur ranks, he won a gold medal in the 175-pound (light heavyweight) division at the 1960 Olympic Games in Rome and began a professional career under the guidance of the Louisville Sponsoring Group, a syndicate composed of 11 wealthy white men.
In his early bouts as a professional, Clay was more highly regarded for his charm and personality than for his ring skills. He sought to raise public interest in his fights by reading childlike poetry and spouting self-descriptive phrases such as “float like a butterfly, sting like a bee.” He told the world that he was “the Greatest,” but the hard realities of boxing seemed to indicate otherwise. Clay infuriated devotees of the sport as much as he impressed them. He held his hands unconventionally low, backed away from punches rather than bobbing and weaving out of danger, and appeared to lack true knockout power. The opponents he was besting were a mixture of veterans who were long past their prime and fighters who had never been more than mediocre. Thus, purists cringed when Clay predicted the round in which he intended to knock out an opponent, and they grimaced when he did so and bragged about each new conquest.

On February 25, 1964, Clay challenged Sonny Liston for the heavyweight championship of the world. Liston was widely regarded as the most intimidating, powerful fighter of his era. Clay was a decided underdog. But in one of the most stunning upsets in sports history, Liston retired to his corner after six rounds, and Clay became the new champion. Two days later Clay shocked the boxing establishment again by announcing that he had accepted the teachings of the Nation of Islam. On March 6, 1964, he took the name Muhammad Ali, which was given to him by his spiritual mentor, Elijah Muhammad.

For the next three years, Ali dominated boxing as thoroughly and magnificently as any fighter ever had. In a May 25, 1965, rematch against Liston, he emerged with a first-round knockout victory. Triumphs over Floyd Patterson, George Chuvalo, Henry Cooper, Brian London, and Karl Mildenberger followed. On November 14, 1966, Ali fought Cleveland Williams.  Over the course of three rounds, Ali landed more than 100 punches, scored four knockdowns, and was hit a total of three times. Ali’s triumph over Williams was succeeded by victories over Ernie Terrell and Zora Folley.
Then, on April 28, 1967, citing his religious beliefs, Ali refused induction into the United States Army at the height of the war in Vietnam. This refusal followed a blunt statement voiced by Ali 14 months earlier: “I ain’t got no quarrel with them Vietcong.” Many Americans vehemently condemned Ali’s stand. It came at a time when most people in the United States still supported the war in Southeast Asia. Moreover, although exemptions from military service on religious grounds were available to qualifying conscientious objectors who were opposed to war in any form, Ali was not eligible for such an exemption, because he acknowledged that he would be willing to participate in an Islamic holy war.

Ali was stripped of his championship and precluded from fighting by every state athletic commission in the United States for three and a half years. In addition, he was criminally indicted and, on June 20, 1967, convicted of refusing induction into the United States armed forces and sentenced to five years in prison. Although he remained free on bail, four years passed before his conviction was unanimously overturned by the United States Supreme Court on a narrow procedural ground.
Meanwhile, as the 1960s grew more tumultuous, Ali’s impact upon American society was growing, and he became a lightning rod for dissent. Ali’s message of black pride and black resistance to white domination was on the cutting edge of the civil rights movement. Having refused induction into the United States Army, he also stood for the proposition that “unless you have a very good reason to kill, war is wrong.” As civil rights activist Julian Bond later observed, “When a figure as heroic and beloved as Muhammad Ali stood up and said, ‘No, I won’t go,’ it reverberated through the whole society.”
In October 1970, Ali was allowed to return to boxing, but his skills had eroded. The legs that had allowed him to “dance” for 15 rounds without stopping no longer carried him as surely around the ring. His reflexes, while still superb, were no longer as fast as they had once been. Ali prevailed in his first two comeback fights, against Jerry Quarry and Oscar Bonavena. Then, on March 8, 1971, he challenged Joe Frazier, who had become heavyweight champion during Ali’s absence from the ring. It was a fight of historic proportions, billed as the “Fight of the Century.” Frazier won a unanimous 15-round decision.
Following his loss to Frazier, Ali won 10 fights in a row, 8 of them against world-class opponents. Then, on March 31, 1973, a little-known fighter named Ken Norton broke Ali’s jaw in the second round en route to a 12-round upset decision. Ali defeated Norton in a rematch. After that he fought Joe Frazier a second time and won a unanimous 12-round decision. From a technical point of view, the second Ali-Frazier bout was probably Ali’s best performance in the ring after his exile from boxing.
On October 30, 1974, Ali challenged George Foreman, who had dethroned Frazier in 1973 to become heavyweight champion of the world. The bout (which Ali referred to as the "Rumble in the Jungle") took place in the unlikely location of Zaire (now the Democratic Republic of the Congo). Ali was received by the people of Zaire as a conquering hero, and he did his part by knocking out Foreman in the eighth round to regain the heavyweight title. It was in this fight that Ali employed a strategy once used by former boxing great Archie Moore. Moore called the maneuver “the turtle” but Ali called it "rope-a-dope". The strategy was that, instead of moving around the ring, Ali chose to fight for extended periods of time leaning back into the ropes in order to avoid many of Foreman’s heaviest blows.
Over the next 30 months, at the peak of his popularity as champion, Ali fought nine times in bouts that showed him to be a courageous fighter but a fighter on the decline. The most notable of these bouts occurred on October 1, 1975, when Ali and Joe Frazier met in the Philippines, 6 miles (9.5 km) outside Manila, to do battle for the third time. In what is regarded by many as the greatest prizefight of all time (the "Thrilla in Manila"), Ali was declared the victor when Frazier’s corner called a halt to the bout after 14 brutal rounds.
The final performances of Ali’s ring career were sad to behold. In 1978 he lost his title to Leon Spinks, a novice boxer with an Olympic gold medal but only seven professional fights to his credit. Seven months later Ali regained the championship with a 15-round victory over Spinks. Then he retired from boxing, but two years later he made an ill-advised comeback and suffered a horrible beating at the hands of Larry Holmes in a bout that was stopped after 11 rounds. The final ring contest of Ali’s career was a loss by decision to Trevor Berbick in 1981.
Ali’s place in boxing history as one of the greatest fighters ever is secure. His final record of 56 wins and 5 losses with 37 knockouts has been matched by others, but the quality of his opponents and the manner in which he dominated during his prime placed him on a plateau with boxing’s immortals. Ali’s most-tangible ring assets were speed, superb footwork, and the ability to take a punch. But perhaps more important, he had courage and all the other intangibles that go into making a great fighter.
Ali’s later years were marked by physical decline. Damage to his brain caused by blows to the head resulted in slurred speech, slowed movement, and other symptoms of Parkinson syndrome.  However, his condition differed from chronic encephalopathy, or dementia pugilistica (which is commonly referred to as “punch drunk” in fighters), in that he did not suffer from injury-induced intellectual deficits.
Ali’s religious views also evolved over time. In the mid-1970s he began to study the Qurʾan seriously and turned to Orthodox Islam. His earlier adherence to the teachings of Elijah Muhammad (e.g., that white people are “devils” and there is no heaven or hell) were replaced by a spiritual embrace of all people and preparation for his own afterlife. In 1984, Ali spoke out publicly against the separatist doctrine of Louis Farrakhan, declaring, “What he teaches is not at all what we believe in. He represents the time of our struggle in the dark and a time of confusion in us, and we don’t want to be associated with that at all.”
Ali married his fourth wife, Lonnie (née Yolanda Williams), in 1986. He had nine children, most of whom avoided the spotlight of which Ali was so fond. One of his daughters, however, Laila Ali, pursued a career as a professional boxer.
In 1996 Ali was chosen to light the Olympic flame at the start of the Games of the XXVI Olympiad in Atlanta, Georgia. The outpouring of goodwill that accompanied his appearance confirmed his status as one of the most-beloved athletes in the world. His life story is told in the documentary film I Am Ali (2014), which includes audio recordings that he made throughout his career and interviews with his intimates.
Muhammad Ali see Ali, Muhammad
Clay, Cassius Marcellus, Jr. see Ali, Muhammad
Cassius Marcellus Clay, Jr. see Ali, Muhammad

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