Encyclopaedia of Islam, Second Edition


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(6,429 words)

Author(s): Rosenthal, F. | Lewis, B.
, “freedom,” an abstract formation derived from ḥurr “free” corresponding to Hebrew ḥōr , Aram. ḥēr ( ḥerūt̲ā ), widely used also in Muslim languages other than Arabic. Already in pre-Islamic times, “free” was known not only as a legal term denoting the opposite of “unfree, slave” ( ʿabd [ q.v.]) but also as an Ethical term denoting those “noble” of character and behavior. The legal concept of “freedom” continued to be used as a matter of course by Muslim jurists, who were inclined to give preference to the presumption of a free status for individuals in doubtful cases [see ʿabd …


(44 words)

(1) in the legal sense, “free” as opposed to “slave” [see ʿabd ]; (2) with social and Ethical extensions, “generous”, “gentlemanly” [see ḥurriyya , i]; (3) in modern usage, used for both “free” and “independent” [see ḥurriyya , ii and istiḳlāl ].


(498 words)

Author(s): Bosworth, C.E.
(a.) “equality”, the maṣdar of form III of the verb sawiya “to be equal to, be worth”, with the same sense as form I; in modern times, it has been ¶ used for the political concept of human equality (Ottoman Turkish müsāwāt , modern Turkish mūsavat , Persian musāwāt , barābārī ). The root is found frequently in the Ḳurʾān, though only once in form III (XVIII, 95/96), in the sense “to make level, even up”. In the literary and cultural controversies of the ʿAbbāsid period, those of the S̲h̲uʿūbiyya [ q.v.], the non-Arabs seeking social equality with the ruling class of Arabs were sometimes known as the a…


(331 words)

Author(s): Ed.
, an Arabic verbal noun, from the tenth form of the root ḳ-l-l . In Classical and Middle Arabic this form is used with a variety of meanings (see Dozy and other dictionaries), and especially to convey the notion of separate, detached, unrestricted, not shared, or sometimes even arbitrary. It occurs occasionally in a political context— e.g., of a dynasty, a region, a people or a city quarter not effectively subject to some higher authority. Such occurrences are, however, rare, and the word was in no sense a political technical term. In Ottoman officia…


(293 words)

Author(s): Cachia, P.
, ʿAbd al-Raḥmān , modern Egyptian poet, story-teller and dramatist, was born in S̲h̲ibīn al-Kūm, Lower Egypt, on 10 November 1920. He practised law from 1943 to 1945, and was subsequently employed in the Ministry of Education until 1956, but was also active in journalism from 1945, rising to the directorship of the Rūz al-Yūsuf Foundation 1971-7. He was Secretary-General of the Supreme Council for Arts, Literature and Social Sciences 1977-9. He died on 10 November 1987. Two slim volumes record his extant poetry, which is mostly from the 1940s. It is decidedly romantic o…


(357 words)

Author(s): Ayalon, A.
(a.), the modern Arabic word for “citizen”, in the legal sense of the term (meaning “one holding the citizenship or nationality of a sovereign state”). It was coined around the turn of the 20th century from waṭan —initially a place of residence and, by extension, a country or patrie . Until the 20th century, there existed no Arabic expression for citizen. The usual term indicating the status of members of the political community was raʿiyya [ q.v.], or its plural form raʿāyā , a collective noun best translated as “subjects”, with an emphasis on submissio…


(330 words)

Author(s): Stoetzer, W.
, Tawfīḳ (1923-1971), Christian Palestinian Arab poet, born at K̲h̲irbā (southern Syria) as the son of a Presbyterian minister. In 1925, his family moved to Palestine, then, in 1948, to Beirut. Ṣāyig̲h̲ was educated at the Arab College in Jerusalem and the American University in Beirut (B.A. in English literature in 1945), and studied literature at Harvard, Oxford and Cambridge. He taught Arabic language and literature in Cambridge and London. He was the editor in chief of the new Beirut cultural magazine Ḥiwār from 1962 through 1967. From 1968 until his…


(803 words)

Author(s): Delanoue, G.
, al-Ḥusayn , Egyptian scholar and teacher (1815-90) from a family originating from the village of Marṣafā, near Banha; his father taught at the al-Azhar Mosque. Al-Ḥusayn became blind at the age of three; however, he underwent the programme of studies usual for boys destined to teach at al-Azhar and reached the rank of master in 1840-5. He was remarkable for the interest that he showed in his classes in belles-lettres, something rare among teachers at that period in Egypt. In 1872, ʿAlī Pas̲h̲a Mubārak [ q.v.] Minister of Public Education, appointed him professor of Arabic lingu…


(1,574 words)

Author(s): Gardet, L.
, choice. For the use of the word as a juridical term, see k̲h̲iyār and naṣṣ ; in literary criticism, see naḳd ; in the sense of “elder”, see s̲h̲ayk̲h̲ . The immediately following article deals with the philosophical and theological senses of the word. As a philosophical term, ik̲h̲tiyār means free preference or choice, option, whence: power of choice, free will. The word itself is not Ḳurʾānic but is common in the vocabulary of ʿilm al-kalām and fiḳh. The VIIIth form of the verb is, however, used in the Ḳurʾān, always referring to a divine act. “I have chosen you ( ik̲h̲tartuka


(1,161 words)

Author(s): Chenoufi, Moncef
, ʿAbd al-ʿAzīz (b. Tunis 1876, d. 1 October 1944), Tunisian political figure and founder of the Liberal Constitutional Party ( al-Ḥizb al-Ḥurr al-Dustūrī ), commonly called the “Vieux-Destour” as opposed to its successor in 1934, the “Néo-Destour”. Of Algerian origin, he studied at the Zaytūna Mosque, but was early attracted to politics and journalism, and in 1896 founded a cultural weekly, Sabīl al-ras̲h̲ād , suspended a year after its first appearance. He made several journeys within the Mag̲h̲rib and to Crete, Greece and Turkey, in …


(1,035 words)

Author(s): Tomiche, N.
, Fransīs b. Fatḥ Allāh b. Naṣr , Syrian scholar and publicist of the Nahḍa (1835-74 according to M. ʿAbbūd and S. al-Kayyālī, or 1836-73 according to Brockelmann, Dāg̲h̲ir and al-Ziriklī). He was born and died at Aleppo, coming from a Melkite Christian family of literary men (Brockelmann, S II, 755), and in the opening stages of the modern Arabic literary renaissance, the Nahḍa [ q.v.], tried to introduce “critical reasoning” into a sphere at that time in a state of cultural effervescence. For this, he employed pseudo-scientific terms in order to prove, in h…


(1,592 words)

Author(s): Ayalon, A.
(a.), uprising, revolt, or revolution, from the root t̲h̲-w-r “to rise/arise” or “to stir/be stirred up” (Turkish inkillap ; Persian inḳilāb ). In the 20th century, t̲h̲awra has come to imply a praiseworthy venture, a quest for political liberation and socio-economic justice. In earlier times, however, the term and the notion it expresses went through certain vicissitudes of import. Revolt against a ruling authority, known in Islamic political experience from the outset, was at first regarded with ambivalence. It was condemned—often, though not always, …


(1,646 words)

Author(s): Lewis, B.
, in Turkish d̲j̲ūmhūriyyet , republic, also republicanism, a term coined in Turkey in the late 18th century from the Arabic d̲j̲umhūr , meaning the crowd, mass, or generality of the people, and first used in connexion with the first French Republic. In classical Arabic, as for example in Arabic versions and discussions of Greek political writings, the usual equivalent of the Greek πολιτεία or Latin res publica, i.e., polity or commonweal, was madīna ; thus, the ‘democratic polity’ of Plato’s classification is called, by Fārābī and others, madīna d̲j̲amāʿiyya (Fārābī, Arāʾ ahl al-madī…


(2,004 words)

Author(s): Lewis, B.
(a.) or Mas̲h̲ūra , a common term for consultation, in particular by the ruler of his advisers, the latter being various defined. The term sometimes also appears to mean some kind of deliberative gathering or assembly. The practice of consultative decision was known in pre-Islamic Arabia [see mad̲j̲lis , and malaʾ in Suppl). Two passages in the Ḳurʾān (III, 153/159, was̲h̲āwirhum fi ’l-amr and XLII, 36/38, wa-amruhum s̲h̲ūrā baynahum) are commonly cited as imposing a duty of consultation on rulers. The merits of consultation ( mus̲h̲āwara and mas̲h̲wara) and the corresponding defe…

Maʿrūf al-Ruṣāfī

(4,304 words)

Author(s): Moreh, S.
(1875-1945), leading poet of modern ʿIrāḳ and one extremely audacious and outspoken in expressing his political views. He was born in Bag̲h̲dād in 1875 to his father ʿAbd al-G̲h̲anī Maḥmūd, of Kurdish descent and from the D̲j̲abbāriyya tribe (between Kirkūk and Sulaymāniyya in N. ʿIrāḳ), who was a pious man and worked as a gendarme outside Baghdad; for this reason, Maʿrūf was brought up and educated by his devoted mother Fāṭima bint D̲j̲āsim at her father’s house (she was of the Ḳarag̲h̲ūl Arabic tribe, a branch of S̲h̲ammar, who inhabited the Ḳarag̲h̲ūl quarter in Bag̲h̲dād). Maʿrūf was …


(8,186 words)

Author(s): Chenoufi, M.
or Ṣaḥāfa (a.), the written press, journalism, the profession of the journalist ( ṣaḥāfī ). The nineteen-fifties witnessed the attainment of national independencies and major political upheavals, such as the Egyptian revolution of 23 July 1952. The Arabic press which, paradoxically, enjoyed great success during the colonial period [see d̲j̲arīda. i], despite the somewhat repressive nature of judicial regulation of the press (since what was seen was the proliferation of a press of information, of ideas and even of warfare), developed in conjunct…


(2,800 words)

Author(s): Vatikiotis, P.J.
In Arabic istiḳlāl is a fairly recent addition to the political vocabulary. Despite its use in common parlance, viz., anā mustaḳill (“I am independent”, that is, free or unfettered), or sometimes to refer to economic independence, that is, autarky ( istiḳlāl iḳtiṣādī ), it is primarily associated with the national independence movements among the Arabs of this century. It is with these movements that this article is concerned. After World War I, the peace settlement regarding the Ottoman dominions imposed by the Allied Powers in 1919-20 gave Britain and France w…

Tawāzun al-Suluṭāt, Faṣl al-Suluṭāt

(3,224 words)

Author(s): Badry, Roswitha
(a.), two terms of modern Arabic political terminology meaning respectively “the balance of powers” and “the separation of powers”. For concepts of authority or government in the premodern Islamic world, see salṭana and sulṭan . Amongst many other terms with the connotations of power and authority, the word s̲h̲awka has the particular one of physical, coercive power, irrespective of any legitimacy. The ideas of the Enlightenment and the main principles of modern democracy were transmitted to the ¶ Middle East mainly by the translations and accounts …


(3,796 words)

Author(s): Hairi, Abdul-Hadi
(p.), freedom, synonymous with Arabic ḥurriyya [ q.v.]. Deriving from the Avestan word ā-zāta and the Pahlavi word āzāt (noble), the word ¶ āzādī has as long a history as Persian literature itself. It was employed by Persian writers and poets such as Firdawsī, Farruk̲h̲ī Sīstānī, Gurgānī, Rūmī, K̲h̲āḳānī, Nāṣir-i K̲h̲usraw, and Ẓahīr Fāriyābī in a variety of meanings including, for instance, choice, separation, happiness, relaxation, thanksgiving, praise, deliverance, non-slavery, and so on (see Dihk̲h̲udā, art. Āzādī , in Lug̲h̲at-nāma , ii/1, 86-7). …


(8,430 words)

Author(s): Rosenthal, F. | Bosworth, C.E. | Wansbrough, J. | Colin, G.S. | Busse, H. | Et al.
, one of many Arabic words used to express the concept of “gift”, and the preferred legal term for it, see following article. The giving of gifts, that is, the voluntary transfer of property, serves material and psychological purposes. In the pre-history of man, it probably antedates the contractual payment for goods and services. In Islam, it has retained its inherited functions as an important component of the social fabric and has exercised a considerable influence on political life. Literature (in the narrow sense…
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