Tuesday, April 23, 2013

Siad Barre, Muhammed - Sri Lankans

Siad Barre, Muhammed
Siad Barre, Muhammed (Muhammed Siad Barre) (Mohamed Siyad Barre) (Maxamed Siyaad Barre) (b. c. 1919, Ganane, Italian Somaliland - died January 2, 1995, Lagos, Nigeria).  Military ruler and president of Somalia. 

An orphan from the age of ten, Siad Barre was born into a pastoralist family in what was then southern Italian Somaliland.  He began a career in the territorial police force in 1941, when the British occuped the country and established a military administration.  By 1950, when the British returned the administration to Italy, Siad Barre was chief inspector -- the highest rank then held by a Somali.  The new Italian administration, committed to preparing the territory for independence under the supervision of the United Nations Trusteeship Council, sent Siad Barre to Italy for officer training.

On the eve of Somalia’s independence in 1960 Siad Barre transferred to the new Somali National Army as vice-commandant, with the rank of colonel.  Italian Somaliland then joined with newly liberated British Somaliland in the north to form the Republic of Somalia.  Five years later, Siad Barre was promoted to brigadier general and made commandant of the entire army.

Siad Barre was never active in party politics, but as a largely self-educated man he became a dedicated socialist.  Shortly after President Abdirashid Ali Shermarke was assassinated by a member of his bodyguard in October 1969, Siad Barre organized a coup that seized control of the government, calling for an end to tribalism, corruption, nepotism and misrule.  Prime Minister Muhammad Ibrahim Egal, and other civilian leaders were arrested and the military created the Supreme Revolutionary Council (SRC) to govern the country.

As president of the SRC, Siad Barre was effectively head of state.  He rapidly assumed personal control of the government, proclaiming Somalia a socialist republic.  During the 1970s, Siad Barre’s government gradually nationalized the economy and sought to adapt “scientific socialism” to the principles of Islam.  

In mid-1976, Siad Barre formed the Somali Revolutionary Socialist Party, whose central committee replaced the SRC as the nation’s official governing body.  A national referendum in 1979 approved a new constitution that created an elected people’s assembly in a one-party system, and Siad Barre was elected president.

Siad Barre initially took a moderate stance with respect to Somalia’s traditional claims to Somali-occupied territories in neighboring French Somaliland (now Djibouti), Ethiopia and Kenya.  In the wake of political disorders in Ethiopia in 1977, however, he supported the Western Somali Liberation Front’s invasion of Ethiopia’s Ogaden Province.  After early Somali military victories, the Soviet- and Cuban-backed Ethiopians drove out the Somali forces.  Somali confidence in Siad Barre was badly shaken, and he had to repress a coup attempt in early 1978.

In the aftermath of the Ethiopian conflict, roughly a million refugees seeking relief from war and drought in Ethiopia poured into Somalia.  Despite generous outside economic aid, the refugee influx imposed such a burden on Somalia’s already weak economy that Siad Barre declared a state of emergency in October 1980 and reinstituted the SRC to govern the country.

When the issue of sovereignty over the Ogaden went before the OAU in 1981, every African nation but Somalia endorsed Ethiopia’s position, despite Siad Barre’s personal efforts to present Somalia’s case throughout West Africa.  Afterwards, Siad Barre went to Nairobi and reached an accommodation with Kenya’s President Moi that settled the long-standing dispute over Somalia’s southern border.  Meanwhile, Siad Barre sought to conserve his power at home by narrowing his circle of advisers to trusted kinsmen and by relying on the military to suppress opposition, which remained particularly strong in the north.  In 1982, Siad Barre lifted the state of emergency.

By 1972, Siad Barre had ended an old and divisive Somali controversy by decreeing that the Somali language was to be written in a modified Roman alphabet, and that Somali was to be, for the first time, the nation’s sole official language, in place of Arabic, English and Italian.  This ruling materially aided his government’s mass literacy drive. 

In 1983, Siad Barre launched a new campaign to promote the study of Arabic throughout the country in order to bolster Somalia’s ties to the Arab world.

president of Somalia who held dictatorial rule over the country from October 1969, when he led a bloodless military coup against the elected government, until January 1991, when he was overthrown in a bloody civil war.

Siad was born about 1919 (or earlier) into a nomadic family in the small Marehan clan of the Daarood clan group in Italian Somaliland. He joined the Somali police force after the British took control of the country in 1941 and rose to the post of chief inspector. When Somalia was returned to Italian sovereignty in 1950, Siad was sent to the military academy in Italy. He transferred to the Somali national army when it was formed (1960), and by 1966 he held the rank of major general and had become commander in chief. After seizing power on October 22, 1969, Siad made himself head of a Supreme Revolutionary Council and imposed autocratic rule through a personality cult and the harsh enforcement of an official ideology called "Scientific Socialism." He strengthened relations with the Soviet Union, officially outlawed clan loyalties (while using clan elders to establish order in rural areas), and promoted literacy with a newly introduced Roman alphabet. He later renounced his ties with the Soviets and sought United States aid, but allegations of human rights abuses hurt his international standing. By 1990 fighting among clans and between clan militias and the government forced Siad to promise reforms, including free elections. He was forced out of office in January 1991 and in 1992 went into exile in Nigeria.

Muhammed Siad Barre see Siad Barre, Muhammed
Mohamed Siyad Barre see Siad Barre, Muhammed
Barre, Mohamed Siyad  see Siad Barre, Muhammed

Siba‘i, Mustafa al-
Siba‘i, Mustafa al- (Mustafa al-Siba'i) (1915-1964).  Syrian political thinker, educator, and founder of the Muslim Brotherhood in Syria.  Born in Homs, al-Siba‘i came from a prominent family of ‘ulama’.  His father’s nurturance of him in Islamic learning included a strong sense of political activism that later put him on a collision course with the authorities of the French mandate.

When al-Siba‘i was eigheen years old, he traveled to Egypt, a country that would have a profound impact on his intellectual development and public life.  His studies at al-Azhar were accompanied by involvement in political activism, membership in the Egyptian Muslim Brotherhood, and close association with Hasan al-Banna’.  In 1934, al-Siba‘i was jailed for participating in anti-British demonstrations.  In 1940, the British charged him with subversion and sent him to the Sarfad camp in Palestine.  After his release (1941), he returned to Homs to establish an organization called Shabab Muhammad (Muhammad’s Youth).  Soon he was arrested and jailed by the French for two and a half years.  Despite his deteriorating health brought on by torture, al-Siba‘i’s release from prison in 1943 ushered in two decades of dynamic activity as writer, teacher, and leader of Syria’s Islamic movement.

By 1946, al-Siba’i had forged a merger between different Islamic jam‘iyat to form the Muslim Brotherhood, and was elected its general supervisor (al-muraqib al-‘amm).  Until the brotherhood’s suppression by the Shi-shakli regime in 1952, al-Siba’i worked to strengthen his movement, which he conceived not as a jam‘iyah or political party but as a ruh (spirit) seeking to raise public consciousness to achieve comprehensive Islamic reform.  He was also a distinguished educator and administrator at the University of Damascus.

Al-Siba‘i’s most important contribution to Islamic thought was his book, Ishtirakiyat al-Islam (The Socialism of Islam), in which he argued that Islam teaches a unique type of socialism, one distinct from its Western materialistic variants emphasizing class struggle.  He saw Islamic Socialism as conforming with human nature, based on five natural rights: life, freedom knowledge, dignity, and ownership.  God is the ultimate owner of all, and man is deputized to make us of property through honest labor.  The state plays a regulatory function through nationalization (ta‘mim) of essential public services, implementation of Islamic laws on mutual social responsibility (al-takaful al-ijtima’i), and sanctions (mu‘ayyidat).  Al-Siba‘i’s theory created an uproar because of its opposition to capitalism, its association of Islam with socialism, and its ostensible support of Nasser’s ideology at a time when the Egyptian Brotherhood was suppressed.

Because of his failing health, in 1957 al-Siba‘i turned over leadership of the brotherhood to ‘Isam al-‘Attar, although he continued to write until his death (1964).  In addition to his book on socialism, al-Siba‘i edited three journals, Al-manar (The Lighthouse), Al-muslimun (The Muslims), and Hadarat al-Islam (The Civilization of Islam), and began to compile an Encyclopedia of Islamic Law.  His other books were Mar’ah bayna al-fiqh wa-al-qanun and Hakadha ‘allamatni al-hayah.

Mustafa al-Siba'i see Siba‘i, Mustafa al-

Sibawayhi (Abū Bishr ʻAmr ibn ʻUthmān ibn Qanbar Al-Bishrī) (Sībawayh) (Sibuyeh) (c.760-c.796/797).  Pen-name of a prominent grammarian of the school of Basra of the ninth century.  Sibawayhi, who died young, left a large work on Arabic grammar which has remained the basis of all native studies on the subject.  It is known as The Book. 

Abū Bishr ʻAmr ibn ʻUthmān ibn Qanbar Al-Bishrī (aka:Sībawayh) was a linguist of Persian origin born ca. 760 in the town of Bayza (ancient Nesayak) in the Fars province of Iran.  He died in Shiraz, also in the Fars, around 796–797.

Sibawayh was one of the earliest and greatest grammarians of the Arabic language, and his phonetic description of Arabic is one of the most precise ever made, leading some to compare him with Panini. He greatly helped to spread the Arabic language in the Middle East.

Sibawayh was the first non-Arab to write on Arabic grammar and therefore the first one to explain Arabic grammar from a non-Arab perspective. Much of the impetus for this work came from the desire for non-Arab Muslims to understand the Qur'an properly and thoroughly. The Qur'an, which is composed in a poetic language that even native Arabic speakers must study with great care in order to comprehend thoroughly is even more difficult for those who, like Sibawayh, did not grow up speaking Arabic. Additionally, because Arabic does not necessarily mark all pronounced vowel sounds, it is possible to misread a text aloud. Such difficulty was particularly troublesome for Muslims, who regard the Qur'an as the literal word of God to man and as such should never be mispronounced or misread.

Abū Bishr ʻAmr ibn ʻUthmān ibn Qanbar Al-Bishrī see Sibawayhi
Sībawayh see Sibawayhi
Sibuyeh see Sibawayhi

Sidibe, Malick
Malick Sidibe, a Malian photographer who was the first African photographer to receive the Hasselblad Award, was born in Soloba, French Sudan.

Malick Sidibé (b. c. 1935, Soloba, French Sudan [now Mali]—d. April 14, 2016, Bamako, Mali) was a Malian photographer whose images captured the essence of the newly independent youth of Bamako, Mali.
Sidibé’s first home was a Peul (Fulani) village. After finishing school in 1952, he trained as a jewelry maker and then studied painting at the École des Artisans Soudanais (now the Institut National des Arts) in Bamako, graduating in 1955. In 1956, he was apprenticed to French photographer Gérard Guillat and began to photograph the street life of Bamako, capturing the spirit of the city’s inhabitants as Mali made the transition from colony to independent country. In particular, Sidibé chronicled the carefree youth culture at dance clubs and parties, at sporting events, and on the banks of (or in) the Niger River. His remarkably intimate shots show exuberant young Africans intoxicated with Western styles in music and fashion.
Although he continued his street work and close association with young Malians for another 20 years, in 1958 Sidibé opened his own commercial studio and camera-repair shop. There he took thousands of portraits, of both individuals and groups, creating dramatic images of subjects eager to assert their post-colonial middle-class identity, often with exaggerated idealized versions of themselves. After 1978, he worked exclusively in his studio.
Sidibé’s work was unknown outside his own country until the early 1990s, when European art critic André Magnin, who was in Bamako to visit another Malian photographer, Seydou Keita, was taken to Sidibé’s studio by mistake. Magnin began to publicize the photographs of Sidibé, and he published a monograph on the photographer in 1998. There followed an impressive number of group and solo exhibitions in Europe, the United States, and Japan. In 2003 Sidibé received the Hasselblad Foundation International Award in Photography. He was also awarded the Venice Biennale art exhibition’s Golden Lion Award for lifetime achievement; he was the first photographer and the first African to ever receive the honor.

Sidqi, Isma‘il
Sidqi, Isma‘il (Isma‘il Sidqi)  (Ismael Sidki) (b. June 15, 1875, Alexandria, Egypt – d. July 9, 1950, Paris, France).  Egyptian politician who served as Prime Minister of Egypt from 1930 to 1933 and again in 1946.

He was born in Alexandria and was originally named Isma'il Saddiq but his name was changed after his namesake fell out of favor.

After Sidqi graduated from Collège des Frères and Khedivial Law School, he joined the public prosecutor's office. In 1899, he became administrative secretary of the Alexandria municipal commission, serving until 1914, when he was appointed minister of agriculture and later minister of waqfs.

In 1915, Sidqi joined the nationalist Wafd Party and was eventually deported to Malta with founder Saad Zaghloul and other loyalists. Following World War I, Sidqi left Wafd Party. He was Minister of Finance in 1921 and 1922 and as Minister of the Interior in 1922 and from 1924 to 1925. He then retired from politics.

He returned to politics in 1930 to serve as Prime Minister from June 1930 to September 1933. He was known as a strong man and fought the influence of his former Wafd Party. He joined an all-party delegation to negotiate the Anglo-Egyptian Treaty of 1936, which established Egypt as a sovereign state.

In 1938, Sidqi retired from politics again. He returned to politics one last time in February 1946 as Prime Minister, seeking to revise the Anglo-Egyptian Treaty. After failing to unite Egypt and the Sudan under Egyptian sovereignty, Sidqi resigned as Prime Minister on December 8, 1946. He was succeeded by Mahmoud an-Nukrashi Pasha.

Ṣidqī earned his diploma at the Collège des Frères and won honors at the Khedivial Law school. He joined the public prosecutor’s office but in 1899 became administrative secretary of the Alexandria municipal commission. In 1914 he was appointed minister of agriculture and then of waqfs (religious endowments). The following year, however, he joined the Wafd (nationalist) movement and was later deported with Saʿd Zaghlul, the party’s founder, and others to Malta. After World War I (1914–18), Ṣidqī deserted the Wafd and later served as minister of finance (1921, 1922) and minister of the interior (1922, 1924–25). He retired from politics for five years but returned eventually as premier and, from June 1930 to September 1933, ruled with an iron hand to curb the Wafd’s influence. He joined an all-party delegation to negotiate the Anglo-Egyptian Treaty of 1936, which established Egypt as a sovereign state. In 1938, however, he again retired from politics after a period of service as minister of finance. Ṣidqī returned to power in February 1946 as premier and advocated the revision of the 1936 treaty. In October he flew to London but failed in his efforts to “achieve unity between Egypt and the Sudan under the Egyptian crown.” Ṣidqī resigned as premier on December 8, 1946, and was succeeded by Maḥmūd Fahmī al-Nuqrāshī, whom he had earlier replaced.

Isma'il Sidqi see Sidqi, Isma‘il
Ismael Sidki see Sidqi, Isma‘il
Sidki, Ismael see Sidqi, Isma‘il

Sikhs.  Members of the Sikh community.  The Sikh community originated with the teachings of Nanak (1469-1539) and in the group of disciples whom he attracted.  Nanak was a Punjabi, and it was in the Punjab that his followers, known thereafter as Sikhs (“learners, disciples”), gathered.  The message that he preached was the doctrine of freedom from transmigration by means of nam simran (mediation on the divine name of God).  Mistakenly regarded as a syncretic mixture of Hindu and Muslim ideals, the teachings of Nanak are more accurately associated with the devotional Sant tradition of northern India.  Like the other Sants (such as Kabir and Namdev), Nanak put forth his message in simple hymns of great beauty.

Nanak was known to his followers as guru (“preceptor”), and the successors who formed his spiritual lineage received the same title.  The lineage comprised ten gurus, extending over two centuries and concluding with the death of Guru Gobind Singh in 1708.  During the period of the third guru, Amar Das, the expanding Sikh community, known as the Panth, was organized more effectively with the introduction of a system of overseeing the community’s religious and social life.  The fourth guru, Ram Das, established the holy city of Amritsar, in which his son Guru Arjan compiled the sacred scripture known as the Adi Granth.  This substantial collection includes the compositions of the first five gurus supplemented by the works of Kabir and other Sants.  The temple erected to house the new scripture was the Harimandir Sahib, eventually to become known simply s the Harimandir, the celebrated Golden Temple.

The period of Guru Arjan’s leadership was particularly important for several reasons.  The office of guru, now established within the family of the fourth guru, was disputed by rival claimants. 

From outside the community, the growing Panth was attracting unsympathetic attention from the Mughal authorities in Lahore.  Guru Arjan died in Mughal custody and mutual hostility thereafter became endemic.  The sixth guru, Hargobind, is traditionally believed to have armed his Sikhs and to have built the majestic Akal Takht (adjacent to the Harimandir Sahib) as a symbol of the Panth’s involvement in worldly affairs.  The lengthy incumbency of the seventh guru was peaceful, but Mughal hostility revived under Aurangzeb and eventually led to the execution of the eighth guru, Tegh Bahadur, in 1675.

This execution significantly strengthened the tradition of martyrdom within the Panth and contributed directly to the climactic event in Sikh history, the founding of the Khalsa order in 1699, a decision by Guru Gobind Singh that conferred on the Panth a clear identity and a specific discipline.  All who accepted initiation into the Khalsa vowed to observe thereafter a pattern of belief and conduct that combined traditional piety with loyalty to a militant ideal.  Sikhs of the Khalsa were to adopt distinctive emblems (the “five ks,” including uncut hair, a comb, a steel bangle, a sword or dagger, and military style breeches).  They were to be unshakable in their loyalty to the guru and resolute int he defense of righteousness.  The numerous regulations that together make up their Khalsa duty are known as the Rahit, subsequently recorded in documents called Rahitnamas. 

Fierce conflict between the Sikhs and the Mughals followed soon after the founding of the Khalsa, initiating a pattern which was to characterize much of the eighteenth century.  The enemy was to change, with Afghan succeeding Mughal as chief opponent, and later still the Sikhs were to engage in internecine warfare as the various chieftains sought to establish their authority in the Punjab.  It was, however, a consistent pattern in that it involved a frequent recourse to arms and progressively strengthened the martial traditions of the Panth.  The eighteenth century has ever since been perceived as a time of struggle, heroism, martyrdom, and ultimately triumph.  The tradition is conspicuously expressed in popular views of Baba Dip Singh, slain in an attempt to evict Muslim invaders from the Harimandir Sahib.

Meanwhile other important developments had been taking place within the Panth.  With the death of Guru Gobind Singh, the line of personal gurus came to an end.  The guru’s authority passed thereafter to the sacred scripture (the Guru Granth) and to the corporate community (the Guru Panth).  The words recorded in the Adi Granth have ever since been accorded the full weight of that authority andas such are binding to all Sikhs.  Corporate decisions have proved virtually impossible to secure under modern conditions, but during the struggles of the eighteenth century, formal resolutions of the Khalsa Panth carried the sanction of the guru’s authority.

From the struggles of the eighteenth century there eventually emerged an acknowledged victor.  This was Ranjit Singh, ruler of the Punjab from the turn of the century until his death in 1839.  Traditionally, viewed as a supreme exemplar of the Khalsa ideal, Ranjit Singh remains a particularly popular folk hero.  His death, however, was followed by a rapid decline into chaos, by two wars against the British, and by the British annexation of the Punjab in 1849.  To the new rulers, it seemed that the Khalsa tradition was undergoing rapid decay and that the Panth soon had to “merge back into Hinduism.”

Any such process was arrested and reversed during the late nineteenth and early twentieth century.  The British themselves contributed to the change by enlisting Sikhs and favoring Khalsa observance in the Indian Army.  Much more influential, however, was the Singh Sabha movement.  Led by intellectuals and supported by some prominent members of the Sikh aristocracy, this movement summoned Sikhs to a renewed loyalty.  Through literature, journalism, education, and preaching, its exponents stressed loyalty to the gurus and to the Rahit, emphasizing the unique nature of Sikhism and the distinct identity of its adherents.

From World War I onward the elitist Singh Sabha was progressively overtaken by political activists, known as the Akali movement, and by advocates of armed insurrection, known as the Ghadr Party.  Proponents of the Akali movement set their sights on securing control of the Punjab’s principal gurdwaras (Sikh temples).  Initially, the British authorities upheld the claims of the hereditary incumbents who had controlled the gurdwaras for several generations, but these claims soon gave way. In 1925, the gurdwaras, with their substantial assets and patronage, were entrusted to the Shiromani Gurdwara Parbandhak Committee (SGPC).  Elected at regular intervals by registered adult Sikhs, this body still retains its authority and as such exercises a major influence in Sikh affairs. 

Indian politics have continued to play a primary role in Sikh affairs to the present day, the principal contenders being the Akali Party (almost exclusively Sikh) and the Congress Party.  Neither can be clearly or consistently defined in terms of its policies toward Sikh affairs, although the latter has obviously been constrained by larger all-India interests.  Questions of Sikh identity have continued to jostle with economic concerns.  The boundary between the two major parties has normally been blurred, with abundant scope for movement across party lines. In the recent past, however, the division has become much more distinct, leading eventually to open conflict and to the Indian Army’s assault on the Golden Temple complex in June 1984.

A recurrent issue raised by these troubles is the question of precisely who is a Sikh.  A strict view includes only those men and women who undergo Khalsa initiation (amrit sanskar) and obey the precepts of the Rahit.  A more relaxed view extends the Panth’s boundaries to embrace the so-called Sahaj-dhari Sikhs (those who affirm reverence for the gurus but who neither enter the Khalsa nor observe the Rahit in its full rigor).  Amrit-dhari and Sahaj-dhari unite in their devout reverence for the gurus, for the sacred scripture, and for the gurdwara.  Although gurdwaras have been extensively used for political activity they retain their sanctity as repositories of the sacred scripture and as visible expressions of the Sikh ideal of service.

One feature of the Panth that sometimes attracts comment is the persistence of caste within it.  Although the gurus denounced caste distinctions, the institution is still generally observed by their followers.  It is, however, observed in a significantly diminished form.  A majority of Sikhs belong to the rural Jat caste. 

The numerical dominance of Jats within the Panth helps to explain other features of the contemporary community.  Jats have been conspicuous participants in agrarian development and contribute significantly to the Sikhs’ reputation for economic enterprise.  Their commitment to the martial traditions of the Panth also serves to nourish and sustain this feature of the Sikh inheritance.  Although the total Sikh population is impossible to compute accurately it is probably close to fifteen million worldwide.  A substantial majority of Sikhs still live in the Punjab, where they constitute over fifty percent of the area’s total population.  Significant numbers have migrated to other countries, particularly to England and North America.

Silva Cunha, Gaspar de
Silva Cunha, Gaspar de (Gaspar de Silva Cunha). A Brazilian black slave leader in the unsuccessful Hausa slave revolt in Bahia in 1835.
Gaspar de Silva Cunha see Silva Cunha, Gaspar de

Sinan, Mi‘mar
Sinan, Mi‘mar (Mi‘mar Sinan - “Architect Sinan”) (Mimar Koca Sinan - “Great Architect Sinan”) (Khoca Mimar Sinan Ağa) (b. 1489/1490, Ağırnaz, Turkey - d. July 17, 1588, Istanbul).  Greatest architect of the Ottomans.  Born at Kayseri in Anatolia of Christian origin, he became a Janissary and took part in several campaigns, during which he attracted attention by devising ferries and building bridges.  From around 1540, he was exclusively engaged in building mosques, palaces, schools and public baths from Bosnia to Mecca.  His three most famous works are the Sheh-zade Mosque and the Suleymaniyye in Istanbul, and the Mosque of Sultan Selim II in Edirne.  The list of his buildings is given by his biographer, the poet Mustafa Sa‘id (d. 1595).

Sinan was the most celebrated of all Ottoman architects.  His ideas, perfected in the construction of mosques and other buildings, served as the basic themes for virtually all later Turkish religious and civic architecture.

The son of Greek Orthodox Christian parents, Sinan entered his father’s trade as a stone mason and carpenter. In 1512, however, he was drafted into the Janissary corps. Sinan, whose Christian name was Joseph, converted to Islam, and he began a lifelong service to the Ottoman royal house and to the great sultan Süleyman I (r. 1520–66) in particular. Following a period of schooling and rigorous training, Sinan became a construction officer in the Ottoman army, eventually rising to chief of the artillery.

He first revealed his talents as an architect in the 1530s by designing and building military bridges and fortifications. In 1539, he completed his first nonmilitary building, and for the remaining 40 years of his life he was to work as the chief architect of the Ottoman Empire at a time when it was at the zenith of its political power and cultural brilliance. The number of projects Sinan undertook is massive—79 mosques, 34 palaces, 33 public baths, 19 tombs, 55 schools, 16 poorhouses, 7 madrasahs (religious schools), and 12 caravansaries, in addition to granaries, fountains, aqueducts, and hospitals. His three most famous works are the Şehzade Mosque and the Mosque of Süleyman I the Magnificent, both of which are in Istanbul, and the Selim Mosque at Edirne.

Sinan’s first truly important architectural commission was the Şehzade Mosque, which was completed in 1548 and which Sinan regarded as the best work of his apprenticeship. Like many of his mosque constructions, the Şehzade Mosque has a square base upon which rests a large central dome flanked by four half domes and numerous smaller, subsidiary domes.

The Mosque of Süleyman in Istanbul was constructed in the years 1550–57 and is considered by many scholars to be his finest work. It was based on the design of the Hagia Sophia in Istanbul, a 6th-century masterpiece of Byzantine architecture that greatly influenced Sinan. The Mosque of Süleyman has a massive central dome that is pierced by 32 openings, thus giving the dome the effect of lightness while also copiously illuminating the mosque’s interior. It is one of the largest mosques ever built in the Ottoman Empire. Besides the place of worship, it contains a vast social complex comprising four madrasahs, a large hospital and medical school, a kitchen-refectory, and baths, shops, and stables.

Sinan himself considered the Mosque of Selim at Edirne, built in the years 1569–75, to be his masterwork. This mosque is the culmination of his centralized-domed plans, the great central dome rising on eight massive piers in between which are impressive recessed arcades. The dome is framed by the four loftiest minarets in Turkey.

Starting with the Byzantine church as a model, Sinan adapted the designs of his mosques to meet the needs of Muslim worship, which requires large open spaces for common prayer. As a result, the huge central dome became the focal point around which the design of the rest of the structure was developed. Sinan pioneered the use of smaller domes, half domes, and buttresses to lead the eye up the mosque’s exterior to the central dome at its apex, and he used tall, slender minarets at the corners to frame the entire structure. This plan could yield striking exterior effects, as in the dramatic facade of the Selim Mosque. Sinan was able to convey a sense of size and power in all of his larger buildings. Many scholars consider his tomb monuments to be the finest examples of his smaller works.

Sinan was the chief Ottoman architect and civil engineer for sultans Suleiman I, Selim II, and Murad III. He was responsible for the construction of more than three hundred major structures, and other more modest projects, such as his Qur'an schools (sibyan mektebs).

Trained as a military engineer, he rose through the ranks to become first an officer and finally a Janissary commander, with the honorific title of ağa. He learned his architectural and engineering skills while on campaign with the Janissaries, becoming expert at constructing fortifications of all kinds, as well as military infrastructure, such as roads, bridges and aqueducts. At about the age of fifty, he was appointed as chief royal architect, applying the technical skills he had acquired in the army to the "creation of fine religious buildings" and civic structures of all kinds. He remained in post for almost fifty years.

Sinan's masterpiece is the Selimiye Mosque in Edirne, although his most famous work is the Suleiman Mosque in Istanbul. He headed an extensive governmental department and trained many assistants who, in turn, distinguished themselves, including Sedefhar Mehmet Ağa, architect of the Sultan Ahmed Mosque. He is considered the greatest architect of the classical period of Ottoman architecture, and has been compared to Michelangelo, his contemporary in the West. Michelangelo and his plans for St. Peter's Basilica in Rome were well-known in Istanbul, since Leonardo da Vinci and Michelangelo had been invited, in 1502 and 1505 respectively, by the Sublime Porte to submit plans for a bridge spanning the Golden Horn.

At the start of his career as an architect, Sinan had to deal with an established, traditional domed architecture. His training as an army engineer led him to approach architecture from an empirical point of view, rather than from a theoretical one. He started to experiment with the design and engineering of single-domed and multiple-domed structures. He tried to obtain a new geometrical purity, a rationality and a spatial integrity in his structures and designs of mosques. Through all this, he demonstrated his creativity and his wish to create a clear, unified space. He started to develop a series of variations on the domes, surrounding them in different ways with semi-domes, piers, screen walls and different sets of galleries. His domes and arches are curved, but he avoided curvilinear elements in the rest of his design, transforming the circle of the dome into a rectangular, hexagonal or octagonal system. He tried to obtain a rational harmony between the exterior pyramidal composition of semi-domes, culminating in a single drumless dome, and the interior space where this central dome vertically integrates the space into a unified whole. His genius lies in the organization of this space and in the resolution of the tensions created by the design. He was an innovator in the use of decoration and motifs, merging them into the architectural forms as a whole. He accentuated the center underneath the central dome by flooding it with light from the many windows. He incorporated his mosques in an efficient way into a complex (külliye), serving the needs of the community as an intellectual center, a community center and serving the social needs and the health problems of the faithful.

When Sinan died, the classical Ottoman architecture had reached its climax. No successor was gifted enough to better the design of the Selimiye mosque and to develop it further. His students retreated to earlier models, such as the Şehzade mosque. Invention faded away, and a decline set in.

During his tenure of 50 years at the post of imperial architect, Sinan is said to have constructed or supervised 476 buildings (196 of which still survive), according to the official list of his works, the Tazkirat-al-Abniya. He couldn't possibly have designed them all, but he relied on the skills of his office. He took credit and the responsibility for their work. As a janissary, and thus a slave of the sultan, his primary responsibility was to the sultan. In his spare time, he also designed buildings for the chief officials. He delegated to his assistants the construction of less important buildings in the provinces.  The number of buildings he was responsible for include:

    * 94 large mosques (camii),
    * 57 colleges,
    * 52 smaller mosques (mescit),
    * 48 bath-houses (hamam).
    * 35 palaces (saray),
    * 22 mausoleums (türbe),
    * 20 caravanserai (kervansaray; han),
    * 17 public kitchens (imaret),
    * 8 bridges,
    * 8 store houses or granaries
    * 7 Qur'anic schools (medrese),
    * 6 aqueducts,
    * 3 hospitals (darüşşifa)

Some of his works include:

    * Azapkapi Sokullu Mosque in Istanbul
    * Caferağa Medresseh
    * Selimiye Mosque in Edirne
    * Süleymaniye Complex
    * Kılıç Ali Pasha Complex
    * Molla Çelebi Mosque
    * Haseki Baths
    * Piyale Pasha Mosque
    * Şehzade Mosque
    * Mihrimah Sultan Mosque in Edirnekapı
    * Mehmed Paša Sokolović Bridge in Višegrad
    * Nisanci Mehmed Pasha Mosque
    * Rüstem Pasha Mosque
    * Zal Mahmud Pasha Mosque
    * Kadirga Sokullu Mosque
    * Koursoum Mosque or Osman Shah Mosque in Trikala
    * Al-Takiya Al-Suleimaniya in Damascus
    * Yavuz Sultan Selim Madras
    * Mimar Sinan Bridge in Büyükçekmece
    * Church of the Assumption in Uzundzhovo
    * Tekkiye Mosque
    * Khusruwiyah Mosque
    * Oratory at the Western Wall

Sinan died in 1588 and is buried in a tomb in Istanbul, a türbe of his own design, in the cemetery just outside the walls of the Süleymaniye Mosque to the north, across a street named Mimar Sinan Caddesi in his honor. He was buried near the tombs of his greatest patrons: Sultan Süleyman and the Sultana Haseki Hürrem, Suleiman's wife.

His name is also given to:

    * a crater on the planet Mercury.
    * A Turkish state university, the Mimar Sinan University of Fine Arts in Istanbul.

Sinan's portrait was depicted on the reverse of the Turkish 10,000 lira banknotes of 1982-1995.

Mi'mar Sinan see Sinan, Mi‘mar
Sinan see Sinan, Mi‘mar
Architect Sinan see Sinan, Mi‘mar
Great Architect Sinan see Sinan, Mi‘mar
Mimar Koca Sinan see Sinan, Mi‘mar
Khoca Mimar Sinan Ağa  see Sinan, Mi‘mar

Sinan Pasha
Sinan Pasha.  Name of several viziers of the Ottoman Empire, mostly of Christian origin.  The most important are Khadim Sinan Pasha, Grand Vizier under Sultan Selim I.  He was killed in personal combat with the Mameluke Sultan Tuman Bay II; Khoja Sinan Pasha (c. 1438-1486) was the vizier under Sultan Muhammad II; Khoja Sinan Pasha (d. 1596) who was five times Grand Vizier.  As governor of Egypt in 1568, he conquered Yemen and in 1574 incorporated Tunis in the Ottoman Empire.  During his third grand vizierate he concluded the Hungarian campaign and captured many castles and strongholds.

Sinasi, Ibrahim
Sinasi, Ibrahim (Ibrahim Sinasi Efendi) (b. 1826, Constantinople [now Istanbul] - d. September 13, 1871, Constantinople).  Turkish journalist who was one of the more enigmatic figures of Turkish intellectual history.  Despite his role as the founding father of modern Turkish journalism and his basic contributions to the rise of a Turkish critique of society, information about his life is insufficient to paint a portrait of him as an intellectual.

Sinasi began his career in government during the first years of the Tanzimat, the era of reforms and modernization initiated by the Gulhane Rescript of 1839.  Encouraged by a patron of modernization in the Ottoman Empire, he was sent as a government funded student to Europe in 1849.  He remained in France until 1853 and is known to have been acquainted with such personalities as Alphonse de Lamartine.  After his return, he was appointed to the Educational Committee, which was engaged in redrawing Ottoman educational institutions.

Although quite cautious in his intellectual stance, he seems to have antagonized higher officials and was dismissed.  Reinstated and dismissed once more in 1863, he eventually went into self-exile in Paris, where he devoted himself to the study of literature and linguistics.  He returned permanently to Istanbul in 1870, where he lived as a recluse in some financial need.

Sinasi’s major contribution to Ottoman/Turkish intellectual life was the journal Tasvir-i efkar (Interpreter of Ideas, founded in 1862).  This was not the first newspaper in the Ottoman Empire.  An Englishman named Churchill had published an earlier gazette, and in 1861 Sinasi and his friend Agah Efendi had jointly published the Terceuman-i ahval (Interpreter of Events).  However, Tasvir-i efkar was the first newspaper that (though careful in its approach) expressed a critique of the state of Ottoman government and society in the modern media.  Sinasi’s second dismissal from his employment in the central government was due to his timid libertarianism: “mentioning matters of state too often” was the cause of his downfall.  An article by Sinasi explaining the principle of “no taxation without representation” appeared in the Tasvir-i efkar the day before the order for his dismissal was drafted and may have ben the proximate cause of it.

Sinasi is unanimously considered by historians of Turkish intellectual history to be the first advocate of “Europeanization” in the Ottoman Empire, a somewhat different project than that of “modernization” voiced before him.  His impact, however, stems from his development of a medium that expressed private views about the state of the empire.  Until Sinasi and his use of journalism as a medium for influencing -- and, in a way, creating -- public opinion, schemes of modernization had been the result of official concern with reform.  Sinasi represents a new trend in which government officials concerned with the fate of the empire began to form an intelligentsia often contradicting positions adopted by their superiors.  In that sense, he may be seen as having laid the groundwork for the Young Ottomans.

Another of Sinasi’s important contributions may be described as “encyclopedism,” or the attempt to inform his readers of the new methods and the new branches of knowledge that flourished in Europe in his time.  Natural law, the historical method, the history of pre Ottoman Turkey, and Buffon’s Histoire naturelle were some of the ideas that he took up in the pages of Tasvir-i efkar.  In one of his most celebrated poems Sinasi praised the author of the Gulhane Rescript, Mustafa Resid Pasa (Mustafa Reshid Pasha), for having brought “the European climate of opinion” to Turkey, and for having reminded the ruler of his responsibilities.  In another, the achievements of a later grand vizier were compared to those of Plato and Newton.

Sinasi’s mention in the preface of Tercuman-i ahral that he was using a language directed to “the people in general” also represents an important watershed.  By the nineteenth century Ottoman Turkish as the language of officials had become a complex and flowery idiom difficult for the majority of the population, who used a vernacular called “rough Turkish.”  One of Sinasi’s aims was to transcend officialese.  He thus began the trend described by Grand Vizier Said Pasa, himself a writer, as “journalistic Turkish.”  This trend was further promoted by the Young Ottomans.  The celebrated article by Ziya Pasa, “Siir ve Insa’” (Poetry and Prose), is a good example of the further developments that much later, in the 1930s, took a more radical turn toward the “purification” of Turkish by the removal of words with Arabic and Persian roots.

İbrahim Şinasi was one of the primary authors of the Tanzimat.  Sinasi began his career as an officer in the Ottoman administration, where he learned Arabic, Persian and French. From 1849 to 1853 he studied under the direction of Mustafa Reşid Pasha in Paris, where he came into contact with French literature and French intellectuals. Among other things, he was a member of the Société Asiatique.

During his time in Paris, he translated several works from French into Turkish.

From 1860 he was co-editor of the newspaper Tercüman-i ahvâl ("Interpreter of Circumstances"). In 1862, he founded his own newspaper Tasvir-i Efkâr ("Enlightenment of the Thoughts"), the first truly influential newspaper in the Ottoman Empire. He temporarily joined the Young Ottomans in 1865 and had to go into exile in Paris. He transferred the management of the Tasvir-i Efkâr to his employee Namık Kemal. Şinasi returned to Istanbul only shortly before his death.

He is regarded as a literary pioneer, not only because he produced the first collection of Turkish proverbs, but because he also wrote the first Ottoman play. Before his death he was working on a Turkish dictionary, but he did not finish it.

Şinasi is considered the founder of the modern school of Ottoman literature and was probably the first Turkish writer to feel the need for directing literary expression to the masses. To accomplish this he advocated the reform of Turkish verse forms (based largely on imitation of French models, which he carefully studied and observed) and the adoption of a pure Turkish devoid of Arabic and Persian vocabulary and grammatical constructions.

The works of Ibrahim Sinasi include:

    * Tercüme-i Manzume (1859, Translation of poems from the French of La Fontaine, Lamartine, Gilbert and Racine)
    * Şairin evlenmesi (1860, Play)
    * Durub-i Emsal-i Osmaniye (1863, Proverbs)
    * Müntahabat-i eş'ar (1863)

Ibrahim Sinasi see Sinasi, Ibrahim
Ibrahim Sinasi Efendi see Sinasi, Ibrahim

Sinbad the Magean
Sinbad the Magean  (Sunpadh) (Sinbad the Magus) (d. 754).  Leader of an eighth century Persian revolt.

Sinbad the Magus was a Persian cleric from a small village called Āhan near Nishapur who incited an uprising against the Abbasid Caliphate in the 8th century.

Sinbad was a friend and confidant of the Persian general Abu Muslim Khorasani, who had begun the Abbasid revolt in 747. Nizam al-Mulk states in his Siyāsatnāma that Abu Muslim had delegated his authority and coffers in Rayy to Sinbad prior to journeying to Baghdad, where he was eventually murdered by order of the second Abbasid Caliph al-Mansur.

Following the betrayal and subsequent death of the general in 754, the enraged Sinbad swore to march on Mecca and destroy the Kaaba. Sinbad further preached that "Abu Muslim has not died, and when Mansur meant to slay him, he chanted God's great name, turned into a white dove and flew away. Now he is standing with Mahdi and Mazdak in a castle of copper and they shall emerge by and by." His doctrine received wide support among Persian Shi'i Muslims, Zoroastrians and Mazdakites and revolts occurred in Rayy, Herat and Sistan. Within only 70 days, Sinbad's forces were, however, defeated by one of Caliph al-Mansur's generals, Juhar ibn Murad, and the cleric was captured and slain.

Sinbad also preached a syncretism melding Islam and Zoroastrianism. In combination with his unusual and heretical vow to advance towards Hijaz and raze the Kaaba, this led to the belief that he was in fact a Zoroastrian, rather than a Muslim.

Sindhis.  As the mighty Indus, one of the major rivers of the world, winds its way southward from the ranges of the high Himalayas to the Arabian Sea, it leaves Pakistan’s Punjab Province and at its northern end enters the province of Sind, homeland for more than eleven million Sindhis.  The Indus, the ancient name of which -- Sindhu -- is where the name “Sind” comes from, flows south, dividing the province into two almost equal expanses of fertile land, upon which most of the inhabitants depend for their livelihood.  Approximately ninety percent of the Sindhis in Pakistan are Muslim.

 There are two other ethnic strains in the Sindhi Muslim population.  Some Sindhi Muslims trace their origins to Arab conquerors who came to India in 711, the first to bring Islam to the subcontinent, and to subsequent waves of invaders including Persians, Turks, Mughals, and Pushtun (Pathans).  By and large these groups have long since mingled and intermarried with the local population and thus are distinguishable except for some, such as the Sayyid families, who claim direct descent from the Prophet Muhammad, and the Pushtun families of northwestern Sind. 

The other strain is that of the Baluch, who, attracted by the fertile land of the Indus Valley, have been coming for 500 years from neighboring Baluchistan.  Those who settled on the west bank of the Indus, such as the Chandios, the Jamalis and the Khosos, have managed to keep their Baluch identity, but those who settled on the east bank, such as the Jatois and the Talpurs, have largely been “Sindhi-ized” and now speak Sindhi as a mother tongue. 

The majority of Sindhi Muslims are Sunni and subscribe to the Hanafi school of jurisprudence.  This is despite the fact that for centuries Sind has been exposed to, and its inhabitants have become followers of, other Islamic sects and Sufi orders.  At one time, the Shi‘a sect of Isma‘ilis held sway over Sind (900-1200), and following their political eclipse, various Sufi orders made inroads through missionary activities.  The Suhrawardi, the Qadiri and the Naqshbandi reached their apex in Sind in the fourteenth and fifteenth centuries, but their influence survives today, particularly that of the Suhrawardi in the veneration of Lal Shabaz Qalander of Sehwan, one of the most revered saints of Sind today, and of the Qadiri, to whom the influential Lakiari and Matiari Sayyids pay great respect.

Sinyar.  The Sinyar of Chad and Sudan live along the lower reaches and confluence of three seasonal rivers: the Wadi Azum, Wadi Kajaand Wadi Salih.  They are bounded to the north by the Masalit, to the west by the Daju-Sila, to the east by the Fur and to the south by a congeries of small ethnic groups with whom contact is minimal -- the Fongoro, Kujarge, Fur-Dalinga and Daju-Galfige.

Sinyar oral traditions claim Arab origin for the founding father of the group, and Egypt is mentioned as his place of origin.  Kinship and co-residence with the Berti of northern Darfur Province is sometimes claimed.  Apparently they broke with the Arabs and migrated to their present habitat and now claim they lost their knowledge of the Arabic language because they intermarried with the women of the pagan tribe they found and defeated in battle. Remnants of this original population of Dar Sinyar are alleged to live in the northeastern part of the Central African Republic.  They are the Kara, Binga and the Gula-Mamoun, indeed linguistically akin to the Sinyar language, which is Central Sudanic, Sara-Bongo-Bagirmi branch.

The historical self-portrait is not dissimilar to that of other ethnic groups in the region, which also claim Arab, even Abbasid or Quraysh descent and also use the excuse of intermarriage with pagan slave women to explain their present linguistic and cultural identity.  Of immediate relevance to the Sinyar is the fact that non-Sinyar flatly reject this historical self-image and instead designate the Sinyar as former non-Muslim slaves, fertit, of the sultanates of Dar Fur and Dar Sila.  Linguistically, the Sinyar are undoubtedly fertit, along with the Kreish, Kara, Yulu and other Sara-Bongo-Bagirmi-speaking populations which in the past constituted the slave reservoirs for the old sultanates.  In Sudan, the Sinyar are northernmost group speaking a fertit language.  In Chad, it is the Barma, who themselves established a powerful sultanate in Bagirmi in the nineteenth century.  However, there is no historical evidence that the Sinyar have collectively been considered a slave tribe sucdh as the Kreish or Kara.  Of course, until as late as the second decade of the twentieth century, the Sinyar were individually enslavable once they moved into the territory of another polity or after losing in battle against a superior enemy, but this was the fate also reserved for the neighboring Fur, Daju and Masalit at the time. 

From time immemorial, the Sinyar have been organized as a quasi-independent, tribute-paying sultantate headed by a dynasty of petty sultans.  Until 1863, they paid tribute to the Keira Sultanate of Dar Fur, since then until this century to the Daju Sultanate of Dar Sila, which was initially also subject to Dar Fur.  The last two decades of the nineteenth century were turbulent in the region.  The area was invaded by the Turco-Egyptian army in 1879, by the infamous slaver Babikr Zibeir in 1881, by Sultan Abu Risha of Dar Sila in 1882, and a few years later by Mahdist units led by Osma Jano.  In contrast to the Fongoro, the Sinyar managed to maintain their sultanate intact, although not without bloodshed, by paying tribute to various overlords at the same time. 

The British and the French fixed the Chad-Sudan border on the eastern boundary of the sultanate of Wadai in Chad, which meant that Dar Sinyar, Dar Fongoro and Dar Sila, as ancient vassals of Dar Fur, would become part of the British sphere.  Subsequent developments in the region, especially two disastrous military campaigns of the French against the sultanate of Dar Masalit in 1910, led to a boder settlement in 1924 in which Dar Sila became part of Chad and in which the Masalit, the Sinyar and the Fongoro were to find themselves divided by the new international frontier. 

In 1928, a dynastic conflict of succession led to the exile of part of the Chadian Sinyar to Sudan.  Their leader became chief of the southernmost part of Dar Masalit Native Administration, and in 1954 he was succeeded by his son.  Over the years, many Chadian Sinyar have settled on Sudanese soil because of better economic opportunities and the progressive breakdown of services and security in Chad.

In the course of time during which the Sinyar constituted a semi-autonomous buffer state of the Keira sultanate of Dar Fur, they culturally became Fur with admixtures of Daju, Masalit and above all Arab cultures.  Today the Sinyar have no kinship terms, songs, dances and stories, or musical instruments such as a special type of drum, other than those adopted from the Fur.  Most Sinyar are fluent in Sinyar, Fur and Arabic.  Quite a few know Daju or Masalit as well.  Thus in contrast to the Fongoro, who have also become Fur culturally, the Sinyar have preserved their language.

Sipahi (Spahi) (Sepahi) (Spakh) (Spahia) (Spahiu). Name of several Ottoman cavalry corps. The Ottoman horse soldier was typically supported by timar.  In India, the term sipahi became synonymous with the word sepoy.

Sipahi were feudal cavalrymen in the Ottoman Empire which represented the most important providers for the Ottoman army until the middle of the 16th century.

A sipahi was a person who had been granted a fief, called timar, ziamet or hass.  Within the fief, the sipahi could collect all the income in return for military service.  The peasants living in the timar were serfs and attached to the land. 

Timar was the smallest land owned by a sipahi, and would give an annual revenue of no more than 10,000 akce, which would be two to four times what a teacher earned.  Ziamet yielded up to 100,000 akce, and were owned by sipahiyin with officer’s rank.  Hass gave revenues of more than 100,000 akce and were only for the highest ranking in the military.

A timar sipahi were obliged to provide the army with up to five soldiers, a ziamet with up to 20, and a hass with far more than 20.  Many of the sipahiyin were actual slaves under the sultan, as collected through the devshirme system.  Through this relationship, the sultan could hope for loyalty and cooperation.

From the middle of the sixteenth century, the Janissaries had started to be the most important part of the army.  But still the sipahi represented an important factor in the empire’s economy and politics. 

As late as in the 17th century, the sipahiyin were, together with their enemies and the Janissaries, the actual rulers in in the early years of Sultan Murad IV's reign.

The sipahis were feudal cavalryman of the Ottoman Empire whose status resembled that of the medieval European knight. The spahi (from Persian for “cavalryman”) was holder of a fief (timar; Turkish: tımar) granted directly by the Ottoman sultan and was entitled to all of the income from it in return for military service. The peasants on the land were subsequently attached to the land and became serfs. The spahis provided the bulk of the Ottoman army until about the mid-16th century. From then on they were gradually supplanted by the Janissaries, an elite corps composed of infantrymen paid regular salaries by the sultanate. In part, this change resulted from the increased use of firearms, which made cavalry less important, and from the need to maintain a regular standing army. The spahis were completely discredited during the War of Greek independence (1821–32), and the timar system was officially abolished in 1831 by Sultan Mahmud II as part of his program to create a modern Western-style army.

Sipihr (d. 1878).  Pen-name of the Persian historian and man of letters Mirza Muhammad Taqi.  One volume of his Effacement of the Chronicles contains the official history of the Qajar dynasty up to 1851, and has been much used by later historians.

Sirafi, Abu Sa‘id al-Hasan
Sirafi, Abu Sa‘id al-Hasan (Abu Sa‘id al-Hasan Sirafi) (903-978). Grammarian and Hanafi jurist from Siraf, a town on the Persian Gulf in Iran.  Among other works, he wrote a commentary on The Book of Sibawayhi, a biography of grammarians of the school of Basra, and a geographical work.
Abu Sa'id al-Hasan Sirafi see Sirafi, Abu Sa‘id al-Hasan

Siraj ud-Daulah
Siraj ud-Daulah (Mîrzâ Muhammad Sirâj-ud-Daulah) (1733 - July 2, 1757).  Successor to Alivardi Khan, his maternal grandfather, as nawab of Bengal on April 15, 1756.  The East India Company desired his favor and protection, which Siraj promised.  From the very beginning Siraj was beset with conspiracy from close relatives and high officials of the domain -- a circumstance that did not improve his weak character.  Jean Law, chief of the French factory at Kasimbazar, observed that the English gave Siraj reasons for complaint against them by building “strong fortifications” and digging a “large ditch” in the nawab’s domain contrary to established laws of the country, abusing the privilege of free passage for the company’s trade, and giving shelter to the nawab’s recalcitrant subjects.

A determined nawab decided to punish the English for disgracefully expelling his messenger from Calcutta.  He captured Calcutta on June 20, 1756.  It was at this time that the incident of the Black Hole took place. The English retreated to a riverside shelter nearby.  The nawab, however, made no attempt to consolidate his victory.  Calcutta was easily recovered by Colonel Robert Clive and Admiral Watson on January 2, 1757.  The nawab accepted British terms in the Treaty of Alinagar on February 9, 1757.  In the next months, a series of events began that led to the Battle of Plassey, where Siraj ud-Daulah met his death.

Mîrzâ Muhammad Sirâj-ud-Daulah, more commonly known as Siraj ud-Daulah, was the last independent Nawab of Bengal, Bihar and Orissa. The end of his reign marks the start of British East India Company rule over Bengal and later almost all of South Asia. He was also called "Sir Roger Dowlett" by many of the British who were unable to pronounce his name correctly in Hindustani.

Siraj's father Zain Uddin was the ruler of Bihar and his mother Amina Begum was the youngest daughter of Nawab Ali Vardi Khan. Since Ali Vardi had no son, Siraj, as his grandson, became very close to him and from his childhood he was seen by many as the successor to the throne of Murshidabad. Accordingly, he was raised at the nawab's palace with all necessary education and training suitable for a future nawab. Young Siraj also accompanied Ali Vardi in his military ventures against the Marathas in 1746.

Ali Vardi Khan in 1752 officially declared his grandson Crown Prince and successor to the throne, creating no small amount of division in the family and the royal court.

Mirza Mohammad Siraj succeeded Ali Vardi Khan as the Nawab of Bengal in April 1756 at the age of 23, and took the name Siraj ud-Daulah. Siraj ud-Daulah's nomination to the nawabship aroused the jealousy and enmity of Ghaseti Begum (the eldest sister of Siraj's mother), Raja Rajballabh, Mir Jafar Ali Khan and Shawkat Jang (Siraj's cousin). Ghaseti Begam possessed huge wealth, which was the source of her influence and strength. Apprehending serious opposition from her, Siraj ud-Daulah seized her wealth from Motijheel Palace and placed her in confinement. The Nawab also gave high government positions to his favorites. Mir Mardan was appointed Bakshi (Paymaster of the army) in place of Mir Jafar. Mohanlal was elevated to the post of peshkar of his Dewan Khana and he exercised great influence in the administration. Eventually Siraj suppressed Shaukat Jang, governor of Purnia, who was killed in a clash.

Siraj ud-Daulah, as the direct political disciple of his grandfather, was aware of the global British interest in colonization and hence, resented the British politico-military presence in Bengal represented by the British East India Company. He was annoyed at the company's alleged involvement with and instigation of some members of his own court in a conspiracy to oust him. His charges against the company were mainly threefold. Firstly, that they strengthened the fortification around the Fort William without any intimation and approval; secondly, that they grossly abused the trade privileges granted to them by the Mughal rulers, which caused heavy loss of customs duties for the government; and thirdly, that they gave shelter to some of his officers, for example Krishnadas, son of Rajballav, who fled Dhaka after misappropriating government funds. Hence, when the East India Company started further enhancement of military preparedness at Fort William in Calcutta, Siraj asked them to stop. The Company did not heed his directives, so Siraj ud-Daulah retaliated and captured Kolkata from the British in June 1756. During this time, he is alleged to have put 146 British subjects in a 20 by 20 foot chamber, known as the infamous Black Hole of Calcutta. Only 23 were said to have survived the overnight ordeal. The real facts around the incident are disputed by later historians, but at that time the lurid account of this incident by one survivor – Holwell – obtained wide circulation in England and helped gain support for the East India Company's continued conquest of India.

The Battle of Plassey (or Palashi) is widely considered the turning point in the history of India, and opened the way to eventual British domination. After Siraj ud-Daulah's conquest of Calcutta, the British responded by sending fresh troops from Madras to recapture the fort and avenge the attack. A retreating Siraj ud-Daulah met the British at Plassey. Siraj ud-Daulah had to make camp 27 miles away from Murshidabad. On June 23, 1757 Siraj ud-Daulah called on Mir Jafar because he was saddened by the sudden fall of Mir Madan, who was a very dear companion in battle, to Siraj. The Nawab asked for help from Mir Jafar. Mir Jafar advised Siraj to retreat for that day. The Nawab made the blunder in giving the order to stop the war. Following his command, the soldiers of the Nawab were returning to their camps. At that time, Robert Clive attacked the soldiers with his army. At such a sudden attack, the army of Siraj became undisciplined and could think of no way to fight. All fled away in such a situation. Betrayed by a conspiracy hatched by Jagat Seth, Mir Jafar, Krishna Chandra, Umi Chand, and others, Siraj lost the battle and had to escape. He went first to Murshidabad and then to Patna by boat, but was eventually arrested by Mir Jafar's soldiers. Siraj ud-Daulah was executed on July 2, 1757 by Mohammad Ali Beg under orders from Mir Miran, son of Mir Jafar.

Siraj ud-Daulah is usually proclaimed as a freedom fighter in modern India, Bangladesh, and Pakistan for his opposition to the British annexation. As a teenager, he led a reckless life, which came to the notice of his grandfather. But keeping a promise he made to his dear grandfather on his death bed, he gave up gambling and drinking alcohol totally after becoming the nawab. He was a fierce fighter against the Marathas and the pirates of Southern Bengal as a prince during 1740s, but his forces were later totally routed by the greatly outnumbered British.

Mîrzâ Muhammad Sirâj-ud-Daulah see Siraj ud-Daulah
Sir Roger Dowlett see Siraj ud-Daulah
Dowlett, Sir Roger see Siraj ud-Daulah

Sirhindi, Ahmad
Sirhindi, Ahmad (Sirhindi) (Shaikh Ahmad Sirhindi) (Imām Rabbānī Shaykh Ahmad al-Farūqī al-Sirhindī) (b. 1564, Sirhind, Patiāla, India - d. 1624, Sirhind, India).  Islamic philosopher who became the eminent divine and mystic of Muslim India.  He was born in Sirhind (India).

Sirhindi is a Sufi saint of the Naqshbandi order who, on account of his scholarship, reformist views, and piety, came to be regarded as the “renewer of the second millennium.”  His family claimed descent from Caliph Umar I.  Shaikh Ahmad received his early education at his birthplace, Sirhind (in the Punjab), from his father, Shaikh Abdul Ahab, and later moved to Sialkot for further studies.  The emperor Akbar invited him to Agra, where he came into contact with Abu’l Fazl and Faizi.  At the age of twenty-eight, he joined the Naqshbandi order at Delhi and became a disciple of Khwaja Baqi Billah.  Shaikh Ahmad soon gained great popularity and his disciples were spread over large parts of India and Central and West Asia.  The three volume collection of his letters is an important source of information about his teachings and activities.  It has been translated from Persian into Arabic, Turkish, and Urdu.  His views raised opposition in certain quarters, leading to his imprisonment for a year at Gwalior by Jahangir.

Shaikh Ahmad criticized the religious experiments of Akbar.  He rejected Ibn Arabi’s doctrine of wah-dat-ul-wujud (“unity of being”) and put forward his own theory of wahdat-ul-shuhud (“unity of vision”).  He preached adherence to the laws of Islam and the traditions of the Prophet.  Shaikh Ahmad was opposed to mystic music and preferred a life of sobriety to a life of ecstasy.  Some of his ideas seem to have influenced Aurangzeb, who was deeply attached to the saint’s descendants.  Shaikh Ahmad’s tomb at Sirhind is visited by a large number of people even today. 

Shaikh Ahmad Sirhindi was primarily a mystical thinker and Sufi master.  His activities in reformulating major Sufi ideas led to his being given the epithet “Renewer of the Second Millennium” (Mujaddid-e-Alf-e-Thani) since the dates of his life (971-1034 A.H.) spanned the opening years of the second millennium of the Islamic calendar.  According to a tradition of the Prophet Muhammad, a great Muslim leader would arise at the beginning of each Islamic century to renew the religion.  In his writings, Sirhindi elaborated on the role of this “Renewer” -- this Mujaddid.  Ultimately, Sirhindi became recognized as the Mujaddid and the branch of the Naqshbandi order which he founded came to be known as the Mujaddidi. 

The influence of the Mujaddidi eventually spread far beyond India to the Arab Middle East, Central Asia, Turkey, and other regions, and it remains one of the most vital spiritual and occasionally political forces in the contemporary Muslim world.

Islamic scholars generally speak of two phases to Sirhindi’s career.  The early phase featured training in the Islamic intellectual tradition and initiation in two major Sufi orders, Chishti and Qadiri, after which he attained a respectable position as a scholar of Islam at the court of the Mughal emperor Akbar.

The second phase of Sirhindi’s career began in 1598 C.C. in Delhi, where he met Khwaja Baqi bi’llah, a Naqshbandi Sufi master from Afghanistan who had recently come to India.  Under this master, Sirhindi attained higher states of spiritual realization, which convinced him of the necessity of combining orthodox practice of the Islamic tradition with mystical experience.

Sirhindi became a prominent spiritual teacher in the Naqshbandi order and wrote extensively on matters of Islamic mysticism, theology, and his own spiritual experience.  At certain points in these writings he also commented on the religious policies that he felt should be adopted by the Mughal state.

Scholars differ concerning the prominence of political opinions in Sirhindi’s thought.  The most recent European and European American academic studies conclude that Sirhindi was primarily a Sufi theorist.  In South Asia, however, Sirhindi’s image has gradually developed so as to portray him as an incipient Muslim nationalist who challenged the syncretistic religious tendencies of the Mughal court.  Proponents of this view cite as evidence the fact that he was publicly reprimanded and even imprisoned for about a year in 1619 C.C. before being released and ultimately honored by the Mughal Emperor Jahangir.  Those who emphasize the Sufi element of Sirhindi’s concerns note that Jahangir complains in his memoirs about Sirhindi’s arrogance and theories, rather than objecting to any specifically political recommendations on his part.

Following his release from prison, Sirhindi returned to Sirhind and for the rest of his life continued his literary and spiritual teaching activities.  His sons, in particular, Muhammad Ma‘sum (d. 1668 C.C.), and their successors continued the Mujaddidi Sufi line and left their own collections of letters and practical Sufi manuals in the tradition of their illustrious ancestor.

The most important literary legacy of Sirhindi is undoubtedly his three volumes of collected letters, known as the Maktubat, most of which are written in Persian, although some entire letters and many phrases are written in Arabic.  The 534 letters were collected and edited during his lifetime by three of his disciples under his supervision.  About a third of the letters are in the form of answers to questions he was asked.  About half of the letters run less than twenty lines, although a few of them are as long as twenty pages.

The tradition of writing one’s major ideas in the form of a personal letter but with a wider audience in mind is quite typical of this period of Sufism, both within and beyond South Asian Islam.  Numerous collections of such letters exist.  The challenge to the scholar is that the letters must be carefully sifted through, as the doctrines presented in them are not organized thematically or presented systematically.

Among the major points discussed in the Maktubat are “the unity of appearance,” practical mysticism, and the respective ranks of the prophet and the saint.  Within each of these topics one may point to a humanistic factor, in the sense of affirming the purpose and significance of human activities in reforming both the inner self and outer world, which works throughout Sirhindi’s thought.

The concept of the unity of experience essentially concerns the relationship between the Creator and the Creation.  One of the more intensely debated issues in Sufism in the later periods was tension between monism and dualism in mystical thought and, more generally, in the Islamic worldview.  Since these Sufi philosophical doctrines were often expressed in very abstract symbols and expressions, it is difficult to explicitly characterize figures such as the Sufi philosopher Ibn ‘Arabi (d. 1240) as having been exclusively monistic.  Based primarily on the thought of Ibn ‘Arabi’s successors and on the popularization of his ideas through vehicles such as mystical poetry, many Sufis came to consider that the doctrine of the “Unity of Existence” (wahdat al-wujud), which they attributed to Ibn ‘Arabi, was uncompromisingly monistic.

In response to this metaphysically monistic and ethically relativistic outlook Sirhindi propounded a complex cosmological system that detailed the relationship between God and the world in such as way as to provide a more positive existential status to the creation and human activities.

Sirhindi’s theory came to be known as the “Unity of Appearance” (wahdat al-shuhud).  In formulating it, Sirhindi criticized some aspects of the “Greatest Shaikh’s” (Ibn ‘Arabi’s) teachings, but remained highly influenced by others and often cites him approvingly.  Among the features of Sirhindi’s philosophical system is the idea that in the creative process the divine names are emanated from the mind of God into the world, where they must encounter their opposites in order to be fully discerned and experienced.  The world, therefore, is not the same as the Divine Being, but rather has a shadowiy or adumbrated reality of its own.  By positing this reality as apart from that of God, Sirhindi is able to assert a real existential status to evil, as opposed to the relativism entailed by absolute monism. 

For Sirhindi, living according to the tenets and practice of orthodox Islam is a prerequisite for traveling the Sufi path of individual purification and realization.  The main purpose of this path is certainty of faith rather than hidden knowledge.  However, those who grasp the essence or the inner dimension of the Islamic Law (shari‘a), are at a higher level than those who simply enact the outer formal requirements. 

Sirhindi continued to stress the element of sobriety of characteristic of Naqshbandi Sufis.  In this context, he disapproved of mystical practices incorporating dancing, music, or trance states.  He advocated the practice of silent dhikr, the calm and focused recitation of the names and attributes of God and other pious phrases.  According to Sirhindi, the spiritual aspirant, under the close supervision and guidance of a Sufi master, pursues an itinerary of spiritual progress that reverses the process of the descent of the divine reality into physical manifestation.

Each person possesses a subtle body composed of ten spiritual centers knwon as the lata’if, including the “heart” and “spirit.”  These spiritual centers are arranged at two levels, which correspond to the two cosmic levels: (1) The eternal, spiritual realm of God’s command (‘amr), which precedes empirical manifestation, and (2) the temporal world of physical creation (khalq).

Through specific practices of contemplation and recitations combined with the interventions of the Sufi master, the aspirant activates the energy focused in these centers in order to initiate and pursue spiritual awakening and ascent. 

Another aspect of Sirhindi’s perspective on monism and dualism was his exposition of the respective states of the “Prophet” and the “Saint.”

All Muslims hold that the Prophet Muhammad was the best of creation.  In mystical and Shi‘i thought, however, there tended to be an emphasis on the continuation of charismatic qualities in the world even after the death of the Prophet.  The role of the saint (walaya) was increasingly elaborated on by Sufis as a kind of metaphysical template for human spiritual progress.  Some Sufis had even seemed to suggest, according to Sirhindi, that the status of the saint was existentially higher than that of the Prophet since the saint was conceived of as having remained absorbed in the contemplation of the divine reality rather than descending into the turbidity of worldly matters. 

Consistent with his upholding of the value and meaningfulness of human efforts, Sirhindi posited that the level of Prophecy (nubuwwa) both incorporated and transcended the saintly level of intoxication and union with the divine in order to return to the world with a sober approach and a focus on a reformist mission.  Citing a hadith of the Prophet Muhammad – “My Satan has submitted” -- Sirhindi elaborated on the status of Prophet as one who fulfills a mission of transforming both himself and the world by being willing to descend deeply back into worldly existence even after having attained the highest level of mystical heights of annihilation (fana) in the divine, for, “the descent occurs proportionately to the ascent.”

What then, could be the highest state available to the Sufi, since Muhammad was the Last of the Prophets, according to Islamic belief?  Today’s spiritual aspirants could pursue the state of being followers and heirs of the Prophet in order to ensure the continuity of this reformist mission in the world.

Sirhindi became a prominent spiritual teacher in the Naqshbandi order and wrote extensively on matters of Islamic mysticism, theology, and his own spiritual experience.  At certain points in these writings he also commented on the religious policies that he felt should be adopted by the Mughal state.

Scholars differ concerning the prominence of political opinions in Sirhindi’s thought.  The most recent Western academic studies, based on the content of Sirhindi’s writings and the response of his contemporaries and successors to them, conclude that he was primarily a Sufi theorist.  In South Asia, however, his image has gradually developed so as to portray him as an incipient Muslim nationalist who challenged the syncretistic religious tendencies of the Mughal court.  Proponents of this view cite as evidence the fact that he was publicly reprimanded and even imprisoned for about a year in 1619 before being released and ultimately honored by the emperor Jahangir.  Those who emphasize the Sufi element of Sirhindi’s concerns note that Jahangir complains in his memoirs about Sirhindi’s arrogance and theories, rather than objecting to any specifically political recommendations on his part.

An interesting and controversial aspect of Sirhindi’s teaching was his idea of his own special mission.  Although alluded to in a fairly esoteric fashion in his works, this stimulated controversy and even some condemnations for heresy among his contemporaries.  In an esoteric reference in his work, Mabda’-o-Ma‘ad, Sirhindi claims that a new age has been initiated with the coming of the second Islamic millennium in which the cosmological state known as the “Reality of Muhammad” would unite with that of the “Reality of the Ka’ba.”  A new composite higher state known as the “Reality of Ahmad” would be the result, ushering in a new period of fulfillment and spiritual progress for Muslims.  This is apparently a thinly veiled reference to his own name, Ahmad.  Further, using number mysticism, he spoke of the individual instantiation of the “Reality of Muhammad” in the form of the historical Prophet as having been twofold, spiritual and human.  The balance between the human and the spiritual sides of the Prophet had, over time, become disturbed in favor of the spiritual dimension, with consequent detrimental effects on the Muslim community’s affairs in the world.  He claimed that in the Second Millennium, following the lead of the “Renewer” (Mujaddid), the “Perfections of Prophecy” would be restored through the efforts of the heirs and followers of the Prophet. 

Sirhindi's more extravagant, almost messianic claims were not entirely alien to the history of Islamic mystical thought, and thus Sirhindi’s statements, while clearly controversial, did not result in his being universally condemned for heresy during his lifetime.  Over time the image of Sirhindi as a heroic reformer and advocate of uncompromising adherence to Islam became increasingly evocative for the Muslims of India and Pakistan.  One can understand the appeal of Sirhindi’s more activist, world affirming outlook to Muslim reformers who partially blame mystically inspired quietism for the decline of Muslim power and influence in the world in later centuries.

Sirhindi see Sirhindi, Ahmad
Shaikh Ahmad Sirhindi see Sirhindi, Ahmad
Imām Rabbānī Shaykh Ahmad al-Farūqī al-Sirhindī  see Sirhindi, Ahmad

Sitt al-Mulk
Sitt al-Mulk (Sayyidat al-Mulk) (970-1023/1024).  Sister of the Fatimid Caliph al-Hakim bi-Amr Allah.  According to a popular but unreliable account, she killed her brother the caliph, became regent and brought back stability and order.

Sitt al-Mulk, ruler of the Fatimids (1021-1023), was the elder sister of Al-Hakim.  After the death of her father Ali az-Aziz (975-996), she tried with the help of a cousin to force her brother from the throne, but was arrested by the eunuch Barjuwan. However, she became regent for his son and successor Ali az-Zahir. She continued to wield influence as an advisor after he came of age, as evidenced by the very generous apanages that came her way.

After her assumption of power and the elimination of her rivals, she abolished many of the strange rules that Al-Hakim had promulgated during his reign. She also severely persecuted the Druze religion, which believed in Al-Hakim's divinity, eliminating it entirely from Egypt, and restricting it to the mountains of Lebanon. She worked to reduce tensions with the Byzantine Empire over the possession of Aleppo, but before negotiations could be completed she died on February 5, 1023.
Sayyidat al-Mulk see Sitt al-Mulk

Sjafruddin Prawiranegara
Sjafruddin Prawiranegara (Syafruddin Prawiranegara) (February 28, 1911 - February 15, 1989) was an Indonesian politician.  He was born in Anjar Kidul, West Java.  He was educated as a lawyer under the Dutch colonial administration.  He was a principal economic figure in the independent Republican government, serving as minister of finance (1946-1947) and minister of welfare (1948).  He became president and acting prime minister of the Emergency government formed on Sumatra after the Dutch captured Yogyakarta in December 1948.  He was appointed minister of finance in 1950.  Increasingly opposed to Sukarno’s policies, he joined the Pemerintah Revolusioner Republik Indonesia (PRRI) rebellion in 1958, becoming prime minister in the rebel government.  He surrendered in 1961 and was kept in close confinement until 1966.  Under Suharto’s New Order, he returned to the private sector and, though barred from an active political role became an outspoken critic of the government on behalf of Muslim interests.

Sjafruddin Prawiranegara, also written Syafruddin Prawiranegara, was an Indonesian politician, economist, and latterly an Islamic philosopher.  He was born in Anyer Kidul, Banten. The descent of Bantenese and Minangkabau extraction. His father, R. Arsyad Prawiraatmadja was the grandson of Sutan Alam Intan.

Educated in the Dutch-established education system that was opened to the better-off indigenous population from 1903, he went on to study at Rechtshogeschool (the Dutch tertiary education institution designed originally to provide Indonesian-speaking staff for the law courts, and which eventually became the University of Indonesia), graduating in 1939.

In 1939-1940 he was editor of a newspaper, Soeara Timur, a moderately separatist journal from Dutch rule. Syafruddin was more strongly nationalist than this, however, refusing to join the Stadswacht (home guard), though he did in 1940 join the Dutch department of finance, retaining his job under Japanese occupation, working as a tax inspector.

After the end of the war, he joined the KNI, or Indonesian National Committee, becoming one of fifteen members of its Central Committee. He joined Masjumi, the Islamic political party, publishing 'Politiek dan Revolusi Kita' (Our politics and revolution), espousing a religious socialist philosophy, which led to his appointment as Minister of Finance for Sutan Sjahrir Prime Minister and Socialist Party of Indonesia member from March 12, 1946 to June 27, 1947, and then under Hatta's non-party cabinet from 1948 until full independence in December 1949.

The resistance to the Dutch was limited to Java and Sumatra, and increasing military success in Java made the position of the revolutionary leaders in Java increasingly weak. In anticipation of the Dutch overrunning of the revolutionary Indonesian capital at Yogyakarta, Hatta was given authority to setup a republican government in defensible Central Sumatra. However, Hatta was to return to Java for the United Nations-led peace talks, and so Sjafruddin was given the role of Prime Minister-in-waiting. When the Dutch captured Hatta, Sukarno, and others, he assumed the role of Prime Minister, in West Sumatra, liaising by radio with remaining nationalists in Java to organize resistance to the Dutch. From this position he was able to maintain the republican effort until the Dutch released Sukarno and Hatta.

After peace had been brokered in 1949, Sjafruddin was appointed as Finance Minister in Hatta's first cabinet of Indonesia, and also in the cabinet of Mohammad Natsir, until his appointment as the first Indonesian Governor of De Javasche Bank (which was quickly transformed into Bank Indonesia) in 1951.

Sjafruddin in 1957 came into conflict with the President over his opposition to nationalization of Dutch economic interests, and his opposition to Guided Democracy (1957–1965), culminating in the writing of a letter to Sukarno on January 15, 1958, from Palembang, South Sumatra, where Sjafruddin was in talks with the rebellious Colonel Barlian, telling Sukarno to return to the Indonesian Constitution.

 As Sjafruddin became more involved with PRRI, he was sacked as Bank Indonesia governor.  However, Sjafruddin was less reckless than some of his PRRI colleagues, opposing the five-day ultimatum (on strategic military grounds) on February 10, 1958 to Prime Minister Djuanda Kartawidjaja to establish a new Cabinet with Hatta and the Sultan of Yogyakarta at its head. Thus, on February 15, 1958, Sjafruddin became Prime Minister of PRRI.  His signature, which had appeared on banknotes of the republican period (1945-1949), and as governor of Bank Indonesia (1951-1958), appeared on the notes of PRRI. Sjafruddin opposed the establishment of a separate country of Sumatra, instead seeing PRRI as a movement for Indonesian integrity, opposed to the centralization of power in Indonesia.

The PRRI rebellion was a failure, and on August  25, 1961, Sjafruddin surrendered to the army. He was imprisoned until July 26, 1966.

Upon release, Sjafruddin tended to express himself more through religion, preaching against corruption under Sukarno, and leading the Petition of Fifty, and opposing the concept of Pancasila as the sole guiding principle for all groups, especially religious ones, in Indonesia. Due to this activity, Suharto banned Sjafruddin from leaving the country. Sjafruddin, however, continued to espouse his beliefs up until his death in 1989. He died of heart failure on February 15, 1989.
Prawiranegara, Sjafruddin see Sjafruddin Prawiranegara
Syafruddin Prawiranegara see Sjafruddin Prawiranegara
Prawiranegara, Syafruddin see Sjafruddin Prawiranegara

Sjahrir, Sutan
Sjahrir, Sutan (b. March 5, 1909, Padang Panjang, West Sumatra, Dutch East Indies - d. April 9, 1966, Zürich, Switzerland).  Indonesian socialist leader and prime minister (1945-1947).  A Dutch educated (in Medan, Bandung, and the Netherlands) Minangkabau, Sjahrir in 1931 helped found the Pendidikan Nasional Indonesia to educate a socialist leadership for Indonesia’s nationalist movement.  He was arrested in 1934 and exiled.  During the Japanese occupation of Indonesia, he remained underground.  In 1945, as prime minister, he conducted negotiations with the Dutch.  In 1948, he formed the Indonesian Socialist Party (PSI).  Although lacking electoral strength and regarded as the intellectuals’ party, the PSI was influential in Parliament and civil service until banned in 1960.  After 1950 Sjahrir withdrew from active politics.  His last years were spent under house arrest.

Sutan Sjahrir was the first prime minister of Indonesia, after a career as a key Indonesian nationalist organizer in the 1930s and 1940s.
Sjahrir was born in 1909 in Padang Panjang, West Sumatra. His father was an advisor to the Sultan of Deli. He studied in Medan and Bandung, and then studied law at Leiden University, The Netherlands around 1929. In Holland, he gained an appreciation for socialist principles, and was a part of several labor unions as he worked to support himself. He was briefly the secretary of the Indonesian Association (Perhimpunan Indonesia), an organization of Indonesian students in the Netherlands. Sjahrir was also one of the co-founders of Jong Indonesie, an Indonesian youth association, only to change within a few years to Pemuda Indonesia. This, in particular, played an important role in the Youth Congress (Sumpah Pemuda), in which the association helped the congress itself to run.

Sutan Sjahrir returned to Indonesia in 1931 without finishing a law degree. He helped set up the Indonesian National Party (PNI), and became a close associate of future vice president Mohammad Hatta. He was imprisoned by the Dutch for nationalist activities in November 1934, first in Boven Digul, then on Banda, and then in 1941, just before the Indies fell to the Japanese, to Sukabumi. During the Japanese occupation of Indonesia he had little public role, apparently sick with tuberculosis.

He was appointed Prime Minister by President Sukarno in November 1945 and served until June 1947. Sjahrir founded the Indonesian Socialist Party in 1948, which, although small, was very influential in the early post-independence years, because of the expertise and high education levels of its leaders. But the party performed poorly in the 1955 elections and was banned by President Sukarno in 1960. Sjahrir was jailed in the early 1960s, and died in exile in Zürich, Switzerland in 1966.

Sjahrir, son of a public prosecutor, received a Dutch education in Sumatra and Java and attended the Law Faculty at the University of Leiden. In The Netherlands he was a member of a socialist student group and secretary of the student group Perhimpunan Indonesia (“Indonesian Union”), which numbered among its members many of Indonesia’s future political leaders. He returned to the Dutch East Indies in 1931 and helped establish the Pendidikan Nasional Indonesia, a rival group to Partindo, the nationalist organization formed from remnants of the suppressed Partai Nasional Indonesia (“Indonesian Nationalist Party”), founded by Sukarno, the foremost Indonesian nationalist leader. The groups differed on the goals and means appropriate to nationalists, with Pendidikan opposed to Partindo’s concept of a united front of left-wing parties, and were divided by personal antagonisms as well. Early in 1934 Sjahrir and Pendidikan’s co-leader Mohammad Hatta were exiled by the Dutch authorities and remained isolated from Indonesian politics until the arrival of Japanese occupation forces in 1942. Sjahrir was opposed to the Japanese but chose to withdraw from public life rather than actively resist. He pressed for the country to declare independence before the Japanese surrender.

Sjahrir’s pamphlet “Perdjuangan Kita” (1945; “Our Struggle”) won for him the support of militant nationalists in the capital, as well as the office of prime minister in the postwar government at a time when executive power had been stripped from the president, then Sukarno, and given to the prime minister. That was done at Sjahrir’s instigation as he feared Sukarno’s cooperation with the Japanese would hurt the republic’s image in international opinion, on which the success of negotiations with the Dutch largely depended. Sjahrir negotiated the Linggadjati Agreement, under which the Dutch acknowledged Indonesia’s authority in Java and Sumatra. His conciliatory policies were not in keeping with the temper of the times, however, and in February 1946 he had to resign briefly. In June 1947 he was forced to resign permanently. He then became a member of the Indonesian delegation to the United Nations. In 1948 he formed a Socialist party, Partai Sosialis Indonesia (PSI), which opposed the Communist Party, but it failed to win popular support and was banned by Sukarno in 1960. On January 17, 1962, Sjahrir was arrested on charges of conspiracy. He was held without trial until 1965, when he was allowed to travel to Switzerland for medical treatment following a stroke.

Sutan Sjahrir see Sjahrir, Sutan

Skah, Khalid
Skah, Khalid (Khalid Skah) (b. January 29, 1967). Moroccan runner who won the 10,000 meters at the 1992 Olympic Games in Barcelona, Spain.

Khalid Skah
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Medal record
Men’s Athletics
Competitor for  Morocco
Olympic Games
Gold  1992 Barcelona  10,000 m
World Championships
Silver  1995 Gothenburg  10,000 m
Bronze  1991 Tokyo  10,000 m,
Mediterranean Games
Gold  1993 Narbonne  10,000 m

Born in Midelt, Morocco, Khalid Skah established himself first as a good cross country runner by winning the IAAF World Cross Country Championships in 1990 and 1991.

His first major tournament on track was the 1991 World Championships where he first won a bronze in the 10,000 meter run and then finished sixth at the 5000 meter run. This was a disappointing outcome for Skah as, earlier in the season, he had won the 10,000 meter race in Oslo against a very strong field and had emerged as one of the favorites for the finals in Tokyo. However, for the 10,000 meter final, Richard Chelimo and the eventual world champion, Moses Tanui, (both of Kenya) employed some very elaborate tactics and worked as a team. By the time of the 5000 meter final, Skah was probably tired. It would be Yobes Ondieki (Kenya) who would win the gold medal in the 5000 meter run.

At the Barcelona Olympics, Khalid Skah had a long duel with Richard Chelimo from Kenya in the 10,000 meter final. When they were lapping another Moroccan Hammou Boutayeb, the latter interfered with Chelimo and Skah went on to win a second ahead of the Kenyan. After the race Skah was accused of receiving undue assistance from Boutayeb and was disqualified, but was later reinstated on a technicality. During the presentation ceremony, held the next day, Skah was loudly booed by the crow,d as he received his medal. Chelimo received a standing ovation.

In 1993, Skah won the 5000 meter race at the prestigious meeting in Zurich. However, he finished fifth in the 5000 meters at the 1993 World Championships. He ran his only world record in 2 miles (8:12.17) in the same season. He won the 1994 World Semi-Marathon Championships and finished second in 10,000 meters at the 1995 World Championships.

Skah's last major international tournament was the 1996 Summer Olympics, where he finished seventh in the 10,000 meters. In 1995, Skah was given Norwegian citizenship, where he lived and trained with athletes club B.U.L. After that, the Moroccan Athletics Association banned him from international competitions. Skah was reinstated in 2001 after which he tried a come-back to re-establish himself as one of the world's best long distance runners, finishing tenth in the World Half Marathon Championships that year.

Khalid Skah married Norwegian interior designer Anne Cecilie Hopstock after his Barcelona triumph, and they had two children. The marriage ended in divorce after the family relocated to Morocco in 2006. Skah lost a custody battle with his former wife in Norwegian courts two years later, yet failed to return the children. He was indicted on kidnapping, threats and domestic disturbance charges in Norway.

The children fled Morocco in July 2009. The Norwegian embassy's alleged improper sheltering of the dual-citizenship children during their escape led to a diplomatic dispute between the two countries. Skah issued a reward and filed for custody in Morocco. The former track

champion maintained his innocence, claimed the children were abducted and asserted that armed Norwegian commandos intruded into his home. Hopstock later confirmed she had hired off-duty naval rangers to help her sail her children out of Moroccan waters.

Skanderbeg (George Kastriota) (George Kastrioti) (Gjerji Kastrioti)  (George Castriota)  (Gjergj Kastrioti Skanderbeg) (Gjergj Kastrioti Skënderbeu) (İskender Bey - "Lord Alexander" or "Leader Alexander") (Iskander Beg) (c.1404/May 16, 1405, northern Albania - 1467/January 17, 1468, Lezhe, Albania).  National hero of Albania.  Skanderberg was an Albanian military leader.  He was also known as “George Kastrioti.”  Of Serbian origin and brought up as a Muslim, he became a more or less faithful local governor after 1436, but was negotiating with the Venetians and the Hungarians.  After the victory of the Hungarians over the Turks in 1443 at Nish, he returned to Christianity, captured Kruje and gathered the Albanian chiefs of clans around him.  In 1449 and 1450, the Ottoman Sultan Murad II ordered expeditions against Albania, Skanderbeg, supported by the king of Naples, the Pope and the Hungarians, held out until 1460 when he was forced to conclude a treaty and to pay tribute to the Ottomans.  Soon afterwards he resumed a guerrilla warfare until the Ottoman Sultan Muhammad II started to conquer Albania in 1466.

A son of John (Gjon) Kastrioti, prince of Emathia, George was early given as hostage to the Turkish sultan. Converted to Islām and educated at Edirne, Turkey, he was given the name Iskander—after Alexander the Great—and the rank of bey (hence Skanderbeg) by Sultan Murad II. During the defeat of the Turks at Niš (1443), in Serbia, Skanderbeg abandoned the Turkish service and joined his Albanian countrymen against the forces of Islām. He embraced Christianity, reclaimed his family possessions, and in 1444 organized a league of Albanian princes, over which he was appointed commander in chief.

In the period 1444–66 he effectively repulsed 13 Turkish invasions, his successful resistance to the armies of Murad II in 1450 making him a hero throughout the Western world. Through the years he elicited some support from Naples, Venice, and the papacy and was named by Pope Calixtus III captain general of the Holy See. In 1463 he secured an alliance with Venice that helped launch a new offensive against the Turks. Until the end of his life he continued to resist successfully all Turkish invasions. Within a few years of his death, however, his citadel at Krujë had fallen (1478), and Albania passed into several centuries of obscurity under Turkish rule.

Gjergj Kastrioti Skanderbeg, or Iskander Beg, was a prominent historical figure in the history of Albania and of the Albanian people. Known as the Dragon of Albania, he is the national hero of the Albanians and initially through the work of his main biographer, Marin Barleti, is remembered for his struggle against the Ottoman Empire, whose armies he successfully ousted from his native land for more than two decades.

George Kastriota see Skanderbeg
Kastriota, George see Skanderbeg
George Kastrioti see Skanderbeg
Kastrioti, George see Skanderbeg
Gjerji Kastrioti see Skanderbeg
George Castriota see Skanderbeg

slaves (in Arabic, ‘abd).  Islam has never preached the abolition of slavery as a doctrine, but it has endeavored to moderate the institution and mitigate its legal and moral aspects.  Spiritually, the slave has the same value as the free man, and the same eternity is in store for his soul.  The Qur’an makes the emancipation of slaves a meritorious act.  Muslim ethic, expressed in hadith, follows the same line of Qur’anic teaching.

Historically, the major juristic schools of Islam traditionally accepted the institution of slavery. The Islamic prophet Muhammad and many of his companions bought, sold, freed, and captured slaves.

In Islamic law the topic of slavery is covered at great length. The Qur'an (the holy book) and the hadith (the sayings of Muhammad) see slavery as an exceptional condition that can be entered into under certain limited circumstances. Only children of slaves or non-Muslim prisoners of war could become slaves, never a freeborn Muslim. They also consider manumission of a slave to be one of many meritorious deeds available for the expiation of sins. According to Sharia, slaves are considered human beings and possessed of some rights on the basis of their humanity. In addition, a Muslim slave is equal to a Muslim freeman in religious issues and superior to the free non-Muslim.

In practice, slaves played various social and economic roles from Emir to worker. Slaves were widely employed in irrigation, mining, pastoralism and the army. Even some rulers relied on military and administrative slaves to such a degree that they seized power. However, people do not always treat slaves in accordance with Islamic law. In some cases, the situation has been so harsh as to have led to uprisings such as the Zanj Rebellion. However, this was usually the exception rather than the norm, as the vast majority of labor in the medieval Islamic world consisted of free, paid labor. For a variety of reasons, internal growth of the slave population was not enough to fulfill the demand in Muslim society. This resulted in massive importation, which involved enormous suffering and loss of life from the capture and transportation of slaves from non-Muslim lands. In theory, slavery in Islamic law does not have a racial or color component, although this has not always been the case in practice.

The Arab slave trade was most active in West Asia, North Africa and East Africa. By the end of the 19th century, such activity had reached a low ebb. In the early 20th century (post World War I) slavery was gradually outlawed and suppressed in Muslim lands, largely due to pressure exerted by Western nations such as Britain and France.  However, slavery claiming the sanction of Islam is documented presently in the African republics of Chad, Mauritania, Niger, Mali and Sudan.

‘abd see slaves

Slavs (in Arabic, Saqaliba; in singular form, Saqlab).  The word is probably taken from the Greek Sklabenoi, Sklaboi.  The Arabs met the Slavs during their first campaign against Constantinople (715-717) and are said to have taken many of them.  As early as the seventh century, their red (or reddish) hair and complexion are mentioned, but they were classed with the Turks as descendants of Japhet.  The fullest notices of the Slavs in Europe are found in the travels of the Spanish Jew Ibrahim ibn Ya‘qub in 945.  From the twelfth century onwards the word gradually disappears from Muslim literature.  The Slavs were sometimes introduced into Muslim lands as slaves, as white eunuchs in particular, and special regiments were formed from them by the Fatimids in Egypt and in Muslim Spain.

Slavs are members of the most numerous ethnic and linguistic body of peoples in Europe, residing chiefly in eastern and southeastern Europe but extending also across northern Asia to the Pacific Ocean. Slavic languages belong to the Indo-European family. Customarily, Slavs are subdivided into East Slavs (chiefly Russians, Ukrainians, and Belarusians), West Slavs (chiefly Poles, Czechs, Slovaks, and Wends, or Sorbs), and South Slavs (chiefly Serbs, Croats, Bosnians, Slovenes, Macedonians, and Montenegrins). Bulgarians, though of mixed origin like the Hungarians, speak a Slavic language and are often designated as South Slavs.

In religion, the Slavs traditionally divided into two main groups: those associated with the Eastern Orthodox Church (Russians, most Ukrainians, most Belarusians, Serbs, and Macedonians) and those associated with the Roman Catholic Church (Poles, Czechs, Slovaks, Croats, Slovenes, some Ukrainians, and some Belarusians). The division is further marked by the use of the Cyrillic alphabet by the former (but including all Ukrainians and Belarusians) and the Latin alphabet by the latter. There are also many minority religious groups, such as Muslims, Protestants, and Jews, and in recent times communist governments’ official encouragement of atheism, together with a general trend toward secularism, has eroded membership in the traditional faiths.

Prehistorically, the original habitat of the Slavs was Asia, from which they migrated in the 3rd or 2nd millennium B.C.T. to populate parts of eastern Europe. Subsequently, these European lands of the Slavs were crossed or settled by many peoples forced by economic conditions to migrate. In the middle of the 1st millennium B.C.T., Celtic tribes settled along the upper Oder River, and Germanic tribes settled on the lower Vistula and lower Oder rivers, usually without displacing the Slavs there. Finally, the movement westward of the Germans in the 5th and 6th centuries of the Christian calendar started the great migration of the Slavs, who proceeded in the Germans’ wake westward into the country between the Oder and the Elbe-Saale line, southward into Bohemia, Moravia, Hungary, and the Balkans, and northward along the upper Dnieper River. When the migratory movements had ended, there appeared among the Slavs the first rudiments of state organizations, each headed by a prince with a treasury and defense force, and the beginning of class differentiation.

In the centuries that followed, there developed scarcely any unity among the various Slavic peoples. The cultural and political life of the West Slavs was integrated into the general European pattern. They were influenced largely by philosophical, political, and economic changes in the West, such as feudalism, humanism, the Renaissance, the Reformation, the French Revolution, and the Industrial Revolution. As their lands were invaded by Mongols and Turks, however, the Russians and Balkan Slavs remained for centuries without any close contact with the European community; they evolved a system of bureaucratic autocracy and militarism that tended to retard the development of urban middle classes and to prolong the conditions of serfdom. The state’s supremacy over the individual tended to become more firmly rooted.

A faint kind of Slavic unity sometimes appeared. In the 19th century, Pan-Slavism developed as a movement among intellectuals, scholars, and poets, but it rarely influenced practical politics. The various Slavic nationalities conducted their policies in accordance with what they regarded as their national interests, and these policies were as often bitterly hostile toward other Slavic peoples as they were friendly toward non-Slavs. Even political unions of the 20th century, such as that of Yugoslavia, were not always matched by feelings of ethnic or cultural accord, nor did the sharing of communism after World War II necessarily provide more than a high-level political and economic alliance.

Slawi, Shihab al-Din Abu’l-‘Abbas al-
Slawi, Shihab al-Din Abu’l-‘Abbas al- (Shihab al-Din Abu’l-‘Abbas al-Slawi) (al-Salawi) (Ahmad ibn Khalid al-Nasiri) (Abu al-Abbas Ahmad ibn Khalid al-Nasiri al-Salawi) (1834/1835-1897).  Moroccan historian from Sale.  Among other works he wrote a survey of the heresies and schisms in Islam and a monograph on the Nasiriyya brotherhood to which he himself belonged.  His reputation is founded on his general history of Morocco.

Abu al-Abbas Ahmad ibn Khalid al-Nasiri al-Salawi was born in Salé and is considered to be the greatest Moroccan historian of the 19th century. He was a prominent scholar and a member of the family that founded the Nasiriyya Sufi order in the 17th century. He wrote an important multi-volume history of Morocco: Kitab al-Istiqsa li-Akhbar duwwal al-Maghrib al-Aqsa. The work is a general history of Morocco and the Islamic west from the Islamic conquest to the end of the 19th century. He died in 1897 shortly after having put the finishing touches to his chronicle.

Shihab al-Din Abu'l-'Abbas al-Slawi see Slawi, Shihab al-Din Abu’l-‘Abbas al-
Salawi, al- see Slawi, Shihab al-Din Abu’l-‘Abbas al-
Ahmad ibn Khalid al-Nasiri see Slawi, Shihab al-Din Abu’l-‘Abbas al-
Abu al-Abbas Ahmad ibn Khalid al-Nasiri al-Salawi, see Slawi, Shihab al-Din Abu’l-‘Abbas al-

Soedirman (Sudirman) (January 24, 1916 - January 29, 1950).  First Indonesian military commander.  General Soedirman taught at a Muhammadiyah primary school in Cilacap (1935-1943) until trained by the Japanese (1943-1945) as daidan-cho (battalion commander) of the PETA army in Banyumas.  After the Japanese surrender, Soedirman was more successful than most PETA officers in equipping a local division of the new Indonesian army with weapons obtained from the Japanese.  He was elected supreme army commander by his former PETA peers on November 11, 1945, though many civilian leaders, particularly those of the left, continued to distrust his emphasis on the autonomy and mystique of the army.  Soedirman’s primary importance was as a symbol of military unity and heroism, particularly after the Dutch captured the entire civilian leadership (December 1948).  Weakened by tuberculosis, he was carried about in a litter by the resistance.  He accepted the settlement with the Dutch with obvious reluctance (July 1949) but died six months later. 

Sudirman, also spelled Soedirman, was the military commander of Indonesian forces during the country's fight for independence from the Dutch in the 1940s.

Sudirman was born in Bodas Karangjati village, Rembang, Purbalingga, Central Java. He studied at the Dutch Native School in Purwokerto, and then at a Muhammadiyah teacher training college in Surakarta. He worked as a teacher at the Muhammadiyah school in Cilacap.

During the Japanese occupation of Indonesia during World War II, Sudirman trained to become a battalion commander in Peta, the "homeland defense" army promoted by the Japanese. When Japan surrendered and Sukarno proclaimed Indonesian independence, Sudirman organized his Peta battalion into a Banyumas-based regiment of the Republican army to resist Dutch reoccupation of its former colony. The first major battle that he led was the Battle of Ambarawa against the British and the Dutch (November-December 1945). On December 12, he led a "coordinated attack" against British positions in Ambarawa, driving the British all the way to Semarang. The battle ended on December 16.

On November 12, 1945, Sudirman was elected Commander-in-chief of the Army, a position he held until his death. During much of the next five years he was sick with tuberculosis, but led several guerrilla actions against the Dutch. He led the resistance to the Dutch attack on Yogyakarta, then the Republic of Indonesia's headquarters, in December 1948.

Sudirman died in Magelang on January 29, 1950 at the age of 35. He was buried in the Heroes' Cemetery in Semaki, Yogyakarta. He received the title of National Hero of Indonesia as an Independence Defender Hero. Sudirman was the first and the youngest General in Indonesia.

The legacy of Sudirman includes the following:

    * There are a considerable number of statues and memorials to Sudirman in Yogyakarta and other cities
    * Most Indonesian cities have a major street named "Jalan Jenderal Sudirman" (General Sudirman Street)
    * A university in Purwokerto, Central Java is named after him: University of General Soedirman (Unsoed)

Sudirman see Soedirman

Soga. The Soga of Uganda are a Bantu speaking people of the Interlacustrine group.  About fifteen percent of the Soga are Muslims. 

The first Muslims to reach Busoga were the Arab and Swahili traders from the east coast of Africa.  They arrived in the second half of the nineteenth century, but the Muslim traders did not leave any significant Islamic mark similar to that in Buganda.  Their numbers were smaller due to the fact that Busoga was not as secure as Buganda, where the king was in absolute control of his territory.  Besides, the traders were interested mainly in profit and not so much in the diffusion of Islam.

A second group who brought Islam to Busoga were the Sudanese troopswho were recruited by the British administration at the end of the nineteenth century, some of whom were stationed in the district.  The Sudanese soldiers intermarried with Soga families and also proselytized their servants.  Because of the prestige which the Sudanese soldiers enjoyed as part of the British rule, other Soga adopted their religion and a nucleus of a Muslim community developed around them.

A far more important factor encouraging Islam were the Ganda Muslims who arrived in Busoga as refugees in the wake of the religious wars in Buganda at the end of the nineteenth century.  In these wars between the Christians and Muslims, the latter were defeated and many of them fled.  Later, during the British colonial rule (1894-1962), some Ganda Muslims arrived in Busoga along with other Ganda Christians to serve as assistants and interpreters to the British officials.  Muganda Ali Lwanga is a typical example.  He came to Busoga as an interpreter of the British district commissioner and then was promoted to county chief.  In this prestigious position, he was able to encourage the adoption of Islam.  Some of the Soga converts were influential people, such as Munulo, the hereditary chief of Bugweri County, who was converted to Islam in 1896 and then imposed his new religion on many of his dependents and subjects.  Christian missionaries who feared lest Islam be the dominant religion in Busoga induced the British to send Munulo into exile.  Yet, Bugweri County remained (and remains) one of the most Islamized areas in Uganda.  About 80 percent of its people are Muslims, and it has become a center for further diffusion of Islam in Busoga. 

Indeed, the progress of Islam in Busoga alarmed the Christian missionaries and the British administrators.  The missionaries pressed the government to block the expansion of Islam in Busoga, claiming that the Muslims were less loyal than the Christians and that they might endanger British rule.  British officials at the beginning of the century, usually agreed with them.  Thus, Sir Harry Johnston, the Governor of Uganda (1899-1901), assured the Christian leaders that the government was behind them in restricting the spread of Islam.

For a long period, the British avoided appointing Muslims to key posts in the administration, although as a whole the Muslims were loyal subjects.  In 1897, when the Sudanese soldiers mutinied, only a few Soga Muslims joined them.

The vast majority of the Muslims in Busoga are Sunni, following the Shafi rite.

Solomon (in Arabic, Sulayman ibn Dawud) (Suleyman) (Salomon) (Shlomo) (b. 1011 B.C.T., Jerusalem - 931 B.C.T., Jerusalem).  In the Qur’an, the biblical king is frequently mentioned as a divine messenger and prototype of the Prophet.  Among other things, he is said to have corresponded with Bilqis, the Queen of Sheba, who accepted his summons to Islam.  He is an outstanding personality in Muslim legends, which lay special emphasis on his wonderful powers of magic and divination.

Solomon was, according to the Hebrew Bible, a King of Israel. The biblical accounts identify Solomon as the son of David. He is also called Jedidiah in 2 Samuel 12:25, and is described as the third king of the United Monarchy, and the final king before the northern Kingdom of Israel and the southern Kingdom of Judah split. Following the split, his patrilineal descendants ruled over Judah alone.

The Hebrew Bible credits Solomon as the builder of the First Temple in Jerusalem, and portrays him as great in wisdom, wealth, and power, but ultimately as a king whose sin, including idolatry and turning away from God, leads to the kingdom being torn in two during the reign of his son Rehoboam. Solomon is the subject of many other later references and legends.

Solomon, which is transliterated in English variously as Sulayman, Suleiman, Sulaimaan, appears in the Qur'an.  The Qur'an refers to Sulayman as the son of David (Arabic: Dawud, Dawood, or Dawoud), a prophet and a great ruler imparted by God with tremendous wisdom, favor, and special powers (like his father). The Qur'an states that Sulayman ruled not only people, but also hosts of Jinn, was able to understand the language of the birds and ants, and to see some of the hidden glory in the world that was not accessible to most other human beings. Ruling a large kingdom that extended south into Yemen, via the Queen of Sheba who accepted Solomon's prophethood and religion. He was famed throughout the lands for his wisdom and fair judgments. In particular, the Qur'an denies that Solomon ever turned away from God.

According to Muslim tradition, when Solomon died he was standing watching the work of his Jinn, while leaning on his cane. There he silently died, but did not fall. He remained in this position, and the Jinn, thinking he was still alive watching them work, kept working. But termites were eating the cane, so that the body of Solomon fell after forty days. Thereafter, the Jinn (along with all humans) regretted that they did not know more than God had allotted them to know.

Sulayman ibn Dawud see Solomon
Suleyman see Solomon
Salomon see Solomon
Shlomo see Solomon

Somalis.  The Somalis inhabit the Horn of Africa and form one of the most uniformly homogeneous populations of the continent.  Somalis speak a common language, adhere to a single faith, Sunni Islam, and share a cultural heritage which is an integral part of their nomadic way of life.  The very name, So Maal, when spoken in the imperative, is said to mean, “Go milk a beast for yourself!” -- a rough expression of hospitality.  The Somali’s self-conception is inseparable from his flocks and his traditional grazing lands, although for some, urban life, too, is a new and irresistible trend.

In the early years of the Islamic era, the African coast facing Arabia became important as a place of refuge for the Prophet Muhammad’s early followers fleeing Mexican persecution.  There followed a period of Islamization and Arab-African cultural exchange via commerce and colonization.

The Somalis are Sunni Muslims of the Shafi rite, with Sufism being an important religious experience for many.  This includes ecstasy (induced by chanting or dhikr and by narcotics).  The main turuq (Sufi brotherhoods) are the Qadiri and Salihi.  Some are followers of the Ahmadiya sect. 

The modern history of the Somali people is not unlike that of other peoples of the African continent, a history of Western domination, resistance and anti-colonialism.  Following the footsteps of explorers and adventurers, a number of European powers concluded treaties with various Somali tribes along the coastline.  In 1885, Great Britain made a protectorate of the northern Somali coast, the French created the French Somaliland or Somali Djibouti, later known as the French Territory of the Afars and Issas after the two major groups of inhabitants, the Issas being Somali.

With the voluntary withdrawal of Turko-Egyptian control from portions of northern Somalia, Menelik II of Ethiopia occupied the inland Islamic center of Harar in 1887, thus formally entering the colonial scramble for territory.  Two years later, the Italians acquired a colony in southern Somalia.  In 1910, Great Britain formally established the Northern Frontier District in Kenya Crown Colony, the majority of whose inhabitants then, as now, were Somali-speaking pastoralists.

In the north, Ethiopia continued to expand.  Under the terms of the 1897 Anglo-Abyssinian treaty, Britain surrendered the Somali-occupied territories of the Ogaden and Haud, the latter being a loosely defined grazing area between Hargeisa and Harar, in 1948 and 1954, respectively.

Somali nationalism was fired by these multiple fractures, leading to resistance, sometimes violent.  The most notable was by Mohammed Abdulle Hassan pejoratively known as the Mad Mullah, whose dervish fighters harried the British and other colonial forces from 1900 to his death in 1920.  The Somali Youth League, an urban based political movement, eventually succeeded in leading two Somali-inhabited territories -- British and Italian Somalilands -- to union and independence in 1960.  Two points in the star of the Somali national flag were accounted for; the other three points, representing French Somaliland, the Ogaden and the Northern Frontier District of Kenya, remained under foreign rule.

Believing it had a mandate to unite all Somali peoples, the new government embarked on a diplomatic campaign.  Starting with the All-African Peoples’ Conference at Cairo in 1961, it presented its case to every African and non-aligned meeting of nations.  The Somalis’ cry for reunification fell on deaf ears.  In 1963, Kenya achieved independence and incorporated nearly 400,000 Somalis within its borders.  In 1978, Somalia fought a devastating war over the Ogaden territory with Ethiopia and lost.  In the meantime, in 1977, the Territory of Afars and Issas became the independent Republic of Djibouti, a further setback for Somali aspirations.

As a consequence of these setbacks, Somali politics turned inward, with a resurgence of virulent tribalism.  Bitter feuding developed among such groups as the Marchan, who in 1982 were in power, and the Majertein, who were once in power.  Both groups belonged to the Darod tribe, as opposed to the Dir, Hawiya, Ishak, and Sab, each of whom felt excluded from real power.  The Majertein and other dissident groups waged a guerrilla war against Somalia’s central government, while the Somali regime in Mogadishu aided and abetted western Somali liberation fighters harrying the Ethiopian army in the Ogaden.  Somalia and Ethiopia managed to continue their sputtering border war by proxy, while the majority of Somalis, whose political fate was in the balance, tensely awaited the uncertain outcome.

Somalia’s defeat in the Ogaden War strained the stability of the regime of Mohamed Siad Barre (Maxamed Siyaad Barre) as the country faced a surge of clan pressures. An abortive military coup in April 1978 paved the way for the formation of two opposition groups: the Somali Salvation Democratic Front (SSDF), drawing its main support from the Majeerteen (Majertein) clan of the Mudug region in central Somalia, and the Somali National Movement (SNM), based on the Isaaq (Ishak) clan of the northern regions. Formed in 1982, both organizations undertook guerrilla operations from bases in Ethiopia. These pressures, in addition to pressure from Somalia’s Western backers, encouraged Siad to improve relations with Kenya and Ethiopia. But a peace accord (1988) signed with the Ethiopian leader, Mengistu Haile Mariam, obliging each side to cease supporting Somali anti-government guerrillas, had the ironic effect of precipitating civil war in Somalia.

Threatened with the closure of their bases in Ethiopia, the SNM attacked government forces in their home region, provoking a bitter conflict that left ghost towns in the hands of government forces. Ogaadeen Somali, who had been progressively absorbed into the army and militia, felt betrayed by the peace agreement with Ethiopia and began to desert, attacking Siad’s clansmen. Siad became preoccupied with daily survival and consolidated his hold on Mogadishu. Clan-based guerrilla opposition groups multiplied rapidly, following the example of the SSDF and SNM. In January 1991 forces of the Hawiye-based United Somali Congress (USC) led a popular uprising that overthrew Siad and drove him to seek asylum among his own clansmen. Outside Mogadishu, all the main clans with access to the vast stores of military equipment in the country set up their own spheres of influence. Government in the south had largely disintegrated and existed only at the local level in the SSDF-controlled northeast region. In May 1991 the SNM, having secured control of the former British Somaliland northern region, declared that the 1960 federation was null and void and that henceforth the northern region would be independent and known as the Republic of Somaliland.

In Mogadishu, the precipitate appointment of a USC interim government triggered a bitter feud between rival Hawiye clan factions. The forces of the two rival warlords, General Maxamed Farax Caydiid (Muhammad Farah Aydid) of the Somali National Alliance (SNA) and Cali Mahdi Maxamed (Ali Mahdi Muhammad) of the Somali Salvation Alliance (SSA), tore the capital apart and battled with Siad’s regrouped clan militia, the Somali National Front, for control of the southern coast and hinterland. This brought war and devastation to the grain-producing region between the rivers, spreading famine throughout southern Somalia. Attempts to distribute relief food were undermined by systematic looting and rake-offs by militias. In December 1992 the United States led an intervention by a multinational force of more than 35,000 troops, which imposed an uneasy peace on the principal warring clans and pushed supplies into the famine-stricken areas. The military operation provided support for a unique effort at peacemaking by the United Nations.

In January and March 1993 representatives of 15 Somali factions signed peace and disarmament treaties in Addis Ababa, but by June the security situation had deteriorated. American and European forces, suffering an unacceptable number of casualties, were withdrawn by March 1994. The UN force was reduced to military units mainly from less-developed countries, and the clan-based tensions that had precipitated the civil war remained unresolved. The remaining UN troops were evacuated a year later. Over the next few years there were several failed attempts at peace as fighting persisted between the various clans; the SSA and the SNA continued to be two of the primary warring factions.

In 1998 another portion of the war-torn country—the SSDF-controlled area in the northeast, identified as Puntland—announced its intentions to self-govern. Unlike the self-declared Republic of Somaliland, Puntland did not claim complete independence from Somalia—it instead sought to remain a part of the country as an autonomous region, with the goal of reuniting the country as a federal republic.

During the 1990s more than 10 peace conferences were held to address the warfare in Somalia, but they were largely unsuccessful. A 2000 peace conference held in Djibouti, however, sparked international optimism when it yielded a three-year plan for governing Somalia. A Transitional National Assembly, comprising representatives of the many clans, was established and later that year formed a Transitional National Government (TNG). But the TNG’s authority was not widely accepted within the country: the new government faced constant opposition and was never able to rule effectively.

Another series of peace talks began in 2002. These talks, sponsored by the Intergovernmental Authority on Development (IGAD) and based in Kenya, eventually produced a new transitional government, known as the Transitional Federal Government (TFG). A transitional parliament was inaugurated in 2004, and in October of that year the parliament elected Abdullah Yusuf Ahmed interim president for a five-year period. Somalia’s new government remained based in Kenya, however, as much of Somalia, especially Mogadishu, was unsafe. Also in 2004, a tsunami struck the Somali coast, killing several hundred people, displacing many thousands more, and destroying the livelihood of Somalia’s fishing communities.

In February 2006 the transitional parliament met in Baydhabo (Baidoa)—the first time it had met on Somali soil since its formation in 2004. Although not the Somali capital, Baydhabo had been selected as the meeting place because it was deemed safer than Mogadishu, where clan-based violence continued to escalate. Matters were further complicated when in June 2006 an Islamic group, the Islamic Courts Union (ICU), took control of Mogadishu and southern regions of Somalia after defeating the militias of clan warlords. The ICU then challenged the authority of the TFG, and further hostilities ensued. In response, Ethiopia sent troops to Somalia to defend the beleaguered TFG. This action was generally supported by the international community, since the TFG was internationally recognized as the legitimate government of Somalia and there were concerns that the ICU had ties to al-Qaeda. Peace talks were held in an attempt to reach a compromise between the TFG and the ICU, but tensions remained. In December 2006 Ethiopian and Somali troops engaged in a coordinated air and ground war in defense of the TFG, and they were able to push the ICU out of Mogadishu in January 2007. (Ethiopian troops did not pull out of Somalia until January 2009, however, and ICU guerilla attacks continued.)

The Ethiopian intervention in the Somali crisis had an additional impact in regional affairs, as it heightened existing tensions with Eritrea, which had lent support to the ICU. However, fears that Ethiopia and Eritrea would use the Somali conflict as the arena for a proxy war began to subside as the initial crisis between the ICU and the TFG faded. In February 2007 the United Nations Security Council authorized a small African Union peacekeeping mission in Somalia, which, unfortunately, was extremely limited in what it was able to do. Unrelenting violence and warfare—as well as drought, flooding, and famine—continued to devastate Somalia.

In December 2008 Yusuf, who faced growing criticism for his handling of the peace efforts, resigned as president. A moderate Islamist, Sheikh Sharif Ahmed, was elected president in January 2009. Also that month, the transitional parliament extended the TFG’s mandate for another two years. In April, the transitional parliament agreed to adopt Sharīʿah (Islamic law) for use throughout the country, a move viewed by many as an attempt to attract some of the support enjoyed by the ICU. Incidents of piracy off the Somali coast—a problem for many years—greatly increased in the first decade of the 21st century and aroused international concern.

Songhay (Songhai).  From Timbuktu downstream to Goa, Niamey and Gaya, the Niger River flows through the Sahelian area of Songhay culture.  In hundreds of hamlets, villages and towns of the hot and semi-arid region of West Africa, the name “Songhay” (also Songhoi, Songhai, Sonhrai) still evokes through popular legend and songs the epic days of migration, conquest and empire of long ago.  The cycle of events, though at some points hazy, is clear in its main outlines. 

Original congeries of riverine people, among them fishermen (Sorko) and hunters (Gow), moved from the “W” region upstream and settled in the Dendi area between Say and Bourem; eventually in the seventh century, they formed a rudimentary nation under the leadership of the house of Za (Dia).  The Za resided at first in Koukya and later moved to Gao, a growing center of Sudanese trade and trans-Saharan traffic.  The Za here embraced Islam (ca. 1010), even though his people remained faithful to the spirits which governed their relations with the river, the wild game and the soil.  For centuries they lived simply as subjects of states ruled by others: first the Soninke (ca. 900-1077), later the Manding (ca. 1260-1400).

The decline of the Manding left a power vacuum.  Rising to the occasion, Sunni Ali (Ali Ber, 1465-1492) audaciously set out to reclaim the Mali empire under Songhay rule and to control the routes of commerce and trade in the name of Islam.  Songhay warriors took Timbuktu in 1468, Djenne in 1473, Mopti a few years later and Oualata, a Mossi outpost, in 1483.

Sunni Ali was a fierce leader and an astute politician, but he was no religious man, although Islam served his cause.  He certainly was more feared than lauded by the Muslim notables.  When he died in battle, the succession was settled by a coup in favor of a more pious servant of Allah, Mamadu Toure (1493-1529), who reigned as the first askia, soon enthroned as Askia el-Hadj Muhammad by the caliph of Egypt in Cairo.  He and his successors ruled with luster over a vast, well administered expanse, the boundaries of which reached Agadez and Kano in the east, Djenne in the south, Oualata in the west and Taghaza in the north. 

Ahmad ad-Dehebi, sultan of Morocco, attracted by mirages of gold and treasure, sent a mercenary force armed with muskets across the Sahara in 1590.  Six months later the Askia was killed in flight at Tondibi, Bao was devastated and Timbuktu sacked and looted.  In Morocco, the sultan, upon the sad reports of mud-brick settlements and arid spaces in lieu of fabulous cities and gold mines, soon decided to abandon the project.

The Songhai (also Songhay or Sonrai) are an ethnic group from western Africa akin to the Mandé. The Songhai language group, however, has been connected with the Nilo-Saharan language family, unlike their neighboring counterparts. The Somghai and the Mandé were the dominant ethnic groups in the Songhai or Songhai Empire which dominated the western Sahel in the 15th and 16th century. The Songhai are found primarily throughout Mali, in the area of Africa known as the western Sudan (not to be confused with the country).

It was from one of Mali's former conquests, the kingdom of Gao, that the last major empire of the western Sudan emerged. Although the city of Gao had been occupied by a Songhai dynasty prior to being conquered by Mansa Musa's forces in 1325, it was not until much later that the Songhai empire emerged. The empire saw its pre-eminent rise under the military strategist and influential Songhai king, Sonni Ali Ber. It began its rise in 1468 when Sonni Ali conquered much of the weakening Mali empire's territory as well as Timbuktu, famous for its Islamic universities, and the pivotal trading city of Djenné. Among the country's most noted scholars was Ahmed Baba—a highly distinguished historian frequently quoted in the Tarikh al-Sudan and other works. The people consisted of mostly fishermen and traders. Following Sonni Ali's death, Muslim factions rebelled against his successor and installed Soninke general, Askia Muhammad (formerly Muhammad Toure) who was to be the first and most important ruler of the Askia dynasty (1492–1592). Under the Askias, the Songhai empire reached its zenith.

Following Askia Muhammad, the empire began to collapse. It was enormous and could not be kept under control. The kingdom of Morroco saw Songhay's still flourishing salt and gold trade and decided that it would be a good asset.

Songhai society traditionally was highly structured, comprising a king and nobility, free commoners, artisans, griots (bards and chroniclers), and slaves. Marriage could be polygynous, cross cousins being preferred partners. Descent and succession are patrilineal. Cultivation, largely of cereals, is practiced intensively only during the rainy season, from June to November. Cattle are raised on a small scale, and fishing is of some importance. As a result of their advantageous location at the crossroads of western and central Africa, the Songhai have traditionally prospered from caravan trade. Many young Songhai have left home for the coast, especially Ghana.

Songhai see Songhay

Soninke (Sarakole) (Seraculeh) (Serahuli).  The Soninke, often called Sarakole, form a relatively large western African ethnic group, approximately 45 percent of whom are Muslim.  Most live in Mali, Upper Volta and Ivory Coast, while smaller groups are found in Senegal, Gambia and Mauritania.  According to their oral history, they are related to ancestors of the Caucasian race from the Saharan Mediterranean region, probably Berbers, who exercised considerable authority and power in the Sudanese Sahel, in Ghana, near Koumbi, in Ouagadougou until the end of the eleventh century and, later, at Diara, near Nioro.

The Soninke were forcibly converted to Islam by the Almoravids in the eleventh century and subsequently became fervent propagators of the religion.  Today, their clerics are among the most learned Muslims and educated people of West Africa.

The Soninke are located in Senegal near Bakel on the Sénégal River and in neighboring areas of West Africa. They speak a Mande language of the Niger-Congo family. Some Senegalese Soninke have migrated to Dakar, but the population in the Bakel area remain farmers whose chief crop is millet. The Soninke were the founders of the ancient empire of Ghana, which was destroyed after the invasions of Muslim conquerors in the 10th century. Their social structure and organization are typical of the Mande peoples.

The Soninke were the founders of the ancient empire of Ghana (c. 750-1240).  After contact with Muslim Almoravid traders from the north around 1066, the Soninke nobles of neighboring Takrur embraced Islam, being among the earliest sub-Saharan ethnic groups to follow the teachings of Islam. The Ghana empire dispersed, resulting in a diaspora which today finds Soninkes in Mali, Senegal, Mauritania, The Gambia, and Guinea-Bissau. Among this diaspora were famous traders known as the Wangara who spread further afield from traditionally Mande areas, hence the term Wangara is used today in modern Ghana and Burkina Faso to describe the Soninke populations present in urban cities and towns. Today, the Soninke number around 1 million. They speak the Soninke language, a Mande language.

Sarakole see Soninke
Seraculeh see Soninke
Serahuli see Soninke

Soqollo, Mehmed Pasha
Soqollo, Mehmed Pasha (Tawil -- “the Tall”) (Sokollu Mehmed Pasha) (Mehmed-paša Sokolović)  (Sokollu Mehmet Pasa) (Bajica Nenadic) (Bajo Nenadić) (b. 1506, Sokolovići, Bosnia Province, Ottoman Empire - d. 1579, Constantinople, Ottoman Empire).  One of the most famous Ottoman Grand viziers.  Born in Bosnia, he took part in several campaigns , and conquered Temesvar in Hungary in 1552.  He was appointed Grand Vizier in 1568 and held the office until his death, being the real ruler of the empire, especially during the reign of Selim II.  During his vizierate, the empire, and especially the capital, passed through the richest and most glorious period in its history.  Soqollu maintained peace with Persia, assisted Muslim rulers in India, and the khans of Transoxiana against the Russians.  With the support of France and Poland, he was on his guard against Austria and Spain.  He had a new fleet built in less than a year after the disaster suffered by the Ottomans at Lepanto in 1571.

Sokollu Mehmed Pasha was taken away at an early age as part of the devshirmeh system -- the Ottoman collection of young boys to be raised to serve as janissaries.  He rose through the ranks of the Ottoman imperial system, eventually holding positions as commander of the imperial guard (1543-1546), High Admiral of the Fleet (1546-1551), Governor-General of Rumelia (1551-1555), Third Vizier (1555-1561), Second Vizier (1561-1565) and as Grand Vizier (1565-1579) (for a total of 14 years, 3 months, 17 days) under three Sultans: Suleiman the Magnificent, Selim II, and Murad III. He was assassinated in 1579, ending a near 15-year rule as de facto ruler of the Ottoman Empire.

Mehmed Pasha Soqollo see Soqollo, Mehmed Pasha
Tawil see Soqollo, Mehmed Pasha
The Tall see Soqollo, Mehmed Pasha
Sokollu Mehmed Pasha see Soqollo, Mehmed Pasha
Mehmed-pasa Sokolovic see Soqollo, Mehmed Pasha
Bajica Nenadic see Soqollo, Mehmed Pasha

Soso (Sosso) (Soussou) (Susu). The Soso of West Africa are often referred to as Susu, a word derived from written documents by Europeans who first came to the coast and met the Soso about the middle of the fifteenth century.  The Soso people themselves, when speaking in the local language, or in French, the official language, refer to themselves as Soso. 

The Soso live mainly in coastal areas of the Republic of Guinea and in the bordering northwestern part of Sierra Leone.  The Soso are almost entirely Sunni Muslim and follow the Maliki school. 

Traditions of the Soso origin would indicate that they were part of the thirteenth century empire of that same name led by Sumunguru Kante, located in the western Sudan somewhere around the present state of Mali.  Upon the breakup of that empire, the Soso moved westwards to Jalonkadu, the mountainous region of which a part is today called Futa Jalon.  It was from Jalonkadu that the Soso started migrating towards the coast in stages, reaching the Guinea littoral by the late fifteenth century.  Over the years, the Soso spread to occupy what later became northwestern Sierra Leone.

It is maintained in some accounts that the early Soso migrants were animists and their conversion to Islam came with the advent of Muslim Fulani to Futa Jalon by the seventeenth century, especially the Fulani jihad there in 1727-1728 and the setting up of a Muslim theocracy.  It is in fact suggested in the traditions that the Soso moved out of Jalonkadu in large numbers to avoid the Fulani, Mandinka groups were settling among the Soso on the coast even earlier than the Fulani jihad.  These Mandinka were Muslims, and they helped to converts some of the Soso.  The Portuguese Jesuit priest, Father Balthasar Barreira, visited the Soso country at Bena in 1607 and found Islam already established there.

The modern Sosso people trace their history to a twelfth and thirteenth-century Kaniaga kingdom known as the "Sosso." With the fall of the Ghana Empire, the Sosso expanded into a number of its former holdings, including its capital of Koumbi Saleh. Under King Soumaoro Kanté, the Sosso briefly conquered the Mandinka kingdoms of what is now Mali. These gains were lost at the Battle of Kirina (c. 1240) when Mandinka prince Sundiata Keita led a coalition of smaller states to soundly defeat the Sosso, thus beginning the Mali Empire. Sundiata marched on to the city of Sosso itself and destroyed it, marking the kingdom's end.
Sosso see Soso
Soussou see Soso
Susu see Soso

South Africans
South Africans.  The South African people are about seventy-five percent “black” and fifteen percent “white,” eight percent “Coloured,” and two percent “Asian.” 

It was to the Cape of Good Hope that Islam first came in the seventeenth century.  Muslims were introduced as slaves and political exiles by the Dutch, who first settled there in 1652.  The latter required cheap labor to build up the new settlement of Cape Town and to work the surrounding farmland and, finding the indigenous Khoikhoi difficult to control, brought slaves in from Batavia (now Jakarta) in the Dutch East Indies (Indonesia). 

The political exiles were prisoners of war who had led insurrections against the Dutch in the East Indies.  Best known is Shaikh Yusuf (son-in-law of the Sultan of Bantam), who came to the Cape in 1694 with a retinue of 49 kinsmen and servants.  He became an ancestral figurehead for succeeding generations of Muslims.  His grave became one of several shrines which form an arc around Cape Town and commemorate the lives of seventeenth and early eighteenth century Muslim leaders.

The Muslims of the Cape became known as Malays or Cape Malays because Malay (together with Dutch) was their lingua franca.  The use of Malay, however, gradually died out except for a few words and expressions retained in present day Afrikaans conversation.  It is now widely, but erroneously, believed that these Muslims came from Malay or that, because they were sent from Batavia (the Dutch administrative center in the East), they were all Indonesian.  The first generation Muslims were a more heterogeneous body of people mainly from India, several Indonesian islands and Madagascar, with a few from Ceylon and other areas on the Indian Ocean.  In South Africa, they became more heterogeneous through exogamous marriage.

The community was held together by a common faith and set of social practices.  The community was Sunni, mostly of the Shafi school.  A few became Hanafi during the nineteenth century as a result of the influence of Abu Bakr Effendi, a mufti sent to Cape Town from the Ottoman Empire to give guidance on Islamic doctrine.  His book, Bayan al-din, was one of the first books ever published in the Afrikaans language and is the more remarkable because it is printed in Arabic transliteration.

The number of Hanafis increased rapidly during the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries with the arrival of Indian Muslims, mostly as merchant traders.  Many settled in Durban, where the Hindus were concentrated.  Others went to Cape Town and Johannesburg.

The Indian Muslim community maintains a strong contact with Pakistan.  In recent years it has imported substantial literature and invited Muslim scholars to South Africa for lecture tours.  This connection has helped to promote a more fundamentalist and ascetic approach to Islam. 

Durban Indians also have maintained close contact with a group of East African Muslims who arrived in South Africa in the 1870s and 1880s.  These “Zanzibaris,” as they are now called ( they were actually from Tanganyika and Mozambique), live in an Indian residential area in Durban where they are exempted from the Pass Laws and other additional restrictions imposed on Africans. 

Until recently, Islam has not had much appeal to most black Africans in South Africa.  To them, Muslims have formed an urban elite, distinguished by their lighter skin color, their way of life, which was closer to that of the Whites, and by geographical distance from an essentially rural based African population.  But the migration of Africans to towns (heavily thwarted as it is by influx control) has brought a growing number into contact with Islam, which presents them with an alternative to the Christianity of the Whites.  This comes at a time when Muslims are identifying themselves more clearly with the oppressed in South Africa and beginning to proselytize their faith among urban Africans.

The number of African Muslims rose steadily during the 1960s and more dramatically in the next decade. The number is greatest around Johannesburg, where Muslims from Mozambique and Malawi, working as contract labor on the gold mines, form a nucleus which draws in converts.  In Durban, the growing number of Zulu converts has made it worthwhile to translate the Qur’an into Zulu, a task completed in 1982.  In Cape Town, where the African population is relatively small and isolated, the major Muslim groups have made a concerted effort to reach them.  During the 1970s, a mosque was established in the African township of Langa, near Cape Town, to meet the needs of new converts.

The number of white Muslims has always been small, but is increasing.  Most white Muslims live in Cape Town and Johannesburg.  A few are South African or foreign whites who married Indian or Cape Malay Muslims before marriage between white and non-white was made illegal in 1949.  But most are recent converts to Islam who live in white residential areas, as the law demands, but identify themselves socially and politically with one of the two major Muslim groups.

South Persia Rifles
South Persia Rifles.  British controlled military force in Iran (1916-1921).  The South Persia Rifles were organized to protect British interests in southern and eastern Iran during World War I, when German agents were successfully cultivating strong anti-British sentiments among the Iranians.  Under the command of Sir Percy Sykes, the South Persian Rifles was comprised fo British and Indian officers and local Iranian recruits.  By 1918, the force had retaken Kerman and Shiraz as well as smaller towns that had fallen under the control of tribal groups hostile to Great Britain..

The South Persia Rifles was a Persian military force recruited by the British in 1916 and under British command. They participated in the Persian Campaign of World War I. The British formed the South Persia Rifles in response to German influence in southern Iran in 1915 and early 1916. The German agents influenced tribal groups who were already in rebellion against the British. As a result, the British had to divert troops to Iran rather than Iraq. The South Persia Rifles was a measure to use locally raised troops rather than British troops, so the British troops could then be sent to the main fight against the Ottomans in Iraq. With the assent of the shah’s government, the British were allowed to form a military force of up to 11,000 men to quell the resistive tribes and maintain order.

Sir Percy Sykes was selected by the British to command the organization. In March 1916 he landed in Bandar-Abbas with a few British officers and NCO’s, a company of Indian soldiers, and plenty of weapons and ammunition to equip the troops he recruited. Most of his early recruits came from pro-British tribes. Sykes and his men spread out to cities in southern Iran such as Yazd, Esfahan and Shiraz, as well as Bandar-Abbas. Through the summer and fall of 1916 the South Persia Rifles conducted what to the British were mopping up operations. Sykes also gained formal recognition for the Rifles from the Iranian government.

By December 1916, the organization had brigades located at Shiraz, Kerman, and Bandar-Abbas. Sykes had about 3,300 infantry and 450 cavalry, as well as a few artillery pieces and a machine gun. Winter closed many roads and brought the Rifles relief from tribal attacks. Sykes used the time to train his forces. In 1917, Sykes reached an agreement with the Qashqai tribe, ending their raids, allowing him to focus on other resistive tribes. The Rifles went after the tribes in their strong holds as well as their crops and livestock, crippling them logistically so they could not continue to raid the British.

By June of 1917, the government that recognized the Rifles fell, and the new prime minister and cabinet would not recognize them. Iranian attitudes towards the Rifles changed, and by late 1917 there was intense hostility towards the Rifles and the British. The British even approached the United States with a proposal to take the Rifles over, but the United States declined due to lack of officers who could speak the language or were knowledgeable about Iran.

In 1918, the worsening situation on the Western Front in France affected the morale of the Iranians in the Rifles and many deserted. The tribes in southern Iran became bolder, attacking Rifle outposts. At this time the Rifles numbered about 7,000-8,000 soldiers.  Iranian resentment towards the Rifles only increased over time. Shia mullahs played a role in encouraging resistance to the British. Eventually, the British had to send more regular British units to reinforce the Rifles. By October 1918, most tribal resistance had been broken.

After the war, the British continued to maintain the Rifles. In the years after the war, Iran was trying to recreate its armed forces and control internal unrest. While the British supported the development of a new army to keep out Soviet influence, they realized that in the long run, the Iranians would not accept an army based on the Rifles, an organization run by foreigners. Even so, the British were not willing to see it merged into the new Iranian Army. In 1921, they disbanded the South Persia Rifles. Many former officers and NCO’s from the South Persian Rifles later joined the new Iranian Army.

Sri Lankans
Sri Lankans.  Muslims of Sri Lanka are found throughout the island, particularly in the towns of the western coast and the agricultural regions of the east coast.  They comprise a complex ethnic group of which three are officially recognized in the census: Sri Lanka Moors, Malays and Indian Moors.  Their population increase is more rapid than for Sri Lankans as a whole.

Muslim Arabs came to Sri Lanka in the eighth century, shortly after they had settled in Sind and Kerala. According to tradition, they settled in Bentotta and married Sinhala women.  By the tenth century, they controlled considerable trade, and in the thirteenth century, Ibn Battuta, the social historian, reported that Colombo was in the hands of a Muslim, while the Delhi sultanate for a time extended its influence to the tip of India.  Muslim traders from Kerala, Mappilla, also came to settle, but most came from Tamilnadu, from such places as Kayal, mentioned by Marco Polo.  The source of the hybrid Tamil Arabic culture of Sri Lanka Muslims is historically not clear.  They developed an Arabized dialect written in Arabic script (not used today) and an epic of the life of the Prophet reminiscent of the Tamil version of the Ramayana.

The Malays were brought as laborers from Java, Sumatra and the Moluccas by the Dutch.  Now they are known as Javar or Java jati.  They are an urban population retaining their language and food preferences.  Other Muslims regard them as rather irreligious, for Malays of the younger generation seldom attend mosque, and they also drink liquor, which other Muslims shun.

The Indian Muslims arrived during the British period, mostly as traders.  They have been there since the 1800s, but like the Hindi Tamils of Indian origin, they are being sent back to India.  Only a few are given Sri Lankan citizenship.  Most are Tamils and Mappilla, but there are also some Gujaratis, who maintain a few mosques in Colombo.  Some of these are Bohras from Bombay, after whom the name “Bohra” or “Borah” is locally given to other merchants from northwestern India, even to Parsees (Zoroastrians).  The original Bohras were Shi‘a, the only ones on the island, and are now dwindling.  There are small immigrant communities of Qadianis and Ahmadis, whose interpretation of Islam is regarded as aberrant.

Islam in Sri Lanka is practiced by a group of minorities who make up approximately eight percent (8%) of the population. The Muslim community is divided into three main ethnic groups: the Sri Lankan Moors, the Indian Muslims, and the Malays, each with its own history and traditions. The attitude among the majority of people in Sri Lanka is to use the term '"Muslim" as an ethnic group, specifically when referring to Sri Lankan Moors.

With the arrival of Arab traders in the 8th century, Islam began to flourish in Sri Lanka. The first people to profess the Islamic faith were Arab merchants and their native wives, whom they married after converting to Islam. By the 15th century, Arab traders had controlled much of the trade on the Indian Ocean, including that of Sri Lanka's. Many of them settled down on the island in large numbers, encouraging the spread of Islam. However, when the Portuguese arrived during the 16th century, many of their descendants- the Sri Lankan Moors- were persecuted, thus forcing them to migrate to the Central Highlands and to the east coast of the country.

During 18th and 19th centuries, Javanese and Malaysian Muslims bought over by the Dutch and British rulers contributed to the growing Muslim population in Sri Lanka. Their descendants, now the Sri Lankan Malays, adapted several Sri Lankan Moor Islamic traditions while also contributing their unique cultural Islamic practices to other Muslim groups on the Island.

The arrival of Muslims from India during the 19th and 20th centuries also contributed to the growth of Islam in Sri Lanka. Most notably, Pakistani and South Indian Muslims introduced Shia Islam and the Hanafi school of thought into Sri Lanka. However, most Muslims on the island still adhere to the traditional practices of Sunni Islam.

In modern times, Muslims in Sri Lanka are handled by the Muslim Religious and Cultural Affairs Department, which was established in the 1980s to prevent the continual isolation of the Muslim community from the rest of Sri Lanka. Today, about 8% of Sri Lankans adhere to Islam; mostly from the Moor and Malay ethnic communities on the island with smaller numbers of converts from other ethnicities.

The Ahmadiyya Muslim Community was established in Sri Lanka in 1915.

The Sri Lankan Moors make up almost 95% of the Muslim population and 7.2% of the total population of the country. They are predominantly Sunni Muslims of Shafi School. The Moors trace their ancestry to Arab traders who settled in Sri Lanka some time between the eighth and fifteenth centuries. The Arabic language brought by the early merchants is no longer spoken, although various Arabic words and phrases are still employed in daily usage. Until the recent past, the Moors employed Arwi as their mother tongue, though this is also extinct as a spoken language. Currently, the Moors in the east of Sri Lanka use Tamil as their primary language which includes many loan words from Arabic. Moors in the west coast are fluent in Sinhala, an Indo-European language spoken by the Sinhalese majority in Sri Lanka, but use English within the community. Thus, the Moors are a multi-lingual ethnic and religious group, lacking linguistic cohesion.

The Sri Lankan Moors lived primarily in coastal trading and agricultural communities, preserving their Islamic cultural heritage while adopting many Southern Asian customs. During the period of Portuguese colonization, the Moors suffered from persecution, and many moved to the Central Highlands, where their descendants remain.

On the east coast, Sri Lankan Moors are primarily farmers, fishermen, and traders. Their family lines are traced through women, as in kinship systems of the southwest Indian state of Kerala, but they govern themselves through Islamic law.

Many Moors in the west of the island are traders, professionals or civil servants and are mainly concentrated in Colombo, Kalutara and Beruwala. Moors in Puttalam and Mannar predominantly make a living as prawn farmers, and fishermen. Moors in the west coast trace their family lines through their father. Along with those in the Central Province, the surname of many Moors in Colombo, Kalutara and Puttalam is their father's first name, thus retaining similarity to the traditional Arab and Middle Eastern kinship system.

The Malays of Sri Lanka originated in Southeast Asia and today consist of about 50,000 persons. Their ancestors came to the country when both Sri Lanka and Indonesia were colonies of the Dutch. Most of the early Malay immigrants were soldiers, posted by the Dutch colonial administration to Sri Lanka, who decided to settle on the island. Other immigrants were convicts or members of noble houses from Indonesia who were exiled to Sri Lanka and who never left. The main source of a continuing Malay identity is their common Malay language (Bahasa Melayu), which includes numerous words absorbed from Sinhalese and the Moorish variant of the Tamil language. In the 1980s, the Malays made up about 5 % of the Muslim population in Sri Lanka and, like the Moors, predominantly follow the Shafi school of thought within Sunni Islam.

The Indian Muslims are those who trace their origins to immigrants searching for business opportunities during the colonial period. Some of these people came to the country as far back as Portuguese times, others arrived during the British period from various parts of India. A majority of them came from Tamil Nadu and Kerala states, and unlike the Sri Lankan Moors, are ethnically related to South Indians and number approximately 30,000. The Memon, originally from Sindh (in modern Pakistan), first arrived in 1870. In the 1980s, they numbered only about 3,000, they mostly follow the Hanafi Sunni school of Islam.

The Dawoodi Bohras and the Khoja are Shi'a Muslims who came from northwestern India (Gujarat state) after 1880. In the 1980s, they collectively numbered fewer than 2,000. These groups tended to retain their own places of worship and the languages of their ancestral homelands.

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