Tuesday, July 16, 2013

Iqbal, Muhammad - Jabran Khalil Jabran

Iqbal, Muhammad
Iqbal, Muhammad (Muhammad Iqbal) (November 9, 1877, Sialkot – April 21, 1938, Lahore).  Indian poet and philosopher who Pakistanis revere as a founding father of their nation.  Writing in English, Persian and Urdu, he taught the Muslims how to regain strength by developing their personality, be it as individuals or as nations.  He also insisted on the necessity of forming a separate Muslim state in Northwest India, which eventually was realized in the nation of Pakistan in 1947.

Muhammad Iqbal was born in Sialkot, in the Indian province of Punjab.  He was born after the Great Mutiny of 1857 and grew up at a time when Muslim power was on the decline before the rise of British colonialism.  Throughout his life, Iqbal grappled with the religious, social and political implications of the occlusion of Islam in his homeland.  His rich literary and philosophical corpus was unique in its time -- it introduced a most serious effort directed at both understanding this development and charting a way for restoring Islam to its due place in the temporal order and the modern world.

Iqbal received his early education in Sialkot and Lahore in the religious sciences, Arabic, Persian, and English.  It was at Lahore’s Oriental College, where he studied with Edwin Arnold between 1893 and 1897, that Iqbal first studied modern thought.  In 1899, he received a master in philosophy degree from the college, and began to teach Arabic, compose poetry, and write on social and economic issues.  His poetry was in the classical Perso-Urdu style, but also showed the influence of European literature, esepcially Wordsworth and Coleridge.  

In 1905, he left India to study law at the University of Cambridge, but it was philosophy that soon consumed his intellectual passion.  At Trinity College, he studied Hegel and Kant and became familiar with the main trends in European philosophy.  His interest in philosophy took him to Heidelberg and Munich in 1907, where Nietzsche strongly influenced him.  It was there that he received his doctorate in philosophy, writing a dissertation entitled The Development of Metaphysics in Persia. A year later, in 1908, he was called to the Bar at Lincoln’s Inn in England.  A lawyer and a philosopher, he returned to India in that year.  

Soon after his return he began teaching philosophy at Lahore’s Government College.  In addition, he also took a keen interest in the unfolding plight of Indian Muslims under British rule.  Before leaving for Europe Iqbal had been a liberal nationalist, sympathetic to the Indian National Congress Party.  After his return, he became communalist in his outlook, supporting Muslim separatism and its chief advocate, the All-India Muslim League.  Nevertheless, the British saw no danger in Iqbal’s politics -- for it was always subsumed in his more potent philosophical message -- and knighted him in 1922.  

Four years later, in 1926, Iqbal was elected to the Punjab Legislative Council, and grew closer to the All-India Muslim League.  He showed more and more support for a separate Muslim homeland in lieu of submitting to Hindu rule which was to follow independence.  In fact, the very idea of a separate Muslim homeland, consisting of the Muslim majority provinces in northwest India, was first proposed by Iqbal in 1930, after Iqbal had become president of the Muslim League.  Still, he never ceased to be first and foremost an intellectual force, and it is his impact on Muslim thought more than his political leanings that have secured his place in Muslim cultural life.  

Iqbal’s poetry and philosophy, written in Urdu and Persian, stress the rebirth of Islamic and spiritual redemption through self-development, moral integrity, and individual freedom.  His many works include The Secrets of the Self (1915), a long poem; A Message from the East (1923); and The Reconstruction of Religious Thought in Islam (1934).  Although Iqbal did not live to see the creation of an independent Pakistan in 1947, he is nevertheless regarded as the symbolic father of that nation, where the date of his death, April 27, is a national holiday.

From his childhood, Iqbal had written poetry with facility.  Iqbal’s earliest verse shows many influences -- of classical Persian and Urdu, of the English romantics, and of contemporary Muslim Indian thought -- of the Aligarth movement, with its emphasis on the need to embrace the learning and the values of the West, of that movement’s more socially conservative critics, of the Muslim revivalism common to both trends, and of Indian nationalism, with its stress on harmony between the different Indian communities.  Criticism of modern Western civilization becomes more pronounced from the time of his visit to England.  

About 1910, Iqbal resigned his lectureship because he did not feel free to speak his mind in government service.  Though he took no part in political activities, Iqbal was deeply affected by the rising feeling against the West amongst Indian Muslims, and by the consequent growth of Pan-Islamic feeling culminating in the Khilafat movement of the early 1920‘s.  The influence of socialist ideas also became discernible.  His first Urdu collection, The Call of the Road, was published during this period, in 1924.  Despite his socialist leanings, Iqbal, in 1922 accepted a knighthood.

Iqbal’s positive theories were elaborated more fully in long poems in Persian.  All of his long poems represent a revived and revitalized Islam as being the salvation of the world. The first of these works, The Secrets of the Self, was published in 1915.  In it Iqbal attacked Islam’s long tradition of contemplative passivity and other worldliness, declaring that man’s destiny is to be God’s vice-regent on earth, and that instead of seeking the annihilation of self, this requires man to develop all the potentialities of self and to struggle to change the world.

In 1917, Iqbal completed The Mysteries of Selflessness.  In The Mysteries of Selflessness, Iqbal sought to show how man’s individual role harmonizes with his social role in a dynamic society.  Two volumes of shorter poems which are considered to be the best of Iqbal’s work in Persian were The Message of the East, which was published in 1923, and Psalms of the East, which was published in 1927.  In these poems, Iqbal continued with the theme begun in The Mysteries of Selflessness.  Iqbal asserts that a true interpretation of Islam compels the conclusions he sets forth.  However, this imposes the task of “the reconstruction of religious thought in Islam.”

The last of Iqbal’s major Persian works, The Pilgrimage of Eternity was published in 1932.  It tells of the poet’s journey through the universe with the great Persian poet Jalal al-Din as his guide.

Within India most people’s acquaintaince with Persian was too slight for them to read Iqbal's works, and they continued to look to his Urdu for their inspiration.  A second (probably his best) Urdu collection, Gabriel’s Wing, appeared in 1935.  The Rod of Moses followed in 1936, and The Gift of Hejaz, containing both Urdu and Persian poems, appeared posthumously in 1938, the year of his death.

From 1930 onwards Iqbal’s political writings foreshadow many of the ideas which were subsequently to find expression in the formation of Pakistan.  His appeal was enormous, and gave rise to a voluminous literature, mostly in Urdu.  Pakistanis claim Iqbal with justification as their national poet.  However, his popularity has always extended far beyond their ranks.  Although Iqbal’s message is expressed in Islamic terms, not only Muslims, but Indian nationalists, socialists, and Communists have acknowledged Iqbal’s poetry as being inspirational.

Iqbal is unique among contemporary Muslim philosophers in utilizing theology, mysticism, philosophy -- of the East along with that of the West -- and the potent emotional appeal and nuanced style of Perso-Urdu poetry to understand and explain the destiny of humanity.  It is Iqbal’s ability to traverse the expanse that separates philosophy from socio-cultural concerns that has made him both a philosopher and a cultural hero.

Iqbal argued that it is in the realization of their destiny that the spiritual salvation and political emancipation of Muslims can be realized.  Islam holds the key to the realization of that destiny, for faith is central to a Muslim's life.  It is religion that defines human existence, and it is through religion that man may rise to greater heights.

Much like other Islamic modernists, Iqbal idealized the early history of Islam.  It was in the Muhammadan community that Muslims had reached the pinnacle of their spiritual and worldly power -- the full realization of human destiny.  It was that vision of the past that guided his prescriptions for the future.  He became convinced that man was able to realize the full potential of his destiny only in the context of the revival of Islam, in an order wherein the perfection of the soul would be reflected in the excellence of social relations.  However, Iqbal’s formulation was not a jejune (barren) call to atavism -- a reversion to an ancestral type.  

While Iqbal idealized early Islamic history, Iqbal also incorporated modern values and precepts into that ideal, such that the Muhammadan community and the fundamental tenets of the Muslim faith embodied all that he believed to be good in the modern West.  The impact of the West on Iqbal was deep seated and is clearly evident in the fabricof his worldview.  His criticisms of many aspects of the Western civilization, especially its secularism, in some of his works such as Payam-i Mashriq (Message of the East) only thinly disguise his extensive borrowing from Western thought.

Idealization of Islam went hand-in-hand with advocating religious reform.  Iqbal argued that Islam can serve humanity only if it is reformed and reinterpreted in the image of its Muhammadan ideal -- and Iqbal’s understanding of the West -- while using the tools of philosophical analysis and mystical wisdom.  Iqbal did not view this exercise as innovation or reformation, but as rediscovery and the reconstruction of Islam.  He believed that the inner truth of Islam had over the centuries been hidden by obscurantist practices and cultural accretions promoted by Sufi (Islamic mysticism) masters (mashayakh), religious divines (‘ulama), and wayward monarchs.  It was they who had produced a view of Islam that had led the faithful astray and sapped that religion of its power, ending its glorious reign.

To reverse their fall from power and to realize their destiny, Muslims must find access to the truth of their religion.  They must become aware of the fact that Islam, as it stood before them, was impure.  Only then would they look beyond popular impressions of Islam -- passionate and devotional attachments to the religion -- to find its hidden truth.  Iqbal’s early works, Asrar-i Khudi (Secrets of the Self) and Rumuz-i Bukhudi (Mysteries of Selflessness), encouraged Muslims to adopt such an approach by harping on the themes of love and freedom; not romantic love or political freedom per se, but love of the truth and freedom from that view of Islam which had been vouchsafed through cultural transmission.  

Still, Iqbal's most complex philosophical views were argued emotionally in his poetry.  He caught the attention of Muslims using the very language and sensibility which he believed they had to abandon if they were to aspire to greater heights.  Iqbal is just as towering a figure in Persian and Urdu poetry as he is in contemporary Islamic philosophy.

Iqbal rejected fatalism (taqdir).  He did not view history as the arena for the Divine will to unfold in, as Muslims generally do, but for humans to realize their potential.  He encouraged Muslims to take charge of their own lives and destinies, to shape history rather than serve as pawns in it.  To him history was not sacred, and hence was easily changeable.  This was a modernist conception that showed the influence of the Kantian notion of “Divine aloofness.”  It was at odds with the time-honored ‘Ash‘arite tradition in Islamic theology and philosophy, which teaches that history is the manifestation of the Divine will and is therefore sacred.  Man cannot hope to understand the Divine wisdom and hence should not reject the writ of history, nor seek to interfere with it.  

In encouraging Muslims to redirect history and to assume responsibility for its unfolding through a rational interpretation of their faith, Iqbal also echoed the beliefs of Mu‘tazalite philosophers who had centuries earlier taken the Ash‘arites to task but had failed to shape the subsequent development of Islamic thought.

Iqbal understood that there could be no systematic rationalization of Islam unless there was a single definition of a Muslim.  As a result, he sought to reduce the diversity of the Islamic faith in the hope of underlining the fundamental unity that has bound the various sects, denominations, and schools of thought constituting the Islamic faith.  As the eloquent poetry of Zubur-i ‘Ajam (Persian Hymns) shows, Iqbal was less concerned with the various expressions of Islam and more with the basic tenets of the faith, the lowest common denominator among Muslims.  It was also to this end that he idealized early Islamic history, the period when there were no divisions in the body of the faith.  His vision of Islam was a simple and pristine one, albeit inaccurate and not quite matching historical reality.

For Iqbal, the principal aim of the reformation and rationalization of the Islamic faith was to recreate the ideal Muhammadan society -- the perfect order in which humanity would attain its highest ideals.  This is a task which begins with the perfection of the self -- best exemplified in the example of the Prophet Muhammad himself -- and culminates in the creation of the ideal social order.  This meant that the political fortunes of Muslims would once again rise in India only pursuant to a revival of Islam.

Iqbal’s perspective, however, was not so much political -- although it had great impact on Muslim politics -- but philosophical.  He combined the Nietzschean concept of “Superman” with the Sufi doctrine of Perfect Man (al-insan al-kamil), devising an all-encompassing view of human development and social change.  He saw God as the perfect ego, but an ego nevertheless, more near and tangible than the God of old.  As outlined in the Javid Namah (Book of Eternity), God is the supreme ideal in which Iqbal’s scheme of human development would culminate.  This conception of the Divine closely resembles the Sufi notion of al-insan al-kamil, and no doubt parallels Nietzche’s Superman.

In describing his views, Iqbal used the doctrine -- proposed by the Sufi saint, Jalal al-Din Rumi (1207-1273) -- of the ascent of the human self.  Rumi had explained the Sufi experience in terms of an alchemical process which would transform the base metal of the human soul into the gold of Divine perfection.  Iqbal echoed Rumi in Bal-i Jibril (Gabriel’s Wing), where he argues that life continues despite death, for the soul is immortal and life continues as death and later as resurrection.  Through this death and becoming human life would perfect itself.  Since the rise of humanity was closely tied to the reconstruction of the temporal order.  Iqbal relied on Rumi to sanction the passing of the old Muslim order to pave the way for the rise of a new and triumphant one.  Human and social development, as such, will continue until they attain the state of perfection as understood by Sufis and pondered upon by Nietzche.  Iqbal defined that perfection as a state where love and science -- symbolizing essence of East and the West -- happily occupy the same intellectual space.

With every birth man can attain a higher spiritual state in a more perfect society, for man has the essence (jawhar) that can be transformed into perfection.  That process can only occur through the intermediary of true of Islam, for Islam has the blueprint.  Just as meditation and asceticism would prepare the soul of the Sufi for spiritual ascent, activism -- abandoning fatalism in favor of an engaged approach to individual and social life -- would perform the same function in Iqbal’s scheme.  That activism would culminate in the “Islamic state,” which Iqbal equated with the Sufi conception of spiritual bliss.

The imprint of Sufism on Iqbal is unmistakable and quite interesting.  Iqbal generally rejected Sufism, arguing that it had always been concerned only with the spiritual salvation of the individual, whereas he believed individual salvation could not be divorced from the reconstruction of the temporal order.  However, his criticism of Sufism was not tantamount to rejecting those aspects of its teachings and beliefs that he had found quite persuasive.  The titles of Iqbal’s various divans attest to the influence of Sufi imagery and symbolisms on his thought.

In many ways Iqbal’s vision was a modernization of Sufism using the tools of Western philosophy.  His innovation lay in introducing social development as a necessary condition for attainment of perfection and spiritual salvation.  It is this aspect of his thought that was of relevance to Muslim political activisim in India at the twilight of the Raj, and later influenced many revivalist thinkers who have since looked to politics as the medium for effecting individual spiritual salvation.  

Iqbal was without doubt a most creative and original thinker, one who sought to bring together many strains of Islamic life and thought together and to reform the Muslim faith, imbue it with modern precepts, and reconstruct it anew.  He related Islamic thought to Western philosophy, and linked spiritual salvation to intellectual change and social development.  As a poet of exceptional abilities he conveyed these ideas to his audience most forcefully.  Although there is no distinct school of thought associated with Iqbal, there is no doubt that many across the spectrum of Islamic thought have been swayed by the wisdom of his agenda and the logic of his method, and have sought to emulate him in reviving their faith and reforming their societies.

At his best, Iqbal is one of the great Urdu poets and a great Indo-Persian poet as well.  However, his widespread reputation is based not only on his poetic gifts but also on his philosophy, which is forcefully -- and even at times a bit heavy-handedly -- expressed in all his works.  His philosophy is radically activist, vitalist, and voluntaristic.  Iqbal rejects all forms of fatalism, passivity, resignation, and materialism.  He demands that the human will and spirit transcend all barriers, soaring beyond them into a God-like closeness to God.  In Western terms, if poetically he is indebted to Goethe, Dante, and Milton, philosophically he is the heir of Kant, Fichte, Schopenhauer, Bergson, and above all Nietzche.  However, Iqbal is by no means intellectually subservient to Western culture.  He in fact provides a strong critique of its materialistic self-complacency.  Although he addresses himself particularly to Muslims, his real concern is with the restless dynamism and self-transcendent upward struggle of the human spirit.  

Always interested in political questions, Iqbal spoke against mere “nationalism,” with its attendant risk of “atheistic materialism.”  He valued “a man’s faith, his culture, his historical traditions” far more highly than “the piece of earth with which the spirit of man happens to be temporarily associated.”  Ultimately, Iqbal came to believe that the partition of India was the only feasible way to secure the rights of self-development for all the various cultural groups in India, and he was the first influential person to say so publicly (in the 1930s).  This foresight undoubtedly cemented Iqbal's status as a founding father of Pakistan.

Muhammad Iqbal see Iqbal, Muhammad
Founding Father of Pakistan see Iqbal, Muhammad
Father of Pakistan see Iqbal, Muhammad

‘Isa.  Arabic equivalent of the name “Jesus.”  

In Islam, Jesus is considered a Messenger of God who had been sent to guide the People of Israel (banī isrā'īl) with a new scripture, the Injīl (gospel). The Qur'an, believed by Muslims to be God's final revelation, mentions Jesus 25 times. It states that Jesus was born to Mary (Arabic: Maryam) as the result of virginal conception, a miraculous event which occurred by the decree of God (Arabic: Allah). To aid him in his quest, Jesus was given the ability to perform miracles, all by the permission of God. According to Islamic texts, Jesus was neither killed nor crucified, but rather he was raised alive up to heaven. Islamic traditions (but not Qur’an) narrate that Jesus will return to Earth near the day of judgment to restore justice and defeat al-Masīḥ ad-Dajjāl (lit. "the false messiah", also known as the Antichrist). Like all prophets in Islam, Jesus is considered to have been a Muslim, as he preached for people to adopt the straight path in submission to God's will. Islam rejects that Jesus was God incarnate or the son of God, stating that he was a mortal man who, like other prophets, had been divinely chosen to spread God's message. Islamic texts forbid the association of partners with God (shirk), emphasizing the notion of God's divine oneness (tawhīd). Numerous titles are given to Jesus in the Qur'an, such as al-Masīḥ ("the messiah; the anointed one" i.e. by means of blessings), although it does not correspond with the meaning accrued in Christian belief. Jesus is seen in Islam as a precursor to Muhammad, and is believed by Muslims to have foretold the latter's coming.

The Qur'an describes virginal conception of Jesus by Mary (Arabic: Maryam), which is recounted throughout several passages in the Qur'an. According to the Qur'anic narrations, Mary had withdrawn into a temple and was visited by angel Gabriel (Arabic: Jibreel) to give the glad tidings of a holy son. The Qur'an states that God (Allah) sent the message through the angel Gabriel to Mary that God had honoured Mary among the women of all nations as she will give birth to a holy son, named Isa' (Jesus), the Messiah (translated Christ) and he (Jesus) will be a great prophet, to whom God will give the Injil (the original Gospel) and he (Jesus) will speak in infancy and maturity and will be a companion to the most righteous. When this good news was given to Mary, she asked the angel how she can have a baby when no man has touched (sexually) her. This same question of Mary is confirmed in the Bible. But, in the answer to this question, the Qur'an differs from the Christian faith; the Christians believe that the Holy Spirit impregnated Mary, but the Qur'an denies it and states that the reply of the angel to Mary was "Even though when God wants to create a matter, he merely wills (Kun-fa-yakun) it and the things come into being". So, the Qur'anic version is, Jesus was created from the act of God's will. The Qur'an compares this miraculous creation of Jesus with the creation of Adam where God created Adam by His act of will (kun-fa-yakun). According to the Holy Qur'an, the same answer was given to the question of Zechariah (in Qur'an Zakariyah), when he asked how could his wife conceive the baby while she was old.

After delivering Jesus, Mary was overtaken by the pangs of childbirth, resting near the trunk of a palm tree. Jesus then addressed her from the cradle, to instruct her to shake the tree and obtain its fruits and also to allay Mary's fears of a scandal surrounding his conception. She then showed the new-born to her family, and in silencing immodest rumors he declared: "Lo, I am God's servant; God has given me the Book, and made me a Prophet. Blessed He has made me, wherever I may be; and He has enjoined me to pray, and to give alms, so long as I live and likewise to cherish my mother."

According to Islamic texts, Jesus was divinely chosen to preach the message of monotheism and submission to the will of God to the Children of Israel (banī isrā'īl). Muslims believe that God revealed to Jesus a new scripture, the Injīl (gospel), while also declaring the truth of the previous revelations - the Tawrat (Torah) and the Zabur (Psalms). It is unclear or unknown whether Jesus declared the truth of the other holy book of Islam at that time, the Suhuf Ibrahim. Descended 600 years after Jesus' life on earth, the Qur'an speaks favorably of the Injīl, which it describes as a scripture that fills the hearts of its followers with meekness and pity. It was not Muslims who first said that the Bible is misled, but some Christian scholars who have said that Biblical manuscripts (both the Torah and the Injīl) have become distorted over time in text, interpretation, or both.

The Qur'an states that Jesus was aided by a group of disciples (hawāriyūn) who believed in Jesus' message, and termed themselves the ansār ("helpers") of God. Jesus is also depicted in Islam as having been given miracles as evidence of his prophetic mission. Such miracles, all performed by the leave of God, include: speaking while still in the cradle; breathing life into clay models of birds; curing a leper and a life-long blind man; raising the dead; and requesting the descent of a table from heaven upon which was a feast, upon petition of his disciples. Some Muslim accounts also relate that the Islamic prophet Yahya ibn Zakariyya (known otherwise as John the Baptist) traveled to Palestine and met Jesus at the Jordan river.

Islamic texts categorically deny the crucifixion and death of Jesus at the hands of the Jews. The Qur'an states that the Jews sought to kill Jesus, but they did not kill or crucify him, although a likeness of it was shown to them. Traditionalists believe that Jesus was not crucified but instead, he was raised alive unto the heavens. This raising is understood by them to mean bodily ascension.
  “That they said (in boast), "We killed Christ Jesus the son of Mary, the Messenger of God";- but they killed him not, nor crucified him, but so it was made to appear to them, and those who differ therein are full of doubts, with no (certain) knowledge, but only conjecture to follow, for of a surety they killed him not:- Nay, God raised him up unto the himself; and God is Exalted in Power, Wise.”[Qur'an 4:157–158]  

According to most Muslim traditions, Jesus was replaced by a double, one of the people that was about to crucify him; others suggest it was Simon of Cyrene, or one of the disciples such as Judas Iscariot. The crucifixion interpretation was rejected, and according to the Encyclopedia of Islam, there was unanimous agreement amongst the scholars in denying the crucifixion. Modern commentators interpret the verse to say that the crucifixion "seemed thus to them" [i.e. the Jews].

Traditonal Muslims believe that Jesus will return at a time close to the end of the world. The Qur'anic verse they allude to as an indicator to Jesus' future return is as follows:

  “And (Jesus) shall be a Sign (for the coming of) the Hour (of Judgment): therefore have no doubt about the (Hour), but follow ye Me: this is a Straight Way.”[Qur'an 43:61]  "

According to Islamic tradition which describes this graphically, Jesus' descent will be in the midst of wars fought by the Mahdi (lit. "the rightly guided one"), known in Islamic eschatology as the redeemer of Islam, against the Antichrist (al-Masīkh ad-Dajjāl, "false messiah") and his followers. Jesus will descend at the point of a white arcade, east of Damascus, dressed in yellow robes - his head anointed. He will then join the Mahdi in his war against the Dajjal. Jesus, considered in Islam as a Muslim, will abide by the Islamic teachings. Eventually, Jesus will slay the Dajjal, and then everyone from the people of the book (ahl al-kitāb, referring to Jews and Christians) will believe in him. Thus, there will be one community, that of Islam.

After the death of the Mahdi, Jesus will assume leadership. This is a time associated in Islamic narrative with universal peace and justice. Islamic texts also allude to the appearance of Ya'juj and Ma'juj (known also as Gog and Magog), ancient tribes which will disperse and cause disturbance on earth. God, in response to Jesus' prayers, will kill them by sending a type of worm in the napes of their necks. Jesus' rule is said to be around forty years, after which he will die. Muslims will then perform the funeral prayer for him and then bury him in the city of Medina in a grave left vacant beside Muhammad, Abu Bakr, and Umar (companions of Muhammad and the first and second Muslim caliphs respectively).

Jesus is described by various means in the Qur'an. The most common reference to Jesus occurs in the form of "Ibn Maryam" (son of Mary), sometimes preceded with another title. Jesus is also recognized as a prophet (nabī) and messenger (rasūl) of God. The terms wadjih ("worthy of esteem in this world and the next"), mubārak ("blessed", or "a source of benefit for others"), `abd-Allāh (servant of God) are all used in the Qur'an in reference to Jesus.

Another title frequently mentioned is al-Masīḥ, which translates to "the Messiah". This does not correspond to the Christian concept of Messiah, as Islam regards all prophets, including Jesus, to be mortal and without any share in divinity. Muslim exegetes explain the use of the word masīh in the Qur'an as referring to Jesus' status as the one anointed by means of blessings and honors; or as the one who helped cure the sick, by anointing the eyes of the blind, for example. Qur'anic verses also employ the term "kalimat allah" (meaning the "word of God") as a descriptor of Jesus, which is interpreted as a reference to the creating word of God, uttered at the moment of Jesus' conception; or as recognition of Jesus' status as a messenger of God, speaking on God's behalf.

Islamic texts regard Jesus as a righteous messenger of God, and reject him as being God or the begotten Son of God. This belief, that Jesus is God or Son of God according to Islam, is tantamount to shirk, or the association of partners with God; and thereby a rejection of God's divine oneness (tawhid). A verse from the Qur'an reads:

  “In blasphemy indeed are those that say that God is Christ the son of Mary. Say: "Who then hath the least power against God, if His will were to destroy Christ the son of Mary, his mother, and all every - one that is on the earth? For to God belongeth the dominion of the heavens and the earth, and all that is between. He createth what He pleaseth. For God hath power over all things.”[Qur'an 5:17][28]  

The Christian doctrine of the Trinity is similarly rejected in Islam. Such notions of the divinity of Jesus, Muslims state, resulted from human interpolations of God's revelation. The Muslims give the evidence of these interpolations as they say even the Chrsitian scholars nowadays have discovered that the doctrine of trinity was an interpolation, so thus, the verse on trinity (I John, Chapter 5, Verse 7) in all modern versions of Bible except KJV has been removed. Islam views Jesus as an ordinary human like all other prophets, who preached that salvation came through submission to God's will and worshiping God alone. Thus, Jesus is considered in Islam to have been a Muslim, as with all prophets in Islam.

Muslims believe that Jesus was a precursor to Muhammad, and that he announced the latter's coming. They base this on a verse of the Qur'an wherein Jesus speaks of a messenger to appear after him named Ahmad. Islam associates Ahmad with Muhammad, both words deriving from the h-m-d tri-consonantal root which refers to praiseworthiness. Muslims also assert that evidence of Jesus' pronouncement is present in the New Testament, citing the mention of the Paraclete whose coming is foretold in the Gospel of John. Muslim commentators claim that the original Greek word used was periklutos, meaning famed, illustrious, or praiseworthy - rendered in Arabic as Ahmad; and that this was substituted by Christians with parakletos.

Jesus is widely venerated in Muslim ascetic and mystic literature, such as in Muslim mystic Al-Ghazzali's Ihya `ulum ad-Din ("The revival of the religious sciences"). These works lay stress upon Jesus' poverty, his preoccupation with worship, his detachment from worldly life and his miracles. Such depictions also include advice and sermons which are attributed to him. Later Sufic commentaries adapted material from Christian gospels which were consistent with their ascetic portrayal. Sufi philosopher Ibn Arabi described Jesus as "the seal of universal holiness" due to the quality of his faith and "because he holds in his hands the keys of living breath and because he is at present in a state of deprivation and journeying."

References to Jesus in the Qur'an

Meccan period

The widespread consensus is that the following verses were revealed in Mecca:

    * Qur'an 19:16–40
    * Qur'an 19:88–95
    * Qur'an 43:57–65
    * Qur'an 43:81–82
    * Qur'an 23:50
    * Qur'an 21:91–93
    * Qur'an 42:13–14
    * Qur'an 6:83–90

Medinan period

The list of verses revealed in Medina is as follows:

    * Qur'an 2:87
    * Qur'an 2:135–141
    * Qur'an 2:252–253
    * Qur'an 3:42–64

Jesus see ‘Isa.
Messiah see ‘Isa.
Messenger of God see ‘Isa.

Isaac (in Arabic, Ishaq).  The name Isaac means “laughter” in Hebrew.  Isaac was the Old Testament patriarch, the son of Abraham, half-brother of Ishmael, and father of Jacob and Esau.  According to the Hebrew Bible, the birth of Isaac was promised {see Genesis 17: 19, 21} to Abraham and his wife Sarah, after a long and childless marriage, as a sign that the blessings originally bestowed by God upon Abraham would be continued in Isaac, heir of the Covenant.  The events of Isaac’s life are recounted in Genesis, Chapters 21-28.  

The dominant story in the narrative, and one of the most widely known stories in the Bible, is that of the projected sacrifice of Isaac {see Genesis 22}.  According to this account, God tested Abraham’s faith by asking him to sacrifice his beloved son.  At the last moment, after God was convinced of the perfect obedience of both father and son, he accepted a ram as a substitute for the young Isaac.  This story is thought to express the Hebrew rejection of human sacrifice, commonly practiced by surrounding nations.  The ram is recalled today in synagogue ritual at the solemn blowing of the the shofar, or ram’s horn, during the Jewish High Holy Days, Rosh Hashanah and Yom Kippur.  

The New Testament alludes to Isaac as a percursor of Christ and of the Church {see Galatians 3:16, 4:21-31}, and the obedience of his self-sacrifice is associated with that of Christ {see Hebrews 11:17-19}.  These themes were developed by several of the patristic writers, and the figure of Isaac appears frequently in Christian art, particularly in association with the Eucharist.

Archaeologists and biblical scholars have drawn parallels between the biblical narrative of Isaac and the history of the Semitic tribes.  Abraham is thought to represent the nomadic stock out of which the Hebrew and Edomite tribes evolved.  Isaac is believed to represent the tribes that joined to form the Hebrew confederacy and to give allegiance to the God, Yahweh, or Jehovah, originally a tribal deity; and Ishmael is believed to represent the tribes of Edom. Isaac was a relatively minor figure compared to the other two great biblical patriarchs, Abraham (Isaac’s father) and Jacob (Isaac’s son).  However, a number of the details of the biblical account are believed by scholars to have major symbolic importance.  The story of his birth is believed to be a deliberate attempt by early Hebrew writers to alter the traditions of the Semitic tribes in order to strengthen adherence to the Hebrew confederacy, a military and political alliance, by suggesting that it had divine inspiration.  In making Isaac the legitimate son, and Ishmael the illegitimate son, of their common ancestor, the Hebrews sought to claim superiority over the independent Edomite tribes.  Finally, the rivalry between Isaac’s two sons (Esau and Jacob) is thought to reflect again the rivalry between Edom and the Hebrews.

The Biblical Isaac is mentioned several times in the Qur‘an. {See Suras 2:130-135; 3:75-80; 4:160-170; 6:80-90; 12:5-10; 12:35-40; 19:50-60; 29:25-30; 37:110-115; 38:45-50.}In Islam, Isaac/Ishaq (circa 1761 BC - 1638 BC?) Ishaq (Isaac) is known as an appointed prophet of God. He is the second son of Ibrahim (Abraham) from his wife Sarah and his birth occurred after Ibrahim (Abraham) and his wife left their pagan people who worshipped Idols.Ishaq (Isaac) was born after Ismail (Ishmael) a miraculous birth when Sarah was old and barren.Angels who came in human shape visited Ibrahim (Abraham) .He invited them inside his house and was very welcoming.  Ibrahim (Abraham) offered them some food to eat but they refused to eat.They told him that they were Angels on their way to destroy the people of Lut (Lot).  Ibrahim (Abraham) was worried for Lut (Lot) but the angels told him that Lot would be informed to run away before his people would receive their Judgment from God.  Both Prophets are Praised and Respected by Muslims for their important roles.

The Qur'an states that Ibraham was commanded to sacrifice his son. The son is not, however, named in the Qur’an (37:102–113). In early Islam, there was a dispute over the identity of the son. However, some Muslim scholars came to endorse that it was Ishmael but some others notably Muhammad ibn Jarir al-Tabari who was the most famous and most praised as well as one of the first exegesis writers of the Quran stated that it was clearly Isaac and not Ishmael. The argument of those early scholars who believed it was Isaac rather than Ishmael (notably Ibn Ḳutayba, and al-Ṭabarī) was that "God's perfecting his mercy on Abraham and Isaac” (12:16). Referred to his making Ibraham his friend and saving him from the burning bush, and to his rescuing Isaac.

The birth of Isaac happened after Ibraham left his people and asked for a child (37:99–113).  Many might say it was Ishmael but in other verses and instances the Qur'an once again tells the story stating that after Ibraham left his people Isaac was given to him (37:99–113).

so it is that after Ibraham left his pagan people the birth of Isaac was said to him by three angels who were on their way to destroy the people of Lot and nowhere in the Qur'an or Islamic tradition does it say that the birth of Ishmael had a relation with the three angels nor was it miraculous like Isaac's and most importantly the Qur'an clearly explains that the birth of Isaac was when Ibraham left his pagan people and the Qur'an mentioned Isaac by name to prove so in (19:49–113). So the conclusion is according to the Qur'an the verses that talk about the sacrifice of Ibraham's son clearly says that Ibraham left his people and a un-named son was given to him (19:113–113). Later on, that son was to be sacrificed, so to prove that son was Isaac and not Ishmael are the verses mentioned earlier which talk about Ibraham given Isaac when Abraham left his pagan people to live alone (37:99–113).Another argument supporting that Isaac was the son to be sacrificed is the verses that state Abraham sacrificed his son after that son had grown with him (37:102–113).

The Qur'an portrays Isaac as a righteous prophet calling him (ghulam Aleem) as well as (ghulam Haleem) meaning a great smart son Qur'an also describes Isaac as a righteous servant of God. The Qur'an states that Isaac and his progeny are blessed as long as they uphold their covenant with God.

Ishaq see Isaac

Isaf wa-Na‘ila
Isaf wa-Na‘ila. Pair of gods worshipped at Mecca before Islam.

‘Isa ibn Dinar
‘Isa ibn Dinar (771-827).  One of the founders of Islamic theology in Spain.  He wrote a large work on Maliki jurisprudence.

‘Isami.  Persian poet in India during the fourteenth century.  His fame rests on his Conquests of the Sultans, dedicated to ‘Ala‘ al-Din Hasan Bahman Shah (r. 1347-1358), the founder of the Bahmanid dynasty.

‘Isawa (‘Isawiyya).  Mystical order founded by the Shaykh Muhammad ibn ‘Isa (1467-1534), who became the patron saint of the town of Meknes.

The Isawiyya brotherhood, or Isawa, was founded in Meknes, Morocco, in the sixteenth century by Shaykh Muhammad bin Isa al-Sufyani al-Mukhtari, known as Shaykh al-Kamil (the perfect master). The brotherhood is found all over Morocco and Algeria and has extended its influence to other Muslim countries such as Libya, Syria, and Egypt. Each year during the three days following the Mulud, members hold a celebration in Meknes where music, ecstatic dances, and extravagant rituals are collectively performed. Because it preaches renouncement, Isawa recruit their disciples mostly among poor social categories.

'Isawiyya see ‘Isawa

Isfendiyar-oghullari. Turkmen dynasty at Kastamonu, northern Anatolia (r. c. 1290-1461).  Also known as Candar, the dynasty was renowned for their patronage of men of letters and contributed to the development of Turkish as a literary language.  The principality was annexed by the Ottoman Sultan Muhammad II, but members of the dynasty continued to serve as governors under the Ottomans.
Candar see Isfendiyar-oghullari.

Ishaki, Ayaz
Ishaki, Ayaz (Ayaz Ishaki) (1878, in Yevshirma near Kazan - July 22, 1954 in Istanbul).  Tatar political activist and writer.  Born on February 23, 1878, into the family of Giylajetdin, the mullah of Yaushirma village in Kazan guberniya, Ayaz (or Gayaz) Ishaki received a traditional education at the Chistay madrasah (1890-1893) and then at the Kulbue madrasah (1893-1898) of Kazan.  In 1898, he entered the Kazan Teachers‘ School, from which he graduated in 1902, finding employment as a teacher of Russian at madrasahs in Kazan and Orenburg.  In 1903, he returned to Yaushirma to take up briefly the duties of village mullah.

As a student, Ishaki became involved in the first Tatar literary-political circle organized by a group of Tatar youth in 1895.  They published a mimeographed paper called Tarakki (Progress) and in 1901 organized the Shakirdlik party, which a year later changed its name to Hurriyet (Freedom) and adhered to purely political goals.  At this time, Ishaki also established links with the Russian socialist revolutionary circles of Kazan and acquired a taste for action, which may explain the brevity of his stay in Yaushirma and his decision to return to Kazan.

Once back in Kazan, Ishaki became involved with radical circles.  In 1905, he and Fuad Tuktar founded a secret Tatar political group called Tangchilar revolving around two socialist papers advocating the overthrow of tsarism – Tang (Down) and Tang yoldizi (Morning Star), both edited by Ishaki.  In the fall of 1905, he and Tuktar organized the Socialist party Brek with its own journal, Azat (Free), succeeded by Azar khaliq (Free People).  In August 1905, Ishaki participated in the first Congress of the Muslims of the Russian empire, heading the group of twenty radical nationalists opposing the moderate views of the majority of delegates who advocated a political union of all Muslims.  This disagreement grew even wider at the third congress (August 1906), where Ishaki argued that unity of religion and culture did not suffice to unite all Muslims into one political party as long as class differences endured.

By 1906, Ishaki had clashed not only with those Tatar who did not share his political radicalism but also with the Russian government.  The newspaper Tang yoldizi was banned in 1905, and Ishaki was arrested and sent to the Chistay jail.  Upon release he launched the newspaper Tavish (The Voice), which continued the socialist revolutionary orientation of the previous two and prompted an immediate response from the government: Ishaki was arrested and jailed for six months and then sent to serve a three year exile in Arkhangelsk.  He escaped in 1908 and made his way to Saint Petersburg, where he lived in hiding.  However, the police caught up with Ishaki and deported him to Vologda, where he stayed until 1913.

Since Ishaki was not allowed to return to Kazan, he chose Saint Petersburg for launching his next projects – the publication between 1910 and 1913 of the newspapers Il (Country), Suz (The Word), and Bezneng il (Our Country).  By this time, Ishaki had mellowed politically, distancing himself from the radicalism of the socialists.  He moved closer to the moderate platform of the Ittifak party, which had never regarded class differences as a hindrance to the unity of all Muslims.  In 1915, Ishaki traveled to the Muslim regions of the Russian empire to promote the idea of unity and common action.  

After the fall of the Romanov dynasty in February 1917, Ishaki helped organize the two congresses of Russian Muslims held during that year (May in Moscow, July in Kazan).  On July 22, 1917, Ishaki was instrumental in having the national cultural autonomy of the Volga-Ural Muslims proclaimed by the Second Congress, which also elected a National Assembly (Milli Majlis), National Council (Milli Shura), and National Administration (Milli Idare).  He became the head of the Foreign Affairs Committee of the Volga-Ural Muslims, but when the Red Army occupied the large cities of the Volga-Ural region in 1918, the National Administration was abrogated.  Since the regional enemies of the Bolsheviks were also hostile to Ishaki, he and the National Administration moved to Kizilyar (Petropavlovsk) on the northern fringes of the Kazakh steppes, where he began to publish the newspaper Mayak (The Lighthouse).

In 1919, Ishaki left Russia (via Japan) to participate in the European Peace Conference as the representative of the Volga-Ural Muslims.  This departure marks the beginning of his life as a political émigré, which took him to Warsaw, Paris, Berlin, Mukden, Ankara, and Istanbul.  During this period, he channeled his efforts toward keeping alive the “national memory” of the Volga-Ural Muslims and supporting their struggle to free their homeland.  In Warsaw, Ishaki was active in an organization called Promethee, aimed at achieving independence for the ethnic minorities of Russia.  In Berlin, in 1928, he launched the newspaper Milli Yul (National Path), which changed its name to Yanga Milli Yul (New National Path) in 1939.

Ishaki represented the Volga-Ural Muslims at the Muslim Congress held in Jerusalem in 1931 and continued to pursue the idea of Muslim and Turkic unity.  Between 1934 and 1938, he traveled to Finland, the Arab countries, Manchuria, Korea, and Japan in order to create an organization of the Volga-Ural Muslim diaspora.  When the national congress of the diaspora met in 1935 in Mukden, it elected Ishaki the president of its national council.  To provide the diaspora with a voice, in November 1935 Ishaki started the newspaper Milli bayrak (The National Flag), which appeared until mid-1945.  It was the only one of his journals to survive German suppression in World War II.  After the war, Ishaki moved to Turkey, where he lived until his death in Ankara on July 22, 1954.

Ishaki left a threefold legacy as (1) a political activist driven by the idea of Turkic unity and national autonomy for the Volga-Ural Muslims; (2) a journalist promoting that political credo; and (3) a creative writer reflecting the ideals of enlightenment, justice, and economic and political advancement intimately associated with Jadidism (Muslim reformism).  His literary work includes close to fifty short stories, novellas, novels, plays, memoirs, and translations of historical essays, addressing a broad range of issues.  In the fantastic novel Iki yoz eldan song inkiyraz ( After Two Hundred Years – Extinction), and the story Tagallemda sagadat (Happiness in Education), he addressed the issues of reform and modernization of education as a condition of social progress.  In the play Zoleykha, the focus is on the tragedies brought about by Russian policies of forced conversion to Christianity.  Other plays and stories address issues of social justice, women’s lives, and the quest for education.  The literary works that most clearly mirror Ishaki’s political ideas are the play Dulkin echende (In the Wave) and the novel Oyga taba (Homeward) which are permeated by nationalist and Pan-Turkic ideas.

Ishaki’s name was obliterated from histories of Tatar literature and culture published in the Soviet Union after 1926, and he was mentioned only to vilify him as a nationalist and enemy of the Soviet people.  Not until 1988, in an article by I. Nurullin in the newspaper Vechernyaya Kazan, was the first step taken toward returning Ishaki to the peoples of his homeland.  Since that time, newspapers and journals such as Kazan utlari (Fires of Kazan), Miras (Heritage), and Tatarstan have carried many articles about him also reprinting some of his works.  In 1991, the Union of Writers of Tatarstan instituted a literary prize in honor of Ishaki; the first writer to receive it was Rabit Batulla, whose works embody Ishaki’s ideals and hopes for the future of the Volga-Ural Muslims.

Ayaz Ishaki  see Ishaki, Ayaz
Gayaz Ishaki see Ishaki, Ayaz
Ishaki, Gayaz see Ishaki, Ayaz

Ishaq I
Ishaq I (Askia Ishaq I) (d. 1549).  Ruler of Songhay (1539-1549).  After the famous Askia Muhammad of Songhay was deposed in 1528, three successors ruled for short periods before their own deposition or death.  Ishaq, the fourth ruler, was a son of Muhammad who ended the turmoil when he ascended the throne in 1539.  During his rule, Songhay resumed its encroachment on the old Mali Empire, which had won a respite during the latter years of Askia Muhammad's rule.  The Songhay army occupied the Mali capital in 1545/46, but withdrew afterwards.  Ishaq died peacefully and was succeeded by his brother, Dawud.

Askia Ishaq I was elected Askia following the overthrow of Mohammad Benkan in 1537.

Seeking to centralize power, he executed a number of local governors. After a failed Moroccan expedition against the Taghaza salt mines in 1544, Ishaq I retaliated, sacking several cities in southern Morocco and forcing Sultan Mohammed I Saadi to flee Marrakesh. Askia Daoud succeeded Ishaq peacefully following his 1549 death.

Askia Ishaq I see Ishaq I

Ishaq II
Ishaq II (Askia Ishaq II) (d. 1591).  Ruler of the empire of Songhay (1588-1591) at the time of its conquest by Morocco.  When he succeeded his brother, Muhammad Bani (r. 1586-1588) internal dissension was growing within the empire.  His first act was to put down a full-scale revolt of his western governors.  But the real challenge to Ishaq was to come from an external force, Sultan Ahmad al-Mansur, who had come to power in Morocco in 1578.  Al-Mansur had designs on Songhay and the means to execute his will.  His first attempt to send a military expedition across the Sahara failed in 1584.  But by 1586, he had brought the important Songhay Saharan oases of Tuwat and Gurara under Moroccan control, and had planted spies in the Songhay court.  When al-Mansur attempted a diplomatic ploy to deceive Ishaq about his intentions (1589/90) the latter responded with an insult.  With this al-Mansur overcame the opposition of his own council and mounted a second expedition against Songhay in 1590.  His commander was an Andalusian eunuch, Judar Pasha.  Judar’s force of less than five thousand men crossed the Sahara and met the Songhay army of about forty thousand at Tondibi in present day Mali on March 12, 1591.  The small Moroccan force utilized the advantage of firearms to rout the Songhay army.  The Moroccans quickly occupied Gao, the capital.  Ishaq was replaced by his brother, Muhammad Gao, at the behest of the Songhay army, but in actuality there was no more empire to rule.

Ishaq came to power in a long dynastic struggle following the death of the long-ruling Askia Daoud. Sensing the Empire's weakness, Moroccan Sultan Ahmad I al-Mansur Saadi dispatched a 4,000-man force under the Islamicized Spaniard Judar Pasha across the Sahara desert in October 1590. Though Ishaq assembled more than 40,000 soldiers to meet the Moroccans, his army fled the enemy's gunpowder weapons at the decisive Battle of Tondibi in March 1591; Judar soon seized and looted the Songhai capital of Gao as well as the trading centers of Timbuktu and Djenné, ensuring the Empire's destruction.

Ishaq Efendi, Khoja
Ishaq Efendi, Khoja (Khoja Ishaq Efendi) (1774-1835).  Ottoman mathematician and engineer.  He wrote the first work in Turkish on the modern physical and natural sciences.
Khoja Ishaq Efendi see Ishaq Efendi, Khoja

Ishaq ibn Hunayn
Ishaq ibn Hunayn (d. 910).  Like his father Hunayn ibn Ishaq, an eminent translator of ancient science and philosophy.  Well versed in Greek, Syriac, Arabic and Persian, he made many translations of Aristotle, Plato and other Greek philosophers as well as of many standard works on mathematics and astronomy.  His own writings were mainly on medical and pharmacological subjects.

Ishaq ibn Ibrahim al-Mawsili
Ishaq ibn Ibrahim al-Mawsili (767-850).  Greatest musician of his time.  He showed a predilection for ancient poetry, and is mentioned in the Sessions of al-Hariri and in the “Thousand-and-One Nights.”

Ishmael.  See Isma‘il.
Isma'il  see Ishmael.

Iskandar Beg al-Shahir bi-Munshi
Iskandar Beg al-Shahir bi-Munshi (c.1560-c.1632). Persian historian.  His work, one of the greatest in Persian historiography, deals with the origins of the Safavids and the period between Shah Isma‘il and Shah Safi.

Munshi, Iskandar Beg al-Shahir bi- see Iskandar Beg al-Shahir bi-Munshi

Iskandar Muda
Iskandar Muda (c.1581/1583 - December 27, 1636). Sultan of Aceh (1607-1636).  Iskandar began to advance his interests with the coming of the anti-Portuguese English and Dutch about 1600.  About 1615, the English temporarily replaced the Gujaraties as importers of Surat cloth.   When new Europeans, including the French and the Danes, increased the demand for pepper, the sultan brought the pepper ports under control and tried to centralize all foreign trade at the capital.  He set up a licensing system that kept the Europeans divided and allowed him to reap the benefit of foreign competition.  Apart from the harbor dues the king had a large income from personal trading.  

Aceh reached the pinnacle of glory under Iskandar Muda.  Using resources from trade and taxation he built the kingdom into a strong centralized state, governed by an elaborate bureaucracy.  He had a monopoly of firearms, and his armed forces were strong enough to curb the nobilitie (Orang Kaya) and keep the Europeans at bay.  With his powerful fleet, Iskandar Muda scoured the Melaka (Malacca) Strait, bearing down several times upon Johor (1613, 1623) and Portuguese Melaka (1614, 1629).  Although he failed to destroy his enemies, he succeeded in making Aceh the strongest Malay power in western Indonesia.  The Acehnese empire reached Aru in the east and Padang in the west -- a stretch of 1,100 miles without much hinterland.  It included Pahang, Kedah, and Perak in Malaya and the island of Nias off Sumatra’s west coast.  

Iskandar Muda has been harshly judged by European observers, who invariably point to the streak of cruelty in his nature.  But even they admit that the king had a commanding personality and was a man of sound judgment.  The Malay chronicles look upon Iskandar Muda as the greatest king of Aceh and as one who kept a grand court.  He is remembered as a lawgiver and a patron of learning who bestowed favor upon such unorthodox Malay authors as Hamzah Fansuri and Syamsuddin of Pasai.  In 1629, his grand expedition against Portuguese Melaka ended in a disaster and virtually wiped out his navy.  Iskandar Muda died with his foreign aims unaccomplished.

Muda, Iskandar see Iskandar Muda

Islam Giray
Islam Giray.  Name of three Khans of the Crimea: Islam Giray I (r. 1532); Islam Giray II (r. 1584-1588); and Islam Giray III (r. 1644-1654).  

İslâm III Giray (1604–1654) was a khan of the Crimean Khanate from 1644 to 1654. In 1648, he was allied with the Cossack leader Bohdan Khmelnytsky in his revolt against the Polish-Lithuanian Commonwealth. In 1654, after the Treaty of Pereyaslav, he switched sides and allied with Poland against the Tsardom of Russia. He died soon afterwards when, according to legends, he was assassinated by his Cossack concubine.

Khan of the Crimea see Islam Giray.
Giray, Islam see Islam Giray.

Islamic Resistance Movement
Islamic Resistance Movement.  See Hamas. 

Islamists.  Members of a group of ideologies in Islam that desired to use the shari‘a to its full extent, meaning that secular forms of governments and institutions were to be considered foreign to a true Muslim society.

Islamism is not one ideology.  Inside the same society, several versions of Islamism can be found, and these versions are seldom compatible or cooperative.  People belonging to an Islamist group, call themselves, and are called by others, ‘islaamiyy for men and ‘islaamiyya for women.  Both men and women are called Islamists in English.

Islamism is a phenomenon primarily taking place in cities, and the most prominent members are young people with higher education, often with a modest background and often with parents living in the countryside.  Islamists often have a feeling that despite the efforts they have made in their studies, they have not managed to climb very high socially, that the jobs they were aspiring to have been given to people with good social connections, but with less qualifications. Islamists do not see themselves as revolutionaries, in the sense that a revolution will turn the society upside down, and create new social structures from scratch.  Instead, the revolution that Islamists hope for is the one that will bring old values back (according to how they believe that society was in early Islam), and wipe out all degenerated elements in the modern society.  

Islamism is just as much a fight against what Islamists perceive as old, rigid values, still found among many Muslims living in rural areas.  Islamists seek to bring people of the rural areas into the modern age, at the same time as they fight for preserving many old values that they believe that city dwellers are losing.

Islamists‘ political programs were, for a long time, simple and basic – they were based on the shari‘a.  However, demands from rulers, intellectuals, and people, forced the Islamists to concretize the actual content in their politics.  Sayyid Qutb, one of the main proponents of Sunni Islamism, stated that this content would be clarified through the practice of Islamism, which was a statement that shari‘a was not clear on all points, and that man had to base his decisions on more sources than just it.

In economical politics, most Islamists defend a system close to the social democracy practiced in many European countries.  When Islamists diverge from social democracy, it is more often in a direction of capitalism (which is the case with the FIS in Algeria), than in the direction of communism or socialism.  The most specific Islamist view on economics, is the refusal of interests on loans and deposits.  Instead banks should work as investment organizations, earning money from real profits.  There have been attempts on establishing such bank systems, but the results have in some cases been catastrophic, as was the case in Egypt in the 1980s.

The Islamist view on women vary a lot, but in many cases the structure of the Islamic organizations, along with the political programs, have made many women join the Islamists in order to liberate themselves.  It is quite common that Islamists defend a woman’s right to work and to have political and social influence.  However, in general, Islamist groups see men as belonging more to life in society, while a woman’s primary obligation is towards the family.   Nevertheless, the seclusion of women is rarely professed by Islamists.

Islamists are not democrats, even if there have been very successful attempts of making the Islamists part of a democratic structure (as in Jordan and for a brief period in Turkey), but yet, Islamist programs are not in favor of dictatorship (even it this has been the temporary

result of Islamism in Iran and Sudan).   Dictatorship can be transitory, but the ideal structure in an Islamist society is the system of shura, where the leaders are in frequent contact with the entire society; ask about the needs of the people, and for their ideas; and are obliged to show respect for what they are told.  Nevertheless, Islamists have shown little ability to define structures that will prevent the leaders in the shura system from starting to rule as dictators.

Islamists have in many cases been involved in violent acts.  The reason for resorting to such means appears to be the same over and over again:  First, the Islamists try to change the rulers and men of power through intellectual means, but as this seldom leads to any change, and as there seldom are any democratic channels available, violence is resorted to as a last resort.

However, in recent times, violence seems to have become more and more an intrinsic part of the Islamist ideology, and the will to use violence has required less and less provocation.

There are four central motifs in Islamism:  (1) Differences: Islamists are strongly concerned about social differences, between the rich and the poor world, as well as inside the Muslim communities.  As responsibility for the poor and the needy is central in Islam, any situation with unevenly divided wealth and many poor people, is unacceptable to a zealous Muslim.

Islamists react towards both the West for its reluctance to address the poverty of the world, as well as towards the rich in their own societies, who are considered equally reluctant.

(2) Cultural Problems: Islamists feel that they are losing their culture, that Western clothes, values, social patterns, political structures, language and identity are replacing what there once was.  Islamists reject many elements of the modern culture, elements they feel are superfluous and dangerous.

In many countries, the growth of Islamism must moreover be seen in connection with an inferiority complex towards the rich West, which is not only felt by Islamists, but many Muslims.

(3) The Golden Age: All Muslims are all well aware that they were the superior military and cultural force in the world for centuries, and the reversed situation in the modern ages hurts the pride of Muslims.

As many Muslim countries have tried to copy both the capitalist system, and others the socialist system, and all have seen little but marginal success, Islamists are working towards re-establishing a third alternative: the political system that once made their society grow from unknown tribes into world rulers in a few decades.  

However, in order to achieve this, the Islamists are not rejecting modern technology, and are very concerned about implementing this on a grand scale in an Islamist society.  Additionally, because of technology, the Islamists believe that the coming Islamist society will be an even better society than the one of the Golden Age.

There are no Muslim sources indicating that the Islam of the Golden Age was as strict and conservative as the Islamists believe.  All indications show that it was the liberal Islam that paved the ground for cultural, social and military achievements of those days – values foreign to all major Islamist groups.  Hence, there is reason to say that the Islamist idea of the Golden Age is a dramatic falsification of history.

Moreover, the Muslims of the Golden Age were often pragmatic in the sense that they borrowed solutions from other cultures, both from the lands they conquered as well as neighbor states.  Except for the Islamists fascination with modern technology, they have almost only negative attitudes towards the culture and values outside the Muslim world.

(4) Political Alternative: Islamism has been implemented as a real political alternative in modern times.  Several countries have implemented Islamist politics, principally Iran, Sudan and Afghanistan, but also to some extent Pakistan and Libya.  Saudi Arabia has had an Islamist politic for a long time, but is not regarded as Islamist by many because of the differences between the rich and the poor.

However, the large numbers of problems these countries have faced have to a large extent discredited Islamism.  What has been represented as good solutions for economy, safety and welfare, has not yielded its promised results.  In many cases, the situation has worsened compared to before the implementation of Islamism, as is the case of Sudan, Pakistan, and Iran.

On a smaller scale, but just as important in many countries, are all the small welfare institutions that Islamists have put up in rural areas and in poor neighborhoods in the cities.  These institutions have served people often left out of state run services, like health care and support for the unemployed.  It is not clear, however, if the Islamists run these from a spirit of altruism or because these institutions have proven effective to spread their ideology.

Isma‘il (Ishmael).  Arabic form of the biblical name Ishmael, the son of Abraham (Ibrahim), and according to various popular genealogies the ancestor of the North Arabian tribes.  In the Qur‘an, Isma‘il is mentioned as having been inspired by Allah, as a prophet, and as having assisted his father in the construction of the Ka‘ba.

Post-Quranic commentaries and “Stories of the Prophets” elaborate on these references, assigning to Isma‘il the role of digging the well Zamzam when brought to Mecca with his mother, Hagar, after being expelled from Ibrahim’s household.  They also make Isma‘il, rather than Isaac, the intended sacrificial victim in the test of Abraham (Gen. 22:1-19).  Those sources regard Isma'il as the ancestor of only the North Arabs, in partial agreement with Gen. 25:12-18.  Following the Qur‘an, Isma‘il is given precedence over his brother Isaac.

In the Old Testament, Ishmael (Hebrew for “may God hear”) was the elder son of the Hebrew patriarch Abraham and the reputed ancestor of a group of Arabian tribes.  His story {see Genesis 16, 21, and 25} is interwoven with that of Isaac.  Ishmael’s mother was Hagar, Egyptian handmaid to Abraham’s wife, Sarah, who was barren.  Sarah gave her handmaid to Abraham and to this union a son was born, Ishmael.  Many years later, in answer to her prayers, Sarah herself conceived and was delivered of a son, Isaac.  Having thus satisfied Abraham, Sarah demanded that Hagar and Ishmael be driven away.  Hagar and her son fled to the south.  Ishmael settled in the wilderness, married an Egyptian woman, and became the progenitor of 12 tribes of desert nomads.  The region occupied by these Ishmaelites included most of central and northern Arabia.  Muslims regard themselves as the descendants of Ishmael but maintain that Hagar was the true wife of Abraham, and Ishmael his favored son.  In addition to contending that Ishmael, not Isaac,  was offered for sacrifice by Abraham, Muslims transfer the scene of the intended sacrifice, from Moriah, in Palestine, to Mount Ararat, near Mecca (now in Saudi Arabia).   Biblical scholars consider that the story of Ishmael and other narratives in Genesis represent the true history, not only of an individual, but of a nomadic tribe.

Ishmael see Isma‘il

Isma‘il.  Final legitimate imam for the Seven-Imam Shi'as.

Isma‘il ibn Ja‘far (Arabic: إسماعيل بن جعفر‎ c. 721 CE/103 AH - 755 CE/138AH) was the eldest son of Imam Ja'far al-Sadiq and the full-brother of Abdullah al-Aftah. Isma‘il was an Imam of the Isma‘ili branch of the Imami Shi'a. According to both Nizari and Mustaali he is the sixth Imam. He was buried in Jannat al-Baqi.[citation needed]

Most Shī‘ī traditions acknowledge Ja‘far al-Ṣādiq thought his son, Ismā‘īl ibn Ja‘far "al-Mubārak", would be heir to the Imamate. However, Ismā‘īl predeceased his father.

Some of the Shī‘ah claimed Ismā‘īl had not died, but rather gone into occultation, but the proto-Ismā‘īlī group accepted his death and therefore that his eldest son, Muḥammad ibn Ismā‘īl, was now Imām. Muḥammad remained in contact with this "Mubārakiyyah" group, most of whom resided in Kūfah.

In contrast, most Twelvers believe that because of the death of the designated heir, Ja‘far appointed Mūsá al-Kāżim, another son, the new Imām. Musa was 28 years younger than Isma'il.[1] This is the initial point of divergence between the proto-Twelvers and the proto-Ismā‘īlī. This disagreement over the proper heir to Ja‘far has been a point of contention between the two groups ever since.

Some Twelver believe that Ismail was never given the nuss (designation of the Imamate), while others believe he was such as Al-Shaykh al-Saduq, however the designation was changed, called bada'.
Isma'il ibn Jafar
of the Ahl al-Bayt
Banu Hashim
Clan of the Quraish
Born: 100/103 AH ≈ 719/722 C.E. Died: 158 AH ≈ 775 C.E.
Shī‘a Islam titles
Preceded by
Jafar al-Sadiq  6th or 7th Imam of Ismailism
765 – 775  Succeeded by
Muhammad ibn Ismail
[edit] Notes

Isma‘il I
Isma‘il I (Shah Isma‘il) (Abu al-Muzaffar) (Ismā'il Abu'l-Mozaffar bin Sheikh Haydar bin Sheikh Junayd Safawī) (July 17, 1487 - May 23, 1524).  Shah of Persia and founder of the Safavid dynasty (r.1501-1524).   He defeated the Aq Qoyunlu in 1501, gained control of Azerbaijan and extended Safavid power over great parts of modern Iran.  He proclaimed the Twelver Shi‘a as the official religion of the Safavid state, which was an important factor in making Iran a national unit for the first time since the Arab conquest in the seventh century.  He thus decisively differentiated his dominions from those of the Sunni Ottomans.  In 1514, Sultan Selim I invaded Persia and inflicted a crushing, but not decisive, defeat on Isma‘il at Chaldiran.  Isma‘il then began exploring the possibilities of an alliance with European powers and received envoys from Louis II, King of Hungary, and from Emperor Charles V.  Under the pseudonym of Khata‘i, Isma‘il wrote poetry in the Turkish language of Azerbaijan.

In 1499, Isma‘il, then head of the Safavid order, emerged from hiding in Gilan and made his bid for temporal power.  His defeat of an Aq Qoyunlu army at Sharur in 1501 gave Isma‘il possession of Azerbaijan, and he was crowned at Tabriz, which became the capital of the new Safavid state. One of Isma‘il’s first acts, and one that was to have profound consequesnces for the subsequent history of Persia, was to proclaim the Ithna Ashari (Twelver) form of Shi‘ite Islam to be the official religion of the state.  By this act, Isma‘il imparted to his kingdom a sense of national identity and differentiated it from the powerful Sunni states on its border, namely, the Ottoman empire to the west and the Uzbek state to the east.  Isma‘il spent the next decade in consolidating his power in the rest of Persia.  This involved the crushing of residual Aq Qoyunlu (Akkoyunlu) forces and the expulsion of the Uzbeks from the northeastern frontier province of Khurasan.  Isma‘il also extended Safavid suzerainty to “L‘Iran exterieur” by the capture of Baghdad and the occupation of Iraq in 1508.  

The subversive activities of Safavid officers and militant Shi‘ite propagandists in eastern Anatolia, an area of the Ottoman empire that had a substantial Shi‘ite population, provoked the Ottoman sultan Selim to invade Persia in 1514 with two hundred thousand men.  The Ottoman artillery and muskets played a major role in the crushing defeat inflicted on Isma‘il at the battle of Chaldiran on August 23, 1514.  Tabriz was occupied by the Ottomans, and Selim intended to winter there and proceed with the conquest of the rest of Persia the following spring.  His plans were frustrated by a mutiny of the Janissaries that forced him to withdraw from Azerbaijan, and the only territory permanently lost by the Safavids as a result of their defeat was northern Iraq.  

The effects of the defeat on Isma‘il himself, however, were severe and permanent.  His pretensions to invincibility and semi-divinity shattered, he spent the remaining years of his life in seclusion, giving no direction to affairs of state and never again leading his troops into action in person.  As a result, the Uzbeks made significant gains on the northeastern frontier, and Babur, the future emperor of India, captured the key strategic city of Kandahar in 1522.  During this period, Isma‘il tried without success to engineer an alliance with various European powers against their mutual enemy, the Ottoman empire.

On his accession, Isma‘il was faced with a number on intractable problems to which he offered novel but ultimately only partially successful solutions.  First, there was the problem of imposing the new state religion, Ithna Ashari Shi‘ism, on a country that was still at least nominally Sunni.  Second, he had to temper the revolutionary ardor and find an outlet for the martial energies of the militant Sufis of the Safavid order, and to incorporate their organization if possible within the administrative structure of the state.  Third, he had to try to reconcile the rivalries between the two principal ethnic groups in the state: the predominantly Turkish military elite who had brought the Safavids to power (whom he had inspired by the recitation of poems of a heterodox nature, of his own composition, in their native Azeri Turkish dialect), and the Persian bureaucrats and members of the religious classes.

On his death in 1524, Isma‘il was buried in the family mausoleum at Ardabil.  He had four sons (his successor, Tahmasp; Sam; the renegade Alqas; and Bahram) and five daughters.

Abu al-Muzaffar see Isma‘il I
Muzaffar, Abu al- see Isma‘il I
Shah Isma‘il see Isma‘il I
Ismā'il Abu'l-Mozaffar bin Sheikh Haydar bin Sheikh Junayd Safawī see Isma‘il I

Isma‘il Haqqi
Isma‘il Haqqi (1652-1725). Turkish scholar, mystic and poet of Bursa.  Writing in Turkish and Arabic, he was one of the most prolific Ottoman scholars.
Haqqi, Isma'il see Isma‘il Haqqi

Isma‘il ibn Ahmad
Isma‘il ibn Ahmad (b. 849).  First member of the Samanid family to rule effectively all Transoxiana and Farghana as an independent sovereign (r.892-907).

Isma‘ilis.  See Isma'iliyya.

Isma‘iliyya.  Name of a branch of the Shi‘a with numerous subdivisions, which began to be differentiated from the Imamiyya at the time of the great Shi‘ite Imam Ja‘far al-Sadiq.  Isma‘ilis trace the imamate through one of al-Sadiq’s sons, Isma‘il, from whom they took their name.  Isma‘il had been designated by al-Sadiq to succeed him, but he died while his father was still living.  Some Shi‘ites maintain that he did not die but rather that he was hidden, would reappear as the Mahdi and would redress the wrongs committed against the family of Muhammad, that is, the murders of Ali and his sons.

Al-Sadiq, imam at the time of the ‘Abbasid victory, formulated the early doctrine of the office of imam and provided Shi‘ism with a sectarian ideology.  His prestigious and widely recognized imamate gained ultimate recognition for the line of imams descended from al-Husayn.  

Among al-Sadiq’s followers were extremist Shi‘ites who had aspired to overthrow the existing regime and establish an ideal social order under the descendants of this group which expected their imam to play a messianic role and emphasized the batin -- the esoteric meaning -- of all religious words and formulations, meaning known only to Ali and the imams descended from him.  

Although the Isma‘ilis ascribed tremendous significance to the inspired imam, they also recognized the binding force of the shari'a, and this was reinforced and even intensified by their elevation of Ali and his descendants as sole custodians of esoteric truth.  Muhammad, from whom Ali, as executor, had inherited the secret lore, came to be regarded as the prime figure in the Isma‘ili hierarchical structure.  

Ali was the Prophet’s sole representative through the process of nass (designation).  A succession was formed through delegation of this authority to Ali’s descendants until the line reached Isma‘il’s son and successor, Muhammad ibn Isma‘il, who, according to Ismaili reckoning, was the seventh imam.  Isma'ilis are thus known as “Seveners” – sab‘iyya.  This seventh imam was expected to return as the Mahdi, in whom the missions of all the great prophets were to culminate.  

The Mahdi was believed to be in concealment, and during his absence the Isma'ilis recognized a system of twelve hujjas (competent religious authorities), each with his own territory, as representatives of the imam.  Below the hujjas in rank were the da‘is (summoners to the Isma'ili message) and subordinate da‘is, in a hierarchy down to the ordinary believers.  The structure was to facilitate the mission of calling believers to acknowledge the imamate of Isma‘il’s descendants.

In the tenth century of the Christian calendar, the Isma'ili message culminated in the appearance in North Africa of a certain ‘Ubaydullah, who claimed to be the Mahdi and the legitimate ruler of all Muslims by virtue of being a descendant of Fatima through Muhammad ibn Isma‘il.  He established the Fatimid caliphate in Egypt, which marked the beginning of an era of social, economic, intellectual, and religious revolution and united the Isma'ilis under Fatimid rule.  By the eleventh century of the Christian calendar, some prominent da‘is undertook to refine and perfect the doctrine, and by their moderation in esoteric interpretation they ended various doctrinal disputes.

However, in the same century, Fatimid power underwent an internal crisis.  In 1094, after the death of the imam al-Mustansir, the main schism in the Ismaili community occurred, and it has continued to the present.  Al-Mustansir‘s, two sons, Nizar and al-Must‘ali, headed rival factions.  Those who upheld the imamate of Nizar started a movement under the leadership of Hasan-i Sabbah, a Persian.  This movement developed into the radical sect of Assassins at Alamut in Iran.  They constituted a constant challenge to the authority of the Sunnite rulers of Iran, until the execution of their last imam by the Mongols in 1256.  

After this period little is known about the Nizaris, and the later lists of their imams differ widely.  However, the list which ends with the present Agha Khan came to be generally accepted in the nineteenth century.  The Nizaris are widely dispersed in Syria, Iran, India, and east Africa, and have developed varying understandings of their Alamut heritage.

The imamate of al-Must‘ali was recognized by most Ismailis in Egypt and Syria, by the whole Ismaili community in Yemen, and in India.  A new subdivision developed among the Must‘alians after the assassination of al-Amir in 1129.  Those in Yemen supported the claims made for his infant son al-Tayyib, and came to be known as Tayyibiyya.  In Egypt, al-Amir’s cousin was proclaimed imam and caliph with the title al-Hafiz.  The Hafiziyya, after the overthrow of the Fatimids in 1171, gradually disintegrated, but the Tayyibiyya survived in their traditional stronghold in Yemen, where from time to time they were persecuted by Shi‘ites belonging to the Zaydiyya sect.  In India, they remained mostly undisturbed, although there too a split occurred in the succession of leaders, which led to another permanent schism, between the Da‘udi and Sulaymani factions.

In general, there are not many theological differences between early Isma‘ilis and the main Shi‘i group, the Twelvers.  The theology is divided into two sectors:  Acts called zahir and theory called batin.  Zahir is obligatory for all, even the leaders.  Batin is divided into standard theology, and one philosophical/scientific part, where the learned men aimed at proving the divine origins of the institution of the imamate.

Central in their teaching was to adapt the presentation of the religious truths to the education level of believer.

The core elements of faith for the Isma‘ilis were Unity of God (tawhid), the divine mission of Muhammad, the divine revelation of the Qur‘an, etc.  Yet, there are beliefs that the Isma‘ilis practice in their faith which tend to weaken the divinity of God, as well as the finality of the Qur‘an, when compared to other Muslim groups.

Despite being in accordance with mainstream Islam in most fields, there are many elements which appear to be taken from other philosophies and religions.  Among the strongest influences were neo-Platonic philosophy which gave Isma‘ilism its scientific basis.  Isma‘ilism was also influenced by Christianity.

The Isma'ili imam is by himself only a man, but in him is a substance that is the hypostatis of the primal volition, an act from which the world itself started.  This substance is transferred from the existing imam to his son.  By associating itself with imam, the soul of man can ascend and return to the original source in order to achieve the ultimate salvation.

The Isma‘ilis‘ faith has at all times been the subject of heavy criticism from other Muslims, even from other Shi‘is.  They have been portrayed as extremists in their views.  They have been accused of libertinism, of sodomy and nightly orgies.  These accusations have found its way into European literature.

For the Isma‘ilis, the number seven has become a number of sacred proportions.  Many theories are formed around incidents and stages in seven steps.   Indeed, there are seven steps of emanation:  (1) God; (2) universal intelligence, called ‘aql; (3) universal soul, nafs; (4) primeval matter; (5) space; (6) time; and (7) the world of earth and man.

The universe is seen as a cyclical process, where there is one prophet for every seven cycle, called natiq: (1) Adam; (2) Noah; (3) Ibrahim; (4) Moses; (5) Jesus (Isa) ; (6) Muhammad; and (7) Muhammad at-Tamm.

Initiation into the inner, esoteric truths of the religion goes through 7 or 9 stages.  The innermost stage is the one where the person can totally refrain from all earlier dogmatic restraints and all external legislation outside the Isma‘ili creed.

The different Sevener Groups (and now we include more than just the Isma‘ilis) acted in very different ways towards other Muslims.  The Assassins and Qarmatians were very intolerant, while the Fatimid rulers of Egypt generally exercised tolerance.

All through their history, the Isma‘ilis exercised just as much political power as religious power.  The most important expression of their power was the Fatimid empire which lasted from 909 until 1171 and controlled Egypt.  However, outside this empire, the Isma‘ilis often experienced persecution from other Muslim leaders.

Today, Isma‘ilism emphasizes pacifism and is practiced in India, Pakistan, Syria and Yemen.

Isma'ilis see Isma‘iliyya.
Seveners see Isma‘iliyya.
sab'iyya see Isma‘iliyya.

Isma‘il Mire
Isma‘il Mire (1884-c.1950).  Somali oral poet.  One of the war leaders in the Somali insurrection against the British administration and a close friend of Muhammad Abdul Hasan, the so-called “Mad Mullah.”  His poems give a first hand account of that period and are thus an important historical source.  After the insurrection, he composed poems connected with interclan affairs and also turned to religious and reflective themes.  His poem with the refrain Know that through pride men fall is particularly widely known among the Somalis and so is his observation on success: Keep silent, oh Muslims, for he who becomes successful loses his soul.
Mire, Isma'il see Isma‘il Mire

Isma‘il Pasha
Isma‘il Pasha (Isma‘il Khedive) (Isma'il Paşa) (Ismail the Magnificent) (December 31, 1830, Cairo, Egypt – March 2, 1895, Istanbul).  Khedive (viceroy) of Egypt (r.1863-1879).  Through education, journeys and appointments, he had first-hand experience of Europe, mainly France, and of the politics and administration of Istanbul.  His reign brought Egypt material prosperity, but also financial bankruptcy.  At the insistence of the European powers, he was deposed by his suzerain the Ottoman Sultan Abdulhamid I.

Ismāʿīl Pasha was the viceroy of Egypt under Ottoman suzerainty, 1863–79, whose administrative policies, notably the accumulation of an enormous foreign debt, were instrumental in leading to British occupation of Egypt in 1882.

Ismāʿīl studied in Paris and undertook various diplomatic missions in Europe before becoming viceroy in 1863. In 1867 he obtained from the Ottoman sultan the hereditary title of khedive. As viceroy he conducted important negotiations regarding completion of the Suez Canal. The canal neared completion in the summer of 1869, and Ismāʿīl turned the celebration of the canal’s opening in November into a magnificent display of khedival splendor.

One of the most significant of Ismāʿīl’s innovations was the establishment of an assembly of delegates in November 1866. Although this body served only in an advisory capacity, its members eventually came to have an important influence on the course of governmental affairs. Village headmen dominated the assembly and came to exert increasing political and economic influence over the countryside and the central government. This was demonstrated in 1876, when the assembly prevailed upon Ismāʿīl to reinstate the law (promulgated by him in 1871 to raise money and later repealed) that allowed landownership and tax privileges to persons paying six years’ land tax in advance.

Ismāʿīl, hoping to bring the vast areas of the Sudan under effective Egyptian control, hired Europeans and Americans to direct the military and administrative aspects of this venture, feeling that they would be more immune to the intrigues to which his own officials would have been subjected. Although some progress was made, Ismāʿīl did not realize his goal of creating a new southern province but did assert what later became an important element in nationalist thought—the political unity of the Nile valley.

Ismāʿīl’s administrative policies consumed an enormous amount of money, much of it supplied by European financiers. When he assumed power, the Egyptian national debt stood at £7,000,000; by 1876 this debt had increased to almost £100,000,000. The Commission of the Public Debt was set up at the urging of Ismāʿīl’s foreign creditors, but he did not cooperate fully because some of the measures he was required to take would have infringed on his domestic authority. The Ottoman sultan dismissed him in June 1879.

Isma'il Pasha's philosophy can be glimpsed in a statement he made in 1879: "My country (Egypt) is no longer in Africa; we are now part of Europe. It is therefore natural for us to abandon our former ways and to adopt a new system adapted to our social conditions."

Isma'il Khedive see Isma‘il Pasha
Isma'il Paşa see Isma‘il Pasha
Ismail the Magnificent see Isma‘il Pasha

Isma‘il Sabri Pasha
Isma‘il Sabri Pasha (February 16, 1854, Cairo - March 16, 1923).  Egyptian poet and statesman.  Drawing upon his knowledge of classical Arabic and French, he contributed to the awakening of the national consciousness in Egypt.

Ismail Sabri Pasha was an Egyptian poet and politician. He studied in France and came into contact with French culture. In Egypt, he obtained his degree in law and served as magistrate, was governor of Alexandria in 1896 until 1899 and then held a position under the government until his death. He wrote poetry, with nationalist tendency, and left a Diwan, published in Cairo in 1938.

Isma‘il Sidqi
Isma‘il Sidqi (1875-1948).  Egyptian politician and statesman.  Having joined the Wafd movement in 1918, he became the moving spirit of the anti-Wafdist element in Egyptian politics.  He played a leading role in the drafting and implementation of the Declaration of 1922 which granted Egypt its independence, as well as in that of the Constitution of 1923.
Sidqi, Isma'il see Isma‘il Sidqi

Ismet (Mustafa İsmet İnönü).  See Inonu, Ismet).


Isra'il (Yisra'el) (IsraelJacob) (Ya'aqov) (Ya'qub).  Hebrew patriarch who was the grandson of Abraham, the son of Isaac and Rebekah, and the traditional ancestor of the people of Israel. Stories about Israel/Jacob in the Bible begin at Genesis 25:19.

According to the Old Testament, Jacob was the younger twin brother of Esau, who was the ancestor of Edom and the Edomites. The two are representatives of two different grades of social order, Jacob being a pastoralist and Esau a nomadic hunter. During her pregnancy, Rebekah was told by God that she would give birth to twins; each of them would found a great nation, and Esau, the elder, would serve his younger brother. As it turned out, Jacob, by means of an elaborate double deception, managed to obtain his older brother’s birthright from their father. Jacob then fled his brother’s wrath and went to take refuge with the Aramaean tribe of his ancestors at Haran in Mesopotamia.

Along his journey Jacob received a special revelation from God; God promised Jacob lands and numerous offspring that would prove to be the blessing of the entire Earth. Jacob named the place where he received his vision Bethel (“House of God”). Arriving at his uncle Laban’s home in Haran, Jacob fell in love with his cousin Rachel. He worked for her father, Laban, for seven years to obtain Rachel’s hand in marriage, but then Laban substituted his older daughter, Leah, for Rachel at the wedding ceremony. Unwittingly married to Leah, Jacob was thus compelled to serve Laban for another seven years so that he could take his beloved Rachel as his wife as well. Jacob then served Laban for another six years, during which he amassed a large amount of property; he then set out with his wives and children to return to Palestine. On the way Jacob wrestled with a mysterious stranger, a divine being, who changed Jacob’s name to Israel. Jacob then met and was reconciled with Esau and settled in Canaan.

Jacob had 13 children, 10 of whom were founders of tribes of Israel. Leah bore him his only daughter, Dinah, and six sons—Reuben, Simeon, Levi (who did not found a tribe, but was the ancestor of the Levites), Judah (from whom a tribe and the Davidic monarchy were descended), Issachar, and Zebulun. Leah’s maidservant, Zilpah, bore him Gad and Asher, and Rachel’s maidservant, Bilhah, bore him Dan and Naphtali. Rachel’s sons were Benjamin and Joseph (who did not found a tribe, but whose sons founded the tribes of Manasseh and Ephraim).

The story of Jacob’s later years more properly belongs to the story of Joseph. Late in his life, a famine prompted Jacob and his sons to migrate to Egypt, where he was reunited with his son Joseph, who had disappeared some years before. Israel died in Egypt at the age of 147 years and was buried in Canaan at Hebron.

The stories about Jacob’s birth and his acquisition of the birthright (Genesis 25:19–34; 27) provide a thinly veiled apology for the relation between Edom (Esau) and Israel in Davidic times. Edom, the older nation, was made subject to Israel by David (2 Samuel 8:8ff.). The Jacob stories assume and emphasize that all things occur by divine design. The divine objective is of overriding significance; it is God’s will that Esau (Edom) shall live in the desert and be subject to Israel.

In Arabic, Jacob is known as Ya`qūb. He is revered as a prophet who received inspiration from God. The Qur'an does not give the details of Jacob’s life. Isra'il is the Arabic translation of the Hebrew Yisrael. God perfected his favor on Jacob and his posterity as he perfected his favor on Abraham and Isaac (12:6). Jacob was a man of might and vision (38:45) and was chosen by God to preach the Message. The Qur'an stresses that worshiping and bowing to the One true God was the main legacy of Jacob Kaaihue and his fathers (2:132-133). Salvation, according to the Qur'an, hinges upon this legacy rather than being a Jew or Christian (See Qur'an 2:130-141).

The Qur'an does not give many details of Ya'qub’s life, though it says he was a righteous prophet, and of the company of the Elect and the Good, who received inspiration from God (38:47, 21:75). God perfected his favor on Jacob and his posterity as he perfected his favor on Abraham and Isaac (12:6). He was a man of might and vision (38:45) and was chosen by God to preach the Message.

The Qur'an stresses that worshiping and bowing to the one true God (Arabic: Allah) was the main legacy of Jacob and his fathers (2:132-133). The Qur'an states that salvation hinges upon this legacy rather than being Jew or Christian (See 2:130-141):

"We believe in Allah and that which has been sent down to us and that which had been sent down to Abraham, Ishmael, Isaac, Jacob and to Al Asbat (the twelve sons of Jacob), and that which has been given to Moses and Jesus and that which has been given to the Prophets from their Lord. We make no distinction between any of them, and to Him we have submitted (in Islam)."

Ya'qub (Jacob) is also known as Isrā'īl and his people (Israelites) are known as Bani Isrā'īl (sons of Israel). They are addressed and mentioned in the Qur'an at several places.

Yisra'el see Isra'il
Israel see Isra'il
Jacob see Isra'il
Ya'aqov see Isra'il
Ya'qub see Isra'il

Isra‘il, Banu
Isra‘il, Banu (Banu Isra‘il) (“Children of Israel”).  Term used in the Qur‘an and in Islamic hadith for the Jewish people.
Banu Isra'il see Isra‘il, Banu
Children of Israel see Isra‘il, Banu

Isra‘iliyyat.  Arabic term covering narratives, regarded as historical, edifying tales and fables belonging to folklore, allegedly borrowed from Jewish and other sources.  They are found in commentaries on the Qur‘an and on mystics, and were popular with compilers of edifying stories and other writers. 

Istakhri, Abu Ishaq Ibrahim al-
Istakhri, Abu Ishaq Ibrahim al- (Abu Ishaq Ibrahim al-Istakhri) (al-Farisi) (Abu Ishaq Ibrahim ibn Muhammad al-Farisi al Istakhri) (Estakhri) .  Arab geographer of the tenth century.  He was one of the first and most important representatives of the new trends adopted by Arabo-Muslim geography in the tenth century.

Abu Ishaq Ibrahim ibn Muhammad al-Farisi al Istakhri, from the city of Estakhr, was a medieval Persian geographer in the 10th century.
It was Estakhri who created the earliest known account of windmills. His works included Al-masaalik al-mamaalik ("Traditions of Countries") and Suwar al-Aqaaleem ("Shapes of the Climes").

Abu Ishaq Ibrahim al-Istakhri see Istakhri, Abu Ishaq Ibrahim al-
Farisi, al- see Istakhri, Abu Ishaq Ibrahim al-
Estakhri see Istakhri, Abu Ishaq Ibrahim al-
Abu Ishaq Ibrahim ibn Muhammad al-Farisi al Istakhri see Istakhri, Abu Ishaq Ibrahim al-

Istiqlal Leading Moroccan nationalist party in the period from 1943 to 1962.  The Istiqlal (Hizb al-Istiqlal – “Independence Party”) was founded in December 1943 by Ahmad Balafrej and a group of younger Moroccan nationalists drawn from the urban bourgeoisie of Fez, Rabat, Tangier, and Tetouan.  Together with King Muhammad V, Istiqlal played a major role in bringing about the end of the French and Spanish protectorates in March 1956.

From the outset, the movement drew both on currents of Islamic reformism (Salafiyah) and political organization and on the emerging younger generation of French-educated elites.  Salafiyah-influenced young leaders, such as Muhammad ‘Allal al-Fasi, joined forces with more secular individuals, such as Ahmad Balafrej and Makki Nasiri.  Politically, Istiqlal was the successor of the Kutlah al-‘Amal al-Watani (National Action Bloc), which had been established in 1932.  The Kutlah was an elite based nationalist organization that drew its supporters chiefly from the urban bourgeoisie of northern Moroccan cities.  Many of the leaders of the Kutlah, among them Muhammad Hasan al-Wazzani, Ahmad Balafrej, Makki al-Nasiri, and ‘Allal al-Fasi, later went on to play important roles in the nationalist movement in the 1940s.  In 1934, the group issued a Plan of Reforms that criticized the French protectorate government and demanded far-reaching reforms.  A major weakness of the Kutlah and other early nationalist groups is that they were primarily based among the elites and not mass based.  By 1937, when French authorities banned it and jailed or exiled most of the leadership, members numbered only around 6,500.

After 1946, an alliance with the Moroccan king, Muhammad V, permitted Istiqlal to extend its influence rapidly among peasants and workers.  In the ensuing years, the Istiqlal party successfully developed into a mass-based nationalist organization, playing a particularly crucial role in the independence movement in the period following the French deposition and exile of Muhammad V in August 1953.  However, its lack of support in the countryside and the emergence of guerrilla groups outside its control marked the limits of its effectiveness.  The return of Muhammad V from exile in November 1955, and the subsequent independence of Morocco in March 1956, inaugurated a new phase in the party’s political role.

Following Moroccan independence, Istiqlal became the largest political party in the Moroccan majlis (national assembly).  However, divergent interests and personal rivalries gradually undermined its alliance with the crown. When Muhammad V encouraged the emergence of political parties favoring his policies, Istiqlal gradually moved into opposition.  At the same time, younger and more militant elements in the Istiqlal party led by Mehdi Ben Barka (al-Mahdi Ibn Barakah) split off and formed a new party, the National Union of Popular Forces (UNFP).  Following the death of Muhammad V in February 1961, Crown Prince Hasan ascended to the throne.  The adoption of a Moroccan constitution in 1962 transformed the political arena.  After 1956, periods of representative government alternated with periods of direct rule by the crown.  Throughout, the king continued successfully to pose as political arbiter.  Istiqlal was an important participant in several  Moroccan governments.  By the 1990s, no longer the dynamic force it once was, Istiqlal declined in political influence, although it continued to have a constituency among urban voters.

In the parliamentary election held on 27 September 2002, the party won 48 out of 325 seats.

In January 2006, Istiqlal criticized Spanish Prime Minister José Luis Rodríguez Zapatero's visit to the Spanish cities of Ceuta and Melilla on the north African coast, reflecting its nationalist heritage.

Istiqlal won 52 out of 325 seats in the parliamentary election held on September 7, 2007, more than any other party, and subsequently the party's leader, Abbas El Fassi, was named Prime Minister by King Mohammed VI on September 19, 2007.

Hizb al-Istiqlal see Istiqlal.
Independence Party see Istiqlal.

Ithna-‘ashari (Ithna 'Ashari) (Ithna 'Ashariyah) (Ithna ‘Ashariyya).  Branch of the Shi‘a who believe in the twelve imams descended from ‘Ali, the last of whom disappeared and went into hiding in 873 of the Christian calendar and who, the Ithna-'ashari believe, will return as the messiah.  The Ithna-‘ashari are a branch of Shi‘ism to which the majority of the populace of Iran adheres.

Ithna-'ashari is an Arabic term meaning, literally “twelver,” which designates an adherent of the numerically dominant form of Shi‘ism in Islam.  From earlier allegiance to a particular line of imams descended from Ali ibn Abi Talib through Ali’s son Husain and later through Ja‘far al-Sadiq’s son Musa al-Kazim, the major doctrines of this sect began to focus on the mysterious disappearance of the shadowy Twelfth Imam in 874, which became a unique religious event and an important turning point.  In the initial period (874-940), this imam, whose very existence was doubted by opponents, was said by followers to be in seclusion and therefore reachable only throught the mediation of special representatives (babs).  This period, called the minor occultation, was followed by a permanent occultation of the same imam, who, although hidden, nevertheless remains the living proof of God’s grace to the world and is the ultimate source of his truth for mankind.  It is this imam in messianic form, in fact, who will be revealed in the final days, when he will lead the righteous to victory over their enemies.

Ithna-'ashari Shi‘ism tended to avoid conflict with Sunni Islam by accepting what is basically a quietist position with regard to the leadership of the Muslim community.  The practice of precautionary dissimulation of religious beliefs (taqiyya) was accepted and often even made obligatory.  Nevertheless, there developed an elaborate doctrinal literature supporting the sacred history of the imams and the special role of the hidden, twelfth imam.  Under these conditions the sect flourished in certain regions of the Muslim world and was recognized finally as the official religion of the state in Iran under the Safavid dynasty (1501-1736).  In addition to its dominant position in Iran, Ithna-'ashari Shi‘ism has a large following in Iraq and important pockets of adherents in other Muslim countries.

Ithna 'Ashariyah see Ithna-‘ashari
Ithna ‘Ashariyya see Ithna-‘ashari
Ithna 'Ashari see Ithna-‘ashari
Twelvers see Ithna-‘ashari

I‘timad ud-Daulah
I‘timad ud-Daulah (Itimad-ud-Daula) (d. 1621).  Vazir (chief minister) under the Mughal emperor Jahangir.  Originally named Ghiyas Beg, he was a native of Tehran whose utter penury compelled him to seek better prospects in India.  The emperor Akbar admitted him into imperial service and he rose to be mansab (a military commander) of 1,000 soldiers.  On becoming emperor, Jahangir gave him the title I‘timad ud-daulah (“trust of the empire”).  His daughter Nur Jahan became empress after he had established himself in service, and his son Asaf Khan held high offices in Jahangir’s reign.  His magnificent tomb is in Agra.  

Itimad-ud-Daula's Tomb (I'timād-ud-Daulah kā Maqbara) is a Mughal mausoleum in the city of Agra in the Indian state of Uttar Pradesh. Often described as a 'jewel box', sometimes called the 'Baby Tāj', the tomb of I'timād-ud-Daulah is often regarded as a draft of the Tāj Mahal.

Along with the main building, the structure consists of numerous outbuildings and gardens. The tomb, built between 1622 and 1628 represents a transition between the first phase of monumental Mughal architecture - primarily built from red sandstone with marble decorations, as in Humayun's Tomb in Delhi and Akbar's tomb in Sikandra - to its second phase, based on white marble and pietra dura inlay, most elegantly realized in the Tāj Mahal.

The mausoleum was commissioned by Nūr Jahān, the wife of Jahangir, for her father Mirzā Ghiyās Beg, who had been given the title of I'timād-ud-Daulah (pillar of the state). Mirzā Ghiyās Beg was also the grandfather of Mumtāz Mahāl (originally named Arjūmand Bāno, daughter of Asaf Khān), the wife of the emperor Shāh Jahān, responsible for the building of the Tāj Mahal.

Ghiyas Beg see I‘timad ud-Daulah
Daulah, I'timad ud- see I‘timad ud-Daulah
Trust of the Empire see I‘timad ud-Daulah
Itimad-ud-Daula see I‘timad ud-Daulah
"Pillar of the State" see I‘timad ud-Daulah

Ittihad-i Muhammadi Cemiyeti
Ittihad-i Muhammadi Cemiyeti (Ittihad-i Muhammedi Jem‘iyyeti) (“Muhammadan Union”). Name of a politico-religious organization which acquired notoriety as the instigator of the insurrection in Istanbul in 1909.

The Ittihad-i Muhammadi Cemiyeti was a political and religious organization which was founded around the newspaper Volkan (Volcano) in February 1909 by Hafiz Dervis Vahdeti, a Naqshbandi from Cyprus.  Named Ittihad-i Muhammadi Cemiyeti (Muhammadan Union), it was known for its role in the insurrection of April 1909 in Istanbul that aimed to destroy the Committee of Union and Progress (CUP).

Conservative forces in the Ottoman Empire were alarmed by the winds of change that blew through the capital after the restoration of the 1876 constitution in July 1908.  The press flourished with the end of censorship, workers went on strike, and smart middle-class women left the home to take their place in public life alongside men.  The world of the conservatives was shaken, and they blamed the constitution.  They objected to the sultan-caliph’s loss of power and to the weakened role of  shari‘a in daily life.  Initially, this opposition took religious form.

The first manifestation of religious reaction was the “Blind Ali Incident” of October 7, 1908.  A certain Hoca Ali Efendi led a large crowd to Yildiz Palace and asked Sultan Abdulhamid to abolish the constitution and restore the shari‘a, even though it was still recognized.  This demonstration proved ineffective; it was spontaneous and disorganized and lacked the support of the liberal-conservative faction within the Young Turk movement.  

During the first nine months of revolutionary activity, the real struggle for power was between the radical Unionists and the moderate liberals.  The liberals were sure that they would win the December elections, but the elections were won by the CUP, though the liberals controlled the government.  Only after the CUP had voted out the cabinet of Kamil Pasha on February 13, 1909, did the opposition come out into the open.  It took religious form, even though the liberals were as commited to reform as the CUP.  The liberals were willing to use Islam to destroy their rivals.

The first issue of Volkan appeared on February 16.  It was the voice of Ittihad-i Muhammadi and called for Islamic unity as the basis of the Ottoman state.  The Ittihad’s doctrines and program were clerical and opposed to the reforms envisaged by the constitutional regime.  Its own goals were described as non-political, limited to reforming public morality in keeping with the principles of the shari‘a.

Volkan used its columns to attack the CUP and Freemasons, as well as the constitutional regime, which it denounced as the “regime of devils.”  The religious prejudices of its readers were exploited fully with attacks on “modern” women and non-Muslims.  The paper was distributed free, leading to rumors that it was financed by the Palace or the British Embassy.  The Ittihad’s propaganda made great headway, and on April 6 the Seyhul-islam (in Arabic, Shaykh al-Islam) was forced to defend his government’s policies against Volkan’s accusations that these policies violated the shari‘a.  Feelings against the CUP rose dramatically following the murder of an opposition journalist on April 7 and his funeral the next day.  Meanwhile, Islamist propaganda had reached the troops of the Istanbul garrison through itinerant theological students.  On April 10, the troops were forbidden to have contact with such men.  In this atmosphere of tension, the garrison mutinied on the night of April 12/13 and almost succeeded in destroying the CUP.  However, the mutiny was crushed, the Ittihad was proscribed, and some of its leaders, including Dervis Vahdeti, were hanged.  Since then, the Ittihad-i Muhammadi and the events of 1909 have come to symbolize religious reaction in Turkish political life.

Muhammadan Union, political and religious organization founded by Hafiz Dervis Vahdeti , a Naqshbandi Sufi from Cyprus, via the newspaper Volkan in 1909 . Known for its role in the insurrection of April 1909 in Istanbul, which aimed to destroy the Committee of Union and Progress (CUP). It called for Islamic unity as the basis of the Ottoman state and opposed the reforms envisaged by the constitutional regime. The insurrection was crushed, the Ittihad was proscribed, and some of its leaders, including Vahdeti, were hanged. The Ittihad and events of 1909 have come to symbolize religious reaction in Turkish political life.

Ittihad-i Muhammedi Jem-iyyeti  see Ittihad-i Muhammadi Cemiyeti
Muhammadan Union see Ittihad-i Muhammadi Cemiyeti

Ittihad we Teraqqi Jem‘iyyeti
Ittihad we Teraqqi Jem‘iyyeti.  See Committee of Union and Progress. 

Iyad ibn Musa
Iyad ibn Musa (Qadi Ayyad ibn Musa) (Qadi Iyad) (Abu al-Fadl Ayyad ibn Amr ibn Musa ibn Ayyad ibn Muhammad ibn Abdillah ibn Musa ibn Ayyad al-Yahsubi al-Sabti) (1083/1088 - 1149).  Maliki scholar in the Muslim West.  His existence coincided almost exactly with that of the Almoravid dynasty to whom throughout his life he remained inflexibly attached.

Qadi Ayyad ibn Musa was born in Gibraltar. He was the great imam of Ceuta and, later, a high judge (qadi) in Granada. He was one of the most famous scholars of Maliki law.

He headed a revolt against the coming of the Almohads to Ceuta, but lost and was banished to Tadla and later Marrakech. He was a pupil of Abu Abdillah ibn Isa, of Imam Abu Abdillah ibn Hamdin, of Abu al-Hassan ibn Siraj and of Imam Abu al-Walid Ibn Rushd.

Qadi Ayyad is also well known as one of the seven saints of Marrakech and is buried near Bab Aïlen. His main work is called Ash-Shifâ Bi-Ahwâl Al-Mustafâ (Healing by news of the chosen one). The University of Marrakech (Cadi Ayyad) was named after him.
Qadi Ayyad ibn Musa see Iyad ibn Musa
Qadi Iyad see Iyad ibn Musa
Abu al-Fadl Ayyad ibn Amr ibn Musa ibn Ayyad ibn Muhammad ibn Abdillah ibn Musa ibn Ayyad al-Yahsubi al-Sabti see Iyad ibn Musa

‘Izra‘il (‘Azra‘il)  Name of the angel of death.  Along with Gabriel, Michael and Israfil, he is one of the four archangels.

In Islam, the angel of death. One of the four archangels (with Jibra'il, Mika'il, and Israfil), he is of cosmic size, with 4,000 wings and a body formed from innumerable eyes and tongues. He was the only angel brave enough to go down to earth and face Iblis in order to bring God the materials to create man. For this service, he was made the angel of death and given a register of all mankind, which lists the blessed and the damned.
'Azra'il see ‘Izra‘il

‘Izzet Molla
‘Izzet Molla (1785-1829).  Turkish poet.  He was the last great representative of diwan poetry.
Molla, 'Izzet see ‘Izzet Molla

‘Izzet Pasha
‘Izzet Pasha (Ahmed Izzet Furgac) (Ahmed Izzet Pasha) (1864-1937). Ottoman soldier and statesman.  He was an aide to Colmar Baron von der Goltz-Pasha and, having served in Yemen, he became chief of the Ottoman general staff after the 1908 revolution.  He was the Ottoman military delegate to the peace conferences at Brest Litovsk and Bucharest.  

Ahmed İzzet Pasha was one of the last grand viziers of the Ottoman Empire, under the reign of the last Ottoman sultan Mehmed VI Vahdeddin, between October 14, 1918 and November 8, 1918.

Although his period of office was of short duration, he was notable by being the signatory of the Armistice of Mudros on behalf the Ottoman Empire on October 30, 1918, thus putting an end to the First World War for Turkey. He demissioned on 8 November 1918.
In 1921, he re-entered the cabinet under Ahmed Tewfiq Pasha as foreign minister and remained in that function until the dissolution of the sultan’s government in November 1922.
Ahmed Izzet Furgac see ‘Izzet Pasha 
Furgac, Ahmed Izzet see ‘Izzet Pasha 
Ahmed Izzet Pasha see ‘Izzet Pasha 
Pasha, Ahmed Izzet see ‘Izzet Pasha

‘Izzi (Suleyman Efendi) (d.1755).  Ottoman official historiographer.  His history covers the years from 1744 to 1752.
Suleyman Efendi see ‘Izzi

Jabart.  Name of the Muslims of Ethiopia, originally the name of a region in the territories of Zayla’ and Ifat.

Jabarti. The Tigrinya-speaking Muslims of Ethiopia call themselves Jabarti, a name which they consider pejorative if used by Tigrinya-speaking Christians.  There is no ethnic group called Tigrinya, which is strictly a language spoken by some two million Ethiopians who live mostly in Tigre Province, although most Jabarti live in Eritrea Province and its capital, Asmara.  

Eritrea, which was turned over to Ethiopian control by the British in 1952, was a continuing source of unrest and rebellion.  The Ethiopian government tended to characterize the rebels as being mainly Muslims who wished to gain independence in Eritrea for primarily ethnic and religious reasons.  The Eritrean Liberation Front (ELF) claimed to have the support of both Jabarti and Christians in Eritrea.  The economic neglect of Eritrea by the central government over a 20 to 30 year period gave credence to the ELF’s claim.

Emperor Haile Selassie was toppled from power by a military coup in 1975, an event that did not greatly displease the Tigrinya speakers.  There had long been lingering resentment among them dating from the nineteenth century, when the Amhara kings were willing to abandon them to Italian control.  After the conquest of Ethiopia in 1936, the Italians created a province which included all the Tigrinya speakers.  The Ethiopian reconquest (with British and Sudanese help) and subsequent re-integration of Eritrea into Ethiopia left a legacy of discontent that contributed to the Eritrean liberation struggle.  However, whatever their historic differences with the Ethiopian governments, there was never any great support for separatist movements from Christians of Tigre Province.

Jabarti, ‘Abd al-Rahman al-
Jabarti, ‘Abd al-Rahman al- (‘Abd al-Rahman al-Jabarti) (Abd al-Rahman el Gabarti) (Abd al-Rahman bin Hasan bin Burhan al-Din al-Jabarti) (1753-1825). Arab historian.  He is famous for an important chronicle of the Arab countries, of Egypt in particular, which covers the years 1688 to 1821.

Abd al-Rahman al-Jabarti was a Somali–Egyptian Muslim scholar and chronicler who spent most of his life in Cairo. While little is known of his life, al-Jabarti was born in the village of Tell el Gabarti in the northern Delta province of Beheira. According to al-Jabarti's writings, his name comes from his "seventh-degree grandfather," Abd al-Rahman, who was the earliest member of his family known to him. Abd al-Rahman was from the al-Jabart region in Zeila, modern Somalia and visited the Riwaqs of the Jabarti communities in Mecca and Medina before making it to Egypt where he became Sheikh of the Riwaq there and head of the Jabarti community.

Trained as a shaykh at al-Azhar University, al-Jabarti began keeping a monthly chronicle of events in Cairo. This chronicle, which is generally known in English simply as al-Jabarti's History of Egypt, and known in Arabic as Aja'ib al-athar fi al-tarajim wal-akhbar, became a world-famous historical text by virtue of its eyewitness accounts of Napoleon's invasion and Muhammad Ali's seizure of power. The entries from his chronicle dealing with the French expedition and occupation have been excerpted and compiled in English as a separate volume entitled Napoleon in Egypt.

At the end of his life, al-Jabarti chose to be buried in Tell al-Gabarti, the town to which he traced his birth and descent.
'Abd al-Rahman al-Jabarti see Jabarti, ‘Abd al-Rahman al-
Abd al-Rahman el Gabarti see Jabarti, ‘Abd al-Rahman al-
Abd al-Rahman bin Hasan bin Burhan al-Din al-Jabarti see Jabarti, ‘Abd al-Rahman al-

Jabir ibn ‘Abd Allah
Jabir ibn ‘Abd Allah (Jabir ibn Abdullah) (Jabir ibn Abdullah ibn Amr ibn Haram Al-Ansari) (603-697).  Companion of the Prophet.  He is noted as a most prolific narrator of traditions from the Prophet.

Jabir ibn Abdullah was a Sahaba of Muhammad. Jabir was renowned for being a companion of both Muhammad and Muhammad’s descendants, the Shi'a Imams.

Jabir ibn Abdullah was born in Yathrib (Medina) 15 years before the Hijra. He belonged to a poor family of Yathrib. He was from the tribe of Khazraj. His mother was Naseeba binte Uqba ibn Uddi. His father was married to his paternal cousin.

Jabir ibn Abdullah is said to have accepted Islam when he was a young boy.

His participation in the Battle of Badr is questioned by some historians. He is known to have fought in 19 battles (including Badr) under command of Muhammad, and was a trusted Sahaba. He was present during the conquest of Mecca.

In the Battle of Uhud, Jabir ibn Abdullah was not allowed by his father Abdullah to take part in Jihad. Jabir had seven sisters (some historians say nine) and Abdullah wanted him to take care of his family. So instead of fighting, Jabir served the thirsty soldiers. Abdullah Ansari (Jabir’s father) was killed in the Battle of Uhud along with his brother-in-law, Amro bin Jamooh, both having reached nearly 100 years of age.

According to a Shi'a tradition, Jabir refused to give his oath of allegiance to Abu Bakr, unless Ali did so

Later on, he was threatened with stoning by Umar, if he was seen with a Nikah Mut'ah. Shi’a scholars believe this was the first time it was prohibited. Sunni scholars conclude Umar was merely enforcing Muhammad's earlier prohibition.

Jabir fought in the battles of Basra, Siffin, and Nahrawan under the command of Ali ibn Abi Talib (the first Shi’ah Imam and the fourth Sunni Caliph).

Due to old age Jabir was unable to participate in the Battle of Karbala (October 10, 680) wherein the grandson of Muhammad, Hussain ibn Ali was martyred. However, he did establish the practice of marking Arba'een.

Jabir paid a visit to the grave of Imam Husain ibn Ali in Karbala, along with one of his companions, Attiya ibn Saad ibn Junadah (a scholar). Jabir ibn Abdullah recited a ziaraat there that is known as ziaraat-e-Arba'een.

Jabir had a long life and became blind in his old age. But he devoutly waited for the time when he would meet the fifth Imam. Each morning he would come out from his house, sit by the roadside and wait for the sound of the footsteps to recognize the fifth Imam. One such day while he was waiting in the street of Medina, he heard someone walking towards him, the sound of footsteps reminded him of the way Muhammad used to walk. Jabir stood up, stopped the man and asked his name. He replied, “Muhammad”, Jabir asked, “whose son”? He replied “Ali ibn Hussain”. Jabir immediately recognized the man he was talking to was the 5th Imam. He kissed his hands and conveyed the message of the Islamic Prophet Muhammad.

It was during this era that he retold the Hadith of Umar's speech of forbidding Mut'ah. Jabir had a very long life. He was poisoned by Al-Hajjaj bin Yousef Thaqfi in the age of 94 years because of his loyalty to the Ahl al-Bayt and was buried in Madain near Baghdad at the bank of the River Tigris. His died in 697.

In 1932, the then ruling King of Iraq, Shah Faisal dreamt that he was being addressed by Hudhayfah ibn al-Yaman, who said "O King! Remove Jabir ibn Abdullah Ansari and me from the bank of river Tigris and bury us at some safe place because my grave is already filled with water while Jabir's grave is collecting water slowly. That year, a large number of Muslims and non-Muslims, along with the King, Grand Mufti, Prime Minister, and Prince Farooq of Egypt were there for the opening of graves of both trusted companions of Muhammad. Both of the bodies were said to be fresh and intact while their open eyes were said to issue forth such divine light that the spectators' eyes were dazzled. Furthermore, their coffins, clothes, and kaffan were also intact and at first glance, it appeared as if they were alive. The two bodies were then taken away and buried afresh near the grave of Salman al-Farsi, in Salman Park, which is 30 miles from Baghdad.

Jabir narrated about 1,500 Hadiths. After the death of Muhammad he used to deliver lectures in Masjid Nawabi, Medina, Egypt, and Damascus. Such leading Tabi'en scholars as Amr ibn Dinar, Mujahid, and Ata' ibn Abi Rabah attended his lectures. People gathered around him in Damascus and Egypt to learn about Muhammad and his Hadiths.

On February 26, 2006, the Shrine of Salman the Persian was attacked by insurgents and damaged in the violence following the bomb explosion at Al-Askari Mosque.

A list of narrated hadith attributed to Jabir include:

    * Hadith of Jesus praying behind Mahdi
    * Hadiths related to Mut'ah and An-Nisa
    * A narration regarding contraception

Jabir ibn Abdullah see Jabir ibn ‘Abd Allah
Jabir ibn Abdullah ibn Amr ibn Haram Al-Ansari see Jabir ibn ‘Abd Allah

Jabir ibn Hayyan
Jabir ibn Hayyan (Jabir) (Geber) (Abu Musa Jābir ibn Hayyān al Azdi) (Jabir ibn Haiyan) (b. c. 721 in Tous – d. c. 815 in Kufa).  Greatest alchemist of Islam, Jabir is regarded as the father of Arabian chemistry.  His many works considerably influenced later Arabian and European chemists, and his alchemical ideas and recipes helped advance chemical theory and experimentation.

It must be said at the outset that many scholars, some from as long ago as the tenth century, have believed that Jabir ibn Hayyan did not exist at all, but belief in his existence has always had its defenders.  Those accepting his authenticity think that his family came from the southern Arabian Azd tribe that had settled, during the rise of Islam, in Al-Kufa, then a rapidly growing city on the Euphrates just south of the ruins of Babylon.  Abu Musa Jabir ibn Hayyan, Jabir’s father, was a Shi‘a apothecary in Khorasan in eastern Persia, and he supported the powerful ‘Abbasid family, who hoped to overthrow the Umayyad caliph.  (The Umayyad dynasty had ruled the Muslim Empire since 661.)  The ‘Abbasids sent Abu Musa throughout Persia to prepare the way for a revolution.  In the course of this political mission he visited Tus, near the modern Mashhad in northeast Iran, and there, around 721, his son was born and named for him.  Unfortunately, while the younger Jabir was still a child, his father was captured by the caliph’s agents and beheaded.

Jabir was sent to southern Arabia, where he studied all branches of Eastern learning, including alchemy and medicine.  Some scholars say that he was taught by Ja‘far al-Sadiq, the sixth Shi‘a imam, who was a descendant of Ali, the cousin and son-in-law of Muhammad.  In his later writings, Jabir often stated that he was nothing but a spokesman for Ja‘far’s doctrines.  Besides being a Shi‘a, Jabir was also a Sufi, a mystic Muslim, and illustrators have depicted him with high forehead and curly hair and beard, and dressed in woolen Sufic robes.  The Sufis taught Jabir a doctrine ascribing hidden meanings to numbers and letters, which had a great influence on his alchemical theories.

Because the Umayyads remained in power until Jabir was in his late twenties, he lived a life of concealment, roaming through various countries without settling in one place because he feared that the caliph would have him executed.  Around 750, when the ‘Abbasids succeeded in their revolution, he became associated with the viziers of the ‘Abbasids, the powerful Barmakids.  He earned the grand vizier’s gratitude by curing one of his mortally ill harem girls.  The Barmakid family became patrons of Jabir and obtained a position for him at the court of Harun al-Rashid, the famous caliph of The Arabian Nights’ Entertainments.  Jabir, for his part, deemed it an honor to compose works for this caliph.

In some lists, the writings that bear Jabir’s name number more than three thousand.  According to many scholars, these works are sufficiently different in style, vocabulary, approach, and content to establish separate authorship for many of them.  For example, in some of the works certain terms from late ninth century Greek translations are used, indicating that they were written long after Jabir’s death.  Many historians of science now regard as probable the thesis that, though some of these works may have been written by Jabir, most were composed by members of the Isma‘iliyya, a Shi‘a sect which believed that Muhammad ibn Isma‘il was the seventh imam and which was particularly interested in mysticism, numerology, alchemy, and astrology.  Although some recent scholars are more willing than their earlier colleagues were to grant historical reality to Jabir and his works, all agree that many of the surviving writings contain later Isma‘ili modifications and additions.

To complicate matters further, several alchemical texts that appeared in the thirteenth and fourteenth centuries with Jabir’s name have no Arabic equivalents, and their style and content reveal that they were written by a Western, most likely Spanish, alchemist who lived in the later Middle Ages.  This anonymous Spanish alchemist adopted Jabir’s name to add authority to his work.  Scholars therefore completely disregard the Latin texts by Jabir and exclusively consider the Arabic texts when discussing Jabir ibn Hayyan.

The majority of the Arabic Jabirian texts are alchemical, but others concern medicine, cosmology, astrology, mathematics, magic, music, and philosophy.  The most important books include the Kitab al-sabin (the seventy books) and the Kitab al-mizan (the book of the balance).  Unfortunately, the bulk of the Jabirian writings remain unstudied, even though they constitute the most significant body of alchemical works in Arabic and a principal source of Latin alchemy.

To appreciate Jabir’s achievements, one must understand his relationship to Greek philosophy and early alchemy.  In his theory of matter he derived many of his basic ideas from Aristotle, but not without modification.  For example, Aristotle regarded the four principles, heat, cold, moisture, and dryness, as accidental qualities, whereas Jabir saw them as material natures that could be separated and combined in definite proportions to form new substances.  Other Jabirian ideas can be traced to the Greek alchemists of Alexandria.  These early alchemical writings, however, are often confusing and superstitious, so when Jabir used these ideas, he justified them both rationally and empirically.

In Jabir’s scheme of things, science was divided into two interdependent halves, the religious and the secular.  He then divided secular knowledge into alchemy and techniques.  The task of the alchemist was to use various techniques to isolate pure natures, determine the proportion in which they entered into substances, and then combine them in proper amounts to give desired products.  Ideally, the practice of alchemy should raise the alchemist to a higher level of knowledge where both his soul and the world will be transformed.  Practically, alchemy centered on the transmutation of metals, notably the changing of base metals such as lead and iron into the valuable metals such as silver and gold.

Jabir’s system of alchemy was logical and precise.  For example, his classification of substances shows great clarity of thought.  He divided minerals into three groups, each having certain specific qualities based on the pre-dominance of one of the pure natures: first, spirits, or substances that completely evaporate in fire (for example, sulfur, mercury, and camphor); second, metals, or meltable and malleable substances that shine and ring when hammered (such as lead, copper and gold); and third, pulverizable substances that, meltable or not, are not malleable and that shatter into powder when hammered (malachite, turquoise, mica, and the like).

Jabir was a firm believer in the possibility of transmutation, since this was a logical conclusion from his sulfur-mercury theory of metals.  This theory suggested that all metals were composed of different proportions of idealized sulfur and idealized mercury.  These idealized, or pristine, substances bore some resemblance to common sulfur and mercury, but the idealized substances were much purer than anything that could be produced alchemically.  Jabir’s theory probably derived from Aristotle’s Meteorologica (335-323 B.C.T.), where the process of exhalations from the earth forming minerals and metals is discussed.  For Aristotle, earthy smoke consisted of earth in the process of changing into fire, and watery vapor was water undergoing conversion into air.  Difficult-to-melt minerals consisted mainly of the earthy smoke, while easy-to-melt metals were formed from the watery vapor.  In Jabir’s view, sulfur and mercury were formed under planetary influence in the interior of the earth as intermediaries between the exhalations and the minerals and metals.  

To explain the existence of different kinds of metals, Jabir assumed that the sulfurous and mercurial principles were not always pure and that they did not always unite in the same proportions.  If they were perfectly pure and combined in the most perfect manner, then the product was the perfect metal, gold.  Defects in proportion or purity resulted in the formation of other metals.  Since all metals were composed of the same constituents as gold, the transmutation of less valuable metals into gold could be effected by means of an elixir.

For the alchemists, the elixir, also called the philosopher’s stone, was a substance that brought about the rapid transmutation of base metals into gold.  The term was initially used for a substance that cured human illnesses (the Arabic al-iksir was derived from a Greek word for medicinal powder).  In an analogous fashion, an elixir might “perfect,” or cure, imperfect metals.  A peculiarity of Jabir’s system was its emphasis on the use of vegetable and animal substances in the preparation of the elixir (earlier alchemists used inorganic materials).  In his search for materials from which the elixir could be extracted, Jabir investigated bone marrow, lion’s hair, jasmine, onions, ginger, pepper, mustard, anemones, and many other materials from the plant and animal kingdoms.

An essential part of Jabir’s sulfur-mercury theory was his numerological system, used to calculate the balance of the metals necessary to achieve transmutation.  Balance, or mizan, was the central concept used by Jabir to catalog and number the basic qualities of all substances.  Therefore all alchemical work involved establishing the correct proportion of the natures -- hot, cold, moist, and dry -- and then expressing this proportion in numbers.

In applying this idea of balance to metals, Jabir noted that each metal had two exterior and two interior qualities.  For example, gold was inwardly cold and dry, outwardly hot and moist.  He determined the nature of each metal by a complex number system whose key numbers, seventeen and twenty-eight, were derived from a magic square.  Its top row contained the numbers 4, 9, and 2; the middle row 3, 5, and 7; and the bottom row, 8, 1, and 6.  Adding the numbers of the top row to the bottom two numbers of the last vertical column yields twenty-eight.  The numbers of the remaining, smaller square add up to seventeen.  It is likely that twenty-eight, a number to which the Sufis attached great value, was astrological in origin, since it is the product of the number of planets (seven) and the number of Aristotelian elements (four).  Twenty-eight is also a perfect number in that it is equal to the sum of its divisors (1, 2, 4, 7, and 14).  In evaluating the nature of metals, Jabir used the numbers in the smaller square, 1, 3, 5, and 8.  Thus, in his system, the contrary natures, hot and cold, or moist and dry, could fuse only in the proportions 1 to 3 or 5 to 8.  The sum of these numbers is seventeen, and seventeen is the number of powers that Jabir attributed to the metals.  Each quality, moreover, had four degrees and seven subdivisions, or twenty-eight parts altogether.  He assigned each of these twenty-eight parts to one of the letters of the Arabic alphabet.  He then composed tables interrelating the values of the Arabic letters (which depended on the Arabic name for each metal) and the amounts of the four natures.

Beyond its purely alchemical meaning, the term mizan, or balance, was a basic principle of Jabir’s worldview.  Balance also meant the harmony of the various tendencies of the Neoplatonic world soul, the organizer of the basic qualities.  Balance was therefore related to Jabir’s monism, which opposed the dualistic worldview of Manichaeanism (the struggle against this religion was a chief concern of Islam at the time).  This religious side of Jabir’s thought was based on the appearance of the word mizan in the Qur’an, where it is used in the sense of a balance that weighs one’s good and bad deeds at the Last Judgment.

Astrology also played an important part in Jabir’s system.  The stars were not only constituents of the world but also influencers of earthly events.  All natural substances had specific properties that linked them to the upper world, and this link allowed talismans to be used effectively.  The talisman bore the power of the stars and, when used properly, could provide domination over events.  Thus, for Jabir, the same causality determined astrology and alchemy.  Both sciences imitated the Creator, since Creator and alchemist worked with the same materials and were governed by the same laws.

Despite his great fame as court astrologer and alchemist, Jabir fell out of favor in 803 because of his association with the Barmakids.  When these powerful ministers had been discovered plotting against the caliph, some were executed; others were expelled.  Jabir shared the banishment of the Barmakids, and he withdrew to Al-Kufa in eastern Persia.  One account states that he returned to court under the new caliph, al-Ma’mun (who reigned from 813 to 833); another states that he spent the rest of his life in obscurity.  The date of his death is uncertain, though it is usually given as 815 (although some sources report it as 803).  Two centuries after his death, during building operations in a quarter of Al-Kufa known as the Damascus Gate, Jabir’s cellar laboratory was discovered along with a golden mortar weighing two hundred pounds.

Jabir ibn Hayyan is important for both the history of alchemy and the development of Islamic culture.  Although from the vantage point of later centuries his scientific thought seems strange and superstitious, he did help to advance chemical theory and experiment.  In searching for the secret of transmutation, he mastered many basic chemical techniques, such as sublimation and distillation, and became familiar with the preparation and properties of many basic chemicals.  For example, he was fascinated with sal ammoniac (now called ammonium chloride), a substance unknown to the Greeks.  The volatility of this salt greatly impressed the Arabs.  Jabir was a skilled and ingenious experimenter, and he described for the first time how to prepare nitric acid.  More clearly than any other early chemist, he stated and recognized the importance of the experimental process.  In his work, he also described and suggested improvements in such chemical technological processes as dyeing and glass-making.

His work also belongs to the legacy of Islam.  The Shi‘a state that he is one of their great spiritual guides.  Scarcely a single later Arabic alchemical text exists in which he is not quoted.  When, in the twelfth and thirteenth centuries, Islamic science was transmitted to Latin Christianity, the fame of Jabir went with it.  His sulfur-mercury theory persisted and was at last modified into the phlogiston theory of Johann Becher and George Stahl in the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries.  In the guise of Jabir’s works, Arabic alchemy exerted considerable influence on the development of modern chemistry.

Father of Arabian Chemistry see Jabir ibn Hayyan
Geber see Jabir ibn Hayyan
Abu Musa Jābir ibn Hayyān al Azdi see Jabir ibn Hayyan
Father of Chemistry see Jabir ibn Hayyan
Jabir ibn Haiyan see Jabir ibn Hayyan
Jabir see Jabir ibn Hayyan

Jabir ibn Zayd
Jabir ibn Zayd (642-711).  Ibadi transmitter of hadith and a jurist of Basra.  He enjoyed an enormous prestige as a man of learning and as an authority on the Qur’an.

Jabran Khalil Jabran
Jabran Khalil Jabran (Khalil Gibran) (Khalil Jibran) (Gibran Khalil Gibran) (Gibran Khalil Gibran bin Mikhā'īl bin Sa'ad) (January 6, 1883, Bsharri, Lebanon – April 10, 1931, New York City, New York, United States).  Lebanese American writer, artist and poet.  Having stayed off and on in Boston and Paris, he settled in New York in 1912.  He wrote in Arabic and English.  His The Prophet is his masterpiece.

Khalil Gibran, Gibran also spelled Jibran, Khalil also spelled Kahlil, Arabic name in full Jubrān Khalīl Jubrān   (born Jan. 6, 1883, Bsharrī, Lebanon—died April 10, 1931, New York, N.Y., U.S.), Lebanese American philosophical essayist, novelist, poet, and artist.

Having received his primary education in Beirut, Khalil Gibran immigrated with his parents to Boston in 1895. He returned to Lebanon in 1898 and studied in Beirut, where he excelled in the Arabic language. On his return to Boston in 1903, he published his first literary essays; in 1907 he met Mary Haskell, who was to be his benefactor all his life and who made it possible for him to study art in Paris. In 1912 Gibran settled in New York City and devoted himself to writing literary essays and short stories, both in Arabic and in English, and to painting.

Gibran’s literary and artistic output is highly romantic in outlook and was influenced by the Bible, Friedrich Nietzsche, and William Blake. His writings in both languages, which deal with such themes as love, death, nature, and a longing for the homeland, are full of lyrical outpourings and are expressive of Gibran’s deeply religious and mystic nature.

Gibran’s principal works in Arabic are: ʿArāʾ-is al-Murūj (1910; Nymphs of the Valley); Damʿah wa Ibtisāmah (1914; A Tear and a Smile); Al-Arwāḥ al-Mutamarridah (1920; Spirits Rebellious); Al-Ajniḥah al-Mutakassirah (1922; The Broken Wings); Al-Awasif (1923; “The Storms”); and Al-Mawākib (1923; The Procession), poems. His principal works in English are The Madman (1918), The Forerunner (1920), The Prophet (1923), Sand and Foam (1926), and Jesus, the Son of Man (1928).

Khalil Gibran see Jabran Khalil Jabran
Gibran, Khalil see Jabran Khalil Jabran
Gibran Khalil Gibran see Jabran Khalil Jabran
Gibran Khalil Gibran bin Mikhā'īl bin Sa'ad see Jabran Khalil Jabran
Khalil Jibran see Jabran Khalil Jabran
Jibran, Khalil  see Jabran Khalil Jabran

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