Monday, April 15, 2013

Nima Yushij - Nuruddin Ar-Raniri


Nima Yushij
Nima Yushij (Nima) (Ali Esfandiari) (November 12, 1896 - January 6, 1960). Persian poet.  His most important work is a long poem, entitled Myth, containing a dialogue between a dismayed lover and the Myth which consoles him.  The poem may be said to have heralded the beginning of modernism in Persian poetry.

Nimā Yushij was a contemporary Tabarian and Persian poet who started the she’r-e no ("new poetry") also known as she’r-e nimaa'i ("Nimaic poetry") trend in Iran. He is considered to be the father of modern Persian poetry.

Nima Yushij died of pneumonia in Shemiran, in the northern part of Tehran and was buried in his native village of Yush, Nur County, Mazandaran, as he had willed.

Nima Yushij was the eldest son of Ibrahim Nuri of Yush (a village in Nur County, Mazandaran province of Iran). He was a Tabarian but also had Georgian roots. He grew up in Yush, mostly helping his father with the farm and taking care of the cattle. As a boy, he visited many local summer and winter camps and mingled with shepherds and itinerary workers. Life around the campfire, especially images emerging from the shepherds' simple and entertaining stories about village and tribal conflicts, impressed him greatly. These images, etched in the young poet's memory waited until his power of diction developed sufficiently to release them.

Nima's early education took place in a maktab. A truant student, the mullah (teacher) had to seek him out in the streets, drag him to school, and punish him. At the age of twelve, Nima was taken to Tehran and registered at the St. Louis School. The atmosphere at the Roman Catholic school did not change Nima's ways, but the instructions of a thoughtful teacher did. Nezam Vafa, a major poet himself, took the budding poet under his wing and nurtured his poetic talent.

Instruction at the Catholic school was in direct contrast to instruction at the maktab. Similarly, living among the urban people was at variance with life among the tribal and rural peoples of the north. In addition, both these lifestyles differed greatly from the description of the lifestyle about which he read in his books or listened to in class. Although it did not change his attachment to tradition, the difference set fire to young Nima's imagination.  Even though Nima continued to write poetry in the tradition of Saadi and Hafez, for quite some time his expression was being affected gradually and steadily. Eventually, a time came when the impact of the new became too overwhelming. It overpowered the tenacity of tradition and led Nima down a new path. Consequently, Nima began to replace the familiar devices that he felt were impeding the free flow of ideas with innovative, even though less familiar, devices that enhanced a free flow of concepts. "Ay Shab" (O Night) and "Afsaneh" (Myth) belong to this transitional period in the poet's life.

In general, Nima manipulated rhythm and rhyme and allowed the length of the line to be determined by the depth of the thought being expressed rather than by the conventional Persian meters that had dictated the length of a bayt (verse) since the early days of Persian poetry. Furthermore, he emphasized current issues, especially nuances of oppression and suffering, at the expense of the beloved's moon face or the ever-growing conflict between the lovers, the beloved, and the rival. Nima realized that while some readers were enthused by the charms of the lover and the coquettish ways of the beloved, the majority preferred heroes with whom they could identify. Furthermore, Nima enhanced his images with personifications that were very different from the "frozen" imagery of the moon, the rose garden, and the tavern. His unconventional poetic diction took poetry out of the rituals of the court and placed it squarely among the masses. The natural speech of the masses necessarily added local color and flavor to his compositions. Lastly, and by far Nima's most dramatic element was the application of symbolism. His use of symbols was different from the masters in that he based the structural integrity of his creations on the steady development of the symbols incorporated. In this sense, Nima's poetry could be read as a dialog among two or three symbolic references building up into a cohesive semantic unit. In the past only Hafiz had attempted such creations in his Sufic ghazals. The basic device he employed, however, was thematic, rather than symbolic unity. Symbolism, although the avenue to the resolution of the most enigmatic of his ghazals, plays a secondary role in the structural makeup of the composition.

The venues in which Nima published his works are noteworthy. In the early years when the presses were controlled by certain adverse powers, his poetry, deemed below the established norm, was not allowed publication. For this reason, many of Nima's early poems did not reach the public until the late 1930s. After the fall of Reza Shah, Nima became a member of the editorial board of the "Music" magazine. Working with Sadeq Hedayat, he published many of his poems in that magazine. Only on two occasions, he published his works at his own expense: "The Pale Story" and "The Soldier's Family."

The closing of "Music" coincided with the formation of the Tudeh Party and the appearance of a number of leftist publications. Radical in nature, Nima was attracted to the new papers and published many of his groundbreaking compositions in them.

Ahmad Zia Hashtroudy and Abul Ghasem Janati Atayi are among the first scholars to have worked on Nima's life and works. The former included Nima's works in an anthology entitled "Contemporary Writers and Poets" (1923). The selections presented were: "Afsaneh," (Myth) "Ay Shab" (O Night), "Mahbass" (Prison), and four short stories.


Yushij, Nima see Nima Yushij
Nima see Nima Yushij
Ali Esfandiari see Nima Yushij
Esfandiari, Ali see Nima Yushij


Nimeiri, Gafar Mohammad an-
Nimeiri, Gafar Mohammad an- (Ga'far Muhammad an-Nimeiri) (Ga'far Muhammad an-Numayri) (Gaafar Muhammad an-Nimeiry) (Jaafar Nimeiry) (Gaafar Nimeiry)  (January 1, 1930 – May 30, 2009). Fifth President of the Sudan.

Gaafar Muhammad an-Nimeiry was the President of Sudan from 1969 to 1985. He was born on January 1, 1930, in Wad Nubawi Omdurman in central Sudan, and was the son of a postman and the great grandson of a local tribal leader from the Wad Nimeiry region in Dongola, ash-Shamaliyah, the Northern State.

In 1952, Nimeiry graduated from the Sudan Military College, where he was greatly influenced by the ideas of Gamal Abdel Nasser's Free Officers Movement, which gained power in Egypt that same year. Later he joined the Khartoum garrison.

In 1966, Nimeiry was graduated from the United States Army Command College in Fort Leavenworth, Kansas.

In 1969, together with four other officers then Colonel Nimeiry overthrew the government of Ismail al-Azhari, and became prime minister and chairman of the Revolutionary Command Council (RCC). He started a campaign aimed at reforming Sudan's economy through nationalization of banks and industries as well as some land reforms. He used his position to enact a number of socialist and Pan-Arabist reforms.

Throughout the 1970s, a number of bilateral investment treaties were signed between Sudan and several states such as the Netherlands on August 22, 1970; Switzerland on February 17, 1974; Egypt on May 28, 1977; and France on July 31, 1978.

Nimeiry successfully weathered a coup attempt by Sadiq al-Mahdi in 1970, and in 1971 was briefly removed from power by a Communist coup, before being restored. Later in 1971 he was elected President winning a referendum with 98.6 per cent of the votes, and signed the Addis Ababa Agreement whereby autonomy was granted to the non-Muslim southern region of Sudan, which ushered in an 11 year period of peace and stability to the region which had witnessed civil war since 1955, before Sudan's independence. He thus began a more Western-friendly policy, where banks were returned to private ownership and foreign investment was encouraged as evidenced by a number of bilateral investment treaties that were signed. In July 1978 at the OAU summit in Khartoum, Nimeiry was elected Chairman of the Organization of African Unity until July 1979.

In late 1975, a military coup by Communist members of the armed forces, led by Brigadier Hassan Hussein Osman, failed to remove Nimeiry from power. General Elbagir, Nimeiry's deputy, led a counter coup that brought Nimiery back within a few hours. Brigadier Osman was wounded and later court martialed and executed.

Again in 1976, a force of one thousand insurgents under Sadiq al Mahdi, armed and trained by Libya, crossed the border from Ma'tan as-Sarra. After passing through Darfur and Kordofan, the insurgents engaged in three days of house-to-house fighting in Khartoum and Omdurman that killed some 3000 people and sparked national resentment against Muammar al-Gaddafi. Nimeiry and his government were narrowly saved after a column of army tanks entered the city.

In 1977, a National Reconciliation took place between the leader of the opposition who was based abroad Sadiq al Mahdi and Nimeiry. A limited measure of pluralism was allowed and Sadiq al Mahdi and members of the Democratic Unionist Party (Sudan) joined the legislature and under the umbrella of the Sudan Socialist Union. Relations between Khartoum and the South Sudan leadership worsened after the National Reconciliation and the National Reconciliation itself came to a premature end in light of disagreements between the opposition and Nimeiry.

During 1980-5, the Sudanese Pound lost 80 percent of its worth due to hyperinflation and renewed civil war.

In 1981, Nimeiry, pressured by his Islamic opponents, and still President of Sudan, began a dramatic shift toward Islamist political governance. He allied himself with the Muslim Brotherhood. In 1983, he imposed Sharia, or Islamic law, throughout the country—alienating the predominantly Christian and animist south. The administrative boundaries of the south were also reformed. In violation of the Addis Ababa Agreement he dissolved the southern Sudanese government, thereby prompting a renewal of the civil war. Nimeiry was the only Arab leader who maintained close relations with Anwar Sadat after the Camp David Accords and attended Sadat's funeral.

In 1985, Nimeiry authorized the execution of the peaceful yet controversial political dissident and Islamic reformist Mahmoud Mohamed Taha after Taha — who was first accused of religious sedition in the 1960s when Sudan's President was Ismail al-Azhari — had been declared an apostate by a Sudanese court. Shortly thereafter on April 6, 1985, while Nimeiry was on an official visit to the United States of America in the hope of gaining more financial aid from Washington, a bloodless military coup led by his defense minister General Abdel Rahman Swar al-Dahab ousted him from power. At the subsequent elections the pro-Islamist leader, Sadiq al-Madhi (who had attempted a coup against Nimeiry in July 1977) became President.

Nimeiry lived in exile in Egypt from 1985 to 1999, in a villa situated in Heliopolis, Cairo. He returned to Sudan in May 1999 to a rapturous welcome that surprised many of his detractors. The next year, he ran in the presidential election against incumbent president Omar al-Bashir, but did poorly, obtaining only 9.6% of the votes. From then until his death he was affiliated with the National Congress Party. In 2005, Nimeiry's party -- The Alliance of the Peoples' Working Forces -- merged with the ruling National Congress Party of Sudan. The National Congress Party negotiated an end to Sudan's civil war that was signed in a Comprehensive Peace Agreement on January 9, 2005.

Gaafar Muhammad Nimeiry died on May 30, 2009.

In his 16 year tenure as President of the Sudan, Nimeiry veered from ardent Arab nationalism to socialism, from friendly relations with the Soviet Union to a pro-Western stance and a close alliance with the United States.  Although he was often seen as one of the more moderate Arab leaders, he was not averse to violent crackdowns and even mass executions of opponents.  He survived four attempted coups in his first nine years in power.

Ga'far Muhammad an-Numeiri see Nimeiri, Gafar Mohammad an-
Ga'far Muhammad an-Numayri see Nimeiri, Gafar Mohammad an-
Numayri, Ga'far Muhammad an- see Nimeiri, Gafar Mohammad an-
Gaafar Muhammad an-Nimeiry see Nimeiri, Gafar Mohammad an-
Nimeiry, Gaafar Muhammad an- see Nimeiri, Gafar Mohammad an-
Jaafar Nimeiry see Nimeiri, Gafar Mohammad an-


Nimrod
Nimrod  (Namrud) (Nemrod). Biblical personage.  He is not mentioned by name in the Qur’an, but it is clear that his legend was known.  Muslim hadith associates him with the story of the childhood of Abraham.

Nimrod, a legendary biblical figure, is described in Genesis 10:8–12 as “the first on earth to be a mighty man. He was a mighty hunter before the Lord.” The only other references to Nimrod in the Old Testament are Micah 5:6, where Assyria is called the land of Nimrod, and I Chronicles 1:10. The beginning of his kingdom is said in Genesis to be Babel, Erech, and Akkad in the land of Shinar. Nimrod is said to have built Nineveh, Calah (modern Nimrūd), Rehoboth-Ir, and Resen. There is some consensus among biblical scholars that the mention of Nimrod in Genesis is a reference not to an individual but to an ancient people in Mesopotamia.

The description of Nimrod as a “mighty hunter before the Lord” is an intrusion in this context, but probably, like the historical notices, derived from some old Babylonian saga. However, no equivalent of the name has yet been found in the Babylonian or other cuneiform records. In character there is a certain resemblance between Nimrod and the Mesopotamian epic hero Gil

Nimrod also figures in many legends and folktales outside the Bible. Extra-Biblical traditions associating him with the Tower of Babel led to a darkening of his reputation. Several Mesopotamian ruins were given Nimrod's name by 8th century Arabs.


Since ancient times, Nimrod has traditionally been considered the leader of those who built the Tower of Babel in Shinar, though the Bible never actually states this. It is usually assumed that it was under his direction that the building began; aside from Flavius Josephus, this is also the view found in the Talmud (Chullin 89a, Pesahim 94b, Erubin 53a, Avodah Zarah 53b), and later midrash such as Genesis Rabba. Several of these early Judaic sources also assert that the king Amraphel, who wars with Abraham later in Genesis, is none other than Nimrod himself.



An early Arabic work known as Kitab al-Magall or the Book of Rolls (part of Clementine literature) states that Nimrod built the towns of Hadâniûn, Ellasar, Seleucia, Ctesiphon, Rûhîn, Atrapatene, Telalôn, and others, that he began his reign as king over earth when Reu was 163, and that he reigned for 69 years, building Nisibis, Raha (Edessa) and Harran when Peleg was 50. It further adds that Nimrod "saw in the sky a piece of black cloth and a crown." He called upon Sasan the weaver and commanded him to make him a crown like it, which he set jewels on and wore. He was allegedly the first king to wear a crown. "For this reason people who knew nothing about it, said that a crown came down to him from heaven." Later, the book describes how Nimrod established fire worship and idolatry, then received instruction in divination for three years from Bouniter, the fourth son of Noah.[4]

The Syriac Cave of Treasures (ca. 350) contains an account of Nimrod very similar to that in the Kitab al-Magall, except that Nisibis, Edessa and Harran are said to be built by Nimrod when Reu was 50, and that he began his reign as the first king when Reu was 130. In this version, the weaver is called Sisan, and the fourth son of Noah is called Yonton.

A confrontation is found in the Islamic Qur'an, between a king, not mentioned by name, and the Prophet Ibrahim (Arabic version of "Abraham"). Muslim commentators assign Nimrod as the king based on Jewish sources. In Ibrahim's confrontation with the king, the former argues that Allah is the one who gives life and gives death. The king responds by bringing out two people sentenced to death. He releases one and kills the other as a poor attempt at making a point that he also brings life and death. Ibrahim refutes by stating that Allah brings the Sun out from the East, and so he asks the king to bring it from the West. The king is then perplexed and angered.

Whether or not conceived as having ultimately repented, Nimrod remained in Jewish and Islamic tradition an emblematic evil person, an archetype of an idolater and a tyrannical king. In rabbinical writings up to the present, he is almost invariably referred to as "Nimrod the Evil" (Hebrew: נמרוד הרשע‎), and to Muslims he is "Nimrod al-Jabbar" (The Mighty one or powerful).



Namrud see Nimrod
Nemrod see Nimrod


Nisaburi, al-Hasan ibn Muhammad al-
Nisaburi, al-Hasan ibn Muhammad al- (al-Hasan ibn Muhammad al-Nisaburi) (d.1015).  Litterateur and Qur’anic scholar.  He is famous for a collection on intelligent madmen.
Hasan ibn Muhammad al-Nisaburi, al- see Nisaburi, al-Hasan ibn Muhammad al-


Niyazi, Shams al-Din Mehmed
Niyazi, Shams al-Din Mehmed (Shams al-Din Mehmed Niyazi) (Misri Efendi) (1617-1694).  Ottoman poet and mystic.  Instructed in the Naqshbandiyya order, he joined the Qadiriyya order and became famous for his sanctity and gifts of prophecy.  He was twice banished to Lemnos because of his sermons.  His diwan exists in Arabic and Turkish.
Shams al-Din Mehmed Niyazi see Niyazi, Shams al-Din Mehmed
Misri Efendi see Niyazi, Shams al-Din Mehmed


Nizam al-Din Ahmad al-Harawi
Nizam al-Din Ahmad al-Harawi (1549-1594).  Persian historian.  His fame rests on a work in which he deals with the history of India from 977 to 1593.
Harawi, Nizam al-Din Ahmad al- see Nizam al-Din Ahmad al-Harawi


Nizam al-Din Awliya’
Nizam al-Din Awliya’ (Muhammad ibn Ahmad al-Bukhari) (Nizam al-Din Auliya) (Nizam ud-Din Auliya) (Sultan-ul-Mashaikh) (Mehboob-e-Ilahi) (Hazrat Shaikh Khwaja Syed Muhammad Nizamuddin Auliya) (1238 - 3 April 1325).  Indian Muslim saint.  He is regarded as one of the most celebrated saints of India, and his tomb near Delhi is visited by many Muslims.  Nizam al-Din Awliya’ was one of the most celebrated Sufi saints of India.  Disciple of Shaikh Farid Ganj-i Shakar of Ajodhan (d. 1265), he worked in Delhi for the moral and spiritual culture of people for more than half a century.  According to the historian Barani all sorts of people from the cities as well as from the rural areas visited him.  Nizam al-Din kept an open kitchen and entertained his visitors irrespective of their caste or creed.  He sent his disciples to distant parts of the country and through their efforts the Chishti order attained a pan-Indian status.  Eminent figures from all walks of life -- princes, nobles, scholars, administrators, poets, businessmen, and others -- joined his discipline.  The shaikh identified religion with the service of humanity and considered helping the needy to be more important than prayers or penitence.  He believed in instructing people through example rather than spinning fine ideas.  He kept away from the rulers and the politics of the day and if a khalifa (higher disciple) accepted government service, he expelled him from the discipline.  The Fawa’id-Fu’ad is a collection of his conversations.  During the centuries, his tomb has remained an important place of pilgrimage.

Nizam al-Din Awliya' was a famous Sufi saint of the Chishti Order in South Asia, an order that believed in drawing close to God through renunciation of the world and service to humanity. He is one of the great saints of the Chishti order in India. His predecessors were Moinuddin Chishti, Bakhtiyar Kaki and Fariduddin Ganjshakar. In that sequence, they constitute the initial spiritual chain or silsila of the Chisti order, which is widely prevalent in India and Pakistan.

Nizam al-Din Awliya'  like his predecessors stressed upon the element of love as a means of realization of God. For him, his love of God implied a love of humanity. His vision of the world was marked by a highly evolved sense of secularism and kindness. It is claimed by the 14th century historiographer Ziauddin Barani that his influence on the Muslims of Delhi was such that a paradigm shift was effected in their outlook towards worldly matters. People began to be inclined towards mysticism and prayers and remaining aloof from the world.

Nizam al-Din Awliya' (Nizamuddin) was born in 1238, in Badayun, Uttar Pradesh (East of Delhi), though at age five, after the death of his father, Ahmad Badayuni, he came to Delhi with his mother Bibi Zulekha. His biography finds mention in Ain-i-Akbari, a 16th century document written by Mughal Emperor Akbar’s vizier, Abu'l-Fazl ibn Mubarak.

At the age of twenty, in the year 1269, Nizāmuddīn went to Ajodhan (the present Pakpattan Sharif in Pakistan) and became a disciple of the Sufi saint Fariduddin Ganj-i-Shakkar, commonly known as Baba Farid. Nizāmuddīn did not take up residence in Ajodhan but continued with his theological studies in Delhi while simultaneously starting the Sufi devotional practices and the prescribed litanies. He visited Ajodhan each year to spend the month of Ramadan in the presence of Baba Farid. It was on his third visit to Ajodhan that Baba Farid made him his successor. Shortly after that, when Nizāmuddīn returned to Delhi, he received news that Baba Farid had expired.

Nizāmuddīn lived at various places in Delhi, before finally settling down in Ghiyaspur, a neighborhood in Delhi undisturbed by the noise and hustle of city life. He built his Khanqah here, a place where people from all walks of life were fed, where he imparted spiritual education to others and he had his own quarters. Before long, the khanqah became a place thronged with all kinds of people, rich and poor alike.

Many of his disciples achieved spiritual height, including Shaikh Nasiruddin Muhammad Chirag-e-Delhi, and Amir Khusro, noted scholar/musician, and the royal poet of the Delhi Sultanate.

He died on the morning of April 3, 1325. His shrine, the Nizāmuddīn Dergāh is located in Delhi, and the present structure was built in 1562. The shrine is visited by people of all faiths, through the year, though it becomes a place for special congregation during the death anniversaries, or 'Urs, of Nizāmuddīn Auliyā' and Amīr Khusro, who is also buried at the Nizāmuddīn Dargāh.

Besides believing in the traditional Sufi ideas of embracing God within this life (as opposed to the idea that such partial merger with God is possible only after death), by destroying the ego and cleansing the soul, and that this is possible through considerable efforts involving Sufi practices, Nizamuddin also expanded and practised the unique features introduced by past saints of the Chisti Sufi order in India. These included:

    * Emphasis on renunciation and having complete trust in God.
    * The unity of mankind and shunning distinctions based on social, economic, religious status.
    * Helping the needy, feeding the hungry and being sympathetic to the oppressed.
    * Strong disapproval of mixing with the Sultans, the princes and the nobles.
    * Exhortation in making close contact with the poor and the downtrodden
    * Adopting an uncompromising attitude towards all forms of political and social oppression.
    * A bold stance in favor of Sema, which some considered un-Islamic. Perhaps this was with the view that this was in consonance with the role of music in some modes of Hindu worship, could serve as a basis of contact with local people and would facilitate mutual adjustments between the two communities. In fact Qawwali, a form of devotional music, was originally created by one Nizamuddin's most cherished disciples: Amir Khusro.

Nizamuddin did not much bother about the theoretical aspects of Sufism, believing rather that it was the practical aspects that counted, as it was anyway not possible to describe the diversified mystical experiences called spiritual states or stations which a practicing Sufi encountered. He discouraged the demonstration of Keramat and emphasized that it was obligatory for the Auliya (which roughly means the friends of God) to hide the ability of Keramat from the commoners. He also was quite generous in accepting disciples. Usually whoever came to him saying that he wanted to become a disciple was granted that favor. This resulted in him being always surrounded by people from all strata of society.


Muhammad ibn Ahmad al-Bukhari see Nizam al-Din Awliya’
Nizam al-Din Auliya see Nizam al-Din Awliya’
Nizam ud-Din Auliya see Nizam al-Din Awliya’
Sultan-ul-Mashaikh see Nizam al-Din Awliya’
Mehboob-e-Ilahi see Nizam al-Din Awliya’
Hazrat Shaikh Khwaja Syed Muhammad Nizamuddin Auliya see Nizam al-Din Awliya’


nizam al-mulk
nizam al-mulk. Arabic term which is the title for a high functionary.   The term nizam al-mulk literally means “regent of the kingdom” or "governor of the kingdom".  Surnames in al-mulk (“of the kingdom”) are not used by the Egyptian emirs.

The title nizam al-mulk is borne by various Indian Muslim princes. The term is Arabic for “governor of the kingdom,” which also has been translated as “deputy for the whole empire.” In 1713 it was conferred on Chīn Qilich Khan (Āṣaf Jāh) by the Mughal emperor Muḥammad Shah and was held by his descendants, the rulers of the princely state of Hyderabad, until the mid-20th century. The head of a ruling family was commonly known as the nizam.

regent of the kingdom see nizam al-mulk.
governor of the kingdom see nizam al-mulk.
deputy for the whole empire see nizam al-mulk.


Nizam al-Mulk, Abu ‘Ali al-Hasan
Nizam al-Mulk, Abu ‘Ali al-Hasan (Abu ‘Ali al-Hasan Nizam al-Mulk) (Abu Ali al-Hasan al-Tusi Nizam al-Mulk) (Khwaja Nizam al-Mulk al-Tusi) (1017/1018 – October 14, 1092) (1017/1018-1092).  Vizier of the Saljuq sultans Alp Arslan and Malik Shah.  Nizam al-Mulk (literally “order of the realm”) was the honorific title of Abu Ali Hasan ibn Ali Tusi, the vizier to the Seljuk sultans Alp Arslan and Malikshah.    Nizam al-Mulk was also a writer on the art of government.

Nizam al-Mulk was born near Tus, where his father was a minor official.  The Ghaznavid sultan Mas‘ud ibn Mahmud having been defeated by the Saljuqs at Dandanqan in 1040, Nizam al-Mulk left the Ghaznavids for the Saljuqs.  Nizam al-Mulk served the Seljuk prince Chaghri Beg and gained the regard of his son Alp Arslan, then governing Khorasan for his father. 

Nizam al-Mulk was Alp Arslan’s right hand man throughout his reign (1063-1072), and upon the accession of his young son Malik-shah (1072-1092) became the virtual ruler of the empire.  After the assassination of Alp Arslan in 1072, Nizam al-Mulk, for the next twenty years, was the real ruler of the Saljuq Empire, residing with the young Malik Shah at Isfahan.  He was a champion of orthodoxy and a generous patron of learning, fostering both by founding the Nizamiyya College in Baghdad.

His relations with the ‘Abbasid caliphs al-Qa’im bi-Amr Allah and al-Muqtadi were strained, but after he had been received graciously at Baghdad in 1086, he became a champion of the caliphate, while relations with Malik Shah and the princely family deteriorated.  His vigorous repression of heresy led to his murder by an emissary of the “Assassins” of Alamut. 

Nizam al-Mulk was assassinated in 1092, probably by an emissary of the Nizari Isma‘ili al-Hasan ibn al-Sabbah, who had obtained possession of Alamut.  He was a lavish patron of religious men and poets.  In 1091 and 1092, he wrote a monarch’s primer, in which he deals with dangers that threatened the empire, in particular from the Isma‘ilis.  After his death, members of his family, known as Nizamiyya, held office under princes of the Saljuqs for the next sixty years, except for a gap between 1123 and 1134.

Nizam al-Mulk’s Siyasat-nama, written in unadorned Persian prose in 1091 at the invitation of Malik-shah and somewhat expanded by a later editor, is a practical manual of statecraft, illustrated by historical anecdotes.

Nizam al-Mulk is generally regarded as the principal architect of the Seljuk state.  He began his administrative career under the Ghaznavids, from whom he would draw inspiration for both theory and practice throughout his life.  Then, following the victories of the Seljuks, he entered their service in Khurasan, becoming Alp Arslan’s vizier and succeeding with him to imperial power.

Nizam al-Mulk combined his administrative skills with the military ventures of his sovereign to consolidate Seljuk authority from the Mediterranean to beyond the Oxus River.  Although he was able to dominate the young Malikshah, Alp Arslan’s son and successor, the vizier and the sultan later fell out, probably because of Nizam al-Mulk’s arrogance as well as resistance at the court, due in part to his extensive use of nepotism.

Nizam al-Mulk’s greatness lies in his championing of traditional Perso-Islamic practices of government and his attempt to adapt them to the new context of the Islamic Middle Ages.  His goal was to return substantial power to a civilian Persian bureaucracy.  Here he was unable to reverse the trend toward Turkish military dominance.  Ironically, he contributed to the growing autonomy of local military leaders.  By introducing reforms in the land grant (iqta) system, he institutionalized it to the point that it would serve as a basis for their expanded power, influence, and independence.  He was able, however, to contribute to the spread of a common educational and intellectual standard throughout Islam by supporting his own schools for Islamic scholars, the Nizamiyya madrasas.

Nizam al-Mulk’s practice was complemented by his theories, which were articulated in the Siyasatnama (Book of Government), a collection of advice, quotations, traditions, sayings, anecdotes, longer stories, contemporary events, and historical narratives, written in the last five years of his life.  The Siyasatnama takes a well-deserved place in both the development of Persian literature and the refinement of Islamic political theory.

The first part of the book contains chapters about the king’s public function (“Concerning assignees of land and inquiry into their treatment of the peasantry,” “On obtaining information about the conduct of tax-collectors, judges ...”) as well as his more personal life (“Concerning boon companions and intimates ...,” “Concerning the rules and arrangements for drinking parties ...”).  The second part is foreboding, dealing almost exclusively with heresy and various revolts, in particular with the contemporary activities of the Isma‘ilis.

Nizam al-Mulk’s pessimism was warranted.  He was assassinated in 1092 by an Isma‘ili, possibly with the complicity of the enemies he had gathered at court over three decades.  Malikshah died shortly thereafter.  These dual voids would not be filled.  Thus the decline of the Seljuk Empire in favor of smaller regional and local states was ensured.



Abu ‘Ali al-Hasan Nizam al-Mulk see Nizam al-Mulk, Abu ‘Ali al-Hasan
Abu Ali al-Hasan al-Tusi Nizam al-Mulk see Nizam al-Mulk, Abu ‘Ali al-Hasan
Khwaja Nizam al-Mulk al-Tusi see Nizam al-Mulk, Abu ‘Ali al-Hasan


Nizami
Nizami (Ilyas ibn Yusuf Nizami) (Nezāmi-ye Ganjavi) (Nîzamî Gencewî) (Niżām ad-Dīn Abū Muḥammad Ilyās ibn-Yūsuf ibn-Zakī ibn-Mu‘ayyad)  (Jamal al-Din Abu Muhammad Nizami Ganjawi) (1140/1141-1209).  Born in Ganja, Nizami became the greatest Persian poet of the southern Caucasus.  His epic work consists of five separate poems compiled by later generations into a collection called the Khamsa (Quintet).  Each poem is composed in a different meter and evokes a different tradition.  Makhzan al-asrar (Treasury of Secrets) is an ethical-philosophical poem rich in parable and allegory; Khusrau u Shirin, said to be inspired by Nizami’s grief over the death of his first wife, is an interpretation of a tragic, semi-historical Middle Iranian love story; Laila u Majnun, also a romantic tragedy, is based on Arabic folklore; Haft paykar (Seven Portraits) gives an account of the education and reign of an ideal king, her Bahram Gur.  The fifth epic, which consists of two parts, Sharafnama (Book of Honor) and Iqbalnama (Book of Happiness), is a portrait of Alexander the Great as warrior, philosopher, and king. 

Of the presumed twenty thousand lyrical verses of Nizami, two thousand have survived to attest to his mastery of the genres of ghazal (love poetry) and qasida (panegyric).  A large number of imitators in Iran and in areas under the influence of Persian culture, such as Turkey, Central Asia, and India, composed Khamsas of their own.  Thus, the formal conventions and mythology of the original were widely circulated.

Nizami (Nezami) was the greatest romantic epic poet in Persian literature, who brought a colloquial and realistic style to the Persian epic.

Little is known of Neẓāmī’s life. Orphaned at a young age, he spent his entire life in Ganja, leaving only once to meet the ruling prince. Although he enjoyed the patronage of a number of rulers and princes, he was distinguished by his simple life and straightforward character.

Only a handful of his qaṣīdahs (“odes”) and ghazals (“lyrics”) have survived; his reputation rests on his great Khamseh (“The Quintuplet”), a pentalogy of poems written in mas̄navī verse form (rhymed couplets) and totaling 30,000 couplets. Drawing inspiration from the Persian epic poets Ferdowsī and Sanāʾī, he proved himself the first great dramatic poet of Persian literature. The first poem in the pentology is the didactic poem Makhzan al-asrār (The Treasury of Mysteries), the second the romantic epic Khosrow o-Shīrīn (“Khosrow and Shīrīn”). The third is his rendition of a well-known story in Islāmic folklore, Leyli o-Mejnūn (The Story of Leyla and Majnun). The fourth poem, Haft paykar (The Seven Beauties), is considered his masterwork. The final poem in the pentalogy is the Sikandar or Eskandar-nāmeh (“Book of Alexander the Great”), a philosophical portrait of Alexander.

Neẓāmī is admired in Persian-speaking lands for his originality and clarity of style, though his love of language for its own sake and of philosophical and scientific learning makes his work difficult for the average reader.



Ilyas ibn Yusuf Nizami see Nizami
Nezāmi-ye Ganjavi see Nizami
Nîzamî Gencewî see Nizami
Niżām ad-Dīn Abū Muḥammad Ilyās ibn-Yūsuf ibn-Zakī ibn-Mu‘ayyad see Nizami
Jamal al-Din Abu Muhammad Nizami Ganjawi see Nizami


Nizami ‘Arudi Samarqandi, Ahmad ibn ‘Umar
Nizami ‘Arudi Samarqandi, Ahmad ibn ‘Umar (Ahmad ibn ‘Umar Nizami ‘Arudi Samarqandi) (Ahmad ibn Umar ibn Alī) (Nizamī-i Arūzī-i Samarqandī) (Arudi) (Aruzi) ("The Prosodist") (fl.1110-1161). Persian poet and prose writer.  One of the most remarkable Persian writers of prose in twelfth century.  He faithfully served the Ghurid princes for 45 years.  His fame rests on his Four Discourses, each of which deals with one of the classes of men whom the author regards as indispensable in the service of kings: secretaries, poets, astrologers and physicians.  Nizami also gives the earliest notice of Firdawsi, and the only contemporary reference to ‘Omar Khayyam.

Born in Samarqand, Aruzi spent most of his time in Khorasan and Transoxiana. He served as essentially a court-poet to the Ghurids for many years, and is considered one of the greatest of the Persian prose writers, though his poetry is considered inferior to his prose. All that is known of his personal life is gleaned from the Chahar Maqala itself. While he was primarily a courtier, he also noted in his book that he was an astronomer and physician as well. He reports in the work that he spent time not only in his native Samarqand, but also in Herat, Tus (where he visited Ferdowsi's tomb and gathered material on the great poet), Balkh, and Nishapur, where he lived for perhaps five years. He also claimed to have studied under the astronomer-poet Omar Khayyám, a native of Nishapour.

In the Introduction to the Chahar Maqala, Nizami Aruzi elaborates on issues of natural science, epistemology and politics. He is a champion of the ancient Persian concept of kingship which, for the sake of legitimation, is expressed in Muslim vocabulary. His elaboration on the classes of society is influenced by Persian as well as Greek conceptions, especially Plato.

The Chahar Maqala has been rendered into English, French, Italian and Swedish.



Ahmad ibn ‘Umar Nizami ‘Arudi Samarqand see Nizami ‘Arudi Samarqandi, Ahmad ibn ‘Umar
Ahmad ibn Umar ibn Alī see Nizami ‘Arudi Samarqandi, Ahmad ibn ‘Umar
Nizamī-i Arūzī-i Samarqandī see Nizami ‘Arudi Samarqandi, Ahmad ibn ‘Umar
Arudi see Nizami ‘Arudi Samarqandi, Ahmad ibn ‘Umar
The Prosodist see Nizami ‘Arudi Samarqandi, Ahmad ibn ‘Umar


Nizami Ganjawi, Jamal al-Din Abu Muhammad
Nizami Ganjawi, Jamal al-Din Abu Muhammad (Jamal al-Din Abu Muhammad Nizami Ganjawi). See Nizami.


Nizami, Hasan
Nizami, Hasan (Hasan Nizami) (Sadr al-Din Muhammad).  Persian historian from Nishapur of the thirteenth century.  He is known for a great work which deals with the history of the first three Mu ‘izzi or Slave Kings of Delhi.
Hasan Nizami see Nizami, Hasan
Sadr al-Din Muhammad see Nizami, Hasan
Muhammad, Sadr al-Din see Nizami, Hasan


Nizam Shahis
Nizam Shahis. Name of an independent sultanate at Ahmadnagar, which arose out of the ruins of the Bahmanid kingdom of the Deccan.  The sultanate lasted from 1490 to 1633.  It was annexed by the Mughals, notwithstanding the attempts of the Maratha leader Shaji Bhonsle to resuscitate the dynasty.

Shahis, Nizam see Nizam Shahis.


Nizari Isma‘ilis
Nizari Isma‘ilis (Nizariyya).  Major branch of the Isma‘iliyya.  The Nizaris derive their name from Nizar, the eldest son of the Fatimid Caliph al-Mustansir bi-‘llah, to whom they gave their allegiance, rejecting the claims of Nizar’s brother al-Musta‘li bi-‘llah. One of their most important figures was Hasan-i Sabbah.  After the destruction of Alamut, the various communities in Syria and Persia struggled to survive.  They emerged in the Punjab, Sind and Gujarat, where they are known as Khojas.  Their present Imam is Aga Khan IV, Nizari communities are found in Asia, Africa (Zanzibar), Europe, the United States and Canada. (See also Assassins.)
Nizariyya see Nizari Isma‘ilis
Khojas see Nizari Isma‘ilis


Nizaris
Nizaris. See Assassins.

Nizari
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The Shī‘a Imami Ismā‘īlī Tariqah also referred to as the Ismā‘īlī or Nizārī (Arabic: النزاريون‎ an-Nizāriyyūn), is a path (tariqah) of Shī‘a Islām, emphasizing social justice, pluralism, and human reason within the framework of the mystical tradition of Islam. The Nizari are the second largest branch of Shia Islam and form the majority of the Ismā‘īlī (Arabic: اسماعیلیه‎). There are an estimated 12 to 15 million Nizari Ismā‘īlī residing in more than 25 countries and territories.

Nizari teachings affirm the Islamic tenet that there is "No god but the One God, and Muhammad is the final Prophet of God". Along with other Shī‘a, Nizari believe that following the Prophet's death his relative Ali Ibn Talib was selected by divine decree to succeed the Prophet as Imam in the institution of Imamate (Imama) which continues in an unbroken hereditary chain through Ali Ibn Talib, and Fatimah Az Zahra (the Prophet Muhammad's daughter) to the present day, under the aegis of His Highness Prince Shah Karim Al-Husayni, the Aga Khan IV, their forty ninth Imam.

Human society is believed to be in a state of continuous flux, the role of the Imam is to find permanent solutions to issues, and challenges raised by increasingly rapid changes in the world; to care for the spiritual and material well being of their followers as well as humanity at large, and to safeguard the rights of the individual to spiritual, social, and scientific enquiry.

The Nizāriyyah are the spiritual descendants of the Fatimid Caliphate (909-1094 CE) and the subsequent "Assassins" of Alamūt under Dā‘ī Hassan aṣ-Ṣabbaḥ (1034-1124 CE).[1]
Contents
[hide]

    * 1 Beliefs
          o 1.1 God
          o 1.2 Qur'an
          o 1.3 Imāmate
    * 2 Teachings
          o 2.1 Pillars of Islam
          o 2.2 Theology
    * 3 History
    * 4 Contemporary Ismā'īlī
          o 4.1 Silver Jubilee
          o 4.2 Golden Jubilee
    * 5 Community
          o 5.1 World Constitution
          o 5.2 Places of Worship
          o 5.3 Symbols
    * 6 Practices
          o 6.1 Marriage
          o 6.2 Offerings
          o 6.3 Calendar
    * 7 International Development
          o 7.1 Agencies of the AKDN
    * 8 See also
    * 9 References
    * 10 External links

[edit] Beliefs
[edit] God
Main article: God in Islam
Name of Allāh written in Arabic calligraphy by 17th century Ottoman artist Hâfız Osman

Isma'ili Islam believes God is the One true and perfect reality from which all forms descend. The creator who is omniscient, omnipotent, and beyond the comprehension of human thought or sensory perception. God creates and sustains existence (time-space) through a series of radiations originating in the godhead. From God's own substance waves radiate out, yet God's own being never decreases, nor diminishes. Waves move further away from the source through the realities, but subsequently become less divine. This process is on going and never ceases. So in one sense God not merely created existence, but is constantly sustaining it, and by extension the ultimate revelation of existence is that God is the only true reality.

The Arabic term for God is Allāh, in Persian Khuda. Nizari use both; but their discourse often describes God as "that which cannot be reached by the boldness of thoughts", "Black Light", and "Luminous Night". Though this unknowable divinity can not be realized in this reality, God may be contemplated within it, meditation of the divine can reveal a glimpse (deedar) of what is yet to come. The idea of Kashf (unveiling), as opposed to Satr (hidden), to reach a hidden mystical knowledge or truth (haqq) concerning the human condition, and the discovery of a fuller life. Creation consists of two states: The intelligible (batin) which is pure, and thus permanent, fixed, and eternal which can be revealed through unveiling (kasf), and the sensible (zahir) which is mixed, and thus dissolves, and is impermanent, and finite which is itself veiled (satr). Isma'ili seek to be bestowed with the Tajallî, the transfiguration of the individuel through meditative contemplation. Tajallî is seen as a divinely ordained act of virtue, in which a human being can attain a direct perception of the divine gnosis (ma'rifat), which is beyond knowable forms involving the annihilation (fanâ') of the one to whom it is granted.[2]
[edit] Qur'an
Main article: Qur'an
Main article: Esoteric interpretation of the Qur'an
See also: Qur'anic hermeneutics and Exegesis
A water colour ink and gold page from a Persian Qur'an, 14th century

Nizari like all Muslims consider the Qur'an to be the word of God; it is the central religious text of Islam.[3] Muslims believe that the verses of the Qur'an were revealed to Muhammad by God through the Arch-Angel Gabriel between 610 CE and his death on June 8, 632 CE.

The Qur'an is divided into 114 suras, or chapters, which combined, contain 6,236 āyāt, or verses. The chronologically earlier suras, revealed at Mecca, are primarily concerned with ethical and spiritual topics. The later Medinan suras mostly discuss social and moral issues relevant to the Muslim community.

Naziri employ the science of Qu'ranic commentary and esoteric exegesis known as Ta'wil to reveal the batin (inner, esoteic), in addition to Tafsir to reveal the zahir (outer, exoteric), as tools of interpretation of scripture. Ta'wil stems from a Qur’anic word meaning "to return", "going back to" the original meaning of the Qur’an. While acknowledging the importance of both batin and zahir in religion, the batin (inner, esoteric) understandings of religion, informs how the Zahir (outer, exoteric) aspects of religion are practiced, but more importantly guides the believer on a spiritual journey that engages both the intellect ('aql) and the spirit (ruh) on a journey of discovery of the intangible truth (haq'iqq), with the ultimate destination being that of gnosis (ma'rifat).

The word Qur'an means "recitation". When Muslims speak in the abstract about "the Qur'an", they usually mean the scripture as recited rather than the printed work or any translation of it. For Isma'ili the Qu'ran is embodied most perfectly in the form of the Imam-i-Zaman, whose engagement of the Qu'ran through the use of Ta'wil and Tafsir is believed by Nizari to be "par excellence" due to divine inspiration.
[edit] Imāmate

A fundamental belief of the Imami Shi'a school is that the Prophet Muhammad, was imparted with a divine spark that dated back to the founding of the universe. This Nūr Dīn Muhammad (Light of Religion of Muhammad) had by divine decree been passed onto his son in law, Imam ‘Alī ibn Talib who had in turn passed it on to his descendants through the concept of nass; where divinely inspired, the Imām appoints his successor. Religious guidance can only come from the designate Imām, who remains a constant guide from God in the world. For Shia the Imāmate is a mercy, and a belief in humanity from God, who would never leave humanity without access to divine guidance and leadership. The term "Imām" takes on a different significance for the Shi‘a, whereas for Sunni an Imām is any member of a congregation who leads prayer.

For Isma'ili the chain of Imamate remains continuous until the end of the world, Imams may go in to satr (concealment, veiling) ushering in an age known as dawr-Al sartr (epoch of concealment) when the Imams remain hidden from the eyes of the bulk of their followers which may be generational; when safety is assured they re-emerge as kashf (manifest, unveiled), and usher in an age of dawr-al-Kashf (epoch of unveiling). For Isma'ili the Imams do not manifest supernatural abilities, but rather exemplary qualities in dealing with the spiritual and material well being of their followers, they guard individual intellectual inquiry, and foster community cohesion.
[edit] Teachings
[edit] Pillars of Islam

Isma'ilism holds that there are seven pillars in Islam, each of which possess both an exoteric outer (Zahir) expression, and an esoteric inner (Batin) expression.

The Foundation:

The Shahādah or profession of faith is not considered a Pillar as it is in other schools of Islam. Rather as the foundation upon which the Seven Pillars rest. The recitation of the shahādatayn (La ilaha illa Allah wa Muhammadun rasulu l-Lah) “There is no god but God and Muhammad is the messenger of God” confirms one as a Muslim. The Shia and Nizari add wa ‘Aliyun wali llah (علي ولي الله) "‘Alī is the guardian [appointed] of God" at the end of the shahādatayn, a confirmation one is a Mu'min "believer" under the guardianship (walayya) of the Imam and the esoteric inner path (tariqah).

The Seven Pillars consist of:

   1. Walayah Guardianship (Arabic: ولاية‎); cultivating a pure loving, affection, attachment and intimacy to God, manifested in the Prophets and the Imams by continually offering loyalty, allegiance, devotion and obedience to God, and those who manifest divine guardianship: the Prophets and Imams. For the Nizari, God is the true desire of every soul.
   2. Taharah Purity (Arabic: طهارة‎); physical cleanliness, keeping a hygienic home, and personal presence, but also a purity of the heart and the soul.
   3. Salah Prayer (Arabic: صلاة‎) Nizari Isma'ili as Imami Shia practice the Salaah according to the Ja‘farī madhhab, which is performed to mark important festivals. Nizari more generally perform a ritual du‘a three times a day. The Nizari, like the Sufi, practice dhikr "remembrance" of God, the Prophets and the Imams, which can take the form of a melodic communal chant or can be performed in silence.
   4. Zakah Charity (Arabic: زكاة‎); Volunteering, and sharing of ones own knowledge or skills, as well as tithing. Nizari are encouraged to actively volunteer in the running of community spaces, and offering their specialized knowledge to the wider community, legal, medical, or more vocational expertise. Zakah also refers to tithing, Islamic tradition holds that the Muhammad was designated to collect zakāt from believers, it is now the duty to pay the Imām or his representative; to be redistributed in local, and international development.
   5. Sawm Fasting (Arabic: صوم‎); Fasting during the month of Ramadan and to mark the new moon is believed to be beneficial for those who are overwrought with the base ego; desire, rage, and the self. Isma'ili who are following the tariqah (path) seek to transcend the base ego so as to attain an inner being that is in harmony, they absorb food as nourishment for a healthy, peaceful, body and mind; as the more important fast is that of mind and heart, where one abstains from unworthy concerns and worldly thoughts, and can be broken by succumbing to the base ego, and its insatiable desires.
   6. Hajj Pilgrimage (Arabic: حج‎); The pilgrimage to Mecca at least once in an individual's life. For the Nizari, there is also a fuller discovery to be made regarding life. The Imams spirit, both a spiritual and physical glimpse (Deedar) aid them in transforming themselves into spiritual beings they cease to be ordinary people existing within the exoteric reality, but journey to and discover an inner reality of life.[4]
   7. Jihad Struggle (Arabic: جهاد‎); is a struggle against deeply personal and social vices, such as wrath, intolerance, envy, and that which removes one from the ease of the divine presence. The struggle may also take the form of a physical war against those that harm the peace, either militarily or through subterfuge, with the aim of restoring or creating a just society. Isma'ili are instructed to avoid provocation, and use of force only as a final resort, and only in self-defense.

[edit] Theology

Various rival approaches to the challenge that Greek rationalism posed to revelation permeated early Islamic society; the Ashʿari considered Kalam (reason) contradictory to Islam and philosophy (falsafa) as inherently antagonistic to faith, asserting the absolute supremacy of revelation, and the abandonment of reason in the spiritual space, and secular space (both of which are interconnected within orthodox Islam). The Mutazili took a less absolutist approach asserting the supremacy traditionalism, yet allowing for a limited role of reason (Kalam). Isma'ili adopted an altogether more philosophical approach in which only through reasoned discourse one could attain understanding of revelation, social structure, individualism and as well as the functioning of the natural world. For this reason Isma'ili produced a relatively scant collection of theological discourse in comparison to other Shia, and the Sunni. Yet they commanded a leading place in the development of philosophical discourse within the Islamic world.

While Nizari belong to the Imami or Ja‘fāriyya Madhab (school of Jurisprudence), founded by Imam Ja‘far as-Sadiq they adhere to sumpremacy of reason "Kalam", in the interpretation of scripture, and believe in the temporal relativism of understanding, as opposed to fiqh (traditional legalism), which adheres to an absolutism approach to revelation.

For Nizari reasoning is arrived at through a dialectic between revelation and human reasoning, based on a synergy of Islamic scripture and classical Greek philosophy, in particular Aristotelean reasoning and Platonic metaphysics. It seeks to extend an understanding of religion and revelation to identify the outwardly apparent (zahir), and also to penetrate to the roots, to retrieve and disclose that which is the inner underlying (batin). This process of discovery engages both the intellect (‘aql) and the spirit (ruh), operating in an integral synergy to illuminate and disclose truths (haqa’iq) culminating in gnosis (ma'rifat).
[edit] History
Main article: History of the Shī‘a Imāmī Ismā'īlī Ṭarīqah

Isma'ili history is often traced through the unbroken hereditary chain of Guardianship or (waliya), beginning with as Shia believe Ali Ibn Talib being declared his successor as Imam by the Prophet Muhammad during his final pilgrimage to Mecca, a journey referred to as The Farewell Pilgrimage, and continuing in an unbroken chain to the current Imam His Highness Shah Karim Al-Husayni, the Aga Khan IV

Their history includes the establishment of two states governed by their Imams, including the first Shia Empire, the Fatimid Empire, a considerable feat considering they are small minority of the Shia, who are in turn a minority within Islam, and the Federation of the Assassins based at the fortress of Alamut. And a number of smaller states and provinces, particularly in Persia, South Asia and Central Asia.
[edit] Contemporary Ismā'īlī
Main article: Aga Khan IV

Almost all Nizārī Ismā'īlī today accept His Highness Prince Shah Karim Al-Husayni, the Aga Khan IV as their Imām-I-Zaman (Imam of the Time), but for about 15,000 in western Syria.[5] In Persian he is referred to religiously as Khudawand (Lord of the Time), in Arabic as Maulana (Master) or Hāzar Imām (Present Imam). Karim acceded his grandfather Sir Sultan Muhammad Shah Aga Khan III to the Imāmate in 1957, aged just 20, and still an undergraduate at Harvard University. He was referred to as "the Imam of the Atomic age". The period following his accession can be characterized as one of rapid political and economic change. Planning of programs and institutions became increasingly difficult due to the rapid changes in newly-emerging post colonial nations where many of his followers resided. Upon becoming Imām, Karim's immediate concern was the preparation of his followers, wherever they lived, for the changes that lay ahead. This rapidly evolving situation called for bold initiatives and new programs to reflect developing national aspirations, in the newly independent nations.[6]

In Africa, Asia and the Middle East, a major objective of the Community's social welfare and economic programs, until the mid-fifties, had been to create a broad base of businessmen, agriculturists, and professionals. The educational facilities of the community tended to emphasize secondary-level education. With the coming of independence, each nation's economic aspirations took on new dimensions, focusing on industrialization and modernization of agriculture. The community's educational priorities had to be reassessed in the context of new national goals, and new institutions had to be created to respond to the growing complexity of the development process.

In 1972, under the regime of the then President Idi Amin, Ismā'īlīs and other Asians were expelled despite being citizens of the country and having lived there for generations. The Imam undertook urgent steps to facilitate the resettlement of Ismāʿīlīs displaced from Uganda, Tanzania, Kenya and also from Burma. Owing to his personal efforts most found homes, not only in Asia, but also in Europe and North America. Most of the basic resettlement problems were overcome remarkably rapidly. This was due to the adaptability of the Ismāʿīlīs themselves and in particular to their educational background and their linguistic abilities, as well as the efforts of the host countries and the moral and material support from Ismāʿīlī community programs.

In view of the importance that Islām places on maintaining a balance between the spiritual well-being of the individual and the quality of his life, the Imām's guidance deals with both aspects of the life of his followers. The Aga Khan has encouraged Ismā'īlī Muslims, settled in the industrialized world, to contribute towards the progress of communities in the developing world through various development programs. Indeed the Economist noted: that Isma'ili immigrant communities, integrated seamlessly as an immigrant community, and did better at attaining graduate and post graduate degrees, "far surpassing their native, Hindu, Sikh, fellow Muslims, and Chinese communities".[7]
[edit] Silver Jubilee

From July 1982 to July 1983, to celebrate the present Aga Khan's Silver Jubilee, marking the 25th anniversary of his accession to the Imāmat, many new social and economic development projects were launched. These range from the establishment of the US$450 million international Aga Khan University with its Faculty of Health Sciences and teaching hospital based in Karachi, the expansion of schools for girls and medical centers in the Hunza region, one of the remote parts of Northern Pakistan bordering on China and Afghanistan, to the establishment of the Aga Khan Rural Support Program in Gujarat, India, and the extension of existing urban hospitals and primary health care centers in Tanzania and Kenya. These initiatives form part of an international network of institutions involved in fields that range from education, health and rural development, to architecture and the promotion of private sector enterprise and together make up the Aga Khan Development Network.

It is this commitment to man's dignity and relief of humanity that inspires the Ismā'īlī Imāmat's philanthropic institutions. Giving of one's competence, sharing one's time, material or intellectual ability with those among whom one lives, for the relief of hardship, pain or ignorance is a deeply ingrained tradition which shapes the social conscience of the Ismā'īlī Muslim community.
[edit] Golden Jubilee

During his Golden Jubilee from 2007-2008 marking 50 years of Imamate the Aga Khan commissioned a number of projects, renowned Pritzker Prize winning Japanese architect Fumihiko Maki was commissioned to design a new kind of community structure resembling an embassy in Canada, The "Delegation of the Ismaili Imamat" opened in 8 December 2008, the building will be composed of two large interconnected spaces an atrium and a courtyard. The atrium is an interior space to be used all year round. It is protected by a unique glass dome made of multi-faceted, angular planes assembled to create the effect of rock crystal the Aga Khan asked Maki to consider the qualities of "rock crystal" in his design, which during the Fatimid Empire was valued by the Imams. Within the glass dome is an inner layer of woven glass-fibre fabric which will appear to float and hover over the atrium. The Delegation building sits along sussex drive near the Canadian parliament. Future Delegation buildings are planned for other capitals, beginning with Lisbon, Portugal.

In a addition to primary and secondary schools the Aga Khan Academies, were set up to equip future leaders in the developing world, with a leading standard education. The Aga Khan Museum, which will open in Toronto, Canada, will be the first museum dedicated to islamic civilization in the west, due for completion in 2011 it will be dedicated to the "acquisition, preservation and display of artefacts - from various periods and geographies - relating to the intellectual, cultural, artistic and religious heritage of Islamic communities". A series of new Isma'ili centre are underway, including Toronto, Ontario; Paris, France; Houston, Texas; Dushabi and the Pamir; Tajikistan.
[edit] Community
[edit] World Constitution
Main article: Ismā‘īlī Constitution

The present Aga Khan continued the practice of his predecessor and extended constitutions to Ismā'īlī communities in the US, Canada, several European countries, the Gulf, Syria and Iran following a process of consultation within each constituency. In 1986, he promulgated a World Constitution that, for the first time, brought the social governance of the worldwide Ismā'īlī community into a single structure with built-in flexibility to account for diverse circumstances of different regions. Served by volunteers appointed by and accountable to the Imām, the Constitution functions as an enabler to harness the best in individual creativity in an ethos of group responsibility to promote the common well-being.

Like its predecessors, the present constitution is founded on adherence to the basic principles of Islam, belief in One God, and Muhammad as the seal of the prophets. And to each Ismā'īlī's spiritual allegiance to the Imām of the Time, which is separate from the secular allegiance that all Ismā'īlīs owe as citizens to their national entities. The present Imām and his predecessor emphasized every Ismāʿīlī's allegiance to his or her country as a fundamental obligation. These obligations are discharged not by passive affirmation but through responsible engagement and active commitment to uphold national integrity and contribute to peaceful development.
[edit] Places of Worship
Main article: Jama'at Khana

Jama'at Khana (Arabic, Persian: جماعتِ خانة ), from the Arabic "Jamaat" (congregation), and the Persian "Khaneh" (house).

Jama'at Khana are Isma'ili houses of prayer, study, and community. They usually contain separate spaces for prayer, and a social hall for community gatherings. There are no principle architectural guidelines for Jama'at Khana although inspiration is drawn from Islamic architectural philosophy, and local architectural traditions to seamlessly, and discretely place them into the local architectural environment. Architectural forms and interior designs of Jamaat Khana vary from east to west, but are focussed on a minimalist design aesthetic. Jama'at Khana do not contain minarets, or announce the call to prayer, and while they may contain a central dome, seldom do.

Larger Jama'at Khana are referred to as "Dharkhanas", or "Isma'ili Centers" in the west, and have been referred to as "Isma'ili Cathedrals" by observers. While containing prayer, and social infrastructure albeit on a larger scale, they may also contain auditoriums and lecture spaces, libraries, offices, and council chambers, as they act as the regional, or national governing centers for community administration.

Jama'at Khana, particularly the larger centers offer their spaces to the community at large, and arrange guided tours. However, during prayer only Isma'ili are allowed to enter the prayer hall.
[edit] Symbols
The Isma'ili flag known as "My Flag"

The Fatimids adopted Green (akhdar) as the colour of their standard, which symbolized their allegiance to Hasdret Ali, who in order to thwart an assassination attempt once wrapped himself in a green coverlet in place of the Prophet Muhammad. When Hassan I Sabbah captured Alamut it is said he hoisted the green standard over the fortress, it was later reported that Hassan I sabbah prophesied that when the Hidden Imam made himself known he would hoist a red flag, which Hasan II did during his appearance. Following the destruction of Alamut Ismaili hoisted both green and red flags above the tombs of their Imams. Green and Red were unified in the 19th century into the Isma'ili flag known as "My Flag".

The Fatimids also used a white standard with gold inlays, and the Caliph Imams often wore white with gold, as they do today. Isma'ili use a gold crest on white standard to symbolize the authority of Imamate, and often wear white in the presence of their Imam.

The heptagram (septegram) a seven pointed star is often used by Isma'ili as a symbol.
[edit] Practices
[edit] Marriage

Marriage ("ʿurs" عرس), is a legal contract ("Nikkah" النكاح) between a consenting adult man and a woman, it is not considered a sacrament in Islam as it is in Christianity. As a contract it allows both parties to add certain conditions.

Nizari ideals of marriage envision a long term union and thus Nizari also reject short Nikah Mut'ah and Misyar temporary marriage contracts.

Nizari of either gender may marry from spouses from the Abrahamic faiths, Jews, Christians, Samaritans, as well as Zoroastrians. However an emphasis is placed on marrying within the community, or converting partners who are outside the fold, raising children of mixed unions as Isma'ili Muslim.

Since marriage is not considered a sacrament in Islam, Nizari Isma'ili consider secular court marriages in the west as valid legal contracts. However many Isma'ili couples in the west opt into both a court marriage to secure legal recognition, in addition to a Nikkah ceremony performed at a Jama'at Khana.
[edit] Offerings
Main article: Nāndi

Nāndi is a ceremony in which food is symbolically offered to the Imām-e Zamān, and is subsequently auctioned to the congregation. Money obtained are forwarded to the Imām by officials. The Ceremony is conducted by volunteers from the community. The food is prepared at home and is brought to the Jamāa't khāne, the Mukhi (congregation head) includes the food known as "Mehmāni" during a blessing at the end of prayers, informing the congregation that it has been offered to the Imām and the benefits of it are for the whole Jamāt. If no physical Mehmāni has been brought to the Jamātkhāne then a symbolic plate called the "Mehmāni plate" can be touched during the Du'a Karavi ceremony, this serves as a substitute for physical food.

The origins of Nāndi are said to be in the Prophet Muhammad's time when a similar practice occurred; however a more likely origin is that it developed from the south Asian Isma'ili who offered food within temples before their conversion to Islam, the ceremony then becoming Islamized, which explains its popularity amongst South Asians.
[edit] Calendar

Nizari use an arithmetic based Lunar calendar to calculate the year, unlike most Muslim communities who rely on visual sightings. The Isma'ili calendar was developed in the Middle Ages during the Faitmid Caliphate of Imam Al-Hakim.

A lunar year contains about 354 11/30 days, Nizari Isma'ili employ a cycle of 11 leap years (kasibah) with 355 days in a 30 year cycle. The odd numbered months contain 30 days and the even numbered months 29 days, the 12th and final month in a leap year contains 30 days.

Nizari use 2, 5, 7, 10, 13, 16, 18, 21, 24, 26, 29 respectively in their calculations.
[edit] International Development

The Aga Khan Development Network (AKDN) was set up by the Imamate and the Isma'ili community as a group of private, non-denominational development agencies that seek to empower communities and individuals regardless of ethnicity or religious affiliation, to seek to improve living conditions and opportunities within the developing world. It has active working relationships with NGO's like the UN, the EU, the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, and government bodies including the United States Agency for International Development, Canadian International Development Agency, the United Kingdom's Department for International Development, and Germany's Federal Ministry of Economic Cooperation and Development (Germany).
[edit] Agencies of the AKDN

    * Aga Khan Foundation (AKF)
    * Aga Khan Health Services (AKHS)
    * Aga Khan Agency for Microfinance (AKAM)
    * Aga Khan Fund for Economic Development (AKFED)
    * Aga Khan Planning and Building Services (AKPBS)
    * Focus Humanitarian Assistance (FOCUS)
    * Aga Khan Education Services (AKES)
    * Aga Khan Trust for Culture (AKTC)
    * University of Central Asia (UCA)
    * Aga Khan University (AKU)


Noah
Noah (Nuh) (Noe) (Novach).  In the Qur’an, Noah is the first prophet of punishment and an admonisher with whom God enters into a covenant, just as God did with Abraham, Moses, Jesus and the Prophet.  Many details about him are worked out in later hadith.

Noah was, according to the Bible, the tenth and last of the antediluvian Patriarchs, and a prophet and messenger according to the Qur'an. The biblical story of Noah is contained in the book of Genesis, chapters 6–9; he is also found in the passage 'Noah's sons", while the Qur'an has an entire sura named after and devoted to his story, with other references elsewhere. In the Genesis account, Noah saves his family and representatives of all animals in groups of two or seven from the flood. In the Islamic account, a group of 72 others are also saved. Noah receives a covenant from God, and his sons re-populate the earth.

While the Deluge and Noah's Ark are the best-known elements of the Noah tradition, Noah is also mentioned in Genesis as the "first husbandman" and possibly the inventor  of wine, as he planted the first vineyard. The account of Noah is the subject of much elaboration in the later Abrahamic traditions, and was immensely influential in Western culture.

The Qur'an contains 43 references to Noah in 28 suras (chapters), notably Sura Nuh and Sura Hud. Sura 11 (Hud) is largely an account of the Flood. Sura 71 (i.e., Sura Nuh), of 28 verses, consists of a divine injunction to Noah to preach, a short sermon of Noah’s to his idolatrous contemporaries on the monotheism of Allah (God), and Noah’s complaint to God about the hardness of the people’s hearts when his preaching is met by ridicule.

The Qur'an's Noah lives for a total of 1000 years with the Flood coming in his 950th year.  It is mankind's obduracy which eventually brings the wrath of God on the unbelievers. (In later tradition, only 83 people are willing to submit, i.e., become Muslim, "those who accept a peaceful yield to the god" with God; these 83 are saved with Noah).

The theme of the Quranic story is the unity of Allah and the need to seek peace with Him. The narrative does not include the Genesis account of Noah's drunkenness, and the possibility of the Curse of Ham narrative is in fact implicitly excluded. The Qur'an does not mention the number of Noah’s sons. Nevertheless the traditions of the Prophet Muhammad clearly mention that Noah had three sons, and that all the population descended from them., and a fourth son who does not join his father despite Noah's final plea to be saved ("O my son! Come ride with us, and be not with the disbelievers!"). Instead the fourth son flees to the mountains and drowns in the flood. God tells Noah that this is because he is an evildoer. (In later Islamic tradition the son is given the name Kenan, "Canaan").


Nuh see Noah
Noe see Noah
Novach see Noah


Nogai
Nogai (Nogay) (Noghai).  Increasing assimilation by Russian culture appears to be threatening the survival of Islam among the Nogai.  They are a scattered people in Russia, although they may still be classified as Muslims ofthe Volga.  The Nogai are also referred to as the Nogailar, Nogaitsy and Mangkyt.  There are also small groups in Bulgaria, Romania and Turkey, for whom no valid population estimates exist but who number probably no more than 50,000.  In Russia, there are Nogai in the Volga steppe region between the Terek and Kuma rivers, others live in the Crimea near the town of Perekop.  In Romania, Nogai are found in the Dobruja.

The name “Nogai” is often linked with the historical name “Nogai,” an identification that is of dubious validity.  Nogai (“dog” in Mongol) seems to be derived from the Emir Nogai, a general of the Golden Horde at the end of the thirteenth century.  His territory, centered on the Ponto Caspian steppes between the Caspian and the Dobruja, acquired his name in the traditional fashion of steppe nomads, who used a heroic name to identify an entire federation of loosely united tribes.  In further traditional fashion, whatever unity existed seems not to have long survived the death of the Emir in 1300.  Two large, loosely organized groups emerged, the northern, “lesser” Nogai and the southern, “greater” Nogai.  It is out of this division of peoples that today’s Nogai emerge.  The difficulty lies in identifying what role the later groups calling themselves Nogai played in the earlier confederation.  The “lesser” Nogai seem to have formed the nucleus out of which the present-day Nogai of the Dobruja emerged, while the “greater” Nogai seem to have been the antecedents of the more nomadic Nogai of the Volga steppes.  There is thus great diversity among the modern Nogai, especially in terms of their dialects. 

Islam came to the Nogai Horde early in its history, with references to the faith occurring as early as the sixteenth century.  The close association of the Nogai with Turkic khanates of the Crimea and with the Ottoman sultans led to a firm Sunni faith among them.  Today, as the Nogai become increasingly assimilated by the Russian culture which surrounds them, it seems doubtful that Islam will long survive as a major element in Nogai society.



Nogay see Nogai
Noghai see Nogai


Nomads
Nomads. People who generally live a wandering way of life.  The term nomads is usually limited to those who engage in “pastoral nomadism,” a regular pattern of migration within a specific area in which all of the population participates, based on year-round herding in the open.  In Asia, nomads are found in the polar deserts and tundra zone (where they herd reindeer).  In the steppes and deserts that stretch from the Danube River to North China in the temperate zone; as well as in Afghanistan and Southwest Asia.  In recent times, peoples that were formerly nomadic have increasingly settled down.  In the past, however, nomads have often played a critical role in Asian history, one out of all proportion to their actual numbers.

As raiders, conquerors, and empire-builders in the steppe, Central Asia, and China, nomads have decisively affected the development of Asian civilization.  Among the more important nomadic empires have been those of the Xiongnu (c. third century B.C.T.- fourth century C.C.); the Turks (sixth to eighth century); the Uighurs (eighth to ninth century); and the Mongols (twelfth to fifteenth century), the last creating a world empire whose influences are still felt from China to Eastern Europe.  Modern China, Russia, and Southwest Asia would undoubtedly have taken quite different shapes without repeated infusions of nomadic rulers, populations, institutions, and ideas.  Yet nomads themselves have left few records or monuments, while histories written by settled peoples have stereotypically portrayed them as greedy, cruel, and uncivilized, and have provided little information about their actual life.  Reconstruction of their histories is thus difficult, and has depended to a large extent on insights derived from the anthropological study of nomadic communities in the modern world, as well as on historical sources.  This process is further complicated by the difficulty of fitting nomadic life into general theories, a problem that has given rise to an extensive literature on such questions as the existence of nomadic feudalism.

Formerly believed to be a survival of a general primitive way of life that antedated agriculture, nomadism is now more commonly believed to have evolved in marginal areas out of settled agriculture, at a time after the domestication of animals.  A highly specialized way of life, it permits exploitation to the limit of the scarce resources of the narrow ecological niche provided by the steppes, deserts, and other areas too dry for agriculture, but where herding is possible.  The narrow specificity of nomadic adaptation to the environment renders such societies inherently unstable and vulnerable.  Nomads lack reserves of fodder that would enable them to survive setbacks.  They have few economic skills other than herding, and thus little possibility of shifting livelihood.  Furthermore, their culture is so closely attuned to the needs of their life as to render difficult the adoption of another way.  Grazing disasters, the jud so feared by the Mongols, can devastate a population, with the effects still reflected (e.g., in the age structure of herds) a decade or more later.  In nomadic societies balance and stability in the short run are difficult to attain, a fundamental fact that determines much about their relationship with the settled world.

Insofar as nomads are not autarkic, requiring products of sedentary cultures such as grains and metals, and since demands are not always reciprocal (settled peoples generally need few nomadic products, although horses for warfare have been an exception), economic tensions between the two realms have frequently arisen.  Because the instability of the nomadic life has made the establishment of regular trade relations difficult, and because sedentary polities have often been unwilling to deal with nomads on equal terms, or at all, this tension has often as not led to warfare.  To extract what they need, nomads have turned to raiding and to conquest.

That societies as rudimentary as nomadic ones should transform themselves into organizations capable of successfully waging coordinated warfare on settled areas may appear paradoxical.  Nomadic society usually lacks much organization above small herding units, loosely linked to one another, and certainly lacks a fixed state structure.  Divorced from settled life, nomadic societies furthermore appear relatively static.  Their economies do not evolve, nor does their population become socially differentiated.  In other words, the sorts of dynamic internal processes usually credited with state formation in other societies appear to be lacking, yet nomadic states nevertheless appear.

Historical reconstruction suggests this happens for purely political and military reasons: state formation seems to occur primarily for the purpose of extracting wealth from neighboring sedentary states.  Modern anthropological fieldwork has not documented this process, however, probably because the nomadic groups studied are no longer warriors.  They have been conquered and incorporated into a larger polity, although they still retain many specific nomadic traits.  Historians have argued convincingly that the Huns of Europe, far from being of exclusively Inner Asian composition, in fact contained many local people, assimilated by fictive kinship ties, and survived to a considerable extent on subsidies extorted from the Romans that supplemented the pastoral economy.  Analysis of the Xiongnu Empire likewise shows a pattern of nomadic state formation for the purpose of entering into economic relations with China.  Similar linkage may be traced between Mongol polities and the Ming dynasty.

At times, nomads took an even more active role within settled areas, as contenders for power or as conquerors.  Such a role was evident in North China during the period between the fall of the Han (220 C.C.) and the emergence of the Tang (618), a dynasty that manifested many nomadic traits; and in the Yuan (1279-1368), which saw direct Mongol rule extended over China proper.  While one should not underestimate the degree to which nomads ruled through existing sedentary institutions and were themselves assimilated (the Mongol Yuan even faced difficulties with dissident nomadic Mongols in the north), neither should one neglect to note that many settled states have nomadic origins and take basic organizational features from the nomadic world.  The governmental institutions of late imperial China well illustrate the synthesis of nomadic elements into an enduring sedentary civilization.


Noor
Noor (Lisa Najeeb Halaby) (Noor al-Hussein -- "Light of Hussein") (Nur al-Husayn) (b. August 23, 1951, Washington, D.C.). Queen of Jordan (r.1978-1999) while married to King Hussein I.  Educated with degrees in architecture and urban planning, she worked with aviation planning in Jordan in the middle of the 1970s.  Lisa Halaby married the King of Jordan, Hussein I, on June 15, 1978, and became Queen Noor.  They had four children, Hamzah (b. 1980), Hashim (b. 1981), Iman (b. 1983), and Raiyah (b. 1986).  Queen Noor was highly active in social and cultural activities both home in Jordan and on the international scene.

Born into a prominent Arab American family, Halaby was raised in an atmosphere of affluence. She attended the elite National Cathedral School in Washington, D.C., transferring to the exclusive Chapin School in New York City in 1965 and to the Concord Academy in Boston in 1967. In 1969 she matriculated with the first co-educational freshman class at Princeton University, where she received a bachelor’s degree in architecture and urban planning in 1975. After graduation, Halaby worked in urban design in Philadelphia, in Sydney, Australia, and in Tehrān. She first went to Jordan while working for Arab Air Services, a company partly owned by her father, and in 1977 she became director of facilities design and architecture for Alia, the Royal Jordanian Airline. It was during that time that she met the Jordanian monarch, and the two wed soon thereafter. Halaby took Jordanian citizenship, embraced the Islamic faith, and adopted an Arabic name.

Queen Noor undertook numerous philanthropic duties at home and abroad, many of which were concerned with children. Among the agencies she established were the Royal Endowment for Culture and Education (1979), the National Music Conservatory (1985), and the Jubilee School for gifted students (1993). In 1980, the queen convened the first annual Arab Children’s Congress, and from 1995 she was chair of the National Task Force for Children. In 1985, the Noor al-Ḥussein Foundation was established to consolidate the queen’s various initiatives, and, when the king died in 1999, she was entrusted with the chair of the King Ḥussein Foundation, the purpose of which is also to promote humanitarian interests. In the late 1990s, she became involved in the international movement to ban anti-personnel land mines, particularly with two organizations, the Landmine Survivors Network and the International Campaign to Ban Landmines.

Lisa Najeeb Halaby see Noor
Halaby, Lisa Najeeb see Noor
Noor al-Hussein see Noor
Hussein, Noor al- see Noor
Nur al-Husayn see Noor
Husayn, Nur al- see Noor


Novice
Novice (in Arabic, Murid).   Arabic term means “he who seeks” and is used, in Sufi mystical parlance, for the novice or postulant or the seeker of spiritual enlightenment, by means of traversing the Sufi path, in obedience to a spiritual director.

Murid is a Sufi term meaning 'committed one'. It refers to a person who is committed to a teacher in the spiritual path of Sufism.

It also means "willpower" or "self-esteem,". Also known as a Salik, a murid is an initiate into the mystic philosophy of Sufism. The initiation process is known as 'ahd or Bai'ath. Before initiation, a Murid is guided and taught by a Murshid or Pir who must first accept the initiate as his or her disciple. Throughout the instruction period, the murid typically experiences visions and dreams during personal spiritual exercises. These visions are interpreted by the murshid. The murid is invested in the cloak of the order upon initiation, having progressed through a series of increasingly difficult and significant tasks on the path of mystical development. Murids often receive books of instruction from murshids and often accompany itinerant murshids on their wanderings.

Murid see Novice
He who seeks see Novice
Committed one see Novice


Nuba
Nuba.  The term “Nuba” refers to the non-Arab inhabitants of the more than 80 small hill communities in the Nuba Mountains of Kordofan Province, Sudan.  This term, known.to everyone familiar with the region and commonly used in government publications and censuses, is nota a term used by any specific local group, each of whom has its own term for itself and acknowledges no necessary common kinship or political unity with any other.  There is no “Nuba” ethnic group.

“Nuba” actually has a varied history and should be distinguished from “Nubia,” although some of the northernmost of the many languages of the Nuba are indeed related to the languages of the Nubia of the Upper Nile Valley.  Culture histories, however, are much more difficult to specify, and it is safest at the stage of current knowledge to discourage speculation on the origins of the Nuba or their relationships elsewhere.  Certainly there are relationships to others in such elements as language and culture traits.  But the inhabitants of the hill communities themselves (as well as historians) have claims, demonstrations, myths and speculations on the origins of specific Nuba groups from north to south (Ghulfan, Dair, Dilling), from west to east (Nyimang, Tira), from east to west (Kao, Taqali, Kaduru) and even from the south to north (Fungor). 

While some hill communities have specific histories and traditions, some have had distinct political developments and differential experiences with Islam and other Muslims.  This is particularly true for the northeastern Nuba people of Taqali (Teqale, Taqwi) and, to a lesser extent, their neighbors of Dair, who developed a state form with distinct kingly genealogies during medieval time.  This was allied with, if not derived from, the Funj state of Sennar.  Both were Muslim kingdoms, and as a consequence the northern and eastern Nuba became progressively Islamic.  The Taqali kingdom at its maximum in the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries extended well into the Tira hills to the south.  And even today there is a tradition among some local people that they are not Nuba but really Funj. 

The Nuba conversion to Islam has a contradictory history, encouraged by force on the one hand and inhibited by force on the other.  It was encouraged during the Mahdiyya (1885-1889) with the formation of the jihadiya with many Nuba troops and inhibited by later British colonial policy to stem Islamic influence in the Nuba Mountains.  Local nomadic Baggara Arabs (the closest non-Nuba neighbors) have rarely been influential in conversion, and, of course, earlier slaving by Muslims discouraged conversion. 

Islam in the Nuba Mountains has normally meant some form of Arabization (and vice versa).  Mercantilists and traders as well as nomads throughout the area brought Arab culture.  And relations generally have been cordial between the Nuba and these Arabs.  Often friendships, treatises and close ties of mutual dependence developed, usually to be compromised by exploitive state forms and outside economic pressures.  British colonial policy, with the Closed Districts Ordinances of the 1920s, sought to inhibit the spread of Islam with prohibitions on the movements of Muslim clerics and traders without special permission.  This sometimes extended to the prohibition of Arabic names, Arab dress and and Arabic as a medium of instruction.  This last resulted in a series of misguided policies in which English and the local vernacular were used, neither of which was found commonly in Sudan outside the village.

The adoption of Islam, much like the adoption of Arabic and Arab culture traits, was mixed and syncretic.  Subsequent to independence in 1956, Christian influence in the Nuba Mountains declined and Islam expanded ever more rapidly through the various channels of commerce, education and expanded contact with the Arab north.  Specific conversion, however, most frequently took place at the hands of the fuqura (singular, faqi, “cleric”), who were often of West African origin and not by specific proselytizing by government or neighboring Arabs.

Nuba is a collective term used for the peoples who inhabit the Nuba Mountains, in the states of Southern Sudan, Africa. Although the term is used to describe them as if they composed a single group, the Nuba are multiple distinct peoples and speak different languages. Estimates of the Nuba population vary widely; the Southern Sudanese government estimated that they numbered 1.07 million in 2003.

Leni Riefenstahl, better known for directing Triumph of the Will and Olympia, published a collection of her photographs of the peoples titled The Last of the Nuba in 1976.

The majority of the Nuba—those living in the east, west and northern parts of the mountains—are Muslims, while those living to the south are either Christians or practice traditional animistic religions. In those areas of the Nuba mountains where Islam has not deeply penetrated, ritual specialists and priests hold as much control as the clan elders, for it is they who are responsible for rain control, keeping the peace, and rituals to insure successful crops. Many are guardians of the shrines where items are kept to insure positive outcomes of the rituals (such as rain stones for the rain magic), and some also undergo spiritual possession.

In the 1986 elections, the Umma Party lost several seats to the Nuba Mountains General Union and to the Sudan National Party, due to the reduced level of support from the Nuba Mountains region. There is reason to believe that attacks by the government-supported militia, the Popular Defense Force (P.D.F.), on several Nuba villages were meant to be in retaliation for this drop in support, which was seen as signaling increased support of the S.P.L.A. The P.D.F. attacks were particularly violent, and have been cited as examples of crimes against humanity that took place during the Second Sudanese Civil War (Salih 1999).

The Nuba people reside in one of the most remote and inaccessible places in all of Sudan—the foothills of the Nuba Mountains in central Sudan. At one time the area was considered a place of refuge, bringing together people of many different tongues and backgrounds who were fleeing oppressive governments and slave traders. As a result, over 100 hundred languages are spoken in the area and are considered Nuba languages, although many of the Nuba also speak Sudanese Arabic, the official language of Sudan.

The Nuba Mountains mark the southern border of the sands of the desert and the northern limit of good soils washed down by the Nile River. Many Nubas, however, have migrated to the Sudanese capital of Khartoum to escape persecution and the effects of Sudan’s civil war. Most of the rest of the 1,000,000 Nuba people live in villages of between 1,000 and 50,000 inhabitants in areas in and surrounding the Nuba mountains. Nuba villages are often built where valleys run from the hills out on to the surrounding plains, because water is easier to find at such points and wells can be used all year long. There is no political unity among the various Nuba groups who live on the hills. Often the villages do not have chiefs but are instead organized into clans or extended family groups with village authority left in the hands of clan elders.

After some earlier incursions by the SPLA, the Sudanese civil war started full scale in the Nuba Mountains when the Volcano Battalion of the SPLA under the command of the Nuba Yousif Kuwa Mekki and Abdel Aziz Adam al-Hillu entered the Nuba Mountains and began to recruit Nuba volunteers and send them to SPLA training facilities in Ethiopia.The volunteers walked to Ethiopia and back and many of them perished on the way.

During the war, the SPLA generally held the Mountains, while the Sudanese Army held the towns and fertile lands at the feet of the Mountains, but was generally unable to dislodge the SPLA, even though the latter was usually very badly supplied. The Governments of Sudan under Sadiq al-Mahdi and Omar al-Bashir also armed militias of Baggara Arabs to fight the Nuba and transferred many Nuba forcibly to camps. In 1998, Yousif Kuwa was diagnosed with cancer and died early 2001.

In early 2002, the Government and the SPLA agreed on an internationally supervised ceasefire. International observers and advisors were quickly dispatched to the Kadugli base camp and several deployed into the mountains to co-locate with the SPLA command elements. The base camp at Kauda for several observers included Swiss African advisor, French diplomat, an Italian and a former United States Army officer.

At that time, Abdel Aziz Adam al-Hillu was the governor of the Nuba Mountains. During the course of the following months, relief supplies from the United Nations were air dropped to stem the starvation of many in the Nuba Mountains.

The ceasefire in the Nuba Mountains was the foundation for the Comprehensive Peace Agreement (CPA) signed in January 2005. The south was to vote on whether to secede from Sudan and form its own country in 2011. This provision was agreed to in the Comprehensive Peace Agreement (CPA).


Nubar Pasha
Nubar Pasha (Nūbār Pasha Nūbārian) (Nubar Nubarian) (b. January 4, 1825, Smyrna, Ottoman Empire [now İzmir, Tur.] — died January 14, 1899, Paris, France).  Egyptian statesman.  He conducted negotiations in Istanbul and Paris with the object of securing the territorial sovereignty of Egypt against the Suez Canal Company, which had obtained lands along the Canal.  His endeavor to organize a mixed system of justice composed of Egyptian and European elements was opposed by Western Powers who wanted to maintain their privileges.  In 1873, he succeeded in obtaining from the Ottoman sultan the decree (in Turkish, firman) in which the title of Khedive (“lord”) was conferred on the viceroy.  In 1876, he appealed to Great Britain to intervene in Egypt because of the enormous debts which had been contracted.  In 1878, a European ministry was formed to support European policy and high finance, which was not responsible to the Khedive.  This led to the outbreak of 1879, which in its turn caused the deposition of the Khedive and in the end the British occupation of the country in 1882.

Nūbār Pasha was an Egyptian statesman of Armenian descent who was instrumental in the negotiation of important treaties with the European powers and in the division of authority between Egyptian and British administrators.

Raised and educated in Europe, Nūbār learned numerous foreign languages and became intimately familiar with European culture and customs — skills that served him well later in his life. It was his uncle, who served as Muḥammad ʿAlī’s chief interpreter, who brought Nūbār to Egypt. Nūbār’s first important work involved the Suez Canal. The Ottoman khedive (viceroy) of Egypt, Ismāʿīl Pasha (r. 1863–79), wanted to speed construction of the canal, which was impeded by disputes with the canal company. Nūbār represented the Egyptian government in negotiations to annul the disputed provisions. He also helped to establish a system of mixed courts (begun in 1875) to try cases involving Egyptians and Europeans. He proposed that the courts be staffed with Egyptian and foreign judges, who would administer a body of law based on French law and compiled by an international commission.

Nūbār was caught up in the events that led to Ismāʿīl’s deposition in 1879. Under pressure by Britain and France in 1878, Ismāʿīl named Nūbār prime minister in a government that was to institute financial and political reforms. These reforms, however, infringed upon Ismāʿīl’s authority, and he soon dismissed Nūbār. After the British occupation of Egypt (1882), Nūbār again became prime minister, in 1884. Under the British, khedival authority was considerably curtailed while the authority of the prime minister was increased. Nūbār successfully asserted Egyptian control of the Ministries of Justice and Interior and thereby helped to establish a dividing line between British and Egyptian authority in Egypt. His administrative talents provided an element of stability that was important for the peaceful continuance of British rule. However, when, in 1888, he became too independent and tried to assert his authority over the provincial police, Britain secured his dismissal. In 1894 Nūbār again became prime minister, but ill health and impatience with British domination led to his resignation the following year.

In November 1895 Nubar completed his fifty years of service, and, accepting a pension, retired from office. He lived little more than three years longer, spending his time between Cairo and Paris, where he died in January 1899.

Nubarashen, a suburb of Yerevan, was founded with his help and is named after him.
Nubar Pasha Nubarian see Nubar Pasha
Nubar Nubarian see Nubar Pasha
Nubarian, Nubar see Nubar Pasha


Nubians
Nubians. People of northern Sudan and southern Egypt.  With a history and traditions which can be traced to the dawn of civilization, the Nubians first settled along the banks of the Nile from Aswan south of Egypt to the sixth cataract just south of Khartoum (capital of Sudan).

Along this great river they developed one of the oldest and greatest civilizations in Africa.  Until they lost their last kingdom (Christian Nubia) only five centuries ago, the Nubians remained as the main rivals to the other great African civilization of Egypt.  This great civilization is one of the main concerns of contemporary archaeologists, scholars, museums and universities around the world.

Although Sudan had remained the main homeland of Nubians through their long history, many of their descendants today live in Egypt.  But still the majority of Nubians of today are Sudanese.  With only a population of slightly above 300,000 they are a minority in both countries.  Nevertheless being of African descent they resemble other Sudanese people more than Egyptians.

Nubians in both Sudan and Egypt have suffered a lot from intentional overlooking to their history and culture as well as displacement, relocation due to flooding and inundation of their homeland by dams constructed south of Egypt.  During this century the Nubian homeland had been inundated three times, however the 1960 Nubian exodus is the most painful to all Nubians.  Following the construction of Aswan High Dam in 1960 the land of Nubia between Aswan in Egypt and the fourth cataract in Sudan (main area of Nubians) was the subject of flooding and inundation.  Nubians were displaced and relocated in other areas in both Sudan and Egypt.  Great Nubian monuments and historical sites were drowned and lost for good.

The influx of Arabs to Egypt and Sudan had contributed to the suppression of the Nubian identity following the collapse of the last Nubian kingdom in 1900.  A major part of the Nubian population were totally arabized or claimed to be Arabs (Jaa’leen -- the majority of Northern Sudanese and some Donglawes in Sudan, Kenuz and Koreskos in Egypt).  However, all Nubians were converted to Islam, and Arabic became their main media of communication in addition to their indigenous old Nubian language.  The unique characteristic of Nubian is shown in their culture (dress, dances, traditions and music) as well as their indigenous language which is the common feature of all Nubians.

The distinguished and soft rhythms of the Nubian music and songs are borrowed by other ethnic groups in Sudan.  In Egypt, these rhythms are commonly used by some Egyptian-Nubian who sing in Arabic.  With its very distinctive chantings and intonation the Nubian songs and music has a noticeable acclamation and acceptance among non-Nubian Sudanese and Egyptians.

Nubian is the name commonly given to the people whose native villages were located between Aswan, Egypt, and the Dongola region of northern Sudan until the building of the High Dam at Aswan in the years 1962-1965.  The building of the High Dam necessitated massive resettlement of the inhabitants of these villages.  The Egyptian Nubian population was relocated in New Nubia, a government project located near Kom Omo, 20 miles north of Aswan.  The Sudanese Nubians living near Wadi Halfa moved to Khasim al Ghurba, east of Khartoum.

Historically, the Nubians’ physical situation on the Nile placed them in a strategic position between Egypt to the north and the African kingdoms on the southern stretches of the river.  In the sixth century, missionaries from Byzantium sent by Queen Theodora introduced a theocratic regime to the region.  After a brief period of Arab conquests, this government was officially recognized by the Arab ruler of Egypt, Abdullah ibn Sa’d, in the seventh century, and a treaty was concluded which lasted for 600 years.  Under the terms of the treaty, a tributary relationship was established between Christian Nubia and the much more powerful Muslim community of greater Egypt, a condition marked by an annual ritual exchange of goods between the two states.  The kingdoms of Nubia were not to be the site of Muslim settlement, although merchants were allowed to visit the region.  After a brief period of Arab conquests, this government was officially recognized by the Arab ruler of Egypt, Abdullah ibn Sa’d, in the seventh century, and a treaty was concluded which lasted for 600 years.  Under the terms of the treaty, a tributary relationship was established between Christian Nubia and the much more powerful Muslim community of greater Egypt, a condition marked by an annual ritual exchange of goods between the two states.  The kingdoms of Nubia were not to be the site of Muslim settlement, although merchants were allowed to visit the region.  Thus Nubia became involved in the overland trade between Africa and the Egyptian world and was particularly important as a source of slaves.  In Tales of a Thousand and One Nights, harem guards and slaves were often identified as Nubian, but it is possible that this name was broadly applied to Africans who had entered the Muslim world as part of the Nubian slave trade.  Of course, Nubian villages themselves were subject to slave raids by Arab tribesmen, since they lacked the religious protection which prevents one Muslim from enslaving another.  However, there were free Nubians who belonged to the guilds of medieval Egypt, specializing in porterage and transportation as well as other occupations and crafts.  Nubians are also mentioned as agricultural overseers in the Nile delta, and many villagers may have come to Egypt as traders as well as slaves.

During the the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries, Nubian lands were flooded by wters from the dam constructed at Aswan in 1897 and subsequently heightened in 1912 and 1927.  For these losses the Nubians received compensation, and many constructed elaborate homes for themselves, placed higher on the sand and rocks above the river.  The styles of these homes involved large spacious courtyards and numerous rooms for guests as well as those for family use.  Often such homes were built in anticipation of eventual retirement from city work and provided a luxurious contrast to the frequently crowded servant quarters where many Nubians lived in the cities.  By this time, the Nubians had responded to the demand for service occupations which developed during the colonial period in Egypt and Sudan.  In many hotels and restaurants as well as private homes.  Nubians from the same villages, often kinsmen, monopolized the job opportunities and established themselves as a mark of aristocratic elegance in both public and private settings.

The total conversion of Nubia to Islam, in the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries, was of overwhelming importance to the Nubians, ending forever the dangers of slavery from which the region had both profited and suffered in the past.  Movements of Islamic conservatism were still evident throughout Nubia in the 1960s and continue to the present.  These movements have ended many customs from pre-Islamic period in villages.  Even the songs and dances which were distinctive in style and form have come under attack from members of the Marghaniyya brotherhood, which is popular among many Nubian men.

Some prominent Nubians include:

    * Anwar El Sadat, late third President of Egypt (Lower Egyptian father, Sudanese Nubian mother)
    * Gaafar Nimeiri, former Sudanese president
    * Mohammed Wardi, singer
    * Mohamed Mounir, singer
    * Ali Hassan Kuban, singer and musician
    * Hamza El Din, singer and musicologist
    * Khalil Kalfat, literary critic, political and economic thinker and writer
    * Abdullah Khalil, Sudanese prime minister, founder and leader of the Umma Party
    * Ibrahim Ahmed, prominent Sudanese politician responsible for the signing of the Sudanese declaration of independence


Nuh ibn Mansur
Nuh ibn Mansur (Nuh II ibn Mansur ibn Nuh) (964-997).  Samanid amir (r. 977-997).  Rebellions separated Khurasan from the direct authority of Bukhara, the Samanid capital.  In the end, Ahmad I Arlsan Qara Khan, the founder of the Ilek-Khans, and Nasir al-Dawla Sebktegin, the founder of the Ghaznavids, divided the Samanid territories among themselves.

Having ascended the throne as a youth, Nuh was assisted by his mother and his vizier Abu'l-Husain 'Abd-Allah ibn Ahmad 'Utbi. Sometime around his ascension, the Karakhanids invaded and captured the upper Zarafshan Valley, where the Samanid silver mines were located. In 980 they struck again, seizing Isfijab. 'Utbi, however was focused on removing Abu'l-Hasan Simjuri, the Samanid governor of Khurasan. The vizier considered Abu'l-Husain to be too powerful. He managed to remove him from the post in 982. He replaced him with one of his own partisans, a Turkish general called Tash. Abu'l-Hasan fled to his appendage in Kuhistan, to the south of Herat.

An expedition against the Buyids was mobilized in Khurisan, also in 982. It was initially successful, but the Samanid forces were subsequently crushed. A Buyid invasion of the Samanid state was prevented only by the death of 'Adud al-Daula. 'Utbi attempted to regroup the army, but was assassinated by supporters of Abu'l-Hasan and Fa'iq.

'Utbi's death sparked an uprising in the capital Bukhara. Nuh was forced to request Tash's assistance in crushing the revolt. The governor succeeded in this task, and prepared to fight the armies of Abu'l-Hasan and his son Abu 'Ali, along with Fa'iq. Eventually, however, he changed his mind and made peace with the Simjuris and Fa'iq. Tash convinced Nuh to give Fa'iq control of Balkh and to Abu 'Ali control of Herat. Abu'l-Hasan was restored in Khurasan, while Tash kept his governorship of Khurasan.

This peace was broken by 'Utbi's successor Muhammad ibn 'Uzair. The vizier had been rivals with 'Utbi and therefore disliked Tash. Nuh, due to Muhammad's advice, stripped Tash of his office and reinstated Abu'l-Hasan to the governorship. Tash fled to the Buyids, who provided him with assistance. The Simjuris and Fa'iq defeated him near the end of 987, however, and he fled to Gurgan, where he died in 988.

Abu'l-Hasan also died around this time. His son Abu 'Ali succeeded him as governor of Khurasan. This greatly increased his power, a move which alarmed Fa'iq. The quarrel between the two turned hostile.  Abu 'Ali defeated Fa'iq in battle in around 990. During his retreat, Fa'iq attempted to seize Bukhara, but Nuh's Turkish general Bektuzun inflicted another defeat on him. Fa'iq then headed back to Balkh. Nuh managed to convince several of his vassals to mobilize their forces against Fa'iq, but the latter managed to retain his position.

The Karkhanids, who in addition to their seizures of Samanid territory had inherited several petty Turkish principalities that had been virtually independent from Bukhara, launched a full-scale invasion in the end of 991. Their ruler, Bughra Khan, destroyed an army sent by Nuh to stop him. The amir then pardoned Fa'iq and gave him the governorship of Samarkand, in exchange for a promise from the latter to fight the Karkhanids. After some time, however, Fa'iq surrendered to Bughra Khan, who then marched toward Bukhara. Nuh fled, and the Karakhanids entered the capital in the late spring of 992. The amir then turned to Abu 'Ali, still residing in Nishapur, Khurasan's provincial capital. He requested his assistance, but the latter initially refused. The situation changed when Bughra Khan fell sick in Bukhara. Bughra Khan traveled to Samarkand, and then died on the road northward. The garrison left in Bukhara was defeated by Nuh in the summer of that year.

Fa'iq attempted to take Bukhara himself, but was defeated. He then fled to Abu 'Ali; the two settled their past differences and resolved to put an end to Samanid rule. Nuh then requested assistance from Sebük Tigin of Ghazna. The Ghaznavid agreed to provide assistance, and Nuh's forces were further strengthened by the help of Khwarazm and several other of his vassals. A battle in Khurasan in August 994 resulted in a crushing victory for the amir and his allies. The rebels fled to Gurgan. Nuh rewarded Sebük Tigin and his son Mahmud with titles, and gave the governorship of Khurasan to Mahmud as well.

In 995 Abu 'Ali and Fa'iq returned with new forces and expelled Mahmud from Nishapur. Sebük Tigin met up with his son and together they defeated the rebels near Tus. Abu 'Ali and Fa'iq fled northward. The latter sought refuge with the Karkhanids. Nuh, however, pardoned Abu 'Ali, and sent him to Khwarazm. The Khwarazm Shah, who held southern Khwarazm as a Samanid vassal, imprisoned Abu 'Ali. Both of them were captured when the Samanid governor of northern Khwarazm invaded from Gurganj. He annexed southern Khwarazm and sent Abu 'Ali back to Nuh. The amir sent him to Sebük Tigin in 996, and he was subsequently executed by the Ghaznavids.

Fa'iq, meanwhile, had tempted Bughra Khan's successor Nasr Khan to launch a campaign against the Samanids. The Karakhanid, however, instead made peace with Nuh. Fa'iq was pardoned and handed back the governorship of Samarkand. Although peace had finally been established, the years of conflict preceding it had heavily hurt the Samanids. The Karkhanids had taken control of much of the northeast, while the Ghazvanids had entrenched themselves in Khurasan and the lands south of the Oxus. The governor of Khwarazm only nominally accepted Nuh's authority. It was in this greatly weakened condition that Nuh left the Samanid state in when he died in 997. He was succeeded by his son Mansur II.
Nuh II ibn Mansur ibn Nuh see Nuh ibn Mansur


Nuh ibn Nasr
Nuh ibn Nasr (Nuh I ibn Nasr) (Nuh I) (d. 954). Samanid amir of Khurasan and Transoxiana from 943 to 954.  During his reign, which showed unmistakable symptoms of decline, much trouble was caused by the rebel governor of Khurasan.

Nuh I was amir of the Samanids (943-954). He was the son of Nasr II.

Nuh came to power after preventing a revolt against his father in 943. Several army officers, unhappy over Nasr's support of Ismaili missionaries, planned to assassinate him. Nuh, given notice of the plot, arrived at a banquet held to organize the assassination, and seized and killed the leader of the plotters. To placate the others, he promised to put an end to the activities of the Ismailis, and convinced his father to abdicate in his favor.

Shortly after Nuh's ascension, he was forced to put down a revolt in Khwarazm. Another revolt, launched by Abu 'Ali Chaghani, proved to be much more serious. Abu 'Ali, in addition to being the ruler of the Samanid vassal state of Chaghaniyan, had been the governor of Khurasan since 939. In 945 he was removed from the latter post by Nuh, who desired to replace him with a Turk named Ibrahim ibn Simjur. Abu 'Ali joined forces with Nuh's uncle Ibrahim ibn Ahmad and rebelled.

In 947, Ibrahim gained control of Bukhara, forcing Nuh to flee to Samarkand. Ibrahim, however, proved to be unpopular in the city, enabling Nuh to capture and blind his uncle as well as two of his brothers. Abu 'Ali's capital in Chaghaniyan was sacked, but in 948 peace was made between the two, and Abu 'Ali was confirmed as ruler of Chaghaniyan. Following the death of the governor of Khurasan, Mansur ibn Qara-Tegin, in 952, Abu 'Ali regained that post as well.

Nuh removed Abu 'Ali from the governorship of Khurasan a second time after receiving a complaint from Vushmgir, the Ziyarid ruler of Tabaristan. Nuh had previously supported Vushmgir. The latter had gained possession of Gurgan for a short time with Samanid support, and after losing it to the Buyids, he used a Samanid army to take back Gurgan and Tabaristan in 947. The Ziyarids, along with the Samanids, and the Buyids subsequently fought over the region for the next few years, each side gaining temporary control of the area several times. Vushmgir, who was an ally of the Samanids, had been pleased when Abu 'Ali had gone to war against the Buyids, but was angered when Abu 'Ali made peace with the Buyids of Ray. His complaint, which consisted of accusations that Abu 'Ali was conspiring with the Buyids, resulted in Nuh's decision to remove him. Abu 'Ali then fled to the Buyids, and received a grant from the Caliph Al-Muti for control of Khurasan. Nuh's death in 954 prevented him from solving this problem. He was succeeded by his son 'Abd al-Malik I.
Nuh I ibn Nasr see Nuh ibn Nasr
Ibn Nasr, Nuh see Nuh ibn Nasr
Nuh I see Nuh ibn Nasr


Nukkaris
Nukkaris. One of the main branches of the Ibadiyya in North Africa.  It was founded by Abu Qudama Yazid ibn Fendin al-Ifreni in 784.  The Nukkaris acquired preponderance among the Ibadis after ‘Ubayd Allah al-Mahdi (r.909-934) had established the Fatimids in North Africa, but they revolted under Abu Yazid al-Nukkari (d. 947), and again in the tenth and eleventh centuries.  Remnants of the sect have survived on the island of Jerba.


Nu‘man bin al-Mundhir, al
Nu‘man bin al-Mundhir, al (al-Nu‘man III).  Last Lakhmid king of al-Hira.  He reigned from 580 to 602 C.C.  Al-Nu‘man was a vassal of Sasanian Persia and is often mentioned by Arab poets, according to circumstances, as a subject of panegyrics or of lampoons.  Al-Nu‘man was imprisoned by the Sasanian king Khusraw II.
Nu'man III, al- see Nu‘man bin al-Mundhir, al


Nu‘man ibn Abi ‘Abd Allah, al-
Nu‘man ibn Abi ‘Abd Allah, al- (d. 974).  Isma‘ili jurist and protagonist of the early Fatimids in Egypt.  He was a prolific and versatile writer.  His greatest work is The Pillars of Islam, the official corpus juris in the Fatimid Empire.


Nupe
Nupe. The Nupe people live along the banks of the rivers Niger and Kaduna in west-central Nigeria between Lokoja at the rivers’ confluence and New Busa near the new Kainji Dam.  The reorganization of states dating from 1975 left the Nupe the majority in Niger State, although the capital was located in Minna, traditionally a Gbari area.  The Nupe living on the south bank of the Niger River are presently in Kwara State.

When they enter the record of oral history, the Nupe seem to have been divided into a number of riverine kingdoms, drawing their wealth from trade in fish and transit goods passing up and down the Niger.  Seventeenth century Yoruba traditions mention them as already a political force.  They must have been well organized when the jihad of Uthman dan Fodio began to impinge on their frontiers in the second decade of the nineteenth century.  Some traditions make the conversion of the rulers of Nupe occur in the late eighteenth century, and certainly, previous to the military conquest by the Fulani, their involvement with the long-distance trade would have meant contact with Muslims.

The principal figure remembered in Nupe tradition as the purveyor of Islam is Mallam Dendo, an itinerant Fulani preacher and seller of charms who reached Nupeland around 1810.  Mallam Dendo rapidly became a political figure of considerable importance and was intimately involved in the complex struggles that eventually wrested power from the Nupe rulers and placed it in the hands of the Fulani.  A unified political capital was established for Nupe at Raba, and it was here that the first European travellers made contact with the Fulani rulers.  Later in the century, the capital was moved to Bida, more central in Nupeland and, significantly, not on the river, reflecting a shift in economic base to grain growing and long-distance trade.

Islam was an essentially urban phenomenon among the Nupe, where it was the religion of the traders and ruling classes.  As Hausa, not Nupe, was the language of these classes, Islam was strongly associated with “foreignness.”  Later in the century, as the Nupe element became stronger and the rulers began to identify themselves as Nupe, Islamic prayers and observances were translated into Nupe, and, indeed, Bida became a well-known locus of Islamic scholarship in the late nineteenth century.  The Muslim legal system was Maliki.

Islam made little impression on the rural areas in this period for the simple reason that the urban Nupe/Fulani were raiding the countryside for slaves.  Virtually all hinterland settlements were atop the inselbergs and mesa hill formations that abound in this area.  Relations with the towns were hostile.  Only with the suppression of slaving did Islam begin to penetrate the countryside, mostly through the agency of traders, but also through the conversion of villagers who had gone to cities to work.  As a result, it was diffused principally along the roads, and today there is a strong correlation between the distribution of Muslims and the accessibility of the villages.

Another factor inhibiting the spread of Islam was Christianity.  Mission stations were first established at Lokoja in the 1860s, and with the establishment of the authority of the Royal Niger Company at the end of the century they began to have a broader impact.  The initial response to Christianity in Bida was entirely negative, but in the nearby villages it was widely adopted at a ceremonial level.  Its expansion continues today.  Part of the reason, undoubtedly, is the need for rural populations, who have defined themselves in opposition to the town for a century, also to define themselves ideologically.  Christianity provides a coherent means of doing this.

Something less than thirty percent of the Nupe would claim to be Muslims, and of these, perhaps only one-half could in any sense be said to practice their religion.


Nur al-Din Arslan Shah
Nur al-Din Arslan Shah (Arslan Shah) (Nur ad-Din Arslan Shah I).   Zangid atabeg of Mosul (r.1193-1211).  In 1199, he defeated the future Ayyubid ruler of Egypt, al-Malik al-Kamil, but was himself routed in 1204 by his cousin Qutb al-Din, who ruled in Sinjar.  An alliance, first with and later against the Ayyubid of Egypt, al-Malik al-‘Adil, was abandoned. 

Nur ad-Din Arslan Shah I, or Arslan Shah was the Zengid Emir of Mosul 1193-1211. He was successor of Izz ad-Din Mas'ud.
Arslan Shah see Nur al-Din Arslan Shah
Nur ad-Din Arslan Shah see Nur al-Din Arslan Shah


Nur al-Din Mahmud ibn ‘Imad al-Dinn Zangi
Nur al-Din Mahmud ibn ‘Imad al-Dinn Zangi (Nur ad-Din Zangi</I) (al-Malik al-Adil Nur ad-Din Abu al-Qasim Mahmud ibn 'Imad ad-Din Zangi) (Nūr al-Dīn Abū al-Qāsim Maḥmūd ibn ʿImād al-Dīn Zangī) (Nur ed-Din) (Nur al-Din) (Nūr ad-Dīn -- "Light of the Faith") (February 1118 - May 15, 1174, Damascus [Syria]).  Zangid atabeg of Damascus and Aleppo.  He was born in 1118 and ruled from 1146 to 1174.  In 1144, he captured Edessa from Count Joscelyn II, which made him the hero of the Sunnis, but which also provoked the Second Crusade.  Nur al-Din continued to fight the Franks and captured Damascus in 1154.  He made peace with Baldwin III of Jerusalem, but war broke out again and Baldwin suffered a disastrous defeat in 1157.  In 1158, the Franks inflicted a severe defeat on Nur al-Din on the Jordan. Around 1160, his attention was drawn to the declining Fatimid rule in Egypt, and his history then became closely linked up with that of Saladin.  In 1173, Nur al-Din Mahmud invaded Asia Minor and took several towns from the Rum Saljuq Qilij Arslan II.  The ‘Abbasid caliph al-Mustadi’ bi-Amr Allah recognised him as lord of Mosul, al-Jazira, Irbil, Khilat, Syria, Egypt and Konya.  Nur al-Din was a pious Muslim, a lover of justice, and Damascus shows his great activity as a builder.  His constant aim was the expulsion of the Christians from Syria and Palestine, and he paved the way for Saladin’s career and the constituting of the Ayyubid Empire. 

Nūr al-Dīn was a Muslim ruler who reorganized the armies of Syria and laid the foundations for the success of Saladin.

Nūr al-Dīn succeeded his father as the atabeg (ruler) of Halab in 1146, owing nominal allegiance to the ʿAbbāsid caliph of Baghdad. Before his rule, a major reason for the success of the Crusaders was the disunity of the Muslim rulers of the region, who were unable to present a unified military front against the invaders. Nūr al-Dīn waged military campaigns against the Crusaders in an attempt to expel them from Syria and Palestine. His forces recaptured Edessa shortly after his accession, invaded the important military district of Antakiya in 1149, and took Damascus in 1154. Egypt was annexed by stages in 1169–71.

An able general and just ruler, Nūr al-Dīn was also noted for piety and personal bravery. He was austere and ascetic, disclaiming the financial rewards of his conquests: instead, he used the booty to build numerous mosques, schools, hospitals, and caravansaries. At the time of his death, his rule was recognized in Syria, in Egypt, and in parts of Iraq and Asia Minor.





Nur ad-Din Zangi see Nur al-Din Mahmud ibn ‘Imad al-Dinn Zangi
Malik al-Adil Nur ad-Din Abu al-Qasim Mahmud ibn 'Imad ad-Din Zangi, al- see Nur al-Din Mahmud ibn ‘Imad al-Dinn Zangi
Nur al-Din Abu al-Qasim Mahmud ibn 'Imad al-Din Zangi see Nur al-Din Mahmud ibn ‘Imad al-Dinn Zangi
Nur ed-Din see Nur al-Din Mahmud ibn ‘Imad al-Dinn Zangi
Nur al-Din see Nur al-Din Mahmud ibn ‘Imad al-Dinn Zangi
Light of the Faith see Nur al-Din Mahmud ibn ‘Imad al-Dinn Zangi

Nurbakhshiyya
Nurbakhshiyya. Religious Shi‘a order named after its founder Muhammad bin Muhammad bin ‘Abd Allah who was known as Nurbakhsh (“light-gift”) and who came from Qa’in in Kuhistan.   Nurbakhsh lived from 1392 to 1464.  As the founder of the Nurbakhshiyya, Nurbakhsh received the title of Mahdi in virtue of his supposed descent from the seventh Imam Musa al-Kazim, and was proclaimed caliph by a number of his followers.  This proclamation provided the reason for the the Timurid ruler in Samarkand, Shahrukh Mirza, to arrest Nurbakhsh.  In his poems, Nurbakhsh emphasizes Sufi pantheism.
Nurcholish Madjid
Nurcholish Madjid (Cak Nur) (March 17, 1939 - August 29, 2005).  Indonesian scholar and advocate of religious tolerance.  Nurcholish Madjid was among Indonesia’s most daring theologians.  His vision of Islam was pluralistic, tolerant, and intended to meet the spiritual needs of a modern urban population.  Like other modernist thinkers, Nurcholish rooted his theology in the doctrine of tajdid or a return to the Islam of the prophet Muhammad.  Unlike other modernists he was more concerned with spirituality than with ritual and social behavior.

Born in east Java, Nurcholish was a scion of one of Indonesia’s most celebrated families of Islamic scholars.  He was educated at traditional Islamic schools (pesantren) and at the modernist school at Gontor, which emphasizes English and secular subjects as well as the traditional Islamic curriculum.  He received a bachelor of arts degree from the State Institute of Islamic Studies in Jakarta in 1968.  From 1966 until 1971, he was chairman of the Indonesian Muslim Students Association.  He studied with Fazlur Rahman at the University of Chicago, receiving his Ph.D. in 1984 with a dissertation on Ibn Taymiyah’s understanding of the relationship between reason and revelation.  In the early 1990s Nurcholish held positions at the State Institute of Islamic Studies in Jakarta and the Indonesian Academy of Sciences.

Nurcholish’s thought was highly controversial. In the 1960s, he challenged the “modernist” position that advocates a literal application of the Qur’an and hadith in contemporary society.  As an alternative he advocated a return to the spirit or underlying principles of Islam as a guide for contemporary conduct.  In 1970 he introduced the concept of “Islamic secularization.”  This does not mean secularization in the Western sense, but rather the desacralization of certain aspects of human life and knowledge, which, in view of the spirit of Islam, are not properly religious.  During this period, Nurcholish was influenced by two American scholars, the sociologist Robert Bellah and the theologian Harvey Cox.  Older, shari‘a centered Indonesian modernists, including Nurcholish’s mentor Mohammad Natsir, were outraged.

In numerous publications Nurcholish has emphasized the concept of Islamic brotherhood and has attempted to extend the boundaries of the Muslim community as broadly as possible.  He was a strident opponent of all forms orf sectarianism.  In his dissertation and in Indonesian publications based on it he emphasizes the philosophically tolerant side of Ibn Taymiyah, who is better known for his polemical castigations of popular Islam.  He describes his work as an attempt to apply the uinversal Islamic values in the cultural and historical contest of contemporary Indonesia.  In a series of works, Madjid denounced sectarian and fundamentalist groups as cults and defined Islam as being nothing more nor less than submission to God -- a definition that allows him to apply the word “Islam” in discussions of Christians and Jews. 

Nurcholish’s call for an inclusive, tolerant Islam and for dialogue with other faiths was a bold attempt to resolve the problems of bigotry and intolerance that plague not only Islam but also other major religions.  Although he has many supporters among Indonesian intellectuals, the virulent polemics his works incite indicate that such an idealistic vision will be at best difficult to realize.

Nurcholish Madjid, in his homeland affectionately known as Cak Nur, was a prominent Indonesian Muslim intellectual. Early in his academic career, Nurcholish was a leader in various student organizations. He soon became well known as a proponent for modernization within Islam. Throughout his career he continued to argue that for Islam to be victorious in the global struggle of ideas, it needs to embrace the concepts of tolerance, democracy and pluralism.

Born in Jombang, East Java, Madjid received his early education in religious institutions in Indonesia, so called pesantren. He later received his doctorate in Islamic Studies from the University of Chicago in the United States where he studied under the noted Pakistani-American scholar, Fazlur Rahman. In 2003 he participated in Indonesia's national elections as a candidate for the presidency. He served as Rector of Paramadina University in Jakarta from 1998 up until his death. Madjid was married and had two children, one of whom married an American Jew.

In 1972, Cak Nur shocked Indonesia when he proclaimed: 'Islam, yes; Islamic parties, no?' He was convinced that Islamic parties would be deemed so sacred that it would be construed to be a grave sin for Muslims not to vote for them.[1] However, the two most successful Muslim parties in the country's 2004 general elections, the moderate National Awakening and United Development Parties, received 10.6% and 8.1% of the vote, respectively.



Madjid, Nurcholish see Nurcholish Madjid
Cak Nur see Nurcholish Madjid
Nur, Cak see Nurcholish Madjid
Nureddin
Nureddin.  See Nur al-Din Mahmud ibn ‘Imad al-Dinn Zangi.
Nuri al-Sa‘id
Nuri al-Sa‘id (1888-1958).  Pro-Western Iraqi statesman.  During World War I, Nuri al-Sa‘id was on the side of the British and of Sharif Husayn of Mecca against the Turks.  He was fourteen times Prime Minister of Iraq and remained Britain’s most faithful servant, until he was killed at the hands of a hostile crowd in Baghdad on the day after the revolution in 1958.
Sa'id, Nuri al- see Nuri al-Sa‘id
Nuri, Fazl Allah
Nuri, Fazl Allah (Fazlollah Noori)  (Hajj Shaykh Fazlullah ibn Mulla ‘Abbas Mazandarani Nuri Tihrani) (1842 - d. July 31, 1909, Tehran) was an Iranian religious scholar chiefly known for his promotion of mashruta-yi mashru’a (constitutional government in accordance with Islamic law) during the Constitutional Revolution.  An early supporter of constitutionalism, Nuri began to express reservations in early 1907, when a supplementary fundamental law passed the Majlis with the inclusion of provisions he regarded as incompatible with Islam.  He organized a protest meeting at the shrine of Shah Abd al-Azim to the south of Tehran, published broadsheets attacking the allegedly secularist turn taken by the constitutional movement, and effectively became an ally of the court in the suppression of the constitution.  When the constitutionalism triumphed in the spring of 1909, Nuri was arrested.  He was executed on July 31, 1909.  Long execrated in Iran, Nuri was rehabilitated after the triumph of the Islamic Revolution of 1978-1979.

Sheikh Fazlollah Noori was a prominent Shiite Muslim cleric in Iran during the late 19th and early 20th century who fought against the Iranian Constitutional Revolution and was executed for treason as a result. Today he is considered a martyr (shahid) in the fight against democracy by Islamic conservatives in Iran.

Noori was one of, if not the most vigorous opponents of the Iranian Constitutional Revolution, a movement to remove foreign influence from Iran, limit the power of the Shah and to establish a national consultative assembly that would give the people a voice in the affairs of state. The movement was led principally by merchants, intellectuals and some clerics. Noori initially gave restrained support to the uprising, but he soon became an extreme critic and enemy of the constitutionalists. He authored pamphlets and encited mobs against Constitutionalism and constitutionalists preaching that they would bring vice to Iran. He issued fatwa declaring all members of the new parliament and government "apostates", "atheists," "secret Babis," and koffar al-harbi (warlike pagans) whose blood ought to be shed by the faithful.

Noori allied himself with the new Shah, Mohammad Ali Shah who with the assistance of Russian troops staged a coup against the Majlis (parliament) in 1907. In 1909, however, constitutionalists marched onto Tehran (the capital of Iran). Noori was arrested, tried and found guilty of `sowing corruption and sedition on earth, and in July 1909, Noori was hanged as a traitor.

Since then, and especially after the Islamic Revolution of 1979, Noori has been honored by the most conservative sections of the Shiite Muslim clergy in Iran, including Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini (the spiritual and political leader of the revolution) and the current leaders of the Islamic Republic of Iran. He is celebrated as "the rose of Iran's clergy" and said to have been "martyred for his defense of Islam against democracy and representative government." Today he is honored in Iran's capital, Tehran, by billboards graced with his image and the Sheikh Fazlollah Noori Highway.

Noori is said to be the only ayatollah executed in the modern history of Iran.

Noori also had an influence on cinema in Iran. When motion pictures first arrived in Iran, Sheikh Fazlollah Noori issued a fatwa declaring the watching of films an unpardonable sin. Very few pious Iranians dared go to the movies thereafter.
Fazi Allah Nuri see Nuri, Fazl Allah
Fazlollah Noori see Nuri, Fazl Allah
Noori Fazlollah see Nuri, Fazl Allah
Hajj Shaykh Fazlullah ibn Mulla ‘Abbas Mazandarani Nuri Tihrani see Nuri, Fazl Allah
Tihrani, Hajj Shaykh Fazlullah ibn Mulla ‘Abbas Mazandarani Nuri see Nuri, Fazl Allah
Nuri, Fazlullah
Nuri, Fazlullah.  See Nuri, Fazl Allah.
Nuristanis
Nuristanis.  In the final decade of the nineteenth century, a little known people called the Kafirs became the last pawns in the “Great Game” between British and Russian imperialism in Afghanistan.  The warlike Kafirs formed a hitherto impenetrable island of Aryan polytheism in the surrounding ocean of Islam.  In the West, their mysteriousness and steadfast resistance to Islam inspired Kiplingesque stories, and their geopolitical fate was chronicled in the headlines.  Although the Kafirs lay in the westward path of the expanding British Raj, Britain conceded the Kafirs to the sphere of influence of the Amir of Afghanistan, whose kingdom formed a buffer between the converging British and Russian empires.  In the winter of 1895-1896, the Amir’s army subjugated the Kafirs, and his mullahs set about converting them to Islam.  By 1898, all the Kafirs within the Amir’s domain had embraced Sunni Islam.  To commemorate their acceptance of the light of Islam, the Amir changed the name of their country from Kafiristan, “Land of Infidels,” to Nuristan, “Land of Light.” 

Nuristan lies on the southern watershed of the Hindu Kush range in northeastern Afghanistan.  It comprises the area drained by three roughly parallel valley systems which arise at the crest of the Hindu Kush ridge and debouche southward into the Kunar and Kabul rivers.

After their incorporation into Afghanistan in 1896, the Nuristanis regarded themselves as dominated by a corrupt and oppressive regime of their traditional enemies, the Pushtun.  However, the Pushtun kings treated the Nuristanis nobly and provided the Nuristanis with opportunities for advancement in the military, exploiting their skill as mountain warriors.  Several Nuristanis rose to the highest military ranks, and it was through these prominent Nuristanis that the otherwise isolated peoples of Nuristan felt any personal integration into the national community.

After the Communist coup of April 1978, many nationally prominent Nuristanis were liquidated in the ensuing purge.  The Nuristanis saw no personal ties to a Communist Afghanistan, and fearing that the new regime would forcibly try to supplant Islam with Communist atheism, political leaders from throughout Nuristan convened and resolved to expel the Communist government from their region.  In October 1978, the Nuristanis launched the attack that sparked the nationwide uprising against the Soviet-backed regime in Afghanistan.

Led by the Koms tribe, the Nuristani were the first citizens of Afghanistan to successfully revolt against the communist overthrow of their government in 1978. Thereafter, Nuristanis were behind some of the bloodiest guerrilla fighting with the Soviet forces from 1979 through 1989. The Nuristanis inspired others to fight and contributed to the demise of the Afghan communist regime in 1992.
Nur Jahan
Nur Jahan (Begum Nur Jahan) (Noor Jahan) (Nur Jehan) (Nor Jahan) (Mihr al-Nisa') (Mehr-un-Nisa) (1577–1645). Name given to Mihr al-Nisa’, the famous queen of Jahangir, the Mughal Emperor.  Nur Jahan ( was the title of Mehrunnisa (Mihr al-Nisa’), the daughter of I’timad ud-Daulah, who had moved from Persia to India to enter into the service of the Mughal court.  Mehrunnisa was married to Ali Quli Khan, who served Prince Salim (later Jahangir), in military campaigns and was given the title Sher Afghan.  They had a daughter.  Following his coronation, Jahangir raised I’timad ud-Daulah and his son, Asaf Khan, to high positions.  In his sixth regnal year Jahangir married Mehrunnisa, who had been a widow for four years, and gave her the title Nur Jahan (“Light of the World”).  Nur Jahan was cultured, courageous, and ambitious.  An extraordinarily beautiful woman, well-versed in Persian literature, she entirely dominated her husband.  She saw to it that her daughter married a prince and sought to promote him at Shah Jahan’s expense.  She inherited all privileges of her father’s office on his death and generally dominated the court in the last decade of Jahangir’s life.  On Jahangir’s death in 1627 she withdrew herself from the court until her own death.

Begum Nur Jahan was the twentieth and favorite wife of Mughal Emperor Jahangir, who was her second husband - and the most famous Empress of the Mughal Empire. The story of the couple's infatuation for each other and the relationship that abided between them is the stuff of many (often apocryphal) legends. She remains historically significant for the sheer amount of imperial authority she wielded - the true "power behind the throne," as Jahangir was battling serious addictions to alcohol and opium throughout his reign - and is known as one of the most powerful women who ruled India with an iron fist.

Begum Nur Jahan was born in 1577 in Kandahar (now in Afghanistan) to traveling Persians from Tehran (now in Iran). Her Persian-born grandfather, who was in the service of Shah Tahmasp I, died in Yazd, laden with honors. His heirs, however, soon fell upon hard times. His son Mirza Ghias Beg (known as Itmad-ud-Daulah, "Pillar of the State", a title conferred on him by Akbar) travelled to India with his family where he rose to become an administrative official in the Mughal court. For their journey, Ghias Beg and his wife, Asmat Begum, joined a caravan travelling southward under the leadership of a merchant noble named Malik Masud. While still in Persian territory, less than half the way to their destination, Ghias Beg's party was attacked by robbers and the family lost almost everything it owned. Left with only two mules, Ghias Beg, his expectant wife, their children, Muhammad Sharif, Abdul Hasan Asaf Khan, and one daughter, took turns riding on the backs of the animals. When the group reached Kandahar, Asmat Begum gave birth to her fourth child and second daughter, Mehr-un-Nisaa.

Mehr-Un-Nisaa was married to Sher Afghan Quli Khan when she was seventeen in 1594, the marriage arranged by Akbar. In 1605, Mehr-Un-Nisaa gave birth to a daughter, also called Mehr-Un-Nisaa (later at court she was named Ladli), Mehr-Un-Nisaa was the one and only child she ever had. In 1607, Sher Afghan Quli Khan was killed during a misunderstanding. During this time Sher Afghan Quli Khan had held the title of Sher Afghan, granted to him by Jahangir as Quli saved his life from an angry tigress. Also, during this time, Jahangir may have been asking Sher Afghan Quli Khan to give Mehr-Un-Nisaa to him, for his harem, although the truth of this is uncertain, as Jahangir married her in 1611, after she had been at court for four years.

The emperor Akbar died in 1605 and was succeeded by prince Salim, who took the regal name Jahangir. After her husband Sher Afghan (who was appointed as jagirdar of Bardhaman, a city in Bengal) was killed in 1607, Mehr-un-Nisaa became a lady-in-waiting to one of the Jahangir's stepmothers, Ruqayya Sultana Begum. Ruqayya was the most senior woman in the harem and had been Akbar's first and principal wife and was also the daughter of Mirza Hindal. The father of Mehr-un-Nisaa was, at that time, a diwan to an amir-ul-umra, decidedly not a very high post.

The year 1607 had not been particularly good for Mehr-un-Nisaa. Her family had fallen into disgrace. Her father, who had been holding important posts under Akbar and Jahangir, had succumbed to his only weakness, money, and had been charged with embezzlement. Moreover, due to possible involvement in the pro-Khusrau assassination attempt on Jahangir in 1607, two of Mehr-un-Nisaa's family members (one brother named Muhammad Sharif and her mother's cousin) were executed on the orders of the Emperor.

In March 1611, her fortune took a turn for the better. She met Jahangir at the palace meena bazaar during the spring festival Nowruz new year. Jahangir grew so infatuated by her beauty that he proposed immediately and they were married on May 25 of the same year becoming his twentieth wife.

Mehr-un-Nisaa received the name Nur Mahal (Light of the Palace), upon her marriage in 1611 and was conferred the title Nur Jahan (Light of the World) in 1616. Jahangir's actual name was Nur-ud-din Muhammad, and thus the name that he gave to his wife was his own first name combined with the first part of his regal name.

For Mehr-un-Nisaa's own immediate family, marriage to Jahangir became a great boon with several members receiving sizeable endowments and promotions as a result. This affection led to Nur Jahan wielding a great deal of actual power in affairs of state. The Mughal state gave absolute power to the emperor, and those who exercised influence over the emperor gained immense influence and prestige. Jahangir's addiction to opium and alcohol made it easier for Nur Jahan to exert her influence. For many years, she effectively wielded imperial power and was recognized as the real force behind the Mughal throne. She even gave audiences at her palace and the ministers consulted with her on most matters. Indeed, Jahangir even permitted coinage to be struck in her name, something that traditionally defined sovereignty.

Through Nur Jahan's influence, her family, including her brother Asaf Khan, consolidated their position at court. Asaf Khan was appointed grand Wazir (minister) to Jahangir, and his daughter Arjumand Banu Begum (later known as Mumtaz Mahal) was wed to Prince Khurram (the future Shah Jahan), the third son of Jahangir, born by a Rajput princess, Jagat Gosaini. Jahangir's eldest son Khusrau had rebelled against the Emperor and was blinded as a result. The second son, Parviz, was weak and addicted to alcohol. The fourth son was Prince Shahryar, born by a royal concubine. Khurram rebelled against his father and a war of succession broke out. Due to Khurram's intransigence, Nur Jahan shifted her support to his younger brother, Shahryar. She arranged the marriage of her own daughter Ladli Begum, born of her first marriage, to her stepson Shahryar. The two weddings ensured that one way or another, the influence of Nur Jahan's family would extend over the Mughal Empire for at least another generation.

Jahangir was captured by rebels in 1626 while he was on his way to Kashmir. Nur Jahan intervened to get her husband released. Jahangir was rescued but died on October 28, 1627. After Jahangir's death, Nur Jahan devoted some of her life to the making of perfume, an art form her mother had passed down.

When Jahangir died in 1628, Nur Jahan's brother Asaf Khan took the side of his son-in-law Khurrum against his sister. It was Khurram who became the new Mughal emperor under the regal name Shah Jahan. Nur Jahan was confined to a comfortable mansion for the rest of her life.

During this period, she paid for and oversaw the construction of her father's mausoleum in Agra, known now as Itmad-Ud-Daulah's Tomb, and occasionally composed Persian poems under the assumed name of Makhfi.

Nur Jahan died in 1645 at age 68, and is buried at Shahdara Bagh in Lahore, Pakistan in a tomb she had built herself, near the tomb of Jahangir. Her brother Asaf Khan's tomb is also located nearby. The tomb attracts many visitors, both Pakistani and foreign, who come to enjoy pleasant walks in its beautiful gardens. All had been personally laid out and designed by Nur Jahan herself.
Begum Nur Jahan see Nur Jahan
Noor Jahan see Nur Jahan
Nur Jehan see Nur Jahan
Light of the World see Nur Jahan
Mihr al-Nisa' see Nur Jahan
Mehr-un-Nisa see Nur Jahan
Nur Muhammadi
Nur Muhammadi (“The Light of Muhammad”).  Technical term for the pre-existence of the soul of the Prophet.  The pre-destined essence of the Prophet is said to have been created find of all, in the form of a dense and luminous point.  Among the Sunnis, the idea began to dominate popular worship from the ninth century onwards.  Among the Shi‘is, it appeared earlier, and it is a fundamental dogma of the Isma‘ilis.
The Light of Muhammad see Nur Muhammadi
Nuruddin Ar-Raniri
Nuruddin Ar-Raniri (Nuruddin ibn Ali ar-Raniri) (Nur ud-Din ar-Raniri) (d. 1658). Sumatran Malay theologian and Muslim historian.  Born in Gujerat, West India of South Arabian origin.  Nuruddin went to Mecca in 1621, travelled perhaps to Malaya, and then to Acheh where he arrived in 1637.  Nuruddin enjoyed royal patronage there for seven years before returning to India, where he died. 

Nuruddin’s most popular works were theological in content, e.g., Sirat al-Mustakim (1634-1644), Asrar al-Insan fi ma’rifat al-ruh wa’l rahman (c.1640) and Akhbar al-‘akhirah fi ahwal al-kiamah (1642).  Nuruddin attacked the religious views of Hamzah Fansuri and Shamsu’ddin Pasai.  Nuruddin’s most valuable work is now considered to be Bustan a’s-Salatin (1638), in seven parts and based on Persian models, containing popularized accounts of Muslim cosmology, some historical material on Acheh, Malacca and Pahang, and many ethical examples and precepts.  His Malay is normally easy and fluent in spite of some imperfections of idiom and many Arabicisms.  Nuruddin was a highly educated man of his time and fully conversant with the works of the orthodox Muslim mystics.

Nuruddin ibn Ali ar-Raniri was an Islamic scholar from Gujarat, India, who worked for several years in the court of the sultan of Aceh in what is now Indonesia. He was the most prolific of the authors of the Acehnese court, and helped contribute to its international reputation as a center of scholarship.

Ar-Raniri was born into a Gujarati family of Hadhrami lineage. He arrived in Aceh in 1637 and enjoyed the patronage of Iskandar Thani (reigned 1636-1641). He denounced his predecessors at the Acehnese court, Hamzah Pansuri and Syamsuddin of Pasai, for what he saw as their heresy in violation of the Islamic belief that God was unchanged by his creation. He ordered their books to be burned, while he wrote numerous works setting what he insisted were orthodox religious standards.

His most notable work was the Bustan as-Salatin ("The Garden of Kings"), begun in 1638 and written in Malay based on Arabic sources. It is a seven-volume encyclopedic work, covering the history of the world from the creation through the period of prophets of Islam and the Muslim kings of the Middle East and the Malay area, as well as several sciences.

Ar-Raniri's works were translated into other Indonesian languages, and had considerable influence in Malay literature. He lost favor with the court of Iskandar Thani's successor, his widow Taj ul-Alam, and left Aceh in 1644, and died in India in 1658.



Raniri, Nuruddin Ar- see Nuruddin Ar-Raniri
Nuruddin ibn Ali ar-Raniri see Nuruddin Ar-Raniri
Ibn Ali ar-Raniri, Nuruddin see Nuruddin Ar-Raniri
Nur ud-Din ar-Raniri see Nuruddin Ar-Raniri

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