Sunday, July 21, 2013

Nusayris - Ottomans

Nusayris) (Nusayriyah) (‘Alawites).  See ‘Alawi.

Nuwayri, Shihab al-Din Ahmad al-
Nuwayri, Shihab al-Din Ahmad al- (Shihab al-Din Ahmad al-Nuwayri) (al-Nuwayrī) (Shihāb al-Dīn Ahmad ibn 'Abd al-Wahhāb al-Nuwayri) (1279-1333). Egyptian encyclopedist and historian.  His fame rests on an encyclopedia in which he attempted to sum up all the knowledge that was indispensable for a first class secretary, the greater part being devoted to Muslim history.  His work was known in Europe in the 17th century.  Al-Nuwayri was also a fine calligrapher.

Al-Nuwayrī is known for his work regarding the conquest of the Mongols in Syria, and wrote extensively about the history of the Mamelukes in the 12th-13th century.
Shihab al-Din Ahmad al-Nuwayri see Nuwayri, Shihab al-Din Ahmad al-
Nuwayrī, al- see Nuwayri, Shihab al-Din Ahmad al-
Shihāb al-Dīn Ahmad ibn 'Abd al-Wahhāb al-Nuwayri see Nuwayri, Shihab al-Din Ahmad al-
Nuwayri, Shihāb al-Dīn Ahmad ibn 'Abd al-Wahhāb al- see Nuwayri, Shihab al-Din Ahmad al-

Nyamwezi (Banyamwezi) (Wanyamwezi). One of the major Bantu peoples of Tanzania who live south of Lake Victoria in the western and lake regions.  About thirteen percent of the Nyamwezi are Muslim.

The Nyamwezi have probably occupied their present area for some 300 years, and there are traditions of origin from several geographical directions.  There were many small chiefdoms, each with a ruling dynasty.  Many of these appear to have had a different ethnic origin from that of the people over whom they ruled, and in some cases, the chiefs observed matrilineal descent.  

During the nineteenth century, when the caravan trade with the coast was at its height, estimates of as many as one to two million Nyamwezi men went to the coast annually as porters.  It is significant that the Nyamwezi have a special joking relationship known as utani with peoples all the way across Tanzania.  All Nyamwezi men and most women speak and understand the national language, Kiswahili, although their mother tongue is Kinyamwezi, a Central Bantu branch of the Niger-Congo language family. Islam came into the area via the slave trade in the 1840s and was introduced by the Arab and Swahili caravan leaders, who set up an important center at what is today called Tabora (the Kazeh of Dr. David Livingstone).  There was little attempt to proselytize, and it seems that most people became Muslim converts in imitation of particular chiefs, particularly in the Tabora area, or through contacts with this town and on expeditions to the coast.

The Nyamwezi, or Wanyamwezi, are the second-largest of over 120 ethnic groups in Tanzania. They live in the northwest central area of the country, between Lake Victoria and Lake Rukwa. The term Nyamwezi is of Swahili origin, and translates as "people of the moon".

Historically, there have been five tribal groups, all referring to themselves as Wanyamwezi to outsiders: Kimbu, Konongo, Nyamwezi, Sukuma, and Sumbwa, who were never united. All groups normally merged have broadly similar cultures, although it is an oversimplification to view them as a single group. The Nyamwezi have close cultural ties with the Sukuma people. Their homeland is called Unyamwezi, and they speak the language Kinyamwezi, although many also speak Swahili or English.

It was only in the 19th century that the name could be found in literature; the term might include almost anyone from the western plateau. Travel taught them that others called them Nyamwezi, and almost all men accepted the name given to them by the coastal people indicating that the Nyamwezi came from the west. A century later, their land is still called "Greater Unyamwezi", about 35,000 square miles (91,000 km2) of rolling land at an elevation of about 4,000 feet (1,200 m).

Nyamwezi, also called Banyamwesi,  Bantu-speaking inhabitants of a wide area of the western region of Tanzania. Their language and culture are closely related to those of the Sukuma.

The Nyamwezi subsist primarily by cereal agriculture, their major crops being sorghum, millet, and corn (maize). Rice is a significant cash crop. The Nyamwezi have long been famous as travellers and workers outside their own country; as porters they became known throughout East Africa.

Though they once lived in compact villages, the Nyamwezi have dispersed since the 19th century, living now in relatively scattered homesteads. Marriage entails both a bride-price and bride service; polygyny is permitted but limited in practice. Descent is through the female line. The Nyamwezi have a number of secret societies that require initiation and other ceremonies.

Chiefdoms were formerly highly developed. Each had a hierarchy of territorial officers culminating in that of the ntemi (“chief”). There was a large aristocracy and an even larger slave population.

Ancestor worship is the most important facet of religious activity. High gods and spirits are also recognized. A mfumi (“diviner”) can interpret a situation for an individual or a group, telling them what forces are impinging on their lives. Christianity and Islām have made only limited inroads.

Wanyamwezi see Nyamwezi
People of the Moon see Nyamwezi
Banyamwezi see Nyamwezi

Nyankole.  The Nyankole belong to the western Interlacustrine Bantu of Uganda that include also the Nyoro and Toro tribes.  They all developed similar political cultures of kingship and centralized government and also share a common tradition about a group of alien gods who brought statecraft and cattle to the area.  Historians question the tradition but agree that the states in this region were established about five centuries ago by pastoral people who founded their dynasties and dominated the agricultural inhabitants.

Islam was first brought to Ankole in the late 1880s by Arab and Swahili traders coming from the coast of East Africa.  They entered the region, via the caravan routes across Tanganyika and along the western shores of Lake Victoria.  The Muslim traders’ main interest was Buganda, but some of them went north and reached Ankole.  Here they sold their merchandise, consisting of cloth, beads, guns, gunpowder and magical fetishes and bought mainly ivory.  Although some of those traders stayed in Ankole for long periods, they did not leave any significant Islamic impression.  Usually they lived alone and did not mix with the local population.  Unlike Mutesa I of Buganda, the Mugabe of Ankole did not show any interest in the traders’ religion.

As happened with other Interlacustrine Bantu, the main Islamic influence came from Buganda and by Ganda shaikhs and walimu (teachers).  The first Ganda Muslims arrived as refugees during the religious wars of the 1880s and 1890s in Buganda, after being defeated by the Christians.  Among those Ganda Muslims was Shaikh Kauzi, who reached Bukanga in Ankole during this period and established the first Muslim community there.  Other Ganda refugees who befriended the Mugabe were given posts of chiefs and subchiefs, and in their position they could convert some of their servants and other dependents.  After the British incorporated Ankole into the protectorate of Uganda, they used to send Ganda administrators to act as chiefs and help in the organization of the new district.  Among these were some Ganda Muslims like Abdul Affendi, who arrived in 1900 and later became the chief of the Bukanga area.  Another was Abdul Aziz Bulwada, who arrived in Ankole in 1905 as interpreter to the British officials and then was made chief of Mitoma.  He became known for his efforts to eliminate witchcraft and other traditional beliefs among the local Muslims.

During the regime of President Idi Amin (1971-1979), the Muslims of Ankole, as in other areas, enjoyed a privileged position, but Christianity remained the dominant religion in the district.  It was Nyankole Christians who could organize the biggest and the most efficient Uganda military force, which joined the Tanzanians in the war which put an end to the Amin regime.

The Nyankole Muslims are mostly Sunnis of the Shafi school.

Obgoni (Ohogobo).  In colonial Brazil, a powerful, secret Hausa society organized by black Muslim slaves in Bahia around 1812.  The society generally follows the same pattern as similar societies in West Africa.  On February 28, 1813, 600 Obgoni blacks rose in revolt in the city of Bahia, burning part of the city and killing many whites in the battle.  The rebellion was crushed by government forces.  Many slaves were executed, others were imprisoned, and some were deported to penal settlements in Angola, Benguela, and Mozambique.
Ohogobo see Obgoni

Og (‘Uj ibn ‘Anaq) was the king of Bashan in modern Syria who was mentioned in the Old Testament.  The Qur’an does not mention him, but the giant king is described by Abu Ja‘far al-Tabari, Abu Mansur al-Husayn al-Tha‘alibi and Abu’l-Hasan al-Kisa’i.  

According to several books of the Old Testament, Og was an ancient Amorite king of Jerusalem who, along with an army, was slain by Joshua and his men at the battle of Edrei (probably modern day Daraa, Syria). The internal chronology of the Deuteronomistic History and the Torah would suggest Og's overthrow and the conquest of Canaan by Israel around c. 1500 or 1200 B.C.T., although Bible critics attest that these books may have been written no earlier than the 7th-6th centuries B.C.T., and are considered by some Bible critics to be of uncertain historical accuracy.

Og, the giant of the Amorites, is equally considered a folk legend, around whom gathered many Jewish legends: according to some traditions he lived to be 3,000 years old and clung to Noah's ark during the Deluge. In Islamic lore, he is referred to as ‘Uj ibn Anaq, evidently one of the giants mentioned in the Qur'an (jababirat or jabbirun).

Og is mentioned in Jewish folklore as being alive from the time of Noah up until the time of his death in battle with the Jews. It is also written in the Midrash that he had a special compartment in Noah's Ark just for him. Aggadah suggests an alternative to this, that he sat upon the top of the ark, riding out the flood for the duration of the storm from this location.

'Uj ibn 'Anaq see Og

Ogan-Besemah.  The term “Ogan-Besemah” designates an ethnic and linguistic family of peoples living in the province of South Sumatra, Indonesia.  The Ogan-Besemah area covers most of the province, from the outskirts of Palembang in the east to the mountainous border with Bengkulu in the west.  Members of the several societies comprising this family consider themselves more akin to each other than to other peoples inhabiting the province -- the Komering to the south, Malay speakers to the east and Rejang to the north.

Although Palembang is represented in Malay myths as the site of the early kingdom of Srivijaya and the origin place of the Malay sultans, the interior Ogan Besemah area was relatively independent of Palembang rulers.  Dutch rule shakily commenced in 1816, but was long limited to the capital.  In different areas of Ogan Besemah, local leaders organized active resistance from the 1840s on, and formal annexation of Besemah into the Palembang residence was not until 1866.  Present provincial divisions place the area in South Sumatra, and western Besemah people play a particularly dominant role in provincial politics.

Ogedey (Ogadai) (Ogodei) (Ogdai) (Ugedei) (b. 1185/1189, Mongolia - d. 1241, Karakorum, Mongolia).  Third son of Genghis Khan and the second Great Khan of the Mongol Empire (r.1229-1241).  During his reign, the empire continued to expand into China, Persia, Russia and Eastern Europe.

The third son of Genghis, Ögödei succeeded his father in 1229. He was the first ruler of the Mongols to call himself khagan (“great khan”); his father used only the title khan. He made his headquarters on the Orhon River in central Mongolia, where he built the capital city of Karakorum on the site laid out by his father. Like his father, he carried out several simultaneous campaigns, using generals in the field who acted independently but who were subject to his orders. The orders were transmitted by a messenger system that covered almost all of Asia.

In the East, Ögödei launched an attack on the Jin (Juchen) dynasty of North China. The Song dynasty in South China wished to regain territory lost to the Jin and therefore allied itself with the Mongols, helping Ögödei take the Jin capital at Kaifeng in 1234.

Ögödei’s Chinese adviser, Yelü Chucai, convinced him to reverse previous Mongol policy. Instead of leveling North China and all its inhabitants in the usual Mongol manner, he preserved the country in order to utilize the wealth and skills of its inhabitants. That decision not only saved Chinese culture in North China but it also gave the Mongols access to the Chinese weapons that later enabled them to conquer the technologically superior Song. Knowledge of governmental techniques gained from the people of North China made it possible for the Mongols to be rulers as well as conquerors of China.

In the western part of his empire, Ögödei sent Mongol armies into Iran, Iraq, and Russia. With the sacking of Kiev in 1240, the Mongols finally crushed Russian resistance. In the next year Mongol forces defeated a joint army of German and Polish troops and then marched through Hungary and reached the Adriatic Sea. Thereafter for more than 200 years Russia remained tributary to the Mongols of the Golden Horde.

Ögödei died during a drinking bout, and his troops called off their intended invasion of western Europe. His widow, Töregene, ruled as regent until 1246 when she handed over the throne to Güyük, her eldest son by Ögödei. Ögödei is described in contemporary sources as a stern, energetic man given to drinking and lasciviousness.

Ogadai see Ogedey
Ogodei see Ogedey
Ogdai see Ogedey
Ugedei see Ogedey

Oghuz (Oguz) (Ghuzz) (Guozz) (Kuz) (Okuz) (Oufoi) (Ouz) (Ouzoi) (Torks) (Turkmen) (Uguz) (Uğuz) (Uz).  Name of an eastern Turkish people, the best-known tribes being the Uyghurs, the Saljuqs, the Artuqids and the Ottomans.   In the ninth century, some groups spread to the west and are known to have settled around Diyarbakr.  In the tenth century, they occupied a territory the southern border of which was formed by the Aral Sea and the Iaxartes, where they came in touch with the Muslim world.  By the end of the tenth century, Islam had become general among them.  By that time, those of the Oghuz who had become Muslim were indicated with the name Turkmen, but later the name Oghuz was also used for the Muslims.  In the third and fourth decades of the eleventh century, a group, under the leadership of Chaghri-Beg and Tughril-Beg of the Saljuq family, expanded westwards, and defeated the Ghaznavid Mas‘ud in 1040.  The greater part of Persia and Iraq was conquered on behalf of the so-called Great Saljuqs.  Most of the Oghuz concentrated in Azerbaijan, from where a section spread to Asia Minor and converted it into what from then on was known as Turkey.  Oghuz tribes who had remained behind in Central Asia were driven back by the Karakhitai and settled in Khurasan.  They defeated the Great Saljuq Sanjar in 1153, but were subdued by the Khwarazm-Shahs.  After the foundation of the Mongol Empire in the thirteenth century, the name Oghuz is no longer found, whereas that of Turkmen has survived until the present day.  The epic of the Oghuz is called Oghuz-nama.

In the ninth century the Oghuz Turks from the Aral steppes drove the Pecheneg Turks of the Emba region and the River Ural toward the west. In the tenth century they inhabited the steppe of the rivers Sari-su, Turgai, and Emba to the north of Lake Balkhash of modern day Kazakhstan. A clan of this nation, the Seljuks, embraced Islam and in the eleventh century entered Persia, where it founded the Great Seljuk Empire.

Similarly, in the eleventh century a Tengriist Oghuz clan—referred to as Uzes or Torks in the Russian chronicles—overthrew Pecheneg supremacy in the Russian steppe. Harried by another Turkic horde, the Kipchaks—a branch of the Kimaks of the middle Irtysh or of the Ob—these Oghuz penetrated as far as the lower Danube, crossed it and invaded the Balkans, where they were either crushed or struck down by an outbreak of plague, causing the survivors either to flee or to join the Byzantine imperial forces as mercenaries (1065).

Oguz see Oghuz
Ghuzz see Oghuz
Guozz see Oghuz
Kuz see Oghuz
Oufoi see Oghuz
Uguz see Oghuz

Olajuwon, Hakeem
Olajuwon, Hakeem (Hakeem Olajuwon) (Hakeem Abdul Olajuwon) (Hakeem the Dream) (Akeem Olajuwon) (b. January 21, 1963). Professional basketball player.  He was born in Lagos, Nigeria.  He first saw basketball when he was 15.  Before then he had played soccer and cricket.  However, being almost seven feet tall, his future was found to be with basketball.   He played collegiately at the University of Houston, leading the Houston Cougars to two trips to the NCAA (National Collegiate Athletic Association) Final Four.  Olajuwon left college after his junior year following his selection as a 1984 consensus First Team All-American.  He was also the 1983 NCAA Tournament Most Valuable Player (MVP).  Drafted by the Houston Rockets, in his first year in the NBA, Olajuwon was named to the All-Rookie First Team, after finishing as runner up to Michael Jordan for Rookie of the Year in 1985.  Along with 7'4" Ralph Sampson, Olajuwon led the Rockets to the NBA (National Basketball Association) Finals in 1986, only to lose to the Boston Celtics.  However, in the process, he set and NBA Finals record for most blocks in a game with 8 in Game 5.    In 1993-1994, Olajuwon had an incredible year.  While leading the Houston Rockets to the National Basketball Association Championship, Olajuwon was named Defensive Player of the Year, NBA Finals MVP, and League MVP.   The Rockets repeated as NBA Champions in 1995.  During his career, Olajuwon was the League MVP (1994); a two time Defensive Player of the Year (1993, 1994); a five time All-NBA First Team selection (1987, 1988, 1989, 1993 and 1994); and a five time All-Defensive First Team selection (1987, 1988, 1990, 1993, and 1994).  A naturalized United States citizen, Olajuwon played for the United States on the Olympic Gold Medal winning “Dream Team III” in 1996.  He holds the distinction of recording one of only 3 quadruple doubles in NBA history with 18 points, 16 rebounds, 11 blocks and 10 assists in a game against Milwaukee on March 29, 1990.

Because of his outstanding career, Olajuwon was named one of the NBA’s 50 All-Time Greatest Players.

Hakeem Olajuwon was Nigerian-born American professional basketball player who led the Houston Rockets to consecutive National Basketball Association (NBA) championships in 1994 and 1995.

Olajuwon was unfamiliar with basketball until age 15, instead playing association football (soccer) and team handball in Lagos, Nigeria. After two years of familiarizing himself with the sport, the 7-foot (2.13-meter) center was recruited to play collegiate basketball in the United States at the University of Houston. In Olajuwon’s first season, Houston advanced to the Final Four (national championship semifinals) of the 1982 National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) tournament (see March Madness). The next year, Houston returned to the Final Four but lost the national championship game to North Carolina State University in a dramatic upset; even so, Olajuwon was named the tournament’s Most Outstanding Player. In 1984 Houston again advanced to the NCAA tournament’s final game, but the national championship eluded Olajuwon once more as his team fell to Georgetown University, led by star player Patrick Ewing.

Olajuwon left college after his junior year and was selected by the Houston Rockets with the first pick in the 1984 NBA draft. The Rockets reached the play-offs in his first year with the team, and in his second they narrowly failed to win the championship, losing to the Boston Celtics in the NBA finals. The Rockets regressed slightly in the following years, advancing past the first round of the play-offs just once between 1987 and 1992, but Olajuwon continued his impressive individual play, which was highlighted by his tenacious defensive ability and his incredibly nimble footwork on offense. His signature move was known as the “Dream Shake,” a series of feints, spins, and drop steps he would perform close to the basket that often confounded opposing defenders and left Olajuwon with an open shot.

Olajuwon reached the pinnacle of his career in the mid-1990s. He was named the NBA’s Defensive Player of the Year for the 1992–93 and 1993–94 seasons and was also the league’s Most Valuable Player (MVP) in 1993–94. His MVP season was capped with a seven-game victory over the New York Knicks in the NBA finals, and Olajuwon was named finals MVP for his efforts. He led the Rockets to a second championship the following year and was again named finals MVP. His production slipped due to injuries and age in the late 1990s, and in 2001 he was traded to the Toronto Raptors, where he played only one season before retiring in 2002. At the time of his retirement, Olajuwon ranked 7th in career points scored in the NBA and 11th in career rebounds; he was also the league’s all-time leader in blocked shots. A 12-time All-Star, Olajuwon was named one of the NBA’s 50 greatest players in 1996, and he was inducted into the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame in 2008.

Olajuwon married his current wife Dalia Asafi on August 8, 1996, in Houston. They have two daughters, Rahmah and Aisha Olajuwon. Abisola Olajuwon, his daughter with former wife and college sweetheart Lita Spencer, represented the West Girls in the McDonald's All American Game and played with the WNBA's Chicago Sky.

Olajuwon was recognized as one of the league's elite centers despite his strict observance of Ramadan (e.g., abstaining from food and drink during daylight hours for about a month), which occurred during virtually every season of his career. Olajuwon was noted as sometimes playing better during the month, and in 1995 he was named NBA Player of the Month in February, even though Ramadan began on February 1 of that year.

Olajuwon's career accolades include:

    * 2× NBA champion (1994, '95)
    * 2× NBA Finals MVP (1994, '95)
    * 1× NBA MVP (1994)
    * 2× Defensive Player of Year (1993, '94)
    * 6× All-NBA First Team (1987, '88, '89, '93, '94, '97)
    * 3× All-NBA Second Team ('86, '90, '96)
    * 3× All-NBA Third Team (1991, '95, '99)
    * 5× All-Defensive First Team ('87, '88, '90, '93, '94)
    * 12× All-Star
    * Olympic gold medalist (1996)
    * Named one of the 50 Greatest Players in NBA History (1996).
    * Only player in NBA history to have won MVP, Finals MVP and Defensive Player of the Year awards in the same season (1993–94).
    * One of the 4 players in NBA history to have ever recorded a quadruple-double.
    * The third of five players in NBA history to lead the league in blocks and rebounding in the same season (1989–90)

        * The other four players are Kareem Abdul-Jabbar (1975-76), Bill Walton (1976-77), Ben Wallace (2001-02) and Dwight Howard (2008-09).

    * Olajuwon also won the rebounding and blocked shots titles in 1989-90, becoming the third player ever (after Abdul-Jabbar and Bill Walton) to lead the league in both categories during the same season.
    * All-time leader in blocked shots. (note: the NBA did not keep statistics for blocked shots until the 1973-74 season)
    * Olajuwon is also in the top ten in blocks, scoring, rebounding, and steals. He is the only player in NBA history placed in the top ten for all four categories.
    * All-time NBA Playoffs leader in total blocks with 472 and blocks per game with 3.3 per game.
    * Olajuwon ranks 8th all-time in steals and is the highest ranked center. (note that steals were not recorded until the 1973-74 season).
    * In 1989, Olajuwon had 282 blocks and 218 steals, becoming the only NBA player to record over 200 blocks and 200 steals in a season.
    * Olajuwon is one of few players to record more than 200 blocks and 100 steals in a season. As the all-time leader in this feat, he did it for 11 seasons (consecutively from the 1985-86 season to the 1995-96 season). The next closest is David Robinson, who did it for 7 seasons.
    * Olajuwon was elected to the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame as a member of the class of 2008.

Hakeem Olajuwon see Olajuwon, Hakeem
Hakeem Abdul Olajuwon see Olajuwon, Hakeem
Hakeem the Dream see Olajuwon, Hakeem
The Dream see Olajuwon, Hakeem
Akeem Olajuwon see Olajuwon, Hakeem
Olajuwon, Akeem see Olajuwon, Hakeem

Oljeytu (UljaytuKhudabanda, Ghiyath al-Din (Öljaitü) (Oljeitu) (Olcayto) (Uljeitu) (Muhammad Khodabandeh) (Moḥammad Khudābanda) (Khodābandeh from Persian meaning the "Man of God") (1280 - December 16, 1316, Soltaniyeh, near Kazvin, Iran). Mongol Il-Khan ruler of Persia (1304-1316 (1317?)).  He was baptized as a Christian but became a Buddhist, and afterwards embraced Islam.  Showing at first preference for the Shi‘a, he became an adherent of the Sunna, and finally joined the Shi‘a again.  He continued the traditional warfare of his predecessors with the Mamluks and their friendly relations with European Christian powers.  He established his chief seasonal residence at the recently founded town of Sultaniyya, where his mausoleum is still to be seen.

A great-grandson of Hülegü, founder of the Il-Khan dynasty, Öljeitü was baptized a Christian and given the name Nicholas by his mother. As a youth he converted to Buddhism and later to the Sunnite branch of Islām, taking the name Moḥammad Khudābanda. After the death (1304) of his brother Maḥmūd Ghāzān, the seventh Il-Khan, he disposed of his rivals easily and acceded to a relatively peaceful reign. In 1307, the Caspian province of Jilan was conquered, strengthening Il-Khan rule, and a potentially dangerous rebellion was crushed in Herāt (now in Afghanistan). The traditional hostility between the Il-Khans and the Mamelūkes of Syria and Egypt persisted, however, and a badly organized invasion of Mamelūke territory took place in 1312. The expedition had to be abandoned after expected help from European princes failed to materialize.

Öljeitü changed his religious affiliations several times. His conversion to Sunnite Islām is attributed to one of his wives. During the winter of 1307–08 there ensued a bitter religious feud between the adherents of the Ḥanafī and Shafīʿī schools of Sunnite Islāmic law, so disgusting Öljeitü that he considered converting back to Buddhism, a course that proved politically impossible. Greatly influenced by the Shīʿite theologian Ibn al-Muṭahhar al-Hillī, he came to embrace the religion; and on his return from a visit to the tomb of ʿAlī in Iraq (1309–10), he proclaimed Shīʿite Islām to be the state religion of Iran.

An active patron of the arts, Öljeitü built a new capital at Soltānīyeh that required the efforts of many artists, who made it a masterpiece of Il-Khanid architecture. He lent vital encouragement and support to Rashīd ad-Dīn’s monumental world history and to the endeavors of Iranian poets.

Uljaytu see Oljeytu
Ghiyath al-Din Khudabanda see Oljeytu
Khudabanda, Ghiyath al-Din see Oljeytu
Oljaitu see Oljeytu
Muhammad Khodabandeh see Oljeytu
Mohammad Khudabanda see Oljeytu

Olorum Ulua
Olorum Ulua.  An Afro-Brazilian deity worshipped by black descendants of Yoruba Muslim slaves in Bahia and other cities.  It is apparently a combination of two deities: the Yoruba Olorum and Allah, the Muslim God.
Ulua, Olorum see Olorum Ulua.

‘Omar al-Khayyam
‘Omar al-Khayyam (‘Umar Khayyam) (Omar Khayyám) (b, May 18, 1048, Neyshapur, Iran — d. 1131, Neyshapur, Iran).  Mathematician and astronomer.  He was also well known as a poet, philosopher, and physician.  In the History of Western Philosophy, Bertrand Russell remarks that Omar Khayyam was the only man known to him who was both a noted poet and a noted mathematician.  Omar Khayyam reformed the solar calendar in 1079; his work on algebra was highly valued throughout Europe during the Middle Ages; and, in the West, he is best known for his poetic work Rubaiyat which was translated by Edward Fitzgerald in 1859.  His full name was Ghiyath al-Din Abul Fateh Omar ibn Ibrahim al-Khayyam.

Omar Khayyam was born in 1044 at Nishapur, the provincial capital of Khurasan.  He is generally known as a Persian.  However, it has been suggested that his ancestors (from the Arab Khayyami tribe) migrated and settled in Persia.  Omar Khayyam was educated at Nishapur.  He also traveled to several reputed institutions of learning, including those at Bukhara, Balkh, Samarkand and Isfahan. His fame as a mathematician prompted the Seljuq Sultan Malik Shah and his vizier Nizam al-Mulk to invite him in 1074 to undertake astronomical research at a new observatory and to serve on a commission for calendar reform.  He lived in Nishapur and Samarkand (Central Asia) for most of his life.  Omar Khayyam was a contemporary of Nizam al-Mulk Tusi.  He died in 1123 in Nishapur.

‘Omar Khayyam was a famous Persian scientist and poet from Nishapur.  His name means “’Omar the Tentmaker.”  As astronomer to the royal court, he was engaged with several other scientists to reform the calendar; their work resulted in the adoption of a new era, called the Jalalian or the Seljuk.  As a writer on algebra, geometry, and related subjects, ‘Omar was one of the most notable mathematicians of his time.  He is, however, most famous as the author of the Ruba‘iyat.  About 1000 of these epigrammatic four-line stanzas, which reflect upon nature and humanity, are ascribed to him.

‘Omar’s ruba‘is (quatrains) were composed perhaps as the outlet for a pessimistic and cynical rationalism which ‘Omar’s strictly orthodox day it was not politic to teach openly. The English poet and translator Edward Fitzgerald was the first to introduce ‘Omar to the West through an 1859 version of 100 of the quatrains.  This version is a paraphrase, often very close, that despite its flowery rhymed verse captures the spirit of the original.

‘Omar Khayyam was appreciated by the Great Saljuq Malik-Shah I but Sanjar had a grudge against him.  He met Abut Hamid al-Ghazali.  As a scientist, he worked on the reform of the calendar and wrote on algebra and physics.  As a poet, he became very popular in the west after Edward FitzGerald (d.1883) published his free translation of the Quatrains.  Of the 1,000 quatrains originally attributed to him, 102 are considered authentic, the rest being added in the manuscripts over the course of time.  

Omar Khayyam was a great mathematician.  He made major contributions in mathematics, particularly in algebra.  His book Maqalat fi al-Jabr wa al-Muqabila, a treatise on algebra, provided great advancement in the field.  He classified many algebraic equations based on their complexity and recognized thirteen different forms of cubic equation.  Omar Khayyam developed a geometrical approach to solving equations, which involved an ingenious selection of proper comics.  He solved cubic equations by intersecting a parabola with a circle.  Omar Khayyam was the first to develop the binomial theorem and determine binomial coefficients.  He developed the binomial expansion for the case when the exponent is a positive integer.  Omar Khayyam refers in his algebra book to another work on what we now know as Pascal’s triangle.  This work is now lost.  

Al-Khayyam extended Euclid’s work giving a new definition of rations and included the multiplication of ratios.  He contributed to the theory of parallel lines.

Omar al-Khayyam is famous for another work which he contributed when he worked for the Seljuk Sultan, Malik Shah Jalal al-Din.  He was asked to develop an accurate solar calendar to be used for revenue collections and various administrative matters.  To accomplish this task, Omar Khayyam began his work at the new observatory at Ray in 1074.  His calendar Al-Tarikh al-Jalali is superior to the Gregorian calendar and is accurate to within one day in 3770 years.  Specifically, he measured the length of the year as 365.24219858156 days.  It shows that he recognized the importance of accuracy by giving his result to eleven decimal places.  As a comparison, the length of the year in the twentieth century was calculated at 365.242190 days.  This number changes slightly each century in the sixth decimal place, e.g., in the nineteenth century it was 365.242196 days.

Al-Khayyam contributed also to other fields of science.  He developed for accurate determination of the specific gravity.  He wrote two books in metaphysics, Risala Dar Wujud and Nauruz Namah.  As a poet, Omar Khayyam is well known for his Rubaiyat.  His themes involved complex mystical and philosophical thoughts.  

Omar al-Khayyam’s ten books and thirty monographs have survived.  These include four books on mathematics, one on algebra, one on geometry, three on physics, and three books on metaphysics.  He made great contributions in the development of mathematics and analytical geometry, which benefited Europe several centuries later.

Khayyam, 'Omar al- see ‘Omar al-Khayyam
'Umar Khayyam see ‘Omar al-Khayyam
Khayyam, 'Umar see ‘Omar al-Khayyam
Omar Khayyam see ‘Omar al-Khayyam
Khayyam, Omar see ‘Omar al-Khayyam
Omar the Tentmaker see ‘Omar al-Khayyam

‘Omer Efendi
‘Omer Efendi.  Eighteenth century Ottoman historian from Bosnia.  He wrote a vivid account of the events in Bosnia between 1738 and 1739.

Oncle Alufa
Oncle Alufa.  In Brazil, a god who heads a family of malevolent spirits worshipped by Muslim slaves in the colonial period.
Alufa, Oncle see Oncle Alufa.

Onn bin Ja’afar, Dato
Onn bin Ja’afar, Dato (1895-January 19, 1962).   Malay statesman and political leader, recognized as the father of the United Malays National Organization (UMNO), the first political party to represent purely Malay interests.  The son of a politically prominent Johor family, he had become the chief minister of Johor by the 1940s.  Following World War II, he organized opposition to the Malayan Union plan.  With others, he formed the UMNO in 1946 and was named its first president.  In 1951, after his attempt to broaden the party’s base by admitting non-Malays was opposed, Dato Onn resigned from the UMNO and formed the Independence of Malaya Party (IMP) with a multi-racial membership.  While it gained some initial support, the IMP lost most of the offices in the first municipal elections to the communal parties.  Thereafter he remained on the fringes of Malay political life.  His son, Hussein bin Onn, was prime minister of the Federation of Malaysia between 1976 and 1981.

Onn bin Ja'afar was a Malay politician and a Menteri Besar (Chief Minister) of Johore in Malaysia, then Malaya. He was the founder of United Malays National Organization (UMNO) and was also responsible for the social economic welfare of the Malays by setting up the Rural Industrial Development Authority (RIDA). His son was Tun Hussein Onn, the third Prime Minister of Malaysia and his grandson was Hishammuddin Hussein.

Onn was born in 1895 at Johor Bahru, the capital of the Sultanate of Johore. His father Dato Jaafar Haji Muhammad was the first Menteri Besar of Johore while his mother, Hanim Rogayah was from Scarcia, Turkey. Onn was sent by Sultan Ibrahim to be educated in England and upon his return, was sent by his father for studies at the Malay College Kuala Kangsar. He served for a time as a government official in Johore. Turning then to journalism, he edited two Malay newspapers, the Lembaga Melayu and the Warta Malaya, the first independent Malay daily. When he was a member of the Majlis Mesyuarat Negeri Johor, he made two important political contributions to the people of Johore, which are the setting up of the Sultan Ibrahim Scholarship and issuance of free air fares to perform the pilgrimage in Mecca (Makkah) for Islamic officers serving the Johore government. After World War II, he became extremely active in Malayan politics.

Onn was very active in the Malaya nationalist movement and along with his companions, Haji Anwar bin Abdul Malik, Haji Syed Alwi bin Syed Sheikh al-Hadi and Mohd Haji Noah Omar was active in the founding of the United Malays National Organization (UMNO) as a means to rally the Malays against the Malayan Union, which was perceived as threatening Malay privileges and the position of the Malaya rulers. Onn took up the role of UMNO's president on May 1, 1946. When plans for the union were withdrawn, Onn was made Menteri Besar by the Sultan of Johor.

Later, Onn was disgusted with what he considered to be UMNO's communalist policies, and called for party membership to be opened to all Malayans, and for UMNO to be renamed as the United Malayans National Organization. When his recommendations went unheeded, he left the party on August 26, 1951, to form the Independence of Malaya Party (IMP). However, the IMP failed to receive sufficient backing from Malayans, and eventually Onn left it to form the Parti Negara, which placed membership restrictions on non-Malays in an attempt to woo the Malays.

Neither party gained popular support against Tunku Abdul Rahman's new Alliance coalition and he was eventually eclipsed from Malayan political life.

Onn's character was portrayed in a 2007 Malaysian movie 1957: Hati Malaya which was directed by a popular Malaysian film director, Shuhaimi Baba. His role is played by Zaefrul Nadzarine Nordin.

Dato Onn bin Ja'afar see Onn bin Ja’afar, Dato

OPEC (Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries).  Group formed in 1960 to maintain a minimum price for oil.

OPEC, in full Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries, was a multinational organization that was established to coordinate the petroleum policies of its members and to provide member states with technical and economic aid.

OPEC was established at a conference held in Baghdad September 10–14, 1960, and was formally constituted in January 1961 by five countries: Saudi Arabia, Iran, Iraq, Kuwait, and Venezuela. Members admitted afterward include Qatar (1961), Indonesia and Libya (1962), Abū Dhabī (1967), Algeria (1969), Nigeria (1971), Ecuador (1973), and Angola (2007). The United Arab Emirates—which includes Abū Dhabī (the largest of the emirates), Dubayy, ʿAjmān, Al-Shāriqah, Umm al-Qaywayn, Raʾs al-Khaymah, and Al-Fujayrah—assumed Abū Dhabī’s membership in the 1970s. Gabon, which had joined in 1975, withdrew in January 1995, but it had relatively insignificant oil reserves. Ecuador suspended its membership from OPEC from December 1992 until October 2007, while Indonesia suspended its membership beginning in January 2009.

OPEC’s headquarters, first located in Geneva, was moved to Vienna in 1965. OPEC members coordinate policies on oil prices, production, and related matters at semi-annual and special meetings of the OPEC Conference. The Board of Governors, which is responsible for managing the organization, convening the Conference, and drawing up the annual budget, contains representatives appointed by each member country; its chair is elected to a one-year term by the Conference. OPEC also possesses a Secretariat, headed by a secretary-general appointed by the Conference for a three-year term. The Secretariat includes research and energy-studies divisions.

OPEC members collectively own about two-thirds of the world’s proven petroleum reserves and account for two-fifths of world oil production. Members differ in a variety of ways, including the size of oil reserves, geography, religion, and economic and political interests. Four members—Kuwait, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, and the United Arab Emirates—have very large per capita oil reserves; they also are relatively strong financially and thus have considerable flexibility in adjusting their production. Saudi Arabia, which has the largest reserves and a relatively small (but fast-growing) population, has traditionally played a dominant role in determining overall production and prices.

Because OPEC has been beset by numerous conflicts throughout its history, some experts have concluded that it is not a cartel—or at least not an effective one—and that it has little, if any, influence over the amount of oil produced or its price. Other experts believe that OPEC is an effective cartel, though it has not been equally effective at all times. The debate largely centers on semantics and the definition of what constitutes a cartel. Those who argue that OPEC is not a cartel emphasize the sovereignty of each member country, the inherent problems of coordinating price and production policies, and the tendency of countries to renege on prior agreements at ministerial meetings. Those who claim that OPEC is a cartel argue that production costs in the Persian Gulf are generally less than 10 percent of the price charged and that prices would decline toward those costs in the absence of coordination by OPEC.

The influence of individual OPEC members on the organization and on the oil market usually depends on their levels of reserves and production. Saudi Arabia, which controls about one-third of OPEC’s total oil reserves, plays a leading role in the organization. Other important members are Iran, Iraq, Kuwait, and the United Arab Emirates, whose combined reserves are significantly greater than those of Saudi Arabia. Kuwait, which has a very small population, has shown a willingness to cut production relative to the size of its reserves, whereas Iran and Iraq, both with large and growing populations, have generally produced at high levels relative to reserves. Revolutions and wars have impaired the ability of some OPEC members to maintain high levels of production.

When OPEC was formed in 1960, its main goal was to prevent its concessionaires—the world’s largest oil producers, refiners, and marketers—from lowering the price of oil, which they had always specified, or “posted.” OPEC members sought to gain greater control over oil prices by coordinating their production and export policies, though each member retained ultimate control over its own policy. OPEC managed to prevent price reductions during the 1960s, but its success encouraged increases in production, resulting in a gradual decline in nominal prices (not adjusted for inflation) from $1.93 per barrel in 1955 to $1.30 per barrel in 1970. During the 1970s the primary goal of OPEC members was to secure complete sovereignty over their petroleum resources. Accordingly, several OPEC members nationalized their oil reserves and altered their contracts with major oil companies.

In October 1973, OPEC raised oil prices by 70 percent. In December, two months after the Yom Kippur War, prices were raised by an additional 130 percent, and the organization’s Arab members, which had formed OAPEC (Organization of Arab Petroleum Exporting Countries) in 1968, curtailed production and placed an embargo on oil shipments to the United States and the Netherlands, the main supporters of Israel during the war. The result throughout the West was severe oil shortages and spiraling inflation. As OPEC continued to raise prices through the rest of the decade (prices increased 10-fold from 1973 to 1980), its political and economic power grew. Flush with petrodollars, many OPEC members began large-scale domestic economic and social development programs and invested heavily overseas, particularly in the United States and Europe. OPEC also established an international fund to aid developing countries.

Although oil-importing countries reacted slowly to the price increases, eventually they reduced their overall energy consumption, found other sources of oil (e.g., in Norway, the United Kingdom, and Mexico), and developed alternative sources of energy, such as coal, natural gas, and nuclear power. In response, OPEC members—particularly Saudi Arabia and Kuwait—reduced their production levels in the early 1980s in what proved to be a futile effort to defend their posted prices.

Production and prices continued to fall in the 1980s. Although the brunt of the production cuts were borne by Saudi Arabia, whose oil revenues shrank by some four-fifths by 1986, the revenues of all producers, including non-OPEC countries, fell by some two-thirds in the same period as the price of oil dropped to less than $10 per barrel. The decline in revenues and the ruinous Iran-Iraq War (1980–88), which pitted two OPEC members against each other, undermined the unity of the organization and precipitated a major policy shift by Saudi Arabia, which decided that it no longer would defend the price of oil but would defend its market share instead. Following Saudi Arabia’s lead, other OPEC members soon decided to maintain production quotas. Saudi Arabia’s influence within OPEC also was evident during the Persian Gulf War (1990–91)—which resulted from the invasion of one OPEC member (Kuwait) by another (Iraq)—when the kingdom agreed to increase production to stabilize prices and minimize any disruption in the international oil market.

During the 1990s OPEC continued to emphasize production quotas. Oil prices, which collapsed at the end of the decade, began to increase again in the early 21st century, owing to greater unity among OPEC members and better cooperation with nonmembers (such as Mexico, Norway, Oman, and Russia), increased tensions in the Middle East, and a political crisis in Venezuela. As the 21st century began, international efforts to reduce the burning of fossil fuels (which has contributed significantly to global warming) made it likely that the world demand for oil would inevitably decline. In response, OPEC attempted to develop a coherent environmental policy.

Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries see OPEC

Orhan (Orkhan ibn ‘Othman) (Orhan Gazi) (1288-1360).  Ottoman bey (r.1324-1360).  Orhan is often referred to as sultan, but this title was not introduced in the empire until 1394.

Orhan was the second ruler of the Ottoman dynasty, which had been founded by his father, Osman I. Orhan’s reign (1324–60) marked the beginning of Ottoman expansion into the Balkans.

Under Orhan’s leadership, the small Ottoman principality in northwestern Anatolia continued to attract Ghazis (warriors for the Islāmic faith) from surrounding Turkish emirates fighting against Byzantium. In 1324 the Byzantine town of Brusa (later Bursa) fell to the Ottomans, followed by Nicaea (modern İznik) in 1331 and Nicomedia (modern İzmit) in 1337.

Turning to the neighboring Turkmen states, Orhan annexed the principality of Karası, which had been weakened by dynastic struggles (c. 1345), and he extended his control to the extreme northwest corner of Anatolia. In 1346 the Ottomans became the principal ally of the future Byzantine emperor John VI Cantacuzenus by crossing over into the Balkans to assist him against his rival John V Palaeologus.

As John VI’s ally, Orhan married Theodora, John’s daughter, and acquired the right to conduct raids in the Balkans. His campaigns provided the Ottomans with an intimate knowledge of the area, and in 1354 they seized Gallipoli as a permanent foothold in Europe.

Orhan’s reign also marked the beginning of the institutions that transformed the Ottoman principality into a powerful state. In 1327 the first silver Ottoman coins were minted in Orhan’s name, while the Anatolian conquests were consolidated and the army was reorganized on a more permanent basis. Finally, Orhan built mosques, medreses (theological colleges), and caravansaries in the newly conquered towns, particularly the Ottoman capital, Bursa, which later became a major Islāmic center.

Orkhan ibn 'Othman see Orhan
Orhan Gazi see Orhan
Gazi, Orhan see Orhan

Orissans.  The Muslims of the Indian state of Orissa call themselves Mahomedan or Muslim.  Non-Muslims call them Musalman or Pathan.  Orissans comprise about 1.5 percent of the state’s population.  Orissan Muslims were converted from among the local population during the days of Moghul rule in India, beginning in the sixteenth century.  As Moghul power was primarily along the coast (an area called Moghul Bandi) most Muslims are concentrated in the districts of Balasore, Cuttack and Puri.  Nearly all speak Urdu as their mother tongue, although many speak Oriyan as a second language, especially if they attend regional secular schools instead of Muslim madrasas. The overwhelming majority of Orissan Muslims are Sunni.

Oromo (Oromoo -- The Powerful).  The Oromo occupy a substantial part of the land from northeastern Ethiopia to east central Kenya, and between the borders of Sudan and Somalia.  They share a common language and growing common identity.

The Oromo, commonly called the Galla, enter historical records in the middle of the sixteenth century, when they expanded to the north and northeast from an original homeland in what is today southern Ethiopia.  For some reason, perhaps related to the wars and weakness of the Abyssinian/Ethiopian states at that time, Oromo began a series of raids which carried them, within a few decades, well into northern Ethiopia.  During succeeding centuries they came to occupy much of the best land of highland Ethiopia, while other Oromo groups spread across the more barren lowland areas of southern Ethiopia and northern Kenya.  When they began their great movements in the sixteenth century, they were apparently primarily pastoral and egalitarian and practiced their own religion.  Over the past four centuries they have become remarkably diversified in social and political structure, economy and religion, although certain common underlying patterns are discernible among many of the Oromo groups.  

Linguistic evidence suggests that the Oromo had long resided in southern Ethiopia before their sixteenth century expansion, and no other place of origin is indicated for them.  As the Oromo conquered new territories, their lives were modified.  They moved into new environments and encountered new neighbors, political forces and religions.  In the far north, the Wollo, Raya and Yejju became a prominent force in the politics of the Abyssinian state and played vital roles in the competition for power in the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries.  It is said that today members of these groups are more likely to speak Amharic and Tigrinya than the Oromo language.  Their leaders converted to Islam in the nineteenth century, and the people followed.  

In Wellega and in the Gibe River region of southwest Ethiopia, the Oromo developed six kingdoms of their own.  The rulers of the new state in Wellega, formed about 1850, became Ethiopian Christians, while the kings of the five Gibe states, Jimma, Limmu, Gera, Guma and Gomma, all converted to Islam in the first half of the eighteenth century.  Islam was brought to this region primarily by merchants from northern Ethiopia.  (All of these states were incorporated into the expanding Ethiopian empire by the 1890s.)

Most of the other Oromo groups, whether pastoral or sedentary agriculturalists, retain important elements of the original Oromo sociopolitical system and religion, subject, however, to many modifications and to control by the Ethiopian state.  In the Harar area, however, the Oromo were heavily affected by the Muslim city-state of Harar and by the Egyptian occupation of that area in the period 1875-1885.  The Oromo became Muslim at that time, either as a result of forced conversion or by choice.  To the west and south of Harar, many Arsi and Bale Oromo also converted to Islam.

Islam spread fastest in the nineteenth century as a result of the conversion of rulers and their courts, whose people subsequently followed them.  Then, and now, it also spread as individuals responded to the influence or missionary efforts of other Muslims, especially traders.  Conversion is particularly marked among those Oromo who desire to join the community of merchants, since Muslims tend to dominate trade in many areas of Ethiopia.

Oromoo see Oromo
The Powerful see Oromo

Orthodox Jews
Orthodox Jews. Jews having an orientation in Judaism that is strictly based upon a traditional understanding of their religion.  As they see it, all values and regulations of Judaism are just as valid in modern times, as they ever have been.   Orthodox Judaism is not so much a protest against modern orientations in Judaism as it is a strict continuation of traditional Judaism.  As the Orthodox see it, only well educated theologians can interpret the scriptures.  Hence there is little room for the modern interpretations that often have come from secular or secular-inspired authorities, like what is the case for Reform Judaism.  

The Orthodox believe that the content of both the Written Law (the Torah, the first five books of the Old Testament) and Oral Law (codified in the Mishnah and interpreted in the Talmud) are eternal and cannot be changed or omitted.  

The Orthodox practice their religion daily.  They study the Torah, follow the dietary injunctions, and respect all aspects of the celebration of the Sabbath.

Despite its conservatism, there have been some changes inside Orthodox Judaism, as evidenced by the changes wrought by Samson Raphael Hirsch in the 19th century.  In the 19th century, the German thinker Samson Raphael Hirsch introduced modifications to Orthodox Judaism which allowed modern dress, vernacular language in ceremonies and more openness towards modern society.  

In the early twentieth century, Orthodox leaders opposed the ideas and work of Zionists for a Jewish state in Palestine.  This was mainly because they were afraid that the secular orientation of the Zionists would reduce the importance of Judaism in the future Jewish state.

However, in 1948, when the state of Israel was formed, the Orthodox politicians managed to make their orientation the official state sanctioned form of Judaism.  Indeed, over time, Orthodox Jews became very active in Israeli politics, and they even formed their own party, the Shas (Shomrei Torah Sephardim), which won 17 of the 120 seats in the Knesset in 1999.

Although there have been some modernizing changes amongst the Orthodox, in their synagogues there is a clear division between men and women, and there are no sorts of music during the communal service.

Osama Bin Laden
Osama Bin Laden.  See Bin Laden.

Osei Kwame
Osei Kwame (c.1765-1803/1804).  Ruler of the Akan kingdom of Asante (r.1777-1798).  He was about twelve years old when he was picked to succeed Osei Kwadwo.  His mother’s attempts to rule during his minority threw Asante into civil war which lasted until the early 1790s.  By then Osei Kwame had come of age but before the end of the decade a new civil conflict had begun.  The causes are partly attributable to Osei Kwame’s cruelty and jealousy, but the major reason was his predilection towards Islam.  Islamic influence had increased as a result of Asante conquest of Muslim-governed territories to the north.  Asante chiefs feared he would use Islam to undermine the traditional religion and augment his own power, already enlarged due to administrative reforms.  Around 1798, he fled Kumasi, the capital, and was deposed.  His successor, Opoku II (Opoku Fofie), died around 1801 and Muslims in the north attempted to restore Osei Kwame to power.  Warfare continued until Osei Kwame’s death in 1803/1804.

Osman I
Osman I (Osman Gazi‘Othman I Ghazi  (1258-1324, Sogut, Ottoman Empire [now in Turkey]).  Ottoman bey (r.1300-1324), while he was the ruler of his principality from 1293.  Osman is often referred to as sultan, but this title was not introduced in the empire until 1394.

Osman was the son of Ertugrul, and inherited the position of ruler over a principality with Sogut as capital.  He controlled an effective army, consisting of Muslim warriors called ghazis.  While the official purpose of the ghazis were to fight the infidels, they mainly resorted to looting in enemy territory.  The main opponent was Byzantium.  During Osman’s reign, several Byzantine fortresses were conquered, among which was Yenisehir.

His main campaigns were sieging Nicaea (later, under the Turks renamed to Iznik) and Brusa (later, under the Turks renamed to Bursa).  Shortly before his death, he conquered Bursa, which was made into the capital of his kingdom.

With his death in Sogut at the age of 66, Osman was succeed by his son, Orhan.

Osman I was a ruler of a Turkmen principality in northwestern Anatolia who is regarded as the founder of the Ottoman Turkish state. Both the name of the dynasty and the empire that the dynasty established are derived from the Arabic form (ʿUthmān) of his name.

Osman was descended from the Kayı branch of the Oğuz Turkmen. His father, Ertugrul, had established a principality centered at Sögüt. With Sögüt as their base, Osman and the Muslim frontier warriors (Ghazis) under his command waged a slow and stubborn conflict against the Byzantines, who sought to defend their territories in the hinterland of the Asiatic shore opposite Constantinople (now Istanbul). Osman gradually extended his control over several former Byzantine fortresses, including Yenişehir, which provided the Ottomans with a strong base to lay siege to Bursa and Nicaea (now İznik), in northwestern Anatolia. The greatest success of Osman’s reign was the conquest of Bursa shortly before his death.

Osman Gazi see Osman I
‘Othman I Ghazi see Osman I

Osman II
Osman II (Genc Osman -- "Young Osman") (Othman II) (Uthman II) (b. November 15, 1603, Constantinople, Ottoman Empire [now Istanbul, Turkey] - d. May 20, 1622, Constantinople).  Ottoman sultan (r.1618-1622).  He was born on November 15, 1603, in Istanbul.  In 1618, at the age of 14, Osman II became the new sultan as Mustafa I was removed from the sultanate.

In 1621, Osman tried to reform the Janissaries by removing some of their privileges, like their coffee shops, which functioned like cells of disobedience among the troops.  This led to strong reactions among the Janissaries.

In 1622, Osman started planning a pilgrimage to Mecca, which really was a campaign to recruit a new army in Egypt and Syria, in order to defeat the Ottomans.  The result became an actual revolt among his enemies.  On May 19, Osman was forced by Janissary troops to resign from power, and let Mustafa I return to office.  On May 20, he is strangled by Janissaries of Istanbul.  

Despite being only fourteen years when becoming sultan, Osman was the most apt ruler of the Ottoman Empire since Suleyman I fifty years earlier.  However, conditions in the empire had deteriorated too much, so when Osman tried to reform the Janissaries, he was violently removed from his position.

Osman also set out on campaigns against Poland, but without being able to get the victories he had hoped for.  This failure he correctly interpreted to be the result of weak moral and little devotedness in the army, principally from the Janissary troops.

Ambitious and courageous, Osman undertook a military campaign against Poland, which had interfered in the Ottoman vassal principalities of Moldavia and Walachia. Realizing that his defeat at Chocim (Khotin, Ukraine) in 1621 largely stemmed from the lack of discipline and the degeneracy of the Janissary corps, he proceeded to discipline them by cutting their pay and closing their coffee shops. Then he announced a plan to go on a pilgrimage to Mecca, but his real purpose was to recruit a new army in Egypt and Syria to break the power of the Janissaries. Hearing of this scheme and already resentful because of Osman’s previous policies, the Janissaries revolted, deposed Osman on May 19, 1622, and strangled him the next day.

Genc Osman see Osman II
Young Osman see Osman II
Othman II see Osman II
Uthman II see Osman II

Osmanli (Ottomans) (Imperial House of Osman) (Osmanlı Hânedanı).  Term pertaining to descendants of Osman I or to their soldiers and administrators, or to their language.  

The Ottoman Dynasty (or the Imperial House of Osman) (Turkish: Osmanlı Hânedanı) ruled the Ottoman Empire from 1299 to 1922, beginning with Osman I (not counting his father, Ertuğrul), though the dynasty was not proclaimed until Orhan Bey declared himself sultan. Before that the tribe/dynasty might have been known as Söğüt but was renamed Osmanlı (Ottoman in English) in honor of Osman.

The sultan was the sole and absolute regent, head of state and head of government of the empire, at least officially, though often much power shifted de facto to other officials, especially the Grand Vizier.

The Ottoman dynasty is known in Turkish as Osmanlı, meaning "House of Osman". The first rulers of the dynasty never had called themselves sultans, but rather beys, or "chieftain", roughly the Turkic equivalent of Emir, which would itself become a gubernatorial title and even a common military or honorific rank. Thus, they still formally acknowledged the sovereignty of the contemporary Seljuk Sultanate of Rûm and its successor, the Ilkhanate.

The first Ottoman to actually claim the title of sultân was Murad I, who ruled from 1359 to 1389. The title sultan was in later Arabic-Islamic dynasties originally the power behind the throne of the Caliph in Baghdad and it was later used for various independent Muslim Monarchs. This title was more prestigious then Emir; it was not comparable to the title of Malik 'king' or the original Persian title of Shah. With the Conquest of Constantinople in 1453, the road was open for the Ottoman state to become an empire, with Sultan Mehmed II taking the title of pâdişah, a Persian title meaning "lord of kings" claiming superiority to the other kings, that title was abandoned when the empire declined and lost its former might.

In addition to such secular titles, the Ottoman sultan became the Caliph of Islam, starting with Selim I, who became khalif after the death of the last Abbasid Caliph Al-Mutawakkil III, the last of Abbasid Caliphs in Cairo.

In Europe, the Ottoman padishah was often referred to informally by such terms unrelated to the Ottoman protocol as the Grand Turk and the Grand Signor.

The sultans further adopted in time many secondary formal titles as well, such as "Sovereign of the House of Osman", "Sultan of Sultans" (roughly King of Kings), and "Khan of Khans".

As the empire grew, sultans adopted secondary titles expressing the empire's claim to be the successor in law of the structures of the absorbed states. Furthermore they tended to enumerate even regular provinces, not unlike the long lists of -mainly inherited- feudal titles in the full style of many Christian European monarchs.

When Mehmed II conquered Constantinople on May 29, 1453, he claimed the title Emperor of the Roman Empire and protector of the Eastern Orthodox Church. He appointed the Patriarch of Constantinople Gennadius Scholarius, whom he protected and whose stature he elevated into leader of all the Eastern Orthodox Christians. As emperor of the Romans he laid claim to all Roman territories, which at the time before the Fall of Constantinople, however, extended to little more than the city itself, plus some areas in Morea (Peloponnese) and the Empire of Trebizond.

The conqueror of Constantinople was Sultan Mehmed II Fatih Ghazi 'Abu'l Fath (1451 - 1481, 7th Sovereign of the House of Osman), was still 'simply' styled Kaysar-i-Rum (=Emperor of [Byzantium = the second] Rome, Caesar of Rome), Khan of Khans, Grand Sultan of Anatolia and Rumelia, Emperor of the three Cities of Constantinople, Edirne and Bursa, Lord of the two lands and the two seas and the first to adopt the 'imperial' style Padishah.

During the 16th century, the institutions of society and government that had been evolving in the Ottoman dominions for two centuries reached the classical forms and patterns that were to persist into modern times. The basic division in Ottoman society was the traditional Middle Eastern distinction between a small ruling class of Ottomans (Osmanlı) and a large mass of subjects called rayas (reʿâyâ). Three attributes were essential for membership in the Ottoman ruling class: profession of loyalty to the sultan and his state; acceptance and practice of Islām and its underlying system of thought and action; and knowledge and practice of the complicated system of customs, behaviour, and language known as the Ottoman Way. Those who lacked any of these attributes were considered to be members of the subject class, the “protected flock” of the sultan.
Ottomans see Osmanli
Imperial House of Osman see Osmanli
Osmanli Hanedani see Osmanli

Ossetians. People descended from the ancient Alans.  The Ossetians speak Ossetic, a language of the Iranian branch of the subfamily of Indo-Iranian languages.  The Ossetians inhabit Ossetia, a region in the central part of the North Caucasus.  They are divided into Orthodox Christians and Sunni Muslims.  The latter constitute between 20 to 30 percent of the population.  Both faiths form only a thin veneer over a strong residual influence of the ancient polytheist and animist beliefs.

Christianity was introduced among the Ossetians in the twelfth century.  Subsequently, a large number of them adopted Islam and many are now Sunnite Muslims.  The people were conquered by the Russians in the early nineteenth century.  They are divided into northern and southern groups and presently number about 600,000.  The northern Ossetians export timber and cultivate various crops, principally corn.  The small group of southern Ossetians is chiefly pastoral, herding sheep and goats in the east and cattle in the west.  Peasant industries include the manufacture of leather goods, fur caps, daggers, and metalware.  Since the Ossetians received political and cultural autonomy, the Latin alphabet has been adopted for the writing of the Ossetic language.  That language was formerly written in the Armenian alphabet.

While Muslims are a minority among the Ossetians, a rural people living in the Caucasus Mountains, they are the second largest group of Indo-Iranian speaking Muslims in Russia and Georgia.  Ossetians call themselves Iron and their land Iristan.  One tribal division lives in the Digor River valley, and its members call themselves Digiron.  It is the Digiron who comprise the Muslims among the Ossetians.

The Ossetians descend from the Alans–Sarmatians, a Scythian tribe. About 200 C.C., the Alans were the only branch of the Sarmatians to keep their culture in the face of a Gothic invasion.  The Alans remaining built up a great kingdom between the Don and the Volga. Between 350 C.C. and 374 C.C., the Huns destroyed the Alan kingdom, and only a few survive to this day in the Caucasus as the Ossetes. The Ossetians became Christians under Byzantine and Georgian influence. A small number adopted Sunni Islam.

In the 8th century a consolidated Alan kingdom, referred to in sources of the period as Alania, emerged in the northern Caucasus Mountains, roughly in the location of the latter-day Circassia and the modern North Ossetia-Alania. At its height, Alania was a centralized monarchy with a strong military force and benefited from the Silk Road.

Forced out of their medieval homeland (south of the River Don in present-day Russia) during Mongol rule, Alans migrated towards and over the Caucasus mountains, where they formed three ethnic groups:

    * Iron and Digor in the north became what is now North Ossetia-Alania, under Russian rule from 1767. Iron dialect is the literary and written language of the Ossetian people.
    * Digor in the west came under the influence of the neighboring Kabard people who introduced Islam. Today the two main Digor districts in North Ossetia are Digora district or Digorskiy rayon (with Digora as its center) and Irafskiy rayon or Iraf district (with Chikola as its center). Digora district is Christian while some parts of the Iraf district are Muslim. The dialect spoken in Digor part of North Ossetia is Digor, the most archaic form of the Ossetian language.
    * Kudar, the southern Ossetic tribe. Initially they lived in the upper course of the Ardon River and the Darial Pass. Subsequently, around the 17th century, part of them started to migrate over the Caucasus and into Georgia. After the Russian annexation of Georgia in 1801, an Ossetian okrug was formed within the Tiflis governorate from 1846 to 1859. In 1922, the surrounding region received an autonomy within the Georgian SSR as South Ossetian Autonomous Oblast. In 1991 Republic of South Ossetia declared independence from Georgia in aftermath of the Georgian-Ossetian conflict.

In recent history, the Ossetians participated in the Ossetian-Ingush conflict (1991–1992) and Georgian–Ossetian conflicts (1918–1920, early 1990s) and in the 2008 South Ossetia war between Georgia and South Ossetia.

Most of the Ossetians became Christians in the 10th century under Byzantine influence.

As the time went by, Digor in the west came under Kabard and Islamic influence. It was through the Kabardians (an East Circassian tribe) that Islam was introduced into the region in the 17th century.

Kudar in the southernmost region became part of what is now South Ossetia, and Iron, the northernmost group, came under Russian rule after 1767, which strengthened Orthodox Christianity considerably.

Today the majority of Ossetians, from both North and South Ossetia, follow Eastern Orthodoxy, although there is a sizable number of adherents to Islam.

Traces of paganism are still very widespread among Ossetians, with rich ritual traditions, sacrificing animals, holy shrines, non-Christian saints.

‘Othman I Ghazi
‘Othman I Ghazi.  See Osman I.


‘Othman II
‘Othman II. See Osman II.

‘Othman III
‘Othman III (Osman III) (‘Osmān-i sālis) (January 2/3, 1699    October 30, 1757).  Ottoman sultan (r.1754-1757).  His reign was relatively uneventful, but is remembered for the great fires in Istanbul in 1755 and 1756.  His name is associated with the great mosque of Nuruosmaniyye.

The younger brother of Mahmud I (1730–54) and son of Mustafa II (1695–1703) and Valide Sultan Saliha Sabkati, born at Edirne Palace, Osman III was a generally insignificant prince. His brief reign is notable for a rising intolerance of non-Muslims with Christians and Jews being required to wear distinctive clothes or badges and for a fire in Istanbul. His mother was Şehsuvar Sultan, a Serbian valide sultan.

Osman III lived most of his life as a prisoner in the Palace.  Upon becoming Sultan he had some behavioral peculiarities. Unlike previous Sultans, he hated music, and sent all musicians out of the palace. Also living in the "kafes", the palace prison in the "harem" which was the part of the palace containing women's quarters, he grew a dislike for women's companionship. Therefore he would wear iron shoes in order to not cross paths with any women, and by wearing such shoes they could hear him approach and disperse. He died at Topkapi Palace, Istanbul. He married Layla, without issue.

‘Othman Pasha, Ozdemir-oghlu
‘Othman Pasha, Ozdemir-oghlu (Ozdemir-oghlu ‘Othman Pasha) (1526-1585).  Ottoman Grand Vizier and a celebrated military commander.  A son of Ozdemir Pasha, he was beglerbegi of Habesh from 1561 to 1567 and then served as governor of San‘a’ until 1569.  In 1578, he engineered two decisive victories over the Safavids, and another in 1583.
Ozdemir-oghlu ‘Othman Pasha see ‘Othman Pasha, Ozdemir-oghlu

‘Othman-zade, Ahmed Ta’ib
‘Othman-zade, Ahmed Ta’ib (Ahmed Ta’ib ‘Othman-zade) (d. 1724).  Ottoman poet, scholar and historian .  The most important of his many works is a collection of lives of the first ninety-two Grand Viziers of the Ottoman Empire.
Ahmed Ta’ib ‘Othman-zade see ‘Othman-zade, Ahmed Ta’ib

Ottomans (Osmanli) (Othmanli). Name of a Turkish dynasty, ultimately of Oghuz origin, which ruled from 1281 to 1924 over Anatolia, the Balkans and the Arab lands.

The family probably stemmed from the Qayigh clan and seems to have led a nomadic life in Asia Minor.  They had been attached to the Rum Saljuqs in Konya, who had gradually relapsed into anarchy after the victory of the Mongols over Kaykhusraw II in 1243.  Several principalities arose in Asia Minor: the Qarasi-oghlu in Mysia, the Sarukhan-oghlu in Lydia, the Aydin-oghlu in Ionia, the Menteshe-oghlu in Caria, the Teke-oghlu in Lycia, the Germiyan-oghlu in Phrygia, the Hamid-oghlu in Pisidia and the Qaraman-oghlu in Cilicia.  These regions were never part of the territory administered by the Mongols in the fourteenth century.

Ottoman history may conveniently be divided into four consecutive periods: the foundation and expansion of the Ottoman Empire (1280-1500); the empire at its zenith (1500-1650); the period of decline (1650-1840); and the beginnings of reform and westernization and the end of the dynasty (1840-1924).  

The father of ‘Othman I, Ertoghul, is said to have established himself with his little tribe in the neighborhood of Sogud near Eskisehir.  ‘Othman’s successor Orkhan took Izniq, Izmid and Bursa (Brusa), which became the capital.  At his death, the Saqarya River was practically the eastern boundary of the state, and to the south it had reached Eskisehir.  He had also acquired the Turkmen principality of the Qarasi-oghlu.  Both he and ‘Othman had close relations with the Christian chiefs and commanders in the neighborhood.  In 1353 began the military occupation of the European side of the Hellespont; Gallipoli was taken in 1357, and in 1362 Adrianople (Edirne) became the European capital of Murad I.  The greater part of what is now Bulgaria was assured and Serbian power was crushed in the battle of Kosovo in 1389.  Sultan Bayazid’s military expeditions extended over Hungary, Bosnia and southern Greece, but the conquests were not yet permanent.  Constantinople became a mere vassal town.  Ankara fell in 1359 and the territories of the Germiyan-oghlu and the Hamid-oghlu were acquired by marriage and sale.

After the battle of Ankara in 1402, in which Bayazid I was crushed by Tamerlane, Sultan Muhammad I was able to restore Ottoman power, which in general was realized without much bloodshed.  Trebizond was conquered in 1461 and in 1468 the Qaraman dynasty was extinguished.  The Ottomans survived the dangerous raid of the Aq Qoyunlu Uzun Hasan in 1472, but their frontier wars with the Mameluke forces in Syria were not glorious.  

During the fifteenth century, the chief military activity of the Ottomans took place in Europe.  A conflict with Venice broke out with the advance into Albania and Morea, and Hungary became the other Christian opponent through Ottoman raids and conquests in Serbia and Wallachia.  The capture of Constantinople in 1453 by Muhammad II was only the realization of a part of his political scheme.

The sixteenth century brought wars with the Shi‘a Safavids of Persia.  At the end of the reign of Suleyman II, the Ottoman Empire found itself between two powerful continental neighbors, the Austrian monarchy and the Safavids.  The defeat at Lepanto in 1571 is considered to be the first great military blow inflicted on the Ottomans, and the possibility of further military expansion brought about a further inner weakening of the Empire.  Baghdad was lost in 1623 but reconquered in 1638.  In 1639, a long period of peace with Persia began.  

During the eighteenth century, Austria and Venice diminished in power, but another formidable enemy had risen in the now much enlarged Russia.  By the end of the century, the Ottoman Empire began to be a factor in the new imperialistic schemes of the Western Powers.  Bessarabia was lost to Russia, and Ottoman authority in Egypt was weakened.   The Greek independence brought further humiliation.  But the existence of the Ottoman Empire was considered as a political necessity, and treaties were concluded with several Western Powers.  The Capitulations (Imtiyazat), however, brought a form of international servitude which, at the end of the nineteenth century had taken the character of a collective tutelage, the Empire being dismembered more and more.

During World War I, Turkey joined the Central Powers and had to sign the Treaty of Sevres in 1920.  Under the growing successes of the Nationalists, the Government at Istanbul was dissolved and the Sultan deposed, by which the Ottoman Empire and its dynasty came to an end.

Ottoman arts can be divided into several branches.  Architecture developed in the fourteenth century.  The great name here is Mi‘mar Sinan.  Glazed pottery and tiles are found at Konya in the twelfth through thirteenth century and later Izniq became the great center.  Carpets and textiles were produced since the fifteenth century.  Flourishing were also metalwork, bookbinding, glass-making, manuscript illustrations, royal portraiture and numismatics.  

Ottoman literature may be divided into three great periods: from the thirteenth to the end of the sixteenth century; the period after 1600; and the so-called “European type” as well as national literature, arising out of the development of the national movement, to the end of the dynasty.  

Ottoman social and economic history can be studied under the following headings: The governing class and its subjects; peasant status and power in the countryside; peasant production; nomads and other herdsmen; trade; monetary developments; urban artisans; urban society and spatial structure; social dynamics.

Religious life under the Ottomans had a two-fold aspect.  First, there was the official religious institution of the ‘ulema’ and fuqaha’, in varying extents connected with the ruling dynasty and headed by the Shaykh ul-Islam (Shaykh al-Islam) in Istanbul.  Second, there had always been a strong current of Sufi mysticism.

The following is a list of the Ottoman sultans:

Ertoghrul <tab>(d. c. 1280)

‘Othman I <tab>1281

Orkhan <tab>1324

Murad I <tab>1362

Bayezid I Yildirim (“The Lightning Flash”)<tab>1389

The Timurid Invasion<tab>1402
Mehemmed I Celebi <tab>

   {at first in Anatolia only,

    after 1413 in Rumelia also}<tab>1403

Suleyman I {in Rumelia only until 1411}<tab>1403

Murad II (first reign) <tab>1421

Mehemmed II Fatih (“The Conqueror”)<tab>

   {first reign}<tab>1444

Murad II (second reign)<tab>1446

Mehemmed II Fatih (second reign) <tab>1451

Bayezid II<tab>1481

Selim I Yavuz (“The Grim”)<tab>1512

Suleyman II Qanuni

   {“The Law Giver”/”The Magnificent”}<tab>1520

Selim II<tab>1566

Murad III<tab>1574

Mehemmed III<tab>1595

Ahmed I<tab>1603

Mustafa I (first reign) <tab>1617

‘Othman II <tab>1618

Mustafa I (second reign) <tab>1622

Murad IV<tab>1623


Mehemmed IV<tab>1648

Suleyman III<tab>1687

Ahmed II<tab>1691

Mustafa II<tab>1695

Ahmed III<tab>1703

Mahmud I <tab>1730

‘Othman III<tab>1754

Mustafa III<tab>1757

Abdulhamid I<tab>1774

Selim III<tab>1789

Mustafa IV<tab>1807

Mahmud II<tab>1808

Abdulmedcid I<tab>1839


Murad V<tab>1876

Abdulhamid II<tab>1876

Mehemmed V Reshad <tab>1909

Mehemmed VI Wahdeddin<tab>1918

Abdulmecid II (as caliph only)<tab>1922-24

Republican regime of Mustafa Kemal Ataturk

The main capitals of the Ottomans were (beginning in 1280) Yenisehir; (beginning in 1326) Bursa; (beginning in 1366) Edirne; and (beginning in 1453) Istanbul (Constantinople).  As an association of Ghuzz Turks, in the thirteenth century they were driven out of central Asia by the Mongols towards the west, where they formed a belligerent frontier emirate in Bithynia (from 1237) and later drove back the Anatolian Seljuks.  Under the first sultan, Osman (r. 1280-1326) and his successors came a period of successful self-assertion and expansion, achieved at the cost of the Byzantine Empire (conquest of Bursa in 1326 and Edirne in 1361).  In 1354, the Ottomans established their first strongholds in the Balkans (Gallipoli) and assembled the elite Janissary corps, which enabled them to expand rapidly through the Balkans and into Anatolia (with victories in the battles of Kosovo in 1389 and Nicopolis in 1396).  In 1402, they suffered defeat by the troops of Timur at Ankara, which was followed by political confusion.  A reorganization of the state and further expansion followed under Murad II (r. 1421-1451) and Muhammad II (r. 1451-1481), who conquered Constantinople in 1453 and destroyed the Christian Byzantine empire.  The Ottomans became the leading power in the Islamic world and landed in Lower Italy in 1480.  Selim I (r. 1512-1520) conquered the whole of Southwest Asia (Syria and Palestine in 1516, Egypt in 1517, followed by the Arabian Peninsula), emerged victorious against the Safavids at Chaldiran in 1514, and took over Azerbaijan.  He assumed the title of caliph.  The cultural zenith was the rule of his son, Suleyman II the Magnificent (r. 1520-1566), who conquered the Balkans (as far as Hungary and the siege of Vienna in 1529) and expanded control of the Mediterranean (occupation of the entire Maghrib coast from 1552, rule over Algeria, Tunisia, Libya).  After 1566, with a few exceptions, weak or incapable sultans ruled, so that the period from 1656 saw the supremacy of the great viziers and Janissary officers, as well as cultural refinement and political decadence.  In the ongoing conflict with the Hapsburg empire (Vienna was besieged again in 1683), the Ottomans were on the defensive after 1700.  The state structure was reorganized under the reforming sultans, Selim III (r. 1789-1807) and Mahmud II (r. 1808-1839), which coincided with the collapse of the Ottoman empire.  1839 saw the beginning of the Tanzimat reforms based on the European model.  Abdulhamid II (1876-1909) implemented the Tanzimat policy by authoritarian means and fell into lasting conflict with bourgeois-liberal and nationalist opposition groups.  In 1922, the last Ottoman sultan Muhammad VI (r. 1918-1922), was deposed and in 1924, the caliphate was disbanded by Mustafa Kemal Ataturk.

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