Tuesday, July 9, 2013

009 - Amina - Aoun, Michel

Amina.  The Prophet Muhammad’s mother.  She died around 576 when Muhammad was six years old.  

Amina (Amina Sukhera) (Aminatu) (c.1533-c.1610).  Queen of the Hausa state of Zaria (Zauzau) during a period of rapid expansion during the late fifteenth and early sixteenth centuries.  A legendary figure, Amina extended Zaria’s empire over Nupe and the Jukun kingdom of Kwararata (Kororofa), and dominated Kano and Katsina.  She is also credited with building many of the famous earthworks of the Hausa city-states.  During her reign east-west trade became an important supplement to the trans-Saharan trade through Zaria.  

Amina Sukhera (also called Aminatu) was a Muslim princess of the royal family of Zazzau (now Zaria), in what is now northeast Nigeria. She was born c. 1533 and is estimated to have died around 1610. Amina was a preeminent gimbiya (princess) but various theories exist as to the time of her reign as queen. One explanation states that she reigned from approximately 1536 to 1573, while another posits that she became queen after her brother Karama's death, in 1576.

When Amina was seven years old her mother, Bakwa Turunku, became queen. During this point in her life, she became involved in the Zazzau military, earning much admiration for her bravery. Her military achievements brought her great wealth and power.

She is credited as the architect of the earthen walls around the city of Zaria. These walls are often referred to as Ganuwar Amina. During her reign, Amina was responsible for conquering many of the cities in the area surrounding Zazzau. In her thirty-four year reign, Amina expanded the domaain of Zazzau to its largest size. Some sources state that her main focus was not on the annexation of neighboring lands, but on forcing local rulers to accept vassal status and permit Hausa traders safe passage.

The introduction of kola nuts into cultivation in the area is attributed to Amina. A statue at the National Arts Theatre in Lagos State honors her, and multiple educational institutions bear her name.

Amina Sukhera see Amina
Sukhera, Amina see Amina
Aminatu see Amina

Amin, al-  Muhammad ibn Harun al-Amin
Amin, al-  Muhammad ibn Harun al-Amin (787-813).  'Abbasid caliph (r. 809-813) who ruled during a particularly bloody civil war.  His father Harun al-Rashid, in the so-called “Meccan documents”, had designated his two sons al-Amin and al-Ma’mun as his successors.  Open hostility broke out between the two brothers in 811, al-Amin having his base in Iraq, al-Ma’mun in Khurasan.  The fraternal war has been viewed by some as an aspect of the conflict between Arabism and Iranism, but, in fact, it was primarily a dynastic dispute.  Al-Amin was captured by al-Ma’mun’s general Tahir ibn al-Husayn and put to death.  

Muhammad ibn Harun al-Amin succeeded his father, Harun al-Rashid in 809 and ruled until he was killed in 813.

Muhammad ibn Jarir al-Tabari records that Harun al-Rashid several times impressed on his sons they should respect each other and honour the succession as Harun arranged it. Harun even had al-Amin and al-Ma'mun sign pledges during a pilgrimage to Mecca that both would honor his expressed desire.  As Harun wished, Al-Amin, would receive the Caliphate and al-Ma'mun would become governor of Khurasan in eastern Iran and would furthermore be granted almost complete autonomy. Upon al-Amin's death, according to Harun's will, al-Ma'mun would become Caliph.

However, al-Ma'mun had distrusted al-Amin before their father's death and convinced Harun to take him with him on Harun's last journey east. Although Harun had instructed the Baghdad commanders of this expedition to remain with al-Ma'mun, after Harun's death they returned to Baghdad. Al-Amin sought to turn al-Ma'mun's financial agent in Rayy against al-Ma'mun and he ordered al-Ma'mun to acknowledge al-Amin's son Musa as heir and return to Baghdad. Al-Ma'mun replaced his agent in Rayy and refused the orders. His mother was Persian and he had strong support in Iran.

The brothers had different mothers. Al-Amin was prompted to move against al-Ma'mun by meddlesome ministers, especially al Fadl ibn ar Rabi. Al-Amin had Harun's succession documents brought from Mecca to Baghdad, where he destroyed them. Al-Amin also sent agents east to stir opposition to al-Ma'mun. However, a careful watch at the frontier prevented these agents from succeeding. Al-Amin denied al-Ma'mun's request for his family and money and kept them in Baghdad.

In March 811 Al-Amin dispatched an army under Ali ibn Isa ibn Mahan against Al-Ma'mun. Ali advanced on Rayy. Ma'mun's capable general Tahir bin Husain met and defeated Ali who was killed.

Al-Amin faced unrest in Syria. He sent Abd al-Malik ibn Salih to restore order there. There was fierce fighting and Abd al-Malik died. Al-Amin sent Ahmad ibn Mazyad and Abdallah ibn Humayd east, each with an army (al-Tabari says each had 20,000 men). However, Tahir's agents sowed discord and these two armies fought against each other.

Al-Amin faced an uprising in Baghdad led by Ali ibn Isa's son Husayn. This was quelled and Husayn was killed. Tahir took Ahwaz and gained control of Bahrayn and parts of Arabia. Basra and Kufa swore allegiance to al-Ma'mun. Tahir advanced on Baghdad and defeated a force sent against him. In Mecca, Dawud ibn Isa reminded worshippers that al-Amin had destroyed Harun ar Rashid's succession pledges and led them in swearing allegiance to al-Mamun. Dawud then went to Marv and presented himself to al-Ma'mun. Al-Ma'mun confirmed Dawud in his governorship of Mecca and Medina.

Tahir advanced and set up camp near the Anbar Gate. Baghdad was besieged. The effects of this siege were made more intense by the rampaging prisoners who broke out of jail. There were several vicious battles, such as at al-Amin's palace of Qasr Halih, at Darb al- Hijarah and al-Shammasiyyah Gate. In that last one Tahir led reinforcements to regain positions lost by another officer. Overall the situation was worsening for al-Amin and he became depressed.

When Tahir pushed into the city, al-Amin sought to negotiate safe passage out. Tahir reluctantly agreed on the condition al-Amin turn over his sceptre, seal and other signs of being caliph. Al-Amin tried to leave on a boat, apparently with these indications he was caliph. He rejected warnings he should wait. Tahir noticed the boat. Al-Amin was thrown into the water, swam to shore, was captured and brought to a room where he was executed. His head was placed on the Anbar Gate. Al-Tabari quotes Tahir's letter to al-Ma'mun informing that caliph of al-Amin's capture and execution and the state of peace resulting in Baghdad.

The fact that Al-Amin was known to be fond of eunuchs was seen by many at the time as a deficit in his character. Al-Tabari notes this fondness for eunuchs. He also records accounts of al-Amin's intense irritation when singers sang songs that were not very auspicious. Al-Amin is also described as being extravagant.

Al-Amin had appealed to his mother, Zubaida, to arbitrate the succession and champion his cause as Aisha had done two centuries before. Zubaida refused to do so.
Muhammad ibn Harun al-Amin see Amin, al-  Muhammad ibn Harun al-Amin

Amin al-Husayni
Amin al-Husayni (b. 1897, Jerusalem, Palestine, Ottoman Empire—d. July 4, 1974, Beirut, Lebanon).   Palestinian leader.  An avid anti-Zionist, he was appointed Great Mufti by the British.  In 1931, he convened a Pan-Islamic conference and attempted to prohibit further sale of Arab land to Jewish settlers.  In 1937, he went to Italy and lived in Nazi Germany between 1941 and 1945.  His part in the Nazi extermination policy of the Jews is not clearly established, but he actively tried to prevent the emigration of Jews to Palestine from Nazi-occupied countries.  After the proclamation of the State of Israel, Egypt allowed him to settle in Gaza.  In 1951, he chaired a World Muslim Conference, but at the Bandun Afro-Asian Conference, he was forced to accept President Nasser’s predominance.  His influence having diminished, he moved about and died in Beirut.  

Mohammad Amin al-Husayni (commonly, but less correctly, transliterated "al-Husseini"), a member of the al-Husayni clan of Jerusalem, was born in 1897 in Jerusalem, the son of the then mufti of that city and prominent early opponent of Zionism, Tahir al-Husayni. The al-Husayni clan consisted of wealthy landowners in southern Palestine, centred around the district of Judea. Thirteen members of the clan had been Mayors of Jerusalem between 1864 and 1920. Another member of the clan and Amin's half-brother, Kamil al-Husayni, also served as Mufti of Jerusalem. In Jerusalem, Amin al-Husayni attended an Islamic school, learned Turkish at a government school, and studied French successively with French Catholic missionaries and at the Alliance Israélite Universelle with its anti-Zionist Jewish director Albert Antébi. He then went to Al-Azhar University in Cairo, where he studied Islamic law for several months under Rashid Rida, a salafi intellectual, who was to remain Amin's mentor until his death in 1935. In 1913 at the age of 18, al-Husayni accompanied his mother to Mecca and received the honorary title of Hajj. Prior to World War I, he studied at the School of Administration in Istanbul, the most secular of Ottoman institutions.

With the outbreak of World War I in 1914, al-Husayni first joined the Ottoman Turkish army, receiving a commission as an artillery officer and being assigned to the Forty-Seventh Brigade stationed in and around the city of Smyrna. In November 1916 he left the Ottoman army on a three month disability leave and returned to Jerusalem, which was captured by the British while he was recovering from an illness there. The British and Sherifian armies conquered Ottoman-controlled Palestine and Syria in 1918 with Arab Palestinian recruits also taking part in the offensive against the Turks, alongside Jewish troops. As a Sherifian officer, al-Husayni recruited men to serve in Faisal bin Al Hussein Bin Ali El-Hashemi's army during the Arab Revolt, a task he undertook while employed as a recruiter by the British military administration in Jerusalem and Damascus.

In 1919, al-Husayni attended the Pan-Syrian Congress held in Damascus where he supported Emir Faisal for King of Syria. That year al-Husayni founded the pro-British Jerusalem branch of the Syrian-based 'Arab Club' (El-Nadi al-arabi), which then vied with the Nashashibi-sponsored 'Literary Club' (Al-Muntada al-Adabi) for influence over public opinion, and he soon became its President. At the same time he wrote articles for the Suriyya al-Janubiyya (Southern Syria). The paper was published in Jerusalem beginning in September 1919 by the lawyer Muhammad Hassan al-Budayri, and edited by Aref al-Aref, both prominent members of al-Nadi al-'Arabi.

During the annual Nabi Musa procession in Jerusalem in April 1920, violent rioting broke out in protest to the Balfour Declaration's implementation. Much damage to Jewish life and property was caused. The Palin Report laid the blame for the explosion of tensions on both sides. Ze'ev Jabotinsky, organiser of Jewish paramilitary defences, received a 15-year sentence. Al-Husayni, then a teacher at the Rashidiya school, near Herod's Gate in East Jerusalem, was charged with inciting the Arab crowds with an inflammatory speech and sentenced by military court held in camera (private) to ten years imprisonment in absentia, since he had already violated his bail by fleeing to Transjordan to avoid arrest.

After the April riots an event took place that turned the traditional rivalry between the Husayni and Nashashibi clans into a serious rift, with long-term consequences for al-Husayni and Palestinian nationalism. Great pressure was brought to bear on the military administration from Zionist leaders and officials such as David Yellin, to have the Mayor of Jerusalem, Musa Kazim Pasha al-Husayni, dismissed, given his presence in the demonstration of the previous March. Colonel Storrs, the Military Governor of Jerusalem, removed him without further inquiry, replacing him with Raghib al-Nashashibi of the rival Nashashibi clan. This had a profound effect on his co-religionists, confirming the conviction they had already formed from other evidence that the Civil Administration was the mere puppet of the Zionist Organization.

Until late 1921, al-Husayni focused his efforts on Pan-Arabism and the ideology of the Greater Syria in particular, with Palestine understood as a southern province of an Arab state whose capital was to be established in Damascus. Greater Syria was to include territory now occupied by Syria, Lebanon, Jordan and Israel. The struggle for Greater Syria collapsed after Britain ceded control over present day Syria and Lebanon to France in July 1920 in accordance with the prior Sykes-Picot Agreement. The French army entered Damascus at that time, overthrew King Faisal and put an end to the project of a Greater Syria.

Al-Husayni, like many of his class and period, then turned from Damascus-oriented Pan-Arabism to a specifically Palestinian ideology centered on Jerusalem, which sought to block Jewish immigration to Palestine. The frustration of pan-Arab aspirations lent an Islamic color to the struggle for independence, and increasing resort to the idea of restoring the land to Dar al-Islam. From his election as Mufti until 1923, al-Husayni exercised total control over the secret society, Al-Fida’iyya (The Self-Sacrificers), which, together with al-Ikha’ wal-‘Afaf (Brotherhood and Purity), played an important role in clandestine anti-British and anti-Zionist activities, and, via members in the gendarmerie, had engaged in riotous activities as early as April 1920.

Following the death of Amin's half-brother, the mufti Kamil al-Husayni in March 1921, the British High Commissioner Herbert Samuel pardoned al-Husayni. He and another Arab had been excluded from the general amnesty, six weeks earlier, because they had fled before their convictions had been passed down. Elections were then held, and of the four candidates running for the office of Mufti, al-Husayni received the least number of votes, the first three being Nashashibi candidates. Nevertheless, Samuel was anxious to keep a balance between the al-Husaynis and their rival clan the Nashashibis. A year earlier the British had replaced Musa al-Husayni as Mayor of Jerusalem with Ragheb al-Nashashibi. They then moved to secure for the Husayni clan a compensatory function of prestige by appointing one of them to the position of mufti, prevailing upon the Nashashibi front-runner, Sheikh Hussam ad-Din Jarallah, to withdraw. This automatically promoted Amin al-Husayni to third position, which, under Ottoman law, allowed him to qualify, and Samuel then chose him as Grand Mufti of Jerusalem, the title being invented by Samuel. The position came with a life tenure.

In 1922, al-Husayni was elected President of the Supreme Muslim Council which had been created by Samuel in 1921. The Council controlled the Waqf funds, worth annually tens of thousands of pounds and the orphan funds, worth annually about £50,000, as compared to the £600,000 in the Jewish Agency's annual budget. In addition, he controlled the Islamic courts in Palestine. Among other functions, these courts were entrusted with the power to appoint teachers and preachers.

The British initially balanced appointments to the Supreme Muslim Council between the Husaynis and their supporters (known as the majlisiya, or council supporters) and the Nashashibis and their allied clans (known as the mu'aridun, the opposition). The mu'aridun, were more disposed to a compromise with the Jews, and indeed had for some years received annual subventions from the Jewish Agency. During most of the period of the British mandate, bickering between these two families seriously undermined any Palestinian unity. In 1936, however, they achieved a measure of concerted policy when all the Palestinian groups joined to create a permanent executive organ known as the Arab Higher Committee under al-Husayni's chairmanship.

Husayni came to dominate the Palestinian Arab movement after a bitter clash with other nationalist elements, notably the Nashāshībī family, over personal rather than ideological differences. During most of the period of the British mandate, disagreement between these groups seriously weakened the effectiveness of Arab efforts. In 1936 they achieved a measure of unity when all the Palestinian groups joined to create a permanent executive organ known as the Arab Higher Committee, under Husaynī’s chairmanship. The committee demanded a cessation of Jewish immigration and a prohibition of land transfers from Arabs to Jews. A general strike developed into a rebellion against British authority. The British removed Husaynī from the council presidency and declared the committee illegal in Palestine. In October 1937 he fled to Lebanon, where he reconstituted the committee under his domination. Husayni retained the allegiance of most Palestinian Arabs, using his power to punish the Nashāshībīs.

The rebellion forced Britain to make substantial concessions to Arab demands in 1939. The British abandoned the idea of establishing Palestine as a Jewish state, and, while Jewish immigration was to continue for another five years, it was thereafter to depend on Arab consent. Ḥusaynī, however, felt that the concessions did not go far enough, and he repudiated the new policy.

Husaynī spent most of World War II (1939–45) in Germany, where he issued broadcasts urging revolt in the Arab world and endeavored to halt Jewish emigration to Palestine from countries occupied by the Nazis. At the war’s end he fled to Egypt, where he directed an increasingly weak and fragmented Arab Higher Committee from exile.

In 1947, he requested funds, on humanitarian grounds, from Ahmed Belbachir Haskouri, the right-hand man of the caliph of Spanish Morocco; the latter, in turn, did not hesitate to raise and send those funds. During the 1948 Palestine War he represented the Arab Higher Committee and opposed both the 1947 UN Partition Plan and King Abdullah's ambitions for expanding Jordan by capturing Palestinian territory.

After the 1948 Palestine War and Palestinian exodus, his claims to leadership were devastated and, quickly sidelined successively by the Arab Nationalist Movement and the Palestine Liberation Organization, he lost most of his remaining political influence. Al-Husayni died in Beirut, Lebanon in 1974.

Historians debate to what extent his fierce opposition to Zionism was grounded in nationalism or antisemitism or a combination of both.

Husayni, Amin al- see Amin al-Husayni
Mohammad Amin al-Husayni see Amin al-Husayni
Mohammad Amin al-Husseini see Amin al-Husayni
al-Haji Amin see Amin al-Husayni

Amin, Hafizullah
Amin, Hafizullah. See Hafizullah Amin.

Amin, Idi
Amin, Idi (Idi Amin) (Idi Amin Dada Oumee) (c.1925 -  August 16, 2003).  Military ruler of Uganda (1971-1979).

Idi Amin Dada Oumee (Idi Amin), a member of the Kakwa, one of Uganda’s smallest ethnic groups, was born in the West Nile District. He received only four years of formal education.  At eighteen, he enlisted in the King’s African Rifles.  He saw action in Burma in World War II and served with the British during Kenya’s “Mau Mau” emergency.  

In 1957, Idi Amin returned to Uganda as a sergeant-major.  Four years later, he became one of Uganda’s first African commissioned officers.

After Uganda became independent in 1962, Amin was rapidly promoted.  By 1964, he was deputy commander of the army and air force with the rank of colonel.  That same year Prime Minister Milton Obote had Amin lead a special mission into the eastern Congo (now Zaire) to support anti-Mobutu rebels.  His conduct while on this mission was later the subject of a parliamentary investigation when he and Obote were charged with misappropriating money Congolese rebels had given him for supplies. Obote quashed the investigation by suspending the constitution and elevating Amin to the head of the military forces in 1966.  When State President Mutesa II challenged Obote’s actions, Amin led an assault on Mutesa’s palace that drove him into exile, paving the way for Obote’s abolition of the Buganda kingdom.

As a trusted ally of Obote, Amin was promoted to major-general in 1968.  However, Amin’s growing power and popularity within the army made Obote increasingly uncomfortable.  Obote’s moves toward socializing the economy were weakening his own popular support, and he took steps to reduce Amin’s authority.  

When Obote left the country for a Commonwealth conference in January 1971, Amin seized control of the government.  He announced that he had no personal political ambitions, but the army soon declared him president and he abolished the parliament and ruled by decree.

In the face of a weakened economy and massive budget deficits, Amin pumped more money into the military and began to purge the army and the government of people loyal to the old regime.  A year later he won widespread popular support by expelling more than 50,000 non-citizen Asians from the country, charging that they had economically exploited African citizens.  The wholesale removal of key businessmen, managers, and technicians accelerated the deterioration of Uganda’s infrastructure and created an atmosphere in which respect for human rights diminished.

Charges of human rights violations against Amin mounted through the 1970s as tens of thousands of people disappeared or were openly killed.  Prominent individuals, whole villages, and ethnic groups within the army were wiped out in the name of state security.  Within eight years, an estimated 300,000 Ugandans had been killed and Amin had become an international pariah.

Tanzania’s President Nyerere, who had harbored Obote in exile, was hostile to Amin from the time he assumed power.  When Ugandan forces attempted to occupy the Kagera salient in northwest Tanzania in late 1978, Nyerere counter-attacked.  In early 1979, Nyerere sent 20,000 Tanzanian troops and a small Ugandan exile force into Uganda.  The invasion force occupied Kampala in April, Amin fled to Libya and later settled in Saudi Arabia.

A military commission made up of previously exiled Ugandans installed Yusufu Lule, a professional educator, as president for several months, and then replaced him with a lawyer, Godfrey Binaisa.  After a disputed election in late 1980, Obote returned to assume the presidency.

Idi Amin died in 2003 while still in exile in Saudi Arabia.

Idi Amin see Amin, Idi
Oumee, Idi Amin Dada see Amin, Idi
Idi Amin Dada Oumee see Amin, Idi

Amir ‘Ali, Sayyid
Amir ‘Ali, Sayyid (Ameer 'Ali, Syed) (Syed Ameer Ali) (April 6, 1849; Cuttack, Orissa, India - August 4, 1928; Sussex, England), was an Indian Muslim jurist, political leader, and author of a number of influential books on Muslim history and the modern development of Islam, who is credited for his contributions to the Law of India, particularly Muslim Personal Law, as well as the development of political philosophy for Muslims, during the British Raj. He was a signatory to the 1906 Qur'an Petition and founding-member of the All India Muslim League, and a contemporary of Muhammad Iqbal.

Amir Ali was an Indian lawyer-jurist, politician, and “liberal” Muslim thinker.  A member of a family formerly in service to the nawabs of Awadh, Amir Ali attended British sponsored schools in Calcutta and was called to the bar from London’s Inner Temple.  A successful barrister in Calcutta, he became a justice of that city’s High Court.  In 1908, he became the first non-Briton to sit as a “Law Lord” of the Privy Council.  Active in the Muslim League, Amir Ali’s move to England gave him some influence in government circles.  His books, most important of which was The Spirit of Islam, were written for European readers.  An admirer of British “Progressive” thinkers, he emphasized the role of Islam in inspiring human development.  'Ali argued that a re-working of the faith along “rational” lines would ensure Islam its rightful place in the vanguard of human evolution.

Amir ‘Ali was born in Chinsura, Bengal into a Shi‘a family with a history of service to Persian and Mughal rulers and to the nawabs of Awadh, as well as to the British East India Company.

Amir 'Ali traced his lineage through the eighth Imam, Ali Al-Raza, to Muhammad. Forefathers of his are known to have held office under Shah Abbas II of Persia and taken part in Nadir Shah's invasion of India. After the plunder of Delhi, the family line then settled in the Sub-continent and started serving Muhammad Shah. Another of his forefathers fought against Marhattas in the third battle of Panipat. Finally, when his grandfather died, his father Saadat Ali Khan was brought up and educated by Syed's maternal uncle.

He was born on 6 April 1849 at Cuttack in Orissa as the fourth of five sons of Syed Saadat Ali. His father moved the family to Calcutta, and then to Chinsura where they settled more permanently among the ashraf elite. His family took advantage of the educational facilities provided by the British government but otherwise shunned by the Muslim community. With the assistance of his British teachers and supported by several competitive scholarships, he achieved outstanding examination results, graduating from Calcutta University in 1867, and earning a master's degree with honors in History in 1868. The law degree followed quickly in 1869. He then studied law in London and was called to the Bar in 1873.  

After moving to London, where he stayed between 1869 and 1873, joined the Inner Temple and made contacts with the elite of the city. He absorbed the influence of contemporary liberalism. He had contacts with almost all the administrators concerned with India and with leading English liberals such as John Bright and the Fewcetts, Henry (1831-1898) and his wife, Millicent Fawcett (1847-1929).

He resumed his legal practice at Calcutta High Court on his return to India in 1873. The year after, he was elected as a Fellow of Calcutta University as well as being appointed as a lecturer in Islamic Law at the Presidency College, Kolkata. In 1878, he was appointed as the member of the Bengal Legislative Council. He revisited England in 1880 for one year.

In 1883, he was nominated to the membership of the Governor General Council. He became a professor of law in Calcutta University in 1881. In 1890 he was made a judge in the Calcutta High Court. He founded the political organisation, Central National Muhamedan Association, in Calcutta in 1877. This made him the first Muslim leader to put into practice the need for such an organisation due to the belief that efforts directed through an organisation would be more effective than those originating from an individual leader. The Association played an important role in the modernisation of Muslims and in arousing their political consciousness. He was associated with it for over 25 years, and worked for the political advancement of the Muslims.

In 1904, Amir 'Ali "retired" to England, his wife's home.. Although he was out of the way of the main current of Muslim political life, through his career in general he became a jurist and a well-known Islamic scholar. In England, he established the London Muslim League in 1908. This organisation was an independent body and not a branch of the All India Muslim League. In 1909, he became the first Indian to sit as a member of the Judicial Committee of the Privy Council. On appointment to the Privy Council he became entitled to be addressed as The Rt Hon.

In 1910, he established the first mosque in London. In doing so he formally co-established the London Mosque Fund, alongside a group of prominent British Muslims, to finance the building of the mosque in the capital. His field of activities was now broadened and he stood for Muslim welfare all over the world. He played an important role in securing separate electorates for the Muslims in South Asia and promoting the cause of the Khilafat Movement.

He died on August 4, 1928 in Sussex.

Ali's record as the only Muslim privy councillor in British history was only broken a century later in June 2009 when Sadiq Khan was appointed as Minister of State for Transport with membership of the Privy Council.

Amir  ‘Ali’s distinguished public career was punctuated by frequent writings on Islamic topics for such British journals as Nineteenth Century.  His books on Islamic religions and history were written in English with a Western readership in mind and established his reputation as a modern apologist for Islamic culture.  His best known works are A Short History of the Saracens (1889) and The Spirit of Islam (1891).  He viewed Islam as the vehicle of rationality and dynamism during the age of European barbarism, and the Prophet Muhammad as a messenger of moral humanism and progress entirely in tune with the modern age.  These works had considerable influence on the thinking of Western-educated Muslims in India in their efforts to refute British or Christian missionary criticisms of their faith, and in their sense of an emerging political and religious identity.  

Amir 'Ali believed that the Muslims as a downtrodden nation could get more benefit from the loyalty to the British rather than from any opposition to them. For this reason he called upon his followers to devote their energy and attention to popularising English education among the Muslims. This perception and consequent activism has been known as the Aligarh Movement.

Amir ‘Ali’s position and politics allied him with the British, but throughout his career he endeavored to represent Indian Muslim opinion, as he saw it, to the government.  In1877, he founded the Central National Muhammadan Association with the purpose of petitioning the British government to safeguard Muslim interests.  He also established the London branch of the All-India Muslim League in 1908.  He lobbied for the establishment of separate electorates for Muslims, a provision of the Morley-Minto constitutional reforms of 1909.  Amir 'Ali also lobbied the British government for fair treatment of the Ottoman sultan-caliph in the treaties ending World War I, even though he took no part in the Khilafat movement in India.  His efforts on behalf of the Ottoman caliph included a letter that he and the Aga Khan wrote to the prime minister of Turkey in 1923, urging a restoration of the caliph’s temporal powers.  Ironically, this letter from the two Indian Shi‘a leaders had the opposite effect.  The Turkish National Assembly, indignant at this foreign meddling, voted to abolish the caliphate early in 1924.  

'Ali, Sayyid Amir see Amir ‘Ali, Sayyid
Ameer 'Ali, Syed see Amir ‘Ali, Sayyid
Sayyid Amir 'Ali see Amir ‘Ali, Sayyid
Syed Ameer 'Ali see Amir ‘Ali, Sayyid

Amir Hamzah
Amir Hamzah (1911-1946).  Indonesian lyric poet.  Although a man of modern education, Amir Hamzah was a traditionalist.  A member of the family of the Sultan of Langkat in East Sumatra, Amir Hamzah loved ancient Malay vocabulary, culture, history and verse forms.  But above all, Amir Hamzah was a staunch Muslim.  Amir Hamzah’s poem on the Malay hero Hang Tuah brought to mind a European ballad.  Amir Hamzah’s earliest poems were published in 1941 under the title Buah Rindu (“Fruit of Longing”).  These early poems were sad songs of a lonely wanderer.  In his later poems, published in 1937 as Njanji Sunji (“Songs of Solitude”), Amir Hamzah shows strong religious feeling and addresses himself to God as the God of Love.  Amir Hamzah was killed in the disturbances in East Sumatra that preceded independence.
Hamzah, Amir see Amir Hamzah

Amir Kabir
Amir Kabir (Mirza Taqi Khan Farahani) (Mirza Taqi Khan Amir-Nezam)  (1807 - January 11, 1852).  An Iranian prime minister and reformer of the Qajar period. Son of a minister’s cook, he was first employed in the administration of the crown prince in Tabriz.  He rose to prominence as the head of the Iranian mission to the Erzurum Conference (1843-1846).  Upon accession to the throne, Nasir al-Din Shah (r. 1848-1896) appointed him to premiership with broad executive power.  He embarked on a comprehensive program of reforms, which included administrative, military, and financial reorganizations; new agricultural and industrial projects; reduction of the trade deficit; and the foundation of the first technical college. His authoritative centralization policies brought the defeat of the Babi resistance (1848-1850).  His brief term of office came to an end when he lost control over the shah and the administration and was executed.  Perhaps the most prominent of nineteenth century reformers, his idealized image served as a model for future generations.  

Amir Kabir served as Prime Minister of Persia (Iran) under Nasereddin Shah. Born in Hazaveh, a county of Arak, and murdered in 1852, Amir Kabir is a controversial historical figure. He is considered by some to be "widely respected by liberal nationalist Iranians" as `Iran's first reformer`, a modernizer who was "unjustly struck down" because he attempted to bring "gradual reform" to Iran. He is also considered a ruthless tyrant for his involvement in the massacre of thousands of the Bab'i's (later Baha'i's), and his hand in the execution of the Bab'i/Baha'i Messenger, the Bab.

His father, Karbalaee Qorban, was a cook for Mirza Abu'l-Qasim Farahani Qá'im Maqam, a previous prime minister, which made Mirza Taghi Khan learn many skills of the court.

Amir Kabir was sent to the Ottoman Empire to represent Persia in negotiations for an end to a hundred years of war between the two empires. He also helped Nasereddin Shah to receive the throne, so the Shah made him his chancellor and gave his sister to him in marriage.

Under his tenure, government expenditure was slashed, and a distinction made between the privy and public purses. The instruments of central administration were overhauled, and Amir Kabir assumed responsibility for all areas of the bureaucracy. His most immediate success was the vaccination of Iranians against smallpox, saving the lives of many thousands if not millions. Additionally, Amir Kabir curtailed foreign interference in Iran's domestic affairs.

Amir Kabir started some reformist movements in Persia. He founded Darolfonoon, the first European-style university in Persia in 1848, which taught modern sciences and languages. Decades later, many parts of this establishment were turned into the University of Tehran, with the remaining becoming Darolfonoon Secondary School. He also supported the foundation of the first Persian newspaper, vaghaye al etefaghiyeh. He established and planned for almost all of the industries that were existent in the world in that era, in Persia. His efforts included planning for a steel mill and a ship making industry and establishing the textile, weaponry, sugar, glass, Samovar, tea, and ceramic industries. These efforts, in turn, dramatically reduced the amount of importation from Russia. Amir Kabir established tariffs to reduce importing from Britain, and created a strong and stable economy. Amir Kabir implemented patent regulation for the first time in Iran to support inventors and industries and supplied them with loans and facilities. He enforced Quarantines and mandatory vaccination to prevent frequent outbreaks. He made improvements in the military and in discipline, planned for a Navy, and extended Persian influence in Northern and Eastern borders. Notably, he captured Herat without using force, doing it instead by diplomacy. He developed a very sophisticated intelligence service and fought against bribery, fraud and foreign interference.

Amir Kabir strengthened the law, discipline and order and even set the Shah's salary. He fixed deficits by lapsing the huge salaries that members of the royal family were receiving from the national treasury. This caused some of the royals, led by the Shah's mother and other members of the Royal family who had "suffered" cuts in their grand lifestyle to forge allegations against him. The allegations convinced the Shah to dismiss Amir Kabir and send him into internal exile in Kashan. At the time, the shamed Qajars, having realized the unpopularity of what they had done, spun a rumor that it had been the Shah's mother (whom the Shah allegedly did not like) and the succeeding Prime Minister Mirza Agha Khan Noori, whom some have suggested was a British sympathiser, who hatched the plot, thereby, exonerating the rest of the real culprits. However, entries from the diary of the impartial crown prince Mozaffar-e-din, Nasser al-Din Shah Qajar's son, make it clear that was it was Amir Kabir's reforms that had antagonized various Royals and nobles who had been excluded from the government. They regarded Amir Kabir as a social upstart and a threat to their interests, and they formed a coalition against him, in which the queen mother was active. She convinced the young shah that Amir Kabir wanted to usurp the throne. It seems from this source that not only was Mirza Agha Khan Noori not involved in Amir Kabir's downfall but that he, in fact, interceded on his behalf with the Shah.

It is said that the Russian embassy offered Amir Kabir a refuge in Russia, but Amir Kabir declined. Later, when the Shah was drunk, the Shah's mother and her aides asked him for an order to execute Amir Kabir, and executed the order very quickly in Kashan's Fin Bath, before the Shah could rescind the order.

Amir Kabir is also known in Iranian history for taking a decisive stance against the Babis. During his term he supported strong action against the Babis in the Shaykh Tabarsi, Nayriz and Zanjan upheavals. He was also the prime instigator in the execution of the Báb in 1850.

Tehran Polytechnic was established during Pahlavi Dynasty in 1958. It was renamed Amirkabir University of Technology after Amir Kabir in 1979.

Kabir, Amir see Amir Kabir
Mirza Taqi Khan Farahani see Amir Kabir
Farahani, Mirza Taqi Khan see Amir Kabir
Mirza Taqi Khan Amir-Nezam see Amir Kabir

Amir Khusraw Dihlawi
Amir Khusraw Dihlawi (Amir Khusrau) (Amir Khusrow Dehlawi) (Ab'ul Hasan Yamin al-Din Khusrow)  (1253-1325).  A great Indo-Persian poet.  He enjoyed favor under the Khalji sultan of Delhi. Khusraw was a versatile genius, accomplished not only as a poet but also as an artist, humorist, soldier, historian, naturalist, linguist, mystic, and inventor of musical tones.  A Lachin Turk by descent, he had an Indian taste and temperament.  He was the court poet of seven Delhi sultans, for whom he produced most of his works; he also composed five historical idylls (1299-1302) as a rejoinder to the Khamsa of the Persian poet Nizami.  His Ijaz-i Khusravi (1319) contains letters and documents that he drafted to be used as models for specific occasions.  Scholars note that Khusraw’s lyrical poetry has depth of emotion, rhythmic beauty, and artistic perfection.  A disciple of Shaikh Nizam ud-Din Auliya, he had strong mystic leanings.  He lies buried near his master’s cenotaph in Delhi.  Deep humanism, profound faith in the higher values of mysticism, and patriotic fervor characterize his poetry.  

Amir Khusraw Dihlawi was an iconic figure in the cultural history of the Indian subcontinent. A Sufi mystic and a spiritual disciple of Nizamuddin Auliya of Delhi, Amīr Khusraw was not only a notable poet but also a prolific and seminal musician. He wrote poetry primarily in Persian, but also in Hindavi.

He is regarded as the "father of qawwali" (the devotional music of the Indian Sufis). He is also credited with enriching Hindustani classical music by introducing Persian and Arabic elements in it, and was the originator of the khayal and tarana styles of music. The invention of the tabla is also traditionally attributed to Amīr Khusrow.. Amir Khusrau used only 11 metrical schemes with 35 distinct divisions. He wrote Ghazal, Masnavi, Qata, Rubai, Do-Beti and Tarkibhand.

A musician and a scholar, Amīr Khusraw was as prolific in tender lyrics as in highly involved prose and could easily emulate all styles of Persian poetry which had developed in medieval Persia, from Khāqānī's forceful qasidas to Nezāmī's khamsa. His contribution to the development of the ghazal, hitherto little used in India, is particularly significant..

Amīr Khusraw was born in Patiali near Etah in northern India. His father, Amīr Sayf ud-Dīn Mahmūd, was a Turkic officer and a member of the Lachin tribe of Transoxania, themselves belonging to the Kara-Khitais. His mother, who belonged to the Rajput tribes of Uttar Pradesh, was the daughter of Rawat Arz, the famous war minister of Balban, a king of the Mamluk dynasty (1246-87).

Khusraw was a prolific classical poet associated with the royal courts of more than seven rulers of the Delhi Sultanate. He is popular in much of North India and Pakistan, because of many playful riddles, songs and legends attributed to him. Through his enormous literary output and legendary folk personality, Khusraw represents one of the first (recorded) Indian personages with a true multi-cultural or pluralistic identity.

He wrote in both Persian and Hindustani. He also spoke Arabic and Sanskrit. His poetry is still sung today at Sufi shrines throughout Pakistan and India.

Amir Khusraw was the author of a Khamsa which emulated that of the earlier poet of Persian epics Nezami Ganjavi. His work was considered to be one of the great classics of Persian poetry during the Timurid period in Transoxiana.

Amir Khusraw is credited with fashioning the tabla as a split version of the traditional Indian drum, the pakhawaj.

Popular lore also credits him with inventing the sitar, the Indian grand lute, but it is possible that the Amir Khusraw associated with the sitar lived in the 18th century (he is said to be a descendant of the son-in-law of Tansen, the celebrated classical singer in the court of the Mughal Emperor Akbar).

Dihlawi, Amir Khusraw see Amir Khusraw Dihlawi
Amir Khusrau see Amir Khusraw Dihlawi
Khusrau, Amir see Amir Khusraw Dihlawi
Amir Khusraw Dehlawi see Amir Khusraw Dihlawi
Ab'ul Hasan Yamin al-Din Khusrow see Amir Khusraw Dihlawi
Father of Qawwali see Amir Khusraw Dihlawi

Amir Nizam
Amir Nizam (1820-1899).  Iranian official of Kurdish heritage.  He protected the interests of the Russians and was hostile towards modernization.  
Nizam, Amir see Amir Nizam

Amir Sjarifuddin
Amir Sjarifuddin (Amir Sjarifuddin Harahap) (Amir Sjarifoeddin Harahap) (April 27, 1907 - December 19, 1948).  Indonesian political leader.  Born in Medan, Sumatra, Amir received a Western language education, graduating from the faculty of law in Jakarta in 1933.  In the closing years of Dutch rule, he was a leader of the nationalist organizations Partindo and Gerindo, and in 1940 he became a member of the Department of Economic Affairs.  In 1944, he was arrested and sentenced to death for organizing and heading an underground movement to overthrow the Japanese government but, thanks to the intercession of President Sukarno and Vice President Hatta, the sentence was commuted.  Amir then served in Premier Sjahein’s cabinet as the minister of defense and information (1945-1947) and founded what eventually became the Indonesian Socialist Party.  On July 3, 1947, he became premier as well as defense minister.  He headed the Indonesian delegation in the negotiations with the Dutch that led to the controversial Renville Agreement of January 1948.  Discredited by his role in this unpopular agreement, Amir was compelled to resign.  Joining radical opposition to the Sukarno-Hatta government, he became involved in the Madiun Affair of September 18, 1948 and was arrested and executed by the Indonesian army in December of that year.

A Christian convert from a Muslim Batak family, Amir Sjarifuddin Harahap was a major leader of the Left during the Revolution. He was executed in 1948 by Indonesian Republican officers following his involvement in a Communist revolt.

Born into Sumatran aristocracy in the city of Medan, Amir's wealthy background and outstanding intellectual abilities allowed him to enter the most elite schools. He was educated in Haarlem and Leiden in the Netherlands before gaining a law degree in Batavia (now Jakarta). During his time in the Netherlands he studied Eastern and Western philosophy under the tutelage of the Theosophical Society. Amir converted from Islam to Christianity in 1931.

In 1937, one of the final years of the Dutch period, Amir led a group of younger Marxists in establishing Gerindo ('Indonesian People's Movement'), a radical co-operating party opposed to international fascism as the first enemy. The Soviet Union’s Dmitrov doctrine had called for a common front against fascism which helped swell the numbers of Indonesians taking an approach cooperative with the Dutch in an attempt to secure Indonesian independence. Gerindo was one of the more significant cooperative parties which, in the years before World War II, had objectives that included a full Indonesian legislature; modest goals in comparison to the Dutch-suppressed radical nationalists led by the likes of Sukarno and Hatta, who Amir had met before the War.

By 1940, Dutch intelligence suspected Amir of being involved with the Communist underground. Watching the increased strength and influence of Imperial Japan, Amir was one of a number of Indonesian leaders who before the war, warned against the danger of fascism. Before the Netherlands' invasion by Japan's ally, Germany, the Netherlands Indies was a major exporter of raw materials to East Asia and to this end, Amir's groups had promoted boycotts against Japan. It is thought that it was his prominent roles in these campaigns that prompted the head of Dutch intelligence to provide Amir with 25,000 guilders in March 1942 to organize an underground resistance movement against Japan through his Marxist and nationalist connections. At this point, the Dutch administration was crumbling against the Japanese onslaught and the top Dutch military fled Indonesia for Australia.

Upon their occupation of Indonesia, the Japanese enforced total suppression of any opposition to their rule. Most Indonesian leaders obliged as either 'neutral observers' or actively cooperated. Amir, however, was the only prominent Indonesian politician to organize active resistance. The Japanese arrested Amir in 1943 and he only escaped execution following intervention from Sukarno whose popularity in Indonesia, and hence importance to the war effort, was recognized by the Japanese.

As a cabinet minister, and later prime minister, Amir aligned himself with the generally older group of political leaders who, in establishing Indonesian independence, emphasized the need for diplomacy and the formation of sound political structures. This group struggle contrasted with the alternative and generally younger alternative political leadership advocating struggle; the vying for influence between these two groups was a defining feature of the Indonesian National Revolution.

In 1945, Amir was the most widely known and respected Republican politician to consider himself communist. Although Amir had been in contact with the 'illegal' Indonesian Communist Party (PKI), he had nothing but disdain for the 'unsophisticated' and unknown Marxists who re-established it in 1935. His closest colleagues from the 'illegal PKI' underground or the pre-war Gerindo formed the Partai Sosialis Indonesia (PARSI) on November 1, 1945. The same month, Amir followers formed PESINDO (Pemuda Sosialis Indonesia, "Indonesian Socialist Youth").

At a two-party conference on December 16-17, it was announced that Amir's PARSI would merge with Sjahrir's political grouping, PARAS, forming the Partai Sosialis (PS). The Partai Sosialis quickly became the strongest pro-government party, especially in Yogyakarta and East Java. The party accepted the argument of Amir and its other leaders that the time was not ripe to implement socialism, rather that international support necessary for independence be sought, and that unruly constituents had to be opposed. The party's westernised leaders showed more faith in Netherlands left-wing forces, than in the revolutionary fervor of the Indonesian people, which became a source of discontent among the party's opponents.

Following the Japanese surrender on August 15, 1945 and the proclamation of Indonesian independence two days later, the Republic announced its first ministry on September 4. The seventeen-member cabinet was comprised mostly of 'collaborating' nationalists. Amir, appointed as Information Minister, was, however, still imprisoned by the Japanese following his 1942-43 anti-Japanese underground activities. Early in the Revolution, Amir worked closely with first Prime Minister and Sukarno rival, Sutan Sjahrir. Indeed, the two played the major role in shaping the arrangements linking the new government of Indonesia with its people remarkably effectively.

On October 30, Amir, along with Sukarno and Hatta, was flown into the East Java city of Surabaya by the desperate British caretaker administration. The three were seen as the only Indonesian leaders likely able to quell fighting between Republican and British Indian forces in which the British Brigade were hopelessly outnumbered and facing annihilation. A cease fire was immediately adhered to, but fighting soon recommenced after confused communications and mistrust between the two sides, leading to the famed Battle of Surabaya.
On October 16, 1945, Sjahrir and Amir engineered a takeover within the KNIP. and following the November 11 transition to parliamentary government, Amir was appointed to a new cabinet with Sjahrir as Prime Minister. Described as 'a man even his political adversaries found difficult to hate', Amir played a key role as Minister of Defence. His position, however, was a source of friction with the TKR and its new commander, Sudirman, who had nominated their own candidate, the Sultan of Yogyakarta, Hamengkubuwono IX. (The Sultan, however, was not eager to contest the position). Amir was a central figure in the government's 'anti-fascist' program with the army a key target, which caused further frictions. PETA-trained army officers led Sjahrir's attacks on the 'traitors', 'fascists', and 'running dogs' who had cooperated with the Japanese. Amir promoted the Red Army as a model of a citizens' army loyal to the government and holding socialist ideals. On February 19, 1946, Amir inaugurated a socialist and Masyumi politician-dominated 'education staff' for the army. The body appointed fifty-five 'political officers' at the end of May without consulting the army command. These new officers were to educate each TRI unit on the goals of the revolution. Amir was not, however, able to effectively impose such ideals on unit commanders, particularly as Sudirman and other PETA-trained officers resented the 'fascist' slur cast on them. The Marxist's overtones of Amir's new military academies conflicted with the popular army view of being above politics and the need to play a unifying role in the national struggle. The army leadership consequently rejected attempts to introduce partisan ideology and alignments.

This antagonism between the government and PETA-trained officers forced Amir to find an armed support base elsewhere He aligned himself with sympathetic Dutch-educated officers in certain divisions, such as the West Java 'Siliwangi' Division the command of which had been assumed by KNIL Lieutenant A.H. Nasution in May 1946. Another source of support for the new cabinet was the more educated armed pemuda sympathetic to the cabinet's 'anti-fascist' approach. With an engaging personality and persuasive oratory skills, Amir had more time and aptitude than Sjahrir for party building, and he played the main part in wooing these pemuda.

A split between Amir's and Prime Minister Sjahrir's supporters rapidly deepened in 1947. There had long been mutual suspicion between Sjahrir and the communists who had returned from the Netherlands in 1946. The fading of the 'anti-fascist' cause made these suspicions more obvious. Sjahrir's preoccupation with diplomasi (diplomacy), his physical isolation in Jakarta from revolution-infused Central Java, and his dislike of mass rallies allowed the more Moscow-inclined Marxists to assume more control in both the PS and Sayap Kiri. By June 1946, Sjahrir's increasing isolation from the coalition encouraged the opposing factions to depose him. This group put their support behind Amir, the alternative PS leader. On June 26, 1947, Amir, along with two other Moscow-inclined Ministers—Abdulmadjid (PS) and Wikana (PESINDO)— backed by a majority of Sayap Kiri withdrew their support for Sjahrir. Their argument was that Sjahrir had compromised the Republic in his pursuit of diplomasi—the same charge that deposed every revolutionary government—and that in the face of Dutch belligerence, such conciliation seemed futile.

Amir courted a broad coalition but hostility from Muslim Masyumi prevented its leader, Dr Sukiman, and pro-Sjahrir 'religious socialists' from previous cabinets from joining the new cabinet. In July, Amir was appointed Prime Minister of the Republic. Other influential Masyumi factions, such as that of Wondoamiseno, provided support. Although Amir's communist allies controlled abou ten percent (10%) of the thirty-four with Amir's Defence Ministry their sole key one, this cabinet was the highest point of orthodox communist influence in the Revolution. Amir succeeded Sutan Sjahrir as Prime Minister

Following a backlash over the Renville Agreement, a disaster for the Republic for which Amir received much of the blame, PNI and Masyumi cabinet members resigned in early January 1947. On January 23, with his support base disappearing, Amir resigned from the prime ministership. President Sukarno subsequently appointed Hatta to head an emergency 'presidential cabinet' directly responsible to the President and not the KNIP. The new cabinet consisted mainly of PNI, Masyumi and non-party members; Amir and the "Left Wing" were subsequently in opposition.

The "Left Wing" coalition renamed itself the "People's Democratic Front" (Front Demokrasi Rakyat) and denounced the "Renville Agreement", which Amir's government had itself negotiated. In August 1947, Musso, the 1920s leader of the PKI, arrived in Yogyakarta from the Soviet Union. Amir and the leadership of the People’s Democratic Front immediately accepted his authority, and Amir admitted membership of the underground PKI since 1935. Adhering to Musso's Stalinist thinking of a single party of the working class, the major leftist parties in the Front dissolved themselves into the PKI.

Following industrial action, demonstrations, and subsequent open warfare between the PKI and pro-government forces in the Central Java city of Surakarta, on September 18 a group of PKI supporters took over strategic points in the Madiun area. They killed pro-government officers, and announced over radio the formation of a new "National Front" government. Caught off guard by the premature coup attempt, Musso, Amir and other PKI leaders traveled to Madiun to take charge. The following day, about 200 pro-PKI and other leftist leaders remaining in Yogyakarta were arrested. Sukarno denounced the Madiun rebels over radio, and called upon Indonesians to rally to himself and Hatta rather than to Musso and his plans for a Soviet-style government. Musso replied on radio that he would fight to the finish, while, the People's Democratic Front in Banten and Sumatra announced they had nothing to do with the rebellion.

In the following weeks, pro-government forces, led by the Siliwangi Division, marched on Madiun where there was an estimated 5,000-10,000 pro-PKI soldiers. As the rebels retreated they killed Masyumi and PNI leaders and officials, and in the villages killings took place along santri-abangan lines. On September 30, the rebels abandoned Madiun town, and were pursued by pro-government troops through the countryside. Musso was killed on October 31 trying to escape custody.

Amir and 300 rebel soldiers were captured by Siliwangi troops on December 1. Some 35,000 people were later arrested. It is thought perhaps 8,000 people were killed in the affair. As part of a second major military offensive against the Republic, on December 19 Dutch troops occupied Yogyakarta city and the Republican government was captured, including Sukarno, Hatta, Agus Salim, and Sjahrir. Republican forces withdrew to the countryside beginning full-scale guerrilla war on either side of the van Mook line. Rather than risk their release, the army killed Amir and fifty other leftist prisoners as it withdrew from Yogyakarta that evening.

Sjarifuddin, Amir see Amir Sjarifuddin
Amir Sjarifuddin Harahap see Amir Sjarifuddin
Harahap, Amir Sjarifuddin see Amir Sjarifuddin
Amir Sjarifoeddin Harahap see Amir Sjarifuddin
Harahap, Amir Sjarifoeddin see Amir Sjarifuddin

‘Amr ibn al-As
‘Amr ibn al-As (c.573-589 - January 6, 664).  Arab general.  First sent by the Prophet to Oman, he proceeded to conquer Palestine in 633 and Egypt in 640.  He played an important role in the arbitration between the Prophet’s son-in-law ‘Ali and Mu’awiya at Siffin in 657.  

'Amr ibn al-Ās was an Arab military commander who is most noted for leading the Muslim conquest of Egypt in 640. He was a contemporary of Muhammad who rose quickly through the Muslim hierarchy following his conversion to Islam in the year 8 AH (629 C.C.). He founded the Egyptian capital of Fustat, and built the Mosque of 'Amr ibn al-As at its center — the first Mosque on the continent of Africa.

'Amr ibn al-As belonged to the Banu Sahm clan of the Quraish. Assuming he was over ninety years old when he died, he was born around 573.  He was the son of Layla bint Harmalah aka "Al-Nabighah". Before his military career, Amr was a trader, who had accompanied caravans along the commercial trading routes through Asia and the Middle East, including Egypt.

Like the other Quraysh chiefs, 'Amr opposed Islam in the early days. 'Amr headed the delegation that the Quraysh sent to Abyssinia to prevail upon the ruler of Abyssinia to turn away the Muslims from his country. The mission failed and the ruler of Abyssinia refused to oblige the Quraysh. After the migration of Muhammad to Madina (Medina), 'Amr took part in all the battles that the Quraysh fought against the Muslims. Indeed, he commanded a Quraysh contingent at the battle of Uhud.

'Amr ibn al-ˤĀs was married to Umm Kulthum bint Uqba but he divorced her when she embraced Islam. She then re-married Umar ibn al-Khattab.

In the company of Khalid bin Waleed, 'Amr rode from Mecca to Medina where both of them converted to Islam.

Abu Bakr, Umar ibn al-Khattab and Abu Ubayda ibn al-Jarrah served under ˤAmr ibn al-ˤĀs in the campaign of Dhat as-Salasil and had offered their prayers behind him for many weeks. At that time, ˤAmr ibn al-ˤĀs was their chief not only in the army but also as a leader in religious services  .

ˤAmr was dispatched by Muhammad to Oman and played a key role in the conversion of the leaders of that nation, Jayfar and 'Abbād ibn Julanda. He was then made governor of the region until shortly after Muhammad's death.

ˤAmr was sent by the Caliph Abū-Bakr with the Arab armies into Palestine following Prophet Muhammad's death. It is believed that he played an important role in the Arab conquest of that region, and he is known to have been at the battles of Ajnadayn and Yarmuk as well as the fall of Damascus.
Following the success over the Byzantines in Syria, 'Amr suggested to Umar that he march on Egypt, to which Umar agreed.

The actual invasion began towards the end of 630, as 'Amr crossed the Sinai Peninsula with 3,500-4,000 men. After taking the small fortified towns of Pelusium (Arabic: Al-Farama) and beating back a Byzantine surprise attack near Bilbais, 'Amr headed towards the fort of Babylon (in the region of modern-day Cairo). After some skirmishes south of the area, 'Amr marched north towards Heliopolis, with reinforcements reaching him from Syria, against the Byzantine forces in Egypt, under Theodore. The resulting Arab victory at the Battle of Heliopolis brought about the fall of much of the country. The Heliopolis battle resolved fairly quickly, though Babylon Fortress withstood a siege of several months, and the Byzantine capital of Alexandria, which had been the capital of Egypt for a thousand years, surrendered a few months after that. A treaty of peace was signed in late 641, in the ruins of a palace in Memphis. Despite a brief re-conquest by Byzantine forces in 645, the Byzantine forces were beaten at the Battle of Nikiou and the country was firmly in Arab hands.

Needing a new capital, 'Amr suggested that they set up an administration in the large and well-equipped city of Alexandria, at the western edge of the Nile River Delta. However, Caliph Umar refused, saying that he did not want the capital to be separated from him by a body of water. So in 641 'Amr founded a new city on the eastern side of the Nile, centered on his own tent which was near the Babylon Fortress. According to legend, when 'Amr returned from his victory at Alexandria, he saw that a dove was nesting in his tent. The new city became known as Misr al-Fustat ("The tented city")..'Amr also founded a mosque at the center of his new city—it was the first mosque in Egypt, which also made it the first mosque on the continent of Africa. The Mosque of 'Amr still exists today in Old Cairo, though it has been extensively rebuilt over the centuries, and nothing remains of the original structure.

After founding Fustat, 'Amr was then recalled to the capital (which had, by then, moved from Mecca to Damascus) where he became Muˤāwiyya's close advisor.

Muhammad had told 'Amr "that when you conquer Egypt be kind to its people because they are your protege kith and kin".
The Prophet's wife Maria Al Kibtya (the Copt) was an Egyptian. And Hagar the maidservent of Abraham and mother of Ishmael (the biblical ancestor of the Arabs) had come from Egypt.

After his military conquests, 'Amr was an important player in internal conflicts within Islam. 'Amr was originally a supporter of the caliph 'Ali, but later switched to the side of Muawiya. He died during Muawiya's reign.

'Amr ibn al-As is widely acclaimed by Sunnis for his military and political acumen. His brilliant leadership is credited with the conquests of vast lands, without which millions of people would not be Muslim today. Generally, he is viewed by the Sunnis as an illustrious companion of the Islamic prophet Muhammad.

Shi'a generally accuse 'Amr ibn al-As for his open attack on 'Ali's Caliphate.  Additionally, he was one of the engineers of the coming of the Umayyad Dynasty which marked a contrast of lifestyle to the piety of Prophet Muhammad and Imam 'Ali.

‘Amr ibn Kulthum
‘Amr ibn Kulthum ('Amr ibn Kulthum ibn Malik ibn A'tab Abu al-Aswad al-Taghlibi) (d. 584). Pre-Islamic poet of the sixth century.  He resisted the domination of the kings of al-Hira and was seen as an incarnation of the virtues of pre-Islamic times.

'Amr ibn Kulthum was a knight and the leader of the Taghlab tribe which was on Al-Forat island.  The Taghlab tribe was famous for its bravery and merciless behavior in battle.

'Amr ibn Kulthum ibn Malik ibn A'tab Abu al-Aswad al-Taghlibi< see ‘Amr ibn Kulthum

‘Amr ibn ‘Ubayd
‘Amr ibn ‘Ubayd ('Amr ibn 'Ubayd ibn Bab) (d. c. 761).  One of the first of the Mu‘tazila.  

'Amr ibn 'Ubayd was one of the earliest leaders in the "rationalist" theological movement of the Mu'tazilis, literally "those who withdraw themselves" - which was founded by Wasil ibn Ata (d. 749). A student of the famous early theologian Hasan al-Basri, he led the Mutazilis during the early years of the Abbasid caliphate. He generally followed a quietist political stance toward the Abbasid political establishment.

The grandfather of 'Amr ibn 'Ubayd was captured when the Muslims conquered Kabul under 'Abd Allah ibn Samora in 663 and again in 665. 'Amr's father was a weaver.  'Amr learned the same craft and thus may have made an early acquantance with Wasil ibn Ata. Their close personal relations are attested by the fact that Wasil married his sister. Doctrinally, they had disagreements in the beginning. Wasil is said to have converted 'Amr to his Mu'tazilite opinion after a long discussion. However, in addition to Wasil, 'Amr belonged to the circle of close disciples around Hasan al-Basri, whose Tafsir 'Amr transmitted.

According to the Muslim heresiographers, members of the movement adhered to five principles, which were clearly enunciated for the first time by Abu al-Hudhayl. The five principles were: (1) the unity of God; (2) divine justice; (3) the promise and the threat; (4) the intermediate position; and (5) the commanding of good and forbidding of evil (al-amr bil ma'ruf wa al-nahy 'an al munkar).

After the death of Hasan al-Basri, 'Amr seems to have contended with Qatada ibn De'ama (d.735) for the leadership of the school. The fact that he lost this competition may explain, to a certain degree, why he became a Mu'tazilte and created a circle of his own. It seems almost certain that 'Amr did not start playing a major role in the Mu'tazilite movement until after Wasil's death in 749. In about 759 he had to negotiate, as the doyen of the Mu'tazilities, with the caliph al-Mansur concerning the attitude of his adherents toward al-Nafs al-Zakiya, who had begun propaganda for the cause of the Alids in Iraq. Although there were strong sympathies for al-Nafs al-Zakiya among the Mu'tazilities (probably not so much because the members of the movement believed in the 'Alid pretendent as the true Mahdi, but rather because of their frustration with Abbasid rule), 'Amr ibn Ubayd managed to remain neutral. He died before the outbreak of rebellion.

'Amr ibn 'Ubayd ibn Bab see ‘Amr ibn ‘Ubayd

Angar, Faiz Muhammad
Angar, Faiz Muhammad.  See Faiz Muhammad Angar.

Anis, Ghulam Muhiyuddin
Anis, Ghulam Muhiyuddin.  See Ghulam Muhiyuddin Anis.

Ansara, Michael
Michael George Ansara (April 15, 1922 – July 31, 2013) was a Syrian-born American stage, screen, and voice actor best known for his portrayal of Cochise in the American television series Broken Arrow, Kane in the 1979–1981 series Buck Rogers in the 25th Century, Commander Kang on three different Star Trek television series, Deputy U.S. Marshal Sam Buckhart on the NBC series, Law of the Plainsman, and providing the voice for Mr. Freeze in Batman: The Animated Series and several of its spin-offs.
In 1976, Ansara starred (in the role of Abu Sufyan) in the movie Mohammad, Messenger of God (also titled The Message), about the origin of Islam and the message of prophet Mohammad.

The filmography of Michael Ansara includes the following:

  • Action in Arabia (1944)
  • Intrigue (1947)
  • The Desert Film (1950)
  • Only the Valiant (1950)
  • Kim (1950)
  • Soldiers Three (1951)
  • My Favorite Spy (1951)
  • Hill Number One (1951)
  • Bannerline (1951)
  • Yankee Buccaneer (1952)
  • The Lawless Breed (1952)
  • The Golden Hawk (1952)
  • Diplomatic Courier (1952)
  • Brave Warrior (1952)
  • White Witch Doctor (1953)
  • The Robe (1953)
  • The Diamond Queen (1953)
  • The Bandits of Corsica (1953)
  • Slaves of Babylon (1953)
  • Serpent of the Nile (1953)
  • Road to Bali (1953)
  • Julius Caesar (1953)
  • Three Young Texans (1954)
  • The Saracen Blade (1954)
  • The Egyptian (1954)
  • Sign of the Pagan (1954)
  • Princess of the Nile (1954)
  • Dragnet: The Big Rod (1954)
  • Bengal Brigade (1954)
  • New Orleans Uncensored (1955)
  • Jupiter's Darling (1955)
  • Diane (1955)
  • Abbott and Costello Meet the Mummy (1955)
  • The Ten Commandments (1956)
  • The Lone Ranger (1956)
  • Pillars of the Sky (1956)
  • Gun Brothers (1956)
  • Alfred Hitchcock Presents: The Orderly World of Mr. Appleby (1956)
  • Alfred Hitchcock Presents: The Baby Sitter (1956)
  • Alfred Hitchcock Presents: Shopping for Death (1956)
  • Broken Arrow (1956–1958)
  • The Tall Stranger (1957)
  • The Sad Sack (1957)
  • Quantez (1957)
  • Last of the Badmen (1957)
  • The Rifleman: The Raid (1959)
  • Law of the Plainsman (1959–1960)
  • The Rebel as Docker Mason in "The Champ" (1960)
  • Voyage to the Bottom of the Sea (1961)
  • The Untouchables: The Jamaica Ginger Story (1961)
  • The Untouchables: Nicky (1961)
  • The Comancheros (1961)
  • Voyage to the Bottom of the Sea: Hot Line (1964)
  • The Outer Limits: The Mice (1964)
  • The Outer Limits: Soldier (1964)
  • Quick, Let's Get Married (1964)
  • Perry Mason: The Case of the Antic Angel (1964)
  • The Greatest Story Ever Told (1965)
  • Harum Scarum (1965)
  • Branded: The Bounty (1965)
  • Texas Across the River (1966)
  • Lost in Space: The Challenge (1966)
  • I Dream of Jeannie: Happy Anniversary (1966)
  • Bewitched: A Most Unusual Wood Nymph (1966)
  • ...And Now Miguel (1966)
  • Star Trek (1966-1969)
  • The Fugitive: The Savage Street (1967)
  • The Pink Jungle (1968)
  • The Destructors (1968)
  • Star Trek: Day of the Dove (1968)
  • Sol Madrid (1968)
  • I Dream of Jeannie: The Battle of Waikīkī (1968)
  • Daring Game (1968)
  • Target: Harry (1969)
  • I Dream of Jeannie: My Sister, the Homewreker (1969)
  • Guns of the Magnificent Seven (1969)
  • The Phynx (1970)
  • Powderkeg (1970)
  • I Dream Jeannie: One Jeannie Beats Four of a Kind (1970)
  • The Mod Squad: A Double for Danger, Season 3 (1971)
  • The Streets of San Francisco: The Year of the Locusts (1972)
  • Stand up and Be Counted (1972)
  • Dear Dead Delilah (1972)
  • The Doll Squad (1973)
  • Ordeal (1973)
  • Mission: Impossible: The Western (1973)
  • Call To Danger (1973)
  • The Bears and I (1974)
  • The Barbary Coast (1974)
  • It's Alive (1974)
  • The Rockford Files: Joey Blues Eyes (1976)
  • The Message (1976)
  • Kojak: Justice Deferred (1976)
  • Mission to Glory: A True Story (1977)
  • Day of the Animals (1977)
  • The Manitou (1978)
  • Centennial (1978)
  • The Story of Esther (1979)
  • Buck Rogers in the 25th Century (1979–1981)
  • The Guns and the Fury (1983)
  • Guns & Fury (1983)
  • The Fantastic World of D.C. Collins (1984)
  • Reading Rainbow: Gift of the Sacred Dog (1984)
  • Access Code (1984)
  • Knights of the City (1985)
  • Hunter: Rape and Revenge, Part 2 (1985)
  • Rambo: Animated Series (1986)
  • KGB: The Secret War (1986)
  • Bayou Romance (1986)
  • Assassination (1987)
  • Murder, She Wrote: The Last Flight of the Dixie Damsel (1988)
  • Border Shootout (1990)
  • Batman: The Animated Series (1992–1995)
  • Reading Rainbow: And Still the Turtle Watched (1993)
  • Star Trek: Deep Space Nine: Blood Oath (1994)
  • Babylon 5: The Geometry of Shadows (1994)
  • Star Trek: Voyager: Flashback (1996)
  • Star Trek: Deep Space Nine: The Muse (1996)
  • Johnny Mysto Boy Wizard (1996)
  • Batman & Mr. Freeze: SubZero (1998)
  • The Long Road Home (1999)
  • Batman Beyond: Meltdown (1999)
  • Batman Beyond: The Movie (1999)
  • Batman Beyond (1999–2001)
  • The Exchange (2000)

Ansari, Abu Isma‘il 'Abd Allah ibn Muhammad Herawi
Ansari, Abu Isma‘il 'Abd Allah ibn Muhammad Herawi (1004-1089).  Commentator on the Qur’an, polemist, preacher, and mystic of eleventh century Herat.  Born in Herat to an ascetic father, he attended school in his hometown at the age of four.  At the age of nine he was already taking down dictations from the eminent traditionists of Herat.  Later he traveled to Nishapur and Bistam in Khurasan to study with masters there.  He made two unfinished trips to Mecca, during one of which he met the well-known mystics Shaikh Abu Sa’id Abu al-Khair and Qassab Amuli, but it was the illiterate mystic Abu al-Hasan Kharaqani, who left a decisive influence on his spiritual life.  Upon returning to Herat, Ansari founded his own circle of disciples, first teaching only hadith (sayings of the Prophet) and then giving his own commentaries on the Qur’an.  A Hanbali zealot showing little or no tolerance for Ash‘arites and theologians, Ansari often resorted to violence.  On one occasion, a philosopher-theologian was severely beaten by Ansari’s followers, who also burned his residence.  Ansari’s uncompromising attitude brought him banishment from Herat on at least four occasions, but each time he was able to return in triumph.

In 1082, Ansari was honored by the caliph, who sent him a robe of honor and called him Shaikh al-Islam.  Ansari went blind toward the end of his life and died in 1089.  He is buried at Gazargah in Herat.  He led the life of an ascetic and had an indisputable knowledge of the Qur’anic sciences, particularly hadith.  His works, considered among the finest specimens in Persian, include Tabaqat al-Sufiyya, a Persian translation of a similar work by al-Sulami, with a good deal of additional material.

Shaikh al-Islam see Ansari, Abu Isma‘il 'Abd Allah ibn Muhammad Herawi

Ansari, Khwaja Abdullah
Ansari, Khwaja Abdullah.  See Khwaja Abdullah Ansari.

Ansari, Shaykh Murtada
Ansari, Shaykh Murtada.  See Murtada Ansari.

Anvari, Auaduddin 'Ali
Anvari, Auaduddin 'Ali (Auaduddin 'Ali Anvari) (d.1190?).  Persian poet.  He was born in Khurasan and educated at the collegiate institute in Tun (now Firdaus, Iran).  Anvari’s panegyric in honor of the Seljuk sultan Sanjar (or Sinjar [1117-1157]), ruler of Khurasan, won him royal favor, and he continued to enjoy the patronage of two of Sanjar’s successors as well.  Anvari (or Anwari) prophesied that a certain combination of the stars in October 1185 would be accompanied by a frightful storm and dire disasters.  The prophecy failed, and as a result he suffered virtual banishment.  Anvari’s poems, collected in the Divan, are masterpieces of artistic form.  In his verse, Anvari combines the skill of a romantic eulogist with the subtle force of a keen satirist.  His elegy Tears of Khurasan, translated into English in 1789, is considered one of the most beautiful poems in Persian literature.
Auaduddin 'Ali Anvari see Anvari, Auaduddin 'Ali

Anwar al-Awlaki
Anwar al-Awlaki, also spelled Anwār al-ʿAwlākī, al-Awlaki also spelled al-Aulaqi   (b. April 21, 1971, Las Cruces, New Mexico — d. September 30, 2011, Al-Jawf province, Yemen), American Islamic preacher and al-Qaeda militant killed by a controversial United States drone attack. One of the United States’ most-wanted terrorists, Awlaki was directly linked to multiple terrorism plots in the United States and the United Kingdom, including an attempt in December 2009 to blow up a jetliner bound for Detroit. He had morphed from a mainstream Muslim into one of al-Qaeda’s most public personalities and influential voices in large part because of his numerous online sermons and propaganda videos that allowed him to spread his message around the world.

A United States citizen born to Yemeni parents, Awlaki spent the early years of his life in the United States before his family moved back to Yemen. Over the next 11 years, the young Awlaki gained the requisite cultural experience and tools that would later help him bridge American and Arab culture. In 1991 he returned to the United States on a Yemeni education grant to attend college at Colorado State University in Fort Collins. While pursuing a bachelor of science degree in civil engineering, he became active within the Muslim student association on campus. Beginning in 1994, he preached for the Denver Islamic Society for two years. In 1996, Awlaki moved to San Diego, California, where he began working on a graduate degree in educational leadership at San Diego State University.

While in San Diego, Awlaki assumed the role of imam at a local mosque, Masjid al-Ribat al-Islami. It was in that role that he reportedly came into contact with two of the future September 11 hijackers, Saudi Arabians Nawaf al-Hazmi and Khalid al-Mihdhar. Although some reports suggest that Awlaki’s relationship to the hijackers grew very close in 2000, the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI), which had begun investigating Awlaki’s ties to terrorism as early as June 1999, did not find sufficient incriminating evidence to take action against him.

After spending four years in San Diego, Awlaki left in 2000, eventually settling in the Washington, D.C., metro area in January 2001. He became imam at the Dar al-Hijrah mosque, located in Falls Church, Virginia, and served as a Muslim chaplain at George Washington University in Washington, D.C. Before the September 11 attacks, Awlaki came into contact with another Saudi Arabian al-Qaeda operative and 9/11 hijacker, Hani Hanjour. Both Hanjour and Hazmi attended Awlaki’s sermons.

In the weeks after the September 11 attacks, the FBI reportedly conducted eight interviews with Awlaki but acquired no further incriminating information on any possible connection between him and al-Qaeda. Nonetheless, feeling increased pressure from law enforcement, Awlaki moved to the United Kingdom in 2002, where he established a dedicated following of young British Muslims. It was during that time that he rose to prominence within the Western Islamic world. His easygoing style, his colloquial use of English, and the accessible content of his lectures made him popular with diverse audiences in spite of his lack of extensive formal religious training.

Awlaki returned to Yemen in 2004. Little is publicly known about his activities during that time. He was arrested in mid-2006 by Yemeni security forces and remained imprisoned for approximately a year and a half without formal charges being issued against him. After his release Awlaki’s statements and lectures grew more openly hostile against the United States, which he said had pressured the Yemeni government into arresting him. His statements also began gaining influence with Western Muslims seeking religious justification for violence against the United States. His recorded lecture series on the book Thawābit ʿalā darb al-jihād (2005; “Constants of the Path of Jihad”), for example, which could be downloaded from the Internet, helped inspire a group of six men convicted of the 2006–07 terrorist plot against the United States Army base at Fort Dix, New Jersey.

In December 2008 Awlaki penned an open letter of support (written in English) for the Somali Islamic militant group al-Shahaab, In the letter, Awlaki urged Western Muslims to do whatever they could to support the organization. In January 2009 Awlaki used his Web site to publish another religious justification of violence against the West, titled “44 Ways to Support Jihad.” There Awlaki argued that all Muslims are bound by religious duty to support violent jihad. 

Awlaki began regularly appearing in officially sanctioned al-Qaeda media releases in 2010. In May 2010, the leader of al-Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula (AQAP) released an Internet audio statement openly supporting Awlaki as one of his own. Later that month AQAP released an official interview with Awlaki which eliminated any doubt that he had officially joined al-Qaeda.

The Internet was a key tool in Awlaki’s ability to spread his message and reach followers, both indirectly and directly. One supporter was United States Army Major Nidal M. Hasan, who attended his sermons in Virginia. On November 5, 2009, Hasan opened fire in the Soldier Readiness Center at the Fort Hood army base in Texas, killing 13. According to reports, at least 18 e-mails had been sent between Hasan and Awlaki in the lead-up to the attacks.

In May 2010, a 21-year-old British university student, Roshonara Choudhry, stabbed Stephen Timms, a member of Parliament, for his support of the Iraq War. According to Choudhry’s own confession, she had been radicalized in large part through listening to Awlaki’s speeches on the Internet. She was sentenced to 15 years in prison.

In June 2010, two Americans, Mohamed Alessa and Carlos Almonte, responded to Awlaki’s call to support al-Shabaab by attempting to travel to Somalia. According to reports, the pair had allegedly downloaded multiple videos and sermons from Awlaki. Another U.S. citizen, Zachary Chesser, who had downloaded videos of Awlaki and exchanged e-mails with him, was arrested in July 2010 on charges of attempting to provide material support to al-Shabaab.

In 2010 Awlaki was placed on the United States government’s official targeted-killing list, as authorized by President Barack Obama and approved by the National Security Council. That designation meant that, despite his United States citizenship. Awlaki was considered a military enemy of the United States and not subject to the country’s own ban on political assassination. On September 30, 2011, the Central Intelligence Agency used two drones to target Awlaki in Yemen, killing him and Samir Khan, another American al-Qaeda member.

Anwari.  See Anvari.

Aouita, Sa'id
Aouita, Sa'id (Sa'id Aouita) (b. November 2, 1959 [1960?]).  Moroccan runner who is considered by many track and field experts to have been the most versatile runner that ever lived.  At one time Aouita held the world record in five running events: the 1500, 2000, 3000, and 5000 meters and two miles.  He was also a two-time Olympic medalist who captured the gold medal in the 5000 meters at the 1984 Olympic Games in Los Angeles and the bronze medal in the 800 meters at the 1988 Games in Seoul.  A national hero in Morocco, Aouita’s picture came to be displayed next to that of King Hassan II’s portrait in many Moroccan shops and other public places.  

After years of disappearance from the Moroccan athletics scene he returned as the technical director of the Moroccan national team. He is also an analyst for Al Jazeera Sports.

Born in Kenitra, Morocco, Saïd Aouita dominated middle distance running in the 1980s at all distances between 800 meters and 5000 meters. He raced and won against the Olympic champions Joaquim Cruz, Peter Rono, John Ngugi and Alberto Cova over their respective main distances. Between September 1983 and September 1990 he won 115 of his 119 races. The defeats were against world champion Steve Cram over 1500 m, Olympic bronze medalist Alessandro Lambruschini over 3000 m steeplechase, Olympic champions Joaquin Cruz and Paul Ereng over 800 m and world champion Yobes Ondieki over 5000 m.

Aouita's first major international competition was the 1983 World Championships held in Helsinki where he contested the 1500 m. In the final, the pace dawdled for the first 1000 m, tactics that did not suit Aouita, and he was outkicked by the kickers, finishing third. After this experience, Aouita decided to run 5000 m at the Los Angeles Olympics. The 5000 m final was run at a very fast pace set by Antonio Leitão from Portugal, which suited Aouita much better than the tactics used in Helsinki. He stayed behind Leitão and then sprinted past him on the last lap to win.

In the next season, Aouita ran two world records: at first in 5000 m (13:00.40) and then in 1500 m (3:29.46). Aouita's 1500 m world record was remarkable for its slow start. Aouita passed the first 400 m in a mediocre time of 57.0 seconds, at 800 m he was still just under 1:54 min before he accelerated dramatically. These outstanding achievements were preceded by Aouita's most bitter defeat. In a 1500 m race in Nizza Steve Cram became the first man to run under 3:30 minutes. Aouita sprinted the final 100 m of that race in 13.2 s (not the 11.8 that is often quoted; this was for the last 90m!) and nearly caught Cram, but his dream of being the first man under the magic barrier was destroyed. In 1986, Aouita was the overall winner of the IAAF Grand Prix series. In 1987, Aouita broke Steve Cram's 2000 m world record with a time of 4:50.81. Only six days later, he broke his own world record for 5000 m, and in the process became the first man to break 13 minutes, finishing in 12:58.39.

For the World Championships held later that year, Aouita had provisionally entered the 800 m, 1500 m, 5000 m and 10 000 m (probably to keep his opponents guessing), but eventually decided just to contest the 5000 m. In the 5000 m final, John Ngugi from Kenya set a fair pace, but by no means fast. Aouita, always in control of the race, made his move just before the bell, leading a mass sprint for the finish that he won in 13:26.44.

Aouita sought new challenges for himself in the Olympic year of 1988. Instead of staying within the comparative security of 5000 m competition, the distance at which he was the reigning Olympic and World champion, he decided to concentrate his efforts on the shorter distances. At the Seoul Olympics he attempted to try the 800 m/1500 m double. Aouita easily won his heat and semi-final in the 800 m, but had his left leg heavily bandaged to protect a recently sprained hamstring. In the 800 m final, a very fast pace was set to try to nullify Aouita's fast finish. Aouita ran according to his race plan, but in the end he was outkicked by the 800 m specialists and finished third. His bronze medal made him the only man in Olympic history to win medals at both the 800 m and 5000 m. However, the race had aggravated his hamstring injury, and although he qualified for the semi-finals of the 1500 m, he withdrew before they started.

In the next year, Aouita won the World Indoor Championships in 3000 m. Later, he ran his last world record, breaking Henry Rono's record in 3000 m by the time of 7:29.45. Aouita did not compete in the 1990 outdoor season, and when he returned to competition, was unable to recapture the dominance he had imposed during the 1980s. His appearance at the World Championships, in 1991 at Tokyo, was a barely noticed eleventh in the 1500 m. A few days after the 1991 World Championships he won a race in Cologne where he defeated most of the 1500 m elite except the world champion Noureddine Morceli who was absent.

1992 started very promisingly for Aouita as he set a new world indoor record over 3000 m in Athens. However, the IAAF refused to ratify the record for formal reasons. In May Aouita won the Mile at the New York Games and a 1000 m race in Jena. However, due to injury problems he did not participate in the Olympic Games in Barcelona. Further comeback attempts in 1993 and 1995 failed.

After his athletics career ended, Aouita worked with mixed success as a national distance coach in Morocco and Australia. In September 2008, Aouita became the Moroccan athletics' team's technical director.  Aouita also became an analyst for Al Jazeera Sports.

Sa'id Aouita see Aouita, Sa'id

Aoun, Michel
Aoun, Michel (Michel Aoun) (Michel Nairn Aoun) (b. February 19, 1935). Lebanese military leader and politician who was the prime minister of a military government from September 22, 1988 to October 13, 1990 (after November 1989 without the support of the elected president) during the Lebanese Civil War. He was defeated by Syria in the war of liberation and forced into exile. He returned to Lebanon on May 7, 2005, eleven days after the withdrawal of Syrian troops. Known as "General," Aoun became a Parliament Member. He led the "Free Patriotic Movement" party.
Aoun was born in the mixed Christian and Shi'ite Beirut suburb of Haret Hraik (Haret Hreik), as son of poor Maronite parents.  In 1941, his family was forced to move out of their house as British and Australian troops occupied it.  In 1955, he finished his secondary education, and became a cadet officer at the Military Academy.  In 1958, he graduated as an artillery officer in the army.  He went to France to receive further military training at Chalons-sur-Marnes.  He graduated the following year.  

In 1966, Aoun obtained military training at Fort Sill in the United States and, in 1978, he went to France for more military training at Ecole Superieure de Guerre.  In 1980, he returned to Lebanon, where he soon was appointed head of the Defense Brigade, which was stationed along the Green Line that separated West and East Beirut.  In 1982, Aoun became the commander of the new 8th Brigade, a multi-confessional army unit.  In 1984, he was promoted to brigadier general and military chief of staff.  Among his most important tasks, at this time, was to preserve the unity of the army.  

On September 22, 1988, Aoun was appointed by the outgoing president Amin Gemayel (15 minutes before his resignation, and behind the back of the Syrians who wanted a pro-Syrian candidate or a weak one) to head a temporary military government. The area under his control at this point was very small: East Beirut and surrounding suburbs.

In February 1989, Aoun had his army take control over the harbor of Beirut, which came to involve military actions against fellow Maronite Christians.  In March 1989, as prime minister, Aoun declared a war of liberation against Syria.  In September 1989, Aoun agreed to a cease fire, as he realized that he would not get the international aid he needed.  In October 1989, even though the National Reconciliation Charter received support from most Muslim and Christian parliamentarians, Aoun rejected it.  On November 5, 1989, Aoun ignored the power of newly elected president Rene Muawad. On November 24, 1989, as had been the case with Muawad, Aoun ignored the new president Elias Hrawi.  Hrawi responded by dismissing Aoun, but Aoun continued to stay in the presidential palace and call himself prime minister.

In January 1990, heavy fighting erupted between Aoun’s troops and the Lebanese Forces, who were Christians just like Aoun himself as well as Aoun’s supporters.  Nevertheless, Aoun was able to control thirty-five percent of the Christian parts of Beirut, with surrounding areas about 750 square kilometers altogether.  In October 1990, following an air and ground campaign, Lebanese and Syrian troops were able to defeat Aoun and his soldiers.  Aoun took refuge in the French embassy, from where he conducted negotiations for a cease fire.

In August 1991, Aoun departed for France after the Lebanese government had granted him conditional amnesty and the French president had granted asylum.

In January 1999, Prime Minister Rafiq Hariri noted that Aoun could return to Lebanon with a guarantee that he would not be arrested.  However, uncertainty on how Syria would act, still put Aoun’s return well into the future.

In 2003, an avowed Aounist candidate, Hikmat Deeb, came surprisingly close to winning a key by-election in the Baabda-Aley constituency with the endorsement of such right-wing figures as Solange and Nadim Gemayel (the widow and son of former President-elect Bashir Gemayel, who was assassinated in 1982), as well as leftists like George Hawi of the Lebanese Communist Party, although most of the opposition (constituted mainly of Qornet Shehwan Gathering) supported the government candidate, Henry Hélou. Aoun's ability to attract support from key figures of both the left and right revealed that he was a force to be reckoned with.

Aoun ended 15 years of exile when he returned to Lebanon on May 7, 2005, 11 days after the withdrawal of the Syrian army from Lebanon. On May 8, 2005, Aoun was visited by a large delegation from the disbanded Lebanese Forces (LF), who were among Aoun's former enemies. Aoun and Sitrida Geagea, wife of the imprisoned LF leader Samir Geagea (since released), publicly reconciled. Aoun later visited Geagea in prison (he was the first of all opposition leaders to do so) and called for his release. Other prominent visitors that day and the next included National Liberal Party leader Dory Chamoun, Solange Gemayel , Nayla Moawad (widow of assassinated President René Moawad), and opposition MP Boutros Harb. Patriarch Nasrallah Cardinal Sfeir of the Maronite community sent a delegation to welcome him, and even the Shiite Muslim Hizbullah Party sent a delegation.

In the parliamentary election at the end of May 2005, Aoun surprised many observers by entering into electoral alliances with a number of former opponents, including some pro-Syrian politicians including Michel Murr and Suleiman Frangieh, Jr. The 14 March coalition did the same however by forming the Quadruple alliance with Hezbollah and Amal, two of the biggest pro-Syrian parties in Lebanon. Aoun opposed the March 14 parliamentary coalition which included the Future Movement, the Progressive Socialist Party, the Lebanese Forces and some other parties.

In the third round of voting, Aoun's party, the Free Patriotic Movement, made a strong showing, winning 21 of the 58 seats contested in that round, including almost all of the seats in the Christian heartland of Mount Lebanon. Aoun himself was elected to the National Assembly. In the fourth and final round, however, the FPM failed to win any seats in Northern Lebanon due mainly to the 2000 electoral law that gave the pro-Hariri Muslim community of Tripoli an easy veto over any Christian candidate in its electoral district, thus falling short of its objective of holding the balance of power between the main "anti-Syrian" opposition coalition (formerly known to be Syria's strong allies) led by Sa'ad Hariri (which won an absolute majority) and the Shiite-dominated Amal-Hezbollah alliance.

In an unprecedented move, Aoun signed a Memorandum Of Understanding with Hezbollah on February 6, 2006.

Aoun was a Maronite Christian, but he was always able to cooperate with Muslim representatives, and considered as impartial in sectarian issues.  Through his years on the political arena, Aoun managed to make many enemies as well as friends.  He was characterized as hard-hearted and uncompromising, but also as a man of great integrity.  During his years in politics, he became popular among ordinary Muslims, much helped by his military campaign against fellow Christians in 1989.  However, the political elite of Lebanon saw him as an uncontrollable rebel, while Hafez al-Assad of Syria came to detest him for working against Assad's plans for taking control of Lebanon.  Aoun never gave in to any Syrian pressure nor did he give up any Lebanese sovereignty.  From his exile in France, he criticized the Syrian presence in Lebanon.  Aoun  had many supporters in Lebanon, and he became one of the most popular politicians among Muslims.  His supporters formed a movement called Free National Current (later the Free Patriotic Movement) which, among many issues, dealt with criticism of the presence of Syrian workers in Lebanon.  

Michel Aoun see Aoun, Michel
Michel Nairn Aoun see Aoun, Michel
"General" see Aoun, Michel

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