Friday, April 19, 2013

Sa'id Pasha - Sanusiyya

Sa‘id Pasha
Sa‘id Pasha (b. 1822, Cairo, Egypt - d. January 18, 1863, Alexandria, Egypt).    Khedive of Egypt (r.1854-1863).  He relieved the economic position of the people by promulgating an agrarian law, attempted to abolish the slave trade, and in 1856 granted to Ferdinand de Lesseps the permit to construct the Suez Canal.  The town of Port Said is named after him.

Sa’id Pasha was the Ottoman viceroy (khedive) of Egypt (1854–63) whose administrative policies fostered the development of individual landownership and reduced the influence of the sheikhs (village headmen).

Saʿīd was the fourth son of Muḥammad ʿAlī Pasha, viceroy of Egypt (1805–48). While still a child, he was compelled on orders from his father to make daily rounds of the European consuls residing in Egypt in order to overcome his shyness and improve his French. As a result he befriended Ferdinand de Lesseps, the French consul. Their friendship would lead to the construction of the Suez Canal years later. During the reign of his father, Saʿīd became head of the navy, a position he retained during the rule of ʿAbbās I (1848–54) despite their mutual enmity.

In 1854, Saʿīd succeeded ʿAbbās as viceroy of Egypt. He was influenced by Western forms of landownership, and, under pressure from Western financiers to change Egypt’s traditional system of land tenure, he enacted, in 1855, a law that permitted the male descendants of a peasant to inherit his land. Three years later, Saʿīd passed another law limiting land inheritance to Muslims, thus considerably reducing the circle of relatives entitled to an inheritance. Few peasants owned land, however, and these provisions had limited applicability. To correct the situation, an article in the second law provided that a peasant who held a plot of land for five consecutive years and paid the taxes on it would acquire irrevocable ownership and the right to sell, mortgage, or exchange his land.

This increase in the property rights of peasants was accompanied by a corresponding decrease in the authority of the sheikhs, who lost the right to distribute land among the peasants, either on the death of a peasant or at periodic intervals. Saʿīd abolished the collective responsibility of a village for payment of taxes, a practice that had permitted the sheikhs to divide the village tax burden among the peasants, and he levied taxes directly on individual cultivators. He also confiscated some of the land held by the sheikhs and drafted their sons, who had hitherto been exempt, into the army.

Saʿīd attempted innovations in other areas. In 1861 he established a commission to work out a municipal code for Egyptian cities. Nothing came of this initiative, largely because of the opposition of foreign powers. Saʿīd also unsuccessfully attempted to end the flourishing slave trade by banning the importation of slaves from the Sudan. One of his most momentous acts was to grant a concession to a French company in 1856 for the construction of the Suez Canal. By 1859, both Saʿīd and the Ottoman sultan had come to oppose the plan, and, for the rest of Saʿīd’s reign, work continued on the canal without official permission.

Saint (Wali) (Wilayah) (Walayah). The word “saint” and “sainthood” are used cross-culturally to describe persons of exceptional spiritual merit and the status attained by such persons.  These terms are originally derived from Christian experience.  It must not be assumed that all features of Christian sainthood are reproduced in Islam.

The approximate equivalent in Arabic to “saint” is wali (plural, awliya’); wilayah or walayah may be translated as “sainthood.”  The literal meaning of wali is “friend,” “helper,” or “patron.”  There is no passage in the Qur’an that explicitly recognizes saints or sanctions the institution of sainthood.  In fact, the message of the Qur’an regarding wali is quite different.  It repeatedly emphasizes that God and God alone is the wali of the believers and that there is no wali or helper but God. {See Suras 2:107, 2:120, 3:68, 9:116; and 18.26.} Humankind is sternly warned against taking “friends” or seeking aid from any but God (see Suras 6:14 and 42:9), as have the wrongdoers who take each other as friends (see Suras 8:73 and 45:19) and those who are the awliya’ of Satan instead of God (see Suras 4:76, 7:30 and 16:63).  In addition, the Qur’an disallows intercession (shafa‘ah) by any but God (see Suras 2:48 and 74:48).  There is neither wali nor shafi’ (intercessor) except God (see Sura 6:51).

Nevertheless, those who read wali as “saint” have found support in the scriptures.  The revelation mentions that the believers may be “friends” to one another (see Suras 5:55 and 9:71), and some Sufi exegetes have interpreted verse 62 of the tenth surah of the Qur’an – “As for the friends (awliya’) of God, no fear shall come upon thme, nor shall they grieve” -- as referring to a class of persons selected by God for special favor, possessing esoteric knowledge, or even guarded from committing major sins.  Sufi exegesis has sometimes seized on qualifying phrases in verses banning intercession -- for instance, “There is no intercessor except by His permission” (see Sura 10:3).-- to suggest that there are indeed some granted special favor by God who may intercede on behalf of others.  The Sufis also point to a number of hadiths that describe the qualities and privileges of awliya.

Sainthood in Islam is informal.  Saints become saints by acclamation.  There is no process of canonization and no constituted body to apply it, as in Catholicism.  Consequently, there are many types of saints.  Popular saints are the focus of local cults emerging from a stratum of pre-Islamic religion.  These saints are associated with simple shrines or even natural objects such as springs or trees, and their veneration involves a variety of folk practices.  A large number of such saints are found in North Africa, where they are known as murabit (“he who watches [through the night over his soul]” -- in French, marabout).  A host of popular saints was once venerated by the Arab population of Palestine, and similar figures are still a focus of folk religious life in present day Lebanon.  In Morocco, Palestine, Lebanon, Egypt, and Anatolia some saints were formerly shared by Jewish, Christian, and Muslim worshipers, but as political events and social developments have separated these religious groups, ecumenical saint-worship has declined.

Sufism has served in the past to absorb local customs and culture and to bring non-Islamic and peasant populations into the fold of Islam.  Thus, the majority of popular saints are also Sufi saints.  The tombs of such saints often serve as the focal point of the Sufi lodges (khanaqah, ribat, zawiyah, or tekke) in which members of the fraternities reside or meet and Sufi ceremonies are performed. The anniversary of the birth or death of the saint (mawlid) may involve a more elaborate festival featuring songs and processions.  Some Sufi shaykhs, unlike Christian saints, are acclaimed as saints while still living.  These may be called on to dispense advice and mediate disputes.  Sufi sainthood, in any case, has fulfilled and continues to fulfill an important social function, as saintly authority sometimes remains in one family through generations, and tribal and other social structures are reinforced through allegiance to particular saints.

Another category of saints is the past saints of Sufi legend.  Most of these are not identified with tombs.  Their memorials are contained instead in brief tales of their wise sayings, virtues, and miracles related in the biographical anecdotes that comprise an important part of Sufi literature.  (Some contemporary saints have been the subjects of mroe lengthy biographies.)  A significant number of popular, Sufi, and legendary saints are women.  Muslim women, it seems, have found it easier to gain spiritual fame outside of mainstream Islam. 

Finally, Sufi mystical speculation presents an elaborate hierarchy of saints.  These awliya’ comprise a divinely elected class, according to some accounts numbering several hundred.  Their existence is said to be as necessary as that of the prophets, the chief of them being the “pole” (qutb) around which the very universe revolves.

The mainstream Twelver Shi‘as do not speak of saints, since the spiritual rank of wilayah is already occupied by their imams who, much like the Sufi saints, are God’s elect, sustain the existence of the world, worked miracles in their lifetime, and continue to intercede for their followers with God.  Iranian Shiism, however, does allow for a kind of lesser sainthood and absorption of local pilgrimage sites and folk practices by attaching these to relatives of the imams.  There are many such imamzadah (“related to the imams”) shrines in Iran, some rather rudimentary and doubtful but nevertheless still active.  A large and elaborate shrine has lately been constructed over the remains of Ayatollah Khomeini near the Bihisht-i Zahra cemetery outside Tehran and is already a favorite place of pilgrimage.  Khomeini has certainly become a “saint” in a practical, if not theological, sense.  His charisma far outweighs that of any other deceased member of the religious hierarchy, and he may well become the only true Shi‘a saint apart from the imams and imamzadahs.

The chief function of the Islamic saints, similar to that of the Christian saints, is to intercede with God on behalf of those who appeal to them.  The power the saints are granted to facilitate the affairs of tehir devotees and smooth their way to God is called barakah or “blessing.”  The tombs of the saints -- or, during their lives, their residences -- are the object of pilgrimage (ziyarah) by those who hope to obtain this barakah.  Barakah is often thought to be transferred by physical touch from the tomb or person of the saint to the petitioner.  Some popular saints are noted for dispensing particular kinds of favors: for instance, a female saint may be expert in granting children to the women who specially visit her or otherwise settling domestic matters.  Allegiance to saints, saint pilgrimage, and seeking of barakah have lessened with modern times, particularly with the decline of Sufism.  These practices, however, do survive, particularly among urban poor and rural populations.

Some Muslims have been opposed to sainthood as being un-Islamic in both conception and practice; the Qur’anic texts referred to above enter into this controversy.  Seeking intercession, belief in miracles, and pilgrimages to saints’ tombs have been particularly disapproved.  The dangers in these are thought to be violation of monotheism and setting up others as equal to the Prophet.  An effort was made by the theologians to admit sainthood while protecting the position of the prophets by distinguishing the full-blown miracles (mu‘jizat) of the former from the mere “charismata” (karamat) of the latter.  Some written creeds even listed belief in the awliya’ as an article of faith.  Nevertheless, sainthood and saint worship were frequent targets of the orthodox ‘ulama’.  Ibn Taymiyah (d. 1328) was perhaps the most prominent critic of sainthood.  He vigorously condemned the visiting of tombs and other popular practices as corruption of the true religion.  Ibn Taymiyah has influenced many Islamic thinkers to seek a return to pure, “original” Islam, and they have also followed him in condemning sainthood.  The present Saudi regime upholds Wahhabism, a movement originating in the Arabian Peninsula in the eighteenth century that also traces its spiritual descent to Ibn Taymiyah.  The government and religious hierarchy of Saudi Arabia thus seek to suppress any manifestation of saint worship.  This is particularly significant since the Saudis have great religious influence in the Muslim world.  A second type of criticism of sainthood is exclusively modern.  This trend of thought sees saint worship as a prime manifestation of the irrationality and obscurantism which has weakened the Muslim world.  The Egyptian reformer Muhammad Rashid Rida (d. 1935) was one of those who expressed this opinion.  The revered Pakistani thinker Muhammad Iqbal (d. 1938) and other subcontinental modernists have also considered the numerous local saints (called pirs, “elders”) as founts of superstition and upholders of the feudal system and have thus called for the elimination of “pirism.”

Saints and their shrines have often been centers of political power.  Within the context of the modern nation-state, governments have tried either to suppress or to co-opt saintly institutions.  The secularizing measures of Mustafa Kemal Ataturk in the 1920s included suppression of the Turkish shrines and devaluing of saintly personality.  In Pakistan, various regimes have combined programs tending to strike at the economic and spiritual authority of living pirs with a conspicuous effort to make the state the overseer of the shrines and to patronize ceremonies associated with them.  The pirs have responded to this by competing in the political system -- for instance by influencing or putting up candidates -- and have thus managed to maintain some independence and defend their interests.  The Egyptian government has lately found it useful to patronize the saints and protect pilgrims and festivals in order to counter the Islamists who, in true fundamentalist fashion, abhor saint-worship.  Armed soldiers can be seen around some shrines at festival times.  It seems that devotion to the saints is considered a politically safe diversion for the urbanizing masses.

Wali see Saint
Wilayah see Saint
Walayah see Saint

Sa’iqa (As-Sa'iqa) (Al-Saika) (Saika) (Saeqa).  Arabic term which means “lightning.”  Sa’iqa is the name of a Palestinian-Syrian organization in existence since 1968.

As-Sa'iqa (from Arabic meaning storm or thunderbolt; also known as the Vanguard for the Popular Liberation War) was a Palestinian Baathist political and military faction created and controlled by Syria. It is the Palestinian branch of the Syrian Ba'th Party, and was a member organization of the Palestine Liberation Organization (PLO).

As-Sa'iqa was formed as an organization by the Syrian Ba'th Party in September 1966, but was first activated in December 1968, when Syria tried to build up an alternative to Yassir Arafat, then emerging with his Fatah faction as the primary Palestinian fedayeen leader and politician. As-Sa'iqa was initially the second-largest group within the PLO, after Fatah.

As-Sa'iqa was also used in the Ba'thist power struggle then in play in Syria, by President Salah Jadid to counter the ambitions of Defence Minister Hafez al-Assad. When al-Assad seized power in the November 1970 "Corrective Revolution", the organization was purged and its leadership replaced with al-Assad loyalists (although Jadid loyalists held on to the as-Sai'qa branch active in the Palestinian camps in Jordan until mid-1971, when they were arrested). As new Secretary-General (after Mahmud al-Ma'ayta, who had recently succeeded Yusuf Zu'ayyin), al-Assad chose Zuhayr Muhsin, a Palestinian Ba'thist who had come to Syria as a refugee from Jordan. He was repeatedly promoted by Syria as a candidate for the post as Chairman of the PLO, to replace Arafat, but never gained support from other factions.

The organization was, and is, utilized by Syria as a proxy force in the Palestinian movement. While this prevented as-Sa'iqa from gaining widespread popularity among Palestinians, it became an important force in the Palestinian camps in Syria, as well as in Lebanon. During the Lebanese Civil War, Syria built the movement into one of the most important Palestinian fighting units, but also forced it to join in Syrian offensives against the PLO when relations between al-Assad and Arafat soured. This led to as-Sa'iqa's expulsion from the PLO in 1976, but it was re-admitted in December the same year, after the situation had cooled down, and after Syria named this as a condition for further support for the PLO. The attacks on the PLO led to large-scale defections of Syrian-based Palestinians from the movement. As Saiqa was as well responsible of the Damour Massacre in 1976 and many other barbaric mass murders.

After Muhsin's assassination in 1979, 'Isam al-Qadi became the new Secretary-General. The movement remained active during the Lebanese Civil War, and again joined Syria, the Lebanese Shi'a Amal Movement and Abu Musa's Fatah al-Intifada in attacks on the PLO during the War of the Camps in 1984-85, and for the remainder of the Civil War (which lasted until 1990). This again led to mass-defections of Palestinians from the movement, and reportedly its ranks were filled with non-Palestinian Syrian army recruits. After the end of the Civil War, the movement was nearly out of contact with the PLO mainstream, and exerted influence only in Syria and in Syrian-occupied parts of Lebanon. It kept lobbying within the PLO against the various peace proposals advanced by Arafat, and was part of the Syrian-based National Alliance that opposed Arafat.

After the end of the Lebanese Civil War and the 1993 signing of the Oslo Peace Agreement, as-Sai'qa has largely lost its usefulness to the Syrian government, and the state and size of the organization has deteriorated. Today, it is wholly insignificant outside Syria, although it retains a presence in Lebanon (its future is uncertain after the end in 2005 of the Syrian Army's presence in Lebanon). It is extremely weak in the West Bank and Gaza Strip, and was not active during the al-Aqsa Intifada. Its importance to Syria lessened, both because the PLO diminished in importance compared to the Palestinian National Authority (which as-Sai'qa boycotted), and because Damascus changed its strategy to supporting the Palestinian Islamist factions Hamas and Islamic Jihad.

As-Sa'iqa was led by a Secretary-General. It had a representative on the PLO Executive Committee, but he boycotted sessions of the PLO EC. During much of the 1970s, as-Sai'qa's representatives in the PLO EC held the prestigious and sensitive post as Head of the Military Department, which reflected the military importance of the movement in these years.

Syrian backing in the 1970s gave as-Sa'iqa a military weight far greater than its political influence, which had always been small. During the Lebanese civil war, as-Sa'iqa was often the second largest Palestinian faction in fighting strength, after Yassir Arafat's Fatah movement.

Under the name Eagles of the Palestinian Revolution - possibly the name of the armed wing of as-Sa'iqa - the organization committed a number of international terrorist attacks. Among these are the 1979 takeover of the Egyptian embassy in Ankara, Turkey and a kidnapping of Jews emigrating by train through Austria from the Soviet Union to Israel. After the early 1990s, the organization did not commit any known attacks, and was not listed on the United States State Department's List of Foreign Terrorist Organizations.

As-Sa'iqa's political agenda is identical to that of Ba'thist Syria, i.e. Arab socialist, nationalist and strongly committed to Pan-Arab doctrine. While this reflects its Ba'thist program, it also used Pan-Arabism as a means of supporting the primacy of its sponsor, Syria, over the Arafat-led PLO's claim to exclusive representation of the Palestinian people. Thus, it rejected "Palestinization" of the conflict with Israel, insisting on the necessary involvement of the greater Arab nation. This occasionally went to extremes, with as-Sa'iqa leaders denying the existence of a separate Palestinian people within the wider Arab nation.

The group generally took a hard line stance (reflecting that of Syria) on issues such as the recognition of Israel, the Oslo Accords, and other questions of Palestinian goals and political orientation. It was a member of the 1974 Rejectionist Front, despite supporting the Ten Point Program that initially caused the PLO/Rejectionist Front split.
Saika see Sa’iqa
As-Sa'iqa see Sa’iqa
Al-Saika see Sa’iqa
Saeqa see Sa’iqa
Lightning see Sa’iqa
Vanguard for the Popular Liberation War see Sa’iqa

Sajah, Umm Sadir bint Aws ibn Hikk
Sajah, Umm Sadir bint Aws ibn Hikk (Umm Sadir bint Aws ibn Hikk Sajah) (Sajah bint al-Harith ibn Suaeed).  Prophetess and soothsayer of the seventh century.  She is said to have joined the forces of the prophet Musaylima ibn Habib and to have married him.

Sajah bint al-Harith ibn Suaeed was from the tribe of Taghlib. She was an Arab Christian protected first by her tribe then caused a split within Banu Tamim and finally defended by Banu Hanifa. After the death of Muhammad, Sajah declared that she was a prophetess. Before claiming to be a prophetess, Sajah had a reputation as a soothsayer. Thereafter, 4,000 people gathered around her to march on Medina. Others were forced to join her against Medina. However, her planned attack on Medina was called off after she learned of Khalid ibn al-Walid’s army defeating Tulaiha al-Asadi (another self-proclaimed prophet). Thereafter, she sought cooperation with Musaylimah to oppose the threat of Khalid. A mutual understanding was initially reached with Musaylimah. Sajah later married Musaylimah and accepted his self-declared prophethood. Khalid then crushed the remaining rebellious elements around Sajah, and then moved on to crush Musaylimah. After the Battle of Yamama where Musaylimah was killed, Sajah turned to Islam.
Umm Sadir bint Aws ibn Hikk Sajah see Sajah, Umm Sadir bint Aws ibn Hikk
Sajah bint al-Harith ibn Suaeed see Sajah, Umm Sadir bint Aws ibn Hikk

Sajawandi, Abu’l-Fadl al-
Sajawandi, Abu’l-Fadl al- (Abu’l-Fadl al-Sajawandi) (d. c. 1164). “Reader” of the Qur’an.  He is mainly known by his work on the recitation of the Qur’an.
Abu’l-Fadl al-Sajawandi see Sajawandi, Abu’l-Fadl al-

Sajawandi, Siraj al-Din al-
Sajawandi, Siraj al-Din al- (Siraj al-Din al-Sajawandi).  Hanafi jurist of the thirteenth century.  His work on the law of inheritance is regarded as the principal work in this field.

Sajids. Name of a family which ruled in Azerbaijan under the nominal suzerainty of the ‘Abbasid caliph at the end of the ninth and the beginning of the tenth century.  It took its name from the founder of the dynasty, Abu’l-Saj (d. 879) and comprised five rulers.

The Sajid dynasty was an Islamic dynasty that ruled the Iranian region of Azerbaijan from 889-890 until 929.

The Sajids originated from the Central Asian province of Ushrusana and were of Sogdian's descent. Muhammad ibn Abi'l-Saj Diwdad the son of Diwdad, the first Sajid ruler of Azerbaijan, was appointed as its ruler in 889 or 890. Muhammad's father Abi'l-Saj Devdad had fought under the Ushrusanan prince Afshin Khaydar during the latter's final campaign against the rebel Babak Khorramdin in Azerbaijan, and later served the caliphs. Toward the end of the 9th century, as the central authority of the Abbasid Caliphate weakened, Muhammad was able to form a virtually independent state. Much of the Sajids' energies were spent in attempting to take control of neighboring Armenia. The dynasty ended with the death of Abu'l-Musafir al-Fath in 929.

The Sajid rulers were:

    * Abdu Ubaydullah Muhammad Ibn Abi'l-Saj (Muhammad ibn Abi'l-Saj Diwdad) (899-901)
    * Abul Musafir Devdad Ibn Muhammad (901)
    * Yusuf Ibn Abi'l-Saj (901-919)
          o Subuk (919-922) (a servant of the Sajids and a temporary care-taker)
    * Yusuf (restored) (922-928)
    * Fath ibn Muhammad ibn Abi 'l Saj (Abu'l-Musafir al-Fath) (928-929)

sajjada nishin
sajjada nishin.  Term which means “one who sits on the prayer carpet.”  The term sajjada nishin was applied to the successor to the leadership of a khanaqa or the custodian of a Sufi shrine.

Sakkaki, Abu Bakr Yusuf al-
Sakkaki, Abu Bakr Yusuf al- (Abu Bakr Yusuf al-Sakkaki) (d. 1160).  Turkish rhetorician from Transoxiana.  His fame rests upon his Key to the Sciences, the most comprehensive book on rhetoric written up to his time.
Abu Bakr Yusuf al-Sakkaki see Sakkaki, Abu Bakr Yusuf al-

Sakura (Mansa Sakura) (Mansa Sakoura) (d. c. 1300).  Ruler of the Mali Empire (1285-c.1300).  A freed slave, he usurped the Mali throne and extended the empire as far as Takrur to the west and Songhay to the east.  He was killed while returning from a pilgrimage to Mecca.  After his death, the succession returned to the descendants of Sundjata, founder of the Mali Empire.

Mansa Sakura was the sixth mansa of the Mali Empire. A slave at birth, Sakura was freed and became a general in the army of Sundiata Keita, legendary founder of the Mali Empire. After a debilitating struggle for succession between Sundiata's sons Ouati Keita and Khalifa Keita and his grandson Abu Bakr, Sakura seized control of the throne himself in about 1285. Near-contemporary historian Ibn Khaldun records that under Sakura's leadership, the Empire made a number of new conquests (most notably of Gao), becoming the dominant political, economic, and military force in the Western Sudan. Sakura performed the Hajj but was killed (c. 1300) at Tadjoura near Djibouti by Danakil warriors hungry for his gold. He was succeeded by Sundiata's nephew Gao.

Mansa Sakura see Sakura
Mansa Sakoura see Sakura

Salaan ‘Arrabey
Salaan ‘Arrabey (b. mid-19th century - d. soon after World War II).  Somali oral poet.  He was known for his versatility and humour and was skilled in influencing important events by composing poems appropriate to the situation.  It is said that he could cause an interclan war or stop it.  He travelled widely and in his poems numerous innovations and foreign borrowings can be found.  His familiarity with English, Swahili, Arabic, and Hindustani brought him success both as a merchant and an interpreter. 
'Arrabey, Salaan see Salaan ‘Arrabey

Saladin (al-Malik al-Nasir Salah al-Din Yusuf) (Salah al-Din) (Yusuf Salah ad-Din ibn Ayyub) (Ṣalāḥ al-Dīn Yūsuf ibn Ayyūb -- “Righteousness of the Faith, Joseph, Son of Job”) (b. 1137/38, Tikrīt, Mesopotamia [now in Iraq] — d. March 4, 1193, Damascus [now in Syria]).  Ayyubid ruler and Sultan of Egypt and Syria.  He was a Kurdish Muslim and led the Islamic opposition to the Third Crusade.

At the height of his power, the Ayyubid dynasty he founded, ruled over Egypt, Syria, Iraq, Hijaz, and Yemen.  He led Muslim resistance to the European Crusaders and eventually recaptured Palestine from the Crusader Kingdom of Jerusalem.  As such, Saladin is a notable figure in Arab, Kurdish, and Muslim culture.

Saladin was a strict practitioner of Sunni Islam.  He did not maim, kill or retaliate against those whom he defeated, with the notable exception of certain events following the Battle of Hattin.  His generally chivalrous behavior was noted by Christian chroniclers, especially in the accounts of the siege of Krak in Moab.

Saladin came from a predominantly Kurdish background and ancestry.  His family lived in Tikrit, Iraq, where he was born during the Islamic world's Golden Age.  His father, Najm ad-Din Ayyub, was banned from Tikrit and moved to Mosul where he met Imad ad-Din Zengi, the Turkish atabeg (regent) of Mosul.  At the time, Imad ad-Din Zengi, the founder of the Zengid dynasty, was also the leader of Muslim forces against the Crusaders in Edessa.  Imad ad-Din Zengi appointed Najm ad-Din as the commander of his fortress in Baalbek.   After the death of Imad ad-Din Zengi in 1146, his son, Nur ad-Din, became the regent of Mosul.  Saladin received his name from Nur ad-Din and was sent to Damascus to continue his education and this was where he also completed his educational studies.  Several sources claim that during his studies he was more interested in religion than joining the military.  Another factor which may have affected his interest in religion was that, during the First Crusade in 1099, Jerusalem was taken by force from the Christians by surprise when the Islamic world had done nothing to start the offensive.  Muslim culture and the city were pillaged.  Much of Muslim culture would lay in ruins for over one hundred years.  It would be Saladin who would later rebel against Christian-held Jerusalem to win back the city.  

The career of Saladin in the military began when his uncle Asad al-Din Shirkuh started training him.  Shirkuh was an important military commander under the emir Nur al-Din, who was the son and successor of Zengi.  Saladin accompanied Shirkuh during three military expeditions led by Shirkuh into Egypt to prevent its falling to the Latin Christian Crusaders who already ruled Jerusalem.  In 1154, Saladin went with his uncle Shirkuh to the court of the Zangid Nur al-Din Mahmud at Damascus, accompanied him on his military mission to Egypt in 1164, and again in 1168, when he withstood the siege of Alexandria by Amalric I, king of Jerusalem.  When the latter besieged Cairo, the last Fatimid Caliph al-‘Adid li-Din Allah sent for assistance to Nur al-Din, while his vizier Shawar negotiated with Amalric.  Shirkuh and Saladin were hailed at Cairo as rescuers, and Saladin had Shawar executed as a traitor.  The caliph appointed Shirkuh as vizier and, when the latter died after two months, he appointed Saladin as such and gave him the title “al-Malik al-Nasir.”

Saladin's aims were to secure power for himself and his family, to put down Shi‘ism and to fight the Crusaders to the utmost.  He attained these aims to a great degree. 

He put down a rebellion of the caliph’s black guards and in 1169 resisted the siege of Damietta by Amalric, who was assisted by a fleet from Constantinople and an auxiliary force from southern Italy.  In 1171, Saladin abolished the ineffective Shi'ite Fatimid caliphate and led a return to Sunni Islam in Egypt.  When the caliph died in 1171, Saladin had the 'ulama pronounce the name of al-Mustadi bi-Amr Allah, the Sunni -- and, more importantly, 'Abbasid -- caliph in Baghdad at sermon before Friday prayers (salat) instead of the name of the Shi'a Fatimid Caliph. Thus, the Fatimids and Shi‘ism came to an end in Egypt. 

Saladin effectively ruled Egypt, but officially as the representative of the Turkish Seljuk ruler Nur ad-Din, who himself conventionally recognized the 'Abbasid caliph.  Although he remained for a time a vassal of Nur ad-Din, and although their relationship became strained, the relationship only came to an end in 1174 when Nur ad-Din died.

After the death of Nur ad-Din, Saladin quickly used the emir's rich agricultural possessions in Egypt as a financial base.  He defeated the Normans of Sicily, who had landed at Alexandria, and captured an enormous booty.  He then turned his attention to Syria.

On two occasions, in 1170 and 1172, Saladin retreated from an invasion of the Kingdom of Jerusalem.  These had been launched by Nur ad-Din and Saladin hoped that the Crusader kingdom would remain intact, as a buffer state between Egypt and Syria, until Saladin could gain control of Syria as well.  Nur ad-Din and Saladin were headed towards open war on these counts when Nur ad-Din died in 1174.  Nur ad-Din's heir, as-Salih Ismail al-Malik, was a mere boy in the hands of court eunuchs, and died in 1181.

Immediately after Nur ad-Din's death in 1174, Saladin marched on Damascus and was welcomed into the city.  He reinforced his legitimacy there in the time-honored way, by marrying Nur ad-Din's widow Ismat ad-Din Khatun.  Aleppo and Mosul, on the other hand, the two other largest cities that Nur ad-Din had ruled, were never taken but Saladin managed to impose his influence and authority on them in 1176 and 1186 respectively.  While he was occupied in besieging Aleppo, on May 22, 1176, the shadowy Ismaili assassin group, the Hashshashin, attempted to murder him.  They made two attempts on his life, the second time coming close enough to inflict wounds.

While Saladin was consolidating his power in Syria, he usually left the Crusader kingdom alone, although he was generally victorious whenever he did meet the Crusaders in battle.  One exception was the Battle of Montgisard on November 25, 1177, where he was defeated by the combined forces of Baldwin IV of Jerusalem, Raynald of Chatillon and the Knights Templar.  Only one tenth of his army made it back to Egypt. 

Saladin spent the subsequent year recovering from his defeat and rebuilding his army, renewing his attacks in 1179 when he defeated the Crusaders at the Battle of Jacob's Ford, after which a truce was declared between Saladin and the Crusader States in 1180.  However, Crusader counter-attacks provoked further responses by Saladin.  Raynald of Chatillon, in particular, harassed Muslim trading and pilgrimage routes with a fleet on the Red Sea, a water route that Saladin needed to keep open.  In response, Saladin constructed a fleet of 30 galleys to attack Beirut in 1182.  Raynald threatened to attack the holy cities of Mecca and Medina.  In retaliation, Saladin twice besieged Kerak, Raynald's fortress in Oultrejordain, in 1183 and 1184.  Raynald responded by looting a caravan of pilgrims on the Hajj in 1185. 

Following the failure of his Kerak sieges, Saladin temporarily turned his attention back to another long-term project and resumed attacks on the territory of 'Izz ad-Din (Mas'ud ibn Mawdud ibn Zangi), around Mosul, which he had begun with some success in 1182.  However, since then, Mas'ud had allied himself with the powerful governor of Azerbaijan and Jibal, who in 1185 began moving his troops across the Zagros Mountains, causing Saladin to hesitate in his attacks.  The defenders of Mosul, when they became aware that help was on the way, increased their efforts, and Saladin subsequently fell ill, so in March 1186, a peace treaty was signed.

In July 1187, Saladin captured most of the Kingdom of Jerusalem.  On July 4, 1187, Saladin faced at the Battle of Hattin the combined forces Guy of Lusignan, King Consort of Jerusalem and Raymond III of Tripoli.  In this battle alone, the Crusader army was largely annihilated by the motivated army of Saladin in what was a major disaster for the Crusaders and a turning point in the history of the Crusades.  Saladin captured Raynald de Chatillon and was personally responsible for his execution in retaliation for previously attacking Muslim pilgrim caravans.  Guy of Lusignan was also captured but his life was spared.  However, that night with uncharacteristic cruelty, Saladin ordered the execution of the hundred or so Templar and Hospitaller knights among the prisoners.  Because of their religious devotion and rigorous training, they were the most feared of the Christian soldiers.  Seated on a dais before his army, Saladin watched as the executions were carried out.

Saladin captured almost every Crusader city.  Jerusalem capitulated to his forces on October 2, 1187 after a siege.  Before the siege, Saladin had offered generous terms of surrender, which were rejected.  After the sieged had started, he was unwilling to promise terms of quarter to the European occupants of Jerusalem until Balian of Ibelin threatened to kill every Muslim hostage, estimated at 5000 and to destroy Islam's holy shrines of the Dome of the Rock and the al-Aqsa Mosque if quarter was not given.  Saladin consulted his council and the terms of the Crusader surrender were again offered.  Ransom was to be paid for each Frank in the city whether man, woman or child.  Saladin allowed many to leave without having the required amount for ransom for others.

Tyre, on the coast of modern-day Lebanon was the last major Crusader city that was not captured by Muslim forces (strategically, it would have made more sense for Saladin to capture Tyre before Jerusalem -- however, Saladin chose to pursue Jerusalem first because of the importance of the city to Islam).  The city was now commanded by Conrad of Montferrat, who strengthened Tyre's defenses and withstood two sieges by Saladin.  In 1188, at Tortosa, Saladin released Guy of Lusignan and returned him to his wife, Queen Sibylla of Jerusalem.  They went first to Tripoli, then to Antioch.  In 1189, they sought to reclaim Tyre for their kingdom, but were refused admission by Conrad, who did not recognize Guy as king.  Guy then set about besieging Acre.

Hattin and the fall of Jerusalem prompted the Third Crusade, financed in England by a special "Saladin tithe."  Richard I of England led Guy's siege of Acre, conquered the city and executed 3000 Muslim prisoners including women and children.  Saladin retaliated by killing all Franks captured from August 28 to September 10. 

The armies of Saladin engaged in combat with the army of King Richard I of England at the Battle of Arsuf on September 7, 1191, at which Saladin was defeated.  However, all attempts made by Richard I -- Richard the Lionheart -- to re-take Jerusalem failed.  Nevertheless, Saladin's relationship with Richard was one of chivalrous mutual respect as well as military rivalry.  When Richard became ill with fever, Saladin offered the services of his personal physician.  Saladin also sent him fresh fruit and fruit juice, with snow to chill the drink as treatment.  At Arsuf, when Richard lost his horse, Saladin sent him two replacements.  Richard suggested to Saladin that Palestine, Christian and Muslim, could be united through the marriage of his sister to Saladin's brother, and that Jerusalem could be their wedding gift.  Ironically, the two men never met face to face and communication was either written or by messenger.

As leaders of their respective factions, the two men came to an agreement in the Treaty of Ramla in 1192, whereby Jerusalem would remain in Muslim hands but would be open to Christian pilgrimages.  The treaty reduced the Latin Kingdom to a strip along the coast from Tyre to Jaffa.  This treaty was supposed to last three years.

Saladin died of a fever on March 4, 1193, at Damascus, not long after Richard's departure.  When they opened Saladin's treasury they found there was not enough money to pay for his funeral.  He had given most of his money away in charity.

Saladin is buried in a mausoleum in the garden outside the Umayyad Mosque in Damascus, Syria.  Emperor Wilhelm II of Germany donated a new marble sarcophagus to the mausoleum.  The body of Saladin, however, was not placed in it.  Instead, the mausoleum, which is open to visitors, now has two sarcophagi: one empty in marble and one in wood containing the body of Saladin.

Despite his fierce struggle against the crusades, Saladin achieved a great reputation in Europe as a chivalrous knight, so much so that there existed by the fourteenth century an epic poem about his exploits, and Dante included him among the virtuous pagan souls in Limbo.  Saladin is portrayed in a sympathetic light in Sir Walter Scott's The Talisman (1825).   Despite the Crusaders' slaughter of Muslims when they originally conquered Jerusalem in 1099, Saladin granted amnesty and free passage to all common Catholics and even to the defeated Christian army, as long as they were able to pay a ransom.  Indeed, Greek Orthodox Christians were treated even better, because they often opposed the western Crusaders. 

Notwithstanding the differences in beliefs, the Muslim Saladin was respected by Christian lords, especially Richard the Lionheart. Richard once praised Saladin as a great prince, saying that he was without doubt the greatest and most powerful leader in the Islamic world.  Saladin, in turn, stated that there was not a more honorable Christian lord than Richard.  After the treaty, Saladin and Richard sent each other many gifts as tokens of respect, even though they never met face to face.

In April 1191, a Frankish woman's three month old baby had been stolen from her camp and had been sold on the market.  The Franks urged her to approach Saladin herself with her grievance.  After Saladin used his own money to buy the child, he gave the child to its mother.  She took the child and with tears streaming down her face, she suckled the child to her breast.  The Muslim people watched her with her child and they wept.  The woman suckled the child for some time and then Saladin ordered a horse to be fetched for her and she went back to the Christian camp.

The name Salah ad-Din means "Righteousness of Faith," and through the ages Saladin has been an inspiration for Muslims in many respects.  Modern Muslim rulers have sought to commemorate Saladin through various measures.  A governorate centered around Tikrit and Samarra in modern day Iraq, Salah ad-Din Governorate, is named after Saladin, as is Salahaddin University in Arbil.  A suburb community of Arbil, Masif Salahaddin, is also named after him.

Few structures associated with Saladin survive within modern cities.  Saladin first fortified the Citadel of Cairo (1175-1183), which had been a domed pleasure pavilion with a fine view in more peaceful times.  In Syria, even the smallest city is centered on a defensible citadel, and Saladin introduced this essential feature to Egypt.

Among the forts Saladin constructed was Qalaat al-Gindi, a mountaintop fortress and caravanserai in the Sinai.  The fortress overlooks a large wadi which was the convergence of several caravan routes that linked Egypt and the Middle East.  Inside the structure are a number of large vaulted rooms hewn out of rock, including the remains of shops and a water cistern.  A notable archaeological site, it was excavated in 1909 by a French team under Jules Barthoux.

Although the Ayyubid dynasty he founded would only outlive him by fifty-seven years, the legacy of Saladin within the Arab World continues to this day.  With the rise of Arab nationalism in the Twentieth Century, particularly with regard to the Arab-Israeli conflict, Saladin's heroism and leadership gained a new significance.  The glory and comparative unity of the Arab World under Saladin was seen as the perfect symbol for the new unity sought by Arab nationalists, such as Gamal Abdel Nasser.  For this reason, the Eagle of Saladin became the symbol of revolutionary Egypt, and was subsequently adopted by several other Arab states (Iraq, Palestine, and Yemen).

A brief chronology of Saladin reads as follows:

Saladin was born in Tikrit in Iraq, the son of the Kurdish chief Ayyub in 1138.  In 1152, he began to work in the service of the Syrian ruler, Nur ad-Din (Nureddin).

In 1164, he started to show his military and strategical qualities under three campaigns against the Crusaders who were established in Palestine, with the first campaign this year.

In 1169, Saladin served as second to the commander in chief of the Syrian army, his uncle Shirkuh.  Shirkuh became vizier of Egypt, but died after only two months.  Saladin then took over as vizier.  Despite the nominal limitations to the vizier position, Saladin took little regard to the interests of his superiors, the Fatimid rulers.  He turned Cairo into an Ayyubid power base, where he used Kurds in leading positions.

In 1171, Saladin suppressed the Fatimid rulers of Egypt, whereupon he united Egypt with the Abbasid Caliphate.  However, he was not as eager as Nur ad-Din to go to war against the Crusaders, and relations between him and Nur ad-Din became very difficult.

In 1173, Saladin sent his brother, Turan-Shah, to Yemen, which was subjugated.

In 1174, Nur ad-Din died, and Saladin used the opportunity to extend his power base.  Saladin defeated the Normans of Sicily, who had landed at Alexandria, and captured an enormous booty.  Saladin turned his attention to Syria, where he defeated the troops of Nur ad-Din’s son al-Salih Isma‘il (r. 1174-1181) at Qurun Hamat, but left al-Salih Isma'il in the possession of Aleppo and gave Hamat, Homs and Ba‘albek, which had surrendered, to relatives as fiefs.  In 1175, he was granted by the caliph rule over Egypt, Nubia, Yemen, North Africa from Egypt to Tripoli, Palestine and Central Syria.  After a final attempt by the Zangids against him in 1176, he made peace with them.  He was however unable to take the fortress of Masyad in central Syria from Shaykh Rashid al-Din al-Sinan, the leader of the Syrian branch of the Isma‘ilis and known to the West as “the Old Man of the Mountain.”  The latter promised Saladin that he would not attack him.

In 1175, the Syrian Assassin leader Rashideddin’s men made two attempts on the life of Saladin, the leader of the Ayyubids.  The second time, the Assassin came so close that wounds were inflicted upon Saladin.

In 1176, Saladin besieged the fortress of Masyaf, the stronghold of Rashideddin.  After some weeks, Saladin suddenly withdrew, and left the Assassins in peace for the rest of his life.  It is believed that he was exposed to a threat of having his entire family murdered.

In 1177, he met at Ramla the troops of Baldwin IV, reinforced by many Knights under the leadership of Raynald de Chatillon of al-Karak.  Saladin suffered a crushing defeat.  But the next year (1178)  he was able to defeat Baldwin, and again in 1179.  In the following years, he gained suzerainty over Mesopotamia. 

In 1183, Saladin signed a four years’ peace with Baldwin V, who was soon succeeded by Guy de Lusignan.  But when Raynald de Chatillon fell upon a large caravan and refused to give any satisfaction, fight became inevitable.

In 1183, Saladin conquered the important north Syrian city of Aleppo.

In 1186, Saladin conquered Mosul in northern Iraq.

In 1187, with his new strength, he attacked the Latin Kingdom of Jerusalem, and after three months of fighting he seized control of the city.  On July 4, 1187, at the Battle of Hattin (Hittin), the Crusaders were utterly defeated.  Saladin gave Guy de Lusignan a friendly reception, but slew Raynald with his own hand, and hall the Templars and Knights of St. John executed.  He now was master of Palestine, including Tiberias, Nazareth, Samaria, Sidon, Beyrouth, Acre, Ramla, Gaza.  Hebron also fell into his hands, and on October 2, 1187, Jerusalem was conquered.  The inhabitants who could not pay the ransom were sold into slavery, but many were released at the intercession of Muslim and Christian persons of standing, as were a large number of poor people by Saladin himself.  Only Antioch, Tripolis, Tyre and a number of smaller towns and castles remained in the possession of the Christians.  At the siege of Tyre, Saladin suffered a severe reverse.  He had Acre rebuilt, and in 1188 went to Damascus from where he captured many places.

In 1189, a third Crusade managed to enlarge the coastal area of Palestine, while Jerusalem remained under Saladin’s control.

In 1192, with The Peace of Ramla, an armistice agreement with King Richard I of England, a strip of land along the coast was defined as Christian land, while the city of Jerusalem remained under Muslim control. 

Saladin died of a fever on March 4, 1193, at Damascus, not long after Richard's departure.

Since Saladin had given most of his possessions and money away for charity, when they opened his treasury, they found there was not enough money to pay for his funeral.

Saladin was buried in a mausoleum in the garden outside the Umayyad Mosque in Damascus, Syria.

Seven centuries later, Emperor Wilhelm II of Germany donated a new marble sarcophagus to the mausoleum. Saladin was, however, not placed in it. Instead the mausoleum, which is open to visitors, now has two sarcophagi: one, empty made of marble and the original, which holds Saladin, which is made of wood. The reason why Saladin was not placed in the tomb was most likely respect and a desire to not disturb his body.

According to Imad al-Din, Saladin had fathered five sons before he left Egypt in 1174. Saladin's eldest son, al-Afdal was born in 1170 and Uthman was born in 1172 to Shamsa who accompanied Saladin to Syria. Al-Afdal's mother bore Saladin another child in 1177. A letter preserved by Qalqashandi records that a twelfth son was born in May 1178, while on Imad al-Din's list, he appears as Saladin's seventh son. Mas'ud was born in 1175 and Yaq'ub in 1176, the latter to Shamsa. Nur al-Din's widow, Ismat al-Din Khatun, remarried to Saladin in September 1176. Ghazi and Da'ud were born to the same mother in 1173 and 1178, respectively, and the mother of Ishaq who was born in 1174 also gave birth to another son in July 1182.

His fierce struggle against the crusaders was where Saladin achieved a great reputation in Europe as a chivalrous knight, so much so that there existed by the fourteenth century an epic poem about his exploits. Though Saladin faded into history after the Middle Ages, he appears in a sympathetic light in Sir Walter Scott's novel The Talisman (1825). It is mainly from this novel that the contemporary view of Saladin originates. Despite the Crusaders' slaughter when they originally conquered Jerusalem in 1099, Saladin granted amnesty and free passage to all common Catholics and even to the defeated Christian army, as long as they were able to pay the aforementioned ransom (the Greek Orthodox Christians were treated even better, because they often opposed the western Crusaders). An interesting view of Saladin and the world in which he lived is provided by Tariq Ali's novel The Book of Saladin. Though contemporary views on Saladin are often positive, Saladin's qualities are often exaggerated, mainly under influence of the image created during the 19th Century.

Notwithstanding the differences in beliefs, the Muslim Saladin was respected by Christian lords, Richard especially. Richard once praised Saladin as a great prince, saying that he was without doubt the greatest and most powerful leader in the Islamic world. Saladin in turn stated that there was not a more honorable Christian lord than Richard. After the treaty, Saladin and Richard sent each other many gifts as tokens of respect, but never met face to face.

In April 1191, a Frankish woman's three month old baby had been stolen from her camp and had been sold on the market. The Franks urged her to approach Saladin herself with her grievance. According to Bahā' al-Dīn, Saladin used his own money to buy the child back:

In 1898 German Emperor Wilhelm II visited Saladin's tomb to pay his respects. The visit, coupled with anti-colonial sentiments, led nationalist Arabs to reinvent the image of Saladin and portray him as a hero of the struggle against the West. The image of Saladin they used was the romantic one created by Walter Scott and other Europeans in the West at the time, as Saladin had been a figure entirely forgotten in the Muslim world. This was mainly because of Saladin's short-lived "quasi-empire" and evident lack of commitment to religion, plus his eclipse by more successful figures such as Baybars of Egypt.

Modern Arab states have sought to commemorate Saladin through various measures, often based on the false image created of him in the 19th century west. A governorate centered around Tikrit and Samarra in modern-day Iraq, Salah ad Din Governorate, is named after him, as is Salahaddin University in Arbil. A suburb community of Arbil, Masif Salahaddin, is also named after him.

Few structures associated with Saladin survive within modern cities. Saladin first fortified the Citadel of Cairo (1175–1183), which had been a domed pleasure pavilion with a fine view in more peaceful times. In Syria, even the smallest city is centered on a defensible citadel, and Saladin introduced this essential feature to Egypt.

Among the forts he built was Qalaat al-Gindi, a mountaintop fortress and caravanserai in the Sinai. The fortress overlooks a large wadi which was the convergence of several caravan routes that linked Egypt and the Middle East. Inside the structure are a number of large vaulted rooms hewn out of rock, including the remains of shops and a water cistern. A notable archaeological site, it was investigated in 1909 by a French team under Jules Barthoux.

Although the Ayyubid dynasty that he founded would only outlive him by 57 years, the legacy of Saladin within the Arab World continues to this day. With the rise of Arab nationalism in the Twentieth Century, particularly with regard to the Arab-Israeli conflict, Saladin's heroism and leadership gained a new significance. Saladin's liberation of Palestine from the European Crusaders was put forth as the inspiration for the modern-day Arabs' opposition to Zionism.

Moreover, the glory and comparative unity of the Arab World under Saladin was seen as the perfect symbol for the new unity sought by Arab nationalists, such as Gamal Abdel Nasser. For this reason, the Eagle of Saladin became the symbol of revolutionary Egypt, and was subsequently adopted by several other Arab states (Iraq, the Palestinian Territory, and Yemen).

Malik al-Nasir Salah al-Din Yusuf, al- see Saladin
Salah al-Din see Saladin
Salah al-Din Yusuf ibn Ayyub see Saladin
Yusuf Salah ad-Din ibn Ayyub see Saladin

Salafiyya (Salafiyah).  Arabic term which means “The Path of Forefathers.”  The term Salafiyya refers to a nineteenth and twentieth century orthodox reformist movement espousing a return to the sources of the Muslim community in reaction to the ossification of Muslim thought.  The term is connected with the Arabic word for forefathers, i.e. the predecessors whose perfect orthodoxy, piety, holiness, and religious knowledge make them worthy of being taken as models and guides.  Inaugurated by Jamal al-Din al-Afghani, Muhammad ‘Abduh and ‘Abd al-Rahman al-Kawakibi, the idea of reform (in Arabic, islah) spread in Syria, Egypt, Tunisia, Algeria, Iran, Turkey, India and Pakistan.

Salafi is a word denoting one who ascribes her/himself to the Salaf of [Islam], based on its meaning in the Arabic language. Amongst contemporary historians, it denotes a follower of a Sunni Islamic movement that takes the pious predecessors, the Salaf of the patristic period of early Islam, as exemplary models. The word Salaf is an Arabic noun which may be translated as "predecessor" or "ancestor". In Islamic terminology, it is generally used to refer to the first three generations of Muslims: the Sahaba ("Companions"), the Tabi‘un ("Followers") and the Tabi‘ al-Tabi‘in ("Those after the Followers"). These three generations are looked upon as examples of how Islam should be practiced. Salafis tend to use a stricter interpretation of scripture. It has grown to prominence ever since the First Saudi State captured Mecca and Medina in 1803.

Salafiyah see Salafiyya

Salar Jang I
Salar Jang I (Mir Turab ‘Ali) (1829-1883).  Indian statesman of Persian descent.  During the Sepoy mutiny in 1857, he was on the British side and strengthened the hands of his master the Nizam of Hyderabad. Salar Jang I was a young nobleman who succeeded his uncle as diwan of Hyderabad State in the Deccan in 1853.  He established himself with the support of indigenous bankers and the British East India Company, and he remained diwan of the subcontinent’s largest princely state for the next thirty years.  British officials initially viewed him as a modernizer.  He supported them in the Mutiny of 1857.  Traditionally educated, he carried out limited administrative reforms while trying to preserve the Mughal nobility and bureaucracy.  He strove to maintain Hyderabad’s autonomy and had to contend with three successive nizams, eleven British residents, and powerful Hyderabad nobles, bankers, and military men to do so.  His pride, strength of character, and aggressive efforts to regain the Berar districts, ceded to the Company in early 1853, later provoked British hostility.  Following Salar Jang’s sudden death in 1883, British Indian policies and administrators increasingly dominated Hyderabad affairs.

Mir Turab Ali Khan was an Indian statesman of Hyderabad. He was considered the greatest Prime Minister of Hyderabad.  He was given the title Salar Jung and first of the three with that title. The British knighted him as Sir Salar Jung, and he was thereafter addressed by that name. He was styled by native officials of Hyderabad the Mukhtaru 'l-Mulk, and was referred to by the general public as the Nawab Sahib.

Khan was born in Bijapur.  He was a descendant of a family which had held various appointments, first under the Adil Shahi kings of Bijapur, then under the Delhi emperors and lastly under the Nizams.  He succeeded his uncle Suraju 'l-Mulk as the prime minister in 1853 at the age of 23.

The condition of the Hyderabad state was, at that time, a scandal to the rest of India. Salar Jung began by infusing a measure of discipline into the Arab mercenaries, the more valuable part of the Nizam's army, and employing them against the rapacious nobles and bands of robbers who had annihilated the trade of the country. He then constituted courts of justice at Hyderabad, organized the police force, constructed and repaired irrigation works, and established schools.

At the outbreak of the Indian rebellion of 1857, Salar Jung supported the British.  Although unable to hinder an attack on the residency, he warned the British minister that it was in contemplation. The attack was repulsed; the Hyderabad contingent remained loyal, and their loyalty served to ensure the tranquility of the Deccan. Salar Jung took advantage of the preoccupation of the British government with the Rebellion to push his reforms more boldly, and when the Calcutta authorities were again at liberty to consider the condition of affairs his work had been carried far towards completion.

During the lifetime of the Nizam Afzulu'd-dowla, Salar Jung was considerably hampered by his master's jealous supervision. But when Mir Mahbub Ali Khan, succeeded his father in 1869, Salar Jung, at the instance of the British government, was associated in the regency with the principal noble of the state, the Shamsu 'l-Umara or Amir Kabir, and enjoyed a greater authority.

In 1876, Salar Jung visited England with the object of obtaining the restoration of Berar. Although he was unsuccessful, his personal merits met with full recognition.

He died of cholera at Hyderabad on February 8, 1883.
Mir Turab 'Ali see Salar Jang I
'Ali, Mir Turab see Salar Jang I
Jang, Salar see Salar Jang I
Mukhtaru 'l-Mulk see Salar Jang I

Salars (Salirs) (Salazus) .  Salars have a reputation of being the most zealous Muslims in China, having participated in every Muslim uprising since the seventeenth century.  Today, nearly all are concentrated in the Zunhua Salar Autonomous County in the eastern part of Qinghai Province in north central China.  Most of the rest live in small groups in Gandu of neighboring Hualong County and in Linxia, a city southwest of Lanzhou, capital of Gansu Province.  A few Salars are scattered in other parts of Qinghai and Gansu provinces as well as in the Zinjiang Uygur Autonomous Region.  Xinhua Salar County, with its seat at Jishi, was established in 1954.

The self-appellation “Salar” is believed to have derived from the word “Salor,” the name of a Turkmen tribe.  This tribe was mentioned in the eleventh century by Mahmud al Kashgari and later by Rashidu-‘d-din (fourteenth century) and Abu-‘l-Gazi (seventeenth century).  The Salars’ oral history supports the idea of the Salars having originated as a Turkmen tribe when speaking of the progenitors Haraman and Ahman setting out from Samarkand and arriving in the Xunhua area around 1370.  While still in Central Asia, the Salars were governed by a hereditary darugachi, a post established by the Mongols to supervise both military and civilian affairs in the conquered territories.  After arriving in the Xunhua area during the Ming dynasty, the Salars were governed by their own hereditary tusi, a kind of headman, of whom there were three grades; one in charge of 100 households, and two (a chief and an assistant) for each 1,000 households.  They had authority over the militia, taxation legal matters, and the provisioning of officials passing through the area.

By the time of the Yongzheng reign (1723-1735, the Salar population had increased to the point that the area was divided into 13 gong.  At the same time and continuing almost until the end of the eighteenth century, the Qing dynasty extended its control of the Salars by establishing military and civilian posts in Xunhua.

The Salars are devout Muslims.  They are Hanafi whose religion was introduced to the area around 1750 by a certain Muhammad Amin.  Every village has one mosque.  Before the attack against the clergy in 1958, there was a chief mullah for the entire county, and each gong had its own mullah, assistant (fu) mullah and junior (xiao) mullah, known collectively as the “three heads” (san tou).  During the so-called Cultural Revolution (1966-1976) all religious practices were banned.

Salirs see Salars
Salazus see Salars

Salghurids.  Name of a dynasty of atabegs in Fars, Iran.  Salghur, the founder of the dynasty, was the chief of a band of Turkmen who migrated into Khurasan and attached themselves to the first Great Saljuq Tughril I.  One of his descendants, Sunqur ibn Mawdud, rose against the Saljuqs and in 1148 established his independence in Fars.  The dynasty was to rule until 1270, remaining however tributary to the Saljuqs of Iraq, the Khwarazm-Shahs and lastly the Mongols.  The great Persian poet Sa‘di derived his pen name from the Salghurid Sa‘d II (r.1260).

The Salghurid dynasty (1148–1270) was an Iranian dynasty that ruled in Fārs in southwestern Iran as vassals of the Seljuq, Khwārezm-Shāh, and Il-Khanid dynasties.

The Salghurids were one of the several dynasties of atabegs (notables who acted as guardians and tutors of infant Seljuq princes) who were deputized to govern Iranian provinces on behalf of Seljuq kings. The Salghurids in origin belonged to the Salor (Salghur) Turkmen tribe and moved into Fārs early in the 12th century. The founder of the dynasty was Muẓaffar ad-Dīn Sonqur (r. 1148–61), who took advantage of a disturbed state in Fārs to expel his reputed uncle Boz-Aba, the local atabeg. Muẓaffar ad-Dīn’s son Zangī (r. 1161–c. 1175) was confirmed in his possession of Fārs by the Seljuq ruler Arslan ibn Toghrïl.

With the decline of Seljuq power, the Salghurids enjoyed virtual autonomy. During the reign of the fifth Salghurid ruler, ʿIzz ad-Dīn Saʿd (r. 1203–31), however, the Salghurids were forced to acknowledge the suzerainty of the Khwārezm-Shāh dynasty. With the eclipse of the Khwārezm-Shāhs, the Salghurids transferred their allegiance to the Il-Khanid rulers of Iran. The last Salghurid ruler, Ābish Khātūn (r. 1265–70), was a woman who married the son of the Il-Khanid ruler of Iran. With Ābish Khātūn’s death in 1270, the Il-Khanids assumed direct control over Fārs.

Salih (Saleh). Prophet who was sent to the Arab Banu Thamud.  He is mentioned several times in the Qur’an and presented as a sign and a warning in the style of the Prophet. 

Saleh or Salih (Arabic: meaning Righteous) is a man mentioned as a prophet of Islam in the Qur'an. He is mentioned 9 times throughout the Qur'an. Chronologically, scholars believe Saleh to have lived before Abraham, though the true time of his preaching is unknown. In the Qur'an, Saleh's people are frequently referenced as a wicked community who, because of their sins, were ultimately destroyed.

Salih is described as having been born and raised among the Thamud, a group of people who lived in an area between Palestine and the Hijaz (called Mada'in Saleh) . The Thamud are said to have lived in stone houses carved into mountains, and to have worshipped idols made from stone. Saleh tried to convince his people not to worship idols and to embrace Tawhid, but they refused, insisting that Saleh obtain a miracle. The narrative goes on to state that God responded by creating a female camel (the she-camel of God), which the Thamud were allowed to milk for sustenance, but were not allowed to harm. Despite the instruction, the Thamud slaughtered the camel because of their rebellion, so God ordered Saleh to leave his people. When Saleh had complied by leaving, there was a large thunderous sound that destroyed the people of Thamud.

Thamud cannot be equated with the Edomites at Petra. Salih was born before Abraham and Edom is a Semitic race. Historic Petra had several places of worship, and the main mountain at the site - Jebel al-Madhbah - is topped by two stone obelisks, suggesting the worship of deities via stone phallic symbols. The narrow gorge leading to the site - known as the Siq - can sometimes channel the wind to produce a loud trumpet-like sound, and it is known by local Bedouin as the trumpet of God. The Edomites occupants of Petra were, however, not obliterated, but instead just migrated to the Negev. Neither were the subsequent Nabataean occupants of Petra destroyed by divine command, but instead were weakened by Trajan, and reduced to mere peasants. The name of Saleh may originate in the name of the city, as it was historically known as Sela, a word deriving from the Hebrew term Se'lah, meaning rock; the Greek name Petra has the same meaning.

While there are people in the Bible who bear similar names to the Islamic prophet Saleh, for example Shelah (son of Judah), there is no one in the Old Testament who has a similar narrative and therefore Saleh's Biblical identity remains unknown.
Saleh see Salih

Salih Bilali
Salih Bilali (b. c. 1770).  West African sold into slavery who later left an account which describes Macina before the Islamic revolutions.  He was a Muslim Fula, literate in Arabic, who came from a town near Mopti.  At about the age of twelve, he was captured by slave raiders and taken to Segu, and then the Gold Coast, from where he was transported to the Bahama Islands.  In the 1830s, his American owner recorded his glimpse of Fula society there before the Islamic revolutions.  It was originally published in William Brown Hodgson’s Notes on Northern Africa, the Sahara, and the Soudan (1844).
Bilali, Salih see Salih Bilali

Salih, Nur al-Din Isma‘il al-
Salih, Nur al-Din Isma‘il al- (Nur al-Din Isma‘il al-Salih) (As-Salih Ismail al-Malik) (1163-1181).  Zangid ruler of Damascus and Aleppo (r.1174-1181).  He was the son of Nur al-Din Mahmud ibn Zangi, and resisted Saladin’s efforts to conquer Aleppo.

As-Salih Ismail al-Malik was only eleven years old when his father died in 1174. As-Salih came under the protection of the eunuch Gumushtugin and was taken to Aleppo, while Nur ad-Din's officers competed for supremacy. In Egypt, Saladin recognized as-Salih as his lord, although he in fact was eager to unite Egypt and Syria under his own personal rule. Saladin entered Damascus in 1174 and declared himself to be the true regent for as-Salih, and in 1176 he defeated the Zengids outside the city, married Nur ad-Din's widow Ismat ad-Din Khatun, and was recognized as ruler of Syria. As-Salih died in 1181. According to crusader legend, his mother was the sister of Bertrand of Toulouse, who had been captured by Nur ad-Din in the aftermath of the Second Crusade.  A similar legend existed concerning the mother of Zengi, as-Salih's grandfather
Nur al-Din Isma‘il al-Salih see Salih, Nur al-Din Isma‘il al-
As-Salih Ismail al-Malik see Salih, Nur al-Din Isma‘il al-

Salim, Ali
Ali Salim, also transliterated Ali Salem, (Arabic: على سالم‎; b. February 24, 1936 – d. September 22, 2015) was an Egyptian playwright, author, and political commentator known for controversially endorsing cooperation with Israel. The Los Angeles Times once described him as "a big, loud man known for his satiric wit".

From the premiere of his first play in 1965, he wrote 25 plays and fifteen books. One of the best known, The School of Troublemakers, debuted in 1971 and featured a rowdy class of children transformed by a kind teacher. His plays The Phantom of HeliopolisThe Comedy of OedipusThe Man Who Fooled the Angels, and The Buffet became classics of the Egyptian theater. Salem's plays often include allegorical critiques of Egyptian politics with a strong vein of humor and satire.

In 1994, he wrote a book entitled My Drive to Israel about a trip he took to the country to satisfy his curiosity about it following the signing of the Oslo Accords. He later claimed that the trip was not "a love trip, but a serious attempt to get rid of hate. Hatred prevents us from knowing reality as it is". He spent 23 nights in Israel and concluded that "real co-operation" between the two nations should be possible. Though the book sold more than 60,000 copies, a bestseller by Egyptian standards, it provoked controversy, and Salem was subsequently ostracized from the Egyptian intellectual community and expelled from its Writer's Syndicate as a result of his "propaganda." He did not have a play or movie script produced in Egypt after the book's publication, though he continued to contribute columns to foreign media such as the London-based Al Hayat.  Salem's memoir was later adapted by Ari Roth into the play Ali Salem Drives to Israel, which had its world premiere in the United States in 2005.

In 2008, he won the Train Foundation's $50,000 Civil Courage Prize in recognition of his opposition to radical Islam and his support of cooperation with Israel.  He also received an honorary doctorate from Israel's Ben-Gurion University of the Negev in 2005.  He died on September 22, 2015 after a long illness.

Salimiyya. School of dogmatic theologians with mystical tendencies which was formed among the Maliki Sunnis of Basra in the ninth through tenth centuries.  It was based on the sayings of Sahl al-Tustari, collected by the latter’s pupil Muhammad ibn Salim (d.909). 

Salim, Mehmed Emin
Salim, Mehmed Emin (Mehmed Emin Salim) (Mirza-zade) (d.1739).  Ottoman jurist and biographer of poets.   He is the author of commentaries on theological works, of a Turkish-Persian dictionary and of a book on Holy War.
Mehmed Emin Salim see Salim, Mehmed Emin
Mirza-zade see Salim, Mehmed Emin

Saljuq (Seljuk) (Seljuq) (Seldjuk) (Seldjuq).  Central Asian Turkic tribal leader who converted to Islam around 960.  Seljuk also refers to the ruling family which was descended from Seljuk.

The Saljuqs was a Turkish princely family which ruled over wide territories in Central and Southwestern Asia (in Afghanistan, Persia, eastern Anatolia, Iraq, Syria, and on the Arabian Peninsula) from the eleventh to the thirteenth centuries.  For Islam the rise of the Saljuqs meant the victory of the Sunni creed, as far as their power stretched, over the Shi‘a tendencies which had been gaining more and more ground under the Buyids and the Fatimids.  The following dynasties are distinguished: the Great Saljuqs of Iraq and Persia; the Saljuqs of Syria; the Saljuqs of Kirman; the Rum Saljuqs of Anatolia. 

The Saljuqs were also known as the Great Seljuks.   Their main capitals were Merv and Isfahan.  Belonging to the leading tribe of the Oghuz Turk group, the Seljuks adopted Islam around 960 under the tribal leader Seljuk.  They were initially in the service of the Qarakhanids of Transoxiana.  Seljuk’s grandsons, Tughril (r. 1038-1063) and Chaghri (r. 1038-1060), divided the territory into a western half (later Isfahan) and an eastern half (Merv).  Following his victory over the Ghaznavids (1040 at Dandanqan), the elder Tughril extended the empire to the west, conquered Persia, parts of Anatolia, and Iraq after 1042, and replaced the Buyids as protector of the caliph in Baghdad in 1055 (becoming an honorary caliph and a sultan).  The political and cultural zenith of the Seljuks came with the overall rulers Alp Arslan (r. 1060-1072) and Malik Shah (r. 1072-1092), as well as their prominent vizier, Nizam al-Mulk (r. 1060-1092), who enforced Sunnism as the state religion with the help of the madrasa system.  In 1064, the Seljuks occupied Armenia, gained sovereignty over Mecca in 1070, defeated Byzantium in 1071 at Malazgirt, and conquered the Arab Peninsula.  Signs of disintegration began to emerge after 1092, due to a power struggle between pretenders, and a new empire finally emerged under Sultan Mahmud (r. 1105-1118) with a subsequent division.  A weakening regime in the west (Iran/Iraq) existed until 1194, while a final period of prosperity came under Sultan Sanjar in the east (r. 1118-1157).  Finding itself constantly harassed by its neighbors from 1135 onwards, the eastern empire fell to Turkish tribes and Khwarazm Shahs in 1157 and the remainder of the western empire also to the Khwarazm-Shahs in 1194.  Breakaway dynasties resulted in the Shaybanids’ own branches in Kerman (r. 1041-1187; main capital: Bardashir) and Syria (r. 1094-1117; main capitals: Damascus and Aleppo), as well as the Anatolian Seljuks.

The Great Saljuqs of Iraq and Persia (1038-1194)

1038 Tughril I, Rukn al-Dunya

1063 Alp Arslan, ‘Adud al-Dawla

1072 Malik Shah I, Jalal al-Dawla

1092 Mahmud I, Nasir al-Din

1094 Berqyaruq, Rukn al-Din

1105 Malik-Shah II, Mu‘izz al-Din

1105 Muhammad I, Ghiyath al-Din

1118-1157 Sanjar, Mu ‘izz al-Din (ruler in eastern Persia 1097-1157; after 1118 supreme sultan of the Saljuq family)

The Great Saljuqs in Iraq and western Persia only:

1118 Mahmud II, Mughith al-Din

1131 Dawud, Ghiyath al-Din

1132 Tughril II, Rukn al-Din

1134 Mas‘ud, Ghiyath al-Din

1152 Malik-Shah II, Mu‘in al-Din

1153 Muhammad II, Rukn al-Din

1160 Sulayman Shah, Ghiyath al-Din

1161 Arslan, Mu‘izz al-Din

1176-1194 Tughril III, Rukn al-Din


Tughril I ruled over Gurgan, Tabaristan, Khwarazm, the territory of what is now Iran, Iraq, Mosul and Diyarbakr.  Under his brother Alp Arslan the Saljuq conquests reached the Iaxartes River, and their empire also comprised Syria and almost the whole of Anatolia.  Under Malik Shah even Aden and Yemen were conquered, although Saljuq rule was hardly effective there.  According to the Turkish view, the right to rule belonged to the whole family, the oldest member having only a certain right as primus inter pares to the obedience of his male relatives.  Malik Shah thus came in conflict with the Rum Saljuq Sulayman ibn Qutlumish, and Berkyaruq with the Saljuq of Syria, Tutush.  The Great Saljuqs had their residences in Isfahan and Baghdad.  Sanjar, after handing over Iraq, Fars, Khuzistan and the western provinces to the sons of his brother Muhammad, had his residence at Marw.  He died childless, and with him the line of the Great Saljuqs came to an end.

The Saljuqs of Syria (1078-1117)

1078 Tutush, Taj al-Dawla

1095-1113 Ridwan (in Aleppo)

1095-1104 Duqaq (in Damascus)

1113 Alp Arslan al-Akhras (in Aleppo)

1114-1117 Sultan Shah (in Aleppo)

Burids in Damascus

Il Ghazi (Artuqid) in Aleppo

After the episode of Atsiz ibn Uvak, Tutush could establish himself only after the Great Saljuq Malik Shah had died.  Under Duqaq, the real power lay in the hands of his atabeg Tughtigin ibn ‘Abd Allah, the founder of the Burids.

The Saljuqs of Kirman (1041-1186)

1041 Qawurd, ‘Imad al-Din

1073 Kirman Shah

1074 Husayn

1074 Sultan Shah, Rukn al-Dawla

1085 Turan Shah I, Muhyi al-Din

1097 Iran Shah, Baha’ al-Din

1101 Arslan Shah I, Muhyi al-Din

1142 Muhammad I, Mughith al-Din

1156 Tughril Shah, Muhyi al-Din

1170 Bahram Shah

1175 Arslan Shah II

1176 Turan Shah

Oghuz occupation

Qawurd submitted to the Great Saljuq Alp Arslan, but revolted under Malik Shah, by whom he was defeated.  The line came to an end by the devastating invasions of the Oghuz.

The Saljuqs of Rum (1077-1307)

1077 Sulayman ibn Qutlumish

1086 interregnum

1092 Qilij Arslan I

1107 Malik-Shah

1116 Mas‘ud I, Rukn al-Din

1156 Qilij Arslan II, ‘Izz al-Din (division of territories amongst his sons during the latter part of his reign)

1192 Kaykhusraw I, Ghiyath al-Din (first reign)

1196 Sulayman II, Rukn al-Din

1204 Qilij Arslan III, ‘Izz al-Din

1204 Kaykhusraw I, Ghiyath al-Din (second reign)

1210 Kaykawus I, ‘Izz al-Din

1219 Kayqubad I, ‘Ala’ al-Din

1237 Kaykhusraw II, Ghiyath al-Din


Kaykawus II, ‘Izz al-Din

1248 Kaykawus II and his brother Qilij Arslan IV, Rukn al-Din jointly

1249 Kaykawus II, Qilij Arslan IV and Kayqubad II, ‘Ala’ al-Din jointly

1257 Qilij Arslan IV

1265 Kaykhusraw III, Ghiyath al-Din

1282 Mas‘ud II, Ghiyath al-Din (first reign)

1284 Kayqubad III, ‘Ala’ al-Din (first reign)

1284 Mas‘ud II (second reign)

1293 Kayqubad III (second reign)

1294 Mas‘ud II (third reign)

1301 Kayqubad III (third reign)

1303 Mas‘ud II (fourth reign)

1305 Kayqubad III (fourth reign)

1307 Mas‘ud III, Ghiyath al-Din

Mongol occupation

Notwithstanding their fights with the Byzantines and the Danishmendids, the Saljuqs of Rum succeeded in establishing their rule in Konya.  The territory became fragmented under the sons of Qilij Arslan II, and in 1190 Frederick Barbarossa and the Third Crusaders occupied Konya temporarily.  The Latin conquest of Constantinople in 1204 gave the Rum Saljuqs the opportunity to re-establish their power.  They took Antalya and Sinop and were thus able to open up relations with the Italian city states.  Trade brought wealth, as is testified by the architectural and artistic glories of Saljuq Konya.  But the arrival of the Mongols, who defeated Kaykhusraw II at Kose Dagh in 1243, decided the future of the sultanate of Konya.  It retained its independence, but had to pay heavy tribute to the Mongols, and remained internaally divided.  A number of Turkmen dynasties arose on its ruins. 

Seljuk see Saljuq
Seljuq see Saljuq
Seldjuk see Saljuq
Seldjuq see Saljuq

Salman al-Farisi
Salman al-Farisi (Salman e Farisi) (Salman the Persian).  Companion of the Prophet of Persian origin.  He has become one of the most popular figures of Muslim legend, the national hero of Muslim Persia and one of the favorite personages of the Shu‘ubiyya.  He is venerated as the patron of barbers.

Salman the Persian was one of Muhammad's companions. During some of his later meetings with the other Sahaba, he was referred to as Abu Abdullah ("Father of Abdullah").

Salman the Persian was born with the Persian name Rouzbeh, in the city of Isfahan in Isfahan Province, Iran. He grew up in the town of Isfahan in Persia, in the village of Jayyan. His father was the Dihqan (chief) of the village. He was the richest person there and had the biggest house. His father loved him, more than he loved any other. As time went by, his love for Salman became so strong and overpowering that he feared to lose him or have anything happen to him. So he kept him at home, a virtual prisoner, in the same way that young girls were kept.

Salman’s father had a vast estate, which yielded an abundant supply of crops. He himself looked after the estate and gathered harvest. One day as he went about his duties as Dihqan of the village, he said to Salman, ‘My son, as you see, I am too busy to go out to the estate now. Go and look after matters there for me today. On the way to the estate, Salman passed a Christian church and heard voices raised in prayer, which attracted his attention. He did not know anything about Christianity or, for that matter, about the followers of any other religion. His father had kept him in the house away from people. When he heard the voices of the Christians, he entered the church to see what they were doing. He was impressed by their manner of praying and felt drawn to their religion. He said, ‘This religion is nice. I shall not leave them until the sun sets.’ Salman asked and was told that Christianity originated in Syria. He did not go to his father’s estate that day and at night, he returned home. His father met him and asked where he had been. Salman told him about his meeting with the Christians and how he was impressed by their religion. His father was dismayed and said: ‘My son, there is nothing good in that religion. Your religion and the religion of your forefathers is better.”

‘No, their religion is not better than ours,’ he insisted. His father became upset and afraid that Salman would leave their religion. So he kept Salman locked up in the house and shackled his feet. Salman managed to send a message to the Christians, asking them to inform him of any caravans going to Syria. Before long they contacted him with the information he wanted. He broke the fetters and escaped his father’s estate to join the caravan to Syria. When he reached Syria, he asked regarding the leading person in Christianity and was directed to the bishop of the church. He went up to him and said: ‘I want to become a Christian and would like to attach myself to your service, learn from you and pray with you.’

The bishop agreed and Salman entered the church in his service. Salman soon found out, however, that the bishop was corrupt. He would order his followers to give money in charity while holding out the promise of blessings to them. When they gave the bishop anything to spend in the way of God, he would hoard it for himself and not give anything to the poor or needy. In this way, he amassed a vast quantity of gold. When the bishop died and the Christians gathered to bury him, Salman told them of his corrupt practices and, at their request, showed them where the bishop had kept their donations. When they saw the large jars filled with gold and silver they said, ‘By God, we shall not bury him.’ They nailed him on a cross and threw stones at him. Salman stayed on, in the service of the person who replaced him. The new bishop was an ascetic who longed for the Hereafter and engaged in worship day and night. Salman was devoted to him and spent much of the time in his company.

After the new bishop died, Salman attached himself to various monotheistic Christian scholars, in Mosul, Nusaybin and Amorium. The last one told him that there was none left on the earth that were following the correct path. He also told him that the time had arrived for the advent of a Prophet in the land of the Arabs, who would have a reputation for strict honesty, one who would accept a gift but would never consume charity (sadaqah) for himself.

A group of Arab leaders from the Kalb tribe passed through Amorium. Salman asked them to take him with them to the land of the Arabs, in return for whatever money he had. They agreed to take him along. When they reached Wadi al-Qura (a city near Mecca), the Kalbites broke their agreement and made him a slave, then sold Salman to a Qurayzite Jew. Salman worked as a servant for him but he eventually sold him to a Cousin of his. This Cousin took Salman with him to Yathrib, the city of palm groves, which is how the Christian scholar at Amorium had described it. At that time the Prophet was inviting his people in Makkah to Islam but Salman did not know of this because of the harsh duties slavery imposed upon him. When the Prophet reached Yathrib after his hijrah from Mecca, Salman was on top of a palm tree doing some work. Salman’s master was sitting under the tree. A nephew of Salman’s master came up and said, ‘May God declare war on Bani Qaila (i.e. Banu Aws and Banu Khazraj, the two main Arab tribes of Medina). By God, they are now gathering at Quba to meet a man, who has just today, arrived from Makkah and who claims to be the Prophet.’

Salman felt light-headed upon hearing these words and began to shiver so violently that he had to climb down, in fear that he would fall. He quickly swung down from the tree and spoke to his master’s nephew. ‘What did you say? Repeat the news for me.’ Salman’s master grew angry at this breach of protocol and struck him a terrible blow. ‘What does this matter to you’? Go back to what you were doing,’ he shouted.

That evening, Salman took some dates that he had gathered and went to the place where the Prophet had alighted. He went to him and said, ‘I have heard that you are a righteous man and that you have companions with you who are strangers and are in need. Here is something from me as sadaqah. I see that you are more deserving of it than others are.’

The Prophet ordered his companions to eat but he himself refrained. Salman gathered some more dates and when the Prophet left Quba for Madinah, Salman went to him and said, ‘I noticed that you did not eat of the sadaqah I gave. This however is a gift for you.’ Of this gift of dates, both he and his companions ate. The strict honesty of the Prophet was one of the characteristics that led Salman to believe in him and accept Islam. Salman was released from slavery by the Abu Baker, who paid his Jewish master a stipulated price, and who himself planted an agreed number of date palms to secure Salman’s manumission. After accepting Islam, Salman would say when asked whose son he was, ‘I am Salman, the son of Islam from the children of Adam.’

It was Salman who came up with the idea of digging a great trench around the city of Medina to defend the city and its people from the army of 10,000 non-Muslims of Arabia. The Prophet and his companions agreed and accepted Salman's plan because it was safer and there would be a chance for the Non-Muslim army of Arabia to have a large number of casualties. Salman came up with that idea from remembering doing the same in Persia; when the Persians heard about and feared an attack led by their enemies coming to their territory, they suggested to dig a trench around them to be safe. So during the Battle of the Trench, what the Muslims had expected occurred.

Salman the Persian died during the reign of the third Caliph, Uthman ibn Affan. He died at the age of 78. He is buried in Ctesiphon, Al-Mada'in in present-day Iraq. Though that city fell into abandon, there is still a town there named after him, Salman Pak.

Farisi, Salman al- see Salman al-Farisi
Salman the Persian see Salman al-Farisi
Salman e Farisi see Salman al-Farisi
Farisi, Salman e see Salman al-Farisi
Abu Abdullah see Salman al-Farisi
Rouzbeh see Salman al-Farisi

Salur. Name of an Oghuz tribe, who migrated from the banks of the Iaxartes into Transoxiana and finally to eastern Anatolia.  The Salghurid dynasty arose from them and they played a role in the history of the Saljuqs in Anatolia.  Under the general name of Turkmen, a certain number of them went eastwards and settled in Kansu, northwestern China.  They are Hanafi Sunnis and in recent times have always been Naqshbandis.

Sama. Sometimes called Samal, the Sama are the most widely dispersed ethnic group indigenous to Southeast Asia.  Their villages are scattered over a maritime territory extending from northern Philippines to southern Indonesia, from Borneo to the Moluccas.  Land based Sama in the Philippines, except for the Yakan and and Abak, are generally referred to as Samal, a Tausug term also used by the Christian population.  In Malaysia and Indonesia, they are referred to by some variant of the Malay term, Bajau (also spelled Badjau or Bajaw).  Nomadic, boat-dwelling Sama are known as Bajau in the Philippines, and as Orang Laut (“sea people”) or Bajau Laut in Malaysia and Indonesia.  The most common self-designation is Sama, almost always with a modifier to indicate geographical and/or dialect affiliation.  (For example, Sama Baangingiq refers to a group of Sama who trace their origin and dialect to Balangingi Island in northern Sulu.) “Sama” used by itself is often considered pejorative. 

Except for the Abak, all of the Sama groups of the Philippines, Malaysia and Indonesia are at least nominally Muslim in their formal religious orientation.  Beyond this point, however, there is a great unevenness in the degree to which Islam has actually penetrated the various Sama groups.  Some, like the nomadic Sama Dilaut, are still effectively pagan (but not in their own estimation), while others, such as the Sama Baangingiq, have gone much farther towards a full-scale adoption of orthodox belief and practice.

The close association between Islam and trade in insular Southeast Asia probably had much to do with the development of such variation.  Those groups with extensive economic, political or military interests outside their own immediate area generally found an advantage in the adoption of Islam.  Among the Sama groups of Sulu, therefore, it is not too surprising that the most Islamicized were those with the strongest political and economic links to the powerful sultanates of the region.

After 1970, there was considerable organized violence in Mindanao and Sulu.  What began as a series of isolated conflicts between local Muslim communities and immigrant Christians over land titles in the Cotabato hinterlands rapidly escalated into civil war.  The situation was exacerbated by animosities between Muslim and Christian that go back to the Spanish period and the days of widespread Muslim piracy, by a sense among Muslims that martial law and military intervention of the Philippine government was a loosely disguised attempt to eradicate Islam and perhaps its followers and by the intervention of foreign governments willing to supply the Muslim warriors with arms and moral support.

Samal see Sama.

Samanids. Members of  the Persian family that took over Khurasan and Transoxiana in the late ninth century and later imported Turkic nomads such as the Ghaznavids and the Seljuks to serve as border guards.  The Samanids ruled Transoxiana, parts of Persia, and Afghanistan from 819 to 899.  Their main capital was Bukhara.  Their founding father and namesake, Saman Khudat (Saman-Khuda), was descended from an old Iranian priestly family which adopted Islam in the eighth century at the hands of Asad ibn ‘Abd Allah al-Qasri.  After 819, his four grandsons became Tahirid governors in Samarkand, Ferghana, Shash, and Herat.   These four grandsons played a political role in eastern caliphate under the ‘Abbasid Caliph al-Ma’mun, and were subgovernors of the Tahirids. 

Nasr I ibn Ahmad (r. 864-892), son of the governor of Samarkand, took over his office in 864, became Abbasid governor of Transoxiana after the collapse of the Tahirids in 874, and claimed de facto independence.  The reign of Nasr ibn Ahmad, the patron of Rudaki, marked the zenith of the dynasty.   His brother, Isma‘il (r. 892-907), had destroyed the Saffarid empire by 903 and taken possession of Afghanistan and large parts of Persia with Khorasan.   The empire underwent its greatest expansion under Nasr II (r. 914-943): from Baghdad, Kerman, and Mazandaran (Persian Gulf) to Turkestan and the Indian border.  From 945 onwards the Buyids drove the Samanids back to Transoxiana and Khorasan.  Under Mansur I (r. 961-976) and Nuh II (r. 976-997), the flourishing court constituted the focal point of spiritual life in Persia and Persian Islamic literature.  It is from the epoch of the Samanids that New Persian language and literature took their rise with Rudaki and Firdawsi.

The turbulence of the military aristocracy and the danger from the northern Turkish tribes caused the decline of the dynasty. Having for many years guarded the border against the Turkish peoples attacking from the east, in 994, the Samanids lost Khorasan to the Ghaznavids and in 999 Transoxiana to the Qarakhanids, who finally drove them out.  In 1005, the last Samanid was murdered while fleeing.

Samanids were a prominent family of Iranian aristocrats who ruled much of central Asia from 864 to 999.  They were much admired by Muslim historians.  Ibn Khallikan considered the Samanids to have been :one of the best dynasties that ever ruled.”

Several different genealogies purporting to trace the ancestry of the Samanids are preserved in the available sources.  Most depict the Samanids as an offshoot of the Mihran, one of the great feudal families of pre-Islamic Iran with ties to the Arsacid dynasty, and as descendants of Bahram Chubin, a general who distinguished himself in guarding Iran’s eastern borders and who attempted to usurp the throne in late Sasanid times.  While of dubious authenticity, this genealogy was clearly intended to emphasize the image the Samanids wished to project of themselves, namely, members of an aristocratic military elite, champions of eastern Iran and its culture, and defenders of the Central Asian frontier against the nomadic threat.

The first member of this family in Muslim historical sources was known as Saman Khudah, a name that implies that he was the petty ruler (probably the dihqan) of the town of Saman (variously located near Samarkand or, more likely, Balkh), which he had founded. Narshakhi, author of a history of Bukhara, noted that this Saman Khudah had fled from Balkh to Merv, where he was assisted by the Umayyad governor of Khurasan, Asad ibn Abd Allah al-Qasri (d. 738), in defeating his foes and returning to Balkh.  In gratitude, Saman Khudah supposedly converted to Islam and named his own son Asad in honor of his benefactor.  Narshakhi does not name the enemies of Saman Khudah, but it may be assumed that they were the Turgesh tribesmen who, with encouragement from the Chinese, were harassing the borders of Khurasan.  This is quite credible since it is well known that Asad advocated a policy of cooperation between the Arabs and the noble Iranian families (i.e., the military aristocracy) in order to deal with their common enemies and that led several campaigns against the Turgesh in the environs of Balkh.

Saman Khudah’s grandchildren further distinguish the family by coming to the assistance of the Abbasids against the rebel Rafi ibn Laith, who had seized control of most of Transoxiana during the caliphate of Harun al-Rashid (786-809).  Some sources allege that the four sons of Asad ibn Saman Khudah interceded with Rafi and negotiated a settlement of this rebellion at the request of Ma’mun (Harun’s son who was serving as governor of Khurasan).  When Ma’mun became caliph, he rewarded each of the four brothers with the governorship of a district: Ilyas in Herat, Yahya in Shash (modern Tashkent), Ahmad in Ferghana, and Nuh, the oldest, in Samarkand.  Ilyas played a prominent role in the Tahirid army, served for a while as governor of Egypt, and returned to Herat, where he died in 856.  His son, Ibrahim, apparently lost Herat to the Saffarids after a battle near Pushang in 867, and so the line of Ilyas is of little importance.  The fortunes of the family fared much better in Transoxiana, which was gradually united under the rule of Ahmad ibn Asad.  For reasons that are not clear, one of Ahmad’s sons, Nasr, took over Samarkand upon the death of Nuh (842), and another, Ya’qub, assumed power in Shash when Yahya died in 855.

Nasr ibn Ahmad became the head of the family when his father died in 864, and he continued to govern from Samarkand.  Following the destruction of the Tahirid dynasty by the Saffarids in 873, the Abbasid caliph al-Mu’tamid recognized Nasr as the legitimate ruler of all Transoxiana in hopes of blunting further expansion by the Saffarids.  In 875, Nasr sent his brother, Isma’il, to govern Bukhara in response to an appeal from citizens of Bukhara alarmed by the collapse of law and order after the fall of the Tahirids.  The two brothers, however, soon began to quarrel, and war between them broke out in 885.  Isma’il defeated Nasr in 888 but allowed him to return to Samarkand, where he remained as nominal head of the family until his death in 892.

Under Isma’il ibn Ahmad (r.892-907), the Samanids became the pre-eminent power in Central Asia and eastern Iran.  Not only did he succeed in uniting Transoxiana under his rule, but he also compelled a number of local rulers in adjacent areas (such as Khwarazm and Khuttal) to recognize Samanid sovereignty.  He conquered Talas (Taraz), Ushrusana, Gorgan, and part of Tabaristan; he drove back the Turkish nomads on the northern and eastern frontiers; and, most importantly, he defeated Amr ibn Laith and expelled the Saffarid forces from Khurasan.  His son, Ahmad (r. 907-914), completed the conquest of Sistan.  Nasr ibn Ahmad (r. 914-943) suppressed various revolts in the outlying areas and maintained the integrity of the Samanid principality.  His reign marked the political and especially the cultural zenith of the dynasty.  Subsequently, the Samanids became embroiled in a number of dynastic struggles, internal problems, and external conflicts that resulted in the precipitous decline of the dynasty.

The accomplishments of the early Samanids were manifold.  The sophisticate and elaborate bureaucracy of their court and chancellery was praised by Narshakhi and Nizam al-Mulk and served as a model for later rulers.  Isma’il himself was regarded as the ideal type of ruler: just, pious, magnanimous, and concerned with the welfare of his subjects.  Samanid patronage of the arts and sciences made Bukhara and Samarkand two of the leading intellectual centers of the Islamic world.  A host of famous religious scholars, scientists, poets (both Arabic and Persian), men of letters, and talented officials surrounded the Samanid court.  The Samanids also pursued a vigorous religious policy as champions of Sunni “orthodoxy” (although Nasr flirted with Isma’ili Islam).  In particular, they promoted and popularized the Hanafi school of Islamic law, professed loyalty (but not subservience) to the Abbasid caliphate, and encouraged missionary activities to spread Islam among the Turks in and on the borders of their territory.  Because of their conquests and maintenance of law and order, the Samanids were also able to stimulate trade between their cities and China, Iraq, and eastern Europe.  A key element in Samanid commercial success was their virtual monopoly of the trade in Turkish slaves.  The recruiting, training, and indoctrination of these Turks (described at length by Nizam al-Mulk) were of tremendous importance in both the Islamicization of the Turks and the Turkicization of Central Asia.

A number of factors contributed to the decline of Samanid power.  Most fundamentally, an emphasis on trade seems to have led to a neglect of the agricultural base of the economy of Khurasan and Transoxiana as well as a movement of population from the rural areas to the major cities.  (Bukhara, despite its newfound political and cultural glory as the Samanid capital, was notoriously filthy, over-crowded, and prone to urban violence owing to sectarian strife.)  At the same time, the Samanids, although probably of dihqan origins themselves, contributed to the downfall of the dihqan class, which had been the backbone of eastern Iranian society.  This was partly the result of the neglect of rural interests and partly that of the Samanid preference for basing their military power on Turkish “slave troops.”  It was increasingly difficult for the Samanids to control the Turks in their service: some became involved in politics and dynastic succession squabbles; others were able to break away and form their own states.  In addition, Turkish tribes in areas outside Samanid control gradually infiltrated Samanid territory.  Samanid slave-raiding and missionary activities probably stimulated them to do so, and the decline of the dihqans and the de-population of the countryside must have helped to make that infiltration possible.  In any case, the newly Islamized Karakhanid Turks seized Bukhara from the Samanids in 999.  Without support from the non-Turkish rural and urban population, the dynasty collapsed completely by 1005.

Samaw’al ibn Gharid ibn ‘Adiya, al-
Samaw’al ibn Gharid ibn ‘Adiya, al-  (Samaw'al ibn 'Adiya) (as-Samaw'al bin 'Adiya) (Samuel ben 'Adiya).  Jewish Arab poet of the sixth century.  He owes his fame to his devotion to his guest Imru’ al-Qays ibn Hujr, which has become proverbial: “more faithful than al-Samaw’al.”

Samaw'al ibn 'Adiya was an Arabian poet and warrior, in the first half of the 6th century of the Christian calendar. His clan converted to Judaism when they were in Yemen. Later, they moved to northern Arabia where Samaw'al was born and lived his life.

Samaw'al's mother was of the royal tribe of Ghassan, while his father, was from the clan of Banu Alrayan who belong to the tribe of Harith bin Ka'b from Qahtan. Samaw'al was one of the most famous poets of his time. Thanks to the famous poem that he composed after a princess tried to degrade his people. In this poem, Samaw'al brags about the history of his clan - the Banu Alrayan- and how they ascended to the lordship of their tribe. Before moving out of Yemen, his clan were the kings in Najran, and at one point they had supremacy over Yemen before some of them -including the poet's father- converted to Judaism and moved to northern Arabia.. In this poem, Samaw'al also traces his genealogy to the Banu Aldayan. Samaw'al owned a castle near Taima (eight hours north of Medina), built by his grandfather 'Adiya and called, from its mixed color, al-Ablaq. It was situated on a high hill and was a halting-place for travelers to and from Syria.

More than for his poetic talents Samaw'al is famous for his connection with the warrior-poet and prince Imru' al-Qais, which won for him the epithet "faithful," and gave rise to the Arabic saying "more faithful than Samaw'al." This came about in the following manner: Amru al-Qais, being abandoned by his followers in his fight with the Banu Asad to avenge the death of his father, and being pursued by Al-No'man Ibn al-Munthir Ibn Ma' al-Sama', wandered about from tribe to tribe seeking protection as well as support in his endeavor to regain his inheritance. When he came to the Banu Fazarah their chief advised him to seek out Samaw'al ibn 'Adiya' in his castle al-Ablaq, saying that although he had seen the emperor of the Greeks and visited the Lakhmid kingdom of Hira, he had never found a place better fitted for assuring safety to those in need, nor known a more faithful protector than its owner. Amru al-Qais, who was accompanied by his daughter Hind, and his cousin, and had with him five suits of chainmail besides other weapons, immediately set out for the castle, and on the way he and his guide composed a poem in praise of their prospective host. Samaw'al received the poet hospitably, erected a tent of skins for Hind, and received the men into his own hall. After they had been there "as long as God willed," Amru al-Qais, wishing to secure the assistance of the emperor Justinian I, asked Samaw'al to give him a letter to the Ghassanid prince Harith ibn Abi Shamir, who might further him on his way. The poet then departed, leaving Hind, his cousin, and his armor in Samaw'al's keeping, and he never came to reclaim them. According to Arabian tradition, while on his homeward journey from Constantinople, he was poisoned by order of Justinian, who had listened to treacherous accusations against him.

After Amru al-Qais had left Al-Ablaq, Prince al-Munthir —it is not known whether before or after Amru's death— sent Harith to Samaw'al ordering him to deliver up the articles deposited with him. Samaw'al refusing to do so, Harith laid siege to the castle. The besiegers met with no success until one day Harith captured Samaw'al's son, who, according to the story in the "Kitab al-Aghani," was returning from the chase. Harith then called upon the father to choose between giving up the property and witnessing his son's death. Samaw'al answered that his son had brothers, but that his honor once lost could not be recovered. Harith at once struck off the boy's head before the unhappy father's eyes and then withdrew, perceiving that he could accomplish nothing in the face of such steadfastness.

Samaw'al ibn 'Adiya see Samaw’al ibn Gharid ibn ‘Adiya, al-
Samaw'al bin 'Adiya, as- see Samaw’al ibn Gharid ibn ‘Adiya, al-
Samuel ben 'Adiya see Samaw’al ibn Gharid ibn ‘Adiya, al-

Samhudi, Nur al-Din Abu’l-Hasan al-
Samhudi, Nur al-Din Abu’l-Hasan al- (Nur al-Din Abu'l-Hasan al-Samhudi) (1440-1505).  Arab historian.  He is known for his history of the city of Medina.
Nur al-Din Abu'l-Hasan al-Samhudi see Samhudi, Nur al-Din Abu’l-Hasan al-

Samiri, al-
Samiri, al- (“the Samaritan”).  Name given in the Qur’an to the man who tempted the Israelites to the sin of the golden calf.
The Samaritan see Samiri, al-

Sami, Shams al-Din
Sami, Shams al-Din (Shams al-Din Sami) (Sami Frashëri) (b. June 1, 1850, Frashër, Kolonje, Albania, then Ottoman Empire – d. June 18, 1904, Erenkoy, Istanbul, Turkey, then Ottoman Empire).  Turkish author and lexicographer from Albania.  He wrote a French-Turkish/Turkish-French dictionary, a six volume general encyclopedia and a Turkish dictionary, which is a true picture of the educated Turkish of his time.  However, he does not seem to have had any traceable influence on the development of the Turkish language.

Sami Frashëri was an Albanian writer, philosopher, playwright and a prominent figure of the Rilindja Kombëtare, the National Renaissance movement of Albania, together with his two brothers Naim and Abdyl.

Frashëri was one of the sons of an impoverished Bey from Frashër (Fraşer during the Ottoman rule) in the District of Përmet. He gained a place in Ottoman literature as a talented author under the name of Şemseddin Sami Efendi and contributed to the Turkish language reforms.

Frashëri's message, as declared in his book "Albania - What it was, what it is, and what will become of it" published in 1899, became the manifesto of the Albanian Renaissance (Rilindja Kombëtare). Frashëri discussed the prospects for a free and independent republic of Albania. In this way, beginning with a demand for autonomy and struggle for their own alphabet and education, he helped the Albanian National Liberation movement develop its claim for independence.

Frasheri finished gymnasium in Zosimea Greek language school in Ioannina. There, he came in touch with Western Philosophy and studied Greek, French and Italian. With the help of a personal teacher, he also learned Arabic, Turkish and Persian.

In 1872, Frasheri migrated to Istanbul where he worked in a governmental press bureau. His lifetime goal, as that of many other members of the Albanian renaissance, was the development and improvement of Albania's culture and independence.

Along with his elder brother Abdyl, Hasan Tahsini, Pashko Vasa and Jani Vreto, he founded the Central Committee for Defending Albanian Rights. Early in 1879, this committee formed a commission for the Albanian alphabet.

Sami Frashëri also founded and headed the Society for the Printing of Albanian Writings in October 1879 , where Albanian scholastic books and texts were compiled by him and his brother Naim. The society was forced to close by the Ottoman Government in 1885 along with the Drita magazine, then Dituria, which had began publication in 1884 by Petro Poga, but on the decree issued on the demand of Sami Frasheri.

Sami Frasheri died in June 18, 1904 after a severe illness at his home in Erenköy, Istanbul.

His son, Ali Sami Yen (1886–1951), was a footballer (soccer player) and founder of Galatasaray SK and chairman of Galatasaray between 1905–1918 and 1925-1926.

Sami Frasheri is author of around 50 masterpieces. Some of his most important writings are:


    * Ta'aşşûk-ı Tal'at ve Fitnât (Albanian: Dashuria e Talatit me Fitneten -English: The Love Between Talat and Fitnat, 1873)

The story carries a sentimental subject of love between Talat and Fitnat. Generally, the novel consists of a combination of Oriental and Western writing styles. This novel is commonly mistaken to be the first novel written in Turkish.


    * Besâ yâhut Âhde Vefâ (Albanian: "Besa ose Mbajtja e Fjalës" - English: Besa or The Given Word of Trust, 1874).

Is a melodrama with Besa as a subject, but in a very tragic situation: the father kills his son to keep the given word.

    * Seydi Yahya (1875)
    * Gâve (1876)
    * Mezalim-i Endülûs (Never printed)
    * Vicdân (Never printed)

Dictionaries and Encyclopedical Works

    * Kamûs-ı Fransevî (1882–1905, French-Turkish dictionary)
    * Kamûs-ı Fransevî (1885, French-Turkish dictionary)
    * Küçük Kamûs-ı Fransevî (1886, French-Turkish dictionary)
    * Kamûs-ül Â'lâm (6 volumes, 1889–1898, Encyclopedia of General Science, known to be the first Encyclopedia printed in Turkish)
    * Kamûs-ı 'Arabî (1898, Arabic-Turkish dictionary, unfinished)
    * Kamus-ı Türki (2 volumes, dictionary of the Classical Ottoman Turkish language, still widely used as a reference as of today, 1899–1900, reprints and facsimiles in 1978 and 1998)

Scientific Writings

Sami Frasheri also did a series of scientific writings in Albanian such as Qielli (Sky), Toka (Earth), Njeriu (Human Being), Gjuha (Language), and many more.

Educational Writings in Albanian

    * Allfabetarja e Stambollit (Alphabet of Istanbul, 1879),
    * Abetarja e Shkronjëtoreja (Grammatical Work, 1886).


In Turkish in his "Pocket Library" collection, he published small scientific booklets on subjects as Astronomy, Geology, Anthropology, History of Islam and the Islamic civilization, Women, Mythology and Linguistics. He also published a small compilation of humor named Letâ'if in two volumes, a compilation of Proverbs and Quotes named Emsâl in four volumes, and a series of reading-oriented educational books for schoolchildren.


    * Usûl-ü Tenkîd ve Tertîb (1886, Orthography of Turkish)
    * Nev'usûl Sarf-ı Türkî (1891, Modern Turkish Grammar)
    * Yeñi Usûl-ü Elifbâ-yı Türkî (1898, New Turkish Alphabetical System))
    * Usûl-ü Cedîd-i Kavâ'id-i 'Arabiyye (1910, New Method for Learning Arabic)
    * Tatbîkât-ı 'Arabiyye (1911, Exercises in Arabic)

Political Work

    * Shqipëria ç'ka qenë, ç'është e çdo të bëhetë (Albania - what it was, what it is and what it is going be, 1889).

Theoretical commentary that became Rilindja Kombëtare's manifesto.

Shams al-Din Sami see Sami, Shams al-Din
Sami Frasheri see Sami, Shams al-Din
Frasheri, Sami see Sami, Shams al-Din

Samma. Name of a Rajput clan who accepted Islam and ruled Sind (r.1335-1520).

The Samma dynasty ruled in Sindh and parts of Punjab and Balochistan from 1335-1520, with their capital at Thatta in modern Pakistan before being replaced by the Arghun Dynasty. The Samma dynasty has left its mark in Sindh with magnificent structures including the necropolis of kings and royalties in Thatta and many more ruins.

The Sindh is a fertile valley with a sub-tropical climate watered by the Indus river, the location of some of the oldest civilizations in the world, with settlements dating back to 7000 B.C.T. Always a prize possession, it has been controlled by many different empires, alternating with periods of independence. Before the Samma dynasty took control, the Sindh was ruled by the Soomra, first as nominal vassals of the Fatimid Caliphate of Cairo, later as vassals of the Delhi Sultanate, which reached its greatest extent under Muhammad bin Tughluq (c.1300–1351), but began to break up towards the end of his reign.

The Sammas, a Rajput tribe, gained control of Thatta in the southern Sindh from the Sumras around 1335, and expanded their territory northward to Bhakkar and beyond. Throughout the period of the Samma dynasty, Turkic groups were pushing down from the northwest, including those led by Timur (Tamerlane) who sacked Delhi in 1398, and later the Mughals who finally conquered Delhi under Babur in 1526. The Sammas fought off these invaders until they were finally defeated by the Arghun Dynasty, who had been displaced from Kandahar in Afghanistan by Babur, in 1519-1520.

Information about the early years of the Samma dynasty is very sketchy. We know from Ibn Battuta that in 1333 the Sammas were in rebellion, led by the Rajput founder of the dynasty, Unar. The Sammas overthrew the Soomras soon after 1335 and the last Soomra ruler took shelter with the governor of Gujarat, under the protection of Muhammad bin Tughluq, the sultan of Delhi. Mohammad bin Tughlaq made an expedition against Sindh in 1351 and died at Sondha, possibly in an attempt to restore the Soomras. With this, the Sammas became independent. The next sultan, Firuz Shah Tughlaq attacked Sindh in 1365 and 1367, unsuccessfully, but with reinforcements from Delhi he later obtained Banbhiniyo's surrender. The Samma dynasty overtook the Sumra dynasty and ruled Sindh during 1365-1521. Around that time, the Sindhi Swarankar community returned from Kutch to their home towns in Sindh, and some settled empty land on the banks of Sindhu River near Dadu, Sindh. By the end of year 1500, nearly the entire Sindhi Swarankar community had returned to Sindh. This period marks the beginning of Sufistic thought and teachings in Sindh.

For a period the Sammas were, therefore, subject to Delhi again. Later as the Sultanate of Delhi collapsed they became fully independent. During most of the period of Samma rule, the Sindh was politically and economically tied to the Gujarat Sultanate, with occasional

periods of friction. Coins struck by the Samma dynasty show the titles "Sultan" and "Shah" as well as "Jam".

The rulers of the Samma were:

1335-1339    'Unar                                                                                  Founder of dynasty
1339-1352  Junan          (Junan)                                Brother of 'Unar
1352-1367  Banhbina          (Babinho Sadr al-Din)                Son of 'Unar
1367-1379  Tamachi          (Tamachi Rukn al-Din) 
1379-1389  Salah-ud-din  (Saláhuddín)                        Son of Tamachi          (usurper)
1389-1391  Nizam-ud-din  (Nizámuddín)                        Son of Salah-ud-din
1391-1398  Ali Sher                                                 Son of Tamachi
1398          Karn  Karan 
1398-1414  Fath Khan          (Fateh Khán bin Sikandar)        Nephew of Karn
1414-1442  Tughluq          (Taghlak bin Sikandar)        Brother of Fath Khan
1442          Mubarak                                                                                   (usurper)
1442-1444  Sikandar                                                 Son of Tughluq
1444-1453  Raidhan  
1453-1461  Sanjar          (Sanjar (Radhan) Sadr al-Din) 
1461-1508  Nanda          (Nizámuddín) 
1508-1527  Firuz                                                 Son of Nanda

Sam Mirza
Sam Mirza (1517-1576).  Persian poet.  He was a son of the Safavid Shah Isma‘il and compiled an anthology of contemporary poetry.
Mirza, Sam see Sam Mirza

Samori Toure
Samori Toure (Samory Toure) (Almamy Samory Lafiya Toure) (b. c. 1830, near Sarranko, Upper Guinea [now in Guinea] - d. June 2, 1900, Gabon, French Congo [now Gabon]).  Creator of the largest Mandinka Dyula (Jula) state (the Wassoulou Empire) in West Africa.

Samori Toure (Samory) was the creator of the largest Mandinka Dyula (Jula) state in West Africa.   Samory was the last and most successful of the Dyula revolutionaries in the nineteenth century until he succumbed to the French imperial drive.  Samory’s two successive empires covered large parts of the Upper Niger and the interior of the Ivory Coast.

Samory was born around 1830 in Konyan (in present day Guinea).  He spent his early manhood as a Dyula merchant.  The Dyula were a class of professional traders who travelled and settled throughout West Africa, particularly between Senegal and the Ivory Coast.  The Dyula were usually Muslims unlike most of the people amongst whom they lived. 

In the 1800s, the Dyula among the Mandinka of Guinea began to seize political control.  The first Dyula revolutionary, Mori-Ule Sise, launched a military campaign against his Mandinka neighbors in 1835.

Around 1853, Samory’s mother was captured by Mori-Ule’s soldiers.  Samory went to live with the Sise to try and obtain her release.  There Samory learned the skills of warfare which he was later to apply so effectively.  After leaving the Sise, Samory began to amass his own following.  Samory expanded his holdings by entering into various inter-chiefdom disputes, and then ruthlessly seizing power.

By the 1860s, Samory’s authority was acknowledged in the Milo River region.  In the 1870s, Samory continued to expand his new empire, establishing his capital at Bisandugu (Guinea), and making alliances with Dyula communities which controlled the arms traffic from the coast.  By 1880, Samory was the unchallenged leader of the Dyula revolution.

Up until this time, the unifying principle which Samory had employed was loyalty to his person.  With the expansion of his empire, Samory felt that personal loyalty would not suffice and, in 1884, he attempted to turn the empire into an Islamic theocracy. 

During this time, Samory modernized his army’s tactics and weaponry.  In 1884, Samory conquered the Sierra Leone hinterland in order to ensure the supply of arms from Freetown, the most important terminus of his caravans.  In exchange for arms, Samory offered gold and ivory.  The slaves that Samory captured were his most important source of capital, although these had to be exchanged for products acceptable in Freetown.

Unfortunately for Samory, his imperialistic designs coincided with those of the French, who were eager to carve out an empire of their own.  First French military contact with Samory came in 1882, and the two armies battled sporadically until 1886 when they signed a peace treaty. 

Samory then sent his favorite son to France on a goodwill mission.  Both parties desired a respite at that time -- Samory in order to prepare to fight Tieba at Sikasso (present day Mali), and the French to fight Mamadu Lamine in the Senegambia. 

Samory’s attempt to take Sikasso proved to be a major disaster.  The defeat decimated his army and triggered off a massive revolt in his empire in 1888.  As a consequence, Samory decided to abandon Islam as a unifying principle and return to one of personal loyalty.

Before Samory could face the French, he needed to put down the rebellion and to re-establish his trade connections with Sierra Leone.

Both Samory and the French prepared for the impending conflict.  The clash began in 1891 when French forces under Archinard penetrated deep into Samori’s territory.  In 1894, realizing he could not defeat the French, Samory decided upon a daring alternative.  Samory moved his empire eastward to the Ivory Coast interior, pursuing a scorched earth policy in the lands he vacated.  There he began the conquest of new lands, and briefly attempted to ally with Prempe I, the ruler of Asante in the Gold Coast. 

The French military drive was relentless and, in 1898, when the British refused to sell him arms, Samory retreated into Liberia.  The French captured him that year and exiled him to Gabon. 

It was in Gabon that Samory died of pneumonia in 1900.

Although in the lands that he conquered Samory is remembered as a ruthless tyrant, many people consider him a hero of African resistance to European imperialism.

Toure, Samori see Samori Toure
Samory see Samori Toure
Samory Toure see Samori Toure
Toure, Samory see Samori Toure
Almamy Samory Lafiya Toure see Samori Toure
Toure, Almamy Samory Lafiya see Samori Toure

Samsam al-Dawla, Abu Kalijar al-Marzuban
Samsam al-Dawla, Abu Kalijar al-Marzuban (Abu Kalijar al-Marzuban Samsam al-Dawla) (Samsam al-Daula) (c. 963-December 998).  Buyid ruler in Persia and Iraq (r.990-998).  He was a son of ‘Adud al-Dawla.  During his reign civil strife within the dynasty began.

Abu Kalijar Marzuban aka Samsam al-Daula was the Buyid amir of Iraq (983-987), as well as Fars and Kerman (988 or 989-998). He was the second son of 'Adud al-Daula.The Abbasid recognized his succession and conferred upon him the title Samsam Al-Daula. Samsam's rule lasted for barely four years. He lacked the qualities of his father 'Adud al-Daula and failed to have a grip upon his state affairs. His rule was marked by revolts and civil wars in the Buwayhids.

During 'Adud al-Daula's lifetime, Abu Kalijar Marzuban was assigned the governorships of Buyid Oman and Khuzestan. Despite Marzuban's status as second son (Shirdil being the eldest), he was considered to be his father's heir. This issue was never completely clarified by 'Adud al-Daula before his death, resulting in a succession crisis. Marzuban, who was in Baghdad when his father died, at first kept his death secret in order to ensure his succession.When he made the death of his father public, he took the title "Samsam al-Daula".

Shirdil also laid his claims to the succession, and from his province of Kerman invaded and captured Fars. He took the title "Sharaf al-Daula". Sharaf al-Daula's invasion of Fars provided two more of Samsam al-Daula's brothers, Taj al-Daula and Diya' al-Daula, to set up their own rule in Basra and Khuzestan. In Diyarbakr, a Kurd named Badh ibn Hasanwaih took power and forced Samsam al-Daula to confirm him as its ruler. To the north, Samsam al-Daula's uncle Fakhr al-Daula ruled an extensive territory from Ray. The rulers of Basra and Khuzestan soon acknowledged Fakhr al-Daula as senior amir, making the latter the most powerful of the Buyids and moving the senior amirate from Iraq to Jibal.

Despite Fakhr al-Daula's power, it was Sharaf al-Daula who posed the largest threat to Samsam al-Daula. He recovered Buyid Oman, which had earlier seceded to Samsam al-Daula. In 985, a Daylamite chief Saffar ibn Quddawiyah revolted against the authority of Samsam al-Daula.  He joined with Shirdil. Saffar lead a force against Samsam to Baghdad. Samsam sent a stronger force in retaliation consequently Saffar was defeated. In early 986, Samsam captured Basra and Khuzestan, forcing the two brothers to flee to Fakhr al-Daula's territory. After the defeat of Saffar, Sharaf himself marched against Samsam. Sharaf occupied Ahwaz ,then sent his forces to Wasit which fell to him in 986.  From there, Samsam marched to Baghdad. Before any confrontation could take place, there was a revolt in the army of Samsam. He was therefore defeated and forced to surrender. There upon Baghdad fell to Sharaf and Samsam was put in prison.

Sharaf al-Daula's death in 988 or 989 provided Samsam al-Daula with the opportunity to make a return to power. Despite having been partially blinded shortly before Sharaf al-Daula's death, he managed to escape from prison and wrested control of Fars, Kerman and Khuzestan from his brother Baha' al-Daula, who had succeeded Sharaf al-Daula. Both Baha' al-Daula and his brother found their positions threatened by Fakhr al-Daula. The latter invaded Khuzestan in an attempt to split the two brothers' territories. This act prompted the both of them to draw up an alliance. Samsam al-Daula recognized Baha' al-Daula as the ruler of Iraq and Khuzestan, while he himself kept Arrajan, Fars and Kerman. Both promised to consider each other as equals, and took the title of "king".

In 991, Baha' al-Daula attempted to get rid of Samsam al-Daula. He took the title of Shâhanshâh and invaded the latter's territory. His forces were defeated, however, and Samsam al-Daula regained Khuzestan. He even gained control of the Buyid territories in Oman. In order to further strengthen his position, Samsam al-Daula decided to recognize Fakhr al-Daula as senior amir, submitting to his authority.

Fakhr al-Daula's death in 997, coupled with Samsam al-Daula's increasing troubles within his realm, made Baha' al-Daula the strongest of the Buyid princes. He gained the support of the Kurdish ruler Badr ibn Hasanwaih and prepared for the expedition. The invasion began in December of 998. Scarcely had the campaign begun, however, when Samsam al-Daula was murdered by one of the sons of 'Izz al-Daula while fleeing from Shiraz. Baha' al-Daula took Shiraz, defeated 'Izz al-Daula's sons, and reunited Iraq, Fars and Kerman.
Abu Kalijar al-Marzuban Samsam al-Dawla see Samsam al-Dawla, Abu Kalijar al-Marzuban
Samsam al-Daula see Samsam al-Dawla, Abu Kalijar al-Marzuban

Samsam al-Dawla, Shahnawar Khan
Samsam al-Dawla, Shahnawar Khan (Shahnawar Khan Samsam al-Dawla) (1700-1758).  Indian statesman and historian.  He wrote a biographical dictionary of all the important statesmen under the Mughals from Akbar I down to his own day.
Shahnawar Khan Samsam al-Dawla see Samsam al-Dawla, Shahnawar Khan

Samsam al-Saltana, Najaf Quli Khan
Samsam al-Saltana, Najaf Quli Khan (Najaf Quli Khan Samsam al-Saltana). Bakhtiyari chief in Persia.  Born in 1846, he formed a new cabinet in 1911 but came in conflict with the American advisor Morgan Shuster.  His second cabinet of 1918 lasted only for a year.
Najaf Quli Khan Samsam al-Saltana see Samsam al-Saltana, Najaf Quli Khan

Sana’i, Abu’l-Majd Majdud ibn Adam
Sana’i, Abu’l-Majd Majdud ibn Adam (Abu’l-Majd Majdud ibn Adam Sana’i) (Hakim Abul-Majd Majdūd ibn Ādam Sanā'ī Ghaznavi)  (b. c. 1080 - d.1131).  One of the most famous poets at the court of the later Ghaznavids.  He left Ghazna for Marw, where he led the life of a mystic.  Returning later to Ghazna, he continued to lead a religious life.  He composed a diwan, which comprises all his poems written in other than the mathnawi form.  The popularity of his poetry has been both wide-spread and long-lived.

Hakim Abul-Majd Majdūd ibn Ādam Sanā'ī Ghaznavi was a Persian Sufi poet who lived in Ghazna, in what is now Afghanistan between the 11th century and the 12th century. He died around 1131.

He was connected with the court of the Ghaznavid Bahram-shah who ruled 1118-1152. It is said that once when accompanying Bahramshah on a military expedition to India, Sanai met the Sufi teacher Lai-khur. Sanai quit Bahramshah's service as a court poet even though he was promised wealth and the king's daughter in marriage if he remained.

Sanai's best known work is The Walled Garden of Truth or the The Hadiqa Tu'l Haqiqat. Dedicated to Bahram Shah, the work expresses the poet's ideas on God, love, philosophy and reason. The work contains 10,000 couplets in 10 sections.

For close to 900 years, in the East at any rate, The Walled Garden of Truth has been consistently read and employed as a classic and as a Sufi textbook. Sanai’s fame has always rested on his Hadiqa. It is the best known and in the East by far the most esteemed of his works. It is in virtue of this work that he forms one of the great trio of Sufi teachers — Sanai, Attar, and Jalaludin Rumi.. Sanai taught that lust and greed, and emotional excitement, stood between humankind and divine knowledge, which was the only true reality (Haqq). Love ('Ishq') and a social conscience are for him the foundation of religion. Mankind is asleep, living in what is in fact a desolate world. Sanai's view on common religion was that it was only habit and ritual.

Sanai's poetry had a tremendous influence upon Persian literature. He is considered the first poet to use verse forms as the qasidah (ode), the ghazal (lyric), and the masnavi (rhymed couplet) to express the philosophical, mystical, and ethical ideas of Sufism. His book of poetry (divan) contains some 30,000 verses.

Rumi acknowledged Sanai and Attar as his two primary inspirations, saying, "Attar is the soul and Sanai its two eyes, I came after Sanai and Attar."

Sanai's walled garden of truth was also a model for Nezami's Makhzan al-Asrar (Treasury of Secrets).

Abu’l-Majd Majdud ibn Adam Sana’i see Sana’i, Abu’l-Majd Majdud ibn Adam
Hakim Abul-Majd Majdūd ibn Ādam Sanā'ī Ghaznavi see Sana’i, Abu’l-Majd Majdud ibn Adam

Sangil.  The Sangil Muslims live for the most part in the Sarangani and Balut islands off the southeastern coast of Mindinao in the Republic of the Philippines.  Their language is usually classed with the Central Philippine subgroup of Malayo-Polynesian languages.

The Sangil are not to be confused with the several thousands of Sangir, who are Indonesian nationals, mostly Christians, inhabiting the southern coast of mainland Mindanao in the Sarangani Bay area.  The Sangir are recent migrants of one or two generations standing from the Sangihe or Sangir and Talaud island chains of Indonesia between northern Sulawezi and southern Mindanao.

The Sangil represent a much earlier migration from the same island dating back at least to the seventeenth century.  Today they are regarded by both Indonesia and the Philippines as Philippine nationals.  The substitution of the "l" for the "r" in their name probably came about through contact with the Maguindanao and other coastal Mindanao Muslim groups with whom the Sangil have been undergoing a process of acculturation and absorption.

As early as 1602, the Spaniards in their campaigns against the Muslims (Moros) noted that the Sangils were among the forces marshalled by the Sultan of Ternate to aid the Mindanao Muslims.  Subsequently, there were reports of Sangils attacking settlements in the Visayas in the company of Sulu Muslims and then of Spanish operations against them in the 1620s.

Culturally, the Sangil retain some features of the culture of their Sangihe origins, though their former home islands are now predominantly Christian.  The Sangil raise food crops and engage in fishing and boatbuilding.

Sanhaja, Banu
Sanhaja, Banu (Banu Sanhaja) (Sanhadja) (Iznagen).  One of the great confederations of the Berbers, the other being the Banu Zanata.  The Tuaregs of Hoggar belong to the Sanhaja confederation.  They reached their zenith in the tenth through twelfth centuries.

The Sanhaja were one of the largest Berber tribal confederations of the Maghreb, along with the Zanata and Masmuda. Many different tribes and regions in the Berber world bore and still bear this name especially in its original Berber form (Iznagen, Zenaga).

The meaning of the Berber word Iẓnagen is: the oasis people. Its singular form is: Aẓnag, which is very frequently used today as a family name by many North Africans.

In Berber, the word for "oasis" is: Aẓnig or Amda.

The tribes of the Sanhaja settled at first in the northern Sahara. After the arrival of Islam they also spread out in the Sudan as far as the Senegal River and the Niger. From the 9th century, Sanhaja tribes began to establish themselves in the Middle Atlas range, in the Rif Mountains and on the Atlantic coast of Morocco. A part of the Sanhaja settled in eastern Algeria (the Kutama), and played an important part in the rise of the Fatimids. The Sanhaja dynasties of the Zirids and Hammadids controlled Ifriqiya until the 12th century.

At the beginning of the 9th century a tribal kingdom of the Masufa and the Lamtuna formed in what is now Mauritania & Western Sahara under Tilantan (d.826), which controlled the western Trans-Saharan trade route and fought the kingdoms of "Bilad as-Sudan" (not to be confused with modern Sudan). Although this empire fell apart at the beginning of the 10th century, the missionary and theologian Ibn Yasin managed to unite the tribes in the alliance of the Almoravids in the middle of the 11th century. This confederacy subsequently established Morocco, conquered western Algeria, and Andalusia in Spain.

With the invasion of the Maghreb by the Arab Banu Hilal tribe in the 11th century, the Sanhaja were gradually Arabized.
Banu Sanhaja see Sanhaja, Banu
Sanhadja see Sanhaja, Banu
Iznagen see Sanhaja, Banu

Sanim, Luiz
Sanim, Luiz. Brazilian Muslim Hausa slave, a leading chief in the massive uprising of slaves that took place in Bahia in 1835.  He was tried and sentenced to 600 lashes.
Luiz Sanim see Sanim, Luiz.

Sanjar ibn Malik Shah, Mu‘izz al-Din
Sanjar ibn Malik Shah, Mu‘izz al-Din (Mu‘izz al-Din Sanjar ibn Malik Shah) (b.1086).  Great Saljuq in Iraq and Persia (r. 1097-1157).  He ruled in eastern Persia from 1097, taking the part of his brother Muhammad I against his other brother Berkyaruq.  After 1118, he was the supreme Sultan of the Saljuq family, ruling in Iraq, Persia, Khurasan, Afghanistan and Northern India.  He came into conflict with the Ghaznavid Arslan Shah ibn Mas‘ud III (r. 1115-1118), was involved in a long struggle with Khwarazm-Shah Atsiz ibn Muhammad (r.1127-1156) and was defeated in 1141 by the Karakhitai, led by the Gurkhan Yeh-lu Ta-shih, who endeavored to take Samarkand.  Sanjar then lost Transoxiana.  He also had to fight the Ghurid ‘Ala’l-Din Husayn (r.1149-1161) and the Oghuz.
Mu‘izz al-Din Sanjar ibn Malik Shah see Sanjar ibn Malik Shah, Mu‘izz al-Din

Santri (Puthihan). Sanskrit term which, in Indonesia, refers to a student of Islam or to a devout and correct Muslim.  Santri is also a Sanskrit term which refers to the practicing Muslim believers in Indonesia.  The Santri have a middle class culture with strong influences from Arabic culture.  In Indonesia, santri is a Javanese term for a student of religion, especially one who studies at a religious school (pesantren) where instruction is given in Islam and Qur’anic exegesis.  Scholars of modern Java often apply the term to those who adhere more or less strictly to Islamic principles, as opposed to the so-called abangan (“red ones”), who take their religion less seriously.  But such a hard and fast distinction cannot always be maintained in practice.  Historically, all members of the Javanese-Islamic religious communities were referred to as santri and were distinguished by their style of dress, social origins, and areas of settlement from the Javanese nobility and officials (priyayi).  But there were many social contacts between the two groups (e.g., priyayi families would usually send their male children to be educated at pesantren).

The Santri are a cultural 'stream' of people within the population of Javanese who practice a more orthodox version of Islam, in contrast to the abangan classes.

There are three main cultural streams (aliran in Indonesian) in Javanese society. Namely, the santri, abangan, and priyayi. Members of the Santri class are more likely to be urban dwellers, and tend to be oriented to the mosque, the Qur'an, and perhaps to Islamic canon law (Sharia). In contrast, the abangan tend to be from village backgrounds and absorb both Hindu and Muslim elements, forming a culture of animist and folk traditions. The santri are sometimes referred to as Puthihan (the white ones) as distinct from the 'red' abangan. The priyayi stream are the traditional bureaucratic elite and were strongly driven by hierarchical Hindu-Javanese tradition. Initially court officials in pre-colonial kingdoms, the stream moved into the colonial civil service, and then on to administrators of the modern Indonesian republic.

The santri played a the key role in Indonesian Nationalist movements, and formed the strongest opposition to President Suharto's New Order army-based administration. In contrast, the abangan have tended to follow the prevailing political wind. They supported Sukarno's overt nationalism, while during Suharto's subsequent presidency, they loyally voted for his Golkar party. Poorer abangan areas became strongholds of the Indonesian Communist Party (PKI) in stark opposition to the orthodox Muslim santri. The cultural divisions descended into bloody conflict in 1965/66 when santri were opposed to communists, many of whom were from abangan streams. An estimated 500,000 alleged communists were killed during the transition to the New Order, and bitter political and social rivalries remain.

Throughout all the religious changes on the court level, the common people adopted part of each new religion as an additional layer on top of their traditional local beliefs. Consequently, Islam is expressed differently in Indonesia than it is in the Middle East. The religion is most strictly practiced in Aceh, western Sumatra, western Java, southeastern Kalimantan, and some of the Lesser Sunda Islands. On Java, Muslims who follow orthodox practices are referred to as the santri. By contrast, the abangan adhere to a more syncretic tradition, strongly influenced by ancestral beliefs and practices. With the growth of a more religion-conscious middle class, especially since the late 20th century, the abangan way of believing has been in retreat, while more-orthodox Muslim practices have been on the rise. However, the many local rituals connected with birth, death, and marriage are carefully observed by people at all levels, and ceremonies (selamatan) are held on all special occasions.
Puthihan see Santri
The White Ones see Santri

Sanusi, Abu ‘Abd Allah Muhammad al-
Sanusi, Abu ‘Abd Allah Muhammad al- (Abu ‘Abd Allah Muhammad al-Sanusi) (c.1427-1490).  Learned Ash‘ari theologian of Tlemcen.  Some of his works have acquired great authority in North Africa.
Abu ‘Abd Allah Muhammad al-Sanusi see Sanusi, Abu ‘Abd Allah Muhammad al-

Sanusiyya (Senussi) (Sanussi).  Arabic term which refers to the reformist and missionary Muslim brotherhood formed in the middle of the nineteenth century.  It was founded by the Algerian Muhammad al-Sanusi.  The group took hold in the Cyrenaica (eastern Libya) beginning in the 1840s and acquired a dominant position in the eastern Sahara.  The Sanusiyya fought all the colonial powers, France, Great Britain, and Italy.  When Libya gained independence in 1951, the brotherhood’s leader, Idris, became the king of Libya.  Historically, the Sanusiyya (Sanussi movement) was a religious brotherhood from which came the partial rulers of Libya from 1840; the emirs of Libya in 1922; and the kings of Libya from 1951 to 1969.  Their main capitals were Jaghbub in 1855; Kufra in 1895; and Tripoli from 1909.  The founder of this puritanical religious reform movement, Muhammad ibn Ali al-Sanussi (Sidi Muhammad ibn ‘Ali) (r. 1787-1859), preached from 1840 in Cyrenaica and spread his mission throughout Libya.  When he was driven out by the Ottoman regents, in 1855 he moved his center to the oasis of Kufra.  His cousin, Ahmad al-Sharif (r. 1902-1916), had been fighting, on the Turkish side, against the Italian invaders since 1911.  Al-Mahdi’s son, Muhammad Idris (r. 1916-1969) had been secular ruler of Cyrenaica from 1918 (under Italian sovereignty) and became emir of Tripolitania in 1922.  Forced into exile to Cairo by the Italian fascists (r. 1923-1942), the Sanussi movement waged war against the Italians under Umar Mukhtar (executed in 1931).  The emir was returned to Libya in 1947 (followed by the 1949 constitution and national independence) and became king of Libya in 1951 as Idris.  In 1969, he was ousted by Libyan officers under the leadership of Colonel Mu’ammar al-Qaddafi.

The Senussi or Sanussi refers to a Muslim political-religious order in Libya and Sudan founded in Mecca in 1837 by the Grand Senussi, Sayyid Muhammad ibn Ali as-Senussi. Senussi was concerned with both the decline of Islamic thought and spirituality and the weakening of Muslim political integrity. He was influenced by the Salafi movement, to which he added teachings from various Sufi orders. From 1902 to 1913 the Senussi fought French expansion in the Sahara, and the Italian colonization of Libya beginning in 1911. The Grand Senussi's grandson became King Idris I of Libya in 1951. In 1969, King Idris I was overthrown by a military coup led by Colonel Muammar al-Qaddafi. A third of the population in Libya continue to be affiliated with the Senussi movement.

The Senussi order has been historically closed to Europeans and outsiders, leading reports of their beliefs and practices to vary immensely. Though it is possible to gain some insight from the lives of the Senussi sheikhs further details are difficult to attain.

Sayyid Muhammad ibn Ali as-Senussi (1787 - 1860), the founder of the order, was born near Mostaganem, Algeria, and was named al-Senussi after a venerated Muslim teacher. He was a member of the Walad Sidi Abdalla tribe, and was a sharif tracing his descent from Fatimah, the daughter of Muhammad. He studied at a madrassa in Fez, then traveled in the Sahara preaching a purifying reform of the faith in Tunisia and Tripoli, gaining many adherents, and thence moved to Cairo to study at Al-Azhar University. The pious scholar was forceful in his criticism of the Egyptian ulema for what he perceived as their timid compliance with the Ottoman authorities and their spiritual conservatism. He also argued that learned Muslims should not blindly follow the four classical schools of Islamic law but instead engage in ijtihad themselves. Not surprisingly, he was opposed by the ulema as unorthodox and they issued a fatwa against him. Senussi went to Mecca, where he joined Ahmad Ibn Idris al-Fasi, the head of the Khadirites, a religious fraternity of Moroccan origin. On the death of Al-Fasi, Senussi became head of one of the two branches into which the Khadirites divided, and in 1835 he founded his first monastery or zawia, at Abu Kobeis near Mecca. While in Arabia, Senussi's connections with the Salafi movement caused him to be looked upon with suspicion by the ulema of Mecca and the Ottoman authorities. Finding the opposition in Mecca too powerful Senussi settled in Cyrenaica, Libya in 1843, where in the mountains near Sidi Rafaa' (Al Bayda) he built the Zawia Baida ("White Monastery"). There he was supported by the local tribes and the Sultan of Wadai and his connections extended across the Maghreb.

The Grand Senussi did not tolerate fanaticism and forbade the use of stimulants as well as voluntary poverty. Lodge members were to eat and dress within the limits of Islamic law and, instead of depending on charity, were required to earn their living through work. No aids to contemplation, such as the processions, gyrations, and mutilations employed by Sufi dervishes, were permitted. He accepted neither the wholly intuitive ways described by Sufi mystics nor the rationality of the orthodox ulema.  Rather, he attempted to achieve a middle path. The Bedouin tribes had shown no interest in the ecstatic practices of the Sufis that were gaining adherents in the towns, but they were attracted in great numbers to the Senussis. The relative austerity of the Senussi message was particularly suited to the character of the Cyrenaican Bedouins, whose way of life had not changed much in the centuries since the Arabs had first accepted the Prophet Muhammad's teachings.

In 1855 Senussi moved farther from direct Ottoman surveillance to Al-Jaghbub, a small oasis some 30 miles northwest of Siwa. He died in 1860, leaving two sons, Mahommed Sherif (1844 - 1895) and Muhammad al-Mahdi, to whom was passed the succession.

Sayyid Muhammad al-Mahdi bin Sayyid Muhammad as-Senussi (1845 - May 30, 1902) was fourteen when his father died, after which he was placed under the care of his father's friends.

The successors to the Sultan of Wadai, Sultan Ali (1858-1874) and the Sultan Yusef (1874 - 1898) continued to support the Senussi. Under al-Mahdi the zawias of the order extended to Fez, Damascus, Constantinople and India. In the Hejaz members of the order were numerous. In most of these countries the Senussites wielded no more political power than other Muslim fraternities, but in the eastern Sahara and central Sudan things were different. Muhammad al-Mahdi had the authority of a sovereign in a vast but almost empty desert. The string of oases leading from Siwa to Kufra, and Borku were cultivated by the Senussites and trade with Tripoli and Benghazi was encouraged.

Although named Al Mahdi by his father, Muhammad never claimed to be the Mahdi (the Promised One), although he was regarded as such by some of his followers. When Muhammad Ahmad proclaimed himself al-Mahdi al-Muntazar or 'the Expected Savior' in 1881 Muhammad al-Mahdi decided to have nothing to do with him. Although Muhammad Ahmed wrote twice asking him to become one of his four great khalifs, he received no reply. In 1890 Mahdists advancing from Darfur were stopped on the frontier of Wadai, the sultan Yusef proving firm in his adherence to the Senussi teachings.

Muhammad al-Mahdi's growing fame made the Ottoman regime uneasy and drew unwelcome attention. In most of Tripoli and Benghazi his authority was greater than that of the Ottoman governors. In 1889 the sheik was visited at Al-Jaghbub by the pasha of Benghazi accompanied by Ottoman troops. This event showed the sheik the possibility of danger and led him to move his headquarters to Jof in the oases of Kufra in 1894, a place sufficiently remote to secure him from a sudden attack.

By this time a new danger to Senussi territories had arisen from the colonial French, who were advancing from the Congo towards the western and southern borders of Wadai. The Senussi kept them from advancing north of Chad.

In 1902 Muhammad al-Mahdi died and was succeeded by his nephew Ahmed Sharif es Senussi, but his adherents in the deserts bordering Egypt maintained for years that he was not dead. The new head of the Senussites maintained the friendly relations of his predecessors with Wadai, governing the order as regent for his young cousin, Muhammad Idris (King Idris I of Libya), who was named Emir of Cyrenaica by the British in 1917.

The Senussi, encouraged by the Germans and the Ottoman Empire, played a minor part in the First World War, fighting a guerilla war against the British and Italians in Libya and Egypt from November 1915 until February 1917, led by Sayyid Ahmed and in the Sudan from March to December 1916, led by Ali Dinar the Sultan of Darfur. In 1916, the British sent an expeditionary force against them, led by Major General William Peyton. Western Force was first led by General Wallace and later by General Hodgson.

Libya was taken from the Ottomans by Italy in the Italo-Turkish War of 1911. In 1922, Italian Fascist leader Benito Mussolini launched his infamous "Riconquista" of Libya - the Roman Empire having done the original conquering 2000 years before. Sanusi led the resistance and Italians closed Sanusi lodges, arrested sheikhs, confiscated mosque land. Libyans fought the Italians until 1943 with between 250,000 and 300,000 of them dying in the process.

The Chiefs of the Senussi Order were:

    * Sayyid Muhammad bin 'Ali as-Senussi (1843-1859)
    * Sayyid Muhammad al-Mahdi bin Sayyid Muhammad as-Senussi (1859-1902)
    * Sayyid Ahmed Sharif es Senussi (1902-1916) (died 1933)
    * Sidi Muhammad Idris al-Mahdi al-Senussi (1916-1969) (died 1983)
    * Sayyid Hasan ar-Rida al-Mahdi as-Sanussi (1969-1992)
    * Sayyid Muhammad bin Sayyid Hasan ar-Rida al-Mahdi as-Sanussi (1992-)

Senussi see Sanusiyya
Sanussi see Sanusiyya

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