Monday, July 15, 2013

Hushang Shah Ghuri - Ibn al-Haytham

Hushang Shah Ghuri
Hushang Shah Ghuri (1405-1432).  Ruler of Malwa.  He extended the Malwa territories northwards and southwards.  He had a fine taste for architecture, which made Mandu a magnificent town.
Ghuri, Hushang Shah see Hushang Shah Ghuri

Husri, Abu Khaldun Sati‘ al-
Husri, Abu Khaldun Sati‘ al- (Abu Khaldun Sati' al-Husri) (1880-1968).  Leading ideologist and popularizer of Arab nationalism and Pan-Arabism.  Born in 1880 in San‘a, Yemen, to Syrian Arab parents from Aleppo, young al-Husri moved often as his father filled Ottoman judicial posts in Yeman, Anatolia, and Libya.  Since the family spoke Turkish at home, al-Husri learned Arabic late and spoke it with a heavy Turkish accent.  Graduating in 1900 from the Mulkiye Mektebi (Civil Service College) in Istanbul, he spent eight years in the Balkan cauldron of competing nationalisms, first as a schoolteacher and later as an Ottoman provincial official.

Although supporting the Committee of Union and Progress army officers who launched the Ottoman (“Young Turk”) Revolution of 1908, he shied away from direct involvement in party politics throughout his life.  His outspoken, even blunt manner often alienated his associates.  Al-Husri moved to Istanbul after the revolution.  He directed the Teacher Training College in Istanbul from 1909 to 1912, edited an Ottoman Turkish education journal, and won recognition as a leading educational reformer.  Rejecting Islamism and Turkish and Arab nationalism, he remained a dedicated secular Ottomanist throughout World War I.

With the effective demise of the Ottoman Empire in 1918, al-Husri switched his allegiance to Arab nationalism and joined Faysal ibn Husayn’s regime in Damascus as director general, then minister, of education.  Fleeing Syria’s French conquerors in 1920, he moved to Iraq when the British made Faysal king there in 1921.  For twenty years in Iraq – as director general of education, editor of an education magazine, head of the Teachers College, dean of the Law College, and director of antiquities – al-Husri promoted Arab nationalism at every opportunity.  He was exiled when Great Britain overthrew Rashid ‘Ali’s nationalist regime in 1941 and moved to Syria, where he arabized the national education system (1944-1946) as the French mandate came to an end.  The following decade he spent in Cairo as cultural adviser to the Arab League and first director of its Institute of Higher Arab Studies.  He retired at the age of seventy-seven in 1957 and died in Baghdad in 1968.

In both the Ottoman and Arab phases of his career al-Husri consistently worked for secular educational reform as a means of instilling patriotism in youth.  Until 1919, he advocated secular Ottoman patriotism, with people of all religions, languages, and ethnic groups joining as equal citizens.  He publicly clashed with Ziya Gokalp, the leading advocate of Turkish nationalism.  However, Ottoman nationalism proved too fragile to resist the centrifugal forces of other nationalisms.  

Al-Husri’s belated conversion to Arab nationalism enabled him to admit the force of linguistic bonds, which he had earlier denied.  Language and common history became the active ingredients of his theory of Arab nationalism.  He believed that despite their fragmentation under Western colonial regimes, Arabic-speakers from Morocco to Iraq and from Syria to the Sudan constituted a single nation (ummah).

Al-Husri so admired the fourteenth century writer Ibn Khaldun – interpreting his concept of ‘asabiyah (social solidarity) as a kind of national bond – that he named his son “Khaldun,” thereby adding “Abu (father of) Khaldun” to his own name.  Otherwise, most of the sources of al-Husri’s thought were Western.  He drew on the writings of French educators, scientific popularizers, and social thinkers, but after 1919 German romantic nationalists best suited his Arab nationalist purpose.  French nationalists had taken their state for granted, whereas German nationalists had believed themselves to be an organic nation long before achieving a unified state in 1871.  Above all, Fichte’s Addresses to the German Nation, penned after the defeat of Prussia by Napoleon in 1806, seemed to al-Husri to speak to a similarly divided and occupied Arab nation.  Like post-1806 German and post-1871 French educational reformers, he wanted the schools to emphasize patriotism, discipline, and self-sacrifice, not individual liberties.

Al-Husri’s emphasis on language and history led him to refute writers who made religion, race, will (as argued by Renan), economic circumstances, or geography the key determinants of national identity.  Unlike his Iraqi contemporary Sami Shawkat, al-Husri had no use for German racial theories.  Roaming freely through modern history, he selected examples to prove his points.

Al-Husri denounced “regional” nationalisms centered on existing states – he was particularly keen to persuade Egyptians of their Arabism – and he considered Pan-Islamism an ineffective distraction.  He took great pains to refute the westward looking Egyptian nationalism of the liberal writer and reformer.

Al-Husri opposed British, American, and other educators who advocated practical and vocational education and autonomy for foreign or minority schools.  While in Iraq, he made concessions to neither the particular needs of the Kurdish minority in the north nor to the needs of the neglected Shi‘a majority in the south.  He resisted proposals to use the various Arabic vernaculars in writing, working instead for standardized curricula and textbooks throughout the Arab world.

Al-Husri’s voluminous works were popular throughout the Arab world, leaving their mark on Ba‘thists and Nasserists, among others.  Unable to imagine Arab unity without Egypt, he backed Nasser in 1961 when Syrian Ba‘thists and others took Syria out of the United Arab Republic.  In 1979, the Iraqi Ba‘thist regime honored him with a commemorative postage stamp, but his determined secularism made him unpopular with those for whom religion is an essential element of their political identity.

Ottoman ideologist, educational reformer, secular Arab nationalist, and pan-Arabist. Saw secular educational reform as a means of instilling patriotism in youth. Developed a theory of Arab nationalism based on common language and history, rather than race, religion, will, economic circumstances, or geography. His works on education and nationalism are popular with Baathists and Nasserists.
Abu Khaldun Sati' al-Husri see Husri, Abu Khaldun Sati‘ al-

Hussein (Hussein Mua'zzam Shah ibni Mahmud Shah Alam) (1776 – September 5, 1835).  Sultan of Johor and Singapore (r.1819-1835).  Often called Tunku Long, Hussein was the eldest son of Sultan Muhammad III of Riau and Johor.  However, Hussein failed to succeed his father in 1812 upon his father’s death.  Instead, his younger brother, Abdul Rahman, was proclaimed sultan. In 1819, Hussein was brought to Singapore by Temenggong Abdul Rahman.  Both signed a treaty with Sir Thomas Stamford Raffles giving the island to the English.  The English recognized Hussein as sultan of Singapore and Johor and gave him a pension.  He maintained a residence of Kampong Gelam in Singapore.  He shared little in the prosperity of Singapore and had considerable financial difficulties.  He died in Melaka, virtually powerless.  It was not until 1855 that his son Tunku Ali was recognized as sultan.  

Sultan Hussein Mua'zzam Shah ibni Mahmud Shah Alam was the eighteenth ruler of Johor. He is best remembered for his role as a signatory of two treaties with the British which culminated in the founding of modern Singapore; during which he was given recognition as the Sultan of Johor and Singapore in 1819 and the Sultan of Johor in 1824. However, Sultan Hussein's status as the Sultan was no more than as a puppet monarch, at least during the first few years of his reign. Towards the last years of his reign and during the first half of his son's reign as the Sultan of Johor, limited recognition was given by a few nobles and the British were accorded mainly with the purpose of their own economic and political gains.

The Sultan of Johor-Riau, Sultan Mahmud Shah III died in 1812 after reigning for more than fifty years, naming no formal heir to the throne. He left behind two sons with two different women, both of whom were of Buginese extraction. As the older son, Tengku Hussein was first in line for succeeding his father over his younger half-brother, Tengku Abdul Rahman, by primogeniture.  Tengku Hussein, however, was away in Pahang at the time of his father's demise.

The Bugis faction, led by the underking Yamtuan Muda Raja Ja'afar supported Tengku Abdul Rahman to succeed the throne and hastily organised a coronation ceremony before Tengku Hussein was able to return. Raja Ja'afar, in exchange for his support for Tengku Abdul Rahman (now Sultan), was appointed as the empire's regent and wielded administrative authority. Tengku Hussein stayed on in Pahang and waited for the monsoon winds to arrive, and was unaware of his brother's installation as the Sultan. Although Raja Ja'afar had written a letter to Tengku Hussein notifying him of Sultan Mahmud's death, the details in the letter were modified to shield Tengku Hussein from his brother's ascension as the Sultan. Correspondence was returned to Lingga that he was installed as the Sultan by Bendahara Tun Ali during his stay in Pahang. Tengku Hussein sailed back to Lingga when the monsoon winds arrived, and was received by Sultan Abdul Rahman who had offered to abdicate in favor of Tengku Hussein, but who quickly backtracked after Raja Ja'afar made threats against Sultan Abdul Rahman.

Questions pertaining to the legitimacy of Sultan Abdul Rahman's reign were raised. The royal regalia were still in the hands of Engku Putri Hamidah, the primary consort of the late Sultan Mahmud Shah III who had stated her choice of seeing Tengku Hussein to succeed to the throne. In addition, Tengku Hussein also had the support of the Temenggong and the Malay nobles, which made the prospect of putting a legitimate successor in place difficult.

Sultan Abdul Rahman devoted himself increasingly to religion. He had delegated all administrative duties to Raja Ja'afar by the time William Farquhar approached the Sultan to secure an alliance with the British in an attempt to reduce Dutch influence in the region.

In 1818, Stamford Raffles was appointed as the governor of Bencoolen on western Sumatra. He was convinced that the British needed to establish a new base in Southeast Asia in order to compete with the Dutch. Many in the British East India Company opposed such an idea but Raffles managed to convince Lord Hastings of the Company, then Governor General of British India, to side with him. With the governor general's consent, he and his expedition set out to search for a new base.

Raffles' expedition arrived in Singapore on January 29, 1819. He discovered a small Malay settlement at the mouth of Singapore River headed by a Temenggung (governor) of Johor. Though the island was nominally ruled by the sultanate, the political situation there was extremely murky. The incumbent Sultan, Tengku Abdul Rahman, was under the influence of the Dutch and the Bugis and would therefore never agree to a British base in Singapore.

Upon learning of these Johor political tensions, Raffles made a deal with Hussein Shah. Their agreement stated that the British would acknowledge Hussein Shah as the legitimate ruler of Johor, and thus Tengku Hussein and the Temenggung would receive a yearly stipend from the British. In return, Tengku Hussein would allow Raffles to establish a trading post in Singapore. This treaty was ratified on February 6, 1819.

With the Temenggung's help, Raffles managed to smuggle Hussein Shah, then living in exile on one of the Riau Islands, back into Singapore. The Dutch were extremely displeased with Raffles' action. Tensions between the Dutch and British over Singapore persisted until 1824 when they signed the Anglo-Dutch Treaty. Under the terms of that treaty, the Dutch officially withdrew their opposition to the British presence in Singapore. The treaty had the effect of carving the Johor Empire into two spheres of influence; modern Johor under the British and the new Sultanate of Riau under the Dutch. The treaty was concluded in London, between the British and the Dutch, effectively breaking up of the Johor-Riau Empire into two.

The British successfully sidelined Dutch political influence by proclaiming Sultan Hussein as the Sultan of Johor and Singapore to acquire legal recognition in their sphere of influence in Singapore and Peninsular Malaysia. The legitimacy of Sultan Hussein's proclamation as the Sultan of Johor and Singapore, was by all accounts not recognised by the Malay rulers and his title only served as a nominal title. Temenggong Abdul Rahman's position, on the other hand, was strengthened as the signing of the treaties detached him from the influence of Raja Ja'afar. The Dutch took the bold initiative of taking the royal regalia from Engku Putri Hamidah by force after hearing of rumours of Sultan Hussein requesting British aid to get hold of the regalia. In November 1822, Sultan Abdul Rahman was installed as the Sultan of Lingga, complete with the royal regalia.

In the later part of his reign, growing British influence pressured some Malay nobles, particularly Bendahara Ali to grant recognition to Sultan Hussein's legitimacy. Sultan Abdul Rahman, who had devoted himself to religion, became contented with his political sphere of influence in Lingga, where his family continued to maintain his household under the administrative direction of Raja Ja'afar who ruled under the auspices of the Dutch. However, unresolved legal ambiguity in the legitimacy various local affairs, such as the status of Johor and Pahang, which was the de jure property of the Dutch-aligned Sultan Abdul Rahman and his successors, remained. The 1824 treaty would not allow Sultan Abdul Rahman to exert political authority over Johor and Pahang.

In the light of these circumstances, the Temenggong and Bendahara began to increasingly exert their independent authority. Also, largely as a result of the strong British influence in the Malay Peninsula, the continuously changing political dynamics gradually relegated these legitimacy disputes. In 1857, the Sultan of Lingga, Sultan Mahmud Muzaffar Shah, who was also de jure head of the royal house of Johor, Pahang and Lingga, made a vociferous claim to his legitimacy as the rightful ruler of these states and briefly sparked off a civil war in Pahang.

Sultan Hussein on his part, did not pursue any active claim to his sovereignty rights over Johor, even after Temenggong Abdul Rahman died in 1825, and even though his successor, Temenggong Ibrahim was still a youth at the time of Temenggong Abdul Rahman's passing. Sultan Hussein spent much of his time at his Singapore residence in Istana Kampong Glam until 1834, when he moved to Malacca. Reports cited that he was a dispirited man, apparently with the lack of power and authority that he should be accorded as the Sultan. Sultan Hussein died in September 1835, and was buried in Tranquera Mosque at the wishes of his Sultanah and Abdul Kadir, a Tamil-Muslim Imam.
Tunku Long see Hussein
Long, Tunku see Hussein
Hussein Mua'zzam Shah ibni Mahmud Shah Alam see Hussein

Hussein I
Hussein I (Husayn I) (Hussein bin Talal) (Ḥusayn bin Ṭalāl) (November 14, 1935 – February 7, 1999).  King of Jordan (r. 1952-1999).  Hussein bin Talal was born in Amman, on November 14, 1935, the son of the crown prince of Transjordan, Talal bin Abdullah and Zein al-Sharaf bint Jamil.  Hussein was the grandson of King Abdullah bin Husein and was a member of the Hashemite dynasty, an Arabian family that traces its roots to the Prophet Muhammad. After completing his elementary education in Amman, Hussein attended Victoria College in Alexandria, Egypt, and Harrow School in England.  He later received his military education at the Royal Military Academy Sandhurst in England.    

On July 20, 1951, Hussein’s grandfather, King Abdullah, was murdered by a Palestinian at the al-Aqsa mosque in al-Quds in Jerusalem.  Abdullah and Hussein had traveled to Jerusalem to perform Friday prayers, a regular routine.  The Palestinian assassin, fearing that Abdullah might negotiate a peace with the newly-created state of Israel, opened fire on Abdullah and Hussein.  Abdullah was killed but the 15 year old Hussein survived, and turned to pursue the gunman.  The assassin fired again.  However, the bullet was deflected by a medal that Hussein was wearing.  Abdullah had just recently given the medal to Hussein and had insisted that his grandson wear it during the prayers.  It was this fortuitous insistence, along with the medal, that saved Hussein's life.

On September 6, 1951, Abdullah's eldest son, Talal, assumed the throne.  However, within a year, Talal was forced to abdicate due to mental illness.  He allegedly suffered from schizophrenia.  In August 1952, Talal was declared unfit to rule, and the 16 year old Hussein was named king.   

Hussein was proclaimed King of the Hashemite Kingdom of Jordan on August 11, 1952.  A Regency Council was appointed until King Hussein's formal ascension to the throne on May 2, 1953, when he assumed his constitutional powers after reaching the age of eighteen, according to the Islamic calendar.    

From the outset, Hussein faced many challenges to his rule, Jordan (known as Transjordan before 1949) was created by the British after World War I (1914-1918) to reward the Hashemites for supporting Britain against the Ottoman Empire.  Because their dynasty had originated outside of Jordan and their authority to rule Jordan had been granted by a foreign power, the country's Hashemite rulers did not enjoy the complete support of their subjects.  In addition, the war between the newly declared state of Israel and neighboring Arab nations.  During the war, Transjordanian forces had captured the West Bank and East Jerusalem.  Jordan annexed these areas the following year and granted Jordanian citizenship to their inhabitants.  West Bank Palestinians, along with the Palestinian refugees from Israel, often came into conflict with the Jordanian government.  Furthermore, Jordan was a small country surrounded by much more powerful states, with a poor economy and few natural resources.

Nevertheless, the young king soon surprised his many doubters, surviving numerous assassination attempts and using his considerable diplomatic and political skills to lead Jordan through many crises.  Hussein's moderate, pro-Western political views often came under attack from more radical and nationalist Arab leaders such as Egyptian president Gamal Abdel Nasser and Syrian president Hafez al-Assad.  Much of Jordan's population, especially the Palestinians, called for policies more in line with the other Arab nations.  Hussein initially bowed to political pressure, curtailing his country's relationship with Britain and permitting free elections in which more radical parties could gain a political voice.

In 1955, despite strong opposition in Jordan, Hussein decided to join the Baghdad Pact.   In March 1956, Hussein sacked the general of the Jordanian army, John Glubb, in response to the strong political pressure being exerted in Jordan.   In October of the same year, free elections were held, resulting in the presence of Arab nationalists and communists in the cabinet.

In April of 1957, a military coup, led by his chief of staff, was defeated.   Hussein subsequently dissolved the parliament which was led by a pro-Nasser prime minister and introduced martial law. This move strained Jordan's relations with Egypt.  

In February of 1958, Hussein became the deputy head of a federation between Jordan and Iraq.  In July of 1958, with a coup in Iraq, the federation between Jordan and Iraq was dissolved.  

In 1965, Hussein appointed his brother, Hassan, as crown prince.

Rising tensions between Israel and its Arab neighbors led Hussein to restore relations with Egypt in 1964, and in May 1967 the two countries signed a defense pact.  When Israel launched a preemptive attack against Egypt and other Arab states in June of that year (a conflict known as the Six Day War).  Jordan suffered heavy losses and lost control of the West Bank and East Jerusalem to Israel.  The war also resulted in a new influx of Palestinian refugees, setting the stage for further turmoil in Jordan and a new challenge to Hussein's rule.

After the 1967 Arab-Israeli war, he was instrumental in drafting United Nation Security Council Resolution 242, which called on Israel to withdrew from all the Arab lands it occupied in the 1967 war in exchange for peace.  This resolution served as the benchmark for all subsequent peace negotiations.  

Hussein’s early reign was marked by numerous attempts on his life, and his position was made otherwise difficult by disagreements with more radical Arab leaders, who took exception with his pro-Western policies.  After the disastrous Six Day War with Israel in 1967, Arab guerrilla organizations, demanding a Palestinian homeland, gained great strength in Jordan.  Hussein, fearing overthrow by the militant guerrillas, opposed them and, in September 1970, a short civil war erupted.  Hussein’s army was victorious and expelled the Palestinian forces out of the country in 1971.  

With strong support among the refugees, the Palestine Liberation Organization (PLO), a political body working to create a state in historic Palestine for Palestinian Arabs, soon became a powerful force within Jordan.  Terrorist attacks against Israel by the PLO from their bases in Jordan drew devastating Israeli reprisals on Jordan.  In the early 1970s Hussein ordered his army to suppress PLO guerrilla activity in Jordan, and the PLO began calling for Hussein's ouster.  Hussein cracked down, and his army eventually forced the PLo out of Jordan.  Nevertheless, the Palestinian question continued to dominate Jordanian politics throughout the 1970s and 1980s.  

In October 1973, Hussein declined to participate in the Arab war against Israel, partly after receiving advice from the United States.  Israel emerged victorious from this war.  

In 1974, Hussein relinquished future claims on the Israeli occupied west bank of the Jordan River to the Palestine Liberation Organization.  

On June 15, 1978, Hussein married Lisa Najeeb Halaby, who took the crown name of Queen Noor.  In September of 1978, Hussein did join the peace process between Israel and Egypt.  Instead, during this time, Hussein’s relations with the Soviet Union were strengthened while his relations with the United States were lessened.

In 1985, Hussein reached an agreement with the Palestine Liberation Organization (PLO) on a future confederation of a Palestinian state and Jordan.  

In July 1988, Hussein ceded all Jordanian claims to the Israeli-occupied West Bank, to the PLO.

In November 1989, free elections were held, where the Islamists received 32 out of 80 seats in the Parliament.

In 1990, with the Iraqi occupation of Kuwait, Hussein worked hard to find a solution to the crisis, without going to war against Iraq.  Hussein defied the West and other allied leaders by refusing to side against Saddam Hussein in the Gulf War.  This act of neutrality was allegedly done for internal political reasons after the Ma'an uprising in 1988 that threatened the throne of the King.  This act of neutrality also alienated the Jordan from most the Arab world.

In November of 1993, elections were held, leaving the Islamists with fewer seats than four years earlier.  

On October 26, 1994, Hussein signed a peace agreement with Israel’s Prime Minister Yitzhak Rabin at the border between the two countries.  For many historians, this peace agreement was Hussein's greatest accomplishment since it ended forty-six years of hostile relations between the two countries.  The 1994 treaty settled long-standing disputes over land and water rights, and the countries pledged cooperation in areas such as trade and tourism.  This treaty also led to the resumption of foreign support for Jordan.  

As a result of the negotiations over the 1994 treaty, Hussein developed strong ties of friendship with Israeli Prime Minister Yitzhak Rabin.  In January of 1996, in conjunction with the funeral of Yitzhak Rabin, Hussein made his first official visit to Israel and delivered a powerful speech at the funeral services.  In this speech, Hussein said: "My  sister, Mrs. Leah Rabin, my friends, I had never thought that the moment would come like this when I would grieve the loss of a brother, a colleague and a friend -- a man, a soldier who met us on the opposite side of a divide whom we respected as he respected us.  A man I came to know because I realized, as he did, that we have to cross over the divide, establish a dialogue, get to know each other and strive to leave for those who follow us a legacy that is worthy of them.  And so we did.  And so we became brethren and friends."

Later, in October of 1996, Hussein visited Yassir Arafat in Jericho.

In November of 1997, Jordanian elections were met with a boycott from the Islamists resulting in a low turnout.

In January of 1999, Hussein appointed his eldest son, Abdullah, as crown prince, and dismissed his brother Hassan.  This came at the same time that Hussein began intense medical treatments for cancer.

On February 5, 1999, King Hussein was declared clinically dead, but was kept on life support while his son Abdullah was sworn in as the new ruler.

On February 7, 1999, King Hussein died of complications related to non-Hodgkin's lymphoma.  At the time of his death, he was one of the longest serving leaders in international politics.

Hussein’s reign was marked by the differences between Palestinian refugees and the Jordanian people.  His own politics were, at times, met with strong criticism in Jordan, and strong political control was essential to his survival through nearly fifty years of reign.  

Hussein’s reign saw moderate, but steady, economic growth.  In the international arena, he was counted as one of the United States' more reliable allies in the Middle East, even though he did not join the United States in its condemnation of Iraq’s occupation of Kuwait in 1990.  

On a very basic human level, Hussein's reign was quite beneficial to the Jordanian people.  While in 1950, water sanitation and electricity were available to only 10% of Jordanians, at the time of his death 99% of the population had clean water, sanitation and electricity services.  In 1960 only 33% of Jordanians were literate, while by 1996, this number had climbed to 85.5%.  In 1961, while the average Jordanian received a daily intake of 2198 calories, by 1992 this figure had increased by 37.5% to reach 3022 calories.  UNICEF statistics show that between 1981 and 1991.  Jordan achieved the world's fastest annual rate of decline in infant mortality -- from 70 deaths per 1000 births in 1981 to 37 per 1000 in 1991, a fall of over 47%.    

Hussein authored three books: Uneasy Lies the Head (1962), a book about his childhood and early years as king; My War With Israel (1969); and Mon Metier de Roi (1975).
Hussein was married four times.  He divorced his first two wives, while the third was killed in an air crash.  His fourth wife, Queen Noor, was the United States born Elizabeth (Liza) Najeeb Halaby (b. 1951).  Hussein also had twelve children: Alia, Abdullah, Faisal, Zein, Aisha, Haya, Ali, Abeer, Hamzah, Hashim, Iman, and Raiyah.  He also had a large number of grandchildren.  

Husayn I see Hussein I
Hussein bin Talal see Hussein I
Husayn bin Talal see Hussein I

Hussein, Saddam
Hussein, Saddam (Saddam Husayn) (Saddam Hussein Abd al-Majid al-Tikriti) (Ṣaddām Ḥusayn ʿAbd al-Majīd al-Tikrītī) (April 28, 1937 – December 30, 2006).  President of Iraq (1979-2003).  

Saddam was born on April 28, 1937, in Auja (al-Awja), near (13 kilometers from) the city of Tikrit.  Tikrit is located 200 kilometers north of Baghdad in an area known as the Sunni Triangle.  He was born to a family of shepherds from the al-Begat tribal group.  His mother, Subha Tulfah al-Mussallat, named her new born son, Saddam, which in Arabic means "One who confronts."  Saddam never knew his father, Hussein 'Abd al-Majid, who disappeared six months before Saddam was born.  Shortly after the disappearance, Saddam's thirteen year old brother died of cancer, leaving his mother severely depressed in the final months of the pregnancy.  The infant Saddam was sent to the family of his maternal uncle, Khairallah Tulfah, until he was three.

Saddam's mother remarried, and Hussein gained three half-brothers.  His stepfather, Ibrahim al-Hassan, treated Saddam harshly after his return.  At around ten, Saddam fled the family and returned to live in Baghdad with his uncle, Khairallah Tulfah.  Tulfah, the father of Saddam's future wife, was a devout Sunni Muslim.  Later in his life, relatives from his native Tikrit would become some of Saddam's closest advisors and supporters.  According to Saddam, he learned many things from his uncle, a militant Iraqi nationalist.  Under the guidance of his uncle, Saddam attended a nationalistic secondary school in Baghdad.  After secondary school, Saddam studied at Iraq's School of Law for three years, prior to dropping out in 1957, at the age of twenty, to join the revolutionary pan-Arab Ba'ath Party, of which his uncle was a supporter.  During this time, Saddam apparently supported himself as a secondary school teacher.

During the 1950s and 1960s, revolutionary sentiment was characteristic of the era in Iraq and throughout the Middle East.  The stranglehold of the old elites (the conservative monarchists, established families, and merchants) was breaking down in Iraq.  Moreover, the populist pan-Arab nationalism of Gamal Abdel Nasser in Egypt would profoundly influence the young Ba'athist.  The rise of Nasser foreshadowed a wave of revolutions throughout the Middle East in the 1950s and 1960s, which would see the collapse of the monarchies of Iraq, Egypt, and Libya.  Nasser challenged the British and French, nationalized the Suez Canal, and strove to modernize Egypt and unite the Arab world politically.

In 1956, Saddam joined the Iraqi branch of the Arab Ba’ath Socialist Party.  Two years later, army officers led by General Abdul Karim Qassim overthrew Faisal II of Iraq.  The Ba'athists opposed the new government.   In 1958, Saddam was sentenced to prison for political activities against the regime, and spent six months in prison.  In 1959, Saddam participated in a United States backed coup attempt against Prime Minister Abdul Karim Qassim.  During the coup, Saddam was shot in his leg by the minister’s bodyguards.  Subsequently, he escaped to Syria, and then to Egypt.

While he was in Egypt, Saddam was sentenced to death in absentia (on February 25, 1960) while completing his secondary studies (in 1962).  

Army officers with ties to the Ba'ath Party overthrew Qassim in a coup in 1963.  On February 8, 1963, Saddam returned to Iraq following the Ramadan revolution and immediately joined the leadership of the Ba’ath Party.  Ba'athist leaders were appointed to the cabinet and Abdul Salam Arif became president.  Arif dismissed and arrested the Ba'athist leaders later that year.  On October 14, 1964, Saddam was arrested as part of Arif's campaign against Ba’ath Party members.   

In 1966, while still in prison, Saddam was elected Deputy Secretary General of the Ba’ath Party.  

In 1967, Saddam escaped from prison.  Saddam subsequently (in 1968) became active in the two Ba’athist coups in July (July 17 and July 30).  A bloodless coup led by Saddam's second cousin, Ahmad Hassan al-Bakr overthrew Abdul Rahman Arif.  Al-Bakr was named president and Saddam was named his deputy.  As Deputy Chairman of the Revolutionary Command Council, Saddam assumed the position of being responsible for internal security.  Saddam soon became the regime's most powerful player.  According to biographers, Saddam never forgot the tensions within the first Ba'athist government, which informed his measures to promote Ba'ath Party unity as well as his ruthless resolve to maintain power and programs to ensure social stability.

Soon after becoming deputy to the president, Saddam demanded and received the rank of four star general despite his lack of military training. Later in 1968, Saddam also graduated from the College of Law.  

Although Saddam was al-Bakr's deputy, he was a strong behind-the-scenes party politician whose formative experiences were in organizing concealed opposition activity.  He was adept at outmaneuvering -- and at times ruthlessly eliminating -- political opponents.  Although al-Bakr was the older and more prestigious of the two, by 1969, Saddam Hussein clearly had become the moving force behind the party.  On November 9, 1969, Saddam was formally elected Chairman of the Revolutionary Command Council.

Saddam consolidated power in a nation riddled with profound tensions.  Long before Saddam, Iraq had been split along social, ethnic, religious, and economic fault lines: Sunni versus Shi'ite, Arab versus Kurd, tribal chief versus urban merchant, nomad versus peasant.  Stable rule in a country rife with factionalism required the improvement of living standards.  Saddam moved up the ranks in the new government by aiding attempts to strengthen and unify the Ba'ath Party and taking a leading role in addressing the country's major domestic problems and expanding the party's following.

At the center of this strategy was Iraq's oil.  On June 1, 1972, Saddam led the process of nationalizing the oil resources in Iraq, which had been in control by Western companies.  A year later, world oil prices rose dramatically as a result of the 1973 energy crisis, and skyrocketing revenues enabled Saddam to expand his agenda.

Within just a few years, Iraq was providing social services that were unprecedented among Middle Eastern countries.  Saddam established and controlled the "National Campaign for the Eradication of Illiteracy" and the campaign for "Compulsory Free Education in Iraq," and largely under his auspices, the government established universal free schooling up to the highest education levels.  Hundreds of thousands of Iraqis learned to read in the years following the initiation of the program.  The government also supported families of soldiers, granted free hospitalization to everyone, and gave subsidies to farmers.  Iraq created one of the most modernized public health systems in the Middle East, earning Saddam an award from the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO).

To diversify the largely oil-based economy, Saddam implemented a national infrastructure campaign that made great progress in building roads, promoting mining, and developing other industries.  The campaign revolutionized Iraq's energy industries.  Electricity was brought to nearly every city in Iraq, and many outlying areas.

Before the 1970s, most of Iraq's people lived in the countryside, and roughly two-thirds were peasants.  However, this number would decrease quickly during the 1970s as the country invested much of its oil profits into industrial expansion.  Nevertheless, Saddam focused on fostering loyalty to the Ba'athist government in the rural areas.  After nationalizing foreign oil interests, Saddam supervised the modernization of the countryside, mechanizing agriculture on a large scale, and distributing land to peasant farmers.  The Ba'athists established farm cooperatives, in which profits were distributed according to the labors of the individual and the unskilled were trained.  The government's commitment to agrarian reform was demonstrated by the doubling of expenditures for agricultural development in 1974-1975.  Moreover, agrarian reform in Iraq improved the living standard of the peasantry and increased production, though not to the levels Saddam had desired.

Saddam became personally associated with Ba'athist welfare and economic development programs in the eyes of many Iraqis, widening his appeal both within his traditional base and among new sectors of the population.  These programs were part of a combination of "carrot and stick" tactics to enhance support in the working class, the peasantry, and within the party and the government bureaucracy.

Saddam's organizational prowess was credited with Iraq's rapid pace of development in the 1970s.  Development went forward at such a fevered pitch that two million persons from other Arab countries and Yugoslavia worked in Iraq to meet the growing demand for labor.

In 1975, Saddam signed the Algiers Accord with Iran (which, in part, regulated the border question).  Signing the Accord was an act that indicated that Saddam had gained a stronger position than his ally Bakr.   In 1976, Saddam rose to the position of general in the Iraqi armed forces, and rapidly became the strongman of the government.  As the weak, elderly al-Bakr became unable to execute his duties, Saddam took on an increasingly prominent role as the face of the government both internally and externally.  He soon became the architect of Iraq's foreign policy and represented the nation in all diplomatic situations.  He was the de facto ruler of Iraq some years before he formally came to power in 1979.  He slowly began to consolidate his power over Iraq's government and the Ba'ath party.  Relationships with fellow party members were carefully cultivated, and Saddam soon accumulated a powerful circle of support within the party.

In 1979, Saddam assumed the position of president after he had discovered that Bakr had started negotiations on unity between Syria and Iraq.  The unification of Syria and Iraq would have led to Syrian President Hafez al-Assad becoming deputy leader of the new nation with al-Bakr as the leader.  This would have driven Saddam into obscurity.  Saddam acted to secure his grip on power.  He forced the ailing al-Bakr to resign on July 16, 1979.  Al-Bakr was then stripped of all power and placed under house arrest, while Saddam formally assumed the presidency.

Shortly after assuming the presidency, on July 22, 1979, Saddam convened an assembly of Ba'ath party leaders.  During the assembly, which he ordered videotaped, Saddam claimed to have found spies and conspirators within the Ba'ath Party and read out the names of sixty-eight (68) members that he alleged to be spies.  These members were labeled "disloyal" and were removed from the room one by one and taken into custody.  After the list was read, Saddam congratulated those still seated in the room for their past and future loyalty.  The sixty-eight (68) people arrested at the meeting were subsequently put on trial, and twenty-two (22) were sentenced to execution for treason.

Saddam Hussein  saw himself as a social revolutionary and a modernizer, following the example of Nasser.  To the consternation of Islamic conservatives, Saddam's government gave women added freedoms and offered them high-level government and industry jobs.  Saddam also created a Western style legal system, making Iraq the only country in the Persian Gulf region not ruled according to traditional Islamic law (shari'a).  Saddam abolished the shari'a law courts, except for personal injury claims.

Domestic conflict impeded Saddam's modernizing projects.  The Iraqi society of Saddam Hussein's time was divided along lines of language, religion and ethnicity.  Saddam's government rested on the support of the twenty percent (20%) minority of largely working class, peasant, and lower middle class Sunnis, continuing a pattern that dates back at least to the British mandate authority's reliance on them as administrators.  

The Shi'a majority were long a source of opposition to the government's secular policies, and the Ba'ath Party was increasingly concerned about potential Shi 'a Islamist influence following the Iranian Revolution of 1979.  The Kurds of northern Iraq (who are Sunni Muslims but not Arabs) were also permanently hostile to the Ba'athist party's pan-Arabism.  To maintain his regime Saddam tended either to provide them with benefits so as to co-opt them into the regime, or to take repressive measures against them.  The major instruments for accomplishing this control were the paramilitary and police organizations.  Beginning in 1974, Taha Yassin Ramadan, a close associate of Saddam, commanded the People's Army, which was responsible for internal security.  As the Ba'ath Party's paramilitary, the People's Army acted as a counterweight against any coup attempts by the regular armed forces.  In addition to the People's Army, the Department of General Intelligence (Mukhabarat) was the most notorious arm of the state security system, feared for its use of torture and assassination.  It was commanded by Barzan Ibrahim al-Tikriti, Saddam's younger half-brother.  Beginning in 1982, foreign observers believed that this department operated both at home and abroad in their mission to seek out and eliminate Saddam's perceived opponents.

Saddam justified Iraqi nationalism by claiming a unique role for Iraq in the history of the Arab world.  As president, Saddam made frequent references to the 'Abbasid period, when Baghdad was the political, cultural, and economic capital of the Arab world. He also promoted Iraq's pre-Islamic role as Mesopotamia, the ancient cradle of civilization, alluding to such historical figures as Nebuchadrezzar II and Hammurabi.  He devoted resources to archaeological explorations.  In effect, Saddam sought to combine pan-Arabism and Iraqi nationalism, by promoting the vision of an Arab world united and led by Iraq.

As a sign of his consolidation of power, Saddam's personality cult pervaded Iraqi society.  Thousands of portraits, posters, statues, and murals were erected in his honor all over Iraq.  His face could be seen on the sides of office buildings, schools, airports, and shops, as well as on Iraqi currency.  Saddam's personality cult reflected his efforts to appeal to the various elements in Iraqi society.  He appeared in the costumes of the Bedouin, the traditional clothes of the Iraqi peasant (which he essentially wore during his childhood), and even Kurdish clothing, but also appeared in Western suits, projecting the image of an urbane and modern leader.  Sometimes he would also be portrayed as a devout Muslim, wearing full headdress and robe, praying toward Mecca.

In foreign affairs, Saddam sought to have Iraq play a leading role in the Middle East.  Iraq signed an aid pact with the Soviet Union in 1972, and arms were sent along with several thousand advisers.  However, the 1978 executions of Iraqi Communists, the Soviet invasion of Afghanistan, the Soviet hope for increased influence in Iran and a shift of trade toward the West strained Iraqi relations with the Soviet Union, leading to a more Western orientation from 1978 until the Gulf War in 1991.  Nevertheless, Saddam continued to receive the majority (70%) of his armaments from the Soviet bloc.

After the oil crisis of 1973, France changed to a more pro-Arab policy and was accordingly rewarded by Saddam with closer ties.  Saddam made a state visit to France in 1976, cementing close ties with some French business and conservative political circles.  Saddam led Arab opposition to the 1979 Camp David Accords between Egypt and Israel.  In 1975, he negotiated an accord with Iran that contained Iraqi concessions on border disputes.  In return, Iran agreed to stop supporting opposition Kurds in Iraq.

Saddam initiated Iraq's nuclear enrichment project in the 1980s, with French assistance.  The first Iraqi nuclear reactor was named by the French "Osirak," a portmanteau formed from "Osiris," the name of the French experimental reactor that served as template and "Irak," the French spelling of "Iraq.".  Osirak was destroyed by an Israeli air strike (Operation Opera, because Israel suspected it was going to start producing weapons - grade nuclear material.

At the founding as a modern state in 1920, Churchill had recommended making the Kurds in the northern part of the country independent to protect them from oppression from Baghdad.  Saddam did negotiate an agreement in 1970 with separatist Kurdish leaders, giving them autonomy, but the agreement broke down.  The result was brutal fighting between the government and Kurdish groups and even Iraqi bombing of Kurdish villages in Iran, which caused Iraqi relations with Iran to deteriorate.  After Saddam had negotiated the 1975 treaty with Iran, Shah Mohammad Reza Pahlavi withdrew support for the Kurds, who suffered a total defeat and a subsequent Iraqi campaign in which 200,000 Kurds were deported.

In 1979, Iran's Shah, Mohammad Reza Pahlavi, was overthrown in the Islamic Revolution, thus giving way to an Islamic republic led by Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini.  The influence of revolutionary Shi'ite Islam grew apace in the region, particularly in countries with large Shi'ite populations, especially Iraq.  Saddam feared that radical Islamic ideas -- hostile to his secular rule -- were rapidly spreading in southern Iraq among the majority Shi'ite population.

There had also been bitter enmity between Saddam and Khomeini.  Khomeini having been exiled from Iran in 1964, took up residence in Iraq, at the Shi'ite holy city of An Najaf.  There he involved himself with Iraqi Shi'ites and developed a strong, worldwide religious and political following.  Under pressure from the Shah, who had agreed to a rapprochement between Iraq and Iran in 1975, Saddam agreed to expel Khomeini in 1978.

After Khomeini gained power, skirmishes between Iraq and revolutionary Iran occurred for ten months over the sovereignty of the disputed Arvandrud/Shatt al-Arab waterway, which divides the two countries.  During this period, Saddam Hussein continually maintained that it was in Iraq's interest not to engage with Iran, and that it was in the interests of both nations to maintain peaceful relations.  However, in a private meeting with Salah Omar Al-Ali, Iraq's permanent ambassador to the United Nations, he revealed that he intended to invade and occupy a large part of Iran within months.  Iraq invaded Iran, first attacking Mehrabad Airport of Tehran and then entering the oil-rich Iranian land of Khuzestan, which also has a sizeable Arab minority, on September 22, 1980, and declared it a new province of Iraq.  United States policy was to support neither side and discourage other countries from doing so during this time.

In the first days of the war, there was heavy ground fighting around strategic ports as Iraq launched an attack on Khuzestan.  After making some initial gains, Iraq's troops began to suffer losses from human wave attacks by Iran.  By 1982, Iraq was on the defensive and looking for

for ways to end the war.  At this point, Saddam asked his ministers for candid advice.  Health Minister Riyadh Ibrahim suggested that Saddam temporarily step down to promote peace negotiations.  Ibrahim's chopped up body was delivered to his wife the next day.

Iraq soon found itself bogged down in one of the longest and most destructive wars of attrition of the twentieth century.  During the war, Iraq used chemical weapons against Iranian forces fighting on the southern front and Kurdish separatists who were attempting to open up a northern front in Iraq with the help of Iran.  These chemical weapons were developed by Iraq from materials and technology supplied primarily by West German companies.

Saddam reached out to other Arab governments for cash and political support during the war, particularly after Iraq's oil industry severely suffered at the hands of the Iranian navy in the Persian Gulf.  Iraq successfully gained some military and financial aid, as well as diplomatic and moral support, from the Soviet Union, China, France, and the United States, which together feared the prospects of the expansion of revolutionary Iran's influence in the region.  The Iranians, claiming that the international community should force Iraq to pay war reparations to Iran, refused any suggestions for a cease fire.  They continued the war until 1988, hoping to bring down Saddam's secular regime and instigate a Shi'ite rebellion in Iraq.

On March 16, 1988, the Kurdish town of Halabja was attacked with a mix of mustard gas and nerve agents, killing 5,000 civilians, and maiming, disfiguring, or seriously debilitating 10,000 more.  The attack occurred in conjunction with the 1988 al-Anfal campaign designed to reassert central control of the mostly Kurdish population of areas of northern Iraq and defeat the Kurdish peshmerga rebel forces.  Prior to the 2003 invasion of Iraq, United States began to maintain that Saddam ordered the attack to terrorize the Kurdish population in northern Iraq, but Saddam's regime claimed, at the time, that Iran was responsible for the attack and United States analysts, at the time, did not definitively reject the claim until several years later.

In 1988, with the help of the United States Navy in the Persian Gulf, Iraq was able to regain territory lost to Iran between 1984 and 1986.  In July, the war against Iran ended, without changes to the Iran-Iraq borders.  The bloody eight-year war ended in a stalemate.  There were hundreds of thousands of casualties, perhaps upwards of 1.7 million died on both sides.  Both economies, previously healthy and expanding, were left in ruins.  

Saddam borrowed a tremendous amount of money from other Arab states during the 1980s to fight Iran and was stuck with a war debt of roughly $75 billion.  Faced with rebuilding Iraq's infrastructure, Saddam desperately sought out cash once again, this time for postwar reconstruction.  The desperate search for foreign credit would eventually humiliate the strongman who had long sought to dominate Arab nationalism throughout the Middle East.

The end of the war with Iran served to deepen latent tensions between Iraq and its wealthy neighbor Kuwait.  Saddam saw his war with Iran as having spared Kuwait from the imminent threat of Iranian domination.  Since the struggle with Iran had been fought for the benefit of the other Gulf Arab states as much as for Iraq, he argued, a share of Iraqi debt should be forgiven.  Saddam urged the Kuwaitis to forgive the Iraqi debt accumulated in the war, some $30 billion, but the Kuwaitis refused, claiming that Saddam was responsible to pay off his debts for the war he started.  

Also to raise money for postwar reconstruction, Saddam pushed oil-exporting countries to raise oil prices by cutting back oil production.  Kuwait refused to cut production.  In addition to refusing the request, Kuwait spearheaded the opposition in OPEC to the cuts that Saddam had requested.  Kuwait was pumping large amounts of oil, and thus keeping prices low, when Iraq needed to sell high-priced oil from its wells to pay off a huge debt.

Meanwhile, Saddam showed disdain for the Kuwait-Iraq boundary line.  One of the few articles of faith uniting the political scene in a nation rife with sharp social, ethnic, religious, and socioeconomic divides was the belief that Kuwait had not right to even exist in the first place.  For at least half a century, Iraqi nationalists were espousing emphatically the belief that Kuwait was historically an integral part of Iraq, and that Kuwait had only come into being through the maneuverings of British imperialism.

The colossal extent of Kuwait oil reserves also intensified tensions in the region.  The oil reserves of Kuwait (with a population of a mere two million next to Iraq's 25) were roughly equal to those of Iraq.  Taken together, Iraq and Kuwait sat on top of some twenty percent (20%) of the world's known oil reserves.  Saudi Arabia, by comparison, holds twenty-five percent (25%).

Saddam further alleged that the Kuwait slant drilled oil out of wells that Iraq considered to be within its disputed border with Kuwait.  Given that, at the time, Iraq was not regarded as a pariah state, Saddam was able to complain about the alleged slant drilling to the United States State Department.  Although this had continued for years, Saddam now needed oil money to stem a looming economic crisis.  Saddam still had an experienced and well-equipped army, which he used to influence regional affairs.  He later ordered troops to the Iraq-Kuwait border.
As Iraq-Kuwait relations rapidly deteriorated, Saddam was receiving conflicting information about how the United States would respond to the prospects of an invasion.  For one, Washington had been taking measures to cultivate a constructive relationship with Iraq for roughly a decade.  The United States also sent billions of dollars to Saddam to keep him from forming a strong alliance with the Soviets.  United States ambassador to Iraq April Glaspie met with Saddam in an emergency meeting on July 25, 1990, where the Iraqi leader stated his intention to continue talks.  United States officials attempted to maintain a conciliatory line with Iraq, indicating that while President Bush and Secretary of State James Baker did not want force used, they would not take any position on the Iraq-Kuwait boundary dispute and did not want to become involved.  However, United States officials did not given any explicit statement of approval of, acceptance of, or foreknowledge of the invasion of Kuwait by Iraq.  Later, Iraq and Kuwait met for a final negotiation session, which failed.  Saddam then sent his troops into Kuwait.

On August 2, 1990, Saddam invaded and annexed the emirate of Kuwait.  United States president George Herbert Walker Bush responded cautiously for the first several days after the invasion.  On the one hand, Iraq, prior to this point, had been a virulent enemy of Israel and was allied with the Soviets implying that they might support him.  On the other hand, Kuwait was considered an ally, and Iraq's earlier control of twenty percent of the world's crude oil reserves (doubled by the invasion) meant that American interests were heavily invested in the region, and the invasion triggered fears that the price of oil, and therefore the world economy, was at stake.  The United Kingdom was also concerned.  Britain had a close historical relationship with Kuwait, dating back to British colonialism in the region,  and also benefitted from billions of dollars in Kuwaiti investment.  

Cooperation between the United States and the Soviet Union made possible the passage of resolutions in the United Nations Security Council giving Iraq a deadline to leave Kuwait and approving the use of force if Saddam did not comply with the timetable.  American officials feared that Iraq would retaliate against oil-rich Saudi Arabia, a close ally of Washington since the 1940s, for the Saudis' opposition to the invasion of Kuwait.  Accordingly, the United States and a group of allies, including countries as diverse as Egypt, Syria and Czechoslovakia, deployed massive amounts of troops along the Saudi border with Kuwait and Iraq in order to deter the Iraqi army, the largest in the Middle East.

During the period of negotiations and threats following the invasion, Saddam raised the subject of the Palestinian problem by promising to withdraw his forces from Kuwait if Israel would relinquish the occupied territories in the West Bank, the Golan Heights, and the Gaza Strip.  Saddam's proposal further split the Arab world, pitting American and Western supported Arab states against the Palestinians.  The allies ultimately rejected any connection between the Kuwait crisis and Palestinian issues.

Saddam ignored the Security Council deadline.  with the unanimous consent of the Security Council, an American led coalition launched round the clock missile and aerial attacks on Iraq, beginning January 16, 1991.  Israel, though subjected to attack by Iraqi missiles, refrained from retaliating in order not to provoke Arab states into leaving the coalition.  A ground force comprised largely of American and British armored and infantry divisions ejected Saddam's army from Kuwait in February 1991 and occupied the southern portion of Iraq asfar as the Euphrates.  Before leaving, Saddam ordered Kuwaiti oil fields set ablaze.

On March 6, 1991, referring to the conflict, President Bush announced: "What is at stake is more than one small country, it is a big idea -- a new world order, where diverse nations are drawn together in common cause to achieve the universal aspirations of mankind: peace and security, freedom, and the rule of law."

In the end, the over-manned and ill-equipped Iraqi army proved unable to compete on the battlefield with the highly mobile coalition land forces and their overpowering air support.  175,000 Iraqis were taken prisoner and casualties were estimated at approximately 20,000 according to United States data, with other sources pinning the number as high as 100,000.  as part of the cease-fire agreement, Iraq agreed to abandon all chemical and biological weapons and allow United Nations observers to inspect the sites.  United Nations trade sanctions would remain in effect until Iraq complied with all terms.

In the aftermath of the fighting, social and ethnic unrest among Shi'a Muslims, Kurds, and dissident military units threatened the stability of Saddam's government.  Uprisings began in the Kurdish north and Shi 'a southern and central parts of Iraq, but were quelled in short order.  In 2005, the BBC reported that as many as 30,000 were killed during those 1991 rebellions.

The United States, after urging the Iraqi people to rise up and overthrow Hussein, did nothing to assist those who did.  Further playing into the plans of Hussein, the United States unwittingly loosened rules on helicopter flights in the no-fly zones allowing Hussein's remaining military force to easily put down the rebellions.  The United States ally Turkey opposed any prospect of Kurdish independence, and the Saudis and other conservative Arab states feared an Iran-style Shi'a revolution.  Saddam, having survived the immediate crisis in the wake of defeat and a car crash, which left a small scar on his face and a injury on a finger, was left firmly in control of Iraq.  Although the country never recovered either economically or militarily from the Persian Gulf War, Saddam routinely trumpeted the survival of his regime as "proof" that Iraq had won the war against America.  This stance earned Saddam a great deal of popularity in many sectors of the Arab world.

Hussein increasingly portrayed himself as a devout Muslim, in an effort to co-opt the conservative religious segments of society.  Elements of shari'a were re-introduced, such as the 2001 edict imposing the executions for sodomy, rape, and prostitution, the legalization of honor killings, and the ritual phase "Allahu Akbar" ("God is Great"), was added to the Iraq national flag in Saddam Hussein's handwriting.

Relations between the United States and Iraq remained tense following the Gulf War.  In April 1993, the Iraqi Intelligence Service allegedly attempted to assassinate former President George Herbert Walker Bush during a visit to Kuwait.  Kuwaiti security forces apprehended a group of Iraqis at the scene of an alleged bombing attempt.  On June 26, 1993, the United States launched a missile attack targeting Baghdad intelligence headquarters in retaliation for the alleged assassination attempt.

The United Nations sanctions placed upon Iraq when it invaded Kuwait were not lifted, blocking Iraqi oil exports.  This caused immense hardship in Iraq and virtually destroyed the Iraqi economy and state infrastructure.  Only smuggling across the Syrian border and humanitarian aid (the United Nations Oil-for-Food Programme) ameliorated the humanitarian crisis.  Limited amounts of income from the United Nations started flowing into Iraq through the United Nations Oil-for-Food Programme.

United States officials continued to accuse Saddam Hussein of violating the terms of the Gulf War's cease fire, by developing weapons of mass destruction and other banned weaponry, refusing to give out adequate information on these weapons, and violating the United Nations imposed sanctions and no-fly zones.  Isolated military strikes by United States and British forces continued on Iraq sporadically, the largest being Operation Desert Fox in 1998.  Charges of Iraqi impediment to United Nations inspection of sites thought to contain illegal weapons were claimed as the reasons for crises between 1997 and 1998, culminating in intensive United States and British missile strikes on Iraq, December 16-December 19, 1998.  After two years of intermittent activity, United States and British warplanes struck harder at sites near Baghdad in February, 2001.

Saddam's support base of Tikriti tribesmen, family members, and other supporters were divided after the war.  In the following years, this contributed to the government's increasingly repressive and arbitrary nature.  Domestic repression inside Iraq grew worse, and Saddam's sons, Uday Hussein and Qusay Hussein, became increasingly powerful and carried out a private reign of terror.  They likely had a leading hand when, in August 1995, two of Saddam Hussein's sons-in-law (Hussein Kamel and Saddam Kamel), who held high position in the Iraqi military, defected to Jordan.  Both were killed after returning to Iraq the following February.

Iraqi cooperation with United Nations weapons inspection teams was questioned on several occasions during the 1990s and UNSCOM chief weapons inspector Richard Butler withdrew his team from Iraq in November 1998 citing Iraqi non-cooperation, without the permission of the United Nations, although a United Nations spokesman subsequently stated that "the bulk of" the Security Council supported the move.  Iraq accused Butler and other UNSCOM officials of acting as spies for the United States.  This was supported by reports in the Washington Post and the Boston Globe, citing anonymous sources, which said that Butler had known of and cooperated with a United States electronic eavesdropping operation that allowed intelligence agents to monitor military communications in Iraq.  After a crisis ensued and the United States contemplated military action against Iraq, Saddam resumed cooperation.  The inspectors returned, but were withdrawn again on December 16.  Butler had given a report to the United Nations Security Council on December 15, 1998, in which he expressed dissatisfaction with the level of compliance.  Three out of five of the Permanent Members of the United Nations Security Council subsequently objected to Butler's withdrawal.  Butler reported that United States Ambassador Peter Burleigh, acting on instructions from Washington, suggested he pull his team from Iraq in order to protect them from the forthcoming United States and British airstrikes.

Saddam continued to loom large in American consciousness as a major threat to Western allies such as Israel and oil-rich Saudi Arabia, to Western oil supplies from the Gulf states, and to Middle East stability generally.  United States President Bill Clinton, maintained economic sanctions, as well as air patrols in the "Iraqi no-fly zones".

In the 1990s, the United Nations imposed sanctions on Iraq, in order to force the country to scale down its military forces as was agreed upon in the peace agreement after the war of 1991.  The sanctions soon resulted in a sharp decline in the Iraqi economy, a scarcity of food and depleted public health services, but did not result in an internally weakened Saddam Hussein.  Indeed, in 1994, new Iraqi military activities were staged near Kuwait, but international pressure made Saddam cease and desist.

During the late 1990s, after many years of international sanctions against Saddam and Iraq, world opinion began to change.  While sentiments were strongly against Iraq in the beginning, more and more commentators pointed to the fact that Iraq did not scale down its military forces but that rather the sanctions only led to hardship on the Iraqi people.  Despite the hardships endured by the Iraqi people, Saddam was stronger than ever.  Thus, for many the sanctions were increasingly seen as being a failure.

In October 1998, President Clinton signed the Iraq Liberation Act.  The act called for "regime change" in Iraq and authorized the funding of opposition groups.  Following the issuance of a United Nations report detailing Iraq's failure to cooperate with inspections, Clinton authorized Operation Desert Fox, a three-day air strike to hamper Saddam's weapons production facilities and hit sites related to weapons of mass destruction.

Several journalists have reported on Hussein's ties to anti-Israeli and Islamic terrorism prior to 2000.  Hussein was also known to have had contacts with Palestinian terrorist groups.  Early in 2002, Hussein told Faroq al-Kaddoumi, head of the Palestinian political office, he would raise the sum granted to each family of Palestinians who die as suicide bombers in the uprising against Israel to $25,000 instead $10,000.  Some news reports detailed links to terrorists, including Carlos the Jackal, Abu Nidal, Abu Abbas, and Osama bin Laden.   However, no conclusive evidence of any kind, linking Hussein and bin Laden's al-Qaeda organization was ever produced by any United States government official.  It was the official assessment of the United States Intelligence Community that contacts between Saddam Hussein and al-Qaeda over the years did not lead to a collaborative relationship.  The Senate Select Committee on Intelligence was able to find evidence of only one such meeting, as well as evidence of two occasions "not reported prior to the war, in which Saddam Hussein rebuffed meeting requests from an al-Qa'ida operative.  The Intelligence Community found no other evidence of meetings between al-Qa'ida and Iraq."  The Senate Committee concluded that while there was no evidence of any Iraqi support of al-Qaeda, there was convincing evidence of hostility between the two entities.

The United States political atmosphere following the September 11, 2001 attacks, bolstering the influence of the more militant faction in the White House and on Capitol Hill.  In his January 2002, State of the Union message to Congress, United States president George Bush raised the spectre of an "axis of evil" comprising Iran, North Korea, and Iraq, further charging the Iraqi regime with plotting to "develop anthrax, and nerve gas, and nuclear weapons for over a decade," and continuing to "flaunt its hostility toward America and to support terror."  This thinly veiled declaration of intent to unseat Saddam Hussein and his government was in many ways the beginning of the campaign to win the minds and support of people of the United States and the world towards this goal.

On October 15, 2002, Iraq held an election where there were no other candidates than Saddam Hussein, where all ballots were shown to election officials before being cast and where all ballots were counted by regime officials.  The election showed that there was a turnout of one hundred percent and that one hundred percent of the votes were cast for Saddam.  

As the prospect for war with the United States loomed, on February 24, 2003, Saddam gave an interview to CBS News anchor Dan Rather -- his first interview with an American reporter in more than a decade.  CBS aired the taped three hour interview on February 26, 2003.

With the intent to avoid an all out war, the United States made at least two failed attempts to kill Hussein using targeted air strikes with so-called smart bombs.  However, using faulty intelligence, a strike was made on a site where Hussein was not present causing far reaching implications in original invasion strategic and tactical planning.  This notwithstanding, the Iraqi military and government completely collapsed within three weeks of the March 20 beginning of the 2003 invasion of Iraq, and by early April, Coalition forces led by the United States occupied much of Iraq.  With resistance to invading forces largely neutralized, it was apparent Saddam's control over Iraq was lost.  When Baghdad fell to the coalition forces on April 9, Saddam was still seen in videos purportedly in the Baghdad suburbs surrounded by supporters.

As the United States forces were occupying the Republican Palace and other central landmarks and ministries on April 9, Saddam Husseing emerged from his command bunker beneath the Al A'Zamiyah district of northern Baghdad and greeted excited members of the local public.  The walkabout was captured on film and broadcast several days after the event on Al-Arabiya Television and was also witnessed by ordinary people who corroborated the date afterwards.  He was accompanied by bodyguards and other loyal supporters including at least one of his sons and his personal secretary.

After the walkabout, Saddam returned to his bunker and made preparations for his family.  According to his eldest daughter, Raghad Hussein he was, by this point, aware of the "betrayal" of a number of key figures involved in the defense of Baghdad.  There was a lot of confusion between Iraqi commanders in different sectors of the capital and communication between them and Saddam and between Saddam and his family were becoming increasingly difficult.  

Meanwhile the Americans had started receiving rumors that Saddam was in Al A'Zamiyah and at dawn on April 10, 2003, they dispatched three companies of Marines to capture or kill him.  As the Americans closed in, and realizing that Baghdad was lost, Saddam arranged for cars to collect his eldest daughters, Raghad and Rana, and drive them to Syria.  His wife Sajida Talfah and youngest daughter Hala had already left Iraq several weeks prior.  After this he changed out of his uniform and with only two bodyguards to guard him, left Baghdad in a plain white Oldsmobile and made his way to a specially prepared bunker in Dialah on the northern outskirts of the city.

Saddam stayed in the Dialah bunker for three weeks as Baghdad and the rest of Iraq were occupied by United States forces.  Initially, he and his entourage used satellite telephones to communicate with each other.  As this became more risky they resorted to sending couriers with written messages.  One of these couriers was reported to have been his own nephew.  However, their cover was given away when one of the couriers was captured and Saddam was forced to evacuate the Dialah bunker and resorted to changing location every few hours.  There were numerous sightings of him in Beiji, Baquba and Tikrit to the north of Baghdad over the next few months as he shuttled between safe houses disguised as a shepherd in a plain taxi.  How close he came to being captured during this period may never be made public.  Sometime in the middle of May he moved to the countryside around his home town of Tikrit.

Saddam Hussein was at the top of the United States list of most wanted Iraqis, and many of the other leaders of the Iraqi government were arrested, but extensive efforts to find him had little effect.  In June, in a joint raid by special operations forces and the First Battalion, 22nd Infantry Regiment of the First 1st Brigade, 4th Infantry Division, Saddam's personal secretary Abid Hamid Mahmud, the Ace of Diamonds in the Most Wanted Deck of Cards and number 4 on the Most Wanted list after Saddam and his two sons Uday and Qusay, was captured.  Documents discovered with Abid enabled intelligence officers to work out who was who in Saddam's circle.  Manhunts were launched nightly throughout the Sunni triangle.  Safe houses and family homes were raided as soon as any tip came in that someone in Saddam's circle might be in the area.

In July 2003, in an engagement with American forces after a tip-off from an Iraqi informant, Saddam's sons were cornered in a house in Mosul and shot to death in a firefight.

The raids and arrests of people known to be close to the former President drove him deeper underground.  Once more the trail was growing colder.  In August, the United States military released photofits of how Saddam might be disguising himself in traditional garb, even without his signature mustache.  By the early autumn, the Pentagon had also formed a secret unit -- Taskforce 121. Using electronic surveillance and undercover agents, the CIA and Special Forces scoured Iraq for clues.

By the beginning of November, 2003, Saddam was under siege.  His home town and powerbase were surrounded and his faithful bodyguards targeted and then arrested one by one by the Americans.  Protests erupted in several towns in the Sunni triangle.  Meanwhile some Sunni Muslims showed their support for Saddam.

On December 12, Mohamed Ibrahim Omar al-Musslit was unexpectedly captured in Baghdad.  Mohamed had been a key figure in the President's special security organization.  His cousin Adnan had been captured in July by the 1st Battalion, 22nd Infantry Regiment in Tikrit.  It appears Mohamed had taken control of Saddam on the run, the only person who knew where he was from hour to hour and who was with him.  According to United States sources, it took just a few hours of interrogation for him to crack and betray Saddam.

Within hours Colonel James Hickey (1st Brigade, 4th Infantry Division) together with United States Special Operations Forces launched Operation Red Dawn and under cover of darkness made for the village of Ad-Dawr on the outskirts of Tikrit.  The informer had told United States forces that the former president would be in one of two groups of buildings on a farm codenamed Wolverine 1 and Wolverine 2.

On December 13, 2003, citing Kurdish leader Jalal Talabani, the Islamic Republic News Agency (IRNA) of Iran was first to report the apprehension and arrest of Saddam Hussein.  These reports were soon confirmed by other members of the Iraq Interim Governing Council, United States military sources, and by British prime minister Tony Blair.  In a Baghdad press conference with the United States civil administrator in Iraq, Paul Bremer, Hussein's capture was formally announced, leading with, "Ladies and gentlemen, we got him!"  Bremer went on to report the time as approximately 8:30 pm local time, on December 13, in an underground "spider hole" at a farmhouse in ad-Dawr near his home town Tikrit, in what was called Operation Red Dawn.

The video footage presented by Bremer showed Hussein in full beard with longer than usual, disheveled hair.  He was described as being in good health, "talkative and co-operative."  DNA testing was used to further confirm the captive's identity.  Members of the Governing Council visiting with Hussein following his capture reported him as unrepentant and believing of himself as having been a "firm, but just ruler."  It later emerged that the information leading to his capture was obtained from a detainee under interrogation.

According to United States military sources, immediately following Saddam's December 13th capture, Saddam was hooded, his hands bound and he was taken by a military HMMWV vehicle to an awaiting helicopter and flown to the United States base adjacent to one of his former palaces in Tikrit.  There he was paraded about before jubilant United States soldiers with a series of photographs taken of the spectacle.  He was then loaded again onto a helicopter and flown to the main United States base at Baghdad International Airport where he was transferred to the Camp Cropper facility.  He was then officially photographed and received medical attention and was groomed.  The following day, Saddam was visited in his cell by members of the Iraqi Governing Council with Ahmed Chalabi and Adnan Pachachi among them.  It is believed he remained there in high security during most of the time of his detention.

Held in custody by United States forces at Camp Cropper in Baghdad, on June 30, 2004, Saddam Hussein and eleven senior Baathist officials were handed over legally (though not physically) to the interim Iraqi government to stand trial for war crimes, crimes against humanity, and genocide.  A few weeks later, he was charged by the Special Tribunal with crimes committed against the inhabitants of Dujail in 1982, following a failed assassination attempt against him.  Specific charges included the murder of 148 people, torture of women and children and the illegal arrest of 399 others.  

Saddam's trial was marked by Saddam's contesting the court's authority and maintaining that he was still the President of Iraq.  Additionally, several of Saddam's lawyers were assassinated or were threatened. Furthermore, midway through the trial, the chief presiding judge was replaced after accusations of bias were leveled.

On November 5, 2006, Saddam Hussein was found guilty of crimes against humanity and sentenced to death by hanging.  Hussein's half brother, Barzan Ibrahim, and Awad Hamed al-Bandar, head of Iraq's Revolutionary Court in 1982, were convicted of similar charges as well.  The verdict and sentencing were both appealed but subsequently affirmed by Iraq's Supreme Court of Appeals.  Just twenty-five days later, the sentence was delivered with Hussein being executed by hanging on December 30, 2006.

However, even Saddam's death proved to be divisive.  He was hanged on the first day of Eid ul-Adha, on December 30, 2006, at approximately 6:10 am.  The execution was carried out at "Camp Justice," an Iraqi army base in Kazimain, a neighborhood of northeast Baghdad.  Prime minister Nouri al-Maliki launched an investigation to determine who leaked a video filmed on a witness's cellphone during the execution of Saddam in which Saddam was taunted moments before his death.  The video circulated widely on the internet and was broadcast by Al-Jazeera television.  Saddam's execution and the way it was conducted provoked anger among Sunni Muslims, who took to the streets in mainly peaceful demonstrations across the country.

Saddam was buried at his birthplace of Al-Awja in Tikrit, Iraq, two miles from his sons Uday and Qusay Hussein.

Saddam's relationships with his family members were complex.  He empowered and favored his sons as leaders of Iraq.  He allegedly forcibly married a woman after coercing her husband to divorce her.  He married another woman as well and is said to have cared for friendly family members, but he would punish family members he distrusted.

Saddam married Sajida Talfah in 1963.  Sajida is the daughter of Khairallah Talfah, Hussein's uncle and mentor.  Their marriage was arranged for Hussein at age five when Sajida was seven.  However, the two never met until their wedding.  They were married in Egypt during Saddam's exile.  Together they had two sons, Uday and Qusay, and three daughters, Rana, Raghad and Hala.  Uday controlled the media, and was named Journalist of the Century by the Iraqi Union of Journalists.  Qusay ran the elite Republican Guard, and was considered heir presumptive.  Both brothers were said to have made fortunes for themselves smuggling oil.  

On December 12, 1996, there was an assassination attempt on Uday.  Uday, Saddam's oldest son, was crippled in an assassination attempt.  Sajida (Saddam's wife), Raghad and Rana (Uday's sisters) were all placed under house arrest due to suspicions of their involvement in the assassination attempt.  General Adnan Khairallah Tuffah, Sajida's brother and childhood friend of Hussein, was allegedly executed due to his growing popularity.  

Hussein's two sons Uday and Qusay were both killed in a violent six hour gun battle against United States forces on July 22, 2003.  Still photos of their badly shot up bodies were taken and widely distributed to convince any skeptics that the brothers were dead.  

Saddam was also married to two other women: Samira Shahbandar (rumored to have been Saddam's favorite), whom he married in 1986 after forcing her husband to divorce her, and Nidal al-Hamdani, the general manager of the Solar Energy Research Center in the Council of Scientific Research, whose husband was apparently also persuaded to divorce his wife.  There have apparently been no political issues from these latter two marriages.  Hussein's third son, Ali, is from his marriage to Samira.

In August 1995, Rana and her husband Hussein Kamel al-Majid and Raghad and her husband, Saddam Kamel al-Majid, defected to Jordan, taking their children with them.  They returned to Iraq when they received assurances that Saddam would pardon them.  Within three days of their return in February 1996, both of the Majid brothers were attacked and killed in a gunfight with other clan members who considered them traitors.  Saddam had made it clear that although pardoned, they would lose all status and would not receive any protection.  

Hussein's daughter Hala married Jamal Mustafa Sultan al-Tikriti, the deputy head of Iraq's Tribal Affairs Office.  Neither was known to be involved in politics.  Jamal surrendered to United States troops in April 2003.  Another cousin, Ali Hassan al-Majid, infamously known as "Chemical Ali," was accused of ordering the use of poison gas in 1988, and was captured by the American forces of Operation Iraqi Freedom.

In August 2003, Saddam's daughters Raghad and Rana received sanctuary in Amman, Jordan.

Saddam Hussein was Sunni Muslim and his position in the Sunni territories (central Iraq and Baghdad) was unrivalled.  For most of his tenure, Saddam's rule was influenced by the Gordian Knot of the Persian Gulf:  He was not the most desired leader of Iraq, but he was the only one perceived by the West to be able to keep Iraq united and as a buffer against Iran.  

From the beginning, Saddam's presidency was oppressive with regards to his opposition.  Many of those who opposed Saddam were killed at Saddam's behest.  Nevertheless, Saddam was tactful to show respect for Shi'a shrines and to allow for their improvement.   Additionally, Saddam was, for a long period of time, known for his efforts at modernizing Iraq, its infrastructure, the position of women, and education.  

Saddam Husayn see Hussein, Saddam
Saddam Hussein Abd al-Majid al-Tikriti see Hussein, Saddam
Husayn, Saddam see Hussein, Saddam
Tikriti, Saddam Hussein Abd al-Majid al- see Hussein, Saddam
Tikriti, Saddam Husayn 'Abd al-Majid al- see Hussein, Saddam

Hydari, Akbar
Hydari, Akbar (Akbar Hydari) (Nawab Hydar Nawaz Jung Bahadur) (1869-1942).  Social reformer.  Also known as Nawab Hydar Nawaz Jung Bahadur, a title earned in Hyderabad state service, Hydari was a member of the extended Tyabji family of Bombay.  He began his career in the Indian Finance Service, later moving to Hyderabad, where he served as accountant general and finance secretary (1905-1911), home secretary (1911-1920), finance member (1921-1937), and finally president of the executive council, the equivalent of prime minister (1937-1941).  Throughout his life, he was active in social reform and educational causes. He proposed the foundation of Osmania University in Hyderabad, India’s first vernacular medium university, in which Urdu was the languaged of instruction.  He was a supporter of close co-operation between the nizam and the British and attended the London Round Table Conferences in 1930 to 1931 as a representative of Hyderabad.

Akbar Hydari see Hydari, Akbar
Nawab Hydar Nawaz Jung Bahadur see Hydari, Akbar
Bahadur, Nawab Hydar Nawaz Jung see Hydari, Akbar

Ibadiyah.  See Ibadiyya, al-.  

Ibadiyya see Ibadiyah.

Ibadiyya, al-
Ibadiyya, al- (Ibadiya) (Abadiyya).  One of the main branches of the Kharijites, representatives of which are today found in Oman, East Africa, Tripolitania and southern Algeria.  The name is derived from ‘Abd Allah ibn ‘Ibad (of the eighth century) of Basra, who broke away from the Khariji extremists.   

The al-Ibadiyya (the Ibadites) was a branch of the first religious division of Islam, the Kharijites (“Rebels”), with their own state structures.  The Ibadites first waged war against the Umayyad caliphs from Basra and established several theocratic republics under the leadership of their own Imams.  In the mid-8th century, they ruled various towns in Libya, Tunisia, and Algeria.  The Ibadites then migrated to the Algerian Sahara. Ibadite imams ruled from 751 until the end of the 18th century in Muscat and Oman, and during the 18th century in Bahrain and Zanzibar too. Ibadite communities still exist today in Libya, Tunisia, and Algeria, and are particularly strong in Oman.

The chief scholar and organizer of the Ibadis was Jabir ibn Zayd al-Azdi from Oman (c. 639-c.711).  His scholarly pupil Abu ‘Ubayda Muslim at first hoped to win the caliphs to Ibadism, but later made Basra into the center of missionary activities.  Outside Basra there were Ibadi centers at Kufa, Mosul, the Hijaz, even at Mecca and Medina, in Central Arabia, Hadhramaut, Yemen and Oman, where the town of Nizwa was their capital.  The first to preach Ibadism in East Africa in the ninth century were probably merchants from Oman.  The movement also spread to Persia (Khurasan), Egypt, Ifriqiya, the Maghrib, western and central Sudan, and to Spain and Sicily.

Unlike the Khariji extremists, represented by the Azraqis, the Ibadis do not regard a non-Khariji Muslim as an infidel and a polytheist, and thus reject assassination for religious reasons.  Marriage with non-Ibadis is also permitted.  If circumstances were unfavorable, it was not necessary to have an Imam.  The latter was elected by a council of important lay persons or by shaykhs, and proclaimed before the people.  He was also leader in war, judge and theologian.  He could be deposed if he did not observe the Qur‘an, the Sunna of the Prophet and the example of the first Imams.  In general, the dogma and the politico-religious theories of the Ibadiyya resemble those of the Sunnis

Among the several Ibadi sects should be mentioned the Nukkaris of North Africa.

The Kharijite movement broke with the fourth caliph Ali in 657 after he agreed to submit his conflict with the governor of Syria, Muʿawiya ibn Abi Sufyan, to arbitration. This action, the Kharijites argued, undermined both the religious and political leadership of Ali. Equally hostile to Umayyad rule by hereditary succession, the Kharijites espoused an ideology of absolute egalitarianism, social austerity, and militant puritanism. The two major Kharijite factions were the Azariqa, who waged a relentless war to overthrow the existing social and political order, and the Ibadiyya, who took a politically quiescent position (kitman) during the civil wars of the seventh century.

The Ibadiyya, who derive their name from their founder Abdallah ibn Ibad al-Murri al-Tamimi (died c. 720), were originally based in Basra. Under the early Abbasids in the eighth and ninth centuries, the Ibadiyya took an activist missionary approach (zuhur) and spread in the desert frontier regions of north Africa (Tahert), and eastern and southern Arabia (Hadramawt) among tribal social segments. The Ibadiyya developed an elaborate political theory that emphasizes the primacy of religious leadership (imamate), but allows the coexistence of various imams (unlike in Shiʿism). Notwithstanding their acceptance of the Muʿtazilite doctrine of the createdness of the Qurʾan, the Ibadiyya largely concur with Sunni Islam, particularly the Maliki school on matters of law. The sect survives today in Oman, eastern Africa (Zanzibar), Libya (Jabal Nafusa and Zuagha), the island of Djerba (Tunisia), and southern Algeria (Wargla and Mzab).

According to Ibadi doctrine, an imam must be elected with absolute ruling authority over the community.  His authority is absolute as long as he abides by Ibadi principles and law, and he can be deposed if he has committed a great disobedience and has not repented.  However, such conditions remain theoretical in general.  There is a tradition of a “chief elector” which had its root deep in the development of Ibadiyah in Oman.  Although there is no post in the Ibadi jurisprudence for the chief elector, the rules and acts considered correct are derived from the acts and judgments of the consecutive chief electors.  Ibadi jurisprudence and literature hold in high esteem the ‘ulama‘ (learned men) in general, and the imam is expected to obey them and to abide by their rulings.  However, when the time is considered convenient for electing an imam, it is the ‘ulama‘ who lead the tribal chiefs to prepare for such an election,  and the leading figure of the ‘ulama‘ will act as the chief elector.  This task begins by getting the main Ibadi scholars in the country to communicate with each other and to reach an agreement on a person who will be proper for the post.   They prepare for the election and assure that the tribal chiefs will give their support to the eleced imam.  They continue, led by the chief elector, to check on the imam and to ensure that he abides by the Ibadi creed and rules of conduct.

Ibadi political power in Oman began with a seizure of power by the first publicly elected imam, al-Julanda ibn Mas‘ud (r. c. 749-751), who was slain in battle by an ‘Abbasid force.  The imamate was revived in 793 under Imam Muhammad ibn ‘Affan.  In 893, the ‘Abbasid force reconquered Oman, after which the Ibadiyah continued to elect imams there and to exercise considerable authority.  Imam Nasir ibn Murshid al-Ya‘rubi (r. c. 1624-1649) established an Ibadi dynasty in the course of his struggle against Portuguese colonial dominance.  This dynasty was replaced by the present ruling family, whose first ruler was Imam Ahmad ibn Sa‘id al-Busa‘idi (r. 1753/54-1783).

Ibadi revivalism in nineteenth century Oman was characterized by disputes centered on the election of a zuhur (public) imam, in which various rulers were accused of departing from true Ibadi principles (the only legitimate basis for deposing an imam).  Thus, the rise of Imam ‘Azzan ibn Qays (r. 1868-1871) was supported by the theologian Sa‘id ibn Khalfan al-Khalili (d. 1871), and the rise of Imam Rashid al-Kharusi (r. 1913-1920) by the noted historian and theologian ‘Abd Allah al-Salimi (d. 1914).

Abadiyya see Ibadiyya, al-
Ibadites see Ibadiyya, al-

Ibn.  Arabic particle indicating “son of,” often abbreviated as b.  It sometimes constitutes the first part of proper names, as in Ibn Battuta.  The Swahili equivalent of ibn is bin with which it is freely interchanged in many east African names.
Bin see Ibn.

Ibn ‘Abbad, Abu‘l-Qasim
Ibn ‘Abbad, Abu‘l-Qasim (Abu‘l-Qasim ibn ‘Abbad) (al-Sahib) (938-995).  Vizier and man of letters of the Buyid period.  Of Persian origin, he was an arabophile and wrote on dogmatic theology, history, grammar, lexicography, literary criticism and composed poetry and belles-lettres.
Abu'l-Qasim ibn 'Abbad see Ibn ‘Abbad, Abu‘l-Qasim
Sahib, al- see Ibn ‘Abbad, Abu‘l-Qasim

Ibn ‘Abd al-Hakam
Ibn ‘Abd al-Hakam.  Name which refers to the son and the four grandsons of ‘Abd al-Hakam, a wealthy and influential family of legal scholars and historians in ninth century Egypt.

Ibn Abd-el-Hakam (d. 870 or 871) was an Egyptian chronicler who wrote the History of the Conquest of Egypt and North Africa and Spain.

His work is invaluable as the earliest Arab account of the Islamic conquests of those countries. This work was written about 150-200 years after the events it describes, and therefore mixes fact and legend. It was often quoted by later Islamic historians.

The author's father and brother Muhammad were the leading Egyptian authorities on Malikite Islamic law. Although much quoted, he is seldom named because of a family disgrace. He and his brothers were accused of embezzlement of a deceased estate, imprisoned, and one of the brothers died under torture.

Ibn ‘Abd al-Mun‘im al-Himyari
Ibn ‘Abd al-Mun‘im al-Himyari.  Author of an important Arabic geographical dictionary.  He used the works of al-Bakri and al-Idrisi.  His dictionary acquired a great popularity in the Maghrib.

Ibn ‘Abd al-Wahhab
Ibn ‘Abd al-Wahhab (Muhammad ibn ‘Abd al-Wahhab) (Muhammad ibn 'Abd Al-Wahhab ibn Sulayman ibn 'Ali ibn Muhammad ibn Ahmad ibn Rashid al-Tamimi) (1703–1792).  Hanbali theologian from Najd and the founder of Wahhabism.  Already as a young theologian, al-Wahhab began his teaching against the cult of saints, paganism among the Bedouins, sacred trees and some sacred tombs.  In 1744, amir Muhammad ibn Sa‘ud of al-Dir‘iyya and Ibn ‘Abd al-Wahhab swore an oath of mutual loyalty to strive, by force if necessary, to make the kingdom of God’s word prevail.  Ibn ‘Abd al-Wahhab’s doctrine was very strongly influenced by that of Ibn Taymiyya and opposed to sects which were considered as incompatible with Sunnism, such as Shi‘ism, the Mu‘tazila and the Kharijiyya.

Born in al-‘Uyaynah in Najd, Ibn ‘Abd al-Wahhab belonged to a prestigious family of jurists, both theologians and qadis (judges).  Under the tutorship of his father, young Muhammad studied Hanbali jurisprudence and read classical works on tafsir (exegesis), hadith (tradition) and tawhid (monotheism).  In his early twenties, he began to denounce what he described as the polytheistic beliefs and practices of his society, rejecting its laxity and insisting on strict adherence to the shari‘a.

Ibn 'Abd al-Wahhab's beliefs alienated him from the establishment ‘ulama‘ and led to the dismissal of his father from the position of qadi.  Subsequently, Ibn ‘Abd al-Wahhab’s family, including his father, had to leave al-‘Uyaynah to neighboring Huraymila in 1726.  He himself remained in al-‘Uyaynah for a while, but after the ‘ulama‘ defamed his reputation and instigated the populace against him, he left al-‘Uyaynah and went to Hejaz.

In Hejaz, Ibn ‘Abd al-Wahhab made his pilgrimage to Mecca and Medina, where he attended lectures on different branches of Islamic learning.  Ibn Bishr reports in ‘Unwan al-majd fi tarikh Najd, that Muhammad ibn ‘Abd al-Wahhab studied under Shaykh ‘Abd Allah ibn Ibrahim ibn Sayf and Shaykh Hayat al-Sindi, both of whom were admirers of the Hanbali ibn Taymiyah.  Like Ibn Taymiyah, they opposed taqlid (imitation), which was commonly accepted by the followers of the four Sunni schools of jurisprudence.  Both scholars felt the urgent need to reform the socio-religious situation of Muslims in Najd and elsewhere.  Their teachings had a great impact on Ibn ‘Abd al-Wahhab, who began to take a more aggressive attitude toward the establishment ‘ulama‘.

Another important event in the intellectual evolution of Ibn ‘Abd al-Wahhab was his visit to Basra.  There he widened his study of hadith and jurisprudence and came into contact with the Shi‘as, who venerate ‘Ali’s shrine in Najaf and the tomb of Husayn in neighboring Karbala.  Ibn ‘Abd al-Wahhab’s call to reform the Muslim world was rejected by the ‘ulama‘ of both Basra and Karbala, and he was ultimately forced to leave the area.

Ibn ‘Abd al-Wahhab returned to Huraymila to rejoin his father and immediately began to criticize the innovations and polytheistic acts practiced by Najdis and others.  His criticism seems to have been so bitter that he met strong opposition from the ‘ulama‘ and even from his own father.  During this period, he composed his most famous work, Kitab al-tawhid (Book of Monotheism), copies of which circulated quickly and widely in Najd.  The year 1740 witnessed the death of his father and the consolidation of the Wahhabi movement.  The death of his father allowed Ibn ‘Abd al-Wahhab to adopt a more aggressive line, because he felt less constrained than before.  He declared war on those who by word or act were violating the doctrine of monotheism.

In a relatively short time, the influence of Ibn ‘Abd al-Wahhab spread widely.  The consolidation of his movement took place when the ruler of al-‘Uyaynah, ‘Uthman ibn Mu‘ammar, offered him protection.  Ibn ‘Abd al-Wahhab accepted the invitation to reside in al-‘Uyaynah because it allowed him to return to his birthplace, where his family enjoyed high social status, and provided the protection he needed to propagate his ideology.  To cement his ties with the town’s leader, Ibn ‘Abd al-Wahhab married al-Jawharah, ‘Uthman’s aunt.

The ruler of al-‘Uyaynah ordered his townsmen to observe the teachings of Ibn ‘Abd al-Wahhab, who began to implement the principles of his call.  Among his earliest acts was the destruction of the monument where Zayd ibn al-Khattab was believed to be buried, as well as the tombs of other companions of the Prophet, all of whom were objects of veneration.  He also revived the Islamic law of stoning an adulterous woman to death.  Both incidents mark the establishment of a Wahhabi society in which the doctrines of tawhid were strictly observed.  Indeed, tawhid is considered the central theme in Wahhabi doctrine.

Ibn ‘Abd al-Wahhab’s activities and the protection he received from the leader of al-‘Uyaynah antagonized the ‘ulama‘ of the region and led them to intensify their attacks on the Wahhabi movement, warning the rulers that Ibn ‘Abd al-Wahhab was encouraging the common folk to revolt against established authority.  Consequently, the ruler of al-‘Uyaynah terminated his support and asked the teacher to leave the town.

From al-‘Uyaynah, Ibn ‘Abd al-Wahhab sought refuge in al-Dir‘iyah at the invitation of its ruler, Muhammad ibn Sa‘ud.  For more than two years, Ibn ‘Abd al-Wahhab propagated his views and wrote letters to various rulers, scholars, and tribal leaders in Arabia.  The response he elicited was as much a product of political and economic considerations as of religious dogma.  Some leaders joined the new movement because they saw it as a means of gaining an ally against their local rivals.  Others feared that their acceptance of the call would diminish their authority in favor of Ibn Sa‘ud and oblige them to pay him at least part of the revenues they collected from their subjects.

By 1746, the time seemed ripe for Ibn Sa‘ud and Ibn ‘Abd al-Wahhab to declare jihad on those who opposed Wahhabi teachings.  In 1773, the prinicipality of Riyadh fell to them, marking a new period in the career of Ibn ‘Abd al-Wahhab.  He concentrated on teaching and worship until his death in 1791.  His death, however, did not stop the expansion of the new state.  Not only was the movement able to resist its opponents and gain territory in neighboring principalities, it was able within a relatively short period to spread to Mecca and Medina, which were captured in 1805 and 1806, respectively.  A new order was established in the Arabian Peninsula, ushering in the period of the first Saudi state and establishing the Wahhabiyah as the religio-political driving force in the peninsula during the nineteenth and early twentieth centuries.

Muhammad ibn 'Abd al-Wahhab see Ibn ‘Abd al-Wahhab
Wahhab, Muhammad ibn 'Abd al- see Ibn ‘Abd al-Wahhab
Muhammad ibn 'Abd Al-Wahhab ibn Sulayman ibn 'Ali ibn Muhammad ibn Ahmad ibn Rashid al-Tamimi see Ibn ‘Abd al-Wahhab

Ibn Abi ‘Amir al-Ma‘afiri
Ibn Abi ‘Amir al-Ma‘afiri. See al-Mansur bi-‘llah.
Mansur bi-'llah, al- see Ibn Abi ‘Amir al-Ma‘afiri.

Ibn Abi‘l-Rijal, Abu‘l-Hasan
Ibn Abi‘l-Rijal, Abu‘l-Hasan (Abu‘l-Hasan ibn Abi‘l-Rijal). Astrologer of Qayrawan, known in the West as Abenragel or Albohazen.
Abu'l-Hasan ibn Abi'l-Rijal see Ibn Abi‘l-Rijal, Abu‘l-Hasan
Abenragel see Ibn Abi‘l-Rijal, Abu‘l-Hasan
Albohazen see Ibn Abi‘l-Rijal, Abu‘l-Hasan

Ibn Abi-l-Rijal, Ahmad ibn Salih
Ibn Abi-l-Rijal, Ahmad ibn Salih (Ahmad ibn Salih ibn Abi‘l-Rijal). Historian, jurisconsult and poet from Yemen.  He is known for his alphabetically arranged collection of about 1300 biographies of famous Zaydis of Iraq and Yemen.
Ahmad ibn Salih ibn Abi'l-Rigal see Ibn Abi-l-Rijal, Ahmad ibn Salih

Ibn Abi‘l-Shawarib
Ibn Abi‘l-Shawarib.  Name of the members of a family of traditionists, jurists and judges which played an important role in Baghdad during the ninth and tenth centuries.

Ibn Abi Tahir Tayfur
Ibn Abi Tahir Tayfur (819-893). Litterateur and historian of Persian origin.  He is famous for his History of Baghdad, an historical account to the reign of the ‘Abbasid Caliph al-Muhtadi.

Ibn Abi Tayyi‘
Ibn Abi Tayyi‘ (Ibn Abi Tayyar) (Hamid ibn Yahya al-Halabi al-Nadjdjab) (1180-1228/1233). Shi‘i historian from Aleppo.  He is particularly known for his Universal History.  This treatise is valuable for the history of northern Syria in the time of the Crusades.

Ibn Abi Tayyar see Ibn Abi Tayyi‘
Hamid ibn Yahya al-Halabi al-Nadjdjab see Ibn Abi Tayyi‘

Ibn Abi Usaibia
Ibn Abi Usaibia, or Ibn Abi Usaybi'ah or Ibn Abi Usaybi'a, ( [1194] 1203-1270) (Arabic: ابن أبي أصيبعة موفق الدين أبو العباس أحمد بن القاسم بن خليفة الشعري الخزرجي‎, Ibn Abī Uṣaybiʿa Muʾaffaq al-Dīn Abū al-ʿAbbās Aḥmad Ibn Al-Qāsim Ibn Khalīfa al-Khazrajī) was an Arab physician, bibliographer and historian. He was born at Damascus, a descendant of the Banu Khazraj tribe and the son of an oculist, and studied medicine at Damascus and Cairo. In 1236 he was appointed physician to a new hospital in Cairo, but he surrendered the appointment the following year to take up a post given him by the amir of Damascus in Salkhad near that city. There he lived and died.

Ibn Abi Usaibia owes his fame to a collection of 380 biographies which are of value for the history of Arabic science.

Ibn Abi Usaibia wrote ʿUyūn ul-Anbāʾ fī Ṭabaqāt ul-Aṭibbāʾ (Arabic: عيون الأنباء في طبقات الأطباء‎), or Lives of the Physicians, which in its first edition (1245-1246) was dedicated to the vizier of Damascus. This he enlarged, though it is uncertain whether the new edition was made public in the lifetime of the author. A European edition was published by August Müller (Königsberg, 1884). This work is notable as a source for Aristotle's biography. Its material on Pythagoras' biography is included as an appendix.

Ibn ‘Ajiba
Ibn ‘Ajiba (Ahmad ibn 'Ajiba) (1746-1809).  Moroccan Sufi of Sharifian origin.  He was one of the most distinguished representatives of the mystical order of the Darqawa.

Ahmad ibn 'Ajiba was born of a Hasani sharif family in the Anjra tribe that ranges from Tangiers to Tetuan along the Mediterranean coast of Morocco. As a child he developed a love of knowledge, memorizing the Qur'an and studying subjects ranging from Classical Arabic grammar, religious ethics, poetry, Qur'anic recitation and tafsir. When he reached the age of eighteen he left home and undertook the study of exoteric knowledge in Qasr al-Kabir under the supervision of Sidi Muhammad al-Susi al-Samlali. It was here that he was introduced to studies in the sciences, art, philosophy, law and Qur'anic exegesis in depth. He went to Fes to study with Ibn Souda, Bennani, and El-Warzazi, and joined the new Darqawiyya in 1793, of which he was the representative in the northern part of the Jbala region. He spent his entire life in and around Tetuan, and died of the plague in 1809. He is the author of a considerable number of works and a Fahrasa which provides interesting information concerning the intellectual center that Tetuan had become by the beginning of the 19th century.
Ahmad ibn 'Ajiba see Ibn ‘Ajiba

Ibn Ajurrum
Ibn Ajurrum (1273-1323).  Moroccan grammarian.  He wrote a summary syntax, called the Muqaddima, which has enjoyed great popularity in all the Arabic speaking countries.  Since the sixteenth century, it was one of the first treatises available to European Arabists for the study of the Arabic grammatical system.

Ibn al-‘Adim
Ibn al-‘Adim (Kamal al-Din ibn al-Adim) (1192-1262).  Historian of Aleppo.  He wrote a biographical dictionary of men connected with Aleppo, and a history of the city.

Kamal al-Din Ibn al-Adim was a historian from Aleppo. He is best known for his work Bughyat al-Talab (The Student's Desire), a collection of biographies of famous men from Aleppo. Other well-known books by Ibn al-Adim are his history of Aleppo: Zubdat al-Halab fi ta'arikh Halab (The cream of the history of Aleppo) and his guide for the making of perfumes Kitab al-wuslat (or wasilat) ila-l- habib fi wasf al-tayibat wal-tibb.

Kamal al-Din ibn al-'Adim see Ibn al-‘Adim

Ibn al-‘Amid, Abu‘l-Fadl
Ibn al-‘Amid, Abu‘l-Fadl (Abu‘l-Fadl ibn al-‘Amid) (d. 970).  Vizier of the early Buyids and man of letters of Qum.  His reputation was due to his prodigious memory, to his generosity and to his friendly character.  He is praised for his correspondence.
Abu'l-Fadl ibn al-'Amid see Ibn al-‘Amid, Abu‘l-Fadl

Ibn al-‘Arabi, Muhammad ibn Ziyad
Ibn al-‘Arabi, Muhammad ibn Ziyad (Muhammad ibn Ziyad ibn al-‘Arabi) (767-846).  Philologian of the school of Kufa.  About twenty works are attributed to him.
Muhammad ibn Ziyad ibn al-'Arabi see Ibn al-‘Arabi, Muhammad ibn Ziyad

Ibn al-‘Arabi, Muhyi‘l-Din al-Ta‘i
Ibn al-‘Arabi, Muhyi‘l-Din al-Ta‘i (Muhyi‘l-Din al-Ta‘i ibn al-‘Arabi) (Muhyi‘d-din ibn ‘Arabi) (al-Shaykh al-Akbar) (July 28, 1165 - November 10, 1240). Andalusian Arab Sufi mystic and philosopher. His full name was Abū 'Abdullāh Muḥammad ibn 'Alī ibn Muḥammad ibn al-`Arabī al-Hāṭimī al-Ṭā'ī.  He is considered to be one of the greatest, and certainly the most prolific, Sufis of Islam.  Born in Murcia, Andalusia (Spain), he impressed his father’s friend Ibn Rushd (Averroes), who was then a judge in Seville.  

He travelled far and wide in the Muslim countries. He traveled throughout the centers of learning of his time: Seville, Cordoba, Marrakech, Tunis, Cairo, Konya, Mecca, Baghdad, and Damascus, where he died and where his tomb has become a popular shrine.

In 1230, Ibn ‘Arabi settled in Damascus where he died and was buried.  There seems little doubt that he is the author of some 400 works, among which are a full exposition of the author’s Sufi doctrine, and a summary of the teaching of 28 prophets from Adam to the Prophet.  His ideas had their most profound influence in Anatolia.  It has been suggested that his description of his “ascension to heaven” (in Arabic, mi‘raj) from the world of being to the station in God’s presence influenced Dante.

Although Ibn ‘Arabi founded no order -- no tariqa --, he nevertheless influenced speculative Sufi thought more profoundly than any other thinker.  Ibn ‘Arabi left a list of his own literary output.  This list totaled 270 works, 176 of which dealt with Sufism.  Two of the 176 works have received special attention.  The first, The Meccan Revelations, garnered attention because it is partially autobiographical and otherwise sets forth much of interest about famous Sufis as well as the central teachings of Sufism.  The second, The Wisdom of the Prophets (Fusus al-Hikam), in which each of the 27 major prophets is allotted an individual chapter that describes not the prophet but rather the approach to unity -- tawhid -- characteristic of the prophet.  Revealed to Ibn  ‘Arabi in a single night at age sixty-five, The Wisdom of the Prophets is a brilliant, often insightful book which is without parallel in the history of Sufism.

Ibn ‘Arabi‘s thought, at once radical and comprehensive, scriptural and mystical, inspired defenders and detractors, sparking a debate over “Unity of Being” and “Unity of Witness” that relates to the fundamental question:  How does one feel, think, act, and pray as a Muslim?

Ibn ‘Arabi’s ideas represent and culminate the third major phase of Sufi thought.  In the first phase, thinkers such as Rabi‘a, Junayd, and Bistami articulated the Sufi concept of mystical experience as the passing away of the human ego-self (nafs) and a Sufi way of life centered in that experience, and a Sufi affirmation of divine union as the immersion of human consciousness in one divine beloved to the point of obviousness to all other things.  In the second phase, represented by Sulami, Sarraj, Makki, Qushayri, and al-Ghazali, the Sufi experience of mystical union and the Sufi way of life were more explicitly integrated with ritual Islam and Islamic theology.  

With Ibn ‘Arabi, mystical union becomes not only the central moment in the affirmation of divine union and in the life of the Sufi, but it also becomes the central event within mystical language as well, an event that fundamentally transforms all language concerned with ultimate reality, reconfiguring and sometimes shattering the normal dualisms of subject and object, human and divine, before and after, self and other.

Ibn ‘Arabi’s writings mirror his philosophy of “perpetual transformation.”  His works continually move through the discourses of law, comparative philosophy, Islamic theology, esoteric sciences (alchemy, astrology, number symbolism, and talismans), meditative practice, Qur‘anic interpretation, hadith sciences, theory of prophecy, and sainthood.  Rather than forming a system, and certainly not forming a static philosophy of “oneness of reality” as the “sum” of all things (a conception that was due to later systematizers and followers of Ibn ‘Arabi), his work resists closure and analysis by linear development.  Like a moving picture made up of separate frames, it is the moving image that is meaningful, not the series of static frames.  This method of writing is a perfect reflection of the dynamism of Ibn ‘Arabi’s philosophy.

Ibn ‘Arabi’s thinking has been labeled as “theosophy,” but its originality and most lasting contribution are in the domain of apophatic thought, sometimes called “negative theology” (having to do with matters that are inexpressible).  As with the other practitioners of apophatic thinking, Ibn ‘Arabi begins from a critique of any attempt to refer to or name the transcendent, and ends with a dialectically simultaneous affirmation of absolute transcendence and absolute immanence.  Ibn ‘Arabi’s positions are grounded in previous controversies of scholastic theology (kalam).  After several centuries of growth, Islamic theology had divided into hundreds of schools of thought, all seeking to harmonize the absolute oneness of the Deity with the various attributes (ninety-nine attributes in the Qur‘an) ascribed to it.  Are these attributes (“the hearer,” “the seer,” “the compassionate,” and so forth) the same as the essence of the Deity?  If so, then the Deity has a plurality of eternal powers.  If the attributes are not co-eternal, then the deity is subject to accident and change, in a state of not-hearing in one instant, for example, and hearing in the next.

The quandary was vividly dramatized in the debate over a hadith (a saying of the Prophet Muhammad), parallel to a passage in Genesis, in which the Deity is said to have created Adam “in his image.” If the “his” refers to the Deity, then how is one to conceive of a transcendent, infinite Deity confined to an “image”?  Some theologians responded that the “his” must refer to Adam, to Adam’s being made as a full human, rather than going through a period of gestation, for example.   The Deity transcends all images.  Ibn ‘Arabi’s solution to this dilemma was to combine the Sufi concept of mystical union with his concept of the “complete human being.”  Adam, as the symbol of the complete human, that is, of archetypal human consciousness, is the mirror through which the Deity reveals its own attributes to itself, and the prism through which its undifferentiated unity is refracted into the various attributes.

The attributes of the Deity do not exist in themselves, nor are they purely categories of human imagination.  They are actualized only at the point that the mirror of human consciousness is polished and the reflections in it become visible.  By combining cosmic and the individual, macrocosm and microcosm, Ibn ‘Arabi treats this polishing of the mirror as any human’s “passing away” in union with the divine beloved.  When the Sufi, following the Sufi path outlined by Qushayri and Rabi‘a, achieves a point where his or her ego-self is annihilated, then the Deity reveals itself in the polished mirror of that Sufi’s heart.  At this point, to paraphrase the crucial hadith of mystical union, the Deity becomes the hearing with which he hears, the seeing with which he sees, the hands with which he touches, the feet with which he walks, the tongue with which he speaks.  

In dialectical terms, this “polishing of the mirror” is a co-creation in which both the Deity and human (as manifested entities endowed with form and categories) are created in the polished mirror of the complete human being.  A lord cannot exist without a servant, a creator Deity cannot exist without a creation in which it manifests itself and reflects itself.  Ultimate reality, what Ibn ‘Arabi calls the identity of self of the Real (dhat al-haqq), lies beyond all such dualisms.  The antecedent of “his” in “in his image” is neither the Deity by itself nor Adam by himself, but the Deity-human at the moment of the mystical union.  The image occurs within the polishing of the mirror when the Deity’s image is revealed and prismatically refracted in its attributes within the polished mirror of the human heart.  

From the perspective of eternity, this self-revelation always has occurred.  However, from the perspective of time, it is ephemeral.  It cannot be possessed.  Ibn ‘Arabi takes the dynamic notion of “the moment” as developed by earlier Sufis such as Qushayri and makes it the centerpiece of his mystical dialectic.  Quoting a Qur‘anic passage that refers to the Deity as being in every moment in a different condition, Ibn ‘Arabi states that the image of the eternal and infinite when it occurs in time is in a state of perpetual transformation.  In every moment the image changes.  Each image is formed by the linguistic, conceptual, philosophical, and psychological categories of the persons in which it appears.  Each is a valid manifestation of the Deity.

The central intellectual error, the cause of religious and philosophical disputes and violence, is the attempt to “bind” the Deity into a particular fixed image.  The human analytical intellect functions according to the principle of binding.  It constructs both grammar and logic according to bound or delimited categories: self and other, subject and predicate, before and after, here and there.  When the binding categories of language and logic are applied to the Deity, an image of the Deity is formed.  This image is valid -- but only “for the moment.”

When the human being clings to the image and reifies it, however, “binding” leads to idolatry.  The most disastrous idolatry of all occurs when people bind the Deity into their own affirmations of its transcendence.  In his critique of the Qur‘anic Noah, who called upon God to annihilate the idolaters, Ibn ‘Arabi suggests that Noah himself “bound” the Deity into the idol of the “beyond the world,” an

image just as limiting (by marking of the Deity from the world) as the polytheists' images of the Deity “within” their images of stones and wood.  The unlimited must simultaneously be beyond all things, within all things, other than all things, and identical with all things. This critique applies to Sufis as well as to those who are tempted to bind the Deity into a particular station, vision or experience.

The intellectual activity of binding, therefore, must be complemented by perpetual transformation (taqallub).  The polished mirror of the human heart -- as locus not of emotion, but of this higher knowledge -- is capable of every form.  This phrase “capable of every form” becomes the central concept in Ibn ‘Arabi’s famous collection of love poetry, Interpreter of Desires, a volume that together with a later commentary plays upon that creative tension -- so important in Sufi thought -- between love poetry and philosophical analysis.  Ibn ‘Arabi evokes the classical motif of the lover’s meditation on the lost beloved and his dwelling upon the beloved’s departure with the women of her tribe and the “stations” along their journey away from the poet.

For Ibn ‘Arabi the beloved and the women of her tribe are aligned with the ephemeral images or manifestations of the Real.  The movement toward the beloved (symbolized by the movement of the pilgrim through the stations of the hajj, the pilgrimage to Mecca) are identical to the movements of the divine manifestations away from the human knower. The human being who accepts the condition of fundamental humanity is thus in a state of continual joy and continual sorrow.   In every moment he passes away in union with the divine beloved, the beloved appears in the reflection of the polished mirror of his heart, and -- most importantly -- the human accepts the immediate disappearance of that image so that it can be replaced by a new image.  The angels who objected to the creation of Adam, a creature who could “spill blood and cause corruption” (Qur‘an, Sura 2:30-33), failed to understand this notion of the role of humanity as the locus of a continuing kaleidoscope of divine manifestation.

When the mystic achieves this state of perpetual transformation, he or she is able to participate fully in the perpetual co-creation.  In a Sufi appropriation and transformation of the metaphysics of scholastic theology, the world is annihilated and re-created in every moment.  However, instead of the re-creation of the objective world by an independent creator Deity -- as we find in scholastic theology -- the Sufi re-creation is the mutual construction of the divine attributes and human categories within the polished mirror of the human heart, a construction that is renewed in each moment (waqt).

Different people have moments of different lengths. Some never achieve an image of reality.  Some achieve one in a lifetime and hold on to it with dogmatic fervor.  Some achieve one in a year, some in a month.  In a remarkable parallel to the dynamist notion of transcendence and immanence, Ibn ‘Arabi, emphasizes the continual creation of the divine image in every new moment, a creation that simultaneously always has occurred and always is occurring.  Ibn ‘Arabi identifies the eternal “breath of the compassionate” by which Allah breathed spirit into his creation, through Adam, with the breaths of the individual Sufi.  The goal of Sufi meditation and annihilation in mystical union is to make “his/His moment his/His breath.”  The alternate pronouns show that the referent at any moment is both the divine and the human as they mutually construct one another within the polished mirror and prism.  Ibn ‘Arabi also speaks of the divine as revealing it(self) to it(self) through it(self), again fusing the two possible pronouns of the pronoun (reflexive and non-reflexive) into one.  When Ibn ‘Arabi asks who reveals whom in whom and through whom, he stresses the transformation of categories of reflexive and non-reflexive, self and other, at the moment of mystical union.

Ibn ‘Arabi proclaimed that the heart capable of every form can receive and affirm all valid manifestations: the Torah, the Qur‘an, the Christian monk’s cell, the abode of idol, and the meadow of gazelles.  Wherever the “caravan of love” leads, Ibn ‘Arabi writes in his most famous poem from the Interpreter of Desires, that is his religion, his faith.  This famous statement is not a call for tolerance, a weak virtue in which one agrees to ignore other beliefs or to allow them to exist.  Rather, it is a call for a complete immersion in and acceptance of all manifestations of reality.  

Such acceptance is perpetually both critical and self-critical of the ways in which delimited images of ultimate realtiy can be reified and idolized.  The heart capable of every form is a conception of a knowing faculty that is dialectical in the sense of seeing each manifestation as the abode of divine immanence which simultaneously points to the Real’s transcendence of all images.  It is also dynamic in that the joy of receiving one manifestation is accompanied by the sorrow at losing the previous manifestation, a joy and a sorrow that are ultimately part of the one experience of mystical union, perpetually re-enacted in each moment.

Ibn ‘Arabi’s thought was systematized by later followers, and throughout the period of classical Islam, the influence of Ibn ‘Arabi was central.  In the modern period that influence came under attack from some modernists who were influenced by postivist Western ways of thinking and by dogmatists such as the Wahhabis of Saudi Arabia (where Ibn ‘Arabi’s works are banned).  In recent years there has been a strong worldwide resurgence of interest in Ibn ‘Arabi, -- “The Grand Master” (al-shaykh al-akbar) of Islamic mystical philosophy.  

In addition to his mystical treatises, Ibn ‘Arabi is also known for his mystical odes.  In these odes, Ibn ‘Arabi, like all Sufis, expresses his longing for Union with God in terms of passionate human love.  Many critics have been uncertain whether his poetry is in fact religious or erotic, a difficulty also encountered in the poetry of Hafiz.  The philosophy of Ibn ‘Arabi’s poetry appears to combine, as does that of most Sufi poets, elements of Muslim Orthodoxy, Manichaeanism, Gnosticism, neo-Platonism and Christianity.  Later Sufi poets, particularly Persians, can scarcely be called Muslims at all.  Their beliefs appear to coalesce into an indefinite pantheism.

Some critics have credited Ibn ‘Arabi with making the Muwashshah into a respectable literary form.  This is a type of poem, apparently native to Moorish Spain, which ends with a couplet in the colloquial language, and sometimes even in Spanish.  The Muwashshah was long despised by Arab literary circles, but after Ibn ‘Arabi established it, many of the finest love poems in Arabic literature came to be written in the Muwashshah form.

Ibn al-'Arabi see Ibn al-‘Arabi, Muhyi‘l-Din al-Ta‘i 
Muhyi'l-Din al-Ta'i ibn al-'Arabi see Ibn al-‘Arabi, Muhyi‘l-Din al-Ta‘i 
Muhyi'd-din ibn 'Arabi see Ibn al-‘Arabi, Muhyi‘l-Din al-Ta‘i 
Shaykh al-Akbar, al- see Ibn al-‘Arabi, Muhyi‘l-Din al-Ta‘i 
Ibn 'Arabi see Ibn al-‘Arabi, Muhyi‘l-Din al-Ta‘i 
"The Grand Master" see Ibn al-‘Arabi, Muhyi‘l-Din al-Ta‘i

Ibn al-Ash‘ath
Ibn al-Ash‘ath (ʿAbd ar-Raḥmān ibn Muḥammad ibn al-Ashʿath)    (d. 704).  Descendant of a noble Kindi family of the Hadhramaut, who became famous for his rebellion against al-Hajjaj, the governor of Iraq.

Ibn al-Ash'ath was a Umayyad general who became celebrated as leader of a revolt (ad 699–701) against the governor of Iraq, al-Ḥajjāj. A member of the noble tribe of Kindah of the old aristocracy, Ibn al-Ashʿath was at first friendly toward the Umayyad authorities but then began to smart under the governance of the plebeian administrators. Styling himself Nāṣir al-muʾminīm (Helper of the Believers) in opposition to the Umayyad and other “bad” Muslims, he slowly became so estranged from al-Ḥajjāj that a clash of wills led to open revolt.

In 699, al-Ḥajjāj dispatched a crack force of Kūfans and Basrans, known as the Peacock Army, to put down a rebellion in Kābulistān (in present day Afghanistan). After an initial invasion of Kābulistān, Ibn al-Ashʿath, the commanding general, decided to wait until spring before continuing his campaign. Al-Ḥajjāj pressed for immediate action, and the dispute led to a revolt by Ibn al-Ashʿath and his troops.

Ibn al-Ashʿath moved slowly westward into Iraq, gathering support from both Arabs and non-Arabs along the way and engaging in two battles, one a victory and one a mild setback, forcing him to withdraw from Basra to Kūfah.

Al-Ḥajjāj, having received in the meantime a steady stream of Syrian reinforcements from the caliph ʿAbd al-Malik ibn Marwān, confronted Ibn al-Ashʿath’s superior army of 200,000 at Dayr al-Jamājim, outside Kūfah. Negotiations were initiated by the caliph’s agents, who offered the rebels the dismissal of al-Ḥajjāj, equal pay with their Syrian counterparts, and a governorship for Ibn al-Ashʿath. The Iraqis, however, rejected the proposals and were defeated in battle in September 701. The last of the rebellion was finally put down in October, when al-Ḥajjāj destroyed the Iraqi army in a violent battle at Maskin, on the Shaṭṭ ad-Dujaylah. The defeated Iraqis fled to Sijistān, eventually surrendering to the Syrians, while Ibn al-Ashʿath took refuge in Kābul.

Ibn al-Ash'ath either was murdered or committed suicide in 704.

'Abd ar-Rahman ibn Muhammad ibn al-Ash'ath see Ibn al-Ash‘ath
Nasir al-mu'minim see Ibn al-Ash‘ath
"Helper of the Believers" see Ibn al-Ash‘ath

Ibn al-‘Assal
Ibn al-‘Assal.  Name of a Coptic family of Egypt, also named Awlad al-‘Assal, whose members rose to wealth and high station at the Ayyubid court during the thirteenth century.  Their position reveals the loyalty of the Copts to the reigning dynasty and their hostility to the Crusaders, who considered them schismatics.  The literary figures were al-Safi, al-As‘ad and al-Mu‘taman.
Awlad al-'Assal see Ibn al-‘Assal.

Ibn al-Athir
Ibn al-Athir. Name borne by a number of apparently unrelated families, which was given great luster by three brothers from Jazirat ibn ‘Umar: (1) Majd al-Din (1149-1210), who, living at  Mosul, was the author of a collection of hadith which became a much used standard reference work, and of a dictionary of less common words and meanings in the Prophetic traditions, which has been incorporated in Ibn Manzur’s famous dictionary The Language of the Arabs; (2) ‘Izz al-Din (1160-1233) who, living at Mosul, became famous for his annalistic history from the beginning of the world to the year 628, called al-Kamil; and (3) Diya‘ al-Din (1163-1239) who obtained the title of vizier, and lived mainly at Mosul.  The works of Diya' al-Din are all concerned with literary criticism.

Abu al-Hassan Ali ibn Muhammad ibn Muhammad, better known as Ali 'Izz al-Din Ibn al-Athir al-Jazari (1160- 1233) was an Arab Muslim historian born in Cizre, a town in present-day Şırnak province in south-eastern Turkey, from the Ibn Athir family. He was born in Turkey Jazirat Ibn Umar.

He spent a scholarly life in Mosul, but often visited Baghdad. He was a Kurd, therefore for a time he was with Saladin's army in Syria and later lived in Aleppo and Damascus. His chief work was a history of the world, al-Kamil fi at-Tarikh (The Complete History). He includes some information on the Rus' people in his chronology.

The major works of 'Izz al-Din are:

    * The Complete History (Arabic: Al-Kamil fi al-Tarikh).
    * The Lions of the Forest and the Knowledge about the Companions (Arabic: Usud al-Ghabah fi Ma'rifah al-Sahabah).

Ibn al-Banna‘
Ibn al-Banna‘ (d. 1079). Quranic scholar, traditionist and jurisconsult of the Hanbali school at Baghdad.  He kept a diary of day-to-day socio-religious life in Baghdad from an unknown date until 1077.

Ibn al-Bawwab
Ibn al-Bawwab (Ibn al-Sitri) (d. 1022).  Calligrapher of the Buyid period. He perfected the style of writing invented by the vizier Ibn Muqla.

Ibn al-Bawwāb was an Arabic calligrapher and illuminator who lived during the time of the Buyid dynasty. He most likely died around 1022 AD in Baghdad.

One of his greatest achievements was the perfection of the al-Khatt al-Mansub (literally, the well-proportioned script) style of Islamic calligraphy.

Ibn al-Sitri see Ibn al-Bawwab

Ibn al-Baytar
Ibn al-Baytar (Ibn al-Baitar) (Abu Muhammad Abdallah Ibn Ahmad Ibn al-Baitar Dhiya al-Din al-Malaqi) (circa, 1188 - 1248).  Botanist and pharmacologist of Malaga. In one of his works, he lists some 1400 samples.  This work had a considerable influence both outside and within the Islamic world.

Ibn al-Baytar was an Arab scientist, botanist, pharmacist and physician. He is considered one of the greatest scientists of Al-Andalus and is believed to be one of the greatest botanists and pharmacists of the Islamic Golden Age and Muslim Agricultural Revolution.

Born in the Andalusian city of Málaga at the end of the 12th century, he learned botany from the Málagan botanist Abu al-Abbas al-Nabati with whom he started collecting plants in and around Spain. Al-Nabati was responsible for developing an early scientific method, introducing empirical and experimental techniques in the testing, description and identification of numerous materia medica, and separating unverified reports from those supported by actual tests and observations.

In 1219, Ibn al-Baytar left Málaga to travel in the Islamic world to collect plants. He travelled from the northern coast of Africa as far as Anatolia. The major stations he visited include Bugia, Constantinople, Tunis, Tripoli, Barqa and Adalia.

After 1224, he entered the service of al-Kamil, an Ayyubid Sultan, and was appointed chief herbalist. In 1227 al-Kamil extended his domination to Damascus, and Ibn al-Baitar accompanied him there which provided him an opportunity to collect plants in Syria. His researches on plants extended over a vast area including Arabia and Palestine. He died in Damascus in 1248.

Ibn al-Baytar’s major contribution is Kitab al-Jami fi al-Adwiya al-Mufrada, which is considered one of the greatest botanical compilations in history, and was a botanical authority for centuries. It was also a pharmacopoeia (pharmaceutical encyclopedia) and contains details on at least 1,400 plants, foods, and drugs, 300 of which were his own original discoveries. His work was translated into Latin in 1758 and was being used in Europe up until the early 19th century. The book also contains references to 150 other previous Arabic authors as well as 20 previous Greek authors.

Ibn Al-Baytar’s second major work is Kitab al-Mlughni fi al-Adwiya al-Mufrada which is an encyclopedia of Islamic medicine, which incorporates his knowledge of plants extensively for the treatment of various ailments, including diseases related to the head, ear, eye, etc.

In cancer therapy, Ibn al-Baytar discovered the earliest known herbal treatment for cancer: "Hindiba", a herbal drug which he identified as having "anti-cancer" properties and which could also treat other tumors and neoplastic disorders. After recognizing its usefulness in treating neoplastic disorders, Hindiba was patented in 1997 by Nil Sari, Hanzade Dogan, and John K. Snyder.

Abu Muhammad Abdallah Ibn Ahmad Ibn al-Baitar Dhiya al-Din al-Malaqi see Ibn al-Baytar
Ibn al-Baitar see Ibn al-Baytar

Ibn al-Bilarish
Ibn al-Bilarish.  Physician and pharmacist of Almeria during the twelfth century.

Ibn al-Daya
Ibn al-Daya.  Historian from Baghdad during the ninth century.  He wrote a biography of Ahmad ibn Tulun and a work containing stories about rewards for good deeds, punishment for evil deeds, and timely escape from difficult situations.

Ibn al-Dayba‘
Ibn al-Dayba‘ (1461-1537).  Historian and religious scholar of Zabid in Yemen.  His history of the town of Zabid is current to 1518.

Ibn al-Dubaythi
Ibn al-Dubaythi (Djamal al-Din Abu Muhammad bin Yahya bin Said) (June 30, 1163 - October 7, 1239).  Iraqi historian.  He is known for his History of Baghdad, containing biographies of people who died after 1166.  His History of Wasit was not preserved.

Djamal al-Din Abu Muhammad bin Yahya bin Said known as Ibn al-Dubaythi, was an Arab historian born in Wasit and died in Baghdad.

Ibn al-Faqih
Ibn al-Faqih. (Ibn al-Faqih al-Hamadhani(Persianابن فقیه الهمذانی‎)  Persian author of a geography written in Arabic during the ninth century.  In his only surviving work The Book of the Countries (Concise Book of Lands), he describes his native town Hamadan and the countries of Iran, Arabia, Iraq, Syria, Egypt, Rum, Jazira, Central Asia, Nubia, Abyssinia, North Africa, al-Andalus and Sudan are given merely a brief mention.

Ibn al-Faqih al-Hamadhani became famous for his Mukhtasar Kitab al-Buldan (Concise Book of Lands). He was noted for his comparison of the customs, food diets, codes of dress, rituals, along with the flora and fauna of China and India.

Ibn al-Faqih al-Hamadhani see Ibn al-Faqih.

Ibn al-Farid
Ibn al-Farid (Ibn Farid) (`Umar ibn `Alī ibn al-Fārid) (1181-1235).  Sufi poet of Cairo.  His tomb beneath al-Muqattam is still frequented.  His diwan is one of the most original in Arabic literature.

Ibn al-Farid was born in Cairo, lived for some time in Mecca and died in Cairo. His poetry is entirely Sufic, and he was deemed the greatest mystic poet of the Arabs. Some of his poems are said to have been written in ecstasies.

The poetry of Shaykh Umar Ibn al-Farid is considered by many to be the pinnacle of Arabic mystical verse, though surprisingly he is not widely known in the West. (Rumi and Hafiz, probably the best known in the West of the great Sufi poets, both wrote primarily in Persian, not Arabic.) Ibn al-Farid's two masterpieces are The Wine Ode, a beautiful meditation on the "wine" of divine bliss, and The Poem of the Sufi Way, a profound exploration of spiritual experience along the Sufi Path and perhaps the longest mystical poem composed in Arabic. Both poems have inspired in-depth spiritual commentaries throughout the centuries, and they are still reverently memorized by Sufis and other devout Muslims today.

Ibn al-Farid's father moved from his native town, Hama in Syria, to Cairo where Umar was born. Some sources say that his father was a respected farid (an advocate for women’s causes) and others say that his profession was the allocation of shares (furūḍ) in cases of inheritance. Whichever is the case, Ibn al-Farid's father was a knowledgeable scholar and gave his son a good foundation in belles lettres.

When he was a young man Ibn al-Farid would go on extended spiritual retreats among the oases, specifically the Oasis of the Wretches (Wadi al-Mustad'afin), outside of Cairo, but he eventually felt that he was not making deep enough spiritual progress. He abandoned his spiritual wanderings and entered law school studying in the shafi'i school of law.

Shaykh Umar Ibn al-Farid stayed in Mecca for fifteen years, but eventually returned to Cairo.

Upon Ibn al-Farid’s return to Cairo, he was treated as a Saint. He would hold teaching sessions with judges, viziers and other leaders of the city. While walking down the street, people would come up to him and crowd around him, seeking spiritual blessings (barakah) and try to kiss his hand (he would respond by shaking their hand). Ibn al-Farid became a scholar of Muslim law, a teacher of the hadith (the traditions surrounding the sayings and life of the prophet Muhammad), and a teacher of poetry.

Unlike many other respected poets of the day such as Ibn Sana al-Mulk, Ibn Unayn, Baha al-Din Zuhayr and Ibn Matruh, Ibn al-Farid refused the patronage of wealthy governmental figures which would have required him to produce poetry for propaganda, preferring the relatively humble life of a teacher that allowed him to compose his poetry of enlightenment unhampered. One time al-Malik al-Kamil, who was the Ayubbid sultan at that time, liked some of his odes so much that he sent the poet an exorbitant amount of money and offered to build a shrine for him. Ibn al-Farid denied both the money and the offer of the shrine, choosing to trust in God to supply for his needs. His position as a teacher at the Azhar mosque allowed him to provide for his family, which included three children.

Ibn al-Farid died in the Azhar mosque. He was buried in Qarafah cemetery at the foot of Mount Muqqattam under the al-Arid mosque. The burial was postponed because the grave was not completely dug. Some said this was to “chastise him for claiming such a high status in love” while others said it was “merely the last indignity that one of God’s chosen must suffer from the contingencies of the world below.”

During the later part of his life, Ibn al-Farid was known to enter into spiritual raptures known as jadhabat in Arabic, a common practice in Sufism.

Normally described as being handsome, his son wrote that when a mystical state overcame him, his face would increase in beauty and brightness. Sweat would pour from his body and collect at the ground beneath his feet, which was a result of jumping and dancing. He would also take forty-day fasts, during which he would neither eat, drink nor sleep.

During one particular ecstasy, the Shaykh screamed out and danced in the middle of the market bazaar. Others in the market began to join in and dance with them, causing a commotion with some of them falling on the ground. Ibn al-Farid threw off all of his clothes, an act which members of the crowd repeated. The crowd carried the Shaykh in his underwear to the Azhar mosque where he remained in this state for some days afterward.

Ibn al-Farid claimed to see many things happen that could be considered to be out of this world. He wrote of a lion kneeling down to him and asking him to ride. He also wrote of seeing a man descending a mountain, floating without using his feet. He also claimed to have conversed with Muhammad in a dream.

Ibn al-Farid’s son Kamal al-Din Muhammad described his ecstasies or trances as sometimes lasting ten consecutive days without eating, drinking, moving, speaking or hearing outside noises. He would alternately stand, sit, lie on his side and “throw himself down on his side.” When he came to, his first words would be a dictation of the verse God had given him.

Every Friday, Cairenes gather at Ibn al-Farid's tomb to listen to readings of his poems.

The was once a Sufi order in Egypt in the sixteenth called “al-Fāriḍīyah”. It supposedly originated from ibn al-Farid, but is no longer in existence.

Due to the subject matter of his poems and the beauty of the verse, Ibn al-Farid later became referred to as "sultan al’-ashiqin" (“the sultan of lovers”).
Ibn Farid see Ibn al-Farid
'Umar ibn 'Ali ibn al-Farid see Ibn al-Farid

Ibn al-Furat
Ibn al-Furat.  Name of a number of persons who held the offices of secretary or vizier under the ‘Abbasid caliphs or the Ikhshidid amirs in the ninth through tenth centuries.  The members of this Shi‘a family worth mentioning are: (1) Abu‘l-‘Abbas (d.904), who was commissioned to restore the state finances; (2) Abu‘l-Hasan (855-924) who was several times the vizier of the ‘Abbasid Caliph al-Muqtadir; was a prominent financier and politician; and a man of great culture, but too often concerned primarily with increasing his own wealth; (3) Abu‘l-Fath (Ibn Hinzaba) (d.938) who was the vizier for a few months in 932; and (4) Abu‘l-Fadl (921-1001) who was the vizier of the Ikhshidids of Egypt and facilitated the entry of the Fatimid troops into that country.  He had the reputation of a patron of poets and scholars but also that of an eccentric.

Ibn al-Furat, Nasir al-Din
Ibn al-Furat, Nasir al-Din (Nasir al-Din ibn al-Furat) (1334-1405).  Egyptian historian.  He was the author of a vast History of the Dynasties and Kings, of which only the volumes covering the years after 1106 were finished completely.  Its value rests on its being very detailed and on the wide range of its sources.
Nasir al-Din ibn al-Furat see Ibn al-Furat, Nasir al-Din

Ibn al-Fuwati
Ibn al-Fuwati (1244-1323).  Historian and librarian from Baghdad.  He did much copying of manuscripts and wrote large works on history and biography, most of which have been lost.  Preserved are his large biographical dictionary arranged according to nicknames and honorary titles, a first-class reference tool, and a centennial history which is of very great interest for everyday life in Baghdad.

Ibn al-Fuwati was an Iraqi historian who wrote a great deal, but whose works have mostly been lost. However, large portions of his biographical dictionary Madjma' al-adab fi mu'djam al-alqab were preserved. He was active in Iraq and Azerbaijan, and his most famous teaching position was at the Madrasa Mustansiriya.

Ibn al-Habbariyya
Ibn al-Habbariyya (d. 1115).  Arab poet.  A great poetic talent, he rendered the Kalila wa-Dimna into verse.

Ibn al-Haddad
Ibn al-Haddad. Andalusian poet from Cadix.  One of his love poems is dedicated to a Coptic Christian nun in Egypt, whom he had seen while about to embark upon the pilgrimage.

Ibn al-Hajib, Jamal al-Din
Ibn al-Hajib, Jamal al-Din (Jamal al-Din ibn al-Hajib) (c. 1174-1249).  Maliki jurist and grammarian.  He owes his reputation to two short works on morphology and syntax.  
Jamal al-Din ibn al-Hajib see Ibn al-Hajib, Jamal al-Din

Ibn al-Hajj
Ibn al-Hajj.  Name of several persons, in particular of the Maliki jurist Abu ‘Abd Allah al-Fasi (Mohammed ibn Mohammed ibn Mohammed Abu Abdallah al-Hajj al-Abdari al-Maliki al-Fassi).  The name also refers to four grammarians (of the eleventh, thirteenth and nineteenth centuries), two Andalusian men of letters (of the fourteenth century) and a poet and theologian who wrote a commentary on al-Sanusi.  Another Ibn al-Hajj al-Fasi (1760-1817) was one of the most outstanding scholars of the reign of the Filali Sharif of Morocco Mawlay Abu‘l-Rabi‘ Sulayman.

Ibn al-Hajj
Moḥammed ibn Hajj al-Abdari al-Fassi (or Mohammed Ibn Mohammed ibn Mohammed Abu Abdallah Ibn al-Hajj al-Abdari al-Maliki al-Fassi; Arabic: إبن الحاج العبدري الفسي‎) was a Moroccan Maliki fiqh scholar and theologian writer. Originally from Fes, he would finish his life in Egypt where he died in 1336. He is most remembered for his famous book "al-Madkhal".

Ibn al-Hajj studied under many scholars of high standing in various cities and provinces, including Tunis, Al-Qairawan, Alexandria, Cairo, in addition to Madinah and Makkah. 

Ibn al-Hajj al-Abdari wrote Madkhal Ash-Shara Ash-Shareef Ala Al-Mathahib (Introduction to Islamic Jurisprudence According to Schools of Thought). The book was published in 4 volumes of over 300 pages each and addresses many different subjects. In the first volume, Ibn al-Hajj includes 22 chapters, each addressing one question where practice is at variance with Islamic teachings. He scrutinizes the practice and points out the proper way to follow. Thus, there are chapters on intention, pursuing knowledge, prayer, the position of a mosque as a place of education, offering prayers at home, the behavior of scholars during scholarly debate, etc. The second volume has 62 chapters with a similar number of questions, including the Prophet’s birthday, the position of Madinah, the manners to be followed by students, women’s behavior, etc. The whole book is written in this way, without any particular thread for the arrangement of its chapters and questions. It is not a book on fiqh in the usual sense, nor is it a book of education and its methods, or a book of hadith or Qur’anic commentary, but it includes something of all these disciplines. Ibn al-Hajj's views are very much influenced by al-Ghazali's Ihya’ ‘Ulum al-Din.  Ibn al-Hajj spent much of his life in Tunis and Egypt and, for some time, taught at the university of Fes, Al-Qarawiyyin.  He was buried in Qarafa (Egypt).

Ibn al-Hajj is noted for what he said about the developing concept of schools.  He said: "The schools should be in the bazaar or a busy street, not in a secluded place. ... It is a place for teaching, not an eating house, so the boys should not bring food or money. ... In the organization, a teacher must have a deputy to set the class in their places, also visitors according to their rank, to awaken the sleepers, to warn those who do what they ought not or omit what they ought to do, and bid them listen to the instruction. In class, conversation, laughing and jokes are forbidden."

Ibn al-Hajjaj
Ibn al-Hajjaj (c. 941-1001).  Arab poet of Baghdad in the time of the Buyids.  A wealthy man of affairs, Ibn al-Hajjaj showed a dual personality in his work.  On the one hand, he wrote traditional panegyrics, on the other, he did not respect anything, neither Islam, nor the most honorable persons, nor himself.

Ibn al-Hannat
Ibn al-Hannat (d. 1045).  Andalusian poet.  He is considered one of the greatest scholars of the early eleventh century in the field of Arabic language and literature.

Ibn al-Hawwas
Ibn al-Hawwas (d. c. 1064).   One of the Muslim commanders in Sicily.  He managed to remain lord of Agrigento, Castrogiovanni, and Castronuovo and defeated his brother-in-law Ibn al-Maklati.

Ibn al-Haytham
Ibn al-Haytham (Abu ‘Ali al-Hasan ibn al-Haytham) (Abū ʿAlī al-Ḥasan ibn al-Ḥasan ibn al-Haytham) (Alhazen) (Avennathan) (965 in Basra - c. 1039 in Cairo).  Arab mathematician known in the West as Alhazen or Avennathan.   He is considered to be Islam’s greatest scientist who devoted his life to physics, astronomy, mathematics, and medicine.  His treatise Optics, in which he deftly used experiments and advanced mathematics to understand the action of light, exerted a profound influence on many European natural philosophers.  In addition to his Latinized names of Alhazen and Avennathan, Ibn al-Haytham is sometimes called al-Basri.  He is also nicknamed Ptolemaeus Secundus ("Ptolemy the Second") or simply "The Physicist" in medieval Europe.

Abu ‘Ali al-Hasan ibn al-Haytham (commonly known as Alhazen, the Latinized form of his first name, al-Hasan) was born in Basra (Iraq) in 965.  He was given a traditional Muslim education, but at an early age he became perplexed by the variety of religious beliefs and sects, because he was convinced of the unity of truth.  When he was older, he concluded that truth could be attained only in doctrines whose matter was sensible and whose form was rational.  He found such doctrines in the writings of Aristotle and in natural philosophy and mathematics.  

By devoting himself completely to learning, Alhazen achieved fame as a scholar and was given a political post at Basra.  In an attempt to obtain a better position, he claimed that he could construct a machine to regulate the flooding of the Nile.  The Fatimid caliph al-Hakim, wishing to use this sage’s expertise, persuaded him to move to Cairo.  Alhazen, to fulfill his boast, was trapped into heading an engineering mission to Egypt’s southern border.  On his way to Aswan, he began to have doubts about his plan, for he observed excellently designed and perfectly constructed buildings along the Nile, and he realized that his scheme, if it were possible, would have already been carried out by the creators of these impressive structures.  His misgivings were confirmed when he discovered that the cataracts south of Aswan made flood control impossible.  Convinced of the impracticability of his plan, and fearing the wrath of the eccentric and volatile caliph, Alhazen pretended to be mentally deranged.  Upon his return to Cairo, he was confined to his house until al-Hakim’s death in 1021.  

Alhazen then took up residence in a small domed shrine near the Azhar mosque.  Having been given back his previously sequestered property, he resumed his activities as a writer and teacher.  He may have earned his living by copying mathematical works, including Euclid’s Stoicheia (c. fourth century B.C.T.; Elements) and Mathematike suntaxis (c.150; Almagest), and may also have traveled and had contact with other scholars.

The scope of Alhazen’s work is impressive.  He wrote studies on mathematics, physics, astronomy, and medicine, as well as commentaries on the writings of Aristotle and Galen.  He was an exact observer, a skilled experimenter, and an insightful theoretician.  He put these abilities to excellent use in the field of optics.  He has been called the most important figure in optics between antiquity and the seventeenth century.  Within optics itself, the range of his interests was wide. He discussed theories of light and vision, the anatomy and diseases of the eye, reflection and refraction, the rainbow, lenses, spherical and parabolic mirrors, and the pinhole camera (camera obscura).

Alhazen’s most important work was Kitab al-Manazir, commonly known as Optics.  Not published until 1572, and only appearing in the West in the Latin translation Opticae thesaurus Alhazeni libri vii, it attempted to clarify the subject by inquiring into its principles.  He rejected Euclid’s and Ptolemy’s doctrine of visual rays (the extramission theory, which regarded vision as analogous to the sense of touch).  For example, Ptolemy attributed sight to the action of visual rays issuing conically from the observer’s eye and being reflected from various objects.  Alhazen also disagreed with past versions of the intromission theory, which treated the visible object as a source from which forms (simulacra) issued.  The atomists, for example, held that objects shed sets of atoms as a snake sheds its skin; when this set enters the eye, vision occurs.  In another version of the intromission theory, Aristotle treated the visible object as a modifier of the medium between the object and the eye.  Alhazen found the atomistic theory unconvincing because it could not explain how the image of a large mountain could enter the small pupil of the eye.  He did not like the Aristotelian theory because it could not explain how the eye could distinguish individual parts of the seen world, since objects altered the entire intervening medium.  Alhazen, in his version of the intromission theory, treated the visible object as a collection of small areas, each of which sends forth its own ray.  He believed that vision takes place through light rays reflected from every point on an object’s surface converging toward an apex in the eye.

According to Alhazen, light is an essential form in self-luminous bodies, such as the sun, and an accidental form in bodies that derive their luminosity from outside sources.  Accidental light, such as the moon, is weaker than essential light, but both forms are emitted by their respective sources in exactly the same way: noninstantaneously, from every point on the source, in all directions, and along straight lines.  To establish rectilinear propagation for essential, accidental, reflected, and refracted radiation, Alhazen performed many experiments with dark chambers, pinhole cameras, sighting tubes, and strings.

In the first book of Optics, Alhazen describes the anatomy of the eye.  His description is not original, being based largely on the work of Galen, but he modifies traditional ocular geometry to suit his own explanation of vision.  For example, he claims that sight occurs in the eye by means of the glacial humor (what would be called the crystalline lens), because when this humor is injured, vision is destroyed.  He also uses such observations as eye pain while gazing on intense light and afterimages from strongly illuminated objects to argue against the visual-ray theory, because these observations show that light is coming to the eye from the object.  With this picture of intromission established, Alhazen faces the problem of explaining how replicas as big as a mountain can pass through the tiny pupil into the eye.

He begins the solution of this problem by recognizing that every point in the eye receives a ray from every point in the visual field.  The difficulty with this punctiform analysis is that, if each point on the object sends light and color in every direction to each point of the eye, then all this radiation would arrive at the eye in total confusion.  For example, colors would arrive mixed.  Simply put, the problem is a superfluity of rays.  To explain vision, each point of the surface of the glacial humor needs to receive a ray from only one point in the visual field.  In short, it is necessary to establish a one-to-one correspondence between points in the visual field and points in the eye.

To fulfill this goal, Alhazen notices that only one ray from each point in the visual field falls perpendicularly on the convex surface of the eye.  He then proposes that all other rays, those falling at oblique angles to the eye’s surface, are refracted and so weakened that they are incapable of affecting visual power.  Alhazen even performed an experiment to show that perpendicular rays are strong and oblique rays weak. He shot a metal sphere against a dish both perpendicularly and obliquely.  The perpendicular shot fractured the plate, whereas the oblique shot bounced off harmlessly.  Thus, in his theory, the cone of perpendicular rays coming into the eye accounts for the perception of the visible object’s shape and the laws of perspective.

Book 2 of Optics contains Alhazen’s theory of cognition based on visual perception, and book 3 deals with binocular vision and visual errors.  Catoptrics (the theory of reflected light) is the subject of book 4.  Alhazen here formulates the laws of reflection. Incident and reflected rays are in the same plane, and incident and reflected angles are equal.  The equality of the angles of incidence and reflection allows Alhazen to explain the formation of an image in a plane mirror.  As throughout Optics,  Alhazen uses experiments to help establish his contentions.  For example, by throwing an iron sphere against a metal mirror at an oblique angle, he found that the incident and reflected movements of the sphere were symmetrical.  The reflected movement of the iron sphere, because of its heaviness, did not continue in a straight line, as the light ray does, but Alhazen did not contend that the iron sphere is an exact duplicate of the light ray.

Alhazen’s investigation of reflection continues in books 5 and 6 of Optics.  Book 5 contains the famous “Problem of Alhazen”: For any two points opposite a spherical reflecting surface, either convex or concave, find the point or points on the surface at which the light from one of the two points will be reflected to the other.  Today it is known that the algebraic solution of this problem leads to an equation of the fourth degree, but Alhazen solved it geometrically by the intersection of a circle and a hyperbola.

Book 7, which concludes Optics, is devoted to dioptrics (the theory of refraction).  Although Alhazen did not discover the mathematical relationship between the angles of incidence and refraction, his treatment of the phenomenon was the most extensive and enlightening before that of Rene Descartes.  As with reflection, Alhazen explores refraction through a mechanical analogy.  Light, he says, moves with great speed in a transparent medium such as air and with slower speed in a dense body such as glass or water.  The slower speed of the light ray in the denser medium is the result of the greater resistance it encounters, but this resistance is not strong enough to hinder its movement completely.  Since the refracted light ray is not strong enough to maintain its original direction in the denser medium, it moves in another direction along which its passage will be easier (that is, it turns toward the normal).  This idea of the easier and quicker path was the basis of Alhazen’s explanation of refraction, and it is a forerunner of the principle of least time associated with the name of Pierre de Fermat.

Optics was Alhazen’s most significant work and by far his best known, but he also wrote more modest treatises in which he discussed the rainbow, shadows, camera obscura, and Ptolemy’s optics as well as spheroidal and paraboloidal burning mirrors.  The ancient Greeks had a good understanding of plane mirrors, but Alhazen developed an exhaustive geometrical analysis of the more difficult problem of the formation of images in spheroidal and paraboloidal mirrors.

Although Alhazen’s achievements in astronomy do not equal those in optics, his extant works reveal his mastery of the techniques of Ptolemaic astronomy.  These works are mostly short tracts on minor problems, for example, sundials, moonlight, eclipses, parallax, and determining the gibla (the direction to be faced in prayer).  In another treatise, he was able to explain the apparent increase in size of heavenly bodies near the horizon, and he also estimated the thickness of the atmosphere.

His best astronomical work, and the only one known to the medieval West, was Hay’at al-‘alan (tenth or eleventh century; on the configuration of the world).  This treatise grew out of Alhazen’s desire that the astronomical system correspond to the true movements of actual heavenly bodies.  He therefore attacked Ptolemy’s system, in which the motions of heavenly bodies were explained in terms of imaginary points moving on imaginary circles.  In his work, Alhazen tried to discover the physical reality underlying Ptolemy’s abstract astronomical system.  He accomplished this task by viewing the heavens as a series of concentric spherical shells whose rotations were interconnected.  Alhazen’s system accounted for the apparent motions of the heavenly bodies in a clear and untechnical way, which accounts for the book’s popularity in the Middle Ages.

Alhazen’s fame as a mathematician has largely depended on his geometrical solutions of various optical problems, but more than twenty strictly mathematical treatises have survived.  Some of these deal with geometrical problems arising from his studies of Euclid’s Elements, whereas others deal with quadrature problems, that is, constructing squares equal in area to various plane figures.  He also wrote a work on lunes (figures contained between the arcs of two circles) and on the properties of conic sections.  Although he was not successful with every problem, his performance, which exhibited his masterful command of higher mathematics, has rightly won for him the admiration of later mathematicians.

For most scientific historians, Alhazen was the greatest Muslim scientist, and Optics was the most important work in the field from Ptolemy’s time to Johannes Kepler’s.  Alhazen extricated himself from the limitations of such earlier theories as the atomistic, Aristotelian, and Ptolemaic and integrated what he knew about medicine, physics, and mathematics into a single comprehensive theory of light and vision.  Although his theory contained ideas from older theories, he combined these ideas with his new insights into a fresh creation, which became the source of a new optical tradition.

Alhazen's optical theories had some influence on Islamic scientists, but their main impact was on the West.  Optics was translated from Arabic into Latin at the end of the twelfth century.  It was widely studied, and in the thirteenth century, Witelo (also known as Vitellio) made liberal use of Alhazen’s text in writing his comprehensive book on optics.  Roger Bacon, John Peckham, and Giambattista della Porta are only some of the many thinkers who were influenced by Alhazen’s work.  Indeed, it was not until Kepler, six centuries later, that work on optics progressed beyond the point to which Alhazen’s ideas had taken the subject matter.  Indeed, it would not be going too far to say that Alhazen’s optical theories defined the scope and goals of the field from his day to ours.

Al-Haitham was one of the most eminent physicists, whose contributions to optics and the scientific methods are outstanding.  Ibn al-Haitham was born in 965 in Basra (in present day Iraq), and received his education in Basra and Baghdad.  He traveled to Egypt and Spain.  He spent most of his life in Spain, where he conducted research in optics, mathematics, physics, medicine and development of scientific methods.

Al-Haitham conducted experiments on the propagation

of light and colors, optic illusions and reflections.  He examined the refraction of light rays through transparent medium (air, water) and discovered the laws of refraction.  He also carried out the first experiments on the dispersion of light into its constituent colors.  In detailing his experiment with spherical segments (glass vessels filled with water) , he came very close to discovering the theory of magnifying lenses which was developed in Italy three centuries later.  It took another three centuries before the law of sines was proposed by Snell and Descartes.

Al-Haitham’s book Kitab al-Manazir was translated into Latin in the Middle Ages, as was also his book dealing with the colors of sunset.  He dealt at length with the theory of various physical phenomena such as the rainbow, shadows, eclipses, and speculated on the physical nature of light.  Virtually all of the medieval Western writers on optics based their optical work on al-Haitham’s Opticae Thesaurus.  His work also influenced Leonardo da Vinci and Johannes Kepler.  His approach to optics generated fresh ideas and resulted in great progress in experimental methods.

Al-Haitham was the first to describe accurately the various parts of the eye and gave a scientific explanation of the process of vision.  He contradicted Ptolemy’s and Euclid’s theory of vision that the eye sends out visual rays to the object of the vision.  According to al-Haitham, the rays originate in the object of vision and not the eye.  

Al-Haitham also attempted to explain binocular vision, and gave a correct explanation of the apparent increase in size of the sun and the moon when near the horizon.  He is known for the earliest use of the camera obscura.  Through these extensive researches on optics, al-Haitham came to be considered the Father of Modern Optics.

In al-Haitham’s writings, one finds a clear explanation of the development of scientific methods as developed and applied by the Muslims, the systematic observation of physical phenomena and their relationship to a scientific theory.  This was a major breakthrough in scientific methodology, as distinct from guess work, and placed scientific study on a sound foundation comprising systematic relationship between observation, hypothesis and verification.

His research in catoptrics focused on spherical and parabolic mirrors and spherical aberration.  He made the important observation that the ratio between the angle of incidence and refraction does not remain constant and investigated the magnifying power of a lens.  His catoptrics contains the important problem known as Alhazen’s problem.  It comprises drawing lines from two points in the plane of a circle meeting at a point on the circumference and making equal angles with the normal at that point.  This leads to an equation of the fourth degree.   Al-Hazen also solved the shape of an aplantic surface of reflection.

In his book Mizan al-Hikmah, al-Haitham discussed the density of the atmosphere and developed a relation between it and the height.  He also studied atmospheric refraction.  Al-Haitham discovered that the twilight only ceases or begins when the sun is nineteen degrees below the horizon and attempted to measure the height of the atmosphere on that basis.  He deduced the height of homogeneous atmosphere to be fifty-five miles.

Al-Haitham’s contribution to mathematics and physics is extensive.  In mathematics, he developed analytical geometry by establishing linkage between algebra and geometry.  In physics, he studied the mechanics of motion of a body and was the first to propose that a body move perpetually unless an external force stops it or changes its direction of motion.  This is strikingly similar to the first law of motion.  He has also discussed the theories of attraction between masses, and it appears that he was aware of the magnitude of acceleration due to gravity.

Alhazen wrote more than two hundred books, very few of which have survived.  His monumental treatise on optics has survived through its Latin translation.  During the Middle Ages, his books on cosmology were translated into Latin, Hebrew and other European languages.  Also, he wrote a book on the subject of evolution.  

Alhazen's influence on physical sciences in general, and optics in particular, has been held in high esteem and his ideas heralded in a new era in both theoretical and experimental optical research.  He wrote commentaries on Aristotle, Galen, Euclid and Ptolemy.  Beer and Medler, in their famous work Der Mond, named one of the surface features of the Moon after Alhazen.  It is the name of a ring shaped plain to the West of the hypothetical Mare Crisium.  Additionally, on February 7, 1999, an asteroid was discovered by S. Sposetti at Gnosca, Italy.  The asteroid was named 59239 Alhazen.

Alhazen, the great Muslim scientist, died in 1039 in Cairo, Egypt.  

Abu ‘Ali al-Hasan ibn al-Haytham see Ibn al-Haytham
Haithem, al- see Ibn al-Haytham
Alhazen see Ibn al-Haytham
Avennathan see Ibn al-Haytham
The First Scientist see Ibn al-Haytham
Father of Modern Optics see Ibn al-Haytham

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