Sunday, July 21, 2013

Mutarrifiyya - Nasir al-Din Shah

Mutarrifiyya. Zaydi sect in Yemen named after its founder Mutarrif ibn Shihab (d. 1067).  They constituted a pietist movement which was destroyed by the Zaydi Imam ‘Abd Allah al-Mansur ibn Hamza (r. 1198-1217) in 1214.

Mutarrizi, Burhan al-Din al-
Mutarrizi, Burhan al-Din al- (Burhan al-Din al-Mutarrizi) (1144-1213).  Philologist, jurist and man of letters.  His compendium of Arabic grammar has found the widest circulation.  

Burhan al-Din al-Mutarrizi see Mutarrizi, Burhan al-Din al-

Mu‘tasim, Abu Yahya al-
Mu‘tasim, Abu Yahya al- (Abu Yahya al-Mu‘tasim).  Ruler of the dynasty of the Tujibids of the kingdom of Almeria (r. 1051-1091).  He took part in the Battle of Zallaqa.


Abu Yahya al-Mu‘tasim see Mu‘tasim, Abu Yahya al-

Mu‘tasim bi-‘llah, al-
Mu‘tasim bi-‘llah, al-. ‘Abbasid caliph (r.833-842).  He fought the Khurami leader Babak, the Byzantines, the Qarinids in Tabaristan and rebels in Damascus, in Palestine and in Jordan.

Mutawakkil ‘ala ‘llah, Abu’l-Fadl al-
Mutawakkil ‘ala ‘llah, Abu’l-Fadl al- (Abu’l-Fadl al-Mutawakkil ‘ala ‘llah) (al-Mutawakkil ˤAlā Allāh Jaˤfar ibn al-Muˤtasim) (March 821 – December 861).  ‘Abbasid caliph  (r. 847-861).  He was determined from the beginning to assert the independence of the caliph and to break the dominance of the Turkish military and the bureaucracy.  He broke with the Mu‘tazili position which had been the official doctrine of the ‘Abbasid government since the Caliph al-Ma’mun had introduced the mihna. In its place, he stressed his adherence to the doctrines of the Hanbalis and other traditionists.  His murder plunged the caliphate into anarchy.

Al-Mutawakkil was an Abbasid caliph who reigned in Samarra from 847 until 861. He succeeded his brother al-Wāthiq and is known for putting an end to the Mihna "ordeal", the Inquisition-like attempt by his predecessors to impose a single Mu'tazili version of Islam.

While al-Wathiq was caliph, his vizier, Muhammad ibn Abd al-Malik, had poorly treated al-Mutawakkil. On September 22, 847, al-Mutawakkil had him arrested. The former vizier's property was plundered and he was tortured in his own iron maiden. He finally died on November 2nd. The caliph had others who had mistreated him in the previous reign punished.

In 849, al-Mutawakkil had the prominent military commander Itakh al-Khazari seized in Baghdad. Itakh was imprisoned and died of thirst on December 21st. One Mahmud ibn al-Faraj al-Naysaburi arose claiming to be a prophet. He and some followers were arrested in Baghdad. He was imprisoned, beaten and on June 18, 850 he died.

In 851-852, Armenians rebelled and defeated and killed the Abbasid governor. Al-Mutawakkil sent his general Bugha al-Kabir to handle this. Bugha scored successes this year and the following year he attacked and burned Tiflis, capturing Ishaq ibn Isma'il. The rebel leader was executed. That year, Byzantines attacked Damietta.

In 854-855, the police chief in Hims killed a prominent person stirring an uprising. The police chief was driven out of office. Al-Mutawakkil offered up another police chief. When the next year saw a revolt against this new police chief, al-Mutawakkil had the revolt firmly suppressed. As Christians had joined in the second round of disturbances, the caliph had Christians expelled from Hims.

Also in 854-855, occurred the firm response to the revolt by the Bujah, people of African descent just beyond Upper Egypt. They had been paying a tax on their gold mines. They ceased paying this, drove out Muslims working in the mines and terrified people in Upper Egypt. Al-Mutawakkil sent al-Qummi to restore order. Al-Qummi sent seven ships with supplies that enabled him to persevere despite the very harsh terrain of this distant territory. He retook the mines, pressed on to the Bujah royal stronghold and defeated the king in battle. The Bujah resumed payment of the tax.

On February 23, 856, there was an exchange of captives with the Byzantines. A second such exchange took place some four years later.

Al-Mutawakkil's reign is remembered for its many reforms and viewed as a golden age of the Abbasids. He would be the last great Abbasid caliph. After his death, the dynasty would fall into a decline.

Al-Mutawakkil continued to rely on Turkish statesmen and slave soldiers to put down rebellions and lead battles against foreign empires, notably the Byzantines, from who Sicily was captured. His vezir, Al-fath bin Khaqan, who was Turkish, was a famous figure of Al-Mutawakkil's era.

His reliance on Turkish soldiers would come back to haunt him. Al-Mutawakkil would have his Turkish commander-in-chief killed. This, coupled with his extreme attitudes towards the Shia, made his popularity decline rapidly.

Al-Mutawakkil was murdered by a Turkish soldier on December 11, 861. Some have speculated that his murder was part of a plot hatched by his son, al-Muntasir, who had grown estranged from his father. Al-Muntasir feared his father was about to move against him and struck first.

Al-Mutawakkil is said to have been slender, with a light tan complexion, a sparse beard and attractive eyes. He was also a cold blooded and ruthless killer of unorthodox Muslims and non-Muslims.

Mutawakkiil ordered Jews and Christians to wear different dress.They were forbidden to ride on animals other than donkeys.They could not build churches or synagogues.

Al-Mutawakkil was unlike his brother and father in that he was not known for having a thirst for knowledge, but he had an eye for magnificence and a hunger to build. The Great Mosque of Samarra was at its time, the largest mosque in the world; its minaret is a vast spiraling cone 55 meters high with a spiral ramp. The mosque had 17 aisles and its walls were paneled with mosaics of dark blue glass.

The Great Mosque was just part of an extension of Samarra eastwards that built upon part of the walled royal hunting park inherited from the Sassanians. Al-Mutawakkil built as many as 20 palaces (the numbers vary in documents). Samarra became one of the largest cities of the ancient world, even the archaeological site of its ruins is one of the world's most extensive. The Caliph's building schemes extended in 859-860 to a new city, al-Jaˤfariyya, which al-Mutawakkil built on the Tigris some eighteen kilometers from Samarra. Al-Mutawakkil ordered a canal to be built to divert water from the Tigris, entrusting the project to two courtiers, who ignored the talents of a local engineer of repute and entrusted the work to al-Farghanī, the great astronomer and writer. Al-Farghanī, who was not a specialist in public works, made a miscalculation and it appeared that the opening of the canal was too deep so that water from the river would only flow at near full flood.

News leaked to the infuriated caliph might have meant the heads of all concerned save for the gracious actions of the engineer, Sind ibn ˤAlī, who vouched for the eventual success of the project, thus risking his own life. Al-Mutawakkil was assassinated shortly before the error became public.

Al-Mutawakkil was keen to involve himself in many religious debates, something that would show in his actions against different minorities. His father had tolerated the Shīˤa Imām who taught and preached at Medina, and for the first years of his reign al-Mutawakkil continued the policy. Imām ˤAlī al-Hadī's growing reputation inspired a letter from the Governor of Medina, ˤAbdu l-Lāh ibn Muħammad, suggesting that a coup was being plotted, and al-Mutawakkil extended an invitation to Samarra to the Imām, an offer he could not refuse. In Samarra, the Imām was kept under virtual house arrest and spied upon. However, no excuse to take action against him ever appeared. After al-Mutawakkil's death, his successor had the Imām poisoned. Al-Hadī is buried at Samarra. The general Shīˤa population faced repression and this was embodied in the destruction of the shrine of Hussayn ibn ˤAlī, an action that was carried out ostensibly in order to stop pilgrimages to that site, and the flogging and incarceration of the Alid Yahya ibn Umar.

During his reign, the influence of the Muˤtaziliyya was reversed and questions about over the divinity of the Qur'an were ended. This resulted from the caliph's personal devotion to studying as-Sunna.

Also during his reign, al-Mutawakkil met the famous Byzantine theologian Constantine the Philosopher, who was sent by the Byzantine Emperor Michael III to strengthen the diplomatic relations between the Empire and the Caliphate.

Abu’l-Fadl al-Mutawakkil ‘ala ‘llah see Mutawakkil ‘ala ‘llah, Abu’l-Fadl al-
Mutawakkil ˤAlā Allāh Jaˤfar ibn al-Muˤtasim, al- see Mutawakkil ‘ala ‘llah, Abu’l-Fadl al-

Mutawakkil ‘ala ‘llah, Ibn al-Aftas al-
Mutawakkil ‘ala ‘llah, Ibn al-Aftas al- (Ibn al-Aftas al-Mutawakkil ‘ala ‘llah) (1022-1094).  Last ruler of the Aftasid dynasty in the petty state of Badajoz.

Ibn al-Aftas al-Mutawakkil ‘ala ‘llah see Mutawakkil ‘ala ‘llah, Ibn al-Aftas al-

Mutawakkil ‘ala ‘llah, Isma‘il al-
Mutawakkil ‘ala ‘llah, Isma‘il al- (Isma‘il al-Mutawakkil ‘ala ‘llah). First Qasimi Zaydi Imam to rule Yemen completely independent of the Ottoman Turks.  He ruled from 1644 to 1676.  He conducted successful campaigns against Aden and Lahj, al-Bayda’ and Yafi’, Hadhramaut and even Dhofar in Oman.
Isma‘il al-Mutawakkil ‘ala ‘llah see Mutawakkil ‘ala ‘llah, Isma‘il al-

Mutawakkil ‘ala ‘llah, Sharaf al-Din al-
Mutawakkil ‘ala ‘llah, Sharaf al-Din al- (Sharaf al-Din al-Mutawakkil ‘ala ‘llah) (1473-1555).  Zaydi Imam in whose time the Ottoman Turks first became established in Yemen.  He ruled from 1535 to 1547.
Sharaf al-Din al-Mutawakkil ‘ala ‘llah see Mutawakkil ‘ala ‘llah, Sharaf al-Din al-

Mu‘tazila (Mu'tazilis) (Muʿtazilah). Rationalist formulation of Islamic theology, best known for stressing that God created all things, including the Qur’an.

The Arabic word mu‘tazila means “standing aloof” or “withdrawal.”  The term Mu‘tazila came to be applied to the celebrated “rationalist” school of early Islamic theology (kalam), whose name may have arisen from a neutral position taken by its antecedents on the question of the status of the Muslim who commits a grave sin.  The advocates preferred to call themselves the “People of Justice and Unity.”  The origins of the movement are obscure, but by the mid-ninth century of the Christian calendar, the characteristic principles of the Mu‘tazila had been worked into a coherent philosophical and political theology which combined Greek logical and metaphysical conceptions with the Qur’anic revelation, ideally granting them equal status while in practice favoring reason, at least implicitly.  Crucial to the Mu‘tazilite notion of a just God were human freedom and responsibility.  So insistent was the emphasis upon God’s unity that even the Qur’an, God’s Speech, was considered to be created in time so as not to suggest division in the godhead.  

Mu‘tazili is name used for an adherent of the religious movement called Mu‘tazila.  Mu‘tazila was the name of a religious movement founded at Basra by Wasil ibn ‘Ata’, subsequently becoming one of the most important theological schools of Islam.  The term indicates those who take a position of neutrality in the face of two opposing factions, in particular in the question of how to define a Muslim guilty of a grave sin.  For the Kharijites, he was an infidel (in Arabic, kafir), for the Murji’is a believer in spite of his sinfulness (in Arabic, fisq), and for Hasan al-Basri, Wasil’s teacher, a hypocrite (in Arabic, munafiq).  The distinctive theses of Mu‘tazilism were propounded by Abu’l-Hudhayl al-‘Allaf in the form of the following “five principles”: (1) uniqueness of God; (2) justice of God; (3) every Muslim guilty of a serious offence, who dies without repentance, will suffer for eternity the torments of Hell; (4) the same sinful Muslim cannot hear on earth be classed either as “believing” or as “disbelieving,” but belongs to a separate category, that of the “malefactor” (the theory of an “intermediate state” [in Arabic, al-manzila bayn al-manzilatayn]); and (5) every believer has the obligation to intervene in public affairs to uphold the Law and oppose impiety.  Under the rubric of the first thesis, Mu‘tazilis declared the Qur’an to be created in time, since to affirm otherwise would be tantamount to positing a quality in God distinct from his essence and thus to deny his unity.

Far from being “freethinkers,” the Mu‘tazilites were earnest, at times even puritanical, defenders of Islam from both its external and internal enemies.  An inquisition was instituted in Baghdad when the school was for a time in a dominant position under its champion, the ‘Abbasid caliph al-Ma’mun (813-833).  However, unlike the orthodox Sunni kalam which was destined to replace it, Mu‘tazilism also ventured into highly speculative issues with an intellectual rigor -- and apparent delight -- which would later be condemned as heresy.  

For a period of some thirty years, the Mu‘tazili school enjoyed the favor of the ‘Abbasid caliphs at Baghdad, until Caliph al-Mutawakkil in 848 revoked the decrees imposing the view that the Qur’an had been created.  But the Mu‘tazila continued to be supported in numerous regions of the Islamic world, especially in Persia, and by powerful princes such as the Buyids, during a second period, which lasted from the last quarter of the ninth century to the middle of the eleventh century.

Al-Ash‘ari (d.935) was influential in stemming the influence in Sunni Islam of this school, although he had originally distinguished himself in it.  The Shi(ites have continued to cultivate Mu(tazilite principles in theological reflection.  Al-Zamakhshari (d. 1144) filled his celebrated Qur’an commentary with Mu‘tazilite interpretations, which Sunni students are warned to resist while absorbing the uniquely valuable philological discussions.

The most characteristic feature of the first period is the extreme diversity of scholars and of doctrines, whereas in the second period genuine schools were established.  Even after the end of the second period, Mu‘tazilism did not disappear.  Its theses have been adopted by Imami and Zaydi Shi‘is, and in the twentieth century a significant trend of the rehabilitation of Mu‘tazilism has been observed, especially in Egypt.

Mu‘tazilis formed an opposition group in early Islam.  The Mu‘tazilis stressed free will and responsibility and divine justice.

During the heyday of its influence, the Mu‘tazili school established itself in many of the great centers of the Muslim world from Spain to Transoxiana.  In general it found its greatest acceptance in those lands where Hanafi law prevailed.

Mu‘tazilis was a theological school inside Islam.  The school of the Mu‘tazilis can be dated back to schism around Caliph Ali, when Islam divided into three main orientations, Sunni, Shi‘a, and Khariji.

The name mu‘tazili comes probably from the Arabic verb I‘tazala, “to separate from,” and was used for a group that neither fought for Ali, nor against him (which was the main subject for the schism).  Mu‘tazilism as it is known now, grew forward in the city Basra (now Iraq), in the beginning of the eighth century, and under the Caliph al-Ma’mun their teaching was elevated to the officially accepted, and was the starting point of the Muslim inquisition, called Mihna.

The Mu‘tazilis were the first Muslims to address heresy and to challenge non-Muslim thinkers.  At first the opponents of the Mu‘tazilis were the traditionalists, who claimed that the only way of understanding Islam was through the literal reading of the Qur’an and the hadiths, called bilaa kayfa, “without questions.”

There were five fundamental principles to the Mu‘tazilis:

1.  tawhid -- the unity of God.  God could not be conceived by any human conception.  There they argued that ayas, verses, in the Qur’an describing God as sitting on a throne were allegorical.  The Mu‘tazilis argued that the Qur’an could not be eternal, but created by God.  Otherwise the uniqueness of God would be impossible.

2.  ‘adl -- divine justice.  Facing the problem of existence of evil in a world where God is omnipotent, the Mu‘tazilis pointed at the free will of human beings, so that evil was defined as something that stems from the errors in human acts.  God does no evil, and he demands not from any human to perform any evil act.  If man’s evil acts had been from the will of God, then punishment would have been meaningless, as man performed God’s will no matter what he did.

3.  ‘al-wa‘d wa-l-wa‘id -- promise and threat.  This comprised questions on the Last Day and the Day of Judgment.

4.  ‘al-manzila bayna al-manzilatayn -- the position between the two extremes of Kharijis and Murji’is.  

5.  ‘al-amru bil-ma‘ruuf wal-nahy ‘ani al-munkar -- commanding the good and prohibiting the evil. This involved spreading the message of Islam.

This way of dividing theological questions into five groups, was adopted even by the opponents of the Mu‘tazilis.  But as theology, Mu‘tazilism lost officially to Ash‘arism, but it survived through a sub-existence with the theologians up to modern times, when it had been partly revived.  Mu’tazilism had great influence on Shi‘a Islam, though.

Mu'tazilis see Mu‘tazila
Mu'tazilah see Mu‘tazila

Mu‘tazz bi-‘llah, al-
Mu‘tazz bi-‘llah, al- (al-Mu'tazz). ‘Abbasid caliph  (r.866-869).  His reign marks the beginning of what was in effect autonomy for Egypt under Ahmad ibn Tulun and, among other upheavals, the advance into southern Persia of the Saffarid Ya‘qub ibn al-Layth (r. 867-879).

Al-Mu'tazz was the title of the Abbasid Caliph in Baghdad from 866 to 869. Placed upon the throne by the Turks, he proved but too apt a pupil of his Turkish masters.He became the caliph at 19 he was the youngest Abbasaid Caliph to assume power. He was surrounded by parties each jealous of the other. At Samarra, the Turks were having problems with the "Westerns" (Berbers and Moors). While the Arabs and Persians at Baghdad, who had supported al-Musta'in, regarded both with equal hatred. Al-Mu'tazz was thus surrounded by people who were ready for plot or treachery whether against each other or against al-Mu'tazz:—a poor justification, however, for the course of betrayal and bloodshed which he, not less than they, pursued.

First he put to death the former Caliph al-Musta'in. Then his own brother Al-Mu'eiyyad, being next heir to the throne, was also cruelly put to death. Also another brother, Abu Ahmed, who had bravely led the troops in the late struggle on his side, was thrown into prison. The Turks attempted his release, but al-Mu'tazz, the more alarmed, resolved on his death. He was smothered in a downy robe (or, as others say, frozen in a bed of ice); and the body was then exposed before the Court, as if, being without mark of violence, he had died a natural death.

The revenues were squandered at the reckless Court, and little was left to pay the troops. The city guards at the Capital surrounded the palace at Baghdad, demanding their pay. The Governor wrote to al-Mu'tazz for an advance; but he, prompted by the Turks, replied that "if the guards were needed for himself, he himself might pay them; if for the Caliph, he cared not for them." Thereupon the insurgency was renewed; the mob refused to let the Caliph be named in the Mosque, and so there were no prayers observed that Friday. Before the revolt was put down, the Governor had to burn one of the bridges, and set fire to an adjoining bazaar, in order to keep the rebels off. But the next year all joined together—Turks, Africans, and Persians—storming the palace for their pay.

The army's pay having been withheld, Salih, son of Wasif, one of the rebels, seized the personal secretaries of al-Mu'tazz and demanded the money embezzled or concealed by them. There being no answer but an empty treasury, they were put in irons. The Caliph implored the rebels to release his private secretary, but they were deaf to his plea. The accounts of the unfortunate ministers were seized, but nothing could be extracted from them.

Salih, and another rebel Musa, planned to depose al-Mu'tazz, and carried out the design with brutal inhumanity. Followed by clamorous troops, they seated themselves at the palace gate, and called for the Caliph to come out. Not suspecting treachery, the Caliph called them in. Entering, they beat him with clubs and kicked him. Then dragging him by his torn robes outside; they left him seated there in the scorching heat of a mid-summer sun. He was then shut up in a room alone without food or water; and so after three days the wretched Caliph died, at the early age of twenty-four.
Mu'tazz, al- see Mu‘tazz bi-‘llah, al-

Mutesa I
Mutesa I (Mukabaya) (Muteesa I Mukaabya Walugembe Kayiira)  (c. 1838-1884).  Ruler of the Ganda kingdom (Buganda -- Uganda) (r.1856- 1884).  He opened Buganda to the outside world and oversaw the beginning of a religious and political revolution.  

Mutesa was considered by many Ganda to be too young and too weak to become king when his father Suna II died in 1856.  Nevertheless, Mutesa’s election and installation by government ministers was achieved with relatively little disorder, demonstrating the power of appointed officials.  

If Mutesa’s supporters had counted on his being a compliant puppet, they were disappointed.  Mutesa soon developed into one of the most powerful kings (Kabaka) in Ganda history.

Mutesa continued his father’s military reforms.  He imported increasing numbers of firearms -- over which he maintained a monopoly -- from Arab sources to the north and to the east.  Mutesa also raided his neighbors and maintained pressure on the Nyoro kingdom of Bunyoro to the west.  

During the 1870s, Mutesa -- like his neighbors -- was exposed to the threat of conquest from the north when Egypt began an attempt to control the headwaters of the Nile.  During the last fifteen or so years of his life, Mutesa’s foreign policy was dominated by his desire to improve his position over that of his neighbors.  Mutesa was particularly concerned about besting the Bunyoro.

Mutesa had an eclectic attitude towards new ideas.  The secularization of his state left him largely free of traditional ritual obligations.  Muslim traders had been resident in Buganda since the time of Suna and Mutesa was attracted to Islam.  However, his aversion to the rite of circumcision prevented his formal “conversion.”

By the late 1860s, Mutesa was reading the Qur’an in Arabic and was faithfully observing Islamic practices.  In 1862, the explorers John Speke and J. A. Grant visited Mutesa’s court and brought Uganda to the attention of the outside world.  By the time Europeans next visited him, thirteen years later, Mutesa was seriously concerned with Egyptian-Sudanese encroachments in northern Uganda and was anxious to form new alliances.

Henry Stanley visited Mutesa in 1875 and made a favorable impression by actively aiding Mutesa in a military campaign.  Mutesa assented to Stanley’s proposal to introduce Christian missionaries, hoping that they would assist him militarily.  

The first Protestant missionaries arrived in 1877.

Catholic missionaries soon followed in 1879 and the seeds for a cultural and political revolution were planted.

Among the comparatively tolerant Ganda, the missions flourished.  However, doctrinal in-fighting between the Protestants, Catholics and Muslims gave rise to sectarian political factions.  

The Protestants assisted Mutesa to send emmissaries to London in 1879, but Mutesa was disappointed by the failure of the missionaries to assist him militarily.

By the end of the decade, the Egyptian threat to the Ganda kingdom had subsided.  However, internal factionalism had replaced the Egyptian threat as the dominant issue confronting Mutesa.  Mutesa grew interested in Christianity, but was denied baptism by both Protestant and Catholic missions because of his political need to retain his many wives and because of his seemingly doubtful sincerity.

Mutesa ended his days sympathetic to Islam while many of his chiefs were converted to Christianity.

During Mutesa’s last five years, deteriorating health weakened his ability to rule the Ganda kingdom. His infirmity allowed power to shift into the hands of his ministers.  Meanwhile, cholera and plague epidemics ravaged his subjects.  He kept his army increasingly busy, but his commanders suffered several major setbacks.  These developments helped to prepare for changes after his death in 1884.

Mukabaya see Mutesa I
Muteesa I Mukaabya Walugembe Kayiira  see Mutesa I

Muthanna ibn Haritha, al-
Muthanna ibn Haritha, al- (d. 635).  Arab tribal chieftain and hero of the early Islamic conquest of Iraq.

Muti’ li-‘llah, al-
Muti’ li-‘llah, al- (al-Muti).  ‘Abbasid caliph (r.946-974).  Arab chroniclers regard his reign as the lowest ebb of the caliphate before events began to revive somewhat under his successors al-Qadir bi-‘llah and al-Qa’im bi-Amr Allah.

Al-Muti (or Obedient to the Lord) was the Abbasid Caliph in Baghdad from 946 to 974. He had long aspired to the office. Between him and the previous Caliph, al-Mustakfi, bitter enmity existed, which led him to retire into hiding.

When the Buwayhids entered Baghdad, al-Muti came forth from his retirement and established himself at the new court. But even he, after he became caliph, was no longer allowed a voice in nominating the vizier. The office was shorn of every token of respect and dignity. Shi'a observances were set up, such as public mourning on the anniversary of Husayn's death, and rejoicing of the Prophet's supposed testimony in Ali's favor. On one occasion they went so far as to post upon the various mosques sheets inscribed with curses against the early Caliphs, and even against Aisha, Muhammad's favorite spouse. The city was exasperated by the insult, and the placards torn down by the infuriated mob.

Buwayhids maintained their hold on Baghdad for over one hundred years. The material position of the Caliphs throughout the Buwayhid reign was at its lowest ebb. Buwayhid Sultan Muiz ud-Daula was only prevented from raising to the throne a Shi'a Caliph by alarm for his own safety, and fear of rebellion, not in the capital alone, but all around. However, the Caliphate of Baghdad, on its spiritual side, was still recognized throughout the Muslim world wherever the orthodox faith prevailed, except Spain. The Fatimid Caliphs, on the other hand, claimed spiritual supremacy not only in Egypt, but also contested the pulpits of Syria. In the East the spiritual dominance varied, but, except Persia and the Deilem, the balance clearly favored orthodoxy. The Turks were staunch Sunnis. The great Mahmud of Ghazni, of Eastern fame, held always a friendly attitude towards the Caliphs, and his victories in the Indian Empire were accordingly announced from the pulpits of Baghdad in grateful and glowing terms.

Muti, al- see Muti’ li-‘llah, al-
Obedient to the Lord see Muti’ li-‘llah, al-

Muttaqi li-‘llah, al-
Muttaqi li-‘llah, al- (al-Muttaqi) (920-968).  ‘Abbasid caliph (r.940-944).  He was deposed by the Turkish general Tuzun.

Al-Muttaqi was the Abbasid caliph in Baghdad from 940 to 944.

Of such little importance the Caliphate had become by 940 that when the previous Caliph al-Radi died, Bajkam, Amir al-Umara (Amir of Amirs), contented himself with dispatching to Baghdad his secretary, who assembled the chief men to elect a successor. The choice fell on the deceased Caliph's brother al-Muttaqi, who assumed the office after it had been some days vacant; and whose first act was to send a banner and dress of honor to Bajkam, a needless confirmation of his rank.

Bajkam, before returning to Wasit, where he now held his court, went out on a hunting party, and met his death at the hands of a band of marauding Kurds. The Capital again became the scene of renewed anarchy. Ibn Raik, the Caliph's amir, persuaded the Caliph to flee with him to Mosul.

Al-Muttaqi was welcomed in Mosul by the Hamdanid princes, who organized a campaign to restore him to the Capital. But their ends were purely selfish; they assassinated Ibn Raik, and having added his Syrian government to their own, turned their ambition towards Baghdad. The Hamdanid chief, with the title of Nasir ad-Daula, advanced on Baghdad with the Caliph.

But however powerful the Hamdanid chiefs were at home amongst their Arab brethren, and splendid their victories over the Greeks, they found it a different thing to rule at Baghdad, due to foreign mercenaries and the well-organized Turkish forces in the city.

In less than a year, the Hamdanid chieftains had to return to Mosul. A Turkish general called Tuzun, entered Baghdad in triumph, and was saluted as Amir al-Umara. But fresh proceedings against his enemy obliged Tuzun to quit the Capital. During his absence, a conspiracy broke out which placed the Caliph in danger, and obliged him again to appeal to the Hamdanid prince for help. Troops sent in response enabled him to escape. He fled to Mosul and after that to Nasibin.

Shortly after, peace being restored between Tuzun and the Hamdanid chiefs, al-Muttaqi took up his residence at ar Raqqah, — a fugitive in the city which had so often been the proud Court of his illustrious ancestors.

Latter al-Muttaqi threw himself into the hands of Tuzun, who swore with the most sacred oaths that he would render true and faithful service. But he soon after deposed him from the Caliphate, and had his sight destroyed.

The same day, Tuzun installed the blinded Caliph's cousin as his successor, with the title of al-Mustakfi -- For whom the Lord sufficeth.

Muttaqi, al- see Muttaqi li-‘llah, al-

Muwaffaq, Talha ibn Ja‘far al-
Muwaffaq, Talha ibn Ja‘far al- (Talha ibn Ja'far al-Muwaffaq) (Abu Ahmad ibn al-Muwaffaq al-Mutawakkil)  (Abu Ahmad) (Muwaffaq, al-) (842 - June 2/5, 891).  Regent and virtual ruler during the time of the ‘Abbasid Caliph al-Mu‘tamid ‘ala ‘llah (r. 870-892).  In 883, he extinguished the rebellion of the Zanj.

Al-Muwaffaq (842-June 2, 891) was the brother and regent of the Abbasid Caliph al-Mu'tamid. He assumed the leadership of the imperial administration in Baghdad in 875. Soon, he replaced the weak al-Mu'tamid largely by ousting the government.

Under al-Muwaffaq, the Abbasid Caliphate again stabilized. He put down the uprising in southern Iraq known as the Zanj Rebellion in 883. He increased control over the provinces and also fought the Tulunids of Syria vigorously.

Suffering increasingly from elephantiasis, his son Abu al-Ahmad Abbas al-Mu'tadid took charge of government business from 889. After the death of Al-Muwaffaq, his offices were officially transferred to his son al-Mu'tadid who would later succeed his uncle as Caliph al-Mu'tadid (892-902).

Talha ibn Ja'far al-Muwaffaq see Muwaffaq, Talha ibn Ja‘far al-
Abu Ahmad see Muwaffaq, Talha ibn Ja‘far al-
Abu Ahmad ibn al-Muwaffaq al-Mutawakkil see Muwaffaq, Talha ibn Ja‘far al-
Muwaffaq, al- see Muwaffaq, Talha ibn Ja‘far al-

Muwahhidun.  Members of a movement in Islam from mid-18th century, calling for a renewal of the Muslim spirit, with cleansing of the moral, and removal of all innovations to Islam.  The movement has played an important role in the funding of Saudi Arabia.  Wahhabism is known for its conservative regulations which have impact on all aspects of life.  It has been recognized as being in accordance with Ibn Hanbali doctrine.  The term wahhabism is not used by themselves.  The term they use is muwahhidun.  Wahhabism is a term given to them by their opponents, and is now used by both European scholars and most Arabs.  The name wahhibims comes from their founder Abdul Wahhab.  The term muwahhidun is Arabic, and means “unitarians.”  The muwahhiduns started in 1912 to establish agricultural colonies, where people from different tribes lived together.  The inhabitants of these colonies were known as “brothers.”  Each colony could house from 1,000 to 10,000 inhabitants.  The colonies were established near water sources, and were defended by arms.  Mud huts were built in place of traditional tents.

The prohibitions of Wahhabism are:

1.   No other object for worship but God.

2.   Holy men or women must not be used to win favors from God.

3.   No other name than the names of Allah may enter a prayer

4.   No smoking of tobacco.

5.   No shaving of beard.

6.   No abusive language.

7.   Rosaries are forbidden.

8.   Mosques must be built without minarets and all forms of ornaments.

The commandments of Wahhabism are:

1.   All men must attend prayer (salat).

2.   Alms (zakat) must be paid from all income.

3.   Butchers slaughtering animals according to halal must have their life styles scrutinized.  It is not sufficient that they perform the basic rituals correctly.

The movement was started by a religious scholar from Najd (Saudi Arabia), Muhammad ibn Abd alWahhab (1703 - 1792), schooled by ulama (Islamic clergy) in what is now Iraq, Iran, and the Hijaz (western Arabia). He called for a return to the sources of Islam, stressing the absolute unity of Allah (tawhid) and strict obedience to the Qurʾan (the sacred book of Islam) and the hadith (sayings and traditions attributed to the Prophet Muhammad). His understanding of tawhid was somewhat unique, following the teachings of Ahmad ibn Hanbal's (780 - 855) school of law (madhhab) and its later interpretation by Ibn Taymiyya (1263 - 1328). By 1736, his followers - often called the Muwahhidun (Unitarians), today known as Wahhabis - rejected religious innovation (bidʿa) that promoted polytheism (shirk) and unbelief (kufar), and the tradition of ziyaret, or visits to saints believed to be intercessors between humans and Allah. Muwahhidun do not necessarily consider themselves members of a sect; rather, they reject esoterism on the basis of being people of tradition (Ahl al-Hadith).

The present-day structure of the Saudi government can be traced to the religious and political alliance sealed in 1744 between Ibn al-Wahhab with his marriage to the daughter of Muhammad ibn Saʿud, ruler of the Dariyya near the modern city of Riyadh. Together they created the model of a state wherein allegiance to the shariʿa (Islamic law), not tribal customs, reigned supreme. The movement spread rapidly, perhaps due to Abd al-Wahhab's introduction of firearms among Bedouin tribes accustomed to wielding the sword and lance. After his death, the Wahhabi forces had by 1806 sacked the Shiʿite shrines of Karbala (in southwestern Iraq), occupied the holy cities of Mecca and Medina where they destroyed the tombs of revered saints, and raided the Syrian interior.

Ottoman Turkish and Egyptian garrisons in the Hijaz were not able to prevent the emergence of the Wahhabi state in the twentieth century by the Al Saʿud family in their capital, Riyadh. It began when their relations with the Al Rashid family, a Wahhabi clan governing the Shammar region, became strained and, in 1884, the Saudi family was forced to seek sanctuary with the Mubarak rulers of Kuwait. In 1901, Abd al-Aziz ibn Abd al-Rahman ibn Saʿud, son of the last Saudi governor of Riyadh, led a daring raid that restored his family's power.

By 1912 a renewal in Wahhabi doctrine led to a consolidation of various tribes, or the Ikhwan (the brothers). In 1912 Abd al-Aziz (ibn Saʿud) appealed to other Bedouins to join the Ikhwan and steadily enlarged his domains by creating militarized agricultural colonies (hujar) to transcend tribal loyalties. The Bedouin tribes posed a threat to the unification of the Saudi kingdom, and the colonies were an attempt to make farmers of seminomadic warriors. The hujar were built on the sacred principle of hijra (emigration or flight, referring to the Prophet Muhammad's flight to Medina when he was forced to leave Mecca). In 1921 Abd al-Aziz entered Haʾil, the capital of Shammar, overthrowing the Rashid family in the process. In 1924 he occupied the site of Islam's holiest cities and shrines and overthrew caliph Sharif Husayn ibn Ali.

An important shift occurred in the late 1920s. Abd al-Aziz deemed the ferocity of the Ikhwan and particularly their mutawwiʿun (enforcers of obedience), Wahhabism's religious police, unfavorable to the modern Saudi state he wished to create. The Ikhwan wished to continue their advances into other areas under British protection only to be prohibited by Abd al-Aziz, who in 1926 had been proclaimed king of the Hijaz. The Ikhwan revolted in 1927 but were crushed with difficulty in 1929. However, their defeat did not mean the end of puritanical Wahhabism.

In 1932 Hijaz and Najd became a single country, which was officially named the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, and fortunes of the Wahhabis became inextricably linked to it. King Abd al-Aziz strove to consolidate his power in those areas of the Arabian peninsula where he ruled. In alliance with the ulama, he strictly imposed the shariʿa and paid careful attention to the services accorded to the hajj (pilgrimage to Mecca). He placated Hijazi opinion by allowing ijtihad (learned opinion) in the cases brought against the government before the mazalim courts. In dire financial straits, he signed a petroleum concession with a U.S. company in 1932, and oil was discovered in 1936. His famous 1945 meeting with U.S. president Franklin D. Roosevelt on the U.S. destroyer on the Suez Canal stressed the growing international importance of Saudi Arabia, and by the end of World War II, oil production began.

The Wahhabi model appealed to other Islamic reform movements, such as the Salafiyya movement in Egypt in the late nineteenth century and the fundamentalist Muslim Brotherhood (al-Ikhwan alMuslimun) founded by Shaykh Hasan al-Banna in 1928. Like other Arab potentates, King Abd al-Aziz was greatly preoccupied with Palestine, and he sent a military contingent to participate in the Arab - Israel War of 1948, when Israel became a state. Wary of Western influence, Saudi Arabia joined Egypt and Syria in the 1950s in resisting a regional Middle East defense organization. The threat of a Nasser-type military coup brought Saudi Arabia's defection from that alliance and placed it more in line with the Hashimites.

As oil wealth began to permeate Saudi society in the early 1960s, the Wahhabi movement retained a profound influence on the social and economic development of Saudi Arabia. The mutawwiʿun, a carryover from the Ikhwan, oversaw strict observance - challenging the melodious recitation of the Qurʾan, excessive veneration at saints' tombs, desegregation of the sexes, and the appearance of the full (unveiled) female form on television.

In 1953, King Abd al-Aziz died. By the 1960s, King Faisal's call for an Islamic pact politically split the Arab world. It put him in hostile ideological conflict with the Egyptian Gamel Abdel Nasser's revolutionary, socialist and secular brand of nationalism. Egypt's swift defeat by Israel in the Arab - Israel War of 1967 seemed to vindicate King Faisal's position. Conversely, he successfully coordinated with Egypt's new president, Anwar al-Sadat, to achieve more attention to Islamic symbolism in the Arab - Israel War of 1973.

The 1973 Arab oil embargo and rise in OPEC's (Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries) oil prices brought riches to Saudi Arabia. This wealth aided a Pan Islamic "revival" and the Wahhabi kingdom built mosques and provided aid throughout Muslim countries, contributing to the strengthening of Islamist fundamentalist political groups and parties worldwide. Different local varieties of Wahhabi philosophy exist today in such varied places as Burkina Faso, Chad, Egypt, Mali, Oman, Pakistan, Qatar, Uzbekistan, as well as some mosques in the United States.

The Islamic revolution in Iran (1979) and Israel's pursuit of the PLO (Palestine Liberation Organization) into Lebanon (1982), however, ushered in a new radical wave of politically motivated Islamic neo-fundamentalism that does not share either the Wahhabi doctrinal approach to Islam or Saudi Arabia's pro-American policy. In 1988, Saudi Arabia broke relations with Iran when Iranian pilgrims to Mecca rioted and the Iranian navy fired on Saudi vessels in the Gulf. Saudi aid given to anticommunist Mojahedin (holy warriors) in Afghanistan may be seen as keeping in line with the martial spirit of the early Wahhabi movement. During the Cold War, the U.S. supported the Mojahedin in an attempt to help Afghanistan overthrow Russian control. This support inadvertantly strengthened Mojahedin and Taliban forces in the area. Saddam Hussein's invasion of Kuwait in 1990 and the ensuing Gulf Crisis caused Saudi Arabia and Kuwait to align themselves with the U.S. - led United Nations Coalition.

Wahhabism has softened a great deal since its emergence in the eighteenth century. If Islamic neo-fundamentalism and Islamist political parties are perceived as anti-Western, it will be left to see how much the Wahhabiyya will influence the direction taken by the Islamic reformist movements.

Muwaylihi, al-
Muwaylihi, al-. Name of a well-to-do family of silk merchants in Egypt.  Two of its members, Ibrahim (1844-1906) and his son Muhammad (1859-1930), became famous as journalists and writers.

Muyaka ibn Haji al-Ghassani
Muyaka ibn Haji al-Ghassani (1776-1840).  Swahili poet.  He was friend of the Mazrui governors of Fort Jesus, Mombasa.  He wrote prolifically in verse on contemporary affairs.  More than any other Swahili writer, Muyaka succeeded in transferring Swahili poetry from the mosque to the market-place.  An anthology of his poems, Diwani ya Muyaka, was published in 1940.

Muzaffar al-Din Shah Qajar
Muzaffar al-Din Shah Qajar  (Mozaffar ad-Din Shah Qajar) (Muẓaffari’d-Dīn Shāh Qājār) (March 23, 1853 – January 3, 1907).  Shah of Persia (r.1896- 1907).  When he came to the throne, Persia was the focus of intense rivalry between Britain and Russia, and corruption was widespread.  In 1897, Belgian officials were employed to re-organize and run the country’s Customs service.  The shah, who had weak health, made three journeys to Europe.

Mozaffar ad-Din Shah Qajar was the fifth Qajarid Shah of Persia. He ruled between the years 1896 and 1907. He is credited with the start of Iranian Cinema, the creation of the Iranian constitution, the first Iranian national anthem, and often wrongly credited with the rise of the Persian Constitutional Revolution which took place immediately after his death. He is often remembered as a largely ineffectual ruler who often suffered from ill health.

The son of the Qajar ruler Naser al-Din Shah Qajar, Mozaffar ad-Din Shah was named crown prince and sent as governor to the northern province of Azarbaijan in 1861. He spent his 35 years as crown prince in the pursuit of pleasure; his relations with his father were frequently strained, and he was not consulted in important matters of state. Thus, when he ascended the throne in May 1896, he was unprepared for the burdens of office.

At Mozaffar ad-Din's accession Iran faced a financial crisis, with annual governmental expenditures far in excess of revenues due to the policies of his father. During his reign, Mozzafar ad-Din attempted some reforms of the central treasury. However, the previous debt incurred by the Qajar court, owed to both England and Russia, significantly undermined this effort. He had to make up the existing deficit by contracting more unpopular loans from Russia, which exacted political concessions in return.

Like his father, Mozaffar ad-Din visited Europe three times. During these periods, on the encouragements of his chancellor Amin-os-Soltan , he borrowed money from Nicholas II of Russia to pay for his extravagant traveling expenses. During his first visit he was introduced to the "cinematographe" in Paris, France. Immediately falling in love with the silver screen the Shah ordered his personal photographer to acquire all the equipment and knowledge needed to bring the moving picture to Iran, thus starting Iranian Cinema.

Additionally, in order to manage the costs of the state and his extravagant personal lifestyle Mozaffar ad-din Shah was forced to sign many concessions, providing foreigners with monopolistic control of various Iranian industries and markets. One example being the D'Arcy Oil Concession.

Widespread fears amongst the aristocracy, educated elites, and religious leaders about the concessions and foreign control resulted in some protests in 1906. These resulted in the Shah accepting a suggestion to create a Majles (National Consultative Assembly) in October 1906, by which the monarch's power was curtailed as he granted a constitution and parliament to the people. Mozaffar ad-Din died of a heart attack 40 days after granting this constitution.

Mozaffar ad-Din Shah Qajar see Muzaffar al-Din Shah Qajar
Muẓaffari’d-Dīn Shāh Qājār see Muzaffar al-Din Shah Qajar
Qajar, Muzaffari'd-Din Shah see Muzaffar al-Din Shah Qajar
Qajar, Mozaffar ad-Din Shah  see Muzaffar al-Din Shah Qajar
Qajar, Muzaffar al-Din Shah see Muzaffar al-Din Shah Qajar

Muzaffar, al-Malik Taqi’l-Din al-
Muzaffar, al-Malik Taqi’l-Din al- (al-Malik al-Muzaffar) (1139-1191).  Nephew and army commander of Saladin.  He was the founder of the branch of the Ayyubids which ruled in Hamat from 1178 until 1341 and one of the leading military and administrative personalities of the twelfth century.

Malik al-Muzaffar, al- see Muzaffar, al-Malik Taqi’l-Din al-
Malik al- Taqi'l-Din al-Muzaffar, al- see Muzaffar, al-Malik Taqi’l-Din al-

Muzaffarids. One of the successor dynasties (r. 1314-1393) which arose in Kirman, Fars and Jibal following the disintegration of the Il-Khanid Empire.  The Muzaffarids were an Arab dynasty in southern Iran (Fars, Kerman), Kurdistan, and for a time throughout Persia which ruled from 1314 to 1393.  Their main capitals were, beginning in 1319, Yazd and, from 1353, Shiraz.  The dynasty is named from Sharaf al-Din Muzaffar, grandson of a ruler in Khurasan, who advanced in the court of the Ilkhanids and became governor of Maibod near Isfahan.  His brutal son, Mubariz al-Din Muhammad (r. 1314-1358), succeeded his father in 1314 and occupied Yazd in 1318, where he was acknowledged as governor.  When the Ilkhanids fell (in 1335), he became independent, conquered Kerman in 1341 and Fars with Shiraz in 1353, and occupied Isfahan and Tabriz in 1357, making the Muzaffarids the most important political power in Iran.  Subsequently, there were battles with the Jalayirids for dominance over the Iran-Iraq region.  Cultural achievement and wealth arrived under Shah Shuja (r. 1358-1384).  From 1387, the Muzaffarids became absorbed in a battle between pretenders, until they were removed by Timur in 1393.  The Muzaffarids took pains to display an unimpeachable orthodoxy, and were patrons of men of letters.  Hafiz, one of the greatest of Persian poets, was one of the many artists who flourished under Shah Shuja’s rule.  Shortly after Shah Shuja’s death, Timur defeated the Muzaffarids and ended their rule.

The Muzaffarids were a Sunni family that came to power in Iran following the breakup of the Ilkhanate in the 14th century.  The Muzaffarids originated as an Arab family that settled in Khorasan from the beginning of Caliphal rule there. They stayed in Khorasan up until the Mongol invasion of that province, at which point they fled to Yazd. Serving under the Il-Khans, they gained prominence when Sharaf al-Din Muzaffar was made governor of Maibud. He was tasked with crushing the robber-bands that were roaming around the country.

Sharaf al-Din's son, Mubariz ad-Din Muhammad, was brought up at the Il-Khan's court but returned to Maibud upon the death of the Il-Khan Öljeitü. In around 1319, he overthrew the atabeg of Yazd and was subsequently recognized as governor of the city by the central Il-Khan government. Following this, he began fighting against the Neguderis, a Mongol tribal group. He managed to face this crisis with a minimum of loss.

In the wake of the loss of Il-Khan authority in central Iran following the death of Abu Sa'id (Ilkhanid dynasty), Mubariz ad-Din continued to carry out his expansionary policy. In 1339 or 1340 he invaded the province of Kirman and seized it from its Mongol governor, Kutb al-Din ibn Nasir. Kutb al-Din was able to retake the province for a short time after receiving aid from the Kartid dynasty of Herat, but Mubariz al-Din permanently gained control of Kirman in late 1340. The city of Bam was besieged and conquered a few years after this.

After the conquest of Kirman, Mubariz al-Din became a rival of the neighboring Injuids, who controlled Shiraz and Isfahan. Although the Muzaffarids and Injuids had traditionally been on friendly terms with one another, the Injuid Abu Ishaq's desire to gain Kirman led him to start a drawn-out conflict with the Muzaffarids in 1347. He unsuccessfully besieged Yazd (1350-1351), after which his fortunes declined rapidly. Defeated on the field in 1353, Abu Ishaq was forced to take refuge in Shiraz and finally surrender. He managed to escape from Shiraz and fled to Isfahan, but Mubariz al-Din pursued him, took the city and executed the Injuid ruler. Fars and western Iran were now under his control.

With the destruction of Injuid authority, the Muzaffarids were the strongest power in central Iran, and Shiraz was made their capital. Mubariz al-Din's strength was such that when the khan of the Golden Horde, Jani Beg, sent an offer to become his vassal, he was able to decline. In fact, he pushed on into Azerbaijan, which Jani Beg had conquered in 1357. He defeated the khan's governor Akhichuq and occupied Tabriz, but realized that he could not hold his position against the Jalayirid troops marching from Baghdad and soon retreated. The Jalayirids would therefore maintain a hold on Tabriz, despite further attempts by the Muzaffarids to take it.

Mubariz al-Din was known as a cruel ruler, and soon afterwards, in 1358, his son Abu'l Fawaris Shah Shuja blinded and imprisoned him. A temporary reconciliation was reached, but it failed to last and he died, again in prison, in 1363.

Shah Shuja proved to be less of a tyrannic figure, but he was constantly fighting with his brothers, causing a long period of instability. In 1363, he marched against his first brother Shah Mahmud, who had been given control of Isfahan, although a peace was soon brokered. In the following year, however, Shah Mahmud, with the support of his father-in-law Shaikh Uvais of the Jalayirids, invaded Fars and captured Shiraz. Shah Shuja would not be able to reconquer his capital until 1366. Shah Mahmud would continue to play an influential role in Iranian politics, using his marriage alliance to claim Tabriz from the Jalayirids after Shaikh Uvais died in 1374. He occupied the city but soon gave up after he was struck by illness. He died the next year, allowing Shah Shuja to occupy Isfahan.

Shah Shuja then marched on Tabriz himself, but was forced to turn back when internal conditions in Fars deteriorated. His second brother Shah Muzaffar's son, Shah Yahya, rose in revolt in Isfahan. Having to make peace with the Jalayirids, Shah Shuja offered to marry his son Zain Al-Abidin to a sister of the Jalayirid ruler Husain. The Jalayirids refused the offer and invaded, although Shah Shuja managed to prevent them from getting any further than Sultaniyya. Before dying in 1384, he named his son Zain al-Abidin his successor and his third brother 'Imad ad-Din Ahmad as governor of Kirman. Not satisfied with the arrangement, Shah Yahya advanced against Shiraz, but was expelled from Isfahan by the city's populace and was forced to flee to Yazd. On his deathbed, Shah Shuja wrote a letter to Timur, who was then campaigning in Azerbaijan, in which he gave his sons' loyalty to the conqueror.

When Zain Al-Abidin succeeded his father, he quickly ignored the declaration of loyalty. Timur therefore marched into the Muzaffarid lands. He came to Isfahan, where the governor gave him control of the city, but a rebellion in the city killed any goodwill Timur had, resulting in a slaughter of the populace. Zain Al-Abidin fled from Shiraz in an attempt to make it to the Jalayirids in Baghdad, who were enemies of Timur. However, he encountered Shah Yahya's brother Shah Mansur, who imprisoned him. Shiraz soon fell to Timur. Shah Mansur and 'Imad ad-Din Ahmad, along with other Muzaffarid princes, went to Shiraz to declare their loyalty, whereupon Timur restored them to their positions. The conqueror soon after returned to Transoxiana; Shiraz was given to Shah Yahya.

Unfortunately, the Muzaffarids soon began to resume their local feuding. Shah Mansur began by expelling Shah Yahya from Shiraz, whereupon Shah Yahya again fled to Yazd. Shah Mansur then conquered Arbaquh, but failed to take Isfahan. Meanwhile, Zain al-Abidin escaped from prison and reached Isfahan. An alliance was then formed between Zain al-Abidin, Shah Yahya and 'Imad ad-Din Ahmad against Shah Mansur. The alliance proved to be unstable, however, and when they met Shah Mansur's army at Furg, Shah Yahya failed to show and 'Imad ad-Din Ahmad quickly retreated. The latter met Shah Mansur again, this time at Fasa, but lost and was captured in Ray. He was blinded and imprisoned. Shah Mansur then approached Kirman, where Sultan Ahmad and Shah Yahya had gone after the events at Furg. He offered a common alliance against Timur, but was rebuffed and thereafter returned to Shiraz.

Timur, who while campaigning elsewhere took note of these events, decided in 1392 that a campaign against Shah Mansur was in order. Shah Mansur gained the Sarbadar Muluk as his ally; Muluk was sent to defend Kashan and the Muzaffarid northern front. By March 1393 Timur had advanced down to Shushtar and Dizful, installing a Sarbadar as governor there. He also freed 'Imad-Din Ahmad from imprisonment. Shah Mansur fled Shiraz, but then turned around and met Timur's forces. With an army weakened by desertions, he fought bravely but was forced to retreat. Attempting to reach Shiraz, he was captured by forces of prince Shah Rukh and was decapitated. The other Muzaffarid princes then again swore allegiance to Timur. They were received honorably by the conqueror, but on May 22 in Qumisha they were executed. Only Zain al-Abidin and Sultan Shibli (another son of Shah Shuja) survived the purge.  They were sent to Samarkand.

The Muzaffarid rulers were:

    * Mubariz ad-Din Muhammad ibn al-Muzaffar (1314-1358)
    * Abu'l Fawaris Djamal ad-Din Shah Shuja (first Yazd, then Shiraz 1353) (1335-1364, 1366-1384) with...
    * Qutb Al-Din Shah Mahmud (at Isfahan) (1358-1366) d. 1375
    * Mujahid ad-Din Zain Al-Abidin 'Ali (1384-1387)
    * To the Timurid Empire...
          o 'Imad ad-Din Sultan Ahmad (at Kerman)........1387-1391 with...
          o Mubariz ad-Din Shah Yahya (at Shiraz)........1387-1391 and...
          o Sultan Abu Ishaq (in Sirajan)................1387-1391
          o Shah Mansur (Persia) (at Isfahan).....................1391-1393

Muzani, Abu Ibrahim al-
Muzani, Abu Ibrahim al- (Abu Ibrahim al-Muzani) (791-878).  “Champion” of the Shafi‘i school of law.  He compiled a celebrated compendium of the writings and lectures of his teacher al-Shafi‘i.
Abu Ibrahim al-Muzani see Muzani, Abu Ibrahim al-

Mwana Kupona
Mwana Kupona (Mwana Kupona binti Msham) (1810, Pate Island - 1860/1865).  Swahili poetess.  She was the wife of Bwana Mataka, the Sheikh of Siu in Kenya, who for 20 years carried on a guerrilla warfare against Sayyid Said, Sultan of Zanzibar.  She wrote one very well-known poem called Utendi wa Mwana Kupona (“The Homilectic of Mwana Kupona”).

Mwana Kupona binti Msham was a Swahili poetess of the 19th century, author of a poem known as Utendi wa Mwana Kupona ("the book of Mwana Kupona"), which is one of the most well-known works of early Swahili literature.

Relatively little is known about her life. Her grandson Muhammed bin Abdalla  reported in the 1930s that Mwana Kupona was born in Pate, and that she was the last wife of sheikh Bwana Mataka, ruler of Siu (or Siyu), with whom she had two children. Mataka died in 1856; two years later, Mwana Kupona wrote her famous poem, dedicated to her 14 year old daughter Mwana Heshima. Mwana Kupona died around 1865 of womb hemorrhaging.

The poem Utendi wa Mwana Kupona dates to ca. 1858 and is centered on the teachings and advice of Mwana Kupona to her daughter concerning marriage and wifely duties. Despite the seemingly secular subject, the book is prominently religious and even mystical. It has been compared to the biblical Book of Proverbs. A few lines of the poem are dedicated to the author herself.

The Kenyan writer and Swahili literature scholar Kitula King'ei published in 2000 a children's book entitled Mwana Kupona: Poetess from Lamu, based on the work and life of Mwana Kupona.

Kupona, Mwana see Mwana Kupona
Mwana Kupona binti Msham see Mwana Kupona

Mwinyi Kheri
Mwinyi Kheri (c. 1820-1885).  Arab trader and ruler of Ujiji.  Born on the Tanzanian coast, he was among the first Arab traders to open trading stations at Lake Tanganyika during the 1840s.  There the Arabs established the town of Ujiji among the Ha people and supervised a large trading network.  Mwinyi Kheri amassed a personal fortune and rose to leadership of the community by the 1870s.  He pioneered trade routes north of the lake and exercised a nominal suzerainty over neighboring chiefs, who relied on Ujiji for imports.  When European missionaries arrived in 1878, he co-operated with them tacitly, allowing their enterprises to expire of their own accord.  In 1881, he accepted the formal title of governor of Ujiji under the Zanzibari Sultan Barghash, but continued to run his affairs very much as before.
Kheri, Mwinyi see Mwinyi Kheri

Nabataeans (in Arabic, Nabat).  The Arabs distinguish between the Nabataeans of Syria, installed at Petra towards the end of the Hellenistic imperial era and at the beginning of the Roman one, and those of Iraq.

The Nabataeans (Arabic: al-Anbāṭ) were an ancient Semitic people, Arabs of southern Jordan, Canaan and the northern part of Arabia, whose oasis settlements in the time of Josephus  (37 – c. 100), gave the name of Nabatene to the borderland between Syria and Arabia, from the Euphrates to the Red Sea. Their loosely-controlled trading network, which centered on strings of oases that they controlled, where agriculture was intensively practiced in limited areas, and on the routes that linked them, had no securely defined boundaries in the surrounding desert. Trajan conquered the Nabataean kingdom, annexing it to the Roman Empire, where their individual culture, easily identified by their characteristic finely-potted painted ceramics, became dispersed in the general Greco-Roman culture and was eventually lost.

Many examples of graffiti and inscriptions — largely of names and greetings — document the area of Nabataean culture, which extended as far north as the north end of the Dead Sea, and testify to widespread literacy. However, no Nabataean literature has survived, nor was any noted in antiquity, and the temples bear no inscriptions.  Analysis has suggested that the Nabataean culture may have embraced multiple ethnicities. Classical references to the Nabataeans begin with Diodorus Siculus. They suggest that the Nabataeans' trade routes and the origins of their goods were regarded as trade secrets, and disguised in tales that should have strained outsiders' credulity. Diodorus Siculus (book ii) described them as a strong tribe of some 10,000 warriors, pre-eminent among the nomads

of Arabia, eschewing agriculture, fixed houses, and the use of wine, but adding to pastoral pursuits a profitable trade with the seaports in frankincense and myrrh and spices from Arabia Felix (today's Yemen), as well as a trade with Egypt in bitumen from the Dead Sea. Their arid country was their best safeguard, for the bottle-shaped cisterns for rain-water which they excavated in the rocky or clay-rich soil were carefully concealed from invaders.

The extent of Nabataean trade resulted in cross-cultural influences that reached as far as the Red Sea coast of southern Arabia. The gods worshipped at Petra were headed by Dushara and al-Uzza.

The Babylonian captivity of Hebrews that began in 586 B.C.T. opened a power vacuum in Judah, and as Edomites moved into Judaean grazing lands, Nabataean inscriptions began to be left in Edomite territory. The first definite appearance was in 312 B.C.T., when they were attacked at Petra without success by Antigonus I.  At that time, Hieronymus of Cardia, a Seleucid officer, mentioned the Nabateans in a battle report.

Petra or Sela was the ancient capital of Edom. The Nabataeans must have occupied the old Edomite country, and succeeded to its commerce, after the Edomites took advantage of the Babylonian captivity to press forward into southern Judaea. This migration, the date of which cannot be determined, also made them masters of the shores of the Gulf of Aqaba and the important harbor of Elath. Here, according to Agatharchides, they were for a time very troublesome, as wreckers and pirates, to the reopened commerce between Egypt and the East, until they were chastised by the Ptolemaic rulers of Alexandria.

The Nabataeans had already some tincture of foreign culture when they first appear in history. That culture was naturally Aramaic; they wrote a letter to Antigonus in Syriac letters, and Aramaic continued to be the language of their coins and inscriptions when the tribe grew into a kingdom, and profited by the decay of the Seleucids to extend its borders northward over the more fertile country east of the Jordan. They occupied Hauran, and in about 85 B.C.T. their king Aretas III became lord of Damascus and Coele-Syria. Nabataeans became the Arabic name for Aramaeans, whether in Syria or Iraq, a fact which has been incorrectly held to prove that the Nabataeans were originally Aramaean immigrants from Babylonia. Proper names on their inscriptions suggest that they were true Arabs who had come under Aramaic influence.

The language of the Nabataean inscriptions, attested from the 2nd century B.C.T., shows a local development of the Aramaic language, which had ceased to have super-regional importance after the collapse of the Achaemenid Empire (330 B.C.T.). The Nabataean alphabet itself also developed out of the Aramaic alphabet.

This Aramaic dialect was increasingly affected by the Arabic dialect of the local population. From the 4th century of the Christian calendar, the Arabic influence becomes overwhelming, in a way that it may be said the Nabataean language shifted seamlessly from Aramaic to Arabic. The Arabic alphabet itself developed out of cursive variants of the Nabataean script in the 5th century of the Christian calendar..

The Nabataeans were allies of the first Hasmoneans in their struggles against the Seleucid monarchs. They then became rivals of the Judaean dynasty in the period of its splendor, and a chief element in the disorders which invited Pompey's intervention in Judea. Many Nabataeans were forcefully converted to Judaism by the Hasmonean king Alexander Jannaeus. It was this King who after putting down a local rebellion invaded and occupied the Nabatean towns of Moab and Gilead and imposed a tribute of an unspecified amount. Obodas I knew that Alexander would attack, so was able to ambush Alexander's forces near Gaulane destroying the Judean army (90 B.C.T.).

The Roman military was not very successful in their campaigns against the Nabataeans. In 62 B.C.T., Marcus Aemilius Scaurus accepted a bribe of 300 talents to lift the siege of Petra, partly because of the difficult terrain and the fact Scaurus had run out of food provisions. Hyrcanus who was a friend of Aretas was dispatched by Scaurus to the King to buy peace. In so obtaining peace King Aretas retained his whole possessions, including Damascus and became a Roman vassal.

During the King Malichus II reign, in 32 B.C.T., Herod the Great started a war against Nabatea, with the support of Cleopatra. The war started with Herod's army plundering Nabataea and with a large cavalry force, and the occupation of Dium. After this defeat the Nabatean forces amassed near Canatha in Syria, but were attacked and routed. Athenio (Cleopatra's General) sent Canathans to the aid of the Nabateans, and this force crushed Herod's army which then fled to Ormiza. One year later, Herod's army overran Nabataea.

After an earthquake in Judea, the Nabateans rebelled and invaded Israel, but Herod at once crossed the Jordan river to Philadelphia (modern Amman) and both sides set up camp. The Nabateans under Elthemus refused to give battle, so Herod forced the issue when he attacked their camp. A confused mass of Nabateans gave battle but were defeated. Once the defeated had retreated to their defenses, Herod laid siege to the camp and over time some of the defenders surrendered. The remaining Nabatean forces offered 500 talents for peace but this was rejected. Lacking water, the Nabateans were forced out of their camp for battle, but were defeated in this last battle.

An ally of the Roman Empire, the Nabataean kingdom continued to flourish throughout the first century. Its power extended far into Arabia along the Red Sea to Yemen, and Petra was a cosmopolitan marketplace, though its commerce was diminished by the rise of the Eastern trade-route from Myoshormus to Coptos on the Nile. Under the Pax Romana they lost their warlike and nomadic habits, and were a sober, acquisitive, orderly people, wholly intent on trade and agriculture.

The kingdom was a bulwark between Rome and the wild hordes of the desert but for Trajan, who reduced Petra and broke up the Nabataean nationality as the short-lived Roman province of Arabia Petraea.

By the third century, the Nabateans had stopped writing in Aramaic and begun writing in Greek instead, and by the fourth century they had converted to Christianity. The new Arab invaders who soon pressed forward into their seats found the remnants of the Nabataeans transformed into-- peasants. Their lands were divided between the new Qahtanite Arab tribal kingdoms of the Byzantine vassals the Ghassanid Arabs and the Himyarite vassals the Kindah Arab Kingdom in North Arabia.

The city of Petra was brought to the attention of Westerners by the Swiss explorer Johann Ludwig Burckhardt in 1812.

Nabat see Nabataeans
Anbat, al- see Nabataeans

Nabhan, Banu
Nabhan, Banu (Banu Nabhan).  Name of a tribe in Oman, whose offshoots are found in Pate, in the Lamu archipelago of East Africa, and in Kilwa.
Banu Nabhan see Nabhan, Banu

Nabi. Arabic word which means “prophet.”

Muhammad is regarded as not only the greatest of the prophets, but also as the “seal of the prophets,” that is, the last of the prophets, who authenticates the messages of the prophets who came before him.  The term nabi has Hebrew and Aramaic antecedents, as does the exposition of the concept of prophets in the Qur’an.  

Islam’s relationship to its Semitic, monotheistic predecessors is evident in the prophetology outlined by Muhammad.  Sura 6:83-86 of the Qur’an sets forth what is tantamount to a catechismal listing of the prophets whom Allah guided to the straight path before Muhammad.  Most are to be found in the Old and New Testaments, although not always as prophets and often with a different emphasis to the anecdotes for which they have become renowned.  First and foremost among them is Abraham, the hanif or rightly guided one.  Abraham is followed by Isaac and Jacob, Noah, David and Solomon, Job and Joseph, Moses and Aaron, Zachariah and John, Jesus and Elijah, Ishmael (Isma’il) and Elisha, Jonah and Lot.  Elsewhere in the Qur’an, Shu’aib and Idris are also lauded as prophets.

The Qur’anic prophets do not attract equal attention; Moses and Jesus, together with Abraham, are considerably more important than, for instance, Aaron, Elisha, or Lot.  Yet all the above are deemed prophets because they appeared among the People of the Book.  In this respect, they differ from apostles -- from the rasul --, such as Hud and Salih, who were sent to the Arabs before the latter were given a book.  Often apostles and prophets are bracketed together as related but variant terms.  In addition to Muhammad, we find Noah, Lot, Ishmael, Moses, and Jesus depicted as both apostles and prophets for their respective generations.  It may be possible to pinpoint a theological distinction between the Qur’anic usage of apostle and prophet, that every apostle is a prophet but not every prophet is an apostle.  Except for Hud and Salih, that distinction would appear to be valid, but more important, it seems, is to remember that both terms refer to an inspired religious leader, with nabi stressing the relationship of the leader to a revealed book -- a kitab -- while rasul underscores his advocacy of truth to a community of people.  Muhammad, therefore, is described in the Qur’an as God’s first apostle to the Arabs (Hud and Salih notwithstanding) and God’s last prophet to mankind, revealing a book without error or contradiction, the Qur’an.
It is the pivotal role of Muhammad as prophet and apostle which has enlivened Muslim fascination with other prophets, both in and beyond the pages of the Qur’an.  The total number of prophets was said to have reached 124,000, of whom 315 were reportedly apostles.  All were endowed with legendary traits, and “proved” their prophetic missions through the performance of extraordinary feats (i.e., miracles).  Thus, Adam, who is not specifically labeled a prophet in the Qur’an, becomes a prophet in Islamic tradition by virtue of his encounter with Iblis (Satan) and his designation as God’s successor on earth (Qur’an 2:29-38).  Subsequent stories elaborate Adam’s precreation existence, his foreknowledge of world history, and his experiences on Sarandip (Sri Lanka), where he landed following his expulsion from Paradise.

Some of the stories concerning Adam have rabbinic, or occasionally Christian, parallels.   The stories about Adam and each of the prophets came in time to comprise an independent and widely popular literary genre known as qisas al-anhiya -- “tales of the prophets”.  The stories were exposited in every major Islamic language and dialect.  They became integral to the world view of medieval Muslims, adorning Qur’anic commentaries, works of poetry, moral treatises, and also Sufi speculative writings.  An example of the latter is the Fusas al-hakim – “The Wisdom of the Prophets” --  written by the renowned Andalusian mystic Muhyi ‘d-Din ibn ‘Arabi.  Each chapter describes a major prophet with reference to his distinctive or dominant spiritual quality.  Abraham is the epitome of intimacy, Moses of transcendence, and Jesus of prophecy itself.  The book, of course, concludes with the wisdom of Muhammad, to underscore the finality of his prophethood and also his summation of all the qualities exemplified by earlier prophets.

Popular piety, and perhaps theological necessity, gradually elevated Muhammad from the role of a mere mortal messenger to the status of a cosmic being equivalent to the perfect man (al-insan al-kamil).  As a result, Muhammad’s prophethood, like his humanity, came to acquire an aura of sanctity.  The doctrine of sinlessness – ‘isma --, resembling the doctrine of infallibility accorded their imams by the Shi‘ites, was attached to Muhammad, suggesting that he did not sin as other men.  By analogy, some theologians reasoned, all prophets were to be viewed as sinless; and to emphasize their lofty status, they were categorically compared and contrasted with saints.  

Prophets never sinned; saints did, though only in minor matters.  Prophets had foreknowledge of their ability to do the extraordinary or unexpected, and they performed miracles (mu’jizat) as proofs of their divine mission.  Saints, on the other hand, never knew for certain that they could contravene nature’s laws and, even if they could, they were advised to restrain themselves.  Lacking restraint, they produced only isolated wonders -- karamat.
Despite the numerous ways in which prophets were extolled, the fundamental doctrine at stake, in both dogmatic theology and popular piety, was the finality of Muhammad’s prophethood.  Saints challenged that doctrine obliquely by asserting that their authority was derivative from, and yet similar to, that of the prophets.  Consider the popular tradition, ascribed to Muhammad, that “the shaikh among his group is like the prophet among his community.”  Some mystic leaders went still further, claiming to be renovators -- mujaddidun -- of the entire Islamic community.  Two Indian Muslims, Shaikh Ahmad Sirhindi (d.1621) and Ghulam Ahmad Qadiyani (d. 1908) for instance, arrogated prophetic functions to themselves, in order, they argued, to restore the law of Muhammad which had been corrupted by intervening generations.  Most pious Muslims, including the ‘ulama’, have also sensed that corruption has infected and weakened the community of Muhammad’s followers, but they have not viewed the redefinition of Muhammad’s finality as an acceptable expedient for removing that corruption.  Instead, they have found solace in reaffirming the traditional doctrine, as have progressive, modernist Muslims, such as the rationalist-reformer Sayyid Ahmad Khan (d.1898).

prophet see Nabi.

Nabigha al-Ja‘di, al-
Nabigha al-Ja‘di, al- (d. c. 698).  Poet and Companion of the Prophet.  He took the part of ‘Ali and consequently suffered great harm under Mu‘awiya’s rule.  In his poetry, he is influenced by Labid ibn Rabi‘a.

Nabi, Yusuf
Nabi, Yusuf (Yusuf Nabi) (Yusef Nabi) (1642 – April 10, 1712).   Ottoman poet from Urfa.  His most famous poetical work is a book of advice from father to son meant as a guide for life.

Yusef Nabi was a Turkish Divan poet in the court of Mehmet IV. He was famous for his brilliant lyrics filled with popular sayings and critiques of the age accompanied by verses commemorating innumerable important occasions.

At the age of 24, Nabi left Şanlıurfa Province and went to Istanbul.

Yusuf Nabi see Nabi, Yusuf
Yusef Nabi see Nabi, Yusuf
Nabi, Yusef see Nabi, Yusuf

Nabob.  Corruption of the Indo-Persian word nawab (“deputy”).  Originally, the term denoted the deputy of a Mughal emperor.  In eighteenth century India it came to designate an autonomous prince or ruler.  In England, at that time nabob became an epithet applied to nouveau riche.  Europeans who returned from the East with fortunes that they spent in an extravagant, ostentatious, and profligate manner, Rober Clive was undoubtedly the first and prehaps the archetypal nabob, even though many earlier servants of the East India Company made fortunes.  Buying country estates and “rotten boroughs” (or even titles) that enabled them to get seats in Parliament, the peddled influence or became part of the India “interest” (i.e., lobby).  Old and noble families scorned them for their lavish, loud, and boorish ways.  The term was also applied to all Europeans who lived well in IndiIn colloquial usage in English (since 1612), adopted in other Western languages, the form nabob refers to commoners: a merchant-leader of high social status and wealth.

"Nabob" derives from the Bengali pronunciation of "nawab". During the 18th century in particular, it was widely used as a disparaging term for British merchants or administrators who, having made a fortune in India, returned to Britain and aspired to be recognized as having the higher social status that their new wealth would enable them to maintain. Jos Sedley in Thackeray's Vanity Fair is probably the best known example in fiction. From this specific usage it came to be sometimes used for ostentatiously rich businesspeople in general. It can also be used metaphorically for people who have a grandiose style or manner of speech, as in the famous dismissal of the news media as "nattering nabobs of negativism" in a speech that was delivered by Spiro Agnew and written by William Safire.

Nader Afshar
Nader Afshar (Nadir Shah) (Nāder Shāh Afshār) (Nādr Qoli Beg) (Tahmāsp Qoli Khān) (b. October 22, 1688/November, 1688, Kobhan, Safavid Iran –  d. June 19, 1747, Fathabad)  .  Military leader who was shah of Iran (1736-1747).  Nader Afshar expelled the Afghan invaders and conquered part of India.

Nādir Shah was the Iranian ruler and conqueror who created an Iranian empire that stretched from the Indus River to the Caucasus Mountains.

Nadr Qolī Beg had an obscure beginning in the Turkish Afshar tribe, which was loyal to the Ṣafavid shahs of Iran. After serving under a local chieftain, Nadr formed and led a band of robbers, showing marked powers of leadership. In 1726, as head of this group of bandits, he led 5,000 followers in support of the Ṣafavid shah Ṭahmāsp II, who was seeking to regain the throne his father had lost four years earlier to the Ghilzay Afghan usurper Maḥmūd. Nadr reformed Iran’s military forces and utterly defeated the Ghilzay Afghans in a series of brilliant victories, after which he restored Ṭahmāsp to the Iranian throne.

Nadr then attacked and routed the Ottoman Turks, who had occupied adjacent areas of Azerbaijan and Iraq. Meanwhile, Ṭahmāsp had rashly attacked the Turks while Nadr was absent quelling a revolt in Khorāsān, but the shah was heavily defeated and was forced to conclude peace with the Turks on ignominious terms. Enraged at this, Nadr hurried back, deposed Ṭahmāsp, placed the latter’s infant son on the throne, and declared himself regent. After sustaining a defeat at the hands of the Turks in Iraq, Nadr revenged himself by driving them completely out of Iran. Then, by threatening Russia with war, he forced that nation to relinquish its Caspian provinces to Iran. In 1736, Nadr deposed the youthful ʿAbbās III (as Ṭahmāsp II’s son was styled) and ascended the Iranian throne himself, taking the title of Nādir Shāh.

With the navy he proceeded to build, Nādir Shāh was able not only to take Bahrain from the Arabs but also to invade and conquer Oman. In February 1739, after capturing several cities of the Mughal Empire of northern India, he moved against the main Mughal armies at Karnal, India. He won the battle and entered Delhi, returning to Iran with vast amounts of loot, including the fabulous Peacock Throne and the Koh-i-noor diamond. He then attacked the Uzbeks around the cities of Bukhara and Khiva. His empire had reached its furthest expansion and rivaled the territorial extent of the ancient Iranian empires.

In 1741, after an assassination attempt on him had failed, Nādir Shāh suspected his eldest son of complicity and had him blinded. He also attempted to make the largely Shīʿite populace of Iran adopt the Sunni form of Islam. In 1743, Nādir Shāh again attacked the Ottoman Turks, but revolts in Iran forced him to conclude a truce. He renewed hostilities with the Turks as soon as possible, winning a great victory over them near Yerevan. Peace was concluded in 1746.

Although brilliantly successful as a soldier and general, Nādir Shāh had little talent for statesmanship or administration, and Iran became utterly exhausted during the later years of his reign. Tens of thousands of people perished in his ceaseless military campaigns, and the exactions of his tax gatherers ruined the country’s economy. Nādir Shāh had always been harsh and ruthless, but these traits became more pronounced as he grew older. His suspiciousness and capricious cruelty continued to grow, and wherever he went he had people tortured and executed. The consequence was that revolt after revolt against him occurred. In the end he was assassinated by his own troops while attempting to crush an uprising in Khorāsān. Nādir Shāh’s only interests were war and conquest. Once, when informed that there was no warfare in paradise, he remarked: “How then can there be any delights there?”

Nāder Shāh Afshār ruled as Shah of Iran (1736–47) and was the founder of the Afsharid dynasty. Because of his military genius, some historians have described him as the Napoleon of Persia or the Second Alexander. Nader Shah was a member of the Turcophone Afshar tribe of northern Persia, which had supplied military power to the Safavid state since the time of Shah Ismail I. Nader rose to power during a period of anarchy in Persia after a rebellion by Afghans had overthrown the weak Shah Soltan Hossein, and both the Ottomans and the Russians had seized Persian territory for themselves. Nader reunited the Persian realm and removed the invaders. He became so powerful that he decided to depose the last members of the Safavid dynasty, which had ruled Persia for over 200 years, and become shah himself in 1736. His campaigns created a great empire that briefly encompassed what is now Iran, Afghanistan, Pakistan, parts of the Caucasus region, and parts of Central Asia, but his military spending had a ruinous effect on the Persian economy. Nader idolized Genghis Khan and Timur, the previous conquerors from Central Asia. Nader imitated their military prowess and—especially later in his reign—their cruelty. Nader Shah's victories briefly made him the Middle East's most powerful sovereign, but his empire quickly disintegrated after he was assassinated in 1747. Nader Shah has been described as the last great Asian military conqueror. He is credited for restoring Iranian power as an eminence between the Ottomans and the Mughals.

Nadir Shah see Nader Afshar
Shah, Nadir see Nader Afshar
Afshar, Nader see Nader Afshar
Nader Shah Afshar see Nader Afshar
Nadr Ooli Beg see Nader Afshar
Tahmasp Ooli Khan see Nader Afshar

Nadhir Ahmad Dihlawi
Nadhir Ahmad Dihlawi (1836-1912).  Urdu prose writer.  He is often described as “the first real novelist” in that language.
Dihlawi, Nadhir Ahmad see Nadhir Ahmad Dihlawi

Nadhr al-Islam, Qadi
Nadhr al-Islam, Qadi (Kazi Nazrul Islam) (May 25, 1899 - August 29, 1976). Revolutionary Bengali poet.  He was the greatest Muslim contributor to modern Bengali literature.

Kazi Nazrul Islam was an Indian Bengali poet, musician and revolutionary who pioneered poetic works espousing intense spiritual rebellion against fascism and oppression. His poetry and nationalist activism earned him the popular title of Bidrohi Kobi (Rebel Poet). Accomplishing a large body of acclaimed works through his life, Nazrul is officially recognized as the national poet of Bangladesh and commemorated in India.

Born into a poor Muslim family, Nazrul received religious education and worked as a muezzin at a local mosque. He learned of poetry, drama, and literature while working with theatrical groups. After serving in the British Indian Army, Nazrul established himself as a journalist in Kolkata (then Calcutta). He assailed the British Raj in India and preached revolution through his poetic works, such as "Bidrohi" ("The Rebel") and "Bhangar Gaan" ("The Song of Destruction"), as well as his publication "Dhumketu" ("The Comet"). His impassioned activism in the Indian independence movement often led to his imprisonment by British authorities. While in prison, Nazrul wrote the "Rajbandir Jabanbandi" ("Deposition of a Political Prisoner"). Exploring the life and conditions of the downtrodden masses of India, Nazrul worked for their emancipation.

Nazrul's writings explore themes such as love, freedom, and revolution; he opposed all bigotry, including religious and gender. Throughout his career, Nazrul wrote short stories, novels, and essays but is best-known for his poems, in which he pioneered new forms such as Bengali ghazals. Nazrul wrote and composed music for his nearly 4,000 songs (including gramophone records), collectively known as Nazrul geeti (Nazrul songs), which are widely popular today. At the age of 43 (in 1942) he began suffering from an unknown disease, losing his voice and memory. Eventually diagnosed as Pick's disease, it caused Nazrul's health to decline steadily and forced him to live in isolation for many years. Invited by the Government of Bangladesh, Nazrul and his family moved to Dhaka in 1972, where he died four years later.

Qadi Nadhr al-Islam see Nadhr al-Islam, Qadi
Kazi Nazrul Islam see Nadhr al-Islam, Qadi
Islam, Qadi Nadhr al- see Nadhr al-Islam, Qadi
Islam, Kazi Nazrul  see Nadhr al-Islam, Qadi
Kazi Nozrul Islam see Nadhr al-Islam, Qadi
Islam, Kazi Nozrul see Nadhr al-Islam, Qadi

Nadim, al-Sayyid ‘Abd Allah al-
Nadim, al-Sayyid ‘Abd Allah al- (al-Sayyid ‘Abd Allah al-Nadim) (1843-1896).  Radical Egyptian orator and propagandist.  In 1881, he founded a newspaper which became the organ of the movement led by ‘Urabi Pasha.  
Sayyid 'Abd Allah al-Nadim, al- see Nadim, al-Sayyid ‘Abd Allah al-

Nadir.  See Nader Afshar.

Nafi ‘al-Laythi
Nafi ‘al-Laythi (d. 785).  One of the seven canonical Qur’an “readers.”
Laythi, Nafi 'al- see Nafi ‘al-Laythi

Nafi ‘ ibn al-Azraq
Nafi ‘ ibn al-Azraq (d. 685).  Leader of an extremist Khariji fraction, known after him as the Azariqa.  He gave military assistance to the anti-caliph ‘Abd Allah ibn al-Zubayr, seized control of Basra but was defeated by Muslim ibn ‘Ubays.  He is considered as the first theoretician of Kharijism.
Ibn al-Azraq, Nafi ' see Nafi ‘ ibn al-Azraq

Nafisi, Sa‘id
Nafisi, Sa‘id (Sa‘id Nafisi) (Saeed Nafisi) (Naficy) (June 8, 1896 - November 13, 1966). Persian scholar, fiction writer and poet.  He acquired a great love of the French language and its literature and was a prolific writer.

Saeed Nafisi was an Iranian scholar, fiction writer and poet. He was a prolific writer in Persian.

Nafisi was born in Tehran where he conducted numerous research projects on Iranian culture, literature and poetry. He first emerged as a serious thinker when he joined Mohammad-Taqi Bahar, Abbas Eqbal Ashtiani, Gholam-Reza Rashid Yasemi and Abdolhossein Teymourtash to found one of the first literary magazines published in Iran and referred to as Daneshkadein 1918. He subsequently published many seminal articles on Iran, Persian literary texts and Sufism and his works were translated into more than 20 languages worldwide. He died in a Russian hospital in Tehran.

Saeed Nafisi's relatives include Moadeb Naficy, the guardian and doctor of the Shah of Iran (Reza Pahlavi); and Moadeb's son Habib Naficy, a senior statesman, founder of Iran's labor laws, United States-Iran attache, and founder of multiple technical universities in Tehran, as well as acclaimed author, Azar Nafisi, a niece of his.

Nafisi taught at Tehran University, Kabul University, Cairo University and San José State University.

Sa'id Nafisi see Nafisi, Sa‘id
Saeed Nafisi see Nafisi, Sa‘id
Nafisi, Saeed see Nafisi, Sa‘id
Naficy see Nafisi, Sa‘id

Nafusa, Banu al-
Nafusa, Banu al- (Banu al-Nafusa) (in Berber, Infusen).  Name of a Berber tribe, at present dwelling to the southwest of Tripoli in Libya.  They are one of the four branches of the large body of the Butr.  Their name is recorded for the first time in connection with the capture of the town of Tripoli by ‘Amr ibn al-‘As in 642.  Their greatest activities took place during the Khariji revoltes between 739 and the beginning of the era of the Fatimids in the early tenth century.  They embraced the Ibadiyya and remained ever faithful to it, as they did to their Berber vernacular.  They were faithful subjects during the period of Italian rule.
Banu al-Nafusa see Nafusa, Banu al-
Infusen see Nafusa, Banu al-

Nafusi, Abu Sahl al-
Nafusi, Abu Sahl al-.  Ibadi scholar of the Rustamid princes of Tahert during the eighth century.  He is best known as the author of an extensive Berber diwan.
Abu Sahl al-Nafusi see Nafusi, Abu Sahl al-.

Nafzawa. Berber tribe belonging to the Butr.  They are known for having given their name to a region of Tunisia to the south-southeast of the Chott el Jerid.

Nagib, Muhammed
Nagib, Muhammed (Muhammed Nagib) (Mohammed Neguib) (Muhammad Naguib) (b. February 20, 1901, Khartoum, the Sudan – August 29, 1984, Cairo, Egypt).  Titular leader of the 1952 Egyptian revolution.

Muḥammad Naguib, also spelled Moḥammed Neguib, was an Egyptian army officer and statesman who played a prominent role in the revolutionary overthrow of King Farouk I in 1952.

A professional soldier, Naguib distinguished himself during the Egyptian defeat at the hands of Israel (1948) and won the respect of the Free Officers, a nationalist military group led by Gamal Abdel Nasser. In 1952, the Free Officers helped Naguib win election as president of the officers club in opposition to a man backed by King Farouk. The Free Officers engineered a coup that overthrew Farouk that July, and they saw Naguib as the man to represent their new regime to the public. Thus, in 1953, he became president of the newly formed republic, although he had a more conservative political outlook than did Nasser and many of the other Free Officers. Naguib wanted to see a speedy return to constitutional government and objected to the summary sentences that were passed on various politicians by the Revolutionary Tribunal. In February 1954 he resigned the presidency, but demands by civilian and military groups impelled him to resume the office. Nasser, however, steadily consolidated his own position and became prime minister. He shrewdly acceded to some of Naguib’s wishes by allowing the revival of political parties and calling for a constituent assembly to draft a constitution. An assassination attempt was made on Nasser in 1954 in which Naguib was vaguely implicated. Naguib was placed under house arrest, which was eased in 1960 and ended in 1972.  However, after 1954, Naguib ceased to play any role in Egyptian politics.

Muhammad Naguib served as the first President of Egypt from the declaration of the Republic on June 18, 1953 to November 14, 1954. Along with Gamal Abdel Nasser, he was the primary leader of the Egyptian Revolution of 1952, which ended the rule of the Muhammad Ali Dynasty in Egypt and Sudan. Disagreements with Nasser led to his forced removal from office, and subsequent 18 year house arrest until his release by President Anwar El-Sadat in 1972.

Muhammed Nagib see Nagib, Muhammed
Muhammad Naguib see Nagib, Muhammed
Naguib, Muhammad see Nagib, Muhammed

Nago.  Term originally used to refer to a subgroup of the northern Yoruba Kingdom but gradually extended to include any Yoruba speaking people and perhaps any slave sent to the New World from the Bight of Benin.  The latter group was comprised of several inland tribes, including the Arada, Fon, Ouidah, Popo, Oyo, and others.  Nago slaves were found in Cuba, the West Indies, and Brazil.

Nahdatul Ulama
Nahdatul Ulama (Nahdlatul Ulama) (NU).  Indonesian council of Islamic scholars and mullahs.  It was founded in 1926 by traditional Islamic leaders from East Java who resisted the advance of modernist Islamic thought.  Although it was originally a non-political organization, Nahdatul Ulama joined MIAI and its successor, Masjumi (then a political party uniting the Indonesian Islamic organization), during the Japanese occupation of Indonesia.  In 1952, it left the Masjumi and became an independent political party, receiving 18.4 percent of the vote in the general elections of 1955.  In 1973, Nahdatul Ulama delegated its political role to the new Islamic party, the Partai Pesatuan Indonesia, and once again became a non-political organization.  East Java is still its main area of support.

Nahdatul Ulama is a traditionalist Sunni Islam group in Indonesia. Its traditionalist nature is evident in the name Ulama, referring to the scholar-preachers of Islam, trained in Qur'anic studies, including the interpretation of the religious laws contained therein.

NU was established on January 31, 1926, by Wahab Chasbullah with supported from Hasyim Asy'ari, the most respected ulema in East Java. Hasyim also sat as the first NU chairman. NU built up as a reaction to the Muhammadiyah. NU also developed in the other areas of Indonesia, but East Java remained as the central base. In 1942, the organization had 120 branches in all of Java and South Kalimantan. In 1965, the group took sides with the General Suharto-led army and was heavily involved in the mass killings of Indonesian communists. However, the NU later began to oppose Suharto's regime. In 1984, Abdurrahman Wahid, the grandson of NU founder Hasyim Asy'ari, inherited the leadership from his father, and was later elected President of Indonesia in 1999.

NU is also one of the largest independent Islamic organizations in the world. Some estimations of their membership range as high as 30 million, although it is hard to account for this number. NU acts as a large charitable body helping to fill in many of the shortcomings of the Indonesian government in society. It funds schools, hospitals, and organizes communities or "kampungs" into more coherent groups in order to help combat poverty.

Ulama, Nahdatul see Nahdatul Ulama
Nahdlatul Ulama see Nahdatul Ulama
Ulama Nahdlatul see Nahdatul Ulama
NU see Nahdatul Ulama

Nahhas, Mustafa al-
Nahhas, Mustafa al- (Mustafa al-Nahhas) (Mustafa el-Nahhas Pasha) (1879-1965).  Egyptian statesman.  He took over leadership of the Wafd party after the death of its founder Sa‘d Zaghlul in 1927.

Mustafa al-Nahhas was an Egyptian political figure. He was born in Samanud (Gharbiyya), where his father was a lumber merchant. He graduated from el-Nassereyya Elementary School in Cairo in 1891 and the Khedivial Secondary School in 1896. After earning his license from the Khedivial Law School in 1900, he worked in Mohammad Farid's law office before opening his own practice in Mansoura. In 1904, he became a judge in the Tanta National Court. He was dismissed from the bench in 1919 when he joined the Wafd as a representative of the Egyptian National Party. Exiled with Saad Zaghlul to the Seychelles in 1921-1923, Nahhas was chosen upon his repatriation to represent Samanud in the first Chamber of Deputies elected under the 1923 Constitution.

Mustafa al-Nahhas became minister for communications in 1924. Re-elected in 1926 as a deputy from Sir Abu Nanna (Gharbiyya) and barred by the British from taking another cabinet post, he was elected one of the Chamber's two vice presidents and, in 1927, its president. Upon Sa'd Zaghlul's death in August 1927, he defeated Sa'd's nephew in the contest to lead the Wafd Party. He served as Prime Minister of Egypt in 1928, 1930, between 1936 and 1937, from 1942 until 1944, and finally between 1950 and 1952. Nahhas married a much younger wife, Zeinab el-Wekil, who was more than 30 years younger than him. His wife was said to have great influence on him, and is alleged to have played a big role in spoiling the friendship between Mustafa el-Nahhas and Makram Ebeid.

Mustafa al-Nahhas also helped found the Arab League in 1944. He was prime minister for only a few months in 1928 after clashing with the king over his desire to strictly limit royal power. When the Great Palestinian Revolt of 1936-1939 started el-Nahhas helped to found the Arab Higher Committee to uphold the rights of the Palestinian people. He was one of the signers of the 1936 Anglo-Egyptian Treaty, but in 1951 he denounced it. This led to anti-British riots, which led to his dismissal as Prime Minister in January, 1952. After the military coup of July, 1952, the Wafd party was dissolved. Both he and his wife were imprisoned from 1953 to 1954. He then retired to private life. His death on August 23, 1965 led to a mass demonstration at his funeral, one that was allowed but not welcomed by Gamal Abdel Nasser's government.

Mustafa al-Nahhas see Nahhas, Mustafa al-
Mustafa el-Nahhas Pasha see Nahhas, Mustafa al-

Nahin, Luiza
Nahin, Luiza (Luiza Nahin).  African-born princess who was violently uprooted and taken to Brazil where she was sold into slavery.  A Muslim Hausa, she was one of the most outstanding leaders of the Hausa insurrection in 1835.  Her house in Bahia became a center for the meetings of the chiefs during the great revolt.  Luiza Nahin, mistress of a profligate and dissolute Portuguese planter, gave birth to the most famous Brazilian intellectual and abolitionist, Luiz da Gama.  Her end is obscure, but her name remains in history and legend as a symbol of the black woman’s courage and audacity.
Luiza Nahin see Nahin, Luiza

Nahrawali, Qutb al-Din al-
Nahrawali, Qutb al-Din al- (Nahrawani) (Qutb al-Din al-Nahrawali) (1511-1582).  Scholar and chronicler from Lahore who lived in Mecca.   He wrote a well-known chronicle of the Holy City and another of early Ottoman Yemen.
Qutb al-Din al-Nahrawali see Nahrawali, Qutb al-Din al-
Nahrawani see Nahrawali, Qutb al-Din al-

na‘ib al-saltana
na‘ib al-saltana.  Arabic term which refers to the viceroy or a person in command of the delegation of royal power who is a substitute for the ruler.
saltana, na'ib al- see na‘ib al-saltana.

Na’ili (Piri-zade) (Na’ili-yi Qadim) (d. 1666).  Ottoman poet.  His most important work is his collection of 390 ghazals.
Piri-zade see Na’ili
Na'ili-yi Qadim see Na’ili
Qadim, Na'ili-yi see Na’ili

Na‘ima (1655-1716).  Ottoman historian from Aleppo.  His fame rests upon what is generally called The History of Na‘ima.  It is a compilation in largely traditional, annalistic format, covering the years 1591-1660.  In 1733, it was one of the first Ottoman printed works.

Na’ini, Mirza Muhammad
Na’ini, Mirza Muhammad (Mirza Muhammad Na'ini) (Muhammad Husayn Na‘ini) (1860-1936).  Shi‘a religious leader.  He was an active supporter of the Persian constitutional revolution of 1906, and a noted constitutional ideologue.  In his celebrated The Admonition and Refinement of the People (1909) he argued that constitutionalism, despite its being a Western idea, was in harmony with Shi‘ism.

Muhammad Husayn Na‘ini was the leading theoretician of the 1903-1909 Persian constitutional movement and the leading clergyman who granted legitimacy to the rule of Reza Shah Pahlavi.  His life can be divided into three periods.  During the first, he was actively engaged in bringing about the Constitutional Revolution and wrote a famous treatise.  During the second period, he was an important lecturer and became one of the most important Shi‘a mujtahids, clergymen entitled to exercise ijtihad (individual inquiry into legal matters).  He led the Iraqi nationalists against the British and worked actively for independence.  During the last period, he lost his fighting spirit, devoted his life to teaching, and acquiesced to the powers that be.  

Na’ini studied in Samarra, Iraq, with Muhammad al-Fisharaki al-Isfahani (d. 1899) and Muhammad Hasan Shirazi (d. 1896), whose secretary he became.  After his master’s death, he moved to Karbala and studied with Mullah Muhammad Kazim Khurasani (d. 1911).  Both Shirazi and Khurasani played important roles in political events in Iran.  Na’ini drafted the telegrams that Khurasani sent to Iran during the Constitutional Revolution.  He was heavily involved in the planning of ‘ulama’ (religious scholars) involvement in the politics of Iran.  However, he and other constitutionalists became disillusioned with subsequent events.  Na’ini therefore concentrated on teaching, became involved in Iraqi politics at the outset of World War I, and led the Iraqi opposition against the subsequent British mandate.  This latter action led to his departure from Iraq in 1923.  Na’ini was then drawn into Iranian politics, namely, the campaign to establish a republic in that country.  Together with ‘Abd al-Karim Ha’iri Yazdi (d. 1936) and Abu al-Hasan Isfahani, he was able to convince Reza Khan to give up his idea in 1924.  Reza Khan assisted in the return of Na’ini to Iraq by first arranging compensation for the British insult against him in expelling him in the first place, followed by an invitation to return to that country.  Na’ini showed his gratitude by sending a letter plus portrait of Imam ‘Ali ibn Abi Talib to Reza Khan, thus conferring legitimacy on his regime.  One year later, he and Isfahani jointly sent a letter depicting those opposing Reza Khan’s rule as enemies of Islam.  This opened the road to the deposing of the Qajar dynasty (1785-1925).  On Reza Khan’s accession to the throne, Na’ini sent a telegram of congratulations to the shah and continued to send him similar messages on holy festival days.  The remainder of his years he spent teaching in Najaf, Iraq.

Na’ini’s most famous work was Tanbih al-ummah va tanzih al-millah dar asas va usul-i mashrutiyat (An Admonition to the Nation and an Exposition to the People Concerning the Foundations and Principles of Constitutional Government), written in 1909.  It is still the most detailed and coherent justification of constitutional government from a Shi‘a point of view.  It aims to reconcile the impossibility of legitimate rule (in the absence of the Hidden Imam) with the practical need for government that promotes the well-being of the Shi‘a community, but in a way that is not too much at odds with the dictates of religion.  In his book, Na’ini does not advocate actual administration of government by the ‘ulama’, but he embraces an islamization of constitutionalist principles, and he accepts certain principles of democracy that are in conformity with Islam.  The importance of the book, even for modern times, is emphasized by the fact that its third edition (1955), with notes, was prepared by Ayatollah Mahmud Taleqani (d. 1979), a major religious figure who played an important role in the Iranian Revolution of 1979.

Mirza Muhammad Na'ini see Na’ini, Mirza Muhammad
Muhammad Husayn Na'ini see Na’ini, Mirza Muhammad
Na'ini, Muhammad Husayn see Na’ini, Mirza Muhammad

Naitias (Na’itas).  Regional Indian term that is applied to Muslims of Arab and Persian descent who settled on the coast of Konkan, the coastal plain of Maharashtra, and in Kanara, a region along the Malabar coast of the Arabian Sea.  They are the descendants of the earliest Muslim trading communities on the western coast of India.
Na'itas see Naitias

Najahids.  Dynasty of Abyssinian slaves in Yemen who had their capital in Zabid (r.1022-1158).  It is named after Najah, one of the slave governors of Marjan, the independent Abyssinian vizier of the last member of the Ziyadids. Najah was recognized in 1022 by the ‘Abbasid caliph al-Qadir bi-‘llah and ruled until 1060, when he was killed by the first Sulayhid ‘Ali ibn Muhammad (r. 1047-1067).  After the death of his son Jayyash (c. 1107), confusion reigned.  In 1159, the Mahdids entered Zabid.  Like the Ziyadids before them, the Najahids continually brought over to Yemen shiploads of Abyssinian slaves.  They also struck their own coins.

The Najahids were a Muslim dynasty of Ethiopian Mamelūkes (slaves) that ruled Yemen in the period 1022–1158 from its capital at Zabīd. The Ziyādid kingdom at Zabīd (819–1018) had, in its final years, been controlled by Mamelūke viziers, the last of whom divided Yemen between two slaves, Nafīs and Najāḥ. Nafīs murdered the last Ziyādid ruler in 1018, and, after several years of bitter fighting and the death of Nafīs, Najāḥ emerged victorious and took control of Zabīd early in 1022. Najāḥ obtained the recognition of the ʿAbbāsid caliph and established his rule over the Tihāmah (coastal lands), though the highlands, a stronghold of tribal chieftains, remained recalcitrant. Najāḥ’s murder around 1060 threw the kingdom into chaos, allowing the Ṣulayḥid ruler ʿAlī to take Zabīd, and reduced Najāḥid history to a series of intrigues.

Two of Najāḥ’s sons, Saʿīd and Jayyāsh, who had fled the capital, plotted to restore themselves to the Najāḥid throne and in 1081 killed ʿAlī. Saʿīd, supported by the large Ethiopian Mamelūke population, easily secured control of Zabīd. ʿAlī’s son al-Mukarram, however, heavily influenced by his mother, took Zabīd around 1083, forcing the Najāḥids to flee again. Saʿīd regained power briefly (1086–88) but was finally murdered by al-Mukarram’s wife as-Sayyidah. Jayyāsh, meanwhile, had fled to India. He returned in disguise and assumed power with little difficulty, restoring equilibrium to the Yemeni kingdom during his reign (1089–c. 1106). After much family feuding over a successor to Jayyāsh, his grandson al-Manṣūr was installed in Zabīd c. 1111 by the Ṣulayḥids as their vassal. Manṣūr was poisoned in 1123 by his Mamelūke vizier Mann Allāh, who proceeded to fight off an attempted invasion by the Fāṭimids of Egypt and to reduce the Najāḥid ruler to a puppet figure. The Yemeni government passed from one Mamlūk vizier to another after Mann Allāh’s murder in 1130, as rival factions struggled among themselves for primacy. The threat of ʿAli ibn Mahdī, a Khārijite who had murdered the vizier Surūr in 1156, forced the Ethiopians to seek outside help from the Zaydī imām of Ṣanʿāʾ, Aḥmad al-Mutawakkil, and to agree to recognize him as ruler of Zabīd. The Ethiopians were, however, defeated, and ʿAli ibn Mahdī took the Najāḥid capital in 1159.


Najashi, al-
Najashi, al- (al-Negashi) (Negus -- the “king”) (Ashama ibn Abjar)  The term refers to the Ethiopian ruler.

According to Arabic sources, Aṣḥama ibn Abjar was Emperor or al-Najashi of Aksum at the time of Muhammad, and gave refuge to several Muslims in the Kingdom of Aksum. The term "al-Najashi" has the variant al-Negashi. It corresponds to the ancient Aksumite title Negus, with the variant Negash. The name Ashama ibn Abjar seems to correspond to the original Ge'ez name Ella-Seham, variant Sahama. This is an Aksumite king known from coinage. According to other authors, Ashama may have been the same person as king Armah, or his father or son. Taddesse Tamrat records that the inhabitants of Wiqro, where he is known as Ashamat al-Negashi claim his tomb is located in their village.

Due to persecution from the then current Arab leadership in Mecca, a number of Muslims emigrated to Abyssinia. In response, the Arab leaders sent Amr ibn al-Aas to bring them back. Amr was a friend of al-Najashi, and at the same time also had good relations with Abu Sufyan, the then leader of Quraish.

Ashama did not act in a hurry but showed patience and demanded the holy scripture of Muslims to be read. At this, Ja`far ibn Abi Talib recited some verses from the Quran from the chapter of Maryam (Mary). According to Ibn Hisham, al-Najashi and the priests in his court were so greatly affected by the touching verses that they began to shed tears. And so, al-Najashi firmly denied Amr's request to be handed the Muslim refugees. The very next day, Amr tried to play a trick, in order to sow dissension between al-Najashi and the Muslim refugees. Amr was greatly distressed, and promised Ja`far and other Muslims that he was going to cause a great schism between them and King Ashama. Amr arrived the next day at the court of Ashama, and demanded in his presence that the Muslims make known their creed about Jesus. This was a difficult situation because Jesus is not considered as the son of God in the Qur'an, and that was expected to greatly enrage a devout Christian like King Ashama. To this, he explained that Jesus is considered in Islam to be a messenger of God, the word of God, and the miraculously born son of the Virgin Mary. In reply to this statement, King Ashama made a line on the sand with his mace and said, "By God, Jesus is not more than what you have described him. By God, I will never give you up to anyone." He then declared that Muslims could live in Abyssinia for as long as they wished for. According to Muslim tradition, it is during this situation that King Ashama converted to Islam. However, such a conversion is not corroborated by independent historical sources.

Some accounts state that Ashama read the Nikah at one of Muhammad's marriages.

The Sahabī Abu Huraira narrates that Muhammad announced the death of al-Najashi (Ashama) on the same day that he died, and even before any news became known about it for anyone in the city.

In a letter from Muhammad to Negus, king of Abyssinia (Ethiopia), Muhammad invites Negus and his men to follow his message and believe in Allah. When this letter was presented to Negus, he took the parchment and placed it on his eye, descended to the floor, confessed his faith in Islam. He then responded to [Muhammad] acknowledging him as the Messenger of Allâh and surrendering himself "through him to the Lord of the worlds."

Islamic scholar al-Nawawi wrote in his Commentary on Sahih Muslim that Imam Shafi`i and those who agree to his doctrine in fiqh see in this hadith a proof for praying in absence over a dead Muslim. There is in the hadith an evident miracle of the Prophet's due to his proclamation of the Negus's death on the same day that the latter died in Abyssinia. There is also in the hadith the desirability of proclaiming the death of someone, but not in the pre-Islamic fashion which means to glorify and so forth.

Muhammad had asked the Negus to send Ja‘far and his companions, the emigrants to Abyssinia, back home. They came back to see Muhammad in Khaibar.

Another king succeeded Negus to the throne and another letter was sent to him by Muhammad but whether or not he embraced Islam is still a question not yet answered.

Ashama ibn Abjar see Najashi, al-
Negashi, al- see Najashi, al-
Negus see Najashi, al-
The King see Najashi, al-

Najjar, al-Husayn ibn Muhammad al-
Najjar, al-Husayn ibn Muhammad al- (al-Husayn ibn Muhammad al-Najjar).  Murji’i theologian of the period of the ‘Abbasid Caliph al-Ma’mun.  His opinions influenced the Mu‘tazila in their formative period by his keen opposition to some of their views, and paved the way for the Sunni scholars’ defense of their doctrine on the basis of reasoned arguments.
Husayn ibn Muhammad al-Najjar, al- see Najjar, al-Husayn ibn Muhammad al-

Najm al-Din Razi Daya
Najm al-Din Razi Daya (Najm al-Din Daya) (Abū Bakr 'Abdollāh ibn Moḥammad ibn Šahāvar al-Asadī al-Rāzī) (1177-1256).  Sufi of the Kubrawi order and author.  His Observation Post treats the major themes of Sufism and exercised wide and lasting influence throughout the lands where Persian was spoken.

Abū Bakr 'Abdollāh ibn Moḥammad ibn Šahāvar al-Asadī al-Rāzī was commonly know by the laqab, or sobriquet, of Najm al-Dīn Dāya, meaning "wetnurse." Hamid, Algar, translator of the Persian Merṣād to English, states the application of "wetnurse" to the author of the Merṣād derives from the idea of the initiate on the Path being a newborn infant who needs suckling to survive.

Dāya was born in Rayy and died in Baghdad. He was a 13th century Sufi Persian from Khwarezmia. Dāya followed the Sufi order, Kubrawiyya, established by one of his greatest influences, Najm al-Dīn Kubrā. Dāya traveled to Kārazm and soon became a morīd (pupil, one who follows the shaykh master and learns from him, undergoing spiritual training) of Najm al-Dīn Kubrā. Kubrā then appointed Shaikh Majd al-Dīn Bagdādī as the spiritual trainer who also became Dāya's biggest influence. Dāya constantly refers to al-Dīn Bagdādī as "our shaikh."

When his master, Najm al-Dīn Kubrā, was murdered in 1221, Dāya fled to Hamadan, then to Ardabil, and then to Anatolia where he finally settled with a fellow contemporary master Rumi.

There he put the teachings of his master Najmeddin Kubra into a writing in Persian called Merṣād al-ʻebād men al-mabdāʼ elāʼl-maʻād which is shortly known as Merṣād al-ʻebād, and has gained prominence as a major reference text on Sufism and Islamic theology.

Najm al-Dīn Rāzī lived at a time when the Islamic Middle East was going through a turbulent period of its history, marked by many disruptions and calamities, culminating in the Mongol invasion. The Crusaders descended on the Islamic world from the west, and the Mongols from the east. But Rāzī, who like Ghazālī adhered to the Sunnite branch of Islam and followed the Ash'arite theology, focused his attention on the exploration and analysis of the visionary states experienced by the Sufis in the course of their mystical journey.

Dāya was born in Rayy when it was one of the major centers of urban life and culture in pre-Mongol Iran. At the age of 26, Rāzī left Rayy to travel through Syria, Egypt, Ḥejāz, Iraq, and Azerbaijan. He finally settled in Kārazm and became a morīd to Najm al-Dīn Kubrā, famous mystical Sufi and founder of the Kubrawiyya Order. Rāzī was then tutored by Shaikh Majd al-Dīn Baḡdādī, who Rāzī often referred to as "our shaikh." Rāzī then fled Kārazm due to Kubrā’s prophecy of a Mongol invasion. Finally, Rāzī fled Rayy as well, willingly abandoning his family to the Mongol invasion. Traveling via Hamadān, Erbīl, and Diyarbekir, he reached Kayseri in central Anatolia in Ramadān 618 (October 1221). Thanks to Saljuq patronage, Anatolia was a center for the cultivation of Persian literature. Anatolia witnessed the career of Rūmī (d. 1273). Then in Malatya, Daya met Shaikh Sehab al-Din Abu Hafs ‘Omar al-Sohravardi (d. 1234), nephew of the founder of the Sohravardi order. Razi was on his way back from Baghdad. Daya's Mersad was completed after this event. The Mersad was completed in October 1221 and was intended as “a gift to true seekers and veracious lovers”. A copy of the Mersad was completed in Sivas in August 1223 and dedicated to Keyqobad. Of course, Daya did not mention the first copy to make it seem the monarch inspired the whole work.  The different between the two versions is largely one of style, the second being more ornate and prolix than the first.

The literary importance of the Merṣād is considerable: it ranks among the masterpieces of Persian literature, and certain sections- particularly the narrative of the creation and appointment of Adam -bear comparison with the best prose written in Persian. Dāya's choice of illustrative verses- both those of his own composition and those of his predecessors -is judicious, and makes his work an incidental anthology of Sufi poetry, particularly quatrains. The Merṣād is unique in that Dāya excels beyond earlier expository texts which lack the degree of elaboration, systematization, and explicitness that characterized the Sufism of the thirteenth century of the Christian calendar.

The works of Najm al-Din Daya include:

    * His most famous was Merṣād al-'ebād men al-mabdā' elā'l-ma'ād or The Path of God's Bondsmen: From Origin to Return.
    * Marmūzāt-e Asadī dar mazmūrāt-e Dā'ūdī or The Symbolic Expressions of Asadī Concerning the Psalms of David. Also known as the "special edition" of the Merṣād because it includes much of the same material while diminishing the strictly Sufi portion and expanding the section on kingly power.
    * Dāya's own Arabic version of the Merṣād, Manārāt al-sā'erin elām'llāh wa maqāmāt al-ṭā'erīn be 'llāh or Light Towers for Those Voyaging to God. and the Stations of Those Plying with God.
    * Tafsīr al-Ta'wīlāt al-najmīya, 'Ayn al-ḥayāt, or Baḥr al-ḥaqā'eq.
    * A brief allegory in Persian called Resālat al-ṭoyūr or Treatise of the Birds.
    * Me'yār al-ṣedq fī meṣdāq al-'ešq or The Criterion of Veracity Concerning the Touchstone of Love.

Daya, Najm al-Din Razi see Najm al-Din Razi Daya
Najm al-Din Daya see Najm al-Din Razi Daya
Abū Bakr 'Abdollāh ibn Moḥammad ibn Šahāvar al-Asadī al-Rāzī see Najm al-Din Razi Daya

Nakhshabi, Shaykh Diya’ al-Din
Nakhshabi, Shaykh Diya’ al-Din (Ziya' al-Din Nakhshabi)  (d. 1350). Persian author of the fourteenth century.  He used his knowledge of Indian languages to translate Indian books into Persian.  The best known of them is the The Book of the Parrot.   

Ziya' al-Din Nakhshabi was an 14th-century Persian physician and Sufi living in India.  According to a statement in a manuscript now at The National Library of Medicine, Nakhshabi himself transcribed and illustrated a Persian translation made of a Hindi version of a Sanskrit treatise on sexual hygiene.

There are 5 full-page miniatures painted in a variety of opaque watercolors with gilt and two half or three-quarter miniatures, all of a provincial Mughal style typical of north-west India, especially Kashmir, in the 18th century.

No other particulars are known of Nakhshabi.

There are however a number of other Persian manuscripts which associate the name Ziya' Nakhshabi or Dhiya' al-Din Nakhshabi with versions of this ultimately Sanskrit treatise on sexual hygiene. He is also known to have edited and added his own verses to a Persian translation called Tutinama of a Sanskrit collection of 52 tales narrated by a parrot (tuti in Persian) and a nightingale (sharak) to a woman in order to keep her away from a lover while her husband, a traveling merchant, was absent.
Shaykh Diya' al-Din Nakhshabi see Nakhshabi, Shaykh Diya’ al-Din
Ziya' al-Din Nakhshabi see Nakhshabi, Shaykh Diya’ al-Din
Nakhshabi, Ziya' al-Din see Nakhshabi, Shaykh Diya’ al-Din

Nanak (b. April 15, 1469, Rai Bhoi di Talvandi [now Nankana Sahib, Pakistan], near Lahore, India —

d. 1539, Kartarpur, Punjab).  Founder of the Sikh faith.  Nanak was the second child and only son of Mehta Kalian Das Bedi, a minor official in the revenue department, and his wife Tripta.

Most of Nanak’s childhood was spent in the village of his birth, Talwandi Rai Bhoe, now named after him Nankana Sahib, about forty miles from Lahore, Pakistan.  The family being Bedis (those who know the Vedas), a subject of the Ksatriya caste, Nanak was taught the rudiments of Hindu religion.  He also had a Muslim teacher who taught him something of the Qur’an and the traditions -- the hadith.  According to the Janam Sakhis -- the “birth stories,” Nanak was a precocious child who took little interest in his studies or his shepherding responsibilities and preferred talking to itinerant Hindu and Muslim holy men.

Nanak was betrothed at the age of twelve to Sulakhni, daughter of Mool Chand Chona of Batala.  When he was nineteen Sulakhni came to live with him.  She bore him two sons, Sri Chand (b. 1494) and Lakhni Das (b. 1497).  Nanak took little interest in family affairs.  For some years, Nanak worked as an accountant with the viceroy Daulat Khan Lodhi at Sultanpur and stayed with his elder sister, Nanaki, whose husband was also in the service of the viceroy.  Under the influence of a Muslim family retainer who could play the rebeck (an ancient three stringed musical instrument with a pear shaped body and slender neck), Nanak began to compose hymns, and the two of them organized community hymn singing.  

When he was in his thirtieth year, Nanak had his first mystical experience.  While bathing in the stream Bein, he disappeared and was assumed to have drowned.  According to later biographies, Nanak was summoned by God and charged with the mission to teach mankind to pray.  He emerged from the stream three days later and announced: “There is no Hindu, the is no Muslim.”  Nanak then proceeded to give away all that he had and to become a beggar.

The birth stories, whose authenticity has been questioned by scholars, maintain that Nanak undertook four long voyages.  The first voyage took him eastward to Hindu holy cities, Mathura, Banaras, and Gaya, through Bengal to Assam.  On his return journey, Nanak visited the Jagannatha Temple in Puri as well as the whole of Orissa.  Nanak then toured the Punjab, visiting Muslim Sufi establishments, and proceeded to the South of India, returning via the Himalayan mountains as far as Ladakh.  The fourth and last odyssey took him westward to Mecca, Medina, and Baghdad.  On his return journey, while passing through Saidpur, Nanak is said to have been detained in prison by the Mogul invader Babar, who sacked the town.  After these journeys, Nanak settled down with his family in Kartarpur, a town he had built on the banks of the river Ravi.

The birth stories recount many incidents from these journeys.  While at Hardvar on the Ganges, he saw bathers throwing water toward the sun as offerings to their dead ancestors.  Nanak began throwing water in the opposite direction.  When questioned, Nanak replied: “I am throwing water to my fields in the Punjab.  If you can throw water to your ancestors in heaven which is millions of miles away, surely I can send it to my fields which are only 250 kos from here.”  The other incident is said to have taken place while Nanak was on his way to Mecca.  He fell asleep with his feet toward the Ka’ba.  When a Muslim woke him and angrily scolded Nanak for this disrespect to the house of God, Nanak is said to have replied, “Then turn my feet toward some direction where there is no God nor the Ka’ba.”

Nanak spent the last years of his life at Kartarpur, where he built a dharmala -- an abode of righteousness.  At Kartarpur, Nanak also preached and sang hymns.  Nanak appointed a disciple, Lehna, renamed Angad, as his successor in preference to his two sons.  The birth stories, obviously borrowing the incident from the life Kabir, maintain that both Hindus and Muslims claimed Nanak’s body, the former to cremate him, the latter to bury him.  The issue was settled by placing flowers on either side of Nanak’s body.  The side whose flowers remained fresh was to dispose of the body according to its custom.  The next morning the mourners found flowers on either side still fresh, but the body had disappeared.

The Janam Sakhis, on which the traditional account of Nanak’s life is based, have been scrutinized by Sikh and foreign scholars and found unreliable as historical evidence.  The first was written more than fifty years after Nanak’s death, and they contradict each other on material detail.

Nanak has practically nothing to say of incidents in his life except his presence in Saidpur when it was sacked by Babar in 1521.  Even this incident does not correspond with the sequence of events narrated in the Janam Sakhis.  Later writings of Sikh theologians and historians are equally unenlightening.  The only remaining evidence are tablets discovered in Dacca and Chittagong in present-day Bangladesh and one in Baghdad which make oblique references to Nanak’s visits there.  But none of these tablets can be regarded as conclusive evidence.

What is known is that the remaining years of Nanak's life were spent in Kartarpur, another village of central Punjab. Tradition holds that the village was actually built by a wealthy admirer to honor Nanak. It was presumably during this final period that the foundations of the new Sikh community were laid. By this time it must be assumed that Nanak was recognized as a Guru, an inspired teacher of religious truth, and that, in accordance with the custom of India, disciples who accepted him as their Guru gathered around him in Kartarpur. Some probably remained as permanent residents of the village; many more made periodic visits to obtain his blessing. All of them listened to the teachings expressed there in numerous devotional hymns intended for communal singing, many of which survive to this day.

The actual year of Nanak’s death is disputed, tradition being divided between 1538 and 1539. Of these two possibilities, the latter appears to be the more likely. One of his disciples, Angad, was chosen by Nanak as his spiritual successor, and following Nanak’s death he assumed the leadership of the young Sikh community as Guru Angad.

In view of the size of the following that Nanak attracted, numerous anecdotes concerning the deeds of the Guru began to circulate within the community soon after his death. Many of these were borrowed from the current Hindu and Muslim traditions, and others were suggested by Nanak’s own works. These anecdotes were called sakhis, or “testimonies,” and the anthologies into which they were gathered in rough chronological order are known as Janam-sakhis. The interest of the narrators and compilers of the Janam-sakhis has largely concentrated on the childhood of Nanak and above all on his travels. Among the earlier traditions are tales of visits he is supposed to have made to Baghdad and Mecca. Ceylon is a later addition, and later still the Guru is said to have traveled as far east as China and as far west as Rome. Today the Janam-sakhis offer a substantial corpus of hagiographical material, and the more important of these collections continue to be the basis of “biographies” of Nanak.

Nanak’s message can be briefly summarized as a doctrine of salvation through disciplined meditation on the divine name. Salvation is understood in terms of escape from the transmigratory round of death and rebirth to a mystical union with God. The divine name signifies the total manifestation of God, a single Being, immanent both in the created world and within the human spirit. Meditation must be strictly inward, and all external aids such as idols, temples, mosques, scriptures, and set prayers are explicitly rejected. The Muslim influence is relatively slight; the influence of Hindu mystical and devotional beliefs is much more apparent. Always, though, the coherence and beauty of Nanak’s own expression dominates early Sikh theology.

Naqib. Term which refers to a syndic (a municipal magistrate) or headman.

naqib al-ashraf
naqib al-ashraf.  Term which refers to the syndic (the municipal magistrate) or the headman of the groups of descendants of the Prophet found in many Muslim countries.

Naqqash, Marun ibn Ilyas al-
Naqqash, Marun ibn Ilyas al- (Marun ibn Ilyas al-Naqqash) (1817-1855).  Pioneer of modern playwriting in Arabic.  His five and three act plays were inspired by Moliere’s plays and by the Thousand and One Nights.
Marun ibn Ilyas al-Naqqash see Naqqash, Marun ibn Ilyas al-

Naqshbandiyya (Naqshbandiyah)) (Naqshbandi). Important and still active Sufi order, named after Khwaja Baha’ al-Din Naqshband (1318-1389) from Bukhara.  In the extent of its diffusion it has been second only to the Qadiriyya.  

In Transoxiana, it rose to supremacy in the time of its founder, and spread southward to Herat.  In northwestern Persia, however, it was relatively short-lived.  With their strong loyalty to Sunnism, the Naqshbandis became a special target of persecution for the Shi‘a Safavids.  In the nineteenth century, the Khalidi branch of the Naqshbandiyya, established by Mawlana Khalid Baghdadi (d. 1827), almost entirely supplanted all other branches and wrested supremacy from the Qadiriyya in Kurdistan.  At present, the Naqshbandiyya remain strong among the Kurds of Persia, particularly in the region of Mahabad, and in Talish.  By contrast, they are now moribund among the Turkmen.

In Turkey, the first implantation took place in the fifteenth century.  It gained the loyalty of the Ottoman Turks with its emphatically Sunni identity and insistence on sober respect for Islamic law.  The Mujaddidi branch of the order, established in India by Shaykh Ahmad Sirhindi “the Renewer,” was transmitted to Turkey in the seventeenth century.  Soon afterwards, a second transmission took place through Mecca, which remained until the late nineteenth century an important center for the diffusion of the Naqshbandiyya.  In Turkey too, it was the Khalidi branch which made the Naqshbandiyya the paramount order, a position it has retained even after the official dissolution of the orders.

Naqshbandiyya was a Sufi order (tariqa) that began in Central Asia.  Its legends identify Ahmad Ata Yaswi (d. 1116) as the order’s founder, but the name derives from Khwaja Baha’ al-Din Naqshband (Bahauddin an-Naqshband) (d. 1389).  The order arrived in India at a fairly late date.  Although the Mughal emperor Babar supposedly invited its adherents to India, Shaikh Baqi Bi’llah (Khwaja Baqi Bi’llah) (1564-1603), who arrived in Delhi during Akbar’s reign, was the first influential Naqshbandi to make his home there.  During this period, the spiritual program of the Naqshbandis was not yet solidly established.  Baqi Bi’llah’s own son was attracted to the pantheistic views of the Spanish mystic philosopher Ibn Arabi.  

Baqi Bi’llah’s favorite disciple, Ahmad Sirhindi (d. 1624), however, took a much more scripturalist approach, attacking Arabi’s thought and bemoaning the influence of Shi‘ites and Hindus in the royal court, Sirhindi’s emphasis on the Qur’an, shari’a, and the personality of the Prophet as revealed in hadith literature helped to place Indian Naqshbandis at the center of the religious revival that took place in the Muslim world in the century after Sirhindi’s death.  Indian Naqshbandis living in the holy cities intiated many Indonesians and Central Asians into the order.  The hospice of Mirzah Mazhar Jan-i Janan (d. 1780) was another notable Naqshbandi center.  In contrast to the Chishtis, Naqshbandis favored private meditation (particularly intense concentration on the images of one’s master) and rejected the use of music as a spiritual aid.

In India, the Naqshbandiyya remained for two centuries the principal order, especially through the Mujaddid branch.  Its main characteristic has been its rejection of innovations and its involvement in political struggles.

Naqshbandiyah see Naqshbandiyya
Naqshbandi see Naqshbandiyya

Naraqi, Hajji Mullah Ahmad
Naraqi, Hajji Mullah Ahmad (Hajji Mullah Ahmad Naraqi) (1771-1829).  Shi‘a religious leader, man of letters, social critic and religious polemicist.  Despite his friendly relations with the Qajar Fath ‘Ali Shah, he refused to recognize the legitimacy of his rule.  It is only the qualified jurists who carry the authority of the Hidden Imam as his General Agents and are genuinely legitimate rulers of the Muslim community.  This line of argument provided an important source of reasoning for Ayatollah Khomeini.
Hajji Mullah Ahmad Naraqi see Naraqi, Hajji Mullah Ahmad

Nasafi, Abu’l-Hasan al-Bazdawi al-
Nasafi, Abu’l-Hasan al-Bazdawi al- (Abu’l-Hasan al-Bazdawi al-Nasafi) (d. 943).  Philosopher-theologian of the Isma‘lis in Khurasan and Transoxiana.  He is generally credited with the introductionof Neo-Platonic philosophy into Isma(ili circles.
Abu’l-Hasan al-Bazdawi al-Nasafi see Nasafi, Abu’l-Hasan al-Bazdawi al-

Nasafi, Hafiz al-Din al-
Nasafi, Hafiz al-Din al- (Hafiz al-Din al-Nasafi) (d. 1310).  Hanafi legist and theologian.  He owes his fame to a number of works on Islamic law, among them a concise account of the foundations of law, and a synopsis of another work, used as late as the nineteenth century in Damascus and at the al-Azhar in Cairo.
Hafiz al-Din al-Nasafi see Nasafi, Hafiz al-Din al-

Nasa‘i, Abu ‘Abd al-Rahman al-
Nasa‘i, Abu ‘Abd al-Rahman al- (Abu ‘Abd al-Rahman al-Nasa‘i) (al-Nasa'i) (Aḥmad ibn Shu`ayb ibn Alī ibn Sīnān Abū `Abd ar-Raḥmān al-Nasā'ī) (829/830-915).  Author of one of the six canonical collections of traditions.

Al-Nasā'ī, full name Aḥmad ibn Shu`ayb ibn Alī ibn Sīnān Abū `Abd ar-Raḥmān al-Nasā'ī, was a noted collector of hadith (sayings of Muhammad), and wrote one of the six canonical hadith collections recognized by Sunni Muslims, Sunan al-Sughra, or "Al-Mujtaba", which he selected from his "As-Sunan al-Kubra". He also wrote fifteen (15) other books, six (6) dealing with the science of hadith.

Al-Nasa'i was born in Nasā (in Khorasan) about 829, and traveled extensively in order to hear traditions. He resided in Egypt for a while, and then in Damascus. He died in 915, murdered by supporters of the Umayyads after speaking out against them. His final burial place is unknown but it may be in Mecca or Ramalah (Palestine).

Al-Nasa'i died a brutal death for praising Ali and denouncing Mu'awiya in Damascus, which was then in the grip of anti-Ali fever stoked by the Umayyads.
Abu ‘Abd al-Rahman al-Nasa‘i see Nasa‘i, Abu ‘Abd al-Rahman al-
Aḥmad ibn Shu`ayb ibn Alī ibn Sīnān Abū `Abd ar-Raḥmān al-Nasā'ī see Nasa‘i, Abu ‘Abd al-Rahman al-
Nasa'i, al- see Nasa‘i, Abu ‘Abd al-Rahman al-

Nasawi, Shihab al-Din al-
Nasawi, Shihab al-Din al- (Shihab al-Din al-Nasawi) (d. 1249). Secretary and biographer of the Khwarazm-Shah Jalal al-Din Mingburnu (Mangubirti).  He fled with his master before the Mongols from Tabriz into Mughan, in Azerbaijan, and was employed in unsuccessful missions for support against the Mongols.  He escaped during the Khwarazm-Shah’s final battle with the Mongols in 1231, and died in Aleppo.
Shihab al-Din al-Nasawi see Nasawi, Shihab al-Din al-

Nasif, Malak Hifni
Nasif, Malak Hifni (Malak Hifni Nasif) (b. December 25, 1886 in Cairo - d. October 17, 1918).  Feminist and writer known as Bahithat al-Badiyah (Searcher in the Desert).  Daughter of a scholar and litterateur, Nasif entered the ‘Abbas Primary School when the state opened a girls’ section in 1895.  Receiving her diploma in 1901, she began to teach while enrolled in in the Teachers’ Training Program at Saniyah School, where she received her certificate in 1905.  She left her teaching post two years later upon marriage to ‘Abd al-Sattar al-Bassal, bedouin chief, and settled with him in Fayyum oasis.  Although obliged by the Ministry of Education as well as personal circumstances to stop teaching after marriage, Nasif continued to write, publishing under the name Bahithat al-Badiyah.  She spoke in the women’s lecture series begun in 1909 and held at the Egyptian University and in the offices of the liberal newspaper, Al-jaridah.  Her essays, newspaper articles, and speeches were collectively published in Al-nisa’iyat (Women’s [Feminist] Pieces), a pioneering feminist book.  

A reformer in the Islamic modernist tradition focusing on gender, Nasif inveighed against men’s abuses relating to divorce and polygamy.  Appropriating a male Muslim nationalist forum, the Egyptian Congress meeting in Heliopolis in 1911, she sent a list of feminist demands insisting specifically that women be allowed to participate in congregational worship in mosques, to study in all fields, and to enter all occupations and professions, and, more generally, that women be permitted to develop themselves (as enjoined by Islam upon all believers) and to contribute to the welfare of the ummah (the community and nation).  She also called for reform of the Muslim Personal Status Code.  Unswerving in her goals but cautious in her methods, Nasif did not advocate uncovering of the face (although she knew this form of veiling was not ordained by Islamic religion) until society was better prepared to accept this change.  Following the Italian invasion of Libya in 1911, Nasif initiated a program in Cairo to train women as nurses.  In 1914, she participated in founding the Women’s Refinement (al-Ittihad al-Nisa’i al-Tahdhibi) and the Ladies Literary Improvement Society (Jam‘iyat al-Raqy al-Adabiyah lil-Sayyidat al-Misriyat).  When Nasif died in 1918, at the age of thirty-two, women and men alike paid her homage.  In commemorating the life and work of Malak Hifni Nasif, future feminist leader Huda Sha‘rawi publicly pledged to continue her struggle on behalf of women.

Malak Hifni Nasif see Nasif, Malak Hifni

Nasikh, Shaykh Imam Bakhsh
Nasikh, Shaykh Imam Bakhsh (Shaykh Imam Bakhsh Nasikh) (Ustaad Imam Baksh Nasikh) (1771/1776-1838).  Urdu poet and arbiter of the language.  He aimed at replacing many idioms, current in Delhi, by others considered superior.  His reform of the Urdu language included, among others, the elimination of Hindi words and preference for those of Arabic and Persian origin.  His reputation as a poet declined during the twentieth century.

Ustaad Imam Baksh Nasikh was born in Faizabad, India, which was ruled by the Mughals at the time. His poor father died early in his childhood. Afterwards, a wealthy merchant from Lahore, Khuda Buksh Kheema Doz, adopted him and gave him a good educaton. Nasikh remained carefree during the early period of his life. When his adoptive father died, his brothers tried to challenge the inheritance. An attempt was made to poison Nasikh unsuccessfully. Ultimately, the inheritance issue went to court, and the court decided in favor of Nasikh.

Nasikh learned Persian with Hafiz Waris Ali and other learned scholars of Farangi Mahal, a quarter of Lucknow noted for its erudition and boasting of a noted academy of Persian and Arabic learning. He was not proficient in Arabic, but knew it well enough for the Urdu poetry.

Nasikh learned poetry on his own, and was not known to be a pupil of any notable figure in poetry.

After Lucknow became the capital city of Oudh, Nasikh moved to the city, and spent the rest of his life there in a neighorhood called Teksilla. It was reported that during Nasikh's learning years (when the well known Urdu poet of Lucknow, Mir Taqi Mir was alive), Nasikh once went to Mir to seek his guidance in poetry. For some reason, Mir did not help him, and Nasikh returned broken-hearted. He vowed to perfect his skills in poetry with a new vigor on his own.

Nasikh took the takhalus (or poetical name) of 'Nasikh', which implies that his splendor eclipsed and abrogated that of all other poets.

It is not very much evident from his poetry, but it seems that Nasikh was a Sufi Muslim. Much like Mir Taqi Mir, his predecessor, he was probably a follower of the “Malamati” or “Blameworthy” aspect of the Sufi tradition. Using this technique, a person ascribes to oneself an unconventional aspect of a person or society, and then plays out its results, either in action or in verse. As in Ghalib or Mir's poetry, Nasikh's ridicule of Abrahamic/Koranic concepts of paradise, hell, zahid, etc are very much found in his poetry.

Shaykh Imam Bakhsh Nasikh see Nasikh, Shaykh Imam Bakhsh
Ustaad Imam Baksh Nasikh see Nasikh, Shaykh Imam Bakhsh

Nasir (al-Nasir).  Regnal title of five Mameluke sultans.

Nasir, al- see Nasir

Nasir, Abu ‘Abd Allah al-
Nasir, Abu ‘Abd Allah al- (Abu ‘Abd Allah al-Nasir).  Sovereign of the dynasty of the Almohads (r. 1199-1213).  In 1211, he sent an expedition against Spain which ended in disaster for the Muslim troops at Las Navas de Tolosa.
Abu ‘Abd Allah al-Nasir see Nasir, Abu ‘Abd Allah al-

Nasir al-Dawla, Abu Muhammad al-Hasan al-
Nasir al-Dawla, Abu Muhammad al-Hasan al- (Abu Muhammad al-Hasan al-Nasir al-Dawla).  Ruler of the Mosul branch of the Hamdanids (r.920-968).  He profitted by the rapid decline in the power of the ‘Abbasid caliphs, but came into conflict with the Buyid of Iraq Mu‘izz al-Dawla.  His rule was disastrous because of his exactions and tyrannical seizures of lands.
Abu Muhammad al-Hasan al-Nasir al-Dawla see Nasir al-Dawla, Abu Muhammad al-Hasan al-
Dawla, Abu Muhammad al-Hasan al-Nasir al- see Nasir al-Dawla, Abu Muhammad al-Hasan al-

Nasir al-Din Shah
Nasir al-Din Shah (Nasser al-Din Shah Qajar)  (Nāṣira’d-Dīn Shāh Qājār) (Nāṣer al-Dīn Shāh) (b. July 16, 1831 – d. May 1, 1896).  Ruler of the Qajar dynasty (r. 1848-1896).  The first phase of his reign (1848-1858) was characterized by a prolonged struggle to assert monarchical authority against the Prime Minister, the Qajar nobility, the European powers and popular and religious dissent.  The second phase (1858-1871) was marked by the abolition of the office of Prime Minister and the appointment of ministers to the newly created ministries, with the shah acting as his own Prime Minister.  The third phase (1871-1886) saw the rise of the celebrated reformer Mirza Husayn Khan Mushir al-Dawla and the royal tours to Ottoman Iraq and to Europe.  The last phase of the long reign was marked by the shah’s personal disillusionment and growing popular discontent.

Nāṣer al-Dīn Shāh was the Qājār shah of Iran who began his reign as a reformer but became increasingly conservative, failing to understand the accelerating need for change or for a response to the pressures brought by contact with the Western nations.

Although a younger son of Moḥammad Shāh, Nāṣer al-Dīn was named heir apparent through the influence of his mother. Serious disturbances broke out when he succeeded to the throne on his father’s death in 1848, but these were quelled through the efforts of his chief minister, Mīrzā Taqī Khān. Under Taqī Khān’s influence, Nāṣer al-Dīn began his rule by instituting a series of needed reforms. Taqī Khān, however, was later forced from power by his enemies, who included Nāṣer al-Dīn’s mother, and was disgraced, imprisoned, and finally murdered. In 1852 an attempt was made on Nāṣer al-Dīn’s life by two Bābīs (members of a religious sect considered heretical); he responded with a fierce, cruel, and prolonged persecution of the sect.

Unable to regain territory lost to Russia in the early 19th century, Nāṣer al-Dīn sought compensation by seizing Herāt, Afghanistan, in 1856. Great Britain regarded the move as a threat to British India and declared war on Iran, forcing the return of Herāt as well as Iranian recognition of the kingdom of Afghanistan.

Nāṣer al-Dīn was effective in certain areas. He curbed the secular power of the clergy, introduced telegraph and postal services, built roads, opened the first school offering education along Western lines, and launched Iran’s first newspaper. He visited Europe in 1873, 1878, and 1889 and was impressed with the technology he saw there. In the later years of his rule, however, he steadfastly refused to deal with the growing pressures for reforms. He also granted a series of concessionary rights to foreigners in return for large payments that went into his own pockets. In 1872, popular pressure forced him to withdraw one concession involving permission to construct such complexes as railways and irrigation works throughout Iran. In 1890, he made an even greater error in granting a 50-year concession on the purchase, sale, and processing of all tobacco in the country, which led to a national boycott of tobacco and the withdrawal of the concession. This last incident is considered by many authorities to be the origin of modern Iranian nationalism. Increasingly unpopular among various Iranian factions, Nāṣer al-Dīn was assassinated in Tehrān by a follower of Jamāl al-Dīn al-Afghānī.

Nasser al-Din Shah Qajar see Nasir al-Din Shah
Nāṣira’d-Dīn Shāh Qājār see Nasir al-Din Shah
Nāṣer al-Dīn Shāh see Nasir al-Din Shah

No comments:

Post a Comment