Tuesday, July 9, 2013

014 - Batu'ids - Bey

Batu’ids.  Descendants of Batu ibn Juci, the founder of the ruling house of the Golden Horde. 

Batu Khan
Batu Khan (Batu ibn Juci) (c. 1205–1255). Mongol ruler and a grandson of Jenghiz Khan.  He conquered Russia and founded the Golden Horde.  Batu’s uncle, Ogadai (1185-1241), successor to Genghis Khan, sent him to invade eastern Europe, and his army conquered Russia, Poland, and Hungary (1237-41).  In 1241, as Batu was preparing to invade Germany, he was recalled to Karakorum, Mongolia, on the death of Ogadai, whom he succeeded as khan.  With his Golden Horde, Batu lived in luxury at Sarai, on the Volga River, until his death.  His realm extended from Lake Balkhash in Russia to Hungary.   

Batu Khan was a Mongol ruler of the Ulus of Jochi (or Golden Horde), the sub-khanate of the Mongol Empire, and the founder of the Blue Horde. Batu was a son of Jochi and grandson of Genghis Khan. His Blue Horde was the chief state of the Golden Horde (or Kipchak Khanate), which ruled Rus and the Caucasus for around 250 years, after also destroying the armies of Poland and Hungary. "Batu" or "Bat" literally means "firm" in the Mongolian language.

After his son Jochi's death, Genghis (Chingis) assigned the latter's appanages to his sons. The Great Khan installed Batu as a Khan of the Ulus of Jochi. He had an elder brother Orda Khan who agreed that Batu should succeed his father. Genghis Khan's youngest brother Temuge attended the coronation ceremony as an official representative of Genghis. When Genghis Khan died in 1227, he left 4,000 Mongol men to Jochi's family. Jochi's lands were divided between Batu and his older brother Orda. Orda's White Horde ruled the lands roughly between the Volga river and Lake Balkhash, while Batu's Horde ruled the lands west of the Volga.

In 1229, Ogedei dispatched 3 tumens under Kukhdei and Sundei to conquer the tribes on the lower Ural. Batu joined Ogedei's military campaign against the Jin Dynasty in North China while his younger brother was fighting the Bashkirs, the Cumans, the Bulghars and the Alans in the west. Despite heavy resistance by their enemies, the Mongols conquered major cities of the Jurchens and made the Bashkirs their ally.

After the end of the Mongol-Jin War, the Great Khan Ogedei ordered Batu to conquer western nations at the kurultai in Mongolia. In 1235 Batu, who earlier had directed the conquest of the Crimea, was assigned an army of possibly 130,000 to oversee an invasion of Europe. His relatives and cousins Guyuk, Buri, Mongke, Khulgen, Khadan, Baidar and notable Mongol generals Subotai, Borolday and Mengguser joined him by the order of his uncle Ogedei. The army, actually commanded by Subutai, crossed the Volga and invaded Volga Bulgaria in 1236. It took them a year to extinguish the resistance of the Volga Bulgarians, Kypchaks, and Alani.

In November 1237 Batu Khan sent his envoys to the court of Yuri II of Vladimir and demanded his allegiance. When Yuri refused to surrender the Mongols besieged Ryazan. After six days of the bloody battle, the city was totally annihilated, and never restored its former glory. Alarmed by the news, Yuri II sent his sons to detain the horde, but these were soundly defeated. Having burnt Kolomna and Moscow, the horde laid siege to Vladimir on February 4, 1238. Three days later the capital of Vladimir-Suzdal was taken and burnt to the ground. The royal family perished in the fire, while the grand prince hastily retreated northward. Crossing the Volga, he mustered a new army, which was totally exterminated by the Mongols on the Sit' River on March 4.

Thereupon, Batu Khan divided his army into smaller units, which ransacked fourteen Rus' cities: Rostov, Uglich, Yaroslavl, Kostroma, Kashin, Ksnyatin, Gorodets, Galich, Pereslavl-Zalessky, Yuriev-Polsky, Dmitrov, Volokolamsk, Tver, and Torzhok. The most difficult to take was the small town of Kozelsk, whose boy-prince Titus and inhabitants resisted the Mongols for seven weeks.  Khadan and Buri stormed the city in three days after they joined Batu. The only major city to escape destruction was Smolensk, which submitted to the Mongols and agreed to pay tribute, and Novgorod with Pskov, which could not be reached by the Mongols on account of considerable distance and marshlands.

When Batu drank a cup of wine before the others at the victory banquet, Buri complained of the unfairness of Batu receiving such a vast and fertile steppe and the Mongol army, and, along with Guyuk and others, ridiculed Batu as an old woman with a beard. Then they left the banquet. Batu sent an envoy to his uncle Ogedei to complain of his cousins' rude behavior. Ogedei, who got angry on hearing the news, recalled Buri and Guyuk. Buri, who was sent to his grandfather Chagatai, never returned to join the Mongol conquest of Europe. But Guyuk came to Russian steppe again after his father Ogedei harshly criticized him.

In the summer of 1238, Batu Khan devastated the Crimea and pacified Mordovia and Kipchak. In the winter of 1239, he sacked Chernigov and Pereyaslav. After several days of siege, the Mongols stormed Kiev in December 1240. Despite fierce resistance of Danylo of Halych, Batu Khan managed to take two principal capitals, Halych and Volodymyr-Volyns'kyi. The Russian principalities became vassals of the Mongol Empire.

The Cuman refugees took shelter in the Kingdom of Hungary. Batu sent more than five messengers to Bela IV, the king of Hungary but they all died. For the last time, Batu demanded Bela have the Cumans returned. Batu Khan then decided to "reach the ultimate sea", where the Mongols could proceed no further. Some modern historians speculate that Batu intended primarily to assure his flanks were safe for the future from possible interference from the Europeans, and partially as a precursor to further conquest. Most believe he intended the conquest of all Europe, as soon as his flanks were safe, and his forces ready.

Having devastated the various Rus principalities, Subutai and Batu sent spies into Poland, Hungary, and as far as Austria, in preparation for an attack into the heartland of Europe. Having gotten a clear picture of the European kingdoms, they brilliantly prepared an attack. Batu Khan was the overall leader, but Subutai was the actual commander in the field, and as such was present in both the northern and southern campaigns against Rus. The Mongols invaded central Europe in three groups. One group conquered Poland, defeating a combined force under Henry the Pious, Duke of Silesia and the Grand Master of the Teutonic Order at Legnica. A second crossed the Carpathians and a third followed the Danube. The armies swept the plains of Hungary over the summer and in the spring of 1242 regained impetus and extended their control into Austria and Dalmatia as well as invading Bohemia. While the northern force under Ogedei's son Khadan and Baidar, the son of Chagatai, won the Battle of Legnica and another army of Guyuk or Büri triumphed in Transylvania, Subutai was waiting for another victory over the Magyars, the Croats and the Templars on the Hungarian plain. In 1241, a Tatar (Mongol) army lead by Bujek crossed the mountains of the Kara Ulagh (“Black Vlachs”). Bujek defeated the Vlachs and one of their leaders named Mišlav. After the siege of Pest Batu's army withdrew to the Sajo River where they inflicted the tremendous defeat on King Béla IV and his allies at the Battle of Mohi on April 11. Khadan, Baidar and Orda came to Hungary, devastating Moravia en route. The Mongols appointed a darughachi in Hungary and minted coins in the name of Khagan. The country of Bela was assigned to Orda by Batu as an appanage. Batu sent Khadan in pursuit of Bela who fled to Croatia.

The Mongol battalions checked the forces of the Holy Roman Empire and Babenberg Austria. During his campaign in Central Europe, Batu demanded Frederick II, the Holy Roman Emperor, dethrone. The Emperor and Pope Gregory IX called crusade against the Mongol Empire. Subutai achieved perhaps his most lasting fame with his victories in Europe as did he in Eastern Persia.

By late 1241, Batu and Subutai were finishing plans to invade Austria, Italy and Germany, when the news came of the death of Ögedei Khan (died in December, 1241). Batu wanted to continue the war, but Subotai reminded him the law of Yassa. The Mongols withdrew in the late spring of 1242, as the Princes of the blood, and Subutai, were recalled to Karakorum where the kurultai was held. The Second Bulgarian Empire was forced to acknowledge Batu's supremacy. Batu was a potential Great Khan. When he failed to win this he turned to consolidate his conquests in Asia and the Urals.

Withdrawing from Hungary, Batu made his camps along the banks of the Volga. When the Great Khatun Toregene invited him to elect the next Emperor of the Mongol Empire, Batu announced his inability to attend any immediate kurultai, thus delaying the succession for several years. Eventually, Guyuk was elected Khagan in 1246, with Batu's brothers representing the Jochid lineage.

As one of the oldest members of Chingisid Borjigin, Batu became a viceroy over all the western parts of the empire, controlling routine affairs among the Russian princes, nominating Jochid retainers as governors of Iran, and receiving in audience grandees from the Caucasus. At no point, however, did he openly challenge the authority of the Great Khan.

During the absence of Batu, the Mongols who were left behind put to death Mitislav, the prince of Rylsk, in the Ukraine. On his return Batu summoned the Grand prince Yaroslav II of Vladimir to meet him. Yaroslav was well received by Batu, who confirmed him as suzerain over the other Russian princes, and gave him authority of Kiev. The princes of Suzdal followed Yaroslav's example. Batu sent Yaroslav to the imperial court of Karakorum and to assist at the inauguration of Guyuk Khan in 1246. Plano Carpini, who got approval from Batu to go further, noted that the Great Khan's aunt was executed. At the same time Yaroslav was poisoned in Mongolia.

Batu had commissaries in the various towns where the dependent Russian princes and other princes held their courts. The princes from Russian states such as Vladimir Constantine, Boris, Gleb, Vasili, Constatantine, Vladimir Constantinovich, Vassilko and Sviatoslav Vsevolodovich of Vladimir, went to the court of Batu in person. When Michael of Chernigov, who murdered the Mongol envoy in Kiev before, arrived the Mongol overseers were engaged in taking a census of the inhabitants for the poll tax. Michael was ordered to repair to Batu. When summoned before Batu, he was made to pass between two fires and ordered to prostrate himself before the tablets of Genghis Khan. Michael replied that he did not object to doing obeisance to Batu himself but to adore images of a dead man was repugnant. As he persisted in his refusal, Batu ordered him to death.

After the defeat of the Sultanate of Rum, Baiju freed David VII Ulu from Turkish imprisonment and sent him to Batu and Guyuk. Fearing of Baiju's aggressive policy, Queen Rusudan of Geogia sent her son David VI Narin to Batu's court to get official recognition as heir apparent. Batu supported David VI and granted him the rights above the Georgian and Armenian nobles and the Mongol tammachis. But Guyuk made David Ulu the senior king of Georgia and ordered Batu's protege David Narin to be subordinate to David Ulu.

Suspicions between Batu and Guyuk increased. Guyuk replaced the officials in Iran and the Caucasus with his own men including Eljigidei. Guyuk well received Alexander Nevsky and Andrey II. Andrey was assigned the throne of Vladimir-Suzdal while Alexander was given southern Russia. When Guyuk began moving west, Sorghaghtani Beki, the widow of Tolui, warned Batu that he was actually the Great Khan's target. As Guyuk ordered Batu to summon before him, Batu moved slowly. Before meeting Batu, Guyuk died suddenly. According to a Muslim chronicle, Batu killed the imperial envoy and one of his brother murdered or poisoned the Great Khan Guyuk.

An opportunity had arrived for deposing the House of Ogedei from the overlordship of the Mongols, and Batu was determined to avail himself of it. But Batu seems to have allowed Oghul Ghaimish to serve as regent. He also suggested unruly princes listen to her words. When Batu was ill, Mongke went to the Ulus of Jochi to greet him as his mother Sorghagtani advised. Batu was much delighted on seeing him.

At last, Batu called a kurultai on his own territory in 1250. Members of the Ogedeid and Chagataid families refused to attend the kurultai that was held beyond the Mongolian heartland. The kurultai offered the throne to Batu Khan who had no interest in promoting himself as the new Grand Khan. Rejecting it, he instead nominated Mongke who led a Mongol army in Russia, Northern Caucasus and Hungary. The pro-Tolui faction rose up and supported his choice. Given its limited attendance and location, this kurultai was of questionable validity. Batu sent Mongke under the protection of his brothers, Berke and Tukhtemur, and his son Sartaq to assemble a formal kurultai at Kodoe Aral in the heartland. The supporters of Mongke invited Oghul Ghaimish and other main Ogedeid and Chagataid princes to attend the kurultai but they refused each time, demanding descendants of Ogedei must be khan. In response to it, Batu accused them of killing his aunt Altalaun and defying Ogedei’s nominee, Shiremun. After the assembled throng proclaimed Mongke Great Khan of the Mongol Empire in 1251, he punished the Ogedeid and Chagataid families for the organized plot against him. Mongke sent Buri to Batu who had him executed by Buri's opponent general. Eljigidei was ordered to be executed.

The Grand prince Andrey II allied with the rebellious minded princes of western Rus, giving umbrage to the Mongols. Batu sent a punitive expedition under Nevrui. On their approach, Andrey fled to Pskov, and thence to Sweden. The Mongol spread over Vladimir and harshly punished the people there. The Livonian Knights stopped their advance to Novgorod and Pskov on hearing the news about the Mongols. Thanks to his friendship with Sartaq, Alexander was installed as the Grand Prince of Vladimir (i.e., the supreme Russian ruler) by Batu in 1252. In 1256 Andrey travelled to Sarai to ask pardon for his former infidelity and was shown mercy.

During the reign of Mongke, Batu's prestige as kingmaker and the great khans' viceroy in the west reached its height. When Batu and his son Sartak died, Batu's brother Berke inherited the Golden Horde. Berke was not inclined to unity with his cousins in the Mongol family, making war on Hulagu Khan, though Berke officially recognized Mongke and the Empire of the Great Khan as his overlords. In fact, Berke was an independent ruler by then. Fortunately for Europe, Berke did not share Batu's interest in conquering it, however, he demanded Hungarian King Bela IV's submission and sent his general Borolday to Lithuania and Poland.

The Kipchak Khanate was known in Rus and Europe as the Golden Horde (Zolotaya Orda) some think because of the Golden colour of the Khan's tent. "Horde" comes from the Mongol word "orda/ordu" or camp. "Golden" is thought to have had a similar meaning to "royal" (Royal Camp). Of all the Khanates, the Golden Horde ruled longest. Long after the fall of the Yuan Dynasty in China, and the fall of Ilkhanate in Middle East, the descendants of Batu Khan continued to rule the Russian steppes.

Batu ibn Juci see Batu Khan

Bawandids (Bawend). Iranian dynasty which ruled in three different branches in Tabaristan (r.665-1349).

The Bawandids who claimed descent from Kawus provided three dynasties. The first dynasty (665-1007) was overthrown on the conquest of Tabaristan by the Ziyarid Kabus b. Wushmgir. The second dynasty reigned from 1073 to 1210 when Mazandaran was conquered by 'Ala al-Din Muhammad Khwarzamshah. The third ruled from 1237 to 1349 as vassals of the Mongols. The last representative of the Bawandids was killed by Afrasiyab Chulawi.

Bawend see Bawandids

Baweanese (Boyanese) (Orang Bawean) (Oran Boyan). The people of the Indonesian island of Bawean call themselves Orang Bawean.  Outside their home country they sometimes refer to themselves (or are referred to) as Oran Boyan (Boyanese), the name under which they are registered in Singapore, the focus of their traditional migrations.  Bawean is a small, rather out-of-the-way island in the Java Sea to the north of the town of Surabaya. The Baweanese are Sunni Muslims and adhere to the Shafi school.

Not much is known concerning the history of the conversion of the Baweanese to Islam.  It is accepted that Islam was brought to the island by Baweanese migrants themselves, who were converted to Islam in one of the merantau areas of Java.  The population of the village of Candi was only recently converted.  They were known as animists but because of political and social pressures became Muslims during the 1960s.  

Bawean is an island of Indonesia located approximately 150 km north of Surabaya in the Java Sea, it is administered by the Gresik Regency of East Java province. It is approximately 15 km in diameter and is circumnavigated by a single narrow road. Bawean is dominated by an extinct volcano at its center that rises over 650 m above sea level. The island's population is around 65,000. Approximately 40,000 live in the capital of Sangkapura and the rest live in small villages scattered around the island.

The name of the island comes from a Sanskrit name which means "there is sunlight". In Indonesian, it is known in full as Pulau Bawean (Bawean Island). In Singapore and Malaysia, where many Baweanese migrated, the island is known as Boyan and its natives as Boyanese. Bawean is also called the "Island of Women" because of the large number of men that become merchant sailors and leave the island.

Topographically, the island rises to a point at the volcano near the center and descends through lush jungle to white-sand beaches, tidepools, and mangrove stands. Like many islands in Southeast Asia, Bawean is surrounded by several coral reefs and multiple sand islands (noko).

The language of Bawean is officially Indonesian, though being as remote as it is many still speak Bawean (Boyanese), a dialect of Madurese. The culture is also similar (at least to an outsider) to Madurese though Bawean has had even less exposure to outside influences and contact with the West. However, the people are friendly and polite to outsiders.

A large number of Baweanese men heve left the island to become merchant sailors. There is a saying on Bawean to the effect of "You are not really a man until you have spent several years abroad." It is not uncommon to find Baweanese who have been to Europe, China, Japan, and even North America and South America. Baweanese migrants to Singapore were a prominent part of what are now considered to be the Malays in Singapore, working as horse cart drivers and later as motorcar drivers and giving their name to the area known as Kampung Boyan. Another Kampung Boyan can be found in Aulong near Taiping, Perak, Malaysia. Interestingly,there is another Kampung Boyan in Kuching,Sarawak,Malaysia. However,any sort of Baweanese influence or heritage is blurry due to mixed marriages being common among the people living in Sarawak.

Bawean is entirely Muslim, though this is heavily blended with shamanism and folk animism.

The men not working the freighters are almost exclusively either fishermen or farmers, otherwise they go to Java to study and work. The dominant crop is rice, and the island lends itself to rice production due to its gentle sloping towards the ocean with a large water reservoir and river at [relatively] high altitude.

Bawean is extremely undeveloped by Western standards. Some houses in Sangkapura have electricity and the city has a few telephone centers where anyone may pay to make calls, and there are mobile phone capabilities. Some buildings may have running water. There is only one net cafe on the island and the dial-up connection to its two computers is spotty at best. The rest of the island is almost entirely without electricity or running water. There are few motorized vehicles, and most travel is done by bicycle, horse and cart, or becak.

Orang Bawean see Baweanese
Oran Boyan  see Baweanese
Boyanese see Baweanese

Bayazid I
Bayazid I (Bayezid I) (Bajazet I) (Bayezit I) (Beyazit I) called Yildirim (“Lightning” or “Thunderbolt”) (1354, Edirne or Bursa  – March 8/9, 1403, Akşehir, Turkey).  Ottoman sultan who ruled the Ottoman Empire, then called Rum (r.1389-1402).  He succeeded his father, Murad I, when Murad fell in the battle of Kosovo.  Bayazid I was the first of his dynasty to adopt the title of sultan.  In three years, Bayazid conquered Bulgaria and parts of Serbia and Macedonia.  He also subdued the greater part of Asia Minor.  In 1391, Bayazid began a decade long blockade of Constantinople (Istanbul), hoping to subdue it by famine.

In July 1393, Tirnova (in today’s Bulgaria) was blockaded by Bayazid’s forces and, in April 1394, Salonika (in today’s Greece) was conquered.

On September 25, 1396, Bayazid was faced with a Hungarian-Venetian crusade, which he met at Nicopolis and upon which he inflicted a crushing defeat.

Bayazid might have destroyed the Byzantine Empire had not the Mongol conqueror Timur attacked Ottoman possessions in Asia Minor and completely defeated the sultan in July of 1402 near Ankara.  Bayazid died a prisoner of Timur, while his sons fought over the succession.  The name Bayazid is also transliterated as Bajazet, Bayezit, Bayezid, or Beyazit.  

Bayazid I was the son of Murad I and Valide Sultan Gülçiçek Hatun who was of ethnic Greek descent..

Bayazid ascended to the throne following the death of his father Murad I in the first Battle of Kosovo.  Murad I was killed by the Serbian nobleman Miloš Obilić on June 29, 1389.

One year later, faced with an Hungarian threat from the North, the Serbs agreed to become his vassals and he took as a wife Olivera Despina, the daughter of Prince Lazar of Serbia, allying himself with Serbs, and enabling his offspring to claim Serbia as a dynastic privilege. He recognized Stefan Lazarević, the son of Lazar, as the new Serbian leader, with considerable autonomy.

In 1394 Bayazid crossed the Danube river attacking Wallachia, ruled at that time by Mircea the Elder. The Ottomans were superior in number, but on October 10, 1394, in the Battle of Rovine, which featured a forested and swampy terrain, the Wallachians won the fierce battle and prevented Bayazid from conquering the country

In 1394, Bayezid laid siege to Constantinople, the capital of the Byzantine Empire. On the urgings of the Byzantine emperor John V Palaeologus, a new crusade was organized to defeat him. This proved unsuccessful: in 1396. The Christian allies, under the leadership of the King of Hungary and the future Holy Roman Emperor (in 1410) Sigismund, were defeated in the Battle of Nicopolis. Bayazid built the magnificent Ulu Camii in Bursa, to celebrate this victory.

Thus, the siege of Constantinople continued, lasting until 1401. The Emperor left the city to seek aid. The beleaguered Byzantines had their reprieve when Bayazid was forced to face the Timurid Turks in the East.

In 1400, the Central Asian warlord Timur Lenk (or Tamerlane) succeeded in rousing the local Turkic beyliks that had been vassals of the Ottomans to join him in his attack on Bayazid. In the fateful Battle of Ankara, on July 20, 1402, Bayazid was captured by Timur. His sons, however, escaped, and later they would commence a civil war. Some contemporary reports claimed that Timur kept Bayazid chained in a cage as a trophy. Likewise, there are many stories about Bayazid's captivity, including one that describes how Timur used him as a footstool. On the other hand, writers from Timur's court reported that Bayazid was treated well, and that Timur even mourned his death. One year later, Bayazid died — some accounts claim that he committed suicide by smashing his head against the iron bars of his cage. Other accounts claimed that he committed suicide by taking the poison concealed in his ring.

The defeat of Bayazid became a popular subject for later western writers, composers and painters. They revelled in the legend that he was taken by Timur (Tamerlane) to Samarkand, and embellished it with a cast of characters to create an oriental fantasy that has maintained its appeal. Christopher Marlowe's play Tamburlane the Great was first performed in London in 1587, three years after the formal opening of the English-Ottoman trade relations when William Harborne sailed for Istanbul as agent of the Levant Company. In 1648 there appeared the play Le Gran Tamerlan et Bejezet by Jean Magnon, and in 1725 Handel's Tamerlano was first performed in London; Vivaldi's version of the story, Bayazid, was written in 1735. Magnon had given Bayazid an intriguing wife and daughter; the Handel and Vivaldi renditions included, as well as Tamerlane and Bayazid and his daughter, a prince of Byzantium and a princess of Trebizond (Trabzon) in a passionate and incredible love story. A cycle of paintings in Schloss Eggenberg, near Graz in Austria, translated the theme to a different medium; this was completed in the 1670s shortly before the Ottoman army attacked the Habsburgs in central Europe.

Marriages of Bayazid I:

    * (m. 1372) - Angelina, Princess of Byzantium, whose second husband was Diego González de Contreras, son of Fernán González de Contreras and wife María García de Segovia
    * (m. 1381) - Daughter of Süleyman Shah of Germiyan
    * Valide Sultan (1403) Devlet Hatun or Devlet Shah Hatun - Daughter of Yakub Shah of Germiyan. Descendant of Mevlana Celaleddin-i Rumi through his son Sultan Veled's daughter Mutahhara Hatun who was an ancestor of Yakub Shah
    * Hafsa Hatun - Daughter of Isa Bey of Aydınoğlu
    * Sultan Hatun - Daughter of Süleyman Shah of Dulkadir
    * Olivera Despina or Mileva - Daughter of Prince Lazar of Serbia
    * Maria, Princess of Greece, daughter of János, Count of Hungary, whose second husband was Payo Gómez de Sotomayor

Bayezid I see Bayazid I
Yildirim see Bayazid I
“Lightning” see Bayazid I
“Thunderbolt” see Bayazid I
Bajazet I see Bayazid I
Bayezit I see Bayazid I

Bayazid II
Bayazid II (Bayezid II) (Bajazet II) (Bayezit II) (Beyazit II) (nick-named Hüdavendigâr - from Persian: "Khodāvandgār" - "the God-like One") (December 3, 1447/1448  – May 26, 1512). Oldest son and successor of Mehmed II, ruling as Sultan of the Ottoman Empire from 1481 to 1512. During his reign, Bayazid II consolidated the Ottoman Empire and thwarted a Safavid rebellion before abdicating his throne to his son, Selim I.

Bayazid II was born in December 1447 in Demotika in the Ottoman province of Thrace as the oldest son of Mehmed II (Muhammad II). Bayezid II was born in Demotika Palace (now Didymoteicho) in Thrace as the son of Mehmed II (1451–81) and Valide Sultan Amina Gul-Bahar or Gulbahar Khatun, a Greek Orthodox woman of Noble birth from the village of Douvera, Trabzon, who died in 1492. Bayezid II married Ayşe Hatun, a convert of Greek ethnicity, who was the mother of Selim I.

On the deathbed of his father, Bayazid was appointed the new sultan.  However, this appointment was contested by his brother, Cem.
Bayazid’s reign, an uninterrupted succession of wars against Hungary, Poland, Venice, Egypt and Persia, strengthened the power of Ottoman Turks in Europe.  His dependence on the Janissaries, however, did much to entrench their political power.  

In 1483, Herzegovina was brought under Ottoman control.  In 1484, Ottoman control over the Crimea (where the khan had been a vassal under the Ottoman sultan since 1475) was strengthened when fortresses on the river mouths of the Danube and Dniester were seized.  

In 1492, Bayazid II sent out the Ottoman navy under the command of Kemal Reis to Spain in order to save the Arabs and Sephardic Jews who were expelled by the Spanish Inquisition. He sent out proclamations throughout the empire that the refugees were to be welcomed. He granted the refugees permission to settle in the Ottoman Empire and become Ottoman citizens. He ridiculed the conduct of Ferdinand II of Aragon and Isabella I of Castile in expelling a class of people so useful to their subjects. "You venture to call Ferdinand a wise ruler," he said to his courtiers — "he who has impoverished his own country and enriched mine!" Bayazid addressed a firman to all the governors of his European provinces, ordering them not only to refrain from repelling the Spanish refugees, but to give them a friendly and welcome reception. He threatened with death all those who treated the Jews harshly or refused them admission into the empire. Moses Capsali, who probably helped to arouse the sultan's friendship for the Jews, was most energetic in his assistance to the exiles. He made a tour of the communities, and was instrumental in imposing a tax upon the rich, to ransom the Jewish victims of the persecutions then prevalent.

The Arabs and Jews of Spain contributed much to the rising power of the Ottoman Empire by introducing new ideas, methods and craftsmanship. The first Gutenberg press in Istanbul (formerly Constantinople) was established by the Sephardic Jews in 1493 (as early as 1483 there had been a Jewish printing establishment in Istanbul). It is reported that under Bayazid's reign, Jews enjoyed a period of cultural flourishing, with the presence of such scholars as Mordecai Comtino, Solomon ben Elijah Sharbiṭ ha-Zahab, Shabbethai ben Malkiel Cohen, and Menahem Tamar.

In 1499, a war against the Venetian strongholds in the Levant and the Balkans began.  In 1503, the war against Venice came to an end with Ottoman conquests in today’s Greece.  

In 1511, the Kizilbash people, living inside the Ottoman Empire became adherents of Shah Isma‘il of the Safavids, and rose in rebellion against the sultan.   Later that year, a dispute over the succession of Bayazid broke out between Bayazid’s sons, Selim and Ahmed.  In order to strengthen their positions, the two sons began making alliances with the enemies of the empire.

In April 1512, Bayazid, facing the disruption of the empire from the dispute between this sons, decided to abdicate in favor of Selim (1470-1520) who would reign as Selim I.

On May 26, 1512, Bayazid II died in Demotika.

Bayazid II ascended the Ottoman throne in 1481. Like his father, Bayazid II was a patron of western and eastern culture and unlike many other Sultans, worked hard to ensure a smooth running of domestic politics, which earned him the epithet of "the Just".
Throughout his reign, Bayazid II engaged in numerous campaigns to conquer the Venetian-held despotate of Morea, accurately defining this region as the key to future Ottoman naval power in the Eastern Mediterranean. The last of these wars ended in 1501 with Bayazid II in control of the main citadels of Mistra and Monemvasia. Bayazid is also responsible for certain self-inflicted intellectual wounds in Islamic civilization, such as the outlawing of all printing in Arabic and Turkic, a ban lasting in the Islamic world until 1729.

Rebellions in the east, such as that of the Kizil Bash, plagued much of Bayazid II's reign and were often backed by the Shah of Persia, Ismail, who was eager to promote Shi'ism to undermine the authority of the Ottoman state. Ottoman authority in Anatolia was indeed seriously threatened during this period, and at one point Bayazid II's grand vizier, Ali Pasha, was killed in battle against rebels.

Bayazid II represented one of the first sultans who attempted to turn back the clock.  During his reign, Bayazid’s Ottoman Empire became more xenophobic towards European administration, technology and culture.  Where earlier sultans would have selected the apparently best solution whether it be European or Islamic, Bayazid focused mainly on Islamic culture and religion.  For Bayazid, this involved strengthening the waqfs (Muslim institutions) and removing many European elements from the court.  

Bayazid was described by the Venetian ambassador as “very melancholic, superstitious and stubborn.”  He was pious and put much emphasis on building Muslim structures, mosques, colleges, hospitals and bridges.  However, he was also a friend of general sciences and arts, supporting jurists, scholars and poets.

In military terms, Bayazid’s regime was one where the Ottoman territory was consolidated in the European lands, but where the borders with the Asian neighbors (especially the Mamelukes and the rising Safavids) remained as unresolved as before.  The empire had to wait for later sultans to bring conquest and stability in the east.

A patron of learning and lover of splendor, Bayazid built several magnificent mosques in Adrianople (now Edirne, Turkey) and Istanbul.  The Mosque of Bayazid, completed in 1505 in Istanbul is considered one of the finest examples of Ottoman architecture.  

Bayezid II see Bayazid II
Bajazet II see Bayazid II
Hudavendigar see Bayazid II
Khodavandgar see Bayazid II
"The God-like One" see Bayazid II
"The Just" see Bayazid II

Baydawi (Baidawi) ('Abdallah ibn 'Umar al-Baidawi) (d. c. 1286).  Commentator on the Qur’an.  His commentary is largely a condensed and amended edition of the famous work of al-Zamakhshari.  

Baydawi was born in Fars, where his father was chief judge, in the time of the Atabek ruler Abu Bakr ibn Sa'd (1226-60). He himself became judge in Shiraz, and died in Tabriz about 1286. Many commentaries have been written on Baidawi's work. He was also the author of several theological treatises.

His major work is the commentary on the Qur'an entitled "The Secrets of Revelation and The Secrets of Interpretation" (Asrar ut-tanzil wa Asrar ut-ta'wil). This work is mainly a summary of the great Mu'tazilite commentary (al-Kashshaf) of Zamakhshari with additional notes. Orthodox Muslims consider it the standard commentary. It is not exhaustive in any branch of theological or linguistic knowledge and is not always accurate,
Baidawi see Baydawi
'Abdallah ibn 'Umar al-Baidawi see Baydawi

Bayero, Ado

Ado Abdullahi Bayero (b. July 25, 1930, Kano, Northern Nigeria – d. June 6, 2014, Kano, Nigeria) was seen as one of Nigeria's most prominent and revered Muslim leaders.  He was the son of Abdullahi Bayero son of Muhammad Abbas. Ado Bayero was the 13th Fulani emir since the Fulani War of Usman dan Fodio, when the Fulani took over the Hausa city-states. He was one of the strongest and most powerful emirs in the history of the Hausa land. He was renowned for his abundant wealth, maintained by means of stock market investments and large-scale agricultural entrepreneurship both at home and abroad.
Ado Bayero was the son of Abdullahi Bayero, a former emir, who reigned for 27 years. 
Bayero was born to the family of Hajiya Hasiya and Abdullahi Bayero and into the Fulani Sullubawa clan that has presided over the emirate of Kano since 1819. He was the eleventh child of his father and the second of his mother. At the age of seven, he was sent to live with Maikano Zagi.
Bayero started his education in Kano studying Islam, after which he attended Kano Middle School. He graduated from the School of Arabic Studies in 1947. He then worked as a bank clerk for the Bank of British West Africa until 1949, when he joined the Kano Native Authority. He attended Zaria Clerical College in 1952. In 1954, he won a seat to the Northern regional House of Assembly.
He was head of the Kano Native Authority police division from 1957 until 1962, during which he tried to minimize the practice of briefly detaining individuals and political opponents on the orders of powerful individuals in Kano. He then became the Nigerian ambassador to Senegal. During this time he enrolled in a French language class. In 1963, he succeeded Muhammadu Inuwa as Emir of Kano.
Muhammadu Sanusi who was Ado Bayero's half brother ruled after their father from 1953 to 1963. Following his dethronement in 1963, Muhammadu Inuwa ruled only for three months. After Muhammadu's death, Ado Bayero ascended the throne in October 1963. Bayero was the longest-serving emir in Kano's history. Bayero's Palace played host to official visits by many government officials and foreigners.  
Bayero became emir during the first republic, at a time when Nigeria was going through rapid social and political changes and regional, sub-regional and ethnic discord was increasing. In his first few years, two pro-Kano political movements gained support among some Kano elites. The Kano People's Party emerged during the reign of Muhammadu Inuwa  and supported the deposed Emir Sanusi, but it soon evaporated. The Kano State Movement emerged towards the end of 1965 and favored more economic autonomy for the province.
The death in 1966 of many political agitators from northern Nigeria, and the subsequent establishment of a unitary state, consolidated a united front in the northern region but also resulted in a spate of violence there, including in Kano. Bayero's admirers credit him with bringing calm and stability during this and later crises in Kano.
As emir, Bayero became a patron of Islamic scholarship and embraced Western education as a means to succeed in a modern Nigeria. The constitutional powers of the emir were whittled down by the military regimes between 1966 and 1979. The Native Authority Police and Prisons Department was abolished, the emir's judicial council was supplanted by another body, and local government reforms in 1968, 1972, and 1976 reduced the powers of the emir. During the second republic, he witnessed hostilities from the People's Redemption Party led government of Abubakar Rimi.
In 1981, Governor Abubakar Rimi restricted traditional homage paid by village heads to Ado Bayero and excised some domains from his emirate. In 1984, a travel ban was placed on the emir and his friend Okunade Sijuwade.
In 2002, Bayero led a Kano elders forum in opposing the onshore and offshore abrogation bill.
Ado Bayero was seen as a vocal critic of the Islamist group Boko Haram who strongly opposed their campaign against western education.
On January 19, 2013, Bayero survived an assassination attempt blamed on the Islamist group which left two of his sons injured and his driver and bodyguard dead, among others. 
Ado Bayero died on June 6, 2014. He was succeeded by his brother's grandson Muhammadu Sanusi II. 

Bayezid.  See Bayazid.

Bayhaqi (Abu’l-Fadl Muhammad Katib Bayhaqi) (in Persian, Dabir) (Abu Bakr Ahmad ibn Husayn al-Bayhaqi) (994-1066).  Persian historian.  He is the author of a voluminous history of the Ghaznavid dynasty.   

Abu Bakr Ahmad ibn Husayn al-Bayhaqi, also known as Imam Al-Bayhaqi, was born 384AH (994) in the small town of Khusraugird near Bayhaq in Khurasan . During his lifetime, he became a famous Sunni hadith expert, following the Shafi'i school in Fiqh.

His full name is Abu Bakr Ahmad Ibn al-Husayn Ibn 'Alee Ibn Moosaa al-Khusrujirdee. He was a scholar of fiqh as well as hadith.

Al-Bayhaqi studied fiqh from Abu al-Fath Nasir ibn al-Husayn ibn Muhammad al-Naysaburi, among others. He also studied hadith from Hakim al-Nishaburi and was his foremost pupil, among others in that subject as well.

Bayhaqi died in 1066 C.C.

Imam Bayhaqi was a prominent author in his time, having authored more than one thousand volumes according to Al-Dhahabi. Among the most well-known books authored by him are:

    * Al-Sunan al-Kubra (commonly known as Sunan al-Bayhaqi)
    * Ma`arifa al-Sunan wa al-Athar
    * Bayan Khata Man Akhta`a `Ala al-Shafi`i (The Exposition of the Error of Those who have Attributed Error to al-Shafi`i)
    * Al-Mabsut, a book on Shafi`i Law.
    * Al-Asma' wa al-Sifat (The Divine Names and Attributes)
    * Al-I`tiqad `ala Madhhab al-Salaf Ahl al-Sunna wa al-Jama`a
    * Dala'il al-Nubuwwa (The Signs of Prophethood)
    * Shu`ab al-Iman (The branches of faith)
    * Al-Da`awat al-Kabir (The Major Book of Supplications)
    * Al-Zuhd al-Kabir (The Major Book of Asceticism)

Abu’l-Fadl Muhammad Katib Bayhaqi see Bayhaqi
Dabir see Bayhaqi
Abu Bakr Ahmad ibn Husayn al-Bayhaqi see Bayhaqi

Bayhaqi Sayyids
Bayhaqi Sayyids.  Religio-political group active in the political life of early Islamic Kashmir.
Sayyids, Bayhaqi see Bayhaqi Sayyids.

Bayhaqi, Zahir al-Din al-
Bayhaqi, Zahir al-Din al- (Zahir al-Din al-Bayhaqi) (1100-1168). Persian author from Sabzawar.  Among other works he wrote a history of his native district of Bayhaq.
Zahir al-Din al-Bayhaqi see Bayhaqi, Zahir al-Din al-

Bayramiye (Bayrami) (Bayramiye) (Bayramiyya) (Bayramiyye) (Bayramilik). Turkish Sufi order (tariqah) founded by Hajji Bayram Hacı Bayramı Veli in Ankara around the year 1400. The order spread to the then Ottoman capital Istanbul where there were several tekkes and into the Balkans (especially Rumelia, Bosnia, Macedonia and Greece). The order also spread into Egypt where a tekke was found in the capital, Cairo.

Its eponym, Haci Bayram Veli, was born near Ankara around the middle of the fourteenth century.  In conformity with a pattern typical in Sufism, he abandoned a successful career as a teacher of the law to become a disciple of Hamiduddin Veli Aksarayi, remaining with him for at least three years until his death in 1415.  Haci Bayram thereupon returned to Ankara and began, with great success, to propagate the order that became known after him.  Either because of the size of his following or because of his master’s links to the Safavid order in Ardabil, which was then in the process of transition to Shiism, Haci Bayram Veli was summoned to the Ottoman court in Edirne for interrogation by Murad I.  He favorably impressed the sovereign, who not only permitted him to return to Ankara but also provided for the establishment of a Bayrami hospice in Edirne.  By the time of Haci Bayram Veli’s death in 1429, the order had spread to Gelibolu, Karaman, Beypazari, Balikesir, Bursa, Larende, Bolu, Iskilip, Kutahya, and Goynuk.

The central hospice of the Bayramiye remained that established in Ankara by Haci Bayram Veli himself, and its administration became vested in his descendants.  Nonetheless, the most important of his successors was Aksemsettin of Goynuk, a Syrian who had joined his following in 1426. Although Aksemsettin gained the favor of Sultan Mehmed the Conqueror by participating in the conquest of Istanbul in 1453, he chose not to settle in the new capital, remaining in Goynuk until his death in 1457.  Aksemsettin had a number of successors, the most influential of whom were Ibrahim Tennuri (because of whose prominence one branch of the order became known as Bayramiye-Tennuriye) and Samli Hamza, active in the region of Adana.  The line of Tennuri continued for a least three generations, but it was eclipsed in the seventeenth century by the Himmetiye, founded by Himmet Efendi, a descendant by initiation of Samli Hamza.  The Tennuriye and the Himmetiye were classified together as Bayramiye-Semsiye because of their shared descent from Aksemsettin.

In radical opposition to both stood the Bayramiye-Melamiye, going back to a certain Omer Dede Bicakci, who had disputed Aksemsettin’s succession to Haci Bayram Veli.  The Bayramiye-Melamiye rejected, for the most part, all forms of dhikr (invocation of the divine name), the wearing of distinctive garb, and most of the other external appurtenances of Sufism; this line may be thought of as perpetuating antinomian tendencies that had been suppressed in the first Bayrami congregation.  Its adherents followed a cult of devotion to the Twelve Imams of Shiism and cultivated an extreme interpretation of the doctrine of the unity of being (wahdat al-wujud).  The combination of these characteristics earned execution for several prominent representatives of the Bayramiye-Melamiye.  The two varieties of the Semsiye were largely restricted to Anatolia (particularly its western regions), but the Bayramiye-Melamiye became widespread in the Balkans, especially in Bosnia, where its best known figure, Seyh Hamza Bali (executed in Istanbul in 1573) originated a branch of the order known as the Hamzevi.

Bayramis of the two Semsi lines also adhered to wahdat al-wujud, although in more circumspect fashion, and this may well have furnished the basis for an unspoken rapprochement with the Bayramiye-Melamiye during the nineteenth century.  The authority of two Istanbul shaykhs, Hafiz Seyyid Ali Efendi (d. 1838) and Ibrahim Efendi (d. 1898), was accepted by all existing branches of the Bayramiye.  Despite this reunification, the order failed to produce any leader of significance in early modern times, with the possible exception of Seyyid Abdulkadir Belhi (d. 1921), an immigrant to Istanbul from Balkh in Afghanistan, who combined a Hamzevi affiliation with an inherited loyalty to the Naqshbandiyah.

In 1840, the Bayramiye had only nine hospices in Istanbul, far fewer than several other Sufi orders.  By 1889, the number had sunk to four.  These appear still to have been functioning when in 1925 the Turkish Republic banned all the Sufi orders.  By that time, the Bayramiye existed outside Istanbul only in Izmit, Kastamonu, and Ankara, where the central hospice was presided over by Semseddin Bayramoglu (d. 1945), a descendant of Haci Bayram Veli in the twenty-seventh generation.  Unlike other Sufi groups, the Bayramiye was unable to survive the official proscription of the orders and the closure of its hospices.  Although the subterranean cells used for retreat at the shrine of Haci Bayram Veli in Ankara are still frequented, it is primarily Naqshbandis who make use of them.

There are traces of the Bayramiye in the twentieth-century Balkans.  They were one of the orders represented in the Savez Islamskih Derviskih Redova Alijje u SFRJ, a federation of the Sufi orders existing in Yugoslavia, established at Prizren in Kosovo in 1974.  A Hamzevi hospice (led in 1986 by Abdulkadir Orlovic) survived through many generations in Zvornik, northeastern Bosnia, until the pillage of that city by Serbian forces in the spring of 1992.   

Although the order today is almost nonexistent, its influence can be seen in Aziz Mahmud Hudayi founder of the Jelveti order and the prolific writer and Muslim saint Ismail Hakki Bursevi.

Bayrami see Bayramiye
Bayramiye see Bayramiye
Bayramiyya see Bayramiye
Bayramiyye see Bayramiye
Bayramilik see Bayramiye

Bazargan (Mehdi Bazargan) (Mahdi Bazargan) (September, 1907 - January 20, 1995).  First prime minister after Iran’s Islamic revolution in 1979.  As a young man, Bazargan studied engineering in Paris, and although he maintained a strong commitment to Islam, he attempted to ally it with technological progress.  He returned to Iran in 1936 and remained active in Islamic causes, while also becoming closely involved with Mohammed Mossadegh and the National Front.  Under Mossadegh, Bazargan managed Iranian oil policy and later founded the Freedom of Iran movement.  As a consistent critic of the Shah, Bazargan became heavily involved in the Islamic Revolution.  In 1977, he founded the Iranian Committee for the Defense of Liberty and Human Rights.  He was later arrested for his political activities but was soon released.  Late in 1978, Bazargan flew to Paris to meet with Ayatollah Khomeini and to negotiate a policy of opposition to the government of the Shah.  On February 11, 1979, after Khomeini’s return to Iran and the subsequent revolution, Bazargan was named prime minister.  Soon afterward, he referred to his role in the new government as “like that of a knife without a blade,” and in mid-November 1979 he resigned.  After resigning, Bazargan continued to live in Tehran and remained a member of the Majlis -- the Iranian Parliament.  

Mehdi Bazargan was a prominent Iranian scholar, academic, long-time pro-democracy activist and head of Iran's interim government, making him Iran's first prime minister after the Iranian Revolution of 1979. He was the head of the first engineering department of Tehran University. A well respected religious intellectual, known for his honesty and expertise in the Islamic and secular sciences, he is credited with being one of the founders of the contemporary Islamic intellectual movement in Iran.

Born to an Iranian Azeri family in Bazargan, West Azerbaijan. Bazargan grew up in Tehran. His father, Hajj 'Abbasqoli Tabrizi (d.1954) was a self-made merchant and a devout religious activist who was the head of the Azarbaijani mosque and community in Tehran.

Bazargan was educated in thermodynamics and engineering at the École Centrale des Arts et Manufactures in Paris. After his graduation, Bazargan voluntarily joined the French army and fought against Nazi Germany. After Bazargan came back from France, he became the head of the first engineering department of Tehran University in the late 1940s. In 1951, under the leadership of Mossadegh, the Iranian parliament nationalized the Iranian oil industry (National Iranian Oil Company) and removed it from British control. Mr. Bazargan served as the first Iranian head of National Iranian Oil Company under the leadership of Prime Minister Mossadegh.

After the fall of the Mossadegh government, Bazargan co-founded the Liberation Movement of Iran, a party similar in program to Mossadegh's National Front. Although he accepted the Shah as the legitimate head of state, he was jailed several times by Shah Mohammed Reza Pahlavi for political reasons.

On February 5, 1979, after the revolution forced the Shah to leave Iran, Bazargan was appointed prime minister of Iran by the Ayatollah Khomeini. He was seen as one of the democratic and liberal figureheads of the revolution who came into conflict with the more radical religious leaders - including the leader of revolution Ayatollah Khomeini - as the revolution progressed. Although pious, Bazargan initially disputed the name Islamic Republic, wanting an Islamic Democratic Republic. He had also been a supporter of the original (non-theocratic) revolutionary draft constitution, and opposed the Assembly of Experts for Constitution and the constitution they wrote that was eventually adopted as Iran's constitution.

Bazargan resigned along with his cabinet on November 4 following the United States Embassy takeover and hostage-taking. His resignation was considered a protest against the hostage-taking and a recognition of his government's inability to free the hostages, but it was also clear that his hopes for liberal democracy and an accommodation with the West would not prevail.

Bazargan continued in Iranian politics as a member of the first Parliament (Majlis) of the newly formed Islamic Republic. He openly opposed Iran's cultural revolution and continued to advocate civil rule and democracy. In November 1982 he expressed his frustration with the direction the Islamic Revolution had taken in an open letter to the then speaker of parliament Akbar Hashemi Rafsanjani.

In 1985, the Council of Guardians denied Bazargan's petition to run for president. He died of a heart attack on January 20, 1995 while travelling from Tehran to Zurich, Switzerland.

Bazargan is considered to be a respected figure within the ranks of modern Muslim thinkers, well known as a representative of liberal-democratic Islamic thought and a thinker who emphasized the necessity of constitutional and democratic policies. He opposed the continuation of Iran-Iraq war and the involvement of clerics in all aspects of politics, economy and society. Consequently, he faced harassment from militants and young revolutionaries within Iran.

Mehdi Bazargan see Bazargan
Mahdi Bazargan see Bazargan

Bedouin (in Arabic, badw or badawi -- “dwellers in the desert”).  Term which generally refers to Arab camel nomads.  Bedouins are nomadic Arabs inhabiting the deserts of the Middle East and northern Africa.  In ancient times, their territory included only the deserts of Egypt and Syria.  Later they entered Mesopotamia and Chaldea.  The Muslim conquest of northern Africa in the seventh century opened vaster tracts to the Bedouins.  Although they form only a small part of the population of these areas, they use a great deal of territory.

Beginning about 1045 and continuing at a decreasing rate for several centuries, Bedouin nomads from central Arabia invaded northern Africa.  These invaders took over all suitable grazing land and upset the balanced agricultural and urban civilization that the resident Berbers had achieved.  The Bedouin flocks destroyed most of the natural ground cover; by overgrazing, the flocks turned pastureland into semi-desert.  The balance began to be restored, however, with the colonization of northern Africa by European powers, beginning in the 1830s.

The Bedouins have retained their nomadic and pastoral way of life.  They subsist primarily on meat, milk, and dairy products provided by their herds.  In general, they leave crop agriculture and commerce to the native peoples of northern Africa.  Exploitative and aggressive, most Bedouins are disdainful of any kind of settled life.

Virtually all Bedouins are Muslims.  They manufacture their own woolen clothing.  Members of many tribes shave their heads, but beards are worn by all men.

Although Bedouins are predominantly Muslims, there are small groups of Christian Bedouins in Palestine and Syria.  Food eaten by Bedouins upholding traditional lifestyles, are dairy products, milk and meat.  Bedouins sell and barter goods in order to obtain agricultural foodstuff from sedentary peoples.

The typical Bedouin tent is made from strips of cloth woven from goat or camel hair and vegetable fibers, sewn together and dyed black.  In the rare instances in which they become sedentary and erect permanent dwellings, the Bedouins build rectangular houses several stories in height, with stone or adobe walls.

The political system of the Bedouins is based on an extended patriarchal family unit.  Each unit, from a minor family to an entire tribe, is led by a sheikh -- an “elder” --, and the title descends from father to eldest son.  The actual political authority of each sheikh depends, not upon the size of the unit he rules, but upon his wealth and the force of his personality.

The social system of the Bedouins has four classifications, loosely based on ancestry and mobile wealth.  For example, the camel breeders, the highest on the social scale, usually intermarry and consider other Bedouin groups inferior.  Accordingly, passing from one class to another, while feasible, is prone to be difficult.

In modern times, Bedouins normally migrate only in parts of the year, depending on grazing conditions.  In winter, when there is some precipitation, they migrate deeper into the desert, while they seek refuge around secure water sources in the hot and dry summer time.  For many Bedouins, the city has become the preferred location for the summer months.

Modern societies have made traditional Bedouin lifestyles less attractive -- as they are demanding and often dangerous -- so that many tribes have settled in urban areas.  At the same time, many governments have taken strong measures to regulate nomadic lifestyles.  Historically, Bedouins have represented a challenge to urban rulers because there is a need to decide who belongs where, and who should be taxed where.  

Up through all of recorded history, poetry has been a central cultural form of expression for the Bedouins, and in early centuries of Muslim history, Bedouin poetry represented the ideal standard for other literary achievements, as well as for Arabic language.  

The Bedouin are a predominantly desert-dwelling Arab ethnic group found throughout most of the desert belt extending from the Atlantic coast of the Sahara via the Western Desert, Sinai, and Negev to the Arabian Desert. Non-Arab groups as well, notably the Beja of the African coast of the Red Sea, are sometimes called Bedouin.

The Bedouins were divided into related tribes. These tribes were organized on several levels—a widely quoted Bedouin saying is

    "I and my brothers against my cousins, I and my brothers and my cousins against the world."

The saying signifies a hierarchy of loyalties based on closeness of kinship that runs from the nuclear family through the lineage, the tribe, and even, in principle at least, to an entire ethnic or linguistic group (which is perceived to have a kinship basis). Disputes are settled, interests are pursued, and justice and order are maintained by means of this organizational framework, according to an ethic of self-help and collective responsibility. The individual family unit (known as a tent or bayt) typically consisted of three or four adults (a married couple plus siblings or parents) and any number of children.

When resources were plentiful, several tents would travel together as a goum. These groups were sometimes linked by patriarchical lineage but just as likely linked by marriage (new wives were especially likely to have male relatives join them), acquaintance or even no clearly defined relation but a simple shared membership in the tribe.

The next scale of interactions inside tribal groups was the ibn amm ("cousin") or descent group, commonly of three to five generations. These were often linked to "goums", but whereas a "goum" would generally consist of people all with the same herd type, "descent groups" were frequently split up over several economic activities (allowing a degree of risk management: should one group of members of a descent group suffer economically, the other members would be able to support them). Whilst the phrase "descent group" suggests purely a lineage-based arrangement, in reality these groups were fluid and adapted their genealogies to take in new members.

The largest scale of tribal interactions is of course the tribe as a whole, led by a Sheikh (Arabic, literally, "elder"). The tribe often claims descent from one common ancestor—as mentioned above. This appears patrilineal but in reality new groups could have genealogies invented to tie them in to this ancestor. The tribal level is the level that mediated between the Bedouin and the outside governments and organizations.

Bedouins traditionally had strong honor codes, and traditional systems of justice dispensation in Bedouin society typically revolved around such codes. The bisha'a, or ordeal by fire, is a well-known Bedouin practice of lie detection.

Bedouins are well known for practicing folk music, folk dance and folk poetry.

Starting in the late 19th century, many Bedouins under British rule began to transition to semi-nomadism. In the 1950s as well as the 1960s, large numbers of Bedouin throughout the Middle East started to leave the traditional, nomadic life to settle in the cities of the Middle East. For example, in Syria the Bedouin way of life effectively ended during a severe drought from 1958 to 1961, which forced many Bedouin to give up herding for standard jobs. Similarly, government policies in Egypt and Israel, oil production in Libya and the Persian Gulf, as well as a desire for improved standards of living, effectively led most Bedouin to become settled citizens of various nations, rather than stateless nomadic herders.

Government policies pressuring the Bedouin have in some cases been executed in an attempt to provide services (schools, health care, law enforcement and so on), but in others have been based on the desire to seize land traditionally roved and controlled by the Bedouin.

The Bedouins in recent years have adopted the past-time of raising and breeding white doves. The reason for this has in some respect been attributed to the etymology of the word Bedouin: Be-douim archaic Pheonicio-Arabic for "be," "white", and "douim," "dove".
badw see Bedouin
badawi see Bedouin
“dwellers in the desert” see Bedouin

Behbahani, Simin
Simin Behbahāni (Persian: سیمین بهبهانی‎‎) (June 20, 1927 – August 19, 2014) was a prominent Iranian poet, activist and translator. She was Iran's national poet and an icon of the modern Persian poetry, Iranian intelligentsia and literati who affectionately refer to her as the lioness of Iran.  She was nominated twice for the Nobel Prize in literature, and received many literary accolades from around the world.

Simin Behbahani, whose real name was Simin Khalili (Persian: سیمین خلیلی‎) (سيمين خليلی), was the daughter of Abbās Khalili (عباس خلیلی), poet, writer and editor of the Eghdām (Action) newspaper, and Fakhr-e Ozmā Arghun (فخرعظمی ارغون), poet and teacher of the French language. Abbās Khalili (1893–1971) wrote poetry in both Persian and Arabic and translated some 1100 verses of Ferdowsi's Shahnameh into Arabic. Fakhr-e Ozmā Arghun (1898–1966) was one of the progressive women of her time and a member of Kānun-e Nesvān-e Vatan'khāh (Association of Patriotic Women) between 1925 and 1929. In addition to her membership in Hezb-e Democrāt (Democratic Party) and Kānun-e Zanān (Women's Association), she was, for a time (1932), editor of the Āyandeh-ye Iran (Future of Iran) newspaper. She taught French at the secondary schools Nāmus, Dār ol-Mo'allemāt and No'bāvegān in Tehran.

Simin Behbahani started writing poetry at twelve and published her first poem at the age of fourteen. She used the "Char Pareh" style of Nima Yooshij and subsequently turned to ghazal.  Behbahani contributed to a historic development by adding theatrical subjects and daily events and conversations to poetry using the ghazal style of poetry. She expanded the range of the traditional Persian verse forms and produced some of the most significant works of the Persian literature in the 20th century.

Behbahani was President of The Iranian Writers' Association and was nominated for the Nobel Prize in Literature in 1999 and 2002.

In early March 2010, Behbahani prohibited from leaving the country due to official prohibitions. As she was about to board a plane to Paris, police detained her and interrogated her "all night long". She was released but without her passport. 

Behbahani was hospitalized in Tehran on August 6, 2014. She remained in a coma from August 6 until her death August 19, 2014. She died in Tehran's Pars Hospital. Her funeral was held on August 22 in Vahdat Hall and her body was buried at Behesht-e Zahra. 

The literary works of Simin Behbahani includes the following:
  • The Broken Lute [Seh-tar-e Shekasteh, 1951]
  • Footprint [Ja-ye Pa, 1954]
  • Chandelier [Chelcheragh, 1955]
  • Marble [Marmar 1961]
  • Resurrection [Rastakhiz, 1971]
  • A Line of Speed and Fire [Khatti ze Sor'at va Atash, 1980]
  • Arzhan Plain [Dasht-e Arzhan, 1983]
  • Paper Dress [Kaghazin Jameh, 1992]
  • A Window of Freedom [Yek Daricheh Azadi, 1995]
  • Collected Poems [Tehran 2003]
  • Maybe It's the Messiah [Shayad ke Masihast, Tehran 2003] Selected Poems, translated by Ismail Salami
  • A Cup of Sin, Selected poems, translated by Farzaneh Milani and Kaveh Safa

Beja.  The Beja are a traditionally pastoral Muslim people whose territory covers some 110,000 square miles in the eastern part of Sudan plus around 20,000 or so additional square miles in adjacent parts of Eritrea.  Beja also range into southern Egypt.  The Beja comprise about six percent of Sudan’s population.  Thousands of the Beja who traditionally have lived in Eritrea were driven into Sudan by the ravages of the Eritrea-Ethiopian wars.

The Beja have been in Bejaland at least since sometime between 4000 and 2500 B.C.T. They are an indigenous African people who were noticed by the Egyptians of the Sixth Dynasty.  Bejaland was of interest to outsiders as a source of gold and as a transit area for caravans along the Nile and from the Nile to the Red Sea.  Thus, contact was made with the Beja by Hellenistic Egyptians and Greeks, Romans, Meroetic peoples of Sudan, Axumites of Ethiopia and expanding Muslim Arabs.  Bejaland was part of a weak Ottoman Turkish sphere of influence exerted from coastal ports in the sixteenth through the early nineteenth centuries.  In the sixteenth century, the Bisharin, Hadendowa, Amarar and Ababda were in a process of emergence and consolidation as major Beja divisions.  In 1821, Egypt’s Mohammed Ali began his conquest of what is now Sudan.  He also destroyed the Funj kingdom and ended its control of the Beja.  At various times in the past, some of the more accessible Beja clans were under allegiance to the Turks and then to the Egyptians and paid tribute to them occasionally.

Muhammad Ahmad el Mahdi began his mission of nativist revitalization in Sudan in 1881.  By 1883, he had won significant battles against Egyptian forces.  Some Beja clans, especially the Hadendowa, took part in the revolt against Egyptian domination.  Osman Digna, a Beja emir of the Mahdi, led largely Hadendowa forces with modest success against British and Egyptian regulars having British officers.  A near defeat of 4,000 well-trained British troops took place outside of Suakin on the coast.  There, courageous Beja men and boys armed with spears and sticks took heavy casualties but broke infantry square (military combat formation).  This action may have been the only time native forces broke a British army square equipped with modern ordnance. 

Bektashiyya (Bektashi) (Bektashi) (Bektasi).  Sufi (dervish) order in Turkey, whose patron is Hajji Bektash Wali (Veli) from Khurasan in the thirteenth century.  The Bektashis, who in their secret doctrines are Shi‘is, show the general features of popular mysticism and disregard Muslim ritual and worship.  Bektashi was very popular amongst the Ottoman Janissaries.

The Bektashiyah Sufi order became widespread in the Ottoman Empire and today has communities in Turkey, in Albanian regions of the Balkans, and among Albanian immigrants in North America.  Bektashiyah is the Arabic form of its name, while in Turkish it is Bektasi.  The Bektasi order traces its origin to central Anatolia in the thirteenth century.  It takes its name from Haji Bektash Veli, a religious leader from Khurasan in northeast Iran, who, according to tradition, was sent by command of the famous Sufi of western Turkestan, Ahmed Yesevi, to Anatolia where he settled in a village near the present city of Kirsehir.  The organization of the Bektasi order, however, is credited to a later personage, Balim Sultan, known as the “Second Pir” (patron saint) of the order, who became head of the Bektasis in 1501.  Balim Sultan was born of at least partly Bulgarian parentage near the city of Edirne, now in European Turkey.  In addition to centralizing authority at the Bektasi headquarters in Anatolia, Balim Sultan instituted the celibate branch of the order that has continued to co-exist with the married branch.

Central to Bektasi teachings is the importance of the spiritual teacher (in Arabic, murshid; in Turkish, mursit).  One cannot progress in spiritual growth without a spiritual teacher, and prayer and blessings are mediated by the teacher.  Unlike orthodox Muslims, Bektasis believe in intercession.  This intercession can also be through earlier spiritual teachers, including the two pirs of the order, the saints, the twelve imams, and ‘Ali, whom the Bektasis as well as many other Sufi orders view as the one who revealed mystic understanding of the Qur’an.  Thus, the Bektasis are ‘Alid in orientation, professing strong love and loyalty to Ehli Beyt, the “household of the Prophet.”  They have been called Shi‘is but theologically they differ from many Shi‘is in their emphasis on the mystic path, as well as in their understanding of Muhammad and ‘Ali, which includes reference to “Muhammad ‘Ali” as a single personage; thus they both raise the status of ‘Ali and emphasize the complementarity and unity of the word of God and its mystical dimension.  Practices that reflect the ‘Alid orientation of the Bektasis are their two main annual holidays:  Asure (in Arabic, ‘Ashura’), which commemorates the martyrdom of ‘Ali’s son Husayn; and Nevruz (Nawruz), which is celebrated at the spring equinox and is understood as the birthday of ‘Ali.

Additional practices that are distinctively Bektasi include their initiation rites.  These rites are private, reserved for other initiated members, and include ceremonial use of candles, sheepskins, and sweet drink.  What is striking about these rites, in the context of Islamic society, is the presence of unveiled women.  Bektasis have always accepted women as initiated members, thereby sanctioning their participation in these ceremonies.

Another Bektasi practice is their communal praise of God (dhikr), which involves the alternation of the chanting of spiritual poetry (nefes) with formalized sharing of food and drink.  Much of the teaching of the order is in these spiritual poems.  Also distinctive is a disregard for certain basic practices of Islam; for example, Bektasis pray twice daily rather than five times.  Finally, during the ten day period before Asure, Bektasis engage in a special fast and each evening read aloud from the sixteenth century Turkish poet Fuzuli’s account of the suffering of the prophets and martyrs.

Throughout their history, the Bektasis have been criticized by Sunni Muslim authorities for a range of offenses, from laxness in following standard Muslim practices and immorality in including women in their private rites, to heresy in elevating ‘Ali to the level of the prophet Muhammad or above him, and in comparing both to God.  (These last allegations of heresy reflect non-mystic Sunnis’ inability to deal with the mystic expression.)  Yet despite these criticisms, the order flourished in the Ottoman Empire among townspeople (in contrast to the Mevlevi  order, which drew more urban intellectuals), in frontier regions in the Balkans, and among the Janissaries, the elite troops of the empire.  Estimates of the number of Bektasis in 1900 range from one to seven million.  Careful sources report ten percent of the population of Turkey and fifteen percent of the population of Albania as being directly or indirectly influenced by the order at that time.  The popularity of the Bektasi order may be partly explained in that it embodied and also shaped popular Turkish piety, and that it was syncretistic in its inclusion of pre-Islamic pagan and Christian elements, thus appealing to populations that were formerly Christian.  Certainly, it provided a broader range of religious expression than the mosque; socially, it added communal networks of interaction at a local level and across the empire.

In addition to its religious and social roles in more settled communities, the Bektasi order was a source of missionaries of Islam who traveled with Ottoman forces into the Balkans.  The mobility and simplicity of Bektasi organization, its relaxed attitude toward the letter of Muslim law, and its tolerance of non-Muslim peoples were all well suited to facilitating the gradual conversion of people in these regions.

The Bektasis also had a longstanding special relationship with the Janissaries, many of whom had been born of Christian parents.  Scholars have debated the onset of this relationship, but it was in place at least by the end of the fifteenth century (the Janissaries were founded in the fourteenth).  The Bektasis officially blessed the troops, provided an ideology of bonding among them, and traveled with them as chaplains.  This relationship was also a source of political power for the Bektasis within the empire.

The connection of the Bektasis with the Janissaries was such that in 1826, when Sultan Mahmud II abolished the Janissaries as part of his campaign to modernize the military, the Bektasis were also targeted.  Bektasi tekkes, or centers, were destroyed.  Some Bektasi leaders were executed, some were exiled, and some refigured themselves as Naqshbandiyah to ride out the persecution.  Nevertheless, by the second half of the nineteenth century, the Bektasis had regained their tekkes and were publishing numerous books.  Politically, many Bektasis of this period were progressive and included members of the Young Turks as well as Albanian patriots.  Nonetheless, the Bektasis again suffered the closing of their tekkes when in 1925 Ataturk abolished all Sufi orders in the Republic of Turkey.  In response, the Bektasis moved their headquarters from Anatolia to Albania.

With the Communist takeover of Albania in 1944, the Bektasis again began to suffer restrictions.  In 1945, all property of religious institutions was confiscated in Albania, and in 1947 an attempt was made to force celibate Bektasi clerics to marry.  The 1967 proclamation of Albania as an atheist state was followed by more destruction of Bektasi tombs and mausoleums (turbes), along with mosques and churches.  Countering this, Albanian immigrants and refugees in America established a Bektasi tekke in Michigan in 1953.  Yet another blow to the Bektasis followed in 1957, when the government in Egypt under Nasser closed the Bektasi tekke in the Muqattam outside Cairo, which since the nineteenth century had been led by Albanian babas.

In the 1990s, the situation in both Albania and Turkey improved somewhat for Bektasis.  The Communist regime in Albania fell in 1990-1991, and the Bektasi headquarters there re-opened in April 1991.  In Turkey, there was recognition of the contribution of the Bektasis to Turkish culture through their extensive spiritual poetry that is largely in Turkish.  After great decline in the early part of the century, there has recently been some growth in Bektasi fellowships in Turkey and among Turkish guest workers in Europe.  Further, in the second half of the twentieth century there has been public acknowledgment by Bektasis that the village Alevis and the Bektasis have much in common in terms of practice and belief.

Overall, the Bektasi order was an important expression of and influence on Islam among Turkish people in Anatolia and an important agent of Islam in the Balkans.  Its practices, theology, and link with the Janissaries attest to the wide range of variation in Islam.  The spiritual poetry produced and preserved by its adherents is a valued contribution to Turkish and Albanian culture.

The Bektasi order was widespread in the Ottoman Empire, their lodges being scattered throughout Anatolia as well as many parts of Balkans and the imperial city of Istanbul. The order had close ties with the Janissary corps, the bulk of the Ottoman Army. With the abolition of Janissaries, the Bektasi order was banned throughout the Ottoman Empire by Sultan Mahmud II in 1826. This decision was supported by the Sunni religious elite as well as the leaders of other, more orthodox, Sufi orders. Bektasi tekkes were closed and their dervishes were exiled. Bektasis slowly regained freedom with the coming of the Tanzimat era. The first American college in the Middle East, Robert College, was built close to a Bektasi tekke in Bebek north of Istanbul and an excellent relationship between the Unitarian founders of the college and the leaders of the tekke followed. After the foundation of republic, Kemal Atatürk banned all Sufi orders and shut down the lodges in 1925. Consequently, the Bektasi leadership moved to Albania and established their headquarters in the city of Tirana.

Despite the negative effect of this ban on Bektasi culture, most Bektasis in Turkey have been generally supportive of secularism to this day, since these reforms have relatively relaxed the religious intolerance that had historically been shown against them by the official Sunni establishment.

In the Balkans the Bektasi order had a considerable impact on the Islamization of many areas, primarily Albania, Greece and Bulgaria, as well as parts of Macedonia. By the 18th century Bektasism began to gain a considerable hold over the population of southern Albania and northern Greece. Following the ban on Sufi orders in the Republic of Turkey, the Bektasi community's headquarters was moved from Hacıbektaş in central Anatolia to Tirana, Albania. In Albania, the Bektasi community declared its separation from the Sunni community and they were recognized ever after as a distinct Islamic sect rather than a branch of Sunni Islam, as are most other Sufi orders. Bektasism continued to flourish until the Second World War. After the communists took power in 1945, several babas and dervishes were executed and a gradual constriction of Bektasi influence began. Ultimately, in 1967 all tekkes were shut down when Enver Hoxha banned all religious practice. When this ban was rescinded in 1990 Bektasism reestablished itself, although there were few left with any real knowledge of the spiritual path. Nevertheless many tekkes (lodges) operate today in Albania. Approximately twenty percent (20%) of Albanians identify themselves as having some connection to the Bektasis. Following the post-communist rise of Sunni Islam in the country the Bektasi community became the target of vandalism and threats of violence.

There are also important Bektasi communities among the Albanian communities of Macedonia and Kosovo, the most important being the Harabati Baba Tekke in the city of Tetovo, which was until recently under the guidance of Baba Tahir Emini (1941-2006). Following the death of Baba Tahir Emini, the dedelik of Tirana appointed Baba Edmond Brahimaj (Baba Mondi), formerly head of the Turan Tekke of Korçë, to oversee the Harabati Baba Tekke.

A large functioning Bektasi tekke was established in the United States in 1954 by Baba Rexheb. This tekke is found in the Detroit suburb of Taylor and the tomb (turbe) of Baba Rexheb continues to draw pilgrims of all faiths.

It is also widely believed that the controversial 17th century Jewish Messiah Sabbatai Zevi was greatly influenced by Bektasi sufis after his conversion to Islam. His tomb in the Montenegrin town of Ulcinj is still venerated by local Muslims.

In 2002, a group of armed members of the Islamic Community of Macedonia (ICM), the legally recognized organization which claimed to represent all Muslims in Macedonia, invaded the Harabati Baba Tekke in an attempt to reclaim the tekke as a mosque, although the facility had never functioned as such. Subsequently the Bektasi community of Macedonia sued the Macedonian government for failing to restore the tekke to the Bektasi community, pursuant to a law passed in the early 1990s returning property previously nationalized under the Yugoslav government. The law, however, deals with restitution to private citizens, rather than religious communities. The ICM claim to the tekke was based upon their contention to represent all Muslims in Macedonia; and indeed, they are one of two Muslim organizations recognized by the government, both Sunni. The (Shi'i) Bektasi community filed for recognition as a separate religious community with the Macedonian government in 1993, but the Macedonian government refused to recognize them.

Bektashi see Bektashiyya
Bektashiyah  see Bektashiyya
Bektasi see Bektashiyya

Bel.  Supreme god, or one of the chief gods, of the Babylonians.  Bel is the Chaldaic form of Baal and is believed by some to be identical with that god.  Like the equivalent Hebrew "Ba‘al", the name Bel was used also in the sense of “lord” or “owner.” Bel presided over the air.  His consort was Belit.  Bel was identified with the Greek god Zeus by the Greek historian Herodotus and was believed to have been different from the Syrian Baal.  As Bel-Merodach, the god was connected with the planet Jupiter, associated in astral mythology with the productive power of nature.  

Bel (pronounced "beɪl"; from Akkadian bēlu), signifying "lord" or "master", is a title rather than a genuine name, applied to various gods in Babylonian religion. The feminine form is Belit ("Lady" or "Mistress"). Bel is represented in Greek as Belos and in Latin as Belus. Linguistically, Bel is an East Semitic form cognate with Northwest Semitic Ba‘al with the same meaning.

Early translators of Akkadian believed that the ideogram for the god called in Sumerian Enlil was to be read as Bel in Akkadian. This is now known to be incorrect; but one finds Bel used in referring to Enlil in older translations and discussions.

Bel became especially used of the Babylonian god Marduk and when found in Assyrian and neo-Babylonian personal names or mentioned in inscriptions in a Mesopotamian context it can usually be taken as referring to Marduk and no other god. Similarly, Belit without some disambiguation mostly refers to Bel Marduk's spouse Sarpanit. However, Marduk's mother, the Sumerian goddess called Ninhursag, Damkina, Ninmah and other names in Sumerian, was often known as Belit-ili ("Lady of the Gods") in Akkadian.

Of course other gods called "Lord" could be and sometimes were identified totally or in part with Bel Marduk. The god Malak-bel of Palmyra is an example, though in the later period from which most of our information comes he seems to have become very much a sun god which Marduk was not.

Similarly Zeus Belus mentioned by Sanchuniathon as born to Cronus/El in Peraea is certainly most unlikely to be Marduk.

Bel is named in the Bible at Isaiah 46:1 and Jeremiah 50:2 and 51:44.

Baal  see Bel.
“lord” see Bel.
“owner”  see Bel.

Belchoir.   Brazilian black Muslim slave who was a leader in the ill-fated revolt of Hausa slaves in Bahia, Brazil, in 1835. 

Bello (Alhaji Ahmadu Bello) (1909-1966).  Most powerful leader at the time of Nigerian independence whose career illustrated the use of Western tools to achieve traditional recognition.

Alhaji Ahmadu Bello was born near Sokoto.  He was a direct descendant of ‘Uthman dan Fodio, the legendary leader of the Islamic revolution in the Hausa states of northern Nigeria.

Bello graduated with honors from Katsina College in 1931 and became a teacher in Sokoto.  At that time, the most powerful and prestigious office in northern Nigeria was the position of Sultan of Sokoto, the ruler of the Fula empire.  Under the British system of indirect rule, the Sultan virtually controlled the internal affairs of northern Nigeria.  When the reigning Sultan died in 1938, Bello aspired to the position, but lost to Abubakar, a rival who appointed Bello to the position of Sardauna – “leader of war” -- and put Bello in charge of a section of Sokoto.

In 1943, Bello was convicted by the Sultan’s court for misappropriation of the cattle tax revenues.  Bello responded in a most non-traditional manner by appealing the decision to the British magistrate, who reversed the conviction.

In 1948, Bello went to England on a scholarship to study local government.  Afterwards, Bello was reconciled with the Sultan.  

In 1949, the Sultan chose Bello to serve as Sokoto’s representative in the advisory northern assembly.  The Sultan, with little Western education and no inclination for constitutional politics, was content to leave the task of party organization to Bello, who accepted it willingly.  

In 1951, Bello was instrumental in forming the Northern People’s Congress (NPC) as a vehicle for northern domination of federal politics.  The NPC, with traditional sanction, quickly overwhelmed an older and more radical party.

Bello was elected to both the regional and national assemblies, but preferred to concentrate his energies on the north.  Because of the large population in the north, the NPC became dominant in national politics.  

Shortly after the 1951-1952 elections, Bello and the NPC forced the defeat of a resolution calling for independence by 1956.  

In 1954, Bello became prime minister of the northern region.

Because Bello preferred to remain in the north, the position of federal chief minister fell to Abubakar Tafawa Balewa, the NPC vice-president.

In 1959, after federal elections, the NPC formed a coalition with the party representing the western region, and Balewa became Nigeria’s first prime minister.  Remaining in the north, Bello devoted considerable energy in maintaining his status with the Sokoto Caliphate.  In essence, Bello wanted to become Sultan and he did not conceal his ambition.

Bello bolstered his standing among Islamic authorities by visiting Mecca annually, sponsoring theological conventions, and building lavish mosques.  He often publicly compared himself with his famous nineteenth century ancestors.  His concern with traditional status and belief in natural rulers may have blinded Bello to the social forces which were tearing the fabric of Nigerian society.  

In 1966, Bello and his associate, Balewa, were assassinated in a military coup which brought to an end the dominance of the north in Nigerian politics.  
Alhaji Ahmadu Bello see Bello

Ben Abdesselem
Ben Abdesselem (Rhadi Ben Abdesselem).   Moroccan runner who won the silver medal (finished second) to Abebe Bikila of Ethiopia in the marathon at the 1960 Rome Olympics.  
Rhadi Ben Abdesselem see Ben Abdesselem

Ben 'Ali
Ben 'Ali (Zine el Abidine Ben 'Ali) (Zine al-Abidine Ben Ali) (b. September 3, 1936, near Sousse, Tunisia).  President of Tunisia (1987-2011).

Ben 'Ali was trained in France at the military academy of Saint-Cyr and at the artillery school at Châlons-sur-Marne. He also studied engineering in the United States. From 1964 to 1974 he was head of Tunisian military security, a post that brought him into top government circles. In 1974 he began a three-year term as military attaché to the Tunisian embassy in Morocco. He then returned to Tunisia to become head of national security, and in 1980 he became ambassador to Poland. After his return, he was appointed state secretary for national security in 1984 and a cabinet minister in 1985. Ben 'Ali gained a reputation as a hard-liner in suppressing riots in 1978 and 1984, and in 1986 he became minister of the interior, taking an active role in rooting out the Islamic Tendency Movement, a violent fundamentalist group. In October 1987, President Habib Bourguiba appointed him prime minister. Bourguiba, who had ruled Tunisia since its independence from France in 1956, was ill and considered by many to be unfit to continue in office, and on November 7 Ben Ali deposed him in a peaceful coup.

Ben 'Ali was expected to favor a somewhat less secular government than Bourguiba’s, with a more moderate approach toward religious fundamentalists. In elections held on April 2, 1989, he received more than 99 percent of the votes. In 1991, however, he banned the Nahḍah (“Renaissance”) party and called for the suppression of Islamic militants, and from that point on he came under increasing criticism for his human rights policies. As head of the Democratic Constitutional Rally (Rassemblement Constitutionnel Démocratique), he won re-election in 1994, 1999, 2004, and 2009, each time by an overwhelming margin.

However, in late December 2010, protests against poverty, unemployment, and political repression erupted in Tunisia, with many of the demonstrators demanding that Ben Ali resign. Dozens of protesters were killed in clashes with security forces, provoking outcry from human rights groups. In January 2011, Ben 'Ali made several attempts to placate the opposition by expressing regret for the deaths of protesters and vowing to create jobs, control food prices, and increase political freedom. On January 13, he acknowledged popular dissatisfaction with his administration by promising to step down as president at the end of his term in 2014. However, the protests continued to intensify and, on January 14, Tunisian state media announced that the government had been dissolved and legislative elections would be held in the next six months. When that failed to quell protests, Ben 'Ali stepped down as president and left the country, fleeing to Saudi Arabia.

It was widely suspected that Ben 'Ali and his family had built a fortune worth billions of dollars by illegally appropriating national assets and skimming wealth from most sectors of the Tunisian economy. Following Ben 'Ali’s departure, Tunisian prosecutors opened an investigation into the finances of Ben 'Ali and his relatives, and Switzerland agreed to freeze any of Ben 'Ali’s assets in Swiss banks. Several days after opening the investigation, the Tunisian minister of justice, Lazhar Karoui Chebbi, announced that the interim government had issued an international arrest warrant for Ben 'Ali and several members of his family. However, Saudi Arabia, where Ben 'Ali remained in exile, refused Tunisia’s request to extradite the former president.

In June 2011, a Tunisian court convicted Ben 'Ali and his wife, Leila Trabelsi, in absentia, of having embezzled public funds and sentenced them to 35 years in prison. The trial, which lasted only a few hours, focused on large quantities of cash and jewels found in one of Ben 'Ali’s palaces. In a second trial held in July, Ben 'Ali was convicted of smuggling drugs, guns, and archaeological objects and sentenced to 15 years in prison. He still faced a number of criminal charges for corruption and for his role in ordering the use of lethal force against protesters.

Zine el Abidine Ben 'Ali see Ben 'Ali
Zine al-Abidine Ben Ali see Ben 'Ali

Ben Bella
Ben Bella (Ahmed Ben Bella) (Mohamed Ahmed Ben Bella) (Muhammad Ahmad Bin Balla) (b. December 25, 1918).  First president of Algeria (1963-65).  He was born in Marnia (Maghnia), Algeria.  He fought in the French army in World War II and was decorated for bravery.  After the war, he began to fight for Algerian independence.  He was arrested in 1952, but escaped and fled to Cairo.  In 1954, Ben Bella was one of the nine original members of the revolutionary committee that later became the Algerian National Liberation Front (Front de Liberation Nationale, or FLN).  He was an arms procurer for the FLN in 1956, when he was captured aboard a plane and imprisoned in France.  When France agreed to Algerian independence in 1962, Ben Bella was freed, and he returned to Algeria.  Defeating his rival, Yusuf Ben Kheddha (b. 1920), for power in 1962, Ben Bella became premier and later president.  As such, he grew increasingly preoccupied with international leadership and more and more autocratic at home.  Overthrown in 1965 by his old Ally, Houari Boumedienne, Ben Bella was placed under house arrest and was not released until 1980.

Ben Bella was born in a small village in western Algeria during the height of the French colonial period to a Sufi Muslim family. He attended school in Tlemcen and was disturbed by the discrimination practiced towards Muslims by his European teacher. He failed his brevet exam, and subsequently dropped out of school.

Ben Bella volunteered for service in the French Army in 1936. The Army was one of the few avenues of advancement for Algerian Muslims under colonial rule and voluntary enlistment was common. Posted to Marseille he played center mid-field for Olympique de Marseille in 1939-1940. He was offered a professional spot on the team, but rejected the offer.

In 1940 Ben Bella enlisted again and was awarded the Croix de Guerre. He was demobilised after the fall of France but joined a regiment of Moroccan tirailleurs (infantry) with whom he saw service throughout the Italian campaign. Ben Bella was promoted to the rank of warrant officer and received the Medaille Militaire for bravery. He refused to accept an officer's commission after learning of the harsh French repression that followed a Muslim rising in the small Algerian town of Setif in May 1945.

Following election as a municipal councillor, Ben Bella became a founding member of an underground organization pledged to fight colonial rule, known as the Organisation Spéciale. This was the immediate predecessor of the Front de Libération Nationale. Arrested in 1951 and sentenced to eight years imprisonment Ben Bella escaped from Blida prison, making his way to Tunisia and then Egypt.

At the outbreak of the Algerian War in 1954 Ben Bella was based in Cairo where he had become one of the nine members of the Revolutionary Committee of Unity and Action which headed the Front de Liberation Nationale. He was arrested by the French in 1956, after his airplane had been controversially intercepted and brought to France, and released in 1962. His arrest led to the resignation of Alain Savary, opposed to Guy Mollet's policies. While in prison he was elected a vice-premier of the Algerian provisional government. Ben Bella's first language was French, not Arabic. He learned Arabic while in prison. While in Egypt, Ben Bella met the Egyptian president, Gamel Abdel Nasser. When Abdel Nasser brought Ben Bella to speak for the first time to an Egyptian audience, he broke into tears because he could not speak Arabic. It has been said that he refused to teach his own daughter French because he wanted her to learn Arabic first and not be in the same position he was. Like many Arab militants of the time, he would come to describe himself as a "Nasserist" and developed close ties to Egypt even before independence was achieved. Abdel Nasser's material, emotional and political support of the Algerian movement would come to cause him troubles, as it played a major role in France's choice to wage war on him during the 1956 Suez Crisis.

Due to Pakistan's support of the Algerian struggle for self determination and independence, Ben Bella was given a Pakistani diplomatic passport in order to make his foreign travels possible in the face of the international hunt by the French and their allies.  Ben Bella also traveled on a Pakistani diplomatic passport during the years of his exile from Algeria in 1980's.

After Algeria's independence was recognized, Ben Bella quickly became more popular, and thereby more powerful. In June 1962, he challenged the leadership of Premier Benyoucef Benkhedda. This led to several disputes among his rivals in the FLN, which were quickly suppressed by Ben Bella's rapidly growing number of supporters, most notably within the armed forces. By September, Bella was in control of Algeria by all but name, and was elected as premier in a one-sided election on September 20, which was recognized by the United States on September 29. Algeria was admitted as the 109th member of the United Nations on October 8, 1962.

In 1963, he was elected President in an uncontested election, and also led Algeria's costly but ultimately victorious defense against Moroccan invasion in the Sand war. After stabilizing the country, Ben Bella embarked on a series of popular but somewhat anarchic land reforms to the benefit of landless farmers, and increasingly turned to socialist rhetoric. His policy of Autogestion, or self-management, was adopted after the peasants seized former French lands. In balancing factions within the Algerian government, notably the FLN army, the former guerrillas and the state bureaucracy, his rule became increasingly autocratic. Eccentric and arrogant behavior towards colleagues is said to have alienated many former supporters, and, while he promoted the development of his own cult of personality, by 1964 he was dedicating more time to foreign affairs than local political developments. In 1965, Ben Bella was deposed by army strongman and close friend Houari Boumédiènne, and placed under house arrest until 1980, when he was granted exile in Switzerland. He lived for 10 years in Lausanne, but was allowed to return to his homeland in 1990.

Ben Bella was elected President of the International Campaign Against Aggression on Iraq at its Cairo Conference. Ben Bella described himself numerous times in interviews as an Islamist of a mild and peace loving flavor. Despite his former one party state he later vocally advocated democracy in Algeria. He described the militant voice rising in the Islamic world as having developed from an incorrect and faulty interpretation of Islam. He was a controversial figure, but widely respected for his role in the anti-colonial struggle, and seen by many Arab intellectuals as one of the last original Arab nationalists.

Ben Bella also served as  Chairperson of the African Union Panel of the Wise, which serves the purpose of a conflict prevention and mediation unit of the AU Commission.

Ahmed Ben Bella was awarded the title Hero of the Soviet Union on April 30, 1964.

Ahmed Ben Bella see Ben Bella
Mohamed Ahmed Ben Bella see Ben Bella
Muhammad Ahmad Bin Balla see Ben Bella

Bendahara.  Melakan/Malay court title.  Generally, the bendahara was considered the prime minister and was ranked second in the hierarchy, after the sultan.  The Code of Malacca describes the bendahara as “he who rules the peasantry, the army and those dependent on the state.  His sway extends over all the islands and it is he who is the King’s lawgiver.”  The exact status of the office varied over time.  In 1512, it was held by the sultan’s younger brother, Mutahir, who was also the heir apparent.  At other times (e.g., 1699) it was held by the most important lineage chief.  In the early nineteenth century the last bendahara, under the Johor/Riau sultanate, was actually a territorial chief who ruled Pahang.  His descendants were recognized as sultans of Pahang in 1890.  

Bendahara was an administrative position within classical Malay kingdoms before the intervention of European powers during the 19th century. A bendahara was appointed by a sultan and was a hereditary post. The office that was held by the bendahara family. The bendahara and the Sultan shared the same lineage.

The closest post which is comparable to the post of bendahara of the Malay kingdoms are the viziers of the Islamic kingdoms. As the bendahara is the head of the nobility, the status confers certain responsibility. The bendahara is the backbone of the Malay Sultanate. For the ancient kingdom of Malacca and Johor, there were many tasks and responsibilities but the primary ones were:

    * coronation and installation of the Sultan
    * responsibility for the welfare of the Sultan
    * adviser to his majesty on affairs of state based on Sharia and Adat (Prevailing norms and values)
    * responsibility for the royal marriage, birth and funeral
    * responsibility for the royal succession if the Sultan died without any heir
    * acting as a vicegerent if the Sultan was still young
    * acting on any command of the Sultan.

The legitimacy of the Sultan lies with the bendahara. The bendahara always consult the other nobles before arriving at a decision. The bendahara and nobles do this for the well-being of the subjects and consider essential if there are problems in the state. These tasks are more extensive than those of any vizier or modern prime minister.

The involvement of the British and the Dutch in the administration of the Malay States and the subsequent independence of Malaysia and Indonesia reduced the Bendahara to a symbolic title only.

In modern times, it is typical to render the position as prime minister. Though a bendahara's duties are similar to that of a prime minister's, the two terms are not interchangeable. One clear difference is the amount of power held by the two positions. In ancient times, the bendahara was typically the highest ranking official after the sultan but the sultan retained ultimate authority. The sultan was not answerable to the bendahara, or to anyone else for that matter. The sultan was not a ceremonial ruler like the Yang di-Pertuan Agong in contemporary Malaysia where the Prime Minister holds effective political power.

Though it is unclear when the title was first used, the Sultanate of Malacca had several influential bendaharas. The most famous is Tun Perak. Under Tun Perak's service which spanned several sultans, Malacca reached its height in the late 15th century. According to the Malay Annals and the Hikayat Hang Tuah, the bendahara secretly saved the life of Hang Tuah, a laksamana the sultan had ordered killed.

In 1612, Bendahara Tun Sri Lanang of the Sultanate of Johor was commissioned by Sultan Alauddin Riaayat Shah of Johor to compile Malay history and record it into a book. The book was known as Sulalatus Salatin and was later known as Sejarah Melayu, an important literary piece in Malay language history. In 1699, Bendahara Abdul Jalil became Sultan Abdul Jalil IV of Johor after the previous sultan, Mahmud Shah II was murdered, leaving no heir behind. After the rule of Sultan Abdul Jalil IV, the bendahara was awarded Pahang as his personal fief. Bendahara Tun Abbas and his descendents ruled Pahang continuously until Tun Mutahir, who was deposed in a civil war in 1863.

The current Terengganu sultanate was founded by Sultan Zainal Abidin I of Terengganu in 1708. He was the son of Tun Habib Abdul Majid, a 17th century bendahara of Johor.

Bendaharas of Malacca and Johore have been:

    * Tun Perpatih Muka Berjajar, Bendahara
    * Tun Perpatih Tulus, Bendahara of Malacca
    * Raden Bagus, Bendahara of Malacca
    * Raden Anum, Bendahara Sri Amar DiRaja, Bendahara of Malacca
    * Tun Perpatih Sedang, Bendahara Sri Wak Raja, Bendahara of Malacca
    * Tun Perpatih Putih, Bendahara Paduka Tuan, Bendahara of Malacca
    * Tun Perak, Bendahara Paduka Raja, Bendahara of Malacca
    * Tun Mutahir, Bendahara Seri Maharaja, Bendahara of Malacca
    * Tun Tepok, Bendahara Paduka Tuan, Bendahara of Malacca

After the fall of Malacca to the Portuguese, the Malacca Sultanate was succeeded by the Johore Sultanate.  The bendaharas of Johore have been:

    * Tun Khoja, Bendahara Paduka Raja, Bendahara of Johore
    * Tun Biajid, Bendahara Seri Maharaja, Bendahara of Johore
    * Tun Mahmud, Bendahara Tun Narawangsa, Bendahara of Johore
    * Tun Isap Misai, Bendahara Seri Maharaja, Bendahara of Johore
    * Tun Sri Lanang, Bendahara Paduka Raja, Bendahara of Johore. He was captured by the Acehnese forces and opted to remain in Aceh.

The following Bendaharas were sidelined by the palace following the rise of Laksamana Paduka Tuan

    * Tun Anum, Bendahara Seri Maharaja, Bendahara of Johore
    * Tun Mat Ali, Bendahara Paduka Tuan, Bendahara of Johore
    * Tun Rantau, Bendahara Seri Maharaja, Bendahara of Johore. He was captured by the Jambi forces.

    * Tun Habib Abdul Majid, Bendahara Seri Maharaja, Bendahara Padang Saujana, restored back the position of the bendahara in the palace.

    * Tun Abdul Jalil, Bendahara Paduka Raja, was elevated to the Sultan of Johore as Sultan Abdul Jalil IV following the death of Sultan Mahmud II. The Temenggung branch of his dynasty still rules the Malaysian state of Johore today.

    * Tun Abbas, Bendahara Seri Maharaja, Bendahara of Johore and Pahang

Following the elevation of Sultan Abdul Jalil IV, the bendahara was granted Pahang as his personal fief. From thereon afterwards the Bendahara of Johor was known as the Bendahara in Pahang. The bendahara is also known as "Raja Bendahara" for his status as the ruler of the vassal state of Pahang. Pahang was the vassal of the Johore Sultanate.

The bendahara in Pahang have been:

    * Tun Abdul Majid, Raja Bendahara Pahang I (1777-1802)
    * Tun Muhammad, Raja Bendahara Pahang II
    * Tun Koris, Bendahara Paduka Raja, Raja Bendahara Pahang III (1803-1806)
    * Tun Ali, Bendahara Siwa Raja, Raja Bendahara Pahang IV (1806-1847)
    * Tun Mutahir, Bendahara Seri Maharaja, Raja Bendahara Pahang V (1847-1863). He was the last reigning Raja Bendahara of Pahang. He was ousted by his brother Wan Ahmad who was later proclaimed as Sultan of Pahang after the dismemberment of the Johore Empire.

Bendjelloul, Malik
Malik Bendjelloul (September 14, 1977 – May 13, 2014) was an Algerian Swedish Academy-Award-winning  documentary filmmaker, journalist and former child actor. He is best known for his 2012 documentary, Searching for Sugar Man, which won an Academy Award and a BAFTA Award.

Bengalis.  Governors and sultans of Indian dynasties in northeast India and Bangladesh (r.1202-1576).  Their main capitals were Gaur (Lakhnawti), later Firuzabad, and from 1564, Tandah.  The conqueror of Bengal, Muhammad Bakhtiyar Khalji (1202-1205), and his descendants began as governors of the Ghurids, the sultans of Delhi.  The great cultural independence of the region, which until 1202 represented the last Buddhist state on Indian soil, made it easier for them to assert their independence as sultans in 1338.  They began by ruling as two dynastic branches in west and east Bengal.  The Ilyas dynasty, which ruled west Bengal from 1339, extended its rule throughout Bengal in 1352, but was expelled by the Raja-Khan dynasty (1409-1442).  After the demise of the Ilyas dynasty in 1486, another four dynasties followed.  Having already been occupied by the Mughals (1537-1552), in 1576 Bengal was occupied by Emperor Akbar and added to the Mughal empire. 

Bengalis.  Among the Bengali peoples of the South Asian subcontinent is to be found the world’s second largest Muslim ethnic group, after the Arabs.  About sixty percent of the Bengalis are Muslims.  They share with Bengali Hindus, Buddhists and Christians the acceptance of the diverse complex of symbols and social interaction patterns which, in their entirety, comprise a distinct culture, most saliently marked by common usage of the Bengali (bangla) language and inheritance of its various literatures and traditions.

Islam came to Bengal at the end of the thirteenth century with Turkish expansion across eastern India.  Subsequent Muslim conquest and gradual political hegemony over the region, culminating in Mughal rule after 1576, set the stage for massive conversion.  Chief agents of Islamization were Sufi missionaries.  Numerous Sufi shaikhs are known to have spread the seeds of Islam on an unusually fertile soil in rural East Bengal, which, being the last outpost of a syncretic popular Buddhism in India at that late date, was ripe for a religiously mystical and social egalitarian appeal.  To this day, several Sufis orders flourish in Muslim Bengal, notably the Chistiyya and the Qadiriyya.  Bengalis practice saint worship despite nineteenth century revivalist efforts to purge it, as witnessed by the widespread participation in urus, or commemorative gatherings at saints’ tombs.

Muslim “fundamentalist” revivalism -- most notably in the form of the Fara’idi Movement, unique to Bengal -- was an important nineteenth century force in promoting the widespread Sunni orthodoxy present among the Muslims today, as well as in fomenting their sense of ethnic and communal identity.  Revivalism undoubtedly played a role in Bengali Muslim separatism, leading to their mass participation in the Pakistan movement and, in an ironic post-Partition reversal, the ethnic Bengali quotient of their collective identity came to the fore, leading in turn to the creation of Bangladesh.  

The Bengali people are an ethnic community native to the historic region of Bengal (now divided between Bangladesh and India) in South Asia. They speak Bengali (Bangla), which is an Indo-Aryan language of the eastern Indian subcontinent, evolved from the Magadhi Prakrit and Sanskrit languages. In their native language, they are referred to as Bangali. They are mostly Indo-Aryan people from the eastern Indian subcontinent. However, many are also descended from Austro-Asiatic and Dravidian peoples, and closely related to the Assamese, Biharis and other East Indians, as well as to Munda and Tibeto-Burman peoples. As such, Bengalis are a homogeneous but considerably diverse ethnic group with heterogeneous origins.

The Bengali people are mostly concentrated in the states of West Bengal and Tripura in India and in Bangladesh. There are also a number of Bengali communities scattered in North-East India, New Delhi, and the Indian states of Assam, Jharkhand, Bihar, Maharastra, Karnataka, Andhra Pradesh, Madhya Pradesh, Uttar Pradesh and Orissa. In addition, there are significant Bengali communities beyond South Asia, the most well established Bengali communities are in the United Kingdom and United States. Large numbers of Bengalis (mainly from Sylhet) have settled in Britain, mainly living in the East boroughs of London, numbering from around 300,000, in the USA there are about 150,000 living across the country, mainly in New York. There are also millions living across the Gulf States, majority of whom are living as foreign workers. There are also many Bengalis in Malaysia, South Korea, Canada, Japan, Australia and many other countries.

Remnants of civilization in the greater Bengal region date back 4,000 years, when the region was settled by Dravidian, Tibeto-Burman and Austro-Asiatic peoples. The exact origin of the word Bangla or Bengal is unknown, though it is believed to be derived from the Dravidian-speaking tribe Bang that settled in the area around the year 1000 B.C.T.

After the arrival of Indo-Aryans, the kingdoms of Anga, Vanga and Magadha were formed in and around Bengal and were first described in the Atharvaveda around 1000 B.C.T.. From the 6th century B.C.T., Magadha expanded to include most of the Bihar and Bengal regions. It was one of the four main kingdoms of India at the time of Buddha and was one of the sixteen Mahajanapadas. Under the Maurya Empire founded by Chandragupta Maurya, Magadha extended over nearly all of South Asia, including parts of Persia and Afghanistan, reaching its greatest extent under the Buddhist emperor Ashoka the Great in the 3rd century B.C.T. One of the earliest foreign references to Bengal is the mention of a land ruled by the king Xandrammes named Gangaridai by the Greeks around 100 B.C.T. The word is speculated to have come from Gangahrd (Land with the Ganges in its heart) in reference to an area in Bengal. Later, from the 3rd to the 6th centuries C.C., the kingdom of Magadha served as the seat of the Gupta Empire.

One of the first recorded independent kings of Bengal was Shashanka, reigning around the early 7th century. After a period of anarchy, Gopala came to power in 750 by democratic election. He founded the Bengali Buddhist Pala Empire which ruled the region for four hundred years, and expanded across much of Southern Asia, from Assam in the northeast, to Kabul in the west, to Andhra Pradesh in the south. Atisha was a well known Bengali Buddhist teacher who was instrumental in revival of Buddhism in Tibet and also held the position of Abbot at the Vikramshila university. Tilopa was also from Bengal region.

The Pala dynasty was later followed by a shorter reign of the Hindu Sena dynasty. Islam was introduced to Bengal in the twelfth century by Sufi missionaries. Subsequent Muslim conquests helped spread Islam throughout the region. Bakhtiar Khilji, an Afghan general of the Slave dynasty of the Delhi Sultanate, defeated Lakshman Sen of the Sena dynasty and conquered large parts of Bengal. Consequently, the region was ruled by dynasties of sultans and feudal lords under the Delhi Sultanate for the next few hundred years. Islam was introduced to the Sylhet region by the Muslim saint Shah Jalal in the early 14th century. In the 16th century, Mughal general Islam Khan conquered Bengal. However, administration by governors appointed by the court of the Mughal Empire gave way to the semi-independence of the area under the Nawabs of Murshidabad, who nominally respected the sovereignty of the Mughals in Delhi. After the collapse of the Mughal Empire in 1707, Bengal was ruled independently by the Nawabs until 1757, when the region was annexed by the East India Company after the Battle of Plassey.

The Bengal Renaissance refers to a social reform movement during the nineteenth and early twentieth centuries in the region of Bengal in undivided India during the period of British rule. The Bengal renaissance can be said to have started with Raja Ram Mohan Roy (1775-1833) and ended with Rabindranath Tagore (1861-1941), although there have been many stalwarts thereafter embodying particular aspects of the unique intellectual and creative output. Nineteenth century Bengal was a unique blend of religious and social reformers, scholars, literary giants, journalists, patriotic orators and scientists, all merging to form the image of a renaissance, and marked the transition from the 'medieval' to the 'modern'.

Bengal played a major role in the Indian independence movement, in which revolutionary groups such as Anushilan Samiti and Jugantar were dominant. Bengalis also played a notable role in the Indian independence movement. Many of the early proponents of the freedom struggle, and subsequent leaders in the movement were Bengalis such as Chittaranjan Das, Surendranath Banerjea, Netaji Subhash Chandra Bose, Prafulla Chaki, Bagha Jatin, Khudiram Bose, Surya Sen, Binoy-Badal-Dinesh, Sarojini Naidu, Aurobindo Ghosh, Rashbehari Bose and many more. Some of these leaders, such as Netaji, did not subscribe to the view that non-violent civil disobedience was the best way to achieve Indian Independence, and were instrumental in armed resistance against the British force. Netaji was the co-founder and leader of the Indian National Army (distinct from the army of British India) that challenged British forces in several parts of India. He was also the head of state of a parallel regime, the Arzi Hukumat-e-Azad Hind, that was recognized and supported by the Axis powers. Bengal was also the fostering ground for several prominent revolutionary organizations, the most notable of which was Anushilan Samiti. A large number of Bengalis were martyred in the freedom struggle and many were exiled in Cellular Jail, the much dreaded prison located in Andaman.

The two major religions practiced in Bengal are Islam and Hinduism. In Bangladesh 88.3% of the population follow Islam while 9.2% follow Hinduism. In West Bengal, Hindus are the majority with 70% of the population while Muslims comprise 23%. Other religious groups include Buddhists and Christians.

Noted Bengali saints, authors, scientists, researchers, thinkers, music composers, painters and film-makers have played a significant role in the development of Bengali culture . The Bengal Renaissance of the 19th and early 20th centuries was brought about after the British introduced Western education and ideas. Among the various Indian cultures, the Bengalis were relatively quick to adapt to the British rule and actually use its principles (such as the judiciary and the legislature) in the subsequent political struggle for independence. The Bengal Renaissance contained the seeds of a nascent political Indian nationalism and was the precursor in many ways to modern Indian artistic and cultural expression.

The Bengali poet and novelist, Rabindranath Tagore, became the first Nobel laureate from Asia when he won the 1913 Nobel Prize in Literature. Other Bengali Nobel laureates include Amartya Sen (1999 Nobel Memorial Prize in Economic Sciences) and Muhammad Yunus (2006 Nobel Peace Prize). Other famous figures in Bengali literature include Ram Mohan Roy, Kazi Nazrul Islam, and Bangla science fiction writers such as Jagadananda Roy and Roquia Sakhawat Hussain (Begum Rokeya). Famous Bengali scientists include Jagadish Chandra Bose and Satyendra Nath Bose; famous Bengali engineers include Fazlur Khan and Amar Bose ; famous Bengali filmmakers include Satyajit Ray, Bimal Roy, Mrinal Sen, Ritwik Ghatak, Aparna Sen and Tareque Masud; and famous Bengali entrepeneurs include Sake Dean Mahomed, Amar Bose and Jawed Karim.

Bangalis see Bengalis.

Ben Gesla
Ben Gesla (Byngezla) (Abu ‘Ali Yahya ibn Jazla) (Abu 'Ali Yahya ibn Isa ibn Jazla al-Baghdadi) (Ibn Jazlah) (Buhahylyha Bingezla) (d. 1100).  Arab physician of Baghdad.  He described 352 maladies, indicating the appropriate diets for them.

Ben Gesla (Ibn Jazla) was an 11th-century physician of Baghdad and an author of an influential treatise on a regimen that was translated into Latin in 1280 C.C. by the Sicilian Jewish physician Faraj ben Salem.

Ibn Jazla was born of Christian Nestorian parents at Baghdad. He converted to Islam in 1074. He died in 1100 under the tutelage of Abu `Ali ibn Al-Walid Al-Maghribi.

Ibn Jazla's Taqwim al-Abdan fi Dadbir al-Insan (dispositio corporum de constittutione hominis, Tacuin agritudinum), as the name implies, consists of tables in which diseases are arranged like the stars in astronomical tables.  This treatise was translated into Latin.

The Tacuin was translated by the Jew Faraj ben Salim and the Latin version was published in 1532. A German translation was published at Strasbourg in 1533 by Hans Schotte.

Ibn Jazla also wrote another work, Al-Minhaj fi Al-Adwiah Al-Murakkabah, (Methodology of Compound Drugs), which was translated by Jambolinus and was known in Latin translation as the Cibis et medicines simplicibus.

Late in life Ibn Jazla wrote a treatise in praise of Islam and criticizing Christianity and Judaism.

Byngezla see Ben Gesla
Abu ‘Ali Yahya ibn Jazla see Ben Gesla
Gelsa, Ben see Ben Gesla
Abu 'Ali Yahya ibn Isa ibn Jazla al-Baghdadi see Ben Gesla
Ibn Jazlah see Ben Gesla
Buhahylyha Bingezla see Ben Gesla

Beni Amer
Beni Amer.  The pastoral Beni Amer of eastern Sudan and northwestern Ethiopia are one of the five groups recognized as Beja, the others being the Hadendowa, Bisharin, Ammarar and Ababda.  Unlike the others, however, the Beni Amer are not so much a tribe in the ethnic sense as a confederation of various groups that have formed a single political unit.  

Although exposed to Islam since the Funj period, the Beni Amer have been Muslim only since the nineteenth century of the Christian calendar.  The renaissance of Sufism that tookplace in nineteenth century Arabia under Sayyid Ahmed Idris led one of his disciples, Sayyid Muhammad Uthman al-Mirghani, to proselytize successfully in the Sudan.  It was under Muhammad Uthman’s son, al-Hassan, that the Mirghaniyya (better known as the Khatmiyya) became the dominant Muslim Sufi order in eastern Sudan and Eritrea.  The Beni Amer as a group give complete religious allegiance to the Khatmiyya.  This allegiance was further cemented by marriages between the family of the Diglel and leading families of the Khatmiyya.  

Amer, Beni  see Beni Amer.

Benin slaves
Benin slaves. Benin was an ancient African kingdom located in the south-central Nigerian forest, not far from the Guinea Coast.  It was founded at the beginning of the thirteenth century.  Before the coming of the Europeans, it was the center of a network of trade routes linking towns and villages throughout almost the entire western Sudan.  Around 1482, when the Portuguese reached the Guinea Coast, Benin was already a powerful state where the industrial arts and the art of working gold, ivory, bronze, and iron were well developed.  Hence, the Portuguese found considerable opportunities for trade expansion there.  Benin flourished during the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries when it achieved extraordinary artistic development, which in many respects equaled that of Europe.  Between 1680 and 1730, the devastation of the slave-raiding wars began to destroy its trade and its political structure.  Even so, it remained a powerful kingdom until the end of the nineteenth century.  In colonial Brazil, Muslim slaves were imported from the Benin Kingdom.  These slaves were skilled in iron, gold, and bronze work, and introduced into the northeast a highly advanced metallurgic art. The vast majority of the so-called Benin slaves brought to the New World during the nineteenth century came from a narrow coastal region -- from the present state of Togo in the west to the Cameroons in the east. 

Benjedid (Chadli Benjedid) (Chadli Bendjedid) (b. April 14, 1929 at Bouteldja, near Annaba).  President of Algeria.  He was born in Sebaa.  He joined the National Liberation Front shortly after the Algerian revolution began in 1954 and rose through the ranks of the guerrilla forces.  By the early 1960s, he was on the staff of Colonel (later president) Houari Boumedienne, and he played a decisive role in the latter’s overthrow of President Ahmed Ben Bella in 1965.  Subsequently serving in the Revolutionary Council and as acting minister of defense (1978), he was elected president in February, 1979.  

Chadli Benjedid was President of Algeria from February 9, 1979 to January 11, 1992. He served in the French Army as a non-commissioned officer and fought in Indo-China when the rebellion began there in 1954. He defected to the National Liberation Front (FLN) at the beginning of the Algerian War of Independence. A protege of Houari Boumediene, Bendjedid was rewarded with the military command of the Oran, Algeria region in 1964. After independence, he rose through the ranks, becoming head of the 2nd military region in 1964 and Colonel in 1969. He was minister of defense from November 1978 to February 1979 and became president following the death of Boumédiènne. Bendjadid was a compromise candidate who came to power after the party leadership and presidency were contested at the fourth FLN congress held on January 27 -31, 1979. The most likely to succeed Boumedienne were Mohammad Salah Yahiaoui and Abdelaziz Bouteflika. The latter had served as a foreign secretary at the United Nations for sixteen years. He was a prominent member of the Oujda clan and regarded as a pro-Western liberal. Yahiaoui was closely affiliated with the communists, permitting the Parti de l'Avant-Garde Socialiste (PAGS) to acquire jurisdiction over the mass trade union and youth organizations.

In office, Benjedid reduced the state's role in the economy and eased government surveillance of citizens. In the late 1980s, with the economy failing due to rapidly falling oil prices, tension rose between elements of the regime who supported Benjedid's economic liberalization policies, and those who wanted a return to the statist model. In October, 1988, youth marches protesting the regime’s austerity policies, and shouting slogans against Benjedid, evolved into massive rioting which spread to Oran, Annaba and other cities; the military’s brutal suppression of the rioters left several hundred dead. Perhaps as a political survival strategy, Benjedid then called for and began to implement a transition towards multi-party democracy. But, in 1991, the military intervened to stop elections from bringing the Islamist Front Islamique du Salut (FIS) to power, forcing Benjedid out of office and sparking a long and bloody Algerian Civil War.

In Algerian politics, Chadli Benjedid is considered a symbol for the nation's numerous failures as his term in office coincided with a halt in the industrial development policy, militant socialism and engaged third world politics characteristic of the Houari Boumédienne era as well as with the adoption of various policies that transformed the country into a consumer society under the slogan 'For a better life'.

Chadli Benjedid is also often held responsible for the rise of Islamic fundamentalism in Algeria as, contrary to his predecessor Boumédienne, he tolerated the rise of various Islamist grassroots movements during the 1980s as well as the legalizing of the FIS following the riots of October 1988.  Various conspiracy theories have accused him of being involved in a plot aimed at transforming Algeria into a Muslim fundamentalist state.

Chadli Benjedid see Benjedid
Chadli Bendjedid see Benjedid

Berbesi.  African ethnic group situated in the Guinea-Bissau coastal region from which many slaves were taken to Peru between 1548 and 1560. 

Beri.   Arabs distinguish two ethnic groups on the border of Chad and Sudan, the Zaghawa and Bideyat, the former a more settled group of cattle raisers, the latter a more nomadic group of camel breeders.  Both Zaghawa and Bideyat in their own language call themselves Beri and know that they belong to one ethnic group.

The conversion of the Beri to Islam took place gradually.  Among the Zaghawa of Sudan it took place earlier and was established more deeply than among the Zaghawa and Bideyat of Chad.  Tradition says that Abdullay Boru introduced Islam to the Kobe clan in the seventeenth century.  At the end of the nineteenth century and the beginning of the twentieth, Mahdist and Senussi movements did not succeed in securing support among the Zaghawa.  In the Ennedi hills, around Beskere and Baki, the Senussi success was short lived.  In 1957, one could find in Hiri-ba (a small village shown on French maps as “Iriba”), the residence of the Sultan of the Zaghawa in Chad, one mosque, two fuqura (jurisconsultants) and some learned members of the royal house.  The fast of Ramadan was strictly observed; some of the villagers (mainly from among the royal family) had made the Hajj, and the Friday prayer was well attended.

The Zaghawa (also spelled Zakhawa) are an African ethnic group or tribe, mainly living in eastern Chad and western Sudan, including the Darfur province of Sudan.

The Kanemite royal history, the Girgam, refers to the Zaghawa people as the Duguwa. Today, Zaghawa refer to themselves as the Beri, while the name "Zaghawa" comes from the nearby Arab peoples and became better known. They have their own language, which is also called Zaghawa, and the breed of sheep that they herd is called Zaghawa by the Arabs. They are semi-nomadic and obtain much of their livelihood through herding cattle, camels and sheep and harvesting wild grains. It has been estimated that there are between 75,000 and 350,000 Zaghawa. They primarily live in Chad and the Darfur region of Sudan.

Zaghawa are first mentioned in Arabic language texts. The Arab geographer al-Ya'qubi, in a description written around 890 spoke of them as the “Zaghawa who live in a place called Kanem,” and proceeded to list a string of other kingdoms under Zaghawa rule which cannot be identified for sure, but make it clear that they had some sort of hegemony over most of the smaller complex societies that stretched from at least Lake Chad to the Christian Nile valley kingdoms of Nubia, Makuria and Alwa. Ya'qubi also mentioned that the Zaghawa sold slaves to the north. Al-Ya'qubi and other early accounts make the Zaghawa to be nomadic and it appears that their hegemony over this region was not unlike the sort of loose rule that nomadic cultures sometimes exercised over settled populations elsewhere in the world.

Zaghawa overrule continued for a considerable period, the geography of the region given by Al-Idrisi in 1154 and Yaqut in 1220 also reveal an oasis centered system of Zaghawa power, and includes the two main towns of Kanem, Manan and Anjimi. Al-Idrisi is first to provide anything like a detailed geography (1154).

Ibn Sa'id, however, writing in 1270 provides a new geography showing that Kanem at the very least had become independent, and research by German scholar Dierk Lange studying the Girgam or Diwan of Kanem, argue that the change in sovereignty is correlated with changes in the origins of the wives of the rulers, moving from northern clans, presumably associated with the Zaghawa to a single southern lineage. This transformation and ibn Said's contemporary evidence both suggest that the power of the Zaghawa was broken, probably in the reign of Kanem's ruler Dunama Dibalami (c. 1210-1248).

Although Zaghawa power was broken by the rise of Kanem in the Lake Chad region, Zaghawa retained control over a considerable portion of the lands lying east of Kanem, and it is only in the late fourteenth century that Darfur is mentioned as an independent state by the Egyptian historian and geographer Maqrizi.

Following the rise of Darfur and Kanem, the Zaghawa appear to have controlled only desert areas and ceased to be a major regional power.

While they are not very powerful in Sudan, the Zaghawa politically dominate Chad. The current president, Idriss Déby and several former prime ministers of Chad are Zaghawa, as well as many other members of the government. Thus the Chadian Zaghawa are among the richest and most influential people of Chad.

However, in Sudan, the Zaghawa are caught up in the Darfur crisis, and have suffered much loss from the troubles there. The Zaghawa of Sudan are among the peoples living in the refugee camps in Darfur and eastern Chad.

The Zaghawa have been among the tribes in Darfur who have been referred to as "African" even as other tribes that have fought with them have been called "Arab".

As a result of Tijani Muslim missionaries from West Africa who were traveling through their area to make the pilgrimage to Mecca, the leadership converted to Islam. In the 1940s, the Zaghawa began to turn to Islam from Animism en masse. In Darfur, the Zaghawa are well-known for their piety. Due to the fighting in Darfur, where they are targeted by local Arab militia due to their ethnic heritage, 100,000 have become refugees across the border in Chad. A Zaghawa tribesman named Daoud Hari wrote a memoir about Darfur called The Translator, which spread knowledge about the atrocities in Darfur.

Bideyat see Beri.
Zaghawa see Beri.
Zakhawa see Beri.
Duguwa see Beri.

Berke.  Ruler of the Golden Horde (r.1257-1266).  He was a son of Juci and was converted to Islam.  He waged war with his cousin Hulegu and, therefore, formed an alliance with the Mameluke sultan Baybars I.  

Berke Khan was the ruler of the Ulus of Jochi (or Golden Horde) who effectively consolidated the power of the Blue Horde and White Hordes from 1257 to 1266. He succeeded his brother Batu Khan of the Blue Horde (West) and was responsible of the first "official establishment" of Islam in a Mongol state and came to the aid of the Mamelukes in defense of the Holy Land in the Battle of Ayn Jalut against another Mongol state, the Ilkhanate.

"Berkh" literally means "difficult" in the Mongol language. Berke was one of the sons of Jochi, the eldest son of Genghis Khan, and Sultan Khatun. Berke was present, with several of his brothers, at the inauguration of his uncle Ogedei as Great Khan in 1229.

In 1236, Berke joined his brothers Orda, Sinkur, and Siban and an assortment of cousins under the leadership of Batu Khan. The vast army, comprising some 150,000 soldiers, marched from Siberia and into the territory of the Muslim Volga Bulgars and Kipchaks, whom they subdued. Batu and Subotai sent Berke to the country north of the Caucasus to conquer the Kipchaks there. During the winter of 1238-39, Berke defeated the Kipchaks and imprisoned the chief of the Mekrits. He afterwards subdued the steppe watered by the Kuma and the Terek.

Next they devastated the principalities of Ryazan and Suzdal in 1237, and marched further into Russia. Berke further served under his brother during the invasion of Europe, fighting at the Battle of the Mohi, where the Hungarian army was decimated. When Ögedei Khan died, and all the princes of the blood were summoned to return to Mongolia to select a Great Khan, Berke and his brothers joined Batu in his bid for power. When that failed, the Kipchak Khanate settled into Russia, and looked east to defend themselves against their cousins.

When he was at Saray-Jük, Berke met a caravan from Bukhara and questioned them about their faith. Berke was converted by Saif ud-Din Dervish, a dervish from Khwarezm. Berke persuaded his brother Tukh-timur to convert to Islam as well.

In 1248 Batu sent Berke, along with his brother Tukh-timur, to Mongolia in order to install Mongke Khan on the throne of Great Khan. When he arrived, he invited the Chagatai and Ogedeyd families several times, but they refused politely. That is why, Berke conducted the kurultai in 1251 and had Mongke enthroned. Berke organized everything under strict conditions. During the coronation of Mongke, it is said that Berke had the sheep killed to have a meal in accordance with the Qur'an..

When Batu died in 1255, he was briefly succeeded by his son Sartak, before Berke assumed leadership in 1257. He was an able ruler and succeeded in maintaining and stabilizing the Golden Horde, western khanate of the Mongol Empire in Russia. During his government, the Mongols finally defeated the rebellion of Danylo of Halych and made a second attack against Lithuania and Poland, led by the famous general Burundai in 1259. Lublin, Zawichost, Sandomierz, Krakow and Bytom were plundered. Also in 1265 there was a raid against Bulgaria and Byzantine Thrace. Michael of the Byzantine Empire also sent much valuable fabric to the Golden Horde as a tribute thereafter.

After Berke was converted by the dervish Saif ud-Din (Seiffedin), he became a devout Muslim. His conversion resulted in the Blue Horde becoming primarily Muslim, although there were still animists and Christians among them. Berke had a determination to deal with Hulagu Khan, who had murdered the Caliph Al-Musta'sim, and whose territorial ambitions in Syria and Egypt threatened Berke's fellow Muslims.

In the meantime, the Mongols led by Kitbuqa had fallen out with the crusaders holding the coast of Palestine, and the Mamelukes were able to ally with them, pass through their territory, and destroy the Mongol army at the Battle of Ayn Jalut. Kitbuqa was killed. Palestine and Syria were permanently lost, the border remaining the Tigris for the duration of Hulagu's dynasty. Berke's vow of vengeance against Hulagu had to wait until the latter's return to his lands after the death of Mongke Khan.

Hulagu returned to his lands by 1262, but instead of being able to avenge his defeats, was drawn into civil war with Berke and the Blue Horde. Berke Khan had promised such a defeat in his rage after Hulagu's sack of Baghdad. It is notable that Berke Khan kept his promise, allying himself with the Mamelukes. Berke sought an alliance with the Mameluke sultan Baybars against Hulagu. When Hulagu returned to his lands in 1262, after the succession was finally settled with Kublai as the last Great Khan, and massed his armies to avenge Ayn Jalut and attack the Mamelukes, Berke Khan initiated a series of raids in force which drew Hulagu north to meet him. This was the first open conflict between Mongols, and signaled the end of the unified empire.

The reason for the conflict between Berke and Hulagu was not only religion. It was territory. Mongke Khan gave Azerbaijan, which was given to Jochi by Jenghis Khan before, to his brother Hulagu. Although, Berke did not like the situation, he tolerated it until Mongke's death.

In 1262 the conflict turned into open war. Hulagu Khan suffered severe defeat in an attempted invasion north of the Caucasus in 1263. Hulagu's forces were crushed at the Terek river by Berke's nephew Nogai, forcing Hulagu into retreat.  Hulagu died in 1265. Additioanlly, the Chagatai khan Alghu invaded Khwarizm and annexed Golden Horde lands. The Jochid army tried to halt his advance unsuccessfully.

Berke supported Great Khan claimant Ariq Boke, and he minted coins in the name of Ariq Boke. However, Kublai defeated Ariq Boke by 1264. Kublai called both Hulegu and Berke to discuss the Ariq Boke matter. However, both of them noted that they could not come to the Kurultai at that time, and the new Kurultai was never held.

Berke died while fighting Hulagu's son, Abaqa Khan, in 1266. He was succeeded by his grandnephew, Mengu-Timur. The policy of alliance with the Mamelukes, and containment of the Il-Khanate, was continued by Mengu-Timur. Many historians are in agreement that the intervention by Berke against Hulagu saved the remainder of the Holy Land, including Mecca and Jerusalem, from the same fate as Baghdad.

Berkyaruq (Rukn al-Din Berkyaruq) (b.1079).  Great Saljuq (r.1094-1105).  He ruled in Iraq and Persia but, in his time, the visible decline of the regime began.
Rukn al-Din Berkyaruq see Berkyaruq

Berri (Nabih Berri) (b. January 28, 1938).  Lebanese politician and speaker of the parliament.  Berri was born in Bo Sierra Leone into a Shi‘a Muslim family that was living in Freetown, Sierra Leone.  In the 1940s, his family moved back to Lebanon, and settled in the town of Tibnin (Tebnine) in southern Lebanon.  

Nabih Berri went to school in Tebnine and Ain Ebel in southern Lebanon and later studied at the Makassed and the Ecole de la Sagesse in Beirut. He obtained a law degree in 1963 from the Lebanese University, where he had served as the student body president, and became a lawyer at the Court of Appeals. During the 1960s, he joined the Arab Nationalist Movement.

In 1968, Berri was denied a place on the Shi‘a electorate list for parliament by the Shi‘a leader Kamal al-Asa‘ad.  In 1972, Berri was once again stymied in his attempt to run for parliament by al-Asa‘ad.  Asa‘ad’s opposition would cause enmity between the two men throughout their careers.

In 1975, Berri entered into an alliance with Imam Musa Sadr and founded the Amal militia.

In the early 1970s, he worked in Beirut as a lawyer for General Motors. In 1976, Berri moved to the United States. He lived in the Detroit area from 1976 to 1978.

Berri held a series of positions in the Amal movement during the late 1970s, after the disappearance of Imam Musa al-Sadr, a Shi'a cleric who disappeared under mysterious circumstances while on a trip to Libya in 1978, and who is thought to have been killed on the orders of Muammar al-Gaddafi.

In 1978, Berri returned to Lebanon and became the secretary general of Amal, following the disappearance of Musa Sadr.  Under Berri, Amal developed into one of the most efficient militias during the Lebanese Civil War, due in large part to its close alliance with Syria.

In June 1982, Berri urged Shi‘a militia into a strong opposition against the Israeli occupation of southern Lebanon.  

In May 1983, Berri vehemently opposed President Amin Gemayel’s peace accord with Israel.  

In February 1984, Berri called on Muslim troops in the Lebanese army to defy president Gemayel.  This was a reaction to Gemayel’s order razing Shi‘a quarters in Beirut.  Berri’s manifestation of power resulted in Gemayel beginning to deal with Berri directly on Shi‘a questions.  With this shift, Berri managed to push his enemy, Kamal al-Asa‘ad, from power.

In April 1984, Berri became Minister for Reconstruction of South Lebanon in the national reconciliation government led by Rashid Karami.  

In 1984, Berri was elected leader of the Amal movement, and led it during the fierce fighting of the Lebanese Civil War. He subsequently joined the National Unity government as Minister for Southern Reconstruction, and later, he served as Minister of Justice and of Electrical and Hydraulic Resources, under Prime Minister Rashid Karami. He also was Minister of Housing and Co-operatives and Minister of State.

In December 1985, together with the Maronite president Gemayel and the Druze leader Kamal Jumblatt, Berri signed the National Agreement to Solve the Lebanese Crisis, but this never lead to any real results as it was opposed by Karami and the Sunni Muslims.  

In July 1986, Berri went into exile in Syria, but managed to keep his leadership over Amal.

In 1987, Berri ordered Amal to attack Druze and other pro-PLO forces in Beirut.  This campaign was a failure which might have led to the destruction of large parts of Amal if not for the intervention of Syrian forces.  Berri subsequently returned to Lebanon from Syria.

In 1988, Berri allowed the Amal forces to be used by Syria against the growth of Hezbollah.  

In 1989, Berri ordered his troops against Michel Aoun, even though Aoun enjoyed much support from Shi‘a groups in Lebanon.  In October of this same year, with the completion of the National Reconciliation Charter, Berri supported the Charter after pressure from president Hafez al-Assad of Syria.  Later, in November, Berri became a minister in the government of Salim al-Hoss.

In 1992, Berri became Speaker of the Parliament, the highest political position that a Shi‘a Muslim was allowed under the Lebanese constitution.   Berri became effectively (if not formally) one of Lebanon’s three heads of state, together with the Maronite Christian president Emile Lahoud and the Sunni Muslim prime minister Rafiq Hariri.

On 8 September 1996, Berri's list, the Liberation and Development list, won the legislative elections and he was once again re-elected Speaker.

On 3 June 2003, he was elected President of the Arab Parliamentary Union, which he assumed on March 1 the following year.

Nabih Berri, for more than 20 years, was one of the strongest leaders of the Shi‘a in Lebanon.  However, in reality, he was little more than a puppet for the rulers of Damascus.  Nevertheless, in order to survive in his position for as long as he did -- for a time longer than any other twentieth century Lebanese politician -- Berri’s sharp intelligence and abilities for both manipulation and cooperation should not be underestimated.   Ultimately, Berri may be remembered most for provoking many of his fellow Shi‘a with his clearly anti-PLO orientation.  Berri’s unpopularity with the Shi‘a is one of the reasons for the success of the alternative Shi‘a group known as Hezbollah.  

Nabih Berri see Berri

Berti.  According to their own tradition, the original homeland of the Berti is the Tagabo Hills region in the northern Darfur Province of the Republic of Sudan.  However, today, many Berti live near Um Keddada and Taweisha in eastern Darfur, where they migrated during the second half of the eighteenth century, when the neighboring Meidob began to penetrate into the original Berti territory.  A number of Berti, intermingled with the Fur, live around and partly in El Fasher, the capital of northern Darfur, and small Berti colonies dating back to the Mahdist period exist elsewhere in the Sudan, particularly in Gedaref and near Um Ruwaba in Kordofan.  A number of Berti live with other ethnic groups in Jazira.  

Berti is an extinct language formerly found in northern Sudan, specifically in the Tagabo Hills, Darfur, and Kurdufan. Berti is classified by Ethnologue as Nilo-Saharan - Saharan - Eastern. Berti speakers migrated into the region with other Nilo-Saharan speakers, such as the Masalit and Daju, who were agriculturalists practicing varying degrees of animal husbandry. They settled in two separate areas: one north of Al-Fashir, while the other had continued eastward, settling in eastern Darfur and western Kurdufan by the nineteenth century. The two groups did not appear to share a common identity, the western group differing noticeably in its cultivation of gum arabic. By the 1990s, Arabic had largely replaced Berti as a native language.

bey.  Title of the ruler of a small tribal group among Turkish peoples.  The title was also bestowed upon members of ruling families and important officials.

During the Ottoman Empire, the ruler was called “bey” until 1394, when Bayazid I was given the right to call himself “sultan” by the shadow caliph in Cairo.  However, the title “bey” did not disappear, and came to be used by governors of a province.  The bey was an important figure, often autonomous from the sultans in Istanbul (before 1453 Bursa and Edirne).  The bey even had his own flag.  From 1705, “bey” became the title of the sovereign of Tunisia.

Over time, “bey” became used in more and more fashions, and all over the Ottoman Empire it was used in a similar way to “sir” in English.  After the introduction of the Turkish republic, its use was even reduced to a fashion similar to “Mr.” in English.  

Bey is a Turkish title for "chieftain," traditionally applied to the leaders of small tribal groups. In historical accounts, many Turkish, other Turkic and Persian leaders are titled Bey, Beg, Bek, Bay, Baig or Beigh. They are all the same word with the simple meaning of "lord." The regions or provinces where Beys (the equivalent of duke in Europe) ruled or which they administered were called Beylik, roughly meaning "emirate" or "principality" in the first case, "province" or "governorate" in the second (the equivalent of duchy in Europe). Today, the word is used as a social title for men (like the English word "mister").

The first three rulers of the Ottoman realm were titled Bey. The chief sovereign of the Ottoman Empire only came to be called sultan starting in 1383 when Murad I was granted this title by the shadow caliph in Cairo.

The Ottoman state had started out as one of a dozen Turkish Ghazi Beyliks, roughly comparable to western European duchies, into which Anatolia (i.e., Asian Turkey, or Asia Minor) had been divided after the break-up of the Seljuk Sultanate of Ikonion (Konya) and the military demise of the Byzantine Empire. Its capital was Bursa. By 1336 it had annexed only the Beylik of Karasy, its western neighbor on the coast of the Sea of Marmara, but it began to expand quite rapidly thereafter.

As the Ottoman realm grew from a Beylik into an imperial sultanate, the title "Bey" came to be applied to subordinate military and administrative officers, such as a district administrator and lower-level minor military governors. The latter were usually titled sanjakbey (after the term "Sanjak", denoting a military horsetail banner). Beys were lower in rank than pashas and provincial governors (wālis, usually holding the title of pasha), who governed most of the Ottoman vilayets (provinces), but higher than effendis.

Eventually the chiefs of the former Ottoman capitals Bursa and Edirne (formerly the Byzantine Adrianople) in Turkish Thrace both were designated "Bey."

Over time the title became somewhat devalued, as Bey was even used a courtesy title (alongside Pashazade) for a pasha's son. It also came to be attached to officers and dignitaries below those entitled to be pashas, notably the following military officer ranks (still lower ranks were styled efendi):

    * Miralai (army colonel or navy captain)
    * Kaimakam (army lieutenant-colonel or navy commander)

Oddly, the compound Beyefendi was part of the title of the husband (full style Damad-i-Shahyari (given name) Beyefendi) and sons (full style Sultanzade (given name) Beyefendi) of an Imperial Princess, and their sons in turn were entitled to the courtesy title Beyzade (literally "Son of a Bey"). For the grandsons of an imperial princess, the official style was simply Bey after the name.).

By the late 19th century, "Bey" had been reduced in Ottoman Turkey to an honorary equivalent of the English-speaking address (not the British courtesy title) "Sir". While in Qazaq and other Central Asian Turkic languages, bey remains a rather honorific title, in modern Turkish, and in Azerbaijan, the word "bey" (or "bay") simply means "mister" (compare efendi) or "sir" and is used in the meaning of "chieftain" only in historical context. Bay is also used in Turkish in combined form for certain military ranks, e.g. albay, meaning colonel, from alay "regiment" and -bay, and yarbay, meaning lieutenant colonel, from yardim "assistance" and -bay (thus an "assistant albay").

As with most Turkish titles, it follows the name rather than precedes it as in western languages, e.g. "Ahmet Bey" for "Mr. Ahmet". When one speaks of Mr. Ahmet, the title has to be written with a capital (Ahmet Bey), but when one addresses him directly it is simply written without capital (Ahmet bey). Bey may combine with efendi to give a common form of address, to which the possessive suffix -(i)m is usually added: beyefendim, efendim.

Beyefendi has its feminine counterpart: hanımefendi, used alone, to address a woman without her first name. And with the first name: Ayşe Hanım or Ayşe hanım, for example, according to the rule given above about the use of the capital letter.

Under Ottoman rule the title was used also in Albania (Albanian language: bej, be, or beu), in two forms:

    * in the Gheg north, as a title given specifically to the officials of the Ottoman Empire.
    * in the Tosk south, it was not only used in a similar fashion, but the main use of the name came to be Bey of the Village. The mayoral "beys" in Tosk villages formed a wealthy but largely illiterate elite, exploiting the peasants who were bound to the land in a status comparable to serfdom, a state of affairs continued in the Tosk districts even after Albanian independence in 1912, as King Zog took power and forbade the "Beys" to mistreat the peasants.

The term is not used anymore in Albania except when referring to historical figures and events or for humorous purposes (meaning to joke about someone who does not possess a clear thinking ability). Nevertheless, a select number of families still use the bey-ending in their last names. It is often cited as tribute to past blood lines. However, the name is generally associated with the Çabej line of Albania.

The title Bey could be maintained as a similar office within Arab states that broke away from the High Porte, such as Khedive Mehmet Ali's Egypt, where it was a rank below Pasha (maintained in two rank classes after 1922), and a title of courtesy for a Pasha's son.

Even much earlier, the virtual sovereign's title in Barbaresque North African 'regency' states was "Bey". Notably in Tunis, the Husainid Dynasty used a whole series of title and styles including Bey:

    * Just Bey itself was part of the territorial title of the ruler, and also as a title used by all male members of the family (rather like Sultan in the Ottoman dynasty).
    * Bey al-Kursi, 'Bey of the Throne', a term equivalent to reigning prince.
    * Bey al-Mahalla, 'Bey of the Camp', title used for the next most senior member of the Beylical family after the reigning Bey, the Heir Apparent to the throne.
    * Bey al-Taula, 'Bey of the Table', the title of the Heir Presumptive, the eldest prince of the Beylical family, who enjoyed precedence immediately after the Bey al-Mahalla.
    * Beylerbeyi (or Beglerbegi), 'Lord of Lords', was the administrative rank formally enjoyed by the ruler of Tunis and by rulers of parts of the Balkans in their official capacity of Ottoman Governor-General within the Turkish empire.

beg see bey.
bay see bey.
baig see bey.
beigh see bey.
bek see bey.
lord see bey.

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