Tuesday, July 9, 2013

012 - Awlaki, Anwar al- - Bakka'i al-Kunti

Awlaki, Anwar al-
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.

Awrangzib.  See Aurangzib.

Ayatollah (Ayatullah).  A term meaning “the supreme sign of God”.  The full title, ayatollah al-uzma, was given during the Qajar period of Iranian history (eighteenth or nineteenth century) to the Twelver (Ithna 'Ashari) Shi‘ite jurist (mujtahid) who is regarded as the most learned in the matters of the shari’a and whose righteousness (adala) and piety are well established.

The title is given to any Shi‘ite jurist who is able to make independent judgments on the basis of principles laid down in Shi‘ite Ja’fari jurisprudence.  Such a jurist is designated as marja-i taqlid, a competent juridical authority who is followed in the matters of the shari’a.  In order to facilitate the following of the Shi‘ites, the ayatollah publishes a risalat al-amaliyya (treatise on practical religious guidance) expounding his legal rulings -- his fatwas -- which is accessible to his followers throughout the world.  Although any jurist’s advice can be sought in the shari’a, according to later consensus among the Twelver Shi‘ite scholars it is obligatory to seek the guidance of the one who is acknowledged as the most learned (a’lam) and supreme (al-uzma).   In the absence of any well-defined hierarchy among the jurists, the position of the ayatollah is based on the level of his learning, usually determined through his students.

In South Asia, the use of the title ayatollah for the learned jurists is more recent than in the Iranian context.  Among the Arabic speaking Shi‘ites, the title imam is more commonly used for the marja-i taqlid.  Indirectly, behind the authority of an acknowledged ayatollah is the authority of the infallible imam of the Shi‘a.

With the rise of the Ayatollah Khomeini and the advent of the Iranian revolution in 1979, the importance of the title Ayatollah has been increased. Today, the Ayatollah can in many ways be compared to the position of imam.  

Today, the title "ayatollah" is granted to top Shia mujtahid, after completing sat'h and kharij studies in the hawza (Shi'a seminary). By then he would be able to issue his own edicts from the sources of religious laws: Qur'an, Sunnah, Ijmāˤ and 'Aql "intellect" (rather than the Sunnī principle of Qiyas). Most of the time this is attested by an issued certificate from his teachers. The ayatollah can then teach in hawzas according to his speciality, can act as a reference for their religious questions, and act as a judge. There is an important difference from Shi'a ayatollahs and "saints" in other religions and Sunni Islam. They are not regarded as enlightened by God, but rather by the Word of God.

There are a few women who are equal in ranking to the ayatollahs, and are known as Lady Mujtahideh. A current example of a Lady Mujtahideh is Zohreh Sefati. Historically, there have been several Mujtahidehs in Shi'ism, most famously the women in the family of Allama Hilli.

The name "ayatollah" originates from the Quran where human beings can also be regarded as signs of God, the literal translation of the title in Sura 51:20-21 of the Quran states:

    On the earth are signs (Ayat) for those of assured Faith,
    As also in your own selves: Will ye not then see?

Only a few of the most important ayatollah are accorded the rank of Grand Ayatollah (Ayatollah Uzma, "Great Sign of God"). This usually happens when the followers of one of the ayatollahs refer to him in many situations and ask him to publish his Juristic book in which he answers the vast majority of daily Muslim affairs. The book is called Resalah, which is usually a reinvention of the book Al-Urwatu l-Wuthqah, according to their knowledge of the most authentic Islamic sources and their application to current life.

Ayatullah see Ayatollah
“the supreme sign of God” see Ayatollah
ayatollah al-uzma see Ayatollah

Aydin-oghlu.  Turkmen dynasty (r. 1308-1425) which ruled over the emirate of the same name in western Anatolia. 

Ayeshah.  See ‘A’isha.

Ayhan, Ece
Ayhan, Ece (Ece Ayhan) (b. 1931). Turkish poet.
Ece Ayhan see Ayhan, Ece

Ayn ud-Dowleh
Ayn ud-Dowleh.   Qajar minister who opposed the 1906 Iranian Constitutional Revolution. 

Ayuba Suleiman Diallo
Ayuba Suleiman Diallo (1701-1773).  Bondu trader from Senegal who was sold into slavery in America and was repatriated.  His account of his adventures, published in 1734 and widely read, made him the archetypal “noble savage.”  Ayuba was the son of a Bondu Tukolor cleric whose family had originated in Futa Toro.   While on a commercial trip to the Gambia region in 1731, he was captured and sold as a slave in Maryland, where he worked on a tobacco farm.  His literacy in Arabic attracted the attention of Thomas Bluett, who emancipated him and brought him to England, believing him to be a highly important political personage in his homeland.  In Britain, he was presented at the court.  In 1734, he returned to West Africa with the aid of the Royal African Company, which hoped to benefit by gaining commercial entry into Bondu, then viewed as a gateway to trade in slaves, gum arabic, and gold.  A British trade mission went to Bondu in 1738, but the project collapsed.  The Royal African Company itself succumbed in 1752.  Ayuba continued to maintain contact with the British in the Gambia region until his death.  Bluett’s account of Ayuba’s life until the time of his capture (Some Memoirs of the Life of Job ...), a highly popular book at the time, remains an important source for the eighteenth century history of the Senegambia.

Ayuba Suleiman Diallo, also known as Job ben Solomon, was a famous Muslim slave who was a victim of the Atlantic slave trade. Born in Bondu, Senegal, West Africa, Ayuba's memoirs were published as one of the earliest slave narratives, that is, a first-person account of the slave trade, in Thomas Bluett's Some Memories of the Life of Job, the Son of the Solomon High Priest of Boonda in Africa; Who was a Slave about two Years in Maryland; and afterwards being brought to England, was set free, and sent to his native Land in the Year 1734.

Ayuba came from a prominent Fulbe family of Muslim religious leaders. His grandfather had founded the town of Bondu, and he grew up with Sambo the heir to the Kingdom of Futa. In 1730, while on a trip to the Gambia River to sell two slaves and to buy supplies like paper, Ayuba was captured by a group of Mandingoes. Ayuba became a victim of the ever-growing slave exploitation of the Senegambia region. Before being boarded on his ship to the New World, Ayuba attempted to negotiate a slave exchange with the captain. However, the word did not reach his father in time, and Ayuba was taken aboard. Ayuba was transported to Annapolis, Maryland, where he was purchased by Mr. Tolsey of Kent Island, Maryland. Ayuba was initially put to work in the tobacco fields; however, after being found unsuitable for such work, he was placed in charge of the cattle. While in captivity, Ayuba used to go into the woods to pray. However, after being humiliated by a child while praying, Ayuba chose to run away. He was captured and imprisoned at the Kent County Courthouse. It was there that he was discovered by a lawyer, Thomas Bluett, traveling through on business.

The lawyer was impressed by Ayuba's ability to write in Arabic. When another African who spoke Wolof, a language of a neighboring African ethnic group that Ayuba understood, was able to translate for him, it was then discovered that he had aristocratic blood. Encouraged by the circumstances, Tolsey allowed Ayuba to write a letter in Arabic to Africa. Eventually, the letter reached the office of James Oglethorpe, Director of the Royal African Company. After having the letter authenticated by John Gagnier, the Laudian Chair of Arabic at Oxford, Oglethorpe purchased Ayuba for ₤45.

Bluett and Ayuba traveled to England in 1733. Ayuba learned English, and when he reached England, he was in the company of many prominent people, including the royal family. In July 1734, Ayuba returned to Gambia and later returned to his homeland. His homeland was ravished by war, but being a prosperous individual, he was able to regain his old lifestyle, which included owning his own household slaves. His memoirs were published by Bluett in English and French. Ayuba was an extremely rare exception in the slave trade. Due to his intelligence and monetary prowess, he was able to legally escape the hardships of slavery and return back home to Africa.

Diallo, Ayuba Suleiman see Ayuba Suleiman Diallo
Solomon, Job ben see Ayuba Suleiman Diallo
Job ben Solomon see Ayuba Suleiman Diallo

Ayub Khan
Ayub Khan (Muhammad Ayub Khan) (Muhammad Ayub) (May 14, 1907 - April 19, 1974).  President of Pakistan (1958-1969).  

Muhammad Ayub Khan was a Field Marshal during the mid-1960s, and the President of Pakistan from 1958 to 1969. He became the Pakistan Army's first native Commander in Chief in 1951, and was the youngest full general and self-appointed Field Marshal in Pakistan's military history. He was also the first Pakistani military commander to seize power through a coup.

Muhammad Ayub Khan was born on May 14, 1907, in Rehanna in the Northwest Frontier Province, then in British India.  He grew up in a village in the Hazara district of northwest Pakistan.  His father was a non-commissioned officer in the British Indian Army. After his early education in local schools and two years at a university (Aligarh Muslim University), Ayub Khan was admitted to the Royal Military Academy at Sandhurst, England.  

Commissioned a second lieutenant in the British Indian Army in 1928, Ayub Khan held numerous command and administrative positions under British rule.  While serving in the 14th Punjab Regiment during World War II, Ayub Khan saw action in Burma against the Japanese forces.  

In 1947, when British India was partitioned into the two states of India and Pakistan, Ayub Khan joined the Pakistan Army.  He was posted General Officer Commanding in East Pakistan in 1948 and 1949.  In 1951, he was appointed full general and commander in chief of the Pakistan Army.

As commander in chief, Ayub Khan played a key role in negotiating Pakistan’s entry into a number of military alliances sponsored by the United States.  Later, from 1954 to 1955, Ayub Khan also served as minister of defense.

When President Iskander Mirza (1899-1969) declared martial law in 1958, he made Ayub Khan its chief administrator.  Shortly afterward, Ayub Khan dismissed Mirza, assumed the full powers of president, and imposed marital law.   He was confirmed in office by referendum in 1960.  

As president, Ayub Khan introduced a system of so-called basic democracies, consisting of tiered local government units, which doubled as electoral colleges.  Ayub Khan was re-elected under this system in 1965.  

Ayub Khan’s rule is best remembered for the inconclusive 1965 border war with India over Kashmir, the “Basic Democracy,” and the “Great Decade.”   “Basic Democracy” was represented by the constitution of 1962, which instituted indirect elections in Pakistan and gave the president extraordinary powers.  The “Great Decade” was the official characterization of development plans executed during the ten years of the Ayub regime, providing special incentives for private enterprise and foreign investment.  Ironically, just as the official celebrations of the Great Decade got underway, a mass revolt broke out against the economic and political policies of the regime.  Ayub Khan resigned in  March 1969, leaving the country once more under martial law.

Ayub Khan spent his remaining years in retirement and died at this home near Islamabad on April 19, 1974.

Muhammad Ayub Khan see Ayub Khan
Muhammad Ayub see Ayub Khan
Ayub, Muhammad see Ayub Khan
Khan, Muhammad Ayub see Ayub Khan

Ayub, Muhammad
Ayub, Muhammad. See Ayub Khan, Muhammad.

‘ayyarun ('ayyaran).  Arabic term which refers to vagabonds -- the tenth to twelfth century urban gangs that subscribed to futuwwa ideals and often appeared as military opponents of state regimes.

Áyyārūn, Arabic for "scoundrel" or "vagabond", refers to a person associated with a class of warriors in Iraq and Iran from the 9th to the 12th centuries. They were associated with futuwa/futuwwa, or medieval Islamic organizations located in cities.

The 'ayyarun fought for Islam in Asia, though most of the writing about them centers on their Baghdad activities of the 10th to the 12th centuries. Baghdad was ruled by the Buyids (945–1055), and was a very lawless city, caused by fighting between Sunnis and Shi'ites. The 'ayyarun did many terrible things such as extorting taxes on roads and markets, burning wealthy quarters and markets, and looting the homes of the rich by night. For several years (1028–33), Al-Burjumi and Ibn al-Mawsili, leaders of the 'ayyarun, ruled the city due to governmental instability.

The 'ayyarun have been commonly called thieves and robbers, though these activities were highlighted during times of weak government and civil war, when their role as a military force most likely made them fight on multiple sides, angering many. During times of more stable government, their unlawful activities decreased, and when the Seljuqs ruled in the 12th century, their activities almost ceased. The 'ayyarun also made war against much of society in reaction to social injustices.

Outside of Baghdad, the 'ayyarun were closely allied with the middle class, and helped maintain the current order. The Saffarids (861-1003) of eastern Iran were in fact an 'ayyarun dynasty. They are thought by some historians to have contributed to the weakening of Baghdad, clearing the way for the horrific destruction of the city by the Mongols.

vagabonds see ‘ayyarun
'ayyaran see ‘ayyarun
scoundrels see ‘ayyarun

Ayyubids.  Name of the dynasty founded by Saladin which ruled Egypt, Muslim Syria-Palestine, the major part of Upper Mesopotamia and the Yemen from 1169 until the Mongol conquest in 1260.

The Ayyubids were a Kurdish dynasty in Egypt, Syria, and Iraq.  There were minor branches in Baalbek, Homs, Karak, Hamat, Baniyas, Subayba and al-Busra. Their main capitals were Damascus and Cairo.  Named after the Kurdish military leader Ayyub from Armenia, who entered the service of the Zangids as 'Abbasid governor of Takrit near Baghdad and became governor of Damascus.  His brother, Shirkuh, and his son, Salah al-Din (Saladin), became military leaders of the Fatimids in Egypt.  Saladin (1138-1193), the greatest Islamic hero of the Crusades, became vizier of Cairo in 1169, removed the Fatimids in 1171, and united Egypt and Syria under his rule (under the formal sovereignty of the caliph of Baghdad).  In 1175, he adopted the title of sultan, occupied Aleppo in 1181, and gained sovereignty of northern Mesopotamia, he led the battle against the Crusaders and was able to win Jerusalem back from them in 1187 (with a victory at Hattin).  Following his death, the empire was divided between his five sons and his brother, al-Adil (1193/1200-1218), who by 1200 had restored the unity of the realm.  In 1218, the empire was once again divided.  A main dynastic branch with the sultanate under al-Kamil (1218-1238) in Cairo and secondary branches in Damascus, Aleppo, and Homs (Hims).  The main branch in Cairo ended in 1250 with the assassination of the sultan al-Muazzam by the Mamelukes, the secondary branches of Damascus and Aleppo were removed in 1260 by the Ilkhanids, and the Homs (Hims) branch by the Mamelukes in 1262, one branch remained in Hama until 1341.  The Ayyubids of Yemen constitute an independent branch.

The following is a list of the Ayyubid rulers:

In Egypt:

1169  al-Malik al-Nasir I Salah al-Din (Saladin)
1193  al-Malik al-‘Aziz ‘Imad al-Din
1198  al-Malik al-Mansur Nasir al-Din
1200  al-Malik al-‘Adil I Sayf al-Din (from Damascus and Aleppo)
1218  al-Malik al-Kamil I Nasir al-Din (from Damascus)
1238  al-Malik al-‘Adil II Sayf al-Din (from Damascus)
1240  al-Malik al-Salih Najm al-Din Ayyub (from Damascus)
1249  al-Malik al-Mu‘azzam Turan-Shah (from Damascus and  Diyarbakr [Hisn Kayfa])
1250-52 al-Malik al-Ashraf II Muzaffar al-Din

Bahri Mamelukes

In Damascus:

1186  al-Malik al-Afdal Nur al-Din ‘Ali
1196  al-Malik al-‘Adil I Sayf al-Din (from Egypt and Aleppo)
1218  al-Malik al-Mu‘azzam Sharaf al-Din
1227  al-Malik al-Nasir Salah al-Din Dawud
1229  al-Malik al-Ashraf I Muzaffar al-Din (from Diyarbakr)
1237  al-Malik al-Salih ‘Imad al-Din (first reign)
1238  al-Malik al-Kamil I Nasir al-Din (from Egypt)
1238  al-Malik al-‘Adil II Sayf al-Din (from Egypt)
1239  al-Malik al-Salih Najm al-Din Ayyub (from Egypt, Damascus, Diyarbakr [Hisn Kayfa]) (first reign)
1239  al-Malik al-Salih ‘Imad al-Din (second reign)
1245  al-Malik al-Salih Najm al-Din Ayyub (from Egypt) (second reign)
1249  al-Malik al-Mu‘azzam Turan-Shah (from Egypt)
1250-60 al-Malik al-Nasir II Salah al-Din (from Aleppo)

Mongol conquest

In Aleppo:

1183 al-Malik al-‘Adil I Sayf al-Din (from Egypt, Damascus, Diyarbakr)
1186 al-Malik al-Zahir Ghiyath al-Din
1216 al-Malik al-‘Aziz Ghiyath al-Din
1237-60 al-Malik al-Nasir II Salah al-Din (from Damascus)

Mongol conquest

In Diyarbakr (Mayyafariqin and Jabal Sinjar):

1185 al-Malik al-Nasir I Salah al-Din (Saladin) (from Egypt)
1195 al-Malik al-‘Adil I Sayf al-Din (from Egypt, Damascus, and Aleppo)
1200 al-Malik al-Awhad Najm al-Din Ayyub
1210 al-Malik al-Ashraf I Muzaffar al-Din (from Damascus)
1220 al-Malik al-Muzaffar Shihab al-Din
1244-60 al-Malik al-Kamil II Nasir al-Din

In Diyarbakr (Hisn Kayfa and Amid):

1232 al-Malik al-Salih Najm al-Din Ayyub (from Egypt, Damascus, and Diyarbakr/Mayyafariqin)
1239 al-Malik al-Muazzam Turan-Shah (from Egypt and Damascus)
1249 al-Malik al-Muwahhid Taqi al-Din
1283 al-Malik al-Kamil III Muhammad
? al-Malik al-‘Adil Mujir al-Din
? al-Malik al-‘Adil Shihab al-Din
? al-Malik al-Salih Abu Bakr
1378 al-Malik al-‘Adil Fakhr al-Din
? al-Malik al-Ashraf Sharaf al-Din
1433 al-Malik al-Salih Salah al-Din
1452 al-Malik al-Kamil IV Ahmad
1462 Khalil(?)
? Sulayman
? al-Husayn

Aq Qoyunlu conquest

In Yemen:

1174 al-Malik al-Mu‘azzam Shams al-Din Turan-Shah
1181 al-Malik al-‘Aziz Zahir al-Din Tughtigin
1197 Mu‘izz al-Din Isma‘il
1202 al-Malik al-Nasir Ayyub
1214 al-Malik al-Muzaffar Sulayman
1215-29  al-Malik Mas‘ud Salah al-Din


The Ayyubids were a Sunni Muslim dynasty of Kurdish origins centered in Cairo and Damascus that ruled much of the Middle East during the 12th and 13th centuries of the Christian calendar. The Ayyubid family, under the brothers Ayyub and Shirkuh, originally served as soldiers for the Zengids until they gradually gained independence from them under Saladin, Ayyub's son. In 1171, Saladin proclaimed himself sultan of Egypt after dissolving the Fatimid Caliphate upon the death of al-Adid. The Ayyubids spent the next decade launching conquests throughout the region and by 1183, the Ayyubid state included Egypt, Syria, northern Mesopotamia, the Hejaz, Yemen, and the North African coast up to the borders of modern-day Tunisia. Most of the Kingdom of Jerusalem, consisting of Palestine and Transjordan fell to the Ayyubids after their victory at the Battle of Hattin in 1187. However, the Crusaders regained control of Palestine's coastline in the 1190's.

After the death of Saladin, his sons contested control over the empire, but Saladin's brother al-Adil eventually established himself as sultan in 1200. In the 1230s, the Ayyubid rulers of Syria attempted to assert their indepedence from Egypt and remained divided until Egytpian sultan as-Salih Ayyub restored Ayyubid unity by taking over most of Syria, except for Aleppo, by 1247. By then, local Muslim dynasties had driven out the Ayyubids from Yemen, the Hejaz, and parts of Mesopotamia. After repelling a Crusader invasion of the Nile Delta, as-Salih Ayyub's Mamluk generals overthrew al-Mu'azzam Turanshah who succeeded Ayyub after his death in 1250. This effectively ended Ayyubid power in Egypt and a number of attempts by the rulers of Syria, led by an-Nasir Yusuf of Aleppo, to recover it failed. In 1260, the Mongols sacked Aleppo and wrested control of what remained of the Ayyubid territories soon after. The Mamluks, who forced out the Mongols after the destruction of the Ayyubid dynasty, maintained the Ayyubid principality of Hama until deposing its last ruler in 1341.

During their relatively short-lived tenure, the Ayyubids ushered in an era of economic prosperity in the lands they ruled and the facilities and patronage provided by the Ayyubids led to a resurgence in intellectual activity in the Islamic world. This period was also marked by an Ayyubid process of vigorously strenghtening Sunni Muslim dominance in the region by constructing numerous madrasas (Islamic schools) in their major cities.

Azad, Abu’l-Kalam
Azad, Abu’l-Kalam. See Abu’l-Kalam Azad.

Azeri (Azerbaijanis). The people who occupy the land of ancient Medea which is today known as Azerbaijan.  Azeri is the name of this Turkic people as well as of their language and literature in Azerbaijan.

The Azerbaijanis are an ethnic group mainly living in northwestern Iran and the Republic of Azerbaijan. Commonly referred to as Azeris/Āzarīs or Azeri Turks, the Azeris also live in a wider area from the Caucasus to the Iranian plateau. The Azeris are predominantly Shia Muslim and have a mixed heritage of Iranic, Caucasian, and Turkic elements.

Despite living on two sides of an international border since the treaties of Gulistan (1813) and Turkmenchay (1828), after which Iran lost its then northern territories to Russia, the Azeris form a single ethnic group. However, northerners and southerners differ due to nearly two centuries of separate social evolution in Russian/Soviet-influenced Azerbaijan and Iranian Azarbaijan. The Azerbaijani language unifies Azeris, and is mutually intelligible with Turkmen, Qashqai and Turkish (including the dialects spoken by the Iraqi Turkmen), all of which belong to Oghuz, or Western, group of Turkic languages.

Following the Russian-Persian Wars of the 18th and 19th centuries, Persian territories in the Caucasus were ceded to the Russian Empire and the treaties of Gulistan in 1813 and Turkmenchay in 1828 finalized the borders with Russia and present-day Iran. The formation of Azerbaijan Democratic Republic in 1918 established the territory of the Republic of Azerbaijan as it is today. As a result of this separate existence, the Azeris are mainly secular in Azerbaijan and religious Muslims in Iran. Since Azerbaijan's independence from the Soviet Union in 1991, there has been renewed interest in religion and cross-border ethnic ties

Azerbaijan is believed to be named after Atropates, a Median satrap (governor) who ruled in Atropatene (modern Iranian Azerbaijan). Atropates is derived from Old Persian roots meaning "protected by fire." Azerbaijan has seen a host of inhabitants and invaders, including Medes, Scythians, Persians, Armenians, Greeks, Romans, Khazars, Arabs, Oghuz Turks, Seljuq Turks, Mongols, and Russians.

Ancient Azeris spoke the Ancient Azeri language, which belonged to the Iranian branch of Indo-European languages. In the 11th century of the Christian calendar with Seljukid conquests, Oghuz Turkic tribes started moving across the Iranian plateau into the Caucasus and Anatolia. The influx of the Oghuz and other Turkmen tribes was further accentuated by the Mongol invasion. The Oghuz tribes divided into various smaller groups, some of whom — mostly Sunni - moved to Anatolia (i.e. the Ottomans) and became settled, while others remained in the Caucasus region and later — due to the influence of the Safawiyya - eventually converted to the Shi'ite branch of Islam. The latter were to keep the name "Turkmen" or "Turcoman" for a long time: from 13th century onwards they gradually Turkified the Iranian-speaking populations of Azerbaijan, thus creating a new identity based on Shiism and the use of Oghuz Turkic. However, it is notable that the Turkification of Azeris was completed only by the late 1800s, while the old Iranic speakers can still be found in tiny isolated recesses of the mountains or other remote areas (such as Harzand, Galin Guya, Shahrud villages in Khalkhal and Anarjan). Today, this Turkic-speaking population is also known as Azeris.

Caucasian Albanians are believed to be the earliest inhabitants of the region where modern day Republic of Azerbaijan is located. Early Iranian settlements included the Scythians in the ninth century B.C.T. Following the Scythians, the Medes came to dominate the area to the south of the Aras. The Medes forged a vast empire between 900-700 B.C.T., which was integrated into the Achaemenids Empire around 550 B.C.T.  During this period, Zoroastrianism spread in the Caucasus and Atropatene. The Achaemenids, in turn, were defeated by Alexander the Great in 330 B.C.T., but the Median satrap Atropates was allowed to remain in power. Following the decline of the Seleucids in Persia in 247 B.C.T., an Armenian Kingdom exercised control over parts of Caucasian Albania between 190 B.C T. to 387 C.C.. Caucasian Albanians established a kingdom in the first century B.C.T. and largely remained independent until the Persian Sassanids made the kingdom a vassal state in 252 C.C.: Albania's ruler, King Urnayr, officially adopted Christianity as the state religion in the fourth century C.C., and Albania would remain a Christian state until the 8th century. Sassanid control ended with their defeat by Muslim Arabs in 642 C.C.

Muslim Arabs defeated the Sassanids and Byzantines as they marched into the Caucasus region. The Arabs made Caucasian Albania a vassal state after the Christian resistance, led by Prince Javanshir, surrendered in 667. Between the ninth and tenth centuries, Arab authors began to refer to the region between the Kura and Aras rivers as Arran.  During this time, Arabs from Basra and Kufa came to Azerbaijan and seized lands that indigenous peoples had abandoned. The Arabs became a land-owning elite. Conversion to Islam was slow as local resistance persisted for centuries and resentment grew as small groups of Arabs began migrating to cities such as Tabriz and Maraghah. This influx sparked a major rebellion in Iranian Azarbaijan from 816–837, led by a local Zoroastrian commoner named Bābak. However, despite pockets of continued resistance, the majority of the inhabitants of Azerbaijan converted to Islam. Later on, in the 10th and 11th centuries, Kurdish dynasties of Shaddadid and Rawadid ruled parts of Azerbaijan.

In the middle of the eleventh century, the Seljuq dynasty overthrew Arab rule and established an empire that encompassed most of Southwest Asia. The Seljuk period marked the influx of Oghuz nomads into the region and, thus, the beginning of the turkification of Azerbaijan as the West Oghuz Turkic language supplanted earlier Caucasian and Iranian ones.

However, Iranian cultural influence survived extensively, as evidenced by the works of then contemporary writers such as Persian poet Nezāmī Ganjavī. The emerging Turkic identity was chronicled in epic poems or dastans, the oldest being the Book of Dede Korkut, which relate allegorical tales about the early Turks in the Caucasus and Asia Minor. Turkic dominion was interrupted by the Mongols in 1227 and later the Mongols and Tamerlane ruled the region until 1405. Turkic rule returned with the Sunni Qara Qoyunlū (Black Sheep Turkmen) and Aq Qoyunlū (White Sheep Turkmen), who dominated Azerbaijan until the Shi'a Safavids took power in 1501.

The Safavids, who rose from Iranian Azarbaijan and lasted until 1722, established the modern Iranian state. Noted for achievements in state building, architecture, and the sciences, the Safavid state crumbled due to internal decay and external pressures from the Russians and Afghans. The Safavids encouraged and spread Shi'a Islam which is an important part of the national identity of Iranian Azarbaijani people as well as many Azerbaijanis north of the Aras. The Safavids encouraged the arts and culture and Shah Abbas the Great created an intellectual atmosphere which according to some scholars was a new Golden Age of Persia. He reformed the government and the military, and responded to the needs of the common people.

The brief Ottoman occupation followed the Safavid state. After the defeat of the Afghans and the re-conquest by Nadir Shah Afshar, a chieftain from Khorasan tried to stabilize the internal affair by balancing the power of the Shi'a. The brief reign of Karim Khan came next, followed by the Qajars, who ruled Azarbaijan and Iran starting in 1779. Russia loomed as a threat to Persian holdings in the Caucasus in this period. The Russo-Persian Wars began in the eighteenth century and ended in the early nineteenth century with the Gulistan Treaty of 1813 and the Turkmenchay Treaty in 1828, which officially gave the Caucasian portion of Qajar Iran to the Russian Empire.

Iranian Azerbaijan's role in the Iranian constitutional revolution cannot be underestimated. The greatest figures of the democracy seeking revolution, Sattar Khan and Bagher Khan, were both from Iranian Azerbaijan. The Constitutional Revolution of 1906–11 shook the Qajar dynasty, whose kings had virtually sold the country to the tobacco and oil interests of the British Empire and had lost territory to the Russian empire. A parliament (Majlis) came into existence by the efforts of the constitutionalists. It was accompanied in some regions by a peasant revolt against tax collectors and landlords, the only indigenous mainstay of the monarchy. Pro-democracy newspapers appeared, and Iranian intellectuals began to relish the modernist breezes blowing from Paris and Petrograd. The Qajar Shah and his British advisers crushed the Constitutional Revolution, but the demise of the dynasty could not be long postponed. The last Shah of the Qajar dynasty was soon removed by a military coup led by Reza Khan, an officer of an old Cossack regiment, which had been created by Czarist Russia and officered by Russians to protect the Qajar ruler and Russian interests. In the quest of imposing national homogeneity on the country where half of the population consisted of ethnic minorities, Reza Shah issued in quick succession bans on the use of Azerbaijani language on the premises of schools, in theatrical performances, religious ceremonies, and, finally, in the publication of books.

With the dethronement of Reza Shah in September 1941, Russian troops captured Tabriz and northwestern Iran for military and strategic reasons. Azerbaijan People's Government, a client state set up by the order of Stalin himself, under leadership of Sayyid Jafar Pishevari was proclaimed in Tabriz.  However, under pressure by the Western countries, the Soviet army was soon withdrawn, and the Iranian government regained control over Iranian Azerbaijan by the end of 1946.

While the Azaris in Iran largely integrated into modern Iranian society, the Azeris in what is today called the Republic of Azerbaijan lived through the transition from the Russian Empire to brief independence from 1918–1920 and then incorporation into the Soviet Union despite pleas by Woodrow Wilson for their independence at the Treaty of Versailles conference. The Republic of Azerbaijan achieved independence in 1991, but became embroiled in a war over the enclave of Nagorno-Karabakh with Armenia.

Azerbaijanis see Azeri
Azaris see Azeri
Azeri Turks see Azeri

Azeri (Azeris of Iran).  Azeri constitute the largest linguistic minority in Iran.  They are a unique national minority, clearly Iranian in identity, culture and history.  They are Shi‘a, a distinctive characteristic of Iranian society, and live in the northwestern provinces of East and West Azerbaijan, in migrant communities of long standing in Tehran and in scattered towns and villages between Azerbaijan and Tehran.  They call themselves and are called by other Iranians Azerbaijani, Azeri or simply Turk.  

The major Turkish migration into Azerbaijan dates from the eleventh century, with the Seljuk conquest of Iran.  It was completed by the fifteenth century.  From the establishment of the Shi‘a Safavid Empire (1501-1722), which had its origins in Azerbaijan and was brought to power by the Shahsevan, through the Qajar dynasty (1796-1925), when the Qajar Crown Prince was based in Tabriz, and into the contemporary era, Azeri have been politically prominent in central government politics.

Two political issues -- nationalism and regional autonomy -- have been central to Azerbaijani politics.  The wealth and strategic location of Azerbaijan and the relatively sizable middle class of merchants, religious scholars and intellectuals, particularly in Tabriz, contributed to the activism of Azeri in nationalist and liberal democratic politics in the twentieth century.  Azeri from Tabriz were in the forefront of the Tobacco Protest of 1891-1892, the first significant popular protest against the encroachments of foreign interests in Iranian affairs.  The Tobacco Revolt, which brought together the religious classes, merchants and intellectuals in joint political efforts, cast the pattern of protest and cooperation that marked successive developments of nationalist politics.

Azeri, in particular residents of Tabriz, were in the vanguard of the Constitutional Revolution of 1906, which sought to establish parliamentary government, limit the excesses of the Qajar shahs and restrict foreign influence in Iran’s internal political and commercial affairs.  The first parliamentary delegates from Tabriz constituted the core of the liberal, nationalist faction in the Majlis, the national assembly .  

Movements for increased regional autonomy have been characteristic of Azeri politics from the post-World War I era to the present day.  In 1917, following the withdrawal of Russian and Turkish troops, Azerbaijani nationalists rebuffed Turkish efforts at annexation and Bolshevik overtures of alliance, though they resisted control from Tehran and called the province Azadistan, “land of freedom,” a term that reappears in Azeri politics.  

In 1945, Mohammad Pishevari led a Soviet supported movement towards Azerbaijani autonomy.  Although the Azeri responded positively to increased independence, legitimation of Azeri literature and culture and social reforms, popular disillusionment followed Pishevari’s failure to combine local autonomy with Iranian nationalism.  During the Mossadeq era of Iranian nationalist politics (1951-1952) and the subsequent years of economic development and reform under Mohammed Reza Shah Pahlavi, Azeri continued pressing for more autonomy and increased development funds from the central government.  Although there was dissatisfaction with the Pahlavi regime and the amount of money that was devoted to Azerbaijan’s development, there was no evidence of Azeri flirtation with separatist movements.  Liberal democratic movements flourished in Azerbaijan, and many National Front leaders were Azeri.  Men such as Mehdi Bazargan, who later became Prime Minister in the first Islamic Revolutionary government after the fall of the Shah, and Ramatollah Moqaddam, a liberal member of the Assembly of Experts and the first Governor General of Azerbaijan in the Khomeini government, are Azeri with deep family roots in Azerbaijan.

The Islamic Revolution in 1978 once again brought the Azeri traditions of liberal nationalism and desire for local autonomy into focus.  In the very early stages of the revolution, when popular protests against the Shah began to sweep Iran, riots in Tabriz, called for by the Azeri Ayatollah Sheriatmadari in February 1978, crystallized the opposition and focused protest on issues of human rights.  Individual Azeri such as Bazargan and Moqaddam, through such dissident political movements as the Freedom Front and the Radical Movement, pushed for the liberalization of the Shah’s human rights policies and for greater political freedom and participation.  

After the demise of the Pahlavi government, the Azeri found themselves in opposition to the policies of the Khomeini regime, in particular to the elevation of Khomeini to the position of ultimate political judge and Faqi and to the infringement of Khomeini’s Persian speaking revolutionary guards and officials on Azerbaijan’s local rule.  This disagreement led to riots in Tabriz in December 1979 over the issue of the constitution and local autonomy.  Because the Tabriz demonstrations were held under the banner of Ayatollah Sheriatmadari and called for Ramatollah Moqaddam to be re-appointed Governor of the province, both of these Azeri lost favor with Khomeini’s revolutionary regime. Sheriatmadari was placed under virtual house arrest in Qom, stripped of his access to media and to his Azeri followers.  Moqaddam was forced into exile, in spite of his support for the revolution.  Former Prime Minister Bazargan remained in Iran and continued to express hope for liberalization of human rights policies.  He urged granting increased autonomy to local regions in an effort to reacquire political loyalty not only from the Azeri but also from the more alienated minorities, particularly the Kurds. 

Azhar, 'Abdul Samad
Azhar, 'Abdul Samad. See 'Abdul Samad Azhar.

Azhari, al-
Azhari, al- (895-980).  Arab lexicographer.

‘Aziz bi-’llah, al-
‘Aziz bi-’llah, al- (b. 955).  Fatimid caliph from 975-996.  He was the first whose reign began in Egypt.  

Al-Aziz was the fifth Caliph of the Fatimids.

Since Abdallah, the heir to the throne, had died before his father Ma'ad al-Muizz Li-Deenillah (953-975), his brother Abu l-Mansur Nizar al-Aziz acceded to the Caliphate with the help of Jawhar as-Siqilli. Under Al-Aziz the Fatimid Empire stretched as far as Palestine and Syria (from 977/978). Mecca and Medina also acknowledged the suzerainty of the Fatimids.

The reign of Al-Aziz was primarily significant for the strengthening of Fatimid power in Egypt and Syria, which had then only very recently been conquered (969). In 975 al-'Aziz took control of Baniyas in an attempt to subdue the anti-Fatimid agitation of the Sunni Muhammad bin Ahmad al-Nablusi and his followers. The bedouin Tayyi' tribe was defeated in Palestine 982 and finally subjugated at Damascus 983. Towards the end of his reign Al-Aziz sought to extend his power to northern Syria, focusing his attention on the Hamdanids of Aleppo. The fact that they were under the suzerainty of the Byzantine Empire resulted in the outbreak of war with this great power, a conflict which would not be resolved until the reign of al-Hakim (996-1021).

Another notable development during al-Aziz's reign was the introduction of foreign slave armies. When the Berber troops from the Maghrib continued to be successful in the wars against the Carmathians in Syria, Al-Aziz began setting up units composed of Turkish slave soldiers, or Mamelukes.

Through the expansion of the bureaucracy (in which many Jews and Christians acquired important posts) the foundations were laid for the immense power of the succeeding Caliphs. His appointment of a Jewish governor over Syria, however, led to grumbling by his Muslim subjects, who claimed they were being pushed out of important posts. As a result, Al-Aziz ordered his Christian and Jewish officials to employ more Muslims in their offices.

The Egyptian economy was also nurtured, and tax revenue thereby increased, through the expansion of streets and canals and the establishment of a stable currency. The general economic well-being was also apparent in an elaborate building program.

The reign of Al-Aziz was also culturally significant. His grand Vizier Yaqub ibn Killis (979-991) founded the al-Azhar University in Cairo (988) which went on to become the most important center of learning in the Islamic world. Likewise a library with 200,000 volumes was built in Cairo.

Al-Aziz died on 13 October 996. His son Al-Hakim bi-Amr Allah (996-1021) succeeded him as Caliph.

'Aziz, Tariq
'Aziz, Tariq (Tariq 'Aziz) (Mikhail Yuhanna) (Tareq 'Aziz).  Iraqi politician and foreign minister.  

Tariq Aziz, also spelled Ṭāriq ʿAzīz, original name Mikhail Yuhanna   (b. April 28, 1936, Qaḍā Talkīf, Iraq — d. June 5, 2015, Al-Nāṣiriyyah, Iraq), was an Iraqi public official who served as Foreign Minister (1983–91) and Deputy Prime Minister (1979–2003) in the Ba'thist government of Saddam Hussein.

Mikhail Yuhanna, later and more popularly known as Tariq Aziz or Tareq Aziz, was a close advisor of former President Saddam Hussein for decades. Their association began in the 1950s, when both were Ba'ath party activists, while the party was still officially banned.

Since Saddam Hussein was both Prime Minister and President of Iraq, Aziz often played the role of Iraq's de facto head of government. Because of security concerns, Hussein rarely left Iraq, and Aziz in turn would often represent Iraq at high-level diplomatic summits. What the United States wanted, he averred, was not "regime change" in Iraq but rather "region change". He summed up the Bush Administration's reasons for war against Iraq tersely: "oil and Israel."

He was born in Mosul.  In 1950, he joined the Ba’th Party as one of its early members.  In 1958, he received a bachelor’s degree in English from the College of Arts at the University of Baghdad.  During this year he also started working as a journalist on a Jumhuria newspaper.  In 1963, following the Ba’th coup, he became editor of al-Jamahir newspaper, the mouthpiece of the party.  In 1964, he worked in the press office of the Arab Ba’th Socialist Party in Syria.  In 1966, he moved back to Iraq and, in 1969, he became editor in chief of the new al-Tawra newspaper, established by the Ba’th Party.  In 1972, he was appointed as a member to the Revolutionary Command Council.  In 1974, he became deputy chairman of the Bureau of Culture and Information for the Ba’th Party, a position he would hold until 1983.  Later that year, he was elected as candidate member of the Iraqi Command of Ba’th party, and on November 11, he was appointed as Minister of Information.

On January 10, 1977, 'Aziz was elected as member of the Iraqi Command of the Ba’th Party, a position involving more power than a cabinet post.  On September 4, 1977, he was appointed as member of the Revolution Command Council.  On October 8, 1977, he was elected as member of the Ba’th National Leadership.  On October 15, 1977, he was discharged as Minister of Information to assume the functions of Ba’th party leadership.

On July 16, 1979, 'Aziz was appointed as Deputy Prime Minister.  In April 1980, 'Aziz was the target of an assassination attempt by Islamist militants, but 'Aziz survived the attempt without any injuries.

On January 14, 1983, 'Aziz became Foreign Minister of Iraq, getting the difficult position of defending Iraq’s attack on Kuwait in August the previous year. On March 23, 1983, 'Aziz was discharged as Minister of Foreign Affairs and began working full time as Deputy Prime Minister.  In this position, 'Aziz was Iraq’s top negotiator with the dealings with the United Nations after Iraq’s surrender to the allied forces at the end of the Gulf War.

On April 18, 2001, 'Aziz was appointed Foreign Minister for the second time.   

Throughout his career, 'Aziz proved to be talented in keeping cordial contacts with foreign powers especially the Soviet Union, France, and the United States.  However, with the strong negative reactions from Western powers following Iraq’s attack on Kuwait in 1990, he lost the propaganda war in Western media.  

'Aziz is a Chaldean Catholic, a fact that often was used against him both by Iraqi Muslims and leaders of neighbor Muslim countries like Iran.  But as he remained loyal to Saddam Hussein, Hussein also remained loyal to 'Aziz.  'Aziz was married and had two daughters and two sons.

'Aziz was captured in April 2003 as a consequence of the United States invasion of Iraq.  

He was acquitted of some charges on March 1 2009 following a trial, but was jailed for 15 years on March 11 2009 for his role in the executions of 42 merchants found guilty of profiteering in 1992.

Like other senior Baʿthists, Aziz was tried on numerous charges, and in October 2010 he was sentenced to death for crimes against Islamic political parties during Saddam’s reign. His death sentence was never carried out, however, and he died in prison in 2015.

Tariq 'Aziz see 'Aziz, Tariq
Mikhail Yuhanna see 'Aziz, Tariq
Tareq Aziz see 'Aziz, Tariq

Baal.  (In Hebrew, ba’al, from the Phoenician ba’al -- “owner”, "master" or “lord”.)  Among ancient Semitic peoples, Baal was the name of innumerable local gods controlling fertility of the soil and of domestic animals.  Because the various Baals were not everywhere conceived as identical, they may not be regarded as local variations of the same deity.  In the plural, Baalim means idols or Baals collectively.  

The name Baal formed a part of the names of various gods, as Baal-berith (“the lord of the covenant”) of the Schechemites, and Baalzebub (“the lord of the flies”) of the Philistines.  The Hebrews learned the worship of Baal from the agricultural Canaanites.  Except for the offerings of fruits and the first born of cattle, little is known of the rites employed.  Their shrines were little more than altars with the symbol of the Canaanites and Hebrew female deity Ashtoreth set beside them.  Sacred pillars were often erected near the altars.

The name Baal was compounded with many Hebrew, Chaldean, Phoenician, and Carthaginian personal and place names, such as Baalbek, Eth-baal, Jezebel, Hasdrubal, and Hannibal.

"Ba‛al" can refer to any god and even to human officials; in some texts it is used as a substitute for Hadad, a god of the rain, thunder, fertility and agriculture, and the lord of Heaven. Since only priests were allowed to utter his divine name Hadad, Ba‛al was used commonly. Nevertheless, few if any Biblical uses of "Ba‛al" refer to Hadad, the lord over the assembly of gods on the holy mount of Heaven, but rather refer to any number of local spirit-deities worshipped as cult images, each called ba‛al and regarded by the writers of the Hebrew Bible in that context as a false god.

owner see Baal.
lord see Baal.
master see Baal.

Ba‘ath. See Ba‘th.

Bab.  An honorary title used for spiritual leaders in Sufism, for prominent Shaykhs.  Bab, meaning “gate,” is the one who can lead the believers into communication with the other side, the divine spheres.  Isma‘ili Shi‘a Islam held much the same views on the Bab: he was the one spiritual leader who could open up an access to the mysteries of religion.  The Druze called their first spiritual leader “Bab.” 

Bab.  Arabic term which means “gate” or “gateway.”  The term denotes the monumental entrance of mosques and the gateways of fortified enclosures.  In early Shi‘ism, the term was applied to the senior authorized disciple of the Imam.   The appellation “Bab” was the title claimed by Sayyid 'Ali Muhammad of Shiraz.  Sayyid 'Ali Muhammad [Mirza 'Ali Muhammad] (1819-1850) was the founder of the new religion of the Babis, a precursor to the faith known as Baha’i.  

Sayyid `Alí Muḥammad Shírází (October 20, 1819 – July 9, 1850) was the founder of Bábism, and one of three central figures of the Bahá'í Faith. He was a merchant from Shíráz, Persia, who at the age of twenty-four (in May 23, 1844) claimed to be the promised Qá'im (or Mahdi). After his declaration he took the title of Báb meaning "Gate". He composed hundreds of letters and books (often termed tablets) in which he stated his messianic claims and defined his teachings, which constituted a new sharí'ah or religious law. His movement eventually acquired tens of thousands of supporters, was virulently opposed by Iran's Shi'a clergy, and was suppressed by the Iranian government leading to thousands of his followers, termed Bábís, being persecuted and killed. In 1850 the Báb was shot by a firing squad in Tabríz.

Sayyid 'Ali Muhammad was born in Tabriz.  He was the son of a merchant and worked as one himself, while he occupied himse
lf with religious questions.  After a pilgrimage to Karbala he declared himself a reformer of Islam.  This was on June 11, 1844.  The message of Sayyid 'Ali Muhammad was lukewarmly received.  Nevertheless, soon he started getting followers.  The first was Husayn.  

While Sayyid 'Ali Muhammad was on a trip to Mecca, he wrote down divine revelations.  On his return, he included in the Shi‘a creed that he himself was the one who mirrored God, so that God could be seen by man.  Soon the followers of the Bab faced persecution by the local governor of Shiraz.  

The religion of Sayyid 'Ali Muhammad -- the religion of the Bab -- had a strong eschatological focus upon a future figure called “He Whom God Shall Manifest,” later taken by Baha’is to mean Baha’ Ullah.  The religion of the Bab also rejected many of the teachings of the Islamic shari'a and developed a distinctive metaphysic of its own.  

The Bab took Islam as his starting point, but re-defined many of the regulations.  For instance, polygamy and concubinage were forbidden.  However, most importantly, the Bab wanted to have all religions join in with him as the spiritual leader.  Only then could a new era begin for mankind.  

At first the Bab gathered around him 18 disciples, of which one was a woman, and had great success in spreading his message all around Persia.  But when Nasr ud-Din Shah came to power in 1848, he soon decided to start heavy persecution of the Bab and his followers.   Two years of civil war ensued, although the Bab himself was not a part of this rebellion.  In the end, the followers of the Bab lost and the Bab was imprisoned and executed in Tabriz.

The principal teachings of the Bab are contained in the two Bayan (one each in Arabic and Persian).

Sayyid 'Ali Muhammad  see Bab.
Muhammad, Sayyid 'Ali see Bab.
Mirza 'Ali Muhammad see Bab.
Muhammad, Mirza 'Ali see Bab.

Babak (Babak Khorram Din) (Babak Xoramdin) (795 - January, 838).  Persian revolutionary.  He was the leader of one of the more famous of several anti-'Abbasid insurrections in the Iranian provinces and the reputed head of an antinomian sect called the Khurramiyya.  Probably alarmed by increasing Arab-Muslim colonization and attempts to centralize the administration, Babak led the indigenous mountain peasants and nomads in the area around Badhdh (northwest Azerbaijan) to revolt around 816 and successfully resisted government forces until the rebellion was crushed by the general Afshin in a series of campaigns (835-837).  Babak attempted to flee to Byzantine territory but was betrayed by an Armenian prince, taken captive to Samarra, and executed in January 838.  The revolt is extensively documented in the Muslim sources but so inconsistently and unconvincingly that its significance, especially in its sectarian aspects, is still obscure.  

Bābak Khorram-Din (alternative spelling: Bâbak Xoramdin) was one of the main Persian revolutionary leaders of the Iranian Khorram-Dinān ("Those of the joyous religion"), which was a local freedom movement fighting the Abbasid Caliphate. Khorramdin appears to be a compound analogous to dorustdin (orthodox) and Behdin "Good Religion" (Zoroastrianism), and is considered an offshoot of neo-Mazdakism.. Babak's Iranianizing rebellion, from its base in Azerbaijan in northwestern Iran, spread to the Western and Central parts of the land and lasted more than twenty years before it was defeated.

Bābak was born into a Persian family in Āzerbāijān (northwestern Iran) close to the city of Artavilla (modern Ardabil). Bābak's father was a Persian from Madā'īn (formerly known as Ctesiphon, capital of the Sassanian Persian Empire, 35 km south of modern day Bağhdād in Irāq) who left for the Āzerbāijān frontier zone and settled in the village of Balālābād in the Maymadh district. His mother - a native Persian of Āzerbāijān - was known as Māhrū (meaning Moon-Face/Belle in Persian).

After his father’s death in his early teens, Babak was given the responsibility of his two brothers and mother during a traditional Zoroastrian ceremony in a fire-temple. By the age of 18, Bābak had established himself in the city of Tabriz and was engaged in the arms trade and industry. Later on, this engagement gave him the opportunity to travel to some regions and become familiar with regions like the Caucasia, the Middle East, and the Byzantine Empire...

In 755, Abū Muslim of Khorassan, a famous and popular Persian nationalist, was murdered. Although he had helped the Abbasids to defeat the former Caliphs, the Umayyad dynasty, the ruling Caliph had given the order to kill him, probably because of his increasing popularity among Iranians and Non-Muslims. Many Iranians, who had expected more freedom and more rights from the new rulers, could not believe that their hero was killed by the ruling Caliph whom they had considered a friend of Iran and Iranians.

This incident led to many revolts, mostly by angry Zoroastrians. This, in turn, forced the Caliphs to use more violence against the Iranian population in order to keep the eastern provinces under control. The constant revolts did not come to an end in the following decades, and the Iranian population of the Caliphate was constantly being oppressed.

Under the direction of his mentor Javidan Shahrak, a leader of one of the sects of the Khorramdin, Babak's knowledge of history, geography, and the latest battle tactics strengthened his position as a favorite candidate for commander during the early wars against the Arab occupiers.

Bābak was a highly spiritual person who respected his Zoroastrian heritage. He made every possible effort to bring Iranians together and also with leaders such as Maziar to form a united front against the Arab Caliph.

However, one of the most dramatic periods in the history of Iran was set under Bābak’s leadership between 816-837. During these most crucial years, they not only fought against the Caliphate, but also for the preservation of Persian language and culture.

After the death of Javidan, Babak married Javidan's wife and became the Khorramis' leader, sometime in the year 816-17 during al-Ma'mun's reign. Babak incited his followers to rise in rebellion against the caliphal regime. The reports state that Babak called Persians to arms, seized castles and strong points, thereby barring roads to his enemies. Gradually a large multitude joined him.

There had long been groups of Khorramis scattered in Isfahan, Azerbaijan, Ray, Hamadan, Armenia, Gorgan, and elsewhere in Iran, and there had been some earlier Khorrami revolts, but none had the scale and duration of Babak's revolt, which pinned down caliphal armies for twenty years. After Babak's emergence, the Khorrami movement was centered in Azerbaijan and reinforced with volunteers from elsewhere, probably including descendants of Abu Muslim's supporters and other Iranian enemies of the 'Abbasid caliphate. The figures given for the strength of Babak's Khorramdinan army, such as 100,000 men, 200,000, or innumerable are doubtless highly exaggerated but at least indicate that it was large. At the time of Babak, there were Khorramis scattered in many regions of Iran, besides Azerbaijan, reportedly in Tabarestan, Khorasan, Balkh, Isfahan, Kashan, Qom, Ray, Karaj, Hamadan, Lorestan, Khuzestan as well as in Basra, and Armenia.

Babak claimed he possessed Javadan's spirit. He became active in 816-817. In 819-820 Yahya ibn Mu'adh fought against Babak, but could not defeat him. Two years later Babak vanquished the forces of Isa ibn Muhammad ibn Abi Khalid. In 824-825 the caliphal general Ahmad ibn al Junayd was sent against Babak. Babak defeated and captured him.

In 827-828 Muhammad ibn Humayd Tusi was dispatched to fight Babak. He won a victory and sent some captured enemy, but not Babak, to al-Ma'mun. However, about two years later, on June 9, 829, Babak won a decisive victory over this general at Hashtadsar. Muhammad ibn Humayd lost his life. Many of his soldiers were killed. The survivors fled in disarray.

In 835-836 the caliph al-Mu'tasim sent his outstanding general Afshin against Babak. Afshin rebuilt fortresses. He employed a relay system to protect supply caravans. Babak tried to capture the money being sent to pay Afshin's army, but was himself surprised, lost many men and barely escaped. He did succeed in capturing some supplies and inflicting some hardship on his enemies.

The next year Babak routed the forces of Afshin's subordinate, Bugha al-Kabir. In 837-838 al-Mu'tasim reinforced Afshin and provided him clear military instructions. Patiently following these  instructions enabled Afshin to capture Babak's stronghold of Badhdh, but Babak again escaped. Al-Mu'tasim sent a safety guarantee for Babak to Afshin.

Babak made his way to the Armenian leader Sahl Smbatean (Sahl ibn Sunbat in Arab sources), Prince of Khachen. Sahl Smbatian, however, handed Babak over to Afshin, for a large reward. Al-Mu'tasim commanded his general to bring Babak to him. Afshin informed Babak of this and told Babak that he might never return. This was the time to take a last look around. At Babak's request, Afshin allowed his prisoner to go to Badhdh. There Babak walked through his ruined stronghold one night until dawn.

Eventually, Bābak, his wife, and his warriors were forced to leave Ghaleye Bābak after 23 years of constant campaigns. He was eventually betrayed by Afshin and was handed over to the Abbasid Caliph. During Bābak's execution, the Caliph's henchmen first cut off his legs and hands in order to convey the most devastating message to his followers. The legend says that Bābak bravely rinsed his face with the drained blood pouring out of his cuts, thus depriving the Caliph and the rest of the Abbasid army from seeing his pale face, a result of the heavy loss of blood.

Babak Khorram Din see Babak
Babak Xoramdin see Babak
Xoramdin, Babak see Babak

Babis.   Followers of the religion founded in 1844 by the Bab (Sayyid ‘Ali Muhammad [Mirza 'Ali Muhammad] of Shiraz).  The religion is known as Babism and, at the convention of Badasht in 1848, the Babis openly declared their total secession from Islam.

Bábism is a religious movement that flourished in Persia from 1844 to 1852, then lingered on in exile in the Ottoman Empire (especially Cyprus) as well as underground. Its founder was Sayyid 'Ali Muhammad (Siyyid `Alí-Muhammad) of Shiraz, who took the title Báb – meaning "Gate" – from a Shi'a theological term. Unlike other Islamic messianic movements, the Bábí movement signalled a break with Islam and attempted to start a new religious system. While the Bábí movement was violently opposed and crushed by the clerical and government establishments in the country in the mid 1850s, the Bábí movement led to the founding of the Bahá'í Faith whose practitioners see the religion brought by the Báb as a predecessor to their own religion, thereby giving a renewed significance to the Bábí movement.

Babis themselves prefer the designation ahl-i bayan -- People of the Bayan.  Due to persecutions from the earliest of times of Babism, the Babis came to constitute a political party.  Around 1848, fights erupted, and in 1850, a large group of Babis were executed.  

The schism between Subh-i Azal and Baha’ullah, left the followers of the former in low numbers, while the latter went on to form Baha’i.  There are still Babis, but they are relatively few in number and  live mostly in southern Uzbekistan.

Babism is a religion that developed as an offshoot of the Shi‘ite sect of Islam.  Its principles were proclaimed at Shiraz, Persia (now Iran), on May 23, 1844, by Mirza 'Ali Muhammad of Shiraz (1819-1850), who became known as the Bab (Persian for “The Gate”) because he was considered the gate, or the door, to spiritual truth.

In opposition to basic Muslim theology, the Bab declared that the prophets were divine manifestations of God and that he, the Bab, was one of the prophets, equal to Muhammad in importance and the precursor of an even greater “Manifestation,” which was to appear 19 years after the founding of Babism.  He also wrote a new holy book, the Bayan (Revelation), to supercede the Qur’an. `Babism forbade polygamy and concubinage and sought to alter many other Muslim customs.  Babism also proclaimed the coming of an era in which all religions would be united under one spiritual head.  The Bab soon founded a group of 18 disciples, 17 men and 1 woman, and the faith spread rapidly in Persia until the accession of Shah Nasr-ed-Din (1831-1896) in 1848.  Persuaded that the tenets of Babism were destructive of Islam and a danger to the state, the Shah initiated violent persecution of the Babists.  The followers of the Bab revolted.  After two years of civil war their rebellion was put down, and the Bab, although he had not taken part in the revolt, was imprisoned and executed at Tabriz on July 9, 1850.

After the death of the Bab, Babism continued to be preached throughout Persia and the Middle East.  In 1863, a follower of the Bab, Mirza Hussein 'Ali Nuri (1817-1892), called Baha’ullah (“the Splendor of God”), proclaimed himself the promised “Manifestation” and, on the basis of Babism, founded a new faith, called Baha’i.

The history of Babism has received relatively little attention from scholars of modern Iran.  Muslim sources available in Persian and Arabic are generally hostile, while distortions and selective omissions abound in accounts written after the Bab’s death by followers of the rival contenders for his succession, the Azalis (followers of Mirza Yahya Nuri Subh-i Azal) and the Baha’is (followers of Azal’s older half-brother Mirza Husain 'Ali Nuri (Baha’ullah).  While Babi/Azali accounts insist on the Bab’s legitimate claims to prophethood, Baha’i sources refer to him merely as the herald, or precursor, of Baha’ullah.

The few scholars who have worked on the early history of Babism generally accepted the account of Lisan al-Mulk Sipihr.  The official Qajar chronicler maintained that Mirza 'Ali Muhammad had opportunistically first declared himself to be the successor of the Shaikhi leader Kazim Rashti, then the Bab (“gate”) to the imam’s teachings, then the expected imam himself, before finally proclaiming a new prophetic revelation.  The Bab’s early writings suggest the adoption of the cautious policy of issuing gradual proclamations.

It was while in prison in Maku in 1847-1848 that the Bab’s views took a more definite shape, written down in what the Babis came to consider as the new holy book, the Bayan.  He abrogated the Qur’an and all prior revealed books, annulled all Muslim and Shi‘ite centers of pilgrimage, and substituted Shiraz for Mecca as a holy center.  The message appealed to religious reformists, the political revolutionists, and the nationalists who rejected Islam as the “religion of the Arabs.”  Unlike the Shaikhis, the Babis resorted to militant means to achieve their goal: the destruction of the traditional Iranian Shi‘ite socio-political order and the announcing of the dawn of a new religious era.  Short-lived but bloody insurrections erupting in Mazandaran (October 1848-May 1849) and in Zanjan, Yazd, and Nairiz in 1850 met with defeat and merciless massacre at the hands of government troops.  A number of Babi leaders lost their lives on the battlefield, others were subsequently executed, and the Bab was finally sentenced to death in July 1850.

The belief in Babism is centered around the Bab, who is considered to be the mirror of God.  Babism has certain elements in common with Islam and has redefined them, thereby introducing the teaching that the world was created with seven attributes: predestination, predetermination, will, volition, permission, doom and revelation.  Numbers play a sacred role in Babism, where “19" is the most sacred number.  Thus, for Babis, the year is divided into 19 months, and every month is made up of 19 days.  There are 19 members of the council that administers the community of the Babis.  Finally, the Bab himself declared that there would be a span of 19 years from the Bab until the next human manifestation of God would arrive.

After the execution of the Bab, the Babism movement went underground but continued through its subversive means to undermine the established order.  In 1863, one of the Bab’s followers, Mirza Husayn 'Ali Nuri, proclaimed himself the manifestation that the Bab had promised.  This proclamation led to a dispute over succession to the Bab and divided the Babi community.   Many of the Babis chose to follow Mirza Husayn 'Ali Nuri while others, a group which remained “true” Babis (the Azalis) followed Nuri’s brother Mirza Yahya Nuri Subh-i Azal, who was then under Turkish detention on the island of Cyprus.  

The smaller group of Azalis chose to remain faithful to the original Babi doctrine and keep up the spirit of revolt against both the secular and the religious establishment in Iran, while the majority followed  Mirza Husayn 'Ali Nuri, who in 1866 became Baha’ullah and publicly proclaimed a new dispensation.

Today, the actual number of Babis is very small.  They are generally confined to Uzbekistan.  However, every year, Babis between 11 and 42 years of age perform a fast of one month (19 days).  Prayers are not compulsory, but advisable, and can be performed without ablutions.  Women do not have to carry veils, and enjoy relative freedom.  Travelling is restricted, however, especially sea travel.

ahl-i bayan see Babis.
People of the Bayan see Babis.

Babur (Mongolian for “tiger”) (Zahir ud-Din Muhammad) (1483-1530).  Founder of the Mughal dynasty of India and its first emperor (1526-1530).  A descendant of Timur on his father’s side and of Jenghiz Khan on his mother’s, Babur was 12 years old when he succeeded his father as sovereign of Ferghana (now in Uzbekistan).   Ferghana lay, in Babur’s own words, “at the limit of settled habitation.” Successes and failures rapidly followed one another until early in the sixteenth century.  The rise of the Uzbek Khan Shaybani obliged him in 1504 to flee over the Hindu Kush to Kabul, Afghanistan.

Babur (February 23 [O.S. February 14] 1483- January 5 [O.S. December 26 1530] 1531) was a Muslim conqueror from Central Asia who, following a series of setbacks, finally succeeded in laying the basis for the Mughal dynasty of India. He was a direct descendant of Timur through his father, and a descendant also of Genghis Khan through his mother. Babur identified his lineage as Timurid and Chaghatay-Turkic, while his origin, milieu, training, and culture were steeped in Persian culture. Accordingly, Babur was largely responsible for the fostering of Persian culture by his descendants, and for the expansion of Persian cultural influence in the Indian subcontinent, with brilliant literary, artistic, and historiographical results.

Babur established himself at Kabul in 1504, having lost Ferghana the year before, and from there made repeated attempts to conquer Samarkand, the capital of his Timurid ancestors.  Failing to conquer Samarkand, he turned southeast, to India, where the Delhi sultanate was crumbling.  

Invited into India in 1524 by one faction of warring Muslim rulers, he occupied in succession Lahore, Delhi, Agra and Lucknow, to make himself master of Hindustan.

In 1526, Babur led his fifth raid into India and met Sultan Ibrahim Lodi (r. 1517-1526) in the Battle of Panipat, a township close to Delhi.  North India was, at this time, under the rule of an Afghan dynasty, the Lodis.  Babur, however, was helped by dissension within the ruling family and by his superior war strategy.  Although Sultan Ibrahim Lodi commanded an army of 100,000 men and 100 elephants against Babur’s 21,000, Babur’s tactics as well as his use of artillery made Babur victorious.  

Babur introduced India to the use of mobile field guns in battle, although muskets had been used earlier.  He had learned the use of guns from an Ottoman master and often defeated numerically superior enemies.  

During the next four years, he conquered most of northern India and established his capital at Agra, but he died in 1530 before he could consolidate his rule.  He was succeeded by his son, Humayun.

Mughal India has been fantasized as an era of cultural syncretism and artistic creativity.  In part it was, but in part it was also a continuation of the struggle, already begun during the Delhi sultanate, to maintain and extend Muslim rule in a country whose inhabitants remained doggedly non-Muslim.

Despite his military success, Babur did not succeed in reversing the dissipation of centralized power that had occurred after Timur’s invasion.  His own reign was cut short by his early death.

A born leader, shrewd and determined, convinced that he was born to greatness, he was also chivalrous, tolerant and cultured.   Babur was said to be a man of compassion, who would not allow his troops to plunder or to harm innocent people.  Highly cultured, he wrote poetry both in Persian and his Turkic mother tongue.  His collection of poems (his diwan) was mostly written in a classical tradition with various quantitative metres, but with a few in the popular syllabic metre.

Babur also left a volume of memoirs (in Eastern “Chagatay” Turkish) that have been widely translated.  His Babur-nama records frankly and modestly, the events of Babur’s stormy life.  Its unaffected style and vivid descriptions make it not only a valuable historical source but one of the finest examples of Turkish prose literature.  

The name Babur is also spelled Babar and Baber.  

“tiger” see Babur
Zahir ud-Din Muhammad see Babur
Muhammad, Zahir ud-Din see Babur
Babar see Babur
Baber see Babur

Badauni, 'Abdul Qadir
Badauni, 'Abdul Qadir ('Abdul Qadir Badauni) (Mulla 'Abd-ul-Qadir Bada'uni) (1540, Toda, India - c, 1615, India).  Courtier of Emperor Akbar of India.  An orthodox Muslim theologian who helped Akbar challenge the dominance of other Muslim theologians, Badauni later became a bitter critic of Akbar’s religious eclecticism.  When Abu’l Fazl was commissioned to write an official history of Akbar’s reign reflecting religious liberalism, Badauni set out to write the three volume Muntakhab-ut Tawarikh to counterbalance it.  Realizing that the venture could prove dangerous, he kept the work secret during his lifetime.  

Mulla ʿAbd-ul-Qadir Bada'uni was an Indo-Persian historian and translator living during the Mughal period in India. He was the son of Muluk Shah. He lived in Basavar as a boy studying in Sambhal and Agra. He moved to Badaun, the town of his name, in 1562 before moving on to enter the service of prince Husayn Khan for the next nine years in Patiala. His later years of study were governed by Muslim mystics. Jalaluddin Muhammad Akbar appointed him to the religious office in the royal courts in 1574 where he spent much of his career.

'Abdul Qadir Badauni translated the Hindu works, the Ramayana and the Mahabharata. However, as an Orthodox Muslim, he strongly resented the reforms of Akbar, and the elevation of Hindus to high offices. He was also renowned for his rivalry with Abul Fazl.

The most notable work of Bada'uni is Muntakhab-ut-Tawarikh (Selection of Chronicles) or Tarikh-i-Bada'uni (Bada'uni's History) composed in 1004 AH (1595). This work in three volumes is a general history of the Muslims of India. The first volume contains an account of Babur and Humayun. The second volume exclusively deals with Akbar's reign up to 1595. This volume is an unusually frank and critical account of Akbar's administrative measures, and his conduct. This volume was kept concealed until Akbar's death and was published after Jahangir's accession.  This book is written from the point of view of an orthodox Sunni Muslim and gives the author's view regarding the development of Akbar's views on religion and his religious policy. The third volume describes the lives and works of Muslim religious figures,scholars, physicians and poets.

'Abdul Qadir Badauni see Badauni, 'Abdul Qadir
Mulla 'Abd-ul-Qadir Bada'uni see Badauni, 'Abdul Qadir

Badham (Badhan).  Persian governor of Yemen towards the end of the Prophet’s lifetime.  He is said to have become a Muslim in 631.  

Badhan was the Persian Governor of Yemen, during the reign of Khosrau II. He ruled from Sana'a. During his rule, he was ordered by Khosrau II to send some men to Medina to bring Muhammad to Khosrau II himself. Badhan sent two men for this task. When these two men met Muhammad and demanded he come with them, Muhammad refused. Instead, he informed them (prophetically) that Khosrau II had been overthrown and murdered by his son Kavadh II. The two men returned to Badhan with the news regarding Khosrau II. Badhan waited to ascertain the truthfulness of this disclosure. When it proved to be true, Badhan converted to Islam. The two men and the Persians living in Yemen followed the example of Badhan and also converted to Islam. Thereafter, Badhan sent a message to Muhammad, informing him of his conversion to Islam. In response Muhammad allowed Badhan to continue ruling over Yemen.

Badhan was succeeded briefly by his son Shahr.

Badhan see Badham

Badhan.  See Badham.

Badia y Leblich
Badia y Leblich (Domingo Badia y Leblich) (1766-1818).  Spanish traveler, born in Barcelona.  In 1803, he visited North Africa, disguised as a Muslim and calling himself 'Ali Bey.  He traveled in Morocco, Egypt, and Arabia and was the first European to visit the sacred city of Mecca after the establishment of Islam in the seventh century.  He recorded his travels in a book, Ali Bey en Asie et en Afrique (Ali Bey in Asia and in Africa, 1814).

Badia y Leblich (Ali Bey) was a Spanish explorer in the early 19th century who notably witnessed the Wahhabi conquest of Mecca in 1807.

Ali Bey travelled in and wrote descriptions of Morocco, Tripoli, Cyprus, Egypt, Arabia, Syria (including Lebanon, Jordan, and Palestine, then considered part of Syria,) and Turkey during the period of 1803–1807. Ali Bey went to Mecca ostensibly to perform the hajj, pretending to be a descendant of the Abbassid Caliphs of the West.

Ali Bey claimed that he was born in Aleppo; but he was later identified as Domingo Badia y Leblich, a Catalan spy for Joseph Bonaparte. There was much mystery about Ali Bey. Some asserted that he was a Jew while many later writers thought that he was a Muslim of Moroccan origin, but of Spanish education. However, it is known that he alleged to be a Muslim in order to enter places forbidden to non-Muslims, including the Cave of Machpelah at Hebron and Mecca.

In 1816, the account of his travels (Travels of Ali Bey : in Morocco, Tripoli, Cyprus, Egypt, Arabia, Syria, and Turkey, between the years 1803 and 1807) was published.

When he died in Syria in 1818, Ali Bey was denied a Muslim burial because a cross was found in his vest.

Domingo Badia y Leblich see Badia y Leblich
Leblich, Domingo Badia y see Badia y Leblich
'Ali Bey see Badia y Leblich
Ali Bey al-Abbasi see Badia y Leblich
Abbasi, Ali Bey al- see Badia y Leblich

Badr al-Jamali
Badr al-Jamali (Badr al-Din al-Jamali) (c.1010-1094).  Armenian slave who became a Fatimid commander-in-chief and vizier in Egypt.  He was the vizier for the Fatimids in Cairo from 1074 until his death in 1094. With great though brutal vigor, he brought order into Fatimid affairs and inaugurated a second period of splendor for the Fatimid Empire.  

Badr al-Din al-Jamali see Badr al-Jamali
Jamali, Badr al- see Badr al-Jamali
Jamali, Badr al-Din al- see Badr al-Jamali

Badr, Imam
Badr, Imam (Imam Badr).   A ruler of Yemen.  He was overthrown by a military coup.
Imam Badr see Badr, Imam

Badusbanids.  Minor Caspian dynasty, noteworthy for its longevity, which lasted from 665 until 1599.

Baghdadi, Abu Bakr al-
Ibrahim ibn Awwad ibn Ibrahim ibn Ali ibn Muhammad al-Badri al-Samarrai (Arabic: إبراهيم ابن عواد ابن إبراهيم ابن علي ابن محمد البدري السامرائي‎), more commonly known by his nom de guerre Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi (أبو بكر البغدادي), is the Caliph of the self-proclaimed Islamic State -- previously the Islamic State and the Levant (ISIL) or the Islamic State of Iraq and al-Sham (ISIS)—located in western Iraq and north-eastern Syria.  He was formerly known as Abu Du'a (أبو دعاء).  He also uses the aliases Amir al-Mu'minin Caliph Ibrahim (أمير المؤمنين الخليفة إبراهيم) and, claiming descent from the Islamic prophet MuhammadAbu Bakr Al-Baghdadi Al-Husseini Al-Qurashi (أبو بكر البغدادي الحسيني الهاشمي القرشي).

On October 4, 2011, the United States State Department listed al-Baghdadi as a Specially Designated Global Terrorist and announced a reward of up to $10 million (USD - United States Dollars) for information leading to his capture or death.  Only the head of al-Qaeda, Ayman al-Zawahiri, had a larger bounty ($25 million USD).

Al-Baghdadi is believed to have been born near Samarra, Iraq, in 1971. According to a biography that circulated on jihadist internet forums in July 2013, he obtained a BA, MA, and PhD in Islamic Studies from the Islamic University of Baghdad.

After the United States invasion of Iraq in 2003, al-Baghdadi helped to found the militant group Jamaat Jaysh Ahl al-Sunnah wa-l-Jamaah (JJASJ), in which he served as head of the sharia committee. Al-Baghdadi and his group joined the Mujahideen Shura Council (MSC) in 2006, in which he served as a member of the MSC's sharia committee. Following the renaming of the MSC as the Islamic State of Iraq (ISI) in 2006, al-Baghdadi became the general supervisor of the ISI's sharia committee and a member of the group's senior consultative council.

According to the United States Department of Defense records, al-Baghdadi was held at Camp Bucca as a 'civilian internee' by United States Forces - Iraq  from February until December 2004, when he was recommended for release by a Combined Review and Release Board. A number of newspapers have instead stated that al-Baghdadi was interned from 2005 to 2009. These reports originate from an interview with the former commander of Camp Bucca, Colonel Kenneth King, and are not substantiated by Department of Defense records.

The Islamic State of Iraq, also known as al-Qaeda in Iraq, was the Iraqi division of al-Qaeda.  Al-Baghdadi was announced as leader of the ISI on May 16, 2010, following the death of his predecessor Abu Omar al-Baghdadi.  

As leader of the ISI, al-Baghdadi was responsible for masterminding large-scale operations such as the August 28, 2011 attack on the Umm al-Qura Mosque in Baghdad which killed prominent Sunni lawmaker Khalid al-Fahdawi. Between March and April 2011, the ISI claimed 23 attacks south of Baghdad, all allegedly carried out under al-Baghdadi's command.

Following the death of founder and head of al-Qaeda, Osama bin Laden, on May 2, 2011, in Abbottabad, Pakistan,  al-Baghdadi released a statement praising bin Laden and threatening violent retaliation for his death. On May 5, 2011, al-Baghdadi claimed responsibility for an attack in Hilla, 62 miles south of Baghdad, that killed 24 policemen and wounded 72 others.

On August 15, 2011, a wave of ISI suicide attacks beginning in Mosul resulted in 70 deaths. Shortly thereafter, in retaliation for bin Laden's death, the ISI pledged on its website to carry out 100 attacks across Iraq featuring various methods of attack, including raids, suicide attacks, roadside bombs and small arms attacks, in all cities and rural areas across the country.

On December 22, 2011, a series of coordinated car bombings and IED (Improvised Explosive Device) attacks struck over a dozen neighborhoods across Baghdad, killing at least 63 people and wounding 180. The assault came just days after the US completed its troop withdrawal from the country.  On December 26, the ISI released a statement on jihadist internet forums claiming credit for the operation, stating that the targets of the Baghdad attack were "accurately surveyed and explored" and that the "operations were distributed between targeting security headquarters, military patrols and gatherings of the filthy ones of the al-Dajjal Army", referring to the Mahdi Army of Shia warlord Muqtada al-Sadr.  

On December 2, 2012, Iraqi officials claimed that they had captured al-Baghdadi in Baghdad following a two-month tracking operation. Officials claimed that they had also seized a list containing the names and locations of other al-Qaeda operatives.  However, this claim was rejected by the ISI.  In an interview with Al Jazeera, on December 7, 2012, Iraq's Acting Interior Minister said that the arrested man was not al-Baghdadi, but rather a section commander in charge of an area stretching from the northern outskirts of Baghdad to Taji.  

Al-Baghdadi remained leader of the ISI until its formal expansion into Syria in 2013, when in a statement on April 8, 2013, he announced the formation of the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL) -- alternatively translated from the Arabic as the Islamic State in Iraq and Syria (ISIS). 

When announcing the formation of ISIS, al-Baghdadi stated that the Syrian Civil War jihadist faction, Jabhat al-Nusra — also known as al-Nusra Front — had been an extension of the ISI in Syria and was now to be merged with ISIS. The leader of Jabhat al-Nusra, Abu Mohammad al-Jawlani, disputed this merging of the two groups and appealed to al-Qaeda emir Ayman al-Zawahiri, who issued a statement that ISIS should be abolished and that al-Baghdadi should confine his group's activities to Iraq.[31] Al-Baghdadi, however, dismissed al-Zawahiri's ruling and took control of a reported eighty percent (80%) of Jabhat al-Nusra's foreign fighters. In January 2014, ISIS expelled Jabhat al-Nusra from the Syrian city of Ar-Raqqah, and in the same month clashes between the two in Syria's Deir ez-Zor Governorate killed hundreds of fighters and displaced tens of thousands of civilians. In February 2014, al-Qaeda disavowed any relations with ISIS.

According to several Western sources, al-Baghdadi and ISIS have received private financing from citizens in Saudi Arabia and Qatar and enlisted fighters through recruitment drives in Saudi Arabia in particular.

On June 29, 2014, ISIS announced the establishment of a caliphate. Al-Baghdadi was named its caliph, to be known as Caliph Ibrahim, and the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant was renamed the Islamic State (IS). 

The declaration of a caliphate was heavily criticized by Middle Eastern governments and other jihadist groups, and by Sunni Muslim theologians and historians.

IOn July 5, 2014, a video was released apparently showing al-Baghdadi making a speech at the Great Mosque of al-Nuri in Mosul, northern Iraq. A representative of the Iraqi government denied that the video was of al-Baghdadi, calling it a "farce". However, both the BBC and the Associated Press quoted unnamed Iraqi officials as saying that the man in the video was believed to be al-Baghdadi. In the video, al-Baghdadi declared himself the world leader of Muslims and called on Muslims everywhere to support him.

On July 8, 2014, ISIS launched its magazine Dabiq.  Its title appears to have been selected for its eschatological connections with the Islamic version of the End times or Malahim. 

Baha’ al-Dawla wa-Diya’ al-Milla
Baha’ al-Dawla wa-Diya’ al-Milla (Abu Nasr Firuz Baha’ al-Dawla wa-Diya’ al-Milla) (Baha' al-Daula) (979 - December 22, 1012).  Buyid supreme amir who reigned from 998 to 1012.  He ruled in Iraq and southern Persia.  

Baha' al-Dawla (Baha' al-Daula) was the Buyid amir of Iraq (988-1012), along with Fars and Kerman (998-1012). He was the third son of 'Adud al-Daula.

Upon the death of his brother Sharaf al-Daula in 988, Baha' al-Daula succeeded him, whereupon he took the additional title of "Diya' al-Milla". Another brother, Samsam al-Daula, prevented Baha' al-Daula from gaining all of Sharaf al-Daula's possessions by taking control of Fars, Kerman and Khuzestan. Both Baha' al-Daula and his brother, however, were threatened by their granduncle Fakhr al-Daula, who was the ruler of Jibal. Fakr al-Daula invaded Khuzestan in an attempt to split the two brothers' territories. This act prompted the brothers to draw up an alliance. Samsam al-Daula recognized Baha' al-Daula as the ruler of Iraq and Khuzestan, while he himself kept Arrajan, Fars and Kerman. Both promised to consider each other as equals, and took the title of "king".

In 991, Baha' al-Daula attempted to gain supremacy over Samsam al-Daula's realm. He took the title of Shâhanshâh and invaded the latter's territory. His forces were defeated, however, and Samsam al-Daula regained Khuzestan, and even gained control of the Buyid territories in Oman. He then recognized Fakhr al-Daula as senior amir, submitting to his authority.

Fakhr al-Daula's death in 997, coupled with Samsam al-Daula's increasing troubles within his realm, provided Baha' al-Daula with the opportunity to assert his authority in Persia. He gained the support of the Kurdish ruler Badr ibn Hasanwaih and prepared for the expedition. The invasion began in December of 998.  Scarcely had the invasion begun when Samsam al-Daula was killed by one of the sons of 'Izz al-Daula who had risen in revolt. Baha' al-Daula took Shiraz and defeated 'Izz al-Daula's sons. For the rest of his life Baha' al-Daula remained in Fars. He also managed to gain indirect control over northern Iran, where Fakr al-Daula's two sons Majd al-Daula and Shams al-Daula recognized him as senior amir by 1009 or 1010.

Baha' al-Daula's reign coincided with the beginning of the decline of the Buyids. A Kurdish chief, Badr, laid the foundations for the Marwanid amirate in Diyarbakr, while the initially subservient 'Uqailids of Mosul expanded into Iraq at the Buyid's expense. By the time Baha' al-Daula died, Baghdad and Wasit were the only two major Iraqi cities directly under his control. In the north, where Fakhr al-Daula's sons ruled, the Buyid frontier also fell back. The Ziyarids of Gorgan and Tabaristan permanently wrested themselves from Buyid control. The Ghaznavids kept putting pressure on the Khurasan border, while the Kakuyids began to set up a state in Isfahan.

For various reasons, Baha' al-Daula did not actively defend the borders. Having gained undisputed control of the Buyid state, he seemed content to allow external enemies to seize territories in the west and north. He died in Arrajan in December of 1012. Shortly before his death, he named his son Sultan al-Daula as his successor.

Abu Nasr Firuz Baha’ al-Dawla wa-Diya’ al-Milla see Baha’ al-Dawla wa-Diya’ al-Milla
Milla, Baha’ al-Dawla wa-Diya’ al- see Baha’ al-Dawla wa-Diya’ al-Milla
Milla, Abu Nasr Firuz Baha’ al-Dawla wa-Diya’ al- see Baha’ al-Dawla wa-Diya’ al-Milla
Baha' al-Daula see Baha’ al-Dawla wa-Diya’ al-Milla
Diya' al-Milla see Baha’ al-Dawla wa-Diya’ al-Milla

Baha’Allah.  See Baha’ullah.

Bahadur Shah I
Bahadur Shah I (Mu'azzam Shah) (Qutb ud-Din Muhammad Mu'azzam) (Shah Alam) (October 14, 1643 - February 27, 1712). Mughal Emperor (r. 1707-1712).  He was the second son of Emperor Aurangzib.  During his reign, he reduced the Rajput raja of Jodhpur to submission but found himself confronted with a Sikh rebellion and had to make a compromise with the Rajputs.  

Bahadur Shah's original name was Qutb ud-Din Muhammad Mu'azzam and was later titled as Shah Alam by his father. He took the throne name Bahadur ("Bahadur" meaning "brave") Shah in 1707.

Muazzam, the second son of the emperor Aurangzib through Nawab Bai Begum Saheba, the daughter of Raja of Rajauri (Jarral Rajput), was born in Burhanpur in 1643. In his father's lifetime, Muazzam was made governor of the northwest territories by Aurangzib. His province included those parts of the Punjab where the Sikh faith was blossoming. As governor, Muazzam relaxed the enforcement of Aurangzib's severe edicts, and an uneasy calm prevailed in the province for a brief time. In fact, Muazzam maintained a friendly relationship with the last Sikh spiritual leader, Guru Gobind Singh. When Muazzam was challenging his brothers for the Mughal throne, Guru Gobind provided military assistance and spiritual guidance to the liberal prince.

After Aurangzib's death, Muazzam Bahadur Shah took the throne. A war of succession began immediately after Aurangzib died. One younger brother, Prince Azam Shah, proclaimed himself emperor and marched towards Delhi, where he unsuccessfully fought Bahadur Shah and died after a nominal reign of three months. Another brother, Muhammad Kam Baksh, was killed in 1709.

Aurangzib had imposed sharia law within his kingdom with harsh enforcement of strict edicts. This led to increased militancy by many constituencies including the Marathas, the Sikhs and the Rajputs. Thus, rebellion was rife at the time of Aurangzib's death and Bahadur Shah inherited a very unstable polity. A more moderate man than his father, Bahadur Shah sought to improve relations with the militant constituencies of the rapidly crumbling kingdom. Bahadur Shah was successful in forcing the Sikh General Banda Singh into the hills and he was also able to gain control over Assam purely because of the assistance he got from his son, Azim-ush-Shan. Bahadur Shah never abolished jizyah, but the effort to collect the tax became ineffectual. Support of music was apparently renewed during his brief rule of five years. There was no destruction of temples in his reign. During Bahadur Shah's brief reign of five years, although the empire remained united, factionalism in the nobility reached a new height. Ultimately, Bahadur Shah could do little to mitigate the damage already done by his father.

Bahadur Shah's shortcomings — his lack of military skills and old age — added to the problems of the empire. After his short reign of less than five years, the Mughal Empire entered a long decline, attributable both to his ineptness and to his father's geographical overextension. Bahadur Shah was courageous and intelligent, but that his father’s repression had harmed his abilities.  A man of mild and equable temper, Bahadur Shah was learned, dignified, disciplined and generous to a fault. Although not a great sovereign like his predecessors, Bahadur Shah may be called, at least in comparison with his successors, a fairly successful one. Bahadur Shah did not share Aurangzib's orthodox views. Unlike his father, Aurangzib, he was a liberal Sufi in outlook. In fact, after his sudden death the disintegration of the Mughal Empire became very much evident.

Bahadur Shah died on February 27, 1712 in Lahore while making alterations to the Shalimar Gardens. He was succeeded by his son Jahandar Shah. His grave lies, next to the dargah of the 13th century Sufi saint, Qutbuddin Bakhtiar Kaki at Mehrauli, in a marble enclosure, along with that of Shah Alam II, and Akbar II.

Mu'azzam Shah see Bahadur Shah I
Qutb ud-Din Muhammad Mu'azzam see Bahadur Shah I
Shah Alam see Bahadur Shah I

Bahadur Shah II
Bahadur Shah II (Abu Zafar Sirajuddin Muhammad Bahadur Shah Zafar) (Zafar)  (October 1775 - November 7, 1862).  The last Mughal Emperor (r. 1837-1857).  He was in fact a pensionary of the British East India Company and was exiled to Rangoon in 1857.  

Abu Zafar Sirajuddin Muhammad Bahadur Shah Zafar, also known as Bahadur Shah or Bahadur Shah II, was the last of the Mughal emperors in India, as well as the last ruler of the Timurid Dynasty. He was the son of Akbar Shah II by his Rajput Hindu wife Lalbai. He became the Mughal Emperor upon his father's death on September 28, 1838. Zafar was his nom de plume (takhallus) as an Urdu poet. Akbar Shah Saani (the second) ruled over a rapidly disintegrating empire between 1806 to 1837. It was during his time that the East India Company dispensed with even the charade of ruling in the name of the Mughal Monarch and removed his name from the Persian texts that appeared on the coins struck by the company in the areas under their control.

Bahadur Shah Zafar who succeeded Akbar Shah was not Akbar Shah Saani’s choice as his successor.  Akbar Shah was, in fact, under great pressure by one of his queens, Mumtaz Begum to declare her son Mirza Jahangir as the successor. Akbar Shah would have probably accepted this demand but Mirza Jahangir had fallen foul of the British and the British made known their objections to her son succeeding to the throne.  
Bahadur Shah presided over a Mughal empire that barely extended beyond Delhi's Red Fort. The British were the dominant political and military power in 19th-century India. Outside British India, hundreds of kingdoms and principalities, from the large to the small, fragmented the land. The emperor in Delhi was paid some respect by the British and allowed a pension, the authority to collect some taxes, and to maintain a small military force in Delhi, but he posed no threat to any power in India. Bahadur Shah II himself did not take an interest in statecraft or possess any imperial ambitions.

Bahadur Shah Zafar was a noted Urdu poet. He wrote a large number of Urdu ghazals. While some part of his opus was lost or destroyed during the Indian Rebellion of 1857-1858, a large collection did survive, and was later compiled into the Kulliyyat-i Zafar. The court that he maintained, although somewhat decadent and arguably pretentious for someone who was effectively a pensioner of the British East India Company, was home to several Urdu writers of high standing, including Ghalib, Dagh, Mumin, and Zauq (Dhawq).

Bahadur Shah Zafar was a devout Sufi. Zafar was himself regarded as a Sufi pir and used to accept murids or pupils. Prior to his accession, in his youth he made it a point to live and look like a poor scholar and dervish, in stark contrast to his three well dressed dandy brothers, Mirza Jahangir, Salim and Babur.

As a poet and dervish, Zafar imbibed the highest subtleties of mystical Sufi teachings. At the same time, he was deeply susceptible to the magical and superstitious side of Orthodox Sunni Islam. Like many of his followers, he believed that his position as both a Sufi pir and emperor gave him tangible spiritual powers.
Zafar consciously saw his role as a protector of his Hindu subjects, and a moderator of extreme Muslim demands and the intense puritanism of many of the Orthodox Muslim sheikhs of the Ulema. In one of his verses, Zafar explicitly stated that both Hinduism and Islam shared the same essence. This syncretic philosophy was implemented by his court which came to cherish and embody a multicultural composite Hindu-Islamic Mughal culture. Fore instance, the Hindu elite used to frequently visit the dargah or tomb of the great Sufi pir, Nizam-ud-din Auliya. They could quote Hafiz and were very fond of Persian poetry. Their children, especially those belonging to the administrative Khatri and Kayasth castes studied under maulvis and attended the more liberal madrasas, bring food offerings for their teachers on Hindu festivals. On the other hand, the emperor's Muslim subjects emulated him in honoring the Hindu holy men, while many in court, including Zafar himself, followed the old Mughal custom that was originally borrowed from high class Hindus, of only drinking the water from the Ganga.

Zafar and his court celebrated Hindu festivals. During the spring festival of Holi, Zafar would spray his courtiers, wives and concubines with different colored paints, initiating the celebrations by bathing in the water of seven wells. The autumn Hindu festival of Dusshera was celebrated in the palace by the distribution of nazrs or presents to Zafar's Hindu officers and the coloring of the horses in the royal stud. In the evening, Zafar would then watch the Ram Lila processions annually celebrated in Delhi with the burning of giant effigies of Ravana and his brothers. He even went to the extent of demanding that the route of the procession be changed so that it would skirt the entire flank of the palace, allowing it to be enjoyed in all its glory. On Diwali, Zafar would weigh himself against seven kinds of grain, gold, coral, etc, and directed their distribution among the city's poor.

Zafar was known to have profound sensitivities to the feelings of his Hindu subjects. One evening, when Zafar was riding out across the river for an airing, a Hindu waited on the king and disclosed his wish to become a Muslim. Hakim Ahsanullah Khan, Zafar's prime minister flatly denied this request and the emperor had him removed from his presence. During the Phulwalon ki Sair or Flower-sellers fair held annually at the ancient Jog Maya temple and the Sufi dargah of Qutb Sahib in Mehrauli, Zafar declared that he would not accompany the pankah into the shrine as he could not accompany it into the temple. On a separate occasion, a mob of 200 Muslims showed up at the royal palace demanding to be allowed to slaughter cows which are holy to Hindus in Id. To this, Zafar angrily replied that the religion of Muslims did not depend upon the sacrifice of cows.

The Delhi Ulema and Bahadur Shah Zafar staunchly disdained each other. Zafar perceived the Muslim sheikhs to be narrow minded. One evening's entertainment at the Palace consisted of Kadir Baksh impersonating a Maulvi in the presence of the king. Zafar was reportedly so pleased that he ordered Mahbub Ali Khan, the chief eunuch to give him the usual present. On the other hand, many of the Delhi maulvis and their followers considered the king to be a mushrik or heretic. They were of the opinion that it was not right to pray in the mosques that were frequented by the emperor or were under royal patronage. Zafar was devoted to the Shia Imam Ali and the Shia festival of Muharram was celebrated with great enthusiasm in the palace, with the king listening to the marsiya mourning poems. This led to persistent rumors that Zafar had actually converted to the Shiite sect of Islam, which was seen as heretical by the Sunni Muslim clergy. This led to Zafar receiving several outraged delegations from the Delhi ulema threatening to take the ultimate sanction of excluding his name from the Friday prayers, effectively excommunicating him and delegitimising his rule, if the rumor ever proved true.

In 1857, a revolt against British rule in India erupted.  As the Indian rebellion of 1857 spread, Sepoy regiments seized Delhi. Seeking a figure that could unite all Indians, Hindu and Muslim alike, most rebelling Indian kings and the Indian regiments accepted Zafar as the Emperor of India, under whom the smaller Indian kingdoms would unite until the British were defeated. Zafar was the least threatening and least ambitious of monarchs, and the legacy of the Mughal Empire was more acceptable a uniting force to most allied kings than the domination of any other Indian kingdom.

When the victory of the British became certain, Zafar took refuge at Humayun's Tomb, in an area that was then at the outskirts of Delhi, and hid there. British forces led by Major William Hodson surrounded the tomb and compelled his surrender on September 20, 1857. The next day British officer William Hodson shot Zafar's sons Mirza Mughal, Mirza Khizr Sultan, and grandson Mirza Abu Bakr under his own authority at the Khooni Darwaza (the bloody gate) near Delhi Gate. On hearing the news, Zafar reacted with shocked silence while his wife Zeenat Mahal was happy as she believed her son was now Zafar's heir.

Numerous male members of Bahadur Shah Zafar's family were killed by the British, who imprisoned or exiled the surviving members of the Mughal dynasty. Zafar himself was exiled to Rangoon, Burma (now Yangon, Myanmar) in 1858 along with his wife Zeenat Mahal and some of the remaining members of the family. His departure as Emperor marked the end of more than three centuries of Mughal rule in India.

Bahadur Shah Zafar died in exile on November 7, 1862. He was buried near the Shwedagon Pagoda in Yangon, at the site that later became known as Bahadur Shah Zafar Dargah.

Abu Zahar Sirajuuddin Muhammad Bahadur Shah Zafar see Bahadur Shah II
Zafar see Bahadur Shah II

Baha’is. Term which refers to adherents of the religion founded by Baha’ullah.  According to Baha’i doctrine, the Bab Sayyid ‘Ali Muhammad of Shiraz was the forerunner of the Baha’i religion.  The Baha’i doctrine is opposed to dogma, but nevertheless teaches theological, philosophical, and social doctrines and has its own forms of worship.  The administrative center is in Haifa.

Baha’i is an Arabic-Farsi word which refers to the ecumenical Muslim sect founded at the end of the nineteenth century of the Christian calendar in Iran and Palestine.  The word "Baha’i" means “glory [of God].”  Baha’i is the faith founded by Mirza Husayn 'Ali (Mirza Husain 'Ali Nuri) known as Baha’ullah (“The Glory of God” or “The Splendor of God”) in Iran in the mid-nineteenth century.  It spread to Europe, America, and elsewhere under the successors of Baha’ullah.  The main tenets are the unity of all religions and the unity of all humankind.  Its principal center is located in Haifa, Israel, near the graves of Baha’ullah and his predecessor, the Bab.

Bahá'í teachings emphasize the underlying unity of the major world religions. Religious history is seen to have unfolded through a series of divine messengers, each of whom established a religion that was suited to the needs of the time and the capacity of the people. These messengers have included Abraham, Krishna, Buddha, Jesus, Muhammad and others, including most recently Bahá'u'lláh. In Bahá'í belief, each messenger taught of the next, and Bahá'u'lláh's life and teachings fulfill the end-time promises of previous scriptures. Humanity is understood to be involved in a process of collective evolution, and the need of the present time is for the gradual establishment of peace, justice and unity on a global scale.

Baha’i is the outgrowth of a movement known as Babism.  Babism was inaugurated by Mirza 'Ali Muhammad of Shiraz.  Shiraz was an important city in southern Iran.  In 1844, Mirza 'Ali Muhammad proclaimed himself to be the Bab.  The concept of the Bab owes its origin to the doctrines of the Twelver Shi’a sect of Islam.  The Twelver Shi‘a sect believes that the twelfth in the series of their imams who disappeared from human view, is still alive and is to come again at the end of time as the Imam Mahdi (“rightly guided imam”) to initiate an era of justice and peace.  During the early part of the twelfth Imam’s occultation, the Imam maintained communication with his followers through a series of chief disciples who bore the title Bab, signifying that they were the channels for contact with the hidden divinely appointed spiritual leader.  In the early nineteenth century an Iranian Shi‘ite sect called the Shaykhis revived the notion of the awaited imam and sent representatives all over Iran to search for him.  Mirza 'Ali Muhammad was a Shaykhi, as were his earliest and most important followers.  By proclaiming himself the Bab, Mirza 'Ali Muhammad set himself up as the forerunner of the one who was to come after him, “He Whom God Shall Manifest,” identified by the Baha’is as Baha’ullah.  The claims of the Bab for himself evolved far beyond the notion of a “forerunner” for another.  In time, Mirza 'Ali Muhammad taught that he himself was the expected imam, the very “Point” of a new revelation.  In Shi‘ite Iran this proclamation had political as well as religious implications, and as a result there was much persecution of the Babis, as the Bab’s followers were known.

Following his proclamation, the Bab quickly gathered disciples and began to seek converts throughout Iran.  Eighteen of the closest of the disciples, called by the Bab “The Letters of the Living,” have a special importance for Babi history and thought.  With the success of the new movement came opposition from the authorities and the clergy.  The opposition increased greatly following a convention in 1848 in Khurasan, where the Babis declared their secession from Islam and the abrogation of its sacred law.  After a series of uprisings that resulted in massacres of Babis and widespread persecution, the Bab himself was put to death by a firing squad in Tabriz in July of 1850, having spent much of the previous six years in prison.  The persecution, however, took on a new sharpness after an attempt in 1852 on the life of Nasir al-Din Shah by two Babis enraged by the persecution.  This led to more massacres and to the exile from Iran of the leading surviving Babi figures, among them Baha’ullah and his half brother, Mirza Yahya, also known as Subh-i Azal (“The Dawn of Eternity”).

Although there seems to be no doubt that Mirza 'Ali Muhammad (the Bab) had appointed Mirza Yahya (Mirza Yahya Nuri Subh-i Azal) to succeed him, Mirza Husayn 'Ali Nuri – Baha’ullah -- rapidly eclipsed his younger half-brother and assumed de facto leadership.

Baha’ullah, often called “The Blessed Perfection” by his followers, was the son of a nobleman and minister at the court of the Qajar Dynasty and was born in Tehran in November of 1817.  Baha’ullah had no formal education but showed an early inclination toward religion.  He was one of the earliest disciples of the Bab, though he never met him personally, and he suffered all the hardships to which the Babis were subjected.

While in prison in 1852 as a victim of the fierce persecution of that time (a persecution which resulted in the death of 20,000 Babis), Baha’ullah had a mystical experience in which he detected the first indication of his prophetic mission.  The following year, Baha’ullah went into exile in Iraq.  There, in 1863, in a garden on the outskirts of Baghdad called the Garden of Ridwan, Baha’ullah declared to a small group of followers that he was “He Whom God Shall Make Manifest,” the figure predicted by the Bab.  Soon afterward, Baha’ullah was banished to Istanbul and then to Adrianople, where he remained for five years and began publicly to proclaim his mission.  In 1866, Baha’ullah announced a new dispensation -- a new religion, which was accepted by the majority of the Babis.

The Adrianople period is marked by a series of letters which Baha’ullah sent to various world rulers and also by the appearance of factionalism in the emigre Babi community.  A split between the majority who accepted Baha’ullah’s claims and the minority who followed his brother, Subh-i Azal, as the Bab’s legitimate successor led to friction and violence and provided the grounds for the banishment of one faction to Acre and the other to Cyprus.  The fundamental cause of the division was Baha’ullah’s conviction that he represented an entirely new divine dispensation, a universal religion, that went beyond the narrowly Shi‘ite associations of Babism.

For the followers of Baha’ullah, -- for the Baha’i –  Baha’ullah was a manifestation of God and as such was considered the latest in God’s manifestations.  Zarathustra, Buddha, Krishna, Jesus and Muhammad represent other prominent manifestations.  But, for the Baha’i, Baha’ullah is by far the most revered as he brought the last revelation to man.  

The latter part of Baha’ullah’s life was lived out in Palestine in Acre and vicinity as a more or less strictly guarded prisoner.  The most important of his many works were composed during this time, and the organization and propaganda of the community were slowly nurtured.

As the “Prophet of the Age,” Baha’ullah drastically revised older Babi directives, aiming at transforming the new religion into a universal one, transcending national and cultural peculiarities, and expanding it beyond the Iranian borders.  He abrogated or changed earlier doctrinces, discarding elements of mystic-philosophical speculative thought, and divorced the new faith more completely from Islamic traditions.  He exalted humanitarianism over patriotism, forbade the use of arms, even for holy causes, and commanded his followers to avoid political involvement, thus eliminating the militant spirit that had characterized original Babism.  

Upon his death, after some controversy, leadership of the community passed to one of his two sons, ‘Abdul-Baha – “The Servant of Baha.”  ‘Abdul-Baha had been designated in his father’s will as the “Center of the Covenant,” the “Model of Baha’i Life,” and as his successor.

The spread of Baha’i beyond the Middle East was largely the work of ‘Abdul-Baha.  ‘Abdul-Baha had shared in Baha’ullah’s travels and tribulations.  When he was released from prison by the Turks in 1908, ‘Abdul-Baha set out on a series of missionary journeys which took him to Egypt, Europe, and America.  With each of these travels, ‘Abdul-Baha established branches of the Baha’i community.  Propagation of the Baha’i faith in America had actually begun around 1892 through the efforts of Ibrahim George Khayrullah, a Lebanese convert and immigrant, and from 1898 onward there were Baha’i pilgrims to Acre from the United States.  Today the United States is the principal stronghold of the faith outside Iran, though there are Baha’i communities in more than two hundred countries.  ‘Abdul-Baha also performed the important function of interpreting his father’s teachings to the community, and he is chiefly responsible for the elaboration of Baha’i doctrine as it is known in the Western world.  By the the time of ‘Abdul-Baha’s death in 1920, the largest communities of Baha’is were in the United States.

After the death of ‘Abdul-Baha in 1920 the leadership of the Baha’i community was assumed by his grandson, Shoghi Effendi Rabbani.  Shoghi Effendi Rabbani had been designated in the will of ‘Abdul-Baha as “Guardian of the Cause of God.”  Much of the work of consolidating the worldwide community, of creating its characteristic institutions, of establishing the central administrative headquarters on Mount Carmel in Haifa, Israel, and of translating the works of Baha’ullah was done by Shoghi Effendi or under his direction.  Throughout most of his career as leader, Shoghi Effendi lived in Haifa.  Shoghi Effendi died in Haifa in 1957.

The Baha’i faith is largely practical in its orientation, giving greater attention to ethical and social teachings than to theological speculation or metaphysics.  It differs in this way from Babism.  There is also a distinct difference between Baha’i in Iran, where it retains more of its original flavor, and Baha’i in the Western world, where the social and ethical emphasis is stronger.  Baha’i does, however, have certain doctrines laid down in the teachings of the founder and his successors.  Baha’is hold that God is a completely unknowable essence Who, however, became manifest in a number of ways.  One of the principal ways is the creation of the world itself, which, together with traditional Islamic philosophers, the Baha’is think of as an eternal process, since it has always been and always will be the nature of God to manifest himself.  For religious purposes, however, the special manifestation or theophany of God in the prophets is of more importance.  There has been a series of these theophanies beginning with Adam, the first prophet, and continuing through the lives of the Jewish prophets, Jesus, and Muhammad, who in turn has been succeeded and superseded by Baha’ullah.  For the Baha’is, the Bab was only a forerunner and as a forerunner the Bab’s importance disappeared with the advent of “He Whom God Shall Manifest” -- with the advent of Baha’ullah.   Accordingly, Baha’is give very little attention to the writings and teachings of the Bab.

For Baha’is, each prophet foretold the coming of his successor, and each new manifestation was invariably scorned and rejected by most followers of his predecessor.  There is also a place in Baha’i theology for other great religious, though non-prophetic, figures such as the Buddha.  Each prophet or founder represents a divine dispensation appropriate for the time in which he appeared.  Thus, the history of religions shows a progressive evolution toward an ever higher realization of the divine truth.  While all religions have been at one in teaching the same truth, Baha’i is nonetheless held superior to others because it is the latest of the divine dispensations, the abrogator of preceding dispensations, the initiator of a new cycle of prophecy to replace that which came to an end with the Bab, and the religion most suitable for this scientific age.  Baha’i belief also includes the possibility of other prophets still to come in the distant future.  Indeed, there can be no end to this process, no final revelation, and no last prophet.  The very heart of Baha’i piety, however, is devotion to the person of Baha’ullah, who is looked upon as himself divine in the sense that he reflects the divine nature and attributes in himself as a theophany.  Other Baha’i beliefs include immortality, which is spiritual in nature, though they give little attention to the details of the hereafter and consider heaven and hell to be only symbols of man’s progress or lack of progress in the spiritual realm.

The Baha’is look upon all the writings of the founder and his successors as revelations and, therefore, as Scriptures.  Most of these scriptures are in Persian.  However, there are writings in Arabic and some in English.  The most important of this considerable body of material are the Kitab al-Aqdas (‘The Most Holy Book”), which gives the fullest account of the laws and ordinances instituted by Baha’ullah, the Kitab-i Iqan (“The Book of Certitude”), Haft Wadi (“The Seven Valleys”),  and al-Kalimat al-Maknunah (“The Hidden Words”).  The great Persian writing of the Bab, the Bayan (“Statement or Explanation”) is considered to have been superseded by the revelations of Baha’ullah, as have the previous scriptures.

Baha’i teachings have as their goal the improvement of the conditions of human life.  The most fundamental is the belief in the unity of the human race.  Consequently, the Baha’i reject all racial, political, or other prejudice and insist upon equal rights for the sexes.  Strongly pacifist in its orientation, the Baha’i envisage world peace as one of their goals and urges the followers of Baha’ullah not to do military service.  The faith is especially insistent on the elimination of religious prejudice because of its teaching that all religions constitute a vast unity, progressively unfolding a single truth.  There is also much concern for the state of the poor and the oppressed.  Both poverty and great wealth should be eliminated and resources shared among all.  The ultimate social goal is a kind of world government in which the principles of equality and justice will prevail.  To this end, the Baha’i advocate the use of an international language and the establishment of an international tribunal.

In addition to calling for better social conditions for the underprivileged, for loving one another, for harmony between races and religions, equality between the sexes, the use of a universal language, and the institution of a universal education, the Baha’i also advocate countering injustice with nonviolent resistance and contend that their religion takes its essence from all the major religions of the world.   Unlike other faiths, austerities are not welcomed amongst the Baha’i.  Practitioners are urged to feel happy and fulfilled.   There are no priests in Baha’i.  Until 1957, the guardian of the faith had been a descendant of Baha’ullah.  However, since then there has been an elected leader of the religion.  

There are no rituals in Baha’i and, except for the writings of Baha’ullah and Abdul-Baha, there are no sacred texts either.  

Baha’is are organized into a multi-tiered administrative system with local spiritual councils (local congregations) and national “spiritual assemblies,” chosen by election, and culminating in a universal spiritual assembly known as the Universal House of Justice.  This body has administrative, judicial, and legislative functions, and has the right to frame new rules for situations not provided for in the teachings of the founder.  Instruction and interpretation of doctrine for the community are provided by the “Guardian of the Cause of God,” a hereditary post in the line of descent of Baha’ullah.  The Guardian is assisted by a group of “Hands of the Cause of God” whom he appoints.  The administrative structure of the Baha’i community serves as the model for the world order toward which the Baha’i ultimately aim.  There are no priests, though the community builds temples in various places, one of the most important being Wilmette, Illinois, beside Lake Michigan.

Wherever nine or more Baha’is reside, a “spiritual assembly” -- a baytu l-adl -- may be formed.  More than 800 such assemblies have been organized in the United States alone.  Delegates are sent from the local assemblies to an annual convention at the national headquarters, at which a National Assembly is elected.  By 1980, with 130 national assemblies, Baha’is carried on extensive missionary, educational and philanthropic work.

Baha’i has adherents in more than 300 countries and dependencies, and Baha’i literature has been translated into more than 350 languages.  The Baha’i world headquarters is in Israel, on the slopes of Mount Carmel overlooking Haifa and Acre. At this location, a shrine of the Bab, an archives building and an administrative center have been constructed.  The tomb of Baha’ullah is in the nearby city of Acre.

In Iran, the birthplace of the Baha’i movement, Baha’is, like their Babi predecessors, have historically suffered persecution at the hands of the religious and, at times, governmental authorities.  They have been consistently denied the legal status as a recognized religious minority enjoyed by the Jews, Christians, and Zoroastrians.  Under the secular regime of the Pahlavis the Baha’is were granted a certain measure of individual freedom and safety, despite occasional outbursts of blatant discrimination and isolated cases of individual persecution.  Since the establishment of the Islamic Republic in 1979, however, the Baha’i community has suffered the loss of all its rights.

The marginalization of the Iranian Bahá'ís by the Iranian government is rooted in historical efforts by Shi`a clergy to persecute the religious minority. When the Báb started attracting a large following, the clergy hoped to stop the movement from spreading by stating that its followers were enemies of God, and these statements led to mob attacks and public executions. Starting in the twentieth century, in addition to repression that impacted individual Bahá'ís, centrally-directed campaigns that targeted the entire Bahá'í community and institutions were initiated. In one case in Yazd in 1903 more than 100 Bahá'ís were killed. Later on, in the 1930s and 1940s, Bahá'í schools, such as the Tarbiyat boys' and girl's schools in Tehran, were closed. Bahá'í marriages were not recognized and Bahá'í texts were censored.

During the reign of Mohammad Reza Pahlavi, due to the growing nationalism and the economic difficulties in the country, the Shah gave up control over certain religious affairs to the clergy of the country. This resulted in a campaign of persecution against the Bahá'ís. They approved and coordinated the anti-Bahá'í campaign to incite public passion against the Bahá'ís started in 1955 and included the spreading of anti-Bahá'í propaganda in national radio stations and official newspapers. In the late 1970s the Shah's regime, due to criticism that he was pro-Western, consistently lost legitimacy. As the anti-Shah movement gained ground and support, revolutionary propaganda was spread that some of the Shah's advisors were Bahá'ís. Bahá'ís were portrayed as economic threats, supporters of Israel and the West and popular hatred for the Bahá'ís increased.

After the Islamic Revolution of 1979 Iranian Bahá'ís regularly had their homes ransacked or were banned from attending university or holding government jobs.  Additionally, several hundred Baha'is received prison sentences for their religious beliefs. Bahá'í cemeteries were desecrated and property seized and occasionally demolished, including the House of Mírzá Buzurg, Bahá'u'lláh's father. The House of the Báb in Shiraz, one of the three sites to which Baha'is perform pilgrimage, was destroyed twice.

In Egypt, Bahá'í institutions and community activities have been illegal under Egyptian law since 1960. All Bahá'í community properties, including Bahá'í centers, libraries, and cemeteries, have been confiscated by the government and fatwas have been issued charging Bahá'ís with apostasy.

The notorious Egyptian identification card controversy began in the 1990s when the government modernized the electronic processing of identity documents and introduced a de facto requirement that documents must list the person's religion as Muslim, Christian, or Jewish. On December 16, 2006 the Supreme Administrative Council of Egypt ruled that the government may not recognize the Bahá'í Faith in official identification numbers. The ruling left Egyptian Bahá'ís unable to obtain identification cards; birth, death, marriage or divorce certificates; or passports, all of which require a person's religion to be listed. The lack of access to such necessary official documents meant that Baha'is could not be employed, educated, treated in hospitals, or vote, among. On January 29, 2008 Cairo's court of Administrative Justice, ruling on two related court cases, ruled in favor of the Bahá'ís, allowing them to obtain birth certificates and identification documents, so long as they omit their religion on the documents.  However, implementation did not immediately follow. On April 14, 2009, the interior minister of Egypt released a degree amending the law to agree with the ruling, instructing that a dash be used in place of a listed religion when issuing documents to Egyptians who were not Muslim, Christian, or Jewish.

“glory [of God]”   see Baha’is.

Baha’ullah (Baha’Ullah) (Baha’Allah) (Mirza Husayn 'Ali Nuri)(November 12, 1817 – May 29, 1892). born Mírzá Ḥusayn-`Alí Nuri (Persian: میرزا حسینعلی نوری), was the founder of the Bahá'í Faith. He claimed to be the prophetic fulfilment of Bábism, a 19th-century outgrowth of Shí‘ism, but in a broader sense claimed to be a messenger from God referring to the fulfilment of the eschatological expectations of Islam, Christianity, and other major religions.[1]

Bahá'u'lláh taught that humanity is one single race and that the age has come for its unification in a global society. His claim to divine revelation resulted in persecution and imprisonment by the Persian and Ottoman authorities, and his eventual 24-year confinement in the prison city of `Akka, Palestine, where he died. In his lifetime he authored many religious works, most notably the Kitáb-i-Aqdas and the Kitáb-i-Íqán.
 Founder of the Baha’is.  The name “Baha’ullah” means “Glory of God.”  Baha’ullah is the religious name taken by Mirza Husayn 'Ali Nuri (1817-1892), the founder of the Baha’i movement.  Baha’ullah is known to his followers as “The Blessed Beauty” or “The Ancient Beauty.”  

Mirza Husayn 'Ali Nuri was born in Nur, Mazandaran, Persia.  He was the half-brother of Subh-i Azal, his later competitor for control of the Babi movement.

Baha’ullah was among the earliest converts to the movement known as Babism, -- the movement founded by the Bab Sayyid ‘Ali Muhammad of Shiraz.  Although Baha’ullah never met the Bab, he (like Paul in the Christian church) was considered one of the Bab’s most central disciples and, after 1850, a majority preferred him as the successor to the leader position in Babism. Arrested in 1852, Baha’ullah lived in Kurdistan and was then exiled to Istanbul.  He declared his prophetic mission openly in Edirne.   

In 1863, while in Baghdad, Baha’ullah proclaimed himself to be “He Whom God Shall Manifest” -- the great spiritual leader foretold by the Bab.  Baha’ullah’s declaration produced a schism in the Babi community and led to intrigue and violence.  Baha’ullah was the victim of persecution and banishment several times during his life.  In 1863, Baha’ullah was banished to Adrianople, and then in 1868 to Acre in Palestine, where he ended his days a lightly guarded prisoner.  It was while in Acre that Baha’ullah wrote The Most Holy Book, --the fundamental work of the Baha’i faith.

Baha’ullah claimed to be the founder of a new universal religion which superseded that of the Bab, who had, in turn, superseded the prophets before him.  Baha’ullah is believed by Baha’is to be a theophany -- a visible manifestation of God -- a mirror wherein the nature of the unknowable God is faithfully reflected.  The numerous writings of Baha’ullah are, therefore, considered by the Baha’is to be revelations.  Baha’ullah’s most important book, Kitab al-Aqdas (“The Most Holy Book”), contains detailed instructions for Baha’i life.  

Baha’Allah see Baha’ullah
“He Whom God Shall Manifest” see Baha’ullah
“Glory of God”   see Baha’ullah
Mirza Husayn 'Ali Nuri see Baha’ullah
“The Blessed Beauty” see Baha’ullah
 “The Ancient Beauty”   see Baha’ullah

Bahmanids.  Afghan dynasty in the Deccan (peninsular India) (r. 1347-1526).  Their main capitals were first at Kulbarga (Gulbarga) and later at Bidar.  Following the conquest of the Deccan by the sultans of Delhi in 1322, the Afghan Hasan Gangu Bahmani [Ala ud-Din Bahman Shah] (r. 1347-1358), who had advanced in the court of the sultans in Delhi and been given the honorary title Zafar Khan, seized power during a revolt in Kulbarga and founded the Bahmanid dynasty, which first ruled in the northern Deccan.  His successors, particularly Muhammad Shah II (1463-1482), who seized Orissa in 1471 and advanced south, extended their rule to the whole Deccan, so that their empire stretched from one coast to the other.  The Bahmani sultans deliberately recruited administrators and soldiers from Southwest Asia.  Factional rivalry between these newcomers and descendants of original settlers doomed the kingdom to civil strife.   When, at the end of the fifteenth century, the empire was divided up into five different provinces, the rulers there gained autonomy.  The Bahmanid empire ultimately dissolved into eight successor states and in 1526 ceased to exist.  The Bahmanids left significant monuments in Kulbarga and Bidar.

The Bahmani Sultanate (also called the Bahmanid Empire), a Muslim state of the Deccan in southern India and one of the great medieval Indian kingdoms, was founded on August 3, 1347 by governor Ala-ud-Din Hassan Bahman Shah, possibly of Tajik-Persian descent, who revolted against the Sultan of Delhi, Muhammad bin Tughluq. Nazir uddin Ismail Shah who had revolted against the Delhi sultanate stepped down on that day in favor of Zafar Khan who ascended the throne with the title of Alauddin Bahman Shah. His revolt was successful, and he established an independent state on the Deccan within the Delhi Sultanate's southern provinces. The Bahmani capital was Ahsanabad (Gulbarga) between 1347 and 1425 when it was moved to Muhammadabad (Bidar).

The Bahmani contested the control of the Deccan with the Hindu Vijayanagara empire to the south. The sultanate reached the peak of its power during the vizierate (1466–1481) of Mahmud Gawan. After 1518 the sultanate broke up into five states: Ahmednagar, Berar, Bidar, Bijapur, and Golconda, known collectively as the Deccan sultanates.

The Bahmani dynasty believed that they descended from Bahman, the legendary king of Iran. They were patrons of the Persian language, culture and literature. Some of the Bahmanid kings and princes took a personal interest in Persian, as well, and became well-versed in Persian language and literature.

List of Bahmani Sultans

Aladdin Hassan Bahman Shah 1347 - 1358
Mohammed Shah I 1358 - 1375
Aladdin Mujahid Shah 1375 - 1378
Da'ud Shah 1378
Mohammed Shah II 1378 - 1397
Ghiyath ud-Din 1397
Shams ud-Din 1397
Taj ud-Din Firuz Shah 1397 - 1422
Ahmad Shah I Wali 1422 - 1436
Aladdin Ahmad Shah II 1436 - 1458
Aladdin Humayun Zalim Shah 1458 - 1461
Nizam Shah 1461 - 1463
Mohammed Shah III Lashkari 1463 - 1482
Mohammed Shah IV (Mahmud Shah) 1482 - 1518
Ahmad Shah III 1518 - 1521
Aladdin Shah 1521 - 1522
Wali-Allah Shah 1522 - 1525
Kalim-Allah Shah 1525 - 1527

Baiqara, Husain
Baiqara, Husain (Mirza Sultan Husain ibn Mansur ibn Baiqara ibn Umar Shaikh) (Sultan Husain Baiqara) (1438-1506).  Great-great-grandson of Timur who ruled a greatly reduced Timurid empire, consisting mainly of the province of Khurasan (r. 1469-1506).  

Born into the service of various family members, Husain Baiqara emerged from the internecine struggles that had plagued the Timurid realm since the 1450s as master of Herat in 1469.  During his relatively stable, nearly forty year reign, Herat became not so much the political as the cultural capital of the entire eastern Islamic world.  Although ethnically a Turk and a member of the Timurid hereditary military elite, Husain Baiqara proved to be one of the greatest patrons of medieval Persian Islamic culture.  A cultivated and worldly man, a poet in Chagatai Turkish who used the pen name Husaini, Husain Baiqara managed to assemble at his court the finest talents of his day.  Among these were the poets Jami and Bina’i, the painters Bihzad and Shah Muzaffar, the calligrapher Sultan 'Ali Mashhadi, the historians Mirkhvand and Khvandamir, and numerous singers, musicians, and dancers.  Many were personally supervised and patronized by his foster brother, courtier, and confidant, Mir Ali Shir Neva’i, the outstanding Chagatai Turkish poet in whose works the Chagatai language assumed its classical form.

It was on account of this exceptional cultural and artistic activity that the period of Husain Baiqara’s rule has often been dubbed a Timurid Renaissance.  Pressure from the nomadic Uzbeks, however, brought about the demise of the Timurid house in Khurasan.  In 1507, Herat was captured from Husain Baiqara’s sons and successors, Muzaffar Husain Mirza and Badi al-Zaman Mirza, by Muhammad Shaibani Khan, but the prestigious Timurid cultural tradition epitomized by the achievements of Husain Baiqara’s court lived on at the courts of the Timurids’ political successors -- the Uzbeks and the Safavids.  
Husain Baiqara see Baiqara, Husain
Mirza Sultan Husain ibn Mansur ibn Baiqara ibn Umar Shaikh see Baiqara, Husain
Husaini see Baiqara, Husain

Bajau (Indonesia) The Bajau of eastern Indonesia are an extension of the same Sama-speaking population of southern Sulu in the Philippines and eastern Borneo.  These Muslims are of particular interest because of the wide distribution of their settlements, the fluidity of movement of individuals and families among these settlements and the migratory way of life that is still largely dependent on fishing and on gathering other products from the sea.

Various legends link the dispersal of the southern Bajau to events that occurred in the old kingdoms of the Bugis or Makassarese.  Luwu, Bone and Makassar as well as Johore and Malacca are frequently alluded to in these tales.  According to one legend, the Bajau originated from chips of wood that fell into the sea in the making of a Bugis trading prahu.  According to another, the Bajau dispersed on the order of a raja to search for his lost daughter.  Since they never found this princess, the Bajau continued their migratory existence.

Historical records of the Dutch East India Company report the presence of a large number of Bajau located around Makassar who dispersed to various other islands, mainly Borneo, Lombok and and Sumbawa, after the conquest of Makassar in 1667 by combined Dutch and Bugis forces.  By 1728, company records note large fleets of Bajau as far south as Timor and Roti, and it is presumably sometime after this period that the Bajau reached the shores of Australia.  Eighteenth and early nineteenth century accounts give good descriptions of the Bajau, who lived on small family boats or in temporary houses erected on posts set in the sea.  Virtually all accounts described the Bajau as dependents of either Bugis or Makassarese.  They make clear that the chief economic motivation for the Bajau dispersal was the search for valuable sources of trepang, a sea slug or sea cucumber found in coastal waters throughout the area and supplied to China as a culinary delicacy.  Throughout eastern Indonesia, for almost two centuries, the Bajau were the principal gatherers and suppliers of trepang for their Bugis and Makassarese patrons. 

Bajau (Philippines) (Badjao) (Badjaw) (Badjau).   Boat dwelling Sama speaking population of southern Sulu in the Philippines, eastern Borneo and eastern Indonesia.  The Bajau are sometimes called the Sea People.

The Bajau are a boat-dwelling, or formerly boat-dwelling, Sama-speaking population of southern Sulu in the Philippines, eastern Borneo and eastern Indonesia.  Variant spellings of the name include Badjau, Badjaw, Badjo, Bajo and Bajoe.  The name apparently comes from Indonesia, where it is commonly used as a self-identification.  In southern Sulu, and to some extent in eastern Borneo, the people usually call themselves Sama or Sama Dilaut (“Sama of the Sea”).  Several local names, such as Luwa’an and Pala’u, are used by neighboring populations, but the Bajau consider these pejorative.  

The civil war resulting from the Muslim secessionist movement in the southern Philippines dramatically affected the Bajau of southern Sulu.  Great dislocations of people occurred.  Many Tausug people from the Jolo area moved to Tawi-Tawi and Sibutu to escape the conflict, which perhaps reached its peak with the destruction of Jolo in 1974.  Also, Sama-speaking peoples from the areas of greatest conflict in the north moved to the relatively peaceful southern islands of Sulu.  During this same period, specifically, 1975, Sulu Province was divided.  The northern islands remained as Sulu Province, whereas the islands of Tawi-Tawi and Sibutu in the south became Tawi-Tawi Province.  

The Bajau were intimidated by conflict and outsiders, especially the aggressive Tausug.  As their home waters have been intimidated by outsiders, many Bajau have dealt with the ensuing conflicts and tensions by leaving.  This happened during the conflict of the 1970s and 1980s, when many Bajau of both Tawi-Tawi and Sibutu moved to the more peaceful waters of Sabah.  By 1982, probably half, possibly two-thirds of the Bajau of Tawi-Tawi and Sibutu had left the Philippines to reside on the coasts of eastern Borneo, especially in the Semporna area.  Those who remain in Sulu experience great socio-cultural change.  For the most part these changes involve an adaptation to modernization as well as a greater acculturation to Islam.  

Although native to the southern Philippines, due to escalated conflicts in the Sulu Archipelago in the southern part of the country, many of the Bajau had migrated to neighboring Malaysia over the course of 50 years, where currently they are the second largest ethnic group in the state of Sabah. Groups of Bajau also migrated to Sulawesi and Kalimantan in Indonesia, although figures of their exact population are unknown. They were sometimes referred to as the Sea Gypsies, although the term has been used to encompass a number of non-related ethnic groups with similar traditional lifestyles, such as the Moken of the Burmese-Thai Mergui Archipelago and the Orang Laut of southeastern Sumatra and the Riau Islands of Indonesia. The modern outward spread of the Bajau from older inhabited areas seems to have been associated with the development of sea trade in trepang.

Sea People see Bajau
Badjau see Bajau
Badjaw see Bajau
Badjo see Bajau
Bajo see Bajau
Bajoe see Bajau

Bakhtiari.   Term which refers to not only the people but also to the territory occupied by the Bakhtiari in Iran.

The Bakhtiari are a group of southwestern Iranians.Their language is Bakhtiari that is the most popular dialect of Lurish language.

A small percentage of Bakhtiari are still nomadic pastoralists, migrating between summer quarters (yaylāq) and winter quarters (qishlāq). Numerical estimates of their total population widely vary. Bakhtiaris primarily inhabit the provinces of Lorestan, Khuzestan, Chahar Mahaal and Bakhtiari, and Isfahan. In Khuzestan, Bakhtiari tribes are primarily concentrated in the eastern part of the province.

Bakhtiaris trace a common lineage, being divided into the Chahar Lang (The Four Legs) and Haft Lang (The Seven Legs) groups, each controlled by a single powerful family. The overall Khan alternates every two years between the chiefs of the Chahar Lang and the Haft Lang. The Bakthtiaris became Shia Muslims after the Arabs invaded Iran almost 1400 years ago. Previously, Bakhtiaris were Zoroastrian. In Iranian mythology, the Bakhtiari consider themselves to be descendants of Fereydun, a legendary hero from the Persian national epic, Shahnameh.

The Bakhtiari captured Teheran under the Haft Lang khan Sardar Assad and played a significant role in constitutional reform and the abdication of Mohammad Ali Shah Qajar (r. 1907-1909) in 1909, after which he was exiled to Russia. Reza Shah Pahlevi (r. 1925-1941) attempted to destroy the Bakhtiari and they never fully recovered after that time.

The Bakhtiari are noted in Iran for their remarkable music which inspired Borodin. The Bakhtiari dialect is the most popular dialect of the Lurish language.

Bakhtiari women generally have more status and freedom than most Iranian women, and many of the daughters of the wealthier families are encouraged to receive at least basic education. Many significant Iranian politicians, governors of provinces and other dignitaries are of Bakhtiari origin.

The famous documentary: "Grass: A Nation's Battle for Life" (1925) tells the story of the migration of Bakhtiari tribe between summer quarters in Chahar Mahaal and Bakhtiari to winter quarters in Khuzestan. This film also tells the story of how these people crossed the river Karun with 50,000 people and 500,000 animals. The documentary "People of the Wind" (1975) retraces this same journey, 50 years later.

The Bakhtiari of Iran have historically had two major inter-related characteristics: nomadic pastoralism and tribalism, the former involving their economy and the latter dealing with their political structures, loyalty and identification.  Changes have occurred to modify these traits.  Most significantly, the central Iranian government under Reza Shah (1925-1941) removed the highest level of leadership in the tribal confederation.  This change, together with increasing sedentariness of the nomads, improved communications and a host of government activities at the local level, initiated the gradual transfer of loyalty and identification from the tribe to the nation-state.

The Bakhtiari played the leading role in the deposition of Mohammed 'Ali Shah and the restitution of the constitution during the Persian Revolution in 1909, but Bakhtiari attempts to dominate national politics in subsequent years were blocked by their own internal divisions and the opposition by the other tribal confederations and urban nationalists.

In the later 1920s, Reza Shah removed the threat to his sovereignty posed by the Bakhtiari through a series of military, economic and administrative maneuvers.  The intensity of this campaign, and the single mindedness of Reza Shah and his Western type army, combined with the support of the urban classes on the tribal question, were forces that the Bakhtiari khans had never confronted.  Thus, the khans lost administrative positions and their right to be accompanied by military retainers; the Chahar Lang were removed from the authority of the ilkhani; and the Anglo-Persian Oil Company was instructed to lease land through the government and not from the khans.  The Bakhtiari and other tribal groups revolted, and the leaders, in this case minor khans, were executed.  Finally, in 1933, the position of ilkhani was abolished.  In 1936, the Bakhtiari territory was divided and placed in two separate administrative districts under civil administrators.  Meanwhile, three of the major khans, including the Bakhtiari serving as Reza Shah’s minister of war, were executed and all the other major khans (with two exceptions) were imprisoned.  In 1938-1939, Reza Shah exacted his last due by forcing the khans to sell their estates and oil shares to the central government.  

With the disappearance of the traditional position of ilkhani, the family from which the last ilkhani was chosen has ceased to be a tribal power.  A key element of this family, however, has continued to play an important role in Iran not unlike that of great non-tribal families.

Although Reza Shah effectively destroyed the political power of the ruling khans, he was less successful in forcibly settling the Bakhtiari.  The problem, as he perceived it, focused on pastoralism as the major factor in maintaining tribal loyalties.  His government adopted a policy of forced sedentarization to fracture the tribal economy and identification as well as to insure that tribalism itself would never again threaten the unity of the nation.  No provision was made for better use of much of the tribal lands, which were often ill-suited for agriculture, nor were sufficient capital and assistance provided to facilitate the process of creating settlements.

Voluntary sedentariness began to take place at a progressively faster rate.  In the past, only the richest and the poorest entered sedentary society, but contemporary Bakhtiari not only settle in agricultural villages, they also find work in the oil fields, in urban centers or even in Kuwait.  

There is little solid information on the Bakhtiari in post Pahlavi Iran, but when Khomeini returned to Iran, a delegation from each of the Ilkhani and Hajji Ilkhani factions appeared before him.  In the summer of 1980, ten Bakhtiari were executed, charged with fomenting an anti-Khomeini coup.  Others have been imprisoned, and many members of the major khan families went into exile. 

Bakhtiar, Shapur
Bakhtiar, Shapur (Shapur Bakhtiar) (Shapour Bakhtiar) (1914 - August 6, 1991).  Iran’s last shah-appointed prime minister (December 1978 - February 1979).  Educated in Paris.   Son of an important khan of the Bakhtiari tribe.  He was active in the National Front and, along with his colleague Karim Sanjabi, remained a vocal critic of the shah, as their open letter to him in June 1977 demonstrated.  He broke with his National Front colleagues in December 1978 when he agreed to the shah’s request to form a coalition government if the shah would depart the country.  Bakhtiar remained prime minister until February 11, 1979, when he resigned and fled Iran for Paris, where he was active in emigre politics in the 1980s.

Shapur Bakhtiar was an Iranian politician and the last Prime Minister of Iran under Shah Mohammad Reza Pahlavi. After the Iranian Revolution, he migrated to Paris, France where he was assassinated in 1991 by suspected Hezbollah sympathizers with links to the Islamic Republic.

Shapour Bakhtiar was born in 1914 in southwestern Iran to Mohammad Reza (Sardar-e-Fateh) and Naz-Baygom, both Bakhtiaris. Bakhtiar's maternal grandfather, Najaf-Gholi Samsam ol-Saltaneh, was appointed prime minister twice, in 1912 and 1918. Bakhtiar's mother died when he was seven years old. He attended elementary school in Shahr-e Kord and then secondary school, first in Isfahan and later in Beirut, Lebanon, where he received his high school diploma from a French school.

In 1936, Bakhtiar left for France. He received his doctorate, in political science (in 1939), as well as degrees in law and philosophy, from Sorbonne. As a firm opponent of all totalitarian rule, he joined an organization to fight against General Franco and fascism. Later, he volunteered for the French army and fought in the Orleans battalion and in the French Résistance against the occupation by Germany.

Bakhtiar returned to Iran in 1946. In 1951 he was appointed by the Ministry of Labor, first as director of the Labor Department in the Province of Isfahan, then later as head of the Labor Department in Khuzestan, center of the oil industry. In 1953 Mohammad Mosaddeq was in power in Iran, before being deposed. Under Mosaddeq's premiership Bakhtiar became deputy minister of labor. After the Shah was reinstated by a British-American sponsored coup d'etat, Bakhtiar remained a critic of his rule. In the mid-1950s, he was involved in underground activity against the Shah's despotic regime, calling for the 1954 Majlis elections to be free and fair and attempting to revive the nationalist movement.

In 1960, the Second National Front was formed and Bakhtiar played a very crucial role in the new organization's activities as the head of the student activist body of the Front. He and his colleagues differed from most other oppositionists in that they were very moderate, restricting their activity to peaceful protest and calling only for the restoration of democratic rights within the framework of constitutional monarchy. Despite these moderate demands, the Shah refused to cooperate and opted to outlaw the Front and imprison the most prominent liberals. From 1964 to 1977, the imperial regime refused to permit any form of anti-state activity, even from the moderate liberals like Shapur Bakhtiar. In the following years, Bakhtiar was imprisoned repeatedly, a total of six years, for his opposition to the Shah. He even rose to the position of deputy chief of the illegal National Front in late 1977 when the group was reconstituted as the Union of National Front Forces with Bakhtiar as head of the Iran Party (the largest group in the Front).

At the end of 1978, as the Shah's power was crumbling; because Bakhtiar had been a leader in the resistance, he was chosen to help in the creation of a civilian government in place of the military one. He was appointed to the position of Prime Minister by the Shah, as a concession to his opponents, especially the followers of the Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini. Although this caused Bakhtiar to be expelled from the National Front, he accepted the appointment. Bakhtiar feared a revolution, in which communists and mullahs would take over the country, because he thought this would ruin Iran. In his 36 days as premier of Iran, Bakhtiar ordered all political inmates to be freed, lifted censorship of newspapers (whose staff had until then been on strike), relaxed martial law, ordered the dissolving of SAVAK (the former regime's secret police) and requested that the opposition give him three months to hold elections for a constituent assembly that would decide the fate of the monarchy and determine the future form of government for Iran. Despite these conciliatory gestures, Ayatollah Khomeini refused to collaborate with Bakhtiar, denouncing the premier as a traitor for siding with the Shah, labeling his government "illegitimate" and "illegal" and calling for the overthrow of the Monarchy. Bakhtiar made some key mistakes during his premiership including allowing Khomeini to re-enter Iran. In the end, he failed to rally even his own former colleagues in the National Front behind him and his government was overwhelmingly rejected by the masses, except for a very small number of pro-Shah loyalists and some moderate pro-democratic elements. The opposition was not willing to compromise and the Shah was forced to leave the country in January of 1979. Bakhtiar left Iran again for France in April of the same year.

Out of Paris, Bakhtiar led the National Resistance Movement of Iran, which fought the Islamic Republic in Iran. In July 1980, Bakhtiar escaped an assassination attempt in his home in the Parisian suburb, Suresnes, which killed a policeman and a neighbor. However, on August 7, 1991, Bakhtiar was murdered along with his secretary, Soroush Katibeh, by three assassins in his home. The inquest found that he was stabbed by a knife matching a nearby blood stained bread knife. Bakhtiar's dead body was not found until at least 36 hours after his death, despite the fact that he had heavy police protection and that his killers had left ID (presumably faked) with a guard at his house. Two of the assassins escaped to Iran, but the third, Ali Vakili Rad, was apprehended in Switzerland, as well as an alleged accomplice, Zeyal Sarhadi, a great-nephew of former president of Iran Hasemi Rafsanjani , and both were extradited to France for trial. Vakili Rad was sentenced to life in prison in December 1994, although Sarhadi was acquitted.

Shapur Bakhtiar was buried in Montparnasse Cemetery, in Paris.

Shapur Bakhtiar see Bakhtiar, Shapur
Shapour Bakhtiar see Bakhtiar, Shapur

Baki (1526-1600).  Islamic poet.

Bâḳî was the pen name of the Ottoman Turkish poet Mahmud Abdülbâkî. Considered one of the greatest contributors to Turkish literature, Bâkî came to be known as Sultânüş-şuarâ, or "Sultan of poets".

Bâkî was born to a poor family in Istanbul, his father being a muezzin at the Fatih Mosque. Originally, his family apprenticed him to a harness-maker, but he would often skip work to attend classes at a nearby medrese, or Islamic school. Because of this, his family eventually allowed him to formally attend school. Bâkî was a good student, and he attended the lectures of many of the famous lecturers of the time. It was during his school years that his interest in and talent for poetry began to take shape, helped largely by the established poet Zâti.

After completing school, he worked for some time as a teacher, but later, as his poetic fame began to grow, he was granted a number of different positions—generally as a kadı, or Islamic judge—in the Ottoman bureaucracy. Bâkî died in Istanbul in the year 1600.

Bâkî was always very close to the Ottoman palace, particularly during the reign of Süleymân I, with whom he had good relations. During the subsequent reigns of Selim II and Murad III, he remained close to the palace and to state affairs, and received a great deal of attention and interest both from the public and the palace.
Bâkî lived during the height of the Ottoman Empire, and this affected his poetry greatly. Love, the joy of living, and nature are the primary subjects of his poems. Although almost no Sufi influence is found in his poetry—as it is in many other Ottoman-era poets—his concept of love as revealed in his poetry was not entirely divorced from the Sufi concept thereof.

Bâkî wrote a relatively small number of works in his lifetime, as he always stated that he wanted to make works great in quality rather than quantity. One of his most celebrated works is his Mersiye-i Hazret-i Süleymân Hân  ("Elegy for His Excellency Süleymân Khan"), among the most famed of elegaic works in Turkish literature.

Bakka’i al-Kunti
Bakka’i al-Kunti (Ahmad al-Bakka'i al-Kunti) (c.1803 in the Azawad region north of Timbuktu – 1865 in Timbuktu).  West African religious and political leader.  Ahmad al-Bakka’i inherited the religious and economic influence of the Kunta confederation in the Timbuktu region of the West African Sudan in the years 1847-1865 and was titular head of the Qadiriyah tariqah in West Africa during that period.  He was a grandson of Sidi al-Mukhtar al-Kunti (d. 1811), patriarch of the Kunta Awlad Sidi al-Wafi to whom most strains of the Qadiriyah in West Africa are traced.  

Ahmad al-Bakkai al-Kunti was a West African Islamic and political leader. He was one of the last principal spokesmen in precolonial Western Sudan for an accommodationist stance towards the threatening Christian European presence, and even provided protection to Heinrich Barth from an attempted kidnapping by the ruler of Massina (Ahmad Ahmad ibn Muhammad Lobbo).

Al-Bakka’i worked closely with his elder brother, Sidi al-Mukhtar al-Saghir ibn Sidi Muhammad, who succeeded at his father’s death in 1824 as principal shaykh of the Kunta until his own death in 1847.  During this period the autonomy of Timbuktu and environs came under threat from the Masina mujahid Ahmad Lobbo, whose forces were initially welcomed in Timbuktu in 1824 as a counter to the Tuareg extractions of tribute that were blamed for a half-century decline in the city’s fortunes.  

A revolt by the urban elite of Timbuktu in 1833 set the stage for a thirty year effort by Sidi al-Mukhtar al-Saghir and then Ahmad al-Bakka’i to negotiate the city’s autonomy with the Masina rulers.  

In the 1850s,  al-Bakka’i initially sought the support of al-Hajj ‘Umar Tal, whose jihad eclipsed Masina in 1860, but thereafter he directed a coalition of Kunta, Tuareg, and Fulbe forces that took control of the city while launching a general offensive against ‘Umar’s control over Masina.  This warfare led to the deaths of both al-Hajj ‘Umar (in 1864) and Ahmad al-Bakka’i in 1865.

Ahmad al-Bakka’i’s career and voluminous correspondence focus upon his efforts to assert Kunta control over the Timbuktu region, his objections to efforts in Masina to restrict the sale and use of tobacco (not unconnected to Kunta commercial interests), and his mounting antipathy toward the Tijaniyah and its adherents.  Al-Bakka’i visited Sokoto before 1837 while al-Hajj ‘Umar was in residence there.  There is a considerable body of correspondence between al-Bakka’i and the Tijani leader, ‘Umar’s disciple al-Mukhtar ibn Yirkoy Talfi.  From the early 1850s until his death, however, al-Bakka’i’s correspondence reveals a growing hostility toward the Tijaniyah that led him to write to ‘ulama’ in Marrakesh warning of the dangers posed by the tariqah.  At the same time, an issue that set al-Bakka’i at odds with the Masina authorities was the hospitality he offered the explorer Heinrich Barth, who visitied Timbuktu in 1853.  The event marked both the nadir of al-Bakka’i’s formerly cordial relations with Masina’s ruler Ahmadu III and the beginning of his efforts, which continued to 1860, to attract British assistance against the French advance (and control over commerce) in the central Sahara.  Al-Bakka’i’s defense of his hospitality for the Christian traveler reveals his sophisticated grasp of contemporary Mediterranean and European politics nd his self-appointed role as a representative of both Ottoman and Moroccan authority in the region.  

Ahmad al-Bakka’i’s correspondence provided a rare, detailed glimpse into political and religious thought in the West African Sudan relating to three overriding concerns in the mid-nineteenth century: the nature of the imamate/caliphate in Sahelian and Sudanese communities; the problem of coming to terms with encroaching Christian powers; and the growing politicization of tariqah affiliation.  

The nature of the imamate had long pre-occupied southern Saharan savants in the zawiyah tradition out of which al-Bakka’i arose.  Two positions had emerged by the early nineteenth century.  One legitimated the acquisition of authority by force in times of fitna (conflict, by which Saharan society, in the absence of a state, defined itself).  The second, which was earlier argued by al-Bakka’i’s father, was that a sovereign is only an agent of corruption on earth, and that to seek the authority of the imamate is to challenge the established powers ordained by God.  Al-Bakka’i used the latter argument to question the legitimacy first of the Masina jihad and then of al-Hajj ‘Umar’s movement, pointing up the fact that religious suzerainty in the region was owed to the ‘Alawi sultan in Morocco and/or the Ottoman sultan, because that was the largest Islamic polity of the time.  The imam, he argued, must be a descendant of Quraysh Arabs in any event, and Fulani claims to this title represented innovation (bid‘ah).   

European visitors to the Muslim communities of the West African Sudan from the 1820s, growing European commercial interests along the West African coast by mid-century, and French colonial ventures in Algeria posed new religious and economic issues for West Africa’s Islamic leaders.  For al-Bakka’i, Barth’s visit crystallized these issues.  His response was to assert himself as an enlightened defender of Christians and Jews as people of the book, against his less informed critics who sought scriptural justification for detaining them.  In correspondence with Ahmadu III of Masina, he argued that since the only enemy of the Muslim people at the time was Russia (the Crimean War had just begun), Barth, a German under English sponsorship, could not be detained but rather deserved aman (safe passage).

Al-Bakka’i’s hostility toward the Tijaniyah tariqah was closely linked to the political implications of al-Hajj ‘Umar Tal’s movement.  It was a threat to the longstanding Kunta religious hegemony symbolized by the Qadiriyah, and al-Bakka’i was further scandalized by the authority granted to persons from the lower classes in the ‘Umarian state.  Al-Bakka’i increased his attacks on the Tijaniyah during the 1850s and, by the time he was leading armed attacks on the ‘Umarian forces, he was labeling Tijanis as infidels and atheists (zandaq).  This confrontation effectively marks the beginning of a politicization of tariqah affiliation in the Western Sudan that was to gain even greater momentum in the years following his death.

Ahmad al-Bakka’i was one of the last principal Muslim spokesmen in the Western Sudan in the pre-colonial era for an accommodationist stance vis-à-vis the threatening Christian European presence and, until the last years of his life, an exponent of non-involvement in temporal matters.  He was also the last of the great Kunta shaykhs, whose prestige and religious influence were interwoven with the Qadiriyah and the economic fortunes of the Timbuktu region.  His significance lies in his wide range and voluminous correspondence documenting these issues.  


Ahmad al-Bakka'i al-Kunti see Bakka’i al-Kunti
Kunti, Ahmad al-Bakka'i al- see Bakka’i al-Kunti

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