Thursday, March 21, 2013

Farrukhi-Sistani - Front Islamique du Salut

Farrukhi-Sistani (Abu’l-Hasan Farrukhi-Sistani) (Abul Hasan Ali ibn Julugh Farrukhi Sistani) (d.1037).  Persian poet.  He was attached to the court of Mahmud ibn Sebuktigin of Ghazna, singing his poems to his own accompaniment on the lute.  The collected edition of his poems contains more than 9,500 lines of verse. 

Abul Hasan Ali ibn Julugh Farrukhi Sistani  was a 10th century and 11th century royal poet of Ghaznavids. He was one of the brightest masters of the panegyric school of poetry in the court of Mahmud of Ghazni. He started his career by writing a qasideh called 'With a Caravan of Fine Robes' and presented it to Asa'ad Chaghani, the vizier of Saffarid king of Sistan. This poem was so beautiful and masterful that Farrokhi was admitted to the court.

Abu’l-Hasan Farrukhi-Sistani see Farrukhi-Sistani
Abul Hasan Ali ibn Julugh Farrukhi Sistani see Farrukhi-Sistani


Farrukh-Siyar  (Abu'l Muzaffar Muin ud-din Muhammad Shah Farrukh-siyar Alim Akbar Sani Wala Shan Padshah-i-bahr-u-bar) (September 11, 1683 - April 27/28, 1719).  Mughal emperor who reigned from 1713 to 1719.  He broke with emperor Aurangzib’s policies in a number of spheres and granted the English East India Company the right to carry on trade free of duties in several districts and ports. 

Noted as a handsome but weak ruler, easily swayed by his advisers, Farukhsiyar lacked the ability and character to rule independently. His reign witnessed the primacy of the Syed Brothers who became the effective powers of the land, behind the façade of Mughal rule.

Farrukhn Siyar was born at Aurangabad in the Deccan on September 11, 1683. He was the second son of Azim ush Shan, a son of former emperor Bahadur Shah I. His mother was Sahiba Niswan, a sister of Nawab Shaista Khan, the erstwhile Mughal Subadar of Kashmir. He married his first wife, Nawab Fakhr-un-Nisa Begum Sahiba, daughter of Nawab Sa'adat Khan Bahadur [Mir Muhammad Taqi Husaini], a Kashmiri nobleman from the Marashi clan, sometime prior to December, 1715. In September 1715, Farrukhsiyar married Indira Kanwar, daughter of Maharaja Ajit Singh of Jodhpur. He was also married to at least one other lady.

Jahandar Shah was defeated at Samugarh near Agra on January 10, 1713. Following this, the Syed Brothers, helped Farukhsiyar to secure his throne. He took the throne on January 11, 1713. His reign marked the ascendancy of the Syed Brothers who monopolized state power and reduced the Emperor to an effective figurehead. The town of Farrukhnagar in Gurgaon district, 32 kilometers south of Delhi, was rechristened after his name.  During his reign, he built a Sheesh Mahal and a mosque in Farrukhnagar.

It was during Farrukhsiyar's reign, in 1717, that the British East India Company purchased duty-free trading rights in all of Bengal for a mere three thousand rupees a year. It is said that the Company's surgeon, William Hamilton, cured Farrukhsiyar from some ailment and the emperor was moved to grant trading rights to the Company.  Another story tells of a bribe to a eunuch of the seraglio and a rumored British naval attack on the Mughal navy at Surat. This order, which the Company hailed as the golden firman, was not of much practical use. Even though the Company claimed duty exemptions based on this firman, the Mughal governors of Bengal, from Murshid Quli Khan onwards, ignored this order of their suzerain and continued to collect customs duty from the East India Company.

Nevertheless, Farrukhsiyar in the very short term met a humiliating and bloody end.  His constant plotting eventually led the Syed Brothers to officially depose him as the Emperor. Farrukhsiyar was imprisoned and starved.  Later, on February 28, 1719, he was blinded with needles at the orders of the Syed (Saiyad) brothers. Farrukhsiyar was strangled to death on the night of April 27/28, 1719. After accomplishing his assassination, the Syed Brothers placed Farrukhsiyar's first-cousin, Rafi-ud-durgat (Rafi Ul-Darjat), on the throne. Rafi-ud-durjat's father and Farukhsiyar's father had been brothers.
Abu'l Muzaffar Muin ud-din Muhammad Shah Farrukh-siyar Alim Akbar Sani Wala Shan Padshah-i-bahr-u-bar see Farrukh-Siyar


Faruk I
Faruk I.  See Farouk.


Faruqids.  Dynasty of sultans who established and ruled the semi-independent Muslim principality of Khandesh in the Northern Deccan, in India (r.1370-1601).  It was extinguished by the Mughal Emperor Akbar. 


Faruqi, Isma‘il Raji al-
Faruqi, Isma‘il Raji al- (January 1, 1921 – May 27, 1986).  Palestinian-American philosopher who was recognized by his peers as an authority on Islam and comparative religion. He spent several years at Al-Azhar University in Cairo, then taught at several universities in North America, including McGill University in Montreal. He was Professor of Religion at Temple University, where he founded and chaired the Islamic Studies program.

Born in Jaffa, Palestine, Faruqi received an education that made him trilingual (Arabic, French, and English) and provided him with multi-cultural intellectual sources that informed his life and thought.  He studied at the mosque school, attended a French Catholic school, College des Freres (St. Joseph) in Palestine, and earned a bachelor’s degree at the American University of Beirut (1941).  Having become governor of Galilee in 1945, Faruqi was forced to emigrate from Palestine after the creation of the state of Israel in 1948.  He then earned masters degrees from Indiana and Harvard Universities and a doctorate in philosophy from Indiana University (1952).

Both a poor job market and an inner drive brought Faruqi back to the Arab world, where, from 1954 to 1958, he studied Islam at Cairo’s al-Azhar University.  He subsequently studied and conducted research at major centers of learning in the Muslim world and the West as Visiting Professor of Islamic Studies at the Institute of Islamic Studies and a Fellow at the Faculty of Divinity, McGill University (1959-1961), where he studied Christianity and Judaism; Professor of Islamic Studies at the Central Institute of Islamic Research in Karachi, Pakistan (1961-1963); and Visiting Professor of History of Religions at the University of Chicago (1963-1964).

Isma‘il al-Faruqi taught in the Department of Religion at Syracuse University (1964-1968) and then became Professor of Islamic Studies and of History of Religions at Temple University (1968-1986).  During a professional life that spanned almost thirty years, he wrote, edited, or translated twenty-five books, published more than a hundred articles, was a visiting professor at more than twenty-three universities in Africa, Europe, the Middle East, South and Southeast Asia, and served on the editiorial boards of seven major journals. 

For Faruqi, Arabism and Islam were intertwined.  His Arab-Muslim identity was at the center of the man and the scholar.  His life and writing reveal two phases or stages.  In the first, epitomized in his book On Arabism: Urubah and Religion, Arabism was the dominant theme of his discourse.  In the second, Islam occupied center stage, as he increasingly assumed the role of an Islamic activist leader as well as of an academic.  His later work and writing focused on a comprehensive vision of Islam and its relationship to all aspects of life and culture.

Living and working in the West, Faurqi presented Islam in Western categories to engage his audience as well as to make Islam more comprehensible and respected.  Like the founders of Islamic modernism in the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries, he often presented Islam as the religion par excellence of reason, science, and progress with a strong emphasis on action and the work ethic. 

If during the 1950s and 1960s Faruqi sounded like an Arab heir to Islamic modernism and Western empiricism, by the late 1960s and early 1970s he progressively assumed the role of an Islamic scholar-activist.  This shift in orientation was evident in the re-casting of his framework:  Islam replaced Arabism as his primary reference point.  Islam had always had an important place in Faurqi’s writing, but it now became the organizing principle.  Islam had always had an important place in Faruqi’s writing, but it now became the organizing principle.  Islam was presented as an all-encompassing ideology, the primary identity of a worldwide community (umma) of believers and the guiding principle for society and culture.  Like Muhammad ibn ‘Abd al-Wahhab and Muhammad ‘Abduh, Faruqi grounded his interpretation of Islam in the doctrine of tawhid (the oneness of God), combining the classical affirmation of the centrality of God’s oneness (monotheism) with a modernist interpretation (ijtihad) and application of Islam to modern life.  In Tawhid: Its Implications for Thought and Life, he presented tawhid as the essence of religious experience, the quintessence of Islam, and the principle of history, knowledge, ethics, aesthetics, the umma (Muslim community), the family, and the political, social, economic, and world orders.

This holistic, activist Islamic worldview was embodied in this new phase in his life and career as he continued to write extensively, to lecture and consult with Islamic movements and national governments, and to organize Muslims in America.  During the 1970s, he established Islamic studies programs, recruited and trained Muslim students, organized Muslim professionals, established and chaired the Islamic Studies Steering Committee of the American Academy of Religion (1976-1982), and was an active participant in international ecumenical meetings where he was a major force in Islam’s dialogue with other world religions.  Faruqi was a founder or leader of many organizations, including the Muslim Student Association and a host of associations of Muslim professionals, such as the Association of Muslim Social Scientists.  He served as Chairman of the Board of Trustees of the North American Islamic Trust.  He established and was first president of the American Islamic College in Chicago, and in 1981 he created the International Institute for Islamic Thought in Virginia.

At the heart of Faruqi’s vision was the islamization of knowledge.  He regarded the political, economic, and religio-cultural malaise of the Islamic community as primarily a product of the bifurcated state of education in the Muslim world with a resultant loss of identity and lack of vision.  Faruqi believed that the cure was two-fold: the compulsory study of Islamic civilization and the islamization of modern knowledge.

Isma‘il al-Faruqi’s life ended tradically in 1986 when he and his wife, Lois Lamya’ al-Faruqi, also an Islamic scholar, were stabbed to death in their home in Wyncote, Pennsylvania on May 27, 1986.

Isma'il Raji al-Faruqi see Faruqi, Isma‘il Raji al-


Fasa’i (Hajji Mirza Hasan Fasa’i) (1821-after 1895).  Persian scholar.  He was the author of a historical-geographical work on his native province of Fars.
Hajji Mirza Hasan Fasa’i see Fasa’i


Fasanjus (Banu Fasanjus).  Family which hereditarily occupied high administrative offices under the Buyids. 
Banu Fasanjus see Fasanjus


Fasi (al-Fasi) (“the one from Fez”).  Name of origin of the members of a prominent family of Moroccan scholars who contributed most actively to Moroccan religious, intellectual and literary life from the seventeenth through the nineteenth centuries of the Christian calendar.
al-Fasi see Fasi
“the one from Fez” see Fasi


Fasi, Muhammad ‘Allal al-
Fasi, Muhammad ‘Allal al- (Muhammad 'Allal al-Fasi) (Muhammad Allal al-Fassi) (January 10, 1910 – May 19, 1974). Moroccan intellectual, historian, legal scholar, teacher, poet, and political leader, and founder of the Istiqlal Party.  Son of the mufti of Fez, al-Fasi was born into a prominent religious and literary family claiming descent from Arabia through Andalusian Spain.  He studied Islamic law at al-Qarawiyin University.  In the late 1920s, al-Fasi criticized the French Protectorate from a perspective of Islamic modernism and reform.  In 1927, he was a founder of the Moroccan Action Committee, a loose coalition of intellectuals in Fez and Rabat.  In 1930, the Committee criticized the French authorities for the Berber Decree, which they saw as an attempt to divide Arabs and Berbers.

Al-Fasi received his diploma in Islamic law in 1930, remaining at al-Qarawiyin to teach Islamic history.  In 1934, al-Fasi and his activist compatriots publicly issued a Moroccan Reform Plan.  When there were no reforms, despite the coming to power of the Popular Front in France in 1936, they turned to organizing public protests, and al-Fasi and others were arrested.  Under al-Fasi’s presidency, the group split over tactical questions in 1937, with al-Fasi remaining as the leader of its largest contingent.  His group was banned in March 1937 but reorganized as the National Reform Party.  Following new demonstrations, al-Fasi and other leaders of the party were arrested.

Al-Fasi was exiled by the French to Gabon until 1946, although he remained a continuing influence in Morocco.  The National Reform Party was reorganized as the Istiqlal (Independence) Party in 1943.  In January 1944, the Istiqlal issued a manifesto for Moroccan independence under the sultan.  Al-Fasi returned from Gabon as head of the Istiqlal Party in 1946.  In April 1947, the sultan gave a speech that reflected the growing influence of al-Fasi and the Istiqlal.

Al-Fasi again fled Morocco in May 1947, this time to Cairo, where he remained in exile until Moroccan independence in 1956.  From Cairo, he traveled and lectured in the Middle East, South Asia, Europe, and North America.  His most important writings date from this period, including The Independence Movements in Arab North Africa (1947), Self-Criticism (1951), and two collections – From the Occident to the Orient (1956) and The Call of Cairo (1959). 

The independence movement grew steadily during al-Fasi’s exile.  Upon Morocco’s independence in 1956 al-Fasi returned as president for life of the Istiqlal and professor of law at the new University of Rabat.  He joined the government only in June 1961, after the death of King Muhammad V and the accession of King Hasan II.  He resigned as Minister of Islamic Affairs in January 1963 because of policy differences with the king.  The Istiqlal became the major opposition party under the leadership of al-Fasi, who wrote and taught until his death in 1973.

Al-Fasi was above all an Islamic modernist and reformer, advocating Islamic renewal, a return to original sources, Arabic language reform, and avoidance of imitating the West.  He was an early critic of the protectorate and an early advocate of Moroccan independence.  As a nationalist, al-Fasi claimed that Morocco includes the Western Sahara, Mauritania, and territories that had been included in western and southern Algeria by the French.  Al-Fasi consistently supported the ‘Alawi monarchy and sought to influence successive monarchs, but he was also a constitutionalist who did not hesitate to criticize royal policies when he felt they compromised Moroccan independence or social justice.
Muhammad 'Allal al-Fasi see Fasi, Muhammad ‘Allal al-
Muhammad Allal al-Fassi see Fasi, Muhammad ‘Allal al-
Fassi, Muhammad Allal al- see Fasi, Muhammad ‘Allal al-


Fasi, Taqi al-Din al-
Fasi, Taqi al-Din al- (Taqi al-Din al-Fasi) (1373-1429).  Historian of the city of Mecca.  The subject (the history of Mecca) had been virtually neglected since the ninth century. 
Taqi al-Din al-Fasi see Fasi, Taqi al-Din al-

Fatah (Al-Fatah) (Fateh).  An exile Palestinian group that was founded in 1957 by Yassir Arafat.  Al-Fatah was committed to retain full independence for Palestinians.  Their aim was direct military confrontation with Israel, in order to win back lost land from the Jews.  Al-Fatah became increasingly important in the 1960s, and gained full control over the Palestine Liberation Organization (PLO) in 1969, which it had joined in 1967.  At this time, the PLO started to carry out guerrilla actions inside Israel.  Al-Fatah remains the most powerful group of the PLO and, therefore, also in the present state of Palestine.  However, Al-Fatah’s politics has changed drastically from the military line of the 1950s and 1960s, into a pragmatic politics for a Palestine with democracy, even if Al-Fatah’s idea is more limited than what many Western observers and Palestinians desire. 

Fataḥ (also known as Fateh) is a major Palestinian political party and the largest faction of the Palestine Liberation Organization (PLO), a multi-party confederation. In Palestinian politics it is on the left-wing of the spectrum. It is mainly nationalist, although not predominantly socialist.

Fatah is generally considered to have had a strong involvement in revolutionary struggle in the past and has maintained a number of militant/terrorist groups, though unlike its rival Islamist faction Hamas, Fatah is not currently regarded as a terrorist organization by any government.

In the January 25, 2006, parliamentary election, the party lost its majority in the Palestinian parliament to Hamas, and resigned all cabinet positions, instead of assuming the role as the main opposition party. Fatah's size was estimated at 6,000-8,000 fighters with 45-300 politicians.

On April 27, 2011, officials from both Fatah and Hamas announced the two organizations had reached an initial deal to unify the two parties into one government, with plans for elections to be held

in 2012.
Al-Fatah see Fatah
Fateh see Fatah


Fatat (al-Fatat) (Young Arab Society) (Jam'iyat al-'Arabiya al-Fatat).  Arab nationalist student group before World War I.

Al-Fatat or the Young Arab Society (Arabic: Jam’iyat al-’Arabiya al-Fatat) was founded in 1911 by Arab nationalist, Izzat Darwaza (1888-1984).

It was a secret Arab nationalist organization under the Ottoman Empire. Its aims were to gain independence and unity for various Arab nations then under the Ottoman rule. It found adherents in areas such as Syria. The organization maintained contacts with the reform movement in the Ottoman and included many radicals and revolutionaries, such as Abd al-Mirzai. They were closely linked to al-Ahd, who had members in positions within the military, most were quickly dismissed after Enver Pasha gained control in Turkey. This organizations parallel in activism were the Young Turks, who had a similar agenda that pertained to Turkish nationalism.
al-Fatat see Fatat
Young Arab Society see Fatat
Jam'iyat al-'Arabiya al-Fatat see Fatat

Fath ‘Ali Shah
Fath ‘Ali Shah (Fat′h Ali Shah Qajar) (Fathalishah) (Fathali Shah) (Fath Ali Shah) (Baba Khan) (September 5, 1772 – October 23, 1834).  Ruler of the Qajar dynasty (r.1797-1834).  Much of his long reign was spent in military expeditions against internal rebels, against Russia, the Ottoman sultan, and Afghanistan. 

Fat′h Ali Shah Qajar was the second Qajar king of Persia. He ruled from June 17, 1797 to October 23, 1834.

Fat′h Ali Shah was the son of Hossein Qoli Khan Qajar brother of Agha Mohammad Khan. He was born on September 5, 1772. He was governor of Fars when his uncle was assassinated in 1797. Fat′h Ali Shah's real name was "Bābā Khān" but he was crowned as Fat′h Ali Shah. He became suspicious of his chancellor Hajji Ebrahim Khan Kalantar and ordered his execution. Hajji Ebrahim Khan had been chancellor to Zand and Qajar rulers for some fifteen years.

Much of his reign was marked by the resurgence of Persian arts and painting, as well as a deeply elaborate court culture with extremely rigid etiquette. In particular during his reign, portraiture and large-scale oil painting reached a height previously unknown under any other Islamic dynasty, largely due to his personal patronage.

Fat′h Ali also ordered the creation of much royal regalia, including coronation chairs, "Takht-e-Tâvoos" (or the Peacock throne) and "Takht-e-Nāderī" (or the Naderi throne), which were also used by later kings, and the "Tāj-i-Kīyānī" (or the Kiani Crown), a modification of the crown of the same name created by his uncle Agha Mohammad Khan. This, like most of his regalia, was studded with innumerable pearls and gems. His Crown Jewels were valued at the time at a minimum of fifteen million pounds.

During the early reign of Fat′h Ali Shah, Imperial Russia took control of Georgia which was also claimed by the Persians. The war broke between Persia and Russia when Fat′h Ali Shah ordered the invasion of Georgia in 1804, under pressure from the Shia clergy, who were urging a war against Russia. The war began with notable victories for the Persians, but Russia shipped in advanced weaponry and cannons that disadvantaged the technologically inferior Qajar forces, which did not have artillery to match. Russia continued with a major campaign against Persia. Persia asked for help from Britain on the grounds of a military agreement. The military agreement had been signed after the rise of Napoleon in France. However, Britain refused to help Persia claiming that the military agreement concerned a French attack not one from Russia.

Persia had to ask for help from France, sending an ambassador to Napoleon and concluding a Franco-Persian alliance with the signature of the Treaty of Finkenstein. However, just when the French were ready to help Persia, Napoleon made peace with Russia. At this time, John Malcolm arrived in Persia and promised support but Britain later changed its mind and asked Persia to retreat. Russian troops invaded Tabriz in 1813 and Persia was forced to sign the Treaty of Gulistan with Russia.

On account of the consecutive defeats of Persia and after the fall of Lankaran on January 1, 1813, Fat'h Shah was forced to sign the Treaty of Gulistan. The text of the treaty was prepared by a British diplomat, Sir Gore Ouseley, and was signed by Nikolai Fyodorovich Rtischev, for the Russian side, and Hajji Mirza Abol Hasan Khan, for the Iranian side on October 24, 1813, in the village of Gulistan.

By this treaty, all of the cities, towns, and villages of Georgia, villages and towns on the coast of the Black Sea , all of the cities, towns and villages of the Khanates in South Caucasus and part of the Talysh Khanate, including Megrelia, Abkhazia, Imeretia, Guria, the Baku khanate, the Shirvan Khanate, Derbent, the Karabakh khanate, the Ganja khanate, the Shaki Khanate and the Quba Khanate became part of Russia. In return, Russia pledged to support Abbas Mirza as heir to the Persian throne after the death of Fat′h Ali Shah.

In 1826, 13 years after the Treaty of Gulistan, Fat'h Ali Shah, on the advice of British agents, decided to occupy the lost territories. Abbas Mirza invaded the Talysh Khanate and Karabakh khanate with an army of 35,000 on July 16, 1826. The Khans quickly switched sides and surrendered their principal cities, Lenkoran, Quba and Baku to the Persians. In May 1827, Ivan Paskevich, Governor of Caucasus, invaded Echmiadzin, Nakhichevan, Abbasabad and on October 1, 1827, Erivan. Fourteen days later, General Eristov entered Tabriz. On January 1828 when the Russians reached the shores of Lake Urmia, Abbas Mirza urgently signed the Treaty of Turkmenchay on February 2, 1828.

Turkmenchay Treaty

was signed on February 21, 1828, by Hajji Mirza Abol Hasan Khan and General Ivan Paskievich . By this treaty, the Erivan khanate, the Nakhchivan khanate, the Talysh Khanate, Ordubad and Mughan came under the rule of Imperial Russia. Iran pledged to pay Russia ten million in gold and in return Russia pledged to support Abbas Mirza as heir to the Persian throne after the death of Fat′h Ali Shah . The treaty also stipulated the resettlement of Armenians from Persia to the Caucasus, which also included an outright liberation of Armenian captives who had been brought to, and had lived in, Iran.

Fat′h Ali later employed writers and painters to make a book about his wars with Russia, inspired by the Shahnameh of Ferdowsi. This book, considered by many to be the most important Persian book written in the Qajar period, is called the Shahanshahnama.

In 1829, Alexandr Griboyedov, the Russian diplomat and play writer was killed in the encirclement of the Russia embassy in Tehran. To apologize, the Shah sent Tsar Nicholas I one of the biggest diamonds of his crown jewels, the Shah Diamond.

When his beloved son and crown prince Abbas Mirza died on October 25, 1833, Fat′h Ali named his grandson Mohammed Mirza as his crown prince. Fat′h Ali died a year later, on October 23, 1834.

Fat′h Ali Shah had 158 wives, many of them were Zand or Afshar princesses. He had 260 children. Of those, 57 sons and 46 daughters survived him. Just his 10 eldest sons had 333 children. He had, in total, 786 grandchildren, 313 grandsons and 473 grand daughters.

His first son, Mohammad Ali Mirza Dowlatsh, was seven months older than his brother Abbas Mirza (Fath Ali Shah’s Crown Prince), but on account of his mother's, Ziba Chehreh Khanoum's, non-Qajar origin he was unable to claim the title "Valiahd" (Crown prince).

Fat'h Ali Shah Qajar see Fath ‘Ali Shah
Fathalishah see Fath ‘Ali Shah
Fathali Shah see Fath ‘Ali Shah
Baba Khan see Fath ‘Ali Shah

Fath ibn Khaqan, al-
Fath ibn Khaqan, al- (al-Fath ibn Khaqan) (Abu Nasr al-Fath ibn Mohammed Ibn Obeid Allah Ibn Khaqan Ibn Abdallah Al-kaysi al-Ishbili) (Ibn Khakan) (d. 1134) is a well known writer from al-Andalus. Al-Kaysi means a member of the tribe of Kais, al-Isbili: a native of Sevilla. He is the author of Qalaid Al-iqyan (Necklace of Rubies) a biography of Andalusian poets who were his contemporaries with examples of their poems. His other best known work is Mathmah al anfus wa masrah at ta'annus fi mulah ahl al-Andalus (The Aspiration of the Souls and the Theater of Congeniality in the Anecdotes of the People of al-Andalus

). The works are written in rhymed prose full of metaphorical expressions and are an excellent source of information about the apogee of Andalusian letters.

The life of Ibn Khaqan is described in As-sadfi's "Al-wafi fi-l-wafiyat."

al-Fath ibn Khaqan see Fath ibn Khaqan, al-
Abu Nasr al-Fath ibn Mohammed Ibn Obeid Allah Ibn Khaqan Ibn Abdallah Al-kaysi al-Ishbili  see Fath ibn Khaqan, al-
Ibn Khakan see Fath ibn Khaqan, al-


Fathy (Hassan Fathy) (Hasan Fathi) (1900-1989).  Egyptian architect, teacher, philosopher, and reformer.  Born in Alexandria, Hassan Fathy pursued a prolific architectural career for more than a half century as a lonely reformer whose success was only evident toward the end of his life and after it.  His reformist agenda was systematically opposed to official architectural discourse in Egypt.  Early in his career, he defied his own French Beaux-Arts education in a series of modernist designs reflecting affinities with contemporary European avant-garde trends, sharply contrasting with the so-called Islamic Style (an orientalization of Beaux-Arts rules applied in Cairo during the 1920s).  After nearly ten years of experimentation, however, Fathy became an adamant foe of the International Style, which subsequently dominated architectural practice in Egypt.  Fathy deplored the attempt of its adherents to alter what they saw as the decadent status quo of Muslim societies by enforcing universalizing modern technology and standardized architectural expression.

No viable reform, Fathy maintained, can result from forcing on the public an alien elitist taste and arbitrary innovations that disregard the local traditions and environment of a country like Egypt, the majority of whose population were poor peasants.  To achieve an authentic and affordable architecture, Fathy advocated the regeneration and esthetic adaptation of indigenous building technologies and their associated traditional myths and rituals.  This vision was partly inspired by his observing the impoverishment as well as the untapped traditional resources of villagers during visits to his father’s agricultural estates and Upper Egypt.

Fathy thus synthesized his formal language by borrowing from the rural mud architecture of Upper Egypt and the urban vernacular and high architecture of medieval Cairo, fusing rural folk practice with the monumental urban tradition.  He applied sun-dried mud brick both as a harmonizing formal medium for his synthetic forms and as the structural core of an inexpensive vaulting technique transmitted to him by Nubian craftsmen, repeating this architectural syntax tirelessly throughout the rest of his career.

From 1945 to 1948, a government commission to design an entire town, New Gourna, to relocate villagers near Luxor in Upper Egypt, provided Fathy with an exceptional opportunity to implement his vision on a full urban scale.  This experience was, however, marred by bureaucratic obstacles, which Fathy documented in his 1968 book, Architecture for the Poor, and was tragic in its consequences.  The incomplete design met the resistance of the villagers, who were alienated not only by government coercion but also, ironically, by what they perceived as Fathy’s parochialism.  The villagers would not tolerate visual/spatial segregation from their few precious animals, so they rejected the split-level arrangement of the basic house unit Fathy had designed out of concern for improving their hygiene.  Ominous to them, too, were Fathy’s abrupt transportations of symbolic forms like domes – which villagers traditionally associate with burial places – to crown living spaces.  Fathy’s frustration was compounded by the failure of the design to appeal to the internationally oriented architectural establishment in Egypt, who continued to perceive Fathy as a naïve reactionary.

After five years of self-imposed exile and practice in Greece (1957-1962), Fathy’s career was marked by a significant shift in social emphasis.  Although he never relinquished the cause of sheltering the poor, Fathy’s clientele gradually shifted to be almost exclusively the upper-class elite.  These patrons appreciated the romantic as well as environmental qualities of his style and hence its capacity to represent both their sophisticated taste and their cultural authenticity.  The suburban villas Fathy designed for them during the 1970s and 1980s on the road to the Saqarra pyramids near Cairo and elsewhere in the Arab world represent fine, picturesque examples of his later work, in which he also applied more durable and expensive materials such as stone.

Fathy was internationally recognized late in his life after the English and French publication of his Architecture for the Poor in 1973, a time of considerable disenchantment in the Western world with the failure of International Modernism to communicate shared meanings.  Fathy consequently received numerous honors and was invited in 1980 to transpose his utopia to the United States by designing Dar al-Islam, a settlement for converted Muslims in Abiquiu, New Mexico.  Simultaneously, some of his disciples successfully marketed his design formula to Saudi royal patrons for re-building a series of important historic mosques.  Driven by the concern to reinforce its own legitimacy, the Saudi monarchy apparently hoped that monumentalization of the traditional imagery of Fathy’s style would engage increasing pro-Islamic sentiments more successfully than the previously adopted, abstract International style.  Indeed, the current influence of Fathy’s message and forms on many young Arab architects seeking authentic cultural expression cannot be underestimated.  Fathy’s reform thus seems to have gone full circle, from representing an oppositional marginal culture, via the bourgeois elite, to an official state style.  To what extent this transformation is a triumph for Fathy’s thought is open to debate.

Hassan Fathy see Fathy
Hasan Fathi see Fathy


Fatima (Fatimah) (c.605-c.633). Daughter of Muhammad by his first wife, Khadija, and the only child of Muhammad to bear offspring.  Fatima was also the wife of the fourth caliph, 'Ali.   Little is known of her life, most sources reflecting later tendential biases.  She was the mother of two sons, Hasan and Husayn, born about five years after the hijra and two daughters.  According to Shi‘a traditions, a third son, Muhassin, died as a child.

As the only child of Muhammad to have offspring, Fatima is considered to be the ancestral mother of the imams of Shi‘a Muslims, as well as being the ancestral mother of all claiming to be descended from Muhammad.

Little is reported from Fatima’s life, but she appears to have had bad health all through her life.  Her relationship with Muhammad’s wife A’isha was one filled with hostility.  When Abu Bakr became the first caliph, Fatima’s relations with him also became difficult, probably because Fatima had expected her husband ('Ali) to take over after Muhammad, and because Abu Bakr denied her the inheritance of the oasis of Fadak from her father.

Most of the other Shi‘a stories concerning Fatima are strongly religious.  She is mentioned as having accompanied her father on only two expeditions, the one to take Mecca in year eight and the Farewell Pilgrimage in year ten.  But she lived only a year after her father’s death.

While Sunni hadith collections mention Fatima only rarely, the Shi‘a regard her as a paradigm for womanhood, a devoted daughter and a perfect wife.   Indeed, some call Fatima “the virgin” and “the mother of the two Jesuses”, reflecting an important influence from Christianity.

The Fatimids take their name from Fatima.  Later Sunni literature reflects this same hagiographic tendency and becomes increasingly sympathetic to her.  Today it is customary to add to her name the honorific title “the Shining One.”  In Shi'a Islam, Fatima’s birthday and her marriage are two dates that are celebrated. 

Fatimah see Fatima


Fatimids.  The Fatimid dynasty was comprised of the Arab family of Isma‘ili Shi‘is claiming descent from Ali and Fatima.  Their main capitals were Kairouan; in 920, Mahdiya; and from 973, Cairo. The Fatimid dynasty ruled North Africa from 909 to 972 and Egypt from 969 to 1171.  The Fatimid dynasty was also known for its competition with other Arab dynasties for the control of Syria, Hijaz and Yemen. 

The Fatimid dynasty takes it name from Fatima, the daughter of Muhammad (or perhaps from al-Husayn’s daughter, Fatima) and could trace their roots back through nine generations to the last imam, Isma‘il of the Seveners branch of the Shi‘a.  The dynasty was founded by ‘Ubayd Allah who claimed to be the Mahdi, the expected messianic leader from among the descendants of al-Husayn.

‘Ubayd Allah (Ubaydallah al-Mahdi [909-934]), was helped to power by the Isma‘ili missionary Abu Abdallah a-Shii, as the future Mahdi and following the annihilation of the Aghlabid empire, conquered Tunisia, Libya, eastern Algeria, and Sicily, which remained under the rule of the Fatimids until 1061.  In 969, al-Muizz (953-975) conquered Egypt and founded Cairo, ongoing conflicts emerged with the Abbasids in relation to Syria and with the Spanish Umayyads over northern Africa.  Between 965 and 1070 the Fatimids had authority over Mecca.  They achieved their political and cultural zenith under al-Aziz (975-996) and al-Hakim (996-1021), whose eccentricities, however, led to religious unrest (including the emergence of the religious community of the Druze).  The long caliphate of al-Mustansir (1036-1094) was followed by religious division (Nizarites and Mustalites).  Under al-Hafiz (1131-1149) the Fatimid rule was limited to Egypt.  The last caliph was under the influence of various military rulers.  The Ayyubid Saladin, vizier in Cairo from 1169, abolished Fatimid rule in 1171 and returned Egypt to Sunni control.
Although Syria was subdued, it was never a solidly Fatimid possession.  Relations with North Africa were strained, and Sicily became virtually independent.  With Byzantium, the Fatimids in general maintained good relations.  In Baghdad, the ‘Abbasid caliph and the de facto rulers, the Ayyubids, contested the authenticity of the ‘Alid genealogy of the Fatimids, who sent missionaries as far as Sind.  The Sunni Saljuqs had no sympathy for them either.  In Yemen, however, they found fervent supporters in the Sunni Sulayhids.  The Fatimids were less interested in the struggle against the Crusaders than were the Turkish amirs of Syria.  In 1171, Saladin put an end to the Fatimid caliphate and re-established Sunnism and ‘Abbasid sovereignty in Egypt.

Under the Fatimids, the viziers occupied a place of gradually increasing importance while there was a progressive decline of the caliphs from power to impotence, causing disturbances, rebellions and revolutions.  Sunni practices were, in general forbidden, but there were some periods of tolerance and some of strictness.  On the other hand, Fatimid Egypt in general enjoyed great prosperity, industry and trade flourished and there was an intense intellectual, literary and artistic activity.

Fatima played a distinctly esoteric role in Isma‘iliyya, linking the Fatimid caliphs to Shi‘ite esoterism.  This created a dynamic social and intellectual movement that led to the establishment of the Fatimids as a Shi‘ite caliphate under a legitimate “Commander of the Faithful,” and providing a position of leadership for the entire Islamic world.

The Fatimid caliph defined himself not only as caliph – leader of the Muslim world, but even as Mahdi, the promised leader of the Muslim world.  According to old ideas of the caliph, the Fatimid caliphs defined themselves to be infallible and sinless, and divinely chosen perpetrators of the true form of Islam. 

The ultimate goal of the Fatimids was to replace the Abbasid caliphate of Baghdad with their own, thereby correcting what they considered to have been a grave error back in the 7th century, when the initial schism between Sunni and Shi'a Islam occurred. 

The Fatimids were zealous missionaries, and managed to spread the religion into Yemen and large parts of Egypt.  By military means they managed to widen their control over areas beyond the homeland of Tunisia, into large parts of North Africa, Sardinia and Sicily.  Towards the end of the tenth century, the Fatimids made Egypt their center, and managed to extend control into the homelands of Islam.  They also seized control over the holy cities of Mecca and Medina.  Fatimid missionaries were also sent to India and Central Asia.

Fatimid missionaries were well organized.  They represented an organization within the state that came to exercise much power.  The Fatimids established many libraries and colleges, where Isma'ili missionaries were trained. They were often secretly organized, and worked undercover in foreign states aiming at converting important individuals to Isma'ili Shi‘ism, so that the state eventually could turn away from the Sunni 'Abbasid caliph of Baghdad.

Despite their successes, the Fatimids and their missionaries met much opposition from other Muslim orientations, like Sunni and Khariji.  There was also problems with missionaries who used means far more dramatic and violent than the core Isma'ili allowed.

In the early periods of Fatimid rule, the caliph was personally involved in the affairs of the government.  However, over time, the importance of the army over state affairs grew increasingly important.  There were also destructive frictions between the ethnic groups of Berber, Turkish, Sudanese and Nubian troops.  From the eleventh century, the power in state affairs moved over to the hands of the vizier and the generals.

As part of their campaign against the caliph of Baghdad, the Fatimids established a new route for the important trade with Asia over the Red Sea, instead of the Persian Gulf, which had been dominating until then. 

A brief history of the Fatimids would read as follows:

During the ninth century, Isma'ilis in Yemen dispatched missionaries to North Africa, and were able to form a base in Tunisia. There the Isma'ilis found many supporters and developed into a strong political force.

In 909, Ubayd Allah proclaimed himself caliph of the Muslim world, in opposition to the Sunni caliph in Baghdad.

In 913, Ubayd Allah launched a military campaign against Egypt, but was defeated.

In 919, a second military campaign was initiated against Egypt, and once again defeat followed.

In 920, a new Tunisian capital was founded and named Mahdia (Mahdiya). 

In 925, a third campaign was launched against Egypt but without any more success than the two previous ones.

In 969, Fatimid troops conquered northern Egypt, and founded a new capital close to the old, al-Fustan, and called it Cairo.

In 970, the al-Azhar mosque was founded, and became the main learning institution of the Muslim world. 

In 1016, Caliph al-Hakim declared himself the earthly incarnation of God.

In 1057, a rebel general in Iraq converted to Isma’ili Shi’ism, declared the suzerainty of the Fatimid caliph over at first Mosul and later Baghdad.

In 1059, the rebel general was defeated by Seljuq Turks.

During the second half of the eleventh century of the Christian calendar, feuds between racial groups in the Fatimid army weakened its force, bringing forth the collapse of the Egyptian government. 

In 1073, General Badr al-Jamali seized power and seized control over the government.  This brought stability to the state, but he was not able to exercise power over Syria and the Arabian peninsula.

In 1094, Caliph al-Mustansir died, and a struggle broke out between supporters of the real heir and the caliph al-Musta’li, who had been appointed by vizier al-Afdal.  Syria, Iraq, Persia and Central Asia broke free from the control of Cairo as did many Isma'ilis of Yemen.  The leader of the Isma'ili mission in the Middle East, Hassan e-Sabbah, founded the Assassins in opposition to the regime of Cairo. 

In 1130, the Isma’ilis of Yemen that still owed their allegiance to Cairo, broke following the death of caliph al-Amir, and the succession of al-Hafiz.  This Yemeni group claimed that al-Amir had left a son who had become the hidden imam. 

In 1171, with the death of caliph al-Adid, the strong man of Egypt, Saladin effectively seized control and, subsequently abolished the Cairene caliphate.  The Fatimid dynasty was replaced by the Ayyubid. 

The Fatimid caliphs were:

   1. Abū Muḥammad ˤAbdu l-Lāh (ˤUbaydu l-Lāh) al-Mahdī bi'llāh (909-934) founder Fatimid dynasty
   2. Abū l-Qāsim Muḥammad al-Qā'im bi-Amr Allāh (934-946)
   3. Abū Ṭāhir Ismā'il al-Manṣūr bi-llāh (946-953)
   4. Abū Tamīm Ma'add al-Mu'izz li-Dīn Allāh (953-975) Egypt is conquered during his reign
   5. Abū Manṣūr Nizār al-'Azīz bi-llāh (975-996)
   6. Abū 'Alī al-Manṣūr al-Ḥākim bi-Amr Allāh (996-1021) Founder of the Druze religion
   7. Abū'l-Ḥasan 'Alī al-Ẓāhir li-I'zāz Dīn Allāh (1021-1036)
   8. Abū Tamīm Ma'add al-Mustanṣir bi-llāh (1036-1094)
   9. al-Musta'lī bi-llāh (1094-1101) Quarrels over his succession led to the Nizari split.
  10. al-Āmir bi-Aḥkām Allāh (1101-1130) The Fatimid rulers of Egypt after him are not recognized as Imams by Mustaali Taiyabi Ismailis.
  11. 'Abd al-Majīd al-Ḥāfiẓ (1130-1149)
  12. al-Ẓāfir (1149-1154)
  13. al-Fā'iz (1154-1160)
  14. al-'Āḍid (1160-1171).


Fattahi (d.1448).  Persian poet of the Timurid period.  His most famous work is a mathnawi, entitled “The Rule of Lovers” or “Beauty and Heart.” 


Faysal I
Faysal I (Faisal I) (Faisal bin al-Hussein bin Ali al-Hashemi) (Fayṣal ibn Ḥusayn) (May 20, 1883 – September 8, 1933). For a short time, King of Greater Syria in 1920 and King of Iraq from August 23, 1921 to 1933. He was a member of the Hashemite dynasty, a descendant of the tribe of Muhammad.

Faysal was born on May 20, 1883, in Mecca, Arabia, as the third son of Hussein ibn Ali (Husayn ibn Ali), king of Hijaz.  Around 1900, Faysal lived in Istanbul, where his father was kept under surveillance.   In 1908, Faysal returned to Mecca with his father, who was appointed governor of Mecca.  Faysal worked closely with his father in the administration. 

In 1912, Faysal was elected to the Turkish parliament but, resentful of Turkish severity against Arab dissidents in Syria, he took command of the Mecca-based “Arab Revolt.”

In 1915, Faysal traveled to Damascus in order to secure support from Arab nationalists.  In 1916, Faysal led an Arab revolt in Hijaz against the Ottomans, resulting in independence for Hijaz.  His father then became king of Hijaz.

Later in 1917 and 1918, aided by the British adventurer and writer, T. E. Lawrence, Faysal seized control of Transjordan and participated in the capture of Damascus from the Turks.  In 1917, together with British troops, Faysal took control over Transjordan.  In 1918, after conquering Damascus, Faysal established an Arab government under the auspices of Allied forces.  Faysal headed the provisional Arab government in Syria from 1918 to 1920.

In 1919, under the Paris Peace Conference, Faysal claimed the right to establish an Arab kingdom or a federation of Arab emirates, but had no success.  Faysal, later, negotiated an agreement with the French, in which he allowed the French to take control over modern Lebanon and Syria.  

In January 1920, Faysal returned to Damascus.  In March, Faysal was declared king of greater Syria (today’s Syria, Lebanon, Jordan, Israel, and Palestine) by a Syrian national congress.  In April, the French authorities were given the mandate to administer Syria and Lebanon by the League of Nations.  On July 14, 1920, battles between French troops and the troops of Faysal resulted in Faysal’s loss of Aleppo and Damascus.  Faysal was deposed when the French entered the country under the terms of a League of Nations mandate.  Faysal then left Damascus and ended up in exile in Great Britain.  

In March 1921, as the British experienced opposition to its presence in Iraq, they forged an agreement with Faysal, whereby he would become king of the country, but with the British maintaining its mandate.  The agreement, however, provided for the eventual independence of Iraq.  In August 1921, at the urging of the British archaeologist Gertrude Bell, the British mandate in Iraq permitted a plebiscite.  On August 23, 1921, Faysal was crowned king of Iraq, a country where he was enthusiastically received by the people, and in which he was chosen in an election with ninety-six percent (96%) of the votes.

The national assembly of Iraq conferred the title of constitutional monarch upon Faysal in 1923. 

In 1930, Faysal signed an agreement with Great Britain, which was intended to lead to the independence of Iraq.  The agreement secured that British troops could still be stationed in Iraq, and the agreement bound Faysal to coordinate his foreign policy with the British political line.

On October 3, 1932, Iraq became independent and entered the League of Nations.  

On September 8, 1933, Faysal died in Bern, Switzerland.

He ruled in Iraq from 1921 to 1933 and his reign was marked by his ability to maintain a balance between British demands and local patriotism.

Faysal was succeeded by his son Ghazi I (1912-1939). 
Faisal I see Faysal I
Faisal bin al-Hussein bin Ali al-Hashemi see Faysal I
Faysal ibn Husayn see Faysal I


Faysal II
Faysal II (Faysal II ibn Ghazi ibn Faysal I) (Faisal II) (May 2, 1935 – July 14, 1958).  The Hashemite Kingdom of Iraq's last King. He reigned from April 4, 1939 until July 1958, when he was killed during the "July 14 Revolution" together with several members of his family. His regicide marked the end of the thirty-seven year old Hashemite monarchy in Iraq, which became a republic.

Faysal II was born in Baghdad on May 2, 1935, as the only son of Ghazi and the grandson of Faysal I.  During the 1940s, he was educated at Harrow School in England.  He succeeded to the throne after his father, Ghazi I, died in an automobile accident in 1939.  During Faysal’s long minority, his responsibilities were discharged by a regency.  Faysal II formally assumed the throne on May 2, 1953, his 18th birthday.  In February 1958, Faysal became the leader of the newly formed Arab Federation of Iraq and Jordan.  He was assassinated during the coup d’etat of July 1958.  The coup came about as a protest from soldiers and officers who did not want to intervene against rebels in Lebanon and Jordan.  Faysal II was the last king of Iraq and, arguably, the least powerful.  This was attributable to the fact that, for most of his reign, he was under the strong influence of his uncle Abdul Ilahi ibn Ali, who had served as his regent while he was underage.
Faysal II ibn Ghazi ibn Faysal I see Faysal II
Faisal II see Faysal II


Faysal ibn ‘Abd al-‘Aziz Al Sa‘ud
Faysal ibn ‘Abd al-‘Aziz Al Sa‘ud (Malik Faisal ibn Abdul Aziz) (Faisal ibn Abdul Aziz Al Saud) (1904 —March 25, 1975).  King of Saudi Arabia from 1964 to 1975. As king, he is credited with rescuing the country's finances and implementing a policy of modernization and reform, while his main foreign policy themes were pan-Islamism, anti-Communism, and anti-Zionism.

Faysal, son of King Abdul Aziz ibn Saud (‘Abd al-‘Aziz al-Sa‘ud), was born in Riyadh as the fourth son of 'Abd al-'Aziz al-Sa'ud and Tarba bint Abdullah Shaykh.  He participated in the military campaigns of his father, and in 1925 he led the army to a decisive victory in the kingdom of Hejaz.  Faysal became the viceroy of Hejaz the following year. 

In 1932, he was named foreign secretary in the newly created kingdom of Saudi Arabia.  In 1934, Faysal made an official visit to the Soviet Union, on behalf of Saudi Arabia, and later led a campaign against North Yemen.

In 1945, Faysal represented Saudi Arabia at the United Nations Conference.  In 1953, when his elder brother Sa’ud became king, Faysal became crown prince and foreign minister of Saudi Arabia. 

Upon the succession of his elder brother, Saud, in 1953, Faysal became premier.  In 1958, Faysal was granted full executive powers following an economic crisis in Saudi Arabia.  He resigned from his postion and relinquished his powers in 1960 following a long-standing dispute with his brother, but resumed the office two years later. 

In March 1964, he was named regent and, eight months later, having forced Saud to abdicate, Faysal became king.  Faysal abolished the office of premier and thereby made himself absolute ruler.  He inaugurated long-range economic and social welfare projects throughout his country and provided much financial and moral support to the countries of Southwest Asia in their continued confrontation with Israel. 

In June 1967, at Faysal’s behest, Saudi troops participated in the Six Day War against Israel.  He also began in 1973 to increase the military power of Saudi Arabia.

During his reign, Faysal opposed Israel and communism, headed the conservative Muslim bloc, and maintained friendship with the United States.  He was shot down (by his nephew Prince Faisali ibn Musad) during an assembly -- a majlis -- on March 25, 1975, and was succeeded by his half brother, Prince Khalid ibn Abdul (b. 1913).

Faisal was internationally known as a strong leader, who was both critical to the acts of Israel in the region, and Soviet political presence and influence.  Faisal provided much economical support for other countries in Southwest Asia.

Inside Saudi Arabia, Faisal conducted a politics of economic and educational reforms.  He abolished slavery, reorganized the central government, and led the country into economic stability.

Faisal (Faysal) was King of Saudi Arabia during the crucial period between its unification and its transformation into one of the world’s most influential oil-producing powers.  Faysal was born at a time when his father, ‘Abd al-‘Aziz ibn ‘Abd al-Rahman Al Sa‘ud, was unifying the Najdi tribes.  Because Faysal’s mother, Tarfah, died in 1912, the young prince’s education was entrusted to his maternal godfather, Shaykh ‘Abdullah ibn ‘Abd al-Latif Al al-Shaykh.  The latter, a grandson of Muhammad ibn ‘Abd al-Wahhab, the founder of the Muwahhidun (Unitarian) movement that gave religious legitimacy to Saudi rule, was a leading ‘alim (religious scholar) who instilled in Faysal strong religious beliefs.  At the age of fourteen, Faysal commanded his father’s forces in ‘Asir Province (he also distinguished himself militarily by leading an assault on Yemen in 1933).  In 1930, Faysal became Saudi Arabia’s first foreign minister and held the office until his death in 1975, save for a two year period during King Sa‘ud’s rule.  He led the Saudi delegation to the April 1945 San Francisco conference that established the United Nations, and signed the United Nations Charter of June 26, 1945, making Saudi Arabia a founding member of the world body.

Faysal shaped Saudi foreign policy by giving it an ideological base, insisting on a strict balance with internal developments and adopting a level of consistency unparalleled throughout the Arab and Muslim worlds.  This consistency was amply visible throughout the 1960s and early 1970s when the kingdom faced the Nasserist challenge.  Riyadh responded to the rising wave of Arab nationalism by emphasizing Islamic values.  Rejecting both secularism and socialism, Faysal supported Yemeni tribes who favored the monarchy and, in the aftermath of the 1967 Arab-Israeli War, sought a rapprochement with Egypt to end the Arab Cold War (1957-1967).  By early 1973, however, Faysal perceived the need to link the kingdom’s oil power to the unending Arab-Israeli conflict, especially as Washington failed to note Saudi pleas.  Following the outbreak of the 1973 war, and the United States decision to create a weapons air bridge to Israel, Faysal authorized an oil embargo against both the United Statesand the Netherlands.  But ever the astute statesman, the king rescinded his decision when Washington reactivated its moribund peace efforts.  However, his lifelong wish to pray at Jerusalem’s al-Aqsa Mosque never materialized.

Although few members of the Al Sa‘ud ruling family challenged Faysal on foreign policy questions, his rule was not free from turmoil.  The most significant conflict was the rivalry between then Crown Prince Faysal and King Sa‘ud (r. 1953-1964).  The king was inward looking, and chiefly interested in tribal affairs, whereas Faysal was outward looking, aiming to enhance the kingdom’s position on both the regional as well as world scenes.  Faysal perceived his brother’s accommodation with revolutionary Egypt to be ill advised and, at a time when regional upheavals -- including the 1956 Suez crisis, the Egyptian-Syrian union, the overthrow of the Iraqi monarchy, and the civil war in Yemen -- threatened the kingdom, he considered Sa‘ud’s positions to be intolerable.  Such policies, coupled with disastrous financial mismanagement, encouraged Faysal to take over.  In November 1963, the Council of Senior Princes, supported by a fatwa (formal legal opinion) from the ‘ulama’, called on Sa‘ud to abdicate in favor of Faysal, who acceded to the throne on November 2, 1964.  Faysal’s ten-point reform program to abolish slavery, modernize the administration, reorganize the country’s religious and judicial institutions, revamp labor and social laws, utilize natural resources soundly, build efficient infrastructures, and establish consultative as well as local councils, won him widespread praise.  Many reforms were gradually introduced and others were implemented by successor rulers.  When, for example, the grand mufti died in 1970, Faysal abolished the post, replacing it with two separate and less autonomous institutions.  The Ministry of Justice was established to integrate the Saudi judiciary into the government, and the Council of Senior ‘Ulama’, comprising seventeen members appointed by the king, was created to provide the ruler with appropriate religious opinions and approvals.  Significant socioeconomic reforms were embodied in the first five-year development plan, which was followed by a second, more ambitious, plan in 1975.  Assassinated by a nephew on March 25, 1975, Faysal died before the actual implementation of his second plan, but he left his successors effective institutions to carry on his legacy.

Malik Faisal ibn Abdul Aziz see Faysal ibn ‘Abd al-‘Aziz Al Sa‘ud

Fazari (al-Fazari).  Name of two noted mathematicians.

(Abu Ishaq Ibrahim ibn Habib ibn Sulaiman ibn Samura ibn Jundab al-Fazari) 8th century Muslim mathematician and astronomer of either Arab or Persian background.  He recorded the first known mention of the Ghana empire.  Although he lived at the court of the Abbasid Caliph in Baghdad, the fame of Ghana reached him, and he referred to Ghana as “the land of gold.” 

Al-Fazari was the mathematician and astronomer at the Abbasid court of the Caliph Harun al-Rashid. He is not to be confused with his son Muhammad al-Fazari, also an Astronomer. He composed various astronomical writings (on the astrolabe, on the armillary spheres, on the calendar).

The Caliph ordered him and his son to translate the Indian Astronomical text, The Sindhind along with Yaqub ibn Tāriq, which was completed in Baghdad about 750 C.C., and entitled Az-Zīj ‛alā Sinī al-‛Arab. This translation was possibly the vehicle by means of which the Hindu numerals were transmitted from India to Islam.

He died in 777 C.C.

Abu abdallah Muhammad ibn Ibrahim al-Fazari (d. 796 or 806) was a Muslim philosopher, mathematician and astronomer. He is not to be confused with his father Ibrahim al-Fazari, also an astronomer and mathematician.

While some sources refer to him as an Arab, other sources state that he was a Persian.

Al-Fazari translated many scientific books into Arabic and Persian. He is credited with having built the first astrolabe in the Islamic world.

Along with Yaqub ibn Tariq and his father he helped translate the Indian astronomical text by Brahmagupta (fl. 7th century), the Brahmasphutasiddhanta, into Arabic as Az-Zīj ‛alā Sinī al-‛Arab, or the Sindhind. This translation was possibly the vehicle by means of which the Hindu numerals were transmitted from India to Islam.
al-Fazari see Fazari
Abu Ishaq Ibrahim ibn Habib ibn Sulaiman ibn Samura ibn Jundab al-Fazari see Fazari
Abu abdallah Muhammad ibn Ibrahim al-Fazari

see Fazari


Fazli Hussain
Fazli Hussain (Mian Fazli Hussain) (1877-1936).  Punjabi statesman.  After the Montagu-Chelmsford reforms of 1921, Indian politicians began to acquire substantial power in provincial governments.  Operating as minister of education in the Punjab, Fazli Hussain was one of those who used his office most effectively.  He generally displayed a preference for rural over urban interests in his province.  For example, he used his department’s grants-in-aid to establish primary schools in the countryside, rather than sustaining secondary schools for the elite in the cities.   When Muhammad Ali Jinnah returned to India in 1935 and set about reviving the Muslim League, Fazli Hussain ignored his efforts.  Shortly before his death, Fazli Hussain resurrected the Punjab Unionist Party, which brought together Muslim, Sikh, and Hindu leaders.  The elections of 1937 kept the Unionists in power with the Muslim League winning only two seats in the Punjab.  Sikandar Hayat Khan (d. 1942), Hussain’s successor, worked out a loose alliance with the Muslim League in 1937, but the Unionists retained power until 1947. 
Mian Fazli Hussain see Fazli Hussain Hussain, Fazli see Fazli Hussain Hussain, Mian Fazli see Fazli Hussain


Fazlul Huq
Fazlul Huq (Abul Kasem Fazlul Huq) (Abul Kashem Fazlul Huq) (Abul Kashem Fozlul Hôk) (October 26, 1873 — April 27, 1962). Often referred to as Sher-e-Bangla (Bengali: "Tiger of Bengal"). Fazlul Huq was a well-known Bengali statesman in the first half of the 20th century. He held different political posts including those of General Secretary of the Indian National Congress (1918-1919), Education Minister (1924), the first Muslim Mayor of Calcutta (1935), Chief Minister of undivided Bengal (1937-1943) and East Pakistan (1954), Home Minister of Pakistan (1955-56), Governor of East Pakistan (1956-58), Food and Agriculture Minister of Pakistan (1958-61).

Abul Kasem Fazlul Huq was enormously popular among the Muslims of Bengal.  From the Bakarganj District, now in Bangladesh, he was trained as a lawyer at Calcutta University and first entered politics as a protégé of Nawab Salimullah of Dhaka.  Once in politics, Huq made his own way and just after World War I was a member of the Muslim League and the Indian National Congress.  Entering the Bengal Legislative Council in 1913, he gained a considerable following and could be elected from almost any Muslim seat.  He served in the Legislative Council until 1936 and was briefly a minister in 1924.

One of the founders of the All-Bengal Praja Samiti (a peasant organization), Huq became the foremost leader of the Krishak Praja Party, which won one-third of the Muslim seats in the 1936-1937 elections for the Bengal Legislative Assembly.  Rebuffed by the Congress, Huq formed an alliance with the Muslim League, joined the League, and became chief minister of Bengal from 1937 to 1943.  He was also the proposer of the famous Lahore, or Pakistan, Resolution in 1940 calling for separate Muslim states in South Asia.
In 1941, however, Huq broke with the Muslim League, formed an alliance with the dissident wing of the Congress in Bengal called the Progressive Coalition, and formed a new government without the League.  This lasted until 1943, when Huq fell before the machinations of the Raj and the rise of the Muslim League, which formed two cabinets without him. 

Huq remained in East Pakistan after independence and eventually re-formed his party as the Krishak Sramik (Peasants and Workers) Party.  This party joined the United Front, which won the 1954 elections, and Huq formed the ministry, but this was shortly dismissed.  He served briefly as a central government minister and then as governor of East Pakistan from 1956 to 1958.  A renowned speaker in Bengali and English, Huq was affectionately known as Sher-e-Bangla (“tiger of Bengal”) by his followers.
Abul Kasem Fazlul Huq see Fazlul Huq Sher-e-Bangla  see Fazlul Huq “tiger of Bengal” see Fazlul Huq Huq, Fazlul see Fazlul Huq Huq, Abul Kasem Fazlul see Fazlul Huq


Federation Nationale des Musulmans de France
Federation Nationale des Musulmans de France.  Founded on November 30, 1985, “to act officially for the Muslims in France and to protect them.”  The Federation Nationale des Musulmans de France (FNMF) is governed by the Law on Associations of 1901.  It shares its registered office in Paris with the French branch of the Muslim World League (Rabitat al-‘Alam al-Islami).  The federation was started by a French convert to Islam, Daniel Youssof Leclerc, who was president of Taybat (tayyibat – “excellent things”), a group committed to a more rigorous standard for the production and sale of halal meat than that practice by the Paris mosque.  The mosque has traditionally been led by an Algerian imam, who alone has had the authority to control the slaughtering of animals.  Taybat has contested this particular authority and, in general, the leadership of Algeria over Muslims in France. 

The initial political purpose of the federation was, therefore, to free the Muslim community of the influence of Algeria.  But its main object is to coordinate the actions of the approximately one hundred Muslim associations that originally comprised the FNMF, to assure their defense if necessary, and to facilitate the practice of the faith in a non-Muslim country.  It seeks a friendly relationship with French society and hopes to instill a better knowledge of Islam.  It wishes to implement the Islamic standard of living in every domain of life and the application of the shari‘a (the divine law), although this may run counter to the laicist or secular orientation of French public life (including schools), as instituted in the relevant law of December 1905.  Nevertheless, the FNMF does not demand the opening of specifically Muslim schools and universities or the practice of polygamy. 

The federation’s council consists of fifteen members and seven deputies (five members are chosen from old French Muslim families).  All members are chosen by the associations which comprise the FNMF.  Since 1985, there have been fifty ethnically distinct members of various political opinions within the council.  The FNMF’s first president was a Frenchman, Jacques Yacoub Roty, whose family had been converted to Islam by Rene Guenon.  However, Roty left the federation in 1986 in order to found his own association, Vivre L’Islam en Occident (To Live Islam in the West).  Daniel Youssof Leclerc was chosen president in December 1986 and was a member of the constituent council of the Muslim World League. 

FNMF see Federation Nationale des Musulmans de France.


Federation of Islamic Associations
Federation of Islamic Associations.  Formed through the efforts of first-generation American born Muslims, mostly of Syrian and Lebanese origin.  The Federation of Islamic Associations was created as a corporate body to help maintain ties between scattered Muslim communities.  Abdullah Igram of Cedar Rapids, Iowa, a World War II veteran, was instrumental in bringing together Muslims from the United States and Canada.  His efforts led to the incorporation of the International Muslim Society (IMS) in 1952.  The goals of the IMS were to help coordinate efforts to keep the faith of Islam, to preserve Muslim culture, to expound Islamic teachings, and to propagate true information about the faith.  During its third annual meeting, held in Chicago in 1954, the members adopted a new name: the Federation of Islamic Associations of Canada and the United States (FIA).

During that same year, Igram made a personal request to President Dwight Eisenhower to grant Muslims in the American armed services the right to identify their religion on their name tags.  This was perceived by members of the community as official recognition of their American identity.  The FIA concentrated on holding annual meetings and conventions, which were attended mainly by persons of Arab background (with a few Muslims from Eastern Europe and Turkey).  The organization also provided the opportunity for young people to meet potential marriage partners from within a common religious and cultural heritage.  The recollections of participants in these conventions from the 1950s and 1960s are of pleasant social events in which camaraderie and informal interaction, even some forms of folk dancing, were encouraged.

The FIA has been hampered by lack of funds, or trained indigenous leadership.  Its assimilationist tendencies have been condemned by more conservative Muslims.  In 1970, the FIA published a book that included selected readings from the Qur’an as well as a directory of Muslims in the United States.  Efforts by the FIA leadership to compile a census of American Muslims have fared no better than those of any other group attempting such a task.  They also tried unsuccessfully to create a standardized curriculum of Sunday school materials to be used by the various centers.  The FIA is aware of the hostile media treatment of Arabs and Muslims in the United States and has concentrated its efforts on combating such misinformation.

At the peak of its popularity, the FIA listed some fifty mosques and organizations as its members.  In recent years, the membership has dramatically declined owing to disagreement with the leadership over policies.  The Muslim Star, the official organ of the FIA, provided extensive coverage about the nature of the regime of Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini in Iran, as well as justification of the Iraqi position in the Iran-Iraq War.  The public attacks of FIA on fellow Muslim organizations, such as that launched against the Muslim World League, have left it with decreasing grassroots support.  By 1994, Muslim Star had ceased publication. 
FIA see Federation of Islamic Associations.


Fehim Pasha
Fehim Pasha (1873-1908).  Chief of the secret police under the Ottoman sultan Abdul-hamid II.  

Pasha, Fehim see Fehim Pasha


Ferhad Pasha
Ferhad Pasha (d.1595). Ottoman Grand Vizier of Albanian origin.  He was successful in the war against Persia. 
Pasha, Ferhad see Ferhad Pasha


Ferhat Abbas
Ferhat Abbas (October 24, 1899 - December 23, 1985). Algerian leader in the Algerian struggle for independence.  Ferhat Abbas was born in Taher and was educated as a pharmacist.  A political moderate disillusioned with French policy, he advocated Algerian self-determination and independence and was intermittently jailed for his political activities.  In 1956, Ferhat Abbas joined the Cairo-based National Liberation Front (NLF) which was then waging a war of independence against the French.   From 1958 to 1961, Ferhat Abbas headed the Algerian government in exile.  After Algerian independence in 1962, Abbas soon quarreled with the more radical NLF leadership and was put under house arrest in 1964-1965.  Subsequently, he retired from public life.

Ferhat Abbas was the son of Said Ben Ahmed Abbas and Maga bint Ali. He was born in a village south of Taher in the department of Jijel. He was formerly an "integrationist" not opposed to the French annexation but advocating an Algeria where Algerians would have the same rights as Frenchmen. He became disillusioned with France when his hopes were not realized, and turned to nationalism, issuing the Manifesto of the Algerian People in 1943, and forming the nationalist party Union Démocratique du Manifeste Algérien in 1946.

Not long after the Algerian War of Independence against French rule began November 1954, Ferhat Abbas joined the Front de Libération Nationale (FLN), in September 1955. His political standing in Algeria and reputation as a moderate nationalist, acceptable to the West, helped him become president of the provisional Algerian nationalist government-in-exile, the GPRA, from 1958 until 1961. He lost his place to Benyoucef Ben Khedda, which may have been a reason for his decision to join Ahmed Ben Bella's and Houari Boumédiène's Tlemcen Group in opposition to the GPRA, which was subsequently dismantled.

Due to Pakistan's support to the cause of Algerian struggle for independence and self determination, Ferhat Abbas was given a Pakistani diplomatic passport for his foreign travels.

Algeria became independent on July 5, 1962. From September 25, 1962 to September 15, 1963, Ferhat Abbas was president of the constitutional assembly, but this institution was rapidly sidelined by Ben Bella, who had gained the presidency. Abbas resigned in protest at the FLN's decision to establish a one-party state under Ben Bella He was then placed under house arrest from 1964 until 1965.

In 1976–79, Ferhat Abbas was again placed under house arrest, after signing a statement opposing the country's powerful military-backed President, Colonel Houari Boumédiènne. Still, he received official recognition in the form of a state decoration, the Medal of Resistance, on October 30, 1984. He died just over a year later.

Articles written in Ferhat Abbas' youth are collected in Le Jeune Algérien (1931). His ideas on democracy and views on history were set out in a series of essays including La nuit coloniale (1962), Autopsie d'une guerre (1980) and L'indépendance confisquée (1984).

Abbas, Ferhat see Ferhat Abbas


Ferid (Damad Ferid) (Damat Mehmed Ferid) (1853 - October 6, 1923). Ottoman prime minister who was backed by the sultan (his brother-in-law) and the Western powers after World War I. 

Damat Ferid Pasha (full name Damat Mehmed Ferid Pasha) was an Ottoman statesman who held the office of grand vizier during two periods under the reign of the last Ottoman sultan Mehmed VI Vahdeddin, the first time between March 4, 1919 and October 2, 1919 and the second time between April 5, 1920 and October 21, 1920. Officially, he held the office a total of five times, since his cabinets were recurrently dismissed under various pressures and he had to present new ones.

Damat Ferid was born in 1853 in İstanbul, son of the Governor of Beirut and Sidon. He served several positions with Ottomans before he entered the foreign office of the Ottoman Empire and was assigned to different post embassies in Paris, Berlin, Petersburg and London. He married a daughter of Abdülmecid, Mediha Sultan, which earned him the title of "Damat" (bridegroom to the Ottoman dynasty). Like his father, he became a member of the Şûrâ-yı Devlet in 1884, and earned the title of vizier soon afterwards. Refused the post of ambassador to London by the sultan Abdulhamid II, he resigned from public service and returned only after two decades, in 1908, as a member of the upper chamber of the Ottoman Parliament (Âyân Meclisi).

Damat Ferid's first office as grand vizier coincided with the Occupation of İzmir by the Greek army and the tumultuous ensuing period. He was dismissed on September 30, 1919, but after two short-lived governments under Ali Rıza Pasha and Hulusi Salih Pasha, the sultan had to call him back to form a new government on April 5, 1920 and remained as grand vizier until October  17, 1920, forming two different cabinets in between.

His second office coincided with the closure of the Ottoman Parliament under pressure from the British and French forces of occupation. Along with four other notables, he agreed to sign the Treaty of Sevres, comprising disastrous conditions for Turkey, which caused an uproar of reaction towards his person, that he retorted by becoming increasingly hostile to the new nationalist movement led by Mustafa Kemal Pasha which was centered in Ankara and more and more collaborative with the occupation forces.

Even after his dismissal, and the formation of a new Ottoman government under Ahmed Tevfik Pasha, he remained widely disliked (especially in Anatolia) and with the Turkish victory in the Greco-Turkish War (1919-1922), he fled to Europe. He died in Nice, France, on October 6, 1923 and was buried in the city of Sidon.

Damad Ferid see Ferid Damat Mehmed Ferid see Ferid


Feridun (Feridun Beg) (Feridun Ahmed Beg) (Fereydun Ahmad Bayg) (d. March 16, 1583).  Private secretary of the Ottoman Grand Vizier Mehmed Pasha Soqollu.  As the head of the chancery, he compiled a collection of state papers. 

Feridun Ahmed Beg was a protégé of the famous grand vizier Moḥammad Pasha Ṣoqollū, Feridun Beg also distinguished himself at the siege of Szigetvár (1566) and was subsequently promoted to the posts of secretary of state and chancellor (raʾīs al-kottāb and nešānjī). He died on March 16, 1583.

Feridun Beg see Feridun Feridun Ahmed Beg see Feridun Fereydun Ahmad Bayg see Feridun Beg, Feridun see Feridun Beg, Feridun Ahmed see Feridun Bayg, Fereydun Ahmad see Feridun


Ferishta (Muhammad Qasim Ferishta) (Muhammad Qasim Firishta) (c.1560-c.1620). Indo-Muslim historian and writer on Indian medicine. The name Ferishta (Firishta) means angel or one who is sent in Persian.
Ferishta served the Ahmadnagar and Bijapur sultanates and wrote the history of the Muslim sultanates of the Deccan.  His Tarikh-i Ferishta is considered to be the best general history of India from the early Hindu rajas to his own day.  Ferishta supplies detailed information about the Ghaznavids, the sultans of Delhi, the Deccan states, and the regional kingdoms of Kashmir, Gujarat, Malwa, Bengal, and Sind.  The last chapter of the work deals with the Sufi saints of India.  Ferishta was in the service of the ruler of Bijapur, Ibrahim Adil Shah II, and dedicated the work to him.  In July 1604, Ferishta accompanied Ibrahim Adil Shah’s daughter, Begum Sultan, to Paithan, where she was married to the emperor Akbar’s son Daniyal.  In 1605, Adil Shah sent Ferishta to Lahore.  Ferishta is known for his meticulous collection of data, chronological arrangement, and simple but effective presentation.  He also wrote a book on the indigenous system of medicine entitled Dastur ul-Atibba.

Ferishta was born at Astrabad to Gholam Ali Hindu Shah, on the shores of the Caspian Sea. While he was still a child his father was summoned away from his native country into Ahmadnagar, Hindustan, to teach Persian to the young prince Miran Husain Nizam Shah with whom Ferishta studied.

In 1587, Ferishta was serving as the captain of guards of King Murtuza Nizam Shah when Prince Miran overthrew his father and claimed the throne of Ahmadnagar. Having been a former friend, Prince Miran spared Ferishta's life who then left for Bijapur to enter the service of King Ibrahim Adil II in 1589.

Having been in military positions until then, Ferishta was not immediately successful in Bijapur. Further exacerbating matters was the fact that Ferishta was of a Shia origin and, therefore, did not have much chance of attaining high positions in the dominantly Sunni courts of Deccan kings. In 1593, Ibrahim Shah II ultimately implored Ferishta to write a history of India with equal emphasis on the history of Deccan dynasties as no work thus far had given equal treatment to all regions of the subcontinent.

The work was variously known as the Tarikh-i Firishta and the Gulshan-i Ibrahim. In the introduction, a resume of the history of Hindustan prior to the times of the Muslim conquest is given, and also the victorious progress of Arabs through the East. The first ten books are each occupied with a history of the kings of one of the provinces; the eleventh book gives an account of the Muslims of Malabar; the twelfth a history of the Muslim saints of India; and the conclusion treats of the geography and climate of India. It also includes graphic descriptions of the persecution of Hindus during the reign of Sikandar Butshikan in Kashmir.

Tarikh-i Firishta consists primarily of the following books:

   1. The Kings of Ghazni and Lahore
   2. The Kings of Dehli
   3. The Kings of Dakhin - divided into 6 chapters:
         a. Kulbarga
         b. Bijapur
         c. Ahmadnagar
         d. Tilanga
         e. Birar
         f. Bidar
   4. The Kings of Gujarat
   5. The Kings of Malwa
   6. The Kings of Khandesh
   7. The Kings of Bengal and Bihar
   8. The Kings of Multan
   9. The Rulers of Sind
  10. The Kings of Kashmir
  11. An account of Malabar
  12. An account of Saints of India
  13. Conclusion - An account of the climate and geography of India

Muhammad Qasim Ferishta see Ferishta Muhammad Qasim Firishta see Ferishta Firishta, Muhammad Qasim see Ferishta


Fida‘iyan-i Islam
Fida‘iyan-i Islam (Devotees of Islam).  Religio-political organization which was created in 1945 in Tehran by Sayyid Mujtaba Navvab Safavi.  Born in 1923, Navvab claimed descent from the Prophet on his father’s side, and on his mother’s side, from the Safavid dynasty (1501-1722). 

Training to become a cleric, Navvab attended the Shi‘a theological school of Najaf in Iraq, where he came across the anticlerical writings of Ahmad Kasravi.  Finding Kasravi’s works heretical, Navvab made an unsuccessful attempt on Kasravi’s life, then in March 1946 two of Navvab’s followers murdered Kasravi. 

Taking advantage of the publicity surrounding Kasravi’s murder, Navvab formed an alliance with the powerful political cleric Ayatollah Abu al-Qasim Kashani (Abol-Qasem Kashani).  This union signaled a new activist phase in the life of Fida‘iyan-i Islam.  In May 1948, the Fida‘iyan held a public demonstration of several thousand people in Tehran supporting the Palestinian Arabs and denouncing the Zionists.  The following February, an assassin attempted to kill Shah Muhammad Reza Pahlavi.  Although not charged directly, the Fida‘iyan were suspected of collusion, and their patron, Kashani, was exiled abroad for his alleged involvement in the plot.

At Kashani’s behest, the Fida‘iyan intensified their public agitation.  In November 1949, the Fida ‘iyan assassinated an avowed enemy, the former prime minister and the sitting minister of court, ‘Abd al-Husayn Hazhir.  Martial law was declared in Tehran, and after a short trial, the convicted murderer was hanged.  This execution increased public tension, particularly in the holy city of Qom.  Finally, as agitation intensified, the government permitted Kashani’s return.

The Fida‘iyan soon found themselves involved in the public debate on oil nationalization.  Prime Minister Husayn ‘Ali Razmara, who was negotiating with the British for a new oil agreement, was assassinated in March 1951 by a close follower of Navvab.  Although Kashani was implicated in Razmara’s assassination, no action was taken against him, and the assassin spent only a few months in jail.

Less than two weeks after Razmara’s death, the dean of the School of Law at Tehran University, ‘Abd al-Hamid Zanganah, was assassinated.  The atmosphere of terror associated with the Fida‘iyan clearly contributed to this new act.

After the National Front government of Dr. Muhammad Musaddiq (Mohammed Mossadegh) came to power, the Fida‘iyan’s relationship with Kashani ruptured.  Left without a prominent protector, Navvab and most of the Fida‘iyan’s top leadership were jailed by the government.  In February 1952, the Fida‘iyan attempted to assassinate Dr. Husayn Fatimi, a prominent National Front Majlis (“parliament”) deputy.  Navvab was kept in jail, then released in early 1953.

The coup of August 1953 returned the shah to the throne and ushered in a new phase for the Fida‘iyan.  At first quiescent, the Fida ‘iyan attempted to assassinate Prime Minister Husayn ‘Ala in November 1955 on the eve of his departure for Iraq to formally sign Iran’s participation in the pro-Western Baghdad Pact.  Although injured, the prime minister proceeded to Baghdad as scheduled.

The government swiftly arrested the Fida‘iyan leaders, including their former associate, Kashani.  Most of those arrested were soon released, but Navvab and three of his closest allies were sentenced to death and executed in January 1956.  Even though the trials and executions ended the Fida ‘iyan as an organization, some of their followers continued to operate clandestinely.

The Fida‘iyan’s name was associated indirectly with a group known as Hizb-I Milal-I Islami (Islamic Nations Party), which succeeded in assassinating Prime Minister Hasan ‘Ali Mansur in January 1965.  Some members of this group had been members of the Fida‘iyan.  After the success of the Islamic Revolution in 1979, the Fida‘iyan re-emerged under the self-proclaimed leadership of the cleric Sadiq Khalkhali.  But because many of the Fida‘iyan goals were already enshrined in the new regime’s programs, they soon disappeared from the political arena.

The actual size of the Fida‘iyan membership is in dispute.  At its height, the organization probably had somewhere between thirty thousand and forty thousand members and a much larger number of sympathizers.  The membership was concentrated in a few major cities, particularly Tehran, Mashhad, and Qom.  The Fida‘iyan attracted young semi-literates and illiterate Muslims on the fringes of urban society.  Most were youths between the ages of fifteen and twenty-five who held low-status occupations in or around the bazaar.  Navvab remained the acknowledged leader of the group, although his lieutenants, the Vahidi brothers, continued to play a key role in the organization.

The Fida‘iyan’s strength was based on their critical alliance with the clergy and their acts of terror.  They also established contacts with Muslims in other countries.  Navvab traveled to Egypt, saw leaders of the Muslim Brotherhood, and made contacts with co-religionists in Jordan, Iraq, and probably Turkey.  Yet none of these were ties of long-range significance.

The Fida‘iyan’s finances were secured through influential sympathizers in the bazaar merchant community and among certain clerical elements.  They disseminated their messages through several publications, including newspapers, regular broadsheets, and leaflets.  Their major book of ideology, Rahnamah-yi haqa’iq (The Guide to Truth), published in 1950, includes their most complete statement and blueprint for a new Shi‘a Islamic order.

Highly puritanical in scope, Rahnamah-yi haqa’iq pronounced the Fida’iyan’s ultimate goal to create a new order based on shari‘a (Islamic law).  It envisaged a state in which religion and politics were necessary parts of the same system and a society in which the divine laws and injunctions provided the moral and legal basis for all acts.  In such a system, parliament would not legislate; it would be merely a consultative assembly ensuring that all existing and future regulations were in accordance with Shi‘a Islamic precepts.  Monarchy was not necessarily unacceptable if the monarch obeyed Islamic precepts.  The clerics in the Fida‘iyan state would be entrusted with a multiplicity of functions, ranging from administering to the masses’ religious needs, to serving as judges of the Islamic courts, to implementing an Islamic educational system.  The clerics would ensure that ethics and morality would be observed and gender separation in the public sphere, including schools, would be strictly observed.  As judges of the Islamic courts, the clerics would supervise a strict penal code that included cutting off a thief’s hand and public whipping of an adulterer.

The Fida‘iyan perceived women as second class citizens, confined to the home.  They viewed the idea of women’s rights as detrimental to the moral fabric of the social order and endorsed the Shi‘a concept of temporary marriage as a remedy for prostitution.  The Fida‘iyan were also minimally tolerant of certain religious minorities, such as Christians, Jews, and Zoroastrians, who were given limited protected rights.  The Baha’is had no place in the Fida‘iyan system.

The Fida‘iyan considered the accumulation of wealth a legitimate economic activity and encouraged commerce as long as Islamic anti-usury norms were maintained.  They combined encouragement of business with a strong sense of social welfare and general charity toward the poor.

The importance of the Fida‘iyan in Iranian and Islamic history lies in their forceful articulation of certain rigid principles of religion for the social order.  However, their willingness to legitimize violence on the basis of religious dogma and their daring acts of violence made their impact far greater than their organizational strength or numbers justify. 
Devotees of Islam see Fida‘iyan-i Islam


Fida’iyyan-i Islam
Fida’iyyan-i Islam.  See Fida‘iyan-i Islam..


Fida’iyyin  (Fida'iyin).  Commandos or people who sacrifice themselves for a cause.  The term is often applied to Palestinians fighting against Israel or to militant Shi‘a. 
Fida'iyin see Fida’iyyin


Fighani (Baba) (d.1519).  Pseudonym of a celebrated Persian poet from Shiraz.  His patronymic, like his first name, is unknown. 
Baba see Fighani


Fikri (‘Abd Allah Pasha Fikri) (1834-1890). Egyptian statesman, poet and prose-writer.  He is regarded as one of the authors who have helped to give a simpler character to Arabic literary style.
‘Abd Allah Pasha Fikri see Fikri


Filali.  Name of the dynasty of Sharifs (Shorfa') from Tafilalt, reigning in Morocco from 1659 until the present day. 


Findiriski (d. 1640).  Persian scholar and philosopher.  He was respected by both the Safavid Shah ‘Abbas and the Mughal court in India. 


Firdausi (Abu’l-Qasim Firdausi) (Abdul Qasim Mansur) (Firdawsi or Ferdowsi) (935-1020). One of the greatest Persian poets who is best known as the author the epic, Shahnama -- The Book of Kings. 

Firdausi was not on good terms with the monarch of his time, the Ghaznavid sultan Mahmud ibn Sebuktegin, not only because Firdausi was a Shi‘a, Mahmud being a Sunni, but also because the sultan showed a lack of interest in Firdausi's work and because the poet was dissatisfied with the inadequacy of his compensation.

Shahnama (The Book of Kings), amounting in several manuscripts to some 60,000 verses, speaks of the beneficial activities of the first kings of Persia on behalf of humanity and of their struggle against the demons which infest the world.  The assassination of the son and successor of one of these mythical kings by two brothers started an endless cycle of wars of revenge between the Persians and the nomadic Turanians of Central Asia.  The exploits of the heroes are interwoven with love-stories by which Firdausi became the founder of the romantic narrative poem which was to have such a lasting legacy in Persia.  The last part of the poem is more historical and recounts the reigns of the Sasanian kings.

The tragic life of Firdausi underscores his lyrical brilliance and monumental achievement as author of the Shahnama.  The Shahnama is a mathnavi -- a rhyming couplet in approximately 60,000 distichs (verses having two lines).  The idiomatic Persian of the Shahnama minimizes not only non-Persian themes and people but also non-Persian, specifically Arabic, words.  The Shahnama extols the importance of kingship as the most lofty status to which heroes may aspire.

Firdausi has been called the Homer of Persia.  Born in the village of Bazh near Tus in Khurasan, he belonged to the landed gentry.  It is clear from his own poetry that he received a sound education and was well versed in the legends and traditional history of pre-Islamic Iran.  As a youth, he was a man of adequate means which enabled him to devote thirty years of his life to composing the Shahnama without the support of a royal court.

He was married at the age of 28 and some eight years later began the work for which he is most famous, the great epic poem Shahnama (or Shah nameh).  The work is based on a poem by the tenth century Persian poet Dakiki. Firdausi spent 35 years writing this epic and completed it in 1010, when he was about 70 years old.

Firdausi undertook the composition of his monumental work around the year 980, shortly after the death of Abu Mansur Daqiqi, another poet from Tus, who had been composing a national epic of his own (most probably under the patronage of the Samanid amir Nun ibn Mansur) when his sudden death left the work unfinished.  The Samanids had fostered a keen interest in the history of pre-Islamic Iran, and already more than one prose Shahnama, mainly based on the Pahlavi Kvadai-namag (translated into Arabic in the eighth century), had appeared.  The most important version was the Abu Mansuri Shahnama which was produced in Tus in 957.

Firdausi also versified isolated episodes before he obtained Daqiqi’s work, which he incorporated into his Shahnama.   At the beginning of his career, he had the support of some local dignitaries in Tus, but, living mainly on the income of his family estate, he experienced dire poverty at advanced age.  His main source was the Abu Mansuri Shahnama (now lost except for the introduction), but he also used other materials, including oral traditions.  The first version of Firdausi’s Shahnama was finished in 994 and the revised version in 1010.

Firdausi’s epic would have probably been received with honors at the court of the Samanids, but by the time it was finished Sultan Mahmud of Ghazna was the master of eastern Iran.  Although a Turk by birth, Sultan Mahmud had gathered a large number of Persian poets at his court and was served by the vizier Isfarayini, whose patronage of Persian letters was well known.  It is possible that Firdausi, as an old man badly in need, had been sending portions of his work to the court at Ghazna (probably to Isfarayini) in the hope of securing royal support.  Finally, he decided to present his epic personally.  However, the Shahnama was not received well by the king, who, being attuned to hearing only panegyric poetry and not familiar with the Iranian lore, could not really appreciate the value of the Shahnama.  The fact that Mahmud was a fanatical Sunni and Firdausi a Shi‘ite must have laid the groundwork for the hard feelings to which the poet refers.  Besides, Isfarayini, his main supporter at the court, had fallen from favor.  According to an early source, an unhappy encounter with the king resulted in Firdausi’s writing a satire published only after the poet’s death.  Firdausi spent the rest of his life running from the reach of Mahmud, who had threatened him with death.  Finally, pardoned by the sultan, he came back to his native town, where he died a poor man.

Firdausi’s Shahnama contains 60,000 rhyming couplets, making it more than seven times the length of Homer’s Iliad.  It deals first with the legendary Persian kings: Gayumart, Hoshang, Tahmuras, and the most famous of the group, Jamshid, who reigned for 500 years during the golden age of the earth.  Following this happy period, came the evil rule of the Arab Dahhak, or Zohak, who was tempted by Ahriman, his own ancestor.  As a result, Dahhak fell into sin, becoming more and more evil until Kavah, a smith, rebelled and established his leather apron as the banner of revolt.  Finally, the tyrant was bound and confined beneath Mount Demavend on the shores of the Caspian Sea.  Soon after this point in the poem, an episode of considerable beauty is inserted.  It recounts the loves of Zal, of the royal line of Persia, and Rudabah, the daughter of the king of Kabul.  Their union resulted in the birth of the most romantic of all the heroes of the Shahnama, Rustam, who occupies a position in Iranian legend somewhat analogous to that of Hercules in Greek and Latin literature.  The epic progresses through Persian legend to historic times, tracing the reigns of the Sasanian kings down to the Muslim conquest and the death of Yazdigird III in 641.  Thus, the work constitutes a valuable source for the early history of Persia, which is necessary to supplement the accounts given in the old Persian cuneiform inscriptions and the Avesta.  In addition to his poetic incentive, Firdausi had a distinctly patriotic motive in writing the Shahnama.  He plainly desired to keep alive in the hearts of his people the faith of their ancestors and the glories of their deeds so that the Persians would not become mere puppets under Arab domination.

The epic contains an introductory eulogy of the tenth century Sultan Mahmud of Ghazni, to whom the work is dedicated. Firdausi went to Mahmud’s court to present his work as a tribute and was awarded the sum of 20,000 dihrams.  The amount was less than he had been led to expect.  The disappointed poet took his revenge by departing to Herat and there writing a bitter satire on Mahmud, which he sent to the sultan as a substitute for his former eulogy.  Firdausi then fled to Herat, and from there to Tabaristan, where the reigning prince protected him.  He later settled in Baghdad where he composed an epic of 9000 couplets, Yusuf and Zuleikha (Yusuf and Zulaykha).  The work is an Arabic version of the biblical story of Joseph and Potiphar’s wife, a favorite theme of Asian poets.  In his old age, Firdausi retired to his native town near Tus, where, according to legend, he received Mahmud’s forgiveness just before his death.  The Shahnama is perhaps best known to English readers through Sohrab and Rustum, a poem by the English poet Matthew Arnold, which is based on the Persian epic.

Firdausi has had a profound and lasting influence on Persian literature and, indeed, on the spirit of the people of modern day Iran. His Shahnama was the model and inspiration for most later Muslim epic poetry. 

In the scientific annals, Firdausi's Shahnama was instrumental in depicting  a story about man's first attempts to fly. 

The ancient Egyptians left behind many paintings demonstrating their desire to fly, depicting pharaohs soaring with wings.  The Chinese and the Greeks had mythical stories and legends about flying, as did the Sassanians.  Their most popular story is the one recounted by Firdausi in his Shahnama -- his Book of Kings.  In Firdausi's book, a certain King Kai Kawus was tempted by evil spirits to invade heaven with the help of a flying craft that was a throne, attached to whose corners were four long poles pointing upward.  Pieces of meat were placed at the top of each pole and ravenous eagles were chained to the feet of the throne.  As the eagles attempted to fly up to the meat, they carried the throne up, but, inevitably, they grew tired and the throne came crashing down.

Abu’l-Qasim Firdausi see Firdausi Firdawsi see Firdausi Ferdowsi see Firdausi Abdul Qasim Mansur see Firdausi Mansur, Abdul Qasim see Firdausi Homer of Persia see Firdausi


Firdewsi (Rumi-Uzun) (b.1453).  Turkish poet and polymath.  He is the author of Suleymanname (The Book of Solomon).

Rumi-Uzun see Firdewsi


Firishta. See Ferishta.

Muhammad Qasim Hindu Shah see Firishta.
Shah, Muhammad Qasim Hindu  see Firishta.
Muhammad Qasim Ferishta see Firishta.
Ferishta, Muhammad Qasim see Firishta.


Firuz (Firuz Shah III Tughluq)  (Firoz Shah Tughluq) (Firoz Shah Tughlaq) (1309-1388). Delhi sultan of the Tughluqid dynasty (r.1351-1388).  He founded the cities of Firuzabad (Delhi) and Jawnpur.  {See also Delhi, Sultans of; Sultan; and Tughluqs.}

Firuz Shah Tughluq was a Muslim ruler of the Tughlaq Dynasty from 1351 to 1388. He was the son of a Hindu Rajput princess of Dipalpur. His father's name was Razzab and he was the younger brother of Gazi Malik. Gazi Malik is another name for Gayasuddin Tughluq.  Firuz succeeded his cousin Muhammad bin Tughluq following the later's death from a fatal illness, but due to widespread unrest Firuz's realm was much smaller than Muhammad's. Firuz was forced by rebellions to concede virtual independence to Bengal and other provinces. He was known as an iconoclast.

The "Tarikh-i-Firuz Shah" is a historical record written during his reign that attests to the systematic persecution of Hindus under his rule. In particular, it records atrocities on Hindu Brahmin priests who refused to convert to Islam.  Under Firuz's rule, Hindus who were forced to pay the mandatory Jizya tax were recorded as infidels, their communities monitored and, if they violated Imperial ordinance and built temples, these were destroyed. In particular, an incident in the village of Gohana in Haryana was recorded in the "Insha-i-Mahry" (another historical record written by Amud Din Abdullah bin Mahru) where Hindus had erected a deity and were arrested, brought to the palace and executed en-masse.

In 1230, the powerful Ganga Vanshi Hindu King of Orissa, Anangabhima III consolidated his rule and proclaimed that an attack on Orissa constituted an attack on the king's god. A sign of Anangabhima's determination to protect Hindu culture is the fact that he named his new capital in Cuttack “Abhinava Varanasi.” His anxieties about further Muslim advances in Orissa proved to be well founded. In 1361, the Indian region of Orissa was conquered by the Delhi Sultan Firuz Shah and he destroyed the Jagannath temple and the stone deity of Krishna, but the indigenous wooden image of the deity was saved.

Firuz tended not to reconquer areas that had broken away. He decided to keep nobles and the Ulema happy so that they would allow him to rule his kingdom peacefully. Indeed, there were hardly any rebellions during his rule.  Firuz allowed a noble's son to succeed to his father's position and jagir after his death. The same was done in the army, where an old soldier could send his son, son-in-law or even his slave in his place. He won over the Ulemas by giving them grants of revenue, which gave him political power. He increased the salary of the nobles. He stopped all kinds of harsh punishments such as cutting off hands. Firuz also lowered the land taxes that Muhammad had raised.

Firuz was the first Muslim ruler to think of the material welfare of his people. Many rest houses, gardens and tombs were built. A number of madrasas (Islamic schools which provided Koranic education) were opened to encourage literacy. He set up hospitals for the free treatment of the poor. He provided money for the marriage of girls belonging to poor families. He commissioned many public buildings in Delhi. He built over 300 villages and dug 5 major canals for irrigation bringing more land under cultivation for growing grain and fruit.

Hindu religious works were translated from Sanskrit to Persian. He had a large personal library of manuscripts in Persian, Arabic and other languages. He brought 2 Ashokan Pillars from Meerut and Topara, carefully wrapped in silk, to Delhi. He re-erected one of them in his palace at Firuz Shah Kotla.

Firuz had about 180,000 slaves, who had been brought from all over the country, trained in various arts and crafts. They, however, turned out to be undependable. Transfer of capital was the highlight of his reign. When the Qutb Minar struck by lightning in 1368, knocking off its top storey, it was replaced by the existing two floors by Firoz.

Firuz Shah's death led to many rebellions. His lenient attitude had weakened the sultan's position. His successor Ghiyas-ud-Din Tughluq II could not control the slaves or the nobles. The army had become weak. Slowly the empire shrank in size. Ten years after his death, Timur's invasion devastated Delhi.

Firoz Shah Tughluq see Firuz Tughluq, Firoz Shah see Firuz Tughluq, Firuz Shah III see Firuz Firuz Shah III Tughluq see Firuz Firoz Shah Tughlaq see Firuz Tughlaq, Firoz Shah see Firuz

Firuzabadi (al-Firuzabadi) (Abu ʾl-Tāhir Muḥammad ben Yaʿḳūb ben Muḥammad ben Ibrāhīm Majd al-Dīn al-Shāfiʿī al-Shīrāzī al-Fīrūzābādī) (February or April 1326, Kazerun, Iran - January 13, 1414, Zabid, Yemen). Lexicographer who lived in Jerusalem, Mecca and in Yemen.  He compiled an extensive dictionary of Arabic, known as Al-Qamus (The Ocean).  This dictionary served as the basis of later European dictionaries of Arabic.

After teaching in Jerusalem (1349–59), al-Fīrūzābādī traveled through western Asia and Egypt and settled at Mecca (1368), where he remained for 15 years. Travels to India and another 10 years at Mecca preceded his appointment in 1395 as chief judge (qadi) of Yemen.

al-Firuzabadi see Firuzabadi
Abu ʾl-Tāhir Muḥammad ben Yaʿḳūb ben Muḥammad ben Ibrāhīm Majd al-Dīn al-Shāfiʿī al-Shīrāzī al-Fīrūzābādī see Firuzabadi


FIS.  See Front Islamique du Salut.
Front Islamique du Salut see FIS.


Fitrat (Fitra) (Abdalrauf Fitrat) (1886-1938).  Bukharan, writer, educator, and social activist.  He was inspirer and theorist of the reform movement in Turkestan of the twentieth century.  In his works, he studied the causes of the spiritual and temporal decay of the Muslim world, as seen in the example of Bukhara.

Abdalrauf Fitrat was born in 1886 in the emirate of Bukhara to a merchant family, and little is known of his early years. As a young student he attended the Mir-I Arab madrasah (Islamic school) until 1909, when he received a scholarship to continue his education in Istanbul. He spent five years there and traveled broadly throughout the Ottoman empire, Iran, and Xinjiang, China. In 1911, he published his well-known and popular Bayanat-I sayyah-I hindi (Tales of an Indian Traveler) in Persian. It was published in Samarqand in Russian in 1914. The novel denounces Bukhara's poverty-ridden conditions and the corrupt practices of many Islamic clerics and teachers. It challenges the emirate's social order, which was a common theme in his professional and social activities. In 1917, Fitrat was elected secretary of the jadidist- (new method) influenced Young Bukharan Party, which seized power in Bukhara during the Russian Civil War. Following the Bolshevik victory, he became the minister for education in the newly established Soviet republic. He is credited with revising the educational system and helping to establish a European-style university in Tashkent, Uzbekistan. In 1923, he was removed from office after being accused of bourgeois nationalism. He was arrested in 1938 and executed during the Stalinist party purges.

Fitra see Fitrat
Abdalrauf Fitrat see Fitrat


FLN.  See Front de Liberation Nationale.
Front de Liberation Nationale see FLN.


Fongoro.  The Fongoro call themselves Gelege, but no one else does.  The Fur call them Kole, the rest of the world, Fongoro.  They are a disappearing Muslim ethnic group inhabiting a vast hilly territory along the Chadian-Sudanese frontier.  The area commonly known as Dar (home of) Fongoro hosts small colonies of Fongoro/Gelege, Sinyar, Formono, Fur-Dalinga, Daju-Galfige and families of larger ethnic groups such as the Masalit and Kajakse.  The Chadian half of Dar Fongoro is especially inhospitable as a result of the tsetse fly, the lack of water and an almost complete absence of services (medical, police, health, trade).  The area is wooded and very rich in small and large game.  As a result of its topography and its surfeit of wildlife, agriculture is limited to fermentation in pits of the fruits of the doleib-palm (Borassus flabellifer) and the cultivation of early maturing sorghum.  Animal husbandry not being feasible, the inhabitants rely to a large extent on hunting and gathering.  The main products of the area are honey, dried fish and meat, a little elephant ivory and the leaves of the palm, which are used for weaving mats. 
Fur infiltration is held to have begun in the eighteenth century, resulting in the indigenous pagan populations being pushed to the less fertile western part of Dar Fongoro.  In the nineteenth century, pastoral nomadic Arabs made incursions into the region from the southeast.  The Fur sultans countered these, dismissed the still functioning Fongoro chief and parcelled part of Dar Fongoro estates, to be administered by their agents.  Five of these estates were the domain of the sultans, and they supplied the court with game, fish and honey.  In the late nineteenth century Dar Fongoro and Dar Sinyar were given as a present to the Daju Sultan of Dar Sila.  Throughout the reign of the Daju the inhabitants of Dar Fongoro suffered greatly from raids by various neighboring groups.  The area was divided into French and Anglo-Egyptian parts during the 1923 settlement of the international frontier between the two powers.  The leader of the French delegation, Lieutenant Colonel Grossard, later commented in his book that the Fongoro had withstood the onslaughts of their neighbors less well than the Sinyar. 

Gelege see Fongoro.
Kole see Fongoro.


Franjiyah (Sulayman Franjiyah) (Suleiman Franjieh) (Suleiman Kabalan Frangieh, last name also spelled Frangié, Franjieh, or Franjiyeh) (June 15, 1910 - July 23, 1992).  President of Lebanon from 1970 to 1976. His presidency caused the Lebanese Civil War, which raged from 1975 to 1990, as well as the invitation to the Syrian military presence in Lebanon, which continued until 2005.

Franjiyah was born on June 15, 1910 in Zgharta, into a wealthy and influential Maronite Christian family.  The Franjiyah family comprised the leadership of one of Lebanon’s strongest clans.  

During the 1930s, Franjiyah received his education in Tripoli and Beirut.  In 1957, Franjieh was implicated in the assassination of members of a rival clan.  He fled to Syria where he became friends with the future president Hafiz al-Assad.  Upon his return to Lebanon, he became leader of the Franjiyah clan, and started on his political career.

During May and June of 1958, Franjiyah supported the forces that opposed president Camille Chamoun in the civil war.

In 1960, Franjiyah was elected to parliament and became minister in the government.  In 1961, he stepped down as minister. 

In 1968, Franjiyah was appointed minister in a new government.  In 1970, he once again stepped down as minister.   In August of 1970, as he campaigned for the presidency, Franjiyah received the support of Chamoun and Pierre Gemayel.  He defeated Elias Sarkis, but only with the narrowest margin in the parliament: one vote.

In April of 1975, the Lebanese Civil War erupted.   In 1976, Franjiyah issued a Constitutional Reform Document, where he changed the 6:5 ratio between Christians and Muslims in the parliament into a 5:5 parity.  This reform was not carried through.  In September 1976, when his presidency came to an end, Franjiyah joined the Lebanese Front of Chamoun and Bashir Gemayel.

In June 1978, Gemayel had Franjiyah’s son, Tony, killed.  Franjiyah turned against Gemayel and joined the camp of Walid Jumblatt and Rashid Karami.  With this murder,  progress towards ending the civil war was derailed.

In 1988, when Lebanon sprouted two governments, Franjiyah supported the parliamentarian party, in opposition to Michel Aoun. 

In 1992, in the first general elections after the Civil War, Franjiyah’s party received half of the Maronite seats in the parliament. 

On July 23, 1992, Sulayman Franjiyah died in Beirut.

In his politics as president of Lebanon, Franjiyah was anti-Palestinian.  He was also autocratic and nepotistic allowing clansmen to be given important positions independent of their qualifications.  He became very unpopular with Muslims and nationalists, but the first general elections after the Civil War in 1992 proved that he was still popular among Christians.  However, Franjiyah was also the man behind a suggestion of parliamentarian reform in 1976, giving the Muslims more influence.  This was not carried through until 1989, but then as part of the agreement that led to the end of the civil war. 
Sulayman Franjiyah see Franjiyah
Franjiyah, Sulayman see Franjiyah
Suleiman Franjieh see Franjiyah
Franjieh, Suleiman see Franjiyah
Suleiman Kabalan Frangieh see Franjiyah
Frangieh, Suleiman Kabalan see Franjiyah

Front de Liberation Nationale
Front de Liberation Nationale (FLN) (National Liberation Front) (Jabhat al-Taḩrīr al-Waţanī).  Socialist political party in Algeria. It was set up on November 1, 1954 as a merger of other smaller groups, to obtain independence for Algeria from France..  It was the ruling party of Algeria through the struggle for independence (1954-1962).  The FLN was the only legal party of the country from 1962 to 1989.  Central in the FLN’s claim to sole power, was the notion that the FLN, together with the ALN (Armee de liberation nationale), won the liberation war against the French, and that the war had cost Algeria one million lives.  This is not really true, since the FLN did not win any military war:  the liberation came through diplomatic efforts and the real number of casualties was estimated to be 400,000.  Nevertheless, it was the FLN that initiated the military actions against the French (on November 1, 1954).  At this time, other parties were preparing for non-violent actions to free Algeria from France, but within the following year, the FLN had gathered all groups in a joint battle against France.

The FLN is a continuation of the main revolutionary body that directed the war for independence against France. It was created by the Revolutionary Committee of Unity and Action (CRUA), and emergent paramilitary networks continuing the nationalist tradition of the Algerian People's Party (PPA). The CRUA urged all the warring factions of the nationalist movement to unite and fight against France. By 1956 - two years into the war - nearly all the nationalist organizations in Algeria had joined the FLN, which had established itself as the main nationalist group through both co-opting and coercing smaller organizations. The most important group that remained outside the FLN was Messali Hadj's Mouvement national algérien (MNA). At this time the FLN reorganized into something like a provisional government. It consisted of a five-man executive and legislative body, and was organized territorially into six wilayas, following the Ottoman era administrative boundaries.

The FLN's armed wing during the war was called the Armée de Libération nationale (ALN). It was divided into guerrilla units fighting France and the MNA in Algeria (and wrestling with Messali's followers over control of the expatriate community, in the so-called "café wars" in France), and another, stronger component more resembling a traditional army. These units were based in neighboring Arab countries (notably in Oujda in Morocco, and Tunisia), and although they infiltrated forces and ran weapons and supplies across the border, they generally saw less action than the rural guerrilla forces. Si Ahmed Belbachir Haskouri, a leading Moroccan diplomat in Great Britain, was the FLN's arms coordinator in London, England, where he used his own personal bank account to deposit FLN funds and where he was in charge of sending weapons through the two mentioned routes, namely the Western Algerian border and the Tunisian border with Algeria. These units were later to emerge under the leadership of army commander Colonel Houari Boumédiène as a powerful opposition to the political cadres of the FLN's exile government, the GPRA, and they would eventually come to dominate Algerian politics.

The war for independence continued until March 1962 when finally, the French government signed the Évian Accords, a cease-fire agreement with the FLN. In July the same year, the Algerian people approved of the cease-fire agreement with France in a referendum, supporting economic and social cooperation between the two countries as well. Full independence followed, and the FLN seized control over the country. Political opposition in the form of the MNA and Communist organizations was outlawed, and Algeria constituted as a one-party state. The FLN became its only legal and ruling party.

Immediately after independence, the party experienced a severe internal power struggle. Political leaders coalesced into two grand camps: a Political Bureau formed by the radical Ahmed Ben Bella, who was assisted by the border army, faced off against the political leadership in the former exile government. Boumédiène's army quickly put down resistance and installed Ben Bella as President. The single most powerful political constituency remained the former ALN, which had entered largely unscathed from exile and was now organized as the country's armed forces.  Added to this were regionally powerful guerrilla irregulars and others who jockeyed for influence in the party. In building his one-party regime, Ben Bella purged remaining dissidents (such as Ferhat Abbas), but also quickly ran into opposition from Boumédiène as he tried to assert himself independently from the army.

In 1965, tension between Boumédiène and Ben Bella culminated in a coup d'état after Ben Bella had tried to sack one of the Colonel's closest collaborators, Foreign Minister Abdelaziz Bouteflika (who was in 1999 elected President of Algeria). A statist-socialist and anti-colonial nationalist, Boumédiène ruled through decree and "revolutionary legitimacy", marginalizing the FLN in favor of his personal decision-making and the military establishment, even while retaining the one-party system.

Boumédiène held tight control over party leadership until his death in 1978, at which time the party reorganized again under the leadership of the military's next candidate, Colonel Chadli Bendjedid. The military remained well represented on the FLN Central Committee, and is widely held to have been the real power-broker in the country. During the 1980s the FLN toned down the socialist content of its program, enacting some free-market reforms and purging Boumédiène stalwarts.

However, it was not until 1988 that massive demonstrations and riots jolted the country towards major political reform. Rival political organizations were permitted after the Algerian Constitution was amended to allow a multi-party system and democracy. The FLN was cut off from its privileged position in the state apparatus and military.

The electoral gains of the Islamist FIS, however, led to a military coup d'état against the weakened FLN government in 1992. Algeria was under direct military rule for some time, and after formal democracy was restored, the FLN remained outside the ruling apparatus; the military clans in power then drew political legitimacy from other parties. The party remained in opposition to the government during the first part of the Algerian Civil War, notably in 1995 signing the Sant'Egidio Platform, which was highly critical of the military establishment.  However, after internal power struggles and a leadership change, it returned to supporting the Presidency.

The FLN's ideology was primarily Algerian nationalist, understood as a movement within a wider Arab nationalism. It essentially drew its political self-legitimization from three sources: Nationalism, and the revolutionary war against France; Socialism, loosely interpreted as a popular anti-exploitation creed; Islam, defined as a main foundation for the national consciousness, and a crucial factor in solidifying the Algerian identity as separate from that of French Algerians or pied-noirs.

As the name implies, the FLN viewed itself as a "front" composed of different social sectors and ideological trends, even if the concept of a mono-lithical Algerian polity gradually submerged this vision. A separate party ideology was not well developed at the time of independence, except insofar as it focused on the liberation of Algeria. Its nationalist outlook was also closely interwoven with anti-Colonialism and anti-Imperialism, something which would remain a lasting characteristic of Algerian foreign policy; but also with pan-Arab solidarity. This latter aspect led to the denial of or refusal to deal with the separate Berber identity held by as many as 30% of Algerians, something which caused fierce opposition and led to the splintering of the movement immediately after independence, as Hocine Aït Ahmed set up the Berberist and pro-democracy Socialist Forces Front (FFS).

The organization committed itself to Socialism, but understood this along the lines of Arab Socialism, and opposed doctrinaire Marxism. The existence of different classes in Algerian society was generally rejected, even if several of the party's top ideologues were influenced to varying degrees by Marxist analysis. Borrowed Marxist terminology was instead commonly reinterpreted by party radicals in terms of the conflict with France, e.g., casting the colonizer in the role of economic exploiter-oppressor as well as national enemy, while the label of "bourgeoisie" was applied to uncoöperative or pro-French elites. The FLN did, for pragmatical reasons, absorb Communist activists into its ranks during the War of Independence, but refused to allow them to organize separately after the war, and quickly moved to dissolve the pro-Moscow Algerian Communist Party (PCA). This proved of little significance, however, since independent Algeria was set up as a single-party system under the FLN soon thereafter. Many Communist intellectuals were later co-opted into the regime at various stages, notably during the early Ben Bella and late Boumédiènne years, but the ban on their party and refusal to accept Marxism remained in place.

Also strongly present as an ideological influence on the FLN was Algerian Islam, especially of the reformist-nationalist variety espoused by Ben Badis and his group of nationalist ulema. The movement absolutely rejected atheism and was not overtly secularist, contrary to widespread perception in the West, and during the war Islam was perhaps its most important mobilizing ideology. Still, after independence, the party would in practice assume a strongly modernist interpretation of Islam, supported social transformation of Algerian society, the emancipation of women, etc, and worked only through secular institutions. Religion was thus relegated to the role of legitimizing the party-regime. This was especially the case under the presidency of Colonel Houari Boumédiènne (1965-78), but even then Islam was considered the state religion and a crucial part of Algerian identity, and Boumédiènne himself took pride in his Quranic training. His predecessor Ahmed Ben Bella (1962-65) was more committed to the Islamic component of the regime, although always viewed as more of an Arab nationalist than an Islamic activist (and he remains far removed from what is today referred to as Algeria's Islamists). Boumédiènnes successor, Colonel Chadli Bendjedid (1979-92) would tone down the Socialist aspect of the movement, and during the mid- to late 1980s he re-introduced religiously conservative legislation in an attempt to appease growing Islamist opposition. During and after the Algerian Civil War, the party's position remained that of claiming Algerian Islam as a main influence, while simultaneously arguing that this must be expressed as a progressive and modern faith, even if the party generally kept in line with the conservative social mores of Algeria's population. It strongly condemned the radical-fundamentalist religious teachings of the Islamic Salvation Front (FIS) and other Islamist groups, even while supporting the inclusion of non-violent Islamist parties in the political system and working with them.

During all periods of Algerian post-colonial history, except for a few years (1990-96), the FLN was a pillar of the political system, and was primarily viewed as a "pro-system" party. Its role as Algeria's liberator remained the absolute cornerstone of the party's self-perception, and the defining feature of its otherwise somewhat fluid ideology. The FLN became close to president Abdelaziz Bouteflika, who was made honorary chairman. It mixes its traditional populist interpretations of Algeria's nationalist-revolutionary and Islamic heritage with a pro-system conservatism, and support for gradual pro-market reform qualified by statist reflexes. Since the breakdown of the single-party system and its detachment from the state structure in 1988-1990, the FLN was in favor of multi-party democracy, whereas before that, it upheld itself as the only organization representing the Algerian people.

The FLN received 34.3% of the parliamentary vote in the elections of 2002 and 199 seats in parliament. The FLN's former secretary-general Ali Benflis, emerged as a rival to the President of Algeria, Abdelaziz Bouteflika, but lost his struggle for control over the party. Benflis won 6.4% of the vote at the presidential elections of April 8, 2004. Abdelaziz Belkhadem took control of the party after the elections, and was later promoted to Prime Minister of Algeria. The FLN serves as one of the three parties in the ruling Presidential Alliance (with the National Rally for Democracy/RND, and the Movement of Society for Peace/MSP-Hamas).

At the 2007 elections, the FLN received 136 seats in Parliament after losing 63 seats but remaining the largest party in Algeria. With other large parties remaining in coalition with the FLN, Belkhadem was able to form another government.

FLN see Front de Liberation Nationale
National Liberation Front see Front de Liberation Nationale
Jabhat al-Tahrir al-Watani see Front de Liberation Nationale


Front Islamique du Salut
Front Islamique du Salut (FIS) (Islamic Salvation Front) (al-Jabhah al-Islāmiyah lil-Inqādh).  An outlawed Islamist political party in Algeria.  The FIS became illegal in 1992.  Central in the militant opposition to the regime of Algeria, the FIS, for years, was the strongest opponent to the existing regime in Algeria.  Before 1992, the FIS was gaining ground in democratic elections.  However, on the eve of their final victory, they were forced out of Algeria’s democratic structure.  After 1992, the FIS conducted an armed battle against the governors of Algeria, whom the FIS considered to be usurpers.

In 1989 and 1990, there were large demonstrations in favor of a society governed by the shari'a (Islamic law) and for an arabization of the society.  The FIS was a result of the rebellion among the youth of Algiers in October 1988, that soon spread to other cities like Oran, Mostagenem and Blida over the period from 1989 to 1992.  The FIS was founded in March 1989, and was officially legalized in September the same year.

The FIS participated in the local elections in June 12, 1990, where they won a clear victory to the ruling FLN, with 65% against 28%.  The FIS got the majority in half of the counties, included most of the larger cities.  The only exception to this pattern was in Kabylia and in Sahara.  These elections were free and fair, but were boycotted by some of the big opposition parties.

When FIS representatives took office they governed the counties like they were umma, and little concern was shown for individual rights.  In their discourse democracy was regarded as something Western, and strange to the Algerian society.

The FIS was controlled by a council, called Majlisu ash-Shura, made up of thirty to forty members.  The FIS was in the early 1990s divided into two fractions, those who wanted to go the path of democracy and general elections, and the “Afghans,” veterans from the Afghani battle against Soviet occupation. 

Inside the Majlisu ash-Shura, there were another division line, between the Salafis and the Jaza’irs.  The Salafis was a group that wanted to adjust society to the teaching of the Qur’an, while the Jaza’irs wanted to interpret the Qur’an to time and the culture.

The leaders were, in their civilian lives, a high school teacher (Ali Belhadj [Salafi]), professor in psychology (Abassi Madani [Salafi]), and an oil engineer (Abdelkader Hachani [Jaza’ir]).

The Jaza’irs came into leading position in 1991, and by this time the FIS started to prepare for the elections.  But the FIS was, at this time, not only a political party, it had also organized itself as a labor movement, that was used to instigate strikes, like it did in June 1992.

The Algerian government realized that FIS had started to be a strong political movement.  However, instead of outlawing the party, the government tried to manipulate its structures:  Ali Belhadj and Abassi Madani were arrested, in order to make Abdelkader Hachani, the moderate, the leader.

Hachani was conducting the electoral, and was putting his sympathizers in central positions.  However, there were strong undercurrents inside the party that opposed going to the elections while leaders like Ali Belhadj and Abassi Madani were still arrested.

Tensions were strong, and on November 28, 1991, there was an attempt by the “Afghans” where three police officers were killed.  The FIS had demanded the release of its leaders, but gave this demand up on December 14, less than two weeks before the elections.  The FIS that participated in these elections was an effective body, that in the last days up to the election day registered citizens and effectively gave many Algerians their very first identity card.

In the first round of elections, the FIS won 188 of the 429 seats in the national assembly.  The FLN (Front de Liberation Nationale) won only 15, and was even beaten by the FFS (Front de Forces Socialistes) which won 25 seats.  This meant that a large number of the seats were undecided, and up for a second round of elections.

The difference in real votes, was less clear, the FIS had won “only” twice as many ballots as the FLN.  Despite its relative success in gaining parliament seats, the FFS had received even less votes, only one third of the FIS.  The election turnout was fairly good with 59%.  Even if the FIS did not have the total majority it appeared that they were in a position to win more than half of the seats in the national assembly.

Following the elections, the FIS was afraid that they could provoke strong actions from the government’s side.  It was the leader of RCD (Rassamblement pour la culture et la democratie), a party that had received only a fraction of the expected ballots in the election, who first demanded that the second round of elections should be called off.  This demand was not met with understanding by former prime minister Mouloud Hamrouche of the FLN.

The central issue in the ongoing discussions was now “democracy”:  Would a democratically elected FIS respect democracy?  And could the elections be called off, without jeopardizing the democracy?

The general staff of the Algerian military soon came up with a strong ultimatum:  President Chadly had to be removed, and the FIS forbidden. 

In January 1992, Algeria moved from civilian rule to military control.  The reaction from the FIS and Islamist groups was to take to arms, and after 1992 Algeria found itself in a state of near civil war.  AIS, the military branch of the FIS was the acting part of the organization, and was involved in many actions against the government troops.

However, at the same time there were on-going talks between the jailed leaders of the FIS and the government, especially because the Algerian leaders realized that the FIS was the lesser of two evils – their worst opponents were really the extremist group, the GIA.

In 1996, Algeria introduced a new constitution which banned parties that define themselves on religious grounds.  By this constitution, Algeria sought to institute a democratic framework while excluding the FIS.  At the same time, the FIS appeared to have been effectively suppressed. 

A few FIS leaders, notably Rabah Kebir, had escaped into exile abroad. During 1994, they carried out negotiations in Italy with other political parties, notably the FLN and FFS, and came out with a mutual agreement on January 14, 1995: the Sant'Egidio platform. This set forth a set of principles: respect for human rights and multi-party democracy, rejection of army rule and dictatorship, recognition of Islam, Arabness, and Berberness as essential aspects of Algerianness, demand for the release of FIS leaders, and an end to extrajudicial killing and torture on all sides. To the surprise of many, even Ali Belhadj endorsed the agreement. However, a crucial signatory was missing: the government itself. As a result, the platform had little if any effect.

Despite the government's extremely hostile reaction to the Rome Platform, a third attempt at negotiations took place, starting in April 1995 with a letter from Madani condemning acts of violence, and hopes were raised. However, the FIS did not offer enough concessions to satisfy the government, demanding, as usual, that FIS leaders should be released before FIS could call for a ceasefire. In July 1995 Zeroual announced that the talks had failed, for the last time.

In 1995, the GIA turned on the AIS in earnest. Reports of battles between the AIS and GIA increased (resulting in an estimated 60 deaths in March 1995 alone), and the GIA reiterated its death threats against FIS and AIS leaders, claiming to be the "sole prosecutor of jihad" and angered by their negotiation attempts. On July 11, they assassinated a co-founder of FIS, Abdelbaki Sahraoui, in Paris (although some question the authenticity of their statement claiming credit for this.)

The AIS, faced with attacks from both sides and wanting to dissociate itself from the GIA's civilian massacres, declared a unilateral ceasefire on September 21, 1997, and disbanded in 1999. Thousands of AIS fighters surrendered and handed over their weapons to the authorities. In January 2000, those fighters obtained amnesty under the terms of the "Civil Concord" decreed by President Abdelaziz Bouteflika after his election in April 1999. Both Mezrag and Benaïcha offered their services to the authorities to fight the GIA and the Salafist Group for Preaching and Combat (GSPC), which has links to al-Qaida.

On July 2, 2003, Belhadj and Madani were released. (The former had been in jail, the latter had been moved to house arrest in 1997.) Foreign media were banned from covering the event locally, and FIS itself remained banned. However, the release of Belhadj and Madani had little apparent impact. After a decade of vicious civil conflict, there was little enthusiasm in Algeria for reopening old wounds.
FIS see Front Islamique du Salut
Islamic Salvation Front see Front Islamique du Salut
al-Jabhah al-Islamiyah lil-Inqadh see Front Islamique du Salut


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