Sunday, July 7, 2013

001 - Abadi, Haider al- - 'Abd ar-Rahman I

Abadi, Haider al-
Haider Jawad Kadhim al-Abadi (or Haider Jawad Kadhim al-'Ibadi; Arabic: حيدر جواد كاظم العبادي‎, b. April 25, 1952) is an Iraqi politician and the Prime Minister of Iraq.  He was Minister of Communication from 2003 to 2004, in the first government after Saddam Hussein.

A Shia Muslim,  al-Abadi was designated as Prime Minister by President Fuad Masum on August 11, 2014 to succeed Nouri al-Maliki and was approved by the Iraqi parliament on September 8, 2014.

Al-Abadi graduated high school in 1970 from Al-Idadiyah Al-Markaziyah in Baghdad. In 1975, he earned a bachelor's degree in Electrical Engineering from the University of Technology in Baghdad. In 1980, he earned a PhD degree in Electrical Engineering from the University of Manchester.
Al-Abadi joined the Dawa Party in 1967. His three brothers were arrested in 1980, 1981, and 1982 for belonging to the Dawa Party.  In 1977 he became the chief of the party while studying in London.   In 1979 al-Abadi became a member of the party's executive leadership. In 1983 the government confiscated al-Abadi's passport for conspiring against the Arab Socialist Ba'ath Party -- Iraq Region. 

Al-Abadi remained in the United Kingdom, in voluntary exile, until the 2003 invasion of Iraq. His positions during this time included:
  • Director general of a small design and development firm in London specializing in high-technology vertical and horizontal transportation (1993–2003)
  • Consultant, in London, in matters relating to transportation (1987–2003)
  • Research leader for a major modernization contract in London (1981–1986)
Al-Abadi was awarded a grant from the Department of Trade and Industry in 1998. While working in London in 2001, al-Abadi registered a patent relating to rapid transit systems.

In 2003, al-Abadi became skeptical of the Coalition Provisional Authority (CPA) privatization plan, proposing to Paul Bremer that they had to wait for a legitimate government to be formed. In October 2003, al-Abadi with all 25 of the interim Governing Council ministers protested to Paul Bremer and rejected the CPA's demand to privatize the state-owned companies and infrastructure prior to forming a legitimate government. The CPA, led by Bremer, fell out with al-Abadi and the Governing Council. The CPA worked around the Governing Council, forming a new government that remained beholden to the CPA to serve until the general elections, prompting more aggressive armed actions by insurgents against US-led coalition personnel.

While al-Abadi was Minister of Communications, the CPA awarded licenses to three mobile operators to cover all parts of Iraq. Despite being rendered nearly powerless by the CPA, al-Abadi was not prepared to be a rubber stamp and introduced more conditions for the licenses. Among them that a sovereign Iraqi government has the power to amend or terminate the licenses and introduce a fourth national license, which caused some friction with the CPA. In 2003, press reports indicated Iraqi officials were under investigation over a questionable deal involving Orascom, an Egypt-based telecoms company, which in late 2003 was awarded a contract to provide a mobile network to central Iraq. Al-Abadi asserted that there was no illicit dealing in the completed awards.  In 2004, it was revealed that these allegations were fabrications, and a United States Defense Department review found that telecommunications contracting had been illegally influenced in an unsuccessful effort led by United States Deputy Undersecretary of Defense John A. Shaw and not by Iraqis.

Between January and December 2005, al-Abadi served as an adviser to the Prime Minister of Iraa in the first elected government.

Al-Abadi was elected a member of the Iraqi Parliament in the Iraqi parliamentary election, December 2005 and chaired the parliamentary committee for Economy, Investment and Reconstruction. Al-Abadi was re-elected in the Iraqi parliamentary election, 2010 as a member of the Iraqi Parliament representing Baghdad.  In 2013, al-Abadi chaired the Finance Committee and was at the center of a parliamentary dispute over the allocation of the 2013 Iraqi budget.

Al-Abadi's name was circulated as a prime ministerial candidate during the formation of the Iraqi government in 2006 during which time Ibrahim al-Jaafari was replaced by Nouri al-Maliki as Prime Minister.

In 2008, al-Abadi remained steadfast in his support of Iraqi sovereignty, insisting on specific conditions to the agreement with the US regarding its presence in Iraq.

In 2009, al-Abadi was identified by the Middle East Economic Digest as a key person to watch in Iraq's reconstruction.

Al-Abadi is an active member of the Iraq Petroleum Advisory Committee, participating in the Iraq Petroleum Conferences of 2009–2012 organized by Nawar Abdulhadi and Phillip Clarke of The CWC Group .

Al-Abadi was one of several Iraqi politicians supporting a suit against Blackwater as a result of the 2010 dismissal of criminal charges against Blackwater personnel involved in the 2007 killing of 17 Iraqi civilians.

Al-Abadi was again tipped as a possible Prime Minister during the tough negotiations between Iraqi political blocs after the elections of 2010 to choose a replacement to incumbent Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki.  Again in 2014, al-Abadi was nominated by Shia political parties as an alternative candidate for Prime Minister.

On July 24, 2014, Fuad Masum became the new president of Iraq. He, in turn, nominated al-Abadi for prime minister on August 11. For the appointment to take effect, al-Abadi was required to form a government to be confirmed by Parliament within 30 days.  Al-Maliki, however, refused to give up his post and referred the matter to the federal court claiming the president's nomination was a constitutional violation. On August 14, 2014, in the face of growing calls from world leaders and members of his own party, the embattled Prime Minister announced he was stepping down to make way for al-Abadi.

The Iraqi Parliament approved al-Abadi's new government and his presidential program on September 8, 2014.


Aban ibn 'Abd al-Hamid al-Lahiqi al-Raqashi
Aban ibn 'Abd al-Hamid al-Lahiqi al-Raqashi (d. 815) was an Arabic poet in Baghdad. He was a court poet of the Barmakids who wrote panegyrics in praise of the ‘Abbasid Caliph Harun al-Rashid and versified popular stories of Indian and Persian origin.

Alternative names include:

Aban ibn 'Abd al-Hamid al-Lahiqi al-Raqashi
Al-Raqashi
Raqashi, al-
Raqashi, Aban ibn 'Abd al-Hamid al-Lahiqi al-


Abatcha, Ibrahim
Ibrahim Abatcha (1938 – February 11, 1968) was a Muslim Chadian politician reputed of Marxist leanings and associations. His political activity started during the decolonization process of Chad from France, but after the country's independence he was forced to go into exile due to the increasing authoritarinism of the country's first President Francois Tombalbaye. To overthrow Tombalbaye he founded in Sudan in 1966 the FROLINAT, of which he was the first leader and field commander. Two years later he was killed in a clash with the Chadian Army.

Originally from Borno (a province of the British colony of Nigeria), Abatcha was born into a family with a Muslim background in the French colony of Chad at Fort-Lamy (today N'Djamena) in 1938, and learned to speak French, English and Chadian Arabic, but not to write Classical Arabic, as he did not study in a Qur'anic school. He found work as a clerk in the colonial administration and became a militant trade unionist.
Abatcha entered politics in 1958, becoming a prominent figure in the new radical Chadian National Union (UNT), mainly a split from the African Socialist Movement (MSA) by promoters of the No-vote in the referendum on Chad's entry into the French Community. The party's followers were all Muslims, and advocated Pan-Africanism and socialism. Towards the end of the colonial rule, Abatcha was jailed for a year either for his political activities or for mismanagement in the performance of his duties.

After independence in 1960, Abatcha and his party staunchly opposed the rule of President Francois Tombalbaye, and the UNT was banned with all other opposition parties on January 19, 1962. After that Abatcha was briefly imprisoned by the new Chadian government.

After his release, the UNT cadres decided that if the political situation in Chad became too unbearable to allow the party to survive, it would be wise to send out of the country some party members so that the organization would in any case maintain its existence. Thus Abatcha, who held the position of second adjutant secretary-general of the UNT, was sent in 1963 to Accra, Ghana, where he was later joined by UNT members Aboubakar Djalabo and Mahamat Ali Taher. By going into exile, the UNT members meant also to ensure their personal safety and organize abroad an armed revolt in Chad. As part of the means to preserve the unity of the movement, Abatcha wrote for the UNT a policy statement; this draft was to be the core of the official program of the FROLINAT.

Abatcha led the typical life of the Third World dissident in search of support in foreign capitals, first residing in Accra, Ghana, where he received his first military training and made friends among members of the Union of the Peoples of Cameroon that had found asylum there. The Cameroonians helped him attend conferences organized by international Communist groups.
After leaving Accra in 1965, Abatcha started traveling to other African capitals always seeking support for his project of beginning an insurgency against Tombalbaye. The first capital he reached in 1965 was Algiers, where the UNT had already a representative, probably Djalabo. His attempts were unsuccessful, as were those made from there to persuade the Chadian students in France to join him in his fight. From Algiers, he traveled to Cairo, where a small secret committee of anti-government Chadian students of the Al-Azhar University had formed. The students in Cairo had developed a strong political sensitivity because they had come to resent that the degrees obtained by them in Arab countries were of no use in Chad, as French was the only official language. Among these students, Abatcha recruited his first supporters, and with the help of the UPC Cameroonian exiles contacted the North Korean embassy in Egypt, which offered him a military stage. Seven Cairo students volunteered, leaving Egypt in June 1965 and returning in October; these were to be with Abatcha the first military cadres of the rebels. Abatcha with his "Koreans" went then to Sudan in October 1965.

Once in Sudan, Abatcha found fertile ground for further recruitment, as many Chadian refugees lived there. Abatcha was also able to enroll in his movement former Sudanese soldiers, including a few officers, of whom the most distinguished was to become Hadjaro Senoussi. He also contacted Mohamed Baghlani, who was in communication with the first Chadian insurgents already active in Chad, and with the insurgent group Liberation Front of Chad (FLT).

A merger was negotiated during the congress at Nyala between June 19 and June 22, 1966 in which the UNT and another rebel force, the Liberation Front of Chad (FLT) combined, giving birth to the FROLINAT, whose first secretary-general was agreed to be Abatcha. The two groups were ideologically ill-fitted, as they combined the radicalism of the UNT and the Muslim beliefs of the FLT. FLT's president, Ahmed Hassan Musa, missed the conference because he was imprisoned in Khartoum; Musa suspected with some reason that Abatcha had deliberately chosen the moment of his incarceration to organize the conference due to his fear of FLT's numerical superiority over the UNT. As a result, once freed Musa broke with the FROLINAT, the first of many splits that were to plague the history of the organization. Thus Abatcha had to face from the beginning a level of considerable internal strife, with the opposition guided by the anti-communist Mohamed Baghlani.

The unity was stronger on the field, with Abatcha and his so-called Koreans passing to Eastern Chad in mid-1966 to fight the government, and El Hadj Issaka assuming the role of his chief-of-staff. While his maquis were badly trained and equipped, they were able to commit some hit-and-run attacks against the Chadian army, mainly in Ouaddai, but also in Guera and Salamat. The rebels also toured the villages, indoctrinating the people on the future revolution and exhorting youths to join the FROLINAT forces.

The following year Abatcha expanded his range and number of operations, officially claiming in his dispatches 32 actions, involving prefectures previously untouched by the rebellion, that is Moyen-Chari and Kanem. Mainly due to Abatcha's qualities as both secretary-general and field-commander, what had started in 1965 as a peasant uprising was becoming a revolutionary movement.

On January 20, 1968 Abatcha's men killed on the Goz Beida-Abéché road a Spanish veterinarian and a French doctor, while they took hostage a French nurse. Abatcha disavowed this action and ordered his men to free the nurse. However, due to these actions, on February 11, Abatcha was tracked down by the Chadian army and killed in a clash.

Abatcha's death was the end of an important phase in the history of the FROLINAT and more generally of the rebellion. Abatcha had been the one generally acceptable leader of the insurrection. After him, the FROLINAT was more and more divided by inner rivalries, making it more difficult to provide the insurgents with a coherent organization.


Abbad ibn Bishr
Abbad ibn Bishr (c.606–632) was one of the Sahaba, one of the companions of the Prophet Muhammad. He was known for his devotion to worship, knowledge and courage in battle.

Abbad was enthralled by the Qur'an after first hearing it recited by Musab ibn Umayr before the hijra when Abbad was about fifteen years old. The Qur'an had a special place in his heart, and he became renowned for his recitation so much so that he was known among the companions as the friend of the Qur'an. Muhammad's wife Aishah bint Abi Bakr once said: "There are three persons among the Ansar whom no one could excel in virtue: Sad ibn Muadh, Usayd ibn Khudayr, and Abbad ibn Bishr."

In 625, Muhammad received news that the Najd tribes were planning to attack Medina. In preemption, he assembled a detachment of over four hundred men including Abbad ibn Bishr. Arriving at Najd, they found the men of the tribes had fled to the hills. When the time of salatul asr came, Muhammad feared an ambush so he arranged the Muslims in ranks and divided them into two groups and performed salatul-khawf (the Prayer of Fear). Seeing their disciplined ranks, the hostile tribesmen became uneasy. After Muhammad made his presence known, he felt a conflict was unnecessary and decided to depart. On the way back to Medina, the Muslims pitched camp in a valley for a night. The responsibility of guarding the camp was assumed by Abbad ibn Bishr and Ammar bin Yasir, whom Muhammad had paired as brothers following his arrival in Medina.
After reaching the mouth of the valley, Abbad noticed that his brother was tired and volunteered to keep watch for the first half of the night and allow him to rest. Since there appeared to be no imposing threats, Abbad stood up for prayer. While absorbed in recitation, a stranger stalked the outskirts of the valley in search of Muhammad and his followers. He was among those who had planned to attack Muhammad, but fled into the mountains.

From a distance, the man saw the figure of Abbad and knew the Muslim force must be inside the valley. Silently he drew his bow, and fired an arrow which embedded itself in Abbad's flesh. Calmly, Abbad removed the arrow and went on with his recitation, still absorbed in his Salat. The attacker shot two more arrows, which also found their mark. Abbad pulled them out and finished his recitation. Weak and in pain, he stretched out his hand while still in prostration and shook his sleeping companion. Abbad continued the prayer to its end and then said: "Get up and stand guard in my place. I have been wounded."

Ammar stood up, and seeing them both, the attacker fled into the darkness. Ammar turned to Abbad, blood flowing from his wounds, and asked "Why didn't you wake me when you were hit by the first arrow?"

Abbad replied "I was reciting verses of the Qur'an which filled my soul with awe and I did not want to cut short the recitation. Muhammad had commanded me to commit this surah to memory. Death would have been dearer to me than that the recitation of this surah should be interrupted."
Abbad was killed fighting the forces of Musailma at the battle of Yamamah in 632. Before the battle, Abbad observed the lack of mutual confidence between the Muhajirin and the Ansar, realized the campaign would fail unless they were separately regimented, and distinguished those who bore their responsibility and were steadfast in combat. When the battle commenced, Abbad ibn Bishr stood on a mound and shouted:

"O Ansar, distinguish yourselves among men. Destroy your scabbards. And do not forsake Islam."

Abbad gathered about four hundred men from the Ansar and launched an offensive into the enemy ranks, forcing their retreat to the garden of death, where Abbad ibn Bishr was mortally wounded. Although the battle was a victory for the Muslims, twelve hundred of their force were killed. So numerous were Abbad’s wounds, that he was hardly recognizable. Although he passed at a young age, Abbad contributed much to the strength of the early Muslim community, and his life and martyrdom continue to inspire followers of Islam the world over.

Alternative names include:

Abbad ibn Bishr
Ibn Bishr
Ibn Bishr, Abbad


‘Abbad ibn Sulayman al-Saymari

‘Abbad ibn Sulayman al-Saymari, also known as "al-Daymari", (d.c.864) was a Mu‘tazili from Basra who emphasized the difference between God (“the other”) and man. 

Alternative names include:

'Abbad ibn Sulayman al-Daymari
'Abbad ibn Sulayman al-Saymari
Al-Daymari
Al-Saymari
Daymari, al-
Daymari, 'Abbad ibn Sulayman al-
Saymari, al-
Saymari, 'Abbad ibn Sulayman al-

Abbadi, Mostafa el-
Mostafa el-Abbadi (Arabic: مصطفى العبادي‎‎; b. October 10, 1928, Cairo, Egypt - d. February 13, 2017, Alexandria, Egypt) was a prominent historian of Greco-Roman Egypt and an Egyptian public intellectual.  Formerly the Emeritus Professor in Classics at the Alexandria University, he is credited with proposing the revival of the ancient library of Alexandria, a project embraced by UNESCO in 1986 and completed in 2003. He was later critical of some of aspects of the project as realized by the Egyptian government, telling the New York Times that the library was at risk of becoming "a cultural center" rather than fulfilling its "promise as a world-class research center."


A recipient of the Order of the Nile, El-Abbadi was a member of Egypt's Supreme Council of Culture (SCC), Supreme Council of Antiquities (SCA), and l'Institut d'Egypte.  He also served as President of the Archaeological Society of Alexandria and was an advisor to UNESCO. Educated in Egypt and the United Kingdom, El-Abbadi received a bachelor's degree from Alexandria University and a special bachelor's degree and doctorate from the University of Cambridge.  He also held an honorary doctorate from the Universite du Quebec a Montreal (UQAM).

'Abbas
'Abbas  (al-'Abbas ibn al-Muttalib) (c.566-653).  Paternal uncle of the Prophet Muhammad and of the fourth caliph, 'Ali.  A rich merchant of Mecca, 'Abbas initially fought against Islam but was converted in 629.  Thereafter, 'Abbas staunchly supported Islam with money and arms.  'Abbas accompanied the Prophet on the Prophet’s march on Mecca in 630.  'Abbas was the forebear of the 'Abbasid dynasty of caliphs.
'Abbas ibn al-Muttalib, al- see 'Abbas


'Abbas I
'Abbas I (Shah 'Abbas I) (1571-1629).  Sometimes called 'Abbas the Great.  'Abbas I was the Safavid ruler (the Safavid Shah) of Persia (Iran) from 1587-1629.  He began his rule by ceding lands to the Uzbeks and the Ottomans in order to gain time to create a standing army.  Beginning in 1587, however, he won back all the ceded territory and by 1623 ruled over an empire extending from the Tigris to the Indus River.  

‘Abbas began his conquests and re-conquests by enforcing his authority over the Qizil-Bash (Kizilbash) amirs with the help of a cavalry corps created from Georgian prisoners.  He also recruited a standing army of some 37,000 men.  Having pacified the provinces of Iraq, Fars, Kirman, and Luristan, and subjugated the rulers of Gilan and Mazandaran, ‘Abbas I defeated the Uzbeks (Ozbegs) in 1598 and the Ottomans in 1605.  It was from the Ottomans that ‘Abbas obtained Baghdad in 1623.  

‘Abbas annexed Bahrain in 1601; conquered Shirvan in 1607; and seized Hormuz from the Portuguese in 1620.  Additionally, bitter wars were fought with the Georgians.  

‘Abbas maintained diplomatic contacts with European countries, with Mughal India, and with the princes of Muscovy and the Tatar khans of the Crimea.  He also admitted foreign Christian monastic orders, had roads, bridges, and caravanserais constructed, and built mosques, palaces and gardens at Isfahan (the new Persian capital after 1597), at Kazbin, at Ashraf, and at Farahabad on the Caspian Sea.

A superb administrator, 'Abbas encouraged commerce and industry.  He maintained a lavish court and was a patron of the arts, which flourished during his reign as never before.  A zealous builder, 'Abbas I essentially reconstructed Isfahan which he made his capital.  Today, many of Isfahan’s greatest architectural edifices date from the time of 'Abbas the Great.  

Shah 'Abbas I see 'Abbas I
'Abbas the Great see 'Abbas I


'Abbas I
'Abbas I ('Abbas Hilmi I) (1812-1854).  Pasha (viceroy) of Egypt from 1849-1854.  Born on July 1, 1812, 'Abbas I was the grandson of pasha Muhammad 'Ali.  In 1848, on the death of his uncle, Ibrahim Pasha, 'Abbas became regent of Egypt.  He became pasha in the following year. Most of the domestic reforms accomplished by Muhammad 'Ali were undone during the reign of ‘Abbas.  ‘Abbas I showed great hostility to foreigners and considered previous reforms as blameworthy innovations.  As a result, French influence declined in Egypt.  Great Britain offered its support in Egypt’s conflict with the Ottoman government regarding the Reforms ( the Tanzimat-i Khayriyye).   In the end, 'Abbas was murdered by his slaves.  He was succeeded by his uncle Muhammad Sa‘id.  
'Abbas Hilmi I see 'Abbas I
Hilmi, 'Abbas see 'Abbas I
'Abbas Hilmi see 'Abbas I


'Abbas II
'Abbas II ('Abbas Hilmi Pasha) (1874-1944).  Last khedive (Turkish viceroy) of Egypt.  He succeeded his father Muhammad Tawfik Pasha (1852-1892) to the throne of Egypt in 1892.  During the early years of his reign he opposed British interference in Egyptian affairs.  Specifically, Abbas II came into conflict with first Lord Cromer and later with Lord Kitchener.  After 1900, however, Abbas II was compelled to cooperate with progressive measures instituted by the British resident at Cairo.  During the reign of Abbas II, Egypt reconquered the Sudan (in 1898); the railway to Khartoum, Sudan, was completed (in 1899), as was the first Aswan Dam (in 1902).  Abbas II supported the Ottoman Turks in World War I and was deposed in December 1914, when Great Britain established a protectorate over Egypt.  
'Abbas Hilmi Pasha see 'Abbas II


‘Abbasa
‘Abbasa. Daughter of the ‘Abbasid caliph al-Mahdi and the sister of the caliphs Harun al-Rashid and al-Hadi.  Her name is connected with the fall of the Barmakids in 803 C.C., because of her alleged love affair.

The Barmakids were a Persian family that had become very powerful during the caliphate of al-Mahdi.  Yahya, the vizier of Harun al-Rashid, had aided Harun al-Rashid in obtaining the caliphate.  Yahya and his sons were in high favor until 803 when the caliph threw them in prison and confiscated their land.  Many reasons are given for this punitive action. Yahya's entering Harun's presence without Harun's permission; Yahya's opposition to Muhammad ibn al-Layth who later gained Harun's favor; and the Barmakid's ostentatious display of their wealth are said to be the cause of Harun's action.  However, the reason which has intrigue writers and storytellers for ages is the alleged romantic relationship between Jafar, the son of Yahya, and Harun's sister, 'Abbasa.

As the story goes, Jafar, was the constant companion of Harun.  Harun was also very fond of his sister, 'Abbasa, and loved to have both her and Jafar around at times of recreation.  However, Muslim etiquette forbade their common presence.  To circumvent the rules of etiquette, Harun had a marriage ceremony performed between 'Abbasa and Jafar, but only with the understanding that the ceremony was purely nominal and that 'Abbasa and Jafar were not to become intimately involved.  Unfortunately, the heart of 'Abbasa ignored the ban.  She fell in love with Jafar and became infatuated with him.  One night she entered Jafar's bedroom in the darkness, masquerading as one of his slave girls.  She seduced Jafar and had sex with him.

From this union, a child was conceived.  'Abbasa secretly gave birth to the child and the child was sent by 'Abbasa to Mecca.  However, a maid, after quarreling with her mistress, disclosed the scandal.  Harun, while on a pilgrimage in Mecca, heard the story and became enraged.  Upon his return to Baghdad, Harun had Jafar executed, his body cut in two, and impaled on either side of the bridge.  Harun also had Jafar's father (Yahya) and brother (al-Fadl) cast into prison.  Jafar's body stayed impaled for three years until when Harun happened to pass through Baghdad from the East, saw the body, and gave the command for the remains to be taken down and burned.   

This story is discounted by modern scholars, but it has become part of the legend of the court of Harun al-Rashid.

 
'Abbas, Ferhat
'Abbas, Ferhat.  See Ferhat 'Abbas.

'Abbas Hilmi
'Abbas Hilmi.  See 'Abbas I.


'Abbas Hilmi Pasha
'Abbas Hilmi Pasha.  See 'Abbas II.

‘Abbas ibn ‘Abd al-Muttalib, al-
‘Abbas ibn ‘Abd al-Muttalib, al-  (Abu’l-Fadl) (c. 568-652).   Half-brother of the Prophet Muhammad’s father, ‘Abd Allah.  He joined the Prophet in 630 and died around 652.  The ‘Abbasids took their name from him, being descended from his son ‘Abd Allah ibn ‘Abbas.

'Abbas was born around 568 in Mecca.  'Abbas was a successful merchant known for the grandeur that he surrounded himself with during his travels.  Stories tell that he was in charge of the Zamzam, while this was part of the pre-Islamic pilgrimage of the Ka’ba. His job was to put raisins into it.

'Abbas opposed Muhammad while he still lived in Mecca, but was not one of the fierce opponents.  Later, he became the protector of Muhammad after Abu Talib died.  

'Abbas was captured with other Meccan fighters at the Battle of Badr.  Historians are uncertain as to whether 'Abbas converted to Islam before returning from Badr to Mecca or not.  If he did, he kept his conversion a secret.  However, we know that 'Abbas gave his sister-in-law, Maimuna, in marriage to Muhammad in 628 or 629, when the latter visited Mecca.

'Abbas helped wash Muhammad’s body after the Prophet’s death.  However, for the remaining 20 years of his life, little is known.  He died around 652 [653?] in Medina.  

Abu’l-Fadl see ‘Abbas ibn ‘Abd al-Muttalib, al-

‘Abbas ibn al-Ahnaf, al-
‘Abbas ibn al-Ahnaf, al- (750-809).  Amatory of Iraq from around 750 until after 808.  He became a favorite of the ‘Abbasid caliph Harun al-Rashid and was connected with the Barmakids.  He cultivated the genre of erotico-elegiac poetry, known as ghazal, using simple and fluent language.  His poems became ready made material for composers and singers.


'Abbas ibn 'Ali, al-
646-680
'Abbas ibn 'Ali, al- (646-680).  Son of the fourth Sunni caliph (and the first Shi'a imam), 'Ali ibn Abi Talib, and Fatima bint Hezam, commonly known as Ummul Baneen.  

Al-'Abbas is particularly revered by Shi'a Muslims for his loyalty to his half-brother and third Shi'a imam, Husayn ibn 'Ali; his respect for the Ahl al-Bayt; and his role in the Battle of Karbala.  Al-'Abbas was married to Lubaba bint Ubaydullah ibn 'Abbas ibn Abdil Muttalib.  He had three sons, and their names are al-Fadl ibn al-'Abbas, Qasim ibn al-'Abbas, and Ubaydullah ibn al-'Abbas.  Two of them (al-Fadl ibn al-'Abbas and Qasim ibn al-'Abbas) were killed during the Battle of Karbala.

It is said that the Angel Gabriel informed Muhammad what would happen to his grandson Husayn ibn 'Ali at Karbala.  Muhammad, Fatima Zahra (Muhammad's daughter), and 'Ali were saddened by this, so 'Ali wished for a son to help Husayn ibn 'Ali at Karbala.  He asked his brother, Aqeel ibn Abi Talib, to search for a wife from courageous descent.  Aqeel discovered Fatima Qalabiyya, better known as Ummul Baneen.  Ummul Baneen was descended from the honored lineage of Hezam ibn Khalid ibn Rabi'e ibn Amer Kalbi.  However, 'Ali ibn Abi Talib did not marry Ummul Baneen (or any other woman) until after the death of Fatima Zahra.  

Al-'Abbas ibn Abi Talib was born on 4 Shaban 26 A.H. (646).  He was the son of 'Ali ibn Abi Talib and Fatima bint Qalabiyya (Ummul Baneen).  It is said that he did not open his eyes after he was born until his half-brother Husayn ibn 'Ali took him in his arms.  This was a sign of the devotion that al-'Abbas would have for Husayn throughout his life.

Al-'Abbas showed his loyalty to Husayn at the Battle of Karbala.  After succeeding his father Muawiya ibn Abu Sufyan as caliph, Yazid ibn Muawiyah required Husayn to pledge allegiance to him.  Husayn refused to do so.  In 680, Husayn left Medina with a small group of his companions and family, to travel to Kufa.  The people of Kufa said that they would support Husayn if he claimed the caliphate.  On the way, Husayn and his group were intercepted.  They were forced into a detour and arrived in Karbala on the 2nd of Muharram.  Husayn's camp was surrounded and cut off from the Euphrates River.  The camp ran out of water on the 7th of Muharram.

On the 8th and 9th of Muharram, Husayn refused to send al-'Abbas to fight for water.  Al-'Abbas was extremely eager to fight.  Husayn asked al-'Abbas to dig a well.  Al-'Abbas and some of the Banu Hashim men began digging.  But there was no success.

On the eve the tenth of Muharram, Husayn was passing through a camp in which his nephew Qasim ibn Hassan, his son 'Ali Akbar ibn Husayn and half-brother al-'Abbas were sitting and were discussing their situation.  Husayn stood beside the campfire and heard their conversation.  'Ali Akbar said that tomorrow (the tenth of Muharram) he would be the first person to sacrifice his life for Husayn.  Al-'Abbas interrogated him and said, "You are the son of my Master.  How can you fight before me?"  'Ali Akbar replied, "Uncle, you are the strength of my father.  If you go first and die my father will be destroyed.  And also you are the commander and the commander should not go first."  Al-'Abbas replied to 'Ali Akbar replied, "Nephew! A son is the light of his father's eyes.  If you die first, my brother will be visionless.  Most of all, I cannot bear to see you dying."  Qasim interjected, "My dear Uncle!  And my dear cousin!  I will proceed first so that the strength and vision of my uncle Husayn remains.  After all, I am an orphan."  At this Husayn burst upon the group, held Qasim in his arms and replied, "Oh, my nephew don't ever consider yourself to be an orphan.  I am your father."  

Despite the offers of others, al-'Abbas could not stand for anyone else entering the field of battle before he did.  But Husayn reminded him, "We have not entered Karbala for war."  He added, "We could win because we have Banu Hashim men like you.  However, our mission here is to serve Islam and now Islam requires our sacrifice.  We are here to sacrifice our lives for this pure and noble religion."

Access to the Euphrates River was blocked by Yazid's army and prevented the camp of Husayn from getting water.  Shi'as believe that al-'Abbas, because of his skill and bravery, could have attacked Yazid's army, gained access to the river, and retrieved water for Husayn's camp.  However, al-'Abbas was not allowed to fight.  He was only allowed to get water.  Thus, al-'Abbas went to the river to get water for Husayn's four year old daughter Sukayna bint Husayn.

Sukayna was very attached to al-'Abbas, who was her uncle.  To Sukayna, al-'Abbas was the only hope for getting water.  Al-'Abbas could not stand to see Sukayna thirsty and crying.   He had to get her some water.

Al-'Abbas entered the battlefield with only a dagger and a bag for water.  He was also given the authority to carry the standard in the battle. Somehow he made it to the river and began filling the bag with water.  Shi'as emphasize that al-'Abbas' loyalty to Husayn was so great that al-'Abbas did not drink any water because he could not bear the thought that Sukayna was thirsty.  After gathering the water, al-'Abbas rode back towards the camp.  On his way back, he was struck from behind and one of his arms was amputated.  Then, he was struck from behind again, amputating the other arm.  Al-'Abbas was now carrying the waterbag in his mouth.  The army of Yazid started shooting arrows at him.  One arrow hit the bag and water poured out of it.  At that moment, al-'Abbas despaired.  One of Yazid's men hit al-'Abbas on his head with a mace and al-'Abbas fell from his horse without the support of his arms.  According to Shi'a tradition, al-'Abbas fell first onto his face before he let the standard fall.

Al-'Abbas tossed on the burning sand with excruciating pain.  Al-'Abbas called for his master.  Husayn immediately came to him lifting his head and taking it into his lap.  Al-'Abbas lifted his head off Husayn's lap.  Husayn put al-'Abbas' head onto his lap, but al-'Abbas lifted his head again.  Husayn asked al-'Abbas, "Why are you preventing me from comforting you?"  Al-'Abbas replied, "O master, why should I be comforted in death by you, while no one will be there to comfort you when you die?  Husayn eventually talked al-'Abbas into putting his head on the imam's lap.  

Husayn asked al-'Abbas, "My brother what have they done to you?"  Al-'Abbas replied, "My Master, I thought I was not destined to have a last look at you but, thank God, you are here."  Then he said, "My Master, I have some last wishes to express.  When I was born, I had first looked at your face and it is my last desire that when I die, my gaze may be on your face.  My one eye is pierced by an arrow and the other is filled with blood.  If you will clear the eye I will be able to see you and fulfill my last dying desire.  My second wish is that when I die, you should not carry my body to the camp.  I had promised to bring water to Sukayna and since I have failed in my attempts to bring her water, I cannot face her even in death.  Besides, I know that the blows that you have received since morning have all but crushed you and carrying my body to the camp will be back-breaking work for you.  My third wish is that Sukayna may not be brought here to see my plight.  I know the love and affection she has for me.  The sight of my dead body lying here will kill her."  Husayn fulfilled his wishes.  Husayn asked him for one last thing.  Husayn said, "Abbas, I too have a wish to be fulfilled.  Since childhood you have always called be Master.  For once at least call me brother with your dying breath."  Al-'Abbas closed his eyes while repeating, "Husayn, my brother, my imam."

Shi'a historians say that this was the first time in his life that he called Husayn his brother.  Al-'Abbas was killed on Friday, 10th Muharram, on the banks of the Euphrates River.  Al-'Abbas is called the Hero of Al-Qamah (another name for the Euphrates River).  His death is generally mourned on the 8th night of Muharram.  Shi'a Muslims mourn the death of all martyrs of Islam associated with Husayn in the month of Muharram, the first month of the Islamic calendar, mainly in the first ten days.  

After the Battle of Karbala ended, the dead bodies of the slain warriors were lying about without heads.  The enemy forces decided to run their horses over the bodies.  They did this in order to inflict the maximum possible humiliation on the households of Muhammad and 'Ali.

Al-'Abbas was buried at the ground where he fell from his horse at Karbala, Iraq.  Millions of pilgrims visit the shrine and pay homage to it every year.  The grave of al-'Abbas is beneath the mausoleum and is present in the shrine.  However, environmental effects caused the Euphrates to shift location.  Today, nearly 1400 years after the Battle of Karbala, the Euphrates flows across the grave of al-'Abbas, making a circle around it.  It is said that the Euphrates has come to al-'Abbas now.


‘Abbas ibn al-Walid, al-
‘Abbas ibn al-Walid, al- (d. 750).  Umayyad general who fought against the Byzantines.  He was thrown into prison by the last Umayyad Caliph Marwan II and died in 750. 

‘Abbas ibn ‘Amr al-Ghanawi, al-
‘Abbas ibn ‘Amr al-Ghanawi, al- (d. 917).  General and governor of the ‘Abbasid caliphs around 900.  He was known for his battle against, and release by, the Carmathians. 

‘Abbas ibn Firnas ibn Wardus
‘Abbas ibn Firnas ibn Wardus (Abbas Qasim ibn Firnas)  (810-887).  Andalusian polymath, scholar and poet of Berber origin at the court of Cordoba.  The invention of the making (faceting) of crystal is attributed to him.  He is also credited with being the first person to make a scientific attempt to fly when, in 875, he reportedly used a rudimentary glider launched from the Mount of the Bride (Jabal al-'arus) in the Rusafa area, near Cordoba, Spain. The Iraqis built a statue in his memory on the way to Baghdad International Airport, and the Ibn Firnas Airport to the north of Baghdad is named for him.  The Ibn Firnas crater on the Moon is also named in his honor.
'Abbas Qasim ibn Firnas see ‘Abbas ibn Firnas ibn Wardus
Ibn Firnas see ‘Abbas ibn Firnas ibn Wardus


'Abbas, Mahmoud
'Abbas, Mahmoud (b. March 26, 1935- ) was the Chairman of the Palestine Liberation Organization (PLO) and  President of the Palestinian National Authority.

Also known by the kunya, Abu Mazen, Mahmoud 'Abbas was born on March 26, 1935 in Zefat in what is now northern Israel.  During the war that followed the establishment of the nation of Israel in 1948, 'Abbas fled to Syria with his family.  

In the mid-1950s, 'Abbas became heavily involved in underground Palestinian politics, Joining a number of exiled Palestinians in Qatar, where 'Abbas was Director of Personnel in the emirate's Civil Service. 'Abbas and Arafat helped found al-Fatah ("the Conquest"), a militant Palestinian group that became part of the Palestine Liberation Organization (PLO), a political body that represented the Palestinian people.  In the late 1950s, Arafat was establishing the groundwork of Fatah by enlisting wealthy Palestinians in Qatar, Kuwait, and other Persian Gulf States.

In 1958, 'Abbas earned a bachelor's degree in law from the University of Damascus in Syria.  

As head of the PLO’s international department in the late 1970s, Abbas was instrumental in forging contacts with Israeli peace groups.  'Abbas efforts with Israeli peace groups were ironic in that Abu Daoud, the man who planned the 1972 Munich Massacre of members of the Israeli team at the Munich Olympic Games which ended with the murder of eleven Israeli athletes and coaches and a West German policeman, later claimed that the funds for the operation were provided by 'Abbas, although without 'Abbas' knowing what the money would be used for.

In 1980, he became head of the PLO's national and international relations department.  

'Abbas earned a doctorate in history from the Institute of Oriental Studies (Moscow State University) in Moscow in 1982.  The theme of his doctoral dissertation was "The Other Side: The secret relations between Nazism and the leadership of the Zionist movement".  This dissertation, which examined Nazism and Zionism, later was decried by Jewish groups as a work of Holocaust denial, and in the 1990s 'Abbas distanced himself from some of its more controversial elements.

'Abbas opposed the 1987 intifada (the armed Palestinian uprising against Israel).  He also performed diplomatic duties, presenting a moderating face for PLO policies.

In the early 1990s Abbas shaped Palestinian negotiating strategy at both the peace conference in Madrid (1991) and in secret meetings with the Israelis in Norway. Through the resulting Oslo Accords (1993), Israel and the Palestinians extended mutual recognition to each other, and Israel ceded some governing functions in the West Bank and Gaza Strip to a Palestinian Authority.

Abbas was the first PLO official to visit Saudi Arabia after the Gulf War in January 1993 to mend fences with the Gulf countries for the PLO's support of Iraq during the Persian Gulf War. At the 1993 peace accord with Israel, Abbas was the signatory for the PLO on 13 September 1993. He published a memoir, Through Secret Channels: The Road to Oslo (1995).

In 1995, 'Abbas returned to live in Palestine for the first time since leaving for exile and, in 1996, he became secretary-general of the PLO Executive Committee.

'Abbas again opposed the intifada -- the second intifada -- which began in 2000.  'Abbas was a senior member of the Palestinian delegation to the Camp David peace talks in July 2000. 'Abbas adamantly rejected Israel’s peace offer but opposed the violent Palestinian uprising called the intifāḍa (Arabic: “shaking off”) that followed.

By early 2003, as both Israel and the United States had indicated their refusal to negotiate with Yasser Arafat, 'Abbas began to emerge as a candidate for a more visible leadership role. As one of the few remaining founding members of Fatah, he had some degree of credibility within the Palestinian cause, and his candidacy was bolstered by the fact that other high-profile Palestinians were for various reasons not suitable (the most notable, Marwan Barghouthi, was under arrest in an Israeli jail after being convicted of multiple murders). 'Abbas's reputation as a pragmatist garnered him favor with the West and certain elements of the Palestinian legislature, and pressure was soon brought on Arafat to appoint him prime minister. Arafat did so on March 19, 2003. Initially, Arafat attempted to undermine the post of prime minister, but was eventually forced to give 'Abbas some degree of power.

However, the rest of 'Abbas's term as prime minister continued to be characterised by numerous conflicts between him and Arafat over the distribution of power between the two. 'Abbas had often hinted he would resign if not given more control over the administration. In early September 2003, he confronted the Palestinian parliament over this issue. The United States and Israel accused Arafat of constantly undermining 'Abbas and his government.

In addition, 'Abbas came into conflict with Palestinian militant groups, notably the Palestinian Islamic Jihad Movement and Hamas because his pragmatic policies were opposed to their hard-line approach. However, he made it perfectly clear that he was forced to abandon, for the moment, the use of arms against Israeli civilians inside the green line due to its ineffectiveness.

Initially he pledged not to use force against the militants, in the interest of avoiding a civil war, and instead attempted negotiation. This was partially successful, resulting in a pledge from the two groups to honor a unilateral Palestinian cease-fire. However, continuing violence and Israeli "target killings" of known leaders forced 'Abbas to pledge a crackdown in order to uphold the Palestinian Authority's side of the road map for peace. This led to a power struggle with Arafat over control of the Palestinian security services. Arafat refused to release control to 'Abbas, thus preventing him from using them on the militants.

Abbas resigned as prime minister in October 2003, citing lack of support from Israel and the United States as well as "internal incitement" against his government.

On November 11, 2004, Yasser Arafat died.  On that same day, Mahmoud 'Abbas was appointed chairman of the Executive Committee of the PLO.  Although 'Abbas had little popular support among Palestinians, he was highly regarded in the international community for his moderate stance and peacemaking efforts.

After Yasser Arafat's death, Mahmoud 'Abbas was seen, at least by Fatah, as his natural successor. On November 25, 2004, 'Abbas was endorsed by Fatah's Revolutionary Council as its preferred candidate for the presidential election, scheduled for January 9, 2005.

On 14 December 14, 2004, 'Abbas called for an end to violence in the Second Intifada and a return to peaceful resistance. However, he refused to disarm Palestinian militants or tp use force against groups that Israel, the United States and the European Union designated as terrorist organisations.

With Israeli forces arresting and restricting the movement of other candidates, Hamas' boycott of the election, and his campaign being given 94% of the Palestinian electoral campaign coverage on TV, 'Abbas' election was virtually ensured, and on January 9, 2005 'Abbas was elected with 62% of the vote as President of the Palestinian National Authority.

Despite Abbas' call for a peaceful solution, attacks by militant groups continued after his election, in a direct challenge to his authority. The Palestinian Islamic Jihad Movement launched a raid in Gaza on January 12, 2005 that killed one and wounded three military personnel in Gaza. On January 13, 2005, Palestinians from the Al-Aqsa Martyrs' Brigades, Hamas, and the Popular Resistance Committees launched a suicide attack on the Karni crossing, killing six Israelis. As a result, Israel shut down the damaged terminal and broke off relations with 'Abbas and the Palestinian Authority, stating that 'Abbas needed to show a gesture of peace by attempting to stop such attacks.

'Abbas was formally sworn in as the Chairman of the Palestinian National Authority in a ceremony held on January 15, 2005 in the West Bank town of Ramallah.

On January 23, 2005, Israeli radio reported that 'Abbas had secured a thirty-day ceasefire from Hamas and Palestinian Islamic Jihad. On February 12, 2005,  Palestinians attacked Israeli settlements and 'Abbas quickly fired some of his security officers for not stopping the attacks in a ceasefire.
 
In May 2005, 'Abbas travelled to the White House and met with his American counterpart, George W. Bush. Bush, in return for 'Abbas' crackdown on terrorists, pledged 50 million United States dollars in aid to the Palestinian Authority and reiterated the United States pledge for a free Palestinian state. It was the first direct aid the United States had given to the Palestinian, as previous donations had gone through non-governmental organizations. The next day Prime Minister Paul Martin of Canada pledged 9.5 million Canadian dollars in new aid for judicial reform and housing projects, monitors for the Palestinian elections, border management and scholarships for Palestinian refugee women in Lebanon.

On July 25, 2005, 'Abbas announced that he would move his office to Gaza until the complete withdrawal of Israeli troops in order to coordinate the Palestinian side of the withdrawal, mediating between the different factions.

On August 9, 2005, 'Abbas announced that legislative elections, originally scheduled for July 17, 2005, would take place in January 2006. On January 15, 2006 'Abbas declared that despite unrest in Gaza, he would not change the set date of the elections (January 25), unless Israel decided to prevent Arabic speakers in East Jerusalem from voting. Hamas won a majority of votes in this election.

On January 16, 2006, 'Abbas said that he would not run for office again at the end of his current term. On May 25, 2006, 'Abbas gave Hamas a ten-day deadline to accept the 1967 ceasefire lines.

On June 2, 2006, 'Abbas again announced that if Hamas did not approve the prisoners' document—which called for a two-state solution to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict according to the 1967 borders—within two days, he would present the initiative as a referendum. This deadline was subsequently extended until June 10, 2006. Hamas replied that a change in their stance would not occur, and that 'Abbas was not constitutionally permitted to call a referendum, especially so soon after the January 2006 elections.

'Abbas warned Hamas on October 8, 2006 that he would call new legislative elections if it did not accept a coalition government. To recognize Israel was a condition 'Abbas presented for a coalition. However, it was not clear if Abbas had the power to call new elections.

On December 16, 2006, Abbas called for new legislative elections, to bring an end to the parliamentary stalemate between Fatah and Hamas in forming a national coalition government.

On March 17, 2007, a unity government was formed incorporating members of both Hamas and Fatah, with Ismail Haniyeh as Prime Minister and independent politicians taking many key portfolios.

On June 14, 2007, 'Abbas dissolved the Hamas-led unity government of Haniyeh, declared a state of emergency, and appointed Salam Fayyad in Haniyeh's place. This followed action by Hamas armed forces to take control of Palestinian Authority positions controlled by Fatah militias. The appointment of Fayyad to replace Haniyeh was challenged as illegal because, under the Palestinian Basic Law, the president could dismiss a sitting prime minister, but could not appoint a replacement without the approval of the Palestinian Legislative Council. According to the law, until a new prime minister is thus appointed, the outgoing prime minister heads a caretaker government. Fayyad's appointment was never placed before, or approved by the Legislative Council. For this reason, Haniyeh the Hamas prime minister continued to operate in Gaza, and was recognised by a large number of Palestinians as the legitimate acting prime minister.

On June 18, 2007, the European Union promised to resume direct aid to the Palestinian Authority, Abbas dissolved the National Security Council, a sticking point in the defunct unity government with Hamas. That same day, the United States decided to end its fifteen-month embargo on the Palestinian Authority and resume aid, attempting to strengthen 'Abbas's West Bank government. A day later, the Fatah Central Committee cut off all ties and dialogue with Hamas, pending the return of Gaza.

On March 2, 2008, 'Abbas stated he was suspending peace talks with Israel, while Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Olmert vowed to press on with military operations against militants who have been launching home-made rockets into southern Israel.

On May 20, 2008, 'Abbas stated he would resign from his office if the current round of peace talks had not yielded an agreement in principle "within six months". He also stated that the current negotiations were, in effect, deadlocked.

'Abbas was chosen as the President of the "State of Palestine" by the Palestine Liberation Organisation's Central Council on November 23, 2008, a job he had held unofficially since May 8, 2005.

On January 9, 2009, 'Abbas' term as president, at least as he was originally elected, ended. Elected to serve until January 9, 2009, 'Abbas unilaterally extended his term for another year and continued in office even after that deadline expired. 'Abbas justified the extension by stating that the Basic Law gave him the right to do so, so he could align the next presidential and parliamentary elections. Pointing to the Palestinian constitution, Hamas disputed the validity of this move, and considered 'Abbas' term to have ended, in which case Abdel Aziz Duwaik, Speaker of the Palestinian Legislative Council would have become acting president.

Questions about the legitimacy of 'Abbas' continued presidency did not appear to affect his acceptance by other world leaders.  In May 2009, 'Abbas welcomed Pope Benedict XVI to the West Bank, who supported 'Abbas' goal of a Palestinian State. Also, in May of 2009, 'Abbas made a visit to Canada, where he met with foreign affairs minister Lawrence Cannon and Prime Minister Stephen Harper.

In February 2010, 'Abbas visited Japan for the third time as Palestinian President. In this visit, he met Prime Minister Yukio Hatoyama. He also visited Hiroshima, the first such visit by a Palestinian leader, and spoke about the suffering of the people of Hiroshima, who he compared to the suffering of the Palestinians.

'Abbas married Amina 'Abbas and they had three sons, including Yasser Abbas, who was named after former Palestinian Authority leader Yasser Arafat.


Mahmoud 'Abbas, also known by the kunya Abu Mazen, was an Arab of the Sunni-Muslim faith.  He became the Chairman of the Palestine Liberation Organization (PLO) on November 11, 2004 and became President of the Palestinian National Authority on January 15, 2005 on the Fatah ticket.

Mahmoud 'Abbas was elected to serve until January 9, 2009.  However, due to Palestinian Internal conflict, he unilaterally extended his term for another year and continued in office even after that second deadline expired. As a result of this, Fatah's main rival, Hamas announced that it would not recognize the extension or view 'Abbas as rightful president.  'Abbas was chosen as the President of the State of Palestine by the Palestine Liberation Organization's Central Council on November 23, 2008, a job he had held unofficially since May 8, 2005.  'Abbas served as the first Prime Minister of the Palestinian Authority from March to October 2003 when he resigned citing lack of support from Israel and the United States as well as "internal incitement" against his government.  Before being named prime minister, 'Abbas led the PLO's Negotiations Affairs Department.

Alternative names include:
'Abbas, Mahmoud
Abu Mazen
Abu Mazin
Mahmoud 'Abbas
Mazen, Abu
Mazin, Abu

‘Abbas Mahmud al-‘Aqqad
‘Abbas Mahmud al-‘Aqqad (Abbas Mahmoud el-Akkad) (June 28, 1889- March 12, 1964).  Egyptian litterateur, journalist, educator, polemicist and critic. He was born in Aswan, a city in upper Egypt.  He wrote more than 100 books about philosophy, religions, greats of humanity, and poetry.  He founded a poetry school (a salon) with Ibrahim al-Mazny and 'Abd al-Rahman Shokry.  Near the end of  his life, critics hailed him as a "human encyclopedia" of modern Arab culture. He died on March 12, 1964 in Cairo.  His most famous works were The Ingenuity of Christ, The Ingenuity of Abraham, The Ingenuity of Mohamed, The Arab Impact on European Civilization, Sarah, and Allah or God.
'Aqqad, 'Abbas Mahmud al- see ‘Abbas Mahmud al-‘Aqqad
Abbas Mahmoud el-Akkad see ‘Abbas Mahmud al-‘Aqqad
Akkad, Abbas Mahmoud el- see ‘Abbas Mahmud al-‘Aqqad


‘Abbas Mirza
‘Abbas Mirza (August 26, 1789 - October 25, 1833).  Son of the Qajar shah of Persia Fath ‘Ali Shah (r. 1798-1834).  He was known for his bravery and generosity.  Devoted to military art, he was for many years (1799-1833) governor-general of Azerbaijan.  Almost a partner to his father’s throne, ‘Abbas Mirza’s sincere efforts to create a modern army (nizam jadid) and an efficient administration did not prevent his disastrous defeats in two rounds of Russo-Persian wars (1804-1813 and 1826-1828) and the loss of the Caucasian provinces to Russian expansionism.  An advocate of modernization and European reforms, his provincial seat, Tabriz, grew to become Iran’s chief trade center.  After 1831, he extended his control over eastern Iran, but his devastating campaigns failed to secure Herat.  He predeceased his father, but Anglo-Russian guarantees made the monarchy hereditary, and because of his mother's royal birth, the line of 'Abbas Mirza was destined to sit on the throne.   
Mirza, 'Abbas see ‘Abbas Mirza


'Abbasuddin Ahmed
'Abbasuddin Ahmed (1901-1959).  Disciple of Kazi Nazrul Islam, he spent about twenty years with him.  He was a master of at least two varieties of folk songs: bhawiya and palligeeti.  He influenced the resurgence of Bengali Muslims and, with poet Jasimuddin, was instrumental in popularizing folksongs.  'Abbasuddin is credited with having popularized Islamic songs.  He is also known for using a two-string musical instrument (duo tara).  He received Pakistan’s "Pride of Performance" award.  Abbasuddin’s autobiography is entitled Amer Shilpa Jeban.  
Ahmed, 'Abbasuddin see 'Abbasuddin Ahmed


‘Abd al-‘Aziz al-Dihlawi
‘Abd al-‘Aziz al-Dihlawi (1746-1824).  Noted Indian theologian and author of several religious works in Arabic and Persian.

In northern India, ‘Abd al-‘Aziz was a prominent Sufi ‘alim of his time, a powerful orator (khatib), an effective preacher (wa’iz), and an expert on hadith and the Qur’an.  He left a deep imprint on Islamic learning through his writings and through the students who came to the Madrasah-i Rahimiyah from all over India.  He was also a connoisseur of Indian vocal music and Urdu and Persian literature as well as an accomplished calligrapher and horseman.  

At the age of sixteen, following the death of his father Shah Wali Allah (d. 1762), the foremost ‘alim of eighteenth century India, Shah ‘Abd al-‘Aziz assumed responsibility for administering and teaching at the madrasah, which had been founded by his grandfather.  Author of twenty-two known works, ‘Abd al-‘Aziz wrote on topics ranging from Islamic philosophy, hadith, tafsir, and the spirit of Sunnism to rhetoric, genealogy, music, and Persian literary styles.  In Qur’anic studies, his Fath al-‘Aziz (translation and exegesis of the first two chapters and the last two parts of the Qur’an in Persian, in 3 volumes) is a major contribution in its methodological framework and interpretation.  He witnessed the disintegration of the social and political order, the transfer of political power into Shi‘a hands (and the subsequent ascendancy of Shi‘ism in northern India), and the British takeover of Delhi in 1803.  

Against this backdrop, ‘Abd al-‘Aziz’s other two important works Malfusat-i ‘Azizi and Fatawa-i ‘Azizi, along with Fath al-‘Aziz, serve as comprehensive sources for religious and social reconstruction.  They reflect the concerns of the Muslim community in a period of transition and expound ‘Abd al-‘Aziz’s views on how to deal with such issues as the legal status of India under British rule, social intercourse with the British, the adoption of Western dress, learning English and joining the British service, interest on loans or deposits under British rule, the marriage of Muslim women with Christians, Shi‘a-Sunni intermarriage, abortion, and the use of contraceptives.  

‘Abd al-‘Aziz’s major preoccupation, however, was to restore the superiority of Sunnism by refuting aspects of Shi‘ism.  Although he wrote several epistles on aspects of Shi‘ism, his most comprehensive and controversial work was Tuhfah-i isna’ ‘ashariyah, completed in 1789-1790.  His concern with the “right religion” explaining beliefs and rituals and correcting misconceptions of historical realities such as the caliphate of the first three caliphs – may be seen as an attempt to preserve the Sunnis’ social identity in the changing socio-political order.  ‘Abd al-‘Aziz accepted Shi‘ism as an important sect of Islam but rejected some Shi‘a practices.

‘Abd al-‘Aziz did not assume any title that might suggest that God had designated him for a specific role in the community.  His contemporaries and posterity, however, bestowed upon him such titles as siraj al-Hind (lamp of India) and muhaddith (expert on hadith).  Posterity acknowledged ‘Abd al-‘Aziz’s erudition and placed him in the ranks of religious reformers.  Among ‘Abd al-‘Aziz’s writings, the Tuhfah (also translated into Arabic and Urdu) should be singled out for its lasting impact.  This work not only demonstrates ‘Abd al-‘Aziz’s  profound knowledge and understanding of authentic sources of the Shi‘a and Sunni law but also epitomizes the linear development of sectarian polemics written by Sunni ‘ulama’ in the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries.  His contemporaries among the Shi‘a ‘ulama’ in the state of Awadh vehemently refuted each chapter of the Tuhfah.  However, as a sign of his enduring legacy, in the wake of sectarian strife and polemical discussions in Pakistan in the early 1990s, the Sunni ‘ulama’ have often referred to 'Abd al-'Aziz's Tuhfah as a source.  

Shah ‘Abd al-‘Aziz see ‘Abd al-‘Aziz al-Dihlawi
"siraj al-Hind"  see ‘Abd al-‘Aziz al-Dihlawi
"muhaddith" see ‘Abd al-‘Aziz al-Dihlawi
Dihlawi, 'Abd al-'Aziz al- see ‘Abd al-‘Aziz al-Dihlawi
"lamp of India"  see ‘Abd al-‘Aziz al-Dihlawi
"expert on hadith" see ‘Abd al-‘Aziz al-Dihlawi


‘Abd al-‘Aziz al-Qabisi
‘Abd al-‘Aziz al-Qabisi (Abu al-Saqr al-Qabisi 'Abd al-'Aziz ibn Uthman) (Alcabitius) (Alchabitius) (d. 967).  Arab astrologer in the tenth century of the Christian calendar whose main work is an exposition of some of the fundamental principles of horoscopy.  He is primarily known for his treatise on judicial astrology, Introduction to the Art of Judgments of the Stars, dedicated to the Sultan Sayf al-Dawlah of the Hamdanid dynasty, a work that was highly prized in medieval and renaissance Europe.
Qabisi, 'Abd al-'Aziz al- see ‘Abd al-‘Aziz al-Qabisi
Alcabitius see ‘Abd al-‘Aziz al-Qabisi
Alchabitius see ‘Abd al-‘Aziz al-Qabisi
Abu al-Saqr al-Qabisi 'Abd al-'Aziz ibn Uthman see ‘Abd al-‘Aziz al-Qabisi


‘Abd al-‘Aziz ibn ‘Abd al-Rahman Al Sa‘ud
‘Abd al-‘Aziz ibn ‘Abd al-Rahman Al Sa‘ud ('Abd al-'Aziz ibn Sa'ud) (Ibn Saud) (b. ca. 1880 - November 9, 1953).  Founder king of Saudi Arabia (r.1902–1953).  His family, with its regular seat at Riyadh, were the traditional leaders of the ultraorthodox Wahhabi movement in Islam.  During Ibn Saud's yout the Saud family was in exile in Kuwait. In 1902, Ibn Saud and a small party of relatives and servants took Riyadh from the Rashid dynasty, and by 1912 he had restored Sa‘udi rule in Najd and had organized a well trained army.  He then started settling Bedouins in Wahhabiyya-centered agricultural colonies whose members were known as “The Brothers” (in Arabic, al-Ikhwan).

In 1914, ‘Abd al-‘Aziz (Ibn Saud) expelled the Ottomans from eastern Arabia and, in the following years, he subdued the Jabal Shammar area in northern Najd and annexed Asir.  During World War I, the British made slight efforts to cultivate Ibn Saud's friendship but favored his rival, Husayn ibn Ali of the Hejaz. In 1924, Ibn Saud entered Mecca; in 1925, he entered Medina and Jidda; and, in 1926, he was proclaimed king of the Hejaz.  

After consolidating his power over most of the Arabian peninsula, Ibn Saud, in 1932, changed the name of his kingdom to Saudi Arabia.  He forced many of the nomad tribes to adopt a settled way of life and to abandon the private wars and vendettas.  He is credited with suppressing the robbery and extortion that formerly harassed pilgrims to Mecca and Medina.

In 1934, the dispute with Yemen was settled by a military victory followed by a treaty, and the government unified as the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia.  After World War II, Ibn Saud joined the United Nations and the Arab League.  

In 1936 and 1939, Ibn Saud granted oil concessions to American companies. The first commercial find of oil in Saudi Arabia was made during the reign of Ibn Saud in 1937.  The oil deposits of Arabia proved to be among the richest in the world, and Ibn Saud used some of the income derived from them on national improvements.  The greater part of his oil revenues, however, was spent on the royal family.  

During World War II, Ibn Saud remained neutral but favored the Allies.  He took only a minor part in the Arab-Israeli war of 1948.  

Ibn Saud had as many as twenty-two wives (although only three or four simultaneously) and he fathered more than eighty (80) children.  He was succeeded in 1953 by Prince Saud, his eldest son.   
Sa'ud, 'Abd al-'Aziz ibn 'Abd al-Rahman Al see ‘Abd al-‘Aziz ibn ‘Abd al-Rahman Al Sa‘ud
Ibn Saud see ‘Abd al-‘Aziz ibn ‘Abd al-Rahman Al Sa‘ud
'Abd al-'Aziz ibn Sa'ud see ‘Abd al-‘Aziz ibn ‘Abd al-Rahman Al Sa‘ud


‘Abd al-‘Aziz ibn al-Hasan
‘Abd al-‘Aziz ibn al-Hasan (1878-1943).  Filali Sharif of Morocco (r.1894-1908).  Increasing European pressure as, for instance, shown at Algeciras in 1906, which was interpreted as an act of surrender to the European powers, made ‘Abd al-‘Aziz unpopular.  In 1907, his brother Mawlay ‘Abd al-Hafiz was proclaimed sultan and ‘Abd al-‘Aziz abdicated. 


‘Abd al-Ghani ibn Isma’il al-Nabulusi
‘Abd al-Ghani ibn Isma’il al-Nabulusi (1641-1731). A Sufi mystic, theologian, poet and traveler.  A prolific writer who became a leading figure in the religious and literary life of Syria. 'Abd al-Ghani was a self-made religious scholar who relied on texts rather than masters in guiding his own intellectual and spiritual development. Together with his philosophy of religion, 'Abd al-Ghani promoted a new sense of religious rationalism.  He was a prolific author and an influential thinker with over 280 works to his credit.
Nabulusi, 'Abd al-Ghani ibn Isma'il al- see ‘Abd al-Ghani ibn Isma’il al-Nabulusi


‘Abd al-Hamid I
‘Abd al-Hamid I.  See Abdulhamid I.
Hamid I, 'Abd al- see ‘Abd al-Hamid I.
Abdulhamid I see ‘Abd al-Hamid I.


‘Abd al-Hamid II
‘Abd al-Hamid II.  See Abdulhamid II.
Abdulhamid II see ‘Abd al-Hamid II.
Abdulhamit II see ‘Abd al-Hamid II.
Abdul the Damned see ‘Abd al-Hamid II.
Ulu Hakan see ‘Abd al-Hamid II.
Great Khan see ‘Abd al-Hamid II.
The Red Sultan see ‘Abd al-Hamid II.

‘Abd al-Hamid ibn Yahya ibn Sa‘d
‘Abd al-Hamid ibn Yahya ibn Sa‘d (d. 750).  Founder of Arabic epistolary style who was employed in the Umayyad secretariat and wrote epistles which were influenced by Sasanian tradition.  An itinerant schoolmaster, he became a statesman for the last Umayyad caliph, Marwan ibn Muhammad.  He was also the first designer of Arab prose and the creator of the Arabic epistle as well as the initiator of the adab.


‘Abd al-Ilah
‘Abd al-Ilah (Abdul Ilah) (1913-1958).  Regent of Iraq from 1939 to 1953.  A cousin and brother-in-law of King Ghazi, 'Abd al-Ilah was regent of Iraq for King Faisal II from April 4, 1939 to May 2, 1953, when Faisal came of age.  He also held the title of Crown Prince of Iraq from 1943.  A son of King Ali ibn Hussein of Hejaz, who was the elder brother of King Faisal I of Iraq, he assumed power upon the death of his brother in an automobile accident.  He was deposed briefly by former prime minister Rashid Ali al-Kaylani, who led a pro-German coup during World War II but was restored after the United Kingdom invaded the country in May 1941. 'Abd al-Ilah stepped down in 1953, when Faisal came of age, but he continued to be a close adviser of the young king, and an advocate of a pro-Western foreign policy.  He was killed, along with most of the royal family, on July 14, 1958, in a coup d'etat led by Colonel Abdul Karim Qassim that brought an end to the Iraqi monarchy.  His body was trailed on al-Rashid street and was cut into pieces.
Ilah, 'Abd al- see ‘Abd al-Ilah
Abdul Ilah see ‘Abd al-Ilah


‘Abd al-Karim al-Jili
‘Abd al-Karim al-Jili ('Abd-al-karim Jili) (1365-c.1424).  Mystic who lived in Zabid and visited India.  Among other works, ‘Abd al-Karim wrote The Perfect Man (also known as Universal Man -- al-Insan al-Kamil) in which he shows himself an adherent of Ibn al-‘Arabi.  'Abd al-Karim al-Jili is the foremost synthesizer and one of the greatest exponents of the work of Ibn Arabi.  His book, The Perfect Man, is an explanation of Ibn Arabi's teachings on the structure of reality and human perfection.  'Abd al-Karim al-Jili conceived of the Absolute Being as a Self, a line of thinking which later influenced the 20th century Indian Muslim philosopher and poet Allama Iqbal.  The Perfect Man is considered to be one of the masterpieces of Sufi literature.
Jili, 'Abd al-Karim al- see ‘Abd al-Karim al-Jili


‘Abdallah
‘Abdallah.  See 'Abdullah ibn Husein.
Amir ‘Abdallah see ‘Abdallah.
'Abdullah I see ‘Abdallah.
'Abdullah ibn Husayn see ‘Abdallah.
'Abdullah ibn Husein see ‘Abdallah.


‘Abd Allah al-Ghalib bi-’llah
‘Abd Allah al-Ghalib bi-’llah ('Abdallah al-Ghalib Billah) (1517-1574). Sultan of the Sa‘did dynasty in Morocco from 1557 to 1574 who sought an alliance with the Spanish against the Ottomans. 'Abdallah was forty years old when he became sultan and received the name Ghalib Billah.  Before that he had been vice-king of Marrakesh and governor of Fez.  During a relatively peaceful reign 'Abdallah succeeded in warding off both the Spanish and the Turks and in consolidating the sovereignty of Sadians over Morocco.  He fought the invading Turks in 1558 near the Oued Leben and drove them out of the country.  After his victory, he even occupied Tlemcen for a short period.  In 1568, he supported the insurrection of the moriscos in Spain.  'Abdallah died on January 22, 1574 of an asthma attack. After his reign a period of civil war was to follow that lasted four years.
Ghalib bi-'llah, 'Abd Allah al- see ‘Abd Allah al-Ghalib bi-’llah
'Abdallah al-Ghalib Billah see ‘Abd Allah al-Ghalib bi-’llah
Billah, 'Abdallah al-Ghalib see ‘Abd Allah al-Ghalib bi-’llah


‘Abd Allah ibn ‘Abd al-Qadir
‘Abd Allah ibn ‘Abd al-Qadir ('Abdullah bin Abdul Kadir) (Munshi 'Abdullah) (1797-1854).  Innovative Malay author whose principal work is his Memoirs (Hikayat Abdullah -- "Story of Abdullah"), in which he emphasized the advantages of a European administration over an Indian one, even though he sharply criticized the administrative measures of the English and the Dutch.  'Abdullah was the first Malay writer to depart from the traditional Malay literary style by writing in the colloquial language.  Unlike courtly writing, 'Abdullah's writing was realistic and lively, incorporating many Malay idioms and proverbs.  His Hikayat Abdullah was written between 1840 and 1843 and was published in 1849.  It is an important source of the early history of Singapore soon after it was founded by Raffles.  His other major work, Kisah Pelayaran Abdullah -- "The Tale of Abdullah's Voyage", describes 'Abdullah's experiences on a trip from Singapore to Kelantan in 1838.  Munshi ("teacher" or "educator") 'Abdullah was the first local Malay to have his works published.  For his early literary contributions, he is regarded as "Father of Modern Malay Literature."

'Abdullah set out for a pilgrimage to Mecca in 1854.  However, he died in October of that year, apparently of plague.

Munshi see ‘Abd Allah ibn ‘Abd al-Qadir
Munshi 'Abdullah see ‘Abd Allah ibn ‘Abd al-Qadir
'Abdullah bin Abdul Kadir see ‘Abd Allah ibn ‘Abd al-Qadir
"Father of Modern Malay Literature" see ‘Abd Allah ibn ‘Abd al-Qadir


‘Abd Allah ibn al-‘Abbas
‘Abd Allah ibn al-‘Abbas  (Ibn ‘Abbas) (619-687).  Father of Qur’anic exegesis (commentary) and an ancestor of the ‘Abbasids.  He gathered information about the Prophet by questioning the Prophet’s Companions.  He was also one of the signatories of the treaty of Siffin, but later fell out favor with the fourth caliph ‘Ali.  After the latters’ death, he established contact with the Umayyad caliph al-Mu‘awiya and opposed the anti-caliph ‘Abd Allah ibn al-Zubayr.  

Ibn 'Abbas is considered to be the most knowledgeable of the Companions in tafsir -- Qur'anic commentary.  He has been called tarjuman al-qur'an -- "interpreter of the Qur'an".  Because he was related to the Prophet, being Muhammad's cousin, and his maternal aunt Maimuna being one of Muhammad's wives, Ibn 'Abbas was very close to the Prophet and learned much about the Prophet's revelation.   
Ibn ‘Abbas see ‘Abd Allah ibn al-‘Abbas
'Abbas, 'Abd Allah ibn al- see ‘Abd Allah ibn al-‘Abbas
Father of Qur'anic Commentary see ‘Abd Allah ibn al-‘Abbas
Father of Qur'anic Exegesis see ‘Abd Allah ibn al-‘Abbas
Tarjuman al-Qur'an see ‘Abd Allah ibn al-‘Abbas
Interpreter of the Qur'an see ‘Abd Allah ibn al-‘Abbas

‘Abd Allah ibn al-Husayn
‘Abd Allah ibn al-Husayn ('Abdullah ibn al-Husayn).  See 'Abdullah ibn Husein.
'Abdullah ibn al-Husayn see ‘Abd Allah ibn al-Husayn

‘Abd Allah ibn al-Zubayr
‘Abd Allah ibn al-Zubayr (‘Abdallah ibn al-Zubayr) (624-692). Anti-caliph and a challenger to the Umayyads from 683 to 692. Upon Mu‘awiya’s death in 680, ‘Abd Allah, together with the Prophet’s grandson Husayn, refused allegiance to caliph Yazid at Damascus and fled to Mecca, where ‘Abd Allah proclaimed himself Commander of the Believers (amir al-mu'minin), the title adopted by ‘Umar ibn al-Khattab on his election as caliph in 634.  After a six months’ siege, during which the Ka‘ba came under bombardment, Mecca was taken by Yazid’s general al-Hajjaj ibn Yusuf in 692 and ‘Abd Allah was slain.  

‘Abdallah ibn al-Zubayr see ‘Abd Allah ibn al-Zubayr


‘Abd Allah ibn Buluggin ibn Badis
‘Abd Allah ibn Buluggin ibn Badis (b. 1056). Ruler of the Zirid dynasty in Granada from 1064 to 1090 whose reign was marked by armed conflicts with his Muslim neighbors and by compromises with Alfonso VI, king of Castile.  He is also known for his Memoirs.


‘Abd Allah ibn Hammam al-Saluli
‘Abd Allah ibn Hammam al-Saluli (d. after 715).  Arab poet who played a political role under the Umayyads.  He had contacts with the Kharijite agitator al-Mukhtar ibn ‘Awf and with the anti-caliph ‘Abd Allah ibn al-Zubayr.


‘Abd Allah ibn Hanzala al-Ansari
‘Abd Allah ibn Hanzala al-Ansari (d. 683).  Leader of the revolt at Medina against the Umayyad caliph al-Yazid I.


‘Abd Allah ibn Iskandar
‘Abd Allah ibn Iskandar (‘Abd Allah II ibn Iskandar) (Abd Allah Khan ibn Iskandar)  (b. 1533). Greatest ruler of the Shaybanid dynasty from 1557 to 1598.  In 1557, he conquered Bukhara and ruled from there as khan of all Ozbegs.  He subjugated Balkh, Samarqand, Tashkent, Farghana, West Khurasan, Gilan and Khwarazm. The strengthening of the central government was accompanied by new economic measures; the construction of irrigation canals and numerous public buildings, the improvement of roads, and monetary reforms that contributed to the development of commerce.
‘Abd Allah II ibn Iskandar see ‘Abd Allah ibn Iskandar
Abd Allah Khan ibn Iskandar see ‘Abd Allah ibn Iskandar


‘Abd Allah ibn Isma‘il
‘Abd Allah ibn Isma‘il.  Filali Sharif of Morocco from 1729 to 1757 whose reign was several times interrupted in a period marred by internal strife.


‘Abd Allah ibn Ja‘far ibn Abi Talib
‘Abd Allah ibn Ja‘far ibn Abi Talib (d. ca. 699).  Nephew of the Prophet’s son-in-law ‘Ali.  He was known for his generosity.  'Abd Allah ibn Ja'far married Zainab, 'Ali's daughter.


‘Abd Allah ibn Mu'awiya
‘Abd Allah ibn Mu'awiya (d. 746). ‘Alid rebel.  The great-grandson of Ja‘far, a brother of the Prophet’s son-in-law ‘Ali, he asserted that both the godhead and the prophetic office were united in his person.  He ruled for a while in al-Jibal, Ahvaz, Fars, and Kirman, where the Kharijites and some ‘Abbasids, opponents of the caliph, joined him.  Abu Muslim had him executed in Khurasan. 


‘Abd Allah ibn Saba’
‘Abd Allah ibn Saba’ (Abdullah ibn Saba) (Ibn Sauda) (ca. 600).  Reputed founder of the Shi‘a.  It is not clear what historical person or persons lay behind this figure.

Abdullah ibn Saba, also known as Ibn Sauda (because his mother was a black Ethiopian), is an allegedly historical person whom some Wahhabi Sunnis state was a Jewish convert who laid the foundation for the later sect of the Shi'a.

Abdullah ibn Saba was originally from the city of Sana'a in Yemen.  He was a Jewish rabbi who claimed a conversion to Islam.  He moved to Kufa and started adversely criticizing the caliph's administration. From there he went to Egpyt where he founded an anti-othmanian sect to promote the interests of 'Ali.  On account of his learing, he obtained great influence there, and formulated the doctrine that, just as every prophet had an assistant who afterward succeeded him, Muhammad's vizier was 'Ali, who had therefore been kept out of the caliphate by deceit.  Abdullah ibn Sada was able to promote dissatisfaction with 'Uthman's government among his followers.

Tradition relates that when 'Ali ibn Abi Talib had assumed power, Ibn Saba became an adherent of the emerging Shi'a persuasion, and a strong supporter of 'Ali.  He is the first one who introduced the concept of imamate for 'Ali.  He called for the divinity of 'Ali.  He initially did not openly preach these beliefs, but he later abandoned his secret and started a vigorous campaign.  However, when Ibn Saba claimed that 'Ali is himself God by addressing him with the words, "Thou art Thou", 'Ali declared Ibn Saba a heretic; burned some of his followers ; and expelled Ibn Saba to Madain.

After 'Ali's assassination, Abdullah ibn Saba is said to have taught that 'Ali was not dead but rather alive, and had never been killed; that a part of the Deity was hidden in him; and that after a certain time he would return to fill the earth with justice.  Until then the divine character of 'Ali was to remain hidden in the Imams, who temporarily filled his place.  It is easy to see that the whole idea rests on that of the Messiah in combination with the legend of Elijah the prophet.

Abdullah ibn Saba see ‘Abd Allah ibn Saba’
Ibn Sauda see ‘Abd Allah ibn Saba’

‘Abd Allah ibn Tahir
‘Abd Allah ibn Tahir (Abdullah ibn Tahir al-Khurasani) (798-844).   Member of the Tahirid dynasty who was a poet, general and virtually the independent ruler of Khurasan, a man of wisdom and wide culture and an accomplished musician.  He was the Tahirid governor of Khurasan from 828 until his death.  He is perhaps the most famous of the Tahirids.
 
Abdullah's early career consisted of serving with his father Tahib ibn Husayn in pacifying the lands of the caliphate following the civil war between al-Amin and al-Ma'mun.  He later succeeded his father as governor of Al-Jazira, with the task of defeating the rebel Nasr bin Shabath, and between 824 and 826 convinced Nasr to surrender.  He was then sent to Egypt, where he successfully ended an uprising led by 'Abd Allah ibn al-Sari.  He also recovered Alexandria, which had been seized by Andalusian Muslim refugees seven years before: following their expulsion, the refugees headed to Byzantine Crete, establishing Muslim rule there for the first time.

Although Abdullah had been made the governor of Khurasan following his brother's death in 828, he only arrived in Nishapur in 830.  In the meantime, he had been busy fighting more revolts.  He was assigned for a brief time in 829 to stop the Khurramite Babak, but then was given new orders by the caliph to move to Khurasan and stop the Kharijites.  Abdullah's brother 'Ali acted as deputy governor of Khurasan until he was ready to take up residence in Nishapur.

During his reign as governor, Abdullah was occupied with affairs on both the eastern and western parts of his territories.  In the east, he took steps to improving the strength of the Samanids, his vassals in Transoxiana.  The Samanids were important, as they controlled the trade between Central Asia and the central caliphate, including the trade of Turkish slaves.  Also in the east in 834, an Alid, Muhammad ibn al-Qasim, revolted in Juzjan, but Abdullah's forces eventually managed to capture him.

In the west, meanwhile, Abdullah came into contact with the local ruler of Tabaristan, the Ispahbad Mazyar bin Qarin.  As the ruler of the east, Abdullah claimed Tabaristan as a dependency and insisted that the tribute owed by Mazyar to the caliph should pass through him.  Mazyar, however, was looking to expand his dominion and wanted to be free of Tahirid influence, so he refused to accept this and demanded that he be able to pay his tribute directly to the caliph.  In this struggle, Mazyar had the support of the Afshin, who allegedly wanted to control the Tahirid lands himself.  Abdullah was able to turn the caliph against Mazyar, and in 839 was ordered to stop the Ispahbad.  Mazyar, a recent convert to Islam, heavily relied on the Zoroastrians on the province but in the end was captured, sent to Iraq and executed.  Tahirid control over Tabaristan was therefore secured until the Zaydid revolt of 864.

Abdullah died in Nishapur around the end of 844.  He was succeeded by his son, Tahir.
Abdullah ibn Tahir al-Khurasani see ‘Abd Allah ibn Tahir


‘Abd Allah ibn ‘Umar ibn al-Khattab
‘Abd Allah ibn ‘Umar ibn al-Khattab (ca. 614-693).  Authorized transmitter of traditions and the son of the second caliph. He was a man of high moral qualities who refused three times to become caliph.  

'Abd Allah ibn 'Umar was born to 'Umar ibn al-Khattab and his wife Zainab bint Mazaun Jamiah sometime around 614.  Prior to his conversion to Islam, 'Umar had three wives.  However, after he became Muslim only Zainab joined her husband in accepting the new faith.  'Abd Allah also accepted Islam at a young age, but he was not allowed to join Muhammad in battle until he was fifteen.  The first battle he fought in was against the forces of Abu Sufyan during the Battle of the Trench, which occurred during 627.

When 'Ali ibn Abi Talib became caliph, 'Abd Allah refused to give him allegiance.  Instead he moved from Medina to Mecca, saying he was going to perform Umrah (pilgrimage to Mecca at a time other than Hajj).  After the assassination of Caliph 'Ali ibn Abi Talib, 'Abd Allah regretted having let 'Ali fend for himself in the dangerous political environment that had become prevalent.  Because of 'Abd Allah's refusal to give allegiance to 'Ali, the Shi'a have a negative view of 'Abd Allah for downplaying 'Ali's role during Muhammad's time and giving support to Yazid ibn Muawiyah ibn Abi Sufyan, the murderer of the grandson of Muhammad, Husayn ibn 'Ali and 72 members of his family and companions.


‘Abd Allah ibn Wahb al-Rasibi
‘Abd Allah ibn Wahb al-Rasibi (d. 659).  Kharijite leader who was known for his bravery and piety.  He died in the battle of Nahrawan.

When 'Uthman ibn 'Affan was elected to be the third caliph in 644, some leaders of the Muslim community were happy while others were not.  The former were the clan of Umayyah, the house of 'Uthman; the latter were the clan of Hashim, house of 'Ali ibn Abi Talib, the losing caliphal candidate.  The expectations of the Umayyah clan were met.  The caliph appointed a number of the governors of the provinces from his clan, and thus invited the envy of others and the charge of nepotism from some.  Soon the anti-'Uthman forces gathered strength and assassinated the caliph in 656.  The same body that elected 'Uthman to the caliphate then elected 'Ali to replace him.  The Umayyah clan was furious.  Mu'awiya ibn Abu Sufyan, governor of Syria, and 'Amri ibn al-'As, governor of Egypt, both of the Umayyah clan, united and asked 'Ali to identify and punish the assassins, or he would be disqualified from the caliphate by implication.  Much as he personally might have wished to comply with the request.  'Ali was too weak to do so because insurrections were breaking out in many regions of the realm.  Hence, Mu'awiya and 'Amr joined forces and declared their independence of 'Ali's caliphate.  Their contest for power soon became open defiance.

When their respective armies confronted each other at Siffin in 657, and the forces of 'Ali were about to carry the day, 'Ali's opponents resorted to a ruse and offered to accept arbitration.  Anxious to avoid further bloodshed and exhausted, 'Ali accepted the offer and withdrew.  The offer of arbitration was a hoax and Mu'awiya regrouped his forces for another round.  The arbitration took place in 659 at Adhruh on the caravan route from Medina to Damascus, between Ma'an and Petra.  

A group of 'Ali's followers strongly disagreed with the arbitration.  They claimed that 'Ali had betrayed Islam by agreeing to the truce and should have referred judgment to the Qur'an alone.  They also claimed that all Muslims were equal and that no one should rule over another.  In this way, they denounced both 'Ali and Mu'awiya and said that their belief as La Hukma Illa Lillah, meaning "No Rulership except by Allah alone."  These dissenters insisted that arms should settle the issue.  They were led by 'Abd Allah ibn Wahb al-Rasibi and counted several thousand soldiers.  

'Ali had to confront these dissenters to prevent an upset of the arrangement with Mu'awiya and to remain caliph.  There was some reluctance in the army of 'Ali to fight the dissenters because they had been with 'Ali when 'Ali fought Mu'awiya at Siffin.  'Ali also did not want to fight the dissenters and offered amnesty to those who agreed to come under his banner.  All but 1800 of the dissenters left 'Abd Allah ibn Wahb al-Rasibi.     

At the Battle of Nahrawan, the dissenters attacked 'Ali with desperate courage.  However, they did not stand a chance against the superior forces of 'Ali, and all but nine of them were killed.  Among the dead was 'Abd Allah ibn Wahb al-Rasibi.  As for the surviving dissenters, the nine managed to flee to Basra and elsewhere, where they spread the fire of their hatred and recruited more followers.  'Ali's army suffered on eight casualties, but the biggest ultimate casualty was 'Ali himself.  

Two years after the Battle of Nahrawan, the dissenters sent out three assassins to kill 'Ali, Mu'awiya and Amr al-As.  The latter two survived but 'Ali was assassinated at the hand of 'Abdul Rahman ibn Muljam in the mosque of Kufa.

The dissenters -- the opponents of the arbitration with Mu'awiya -- were expelled from the ranks of 'Ali's followers and declared heretics.  They were charged with going against the consensus of the umma and were given the name Khawarij or seceders.  Subsequently, the Khawarij -- the Kharijites -- were fought by everybody.

Rasibi, 'Abd Allah ibn Wahb al- see ‘Abd Allah ibn Wahb al-Rasibi


‘Abdallah ibn Yasin
‘Abdallah ibn Yasin (d. 1059).  One of the founders of the Almoravid movement.  In 1039/1040, ‘Abdallah, from the Jazula group of Sanhaja nomads, joined Yahya ibn Ibrahim, chief of the Juddala group in a movement of Islamic conversion among their peoples.  When the latter died, ‘Abdallah was faced with a revolt of the Juddala. He elected to perform a retreat -- a hijra -- in emulation of the Prophet, and gathered a community of followers. In alliance with Yahya ibn 'Umar, 'Abdallah ibn Yasin, the leader of the Lamtuna tribe, he managed to quell the rebellion.  The movement which emerged in 1042/1043 became known as the Almoravid movement.  The Almoravids carved out an Islamic empire in the Sahara ranging as far as Morocco and Spain.  

'Abdallah ibn Yasin formed the Almoravd dynasty alliance from the tribes of the Lamtuna, the Masufa and the Juddala, with himself as spiritual leader and Yahya ibn 'Umar as the military leader.  In 1054, the Maghrawa-ruled Sijilmasa was conquered.  Ibn Yasin introduced his orthodox rule -- amongst other things wine and music were forbidden, non-Islamic taxes were abolished and one fifth of the spoils of war were allocated to the religious experts.  This rigorous application of Islam soon provoked a revolt in 1055.

Yahya ibn 'Umar was killed in 1056 in a renewed revolt of the Judala in the Sahara, upon which Ibn Yasin appointed Yahya's brother Abu Bakr ibn 'Umar, the new Almoravid military leader.  Abu Bakr destroyed Sijilmasa, but was not able to force the Judala back into the Almoravid league.  He went on to capture Sus and its capital Aghmat in 1057.

‘Abdallah was killed in battle in 1059 while attempting to subjugate the Bargawata on the Atlantic coast in 1059.  Shortly afterwards the Almoravid movement split into northern and southern contingents.  The southern movement, led by Abu Bakr ibn ‘Umar, conquered Ghana in 1076/1077.

The grave of 'Abdallah ibn Yasin is 33 kilometer due south of Rabat, overlooking the Korifla River, marked on maps as the marabout of Sidi 'Abdallah.
Ibn Yasin see ‘Abdallah ibn Yasin

‘Abdallahi ibn Muhammad
‘Abdallahi ibn Muhammad ('Abdallahi) ('Abd Allah Muhammad al-Ta'a'ishi) ('Abdullah ibn-Mohammed) ('Abdullahi) (Khalifat al-Mahdi) (The Khalifa) (1846- November 24, 1899).  Born in central Sudan (Darfur) in 1846.  He was the son of a Baqqara religious leader.  He was trained and educated as a preacher and holy man.  

During the late 1870s, ‘Abdallahi joined the Islamic reformer Muhammad ‘Ahmad at the latter’s retreat on the Nile River.  In 1881, Muhammad ‘Ahmad proclaimed himself to be the Mahdi -- the Muslim redeemer.  Muhammad ‘Ahmad set about to construct a theocratic state modelled on that of the Prophet Muhammad.  ‘Abdallahi was named one of Muhammad ‘Ahmad’s four caliphs and was given command of a major part of the growing Mahdist army.

Over the next four years, ‘Abdallahi led a wave of Mahdist victories over Anglo-Egyptian forces, culminating in the taking of Khartoum in 1885.  He first fought at the Battle of El Obeid, where the Anglo-Egyptian army under the command of William Hicks was destroyed on November 5, 1883.  He was also the principal commander at the siege of Khartoum which lasted from February 1884 until January 26, 1885.

After the unexpected death of Muhammad ‘Ahmad in mid-1885, ‘Abdallahi assumed the leadership of the incipient theocratic state and moved to consolidate his position against various internal factions by declaring himself the Khalifa al-Mahdi -- the Mahdi’s successor.

Over the next thirteen years, ‘Abdallahi remained at Omdurman.  From this center, ‘Abdallahi organized a highly bureaucratic and centralized administration.  He also created a river flotilla, an arsenal, and a local telegraph system.  ‘Abdallahi maintained strict Islamic law but reinstituted many of the abuses which the Mahdi had sought to eliminate.  

‘Abdallahi’s army continued a border war with Ethiopia.  He invaded Ethiopia and sacked Gondar in 1887.  He then successfully repulsed the Ethiopians at the Battle of Metemma on March 9, 1889, where the Ethiopian Emperor Yohannes IV was killed. During the 1890s, ‘Abdallahi’s kingdom became overextended.  Agricultural disasters weakened its economy, while the modern armies of Italian, French and British imperialists threatened it from all sides.

In 1896, General Kitchener began the Anglo-Egyptian reconquest of the Sudan.  ‘Abdallahi’s armies suffered repeated setbacks.  Following the loss of Dongola in 1896, then Berber and Abu Hamed to Kitchener's Anglo-Egyptian army in 1897, he sent an army that was defeated at the Battle of Atbara River  on April 8, 1898.   After falling back to Omdurman, 'Abdallahi's army was destroyed by Kitchener's forces on September 2, 1898, and the Mahdist administration collapsed.  ‘Abdallahi fled south with a few followers but was finally caught and killed by Reginald Wingate's Egyptian column at Umm Diwaikarat in Kordofan on November 24, 1899.  

Khalifat al-Mahdi see ‘Abdallahi ibn Muhammad
'Abd Allah Muhammad al-Ta'a'ishi see ‘Abdallahi ibn Muhammad
'Abdullahi see ‘Abdallahi ibn Muhammad
'Abdallahi see ‘Abdallahi ibn Muhammad
The Khalifa see ‘Abdallahi ibn Muhammad
'Abdullah ibn-Mohammed see ‘Abdallahi ibn Muhammad


‘Abd Allah Muhammad al-Ta‘a’ishi
‘Abd Allah Muhammad al-Ta‘a’ishi.  See 'Abdallahi ibn Muhammad.
‘Abdullahi see ‘Abd Allah Muhammad al-Ta‘a’ishi.
'Abdallahi ibn Muhammad see ‘Abd Allah Muhammad al-Ta‘a’ishi.
Khalifa al-Mahdi see ‘Abd Allah Muhammad al-Ta‘a’ishi.
Ta‘a’ishi, 'Abd Allah Muhammad al-  see ‘Abd Allah Muhammad al-Ta‘a’ishi.


Abdallah, Ould Lamine
Abdallah, Ould Lamine (b. 1929) was a French former long-distance runner who competed in the 1952 Summer Olympics.

Alternative names include:

Abdallah, Ould Lamine
Ould Lamine Abdallah


‘Abd Allah Sultanpuri
‘Abd Allah Sultanpuri (Makhdum al-Mulk).   Leading Indian theologian of the sixteenth century who is said to have issued a legal advice (a fatwa) to the effect that the pilgrimage to Mecca was not obligatory for the Muslims of India because the journey by sea could not be undertaken without European passports and the land route lay through Shi‘ite Persia. However, 'Abd Allah's conservatism and intolerance led the Mughal Emperor Akbar to formulate his own religion -- the Din-e-Ilahi.
Makhdum al-Mulk see ‘Abd Allah Sultanpuri
Sultanpuri, 'Abd Allah see ‘Abd Allah Sultanpuri
Mulk, Makhdum al- see ‘Abd Allah Sultanpuri


'Abd Allah II ibn 'Ali 'Abd ash-Shakur


'Abd Allah II ibn 'Ali 'Abd ash-Shakur, also known as Amir Hajji 'Abdu'llahi II ibn 'Ali 'Abdu's Shakur, (18??-1930) was the last Emir of Harar from 1884 (or 1885, various sources carry various dates) to January 26, 1887, when the state was terminated, following the defeat of the Harari troops at the Battle of Chelenqo (January 6).
Emir 'Abd Allah was the son of Muhammad ibn 'Ali 'Abd ash-Shakur by Kadija, the daughter of Emir 'Abd al-Karim ibn Muhammad.  To secure his hold on the emirate of Harar, his father had married 'Abd Allah to the daughter of Ahmad III ibn Abu Bakr, his predecessor. When the Egyptians evacuated Harar, 'Abd Allah became the logical choice to rule Harar, and was given a few hundred soldiers trained by one of the British officers, 300 to 400 rifles, some cannon, and munitions, a force barely sufficient to garrison Harar and Jaldessa, let alone police the trade routes and ensure the security of the state.
Emir 'Abd Allah grew paranoid of the growing Ethiopian threat to his domain, and accused the resident Europeans of co-operating with Negus Menelik II.  His situation deteriorated by July 1885.  The population grew uncontrollable, European traders became virtual prisoners in their homes and shops, and the adjacent Galla raided the town.  In response, Emir 'Abd Allah introduced a new currency which impoverished the local population.  The neighboring Oromo and Somali deserted Harar's markets and the town's economy collapsed.
Emir 'Abd Allah responded to the first Ethiopian military probe with a night attack on their camp at Hirna which included fireworks. The unmotivated troops panicked at the pyrotechnics and fled toward the Asabot and Awash Rivers. When the Negus Menelik personally led a second attack a few months later, the Emir misjudged the quality of these troops and attempted to repeat his earlier success of a second night attack. Had he allowed the enemy to attack the walled city, where his few Krupp cannon might have been effective, the Shoans might have suffered a defeat with serious political consequences. But that is not what 'Abd Allah did.  As a result, the battle at Chelenqo destroyed 'Abd Allah's army in fifteen minutes.
With his wives and children, the Emir fled into the empty country east of Harar, leaving his uncle Ali Abu Barka to submit to Menelik and ask clemency for Harar.
The former Emir 'Abd Allah later returned to the town to live as a Sufi or religious scholar.  'Abd Allah died in Harar in 1930.


‘Abd al-Malik ibn Abi Amir
‘Abd al-Malik ibn Abi Amir (975-1008).  Son and successor of Almanzor (al-Mansur bi-'llah).  He was the real master of Muslim Spain from 1002 until his death in 1008. 


‘Abd al-Malik ibn Marwan
‘Abd al-Malik ibn Marwan (646-705). Umayyad caliph from 685 to 705 who succeeded in restoring the unity of the Arabs under Syrian leadership by ending the second fitnah.  During his tenure, the administration was centralized; Arabic was substituted for Greek and Persian; and Islamic coinage was issued.  Also, during his reign, the ‘Uthmanic text of the Qur’an was re-edited with vowel-punctuation; the postal service was reorganized and expanded; the damaged Ka'ba was repaired; the tradition of weaving a silk cover for the Ka'ba began; and the Dome of the Rock was built in Jerusalem.

'Abd al-Malik was a well-educated man and a capable ruler, despite the many political problems that impeded his rule.  During his reign, all important records were translated into Arabic, and for the first time a special currency for the Muslim world was minted, which led to war with the Byzantine Empire under Justinian II.  The Byzantines were led by Leontios at the Battle of Sebastopolis in 692 in Asia Minor and were decisively defeated by 'Abd al-Malik after the defection of a large contingent of Slavs.  The Islamic currency was then made the only currency exchange in the Muslim world.  Also, many reforms happened in his time as regards agriculture and commerce.

'Abd al-Malik became caliph after the death of his father Marwan I in 685.  Within a few years, he dispatched armies, under al-Hajjaj bin Yousef, on a campaign to reassert Umayyad control over the Islamic empire.  Hajjaj first defeated the governor of Basra and then led his forces into Hejaz, where Ibn Zubayr was killed -- ending his short claim to the caliphate.  The Siege of Mecca in 692 started with Hajjaj at the head of about 2000 Syrians he set out against 'Abd Allah ibn al-Zubayr, the caliph of Hejaz at Mecca.  Hajjaj advanced unopposed as far as his native Taif, which he took without any fighting and used as a base.  The caliph had charged him first to negotiate with 'Abd Allah ibn al-Zubayr and to assure him of freedom from punishment if he capitulated.  However, if the opposition continued, to starve him out by siege, but on no account to let the affair result in bloodshed in the Holy City.  Since the negotiations failed and al-Hajjaj lost patience, he sent a courier to ask 'Abd al-Malik for reinforcements and also for permission to take Mecca by force.  He received both, and thereupon bombarded Mecca using catapults from the mountain of Abu Qubays.  The bombardment continued during the Pilgrimage or Hajj.  

After the siege had lasted for seven months and 10,000 men, among them two sons of 'Abd Allah ibn al-Zubayr, had gone over to al-Hajjaj, 'Abd Allah ibn al-Zubayr with a few loyal followers, including his youngest son, were killed in the fighting around the Ka'ba (October 692).  

Hajjaj's success led 'Abd al-Malik to assign him the role of governor of Iraq and give him free rein in the territories he controlled.  Hajjaj arrived when there were many deserters in Basra and Kufa.  He promptly and forcefully impelled them to return to combat.  Hajjaj, after years of serious fighting, quelled religious disturbances, including the rebellion launched by Salih ibn Musarrih and continued after Salih's death by Shahib.  These rebels repeatedly defeated more numerous forces and at their height entered Kufah.  However, 'Abd al-Malik's Syrian reinforcements enabled Hajjaj to turn the tide.

Under Hajjaj, Arab armies put down the revolt of 'Abd al-Rahman ibn Muhammad ibn al-Ash'ath in Iraq from 699 to 701, and also took most of Turkestan.  'Abd al-Rahman rebelled following Hajjaj's repeated orders to push further into the lands of Zundil.  After his defeat in Iraq, again achieved through 'Abd al-Malik's dispatch of Syrian reinforcements to Hajjaj, 'Abd al-Rahman returned east.  There one city closed its gates to him and in another he was seized.  However, Zundil's army arrived and secured his release.  Later, 'Abd al-Rahman died and Zundil sent his head to Hajjaj who sent it to 'Abd al-Malik.  These victories paved the way for greater expansions under 'Abd al-Malik's son al-Walid.

'Abd al-Malik was effective in increasing the size of the empire.  In the Maghreb (western North Africa), in 686, a force led by Zuhayr ibn Qais won the Battle of Mamma over Byzantines and Berbers led Kusayla, on the Qairawan plain, and re-took Ifriqiya and its capital Kairouan.

In 695, Hasan ibn al-Nu'man captured Carthage and advanced into the Atlas Mountains.  A Byzantine fleet arrived and retook Carthage.  However, in 698, Hasan ibn al-Nu'man returned and defeated Tiberios III at the Battle of Carthage.  The Byzantines withdrew from all of Africa except Ceuta.

Hasan met trouble from the Zenata tribe of Berbers under al-Kahina.  They inflicted a serious defeat on him and drove him back to Barqa.  However, in 702, 'Abd al-Malik strongly reinforced him.  With a large army and the support of the settled population of North Africa, Hasan pushed forward.  He decisively defeated the Zenata in a battle at Tabarka, 85 miles west of Carthage.  He then developed the village of Tunis ten miles from the destroyed Carthage.  Around 705, Musa ibn Nusayr replace Hasan.  'Abd al-Malik pacified much of North Africa, although he failed to take Ceuta.

‘Abd al-Mu’min ibn ‘Ali
‘Abd al-Mu’min ibn ‘Ali (1094-1163).  Successor of the Mahdi Ibn Tumart in the leadership of the Almohad movement.  His tenure lasted from 1133 to 1163.  In 1147, he conquered the Almoravid capital of Marrakesh.  In Spain, Granada and Seville surrendered to him.

'Abd al-Mu'min was a member of a group of Kumia, a Berber tribe living in the area of Tlemcen (Algeria).  Some time around 1117 he became a follower of Ibn Tumart, a religious leader of renowned piety who had founded the Almohads as a religious order with the goal of restoring purity in Islam.  When Ibn Tumart died in 1130 al-Mu'min became the leader of the movement.  He subsequently forged it into a powerful military force and under him the Almohads swept down from the mountains destroying the power of the faltering Almoravids by 1147.  When 'Abd al-Mu'min conquered Ifriqiya (Tunisia) in 1151, he gave the Jews and Christians there the option of conversion to Islam or death.

Establishing his capital at Marrakech, al-Mu'min expanded his empire beyond Morocco eastwards to the border of Egypt.  He also was a prodigious builder of monuments and palaces.  One of the monuments he caused to be erected was a substantial fortress at Chellah to prepare the site as a base for attacks against Iberia.  The last years of his life were spent campaigning in the Al-Andalus (Moorish Iberia) first conquering the Muslim kingdoms and then campaigning inconclusively against the Christian states.

‘Abd al-Muttalib ibn Hashim
‘Abd al-Muttalib ibn Hashim (Shaiba ibn Hashim) ('Abdul Muttalib) ('Abd al-Muttalib) (c.497-578).  Paternal grandfather of the Prophet Muhammad and the Caliph 'Ali.  He negotiated with Abraha, the leader of an Abyssinian army invading Mecca.  He traded with Syria and Yemen and is credited with having dug the Zamzam well at the Ka‘ba.  Upon the death of the Prophet’s mother, Amina, ‘Abd al-Muttalib took the then six year old Muhammad into his home.  

The father of 'Abd al-Muttalib was Hashim ibn 'Abd Manaf and his mother was Salma bint Amr from the tribe of an-Najjar in Yathrib.  On his father's side he belonged to the distinguished Banu Hashim clan, a subgroup of the Quraysh tribe of Mecca which traced their genealogy to Isma'il and Ibrahim.  In 497, the father of 'Abd al-Muttalib died while on business in Gaza, Palestine.  'Abd al-Muttalib was born posthumously.

'Abd al-Muttalib was given the name "Shaiba", meaning "old man" in Arabic, because he was born with a few white hairs.  After his father's death, he was raised in Yathrib with his mother and her family until about the age of eight, when his uncle Muttalib ibn Abd al-Manaf came to take him to Mecca.  Upon first arriving in Mecca, the people assumed the unknown child was Muttalib's slave, giving him the name "Abd al-Muttalib" -- "slave of Muttalib".   When Muttalib died, 'Abd al-Muttalib succeeded him as the chief of the Banu Hashim clan.  It is not possible to give the whole history of 'Abd al-Muttalib, but two important events would be included.  The recovery of Zamzam and the attempted attack on the Ka'ba by Abraha, the governor of Ethiopia in Yemen.

Hundreds of years before its time, the well of Zamzam in Mecca was filled up and nobody knew its location.  One day, 'Abd al-Muttalib had a series of four dreams directing him to Zamzam's location.  'Abd al-Muttalib, with his eldest son, Harith ibn 'Abd al-Muttalib, dug the location where Zamzam is today, finding wather after four days of effort.  At this success, the Quraysh argued that since the well was the property of Isma'il, it belonged to the whole tribe.  'Abd al-Muttalib rejected their claim, saying that it was given to him by Allah.

They agreed to present their case to a wise woman of the tribe of Sa'd in Syria.  During the trip, 'Abd al-Muttalib's water reserves were depleted and his group suffering from thirst.  The leaders of the other parties refused to give them water and 'Abd al-Muttalib advised his group to dig graves, so that when someone died others could bury him.  

The next day, 'Abd al-Muttalib exhorted his companions that it was cowardice to succumb to death.  He mounted his camel and its foot hit the earth producing a stream of water.  The other caravans saw this as a sign that Allah had indeed given Zamzam to 'Abd al-Muttalib.

According to Muslim tradition, the Ethiopian governor of Yemen, Abraha al-Ashram, envied the Ka'ba's reverence among the Arabs and, being a Christian, he constructed a cathedral in Sanaa and ordered pilgrimage be made there.  The order was ignored and someone desecrated the cathedral.  Abraha decided to avenge this act by demolishing the Ka'ba.  Abraha advanced with an army towards Mecca.

There were many elephants in Abraha's army and the year came to be known as 'Am al-Fil -- "Year of the Elephant."  When news of the advance of Abraha's army came, the Arab tribes of Quraysh, Banu Kinanah, Banu Khuza'a and Banu Hudhayl united in defense of the Ka'ba.  A man from the Himyar tribe was sent by Abraha to advise them that Abraha only wished to demolish the Ka'ba and if they resisted, they would be crushed.  'Abd al-Muttalib told the Meccans to seek refuge in the hills while he with some leading members of the Quraysh, remained within the precincts of the Ka'ba.  Abraha sent a dispatch inviting 'Abd al-Muttalib to meet with him and to discuss matters.  When 'Abd al-Muttalib left the meeting, he was heard saying, "The Ownere of this House is its Defender, and I am sure He will save it from the attack of the adversaries and will not dishonor the servants of His House."

It is recorded that when the Abraha's forces neared the Ka'ba, Allah commanded small birds which destroyed Abraha's army with raining pebbles from their beaks.  Abraha was seriously wounded and he retreated towards Yemen but died while on the way.

The Year of the Elephant is also the year in which Muhammad was born.

'Abd al-Muttalib was married to five women: Sumra bint Jandab, Lubna bint Hajira, Fatimah bint Amr, Halah bint Wahab-Zuhriya, and Natila bint Khabab-Khizriji.  To his union with Fatimah bint Amr, two sons were born: Abu Talib ibn 'Abd al-Muttalib, the father of 'Ali and 'Abd Allah ibn 'Abd al-Muttalib, the father of Muhammad.

'Abd Allah ibn 'Abd al-Muttalib of the Banu Hashim and Aminah bint Wahab of the Banu Zuhra were the parents of the Prophet Muhammad.  'Abd Allah died four months before Muhammad's birth and Aminah was subsequently taken in by her husband's father, 'Abd al-Muttalib.  Aminah also died six years later and 'Abd al-Muttalib died in 578 when Muhammad was eight.  He was taken care of by his uncle Abu Talib (the father of 'Ali), a prominent Quraysh chief and custodian of the Ka'ba.
  
Shaiba ibn Hashim see ‘Abd al-Muttalib ibn Hashim
'Abdul Muttalib see ‘Abd al-Muttalib ibn Hashim
'Abd al-Muttalib see ‘Abd al-Muttalib ibn Hashim


‘Abd al-Qadir
‘Abd al-Qadir (‘Abd al-Qadir ibn Muhyi al-Din) ('Abd el-Kader) ('Abdul Qadir) (September 6, 1808-May 26, 1883). Algerian independence leader, Sufi mystic, and poet.  Born at Wadi al-Hammam, some 20 kilometers west of Mascara in Algeria, into a family of northern Moroccan origin which claimed descent from the prophet Muhammad, 'Abd al-Qadir's father, Muhyi al-Din al-Hasani, was a shaykh in the Qadiri Sufi order of Islam.  In his childhood, he learned to memorize the Qur'an and was well trained in horsemanship, theological and linguistic studies, having an education far better than that of his peers.  In 1825, 'Abd al-Qadir set out for the Muslim pilgrimage -- the hajj -- with his father.  While in Mecca, he met Imam Shamil, the future leader of the anti-Russian resistance during the Caucasian War (1834-1859).  The two spoke at length on different topics.  He also traveled to Damascus and Baghdad, and visited the graves of noted Muslims, such as Shaykh Ibn Arabi and Sidi Abd-el Kader El Jalili.  This experience cemented his religious enthusiasm.  On his way back to Algeria, he was impressed by the reforms carried out by Muhammad 'Ali in Egypt.  He returned to his homeland a few months before the arrival of the French.

‘Abd al-Qadir entered history after the French occupation of Algiers on July 5, 1830.  This invasion led ‘Abd al-Qadir’s father, Sidi Muhyi al-Din, to proclaim a jihad against European colonization in the region of Oran.  Ill health forced Sidi in November 1832 to hand over control of the anti-colonial resistance to his son, who was proclaimed “Sultan of the Arabs” by the tribes of Hashim, Banu ‘Amir, and Ghrarabah.  Despite mixed results on the battlefield, this tactic prevented the “pacification” of Algeria and led the French to enter into negotiations with ‘Abd al-Qadir on February 28, 1834.  Now officially recognized as “commander of the faithful” (amir al-mu‘minin), Amir ‘Abd al-Qadir was able to extend his authority to the gates of Algiers itself by the middle of 1835.

The amir’s continued agitation for Algerian autonomy led to a resumption of hostilities.  After an Algerian victory at Macta (June 28, 1835), the French generals Clauzel and Bugeaud counterattacked, burning Mascara, occupying Tlemcen, and scoring a victory against ‘Abd al-Qadir’s army at Wadi Sikkak (July 6, 1836).  Although abandoned by his troops three times, the Amir successfully regrouped his tribal forces and continued to inflict heavy losses on the French.  The desire to protect their western flank while pursuing the conquest of Constantine led the government of King Louis-Philippe to negotiate once again.  The resulting Treaty of Tafna (May 30, 1837) divided western Algeria into two spheres of influence; the urban areas remained in French hands, while the interior portions of the province of Oran, the beylik of Titteri, and part of the province of Algiers were given over to ‘Abd al-Qadir.  Disputes over secret codicils to the treaty -- as well as the “Iron Gates” expedition in which the Duke of Orleans opened a corridor between Constantine and Algiers  -- led to the resumption of hostilities and the Amir’s invasion of the Mitidja in November 1839.

In the face of  ‘Abd al-Qadir’s threat, Bugeaud was appointed governor-general of Algeria on December 29, 1840.  By sending mobile columns into the Algerian hinterland, he succeeded in occupying the major towns of Orania and Tlemcen (1841-1843).  The capture of the Amir’s “traveling capital” (smalah) on May 16, 1843, caused the Arab tribes to surrender to the French and forced ‘Abd al-Qadir to flee to Morocco.  Although French attacks on the Moroccan cities of Tangier and Mogador (1844) compelled the Moroccan sultan, Mawlay ‘Abd al-Rahman, to declare the Amir an outlaw, he appeared again in Algeria in 1846 at the head of numerous clandestinely organized uprisings.  Despite a major victory at Sidi Brahim (September 23, 1846), the French counterattack crushed this revolt and forced him back across the Moroccan border.  ‘Abd al-Qadir surrendered to the French on December 21, 1847.  Two days later, his surrender was made official to the French Governor General of Algeria, Henri d'Orleans, duc d'Aumale.

'Abd al-Qadir was exiled to France, in violation of the promise that he would be allowed to go to Alexandria or Acre, on the faith of which he had surrendered.  'Abd al-Qadir and his family were detained in France, first at Toulon, then at Pau, being in November 1848 transferred to the chateau of Amboise.  There he remained until October 1852, when he was released by Napoleon III on taking an oath never again to disturb Algeria.

After pledging not to resist the French in Algeria, 'Abd al-Qadir was released from prison in 1852 and given a pension by Napoleon III. Choosing exile in the Muslim-ruled Ottoman Empire, he settled first in Brusa (1853), and finally in Damascus (1855).  In Damascus, 'Abd al-Qadir devoted himself anew to theology and philosophy, and composed a philosophical treatise, of which a French translation was published in 1858 under the title of Rappel a l'intelligent, Avis a l'indifferent.  He also wrote a book on the Arab horse.

While in Damascus, 'Abd al-Qadir befriended Lady Jane Digby (Jane Digby el-Mezrab), the British socialite who married a Syrian shaykh, and Isabel and Richard Burton, the famous explorer and translator of the Kama Sutra and The Book of the Thousand Nights and a Night (popularly known as The Arabian Nights).

'Abd al-Qadir's final beau geste came in July 1860, when he personally protected the French consul in Damascus and several thousand Christians from massacre by Druze rebels.  In July 1860, conflict between the Druze and Maronites of Mount Lebanon spread to Damascus, and local Druze attacked the Christian quarter, killing over 3,000 persons.  'Abd al-Qadir and his personal guard saved large numbers of Christians, bringing them to safety in his house and in the citadel.  For this action, the French government, which granted the Amir a pension of 4000 Louis, bestowed on him the Grand Cross of the Legion d'Honneur.  He was also honored by Abraham Lincoln for this gesture towards Christians with several guns that are now on display in the Algiers museum.

In 1864, 'Abd al-Qadir became a Freemason being initiated at the Lodge of Pyramids as a courtesy for the Lodge Henri IV, in Paris.

After his death on the night of May 25-26, 1883.  His body was interred next to the tomb of the great Andalusian mystic Ibn ‘Arabi (d. 1240).

Although initiated into the Qadiriyah Sufi order by his father, Amir ‘Abd al-Qadir joined the Naqshbandiyah in Damascus.  He also remained associated with the unofficial Akbariyah tradition throughout his life, a link which led to the amir’s burial next to his father’s intellectual eponym, Muhyi al-Din Ibn ‘Arabi.  His penultimate “opening” (fath) into Sufism was at the hands of a master of the Akbariyah, Muhammad al-Fasi al-Shadhili, whom he met in Mecca in 1863.  ‘Abd al-Qadir’s major Sufi works are Kitab al-mawaqif (“Book of Stages”), an extended discourse on the doctrines of Ibn ‘Arabi, and a Diwan or collection of mystical poems.

Today 'Abd al-Qadir is recognized and venerated as the first hero of Algerian independence.  Not without cause, his green and white standard was adopted by the Algerian liberation movement during the War of Independence and became the national flag of independent Algeria.  He was buried in Damascus in the same mausoleum as Ibn Arabi, until the Algerian government brought his remains back to Algeria to be interred with much ceremony on July 5, 1966, the fourth anniversary of independence and the 136th anniversary of the French conquest.   The Emir Abdel Kader University and the mosque bearing his name have been constructed as a national shrine in Constantine, Algeria, and the town of Elkader, Iowa, in the United States is named after him.

‘Abd al-Qadir ibn Muhyi al-Din see ‘Abd al-Qadir
'Abd el-Kader see ‘Abd al-Qadir
National Hero of Algeria see ‘Abd al-Qadir
Sultan of the Arabs see ‘Abd al-Qadir
'Abdul Qadir see ‘Abd al-Qadir
Founder of the Algerian State see ‘Abd al-Qadir

‘Abd-al-Qadir al-Jilani
‘Abd-al-Qadir al-Jilani (al-Jili) (Abdul-Qadir al-Kilani) (al-Gauth al Azam -- "The Supreme Helper") (1077-1166).  Hanbalite theologian, preacher, and a Sufi mystic of legendary fame.  Born in Jilan, Iraq, al-Jilani was raised by his mother and grandfather after his father's passing.  Al-Jilani was descended from Hasan while his mother was descended from Husayn.  At the age of eighteen, he went to Baghdad where he trained in Hanbalite law.  

Around 1100, a Sufi teacher (Shaikh Abu'l-Khair Hammad ibn Muslim al-Dabbas) inspired al-Jilani to pursue the mystical path.  Al-Jilani abandoned Baghdad and wandered in the desert regions of Iraq.  After twenty-five years as a desert recluse, al-Jilani reappeared in Baghdad in 1127 to become one of the most popular preachers and teachers that Islam has ever known.  In the morning, he taught hadith and tafsir, and in the afternoon held discourse on mysticism and the virtues of the Qur'an.

Al-Jilani established a school and inspired an order that eventually set up branches in every Muslim country.  The order came to bear his name of Qadiriyya.  His tomb in Baghdad has remained one of the most frequented sanctuaries of Islam.
Jili, al- see ‘Abd-al-Qadir al-Jilani
Jilani, 'Abd al-Qadir al-  see ‘Abd-al-Qadir al-Jilani
Abdul-Qadir al-Kilani see ‘Abd-al-Qadir al-Jilani
Kilani, Abdul-Qadir al- see ‘Abd-al-Qadir al-Jilani
Gauth al Azam, al- see ‘Abd-al-Qadir al-Jilani
"The Supreme Helper" see ‘Abd-al-Qadir al-Jilani


‘Abd-al-Qadir Bedil
‘Abd-al-Qadir Bedil (Abdul-Qader Bedil) (1644-1721).  Indo-Persian poet, comparable in output and influence to Rumi.  Born in Azimabad (present day Patna, Bihar, India), his family was from Badakhshan (present day Afghanistan).  According to some other sources, he was born in Khwaja Rawash, an area of Kabul province in today's Afghanistan.  

Bedil was educated in traditional Islamic studies before coming to Delhi in 1665.  In Delhi, he met an ecstatic Sufi saint who changed the course of his life.  After disconsolate wanderings, Bedil married and returned to Delhi.  In Delhi, he began to write the verse for which he became famous throughout central Asia.

Bedil mostly wrote ghazal and rubayee (quatrain) in Persian.  He is considered as one of the prominent poets of the Indian School of Poetry in Persian literature, and owns his unique Style in it.  Both Mirza Ghalib and Iqbal-e Lahori were influenced by him.  His books include Telesm-e  Hairat, Toor e Ma'refat, Chahar Unsur, and Ruqa'at.  Possibly as a result of being bought up in such a mixed religious environment, Bedil had considerably more tolerant views than his poetic contemporaries.  He preferred free thought to accepting the established beliefs of his time, siding with the common people and rejecting the clergy who he often saw as corrupt. Bedil evolved a new, highly obtuse style of poetry, at once mystical and rational, beguiling and yet not fully comprehensible.
  
Upon his emergence as a poet, Bedil gained recognition throughout the Iranian cultural continent.  However, since the late 18th century, his poetry gradually lost its position among Iranians, while it was much welcomed in Afghanistan, Tajikistan, and Pakistan.  Bedil only came back to prominence in Iran in the 1980s.  

Bedil, 'Abd-al-Qadir see ‘Abd-al-Qadir Bedil
Abdul-Qader Bedil see ‘Abd-al-Qadir Bedil
Abul Ma'ani Mirza Abdul-Qader Bedil see ‘Abd-al-Qadir Bedil
Mawlana Abul Ma'ani Abdul Qader Bedil see ‘Abd-al-Qadir Bedil
Bidel Dehlavi see ‘Abd-al-Qadir Bedil

‘Abd al-Qadir ibn Ghaybi
‘Abd al-Qadir ibn Ghaybi (c.1350-1435).   One of the greatest of the Persian writers on music.  His works are of great importance in the history of Persian, Arabian and Turkish music. 

‘Abd al-Qays
‘Abd al-Qays (‘Abd Qays).  Old Arabian tribe in Eastern Arabia, which gave a cordial reception to the Prophet’s envoys.  During the period of apostasy (in Arabic, ridda) under Caliph Abu Bakr, part of the ‘Abd al-Qays proclaimed a Lakhmid as their ruler.  

‘Abd Qays see ‘Abd al-Qays
Qays, 'Abd al- see ‘Abd al-Qays


‘Abd al-Rahim Khan
‘Abd al-Rahim Khan (Abdul Rahim Khan-e-Khana) (Mirza Abdul Rahim Khan-i-Khana) (1556-1627).  General, statesman, scholar and poet in Mughal India. Also known as Rahim, he was a poet in the times of Mughal emperor Akbar, and one of Akbar's main ministers.  He translated Babur’s autobiography into Persian and was a patron of the arts and letters.  He is best known for his Hindi couplets and his books on astrology.

Mirza Abdul Rahim Khan-i-Khana was the son of Akbar's trusted caretaker, Bairam Khan who had Turk ancestry.  His mother was the daughter of Jamal Khan of Mewat.  Abdul Rahim was born in Lahore.  After Bairam Khan was murdered, his wife became the second wife of Akbar, which made Abdul Rahim Khan-e-Khana his stepson.  Later he became one of Akbar's nine prominent ministers -- the Navaratnas or "the nine gems."

Although a Muslim by birth, Rahim was a devotee of Krishna and wrote poetry dedicated to Krishna.  He was also an avid astrologer, and the writer of two important works in astrology Khei Kautukam and Dwawishd Yogavali.

Rahim's two sons were killed by Akbar's son Jehangir and their bodies left to rot at the Khooni Darwaza because Rahim was not in favor of Jehangir's accession to the throne at Akbar's death.  

The tomb of 'Abdul Rahim Khan-e-Khana is located ahead of Humayun's tomb in New Delhi.  

Abdul Rahim Khan-e-Khana see ‘Abd al-Rahim Khan
Khan-e-Khana see ‘Abd al-Rahim Khan
Rahim see ‘Abd al-Rahim Khan
Mirza Abdul Rahim Khan-i-Khana see ‘Abd al-Rahim Khan


‘Abd al-Rahman, ‘A’ishah
‘Abd al-Rahman, ‘A’ishah (1913 - December 1, 1998).   Egyptian writer and professor of Arabic language and literature and Qur’anic studies.  Under the pseudonym Bint al-Shati’ ("Daughter of the Riverbank"), ‘Abd al-Rahman was the author of more than sixty books on Arabic literature, Qur’anic interpretation, the lives of women of the early Muslim community (especially members of the Prophet’s family), contemporary social issues, and fiction.

Raised in the Delta port city of Dumyat (Damietta), she was taught the Qur’an and classical Arabic literature by her father, an al-Azhar educated teacher at a mosque-based religious institute.  Although he educated her in the traditional style at home, mosque, and Qur’anic school (kuttab), he objected to her attendance at public schools.  With the assistance of her mother and maternal great-grandfather, she managed to get a secular education (at El Mansurah) despite her father’s objections.   

‘Abd al-Rahman began her literary career by writing poems and essays for Al-nahdah, a women’s magazine, and became a literary critic for the semi-official newspaper Al-ahram in 1936, the same year she entered the Faculty of Letters at Fu’ad I University. At this time, she assumed the pen-name Bint al-Shati’ (“Daughter of the Shore”) in order to conceal her identity from her father.  Her first articles Al-ahram focused on conditions in the Egyptian countryside, but she is best known for her later works on religious and literary topics.  She received her doctorate in 1950 for a thesis on the poet Abu al-‘Ala’ al-Ma‘arri (d. 1058).  

In 1951, ‘Abd al-Rahman became professor of Arabic language and literature at ‘Ayn Shams University in Cairo.  Throughout the 1960s, she participated in international literary conferences, served on several government sponsored committees on literature and education, and was a visiting professor at the Islamic University in Ummdurman (Sudan), the University of Khartoum, and the University of Algiers.  After retiring from her position at ‘Ayn Shams University, she became professor of higher Qur’anic studies at al-Qarawiyin University in Fez, Morocco.  Her regular articles for Al-ahram, her biographies of the women of the Prophet’s household, and especially her exegesis of the Qur’an have brought her recognition and distinction in Egypt and throughout the Arab world.

‘Abd al-Rahman’s pursuit of public education offered her little challenge after her early education at the hands of her father, until she met Professor Amin al-Khuli when she was a student at Fu’ad I University (later Cairo University).  He introduced her to the literary analysis of the Qur’an that became her trademark.  In ‘Ala al-jisr, ‘Abd al-Rahman decribes her entire life as a path to this encounter with Amin al-Khuli, whom she married in 1945.   Her work is seen as the best exemplification of his method, and she has been much more prolific than her teacher, who died in 1966.

‘Abd al-Rahman’s rhetorical exegesis of the Qur’an makes a plea for removing the Qur’an from the exclusive domain of traditional exegesis (commentary) and placing it within literary studies.  Whereas some earlier exegetes allowed for a multiplicity of interpretations of any single Qur’anic verse, seeing in this multiplicity a demonstration of the richness of the Qur’an, ‘Abd al-Rahman argues that every word of the Qur’an allows for only a single interpretation, which should be elicited from the context of the Qur’an as a whole.  She rejects extraneous sources, particularly information derived from the Bible or Jewish sources (Isra’iliyat), the inclusion of which in traditional Qur’anic exegesis she sees as part of a continuing Jewish conspiracy to subvert Islam and dominate the world.  She also argues that no word is a true synonym for any other in the Qur’an, so no word can be replaced by another.  Whereas many scholars believe certain phrases in the Qur’an were inserted to provide the text with its characteristic rhythm and assonance, ‘Abd al-Rahman insisted that every word of the Qur’an is there solely for the meaning it gives.

‘Abd al-Rahman was both deeply religious and very conservative, despite her active public life.  On the subject of women’s liberation, she affirmed the principle of male guardianship over women but firmly rejected male responsibility for the behavior of women.  She insisted that a proper understanding of women’s liberation does not abandon traditional Islamic values.  She was consistently supported and honored by successive Egyptian regimes.  

'A'ishah 'Abd al-Rahman died of a heart attack following a stroke in Cairo on December 1, 1998.
Bint al-Shati’ see ‘Abd al-Rahman, ‘A’ishah
Daughter of the Shore see ‘Abd al-Rahman, ‘A’ishah
'A'ishah 'Abd al-Rahman see ‘Abd al-Rahman, ‘A’ishah
Daughter of the Riverbank see ‘Abd al-Rahman, ‘A’ishah


‘Abd al-Rahman ibn Abi ‘Amir
‘Abd al-Rahman ibn Abi ‘Amir (Sanchuelo) (d.1009). Son of Almanzor.  He is known as Sanchuelo, “the little Sancho”, for being a grandson of King Sancho of Navarre.  He succeeded his elder brother ‘Abd al-Malik al-Muzaffar as the “major domo” -- the chief minister -- of Hisham II, Caliph of Cordoba.  In 1008, Sanchuelo obtained from the Spanish Umayyad Hisham II his designation as heir presumptive to the throne, but the population of Cordoba rose up against him.  Led by Muhammad II al-Mahdi, Sanchuelo was executed shortly afterwards.

Sanchuelo see ‘Abd al-Rahman ibn Abi ‘Amir
The Little Sancho see ‘Abd al-Rahman ibn Abi ‘Amir


‘Abd al-Rahman ibn ‘Awf
‘Abd al-Rahman ibn ‘Awf  (Abdur Rahman bin Awf) (Abdur Rahman ibn Awf) (d.652).  An early Muslim convert and a companion of the Prophet.  Upon the death of ‘Umar ibn al-Khattab, he was one of the counsel of six who had to choose the new caliph.

'Abd al-Rahman was born with the name Abdu Amr ibn Awf into the tribe of Banu Zuhrah.  He married 'Uthman ibn Affan's half-sister, the daughter of 'Uthman's mother, Urwa bint Kariz, by her second husband.  Sa'ad ibn Abi Waqqas was his first cousin.

'Abd al-Rahman was one of the first eight persons to accept Islam, doing so two days after Abu Bakr.  On this occasion he adopted the name 'Abd al-Rahman, meaning "Slave of (God) the Beneficient."  

In 634, the dying Caliph Abu Bakr called in 'Abd al-Rahman (along with 'Uthman) and informed him of his designation of Umar ibn al-Khattab as successor.  

In 644, the dying Umar nominated a board of six members who were required to elect one of themselves as the next caliph.  The group consisted of Sad Ibn Abi Waqqas, 'Abd al-Rahman ibn Awf, Zubayr ibn al-Awwam, Talha ibn Ubayd Allah, 'Ali ibn Abi Talib and 'Uthman ibn Affan.  'Uthman was chosen as the third caliph.

Sunnis regard 'Abd al-Rahman as one of the Ten Promised Paradise.

Abdur Rahman bin Awf see ‘Abd al-Rahman ibn ‘Awf 
Abdur Rahman ibn Awf see ‘Abd al-Rahman ibn ‘Awf 
Abdu Amr ibn Awf see ‘Abd al-Rahman ibn ‘Awf 
One of the Ten Promised Paradise see ‘Abd al-Rahman ibn ‘Awf


‘Abd al-Rahman ibn Hisham
‘Abd al-Rahman ibn Hisham ('Abd ar-Rahman ibn Hisham) (1789-1859).  Filali Sharif of Morocco (r.1822-1859).  He had to repress several tribal revolts.  During his reign, a number of European powers renewed, or completed, their commercial treaties with Morocco, but Morocco ultimately lost its international standing and suffered economic decline and social and political unrest.

The major problem confronted by 'Abd al-Rahman ibn Hisham was how to respond to the invasion of Algeria by France in 1830.  'Abd al-Rahman first tacitly supported Algerian resistance forces, then sought to avoid a confrontation.  In August 1844, this policy failed when a Moroccan army was beaten at Isly by General Thomas-Robert Bugeaud de la Piconnerie and Moroccan ports were bombarded by the French navy.  Morocco's defeat opened the door to increased European political and economic intervention.  

The economic policies pursued by 'Abd al-Rahman became disastrous as well.  The signing of an Anglo-Moroccan commercial agreement in 1856 gave most favored nation status to Great Britain, and its provisions were soon extended to other European powers.  Finally, a major conflict with Spain erupted into war in August 1859.


‘Abd al-Rahman ibn ‘Umar al-Sufi
‘Abd al-Rahman ibn ‘Umar al-Sufi ('Abd ar-Rahman as-Sufi) ('Abd al-Rahman Abu al-Husayn) ('Abd al-Rahman al-Sufi) (Azophi) (December 7, 903 - May 25, 986).  Persian astronomer at the court of the Buyids whose best known work is a description of the fixed stars.  

Al-Sufi published his famous Book of Fixed Stars in 964, describing much of his work, both in textual descriptions and pictures.  The lunar crater Azophi and the minor planet (12621) Al-Sufi are named after him.

Al-Sufi lived at the court of Emir Adud ad-Daula in Isfahan, Persia, and worked on translating and expanding Greek astronomical works, especially the Almagest of Ptolemy.  He contributed several corrections to Ptolemy's star list and did his own brightness and magnitude estimates which frequently deviated from those in Ptolemy's work.

He was a major translator into Arabic of the Hellenistic astronomy that had been centered in Alexandria, the first to attempt to relate the Greek with the traditional Arabic star names and constellations, which were completely unrelated and overlapped in complicated ways.

Al-Sufi identified the Large Magellanic Cloud, which is visible from Yemen, but not from Isfahan.  The Large Magellanic Cloud was not seen by Europeans until Magellan's voyage in the 16th century.  He also made the earliest recorded observation of the Andromeda Galaxy in 964, describing it as a "small cloud."

Al-Sufi observed that the ecliptic plane is inclined with respect to the celestial equator and more accurately calculated the length of the tropical year.  He observed and described the stars, their positions, their magnitudes, and their color, setting out his results constellation by constellation.  For each constellation, al-Sufi provided two drawings, one from the outside of a celestial globe, and the other from the inside (as seen from the earth).  Al-Sufi also wrote about the astrolabe, finding numerous additional uses for it.

Al-Sufi also first described over 1000 different uses of an astrolabe, in areas as diverse as astronomy, astrology, horoscopes, navigation, surveying, timekeeping, Qibla, and Salah prayer.

'Abd ar-Rahman as-Sufi see ‘Abd al-Rahman ibn ‘Umar al-Sufi
'Abd al-Rahman Abu al-Husayn see ‘Abd al-Rahman ibn ‘Umar al-Sufi
Azophi see ‘Abd al-Rahman ibn ‘Umar al-Sufi
'Abd al-Rahman al-Sufi see ‘Abd al-Rahman ibn ‘Umar al-Sufi


‘Abd al-Rahman Khan
‘Abd al-Rahman Khan  ('Abd al-Rahman) (Abdur Rahman Khan) (1844 - October 1, 1901).  Emir (Amir) of Afghanistan (r.1880-1901).  During his reign, Afghanistan became a buffer state between Great Britain and Russia whose boundaries were demarcated where possible.  He was the third son of Afzul Khan, and grandson of son of Dost Mohammed Khan, who had established the Barakzai dynasty in Afghanistan.  'Abd al-Rahman was considered a strong ruler who re-established the writ of the Afghan government in Kabul.

Before his death at Herat, on June 9, 1863, Dost Mohammed had nominated as his successor Shir Ali, his third son, passing over the two elder brothers, Afzul Khan and Azim Khan.  At first, the new amir was quietly recognized.  However, after a few months, Afzul Khan raised an insurrection in the northern province, between the Hindu Kush mountains and the Oxus River, where he had been governing when his father died.  This began a fierce contest for power between Dost Mohammed's sons, which lasted for five years.
 
In this war, 'Abd al-Rahman became distinguished for ability and daring energy.  Although his father, Afzul Khan, who had none of these qualities, came to terms with the Amir Shir Ali, the son's behavior in the northern province soon excited the amir's suspicion, and 'Abd al-Rahman, when he was summoned to Kabul, fled across the Oxus into Bokhara.  Shir Ali threw Afzul Khan into prison, and a serious revolt followed in southern Afghanistan.

The amir had scarcely suppressed it by winning a desperate battle when 'Abd al-Rahman's reappearance in the north was a signal for a mutiny of the troops stationed in those parts and a gathering of armed bands to his standard.  After some delay and desultory fighting, he and his uncle, Azim Khan, occupied Kabul  in March 1866.  The amir Shir Ali marched up against them from Kandahar.  However, in the battle that ensued at Sheikhabad on May 10, he was deserted by a large body of his troops.  After Shir Ali's defeat 'Abd al-Rahman released his father, Afzul Khan, from prison in Ghazni, and installed him upon the throne as amir.

Notwithstanding the new amir's incapacity, and some jealousy between the real leaders, 'Abd al-Rahman and his uncle, they again routed Shir Ali's forces, and occupied Kandahar in 1867.  When Afzul Khan died at the end of the year, Azim Khan became the new ruler, with 'Abd al-Rahman as his governor in the northern province.  However, towards the end of 1868, Shir Ali's return, and a general rising in his favor, resulted in the defeat of 'Abd al-Rahman and Azim Khan at Tinah Khan on January 3, 1869.  Both 'Abd al-Rahman and Azim Khan sought refuge in Persia, where 'Abd al-Rahman placed himself under Russian protection at Samarkand.  Azim Khan died in Persia in October 1869.

'Abd al-Rahman lived in exile in Tashkent, Uzbekistan, for eleven years, until the 1879 death of Shir Ali, who had retired from Kabul when the British armies entered Afghanistan.  The Russian governor-general at Tashkent sent for 'Abd al-Rahman, and pressed him to try his fortunes once more across the Oxus.  In March 1880, a report reached India that 'Abd al-Rahman was in northern Afghanistan and the governor-general, Lord Lytton, opened communications with him to the effect that the British government were prepared to withdraw their troops, and to recognize 'Abd al-Rahman as amir of Afghanistan, with the exception of Kandahar and some districts adjacent to it.  

At the durbar on July 22, 1880, 'Abd al-Rahman was officially recognized as amir, granted assistance in arms and money, and promised, in case of unprovoked foreign aggression, such further aid as might be necessary to repel it, provided that he align his foreign policy with the British.  The British evacuation of Afghanistan was settled on the terms proposed, and in 1881, the British troops also handed over Kandahar to the new amir.

However, Ayub Khan, one of Shir Ali's sons, marched on Kandahar from Herat, defeated 'Abd al-Rahman's troops, and occupied Kandahar in July.  This serious defeat aroused 'Abd al-Rahman.  He led a force from Kabul, met Ayub Khan's army near Kandahar, and won a resounding victory, forcing Ayub Khan to flee to Persia.  From this time onward, 'Abd al-Rahman occupied the throne at Kabul, and in the course of the next few years he consolidated his dominion over all Afghanistan, suppressing insurrections by a sharp and relentless use of his despotic authority.  The powerful Ghilzai tribe revolted against the severity of his measures, but they were crushed by the end of 1887.  In that same year, Ayub Khan made a fruitless inroad from Persia.  In 1888, the amir's cousin, Ishak Khan, rebelled against him in the north.  However, these two enterprises came to nothing.

‘Abd al-Rahman was the last ruler of Afghanistan to have died peacefully while still in power.  His reign (1880-1901), however, was far from peaceful.  He overcame his challengers in four civil wars and weathered one hundred rebellions.    The character of ‘Abd al-Rahman was molded by experiences of both power and exile.  The only son of Dost Mohammed’s (Dust Muhammad's) eldest son, he was appointed sub-governor of the Tashkurgan District in northern Afghanistan at the age of thirteen.  Upon the death of his grandfather, he actively took part in a five year war of succession, twice winning the throne for his father and an uncle before being defeated by yet another uncle, Shir 'Ali (Barakzay Shir 'Ali).  Forced into eleven years of exile in the Asiatic colonies of Russia, he returned when a British invasion ended Shir 'Ali’s reign.  He took over the throne in July 1880, having won Britain’s recognition in return for agreeing to British control over Afghanistan’s foreign relations.

Once in power, he pursued a rigorous policy of centralization.  He imposed taxation, conscription, and adjudication on the defeated clans and aristocrats.  He incorporated the religious establishment within the machinery of the state, ending many of its privileges.  He spent the bulk of his enhanced revenues on an army that he continuously kept in the field, forcefully carrying out his policies.

‘Abd al-Rahman was able to concentrate on consolidating his rule at home because of Britain’s and Russia’s desire to avoid direct confrontation with each other.  Afghanistan became a buffer state between the two empires.  They imposed its present boundaries.  Playing on their rivalry, ‘Abd al-Rahman refused to allow European railways, which were touching on his eastern, southern, and northern borders, to expand within Afghanistan, and he resisted British attempts to station European representatives in the country.  Toward the end of his reign, he felt secure enough to inform the viceroy of India that treaty obligations did not allow British representatives even to comment on his internal affairs.

He died in October 1901, and his son and heir apparent, Habibullah (Habib Allah) (r. 1901-1919), succeeded him uncontested.  

'Abd al-Rahman see ‘Abd al-Rahman Khan
Abdur Rahman Khan see ‘Abd al-Rahman Khan

‘Abd al-Ra’uf al-Fansuri al-Sinkili
‘Abd al-Ra’uf al-Fansuri al-Sinkili.  Religious leader in Sumatra from circa 1620 to circa 1693.  He wrote directions for recitation (in Arabic, dhikr) as practised by the Shattariyya (Shattariyah) order, into which he had been initiated in Arabia.  He also translated the Qur’an into Malay.  
Sinkili, 'Abd al-Ra'uf al-Fansuri al- see ‘Abd al-Ra’uf al-Fansuri al-Sinkili.


‘Abd al-Raziq, ‘Ali
‘Abd al-Raziq, ‘Ali (Ali Abdel Raziq) (1888-1966).  Egyptian shari‘a (law) judge, intellectual, and the author of Al-Islam wa-usul al-hukm:  Ba‘th fi al-khilafah wa-al-hukumah fi al-Islam (“Islam and the Bases of Political Authority:  A Study of the Caliphate and Government in Islam”).  Published in Cairo in 1925, ‘Abd al-Raziq’s book challenged the notion that Islam legislated a specific type of political authority or, for that matter, that it legitimated any form of government at all.  In addition to creating a constitutional crisis in Egypt, ‘Abd al-Raziq’s ideas generated violent controversy throughout the Muslim world.  The Egyptian Higher Council of ‘Ulama’ brought ‘Abd al-Raziq to trial and expelled him from both their ranks and his position as a shari‘a judge.

‘Ali ‘Abd al-Raziq was a member of a famous and powerful landowning family from the village of Abu Girg (Jiri) in al-Minya Province.  A graduate of al-Azhar and Oxford universities, he rose to the position of judge in the al-Mansura shari‘a court.  In addition to writing Islam and the Bases of Political Authority, ‘Abd al-Raziq edited a study of the life and work of his brother, a rector of al-Azhar, entitled Min athar Mustafa ‘Abd al-Raziq (“From the Legacy of Mustafa ‘Abd al-Raziq,” Cairo, 1957) and Al-ijma‘ fi al-shari‘a al-Islamiyah (“Consensus in Islamic Law,” Cairo, 1947).  

Along with Taha Husayn’s 1926 volume, Fi al-shi‘r al-jahili (“On Jahiliyah Poetry”), ‘Abd al-Raziq’s work was seen by the ‘ulama’ and many Muslims as presenting a fundamental challenge to Islam’s legitimacy as a religion.  The specific event that precipitated ‘Abd al-Raziq’s study and gave it such significance was the abolition of the caliphate by the Turkish government of  Mustafa Kemal Ataturk in 1924.  Following World War I, many Muslims felt particularly vulnerable to increased colonial penetration by Western powers, such as Great Britain and France, with the fall of the Ottoman Empire.  In their minds, the abolition of the caliphate was a prominent symbol that underlined their political weakness.

What angered many Muslims was ‘Abd al-Raziq’s assertion that the prophet Muhammad was sent by God only to preach a spiritual message and not to exercise political authority.  Although Muhammad did establish al-umma al-islamiyah  (an Islamic community), he never mentioned or promulgated a specific form of government.  For ‘Abd al-Raziq, the unity of the Islamic community did not constitute a unitary Islamic state.   For him, the Prophet’s leadership was religious and came as a result of his Message and nothing else.  For 'Abd al-Raziq, the Prophet's Message ended with his death as did his leadership role.

‘Abd al-Raziq’s thesis that the Islamic umma is purely spiritual and bears no relation to politics or forms of government effectively separated religion and politics in Islam.  Furthermore, it denied that the caliphate was an integral and necessary part of Islam or that it maintained any special religious status.  Rather than being a part of Islamic law, the caliphate was to ‘Abd al-Raziq simply a matter of custom.

To many Muslim thinkers, these arguments were anathemas, as they seemed to undermine the very essence of Islam.  Since such thinkers viewed a key part of Muhammad’s prophetic mission as implementing a system of laws, Islam was political by definition.  In denying the Prophet’s political role, ‘Abd al-Raziq implicitly called for a re-definition of Muhammad’s prophetic mission and, by extension, the very nature of Islam.

From one perspective, Islam and the Bases of Political Authority (Islam and the Foundations of Governance -- Al-Islam Wa Usul Al-Hukm) can be seen as part of the Islamic reform movement that began in Egypt during the nineteenth century.  Most strongly influenced by Shaykh Muhammad ‘Abduh (1849-1905), this movement sought to revitalize Islam by emphasizing the role of human reason and by seeking to reconcile Islamic and Western notions of science and social organizations.  For many reformers and disciples of ‘Abduh, such as ‘Abd al-Raziq, reason, not revelation, determined the form of government that rules a particular community.

The overt dispute over ‘Abd al-Raziq’s book was cast in theological terms, but political considerations also motivated its publication.  As were many other native-born landowning families, the ‘Abd al-Raziq family was closely associated with the Hizb Ahrar al-Dusturiyin (Liberal Constitutional Party), which, in turn, was the successor to the secularly oriented and anti-monarchical Hizb al-Umma (People’s Party) founded in 1907.   With Turkey’s abolition of the caliphate, a number of Arab leaders, including King Fu’ad of Egypt, indicated a desire to wrest the title for themselves.  Many Liberal Constitutionalists opposed such a move.

A number of factors point to the political dimensions of Islam and the Bases of Political Authority.  Certainly ‘Abd al-Raziq himself was aware that even many of his supporters believed that he had exaggerated his arguments.  This raised the distinct possibility that he purposely overstated his case for political reasons.  Some scholars assert that it seems highly doubtful that the Misr Printing Company, a Bank Misr company under the tight control of Muhammad Tal ‘at Harb, a devout Muslim, would have published a text consciously intended to undermine Islam. Without denying the sincerity of his arguments, it seems highly plausible that ‘Abd al-Raziq’s treatise was intended less as a major contribution to Islamic thought than as an effort to deny King Fu’ad the ability to appropriate the title of caliph.

Without detracting from its intellectual stature, ‘Abd al-Raziq’s book should also be seen as part of a patchwork of efforts by reformist elements within an increasingly assertive native-born Egyptian bourgeoisie to bring about significant changes in Egypt’s political and cultural identity.  This stratum sought to assert its power against the monarchy and its supporters among the ‘ulama’.  ‘Abd al-Raziq’s treatise, however, did not represent an overt conspiracy among the Liberal Constitutionalists and their wealthy supporters, as many within the party opposed it.  Rather, ‘Abd al-Raziq’s work was one of many thrusts and parries by members of the indigenous bourgeoisie intended to circumscribe the powers of the king.  The Egyptian bourgeoisie sought to hasten the transformation of Egypt’s cultural identity from one that had been dominated by a Turco-Egyptian elite and an emphasis on Pan-Islamism to one that was dominated by an Egyptian- and, to a lesser extent, Arab–centered nationalism.

On yet another level, the fierce opposition to ‘Abd al-Raziq’s book reflected the pervasive fear among many social strata of further fragmentation of both the Muslim world and Egyptian society.  For many Muslims, the book represented another effort by the West (in this instance at the hands of a westernized Muslim) to fragment the Muslim world, so as to facilitate its subjugation to colonialism, by undermining Islam’s traditional value structure from within.  The fact that Islam and the Bases of Political Authority continues to stimulate debate indicates the extent to which the issues that ‘Ali ‘Abd al-Raziq raised in 1925 still dominate Islamic discourse today.  

'Ali 'Abd al-Raziq see ‘Abd al-Raziq, ‘Ali
Ali Abdel Raziq see ‘Abd al-Raziq, ‘Ali


‘Abd al-Razzaq al-Qashani
‘Abd al-Razzaq al-Qashani (d. 1329).  Sufi author in Persia who followed the school of Ibn al-‘Arabi.

Qashani, 'Abd al-Razzaq al- see ‘Abd al-Razzaq al-Qashani


‘Abd al-Razzaq al-Samarqandi
‘Abd al-Razzaq al-Samarqandi (1413-1482).  Persian historian who served several Timurid rulers in Samarkand and left a historical work which is an important source of information.  

Samarqandi, 'Abd al-Razzaq al- see ‘Abd al-Razzaq al-Samarqandi


‘Abd al-Razzaq al-Sanhuri
‘Abd al-Razzaq al-Sanhuri ('Abd El-Razzak El-Sanhuri) (Abdel-Rezzak el-Sanhuri) (1895-1971).  Egyptian jurist, legal scholar, and architect of civil codes in several Arab countries.  The academic and professional life of Sanhuri is a reflection of the time during which the need for legal reform arose.  For some Muslim countries, this meant the codification and modernization of the shari‘a, and for others the replacement of imported legislation by national and Islamic laws.  Sanhuri drafted the modern civil codes of various Arab countries and attempted to reinvigorate the shari‘a in light of contemporary legal developments and to incorporate it in the study of comparative jurisprudence.

Born in Alexandria, Egypt, in 1895, Sanhuri received a modern education and graduated from the Khedevial School of Law in Cairo in 1917.  He was appointed assistant prosecuting attorney and by 1920 had joined the School of Shari‘a Judges as a lecturer.  The following year, he went to France for postgraduate studies.  He wrote two theses, Les restrictions contractuelle a la liberte individuelle de travail dans la jurisprudence anglaise and Le Califat, obtaining dual doctorates in law and political science from the University of Lyon.  He was also awarded a diploma from the Institut des Hautes Etudes Internationales in Paris.

In 1926, Sanhuri returned to Egypt and began teaching civil law at the Law School, where he became dean a decade later.  His involvement in politics led to his dismissal in 1936.  He then served as dean of the Law College in Baghdad and began drafting the Iraqi civil code.  Sanhuri went back to Egypt in 1937 and served in various cabinet posts, becoming president of the Council of State in 1949.

Sanhuri supported the movement of the Free Officers in 1952, and in his capacity as president of the Council, he provided the legal advisory opinion that gave a constitutional basis for the Revolutionary Command Council’s (RCC) exercise of power.  Following a falling out among RCC members, Sanhuri was forcibly ousted from the Council of State in 1954 and was later deprived of his political rights.  He devoted the rest of his life to teaching, research, and writing.

Sanhuri articulated his theoretical approach of legal reform in Le Califat: Son evolution vers une societe des nations orientale (Paris, 1926).  Unlike ‘Ali ‘Abd al-Raziq, who claimed that political authority was not an integral part of Islam, Sanhuri considered the restoration of the caliphate a necessity, signifying the unity of Muslims and the preservation of the law. To reflect prevailing conditions, he made a distinction between an irregular (temporary) and a regular caliphate.  He proposed that the caliphate develop into an Eastern League of Nations, with the caliph presiding over a body exercising only religious authority until a similar body with executive functions could be established.  The exercise of executive and legislative authority would be the prerogative of individual governments and heads of state.

The restoration of the regular caliphate, Sanhuri maintained, must be preceded by an evolution of Islamic law.  Despite his genuine belief in the relevance and significance of the shari‘a to the judicial and social institutions of the Muslim world, he was more concerned with maintaining the stability of legal practices and relationships.  In an effort to make legal reforms acceptable to all citizens, he differentiated the immutable and temporal parts of the shari‘a and claimed that only the variable rules of the temporal portion were subject to change.  His proposed modernization of Islamic law would pass through two phases.  The first would be that of scientific research, during which the shari‘a would be thoroughly studied in light of modern comparative law.  The second, the legislative phase, would include the gradual revision of existing codes.  These new legislative reforms would take into account the historical, social and legal experiences of each country.

Sanhuri put these ideas into practice in the revisions of the Egyptian and Iraqi codes, enacted in 1949 and 1951 respectively.  He selected provisions – Islamic or Western – according to their merit, but he often concluded that the shari‘a was more effective.  In Egypt, where the existing code was based on foreign laws, he added provisions that made it more Islamic. In Iraq, however, the code was based largely on the Mecelle, and he introduced Western provisions that made it more modern.  His final objective was a modern comparative legal system that would gradually come to emphasize Islamic rather than Western values and thus would become the basis for a unified Arab code.

Sanhuri was responsible for laying the foundation for modern legislation in the Arab world.  The codes he drafted for Egypt and Iraq have become models for other countries.  Sanhuri's codes were adopted with minor modifications by Syria, Libya, and Jordan.  His voluminous work on civil codes and Islamic law (Al-Wasi fi shar al-qanun al-madani al-jadid -- "Medium commentary on the new Civil Code") remains the main reference for Islamic scholarship in comparative law and codification to this day.  

Sanhuri, 'Abd al-Razzaq al- see ‘Abd al-Razzaq al-Sanhuri


‘Abd al-Salam 'Arif
‘Abd al-Salam 'Arif (1921-1966).  Arab nationalist leader of Iraq in 1958, and President of Iraq from 1963 to1966.  'Abd al-Salam 'Arif was born in al-Karkh, Baghdad, to a poor Sunni Arab rug merchant.  His family had strong tribal connections in the Ramadi province (west of Baghdad).  From 1938 to 1941, he attended military college.  While he was too junior to be held responsible for the Rashid Ali al-Kaylani pro-Axis revolt of 1941, 'Abd al-Salam strongly sympathized with the revolutionaries.  He first met 'Abd al-Karim Qasim in 1942.  In 1948, 'Abd al-Salam participated in the Iraqi Expeditionary Force that fought in the first Arab-Israel war.

Because of Qasim's insistence, 'Abd al-Salam was incorporated into the central organization of the Free Officers in 1957.  Until the 1958, revolution, he was regarded as Qasim's protege.  On the eve of the revolution (July 14), 'Abd al-Salam's brigade was ordered to move to Jordan through Baghdad, but in coordination with Qasim, he entered the city and took it during the early morning hours.  In the revolutionary government, he became deputy prime minister of the interior, and deputy supreme commander of the armed forces.  By September 1958, he was relieved of his posts, since he supported Iraq's unification with the United Arab Republic.  In November, he was arrested and sentenced to death for attempting to kill Qasim.  However, he was released in early 1961, to be made figurehead president by the Ba'th regime that toppled Qasim in the Ramadan Revolution of February 8, 1963.  Later that year, he ousted the Ba'th from power and became sole leader.  His power base was the loyalty of the Pan-Arabian army officers, most of who came from his family's region, Ramadi.

In 1964, 'Abd  al-Salam signed a unification agreement with Egypt's President Gamal Abdel Nasser and introduced social and economic changes designed to create a similar system to that of Egypt.  These included the establishment of a Nasserite political party and wide-ranging nationalizations.  However, actual unification with Egypt never materialized.
 
'Abd al-Salam's social policy caused an economic decline, and his attempt to crush the Kurdish revolt failed.  'Abd al-Salam was killed in a helicopter crash on April 13, 1966.  Despite his many failures, his charisma and devotion to Islam were highly regarded by many Sunni Arabs in Iraq.  The Shi'a feared him, but his religiosity and tolerance for their educational autonomy enabled the two Islamic sects to co-exist.  He was succeeded by his older brother 'Abd al-Rahman Arif.
Arif, 'Abd al-Salam see ‘Abd al-Salam 'Arif


‘Abd al-Salam ibn Mashish
‘Abd al-Salam ibn Mashish (d. 1227). Popular mystic in Morocco who posthumously became famous in the northern part of Morocco in the fifteenth century of the Christian calendar. 


‘Abd al-‘Uzza ibn ‘Abd al-Muttalib
‘Abd al-‘Uzza ibn ‘Abd al-Muttalib.  See Abu Lahab.


‘Abd al-Wadids
‘Abd al-Wadids (Zayyanids) (Zayanids). Berber dynasty in western Algeria (the central Maghrib) (r.1236-1554).  Their main capital was Tlemcen.  From the Banu 'Abd al-Wad, also known as the Banu Zayad, which belonged to the Zanata tribal group on the northern edge of the Sahara that migrated to northern Algeria in the eleventh century, the 'Abd al-Wadids were clients of the Almohads, who assigned to them the governorship of Tlemcen.  When the Almohads fell from power, Abu Yahya Yaghmurasan (1236-1283) gained independence and established a rigid state structure. Under Yaghmurasan, and his successors, Tlemcen grew into a cultural and trading center.  They pursued a tricky seesaw policy between the stronger Merinids (Marinids of Morocco) and the Hafsids (eastern Algeria/ Tunisia), who drove them out several times during the 13th and 14th centuries.  Finally, they fell under the sovereignty of the Merinids, but then experienced a public restoration and cultural heyday under the learned Abu Hammu II Musa (1359-1389), before succumbing to the authority of the Hafsids.  As a result of the military incursions of Spain from 1510 onwards, the 'Abd al-Wadids’ placed themselves under the protection of the Ottomans.  In 1516/17, Algiers and Tlemcen were captured by the Ottoman corsair 'Aruj Barbarossa.  In 1552-1554, the Ottomans finally occupied western Algeria and overthrew the last 'Abd al-Wadid ruler.

For more than 300 years, until the region came under Ottoman suzerainty in the sixteenth century, the Zayyanids kept a tenuous hold in the central Maghrib.  The regime, which depended on the administrative skills of the Andalusians, was plagued by frequent rebellions but learned to survive as the vassal of the Marinids or Hafsids or later as an ally of Spain.  Many coastal cities defied the ruling dynasties and asserted their autonomy as municipal republics.  They were governend by their merchant oligarchies, by tribal chieftains from the surrounding countryside, or by the privateers who operated out of their ports.

Tlemcen prospered as a commercial center and was called the "pearl of the Maghrib."  Situated at the head of the Imperial Road through the strategic Taza Gap to Marrakech, the city controlled the caravan route to Sijilmasa, gateway for the gold and slave trade with the western Sudan.  Aragon came to control commerce between Tlemcen's port, Oran, and Europe beginning about 1250.  An outbreak of privateering out of Aragon, however, severely disrupted this trade after about 1420.

Zayyanids see ‘Abd al-Wadids
Zayanids see ‘Abd al-Wadids


‘Abd al-Wahhab
‘Abd al-Wahhab (Hasan ‘Abd al-Wahhab) (1884-1968).  Polymath and scholar of Tunisia who occupied a number of administrative posts and became a historian of Tunisia, writing in Arabic and in French.

Hasan ‘Abd al-Wahhab see ‘Abd al-Wahhab
Wahhab, 'Abd al- see ‘Abd al-Wahhab


‘Abdan
‘Abdan (d.899). Brother-in-law and lieutenant of Hamdan Qarmat.  He soon became the leading spirit of the Carmathian movement and conducted the propaganda quite independently.  He was killed at the instigation of Zikrawayh ibn Mihrawayh for having fallen away from the policy of the Isma‘ili headquarters in Salamiyya. 


‘Abdari, al-
‘Abdari, al- (Muhammad ibn al-Hajj) (1258-1336). North African author of the thirteenth century (of the Christian calendar) who wrote a travelogue which is of interest for its description of the state of Muslim scholarship in the period.

The title al-'Abdari suggests that the lineage of al-'Abdari can be traced back to the Arabian tribe 'Abduddar.  This means that his family originally migrated from Arabia to North Africa, or that his ancestors might have settled there after North Africa came under Islamic rule.

The time when al-'Abdari lived was one of the darkest periods in Islamic history.  The Crusades had swept through Syria and Palestine to establish the Crusaders' presence in the Levant.  The Crusaders even subjugated Jerusalem to their rule for nearly a whole century.  The Crusade aggression was for sometime on the decline, particularly after the victories achieved by Saladin and his liberation of Jerusalem at the Battle of Hittin in 1187.

Nevertheless, the threat from the Crusaders continued until Najmuddin Ayyub was able to inflict a heavy defeat on the last of the Crusader kings, Louis IX of France, taking him captive at the Battle of Varscour in 1250.  At the time of the battle, Ayyub was on his deathbed, yet he achieved a great victory that signaled the end of the Crusader's threat.

However, as soon as the Crusader threat was extinguish another threat arose.  The Muslim world soon faced another danger which would prove to be much more destructive, coming from the east.  The new threat was the Tatar invasion which swept through the eastern parts of the Muslim state with mass slaughter of the population of several cities.  This culminated in their conquest of Baghdad and the collapse of the Abbasid rule in 1258.  

The Tatars continued their march eastward and took over Syria and marched into Palestine until they suffered a very heavy defeat at the Battle of 'Ayn Jalut.   At 'Ayn Jalut, the Tatars met the Egyptian army led by Qutz, who was a highly religious ruler, working in close collaboration with one of the most famous scholars, al-Izz ibn Abdussalam.  Some scholars note that both the Crusade and the Tatar invasions were stopped by Egyptian armies led by pious kings (Saladin and Qutz).

The Crusades and the Tatar invasion involved many battles and mass killings along with the destruction of towns and cities.  This turmoil led to a fundamental change in the map of learning centers in the Muslim world.  Scholarship had to find safer seats.  This meant a move west, leading to the ultimate great flourish of seats of learning in Egypt, particularly in Cairo, Alexandria and Fayoum.  Indeed, the Mameluke reign encouraged travel and migration by scholars, so as to make Egypt very attractive to them as a place where they could settle in peace.

Al-'Abdari studied under many scholars in various cities and provinces.  One of his books documents the scholarly status of many places and cities, as he witnessed it.  He started a trip early in his life, beginning at his place on the coast of the Atlantic in Morocco.  He started his trip in January 1289, on his way to pilgrimage.  He stayed in many cities, meeting scholars and reading under them, particularly in Tunis, Al-Qairawan, Alexandria, Cairo, in addition to Medina and Mecca.  While his ultimate aim was to do the pilgrimage, he was also keen to acquire as much learning as possible.  Moreover, he wanted to study the situation of the Muslim population in those areas, after the threat of invasion had been removed.

Al-'Abdari recorded what he saw on his trip in a book of immense value.  His record is that of a critic with scholarly insight.  Some forty (40) years later, al-'Abdari wrote another book, largely drawing on his trip.  The book is known as Madkhal ash-Shara ash-Shareef Ala al-Mathahib, or Introduction to Islamic Jurisprudence According to Schools of Thought.  This book has an unusual approach.  The author points out questions of innovation or deviation from Islamic teachings which he saw or encountered on his trip, and outlines the proper Islamic approach in each one of them.  Thus, it is a book that aims at correcting erroneous practices that may take a person away from proper Islamic guidance.  Hence, it serves a great purpose.  That explains the fact that the book became widely known.  

Al-'Abdari died in Cairo in 1336.  

Muhammad ibn al-Hajj see ‘Abdari, al-


‘Abd ar-Rahman
‘Abd ar-Rahman (Abdul Rahman al-Ghafiqi) ('Abd er Rahman) (Abdderrahman Abderame) (Abderame) ('Abd el-Rahman) (d. 732).  Arab soldier and the emir of Spain from 731 to 732.  'Abd ar-Rahman became governor of southern France in 721.  In 732, when the growth of Frankish power menaced the Muslim position in Spain, 'Abd ar-Rahman led an army across the Pyrenees Mountains into the dominions of the Franks.  His army met the Franks, led by Charles Martel, near Tours, France, later that year.  The battle was indecisive, but the Muslims turned back after 'Abd ar-Rahman was killed.  

From the Yemeni tribe of Ghafiq, 'Abd ar-Rahman relocated to Ifriqiya (now Tunisia), then to the Maghrib (now Morocco), where he became acquainted with Musa ibn Nusair and his son Abdul Aziz, the governors of al-Andalus.  After al-Samh ibn Malik was killed at the Battle of Toulouse in 721 by the forces of Odo of Aquitane, 'Abd ar-Rahman took over the command of Eastern Andalus.  He was briefly relieved of his command when 'Anbasa ibn Suhaym al-Kalbi was appointed in 721.  After 'Anbasa was killed in battle in 726 in Gaul, several successive commanders were put in place, none of whom lasted very long.

In 730, the Caliph Hisham ibn 'Abd al-Malik appointed 'Abd ar-Rahman as governor/ commander of al-Andalus.  He prepared to invade Gaul and called for recruits from Yemen and the Levant.  Many arrived, and he crossed the Pyrenees range, with an army of approximately 80,000 cavalry composed primarily of Arabs and Berbers.  'Abd ar-Rahman made his way through Gascony and Aquitaine.  His army went through these places like a desolating storm, sacking and capturing the city of Bordeaux, after defeating Odo of Aquitaine in battle outside the city, and then again defeating a second army of Odo of Aquitaine at the Battle of the River Garonne.

Odo, with his remaining nobility, fled to Charles Martel, seeking help.  Unlike Toulouse, where Odo had won by achieving complete surprise over the Muslim forces when he relieved the city in 721, this time his forces were forced to face the Muslim cavalry in open battle and were utterly destroyed.  Also, the Muslim forces he had faced at the Battle of Toulouse were primarily light infantry, and while good fighters, were not close to the caliber of the Arab and Berber cavalry brought by 'Abd ar-Rahman for this invasion of Gaul.

However, the Frankish Mayor of the Palace of Austrasia, Charles Martel, had a core of seasoned professional infantry that had campaigned with him for many years, in addition to the levies of militia the Franks normally called up to buttress their forces. Charles Martel formed and army of Gauls and Germans approximately 30,000 strong.  The invading forces, having no reasosn to believe the Franks were anything more than one of the various barbarian tribes that had ravaged Europe after Rome's fall, failed to scout their strength in advance.  They also misjudged Charles Martel, who was determined to prevent the expansion of the Caliphate over the Pyrenees into the heart of Christian Europe.  This was a disastrous mistake which led to the defeat of 'Abd ar-Rahman in 732 at the Battle of Tours, near Poitiers, south of the Loire River.  

One reason for the defeat of the Muslim army was its preoccupation with war booty.  Another was the squabbles between the various ethnic and tribal factions, which led to the surviving generals being unable to agree on a single commander to take 'Abd ar-Rahman's place.  After all, 'Abd ar-Rahman alone had a fatwa from the Caliph and, thus, he alone had the absolute authority over the faithful under arms.  

Additional reasons for the defeat were found in the strategy employed by Charles Martel.  He trained his men specifically to fight in a large square, similar to the ancient Greek phalanx formation, to withstand the dreaded Muslim heavy cavalry.  The Frankish leader chose the battlefield.  Moving his army over the mountains and avoiding the old Roman roads, he escaped detection until he had position his men on a high, wooded plain.  

For seven days, the two armies skirmished and maneuvered, with the Islamic forces recalling all their raiding parties, so on the seventh day, their army was a full size.  Martel also received some reinforcements, though most historians still believe the was badly outnumbered at the onset of the battle.  The Franks held their defensive formation all day, and repulsed repeated cavalry charges.  The charges of the Arab and Berber cavalry were impeded by the sloping and wooded terrain.  

Late on the first day of battle, Martel sent his scouts to slip into 'Abd ar-Rahman's camp and free prisoners held by the Arab forces.  Believing that their booty was being stolen, a large contingent of 'Abd ar-Rahman's forces broke away from the battle to save their property.  'Abd ar-Rahman was exposed to the Frankish forces and killed while he attempted to stop his men from leaving the field.

Political factions, racial and ethnic rivalries, and personality clashes arose following 'Abd ar-Rahman's death.  The varied nationalities and ethnicities present in the army drawn from all over the Caliphate, and the surviving generals, bickered among themselves, unable to agree on a commander to lead them the following day.  The inability to select anyone to lead certainly contributed to the wholesale retreat of an army that possibly could have defeated the Franks.

Arab historians generally praise 'Abd ar-Rahman as a just and able administrator and commander, and bestow upon him the honor of being the best governor of al-Andalus.  Also, 'Abd ar-Rahman did not take sides in the ethnic and tribal divisions that plagued al-Andalus under other rulers.  Evidence of his fairness and importance as a ruler was demonstrated in the aftermath of his death at the Battle of Tours.  Without his leadership and guidance, the other commanders were unable to even agree on a commander to lead them back into battle the following morning.  The impact of the death of 'Abd ar-Rahman on both Islamic and world history is, undeniably, quite profound.

Rahman, 'Abd ar- see ‘Abd ar-Rahman
Abdul Rahman al-Ghafiqi see ‘Abd ar-Rahman
Ghafiqi, Abdul Rahman al- see ‘Abd ar-Rahman
Abdderrahman Abderame see ‘Abd ar-Rahman
Abderame Abdderrahman see ‘Abd ar-Rahman
Abderame see ‘Abd ar-Rahman


‘Abd ar-Rahman I
‘Abd ar-Rahman I (al-Dakhil) ('Abd al-Rahman I) (Abderraman I) ("Falcon of Andalus") ("Falcon of the Quraish") (731-788).  First Umayyad emir of Spain and the founder of the Umayyad emirate of Cordoba (r. 756-788).  Having narrowly escaped the massacre in 750 of the Umayyads in Damascus, 'Abd ar-Rahman wandered through North Africa until 755.  With the backing of Umayyad sympathizers in Spain and Ceuta, 'Abd ar-Rahman then intervened between feuding Muslims in Spain.  He disembarked at Almunecar in August 755; entered Seville in 756; and captured Cordoba in 756 where he was recognized as emir of al-Andalus.   Until 769, he suppressed rebellions by the Spanish neo-Muslims, the Berbers and the Arabs.  A coalition of Arab chiefs sought the aid of the Frankish king, Charlemagne, who in 778 laid siege to Saragossa (Sarakusta) but had to return to the Rhine.    ‘Abd ar-Rahman’s realm was not fully pacified until the defeat of Charlemagne’s army at Roncesvalles (Roncevaux) in 778.   This is the famous battle associated with the memory of Roland.  In 780, ‘Abd ar-Rahman subdued the Basques, and occupied Saragossa for a short time.  

'Abd ar-Rahman I was the grandson of Hisham ibn 'Abd al-Malik, the tenth Umayyad Caliph.  He was a prince and was groomed from an early age to be a caliph.  More specifically, he was the son of Mu'awiyah, son of Hisham, grandson of 'Abd al-Malik.  The child-prince was said to be tall and slender.  His mother was a Christian Berber slave, and from her he inherited red hair.

'Abd ar-Rahman was about eighteen when his family, the ruling Umayyads, were overthrown by a popular revolt known as the 'Abbasid Revolution, occurring in the year 749.  'Abd ar-Rahman and a small selection of his family fled Damascus, where the center of Umayyad power had been. After barely escaping Syria with their lives, 'Abd ar-Rahman and his former Greek slave Bedr continued south through Palestine, the Sinai and into Egypt. It would take several years 'Abd ar-Rahman to slowly make his way into the west.  In 755, 'Abd ar-Rahman and Bedr reached modern day Morocco near Ceuta.  He then dispatched Bedr to Iberia with a message in which he proclaimed himself the rightful Umayyad heir to the land of al-Andalus.  

At the invitation of loyal Umayyad followers, 'Abd ar-Rahman was told to go to al-Andalus. 'Abd ar-Rahman landed at Almunecar to the east of Malaga in August of 755.  'Abd ar-Rahman was greeted by local chieftains upon landing in al-Andalus.  During his brief time in Malaga, 'Abd ar-Rahman quickly amassed local support.  Waves of people made their way to Malaga to pay respect to the prince they thought was dead, including many of the aforementioned Syrians.

While the ruler of al-Andalus, al-Fihri, and the commander of his army, al-Sumayl, pondered what to do about the arrival of 'Abd ar-Rahman and the threat he posed to their power, trouble broke out in northern al-Andalus.  Sarakusta (Zaragoza), an important trade city on al-Andalus' Upper March made a bid for autonomy.  Al-Fihri and al-Sumayl rode north to squash the rebellion.  This might have been fortunate timing for 'Abd ar-Rahman, as he was still getting a solid foothold in al-Andalus.  By March of 756, 'Abd ar-Rahman and his growing following were able to take Sevilla without violence.  After putting down the rebellion in Sarakusta, al-Fihri turned his army back south to face 'Abd ar-Rahman.  The fight for the right to rule al-Andalus was about to begin.  The two contingents met on opposite sides of the River Guadalquivir, just outside the capital of Cordova on the plains of Musarah.

Both armies lined on the same bank of the Guadalquivir.  'Abd ar-Rahman had no banner, so one was improvised by unwinding a green turban and binding it round the head of a spear.  Subsequently, the turban and the spear became the banner and symbol of the Andalusian Umayyads.  'Abd ar-Rahman led the charge toward al-Fihri's army.  Al-Sumayl in turn advanced his cavalry out to meet the Umayyad threat.  After a long and difficult fight, 'Abd ar-Rahman obtained a complete victory, and the field was strewn with the bodies of the enemy.  'Abd ar-Rahman triumphantly marched into the capital, Cordova.  

'Abd ar-Rahman had to continuously put down rebellions in al-Andalus.  Various Arab and Berber tribes fought each other for varying degrees of power, some cities tried to break away and form their own state, and even members of 'Abd ar-Rahman's family tried to wrest power from him.  During a large revolt, dissidents marched on Cordova itself!  However, 'Abd ar-Rahman always managed to stay one step ahead, and crushed all opposition.  As he always dealt severely with dissidence in al-Andalus.  

Sarakusta (Saragossa) proved to be a most difficult city to reign over for not only 'Abd ar-Rahman, but also, his predecessors as well.
In the year 777-778, several notable men including Sulayman ibn Yokdan al-Arabi al-Kelbi, the self-appointed governor of Saragossa, met with delegates of the leader of the Franks, Charlemagne.  Charlemagne's army was enlisted to help the Muslim governors of Barcelona and Saragossa against the Umayyad emir in Cordoba.  Essentially, Charlemagne was being hired as a mercenary, even though he likely had other plans of acquiring the area for his own empire.  However, after Charlemagne's columns arrived at the gates of Saragossa, Sulayman got cold feet and refused to let the Franks into the city.  It is possible that he realized that Charlemagne would want to usurp power from him.  Charlemagne's force eventually headed back to France via a narrow pass in the Pyrenees named Roncesvalles (Roncevaux), where his rearguard was wiped out by Basque and Gascon rebels.  This disaster was noted in the epic Chanson de Roland.  

During his reign, 'Abd ar-Rahman strove to improve the infrastructure of al-Andalus.  He ensured roadways were begun, aqueducts were constructed or improved, and a new mosque was well funded in his capital at Cordova.  Construction on the mosque was started around the year 786.  It would in time become world famous and deemed a major holy site for many Muslims, later to be known as the Mezquita de Cordoba.  'Abd ar-Rahman knew that one of his sons would one day inherit the rule of al-Andalus, but that it was a land torn by strife.  'Abd ar-Rahman felt that he could not always rely on the local populace in providing a loyal army.  He, therefore, bought a massive standing army consisting mainly of Berbers from North Africa.  As was common during the years of Islamic expansion from Arabia, religious tolerance was practiced.  'Abd ar-Rahman continued to allow Jews and Christians to retain and practice their faiths.  They did, however, have to pay a tribute tax for this privilege.  'Abd ar-Rahman's policy of taxing non-Muslims, which was often carried out by later rulers, changed the religious dynamic of al-Andalus.  Possibly because of excessive tribute taxes, the bulk of the country's population soon became Muslim.

Around 788, 'Abd ar-Rahman died in his adopted city of Cordova.  He was supposedly buried under the site of the Mezquita.  'Abd ar-Rahman's alleged favorite son was his choice for successor, and would later be known as Hisham I.  'Abd ar-Rahman's progeny would continue to rule al-Andalus in the name of the house of Umayya for several generations, with the zenith of their power coming during the reign of 'Abd ar-Rahman III.

Dakhil, al- see ‘Abd ar-Rahman I
Rahman I, 'Abd ar- see ‘Abd ar-Rahman I
Falcon of Andalus see ‘Abd ar-Rahman I
Falcon of the Quraish see ‘Abd ar-Rahman I
'Abd al-Rahman I see ‘Abd ar-Rahman I
Abderraman I see ‘Abd ar-Rahman I

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