Thursday, March 28, 2013

Muslim - Mutanabbi, al-

Muslim.  Person who submits to God’s will.  A Muslim is anyone who believes that God revealed the Qur’an to Muhammed.  The Arabic word “muslim” means “one who surrenders.”  A Muslim is an adherent of Islam -- one who accepts Muhammad as God’s prophet and the Qur’an as God’s word.  Such a believer will pattern all of his or her life on the guidelines elaborated in the shari‘a and upheld by other Muslims.

Muslim is a term which refers to a person belonging to Islam -- a person who believes in God and submits to his will as it is described in the Qur’an.  The literal meaning of Muslim is a person who “submits” to the will of God.  There is a bit of creed in the name “Muslim,” as it tells that the true believer is one who do not challenge God and his will, and who tries to live his/her life according the rules without questioning them.

The word “Muslim” use the same root as “Islam”: s-l-m.  By many Muslim thinkers and theologians, the word Muslim is considered as a quality that not all inhabitants in the Muslim world can claim.  A majority of the people are considered as believers (mu’min), which is less than being a Muslim.  A Muslim is a person who is active in trying to lead his/her life according to God’s will, while the mu’min is one who chooses the easier path, and lets his/her needs control the actions. 

Most Muslims use the term “true Muslim” for the really devout, which involves that all people belonging to Islam are considred as being Muslims, even if they are not active.  My own research in Tunisia in 1994 showed that about forty percent of the population are very active Muslims, while the fifty percent only particpate in central holidays.  Slightly less than ten percent were not active at all.

Atheists exist in all Muslim countries, and while this group seldom exceeds one to three percent of the population, they often call themselves Muslims, since they belong to the Muslim culture and world view.

Muslim Brotherhood
Muslim Brotherhood. See Ikhwan al-Muslimun, al-.

Muslim Brotherhood in Jordan
Muslim Brotherhood in Jordan.  An enduring feature of Jordanian political life for more than fifty years, the Muslim Brotherhood in Jordan was created as part of an effort by the leader of the Muslim Brotherhood in Egypt, Hasan al-Banna’ (1906-1949), to form additional bases of support for his movement.  In the early 1940s, members of the Egyptian Muslim Brotherhood were sent to both Palestine and Jordan to establish new branches.

In 1946, the first Jordanian branch was founded in the town of Salt.  Further centers were then established in the capital, Amman, and the towns of Irbid and Kayak.  The leaders of the new movement registered the organization under the Jordanian Charity Societies and Clubs Law.  The leadership of the Muslim Brotherhood was indigenous, and the first head of the organization was a prominent cleric, Hajj ‘Abd al-Latif al-Qurah (d. 1953).  Hajj al-Qurah led an eight-member majlis (ruling council), which directed organizational aspects of the new movement.  This leadership structure mirrored that of the Muslim Brotherhood in Egypt.

In addition to legal registration, Hajj al-Qurah sought official approval from the Jordanian monarch for his fledgling organization.  King Abdullah (r. 1946-1951) extended tacit approval to the organization but warned that benefaction would be rescinded if the activities of the Muslim Brotherhood strayed from the spiritual and became identifiable with Jordanian political affairs. At this point, the Muslim Brotherhood was essentially a religious organization.  The steady politicization of Islamic clerics, which began in Egypt in the nineteenth century, was barely discernible in Jordan in the 1940s.  Nevertheless, the very founding of the Muslim Brotherhood at this time indicated that a new generation of politically active Muslim clergy was ascendant.

The functional religious role of the Muslim Brotherhood permitted the movement to promote its ideology to all sectors of Jordanian society.  Through its charitable activities, including the provision of health and welfare facilities in the kingdom, the new movement was able to disseminate its Islamic message.  The Muslim Brotherhood’s message was a direct reflection of the prevailing philosophy it had embraced.  Members should strive to educate society and encourage a return to Islamic values.

From 1946 until the outbreak of the war between the Arabs and Israel in 1948, the Muslim Brotherhood in Jordan remained essentially unchanged.  Following the war and the Jordanian annexation of the West Bank area of Palestine in 1950, the number of branches of the Muslim Brotherhood increased, as existing Islamic organizations active in the West Bank, including Ansar al-Fadil and al-I‘tisam, were absorbed.  As a result of this new, expanded base of support in the West Bank, the leadership and cadres of the Muslim Brotherhood became increasingly politicized. 

Following the death of Hajj al-Qurah in 1953, a new leader was appointed for the movement.  On assuming his new post, ‘Abd al-Rahman al-Khalifah (an attorney) approached the Jordanian prime minister, Tawfiq Pasha Abu al-Huda, with an application for an expansion of the mandate regarding the activities of the Muslim Brotherhood to facilitate the political and cultural propagation of the movement’s Islamic message.  The license permitting the Muslim Brotherhood to be a general and comprehensive Islamic grouping was subsequently granted by the authorities.

What was most striking about the development of the Muslim Brotherhood under al-Khalifah was its relatively close relations with the ruling regime and the monarchy.  During the period when the Muslim Brotherhood in Egypt was being repressed by the state, the conservative Jordanian regime found in its own branch of the Muslim Brotherhood a useful ally against the leftist movements sweeping through the region.  However, the relationship between monarch and movement has been characterized by peaks and troughs and is for the most part motivated by political pragmatism rather than Islamic idealism.

The attitude of the regime toward the Muslim Brotherhood was further emphasized in 1957 when King Hussein issued a decree proscribing all political parties.  The Muslim Brotherhood was exempted because the organization was officially registered as a charity, although in practice its activities were indistinguishable from those of any political party.  Thus, the Muslim Brotherhood was free to continue with its own political agenda.  Throughout this period it fielded individual candidates in elections to the bicameral legislative assembly.  In 1962, the Muslim Brotherhood was the only organization to defy a West Bank boycott of the general election.

By 1964, the Muslim Brotherhood had also formed an umbrella organization called the Islamic Charitable Society, described by al-Khalifah as a charity rather than a political party.  Nonetheless, the activities of the charity included the dissemination of Muslim Brotherhood ideology.  By this time, the program of the Muslim Brotherhood in Jordan was almost identical to that of the organization in Egypt.

Following the Arab-Israeli War of 1967, in which Jordan lost the West Bank and the Palestine Liberation Organization established strongholds among the refugee community of the East Bank, the relationship between the Muslim Brotherhood and the monarchy was strengthened.  A relationship of dependency was forming, and during times of crisis, such as Black September in 1970, when the Jordanian army fought Palestinian guerrillas, the king was able to rely on the Muslim Brotherhood to be among his staunchest allies.  However, by the end of the decade, the king was using the Muslim Brotherhood as a pawn in his foreign policy.

In 1980, as part of a continuing dispute between Jordan and Syria, the king encouraged al-Khalifah to establish paramilitary bases in the north of Jordan for the purpose of training members of the Syrian Muslim Brotherhood in a campaign to undermine the rule of President Hafez al-Assad.  By allowing this training to occur on Jordanian soil, the king increased diplomatic and military tensions with Syria, resulting in a state of near war, as Syrian and Jordanian troops were moved to the common border between the two countries.

The role of the Muslim Brotherhood during the crisis with Syria served to increase the political profile and legitimacy of the movement domestically.  Support from local and foreign sponsors -- including the Gulf states -- for the organization’s charitable activities, such as the building of an Islamic hospital in Amman, increased.  In the sphere of political activities, the Muslim Brotherhood began to criticize openly aspects of the regime; corruption within the ruling elite, public immorality, and insensitivity to religious life were the main issues around which the Muslim Brotherhood organized its protest.  However, the movement miscalculated the king’s response to this critique.

In 1985, the king publicly distanced himself from the Muslim Brotherhood in response to indirect attacks on his legitimacy as monarch and (more important) as political ruler.  In a political climate of improved relations with Syria, King Hussein identified “Islamic elements” as responsible for the crisis in relations in 1980.  He alleged that he had been misled by the Muslim Brothers and that their activities had been guided by foreign and hostile influences.  He issued orders against the Muslim Brotherhood as a show of political strength.  Muslim Brothers found themselves targeted by the Jordanian intelligence services as potential threats to the stability of the regime and withnessed government action against leaders of the movement; members of the movement were arrested, lost their jobs, or had their passports confiscated by the Jordanina intelligence services.  It was the intention of the king to send a very clear message to the leadership of the Muslim Brotherhood: he was willing to permit and even tacitly encourage a legitimate Islamic presence within the kingdom, but he was not willing to tolerate the Muslim Brotherhood if it sought to undermine the legitimacy of his rule in any way.

The deterioration of relations between the regime and the Muslim Brotherhood was resolved by the end of the 1980s, followed by a discernible improvement in relations.  It became apparent that rather than isolate the movement the king had decided on a policy which would ultimately coopt the Muslim Brotherhood into the ruling strata of the regime.  This policy was facilitated by the king’s decision in 1989 to hold the first full elections in over twenty-two years.

The call for the election was precipitated by a severe economic crisis within the kingdom which culminated in riots against government imposed price rises on basic foodstuffs.  The crisis was the result of decades of economic mismanagement within Jordan, and genuine hardships were thrust on the poorer sections of society.  The Muslim Brotherhood’s critique of the early 1980s proved justified, a matter which took on added significance in view of the fact that its base of support was among the rural and urban poor, who were being asked to pay for the economic incompetence of the ruling oligarchy.

The king’s decision to hold elections as a response to the riots came as a surprise.  It indicated that the Jordanian monarch was willing to institute democratization and political pluralism.  It also meant that the king was, at least publicly, willing to surrender his monopoly of control over political life.

The Muslim Brothers perceived the general election as an opportunity to increase their political stake in the regime.  The organization mounted a comprehensive election campaign under the slogan, “Islam is the solution.”  The Muslim Brotherhood started the campaign with advantages over its political rivals.  It had a constituency of support among the urban and rural poor.  The brotherhood also appealed to the religiously conservative educated class, which was frustrated because of a lack of job opportunities and real prospects for social advancement.  Furthermore, the Muslim Brotherhood had been politically active for decades, while its adversaries in the elections remained proscribed and repressed.

The results of the election, therefore, should not have been surprising.  Nevertheless, there was consternation in the kingdom when it was announced that the Muslim Brotherhood had won enough votesfor twenty-two out of eighty seats in the parliament and that its Islamist counterparts had won an additional twelve.  This total of thirty-four seats comprised the largest parliamentary bloc.  The king’s policy of political cooptation had thus resulted in an Islamic majority in the country’s legislative assembly.  The future stability of the regime was called into question, yet many failed to take into account the fact that the king still possessed the ultimate authority over the legislature (and therefore the Muslim Brotherhood): he could dissolve parliament at any time.

The Muslim Brothers greeted their election success with characteristic zeal.  They set about forcing their political agenda through the legislature and into the statute books.  Large amounts of parliamentary time were devoted to specifically Islamic issues, such as the banning of the production of alcohol.  In essence it appeared that the Muslim Brotherhood’s response to the opportunities presented by its new political power was to concentrate on the areas of policy making that it knew best.  Thus, the Muslim Brotherhood lobbied for cabinet posts covering social, educational, and religious affairs.  There did not appear to be any concerted attempt to tackle such issues as the economy, defense, or foreign affairs.

The outbreak of the Gulf War in 1990 signaled historic changes and challenges for the Muslim Brotherhood.  The conflict presented the organization with the most difficult political dilemma in its history centering around the conflicting pressures from local constituents and financial backers in the conservative Gulf regimes.  The Muslim Brotherhood initially condemned Saddam Hussein’s invasion of Kuwait, but popular Islamic sentiment expressed in the streets of Amman soon persuaded the movement to alter its policy and support the Iraqi leader.  This policy jeopardized the Muslim Brotherhood’s relationship with Kuwait and Saudi Arabia, which had provided the bulk of its funding.

The fact that the king and the “loyal opposition” in the Muslim Brotherhood were on the losing side in the war altered only regional rather than domestic political arrangements.  The Muslim Brotherhood preserved and further legitimated its popular support.  The Islamic message remains a broadly popular one and ensures an enduring future for the organization.  However, in the final analysis, such endurance will always be dependent on King Hussein, and this factor makes the Jordanian movement unique with respect to any other branch of the Muslim Brotherhood.

Muslim Brotherhood in Syria
Muslim Brotherhood in Syria.  Throughout its fifty years of activity in Syria, the Muslim Brotherhood has been principally an opposition movement that has never held political power.  The brotherhood traces its origins to the 1930s, when the Syrian people were engaged in their struggle to achieve national independence from French rule.  The structural changes that Syria experienced during the interwar years were especially disruptive in the town quarters.  Small merchants and artisans suffered under the weight of expanding European trade.  The laboring classes found it increasingly difficult to feed their families because of the high inflation rates of the period.  Uprooted rural dwellers in growing numbers entered the peripheral quarters of the towns, having been pushed off the land by drought or, more commonly, by indebtedness to absentee landowners and moneylenders. All sought the support of local leaders who could help them articulate their grievances and meet their needs.  By this time, the leaders of the national independence movement had become increasingly distant from their urban constituencies, owing to their preoccupation with negotiations with the French Mandate authorities.  This distance enabled newer, more radicalized groups to begin to challenge the leadership of the veteran nationalists.

To address the pressing social and psychological needs of the urban masses, the vast majority of whom belonged to the Sunni Muslim rite, there arose in the towns a variety of socially and politically active organizations, some of which were religious beneficent societies (jam ‘iyat) headed by men who had received formal religious training in Islamic law.  The House of al-Arqam in Aleppo was one of these societies.  On the eve of Syria’s independence, thhe House of al-Arqam moved its headquarters to Damascus, the Syrian capital, where it became known in 1944 as the Muslim Brotherhood (al-Ihkwan al-Muslimun).  It is generally thought that the Muslim Brotherhood in Egypt, which had been established in 1928, influenced the emergence of the Muslim Brotherhood in Syria.  Some Syrian students who had studied in Cairo became familiar with the ideas of Hasan al-Banna’, the Egyptian organization’s founder.  One was Mustafa al-Siba‘i, the Syrian brotherhood’s first general supervisor (al-muraqib al- ‘amm), who became acquainted with al-Banna’ in Cairo.  Others were inspired by a tour of Syria made by members of the Egyptian Muslim Brotherhood in the mid-1930s. 

The earliest goals of the Muslim Brotherhood were to spread Muslim education and ethics and to inculcate anti-imperialist feelings among the urban populace.  It was through schools and magazines associated with the brotherhood that such ideas were disseminated.  Its first published program in 1954 failed to offer a detailed strategic play, dwelling instead on the goals of combating ignorance and deprivation and establishing a political regime based on Islamic law.  For a period after Syria gained independence, the brotherhood put forward a vague notion of Islamic socialism but eventually abandoned it.  Unlike the Muslim Brotherhood in Egypt, the Syrian organization has never produced a systematically articulated set of principles and program of action.  The closest it came to this achievement was the 1980 proclamation of the Syrian Islamic Front to which the Syrian Muslim Brotherhood belonged.

The Arab military defeat in Palestine in 1948 enabled the brotherhood to expand its following in the Syrian towns, especially in Damascus where its members controlled roughly a fifth of the parliamentary seats allotted to the capital and its environs in the 1950s.  In this period, the brotherhood competed with Communists, Ba ‘thists, Nasserists, and other opponents of the veteran nationalists who had governed Syria since independence in 1946. The challenge posed by the Nasserist movement to the brotherhood was particularly effective because the two movements shared the same political constituency, the Sunni Muslim urban trading classes.  Not surprisingly, the brotherhood supported Syria’s secession in 1961 from the Egyptian dominated United Arab Republic, established in 1958.

The Ba‘th Party’s seizure of power in 1963 focused the Muslim Brotherhood’s opposition squarely on the radical, secular, nationalist regime’s socialist policies and its introduction of large numbers of rural peoples into the state bureaucracy.  These measures not only upset the interests of urban absentee landowners, mrechants and industrialists, middle-level bureaucrats, and the liberal professions, but also threatened the positions of the urban artisan and small trading classes that formed the main constituency of the Muslim Brotherhood.  Religious leaders associated with the brotherhood promoted civil disobedience against the Ba‘thist regime’s secular policies.  But in the aftermath of Syria’s military defeat in the 1967 war with Israel and the establishment of Hafez al-Assad’s Ba‘thist government in 1970, a schism developed within the brotherhood.  Militants in Aleppo and Hama pressed for a policy of armed struggle against the Assad regime but they were countered by the Damascus followers of ‘Isam al-‘Attar, a religious shaykh in the Syrian capital who had replaced Mustafa al-Siba‘i in 1961 as general supervisor of the brotherhood.  The ‘Attar wing of the organization had identified a certain convergence of interests between the urban artisan and trading classes that supported the brotherhood in Damascus and the Assad regime’s gradual adoption of economic liberalization and its willingness to attract in Syria investments from the Arab oil-producing states of the Persian Gulf.

The Syrian regime’s honeymoon with the Damascus branch of the Muslim Brotherhood did not last long.  President Assad’s secular constitution of 1973 provoked widespread protests in the Syrian towns led by the brotherhood and forced him to amend the constitution to require that the president had to be Muslim.  By the mid-1970s, the northern militants in the brotherhood had gained the upper hand over the Damascus branch.  During the next seven years, they escalated the level of violence against the Assad regime.  This phase in the Muslim Brotherhood’s struggle against the Syrian government was closely identified with the leadership of ‘Adnan Sa‘d al-Din, a teacher and writer from the central Syrian town of Hama, who had become the brotherhood’s newest general supervisor.  Several factors prompted the brotherhood to adopt a strategy of armed struggle (jihad): the Syrian government’s intervention in 1976 in the Lebanese civil war against the Palestinians and their Lebanese Muslim allies; growing corruption stemming from the government’s economic liberalization policies; and, above all, the increased power that the president’s own rural based community of ‘Alawis, a religious minority who constituted only ten percent of the Syrian population, had achieved at the expense of the country’s Sunni majority, and especially the Sunnis of the towns.  From this time onward, the brotherhood’s opposition was defined as one of Sunni majority against ‘Alawi minority and of town against countryside.

The Muslim Brotherhood’s tactics at first focused on assassinating ‘Alawi officials but soon expanded into armed attacks on prominent institutional symbols of the Assad regime including Ba‘th Party offices, police stations, and army units.  Most notable were the June 1979 killing of eighty-three ‘Alawi artillery cadets in Aleppo, large-scale demonstrations and boycotts in Aleppo, Hama, and Homs in March 1980, and an attempt to assassinate Assad himself later that year.  Those who carried out the violence against the regime and its supporters tended to be university students, school teachers, and members of the liberal professions.  Their leaders were also engineers, dentists, and teachers who came from small trading families and the middle levels of the Muslim religious establishment.

To counter this violent opposition, the Syrian government decreed in July 1980 that any association with the Muslim Brotherhood was punishable by death.  It began to crack down on the brotherhood with its formidable military resources, in particular its dreaded security forces composed almost exclusively of ‘Alawis.  Under this pressure, the Muslim Brotherhood regrouped under the banner of the Syrian Islamic Front (al-Jabhah al-Islamiyah fi Suriyah), a borad based alliance of Islamic opposition groups established in October 1980 and headed by the brotherhood.  Shaykh Muhammad al-Bayanuni, a member of the religious establishment in Aleppo, became the Islamic Front’s secretary-general, but its strongman was ‘Adnan Sa‘d al-Din, the brotherhood’s general supervisor.  The front’s chief ideologue was Sa‘id Hawwa, a religious figure from Hama who, with Sa‘d al-Din, had been a leader of the northern militant faction that had taken control of the brotherhood in the mid-1970s.

The culmination of five years of terror and counterterror was a showdown between the Muslim Brotherhood and the Syrian regime in February 1982 in the socially conservative Sunni stronghold of Hama.  There the brotherhood sparked an armed uprising and seized control of the town in its strongest bid ever to challenge the Assad regime’s legitimacy.  Within two weeks, the regime had restored its authority over Hama, but not before its military forces killed between five thousand and twenty thousand inhabitants of Hama and razed large sections of this ancient town.  Assad’s regime had dealt a devastating blow to the brotherhood and in so doing put all its political opponents on notice that it would not countenance any challenges to its rule.  The lesson of Hama appears to have been taken to heart for little has since been heard from the Muslim Brotherhood.

Unilike the Muslim Brotherhood in Egypt that struck roots in both town and countryside, in Syria the brotherhood was exclusively urban based.  This can be explained in part by the fact that the Syrian countryside was to a large extent populated by heterodox sects such as the ‘Alawis, Druze, and Isma‘ilis.  The Syrian brotherhood specifically appealed to townsmen from the class of small tradesmen and artisans.  This class has long been closely intertwined with the Sunni religious shaykhs provided the brotherhood with many of its leaders over the years and with the strong religious values to which its membership subscribed.  Because many shaykhs from the middle rungs of the religious establishment also earned their livings as traders, they, like their followers, supported free enterprise and thus stood in opposition to the socialist and quasi-socialist reformism of the Ba‘thist governments that have ruled Syria since 1963.

In the 1970s, when the Muslim Brotherhood became the most visible and powerful opponent of the Assad regime, it attracted to its ranks large numbers of students, school teachers, engineers, and other members of the liberal professions, many of whom came from small urban trading families.  These elements contributed to the organization’s increased militancy in this period and to a noticeable generation gap between its younger, better educated militant youth and their elders.  Only rough estimates exist for the size of the Muslim Brotherhood.  Although its numbers fluctuated widely over the decades, it probably reached its maximum size of around ten thousand during the late 1970s.  The Syrian government’s efforts to destroy the organization by military and legal means reduced its ranks to fewer than five thousand on the eve of the Hama uprising in 1982 and to far fewer afterward.  Since then the leadership of the Muslim Brotherhood has been in exile and its rank and file underground in Syria.

The ideological orientation of the Muslim Brotherhood is best summed up in the Islamic Front’s proclamation of November 1980.  Although it was designed to appeal to all political opponents of the Assad regime, the proclamation nonetheless pointed to several specific positions that the brotherhood had adopted over the years.  It raised the prospects of civil war along Sunni-‘Alawi lines unless the leaders of the ‘Alawi community rejected Hafez al-‘Assad’s political leadership.  It emphasized the Syrian people’s right to regain their basic political and civil liberties, which were described as being as important as the people’s right to basic economic security, of which they had also been stripped.  It called for an independent judiciary and for a government based on the rule of law and on the Islamic principle of mutual consultation (shura).  And it emphasized the importance of jihad (struggle in the name of Islam) as a means for ending sectarianism and establishing an Islamic state in Syria.  Many of the values and directions highlighted in the proclamation were not exclusively Islamic in character, particularly those that emphasized natural rights and liberties.  In this sense, the brotherhood was in step with a wide variety of opposition groups throughout the Middle East that had already made individual freedoms their highest political priority as they struggled against the authoritarian governments that dominated the region.

Economic policies were also stressed in the proclamation.  It insisted on the reintroduction of the ownership of private land and on giving workers ownership rights of public industries.  The emphasis was clearly on buttressing private enterprise and reducing state controls over the movement of capital and the running of industry.  The Islamic Front’s economic orientation closely corresponded to the defined interests of the Sunni trading and manufacturing classes in the Syrian towns, major contributors to the membership and coffers of the Muslim Brotherhood.  They strongly opposed the government’s economic favoritism toward the military, workers in modern industries, and rural minorities, especially the ‘Alawis. 

Since the Muslim Brotherhood’s crushing defeat in Hama in 1982, its political prospects have not been promising.  The strategy of armed struggle proved to be a major blunder from which the organization has yet to recover.  Divisions within its leadership over whether to continue or abandon its militant tactics and over the Islamic Front’s relations with neighboring states also contributed to its fragility.  Outside support has not been forthcoming.  Soon after coming to power in Iran, Ayatollah Khomeini disappointed the brotherhood when he made it clear that his government supported the Syrian regime because it was the only major Arab state to side with Iran in its war with Iraq that began in 1980.  Iraq’s victory over Iran in 1988 briefly freed the rival Ba‘thist regime of Saddam Hussein to resume its efforts to destabilize the Assad regime, but Iraq’s defeat in the Persian Gulf war in early 1991 has, for the time being, drastically reduced its threat to Syria.  The best prospects for external support have come in recent years from Jordan where Islamic movements have expanded their political influence.

Ultimately, the Muslim Brotherhood’s ability to resume its leadership of the Syrian opposition will depend on how successfully President Assad and his ‘Alawi supporters continue to wield the carrot and the stick.  In the new post-cold war era, the Syrian regime no longer enjoys the patronage and protection of the former Soviet Union.  American pressures on Syria to negotiate a less than advantageous settlement with Israel, especially in the aftermath of the Palestinian-Israeli peace initiative of 1993, and the continued fragility of the Syrian economy may well reduce the Assad regime’s already narrow base of support, encouraging its opponents to resume their struggle.  The visible but limited political successes registered by Islamic movements in other Arab countries offer Assad’s opponents some hope.  These are the kinds of conditions that may enable the Muslim Brotherhood to re-emerge in Syria.

Muslim Brotherhood in the Sudan
Muslim Brotherhood in the Sudan. The Muslim Brothers originated among Sudanese students in Cairo in the 1940s.  Jamal al-Din al-Sanhuri and Sadiq ‘Abdallah ‘Abd al-Majid were among its earliest propagators.  In 1946, they were sent by the Egyptian movement to recruit members in the Sudan.  They succeeded in setting up branches in several small towns in 1947-1949 but were barred from acting openly unless they declared their independence from the Egyptian Brothers, who were at the time illegal.

Another early recruit was al-Sa’im Muhammad Ibrahim, a former teacher at Hantub secondary school, who founded the Islamic Liberation Movement (ILM or Harakat al-Tahrir al-Islami) at Gordon College in 1947 in order to combat communism.  Its leaders, Babikr Karrar and Muhammad Yusuf, called for the establishment of a socialist Islamic state.  Early adherents came primarily from the rural areas of the northern Sudan and were deeply committed to Sufi Islam and opposed to communism.  The ILM enabled them to adopt a modern Islamic ideology without cutting their ties with their families, who were mostly Khatmiyah adherents.  This dual loyalty did not disturb the Khatmiyah because it did not regard the Muslim Brothers as political rivals. 

The Sudanese Muslim Brothers were officially founded at the ‘Id Conference on August 21, 1954.  Al-Rashid al-Tahir, one of the Brothers’ most prominent student leaders, later became the movement’s muraqib al- ‘am (general supervisor).  A politician and lawyer, al-Tahir established close relations with the Free Officers, especially with Salah Salim, their coordinator with the Sudan, and supported the pro-unionist camp.  This changed following Egyptian president Gamal Abdel Nasser’s attempted assassination in October 1954, when Egypt turned against the Muslim Brothers.  The Sudanese Brothers forsook union with Egypt and joined forces with the Ansar-Ummah bloc, advocating the Sudan’s independence.

After the 1958 military takeover led by General Ibrahim ‘Abbud, the Muslim Brothers were at first allowed to continue their activities as a religious movement.  On November 9, 1959, al-Tahir attempted to overthrow the regime, aided by an illegal cell of Muslim brothers, communists, and others within the army.  The plotters were arrested, and the Muslim Brothers lost their cadres in the army as well as their freedom to act. 

The next important stage in their history began in 1964 when Hasan al-Turabi and several leading brothers returned from their studies abroad.  Turabi, who had joined the brothers while an undergraduate at Khartoum University College in 1954, emerged as their most effective university spokesman and started promoting a peaceful settlement in the south.  Most of the mass gatherings in October 1964, which ultimately led to the civilian revolution and the downfall of ‘Abbud, were led by the Muslim Brothers in the university.

In October 1964, the Muslim Brothers founded the Islamic Charter Front (ICF) with Turabi as secretary general.  Concerned that they would remain a small elitist group lacking the broader support enjoyed by the communists, they decided that a front organization advocating an Islamic constitution was likely to gain support among Sufis and Ansar.  Moreover, Turabi was a pragmatist whose prime concern was politcal rather than ideological, so the purist tendencies of the older Muslim Brothers were overshadowed.  The ICF provided an ideal platform for his dynamic leadership.  In the years 1965-1968, the ICF cooperated with Sadiq al-Mahdi’s wing of the Ummah party in its anti-communist drive and in promoting an Islamic constitution.  The battle was waged first on university campuses, contesting student elections against the communists.  Campus politics provided the launching pad for broader political action.  The ICF -- allied with the Ansar, the Khatmiyah, and others -- suceeded in having the Communist Party of the Sudan outlawed in 1965.  The ICF also succeeded in formulating an Islamic constitution, in alliance with the Ansar, but it ws not implemented because of the May 1969 coup led by Ja‘far al-Nimeiri (al-Numayri) and his Communist allies.

Following the coup some of the brothers’ leaders, including Turabi, were arrested.  Others escaped to Aba Island, where some died in the uprising of the Ansar in March 1970.  A few made their way to Egypt or other countries.  ‘Uthman Khalid represented the Muslim Brothers as secretary general of the National Front (NF) of Opposition Parties, founded in London in 1970 under the leadership of the DUP and Ummah parties.  Turabi, who was not exiled, met President Nimeiri following the abortive pro-communist coup of July 1971 and asked for permission to resume the brothers’ activities.  In 1972, their new campus organization, the Students Unity Front, gained control of the Khartoum University Students’ Union.

Although the NF, including some of the brothers’ leaders, continued to advocate armed struggle from exile, the majority of the brothers, led by Turabi, preferred pragmatism.  He concentrated his efforts on restructuring the party in such a way that the old guard of brothers lost what influence they still had while his followers, who had joined in the 1960s, assumed the top positions.  Turabie and the brothers who remained in Sudan were thus well prepared for Nimeiri’s move toward an “Islamic path” in the mid-1970s.  Lack of democracy did not trouble Turabi and his colleagues because they realized that they could not rely on the traditionalist parties, the Ummah and DUP, in their fight for an Islamic state.  It seemed reasonable to cooperate with Nimeiri, who was seeking their support, influenced by President Anwar el-Sadat’s accommodation with the Egyptian Brothers in the early 1970s.

The Sudanese Brothers decided to join forces with the regime following the failure of an anti-Nimeiri coup led by the Ansar in July 1976.  The appointment of Rashid al-Tahir, a former leadr of the Muslim Brothers, as deputy president and prime minister in that year was also an indication of change.  Al-Tahir, though no longer a member, was popularly identified with the brothers.  Once national reconciliation became official policy in July 1977, the brothers were well prepared and grasped whatever positions the government offered.  Turabi himself was appointed attorney general in 1979, and many of his colleagues accepted positions in the judiciary, the educational and financial systems, and the Sudan Socialist Union (SSU).   The brothers also managed to infiltrate the Ansar-dominated western regions, helped by Muslim Brothers who had become teachers in Kordofan and Darfur. 

A noteworthy outcome of the brothers’ close collaboration with Nimeiri was their improved organization and finances, which partly explains their success in the 1986 elections.  The National Islamic Front (NIF) was founded in April 1985 and came in a close third after the Ummah and the DUP.  The NIF’s financial supremacy can be attributed to the fact that beginningin the early 1970s it had taken control of the Islamic banking system, first through its connections in Saudi Arabia and later through collaboration with Nimeiri.  The establishment of the Faysal Islamic bank in 1978 enabled the Muslim Brothers to infiltrate the new system as employees and investors and gain access to credit and to a share in profits.  The bank also opened doors to economic and social advancement for the movement’s young adherents and enabled the NIF to establish international financial contacts, primarily in the Arabian Peninsula.  Following a June 1989 coup the NIF enhanced its domination of the banks, the building industry, transport, and the media.  Since roughly ninety percent of the banks’ income was invested in import-export ventures, the NIF has dominated that field at the expense of the Khatmiyah supporters who had controlled it in the past.  The appointment of ‘Abd al-Rahim Hamid, a prominent NIF member, as minister of finance and economy leaves little doubt as to the NIF’s overwhelming dominance of the state’s chief financial institutions.

Another factor in the NIF’s success in the 1986 elections was its supremacy among the Graduates’ constituencies.  Sudanese universtiy graduates living abroad were allowed, for the first time, to vote for any constituency they chose.  The NIF exploited this departure by instructing its supporters to vote en bloc for candidates in marginal seats, capturing 23 out of 28 Graduates’ seats.  This victory, however, emphasized an inherent weakness of the NIF.  Its main support even at this stage was among university students and graduates.  Since the June 1989 fundamentalist coup the NIF has further strengthened its hold over all institutes of learning.  Ibrahim Ahmad ‘Umar, an NIF member, became minister of higher education.  He dismissed the university’s president and deans and reorganized higher learning in the five public and private universities, doubling the number of students.  This enabled NIF members who were mostly graduates, to benefit from the increased employment opportunities, which included senior academic posts as well as diplomatic, economic, and political positions abroad.

The Muslim Brothers first attempted to infiltrate the Military College in 1955, helped by Abu al-Makarim ‘Abd al-Hayy, an Egyptian army officer who had commanded the Muslim Brothers’ Special Apparatus.  He had escaped to Sudan following the attempt on President Nasser’s life in October 1954.  The abortive coup of November 9, 1959, initiated by Rashid al-Tahir with the participation of both Muslim Brothers and other supporters within the army, was a clear indication of future intentions.  The next stage started in the military camps in Ethiopia, Eritrea, and Libya in the early 1970s, where young Sudanese Muslim Brothers were trained by Egyptian officers, under the command of Salah Hassan, an Egyptian Muslim Brother.  Following national reconciliation, in July 1977, many of them joined the Sudanese army.  Its members were put in charge of courses in “Islamic ideology and instruction” for senior army officers, enabling them to infiltrate the officer corps.  Four members of the military council that has ruled the Sudan since the June 1989 coup, including its leader ‘Umar Hasan al-Bashir, attended these courses.  Following Nimeiri’s deposition, the NIF further strengthened its support within the army by openly supporting the army’s demands for better pay and equipment, while the Ummah and the DUP remained hesitant.  The post-1989 regime is an indication that the NIF’s infiltration of the army has paid the expected dividends.

The Muslim Brothers’ policy on the “southern question” changed in the 1970s.  Rejecting the liberal attitude of Turabi and his followers in 1964/1965, some now advocated partition, claiming that as long as the Sudan remained united an Islamic state would be impossible.  The majority continued to insist on an Islamic state within a united Sudan, which would become the bastion of Islam in Africa.  The NIF founded the African Islamic Center to undertake its missionary work among the non-Islamic majority in the south.  In 1982, the Association of Southern Muslims was set up to establish Islamic schools and villages there, funded by Kuwait and the Gulf Emirates and stimulated by a mass influx of Muslim refugees from Uganda following Idi Amin’s defeat in 1979.  The close relations between the NIF and southern Muslims helped the party in the 1986 elections in the south and explain the importance of this issue in the NIF’s election campaign.

In January 1987, the NIF published its National Charter, in which it elaborated on its special relation with the south and explained its program of islamizing it.  Turabi proposed that the Muslim Brothers act as the Islamic vanguard in the south, with the traditionalists forced to follow suit.  A major concession was the NIF’s acceptance of the right of all citizens, regardless of religion, to hold any public office.  The charter promised freedom of conscience and equality before the law, stating that in a federal state, non-Muslim regions would be allowed to opt out of the Islamic legal system based on the shari‘a.  However, the NIF consistently rejected any compromise entailing secularism, and the June 1989 coup can be partly attributed to the NIF’s adamant opposition to accommodating the Sudan People’s Liberation Movement.

The Sudanese Muslim Brothers remained independent of their Egyptian namesakes and offered a unique Sudanese version of the brothers’ ideology.  They compared their relationship to that between the Sudanese Ashiqqa’ and the Egyptian Wafd.  Both propagated unity of the Nile Valley, but under separate identities.  An additional reason for their insistence on their own identity was their fear that a united front with the Egyptian Brothers would alienate the anti-Egyptian Ansar, their most cherished allies.  The brothers’ attempt to exploit front organizations that were less suspect to moderate Sudanese was regarded as a way to reach broader circles, especially among Khatmiyah supporters, and is reminiscent of communist practices.  Similarly, the brothers tried to infiltrate other parties.  Rashid al-Tahir attempted to become an Ummah candidate in the 1957 elections; Muddaththir ‘Abd al-Rahim and ‘Uthman Jaddallah managed to join the editorial board of Al-jihad, the Khatmiyah newspaper.  The rift between those declaring their affinity with the Egyptian Brothers and those opposing it was never really healed.  Some of the older leaders, such as al-Sadiq ‘Abdallah al-Majid and Ja‘far Shaykh Idris, continued to attack Turabi’s strategy from their exile in the Gulf states throughout the Nimeiri years.  They were closely associated with the Egyptian Muslim Brothers, and after Hasan al-Hudaybi’s release from prison, in 1973, they suggested joining the world organization of Muslim Brothers under his leadership.  Politically they criticized Turabi’s un-Islamic views with regard to the role of women in society and censured his intimacy with Nimeiri and his regime.  Their proposals were defeated in the shura council.  Although ‘Abd al-Majid was offered the deputy leadership upon his return to the Sudan in the late 1970s, he declined and formed an independent movement of Muslim Brothers that challenged the NIF unsuccessfully in the 1986 elections.

The Islamic constitution proposed by the Muslim Brothers to 1956 sought the establishment of an Islamic republic with a Muslim head of state and a parliamentary democracy based on Islamic law and legislating in accordance with the shari‘a.  Its Muslim citizens would be able to shape their lives in accordance with the dictates of their religion and to uproot social evils and corruption.  Discrimination on the basis of race or religion would be forbidden, and non-Muslim citizens wold enjoy all rights granted under Muslim law. 

A more pragmatic approach developed following the October 1964 revolution and al-Turabi’s rise to prominence.  The newly formulated Islamic Charter proposed a presidential rather than a parliamentary system for the sake of greater stability and put greater emphasis on minority and regional rights.  It undertook a complete revision of personal law in order to grant equal rights to women.   The religion of the head of state was not mentioned in the Charter, a clear gesture to non-Muslims.  The Charter proclaimed that even though all Muslims constituted one community, this Muslim state would encompass only Sudanese.  Resident non-Muslims would be citizens with equal standing, guaranteed freedom of religion, decentralization, and public rights, namely, the right to determine their own way of life in the regions in which they constituted the majority, as well as the right to establish their own public institutions, be they traditional or modern.

Turabi advocated a gradual, nonviolent approach based on educationand opposed the implementation of the hudud (mandatory punishments) at this stage, claiming that they should be applied only in an ideal Muslim society.  The NIF’s later support the implementation of these laws after Nimeiri’s removal and the military coup of June 1989.  Al-Mikashfi Taha al-Kabbashi, a leading NIF jurist, was a member of the committee assigned to revise the laws in accordance with the shari‘a and has headed the Supreme Court of Appeal in Khartoum since 1984.  In a book on the implementation of the shari‘a in the Sudan Kabbashi justified the implementation of these Islamic laws, including the January 1985 execution of Mahmud Muhammad Taha, leader of the Republican Brothers, for apostasy, in which he was personally involved as president of the Court of Appeal.  For Kabbashi and others in the NIF there was never any doubt as to the Sudan’s Islamic identity, which implied the Jahili status of all non-Muslims.  The Sudan’s Islamic army would fight the enemies of Islam, “Communists, Crusaders, Zionists, Free Masons” or their Sudanese supporters, under the banner of Islam.  However, regions in which non-Muslims were in the majority would be allowed to opt out of the Islamic legal system, provided the Sudan became a federation.

The brothers’ attitude toward democracy, as formulated by Turabi, was based on both pragmatic and ideological considerations.  Since the establishment of an Islamic state was the primary aim, the means of achieving it became secondary.  Ideologically, there were several differences between Western democracy and Islamic shura.  First, the West separates democracy from religion, which contradicts the shura.  Second, the shura provides a system whereby the life of all believers is fully coordinated, whereas Western democracy is limited to politics.  Third, shura grants democratic rights only insofar as these agree with the shari‘a, whereas in Western democracy human rights are not limited by religious considerations.  Fourth, Western democracy distinguishes between political passions and human morals.  In Islam, the two are inseparable.  Finally, the shura provides greater guarantees for the unity of believers than does Western democracy.  The shura accordingly can become a popular process based, unlike secular democracy, on the sovereignty of God and Islamic morality and free from secular distortions and manipulations and free from secualar distortions and manipulations.  Shura can be applied by any group of people and is not limited by constitutional considerations.  Military regimes can therefore apply the shura as well as elected parliaments as long as they fully implement the shari‘a. 

Renewal and revival (tajdid) are among Turabi’s most cherished ideas.  He believed that Islam had to be re-thought constantly and was open to radical change by the Muslim community -- not necessarily by learned reformers.  There were indeed eternal principles in Islam, but fiqh, the classical exposition of Islamic law, was a mere human endeavor which might be re-evaluated in accordance with present requirements.  For many generations fuqaha’ (jurists) had neglected to re-think and re-define the role of the state and of the public in the formulation of Islamic law.  Modern fiqh should concentrate on social rather than individual issues, since the former were hardly tackled in a largely individualistic society.  The re-opening of the doors of ijtihad was also advocated by the Muslim Brothers.  With a few exceptions regarding the eternal components of divinity, everything was open to review and re-interpretation.  The methodology suggested by Turabi was based on his formulation of tawhid, which involved a union of the eternal divine commands with the changing conditions of human life and a demand for harmony between reason and revelation.  Tawhid should therefor lead to a single comprehensive methodology of re-interpretation, embracing all human knowledge -- religious, natural, and social -- absorbed through the filter of Islamic understanding.

Muslim Brotherhood of Egypt
Muslim Brotherhood of Egypt.  See Ikhwan al-Muslimun, al-.

Muslim Brothers
Muslim Brothers (Society of the Muslim Brothers)  (The Muslim Brethren). See Ikhwan al-Muslimun, al-.

Muslim ibn al-Hajjaj
Muslim ibn al-Hajjaj (Abul Husayn Muslim ibn al-Hajjaj Qushayri al-Nishapuri)  (817/821-875).  One of the outstanding early collectors of Prophetic traditions.   Muslim ibn al-Hajjaj was the author of al-Jami’ al-Sahih – “The Authentic Collection.”  Al-Jami’ al-Sahih, along with the like named work of Bukhari, is renowned in Islam as the most authoritative source of reliable hadith.  Ranked by some Muslims even over Bukhari’s collection, Ibn al-Hajjaj’s work is in fact superior in its attention to details of isnad and careful arrangement of material under the topical headings.  Known for knowledge of fiqh as well as hadith, Ibn al-Hajjaj, like Bukhari, traveled widely in search of learning.

Abul Husayn Muslim ibn al-Hajjaj Qushayri al-Nishapuri, is the author of the second most widely recognized collection of Hadith in Sunni Islam, Sahih Muslim.  He was born in the town of Nishapur located in present day northeastern Iran. He was the son of Hajjaj.

Among the author's teachers were included Harmala ibn Yahya, Sa'id ibn Mansur, Abd-Allah ibn Maslamah al-Qa'nabi, al-Dhuhali, al-Bukhari, Ibn Ma'in, Yahya ibn Yahya al-Nishaburi al-Tamimi, and others. Among his students were al-Tirmidhi, Ibn Abi Hatim al-Razi, and Ibn Khuzaymah, each of which wrote works on hadith as well. After many studies throughout the Arabian Peninsula, Egypt, Iraq and Syria, he settled down in his hometown of Nishapur where he first met Bukhari, with whom he would have a friendship until his death.

He died in 875 CE in Nishapur, where he was also buried.

His book is considered among Sunni Muslims the most authentic collections of hadith, second only to Sahih Bukhari.

Estimates on how many hadiths are in his books vary widely from 12,000 to 3,033 depending on whether they remove the duplicates, and consider only the text or the isnad as well. The book is said to share about 1900 hadiths with Bukhari's Sahih.

Abul Husayn Muslim ibn al-Hajjaj Qushayri al-Nishapuri  see Muslim ibn al-Hajjaj

Muslim ibn al-Walid al-Ansari
Muslim ibn al-Walid al-Ansari (c. 747-823).  Arab poet.  He wrote odes, elegies, satires and drinking songs which describe society and social life in the towns.

Muslim ibn ‘Aqil ibn Abi Talib
Muslim ibn ‘Aqil ibn Abi Talib (Muslim ibn Aqeel ibn Abu Talib) (d. 680).  Leading supporter of al-Husayn ibn ‘Ali.  He was killed at Kufa by order of ‘Ubayd Allah ibn Ziyad.

Muslim ibn Aqeel, or Muslim ibn Aqil, was the cousin of the third Shi’a Imam, Husayn ibn Ali, and the son of Aqeel ibn Abu Talib. Muslim ibn Aqeel was sent ahead as an envoy to Kufa to see if the people could be trusted to be loyal to the Imam Husayn. He sent word back saying that the people of Kufa were loyal. Muslim ibn Aqeel, with his two children Muhammad ibn Muslim and Ibraheem ibn Muslim, was murdered in the city of Kufa by the new governor, Ibn Ziyad, who was loyal to Yazid ibn Muawiyah.

Husayn ibn Ali received thousands of letters from people of Kufa stating that they were rejecting their governor and asking him to come and serve as their Imam. One letter in particular contained these words: “We invite you to come to Kufa as we have no Imam to guide us. Through you Allah will unite us on the path of truth.” A few days later, the people of Kufa sent an emissary, a special messenger, to Husayn ibn Ali to persuade him to go to Kufa. There followed hundreds of other letters and many special emissaries from the people of Kufa to Husayn ibn Ali.

Receiving so many petitions and messages from Kufa, Husayn ibn Ali decided to send Muslim ibn Aqeel, who was a famous warrior, as his emissary to Kufa to study the situation there and report to Husayn ibn Ali.

He wrote a letter to the people of Kufa and gave it to Muslim ibn Aqeel. In this letter Husayn ibn Ali said, “I am sending my cousin and one of the most trusted ones from my family, Muslim ibn Aqeel, to report to me about your affairs. If his report agrees with what you have written I will soon be with you. You must be clear of the fact that the Imam is the only one who follows the book of Allah, and serves Allah in all matters and affairs with justice, honesty and truth.”

Husayn ibn Ali also said to Muslim ibn Aqeel: “Muslim, the whole world knows that you are one of the bravest warriors. It is just possible that seeing you in Kufa some people may think that our intention is to fight Yazid. Take your two sons Muhammad and Ibrahim with you. When they see you with such young children, they will know that our intentions are peaceful.”

According to reports, Muslim ibn Aqeel’s sons were so young, that they could not even tie up the buttons of their shirts.

The Imam sent three people with Muslim: Qays Ibn Mash'ar, 'Imarah Inb 'Abdullah al-Saluli, and 'Abdul Rahman Ibn 'Abdullah al-Azd, in addition to the messenger from Kufa.

This group set off from Mecca on the 15th of Ramadan. His first destination was Medina, where he left his family and hired two people to guide him on his way. The guides, however, lost their way in the desert and were too weak from lack of water to continue on. However, in their weakened physical state, they managed to show Muslim the right direction before they both died of thirst. Muslim saw this as a bad omen and wrote to al-Husayn asking to be relieved of his mission. Al-Husayn sent back a sharp note accusing Muslim of being cowardly and ordering him to continue to Kufa.

Muslim arrived in Kufa on July 9, 680. He went first to the house of al-Mukhtar ibn Abu 'Ubayd al-Thaqafi, who was highly respected among his people and was a very generous and ambitious man.

More than eighteen thousand people appeared before Muslim ibn Aqeel and enthusiastically pledged their allegiance to Husayn ibn Ali as their Imam and pledged to support Husayn even with their lives. Muslim ibn Aqeel, encouraged by this response, reported to Husayn ibn Ali by letter that he should proceed to Kufa.

The governor of Kufa, al-Nu'man Ibn Bashir, was told of Muslim's arrival, but refused to attack him. Bashir was a mild man and did not want to harm the members of the family of the Prophet, so he did nothing to stop Muslim.  Many of the supporters of Yazid saw this lack of action as a sign of weakness and encouraged the caliph to replace Bashir with a stronger man. Yazid then deposed Bashir and replaced him with Ubayd Allah ibn Ziyad. Ibn Ziyad was a resourceful and often cruel politician who spared nothing in order to attain political ends. His strong and ruthless character was exactly what the caliph was looking for in order to gain control in Kufa. Yazid wrote to him, "Go to Kufa, capture Muslim ibn 'Aqil and see what is appropriate to imprison him, send him to exile or kill him."

The morning of his arrival in Kufa, Ibn Ziyad gathered the people at the grand mosque. There he delivered a speech warning them against mutiny and promised them generous rewards for conforming. He said, "Anyone found to be sheltering one of those who scheme against the authority of the commander of the faithful and who does not hand him over will be crucified on the door of his own house".

When Muslim heard of Ibn Ziyad's arrival, he left the house that he was staying at and went to the home of Hani ibn Urwa. Hani was reluctant to let him stay because Muslim was a wanted man, but still treated him with all due respect and hospitality. Sharik ibn al-A'war, a great supporter of 'Ali in addition to enjoying Ibn Ziyad's confidence, was also staying at the home of Hani'. While they were staying there, Sharik fell sick and Sharik knew that Ibn Ziyad would come to pay him a visit during his time of sickness. Sharik devised a plan to assassinate Ibn Ziyad by having Muslim hide in the storage room until the governor felt comfortable in the household and then coming out to kill him when he was at his leisure. When the governor was announced at the door during his visit, Muslim entered the storage room and remained there throughout the duration of the visit. Sharik became very frustrated with Muslim for not following through with the plan. After Ibn Ziyad departed, Sharik and Hani questioned Muslim about his inaction to which he had two reasons. The first is the hadith of Muhammad narrated by 'Ali which says, "Faith stops where murder begins; a faithful man does not murder others". The other reason was the opposition by Hani's wife, who pleaded that he not commit murder in her household. Sharik died three days later.

During this time, ibn Ziyad was working diligently to discover the hiding place of Muslim. He knew that the Shi'as were meeting secretly, but he was not able to figure out the location. Ibn Ziyad decided that the best way to find Muslim would be to infiltrate his inner circle. He called upon his servant, Ma'qil, to meet him. He gave Ma'qil three thousand dirhams and ordered him to meet with the Shi'as. He was to tell them that he was a Syrian slave who had just arrived in the country and wanted to hand deliver a donation to Muslim. Ma'qil entered the grand mosque and was introduced to Muslim. Ma'qil then delieved the money and swore allegiance to him. This servant continued to meet with Muslim in the coming days. No secrets were kept from him, so he kept gathering information, which he then reported back to Ibn Ziyad in the evenings.

With the information from Ma'qil, Ibn Ziyad was able to figure out that Muslim was staying at the house of Hani. The governor gathered some of the friends of Hani and asked why he had not visited in quite a while. They made excuses for him, saying that he had been sick and other similar things. Hani then summoned the governor who accused him of harboring Muslim in his house. Hani denied this claim and things got heated. Ibn Ziyad then called in Ma'qil and had him corroborate the story that Ibn Ziyad was trying to paint. At this point, Hani was arrested.  Hani was beaten in the face with an iron-tipped cane, and thrown into prison. Most of the friends of Hani heard that he had been killed from this beating.

When Muslim learned about what happened to Hani, he decided to take action. Muslim ibn Aqeel and his two sons left Hani's house leaving the children with Qadhi Shurayb, a judge, and began to revolt openly. He ordered 'Abdullah ibn Hazim to call upon his men, who lived in the surrounding houses, to gather together. Four thousand men assembled and began chanting the slogan of the Muslims at the battle of Badr, "O Supported One! Annihilate them!" Muslim split them up into four groups, placed them in military formation with himself at the front of the groups, and they began their march towards the governor's mansion.

Ibn Ziyad heard about the march of people who were coming after him just as he was finishing leading prayers at the mosque. He barely had time to escape to the mansion which stood close by before the angry crowd surrounded the place. Ibn Ziyad locked himself in the fortress with thirty of his sympathizers. As the crowd drew near, the people within the mansion knew that they would not be able to resist such a large group. They warned of the evil consequences of their actions and prevailed upon them to change. They shouted that there were reinforcements from the capital Damascus that were on their way. This greatly frightened the rioters and the number quickly dropped to three hundred men. By the time that Muslim went to evening prayers at the great mosque, he was accompanied by only thirty men. By the end of his prayer, all the men had abandoned him. He roamed around the streets of Kufa aimlessly, not knowing where to go. His uprising had failed and he no longer had any supporters.

On the eighth (the day when Husayn ibn Ali converted his pilgrimage (Hajj) into off-seasonal Pilgrimage (Umra) and started his journey from Mecca towards Iraq so to save the sanctity and honor of this sacred place (Kaaba), tired, hungry and exhausted Muslim ibn Aqeel stood in the middle of the street. The owner of one of the houses there was a woman named Taw'ah who had a son named Bilal. Muslim requested for a little water to quench his thirst. The lady, when she learned who he was, invited him in and offered him shelter for the night as she was a lover of Muhammad’s progeny. But when her son, Balil, learned that the man Ibn Ziyad was looking for was in his mother's house, he, in greed of reward, gave the information to a captain in Ibn Ziyad's army.

Early the next morning, five hundred soldiers surrounded the house and demanded Muslim's surrender. Muslim, realizing that he was surrounded, came out with his sword drawn and was ready to live up to his reputation as a fierce fighter. Muslim inflicted serious losses on the attackers, killing many of their men.  He was so strong that he would take hold of one man and hurl him on the rooftop!

Muslim came to blows with Bakir ibn Hamran. Bakir injured Muslim by hitting his upper lip and breaking two of his lower teeth. Ibn Aqeel struck back by striking Bakir on the head and again on the shoulder muscle, almost killing him.

After this, the attackers began chucking rocks at Muslim from the house's rooftop. They also set fire to reed bales and threw them off the roof. Muslim's wounds were severe and he was bleeding profusely, but he swore not to be killed except as a free man.

At this point, Ibn Ash'ath gave him a guarantee of security. With this guarantee, Muslim, exhausted, gave himself up and was arrested.

Muslim was taken to the governor's mansion to plead his case before ibn Ziyad. At the gates of the mansion where he was waiting to be summoned in, Muslim saw a urn full of water. He was very thirsty and asked for a glass of water. A slave filled a cup for him and brought it to Muslim. He tried to take a drink, but the cup became full of blood from the wounds in his mouth. During his third attempt to drink a cup of water, his front two teeth fell into the cup, so he gave up on the notion of drinking water. He said, "Had it been prescribed in destiny for me to drink it, I would have drunk it."

Muslim was then escorted into the chambers of Ibn Ziyad, but Muslim did not greet the governor. Muslim refused to acknowledge ibn Ziyad as his leader. To this, ibn Ziyad laughed and said, "Whether you greet or not, you shall be killed."

Ibn Ziyad then asked him if he had any last wishes. Muslim asked to convey his will to some of his people. He was granted permission and chose Umar ibn Sa'd to tell his secrets to. Muslim ibn Aqeel said to Ibn Sa'd: “I owe a debt which should be discharged by selling off my sword and armor. Secondly I want my body to be given a proper burial. Thirdly, I want a message sent to Husayn ibn Ali advising him not to come to Kufa.” Umar ibn Sa'd stood up and walked over to Ibn Ziyad to reveal the secret with which he had been entrusted by Muslim. The governor reproached Ibn Sa'd for not keeping his cousin's secret, but then shared these requests with the court and agreed to the first request while refusing the last two. He then ordered Muslim ibn Aqeel to be taken to the roof of the palace to be executed.

Ibn Ziyad put Bakir in charge of Muslim's execution because he had been badly wounded by Muslim in the fight. They went to the top of the fortress, Muslim was decapitated in front of the people, his head was thrown down first and then followed by his body. Hani was also executed. They were executed in this way in order to intimidate the populace. Ibn Ziyad ordered that the bodies of these two men be dragged by their feet through the streets and marketplaces in Kufa. Muslim's body was then crucified upside down and the heads of Muslim and Hani were sent to Yazid to be displayed on the streets of Damascus.

Muslim bin Aqeel’s two sons, Mohammad and Ibrahim, also were killed in Kufa.

While Muslim was not killed at Karbala, he is counted as the one of the martyrs of the battle.

The Shi'is recommend visiting his grave in Kufa and there are certain prayrers that are to be recited there.

Muslim ibn Aqeel ibn Abu Talib see Muslim ibn ‘Aqil ibn Abi Talib

Muslim ibn Quraysh, Sharaf al-Dawla
Muslim ibn Quraysh, Sharaf al-Dawla (b. 1022).  Most important ruler of the Bedouin Arab dynasty of the ‘Uqaylids (r.1042-1085).  In 1066, he concluded an alliance with the Great Saljuq Alp Arslan, who granted him several towns in al-Jazira.  With the help of Alp Arslan’s son, Malik Shah I, Muslim took Aleppo, Baghdad, Edessa and Harran.  Later, however, he joined forces with the Fatimid Caliph al-Mustansir bi-‘llah.  After his death, Turkish generals of the Saljuqs became the rulers of Syria and al-Jazira.
Sharaf al-Dawla Muslim ibn Quraysh see Muslim ibn Quraysh, Sharaf al-Dawla

Muslim ibn ‘Uqba
Muslim ibn ‘Uqba.  Commander of the Umayyad Caliphs Mu‘awiya I and Yazid I during the seventh century.  He led the expedition against Medina to bring the Helpers back to obedience, and died before reaching Mecca to deal with ‘Abd Allah ibn al-Zubayr.

Muslim League
Muslim League. The Muslim League is the successor in Pakistan to the All-India Muslim League, which spearheaded the movement for the creation of Pakistan.  The latter, established in 1906 in Dhaka, articulated three objectives -- the protection of Muslim political rights in India, and cooperation with the All-India National Congress.  In its first phase (1906-1930) Mohammad Ali Jinnah, the President of the League, emphasized the creation of a separate Muslim province in Sindh, political reforms in the North-West Frontier Province and Baluchistan, and representation for the Muslims in the Punjab and Bengal provinces in proportion to their populations, with thirty percent of the seats in the central legislature

of India reserved for Muslims.  However, he failed to convince the Congress that these demands were equitable. 

By 1930, public opinion in the Muslim majority provinces had changed to demand Muslim self-determination in India, rather than seeking autonomy within the Indian Federation.  This transformation was reflected by Muhammad Iqbal’s presidential address to the All-India Muslim League in Allahabad in 1930, when he articulated the Two Nation Theory.  At the annual meeting of 1940, the League under Jinnah adopted the so-called Pakistan resolution.  Seven years later, Pakistan became a reality.

The Muslim League ruled Pakistan intermittently from 1947 to 1958 and then again for short periods during the 1960s, 1980s, and 1990s, and gave birth to practically all contemporary political parties in Pakistan with the exception of the Jama‘at-i Islami.  Jinnah died in September 1948.  Immediately afterward the Muslim League and its provincial branches became involved in the struggle for power, financial corruption among their leaders, and conflict with the newly created central government.  This political instability led to military takeovers of the government, in 1958 by Field Marshal Ayub Khan (1958-1969) and in 1978 by General Zia ul-Haq (1978-1988).

Under Ayub Khan political parties were reorganized, while the Muslim League split into two factions.  The Council Muslim League opposed the Ayub regime, while the Conventionist Muslim League (now called the Pakistan Muslim League) supported him.  In the 1965 election, Ayub was declared president with 63.3 percent of the total vote.  His opponent, Fatimah Jinnah, lost the election but had overwhelming support in East Pakistan, now the nation of Bangladesh.

After the secession of East Pakistan in 1971, Prime Minister Zulfiqar ‘Ali Bhutto came to power with the support of the Pakistan Peoples Party, an offshoot of the All-Pakistan Muslim League.  The Bhutto government lasted until July 5, 1977, when General Zia ul-Haq, chief of the army staff, staged a coup.  Declaring martial law, Zia suspended the 1973 constitution and banned all political activity.

In February 1985, Zia appointed Muhammad Khan Junejo as prime minister.  He resurrected the political parties banned by Zia and himself became president of the All-Pakistan Muslim League.  In May 1988, Zia dismissed Junejo, accusing his government of corruption and mismanaging the national economy.

On August 17, 1988, General Zia died in the crash of a Pakistan Air Force craft in the Punjab.  Immediately, Ghulam Ishaq Khan, chairman of the Senate, was sworn in as acting president, and he arranged elections in November 1988.

Ishaq Khan appointed leader of the Pakistan People’s Party (PPP), Benazir Bhutto, prime minister in December 1988, and he himself was elected to a five-year term as president.  In this election, the Islamic Democratic Alliance of nine parties, led by the Muslim League, won the majority of the legislative seats in the Punjab Legislative Assembly, bringing a new leader of the Muslim League, Mian Mohammed Nawaz Sharif (chief minister of the Punjab, 1985-1988), into the leadership of the Muslim League.

In August 1990, President Ishaq Khan dismissed the National Assembly and the government of Prime Minister Benazir Bhutto and announced fresh elections.  In the 1990 elections, the Islamic Democratic Alliance and the Muslim League captured the majority of seats in the Federal Legislature, and its leader Mian Mohammed Nawaz Sharif became the prime minister of Pakistan.

President Ishaq Khan dismissed the Nawaz Sharif government in 1993, accusing him of corruption and mismanagement, although this action was declared unconstitutional by the Supreme Court.  Fresh elections were held, and the PPP won the majority in the Federal Legislature.  Its leader, Benazir Bhutto, became prime minister once again.

There seem to be no ideological differences between the policies of the PPP and the Muslim League.  The personal charisma of the leaders maintains tenuous cohesion within the ranks of these parties.  The struggle between the PPP and the Muslim League indicates that if martial law is not declared again, Pakistan may yet evolve a two-party system.

Muslim Minorities in Non-Muslim Societies
Muslim Minorities in Non-Muslim Societies. About one fourth of the estimated 1.6 billion Muslims in the world today are living as religious and political minorities in non-Muslim societies.  A more precise estimation of the size of Muslim populations in many countries is difficult because of the absence of reliable demographic statistics.  The problem is exacerbated by the lack of ethnic or religious classifications in most national statistics. The number and proportion of Muslims in countries where they are in the majority is generally known and accepted.  It is only when they are in a minority status that not only their numerical strength (as in China) but their very existence (as in Albania) is questioned. 

The etiology of Muslim minority communities is varied.  Muslim minority communities can be separated into three types basedon their historical origins and current situation: (1) they were once in the majority but later lost power and prestige and through attrition and absorption became a minority, as in Palestine, Ethiopia, and Bosnia-Herzegovina; (2) they were in the minority as rulers, but their rule ended, and they remained as religious minorities, as in India and the Balkans; and (3) they were non-Muslims who became converted to Islam in a non-Muslim environmennt, as in Sri Lanka.

Minorities are generally defined in terms of numbers, indicating taht in their area of residence they are proportionately less than all the other groups combined, including the majority.  However, Muslim minorities which constitute a small proportion of large populations, such as those of China, India, and the republics of the former Soviet Union, make up numerically significant communities and often exceed in population size many of the Muslim majority nations.  Minority status, therefore, is not simply a game of numbers.

Minorities can also be defined in terms of ideological affiliations.  Thus, minorities are those whose system of ideas or values are distinct, to a greater or lesser degree, from that of the majority around them.  We might have religious or political minorities who form a subculture (such as Protestants in Europe, Catholics in America, Muslims in Europe and North America) and sometimes a counterculture (such as Catholics in Northern Ireland, Palestinians in Israel, Moros in the Philippines).  Minorities are also identified in racial and ethnic terms, such as the classification of nationalities in Central and Eastern Europe, or under the euphemism of “visible minorities,” as in Canada.  Minorities are defined in terms of lesser degree of political participation or access to economic resources, as in the case of the colonies in Africa and Asia under British and French rule, or in South Africa, where until 1994 a disadvantaged majority remained subservient to a powerful political minority.

A particular minority might have one or a combination of the above characteristics and in varying degrees of intensity and relevance.  Muslim minorities come in all of the above forms and in significant numbers and proportions that cannot be ignored in most countries of the world.  The one common denominator that approximates a generic classification is their religious affiliation, professed or residual, current or historic, that gives them an identity with an onus of responsibility.

Besides having to contend with the hardships of minority living in the middle of an alien or alienated majority, Muslim minorities face the additional challenge of defining their own position in the context of the larger Muslim ummah (community).  Ironically for them, the “in-group” is the physically distant ummah of which they consider themselves a part, and the “out-group” is seen as the majority non-Muslim community within which they reside.

The concept of ummah is very crucial to the understanding of the Muslim minority situation, contextually as well as topically.  Muhammad Asad, in his well-known translation and commentary on the Qur’an, explains, “the word ummah primarily denotes a group of living beings having certain characteristics or circumstances in common.”  Thus, he points out, the term ummah is often used as synonymous with community, people, nation, genus, generation.  In his brief but seminal article on the Qur’anic concept of ummah, ‘Abdullah al-Ahsan identifies a number of usages from the Qur’an and classifies them as follows: the exemplar of an ideological group of people such as Abraham (Sura 16:120); a particular period or span of time than applies to a particular community (Suras 7:34 and 11:8); a group of more committed people within the larger community (Sura 7:159); a circumstantially or professionally unified group of people (Sura 28:23); and community based on common beliefs, law, and custom (Sura 5:48).  Thus, ummah as a community based on shared beliefs and experiences is found in as many variations and forms as there are differences among nations and peoples.  The Muslim ummah, however, has no variants, for it is based on one set of beliefs, focusing on the oneness of Allah and the prophethood of Muhammad and one code of practice guided by shari‘a (the divine law) and shared experiences through common history of Islam and Muslims -- the early persecutions, the trials and triumphs, the flowering and denouement, all have come to characterize the common Muslim experience leading to the emergence of an “ummah consciousness.”

The Qur’an defines the Muslim ummah as those who surrender to Allah and follow his guidance as sent through the prophet Muhammad who was chosen to be a messenger to all humanity.  Muslims, therefore, are a group of people committed to a set of beliefs and entertaining a sense of mission and a special role in history.  The Qur’an states: “And thus we have willed you to be a community of the middle way (ummatan wasatan) so that you may be a witness to the truth before all mankind” (Sura 2:143).

The constitution adopted by the first Islamic state established by the Prophet in Medina declares in its first article: “Believers and Muslims of Quraysh and Yathrib and those who follow and meet them, and strive with them, constitute one single community (ummatan wahidatan) to the exclusion of all others in mankind (min duni al-nas).” 

In the Islamic tradition, then, all Muslims belong to the ummah.  All non-Muslims, though living within the same territorial confines, are outside the ummah.  However, when Muslims are the dominant community they are required to abide by the rules governing the rights and obligations of non-Muslim minorities, al-dhimmi (the protected ones), as specified in the Qur’an and the hadiths (traditions of the Prophet).  Thus, the dhimmi are those nonbelievers who reside within the Islamic political domain.  They live in dar al-Islam under the protection of the Muslims, and in lieu of rendering military service they make payment of a nominal tax called jizyah which entitles them to protection.  However, non-believers like believers are creatures of the One God, created to inherit the earth, khala’if al-ard (viceregents) with honor and dignity in their human person and with equal claims to the rububiyah (sustainership) of God.  They are entitled to the hidayah (guidance) from God and, like all children of Adam, are exalted with the power of choice (the ability to say no), thereby attaining a status higher than that of the angels. 

If Muslims are living as parts of non-Muslim communities, their treatment by the non-Muslim majority is subject to the varying conditions that are operational in that setting.  There is an on-going debate, however, on what the ummah can expect from the Muslim minority and an equally strong debate on what can be expected from the ummah for the cause of those Muslims living under non-Muslim jurisdiction.

Since the Muslim minority community is often perceived by the majority of Muslims as an integral part of the larger Muslim community, albeit a part that is living outside its jurisdiction, minority status is often seen as a transitory phase, a redressable accident of history.  Thus, as it was often done through history, the Muslim minorities might be encouraged or advised to pursue one of the following two courses.  When subjected to the hardships of living in non-Muslim societies, Muslim minorities undertake hijrah (migration) to a Muslim or another more hospitable land or respond to repression and threats to their survival by jihad (taking up arms or undertaking extraordinary effort).  The Qur’anic sanction for this line of argment is sought in the following verse from the Qur’an:  “Those who believe and suffer exile and strive with might and main in God’s cause with their goods and their persons, have the highest rank in the sight of God: they are the people who will achieve salvation” (Sura 9:20).

It is obvious that in the areas where Muslim minorities live Islam is not a dominant religion or culture, and there is no positive inducement for the growth and nurture of Islamic values.  In many of these areas Muslim minorities encounter active hostility against anything Islamic and complain of calculated efforts by the majority to ensure that Islamic norms do not prosper, and that even in their individual lives Muslims cease to render allegiance to Islam or to pursue the Islamic way of life.  Such is the situation, sometimes mild, sometimes aggravated, in which one out of every three Muslims is living today.  

In the early history of Islam we have two models for minorities to follow.  One is the Mecca model, where Muslims facing persecution opted for hijra, and the other is the Abyssinia model, in which a state of tolerance and peaceful coexistence is achieved within a non-Muslim majority context through exerting extraordinary effort.  For Muslim minorities today, the adoption of one of these two models is inevitable.  Both are viable, yet one might be more workable than the other.  The third alternative of doing nothing will maintain a state of continuous belligerence which is neither necessary nor desirable.  Thus a minority Muslim is expected to become a muhajir (migrant) or else become a mujahid (one who strives for a cause).  When Muslims are living in non-Muslim lands it is incumbent on them to organize with other Muslims to preserve and enhance their Islamic identity.  Yet the isolationist approach to preservation is excluded on the basis of an equally important need and indeed duty of the Muslim to make da‘wah (invite people to Islam).  Thus, dialogue with the non-Muslims is encouraged both for the purpose of mission and for the objective of attaining peaceful coexistence with non-Muslims in their lands.

Historically, the dar al-Islam has been confronted not only with the realm of the other, in principle hostile, not-yet Muslim world (dar al-harb), but it has also been complimented by the realm of compromise (dar al-sulh) beginning with the famous armistice agreement which the Prophet signed with the people of Mecca two years before returning to that city in 628.  Thus, the options available to Muslim minorities are varied, Islamically valid and practically viable.  Problems remain as to the role of the larger Muslim ummah in the affairs of the Muslim minorities living “beyond their jurisdication.” Should the ummah do something about this situation?  Should the worldwide Muslim ummah be concerned about its constituents in diaspora?

Most Muslims would argue that the ummah has very little choice.  If Muslims follow the spirit of their faith then they have obligations toward each other, wherever they reside, individually and collectively.  These obligations derive from the Islamic concept of the brotherhood of the faithful.  Although in doctrinal terms this concept is present in other faiths as well, in Islam it is spelled out in very clear terms: “And the believers, both men and women are the protectors of one another” (Sura 9:7).  Elsewhere the Qur’an says, “All believers are but brethren” (Sura 10:49).

One of the most concise, yet regnant statements in the Qur’an with regard to the obligations that faith imposes on individuals as well as collectivities is to be found in Sura 103:3, which prescribes four categories of obligations: faith (iman), action (a‘mal), reinforcement in faith (tawasi bi-al-haqq), and reinforcement in perseverance (tawasi bi-al-sabri).  Faith and action are individual obligations.  Since faith is not an acquisition which once acquired can thereafter be taken for granted, it needs continuous nurturing through action (see Sura 2:214).  This process of interaction of faith and action makes an individual into an Islamic “whole” and on him it becomes obligatory to reinforce others in preserving and enhancing their Islamic “wholeness.”

The last two categories of obligations (tawasi bi-al-haqq and tawasi bi-al-sabr) are social in nature, involving the individual within the larger Muslim community and requiring policies, plans of action, and methodology to implement them.  In contemporary Muslim populations, majority as well as minority, many national and international organizations, formal associations, centers for learning and research, and even organized community groups have become active and outspoken in their efforts to serve Islam and Muslims.  The crisis of minority living need no longer be embedded in a litany of woes; it can be confronted with the verve of the mujahid and the elan of muhajir.  However, caution should be exercised in preserving the true nature of this resurgent “ummah consciousness” and preventing it from deteriorating into Pan-Islamic consciousness, the particular from determining the universal, the political from subverting the religious and social.

Most Muslims in Muslim majority countries postulate certain inescapbale political organizations toward their co-religionists who reside as minorities in non-Muslim states.  This impels them to energetic expressions of concern over the plight of these minority communities, generally in times of crisis.  In some cases, Muslim majority intervention antagonizes the perpetrators of the crisis who invariably resent this as interference from the outside.

Contemporary Muslim societies lack clear policies in respect to Muslim minority communities, and there is much confusion about the exact nature of the relationship that should obtain between the ummah and the Muslim minorities.  From the point of view of the minorities themselves the issue is not very clear and adds to their minority predicament.  The Muslim ummah can thus elect one of two options: adopt a patron-client relationship in regard to the Muslim minorities, treating them as spiritual and cultural (and even economic and political) colonies of the Muslim world on alien soil; or treat minorities as autonomous bodies, sharing the attribute of sovereignty with their non-Muslim compatriots and at par with Muslim majority communities.

The first option is more favored and most widely accepted among Muslim majority communities who find in the Qur’anic verse, “and the believers, both men and women, are the protectors of one another” (Sura 9:71) an irrevocable obligation of the ummah toward the Muslim minorities.  However, in terms of policy and action Muslim majorities are hedged in by the contemporary political and economic realities and are left with the second option.

What we euphemistically term as the Muslim world is actually a number (forty-six or thereabout) of national sovereign entities with independent political and economic structures, with policies and priorities defined by their national interests. These entities have no doubt formed several regional alliances or economic and trade agreements among themselves.  But there is nothing particularly Islamic about them.  They have their exact parallels, predating them, in the non-Muslim world.  Even the largest of these, the Organization of the Islamic Conference (OIC), in its conception, structure, and functioning is not much different from the EEC, the OAS, or the United Nations with its various affiliates.  They have no mandate for action even within their own member states.  How can OIC then expect to be heard by sovereign entities outside the range of their membership?  Nevertheless, it is generally agreed that there exists among all Muslims a sense of mutual belonging.  It may not be institutionalized in form, but it can be invoked readily and forecefully whenever occasion arises, and it forms the characteristic feature of the Muslim community worldwide.

“Ummah consciousness” is an integral part of Muslim faith and belief and inheres in Islamic doctrine.  It derives from the Qur’anically imposed duty incumbent on those “who have attained to faith, enjoining upon one another patience in adversity [sabr] and enjoin(ing) upon one another compassion [marhamah]” (Sura 90:17).  Ummah consciousness, then, is the epitome of that concern, that feeling of solidarity which Muslims everywhere feel for each other.  Patience in sabr is not an argument in favor of inaction.  In the Qur’anic meaning sabr is a very positive concept which brings out the best in man, separating the weak from the strong (Sura 2:45-46).

The exercise of marhamah as the twin attribute of sabr ensures an individual’s continued adherence to human values and acts as a brake against savage impulses.  It reminds Muslims that whatever the provocation and however severe the crisis, they cannot adopt just any means to resolve their predicament.  They have of necessity to be guided in their choices by sabr and marhamah, and in practicing these principles they will be preserving their own humanity.  To formulate these into plans of action in contemporary societies is the challenge of great magnitude facing the Muslim ummah.

It is, however, possible to lead an Islamic life under the rule and control of non-Muslims?  Muslims have rarely had this experience before in their history.  If they were in numerical minority in non-Muslim lands they have either lived as rulers (in India, for instance, despite the fact that their population never exceeded ten percent, they ruled the country for close to a thousand years), or they enjoyed the protection of a powerful Muslim state.  For centuries Muslims were such a dominant world power, that non-Muslim states could not conceive of mistreating Muslims living within their jurisdiction.  All Muslims are familiar with the wa-i‘tasimah syndrome in Islamic history.  It signifies the ummah’s obligations toward Muslim minorities and is based on the historic launching of an army by Caliph Mutawakkil in the ninth century, in response to a lone woman in Sindh’s call for help.

At the close of the twentieth century the situation is different.  Muslims currently living as minorities can hardly expect any immediate change in their minority status or expect instant help from their Muslim majority brethren.  The most relevant question to consider now is: how should they learn to adjust themselves, emotionally and religiously, as well as economically and politically, to their minority status?  Thus, any deliberations on the status of Muslim minorities should candidly discuss ways in which Muslims living in non-Muslim states can learn to lead useful, productive, and comfortable lives, without in any way compromising their Islamic identity.

A second related subject of discussion emanates from the fact that Muslims, wherever they live, regard themselves as constituting one ummah.  Under the present circumstances, when approximately one-fourth of them (400 million) live as minorities in sovereign, non-Muslim states, what should be the proper relationship between the Muslim minorities and the Muslim majorities?

Should Muslim governments or Muslim international organizations continue to forcefully support every cause of Muslim minorities and condemn all non-Muslim governments whenever and wherever a Muslim minority in these regions feels that any of its rights is being violated?  Would this be in the long term interests of the minority itself?  What kind of climate of peace and harmony would this create at the international level?  How would it affect the relations of Muslim states with non-Muslim states?  What about economic, trade, and other relations between them?  Should the minority communities be encouraged to expect from the ummah support in all matters of dispute with their non-Muslim countrymen?  How would this affect the minority’s day-to-day relationship with people with whom it is destined to live in perpetuity?

If any of these scenarios are not Islamically feasible, then what is the proper form of relationship between the ummah and the Muslim minority communities?  A candid discussion of these and other related issues is necessary to understand the true nature of the Muslim minority problem in the contemporary world.

There are grounds to argue that no effort to uplift the condition, moral or material, of Muslim minorities anywhere is likely to bear fruit unless it also touches on and enriches the total life of their societies of residence.  The minority problem is essentially a problem between the Muslim minority and the non-Muslim majority among whom it resides.  Hence, there is a need for understanding and accommodation between these two parties.  If the objective is to enhance and maintain the quality of Islamic life among Muslim minority communities and if these communities are to be strengthened in their steadfastness to Islamic practice as well as beliefs, the avenues of interaction and peaceful co-existence with the non-Muslim majorities must be explored.

Muslim World League
Muslim World League (MWL) (Rabita al-Alam al-Islami‎)  (Rabita)  .   Founded in 1962 at the height of the Egyptian-Saudi political crisis, the League was the product of a meeting of 111 Muslim scholars, intellectuals, and politicians held in Mecca on the occasion of that year’s pilgrimage.  They convened to discuss the affairs of the Islamic ummah in view of the threats posed to it by “communism” in general and the “irreligious” Egyptian president Gamal Abdel Nasser in particular.  On May 18, 1962, they inaugurated the Muslim World League as a new transnational Islamic organization, describing it as a “Muslim cultural organization” and an “Islamic peoples organization,” “serving the whole ummah and not acting as an agent of any government.”

With its head office in Mecca, the League was at first represented by a constituent council (al-majlis al-ta’sisi) only.  The conference at Mecca chose twenty-one scholars, intellectuals, and notables as members of the council, which met for the first time in December 1962.  The number rose to some sixty members in the early 1990s.  From the start, the composition of the council demonstrated that the League was trying to bring together four mainstreams of contemporary Islamic ideology and theology: the council was headed by the grand mufti of Saudi Arabia, Muhammad ibn Ibrahim Al al-Shaykh (d. 1969), ensuring a minimum of Wahhabi control.  Eight scholars, among others Abulhasan ‘Ali al-Nadvi from Lucknow in India represented the classical Salafiyah; Sa‘id Ramadan (Egypt), Abu al-A‘la Mawdudi (Pakistan), and ‘Allal al-Fasi (Morocco) were among the partisans of the divergent curents of the neo-Salafiyah; and finally, the first secretary-general, the Meccan merchant Muhammad Surur al-Sabban ((1898/99-1972) spoke in the name of the Hijazi neo-Wahhabiyah.  Nearly half of the members of the council had already been in contact with the General Islamic Conference founded in Jerusalem in 1953 (a reservoir of Muslim Brotherhood tendencies).  This general proportional representation has been maintained since the League’s founding.  Correspondingly, the Wahhabi scholar ‘Abd al-‘Aziz ibn ‘Abdallah Ibn Baz took over the presidency of the constituent council after the grand mufti’s death, and Hijazian intellectuals have been in control of the administration of the League.

The Muslim World League, on the one hand, has acted as a mouthpiece of the Saudi Arabian Government, which had financed the organization since its inception.  On the other hand, the different currents represented by the League have been able to develop an identity of their own so that the activities of the League have sometimes been directed against Saudi interests.

Nevertheless, according to statute, the League’s secretariat is headed by a Saudian Arabian citizen. During the early phase of its history, the Muslim World League succeeded in subjecting to its control other competing transnational organizations, such as the General Islamic Conference of Jerusalem, the Islamic World Congress (Karachi), and the International Islamic Organization (Jakarta).  In its covenant of December 1962, the League stated its intention to promote the message of Islam, to fight conspiracies against Islam, and to discuss all problems relevant to Islam.  In addition, in article four of the covenant and in accordnce with the politics of Islamic solidarity heraled by King Faysal, the League promised to work for the cooperation of all Islamic states and argued in favor of an Islamic bloc taking a stand against pro-Nasserist and Ba‘thist regimes.   

After the end of the Arab cold war -- a term coined by Malcolm Kerr to characterize the political split between Egypt and Saudi Arabia from 1957 to 1967 -- the Muslim World League gradually changed its objectives.  Following the foundation of the Organization of the Islamic Conference in 1968-1972, the League stressed its supra-national, independent identity and concentrated on establishing a network of Islamic cultural and political organizations. 

The League upgraded the role of the constituent council and abolished the so-called General Islamic Conference (which met in 1962, 1965, and, exceptionally, in 1987).  It founded twenty-two branch offices and bureaus in countries where Muslims constitute a minority (primarily in Africa) and affiliated itself with local Islamic organizations and agencies. 

During the 1970s, the League gradually expanded its activities in the fields of coordination (tansiq), da‘wah, jurisprudence, and social welfare.  In 1974, it invited 140 delegations to a conference of Islamic organizations and decided to establish continental councils (in 1985, five), local Islamic councils in twenty-eight Muslim minority communities, and a coordination committee.  One year later, in 1975, the League set up a World Council of Mosques, which specialized in the coordination of da‘wah activities.  It controls several regional and numerous local mosque councils.  Since the League’s beginnings, the faction of Wahhabi scholars has argued for the establishment of a jurisprudence council entrusted with the elaboration and cotnrol of internationally accepted standards of Islamic law.  Internal disputes postponed this project.  In 1976, however, the League opened the Islamic Fiqh Academy with which other academies in Europe and in other parts of the world were associated.  The decisions taken at the annual meetings of the fiqh council have acquired some authority.  Finally, the Internation Islamic Relief Organization was made responsible for the League’s activities in the field of social welfare.  Together with several Islamic universities in Saudi Arabia, Egypt, and the Gulf States, the League’s training center for da ‘is (missionaries) supervises the education of official or semi-official da‘wah workers.  From 1973 to 1990, the number of da‘wah workers increased from 49 to 816.

The League has gradually developed a publication program.  In 1963, the headquarters began to publish the monthly journal Majallat Rabitat al-‘Alam al-Islami, called Al-rabitah since 1987.  After several disappointing attempts, the League in 1973 succeeded in editing an English language journal called Journal of the Muslim World League.  In addition, the press office has published a weekly called Akhbar al-‘Alam al-Islami (after 1991, named Al-‘Alam al-Islami).  After the death of the secretary-general in 1976, the former Saudi Arabian minister of justice and new secretary-general al-Harkan, who had stressed the League’s activities in the field of jurisprudence, and his successor in office, Nasif, himself an academic (rector of King ‘Abdal ‘Aziz University in Jeddah in 1981), both emphasized the importance of media and of education.

MWL see Muslim World League
Rabita al-Alam al-Islami see Muslim World League
Rabita see Muslim World League

Mussurumin.  In Brazil, a black Islamic slave.

Mustafa. Name of several princes belonging to the Ottoman dynasty.  Among them may be mentioned Mustafa Celebi (d. 1422 or 1430), Duzme, the eldest son of Sultan Bayezid I and counter-sultan or pretender; Mustafa Celebi (d. 1423), Kucuk Mustafa, son of Sultan Muhammad I and counter-sultan; and Mustafa (1515-1553), son of Suleyman II, who was executed at the orders of his father.

Mustafa I
Mustafa I (Mustafa I Deli) (b. 1591/1592 in Manisa Palace – d. January 20, 1639 at Topkapi Palace, Istanbul).  Ottoman sultan twice (r.1617-1618 and 1622-1623). 

Mustafa was born in Manisa in what is today Turkey.  In 1617, Mustafa was instated as sultan, but was unable to take personal control of the empire.

In 1618, Mustafa was removed from power, and the young but apt Osman II took over. 

On May 19, 1622, afraid for their own position, the Janissaries had Osman removed and soon killed.  With solely their own interests in mind, they put Mustafa back in the position of sultan and formal ruler.

In 1623, Mustafa did not remain in power long, and was removed for a second time.  He was replaced by the eleven year old Murad IV.

On January 20, 1639, Mustafa died in Istanbul.

Mustafa I Deli, the son of Mehmed III, was the Sultan of the Ottoman Empire from 1617 to 1618 and from 1622 to 1623. His mother was Valide Sultan Handan Sultan, an ethnic Greek originally named Helena.

The brother of Ahmed I (1603–17), who died because of typhus at a young age, Mustafa I was reported to be mentally retarded or at least neurotic and was never more than a tool of court cliques at the Topkapı Palace. During the reign of his brother, he was confined to his room in virtual imprisonment, a system called Kafes, for fourteen years.

In 1618, after a short rule, he was deposed in favor of his young nephew Osman II (1618–22) and was sent back to Kafes. The conflict between the Janissaries and Osman II presented him with a second chance. After the assassination of Osman II in 1622 by Janisaries, he was placed back on the throne and held it for another year. He had the participants in the coup against Osman II executed and believed that Osman II was still alive. He was seen searching for him throughout the palace, knocking on doors and crying out to his nephew to relieve him from the burden of sovereignty. His inability to rule led to deposition and confinement by Osman II's younger half-brother, Murad IV (1623–40). He died sixteen years later.

Mustafa I Deli see Mustafa I

Mustafa II
Mustafa II (Mustafa II Ghazi) (Muṣṭafā-yi sānī) (February 6/June 5, 1664 – December 28/30, 1703).  Ottoman sultan (r.1695-1703).  In 1699, peace was concluded with Austria, Poland and Venice at Carlowicz.  The sultan abdicated in 1703 and died in the same year.  Under him, the imperial cipher (in Turkish, tughra) appeared for the first time on the Ottoman coins.

Mustafa II Ghazi was the Sultan of the Ottoman Empire from 1695 to 1703.  He was born at Edirne Palace a son of sultan Mehmed IV (1648–87) and his mother Valide Sultan Mah-Para Ummatullah Rabia Gül-Nush, originally named Evemia, who was of Greek Cretan descent. Mustafa II abdicated in favor of his brother Ahmed III (1703–30) in 1703.

The most traumatic event of his reign was the loss of Hungary by the Treaty of Karlowitz in 1699. This event marked the beginning of the long decline of the Ottoman Empire.

At the end of his reign, Mustafa II sought to restore power to the Sultanate, which had been an increasingly symbolic position since the middle of the 17th century, when Mehmed IV had signed over his executive powers to the Grand Vizier. Mustafa II's strategy was to create an alternative base of power for himself by making the position of timars, the Ottoman cavalrymen, hereditary and thus loyal to him. The timars, however, were at this point increasingly an obsolete part of the Ottoman military machine.

The strategem (called the "Edirne event" by historians) failed, and Mustafa II was deposed in the same year, 1703. He died at Topkapi Palace, Istanbul.

He married twice, to Valide Sultan Saliha Sabkati, mother of Mahmud I, and to Valide Sultan Shehsuvar, mother of Osman III.

Mustafa II Ghazi see Mustafa II
Mustafa-yi sani see Mustafa II

Mustafa III
Mustafa III (Muṣṭafā-yi sālis) (January 18/28, 1717 – January 21, 1774) .  Ottoman sultan (r.1757-1774).  In 1768, a disastrous war with Russia broke out.  Mustafa III is praised in the Turkish sources as a good ruler. 

Mustafa III was the Sultan of the Ottoman Empire from 1757 to 1774. He was a son of Sultan Ahmed III (1703–30) and was succeeded by his brother Abdul Hamid I (1774–89). He was born in Edirne. His mother was Valide Sultan Amina Mihr-i Shah.

An energetic and perceptive ruler, Mustafa III sought to modernize the army and the internal state machinery to bring his empire in line with the Powers of Europe.

Unfortunately, the Ottoman state had declined so far that any general attempts at modernization were too little too late, while any major plans to change the administrative status quo immediately roused the conservative Janissaries and imams to the point of rebellion. Mustafa III did secure the services of foreign generals to initiate a reform of the infantry and artillery. The Sultan also ordered the founding of Academies for Mathematics, Navigation and the Sciences.

Well aware of his own military weakness, Mustafa III assiduously avoided war and was powerless to prevent the annexation of the Crimea by Catherine II of Russia (1762–96). However this action, combined with further Russian aggression in Poland compelled Mustafa III to declare war on Russia shortly before his death.

He died at Topkapi Palace, Istanbul.

Mustafa married Valide Sultan Mihr-i shah (originally from Genoa), and had two sons: Selim, son of Mihr-i shah, and Mohammed. He also had five daughters.

Mustafa-yi salis see Mustafa III

Mustafa ‘Abd al-Raziq
Mustafa ‘Abd al-Raziq (1882-1946).  Egyptian journalist who became Rector of al-Azhar.  He was a disciple of Muhammad ‘Abduh.
Raziq, Mustafa 'Abd al- see Mustafa ‘Abd al-Raziq

Mustafa ‘Ali
Mustafa ‘Ali (Gelibolulu Mustafa Âlî bin Ahmed bin Abdülmevlâ Çelebi</I) (b. 1541, Gallipoli - d. 1600 in Jeddah).  One of the most outstanding representatives of Turkish literature of the sixteenth century.  He owes his fame to a history of Islam, extremely valuable for the century in which he lived. Mustafa 'Ali was an Ottoman historian and bureaucrat of Croatian ancestry.  He also wrote poetry and essays on religious and other subjects.

'Ali, Mustafa
see Mustafa ‘Ali
Gelibolulu Mustafa Âlî bin Ahmed bin Abdülmevlâ Çelebi see Mustafa ‘Ali

Mustafa Barzani, Mulla
Mustafa Barzani, Mulla (Mulla Mustafa Barzani) (Mustafa Barzani) (Mistefa Barzani) (Muṣṭafa al-Barzānī)  (b. March 14, 1903, Barzān, Iraq — d. March 1, 1979, Washington, D.C., United States). Kurdish leader from Iraq.  His father, Shaykh ‘Abd al-Salam was hanged in Mosul in 1915 for his defiance of the Ottoman state, and his brother Shaykh Ahmad was defeated by the Iraqi army with the help of the British Royal Air Force.  In 1943, Mulla Mustafa raised a revolt in northern Iraq but was expelled into Persia, where the Kurdish Democratic Party (KDP) had been founded in Mahabad.  In 1947, he was chased back into Iraq and escaped to the Soviet Union where he stayed until 1948.  During his absence, the KPD was led by Ibrahim Ahmad, under whom it gradually developed into a political as distinct from a nationalist party, which led to a rift in the Kurdish movement in later years.  After the Revolution of 1958, ‘Abd al-Karim Qasim invited Mulla Mustafa back to Iraq, but by 1961 relations with the government had greatly deteriorated and fighting began.  In 1970, a Manifesto for Kurdish autonomy was announced, but by 1973 Mulla Mustafa had come to the conclusion that the Ba‘th government of Iraq did not have any serious intention of implementing it.  He had resumed his relations with Persia and began a serious dialogue with the United States.  In 1975, Saddam Hussein and the Shah of Iran signed the Algiers Agreement, which effectively ended Iranian support to the Kurds.  Mulla Mustafa went into exile in Tehran, and eventually died in the United States.  The leadership of the KPD passed to his son Mas‘ud.  A new movement, the Patriotic Union of Kurdistan, was formed by Jalal Talabani.

Muṣṭafa al-Barzānī was the Kurdish military leader who for 50 years strove to create an independent nation for the millions of Kurds living on the borders of Iran, Iraq, and the Soviet Union.

The son of a landlord, Barzānī succeeded his elder brother, Shaykh Ahmad (Sheikh Ahmed), who led the Kurdish national struggle from World War I until the late 1930s. In 1946 Barzānī emerged as commander of the army of the short-lived Kurdish Mahabad Republic, which had been established with Soviet aid in northwestern Iran. After the Soviet forces withdrew in 1947, the republic was overrun by Iran’s army, and Barzānī took refuge in Soviet Azerbaijan, where he remained until he was allowed to return to Iraq after that country’s 1958 revolution. Barzānī rejected the Iraqi government’s subsequent offer of autonomy for the Kurdish area in northern Iraq, and in 1960 he escaped to the mountains and started a guerrilla war against the Iraqi forces. After 10 years of intermittent fighting, a cease-fire agreement was reached followed by a general amnesty for the insurgent Kurds, and in 1974 a law defining the Kurdish autonomous region was promulgated by Iraq. Barzānī found this compromise unacceptable and ordered his Pesh Merga (“Forward to Death”) Kurdish forces to resume fighting, this time with considerable support from Iran. When Iranian support ended in 1975, the Kurdish guerrillas were overrun by the Iraqi forces. Barzānī took up residence in Tehrān but then requested asylum in the United States.  He went into exile in the United States, and died on March 1, 1979, in Georgetown Hospital in Washington, DC. He was buried just west of Mahabad, in Iranian Kurdistan.

In October, 1993, Barzani's remains were brought across the border from Iran to Iraqi Kurdistan, to be reburied in the land he fought for.

Barzani's son, Massoud Barzani, is the current leader of the KDP and was re-elected as the President of the Iraqi Kurdistan region by the Parliament of Iraqi Kurdistan in July 2009.

Barzani was the primary political and military leader of the Kurdish revolution until his death in March 1979. He led campaigns of armed struggle against both the Iraqi and Iranian governments. His family now dictates Iraqi Kurdistan and have been in power for more than 50 years.

Mulla Mustafa Barzani see Mustafa Barzani, Mulla
Barzani, Mulla Mustafa see Mustafa Barzani, Mulla
Mustafa Barzani see Mustafa Barzani, Mulla
Mistefa Barzani see Mustafa Barzani, Mulla
Mustafa al-Barzani see Mustafa Barzani, Mulla
Barzani, Mistefa see Mustafa Barzani, Mulla

Mustafa Kamil Pasha
Mustafa Kamil Pasha (b. August 14, 1874, Cairo, Egypt – d. February 10, 1908, Cairo, Egypt) (1874-1908).  Leader of the second nationalist movement in Egypt.  In 1894, he founded the second Egyptian nationalist party, the first being that of ‘Urabi Pasha who had been defeated by the British in 1882.  The object was to induce Britain by appeals to justice to abandon the occupation and restore the complete independence of Egypt.

Muṣṭafā Kāmil Pasha was an Egyptian journalist and political figure. The son of an Egyptian army officer, Mustafa Kamil was trained as a lawyer at the French law school in Cairo and the Law Faculty at the University of Toulouse in France. He began his career as an Egyptian nationalist by collaborating with the French, the Ottoman sultan, and Khedive Abbas Hilmi II. As he matured, however, he gradually grew more independent of outside backers and appealed mainly to the Egyptian people to demand the withdrawal of the British army of occupation from Egypt. He also called on Khedive Abbas to grant constitutional government to his subjects.

He was strongly backed by one of Egypt's nobles "Pasha" Mohammad Farid, who spent his last penny on the Egyptian independence case even after Mustafa's death - as he became the leader of the National Party - and he was the one who made it possible for Kamil to visit France and Britain.

In 1900, Kamil founded the newspaper Al-Liwa' ("The Standard") as a platform for his views and utilized his skill as both a journalist and lawyer. He also founded a boys' school open to Egyptian Muslims, Christians, and Jews. His cause was aided by an atrocity known as the Dinshaway Incident (June 1906), in which four peasants were hastily tried and hanged for having assaulted uniformed British officers who were shooting pigeons in their village. He founded the National Party in December 1907, two months before his death. His funeral was the occasion for a massive demonstration of popular grief. He is remembered as a fervent patriot and an articulate advocate of Egyptian independence.

The mausoleum of Mustafa Kamil built in 1949-53 close to the Citadel of Cairo in neo-Mameluke style is now open to the public as a museum and holds in a side room a display of memorabilia related to him.

Two historical footnotes associated with Mustafa Kamil are:

- The current Egyptian national anthem (Bilady) is thought to have been inspired by one of Mustafa Kamil's speeches.
- "If I weren't an Egyptian, I would have wished to be an Egyptian," one of most famous quotes in Egyptian modern history, was said by Mustafa Kamil.

Kamil, Mustafa see Mustafa Kamil Pasha

Mustafa Kemal Ataturk
Mustafa Kemal Ataturk.  See Ataturk.

Mustafa Khayri Efendi, Urguplu
Mustafa Khayri Efendi, Urguplu (Urguplu Mustafa Khayri Efendi) (Hayri Ürgüplü Mustafa Efendi) (1867-1921).  Shaykh al-Islam of the Ottoman Empire.  In 1914, he issued the ill-famed fatwa sanctioning the “Great Holy War” against Russia, Great Britain, France and their allies.

Urguplu Mustafa Khayri Efendi see Mustafa Khayri Efendi, Urguplu
Hayri Ürgüplü Mustafa Efendi see Mustafa Khayri Efendi, Urguplu

Mustafa Khaznadar
Mustafa Khaznadar (Mustapha Khaznadar) (Georgios Kalkias Stravelakis) (1817-1878).  Tunisian official.  He was successively Prime Minister to three Beys: Ahmad (r. 1837-1855); Muhammad (r. 1855-1859); and Muhammad al-Sadiq (r. 1859-1873). 

Mustapha Khaznadar was Prime Minister of the Beylik of Tunis from 1837 to 1873. He was one of the most influential people in modern Tunisian history.

Mustapha Khaznadar was born of Greek ancestry as Georgios Kalkias Stravelakis on the island of Chios in 1817. In January 1822, the Greeks of Chios declared their independence from the Ottoman Empire, the Ottoman sultan soon sent an army of ten thousand to the island of Chios, where roughly twenty thousand Greek inhabitants were massacred and many women and children were taken into slavery. During the Chios massacre, Georgios's father Stephanis Kalkias Stravelakis was killed, Georgios along with his brother Yannis were captured and sold into slavery by the Ottomans. He was then taken to Smyrna and then Constantinople, where he was sold as a slave to an envoy of the Husainid Dynasty who were Beys of Tunis and originally of Greek origin.

Stravelakis converted to Islam and took the name Mustafa and was raised in the family by Mustapha Bey, then by his son Ahmad I Bey while he was still crown prince. Initially, he worked as the prince's private treasurer before becoming Ahmad I Bey's treasurer (khaznadar). He managed to climb to the highest offices of the Tunisian state and married Princess Lalla Kalthoum in 1839; was promoted to lieutenant-general of the army; made bey in 1840; and then president of the Grand Council from 1862 to 1878. In 1864, Mustapha Khaznadar, then Prime Minister, attempted to squeeze more taxes out of the Tunisian peasants, the countryside rebelled and rose in a revolt nearly overthrowing the regime. However, the government was swift to act and ultimately suppressed the uprising through a combination of brutality and guile. Mustafa Khaznadar retained memories of his Greek origin and contact with his native Greece, even sending ten thousand riyals from the state treasury to pay for his two Greek nephews who he was educating in Paris. Khaznadar died in 1878 and is buried in a mausoleum at Tourbet El Bey, in the heart of the Medina of Tunis.

Khaznadar, Mustafa see Mustafa Khaznadar
Mustapha Khaznadar see Mustafa Khaznadar
Khaznadar, Mustapha see Mustafa Khaznadar
Georgios Kalkias Stravelakis see Mustafa Khaznadar
Stravelakis, Georgios Kalkias see Mustafa Khaznadar

Mustafa Pasha al-Nashshar
Mustafa Pasha al-Nashshar.  Ottoman governor of Yemen (1540-1545 and 1551-1555).  In 1542, he supplied troops and weapons to Ahmad Gran in Abyssinia.  He is known for having instituted the first annual pilgrims’ caravan to Mecca from Ottoman Yemen.
Nashshar, Mustafa Pasha al- see Mustafa Pasha al-Nashshar.

Mustafa Pasha, Bayraqdar
Mustafa Pasha, Bayraqdar (‘Alemdar) (Bayraqdar Mustafa Pasha) (Bayrakdar Mustafa Pasha)  (Alemdar Mustafa Pasha) (Bairaktar Mustafa Pasha)  (1765-1808).  Ottoman Grand Vizier.  He revived aspects of the modernization program envisaged by Sultan Selim III.

Alemdar Mustafa Pasha was an Ottoman military commander and a Grand Vizier born in Khotyn in Turkish-occupied Ukraine in 1765. Both alemdar and bairaktar mean "the standard bearer" and were the names given to the same rank in the Janissary corps.

He was originally the ayan (provincial notable) of Rusçuk, and one of the strongest ayans of his time. The deposition of the reformer Sultan Selim III in 1807, and his replacement with the reactionary Mustafa IV by the Janissaries and other opponents of reform, provoked Alemdar Mustafa Pasha to lead his army of Albanians and Bosnians to Istanbul in an attempt to reinstate Selim III and restore his reforms. After he arrived, Mustafa IV ordered Selim III and Mahmud II to be killed, he succeeded in getting the former killed. Alemdar Mustafa Pasha, seeing Selim III dead, showed fealty to Mahmud II (Selim's cousin), and he was instated the sultan, with Alemdar as his Grand Vizier. As vizier, Bayrakdar purged the soldiers who had rebelled against Selim, removed conservatives from governmental positions and replaced them with men sympathetic to reform. Bayrakdar modernized the army and navy and attempted to reform the Janissaries, but Mahmud, fearing a political backlash of the elite corps, halted such change. Bayrakdar's power and influence and his arrogance wielding it caused a rebellion against his position. In November 1808, the Janissairies attacked the Porte and laid siege to the stone powder magazine where he and his personal guard had taken refuge. As the Janissaries were about to break in the powder barrels exploded, killing Bayrakdar, his guard, and several hundred Janissaries. It is uncertain if the explosion was an accident or intentionally set off by Bayrakdar.

Alemdar Mustafa Pasha rose through the Janissary corps. After having been promoted to commandership, he took part in the wars against Austria and Russian Empire.

In 1808, when the Sultan Mustafa IV ascended the throne with the help of the reactionaries who opposed the reform efforts undertook by Selim III, and the deposed Selim III was imprisoned, Alemdar Mustafa Pasha was the governor of the city of Rusçuk (today "Rousse") in Bulgaria.

Alemdar Mustafa Pasha had always been a keen supporter of Sultan Selim III. With Mustafa IV on the throne and the reactionary rebels commanded by Kabakçı Mustafa in command of the Ottoman capital, Mustafa Pasha gathered a council in Rusçuk and the council decided to take action.

On June 21, 1808, Alemdar Mustafa Pasha and his army of about 15,000 men came to İstanbul. They easily took control of the situation and with the order of Alemdar Mustafa Pasha, the rebels were killed or exiled.

When Mustafa IV learned of the events, he decided to have his uncle, Selim III, as well as his younger brother, Prince Mahmut, killed in order to remain the only member of the imperial family. The executioners arrived first in the room of Selim III in the palace. Selim III, who was playing reed flute and had no weapons, resisted with his flute, but his efforts proved futile and he was strangled. His dead body was brought in front of Alemdar Mustafa Pasha, who began weeping, thinking that he had failed in all his objectives.

While he was weeping, his men warned him that Mustafa IV's men were going to kill Prince Mahmud as well. In fact, in those very moments, the executioners had raided the prince's room, the Prince was put to hiding on the roof by the servants. Alemdar Mustafa and his men arrived and broke the palace doors. They killed the rebels and eventually saved the prince.

Alemdar Mustafa Pasha declared prince Mahmud the new sultan with the name Sultan Mahmud II, and he became his grand vizier.

However, differences of opinion soon emerged between the two. First of all, he made an agreement with the rebel representative from Anatolian lands, which was named “Sened-i Ittifak”("The Alliance Treaty"). Sultan Mahmud thought that his authority was limited with that agreement and he lifted his support of the Pasha.

Secondly, he re-established the army of Nizam-ı Cedid under a different name: Sekban-ı Jedid. Nizam-i Jedid army was an alternative to the corps of Janissaries, therefore the Janissaries were hateful against this army. Pasha's opting for another name can be explained as an effort not to anger Janissaries. Furthermore, he conducted an investigation among the Janissary corps and he fired the men who were not in fact Janissaries but were receiving Janissary salaries all the same.

His steps would eventually lay the ground for further reforms in the Ottoman Empire. But in the meantime, the ruling elites were resentful of the Pasha. On November 15, 1808, about a thousand Janissaries raided Alemdar Mustafa Pasha's house. Realizing he could not survive the assault, he ignited the gunpowder reserves that were in place in the cellar of his house, killing himself and approximately 400 Janissaries in the ensuing explosion. Alemdar Mustafa Pasha was buried in the courtyard of the Zeynep Sultan Mosque in Istanbul.

'Alemdar see Mustafa Pasha, Bayraqdar
Bayraqdar Mustafa Pasha see Mustafa Pasha, Bayraqdar
Alemdar Mustafa Pasha see Mustafa Pasha, Bayraqdar
Bairaktar Mustafa Pasha see Mustafa Pasha, Bayraqdar
Bayrakdar Mustafa Pasha see Mustafa Pasha, Bayraqdar

Mustafa Pasha, Bushatli
Mustafa Pasha, Bushatli (Bushatli Mustafa Pasha) (Mustafa Bushati) (1797-1860). Ottoman statesman of Albanian origin.  He rebelled against the Ottoman power, was defeated in 1831, but rejoined the administration from 1846 onwards.

Mustafa (Pasha) Bushati was an Ottoman Pasha and a noble of the Bushati family in Ottoman controlled Albania. He ruled the Pashalik of Shkodra from 1774 until 1778, when he was succeeded by Kara Mahmud Bushati.

Bushatli Mustafa Pasha see Mustafa Pasha, Bushatli
Mustafa Bushati see Mustafa Pasha, Bushatli
Bushati, Mustafa see Mustafa Pasha, Bushatli

Mustafa Pasha, Lala
Mustafa Pasha, Lala (Lala Mustafa Pasha) (Lala Kara Mustafa Pasha) (c.1500-1580).  Ottoman commander.  He conquered Cyprus in 1570-1571 and campaigned in Georgia in 1578.

Lala Mustafa Pasha was an Ottoman Albanian general and statesman. He rose to the position of Beylerbey of Damascus and then to that of Fifth Vizier. He commanded the Ottoman land forces during the Siege of Malta in 1565, during the conquest of previously Venetian Cyprus in 1570/71, and in the campaign against Georgia in 1578. He later was (briefly) Grand Vizier from April 28 to August 7, 1580.

The honorific "Lala" means "tutor to the Sultan"; he had been tutor to the Sultan's sons. Mustafa was known for his cruelty towards vanquished opponents, a reputation that was amply borne out by his treatment of Marco Antonio Bragadin, the Venetian defender of Famagusta, whom he had skinned alive.

Lala Mustafa Pasha see Mustafa Pasha, Lala
Lala Kara Mustafa Pasha see Mustafa Pasha, Lala

Mustafa, Shukri
Mustafa, Shukri (Shukri Mustafa) (1942-1978).  Egyptian Islamist militant who worked for the moral reformation of society.  The Islamist movement in Egypt is characterized by internal divisions.  The Muslim Brotherhood represents the more accommodationist groups who work to reform the system by working within it.  Al-Jihad is the most famous of the anti-regime elements while al-Takfir wa al-Hijrah epitomizes the anti-society Muslim groups.  The last was founded in the early 1970s by Shukri Mustafa, who defected from the Muslim Brotherhood in protest over that group’s willingness to work with the secular regime.  Mustafa and his group sought, instead, to focus on the reform of society first before attempting to revolutionize the state system.  Society was seen by Mustafa as corrupt, decadent, and sinful and thus in need of a moral reformation.

Al-Takfir wa al-Hijrah is not the real name of the organization, formally the Society of Muslims.  This informal title was given to it by the state and the Egyptian press.  It suggests the group’s tactics.  Takfir means, in essence, to excommunicate the infidels from society.  Hijrah means “flight” and evokes the prophet Muhammad’s flight from Mecca to Medina to abandon the immoral society in order to establish the new, faithful order.  Here, it referes to the way in which this contemporary group separated itself from Egyptian society and formed a communal living arrangement, living in caves in Upper Egypt and cramped flats in Cairo.

Shukri Mustafa was born in 1942 in Asyut Province in Upper Egypt.  He attended Asyut University’s Faculty of Agriculture and in 1965 was arrested for distributing Muslim Brotherhood leaflets on campus.  First incarcerated in Tura prison, he was transferred to Abu Za’bal concentration camp in 1967.  He was released from prison in 1971 as part of President Anwar el-Sadat’s general amnesty of many Islamists in Sadat’s quest to garner their support against his leftist opponents.

Mustafa to Asyut University to complete his studies.  He also began to build his Society of Muslims by preaching throughout the province.  Impressed by Sayyid Qutb’s Signposts on the Road, which declared the whole of Egyptian society as Jahiliyah (a state of infidelity, decadence, and ignorance as in pre-Islamic Arabia), Mustafa built his Society of Muslims by preaching that Egyptian society must be declared to be unfaithful to God and Muhammad’s teachings.  This Society of Muslims (i.e., true believers) must then withdraw, take flight, and separate itself from society as a whole.  Mustafa attracted a following that eventually totaled a few thousand highly committed members.

Ostensibly, the group sought no confrontation with the state until it had won over and transformed society into a truly pious Islamic community.  Then it would seek the immediate destruction of the secular system to establish the Islamic state reflective of the new Islamic society.  But in transforming society and in attempting to prevent defections from its ranks, Mustafa used violence, and this brought him into conflict with the state.  Mustafa felt that quitting his group was equivalent to quitting Islam, an apostasy punishable by death.  In 1976, he led a raid against dissidents who had quit his group to join rival Islamists.  Egyptian police caught many of his loyalists, but Mustafa escaped.  In July 1977, his group kidnapped Muhammad al-Dhahabi, a former minister of awqaf (religious endowments; e.g., waqf), in order to exchange him for their captured brethren.  With Sadat on a visit to Morocco, the political leaders left in charge failed to respond to the demands of Mustafa.  Hearing no response, Mustafa had the ex-minister killed.  The government now responded.  A manhunt for Mustafa and other leaders of the group resulted in scores dead and wounded and hundreds arrested and tried.  Mustafa and four other leaders of al-Takfir were sentenced to death.  Others were imprisoned for five to twenty-five years.  Shukri Mustafa was executed in 1978 at the age of thirty-seven.

Although the group apparently collapsed with the death of its leaders, many of the members of al-Takfir simply joined other anti-society and anti-regime groups, including al-Jihad, which became very active after 1977.

Shukri Mustafa see Mustafa, Shukri

Musta‘in I bi-‘llah, al-
Musta‘in I bi-‘llah, al-. ‘Abbasid caliph (r.862-866).  He was made caliph by the Turkish commanders at Samarra after the death of his cousin al-Muntasir.

Musta‘in II bi-‘llah, al-
Musta‘in II bi-‘llah, al- (d. 1430).  ‘Abbasid “shadow” caliph in Egypt (r.1406-1414).  He abdicated as sultan and was deposed as caliph.

Mustakfi bi-‘llah, Abu’l-Qasim al-
Mustakfi bi-‘llah, Abu’l-Qasim al- (Abu’l-Qasim al-Mustakfi bi-‘llah) (b. 1074).  Fatimid caliph (r.1094-1101).  Throughout his reign, the actual power was entirely in the hands of the vizier al-Afdal ibn Badr al-Jamali.  His name is connected with the Musta‘li Isma‘ilis in western India, also known as Bohoras.  In 1099, Jerusalem was lost to the Crusaders.
Abu’l-Qasim al-Mustakfi bi-‘llah see Mustakfi bi-‘llah, Abu’l-Qasim al-

Mustakfi bi-‘llah, al-
Mustakfi bi-‘llah, al- (903-949).  ‘Abbasid caliph (r. 944-946).  He was forced to recognize the Buyid leader Mu‘izz al-Dawla Ahmad as in effect ruler of Iraq, and then was deposed and imprisoned.

Mustanjid I bi-‘llah, Abu’l-Muzaffar al-
Mustanjid I bi-‘llah, Abu’l-Muzaffar al- (Abu’l-Muzaffar al-Mustanjid I bi-‘llah) (1116-1170).  ‘Abbasid caliph in Baghdad (r. 1160-1170).  His reign was dominated by powerful viziers and court officials.  Policies aimed at the exclusion of the Saljuqs from Iraq, and al-Mustanjid’s reign witnessed the continuing flowering of Hanbalism. The caliph was famous as a poet and had a first-hand knowledge of astronomy.

Al-Mustanjid was the Abbasid Caliph in Baghdad from 1160 to 1170. He was the son of previous Caliph al-Muqtafi. One of al-Muqtafi's wives wanted her own son to succeed. She gained over many Amirs to her side, and had their slave-girls armed with daggers to kill the new Caliph. Al-Mustanjid discovered the plot and placed the rebel son and mother in prison.

Around this time, the Fatimid dynasty was at last extinguished, having lasted for 260 years. Their conqueror, Saladin, though himself an orthodox Muslim, initially did not proclaim the Sunni faith in the midst of a people still devoted to the tenets and practice of the Shi'a sect. But he soon found himself able to do so; and thus the spiritual supremacy of the Abbasids again prevailed, not only in Syria, but throughout Egypt and all its dependencies.

Mustanjid II bi-‘llah, Abu’l-Mahasin al-
Mustanjid II bi-‘llah, Abu’l-Mahasin al- (Abu’l-Mahasin al-Mustanjid II bi-‘llah) (b. c. 1396).  ‘Abbasid “shadow” caliph of Egypt (r.1455-1479).  Khushqadam, one of the six successive Mameluke sultans who dominated him, kept him in the Citadel of Cairo until his death.

Mustansir II bi-‘llah, Abu’l-Qasim al-
Mustansir II bi-‘llah, Abu’l-Qasim al- (Abu’l-Qasim al-Mustansir II bi-‘llah).  First ‘Abbasid “shadow” caliph of Egypt who ruled in 1261.  When the Mongols captured Baghdad in 1258, he was brought to Cairo, where he was given a ceremonious welcom by the Mameluke sultan Baybars I.  The caliph invested Baybars with the black livery of the ‘Abbasids and conferred on him the universal sultanate with plenary powers.  Baybars sent the caliph to Iraq, to regain his ancestral dominions from the Mongols.  He joined forces with a kinsman and rival, who had been proclaimed as the caliph al-Hakim by Aqqush al-Barli, the Mameluke warlord of Aleppo.  Al-Mustansir was killed in a Mongol ambush, while al-Hakim made his way to Cairo, where he was installed as caliph in 1262.  His descendants continued the titular caliphate until it lapsed after the Ottoman conquest of Egypt in 1517.

Mustansir I bi-‘llah, Abu Ja’far al-
Mustansir I bi-‘llah, Abu Ja’far al- (Abu Ja‘far al-Mustansir I bi-‘llah) (b. 1192). ‘Abbasid caliph.  At least two major figures at the court were Shi‘is.  Al-Mustansir’s caliphate spans an uneasy lull between Mongol onslaughts.  He stands out as a great patron of architecture, among other works through the Mustansiriyya madrasa in Baghdad.  He was also a great bibliophile.

Mustansir bi-‘llah
Mustansir bi-‘llah (Abu Tamim al-Mustansir bi-‘llah) (Abū Tamīm Ma'add al-Mustanṣir bi-llāh) (July 5, 1029 – January 10, 1094).  Fatimid caliph  (r.1036-1094).  He had the longest recorded reign of any Muslim ruler.  The breakdown of the civil administration, the subsequent exhaustion of the treasury and the fightings between the Turkish and Berber troops and the many Sudani slaves led to the neglect of agriculture.  The result was a famine, which lasted from 1067 to 1072.  In 1073, the caliph invited the Armenian Badr al-Jamali, who saved the Fatimid caliphate but at the cost of abandoning its temporal authority to a series of military commanders.  The success of the Saljuqs affected the position of the Fatimids in the Holy Cities, where the ‘Abbasid caliph was acknowledged, in the Hejaz and in Yemen, as well as in the West, where Ifriqiya was lost.  Diplomatic relations were entertained with the Georgians, the Daylamis, the khaqan of Turkestan and with Delhi, all hostile to the Saljuqs and the Ghaznavids.  It came however to a breach with Constantinople. The state religion of the Fatimids, Isma‘ili Shi‘ism, was disseminated in Persia and in Yemen, where it was supported by the Sulayhids.

Abū Tamīm Ma'add al-Mustanṣir bi-llāh was born in Cairo and eight months afterwards was declared to succeed his father. His name was Ma'd Abu Tamim, surnamed al-Mustansir bil-Lah "The Victorious By God". He ascended on June 13, 1036 at the age of 6. During the early years, the state affairs were administered by his mother. His period of Caliphate lasted for 60 years, the longest of all the caliphs, either in Egypt or elsewhere in the Islamic states.

Ali bin Ahmad Jarjarai, an able vizir, whose period was one of prosperity in Egypt, died in 1044. He was followed by Ibn al-Anbari and Abu Mansur Sadaqa, but neither of them were competent. In 1050, there came forward a capable vizir Abu Muhammad Hasan bin Abdur Rehman Yazuri, who held the office for 8 years, and was an earnest reformer. He was followed by about 40 vizirs one after another during 15 years (1058-1073), but none equaled him, because they squandered the royal treasury.

Between 1065 and 1072, the famine made the condition of Egypt from bad to worse. Meanwhile, in 1062 and again in 1067, the struggle between the Turkish and Sudanese soldiery deteriorated into open warfare, ending in a victory for the Turks and their Berber allies.

The Berbers in lower Egypt deliberately aggravated the distress by ravaging the country, destroying the embankments and canals, and seeking every way to reduce the capital and the neighboring districts by sheer starvation. Makrizi sees in this incident the beginning of the crisis in Egypt, which he refers by the appellations, disorder (fitna), civil war (al-shidda al-mashhura), corruption of state (fasad ad-dawla) and days of calamity and dearth (ayyam al-shidda wal ghala).

In al-Mustansir's stable where there had been ten thousand animals there were now only three thin horses, and his escort once fainted from hunger as it accompanied him through the streets. As long as the calamity lasted, al-Mustansir alone possessed a horse, and, when he rode out, the courtiers followed on foot, having no beast to carry them. The condition of the country deteriorated with the protracted famine that followed by plague, and whole districts were absolutely denuded of population and house after house lay empty.

Meanwhile, the Turkish mercenaries had drained the treasury, the works of art and valuables of all sorts in the palace were sold to satisfy their demands. Often they themselves were the purchasers at merely nominal prices and sold the articles again at a profit. Emeralds valued at 300,000 dinars were bought by one Turkish general for 500 dinars, and in one fortnight of the year 1068 articles to the value of 30,000,000 dinars were sold off to provide pay for the Turks. The precious library which had been rendered available to the public and was one of the objects for which many visited Cairo was scattered, the books were torn up, thrown away, or used to light fires. At length, the Turks began fighting amongst themselves. Nasir ad-Dawla, the Turkish general of the Fatimid army, had attacked the city which was defended by the rival faction of the Turkish guard and, after burning part of Fustat and defeating the defenders, he entered as conqueror. When he reached the palace, he found al-Mustansir lodged in rooms which had been stripped bare, waited on by only three slaves, and subsisting on two loaves which were sent him daily by the daughters of Ibn Babshand, the grammarian.

The victorious Turks dominated Cairo, held the successive vizirs in subjection, treated al-Mustansir with contempt, and used their power to deplete the treasury by enhancing their pay to nearly twenty times its former figure. Nasir ad-Dawla became so overbearing and tyrannical in his conduct that he provoked even his own followers, and so at length he was assassinated in 1074. Unfortunately, this left the city in a worse condition than ever, for it was now at the mercy of the various Turkish factions which behaved no better than troops of brigands. In sum, the condition of Egypt continued to rage with unabated violence.

Abu Tamim al-Mustansir bi-‘llah see Mustansir bi-‘llah
Abū Tamīm Ma'add al-Mustanṣir bi-llāh see Mustansir bi-‘llah

Mustaqim-zade, Sa‘d al-Din
Mustaqim-zade, Sa‘d al-Din (Sa‘d al-Din Mustaqim-zade) (1719-1788).  Ottoman scholar and calligrapher.  He composed around 150 books, most of them in Turkish but some also in Arabic and Persian, dealing with religious sciences, belles-lettres and Sufism.
Sa‘d al-Din Mustaqim-zade see Mustaqim-zade, Sa‘d al-Din

Mustarshid bi-‘llah, al-
Mustarshid bi-‘llah, al- (b. 1093).  ‘Abbasid caliph (r. 1118-1135).  He initially juggled with the various factions among the Saljuqs of Iraq and western Persia, depending on one group or another for military support.  He finally was defeated by the Saljuq Mas‘ud ibn Muhammad ibn Malik Shah in 1135 and murdered, allegedly by Assassins.  He was a fine calligrapher and an accomplished poet.

Musta‘sim bi-‘llah, al-
Musta‘sim bi-‘llah, al- (al-Musta'sim Billah) (al-Musta'sim-Billah Abu-Ahmad Abdullah bin al-Mustansir-Billah) (1212/1213 – February 20, 1258).  Last ‘Abbasid caliph of Baghdad (r.1247-1258).  Having refused to meet the demands of the Mongol Il-Khan Hulegu, the caliph was captured and put to death. 

Al-Musta'sim Billah was the last Abbasid Caliph in Baghdad; he ruled from 1242 until his death.

In 1258, the Abbasid domain, comprising of a little more than what is now Iraq and Syria, was invaded by the Mongols under Hulagu Khan, the grandson of Genghis Khan. In an advance on Baghdad, Hulagu Khan had several columns advance simultaneously on the city, and laid siege to it. The Caliph had been deluded by promises from his Vizier that the Mongols could be driven off literally by the women of the city throwing stones at them, and did the worst of all things: nothing. He neither raised an army to defend Baghdad from the largest Mongol army ever assembled – one Mongol in ten had been conscripted into the forces advancing on the Caliphate – nor did he attempt to negotiate with Hulagu. Instead he sent weak threats to the Mongol warlord.

Baghdad was sacked on February 10, and the caliph was massacred by Hulagu Khan soon afterwards. It is reckoned that the Mongols did not want to shed "royal blood," so they wrapped him in a rug and trampled him to death with their horses. Some of his sons were massacred as well; one of the surviving sons was sent as a prisoner to Mongolia, where Mongolian historians report he married and fathered children, but played no role in Islam thereafter.

The Travels of Marco Polo reports that upon finding the caliph's great stores of treasure which could have been spent on the defense of his realm, Hulagu Khan locked him in his treasure room without food or water, telling him "eat of thy treasure as much as thou wilt, since thou art so fond of it."

The Mameluke sultans and Syria later appointed an Abbasid Caliph in Cairo, but they were even more symbolic than by now marginalized Abbasid Caliphs in Baghdad. They were ignored by the rest of the Muslim world. Even though they kept the title for about 250 years more, other than installing the Sultan in ceremonies, these Caliphs had little importance.

After the Ottomans conquered Egypt in 1517, the Abbasid Caliph of Egypt, Al-Mutawakkil III was transported to Constantinople, and Sultan Selim I announced himself to be a Caliph.

Musta'sim Billah, al- see Musta‘sim bi-‘llah, al-
Musta'sim-Billah Abu-Ahmad Abdullah bin al-Mustansir-Billah, al- see Musta‘sim bi-‘llah, al-

Mustazhir bi-‘llah, al-
Mustazhir bi-‘llah, al- (al-Mustadhir) (1078-1118).  ‘Abbasid caliph who ruled from 1094 to 1118.  He was never able to turn the debilitating disputes between the Saljuq sultans Berkyaruq, Tutush and Muhammad Tapar to his own advantage.  The Nizari schism had further weakened the Fatimid caliphate and unleashed the Assassins’ campaigns within Saljuq territory.

Al-Mustadhir was the Abbasid caliph in Baghdad from 1094 to 1118. He succeeded his father al-Muqtadi. During his twenty-four year incumbency he was politically irrelevant, despite the civil strife at home and the appearance of the First Crusade in Syria. An attempt was even made by crusader Raymond IV of Toulouse to attack Baghdad, but he was defeated near Tokat. The global Muslim population had climbed to about 5 per cent as against the Christian population of 11 per cent by 1100.

In the year 1099, Jerusalem was captured by the crusaders and its inhabitants were massacred. Preachers travelled throughout the caliphate proclaiming the tragedy and rousing men to recover from infidel hands the Al-Aqsa Mosque, the scene of the Prophet's heavenly flight. But whatever the success elsewhere, the mission failed in the eastern provinces, which were occupied with their own troubles, and moreover cared little for the Holy Land, dominated as it then was by the Fatimid faith. Crowds of exiles, seeking refuge in Baghdad, joined there with the populace in crying out for war against the Franks (the name used by Muslims for the crusaders). For two Fridays in 1111 the insurgents, incited by Ibn al-Khashshab, the qadi of Aleppo, stormed the Great Mosque, broke the pulpit and throne of the Caliph in pieces, and shouted down the service, but neither the Sultan nor the Caliph were interested in sending an army west.

Mustadhir, al- see Mustazhir bi-‘llah, al-

Mu‘tadid bi-‘llah, al-
Mu‘tadid bi-‘llah, al- (b. c. 860).  ‘Abbasid caliph (r. 892-902).  His strength was the close relations with the army.  While forced to acknowledge that Khurasan, Syria and Egypt were lost to the ‘Abbasids, at least for the time being, he strove to re-establish control over the core territories, Iraq, al-Jazira, and western Persia.  His reign saw the final return of the ‘Abbasid capital from Samarra to Baghdad.

Mu‘tadid bi-‘llah, al-
Mu‘tadid bi-‘llah, al- ('Abbad al-Mutadid) (Abu Amri al-Mutadid). Most important and most powerful sovereign of the ‘Abbadid dynasty in Seville (r.1042-1069).  He very considerably increased his territory by making himself the champion of the Spanish Arabs against the Berbers in Spain. 

'Abbad al-Mutadid see Mu‘tadid bi-‘llah, al-
Abu Amri al-Mutadid see Mu‘tadid bi-‘llah, al-

Mutahhari, Murtaza
Mutahhari, Murtaza (Murtaza Mutahhari) (Murtada Mutahhari) (1920-1979).  Iranian religious scholar and writer, one of the closest associates of Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini.  Born in a village in northeastern Iran to a scholar who was also his first teacher, Mutahhari began his formal schooling at the age of twelve in the great shrine city of Mashhad, where he discovered the great love for philosophy, mysticism, and theology that was to remain constant throughout his life.  The core of the religious curriculum, however, consisted of fiqh (jurisprudence).  To study this subject under the principal authorities of the day, Mutahhari moved to Qom in 1937.  In Qom, he made the acquaintance of Khomeini, renowned at the time mainly for his mystically tinged lectures on ethics.  Significant, too, were the links Mutahhari developed with ‘Allamah Muhammad Husayn Tabataba’i (d. 1981), the well-known exegete and philosopher.  In 1952, Mutahhari left Qom for Tehran, where he began teaching at the Madrasah-yi Marvi and, two years later, at the Faculty of Theology at Tehran University.  The scope of his actitivity expanded still further when he began collaborating with Islamic organizations founded by religiously inclined laymen, the most important of these being the Husayniyah-yi Irshad, founded in 1965.  Many of the lectures he gave under the auspices of these organizations were later published in book form.

Mutahhari was imprisoned for forty-three days in the aftermath of the uprising led by Khomeini in June 1963.  After his release, he participated actively in organizations that sought to maintain the momentum the uprising had created, most significantly the Jami‘ah-yi Ruhaniyat-i Mubariz (Society of Militant Clergy).  He remained in touch with Khomeini during the ayatollah’s fourteen year exile, visiting him repeatedly in Najaf and, during the revolution of 1978-1979, at Neauphle-le-Chateau near Paris.  A sign of the trust in which Khomeini held Mutahhari was his appointment to the Shura-yi Inqilab-i Islami (Council of the Islamic Revolution), which functioned as interim legislature after the victory of the revolution in February 1979.  A few months later, on May 1, 1979, Mutahhari was assassinated in Tehran by adherents of Furqan, a group preaching a radically modernistic and anti-clerical re-interpretation of Shi‘a doctrine, which regarded Mutahhari as its most formidable intellectual opponent.  Mutahhari was eulogized as “a part of my flesh” by an atypically weeping Khomeini and buried in Qom.

Although the Iranian Revolution gave Mutahhari visibility as a political figure, it was his writings, vigorously promoted by the revolutionary authorities, that constitute his chief legacy.  The most substantial of his works is, perhaps, his philosophical critique of materialism, Usul-i falsafah va ravish-i ri’alism (The Principles of Philosophy of the Method of Realism), based largely on discussions held in the circle of ‘Allamah Tabataba’i.  A more polemical approach to the same subject, paying particular attention to the cultural disorientation of Iranian society, was ‘Ilal-i gir-ayis ba maddigari (Reasons for the Turn toward Materialism).  Other works were also conceived in a spirit of addressing urgent contemporary concerns, most notably Nizam-i huquq-i zan dar Islam (The System of Women’s Rights in Islam).  Taken as a whole, the works of Mutahhari demonstrate how leading figures among the Iranian ‘ulama’ concerned themselves, against a background of traditional learning, with the problems of the modern age, and thereby contributed to creating the intellectual climate of the Iranian Revolution of 1979.

Murtaza Mutahhari see Mutahhari, Murtaza
Murtada Mutahhari see Mutahhari, Murtaza
Mutahhari, Murtaza see Mutahhari, Murtaza

Mu‘tamid ibn ‘Abbad, al-
Mu‘tamid ibn ‘Abbad, al- ('Abbad al-Mutamid) (Muhammad al-Mutamid) (Muhammad Ibn Abbad al-Mutamid) (1040-1095).  Third and last ruler of the ‘Abbadid dynasty in Seville (r.1069-1091).  By the middle of the eleventh century, many Muslim dynasties of Spain were forced to seek, by payment of heavy tribute, the temporary neutrality of their Christian neighbors.  Al-Mu‘tamid was defeated by the Almoravid Yusuf ibn Tashfin (Yunus ibn Tashufin).  He was an accomplished poet.

Muhammad Ibn Abbad al-Mutamid was the third and last ruler (r. 1069–1091) of the taifa of Seville in Al-Andalus. He was a member of the Abbadid dynasty.

After the death of his father Abbad II al-Mu'tadid in 1069, he inherited Seville. In 1071, he attempted to seize neighboring Córdoba. He lost Córdoba in 1075 but regained it in 1078.

Al-Mu'tamid supported the Almoravid ruler Yusuf ibn Tashfin against king Alfonso VI of Castile in the Battle of Sagrajas in 1086. In 1091, however, his kingdom was overthrown by the Almoravids and he was deposed.

Al-Mu'tamid was bisexual. He was lover and patron to the Andalusi Arabic poet Ibn Ammar. His father disapproved of relations with a commoner and exiled the poet in order to separate them. On his succession, however, al-Mu'tamid granted Ibn Ammar political and military power. Their relationship was reportedly stormy, and came to an end when Al-Mu'tamid killed the poet with his own hands, only to bury him with great honors. He is also considered, in his own right, one of the greatest of the Andalusi poets. Also the Sicilian Arabic poet Ibn Hamdis was a guest and friend of his.

Al-Mu'tamid was the father-in-law, through his son, Fath al-Mamun (d. 1091), of Zaida, mistress, and possibly wife, of Alfonso VI of Castile.

'Abbad al-Mutamid see Mu‘tamid ibn ‘Abbad, al-
Muhammad al-Mutamid see Mu‘tamid ibn ‘Abbad, al-
Muhammad Ibn Abbad al-Mutamid see Mu‘tamid ibn ‘Abbad, al-

Mutammim ibn Nuwayra
Mutammim ibn Nuwayra (d. after 644).  Poet who was a contemporary of the Prophet.  He owes his fame to the elegies in which he lamented the tragic death of his brother Malik ibn Nuwayra.

Mutanabbi, al-
Mutanabbi, al- (Abu’l-Tayyib Ahmad al-Ju‘fi) (Ahmad ibn al-Husain al-Mutanabbi) (Abou-t-Tayyib Ahmad ibn al-Husayn al-Mutanabbi) (915–September 23, 965).  One of the greatest Arab poets.  Born in Kufa, in 1928, he went to Syria and studied at Damascus.  His ambition was to be a professional poet, and since the necessary patrons proved slow in coming forward, he set himself up as a prophet and led an unsuccessful political-religious revolt.  Without adhering to Carmathian doctrines, he exploited its principles when in 933 he led a revolt in the Samawa, the region between the Kufa and Palmyrene. On this occasion, he received the surname al-Mutanabbi “he who professes to be a prophet.”  After having led a wandering life, he stayed nine years with the Hamdanid Sayf al-Dawla ‘Ali I in Aleppo, but fled to Damascus in 957.  In Egypt, he obtained the patronage of the Ikhshidid regent Kafur but, deprived of moral and material independence, he was forced to sing the praises of a patron for whom in his heart he felt only contempt.  In 962, he fled to Kufa and then settled in Baghdad.  In 965, he went via Ahvaz to Arrajan in Susiana and from there to Shiraz.  On his way back to Baghdad, he was killed by marauding Bedouins.  The enormous bibliography of al-Mutanabbi’s life and work is a striking proof of the eminent place which he occupies in Arabic literature from the tenth century until the present day.

The Arabs regard al-Mutanabbi as one of their greatest poets.  He is the principal figure of the “Modern” school which began to break away from the traditional themes and ways of expression of the Pre-Islamic poets, long regarded as the only ones suitable for poetry.  The “Moderns” made considerable use of Badi’ (Innovation) -- their new, and, to conservative poets and critics, shocking images, figures of speech and plays on words.  The old type of poetry, in which poets who had scarcely ever seen the desert wept over the deserted camping sites of their loved ones, and described in painstaking detail the points of their camels, continued to be written, side by side with the “Modern” type.  Al-Mutanabbi did not abandon the qasida (ode), but transformed it, and made it into an organic whole, with theme leading naturally to theme, instead of a series of almost unconnected lines.

Al-Mutanabbi was educated in Damascus, as well as choosing to live among bedouins in the desert, with the tribe Banu Qalb.  It was during his youth that he got his name, which means “the one who wants to become Prophet,” when he participated in revolutionary movements.

During imprisonment he started to compose his poetry.  From 948 to 957, al-Mutanabbi worked close to the Syrian prince Sayfu ad-Dawla in Aleppo, and wrote a number of panegyrics for him.  But as al-Mutanabbi was still politically active, he was eventually forced to flee to Egypt, but as he wrote satires taht presented the court in a negative way, he had to move again, now back to Iraq,.to Baghdad. 

Later on he worked as a court poet in Shiraz.  While being without a patron, al-Mutanabbi was in 965 slain by brigands during a trip, near Baghdad.

With a flowery style, use of the ode, and changing way from the traditional Arabic qasida, al-Mutanabbi stands out as the most important representative for the panegyrical poetic style.

Abu’l-Tayyib Ahmad al-Ju‘fi see Mutanabbi, al-
Ahmad ibn al-Husain al-Mutanabbi see Mutanabbi, al-
Mutanabbi, Ahmad ibn al-Husain al- see Mutanabbi, al-
Ju'fi, Abu'l-Tayyib Ahmad al- see Mutanabbi, al-
Abou-t-Tayyib Ahmad ibn al-Husayn al-Mutanabbi see Mutanabbi, al-

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