Monday, March 18, 2013

Ali, Noble Drew - American blacks

Ali, Noble Drew
Ali, Noble Drew (Noble Drew Ali)  (Timothy Drew) (January 8, 1886 - July 20, 1929).   Founder of the Moorish Science Temple.  He was born Timothy Drew  in North Carolina.  Noble Ali is principally known for his role in establishing the first North American religious movement combining black nationalist and Muslim themes while rejecting Christianity as the religion of Europeans and European Americans. 

Timothy Drew was born on January 8, 1886 in North Carolina, USA. The accounts of Timothy Drew's ancestry variously describe his being the son of two former slaves who was adopted by a tribe of Cherokees or his being the son of a Moroccan Muslim father and a Cherokee mother.

His mother apparently died while Drew was a young boy, and left him to be raised by an abusive aunt. According to the Moorish Science account, at the age of 16 he befriended a band of Roma ("gypsies") with whom he traveled the world, although other accounts state he shipped out as a merchant seaman, became a railway expressman, or joined a circus and became a stage magician. Some researchers wonder whether Drew actually left the States at all.

Nevertheless, it was supposedly during his travels that Drew met the high priest of an Egyptian cult of magic. In one version of Drew's biography, the leader saw him as a reincarnation of the founder of the cult, while in others he considered him a reincarnation of Jesus. According to the biography, the cult trained him in mysticism and bestowed upon him a lost version of the life of Jesus.

This text came to be known as the Holy Koran of the Moorish Science Temple of America (note that this text is never spelled Qur'an). It is also known, somewhat more informally, as the Circle Seven Koran because of its cover, which features a red "7" surrounded by a blue circle.

Drew was anointed the Noble Drew Ali, the Prophet, and launched into his career as head of the Moorish Science Temple.

In 1913 Drew Ali formed the first Moorish Science Temple (Canaanite Temple) in Newark, New Jersey.  He taught that African Americans were “Asiatics” who had originally lived in Morocco before enslavement.  Every people, including African Americans, needed land for themselves, he proclaimed, and North America, which he termed an “extension” of the African continent, was the proper home for African Americans.  The holy book for the Moorish Science Temple was a “Holy Koran” which was “divinely prepared by the Noble Prophet Drew Ali.”  This “Holy Koran” was the creation of Noble Drew Ali and should not be confused with the Qur’an of orthodox Islam.   Every member of the Moorish Temple carried a card stating that “we honor all the Divine Prophets, Jesus, Muhammad, Buddha and Confucius” and “I AM A CITIZEN OF THE U.S.A.”

The formation of the Moorish Science Temple is believed to be the precursor to the reappearance of Islam among African Americans.  Noble Drew Ali taught that people of African descent were not Ethiopians, but the descendants of the Moabites of the Bible whose homeland was said to be Morocco. W. D. Fard, the founder of the Nation of Islam in the early 1930s, was originally a member of the Moorish Science Temple.

Forced to flee Newark because of his views on race, Drew Ali and his followers settled in Philadelphia, Washington D.C., and Detroit.

In the 1920s, the Moorish Science Temple expanded to Pittsburgh and Chicago.  Noble Drew Ali also started several small businesses, which he and his followers ran.

He settled in Chicago in 1925, ostensibly because the Midwest was "closer to Islam", and the following year he officially registered Temple No. 9.

In the late 1920s, it was estimated that the Moorish Temple had 15,000 members in 17 temples, despite coming under scrutiny, and possibly harassment, by the Chicago police. By 1928, the Moorish Temple members had indeed obtained some respectability within Chicago and Illinois, being featured prominently and favorably in the pages of the Chicago Defender, a black newspaper, and conspicuously collaborating with black politician and businessman Daniel Jackson. Drew even attended the 1929 inauguration of the Illinois governor. The Chicago Defender stated that Drew's inauguration trip ended "with interviews with many distinguished citizens from Chicago, who greeted him on every hand".

In early 1929, following a conflict over funds, the business manager of the Chicago Temple No.1 location, Claude Green Bey, a Booster's Club president splintered off, declaring himself Grand Sheik and taking a number of members with him. On March 15, 1929, Green Bey was stabbed to death at the Unity Hall on Indiana Avenue in Chicago. Although out of town at the time, dealing with a separate incident where former Supreme Grand Governor Lomax Bey had also aligned himself with Claude Green Bey's attempted coup, Drew Ali had returned to Chicago and was arrested as an instigator of Green Bey's murder, along with other members of the community. Allegedly beaten by police, Drew Ali was ultimately released as suspect in Green Bey's death, and there was no indictment upheld on Drew Ali at that time.

Shortly after his release, Drew Ali died at his home in Chicago on July 20, 1929. Although the exact circumstances of his death are unknown. the autopsy ruled that Noble Drew Ali died from pneumonia and tuberculosis. Many of his followers speculated that his death was caused by injuries received at the hands of the police or from being beaten by other members of the Moorish Temple community. However, one Moorish Temple community member told the Chicago Defender that "The Prophet was not ill; his work was done and he laid his head upon the lap of one of his followers and passed out".

At the Unity Conference later that year, the governors declared Charles Kirkman Bey as the successor to Drew Ali, naming him Grand Sheik. However, John Givens El, Drew's chauffeur, declared that he was Drew reincarnated, leading to a division within the temples.

On September 25, 1929, the Chicago police, accompanied by two Moorish Temple members, were investigating the apparent kidnapping of Charles Kirkman Bey when, at the home of Ira Johnson, they were met by gunfire from the home. This quickly escalated into a shoot-out that spilled out into the surrounding neighborhood. In the end, a policemen as well as a Moorish Temple member were killed in the gun battle, with a second policeman later dying of his wounds. Sixty "Negroes" were taken into police custody and a reported 1000 police officers patrolled the Chicago South Side that evening. Johnson Bey and two others were later convicted of murder.

The Moorish Science Temple did survive Noble Drew Ali’s death.  However, W. D. Fard's Nation of Islam was soon able to attract some of the Moorish Science Temple's followers and eventually displaced it as the pre-eminent black nationalist religion with Muslim themes. 

Noble Drew Ali see Ali, Noble Drew
Drew, Timothy see Ali, Noble Drew
Timothy Drew see Ali, Noble Drew

'Ali Sastroamidjojo
'Ali Sastroamidjojo (Ali Sastroamijoyo)  (May 21, 1903 - March 13, 1976).   Indonesian nationalist politician. Ali Sastroamidjojo, sometimes written Ali Sastroamijoyo, was the 8th and 10th Prime Minister of Indonesia. He was born in Grabag, Central Java on May 21, 1903 and died in Jakarta on March 13, 1976.

As a student in the Netherlands, 'Ali was arrested in 1927 for his activities in the nationalist Perhimpunan Indonesia Association.  In Indonesia, he was active in successive radical nationalist organizations, Partai Nasional Indonesia (PNI), Partindo, and Gerindo.  He became a leader of the postwar PNI and headed two cabinets (July 1953-July 1955 and March 1956-March 1957).  One of the architects of Indonesia’s participation in the nonaligned movement, he hosted the Asian-African conference in Bandung in 1955.  Under Sukarno’s Guided Democracy he led the dominant left wing of the PNI but was removed from leadership in 1966. 

Sastroamidjojo, 'Ali see 'Ali Sastroamidjojo
Ali Sastroamijoyo see 'Ali Sastroamidjojo
Sastroamijoyo, Ali see 'Ali Sastroamidjojo

'Ali, Shaukat
'Ali, Shaukat (Shaukat 'Ali) (Maulana Shaukat Ali)  (1873-1938).  One of the leading Indian Muslim political activists of his generation.  He attended Aligarh College and gained renown in the Union debating society.  He entered government service in the Opium Department.  He took an active interest in the affairs of Aligarh College and its alumni association.  Shaukat’s first nationwide exposure came during his fundraising tours for Aligarh College in 1911.  Shaukat and his brother Mohamed 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. 

Maulana Shaukat Ali was an Indian Muslim nationalist and leader of the Khilafat movement. He was the brother of Maulana Mohammad Ali.  Shaukat Ali was born in 1873 in Rampur state in what is today Uttar Pradesh. He was educated at the Aligarh Muslim University. He was extremely fond of playing cricket, captaining the university team.

Ali served in the civil service of United Provinces of Oudh and Agra from 1896 to 1913.

Shaukat Ali helped his brother Mohammed Ali publish the Urdu weekly Hamdard and the English weekly Comrade. In 1919, while jailed for publishing what the British charged as seditious materials and organizing protests, he was elected as the first president of the Khilafat conference. He was re-arrested and imprisoned from 1921 to 1923 for his support to Mahatma Gandhi and the Indian National Congress during the Non-Cooperation Movement (1919-1922). His followers accorded him and his brother the title of Maulana. In March 1922, he was incarcerated in Rajkot jail.

Along with his brother, Shaukat Ali grew disilliusioned with the Congress and Gandhi's leadership. He opposed the 1928 Nehru Report, demanding separate electorates for Muslims, and attended the first and second Round Table Conferences in London. His brother died in 1931, and Ali continued on and organized the World Muslim Conference in Jerusalem.

In 1936, Ali joined the All India Muslim League and became a close political ally of and campaigner for Muhammad Ali Jinnah, the future founder of Pakistan. He served as member of the Central Assembly from 1934 to 1938. He travelled over the Middle East, building support for India's Muslims and the struggle for independence.

Shaukat Ali died in 1938.
Shaukat 'Ali see 'Ali, Shaukat
Maulana Shaukat Ali see 'Ali, Shaukat

'Ali, Sunni
'Ali, Sunni .  See Sunni 'Ali.

Alivardi Khan
Alivardi Khan (Ali Vardi Khan) (Mirza Muhammad 'Ali) (May 10, 1671 - April 16, 1756).  Title of Mirza Muhammad 'Ali, third generation Mughal mansabdar.  Backing a loser in the succession wars, he left the court for service under Shuja-ad-din Muhammad Khan in 1720, helped him become nawab of Bengal (July 1727), and was rewarded with the deputy governorship of Bihar in 1733.  From this power base he seized Bengal himself in 1740 and ruled ably, despite the devastating Maratha invasions of 1742 to 1751, until his death at Murshidabad on April 10, 1756.  Ali Vardi Khan was the independent Nawab of Bengal between 1740 and 1756.

Ali Vardi was born on the May 10, 1671. He was named Mirza Muhammad Ali, the son of Shah Quli Khan Mirza Muhammad Madani and the daughter of Nawab Aqil Khan Afshar .His official title was Shuja ul-Mulk, Husam ud-Daula, Nawab Muhammad Alahvirdi Khan Bahadur, Mahabat Jang, Nawab Nazim of Bengal, Bihar and Orissa.

Alivardi Khan was a Shiite Muslim and his father Mirza Muhammad Madani was an employee of Azam Shah, the son of Mughal emperor Aurangzeb. Azam Shah also employed the sons of Mirza Muhammad, but after the death of Azam Shah the family fell into poverty.

His two sons Muhammad Ali and Mirza Ahmed managed to find employment under Orissa's Subdedar Suza-ud-Din. After Suza-ud-din was promoted to nawab the two brothers' future prospects widened. In 1728, Suza-ud-din promoted Muhammad Ali to ‘Fauzdar’ (General) and entitled him as Ali Vardi. In 1733, he was assigned as Bihar’s assistant Subedar (governor).

Ali Vardi Khan however wanted to become the ruler of Bengal himself.  On April 29, 1740, he deposed Suza-ud-din, becoming Nawab of Bengal and also got recognition from Mughal emperor Muhammad Shah.

During his reign Bengal was attacked twice by the Nagpur Kingdom under Raghoji I Bhonsle in 1746 and 1750. This caused the loss of Cuttack to Nagpur in 1750.

Alivardi Khan died on April 16, 1756. His grandson Siraj-ud-Daula succeeded Ali Vardi Khan as the Nawab of Bengal in April 1756 at the age of 23.

Khan, Alivardi see Alivardi Khan
Mirza Muhammad 'Ali see Alivardi Khan
'Ali, Mirza Muhammad see Alivardi Khan

‘Ali Yaja ibn Tsamia
‘Ali Yaja ibn Tsamia. First Muslim ruler of the Hausa city-state of Kano (c.1349-1385).  During his rule, a foreign Muslim community established itself at Kano, probably as a result of the break-up of the Mali empire.  Although ‘Ali established Islamic offices alongside the traditional ones, Islam remained a foreign element in most of Kano until the reign of Muhammad Rumfa.

‘Ali Zaynu al-Abidin
‘Ali Zaynu al-Abidin (‘Abu Muhammadi ‘Ali ibn Husayn) ('Ali ibn Husayn) (approximately January 6, 659  - October 20, 712).  Fourth imam of Shi‘a Islam (r. 680 to 712).  Due to his weak health and inability to fight, he was the only son of Husayn to survive the massacre at Karbala.  He was taken as prisoner to Damascus but was freed by the Caliph Yazid and allowed to return to Medina.  He spent his life in seclusion, weeping over the martyrs at Karbala, for which he was named ‘as-Sajjad – “the prostrator.”  He did not involve himself in the politics of this time and was widely well regarded for his piousness.  Of other honorary titles for him, the most commonly used were Zaynu al-Abidin (“the ornament of the worshippers”) and ‘az-Zaki (“the pure”).   He was succeeded by Muhammad al-Baqir in both the Twelver and Isma‘ili traditions and by Zayd in the Zaydi tradition.

‘Alī ibn Ḥusayn is a great-grandson of Muhammad as well as the fourth Shī‘a Imām (the third Imām according to the Ṭayyibī [Bohra] Ismā‘ilī). His mother was Shahrbānū and his father was Ḥusayn ibn ‘Alī. His brothers include ‘Alī al-Aṣghar ibn Ḥusayn and ‘Alī al-Akbar ibn Ḥusayn. He is known as Zayn al-Abidīn -- "Beauty/Best of the Worshippers". He is also referred to as Imām al-Sajjad -- "the Prostrating Imām" -- and Sayyid as-Sājjadīna wa r-Rāki‘īn -- "Leader of Those who Prostrate and Bow".

‘Alī ibn Ḥusayn was born in Medina. His father, Ḥusayn ibn ‘Alī, was a grandson of Muhammad. His brothers were Ali Akbar ibn Husayn and Ali Asghar ibn Husayn. His sisters were Sakina bint Husayn and Fatimah Sughra bint Husayn

'Ali ibn Husayn dedicated his life to learning and became an authority on prophetic traditions and Shari'a. He is regarded as the source of the third holiest book in Shī‘ah Islam after the Qur'ān and the Nahj al Balagha: the Saḥīfa al-Sajjadiyya, commonly referred to as the Psalms of the Household of Muhammad. ‘Alī ibn Ḥusayn had many supporters such as Sa‘īd ibn Jubayr.

'Ali ibn Husayn was beside his father right from the moment of his migration towards Karbala and followed his father, Husayn ibn Ali step by step.

A segment of the people who are unaware consider Ali ibn Husayn to have been a sick, handicapped, and a weak person. But they are mistaken because the illness of Ali ibn Husayn was an expedience and policy of Allah, so that he might remain safe from the harm of the enemy's sword, and become the living legacy of Karbala.

One of the special features of Ali ibn Husayn's character was his piety and abstinence.

‘Alī ibn Husayn, like his grandfather, cultivated land and palm date orchards.

As the son of Husayn ibn ‘Alī, he was under great scrutiny and could not directly guide those who secretly followed the household of Muhammad. But he conveyed his understanding of the relationship between human and God by the prayers and supplications that he offered God during his extensive nighttime vigils in the mosque of the Prophet in Medina. These prayers and supplications were written down and then disseminated by his sons and the subsequent generations. Among them is the Sahifa al-Sajjadiyya, which is known as the Psalms of Islam.

'Ali ibn Husayn looked after and administrated hundreds of houses of the poor and hunger stricken.
At the Battle of Karbala on the day of Ashura, Husayn ibn Ali and most of his family were killed. Ali ibn Husayn survived because he was too sick to fight, and was bedridden. Afterwards, he was taken prisoner by the Umayyad forces and transported to Damascus where he was made a prisoner of the Caliph, Yazid I. After some years, he was freed, and returned to Medina where he lived a quiet life as a scholar and a teacher.

‘Alī ibn Ḥusayn resided in Medina until his death on 25th of Muharram, 95 AH (approximately October 20, 712). He was poisoned by Hisham ibn Abd al-Malik. He was buried in Jannatul Baqee', the cemetery in Medina where other important figures of Islamic history are buried.

Abidin, 'Ali Zaynu al- see ‘Ali Zaynu al-Abidin
'Abu Muhammadi  'Ali ibn Husayn see ‘Ali Zaynu al-Abidin
Sajjad, 'as- see ‘Ali Zaynu al-Abidin
“the prostrator”   see ‘Ali Zaynu al-Abidin
“the ornament of the worshippers” see ‘Ali Zaynu al-Abidin
Zaki, 'az see ‘Ali Zaynu al-Abidin

Allah (God).  Muslim name for God, the Supreme Being, the Creator.  The term is a contraction of the Arabic "al-Lah",  “the God.”  Both the idea and the word existed in pre-Islamic Arabian tradition, in which some evidence of a primitive monotheism can also be found.  Although they recognized other, lesser gods, the pre-Islamic Arabs recognized Allah as the supreme God.  While Islam rejected the other pre-Islamic Arab deities, al-Lah was described as the one eternal, omnipotent God.  Al-Lah is therefore not a proper name, but rather a description.  The word Allah also came to be used by Arab Christians and the word Allah is used in the Arabic Bible  -- the Qur’an.

The Qur’an, the holy book of Islam, asserts that Allah is the creator and the one who rewards and punishes; that Allah is unique and can only be one; that Allah is eternal, omniscient, omnipotent, and all-merciful.  The core of the religion is submission to the will of Allah; people must abandon themselves entirely to God’s sovereignty.

Although as creator Allah is utterly transcendent and not to be compared to any of Allah’s creatures, Allah is nevertheless a personal god, a fair judge, merciful and benevolent.  Each chapter of the Qur’an begins with “Allah, the Merciful, the Compassionate,” and before fulfilling religious obligations the Muslim recites, “In the name of Allah, the Merciful, the Compassionate.”

Islam does not admit of any mediator between Allah and humans.  A person approaches Allah directly in personal prayer and in reciting the Qur’an, which is considered literally the speech of Allah.  The prophets, who conveyed the word of Allah, are not considered in any way divine.

The name Allah is found in numerous inscriptions of the pre-Islamic period in both North and South Arabia.  It is of uncertain origin.  Some believe it is derived from a contraction of the definite article "al-" and the word for deity, "‘ilah", meaning “god”.  However, many Western scholars see an ultimate foreign origin for this formation in the Aramaic "elaha".

Allah was a central figure in the pre-Islamic pantheon, but Allah seems not to have been worshiped as the chief deity.  The Qur’an at Sura 53:19-20 mentions three deities who were apparently thought to be daughters of Allah: Manat, al-Lat, and al-‘Uzza, who were widely venerated.  This notion parallels the position of Baal in the Northwest Semitic pantheon. 

The Meccans regarded Allah as the creator and possibly the controller of the weather, a function which would seem appropriate for the head of a pantheon (see Sura 13:16; 29:61, 63; 31:25; 43:9-19).  It is uncertain as to what degree concepts of God derived from Judaism and Christianity had penetrated the pre-Islamic view of Allah, but it is known that several individuals abandoned paganism in favor of the monotheistic worship of Allah.  Those who chose monotheism were called Hanifs, a term also applied to the patriarch Abraham and were clearly influenced by Jewish and Christian doctrines, as is seen in the career of Waraqa ibn Nawfal, the cousin of Muhammad’s first wife, Khadija.  When the idea of Allah as a universal and transcendent God was introduced by Islam, the pre-Islamic Arabs are represented as aware of this notion, although rejecting it.

Muhammad rejected any definition that associated anything with Allah.  The creedal statement, “There is no deity except Allah,” which is said by millions of Muslims several times daily, is the essential condensation of the Qur’anic view.  Allah was for Muhammad the only reality, the Truth, the Creator, the Sustainer, the Possessor, the Destroyer, the Redeemer, who has all power and all might. 

Human relationships to Allah are subservient and contractual.  People are God’s servants.  All that they have is from God and their obligations are to God {Sura 23:60}.  In the Qur’an, God is seen as above God’s creation.  God is seen as directing the universe by God’s Will.  God guides whom God wills and leads into error whom God wills {Sura 13:27; 74:31}.  God seals the hearts of sinners {Sura 7:99-100}.  God is also the giver {Sura 3:8} and the provider {Sura 51:58}.  Humans are obligated to recognize this fundamental dependent relationship but are saved from arbitrary acts by God’s promise that whoever acts in accordance with the precepts of Islam will be properly rewarded. 

Mankind owes Allah gratitude, worship, and right conduct.  To be ungrateful is to be an unbeliever.  The Qur’an is filled with terminology describing personal relationships to Allah, and the notion of Islam itself, as a kind of peace deriving from the certitude of divine reward and punishment, is contrasted with the non-contractual uncertainty of paganism, in which the individual is subject to the whim and caprice of numerous deities whom it is impossible to please or appease.

In Islam, there are 99 names of God, but these should not be considered as proper names (the idea of actually naming God, for Muslims, is regarded as a way of reducing God into a human framework.  The high number of names must be understood as an expression of the incapacity of man to grasp the total nature of God.  Most common of the 99 names are ar-Rahman (“the Merciful”) and ar-Rahim (“the Compassionate”). 

While the term Allah is best known in the West for its use by Muslims as a reference to God, it is used by Arabic-speakers of all Abrahamic faiths, including Christians and Jews, in reference to "God". The term was also used by pagan Meccans as a reference to the creator-god, possibly the supreme deity in pre-Islamic Arabia.

The concepts associated with the term Allah (as a deity) differ among the traditions. In pre-Islamic Arabia amongst pagan Arabs, Allah was not considered the sole divinity, having associates and companions, sons and daughters - a concept which Islam thoroughly and resolutely abrogated. In Islam, the name Allah is the supreme and all-comprehensive divine name. All other divine names are believed to refer back to Allah. Allah is unique, the only Deity, creator of the universe and omnipotent. Arab Christians today use terms such as Allāh al-ʼAb ("God the Father") to distinguish their usage from Muslim usage. There are both similarities and differences between the concept of God as portrayed in the Qur'an and the Hebrew Bible.
The term Allāh is derived from a contraction of the Arabic definite article al- "the" and ʼilāh "deity, god" to al-lāh meaning "the [sole] deity, God" (ho theos monos). Cognates of the name "Allāh" exist in other Semitic languages, including Hebrew and Aramaic. The corresponding Aramaic form is ʼĔlāhā in Biblical Aramaic and ʼAlâhâ or ʼĀlōho in Syriac.

The contraction of al- and ʼilāh in forming the term Allāh ("the god", masculine form) parallels the contraction of al- and ʼilāha in forming the term Allāt ("the goddess", feminine form).

In pre-Islamic Arabia, Allah was used by Meccans as a reference to the creator-god, possibly the supreme deity.

Allah was not considered the sole divinity; however, Allah was considered the creator of the world and the giver of rain. The notion of the term may have been vague in the Meccan religion. Allah was associated with companions, whom pre-Islamic Arabs considered as subordinate deities. Meccans held that a kind of kinship existed between Allah and the jinn. Allah was thought to have had sons and that the local deities of al-ʻUzzá, Manāt and al-Lāt were His daughters. The Meccans possibly associated angels with Allah. Allah was invoked in times of distress. Muhammad's father's name was ‘Abdallāh meaning the “servant of Allāh.” or "the slave of Allāh"

According to Islamic belief, Allah is the proper name of God,] and humble submission to His Will, Divine Ordinances and Commandments is the pivot of the Muslim faith. "He is the only God, creator of the universe, and the judge of humankind." "He is unique (wahid) and inherently one (ahad), all-merciful and omnipotent." The Qur'an proves that "the reality of Allah, His inaccessible mystery, His various names, and His actions on behalf of His creatures."
In Islamic tradition, there are 99 Names of God ("al-asma al-husna" literally meaning: "the best names") each of which evoke a distinct characteristic of Allah. All these names refer to Allah, the supreme and all-comprehensive divine name. Among the 99 names of God, the most famous and most frequent of these names are "the Merciful" (al-rahman) and "the Compassionate" (al-rahim).

Most Muslims use the untranslated Arabic phrase "insha' Allah" (meaning "God willing") after references to future events. Muslim discursive piety encourages beginning things with the invocation of "bismillah"(meaning "In the name of God").

There are certain phrases in praise of God that are favored by Muslims, including "Subhan-Allah" (Holiness be to God), "Alhamdulillah" (Praise be to God), "La-il-la-ha-illa-Allah" (There is no deity but God) and "Allāhu Akbar" (God is great) as a devotional exercise of remembering God (zikr). In a Sufi practice known as zikr Allah (literally "remembrance of God"), the Sufi repeats and contemplates on the name Allah or other divine names while controlling his or her breath.

Arabic-speakers of all Abrahamic faiths, including Christians and Jews, use the word "Allah" to mean "God". The Christian Arabs of today have no other word for God than Allah. (Even the Arabic-descended Maltese language of Malta, whose population is almost entirely Roman Catholic, uses "Allah" for "God".) Arab Christians for example use terms Allāh al-ʼab meaning God the father, Allāh al-ibn meaning God the son, and Allāh al-rūḥ al-quds meaning God the Holy Spirit

Arab Christians have used two forms of invocations that were affixed to the beginning of their written works. They adopted the Muslim basm-allah, and also created their own Trinitized basm-allah as early as the eight century of the Christian calendar. The Muslim basm-allah reads: "In the name of God, the Compassionate, the Merciful." The Trinitized basm-allah reads: "In the name of the Father and the Son and the Holy Spirit, One God." The Syriac, Latin and Greek invocations do not have the words "One God" at the end. This addition was made to emphasize the monotheistic aspect of Trinitarian belief and also to make it more palatable to Muslims.
The history of the word "Allāh" in English was probably influenced by the study of comparative religion in 19th century; for example, Thomas Carlyle (1840) sometimes used the term Allah but without any implication that Allah was anything different from God. However, in his biography of Muhammad (1934), Tor Andræ always used the term Allah, though he allows that this "conception of God" seems to imply that it is different from that of the Jewish and Christian theologies. By this time Christians were also becoming accustomed to retaining the Hebrew term "Yahweh" untranslated (it was previously translated as "the Lord").

Languages which may not commonly use the term Allah to denote a deity may still contain popular expressions which use the word. For example, because of the centuries long Muslim presence in the Iberian Peninsula, the word "ojalá" in the Spanish language and "oxalá" in the Portuguese language exist today, borrowed from Arabic. This word literally means "God willing" (in the sense of "I hope so").

God see Allah
Supreme Being see Allah
Rahman, ar- see Allah
"The Merciful" see Allah
Rahim, ar- see Allah
"The Compassionate" see Allah

Allahu Akbar
Allahu Akbar is Arabic for "God is the greatest."  The phrase is said during each stage of both obligatory and voluntary prayers.  The Muslim call to prayer, or adhan, and call to commence the prayer, or iqama, also contain the phrase.  The actual title of this phrase is takir.  In the Islamic world, instead of applause, often someone will shout "takbir" and the crowd will respond "Allahu Akbar" in chorus to show agreement and satisfaction.

‘Allal al-Fasi
‘Allal al-Fasi (Muhammad Allal al-Fassi) (January 10, 1910 – May 19, 1974).  Moroccan politician, writer, poet and Islamic scholar.

'Allal al-Fasi was born in Fes, Morocco, and founded the nationalist Istiqlal party which was a driving force in the Moroccan struggle for independence from French colonial rule. He broke with the party in the mid-1950s, siding with armed revolutionaries and urban guerrillas who waged a violent campaign against French rule, whereas most of the nationalist mainstream preferred a diplomatic solution. In 1956, as Morocco gained independence, he reentered the party, and famously presented his case for reclaiming territories that had once been Moroccan in the newspaper, al-Alam. In 1959, after the left-wing UNFP split off from Istiqlal, he became head of the party.

In 1962, 'Allal al-Fasi briefly served as Morocco's Minister of Islamic Affairs. He was elected to the Parliament of Morocco in 1963, and served there as an Istiqlal deputy. He then went on to become a main leader within the " opposition" during the 1960s and the start of the 1970s. He died in 1974, on a visit to Romania where he was scheduled to meet with Nicolae Ceauşescu.

In 1925 Al-Fasi published his first book of poems.  One of Allal al-Fasi's books (published in Arabic in 1948) was translated as The Independence Movements in Arab North Africa (1954).

Fasi, 'Allal al- see ‘Allal al-Fasi
Muhammad Allal al-Fassi see ‘Allal al-Fasi

Allenby, Edmund
Allenby, Edmund (Edmund Allenby) (Edmund Henry Hynman Allenby) (23 April, 1861 – 14 May, 1936).  British soldier and administrator most famous for his role during World War I, in which he led the Egyptian Expeditionary Force in the conquest of Palestine and Syria in 1917 and 1918.  Allenby was arguably one of the most successful British commanders of the war, utilizing strategies he developed from his experiences in the Boer War and on the Western Front towards his Palestinian Campaigns of 1917-8. His management of the Battle of Megiddo in particular, with its brilliant use of infantry and mobile cavalry, is considered by many to be a precursor to the Blitzkrieg tactics so widely employed by Germany during World War II.

Born in Brackenhurst, Nottinghamshire, Allenby was educated at Haileybury College. He had no great desire to be a soldier, and tried to enter the Indian Civil Service, failing the entry exam twice. In 1880, he took the exam for the Royal Military College, Sandhurst and came fifth out of one-hundred and ten applicants. After ten months at Sandhurst, he passed out twelfth and was commissioned into the 6th (Inniskilling) Dragoons in 1881.

In 1882, Allenby joined his regiment in South Africa, and served in the Bechuanaland Expedition of 1884-1885 on patrol duties, and then in Zululand in 1888. In 1889, as a captain, he was made the adjutant of the regiment, responsible for the turnout, discipline and routine of the unit and soon gained a reputation for strictness. He returned to Britain in 1890 with his unit, which was posted to Brighton, during which time the regiment was confined to training and other routine duties. In 1893, Allenby’s time as adjutant came to an end, and in 1894 he took – but failed – the entry exam for the Staff College in Camberley. Not deterred, he took the exam again the next year and passed in twenty-first place, being the only cavalryman to enter the college by competition and the first officer from his regiment ever to do so. On the same day, Captain Douglas Haig of the 7th Hussars also entered the Staff College, albeit not by taking an exam, thus beginning a rivalry between the two that was to run until the First World War. Different in character, Haig and Allenby both worked hard at Staff College, although the latter was more popular with fellow officers, even being made Master of the Draghounds. Whereas Haig had few interests outside military affairs, Allenby had already developed a passion for poetry, ornithology, travel and botany. Before leaving Staff College in 1897, he was promoted to Major and also married Mabel Chapman, the daughter of a Wiltshire landowner. In 1898, Allenby joined the 3rd Cavalry Brigade, then serving in Ireland as the Brigade-Major.

At the outbreak of the Second Boer War, Allenby was returned to his regiment, and the Inniskillings were embarked at Queenstown before landing at Cape Town, South Africa, on December 11, 1899 during the ‘Black Week’ in which the British Army suffered reverses at Colenso, Magersfontein and Stormberg. Allenby was made second in command of the Inniskillings and sent to Naauwpoort Junction to join Major-General John French’s Cavalry Division. In defending the northern frontier of the Cape, French’s division employed harassing tactics and threatened the flanks and rear of the Boers whilst not committing his force to a large scale operation. During this time, Allenby gained a reputation for being a bold commander, having been given command of a squadron of cavalry, a role which suited Allenby more than second in command of the regiment. In one demonstration near Colesberg on January 14, 1900, Allenby commanded two squadrons, two companies of mounted infantry and a section of artillery in penetrating Boer lines, shelling a bridge and avoiding an attempt by the enemy to cut his force off. Having suffered no casualties, Allenby’s force returned having taken several prisoners. In February 1900, the Cavalry Division executed a daring outflanking manoeuvre at the Modder River, in which Allenby’s squadron took part. This led to the relief of Kimberley, which had been besieged by the Boers since the war’s outset. At Kimberley, Allenby resumed his acquaintance with Cecil Rhodes, who entertained him at dinner and sent several supplies to his squadron. Later in the month, Allenby’s squadron partook in the encirclement and capture of Piet Cronje’s force east of Kimberley. In March 1900, Allenby’s squadron led the final charge on Bloemfontein and was successful in seizing a number of kopjes to the south of the city. A month later, the commander of the Inniskillings was invalided home, and Allenby given temporary command of the regiment, during which it mostly undertook convoy duty. Johannesburg was occupied on May 31, and in June, during the advance on Pretoria, Allenby engaged a party of Boers at Kalkheuvel Pass after the Cavalry Division was ambushed. After the capture of Pretoria, and during Field Marshal Lord Roberts’ push eastwards, the Inniskillings were active around the town of Middelburg in which a thinly held line was maintained for more than three weeks against an active enemy. Subsequently, Allenby led the Inniskillings in the advance on Barberton and engaged the Boers at Lake Chrissie, during which the Cavalry Division was continually engaged by the Boers in the Eastern Transvaal. The Cavalry Division was broken up into several smaller columns, and Allenby received the command of one of these in January 1901.

The column period of the war lasted for eighteen months and took place across the Transvaal, the Orange Free State, Natal and the Cape Colony – an area equal to Germany, France and Holland combined. The tactics of mobile riflemen excelled due to the lack of railways, metalled roads and the vastness of the area of operations. Ultimately, Allenby’s column never suffered a reverse or lost a convoy during this period of the war – a fate that befell most column commanders at least once up to the end of the war. Allenby was daring and vigorous in pursuit of the enemy, no doubt helped by his considerable physical fitness. The column under his command varied, although it usually consisted of two regiments, a battery of horse artillery, a long-range gun and half a battalion of infantry. This force was usually engaged in wearisome tasks entailing hard marching, outpost work during the evening and little prospect of seeing the enemy. In early 1901, the column operated alongside others under the command of French in the Eastern Transvaal in operations against Louis Botha. In the spring, the column operated near the Swaziland border, in which heavy rain ensured that movement by men and horses was difficult, testing the resolve of the column commander and his men alike. During the weeks approaching summer, the column headed north to operate near Middelburg and then spent many months operating in Western Transvaal around the Magaliesburg hill range. His letters home to his wife began to include notable criticisms of superior officers and generals with ‘no more brains or backbone than a bran doll’. Allenby’s column was promised a rest but soon found itself in Natal and then by October, operating around Zululand. Allenby asked Lord Kitchener, commanding in South Africa, to rest his weary column, and was duly promised a fortnight’s rest. However, Allenby’s column was called to assist another British Army column that had suffered a considerable reverse at Bakenlaagte, and it spent the remainder of 1901 in Eastern Transvaal.

Towards the end of 1901, Allenby went down with influenza and spent ten days' leave in Durban. Having been engaged in continual warfare in the field for two years, without holiday or accommodation, he was showing considerable signs of strain, and was joined in South Africa by his wife. She arrived in May 1902, after Allenby’s column was engaged in combat in the Transvaal and north of the Orange River Colony. On May 31,1902, the Peace of Vereeniging was declared, formally ending the war. Allenby had showed himself to be gallant, dedicated, hard-working and resourceful in command who earned the plaudits of both Roberts and Kitchener. Along with other notable column commanders, Haig, Herbert Plumer and Julian Byng, Allenby was marked for future promotion, ending the war as a Colonel.

He returned to Britain in 1902, being placed in command of the 5th Royal Irish Lancers and was stationed in England until 1905. Promoted to Brigadier-General, Allenby moved to Colchester to assume command of the 4th Cavalry Brigade. In 1909, aged 48, he was promoted again to the rank of Major-General – due to his extensive cavalry experience, was appointed Inspector-General of Cavalry in 1910, with headquarters at Horse Guards, London. Allenby became Inspector-General at a difficult time – the Boer War and Russo-Japanese War had assisted the growth of two differing outlooks regarding the role of cavalry in modern war. Whilst one side favoured shock action and had faith in the effectiveness of the sword and lance, the opposite contended that the cavalry’s future lay in serving as mounted infantry. Allenby chose to steer a middle path, in which the importance of firepower was emphasised through the introduction of the machine gun and the training of cavalrymen in infantry tactics, whilst the alternative of relying on shock action where necessary was kept open. Having studied the geography of Northern France, and attended the manoeuvres of the French cavalry, Allenby highlighted the importance of the cavalry in retreat, recognising its ability to provide cover for the withdrawing infantry. With mounting responsibilities, the amiable element in Allenby’s character publicly waned, ensuring that he was disliked by many subordinate officers and the cavalry’s rank and file. His inspections were brisk and his manner abrupt. Furthermore, Allenby’s pedantry for presentation was keenly felt by those cavalrymen under inspection. These somewhat repellent traits and Allenby’s physical stature led others to refer to him as "The Bull".

During World War I, Allenby initially served on the Western Front. At the outbreak of war a British Expeditionary Force (BEF) was sent to France, consisting of four infantry divisions and one cavalry division, the latter commanded by Allenby, who distinguished himself when his unit covered the retreat after the Battle of Mons. As the BEF was expanded in size to two Armies, he was rewarded by being made commander of the Cavalry Corps. In 1915 he commanded V Corps during the Second Battle of Ypres and in October he took charge of the British Third Army. However at the Battle of Arras in the spring of 1917, his forces failed to exploit a breakthrough and he was replaced by Julian Byng on June 9. A significant reason for his removal from command and transfer was his continuing feud with Field Marshal Haig over tactical matters.

Allenby was sent to Egypt to be made commander-in-chief of the Egyptian Expeditionary Force (EEF) on June 27, 1917, replacing Sir Archibald Murray. Shortly after his arrival in Egypt, he learned that his son, Michael, had been killed on the Western Front by German artillery.
In Egypt, Allenby quickly won the respect of his men by making frequent visits to front line troops (something which Murray, who generally ran his campaigns by remote control from Cairo, rarely did during his tenure with the EEF) and moving GHQ from comfortable Cairo to Rafah, much nearer the front lines at Gaza. Allenby instituted his customary installation of discipline and organization, organizing the heretofore disparate forces of the EEF into three corps - the XX and XXI Corps, both of infantry, and the Desert Mounted Corps, made up of mostly Australian Light Horse (mounted infantry). One of Allenby's first moves was to support the efforts of T. E. Lawrence amongst the Arabs with £200,000 a month. Many of Allenby's men said after the war that they were willing to tolerate his strictness and rigidity because he gave the impression that he was in control of the situation, a feeling which Murray never inspired in his soldiers.

Having reorganized his regular forces Allenby won the Third Battle of Gaza (October 31 - November 7, 1917) by surprising the defenders with an attack at Beersheba.
Allenby's forces pushed on towards Jerusalem where the Ottomans were beaten at Junction Station (November 13-15) and Jerusalem was captured on December 9, 1917.  Although he was a supreme master of cavalry warfare, before entering Jerusalem on December 11, 1917, Allenby dismounted and, together with his officers, entered the city on foot through the Jaffa Gate out of his great respect for the status of Jerusalem as the Holy City important to Judaism, Christianity and Islam.

The German offensive on the Western Front meant that Allenby was without reinforcements and after his forces failed to capture Amman in March and April 1918 he halted the offensive. New troops from the Empire (specifically Australia, New Zealand, India and South Africa) led to the resumption of operations in August 1918. Following an extended series of deceptive moves the Ottoman line was broken at the Battle of Megiddo (September 19–21, 1918) and the Allied cavalry passed through and blocked the Turkish retreat. The EEF then advanced at an enormous rate, (as high as 60 miles in 55 hours for cavalry, and infantry slogging 20 miles a day) encountering minimal resistance, Damascus fell on 1 October, Homs on 16 October and Aleppo on 25 October. Turkey capitulated on October 30, 1918.

In Jerusalem, one of the main British Army camps throughout the mandatory period was known as "Allenby Camp", and though no longer used by the IDF, the location is still known by this name; it has some political significance as being the site earmarked for erecting a US Embassy building in Jerusalem, if and when political and diplomatic conditions make moving the embassy from its present Tel-Aviv location possible. Altogether, present-day Israelis and Palestinians, even if not always knowing all the details of Allenby's biography, are very familiar with his name.

Tel-Aviv, in 1917 a fledgling town founded just a few years before, suffered greatly from the Ottoman authorities suspecting its inhabitants of pro-British tendencies (not entirely without reason) and evicting them en masse prior to the arrival of Allenby's troops. Some were forced to trudge as far as Damascus. Following the British victory they were able to return to their town and regarded General Allenby as literally their saviour, naming for him what was Tel-Aviv's main street and the focus of economic and political life until the late 1940s. In the 1950s the city center moved northwards, but Allenby Street is still in the centre of Tel-Aviv - though only a few of the younger Tel-Avivians know for whom it was named.

Allenby was made a Field Marshal in 1919 and on October 7 of that year was made Viscount Allenby, of Megiddo and of Felixstowe in the County of Suffolk. He remained in the Middle East as High Commissioner for Egypt and the Sudan until 1925 and he was instrumental in the creation of sovereign Egypt.

On May 7, 1927 he was invited to lay the foundation stone of St Andrew's Church, Jerusalem - a Church of Scotland building constructed in memory of the Scottish soldiers who fought and died under his command in the region during World War I.

He retired in 1925 and died very suddenly, from a ruptured cerebral aneurysm, on May 14, 1936 in London. His ashes were buried in Westminster Abbey.

Publicity surrounding Allenby's exploits in the Middle East was at its highest in Britain in the immediate aftermath of the First World War.  Lowell Thomas, the enterprising American journalist who helped make T. E. Lawrence a household name throughout the world in the 1920s, wrote of Allenby in a very complimentary manner in his book With Lawrence of Arabia and promoted him along with Lawrence in his documentary film With Allenby in Palestine and Lawrence in Arabia, covering the Middle Eastern campaign (Thomas had interviewed Allenby several times during the course of the war, and it was in fact Allenby who suggested Thomas use Lawrence as a subject).

In the film Lawrence of Arabia (1962), which depicts the Arab Revolt during World War I, Allenby is given a major part and is portrayed by Jack Hawkins in one of his best-known roles. The portrayal of him is, however, rather negative (largely due to the screenwriter's anti-war sentiments). He is depicted as being an officer interested only in manipulating Lawrence for practical military reasons, which was admittedly true to some extent, though in real life Lawrence and Allenby thought very highly of each other and remained in correspondence for years after the war. Lowell Thomas in particular was critical of the film's portrayal of Allenby, saying that Hawkins lacked the "presence" and strength of Allenby. Allenby's descendents were so upset over his portrayal that they issued a formal complaint against Columbia Pictures for the depiction of their ancestor.

Allenby, British Columbia, Canada, a copper mining ghost town in the Similkameen District near the town of Princeton, was named in honor of Edmund Allenby, while the nearby Allenby Lake was named after the town. There is also a road in Aldershot, Hampshire, England named after him. Allenby Gardens, a suburb of Adelaide, South Australia was also named in his honor.

Both Tel-Aviv and Haifa have a main street named for General Allenby, and one of the main bridges over the River Jordan, between the kingdom of Jordan and Israel is the Allenby Bridge.

Edmund Allenby see Allenby, Edmund
Edmund Henry Hynman Allenby see Allenby, Edmund

Alliance Party
Alliance Party. The nucleus of a coalition that has ruled Malaya, and later Malaysia, ever since its independence in 1957.  The coalition was born in January 1952 out of a decision by the Selangor branches of the United Malays National Organization (UMNO) and the Malayan Chinese Association (MCA) to contest the Kuala Lumpur municipal election.  Its electoral success inaugurated a pattern of political representation: a ruling coalition is formed by a group of political parties, each carefully preserving its Malay, Chinese, Indian, or other ethnic identity but able to reconcile competing demands within an alliance of shared interests.

Historically, the Alliance was founded on two basic premises.  First, the moderate Malay and Chinese elites needed to prove to the British that they could work in harmony and that early independence was possible.  Second, the UMNO (the leading power in the coalition then as well as now) felt that politics pursued by individual parties open to all ethnic groups would result in direct ethnic confrontation and conflict.  UMNO wanted to demonstrate that Alliance style politics was preferable to the multi-racial party path advocated by the Independence of Malaya Party in 1951.  UMNO and MCA leaders also agreed (for the first few years after independence, at least) that Malays would exercise political power while the Chinese would continue their economic pre-eminence.  The Malayan Indian Congress joined the Alliance almost three years later.  Although it has never played a decisive role in Alliance policymaking, from time to time it has arbitrated differences between its two senior partners. 

The serious riots that broke out between the Malays and the Chinese in May 1969, after an ethnically divisive election campaign, compelled Alliance leaders to reappraise their previous assumptions.  They decided to place the greatest emphasis on the maintenance of ethnic harmony and public security by giving Malays a larger slice of the economic pie (even at the expense of non-Malays) and by expanding the Alliance to include a number of opposition parties.  In 1972, the old Alliance Party officially came to an end.  Its leadership, influence, and philosophy were continued under the banner of the National Front. 

All-India Muslim League
All-India Muslim League. Begun on October 1, 1906, when a delegation claiming to represent the views of the Muslim community of the Indian subcontinent met the viceroy in Simla and asked for separate representation of their community in all levels of government (district boards, municipalities, and legislative councils).  Characterized as a “command performance” in several historical accounts, the Simla deputation was a catalyst to the formation of the All-India Muslim League.  Founded in Dhaka (Dacca) on December 30, 1906, the league emerged as a powerful political force in the early 1940s and led the demand for a separate Muslim homeland under the leadership of Bombay lawyer-politician Mohammad 'Ali Jinnah. 

The Muslim League gained ascendancy after years of political inactivity.  Dominated by the landed gentry and the government servants of the United Provinces whose interests were inextricably linked with the Raj, the league in its early years did little beyond meeting during Christmas week and passing a few pious resolutions.  Shibli Numani, an eminent alim of Nadvat al-Ulama, a Muslim religious seminary in Lucknow, assailed its leaders for their inactivity and their politics of subservience.  In a series of articles published in 1913, he pressed for substantial changes in the social composition as well as the political orientation of the Muslim League, and called for a concerted Hindu-Muslim endeavor to achieve common political objectives.

Shibli’s argument struck a favorable chord among the Muslim intelligentsia of northern India, who were already uneasy over the Balkan wars, the annulment of Bengal’s partition in 1911, and the rejection of the Aligarh Muslim University proposal.  Led by Mohamed Ali, an Aligarh graduate and editor of the influential English weekly, Comrade, a number of groups among Muslims favored a course, unforeseen by their political mentor, Sir Sayyid Ahmad Khan, of abandoning the politics of conciliation in favor of agitational methods and working out their political destiny in unison with the rest of the Indian people, including those associated with the Indian National Congress. 

An important change, pressed by the more advanced political group, was the transfer of the Muslim League headquarters from Aligarh to Lucknow in March 1910.  The organization at Aligarh was an adjunct of the college and was controlled by those who learned their lesson of loyalty at the feet of Sayyid Ahmad Khan.  But with the initiative passing into the hands of the politically advanced Lucknow based politicians, the Muslim League began to reflect the radical temper of many of its followers, especially the “younger men,” the standard bearers of “new ideals,” “new forces,” and “new light.”  This is evident from another vital decision adopted in March 1913: the incorporation of a clause on “the attainment under the aegis of the British Crown of a system of self-government suited to India” in the Muslim League constitution.

These developments paved the way for an alliance between the Indian National Congress and the Muslim League that culminated in the Lucknow Pact of December 1916, the high watermark of Hindu-Muslim unity.  The decline of some Muslim League stalwarts was its other consequence.  The Isma‘ili leader, Agha Khan, who presided over the League’s destiny from 1906 to 1913, resigned on November 3, 1913.  Sweeping changes were also made at Aligarh College, once regarded as the most loyal of institutions. 

After the initial burst of activity, especially in the aftermath of the Lucknow Pact, the Muslim League lost its initiative to the Khilafat committees that organized the massive protest against the dismemberment of the Ottoman empire.  The league remained inactive throughout the 1920s and the early 1930s.  It was split into different factions, with Jinnah and the Punjabi politician Mohammad Shafi arrayed against each other into rival camps.  It had to contend with the All-India Muslim Conference, a group founded in 1929 in the wake of the controversy generated by the (Jawaharlal) Nehru Committee Report, published in August 1928.  In the two Muslim-majority provinces it had to contend with the unionists in the Punjab and the Proja Krishak Party in Bengal.  The provincial leagues were equally ineffective; the branch in the Bombay presidency, the home of Jinnah, had only 71 members in 1928.

Jinnah’s endeavors in 1925 and 1926 to infuse some life into the organization were poorly rewarded: the total league membership rose from 1,093 in 1922 to a mere 1,330 in 1927.  When Muhammad Iqbal presented his historic address in 1930 demanding the establishment of a Muslim state in northwest India, the meeting at Allahabad did not even have its quorum of 75 members. 

Jinnah made another attempt to revive the Muslim League soon after his return to India from London, but he did not meet with immediate success.  In the crucial 1937 elections, the Muslim League won only 104 out of the total 489 Muslim seats.  This was hardly an impressive show for a party claiming sole representation of the Muslim community.  In the Punjab, the unionists swept the board.  In Bengal, Jinnah and the Muslim League had to accept a coalition led by Fazlul Huq, who did not acknowledge the Muslim League writ.  In the North-West Frontier Province, where almost the entire population was Muslim, the Muslim League received its worst humiliation, -- a Congress ministry.  In the Muslim-minority provinces, where the league did best, the Congress did much better than anyone had expected, and did not need the league’s help to form stable ministries.  The way in which the Muslim vote split lent some credence to the Congress line that it was a secular party, ready and able to speak for Muslims, many of whom had entered its camp. 

A new phase in the history of the Muslim League began with Jinnah’s renewed efforts to resuscitate the organization.  Soon after the 1937 elections he recognized the importance of extending the social base of the Muslim League, refurbishing its image, and reorganizing its loosely knit structure.  Consequently, the old provincial and district branches were reconstituted, the membership fee was reduced from one rupee to two annas, and the Muslim League Council was enlarged from 300 to 465 members.  The thrust of the new orientation was toward accommodating various interest groups, extending the social base of the Muslim League, and turning it into an active, viable party with a clear cut ideological platform, which was enunciated in the Pakistan Resolution and adopted by the Muslim League in March 1940.  The onetime “ambassador of Hindu-Muslim unity” was now the chief protagonist of the two-nation theory that formed the basis for the Muslim League’s demand for a separate Muslim homeland.

Jinnah’s efforts to popularize the league were duly rewarded.  It is said that 100,000 new members were recruited in the months immediately after the Lucknow session in 1937.  In 1944, the league officially claimed a membership of some 2,000,000.  The most convincing testimony of its strength, however, came from the 1945-1946 elections, wherein the league polled about 4.5 million, or 75 percent, of the Muslim votes.  It won 460 out of the 533 Muslim seats in the central and provincial elections.  This phenomenal electoral success paved the way for the creation of Pakistan in August 1947.

Historians have attributed the league’s success to the charisma, drive, and organizing ability of Jinnah, the shortsightedness of the Indian National Congress in excluding the league representatives from the provincial governments in 1937, the alleged persecutions that the Muslims suffered during the Congress ministries in 1937-1939, and, above all, to the appeal of the Muslim community: the landlords of the Punjab and the United Provinces, the pirs of Sind, the ulama of the Barelwi school and a section of the influential seminary at Deoband, and the Muslim intelligentsia at Aligarh Muslim University.  These groups were in the forefront of the massive mobilization campaign, launched soon after the adoption of the Pakistan Resolution in March 1940.

After independence, the Muslim League ceased to be an effective political force in Pakistan.  Jinnah’s chief lieutenants, Liaqat 'Ali Khan and Choudhry Khaliquzzaman, failed to keep the party together, which was split into numerous factions.  The political fortunes of the league were eclipsed in most provinces, particularly in Bengal, where it was defeated in the 1954 elections and was never able to stage a comeback.  In India, the Muslim League survives in the state of Kerala, where it has had an uneasy political existence.  Efforts to revive it in northern India have not met with success. 
Muslim League see All-India Muslim League.

Allon, Yigal
Allon, Yigal (Yigal Allon) (October 10, 1918 – February 29, 1980). Israeli politician, a commander of the Palmach, and a general in the IDF. He served as one of the leaders of Ahdut HaAvoda party and the Israeli Labor party, acting Prime Minister of Israel, as well as being a member of the Knesset and government minister from the tenth through the seventeenth Knessets.

Allon was born in Kfar Tavor, British Mandate of Palestine. In 1937 he graduated from Kadoorie Agricultural High School, and joined kibbutz Ginosar. His military activities began when he served as commander of a field unit of the Haganah, and then as a commander of a regiment during the Arab riots of 1936-39. In 1941 he became one of the founding members of the Palmach. That same year he took part in the British invasion of Lebanon and Syria. In 1943 he became the Deputy Commander of the organization, and served in that post until 1945, when he became Commander in Chief.

During the 1948 Arab-Israeli War, Allon led several of the major operations of the war, on all three fronts, including Yiftach, Danny, Yoav, and Horev. Operation Danny was the first one where several brigades (Yiftach, Harel, the 8th Armored Brigade and two battalions from the Kiryati and Alexandroni) were involved, and was carried out under Palmach command. It was held at the end of the first truce, July 9-19, 1948. The objectives were to capture territory East of Tel Aviv and then to push inland and relieve the Jewish population and forces in Jerusalem. The first phase of the operation succeeded, capturing the two towns of Lydda and Ramle and putting the international airport at Lydda and the strategic railway station in Israeli hands. Following the capture of the two towns there was an exodus of their Arab population and only a few hundred of the 50,000 to 70,000 residents remained. The second phase of the operation failed after several costly attacks on Arab Legion positions at Latrun and the threat of a United Nations imposed cease fire.

Allon's last military role was commander of the Southern (Egyptian) Front. He retired from active service in 1950..

Allon was fluent in Arabic and made efforts to go into Arab villages and make peace. He was believed to be a close friend of the elder King Hussein of Jordan.

After ending his military career, Allon embarked on a political career. He became a prominent leader in Ahdut HaAvoda, and was first elected to the Knesset in 1955, where he served until his death. He was a member of the Economic Affairs Committee, Constitution, Law and Justice Committee, Education and Culture Committee, Joint Committee on the Motion for the Agenda Regarding Sports in Israel, and the Foreign Affairs & Defense Committee.

Allon served as the Minister of Labour from 1961-67. In this role, he worked to improve the state employment service, extend the road network, and fought to get legislation on labor relations passed. From 1967-69 he served as the Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Immigrant Absorption. In 1967 he was a part of the group that planned the Six-Day War.

Allon served briefly as interim Prime Minister following the death of Levi Eshkol on February 26, 1969. He held office until March 17, 1969, when Golda Meir took over. He became the Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Education and Culture in Meir's government, and served in that post until 1974. In 1974 he was a part of the delegation to the Separation of Forces Agreement. He became the Minister of Foreign Affairs in 1974, and held this post until 1977.

At the time of his death in 1980, he was a candidate for the leadership of the Alignment, challenging the incumbent party head Shimon Peres.

Allon was the architect of the Allon Plan, a proposal to end the Israeli occupation of the West Bank with a negotiated partition of territories. A major road in the West Bank, leading north-eastwards from Jerusalem, is named after him.
Yigal Allon see Allon, Yigal

Alloula, Abdelkader
Abdelkader Alloula (Arabic: ‎عبد القادر علولة) (b. 1929 in Ghazaouet, Algeria - d. March 10, 1994 in Oran, Algeria) was an Algerian playwright. He was assassinated by Islamists. 
Alloula was born in Ghazaouet in western Algeria, and studied drama in France. He joined the Algerian National Theatre upon its creation in 1963 following independence. His works, typically in vernacular Algerian Arabic, included:
  • El-Aaleg (1969) - "The Leech", a satire of corrupt administration
  • El-Khobza (1970) - "Bread"
  • Homq Salim (1972) - "Salim's Madness", a monologue based on Nikolai Gogol's Diary of a Madman
  • Hammam Rabbi (1975) - "The Lord's Bath", based on Gogol's The Government Inspector
  • The Generous Trilogy:
    • El-Agoual (1980) - "The Sayings"
    • El-Adjouad (1984) - "The Generous"
    • El-Litham (1989) - "The Veil"
He was working on an Arabic version of Tartuffe when he was assassinated by two members of FIDA (Islamic Front for Armed Jihad) during Ramadan on March 10, 1994, as he left his house in Oran. His widow, Radja Alloula, and friends set up the Abdelkader Alloula Foundation in his memory.
His brother, Malek Alloula, was also a noted Algerian writer.

Almanzor.  See al-Mansur bi-’llah.

al-Mansur bi-'llah see Almanzor.

Almohads (in Arabic, al-Muwahhidun).  Berber Muslim reform movement and a dynasty which was established in North Africa and Spain during the 12th and 13th centuries by the Mahdi Ibn Tumart.  One of the greatest medieval dynasties, who ruled North Africa (and much of Spain) from circa 1147 until the rise to power of the Merenids around 1269.  The Almohad dynasty (from the Arabic al-Muwahhidun, i.e., "the monotheists" or "the Unitarians," the name being corrupted through the Spanish), were a Berber Muslim religious power who founded the fifth Moorish dynasty in the 12th century, uniting North Africa as far as Egypt, together with Muslim Spain.

The word "almohad" is derived from the Arabic term "al-muwahhid" -- “a believer who proclaims the unity of God.”  Because of their belief in the unity of God, -- the divine Oneness (the tawhid) --  the Almohads were known as Unitarians. 

The Almohad Dynasty (from Arabic al-Muwahhidun, i.e., "the monotheists" or "the Unitarians"), was a Berber, Muslim dynasty that was founded in the 12th century, and conquered all northern Africa as far as Libya, together with Al-Andalus (Moorish Iberia). Between 1130 and his death in 1163, Abd al-Mu'min al-Kumi, a Berber from Nedroma, defeated the ruling Almoravids and extended his power over all northern Africa as far as Libya, becoming Emir of Marrakech in 1149. Al-Andalus, Moorish Iberia, followed the fate of Africa, and in 1170 the Almohads transferred their capital to Seville. However, by 1212 Muhammad III, "al-Nasir" (1199–1214) was defeated by an alliance of the four Christian princes of Castile, Aragón, Navarre and Portugal, at the Battle of Las Navas de Tolosa in the Sierra Morena. The battle destroyed Almohad dominance. Nearly all of the Moorish dominions in Iberia were lost soon after, with the great Moorish cities of Córdoba and Seville falling to the Christians in 1236 and 1248 respectively. The Almohads continued to rule in Africa until the piecemeal loss of territory through the revolt of tribes and districts enabled their most effective enemies, the Marinids in 1215. The last representative of the line, Idris II, "El Wathiq"' was reduced to the possession of Marrakech, where he was murdered by a slave in 1269.
The origin of the movement is traced to Muhammad ibn Tumart (c.1080-1128), an Arab reformer in Morocco who preached moral reform and the doctrine of the unity of divine being.  In 1117, Ibn Tumart returned to Morocco after performing the hajj.  He called for a return to the principles of Islam, the Qur’an, and the traditions of the prophet Muhammad.   Ibn Tumart gathered a large following of Arabs and Berbers of the Masmuda and Zanata tribes and complimented them with a large and powerful fleet.

Ibn Tumart declared war on the Almoravids after 1118.  In 1121, Ibn Tumart was proclaimed the Mahdi (“The Rightly Guided One”) and, in 1122, he fled to Marrakech as he realized that his life was in danger.

In 1124, Ibn Tumart established himself in the village of Tinmal in the High Atlas Mountains (the center of what is today’s Morocco) and a small Berber state began to grow around him. 

In 1128, Ibn Tumart, died.  He was succeeded by ‘Abd al-Mumin (Abdul Mu’min).

It is generally agreed that the founder of the Almohad dynasty was the Berber ‘Abd al-Mumin (d.1163), who succeeded Ibn Tumart and took the title of caliph.  He conquered (1140-1147) Morocco and other parts of North Africa, thus putting an end to the previous dynasty of the Almoravids. 

‘Abd al-Mumin managed to seize power in Morocco (capture of Marrakesh in 1147 ) and the whole of northern Africa (Tunisia and Libya in 1160), as well as Islamic Spain (1146-1154).  By 1154, ‘Abd al-Mumin ruled Islamic Spain and part of Portugal, but Almohad authority was never completely established there. 

In 1172, the Almohad caliph Abu Yaqub Yusuf forced Seville to surrender.  Following this, more Spanish Muslim states were forced under Almohad control. 

The cultural zenith of the Almohads came under Abu Yaqub Yusuf (1163-1184) and Yusuf Yaqub al-Mansur (1184-1199) with the development of towns and  the promotion of spiritual life (Ibn Rushd [Averroes] and Ibn Tufayl were prominent scholars during this time). 

Notable among successive Almohad rulers was Yaqub al-Mansur, who ruled in Spain from 1184 until his death.  He aided the sultan Saladin against the Crusaders and was responsible for the construction of numerous architectural monuments.  A decisive victory over the Christians came in 1195 at Alarcos.

The Almohad dynasty flourished until 1212, when the united kings of Castile, Aragon, and Navarre defeated the Almohad forces under al-Nasir (1199-1213) in the Battle of Las Navas de Tolosa. 

The power of the Almohad wilted after 1213 with the loss of Spain to the rulers of the taifa states and the Christians (after 1228), Tunisia to the Hafsids (in 1236), and Algeria to the Abd al-Wadids (in 1239).  Between 1224 and 1236, two rival branches ruled in Morocco and Spain.  Driven back into Morocco by the Marinids in 1244, the Almohads gradually lost power and were removed by the Marinids from their last stronghold, Marrakech, in 1269.

The later political history of the Almohads was characterised by military weakness and anarchy.  They introduced monetary reform, exchanged letters with several Popes but did not accept Christian missionaries, and persecuted the Jews.  They were patrons of architecture, and in general economic life thrived during their reign.

The Almohads ultimately were a Berber dynasty in North Africa (Morocco, Algeria, Tunisia, Libya) and Spain (al-Andalus) whose main capitals were Marrakesh and Seville.  The teachings of the Almohads were based on Ibn Tumart’s interpretation of Islam, and their success was not only a result of their own power, as much as it was the downfall of the preceding Almoravid Empire.

The central core of the Almohad movement (it actually was more like a rebellion against the Almoravids) was the opposition against the position of the leaders of Almoravids as jurists.  While large parts of their theology was rather unclear, one principle stood out: Tawhid, the uniqueness of God.

All through their 122 years of forming an empire, the Almohads were based upon a ruling elite, coming from the Masmuda tribe.  This elite came from the founders of the Almohads, and was continued by their descendants.  However, the puritanical ideas of the founder Ibn Tumart, did not last long.  His successor, Abd al-Mu’min excelled in building expensive palaces and monuments, rich in ornamentation.  Famous Moroccan structures, like the Kutubiyya mosque in Marrakech and the old mosque in Taza, are from his period in power. 

The Almohad crusade to purify Islam did not succeed as it was intended.  Traditional Islam, as Ibn Tumart perceived it, was equally diluted by mystical movements of Sufism as well as the philosophical schools of Ibn Tufayl and Ibn Rushd. 

The Almohad dynasty originated with Ibn Tumart, a member of the Masmuda, a Berber tribe of the Atlas Mountains. Ibn Tumart was the son of a lamplighter in a mosque and had been noted for his piety from his youth; he was small, and misshapen and lived the life of a devotee-beggar. As a youth he performed the hajj to Mecca (or "Makkah"), whence he was expelled on account of his severe strictures on the laxity of others, and thence wandered to Baghdad, where he attached himself to the school of the orthodox doctor al-Ash'ari. But he made a system of his own by combining the teaching of his master with parts of the doctrines of others, and with mysticism imbibed from the great teacher Ghazali. His main principle was a strict Unitarianism which denied the independent existence of the attributes of God, as being incompatible with his unity, and therefore a polytheistic idea. Ibn Tumart in fact represented a revolt against what he perceived as anthropomorphism in the Muslim orthodoxy.
After his return to Magreb at the age of twenty-eight, Ibn Tumart began preaching and agitating, heading riotous attacks on wine-shops and on other manifestations of laxity. He even went so far as to assault the sister of the Almoravid (Murabit) amir `Ali III, in the streets of Fez, because she was going about unveiled after the manner of Berber women. Ali III allowed him to escape unpunished.

Ibn Tumart, who had been driven from several other towns for exhibitions of reforming zeal, now took refuge among his own people, the Masmuda, in the Atlas. It is highly probable that his influence would not have outlived him, if he had not found a lieutenant in Abd al-Mu'min al-Kumi, another Berber, from Algeria, who was undoubtedly a soldier and statesman of a high order. When Ibn Tumart died in 1128 at the monastery or ribat which he had founded in the Atlas at Tinmel, after suffering a severe defeat by the Almoravids, Abd al-Mu'min kept his death secret for two years, till his own influence was established. He then came forward as the lieutenant of the Mahdi Ibn Tumart. Between 1130 and his death in 1163, 'Abd-el-Mumin not only rooted out the Murabits, but extended his power over all northern Africa as far as Egypt, becoming amir of Marrakech in 1149. Al-Andalus followed the fate of Africa, and in 1170 the Almohads transferred their capital to Seville, a step followed by the founding of the great mosque (now superseded by the cathedral), the tower of which, the Giralda, they erected in 1184 to mark the accession of Abu Yusuf Ya'qub al-Mansur. From the time of Yusuf II, however, they governed their co-religionists in Iberia and Central North Africa through lieutenants, their dominions outside Morocco being treated as provinces. When their amirs crossed the Straits it was to lead a jihad against the Christians and to return to their capital, Marrakech.
The Almohad princes had a longer and a more distinguished career than the Murabits (or Almoravids). Yusuf II or Abu Yaqub Yusuf (1163–1184), and Ya'qub I or Yaqub al-Mansur (1184-1199), the successors of Abd al-Mumin, were both able men. Initially their government drove many Jewish and Christian subjects to take refuge in the growing Christian states of Portugal, Castile and Aragon. But in the end they became less fanatical than the Almoravids. Ya'qub al Mansur was a highly accomplished man, who wrote a good Arabic style and who protected the philosopher Averroes. His title of al-Mansur, "The Victorious," was earned by the defeat he inflicted on Alfonso VIII of Castile in the Battle of Alarcos (1195).   However, the Christian states in Iberia were becoming too well organized to be overrun by the Muslims, and the Almohads made no permanent advance against them.

In 1212 Muhammad III, "al-Nasir" (1199–1214), the successor of al-Mansur, after an initially successful advance north, was defeated by an alliance of the four Christian princes of Castile, Aragón, Kingdom of Navarre and Portugal, at the Battle of Las Navas de Tolosa in the Sierra Morena. The battle destroyed Almohad dominance. Nearly all of the Moorish dominions in Iberia were lost soon after, with the great Moorish cities of Córdoba and Seville falling to the Christians in 1236 and 1248 respectively.

All that remained, thereafter, was the Moorish state of Granada, which after an internal Muslim revolt, survived as a tributary state of the Christian kingdoms on Iberia's southern periphery. The Nasrid dynasty or Banu Nazari rose to power there after the defeat of the Almohad dynasty in 1212. Twenty different Muslim kings ruled Granada from the founding of the dynasty in 1232 by Muhammed I ibn Nasr until January 2, 1492, when Sultan Boabdil surrendered to the Christian Spanish kingdom. Today, the most visible evidence of the Nasrids is the Alhambra palace complex built under their rule.

In their African holdings, the Almohads encouraged the establishment of Christians even in Fez, and after the Battle of Las Navas de Tolosa they occasionally entered into alliances with the kings of Castile. They were successful in expelling the garrisons placed in some of the coast towns by the Norman kings of Sicily. The history of their decline differs from that of the Almoravids, whom they had displaced. They were not assailed by a great religious movement, but lost territories, piecemeal, by the revolt of tribes and districts. Their most effective enemies were the Beni Marin (Marinids) who founded the next dynasty. The last representative of the line, Idris II, "El Wathiq"' was reduced to the possession of Marrakesh, where he was murdered by a slave in 1269.

The Almohads, who had taken control of the Almoravids' Maghribi and Andalusian territories by 1147, far surpassed the Almoravides in fundamentalist outlook, and they treated the dhimmis (non-muslims) harshly. Faced with the choice of either death or conversion, most Jews and Christians emigrated.  A few, like the family of Maimonides, eventually fled east to more tolerant Muslim lands, while most of them went northward to settle in the growing Christian kingdoms.

The Muwahhadi (Almohad) Caliphs,1121–1269

Ibn Tumart 1121-1130
Abd al-Mu'min 1130–1163
Abu Ya'qub Yusuf I 1163–1184
Abu Yusuf Ya'qub al-Mansur 1184–1199
Muhammad an-Nasir 1199–1213
Abu Ya'qub Yusuf II 1213–1224
Abd al-Wahid I 1224
Abdallah al-Adil 1224–1227
Yahya 1227–1235
Idris I 1227–1232
Abdul-Wahid II 1232–1242
Ali 1242–1248
Umar 1248–1266
Idris II 1266–1269

Muwahhidun, al- see Almohads
Unitarians see Almohads
believers who proclaim the unity of God see Almohads

Almoravids (in Arabic, al-Murabitun). Berber dynasty that ruled in Africa and Spain in the 11th and 12th centuries and to an eleventh century Islamic movement of reform, proselytization and conquest in the western Sahel and Sahara, and the Iberian Peninsula.  Their main capitals were Fez and, from 1086, Marrakesh.  The term "Almoravid" is an Arabic term taken from the Arabic phrase "al-murabitun" – “the people from a fortified convent” (“the people from the ribat”).  

The Almoravids were a confederation of three Berber tribes (Lamtuna, Gudula, and Massufa) of the Sanhaja clan, that constructed an empire in the Maghrib and Spain in the 11th and 12th centuries of the Christian calendar. 

The movement began with a Sanhaja Berber cleric, 'Abdullah ibn Yasin, who founded a religious retreat, or ribat, on the Senegal River near Podor about 1038, under the protection of the Tekrur king War Jabi.   In 1039, Ibn Yasin declared jihad against the Sanhaja Berbers. By proselytization and jihad they introduced Islam to the peoples along the Senegal River.

In 1042-43, the focus of the movement shifted north into the Sahara Desert, and military leadership devolved on two Lamtuna Berber chiefs, Yahya and Abu-Bakr ibn 'Umar.  They conquered the Saharan peoples living along the major trade route linking Sijilmasa and Awdaghost.  Next came Morocco and eventually Spain.   Between 1053 and 1062, a large part of northwestern Africa was subjugated by this Muslim religious military brotherhood known as the “hermits” -- a group of “warrior-monks” who inhabited a fortified convent on the frontiers of Islam (in Arabic, ribat). 

In 1056, the Almoravids took control over Sijilmasa (near Rissani in modern Morocco).  In 1059, Ibn Yasin was killed.

Shortly after the death of Yahya, the empire split, with Abu-Bakr ibn Umar (of the Lamtuna tribe) dominating the southern (Saharan and Sahelian) half, and a cousin, Yusuf ibn Tashfin (d.1106), controlling Morocco and Spain.  Yusuf ibn Tashfin was a Berber chieftain who had previously conquered the region constituting present day Morocco.  In 1062, Ibn Tashfin assumed the title of king and established the Almoravid capital in Marrakech. 

In 1082, the Almoravids took control of Algiers.  In 1085, the Almoravid leader, Ibn Tashfin, went to Spain and established himself in Cordoba.  In 1086, at the Battle of za-Zallaqa, Yusuf lost the city of Toledo to the Christians.  Yusuf returned to the Maghrib, as he could not decide whether to conquer Spain or not, as the country was governed by weak Muslim rulers.

During the next four years, the Almoravids conquered the area between the Tagus and Ebro rivers.  In 1090, Ibn Tashfin started a policy of deposing the Muslim rulers of Spain, thereby extending Almoravid control in Spain.  He first had the leaders of Granada and Malaga removed from power.

In 1091, the leaders of Almeria and Seville were removed from power as well.  In 1093, the leader of Badajoz was deposed, too.  By then only Rodrigo Diaz de Vivar, called El Cid, resisted the Almoravid take over.  He upheld a Muslim country around Valencia, even though he himself was a Christian.

In 1102, Valencia fell to the Almoravids and, in 1110, Saragossa was captured under the leadership of 'Ali ibn Yusuf.  This became the last victory on Spanish territory. 

The Almoravids proved, in many ways, to be weak rulers.   Under 'Ali ibn Yusuf (r. 1106-1143), the Almoravids suffered losses against the Christian Reconquista.  In 1118, the beginning of the end began, with the loss of Saragossa to the Christian kings of Spain.  In 1125, the Almohad rebellion commenced in the Atlas Mountains in Tinma.  After 1130, the Almoravids were forced back to northern Africa by the Almohads, to whom they succumbed in 1147 when Marrakech fell.  Afterwards, the Almoravid leaders moved first to Spain and then to the Balearic Isles.  

History records that the Almoravids unified Morocco, and their legacy was to survive in Mauritania, in Mali, in the Niger Republic and in parts of northern Nigeria.  The last Almoravid ruler in Marrakesh, Ishaq (r. 1146-1147) was killed. In 1147, the dynasty was essentially overthrown by the Almohads, another Muslim reform movement.

As for Western Africa, Abu Bakr apparently invaded the Ghana Empire in 1076-77, razed the capital and installed a converted king.  When Abu Bakr died in 1087, the Saharan-Sahelian empire of Ghana gradually disintegrated.  The lasting effects of the Almoravid movement included the conversion of the courts of ancient Tekrur and Ghana to Islam, and a wider, if superficial, extension among the kingdoms’ people.  It also became a historic model and source of theological justification for later jihads. 

The Almoravids were a group of zealous Muslims, originating in southern Mauritania.  Their Muslim orientation was one of simple and basic rules.  The Almoravids were a ruling class in the society, and they were easy to spot on the street, as they wore a face muffler called litham.  The Almoravid ruling class was based on military commanders who also were administrators and who called themselves jurists (fuqaha). However, Almoravid authority was fragile, as their claim of being jurists would be heavily challenged by other Muslim groups.  This challenge came to undermine their power, and became part of the reason for the fall of the Almoravids.  The main group challenging this authority were the Almohads, who replaced the Almoravids in 1147.

The theology of the Almoravids was based on a strict Malikite version of sharia (Islamic law).  Architecture from the Almoravid period is characterized by simplicity with little decoration. 

Under the Almoravid dynasty, the Moorish empire was extended over present-day Morocco, Western Sahara, Mauritania, Gibraltar, Tlemcen (in Algeria) and a great part of what is now Senegal and Mali in the south, and Spain and Portugal to the north in Europe. At its greatest extent, the empire stretched 3,000 kilometres north to south (an all-time latitude spanner until Spanish America).

“Almoravids” is a transcription of “Al-Murabitun”. The exact meaning of "Murabit" is a matter of controversy. Some have suggested that the word might be derived from the Arabic ribat meaning fortress (a term with which it shares the root r-b-t). Some historians, however, now believe that it refers to ribat meaning "ready for battle".

The most powerful of the tribes of the Sahara near the Sénégal River was the Lamtuna, whose culture of origin was 'Wadi Noun' (Nul Lemta). They later came together as a culture which founded the city of Aoudaghost. They converted to Islam in the 9th century.

About the year 1040 (or a little earlier) one of their chiefs, Yahya ibn Ibrahim, made the pilgrimage to Mecca (Makkah). On his way home, he visited the teachers of the mosque at the University of Al-Qayrawan, today's Kairouan in Tunisia; the first Arab-Muslim city in North Africa.  The university teachers soon learned from Yahya ibn Ibrahim that his people knew little of the religion they were supposed to profess, and that though his will was good, his own ignorance was great. By the good offices of the theologians of Al Qayrawan, one of whom was from Fez, Yahya was provided with a missionary, Abdallah ibn Yasin, a zealous partisan of the Malikis, one of the four Madhhab, Sunni schools of Islam.

The preaching Abdallah ibn Yasin was before-long rejected by the Lamtunas.  On the advice of Yahya, who accompanied Abdallah, Abdallah retired to the Saharan regions from which his influence spread. His creed was mainly characterized by a rigid formalism and a strict adherence to the dictates of the Qur'an, and the Orthodox tradition.

Abdallah ibn Yasin imposed a penitential scourging on all converts as a purification, and enforced a regular system of discipline for every breach of the law; even on the chiefs. Under such directions, the Almoravids were brought into excellent order. Their first military leader, Yahya ibn Ibrahim, gave them a good military organization. Their main force was infantry, armed with javelins in the front ranks and pikes behind, which formed into a phalanx; and was supported by camelmen and horsemen on the flanks.
From the year 1053, the Almoravids began to spread their religious way to the Berber areas of the Sahara, and to the regions south of the desert. They converted Takrur (a small state in modern Senegal) to Islam, and after winning over the Sanhaja Berber tribe, they quickly took control of the entire desert trade route, seizing Sijilmasa at the northern end in 1054, and Aoudaghost at the southern end in 1055. Yahya ibn Ibrahim was killed in a battle in 1056, but Abdallah ibn Yasin, whose influence as a religious teacher was paramount; named his brother Abu-Bakr Ibn-Umar as chief. Under him, the Almoravids soon began to spread their power beyond the desert, and subjected the tribes of the Atlas Mountains. They then came in contact with the Berghouata, a branch of the Zenata of central Morocco, who followed a "heresy" founded by Salih ibn Tarif, three centuries earlier. The Berghouata made a fierce resistance, and it was in battle with them that Abdullah ibn Yasin was killed. They were, however, completely conquered by Abu-Bakr Ibn-Umar, who took the defeated chief's widow, Zainab, as a wife.

In 1061, Abu-Bakr Ibn-Umar made a division of the power he had established, handing over the more-settled parts to his cousin Yusuf ibn Tashfin, as viceroy and resigning to him his favorite wife, Zainab. For himself, Abu-Bakr reserved the task of suppressing the revolts which had broken out in the desert, but when he returned to resume control, he found his cousin too powerful to be superseded. He returned to the Sahara, where, in 1087, having been wounded with a poisoned arrow, he died.

Yusuf ibn Tashfin had in the meantime brought what is now known as Morocco, Western Sahara and Mauretania into complete subjugation; and in 1062, had founded the city of Marrakech. In 1080, he conquered the kingdom of Tlemcen (in modern-day Algeria) and founded the present day city of that name, his rule extending as far east as Oran.

It has been reported by some that the Almoravids conquered the Ghana Empire sometime around 1075. According to Arab tradition, the ensuing war pushed Ghana over the edge, ending the kingdom's position as a commercial and military power by 1100, as it collapsed into tribal groups and chieftaincies, some of which later assimilated into the Almoravids while others founded the Mali Empire. However, the Almoravid religious influence was gradual and not heavily involved in military strife, as Almoravids increased in power by marrying among the nation's nobility. Some scholars attribute the decline of ancient Ghana to numerous unrelated factors, only one of which can be likely attributable to internal dynastic struggles that were instigated by Almoravid influence and Islamic pressures, but devoid of any military conversion and conquest.
In 1086 Yusuf ibn Tashfin was invited by the Muslim princes in the Iberian Peninsula (Al-Andalus) to defend them against Alfonso VI, King of León and Castile. In that year, Yusuf ibn Tashfin crossed the straits to Algeciras, inflicted a severe defeat on the Christians at the Battle of az-Zallaqah (Battle of Sagrajas). He was prevented from following up his victory by trouble in Africa, which he had to settle in person.

When he returned to Iberia in 1090, it was avowedly for the purpose of deposing the Muslim princes, and annexing their states. He had in his favor the mass of the inhabitants, who had been worn out by the oppressive taxation imposed by their spend-thrift rulers. Their religious teachers, as well as others in the east, (most notably, al-Ghazali in Persia and al-Tartushi in Egypt, who was himself an Iberian by birth, from Tortosa), detested the native Muslim princes for their religious indifference, and gave Yusuf a fatwa -- or legal opinion—to the effect that he had good moral and religious right, to dethrone the rulers, whom he saw as heterodox and who did not hesitate to seek help from the Christians, whose habits he claimed they had adopted. By 1094, he had removed them all, except for the one at Zaragoza; and though he regained little from the Christians except Valencia, he re-united the Muslim power, and gave a check to the reconquest of the country by the Christians.

After friendly correspondence with the caliph at Baghdad, whom he acknowledged as Amir al-Mu'minin (Commander of the Faithful), Yusuf ibn Tashfin in 1097 assumed the title of Amir al Muslimin (Commander of the Muslims). He died in 1106, when he was reputed to have reached the age of 100.

The Almoravid power was at its height at Yusuf's death, and the Moorish empire then included all North-West Africa as far as Algiers, and all of Iberia south of the Tagus, with the east coast as far as the mouth of the Ebro, and included the Balearic Islands.

Three years afterwards, under Yusuf's son and successor, Ali ibn Yusuf, Sintra and Santarém were added, and Iberia was again invaded in 1119 and 1121, but the tide had turned; the French having assisted the Aragonese to recover Zaragoza. In 1138, Ali ibn Yusuf was defeated by Alfonso VII of León, and in the Battle of Ourique (1139), by Afonso I of Portugal, who thereby won his crown. Lisbon was recovered by the Portuguese in 1147.

Ali ibn Yusuf was a pious non-entity, who fasted and prayed while his empire fell to pieces under the combined action of his Christian foes in Iberia and the agitation of the Almohads (the Muwahhids) in Morocco. After Ali ibn Yusuf's death in 1142, his son Tashfin ibn Ali lost ground rapidly before the Almohads, and in 1146 he was killed by a fall from a precipice while attempting to escape after a defeat near Oran.

His two successors were Ibrahim ibn Tashfin and Is'haq ibn Ali, but their reigns were short. The conquest of the city of Marrakech by the Almohads in 1147 marked the fall of the dynasty, though fragments of the Almoravids (the Banu Ghaniya), continued to struggle in the Balearic Islands, and finally in Tunisia.

Interestingly, family names such as Morabito, Murabito and Mirabito are common in western Sicily, the Aeolian Islands and southern Calabria in Italy. These names may have appeared in this region as early as the 11th century, when Robert Guiscard and the Normans defeated the Saracens (Muslims) in Sicily. In addition to southern Italy, there are also sizable populations of Mourabit (also spelled Morabit or Murabit or Morabet) in modern-day Morocco, Tunisia, Egypt and Mauritania.

A list of Almoravid rulers reads as follows:

Abdallah ibn Yasin (1040-1059)
Yusuf ibn Tashfin (1061–1106)
Ali ibn Yusuf (1106–42)
Tashfin ibn Ali (1142–46)
Ibrahim ibn Tashfin (1146)
Ishaq ibn Ali (1146–47)

“the people from a fortified convent” see Almoravids
“the people from the ribat” see Almoravids
Murabitun see Almoravids

Alp Arslan
Alp Arslan (b. 1030).  The Great Seljuk (Saljuq) (r. 1064-1072).  He conducted campaigns against the Armenians and the Georgians and defeated the Byzantines in the battle of Malazgird.

Alp Arslan (1029 – December 15, 1072) was the second sultan of the Seljuk dynasty and great-grandson of Seljuk, the eponym of the dynasty. He assumed the name of Muhammad bin Da'ud Chaghri when he embraced Islam, and for his military prowess, personal valor, and fighting skills he obtained the surname Alp Arslan, which means "a valiant lion" in Turkish.
Alp Arslan led Seljuk Turks to victory against the Byzantines in 1071.  He succeeded his father Chagri Begh as governor of Khorasan in 1059. When his uncle Toğrül died he was succeeded by Suleiman, Alp Arslan's brother. Alp Arslan and his uncle Kutalmish both contested this succession. Alp Arslan defeated Kutalmish for the throne and succeeded on April 27, 1064 as sultan of Great Seljuk, and thus became sole monarch of Persia from the river Oxus to the Tigris.

In consolidating his empire and subduing contending factions he was ably assisted by Nizam ul-Mulk, his Persian vizier, and one of the most eminent statesmen in early Muslim history. With peace and security established in his dominions, he convoked an assembly of the states and declared his son Malik Shah I his heir and successor. With the hope of acquiring immense booty in the rich church of St. Basil in Caesarea Mazaca, the capital of Cappadocia, he placed himself at the head of the Turkish cavalry, crossed the Euphrates and entered and plundered that city. He then marched into Armenia and Georgia, which he conquered in 1064.

In 1068, en route to Syria, Alp Arslan invaded the Byzantine Empire. The emperor Romanos IV Diogenes, assuming the command in person, met the invaders in Cilicia. In three arduous campaigns, the first two of which were conducted by the emperor himself while the third was directed by Manuel Comnenos (great-uncle of Emperor Manuel Comnenos), the Turks were defeated in detail in 1070 and driven across the Euphrates. In 1071 Romanos again took the field and advanced with 40,000 men, including a contingent of the Cuman Turks as well as contingents of Franks and Normans, under Ursel of Bahol, into Armenia.

At Manzikert, on the Murad Tchai, north of Lake Van, Diogenes was met by Alp Arslan. The sultan proposed terms of peace, which were rejected by the emperor, and the two forces met in the Battle of Manzikert. The Cuman mercenaries among the Byzantine forces immediately defected to the Turkish side; and, seeing this, "the Western mercenaries rode off and took no part in the battle." The Byzantines were totally routed.

Emperor Romanos IV was himself taken prisoner and conducted into the presence of Alp Arslan, who treated him with generosity.  The terms of peace having been agreed to, dismissed him, loaded with presents and respectfully attended by a military guard. This famous conversation is recorded to have taken place after Romanos was brought as a prisoner before the Sultan:

Alp Arslan: "What would you do if I was brought before you as a prisoner?"
Romanos: "Perhaps I'd kill you, or exhibit you in the streets of Constantinople."
Alp Arslan: "My punishment is far heavier. I forgive you, and set you free."

Alp Arslan's victories changed the balance in near Asia completely in favor of the Seljuk Turks and Sunni Muslims. While the Byzantine Empire was to continue for nearly another four centuries, and the Crusades would contest the issue for some time, the victory at Manzikert signalled the beginning of Turkish ascendancy in Anatolia. Most historians date the defeat at Manzikert as the beginning of the end of the Eastern Roman Empire. Certainly the entry of Turkic farmers following their horsemen ended the themes in Anatolia which had furnished the Empire with men and treasure.
Alp Arslan's strength lay in the military realm. Domestic affairs were handled by his able vizier, Nizam al-Mulk, the founder of the administrative organization which characterized and strengthened the sultanate during the reigns of Alp Arslan and his son, Malik Shah. Military fiefs, governed by Seljuk princes, were established to provide support for the soldiery and to accommodate the nomadic Turks to the established Persian agricultural scene. This type of military fiefdom enabled the nomadic Turks to draw on the resources of the sedentary Persians and other established cultures within the Seljuk realm, and allowed Alp Arslan to field a huge standing army, without depending on tribute from conquest to pay his soldiery. He not only had enough food from his subjects to maintain his military, but the taxes collected from traders and merchants added to his coffers sufficiently to fund his continuous wars.

The dominion of Alp Arslan after Manzikert extended over much of western Asia. He soon prepared to march to the conquest of Turkestan, the original seat of his ancestors. With a powerful army he advanced to the banks of the Oxus. Before he could pass the river with safety, however, it was necessary to subdue certain fortresses, one of which was for several days vigorously defended by the governor, Yussuf el-Harezmi, a Khwarezmian. He was, however, obliged to surrender and was carried a prisoner before the sultan, who condemned him to a cruel death. Yussuf, in desperation, drew his dagger and rushed upon the sultan. Alp Arslan, who took great pride in his reputation as the foremost archer of his time, motioned to his guards not to interfere and drew his bow, but his foot slipped, the arrow glanced aside and he received the assassin's dagger in his breast. Alp Arslan died four days later from this wound on November 25, 1072 in his 42nd year, and was taken to Merv to be buried next to his father Çağrı Bey. Upon his tomb lies the following inscription:

“O those who saw the sky-high grandeur of Alp Arslan, behold! He is under the black soil now...”
As he lay dying, Alp Arslan whispered to his son that his vanity had killed him. "Alas," he is recorded to have said, "surrounded by great warriors devoted to my cause, guarded night and day by them, I should have allowed them to do their job. I had been warned against trying to protect myself, and against letting my courage get in the way of my good sense. I forgot those warnings, and here I lie, dying in agony. Remember well the lessons learned, and do not allow your vanity to overreach your good sense..."

Alp Arslan's conquest of Anatolia from the Byzantines is also seen as one of the pivotal precursors to the launch of the crusades.

From 2002 to July 2008 under Turkmen calendar reform, the month of August was named after Alp Arslan.

Both Alp and Alparslan (concatenated version of Alp Arslan) are among the most loved and used Turkish names in Turkey.

Arslan, Alp see Alp Arslan
"Valiant Lion" see Alp Arslan

Alp Takin
Alp Takin (Alp Tigin) (Alp Tegin) (d. 963).  Turkish slave commander who ruled in Ghazna.  Alp Takin (Persian: Alp Tegīn, Turkic for brave prince) was a general of Central Asian Turkic origin from Balkh who had risen from slave to general and eventually to the Governor of Khorasan based in Ghazni.

Later in a political fallout over succession of the Samanids he crossed the Hindu Kush mountains to capture Ghazni, located strategically between Kabul and Kandahar in modern Afghanistan on the road between Iran and India, where he established his independence.

Two military families arose from the Turkic Slave-Guards of the Samanids — the Simjurids and the Ghaznavids — who ultimately proved disastrous to the Samanids. The Simjurids received an appanage in the Kūhestān region of southern Khorasan and Alp Tigin founded the Ghaznavid fortunes when he established himself at Ghazna (now in Afghanistan) in 962.

When the Samanid Emir Abdul Malik I, died in 961 it created a succession crisis between Abdul Malik's brothers. He and Abu al-Hasan Simjuri, as Samanid generals, competed with each other for the governorship of Khorasan and control of the Samanid empire by placing on the throne emirs they could dominate. Abu al-Hasan died in 961, but a new rival Fa'iq rose and eventually Mansur I was elected by the court ministers, and having backed the wrong candidate Alp Takin retired from Khurasan to Ghazna, where he ruled as a largely independent sovereign, thus starting the Ghaznavid lineage in 962. Coins of the era however show that he still nominally acknowledged the Samanid authority.

Takin, Alp see Alp Takin
Alp Tigin see Alp Takin
Tigin, Alp see Alp Takin
Tegin, Alp see Alp Takin
Alp Tegin see Alp Takin
"Brave Prince" see Alp Takin

Al Shahab
Harakat al-Shabaab al-Mujahideen (HSM) (Arabic: حركة الشباب المجاهدين‎; Ḥarakat ash-Shabāb al-Mujāhidīn, Somali: Xarakada Mujaahidiinta Alshabaab, "Mujahideen Youth Movement" or "Movement of Striving Youth"), more commonly known as al-Shabaab or al-Shabab (Arabic: الشباب‎), meaning "The Youth", or "The Youngsters", is a jihadist group based in Somalia. In 2012, it joined the militant Islamist organization al-Qaeda as a cell.  As of 2013, the group retreated from the major cities, but imposed strict forms of sharia law in some rural regions. Al-Shabab's troop strength as of 2013 was estimated at 4,000 to 6,000 militants.  In February 2012, the group's leaders quarreled with Al-Qaeda over the union, and quickly lost ground.

The group is an off-shoot of the Islamic Courts Union (ICU), which splintered into several smaller factions after its defeat in 2006 by the Somali Transitional Federal Government (TFG) and the TFG's Ethiopian military allies. Al-Shabab describes itself as waging jihad against "enemies of Islam", and is engaged in combat against the TFG and the African Union Mission to Somalia (AMISOM). Alleging ulterior motives on the part of foreign organizations, group members also reportedly intimidated, kidnapped and killed aid workers, leading to a suspension of humanitarian operations and an exodus of relief agents. Al-Shabab was designated a terrorist organization by several Western governments and security services. As of June 2012, the United States State Department had opened bounties on several of the group's senior commanders.

In early August 2011, the TFG's troops and their AMISOM allies reportedly managed to capture all of Mogadishu from the Al-Shabab militants. An ideological rift within the group's leadership also emerged in response to pressure from the recent drought and the assassination of top officials in the organization. Al Shabab is hostile to Sufi traditions and has often clashed with the militant group Ahlu Sunna Waljama'a.  The group has also been suspected of having links with Al-Qaeda in Islamic Maghreb and Boko Haram. The group has attracted some members from western countries, notably Samantha Lewthwaite and Abu Mansoor al-Amriki. 

Al-Shabab was also accused of being responsible for the deaths of tens of thousands of elephants every year for their ivory, and for killing rangers hired to protect them. The proceeds from the ivory trade allegedly supply Al-Shabab with income with which to carry out their operations. At the same time, the group also has some social support during its time in administration within Somalia as it partook in some reforms.

Alufa.  An Afro-Brazilian cult organized by descendants of Muslim blacks.  The faithful worship Allah, also known as Olorum-ulua, practice circumcision and observe Ramadan which ends in a great feast that includes the sacrifice of a lamb and the exchange of gifts.  

Amal.  Populist movement of Lebanese Shi ‘a Muslims that first emerged in 1975 and, subsequently, became an important political force in Lebanon.

Against a background of social exclusion and economic deprivation, the Shi‘a of Lebanon emerged as major political actors on the Lebanese scene.  Well into the twentieth century, the Shi‘a were only bit players in Lebanon.  They were unnoticed by other Lebanese, given scant attention by scholars, and presumed insignificant by Lebanese politicians.  Socialized into a religious tradition that extolled sacrifice and presumed temporal injustice, the Shi‘a found ready confirmation for their beliefs in their mundane surroundings.  Lebanon’s confessional (sectarian) political equation – in which privilege, office, and political rights were allocated according to sect – operated to the disadvantage of the Shi ‘a.  This became pronounced as their population grew disproportionately to the country’s other major sects.  In a political system dominated by Maronite and Sunni politicians, the Shi‘a were trapped by their confessional identity.

Although they lagged behind non-Shi‘a, the Shi‘a were still very much affected by the rapid modernization that had marked Lebanon since independence in 1943.  Access to education produced a growing pool of individuals who were no longer content to confine their horizons to subsistence farming.  Improved transportation eroded the geographic isolation of the community.  A rapidly growing communications network, both within and outside of Lebanon, brought the outside world – with its political ideologies and its modern ideas and technologies – into even the most remote village.

Modernization of the agricultural sector, including an increasing emphasis on cash crops and farm mechanization, led to underemployment and unemployment.  Many of the Shi‘a were forced to move off the land in order to survive.  As the modernization process began to have an effect, and as the Shi‘a gained from exposure to horizons wider than the village, they became more aware of the disparities between them and their relatively affluent neighbors.  Fleeing the poverty of the village and the drudgery of farm labor, many Shi‘a took work where they could find it in Beirut, usually as petty laborers or peddlers.  This migration of labor led to the swelling of the population of the Lebanese capital by the 1960s.  The Shi‘a made their homes in the squalid suburbs.  Although some actually escaped from poverty, most remained dreadfully poor.  Not surprisingly, these migrants from the country became a fertile pool for recruitment by radical parties that claimed to have answers to their difficulties.

More important, the dearth of economic opportunities within Lebanon factored into the movement of many Shi‘a men overseas, where opportunities in the Gulf states, and especially West Africa, provided a way out of poverty.  Some made their fortunes and thereby gained the wherewithal to support political movements in their image.  Later, the money earned by these Shi‘a migrants would play a crucial role in financing the growth of Shi‘a political activism within Lebanon. Though the Shi‘a as a whole are still relatively impoverished, many Shi‘a have done well as merchants, building contractors, and professionals.  Yet, even among the affluent, there is an ethos of deprivation, a lingering memory imparted by a lifetime of accumulated grievances and slights.

The 1960s and 1970s also exposed the Lebanese Shi‘a to the vibrant and dynamic leadership of Sayyid Musa al-Sadr.  Although born in Iran, Sadr traced his ancestry back to southern Lebanon and the village of Marakah.  He moved to Lebanon in 1960 from Najaf, Iraq, where he had  been studying Islamic fiqh (jurisprudence) under the sponsorship of several of the most important ayatollahs of the day.  He was a looming presence in the pre-civil war period, and it was under his direction and leadership that the Harakat al-Mahrumin (Movement of the Deprived) – the forerunner of the Amal movement – emerged in 1974.  Sadr was a populist leader with an agenda of reform, not destruction and revolution.

Although the Movement of the Deprived claimed to represent all of the politically dispossessed Lebanese, regardless of confession, it was transparently a party of the Shi‘a.  The charismatic Sadr skillfully exploited Shi‘ism’s potent symbolism to remind his followers that they were people with a heritage of resistance and sacrifice.  He revitalized the epic martyrdom of Husayn (the grandson of the prophet Muhammad) at Karbala in 680, and he inspired his followers to emulate the Husayn’s bravery.

Despite his magnetic appeal for many Shi‘a, Sadr’s movement was only one in a field of organizations that successfully mobilized the Shi‘a into political action.  In Lebanon, as in Iraq among the Shi‘a, the Communist Party was the party of prominence in the 1970s.  Only later, and under bizarre circumstances, did Sadr’s movement assume center stage for the Shi‘a.  With the civil war that began in 1975, Sadr’s popular following was challenged by a number of militia organizations, including the Palestinian Fida‘iyan, which recruited many Shi‘a youths.  Sadr’s appeal diminished in a setting where guns became commonplace adornments and the rhetoric of hatred and cruelty overwhelmed his rhetoric of reform.

War’s exuberance faded and, in the south, the heartland of Shi‘ism in Lebanon, the conflict destroyed villages, took lives and livelihoods, and alienated many Shi‘a from their political alliances.  Increasingly, throughout 1977 and 1978, the Shi‘a often found themselves in the crossfire between the Palestine Liberation Organization (PLO) and Israel.  This was a period of heightened suffering, especially in southern Lebanon, where a heavy price was paid for the armed Palestinian presence.

By the late 1970s, many – but by no means all – of the politicized Shi‘a deserted the political left and joined or supported the rejuvenated Amal movement.  Amal means "hope," but it is also an acronym for Afwaj al-Muqawamah al-Lubnaniyah (Lebanese Resistance Detachments).  In 1978, the Israelis increased their military pressure on south Lebanon, thereby helping to stoke the tensions between the Shi‘a and the PLO, although subsequent Israeli errors would indicate that theirs was a very incomplete understanding of what was taking place among the Shi‘a.  Amal began to take shape as a loose grouping of village homeguards, intent on circumscribing the influence of the PLO and thereby reducing the exposure of the Shi‘a to Israeli pre-emptive and retaliatory strikes.

With the Iranian Revolution gathering momentum in 1978, many Lebanese Shi‘a took inspiration from the actions of their Iranian co-religionists.  If the Islamic Revolution was not a precise model for Lebanon, it was still an exemplar for action, and Amal, as an authentically Shi‘a movement, was the momentary beneficiary of this enthusiasm.  Sadr was known to be a key supporter of Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini (1902-1989) and an adversary of the shah (although his opposition had been tempered by a good dose of realism).  Moreover, several key Amal officials, including the Iranian Mustafa Chamran, took up key positions in the new regime.

Ironically, it was also Sadr’s disappearance in 1978 that helped to retrieve the promise of his earlier efforts.  In August 1978, he visited Libya with two companions, Shaykh Muhammad Shihadah Ya‘qub and journalist ‘Abbas Badr al-Din.  The party has not been heard of since.  Sadr became a hero to his followers, who revere his memory and take inspiration from his works and his plights.  The symbol of a missing imam – reminiscent of the central dogma of Shi‘ism – is hard to assail, and even blood enemies were heard to utter words of praise for the missing leader.  The reform movement Sadr founded became the largest Shi‘a organization in Lebanon.  By 1982, when Israel launched its invasion of Lebanon, Amal was arguably the most dynamic force in Lebanese politics.

Amal’s calls for the reformation of the Lebanese political system went unheeded, however.  The Maronite Christians, who have enjoyed the dominant role in the politics of modern Lebanon, were intent on preserving their power, not in sharing it.  The Sunni Muslims, the Maronites’ junior partner , were also little interested in seeing the dimunition of their privileges to the advantage of the Shi‘a.  Thus, the answer to Amal’s demands was calculated intransigence.  The result was increased anger and frustration among the Shi‘a.

True to its reformist origins, the Amal leadership sought a role in the Lebanese political system in the exuberant second half of 1982.  Although Lebanon’s civil war did not definitively end until 1990, the expulsion of the bulk of the PLO’s fighters from Lebanon and the energetic engagement of United States diplomacy seemed to signal that the worst was over.  Amal leader Nabih Berri, the Sierra Leone born son of a Shi‘a trader, waited in vain for a call that never came.  Meanwhile, though Israel earned the gratitude of many southern Shi‘a for expelling the widely disdained Palestinian gunmen, Israel remained in occupation of much of Lebanon, including all of the south.

By 1983, the hopes of 1982 were in tatters.  United States diplomacy proved to be clumsy and poorly conceived, and Syria, defeated soundly by Israel in 1982, was determined to undermine Israel’s gains and America’s ambitions in Lebanon.  An increasingly potent Lebanese resistance emerged, based initially in the parties of the left, but by the autumn of 1983 Amal was deeply implicated in the resistance.  From 1982, onward, the Shi‘a community became increasingly militant, in no small measure because of an arbitrary campaign of intimidation and arrests by the Maronite led government. 

The high point of Amal’s organized military power was in 1984.  Amal fighters were heavily engaged against the Israeli occupation of Lebanese soil, and, in Beirut, Amal confronted the central government.  After terrible shelling of the heavily populated southern suburbs by the army, Nabih Berri called successfully on Shi‘a soldiers to lay down their arms, whereupon Amal became the dominant force of the moment in West Beirut.

Shortly thereafter, in early 1984, United States marines withdrew from their positions in Beirut.  Following the disastrous attack on the marine barracks in 1983 that killed more than two hundred marines, the departing marines left their positions to Amal militiamen.  Amal moved to solidify its power position, while also maintaining pressure on Israel in the south, where the invading army consolidated its positions.  Deadly, intense attacks prompted Israel to extricate most of its forces from Lebanon, while, in 1985, retaining a foothold in a self-proclaimed “security zone.”

For a time, the Amal leaders had some faith in United States promises, but, by 1985, those promises rang hollow and Amal was heavily influenced by Syria.  Given the extant hatreds, Amal did not need much prodding to move to suppress surviving PLO positions in the environs of Beirut, but Syria was a generous supplier of arms and ammunition for Amal’s bloody war of the camps, which lasted until 1988.

Amal’s ascendancy, however, was promptly checked.  A tactical alliance with the Druze leader Walid Jumblatt crumbled, and among the Sunni Muslims fears of Shi‘a suzerainty sparked a variety of organizational ripostes.  Amal’s moment of singular power was over.

Amal, which promised in the early 1980s to become the dominant organizational voice for the Shi‘a, faced a serious erosion in its following.  Ineffective and even incompetent leadership, corruption, and more than a modicum of arrogance undermined its support, especially in the environs of Beirut.

Hizbullah (or “the Party of God”), the Iranian funded alternative to Amal, emerged after 1982 as a competent, dedicated, and well-led challenger.  Although young Shi‘a clerics dominated the leadership of Hizbullah, it was noteworthy that Hizbullah was especially effective in recruiting among well-educated Shi‘a from secular professions, many of whom had lost confidence in Amal.  In May 1988, fighting in Beirut suburbs, which saw the Hizbullah triumph over the Amal militia, underlined Hizbullah’s steady success in enlisting the Shi‘a, many of whom were ex-Amal members. 

As the overall situation grew worse, Hizbullah gained supporters, although Amal remained a force with which to be reckoned.  The persistent insecurity, the stalling of political reform, and the near total collapse of the Lebanese economy made religion a refuge, skillfully manipulated to be sure, in a situation where there were no other answers.  Taking its cue from Iran, Hizbullah exploited the symbolism of Shi‘ism to enlist support. For instance, ‘Ashura’, the day on which the Shi‘a commemorate the martyrdom of Husayn more than thirteen hundred years ago, and certainly the most significant day of the Shi‘a calendar, became not just a plea for intercession or an act of piety, but a revolutionary statement.

Hizbullah enjoyed much less success in south Lebanon, where about one-third of the Shi‘a live.  Anti-PLO animosity ran deep in the south, and Amal’s staunch stance against the restoration of an armed PLO presence in the area accurately reflected popular sentiment and distinguished Amal from Hizbullah.

The civil war ended in 1990, generally along the lines of the 1989 Ta’if Accord, which called for Muslim Christian parity in parliament and increased, marginally, the influence of the Shi‘a Muslims in the Lebanese political system.  In agreement with the accord, Amal was disarmed in 1991 and the movement’s militia phase ended.

Amal’s rival, Hizbullah, however, did not disarm and continued to enjoy the toleration of Syria and the support of Iran.  In addition, although Amal leaders had long railed against the corruption and arrogance of the zu‘ama’ (political bosses), senior Amal figures were susceptible to the same charges.  Amal maintained an important core of support, especially in the south, but Hizbullah continued to siphon off members, who were attracted by Hizbullah’s network of social services and its reputation for integrity.

With the resumption of “normal” politics in Lebanon, Amal’s raison d’etre had to be modified radically.  Although the killing stopped, for the most part, the aftermath of the civil war was a national economic crisis in which the real standard of living of the Lebanese declined dramatically.  Amal’s capacity for conversion into a widely encompassing political movement was thus limited.

Nonetheless, Nabih Berri, long a political outsider, ascended in 1991 to the position of parliamentary speaker, the highest political position allotted to a Shi‘a, signifying both a personal success and a marker of Amal’s accomplishments since its creation in 1974.  Popular movements tend to offer more than they can reasonably be expected to deliver, otherwise they would lose their populist base, and Amal is no exception.  Yet, in the quest of the Shi‘a of Lebanon for dignity and political power, Amal’s role was central.  The movement authentically symbolized the moderation and the project of reform that defines the vast majority of this community. 

Amal Movement is short for Afwaq al-Muqawmat al-Lubnaniyya (the Lebanese Resistance Detachments) the acronym for which, in Arabic, is "amal", meaning "hope."

Amal was founded in 1975 as the militia wing of the Movement of the Disinherited, a Shi'a political movement founded by Musa al-Sadr and Hussein el-Husseini a year earlier. It became one of the most important Shi'a Muslim militias during the Lebanese Civil War. Amal grew strong with the support of, and through its ties with, Syria and the 300,000 Shi'a internal refugees from southern Lebanon after the Israeli bombings in the early 1980s. Amal's practical objectives were to gain greater respect for Lebanon's Shi'ite population and the allocation of a larger share of governmental resources for the Shi'ite-dominated southern part of the country.

At its zenith, the militia had 14,000 troops. Amal fought a long campaign against Palestinian refugees during the Lebanese Civil War (called the War of the Camps). After the War of the Camps, Amal fought a bloody battle against rival Shi'a group Hezbollah for control of Beirut, which provoked Syrian military intervention. Hezbollah itself was formed by religious members of Amal who had left after Nabih Berri's assumption of full control and the subsequent resignation of most of Amal's earliest members.

The origins of the Amal movement lie with the Lebanese cleric of Iranian origin Imam Musa al-Sadr. In 1974, Harakat al-Mahrumin (the Movement of the Deprived) was established by al-Sadr and member of parliament Hussein el-Husseini to attempt to reform the Lebanese system. While acknowledging its support base to be the “traditionally under-represented politically and economically disadvantaged” Shi'a community, it aimed, according to Palmer-Harik, to seek social justice for all deprived Lebanese. Although influenced by Islamic ideas, it was a secular movement trying to unite people along communal rather than religious or ideological lines. The Greek Catholic Archbishop of Beirut, Mgr. Grégoire Haddad, was among the founders of the Movement.

On January 20, 1975, the Lebanese Resistance Detachments (also referred to in English as 'The Battalions of the Lebanese Resistance') were formed as a military wing of The Movement of the Disinherited under the leadership of al-Sadr, and came to be popularly known as Amal (from the acronym Afwaj al-Muqawmat Al-Lubnaniyya). In 1978, al-Sadr disappeared in mysterious circumstances while visiting Libya, the Amal movement’s regional supporter at the time. Hussein el-Husseini became leader of Amal and was followed by Nabih Berri in April 1980 after el-Husseini resigned. One of the consequences of the rise of Berri, a less educated leader, was the increasing secular yet sectarian nature of the movement and a move away from an Islamic context for the movement.

In the summer of 1982, Husayn Al-Musawi, deputy head and official spokesman of Amal, broke with Berri over his willingness to go along with United States. mediation in Lebanon rather than attack Israeli troops, his membership in the National Salvation Council alongside the Christians, and his opposition to pledging allegiance to Ayatollah Khomeini.

Musawi formed the Islamist Islamic Amal Movement, based in Baalbeck. It was aided by the Islamic Republic of Iran which, in the wake of the 1979 Islamic Revolution, strove not only to help Lebanon's Shi'a, but to export the Pan-Islamic revolution to the rest of the Muslim world, something Musawi strongly supported.

About 1500 members of Iran’s Islamic Revolutionary Guard or Pasdaran, arrived in Beqaa Valley that same time and "directly contributed to ensure the survival and growth of al-Musawi's newly-created small militia," providing training, indoctrination and funding. Iran was in many ways a natural ally of the Shia in Lebanon as it was far larger than Lebanon, oil-rich, and both Shi'a-majority and Shi'a-ruled, in fact, the only state ruled by Shi'a. And of course, founder Musa al-Sadr had come from Iran. Iran's generous funding meant generous pay for the militia's recruits that far exceeded what other Lebanese militias were able to offer. This was a major incentive among the impoverished Shi'a community, and induced a sizable number of Amal fighters to defected regularly to the ranks of Islamic Amal, and later to Hizb'allah.

However, while siding with Syria rather the Islamic Republic of Iran seriously weakened Amal, Berri and others in Amal were reluctant to follow Iran's lead. Their reasons reportedly included doubt that the policies of revolutionary Iran could solve Lebanon's sectarian problems; the belief that the Islamic Republic had done little to help solve the 1979 disappearance of Imam Musa al-Sadr; the perception that Iranian Islamic revolutionaries in power had done little to return the favor of Amal's extensive support for Iranian opposition activity against the Shah's regime, such as military training of senior Iranian revolutionaries in Lebanon in camps under Amal's auspices; alarm that several of Amal's most loyal friends within Iran's clerical establishment either disappeared or were killed or ousted by Ayatollah Khomeini in the period between 1980-81; and disapproval of the support and encouragement given to the PLO by Islamic revolutionaries in Iran as a natural spearhead in the holy war against Israel, despite the fact that PLO activity brought considerable trouble and hardship to the south Lebanese Shi'ites.

Islamic Amal went on to be particularly active in fighting Israeli soldiers in southern Lebanon. By August 1983, Islamic Amal and Hezbollah were effectively becoming one under the Hezbollah label, and by late 1984, Islamic Amal, along with all the known major groups in Lebanon, had been absorbed into Hezbollah.

The War of the Camps was a series of battles in the mid-1980s between Amal and Palestinian groups. The Druze-oriented Progressive Socialist Party (PSP) and Hezbollah supported the Palestinians while Syria backed Amal.

Although most of the Palestinian guerrillas were expelled during the 1982 Israeli invasion, Palestinian militias began to regain their footing after the Israeli withdrawal from first Beirut, then Sidon and Tyre. Syria viewed this revival with some anxiety: though in the same ideological camp, Damascus had little control over most Palestinian organizations and was afraid that the build-up of Palestinian forces could lead to a new Israeli invasion. Moreover, Syria's minority Alawite regime was never comfortable with Sunni militias in Lebanon. In Lebanon, Shia-Palestinians relations had been very tense since the late 1960s. After the multi-national force withdrew from Beirut in February 1984, Amal and the PSP took control of west Beirut and Amal built a number of outposts around the camps (in Beirut but also in the south). On April 15, 1985, Amal and the PSP attacked Al-Murabitun, the main Lebanese Sunni militia and the closest ally of the PLO in Lebanon. Al-Murabitun were vanquished and their leader, Ibrahim Kulaylat was sent into exile. On May 19, 1985, heavy fighting erupted between Amal and the Palestinians for the control of the Sabra, Shatila and Burj el-Barajneh camps (all in Beirut). Despite its efforts, Amal could not take the control of the camps. The death toll remains unknown, with estimates ranging from a few hundred to a few thousand. This and heavy Arab pressure led to a cease-fire on June 17.

The situation remained tense and fights occurred again in September 1985 and March 1986. On May 19, 1986, heavy fighting erupted again. Despite new armaments provided by Syria, Amal could not take control of the camps. Many cease-fires were announced, but most of them did not last more than a few days. The situation began to cool after Syria deployed some troops on June 24, 1986.

There was tension in the south, an area where Shi'a and Palestinians were both present. This unavoidably led to frequent clashes. On September 29, 1986, fighting erupted at the Rashidiyye camp (Tyre). The conflict immediately spread to Sidon and Beirut. Palestinian forces managed to occupy the Amal-controlled town of Maghduche on the eastern hills of Sidon to open the road to Rashidiyye. Syrian forces helped Amal and Israel launched air strikes against PLO positions around Maghdouche. A cease-fire was negotiated between Amal and pro-Syrian Palestinian groups on December 15, 1986, but it was rejected by Yasser Arafat's Fatah. Fatah tried to appease the situation by giving some of its positions to Hezbollah and to the Murabitun. The situation became relatively calm for a while, but the bombing against the camps continued. In Beirut, a blockade of the camps led to a dramatic lack of food and medications inside the camps. In early 1987, the fighting spread to Hezbollah and the PSP who supported the Palestinians. The PSP quickly seized large portions of west Beirut. Consequently, Syria occupied west Beirut beginning February 21, 1987. In April 7, 1987, Amal finally lifted the siege and handed its positions around the camps to the Syrian army.

On February 17, 1988, Lt. Col William Higgins, American Chief of the United Nations Truce and Supervision Organisation (UNTSO) observer group in Lebanon, was abducted from his UN vehicle between Tyre and Nakara after a meeting with Abd al-Majid Salah, Amal's political leader in southern Lebanon. It soon became clear that Sheikh al-Musawi, the commander to Hezbollah's Islamic Resistance, had been personally responsible for the abduction of Lt. Col Higgins in close cooperation with both Sheikh Abdul Karim Obeid, the local commander of Hezbollah's military wing, and Mustafa al-Dirani, the former head of Amal's security service. This was seen as a direct challenge to Amal by Hezbollah, and Amal responded by launching an offensive against Hezbollah in the south where it scored decisive military victories leading to the expulsion of a number of Hezbollah clergy to the Beqqa. In Beirut's southern suburbs, however, where fighting also raged, Hezbollah was much more successful. Elements within Hezbollah and the Iranian Pasdaran established a joint command to assassinate high-ranking Amal officials and carried out operations against Amal checkpoints and centers.

By May, Amal had suffered major losses, its members were defecting to Hezbollah, and by June, Syria had to intervene militarily to rescue Amal from defeat. In January 1989, a truce in the fighting between Hezbollah and Amal was arranged by Syrian and Iranian intervention. Under this agreement, Amal's authority over the security of southern Lebanon was recognized while Hezbollah and Amal was permitted to maintain only a nonmilitary presence through political, cultural, and informational programs.

Amal was a strong supporter of Syria after 1990 and endorsed Syria's military presence in Lebanon. After Rafiq Hariri's assassination in 2005, Amal opposed the Syrian withdrawal and did not take part in the Cedar revolution. Since 1990, the party has been continuously represented in the Lebanese parliament and the government. Amal is often criticized for corruption among its leaders. Nabih Berri was elected speaker of parliament in 1992, 1996, 2000, 2005 and 2009.

"Hope" see Amal.
Afwaj al-Muqawamah al-Lubnaniyah see Amal.
Lebanese Resistance Detachments see Amal.

Aman Allah
Aman Allah (Amanollah Khan) (Amanullah) (Aman Ullah) (June 1, 1892 - April 25, 1960).  Amir (king) of Afghanistan (r.1919-1929).  During his reign, he gained Afghanistan’s political independence from Great Britain and launched an ambitious program of modernization, opposition to which cost him his throne. 

Aman Allah (June 1, 1892 – April 25, 1960) was the ruler of the Emirate of Afghanistan from 1919 to 1929, first as Amir and after 1926 as Shah. He led Afghanistan to independence over its foreign affairs from the United Kingdom, and his rule was marked by dramatic political and social change.

Born in 1892, he was the son of Amir Habibullah and Sarwar Sultanah, the Ulya Hazrat (the queen).  When Amir Habibullah was assassinated in Jalalabad (Jelalabad) in February 1919, Aman Allah was governor of Kabul and in possession of the arsenal and the treasury.  He convinced the army and the Afghan power elite to prefer his claim to that of his uncle and elder brothers.   He was crowned in Kabul over the prior claims of his uncle Nasrullah, whom he denounced as an usurper and an accomplice in the murder of his father. 

Aman Allah demanded a revision of the Anglo-Afghan agreements concluded by Amir Abdul Rahman that left Britain in charge of Afghanistan’s foreign relations in exchange for protection from unprovoked Russian aggression and a subsidy in money and military materiel.  British reluctance to accept a change in the status quo led to Afghan armed attacks, culminating in the start of the Third Anglo-Afghan War on May 3, 1919.  Britain was war-weary and in no condition to wage war on the Indian frontier and, after lengthy negotiations in Rawalpindi, Mussoorie, and Kabul, peace was restored, leaving Afghanistan free and independent from British control. 

Aman Allah became a national hero and turned his attention to reforming and modernizing his country. He established diplomatic and commercial relations with major European and Asian states; founded schools in which French, German, and English were the major languages of education; and promulgated a constitution which guaranteed the personal freedom and equal rights of all Afghans. 

The Soviet leader V. I. Lenin welcomed Aman Allah’s anti-colonial stand, extended diplomatic recognition, and offered material assistance and a treaty.  The Soviet policy of repression in Muslim Central Asia, however, quickly led to friction between the two states.  Aman Allah soon sought relations with countries that did not seem to have territorial designs on the area.  He established ties with France, Germany, Italy, Japan, and Turkey, although he failed to initiate official relations with the United States.

Aman Allah assumed the title of king in 1926, and, as an ardent reformer, was a contemporary of like-minded Muslim rulers such as Muhammad Reza in Iran and Kemal Ataturk in Turkey.  Advised by Ottoman educated Afghans and impressed by Turkey’s example, Aman Allah embarked on his own scheme of development.  First, he gave the country its first constitution and three times convened the Loya Jirga (Grand Assembly), composed of various segments of the power elite, to ratify his important decisions.  Second, he systematized the administrative divisions of the country into a territorial hierarchy of sub-districts, districts, and provinces.  The centrally appointed administrators at each level were assisted by a locally elected consultative body.  Third, he replaced tax farming with directly collected taxes in cash.  Fourth, he tolerated a free press, entrusted the intelligentsia with responsible positions in the government, and spent a major portion of the revenue of the state on the expansion of education. 

He built a new capital, named Darulaman ("Dar al-Aman" – “Abode of Peace”), which included a monumental parliament and other government buildings as well as villas of prominent Afghans.  Social reforms included a new dress code that permitted women in Kabul to go unveiled and encouraged officials to wear Western dress.

Modernization proved costly for Afghanistan and was resented by the traditional elements of Afghan society.  The Khost Rebellion, a tribal revolt in 1924, was suppressed, and Aman Allah felt secure enough to travel to Europe in December 1927.  However, upon his return he faced increasing opposition and, in 1928, an uprising of Shinwari tribesmen, followed by attacks of the Kohdamani and Kuhistani forces of Habibullah Kalakani, forced the reformer king into exile.  After an unsuccessful attempt at regaining the throne, he crossed the Indian border on May 23, 1929. 

Aman Allah was succeeded by Nadir Shah (r. 1929-1933).  As for Aman Allah, he settled in Italy and Switzerland until his death on April 26, 1960.  He was buried in Jalalabad at the side of the tomb of Amir Habibullah. 

Aman Allah was the third son of the Amir Habibullah Khan. When he helped assassinate his father on February 20, 1919, Aman Allah was already installed as the governor of Kabul and was in control of the army and the treasury. He quickly seized power, imprisoned any relatives with competing claims to the Kingship, and gained the allegiance of most of the tribal leaders.

Russia had recently undergone its Communist revolution, leading to strained relations between the country and the United Kingdom. Aman Allah recognized the opportunity to use the situation to gain Afghanistan's independence over its foreign affairs. He led a surprise attack against the British in India on May 3, 1919, beginning the third Anglo-Afghan war. After initial successes, the war quickly became a stalemate as the United Kingdom was still dealing with the costs of World War I. An armistice was reached in 1921, and Afghanistan became an independent nation.

Aman Allah enjoyed quite a bit of early popularity within Afghanistan and he used his influence to modernize the country. Aman Allah created new cosmopolitan schools for both boys and girls in the region and overturned centuries-old traditions such a strict dress codes for women. He increased trade with Europe and Asia. He also advanced a modernist constitution that incorporated equal rights and individual freedoms with the guidance of his father-in-law and Foreign Minister Mahmud Tarzi. His wife, Queen Soraya Tarzi played a huge role in regard to his policy towards women. Unfortunately, this rapid modernization created a backlash and a reactionary uprising known as the Khost rebellion was suppressed in 1924. He also met with many Bahá'ís in India and Europe where he brought back books that were prominently located in the Kabul library. This association later served as one of the accusations when he was overthrown.

At the time, Afghanistan's foreign policy was primarily concerned with the rivalry between the Soviet Union and the United Kingdom. Each attempted to gain the favor of Afghanistan and foil attempts by the other power to gain influence in the region. This effect was inconsistent, but generally favorable for Afghanistan. Aman Allah was even able to establish a limited Afghan Air Force consisting of donated Soviet planes.

After Aman Allah travelled to Europe in late 1927, opposition to his rule increased. An uprising in Jalalabad culminated in a march to the capital, and much of the army deserted rather than resist. Through public support Habibullah Kalakani became the next king of Afghanistan. However, his rule was short lived and was soon replaced by Nadir Khan. In early 1929, Aman Allah abdicated and went into temporary exile in India. Aman Allah attempted to return to Afghanistan, however he had little support from the people. From India, the ex-king traveled to Europe and settled in Italy, and later in Switzerland. Meanwhile, Nadir Khan made sure his return to Afghanistan was impossible by engaging in a propaganda war. Nadir Khan accused Aman Allah Khan of kufr with his pro western policies.

Aman Allah Khan died in Zurich, Switzerland, in 1960. Very few of his many reforms were continued once he was no longer in power.

Amanollah Khan see Aman Allah
Amanullah see Aman Allah
Aman Ullah see Aman Allah

Amangkurat I
Amangkurat I.  Sultan of Mataram (r. 1646-1677).  He was the son and successor of Sultan Agung and the quintessential Javanese tyrant.  He attempted to centralize the administration and finances of the Mataram empire for his benefit but in doing so offended regional interests and deep-rooted Javanese political traditions of consultation, consensus, and the dispersal of economic, political, and military power.  One of his main administrative techniques was to murder his opponents.  This tyranny precipitated the greatest rebellion of seventeenth century Java, led by Trunajaya, which broke out in 1674 and culminated in the conquest of the court in 1677.  Amangkurat I died while fleeing the capital. 

Amangkurat I was the son of the powerful Sultan Agung. Upon taking the throne, he tried to bring long-term stability to the Sultanate of Mataram's realm, which was considerable in area but marred by continual rebellions. He murdered local leaders that were insufficiently deferential to him, including the still-powerful noble from Surabaya, Pangeran Pekik, his father-in-law, and closing ports and destroying ships in coastal cities to prevent them from getting too powerful from their wealth. To further his glory, the new king abandoned Karta, Sultan Agung’s capital, and moved to a grander red-brick palace in Plered (formerly the palace was built of wood).

By the mid-1670s dissatisfaction with the king was turning into open revolt, beginning from the recalcitrant Eastern Java and creeping inward. The crown prince (future Amangkurat II) felt that his life was not safe in the court after he took his father’s concubine with the help of his maternal grandfather, Pangeran Pekik of Surabaya, making Amangkurat I suspicious of a conspiracy among Surabayan factions to grab power in the capital by using Pekiks’ grandson’s powerful position as the crown prince. He conspired with Panembahan Rama from Kajoran, west of Magelang, who proposed a stratagem in which the crown prince financed Rama’s son-in-law, Trunajaya, to begin a rebellion in the East Java. Raden Trunajaya, a prince from Madura, lead a revolt fortified by itinerant fighters from faraway Makassar that captured the king's court at Mataram in mid-1677. The king escaped to the north coast with his eldest son, the future king, leaving his younger son Pangeran Puger in Mataram. Apparently more interested in profit and revenge than in running a struggling empire, the rebel Trunajaya looted the court and withdrew to his stronghold in Kediri, East Java, leaving Puger in control of a weak court. Seizing this opportunity, Puger assumed the throne in the ruins of Plered with the title Susuhunan ing Alaga.

Soon after this episode, Amangkurat I died and was succeeded by his eldest son as king in 1677.

Amanollah Khan
Amanollah Khan. See Aman Allah.

Amanullah.  See Aman Allah.

American blacks
American blacks.  Islam among American blacks (African Americans) runs along two temporarily divergent paths.  One is called the American Muslim Mission, founded by Wallace Deen Muhammad (Warith ud-Din Muhammad).  The other is the Nation of Islam, which had Louis Farrakhan as its National Representative.

The Nation of Islam grew out of two early twentieth century movements.  One was the Marcus Garvey “Back to Africa” effort of the late 1920s.  The other was the Moorish-American Science Temple movement of Noble Drew Ali (formerly Timothy Drew) of North Carolina).  Each called for a withdrawal from white society as a means of escaping a depressed socio-cultural environment fostered by the harsh legacy of slavery and complicated by the process of urbanization. 

The interest of black Americans in separation or colonization was especially pronounced in the period immediately following World War I, when Garvey, a black Jamaican, built his Universal Negro Improvement Association into an organization of worldwide significance.  Claiming a following of several million blacks, Garvey spearheaded efforts to promote racial pride and to uplift the black race by redeeming Africa from the throes of white imperialism.  While Garvey’s movement was primarily political and economic, it contained a religious component. 

Garvey called upon blacks to reject worship of an alien white deity and embrace a truly black religion based on their African heritage.  During the same period, Drew Ali, allegedly on the authority of the King of Morocco, proclaimed that “Negroes” in the United States were actually Moors, whose forefathers had inhabited North Africa.  He urged them to refer to themselves as Moors or Moorish Americans.  According to him, the white man, by stripping blacks of their true names, robbed them of their religion, their power and their identity.  Christianity was a white religion, but Islam was the religion for "colored people."  Drew Ali died in 1929 under mysterious circumstances.

Wallace D. Fard, of Detroit, claiming he was the reincarnation of Noble Drew Ali, assumed leadership of the Moorish movement and reinforced the Islamic belief system.  Although some members refused to accept his claim, one faction led by Elijah Muhammad (Elijah Poole of Georgia) did, even to the point of deifying Fard.  With racist and economic conditions facilitating his efforts, “Master” Wallace Fard Muhammad recruited 8,000 Detroit blacks, many of them recent, poverty stricken, rural migrants overwhelmed by the alien urban environment. 
Fard gave Islamic trappings to his movement, as evidenced by his references to Marcus Garvey and Noble Drew Ali as “fine Muslims,” but he also borrowed heavily from Christianity.  Among the most significant Christian influences were the Jehovah’s Witnesses.  Fard faced the dual problem of a shortage of Qur’ans and a largely illiterate or semi-literate following.  As a consequence, he urged his flock to listen to the radio broadcasts of Judge Rutherford of the Jehovah’s Witnesses.  Although Christian, the Witnesses unleashed such radical, angry diatribes against other Christian sects that they reinforced Fard’s contention that Christianity was the Negro’s “graveyard” and “the slave holder’s religion.” 

When Fard disappeared in 1934, after moving his headquarters to Chicago, Elijah Muhammad assumed leadership of the movement now called the Nation of Islam.  He, too, leaned heavily on Christianity for preaching and guidance and borrowed heavily from other religious movements.  Indeed, much of what appeared mysterious, alien and frightening about the Nation of Islam was (and is), in essence, something both very Christian and very American -- millennialism.  A concept derived from the Book of Revelation and a part of Christian theology, millennialism represents the power of good overcoming evil to establish a glorious and righteous kingdom on earth, led by Christ.  According to some scholars, millenialism influenced the Puritans, the American Revolution and radical abolitionists.  Moreover, millienialism had as a component the belief in the divine election of a group through whom the millennium will occur.  Many Americans, from the Puritans on, have identified themselves as a “chosen people.”

Elijah Muhammad, as the self-proclaimed Messenger of Allah, turned the notion upside down, by finding in it the basis for the “Devil” theory of white American civilization.  According to the tenets of the Black Muslims, the original man was none other than the black man.  Accordingly, all blacks represent Allah or at least participate through him and are therefore divine.  With the destruction of white American civilization by Allah, a black millennium will be ushered in.  Blacks are the chosen people.  The notion had great appeal to blacks seeking to salve an injured pride.  Within this context, the Nation of Islam grew as a national/religious organization.

After Elijah Muhammad’s takeover in 1934, the Nation of Islam grew slowly.  During the early 1940s, it suffered through a period of persecution because its members refused to serve in the armed forces.  Elijah Muhammad spent five years in a federal prison, a blessing in disguise, for he demonstrated a willingness to suffer for his beliefs.  After his release from prison in 1946, he built the Nation into a significant movement.  By 1955, there were 15 temples scattered throughout the country.  By the end of the decade the number had grown to 50 in 22 states and the District of Columbia with membership exceeding 100,000.

Like the Garvey movement, the Nation of Islam stressed social separation and economic independence.  It extolled hard work, thrift and accumulation of wealth.  Members were required to contribute one-tenth of their earnings to support the work of the Nation.  Over the years, the Nation of Islam invested in a variety of businesses, including restaurants, supermarkets, clothing stores and farms.  For a time, the Nation of Islam was considered the largest black economic enterprise in the country, with assets once estimated at $70 million.

The rapid growth of the Nation of Islam did not occur without internal dissension, increased problems of discipline and even assassination.  The best-known Black Muslim was Malcolm X, a former pimp and drug dealer, who joined the Nation while still in prison.  In 1954, Elijah Muhammad made him head of the movement in Harlem.  As a skilled orator, Malcolm X won numerous adherents, but as a staunch foe of integration, he angered liberal whites and middle class blacks.  Moreover Malcolm X and Elijah Muhammad drifted apart as Malcolm started to steer the movement into a more politically radical posture.  Malcolm X found the non-political policy of the Nation self-defeating, especially when he witnessed the successes of Martin Luther King, Jr. (SCLC), Roy Wilkins (NAACP), Floyd McKissick (CORE) and Whitney Young (Urban League).  Furthermore, he proposed a violent campaign against the established order.  Such a departure, Elijah Muhammad believed, would only destroy the Nation of Islam.  In December 1963, after Malcolm X described President John F. Kennedy’s assassination as a case of “the chickens coming home to roost,” Elijah Muhammad had a convenient excuse to rid himself of this charismatic man who threatened his movement.  Elijah Muhammad temporarily suspended Malcolm and prohibited him from speaking publicly for 90 days.  Malcolm X left the movement and in March 1964 formed the Muslim Mosque, Inc.

A month after his break with the Nation of Islam, Malcolm X visited Mecca, where he gained new insights into Islamic teachings, and Africa, where he consulted with the heads of several African nations.  While in Mecca he saw Muslim pilgrims practicing brotherhood, irrespective of race of color.  He became an orthodox Muslim and rejected the idea of the white man as devil as well as other elements of the Nation’s dogma.  He denied that God was incarnated in the person of Master Wallace Fard.  He pointed out that the deification of Fard was Islamic heresy.  Malcolm came to believe that the impending racial holocaust could be averted if white Americans turned toward the spiritual path of truth and embraced real brotherhood.  He repudiated the Black Muslims’ policy of separation, denounced their acquisitive thirst for money and property and insisted that the real conflict between the races was a class struggle.

Shortly thereafter, Malcolm committed the unpardonable sin of revealing Elijah Muhammad’s extramarital affairs.  While his break with the Nation of Islam had itself been an affront to Elijah Muhammad, Malcolm’s scandalmongering sealed his fate.  Malcolm X had barely begun the process of redefining the directions of the civil rights movement and of propagating his own gospel when he was shot and killed on February 21, 1965.  (Subsequent disclosures revealed that the death orders came on high authority in the Nation of Islam and were carried out by three rank and file members.)

Through the posthumous publication of his autobiography, Malcolm X continued to exert an influence on black Americans.  His followers remained plentiful within the Nation of Islam, among them Wallace Muhammad.

Malcolm X’s assassination was not the only retribution murder in Black Muslim history.  In January 1973, a squad of armed Muslims burst into the home of Hamaas Abdul Khaalis, the leader of the secessionist Hanafi Muslims, and killed seven followers including four children.  Five members of the Nation of Islam were convicted of the murders.  Khaalis, like Malcolm X, had not only broken with the Nation but had denounced the Messenger as a religious charlatan. 

The Hanafi sect, named for one of the four major schools of Islamic law, appeals to more educated and economically secure blacks.  The most notable member of the Hanafi sect was Kareem Abdul Jabbar (Lew Alcindor), a professional basketball superstar.

The Hanafi sect is most remembered for the “siege of Washington, D. C.,” in March 1977.  Believing that those ultimately responsible for his followers’ deaths had gone unpunished, Khaalis vowed that the killings must be avenged.  The Hanafis seized three Washington buildings in which they held 134 persons hostage, wounded numerous others and killed a reporter. While his men held the buildings, Khaalis demanded that Wallace Muhammad, his brother Herbert Muhammad and Muhammad Ali be delivered to him in order that justice could be served.  Khaalis wound up in a psychiatric prison ward.

In 1975, Elijah Muhammad died, leaving behind some 70,000 followers in 73 temples throughout the nation.  By the time of his death, the movement and attitudes towards it had changed considerably.  Richard Daley, then the mayor of Chicago, called the death of Elijah Muhammad “a great loss to the City of Chicago and to the entire community.”  The Black Muslim thrift and moral code impressed many leaders who once only made disparaging remarks about the movement.  Leading civil rights figures such as Jesse Jackson, Julian Bond, Roy Wilkins and Vernon Jordan all heaped praise upon the departed leader, lauding him for providing blacks with a positive model of hard work, devotion to self and cleanliness of mind and body.

Upon Elijah Muhammad’s death, Wallace Deen Muhammad emerged as the leader.  He found that he had inherited $8 million in debts and a corrupt fiscal management.  He began dismantling his father’s empire on the grounds that Islam is a faith and not a conglomerate.

Wallace Muhammad then undertook to lead his flock towards a gentle, new orthodoxy, called the “Second Resurrection.”  To do so he had to shake out many of his father’s dogmas, including his claim to having been the Last Apostle of Allah.  Elijah Muhammad was reduced to mortal status.  Another of Wallace’s purgative acts was to dissolve the Fruit of Islam (FOI), the so-called moral right arm of the movement, a tough collection of enforcers. 

Wallace formally ended the use of the epithet “white devils” and welcomed white believers to membership.  He denationalized the Nation, renaming it the World Community of Al-Islam in the West.  The new name represented a break from racism and separation.  In 1979, to establish an even closer link to America, the group became the American Muslim Mission.

His followers were no longer to be known as blacks but as “Bilalians,” after Bilal, an African convert to Islam who became the first muezzin of the Prophet Muhammad.  The publication, The Messenger Muhammad Speaks, was changed to Bilalian News, and in 1979 it became AM Journal.   Political activities were no longer discouraged, and American Muslims could even serve in the armed forces and salute the American flag.

No change was more irksome to a significant percentage of the sect than the dramatic move to restore Malcolm X to a place of honor.  Not only did Wallace Muhammad rehabilitate Malcolm and demote his own father, he had Louis (Abdul Hareem) Farrakhan, the successor to Malcolm X, make the announcement.  Rumors of dissent erupted.

In 1978, the schism between Wallace Muhammad and Farrakhan exceeded rumor status.  Wallace Muhammad accused Farrakhan of preaching black nationalism and attempting to have the Muslims in Chicago align themselves with Uganda and Idi Amin.  He demanded that Farrakhan not preach against the “new concept of God that we have accepted,” namely, orthodox Islam.

In the thirtieth month after the death of Elijah Muhammad, Farrakhan claimed leadership of the revived Nation of Islam in the name of Prophet Elijah Muhammad.  He announced that Elijah Muhammad still lives.

With the revival of the Nation of Islam, millennialism re-emerged as Farrakhan proclaimed that his followers “are now living in the judgment or doom of the white man’s world.  Preparations have been made to meet every effort by the white man to oppose the setting up of Allah’s new world of righteousness.”  He named the group’s publication, Final Call, after the first newspaper of Elijah Muhammad, the Final Call to Islam.

If the new Nation identifies with any Islamic sect, it is Shi‘ism.  The relationship rests on Farrakhan’s need to reinforce the validity of his claim to leadership.  The point has been argued that Farrakhan, like 'Ali, the cousin of the Prophet Muhammad, had been unjustly denied his rightful place as heir to the last Messenger.  Moreover, Shi'a Islam’s survival as a splinter and minority sect of Islam is perceived as a symbol of the Nation of Islam’s potential. 

The resurgent Nation of Islam resembled the former and for similar reasons.  Farrakhan believed that national and world conditions were forcing blacks to think in terms of self-help.  To prepare themselves for leadership, Black Muslims were required to live by a strict code of private and social morality appropriate for a divine black man.  While some of the codes reflect Islamic doctrine, others are very American and have earned them the nickname “Black Puritans.”

Followers of the Nation of Islam were to pray at least five times a day, facing east towards Mecca, but only after thoroughly cleansing the body.  They were to refrain from eating certain foods, such as pork and cornbread (“slave diet”).  Black Muslims are not to overeat and are encouraged to take only one meal a day.  Tobacco and alcohol are absolutely forbidden.  They are to observe a strict sexual morality.  No Muslim woman was to be alone in a room with a man other than her husband.  A woman of the Nation of Islam was never to wear provocative, revealing dress or to use cosmetics.  Any Muslim who engaged in illicit sexual relations faced severe punishment and possible expulsion from the Nation.  Marriage outside the faith was discouraged, and non-believing spouses were pressured to join the group.  Although divorce was discouraged, it was permitted under certain conditions.  The similarity between the old and new were remarkable, especially in the intensity, austerity and discipline which clearly filtered down to the rank and file.

In the revived Nation of Islam, only the most superficial changes were made with regard to race attitudes.  The white man was still viewed as a liar and oppressor.  Non-believing blacks were also seen as “betrayers of the truth” because they sought “to lose their ‘black identity’ under the guise of ‘humanity,’ ‘integration’ and even ‘religion.’” While the revived Nation of Islam preached a message of brotherhood, that message did not seem to include whites.

After the bitter split in 1978, the new Nation of Islam and the American Muslim Mission purposely moved further apart.  The former held onto the past, while the latter distanced itself from the past, without totally rejecting it.  For the American Muslims, Elijah Muhammad’s “social myths” were allegorical and transitional.  His personalization of God seemed necessary in any appeal to the poor, uneducated urban masses, who had no concept of Islam but who knew Christianity was not serving their needs.

In contrast, the American Muslim Mission was open and moderate.  This openness manifested itself in the welcoming of all types to the fold and in interracial and interfaith efforts to improve society.  In the context of social service, American Muslims believed that common problems confront the poor and downtrodden, and they insisted that religious differences must be forgotten. 

The American Muslim Mission was decentralized and more democratic in structure than the Nation of Islam.  A council composed of seven regional imams directed the organization.  Moreover, American Muslims were no longer institutionalized businesspeople and were free to engage in occupations with no link to the religion.

Despite their differences, the new Nation of Islam and the American Muslim Mission answered the desperate needs of a particular group of urban American blacks who were disenchanted with Christianity and the prevailing socio-economic system.  Both groups continued to work to improve the prison system, which had always been a fruitful area for proselytizing.  Both groups were involved in community service, food cooperatives and education.  While some predicted the increasing success of the moderate American Muslim Mission at the expense of the more radical new Nation of Islam, changing socio-economic conditions brought such a prediction into question.  The American Muslim Mission, which made itself more acceptable to black and white alike, was eventually  identified with a system that more and more blacks perceived as alien, distant and uncaring.  And as the increasing disparity between rich and poor, black and white, continued, for a time, the Nation of Islam recaptured at least some of the following and the influence of the past. 

African Americans see American blacks.

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