Encyclopedia of Jews in the Islamic World

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Executive Editor: Norman A. Stillman

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The Encyclopedia of Jews in the Islamic World Online (EJIW) is the first cohesive and discreet reference work which covers the Jews of Muslim lands particularly in the late medieval, early modern and modern periods. The Encyclopedia of Jews in the Islamic World Online is updated with newly commissioned articles, illustrations, multimedia, and primary source material. 

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Faraci, Izak

(146 words)

Author(s): Rifat Bali
Izak Faraci, a prominent Turkish industrialist and leader of the Jewish community, was born on July 15, 1943 in Istanbul. A graduate of the Saint Benoît French Lycée, he is the president of the Güvenel Textile Works, which provides fiber to the textile industry. Earlier he held managerial positions in institutions of the Turkish Jewish community: from 1978 to 1988, as director of the community’s old age home; from 1988 to 1990, as president of the same institution. From 1990 to 1998, he was a member of the executive council of t…

Farag, Murād

(496 words)

Author(s): Sasson Somekh
Murād Farag (Faraj), born in Cairo in 1867, was a lawyer practicing in the communal and general courts of his city of birth, a prominent leader of the Karaite community, and a writer, poet, and philologist. Between 1912 and 1935 he published four volumes of poetry composed in the traditional Arab mode ( Dīwān Faraj, 1912, 1924, 1939, 1935) as well as a volume of poetry and prose on Jewish themes entitled al-Qudsiyyāt (Sacred/Jerusalemite Topics; Cairo, 1923; Heb. ha-Qodshiyyot, Cairo, 192?). Many of the poems and other pieces in these volumes present Jewish ideas and aspi…


(470 words)

Author(s): Vera B. Moreen
Faraḥābād (Pers. Abode of Joy) is a town on the southern shore of the Caspian Sea, near the river Tijin. It was built by Shah ʿAbbās I (r. 1587–1629) between 1611 and 1612 on the site of the village Ṭāhān. Its new name reflected the shah's intention of making it a favored winter residence. He spent many winters in Faraḥābād and actually died there. According to various Christian travelers, the town was endowed with spacious roads, a brick mosque, an impressive, fortified palace, and was surrounded by a wall. It also functioned as a port.Shah ʿAbbās populated Faraḥābād with people of seve…

Faraj Allāh ibn Ṣaghīr

(335 words)

Author(s): Amir Mazor
Faraj Allāh (Yeshūʿā) ibn Ṣaghīr was a distinguished physician at the court of the Mamluk sultan al-Nāṣir Muḥammad ibn Qalāwūn (r. 1310–1341) in Cairo and a member of the eminent Karaite family of Ibn Ṣaghīr/Kūjik (“Small”). He seems to have been one of the very few court physicians from this family who did not convert to Islam.Having studied under his own father, as well as the renowned physician Ibn al-Nafīs (d. 1288) and other physicians of equal standing, Faraj Allāh specialized in general medicine and was authorized to practice ophthalmology and…

Fargeon, Maurice

(237 words)

Author(s): Brock Cutler
Maurice Fargeon was an Egyptian author, lawyer, and the president of the Union of Free Jews. An early participant in the fight against fascism, he attacked Hitler in his book Le tyran moderne: Hitler où la verité sur la vie du Fuehrer , for which he was taken to court in 1934 in a defamation suit brought against him by the German embassy and was defended by the Jewish attorney and Egyptian parliamentarian Félix Benzakein. Fargeon is best known as the editor of the multi-volume Annuaire des Juifs d’Egypte et du proche-orient, and the author of Les Juifs en Egypte, depuis les origines jusqu’…

Farḥī, Eliezer

(451 words)

Author(s): Yosef Tobi
Rabbi Eliezer Farḥī was born in Tunis in 1851 and died there in 1930. Like his father, who had come to Tunis from Jerusalem, he was associated with the local Grana (Livornese) community. Farḥī was a talented writer, a fine poet, and above all a devout Zionist whose impassioned speeches over the years stirred the hearts of many coreligionists. Between 1871 and 1883, he made three journeys to Livorno (Leghorn) and sojourned there for four years with his father’s brother, the great scholar and writer Joseph Shabbetay Farḥī (d. 1882). While in Livorno he was ordained a rabbi and mar…

Farḥī Family

(541 words)

Author(s): Maurits H. van den Boogert
Of Sephardic origins, the Farḥī family produced a number of financiers, scholars, and intellectuals during the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries. Originally from either Aleppo or Tyre, the family moved to Damascus over the course of the eighteenth century, and some of its members  in time dominated the provincial financial administration. In the nineteenth century, they extended their reach to the province of Sidon. Ḥayyim ben Saul Farḥī (d. 1820) was quite powerful; due to his connections in Istanbul and his ties to Sulaymān Pasha, the governor of Damascus from 1805 to 182…

Farḥī, Ḥayyim

(357 words)

Author(s): Moshe Ma'oz
In the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries, members of the Farḥī family were important bankers (Ar. ṣarrāf) and treasury officials in Damascus and Acre (Akko). Saul Farḥī and his sons Ḥayyim, Joseph, and Raphael were active in the financial administration of the pashalik (province) of Damascus. In addition to keeping the provincial accounts, they engaged in banking and moneylending, which included helping to finance the annual pilgrim caravan ( ḥajj) from Damascus to Mecca.Ḥayyim Farḥī, Saul’s eldest son, moved from Damascus to Acre toward the end of the eighteenth …

Farḥi, Isaac

(280 words)

Author(s): Yaron Ben Naeh
Isaac ben Solomon Farḥi, born in Safed in 1779, was a rabbinical scholar and writer noted for his piety and his concern for the impoverished. Educated in Jerusalem, Farḥi was a pupil of the Bet El kabbalist and halakhic authority Yom Ṭov ben Israel Jacob Algazi (1727–1802). He twice traveled abroad as a rabbinical emissary ( shadar or meshullaḥ) for the Jerusalem community. In addition to being a member of the religious court of Ḥayyim Abraham ben Moses Gagin (1787–1848), who was also of the Bet El yeshiva, Farḥi was a prolific and varied writer and exegete, and a sin…

Farḥi, Joseph David

(480 words)

Author(s): Tomer Levi
Born in 1878 into a family of Jewish notables in Damascus, Joseph David Farḥi was a maskil, educator, merchant, and pillar of the Jewish community of Beirut from 1908 until his death in 1945. Members of his family often filled high positions in the courts of local Ottoman rulers. After receiving a traditional elementary education, Farḥi attended the Alliance Israélite Universelle (AIU) school in Damascus and in 1893 entered the teacher-training program at the Ecole Normale Israélite Orientale in Paris. Until 1903 Farḥi served as vice-director of the AIU schools in Izmir, Sossa,…


(666 words)

Author(s): Reeva Spector Simon
In the aftermath of World War I, the League of Nations created Iraq as a constitutional monarchy tied to Britain by a treaty that allowed the British to maintain air bases in the country and move troops through it in time of war. A series of military coups, beginning in 1936, placed pan-Arab governments in power that were anti-British, supported the Arab cause in Palestine, and provided a refuge to the mufti of Jerusalem, al-Ḥājj Amīn al-Ḥusaynī. Attacks on Jews and Jewish clubs, the dismissal of Jews from the civil service, and the serialization of Mein Kampf in the Arabic press increased…

Faro, Moses

(230 words)

Author(s): Pamela Dorn Sezgin
Not much is known about Rabbi Moshe Faro other than his fame as one of the leading musicians during the reign of Sultan Mahmud I (1730–1754). Faro was a Turkish rabbi whose ancestors were of Portuguese origin. An accomplished tamburi, or player of the tambur, a long-necked lute used in Turkish classical music, he is believed to have been the teacher of Tamburi Isaac (Isak) Fresco (Fresko) Romano . Rabbi Faro was known to Turks as Haham Musi (Rabbi Moses). He was active as a composer in the mid-eighteenth century, a time of great Jewish scholarship and cultural achievement in the…

al-Fāsī, Isaac ben Jacob

(724 words)

Author(s): Ezra Chwat
Isaac ben Jacob al-Fāsī (1013–1103) is commonly known by the acronym Rif (Rabbi Isaac of Fez). A native of Qalʿat Banī Ḥammād in the central Maghreb (now Algeria), he received the talmudic tradition from R. Ḥananel ben Ḥushiel of Qayrawān, the premier post-gaonic authority in North Africa. This gave him access to the talmudic discourse and exegesis of the gaonic academies of Iraq, the source of the Babylonian Talmud, as well as to the Palestinian Talmud.Al-Fāsī migrated to Al-Andalus around 1078. Soon after the death of its incumbent master, Isaac Ibn Ghiyyāth, he became head of the acad…


(339 words)

Author(s): Nahid Pirnazar
The religious epic Fatḥ-nāma (Book of Conquest), written by the Judeo-Persian poet ʿImrānī in the late fifteenth century as a masnavī (narrative poem in rhyming couplets), begins with the conquest of the Holy Land by Joshua. Consisting of approximately ten thousand couplets, it claims to treat events from  Joshua to the reign of Solomon, but no known manuscript confirms that the poet completed this task. The existing manuscripts set the biblical account in classical Persian verse, including the books of Ruth, I Samuel, and the fi…

Fellah, Raffaello

(582 words)

Author(s): Maurice Roumani
Raffaello Fellah was born in Tripoli in 1935. At the age of ten he lost his father, Moshe Fellah-Kish, who was murdered during the anti-Jewish riots of November 1945 (see Tripolitania Riots). Before long, and despite his youth, he began managing his father’s business and succeeded in expanding it. During the 1950s and the early 1960s, his business activities included state projects financed by King Idris and the Libyan government.In 1967, when Libya’s remaining Jews were expelled in connection with the Six-Day War, Raffaello Fellah went to Italy, as did many othe…

Fernandez, Isaac

(343 words)

Author(s): Aksel Erbahar
Isaac Fernandez (1889–1929) was born in Salonica. He succeeded his father, Salomon Fernandez, as president of the regional committee of the Alliance Israélite Universelle (AIU), serving in this capacity for many years until World War I. Like his father, he was also a merchant and an engineer. Fernandez was the president of the Italian Chamber of Commerce and a member of the board of governors of the Banque de Salonique. In addition, he was vice-president of the al-Ḥudayda-Ṣanʿāʾ Ottoman railroad company, vice- president of the boards of governors of the Balia Kara-Aidın Ottoman Mini…


(7,024 words)

Author(s): Joseph Tedghi
Historically the spiritual and intellectual capital of northern Morocco, Fez(Ar. Fās) was home to the largest Jewish community of the medieval Maghreb. Although tradition maintains that Fez was founded in 789 by Idrīs ibn ʿAbd Allāh (Idrīs I), who established the Idrisid dynasty, the early fourteenth-century Arabic chronicle Rawḍ al-Qirṭās by Ibn Abī Zarʿ maintains that it was founded in 808 by Idrīs II. The city stands at the confluence of the Fez and Sebou rivers on the northeastern end of the Saïss plain and marks the intersection of two major axes of c…

Fez Riots (1912)

(739 words)

Author(s): Mohammed Kenbib
The Fez riots in April 1912 broke out in protest against the French imposition of the protectorate regime in Morocco. They erupted in Fez, then the Moroccan capital, on Wednesday, April 17, 1912. Since each of the involved groups had its own historiographic perspective on the event, it is not surprising that Moroccan Jews referred to the violent riots that engulfed them as “the Pillage” (Mor. Jud.-Ar. trītl), whereas Muslim nationalists have dubbed them “the Fez Uprising” (Ar. intifāḍat Fās), and French colonial historians speak of “Fez’s Bloody Days” (Fr. les journées sanglantes de Fès)…


(595 words)

Author(s): Rachel Simon
Fezzan (Ar. Fazzān; Lat. Fasania/Fazania) is the southwestern region of Libya, covering some 700,000 square kilometers (200,000 square miles), bordering Tripolitania on the north, Cyrenaica and Sudan on the east, the Tibesti massif of Chad on the south, and the Hoggar massif and the Grand Erg Oriental of Algeria on the west. It is mostly a desert with large sand dunes (ergs) and includes mountains, dry river valleys, and oases. It is crossed by Wadi al-Shati in the north, Wadi Irawan in the west…

F (Faal Reklam Acentası (Faal Advertising Agency) - Fetaya, Moses and Aaron)

(1,149 words)

Faal Reklam Acentası (Faal Advertising Agency), Acıman, Eli fa‘ala paradigm, in Hebrew language, Dunash ben Labraṭ ha-Levifables see mashal literature Fables (La Fontaine), Bacri, RolandFabri, Felix, Prostitutionfabrics  used for clothing   in Medieval Islamic World, Clothing, Jewelry and Make-upfacial care, Clothing, Jewelry and Make-upFaḍl Allāh, Rashīd al-Dīn seeRashīd al-Dīn ṬabībFaḍl (Ḥesed) al-Tustarī, Abū Naṣr, Sahlān ben Abrahamfaience tiles, Art of Islamic LandsFaisal (Hashemite king of Iraq), BaghdadFaitlovich, Jacob (Jacques), Halévy, JosephFakhr al-Dī…
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