Tuesday, July 23, 2013

Raage Ugaas - Reshid, Mustafa

Raage Ugaas
Raage Ugaas. Somali oral poet of the eighteenth century.  Of the Ogaden clan, with a strong orthodox Muslim background, he gained a wide reputation owing to the purity of his language and his gentle wisdom and piety.  Two of his poems have so far been published, and a large number of them can be found in private collections in the Somali Republic.
Ugaas, Raage see Raage Ugaas.

ra‘aya.  See  re'aya.

Rabah (Rabih az-Zubayr ibn Fadl Allah) (Rabih Fadlallah) (Rabeh Zubayr) (Rabeh Zubair).   (c. 1842-April 22, 1900).  Chief lieutenant of Sulayman ibn Zubayr Pasha, the Egyptian governor of Bahr al-Ghazal.  Sulayman, who had joined Harun, the dethroned sultan of Dar Fur, in order to rebel against Egypt, was defeated by Ghessi Pasha, sent by Gordon.  Rabah then began a series of raids in Central Sudan, and was finally defeated by Commandant Lamy.

Rabih az-Zubayr ibn Fadl Allah or Rabih Fadlallah, usually known as Rabah in French, was a Sudanese warlord who established a powerful empire west of Lake Chad, in today's Chad.  Born around 1842 to an Arab family in Halfaya Al-Muluk, a suburb of Khartoum, he first served with the irregular Egyptian cavalry in the Ethiopian campaign, during which he was wounded. When Rabih left the army in the 1860s, he became the principal lieutenant of the Sudanese slaveholder Sebehr Rahma.

In the 19th century Khartoum had become a very important slave market, supplied through companies of Khartumi established in the region of Bahr el Ghazal, where they resided in zaribas, fortified bases kept by bazingirs (slave soldiers). The warlord and slaveholder al-Zubayr assumed control of the region's zaribas, and was nominated in 1872 pasha and governor of Bahr el Ghazal for the khedive Isma'il, ruler of Egypt. Rabih, who was possibly a relative of al-Zubayr, was the chief lieutenant of the pasha.

In 1874, az-Zubayr conquered the sultanate of Darfur. In 1876, he went to Cairo to request the khedive to officially sanction his position in Darfur, but was instead imprisoned. This caused in 1878 the revolt of az-Zubayr's son Suleyman, and of his lieutenants, like Rabih. In reaction the governor-general of Sudan, Gordon Pasha, made Romolo Gessi governor of Bahr el Ghazal, and sent him to suppress the rebellion; Suleyman surrendered July 15, 1879, and was executed. Rabih instead is said to have left Suleyman the day before he surrendered, but Gessi reports instead that he had retreated in June, after having suffered heavy losses.

To escape from the Egyptians, Rabih left the Bahr el Ghazal, heading south with 700–800 bazingiris and 400 rifles. Using the tactics of the Khartumi, in the 1880s he carved out a kingdom between the basins of the Nile and the Ubangi, in the country of Kreich and Dar Benda, south of Ouaddai, a region he utterly devastated.

In 1885, he attempted to return to Sudan following the invitation of the Mahdi Muhammad Ahmad, who had taken Khartoum from the Egyptians. The Mahdi had sent as ambassadors Zin el-Abeddin and Jabar, and Rabih followed them back to Darfur, proposing to meet the Mahdi at Omdurman; but when he learned of a plot to kill him, he changed his mind and returned to Chad.

In 1887, Rabih's forces invaded Darfur, recruited bazingirs, and settled down in Dar Kouti. However, his campaign against the aguid Salamat Cherif ed-Din, commander of the sultan of Ouaddai's troops, failed. In 1890, he attacked the Muslim chief Kobur in the north of Oubangui-Chari, deposed him and established in his place his nephew Mohammed al-Senoussi, on whom he imposed his suzerainty. This alliance was sealed by the marriage of Khadija, daughter of Mohammed al-Senoussi, with Rabih's son Fadlallah. Together Mohammed and Rabih attacked Dar Runga, Kreich, Goula and then Banda Ngao.

Mohammed al-Senoussi's alliance with Rabih worried the colonial powers, especially France that was considering taking control of central Africa. Mohammed al-Senoussi remained faithful to Rabih and in 1891 killed the Frenchman Paul Crampel in Dar Banda. Rabih recovered the expedition's weapons.

In the south-east of Lake Chad, he attacked the Baguirmi Kingdom in 1892, blaming the Mbang (king) Abd ar Rahman Gwaranga for having signed a protectorate with the French. Gwaranga was besieged for three to five months in Manjaffa, and was later forced to leave his capital, which was completely destroyed in March 1893.

In 1893, Rabih also turned his attentions to the Bornu Empire of shehu (king) Hashim ibn Omar. Bornu was a Sahelian region that traced its origins back to the Middle Ages. That year, the empire consisted of 80,000 soldiers, mostly slaves commanded by slaves, and was in full decline.

On the road to Bornu, Rabih made prisoner the sultan of Karnak Logone, whose capital promptly opened its doors to him.. Shehu Hashim sent 15,000 men to confront Rabih; the latter routed them in May or September 1893 first at Am Hobbio (south of Dikoa) and then at Legaroua. Hashim fled north of the Komadougou Yobe from where he may have tried to negotiate with Rabih; but he was assassinated at the instigation of his nephew Muhammad ibn Abi Bakr al-Amin (called Kiyari), who then became shehu and decided to fight Rabih. Rabih met Kiyari at Gashegar, a two days' walk from Kukawa, the capital of Bornu. Kiyari defeated Rabih and captured his camp. The following day Rabih gathered his forces, and ordered 100 lashes be given to all his bannermen, including his own favored son Fadlallah. Only Boubakar, who had fought bravely, was spared. Then he ordered a victorious counter-offensive; Kiyari, who had refused to flee, was captured and beheaded. As for the capital city, Kukawa, it was plundered and razed to the ground.

Rabah made Dikoa his capital, and there built a palace which was to later win the admiration of the French governor Émile Gentil.

Wanting to modernize his army, Rabih attempted in 1895 to make an accord with the British Royal Niger Company in Yola and Ibi so as to obtain gunpowder and ammunition, but without success. He started confronting the British in 1896 and the following year even started marching on Kano, while his vassal Muhammad ibn Ali as-Senussi founded a fortified capital, Ndele, between Bahr Aouk and the Ubangi River, which he held until 1911.

For seven years, Rabih was shehu of the Bornu Empire, and spent much effort to reinvigorate a decadent empire that had until then maintained the same feudal structures it had in the 16th century. Rabih kept the vassal sultans in place, but subjected them to his lieutenants, mostly Arab Sudanese like him. He promulgated a legal code based on the sharia, rationalized taxation through the creation of a budget, imposed on Bornu a military dictatorship, which aroused the attention of the colonial powers. Émile Gentil was to speak of Rabih's reforms in Bornu with a certain degree of interest; they would later inspire him in organizing the territory of Chad.

Much is told about his brutality (for example, he once had one of his concubines executed because she kept a talisman designed to obtain Rabih's love, and with her the marabout had deciphered the talisman); or about the evenings he passed listening to Ali, the poet who sang his exploits.

More importantly, Rabih launched a regular series of razzias to plunder and capture slaves; this was a return to the traditional activity of the sultans of Bornu. It is estimated that 1500–2000 slaves were exported every year by his vassal Mohammed ibn Ali as-Senoussi, excluding the deaths, casualties, and other losses he inflicted. The totals for Rabah must have been much higher.

In 1899 Rabah disposed of 10,000 men among infantry and cavalry, all provided with rifles (mostly obsolete, except for 400 rifles of newer make), plus a great number of auxiliaries equipped with lances or arcs. He kept garrisons at Baggara and Karnak Logone.

In 1899, Rabih received in Dikoa the French explorer Ferdinand de Béhagle. The talks between them degenerated, and Béhagle was arrested. On July 17, Lieutenant Bretonnet, who had been sent by France against Rabih, was killed with most of his men at Togbao, at the edge of the Chari River, in present-day Sarh. Rabih gained three cannons from this victory (which the French recaptured at Kousséri) and ordered his son Fadlallah, who he had left in Dikoa, to hang Béhagle.

In response, a French column proceeding from Gabon and lead by Émile Gentil, supported by the steamboat Leon Blot, confronted Rabih at Kouno at the end of the year. Even if the French were repulsed with losses, this did not prevent them from continuing and taking Kousséri. Here, they combined with the Lamy column, which had arrived from Algeria, and the Joalland-Meynier column, which had marched from Niger. Lamy assumed command of the combined forces.

The final showdown between Rabih and the French took place on April 22, 1900. The French forces disposed of 700 men, plus the 600 riflemen and 200 cavalry provided by the allied Baguirmians. Leaving Kousséri in three columns, the French attacked Rabih's camp. Although the commander Lamy was killed in the ensuing battle, Rabih's forces were overwhelmed and, while fleeing across the Chari River, Rabih was killed.

With Rabih's defeat, his empire rapidly disintegrated. A year later his son Fadlallah was defeated and killed, while his chief vassal, Mohammed al-Senussi, was murdered in 1911 at French instigation. All Rabih's territories fell into French hands, except for Bornu which went to Britain.
Rabih az-Zubayr ibn Fadl Allah see Rabah
Rabih Fadlallah see Rabah
Fadlallah, Rabih see Rabah
Rabeh Zubayr see Rabah
Rabeh Zubair see Rabah
Zubayr, Rabeh see Rabah

Rabeh Zubayr
Rabeh Zubayr (Rabeh Zubair).  See Rabah.

Rabi‘a al-‘Adawiyya
Rabi‘a al-‘Adawiyya (Rābiʻa al-ʻAdawiyya al-Qaysiyya) (Rābiʻa al-Basrī) (713/717-801).  Mystic and saint of Basra.  She gathered round her many disciples, and many miracles were attributed Rabia al-Adawiyya

Rābiʻa al-ʻAdawiyya al-Qaysiyya was a female Muslim Sufi saint who is highly regarded and has been conferred the status of Half-Qalander.

She was born in Basra, Iraq. Much of her early life is narrated by Farid al-Din Attar, a later Sufi saint and poet, who used earlier sources. Rabia herself did not leave any written works.

Apart from tradition, all we know is that Rabi'a lived in Basra, Iraq, in the second half of the 700s (the second Islamic century), that she was probably a freed slave, and that she is considered one of the first of the Sufis (from the Arabic for "mystic"), those Muslims who emphasize an intensely personal relationship with Allah.

According to tradition, Rabi'a was born free, but sold into slavery at her parents' death. She was freed by a miracle, and, except for at least one pilgrimage to Mecca, lived all of her life in Basra as a celibate ascetic who debated with and taught the major religious figures of her time. We have descriptions of Rabi'a from scholars of the 800s and 900s, but most of the stories of her come down to us from the writings of Farid al-Din 'Attar (d. c.1230). It is through 'Attar that we have Rabi'a's words; she herself left no written documents.

Basra, near the Persian Gulf, was an important military and trading site, both for sea trade and for overland routes from the Arabian peninsula. From its foundation in the mid-600s, it was a center of Islamic religious and intellectual thought. Hasan al-Basri (d.728) was the city's first major ascetic figure; since he was probably dead before Rabi'a reached adulthood, the anecdotes about their meetings may reflect conflict between their respective disciples. Rabi'a represents those who, while never going outside the bounds of Muslim orthodoxy, moved from an emphasis on ritual to a total concentration on Allah and identification with his will.

Rabi'a began her ascetic life in a small desert cell near Basra, where she lost herself in prayer and went straight to God for teaching.  As far as is known, she never studied under any master or spiritual director.  She was one of the first of the Sufis to teach that Love alone was the guide on the mystic path.  A later Sufi taught that there were two classes of "true believers": one class sought a master as an intermediary between them and God -- unless they could see the footsteps of the Prophet on the path before them, they would not accept the path as valid.  The second class “...did not look before them for the footprint of any of God's creatures, for they had removed all thought of what He had created from their hearts, and concerned themselves solely with God.

Rabi'a was of this second kind.  She felt no reverence even for the House of God in Mecca:  "It is the Lord of the house Whom I need; what have I to do with the house?" One lovely spring morning a friend asked her to come outside to see the works of God.  She replied, "Come you inside that you may behold their Maker.  Contemplation of the Maker has turned me aside from what He has made".  During an illness, a friend asked this woman if she desired anything.

"...[H]ow can you ask me such a question as 'What do I desire?'  I swear by the glory of God that for twelve years I have desired fresh dates, and you know that in Basra dates are plentiful, and I have not yet tasted them.  I am a servant (of God), and what has a servant to do with desire?"

When a male friend once suggested she should pray for relief from a debilitating illness, she said,

"O Sufyan, do you not know Who it is that wills this suffering for me?  Is it not God Who wills it?  When you know this, why do you bid me ask for what is contrary to His will?  It is not  well to oppose one's Beloved."

She was an ascetic.  It was her custom to pray all night, sleep briefly just before dawn, and then rise again just as dawn "tinged the sky with gold".  She lived in celibacy and poverty, having renounced the world.  A friend visited her in old age and found that all she owned were a reed mat, screen, a pottery jug, and a bed of felt which doubled as her prayer-rug, for where she prayed all night, she also slept briefly in the pre-dawn chill.  Once her friends offered to get her a servant; she replied,

"I should be ashamed to ask for the things of this world from Him to Whom the world belongs, and how should I ask for them from those to whom it does not belong?"

A wealthy merchant once wanted to give her a purse of gold.  She refused it, saying that God, who sustains even those who dishonor Him, would surely sustain her, "whose soul is overflowing with love" for Him.  And she added an ethical concern as well:

"...How should I take the wealth of someone of whom I do not know whether he acquired it lawfully or not?"

She taught that repentance was a gift from God because no one could repent unless God had already accepted him and given him this gift of repentance.  She taught that sinners must fear the punishment they deserved for their sins, but she also offered such sinners far more hope of Paradise than most other ascetics did.  For herself, she held to a higher ideal, worshipping God neither from fear of Hell nor from hope of Paradise, for she saw such self-interest as unworthy of God's servants. Emotions like fear and hope were like veils -- i.e., hindrances to the vision of God Himself.  The story is told that once a number of Sufis saw her hurrying on her way with water in one hand and a burning torch in the other.  When they asked her to explain, she said:

"I am going to light a fire in Paradise and to pour water on to Hell, so that both veils may vanish altogether from before the pilgrims and their purpose may be sure..."

She was once asked where she came from.  "From that other world," she said.  "And where are you going?" she was asked.  "To that other world," she replied.  She taught that the spirit originated with God in "that other world" and had to return to Him in the end.  Yet if the soul were sufficiently purified, even on earth, it could look upon God unveiled in all God's glory and unite with him in love.  In this quest, logic and reason were powerless.  Instead, she speaks of the "eye" of her heart which alone could apprehend God and God's mysteries.

Above all, she was a lover.  Her hours of prayer were not so much devoted to intercession as to communion with her Beloved.  Through this communion, she could discover God's will for her.  Many of her prayers have come down to us:

           "I have made Thee the Companion of my heart,
            But my body is available for those who seek its company,
            And my body is friendly towards its guests,
            But the Beloved of my heart is the Guest of my soul."  [224]


"O my Joy and my Desire, my Life and my Friend.  If Thou art satisfied with me, then, O Desire of my heart, my happiness is attained."
She was asked once if she hated Satan.

"My love to God has so possessed me that no place remains for loving or hating any save Him."

To such lovers, she taught, God unveiled himself in all his beauty and revealed the Beatific Vision.  For this vision, she willingly gave up all lesser joys.

"O my Lord," she prayed, "if I worship Thee from fear of Hell, burn me in Hell, and if I worship Thee in hope of Paradise, exclude me thence, but if I worship Thee for Thine own sake, then withhold not from me Thine Eternal Beauty."

Rabi'a was in her early to mid eighties when she died, having followed the mystic Way to the end.  By then, she was continually united with her Beloved.  As she told her Sufi friends, "My Beloved is always with me"

Rabi‘a’s role in the development of Sufi thought is highlighted by numerous anecdotes concerning her relationship with Hasan of Basra (d. 728).  Hasan was the most famous religious authority of his time, an expert of hadith (traditions of the Prophet) and an acquaintance with many of the Prophet’s companions.  He was one of the first advocates of ascetic piety in Islam and at the same time one of the first critical investigators into the issue of divine pre-determination and human free will.  Indeed, Hasan is considered by many to be the founder of both Sufism and Islamic scholastic theology (kalam).

If, as the anecdotes suggest, Rabi‘a knew Hasan, he must have been very old at the time, and she very young.  The crucial point in the Hasan and Rabi‘a stories is not their objective historicity, however, but the key Sufi concepts that are built upon the medieval Sufi convention of the spiritual contest in which two sages compete verbally with one another, one of them coming out as the wiser or more sincere.  The humble former slave Rabi‘a continually wins in her jousts with Hasan, the most famous religious and intellectual figure of his time.  What binds these stories together, and what links them with other anecdotes and sayings, is Rabi‘a’s ability to synthesize ascetic piety with theological concerns (two areas that seemed to remain compartmentalized with Hasan) into a new way of thinking that was to become the ground of Sufism.

This synthesis combined the Qur’anic doctrine of the unity of God (tawhid) with ascetic impulses and a continuing investigation of the issue of human free will and divind predetermination.   For Rabi‘a, affirmation of one God was not a matter of mere verbal correctness.  Divine unity could be authentically affirmed only by turning one’s entire life and consciousness toward that one deity.  To consider anything else was, in effect, a form of idolatry.  She constantly criticized Hasan and other spiritual leaders for becoming attached to the ascetic piety and treating it as an end in and of itself.  Rabi‘a offered a devastating critique of those claiming to despise the world for the sake of God.  She opined that if those who despised the world had truly achieved an affirmation of one God, they would not by paying enough attention to anything else, including the world, to bother despising it.

Thus, the doctrinal affirmation of one God as a theistic principle was combined with a spiritual quest in which only one thing could be the object of one’s concern.  This combination led to Rabi‘a’s celebrated notion of sincerity (sidq), or sincere love.  For Rabi‘a, sincerity is not compatible with acting out of hope for reward or fear of punishment.  

The passages in the Qur’an on the day of judgment or moment of truth are among the most compelling and most beautiful examples of prophetic discourse.  They are open to many interpretations.  Yet by Rabi‘a’s time, it is clear that they had become associated in the popular mind with a complex topography of Heaven and Hell (with seven levels in each and various descriptions of the joys and torments of the inhabitants) and with a psychology of reward and punishment.  Hasan of Basra was famous for his continual intensification of fear of Hell in meditation as a way of motivating and overcoming the appetites of the carnal self.

Rabi‘a rejected the entire edifice of reward and punishment.  In numerous prayers, she is quoted as asking the Deity to deny her Paradise if she desires or worships out of hope for Paradise, and to condemn her to Hell if she worships out of fear of Hell.  The most famous anecdote represents Rabi‘a as running down the path with fire in the one hand and water in the other.  When asked what she was doing, Rabi‘a responded that she wished to burn Paradise and douse the fires of Hell, so that no one will ever love God except out of pure love, devoid considerations of reward and punishment.  To be concerned with anything (even Heaven and Hell) beside the one God is in effect to affirm something else as God.

Rabi‘a was implacably consistent in her articulation of this notion of sincere love.  When asked if she hated Satan, she responded no, she was too busy loving God to think about Satan.  When asked if she loved the Prophet Muhammad, she said no, with the most profound respect to the Prophet, she had room for only One Beloved.  To love another would be to take another being as one’s God.

Connected with this conception of sincerity was Rabi‘a’s rigorous understanding of the virtue of trust-in-God (tawakkul).  In numerous anecdotes, Rabi‘a is depicted as not only refusing to plan for the future, but even to consider it.  To make plans for the future, hoard up supplies, or build up furnishings is to fail to put one’s full trust in the Deity.  It is also a contradiction of the rigorous affirmation of one God; to put one’s trust in one’s own plan is to make of that plan one’s God.  

The resultant way of life and thought can be characterized as one of active acceptance (rida), that is, absolute acceptance of the infinite divine will.  It is crucial to distinguish between Rabi‘a’s active notion of acceptance and passive resignation or fatalism.  In several anecdotes, Rabi ‘a’ refuses to ask anything of any human creature, because to do so would violate the principle of trust-in-God and the unity of God.  She goes on to refuse to ask the Deity for anything, on the grounds that the Deity knows her condition already, and has forewilled it.  Such petition then would violate the principle of acceptance.  Rather than leading to passivity or fatalism, this absolute acceptance is viewed as the key to authentic action.  In the anecdotes about Rabi‘a it is this active acceptance that is the proof of her authenticity to those around her.  

The depth of Rabi‘a’s sincerity acted as a protection for her in an often insecure world; as a freed woman she had more prerogatives for refusing marriage than other women, but she could not have led the public and vocal life she lived had she not been, in the words of ‘Attar, veiled by the veil of sincerity.

Ultimately, the major concepts of Rabi‘a’s thought are tied together in the ultimate intellectual and spiritual goal: extinction (fana’) of the ego-self in union with the Divine Beloved.  It is only in such extinction that the extreme versions of trust, active acceptance, sincerity beyond hope for reward and fear of punishment, and true affirmation of divine unity can be attained.  In such extinction, the Deity works in and through the human in the state of the annihilation of the ego-self.

The concept of the annihilation of the self in mystical union, central for all subsequent Sufi philosophy, would be further developed by the other major thinkers of early Sufism: Junayd (d. 910), Bistami (d. c. 875), Tustari (d. 896), and Hallaj (d. 922).  Later Sufis such as Qushayri would go on to place concepts of trust, sincerity, acceptance, poverty, and divine unity into complex categories of “stations” (maqamat) and momentary states (ahwal), but the essential configuration is, according to the biographers of Rabi‘a’, the great achievement of this self-educated former slave girl of Basra.  Ultimately, Rabi‘a ‘al-Adawiyya is recognized by Sufi tradition as central in forging the new synthesis of theology and ascesis that would come to be known as Sufism

Rābiʻa al-ʻAdawiyya al-Qaysiyya see Rabi‘a al-‘Adawiyya
Rābiʻa al-Basrī see Rabi‘a al-‘Adawiyya

Rabi‘a and Mudar
Rabi‘a and Mudar. Two largest and most powerful combinations of tribes in ancient northern Arabia.  Legend records very old connections of the Mudar with the Meccan sanctuary, while Christianity was widespread among the Rabi‘a in the Prophet’s time.  Later, the tribes of Rabi‘a and Mudar are mentioned as important contingents in the Muslim armies.
Mudar see Rabi‘a and Mudar.

Rachel (in Arabic, Rahil) (Rahel).   Wife of Jacob is referred to in the Qur’an, and is spoken of in hadith.  She also plays a role in the story of Joseph.  

Rachel, meaning "ewe {idiomatically: one with purity}", as described in the Hebrew Bible, is a prophet and the favorite wife of Jacob, one of the three Biblical Patriarchs.  She is also the mother of Joseph and Benjamin. She was the daughter of Laban and the younger sister of Leah, Jacob's first wife. Jacob was her first cousin, as Jacob's mother Rebecca was Laban's sister.

Rachel is first mentioned in the Bible in Genesis 29 when Jacob happens upon her as she is watering her lamb. He had traveled a great distance to find his mother’s brother, Laban. Rebekah had sent him there to be safe from his furious twin brother.

During Jacob's stay, he fell in love with Rachel and agreed to work seven years for Laban in return for her hand in marriage. On the night of the wedding, the bride was veiled and Jacob did not notice that Leah, Rachel’s older sister, had been substituted for Rachel. Whereas “Rachel was lovely in form and beautiful,” “Leah had weak eyes.” Later Jacob confronted Laban, who excused his own deception by insisting that the older sister should marry first. He assured Jacob that after his wedding week was finished, he could take Rachel as a wife as well, and work another seven years as payment for her.

After Leah had given birth to four sons, Rachel remained barren. She became jealous of Leah and gave Jacob her maidservant, Bilhah, to be a surrogate mother for her. Bilhah gave birth to two sons: Dan and Naphtali. After Leah conceived again, Rachel was finally blessed with a son, Joseph, who would become Jacob's favorite child.

After Joseph's birth, Jacob decided to return to the land of Canaan with his family. Fearing that Laban would deter him, he fled with his four wives and twelve children without informing his father-in-law. Laban chased him and accused him of stealing his idols. Indeed, Rachel had taken her father's idols, hidden them inside her camel's seat cushion, and sat upon them. Not knowing that the idols were in his wife's possession, Jacob pronounced a curse on whoever had them: "With whoever you will find your gods, he will not live" (Genesis 31:32). Laban proceeded to search the tents of Jacob and his wives, but when he came to Rachel's tent, she told her father, "Let not my lord be angered that I cannot rise up before you, for the way of women is upon me" (Genesis 31:35). Laban left her alone, but the curse Jacob had pronounced came true shortly thereafter.

At the outskirts of the land of Judah, approaching Efrat, Rachel went into a difficult labor with her second son, Benjamin. The midwife tells her in the middle of the birth that her child is a boy. Before she died, Rachel named her son Ben Oni ("son of my mourning"), but Jacob called him Ben Yamin (Benjamin). Rashi explains that Ben Yamin either means "son of the right" (i.e., "south"), since Benjamin was the only one of Jacob's sons born in Canaan, which is to the south of Paddan Aram; or it could mean "son of my days," as Benjamin was born in Jacob's old age.

Rachel was buried by Jacob on the road to Efrat, just outside Bethlehem. Today Rachel's Tomb, located between Bethlehem and the Jerusalem neighborhood of Gilo, is visited by tens of thousands of visitors each year.

Rachel's son, Joseph, is destined to be the leader of Israel's tribes between exile and nationhood. This role is exemplified in the Biblical story of Joseph, who prepared the way in Egypt for his family's exile there, and in the future figure of Mashiach ben Yosef (Messiah, son of Joseph), who will fight the apocalyptic Wars of Gog and Magog, preparing the way for the kingship of Mashiach ben David (Messiah, son of David) and the messianic age.

Rahil see Rachel
Rahel see Rachel

Radi bi-‘llah, al-
Radi bi-‘llah, al- (b. 909).  ‘Abbasid caliph (r. 934-940).  Government was in the hands of Muhammad ibn Yaqut, and after the latter’s fall in 935, Ibn Muqla gained control but only for a year.  Power then passed into the hands of Muhammad ibn Ra’iq.  In 938, he was replaced by Bejkem, a manumitted slave of Turkish origin (d. 941), who had to fight the advancing Buyids while in Baghdad militant Hanbalis were harassing the population.

Radiyya, Jalalat al-Din Begum
Radiyya, Jalalat al-Din Begum (Jalalat al-Din Begum Radiyya) (Raziya) (Razia al-Din) (1205– October 14, 1240).  Female ruler of the Mu‘izzi dynasty of Delhi (r. 1236-1240).  She was a daughter of sultan Iltutmish (Altamsh), and was proclaimed queen by the people of Delhi.  She favored the “Abyssinian” (in Arabic, habashi) Malik Jamal al-Din Yaqut (Jamaluddin Yaqut), which led the Turkish amirs to depose and kill her.  She was the only woman to succeed to the throne of Delhi during the period of Muslim rule and, with the exception of the Mameluke Shajar al-Durr of Egypt, the only recognized female sovereign in the history of Islam.

Sultan Altamsh enlarged and strengthened the Muslim Empire  of northern India, escaped destruction by the Mongol hordes of Jenghiz Khan, and conquered Bengal and Sind. Altamsh was succeeded by his son Ruknuddin Feroz Shah but Ruknuddin was overthrown by the court nobles within six months because of his vices and was killed in November of 1236.  Ruknuddin was succeeded by his sister Raziya.  Raziya became the first woman to rule in the subcontinent of India and the first woman to head a Muslim state.

In 1240, Turkish nobles rebelled against Sultana Raziya because of her favoritism towards an Abyssinian slave named Jamaluddin Yakut.  Raziya had bestowed the highest honor on Jamaluddin and there were suspicions that the two might be lovers.   Raziya was subsequently captured and imprisoned.

On October 14, 1240, Turkish backed Hindu troops murdered Sultana Raziya and her husband, Altuniyya after a surprise attack near Kaithal.  Raziya had been deposed earlier in the year and imprisoned.  While in prison, she married her jailer, Altuniyya, and persuaded him and his army to travel with her to Delhi.  It was while enroute to Delhi that Raziya and Altuniyya were assassinated.

After Raziya, Muizuddin Behram Shah, another son of Iltutmish became the Sultan for a brief time.

Raziya is said to have pointed out that the spirit of religion was more important than its parts, and that even the Islamic prophet Muhammad spoke against overburdening the non-Muslims. On another occasion, Raziya reportedly tried to appoint an Indian Muslim convert from Hinduism to an official position but again ran into opposition from the nobles.

Raziya was reportedly devoted to the cause of her empire and to her subjects. There is no record that she made any attempt to remain aloof from her subjects, rather it appears she preferred to mingle among them. Her tolerance of Hinduism would later bring her criticism from Muslim historians.

Raziya established schools, academies, centers for research, and public libraries that included the works of ancient philosophers along with the Qur'an and the traditions of Muhammad. Hindu works in the sciences, philosophy, astronomy, and literature were reportedly studied in schools and colleges.

Raziya refused to be addressed as Sultana because it meant "wife or mistress of a sultan". She would answer only to the title "Sultan".

Jalalat al-Din Begum Radiyya see Radiyya, Jalalat al-Din Begum
Raziya see Radiyya, Jalalat al-Din Begum
Razia al-Din see Radiyya, Jalalat al-Din Begum

Rafsanjani, Ali Akbar Hashimi
Rafsanjani, Ali Akbar Hashimi (Ali Akbar Hashimi Rafsanjani) (Ali Akbar Hashemi Rafsanjani) (b. August 25, 1934, Nough, Iran - d. January 8, 2017, Tehran, Iran). President of Iran from August 3, 1989 to August 2, 1997.

Rafsanjani was the son of a prosperous farmer in the town of Rafsanjān, in the Kermān region of Iran. He moved to the Shīʿite holy city of Qom in 1948 to pursue his religious studies, and in 1958 he became a disciple of Ruhollah Khomeini. Rafsanjani became a hojatoleslām (from the Arabic ḥujjat al-Islām: “proof of Islam”), the second highest Shīʿite Muslim rank (after that of ayatollah). Like Khomeini, he opposed Shah Mohammad Reza Pahlavi’s modernization program, and when Khomeini was exiled from Iran in 1962, Rafsanjani became his chief fund-raiser inside the country. He spent the years 1975–78 in jail in Iran on charges of links with left-wing terrorists.

With the shah’s overthrow and Khomeini’s return to Iran in 1979, Rafsanjani became one of Khomeini’s chief lieutenants. He helped found the Islamic Republican Party, served on the Revolutionary Council, and was acting interior minister during the early years of the revolution. He was also elected to the Majles (Islamic Consultative Assembly) in 1980, and he became that body’s speaker the same year. As the dominant voice in the Majles for the next nine years, Rafsanjani gradually emerged as the second most powerful figure in Iran’s government. He was intimately involved in Iran’s prosecution of the Iran-Iraq War (1980–88), and he helped persuade Khomeini to agree to the cease-fire of August 1988 that effectively ended the war.

After Khomeini’s death in June 1989, Rafsanjani was instrumental in securing the position of President Ali Khamenei—who was hastily elevated from the less lofty position of hojatoleslām to the rank of ayatollah—as Khomeini’s successor as supreme leader. Rafsanjani himself was elected Iran’s president by an overwhelming margin shortly thereafter. He quickly garnered increased powers for a previously weak executive office, and he showed considerable political skill in promoting his pragmatic policies in the face of resistance from Islamic hard-liners.

Rafsanjani favored reducing Iran’s international isolation and renewing its ties with Europe as part of a strategy to use foreign investment and free enterprise to revive the country’s war-torn economy. Domestically, he implemented family-planning practices, in effect reversing previous policies encouraging population growth. Although human rights abuses and the suppression of dissent continued, there was a degree of cultural openness under Rafsanjani, and a certain level of criticism was tolerated. Nevertheless, demonstrations and protests against the government in the early 1990s were harshly repressed.

Rafsanjani was re-elected in 1993, though his victory was not as overwhelming as in 1989; voter turnout was significantly lower, and he won only two-thirds of the votes in 1993 as compared with more than nine-tenths four years earlier. Barred by the constitution from serving a third consecutive term in office, Rafsanjani nevertheless remained active in political life, serving several terms as head of the Committee to Determine the Expediency of the Islamic Order, a body created to mediate disputes between the Majles and the Council of Guardians (itself empowered to vet legislation and oversee elections).

In the elections to the Majles in 2000, Rafsanjani initially fared poorly—he finished 30th in Tehrān, capturing that city’s final seat. However, the Council of Guardians contended that the election had been marred by fraud, and they ordered a recount; after numerous votes had been discounted and the candidates shuffled, Rafsanjani’s position improved to 20th. This new outcome was criticized by many to be the result of manipulation, and Rafsanjani resigned his seat.

Following Mohammad Khatami’s two-term presidency (1997–2005), Rafsanjani again sought the presidency in 2005. Although largely considered the favorite, Rafsanjani failed to secure a majority by a significant margin and was defeated by the mayor of Tehrān, Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, who was backed by the country’s conservative establishment.

In 2007 Rafsanjani was elected to lead the Assembly of Experts (Majles-e Khobregān), a body empowered to select Iran’s supreme leader. Rafsanjani assumed his position at the head of this assembly while continuing to lead the Committee to Determine the Expediency of the Islamic Order.

In the presidential election of 2009 Rafsanjani was a vocal critic of the incumbent, President Ahmadinejad, and made clear his support of Mir Hossein Mousavi, a former prime minister (1981–89) and the leading reformist candidate. When Ahmadinejad was declared the victor by a large margin in spite of Mousavi’s apparent popularity and a record turnout that many thought would favor the reformist contingent, questions of voting irregularities were raised by the opposition. Amid the cycle of protests that followed the election, several of Rafsanjani’s relatives, including his daughter, were briefly detained. Rafsanjani himself was conspicuously absent from the public sphere and noticeably silent in the days that followed the election—a silence some observers suggested belied his activity behind the scenes, although the details of his whereabouts and the precise nature his efforts remained subject to speculation.

In 2011 Rafsanjani did not run for another term as leader of the Assembly of Experts after Ahmadinejad supporters waged a campaign to unseat him, alleging that he was too close to the opposition. He was succeeded by Mohammad Reza Mahdavi Kani—a traditional conservative supported by the pro-Ahmadinejad camp—who won election in March.

In May 2013 Rafsanjani registered to be a candidate in Iran’s upcoming presidential election, attracting the support of prominent reformers, including Mohammad Khatami. His candidacy ended abruptly later that month when he was disqualified from running by the Council of the Guardians. Rafsanjani protested his disqualification in the media but did not appeal.

Ali Akbar Hashimi Rafsanjani see Rafsanjani, Ali Akbar Hashimi
Ali Akbar Hashemi Rafsanjani see Rafsanjani, Ali Akbar Hashimi

Raghib al-Isfahani, al-
Raghib al-Isfahani, al- (Abul-Qasim Husayn ibn Muhammad al-Raghib al-Isfahani). (d. 1108/1109).  Arab theological writer.  He compiled a dictionary of the Qur’an arranged alphabetically according to the initial letters.

Raghib Isfahani was an Islamic scholar. His full name was Abul-Qasim Husayn ibn Muhammad al-Raghib al-Isfahani. He worked in the lines of Philosophical and religious ethics.  His works include:

    * Al-Mufradat fi Gharib al-Quran
    * al-Maudhoorath
    * Muhadarat al Udaba

Abul-Qasim Husayn ibn Muhammad al-Raghib al-Isfahani see Raghib al-Isfahani, al-

Raghib Pasha
Raghib Pasha (Mehmet Ragib) (Koca Ragip Pasha) (Koca Mehmet Ragip Pasha) (1698/1699, Istanbul - 1763, Istanbul).  Ottoman Grand Vizier.  He was also one of the classical authors of Turkish literature.

Koca Ragıp Pasha (or more formally Koca Mehmet Ragıp Pasha) (1698 Constantinople[ was an Ottoman (Turkish) grand vizier. He is also known as a good poet.

After completing his education,  worked in various parts of the empire as a civil servant. He worked as the chief treasurer in Baghdad, Iraq (then a part of the Ottoman Empire), as the secretary of the grand vizier, chief secretary of the porte (a post equivalent to a modern day foreign minister) in 1740 and governor of Egypt (then a part of the Ottoman Empire) in 1743.

He was appointed as a grand vizier in January 12, 1757 by the sultan Osman III. Ten months later, Osman III died and he continued under the new sultan Mustafa III with whom he had very good relations. He married the sultan’s sister and gained the title damat. (English: bridegroom).

Ragıp’s term was a part of Ottoman decline. However, he did his best to reform Ottoman administration and treasury. He was an adherent of a peace policy and the Ottoman Empire lived its last peaceful days during his term. He died on April 8, 1763 while still on duty. Upon his death, Mustafa III wrote an elegy (Turkish: ağıt) expresing his sorrow.

Ragıp made no striking formal innovations, but the language of his gazels shows a happy synthesis of the canonical tradition of Bâkî with the “fresh” (or “Indian”) style of Nâʾilî. By this period, such stylistic departures no longer aroused the acrimony of a century earlier.
Mehmet Ragib see Raghib Pasha
Ragib, Mehmet see Raghib Pasha
Koca Ragip Pasha see Raghib Pasha
Koca Mehmet Ragip Pasha see Raghib Pasha

Rahman, Fazlur
Rahman, Fazlur (Fazlur Rahman) (Fazlur Rahman Malik) (September 21, 1919 – July 26, 1988).  Pakistani philosopher and educator and prominent liberal reformer of Islam.  Born in what is now Pakistan in 1919, Fazlur Rahman received a master’s degree in Arabic from Punjab University, Lahore, in 1942, and a doctorate in Islamic philosophy from Oxford University in 1949.  He was lecturer in Persian studies and Islamic philosophy at Durham University from 1950 to 1958, associate professor at McGill University’s Institute of Islamic Studies from 1958 to 1961, visiting professor at Pakistan’s Central Institute of Islamic Research from 1961 to 1962, and that Institute’s director from 1962 to 1968.  He left Pakistan under criticism for his reformist views and was appointed visiting professor at the University of California, Los Angeles, in the Spring of 1969.  That fall he went to the University of Chicago as professor of Islamic thought.  In 1986, he was named Harold H. Swift Distinguished Service Professor at Chicago, a title he held until his death in July 1988.

Rahman first achieved international renown with the publication of Avicenna’s Philosophy (1952), in which he demonstrated the influence of the Muslim philosopher-physician Ibn Sina (d. 1037) on the medieval Christian theologian Thomas Aquinas (d. 1275).  An expert in medieval philosophy, Rahman wrote two more books on Ibn Sina (Prophecy in Islam [1958] and Avicenna’s De Anima [1959]), but he was best known for his pioneering work in Islamic hermeneutics (Islamic Methodology in History [1965]) and educational reform (Islam and Modernity: Transformation of an Intellectual Tradition [1984]).

Rahman believed that contemporary Muslim conservatives, in trying to maintain the status quo in religious tradition, and fundamentalists, in interpreting the Qur’an literally, are a misguided as secularists who deny Islam’s relevance to the political and economic spheres.  Both conservatives and fundamentalists have failed to distinguish the prescriptive or normative elements of revelation from the merely descriptive elements that are pertinent only to the time and place in which revelation occurred.  In order to make Islam relevant to today’s specific circumstances, he believed, Muslims must go beyond a literal or traditional interpretation of the Qur’an to an understanding of its spirit.  They must study the background or “occasions” of each verse in order to find the true essence of reveleation.  Muslims must also study in detail the specific circumstances of their own time in order to be able to apply the principles derived from revelation.

Overall, he was convinced that the disarray of the modern Muslim world was caused by inadequate understanding of Qur’anic teachings.  This he attributed to stagnation in Islamic education, beginning in the early middle ages and incorporated into traditional formulations, including Islamic law.  He, therefore, devoted himself to to educational reform and the revival of Islamic interpretation (ijtihad) through his later writings and teaching.

Rahman was greatly respected by other Islamic reformers such as ‘Abd Allah al-Na‘im of Sudan.  He was, however, criticized by those he considered fundamentalist as being overly liberal in his interpretation of the Qur’an, the sunnah, and classical Islamic law.  In Pakistan his detractors referred to him as “the destroyer of hadiths” because of his insistence on judging the weight of hadith reports in light of the overall spirit of the Qur’an.  However, he believed his reformist views would eventually be vindicated.  He felt that contemporary Islamic fundamentalism was a defensive and temporary posture taken in response to the political and economic setbacks experienced by the Muslim world.

Fazlur Rahman see Rahman, Fazlur
Fazlur Rahman Malik see Rahman, Fazlur
Malik, Fazlur Rahman see Rahman, Fazlur

Rahmaniyya.  Religious order in Algeria.  It is a branch of the Khalwatiyya order and is named after its founder Muhammad ibn ‘Abd al-Rahman al-Gushtuli (d. 1793).

Rahman, Ziaur
Rahman, Ziaur (Ziaur Rahman) (b. January 19, 1936, India Bogra District, Bengal, British India - d. May 30, 1981, Bangladesh Chittagong, Bangladesh).  Effective leader of Bangladesh (1975-1981).  He was commissioned in the Pakistan Army in 1953, and served in regular posts.  In March 1971, Zia led his unit in Chittagong against Pakistanis and proclaimed Bangladeshi independence on March 27.  He led the “Z Force” during the civil war, from which he emerged a hero.  He held Bangladesh Army appointments and became chief of staff in August 1975, following the assassination of Mujibur Rahman.  Zia became deputy chief martial law administrator in November 1975, and chief martial law administrator in 1976.  He was president of Bangladesh from 1977 to 1981, having been elected to that post by popular vote in 1978, when he resigned from the army.  He was assassinated on May 30, 1981.   Zia is widely regarded as a capable, pragmatic, and charismatic leader whose efforts were directed toward rural development, food self-sufficiency, and family planning at home, and toward the creation of the South Asia Regional Cooperation organization in the wider area.

Ziaur Rahman was a Bangladeshi war hero, politician and statesman. He was the strongman President of Bangladesh from 1977 until 1981 and founded the Bangladesh Nationalist Party (BNP), one of the two largest political parties in the country. His widow, Begum Khaleda Zia, was Prime Minister of Bangladesh three times and was the Leader of Opposition in the Jatiya Sangsad (Bangladeshi parliament). Ziaur is popularly known as Shaheed president Zia, meaning martyred Zia, in reference to his assassination in 1981.

During the Indo-Pakistani War of 1965, Zia served in the Khemkaran sector in Punjab as the commander of a Pakistani company unit of 300–500 soldiers. The sector was the scene of the most intense battles between the rival armies. The Pakistani government awarded Zia's unit with the highest numbers of gallantry awards for heroic performances during the war. Ziaur Rahman himself won the distinguished and prestigious Hilal-e-Jurat medal , and his unit won 2 Sitara-e-Jurat medals and 9 Tamgha-e-Jurat medals from the Army for their brave roles in the 1965 War with India.

On the night of March 25, 1971, when the West Pakistani Army started a genocide against the Bengalis of East Pakistan, Major Zia revolted and announced this in front of the soldiers of his regiment. On March 27, Major Zia's unit (2/5 East Bengal Regiment) took control of the Kalurghat radio station in Chittagong and declared independence of Bangladesh. On the circumstances, he declared himself as the provisional president of Bangladesh and the supreme commander of Bangladesh Liberation Army. After getting a request from Awami League Leaders on March 28 he again declared independence on behalf of the Bengali nationalist leader Sheikh Mujibur Rahman. Ziaur made the most widely transmitted declaration of independence of East Pakistan. After the declaration of independence of Bangladesh, when the Liberation War of Bangladesh started, Ziaur Rahman served as the commander of sector no.1 and later commanded the 'Z' force against the Pakistan Army. Recognized as a war hero in Bangladesh, the government of Bangladesh honored him with the second highest gallantry award Bir Uttom in 1972. A high-ranking accomplished officer in the Bangladesh Army, Zia was appointed chief of army staff in course of dramatic events that evolved following the assassination of Sheikh Mujibur Rahman in 1975 by a group of junior military officers. This was followed shortly by another coup and counter-coup and ultimately led to the consolidation of power under Zia as Deputy Chief Martial Law Administrator. The counter-coup, sometimes referred to as a sepoy mutiny was organized by the socialist Colonel Abu Taher.

Ziaur Rahaman assumed the office of the President of the country in 1977 and won a popular referendum held in 1978 in support of his policies and leadership. He engaged himself in politics by floating a political party that came to be known as Jagodal. Later he founded the Bangladesh Nationalist Party. Zia won widespread popular support for stabilizing the nation and leading it in a new direction. Zia who turned out to be a right-wing politician, established free market economic policies in a 19-point program of industrialization and development. For achieving popular support, he adopted policies bringing the government increasingly under Islam, which he included in the national constitution. It has been alleged that Zia helped individuals involved in the assassination of Sheikh Mujib rehabilitate home and abroad, given impunity by the Indemnity Act.

A popular yet controversial leader, Zia was assassinated in 1981 in an abortive military coup.

Ziaur Rahman see Rahman, Ziaur

Rahmat Ali, Chaudhuri
Rahmat Ali, Chaudhuri (Chaudhuri Rahmat Ali) (Chaudhary Rahmat Ali) (November 16, 1897, Balachaur, Nawanshahr District - February 3, 1951, Cambridge, England).  Achieved his only significant political act with the publication of a pamphlet in 1933 entitled Now or Never that was signed by himself and three other Cambridge students.  Although a number of leaders in the 1930s, most notably Muhammad Iqbal, called for the establishment of an independent Muslim political entity in northwestern India, they did not have a name for it.  Rahmat Ali is best known for having supplied the initial letters for the country name Pakistan from the various “homelands” of Muslims:  "P" for Punjab, "A" for Afghania (the North-west Frontier Province), "K" for Kashmir, "S" for Sindh, "Tan" for Baluchistan (and also Tukharistan and Afghanistan).  From these letters, Rahmat Ali came up with "Pak-i-stan", meaning “land of the pure.”  Bengal was not included in the scheme until 1937.  However, significantly (prophetically?), Bengal never received its own letter.  When working politicians like Mohammad Ali Jinnah took over the name, they dismissed Rahmat Ali as a grandiose dreamer.  

Chaudhary Rahmat Ali was a Pakistani Muslim nationalist who was one of the earliest proponents of the creation of the state of Pakistan. He is credited with creating the name "Pakistan" for a separate Muslim homeland in South Asia. He propagated the Scheme of Pakistan with a missionary zeal since its inception in 1933. He also founded Pakistan National Movement to propagate his ideas. Being a political thinker and an idealist, he condemned Muhammad Ali Jinnah for accepting a smaller Pakistan in 1947. He wanted to save every Indian Muslim from Hindu domination. In 1933, he wrote his ideas in the famous pamphlet entitled "Now or Never; Are We to Live or Perish Forever" also known as the Pakistan Declaration. The pamphlet started with this famous sentence:
  At this solemn hour in the history of India, when British and Indian statesmen are laying the foundations of a Federal Constitution for that land, we address this appeal to you, in the name of our common heritage, on behalf of our thirty million Muslim brethren who live in PAKSTAN - by which we mean the five Northern units of India, Viz: Punjab, North-West Frontier Province (Afghan Province), Kashmir, Sind and Baluchistan.  

Chaudhuri Rahmat Ali see Rahmat Ali, Chaudhuri
Chaudhary Rahmat Ali see Rahmat Ali, Chaudhuri

Raja Muda
Raja Muda.  Traditional title of the heir apparent in a Malay state.  It normally was not an executive post, but in the early eighteenth century Raja Muda Tun Mahmud of Johor displaced the four chief ministers and took control of affairs in an attempt to strengthen the hold of his family on the throne.  His effort failed, and the Bugis who restored his nephew to the throne demanded the post of raja muda in perpetuity.  Throughout the eighteenth and early nineteenth centuries the Malays struggled constantly to regain their old power, but the Bugis stood their ground, and the Malay nobles finally withdrew to the outer territories.
Muda, Raja see Raja Muda.

Rajputs. Large group of tribes and clans in India who claim to be the modern representatives of the Kshatriyas.  The term has no racial significance.  After the Muslim conquest of the eastern Punjab and the Ganges valley, the Rajputs maintained their independence in Rajasthan.  In the seventeenth century, they accepted Mughal overlordship and, after the Maratha wars, submitted to the British in 1818.  In 1947, the Rajput states formed the state of Rajasthan within the Indian Union.  

A Rajput is a member of one of the major Hindu Kshatriya (warrior) groups of India. They enjoy a reputation as soldiers; many of them serve in the Indian Armed Forces, while persons of Rajput ancestry also serve in the Pakistani Armed Forces. During the British Raj, the Government accepted them and recruited them heavily into their armies. Current-day Rajasthan is home to most of the Rajputs, although demographically the Rajput population and the former Rajput states are found spread through much the subcontinent, particularly in North India and central India.

Rajputs rose to prominence during the 9th to 11th centuries. The four Agnivanshi clans, namely the Pratiharas (Pariharas), Solankis (Chaulukyas), Paramaras (Parmars), and Chauhans (Chahamanas) rose to prominence first. Rajputs ruled more than four hundred of the estimated six hundred princely states at the time of India's independence in 1947. Rajputs ruled 81 of out the 121 Salute states extant at the time of independence.

A Rajput (from Sanskrit raja-putra, “son of a king”) is any of about 12 million landowners organized in patrilineal clans and located mainly in central and northern India, especially in former Rajputana (“Land of the Rajputs”). The Rajputs regard themselves as descendants or members of the Kshatriya (warrior ruling) class, but they actually vary greatly in status, from princely lineages, such as the Guhilot and Kachwaha, to simple cultivators. Most authorities agree that successful claims to Rajput status frequently were made by groups that attained secular power; invaders from central Asia as well as patrician lines of indigenous tribal peoples were probably absorbed in this way. There are numbers of Muslim Rajputs in the northwest, and Rajputs generally have adopted the custom of purdah (seclusion of women). Their ethos includes an intense pride in ancestry and a mettlesome regard for personal honor. They seek hypergamous marriages (i.e., the bride marrying into a social group higher than her own).

The Rajputs’ origins seem to date from a great breakup of Indian society in northern and northwestern India under the impact of the Hephthalites (White Huns) and associated tribes from the mid-5th century of the Christian calendar onward. Following the breakup of the Gupta empire (late 6th century), invading groups were probably integrated within the existing society, with the present pattern of northwestern Indian society being the result. Tribal leaders and nobles were accepted as Kshatriyas, the second order of the Hindus, while their followers entered the fourth (Sudra, or cultivating) order to form the basis of tribal castes, such as the Jats, the Gujars, and the Ahirs. Some of the invaders’ priests became Brahmans (the highest-ranking caste). Some indigenous tribes also attained Rajput status, such as the Rathors of Rajasthan and the Chandelas, Paramaras, and Bundelas of central India. Rajput ancestry can be divided between Suryavanshi (“House of the Sun,” or Solar people), or those descended from Rama, the hero of the epic Ramayana; and Chandravanshi (“House of the Moon,” or Lunar people), or those descended from Krishna, the hero of the epic Mahabharata. A third group, Agnikula (“Family of the Fire God”), is the group from which the Rajputs derive their claim to be Kshatriyas. Rajput habits of eating meat (except beef) and other traits suggest both foreign and aboriginal origins.

The Rajputs emerged into political importance in the 9th and 10th centuries. From about 800, Rajput dynasties dominated northern India, and the many petty Rajput kingdoms there were among the main obstacles to the complete Muslim domination of Hindu India. After the Muslim conquest of the eastern Punjab and the Ganges (Ganga) River valley, the Rajputs maintained their independence in the fastnesses of Rajasthan and the forests of central India. Sultan ʿAlāʾ al-Dīn Khaljī of Delhi (reigned 1296–1316) took the two great Rajput forts of Chitor and Ranthambhor in eastern Rajasthan but could not hold them. The Rajput state of Mewar under Rana Sanga made a bid for supremacy but was defeated by the Mughal emperor Bābur at Khanua (1527). Bābur’s grandson Akbar took the forts of Chitor and Ranthambhor (1568–69) and then made a settlement with all the Rajasthan princes except Mewar. Accepting Mughal overlordship, the princes were admitted to the court and the emperor’s privy council and were given governorships and commands of armies. Although damaged by the intolerance of the emperor Aurangzeb (reigned 1658–1707), this arrangement continued until the Mughal Empire itself collapsed in the 18th century. The Rajputs then fell victims to the Maratha chiefs until they accepted British suzerainty (1818) at the end of the last Maratha war. After independence (1947) the Rajput states in Rajasthan were merged to form the state of Rajasthan within the Indian union.

Ramadan-oghullari. Petty Anatolian dynasty of Turkmen origin.  They ruled over southwestern Anatolia from 1379 to about 1600.

Ramada-zade Mehmed Pasha
Ramada-zade Mehmed Pasha (Kucuk Nishanji) (d.1571).  Ottoman historian.  At the bidding of the Ottoman Sultan Sulayman II, he compiled a history of the Ottoman Empire down to 1561.  It became one of the most widely used handbooks of Ottoman history.
Kucuk Nishanji see Ramada-zade Mehmed Pasha
Nishanji, Kucuk see Ramada-zade Mehmed Pasha

Ramadi, Abu ‘Umar Yusuf al-
Ramadi, Abu ‘Umar Yusuf al- (Abu ‘Umar Yusuf al-Ramadi) (d.1013).  Poet from Cordoba.  His life was dominated by his attachment to Abu ‘Ali al-Qali, by his devotion to the cause of the chamberlain Abu’l-Hasan al-Mushafi, and by his love of Khalwa.
Abu ‘Umar Yusuf al-Ramadi see Ramadi, Abu ‘Umar Yusuf al-

Rami, Hasan ibn Muhammad al-
Rami, Hasan ibn Muhammad al- (Hasan ibn Muhammad al-Rami). Persian stylist of the fourteenth century.  He wrote a treatise on the most common poetical figures for describing the different parts of the human body.
Hasan ibn Muhammad al-Rami see Rami, Hasan ibn Muhammad al-

Rami Mehmed Pasha
Rami Mehmed Pasha (1654-1707).  Ottoman Grand Vizier and poet.  He was one of the plenipotentiaries at Carlowicz.

Rashid al-Din Fadlullah
Rashid al-Din Fadlullah (Rashīd al-Dīn Tabīb) (Rashīd al-Dīn Fadhl-allāh Hamadānī) (1247–1318).  Muslim statesman and historian, possibly of Jewish descent.  He began his career as the court physician of the Mongol Sultan Abaqa Khan.  In 1298, Rashid was appointed vizier by Abaqa’s successor Ghazan and continued to hold office under Uljaytu.  The envy aroused by Rashid’s great wealth and grandiose benefactions enabled his enemies, early in the reign of the young Abu Sa’id, to procure first his deposition from office and then his execution on the charge of having poisoned Uljaytuk.

Rashid’s great history, Jami ‘al-Tawarikh (“Collection of Chronicles”) was begun as a history of the Mongols at the invitation of Ghazan Khan, who put the state archives at his disposal, and continued, as a universal history, for Uljaytu.  Jami ‘al-Tawarikh is notable for impartiality, clarity of style, and the wide range and authority of its sources.  Rashid al-Din took great pains to ensure its transmission to posterity, in two versions, one in Persian, the other in Arabic.  However, Jami ‘al-Tawarikh was never completed.  

Jami ‘al-Tawarikh is composed of two parts: the first is known as Ta’rikh-i Ghazani and it comprises an account of the Turkish and Mongol tribes and the reigns of Jenghiz Khan and his successors down to Ghazan, with an uncompleted section on Uljaytu; the second part is a general history of the world -- from China to Europe -- in twelve sections.  A geographical third part was planned but apparently was never written.

Rashīd al-Dīn Tabīb was a Persian physician of Jewish origin. He was a polymathic writer and historian, who wrote an enormous Islamic history, the Jami al-Tawarikh, in the Persian language.  Jami al-Tawarikh is often considered a landmark in intercultural historiography and a key document on the Ilkhanids (13th and 14th century). In 1980, an illuminated version of this manuscript in Arabic was sold at Sotheby's to Nasser David Khalili for £850,000, the then highest price ever paid for an Arabic manuscript.

His encyclopedic knowledge of a wide range of cultures from Mongolia to China to the Steppes of Central Eurasia to Persia, the Arab lands, and Europe, provide the most direct access to information on the late Mongol era. His descriptions also highlight the manner in which the Mongol Empire and its emphasis on trade resulted in an atmosphere of cultural and religious exchange and intellectual ferment, resulting in the transmission of a host of ideas from East to West and vice versa.

Fadlullah, Rashid al-Din see Rashid al-Din Fadlullah
Rashid al-Din Tabib see Rashid al-Din Fadlullah
Tabib, Rashid al-Din see Rashid al-Din Fadlullah
Rashid al-Din Fadhl-allah Hamadani see Rashid al-Din Fadlullah
Hamadani, Rashid al-Din Fadhi-allah see Rashid al-Din Fadlullah

Rashid al-Din Sinan
Rashid al-Din Sinan (Rashid ad-Din Sinan) (1132/1135-1192/1193/1194).  Leader of the Syrian Nizari Isma‘ilis.  He played a prominent part in Syrian and Egyptian politics, successfully defending his people against Sunni Muslim rulers, especially Saladin, and against the Crusaders.  

Rashid ad-Din Sinan, also known as the Old Man of the Mountain, was one of the leaders of the Syrian wing of the Hashshashin sect and a figure in the history of the Crusades.

Latin sources from the Crusader states call him Vetulus de Montanis, derived from the Arabic title Shaykh al-Jabal, which means prince or elder of the mountain.

According to his autobiography, of which only fragments survive, Rashid came to Alamut, the center of the Hashshashins, as a youth and received the typical Hashshashin training. In 1162, the sect's leader Hassan II sent him to Syria, where he proclaimed Qiyamah, which in Nizari terminology meant the time of the Qa'im and the removal of Islamic law. Based on the Nizari stronghold Masyaf, he controlled various districts in northern Syria, namely Jabal as-Summaq, Ma'arrat Masrin and Sarmin.

His chief enemy was the Sultan Saladin, who ruled over Egypt and Syria. Saladin twice managed to elude assassination attempts ordered by Rashid and as he was marching against Aleppo, Saladin devastated the Nizari possessions. In 1176, Saladin laid siege to Masyaf but he lifted the siege after two notable events that transpired between him and the Old Man of the Mountain. One night his soldiers had found the Old Man of the Mountain and his personal guard wandering the mountains but failed to attack him because, as the soldiers reported, they were held back by some mystical power. Saladin suffered terrible dreams and one night awoke to find freshly baked hotcakes, the type only the Assassins made, and a poisoned dagger next to his bed. He believed the Old Man of the Mountain himself had laid them there. Saladin promptly lifted the siege and had to accept the independence of the Hashshashin principality.

His last notable act occurred in 1192, when he ordered the assassination of the newly elected King of Jerusalem Conrad of Montferrat. Whether this happened in coordination with King Richard I of England or Saladin remains speculation.

Rashid enjoyed considerable independence from the Nizari center in Alamut and some writings attribute him with a semi-divine status. He died between 1192 and 1194 and was succeeded by men appointed from Alamut, which regained a closer supervision over Masyaf.

Sinan, Rashid al-Din see Rashid al-Din Sinan
Rashid ad-Din Sinan see Rashid al-Din Sinan
Sinan, Rashid ad-Din see Rashid al-Din Sinan
Old Man of the Mountain see Rashid al-Din Sinan
Vetulus de Montanis see Rashid al-Din Sinan
Shaykh al-Jabal see Rashid al-Din Sinan

Rashid al-Din Tabib
Rashid al-Din Tabib. See Rashid al-Din Fadlullah.

Rashid ibn al-Sharif, Mawlay al-
Rashid ibn al-Sharif, Mawlay al- (Mawlay al-Rashid ibn al-Sharif) (b. 1630).   Sharif of Morocco and the real founder of the so-called Filali Sharifian dynasty (r. 1664-1672).  He was born in southern Morocco where his family, the Hasani Sharifs was acquiring political influence during the decline of the Sa‘di Sharifs.  He conquered Fez in 1666 and extended his possessions west and southwards.

Mawlay al-Rashid ibn al-Sharif see Rashid ibn al-Sharif, Mawlay al-

Rashidis (The House of Rasheed) (Al Rashid) (Alrasheed).  Dynasty in Ha’il, Najd, Saudi Arabia.  The Rashidis were the ruling family in northeastern Arabia and were rivals of the Saudis in the early twentieth century.  In 1835, the house of Ibn Rashid became firmly established as rulers under the suzerainty of the al-Sa‘ud.  Under Muhammad ibn Rashid, who ruled Ha’il between 1872 and 1897, Jabal Shammar was independent and trade relations existed with al-Najaf in Iraq.  After the death of Muhammad, the House of Rashid was weakened by dynastic disputes.  Ha’il was taken by ‘Abd al-‘Aziz al-Sa‘ud in 1921.

The House of Rasheed was a historic dynasty of the Arabian Peninsula, and the most formidable enemies of the House of Saud in Nejd. They were centered in Ha'il, a city in northern Nejd that derived its wealth from being on the route of the Hajj.

The Al Rasheed derived their name from the grandfather of Abdullah, the first Rasheedi amir ("prince") of Ha'il, who was named Rasheed.

The Rasheedi amirs cooperated closely with the Ottoman empire. However, this cooperation became problematic as the Ottoman empire lost popularity.

One recurrent problem with the Rasheedi rule was the lack of a generally accepted rule of succession. The internal dispute normally centered on whether succession to the position of amir should be horizontal (i.e. to a brother) or vertical (to a son). These internal divisions within the family led to bloody infighting. In the last years of the nineteenth century, six Rasheedi leaders died violently. Nevertheless, the Al Rasheed Family still ruled and fought with each other hand in hand against Ibn Saud.

Over the first twenty years of the 20th century, the Arab peninsula saw a long-running series of wars as the Saudis and their allies sought to unite the peninsula under their rule. While the Al Rasheed rallied the majority of other tribes to their side the effort proved futile and by 1921 Ha'il was captured and given to Ibn Saud's army by the British command.

Some members of the Rasheed family left the country and went into voluntary exile, mostly to Iraq. By the 1990s only a handful were still outside Saudi Arabia. Some members live in England and France.

The House of Rasheed see Rashidis
Rashid, Al see Rashidis
Alrasheed see Rashidis

Rashid, Mehmed
Rashid, Mehmed (Mehmed Rashid) (d.1735).  Ottoman imperial historiographer.  He wrote a history of the Ottoman empire from 1660 to 1721.
Mehmed Rashid see Rashid, Mehmed

Rashid Rida
Rashid Rida (Muhammad Rashid Rida) (September 23, 1865, Syria - August 22, 1935, Egypt).  Syrian Arab scholar.  His life was devoted to the reconciliation of the Islamic heritage to the modern world.  He was influenced by Jamal al-Din al-Afghani and Muhammad ‘Abduh, of whom he wrote a well-known biography.  He founded the newspaper al-Manar and published it throughout his life.

Muhammad Rashid Rida was an Islamic revivalist and reformer, Muhammad Rashid Rida was born in a village near Tripoli, then Syria, to a family that claimed a line of descent from the prophet Muhammad.  After his early education in a traditional religious school, Rida attended an Islamic school established by an enlightened scholar, Shaykh Husayn al-Jisr (d. 1909), who believed that the way to the progress of the Muslim nation was through a synthesis of religious education and modern sciences.  Rida thus acquired a thorough education in the doctrine and traditions of Islam and a fair knowledge of the natural sciences and languages (Turkish and French).  He studied the works of al-Ghazali (d. 1111) and Ibn Taymiyah (d. 1328), which inspired him with the need to reform the declining conditions of Muslims and purify Islam from degenerate Sufi practices.

By the end of the nineteenth century, a broader movement of reform, the Salafiyah movement led ty Jamal al-Din al-Afghani (d. 1897) and Muhammad ‘Abduh (d. 1905), was underway in Egypt.  This movement, provoked by the stagnant and vulnerable conditions of the Muslims, sought to reinvigorate Islam; it stressed the need for the exercise of reason and the adoption of modern natural science, for agitation against tyranny and despotism and resistance to foreign domination, and the promotion of Muslim solidarity.  The tenets of this movement were expounded in Al-‘urwah al-wuthqa (The Indissoluble Bond), which al-Afghani and ‘Abduh published in Paris in 1884.  Instilling new ideas such as freedom, independence, unity, and the rights of the ruled into the minds of its Muslim readers, Al-‘urwah made a deep impact on Rida; it broadened his idea of reform and brought him to a new stage in his intellectual life.

In 1897, Rida left for Egypt to join ‘Abduh and the soon became one of his close associates and leading disciples.  In Cairo, Rida published his own magazine, Al-manar (The Lighthouse), which first appeared in 1898 as a weekly and, subsequently, as a monthly until his death in 1935.  The objectives of Al-manar were to articulate and disseminate the ideas of reform and preserve the unity of the Muslim nation.  Rida was a prolific writer, producing more work than ‘Abduh and al-Afghani.  Besides editing most of the articles that appeared in Al-manar, he wrote several books on various Islamic issues.

Rida, as did ‘Abduh, believed in the compatibility of Islam and modernity.  ‘Abduh emphasized ijtihad (independent judgment) in an effort to reinterpret Islamic doctrines and give Islam a new vitality, but Rida, faced with more ominous challenges, insisted on certain criteriafor Islamic reform.  Rida’s time witnessed the disintegration of the Islamic caliphate, the fragmentation of the Muslim world, and the ascendancy of the advocates of wholesale adoption of Western models, who tried to take ‘Abduh’s reinterpretations of Islamic doctrines to secular conclusions (probably contrary to his intentions).

Concerned with the unity of the Muslim and the preservation of its identity and culture, Rida viewed the original Islamic sources, the Qur’an, sunnah, and ijma’ (consensus of the companions of the Prophet) as the basis of reform.  Rida, however, distinguished between acts of worship (‘ibadat) and matters concerning interaction with others (mu‘amalat).  Since the ‘ibadat organize human behavior, were revealed in the Qur’an, and were laid down by authentic hadith, they cannot be changed.  But human relations, in the absence of an explicit, authentic, and binding text can be reinterpreted according to the interest (maslahah) of the community.  Ijtihad can be exercised in light of achieving the common good of the Muslim community.  By emphasizing maslahah and ijtihad, Rida allowed room for human legislation.  

Throughout his intellectual career, Rida was preoccupied with the issue of reform.  He believed the decline of the Muslim nation was due to the stagnation of its scholars and the tyranny of its rulers.  He viewed European dominance over the Muslims as a result of the latter’s weakness, which he attributed to the Muslims’ inability to master the sciences, form organized political institutions, and restrict the power of their governments.  Considering education a precondition for political reform and independence, Rida urged the Muslim peoples to acquire the commendable aspects of Western civilization, such as science, technical skill, and wealth.  His emphasis on education was manifested in his founding of the School of Propagation and Guidance in 1912.  Here Rida attempted to combine modern education with religious teachings.

Central to Rida’s scheme of thought was the concept of the caliphate and its indispensability to the coherence of the Muslim community.  On the eve of the breakup of the Ottoman caliphate in 1923, Rida wrote a treatise, The Caliphate or the Supreme Imamate, which included an elaborate discussion of the caliphate and a plan for its restoration.  Realizing the obstacles surrounding the revival of a proper Islamic caliphate of ijtihad, Rida proposed a caliphate of necessity, a temporary one, to preserve the solidarity of the Muslims.  Essential to this caliphate were the issues of shura (consultation), ahl al-hall wa-al-‘aqd (“those who bind and loose”), and ijtihad to ensure the adaptability of Islamic laws and the sovereignty of the Muslim nation.  

Rida’s ideas, particularly in the interwar period, gave an Arab emphasis to the Islamic reform movement.  As a result of the repressive policies of the Turkish government in 1911, Rida held the non-Arab peoples, namely the Turks, responsible for the decline of the Muslim world.  Glorifying the role of the Arabs in history, he placed them at the center of a revived Islamic state; Rida also participated in several parties and associations advocating Arab independence and freedom.

Rida contributed greatly to the preservation and dissemination of the ideology of Islamic reform.  He perceived clearly the challenges and threats that led to the disintegration of the Muslim nation and constituted a link between al-Afghani and ‘Abduh and the succeeding generations of Muslim activists and thinkers who appeared in the third decade of the twentieth century.  He developed his own thought and attempted to elaborate a specific and systematic doctrine of Islamic laws and policies.  Rida’s ideas shaped modern Islamic thought with moderate and activist features that influenced later Muslim thinkers.

Muhammad Rashid Rida is said to have been "one of the most influential scholars and jurists of his generation" and the "most prominent disciple of Muhammad Abduh".

Rida was born near Tripoli in Al-Qalamoun and was then part of the Ottoman Empire. His early education consisted of training in "traditional Islamic subjects". In 1884-5, he was first exposed to al-`Urwa al-wuthqa, the journal of Jamal al-Din al-Afghani and Muhammad Abduh. In 1897, he left Syria for Cairo to collaborate with Abduh and the following year they launched al-Manar, a weekly and then monthly journal comprising Quranic commentary at which Rida worked until his death in 1935.

Like his predecessors, Rida focused on the relative weakness of Muslim societies vis-à-vis Western colonialism, blaming Sufi excesses, the blind imitation of the past (taqlid), the stagnation of the ulama, and the resulting failure to achieve progress in science and technology. He held that these flaws could be alleviated by a return to what he saw as the true principles of Islam - salafiyya Islam which was purged of impurities and Western influences — albeit interpreted (ijtihad) to suit modern realities. This alone could he believed save Muslims from subordination to the colonial powers.

Muhammad Rashid Rida see Rashid Rida

Rashidun. Term which means “the rightly guided.”  The term rashidun is a title applied to the first four Caliphs.  The Rashidun caliphs refers to the first four successors to Muhammad as leaders of the umma -- as leaders of the Muslim community.  The Rashidun caliphs were Abu-Bakr, Umar, Uthman, and Ali.

The Rightly Guided Caliphs or The Righteous Caliphs (al-Khulafā’u r-Rāshidūn) is a term used in Sunni Islam to refer to the first four Caliphs who established the Rashidun Caliphate. The concept of "Rightly Guided Caliphs" originated with the Abbasid Dynasty.

The Rashidun were the first four caliphs of the Islāmic community, known in Muslim history as the orthodox or patriarchal caliphs: Abū Bakr (r. 632–634), ʿUmar (r. 634–644), ʿUthmān (r. 644–656), and ʿAlī (r. 656–661).

The 29-year rule of the Rashidun was Islām’s first experience without the leadership of the Prophet Muḥammad. His example, however, in both private and public life, came to be regarded as the norm (sunnah) for his successors, and a large and influential body of anṣār (companions of the Prophet) kept close watch on the caliphs to insure their strict adherence to divine revelation (the Qurʾān) and the sunnah. The Rashidun thus assumed all of Muḥammad’s duties except the prophetic: as imams, they led the congregation in prayer at the mosque; as khaṭībs, they delivered the Friday sermons; and as umarāʾ al-muʾminīn (“commanders of the faithful”), they commanded the army.

The caliphate of the Rashidun, in which virtually all actions had religious import, began with the wars of the riddah (“apostasy”; 632–633), tribal uprisings in Arabia, and ended with the first Muslim civil war (fitnah; 656–661). It effected the expansion of the Islāmic state beyond Arabia into Iraq, Syria, Palestine, Egypt, Iran, and Armenia and, with it, the development of an elite class of Arab soldiers. The Rashidun were also responsible for the adoption of an Islāmic calendar, dating from Muḥammad’s emigration (hijrah) from Mecca to Medina (622), and the establishment of an authoritative reading of the Qurʾān, which strengthened the Muslim community and encouraged religious scholarship. It was also a controversy over ʿAlī’s succession that split Islām into two sects, the Sunnite (traditionalists) and the Shīʿite (shīʿat ʿAlī, “party of ʿAlī”), which have survived to modern times.

The religious and very traditionalist strictures on the Rashidun were somewhat relaxed as Muḥammad’s contemporaries, especially the anṣār, began to die off, and the conquered territories became too vast to rule along theocratic lines; thus the Umayyads, who followed the Rashidun as caliphs, were able to secularize the operations of the state.

The Rightly Guided Caliphs see Rashidun.
The Righteous Caliphs see Rashidun.
Khulafa'u r-Rashidun, al- see Rashidun.

Rassids.  Line of Zaydi Imams of Yemen (r. c. 860-1281).  The name is taken from a property near Mecca, called al-Rass, which belonged to the grandfather of the first Imam, al-Qasim al-Rassi, who was a descendant of Hasan ibn ‘Ali.  The Rassids ruled from Sa‘da, but their reign was disturbed by several other dynasties, such as the Sulayhids, the Ayyubids, the Rasulids and the Tahirids of Lahij.  The Rassids were followed by the Qasimids.  

The Rassids were the first Zaidi Imams of Yemen, with their capital at Sa'da, in the highlands. They ruled the tribal groups intermittently from the end of the 9th century. The Zaydiyyah branch of Shi'a Islam required a visible, politically active Imam, who must be descended from the Prophet Muhammad and fulfill a number of personal criteria.

In 893 al-Hadi Yahya bin al-Hussain bin al-Qasim ar-Rassi (a descendant of Imam al-Hasan), was invited from Medina to the Northern Highlands of Yemen as an arbiter between the local tribes. Later with the help of the Hamdan tribes of Hashid and Bakil, al-Hadi Yahya bin al-Hussain bin al-Qasim ar-Rassi founded the Zaidi Imamate of Yemen at Sa'da, in 893-7. He made Zaidi Islam the state religion. He died in 911, and the state he had created crumbled after the death of his able son an-Nasir Ahmad in 934. After the 10th century, succession to the imamate tended not to be hereditary, but circulated among various Sayyid branches. Most, though not all, Imams were descended from al-Hadi Yahya or his grandfather al-Qasim ar-Rassi (d. 860). The term Rassids usually refers to the Imams of the medieval period, up to the 16th century, the later ones being known as Qasimids (Al al-Qasimi).

In the centuries after an-Nasir Ahmad, Zaidi Imams continued to hold power in the highlands intermittently, without being able to create an enduring state. Sunni dynasties centered in lowland Yemen tended to hold the political initiative in the region. Several Rassid Imams were killed at the hands of their political opponents. For long periods, as in 1066-1138, there was no Imam. In other periods, especially in the years 1436-1522, there were several competing claimants to the title. During the 16th century, the Sharaf ad-Din branch of the Rassids (1507-1572) kept up a partly successful resistance against the encroaching Ottoman Turks. In 1569-1570, however, they were decisively defeated at the hands of the Ottoman commander Sinan Pasha, and a last claimant of the imamate was captured in 1585.

A new branch of the Rassids rose in revolt against the Turks in 1597, and managed to expel them from Yemen by 1635. From the first of the line, al-Mansur al-Qasim the Great (d. 1620), this line is known as the Qasimids. They succeeded each other in their religious-political capacity like a royal dynasty, and the Imams did not always meet the formal requirements of religious learning and personal aptitude. The Zaidi Imamate continued until the middle of the 20th century, until the revolution of 1962 deposed the last Imam.

From its inception, the Zaidism of Yemen belonged to the Jarudiyya group or the Hadawi sub-sect.

Rasul. The Arabic rasul means “one sent.”  In Islam, a rasul is a messenger, envoy, or apostle and is applied to someone sent from Allah to a religious community with a message and, usually, sent to head that community.

In the Qur’an, Muhammad is called both a rasul and a nabi -- a prophet.  However, the Qur’anic usage indicates that rasul is a subset of the class of prophets.  From an Islamic perspective, God sends only one rasul to a religious community {see Sura 10:48}.  Muhammad was sent to his people to whom no rasul had previously been sent {see Sura 32:3}.  Noah, Lot, Isma’il, Moses, Shu’aib, Hud, Salih, and Jesus are called rasul in the Qur’an, but Adam, Abraham, Isaac, Jacob, Aaron, David, Solomon, Job, and others are prophets.  Both the rasul and the nabi bring scripture from God and warn their communities, but only the rasul acts as the head of the community.

In post-Qur’anic tradition the distinction between rasul and nabi is blurred.  The messengers and the prophets are regarded as many as free from sin and error, although authorities differ on the particulars of the applicability.  Tradition also increases the number of messengers to over three hundred, without, however, naming them.

It is an article of faith that Muhammad is the rasul of God.

In Islam, a Messenger (Arabic: rasūl, plural rusul) is a prophet sent by Allah with a shariah "Divine Law".

In Christianity, the Greek term angelos "messenger" is used to refer to supernatural beings sent by God. However, Islam does not consider Messengers to be supernatural beings and employs a separate term for "angels" (Arabic: malā’ikah).

According to the Qur'an, Allah has sent many prophets to mankind. However, a messenger entertains a 'rank' higher than a prophet, bringing a new Sharia to the people, while prophets reinforce old ones. Twenty-five prophets are mentioned by name in the Qur'an, but according to the hadiths there have been over 124,000 prophets in total sent to all portions of the Earth to preach and spread the message of Islam.

Of these, the Qur'an highlights twelve Messengers, the five mightiest ones being Nuh (Noah), Ibrahim (Abraham), Musa (Moses), Isa (Jesus) and Muhammad.
Messenger of God see Rasul.

Rasulids.  Dynasty of Yemen (r. 1229-1454).  Rasul, who gave his name to the dynasty, was a Turkmen of Oghuz origin.  After the departure of Mas‘ud, the last Ayybid, Rasul’s grandson Nur al-Din ‘Umar (r. 1229-1250) made himself independent at Zabid, captured many places from the Zaydi Imams, among them San‘a’, and in 1240 took Mecca, which remained in Rasulid hands for fifteen years.  The kingdom stretched from the Hejaz to Hadhramaut, making the Rasulids a power of international significance in the Islamic world.  After al-Malik al-Nasir’s death in 1424, internal strife set in, and in 1454 the last Rasulid abdicated before the Tahirids of Lahij and Aden.

The Rasulids were a Muslim dynasty that ruled Yemen and Ḥaḍramawt (1229–1454) after the Ayyūbids of Egypt abandoned the southern provinces of the Arabian Peninsula.

Although the family claimed descent from Qaḥṭān, the legendary patriarch of the southern Arabs, the Rasūlids were of Oğuz (Turkmen) origin, Rasūl having been a messenger (Arabic rasūl) for an ʿAbbāsid caliph. His son ʿAlī was governor of Mecca under the last Ayyūbid ruler of Yemen and succeeded him in the government of the whole country. ʿUmar I ibn ʿAlī (reigned 1229–50), Rasūl’s grandson, first established himself at Zabīd (Yemen), then moved into the mountainous interior, making Sanaa the Rasūlid capital. Though the Hejaz (west coast of Arabia) itself was a tributary of the Egyptian Mamelūkes from 1252, ʿUmar also ruled the holy city Mecca.

For the next two centuries Yemen was an important and prosperous Muslim state; the Rasūlid ruler assumed the title of caliph in 1258. Political and trade relations were maintained with China, India, and Ceylon, and the opening of the port of Aden encouraged a lively international trade. Disturbances in Mecca around the middle of the 14th century, however, offered the Mamelūkes an opportunity to intervene in Rasūlid affairs. Aḥmad ibn Ismāʿīl (reigned 1400–24) regained temporary control and offered Mamelūke trade in the Red Sea keen competition, but, soon after his death, internal unrest, revolts of slaves, and the plague hastened the fall of the dynasty. Yemen then passed into the hands of the Ṭāhirid dynasty until the Ottoman conquest of the 16th century.

The Rasulid rulers were:

al-Mansur Umar I  1229–1250
al-Muzaffar Yusuf I  1250–1295
al-Ashraf Umar II  1295–1296
al-Mu'ayyad Da'ud  1296–1322
al-Mujahid Ali          1322–1363
al-Afdal al-Abbas  1363–1377
al-Ashraf Isma'il I  1377–1400
an-Nasir Ahmad  1400–1424
al-Mansur Abdullah  1424–1427
al-Ashraf Isma'il II  1427–1428
az-Zahir Yahya          1428–1439
al-Ashraf Isma'il III  1439–1442
al-Muzaffar Yusuf II  1442

The Rasulid was a Muslim dynasty that ruled Yemen and Hadhramaut from 1229 to 1454. The Rasulids assumed power after the Egyptian Ayyubid left the southern provinces of the Arabian Peninsula.

The Rasulid descended from Rasul (his real name is Muhammad ibn Harun) whose lineage could be traced back to Jabalah ibn al-Aiham the last Ghassanid king, and they were mistakenly identified as Turkmen because their Turkic language the Rasul gained living in the land of the Turks. Rasul came to Yemen around 1180 while serving as a messenger for an Abbasid caliph. His son Ali was governor of Mecca for a time, and his grandson Umar bin Ali was the first sultan of the Rasulid dynasty.

Rasūl is Arabic for messenger (although in this context it does not carry the Islamic prophet significance); during their reign, however, the Rasulids claimed to be descendants of the legendary patriarch Qahtan.

Ratan, Baba Hajji Abu’l-Rida
Ratan, Baba Hajji Abu’l-Rida (Baba Hajji Abu’l-Rida Ratan).  Indian saint of thirteenth century.  His shrine near Bhatinda in the Punjab is a place of pilgrimage visited by Muslims and Hindus.  There has been much discussion in Muslim circles about his claim that he was a long-lived Companion of the Prophet.
Baba Hajji Abu’l-Rida Ratan see Ratan, Baba Hajji Abu’l-Rida

Ratu Adil
Ratu Adil.  Javanese “just king” who, it was believed, would appear after a time of turbulence and depravity to institute a new age of justice and plenty.  The belief was linked with the popular Jayabaya prophecies that had foretold the circumstances under which the ratu adil would arise and was later (especially in West Java) associated with the coming of an Islamic mahdi figure.  In modern Javanese history, several princely rebels and popular leaders have styled themselves as the ratu adil, among them Dipanagara.

The Ratu Adil, which literally means Just King, is a messianic figure in Indonesian folklore. The Ratu Adil will establish universal peace and justice in the manner of similar figures, such as King Arthur in European folklore. The Ratu Adil is first mentioned in the Pralembang Joyoboyo, the pseudonymous prophecies ascribed to King Joyoboyo of Kediri.

The prophecy predicts that the Ratu Adil will be poor and at first unknown. This was highly advantageous to most early nationalist leaders. The prophecy also talks about the decline of the nobility as real rulers. The mantle of Ratu Adil has been claimed by a number of leaders in recent Indonesian history, including Diponegoro, Hamengkubuwono IX, Sukarno and Megawati.

Adil, Ratu see Ratu Adil.
Just King see Ratu Adil.

Rawshaniyya. Afghan sect founded by Bayazid ibn ‘Abd Allah (1525-1585), who took the title Pir-i Rawshan. The sect, whose doctrine is said to have been extreme pantheism, was suppressed in 1637.

Razi, Abu Bakr Muhammad ibn Zakariyya’ al-
Razi, Abu Bakr Muhammad ibn Zakariyya’ al- (Abu Bakr Muhammad ibn Zakariyya’ al-Razi) (Abu Bakr Muhammad ibn Zakariya ar-Razi) (Rhazes) (Muhammad ibn Zakariyā Rāzī) (Mohammad-e Zakariā-ye Rāzi) (Rasis) (August 26, 865, Rey – 925, Rey).  Greatest physician of Islam, and a noted alchemist and philosopher.  A number of his works, among them his large medical encyclopedia in Arabic, called al-Hawi, were translated into Latin.  Indeed, al-Hawi was commonly used in Europe and up to the seventeenth century al-Razi’s medical authority was undisputed.  

In chemistry, al-Razi rejected all occult and symbolical explanations of natural phenomena.  Of his metaphysical works only a few fragments have been preserved in later authors.  He was an opponent of the Aristotelians and relied on the authority of Plato and the pre-Socratic philosophers.  He had a critical attitude to established religion, refuted the Mu‘tazila, the extreme Shi‘a and the Manichaeans, and denied the possibility of a reconciliation between philosophy and religion.  One of his writings was read among the Carmathians, and seems to have influenced the famous theme of the “De Tribus Impostoribus.”

Abu Bakr Muhammad ibn Zakariyya’ al-Razi was born in Rayy in what is now Iraq.  He lived in Baghdad in his early thirties and again from about 901 to 907, while the Abbasid caliph al-Muktafi was in office.  Just as earlier, so later, he returned to Rayy as soon as possible, and it was there that he died.   A man of imposing stature, al-Razi was predominantly a physician and teacher of medicine, but he also served as a sometime adviser to various rulers and was a prolific author.  Indeed, his writings include over 200 treatises, pamphlets, and books.  Though his writing apparently led to a paralysis of the hand and impaired eyesight, he nonetheless continued with the help of secretaries and scribes.

It is said that early in his life Ar-Razi was interested in singing and music besides other professions.  Because of his eagerness for knowledge, he became more interested in the study of alchemy and chemistry, philosophy, logic, mathematics and physics.  It was in the field of medicine that he spent most of his life, practicing it, studying and writing about it.  Due to his fame in medicine, Ar-Razi was appointed head of the physicians of the Rayy Hospital, and later put in charge of the Baghdad main Hospital during the reign of the Adud-Dawla.

An interesting episode of Ar-Razi’s remarkable method of choosing the right spot for the Baghdad main hospital is described as follows:  When Adud-Dawla asked Ar-Razi to build a hospital, he had pieces of fresh meat placed at various parts of the city of Baghdad.  Some time later, he checked each piece to find out which one was less rotten than the others, and he chose the spot of the least rotten pieces of meat a site for the hospital.

Ar-Razi was a pioneer in many areas of medicine and treatment and in the health sciences in general.  In particular, he was a pioneer in the fields of pediatrics, obstetrics and ophthalmology.  In medicine, his contribution was so significant that it can only be compared to that of Ibn Sina (Avicenna).   Some of his works in medicine, e.g., Kitab al-Mansoori; Al-Hawi; Kitab al-Mulooki and Kitab al-Judari wa al-Hasabah earned everlasting fame.  A special feature of his medical system was that he greatly favored cures through correct and regulated food.  This was combined with his emphasis on the influence of psychological factors on health.  He also tried proposed remedies first on animals in order to evaluate in their effects and side effects.  Ar-Razi was the first person to introduce the use of alcohol (in Arabic, al-kuhl) for medicinal purposes.  He was also an expert surgeon and was the first to use opium for anesthesia.  

Ar-Razi was the first to give an account of the operation for the extraction of a cataract and also the first scientist to discuss the pupillary reaction or the widening and narrowing of the pupil of the eye.  He explained that the reaction was due to the presence of small muscles which act according to the intensity of light.  

The greatest medical work of Ar-Razi (Rhazes) and perhaps the most extensive ever written by a medical man, is al-Hawi, i.e., the Comprehensive Book, which includes indeed Greek, Syrian, and early Arabic medical knowledge in their entirety.  Throughout his life, Ar-Razi must have collected extracts from all the books available to him on medicine.  In his last years, he combined these with his medical experience into an enormous twenty volume medical encyclopedia.  Al-Hawi was the largest medical encyclopedia composed by then.  It was translated into Latin under the auspices of Charles I of Anjou by the Sicilian Jewish physician, Faraj ibn Salim (Farragut) in 1279 and was repeatedly printed from 1488 onwards. Al-Hawi was known as Continens in its Latin translation.  By 1542, five editions of Continens had appeared, while parts of it were more publicly availaable than the five editions might suggest.  Another scholar points out that Ar-Razi’s al-Hawi was one of the nine volumes constituting the whole library of the Paris Faculty of Medicine in 1395.

Ar-Razi’s Kitab al-Mansoori, which was translated into Latin (and is known by the title Liber Almansoris) in the 1480s in Milan, comprised ten volumes and dealt exhaustively with Greco-Arab medicine.  Some of its volumes have been published separately into German and French.  The ninth volume of the translation made by Gerard of Cremona -- the Nonus al-Mansuri was a popular text in Europe until the sixteenth century.  Ar-Razi in al-Mansoori devoted a whole chapter on anatomy.  In it Ar-Razi has presented a detailed description of the various organs of the human body, and sensory and motor parts.  He has also given elaborate descriptions of the intervertebral foramina and spinal chord, and correctly asserted that an injury either to the brain or spinal chord would lead to paralysis of the parts of the organs whose nerve supply was damaged or destroyed.

Ar-Razi’s al-Judari wa al-Hasabah was the first treatise on smallpox and chickenpox, and is largely based on Ar-Razi’s original contribution. It was first translated into Latin in 1565 and later into several European languages and went into forty editions between 1498 and 1866.  It was translated into English by William Greenhill of London in 1848.  Through his treatise Ar-Razi became the first to draw clear comparisons between smallpox and chickenpox.

Ar-Razi gave many valuable pieces of advice to practicing physicians:

A physician should not forget to ask his patient all sorts of questions pertaining to the possible causes of his illness, both internal and external. ...

If a physician can treat a patient through nutrition rather than medicine he has done the best thing.  

A physician should always try to convince his patient of improvement and hope in the effectiveness of treatment, for the psychological state of the patient has a great effect on his physical condition.  

Whoever seeks treatment with too many physicians might suffer the risk of the faults of each of them.  A patient should restrict consultation to one trustworthy physician.

Ar-Razi also compounded medicines and took keen interest in experimental and theoretical sciences.  It is conjectured that he developed his chemistry independently of Jabir ibn Hayyan (Geber).  He has discussed several chemical reactions and also given full descriptions of and designs for about twenty instruments used in chemical investigations.   His description of chemical knowledge is in plain and plausible language.  One of his books Kitab-al-Asrar deals with the preparation of chemical materials and their utilization.  Another one was translated into Latin under the name Liber Experimentorium.  He went beyond his predecessors in dividing substances into plants, animals and minerals, thus in a way opening the way for inorganic and organic chemistry.  By and large, this classification still holds.  As a chemist, Ar-Razi was the first to produce sulfuric acid together with some other acids, and he also prepared alcohol by fermenting sweet potatoes.

Ar-Razi’s contribution as a philosopher is also well-known.  The basic elements in his philosophical system are the creator, spirit, matter, space and time.  He discusses their characteristics in detail and his concepts of space and time as constituting a continuum is well ahead of his time.  

Ar-Razi was a prolific author, who has left monumental treatises on numerous subjects.  He has more than two hundred outstanding scientific contributions to his credit, out of which about half deal with medicine and twenty-one on alchemy.  He also wrote on physics, mathematics, astronomy and optics, but these writings could not be preserved.  A number of his other books, including Jami-fi-al-Tib, Maqalah fi al-Hasat fi Kuli wa al-Mathana, Kitab al-Qalb, Kitab al-Mafasil, Kitab al-‘Ilaj al-Ghoraba, Bar al-Sa’ah, and al-Taqseem wa al-Takhsir, have been published in various European languages.  About 40 of his manuscripts are still extant in the museums and libraries of Iran, Paris, Great Britain, and Rampur (India).  His contribution has greatly influenced the development of science, in general, and medicine in particular.

In recognition of his great contributions to science and, especially to medicine, Ar-Razi’s portrait adorns the great hall of the Faculty of Medicine in the University of Paris.  

Al-Razi was also a major contributor to philosophy. The two major philosophical works of al-Razi are the Book of the Philosophic Life and Book of Spiritual Medicine.  In his Book of the Philosophic Life, al-Razi focuses on the life of Socrates.  The Book of Spiritual Medicine describes (1) how we can rid ourselves of bad moral habits and (2) the extent to which someone aspiring to be philosophical may concern himself with the gaining of a livelihood, acquisition, expenditure and the seeking of rulership.  For al-Razi, philosophy consists of three basic concerns: moral virtue or ethics, household management or economics, and political rule.  As al-Razi notes almost in passing, it is perfectly justifiable to distinguish between human beings in terms of how essential they are to the well-being of the community.

Such reflections allow al-Razi to defend himself against the calumnies of his nameless critics.  The defense goes beyond mere exculpation to an explanation of philosophy itself.  Thus, as part of his final self-justification, al-Razi asserts that philosophy consists of two parts, knowledge and practice, and that anyone who fails to achieve both cannot be called a philosopher.  

Al-Razi is considered to be the most original thinker and the keenest clinical observer of all the medieval Muslim physicians, al-Razi produced the first clinical account of smallpox and measles, a twenty-four volume compendium of medical knowledge, and set new standards for medical ethics, the clinical observation of disease, and the testing of medical treatment.

There is little authentic information about the life of al-Razi.  He was born around 864 in Rayy, a few miles from modern Tehran, administered a hospital in that town as well as in Baghdad, and died in his hometown about 925.  In his youth, music was his chief interest.  He played the lute and studied voice.  Upon reaching adulthood, he rejected this pursuit, however, asserting that music produced by grown men lacked charm.  He then turned to the study of philosophy, a lifelong interest, and developed decidedly egalitarian views, a keen interest in ethics, and a profoundly questioning stance toward received dogmas, both religious and scientific.  In his thirties, he began to pursue medical studies and a career as a physician.

His interest in medicine reportedly arose after a visit to a sick home in Baghdad, where he was so moved by the suffering of the sick and maimed patients that he determined to devote the rest of his life to alleviating human misery through the practice of medicine.  Exactly where he acquired his medical training is unknown, although it was most likely in Baghdad, where he lived from 902 to 907.  At that time, the city was the leading center of learning in the Middle East and contained fully equipped hospitals, well-stocked libraries, and a sound tradition of research.  Successive ‘Abbasid caliphs, from al-Mansur (754-775) and Harun al-Rashid (786-809) to al-Ma’mun (813-833), had generously endowed institutes for the study of ancient Greek arts and sciences as well as those of Persia and India.  Some scholars suggest that al-Razi, who spent most of his life in Iran, probably studied medicine at the University of Jondisabur, a Sassanid-founded institution, which remained a major medical center in the medieval Muslim East.

Al-Razi, an outstanding clinician and a brilliant diagnostician and medical practitioner, was probably the most learned and original of all the medieval Muslim physicians.  His scientific and philosophical writings total some 113 major and twenty-eight minor works, of which twelve discuss alchemy.  While chief physician and master teacher of the hospital in Rayy, he produced the ten-volume encyclopedia Kitab al-tibb al-Mansuri (c. 915), named for his patron Mansur ibn Ishaq al-Samani of Sijistan: a Latin translation, Liber Almansoris, was first published in Milan in the 1580's.  Al-Razi was invariably described as a generous and gracious man wiht a large head, full beard, and imposing presence.  His lectures, which attracted full-capacity crowds of students, were organized so that his senior students handled all questions they could answer, deferring to him only those issues beyond their knowledge.

Early in his career he earned a reputation as an effective and compassionate healer, which resulted  in his appointment in 918 by the ‘Abbasid caliph al-Muqtadir as physician in chief of the great hospital at Baghdad.  In choosing a new site for this main hospital, al-Razi is said to have had pieces of meat hung in different quarters of Baghdad, finally selecting the spot where the meat was slowest to decompose, which he deemed the area with the healthiest air.  As a result of his compassion for the sick and his contributions to medical ethics, al-Razi is justifiably compared to Hippocrates.  In his Baghdad hospital, he provided patients with music, storytelling, recitations of the Qur’an, and separate convalescent quarters.  He not only treated poor patients free of charge but also supported them with his own funds during their convalescence at home.  He emphasized a holistic approach to treating illness -- that the mind as well as the body must be treated -- but above all insisted that the art of healing must rest on a scientific basis.  In his treatise on medical ethics, Upon the Circumstances Which Turn the Head of Most Men from the Reputable Physician (c. 919), al-Razi warns physicians that laymen think doctors know all and can diagnose a problem with a simple examination.  He laments that frustrated patients turn to quacks who may alleviate some symptoms but not effect a cure.  Al-Razi advises reputable physicians not to despair or promise cures but to use their critical judgment, apply tested treatments to appropriate cases, and be thoroughly familiar with the available medical literature.

Al-Razi, like Hippocrates, based his diagnoses on observation of the course of a disease.  In administering treatments, he paid serious attention to dietetics and hygienic measures in conjunction with the use of closely monitored drug therapy.  His fine powers of observation and detailed clinical descriptions are evident in his best known monograph, al-Judari w-al-hasbah (A Treatise on the Smallpox and Measles -- c. 922), which is the first clinical account of smallpox.  In this work, he describes the types of human bodies most susceptible to each disease, the season in which each disease most often occurs, and the varied symptoms indicating the approaching eruption of smallpox and measles.  These symptoms included fever, back pain, nausea, anxiety, itching in the nose, and nightmares.  Since al-Razi believed that these diseases were caused by fermentation of the blood, his remedy was purification of the blood.  The therapeutic measures he employed were based upon his readings of the ancient Greeks and his own clinical trials.  He devised two different approaches to treatment: to counteract the disease with antidotes such as camphor mixtures, purgatives, bloodletting, and cooling with cold sponges or baths; and to effect a cure with heat, especially steam, to stimulate the eruption of pustules and hasten healing.  The choice of treatment depended on the degree of fever and the patient’s general condition.  Bloodletting, which was a common practice, he recommended using with caution and not on the very young, the very old, or those with a weak constitution.  Al-Razi also developed detailed measures for preventing secondary effects from these diseases, such as damage to the eyes, ears, and throat and scarring of the skin.

Possessing an extensive knowledge of pharmacology and therapeutics, al-Razi claimed to have acquired much valuable information from women healers and herbalists in his own country and from his travels to Syria, Palestine, Egypt, and Muslim Spain.  Other medieval physicians added little to his vast knowledge of drugs.  His drug therapy was similar to contemporary practice in that dosage was based on age and weight.  Drugs with which he was acquainted included nux vomica, senna, camphor, cardamom, salammoniac, and arrack as well as other alcoholic drinks.  He used oils, powders, infusions, syrups, liniments, plasters, suppositories, compresses, and fumigations.  His diligent search for drugs of therapeutic value and his methods of clinical observation laid the foundation on which future physicians would build.

Al-Razi’s extensive medical and pharmacological knowledge is contained in his most important work, al-Kitab al-hawi fi’il tibb (The Comprehensive Book -- c. 930), a twenty-four volume encyclopedia which summarized the medical knowledge of the time, that is, the knowledge of the Greeks, Persians, Indians, and Arabs.  It was completed posthumously by his students.  First translated into Latin in 1279, it was repeatedly printed from 1486 onward under the title Continens Medicinae and exercised considerable influence in the Latin West.  Medieval Muslim knowledge of anatomy and physiology was limited by the Qur’anic prohibition against dissection of the human body.  Thus, most information on anatomy and surgery in al-Kitab al-hawi fi’l tibb was drawn from Greeks such as Galen and Hippocrates.  Al-Razi provided numerous descriptions of his own surgical procedures, however, including those for intestinal obstructions, various forms of hernia, vesical calculi, tracheotomy, and cancer.  In treating cancer, he stressed that there should be no surgical removal of cancerous tissue unless the entire cancer could be removed.

Much of al-Razi’s philosophical thinking can be gleaned from two of his treatises on ethics: Kitab al-tibb al-ruhani (The Book of Spiritual Physick -- c. 920) and Sirat al-faylasuf (The Philosopher’s Way of Life -- c. 920).  He propounded egalitarian views, rejecting a contemporary argument that humans can be stratified according to innate abilities.  Rather, he believed that all people possess the capacity to reason and do not need the discipline imposed by religious leaders.  The latter he accused of deception, and the miracles of prophets he regarded as trickery.  His critical attitude toward religious authority carried over to the established dogmas of science.  Only by questioning and testing received knowledge, he argued, could there be continuing progress in science.

Al-Razi asserted that he did not accept Aristotle’s philosophy and that he was a disciple of Plato, with whom he shared certain ideas on matter.  His egalitarianism, however, was anti-thetical to Plato’s political ideas.  Al-Razi’s attitude toward animals was also part of his ethics.  He believed that only carnivores and noxious animals such as snakes should be killed, for he endorsed the doctrine of transmigration, according to which a soul may pass from an animal to a person.  Killing an animal set the soul on a path of liberation, while al-Razi maintained that only souls occupying human bodies should be liberated.  Toward the end of his life, al-Razi became blind from cataracts.  He reportedly rejected surgery, remarking that he had seen too much of the world already.  Some biographers have argued that his interest in alchemy contributed to his blindness.  Others ascribed it to his excessive consumption of beans.  He died around 925 in abject poverty, having given all of his wealth to his impoverished patients.

Al-Razi’s anti-religious attitude and his interest in alchemy caused other Muslim intellectuals to criticize his work and question his medical competence.  To his credit, his principal work on alchemy, Kitab al-asrar wa-sirr al asrra (The Book of Secrets -- c. 916), which was translated into Latin in 1187 (De spiritibus et corporibus), was a chief source of chemical knowledge through the fourteenth century.  Later, more talented medieval physicians such as Moses Maimonides found fault with his philosophy but not with his medicine.  As Aristotelians they were intolerant of his disavowal of Aristotle and his readiness to accept empirical evidence that upset established doctrines.  It was in his insistence on rigorous scientific research and valid evidence, however, that al-Razi anticipated the position of modern medicine.  Moreover, as a conscientious practitioner who stressed qualitative medicine -- devising the best therapy, based on an evaluation of the patient’s physical and mental condition -- he set high standards for physicians and paved the way for modern medical practice.

As a result of his many achievements -- the application of chemistry to medical treatment, the earliest study of smallpox and other epidemiological studies, the elaboration of medical ethics and scientific trials, the invention of the seton for surgery -- al-Razi secured the historical reputation of the medieval Muslim Arab world as the primary center of science and medicine.  His Muslim predecessors introduced clinics, hospitals, and pharmacies, but al-Razi established more rigorous ethical, clinical and scientific standards, free from dogmatic prejudices, which foreshadowed those of modern science.  For that reason, al-Razi’s portrait is one of only two portraits of Muslim physicians (the other being that of Avicenna) which were hung long ago in the great hall of the School of Medicine at the University of Paris as permanent testimony to the West’s debt to the science of medieval Islam.

Abu Bakr Muhammad ibn Zakariyya’ al-Razi see Razi, Abu Bakr Muhammad ibn Zakariyya’ al-
Abu Bakr Muhammad ibn Zakariya ar-Razi see Razi, Abu Bakr Muhammad ibn Zakariyya’ al-
Rhazes see Razi, Abu Bakr Muhammad ibn Zakariyya’ al-
Muhammad ibn Zakariyā Rāzī see Razi, Abu Bakr Muhammad ibn Zakariyya’ al-
Mohammad-e Zakariā-ye Rāzi see Razi, Abu Bakr Muhammad ibn Zakariyya’ al-
Rasis see Razi, Abu Bakr Muhammad ibn Zakariyya’ al-

Razi, Ahmad ibn Muhammad ibn Musa al-
Razi, Ahmad ibn Muhammad ibn Musa al- (Ahmad ibn Muhammad ibn Musa al-Razi) (888-955).  First in date of the great historians of al-Andalus.  He was surnamed “The Chronicler.” His description of al-Andalus is of great importance for the period of ‘Abd al-Rahman III.
Ahmad ibn Muhammad ibn Musa al-Razi see Razi, Ahmad ibn Muhammad ibn Musa al-

Razi, Amin Ahmad
Razi, Amin Ahmad (Amin Ahmad Razi).  Persian biographer of the sixteenth century.  He owes his fame to a great collection of biographies of famous men, which is arranged geographically according to the seven climes.
Amin Ahmad Razi see Razi, Amin Ahmad

Razi, Fakhr al-Din al-
Razi, Fakhr al-Din al- (Fakhr al-Din al-Razi) (1149-1209).  One of the most celebrated theologians and exegetists of Islam.  One of his numerous works is his Testament, which is a true profession of Sunni faith and an example of total resignation to the will of God.
Fakhr al-Din al-Razi see Razi, Fakhr al-Din al-

Raziyya (Raziya).  SeeRadiyya, Jalalat al-Din Begum.


Razmara, Ali
Razmara, Ali (Ali Razmara) (Sepahbod Haj Ali Razmara) (Ḥājī`Alī Razmāra) (1901, Tehran, Iran - March 7, 1951, Tehran).  Prominent member of the Iranian elite from a wealthy landowning family and prime minister of Iran from 1950 to 1951, during the critical years of the oil nationalization process.  Razmara was allegedly opposed to the oil nationalization bill and as prime minister had completed a new oil concession with the British in 1951.  Owing to his pro-British and anti-nationalization tendencies, he was murdered in 1951 by a member of the Fida’iyan-i Islam, an extremist, nationalist religious group founded by Ayatollah Abu al-Qasim Kashani in Qom in 1945.

Razmara (an adopted name loosely translated as "war planner" or more accurately "battle organizer") was born in Tehran and studied at the military academy of Saint-Cyr in France and climbed his way up and eventually became Prime Minister in 1950. He was assassinated by 26 year-old Khalil Tahmassebi of the Fadayan-e Islam organization with 3 bullets in Tehran at the age of 49. Razmara was the second Iranian Prime Minister to be assassinated.

Razmara graduated from the French military academy at Saint-Cyr in 1925. After serving in the pacification campaigns in the Kurdistan and Laristan regions of Iran under Reza Khan (later Reza Shah Pahlavi), he became director of the Tehrān Military Cadet College in 1938. He wrote several books, including a military history of Persia. In 1944, during the Allied occupation of Iran, Reza Shah Pahlavi’s son Mohammad Reza Shah Pahlavi promoted Razmara to general and ordered him to reorganize the nation’s military forces. Two years later he was appointed chief of staff and was responsible for the entry of the central government forces into Iranian Azerbaijan to supervise the elections that resulted in the collapse of the Soviet-sponsored government there.

In June 1950 the shah appointed Razmara prime minister. Though efficient and hardworking, he had no large personal following, and his efforts to make the rich carry more of the burden of the state earned him many powerful enemies. Despite intense pressure from populist quarters, he opposed the nationalization of Iran’s oil industry on the grounds that, at the time, it would have been impossible to run the industry solely with Iranian technicians. On March 7, 1951, Razmara was assassinated outside the Solṭāneh Mosque by a member of the Fedaʾeyān-e Eslām (Persian: “Self-Sacrificers of Islam”), an extremist religious organization with close ties to the traditional merchant class and the clergy. Within a short time, Mohammad Mosaddeq was elected prime minister, and he nationalized the country’s oil industry.

Ali Razmara see Razmara, Ali
Haji Ali Razmara see Razmara, Ali
Sepahbod Haj Ali Razmara see Razmara, Ali

Readers/Reciters of the Qur’an
Readers/Reciters of the Qur’an (in Arabic, Qurra’) (Qari').  Arabic term which occurs in Arabic historiography to indicate a group of Iraqis who rose against the Caliph ‘Uthman and later against ‘Ali after he had accepted the arbitration with Mu‘awiya at Siffin.  In European research, the term has been usually rendered as “readers/reciters of the Qur’an.”  Recently, the term has been interpreted as “villagers,” denoting those participants in the wars against the Sasanian Empire, who had occupied the vacated estates of southern Iraq and whose privileges had been threatened since ‘Uthman’s reign.

The readers/reciters of the Qur'an (the qurra) are a professional class of reciters of the text of the Muslim sacred scripture, the Qurʾān. In the early Islāmic community, Muḥammad’s divine revelations had often been memorized by his Companions (disciples), a practice derived from the pre-Islāmic tradition of preserving poetry orally. It became common for pious Muslims to memorize the Qurʾān in its entirety, even after it had been assembled in written form. Such reciters were often called upon by scholars to elucidate points of pronunciation and meaning obscured by the early and deficient Arabic script, and thus they helped to define the rudiments of Arabic grammar and linguistics.

The sheer number of reciters—who by the 9th century formed an established, specialized class—produced such a variety of subtly differing interpretations that in the time of the ʿAbbāsid caliph al-Qāhir (r. 932–934) seven qurrāʾ were declared the sole orthodox interpreters of the Qurʾān and all other readings were banned. As early as the 7th century of the Christian calendar, in the confrontation at Ṣiffīn (657) between the fourth caliph, ʿAlī, and Muʿāwiyah, a contender for the caliphate, the influence of the qurrāʾ was such that they forced ʿAlī to submit to the arbitration that cost him the caliphate. At the beginning of the 9th century, a union of qurrāʾ, with its own elected head, the shaykh al-qurrāʾ, is recorded in Baghdad.

The science of reciting the Qurʾān (qirāʾah) soon produced a corresponding art of intoning the Qurʾān (tajwīd), and this ritual chanting enabled large congregations of Muslims to follow the texts with relative ease. Religious figures employed in the mosques still memorize the Qurʾān to aid them in interpreting the revelations to the faithful. In some Arab countries the professional duties of reciting the Qurʾān at festivals and mosque services are generally reserved for blind men, who are trained in qirāʾah from childhood as a means of supporting themselves.

Qurra see Readers/Reciters of the Qur’an
Qari' see Readers/Reciters of the Qur’an

re‘aya (ra'aya) Arabic term which originally meant “herds,” then came to mean the subjects of an empire or prince.    During the Ottoman Empire, the Ra‘aya were non-Ottoman subjects.  The term ra‘aya is the plural of the Arabic word ra‘iyya.  The term ra‘aya is synonymous with the term re‘aya.

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, behavior, 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.
ra'aya see re‘aya

Refah Partisi
Refah Partisi (Welfare Party). Turkish Islamist political organization known as the Refah Partisi (Welfare Party, RP) was established in 1983.  It is the heir to two former parties, Milli Nizam Partisi (National Order Party, MNP) and Milli Selamet Partisi (National Salvation Party, MSP), both of which were banned from political activity.  All three parties have functioned under the leadership of Necmettin Erbakan.

Milli Nizam Partisi was founded in 1970.  Its program emphasized the encouragement of technological innovation, rapid industrialization, and the construction of a moral society.  The latter goal would involve the recreation of a historical consciousness that the party saw as dormant in the national character, yet weakened by republican westernization.  Although the party was careful not to include an explicit Islamist element in its program because of existing legislation that outlawed the use of religion for political purposes, it was nevertheless clear that both its ideology and its leadership were inspired by Islamist discourse.  The MNP did not get a chance to compete in elections.  It was closed down by a decision of the Constitutional Court in 1972, following its first congress, on the grounds that the slogans used by the delegates to the congress violated legal provisions forbidding the inclusion of religious themes in party propaganda.  

The MNP was succeeded by the Milli Selamet Partisi, which was founded in 1972 by the MNP leadership.  The MSP’s program, like the MNP’s, was critical of the republican road to development, which it saw as an unsymmetrical course of imitating Western culture without succeeding in attaining the technological and industrial levels of the West.  The MSP program pointed out that the recreation of a powerful nation would require a reinterpretation of history to show that the greatness of the Ottoman Empire lay in its contributions to Muslim civilization, and that its decline started with the penetration of foreign cultural influences.  In the MSP’s view, the republican infatuation with Western civilization was at the root of the anomie facing family and social life, the bases of which no longer rested on morality and faith.  Hence the MSP argued that rapid industrial development could not be achieved through the limited vision of the centrist parties that Erbakan colorfully called “members of the Western Club.”  Rather, economic development was dependent on a return to indigenous cultural sources, which only the MSP was equipped to regenerate.

Milli Selamet Partisi competed in two general elections, in 1973 and 1977, and received 11.8 and 8.6 percent of the votes, respectively.  It participated in three coalition governments between 1973 and 1978, with Erbakan as deputy prime minister in all three.  The first coalition was between the MSP and Cumhuriyet Halk Partisi ([CHP] -- Republican People’s Party), with the CHP leader Bulent Ecevit, as prime minister.  It was formed in January 1974 and lasted until September 1974.  It symbolized a significant success for the MSP, given CHP’s historical role in defending the militant secularism of the Turkish Republic.  The second coalition (April 1975-June 1977) was between the MSP, Adalet Partisi ([AP] -- Justice Party), Cumhuriyetci Guven Partisi ([CGP] -- Republican Reliance Party), and Milliyetci Hareket Partisi ([MHP] -- Nationalist Action Party), under the name “Nationalist Front,” with the AP leader Suleyman Demirel as prime minister.  The third coalition (July 1977 - January 1978) was between the MSP, AP, and MHP, under the name “Second Nationalist Front,” with Demirel again as prime minister.  This experience in governing bolstered the image of the MSP and legitimized Islamist politics, even though the MSP leadership acted less as power-holders and more as spokesmen for the opposition.  The MSP was able to leave very little imprint on its electorate, although, as its leadership repeatedly emphasized, it held the “key to government.”

All existing parties, including MSP, were closed down after the 1980 coup d’etat.  Its leader, Necmettin Erbakan, shared the fate of other party leaders as they were arrested and banned from political activity for ten years under a provisional article of the 1982 constitution, which later was deleted by a referendum.  Unlike the others, the MSP leaders were also tried in military courts but were acquitted.

The MSP was succeeded by the Refah Partisi with the return to competitive politics in 1983.  The RP’s ideology has significantly deviated from that of its two predecessors, MNP and MSP, both of which has rested their vision on rapid economic development based on a new Islamic ethics.  With the socioeconomic changes of the 1980s, which opened the Turkish economy to world markets through the adoption of a free-market model and export-oriented growth, RP leadership began to view industrial growth as inimical to the interests of its traditional supporters, who were drawn mostly from small-business circles geared to the internal market.  Hence the previous emphasis on rapid economic development has been replaced by a critique of the capitalist system and the world economic order.  However, this critique verges on a paranoid interpretation of history and of economic models as shaped by Zionist aims.  In the new RP perception, the collpase of the Ottoman Empire and the outbreaks of two world wars were part of a Zionist plot to establish the state of Israel with the aim of eventual world domination.  Zionism is alleged presently to be seeking the means of establishing a federal Israeli state including Turkey, Syria, Iraq, and Egypt.  The final aim is to establish a new world order based on the victory of capitalism and therefore under the command of Zionist interests.  

In line with this revisionist history, RP is critical of capitalist development in Turkey, which, in its view, integrates the Turkish economy with world markets and thus with Zionist economic and military aims.  The party literature argues that as both producers and consumers, working people pay a large portion of their income to the Israeli war industry through the financial transactions of local capitalists and governmental payment of external debts, which end up in Zionist banks in New York.  In the RP analysis, a complex network of economic relations between systems integrated with the world economy serves to strengthen Israel’s power.

This interpretation of capitalism as the vehicle of Zionism includes the RP view that an important consequence of Turkish integration with the world economy has been the destruction of the ethical values of an Islamic society.  Party propaganda reiterates the MNP/MSP criticism of modern life as decadent and dictated by the logic of the market, where everything is up for sale.  The name that the party gives to the new world order is “kole duzeni” (“the slave order”), which is contrasted with the RP’s “adil dozen” (“just order”), whose outlines are given in general terms.  Its major premise is to disengage Turkey from world capitalism and its international organizations by instituting an economic system without bank interest and taxes, establishing a “United Muslim Nations” to replace the UN, founding a “Defense Organization of Muslim States” to replace NATO, and creating a “Common Market of Muslim Countries” with a common currency to replace the European Community.  The political, economic, and military cooperation of Muslim countries is envisioned as a significant step toward the cultural unification of the Muslim world.  The RP promises a leadership role for Turkey in the creation of this alternative Muslim order.

The Refah Partisi has competed in two general elections since its founding, in 1987 and in 1991, receiving 7.2 and 17.1 percent of the votes, respectively.  However, it entered the 1991 elections on a common ticket with two smaller parties on the right, an electoral coalition to ensure that it would be able to muster enough votes to pass the ten percent barrier imposed by the Election Law of 1983, under which the RP was unable to qualify in 1987.  It currently has forty deputies in the four hundred member Grand National Assembly.  Since 1983, it has also competed in four municipal elections, polling 9.8 percent of the votes in March 1989, 10.3 percent in June 1990, 18.5 percent in August 1990, and 24.1 percent in November 1992; the percentages represent votes cast in the limited number of constituencies where elections were held.
The popular vote of the Refah Partisi increased over the years until they became the largest party under Prime Minister Necmettin Erbakan in 1996. The coalition government of Erbakan was forced out of power by the Turkish military in 1997, due to being suspected of having an Islamist agenda.

In 1998 the Refah Partisi (Welfare Party) was banned for violating the principle of secularism in the constitution. The ban was upheld by the European Court of Human Rights (ECHR) on February 13, 2003. The ECHR's decision was criticized by Human Rights Watch for lack of consistency, as the ECHR had refused disbanding of other parties in several occasions.

Welfare Party see Refah Partisi

Refi‘i. Ottoman poet and Hurufi of the fifteenth century.  In his Message of Joy he explains the teachings of the Hurufiyya and deals with the life of its founder Fadl Allah Hurufi (1340-1394).

Reform Jews
Reform Jews.  Jews who have an orientation in Judaism, growing mainly out of Ashkenazi environments in eastern and central Europe in the second half of the eighteenth century.  The reform line involved adjustments of the religion to modern times, a secular lifestyle and more individual freedom.

It was with the return to the normal society, with the leaving of the ghettos, that Jews started to challenge old values.  Many restrictions seemed both unnecessary and difficult for Jews living in a secular society.  Also, there were many who feared that Judaism would lose its members if the dictates of the religion proved to be too hard to live by.  

In 1783, Moses Mendelsohn published the book Jerusalem, in which he defined a new attitude towards Judaism, where a secular life was allowed.

In 1789, with the French Revolution, the ideas of Reform Judaism became more popular.

In 1809, the Jewish layman, Israel Jacobson held the first Reform services in Seesen (modern Germany).  Women and men were allowed to sit together, and the liturgy was in German, not Hebrew, which had been the practice up to this date.

In 1815, Jacobson held the first Reform services in Berlin (modern Germany), whereupon the movement spread to Denmark, Hamburg, Leipzig, Vienna and Prague.

With Israel Jacobson’s services from the beginning of the nineteenth century, there was no longer references to a liberating Messiah that would reintroduce the state of Israel.  Worshippers were no longer required to cover their heads, and there also came an end to daily public worship.  Work was allowed on the Sabbath, and the dietary laws were abandoned.

Abraham Geiger concluded that Judaism is the belief that there is one god for all humans, the adherence of certain ethical principles and the obligation of spreading this to all the world.  

Samuel Holdheim stated that specific marriage and divorce laws were no longer necessary for the Jews.  These matters, he claimed, should be in the hands of the secular authorities.  

In 1841, Reform Judaism arrived in the United States.

In 1937, Reform Judaism took back some of the traditional customs and ceremonies, and reintroduced Hebrew as the liturgical language.  

During the early twentieth century, Zionism became a strong movement among Jews, but Reform Jews were against the notion of establishing a state of Israel.

Today, Reform Jews reject many of the regulations of Jewish law, the Halacha.  Reform Jews use the vernacular language in the ceremonies, and the rituals are far less elaborate and take less time than what is common among other Jewish orientations.

Reform Judaism refers to various beliefs, practices and organizations associated with the Reform Jewish movement in North America, the United Kingdom and elsewhere. In general, it maintains that Judaism and Jewish traditions should be modernized and should be compatible with participation in the surrounding culture. Many branches of Reform Judaism hold that Jewish law should be interpreted as a set of general guidelines rather than as a list of restrictions whose literal observance is required of all Jews. Similar movements that may also be called "Reform" include the Israeli Progressive Movement and its worldwide counterpart.

Reform Judaism is one of the two North American denominations affiliated with the World Union for Progressive Judaism. It is the largest denomination of American Jews today. With an estimated 1.1 million members, it also accounts for the largest number of Jews affiliated with Progressive Judaism worldwide.

After a failed attempt in the 1930s to start an Israeli movement, the World Union for Progressive Judaism tried again in the 1970s and created the movement now known as the Israeli Progressive Movement. Because the first rabbis in the 1970s were trained in the United States, the Israeli press and public often refers to the Israeli Progressive Movement as "Reform".

Along with other forms of non-orthodox Judaism, the United States Reform, United Kingdom Reform, and Israeli Progressive Movement can all trace their intellectual roots to the Reform movement in Judaism. Elements of Orthodoxy developed their cohesive identity in reaction to the Reform movement in Judaism.

Although North American Reform, United Kingdom Reform, and Israeli Progressive Judaism all share an intellectual heritage, they have taken places at different ends of the non-orthodox spectrum. The United States Reform movement reflects the more radical end. The United Kingdom Reform, and Progressive Israeli movements, along with the North American Conservative movement and Masorti Judaism, occupy the more conservative end of the non-orthodox Judaisms.

refugees, Palestinian
refugees, Palestinian (Palestinian refugees) (Palestine refugees).  Palestinians who were forced or who chose to leave their homes in areas which became part of Israel during the 1948 or 1967 wars.

Palestinian refugees or Palestine refugees are the people and their descendants, predominantly Palestinian Arabic-speakers, who fled or were expelled from their homes during and after the 1948 Palestine War, Within that part of the British Mandate of Palestine that after that war became the territory of the State of Israel, and the Palestinian territories.

The United Nations Relief and Works Agency (UNRWA), an organ of the United Nations created to aid the displaced from the 1948 defines a Palestinian refugee as a person "whose normal place of residence was Palestine between June 1946 and May 1948, who lost both their homes and means of livelihood as a result of the 1948 Arab-Israeli conflict". UNRWA's definition of a Palestinian refugee also covers the descendants of persons who became refugees in 1948 regardless of whether they reside in areas designated as refugee camps or in established, permanent communities.

Descendants of Palestinian refugees under the authority of the UNRWA are the only group to be granted refugee status on the basis of descent alone. Based on the UNRWA definition, the number of Palestine refugees has grown from 711,000 in 1950 to over four million registered with the UN in 2002.

Some displaced Palestinians resettled in other countries where their situation was often precarious. Many remained refugees and continued to reside in refugee camps, including in the Palestinian territories.

Palestinian refugees see refugees, Palestinian

Republican Brothers
Republican Brothers. In 1945, a small group of Sudanese led by Mahmud Muhammad Taha organized the Republican Party to oppose both the establishment of a Mahdist monarchy in Sudan and the unification of Sudan with the Kingdom of Egypt. The party’s manifesto also called for an Islamic resurgence.  Following the 1969 revolution led by Colonel Ja‘far Nimeiri, all political parties in Sudan were banned.  Taha’s followers consequently changed their organization’s name to the Republican Brothers or, alternatively, the New Islamic Mission.  They continued to advocate a new understanding of Islam to address contemporary personal and world problems as well as to meet modern rational-scientific concerns.

Taha was born in 1909 or 1911 in Rufa’a on the Blue Nile.  By 1936, he had completed his engineering education at Gordon Memorial College (now Khartoum University).  An active nationalist, he was twice arrested by the British colonial government and served more than two years in prison. After a period of seclusion and prayer that ended in October 1951, Taha emerged with his version of the “Second Message of Islam.”  He spread his ideas through speeches, newspaper articles, pamphlets, and books until he was arrested and hanged on January 18, 1985, by the Nimeiri government, after a grossly unfair trial.

In their writings, Taha and the Republican Brothers define religion as a behavioral system of morals employed to attain peace, genuine freedom, and ever-growing, eternal happiness.  They claim that Islam combines the materialism of Judaism and the spirituality of Christianity into a single religious experience.  They stress the importance of achieving inner personal peace through religion as the necessary prerequisite to achieving national and international peace.

Taha and the Republican Brothers became politically controversial by opposing President Nimeiri’s policy of imposing the shari‘ah on Sudan’s diverse peoples.  They charged that the traditional shari‘ah based on fundamental political, economic, and social inequalities, could not be reconciled with modern constitutional government.  For the Sudan, they advocated a federal democracy with economic socialism and equal political rights for all, regardless of gender or religious preference.

The Republican Brothers’ argument follows from Taha’s belief that the Qur’an contains two divine messages -- the First and the Second, based on the Medinese and meccan texts, respectively.  They believe that the portion of the Qur’an revealed to Muhammad at Mecca over a thirteen year period directed the Prophet to call people to God by wisdom and good admonitions, not by compulsion.  Muhammad was enjoined to preach the equality before God of men and women and of people of all stations.  The ruling Meccan class, fearing the economic and political consequences of these ideas, rejected this message and persecuted the Prophet.  God’s later messages were tailored to the specific socioeconomic and political problems that face Muhammad in Medina and were thus less universal.  Although they greatly improved social conditions of the time, they were less egalitarian than the Meccan messages that they replaced.  They legitimized compulsory conversion as well as the principles of sexual and religious inequality.  The Prophet, however, continued to exemplify in his private life the high moral and social precepts embodied in the Meccan texts.

Because Islamic laws up to the present continue to be based on the allegedly inferior Medinese textes, the Republican Brothers claim that all Muslims must now turn back to the Meccan texts, or Second Message.  Through ijtihad they must reinstitute a religion and law based on fundamental principles of racial, ethnic, sexual and religious equality.  The historic shari‘ah, as advocated by the Muslim Brothers of Sudan, Egypt, and Syria and the governments of Iran, Saudi Arabia, and Libya, is a primitive level of law suited to an earlier stage of cultural development.

In the early 1980s, the Republican Brothers had a few hundred hard-core members of both sexes and more than a thousand sympathizers.  Many members were highly educated.  Some were university professors.  They were widely respected by Muslim moderates and Sudanese non-Muslims, but were strongly opposed by the Muslim Brothers and other Muslim fundamentalists.  After Taha’s execution the Republican Brothers movement fell dormant in the Sudan, which continued to be ruled by military backed fundamentalist governments.

Republican People’s Party
Republican People’s Party. See Cumhuriyet Halk Partisi.

Reshawa (Gungawa). They call themselves Reshawa, but throughout the Yauri Division of Sokoto State in Nigeria many call them Gungawa, a Hausa term for “island dwellers.”  Their homeland is on the banks and islands of the Niger River, where they excel in fishing, farming and becoming Hausa-ized.  Numbering some 50,000, of whom perhaps 70 percent are Muslim, they share their remote area with the Shangawa, Dukawa, Lopawa, Kamberi and the dominant Hausa.

The Reshawa probably settled on the islands in Yauri before the fourteenth century.  They came as migrants who adapted to a riverine environment, becoming hoe farmers who grew (and still grow) millet and guinea corn on the highlands and onions along the river.  They supplemented their food supply and income through fishing.  Although they were not themselves traditional fishermen, they incorporated members of other ethnic groups who were.

By the sixteenth century, the Reshawa had been ruled by five emirs, according to their kings’ lists.  In the sixteenth century they expanded their political control from the islands to the mainland.  They seized Bin Yauri, then the capital, from the Hausa and the first Emir of Yauri was a Reshawa.  The Hausa re-established themselves after the death of the second emir and have remained in power ever since.  

Islam came to Yauri with traders, itinerant mallamai (clerics) and Hausa administrators.  They were reinforced by Fulani slave raiders; those who were openly Muslim were relatively safe from capture.  Being a practical people, the Reshawa found that their future was enhanced not only by becoming Muslim but by becoming Hausa, or “Yaurawa,” the name for Reshawa who enter the governing group.

Gungawa see Reshawa
Island Dwellers see Reshawa

Reshid, Mustafa
Reshid, Mustafa (Mustafa Reshid) (Mustafa Reşid Pasha) (March 13, 1800, Istanbul, Ottoman Empire – December 17, 1858) .  Westernizing Ottoman reformer in the early Tanzimat era.

Born in Constantinople, he entered the public service at an early age and rose rapidly, becoming ambassador in Paris (1834) and in London (1836), minister for foreign affairs (1837), again ambassador in London (1838), and in Paris (1841). Appointed governor of Adrianople in 1843, he returned as ambassador to Paris in the same year. Between 1845 and 1857 he was six times grand vizier.

One of the greatest and most brilliant statesmen of his time, thoroughly acquainted with European politics, and well versed in affairs of state, he was a convinced if somewhat too ardent partisan of reform and the principal author of the legislative remodeling of Turkish administrative methods known as the Tanzimat. His ability was recognized alike by friend and by foe. His effort to promote reforms within the government led him to promote careers of many other reformers such as Fuad Paşa and Ali Paşa.

In the settlement of the Egyptian question in 1840, and during the Crimean War and the ensuing peace negotiations, he rendered valuable services to the state.

A protégé first of his uncle Ispartalı Ali Paşa and later of the statesman Pertev Effendi, Reşid entered government service at an early age and thereafter rose rapidly in the service of the Turkish government, becoming ambassador to France in 1834. During his stay in western Europe he studied the French language and Western civilization and developed friendly relations with French and British statesmen. He supported the westernizing reforms of the Sultan Mahmud II, who appointed him his foreign minister.

Mahmud’s successor, Sultan Abdülmecid I, was determined to continue his father’s programs and entrusted Reşid with the preparation of new reform measures. Elaborated in the form of a rescript, or decree (hatt-ı şerif ), this program was proclaimed on November 3, 1839, and guaranteed to Ottoman subjects equality and security of life and property, without distinction of race and religion. Although not all of these provisions were carried out, Reşid became the symbol of westernizing reforms. Between 1839 and 1858 he was twice appointed minister of foreign affairs and served six times as grand vizier.

Reşid’s reforms included the abolition of the slave trade, the introduction of new codes of commercial and criminal law, and the reform of administrative regulations to end nepotism and traffic in favors and appointments. A supporter of France and Britain in his foreign policy, he was grand vizier at the outbreak of the Crimean War (1853–56).

Mustafa Reshid see Reshid, Mustafa
Mustafa Resid Pasha see Reshid, Mustafa

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