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Islam

Islam

Fundamentals

Ritual

Law and institutions

Unity and diversity

Islam and polity

Islam and society

Islam today

BIBLIOGRAPHY

Islam (“the act of submitting [to God]”) is the proper and most widely used term for the religion of those who believe that the Qur’ān (Koran) is the true word of God transmitted to mankind as an ultimate revelation through the medium of his Prophet and messenger, Muhammad. Although the term was used in early periods in the more limited sense of “submission” and seems to have been generally equated with “belief” (imān), the meaning today to Muslims and non-Muslims alike is that of the definitive name of a specific religion. The practitioner of the faith is a Muslim, a term that also serves as an adjective, but the attributive adjective Islamic is preferable in social or cultural contexts, e.g., Muslim theology, but Islamic law and Islamic architecture. The terms Mohammedan and Mohammedanism are disliked by Muslims because they carry the implication of the worship of Muhammad as a more than human figure and thus contain the germs of polytheism.

The most recent of the three great monotheisms to have arisen in the Middle East and the last major universal religion to have appeared in history, Islam came into being in the early seventh century in west-central Arabia. Although a good part of the Quran records the preaching of Muhammad in Mecca in the first two decades of that century, the definitive outlines of Islam as a system of beliefs and as a political organization took shape in Medina after the emigration (hijrah) to that city of Muhammad and a band of his followers in 622. In recognition of the importance of this event, the Muslim calendar reckons events from the first lunar month of that year—July 16, 622, becoming the first day of Muharram, A.H. 1. Between that date and the death of Muhammad in 632, two years after a triumphal return to his newly converted birthplace of Mecca, the new religion established itself throughout most of the Arabian Peninsula, not only as a corpus of religious belief but equally as a political community (ummah) provided with its own laws and embryonic govern-mental and social institutions. The significance and uniqueness of this twin foundation structure is recognized in the well-known dictum, “Islam is a religion and a state,” which is interpreted, however, by Muslims in a unitary meaning rather than implying any dualism.

The century following Muhammad’s death saw a far-reaching series of conquests by the new Muslim armies. Their spectacular successes and the way in which ancient communities and seemingly powerful states succumbed with little resistance testify to underlying weaknesses in the existing order but also say something of the fresh appeal Islam had for peoples in the Middle East at a time when they were exhausted by internecine struggles and doctrinal quarrels. However, the large number of conversions to Islam at this period may be said to have stemmed more from socioeconomic causes than from religious motivation, although these in the end had repercussions on both the faith itself and the subsequent nature of the Islamic state. In the Fertile Crescent area and in Egypt the numerous Christian and Jewish communities were legally allowed to continue practicing their religion, but inequalities in taxation which favored Muslims, and the natural social desire to become full members of the body politic with all its advantages, furthered Islamization. In Iran multiple causes conditioned conversion: the desire of the bureaucracy to preserve its privileges, the reluctance of the landed nobility to pay the poll tax, and the wish on the part of the merchant class to have a full share in the material culture of the Islamic empire. In north Africa pagan or semi-Christianized Berbers were more often either genuinely influenced by the tenets of Islam or spontaneously gave their allegiance to the new religion rather than suffer the alternative, loss of life, reserved for those other than “people of the book,” i.e., monotheists who possessed scriptures.

In the centuries following its birth Islam was spread by conquest and occupation, organized and at times militant religious activism, and peaceful missionary work. The first wave of expansion was the work of Arabs, largely armies buttressed by new converts in the Middle East and north Africa. By the end of the Umayyad reign (A.D. 750), the frontiers of Islam extended to the Pyrenees in the west and the Indus River in the east. Included in Muslim domains were most of Spain, north Africa, Egypt, the Levant to the frontiers of Anatolia, the Arabian Peninsula, Iran, and part of Turkestan. Once this force had been spent there was relatively little fluctuation in the extent of the House of Islam (Dār ul-Isldm) until a second wave of military conquest was set under way in the fourteenth century by Turkic peoples who had migrated from central Asia to Iran and Asia Minor and been progressively Islamized over a period of several centuries. One of these groups, the Osmanli, destroyed the remnants of the Byzantine state, took Constantinople in 1453, and established Muslim rule in large areas of southeastern Europe, maintaining it until well into the nineteenth century. These two waves directed at Europe left important cultural legacies in Spain and Sicily and vestigial groups of Muslims in Yugoslavia, Albania, and Bulgaria.

The historical advance of Islam into south and southeast Asia, and later into tropical Africa, has been of another kind. The faith came to these areas at a comparatively late date and was spread more gradually, sometimes by force, but more often through the voluntary conversion of nonmonotheists. Muslim power gained sway in northwest India only after A.D. 1000, and converts in Bengal were not numerous until the sixteenth century. The force of Islam in south Asia in modern times is shown by the success of Muslim demands for the partition of British India and the establishment of Pakistan as a separate state for Muslims. In addition to some ninety million Muslims in that country, a large minority of over forty million is found in India. In south Asia as a whole, Muslims have increased their numbers at the expense of non-Muslims, not only because of the one-way nature of conversion but because of socioeconomic factors, including a greater life expectancy resulting from a higher protein diet, the urban nature of the Muslim population, which somewhat spares it from rural famines, and the fact that widows are permitted to remarry. Proselytization in southeast Asia was mainly the work of Muslim traders who established themselves in Malaya, Sumatra, and elsewhere in the fourteenth century. Gradually Islam spread inland in Sumatra and Malaya and penetrated the farther islands of Indonesia as far as the southern Philippines. Today the Malays of Malaya are overwhelmingly Muslim and the Indonesians are very heavily Muslim, while important minorities exist in Thailand, Burma, and the Philippines. The stronghold that Islam had early obtained in central Asia was the source for the considerable Islamization of Sinkiang and parts of northwestern China in later times. At present it is estimated that as much as one-tenth of the total Chinese population may be considered Muslim.

In Africa, Islam spread unevenly at different periods, but it has continued to make impressive advances in modern times. Although peoples living along the Mediterranean shores of northern Africa were converted in the first wave of Arab conquest, Islam spread more gradually up the Nile and across the trade routes of the Sahara to reach the Chad area and, eventually, in the fifteenth century, northern Nigeria. By sea it moved down around the horn of east Africa to the Somali coast and Zanzibar. An island of resistance exists in the Abyssinian highlands, but Islam is heavily predominant today in Somalia, Zanzibar, and the Sudan, while important minorities exist in coastal Kenya, Tanganyika, and Mozambique. Islamization in west Africa was furthered by brotherhood activity in the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries. Islam has a majority today in Mauritania, Senegal, Mali, Niger, Chad, and probably Nigeria, large minorities in Guinea, Gambia, Sierra Leone, Ivory Coast, Cameroon, and the Central African Republic, and numerous adherents in the other states of west and central Africa as far south as Zambia and Rhodesia.

In all, more than 500 million persons today, one-sixth of humanity, profess themselves to be Muslims, however nominal in practice. Of this number about 125 million are in Africa and almost 400 million in Asia, with scattered communities in Europe and the Americas. Of perhaps greater significance than its present numbers is the fact that Islam, of all the major religions, continues to show the most steady growth. Particularly noteworthy is its progress in regions previously dominated by pagan tribal cultures. Its strong appeal to under-privileged or minority groups everywhere, as has historically been evident in south Asia, is a further factor of political and social importance in this century.

Fundamentals

The basis of Islam, and the heart of Muslim belief and thought, lie in its holy scripture, the Qur’ān, considered by Muslims to be the direct and true word of God, transmitted by the angel Gabriel to Muhammad (in Arabic) while the latter was in a state of divine inspiration akin to trance. In this state Muhammad was ordered to recite (iqrā) the word of God, whence qur’ān, a “recitation.” A supplementary source of faith began to emerge after the death of the Prophet as it became clear that the Qur’ān did not provide specific guidance for many of the questions faced by the growing community. In their search for additional guidance, Muslims turned to the life, the habits, and the dicta of Muhammad in given situations. There thus arose the practice of compiling, recording, and classifying the “tradition” (hadīth) of or relating to the Prophet. Out of this material, expressed in the form of short narratives relating specific acts and sayings of Muhammad through a chain of hearsay, grew the completed product: the customary way of doing (sunnah), which expresses the ideal of behavior for pious, orthodox Muslims, who style themselves “followers of the custom” (ahl al-sunnah)—whence the term Sunnites.

The central importance of Muhammad in Islam is thus evident. His position as the sole communicant of God’s word to man is attested in the basic Muslim profession of faith: “There is no God but God and Muhammad is His Prophet.” This credo, although it does not occur in a single phrase in the Qur’ān itself, has become the foundation of Muslim self-identification. It differentiates the believer from the nonbeliever and Islam from other religions by emphasizing that Muhammad is not one prophet among many but the seal of the prophets and that the revelation given to him was the ultimate and unchangeable exposition of divine will. The function of the hadīth reinforced this position, as may well have been one of its main purposes, by preserving for later generations a portrait of the personality of Muhammad in warm and simple details which link the believer to him in an atmosphere of pious affection that has grown through the centuries. Through the device of the hadīth, which contrasts strongly with the formalism and transcendentalism of the Qur’ān, Muhammad is kept from becoming a dim historical figure; he emerges as a venerable, just, but understandable human leader of his flock. In this way Islam maintains the principle of the strictest monotheism, while tempering it with a human touch which, to judge by the historical experience, has fulfilled the needs of ordinary Muslims in all ages. It is true that this devotion has sometimes seemed to approach adulation or even outright worship, particularly in the past century, when a new consciousness of Christianity led some Muslim biographers of Muhammad to present his life in ways that clearly reveal the influence of the story of Jesus. However, both orthodox Muslim thought and the practice of the masses have kept the fine distinction between ceremonial veneration and anthropolatry.

The Qur’ān is divided into 114 chapters, arranged in decreasing order of length. The generally earlier Meccan chapters are distinguishable by their apocalyptic style, their use of a strongly fashioned rhymed prose, their relatively simple subject matter, and their poetic expression of religious symbolism. In their imaginative grasp and their masterly use of Arabic they reveal a genuine prophetic genius. In comparison, the later Medinan chapters, which include moral maxims, legal proscriptions, and historical narratives that are sometimes taken from Christian and Jewish sources, suffer from a dilution of this vigorous style.

The essential dogma of the Qur’ān is that of the unity of God: “Say God is one, God the eternal. He hath not begotten nor was he begotten, and there is none equal to him.” The believer is enjoined to accept the envoys of God and the scriptures they have revealed, beginning with Adam and continuing with Noah, Abraham, Moses, and Jesus, to the final revelation of Muhammad. Running through the entire work are two motifs: one envisions an impersonal, remote, and majestic deity, who evokes in the believer a sense of awe and humility; the other conceptualizes the Divine Spirit in terms of hope and mercy. Among the most numerous epithets for God in the Qur’ān are those describing him as compassionate and merciful, and while a theme of fiery destruction for the sinful is preached in some Meccan verses, others rank among the purest expressions of trust in divine love.

It has long been clear to non-Muslim scholars that to some degree Christian beliefs, Judaism, and the pre-Islamic tradition in Arabia all had a part in shaping Qur’ānic dogma. Contacts with Christian communities in western Asia and Abyssinia were numerous, and Jewish colonies were found throughout the peninsula; in the Yemen, Judaistic movements had held power shortly before Muhammad’s lifetime. Textual criticism of the Qur’ān reveals such borrowings in, for example, the doctrine of the Last Judgment, where not only the concept but the technical terminology is taken from Syriac Christian writings, and in Muhammad’s gradual incorporation into his revelation of Old Testament stories that would validate his teaching. In Medina, Muhammad found a large Jewish community, with which a dispute ultimately arose, the source of much of the anti-Judaist polemic in the Qur’ān. Early in the Medina period, however, Muhammad had incorporated several Jewish practices into Islam, notably ‘Āshūrā’, the holy day that corresponds to the Day of Atonement, and the direction of prayer toward Jerusalem. The Qur’ān stresses the alleged falsification of the Scriptures by both Jews and Christians but in a way that usually indicates a derivative or insufficient understanding of the original ideas or facts. Among these are the Incarnation, which is categorically rejected, and the Crucifixion, said to be a Jewish distortion of the true event. According to Islamic dogma, an-other figure was crucified in the place of Jesus, who was himself taken to heaven.

Of prime importance in the formation of Muhammad’s doctrines, however, was the existence of two intertwined strands of tradition in pre-Islamic Arab life. One was the animistic beliefs of tribal society, which ascribed powers to inanimate objects, stones, trees, etc., as well as to certain human categories (soothsayers, sorcerers) and to nonhuman elements (jinn). Entangled with this Arab paganism, however, there was an ill-defined monotheism, which may have owed something to Jewish and Christian influences. This was exemplified by prophets (singular, hanīf) who opposed a nativistic monotheism to the pagan polydemonism, which no longer satisfied the Arabs’ desire for a broader religious experience. The hanīf’s, despite their monotheism, were unwilling to accept Judaism or Christianity as such. The Qur’ān describes Abraham as a hanīf, and thus asserts itself as a restoration of the true, indigenous Abrahamic monotheism, which had been corrupted by Jewish and Christian beliefs.

The supreme accomplishment of Muhammad in the Qur’ān was to make use of these two elements but to disentangle them at the same time, thus opening the religious imagination of the Arabs to new horizons without too abruptly cutting away their old cultural and emotional roots. This delicate operation involved simultaneously banning most animistic associations but amalgamating others with the new religion by reinterpreting them in a monotheistic way. This restructuring of pagan practice and terminology can be seen most successfully in the incorporation of the earlier religious pilgrimage to the sacred region of Mecca and the circumambulation of the Black Stone, in the adoption of the ritual sacrifice of sheep, and in the new application of terms that formerly referred to pagan customs but that are clothed in richer and broader monotheistic meaning in the Qur’ān. In this reconstruction, by lifting Arab spiritual values out of the incoherence in which they were enmeshed and by focusing them on the concept of a supreme God who encompassed and stood above all previous formulations, Muhammad created a distinctive religious edifice. Although it contains elements of earlier faiths, it can be understood only as a unique, new entity possessing its own structure and dynamics.

Ritual

The practice of Islam consists essentially of a small number of ritual obligations called the “pillars of the faith.” These include giving witness, ritual prayer, legal almsgiving, fasting, and the pilgrimage. To profess faith with intention is to become a Muslim and be admitted to all the duties and privileges of the community. While good works are considered to be as commendable as faith itself, orthodox opinion has generally held that testimony alone without any other deed during the lifetime of a believer is sufficient for ultimate salvation. Ritual prayer is formal worship, whose ceremony, postures, gestures, and verbal formulas are strictly laid down by law; it is designed to express adoration of God rather than personal communion with him or petition. It may be noted, however, that the period of meditation following upon the prostrations allows the worshiper an opportunity to enter into a relationship of communion with a spirit of humility. Ritual cleanliness is mandatory and is minutely regulated according to the circumstances. Although the Qur’ān is silent on the subject, five daily prayers have been standard since the earliest period of Islam. Their times vary somewhat but usually come before dawn, just after midday, in midafternoon, after sunset, and at night, usually in the first minutes of darkness—hours seemingly calculated to avoid any hint of sun worship. There is no requirement that ordinary prayer be carried out in the mosque, although it is recommended because ritual purity is better guaranteed within its precincts. The Friday midday prayer, however, should be kept in the mosque; it usually contains several sections and a sermon. Legal almsgiving is today in most Muslim countries an institution of only historical interest, having been superseded almost everywhere by modern legislation. Originally it was a religious tax levied on property according to a detailed formula and payable in kind. These three pillars of the faith (giving witness, ritual prayer, and almsgiving) have somewhat less influence on Muslim life than might be supposed. Witness is automatic and often unspoken throughout the lifetime of those who are born to the faith and can conceive of no other. Almsgiving is obsolete, and ritual prayer is to a growing degree slighted or ignored by many modern Muslims, especially in urban areas. This is not true, however, of the remaining two pillars: the fast and the pilgrimage.

Early in the Medinan period Muhammad instituted a fast on ’Āshūrā’, but later he abrogated this and instead ordained abstinence during the entire ninth month of the lunar calendar, Ramadan. During this month, from sunrise to sunset, the faithful must completely abstain from food, drink, tobacco, and sexual intercourse. The fast is compulsory only for adults in good health; pregnant women, children of prepuberty age, the aged and the sick, and bona fide travelers are specifically exempt, although the last must make up the broken fast days. Today the Ramadan fast is without doubt the one ceremony most strictly held to by believers, and it is a basic component of the social cement that holds the community together. While violations are found both among bedouin and rural elements, on the one hand, and in secret in a few modernist and intellectual circles, on the other, townsmen in most Muslim countries tend to keep the fast unanimously. Public opinion strongly reproves individuals who try to avoid the obligation in private and has, even recently, reacted violently to public disregard of it. There appears also to be a discernible connection between rigorous observance and modern nationalism in some countries where Islam was used as a rallying point in the struggle against foreign colonialism, and some states (e.g., Morocco) have inserted penalties for transgressing it in their modern penal codes. In a few Muslim states, however (e.g., Turkey and Tunisia), where the holy law (sharī’ah) has been abolished, the secularist orientation of their nationalism has led the governments to encourage fastbreaking in the interest of national economic imperatives or to consider it a matter of personal conscience.

The pilgrimage to Mecca incorporates in Muslim practice two pagan rites celebrated by the Arabs, one connected with the circumambulation of the Black Stone of the Ka’bah in Mecca, and the other the pilgrimage to the hill of ‘Arafāt outside the town. The rites are performed in the twelfth lunar month and now usually include a visit to nearby Medina. The pilgrimage may be described as a conditional obligation; it is incumbent only on Muslims with the necessary means and the physical ability to reach Mecca. Nevertheless, it has remained a vital element in Muslim life throughout the centuries and, even in the most difficult periods of history, attracted numerous pilgrims. Today, with improved communications, increased travel within the Muslim world, and security in the pilgrimage area, it has taken on new dimensions of cultural and even political significance. Mecca has become a meeting place for Muslims from the entire world, and a deep impression is made on many pilgrims by the reaffirmation of their faith in company with cobelievers of every color and nationality. The annual re-enactment of the ceremonies, with the pilgrims as active participants and not simple onlookers, gives them an especially moving character. The returning pilgrim, who is entitled to add the title hājj to his name, is the object of admiration and congratulations, but more important perhaps is the feeling on the part of those who have remained at home that he brings with him an atmosphere of holiness which is shared by all. At all times the social function of the pilgrimage to the sacred sites has been to serve as a journey to a common hearth fire from which the pilgrims could carry back the renewed and restored flame of faith to their own communities. In this sense, the pilgrimage may be looked on as the counterpart of the fast, for while the fast solidifies the bonds that hold together each community by a common sacrifice, the pilgrimage allows the members of the elites of widely different regions and groups to engage in a spiritual intercourse which strengthens the ties between the various communities of Islam.

Law and institutions

It is not certain whether the Qur’ān was written down during the lifetime of the Prophet. The tradition indicates that scraps of it were preserved, and an authoritative text was prepared by a com-mission appointed by the third caliph, ’Uthmān, and copies of this circulated throughout the empire. However, difficulties in reading the imperfectly developed Arabic script and hesitancies in interpretation caused a reform in writing and the adjustment to a standard pronunciation, as well as the recognition of a certain number of reciters whose readings were by compromise accepted as orthodox. Toward the end of the first century A.H. the text as now used was standardized in most details.

During this formative period the administration of justice was carried out somewhat haphazardly by Qur’ānic precepts as they were customarily interpreted by the Arabs, and with the incorporation of some elements of Roman and pre-Islamic law, administrative procedures were modified and more fully incorporated in the embryonic body of legal practice. Toward the end of the Umayyad period, between about A.D. 725 and 750, the Qur’ān and the sunnah had become established as the principal sources of Muslim jurisprudence, but there had also grown up a body of jurists and men interested in legal problems who in their experience were finding it necessary to go beyond these sources to devise laws for the community.

Up to this time law and religion were inextricably interconnected and rested upon the infallible revelation of the Qur’ān and its presumably infallible verification in detail by the tradition. The infallibility of these two sources, however, was not of the same order; in fact, the proliferation of narratives in the tradition was such that scholars were aware that many of them were spurious. In order to establish the veracity of the tradition beyond any doubt and reinforce its position as an anchor of the legal system, a science of hadīth criticism was introduced in the second and third centuries A.H. This placed stress on the reliability of each member of the chain of authorities cited. Biographies of transmitters were compiled and their subjects carefully investigated, after which each narrative (hadīth) was classified for legal purposes as sound, good, or weak. Many traditions that modern Western scholarship considers highly dubious were classified as sound in this process, for many theologians were at bottom less interested in the historical objectivities of a given tradition than in the practical consequences of its acceptance and application to community life. Later, in the ninth century A.D., hadīth study developed into a full-fledged scholastic enterprise; the great compilations of al-Bukhāri (d. 870) and Muslim (d. 875) have enjoyed almost universal authority in Islam.

The Qur’ān and the expurgated tradition, however, for all their infallibility, did not supply a definitive body of legal precepts for general use. The jurists of the so-called ancient schools in Iraq, Syria, and Medina devoted themselves to finding a way to generalize the specificity of the original sources, and in so doing they established the foundations of the four great legal schools of orthodox Islam and, more importantly, laid down the framework of Islamic law for all time. The concept of opinion, or common sense, had been applied for some time but was thought to contain the dangers of human irresponsibility. It was favored by the school of Iraq, however, while Medinan jurists, among them Malik Ibn Anas (d. 795), developed the doctrine of the “suitability” of one decision to a fixed point of reference and that of the “association” of one with an anterior case. The problem was resolved by al-Shafī‘i (d. 820), who completed the system by extending the use of the Prophetic tradition, as opposed to the narrower Medinan tradition, and introduced the more precise concept of analogical reasoning (qiyās), by which the principles that had governed decisions in previous cases could be applied to new situations. The actual difference between the schools was not overly great, but the reasoning of al-Shafī‘i established his work as the third source of Muslim holy law.

The construction of the Muslim legal edifice was completed by the introduction of the principle of consensus (ijmdā‘) as the guarantor of legal theory and beyond that of the integrity of the entire frame-work of Muslim religious thought. The doctrine of ijmā‘ has been subsumed in a tradition that relates the saying of Muhammad, “My community will not agree in error.” During the second century A.H. it had been established that the consensus of the community, which meant that of the jurists and scholars dealing with religious and legal matters, was binding. The extension of this concept by these very jurists, to stamp with approval the legal systems they had elaborated, removed the possibility of a revision of their work by later generations and gave final validity to the entire structure. Ijmā‘ verifies the authenticity and the proper interpretation of the Qur’ān; it guarantees the correct transmission of the sunnah tradition and the proper use of qiyās. It covers all aspects of the holy law and admits the validity of distinctions between the orthodox legal schools. Of the highest importance, however, is the fact that consensus itself becomes, as Gibb has noted, “a third channel of revelation” (1949) and is elevated to infallibility itself alongside the Qur’ān and the sunnah, which it sanctions. While it is often suggested that the principle of consensus was adopted as a device of convenience by the legal scholars, a broader view leads to the conclusion that the Muslim community’s sense of its own divinely instituted and rightly guided nature has always been so highly developed that it produced an unwavering belief in its own charisma and infallibility. The ideal of Islamic law taken as a whole is absolutist and charismatic at its roots and may be considered a reflection of the Islam which Muslims have brought into being, either, as they would believe, through their unerring understanding of God’s word or, as Western scholars believe, through their own will and actions.

Islam prides itself on the absence of clergy who might interpose themselves between God and man. While this is true in a formal sense, nonetheless from the earliest periods there have been, as seen, a large body of men dealing with religious problems and their interpretation. In time this turned into an identifiable body of theologians (’ulamā’) and jurists. The growth of this group is intimately connected with the development of the holy law and the appearance of the orthodox legal schools in the eighth and ninth centuries. At first they were individual members of the still informal religious institution of Islam, but as this solidified they tended to come together as the formal representatives of the community in questions of faith and, in so doing, often found themselves in positions of opposition to the state. From Abbasid times on, however (after A.D. 750), the political authorities attached theologians to themselves and gave many of them official positions, so that overt opposition by members of the religious establishment tended to be muted. With the establishment of religious colleges (singular, madrasah) in the eleventh century A.D., in which courses were given and degrees granted, there was a further formalization of the structure, which reached its height in the complex government-supported theological institutions of the Ottoman Empire. Such developments tended inevitably to limit the independence of the religious establishment with respect to the authorities, and there are manifold examples of subservience and abasement. Nevertheless, throughout Islamic history there runs the principle, however often violated, that the religious institution exists apart from and as a check on the ruling institution. The theologian and the jurist were in the end the guardians of the law for the state, although they were independent of it and at times in opposition to it. The most notable limitation on the power of the state at all times has been the theoretical inviolability of official members of the religious institution and of their property. A large quantity of mortmain property lay, and still lies, in their hands, and by these means mosques, schools, hospitals, and the like were supported, and to a certain extent the independence of the judge protected.

Unity and diversity

Almost from its inception Islam encountered difficulties in adapting the message of Muhammad to the changed historical circumstances in which the Muslim empire was developing and in formulating a theological statement that would satisfy the diverse elements that were becoming part of the community. The relationship between religion and politics has always been unusually intimate in the Middle East, and this was particularly true in the case of Islam. It is therefore often difficult to separate political from theological questions, and important to understand that the Muslims of the early periods did not consciously do so themselves. Nevertheless, it is fair to say that with rare exceptions conflicts in the formative first decades primarily reflected political and social considerations and the influence of the differing local environments in western Asia to which the faith had spread, rather than theological considerations. It was only later, toward the beginning of the Umayyad period, that religious factors first intervened significantly, and the practice of transferring sociopolitical grievances to the level of theological disputes and challenging the powers that be on those grounds—a practice which was to become a central theme of Islamic history—was initiated.

The first major example of this was the separation of the Kharijites, whose activities were closely linked with what later turned into the principal schismatic movement in Islam, the Shi’ite deviation from orthodoxy. Both groups were found as extremist elements among the fractious nomadic tribesmen who had been settled in garrison towns in Iraq and who made up the troops of ‘Ali, the son-in-law of Muhammad, during his campaign to claim supreme authority after the murder of the third caliph, ’Uthmān, in 656. The Kharijites represented discontented tribesmen whose anarchic spirit resisted being forced into an urban mold and to whom the end of the conquests in their immediate area meant a diminution of booty and of the satis-faction of raiding. The Shi‘ah, or “partisans” of ‘Ali, on the other hand, were composed of men from Kufa in Iraq who felt alienated from the caliphal establishment, which was the center of power in the Hejaz, and its emanations in Syria.

The quarrel of the Kharijites with the rest of the community lay in the domain of religious practice. They insisted that evildoers within Islam must be rigorously punished and that those Muslims who temporized on the extirpation of evil were themselves guilty of apostasy. This radical point of view led them to withdraw from the armies of ‘Ali and eventually, after a series of unsuccessful minor uprisings, to divorce themselves from the community, in which they had no further direct influence. Today they survive in isolated communities in Algeria, Oman, and Zanzibar, without political influence.

The Shi‘ite movement was more complex and permanent. Its psychological foundations seem to have been laid first in the personal devotion ac-corded to ‘Ali by his followers and, second, in the sense of rejection and bitterness which accompanied his defeat and death in 661 and the martyrdom of his son Husain in 680. At the same time, the political bases of the movement were strengthened by the opposition of the Arabs of Iraq to rule from Syria. The movement attracted many recent non-Arab converts, or clients, to Islam, who were seeking equality and fuller integration within the community and who came principally from among Persian and Aramaean elements in Iraq and Iran. From this period begins a cross-linkage of the political and social grievances of non-Arab Muslims with Shi‘ism, which culminates in the sixteenth century in the Shi‘ite nationalism of the Safavid state in Iran.

The earliest Shi‘ism had no distinctive doctrine, and in questions of theology and law individual Shi‘ites were indistinguishable from others in the community, with whom they lived, on the whole, harmoniously. However, the political insistence on the legitimacy of ‘Ali called into being a doctrine that refused recognition to the first three caliphs who followed Muhammad and thus challenged orthodox belief. Moreover, the elevation of ‘Ali to the position of an infallible and charismatic leader (imām) brought Shi‘ism, in later centuries, into sharper conflict with the Sunnite concept of consensus of the community. Gradually a polarization occurred in which Hellenistic remnants in formerly Byzantine areas attached themselves to and influenced the development of orthodox theology, while a variety of sects and ideas from the pre-Islamic Oriental substrata in Iraq, Iran, and later India were grafted onto Shi‘ism. Moreover, Shi‘ism served as a banner to cover social revolt against the orthodox establishment on more than one occasion.

The further development of Shi‘ism may be traced from its character as a volatile opposition movement dependent on strong personal leadership, which contained within itself the seeds of further splitting. Secrecy, concealment of one’s true beliefs, the possession of esoteric knowledge by the infallible imām, and a doctrine of messianic return and salvation became the hallmarks of the various Shi‘ite subsects. Of these there are three principal groups, each of which has erected the concept of divinely inspired leadership, or “imamism,” into basic doctrine, although with differences of interpretation. The Zaidi branch, which is prominent in the Yemen, attributes no superhuman qualities to its imām’s and is closest to Sunnite Islam. The majority Imami branch is the state religion of Iran and has many adherents in Iraq and India among other countries. The extreme Isma‘ili branch has contributed some of the most extraordinary episodes to Islamic history, among them the odyssey of the Fatimid caliphate in north Africa and Egypt, the activities of the sect of the Assassins (hashshashiri),and several revolutionary uprisings in the Middle Ages. The distinctive features of Isma‘ilism, which today has a following primarily in India and east Africa, consist of graded instruction in religious mysteries, a distinction between external and internal meaning in all their aspects, and the practice of dissimulation. Several offshoots of Isma‘ilism, such as the Druze, the Nusairi, and the Yazidi sects in the Levant, display such extreme syncretism that it is doubtful whether they should be considered fully Muslim.

Counterbalancing the tendencies toward sectarianism in Islam at all times, however, has been a broad current of tolerance which has permitted the main orthodox corpus of the faith to entertain, modify, and assimilate a variety of ideas and, having done so, to allow a wide latitude of diversity to flourish among the individuals and bodies that constitute the community. Historically it has been only those sects which have voluntarily excluded themselves from the orthodox community, like the Kharijites, that are considered heretical. Today, the position of the Shi‘ites, the only important heterodox body in Islam, is in general viewed with less rigor than previously. Conversely, Islamic history demonstrates the absorptive and integrationist character of the religion in many instances, the most outstanding of which is the Mu‘tazilite movement of the eighth and ninth centuries.

The Mu‘tazilah came to prominence about a century after Muhammad’s death in reaction against both the extremism of the Kharijites and the corresponding indifference to religious questions on the part of their opposites, the Murjri‘ites. Mu‘tazilism was an intellectual movement whose activity was stimulated by the translations of Greek thought then appearing and by the generally felt need to express and defend Muslim belief in rational terms, especially vis-à-vis recently converted scholars familiar with the canons of Greek logic and philosophy. The Mu’tazilah were the first to try to provide a sound philosophical basis for Islam through forthright discussions of the nature of God, of the Qur’ān, and of man’s relationship to God. While maintaining the purest monotheism and chastising any semblance of anthropomorphism, they held two tenets that ran directly counter to orthodox dogma. One was that the Qur’ān was created in time rather than being the uncreated word of God which had been in existence forever. The other, of more general philosophical importance, was a doctrine of free will, which held that it was inconceivable that God should decree the actions of man, induce him into error, and then punish him for it, as the orthodox doctrine of predestination and the unqualified omnipotence of God asserted. The dispute came to a head in the ninth century, when Mu‘tazilite influence held sway briefly. In the end the movement came to grief because of its own rigidity in the face of counterargument and its persistent attempt to force Muslim thought into Greek forms, an effort that was not only opposed by the orthodox theologians but that met with no response from the mass of believers.

The reaction to Mu‘tazilism led by al-Ashe‘ri (d. 935) consolidated the orthodox position and produced a new orthodox scholasticism, which has remained definitive until today. While setting a lasting dogmatic stamp on Islam, the reaction reconciled some Mu‘tazilite concepts with orthodox belief and thus strengthened and enlarged the area of consensus. Predestination was maintained, but a doctrine of “acquisition,” under which man has contingent responsibility for his deeds, was introduced. The dogma of the absolute omnipotence of God and the orthodox position that right is what God decrees it to be in the Qur’ān—rather than something independently ascertainable by man—were affirmed, but their rigor softened by stressing the intercession of Muhammad in favor of man, something which the Mu‘tazilah had rejected. Finally, the relationship of cause and effect propounded by the Mu’tazilah, which in orthodox eyes limited the power of God, was disavowed by means of an atomistic theory according to which all events and substances exist transitorily in time and space only through the inscrutable will of God and not through any inherent connection among themselves.

The intellectual consequences to Islam of the orthodox reformulation begun by al-Ash‘ari and completed two centuries later (by al-Ghazāli) were of the greatest importance. Ash‘arism marks a rejection of Hellenism and the victory of intuitive faith over rationalism in the struggle to shape Islam. The contribution of the Mu‘tazilah in raising the level of intellectual activity in Islam was important, however, as was the work of al-Ash‘ari, in finding a way to incorporate many of the basic elements of Greek thought introduced by the Mu‘tazilah without undermining the basic dogmas of orthodox Islam.

The will to catholicity in Islam was shown two centuries later in the synthesis achieved by alGhazāli (d. 1111) between philosophy and orthodox theology. In the intervening period, largely as another by-product of the importation of Greek thought, Islamic philosophy had come into flower and made a remarkable contribution to the growth of medieval sciences in Europe as well as in the Middle East. Beginning with al-Kindi (d. 873) and continuing through Avicenna (d. 1037) in the east and Averroës (d. 1198) in the west, Muslim philosophers evolved a philosophical interpretation of Islam within a Neoplatonic framework, which they seem to have felt existed outside the sphere of Islamic doctrine rather than in contradiction with it. There is no hint of a conflict in Avicenna, and one of Averroës’ most important works is the Faşl al-Maqāl (“Decisive Treatise [on the Harmony Between Religion and Philosophy]”), in which he states that philosophy is the companion and foster sister of the sharī‘ah. His answer to al-Ghazāli, Tahāfut al-Tahāfut (“Inconsistency of the Inconsistency”), reveals his conviction that although reason cannot attain a complete understanding of eternal truths, man has a duty to seek a rational explanation by demonstrative argument. Similarly, the work of Averroës’ contemporary Ibn Tufail (d. 1185), Hayy Ibn Yaqzān (“The Living Son of the Vigilant”), demonstrates that reason and revelation independently lead to the same belief.

Views of this kind were considered dangerously close to heresy by many, and by the eleventh century there was strong hostility on the part of theologians toward such philosophical constructions. The accomplishment of al-Ghazāli was essentially to dam this second tide of Hellenism by reconciling the positions of philosophy and theology, much as al-Ash‘ari had stemmed the first by synthesizing orthodox and Mu‘tazilite ideas. Moreover, just as al-Ash‘ari had defended Sunnite dogma by the use of intellectually superior Mu‘tazilite methods of logic, al-Ghazāli upheld it in his major argument against philosophy, Tahāfut al Falāsifa (“The Inconsistency of the Philosophers”), with Neoplatonic ideas taken from Avicenna and other followers of Greek thought.

Al-Ghazāli was important also as a living example of synthesis between theology and the mystic (sūfi) movement in Islam. Sufism had been, more than any of the other movements of diversity, an intuitive way of practicing Islam through the cultivation of personal religious experience, and Sufi mystics and ascetics are found from very early times. Some of them were considered orthodox, but others, like al-Hallāj (d. 922), were persecuted or even executed. For many, however, the personal communion which lay at the heart of the Sufi movement was felt as complementary to normal orthodox devotion and not contrary to it. Al-Ghazāli turned to Sufism in his later years and in some of his works illuminated the inner meaning of the obligation of Muslim faith. On the basis of personal experience he propounded the necessity of founding belief on the strict observance of these obligations before turning to seek the inner awakening for which Sufism characteristically strove.

The growth of Sufism had been accentuated in the period after al-Ash‘ari, in good part as a reaction to the austereness of orthodox Sunnism. Al-Ghazāli’s efforts were temporarily successful, but in the long run they had effects that were unexpected and unwelcome to the orthodox establishment. While orthodoxy was at first given fresh vigor by the new infusion, the acceptance of Sufism within its realm eventually produced a lowering of intellectual standards dealing with the purity of the doctrine. This led in time to a capitulation before the power of popular religion, on the part of both the ‘ulamā’ and many temporal rulers, unwilling to offend popular religious susceptibilities. The result was a final de facto separation of the two briefly joined streams of Muslim faith. The theologians retreated to the sanctuary of the mosque and the madrasah, where they perfected a pedantic system of rote education and intellectual sterility, divorced from the living forces of religion; in con-sequence, the energies that had been unleashed were left without the guidance provided by rigorous intellectual discipline and soon gave themselves over to excesses of mysticism, saint worship tantamount to pantheism, and cultism often having more to do with pre-Islamic animism than with Islam. In particular, the social evolution of Sufism was marked by the appearance of brotherhoods, associations of mendicants, dervish orders, and mystic fraternities, which since the thirteenth century have significantly changed the nature of Islam as popularly practiced. The subsequent development of Sufism influenced the Islamic world in other ways also. As a result of the devastation accompanying the Mongol conquest and occupation of most of western Asia in the fourteenth century, the orthodox establishment was disrupted and discredited. In these circumstances, in countries as different and distant as Persia and Morocco, it was the popular Sufi movement that upheld the unity of the community and resisted the invader. In so doing, the movement utilized efficiently the personal links cultivated by early Sufi circles, but at the same time it began to take on a more formal organization. Colleges were founded by Sufi sheikhs, and these in turn gave rise to a regular network of affiliated institutions, each called a tarīqah, or “path.” Many of these were regional in their influence, but others spread throughout the Muslim states and were a principal means of cultural interchange in the succeeding centuries. Finally, Sufism took root in the sociopolitical debris left in areas such as Asia Minor and Persia as Mongol rule waned. In the two great empires which from that period until the twentieth century dominated the heartland of the Muslim world Sufism played a significant role. In Anatolia Sufi sheikhs were politically active in the ghāzi states, which were organized in corporations often affiliated with a tarīqah, and it was out of one such ghāzi state that the Ottoman Empire grew. In Iran, Sufism along with Shi‘ism contributed to the Iranian national revival from the fourteenth century on, and the Safavid state was founded by Sufi sheikhs attached to the Suhrawardi tarīqah.

Islam and polity

The character of the political institutions of Islam was essentially determined during the lifetime of Muhammad by the simultaneous emergence of Islam as a faith and as an autonomous political community. In classical Islamic thought, government exists for no other purpose than that of up-holding the faith and guaranteeing service to God on earth, and political institutions are designed to safeguard the community in the widest sense from all the perils, spiritual and material, of this existence.

The principal institution by which this design has been carried out is the caliphate, which was instituted when the followers of Muhammad upon his death selected one of his companions as the rightful successor to the mantle of the Prophet. Since the divine will had been made clear to men in the Qur’ān and expatiated on in the sunnah and inasmuch as the correct path for the community is subsumed in the sharā’ah, the caliphate has ideally been an executive stewardship bereft of legislative prerogatives. In practice, however, especially in later times, both the use of administrative decrees and the doctrine of consensus became loop-holes permitting considerable legislative initiative.

In the first Islamic decades under the leadership of the “rightly guided” caliphs Muslims did not distinguish between the moral authority of the caliphate and the actual power it wielded in its own right. Beginning with the successional quarrel after the death of ‘Uthmān in 656, however, a train of events was let loose that greatly influenced Muslim political theory as well as practice. The disaffection of the Kharijites and the Shi‘ites called into question the legitimacy of the occupant of the office, and Shi‘ite insistence that only a descendant of the Prophet could be caliph was instrumental in forcing Sunnite theologians to work out theories of the caliphate that would withstand such attacks. By the early ninth century, moreover, the increasing fragmentation of the Muslim empire and the seizure of power by regional commanders and adventurers, first in distant provinces and finally in the capital itself, underlined the split between a limited caliphal authority and the new self-assertive power, which continued in varied forms and disguises from then until modern times. In succeeding centuries some of the greatest legal minds of Islam attempted to explain this divergence in terms consonant with the theological bases of Islam, and their reasoning had crucial consequences for Islamic political history.

The classical exposition of the Sunnite position was made by al-Māwardi (d. 1031), who formalized the legal fictions (hiyāl) of the Ash‘arites by admitting in cases of necessity the principle that the caliph, whose authority was of divine origin, might delegate this to temporary power holders. By so doing, al-Māwardi took the first step along a dangerous path which led to the collapse of the entire system. Later, al-Ghazāli moved further along it by legitimizing power holders who paid symbolic allegiance to the caliph in ritual prayer, coinage, etc. He tried to forge a synthesis between power and authority by making obedience to any but a manifestly anti-Islamic ruler a virtue because proper leadership was essential to the functioning of the community. The final step was taken after the destruction of the ‘Abbasid caliphate in 1258 with the legitimation of power in itself, on the grounds that all power comes ultimately from God and derives authority from that fact. In this way the difference between good and bad government was reduced through expediency to religious criteria alone; if the ruler protected the faith and carried out his executive responsibilities with respect to the holy law, he should then be obeyed. Such a justification of force offered great incentives to schemers, freebooters, and disgruntled military leaders, for the only criterion of a rightful revolution became its success. But for the mass of the community it eliminated, by its limited definition of injustice, the right to revolt and even the ability to protest effectively against harsh rule.

Having thus completely divorced the power of the emirate from the caliphate, Sunnite jurists were forced into further legal fictions, the most important of which was the doctrine, previously repudiated by the Ash‘arites, that the true caliphate had only lasted thirty years, after which there had existed a self-constituted imamate to which caliphal titles were given as pure form. The caliphate came to be viewed, then, like the sharī‘ah, as an ideal formulation to be constantly aspired to but seldom attained. Sunnite juristic theory was encapsuled by Ibn Khaldūn in the late fourteenth century and a century later by Jalāl ud-Din Dawwāni. They distinguished between secular kingship and the caliphate and insisted that only the righteous ruler who governs according to the sharāah is entitled to style himself caliph.

The caliphate instituted by the Ottoman Empire is thus in strict terms the equivalent of an imamate only, and its resuscitation in the late eighteenth century, after more than two centuries of Ottoman indifference to the title, occurred at a time of declining Ottoman power when the Porte was concerned with reinforcing its symbols of authority. With European encroachments on Muslim lands and the rise of Pan-Islamist sentiment in the nineteenth century, the position of the Ottoman sultan-caliph at the head of the only Muslim state possessing a semblance of power in world politics was reinforced, but its nature was changed. Islamic solidarity grew temporarily on political grounds rather than as the expression of any true revival of the community, and as a political force it had to contend, in the end unsuccessfully, with local or more secular nationalisms among the Turks, the Arabs, the Persians, and other Muslim peoples. Ottoman efforts to rally Islamic solidarity behind the nominal caliph during World War I were fruitless, and the formal abolition of the caliphate by the Turkish Republic in 1924 came during an era of nascent nationalism in many parts of the Muslim world and created little stir except among PanIslamists or politicians trying to capitalize on religious issues. A congress of unofficial delegations from many Muslim countries met in Cairo in 1926 but could not agree on the qualifications of a new caliph or the bases for the restoration of the institution.

Islam and society

The divine commands laid down in the Qur’ān and the sunnah not only concern God and man but also order the social relationships among men and are especially explicit about matters pertaining to the family, marriage, divorce, and inheritance. The Muslim family is the re-creation of the Arab family within the ethical confines of Islam. Thus it is authoritarian, patriarchal, polygamous, patrilineal, and largely patrilocal, with vestigial survivals of what appears to be an earlier matrilineal kinship system reflected in the prominent position of the maternal uncle. The role of women has on the whole, despite Muslim apologetics, been subordinate to that of men; this is attested by the Qur’ān, which ranks men above women and allows only half value to the testimony of the latter. The inheritance shares of female heirs are half those allotted to males. However, the counsel of moderation in the treatment of spouses which runs through the Qur’ān gives some weight to those who claim that Muhammad did in effect lighten the burden women bore in pre-Islamic times. In practice today many elder women exercise great authority over members of their household, and particularly in urban areas, working women of the lower and lower-middle classes have a considerable degree of autonomy. Nevertheless, in almost every Muslim country, the legal position of the wife is inferior to that of the husband and in many cases is precarious.

Traditional marriage is a contract arranged between heads of households. The consent of the groom is necessary if he is of age (formerly puberty, but now fixed almost everywhere by statute), but not that of the bride, except through her tutor for marriage. The right of compulsory marriage of a daughter by a male parent, formerly common, has been sharply restricted in most countries. Although Muslim law specifies degrees of kinship forbidden for marriage, the union of first cousins is sanctioned and often favored. Muslim males may marry non-Muslim women, but except in those countries where the holy law no longer exists (Turkey and Tunisia) Muslim women may not marry outside their faith.

Polygamy is expressly sanctioned by the Qur’ān, which allows the Muslim to take four wives, and has been widely practiced throughout Islam at all times, but with regional variations and under some social and ethical restrictions. Economic factors alone have always limited the number of polygamous families, most of which are found among the urban well-to-do. Peasants tend, through economic necessity, to be monogamous or to limit themselves to the taking of a second wife, often later in life. Under the influence of Western mores in this century plural marriages have come to be regarded by many Muslims as a sign of backwardness. Many Muslim reformers now claim that the Qur’ānic purpose was to limit the uncontrolled polygamy of pre-Islamic Arabia by imposing a limitation reasonable to the age. Today codes of personal status in countries like Syria and Egypt, which combine features of the holy law with European legislation, have made plural marriage increasingly difficult, although they have hesitated to outlaw it completely, as in Turkey and Tunisia.

Probably a greater impediment to family stability than polygamy has been the classical mode of divorce through repudiation. Traditionally, the husband may repudiate his wife in unilateral fashion by simple pronouncement and repayment of the balance of the dowry. The sharā’ah mitigates this somewhat by applying numerous conditions, but, in effect, the wife is subject to being divorced, with all the consequent stigma, without any effective legal recourse except under extraordinary circumstances. Successive repudiations are often equivalent to serial polygamy, and they have been and still are widespread in parts of Muslim society, particularly among the poor, where the dowry is inconsequential or nonexistent. In this domain, too, the law is gradually changing; in recent years Egypt, Morocco, and several other countries have made repudiation more difficult, while the more secularly oriented states have outlawed the practice.

Marriage is encouraged in the Qur’ān, and the Christian concept of celibate purity has always been combated; to Muhammad is attributed the phrase, “No monkery in Islam.” Procreation is held up as desirable, and children, especially boys, are welcomed. The male child is closely dependent on his mother and the women of the household. They take care of him until about the age of seven, when he begins his life as a young man, a step traditionally signaled either by his taking up work with his father or an uncle or by his starting religious instruction at school. Circumcision is normally carried out at this time, although in some areas it is practiced shortly after birth. It is not mentioned in the Qur’ān but has become a strictly observed rite throughout Islam, and the festivities surrounding circumcision make it a rite of passage equivalent only to marriage in popular Muslim custom. The traditional religious instruction of the mosque-school, usually limited to rote Qur’ānic studies and the rudiments of mathematics and civics, has been supplemented or replaced now almost everywhere by modern educational facilities, which attract a majority of the children of school age in many Muslim countries. These uniformly supply religious instruction, however, and thus young men even today, in contrast with modern Westerners, possess a detailed knowledge of their scripture, which serves as a further channel for maintaining Islamic solidarity. The education of girls, previously much neglected, has made great strides in recent decades. Nevertheless, many fewer girls than boys attend school, and even fewer go on to higher education. In some countries women are entering the professions in small numbers and working in salaried positions for the first time, but marriage and housekeeping are still considered their proper occupations.

The social ethic of Islam is founded upon a real sense of solidarity and brotherhood. The teachings of the Qur’ān have shaped an ideal Muslim civism rooted in humility before God, piety, frugality, charity toward the less fortunate, and an equality of believers in the face of the majesty of an all-powerful Deity. The transformation from the pre-Islamic Arab character, which laid emphasis on the blood tie, vengeance, and manliness, is complete, although much of the bedouin background persists under the Islamic mantle. A summary list of grave sins reveals the influence of both strains. Ancient tribal feelings about ritual cleanliness, the eating of carrion and forbidden food, sorcery and usury, unlawful sexual relations, and the blood price coexist with unbelief, refusal to pay legal alms, apostasy, telling falsehoods about the Prophet and his companions, striking a fellow Muslim without cause, not fasting during Ramadan, and the like. Throughout Muslim teaching and writing runs the thread of moderation in all things. The sharā’ah is, literally, the “straight path” not only in the sense of righteousness opposed to deviation but also as a golden mean. Moderation and abstinence are often recommended in the Qur’ān, even for acts that are permissible, and the balance they create is disturbed by the sins of greed and pride. Prodigality and lavishness of hospitality are tenacious pre-Islamic survivals in much of the Muslim East today, but they are not encouraged by the tradition. Finally, the doctrine of equality of all believers and frequent intermarriage with slaves and concubines have led to the relative absence of a color bar in Islam, a fact which today has great sociopolitical significance as well as ethical meaning.

Islam has in certain respects stamped its own image on economic institutions or at least emphasized certain characteristics of economic life to the extent that a distinctive coloration was given to them in the classical period within the limits of the Middle East and the Mediterranean.

Classical Islamic society is one of merchants and trade. The socioeconomic causes lying behind the origins of Islam itself concern the conflict of economic interests in Mecca and the question of the trade routes in western Arabia. The social background of Muhammad and the predominance of the Quraish clan in early Islam insured a continuing emphasis on mercantilism which has never been lost. The sūq, properly an assemblage of shops and ateliers and workshops in which the commercial life of the town is grouped, has Greco–Roman antecedents but has evolved in special ways. The economic geography of the city is arranged from the center out in a descending order of virtue: the cathedral mosque surrounded by those trades catering to it, such as candlestick makers, incense shops, booksellers, etc.; followed by the sūq, of luxury goods, imported wares, and silks; and ending at the gates of the city with the tanneries, slaughterhouses, etc. Extreme specialization and geographical grouping by occupation and organization into guilds or corporations are constants of a pattern that still exists in many areas. The guilds often have ties with Sufi religious orders, and it is common for each to have a patron saint for whom an appropriate annual festival is held. The social function of the guilds counterbalances and complements for the individual that of the extended family and, sometimes but not always, that of the brotherhood or religious order to which he may belong.

As might be expected, Muslim law regulates commercial transactions in detail. It puts its greatest emphasis on the immediacy of transaction, the lawfulness of the thing exchanged, and the good faith of the parties involved. It thus forbids lending for interest and in theory permits only the exchange of quantities and articles of equal value. In due course of economic life, as in other areas, Islam has had recourse to legal fictions in order to avoid the paralyzing effect of the more rigorous Qur’ānic prohibitions. As international trade became important from the ninth century on, double sales, deposit contracts, promissory notes, temporary transfer of property to avoid taxes, and other devices formerly condemned by the tradition were and are widely practiced. Many such commercial customs and banking procedures in fact became models for European financial practices in the Middle Ages.

Islam today

Since the late eighteenth century Islamic society, in common with other non-Western societies, has been undergoing an onslaught from Western civilization which is reflected in every aspect of its social, economic, political, and religious life. At the time the Western assault began in earnest, this society in its core area of western Asia and the Mediterranean was showing every sign of material and spiritual enervation. The internal and external tribulations of the Ottoman state were symptoms of a deeper illness reflected in the divorce between the medieval tradition and the most rampant elements of Sufism, the intellectual stagnation of the more rational forces within Islam, and an extreme subjectivism of the intuitive elements that had temporarily triumphed and threatened at times to lead Islam into a totally mystic pantheism.

In reaction both to these inner dangers and to the Western menace, Islam appears to have embarked upon a path of revival and restoration. This revival has developed over the past two centuries, hesitantly at first but with a growing sense of concern and self-awareness, accompanied by a still unformed and unformulated effort to search for solutions that will enable Islam to meet the challenges of the present age. The first such manifestation came in the fundamentalist Neo-Hanbalite Wahhabi movement of central Arabia, which arose in protest against the laxness and heresies of Sufi versions of the faith in the mid-eighteenth century and which flourished until it was defeated by Ottoman arms in the early nineteenth century. Its influence survived, however, and not only became the basis of the Sa‘ūdi state but has had profound repercussions among revivalist, purifying movements in India and Africa. Although Sufi orders continued to expand in some areas, such as India, Africa, and fringe Muslim territory, in the nineteenth century, the puritan streak embodied in Wahhābism has in the twentieth century taken strong hold in the more purely Arab countries, where in almost all instances the orthodox version of the faith has been reinforced with the encouragement of and sometimes pressure from the authorities.

The confusion of religious and political factors in the Islamic crisis of the nineteenth century gave birth to a revived form of Pan-Islamism, which reflected in part the influence of similar political movements in Europe among the Slavs and Germans. Its message was preached by Jamāl al-Din al-Afghāni (d. 1897) from Egypt but eventually had little impact. One of his pupils, Muhammad ‘Abduh (d. 1905), took that part of it which emphasized the need for a thoroughgoing reform of Islamic thought and intellectual standards and attempted a reformulation of basic orthodox beliefs in order to show that they were compatible with modern life. Although it is too early to assess the ultimate importance of ‘Abduh, he remains at this juncture the outstanding reformist theologian of modern times within Islam. One of his disciples, Muhammad Rashīd Ridā (d. 1935), continued his work but moved from rationalism to a more conservative literalism, while calling for a revived caliphate under Arab, and more specifically, Quraish, guidance. Within the past generation the reaction against Westernization has, if anything, grown stronger, and there has been a proliferation of apologetics among Muslim intellectuals and writers. Much of this has been directed at Christianity, which is seen in a dual light: as a rival faith and as the indirect promoter of Western socio-political infiltration into the Muslim world. A conscious sense of competition, as opposed to the medieval Muslim assumption that Islam was infallible and had no rivals, can be discerned today for the first time in Islamic history. Among its manifestations are defenses against alleged attacks on Islam, an extreme defensiveness with respect to social issues on which Islam takes stands different from Western norms—or about which it is felt, however unconsciously, to be backward—and attempts at emulation and justification, represented notably by the biographical literature centering on Muhammad and the historical literature emphasizing the past glories of Islam and the superiority of medieval Islamic civilization to that of Europe in the Middle Ages. Such attitudes, however, permitted the Indian Muslim reformer Muhammad Iqbal (d. 1938) to expound the idea that Muslims were entitled to take the fruits of Western civilization because they originally grew out of Islamic soil. His writings and activities were instrumental in helping to create the state of Pakistan in 1947.

Although it is manifestly impossible to summarize the various trends in modern Islam in well over a score of countries, it might be said that the overriding problem is that of the confrontation of the faith with a secular nationalism which demands that the highest loyalties be given to the state. In its concept and function as a supranational solidarity ethos and as the bearer of an ultimate message to mankind, Islam has so far found it impossible to come to terms with secularist nationalism as it is found in many Muslim countries, just as it has with scientific materialism, whose tenets have made inroads throughout the Muslim world. Several solutions have been tried. The idea of an Islamic state was promulgated in Pakistan but subsequently abandoned. The creation of a secular state in Turkey after World War I was followed a generation later by concessions to religious sentiment of a kind that makes it impossible to consider Turkey fully secular today. And in modern Egypt there is a complex relationship between the religious institution and the state in which traditional religious education has been modernized and laicized while the orthodox institution has been incorporated into the state and made subservient to it for manifestly political ends. In all these endeavors Muslims are being forced to think in terms of an uncompromising dualism for which their previous theological constructions provide no adequate model. Inherent also in these efforts is the clear desire of modern Muslims, at almost any cost, to put a greater social content into their religious formulations. The outstanding examples of this trend may be the efforts being made in Egypt, Indonesia, Syria, Algeria, and other countries to reconcile various forms of socialism with Islam.

Charles F. Gallagher

[Directly related are the entriesAfrican society, article onnorth africa; Asian society, article onsoutheast asia; Historiography, article onISLAMIC HISTORIOGRAPHY; Near Eastern society.]

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Watt, W. Montgomery 1961 Islam and the Integration of Society. London: Routledge.

Watt, W. Montgomery 1962 Islamic Philosophy and Theology. Edinburgh Univ. Press.

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Islam

ISLAM

A strictly monotheistic faith, Islam is the religion of more than 1.2 billion people, or a fifth of the world population. Muslims can be found mostly in Western and Central Asia, Southeast Asia, and Africa. Only about 350 million live in the Arab world.



Pre-Islamic Arabia and the Rise of Islam


Islam appeared in the seventh century at a time of social and religious decay in the Arabian Peninsula. Arabian society was essentially tribal and the supremacy of tribal law encouraged warfare, raiding, and vendettas. Usurious economic practices led to the impoverishment and enslavement of a number of weaker tribes, and social ills such as alcoholism and prostitution were rampant. Associationism (or shirk, as the pre-Islamic religious tradition was referred to at the time) was the main faith, and it acknowledged a number of intercessory gods associated with the Creator, Allah. The representations of these gods were housed in an important shrine (the Kaʿba) in Mecca and attracted most Arabian tribes at the time of the annual pilgrimage (hajj). But Associationism was losing its appeal, as can be seen from the spread of Judaism, Christianity, and especially Hanifism, a local monotheism that took Abraham as its central figure and maintained a simple ethical doctrine and the inevitability of a Day of Judgment.

Islam arose claiming to be the embodiment of Hanifism and the continuation of earlier monotheistic traditions. Muhammad, the Prophet of Islam, started preaching in Mecca in 611 c.e. and quickly gained a strong following. Worried that it might lose its profitable control over the pilgrimage, the leadership of Mecca launched a merciless war on the new faith, forcing the Prophet to seek refuge in 622 c.e. in a neighboring town, Medina, in an event known as hijra (migration) that marks the beginning of the lunar calendar of Islam. Having prohibited alcohol, gambling, prostitution, raiding, and usury, and prescribed zakah (alms-tax) to restore economic equality, replaced the tribal bond with the bond of faith, and instituted Islamic law as the sole reference in settling disputes, Islam spread rapidly throughout Arabia, despite the continuing hostility of Mecca. But since half of Mecca's population had already converted to the new faith, the surrender of the city was only a matter of time, and when the Prophet died in 632 c.e., most of Arabia was Muslim.

Under the first four rashidun (rightly guided) caliphs, the Islamic state spread quickly in the Near East, where it was welcomed by a local Semitic and Arab population that was only too pleased to be rid of the ethnically foreign and abusive rule of the Byzantines, as well as in Persia, where the Sassanid Empire had already started to crumble. Later, the Umayyad dynasty (661750), which followed the rashidun caliphs, spread the frontiers of the new empire from Spain to India.

Theology and Beliefs


Tawhid, the concept of the absolute unity and transcendence of God, forms the cornerstone of Islamic theology as expressed in the Qurʾan, the holy book of Islam, which the Muslims believe to be the verbatim word of God, revealed to the Prophet in successive revelations over the span of his prophetic career. Tawhid forms the content of the shahada (literally, "witnessing," the profession of faith that states that there is no god but God and that Muhammad is His messenger) which therefore constitutes the only requirement for conversion to Islam. The shahada and the four main rituals compulsory on the faithful (worshipping salah five times a day, fasting from dawn to sunset through the month of Ramadan, performing the pilgrimage to Mecca once in a lifetime, and paying the zakah, or alms-tax, annually) eventually became known as the five pillars of Islam.

The Qurʾan represents God as an omnipotent, all-powerful Creator, Master of the Day of Judgment. All of creation is created to worship God; humanity, which received lordship over creation when it accepted God's vice-regency (khilafa) on earth, is to account on the Day of Judgment for "what [they] did with the boon of life" (Qurʾan 102:8). All human beings are under the same obligation to obey the divine law ("Noblest among you is the most righteous" Qurʾan 49:13), and this equality is further expressed in the universality of the messages that God sends to His creatures throughout time and place, starting with Adam and concluding with Muhammad ("There is not one community wherein a warner has not been sent" Qurʾan 35:24). Other religions are therefore considered to be based on divine revelations that had been somewhat altered by oral transmission over time, but their followers (the People of the Book) can be ensured reward in paradise given belief in God and good deeds: "The Muslims, the Sabeans, the Christians, the Jews, anyone who believes in God . . . and does good deeds shall find their reward with God and will not come to fear or grief" (Qurʾan 2:62). Although the Qurʾan only mentions Semitic prophets (including Jesus, whom it celebrates as a human messenger of God, and local Arabian prophets), the designation of "the People of the Book" was later extended by the Muslims to all other main religious traditions they encountered, on the basis of the Qurʾanic affirmation
of the universality of prophecy. Muslims and followers of other traditions are exhorted to cooperate in establishing a moral society and prohibiting evil and mischief.


Ethics


The Qurʾan exhibits a firmly actionalist system of ethics based on individual responsibility in the realization of the optimal social, economic, and political structure of the umma, the universal community of believers. Mutual consultation (shura) for the ideal political system, just and fair business practices in the economic system, and financial and moral responsibility to one's extended family members in the social system are to be supplemented by various safety nets for the more vulnerable segments of society, such as zakah (poor-tax) and mahr (the inalienable

dowry due the bride). Though no self-denial is advocated, the individual is urged to exercise restraint over his and her natural appetites and to show rahma (compassion, forgiveness) in all dealings with one's fellow human beings. Pride and greed are especially condemned, as they lead to injustice to others and hence to oneself (zulm al-nafs), ultimately leading to the path of self-destruction. There is no concept of sinful nature, but recurrent sin leads to the hardening of the soul and the eventual silencing of one's conscience. The partial rewards and opportunities provided in this life are considered to be just as much a test to the individual as the difficulties and hardships, and one is exhorted to exercise sabr (steadfastness) in the face of life's challenges.

The difficulty of the task is acknowledged by the Qurʾan, which expresses faith in humanity's ultimate success in carrying out God's trusteeship. The individual is urged to remain focused on his or her relationship with God and to never fail to seek Him, for He "hears the prayers of everyone who calls on Him" (Qurʾan 2:186). This intensely personal and spiritual relationship, which the Qurʾan tries to integrate in the individual's life through the five daily prayers, also expresses the human need for the presence and support of one's Creator and Sustainer, for only "with the remembrance of God do human hearts find peace and come to rest" (Qurʾan 13:30). Thus the Qurʾan postulates a direct and intimate relationship between the individual and God (hence the absence of clergy in Islam) and God is said to be closer to His creatures than their jugular vein.

Paradise and Hell are in the Qurʾanic view the consummation of the individual's life on earth. What is to come is therefore not "another world," but the response to what one has done in this life. This world is to be recreated in a different form at
the end of its time span, ushering in the Day of Judgment that will inaugurate punishment and reward; these are set along an absolute scale of justice tempered only by God's infinite mercy, which is assured to all those who genuinely seek it.


Political and Cultural Developments


Islam as a faith spread first in the Near East and Egypt, where in the first few centuries Arab Islamic civilization flourished. The caliphate split after the Abbassid takeover of the Near East and Egypt, while Spain remained under Umayyad rule until 1492. The Abbassid dynasty ruled until 1258, though in the latter part of their rule only nominal allegiance was given to the caliphs in Baghdad by the amirs and sultans who, in effect, governed the various provinces of the empire and fought each other over territory. The internecine war, partly caused by Sunni-Shiʿite conflict, allowed the invading Crusaders (eleventh through thirteenth centuries) to establish a state in Palestine. It was not until Salah al-Din (Saladin, d. 1193) that Egypt and the Near East were united under Sunni rule, which in turn helped to defeat the Crusaders and later to repulse the Mongols who had sacked Baghdad in 1258. But as the Arab world fell into decline, the Sunni Ottoman Turks swept through Byzantium and extended their rule over the Near East and most of North Africa, ushering in Ottoman Islamic civilization. In the East, the Shiʿite Safavid dynasty took over Iran at the end of the sixteenth century, helping to spread a highly sophisticated Persian culture throughout Central Asia and into Northern India, where a brilliant Indian Islamic civilization climaxed under the Great Moghuls between the sixteenth and eighteenth centuries.

During this period Islamic arts, science, and technology flourished throughout the Muslim world, with contributions in astronomy (al-Biruni, d. 1048; Ibn al-Shatir, d. 1375), algebra and trigonometry (al-Khawarizmi, d. 850; Umar al-Khayyam, d. 1131; Sharaf al-Din al-Tusi, d. 1213), physics and chemistry (Ibn Hayyan, d. 815; Ibn al-Haytham, d. 1250), and biology and medicine (Abu Bakr al-Razi, d. 925; Ibn Sina, d. 1037, also known as Avicenna, whose Canon of Medicine remained the definitive reference book in the field until the seventeenth century in both East and West.)


Islamic Law


The emphasis on submitting to the divine will (the literal meaning of Islam ) and fulfilling the main Qurʾanic injunction, "to enjoin the good and prohibit evil" led to the rapid development of Islamic law (fiqh). In terms of legal sources, the Qurʾan was the first and absolute reference; and since it had mandated obedience to the Prophet, his sunna (ex-ample), which was provided in the reports of his sayings and deeds, naturally came second. Much of the law, however, had to be inferred, and the jurists turned to their own intellectual effort (ijtihad) expressed in the methodology of qiyas ("analogical reasoning," that is, finding a ratio legis parallel to one already identified in the Qurʾan or sunna ). Such individual opinions, however, did not become binding until they submitted to ijma, or consensus of the schools of law, though all parties acknowledged to the others the right to dissent (ikhtilaf). Eventually, the schools of law coalesced into four main schools. The processes by which laws may be derived became the subject of an extensive and separate discipline, usul al-fiqh (literally, the principles of fiqh ). Islamic law developed rapidly into an extensive field in the first few centuries of Muslim history, but innovation subsided considerably as a result of the reliance on precedents and past consensus.


Religious Schisms


The most important schism in the Muslim community occurred over a political split in the early community. After the Prophet's death, most Muslims supported the election of Abu Bakr and later of Umar ibn al-Khattab, the Prophet's closest companions. However, a small number known as the Shiʿat Ali (the party of Ali), insisted on keeping the caliphate within the Prophet's family and championed his cousin Ali. Eventually, the Shiʿa became a religious movement, basing their position on the claim that God would not leave His community without guidance, and justifying it through prophetic sayings and esoteric interpretation of the Qurʾan. The belief in the authority of the imams (the leaders who were entitled to rule) was made part of the Islamic creed and gave rise to a clerical structure in Shiʿite Islam. In all other matters of fiqh and dogma, the Shiʿa are similar to the Sunnis, though this applies only to the Ithnaʿashariyya ("Twelvers," who believe in a line of twelve imams), and the Zaydis (who recognize only five imams) and not to the other groups (the Ismaʿilis, the Alawis, the Druze, etc.) that split from them and whose beliefs ran contrary to the doctrines of tawhid and the finality of Muhammad's prophecy. Thus the main difference between the Sunnis and the Shiʿa lies more in the political issue of the community leadership (with the beliefs and practices that the latter entails) than in doctrinal difference of dogma.

Philosophical Developments


The philosophical developments in the Muslim world expressed the tension between the Islamic (Semitic) worldview and the Hellenistic heritage, which to some extent had become part of the Near East's cultural makeup. At one end stood the heirs of Hellenistic thought (called falasifa ) such as al-Kindi (d. 870), al-Farabi (d. 950), and Ibn Rushd (d. 1198, also known as Averroes) who used Greek logic and incorporated into their works Greek notions such as the eternity of the world, the distinction between essence and existence, and Hellenistic angelology.

At the other end stood the traditionists, staunch defenders of Islamic dogma and method, generally represented by the Hanbalis. Their greatest proponent was Ibn Taymiyya (d. 1328), who delivered devastating blows to the Greek logic used by the falasifa in his al-Radd ala al-Mantiqiyyin. In between the two groups were two theological Kalam schools; the earlier one, known as the Muʿtazila, was closer to the philosophers and upheld the independence of reason from revelation, the necessity for God to abide by justice, and the creation of the Qurʾan; such views prompted the rise of the later school, the Ashʿariyya, which restored the pre-eminence of revelation, the absolute omnipotence of God, and the uncreated nature of the word of God (making use of a somewhat revised Greek logic). Their greatest representative was Abu Hamid al-Ghazzali (d. 1111), who used his incisive analysis of causality to undermine the philosophers.

Mysticism


Mystical thought, which had a basis in the spiritual worldview of the Qurʾan and the simple and intense piety of early Muslims, became more formalized through the gradual absorption of Hellenistic, Persian, and Indian thought, and became known as Sufism. The main architect of the Sufi theosophy was Ibn Arabi (d. 1240). Sufi poetical expression of the divine love, articulated by Rabiʿa al-Adawiyya (d. 801) and Jalal al-Din al-Rumi (d. 1273), became very popular throughout the Muslim world. But its foreign elements led to opposition by the orthodox jurists and theologians, especially those whose strictly legalistic and ritualistic interpretation of the faith found no place for spiritual expression. Ironically, their opposition encouraged the spread of Sufism as a reaction to their impoverished representation of the personal relationship to Godas did the increase in worldliness and materialism spreading in the Muslim world as the empire expanded. However, most great theologians and jurists (e.g., alGhazzali, who silenced the critics of Sufism; Ibn Taymiyya; Muhammad ibn Abd al-Wahhab) defended and indeed practiced the Sufi way, though all of them condemned in strong terms the philosophical expression of Sufism, which advocated a form of pantheism (wahdat al-wujud, the unity of being) and extreme asceticism. But Sufism spread widely, and the tariqas (Sufi orders, such as the Qadiriyya in the Near East, the Mawlawiyya (Mev levis and the Naqshbandiyya in Central Asia and Turkey, and the Shadhiliyya in North Africa) were the main impetus behind the spread of Islam in Africa and East Asia.


Reform Movements


The insistence on the importance of spiritualism over and above the law led on one hand to asceticism and withdrawal but also, on the other, to libertarianism, a trend that was accentuated in popular religion by the belief in miracles, superstition, and cultic practices into which the veneration of Sufi saints had slowly degenerated. In North Africa and India, the Sufi movements had also absorbed the cultural and religious heritage of their new converts, a syncretism that included at times non-Islamic beliefs and practices. Meanwhile, the law had become more and more reified as the need for innovation subsided and taqlid (imitation or reliance on past tradition) became the norm. The jurists' inability to respond to new needs became a problem as new challenges arose with the industrialization of Europe, which forced the Ottomans to adopt Western laws and institutions. All these problems set the stage for the reform movements of the eighteenth century.

The reform movements rejected consensus as a source of law as it had become a hindrance to change, and they advocated ijtihad instead. At the same time, they emphasized a strict interpretation of tawhid and repudiated the syncretic beliefs adopted by the Sufi movements as well as the morally lax social practices and the popular beliefs in magic, superstition, and saints' intercession. Building on the philosophical and political thought of Ibn Taymiyya, Muhammad ibn Abd al-Wahhab (d. 1792) started in Arabia the reform movement of Wahhabism, which then spread in the Near East as the Salafiyya movement. At same time, separate but similar movements spread in Africa under the leadership of Ibn Idris (d.1837) and al-Sanusi order (d. 1859), and in India under Sirhindi (d. 1624). These were Sufi masters who criticized the former excesses of the Sufi movements and used the tariqas to restore orthodoxy of belief and practice and to purge the movements of syncretic accretions.

However, the colonial ambitions of the European powers quickly changed the Muslim scene from one of reform to one of confrontation with a greater power that soon overcame most of the Muslim world and won from the ailing Ottoman Empire significant concessions. Instead of internal social change, the reform movements turned to armed resistance, and instead of focusing on doctrinal purity and legal tools, the new discourse centered on the necessity of resisting the West and on apologetics for Islam, for the defeat of the Muslims was contemptuously blamed by Western Orientalists on the backwardness and inferiority of Islam.


Islamic Modernist Movements


Islamic modern thought is considered to start with Jamal al-Din al-Afghani (d. 1897), a man with encyclopedic knowledge of both Western and Eastern disciplines who traveled throughout the Muslim world in hope of uniting it in the fight against Western colonization. He advocated reform of education and law and was followed in Egypt by one of his most famous students, Muhammad Abduh (d.1905), a jurist who became the head of the famed al-Azhar fiqh university. But few practical solutions were offered, and the problem was compounded by the call by some of his students like Rashid Rida (d. 1935) for compromise with Western institutions, such as interest and the creation of national entities separate from the Islamic Ottoman rule. In India, Muhammad Iqbal (d. 1938) called for a return to the original ethos of Islam and the establishment of the independent state of Pakistan, while Sayyid Ahmad Khan (d. 1898) called for more drastic changes in Islamic thought and cooperation with the British colonial power. The compromises advocated by some led then to an attitude of general rejection of change on the part of most jurists and theologians, and although all had agreed on the necessity of reforming law and education and of adopting Western advances in science and technology, the discourse remained general and did not offer specific and coherent suggestions. In effect, the colonial powers, which by now had also taken over the Near East after the defeat of the Ottoman Empire at the end of World War I, had imposed their legal, political, and educational systems on their colonies. After independence, the local governments maintained the Western institutions they had inherited, leading to the Islamic Revolution in Iran in 1979 and giving rise, throughout the Muslim world, to opposition movements (such as the Muslim Brotherhood in Egypt and Jordan, the Jamiʿat-e Islami in Pakistan, the Front Islamique du Salut in Algeria and the Rafah Party in Turkey) that called for the restoration of Islamic law and fought the adoption by Muslim elites of the Western ideologies of secularism, socialism, and nationalism. These ideological conflicts, which have led to tensions or all-out civil war in many countries, are exacerbated by the policies of autocratic regimes that do not tolerate opposition or democratic rule and by Western intervention (directly or in support of such regimes) to preserve Western interests in oil and to protect Israel. These interventions have become the focus of Muslim resentment and radicalism throughout the Muslim world.

see also abduh, muhammad; afghani, jamal al-din al-; alawi; allah; azhar, al-; druze; front islamique du salut (fis); hadith; iqbal, muhammad; iranian revolution (1979); ismaʿili shiʿism; jamiʿat-e islami; kaʿba; mecca; medina; muhammad; muslim brotherhood; naqshbandi; qadiriyya order; qurʾan; rida, rashid; salafiyya movement; shiʿism; sufism and the sufi orders; sunni islam; zaydism.

Bibliography


Arnold, Thomas W. The Preaching of Islam: A History of the Propagation of the Muslim Faith, 2d edition. Lahore, Pakistan: Sh. Muhammad Ashraf, 1961.

Al Faruqi, Lois. Islam and Art. Islamabad: National Hijra Council, 1985.

Gardet, Louis. L'Islam. Paris: Desclée de Brouwer, 1967.

Kamali, Mohammad Hashim. Principles of Islamic Jurisprudence. Cambridge, U.K.: Islamic Texts Society, 1991.

Nasr, Seyyed Hossein. Three Muslim Sages. Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press, 1964.

Rahman, Fazlur. Islam, 2d edition. Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 1979.

Rahman, Fazlur. Major Themes of the Qurʾan. Chicago: Bibliotheca Islamic, 1980.

Saliba, George, and King, David A. From Deferent to Equant: A Volume of Studies in the History of Science in the Ancient and Medieval Near East in Honor of E. S. Kennedy. New York: New York Academy of Sciences, 1987.

Smith, Wilfred Cantwell. Islam in Modern History. Princeton, NJ: Princeton University Press, 1957.

tayeb el-hibri
updated by maysam j. al faruqi

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Islam

ISLAM

From the beginning, Rus and its successors have interacted with Muslims as neighbors, rulers, and subjects. Long-distance trade in silver from Muslim lands provided the impetus for the establishment of the first Rus principalities, and Islam arrived in the lands of Rus before Christianity. The rulers of the Volga Bulghar state converted to Islam at the turn of the tenth century, several decades before Vladimir's conversion to Christianity in 988 c.e. The Bulghar state was destroyed between 1236 and 1237 by the Mongols, who then went on to subjugate the principalities of Rus. The conversion to Islam in 1327 of Özbek Khan, the ruler of the Golden Horde, meant that political overlordship of the lands of Rus was in the hands of Muslims for over a century. As the power relationship between Muscovy and the Golden Horde began to shift, Muscovite princes found themselves actively involved in its succession struggles. In 1552 Ivan IV conquered Kazan, the most prominent of the successor states of the Golden Horde, and began a long process of territorial expansion, which brought a diverse group of Muslims under Russian rule by the end of the nineteenth century.

the tsarist state and its muslim population

Muscovy acquired its first Muslim subjects as early as 1392, when the so-called Mishar Tatars, who inhabited what is now Nizhny Novgorod province, entered the service of Muscovite princes. The khans of Kasymov, a dynasty that lost out in the succession struggles of the Golden Horde, came under Muscovite protection in the mid-fifteenth century and became a privileged service elite. Nevertheless, the conquest of Kazan was a turning point, for it opened up the steppe to gradual Muscovite expansion. Over the next two centuries Muscovy acquired numerous Muslim subjects as it asserted suzerainty over the Bashkir and Kazakh steppes. In 1783 Catherine II annexed Crimea, the last of the successors of the Golden Horde, and late-eighteenth-century expansion brought Russia to the Caucasus. While the annexation of the Transcaucasian principalities (including present-day Azerbaijan) was accomplished with relative ease, the conquest of the Caucasus consumed Russian energies for the first half of the nineteenth century. The final subjugation of Caucasian tribes was complete only with the capture of their military and spiritual leader, Shamil, in 1859. Finally, in the last major territorial expansion of its history, Russia subjugated the Central Asian khanates of Khiva, Bukhara, and Kokand in a series of military campaigns between 1864 and 1876. Kokand was abolished entirely, and large parts of the territory of Khiva and Bukhara were also annexed to form the province of Turkestan. The remaining territories of Khiva and Bukhara were turned into Russian protectorates

in which traditional rulers enjoyed wide-ranging autonomy in internal affairs, but where external economic and political relations were under the control of Russia. The conquest of Central Asia dramatically increased the size of the empire's Muslim population, which stood at more than fourteen million at the time of the census of 1897.

The Russian state's interaction with Islam and Muslims varied greatly over time and place, and it is fair to say that no single policy toward Islam may be discerned. In the immediate aftermath of the conquest of Kazan, the state followed a policy of harsh repression. Repression was renewed in the early eighteenth century, when Peter and his successors began to see religious uniformity as a desirable goal. In 1730 the Church opened its Office of New Converts and initiated a campaign of conversion in the Volga region. While its primary target were the animists inhabiting the region, the Office also destroyed many mosques. As many as 7,000 Tatars may have converted to Orthodoxy, thus laying the foundation of the Kräshen community of Christian Tatars. For much of the rest of the imperial period, however, the state's attitude is best characterized as one of "pragmatic flexibility" (Kappeler). Service to the state was the ultimate measure of loyalty and the source of privilege. Those Tatar landlords who survived the dispossession of the sixteenth century were allowed to keep their land and were even able to own Orthodox serfs.

The reign of Catherine II (17621796) marks a turning point in the state's relationship with its Muslim subjects. She made religious tolerance an official policy and set about creating a basis for loyalty to the Russian state in the Tatar lands. She affirmed the rights of Muslim nobles and even sought to induct the Muslim clerisy in this endeavor. In 1788, she established a "spiritual assembly" at Orenburg. The Orenburg Muslim Spiritual Assembly was an attempt, unique in the Muslim world, by the state to impose an organizational structure on Islam. Islam was for Catherine a higher form of religion than shamanism, and she hoped that the Kazakhs would gradually be brought into the fold of Islam through the efforts of the Tatars. This was of course intertwined with the goal of bringing the Kazakh steppe under closer Russian control and outflanking Ottoman diplomacy there. Headed by a mufti appointed by the state, the assembly was responsible for appointing and licensing imams as teachers throughout the territory under its purview, and overseeing the operation of mosques.

While the policies enacted by Catherine survived until 1917 in their broad outline, her enthusiasm for Islam did not. The Enlightenment had also brought to Russia the concept of fanaticism, and it tended to dominate Russian thinking about Islam in the nineteenth century. Islam was now deemed to be inherently fanatical, and the question now became one of curbing or containing this fanaticism. If Catherine had hoped for the Islamization of the Kazakhs as a mode of progress, nineteenth century administrators sought to protect the "natural" religion of the Kazakhs from the "fanatical" Islam of the Tatars or the Central Asians.

Conquered in the second half of the nineteenth century and having a relatively dense population, Central Asia came closer than any other part of the Russian empire to being a colony. The Russian presence was thinner, and the local population not incorporated into empire-wide social classifications. Not only was there was no Central Asian nobility, but the vast majority (99.8%) of the local population were defined solely as inorodtsy (alien, i.e., non-Russian, peoples). The region was ruled by a governor-general possessing wide-ranging powers and answerable directly to the tsar. The first governor-general, Konstantin Kaufman (in office 18671881), laid the foundations of Russian policies in the region. For Kaufman, Islam was irredeemably connected with fanaticism, which could be provoked by thoughtless policies. Such fanaticism could be lessened by ignoring Islam and depriving it of all state support, while the long-term goal of assimilating the region into the Russian empire was to be achieved through a policy of encouraging trade and enlightenment. Kaufman therefore did not allow the Orenburg Muslim Assembly to extend its jurisdiction into Turkestan. The policy of ignoring Islam completely was modified after Kaufman's death, but the Russian presence was much more lightly felt in Central Asia than in other Muslim areas of the empire.

islam under russian rule

Islam is an internally diverse religious system in which many traditions and ways of belonging to the community of Muslims coexist. As Devin DeWeese has shown, Islam became a central aspect of the communal identities of Muslims in the Golden Horde. Conversion was remembered in sacralized narratives that defined conversion as the moment that the community was constituted. Shrines of saints served to Islamize the very territory on which Muslims lived. Until the articulation in the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries of modern national identities among the various Muslim communities of the Russian empire, communal identities were a composite of ethnic, genealogical, and religious identities, inextricably intertwined.

The practice of Islam, its reproduction, and its transmission to future generations took place in largely autonomous local communities. Each community was centered around a mosque and (especially in Central Asia) a shrine. The servants of the mosques were selected by the community, and the funding provided by local notables or through endowed property (waqf ). Each community also maintained a maktab, an elementary school in which children acquired basic knowledge of Islamic ritual and belief. Higher religious education took place in madrasas, both locally and in neighboring Muslim countries. Unlike the Christian clergy, Muslim scholars, the ulama, were a self-regulating group. Entry into the ranks of the ulama was contingent upon education and insertion into chains of discipleship. Islamic religious practice required neither the institutional framework nor the property of a church. This loose structure meant that the fortunes of Islam and its carriers were not directly tied to the vicissitudes of Muslim states.

The process of Islamization continued after the Russian conquest of the steppe and was at times even supported by the Russian state. The state settled Muslim peasants in the trans-Volga region in the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries, but the main agent of the Islamization of the steppe was the Tatar mercantile diaspora. As communities of Tatar merchants appeared throughout the steppe beginning in the late eighteenth century, Tobolsk, Orenburg, and Troitsk became major centers of Islamic learning. Tatar merchants began sending their sons to study in Central Asia, and Sufi linkages with Central Asia and the lands beyond were strengthened.

varieties of reform

In the early nineteenth century, reform began to emerge as a major issue among Tatar ulama. The initial issues, as articulated by figures such as Abdunnasir al-Qursavi (17761812) and Qayyum Nasiri (18251902), related to the value of the tradition of interpretation of texts as it had been practiced in Central Asia and in the Tatar lands since Mongol times. Qursavi, Nasiri, and their followers questioned the authority of traditional Islamic theology and argued for creative reinterpretation through recourse to the original scriptural sources of Islam. This religious conception of reform was connected to developments in the wider Muslim world through networks of education and travel. By the turn of the twentieth century, Tatar scholars such as Musa Jarullah Bigi, Alimjan Barudi, and Rizaetdin Fakhretdin were prominent well beyond the boundaries of the Russian empire.

A different form of reform arose around the reform of Muslim education. Its initial constituency was the urban mercantile population of the Volga region and the Crimea, and its origins are connected with the tireless efforts of the Crimean Tatar noble Ismail Bey Gaspirali (18511914). Gaspirali had been educated at a military academy but became involved in education early on in his career. Muslims, he felt, lacked many skills important to full participation in the mainstream of imperial life. The fault lay with the maktab, which not only did not inculcate useful knowledge, such as arithmetic, geography, or Russian, but failed, moreover, in the task of equipping students with basic literacy or even a proper understanding of Islam itself. Gaspirali articulated a modernist critique of the maktab, emanating from a new understanding of the purposes of elementary education. The solution was a new method (usul-i jadid ) of education, in which children were taught the Arabic alphabet using the phonetic method of instruction and the elementary school was to have a standardized curriculum encompassing composition, arithmetic, history, hygiene, and Russian. Gaspirali's method found acceptance among the Muslim communities of the Crimea, the Volga, and Siberia, and eventually appeared in all parts of the Russian empire inhabited by Muslims. New-method schools quickly became the flagship of a multifaceted movement of cultural reform, which came to be called "Jadidism" after them.

Jadidism was an unabashedly modernist discourse of cultural reform directed at Muslim society itself. Its basic themes were enlightenment,

progress, and the awakening of the nation, so that the latter could take its own place in the modern, civilized world. Given the lack of political sovereignty, however, it was up to society to lift itself up by its bootstraps through education and disciplined effort. Jadid rhetoric was usually sharply critical of the present state of Muslim society, which the Jadids contrasted unfavorably to a glorious past of their own society and the present of the civilized countries of Europe. The single most important term in the Jadid lexicon was taraqqi, progress. Progress and civilization were universal phenomena for the Jadids, accessible to all societies on the sole condition of disciplined effort and enlightenment. There was nothing in Islam that prevented Muslims from joining the modern world; indeed, the Jadids argued that only a modern person equipped with knowledge "according to the needs of the age" could be a good Muslim. In this, Jadidism differed sharply from other currents of reform among the ulama. The debate between the Jadids and their traditionalist opponents was the defining feature of the last decades of the Tsarist period.

In Central Asia, the distinct social and political context imparted Jadidism a distinct flavor. The ulama retained much greater influence in Central Asia, while the new mercantile class was weaker. Central Asian Jadids, therefore, tended to be more strongly rooted in Islamic education than their counterparts elsewhere. Nevertheless, they faced resolute opposition from within their own society, as well as from a Russian state always suspicious of unofficial initiatives.

the "muslim question" in late imperial politics

For the Jadids, the nation was an integral part of modernity, and they set out to define the parameters of their nation. The new identity was not foreordained, however, for the nation could be defined along any of several different axes of solidarity. For some, all Muslims of the Russian empire constituted a single national community. Gaspirali argued that the Muslims needed "unity in language, thought, and deeds," and his newspaper sought to show this through example. In 1905 a number of Tatar and Azerbaijani activists organized an All-Russian conference for Muslim representatives to work out a common plan of action. The conference established the Ittifaq-i Müslimin (Union of Muslims) as a quasi-political organization. Delegates resolved to work for greater political, religious, and cultural rights for their constituency. During the elections to the Duma, the Ittifaq aligned itself with the Kadets. Two further conferences were held in 1905 and 1906, but Muslim political activity was curbed after the Stolypin coup of 1907, which reduced the representation of Muslims and denied the Ittifaq permission to register a political party.

Muslim unity was threatened by regional and ethnic solidarities. The discovery of romantic notions of identity by the Jadids led them to articulate the identity of their community along ethnonational lines. Here too, visions of a broad Turkic unity coexisted with narrower forms of identity, such as Tatar or Kazakh. The appeal of local ethnic identities proved too strong for broader Islamic or Turkic identities to surmount. This was the case in 1917, when the All-Russian Muslim movement was briefly resurrected and Tatar leaders organized a conference in Moscow to discuss a common political strategy for Muslims. Divisions between representatives from different regions quickly appeared, and the various groups of Muslims went their separate ways.

Although Muslim activists continually professed their loyalty to the state, their activity aroused suspicion both in the state and among the Russian public, which construed it as pan-Islamism and connected it with alleged Ottoman intrigues to destabilize the Russian state. The rise of ethnic self-awareness was likewise seen as pan-Turkism and also connected to outside influences. Russian administrators had hoped that enlightenment would be the antidote to fanaticism. Now the fear of pan-Islamism and pan-Turkism, both articulated by modern-educated Muslims, led to a reappraisal. The fanaticism of modernist Islam was deemed much more dangerous than that of the traditional Islam, since it led to political demands. This perception led the state to intensify its support for traditional Islam.

the soviet period

The Russian revolution utterly transformed the political and social landscape in which Islam existed in the Russian empire. The new regime was radically different from its predecessor in that it actively sought to intervene in society and to reshape not just the economy, but also the cultures of its citizens. It was hostile to religion, perceiving it as both an alternate source of loyalty and a form of cultural backwardness. As policies regarding Soviet nationalities emerged in the 1920s, the struggle for progress acquired a prominent role, especially among nationalities deemed backward (and all Muslim groups were so classified). Campaigns for cultural revolution began with the reform of education, language, and the position of women, but quickly extended to religion. The antireligious campaign eventually led to the closure of large numbers of mosques (many were destroyed, others given over to "more socially productive" uses, such as youth clubs, museums of atheism, or warehouses). Waqf properties were confiscated, madrasas closed, and large numbers of ulama arrested and deported to labor camps or executed. The only Muslim institution to survive was the spiritual assembly, now stationed in Ufa.

The campaign was effective in its destructiveness. Islam did not disappear, but the infrastructure which reproduced Islamic religious and cultural knowledge was badly damaged and links with the outside Muslim world cut off. Islam was forced into isolation. The most important consequence of this isolation was that "Islam" was rendered synonymous with "tradition". Official channels of socialization, such as the school system and the army, which reached very deep into society, were not just secular, but atheistic. With maktabs and madrasas abolished, the ranks of the carriers of Islamic knowledge denuded, and continuity with the past made difficult by changes in script, religious knowledge was vastly circumscribed and the site of its reproduction pushed into private or covert realms. The public sphere were stripped of all references to Islam.

During World War II, as the state's hostility to religion abated briefly, it sought to permit limited practice of religion under close supervision. To this end, it created three new Muslim spiritual administrations in addition to the one at Ufa to oversee the practice of Islam. Of the four, the one based in Tashkent and responsible for Central Asia soon emerged as the most significant. The spiritual assemblies had to tread a thin line between satisfying the requirements of the state and ensuring a space in which Islamic institutions could exist officially. A great deal of religious activity existed beyond the control of the assemblies, but it was at home in a specifically Soviet context. Islam in the postwar decades was subordinated to powerful national identities formed for the most part in the Soviet period. Islam and its rituals were celebrated as part of one's national heritage even as Islamic knowledge shrunk greatly.

Since the collapse of the Soviet Union, Islam has become more prominent in public life as Muslims have engaged in a recovery of their national and cultural heritage. Mosques have been reopened or rebuilt and contacts with Muslims abroad established, and a there has been a general increase in personal piety. Nevertheless, the Soviet-era connections between Islam and national heritage remain intact, and as post-Soviet regimes undertake nation-building, Islam retains its strong cultural definitions.

See also: central asia; gaspirali, ismail bey; golden horde; nationalities policies, soviet; nationalities policies, tsarist; religion

bibliography

Bennigsen, Alexandre, and S. Enders Wimbush. (1979). Muslim National Communism: a Revolutionary Strategy for the Colonial World. Chicago: University of Chicago Press.

Carrère d'Encausse, Hélène. (1988). Islam and the Russian Empire: Reform and Revolution in Central Asia, tr. Quintin Hoare. Berkeley: University of California Press.

DeWeese, Devin. (1995). Islamization and Native Religion in the Golden Horde: Baba Tükles and Conversion to Islam in Historical and Epic Tradition. University Park: Pennsylvania State University Press.

Frank, Alan J. (1998). Islamic Historiography and "Bulghar" Identity among the Tatars and Bashkirs of Russia. Leiden, Netherlands: Brill.

Frank, Alan J. (2001). Muslim Institutions in Imperial Russia: The Islamic World of Novouznesensk District and the Kazakh Inner Horde, 17801920. Leiden, Netherlands: Brill.

Gammer, Moshe. (1994). Muslim Resistance to the Tsar: Shamil and the Conquest of Chechnia and Daghestan. London: Frank Cass.

Geraci, Robert. (2001). Window on the East: National and Imperial Identities in Late Imperial Russia. Ithaca, NY: Cornell University Press.

Kamp, Marianne R. (1998). "Unveiling Uzbek Women: Liberation, Representation, and Discourse, 19061929." Ph.D. diss., University of Chicago.

Kappeler, Andreas. (1992). "Czarist Policy Toward the Muslims of the Russian Empire." In Muslim Communities Reemerge: Historical Perspectives on Nationality, Politics, and Opposition in the Former Soviet Union and Yugoslavia, ed. Andreas Kappeler et al. Durham, NC: Duke University Press.

Keller, Shoshana. (2000). To Moscow, not Mecca: Soviet Campaigns against Islam in Central Asia, 19171941. Westport, CT: Praeger.

Khalid, Adeeb. (1998). The Politics of Muslim Cultural Reform: Jadidism in Central Asia. Berkeley: University of California Press.

Khalid, Adeeb. (2000). "Society and Politics in Bukhara, 18681920." Central Asian Survey 19: 367396.

Ro'i, Yaacov. (2000). Islam in the Soviet Union: From the Second World War to Gorbachev. New York: Columbia University Press.

Steinwedel, Charles. (1999). "Invisible Threads of Empire: State, Religion, and Ethnicity in Tsarist Bashkiria, 17731917." Ph.D. dissertation, Columbia University, New York.

Swietochowski, Tadeusz. (1995). Russia and Azerbaijan: A Borderland in Transition. New York: Columbia University Press.

Adeeb Khalid

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Islam

Islam

Islam is an Arabic word meaning "surrender" or "submission." It is a faith that encompasses approximately one-fifth of humanity. Its adherents reside in almost every country of the world and comprise majorities in large segments of Africa, the Middle East, the Indian subcontinent, and Asia. Approximately 6 million Americans follow Islam.

The Origins of Islam

The historical origins of Islam date back to seventh century Arabia. The Prophet Muhammad, an aristocratic Arabian born and raised an orphan in the sanctuary city of Mecca, experienced a revelation in his fortieth year. He began to preach to his own people, most of whom initially persecuted him. After thirteen years of suffering with patience and endurance, he migrated to the nearby city of Medina. For over twenty-three years, beginning in 610 c.e., the Prophet orally transmitted the Quran (Koran). Muslims believe the Quran was revealed from God through the archangel Gabriel. In it, a cosmology, a theology, and an elaborate eschatology are described. By the end of the Prophet's life in 632 C.E., almost the entire Arabian Peninsula had converted from paganism to Islam, and within a hundred years, its followers stretched from France to China.

Although considered the youngest of the three great Abrahamic faiths that include Judaism and Christianity, Islam does not view itself as a new religion but rather as a reformed Abrahamic faith. Muslims believe that the Quran corrects distortions of previous prophetic dispensations while not departing from the aboriginal faith of humanity, which according to the Muslims is Islam, or sub-mission to one God. While Muslims believe all prophets have taught the unity of God and that their beliefs about God were the same, their actual practices have changed to suit various times and places. According to Muslims, this is why religions tend to differ outwardly, while retaining an essential inward truth common to them all. However, the Quran declares its message as uniquely universal applying to all people for all remaining time.

Basic Beliefs of Muslims

Islam is based upon five "pillars" that represent the bedrock upon which all else is based. The first pillar, which makes one a Muslim, is called the shahadah, meaning, "testimony" or "witnessing." It is fulfilled by declaring to two witnesses the foundational creed of Islam: "Ashhadu an la ilaha illa Allah wa anna Muhammadan rasulullah. " This means, "I witness that there is nothing worthy of worship except God and that Muhammad is God's messenger." The first part of the testimony is a belief that God is unique with no partners. Thus, nothing in creation can be associated with God, as creation has no real substantiation without the sustaining power of God. Indeed, creation is not God nor does it have any eternal qualities of the divine that are worthy of worship. Rather, creation is a theater of divine manifestations. Creation is seen as a place where analogies of the divine reveal themselves. The intellect of a person is the vehicle given by God to discern this truth about creation as indicated by several verses in the Quran.

The second part of the declaration, Muhammad is the messenger of God, acknowledges the means through which this understanding of God has come. All prophets are special human beings capable of refracting divine light, acting like prisms that allow others to see it. The intensity of direct divine light is something only a prophet can bear. Muslims believe that the revelation given to Muhammad is like refracted green light, which lies in the middle of the light spectrum. Muslims consider Islam to be the most balanced of the prophetic dispensations, the "middle way." The Prophet Muhammad's life is considered to be moderate and exemplary for both men and women. He abhorred extremes saying, "Beware of extremism in your religion." After the Quran, the Prophet's practice, or Sunnah, is the second most important authority in Islam.

The second pillar of Islam is prayer. While people may supplicate anytime they wish to do so, there is a specific prayer every adult Muslim, female and male, is obliged to perform five times a day. The times are determined by the perceived movement of the sun as a way of reminding people of the temporal nature of the world. Thus, each day is considered to be a microcosm of one's own life: the dawn prayer as one's coming into the world, the midday prayer as the end of youth, the afternoon prayer as old age, the sunset prayer as death, and the evening prayer as the beginning of the descent into the darkness of the grave and returning to the dawn prayer as the awakening and resurrection of the dead. After the testimony of faith, prayer is considered the most important pillar.

The third pillar of Islam is paying zakah, an obligatory alms given once every lunar year from the standing capital of every responsible adult. It is not an income tax, as income tax is prohibited in Islamic law, but rather a capital tax on wealth that has been stagnate for at least a year. It is one-fortieth of a person's liquid assets. According to the Quran, zakah is distributed among eight categories of people, the two most important recipients being the poor and the needy.

The fourth pillar is fasting the entire lunar month of Ramadan, and it begins with the sighting of the new crescent for that month. Fasting entails abstaining from food, drink, and sexual relations from dawn to sunset and is obligatory on adults healthy enough to do so.

The fifth pillar is the Hajj, or pilgrimage to Mecca. Muslims believe Mecca to be the site of the first house of worship built by the Prophet Adam and his wife Eve and then restored millennia later by the Prophet Abraham and his son, the Prophet Ishmael. At the end of his mission, the Prophet Muhammad restored its monotheistic purpose by destroying the 365 idols in it that the Arabs had been worshiping prior to Islam. The rituals performed in the pilgrimage follow the footsteps of Abraham and his second wife Hagar. The Hajj culminates on a vast desert plain where approximately 3 million pilgrims from almost every country on Earth gather every year and prepare for standing before God on the Day of Judgment.

Customs and Practices of Muslims

Due to the broad cultural diversity in the Muslim world, Islam is a quilt of many colors rather than a monolithic faith etched in stone. The majority of Muslims have never considered Islam to be "straight and narrow" but rather "straight and broad." The word in Arabic for the sacred law of Islam, shariah, literally means "the broad path to water." The shariah, rather than being a rigid and inflexible law, is governed by a fluid and elastic set of principles, and Muslim legal theorists consider it rationally comprehensible and thus capable of being altered when the rationale is absent or the circumstances warrant.

Most Muslim cultures manifest their own characteristics. For instance, the Islam of Indonesia, while essentially the same in its skeletal form, is quite different culturally from the Islam of Senegal. Muslims are required to wear modest clothes, and women are required to cover their hair and entire body except for the hands and face when in the presence of unrelated males. However, the bright colors of the women of Nigeria contrast sharply with the moribund black of the Arabian Peninsulaboth are considered acceptable. Food and merrymaking also differ greatly, and Muslims, like other peoples, have diverse ways of enjoying themselves and appreciating the milestones of life such as weddings, births, graduations, and religious holidays. Religious music and chanting are widespread in the Muslim world, and Quran reciters with beautiful voices have statuses in some Muslim countries.

Living and Dying in Islam

The German philosopher Goethe wrote, "If Islam means submission to the will of God, then in Islam we all live and die." This succinctly summarizes the goal of Muslims: To live and die in accordance with God's will as revealed in the Quran and practiced by the Prophet. Muslims attempt to adjust their view of the world with the lens of the Quran. The will of God is expressed in the Quran through both expectations and examples. The expectations are usually descriptions of how a believer should live his or her life, and various stories in the Quran provide positive and negative examples. The epitome of a positive exemplar is Moses, whose story is dealt with in great detail in the Quran. Struggle is at the root of life on earth, a spiritual survival of the fittest. The fittest are those closest to God; they are those who are "steadfast in prayer and spend out of what We have provided for them" (Quran 2:3; Ali 1999, p. 17). The negative prototype is embodied in Pharaoh, who elevates himself above God's law and makes his own law the only source of guidance. Moses is given the Promised Land for his perseverance and steadfastness, and Pharaoh is destroyed by his own hubris and rebellion against the divine will. The story of Moses is an example of submission (Islam), and Pharaoh's is of rebellion and infidelity (kufr ). Between these two lies the struggle of humanity.

Life is meant to be an arena whereby one struggles with good and evil. The Quran teaches that good and evil exist in the heart of every individual as well as in the society. The individual struggle is to act righteously in accordance with the Quran and prophetic example, and to shun one's own evil and its impulses. The collective struggle is to work with others to make the world a more righteous place. In Arabic, this inward and outward struggle is called jihad. While it can mean a militant struggle against those who attack the Muslim lands, it also signifies a person's struggle with the lower tendencies of the soul, the gravitational pull of self-destructive forces that lead to alienation from God and a state of spiritual disequilibrium. Because humans inevitably fall short morally and succumb to these destructive tendencies from time to time, a means of reestablishing spiritual balance is given, called tauba or atonement. This is done by experiencing a genuine sense of remorse for one's transgressions and a removal of the unhealthy effects of that state by turning to God and seeking divine grace through prayer, charity, and a sincere resolution not to return to the destructive patterns of the past.

While life is seen as a spiritual test and journey, it is also seen as being filled with blessings from God to be enjoyed: "Eat and drink, but waste not by excess, for Allah loveth not the wasters. Say: 'Who hath forbidden the beautiful (gifts) of Allah which He hath produced for His servants, and the things, clean and pure, (which He hath provided) for sustenance?" (Quran, p. 352). Thus, in Islam, marriage is highly recommended and celibacy is frowned upon. The Muslim savants of the past identified sexual relations between a wife and her husband as a foretaste of eternal bliss with God in the afterlife. The Prophet Muhammad encouraged marriage and stated, "There is no monasticism in Islam." In Islam, children are highly esteemed and seen as one of God's greatest blessings to humanity. The Prophet stated that humans were born innocent and later corrupted by their societies. Thus, parents are held responsible for maintaining that state of innocence and raising them with a sense of love and awe of the divine. Motherhood is highly regarded in the Quran and the prophetic tradition. The Prophet said, "Paradise lies at the feet of mothers." In most Muslim societies, adult women are still predominantly mothers and housewives during their productive years.

Death and Its Relevance to Muslims

Death is a question of ultimate concern for every human being, and Islam has a very vivid portrayal of the stages of death and the afterlife. Death is likened to sleep in Islam; interestingly, sleep in Arabic is called "the little brother of death." The Prophet spoke often of death, and the Quran is filled with warnings of the dangers of ignoring one's mortality and of not preparing for death before it is too late. In one poignant passage, the Quran reads,

And spend something (in charity) out of the substance which We have bestowed on you before death should come to any of you and he should say, "O my Lord! Why didst Thou not give me respite for a little while? I should then have given (largely) in charity, and I should have been one of the doers of good." But to no soul will Allah grant respite when the time appointed (for it) has come; and Allah is well-acquainted with (all) that ye do. (Quran, pp. 14731474)

Hence, the world is seen as an opportunity to cultivate for the hereafter, and time is seen as capital that human beings either invest wisely or squander, only to find themselves bankrupt in the next life. Muhammad said, "One of you says, 'My wealth! My wealth!' Indeed, have any of you anything other than your food that you eat and consume, your clothes that you wear out, and your wealth that you give in charity which thus increases in return in the next world?"

The idea of mentioning death and reflecting on death is very important in a Muslim's daily life, and attending any Muslim's funeral, whether known or not, is highly encouraged; for such attendance, one is rewarded greatly by God. Muhammad advised, "Make much mention of the destroyer of delights," which is death. He also said, "Introduce into your gatherings some mention of death to keep things in perspective." This is not seen as a morbid exercise, and Muslims surprisingly accept death, resigned to what is called "one's appointed time" (ajal ). Like the telemere in biology that dictates how many times a cell may regenerate before dying, an individual's appointed term, according to Islam, is inescapable and fated. When a Muslim survives a near-death experience, such as a serious car accident, an operation, or an illness, he or she will often remark, "My appointed time did not come yet."

After Death

Once a Muslim dies, the people left behind must prepare the body by washing, perfuming, and shrouding it. The funeral prayer is then performed, and the deceased is buried in a graveyard without a coffin, simply laid in the earth and covered. A person, usually a relative, informs the deceased of what is happening, as Muslims believe that the deceased can hear and understand what is being said. Muslims believe the dead person is not always aware of the transition, and so the one giving instructions informs the deceased that he or she has died, is being laid in the grave, and that two angels known as Munkar and Nakir will soon come into the grave to ask three questions. To the first question, "Who is your Lord?," the deceased is instructed to reply, "Allah." In answer to the second question, "Who is your Prophet?," the deceased should say, "Muhammad," and the correct response to the third question, "What is your religion?," is "Islam." If the individual passes this first phase of the afterlife, the experience of the grave is pleasant, and he or she is given glimpses of the pleasures of paradise. If however, the deceased does not pass this phase, then the grave is the first stage of chastisement.

After this, the soul sleeps and does not awake until a blast from an angel at God's command. According to Islamic tradition, this blast signals the end of the world and kills any remaining souls on the earth. It is followed by a second blast that causes all of the souls to be resurrected. At this point, humanity is raised up and assembled on a plain. The Quran states, "On that day We shall leave them to surge like waves on one another; the trumpet will be blown, and We shall collect them all together" (Quran, p. 735). From there, humanity will beg each of the prophets to intercede for them and hasten the Day of Judgment because the waiting is so terrible, but the prophets will refuse. Finally, all of humanity goes to the Prophet Muhammad. He will agree to intercede for them and ask that the Judgment commence. This intercession is granted to him alone. Then, each soul is judged based upon its beliefs and actions, which are weighed in the scales of divine justice. At this point, the two guardian angels assigned to all people throughout their adult lives will testify for or against them. According to the Quran, the limbs of each person will testify, and the earth herself is resurrected and bears witness against those who caused her harm. Next, a person will be given a book either in the right or left hand. For those given a book in the right hand, they pass the Judgment and are given the grace of God. For those given a book in their left hand, they fail the Judgment and are condemned to hell. However, at this point, prophets and other righteous people are allowed to intercede for their relatives, followers, or friends among the condemned, and their intercession is accepted.

Once the Day of Judgment is over, humanity proceeds to a bridge known as the sirat, which crosses over hell. The saved cross it safely to the other side and are greeted by their respective prophets. The Muslims who make it safely across are greeted by Muhammad, who will take them to a great pool and give them a drink that will quench their thirst forever. The condemned fall into hell. The Quran states that some will only spend a brief time there, while others, the unrepenting and idolatrous ingrates, are condemned forever. Muslims see death as a transition to the other side. Islam is seen as the vehicle that will take one safely there. It is only in paradise that the believer finds ultimate peace and happiness.

Common Misconceptions about Islam

Perhaps the most common misunderstanding about Islam is its attitude toward women. In light of modern sensibilities, Islam, as practiced by most Muslims, does retain some pre-modern attitudes. Much of this is cultural; however, some is not. For example, although the home is generally considered the best place for a woman, Islam does not prohibit a woman from a career in the outside world. In fact, many early Muslim women including the Prophet's wife, Khadija, were scholars and merchants. While Islamic law does legislate some differences between men and women, they are few in number. The majority of practicing Muslim women do not view them as demeaning because a woman is considered equal to a man before God. The Quran clearly states, "Whoever works righteousness, man or woman, and has faith, verily to him will We give a new life, and life that is good and pure, and We will bestow on such their reward according to the best of their actions" (Quran, p. 663).

Another aspect of Islam that tends to spark interest is the idea of Jihad, or holy war. Some people think Islam condones violence and even terrorism. In reality, Islam rarely permits Muslims to use coercive force and does so only for reasons such as self-defense. Moreover, with the exception of self-defense, only legitimate state authority can exercise coercive force. Although there is a religious duty to fight to defend the lands of Islam, strict rules of engagement apply. The Prophet specifically prohibited the killing of religious people, old people, as well as women and children. Later, Muslim legal theorists included any noncombatants in this prohibition. Sadly, like other religions, Islam has violent fanatics and extremists who justify their crimes by distorting Quranic verses and the sayings of the Prophet Muhammad for heinous ends.

Muslims are a racially diverse community, the majority of which are non-Arab. Although Islam began in Arabia, Arabs comprise less than 15 percent of Muslims. The largest Muslim population is in Indonesia, and the second largest is in Bangladesh. There are estimated to be over 60 million Muslims in modern China. Largely due to high birthrates in the traditional Islamic world, Islam is considered to be the fastest growing religion in the twenty-first century. In 2000 it was the third largest religion in the United States and is expected to be the second after Christianity.

See also: African Religions; Buddhism; Chinese Beliefs; Hinduism; Zoroastrianism

Bibliography

al-Ghazali. On Disciplining the Soul and On Breaking the Two Desires, translated by Timothy J. Winter. Cambridge, England: Islamic Texts Society, 1995.

al-Ghazali. The Remembrance of Death and the Afterlife, translated by Timothy J. Winter. Cambridge, England: Islamic Texts Society, 1995.

al-Nawawi, Yahya ibn Sharaf. Al-Maqasid: Imam Nawawi's Manual of Islam, translated by Nuh Ha Mim Keller. Evanston, IL: Sunna Books, 1994.

al-Sadlaan, Saalih ibn Ghaanim. Words of Remembrance and Words of Reminder: Encompassing Important Dhikr and Important Islamic Behavior, translated by Jamaal al-Din Zarabozo. Boulder, CO: Al-Basheer Company for Publications and Translations, 1998.

al-Shabrawi, Shaykh Abd Al-Khaliq. The Degrees of the Soul, translated by Mostafa Al-Badawi. London: The Quilliam Press, 1997.

as-Sulami, Abu Abd Ar-Rahman. Early Sufi Women, translated by Rkia Elaroui Cornell. Louisville, KY: Fons Vitae, 2000.

Chittick, William. The Vision of Islam. New York: Paragon House, 1994.

Friedlander, Shems, and Al-Hajj Shaikh Muzaffereddin. Ninety-Nine Names of Allah. New York: Harper Colophon Books, 1978.

Glasse, Cyril. The Concise Encyclopedia of Islam. London: Stacey International, 1989.

Helminski, Kabir. The Knowing Heart: A Sufi Path of Transformation. Boston: Shambhala Publications, 1999.

Lings, Martin. Muhammad: His Life Based on the Earliest Sources. Rochester, NY: Inner Traditions International, 1983.

Smith, Huston. The World's Religions: A Guide to Our Wisdom Traditions. San Francisco: Harper, 1994.

Stork, Mokhtar. AZ Guide to the Quran: A Must-Have Reference to Understanding the Contents of the Islamic Holy Book. Singapore: Times Books International, 1999.

HAMZA YUSUF HANSON

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Islam and the body

Islam and the body As was the case in other pre-modern societies, the peoples of the Middle East conceived of the body in various ways, reflected in both popular perceptions and the formulations of formal intellectual disciplines. In early Islamic times, in the seventh to ninth centuries, Muslims displayed far more systematic interest in the body in religious and legal terms than in strictly medical affairs, and by the time a formal medical tradition began to emerge in Iraq, in the mid ninth century, there was already a copious literature on the subject in the religious sciences of Islam. This material continued to be extremely influential throughout Islamic history and remains so today.

Religious views of the body

The scholars who formulated the religious thought of Islam had definite views on the body. In some respects these views were also shared by Christians and Jews, but for Muslims the agenda was to uphold a strict and pristine monotheism that they considered the older faiths of Judaism and Christianity to have abandoned.

Where the body was concerned, the central argument was teleological. All things come from God, including the human body, which must therefore reflect God's merciful and beneficent plan for mankind. If this is so, then the body must reflect a principle of harmony and order in keeping with the unity and omnipotence of its author. The human body, it was maintained, works in harmony for the sake of the whole: fingers, for example, do not exist for their own sake, but for the sake of the whole body, which benefits from the grasping and manipulative functions that fingers perform. Some parts of the body, it is true, are not essential to life — blindness is a disability, for example, but one suffering from it can still lead a fulfilling life. But nothing in Creation can be superfluous, not even barren deserts or seas full of salt water, otherwise God would be either a trifler or a faulty planner and orderer of His creation, both of which conclusions were of course impossible in a monotheistic context. Thus nothing in the body is useless; all parts have a function that can be related to the functions of other parts. This notion — the so-called ‘argument from design’ — was of course already prominent in the traditions of peoples of the past. The Old Testament contains many examples of this, and in Greek medical thinking the idea is prominent in the works of the Hellenistic physician Galen 129–216 ad. But Islam promoted it in a major way, and his deployment of the argument from design, with a major role for the demiurge, was undoubtedly one factor that made Galen very attractive in the heyday of the translation movement (ninth to tenth century), when Greek texts were being rendered into Arabic as much for their disputational and didactic utility as for their medical content.

Islamic views of the body were also shaped by the fact that Islam, in contrast to Christianity, had no doctrine of original sin. The Qur'an states explicitly that all souls are Muslims from the moment of Creation — it is errant upbringing in human society that turns them to other religions. The God–man relationship is therefore an essentially positive one; man is fickle, weak, and unmindful and forgetful of his duty to God, but he is not encumbered by the burden of the sin of Adam.

The implications of such formulations for notions of the body were significant. Islamic social sensibilities and law have always placed heavy emphasis on the ritual purity (tahara) of the body and its preservation from pollution. A Muslim's preparations for prayer always include ritual washing, and the pristine state thus produced remains only so long as one avoids contact with ritually unclean things, such as blood, urine, faeces, semen, and unclean animals. On the other hand, illness in Islam does not imply sinfulness on the part of the sufferer, nor disapproval of him by God; on the contrary, the Qur'an repeatedly states that in the sick, the blind, the lame, and the weak ‘there is no fault’, and recommends visitation to those who are ill. In extreme cases, such as death from plague or in childbirth, sayings attributed to the Prophet Muhammad state that the victim's suffering earns him or her God's mercy and direct entry into Paradise. Law and society in the Islamic world have traditionally adopted an essentially lenient and compassionate attitude toward the ill. The madman, for example, was not held accountable for his actions since he was not in control of them, and the ill were excused from religious requirements, such as fasting during the month of Ramadan and attendance at Friday prayers. In most cases (leprosy being a notorious exception) physical illness did not result in ostracism from society, and the scenes that still appear in Mecca and Medina every year, when the pilgrims rally around the infirm and the elderly to assist them in their performance of the various rites of the pilgrimage, illustrate the extent to which medical disadvantage could make one a focus of communal solicitude.

A similar solicitude was also extended to children. Childhood was recognized as a period of growth and maturation distinct from adulthood, the transition to the latter for the most part being identified in and recognized through physical changes in the body. The Qur'an specified when a child should be weaned, and children seized as captives in war were not to be taken away unless they were a certain height (‘five spans of the hand’ was the measure most commonly cited). Children were expected gradually to assume more of the responsibilities of adulthood, such as attendance at prayers, but until sexual maturity they were not held legally or morally accountable for them. Once able to father or give birth to children, however, one became a full member of adult society and was responsible for his or her actions. Daughters were married off at a young age, based on the precedent of Aisha, who as tradition had it had been married to the Prophet Muhammad at the age of 9 (though it was apparently rare for girls to enter a consummated marriage at this age). Young men were regarded as adults at the age of 15 (made the ‘standard’ age for maturity already in early Islamic times), and it was not uncommon for youths to rise to great power: the author of the early Islamic conquests in India, for example, was Muhammad ibn al-Qasim (d. c.717), who personally led and directed the campaigns at the age of 17.

If Islamic law and social norms allowed the adult man instant and almost unlimited leeway for advancement, it also held him entirely responsible for the actions of his body. This was often enforced in a most particularist fashion. The canonical punishment for theft was amputation of a hand, for example, and the utterer of blasphemy could have his tongue cut out. The bodies of executed criminals were often subjected to further humiliation through public display of their remains, or dispatch of heads to the offended ruler, often with public processions along the way. Fire was believed to consume the soul as well as the body, and was in any case a punishment normally reserved for God to inflict through condemnation to Hell; but in extreme cases rebels and heretics were burned alive for their transgressions, the ultimate crimes being punishable by the ultimate act of destruction that could be visited upon the body.

There have at times been major trends toward the renunciation of the body. Extreme asceticism has never found particular favour in Islam, but various mystical and ascetic movements have viewed the body as a vehicle for the function of the senses and appreciation of the pleasures of the physical world, and hence as distractive of man's attention from God. A wide variety of trends collectively referred to as Sufism thus arose to address the problem of how this distraction might be suppressed or removed. Answers ranged from collective meditations and devotions in groups, sometimes involving swaying or whirling of the body, to extremely austere seclusion away from human society. A special sanctity often attached to religious hermits and saintly ascetics, who were revered for their piety and sought out for the healing abilities of the blessed power (baraka) attributed to them.

Social background

The religious manifestations of concern for the physically disadvantaged (children, the old, the ill, the insane, and so forth) are related in important ways to social considerations. Among the most important of these is the central role of the extended family, which is extremely solicitous of the welfare and reputation of its members. In time of illness, it closes around the sufferer for support and encouragement: an ill person is a family responsibility and concern, and to fail to offer assistance in any way possible would be to fail in a central obligation of kinship and call into question the honour and reputation of the family as a whole. It comes as no surprise to find that, in the medieval Islamic world, deathbed scenes and accounts of the demise of known individuals never took place in a hospital, which seems primarily to have been the recourse of those without family to attend to them — travellers, visiting merchants, and the poor. In modern times the same attitude can be seen in the generally negative attitude toward placement of the elderly in retirement and old-folk's homes. Threats to the body of the individual, in other words, comprise challenges to the body of the family.

The interplay between social and religious factors can be seen in the special status accorded in Islam to the dead. Death of the physical body called for specific rites of ritual purification involving washing and shrouding, and essentially inspired by references in the Qur'an to the ‘torment of the grave’, it was discussed whether or not a person can continue to feel pain after death. It was believed that on the Judgment Day the dead will be raised in their physical bodies, and in the condition in which they had passed from the physical world. A famous example is the tradition of the Prophet stating that those who die in the holy war (jihad) will appear before God still bearing their wounds, which will, however, smell as sweet as musk. A special problem was posed by the cases of those who had died in such a way that no physical body would remain to be called forth (e.g. a victim of a fire, or one drowned at sea and so presumably eaten by the fish). Like victims of plague or childbirth, these too were deemed to have won immediate entry to Paradise, thus precluding any need for a physical body for Judgment.

Such sensitivities over the dead, and considerations of what would occur after death, discouraged actions that involved the dismemberment of the body. Some were uneasy about amputations of limbs, even if necessary to save life, since one would still appear before God eventually, but bearing the proof of an earlier effort to escape His will. The mutilation of criminals certainly had this point in mind, and it is likely that it also discouraged an interest in autopsy or dissection of cadavers for medical purposes, which seems not to have been regarded by doctors as a source of useful information in any case.

There was also an important magical dimension to the body in Middle Eastern society. Continuing an age-old tradition of such beliefs, Muslims, Christians, and Jews all considered it a manifest fact that spirits of various kinds could and did interfere with human affairs and affect the body. Apart from the evil eye — a disembodied but willing malevolent power that could bring misfortune, once attracted to a victim by ostentatious good fortune or boasting, or by the jealousy or malice of others — there was a wide range of demons and spirits with which to contend. The most important of these were the jinn (sing jinni, hence the English ‘genie’), who, like man, were mortal beings and part of the physical world: human beings could benefit from their help or suffer from their mischief; see, talk with, and even intermarry with them, and outmanoeuvre and defeat them. Protection against such potential sources of harm was sought through sympathetic magic. Amulets or charms were calculated to defeat spirits in various ways, and were worn or kept on the body as protection. Illnesses in particular were regarded either as communicated to man by spirits, or as animate entities that could be tricked or compelled to leave the body.

Perceptions of the human body have also been profoundly influenced by a more general social attitude toward women which manifested itself at many other levels as well. As in other traditional societies, women have been regarded as weaker than and inferior to men, and are subject to male guardianship — either father, male relatives, or husband — at all times. A woman grew up under the authority of her father and moved to that of her husband upon marriage; if her father died she was subject to the supervision of her other male relatives, and if divorced she moved back to the home of her family or a male relative. A woman lived on her own only in the most extraordinary circumstances, and to choose to do so would have invited suspicion and gossip as to her moral character and would have brought her family into disrepute. Men enjoyed wide latitude in exercise of their authority over women, including beating (sanctioned in the Qur'an), but excesses and brutality were deemed reprehensible and in extreme cases comprised grounds for divorce.

The female body was primarily associated with childbearing; menarche marked the passage to full adult status, and society expected that as soon as she was able to do so a woman would marry and bear her husband's children. The role of motherhood was absolutely crucial. A barren wife was subject to summary divorce, and a woman who died a virgin was often considered a martyr since she had not fulfilled herself by bearing children.

As these examples indicate, the position of women was closely linked to that of sexuality in Islamic society. Intense sensitivities about nakedness and the honour of the individual and the family did not prevent the rise of a lively and often quite open attitude toward sexuality, at least among men. Sexual jokes and anecdotes, hilarious and often quite graphic, appeared in even very respectable literary texts, and sexual poetry was highly developed. Guides and advice manuals on sexual intercourse, many of them illustrated, were popular, and medical compendia routinely contained chapters advising on how to prolong or maintain erection, heighten sexual pleasure, and intensify orgasm. In general, the quest for sexual fulfillment lay within the purview of men, from whom vigorous sexual activity was anticipated as soon as maturity had been attained. Prostitutes, slaves, and concubines were all readily available; homoerotic experience was well known, and while they were frowned upon in some quarters as demeaning to one's manhood, no shame necessarily attached to homoerotic acts so long as one was the active partner. For women, however, sexual activity outside of marriage was entirely taboo, and much anxiety and effort was devoted by men to ensuring that the conduct of their womenfolk gave not the slightest grounds for suspicion. While there is no reason to believe that women were any less aware of their sexuality than men, overt interest in such matters by a woman was widely regarded as suggestive of promiscuous inclinations, and female circumcision — as opposed to male, which was performed for reasons of ritual purity — was often employed in efforts to curb sexual desires.

Developments in modern times

The Islamic views of the human body in social, religious, and legal terms prevailed in various forms until the nineteenth century. The steadily weakening situation of Islamic regimes throughout the Middle East, however, was highlighted by Napoleon's invasion of Egypt in 1798, and Muslim rulers adopted varying degrees of Westernization in order to confront the threat of economic and political domination by Europe.

Views of the body have been no less subject to radical change than other aspects of traditional life. Western dress, beginning with military uniforms but spreading quickly to other areas, including the attire of women, has challenged centuries-old norms and sensitivities concerning the body. The sanctions of Islamic law and religious norms concerning the body have been undermined by modern law codes, and have been called into question more generally by endless exposure to Western values via media such as radio, film, television, and the press.

These challenges have never passed unanswered, and in the past twenty years particularly vigorous efforts have been made to revive traditional ways. Islamic dress, for example, has been promoted as an assertion of identity and a symbol of personal commitment to the faith, and in some countries Islamic law pertaining to the body — amputation of a hand as punishment for theft, for example — has been revived. Social and legal expectations of women have in some ways become more restrictive.

Informing all of these activities is a general awareness that the physical entity of the body is hedged about by, and ultimately is only meaningful in terms of, an enormous range of constructs defined, upheld, and promoted by the society in which one lives and to which one belongs. The current dialogue between Western and Islamic views of the body in the Middle East and the rest of the Islamic world, or wherever Muslims live as a community, essentially arises from a desire to benefit from Western advances in knowledge while still preserving the Islamic body both as an achievable reality and as a symbol of how the genuinely religious life should be lived.

Lawrence I. Conrad

Bibliography

Gil'adi, A. (1992). Children of Islam: concepts of childhood in medieval muslim society. Macmillan/St Antony's College, Oxford, Basingstoke.
Malti-Douglas, F. (1991). Woman's body, woman's word: gender and discourse in Arabo-Islamic Writing. Princeton University Press, Princeton.
Winter, M. (1995). Islamic attitudes toward the human body. In Religious reflections on the human body. (ed. J. M. Law). Indiana University Press, Bloomington.


See also Buddhism and the body; Christianity and the body; Islamic medicine; Hinduism and the body; Judaism and the body; religion and the body.

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Islam

Islam


The religion of Islam is practiced by people from different ethnicities and nationalities throughout the world. People who adhere to the faith and practice of Islam are called Muslims. Traditional Muslims who practice as Sunnis and Shiites follow the teachings of the prophet Muhammad. From regions (e.g., North and Central Africa, Middle East) to various ethnic groups (e.g., Iranian, Egyptian, Malaysian), Islam encompasses vast multicultural groups of people (Al Faruqui 1978).


Background and Beliefs of Islam

The Islamic faith has served as the foundation for the moral and spiritual development of many generations of people. The word Islam literally means submission to Allah (Higab 1983). Islam is a monotheistic religion. Any person who makes a pledge to submit to Allah is referred to as a Muslim. Muslims display their Islamic beliefs through everyday practices, guided chiefly by the teachings in the Qur'an. The Qur'an is the holy book that serves as the blueprint for the life that Muslims believe Allah prescribed. The Qur'an, along with the Sunnah, and the Hadith, practices and traditions of the prophet Muhammed, provides guidance and direction for daily living. Each person is obliged to live his or her life in accordance with these traditions and practices (Al-Hali and Khan 1993). The Prophet Mohammed is believed to be the one true prophet who received the word of God in the seventh century as recorded in the sacred writings of the Qur'an. The religion of Islam has less formal structure than does Judaism or Christianity; there are no rabbis, priests, or ministers, for example. The imam of a mosque, the closest parallel to these roles, is considered to be more like a teacher than a leader or mediator. The other chief divergence between Islam and Judeo-Christian religions lies in the six articles of faith and the five pillars of Islam listed below. In addition to worshipping Allah (God), the practicing Muslim must pray five times a day, fast yearly during Ramadan, contribute to the poor, and make a pilgrimage to Mecca at least once in his or her lifetime. Due to the nature of these practices, Islam tends to be more visible, more daily, and more ritualized than other religions may appear to be (El-Amin 1991).

The Six Articles of Faith represent the necessary beliefs that undergird the religion of Islam. These beliefs support the core of Islamic faith. They are:

  1. Belief in the Oneness of God (Allah). This view stems from the belief that God is one being, and there are no other creators but God. Muslims believe in various prophets who were sent divine messages from God, but they worship only one God.
  2. Belief in the Holy Book. This concept pertains to Muslims' belief in the Holy Qur'an. This book serves as the blueprint for a way of life. Muslims believe that it contains all of the necessary elements for a productive life here on earth.
  3. Belief in the angels. This is the belief that angels are messengers sent from God. However, they should not be worshipped by humans and should only be viewed as messengers from God.
  4. Belief in the Prophet. Muslims believe that Muhammad was the last prophet sent by Allah. However, Muslims also believe that other persons such as Abraham and Jesus are prophets.
  5. Belief in the day of judgment. This stems from the Islamic belief that there is life after death and that one's actions as an earthly being shall be judged by the Creator (Allah).
  6. Belief in predestination. Muslims believe that Allah predestines one's life in reference to good versus evil.

The Five Pillars of Faith represent the fundamental practices necessary to incorporating Islam into a way of life. The five pillars are:

  1. Worship of Allah (God). This basic pillar incorporates the other four. To acknowledge Allah is to adhere to the messages sent to Muhammad as the Holy Word.
  2. Prayer. This pillar is viewed as one of the most fundamental practices of Islam. Muslims believe that praying five times a day serves as a daily vow of submission to Allah. Prior to prayer, cleansing is done (i.e., washing of hands/body) as a sign of purifying one's self in preparation for giving praise to Allah.
  3. Fasting. This Islamic principle serves as Muslims' vow of abstinence from food, drink, or sexual behavior for a period of time. This serves as a test of one's willingness to submit to Allah.
  4. Zakat. This principle refers to the donating of a portion of one's property/income to various areas of need within the Muslim community. These may include donations to the poor and maintenance of public facilities.
  5. Pilgrimage. When possible, this pillar is viewed as a sacred voyage back to the holy city of Mecca. It is believed that Mecca is the city where the Prophet Muhammad received his revelation from Allah. It is at this time when all Muslims can come together to pay homage to Allah.

Gender Relations

Relationships between men and women vary slightly by country of origin and governmental regulations but are nonetheless for all Muslims guided by Islamic law and practice, as specified in the Qur'an. The Qur'an sets the ideals that describe the relationship between men and women. It states, "[A]nd for women are rights over men similar to those of men over women" (2:226). This Surah (Qur'anic passage) supports the act of mutual submission of women and men to each other. The interpretation of this teaching varies. The independence and rights of women were originally supported by the prophet Muhammed, but Muslim scholars and governments have interpreted these rights in a variety of ways. History also notes that Muhammed began the practice of taking multiple wives and the obligatory veiling of women in public. Polygamy has fallen out of general practice and acceptance in most parts of the Muslim world but the obligatory veiling of women—called hijab— has remained. This veiling or hijab is practiced to some degree by virtually all Muslim women around the world. In some countries, such as Saudi Arabia, hijab is interpreted and regulated by the government as a total covering with black cloth of a woman's face, head, and body. In other countries, such as Iran, hijab is interpreted as a head covering with modest clothing to cover the body. The hijab is an identifying characteristic of Muslim women that renders them more visible in societies such as the United States, where head covering is not routinely practiced. Unfortunately, some Muslim women have experienced harassment or refusal of employment because of this visible requirement to cover their head or person.

Traditionally women and men are not free to date or intermingle, so the choice of a spouse is a more deliberate process. The vast majority of marriages are arranged marriages; that is, parents or guardians select appropriate mates for their offspring and bring them together for matrimony. The amount of choice and acceptance of these potential partners varies by culture and sometimes by class and educational status. Important characteristics in choosing a worthy mate are faith and chastity as demonstrated in this Surah (Qur'an 33:35): "For Muslim men and women, for believing men and women, for true men and women, for men and women who are patient and for men and women who guard their chastity, and for men and women who engage much in Allah's praise, for them has Allah prepared forgiveness and great reward."

As in most religions and cultures, marriage in Islam is a legal contract promoting love and harmony as well as procreation between a woman and a man (Higab 1983). This concept of commitment is strongly rooted in the Qur'an. The Qur'an gives a detailed account of the marital relationship and the responsibilities of each partner. Accordingly, it is stated that Allah believes that men and women are equal with no one person having precedence over the other. Nevertheless, it is believed that there are different functions of wives and husbands in regards to marriage. Note this Surah from the Qur'an (4:34): "Men are protectors and maintainers of women, because Allah has given them more physical strength than the other, and because they support them from their means. Therefore, righteous women are devoutly obedient, and guard in the husband's absence what Allah have them guard." Therefore, in Islam, the concept of marriage is viewed as a partnership with each person complementing the other (Lemu 1978). This means that the obedience required from Muslim women complements the role of the husband as the provider of the family. In other words, as long as the husband adheres to the proper Islamic teachings regarding his family, the woman's loyalty is supposed to be maintained.

Additionally, some basic fundamental ideas are recognized as central to a Muslim marriage (Sakr 1991). The family is recognized as the foundation of Islamic society. Husbands and wives are expected to produce offspring and maintain close relations with extended family members. Individuals are strongly encouraged to marry, and there is pressure on all single men and women to marry as soon as possible. Connected with this notion that Allah has established a mate for each individual. It is understood that these two persons should live together harmoniously in pursuit of a productive life. Premarital or extramarital sexual intercourse is prohibited. Men and women are expected to enter marriage in a virginal state and remain faithful. Marriage is regarded as an aspect of the Islamic faith that should be fulfilled with various benefits to the individuals involved (i.e., earthly and heavenly). Central is the custom that a groom provide a dowry (sum of money) to the bride or her family prior to marriage as a sign of commitment to the family. This dowry varies with cultures and traditions but is fairly universal in practice. Wives should expect to be supported by their husbands financially and are not expected to work outside of the home. In return, husbands can expect procreative and sexual access to their wives. When a couple marries, marriage should be publicized with a waleemah (reception) offered in celebration of the new marriage. Marriages should be celebrated publicly to announce to the world the beginning of a sacred commitment.

From an ecological perspective, Muslims believe that the marital dyad is crucial to the survival of the ecology of the family and the community. It is believed that these systems (i.e., family and community) are dependent upon the unity that is maintained in Muslim marriages (Sakr 1991). Additionally, the extended kinship established through marriage creates an even larger network that should enhance marital quality (Ninji 1993). Thus, the Islamic view of marriage identifies this institution as the central element of Muslim communities.


Family Relations

In addition to the responsibilities that men and women have in marriage, parenthood is central to Muslim identity and faith. As an Islamic parent, it is necessary to follow certain criteria when rearing children. These include maintaining an Islamic environment, especially in the home, and adhering to Islamic teachings regarding dress, diet, and prayer that are essential components of a household. The couple must educate the children with the understanding that Allah's teachings are the only acceptable principles for practicing a proper way of life. Providing religious education is the core responsibility of the parents. Often the father also takes on this more formally with older children, especially males. Parents must also serve as examples of the correct way of life according to Allah, and they must establish a sense of open communication among family members. The couple is expected to expose children to other Muslim families and children. This is especially important in countries in which Islam is only one of multiple practicing religions.

The role of motherhood is highly esteemed. Women as mothers are at the center of the family (Sherif 1999). The duties of motherhood are highly respected and considered a major responsibility and privilege of womanhood. Traditionally, the Muslim family is an extended rather than nuclear unit. The Qur'an supports respect for parents and elders and the necessary interdependence and mutual responsibility of young and old for the good of everyone. Extended family members offer guidance on childrearing and marriage and also provide support and mediation in times of need. Extended family participation and support is a welcome and common part of daily life.

Conclusion

Muslim individuals and families live around the world in many different countries and practice their faith in similar ways. Cultural variations such as type of dress and rituals for weddings may vary, but fundamentally Muslims are governed by the same principles found in the Qur'an. Of note is the fact that in the year 2000, the number of Muslims surpassed the number of Christians in the world. This may mean that Islam will be more visible in years to come in Western cultures. Insights and information about religions and practices can be a helpful way to facilitate more visibility and understanding.


See also:Afghanistan; Bedouin-Arab Families; Circumcision; Egypt; Ethnic Variation/Ethnicity; India; Indonesia; Interfaith Marriage; Iran; Israel; Kurdish Families; Kyrgyzstan; Malaysia; Religion; Senegal; Turkey


Bibliography

a-hali, t., and khan, m. (1993). interpretation of the meanings of the noble quar'an in the english language. kingdom of saudi arabia: maktaba dar-us-salam.

al faruqi, l. i. (1978). "an extended family model from the islamic culture." journal of comparative family studies 9:243–256.

cooper, m. h. (1993). "muslims in america." cq researcher april 30, 363–367.

el-amin, m. m. (1991). family roots: the quaranic view of family life. chicago: international ummah foundation.

higab, m. (1983). islam is the all-divine messages in one.lagos, nigeria: islamic publications bureau. lemu, aisha (1978). "women in islam." in the challenge of islam, ed. altaf gauher. london: islamic council of europe.

ninji, a. a. (1993). "the muslim family in north america:continuity and change." in ethnic families: strength in diversity, ed. h. p. mcadoo. newbury park, ca: sage.

sakr, a. h. (1991). matrimonial education in islam. chicago: foundation for islam knowledge.

sherif, b. (1999). "islamic family ideals and their relevance to american muslim families." in ethnic families: strength in diversity, ed. h. p. mcadoo. newbury park, ca: sage.

marsha t. carolan

monica mouton-sanders

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Islam

Islam


Any child of Muslim parents is considered a Muslim, and Islamic law contains precise and detailed provisions regarding children. Islam is the system of beliefs, rituals, and practices traced back to the Prophet Muhammad (c. 570632 c.e.), who reportedly started his mission in Arabia in 610 c.e. Islamic law is contained in the Muslim holy book, the Qur'an (or Koran), as revealed to Muhammad. The Qur'an contains 114 suras, or chapters, that were revealed to Muhammad over the course of twenty-three years. There are over one billion Muslims in the world, who inhabit forty predominantly Muslim countries and five continents, traversing a diverse geographical and cultural area. As Islam spread and established itself in these diverse areas, some of the many local cultures and customs became assimilated into Islamic practices. Thus, there may be slight variations on classical Islamic practices from country to country. There are also variations between the two major sects of Islam: the Sunnis and the Shi'is (also spelled Shiite ).

Islamic Law

Islamic life is determined by the Shari'a (the Way), which is Islamic law, although in the strict sense of the word it is much more than law, as it contains prescriptions for every aspect of life, ranging from rituals, customs, and manners to family lawincluding the treatment and rights of children. The primary source of the Shari'a is the Qur'an, which is considered to be the direct and unmediated word of God. Although there is only one Shari'a, there are slight differences in the constitution of the Shari'a amongst the Sunnis and Shi'is. These differences are due on the one hand to different interpretations of the Qur'anic text, known as tafsir (sing.), and on the other to legal interpretations, or fiqh (sing.), by the jurists. This exercise is known as science of the law (usulal-fiqh ).

According to the Sunni jurists, four principal sources (known as legal indicators) provide the basis for the Shari'a: the Qur'an (the word of God as revealed to the Prophet Muhammad); the Sunna of the Prophet (Muhammad's words, actions, and habits); ijma (consensus among Muslim jurists on a particular subject or the consensus of the Muslim community); and qiyas (reasoning by analogy), in which jurists develop new laws based on the Qur'an or the Sunna. The primary sources for the Shari'a used by the Shi'is are also the Qur'an and the Sunna of the Prophet, as well as the Sunna of the Imams, who are the descendants of the Prophet and who, for the Shi'is, also carry the spiritual mantle of the Prophet. The historical differences between Shi'i and Sunni Islam affect the structure and method by which they formulate laws from original sources. In place of qiyas, the Shi'i faqih, known as mujtahid, uses a method of legal inference called ijtihad, which is essentially a personal soul searching and reasoning. These variations are also due to the cultural differences of the diverse areas which Islam encompasses. However, the major provisions for the rights of children are the same within all the sects of Islam as they are based on the Qur'an and the Sunna.

Before the advent of Islam in Arabia, children not only had no rights but newborn babies were frequently buried alive, either because of poverty or because they were female and considered a burden. There are several Qur'anic verses on this subject: "And when the birth of a daughter is announced to one of them, his face becomes black and he is full of wrath." (Qur'an XVI: 58); "And kill not your children for fear of povertywe provide for them and for you. Surely the killing of them is a great wrong." (XVII: 31); "And when the one buried alive is asked for what sin she was killed " (LXXXI: 89). These verses support the fact that the custom of infanticide was practiced in pre-Islamic Arabia.

A Child's Upbringing

In Islamic societies the main purpose of marriage was, and still is, procreation, which is an obligatory religious duty. The advent of a child is not only welcomed and considered a blessing, it is also regarded as essential for strengthening the marriage bond, for the perpetuation of the line of descent, and for enlarging the community of the faithful. A house in which no child is born is seen to lack God's blessing. Childlessness frequently results in divorce, or at least the addition of another wife (as polygyny is permitted in Islam) who is able to bear children, as the inability to do so is always considered to be the fault of the woman.

There are various rituals associated with the birth of a child, and it is the duty of the father or legal guardian to see

that they are fulfilled. The first of these dictates that when the child is born the Muslim call to prayer is whispered in both its ears. The parents choose the child's name, but if there is a disagreement it is the father who chooses the name. On the seventh day after the birth a ceremony known as aqiqa takes place, during which a sheep is slaughtered and the child's hair is cut. Another rite, considered by some to be an aspect of incorporating the child into the community of the faithful, is male circumcision. This can take place at any age ranging from seven days to fifteen years, depending on the local culture, and is usually accompanied by festivities. Female circumcision does not exist in the Qur'an and there is no evidence that the Prophet recommended it. In the Muslim areas where it is practiced, as in parts of northeastern Africa, it is the consequence of local pre-Islamic practices.

In Islam, childhood is considered a special period in an individual's life. The different stages of childhood are well defined, and there is a rich vocabulary for them in Arabic. For example, the general term for the child is walad; the baby in the mother's womb is called janin (fetus); at birth, tifl; and at completion of seven days, sadigh. A baby who has not yetbeen weaned is called sabiyy if male and sabiyya if female. Aboy is called ghulam; a young man, habab. Once he attains the faculty of discernment and is able to differentiate between good and evil, he has reached the stage of tamyiz. There are other terms for the various stages until the child reaches maturity. For instance a child who dies before adulthood is farat.

Physical maturity in either sex establishes majority (bulugh ) in Islamic law. There is a difference of opinion in the legal schools about the exact age, but it ranges from nine for girls to eighteen for boys, although for girls the age of menstruation is generally acceptable. If there is doubt, however, a statement by the person that he or she has reached puberty is adequate. Before reaching majority, a minor is not legally recognized, does not have social responsibilities, and is under the care of a parent or guardian.

Duties of Parents

Islam considers children to be vulnerable and dependent beings. Therefore, Islamic law provides diverse rules for the protection of their body and property. According to these rules both parents have well-defined duties toward their children before they reach the age of maturity. In Islamic countries the patrilineal system of descent is the norm, so these duties are incumbent upon an established paternity resulting in mutual rights of inheritance, guardianship, and maintenance. Any child born within wedlock is considered legitimate, and provisions have been made regarding paternity in cases of divorce or the death of the father. Due to the importance of patrilineal descent, adoption is not permitted in Islam (Qur'an XXXIII: 45), although before the advent of Islam it was practiced in Arabia. Muslims are enjoined to treat children of unknown origin as their brothers in the faith.

The father of a child should provide the mother with the necessary material for the child's growth and survival. The baby has the right to food, clothing, and shelter (Qur'an II:233). The father should also see to the child's education (both secular and religious). Should the child's father be dead or unable to provide for the child, and if the child does not have any inherited property, then providing for the child becomes first the duty of the paternal grandfather, then other paternal relatives, and finally any other living relatives.

It is the responsibility of the mother to take care of the child during infancy. The mother must breast-feed the child at least up to the age of two (Qur'an II: 233), although even in present-day Islamic countries breast-feeding usually continues as long as the mother has milk. If a mother is unable to nurse, it is permitted to employ a wet nurse who is in good health and of good character (it is believed by some jurists that traits are inherited through human lactation)(Qur'an II: 233, LIV: 6). If the family cannot afford a wet nurse, frequently a neighbor or a friend who has recently given birth may fulfill the role.

If there is a dispute between parents, it is generally agreed that mothers have the right of custody for the first few years of a child's life. If a mother dies, custody reverts to a female relative, preferably in the mother's line. However, aside from these facts, the different schools of fiqh hold dissimilaropinions on this matter.

Children also have well-defined rights in respect to inheritance. Provisions have been made within the Qur'an and the Shari'a for the inheritance rights of both female and male offspring. In pre-Islamic Arabia, women and children had no inheritance rights. In Islam, boys inherit two times the amount that girls inherit. There are also provisions for the inheritance rights of parents (Qur'an IV: 11, 12).

The child is also entitled to a guardian. This may be the father, or it may be someone the father appoints to protect the child's property interests. Under Islamic law a child, as a minor, is not permitted to enter into any contractual arrangement. It is therefore the duty of the guardian to ascertain that any intended contract is to the child's advantage.

Religious Education

The religious education of the child is the responsibility of the parents, with boys being educated by their fathers, and girls by their mothers. Through the initial rituals at birth, the child is incorporated into Islam, and the basic principles of the faith are explained when the child starts talking. However, the systematic religious education of the child does not begin until the age of tamyiz. In the past, this education frequently began by sending boys to the maktab (Qur'anic school), where they learned the recitation of the Qur'an and instruction on the performance of religious commandments. Female children did not go the maktab, although female maktabs were available in some countries. Girls frequently received their religious instruction at home from their mother and were taught household work. However, although maktabs exist in all Islamic countries today, religious instruction is also incorporated into the general curriculum of modern state education, and special religious books have been written for children. In some Islamic countries, such as Turkey, schools are coeducational, while in others, such as Saudi Arabia, any kind of schooling for girls is of recent origin, and children are taught in separate male and female facilities.

The ritual five daily prayers, which constitutes one of the five pillars of Islam, do not become incumbent upon the child until she or he reaches his or her majority. (As explained above, although different schools of law hold diverse opinion on the actual age of majority, fifteen is generally considered the age that separates the minor from the major.) Corporal punishment is permitted for children who do not fulfill their religious obligations or who show signs of unacceptable traits or behavior. In addition, children have duties toward their parents. They are enjoined to be kind, obedient, and respectful toward their parents, and to look after them in old age (Qur'an: XVII: 23; XXIX: 8; XXXI: 14, 15; XXXXVI: 15).

The Family

It must be remembered that Islam encompasses many different cultures, so it is difficult to generalize about the rights of children in present-day Islamic countries. But it can be seen that within Islamic law there are definite rights and duties granted to children. Although most modern-day Islamic societies have incorporated parts of the Shari'a into their constitution, they have not necessarily incorporated all rights accorded to children by Islam. However, there is one institution in most Islamic societies that is of great importance in the upbringing of children, the extended family system.

The number of people living in one household varies according to the economic status of the family. But the minimum number would include grandparents in addition to the nuclear family and any unmarried siblings. This often results in early indulgence of the child. The child spends a considerable amount of time with its mother and is breast-fed on demand. It also receives much affection and pampering from its mother, father, older siblings, and other members of the extended family.

In spite of differences from country to country, there are certain cultural norms regarding children that are shared by most Islamic societies and have continued from the past to the present. These include the importance of the group over the individual, the importance of children (particularly sons) to continue the line of descent, and responsibility for parents in old age.

See also: Africa; Bible, The; Middle East.

bibliography

Awde, Nicholas, ed. and trans. 2000. Women in Islam: An Anthology from the Qur'an and Hadith. London: Curzon Press.

Fernea, Elizabeth Warnock, ed. 1995. Children in the Muslim Middle East. Austin: University of Texas Press.

Holy Qur'an. Arabic text, translation, and commentary by Maulana Muhammad 'Ali. 1991. Lahore, Pakistan: Ahmadiyyah.

Momen, Moojan. 1985. Introduction to Shi'i Islam: The History and Doctrines of Twelver Shi'ism. New Haven, CT: Yale University Press.

Ruthven, Malise. 1997. Islam: A Very Short Introduction. Albany: State University of New York Press.

Shireen Mahdavi

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Islam

ISLAM


Islam has, from its inception, placed a high premium on education and has enjoyed a long and rich intellectual tradition. Knowledge ('ilm ) occupies a significant position within Islam, as evidenced by the more than 800 references to it in Islam's most revered book, the Koran. The importance of education is repeatedly emphasized in the Koran with frequent injunctions, such as "God will exalt those of you who believe and those who have knowledge to high degrees" (58:11), "O my Lord! Increase me in knowledge" (20:114), and "As God has taught him, so let him write" (2:282). Such verses provide a forceful stimulus for the Islamic community to strive for education and learning.

Islamic education is uniquely different from other types of educational theory and practice largely because of the all-encompassing influence of the Koran. The Koran serves as a comprehensive blueprint for both the individual and society and as the primary source of knowledge. The advent of the Koran in the seventh century was quite revolutionary for the predominantly illiterate Arabian society. Arab society had enjoyed a rich oral tradition, but the Koran was considered the word of God and needed to be organically interacted with by means of reading and reciting its words. Hence, reading and writing for the purpose of accessing the full blessings of the Koran was an aspiration for most Muslims. Thus, education in Islam unequivocally derived its origins from a symbiotic relationship with religious instruction.

History of Islamic Education

Thus, in this way, Islamic education began. Pious and learned Muslims (mu' allim or mudarris ), dedicated to making the teachings of the Koran more accessible to the Islamic community, taught the faithful in what came to be known as the kuttāb (plural, katātīb ). The kuttāb could be located in a variety of venues: mosques, private homes, shops, tents, or even out in the open. Historians are uncertain as to when the katātīb were first established, but with the widespread desire of the faithful to study the Koran, katātīb could be found in virtually every part of the Islamic empire by the middle of the eighth century. The kuttāb served a vital social function as the only vehicle for formal public instruction for primary-age children and continued so until Western models of education were introduced in the modern period. Even at present, it has exhibited remarkable durability and continues to be an important means of religious instruction in many Islamic countries.

The curriculum of the kuttāb was primarily directed to young male children, beginning as early as age four, and was centered on Koranic studies and on religious obligations such as ritual ablutions, fasting, and prayer. The focus during the early history of Islam on the education of youth reflected the belief that raising children with correct principles was a holy obligation for parents and society. As Abdul Tibawi wrote in 1972, the mind of the child was believed to be "like a white clean paper, once anything is written on it, right or wrong, it will be difficult to erase it or superimpose new writing upon it" (p. 38). The approach to teaching children was strict, and the conditions in which young students learned could be quite harsh. Corporal punishment was often used to correct laziness or imprecision. Memorization of the Koran was central to the curriculum of the kuttāb, but little or no attempt was made to analyze and discuss the meaning of the text. Once students had memorized the greater part of the Koran, they could advance to higher stages of education, with increased complexity of instruction. Western analysts of the kuttāb system usually criticize two areas of its pedagogy: the limited range of subjects taught and the exclusive reliance on memorization. The contemporary kuttāb system still emphasizes memorization and recitation as important means of learning. The value placed on memorization during students' early religious training directly influences their approaches to learning when they enter formal education offered by the modern state. A common frustration of modern educators in the Islamic world is that while their students can memorize copious volumes of notes and textbook pages, they often lack competence in critical analysis and independent thinking.

During the golden age of the Islamic empire (usually defined as a period between the tenth and thirteenth centuries), when western Europe was intellectually backward and stagnant, Islamic scholarship flourished with an impressive openness to the rational sciences, art, and even literature. It was during this period that the Islamic world made most of its contributions to the scientific and artistic world. Ironically, Islamic scholars preserved much of the knowledge of the Greeks that had been prohibited by the Christian world. Other outstanding contributions were made in areas of chemistry, botany, physics, mineralogy, mathematics, and astronomy, as many Muslim thinkers regarded scientific truths as tools for accessing religious truth.

Gradually the open and vigorous spirit of enquiry and individual judgment (ijtihād ) that characterized the golden age gave way to a more insular, unquestioning acceptance (taqlīd ) of the traditional corpus of authoritative knowledge. By the thirteenth century, according to Aziz Talbani, the 'ulama' (religious scholars) had become "self-appointed interpreters and guardians of religious knowledge. learning was confined to the transmission of traditions and dogma, and [was] hostile to research and scientific inquiry" (p. 70). The mentality of taqlīd reigned supreme in all matters, and religious scholars condemned all other forms of inquiry and research. Exemplifying the taqlīd mentality, Burhän al-Din al-Zarnüji wrote during the thirteenth century, "Stick to ancient things while avoiding new things" and "Beware of becoming engrossed in those disputes which come about after one has cut loose from the ancient authorities" (pp. 28, 58). Much of what was written after the thirteenth century lacked originality, and it consisted mostly of commentaries on existing canonical works without adding any substantive new ideas. The lethal combination of taqlīd and foreign invasion beginning in the thirteenth century served to dim Islam's preeminence in both the artistic and scientific worlds.

Despite its glorious legacy of earlier periods, the Islamic world seemed unable to respond either culturally or educationally to the onslaught of Western advancement by the eighteenth century. One of the most damaging aspects of European colonialism was the deterioration of indigenous cultural norms through secularism. With its veneration of human reason over divine revelation and its insistence on separation of religion and state, secularism is anathema to Islam, in which all aspects of life, spiritual or temporal, are interrelated as a harmonious whole. At the same time, Western institutions of education, with their pronounced secular/religious dichotomy, were infused into Islamic countries in order to produce functionaries to feed the bureaucratic and administrative needs of the state. The early modernizers did not fully realize the extent to which secularized education fundamentally conflicted with Islamic thought and traditional lifestyle. Religious education was to remain a separate and personal responsibility, having no place in public education. If Muslim students desired religious training, they could supplement their existing education with moral instruction in traditional religious schoolsthe kuttāb. As a consequence, the two differing education systems evolved independently with little or no official interface.

Aims and Objectives of Islamic Education

The Arabic language has three terms for education, representing the various dimensions of the educational process as perceived by Islam. The most widely used word for education in a formal sense is ta'līm, from the root 'alima (to know, to be aware, to perceive, to learn), which is used to denote knowledge being sought or imparted through instruction and teaching. Tarbiyah, from the root raba (to increase, to grow, to rear), implies a state of spiritual and ethical nurturing in accordance with the will of God. Ta'dīb, from the root aduba (to be cultured, refined, well-mannered), suggests a person's development of sound social behavior. What is meant by sound requires a deeper understanding of the Islamic conception of the human being.

Education in the context of Islam is regarded as a process that involves the complete person, including the rational, spiritual, and social dimensions. As noted by Syed Muhammad al-Naquib al-Attas in 1979, the comprehensive and integrated approach to education in Islam is directed toward the "balanced growth of the total personalitythrough training Man's spirit, intellect, rational self, feelings and bodily sensessuch that faith is infused into the whole of his personality" (p. 158). In Islamic educational theory knowledge is gained in order to actualize and perfect all dimensions of the human being. From an Islamic perspective the highest and most useful model of perfection is the prophet Muhammad, and the goal of Islamic education is that people be able to live as he lived. Seyyed Hossein Nasr wrote in 1984 that while education does prepare humankind for happiness in this life, "its ultimate goal is the abode of permanence and all education points to the permanent world of eternity" (p. 7). To ascertain truth by reason alone is restrictive, according to Islam, because spiritual and temporal reality are two sides of the same sphere. Many Muslim educationists argue that favoring reason at the expense of spirituality interferes with balanced growth. Exclusive training of the intellect, for example, is inadequate in developing and refining elements of love, kindness, compassion, and selflessness, which have an altogether spiritual ambiance and can be engaged only by processes of spiritual training.

Education in Islam is twofold: acquiring intellectual knowledge (through the application of reason and logic) and developing spiritual knowledge (derived from divine revelation and spiritual experience). According to the worldview of Islam, provision in education must be made equally for both. Acquiring knowledge in Islam is not intended as an end but as a means to stimulate a more elevated moral and spiritual consciousness, leading to faith and righteous action.

See also: Middle East and North Africa.

bibliography

Abdullah, Abdul-Rahman Salih. 1982. Educational Theory: A Qur'anic Outlook. Makkah, Saudi Arabia: Umm al-Qura University Press.

AL-Alawni, Taha J. 1991. "TaqlÅīd and the Stagnation of the Muslim Mind." American Journal of Islamic Social Sciences 8:513524.

Ali, Syed Ausef. 1987. "Islam and Modern Education." Muslim Education Quarterly 4 (2):3644.

AL-Attas, Syed Muhammad AL-Naquib. 1979. Aims and Objectives of Islamic Education. Jeddah, Saudi Arabia: Hodder and Stoughton.

AL-Attas, Syed Muhammad AL-Naquib. 1985. Islam, Secularism, and the Philosophy of the Future. London: Mansell.

AL-ZarnÜJI, BurhÄN AL-Din. 1947. Ta'alim al-Muta'allim: Tariq al-Ta'allum (Instruction of the student: The method of learning), trans. Gustave Edmund von Grunebaum and Theodora M. Abel. New York: Kings Crown Press.

Cook, Bradley J. 1999. "Islamic versus Western Conceptions of Education: Reflections on Egypt." International Review of Education 45:339357.

Dodge, Bayard. 1962. Muslim Education in Medieval Times. Washington, DC: Middle East Institute.

Husain, Syed Sajjad, and Ashraf, Syed Ali. 1979. Crisis in Muslim Education. Jeddah, Saudi Arabia: Hodder and Stoughton.

Landau, Jacob M. 1986. "Kutta Åb. " In Encyclopedia of Islam. Leiden, Netherlands: E.J. Brill.

Makdisi, George. 1981. The Rise of Colleges: Institutions of Learning in Islam and the West. Edinburgh: Edinburgh University Press.

Nasr, Seyyed Hossein. 1984. "The Islamic Philosophers' Views on Education." Muslim Education Quarterly 2 (4):516.

Shalaby, Ahmed. 1954. History of Muslim Education. Beirut, Lebanon: Dar al-Kashaf.

Talbani, Aziz. 1996. "Pedagogy, Power, and Discourse: Transformation of Islamic Education." Comparative Education Review 40 (1):6682.

Tibawi, Abdul Latif. 1972. Islamic Education. London: Luzac.

Bradley J. Cook

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Islam

Islam

The fast of the month of Ramadan is one of the five major obligations of individual Muslims (the other four being the pronunciation of the confession of God's Unity, the five daily prayers, the religious tax, and the pilgrimage to Mecca). The Qur'an, the holy book of Islam, charts a middle position"Thus we have made you a community of the middle path" (2:143)between the ascetic ideal of Christian monastic practices and the more materialistic style of Jewish religion. Islamic fasting during Ramadan is quite harsh by Western standards and includes a full month of total abstinence from food and drink during the hours between dawn and sunset, although the evenings are a time of joy and celebration. The period of fasting during Ramadan is not an individual religious exercise, but part of a great social event that binds individual Muslims collectively.

The Qur'an explains the significance of this time of prayer and abstinence. During the Medina period, which marked the last ten years of the life of the prophet Muhammad (570632 c.e.), Muslims were instructed to join the Jews in prayer in the direction of Jerusalem, to the north. After the Jews of Medina refused to recognize Muhammad as a prophet and obstructed his ideal of an Islamic state, the Prophet received a revelation that his followers should turn to the Ka'aba of Mecca (to the south of Medina). The Qur'an (2:183187) prescribes fasting during the month of Ramadan, but prior to Muhammad's revelation, followers observed the fast of the day of Atonement or Ashura, as did the Jews. The institution of the Ramadan fast marked a return to an older Arab tradition that included abstaining from warfare and blood feuds. (In the same chapter of the Qur'an a third Arab institution was restored and reinterpreted: the pilgrimage to Mecca [2:196203].)

The fast of Ramadan was reinterpreted as an instrument for the forgiveness of sins. It was instituted in commemoration of the Prophet's first revelation, which occurred during that month (on the twenty-first, twenty-third, twenty-fifth, and twenty-seventh of Ramadan) and in awareness of God's decision about man's fate for the coming year. From dawnin fact, from the moment when a black thread can be distinguished from a white oneuntil sunset nothing may enter the body through any of its parts. Therefore, not only are eating and drinking forbidden, but also the use of fragrant perfume and even sexual intercourse. Women who menstruate during this period are not allowed to observe fasting but must make up for the days they miss by fasting later on.

In the first generations after Muhammad the basis was laid for what is known as the shari'a or Islamic law. Scholars during the first century after Muhammad developed the rules for determining the beginning and end of the month of Ramadan. It is commonly accepted that some part of the new moon must be "seen" (physically or intellectually, i.e., directly observed or by calculation), although there is a divergence of opinion among Muslim communities concerning the correct method for defining the start and finish of the month of Ramadan. Travelers and those who are sick are excused from the fast, but even these exceptions are disputed, as are the various compensations for some days of fasting or the alms given to the poor.

In addition to the month of Ramadan, there are voluntary days of fasting for Muslims, such as the tenth day of Muharam (Ashura, a continuation of the Jewish day of atonement, although the Islamic lunar calendar does not coincide with the solar calendar of Jews and Christians). For the very pious there is a voluntary fast on all Mondays and Thursdays.

Fasting not only constitutes abstinence from food. Pious Muslim preachers stress that fasting is more an exercise of the mind than of the body. The prophet Muhammad said, "He is not a good Muslim who eats his fill and leaves his neighbor hungry" (Glassé, p. 112). The mystical theologian al-Ghazali (d. 1111) proposed a category of fasting that included "other parts of the body" (besides the mouth and the sexual organs): The eyes and the hands should be kept under control and prevented from evil. Attention must be given to the poor during the month of Ramadan, and the special "alms tax" (zakat fitra ) or "gift of breaking the fast" consists of 2.5 kilograms of rice or the equivalent in money given to the poor. Slander and gossip in particular are forbidden during Ramadan, and a saying from Muhammad supports this admonition: "If one does not give up saying false words and doing false deeds in Ramadan, giving up eating and drinking means nothing to Allah" (Buitelaar, p. 22).

Some preachers suggest that the daily fast should be followed by a light meal only and by many prayers. A folk custom ends a day of fasting in the manner of Muhammad: Commonly, a Muslim eats a date first, following the example of the Prophet. In countries where fresh dates are not available, they are imported from abroad to facilitate this custom of the believers. It is also quite common for Muslims to invite friends and relatives to their homes on certain days so that they might experience this rewarding moment together after a full day of fasting: breaking the fast together with a first light meal (iftar, literally meaning the breaking snack), accompanied by the pious words of a preacher.

Local kitchens serve a great variety of dishes during the evenings of Ramadan. In the Indonesian province of Aceh, known for its devout Islam, believers eat beras tape, a porridge of fermented sweet rice, as their first snack after a day of fasting. Because of the process of fermentation, this snack contains a significant amount of alcohol, but it is considered a traditional food, not a drink, and is therefore acceptable to pious Muslims. Fish is not considered a good choice for Ramadan meals because it is too light and does not provide a good base for the next day of fasting. A tomato soup (harira ) that is prepared with a variety of vegetables and beef, buffalo, or lamb is much more substantial and provides longer-lasting nutrition. In countries of the Middle East it is closely identified with the celebration of Ramadan. Sometimes before dawn a heavy "breakfast" (sahur ) is consumed in preparation for a full day of fasting. Buitelaar mentions (p. 47) a daily meal of rabbit that is eaten at 3:00 A.M. in Morocco.

After Ramadan, on the first day of the month of Shawwal, the so-called small festival is celebrated. A major festival also occurs on the tenth day of the month of the hajj, when the sacrifice of Abraham is recalled, but the end of Ramadan brings the greatest joy to Muslims: Relatives are visited and many types of sweets are consumed. In Turkey, this celebration is known as the sugar festival, a celebration also marked in recent decades in parts of Europe where Turkish migrants have settled.

Some mystical or local groups have developed special kinds of fasting, which are either not generally accepted or even denounced by other Muslims. In order to obtain special favors from God, Muslims in Indonesia, especially on the island of Java, practice the mutihan, or "white fasting." Muslims there only eat white rice and boiled eggs, and they drink plain ("white") water during a certain period, often to implement a vow. Members of the Khalidiyah branch of the Naqshbandiyah brotherhood practice suluk (spiritual travel) or khalwat (loneliness), a forty-day period of abstinence from meat and some other dishes; believers also refrain, as much as possible, from talking. Their opponents blame them for introducing a Christian habit (forty days of fasting, and abstinence from meat) into a well-defined Muslim regulation.

The Islamic rules on haram (forbidden) foods and drink, such as pork and wine, are not considered akin to the pious acts of fasting or abstinence, but rather are part of the regular observance of taboos and are therefore beyond the scope of this entry.

In many regions and during different periods of Muslim culture, ascetic and mystical movements have introduced elements of abstinence, some from sexual intercourse, others from various luxuries such as perfumes during certain periods. For the especially pious and for those who make special vows, milk and meat are avoided, and there are even vows of abstinence from sleep.

In modern Muslim communities, both in countries with Muslim majorities and also in the new Muslim diaspora in Western countries, the fast of Ramadan is one of the most carefully observed aspects of Islamic custom. Even among secularized Muslims, who do not say their prayers five times each day or who only very seldom join the Friday prayers, there is an attempt to keep the fast for part of the month of Ramadan, as a way of keeping in touch with their spiritual and cultural roots. As with those who are more devout, the festive moment in which the fast is broken is a central element. In 1963 Ahmad Hasan al-Zayyat, the editor of the journal of the Al-Azhar mosque and university in Cairo, commented bitterly on the way of fasting: "We do not have any more thirty days of fasting, but thirty days of breaking the fast" (Goitein, p. 108). This comment may reflect the general practice of fasting and abstinence found in Islamic culture, where a middle path has been found: between strict religious and cultural interpretation, between individual piety and communal belief. The middle path of Islamic fasting and abstinence lies between ascetism and pure materialism.

See also Christianity ; Feasts, Festivals, and Fasts ; Islam ; Judaism ; Middle East ; Ramadan .

BIBLIOGRAPHY

Buitelaar, Marjo. "Fasting and Feasting in Morocco. An Ethnographic Study of the Month of Ramadan." Ph.D. diss., Nijmegen University, 1991.

Glassé, Cyril. The Concise Encyclopaedia of Islam. London: Stacey International, 1989.

Goitein, S. D. Studies in Islamic History and Institutions. Leiden: Brill, 1968.

Parshall, Phil. Inside the Community. Understanding Muslims through Their Traditions. Grand Rapids, Mich.: Baker Books, 1994, pp. 196201.

Qardawi, Yusuf. The Lawful and the Prohibited in Islam. Indianapolis, Ind.: American Trust Publications, 1990.

Wagtendonk, Kees. Fasting in the Qur'an. Leiden: Brill, 1969.

Karel Steenbrink

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Islam

ISLAM

ISLAM. There are roughly six million Muslims scattered throughout the United States. By 1992 there were over twenty-three hundred Islamic institutions in North America, including schools, community centers, mosques, publishing houses, and media units. To coordinate activities of this dispersed, growing American Muslim community, Muslims organized conferences, the first of which was held in Cedar Rapids, Iowa, in 1952. Succeeding conferences were coordinated by the Muslim Students of America (MSA), which held its first conference at the University of Illinois in 1963. The Islamic Society of North America (ISNA), the principal national organization for mainstream (Sunni) American Muslims, started in 1982 as an outgrowth of MSA. In 1993 the first Muslim chaplain began working with Muslims in the U.S. armed forces, who now number in the thousands. Although there are no reliable population figures for the Muslim community in the United States, the consensus is that by 2015 the American Muslim community will be the nation's largest non-Christian religion.

Muslims have been in North America since the sixteenth century. Isfan the Arab was a guide for the Franciscan explorer Marcos de Niza in Arizona in 1539. Nosereddine, an Egyptian, settled in the Catskill Mountains of New York State in the 1500s and was burned at the stake for murdering an Indian princess. As many as 20 percent of the West African slaves brought to the United States during the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries were Muslims. At the beginning of the nineteenth century, the first Arab Muslims began to form communities in the United States. One of these Arab Muslims, Haj Ali, assisted the U.S. Army with camel-breeding experiments in the Arizona desert in the 1850s. He is remembered in folk legend as Hi Jolly. By the end of the nineteenth century, large numbers of male Muslim immigrants, mostly from the eastern Mediterranean, had come to the Midwest as migrant workers. Three thousand Polish Muslims and a small community of Circassian (Russian) Muslims settled in New York. The latest wave of Muslim immigrants, one that is continuing, began after the repeal of the Asian Exclusion Act in 1965. These immigrants, arriving from a variety of countries, generally are highly educated and have western educations.

Muhammad Alexander Webb, an American consul in Manila, converted to Islam in 1868 and opened a mosque in New York City in 1893. The next mosque was opened in Ross, North Dakota, followed by one in the Detroit suburb of Highland Park in 1919. By 1952 there were twenty mosques joined together by the Federation of Islamic Associations of North America. In 1957 the Islamic Center was dedicated in Washington, D.C., sponsored by fifteen Islamic countries. During the 1970s considerable mosque construction began and continues to the present day.

African Americans, who have been converting to Islam since the 1920s, make up 40 percent of the American Muslim community (with Indo-Pakistanis and Arabs each comprising about 25 percent of the community). In 1913 Noble Drew Ali founded the Moorish Science Temple of America, headquartered in Baltimore. His successor, Wallace D. Fard, probably of Turkish or Iranian descent, began the Lost-Found Nation of Islam in the Wilderness of North America in Detroit in 1930 (in 1995 the Lost-Found Nation had nineteen temples in the United States). He claimed that African Americans were really Muslims who had been denied their heritage. Designated by Fard as the "messenger of God," Elijah Muhammad became the leader of the Nation of Islam (NOI) in 1934. Members stressed education and black-owned businesses, with the goal of a separate black nation. When Elijah died in 1975, there were about seventy NOI temples and 100,000 members in the United States. Since whites were excluded from membership and since Elijah Muhammad was considered a prophet (the last prophet is the seventh-century Muhammad, according to Muslim orthodoxy), in addition to other beliefs unique to NOI, the larger worldwide Muslim community does not consider members of the NOI to be Muslims. The Ansaar Allah and Five Percenters are offshoots of NOI.

Malcolm X, the best-known disciple of Elijah Muhammad, left NOI in 1964 after experiencing the lack of racial and color distinctions during his pilgrimage to Mecca. The issue of joining mainstream Islam or of maintaining a separate African American community created leadership struggles after 1975 when Warith Deen Muhammad, Elijah Muhammad's son, succeeded his father. In 1985 he led most of the NOI members to merge with the larger mainstream Muslim community. Louis Farrakhan became the new leader of the NOI and continued the agenda of Elijah Muhammad, including organizational structure, racist ideology, and the goal of a separate nation. The merger of Warith Deen's community into mainstream Islam did not affect the sixty Clara Muhammad schools, which provide high-quality secular and religious education to elementary and secondary school students.

Ahmadiyya Muslims, believing in the prophethood of the northern Indian Mirza Ghulam Ahmad (1835–1908), began to proselytize in the United States in 1921 and achieved success in the African American community. As of 1992, headquartered in Washington, D.C., they had ten thousand members and active centers in thirty-seven cities. The Tablighi Jama'at, headquartered in Pakistan, has sent Muslim missionaries to the United States since 1952 to preach the creation of separate communities of observant Muslims. Since the 1970s the growth of Islam among New York City's Latin American population has been fostered by PIEDAD (Propagación Islámica para la Educación y Devoción de Ala' el Divino) and in California by ALMA (Asociación Latina de Musalmanes en las Américas). Among Native Americans, Islam is slowly gaining ground, as a mosque on a Navajo reservation demonstrates. Seminoles in Florida claim that escaped Muslim slaves converted Seminoles to Islam during the


nineteenth century. Cherokees state that their chief in 1866 was a Muslim named Ramadhan ibn Wati. Shia Muslims, who look for a descendant of the Prophet for leadership and form 10 percent of the Muslim community worldwide, have formed their own national organizations, the Shia Association of North America and the Ismaili Council for the U.S.A. In 1987 there were thirty thousand Nizari Ismailis in seventy-five centers around the United States. Shias usually worship in mosques separate from the mainstream Sunni Muslim community.

Caucasian Muslim converts in the United States often come to Islam through small groups of mystics, or Sufis. Hazrat Inayat Khan (1882–1927) of the Indian Chishti lineage came to the United States in 1910 and set up the Sufi Order. Its leadership was continued by his son, Pir Vilayat Khan, who has turned over the leadership of the order in the United States to his son, Zia Khan. One of the largest Sufi communities in the United States is that of Bawa Muhaiyaddeen (d. 1986), who came to Philadelphia from Sri Lanka in 1971 and whose tomb is becoming a place of pilgrimage. There are over three thousand people affiliated with this group.

There are clear ethnic, cultural, and theological differences between Muslims living in the United States. Due to the Wahhabi influence (a theological perspective named after an eighteenth-century Arab ideologue, Muhammad ibn Abd al-Wahhab, whose followers teamed up with the first king of the Saudi dynasty to create Saudi Arabia), an extreme Arab form of Islam is increasingly becoming normative in the United States. In reaction to the self-declared authoritative Wahhabi stance that does not permit any other way of being a Muslim, ethnic mosques are continually being established. There appears to be minimal social contact between immigrant and African American Muslims—including separate mosques and celebration of holidays. Often African Americans are attracted to Islam by its ideal of genuine racial equality, only to find that the actual practice is far from the stated ideal.

American Islam—specifically MSA, ISNA, and ICNA (Islamic Circle of North America), its mainstream organizations—has received considerable funding from foreign donors who seek to further an Arab Wahhabi theological perspective in the United States. Some African Americans perceive these organizations as catering primarily to the needs of the immigrant community. The ideological, conservative, anti-Sufi stance promoted by these mainstream organizations has been influenced by political ideologues of the Jamaat Islami and Ikhwan al-Musilmin and often has been funded by Saudi Arabia. These groups have managed to control the Islamic symbols and belief systems (i.e., to define Islam) in American Muslim communities, because they have a long-term strategy (political control in majority Islamic countries) and an organization with ample funding. They strongly influence mainstream American Islam—the majority of the mosques in the United States are funded by Saudi Arabia and/or their imams are trained in Saudi Arabia. This Arab version of Islam, already the norm for most American Muslims, contrasts sharply with the actual pluralism of the American Muslim community. To what extent foreign political interests will influence funding of American Muslim activities is unclear, since Persian Gulf nations cut off aid to various American Muslim organizations when many immigrant Muslims did not support Saudi policies during the Gulf War. Clearly, as in other religions, common identity as a Muslim does not guarantee community. In view of the tragic events of 11 September 2001, it remains to be seen whether more moderate American Muslims will prevail over their more vocal and well-funded coreligionists in an ever-evolving mosaic of Islamic diversity in the United States.

BIBLIOGRAPHY

Haddad, Yvonne, and John Esposito, eds. Muslims on the Americanization Path? Atlanta: Scholars Press, 1998.

———, and Jane Smith, eds. Muslim Communities in North America. Albany: State University of New York Press, 1994.

Melton, J. Gordon. Encyclopedia of American Religions. 6th ed. Detroit, Mich.: Gale, 1999.

Smith, Jane I. Islam in America. New York: Columbia University Press, 1999.

Arthur F.Buehler

See alsoNation of Islam .

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Islam

Islam


Six centuries after Jesus Christ, the religion of Islam was born in Arabia. By the beginning of the twenty-first century, Muslims, as its followers have always called themselves, number more than 1.2 billion worldwide.

According to Muslim tradition, in 611 c.e. at the age of forty, Muhammad of Mecca received a revelation from God during a spiritual retreat in a cave on Mount Hira outside the city. God's special envoy who brought the message was the archangel Gabriel. At Gabriel's instruction, the illiterate Muhammad recited five short verses that portrayed the spirit of the new religion. In this first revelation, Muhammadthus by extension all humansis called upon to know the unknown in the name of God, whose nature is to create things. Humans are then reminded of how, from their lowly animal origin, they became thinking and knowing creatures thanks to God's generous gifts of instruments of knowledge that are best symbolized by the pen. Knowledge is the supreme symbol of God's infinite bounty and the key to his treasuries. Through sacred knowledgethat is, knowledge through and for the sake of Godhumans can attain salvation. In thus emphasizing the saving function of knowledge, Muhammad's maiden revelation as well as many other revelations that were to follow, clearly portrayed the new faith as a way of knowledge. As for Muhammad himself, as told by Gabriel, he had been chosen as the new messenger of God. Fourteen centuries later, Muhammad is widely regarded as one of the world's most influential persons.

Revelations came intermittently to Muhammad over a period of twenty-three years. All of these revelations were systematically compiled into a book known as the Qur'an. According to tradition, the precise arrangement of the Qur'an itself was divinely inspired. This book is central to the religion. It is the most authentic and the most important source of teachings of the religion. The Qur'an is the most influential guide to Muslim life and thought, both individual and collective, spiritual and temporal.


Submission and faith

The word Islam means "surrender or submission" to God's will. It also means "peace." In a sense, it is through submission to the divine will that a human attains inner peace. One who submits to the divine will is called Muslim. In the Qur'an, the word Muslim refers not only to humans but also to other creatures and the inanimate world. From the Qur'anic point of view, this is not surprising. The divine will manifests itself in the form of laws both in human society and in the world of nature. In Islamic terminology, for example, a bee is a Muslim precisely because it lives and dies obeying the shava¯rah that God has prescribed for the community of bees, just as a person is a Muslim by virtue of the fact that he or she submits to the revealed "shava¯rah " ordained for the religious community. In fact, the Qur'an maintains that "every animal species is a community like you," thus implying that God has promulgated a law for each species of being. From its beginning, Islam never made any distinction between what has generally been known in the Western tradition as the "laws of nature" and "the laws of God." In principle, there is harmony between the laws of natural phenomena (na¯mu¯s al-khilqah ) and the laws of the prophets governing human societies (na¯wamu¯s al-anbiya¯1 ) since both kinds of laws come from the same source: God the Law-Giver. In asserting such a view, Islam provides an illustrative example of how it seeks to establish points of convergence in the encounter of religion and science.

Islam is noted for the simplicity of its teachings. By professing the testimony of faith "There is no god but God, and Muhammad is the Messenger of God," one enters into the fold of Islam. The whole teachings of the religion are summarized in the six articles of faith (arka¯n al-i¯ma¯n ) and the five pillars of submission (arka¯n al-isla¯m ). Muslims must believe in six fundamental truths: God, angels, revealed books, divine messengers, life in the hereafter, and divine plans and decrees. Necessary beliefs go hand in hand with necessary actions, since a human is both a thinking and a believing creature and a creature who acts and does all kinds of things. There are five fundamental obligatory duties for every Muslim, male and female:

  1. To bear witness that "There is no god but God," and to bear witness that "Muhammad is the Messenger of God";
  2. To perform five daily prayers;
  3. To fast from dawn to dusk during the month of Ramadan;
  4. To pay personal and property tax (zaka¯t, literally meaning purification);
  5. To perform pilgrimage (ḥajj ) in Mecca once in a lifetime, if possible.

The rest of the teachings of the religion are consequences and further elaborations of these pillars of the faith and devotional practices.


Allah and the Qur'an

God, or Alla¯h in Arabic, is of course the most fundamental reality on which the religion of Islam is based; God created the Muslim soul and shaped the Muslim's thoughts and consciousness. Islam has come to reaffirm the monotheisms of Adam and Abraham. God is absolutely one; the origin and the end of the universe; its creator, sustainer, and ruler. Allah has created the universe for the sake of humans, the best of all creatures. A human being's purpose of existence is in turn to know God. By knowing the universe, humans can know God. This is possible, since God has imprinted numerous signs in the universe. One can also say that God has imprinted "names" in creation, which are many. Muslim tradition speaks of ninety-nine beautiful names of God, the most mentioned in the Qur'an and the most uttered by the Muslim tongue being Al-Rahma¯n (The Most Compassionate). Muslims adore and celebrate these divine names in numerous ways. Children in kindergartens and Muslim schools called madrasahs memorize them by reciting them with melodious voices in a chorus. Artists visualize them with their beautiful Arabic calligraphies. Philosophers exert their intellects to penetrate the deeper meanings of these names through their profound conceptual analysis. Mystics or Sufis contemplate them in their spiritual retreats so that "the heart is empty of everything except God." Such is the profound impact of the divine names as conceived by Islam on the Muslim soul and intellect.

The role of the Qur'an in Muslim life is inseparable from that of Muhammad. He is seen as the perfect embodiment of the Qur'an. A husband and father, a teacher and a businessman, a leader in war and peace, and most of all a spiritual and moral guide, Muhammad is thus the role model for every Muslim of every generation. In Muhammad's own words, his community of believers will not err as long as they are guided by the Qur'an and his way of life.


See also AverrÖes; Avicenna; God; Islam, History of Science and Religion; Islam, Contemporary Issues in Science and Religion; Life after Death; Soul


Bibliography

azzam, a. rahman. the eternal message of muhammad. cambridge, uk: islamic texts society, 1993.

bakar, osman. classification of knowledge in islam. cambridge, uk: islamic texts society, 1997.

bakar, osman. the history and philosophy of islamic science. cambridge, uk: islamic texts society, 1999.

esposito, john l. islam: the straight path. new york: oxford university press, 1991.

gulen, m. fethullah. the essentials of islamic faith. konak, turkey: kaynak, , 1997.

hamidullah, muhammad. introduction to islam. gary, ind.: international islamic federation of students organizations, 1970.

nasr, seyyed hossein. ideals and realities of islam. chicago: kazi publications, 1997.

schuon, fritjhof. understanding islam. bloomington, ind.: world wisdom books, 1994.

osman bakar

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Islam

Islam (Ĭsläm´, Ĭs´läm), [Arab.,=submission to God], world religion founded by the Prophet Muhammad. Founded in the 7th cent., Islam is the youngest of the three monotheistic world religions (with Judaism and Christianity). An adherent to Islam is a Muslim [Arab.,=one who submits].

Believers Worldwide

There are more than 1 billion Muslims worldwide, fewer than one fifth of whom are Arab. Islam is the principal religion of much of Asia, including Indonesia (which has the world's largest Muslim population), Malaysia, Pakistan, Bangladesh, Afghanistan, Azerbaijan, Turkmenistan, Uzbekistan, Tajikistan, Kyrgyzstan, Kazakhstan, Iran, Iraq, Syria, Jordan, the Arabian Peninsula states, and Turkey. India also has one of the world's largest Muslim populations, although Islam is not the principal religion there. In Africa, Islam is the principal religion in Egypt, Algeria, Tunisia, Djibouti, Gambia, Guinea, Libya, Mali, Mauritania, Morocco, Niger, Senegal, Somalia, and Sudan, with sizable populations also in Chad, Eritrea, Ethiopia, Ghana, Tanzania (where the island of Zanzibar is predominantly Muslim), and Nigeria.

In Europe, Albania is predominantly Muslim, and, historically, Bulgaria, Bosnia, Macedonia, and Georgia have had Muslim populations. Elsewhere in Europe, significant immigrant communities of Muslims from N Africa, Turkey, and Asia exist in France, Germany, Great Britain, and other nations. In the Americas the Islamic population has substantially increased in recent years, both from conversions and the immigration of adherents from other parts of the world. In the United States, the number of Muslims has been variably estimated at 2–6 million; 20% of the population of Suriname is Muslim.

Islamic Beliefs

At the core of Islam is the Qur'an, believed to be the final revelation by a transcendent Allah [Arab.,=the God] to Muhammad, the Prophet of Islam; since the Divine Word was revealed in Arabic, this language is used in Islamic religious practice worldwide. Muslims believe in final reward and punishment, and the unity of the umma, the "nation" of Islam. Muslims submit to Allah through arkan ad-din, the five basic requirements or "pillars" : shahadah, the affirmation that "there is no god but God, and Muhammad is the Messenger of God" ; salah, the five daily ritual prayers (see liturgy, Islamic); zakat, the giving of alms, also known as a religious tax; Sawm, the dawn-to-sunset fast during the lunar month of Ramadan; and hajj, the pilgrimage to Mecca. The importance of the hajj can hardly be overestimated: this great annual pilgrimage unites Islam and its believers from around the world.

The ethos of Islam is in its attitude toward Allah: to His will Muslims submit; Him they praise and glorify; and in Him alone they hope. However, in popular or folk forms of Islam, Muslims ask intercession of the saints, prophets, and angels, while preserving the distinction between Creator and creature. Islam views the Message of Muhammad as the continuation and the fulfillment of a lineage of Prophecy that includes figures from the Hebrew Scriptures and the New Testament, notably Adam, Noah, Abraham, Moses, David, and Jesus. Islamic law reserves a communal entity status for the ahl al-kitab, People of the Book, i.e., those with revealed religions, including Jews and Christians. Islam also recognizes a number of extra-biblical prophets, such as Hud, Salih, Shuayb, and others of more obscure origin. The chief angels are Gabriel and Michael; devils are the evil jinn.

Other Islamic obligations include the duty to "commend good and reprimand evil," injunctions against usury and gambling, and prohibitions of alcohol and pork. Meat is permitted if the animal was ritually slaughtered; it is then called halal.Jihad, the exertion of efforts for the cause of God, is a duty satisfied at the communal and the individual level. At the individual level, it denotes the personal struggle to be righteous and follow the path ordained by God. Communally, it involves both encouraging what is good and correcting what is not and waging war to defend Islam.

In Islam, religion and social membership are inseparable: the ruler of the community (caliph; see caliphate) has both a religious and a political status. The unitary nature of Islam, as a system governing relations between a person and God, and a person and society, has contributed to the appeal and success of Islam.

The evolution of Islamic mysticism into organizational structures in the form of Sufi orders was, from the 13th cent. onwards, one of the driving forces in the spread of Islam (see Sufism; fakir). Sufi orders were instrumental in expanding the realm of Islam to trans-Saharan Africa, stabilizing its commercial and cultural links with the Mediterranean and the Middle East, and to SE Asia.

Holidays and Honorifics

The original feasts of Islam are id al-fitr, corresponding to the breaking of the fast of Ramadan, and id al-adha, coinciding with the pilgrimage to Mecca. Shiite Islam also celebrates id al-ghadir, the anniversary of Muhammad's declaration of Ali as his successor. Other Islamic holidays include al-mawlid al-nabawwi, Muhammad's birthday, and al-isra wa-l-miraj, the anniversary of his miraculous journey to Jerusalem and ascension to Heaven. Among the Islamic religious honorifics are shaykh, a generic term refering to a religious scholar or a mystic master; qadi, a religious judge (handling particular cases); mufti, a religious authority who issues general legal opinions; and mullah, a synonym of shaykh used in the Persian-speaking world.

Interpretation of the Qur'an

The revealed word of Islam, the Qur'an, in a formal Arabic which became more archaic with time, required explication. The Sunna, the spoken and acted example of the Prophet, collected as hadith, is an important traditional source that is used to supplement and explicate the Qu'ran. The Sunna is almost as important to Islam as the Qur'an, for in it lie the elaborations of Qur'anic teaching essential to the firm establishment of a world religion. There are disagreements in the hadith, and aspects of interpretations of the Qur'an and the Sunna have varied so much as to be contradictory at times. These situations are resolved by reference to one of the most important of the sayings attributed to the Prophet, "My community will never agree in an error." This leeway also allowed Islam to expand by incorporating social, tribal, and ethnic traditions. For example, with the exception of inheritance and witness laws, Islamic rights and obligations apply equally to men and women. The actual situation of women is more a function of particular social traditions predating Islam than of theoretical positions. For more information on Islamic law, see sharia; for discussions of the major branches of Islamic theology, see Shiite, Sunni.

Bibliography

See F. Rahman, Islam (1966), M. Jameelah, Islam and Modernism (1968), P. K. Hitti, History of the Arabs (10th ed. 1970), M. G. S. Hodgson, The Venture of Islam (3 vol., 1974), J. L. Esposito, Islam (rev. ed. 1992), A. Schimmel, Islam (1992), D. Waines, An Introduction to Islam (1995), J. I. Smith, Islam in America (1999), M. Cook et al., ed., The New Cambridge History of Islam (6 vol., 2009), S. F. Dale, The Muslim Empires of the Ottomans, Safavids, and Mughals (2010), F. M. Donner, Muhammad and the Believers (2010), and B. Tibi, Islamism and Islam (2012); C. Glassé, Concise Encyclopedia of Islam (1991). J. L. Esposito, The Oxford Dictionary of Islam (2003), and G. Bowering, ed., The Princeton Encyclopedia of Islamic Political Thought (2012).

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Islam

Islam (Islām). The religion of allegiance to God and to his prophet Muḥammad, the religion (dīn) which God always intended for his creation, but which is derived in its present form from the prophetic ministry of Muḥammad (c.570–632 CE), and from the revelation mediated through him, the Qurʾān. The verbal noun islām appears eight times in the Qurʾān: derived from the same Semitic root as Heb. shālom (peace), it means ‘entering into a condition of peace and security with God through allegiance or surrender to him’.

Islam began historically in the quest of Muḥammad to find the absolute truth of God in the midst of the many conflicting claims which he encountered in his environment about the nature of God. Muḥammad went off for periods of increasing isolation during which he struggled in prayer to find al-Haqq, the true One; and in a cave on Mount Ḥirāʾ, there came to him the overwhelming sense of that reality pressing upon him, and the first of the utterances that later became the Qurʾān were spoken through him (96. 1). From this absolute sense of God, Allāh, derived the insistence which is characteristic of Islam, that if God is indeed God, then there can only be what God is, the One who is the source of all creation and the disposer of all events and lives within it. The life of Muḥammad and the message of the Qurʾān then become a working out and application of that fundamental vision: all people (divided as they are from each other at present) should become a single ʾumma (community), and every action and every aspect of life should become an act of witness that ‘there is no God but God’ and that ‘Muḥammad is his messenger’.

Those latter affirmations, making up the basic witness (al-Shahāda), form the first of the Five Pillars of Islam. Muslim life and belief are derived directly from the Qurʾān, but since the Qurʾān does not deal with every issue or question which a Muslim might wish to ask, authoritative guidance is derived also from the traditions (ḥadīth) concerning the words, deeds and silences of Muḥammad and his companions. Even so, there remains much scope for application and interpretation. Methods of such interpretation emerged (see IJMĀʿ; IJTIHĀD; QIYĀS), as also did major schools of interpretation, which drew up law-codes to govern Muslim life: see SHARĪʿA.

When Muḥammad died, no exact provision had been made for any successor to lead the new community. Those who looked for the most effective leader chose Abu Bakr, known as caliph or khalīfa. Those who looked for the closest relative of Muḥammad supported ʿAlī. Although there were four immediate successors (al-Rāshidūn; see KHALĪFA) before a final split, the strains were too great, and the party (shīʿa) of ʿAlī broke away from those who claimed to be following the custom (sunna) of the Prophet, thereby creating the divide between Sunni and Shīʿa Muslims which persists to this day.

The spread of Islam was extremely rapid. Within a hundred years of the death of Muḥammad, it had reached the Atlantic in one direction and the borders of China in the other. It now amounts to about a billion adherents, and is found in most countries of the world. At one stage (from the 9th to the 13th cents. CE), the Muslim delight in creation led it into a passionate commitment to knowledge (ʿilm), which in turn led Muslims into spectacular achievements in philosophy (falsafa) and the natural sciences.

There were two major reactions to the achievements of Muslim philosophy and science. The first was a growing suspicion that perhaps the achievements of the human mind were taking priority over the revelation from God. ‘The Incoherence of Philosophy’ was exposed by al-Ghaz(z)ālī (1058–1111 (AH 450–505)), and since that time the prevailing tendency has been one of giving priority to revelation (and the sciences associated with it of exegesis) and obedience.

The second major reaction was a reinforcement of that style of Muslim life and devotion which is known as Sufism.

Islam is necessarily a missionary religion, since entrusted to it is the revelation of God's word and will for the world. The world is divided into three domains (see DĀR AL-HARB), with the clear expectation that in due course all will be unified in the single ʾumma of God's intent. In the mean time, that quest for community is much complicated by the imposition, during the colonial period of European expansion, of nation-states. The caliphate, which had created the great dynasties of the past (e.g. the Umayyads, the ʿAbbasids, culminating in the Ottomans) lingered on in Turkey, but was abolished in 1924 during the attempt to establish Turkey as a secular state. The resulting ambiguities in countries where Muslims are in a majority (e.g. over the extent to which sharīʿa law should be introduced or extended), and the many problems for the recovery of authentically Muslim life in a world of rapid change, have not yet been resolved.

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Islam

Islam One of three great monotheistic religions of the world (the others being Judaism and Christianity). It originated in seventh-century Arabia with the prophet Muhammad, who first converted the trading cities of Mecca and Medina, and then rallied the hitherto polytheistic tribal population. Within a century Islam had spread through conquest to Persia, much of the Middle East, North Africa, and Spain. It is represented by a succession of great empires: Ummayad to 750, Abbasid to 1258, and Ottoman to 1918. Today it encompasses around 45 countries and one billion or so people.

Islam is based on the principle of submission to Allah or God, its holy texts are the Koran (the word of God as revealed to Muhammad by an angel), and the Hadith or sayings of the Prophet. There are five main principles or ‘pillars’ of Islam: the affirmation that there is no God but God, and that Muhammad is his prophet; prayer five times a day; zakat, the giving of alms; fasting in the month of Ramadan; and hajj or pilgrimage to Mecca at least once in a lifetime. Jihad, or holy war, is sometimes regarded as another obligation of Muslims, but it does not have the same status, and is often interpreted as referring to a process of spiritual improvement rather than combat with non-Muslims.

Islam differs from Christianity in having no clerical hierarchy, in enforcing a number of prohibitions to do with diet, and in paying special attention to the status and clothing of women. Since the seventh century, it has been divided into a Sunni faction and a minority Shi'ite school, the latter dominant in Iran. The interpretation of Islam in the contemporary world has ranged from those who want to harmonize it with Western economic and political values to those who seek a return to the model of the seventh century. The Islamic revolution of Iran (1979) represented an attempt to pursue the latter path.

Sociological analysis of Islam began with Max Weber who identified two principal differences with Christianity: the lack of an ethic of this-worldly asceticism, and the domination of patrimonial or prebendary relations, through which the state inhibited the growth of private property. Both served to prevent the development of capitalism. This interpretation was later challenged in several works by Maxime Rodinson, who saw Islam as continent and its failure to evolve to capitalism as due to other factors, including international pressures. Later work on Islam focused on the debate between those who identified a distinct sociology of Islam derived from the Koran and other texts, and those who stressed the variety and contingency of Islamic social and political practices. A third area of interpretation was that of the rise of Islamic political movements in the 1970s and 1980s. Some saw this as a popular mobilization, using an Islamic idiom, against foreign domination; others viewed it as a retrospective usage of Islamic symbols by certain social groups (particularly clergy, merchants, and intellectuals) threatened by the processes of secularization and modernization.

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Islam

227. Islam

See also 151. FAITH ; 183. GOD and GODS ; 349. RELIGION ; 392. THEOLOGY .

Alcoranist
a strict follower of the Koran.
Babism, Babiism
the doctrines and practices of a 19th-century Persian sect that formed the basis for the current Bahai organization, regarded as heretical by orthodox Muslims because its leader proclaimed himself to be the Imam Mahdi, the expected twelfth Imam of the Shiite sect, who would establish justice on earth. Babist , n.
Ghazism
the activities of the Ghazis, fanatics sworn to destroy all infidels.
Imamite
a member of the Shia sect of Muslims, who believe in a succession of twelve divinely inspired imams, from Ali to Muhamad al Muntazar.
Islam, Islamism
the religion of Islam; Muhammadanism. Islamist , n. Islamitic , adj.
Kaabism
the tradition in Islam of venerating a shrine in Mecca through pilgrimage and prayers made after turning in its direction. Kaaba , n., adj.
Karmathian
an adherent of a heretical 9th-century Muslim sect that considers the Koran as mere allegory and is opposed to prayer, fasting, and revelation.
Mahdism
the belief in Mahdi, the Muslim spiritual guide who, on Judgment Day, will lead the faithful to salvation. Mahdist , n.
Muhammadanism, Mohammedanism
the doctrines and practices of the religion founded by the prophet Muhammad and set forth in the Koran. Also called Islam , Islamism . Muhammadan, Mohammedan , n.
Pan-Islamism
the doctrines of Sultan Abdul-Hamids 19th-century political movement that was against the westernization and unification of Islam. Pan-Islamist , n. Pan-Islamic , adj.
Senusism, Sanusism
a 19th-century Islamic brotherhood observing a strict and ascetic religious orthodoxy and practicing militant political activity. Also Senusiya, Sanusiya . Senusi, Sanusi , n.
Shiism
the doctrines and practices of Shia, one of the two major branches of Islam, regarding Ali, the son-in-law of Muhammad, as the Prophets legitimate successor. See also Sunnism . Shiite , n., adj.
Suflism, Sufism
the beliefs and practices of an ascetic, retiring, and mystical sect in Islam. Sufi , n., adj.
Sunnism
the doctrines and practices of the larger of the two major branches of Islam, regarding as legitimate the first four caliphs after Muhammads death and stressing the importance of the traditional portion of Muslim law (the Sunna). See also Shiism . Sunnite , n., adj.
talismanist
Obsolete, a Muslim holy man.

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Islam

Islam (Arabic, submission to God) Monotheistic religion founded by Muhammad in Arabia in the early 7th century. At the heart of Islam stands the Koran, considered the divine revelation of God to Muhammad. Members of the faith (Muslims) date the beginning of Islam from ad 622, the year of the Hejira. Muslims submit to the will of Allah by five basic precepts (pillars). First, the shahadah, “there is no God but Allah, and Muhammad is his prophet”. Second, salah, five daily ritual prayers. At a mosque, a Muslim performs ritual ablutions before praying to God in a attitude of submission, kneeling on a prayer mat facing Mecca with head bowed, then rising with hands cupped behind the ears to hear God's message. Third, zakat or alms-giving. Fourth, sawm, fasting during Ramadan. Fifth, Hajj, the pilgrimage to Mecca. The rapid growth in Islam during the 8th century can be attributed to the unification of the temporal and spiritual. The community leader (caliph) is both religious and social leader. The Koran was soon supplemented by the informal, scriptural elaborations of the Sunna (Muhammad's sayings and deeds), collated as the Hadith. A Muslim must also abide by the Sharia or religious law. While Islam stresses the importance of the unity of the summa (nation) of Islam, several distinctive branches have developed, such as Sunni, Shi'ite, and Sufism. Today, there are c.935 million Muslims worldwide.

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Islam

Islam the religion of the Muslims, a monotheistic faith regarded as revealed through Muhammad as the Prophet of Allah.

Founded in the Arabian peninsula in the 7th century ad, Islam is now the professed faith of nearly a billion people worldwide, particularly in North Africa, the Middle East, and parts of Asia. The ritual observances and moral code of Islam were said to have been given to Muhammad as a series of revelations, which were codified in the Koran. Islam is regarded by its adherents as the last of the revealed religions, and Muhammad is seen as the last of the prophets, building on and perfecting the examples and teachings of Abraham, Moses, and Jesus. There are two major branches in Islam, Sunni and Shia.

The name comes from Arabic 'islām ‘submission’, from 'aslama ‘submit (to God)’.

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Islam

Is·lam / isˈläm; iz-/ • n. the religion of the Muslims, a monotheistic faith regarded as revealed through Muhammad as the Prophet of Allah. ∎  the Muslim world: the most enormous complex of fortifications in all Islam. DERIVATIVES: Is·lam·ic / -ik/ adj. Is·lam·i·ci·za·tion / isˌlämisiˈzāshən; iz-/ n. Is·lam·i·cize / isˈlämiˌsīz; iz-/ v. Is·lam·ism / ˈisləˌmizəm; ˈiz-/ n. Is·lam·ist / -ist/ n. Is·lam·i·za·tion / isˌlämiˈzāshən; iz-/ n. Is·lam·ize / ˈisləˌmīz; ˈiz-/ v.

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Islam

ISLAM

This entry includes three subentries:
Shiʿite Islam
Sunni Islam
Sufism

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Islam

Islam XIX. — Arab. ‘islām, f. ‘aslama resign oneself (to God).

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Islam

ISLAM.

This entry includes four subentries:

Africa
Shii
Southeast Asia
Sunni

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Islam

Islamalarm, arm, Bairam, balm, barm, becalm, calm, charm, embalm, farm, forearm, Guam, harm, imam, ma'am, malm, Montcalm, Notre-Dame, palm, psalm, qualm, salaam, smarm •yardarm • sidearm • gendarme •wind farm • Islam • schoolmarm •tonearm • napalm • firearm •underarm • short-arm

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Islam

ISLAM

The word conveys the sense of total and exclusive submission to Allah and is the name of the religion enunciated by the Prophet *Muhammad in the city of Mecca at the beginning of the seventh century c.e. An adherent of it is called a Muslim, a person who submits to Allah totally and exclusively. While the word is normally used in this sense, in traditional Muslim usage the word also denotes the ancient monotheistic faith associated with *Abraham. It is in this sense that Abraham is explicitly designated as Muslim in *Koran 3:67; the same designation is implicit for the Old Testament prophets and for Jesus as well. Liberal-minded modern Muslims tend to interpret this as a reflection of Muslim tolerance and recognition of the prophets of Judaism and Christianity; viewed from a different perspective, the idea may also be construed as an appropriation of Jewish and Christian religious history by Muslims.

In contradistinction to other religions whose names were frequently given to them by outsiders (cf. W.C. Smith, The Meaning and End of Religion, (1963), 80–82), the name Islam is indigenous and appears in the Koran eight times; moreover, the Koran maintains that Allah himself approved of Islam (Koran 5:5) and it is " the religion in the eyes of Allah" (Koran 3:19). Conversely, "whoever desires a religion other than Islam, it will not be accepted from him, and he will be in the hereafter one of the losers" (Koran 3:85). Muslims use Islam as the only name for their religion; other names by which Islam has been known until recently in European languages – such as "Mohammedanism" or "Mahométanisme" – are totally unacceptable to them. Nevertheless, in medieval Muslim texts one occasionally encounters expressions such as "Muhammadan way" (ṭarīqa muḥammadiyya) in a sense identical with Islam. In the literature of tradition, the terms Islam and Muslim are sometimes also given a more sublime significance; playing on the various meanings of the Arabic root s-l-m, a tradition says that "a Muslim is someone by whose hands and tongue the Muslims are not harmed" (al-Bukhārī, Ṣaḥīḥ, Kitāb alīmān, 4; ed. Krehl, vol. 1, 11). Recent interpretations according to which Islam is related to salām ("peace") seem to have no basis in traditional literature, though the linguistic root of the two words is identical.

In the pre-Islamic period (called the era of barbarism and ignorance, al-Jāhiliyya), Arab inhabitants of the Peninsula believed in a multiplicity of gods but were not unaware of Allah whom they believed to be the strongest among these. In the Muslim tradition, this is called "associationism" (shirk), the belief that Allah has associates (shurakāʾ) in His divinity. These associates were believed to have an essential mediatory role between human beings and Allah. Muslim tradition maintains, nevertheless, that pre-Islamic Arabs understood that Allah was more powerful than all other gods and in times of extreme danger they placed their trust in Him alone, becoming, in a manner of speaking, "temporary monotheists" (cf. Koran 29:65–66, 31:22; Izutsu, God and Man, 102–103). In the Peninsula there were also Jewish and Christian communities. The Jews lived in the northern city of *Khaybar and in *Medina where the Prophet Muhammad was active from 622 c.e. until his death ten years later. The Christians inhabited the town of Najrān and also lived elsewhere: the Christian tribe of Taghlib lived first in the Najd region of the Peninsula and later on the lower Euphrates (M. Lecker, "Taghlib" eis2, s.v.). Small Zoroastrian communities probably existed in the eastern part of the Peninsula. Islam developed out of polemics with these religious communities and a substantial part of Muslim belief and ritual can only be understood against this background.

"The Pillars of Islam" (arkān al-islām)

In contradistinction to Judaism which speaks of 613 (taryag) commandments, the Muslim tradition does not keep count of the commandments incumbent on a Muslim. However, five of these have acquired a special standing in Islamic tradition. One of them is related to the manner in which an unbeliever embraces Islam, while the other four belong to the ritual aspect of the religion. Each of these commandments is mentioned several times in the Koran, but there they do not appear as a separate group. However, in the literature of prophetic tradition (*ḥadīth), the five commandments are grouped and designed as the pillars on which Islam stands. In the collection compiled by al-Bukhārī (d. 870 c.e.), we read: "Islam is built on five (pillars): Witnessing that there is no god but Allah and that Muhammad is the messenger of Allah, and the performance of prayer, and giving of alms, and pilgrimage, and the fast of Ramaḍān" (al-Bukhārī, Ṣaḥīḥ, Kitāb al-īmān, 2; ed. Krehl, 1, 10).

1. The double formula saying that "there is no god but Allah and Muhammad is the messenger of Allah" (called in Arabic shahāda ("witnessing"), kalima ("word"), or kalimat alikhlāṣ ("the word of exclusive devotion") does not appear in the Koran as one unit. Its first part appears with slight modifications several times. Koran 3:18 reads: "Allah witnessed that there is no god except Him." (Cf. Koran 2:255, 37:35 and elsewhere.) The second part appears only once, in Koran 48:29: "Muhammad is the messenger of Allah. And those who are with him are hard against the unbelievers, merciful one to another…" This formula is the most distinctive expression of Muslim monotheism and of the central position accorded in Islam to the Prophet Muhammad. It is an important part of worship, appearing in the call to prayer and in the prayer itself. It is also the formal requirement for joining the Muslim community. Like other Muslim rituals, this formula seems also to have undergone certain developments before reaching its final form. The tradition maintains that the first part of the shahāda, affirming the oneness of Allah, was sufficient to indicate the conversion of Arab polytheists to Islam because it is unambiguous in the rejection of their former belief in multiple gods. When the call to Islam was directed at Christians and Jews, this part of the shahāda was no longer sufficient: an affirmation of Allah's oneness by monotheist Jews or Christians does not indicate their conversion to Islam because Christians and Jews may identify with the first part of the shahāda without changing their religious affiliation. For a Jew or a Christian, therefore, the acknowledgment of Muhammad's prophethood was considered essential. And since some Jewish groups were willing to acknowledge Muhammad's prophethood but restricted its validity to Arabs alone (see Y. Erder, "The Doctrine of Abū Īsā al-Isfahānī and Its Sources," in: Jerusalem Studies in Arabic and Islam, 20 (1996), 162–99), Jews and Christians were obliged – according to some traditions – not only to pronounce the double shahāda, but also unequivocally to renounce their former faiths.

2. Prayer (ṣalāt): Pre-Islamic Arabs did not observe an obligatory daily routine which could be seen as an inspiration for the Islamic prayer. It is therefore significant to observe that ṣalāt ("prayer") is an Aramaic loan word which means bowing or prostration. Nevertheless, prayer is mentioned as an obligation of the believer already in the Meccan period of the Koran (Koran 108:1–2; 107:4–5). It seems that in the first stage of the development, the Prophet spoke of two daily prayers: in the evening and at dawn. Koran 17:80 enjoins the Muslims to "perform the prayer at the sinking of the sun to the darkening of the night and the recital of dawn (Koran alfajr)…." Later developments in this field are not very clear, but it appears that after the hijra to *Medina an additional prayer, called the "middle" one, was added when the Koran says: "Be watchful over the prayers and the middle prayer…" (Koran 2:239). The "middle prayer" is variously explained as the noon or the afternoon prayer.

If we assume that the prayers mentioned in the first part of the verse are the two prayers which had been referred to in the Meccan period, we reach the conclusion that after the hijra the number of prayers reached three. Though there is no hard evidence to substantiate this notion, some scholars tend to speculate that this happened under the influence of the Jews with whom the Prophet came into contact in Medina. The number of the Muslim prayers eventually reached five, but we do not know exactly when this development took place. There is some evidence to suggest that during the *Umayyad period in *Syria the number of the obligatory prayers was not generally known, and at the time of the Umayyad caliph ʿOmar b. ʿAbd al-ʿAzīz (r. 717–720 c.e.) the proper time for prayer was not known either (Goldziher, Muslim Studies, 2, 39–40). As for the reasons why the Muslims eventually decided on the number of five daily prayers, these are not clear. Goldziher maintains that the number was influenced by the Zoroastrian tradition which had five daily prayers. Islamic tradition connects the establishment of the five prayers with Muhammad's miraculous nocturnal journey to heaven (isrāʾ, miʿrāj). According to this tradition, Allah intended to impose on the Muslim community 50 daily prayers, but after some negotiations (which Muhammad conducted with Allah in compliance with the advice of Moses), the number was reduced to five. The tradition maintains, however, that these five prayers have the value of fifty.

In any case, post-Koranic Muslim tradition established five daily prayers: morning (fajr), noon (ẓuhr), afternoon (ʿaṣr), evening (maghrib), and night (isha). Before each prayer it is necessary to perform an ablution (wuḍu), which involves washing the hands up to the elbows, rinsing the mouth and nose, and washing the feet including the ankles. If water is not available, sand may be used; in this case the procedure is called tayammum (Koran 5:8–9). In preparation for the Friday prayer washing the entire body (ghusl) is required. The prayer itself consists of a prescribed sequence of bodily movements (rakʿa), including bending, standing, prostration, and half-kneeling, half sitting. The only texts which are essential for the prayer being valid are the formula Allāhu Akbar and the Fātiḥa, the opening chapter of the Koran.

Three elements associated with Muslim prayer will serve as an illustration of the idea that Islam developed out of polemics with, and attempts to differentiate itself from, Judaism and Christianity. As is well known, Muslims now pray barefoot. However, there is evidence to suggest that in the early days of Islam, Muslims prayed with their shoes on. This was recommended, even enjoined, in order to distinguish between Muslims and Jews who are said to have prayed barefoot. The second element is the adhān, the call preceding each prayer. The tradition maintains that in the beginning the Prophet used a horn "like the horn of the Jews" for this purpose. Later he disliked this and ordered the clapper (nāqūs) to be used to summon the believers, in emulation of Eastern Christians. Eventually, ʿOmar b. al-Khaţţāb, the second caliph, had a vision in which he was told: "Do not use the clapper, rather call to prayer (with human voice)." In this way the characteristic Muslim call to prayer is said to have emerged. This call now consists of pronouncing the formula "Allahu Akbar" four times, the shahāda twice, the formula "come to prayer, come to success" twice, "Allahu Akbar" twice again, and, finally, the shahāda.

The development of the Muslim direction of prayer (qibla) is the most famous reflection of the progressive dissociation of Islam from Judaism. The Muslim direction of prayer underwent several changes. The relevant traditions are reasonably clear, but there is no way to verify their historicity. Koran 2:216, considered by some commentators to be abrogated, seems to belittle the importance of the direction of prayer, saying that "To God belong the East and the West; wherever you turn, there is the face of God." On the other hand, we have three traditions concerning the direction of prayer in Mecca before Muhammad's migration to Medina in 622. According to one of them, in Mecca the Prophet faced the Kaʿba while praying; according to another, he faced Jerusalem; according to a third, which constitutes an attempt to harmonize between the first two ones, he faced Jerusalem, but took care to have the Kaʿba on the straight line between himself and Jerusalem. In this way, the tradition maintains, he faced both sanctuaries.

Regarding the period of the Prophet's sojourn in Medina (622–632 c.e.), the tradition is unanimous and maintains that for the first 16 or 18 months of his stay in Medina, the Prophet and the Muslims with him prayed toward Jerusalem; this is why Jerusalem came to be known in Islam as "the first qibla and the third sanctuary" (after Mecca and Medina) (ūlā al-qiblatayn wa thālith al-ḥaramayn). There is no record of a divine command to do this; nevertheless, some commentators think that such a command was issued, while others maintain that praying in the direction of Jerusalem was the Prophet's own decision. Some suggest that the Prophet was commanded to pray toward Jerusalem "in order to conciliate the Jews." Frequently we read that at some point in time the Prophet became averse to this direction of prayer, and Koran 2:150, which commands the Muslims to pray in the direction of Mecca, was revealed in response to the Prophet's desire. The change of the qibla to Mecca introduced a crucial Arabian element into Islam and was a major step in its disengagement from Judaism.

The five daily prayers may be performed in public or in private, though according to the tradition public prayer is always preferable. The only prayer which must always be performed in public is the noon prayer on Friday (jumʿa).

Naturally, no congregational prayer was held before the hijra in Mecca because of the precarious position of the few Meccan Muslims in that period. Though there are some references to the jumʿa prayer in Medina before the hijra, it is clear that the jumʿa prayer acquired its central standing in Muslim ritual in the Medinan period of the Prophet's career. The choice of Friday as the Muslim day of congregational prayer was explained in various ways. Some thought that it was just to differentiate Islam from Judaism and Christianity; but this argument is good for any day except Saturday and Sunday. A classical tradition observes that although the Jews and the Christians were given their holy books before the Muslims, the Muslims precede them in their day of prayer, in order to do them justice. The most widely accepted scholarly explanation was given by S.D. Goitein ("The Origin and Nature of the Muslim Friday Worship," Studies in Islamic history and institutions (1968), 111–25). Goitein suggests that Friday was chosen because on that day the Jews of Medina used to prepare provisions for the Sabbath; because of this Friday became a market day on which not only the inhabitants of Medina, but also the inhabitants of the adjacent areas assembled in the city and engaged in commerce. Since Koran 62:9–11 clearly says that commercial activity must cease when the call to prayer is sounded, this explanation sounds convincing.

The Friday prayer is the only prayer during which a sermon (khuṭba) is delivered. The sermon normally includes praise of Allah, a prayer for the Prophet, exhortation to good deeds, and a chapter from the Koran. It is also customary to mention the ruler. This custom has great political importance: it is a symbol of the worshipers' allegiance to the government in power. Mentioning the ruler's name in the sermon is considered indicative of the preacher's (and the congregation's) political loyalty, while its omission is considered a symbol of rebellion. Mutatis mutandis, sermons are at times used for political statements in the modern period as well. Religiously speaking, Friday is not a day of rest like the Jewish Sabbath. As is clear from Koran 62:9–11, work is prohibited only during the prayer itself; after the prayer is concluded, all activities may be resumed. Nevertheless, Friday has acquired in Islam the characteristics of a holiday and is the official day of rest in many Muslim states.

3. Pilgrimage (ḥajj): In contradistinction to prayer, the Muslim pilgrimage has clear antecedents in the pre-Islamic period. Muslim tradition maintains that pre-Islamic Arabs performed pilgrimage to the Kaʿba in Mecca, which was then a pagan place of worship, with images of idols. The transformation of the Kaʿba into a Muslim sanctuary and of the pilgrimage into a Muslim ritual necessitated an infusion of monotheistic elements into the history of both. This was achieved by describing the pilgrimage as a ritual which had begun long before Arabian idolatry came into being and was a part of the ancient monotheistic religion associated with Abraham "who was neither a Jew nor a Christian but a ḥanīf Muslim and was not of the idolaters" (Koran 3:67). According to the Koranic account, Abraham was the man who built the Kaʿba together with his son Ishmael and made it into a pure place of worship (Koran 2:125, 3:95–97).

Hence the Kaʿba, an idolatrous sanctuary in the pre-Islamic period, became the holiest place in Islam. The way was now open for the next step, transformimg the pilgrimage to Mecca into an Islamic commandment: "It is the duty of all people to come to the House as pilgrim, if he is able to make his way there" (Koran 3:97). Thus the pilgrimage is a case in which Islam did not abolish a pre-Islamic ritual, but rather filled it with new content and significance. The identity of the Muslim rituals with the pre-Islamic ones caused misgivings among some early believers and at least in one case a special revelation was needed to give legitimacy to such a ritual.

The pilgrimage is held annually in the month of Dhū al-Ḥijja, the last month of the Islamic year. It is obligatory for every Muslim once in a lifetime, if he has the means to perform it. At the outskirts of Mecca, the pilgrims enter into the state of sacredness (iḥrām), symbolized by the white, seamless garment worn during the pilgrimage. The uniform clothing is understood as symbolizing the equality of all believers. When the pilgrim reaches Mecca, he starts the ritual by circumambulating the Kaʿba seven times (ṭawāf). Then he covers seven times the distance between the hills of al-Safā and al-Marwa (saʿy). This is understood as commemorating Hagar's search of water for her son Ishmael. The collective rituals, so characteristic of the annual Muslim pilgrimage, begin on the 8th of Dhū al-Ḥijja, when the pilgrims set out for the plain of ʿArafāt, east of Mecca. On the 9th of the month the pilgrims stand there and listen to a sermon at the time of the noon-prayer. This is the central ritual of the pilgrimage (wuqūf). On the way back to Mecca, the pilgrims throw stones at Minā; this is meant to symbolize the stoning of the devil. On the 10th, 11th, and 12th of the month the Feast of Sacrifice (ʿīd al-aḍḥā) is celebrated. The sacrifice of an animal is obligatory on every free Muslim who can afford it. After this, the pilgrims return to Mecca and can come out of their state of sacredness.

The pilgrimage has acquired tremendous importance in Islam. It allows millions of Muslims from all parts of the world to meet, exchange ideas, and get acquainted with each other. The pilgrimage is therefore an extraordinary event: in recent years, about two million Muslims participate in it. It gives the Muslims a sense of belonging to a large, universal community and strengthens the feeling of unity in the Muslim world.

4. Fasting (ṣawm): The development of the Muslim commandment of fasting began with the migration of the Prophet to Medina in 622, when the Prophet instructed the Muslims to fast the ʿāshūrāʾ (cf. ʿasor, Lev. 16:29) on the 10th of Muḥarram, the first month in the Muslim calendar. One version of this tradition maintains that this was in emulation of, or in competition with, the Day of Atonement. Other traditions deny any Jewish connection and hold that the ʿāshūrāʾ commemorates the saving of Noah during the flood, or a fast observed by the tribe of Quraysh in the pre-Islamic period. In 2 a.h./624 c.e., Koran 2:185 was revealed, instituting the month of Ramaḍān as the month of fasting, from sunrise to sunset. This is another example of the progressive dissociation of Islam from the Jewish tradition. Henceforth, ʿāshūrāʾ was downgraded to a voluntary fast, but there are indications for its persistence into the Muslim period. Later the fast of ʿāshūrāʾ merged with the Shīʿī commemoration of the death of al-Hūsayn, the Prophet's grandson, in Karbalāʾ in 680 c.e.

Throughout Ramaḍān, the believer must refrain from food, drink, and sexual relations during the daytime. Imsāk is the beginning of the fast at dawn, while ifţār signifies the breaking of the fast after sunset. Unrelated to Ramaḍān is fasting of various durations as expiation for failing to fulfill an oath (Koran 5:92), for repudiating a wife in a forbidden way (ẓihār, Koran 58:4), for failing to perform the pilgrimage rituals properly (Koran 2:196), or for an accidental killing of a believer (Koran 4:91).

5. Alms-giving (zakā). The pre-Islamic secular value of generosity was transformed into mandatory almsgiving in Islam. In the early Sūras of the Koran, the commandment is phrased in very general terms (Koran 13:24–26). In the late Medinan period, the tone is much more specific and the purposes for which the collected money may be used are specified: "The alms are for the poor and the needy, and those who collect them, and those whose hearts are to be reconciled, and to free the captives, and the debtors, and for the sake of Allah and for the wayfarers; a duty imposed by Allah" (Koran 9:60). Those "whose hearts are to be reconciled" are understood to be people who needed economic incentive to join Islam, while "for the sake of Allah" is interpreted as the jihād (q.v.). This suggests that the Prophet used the alms money not only as help for the needy, but also for political purposes. According to some prophetic traditions, the payment of the alms "purifies" the property retained by the payer. The Qur'an does not specify the amount to be paid as alms. Koran 2:219 seems to indicate that one should give as alms whatever is his surplus (for details on this in Islamic law, see A. Zysow, "Zakāt," eis2, 11, 406–22).

The Expansion of Islam

The first wave of conquests by Muslim Arabs, completed at the beginning of the eighth century c.e., included the Fertile Crescent, *Iran, *Egypt, North Africa, *Spain, the western fringes of *India, and some parts of Central Asia. From the 10th century Turkish people originating on the steppes between the Caspian Sea and the Altai mountains became increasingly important as political and military champions of Islam. The conquest of South Asia (comprising today India, *Pakistan, and Bangladesh) began with the Indian campaigns of Maḥmūd Ghaznawī in the early 11th century, and was almost completed by the Delhi Sultanate in the 13th. The conversion of the *Mongols to Islam which began in the 13th century significantly extended the boundaries of Islam. The manner in which Islam came to South East Asia has not been satisfactorily described so far, but it is clear that it was not by way of conquest. The presence of Muslims in the Indonesian archipelago has been attested since the late 13th century. Muslim merchants and mystics are normally credited with bringing Islam to these areas. It is clear that Muslim conquests and the establishment of Muslim dynasties are not coterminous with the spread of Islam among the population and that the former aspects of Muslim history are known much better than the processes by which Islam became the religion of a substantial part of Asian and African populations.

The number of Muslims was estimated in 2000 at 1,262 million, 77% of these living in countries where the majority of the population is Muslim. The largest concentration of Muslim population is found in the three countries of South Asia (India, Pakistan, and Bangladesh) which are home to 384.3 million Muslims. Indonesia is the largest single Muslim political unit, with 212.1 million Muslims. The Arabic-speaking countries of North Africa (including the Sudan) and the Middle East comprise 257 million Muslims. Turkey follows with 66.5 million, Iran with 62.2 million, the five Muslim states of Central Asia (Uzbekistan, Turkmenistan, Tajikistan, Kirgyzstan, and Kazakhstan) with 41.5 million, and Afghanistan with 22.5 million. In Africa 58.9 million Muslims live in West Africa (south of the Sahara) and 47.1 in East Africa. The Muslim minority of China is estimated at 19.2 million, of Russia at 14.7 million, and of Europe (including the Balkans, France, and the U.K.) at 8.1 million. The number of Muslims in the U.S. and Canada is put at 2 million, although some Muslim organizations in the U.S. speak of 6 million Muslims in the U.S. alone. Reference to religion in demographic statistics is not universal, and these figures must therefore be viewed with caution. It is estimated that the number of Muslims will reach 1.8 billion by 2025; the Muslims are then expected to form almost a quarter of the global population.

General Characteristics

The general character of Islam is determined by two main factors: its foundational literature and its global expansion. The foundational literature – including the Koran, the prophetic tradition (ḥadīth), the jurisprudence (*fiqh) and mysticism (taṣawwuf) – should be seen as unifying factors. The global expansion of Islam, the diverse conditions in the various areas, the different degrees to which the classical sources of Islam were internalized, the different degrees of modernization – all these explain the distinct characteristics of Islam in various areas of the world.

In addition to its fierce monotheism, the universal, global appeal of Islam seems to be its most conspicuous general feature. It is based on the firm belief that in contradistinction to all other prophets who had been sent to specific communities, Muhammad was sent to all humanity. Furthermore, Muhammad is considered the last prophet to be sent to earth. Consequently, Islam and the Koran – the consummate embodiment of the divine will – will remain valid until the end of days: no prophet will ever be sent in order to bring another revelation or another sacred law. Therefore, Islam does not countenance the establishment of any new religion after the coming of Muhammad. Also, the Koran is considered to be the only scripture which was transmitted reliably and suffered no interpolation, while the Torah and the New Testament had allegedly been tampered willfully by the Jews and the Christians (taḥrīf). As a result of these and similar considerations, Muslims are "the best community ever brought forth to mankind" (Koran 3:110), and "Islam is exalted and nothing is exalted above it" (al-Islām yaʿlū wa lā yuʿ (al-Bukhārī, Ṣaḥīḥ, Kitāb al-janāʾiz 80; ed. Krehl, 1, 337–38). The idea of Islamic exaltedness has numerous ramifications for the relationship between Islam and other faiths (Friedmann, Tolerance and Coercion, 34–39).

The Muslim ideas relevant to this relationship have been subject to significant changes since the earliest period of Islam. Even the Koran includes divergent ideas about the relationship between Islam and other religions. On the one hand, it includes verses which seem to promise divine reward for the Jews and the Christians without mentioning their conversion to Islam as a precondition (Koran 2:62; cf. 5:69). On the other hand, it speaks about the humiliation inflicted upon them (Koran 2:61, 3:112), instructs the Muslims not to forge alliances with them (Koran 5:51), and calls upon the Muslims to fight them "until they pay the poll-tax (*jizya) out of hand while being humiliated (Koran 9:29). These and verses of similar import have been extensively commented upon in Muslim tradition and jurisprudence. The Muslim attitude to the Jews and Christians gradually moved from an initial conciliatory approach in the direction of increased rigor. (See Friedmann, Tolerance and Coercion, 194–99.)

The Koran and the prophetic tradition (ḥadīth) (q.v.) constitute the major unifying factors in Islam. The Koran is considered to be the literal word of Allah. Muslim theologians debated whether it has existed since all eternity and is uncreated (ghayr makhlūq), or was created (makhlūq) at a certain point in time. Perceived as divine in origin, its style is considered inimitable (muʿjiz) in the sense that no human being is capable of producing a book of so sublime a stylistic standard. This is the dogma known as iʿjāz al-Koran, the idea that the Koran renders human beings unable to imitate it. The distinctive character of Koranic style is unmistakable; from the secular vantage point it may derive from the fact that the Koran is the only extant literary work from seventh-century Arabia. In any case, the Koran has always been the subject of boundless veneration by Muslims. Although the Koran considers itself as "a book in which there is no doubt" (Koran 2:2) and as a revelation in "clear Arabic language" (Koran 26:195), many verses are difficult to understand and the book has inspired a vast literary corpus of exegesis (tafsīr). Once the meaning of a verse was agreed upon by mainstream exegetes, the accepted meaning acquired an uncontested normative value in Muslim law and piety.

The prophetic tradition (hadīth) has developed out of the conviction that a pious Muslim should emulate the Prophet in whatever he did, recall whatever he said, and even keep a record of things which gained his tacit approval. This attitude is based on the firm conviction that Muhammad possessed a perfect personality and should be treated with utmost respect. Any action which is judged incompatible with this basic idea is rejected with great severity. Therefore, one of the most meritorious actions which a Muslim can do is to revive a custom of the Prophet (sunna) which for some reason fell into disuse. The customs of the Prophet were recorded in the ḥadīth which has become a major part of Muslim religious literature, a major source of Muslim law and an important vehicle through which later generations could influence the development of Islam. The desire to emulate the Prophet brought about a tremendous proliferation of the ḥadīth, which soon became an extensive branch of Muslim religious literature.

According to the traditional Muslim view, a considerable part of the hadīth, which has a reliable chain of transmitters and thus can pass the traditional test of authenticity, was actually pronounced by the Prophet and has therefore a normative value second only to the Koran itself. Modern scholarship, on the other hand, maintains that the authenticity of this material is unverifiable: since we have no extant books of hadīth from the lifetime of the Prophet, there is no reliable method which can establish whether a certain saying was pronounced by the Prophet, or originated in a later period and was attributed to the Prophet in order to prove a point of law or an idea in the religious thought of a Muslim group. In some cases it is possible to discern the religious tendency or political interest embedded in a tradition; but in the countless traditions of general ethical content lacking a point of historical reference this is frequently impossible. In the brilliant formulation of *Goldziher, whose study of the hadīth, written in the late 19th century, is still an indispensable masterpiece, "the hadīth will not serve as a document for the history of the infancy of Islam, but rather as a reflection of the tendencies which appeared in the community during the maturer stages of its development. It contains invaluable evidence for the evolution of Islam during the years when it was forming itself into an organized whole from powerful mutually opposed forces. This makes the proper appreciation and study of the hadīth so important for the understanding of Islam in the evolution of which the most notable phases are accompanied by successive stages in the creation of the hadīth " (Goldziher, Muslim Studies, vol. 2, 19).

The third unifying factor is Islamic jurisprudence (*sharīʿa, *fiqh). From the very beginning, Islam strove to control the life of the community in all fields. Like Judaism, Islam is not satisfied with regulating man's obligation toward God, but also aspires to regulate his daily behavior and legislates in matters which in other cultures belong to the field of civil or secular law. Legal matters do not constitute a major part of the Koran, though topics such as the law of marriage, divorce, inheritance, and penalties for a restricted number of transgressions (theft, highway robbery, wine drinking, unlawful sexual intercourse and false accusation thereof) are discussed in some detail. Beginning in the last decades of the 8th century c.e., major compendia of Muslim jurisprudence began to emerge. Numerous schools of legal thinking (madhhab, pl. madhāhib) came into being in the formative period of Islam. Four of them (Ḥanafis, Ḥanbalīs, Mālikīs, and Shāfiʿīs) survived and are regarded as valid versions of the religious law of Islam. The Ḥanafī school, which originated in the Iraqi city of Kūfa, is the most widespread. It was the dominant school in the *Abbāsid empire, in the *Ottoman empire, in the *Moghul empire in India and in Central Asia. The Mālikīs school was predominant in Muslim Spain, and still is in North Africa. The Shāfiʿīs school is deeply rooted in Egypt and has many adherents in the Fertile Crescent. The Ḥanbalīs have official status in *Saudi Arabia and numerous adherents elsewhere.

While the division into schools of law may indicate some measure of diversity, the common denominator between the schools is more than sufficient to consider the law as a unifying factor in Islam. The law is administered by a judge (qāḍī), sometimes assisted by a legal specialist authorized to issue legal opinions (fatwā pl. fatāwā).

The formative period of Islam was characterized by immense worldly success. The great conquests of the first century of Muslim history, in which Muslims took control of vast areas in the Middle East, in the western fringes of India, in Central Asia, in North Africa and in the Iberian peninsula, transformed the history of these regions and brought them under the aegis of Islam. Later expansion and conquests did the same for other areas of the world. The chronicles of the early conquests abound in descriptions of the wealth accumulated in the course of these events, and the conquerors do not seem to have had any qualms about the riches which they amassed. Mainstream Islam legitimized this and regulated the ways in which booty may be taken and used. This reflects a positive approach of Islam to worldly success (cf. Smith, Islam in Modern History, 22–23). Yet at the same time, one can discern in early Islam a completely different trend of thought: a trend which is contemplative, stresses the uselessness of this world and sees it only as a corridor through which one must pass, but which has no real value when compared with the everlasting bliss promised to the believers in the hereafter. This was the attitude of early Muslim ascetics (zuhhād, sg. zāhid) who spared no effort to revile this world, to describe it as "a corpse pursued by dogs," as a place of unbearable stench, a place which is a prison for the believer and Paradise for the infidel. These were the precursors of the Ṣūfī movement (see *Sufism) which developed into a major trend in Muslim religiosity. Since the 10th century c.e., Ṣūfi thinkers produced numerous manuals in which they described the path (ţarīqa) to God and which served as guides on the seeker's (murīd) way to spiritual perfection. These manuals, of which "The book of (mystical) flashes in Ṣūfism" (Kitāb allumaʿ fī al-taṣawwuf) by Abū Naṣr al-Sarrāj (d. 988 c.e.) is a prime example, surveys the practices and modes of thinking of the Ṣūfīs. The book speaks about the standing of the Ṣūfīs among the believers and reaches the conclusion that they are more assiduous than others in observance and do not try to avoid the inconvenient commandments by seeking allegorical explanations and legal evasions. Thus, they not only obey the letter of the law, but go beyond it and reach degrees of religiosity which can not be attained by jurists and others. They leave aside all irrelevant matters and cut every connection which may interfere with attaining their objective, which is God alone. The book also describes in great detail the spiritual stages on the Ṣūfīʾs way to God.

In a later stage, from the 12th century onward, the Ṣūfīs were not only individuals exploring divine mysteries, but also organized themselves into Ṣūfī orders (ţuruq, sg. ţarīqa) which spread all over the Muslim world from the Maghrib in the West to Indonesia in the East. These orders developed around Ṣūfī masters (shuyūkh, sg. shaykh, or pīr in the eastern part of the Muslim world). These orders were of considerable importance in the life of the Muslim communities everywhere. It stands to reason that participation in the Ṣūfī ritual, such as the communal dhikr (the constant repetition of God's name), gave the common man a spiritual satisfaction unachievable by other means. Trimmingham (The Ṣūfī Orders, 229) sees a similarity between the spiritual role of a Ṣūfī order and that of a local church in Europe; another possible comparison is with the Ḥasidic movement in Judaism.

While the orders developed numerous disparate characteristics in the various parts of the Muslim world, the similarities between them are sufficient to include Ṣūfīsm among the unifying factors of Islam. The more unified picture of Islam can be found in Islamic literature, while its diversity can be most profitably studied in anthropological research. Anthropological fieldwork in various areas of the Muslim world has revealed numerous characteristics which show the extent to which Islam was influenced by local cultures, especially in rural areas. In almost every Muslim house in the Indian district of Purnea a little shrine existed in which prayers were offered both to Allah and to the Indian goddess Kālī. In the same place, a part of the Muslim marriage ceremony was conducted in a shrine of the goddess Bhagvatī (Mujeeb, The Indian Muslims, 13–14). There is substantial literature about the existence of caste system among Indian Muslims, despite the classical Islamic principle of equality of all believers (Ahmad, Caste and Social Stratification…). Geertz (Islam observed, 66) maintains that in Indonesia, "the mass of the peasantry remained devoted to local spirits, domestic rituals and familiar charms. … Christians and pagans apart, all these people, gentry and peasantry alike, conceived themselves to be Muslims." Muslims for whom the classical literature of Islam is the only guide as to what constitutes Islam will probably consider such phenomena as cases of incomplete Islamization; but, of course, there is no guarantee that the Muslims in question will ever be transformed into believers conforming to the ideal of Islam as embodied in the classical tradition.

Modern Islam

Barring a few exceptions, classical and medieval Muslim thought developed against the background of a dominant Muslim civilization. Both in the formative period of Islam and in the later pre-modern centuries, Muslim thinkers were active in areas which were part of secure and relatively stable political systems, headed by Muslim rulers. This situation began to change with the first Western incursions into the Muslim world and with the gradually developing sense that Islam had lost its erstwhile primacy in its relationship with other civilizations. The reaction of Muslim thinkers to this evolving situation was manifold. During the second half of the 19th century, the Muslim modernist movement came into being. In Egypt, the prominent intellectual figure was that of Muhammad ʿAbduh (1849–1905). At various times, he was teacher, journalist, and judge; his career culminated between 1899 and 1905, when he served as the muftī of Egypt. His leading ideas included the insistence on the compatibility of Islam with reason and modern science, since the Koran encouraged the study of the physical universe; the preference of reason when it conflicts with traditional knowledge; rejection of the blind following of the tradition (taqlīd); and the revitalization of independent reasoning (ijtihād). He also maintained that the restrictions placed in Islam on polygamy (the obligation to treat the wives with equality and justice; cf. Koran 4:3) are such that they amount to prohibition, and advocated the education of girls. Among his numerous followers, mention should be made of Qāsim Amīn (1865–1908), who became famous because of his advocacy of women's rights, and ʿAlīʿAbd al-Rāziq (1888–1966), who maintained that Islam "is a religion, not a state" (dīn lā dawla). In other words, and in contradistinction to the prevalent view, he advocated the separation of religion and state in Islam. This idea aroused serious opposition and caused him to be expelled from the ranks of the ʿulamāʾ and from his position as a religious judge.

In the Indian subcontinent, the modernist movement was launched by Sir Sayyid Aḥmad Khān (1817–1898). Having been knighted for his loyal behavior during the Indian uprising of 1857, he devoted his life to the improvement of the Indian Muslims' relationship with the British rulers and to the advancement of modern education among Indian Muslims. In 1875 he established (with British support) the Anglo-Muhammadan Oriental College, which came to be known since 1920 as Aligarh Muslim University, and served as an important Muslim institution of higher learning in which modern science was taught alongside the humanities. He promoted the idea that there can be no contradiction between the word of God and laws of nature which are God's doing. Therefore, there can be no contradiction between the Koran, Islam, and the laws of nature, and there can be no objection in Islam to the study of modern Western sciences. Aḥmad Khān also devoted considerable effort to the demythologizing of Islam and interpreting its leading ideas as conforming to human intellect. In his attempt to improve the relationship between Islam and Christianity, he disagreed with the classical Muslim accusation that Christians and Jews had falsified the Scriptures, maintained that the books of the Bible are to be considered genuine and denounced the Indian Muslim custom of refusal to dine with Christians. Like Muhammad ʿAbduh, he maintained that Islam actually prohibited polygamy by insisting on the equal treatment of all wives, an attitude of which men are emotionally incapable.

Sayyid Aḥmad Khān's views found support among numerous Indian Muslim thinkers. Chirāgh ʿAlī (1844–1895) devoted much attention to the interpretation of jihād and argued that "all wars of Mohammad were defensive." He argued that "there are certain points in which the Mohammadan Common Law is irreconcilable with the modern needs of Islam, whether in India or Turkey, and requires modification. The several chapters of the Common Law, as those on political institutes, slavery, concubinage, marriage, divorce, and disabilities of non-Moslem fellow-subjects are to be remodeled and rewritten in accordance with the strict interpretations of the Koran…." He also opposed the blind following (taqlīd) of the Islamic schools of jurisprudence which were "never intended to be either divine or finite." It may be said that Chirāgh ʿAlī was one of the most radical reformers in Indian Islam. His definition of the sharīʿa as "common law" which may be changed by human intervention is a major departure from traditional norms.

The most famous among Indian Muslim modernists was Muhammad Iqbal (1875–1938). A poet, a philosopher and a political thinker – he is a towering figure among the Indian Muslims in the 20th century. He enjoyed immense popularity among the Indian Muslims, mainly because of his powerful and compelling poetry in Urdu and Persian, although his philosophical and political ideas also played a role in the development of his popularity. His Reconstruction of Religious Thought in Islam, which reflects his Islamic upbringing as well as his knowledge of European philosophy, is the most systematic formulation of his thought, though some of the arguments proffered in it are not clear. A substantial part of this work is dedicated to the description of Islam as a dynamic force in human history and to the analysis of the reasons which caused its stagnation in modern times. In Iqbal's view, the stagnation of Islam was caused by several reasons. One is the failure of the Muʿtazila which he considers a rationalist school of thought. Like other modernists, Iqbal is severely critical of Ṣūfism which preferred other-worldliness and caused the Muslims to neglect the concrete world which had been, in his view, at the center of the Koran's attention. He maintains, however, that Islam is capable of renewal and maintains that the belief in the finality of Muhammad's prophethood is a powerful intellectual tool that can be used for this purpose. In contradistinction to the classical interpretation, which used this belief as a proof of the eternal validity of the Koran and of Islamic law, Iqbal maintains that "in Islam prophecy reached its perfection in discovering the need for its own abolition." Finality of prophethood means that after the completion of Muhammad's mission nobody can ever claim personal authority of supernatural origin. Man has reached a stage in which he can open new horizons without being hampered by any constraints. The ideal believer is, therefore characterized by creativity, vitality, abhorrence of stagnation, and love of perpetual movement. Together with the use of the reinterpretation of Islamic law (ijtihād), these are the qualities which can revitalize Islam and restore its original dynamic character.

The modernist movement, which aimed at bringing Islam into conformity with the modern world and was characteristic of Islamic thought in the second half of the 19th century and the first half of the 20th, gradually lost its primacy and was replaced by radical trends of thought. Driven by the acute sense that modernity failed to deliver on its promise and stands in sharp contrast with the traditional Islamic ideal, radical Muslim thinkers, such as Abū al-Aʿlā Mawdūdī (1903–1979) in India and Sayyid Quţb (1906–1966) in Egypt, initiated scathing attacks on the modernist approach. A central component of these attacks has been a categorical rejection of modern Western civilization which is seen as corrupt, licentious, irreligious and dangerous for Islam. The leitmotif of Mawdūdī's thought is that all sovereignty in the world belongs to God alone; no other source of authority, such as the will of the people, or laws promulgated by elected legislative assemblies is legitimate. In 1941, Mawdūdī juxtaposed obedience to divine law – which is Islam – with obedience to man-made laws and customs; the latter he called Jāhiliyya, a term traditionally used for the pre-Islamic, pagan period in Arab history. When Pakistan was established in 1947, Mawdūdī (and the "Islamic Group," Jamāt-i Islāmī organization which he founded) immersed himself in a struggle to enhance as much as possible the Islamic characteristics of the newly established state. While he saw himself as the vanguard of opposition to things modern and desirous of implementing the classical ideal of Islam, in many details modern ideas and modern conditions influenced his understanding of the ideal. Sayyid Quţb, the leader of the Muslim Brethren in Egypt (executed in 1966), gave much currency to the dichotomy between Islam and the Jāhiliyya which is, in his as well as in Mawdūdī's view, not only a specific historical period but also a state of affairs and a mentality which allows people to choose a way of life different from the one prescribed by God and by the Prophet Muhammad. Jāhilī society is not only that which denies the existence of God, but also that which does not deny it, but relegates God to the kingdom of heaven and does not apply His law on earth. Such societies, including those which are nominally Muslim, have to be replaced by societies living under the divine Muslim law. The radical Muslim trends which we exemplified by reference to Abū al-Aʿlā Mawdūdī and Sayyid Quţb have gained much currency since the middle of the 20th century.

As a religion and a civilization, Islam has been in existence since the seventh century. At the beginning of the 21st century, Muslims live in dozens of countries in most areas of the world. These plain facts go a long way to explain the diversity of the Islamic experience. Islam has always been many things. Muslims have been warriors, rulers, mystics, writers, poets, artisans, and scholars in various fields; they have been, and still are, engaged in the whole range of human activity in widely differing circumstances. Within one century of Muslim history, they conquered a substantial part of the then known world. During the first three centuries of that history, Muslim writers produced a rich historiography, extensive literature in linguistics and lexicography, literary criticism, poetry, and jurisprudence. They stood for a long period at the cutting edge of scientific development. In its formative period, Muslim religious thought was characterized by a wide variety of views on numerous subjects. The variety of views and the nature of the arguments marshaled by their protagonists testify to the vibrant intellectual life of Islam in the early period of its history. Muslims have differed on questions such as determinism versus free will; the existence of the Koran since all eternity versus its being created at a certain point in time, with the rest of creation; the equality of all prophets versus the unquestioned superiority of Muhammad; the validity of personal reasoning versus the irrefutable authority of the prophetic tradition in jurisprudential matters; the identity of unbelievers who may be offered the status of protected communities (*dhimmīs) rather than being forced to embrace Islam; the extent of tolerance to non-Muslims living under Muslim rule and the measure of humiliation to be imposed on them. The list of these much debated issues could easily be augmented. This diversity of Muslim thought and experience has crucial significance. It means that all Muslims, in any place and historical period, must choose the type of Islamic thought and belief most appropriate to the circumstances of their lives and to their world view. It also means that the Muslim tradition includes material capable of substantiating almost any interpretation of Islam which a Muslim may want to develop. He may choose to be a fundamentalist or a modernist. He may choose to view Judaism and Christianity as basically illegitimate and corrupt versions of the divine will, or adopt a more pluralistic view of religious diversity. Professional men of religion tend to promote the view that their interpretation is the only legitimate one, and they are frequently supported by the autocratic regimes in many Muslim states. Such attitudes are belied by the long history of intellectual controversy in Islam and by the various forms which Islam took on in various times and places. Since the middle of the 20th century, radical interpretations of Islam have held sway in some of the most important areas of the Muslim world, but there is no doubt that the building bricks for a different version of Islam are readily available in the Muslim tradition.

[Yohanan Friedmann (2nd ed.)]

Polemics against Judaism

Islamic polemics directed against Judaism and Jews are substantial neither in quantity nor in quality. The great masses of Christian subjects within the Islamic domain and the Christian powers outside caused Islamic polemics to focus on Christianity. On the whole, Arabic lore and literature reflect a negative attitude toward the Jews, one of distrust and suspicion, contempt and animosity. It is argued that from the days of the Prophet the Jews were enemies of Islam, either in direct military confrontation with the Prophet, or in plots to undermine Islam through heresy, subversion, and cunning ill will. An 11th-century admirer of *Samuel b. Joseph ha-Nagid or the 14th-century mystic al-Jīlī (I. Goldziher in jzwl, 11 (1875), 68ff.) are exceptions in their positive attitude toward the Jews. The prevailing attitude may have come from Christian polemics which in turn were rooted to some extent in classical anti-Jewish lore. This holds true even concerning the Koran (T. Andrae, Ursprung des Islams … (1923–25), 198f.; cf. Waardenburg in Liber Amicorum, Studies… C.J. Bleeker, 1969). It is not surprising that the ever-growing mass of Christian converts to Islam should have contributed to the anti-Jewish mood. As early as the ninth century, al-Jāḥiz stated that although Judaism may seem closer to Islam than Christianity, Muslims are more negative in their attitude toward Jews than toward Christians (ed. and tr. by J. Finkel, in jaos, 47 (1927), 311–34).

Polemic remarks appear in the Koran and the Ḥadith (G. Vajda in ja, 229 (1937), 57–127) and in numerous theological works. Systematic treatment appears in courses and manuals on theology, heresies, and comparative religion. Muslim scholars displayed a very limited knowledge of Judaism and were not acquainted with original Jewish sources, and only rarely with translations. For example, the historian Ibn Khaldūn (14th century) even quoted the Bible from the 10th century historian al-Masʿūdī. The judgments and references of the polemists were usually based on sets of passages, presumably supplied by Jews converted to Islam, and, in the critique of post-biblical Judaism, possibly going back to some *Karaite material. Sometimes polemics may have been geared to social-political public agitation and mob riots. For example, the enemies of the family of Samuel ha-Nagid accused Jewish dignitaries and officials of selling terefah meat to the believers. The Moroccan al-Maghribī (G. Vajda in Étude à la mémoire de Lévi-Provençal, 2 (1962), 805–13) voiced a similar argument.

content

The subject matter of polemics can be reduced to a few points. Islam claims to be the final dispensation, following the abrogation (Ar. naskh) of Judaism and Christianity, and regards the development of Judaism, after its abrogation, as abnormal and as a human invention (bidʿa) contrary to divine dispensation (sharʿ). This is demonstrated by a critique of the Bible. Jews are charged with tampering (tabdīl) and distorting (taḥrīf) the texts, either in reading or in interpretation. Indeed, the Scriptures contain accounts unworthy of and senseless in a divine book (e.g., the stories of Lot, Judah and Tamar, kings of Edom, stations in the wilderness). Many of the numerical computations seem faulty; contradictions and anthropomorphisms (tajsīm) abound. Conversely, the Scriptures fail to elaborate on reward and punishment in the hereafter. Disrupted by the Babylonian captivity, the transmission of events (tawātur) is defective. Finally, if the Scriptures are authentic, they must contain annunciations (aʿlām) of the advent of Muhammad. The latter are gleaned from *gematria, the interpretation of the numerical value of significant words (Muhammad = 92 = bi-me'od me'od in Gen. 17:2; Paran wilderness = Mecca) etc. (cf. Strauss-Ashtor, in Sefer ha-Zikkaron le-Veit ha-Midrash le-Rabbanim be-Vinah (1946), 182–97).

historical survey

A tenth-century compendium by the theologian Bāqillānī presents a discussion of Judaism (Brunschvig, in Homenaje a Millás Vallicrosa). Partly provoked by the high position attained by Samuel ha-Nagid, the philosopher and historian Ibn Ḥazm (11th century) composed a substantial attack on Judaism in vitriolic language (M. Perlmann, in paajr, 18 (1948/49), 269–90). In the 12th century, a Jewish convert to Islam, *Samuel ibn Abbas al-Maghribī produced the most important polemic work (idem, in paajr, 32, 1964), which was often used and plagiarized by later polemists such as Qarāfī (13th century) and Ibn Qayyim ibn al-Jawziya (14th century). The Egyptian Jew Saʿīd b. Hasan of Alexandria who converted to Islam in 1298 (I. Goldziher, in rej, 30 (1895), 1–23; S.A. Weston, in jaos, 24 (1903), 312–83) and the Moroccan convert ʿAbd al-Ḥaqq al Islāmī (14th century) wrote popular tracts. In about 1360, Abu Zakariyyā Yaḥyā al-Rāqilī, a Morisco in Christian Spain, wrote a manual of disputation against the Jews who "loosen their tongues… against our prophet" (as in Palacios, in Mélanges Hartwig Derenbourg (1909), 343–66). As late as the 19th century, the account of Tabātabaʾī's disputation and the pamphlet Risāla Sabʿiyya appeared in Egyptian editions of Samuel's aforesaid tract (1939, 19622).

Jewish replies to the Islamic contentions began to appear in the tenth century and their authors include the philosophers *Saadiah Gaon, *Judah Halevi, Abraham ibn Daud, and *Maimonides. The former three were also outstanding polemists against the Karaites. Separate tracts against Islam were rare. Ma'amar ʿal Yishma'el (13th century), ascribed to Solomon b. Abraham Adret (J. Perles, 1863; M. Zikier, in Festschrift A. Kaminka, 1937), and Keshet u-Magen (M. Steinschneider, in mwj, 7 (1880), 1–48) of R. Simeon b. Ẓemaḥ Duran (d. 1444) came from the Jewish milieu peculiar to Christian Spain. While Jewish polemists were bitter about oppression and humiliation under Islam, they were aware that Islam showed greater affinity to Judaism than did Christianity, despite the biblical background shared with the latter.

[Moshe Perlmann]

Judaism and Islam

Centuries before the rise of Islam many Jewish communities were scattered over *Arabia, so that Judaism, in its normative and also sectarian versions, was known to the sedentary population and even to the Bedouin tribes. It was especially widespread in South Arabia, where Judaized groups and proselytes were very common. The deciphering of the South Arabian inscriptions, some of which were discovered only in the 1950s, confirm the many accounts and reports of early, pre-Islamic Christian writers about Jewish missionary activities and the persecutions of the Christians, especially in *Najrān by *Yūsuf Dhū Nuwās, the Jewish (proselyte) king of *Himyar. Raḥmān, the Merciful, as a name of God, without any other attribute, has been found many times in those inscriptions and indicates their Jewish origin. Arab historians and biographers of Muhammad's life describe the Jewish communities and tribes living in Hejaz generations before his rise. The years spent by Muhammad the Prophet and Messenger of God in the Jewish Yathrib-Medina gave him many opportunities (positive and negative) to come into close contact with the Jewish tribes living in that group of oases. This historical background explains the fact of the strict uncompromising monotheism preached by Muhammad (who objected to the Christian belief that Jesus was the son of God). Most of the *Bible tales to be found in the Koran and the normative form of Islam based on precepts are to be traced to the Bible and to the Oral Law. At the same time, some descriptions of the Last Judgment and of eschatological events which preoccupied Muhammad in his early period in Mecca, and also some historical tales, stem from Christian sources and inspirations. But the main eschatological beliefs belong to the common Jewish-Christian heritage, even though they were transmitted by Christian monks. In a Ḥadith ʿAisha, Muhammad's wife, is said to have heard the tradition about the punishment in the grave (ḥibbuṭ ha-kever) from two old Jewish women in Medina. More Jewish elements can be found in those beliefs after Jerusalem was accepted as the location of the Last Judgment.

Nonetheless, the Arabian character of the Koran must always be stressed as it was Muhammad's genius which founded and established Islam. The fact that some of his contemporaries, prophets, and ḥanifs tried unsuccessfully to spread monotheism in Arabia cannot lower Muhammad's stature. A large number of Jewish teachings, sayings, and normative and ethical precepts have been included in the *Ḥadith literature, sometimes in the name of Jews or Jewish converts to Islam although most were inserted anonymously. Much of the narrative material gathered in the Qiṣaṣ al-Anbiyāʾ ("Legends of the Prophets") goes back to *Kaʿb al-Aḥbār, the Jewish convert to Islam who accompanied the caliph *Omar during his visit to Jerusalem, or to *Wahb b. Munabbih, also a convert or son of a Jewish convert. All of this Ḥadith literature (and the legends are also systematically arranged like the oral tradition) shows an astonishing knowledge of the *halakhah and *aggadah as laid down in talmudic and midrashic literature. As in Judaism, at first there was opposition in Islam to writing down the sayings and teachings which were transmitted, by isnād (lit., leaning, ascription of an oral religious tradition), a chain of traditioners (see below). The caliph Omar disapproved of the literary fixing of the sunna (the sayings and exemplary actions of Muhammad): "Would you like to have a [written] mathnat like the mathnat [Aramaic: mathnitha – Heb. Mishnah] of the Jews?" (Ibn Saʿd v, p. 140).

It is not always possible to postulate a clear-cut dependence of Islamic teachings and methods on Judaism. The fundamental similarity of Judaism and Islam, both based on religious laws in principles, methods, and legislation, caused parallel developments in later centuries. It is a well-known fact that the *geonim, the heads of the two famous talmudic academies in *Sura and in *Pumbedita, received questions concerning legal and social matters; there are many tens of thousands of their responsa extant. This was also the practice of the Muslim muftis, a category of jurists from whom every Muslim could ask a fatwā, a legal opinion based on the religious law. The fatwā and the responsum both possessed legal power. It is difficult to decide if the development of this branch of literature in both religions was independent or whether this was an example of mutual influence. For example, at the end of the typical question one finds in the fatwā and in the responsum the formula: "May our rabbi (or mufti) give his instruction [= decision] and his reward will be doubled by Heaven [= God]." Goldziher (zdmg 52, p. 645) sees an Islamic influence in this formula of the responsum.

In the first centuries of Islam the jurists were allowed to use their independent judgment (ijtihād) in their decisions, but had to base it on primary sources. Later they were restricted in their freedom of independent decision and were obliged to follow the taqlīd (precedent) and to rely on former judgments. One finds a parallel development in rabbinic Judaism, in which even the geonim were obliged to follow the authority of their predecessors. Nonetheless, social and economic transformations sometimes demanded departure from accepted laws and rules. Thus the geonim and the later generations of rabbis were obliged to establish ordinances adjusted to the new situation. A similar principle was current in the madhhab (legal school) of Mālik b. Anas, i.e., the istiṣlāḥ, the adaptation (or correction) of laws, for the benefit of the community.

The influence of *fiqh (Islamic jurisprudence) is clear in the systematic dealings of the geonim with halakhic materials according to their contents, e.g., the laws of inheritance, gifts, deposits, oaths, usury, witness and writs, loans, and obligations, as they were arranged by Saadiah, Hai, Samuel b. Hophni, who wrote their works in Arabic. This is especially clear in Maimonides' code, Mishneh Torah, written in Hebrew and preceded by Sefer ha-Miẓvot (Book of Precepts), the first exposition of the 613 precepts. Maimonides' arrangement of these works indicates knowledge of the methods and principles of the fiqh literature and of the Ḥadith collections of al-Bukhārī, Muslims, and others. Maimonides applied the ijmāʿ (consensus), one of the four uṣūl al-fiqh (roots of fiqh), in his code. In his introduction to this code he gives the chain of the teachers and rabbis who during 40 generations transmitted the Oral Law from Moses to R. Ashi. This is a classic illustration of how the isnād – the method of verification of the sayings of Muhammad and his companions – was taken over by early Islam from Judaism, which traced the chain of tradition from Moses to the Men of the Great Synagogue (Avot 1); and in turn was used by Maimonides as a principle to verify the halakhah.

But Islamic influence was not restricted to methodology. Some Muslim customs concerning ablutions, prostrations, and general behavior during prayer were accepted by Maimonides and his son Abraham, and aroused disagreement among the majority of the Jewish society. Jewish apocalypses ascribed to R. Simeon b. *Yoḥai, and pseudepigraphic works such as Pirkei de Rabbi Eliezer and Targum Jonathan show traces of Islamic influence. Note should be made of the book of R. Nissim b. Jacob (Kairouan, first half of the 11th century) called Ḥibbur Yafe me-ha-Yeshuʿah ("A Fine Treatise on Salvation"), which in its Hebrew translation was known for centuries and was often reprinted because of its popular religious contents. Its Arabic original (the exact title of which is unknown) was found in the last decade of the 19th century (ed. by J. Obermann, 1933). In Jewish literature it is the only representative of a type known in Islamic literature as Kutub al-Faraj baʿda al-Shidda ("Books of Comfort after Disaster"). A detailed comparison between the Ḥibbur and the Muslim books shows that Nissim, who was head of the talmudic academy in *Kairouan, knew the stories then current in his non-Jewish environment, whether in literary form or as folktales.

Islamic culture, which had absorbed the legacy of Greece and the Hellenistic world, made a tremendous impact on some aspects of Jewish thought and science. After centuries of complete disruption between that world and Judaism, the works of the Greek philosophers and scientists came back to the orbit of Jewish thinkers and scholars through Arabic translations (from earlier translations in the Syriac language). From the tenth century on, Aristotle, Plato, and Neoplatonism influenced Jewish philosophers of religion, theologians, poets, and scientists. The most famous include: Saadiah, Isaac Israeli (from Kairouan), *Ibn Gabirol, Baḥya ibn *Paquda, Judah *Halevi, *Abraham ibn Daud, Maimonides, and his younger contemporary Joseph ibn Aknin (not to be mistaken for Maimonides' pupil of the same name). As S.D. *Goitein has shown, early *Sufism was also supplemented by Jewish sources. In its higher and later states, Sufism was inspired by Greek philosophy. Sufi influence is to be found in the poems of Ibn Gabirol, but the classic work which wholeheartedly advocates asceticism is Baḥya ibn *Paquda's Ḥovot ha-Levavot, which was written in Arabic. Although there is a great deal of eclecticism in this work, it is modeled mainly on Muslim sources. The most prominent representative of Sufism in Judaism is Abraham b. Moses b. *Maimon. In his book Kifāyat al-ʿĀbidīn Sufi traces are discernible, even more than in the work of Baḥya. Abraham recommends study and contemplation in order to perfect the soul engaged in the service of God. He used the term "highways" as a means that lead to perfection. In its highest degree, perfection culminates in ecstasy through the praise of God in love. Pure, humble, and sincere souls have access to the esoteric, inner mystical sense of the Torah. Baḥya's Ḥovot ha-Levavot and Abraham's Kifāyat al-ʿĀbidīn especially influenced the Jewish communities in the East, and played an important role in some later mystic movements; sometimes these mystics found common ways with Muslim Sufis (cf. also *Isrāʾ īliyat, *Naḍīr, *Qurayẓa, *Qaynuqāʿa).

[Haïm Z'ew Hirschberg]

bibliography:

I. Goldziher, Muhammedanische Studien, 2 vols. (1889–90); N. Wieder, Islamic Influences on the Jewish Worship (1947); S.D. Goitein, Jews and Arabs (1955); E.I.J. Rosenthal, Judaism and Islam (1961). polemics: Baron, Social2, 3 (1957), 76–85, 87, 156f.; 5 (1957), 82–105, 117–21, 136, 326–37; M. Steinschneider, Polemische und apologetische Literatur …(1887); I. Goldziher, in: jzwl, 1–11 (1862–75); idem, in: rej, 30 (1895), 1–23; 43 (1901), 1–14; 60 (1910), 32–8; idem, in: M. Brann and F. Rosenthal (eds.), Gedenkbuch…David Kaufmann (1900), 86–102; M. Schreiner, Beitraege zur Geschichte der theologischen Bewegungen im Islam (1899, offprint from zdmg, vols. 52–53, 1898–99); I. Friedlaender, in: za, 26 (1912), 93–110; A.S. Tritton, in: Islamic Studies, 1, no. 2 (1962), 60–4. add. bibliography: polemics: I.Y. al-Shāhabī, Istrātījiyyat al-Qurʾān al-Karīm fī muwājahat al-Yahūdiyya al-ʿālamiyya (1997); M.I. Khalaf, Qiyam al-Yahūd fi alqiṣaṣ al-Qurʾāniyya …(2001). judaism and islam: M. Maas, Bibel und Koran (1893); A.I. Katsh, Judaism in Islam (1954); Abraham Geiger, Judaism and Islam (1969); R. Roberts, The Social Laws of the Qoran (1925, 19712); H. Schwarzbaum, Mi-Mekor Israel we Ishmaʿel: Yahadūt we-Islām be-aspaklariyyat ha-folklor (1975).

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Islam

ISLAM

The religion that God set forth for Abraham, Moses, Jesus, and muammad proclaimed by the latter in Arabia in the 7th century, which enjoys the allegiance of approximately 1.2 billion persons, about one-sixth of the total estimated population of Earth. The name Islam, invariably preferred by its adherents to Muhammadanism (one of the archaic Western designations for the religion), is an Arabic word signifying "surrender," and its believers call themselves Muslims, "those who have surrendered to God." The world's Muslims are centered chiefly in the northern and eastern parts of Africa and the western and southern parts of Asia. The largest national representations are those of Pakistan and Indonesia, but Islam's traditional cultural centers have been the Arab world and Iran. Considered the fastest-growing religion in the world, Islam is expanding southward in both East and West Africa, as well as in the West, notably in the United States, where, ever since the conversion of the son of the founder of the Black Muslims to Sunnite Islam in the 1970s, the majority of African American Muslims have been "orthodox" Muslims. The subject will be treated in five parts: the origins of Islam; the Islamic creed; "The Five Pillars" and Islamic religious practice; Islamic law, theology, and mysticism; and modern trends in Islam.

Origins of Islam. Islam can never be disengaged from the life of the man Muammad. Born at mecca in Arabia about a.d. 570, he belonged to a cadet branch of the Quraysh tribe, then prominent in Mecca, and in young manhood married the widow of a wealthy merchant. When he was about 40, he began to make a series of remarkable claims. He maintained that he was the bearer of a "recitation" (Arabic qurĀn) transmitted to him by the Angel Gabriel and "the Spirit." This Qurān, he claimed, was the final redaction of what Allāh, "the God of Abraham, Ismael, Isaac, and Jacob, and the Tribes [of Israel] and Jesus" (Qurān 2.136) wished to communicate to the human race. It carried in itself, as he was ultimately compelled to insist, the power of invalidating the former Scriptures whenever they disagreed with it, although he readily allowed that those Scriptures (presumably including the whole of the Bible) represented divine revelation "in its original form" no less than the Qurān. He further regarded himself as a prophet, indeed as the last of the series of prophets or "messengers" whom God had sent to restore the purity of His religion; for not only had it been deformed by Jews and Christians, in his view, but it had also remained unknown to others, notably the Arabs. These claims enjoyed no striking success at Mecca, though Muammad steadily enlisted small numbers. In 622 he and his followers fled to medina, a city some distance north of Mecca, an "emigration" (Arabic hijra), from which Muslims date their era. At Medina, Muammad added to the number of his followers and welded them together into a vital community and a military power, which was nearly ready, at the time of his death in 632, to extend itself by rapid conquests to mastery over much of Asia and Africa.

Various questions concerning Islam's origins and, more particularly, concerning the sources of the material contained in the Qurān, arise naturally. The orthodox Muslim position is a flat denial that such sources could possibly exist. The Muslims do not deny that Muammad knew Jews and Christians; what they deny is that Muammad was, in any sense, the author of the Qurān. Although God's revelations through Muammad are considered the ultimate authority in Islam, Muammad's deeds and sayings (collected in the bulky Islamic traditions or adīth literature) are considered to exemplify the ideal way of life for the Muslim. There are variations in orthodox Muslim thought as to how the balance should be drawn between patterning one's life after Muammad and following one's own interpretation of Qurānic injunctions. Many Muslims do not deny that there were slight variants in the earliest versions of the Qurān or that the arrangement of the chapters according to length is an arbitrary one, but they hold that the present form, which was soon established, corresponds to a heavenly archetype of "the Book." The Islamic concept of revelation is thus considerably more rigid than is the Catholic, the Protestant Christian, or even the orthodox Jewish; for it excludes the notion of human, though divinely inspired, authorship of Scripture.

Jewish and Christian Influence. Non-Muslim scholarship has taken a different view of the matter. It has nearly always held that the major influences on Muammad must have been principally, but not exclusively, Jewish and Christian, and that those influences were colored by Muammad's own character and made over to conform to aspects and needs of the pre-Islamic Arabian mind. Within this broad framework, however, opinions have clashed. The prize dissertations of Abraham Geiger, the Jewish reformist, stimulated much of the modern scholarly discussion; in it he argued for a dominant Jewish influence on the Qurān. An opposing view, holding that influence to have been chiefly Gnostic, won the powerful support of Julius Wellhausen. The latter view was followed by many scholars until more recent studies, for example those by Charles Torrey and Abraham Katsh, persuasively argued again for a greater Jewish influence. It must also be noted that at the beginning of the 21st century, greater attention was paid to Muammad's reactions to the traditional religions of South Arabia.

Although pre-Islamic Arabia was still distinctly pagan and, by comparison to Mediterranean lands, relatively uncivilized, it harbored numerous Jews and Christians. There is no difficulty in accounting for the presence of Christians there (see arabia, 5) or in explaining why those Christians tended to be Nestorians. The foremost Christian community was Najrān, under the Nestorian influence of the king of Hira. There were Jewish trading settlements at Teima, Khaybar, Medina, and cities farther south. They are occasionally mentioned in rabbinical literature and may have dated back to the 7th century b.c. There is evidence, too, of considerable numbers of Jewish proselytes among the Arabs. They do not appear to have possessed any higher learning, however, and it has been suggested that they had been affected by forms of heterodox thought in which both Christian and pagan notions had been incorporated.

Development of Muammad's Ideas. For those coming from a scholarly tradition that puts a heavy emphasis upon the written word, it is difficult to sift the Qurān and the tradition literature for historical information. It is certain that as a boy and young man Muammad knew, and was on friendly terms with, both Jews and Christians. He is reported to have heard the bishop of Najrān preach and to have met on a caravan a monk "well versed in the knowledge of the Christians" (Ibn-Ishāq, Sīrat Rasūl Allāh [The Life of Mohammad ], tr. A. Guillaume [London 1955] 7981). (see bahira legend.) The first encouragement he received after his prophetic call, if one excepts that of his wife, came from her cousin Waraqah, "who had become a Christian and read the scriptures and learned from those that followed the Torah and the Gospel" (ibid. 107). At the same time he was familiar with various classes of Jewish scholars, whom he could name accurately, and there is reason to believe that many Jews, expecting the imminent advent of a messiah in Arabia, showed special interest in him. Finally, he was associated with a mysterious group that called itself the Hanifs (Arabic unafā', "the pure ones"), whose members, disgusted with idol worship, favored a monotheism incorporating elements from both Judaism and Christianity.

After Muammad began his preaching, he had constant and close contacts with Jews and Christians, but it is hard to say whether or in what manner he profited by them. His adversaries, among whom were many Jews and Christians, watched eagerly for indications of fraud; and Muammad was able successfully to assume a remarkably self-assured attitude toward any accusations of that sort. In the early Meccan period, to be sure, he was given to appealing, though somewhat vaguely, to Jewish and Christian authority for his teachings on the unity of God and on divine judgment: "All this is written in earlier scriptures, the scriptures of Abraham and Moses" (Qurān 87.18). The only respect in which he then admitted differing from those Scriptures was that his own revelation was in the Arabic language: "Before [the Qurān] the Book of Moses was revealed, a guide and a blessing to all men. This book confirms it. It is revealed in the Arabic tongue" (Qurān 46.12). The late Meccan and early Medinese periods saw the greatest readiness on Muammad's part to absorb Jewish elements into Islam, for at that time his special aim was to win Jewish converts, especially among the Jews of Medina.

Changed Attitude toward Jews and Christians. For a time Muammad went out of his way to model Islam on the Bible, but later he assumed a sharply different attitude. That attitude stemmed, one suspects, from the unwillingness of Jews and Christians to accept his teaching. The Qurānic chapters of that later period clearly demonstrate Muhammad's wish to disassociate Islam from Jewish and Christian "orthodoxy" and to establish the supremacy of his own religion by vigorous disputation and the use of force. Unsuccessful in his attempt to convince the Jews and Christians, he began to attack them intellectually and physically. Only the Jews offered organized opposition. In the beginning they seem to have provided Islam with a number of false disciples. Nevertheless, they were incapable of prolonged or effective resistance to the growing Islamic power, and within a few years Khaybar and the other Jewish colonies in North Arabia had been vanquished.

Very probably Muammad had heard improvised translations of the Jewish and Christian Scriptures. It is quite possible, too, that information concerning one group may have come from the other and that wherever Scripture is misrepresented or distorted, Muammad followed homiletical embellishments. Julian Obermann summed up the problem of Islamic origins very well:

What with the vast overlapping of Jewish and Christian lore, especially in the period and area involved [the general impression of greater Jewish influence on Islam], may be illusory or at least inexact, unless it be borne out by detailed evidence for each element under discussion. Obviously, Old Testament and even rabbinical materials might have been transmitted to Arabia by Christian channels; while seemingly New Testament matter might easily have been derived from rabbinical homilies. Indeed, the situation is of a kind that in a considerable number of instances we can go only as far as to demonstrate a given element in Islam as of Judaeo-Christian origin, but no further. (The Arab Heritage, ed. N. A. Faris [New York 1963] 5960)

Islamic Creed. Islam has carefully maintained its distinction between faith (imān ) and practice (ibādāt or isān ). Faith, usually defined as "assent to that which comes from God, and confession to it," has been formulated in a creed considerably more complicated than the shahādah, the simple profession of faith: "There is no god but God [Allāh ], and Muammad is His messenger." There are six classic articles in the otherwise varying Muslim creeds: concerning God, angels, the Holy Scriptures, prophets and "messengers," resurrection and judgment, and predestination. Muammad's monotheism began, no doubt, as a rejection of paganism; yet it was highly positive. It was, as he never ceased repeating, the monotheism of Israel. The God of Islam was Yahweh, without those truths about Him revealed by Christ. It is fairly certain that there were various interpretations of the Trinity in various Christian circles during Muammad's lifetime, some of which may have included the Virgin Mary. The Qurān denies the Incarnation: "God is one, eternal. He did not beget and was not begotten" (Qurān112.3). For Muammad there was no redeemer, no need for redemption, no original sin. Otherwise Allah is invested with nearly the same general attributes of Yahweh. The angels and archangels, even to their names, are those of the Bible. Satan also figures, as do the "genies" (Arabic jinn ) and other spirits similar to but not precisely identical with lesser devils.

The references to earlier Scriptures in the Qurān are sufficiently vague to render their exact identification difficult. Only a few OT books are mentioned by name, and the Gospel (in the singular) is treated as though it were a book revealed to Christ. At first Muammad appealed to the authority of these books to uphold his own prophet-hood and religion, but later seemed to suggest that they had been hopelessly corrupted and falsified. Muslims have never felt obliged, therefore, to justify the inconsistencies and discrepancies (which exist in considerable numbers) between the Qurān and the earlier Scriptures in the forms in which they have come down to us. There is only one indisputable quotation from the Bible in the Qurān (that of Ps 36 [37].29 in 21.105), but scores of OT stories are repeated, in the main accurately, with many reminiscences of their Hebrew wording. There are also Talmudic stories, such as the lowing of Aaron's calf (7.146) and Abraham's trial by fire, a rabbinic play on Ur and the Hebrew 'ûr, "fire" (21.6870).

Muslims also distinguish prophets from "messengers"; the latter are believed to be holy men sent by God to teach specific peoples. Muammad is thus regarded both as the "seal" of the prophets and as the messenger to the Arabs. The Qurān mentions 8 messengers and 24 prophets, 4 of them Arabs and the rest Hebrews. The prophets include most of the major figures in the early history of the Hebrews, but exclude Isaiah, Jeremiah, Ezekiel, and all of the minor prophets but Jonah. Despite the honor in which Abraham is held, the predominant figure in the Qurān is Moses. If one follows Theodor Nöldeke's chronology of the chapters, Moses is mentioned more than 100 times in the chapters from the Meccan period alone. The angels refer to the Qurān in one passage as "a Scripture revealed since the time of Moses, confirming previous Scriptures" (46.30).

Christ, by contrast, is mentioned in only two chapters of the Meccan period, and references to Him throughout the Qurān are sparse. Many of Christ's utterances as found in the canonical Gospels and elsewhere in the New Testament are not mentioned in the Qurān, and those that are mentioned frequently deviate from the text of the NT. Christ appears as a messenger born (by Virgin Birth) of the Virgin Mary. Indeed, he is often referred to as the "Son of Mary." Some of the stories of His infancy, such as His speaking in the cradle (19.3034; 5.109) and fashioning a live bird out of clay (3.43; 5.110), echo apocryphal writings known to have existed in Coptic, Syriac, and even Arabic versions. Muammad granted that Christ worked miracles, but denied that He was crucified. That position, commonly taken by some Gnostics and Docetists, was expressed in the Qurān: "They [the Jews] declared: 'We have put to death the Messiah Jesus, the son of Mary, the apostle of Allāh.' They did not kill him, nor did they crucify him, but they thought they did"(4.156). It has been argued from what is missing in the Qurānic narratives that much of Muammad's information about Christ must have come from Jewish informants. It is a widespread later Islamic belief, still current and not without Qurānic support, that Christ will return at the end of the world to slay the Antichrist. He is often called the "Word" of God and His "Spirit" in the Qurān, and "Messiah" is usually added to His name.

The Qurān bears strong witness to the resurrection of the flesh and the Last Judgment. Only heaven and hell are everlasting, although it appears that hell serves as a kind of purgatory for some Muslims and that Muammad (and, according to some theologians, other prophets as well) has intercessory powers with God for them. The Islamic belief in predestination is not as rigid as some commentators have made it to be. It has always been a live issue in Islamic theology, and the matter of working out an acceptable formulation has been left to the devices of the exegete and the ordinary believer. The Qurān says, for example, "God causes whom He wills to err, and whom He wills He guides; and you shall assuredly be called to account for your doings" (16.93).

The "Five Pillars" and Islamic Religious Practice. By the time of its conquests outside Arabia, Islam regarded itself as a universal religion for all mankind; so there has never been any perfect ethnic or linguistic tie among Muslims, though Arabic (in a special way, over a wider area and for a longer time), Persian, Turkish, and Urdu have come to be the principal languages of its expression. Islamic practice is a complex realm, ranging from the obligatory Five Pillars through the "necessary but not obligatory" on to the "voluntary" acts of the Muslim. The Five Pillars are as follows: the profession of faith in Islam, prayer, fasting, almsgiving, and pilgrimage.

Orthodoxy. The profession of faith consists of the simple statement: "There is no god but God, and Muammad is His messenger." The believing recitation of this formula, preferably before witnesses, is sufficient in itself to make one a Muslim. Islam has no church, no priesthood, no sacramental system, and almost no liturgy. The pattern of belief and practice of the sunnites enjoys the adherence of all but a small percentage of Muslims. The shĪites comprise the second-largest grouping of Muslims. Deriving from the political "partisans" of alĪ and his heirs, they have developed distinct doctrinal, legal and ritualistic features. Sectarianism in Islam has never had quite the same connotations as heresy in the Christian church, allowing for the acceptance of numerous religio-legal entities within the community of Islam.

Prayer. One of the most attractive aspects of Islam for the Christian is its steadfast devotion to prayer. There is a set form of ritual prayer, prefaced by ablutions and accompanied by "bowings" (Arabic rakah ), for the five daily prayers prescribed by Islamic tradition and law. Muslims are called to public prayer by the muezzin (Arabic muadhdhin ) from the minaret of a mosque. Many Muslims pray in the mosque only at noon on Fridays, when there is a sermon (Arabic khuba ), although more devout believers may perform all of the prescribed prayers there. Formal prayer must be performed facing toward Mecca. There is a tradition also of private and contemplative prayer, largely associated with sufism.

Fasting. Muslims are obliged to fast during the entire month of ramadan, which, because of the lunar reckoning from the Hijra, may fall at any time of the year. It is a total fast, but only from daybreak to sunset. It is a community exercise. Those who are ill or on a journey during that time are exempted from it, but must fast an equal number of days later on. Muslim spiritual writers such as al-Ghazzālī emphasize that Ramadan implies more than mere fasting and is a time for repentance and drawing the heart nearer to God. Voluntary fasting during other times of the year, especially in expiation for sins, is recommended and practiced.

Almsgiving. Muslims are enjoined also to give alms (Arabic zakāt ). In the early days of Islam free-will offerings were regarded as satisfying this obligation. Later, however, a formal tax of one-tenth or one-fifth of the income (according to circumstances) was imposed upon Muslims. A contribution of one-fortieth of the income was considered adequate by many later legists. In modern times almsgiving has generally reverted to a matter of free-will offerings. The Qurān distinguished the worthy objects of free-will offerings (relatives, orphans, travelers, and the poor; 2.211) from those upon whom the revenue of zakāt was to be expended (slaves and prisoners, debtors, tax collectors, those to be conciliated by the Islamic community, and those fighting in a holy war; 9.60).

Pilgrimage to Mecca. The fifth of the Five Pillars is the pilgrimage to Mecca (Arabic ajj). Every Muslim is expected to journey there once in his lifetime if he possesses the means. There are two types of pilgrimage: the lesser pilgrimage, which can be performed at any time of the year with an abbreviated ritual, and the greater pilgrimage, which must be performed on specific days during the month of Dhū al-ijjah. When the pilgrim dons his simple white robes and enters into the state of irām, he must abstain from all violence, sensual pleasures, and adornment for the duration of the pilgrimage. When he reaches Mecca, he goes immediately to the Ka'bah, the black-draped cuboidal "holy house" in the central square. This is the shrine, important in pre-Islamic religion, that Muslims believe was built in its original form by Abraham. It was only fairly late in his career that Muammad unequivocally incorporated the shrine and pilgrimage into Islam. The first Muslims had prayed facing Jerusalem. After kissing the Black Stone, the Muslim circumambulates the Ka'bah, marches seven times between the hills of al-Safā and al-Marwah, and then journeys the 14 miles to Mount Arafāt for the ceremony of wuqūf, "standing before God," for which lengthy prayers are prescribed. On the return to Mecca he prays at Muzdalifah, casts stones at certain pillars believed to represent the sites of temptations of Ismael, and offers a blood sacrifice commemorating Abraham's sacrifice in Gn 22.13. After ceremonial tonsure and a second circumambulation of the Ka'bah, the pilgrimage proper is ended, although most pilgrims go on to Medina to visit Muammad's grave and other sites associated with his life.

Other Religious Customs. According to some Muslim opinion, the jihād, or holy war, is to be considered a sixth "pillar" of Islam. This obligation was formulated in quite general terms in the Qurān 2.190, 193: "Fight in the way of God against those who fight against you, but do not commit aggression. Fight against themuntil sedition is no more and allegiance is rendered to God alone; but if they make an end, then no aggression save against the evildoers." Although holy war has lost much of its persuasive force after the period of Islamic expansion (the consensus amongst orthodox Muslims has been that holy war should not be waged when it appeared as though the Muslims might lose), there have been modern attempts to revive it, especially amongst "radical" groups as a means of protesting Western, particularly American, global hegemony.

Besides these major matters of practice, the Qurān and Islamic tradition have supplied many others. Circumcision, for instance, is universally practiced among Muslims as a matter of religious observance, although the Qurān does not mention it. Wine, pork, gambling, and usury are forbidden. So, too, strictly speaking, are the making of images, the veneration of saints, and the use of devotional objects. Since the Qurān envisioned a close-knit community of true believers, it also contained many regulations concerning guardianship, dowries, divorce, and inheritance, as well as a complete punitive system against theft, fraud, perjury, and murder.

Festivals. Muslims celebrate many festivals. The most popular of them are the greater and lesser festivals that mark the end of Ramadan, the month of fasting. The greater festival, begun while fellow Muslims are sacrificing animals on the way back to Mecca, is celebrated with somewhat less enthusiasm than the lesser festival, which begins as soon as the new moon is visible after Ramadan. On that occasion there is great feasting and cheer, with exchanging of gifts. Paradoxically, it is also a favorite occasion for visiting the graves of one's departed relatives and friends. The birthday of Muammad (Arabic mawlid al-nabī ) is marked with some solemnity, though rather less than one might have expected. Among the Shīites, the largest minority sect, the 10th day of the month of Muarram is the principal festival of the year. Shīism added two significant items to the Sunnite creed: first, a belief in a continuing divine "manifestation," particularly valuable with respect to Qurānic interpretation, in the descendants of 'Ali; second, a veneration for "the passion," for voluntary and innocent self-sacrifice to the point of martyrdom by the merits of which believers attain salvation and eternal life. These items, whose Christian parallels are obvious, are united in the liturgy of the 10th of Muarram, when Shīites commemorate the death of Alī's son usayn on Oct. 10, 680. usayn was killed in a skirmish between government troops and a small body of sympathetic supporters who were accompanying him to al-Kūfah in Iraq, where he intended to organize a revolt against the umayyad caliphs of Damascus. The fate of usayn became a prototype and pattern for Shīite martyrdom and a symbol of the Shīite cause. In areas where Shīites are in a majority or at least represented in considerable numbers, this anniversary is preceded by nine days of rigorous religious discipline and culminates in a wild procession through the streets in which a catafalque for usayn is accompanied by horses, blood-smeared attendants, and numbers of naked young men flagellating themselves with chains and swords. The veneration of Alī and his sons has extended, it is interesting to note, to many of the Sunnite Muslims.

Islamic Law, Theology, and Mysticism. Islam is nothing if not the religion of the Qurān. The Qurān is believed by Muslims to constitute God's final and consequently singular revelation to mankind. There has never been any universally or even widely accepted ultimate authority in Islam except the Qurān. Questions of its interpretation have always been, therefore, of fundamental and crucial importance. Necessarily the Qurān had to be supplemented in several ways. It was supplemented first of all by the custom (Arabic sunnah, hence the name Sunnite) of Muammad himself, established principally by means of the tradition literature concerning him and his companions, based in turn upon chains of more or less authentic transmitting authorities (Arabic isnād ), subsequently evaluated by an intricately developed science. It was obvious that traditions often conflicted; a man named Ibn-abī-al-Awja was executed in al-Kūfah in 772 after confessing that he had forged several thousand traditions complete with chains of authority that would be regarded as genuine.

Law. The weakness of this supplement soon became obvious and a more efficacious supplement, designed to counteract that weakness and to serve the needs of a rapidly expanding state, was provided by the employment of certain principles, such as consensus of opinion (ijma' ), analogical deduction (qiyās ), independent reasoning (ijtihād ), and private opinion (ray ) in the creation of an Islamic law (see islamic law). Four recognized schools of legal interpretation (Arabic sharīah ), namely the anafite, Malikite, Shafiite, and anbalite schools, all eponymous, were inaugurated during the 8th and 9th centuries and have remained in force until modern times. Today, while the impact of the sharīah has been abridged by the encroachment of modern civil law in certain areas of jurisprudence, there is at the same time a revival of the strict interpretation of the sharīah in many parts of the Islamic world. Throughout the medieval and early modern periods, however, owing to the virtually unique identification of the religion of Islam with the government of any Islamic state, the sharīah totally regulated the lives of Muslims. It extended to almost every detail of private life, comprehending all its religious, social, political, and domestic behavior. The offices of qāi (judge), mufti (legal expert), and 'ālim (lawyer, though very often used simply for "learned man") rose to and maintained for many centuries positions that were of capital importance in Islamic life. In those places of the world where extensive Islamification of society is being attempted (such as the Sudan and Indonesia), as well as in those countries where the ruling factions have appropriated Islamic terminology to shore up their regimes (such as Saudi Arabia and Afghanistan), the sharīah and the concomitant penal code (e.g., the amputation of the hand of the thief) is the law of the land.

Systematic Theology. Distinct from the sciences of the traditions and of legal interpretation, systematic theology (see kalĀm) began later in the 9th century, partially in response to quarrels between the traditionalists and the incipient legists and to the influx of late Hellenistic philosophical notions, but most evidently in opposition to a group of rationalistic Muslims in Basra and Baghdad called the mutazilites. This group asserted a series of unpopular positions on current issues such as the "creation" of the Qurān, the unity and justice of God, the nature of salvation, and free will. Although their aim seems to have been to protect Islamic dogma from what they regarded as corruptions to which it was open, they made use of a naive and rudimentary philosophical procedure that associated them with the target of their own attacks. When they converted the caliph al-Mamūn to their viewpoints and instituted an inquisition (Arabic minah ), they generated a serious ideological crisis within the Islamic community and a powerful reaction that began with the apostasy of Abū al-asan Alī al-asharĪ (873?935). Al-Asharī, concerned mainly with the preservation of the pure transcendence of God, disenchanted with his Mutazilite masters, and influenced by the thinking of Ibn-Hanbal, the founder of the legal school already mentioned, set about systematically to refute the Mutazilite propositions. Few of his works have survived; but from those that have, it is clear that he himself so far advanced the methodology of treatment of these questions that his enduring reputation as the founder of Islamic theology and symbol of its orthodoxy appears justified. He was responsible for the disengagement of philosophy from this realm, enabling Islamic philosophers to go their independent ways, and for the close connection that developed between theology and the legal schools of the sharīah.

Al-Asharī was the founder of the most influential school of Islamic theology; yet Asharism differs considerably from the teaching of al-Asharī himself. In the immediately succeeding centuries the work of al-Baqillani, al-Juwayni, and others continued and advanced the science. Later al-Ghazzālī, al-Rāzi, al-Ījī, and al-Jurjāni let their thought be formed by it. Eventually, however, it came to an intellectual standstill in stereotyped manuals for students. Its commanding position was not, of course, achieved at once. Its choice as an official system of the Seljuk sultanate and, later, of the Ottoman sultanate was doubtless instrumental toward that end. Still, it must be recognized that in the earlier period Asharism had a powerful rival in the school of al-Maturidi of Samarqand. The basic impulses of the two schools seem to have been very similar and the differences between them relatively slight. Maturidism died out for reasons principally political. At any rate, by the 12th century the most potent challenges to Islamic theology were those emanating from outside the discipline, from the philosophers, notably Ibn Sīnā (avicenna), and from the Sufis.

Mysticism. Sufism (Arabic ūf, "wool") is the name ascribed in general to the entire ascetical and mystical movement within Islam, as well as to its manifestations in the eremetical and regular religious life from the 8th century to the present. Questions concerning the origins of Sufism remain extremely difficult to solve, and there are still some matters on which scholarly opinion has differed with unusual sharpness. Louis Massignon sought to prove that the origins of Sufism lie wholly within the Islamic tradition of the Qurān and the sunnah, despite the surface facts that the Qurān says little that could be interpreted as a justification for the ascetic life as lived and loved by the Sufis and that the adīth literature contains a number of explicit injunctions against it, for example: "There is to be no monasticism in Islam." Other scholars have adduced origins in the remnants of Christian asceticism within Islam after its conquests, in Zoroastrianism (see zoroaster [zarathushtra]), and even in direct and indirect Hindu and Buddhist influences, although these scholars have fallen to quarreling among themselves. In any case, it cannot be denied that from the 8th century onward there was an increasingly influential movement, to be classified in the realm of popular religion, which produced more and more individuals willing to retire from the world in order to pursue an ascetic and contemplative life. That they may have done so partly in response to social and political instabilities and current theological controversies pales before the simple fact that they did so and, in doing so, greatly affected the course of Islamic intellectual history. The convention of periodizing the history of Sufism is largely the result of Sufi hagiography itself. Certainly there were early Muslim ascetics, many of them with Shīite leanings, who eventually grouped themselves together, were nourished by an esoteric reading of the Qurān and later by the writings of such mystics as al-Rabāah and al-allāj, and who, increasingly as the decades wore on, sought a communal life based on common conviction and intention.

Influence of Ghazzālī. From the ranks of the early Sufis came popular preachers and original thinkers who firmly founded Sufism and so disturbed the orthodox legal-theological institution of Islam that they were regarded not only as disruptive, but as bad Muslims. Into this situation was born, in the 11th century, Abū-āmid al-Ghazzālī (see algazel [ghazzĀlĪ, al-]). Influenced by Sufism in his youth, he nevertheless turned to the traditional sciences and to philosophy in his education and brilliant academic career. This prize student of al-Juwayni soon became a leading professor in Baghdad. As suddenly as he turned against philosophy because of the works of Avicenna, which he refuted in a book entitled The Incoherence of Philosophy, he turned against the whole orthodox system and toward Sufism. He resigned his professorship at Baghdad and began a radical reconsideration of Islam that resulted in the nearest thing to a reformation that Islam has ever experienced. By combining and indeed harmonizing the Islam of the Qurān, the theologians, the legists, and the Sufis against the philosophers, he created, in his greatest work, The Revivification of Religious Sciences, a sensitive, well-structured, and comprehensive summa of Islamic religious thought. His achievements, like al-Asharī's, became an integral part of Islamic orthodoxy and transformed it by opening an entire new universe of thought. Through al-Ghazzālī's reforming efforts kalām gained a new vision and Sufism a new respectability. For many centuries philosophical, theological, and mystical writings in Islam bore the stamp of al-Ghazzālī's thought.

The directions and extent of the development of that thought cannot be said to have fulfilled the plan or spirit of al-Ghazzālī himself. The marriage of Sufism with kalām was intellectual rather than practical. In practice the two went their separate ways. Philosophy, as has been noted above, had always gone its separate way. As a result, there was never again to be such a unified system of Islam as al-Ghazzālī's, though each of the areas of thought mentioned deepened as a consequence of his system. Sufism, in particular, enjoyed an immense popularity during the succeeding centuries. As its theory continued to develop, however, a multiplicity of religious folk practices and heterodox notions were kneaded into it. The speculative aspects of later Sufism were combined in a new eclectic system by ibn arabĪ of Murcia (d. Damascus, 1240), who turned the movement in a more pantheistic direction and toward closer circles of initiates. The loose mosque communities of early Sufism gave way to larger confraternities and finally to religious orders (see islamic confraternities), Elements of the monastic, the eremetical, and the mendicant states were combined in various proportions in these orders. Normally, however, a postulant came to a monastery, became a novice, led a communal life under the direction of a shaykh or pīr, whose position was either elective or hereditary. Later he might go out preaching or on to another community, but the characteristic ritual of dhikr and his manner of life readily identified him as a Sufi (Arabic faqīr, Persian darvīsh ).

One of the greatest of the Sufi summarizers was Jalāl al-Dīn al-Rūmī, whose monumental Masnavi did more than other such compilations to inspire later Sufism and arrest its decline. Decline it did, however. The number of orders multiplied; observance was lax; and finally there was little left in the numerous popular lodges and clubs to suggest the grand origins of Sufism. Although Sufism still exists and is very influential on the modern frontiers of Islam, it enjoys nothing like its former glory.

Philosophy, too, responded to al-Ghazzālī's challenge. Al-Rāzī (rhazes) speaking for himself, set the field on a more clearly rationalistic basis in vindication of Ibn Sīnā. It was in Muslim Spain, however, shrinking in the face of the Christian Reconquista, which had begun in the 11th century, that the last truly great philosophical work was done in Islam. There, in the Almohad court of Abū-Yaqūb Yūsūf, Abū Bakr ibn ufail wrote his ayy ibn-Yaqān, a philosophical romance owing a great deal both to Neoplatonic compendia and to Sufism. There, too, one of the greatest Islamic philosophers, Ibn Rushd (averroËs), received his training. Rising quite literally to al-Ghazzālī's challenge in his work The Incoherence of the Incoherence [of Philosophy ], he rose to it even more profoundly and immortally in his series of commentaries upon the works of Aristotle, works that were very soon, in translation, to find a more appreciative audience in the new universities of Christian Europe and to influence very substantially the development of scho lasticism.

Islamic theology, on the other hand, grew more and more implacably hostile to what it regarded as the continuing innovations of Sufism and philosophy. As it did so, it strengthened its ties to the sharīah. In the work of Ibn-Taymīyah (12631328) the orthodox reaction was confidently and powerfully asserted in a return to fundamentalism. Thereafter, until modern times, the traditional disciplines and fundamental doctrines and principles of Islam engaged the energies of the orthodox thinkers completely. Though recent scholarship has discovered enough independent thought on the part of some Muslims to force a revision of the notion that the whole of the Ottoman period was one of intellectual sterility, it remains true that a basic unquestioning orthodoxy held the Islamic community fast together in a rigid system for centuries.

Modern Trends in Islam. The modern Muslim is true to these beliefs and practices and to this intellectual tradition, in his fashion. However thick may be the gloss of elements of "folk" Islam, the basic items in the creed and the Five Pillars are common, with only the slightest modifications, to all Muslims. In recent times there have been such stirrings within Islam, in response to various challenges from within and without, that the modern Muslim is by no means as fully complacent about the omniresponsive nature of his religion as his ancestors were. Few modern Muslims remain unaffected, in fact, by one or another of the more recent trends in Islam.

It is significant that the first impulse toward radical change in modern times came from Arabia. The low ebb to which Islam had sunk in the Arabian Peninsula by the 17th century, which apparently was virtually a return to primitive religion, gave rise to the movement called Wahhābism, founded by Muammad Abd-al-Wahhāb (170392), calling for a return to Islam's first principles and attacking laxity of morals and those innovations attributable, over the centuries, to Sufism and philosophy. It championed the severe Hanbalite legal code and the uncompromising interpretations of Ibn-Taymīyah. Having enjoyed the patronage of the Saudi tribal chieftains, whose descendants came to power over the entire peninsula after World War I, Wahhābism is now general within the kingdom of Saudi Arabia. It was followed by a daring vindication of al-Ghazzālī by a Yemenite scholar, Muammad al-Murtaā (d. 1790). The introduction of Arabic printing into Egypt in 1828 led to the wide dissemination of standard theological works and evoked new controversy and thought. In northwest Africa Ahmad al-Tijāni founded in 1781 a new Sufi order. Later a new type of reforming congregation was organized along Sufi lines by Amad ibn-Idrīs (d. 1837), whose disciples went on to establish other congregations in Libya and East Africa. A more revolutionary group was that of the al-mahdĪ (Muammad Amad; 184485) in the Sudan.

All of these movements, true to the inherent identification of the two within Islam, had political as well as religious aspects and goals. After Napoleon's invasion of Egypt and the subjection of various portions of the Islamic world to non-Muslim colonial powers, the issues were sharpened. The differences separating Muslims were stressed, in an attempt to unite them under a caliphate in defense of Islam. Such a pan-Islamism was advocated by Jamāl-al-Dīn al-Afghāni (183997), who traveled widely throughout the eastern Islamic countries propagating his theories and influencing other movements. He inspired revolutions in Egypt and Iran and laid the basis for more recent popular movements combining Islamic fundamentalism with a political program. The uncompromising attitude of the Muslim Brotherhood, for example, retained many of al-Afghāni's ideas. A different movement, a syncretism not unlike or unrelated to Unitarianism and the Ramakrishna mission in Hinduism, led the Bābis and Bahais out of Islam completely (see babism; bahaism). An apostolic group of a related tenor, called the ah : madiyyah, is viewed with considerable suspicion by both Sunnite and Shīite Muslims.

One of al-Afghāni's disciples, the Egyptian shaykh Muhammad Abduh (18491905), instituted a more interesting though ultimately less influential line of thought by separating the political from the religious side of the question. Abduh was the first great Islamic modernist, a man of enormous ability who attempted to reformulate Islamic doctrine in the light of advances, especially in the sciences, achieved in the West, confident that his efforts would only confirm the truth of Islam. The scene of his work was al-Azhar in Cairo, and it was published in the traditional form of a commentary on the Qurān. As carried on by his pupil Rashīd Ridā (18651935), however, the attempt came some way back toward Ibn-Taymīyah and a new doctrinal rigidity. More successful, perhaps, was the effort of the Indian Muslim Muammad Iqbāl (18761938), whose attempts at harmonizing Islam with the thought of Western writers on philosophy and mysticism, in his poetry and a prose work entitled The Reconstruction struction of Religious Thought in Islam, closely resemble that of al-Ghazzālī.

The role of Islam in recent history has been such as to mingle and cloud such elements. Modernization, in particular industrialization, has started in the Muslim world with such force and momentum that nothing could possibly remove its effects or call a halt to it. Basic religious and social institutions are changing. Increased mobility, opportunities for livelihood, education, and political responsibility have accelerated the process. What further forms Islam's response to them might take is unclear. Certainly the secularism of Turkey and some of the Arab countries has not met with wide acceptance, but there is still little clarification of issues among modern Muslims. Israel's expansion beyond its 1948 borders resulted in an Islamic "revival," with many Muslim Palestinians returning to traditional religious practices. Various "radical" groups in the Middle East and elsewhere that have advocated violence as a legitimate means of overthrowing illegitimate political leaders, or subverting an undesirable social order, have a strong religious rhetoric. Especially since the fall of the Berlin Wall, certain elements in the Islamic world have increasingly seen the West, especially the United States, as a threat to Islamic society and traditional values. It remains to be seen how the relationship between Islam and the West, and Islam and Christianity will be negotiated in the 21st century.

Bibliography: d. b. macdonald, The Development of Muslim Theology, Jurisprudence and Constitutional Theory (New York 1903). t. w. arnold and a. guillaume, eds., The Legacy of Islam (Oxford 1931). a. guillaume, Islam (Baltimore 1954). a. j. wensinck, The Muslim Creed (New York 1932). j. w. sweetman, Islam and Christian Theology (London 1945). h. a. r. gibb, Modern Trends in Islam (Chicago 1947). h. a. r. gibb and j. h. kramers, eds., The Shorter Encyclopedia of Islam (Leiden 1953). w. c. smith, Islam in Modern History (Princeton 1957). j. kritzeck and r. b. winder, eds., The World of Islam (New York 1960). j. a. williams, Islam (New York 1961). j. burton, The Collection of the Quran (Cambridge 1977). j. van ess, Theologie und Gesellschaft im 2. und 3. Jahrhundert Hidschra. Eine Geschichte des religiosen Denkens imfruhen Islam, 6 v. (Berlin, New York 199197). w. a. graham, Beyond the Written Word: Oral Aspects of Scripture in the History of Religion (New York 1989). g. r. hawting, The Idea of Idolatry and the Emergence of Islam: From Polemic to History (Cambridge 1999). j. horovitz, Koranische Untersuchungen (Berlin, Leipzig 1926). t. noldeke, Geschichte des Qorans, new ed. by f. schwally, g. bergstrasser, and o. pretzl, 3 v. (Leipzig 190938). r. paret, Der Koran. Ubersetzung (Stuttgart 1962). a. rippin, ed., Approaches to the History of the Interpretation of the Quran (Oxford 1988).

[j. kritzeck/

c. wilde]

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Islam

Islam

Questions of sex and gender in Islam are particularly controversial for several reasons. Sex roles and rules have been for centuries a major weapon in what is sometimes called the clash of civilizations. Westerners have stigmatized Islam as a religion that imprisons and degrades women, a position that reached its extreme in the fascination for the harem as an erotic locus. More recently, anti-Western Muslims have pointed to the West as a space of debauchery and a sexual freedom that destroys families and morality.

A major interpretative problem between the cultures is created by the fact that Islam is both a world religion and a civilization with a historical existence in time and space, which identified itself by its appartenance to that religion. Given that in the last two centuries educated Muslims have become increasingly sensitive to the way their mores are described in the West, it has always been possible to argue that a given trait (now seen as unflattering) can be attributed to the culture and not the religion.

Historically, religions and cultures interpenetrate. Religions develop in a given cultural environment, which they in turn influence. Islam has been dominant in societies across Asia and Africa. Despite local variations, however, there is a remarkable consistency in the basic approaches taken by historically Muslim societies to questions of sex and gender, a consistency that is even greater with regard to the central Islamic lands from North Africa to South Asia. This can be understood as elements brought to these societies by Islam, as elements already present that made Islam attractive to them in the first place, or as a combination of the two.

After the rapid conquest of a territory from what is today Portugal to Pakistan, Muslim jurists began a process, which extended through the eighth and ninth centuries, of formulating a legal system. Called the sharia, this code covers all aspects of life, from international law to personal hygiene, and of course addresses questions regarding sex and family life. It is based on the Qur'an (which includes a limited number of legal items as well as more general moral strictures), the hadith (or sayings and exemplary actions of the Prophet Muhammad [570–632]), and the historical usages of certain Muslim societies. It is conventionally divided into four legal schools (with Shiites sometimes being considered a fifth), which can be arranged from the more conservative (the Hanbali) to the more liberal (Hanafi). Nevertheless, the differences between these schools (which are usually dominant in different regions) are relatively minor. Even the schism between Sunnis and Shi'is, which is theologically and historically considerable, has minor impact on sex and family law.

While the sharia evolved within a historical society, and unavoidably reflected many of its values, it also was in some respects an ideal construction. Put another way, as in other times and places, people chose which legal and religious precepts to observe rigorously and which to honor more in principle than in practice.

PATERNITY AND SEPARATION

Like its close relatives, Judaism and Christianity, Islam has historically been a patriarchal religion. But it has approached common patriarchal values in two distinctive ways. The first is by privileging physical separation as the only effective way of regulating sexual conduct; the second is by emphasizing the preeminent need to ascertain the identity of the father in all cases.

One of the most popular hadiths says: "When a man and a woman are alone, the devil is the third." This means that the sexual drive will win out over any moral compunctions. Males and females over puberty must be rigorously segregated with the exception of certain close family members. The ultimate expression of this system is the harem, or separate women's quarters. Obviously this is easier for wealthy individuals, but even many modest villages have kept women segregated. As much as is economically possible, women should remain at home, with public space being treated as male.

When a woman enters male space she must be veiled—that is, the veil is a form of female modesty that defines the entry into public space, as a woman does not need to be veiled when in her own home surrounded by her close family. The principle of the veil as a marker of public space and female Muslim identity is quasi-universal in the Muslim world in the early twenty-first centry. What varies is its degree of modesty. In its most limited form, the veil covers just the hair. In its more modest versions (such as the chador or the burqa) it can cover the whole body and even the face and hands. The logic behind the veil is that the less a woman is exposed to view, the less likely she will be able to sexually excite the men she might encounter. (Male standards of modesty are less restrictive and are not defined by presence or absence from the family home.)

Paternity dominates the regulation of sexual behavior. Sexual relations are licit between a man and his wife, and a man and his concubines. While the number of wives is limited to four, concubinage and sexual slavery were limited only by wealth. (Slavery is presently illegal as a matter of civil law.) A divorced woman can only remarry after she has had a period. An extreme version of this is the Shi'i institution of mut'a, or temporary marriage. This is for a preset period that can be as short as an hour. Because Muslim marriage (like Jewish marriage) is a legal contract, such temporary marriages can be accompanied by payment. The continuum between concubinage and marriage can be seen in the practices of the Ottoman sultans (who were also caliphs). These rulers kept numerous concubines, and would transform into legitimate wives—those (up to the legal four) who produced male offspring.

LICIT AND ILLICIT ACTS

In Islam, sex acts are not limited to procreative activity, but they are limited to those who would be otherwise able to procreate: men and women in some legally recognized relationship. Oral sex and anal sex in such circumstances are perfectly acceptable and were freely discussed. Anal penetration of the woman by the man appears as a possible area of marital dispute, with women defending their right to withhold consent to the practice, or with it being compared to polygamy, as a deprivation of vaginal intercourse.

Sexual activity between men is clearly prohibited in Islamic law. Nevertheless, it was commonly practiced and universally recognized in the historically Islamic societies of the Middle East and North Africa. Anecdotally it was very common in literary sources; homoerotic writings were legion and in no sense marginalized. In an effective continuation of the mores of the ancient world, anal intercourse was chiefly seen as humiliating for the penetrated and not the penetrator. Female to female sex, referred to as ishaq (rubbing), perhaps because it was not explicitly mentioned in the Qur'an, was treated more leniently, with some legists suggesting that it could be a neutral, or permitted, activity. Human sexuality in most of its forms (including bestiality) was always frankly, and often explicitly, discussed in literary sources of the highest cultural level.

Because sexuality was controlled by physical separation, there was never any need to deny its nature. Celibacy has always been condemned in Islam; and men (or far more rarely, women) who live without appropriate companionship have traditionally been seen as a threat to the moral stability of the community because it is presumed that they will obtain sexual satisfaction in an illicit and socially disruptive manner. Sexual pleasure is considered a gift from God to be enjoyed by men and women (who are considered, like men, to have a right to sexual gratification). In folk practice, it is often held that a man must pleasure his wife (or each of his wives) at least once per week. In some countries arugula is popularly sold just before the Sabbath to help the man fulfill this periodical obligation.

In partial contradiction to the above lies the practice of clitoridectomy (excision of the clitoris), sometimes also called female circumcision. Tolerated in Muslim law (it is either listed as recommended or permitted, never as required or prohibited), clitoridectomy is practiced in many Muslim societies, especially on the African continent, as well as in some non-Muslim African societies. Though the amount of tissue removed varies from a partial to a total elimination of the clitoris, and though this practice can be understood (like male circumcision) as a symbolic ritual, its most common justification in Muslim societies has been as a necessary limitation of female sexual desire, whose anarchic and insatiable nature would otherwise threaten the stability of the patriarchal unit. In Egypt, clitoridectomy is almost universal among the lower classes and many in the middle classes, though rarely admitted to foreigners. A dismissive view of women's moral fiber is also expressed through the oft quoted hadith, which states that the majority of the inhabitants of hell are women, as well as through the popular expression of Quranic origin, which states that "their (feminine plural) guile is great."

Sexual union between a man and a woman outside the bounds of marriage or concubinage is zina, or fornication, and strongly prohibited. Though the penalty in Islamic law is severe (stoning for adultery), the legal requirements for proof (witnesses to actual penetration) are almost insurmountable. In practice, however, Islamic courts have considered the pregnancy of an unmarried woman de facto proof unless she can prove (her testimony is not enough) that she has been raped.

Adultery and premarital sex are normally handled in almost all Islamic societies through the extralegal honor code. A female who has brought dishonor on the family (either through improper actions or even just the reputation of such actions) must be killed to restore the family's honor, most commonly by stabbing—which should be carried out by the brother if there is one. While such extralegal executions are technically murder in Islamic law, in no Muslim societies have authorities sought to treat them as such (nor have most scholars called for such prosecution). Recently, when the Jordanian royal family sought to change laws that gave lenient treatment to men who avenged the family honor through gynecide, the conservative Muslim opposition blocked the law in the parliament, claiming that it would unleash immorality, reward prostitutes, and violate Islamic principles.

STATUS OF WOMEN

Islamic law gives women a protected but generally inferior legal status. Apologists stress that Islamic law (supported by custom in most places) grants the wife control over her own property (unlike the traditional Western transfer of control to the husband) and that Muslim wives do not take their husband's name. Critics of Islam like to note that women have less weight as witnesses in court and receive half of the male share in inheritance (with apologists explaining that this is fair because they do not have to support others, as men do). The Qur'an explicitly gives men authority over women in marriage and states that a man may beat his wife to restore this authority if milder forms of persuasion (verbal admonitions, the deprivation of sex) have failed. Legists have been careful to stress that any corporal punishment should only be as a last resort and should do no permanent damage.

Divorce exists in two forms in Islamic law. The first judicial divorce, open to men and women, must be for cause. The second, or repudiation, is open to men only and does not require cause. In this case, however, a woman will recover any dowry brought into the marriage. Effectively, a woman's marital security depends upon the economic resources she brought to the relationship.

GENDER AND THE WORLD

The Muslim conception of God is one of total transcendence and incomparability. Hence, God cannot have gender, and the Christian notion of divine paternity is considered blasphemous and absurd. Sufis, or Islamic mystics, have, however, used gender as a way of organizing the universe as a combination of equal and complimentary male and female principles. This may be related to the relative popularity of Sufism among women and to the relative openness of the Sufi tradition to exemplary women, such as Rabi'ah al'Adawiyah (713–801). There was also a flourishing genre of poetry in which mystical love is expressed through profane models (in some cases there is dispute whether the intended meaning of the verses is profane or sacred). In such poetry both homoerotic and heteroerotic images can be models (along, also, with intoxication from alcohol). The Islamic philosophical tradition, in partial overlap with Sufism, included a misogynist strain, which identified the female with the earthly and dreamed of a world without women. This was especially true in the illuminationist school.

Verses in the Qur'an have traditionally been understood as promising the believers sexual access to beautiful virgins in paradise. While many still preach this interpretation, some modernizers have suggested that the verses should be understood allegorically. Abdelwahab Bouhdiba (1985) has argued that the Muslim paradise promises a reconciliation of man with his body and his sexuality.

MODERN TIMES

Western imperialism, which took away the independence of virtually all Muslim societies, had an enormous impact on gender regulation. Many Muslim modernizers (sometimes called male feminists) believed that the liberation of women from traditional restrictions was a key to full membership in the modern world with all of its material benefits (including national independence). Customs bent under the gaze of the powerful Westerner. In Iran and Turkey the veil was banned (to be replaced among upper-class women by hats); and even where veiling survived it was reduced to a compromise that generally left the face open. Among the elite, many adopted slightly more conservative versions of Western clothing. There remains, however, a gendered approach to Westernization as something safer, and more permissible, for men. In all but the most extreme cases (such as in the Taliban) the males can wear the latest jeans, whereas women must honor tradition in dress or behavior.

Family law has been a major area of struggle between conservatives and reformers, as well as has been women's access to public space. Divorce and polygamy have been particularly controversial. The most common compromise has been to permit polygamy but restrict it, for example, by requiring the consent of the first wife before a second is taken. In some countries, high-status women have written such a right into their marriage contracts. Women are still struggling to improve their conditions for divorce and their rights to child custody.

But Westernization also brought Victorian prudery. Educated Muslims quickly discovered that their civilization's traditional sexual frankness (and its absence of homophobia) both titillated Westerners while providing fodder for their sense of moral superiority. Contemporary Islam has thus taken to adopting nineteenth-century standards of censorship in sexual matters, often censoring (or patently ignoring the existence of) the sexual discussions in their own classics. The Islamist movement, which has operated with greater or lesser strength in all Muslim countries, and which transcends the Sunni and Shi'i divide, has reinforced this prudery and even blames homosexuality (and acquired immunodeficiency syndrome [AIDS]) on Western (or Israeli) plots to destroy the Muslim family.

More generally, the mounting political pressure of Islamist groups since the mid-1970, has pushed virtually all Muslim governments (with the possible exceptions of Kuwait and Morocco) toward more conservative positions on the segregation of men and women in public space (such as universities) as it has pushed the women in these societies to greater public modesty. It is far easier for the generally authoritarian regimes of the Muslim world to give ground on such moral matters than to share any real political power with the opposition.

The situation of those who would wish to create a modernist revision of Islam is complicated by the fact that virtually all Muslims consider the Qur'an a perfect text, as the unmediated word of God. Hence it cannot be historicized (as modernists have done with the Bible). Instead reformers are often reduced to arguing that the verses do not mean what they have always been understood to mean, sometimes through creative philology. Against polygamy, modernists argued that because the Qur'an says a man should not take more than one wife unless he can treat them all equally, and because it is impossible for the human heart to be free of partiality, God intended to ban polygamy. Traditionalists quickly countered that because God would not have authorized something that was impossible, the requirement of equality applied to the material conditions of support.

There is a small but growing group of Muslim radical feminists (some of them self-declared lesbians), but they receive far more attention in the West than in Muslim lands where they are effectively cut off from the masses of women.

BIBLIOGRAPHY

Ascha, Ghassan. 1987. Du statut inférieur de la femme en Islam. Paris: L'Harmattan.

Bouhdiba, Abdelwahab. 1985. Sexuality in Islam, trans. Alan Sheridan. London: Routledge & Kegan Paul.

Malti-Douglas, Fedwa. 1991. Woman's Body, Woman's Word: Gender and Discourse in Arabo-Islamic Writing. Princeton, NJ: Princeton University Press.

Sautman, Francesca Canadé, and Pamela Sheingorn, eds. 2001. Same-Sex Love and Desire among Women in the Middle Ages. New York: Palgrave.

                                   Fedwa Malti-Douglas

                              Allen Douglas

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Islam

Islam

Though the Islamic presence among enslaved African ancestors has long been touted by various contemporary African American Muslim organizations, other vested interests have denied, downplayed, or vehemently derided the notion that black Americans had any significant Islamic roots. Less motivated by religious or political ideology than stymied by paucity of records, historians, too, had long underestimated the scope and importance of black America's African Islamic heritage. Recent scholarship, however, suggests that significant numbers of African Muslims were enslaved in colonial North America and the antebellum United States. For example, historian Michael Gomez (2005) demonstrates that approximately 255,000, or 53 percent of the estimated 481,000 Africans captured and brought to Anglo-America during the slave trade, originated from four regions of West Africa with varying yet considerable Islamic influence: the Senegambia; Sierra Leone (comprising present-day Sierra Leone, Guinea, Guinea-Bissau, the Ivory Coast, and Liberia); the Gold Coast (present-day Ghana); and the Bight of Benin (Togo, Benin, and southwestern Nigeria). Of these 255,000, Gomez deduces that some thousands, if not tens of thousands, were Muslim. Other estimates, which take in the entire hemisphere—North, South, and Central Americas and the Caribbean—state that some 30 percent of the 10 million slaves transported to the Western Hemisphere were Muslim. Internal hemispheric slave trade has not been accounted for (e.g., Muslim slaves from the Caribbean sold to plantations in North America) and for these and other myriad reasons—including the paucity and incompleteness of records—the nature of the data on African Muslims, as Gomez acknowledges, is tentative rather than conclusive.

Despite the large numbers of African Muslims imported to Anglo-America, Islamic institutions and faith communities failed to flourish in the antebellum United States because enslavement posed serious obstacles to both the practice and the intergenerational transmission of the five pillars of Islam (kalima shahada, or bearing witness to the oneness of God and the prophethood of Muhammad [570-632]; the performance of salat or ritual prayer five times a day; the observance of saum, or fasting from dawn until sunset during the lunar month of Ramadan; the yearly payment of zakat, or almsgiving; and the making of Hajj or pilgrimage to the holy city of Mecca at least once in a lifetime) and attendant orthodox observances such as salat' ul-jummah (congregational Friday prayer services), recitation of the Qur'an, study of the hadith, and dietary restrictions such as consumption of only halal (ritually slaughtered and blessed) meats and abstention from pork and alcoholic beverages. For example, the harsh and relentless work regimen of the slave plantation did not allow for fifteen minute prayer breaks, rendered the discipline of fasting from food and drink all day while laboring in the hot sun all but impossible, and forced workers to either consume the typical paltry pork-based diet or perish from starvation. Islamic books such as the Qur'an and collections of hadith (traditiomal sayings and deeds of the Prophet Muhammad) were unavailable for recitation or study and efforts to Christianize the slaves lead to public expressions of conversion or belief in a Trinity, and hence a denial of the Islamic declaration of faith (kalima shahada).

Nevertheless, many Muslims struggled to maintain their beliefs and practices in this hostile environment (e.g., performing prayers in secret secluded areas). A number of Muslims achieved prominence as they proved to be exemplary in their character or bearing, in their stalwart attempts to observe orthodox practices, or because of their remarkable intelligence and literacy in Arabic. Allen Austin (1997) documents the recorded existence of over seventy-five African Muslims enslaved in antebellum America between 1730 and 1860. The overwhelming majority of these known African Muslims were male, reflecting both that only 20 percent of the captured and enslaved Muslims were female, and that women were not given a prominent voice in this era. The most noteworthy individuals among the enslaved African Muslims include: Ayuba Suleiman Diallo; Ibrahima Abd ar-Rahman Jallo; Yarrow Mamout; Bilali Muhammad; Salih Bilali; Umar bin Said; Lamine Kaba; and Muhammad Ali ben Said.

Diallo, born around 1702 in Bondu, the easternmost part of Senegal, was noted for his impressive and courtly manners and his strong African and Muslim presence, and was emancipated after three years of enslavement in the early 1730s. He is the subject of Thomas Bluett's Some Memoirs of the Life of Job, the Son of Solomon, the High Priest of Boonda (1734). Ibrahima Abd ar-Rahman Jallo, born of royal lineage around 1762 in the Futa Jallon region of present-day Guinea, and known as the Prince of Natchez, Mississippi, because of his regal bearing, was emancipated in 1828 after forty years of enslavement after being recognized by a grateful white man whose life had been saved in Africa by Jallo's father—and a subsequent press campaign. Jallo, who riveted America's attention in 1828, is the subject of several biographies including James Register's Prince of Old Natchez (1968) and Terry Alford's Prince Among Slaves (1977).

The intriguing facial features of Mamout (or Mahmud) made him the fitting subject of a beguiling oil portrait painted in 1791 by Charles Wilson Peale (1741–1827). His facial features have been identified as those of the Fulbe people of the middle to upper Senegal region. Bilali Muhammad, also known simply as Bilali or Ben Ali, was from the Futa Jallon region and became almaamy (an Africanized version of the Arabic term Al Iman, or prayer leader) of Sapelo Island of the Georgia Sea Islands. Bilali was distinguished by his Muslim dress—he regularly wore a fez and a long coat. The famous Bilali, or Ben Ali Document, a 13-page Arabic text written from memory in his own script, was later translated by scholars and identified as excerpts from the Risala, an Islamic religious law book studied in West Africa. Literacy impressed the slave masters, who frequently conferred leadership privileges to literate Muslims. During the War of 1812, Bilali was entrusted by his slave master, Thomas Spalding, with eighty muskets to fire upon the British in the event of an attack during Spalding's absence, which is perhaps the best-known incidence of U.S. slaves being entrusted with guns.

Bilali's descendants were interviewed for the 1940 Works Progress Administration (WPA) Georgia Writer's Project Drums and Shadows. Salih Bilali, born around 1765 of Mandingo and Fulbe parents, became a friend of Bilali Muhammad and reputedly was the almaamy of the neighboring Georgia Sea Island, Saint Simons Island. He is known to have procured his own copy of the Qur'an. Like Bilali Muhammad, he, too, was entrusted during the War of 1812 with securing the safety of his master's property, but many of the slaves under his command actually ran off, some becoming maroons in a secret Mandingo Muslim society. The name Bilali was a common one among African Muslims because it was the name of one of the Prophet Muhammad's most trusted companions, Bilal Ibn Rabah, the first muezzin (prayer caller) and first African convert to Islam. Linguists speculate that the American surname Bailey is an anglicization of Bilali; if this is so, then the lineage of Frederick Douglass (1817–1895), whose mother's family name was Bailey, may include Muslim ancestry.

Umar Ibn Said (1770–1864), also known as Uncle Moreau and Prince Omeroh, was the author of fourteen Arabic manuscripts between 1819 and 1864, including a sixteen page autobiography, all of which captured the public's attention. Said was a controversial figure who publicly claimed to have converted to Christianity while privately continuing to affirm his Islamic faith in his personal notes. Kaba (also known as Old Paul), a slave emancipated after nearly forty years of servitude, was commissioned circa 1834 the American Colonization Society as an educator and missionary to distribute Arabic bibles and spread Christianity in Africa, though it is doubtful that he actually did so upon his arrival there. Muhammad Ali Bin Said (also known as Nicholas Said), born circa 1833 in the Lake Chad region of present-day Nigeria, was captured by Tauregs circa 1869 and spent years in bondage in Turkey, Russia, and Europe, before being sold as a servant to a traveler in North and South America. He is notable because of his sympathizing with the plight of African Americans, and as a free man he joined the fifty-fifth regiment of Massachusetts Colored Volunteers in 1863 to fight in the Civil War (1861–1865), in spite of the efforts of whites to create a caste division between Muslim and non-Muslim Africans.

LITERACY

U.S. slave codes uniformly forbade whites to teach slaves how to read and write. Literacy was literally a passport to freedom and a slave who could forge a note or document with his master's signature could move about freely and eventually escape. Literacy was also a weapon and an educated slave with a liberated consciousness would not be content with his or her downtrodden lot in life for long. In the rare instances when slaves were taught to read, their reading material was censored, often limited to the Bible and even then restricted to biblical passages that emphasized docility or obedience to slave masters. A more general literacy, it was feared, would foment rebellion.

Muslim involvement in slave revolts in the Spanish colonies moved the Spanish Crown to issue an edict forbidding the importation of Muslims into the New World as early as 1501. The rebellions in nineteenth-century Portuguese colonies in Bahia Brazil were Muslim-led and the Haitian revolution against French colonial masters was led by men such as Macandal, a marabout or Muslim holyman, and boukman. Historian Sylviane Diouf speculated that the nickname of the latter was English derived and meant bookman, that is, a literate Muslim man with a book (the Qur'an).

For varied and heatedly debated reasons, major slave rebellions were not as frequent, long-lived, or successful within the context of North America as compared to Latin America. With the exception of the bloody revolt aboard the Amistad in 1839, Muslim slaves in Anglo America—although highly literate in the Arabic language—were not exceptionally rebellious. However, some Muslims did become maroons (escaped or runaway slaves). Yet literacy among the enslaved was also dangerous because it challenged the prevailing racist ideology of white superiority and black inferiority upon which the slavocracy was built. The existence of literate African Muslims in America proved to be quandary for white supremacists, one which they resolved by creating a fictitious identity for the African Muslims.

White supremacists, building upon the notion of a hierarchical stacking of races, conflated their Islamic religious identity with Arab ethnicity and cast these African Muslims as Arab-African mulattos who were biologically and culturally superior to non-Muslim full-blooded Africans. The literacy of Muslims, evident in many passages of the Qur'an and other religious works inscribed from memory, including the transliterations of English words and phrases into Arabic script by numerous Muslim slaves, became a marker for caste stratification between Muslim and non-Muslim slaves. Admired for their intelligence, Muslims were given an elevated, prestigious, or privileged status in the southern plantation system and were often singled out as head slaves or slave drivers, or placed in other supervisory and clerical positions. For the most part, Muslims—many of whom came from aristocratic African families—seemed to welcome these distinctions and positions of authority, and they honored the trust that was placed in their hands.

SOURCE: Diouf, Sylvianne. Servants of Allah: African Muslims Enslaved in the Americas. New York: New York University Press, 1998.

African Muslims, according to Gomez, were found throughout the antebellum America (e.g., as far north as Canada, and in notable numbers in New York), which, true to its cosmopolitan spirit, imported a heterogeneous African-derived population, including Muslims from Madagascar. The Spaniards and the French also brought Muslim slaves to their settlements in the southernmost regions of what is now the United States. Spanish Florida, particularly St. Augustine and Fort Moses, had a sizable black population, many of which were Malinke or Mede-speakers, and a significant proportion of these were, no doubt, Muslim. The French in Louisiana imported Africans from several regions including Muslim-populated Senegambia and northern Nigeria. Gomez, however, identifies the coastal regions of South Carolina and Georgia, including the Georgia Sea Islands, as the epicenter of the African Muslim population in North America. Long known for its Gullah or Geechee culture, this region, whose major cash crop was neither cotton, tobacco, nor sugarcane but rice, imported many slaves from rice-growing areas of the upper Guinea Coast as Judith Carney demonstrated in Black Rice: The African Origins of Rice Cultivation in the Americas.

The upper Guiniea Coast encompassed the Senegambia, The Windward Coast, and Sierra Leone—regions of Islamic influence. Islamic cultural retentions in the South Carolina lowlands and Georgia coastal region were acknowledged, for example, in Julie Dash's cinematic celebration of Sea Islands culture, Daughters of the Dust (1991). The opening soundtrack of the film includes the calling of the adhan (Muslim call to prayer). The Savannah unit of the Georgia Writer's Project of the WPA interviewed several residents of the coastal areas and Sea Islands about their recollections of ancestors, including the grandchildren of Bilali whose wife Fatima and seven daughters, as Sylviane Diouf (1998) has noted, were practicing Muslims. Recollections of their ancestors' practices (and those of their ancestors' companions) include these quotations about prayer habits, rendered in dialect by the Savannah researchers and republished in Harold Courlander's 1976 anthology:

Ole Israel he pray a lot wid a book he hab wut he hide, an he take a lill mat an he say he prayuhs on it. he pray wen duh sun go up an wen duh sun go down. Dey ain none but ole israel wut pray on a mat. He hab he own mat. now ole man israel he hab shahp feechuh an a long pointed beahd, an he wuz berry tall. he alluz tie he head up a wite clawt an seem he keep a lot uh clawt on han, fuh I membuh, could see em hangin roun duh stable dryin[.] (p. 282)

I remember an old ohman named Daphne. He didn't tie he head up lak ole man Isreal. He wear a loose wite veil on the head. He wuz shahp feechuh too and light uh complexion. He wear one ring in he eah fuh he eyes. I hab reference to it being some kine protection tuh he eyes. Wen e pray, he bow down two and tree times in duh middle uh de prayers. (p. 282)

The use of prayer mats, the head-covering, or khimar, employed by a Muslim woman, and the postions of ruku (bowing) and sajda (prostration) are alluded to in these statements-as are artifacts reflecting superstitious, perhaps syncretistic, beliefs, although inscribed silver rings and bracelets were worn as protective amulets in some West African Muslim societies. In other recollections dhikr beads (prayer beads) are mentioned and Diouf cites one passage that mentions the baking of rice cakes for one religious holiday, identifying the custom as a variation on an African Muslim tradition. One of Bilali's descendents carried the name Ben Sullivan, which was most likely a corruption of Bin Suleiman or Ibn Suleiman, meaning son of Suleiman (Solomon). A female descendent of Bilali reported that her grandfather probably had two wives, a confirmation that the Muslim custom of polygamy was practiced.

Although some customs were peculiar to Muslim society, not all African Muslim practices were insular, and some had an impact on the surrounding non-Muslim African American culture. For example, many African American Christian churches in the South are built so that the worshippers face the east (i.e., Mecca), as was the custom in constructing mosques. Christian graves, too, had the headstones facing east as is the Muslim custom. Perhaps one of the least known but most far-reaching impacts of African Muslim culture upon African American culture is the Muslim influence on blues music. Jonathan Curiel (2006) demonstrates through audio media presentations, the striking similarity between the cadences of the Adhan and an early blues song, Levee Camp Holler. Curiel also notes that because whites banned drumming on the slave plantations, as a threatening means of secret communication amongst Africans, the use of string instruments such as the banjo and West African Muslim styles of playing derived from the ngoni, or West African, lute began to predominate in African American music. Curiel notes that Gerhard Kubik (b. 1934), an ethnomusicologist and author of Africa and the Blues (1999), stated that the vocal style of many blues singers is the heritage of West African societies that were influenced by the Arabo-Islamic world.

Although African Muslims in the Americas originated from various ethnic societies in Africa, Gomez (1998) argues, in Exchanging Our Country Marks: The Transformation of African Identities in the Colonial and Antebellum South, that Islam faith fostered a transnational Islamic identity that transcended their specific ethnicities. Posing somewhat of a mystery though, as Gomez (2005) demonstrates, is the origin of two multiracial (African, European, and Native American) communities with Islamic heritage: the Melungeons of Tennessee, Kentucky, and Virginia and the Ishmaelites of Kentucky, Indiana, and Illinois—although the former may very well have Portuguese and Moorish roots. Such roots are a reminder that, in examining the Islamic heritage of African slaves in colonial and antebellum America, one should be mindful of the fact that African Muslims and Muslims of other ethnicities arrived and settled in the Americas prior to the slave trade and their histories often converge with those of the enslaved African Muslims.

BIBLIOGRAPHY

Austin, Allen. African Muslims in Antebellum America: Transatlantic Stories and Spiritual Struggles. New York: Routledge, 1997.

Courlander, Harold. A Treasury of Afro-American Folklore: The Oral Literature, Traditions, Recollections, Legends, Tales, Songs, Religious Beliefs, Sayings, and Humor of Peoples of African Descent in the Americas. New York: Crown, 1976.

Curiel, Jonathan. "Muslim Roots, U.S. Blues." Saudi Aramco World 57, no. 4, (July/August, 2006): 9-13.

Diouf, Sylviane A. Servants of Allah: African Muslims Enslaved in the Americas. New York: New York University Press, 1998.

Dirks, Jerald F. Muslims in America: A Forgotten Legacy. Beltsville, MD: Amana Publications, 2006.

Gomez, Michael A. Exchanging Our Country Marks: The Transformation of African Identities in the Colonial and Antebellum South. Chapel Hill: University of North Carolina Press, 1998.

Gomez, Michael A. Black Crescent: The Experience and Legacy of African Muslims in the Americas. New York: Cambridge University Press, 2005.

Judy, Ronald A. T. (Dis) Forming the American Canon: African-Arabic Slave Narratives and the Vernacular. Minneapolis: University of Minnesota Press, 1993.

Muhammad, Amir Nashid Ali. Muslims in America: Seven Centuries of History, 1312–1998: Collections and Stories of American Muslims. Beltsville, MD: Amana Publications, 1998.

                                   Yusuf Nuruddin

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Islam

Islam

Muslims arrived in Latin America several centuries before immigrants from the Middle East arrived in the region, and mostly hailed from non-Arabic-speaking parts of the Islamic world. In fact, of the three historical strands of Muslim arrivals in Latin America, only the most recent one was part of the major migration from Lebanon, Syria, and Palestine.

The first strand was composed of large numbers of Islamized West Africans, especially from Ghana, Dahomey (now Benin), Mali, and Nigeria, who were among the millions of Africans enslaved and shipped to work in Brazilian and Caribbean plantations until the second half of the nineteenth century. Most became Christian, at least in name, while others were reported to have held secretly to their Islamic faith, which appears to have been the case in the Brazilian cities of Salvador and Rio de Janeiro. Although little survives of this first strand, some have traced elements of Afro-Brazilian religions such as Umbanda, Candomblé, and Xango to Islam.

The second strand is intimately linked to the abolition of slavery in the colonial possessions of Great Britain and the Netherlands in the Indian subcontinent and Southeast Asia. Indeed, while the British introduced indentured labor to India, the Dutch did the same in Indonesia. By 1917 the British had encouraged some 250,000 Indians to settle in Guyana, where legislation dating back to 1871 exempted their children from attending Christian schools. Nearly one-sixth of these East Indians were Muslim. By 1940, the Dutch had succeeded in settling 33,000 Javanese Muslims in today's Suriname. Some 34,000 Indians, less than a fifth of them Muslim, were also introduced in that country. Although their work contracts included the provision of return fares at the end of a five-year stint, few indentured laborers managed to accumulate the wealth they had originally envisaged; therefore, they settled for land in lieu of passage to their home countries. Against this backdrop, Panama is the only Latin American state where the Islamic presence is partly due to the more recent arrival of Indian Muslim businesspeople, attracted by the country's role as a regional trade entrepôt.

The Middle Eastern strand of Muslim arrivals in Latin America dates back to the end of the nineteenth century and, unlike the two previous influxes, was not a result of recruitment, but rather a move to improve their economic circumstances and to avoid conscription into the Ottoman army. Most Arab Muslims sought to go to the United States but, because of strict health screenings and tightened immigration quotas, landed instead in Argentina and Brazil, whence they moved to neighboring countries. Reliable figures are hard to come by, but various estimates suggest that most settled in Argentina and Brazil. The Institute of Muslim Minority Affairs estimated in 1980 that nearly 94 percent of the region's Muslims of all origins live in Brazil (500,000), Argentina (370,000), Trinidad and Tobago (115,000), Suriname (104,500), and Guyana (74,500).

East Asian Muslims have long achieved recognition for openly practicing and furthering Islam among their offspring. Not surprisingly, the largest network of Muslim institutions in Latin America is in Britain's former colonies in the region. This includes more than two hundred mosques, as well as Koranic and other schools. In Guyana, the Muslim school system enjoys state subsidies, and Muslim religious festivals are recognized as national holidays. The same is the case in Suriname, where Muslims are said to make up 22 percent of the population. On the other hand, conflict between the African-descended majority and the Asian Muslim minorities has been more the rule than the exception in the Caribbean.

Muslims in the Catholic countries of Luso-Spanish America have not enjoyed the same degree of legitimacy as in Suriname and Guyana. Unpropitious circumstances at the receiving end—such as the erroneous assumption that all Muslims, including the penniless migrants, were polygamous, and intolerance of religious pluralism—pushed Muslim newcomers into a self-effacing posture. Some adopted Hispanic identities, and many more abandoned their faith while retaining their original names. Whereas Argentina's Syrian 'Alawite-descended president Carlos Saúl Menem and Druze-descended military leader Muhammad Alí Seineldín are among the latter, Zulema Yoma was Latin America's first Muslim first lady before becoming estranged from Menem.

Those who held to their faith established social and mutual-help institutions, but generally refrained from building mosques, in a reluctance to call attention to themselves in these Catholic countries. Not surprisingly, therefore, most purpose-built prayer houses and Islamic centers in Brazil and the Spanish-speaking countries date back to the 1973 rise of the Gulf States, as well as to Iranian activism among the Muslims since the ouster of Shah Muhammad Reza Pahlavi in 1979. In Argentina and Mexico, for instance, mosques went up in the 1980s with Tehran's help, a fact suggesting that a proportion of the Muslim immigrants are Shiite. Saudi- and Iranian-backed proselytism is not unknown in Latin America, as intimated by the mid-1980s revelation by an Iranian diplomat that the number of conversions in Argentina was on the increase. It is possible that a sizable proportion of these are none other than the descendants of earlier Muslim immigrants now becoming more assertive of their identity.

See alsoArab-Latin American Relations .

BIBLIOGRAPHY

R. Guevara Bazán, "Muslim Immigration to Spanish America," in Muslim World 56 (1966); "Les musulmans dans le mondo," la documentation française (August 1952).

Rolf Riechert, "Muslims in the Guyanas: A Socio-Economic Overview," in Journal Institute of Muslim Minority Affairs (Winter 1981): 120-126.

S. A. H. Ahsani and Omar Kasule, "Muslims in Latin America: A Survey," in Journal Institute of Muslim Minority Affairs (July 1984): 454-457.

Clayton G. Mackenzie, "Muslim Primary Schools in Trinidad and Tobago," in Islamic Quarterly (First Quarter 1989): 5-16.

Estela Biondi Assali, "L'insertion des groupes de langue arabe dans la société argentine," in Revue Européenne des Migrations Internationales 7, no. 2 (1991): 139-153.

Ignacio Klich, "Argentine-Ottoman Relations and Their Impact on Immigrants from the Middle East," in Americas (October 1993).

Additional Bibliography

Batista, Vera Malaguti. O medo na cidade do Rio de Janeiro: Dois tempos de uma história. Rio de Janeiro: Editora Revan, 2003.

Jozami, Gladys. "The Manifestation of Islam in Argentina." The Americas Vol. 53, No. 1 (July, 1996): 67-85.

Khan, Aisha. Callaloo Nation: Metaphors of Race and Religious Identity among South Asians in Trinidad. Durham: Duke University Press, 2004.

Lesser, Jeffrey, and Ignacio Klich, eds. Arab and Jewish Immigrants in Latin America: Images and Realities. London: Frank Cass, 1998.

Reis, João José. Slave Rebellion in Brazil: The Muslim Uprising of 1835 in Bahia. Baltimore: Johns Hopkins University Press, 1993.

Truzzi, Oswaldo. Patrícios: Sírios e libaneses em São Paulo. São Paulo: Editora Hucitec, 1997.

                                              Ignacio Klich

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Islam

Islam

al-Ummah

Federation of Islamic Associations in the United States and Canada

His Highness Prince Aga Khan Shia Imani Ismaili Council for the United States of America

Islamic Assembly of North America (IANA)

Islamic Circle of North America

Islamic Society of North America

Islamic Supreme Council of America (ISCA)

Muslim American Society (MAS)

Shi’a Muslims

Shiah Fatimi Ismaili Tayyibi Dawoodi Bohra (Daudi Bohras)

Sunni Muslims

Tanzeem-e-Islami

United American Muslim Association

United Submitters International

al-Ummah

c/o Atlanta Community Mosque, 547 W End Pl., Atlanta, GA 30310

Al-Ummah is the official name of the association of mosques that have gathered around the person of Imam Jamil al-Amin (b. 1943), better known to the general public as civil rights activist H. Rap Brown. Imam Jamil was born Hubert Gerold Brown in Baton Rouge, Louisiana. In 1966 he became a field organizer for the Student Nonviolent Coordinating Committee (SNCC) in Greene County, Alabama, and in the following year he was named SNCC’s new chairman following the ouster of Stokely Carmichael. In 1968, he became the minister of justice for the Black Panther Party.

In jail in 1971, Brown converted to Islam. Following his release in 1976, he went on pilgrimage to Mecca, Saudi Arabia, and then settled in the West End section of Atlanta, Georgia, and opened the Atlanta Community Mosque. Meanwhile, another Islamic movement in the African-American community, Dar al-Islam, had been founded in 1963, and in 1980 had split into various factions. In 1983 some 30 of the Dar al-Islam mosques united with the Atlanta Community Mosque to form a coalition around Brown, now known as Imam Jamil al Amin. Imam Jamil is credited with moving the group into the Islamic mainstream. He reached out to those mosques that followed the ministry of Imam W. Deen Mohammed following the demise of the old Nation of Islam.

Though little known to the broader American public, Imam Jamil rose to a position of prominence in the Islamic world. In 1990 he became the vice president of the American Muslim Council. In 1993, his group became a charter member of the Islamic Shura Council of North America (along with the Islamic Society of North America, the Islamic Circle of North America, and the Ministry of Imam W. Deen Mohammed). He would later become the chairman of the Shura Council.

In 2001 Imam Jamil once again became the center of public attention when he was arrested in Atlanta for the murder of a police officer near the grocery store he had opened. Tried the following year, he was convicted, in spite of the confession of another man and support for him from the larger Muslim community. As of 2008 he remains in prison serving a life sentence, and members of al-Ummah continue to publicize what they believe is his unjust situation through fundraisers, rallies, and networking.

Membership

Not reported. In 2002 there were some 35 mosques affiliated with al-Ummah.

Sources

Imam Jamil (unofficial). www.imamjamil.com/.

Amin, Imam Jamil al. Revolution by the Book: The Rap Is Live. Beltsville, MD: Writers Inc., International, 1993.

Brown, H. Rap. Die Nigger, Die! New York: Dial Press, 1969.

Visseer, Steve, and Lateef Mungin. “Al-Amin’s Life Now on the Line: Jury Must Decide His Sentence for Murder.” Atlanta-Journal Constitution, March 3, 2001.

Federation of Islamic Associations in the United States and Canada

25231 5 Mile Rd., Redford Township, MI 48239

Federation of Islamic Associations in the United States and Canada was established in 1952 at Cedar Rapids, Iowa, as a fellowship of mosques and Muslim communities, the oldest such association in North America. The immediate goals were to promote the spirit, ethics, and philosophy of Islam, to engage in cooperative activities, and to maintain contact with the rest of the Muslim world. They have subsequently enlarged their concerns to include the publication of Islamic materials and the development of media for the needs of local Muslim centers.

The federation has worked to enlighten non-Muslims about Islamic belief and practice and encourage cordial relations between Muslims and their neighbors of other faiths.

The federation holds an annual convention. It periodically tries to speak on issues of public interest for its constituency.

Membership

Not reported.

Sources

Federation of Islamic Associations in the United States and Canada. www.islamerica.com.

His Highness Prince Aga Khan Shia Imani Ismaili Council for the United States of America

PO Box 77, Rego Park, NY 11374

The Shia Imami Ismaili Muslims, generally known as the Ismailis, belong to the Shia branch of Islam, one of the two major branches of Islam, the Sunni being the other. The Ismailis live in more than 25 different countries, mainly in Asia, Africa, and the Middle East, as well as in the West.

As Muslims, the Ismailis affirm the fundamental Islamic Testimony of Truth, the Shahada, that there is no god but Allah and that Muhammad is His Messenger. They believe that Muhammad was the last and final prophet of Allah, and that the Holy Qur’an, Allah’s final message to mankind, was revealed through him.

In common with other Shia Muslims, the Ismailis affirm that after the Prophet’s death, Hazrat Ali, the Prophet’s cousin and son-in-law, became the first imam—the spiritual leader—of the Muslim community and that this spiritual leadership (known as Imamat) continues thereafter by heredity through Ali and his wife Fatima, the Prophet’s daughter. Succession to Imamat, according to Shia doctrine and tradition, is by way of Nass (designation), it being the absolute prerogative of the imam of the time to appoint his successor from among any of his male descendants whether they be sons or remoter issue.

His Highness Prince Karim Aga Khan is the 49th hereditary imam of the Shia Imami Ismaili Muslims. He was born on December 13, 1936, in Geneva, son of Prince Aly Khan and Princess Tajuddawlah Aly Khan, and spent his early childhood in Nairobi, Kenya. He attended Le Rosey School in Switzerland for nine years and graduated from Harvard in 1959 with a B.A. in Islamic history. He succeeded his grandfather Sir Sultan Mahomed Shah Aga Khan on July 11, 1957, at the age of 20.

Among the major contributions to the growth of Islamic civilization made by the Ismailis are the University of al-Azhar and the Academy of Science, Dar al-Ilm, in Egypt. Indeed the city of Cairo itself is a testimony to their contribution. Among the renowned philosophers, jurists, physicians, mathematicians, astronomers, and scientists of the past who flourished under the patronage of Ismaili imams are Qadi al-Numan, al-Kirmani, Ibn al Haytham (al-Hazen), Nasir-e-Khusraw, and Nasir al-Din Tusi. In more recent times, the 48th imam, Sir Sultan Mahomed Shah Aga Khan, has been recognized for his contribution to the Muslim world and his efforts to promote international understanding, especially as the president of the League of Nations (1937–1938), the forerunner of the United Nations.

Spiritual allegiance to the imam and adherence to the Shia Imami Ismaili tariqa (persuasion) of Islam, according to the guidance of the imam of the time, have engendered in the Ismaili community an ethos of self-reliance, unity, and a common identity. In a number of countries of their residence, the Ismailis have evolved a well-defined institutional framework through which they have, under the leadership and guidance of the imam, made notable progress in the educational, health, housing, and economic spheres, establishing schools, hospitals, health centers, housing societies, and a variety of social and economic development institutions for the common good of all citizens regardless of their race or religion. Programs and institutions established or expanded in recent years by the present Aga Khan, as imam of the Ismailis, include the Aga Khan Foundation, the Aga Khan University, the Aga Khan Education Services, the Aga Khan Health Services, the Aga Khan Fund for Economic Development, and the Aga Khan Trust for Culture, all of which seek to contribute to the progress and development of the many nations where the Ismailis live, as well as the third world generally.

The Aga Khan Foundation is a noncommunal development agency committed to promoting sustainable and equitable social development. The foundation provides grants and technical assistance to people and institutions that are evolving innovative approaches to pressing social and environmental problems. Its particular emphasis is on health, education, and rural development in the low-income countries of Asia and Africa. The foundation, which has affiliates in Canada and the United States, collaborates with more than 30 other national and international organizations in financing development programs, including the Canadian International Development Agency (CIDA), the Commission for European Communities, the Overseas Development Administration in the United Kingdom, UNICEF, the U.S. Agency for International Development (AID), and the World Health Organization (WHO).

The Aga Khan University, chartered in 1983 as the first private university in Pakistan, dedicates itself to the establishment and maintenance of internationally accepted standards of education while addressing itself to problems of particular relevance to developing countries. The Aga Khan University’s Faculty of Health Sciences, which includes a Medical College and a School of Nursing located in Karachi, seeks through strong academic, clinical, and community health training to graduate doctors and nurses who are better equipped to respond to the primary health care needs of the third world. Clinical training facilities for the Medical College and the School of Nursing are located at the 650-bed Aga Khan University teaching hospital in Karachi which opened in November 1985. Formal agreements for collaboration by the Medical College have been concluded with three major universities—Harvard, McGill, and McMaster—underlining the commitment of the university toward a high standard of endeavor. The Aga Khan University will establish additional faculties in other countries and is currently exploring alternatives for developing the university’s international dimensions.

The Aga Khan Education Services operates more than 300 institutions and programs from day care centers to university-level education, catering to some 50,000 students, the majority of whom are non-Ismaili. More than 5,000 students benefit from various Aga Khan scholarship programs.

The Aga Khan Health Services consists of more than 200 health care units and programs in the developing world, including maternity homes, primary care centers, diagnostic clinics, dispensaries, and five general hospitals. More than two million outpatients a year, the majority of whom are non-Ismaili, receive services through these institutions.

The Aga Khan Fund for Economic Development is committed to the support of economic development activities in the third world through the promotion of projects in the private sector, primarily through equity participation in third world enterprises, to increase productivity and raise standards of living. The fund also collaborates with national and international agencies in the promotion of development institutions. Since 1963, more than 100 new enterprises, ranging from building materials and textiles to mining and tourism which today employ some 10,000 people, have been established in East, West, and Central Africa, as well as in Asia.

The Aga Khan Trust for Culture focuses attention on contemporary expressions of the Islamic humanistic tradition, concentrating largely on the built environment. The triennial Aga Khan Award for Architecture and its associated program of seminars encourage architectural excellence in an effort to enrich the physical environment of the Islamic world, while the Aga Khan Program for Islamic Architecture at Harvard University and the Massachusetts Institute of Technology provide graduate education to a new generation of architects, planners, and researchers.

The Ismailis first arrived in the United States in the early 1960s. The majority were students from the developing world who in the post-independence years came to study at institutions of higher learning. In the 1970s, largely as a result of political instability in parts of Africa and Asia, the community’s numbers in the United States increased significantly. Their education, linguistic, and professional skills have helped Ismailis to assimilate easily into the American social fabric. Today, Ismailis are settled throughout the country, and the community is administered by the Ismaili Council for the United States of America, based in New York. There are also local councils which operate under the direction of the national council in different regions of the country. Each council has portfolio members for community programs in such fields as education, health, youth and sports activities, economic development, and social welfare, who endeavor to secure continuing improvements in the quality of life of the community and assist it to make an effective contribution to the societies it lives among.

Membership

Not reported.

Periodicals

The American Ismaili.

Sources

Daftary, Farhad. A Short History of the Ismailis. Princeton, NJ: Marcus Wiener Publishers, 1998.

Howell, Georgina. “The Story of K.” Vanity Fair 51, no. 6 (June 1988): 100–108, 173–179.

Nanji, Azim. “The Nizari Ismaili Muslim Community in North America; Background and Development.” In The Muslim Community in North America, Earle H. Waugh, Baha Abu-Laban, and Regula B. Qureshi, eds. Edmonton, AB: University of Alberta Press, 1883.

Williams, Raymond Brady. Religions of Immigrants from India and Pakistan: New Threads of the American Tapestry. New York: Cambridge University Press, 1988.

Islamic Assembly of North America (IANA)

3588 Plymouth Rd., No. 270, Ann Arbor, MI 48105

The Islamic Assembly of North America (IANA) was founded in 1993 by a group of American Muslims from various Muslim centers concerned with the propagation of Islam (dawah) in the United States. They shared a view that a combined effort was needed and that cooperative activity produced far greater results than did individual activity.

At the time of its founding, a set of goals were adopted that included work to unify and coordinate the efforts of the different dawah-oriented organizations in North America; to observe the current events in the Muslim world and analyze them in relation to the situation of American Muslims; to assist scholars, Islamic workers, and Muslim masses in any locality who were facing discrimination or persecution; to develop an effective media institute to serve North American Muslims; to direct dawah to youth; and to create programs and institutions for English-speaking Muslims.

Important to IANA is the application of what is considered the correct Islamic methodology as derived from the Book of Allah (Qur’an) and the sunnah (life and work) of the Messenger of Allah, according to the understanding and application of the early pious forefathers.

As part of its effort, IANA opened an office in Austin, Texas, from which to begin radio broadcasts. In 1999 it began live broadcasting through the Internet. The alHamdulillah program donated Islamic books to prison libraries. The assembly distributes a copy of the Qur’an especially to non-Muslims and, among other titles, has published a book on Jesus from a Muslim standpoint.

Membership

Not reported.

Periodicals

Almanar.

Sources

Islamic Assembly of North America (IANA). www.iananet.org.

Abdullah, Misha’aliban ibn. What Did Jesus Really Say? Plymouth, MI: IANA, 1996.

Ibrahim, I.A. A Brief Guide to Understanding Islam. Houston, TX: Darussalem, 1997.

Islamic Circle of North America

166-26 89th Ave., Jamaica, NY 11432

Islamic Circle of North America (ICNA), founded in the mid-1970s, includes a number of mosques across the United States that have as their goal the establishment of the Iqamat-ud-Deen (the Islamic system of life) as defined in the Qur’an and the Sunnah (life and works) of the Prophet Muhammad. ICNA has its base in the American Pakistani community and draws its inspiration from the Islamic revivalist movement in Pakistan, especially the Jamaate-Islami and the Tablighi Jama’at. The circle has developed an outward-looking program for the propagation of Islam in North America that includes activities aimed at the increase of Islamic knowledge and the enhancement of the character and the skills of those associated with ICNA. To that end, ICNA supports efforts for civil liberties and socio-economic justice in the society and encourages programs that serve the needy both in North America and around the world.

To embody its concern for spreading Islam, ICNA has developed what is termed the “Why Islam?” project, developed by circle members in New Jersey, and produced a set of pamphlets that deal with the Islamic option over the many other competing philosophies, religions, and “isms.” The project operates through a toll-free number, the Islamic Circle’s website, an outreach to prison inmates, and the distribution of the pamphlets by various avenues.

Those associated with the circle are expected to study the Qur’an, the Hadith, and other Islamic literature regularly; to spend a minimum of four hours each month on dawah (propagation) work; to invite at least two persons to become ICNA members every year; to contribute in support of the group; and weekly to invite at least one Muslim to come to the weekly prayer service at the ICNA center.

The circle is headed by its ameer, Dr. Zulfiqar Ali Shah, the secretary general, Naeem Baig, and the entral shura (council). The sisters’ wing (women’s organization) of ICNA has founded the Institute of Islamic Learning in which women may be trained in Islam. The circle was one of the founding members of the Islamic Shura Council of North America, a cooperative organization that includes the ministry of Imam W. Deen Mohammed, al-Ummah (the community of Imam Jamil al-Amin), and the Islamic Society of North America.

Membership

Not reported.

Periodicals

The Message; Noor.

Sources

Islamic Circle of North America. www.icna.org/icna/index.php.

Islamic Society of North America

PO Box 38, Plainfield, IN 46168

Islamic Society of North America, one of the largest Muslim bodies in the United States and Canada, is an outgrowth of the Indian/Pakistani phase of the twentieth-century Islamist revival that sought to call secularized Muslims back to a vision of Islam as a total way of life. The major organization of the movement, the Jamaate-Islami, was founded by Sayyid Abul A’la Mawdudi (1903–1979), who lived and work amid the Indian independence movement and the resultant separation of Pakistan as an Islamic state. Mawdudi emerged as a major commentator on the problems presented to Islam by Western culture Indian nationalism (which he saw as destructive of Muslim identity) and competing political ideologies. Based on his assessment of the situation, he began to reconstruct Islamic thought. He founded Jamaat-e-Islami in 1941, and subsequently moved to Pakistan to work for the formation of an Islamic state.

The spirit of Mawdudi’s movement came to North America in the 1950s with the arrival of the Indian and Pakistani Muslims for college study. These students took the lead in founding the Muslim Student Association of the United States and Canada in 1963. MSA spawned a host of organizations to serve various segments of the American and Canadian Muslim community such as the North America Islamic Trust (NAIT), the Islamic Medical Association, and the Muslim Arab Youth Association (MAYA). In the 1980s, the maturing of the early leaders of MSA, the steady migration of Muslims to North America, and the many mosques that had appeared across the continent led to the organizing of the Islamic Society of North America (ISNA).

ISNA serves as a point of unity for many American Muslims and mosques, and sees as its primary task the nurturing of the American Muslim community. As an association of Muslim organizations and individuals it has established a unified platform of expression for Islam, encourages the development of educational, out-reach, and social services, and is constructing an enhanced image of Islam in North American society.

ISNA’s program is concentrated on the establishment of high-quality, full-time Islamic schools; the publication of outreach materials (especially for prisons and the military); the nurturing of strong and stable Muslim families; involvement in the social issues confronting North Americans; training Islamic workers, teachers, and imams; and assisting in the integration of Muslims into American political life.

ISNA has formed the Fiqh (law) Council that brings together a body of Islamic scholars who reside in the United States and Canada. The council receives and responds to inquiries from Muslims and makes itself available to resolve disputes between Muslim individuals and organizations following Muslim legal opinion. The council originated in the Religious Affairs Committee of the Muslim Students Association in the early 1960s. The committee evolved into the Fiqh Committee of the ISNA in 1980 and was transformed into the council in 1986. The Fiqh Council, as an affiliate of ISNA, advises it on matters relative to the application of Islamic lawn (shari’ah) in the individual and collective life of its membership. The council’s membership includes a number of scholars who have earned the respect of the larger Muslim community.

ISNA is led by its Majlis Ash-Shura (council). ISNA was a founding member of the Islamic Shura Council of North America, a cooperative organization that includes the Islamic Circle of North America (with whom ISNA shares its heritage), the ministry of Imam W. Deen Mohammed, and al-Ummah (the community led by Imam Jamil al-Amin). It facilitated the founding of a variety of Islamic organizations that have since matured into autonomous groups in their own right, such as the Association of Muslim Social Scientists, the Association of Muslim Scientists and Engineers, and the Islamic Medical Association of North America.

Membership

Not reported.

Periodicals

Islamic Horizons.

Sources

Islamic Society of North America. www.isna.net/.

Islamic Supreme Council of America (ISCA)

1400 16th St. NW, B-112, Washington, DC 20036

Alternate Address

17195 Silver Pkwy., No. 201, Fenton, MI 48430.

Islamic Supreme Council of America (ISCA), an organization that seeks the cooperation of varied segments of the Muslim community, has its base of support in the Naqshbandi-Haqqani Sufi Order and its charismatic leader, Mawlana Shaykh Nazim Adil al-Haqqani, the council’s founder. The goal of ISCA is to provide solutions to the problems faced by American Muslims based on the traditional Islamic legal rulings as provided by an international advisory board. The board is drawn from a group of high-ranking Islamic scholars. The council has pioneered an effort to integrate traditional scholarship to the challenges of maintaining Islamic belief in a modern, secular society.

The council attempts to facilitate individuals and organizations receiving legal advice from scholars and religious institutions around the world. At the same time, it tries to work proactively to present Islam as a religion of moderation, tolerance, peace, and justice. ISCA stresses the common heritage of Islam, Christianity, and Judaism in an effort to foster mutual respect and reshape the image of Islam in the West. To that end it supports peace efforts worldwide, condemns violations of human rights, denounces all types of terrorism (including intellectual, cultural, and ideological), favors the nonproliferation of nuclear, biological, and chemical weapons, and is committed to the values of charity, family love, education, and public responsibility in American life.

The ISCA program centers on a set of publications, meetings, seminars, and conferences whose purpose is the education of U.S. officials on Islamic culture and history. ISCA also works with the representatives of Muslim nations as a reliable source for traditional Islamic literature on a spectrum of topics.

The council is headed by its chairman, currently Shaykh Muhammad Hisham Kabbani, and a large advisory committee that includes a number of Muslim scholars and government officials. Kamilat, the affiliated women’s organization, has built a cooperative network with various Muslim groups to assist Muslim widows, divorcees, and working mothers.

Membership

Not reported.

Periodicals

The Muslim Magazine.

Sources

Islamic Supreme Council of America. www.islamicsupremecouncil.org.

Kabbani, Muhammad Hisham. The Approach of Armageddon?: An Islamic Perspective. Washington, DC: Isca Publications, 2003.

———. Classical Islam and the Naqshbandi Sufi Tradition. Washington, DC: Isca Publications, 2003.

———. Naqshbandi Sufi Tradition Guidebook of Daily Practices and Devotions. Washington, DC: Isca Publications, 2004.

Muslim American Society (MAS)

PO Box 1896, Falls Church, VA 22041

Muslim American Society (MAS) is one of several Muslim associations that has its roots in the Indo-Pakistani Islamist revival, the Muslim Student Association, and the Islamic Society of North America. Many of the people who founded MAS had previously been associated with the Islamic Society of North America. They saw themselves as particularly concerned with the changing dynamics of Islamic society in North America and a desire to construct a new foundation for the Islamic work perceived to be needed in the twenty-first century.

To that end, MSA has projected a six-point program for the mosques and individuals associated with it: to present the message of Islam to the public; to encourage Muslims in building a virtuous and moral society; to offer the Islamic alternative to society’s major problems; to promote family values; to advocate for the human values of brotherhood, equality, justice, mercy, compassion, and peace; and to foster unity among Muslims and Muslim organizations.

Among MAS’major programs is the Muslim American Society Council of Islamic Schools, which as its educational branch offers several technical and support services and professional training programs for teachers and administrators of Islamic schools.

Membership

Not reported.

Educational Facilities

Islamic American University, 17300 W. 10 Mile Rd., Ste. 2, Southfield, MI 48075.

Periodicals

The American Muslim.

Sources

Muslim American Society. www.masnet.org.

Shi’a Muslims

c/o Islamic Center of America, 19500 Ford Rd., Dearborn, MI 48128

Alternate Address

Jaffari Islamic Centre, 7340 Bayview Ave., Thornhill, ON L3T 2R7

Of the two orthodox branches of the Muslim Community the Shi’a is by far the smaller. It includes some Iranian-Americans though Shi’as of other nationalities (Lebanese, Pakistani, Yemeni) are also present in significant numbers. The oldest and among the most prominent Shi’a centers is the Islamic Center of America, a Lebanese center that emerged as the Detroit Islamic community split into the traditional Sunni and Shi’a factions early in the twentieth century. Growth in the Shi’as was marked by its 1949 invitation to Imam Mohamad Jawad Chirri to become the community’s spiritual leader and the establishment of the center in the 1960s under his guidance.

More typical of the Shi’a centers established since 1965 is the Islamic Society of Georgia, a Pakistani-American center in Atlanta founded in 1970. It is a major distributor of Shi’a publications from around the world and publishes Islamic Affairs. It has made a major priority of its program the circulation of Shi’a literature to “willing readers” at little or no cost. The Midwest Association of Shi’a Organized Muslims is a similar center in Chicago.

A step forward in the organization of the Shi’a community was the 1970 formation of the Shi’a Association of North America by families in New York and New Jersey. Through its newsletter, Islamic Review, and other publications, it has led in the establishment of traditional standards of belief and practice in the Shi’a community nationally. The Iranian Revolution under the Ayatollah Khomeini has had a marked effect of uniting the American Shi’a community, which has responded with strong support. In like measure, the American-Lebanese Shi’as have identified with the Shi’as of Lebanon, though they are somewhat divided in their support of the various factions that emerged in the 1970s.

While the majority of English-language Shi’a literature still originates from foreign presses, several publishing ventures have emerged in the United States. The Detroit center has published a number of works by Imam Chirri, an eminent Islamic scholar. It is joined by Free Islamic Literature, Inc. of Houston, Texas, and Mehfile Shahe Khorasan Charitable Trust of Englewood Cliffs, New Jersey.

Membership

Not reported. There are several dozen Shi’a centers scattered across the United States.

Educational Facilities

The Islamic Seminary, New York, New York.

Periodicals

Islamic Affairs • The Islamic Review • Husaini News

Sources

Islamic Center of America. www.icofa.com.

Chirri, Mohammad Jawad. The Brother of the Prophet Mohammad. 2 vols. Detroit: Islamic Center of Detroit, 1979–1982.

———. Inquiries about Islam. Detroit: Islamic Center of Detroit, 1965.

Iman Khomeini, Pope and Christianity. Tehran, Iran: Islamic Propaganda Organization, 1983.

The Life of Iman Husain. Englewood Cliffs, NJ: Mehfile Shahe Khorasan Charitable Trust, n.d. Tract.

Qazwini, Imam Hassan. American Crescent: A Muslim Cleric on the Power of His Faith, the Struggle against Prejudice, and the Future of Islam in America. New York: Random House, 2007. 282 pp.

Shariati, Ali. Islamic View of Man. Houston, TX: Free Islamic Literature, 1979.

Shiah Fatimi Ismaili Tayyibi Dawoodi Bohra (Daudi Bohras)

c/oAnjuman-e-Ezzi, Washington, DC, 18728 New Hampshire Ave., Ashton, MD 20861

Alternate Address

International headquarters: Dawat-e-Hadiyah, Administration of the 52nd al-Dai al-Mutlaq, His Holiness Dr. Syedna Mohammed Burhanuddin, c/o Saifee Masjid, Burhani Park, Lagos Road, City Centre, Nairobi, Kenya. Canadian headquarters: c/o Anjuman-e-Najmi, Toronto, 61 Queensmill Ct., Richmond Hill, ON L4B 1N2.

The Daudi Bohras constitute a worldwide religious group officially known as the Shiah Fatimi Ismaili Tayyibi Dawoodi Bohra, a community within the larger world of Orthodox Islam. This group follows a specific code of beliefs, doctrines, and tenets founded on the Qur’an and the Shariah, as taught and interpreted by their leader, the Dai al-Mutlaq. The Daudi Bohras traces its ancestry to the early conversions of Hindus in India in the eleventh century to the Ismaili branch of Shi’a Islam. These converts in turn gave their allegiance to the dai mutlaq in Yemen. They are named after their 27th dai, Daud ibn Qutubshah (d. 1612).

The Daudi Bohra community has largely been molded into its present form by the two dais who led the community in the twentieth century. The 51st dai, Dr. Sayyidna Tahir Saifuddin (1915–1965), was an accomplished scholar and capable organizer who revitalized the community during his half century of leadership and guided it through the tumultuous period of world wars and independence of nations. The present dai, H. H. Dr. Sayyidna Mohammed Burhanuddin, has continued his predecessor’s endeavors with particular emphasis on strengthening the community’s Islamic practices.

The religious hierarchy of the Daudi Bohras is headed by the dai mutlaq who is appointed by his predecessor in office. The dai appoints two others to the subsidiary ranks of madhun (licentiate) and mukasir (executor). These positions are followed by the rank of shaykh and mullah, both of which are held by hundreds of Bohras. An aamil (usually a graduate of the order’s institution of higher learning, al-Jamiah al-Sayfiyah) leads the local congregation. The local organizations administer the activities of the local Bohras and report directly to the central administration of the dai, called al-Dawah al-Hadiyah.

At the age of puberty every Bohra believer takes the traditional oath of allegiance, which requires the initiate to adhere to the shariah and accept the leadership of the imam and the dai. This oath is renewed annually. The Bohras follow the Fatimid school of jurisprudence that recognizes seven pillars of Islam, the first of which is walayah (love and devotion) for Allah, the Prophets, the imam, and the dai. The other six are tahrah (purity & cleanliness), salah (prayers), zakah (purifying religious dues), sawm (fasting), hajj (pilgrimage to Mecca), and jihad (holy war). Pilgrimages to the shrines of the saints are also an important part of the devotional life of Bohras.

Within their community, Daudi Bohras speak an arabicized form of Gujrati, called lisan al-dawah, which is permeated with Arabic words and written in Arabic script. They also follow a Fatimid lunar calendar, which fixes the number of days in each month.

Dawat-e-Hadiyah, Allah’s sovereignty over Heavens and Earth, is entrusted to the imam (who in the Ismaili tradition is known as the Hidden or Secluded Imam). In his absence, the Dawat-e-Hadiyah is headed by the Dai al-Mutlaq, the imam’s representative and vicegerent, the supreme head of the Dawoodi Bohra community. Today, al-Dai al-Fatimi, His Holiness Dr. Syedna Mohammed Burhanuddin (TUS), is the 52nd Dai al-Mutlaq, the latest in a chain of succession that commenced in 1138 c.e. He succeeded to the throne of Dawat in 1965 as the successor to his father, H. H. Dr. Syedna Taher Saifuddin, the 51st Dai al-Mutlaq.

In the United States, the affairs of Dawat-e-Hadiyah are carried out in accordance with the wishes and direction of the Dai al-Mutlaq through the Dawat-eHadiyah (America). Members of the Daudi Bohra community migrated to the United States in the 1950s with the encouragement, permission, and blessings of the Dai al-Mutlaq. There are now a number of communities across the United States and Canada.

Membership

Not reported. Daudi Bohras number about a million and reside in India, Pakistan, the Middle East, East Africa (since the eighteenth century), and the West (since the 1950s).

Sources

Shiah Fatimi Ismaili Tayyibi Dawoodi Bohra (Daudi Bohras). www.washingtondcjamaat.org.

Daftary, Farhad. A Short History of the Ismailis. Princeton, NJ: Marcus Wiener Publishers, 1998.

Sunni Muslims

c/o Islamic Center, 2551 Massachusetts Ave. NW, Washington, DC 20008

Alternate Address

The Council of Muslim Communities of Canada, PO Box 771, Station B, Willowdale, ON, Canada M2K 2R1.

The Islamic world, though concentrated in the Arab nations of the Middle East, stretches from Yugoslavia to Indonesia and includes not only a large part of the former U.S.S.R. but a growing community in Africa south of the Sahara. Since 1965, the Islamic community, which had been concentrated in the Midwest and a few eastern urban centers, has blossomed into a significant religious element of American life in every part of the United States. Literally millions of immigrants from Islamic Asia, Africa, and Europe have settled in North America and begun the generation-long process of building ethnic community centers and facilities for worship (often the same building).

Unlike much of Christendom, Islam is organized into a number of autonomous centers. Each center (which may be called a community center, a mosque, a musjid) tends to be dominated by one ethnic community, though outside the largest urban centers, where a variety of mosques can be found, centers have welcomed people of various nationalities into affiliation. Many of the major centers have periodicals, which have both a primary local audience and a national circulation. The mosque, headed by the imam (minister-teacher), is the basic center of Islam.

Above the level of the local centers, a variety of national and continental organizations have been formed to mobilize the various local Islamic communities, provide the public (largely ignorant of Islam) with information, and coordinate the activities (particularly the propagation of the faith) of the community at large. These organizations, whose membership will come from a variety of ethnic backgrounds, tend to be divided politically. Each organization will be ideologically aligned to, for example, different factions in the Middle East, and/or attuned to a more-or-less activist role in support of various concerns of the land from which they emigrated. Political activism is particularly noticeable in those groups that serve the large Muslim community on the nation’s campuses. Local centers often affiliate with several of the competing national associations.

Symbolic of Sunni Muslim presence in America is the Islamic Center in Washington, D.C. Begun in 1949, it took seven years to complete. It was officially opened in 1957. While begun as a center for diplomatic personnel, with financial support from seventeen countries, with the growth of Islam in North America it has become a place to which all American Sunnis look as a visible point of unity in the otherwise decentralized Islamic community. The importance of the center was dramatically underscored in the early 1980s when it was taken over by a group who supported the Iranian Revolution under the Ayatollah Khomeini and opposed the influence of the ambassadors from Saudi Arabia and other Islamic countries. The takeover disrupted the center for several years and led to the withdrawal of its prominent iman, Dr. Muhammad Abdul Rauf, a leading Islamic apologist in North America.

Among the oldest of the Canadian-United States organizations is the Federation of Islamic Organizations in the United States and Canada. It was founded in 1952, largely as a result of the efforts of Abdullah Ingram of Cedar Rapids, Iowa. He called a meeting attended primarily by Lebanese Muslims, representative of the older American Muslim centers, and formed the International Muslim Society, which two years later became the federation. The federation has as its goals the perpetuation of Islam and Muslim culture and the dissemination of correct information about Muslim society worldwide. It publishes a periodical, The Muslim Star, and holds annual conventions, usually in the Midwest. Federation accomplishments have been related to the fellowship of various Muslim centers across national and ethnic boundaries, and more activist groups, while acknowledging the contribution of the federation, saw the need for further organizations.

The Islamic Society of North America emerged in the early 1980s out of the Muslim Students Association originally founded in 1952. It represents a broadening focus of concern by former students who moved into roles of leadership in the Muslim, academic and professional communities in America. The society is headquartered at the Islamic Teaching Center, a large complex in suburban Indianapolis, from which it oversees the network of subsidiary organizations it has fostered and nurtured.

From its original goals, developed to assist graduate students temporarily in the United States for study to survive in a non-Muslim environment, the society has since 1975 refocused its attention on building Islamic structures among a permanent and growing North American Islamic population and actively propagating the faith among the non-Muslim public. To these ends, the society has established the Islamic Medical Association, the Association of Muslim Social Scientists, and the Association of Muslim Scientists and Engineers. It has published numerous books (including the proceedings of the many conferences it sponsors) and pamphlets (especially a set designed to introduce Islam to non-Muslims) and several periodicals, most prominently Al-Ittihad and Islamic Horizons. The Muslim Student Association continues as one department of the society. The Islamic Teaching Center is the main structure engaged in dawah, the propagation of the faith.

Possibly the most inclusive Islamic organization for Sunni Muslims is the Council of Islamic Organizations of America (both the Federation of Islamic Associations and the Islamic Society of North America are affiliates). The idea of the council emerged in 1973 at a meeting in Saudi Arabia. Then the Muslim World League, an international Muslim organization with offices in New York City, organized the first Islamic Conference of North America, which met April 22–24, 1977, in Newark, New Jersey. The council was organized at that gathering to meet primary needs for unity and coordination of the many Islamic centers in North America. In its lengthy list of goals, it set itself the task of fostering unity, establishing and propagating the faith in its fullness, perpetuating modest dress codes, assisting in building mosques and other facilities for Muslims, and funding various designated projects of broad Muslim interest.

Also in the 1970s, the Council of Imams in North America formed as a continentwide professional organization for the leaders of the various mosques and Islamic centers.

The several organizations mentioned above are but a few of the many new structures being established in the Muslim community. All of the organizations have been assisted by the development of Muslim publishing concerns, such as American Trust Publications, affiliated with the Islamic Society of North America; Kazi Publications in Chicago; and Crescent Publications, Tacoma Park, Maryland. As of the mid-1980s, however, the majority of English-language literature produced for the American Muslim community is still published overseas.

Membership

Estimates vary on the size of the Sunni Muslim community. As many as 400 mosques and centers have been counted. Approximately 3,000,000 immigrants from predominantly Muslim countries have come to the United States. Together with converts, including large followings in American black communities, the total number of Muslims approaches the size of the Jewish community.

Educational Facilities

American Islamic College, Chicago, Illinois.

Periodicals

Muslim Star • Islamic Horizons • al-Ittihad • The Minaret • Path of Righteousness • Al’Nourl • Islam Canada

Sources

Islamic Center. www.islamiccenterdc.com.

Abdalati, Hammudah. Islam in Focus. Indianapolis, IN: American Trust Publications, 1975.

Avdich, Kamal. Outline of Islam. Northbrook, IL: The Islamic Cultural Center, n.d.

Haneef, Suzanne. What Everyone Should Know about Islam and Muslims. Chicago: Kazi Publications, 1979.

Hussain, S. Mazhar, ed. Proceedings of the First Islamic Conference of North America. New York: Muslim World League, 1977.

Rauf, Muhammad Abdul. Islam, Creed and Worship. Washington, DC: Islamic Center, 1974.

Soddiqui, Moulana Mohammad Abdul-Aleem. Elementary Teachings of Islam. Tacoma Park, MD: Crescent Publications, n.d.

Tanzeem-e-Islami

c/o T.I.N.A. Center, 250 W. Saint Charles Rd., Villa Park, IL 62181-2430

Alternate Address

Tanzeem-e-Islami Pakistan, 67-A, Allama Iqbal Rd., Garhee Shahoo, Lahore.

Tanzeem-e-Islami grew out of the Indo-Pakistani branch of the Islamist revival of the twentieth century, which had as its keynote that the teachings of the Qur’an and those of the Sunnah (life and work) of the Prophet Muhammad must be implemented in their totality, especially in the public (social, cultural, juristic, political, economic) spheres of life. In India, the revival is traced to the works of Allama Muhammad Iqbal, Maulana Abul Kalam Azad, and most prominently Sayyid Abul A’la Mawdudi (1903–1979) and the Jamaat-e-Islami, which he founded in 1941. Following the creation of Pakistan (1947), Maududi and the Jamaat decided to take part in the country’s secular electoral process, a change from its earlier revolutionary methodology. Many perceived that the result of this change was the degeneration of the Jamaat from a revolutionary force into a mere political party. In 1975, Tanzeem-e-Islami was founded by Dr. Israr Ahmad (b.1932) to continue the original thrust of the Jamaat-e-Islami.

Ahmad, the son of a government employee, received his degree in Islamic Studies from the University of Karachi (1965). As a student he was influenced by Iqbal and Mawdudi, and later worked with the Jamaat-e-Islami. He resigned from the Jamaat in 1957 and continued to teach the Qur’an throughout Pakistan. A physician, Ahmad gave up his practice in 1971 in order to launch Tanzeem-eIslami. He has authored more than 60 books, nine of which have been translated into English. In 1967, he wrote a tract, “Islamic Renaissance: The Real Task Ahead,” to explain his basic ideas that the Islamic Renaissance necessarily implies the revitalizing of the imam (true faith and certitude) among the Muslims, particularly their intelligentsia, and the revitalization of imam is based on the propagation of the Qur’anic teachings in contemporary idiom, at the highest level of scholarship.

According to the Tanzeem-e-Islami perspective, the individual Muslim is obligated to develop real faith and conviction in his heart; to live a life of total obedience to the injunctions of the Islamic law (shari’ah); to propagate and disseminate the message of Islam; and to try his utmost to establish the ascendancy of Islam over all manmade systems of life. Tanzeem-e-Islami seeks to assist Muslims in carrying out these obligations.

In regard to propagating the faith, Tanzeem-e-Islami operates out of the spirit of Al-Deen Al-Naseeha (loyalty and sincerity toward each other) and organizes activity suggested by Al-Aqrabo Fal-Aqrab (i.e., one who is nearer should be given priority). Propagation extends from an individual to his family, his kith and kin, and then gradually his surroundings. Tanzeem-e-Islami seeks to supply the necessary religious teaching and training to this new generation. A most important task at the present moment is counteracting false beliefs and customs refuting the un-Islamic thoughts and philosophy of the modern age.

Tanzeem-e-Islam seeks the support of Sunni Muslims. Membership begins with the Baiy’ah or pledge of obedience (under the shari’ah) to the Ameer of Tanzeem-e-Islami, Dr. Israr Ahmad. At that time, the new member must promise to give up that which is considered disliked by Allah and will try to fulfill the obligations owed as a Muslim.

Tanzeem-e-Islami believes that the Western constitutional and democratic model is not suitable for the duty of struggling for the establishment of the Deen. In the baiyah system, one person gives a call that he is going to initiate the struggle for the Deen of Allah and invites people to join him. In this system, the leader (Ameer) is required to consult with his rufaqa (those who join him) but is not bound by any majority decisions. However, the Ameer is to be obeyed, though only within the bounds of the law.

Through the 1980s and 1990s, members of Tanzeem-e-Islami migrated to the United States and Canada. Offices are maintained in the Chicago and New York City metropolitan areas and in Montreal and Toronto, Canada. European centers are located in London and Paris. The organization has developed a radio and video broadcast through the Internet.

Membership

Not reported.

Educational Facilities

Quran College Lahore of Arts and Science, Lahore, Pakistan.

Periodicals

The Qur’anic Horizons.

Sources

Tanzeem-e-Islami. www.tanzeem.org.

Ahmad, Shagufta. Dr. Israr Ahmad’s Political Thought and Activities. Montreal, Canada: McGill University, M.A. thesis, 1993. Rpt.: Lahore, Pakistan, Markazi Anjuman Khuddam-ul-Quran Lahore, 1996.

United American Muslim Association

5911 8th Ave., Brooklyn, NY 11220

Alternate Address

United Canadian Muslim Association. 182 Rhodes Ave., Toronto ON, Canada M4L 3A1; Islamic Culture Center of Rochester. 853 Culver Rd., Rochester, NY 14609

United American Muslim Association was founded in 1980 by a group of predominantly Turkish-American residents of Brooklyn, New York. The association was formed concurrently with the purchase of the building that has become Fatih Mosque, the parent mosque of the organization. Several other mosques were subsequently formed, including one in Canada that now serves as the headquarters of the Canadian affiliate, the United Canadian Muslim Association.

The association provides Islamic education for students (including study of Turkish history and geography), and since 1995 has organized a summer camp for its youth. It supports two foundations: the Turkish American Educational and Cultural Foundation and the American Turkish Islamic Cultural Foundation. Female members have organized the Fatih Turkish American Woman Assembly.

Membership

Not reported. UAMA has two branches on Long Island and one each in Boston; Rochester, New York; New Jersey; Chicago; Pennsylvania; Delaware; and Connecticut; and its Canadian affiliate has two in Toronto and one each in Montreal and Vancouver.

Sources

United American Muslim Association. www.fatihcami.org.

United Submitters International

Box 43476, Tucson, AZ 85719

United Submitters International was founded by Rashad Khalifa (1935–1990), the imam (supreme leader) of a Muslim center in Tucson, Arizona. Born in Egypt, Khalifa was the son of a Sufi master in the Shadhili Order. He was trained in the natural sciences and moved to the United States in 1959 to study at the University of California at Riverside. He received a Ph.D. in biochemistry in the early 1960s. He married an American in 1963 and later became a citizen. While pursuing his career as an agricultural biochemist, he also conducted private research on the Qur’an, the Muslim bible. The results were first published in 1973 as Miracle of the Quran: Significance of the Mysterious Alphabets.

Khalifa was convinced of the miraculous nature of the Qur’an and his writing was a defense of this belief. His early writing was given broad coverage in the Islamic press because of his claims of scientific proof of the Qur’an’s miraculousness. Using a computer, he discovered what he believed was a complex mathematical coding within the book. He concluded that it was organized around the number 19, that the organization was so complex that no human being could have worked it out (the keystone for his argument of its divine element), and that only with the arrival of the computer could we now see the mathematical sophistication of it. He expanded upon this basic notion in a second and more popular book in 1981, The Computer Speaks: God’s Message to the World.

While defending the Qur’an, Khalifa also began to attack some basic Islamic affirmations. He suggested that two verses of the Qur’an were satanic insertions in the text. He attacked Muslims for their following the Hadith and the Sunna, both of which he saw as human inventions working against the Qur’an. He said it was idolatrous to venerate Muhammad and his writings. He also suggested that he was a messenger just as were Abraham and Muhammad. He claimed that on December 21, 1971, his soul was taken somewhere and introduced to all the prophets and they in turn designated him the “Apostle of the Covenant.” His opinions concerning the Hadith and Sunna correlated with his notions of assimilation into Western society as he opposed the dress codes, the segregation of men and women, and other prohibitions they articulated. While many appreciated his work on the Qur’an, others denounced his ideas, questioning his authority and the unworthiness of the Hadith and Sunna. He was labeled a heretic and charlatan.

In the midst of the controversy, Khalifa found many supporters. Around 1979 he became the imam of a masjid (mosque) in Tucson, Arizona, and began a magazine, Submitters Perspective. He used his position to argue against the slavish adherence to what he saw as outdated Islamic practice. He was attacked by leading Muslim thinkers such as Ahmed Deedat of South Africa, Abu Ameenah Bilal Phillips, and Muzammil Saddiqi.

On January 31, 1990, Khalifa was murdered. James Williams, a member of an ultraconservative Muslim group, Al-Fuqra, was later arrested and convicted of Khalifa’s murder. The center in Tucson has continued with a collective leadership and followers of its martyred imam can be found in Phoenix, Arizona, Southern California, and British Columbia.

Membership

Not reported.

Periodicals

Submitters Perspective.

Sources

United Submitters International. www.masjidtucson.org.

Haddad, Yvonne Yazbeck, and Jane Idleman Smith. Mission to America: Five Islamic Sectarian Communities in North America. Gainesville, FL: University Press of Florida, 1993. 226 pp.

Hosenball, Mark. “Another Holy War: Waged on American Soil.” Newsweek 123, 9 (February 28, 1994): 30–31.

Khalifa, Rashad. The Computer Speaks: God’s Message to the World. Tucson, AZ: Renaissance Productions International, 1981. 263 pp.

———. Miracle of the Quran: Significance of the Mysterious Alphabets. St. Louis, MO: Islamic Productions International, 1973.

———. Quran: The Final Testament. Tucson, AZ: Islamic Productions International, 1989.

———. Quran, Hadith, and Islam. Tucson, AZ: Islamic Productions International, 1982.

Quran: The Final Scripture. Trans. by Rashad Khalifa. Tucson, AZ: Islamic Productions, 1981. 525 pp.

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"Islam." Melton's Encyclopedia of American Religions. . Encyclopedia.com. 29 Nov. 2018 <https://www.encyclopedia.com>.

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Islam

Islam

Islam is the religion of Muslims. The word, which literally means "submission," signifies that human beings should, instead of taking the path of confrontation with God, surrender to his will and accept him as the lord and master of their lives. It also means "peace," and this meaning is related to the first in that submission to God is supposed to bring peace to human beings in this life and the next. Islam is ordinarily associated with the name of the seventh-century Arabian prophet Muhammad. However, it claims to have been the religion of all prophets—even those who preceded Muhammad. What is meant is that all prophets taught submission to God and promised peace as a result of that submission.


Muhammad

Muhammad (ca. 570–632), who was born in Mecca and belonged to its ruling tribe, Quraysh, began preaching Islam after receiving his first revelation in 610. The message criticized Arab idolatry and called for a return to the religion of Abraham, whom the Arabs acknowledged both as their great ancestor and as their religious and spiritual leader. The Quraysh were at first indifferent but became concerned, even alarmed, upon noticing that Muhammad was gaining dedicated converts. Though undeterred by the Quraysh's persecution of them, the Prophet and his followers migrated to Medina, to the north, when an opportunity of establishing a foothold in that wartorn city presented itself. In Medina the Muslims became the dominant element and, after a series of battles with the Quraysh, conquered Mecca in 630, two years before Muhammad's death. In a short time almost all of Arabia embraced Islam. Muhammad is regarded as the last prophet and is believed to have lived an exemplary life, which Muslims try to emulate.


Sources

The fundamental sources of Islam are two—the Qur'an, the name by which the collective revelations of Muhammad are known; and Muhammad's sunna, or exemplary conduct. Broadly speaking, the Qur'an is the source of dogma, whereas the sunna furnishes details of Islamic praxis in its ideal form. The sunna is available to us in the form of hadith, which consists of Muhammad's sayings and actions as transmitted by Muhammad's companions. A clear distinction is made between the Qur'an, the Word of God; and hadith, the word of Muhammad. Hadith, however, is essential to the exposition and understanding of the Qur'an. The Qur'an and hadith are the two principal sources of Islamic law, though analogy (precedent-based reasoning) and consensus (scholarly agreement on the solution to a given problem) are also recognized as being important.


Beliefs

Islam is often presented as a complete code of Islam—which is to say that Islam contains not only a belief system but also commandments pertaining to all spheres of practical life. Islamic dogma consists of three major beliefs: monotheism (there is only one God), prophecy (a series of persons were chosen by God to convey his message to humankind), and the afterlife (human beings will be resurrected, judged, and sent to Heaven or Hell depending on their performance in this world). Belief in angels and scriptures is also enjoined. But the first—belief in angels as creatures and servants of God—can be taken as a corrective to the idolatrous Arabs' view of them as God's daughters and thus subsumed under monotheism, whereas the second—that scriptures were revealed to some of the prophets—can be regarded as a supplement to the belief in prophecy. Called the Articles of Faith, these beliefs are often expounded in great detail by Muslim theologians but are essentially simple, which accounts for their enduring appeal. They are summed up in the Islamic Testimony: There is no god but God, and Muhammad is His messenger.


Rituals

Islamic religious practice takes the form of four main rituals, called the Pillars of Islam (the Islamic Testimony, on which they are grounded, is regarded as the fifth Pillar). They are: prayer (to be performed five times a day in a prescribed manner), fasting (during Ramadan, the ninth month of the Islamic lunar calendar), welfare due (mandatory charity, to be given once a year according to a certain formula), and pilgrimage (performed at the Kaʿbah in Mecca at least once in one's lifetime). Taken together, the rituals will be seen to involve bodily exertion, spiritual and mental concentration, and expense of time and money; they call for serious commitment by the individual. But they also have a social and egalitarian dimension. In prayer, for example, rich and poor Muslims stand shoulder to shoulder behind a prayer leader who is not a priest and who may belong to any social class. Likewise, the welfare due seeks to help the poor and the needy in society.


Disciplines of Knowledge

As the fundamental text of Islam, the Qur'an had to be studied carefully. Preoccupation with the Word of God led to the rise of the discipline of Qur'an exegesis, with a large number of commentaries—some comprehensive, others specialized—being produced. Focus on the legislative and doctrinal material in the Qur'an gave rise to the sciences of law and theology (and the latter in turn to the rise of philosophy), whereas the spiritual teachings of the scriptures paved the way for mysticism. Since Muhammad was believed to have lived an ideal life worthy of emulation by Muslims and expounded the Qur'an through his words and actions, the fields of sira (Muhammad's biography) and hadith were developed both as aids to understanding the Qur'an and as possessing intrinsic importance and value. Interest in the life of the Prophet soon grew into an interest in the lives of other distinguished persons and in the careers of nations, and so biography and historiography were developed. Finally, the Qur'anic exhortation to study nature as the handiwork of God and as containing signs and evidence of the glory and mercy of God provided an impetus to the growth of natural sciences. The Islamic religious, social, and natural sciences are thus informed by a certain orientational and conceptual unity that ultimately derives from the Qur'an.

Major Issues in Islamic Thought

One issue each from theology, philosophy, and mysticism will be cited. A principal concern of the Muslim theologians was to explain the scope of human freedom in view of the divine omnipotence stressed in the Qur'an. Most theologians, while conceding that human freedom is necessary to meaningful moral behavior in this world and also to reward and punishment in the next, were inclined to accept a more or less predestinarian view, although a strong libertarian undercurrent has always been present. In philosophy Muslim thinkers sought to harmonize Islamic faith with Greek thought, but they ran into difficulties on such issues as the eternity of the world and were severely criticized by the orthodox for selling Islam short. In mysticism a reaction against legalism and formalism led many sensitive people to draw on the spiritual sources of the religion to have a more personal experience of God. Overall, Muslim intellectuals have tried to realize the ideals and norms of a monotheistic religion in different areas of thought and life.


Spread of Islam

After its establishment on the Arabian peninsula, Islam spread quickly outside. Iran, Iraq, and Syria were conquered early, as were parts of Central Asia, and successful military operations were mounted in North Africa, Spain, and India. Muhammad was succeeded by four caliphs (632–661), whom the Sunnites reverently remember as the "rightly guided caliphs" (cf. the Shiʿite view below). They were followed by the Umayyad (661–750) and ʿAbbasid (750–1258 and later) dynasties. But more remarkable than the physical expansion was the acculturation of the large numbers of new converts. For example, Arabic became the lingua franca of the Muslim world—almost all of the primary sources of Islam, no matter where produced, are in Arabic—and possession of knowledge of the Qur'an and hadith gave anyone a position of respect in society. Likewise, well-defined rituals and values arising out of a set of simple beliefs imparted a basic unity of thought and approach in the theoretical and practical domains of life; and an essentially egalitarian society, by facilitating physical mobility, social interaction, and intellectual advancement—especially in cosmopolitan areas—opened up new opportunities, making Islam a desirable choice for the non-Muslim citizens. Today there are more than fifty countries, mostly in Asia and Africa, with substantial numbers of Muslims. Most Muslims are not Arabs (Arabs form only about 20 percent of the world Muslim population). In the modern period, until a few decades ago, large parts of the Muslim world were under colonial domination, and their economic and political systems have been heavily influenced by those of the colonizing countries. Problems of poverty, illiteracy, and oppressive political and economic structures plague many Muslim countries, but there are signs that a general reawakening, with a definite Islamic component, is occurring in many places. In many countries young Muslims are trying to rediscover their Islamic roots; the demand for Islamic literature—both classical and modern—is high; and a determination to implement Islamic law is noticeable.

Sunnites and Shiʿites

Islamic society was not without its problems, though. An early split was to have profound theological and political consequences. The Shiʿites (literally "partisans") believe that prophets are succeeded by infallible leaders and guides known as imams. The largest Shiʿite sect believes in a series of twelve imams beginning with ʿAli, Muhammad's cousin and son-in-law and fourth caliph after him, and ending with an imam who went into a state of occultation in the 870s but who is expected to make a triumphal return at the end of time. Most Shiʿites reject the caliphate of the first three of the rightly guided caliphs and interpret Islamic history differently from the Sunnites. Twelver Shiʿism has become a powerful political force in Iran since the 1979 revolution there.


Islam in America

The Muslims in America number about six million. They can be divided into two categories, indigenous and immigrant. In the 1930s Elijah Muhammad founded the Nation of Islam, criticizing the whites as devils and preaching a black supremacist doctrine. Malcolm X, a prominent member of the party, made the pilgrimage to Mecca, where he saw the Islamic egalitarian principle at work. Upon his return he renounced allegiance to Elijah Muhammad and supported mainstream Islam; he was assassinated in suspicious circumstances. After Elijah Muhammad's death in 1975, his son Warith Deen Muhammad gradually brought the Nation of Islam into mainstream Islam, although a group under Louis Farrakhan clung to the old philosophy; this latter group is not regarded by most Muslims as holding the right views.

The immigrants came to America in several waves. The early decades of the twentieth century saw the arrival of many Arab workers in the automotive and steel industries. In the middle decades students arrived, and then professionals, both groups representing a wider spectrum of the world Muslim population. Today the immigrant Muslims can be divided into two main groups—those from Arab countries and those from the Indian subcontinent. On the whole, the immigrants have been quite active in building mosques, schools, and Islamic centers. With their strong educational background and diversified vocational expertise they are relatively more resourceful and have taken the initiative in launching Islamic projects. But whether indigenous or immigrant, the American Muslims have several common problems. There is, for example, the issue of integration: To what extent may they assimilate to mainstream American society without losing their religious identity? There is also concern about giving the younger generation an Islamic education that is meaningful in the American context. Media coverage of Islam and Muslims is usually negative, and stereotypes abound. Several Muslim organizations now monitor anti-Muslim portrayals in literature, films, and public and private institutions, and some progress has been made in this regard.


See alsoAllah; Farrakhan, Louis; Imam; Islamic Circleof North America; Islamic Societyof North America; Malcolm X; Mecca; Mosque; Muhammad, Elijah Karriem; Muhammad, Warith Deen; Mullah; Muslim Brotherhood; Mysticism; Nationof Islam; Qur'an; Ritual.

Bibliography

Esposito, John L. Islam, the Straight Path, 3rd ed. 1998.

Haddad, Yvonne Yazbeck, and Adair T. Lummis. Islamic Values in the United States: A Comparative Study. 1987.

Watt, W. Montgomery. The Formative Period of IslamicThought. 1973.

Wormser, Richard. American Islam: Growing Up Muslimin America. 1994.

Mustansir Mir

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Islam

Islam

2094

Al Qaeda

Current address not obtained for this edition.

Al Qaeda (literally, "The Base," variously spelled Al Qa'ida, or Al-Qa'idah), was founded by a wealthy Arabian, Osama bin Laden (b. 1957). While enjoying some support in the United States in the 1990s, its status was called into question when it was implicated by U.S. government officials in a series of terrorist actions culminating in the attacks on American embassies in Kenya and Tanzania (1998). Then on September 11, 2001, agents connected to Al Qaeda carried out the bombings of the Pentagon in suburban Washington D.C., and the World Trade Center in New York City. In response the American president, George W. Bush, moved to activate the coalition similar to the one that supported the Gulf War a decade earlier. In October 2001, the United States and its allies opened military operations against Al Qaeda, then based in Afghanistan, and its allies, the Taliban, who then ruled Afghanistan. This operation has brought down the Taliban government and disrupted the Al Qaeda network, though the current status of the organization remains a matter of some speculation. (There is no evidence that Al Qaeda has existed in the United States as more than small cells of operatives sent into the country for temporary missions. Given the impact of the events of September 11, 2001, on both the secular and religious community, it has been deemed important to summarize information concerning Al Qaeda.)

The development of Al Qaeda has depended in a large part on the career of Osama bin Laden. He was born the son of a wealthy Saudi businessman and his Syrian wife. While attending King Abdu Aziz University, he met Abdullah Azzam (1941-1989), a Jordanian who had joined the university faculty and Muhammad Qutb, the brother of Sayyid Qutb (1906-1966). Both were leading figures in the Islamist movement, a reactionary Muslim movement that had developed in Egypt following the final collapse of the Islamic Empire in the years after World War II and the division of its territories into various independent countries. They looked toward the reestablishment of the Empire and place the blame for its fall on the West. Islamists also staunchly opposed the rise of the state of Israel and the occupation of Afghanistan by Soviet forces. Azzam and Qutb introduced Islamist thought to bin Laden.

In 1980, bin Laden relocated to Afghanistan where he raised money for the forces resisting the Soviets. In 1984, he established the House of the Faithful (Beit-al-Ansar) in Peshawar, Pakistan, that served as a base of operation for the anti-Soviet forces. He traveled widely and created a large internatioanl network of support. In 1989, the same year the Soviets pulled out of Afghanistan, he founded Al Qaeda.

In 1991, bin Laden made common cause with Hassan al-Turabi, the leader of the National Islamic Front (NIF), an Islamist political party that had assisted the military takover of Sudan. Bin Laden move to Sudan, and while there expanded Al Qaeda as an organization dedicated to bring th fruition the Islamist ideal. He created a number of businesses to support his program that gradually expanded to include centers for the training of people in Guerilla warfare and terrorism. In 1996, bin Laden returned to Afghanistan where he would enjoy the approbation of the new ruling force, the Taliban. He supplied the Taliban with funds for a spectrum of actitities from the arming of its forces to the building of new mosques.

In 1996, bin Laden also issued the first of his legal rulings (called a fatwa) highlighting aggressive actions directed against the Muslim world. He was particularly concerned with the United States and directed particular animus at his home country and America for their mutual role in the Gulf War and, the subsequent stationing of American troops in Saudi Arabia in the years after the war. He stated, "The latest and the greatest of these aggressions incurred by the Muslims since the death of the Prophet (Allah's blessings and salutations be upon Him) is the occupation of the land of the two Holy Places, the foundation of the house of Islam, the place of revelation, the source of the message and the place of the noble Ka'ba, the Qiblah of all Muslims, by the armies of the American Crusaders and their allies."

Two years later, bin Laden, speaking for Al Qaeda and the World Islamic Front, a network of groups aligned with it, activated the core of its network for the issuing of the now famous manifesto, the "Ruling (fatwa) against the Jews and Crusaders (Americans)." He charged the United States with various sins related to its support for Israel and otherwise meddling in Middle East affairs beginning with the continuing affront, that "for over seven years the United States has been occupying the lands of Islam in the holiest of places, the Arabian Peninsula, plundering its riches, dictating to its rulers, humiliating its people, terrorizing its neighbors, and turning its which to fight the neighboring Muslim peoples."

The World Islamic Front includes the Jihad Movement in Eqypt, the Egyptian Islamic Group the Jamiat-ul-Ulema-e-Pakistan, and the Jihad Movement in Bangladesh. There cause is what had variously been termed Islamism, or popularly in the West, Islamic fundamentalism. Islamists have as their goal the removal of Western influence (both politically and culturally) in the Muslim world and restoring the rule of Islamic Law in Muslim countries. The group of the World Islamic Front has been distinguished from other Islamist groups in the Indo-Pakistani region by its adoption of a platform that includes a justification for undertaking violence (including terrorism) in the pursuit of their cause.

Bin Laden and the World Islamic Front has called upon Muslims everywhere to join their fight against the Americans (and their allies), "The ruling to kill the Americans and their allies—-civilians and military—-is an individual duty for every Muslim who can do it in any country in which it is possible to do it, in order to liberate the al-Aqsa Mosque (in Jerusalem) and the holy mosque (in Mecca) from their grip, and in order for their armies to move out of all the lands of Islam, defeated and unable to threaten any Muslim."

Al Qaeda is headed by bin Laden, its Amir. Following a common Muslim organizational pattern, the Amir is assisted by a consultative council called the Majlis-e Shura. Among the members of this council is Ayman al-Zawahiri, a former leaer of the Egyptian Jihad, the group linked to the assassination of Egyptian president Anwar Sadat in 1981.

The activity of Al Qaeda, its Amir, and its council was disrupted late in 2001 following the operation begun by the United States and its allies in response to the events of September 11. The Taliban leadership in Afghanistan came to an abrupt end and its leadership along with that of Al Qaeda went into hiding. The present status of the leaders of both organizations and their level of activity remains questionable. Bin Laden and the Al Qaeda are international fugitives sought by a number of governments.

Membership: Not reported.

Sources:

Bergen, Peter L. Holy War, Inc.: Inside the Secret World of Osama bin Laden. New York: The Free Press, 2001. 281 pp.

bin Laden, Osama. "Jihad Against Jews and Crusaders." http://www.fas.org/irp/world/para/docs/980223-fatwa.htm. 1 November 2001.

——. "Ladenese Epistle: Declaration of War." http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/articles/A4342-2001Sep21.html. 1 November 2001.

Gwynne, Rosalind. "Al-Qa'ida and Al-Qur'an: The ′Tafsir' of Usamah bin Ladin." http://webutk.edu/~warda/binladinandquran.htm. 1. November 2001.

Jansen, Johannes J. The Neglected Duty: The Creed of Sadat's Assassins and Islamic Resurgence in the Middle East. New York: Macmillan Co.,1986. 246 pp.

The Jihad Fixation: Agenda, Strategy, Portents. Delhi, India: Wordsmiths, 2001. 424 pp.

Juergenmeyer, Mark. Terror in the Mind of God: The Global Rise of Religious Violence. Berkeley: University of California Press, 2001.

Kramer, Martin. "Fundamentalist Islam at Large: The Drive for Power." Middle East Quarterly (June 1996) http://meforum.org/meq/june96/kramer.shtml. 1 November 2001. Rashid, Ahmed. Taliban: Militant Islam, Oil and Fundamentalism in Central Asia. New Haven, CT: Yale University Press, 2001. 279 pp.

2095

al-Ummah

c/o Altanta Community Mosque
547 W. End Pl.
Atlanta, GA 30310

Al-Ummah is the official name of the association of mosques that have gathered around the person of Imam Jamil al-Amin (b.1943), better known to the general public as civil rights activist H. Rap Brown. Imam Jamil was born Hubert Gerold Brown in Baton Rouge, Louisiana. In 1966 he became a field organizer for the Student Nonviolent Coordinating Committee (SNCC) in Greene County, Alabama, and the following year was became SNCC's new chairman following the ouster of Stokely Carmichael. In 1968, he became the minister of justice for the Black Panther Party.

In jail in 1971, Brown converted to Islam. Upon his release in 1976, he went on pilgrimage to Mecca, Saudi Arabia, and then settled in the West End section of Atlanta, Georgia, and opened the Atlanta Community Mosque. Meanwhile, another movement in the African American community, Dar al-Islam had been founded in 1963, and in 1980 had split into various factions. In 1983, some 30 of the Dar al-Islam mosques united with the Atlanta Community Mosque to form a coalition around Brown, now known as Imam Jamil al Amin. He is credited with moving the group into the Islamic mainstream. He reached out to those mosques that followed the ministry of Imam W. Deen Mohammed following the demise of the old Nation of Islam.

Though out of the American public's spotlight, Imam Jamil al Amin rose to a position of prominence in the Islamic world. In 1990 he became the vice-president of the American Muslim Council In 1993, his group became a charter member of the Islamic Shura Council of North America (along with the Islamic Society of North America, the Islamic Circle of North America, and The Ministry of Imam W. Deen Mohammed). He would alter become the chairman of the Shura Council.

In 2001, Iman Jamil once again became the center of public attention when he was arrested in Atlanta for the murder of a police officer near the grocery store he has opened. Tried the following year, he was convicted, in spite of The confession of another man to the crime and the protest of the proceedings and support for him by the larger Muslim community.

Membership: Not reported. In 2002, there were some 35 mosques affiliated with al-Ummah.

Sources:

Amin, Imam Jamil al. Revolution by the Book: The Rap is Live. Beltsville, MD: Writers Inc., International, 1993.

Brown, H. Rap. Die Nigger, Die!. New York: Dial Press, 1969.

Iman Jamil (unofficial). http://www.imamjamil.com/. 23 April 2002.

Visseer, Steve, and Lateef Mungin. "Al-Amin's life now on the line: Jury must decide his sentence for murder." Atlanta-Journal Constitution. 3March 2001.

2096

Federation of Islamic Associations in the United States and Canada

25231 5 Mile Rd.
Redford Township, MI 48239

Federation of Islamic Associations in the United States and Canada was established in 1952 at Cedar Rapids, Iowa, as a fellowship of mosques and Muslim communities, the oldest such association in North America. The immediate goals were to promote of the spirit, ethics, and philosophy of Islam, to engage in cooperative activities, and to maintain contact with the rest of the Muslim world. The have subsequently enlarged their concerns to include the publication of Islamic materials and develop media for the needs of local Muslim centers.

The federation has worked to enlighten non-Muslims about Islamic belief and practice and encourage cordial relations between Muslims and their neighbors of other faiths.

The federation holds an annual convention. It periodically tries to speak on issues of public interest for its constituency.

Membership: Not reported.

Sources:

Federation of Islamic Associations in the United States and Canada. http://www.islamerica.com/. 23 April 2002.

2097

His Highness Prince Aga Khan Shia Imani Ismaili Council for the United States of America

PO Box 77
Rego Park, NY 11374

The Shia Imami Ismaili Muslims, generally known as the Ismailis, belong to the Shia branch of Islam, one of the two major branches of Islam, the Sunni being the other. The Ismailis live in more than 25 different countries, mainly in Asia, Africa, and the Middle East, as well as in the West.

As Muslims, the Ismailis affirm the fundamental Islamic Testimony of Truth, the Shahada, that there is no god but Allah and that Muhammad is His Messenger. They believe that Muhammad was the last and final prophet of Allah, and that the Holy Quran, Allah's final message to mankind, was revealed through him.

In common with other Shia Muslims, the Ismailis affirm that after the Prophet's death, Hazrat Ali, the Prophet's cousin and sonin-law, became the first Imam—the spiritual leader—of the Muslim community and that this spiritual leadership (known as Imamat) continues thereafter by heredity through Ali and his wife Fatima, the Prophet's daughter. Sucession to Imamat, according to Shia doctrine and tradition, is by way of Nass (designation), it being the absolute prerogative of the Imam of the time to appoint his successor from amongst any of his male descendants whether they be sons or remoter issue.

His Highness Prince Karim Aga Khan is the 49th hereditary Imam of the Shia Imami Ismaili Muslims. He was born on December 13, 1936, in Geneva, son of Prince Aly Khan and Princess Tajuddawlah Aly Khan and spent his early childhood in Nairobi, Kenya. He attended Le Rosey School in Switzerland for nine years and graduated from Harvard in 1959 with a B.A. in Islamic History. He succeeded his grandfather Sir Sultan Mahomed Shah Aga Khan on July 11, 1957, at the age of 20.

Among the major contributions to the growth of Islamic civilization made by the Ismailis are the University of al-Azhar and the Academy of Science, Dar al-Ilm, in Egypt. Indeed the city of Cairo itself is a testimony to their contribution. Among the renowned philosophers, jurists, physicians, mathematicians, astronomers, and scientists of the past who flourished under the patronage of Ismaili Imams are Qadi al-Numan, al-Kirmani, Ibn al Haytham (al-Hazen), Nasir-e-Khusraw, and Nasir al-Din Tusi. In more recent times, the 48th Imam, Sir Sultan Mahomed Shah Aga Khan, has been recognized for his contribution to the Muslim world and his efforts to promote international understanding, especially as the President of the League of Nations (1937-1938), the forerunner of the United Nations.

Spiritual allegiance to the Imam and adherence to the Shia Imami Ismaili tariqa (persuasion) of Islam according to the guidance of the Imam of the time, have engendered in the Ismaili community an ethos of self-reliance, unity, and a common identity. In a number of countries of their residence, the Ismailis have evolved a well-defined institutional framework through which they have, under the leadership and guidance of the Imam, made notable progress in the educational, health, housing and economic spheres, establishing schools, hospitals, health centers, housing societies, and a variety of social and economic development institutions for the common good of all citizens regardless of their race or religion. Programs and institutions established or expanded in recent years by the present Aga Khan, as Imam of the Ismailis, include the Aga Khan Foundation, the Aga Khan University, the Aga Khan Education Services, the Aga Khan Health Services, the Aga Khan Fund for Economic Development, and the Aga Khan Trust for Culture, all of which seek to contribute to the progress and development of the many nations where the Ismailis live, as well as the third world generally.

The Aga Khan Foundation is a noncommunal development agency committed to promoting sustainable and equitable social development. The foundation provides grants and technical assistance to people and institutions that are evolving innovative approaches to pressing social and environmental problems. Its particular emphasis is on health, education, and rural development in the low-income countries of Asia and Africa. The foundation, which has affiliates in Canada and the United States, collaborates with more than 30 other national and international organizations in financing development programs, including the Canadian International Development Agency (CIDA), the Commission for European Communities, the Overseas Development Administration in the United Kingdom, UNICEF, the U.S. Agency for International Development (AID), and the World Health Organization (WHO).

The Aga Khan University, chartered in 1983 as the first private university in Pakistan, dedicates itself to the establishment and maintenance of internationally accepted standards of education while addressing itself to problems of particular relevance to developing countries. The Aga Khan Unviersity's Faculty of Health Sciences, which includes a Medical College and a School of Nursing located in Karachi, seeks through strong academic, clinical, and community health training to graduate doctors and nurses who are better equipped to respond to the primary health care needs of the third world. Clinical training facilities for the Medical College and the School of Nursing are located at the 650-bed Aga Khan University teaching hospital in Karachi which opened in November 1985. Formal agreements for collaboration by the Medical College have been concluded with three major universities— Harvard, McGill, and McMaster—underlining the commitment of the University towards a high standard of endeaver. The Aga Khan University will establish additional faculties in other countries and is currently exploring alternatives for developing the University's international dimensions.

The Again Khan Education Services operates more than 300 institutions and programs from day care centers to unversity-level education, catering to some 50,000 students, the majority of whom are non-Ismaili. More than 5,000 students benefit from various Aga Khan scholarship programs.

The Aga Khan Health Services consists of more than 200 health care units and programs in the developing world, including maternity homes, primary care centers, diagnostic clinics, dispensaries, and five general hospitals. More than two million outpatients a year, the majority of whom are non-Ismaili, receive services through these institutions.

The Aga Khan Fund for Economic Development is committed to the support of economic development activities in the third world through the promotion of projects in the private sector, primarily through equity participation in third world enterprises, to increase productivitiy and raise standards of living. The fund also collaborates with national and international agencies in the promotion of development institutions. Since 1963, more than 100 new enterprises, ranging from building materials and textiles to mining and tourism which today employ some 10,000 people, have been established in East, West, and Central Africa, as well as in Asia.

The Aga Khan Trust for Culture focuses attention on contemporary expressions of the Islamic humanistic tradition, concentrating largely on the built environment. The triennial Aga Khan Award for Architecture and its associated program of seminars encourages architectural excellence in an effort to enrich the physical environment of the Islamic world, while the Aga Khan Program for Islamic Architecture at Harvard University and the Massachusetts Institute of Technology provide graduate education to a new generation of architects, planners, and researchers.

The Ismailis first arrived in the United States in the early 1960s. The majority were students from the developing world who in the post-independence years came to study at institutions of higher learning. In the 1970s, largely as a result of political instability in parts of Africa and Asia, the community's numbers in the United States increased significantly. Their education, linguistic, and professional skills have helped Ismailis to assimilate easily into the American social fabric. Today, Ismailis are settled throughout the country, and the community is administered by the Ismaili Council for the United States of America, based in New York. There are also local councils which operate under the direction of the national council in different regions of the country. Each council has portfolio members for community programs in such fields as education, health, youth and sports activities, economic development, and social welfare, who endeavor to secure continuing improvements in the quality of life of the community and assist it to make an effective contribution to the societies it lives amongst.

Membership: Not reported.

Periodicals: The American Ismaili. Send orders to 3021 Margaret Mitchell Dr., No. 8, NW, Atlanta, GA 30327.

Sources:

Daftary, Farhad. A Short History of the Ismailis. Princeton, NJ: Marcus Wiener Publishers, 1998.

Howell, Georgina. "The Story of K." Vanity Fair 51, no. 6 (June 1988): 100-108, 173-179.

Nanji, Azim. "The Nizari Ismaili Muslim Community in North America; Background and Development." In The Muslim Community in North America, Edited by Earle H. Waugh, Baha Abu-Laban, and Regula B. Qureshi. Edmonton, AB: University of Alberta Press, 1883.

Williams, Raymond Brady. Religions of Immigrants from India and Pakistan: New Threads of the American Tapestry. New York: Cambridge University Press, 1988.

2098

Islamic Assembly of North America (IANA)

3588 Plymouth Rd., No. 270
Ann Arbor, MI 48105

The Islamic Assembly of North America (IANA) was founded in 1993 by a group of American Muslims from various Muslim centers concerned with the propagation of Islam (dawah) in the United States. They shared a view that a combined effort was needed and that cooperative activity produced far greater results that of individuals.

At the time of its founding, a set of goals were adopted that included work to unify and coordinate the efforts of the different dawah-oriented organizations in North America; to observe the current events in the Muslim world and analyze them in relation to the situation of American Muslims; to assist scholars, Islamic workers and Muslim masses in any locality who are facing discrimination or persecution; to develop an effective media institute to serve North American Muslims; to direct dawah to youth; and create programs and institutions for English-speaking Muslims.

Important to IANA is the application of what is considered the correct Islamic methodology as derived from the Book of Allah (Qur'an) and the sunnah (life and work) of the Messenger of Allah, according to the understanding and application of the early pious forefathers.

As part of its effort, IANA opened an office in Austin, Texas, from which to begin radio broadcasts. In 1999 they it began live broadcasting through the Internet. The al-Hamdulillah program donated Islamic books to prison libraries. The assembly distributes a copy of the Qur'an especially to non-Muslims and, among other titles, has published a book on Jesus from a Muslim standpoint.

Membership: Not reported.

Periodicals: Almanar Magazine.

Sources:

Abdullah, Misha'aliban ibn. What did Jesus Really Say? Plymouth, MI: IANA, 1996.

Islamic Assembly of North America. http://www.iananet.org/. 23 April 2002.

2099

Islamic Circle of North America

166-26 89th Ave.
Jamaica, NY 11432

Islamic Circle of North America (ICNA), founded in the mid-1970s, includes a number of mosques across the United States who have as their goal the establishment of the Iqamat-ud-Deen (the Islamic system of life) as defined in the Qur'an and the Sunnah (life and works) of the Prophet Muhammad. ICNA has its base in the American Pakistani community and draws its inspiration from the Islamic revivalist movement in Pakistan, especially the Jamaate-Islami and the Tablighi Jama'at. The circle has developed an outward-looking program for the propagation of Islam in North America that includes activities aimed at the increase of Islamic knowledge and the enhancement of the character and the skills of those associated with ICNA. To that end, ICNA supports efforts for civil liberties and socio-economic justice in the society and encourages programs that serve the needy both in North America and around the world.

To embody it concern for spreading Islam, ICNA has developed what is termed the "Why Islam?" project, developed by circle members in New Jersey, and produced a set of pamphlets that deal with the Islamic option over against the many other competing philosophies, religions, and "isms." The project operates through a toll free number, the Islamic Circle's website, an outreach to prison inmates, and the distribution of the pamphlets by various avenues.

Those associated with the circle are expected to study the Qur'an, the Hadith and other Islamic literature regularly, spend a minimum of four hours each month on dawah (propagation) work; to invite at least two persons to become ICNA members every year; contribute in support of the group; and weekly invite at least one Muslim to come to the weekly prayer service at the ICNA center.

The circle is headed by its Ameer, Dr. Zulfiqar Ali Shah, the Secretary General, Naeem Baig and the Central Shura (Council). The sisters' Wing (women's organization) of ICNA has founded the Institute of Islamic Learning in which women may be trained in Islam. The circle was one of the founding member of the Islamic Shura Council of North America, a cooperative organization that includes the Ministry of Imam W. Deen Mohammed, al-Ummah (the community of Imam Jamil al-Amin), and the Islamic Society of North America.

Membership: Not reported.

Periodicals: The Message.

Sources:

Islamic Circle of North America. http://www.icna.com/. 23 April 2002.

2100

Islamic Society of North America

PO Box 38
Plainfield, IN 46168

Islamic Society of North America, one of the largest Muslim bodies in the United States and Canada, is an outgrowth of the Indian/Pakistani phase of the twentieth century Islamist revival that sought to call secularized Muslims back to a vision of Islam as a total way of life. The major organization of the movement, the Jamaat-e-Islami was founded by Sayyid Abul A'la Mawdudi (1903-1979), who lived and work amid the Indian independence movement and the resultant separation of Pakistan as an Islamic state. Mawdudi emerged as a major commentator on the problems presented to Islam by Western culture Indian nationalism (which he saw as destructive of Muslim identity) and competing political ideologies. Based on his assessment of the situation, he began to reconstruct Islamic thought. He founded Jamaat-e-Islami in 1941, and subsequently moved to Pakistan to work for the formation of an Islamic state.

The spirit of Mawdudi's movement came to North America in the 1950s with the arrival of the Indian and Pakistani Muslims for college study. These student took the lead in founding the Muslim Student Association of U.S. and Canada in 1963. MSA spawned a host of organizations to serve various segments of the American and Canadian Muslim community such as the North America Islamic Trust (NAIT), the Islamic Medical Association, and the Muslim Arab Youth Association (MAYA). In the 1980, the maturing of the early leaders of MSA, the steady migration of Muslims to North America, and the many mosques which had appeared across the continent led to the organizing of the Islamic Society of North America (ISNA).

ISNA serves as a point of unity for many American Muslims and mosques, and sees as its primary task the nurturing of the American Muslim community. As an association of Muslim organizations and individuals has established a unified platform of expression for Islam, encourages the development of educational, outreach and social services, and is constructing an enhanced image of Islam in North American Society.

ISNA program in concentrated on the establishment of high-quality full-time Islamic schools; the publication of outreach materials (especially for prisons and the military); the nurture of strong and stable Muslim families; involvement in the social issues confronting North Americans; training Islamic workers, teachers, and imams; assist in the integration of Muslims into American political life.

ISNA has formed the Fiqh (law) Council that brings together a body of Islamic scholars who reside in the United States and Canada. The Council receives and responds to inquiries from Muslims and makes itself available to resolve disputes between Muslim individuals and organizations following Muslim legal opinion. The council originated in the Religious Affairs Committee of the Muslim Students Association in the early 1960s. The committee evolved into the Fiqh Committee of the ISNA in 1980 and was transformed into the council in 1986. The Fiqh Council, as an affiliate of ISNA, advises it on matters relative to the application of Islamic lawn (shari'ah) in the individual and collective life of its membership. The council's membership includes a number of scholars who have earned the respect of the larger Muslim community.

ISNA is led by its Majlis Ash-Shura (council). ISNA was founding member of the Islamic Shura Council of North America, a cooperative organization that includes the Islamic Circle of North America (with whom ISNA shares its heritage), the Ministry of Imam W. Deen Mohammed, and al-Ummah (the community led by Imam Jamil al-Amin). It facilitated the founding of a variety of Islamic organizations that have since matured into autonomous groups in their own right, such as the Association of Muslim Social Scientists, the Association of Muslim Scientists and Engineers, and the Islamic Medical Association of North America.

Membership: Not reported.

Periodicals: Islamic Horizons.

Sources:

Islamic Society of North America. http://www.isna.net/. 23 April 2002.

2101

Islamic Supreme Council of America (ISCA)

1400 16th St. NW, B-112
Washington, DC 20036

Alternate Address: 17195 Silver Pkwy., No. 201, Fenton, MI48430.

Islamic Supreme Council of America (ISCA), an organization that seeks the cooperation of varied segments of the Muslim community, has its base of support in the Naqshbandi-Haqqani Sufi Order and its charismatic leader, Mawlana Shaykh Nazim Adil al-Haqqani, the council's founder. The goal of ISCA is to provide solutions the problems faced by American Muslims based on the traditional Islamic legal rulings as provided by an international advisory board. The board is drawn from a group of high ranking Islamic scholars. The council has pioneered an effort to integrate traditional scholarship to the challenges of maintaining Islamic belief in a modern, secular society.

The council attempts to facilitate individuals and organizations receiving legal advice from scholars and religious institutions around the world. At the same time, it tries to work proactively to present Islam as a religion of moderation, tolerance, peace and justice. ISCA stresses the common heritage of Islam, Christianity and Judaism in an effort to foster mutual respect and reshape the image of Islam in the West. To that end it supports peace efforts worldwide, condemns violations of human rights, denounces all types of terrorism (including intellectual, cultural, and ideological), favors the non-proliferation of nuclear, biological, and chemical weapons, and is committed to the values of charity, family love, education and public responsibility in American life.

The ISCA program centers on a set of publications, meetings, seminars, and conferences whose purpose is the education of U.S. officials on Islamic culture and history. ISCA also works with the representatives of Muslim nations as a reliable source for traditional Islamic literature on a spectrum of topics.

The council is headed by it chairman, currently Shaykh Muhammad Hisham Kabbani and a large advisory committee that includes a number of Muslim scholars and government officials. Kamilat, the affiliated women's organization, has built a cooperative network with various Muslim groups to assist Muslim widows, divorcees and working mothers.

Membership: Not reported.

Periodicals: The Muslim Magazine.

Sources:

Islamic Supreme Council of America. http://www.islamicsupremecouncil.org/. 23 April 2002.

2102

Muslim American Society (MAS)

PO Box 1896
Falls Church, VA 22041

Muslim American Society (MAS) is one of several Muslim associations that has its roots in the Indo-Pakistani Islamist revival, the Muslim Student Association, and the Islamic Society of North America. Many of the people who founded MAS had previous been associated with the Islamic Society of North America. They saw themselves as particularly concerned with the changing dynamics of Islamic society if North America and a desire to construct a new foundation for the Islamic work perceived to be needed in the twenty-first century.

To that end, MSA has projected a six-point program for the mosques and individuals associated with it: to present the message of Islam to the public; to encourage Muslims in building a virtuous and moral society; to offer the Islamic alternative to society's major problems; to promote family values; to advocate for the human values of brotherhood, equality, justice, mercy, compassion, and peace; and to foster unity among Muslims and Muslim organizations.

Among MAS' major programs is the Muslim American Society Council of Islamic Schools which as its educational branch offers several technical and support services and professional training programs for teachers and administrators of Islamic schools.

Membership: Not reported.

Educational Facilities: Islamic American University, 17300 W. 10 Mile Rd., Ste. 2, Southfield, MI 48075.

Periodicals: The American Muslim.

Sources:

Muslim American Society. http://www.masnet.org/. 23 April 2002.

2103

Shi'a Muslims

℅ Islamic Center of America
15571 Joy Rd.
Detroit, MI 48228

Alternate Address: Jaffari Islamic Centre, 7340 Bayview Ave., Thornhill, ON L3T 2R7.

Of the two orthodox branches of the Muslim Community the Shi'a is by far the smaller. It includes some Iranian-Americans though Shi'as of other nationalities (Lebanese, Pakistani, Yemeni) are also present in significant numbers. The oldest and among the most prominent Shi'a centers is the Islamic Center of America, a Lebanese center which emerged as the Detroit Islamic community split into the traditional Sunni and Shi'a factions early in the twentieth century. Growth in the Shi'as was marked by its 1949 invitation to Imam Mohamad Jawad Chirri to become the community's spiritual leader and the establishment of the center in the 1960s under his guidance.

More typical of the Shi'a centers established since 1965 is the Islamic Society of Georgia, a Pakistani-American center in Atlanta founded in 1970. It is a major distributor of Shi'a publications from around the world and publishes Islamic Affairs. It has made a major priority of its program the circulation of Shi'a literature to "willing readers" at little or no cost. The Midwest Association of Shi'a Organized Muslims is a similar center in Chicago.

A step forward in the organization of the Shi'a community was the 1970 formation of the Shi'a Association of North America by families in New York and New Jersey. Through its newsletter, Islamic Review, and other publications, it has led in the establishment of traditional standards of belief and practice in the Shi'a community nationally. The Iranian Revolution under the Ayatollah Khomeini has had a marked effect of uniting the American Shi'a community, which has responded with strong support. In like measure, the American-Lebanese Shi'as have identified with the Shi'as of Lebanon, though they are somewhat divided in their support of the various factions that emerged in the 1970s.

While the majority of English-language Shi'a literature still originates from foreign presses, several publishing ventures have emerged in the United States. The Detroit center has published a number of works by Imam Chirri, an eminent Islamic scholar. It is joined by Free Islamic Literature, Inc. of Houston, Texas and Mehfile Shahe Khorasan Charitable Trust of Englewood Cliffs, New Jersey.

Membership: Not reported. There are several dozen Shi'a centers scattered across the United States.

Educational Facilities: The Islamic Seminary, New York, New York.

Periodicals: Islamic Affairs. Available from the Islamic Society of Georgia, 172 Vine St., SW, Atlanta, GA 30314. • The Islamic Review. Available from the Shia Association of North America, 108 5363 62nd Dr., Forest Hills, New York, NY 11375. • Husaini News. Available from the Husaini Association of Greater Chicago, PO Box 6810, Chicago, IL 60645.

Sources:

Chirri, Mohammad Jawad. The Brother of the Prophet Mohammad. 2 vols. Detroit: Islamic Center of Detroit, 1979-82.

Chirri, Mohammad Jawad. Inquiries About Islam. Detroit: Islamic Center of Detroit, 1965.

Iman Khomeini, Pope and Christianity. Tehran, Iran: Islamic Propaganda Organization, 1983.

The Life of Iman Husain. Englewood Cliffs, NJ: Mehfile Shahe Khorasan Charitable Trust, n.d. Tract.

Shariati, Ali. Islamic View of Man. Houston, TX: Free Islamic Literature, 1979.

2104

Shiah Fatimi Ismaili Tayyibi Dawoodi Bohra (Daudi Bohras)

℅ Anjuman-e-Ezzi, Washington, DC
18720 New Hampshire Ave.
Ashton, MD 20806

Alternate Address: International Headquarters: Dawat-e-Hadiyah, Administration of the 52nd al-Dai al-Mutlaq, His Holiness Dr. Syedna Mohammed Burhanuddin, c/o Saifee Masjid, Burhani Park, Lagos Road, City Centre, Nairobi, Kenya. Canadian Headquarters: c/o Anjuman-e-Najmi, Toronto, 61 Queensmill Ct., Richmond Hill, ON L4B 1N2.

The Daudi Bohras constitute a worldwide religious group officially known as the Shiah Fatimi Ismaili Tayyibi Dawoodi Bohra, a community with in the larger world of Orthodox Islam. This group follows a specific code of beliefs, doctrines, and tenets founded on the Qur'an and the Shariah, as taught and interpreted by their leader, the Dai al-Mutlaq. The Daudi Bohras traces its ancestry to the early conversions of Hindus in India in the eleventh century to the Ismaili branch of Shi'a Islam. These converts in turn gave their allegiance to the dai mutlaq in Yemen. They are named after their 27th dai, Daud ibn Qutubshah (d. 1612).

The Daudi Bohra community has largely been molded into its present form by the two dais who have led the community in the twentieth century. The 51st dai, Dr. Sayyidna Tahir Saifuddin (1915–1965), was an accomplished scholar and capable organizer who revitalized the community during his half century of leadership and guided it through the tumultuous period of world wars and independence of nations. The present dai, H. H. Dr. Sayyidna Mohammed Burhanuddin, has continued his predecessor's endeavors with particular emphasis on strengthening the community's Islamic practices.

The religious hierarchy of the Daudi Bohras is headed by the dai mutlaq who is appointed by his predecessor in office. The dai appoints two others to the subsidiary ranks of madhun (licentiate) and mukasir (executor). These positions are followed by the rank of shaykh and mullah, both of which are held by hundreds of Bohras. An Aamil (usually a graduate of the order's institution of higher learning, al-Jamiah al-Sayfiyah) leads the local congregation. The local organizations administer the activities of the local Bohras and report directly to the central administration of the dai, called al-Dawah al-Hadiyah.

At the age of puberty every Bohra believer takes the traditional oath of allegiance which requires the initiate to adhere to the shariah and accept the leadership of the imam and the dai. This oath is renewed annually. The Bohras follow the Fatimid school of jurisprudence that recognizes seven pillars of Islam, the first of which is walayah (love and devotion) for Allah, the Prophets, the imam, and the dai. The other six are tahrah (purity & cleanliness), salah (prayers), zakah (purifying religious dues), sawm (fasting), hajj (pilgrimage to Mecca) and jihad (holy war). Pilgrimages to the shrines of the saints are also an important part of the devotional life of Bohras.

Within their community, Daudi Bohras speak an arabicized form of Gujrati, called lisan al-dawah, which is permeated with Arabic words and written in Arabic script. They also follow a Fatimid lunar calendar which fixes the number of days in each month.

Dawat-e-Hadiyah, Allah's sovereignty over Heavens and Earth, is entrusted to the Imam (who in the Ismaili tradition is known as the Hidden or Secluded Imam). In his absence, the Dawat-e-Hadiyah is headed by the Dai al-Mutlaq, the Imam's representative and vicegerent, the supreme head of the Dawoodi Bohra Community. Today, al-Dai al-Fatimi, His Holiness Dr. Syedna Mohammed Burhanuddin (TUS), is the 52nd Dai al-Mutlaq, the latest in a chain of succession that commenced in 1138 C.E. He succeeded to the throne of Dawat in 1965 as the successor to his father, H. H. Dr. Syedna Taher Saifuddin, the 51st Dai al-Mutlaq.

In the United States of America, the affairs of Dawat-e-Hadiyah are carried out in accordance with the wishes and direction of the Dai al-Mutlaq through the Dawat-e-Hadiyah (America). Members of the Daudi Bohra community migrated to the United States in the 1950s with the encouragement, permission, and blessings of the Dai al-Mutlaq. There are now a number of communities across the United States and Canada.

Membership: Not reported. Daudi Bohras number about a million and reside in India, Pakistan, the Middle East, East Africa (since the eighteenth century), and the West (since the 1950s).

Sources:

Daftary, Farhad. A Short History of the Ismailis. Princeton, NJ: Marcus Wiener Pubishers, 1998.

2105

Sunni Muslims

℅ Islamic Center
2551 Massachusetts Ave. NW
Washington, DC 20008

Alternate Address: The Council of Muslim Communities of Canada, Box 771, Station B, Willowdale, ON, Canada M2K 2R1.

The Islamic world, though concentrated in the Arab nations of the Middle East, stretches from Yugoslavia to Indonesia and includes not only a large part of the U.S.S.R. but a growing community in Africa south of the Sahara. Since 1965, the Islamic community which had been concentrated in the Midwest and a few Eastern urban centers, has blossomed into a significant religious element of American life in every part of the United States. Literally millions of immigrants from Islamic Asia, Africa and Europe have settled in North America and begun the generation-long process of building ethnic community centers and facilities for worship (often the same building).

Unlike much of Christendom, Islam is organized into a number of autonomous centers. Each center (which may be called a community center, a mosque, a musjid) will tend to be dominated by one ethnic community, though outside the largest urban centers where a variety of mosques can be found, centers will have welcomed people of various nationalities into affiliation. Many of the major centers will have a periodical, which has both a primary local audience and a national circulation. The mosque, headed by the imam (minister-teacher) is the basic center of Islam.

Above the level of the local centers, a variety of national and continental organizations have been formed to mobilize the various local Islamic communities, provide the public (largely ignorant of Islam) with information, and coordinate the activities (particlarly the propagation of the faith) of the community at large. These organizations, whose membership will come from a variety of ethnic backgrounds, tend to be divided politically. Each of the different organization will be ideologically aligned to, for example, different factions in the Middle East, and/or atuned to a moreor-less activist role in support of various concerns of the land from which they immigrated. Political activism is particularly noticeable in those groups which serve the large Muslim community on the nation's campuses. Local centers will often affiliate with several of the competing national associations.

Symbolic of Sunni Muslim presence in America is the Islamic Center in Washington, D.C. Begun in 1949, it took seven years to complete. It was officially opened in 1957. While begun as a center for diplomatic personnel, with financial support from seventeen countries, with the growth of Islam in North America it has become a place to which all American Sunnis look as a visible point of unity in the otherwise decentralized Islamic community. The importance of the Center was dramatically underscored in the early 1980s when it was taken over by a group who supported the Iranian Revolution under the Ayatollah Khomeini and opposed the influence of the ambassadors from Saudi Arabia and other Islamic countries. The takeover disrupted the center for several years and led to the with drawal of its prominent iman, Dr. Muhammad Abdul Rauf, a leading Islamic apologist in North America.

Among the oldest of the Canadian-United States organizations is the Federation of Islamic Organizations in the United States and Canada. It was founded in 1952, largely as a result of the efforts of Abdullah Ingram of Cedar Rapids, Iowa. He called a meeting attended primarily by Lebanese Muslims, representative of the older American Muslim centers, and formed the International Muslim Society, which two years later became the Federation. The Federation has as its goals the perpetuation of Islam and of Muslim culture and the dissemination of correct information about Muslim society worldwide. It publishes a periodical, The Muslim Star, and holds annual conventions, usually in the Midwest. The Federation accomplishments have been related to the fellowship of various Muslim centers across national and ethnic boundaries, and more activist groups, while acknowledging the contribution of the Federation, saw the need for further organizations.

The Islamic Society of North America emerged in the early 1980s out of the Muslim Students Association originally founded in 1952. It represents a broadening focus of concern by former students who moved into roles of leadership in the Muslim, academic and professional communities in America. The Society is headquartered at the Islamic Teaching Center, a large complex in sub-urban Indianapolis, from which it oversees the network of subsidiary organizations it has fostered and nurtured.

From its original goals, developed to assist graduate students temporarily in the United States for study to survive in a non-Muslim environment, the Society has since 1975 refocused its attention on building Islamic structures among a permanent and growing North American Islamic population and actively propagating the faith among the non-Muslim public. To these ends, the society has established the Islamic Medical Association, the Association of Muslim Social Scientists and the Association of Muslim Scientists and Engineers. It has published numerous books (including the proceedings of the many conferences its sponsors) and pamphlets (especially a set designed to introduce Islam to non-Muslims) and several periodicals, most prominently Al-Ittihad and Islamic Horizons. The Muslim Student Association continues as one department of the Society. The Islamic Teaching Center is the main structure engaged in dawah, the propagation of the faith.

Possibly the most inclusive Islamic organization for Sunni Muslims is the Council of Islamic Organizations of America (both the Federation of Islamic Associations and the Islamic Society of North America are affiliates). The idea of the Council emerged in 1973 at a meeting in Saudi Arabia. Then the Muslim World League, an international Muslim organization with offices in New York City, organized the first Islamic Conference of North America which met April 22-24, 1977 at Newark, New Jersey. The Council was organized at that gathering to meet primary needs for unity and co-ordination of the many Islamic centers in North America. In its lengthy list of goals, it set itself the task of fostering unity, establishing and propagating the faith in its fullness, the perpetuation of modest dress codes, assistance in building mosques and other facilities for Muslims, and the funding of various designated projects of broad Muslim interest.

Also formed in the 1970s, the Council of Imams in North America formed as a continent-wide professional organization for the leaders of the various mosques and Islamic centers.

The several organizations mentioned above are but a few of the many new structures being established in the Muslim Community. All of the organizations have been assisted by the development of Muslim publishing concerns, such as American Trust Publications, affiliated with the Islamic Society of North America; Kazi Publications in Chicago; and The Crescent Publications, Tacoma Park, Maryland. As of the mid-1980s, however, the majority of English-language literature produced for the American Muslim community is still published overseas.

Membership: Estimates vary on the size of the Sunni Muslim community. As many as 400 mosques and centers have been counted. Approximately 3,000,000 immigrants from predominantly Muslim countries have come to the United States. Together with converts, including large followings in American black communities, the total number of Muslims approaches the size of the Jewish community.

Educational Facilities: American Islamic College, Chicago, Illinois.

Periodicals: Muslim Star. Available from Federation of Islamic Associations in the U.S.A. and Canada, 25351 Five Mile Rd., Redford Twp., MI 48239. • Islamic Horizons. Send orders to Box 38, Plainfield, IN 46168. • al-Ittihad, Box 38, Plainfield, IN 46168. • The Minaret. Both available from Islamic Center of Southern California, 434 S. Vermont Ave., Los Angeles, CA 90020. • Path of Righteousness. Available from Council of Imans in North America, 1214 Cambridge Crescent, Sarnia, ON, Canada N7S 3W4. • Al'Nourl. Send orders to 2551 Massachusettes Ave., Washington, D.C. 20008. • Islam Canada. Available from Council of Muslim Communities of Canada, Box 771, Station B, Willowdale, ON, Canada M2K 2R1.

Sources:

Abdalati, Hammudah. Islam in Focus. Indianapolis, IN: American Trust Publications, 1975.

Avdich, Kamal. Outline of Islam. Northbrook, IL: The Islamic Cultural Center, n.d.

Haneef, Suzanne. What Everyone Should Know About Islam and Muslims. Chicago: Kazi Publications, 1979.

Soddiqui, Moulana Mohammad Abdul-Aleem. Elementary Teachings of Islam. Tacoma Park, MD: Crescent Publications, n.d.

Rauf, Muhammad Abdul. Islam, Creed and Worship. Washington, DC: Islamic Center, 1974.

Hussain, S. Mazhar, ed. Proceedings of the First Islamic Conference of North America. New York: Muslim World League, 1977.

2106

Taliban

Current address not obtained for this edition.

The Taliban, the "Students of Islamic Knowledge Movement," was in control of the largest part of Afghanistan as the twenty-first century began. The movement originate among youth who attended religious school (madrasas) established in the 1980s by refugees from the Afghan War who moved to neighboring Pakistan during the 1980s. Most of the refugees were ethnic Pashtuns. Pashtuns traditionally followed the Hanafite school of Sunni Islam. The new Taliban movement, however, assumed an extreme and conservative interpretation in their tradition, making them natural allies of the equally conservative Wahhabi movement based in Saudi Arabia.

The Taliban quickly evolved into a more formal organization and as is common in Islam created a leadership council (called a ulema, literally, a community of learned men) and selected a leader, Mullah Muhamad Omar. The movement found support throughout the Pushtun region of Afghanistan. Joining in the struggle to throw off the ruling forces Kabul (the capital) in 1996 it replaced the former ruling elite, many of whom were drawn from the ethnically Uzbek and Tajik minorities and represented either Shi'a Islam or secular Marxism. The defeated leadership reorganized and formed an alliance against the Taliban regime and were able to retain control of a small territory in the northern part of the country. During this period, neither the United States and United Nations recognized the Taliban government; Afghanistan was considered to be a land devoid of a government. They recognize the leadership of Burhanuddin Rabbani and the Northern Alliance as the rightful rulers of Afghanistan, while also aware of their inability to exercise government powers. Only Pakistan, Saudi Arabia, and the United Arab Emirates recognized the Taliban.

In Kabul, Taliban leaders instituted a strict interpretation of the shariah, the unique Islamic law. They demanded traditional dress for women, restricted on female education and movement, and prevent their receiving medical treatment by male physicians. It reintroduced various forms of punishment for crimes that had largely been abandoned elsewhere (including flogging, amputation of limbs, and executions by stoning). They found support especially those areas of the country plagues by chaos and lawlessness during the previous decade.

Internationally, the Taliban were unpopular but tolerated. However, following their destruction of some large Buddhist statutes in March 2001 brought widespread denouncement from around the world, both from interfaith religious community and artistic world.

In 1996, the leaders of the Taliban had invited Osama bin Laden (b. 1957) to moved the headquarters of his organization, Al Qaeda, to Afghanistan. Through the 1990s, Al Qaeda was charged with a series of attacks upon United States citizens and property culminated in the bombing of the Pentagon and the World Trade Center in the United States on September 11, 2001. The United States held the Taliban responsible for harboring Al Qaeda and bin Laden in Afghanistan.

In October 2001, the United States began military action in Afghanistan aimed at capturing bin Laden and his associates, and destroying Al Qaeda. As a secondary consequence of that action, the Taliban was brought down and its leader disappeared into the countryside. Both Omar and bin Laden remain fugitives.

During the 1990s, the Taliban found support internationally, and a community that identified themselves with it developed in the United States. The American Taliban operated quite openly with in the larger Islamic community, and developed a presence on the Internet. All of that ended in September 2001. Shortly after the bombings, the Internet site restricted access to the general public and then in 2002 disappeared altogether. While it is likely that remnants of the groups continue in the United States, no outward manifestation has been sighted since the Internet site was taken down.

Membership: Not reported.

Sources:

The Jihad Fixation: Agenda, Strategy, Portents. Delhi, India: Wordsmiths, 2001. 424 pp.

Maley, William, ed. Fundamentalism Reborn? Afghanistan and the Taliban. New York: New York University Press, 1998. 253 pp.

Matinuddin, Kamal. The Taliban Phenomenon: Afghanistan, 1994-1997. Karachi: Oxford University Press, 1999.

Parfrey, Adanm, ed. Extreme Islam: Anti-American Propaganda of Muslim Fundamentalism. Los Angeles: Feral House, 2001. 317 pp.

Rashid, Ahmed. Taliban: Militant Islam, Oil and Fundamentalism in Central Asia. New Haven, CT: Yale University Press, 2001. 279 pp.

2107

Tanzeem-e-Islami

c/o T.I.N.A. Center
250 W. Saint Charles Rd.
Villa Park, IL 62181-2430

Alternate Address: Tanzeem-e-Islami Pakistan, 67-A, Allama Iqbal Rd., Garhee Shahoo, Lahore.

Tanzeem-e-Islami grew out of the Indo-Pakistani branch of the Islamist revival of the twentieth century which had as its keynote the that the teachings of the Qur'an and those of the Sunnah (life and work) of the Prophet Muhammad must be implemented in their totality, especially in the public (social, cultural, juristic, political, economic) spheres of life. In India, the revival is traced to the work of Allama Muhammad Iqbal, and by Maulana Abul Kalam Azad, and most prominently Sayyid Abul A'la Mawdudi (1903-1979) and the Jamaat-e-Islami which he founded in 1941. Following the creation of Pakistan (1947), Maududi and the Jamaat decided to take part in the country's secular electoral process, a change from its earlier revolutionary methodology. Many perceived the result of this change was the degeneration of the Jamaat from a revolutionary force into a mere political party. In 1975, Tanzeem-e-Islami was founded by Dr. Israr Ahmad (b.1932) to continue the original thrust of the Jamaat-e-Islami.

Ahmad, the son of a government employee, received his degree in Islamic Studies from the University of Karachi (1965). As a student he was influenced by Iqbal and Mawdudi, and later worked with the Jamaat-e-Islami. He resigned from the Jamaat in 1957, continued to teach the Qur'an throughout Pakistan. A physician, Ahmad gave up his practice in 1971 in order to launch Tanzeem-e-Islami. He has authored more than 60 books, nine of which have been translated into English. In 1967, he wrote a tract, "Islamic Renaissance: The Real Task Ahead," to explain his basic ideas that the Islamic Renaissance necessarily implies the revitalizing of the Imam (true faith and certitude) among the Muslims, particularly their intelligentsia, and the revitalization of Imam is based on the propagation of the Qur'anic teachings in contemporary idiom, at the highest level of scholarship.

According to the Tanzeem-e-Islami perspective, the individual Muslim is obligated to develop real faith and conviction in his/her heart; to live a life of total obedience to the injunctions of the Islamic law (shari'ah); to propagate and disseminate the message of Islam; and to try his utmost in establishing the ascendancy of Islam over all man-made systems of life. Tanzeem-e-Islami seeks to assist Muslims in carrying our these obligations.

In regard to propagating the faith, Tanzeem-e-Islami operates out of the spirit of Al-Deen Al-Naseeha (loyalty and sincerity toward each other) and organizes activity suggested by Al-Aqrabo Fal-Aqrab (i.e., one who is nearer should be given priority). Propagation extends from an individual to his family, his kith and kin, and then gradually to his surroundings. Tanzeem-e-Islami seeks to supply the necessary religious teaching and training to this new generation. A most important task at the present moement is counteracting false beliefs and customs refuting the unlslamic thoughts and philosophy of the modern age.

Tanzeem-e-Islam seeks the support of and Sunni Muslim. Membership begins with the Baiy'ah or pledge of obedience (under the shari'ah) to the Ameer of Tanzeem-e-Islami, Dr. Israr Ahmad. At that time, the new member must promise to give up that which is considered disliked by Allah and will try to fulfill the obligations owed as a Muslim.

Tanzeem-e-Islami believes that the Western constitutional and democratic model is not suitable for the duty of struggling for the establishment of the Deen. In the baiyah system, one person gives a call that he is going to initiate the struggle for the Deen of Allah and invites people to join him. In this system, the leader (Ameer) is required to consult with his rufaqa (those who join him) but is not bound by any majority decisions. However, the Ameer is to be obeyed, though only with in the bounds of the law.

Through the 1980s and 1990s, members of Tanzeem-e-Islami have migrated to the United States and Canada. Offices are maintained in the Chicago and New York City metropolitan areas and in Montreal and Toronto Canada. European centers are located in London and Paris. The organization has developed a radio and video broadcast through the Internet.

Membership: Not reported.

Educational Facilities: Quran College Lahore of Arts and Science, Lahore, Pakistan.

Periodicals: The Qur'anic Horizons, c/o Tanzeem-e-Islami Pakisan, 67-A, Allama Iqbal Rd., Garhee Shahoo, Lahore.

Sources:

Ahmad, Shagufta. Dr. Israr Ahmad's Political Thought and Activities. Montreal, Canada: McGill University, M.A. thesis, 1993. Rpt.: Lahore, Pakistan, Markazi Anjuman Khuddam-ul-Quran Lahore, 1996.

Tanzeem-e-Islami. http://www.tanzeem.org/. 23 April 2002.

2108

United American Muslim Association

59-11 8th Ave.
Brooklyn, NY 11220

Alternate Address: United Canadian Muslim Association. 182 Rhodes Ave., Toronto ON, Canada M4L 3A1.

United American Muslim Association was founded in 1980 by a group of predominantly Turkish American residents of Brooklyn, New York. The association was formed concurrently with the purchase of the building that has become Fatih Mosque, the parent mosque of the organization. Several other mosques were subsequently formed, including one in Canada that now serves as the headquarters of the Canadian affiliate, the United Canadian Muslims.

The association provides Islamic education for students (including study of Turkish history and geography), and since 1995 has organized a summer camp for its youth. It supports two foundations-the Turkish American Educational and Cultural Foundation and the American Turkish Islamic Cultural Foundation. Female members have organized the Fatih Turkish American Woman Assembly.

Membership: Not reported. UAMA has two branches on Long Island and one each in Boston, Rochester, New York, New Jersey, Chicago, and Toronto.

Sources:

United American Muslim Association. http://www.fatihcami.org/. 23 April 2002.

2109

United Submitters International

Box 43476
Tucson, AZ 85719

United Submitters International was founded by Rashad Khalifa (1935-1990), the imam (supreme leader) of a Muslim center in Tucson, Arizona. Born in Egypt, Khalifa was the son of a Sufi master in the Shadhili Order. He was trained in the natural sciences and moved to the United States in 1959 to study at the University of California at Riverside. He received a Ph.D. in biochemistry in the early 1960s. He married an American in 1963 and later became a citizen. While pursuing his career as an agricultural biochemist, he also conducted private research on the Qur'an, the Muslim bible. The results were first published in 1973 as Miracle of the Quran: Significance of the Mysterious Alphabets.

Khalifa was convinced of the miraculous nature of the Qur'an and his writing was a defense of this belief. His early writing was given broad coverage in the Islamic press because of his claims of scientific proof of the Qur'an's miraculousness. Using a computer, he discovered what he believed was a complex mathematical coding with in the book. He concluded that it was organized around the number 19, that the organization was so complex that no human being could have worked it out (the keystone for his argument of its divine element), and that only with the arrival of the computer could we now see the mathematical sophistication of it. He expanded upon this basic notion in a second and more popular book in 1981, The Computer Speaks: God's Message to the World.

While defending the Qur'an, Khalifa also began to attack some basic Islamic affirmations. He suggested that two verses of the Qur'an were Satanic insertions in the text. He attacked Muslims for their following the Hadith and the Sunna, both of which he saw as human inventions working against the Qur'an. He said it was idolatrous to venerate Muhammad and his writings. He also suggested that he was a messenger just as was Abraham or Muhammad. He claimed that on December 21, 1971, his soul was taken somewhere and introduced to all the prophets and they in turn designated him the "Apostle of the Covenant." His opinions concerning the Hadith and Sunna correlated with his notions of assimilation into Western society as he opposed the dress codes, the segregation of men and women, and other prohibitions they articulated. While many appreciated his work on the Qur'an, others denounced his ideas, questioning his authority and the unworthiness of the Hadith and Sunna. He was labeled a heretic and charlatan.

In the midst of the controversy, Khalifa found many supporters. Around 1979 he became the imam of a masjid (mosque) in Tucson, Arizona, and began a magazine, Submitters Perspective. He used his position to argue against the slavish adherence to what he saw as outdated Islamic practice. He was attacked by leading Muslim thinkers such as Ahmed Deedat of South Africa, Abu Ameenah Bilal Phillips, and Muzammil Saddiqi.

On January 31, 1990, Khalifa was murdered. James Williams, a member of an ultra-conservative muslim group, Al-Fuqra, was later arrested and convicted of Khalifa's murder. The center in Tucson has continued with a collective leadership and followers of its martyred imam can be found in Phoenix, Arizona, Southern California, and British Columbia.

Membership: Not reported.

Periodicals: Submitters Perspective.

Sources:

Haddad, Yvonne Yazbeck, and Jane Idleman Smith. Mission to America: Five Islamic Sectarian Communities in North America. Gainesville, FL: University Press of Florida, 1993. 226 pp.

Hosenball, Mark. "Another Holy War: Waged on American Soil." Newsweek 123, 9 (February 28, 1994): 30-31.

Khalifa, Rashid. The Computer Speaks: God's Message to the World. Tucson, AZ: Renaissance Productions International, 1981. 263 pp.

——. Miracle of the Quran: Significance of the Mysterious Alphabets. St. Louis, MO: Islamic Productions International, 1973.

Quran: The Final Scripture. Trans. by Rashid Khalifa. Tucson, AZ: Islamic Productions, 1981. 525 pp.

——. Quran: The Final Testament. Tucson, AZ: Islamic Productions International, 1989.

——. Quran, Hadith, and Islam. Tucson, AZ: Islamic Productions International, 1982.

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Islam

Islam

Between the 1300s and the 1600s, powerful Islamic rulers controlled much of the Middle East, North Africa, and Spain. While Renaissance culture was spreading across Europe, Islamic civilization thrived in the regions under Muslim rule. Cities such as Cairo in Egypt and Granada in Spain became great cultural centers and attracted distinguished scholars and writers.


Islamic States. Egypt fell under Muslim control in the 600s. By 1250, the country was governed by a group of military officers called the Mamluks. The Mamluks had originally been slaves forced to serve in the army, but they used their military power to seize control of the country. The Mamluk capital, Cairo, was the leading city in the Islamic world. Rulers of other Islamic states sought the approval of the Mamluk leader, or caliph, to confirm their authority. Under the Mamluks, many educated Egyptians became government officials or religious scholars.

Beginning in the early 700s, Islamic rulers had conquered most of central and southern Spain. They set up independent caliphates and built cities featuring splendid palaces and mosques (places of worship). The Muslim kingdom of Granada, in southern Spain, developed a highly sophisticated Islamic culture. Eventually, however, the Christian rulers of northern Spain began to reclaim the territory captured by the Muslims. In 1492 troops from the northern kingdoms of Aragon and Castile took over Granada, the last remaining Muslim stronghold in Spain.

Iran, Iraq, and India also fell under Muslim control during the Middle Ages. In the 1250s, the Mongols* invaded Iran and Iraq. At first the Mongol rulers considered converting to Christianity and forming an alliance with western leaders against the Muslims. However, in 1295 the Mongols decided to adopt Islam. They established Muslim states in Iran and Iraq and became patrons* of Islamic culture and learning. In India, an Islamic state founded in the late 1100s grew into a wealthy empire. From their base at Delhi, in the north, the Muslims gained control of much of India's central plateau.

The most powerful of the Islamic states was the Ottoman Empire. Founded by the Ottoman Turks in the 1300s, it eventually included large areas of eastern Europe, the Middle East, and northern Africa. The Ottomans established a capital at Bursa, in western Turkey, and extended their influence into Europe. Although Christian leaders launched attacks and crusades against the empire, they failed to stop the spread of Ottoman power. The only serious threat the Ottomans faced was the Turkish warlord Timur, also known as Tamerlane. Timur established his own kingdom in Iran, Iraq, Anatolia, Syria, and India in the late 1300s. However, his empire fell apart on his death in 1405.

After recovering their power in Turkey, the Ottomans turned their attention to the west. In 1453 the Ottoman sultan Mehmed II conquered Constantinople, the capital of the Byzantine Empire*. He intended to invade Italy, but he died in 1481 before he could carry out his plan. In the 1500s Islamic influence in Europe continued to expand. Muslim troops invaded Hungary and Austria and forced rulers to pay tribute*. The Ottoman Empire remained a significant threat to Europe for some time, but in the late 1600s it fell into a decline.


Islamic Culture. During the Renaissance, Muslim culture advanced in several fields, particularly law. In Europe, scholars of this time were reviving classical* ideas, most of which had been lost during the Middle Ages. In the Islamic world, by contrast, the works of ancient Greek philosophers and scientists had been translated into Arabic and had remained part of the culture. However, by the 1100s, some Muslims had begun to oppose the study of philosophy on the grounds that it was contrary to Islamic beliefs. They also objected to the study of science, which was based in part on philosophical ideas.

The study of Islamic law, which was closely tied to Islamic religious beliefs, flourished under Muslim rule. Legal scholars gathered in academies throughout the Muslim world. They focused on interpreting the Qur'an (the Muslim holy book), the sayings of the prophet Muhammad (founder of Islam), and the teachings of Muslim religious leaders.

Arabic literature made slow progress during the Renaissance due to a decline in the use of the Arabic language. Before 1200 the Muslim kingdoms had used Arabic for all intellectual activities. When the Mongols conquered Iran and Iraq in the 1200s, they adopted the Persian language of Iran because it was easier to learn than Arabic. In Egypt, the Mamluk rulers spoke Turkish and had little interest in promoting the use of Arabic. Eventually, proper Arabic was spoken only in religious schools and legal academies, and secular* learning in Arabic fell into a decline.

As a result of these developments, Arabic literature focused mostly on religious subjects. Scholars studied poetry and history in an attempt to understand the Qur'an or the history of Islam. Some wrote biographies of great religious scholars who had passed down the sayings of Muhammad. Others produced commentaries about these sayings.

Much of the secular literature in the Muslim world focused on history and geography. The Persian writer Rashid al-Din (1247–1318) wrote about the place of Islam in the history of the world. The North African historian Ibn Khaldun (1332–1406) developed a theory of history and wrote about the forces that drive governments and societies. World traveler Ibn Battuta (1304–1377), who visited the entire Muslim world as well as China, Indonesia, and various parts of Africa, wrote vivid reports of his journeys. Another popular form of literature was storytelling. Tales told at Islamic gatherings during this time became the basis of The Thousand and One Nights, the most famous work of Islamic literature.

(See alsoAfrica; Moriscos; Religious Thought; Spain. )

* Mongol

member of a central Asian tribe that controlled much of Asia and eastern Europe during the Middle Ages

* patron

supporter or financial sponsor of an artist or writer

* Byzantine Empire

Eastern Christian Empire based in Constantinople (a.d. 476–1453)

* tribute

payment made by a smaller or weaker party to a more powerful one, often under threat of force

* classical

in the tradition of ancient Greece and Rome

* secular

nonreligious; connected with everyday life

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Islam

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Islam

ISLAM

Arabic word formed from the root salam (peace), meaning submission or reconciliation (to the will of God). Founded in Arabia in the 7th century, Islam is the religion professed by the prophet Muhammad. Muslims believe that God revealed himself to Muhammad through oral communications which he received while meditating on Mount Hira, near Mecca, through the intermediary of the archangel Djabraʿil (Djibril, Gabriel). These revelations were written down during Muhammad's life, and later collected in the Qurʾan, the entire corpus of revelations. Muhammad was charged with the task of transmitting the message to humankind, based on the unity of God, and to become thereby an Arab prophet of the God of Abraham and Moses.

In preaching this message, Muhammad struggled for almost twenty years with the reigning polytheism of the region. Confronted by Meccan hostility, he and his supporters left Mecca for Medina on 16 July 622. This date was considered subsequently to mark the beginning of the Muslim era: the hijra (immigration or exile). In 630, after many months of fighting, the Muslim community took Mecca, where they destroyed the many idols in the Kaʿba, built by Abraham, leaving only the Black Stone in place. After the death of the prophet Muhammad in 632, Islamic rule spread, in a little over a century, from Samarkand (Uzbekistan) to Andalusia.

In the Muslim religion, the believer is alone with Allah, without the intermediary of any clergy, the imam being there only to direct the collective prayer. Five "pillars of Islam" define what it means to be a Muslim: shahada (profession of monotheistic faith), salat (prayer in the direction of Mecca), sawm (fasting during the period of Ramadan), zakat (charity obligation), and the hajj (pilgrimage to Mecca during the 12th lunar month).


As it evolved throughout history Islam, like all other religions, has known division and dissidence (fitna), reflecting a diversity of doctrinal opinions and juridical options. Consequently, Sunnism and Shiʿism have become the two principal components of Islam.

Finally, Islam defines itself as a religion and project of community life based on a double source: the laws revealed in the Qurʾan and the practices instituted by the prophet Muhammad recorded in the Sunna (the sayings and practices of the Prophet).


SEE ALSO Abraham; Hijra; Kaʿba; Mecca; Moses; Muhammad; Shiʿa; Sunna.

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Islam

Islam

Though news of tobacco may have reached the Eastern Hemisphere shortly after Spanish explorer Christopher Columbus's first voyage in 1492, it took until the early seventeenth century for smoking—mostly in the form of the water pipe—to become popular among the people of West and South Asia.

Medical Interest

In the Middle East, as in many places around the world, tobacco in the early stage of its introduction aroused medical interest, provoked moral rebuke among clerics, and caused economic anxiety on the part of bureaucrats. Like their counterparts in the West, Muslim physicians discussed the effect of smoking on physical health. Controversy surrounded the alleged effects of smoking on the body. Following the humoral pathology of traditional Galenic medicine, which remained normative in the Islamic world well into the nineteenth century, tobacco was classified as a hot and dry substance, and as such it was believed to be salutary for people with a humid disposition. Some even saw it as a universal medicine against a variety of diseases, while others believed that it weakened the brain. Similar to European beliefs, tobacco smoke was thought to repel pestilence. Overall, however, in Islamic lands tobacco never gained the medicinal reputation it enjoyed in early modern Europe.

Theological Scrutiny

Muslim scholars, on the other hand, were highly preoccupied with the potentially detrimental effects that smoking had on piety and propriety. The moral and religious debate that erupted in the Middle East is similar to the discussion tobacco sparked in the West, but aspects of it are different. Unable to find references to tobacco in the Koran, the Muslim book of sacred writings, some theologians declared it impermissible. Others used analogical reasoning to determine whether smoking was permitted or should be condemned and banned as contrary to religion. Because tobacco did not resemble any of the forbidden substances mentioned in the Koran and the sayings of the prophet Muhammad, proscribing it was not a simple matter. Nor was it easy to "prove" that tobacco in itself was bad, or harmful to one's health. One way of arguing for restriction, therefore, was to equate tobacco with the foul things that the Koran declares forbidden, to associate it with the "avoidance of things evil," or to argue that the Prophet, who appreciated sweet odors, would certainly have loathed tobacco's offensive smell.

In Shi'ism, the minority variant of Islam that in 1501 became the state religion of Iran, tobacco inspired similar debates. A number of Iranian theologians wrote treatises that discuss the religious status of tobacco smoking, weighing the potential health benefits ascribed to it by some doctors against possible religious objections. Arguments for and against tobacco were often made in the context of the controversy between the representatives of orthodoxy, who rejected tobacco, and members of Sufi orders, who embraced smoking, often mixing tobacco with hashish for the hallucinatory effect. In Iran, most of those who spoke out against the habit seem to have adhered to Akhbarism, a theological school of thought that relied heavily on the Koran, and the sayings of the Prophet and the Shia Imams (prayer leaders).

Bans on Smoking

In the seventeenth century, Muslim authorities issued decrees that outlawed smoking. Following clerical disapproval, they often presented prohibitive measures as a return to the true faith. However, their motives typically went beyond mere piety and involved fears of social unrest. The Mughal shah Jahangir (reigned 1605–1627) banned smoking in 1617, convinced that its consumption created "disturbance in most temperaments" (Sangar). Similar motives are recorded in the Ottoman Empire, where tobacco was first proscribed in the reign of Sultan Ahmad (1604–1617), who issued numerous bans on tobacco and the places where it was smoked. Of his successors, Sultan Murad IV (1623–1640) was most vehement in his opposition to smoking. He used tobacco's status as innovation as an argument against it, but appeared mostly concerned with the presumed undermining of order and discipline by those who frequented tobacco shops, and with political opposition by the Janissaries, who owned many of these establishments. In 1627 a ban was issued on tobacco cultivation in Ottoman territory. Six years later the sultan, possibly persuaded by Istanbul's Friday mosque preacher KaDizadeh Mehmet Efendi, used a large fire that destroyed thousands of houses in Istanbul as a pretext to outlaw smoking and to close all coffee shops. Many who were found smoking were executed.

In Safavid Iran during the 1500s and 1600s, governmental attempts at curbing tobacco occurred under Shah Abbas I (1587–1629) and Shah Safi I (1629–1642). The former seems to have been motivated by a personal dislike for tobacco as well as concerns about the waste it represented. He outlawed the use of tobacco because his soldiers spent too much of their pay on smoking, punishing offenders by having their noses and lips cropped. The same ruler is also known to have ridiculed his smoking courtiers by offering them ground horse manure, claiming it was a special tobacco from the town of Hamadan. His successor, Shah Safi, rescinded the ban shortly after taking power, presumably in an attempt to gain legitimacy among his people, who by this time had massively taken to smoking. Yet the same ruler banned tobacco several times himself, for reasons that remain unknown.

Everywhere, tobacco restriction was temporary and unable to stop the advance of the herb. Even clerical authorities came to realize that fighting tobacco was an exercise in futility. As one Iranian cleric observed in the late seventeenth century, "The water pipe is so well known in east and west that its removal is no longer possible. In former times a ruler proscribed it everywhere and ordered the execution of addicts, and people were indeed killed on its account, but all to no avail." (Jafariyan). Even an otherwise uncompromising Akhbari theologian such as Muhammad Baqir Majlis (d. 1699) sanctioned smoking. Like many of those who spoke out similarly, he was an avid smoker himself.

With the triumph of tobacco as the drug of choice for the masses, the continuing debates about its religious status became largely academic and moot after the seventeenth century. Secular states, having discovered the easy tax revenue tobacco generated, followed the example of western governments by ceasing to oppose the use of tobacco and in many cases began to stimulate smoking.

The rise of puritanical movements occasionally reasserted the ban on what fundamentalist preachers continued to consider an ungodly innovation. An example is the rise of the puritanical strand of Islam known as the Wahhabi movement in the Arabian Peninsula at the turn of the eighteenth century, which was accompanied by a ban on all intoxicating substances, including tobacco. In the modern Wahhabiinspired state of Saudi Arabia, tobacco imports and smoking were banned from 1926 until 1960. The Taliban regime in Afghanistan in the late 1990s discouraged smoking. But these are anomalies, as was the clergy-led controversy over tobacco in late-nineteenth-century Iran known as the Tobacco Revolt. This movement did not target tobacco itself as much as the tobacco concession that the shah had given to a foreign firm, prompting the country's religious leaders to decry smoking as impermissible out of fear that non-Muslims would defile tobacco. The religious ban on smoking was lifted as soon as the shah rescinded the concession and, though some religious leaders continued to agitate against tobacco, smoking quickly resumed.

In the 2000s tobacco is hugely popular throughout the Islamic world, and the ban on smoking remains in place only during Ramadan, the Muslim month of fasting. In Saudi Arabia and Afghanistan, the antismoking measures that are taken or contemplated stem from medical rather than religious considerations.

See Also Christianity; Iranian Tobacco Protest Movement; Judaism; Mayas; Native Americans; Prohibitions; Regulation of Tobacco Products in the United States; Shamanism; Social and Cultural Uses.

▌ RUDI MATTHEE

BIBLIOGRAPHY

Floor, Willem. "The Art of Smoking in Iran and Other Uses of Tobacco." Iranian Studies 35 (2002): 47–85.

Jafariyan, Rasul. Din va siyasat dar dawrah-i Safavi. Qum: Intisharat-i Ansariyan, 1991.

Klein-Franke, Felix. "No Smoking in Paradise: The Habit of Tobacco Smoking Judged by Muslim Law." Le Muséon 106 (1993): 155–183.

Matthee, Rudi.The Pursuit of Pleasure: Drugs and Stimulants in Iranian History, 1500–1900. Princeton, N.J.: 2005.

Sangar, S. P. "Intoxicants in Mughal India." Indian Journal of Science 16 (1981): 210.

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Islam

Islam

FOUNDED: 622 c.e.
RELIGION AS A PERCENTAGE OF WORLD POPULATION: 20 percent

OVERVIEW

The religion of Islam was revealed to Muhammad ibn Abdullah, who became known as the Prophet Muhammad, in central Arabia between 610 and 632 c.e. Muhammad did not think that he was founding a new religion with a new scripture but, rather, bringing belief in the one God, a belief already held by Christians and Jews, to the Arabs. The Koran's revelations were seen as a return in the midst of a polytheistic society to the forgotten past, to the faith of the first monotheist, Abraham. Muslims believe that God sent revelations first to Moses, as found in the Hebrew scriptures (the Torah), then to Jesus (the Gospels), and finally to Muhammad (the Koran).

The revelations Muhammad received led him to believe that, over time, Jews and Christians had distorted God's original messages to Moses and, later, to Jesus. Thus, Muslims see the Torah and the Gospels as a combination of the original revelations and later human additions, or interpolations. For example, Christian doctrines such as the Trinity and the divinity of Jesus (his elevation from prophet to Son of God) are seen as changes to the divine revelation from outside or foreign influences.

The Koran contains many references to stories and figures in the Old and New Testaments, including Adam and Eve, Abraham and Moses, David and Solomon, and Mary and Jesus. Indeed, Mary, the mother of Jesus, is mentioned more times in the Koran than in the Gospels. Muslims view Jews and Christians as People of the Book, who received revelations through prophets in the form of revealed books from God.

In addition to belief in a single, all-powerful God, Islam shares with Judaism and Christianity belief in the importance of community-building, social justice, and individual moral decision-making, as well as in revelation, angels, Satan, a final judgment, and eternal reward and punishment. Therefore, Islam was not a totally new monotheistic religion and community that sprang up in isolation. Muslims believe that Islam was, in fact, the original religion of Abraham. The revelations Muhammad received were calls to religious and social reform. They emphasized social justice (concern for the rights of women, widows, and orphans) and warned that many had strayed from the message of God and his prophets. They called upon all to return to what the Koran refers to as the straight path of Islam or the path of God, revealed one final time to Muhammad, the last, or "seal," of the prophets.

The diversity of Islam, the world's second largest religion, is reflected by the geographic expanse of the 56 countries that have Muslim majorities. The world's approximately 1.2 billion Muslims are found not only from Africa to Southeast Asia but also in Europe and North America. Only 20 percent of the world's Muslims are Arab, with the majority of Muslims living in Asian and African countries. The largest Muslim populations are found in Indonesia, Bangladesh, Pakistan, India, and Nigeria. Islam is also a significant presence in the West, as the second largest religion in Europe and projected to become the second largest in the United States. While Muslims share certain core beliefs, there are many interpretations and cultural practices of Islam. Beyond the two major branches of Islam—Sunni (approximately 85 percent of the Muslim community) and Shiite (15 percent)—there are many theological and legal schools, as well as the diversity of thought and practice illustrated by Sufism (Islamic mysticism).

Islam's many faces across the world are seen in diverse cultures. They are seen in Muslim women's dress and in their varied educational and professional opportunities, as well as in their participation in mosques and societies that differ widely from country to country. They are also seen in politics and society when Islamic activists peacefully press for the implementation of religion in the state, when members of Islamic organizations are elected to parliaments (as in Turkey, Algeria, Jordan, Egypt, Kuwait, Yemen, Pakistan, Thailand, and Malaysia), and when Islamic associations provide inexpensive and efficient educational, legal, and medical services in the slums and lower middle-class neighborhoods of Cairo and Algiers, Beirut and Mindanao, the West Bank and Gaza. At the same time, on 11 September 2001 violent extremists and terrorists headed by Osama bin Laden and al-Qaeda, acting in the name of Islam, hijacked commercial airliners and flew them into the towers of the World Trade Center in New York City and into the Pentagon in Washington, D.C., resulting in the loss of almost 3,000 lives. The hijackers who committed this act reflect a religious radicalism that, for several decades, has threatened governments and societies in the Muslim world and in the West. The challenge, however, is not only to be aware of the threat from Muslim extremist groups but also to know and understand the faith of the vast majority of mainstream Muslims across the globe.

HISTORY

Like Judaism and Christianity, Islam originated in the Middle East, in Mecca and Medina in Arabia. The origins of Islam, like those of Judaism and Christianity, would have seemed improbable as forecasters of a great world religion. Just as few would have anticipated the extent to which Moses and Jesus, a slave and a carpenter's son, would become major religious figures, so one would not have predicted that the followers of an orphaned, illiterate caravan manager, Muhammad ibn Abdullah, would become the world's second largest religion, a global religious, political, and cultural presence and power.

Muslims see themselves, as well as Jews and Christians, as children of Abraham, belonging to different branches of the same religious family. The Koran and the Old Testament, or Hebrew Bible, both tell the story of Abraham, Sarah, and Hagar, Sarah's Egyptian servant. While Jews and Christians are held to be descended from Abraham and his wife, Sarah, through their son, Isaac, Muslims trace their religious roots to Abraham through Ismail (Ishmael), his firstborn son by Hagar. This connection to Abraham, Hagar, and Ismail is commemorated each year in the rituals of the pilgrimage to Mecca.

CRESCENT MOON AND STAR.

The Crescent Moon and Star is a symbol frequently associated with the Islamic faith. The crescent moon in particular is of considerable significance. The sighting of the crescent moon, for example, signals the beginning and end of Ramadan, the holy month of fasting. The symbol is often found on the flag of Muslim nations.

According to both Hebrew and Muslim scripture, when, after many years, Sarah did not conceive a child, she urged Abraham to sleep with her maidservant Hagar so that he might have an heir. As a result of the union between Abraham and Hagar, a son, Ismail, was born. After Ismail's birth Sarah also became pregnant and gave birth to Isaac. Sarah then became jealous of Ismail, who as firstborn would be the prime inheritor and overshadow her own son, and she pressured Abraham to send Hagar and Ismail away. Abraham reluctantly let Hagar and his son go, because God promised that he would make Ismail the father of a great nation. Islamic sources say that Hagar and Ismail ended up in the vicinity of Mecca in Arabia, and both the Bible and the Koran say that they nearly died but were saved by a spring that miraculously gushed from the desert.

In seventh-century Arabia, where Muhammad ibn Abdullah was born, war was the natural state. Arabia was located in the broader Near East, which was divided between two warring superpowers, the Byzantine (Eastern Roman) and the Sasanian (Persian) empires, that were competing for world dominion. Located along the profitable trade routes of the Orient, Arabia was affected by the rivalry and interventions of its powerful imperial neighbors.

Pre-Islamic Arabia was tribal in its religious, social, and political ideas, practices, and institutions. Tribal and family honor were central virtues. Manliness (chivalry, upholding tribal and family honor, and courage in battle) was a major virtue celebrated by the poets of the time. There was no belief in an afterlife or a cosmic moral purpose or in individual or communal moral responsibility. Thus, justice was obtained and carried out through group vengeance or retaliation. Arabia and the city of Mecca, in which Muhammad was born and lived and received God's revelation, were beset by tribal raids and cycles of vendettas. Raiding was an integral part of tribal life and society and had established regulations and customs. Raids were undertaken to increase property and such goods as slaves, jewelry, camels, and live-stock. Bloodshed was avoided, if at all possible, because it could lead to retaliation.

Religion in Arabia at the time was predominantly polytheistic. Various gods and goddesses who were feared, not loved, served as protectors of the many tribes. These gods were the objects of cultic rituals and supplication at local shrines, reflecting the tribal nature and social structure of society. Mecca was a rising commercial and religious center that housed the Kaaba, a cube-shaped structure that contained representations of approximately 360 different tribal gods and goddesses. At the head of the shrine's pantheon was the supreme god, Allah, who was seen as the creator and sustainer of life and the universe but who was remote from everyday concerns. Mecca was also the site of a great annual fair and pilgrimage to the Kaaba, a highly profitable event. It brought worshipers of the different gods from far and wide, along with their money and their business interests. In addition to the prevailing tribal polytheism, Arabia was also home to a variety of monotheistic communities, in particular Jews, Christians, and Zoroastrians, which Muhammad encountered in his travels as a businessman.

The traditional sources for information about Muhammad's life are the Koran, as well as biographies of the Prophet and hadith (tradition) literature. Muhammad ibn Abdullah (Muhammad, the son of Abdullah) was born in 570 c.e. in Mecca. Although born into the ruling tribe, the Quraysh, Muhammad was among the "poorer cousins." Orphaned at an early age (his father died before he was born, and his mother died when he was six years old), Muhammad was raised by his uncle, Abu Talib, a well-respected and powerful member of the Quraysh, who provided Muhammad and, later, his community with protection. As a young man Muhammad earned his living as a business manager for the caravans of a wealthy widow named Khadijah. At the age of 25, Muhammad married Khadijah, who was 15 years older. Tradition records that they were married for 24 years and had two sons who died in infancy and four surviving daughters, the most famous of whom was Fatimah, who married Ali, the fourth caliph. Khadijah was the first person to believe in the revelation Muhammad had received, making her the first Muslim convert. She was Muhammad's strongest supporter and adviser, particularly during the early, difficult years after his call as a prophet.

By the age of 30, Muhammad had become a respected member of Meccan society, known for his business skills and trustworthiness (he was nicknamed al-Amin, "the trustworthy"). Reflective by temperament, Muhammad often retreated to the quiet and solitude of Mount Hira to contemplate life and society. It was there, during the month of Ramadan in 610, on a night remembered in Muslim tradition as the Night of Power, that Muhammad, the Meccan businessman, was called to be a prophet of God. Muhammad heard a voice commanding him to "recite." He was frightened and replied that he had nothing to recite. After the angel, identified as Gabriel, repeated the command, the words finally came: "Recite in the name of your Lord who has created, created man out of a germ cell. Recite for your Lord is the Most Generous One, who has taught by the pen, Taught man what he did not know."

This was the first of what would be many revelations from Allah, "the God" in Arabic, communicated through the angel Gabriel. Muhammad continued to receive revelations over the next 22 years, until his death in 632. The revelations were preserved verbatim orally and written down by scribes, and they were later collected and compiled into the Koran, the Muslim scripture. The reformist message Muhammad received, like that of Amos and other prophets before him, represented a powerful but unwelcome challenge to religious and tribal leaders and to businessmen, who comprised the religious and political establishment. Muhammad denounced corrupt business practices and called for social justice for the poor and women, and for children and orphans, the most vulnerable in society. He emphasized the religious equality of men and women and expanded the marriage and inheritance rights of women. Muhammad's prophetic message summoned the people to strive and struggle (jihad) to live a good life based on religious belief rather than loyalty to their tribe and to reform their communities. Most importantly, Muhammad's revelation in the Koran rejected the common practice of worshiping many gods, insisting that there was only one true God. He therefore threatened the livelihood of those who profited enormously from the annual pilgrimage honoring many different gods, the equivalent of a giant tribal convention.

During the first 10 years of Muhammad's preaching, his community of believers remained small and under constant pressure and persecution. In an increasingly hostile environment they were compelled to struggle to stay alive. The life and livelihood of the community were eventually threatened by sanctions that prevented them from doing business and that were literally starving them out. This hardship may have contributed to the death of Khadijah, and after his fortunes were destroyed, Abu Talib, Muhammad's protector, also died. Muhammad was now a likely and proximate target for assassination.

It was at this low point in his life that Muhammad had a mystical experience: the Night Journey, or Ascension. One night, sleeping near the Kaaba, Muhammad was awakened by the angel Gabriel. Muhammad was mounted on a mystical steed called Buruq, who flew him from Mecca to Jerusalem, which is referred to in the Koran as al-masjid al-aqsa (Further Mosque) and which is the site of the Temple Mount, where the ancient Temple of Solomon once stood. There, according to tradition, Muhammad climbed a ladder leading to the throne of God. Along the way to the throne, Muhammad met Abraham, Moses, Joseph, John the Baptist, and Jesus, as well as other prophets. During his meeting with God, Muhammad received guidance for the final number of daily prayers that Muslims should perform, set at five. The Night Journey, which is understood by many Muslims as a mystical experience, made Jerusalem the third holiest city in Islam and affirmed the continuity of Islam with Judaism and Christianity.

Faced with increasing hardships, Muhammad was invited in 622 by a delegation from Yathrib, a city in the north that was caught in a bitter feud between its Arab tribes, to be their binding arbitrator. That his decisions were to be accepted by all the tribes was testimony to Muhammad's wide reputation as a trustworthy and just man. Muhammad began sending his followers to Yathrib, and he followed a short time afterward, thus escaping those plotting to kill him. Yathrib would later be renamed Medina, or Medinat al-Nabi (City of the Prophet). This migration (hijra, or hegira) of the Muslim community from the traditional safety of tribe and kinsmen in warring Arabia to form alliances with alien

Glossary

al-hajj / al-hajji
pilgrim; prefix added to a name to indicate that the person has made the hajj
Allah
God
caliph
successor; deputy to the Prophet Muhammad
dawa
call to Islam; propagation of the faith
dhimmi
protected person, specifically a Jew or Christian
dua
personal prayer
fast of Ramadan
fast during ninth month; fourth pillar
fatwa
legal opinion or judgment of a mufti, a specialist in Islamic law
Five Pillars of Islam
fundamental observances
ghusl
ritual cleansing before worship
hadith
tradition; reports of Muhammad's sayings and deeds
hajj
pilgrimage to Mecca; fifth pillar
halal
meat slaughtered in a religious manner
hijab
Muslim dress for women, today often referring to a headscarf
hijra (hegira)
migration of early Muslims from Mecca to Medina
imam
Shiite prayer leader; also used as the title for Muhammad's successors as leader of the Muslim community, consisting of male descendants through his cousin and son-in-law Ali
Islam
submission to the will of God; peace
jihad
strive, struggle
jizya
poll, or head, tax paid by Jews and Christians
juma
Friday congregational prayer
Kaaba
sacred structure in Mecca; according to tradition, built by Abraham and Ismail
Koran (Quran)
revelation; Muslim scripture
madrasah
Islamic religious school
masjid
place for ritual prostration; mosque
mihrab
niche in mosque indicating the direction of Mecca
millet
protected religious community
minbar
raised platform in mosque; pulpit
People of the Book
Jews and Christians, who Muslims believe received divine revelations in the Torah and Gospels, respectively
riba
usury
sadaqah
almsgiving for the poor, for thanksgiving, or to ward off danger
salat
prayer or worship; second pillar
shahadah
declaration of faith; first pillar
Shariah
Islamic law
Shiite
member of second largest Muslim sect, believing in the hereditary succession of Ali, the cousin and son-in-law of Muhammad, to lead the community
Sufi
mystic
sunnah
example of Muhammad
Sunni
member of largest Muslim sect, holding that the successor (caliph) to Muhammad as leader of the community should be elected
surah
chapter of the Koran
tawhid
oneness, or unity, of God; monotheism
ulama
religious leader or scholar
ummah
the transnational community of followers of Islam
wali
friend of God; Sufi saint
wudu
ablution before worship
zakat
purification; tithe or almsgiving; third pillar

tribes based upon a broader Islamic ideal was a concept introduced by Muhammad, one that would have remarkable success.

The migration to Medina and the creation of the first Islamic community (ummah) underscores the primary importance of community in Islam. It is so significant that when Muslims devised their own calendar they dated it, not from the year in which Muhammad was born or from the first revelation of the Koran, but from the creation of the Islamic community at Medina. Thus, 622 c.e. became 1 a.h. (year [anno] of the hijra). This act reinforced the meaning of Islam as the realization of God's will on earth and the centrality of the Islamic community. It became the basis for Muslim belief in Islam as a world religion, a global community of believers with a universal message and mission.

The experience and example of Muhammad's new community would provide the model for later generations. In times of danger the twin ideals of hijra (to emigrate from a hostile anti-Islamic environment) and jihad (to resist and fight against oppression and injustice) were established. These concepts became guiding principles for responding to persecution and rejection, to threats to the faith, and to the security and survival of the community. Today both mainstream and extremist movements and self-proclaimed "holy warriors," such as Osama bin Laden, who emigrated from Saudi Arabia to establish his movement and training bases in Afghanistan, have selectively used the pattern of migration and struggle, armed resistance, and warfare for their own purposes.

In Medina the Muslim community thrived, resulting in the establishment of the first Islamic communitystate. Muhammad was not only a prophet but also a head of state, political ruler, military commander, chief judge, and lawgiver of a multireligious community consisting of Muslims, Arab polytheists, Jews, and Christians. The Constitution, or Charter, of Medina, as established by Muhammad, set out the rights and duties of the citizens and the relationship of the Muslim community to other communities, thus reflecting the diversity of this society. The charter recognized the People of the Book (Jews and Christians who had received God's revelation through the prophets Moses and Jesus) as an allied community. These People of the Book were entitled to live in coexistence with Muslims and to retain and practice their religion in return for loyalty and the payment of a poll tax, or jizya.

With establishment of the community at Medina, the bitter conflict between Mecca and Muhammad and his followers continued. Muhammad threatened the economic power and political authority of the Meccan leaders with a series of raids against their caravans. In addition, several key battles occurred that are remembered in Muslim tradition as sources of inspiration and guidance. In 624 Muslim forces, although greatly out-numbered, defeated the Meccan army in the Battle of Badr, in which they believed they were aided by divine guidance. The Koran (3:120) declares that thousands of angels assisted the Muslims in battle. This battle has special significance for Muslims because it represents the victory of monotheism over polytheism, of good over evil, of the army of God over the army of ignorance and unbelief. Badr remains an important sacred symbol for contemporary Muslims. For example, Egypt's President Anwar as-Sadat launched the 1973 Arab-Israeli war as a jihad with the code name Operation Badr.

The Battle of Uhud, in 625, represented a major setback for the Muslims when the Meccans bounced back and soundly defeated them, wounding Muhammad. The Battle of the Ditch, or Battle of the Trench, took place in 627, when the Meccans mounted a siege against the Muslims, seeking to crush them permanently. The Battle of the Ditch proved to be a major turning point, however. The Muslims dug a trench to protect themselves from the Meccan cavalry and doggedly resisted the Meccan siege. In the end the Meccans were forced to withdraw, and a truce was struck at Hudaybiyah, a pact of nonaggression that proved a face-saving device for both parties. The truce granted the Muslims the right to make the pilgrimage to Mecca the following year but required that Muhammad end his raids and the attempt at an economic blockade. At the same time, the truce signaled recognition of the political legitimacy of Muhammad.

In 629 Muhammad extended Muslim governance over the Hejaz, in central Arabia, and led the pilgrimage to Mecca. In 630 the feud between Mecca and Medina came to an end. After client tribes of Mecca and Medina clashed, Muhammad declared the truce broken and moved against Mecca with an army of 10,000, and the Quraysh surrendered without a fight. After 20 years Muhammad had successfully returned to Mecca and brought it within the Pax Islamica. In victory Muhammad proved magnanimous and strategic, preferring diplomacy to force. Rather than engaging in vengeance and plunder, he offered amnesty to his former enemies, rewarding a number of its leaders with prominent positions and gifts. Regarding the Kaaba shrine in Mecca as the original house of God built by Abraham and Ismail, Muhammad destroyed its pagan idols and rededicated it to the one true God. The majority of Meccans converted to Islam, accepted Muhammad's leadership, and became part of the Islamic community.

The conquest of Mecca established Muhammad's paramount political leadership. He continued to employ his religious message, diplomatic skills, and, when necessary, force to establish Muslim rule in Arabia. In 632 the 62-year-old Muhammad led a pilgrimage to Mecca and delivered his farewell sermon, a moment remembered and commemorated each year during the annual pilgrimage: "Know ye that every Muslim is a brother unto every other Muslim, and that ye are now one brotherhood. It is not legitimate for any one of you, therefore, to appropriate unto himself anything that belongs to his brother unless it is willingly given him by that brother." When Muhammad died in June 632, all of Arabia was united under the banner of Islam.

Few observers of seventh-century Arabia would have predicted that, within a hundred years of Muhammad's death, a religious community established by a local businessman, orphaned and illiterate, would unite Arabia's warring tribes, overwhelm the eastern Byzantine and Sasanid empires, and create its own vast empire stretching from North Africa to India. Within a brief period of time, Muhammad had initiated a major historical transformation that began in Arabia but that would become a global religious and political movement. In subsequent years Muslim armies, traders, and mystics spread the faith and power of Islam globally. The religion of Islam became intertwined with empires and sultanates from North Africa to Southeast Asia.

After the death of Muhammad, his four immediate successors, remembered in Sunni Islam as the Rightly Guided Caliphs (reigned 632–61), oversaw the consolidation of Muslim rule in Arabia and the broader Middle East (Egypt, Palestine, Iraq, and Syria), overrunning the Byzantine and Sasanid empires. A period of great central empires was followed with the establishment of the Umayyad (661–750) and then the Abbasid (750–1258) empires. Within a hundred years of the death of Muhammad, Muslim rule extended from North Africa to South Asia, an empire greater than Rome at its zenith.

Under the Abbasids trade and industry, a strong central bureaucracy, law, theology, literature, science, and culture developed. The Abbasid conquest of the central Umayyad empire did not affect the existence of the Spanish Umayyad empire in Andalusia (modern-day Spain and Portugal). There, where Muslims were called Moors, Muslim rule ushered in a period of coexistence and culture developed by Muslims, Christians, and Jews in major urban centers. The Spanish Umayyad empire was less a threat to the Abbasids than was the Fatimid (Shiite) empire in the tenth century, carved out in North Africa and with its capital in Cairo. From the tenth to the twelfth centuries, the Fatimids challenged a weakened and fragmented Abbasid empire, spreading their influence and rule across North Africa, Egypt, Syria, Persia, and Sicily. The Fatimids were not brought under Abbasid rule until 1171, when the great general Salah ad-Din (Saladin) conquered Cairo. Despite this success, however, by the thirteenth century the Abbasid empire had become a sprawling, fragmented group of semiautonomous states governed by military commanders. In 1258 the Mongols captured Baghdad, burned and pillaged the city, slaughtered its Muslim inhabitants, and executed the caliph and his family.

Although the fall of Baghdad seemed to be a fatal blow to Muslim power, by the fifteenth century Muslim fortunes had been reversed. The central caliphate was replaced by a chain of dynamic states, each ruled by a sultan, stretching from Africa to Southeast Asia, from Timbuktu to Mindanao. They included three imperial sultanates: the Turkish Ottoman Empire (1322–1924), which encompassed major portions of North Africa, the Arab world, and eastern Europe; the Persian Safavid Empire (1501–1722); and the Mughal Empire (1520–1857), which included much of the Indian subcontinent (modern-day Pakistan, India, and Bangladesh).

Like many parts of the world, Muslim societies fell victim to European imperialism. When Christian Europe overpowered North Africa, the Middle East, and South and Southeast Asia in the nineteenth century, reducing most Muslim societies to colonies, many Muslims experienced these defeats as a religious, as well as a political and cultural, crisis. It was a symbol not only of the decline of Muslim power but also of the apparent loss of divine favor and guidance. Colonialism brought European armies and Christian missionaries, who accompanied the bureaucrats, traders, and teachers, to spread the message of Western (Christian) religious and cultural superiority and dominance. Europe legitimated its colonization of large areas of the underdeveloped Muslim world in cultural terms. The French spoke of a "mission to civilize" and the British of "the white man's burden."

Muslim responses to Europe's political and religious penetration and dominance varied significantly, ranging from resistance or warfare (jihad) in "defense of Islam" to accommodation with, if not outright assimilation of, Western values. The result of Western imperialism for Muslims was a period of self-criticism and reflection on the causes of their decline. Responses spanned the spectrum from liberal secularism to Islamic modernism. Islamic modernists sought to respond to, rather than react against, the challenge of Western imperialism. They proclaimed the need for Islamic reform through a process of reinterpretation and selective adaptation (Islamization) of Western ideas and technology. Islamic modernism sought to reinterpret Islam to demonstrate its compatibility with Western science and thought and to resist European colonialism and meet the changing circumstances of Muslim life through religious, legal, political, educational, and social reforms.

Some Muslims, however, rejected both conservative and modernist positions in favor of religious activism. The Muslim Brotherhood (Ikhwan al-Muslimin) of Egypt and the Jamaat-i Islami (Islamic Society) of the Indian subcontinent are prominent examples of modern neorevivalist Islamic organizations that linked religion to activism. Their leaders, the Muslim Brotherhood's Hasan al-Banna and Jamaat's Mawlana Abul Ala Mawdudi, were pious Muslims whose upbringing and education exposed them to modernist Islamic thought and Western learning. In contrast to Islamic modernists, who justified adopting Western ideas and institutions because they were compatible with Islam, al-Banna and Mawdudi sought to produce a new interpretation, or synthesis. Rather than leaving their societies, they organized their followers into an Islamically oriented community with a dynamic nucleus of leaders capable of transforming society from within. Joining thought to action, these leaders provided Islamic responses, both ideological and organizational, and inspired political as well as social activism.

Though anti-Western, the Muslim Brotherhood and Jamaat were not against modernization. They engaged in building modern organizations and institutions, provided modern educational and social welfare services, and used modern technology and mass communications to spread their message and to mobilize popular support. They addressed the problems of modernity, analyzing the relationship of Islam to nationalism, democracy, capitalism, Marxism, work, modern banking, education, law, women, Zionism, and international relations. The organizations established by al-Banna and Mawdudi remain vibrant today and have served as an example to others throughout much of the Muslim world.

CENTRAL DOCTRINES

Like Jews and Christians, Muslims are monotheists. They believe in one God, Allah, who is the creator, sustainer, ruler, and judge of the universe. The word "Allah" appears in the Koran more than 2,500 times.

The word "Islam" means "submission" to the will of God and "peace," the interior peace that results from following God's will and creating a just society. Muslims must strive or struggle (jihad) in the path (Shariah) of God in order to implement his will on earth by working to establish a just society or to expand or defend the Muslim community.

Muslims believe that the Koran is the final, complete, literal, eternal, uncreated word of God, sent from heaven to the Prophet Muhammad as a guide for humankind (Koran 2:185). Thus, the Koran does not reveal God per se but, rather, God's will, or law, for all of creation. Although God is transcendent and thus unknowable, his nature is revealed in creation and his will in revelation, and his acts in history. God in the Koran is all-powerful and is the ultimate judge of humankind, but he is also merciful and compassionate.

The proclamation of God's mercy and compassion is made in the opening verse of the Koran, which begins, "In the Name of God, the Merciful, the Compassionate." In the Muslim world this phrase is used by pious believers at the beginning of letters, speeches, books, and articles. Many people recite the phrase as they begin to drive a car, eat a meal, or begin any task. God's mercy exists in dialectical tension with his role as the ultimate judge. Although it can be tempered by mercy for the repentant, justice requires punishment for those who disobey God's will. On Judgment Day all human beings are to be judged according to their deeds and either punished or rewarded on the basis of their obedience or disobedience.

Muslims believe that sacred scriptures exist because throughout history God has sent his guidance to prophets so that his will might be known and followed by humankind. Thus, Muslims believe not only in the Prophet Muhammad but also in the prophets of the Hebrew Bible, including Abraham and Moses, and of the New Testament, John the Baptist and Jesus. Those prophets who have also brought God's revelation in the form of a sacred scripture or book—for example, Moses and the Torah and Jesus and the Gospels—are also called "messengers" of God. Thus, not all prophets are messengers, but messengers are also prophets. Jews and Christians are regarded as the People of the Book, a community of believers who received revelations, through prophets, in the form of scriptures, or revealed books, from God.

The Koran confirms the Torah and the Gospels as revelations from God, but Muslims believe that, after the deaths of the prophets, extraneous, nonbiblical beliefs infiltrated the Torah and the Gospels, altering the original, pure revelation. For example, the Koran declares an absolute monotheism, which means that associating anyone or anything with God is the one unforgivable sin of idolatry, or associationism. Muslims therefore do not believe in the Christian doctrine of the Trinity (one God in three persons), and although Muslims recognize Jesus as a prophet, they do not recognize him as God's son. Thus, Muslims believe that the Koran was sent as a correction, not as a nullification, or abrogation, of the Torah and the Gospels, and they see Islam as the oldest of the monotheistic faiths, since it represents both the original and the final revelation of God.

The Koranic universe consists of three realms—heaven, earth, and hell—in which there are two types of beings: humans and spirits. All beings are called to obedience to God. Spirits include angels, jinn, and devils. Angels are created from light, are immortal and sexless, and serve as the link between God and human beings. They serve as guardians, recorders, and messengers from God who transmit his message to human beings by communicating with prophets. Thus, the angel Gabriel is believed to have communicated the revelation of the Koran to Muhammad. Jinn, beings created by fire, are between angels and humans and can be either good or bad. Although invisible by nature, jinn can assume visible form. Like human beings, they are to be rewarded or punished in the afterlife. Jinn are often portrayed as magical beings, such as genies, as in the story of Aladdin and his lamp. Devils are fallen angels or jinn that tempt human beings torn between the forces of good and evil. Satan (shaytan, or Iblis), leader of the devils, represents evil, which is defined as disobedience to God. Satan's fall was caused by his refusal to prostrate himself before Adam upon God's command.

Because God breathed his spirit into Adam, the first human being, humans enjoy a special status as God's representatives on earth. The Koran teaches that God gave the earth to human beings as a trust so that they can implement his will. Although Muslims believe in the Fall of Adam and Eve in the Garden of Eden, in contrast to Christianity there is no doctrine of an inherited original sin and no belief in a vicarious suffering or atonement for humankind. The punishment of Adam and Eve is believed to result from their own personal act of disobedience to God. Each person is held responsible for his or her own actions. Human beings are mortal because of the human condition, not because of sin or the Fall of Adam and Eve. Sin is the result of an act of disobedience rather than a state of being. In Islam the Fall demonstrates human sin, God's mercy, and human repentance. Islam emphasizes the need to repent by returning to the straight path of God. The Koran does not emphasize shame, disgrace, or guilt but, rather, the ongoing human struggle—jihad—to do what is right and just.

A Muslim's obligation to be God's servant and to spread his message is both an individual and a community obligation. The community is bound not by family or tribal ties but by a common faith, which must be acted out and implemented. The primary emphasis is upon obeying God as prescribed by Islamic law, which contains guidelines for both the individual and the community. In contrast to Christianity, in which theology is the queen of the sciences, for Islam, as for Judaism, the primary religious science is law. Christianity there-fore emphasizes orthodoxy (correct doctrine or belief), while Islam, as witnessed by the Five Pillars (fundamental observances), emphasizes orthopraxy (correct action).

Many Muslims describe Islam as "a total way of life." They believe that religion cannot be separated from social and political life, since religion informs every action a person takes. The Koran provides many passages that emphasize the relationship of religion to the state and society. Muslims see themselves as God's representatives, with a divine mandate to establish his rule on earth in order to create a moral and just society. The Muslim community is thus seen as a political entity, as proclaimed in the Koran 49:13, which teaches that God "made you into nations and tribes." Like Jews and Christians before them, Muslims believe that they have been called into a covenant with God, making them a community of believers who must serve as an example to other nations (2:143): "You are the best community evolved for mankind, enjoining what is right and forbidding what is wrong" (3:110).

Social justice is a central teaching of the Koran, with all believers equal before God. The equality of believers forms the basis of a just society that is to counterbalance the oppression of the weak and economic exploitation. Muhammad, who was orphaned at an early age and who witnessed the exploitation of orphans, the poor, and women in Meccan society, was especially sensitive to their plight. Some of the strongest passages in the Koran condemn exploitation and champion social justice. Throughout history the mission to create a moral and just social order has provided a rationale for Islamic activist and revivalist movements, both mainstream and extremist.

In response to European colonialism and industrialization, issues of social justice came to the forefront of Muslim societies in the early twentieth century. The influx of large numbers of peasants from the countryside into urban areas in many developing countries created social and demographic tensions. In Egypt, for example, the Muslim Brotherhood, founded in 1928, emerged as a major social movement whose Islamic mission included a religious solution to poverty and assistance to the dispossessed and downtrodden. Its founder, Hasan al-Banna, taught a message of social and economic justice, preaching particularly to the poor and uneducated. In al-Banna's vision Islam was not just a philosophy, religion, or cultural trend but also a social movement seeking to improve all areas of life, not only those that were inherently religious. That is, rather than being simply a belief system, Islam was a call to social action.

Islamic Law

Islamic law, which includes requirements for worship as well as for social transactions, has been seen as providing the ideal blueprint for the believer who asks, "What should I do?" The law covers regulations for religious rituals and for such social transactions as marriage, divorce, and inheritance and sets standards for penal and international law. Traditionally religious scholars (ulama) and judges, courts, or governments have been responsible for elaborating and applying the law.

Sunni Muslims recognize four official sources of law: (1) the Koran, which contains moral directives; (2) the sunnah (example) of Muhammad as recorded in stories or traditions describing his activities, illustrating Islamic faith in practice and explaining Koranic principles; (3) qiyas, reasoning by analogy, used by scholars facing a new situation or problem when no clear text can be found in the Koran or sunnah; and (4) consensus (ijma), which originated with a reported saying of Muhammad, "My community will never agree on an error," which came to mean that consensus among religious scholars could determine the permissibility of an action.

Concern for justice led to the development of subsidiary legal principles: equity (istihsan), which permits exceptions to strict, or literal, legal reasoning, and public interest (maslaha) or human welfare, which give judges flexibility in arriving at just and equitable decisions. Shiites also include collections of the traditions of Ali, who they believe was the first caliph to succeed Muhammad, and of other imams, the ruling descendants of Muhammad through Ali, whom they regard as supreme authorities and legal interpreters.

The diverse geographic, social, historical, and cultural contexts in which jurists have written also account for differences in Islamic law. Many ulama, representing conservative strains in Islam, continue to equate God's divinely revealed law (Shariah) with legal manuals developed by early law schools. Reformers, however, call for changes in laws that are the products of social custom and human reasoning, saying that duties and obligations to God (worship) are unchanging but that social obligations to one's fellow man reflect changing circumstances. They reclaim the right of ijtihad (independent reasoning) to reinterpret Islam to meet modern social needs.

In the contemporary era emphasis on Islam's message of social justice by Islamic movements, both moderate and militant, has been particularly powerful in gaining adherents from poorer and less advantaged groups in such countries as Algeria and Indonesia. In Israel and Palestine, and in Lebanon, groups like Hamas and Hezbollah devote substantial resources to social welfare activities and call for the empowerment of the poor and weak. They teach that social justice can be achieved only if the poor rise up against their oppressive conditions.

MORAL CODE OF CONDUCT

The Shariah (Islamic law) provides a blueprint of principles and values for an ideal society. At its core are the Five Pillars of Islam, which unite all Muslims in their common belief. Following the pillars involves a Muslim's mind, body, time, energy, and wealth. Meeting the obligations required by the pillars translates beliefs into actions, reinforces an everyday awareness of God's existence and presence, and reminds Muslims of their membership in a worldwide community of believers.

The first pillar is the declaration of faith. A Muslim is one who bears witness, who testifies that "There is no god but God [Allah] and Muhammad is the messenger of God." This statement, known as the shahadah, is pronounced and heard 14 times a day by those who meet the requirement of praying five times daily, and it is repeated at many other occasions in a Muslim's life. To become a Muslim, one must make only this brief and simple declaration, or profession, of faith.

The first part of the declaration reflects absolute monotheism, Islam's uncompromising belief in the oneness, or unity, of God (tawhid). Associating anything else with God is idolatry, considered the one unforgivable sin. To avoid any possible idolatry resulting from the depiction of figures, for example, Islamic religious art tends to use calligraphy, geometric forms, and arabesque designs and is thus abstract rather than representational.

The second part of the declaration emphasizes that Muhammad is not only a prophet but also a messenger of God, the one who received a book of revelation from him. For Muslims, Muhammad is the last and final prophet, who serves as a model for the community through his life. Unlike Jesus, however, Muhammad is held to have been only human, although he is believed to have been a perfect man, a follower of God. Muslim's efforts to follow Muhammad's example in their private and public conduct reflect the emphasis of Islam on religious observance, or practice, that is expressed in the remaining pillars.

The second pillar of Islam is prayer, or worship (salat). Throughout the world Muslims worship five times a day (daybreak, noon, mid-afternoon, sunset, and evening), sanctifying their entire day as they remember to find guidance in God. In many Muslim countries reminders to pray, or "calls to prayer," echo across the rooftops. Aided by a megaphone from high atop a mosque's minaret, a muezzin calls all Muslims to prayer. Modern technology has also provided novel audio and visual reminders to pray, including special wristwatches, mosque-shaped clocks, and a variety of computer programs.

Prayer is preceded by a series of ablutions, which symbolize the purity of mind and body required for worshiping God. Facing the holy city of Mecca, Islam's spiritual homeland where the Prophet was born and received God's revelation, Muslims recite passages from the Koran and glorify God as they stand, bow, kneel, touch the ground with their foreheads, and sit. Muslims can pray in any clean environment, in a mosque or at home or at work, alone or in a group, indoors or outside. Although not required, it is considered preferable and more meritorious to pray with others, thus demonstrating and reinforcing Muslim brotherhood, equality, and solidarity. Regardless of race or language, all Muslims pray in Arabic. After a formal ritual prayer, individuals may offer personal prayers (dua) of petition or thanksgiving. Each week on Friday, the Muslim Sabbath, the noon prayer is a congregational prayer (juma) at a mosque or Islamic center.

The third pillar of Islam is called the zakat, a tithe or almsgiving. Zakat, which means "purification," and salat, or worship, are often mentioned in the same Koranic verse, reinforcing their significance. As an early Muslim observed, "Prayer carries us half-way to God; fasting brings us to the door of His praises; almsgiving procures for us admission."

By caring for the poor, Muslims as individuals, and the Muslim community collectively, demonstrate their concern and care for their own. It is in this spirit that zakat can be viewed as a social responsibility, combating poverty and preventing the excessive accumulation of wealth. The redistribution of wealth also underscores the Muslim belief that everything ultimately belongs to God. Human beings are simply caretakers, or viceregents, for God's property, which must be fairly allocated within the broader community.

Thus, zakat is not viewed as voluntary giving, as charity, but, rather, as an act of individual self-purification and as a social obligation, reflecting Islam's emphasis upon social justice for the poor and vulnerable in society. Payment of the tithe purifies both the soul of the person and what is given. It reminds Muslims that their wealth is a trust from God. Zakat expresses worship of, and thanksgiving to, God by meeting the needs of the less fortunate members of the community. It functions as an informal type of social security in a Muslim society and resembles forms of tithing found in Judaism and Christianity.

Paid during Ramadan, the ninth month of the Islamic lunar calendar and the month of fasting, zakat requires an annual contribution of 2.5 percent of a person's total wealth and assets, not merely a percentage of annual income. Original Islamic law stipulated clearly and specifically those areas subject to zakat—silver and gold, animals, and agricultural products. Today modern forms of wealth, such as bank accounts, stocks, and bonds, are included.

There are other religious taxes in Islam. In Shiite Islam the khums, meaning "one-fifth," is an obligatory tax paid to religious leaders. Among the many forms of almsgiving common to all Muslims is the sadaqah, voluntary alms given to the poor, in thanksgiving to God, or to ward off danger. It is the zakat, however, that is the obligatory form of almsgiving for all Muslims.

The fourth pillar of Islam is the fast of Ramadan, which occurs during the month in which the first revelation of the Koran came to Muhammad. The primary emphasis of fasting is not simply on abstinence and self-mortification but, rather, on spiritual self-discipline, reflection on human frailty and dependence on God, and performance of good works in response to the less fortunate. During this month-long fast Muslims whose health permit abstain from dawn to sunset from food, drink, and sexual activity. Those who are sick, pregnant, or weakened by old age are exempted. Muslims on a journey may postpone fasting and make it up at another time. Ramadan is also a special time to recite or listen to the recitation of the Koran. This is popularly done by dividing the Koran into 30 portions to be recited throughout the days of the month. Near the end of Ramadan, on the 27th day, Muslims commemorate the Night of Power, on which Muhammad received the first of God's revelations.

The fifth pillar, and probably the best known among non-Muslims, is the pilgrimage, or hajj, to Mecca in Saudi Arabia, which occurs about 60 days after the end of Ramadan. Every adult Muslim who is physically and financially able is required to make the pilgrimage, becoming a person totally at God's service at least once in his or her lifetime. Many who are able to do so make the pilgrimage more often. Muslim tradition teaches that God forgives the sins of those who perform the hajj with devotion and sincerity. Thus, many elderly make the pilgrimage with the hope that they will die cleansed of their sins.

Every year more than 2 million believers, representing a tremendous diversity of cultures and languages, travel from all over the world to the Al-Haram Mosque in Mecca to form one community living their faith. Just as Muslims are united five times each day as they face Mecca in worship, so the pilgrimage to the spiritual center of Islam enables them to experience the unity, breadth, and diversity of the Islamic community. Muslims who have made the hajj are entitled to add the prefix "pilgrim," al-hajj or hajji, to their names, which many proudly do. Like salat, the pilgrimage requires ritual purification, symbolized by the wearing of white garments, which represent purity as well as the unity and equality of all believers, an equality that transcends class, wealth, privilege, power, nationality, race, or color.

Jihad is sometimes referred to as the sixth pillar of Islam, although it has no such official status. In its most general meaning jihad pertains to the difficulty and complexity of living a good life by struggling against the evil in oneself, by being virtuous and moral, by making a serious effort as individuals and as a community to do good works and help reform society, and by fulfilling the universal mission of Islam to spread its community through the preaching of Islam or the writing of religious tracts, these latter referred to as "jihad of the tongue" and "jihad of the pen." Today jihad may also be used to describe the personal struggle to keep the fast of Ramadan, to fulfill family responsibilities, or to clean up a neighborhood, fight drugs, or work for social justice. In addition, jihad includes the sacred struggle for, or the defense of, Islam or the Muslim community, popularly referred to as "holy war." The two broad meanings of jihad, nonviolent and violent, are contrasted in a well-known Prophetic tradition that reports Muhammad returning from battle to tell his followers, "We return from the lesser jihad [warfare] to the greater jihad." The greater jihad is the more difficult and more important struggle against ego, selfishness, greed, and evil.

Despite the fact that jihad is not supposed to include aggressive (offensive as opposed to defensive) warfare, this has occurred throughout history. Muslim rulers have used jihad to legitimate their wars of imperial expansion, often with the approval of religious leaders or scholars (ulama). Religious extremist groups assassinated Egypt's President Anwar as-Sadat in 1981, and they have slaughtered innocent civilians in suicide bombings in Israel and Palestine and murdered thousands in acts of global terrorism in the United States, Saudi Arabia, Morocco, Indonesia, and other countries. At the same time, wars of resistance or liberation have been fought as jihads in Afghanistan against Soviet occupation, in Bosnia and Herzegovina, in Kosovo, and, in the eyes of many Muslims, in Palestine and Israel, Jammu and Kashmir, and Chechnya.

In addition to the Five Pillars of Islam, the Koran provides Muslims with other rules of conduct. Consuming pork and alcohol is forbidden, and there are strict prohibitions against gambling, prostitution, adultery, murder, and other criminal offenses. A host of regulations about the just treatment of debtors, widows, the poor, and orphans emphasizes the key importance of social justice. Those who practice usury are strongly rebuked. In addition, both men and women are required to dress and to act modestly, and they are encouraged to marry and procreate. Thus, Islam provides a set of common beliefs, values, and practices that are to guide Muslim life.

SACRED BOOKS

The Koran—"recitation" in Arabic—is the Muslim scripture. It contains the revelations received by the Prophet Muhammad from God through the angel Gabriel over a period of 23 years, beginning when Muhammad was 40 years old and continuing until his death in 632. For Muslims, Muhammad, who was illiterate, was neither the author nor the editor of the Koran. Rather, he functioned as God's intermediary, reciting the revelations he received. The Koran, therefore, is the eternal, literal word of God, preserved in the Arabic language and in the order in which it was revealed.

Muslims believe that the Koran's 114 chapters (surahs) were initially preserved in oral and written form during the lifetime of Muhammad. The entire text was collected in an official standardized version some 15 or 20 years after his death. The Koran is approximately four-fifths the size of the New Testament. Its chapters were assembled and ordered from the longest to the shortest, not thematically. This format proves frustrating to some non-Muslims, who find the text disjointed. The organization of the Koran, however, enables a believer simply to open the text at random and to start reciting at the beginning of any paragraph, since each represents a lesson to be learned and reflected upon.

The recitation of the Koran is central to a Muslim's life, and many Muslims memorize the Koran in its entirety. Recitation reinforces what Muslims see as the miracle of hearing the actual word of God expressed by the human voice. There are many examples throughout history of those who were drawn to, and converted to, Islam upon hearing the Koran recited.

SACRED SYMBOLS

Because of the sensitivity in Islam to representational sacred art, lest any human being or physical object become the subject of worship or idolatry, major symbols are more limited in scope than in many other religions, including Christianity and Hinduism. The Kaaba, Dome of the Rock, and calligraphy are among the more prominent religious symbols in Islam.

The Kaaba is considered the most sacred space in the Muslim world and the spiritual center of the earth, the point Muslims turn toward when they pray and the direction toward which their heads point in burial. It is thought to mark the location where the earth was created. The Kaaba symbolizes an earthly image of the divine throne in heaven, and it is therefore believed that actions that take place at the Kaaba, such as circumam-bulation, are duplicated in heaven at the throne of God.

Another major symbol is the Dome of the Rock in Jerusalem, popularly referred to as the Mosque of Umar. Jerusalem first came under Muslim rule in 638, during Umar's reign. The shrine itself, however, was built later, in around 692, by the caliph Abd al-Malik ibn Marwan. It was constructed over the rock on the Temple Mount, where Muslim tradition holds that the Prophet Muhammad departed on his Night Journey to heaven. (The Temple Mount itself is also the site of the Temple of Solomon and of the Christian Dome of the Holy Sepulcher, and is thus sacred to all three great monotheistic traditions.) The octagonal shaped shrine, with its golden dome, dominates the skyline. It is majestically decorated inside and out with some 240 yards of calligraphic designs consisting of Koranic inscriptions. Among Muslims today pictures and representations of the Dome of the Rock are probably second in popularity only to those of the Kaaba, both because it symbolizes the Prophet's Night Journey and is located in the third holiest city of Islam and because it has become a popular symbol for the liberation of Jerusalem and Palestine.

Arabic calligraphy originated from the desire for a script worthy of divine revelation in copying the Koran. Because of its association with the Koran, calligraphy assumed a sacred character and became the highest form of art. Since Islamic art does not represent human forms, calligraphy is used to capture and symbolize meaning and message. Thus, for example, Allah written in calligraphic form became a powerful symbol representing the divine. It is also common to see the names of Allah and Muhammad, or of Allah, Muhammad, and Ali, written in calligraphy as religious symbols, whether on paper, in plaster on walls, or on such ornamental objects as plates or medals. Other popular phrases, such as the shahadah (There is no god but God and Muhammad is the messenger of God), Allahu Akbar (God is great), or Ya Rabb (the Lord), are also depicted in calligraphic art that adorns walls and buildings throughout the Islamic world.

EARLY AND MODERN LEADERS

Throughout history Islam has been integral to politics and civilization. Intellectuals and writers, religious rulers and activists have often exercised leadership and had a significant impact on government and society. The relationships of faith to power, reason, science, and society have been enduring and interconnected concerns and issues.

The period of Muhammad and his first four successors, the Rightly Guided Caliphs (reigned 632–61), has remained an ideal to which most Muslims look for inspiration and renewal. During the reign of the Rightly Guided Caliphs, Arab Muslim rule over the heartlands of the Middle East was established. Each of these caliphs had been a close companion to Muhammad, and all belonged to the Quraysh tribe. The period of their rule is considered the golden age of Islam, when rulers were closely guided by Muhammad's practices. Abu Bakr, the first caliph (reigned 632–34), had been an early convert who was also Muhammad's close advisor and father-in-law. A man respected for his piety and sagacity, Abu Bakr had been the one appointed to lead the Friday communal prayer in Muhammad's absence. After Muhammad's death Abu Bakr was selected as Muhammad's successor by the majority of Muslims, called Sunnis, or followers of the sunnah (example) of the Prophet, based on their belief that leadership should pass to the most qualified person.

The second caliph, Umar (reigned 634–44), seen as the dominant personality among the four, was responsible for establishing many of the fundamental institutions of the classical Islamic state. During the reign of the personally pious third caliph, Uthman (reigned 644–56), the Koran was collected and put into its final form. Uthman's lack of strength in handling unscrupulous relatives, however, led to his murder by malcontents and to a period of disorder and civil war. The fourth caliph, Ali (reigned 656–61), was the cousin and son-in-law of Muhammad and the first male to convert to Islam. Ali, who was also a distinguished judge and brave warrior, was the first caliph recognized by Shiite Muslims, who believed that succession should be based on heredity and who thus considered the first three caliphs to be usurpers. Ali's political discourse, sermons, letters, and sayings have served as the Shiite framework for Islamic government. His rule was marked by political strife, however, and he was assassinated while praying in a mosque. Shiite Muslims recognize only Ali, as well as the brief reign of Ali's son Hussein (reigned 661). Following the Rightly Guided Caliphs, the dynasty of the Umayyads, who reigned from 661 to 750, was established to became a powerful Arab military aristocracy.

Throughout the following centuries, from the rise of Islam to the modern period, Islamic empires, sultanates, and movements flourished. They were led or influenced by rulers and military men like Saladin and Suleiman the Magnificent; theologians, historians, and legal scholars like Muhammad al-Ghazali and Ibn Taymiyya; and leaders of revivalist movements like Muhammad ibn Abd al-Wahhab in the Arabian Peninsula, the Mahdi of the Sudan, and Uthman dan Fodio of Nigeria.

From the late nineteenth century Islamic movements, both mainstream and extremist, have sought to revitalize and reform Islam. They have been influenced by a core group of Islamic intellectual-activists. Two in particular, Islamic modernism and Islamic revivalism, or "fundamentalism," have been particularly influential. Both have sought a modern reformation but with some-what differing visions and styles.

Among the more important modern reformers were Muhammad Abduh (1849–1905) in the Middle East and Sayyid Ahmad Khan (1817–98) and Muhammad Iqbal (1876–1938) in South Asia. The Egyptian Abduh received a traditional religious education. He taught at Cairo's Al-Azhar University, renowned throughout the Islamic world as the principal center for Islamic education and orthodoxy. Abduh also taught at the newly created Dar al-Ulum College, which provided a modern education for Al-Azhar students who wanted to qualify for government positions. In the 1870s Abduh became an enthusiastic follower of Jamal al-Din al-Afghani (1838–97), born in Iran and educated in Iran and then India. Al-Afghani, an activist who is known as the father of Muslim nationalism, traveled from India to Egypt to promote Islamic intellectual reform as a prerequisite to overcoming European colonial influence and rule and achieving independence. In the 1880s Abduh and Al-Afghani were exiled to Paris for their participation in a nationalist uprising against British and French influence in Egypt. When he returned to Cairo in 1888, Abduh accepted the existing political situation and devoted his energies to religious, educational, and social reform.

A religious scholar, Abduh reinterpreted scripture and tradition to provide an Islamic rationale for modern reforms. When Abduh became mufti, head of Egypt's religious court system, in 1899, he introduced changes in the Shariah courts. As a judge, he interpreted and applied Islam to modern conditions, using a methodology that combined a return to the fundamental sources of Islam with an acceptance of modern rational thought. Critical of many religious leaders' inability to address modern problems, Abduh also modernized the curriculum at Al-Azhar University, whose graduates became religious leaders throughout the Muslim world, to change their training and intellectual outlook. Abduh called for educational and social reforms to improve and protect the status of women, supporting their access to education and arguing that the Koranic marriage ideal was monogamy, not polygamy.

On the Indian subcontinent, in what is today Pakistan, India, and Bangladesh, Sayyid Ahmad Khan and, later, Muhammad Iqbal were prominent voices for Islamic reform. Khan responded to the fall of the Mughal Empire. The Sepoy Mutiny against British colonial influence and de facto rule became the pretext for the British to officially take charge, and it left the Muslim community, largely blamed by the British, in disarray. Initially overwhelmed by the chaos and devastation, Khan had considered leaving India. Instead, he chose to stay and rebuild the Muslim community. In contrast to Al-Afghani and others, he argued that Indian Muslims should accept British rule as a political reality and reform their community within these limits. He wished to respond both to Muslim reform and to the criticisms and attacks leveled at Islam by Christian missionaries.

In the tradition of past Islamic revivalists, Khan claimed the right to reinterpret Islam. He rejected the classical formulations of Islam fashioned by the ulama and sought to return to the original Islam of the Koran and Muhammad. Arguing that Islam and science were compatible, he advocated a new theological formulation, or reformulation, of Islam. To implement his ideas and produce a new generation of Muslim leaders, he established the Muhammadan Anglo-Oriental College at Aligarh, India, in 1874. Renamed Aligarh University in 1920, it was modeled on Cambridge University, with a course of studies that combined the best of a European curriculum with a modernist interpretation of Islam. He and his disciples published journals that dealt with religious reform and women's rights in Islam.

In the 1930s three trailblazers—Hasan al-Banna (1906–49) and Sayyid Qutb (1906–66) of the Muslim Brotherhood in Egypt and Mawlana Abul Ala Mawdudi (1903–79) of the Jamaat-i-Islami (Islamic Society) in South Asia—had an incalculable impact on the development of Islamic movements throughout the Muslim world. Both organizations constructed a worldview based on an interpretation of Islam that informed social and political activism. These men were the architects of contemporary Islamic revivalism, their ideas and methods studied and emulated by scholars and activists from the Sudan to Indonesia. The two movements emerged at a time when the Muslim world remained weak and in decline, much of it occupied and ruled by foreign powers. Egypt was occupied by Britain from 1882 to 1952, and the Indian subcontinent was ruled by Britain from 1857 to 1947, when modern India and Pakistan achieved independence.

Although the Muslim Brotherhood and the Jamaat have been called fundamentalist, they were quite modern, though not necessarily Western, in their ideological agenda, organization, and activities. Rather than fleeing the modern world, they sought to engage and control it, but on their own terms.

Hasan al-Banna, a schoolteacher, was born in a small town outside Cairo. His early traditional religious education was supplemented by his father, who had studied at Al-Azhar University during the time of Muhammad Abduh. After studying at a local teachertraining college, al-Banna went to Cairo to study at Dar al-Ulum College, with its modern curriculum. There he came into contact with disciples of Abduh and with the reformist thought of Abduh and Al-Afghani. After completing his studies, al-Banna took a teaching position at a primary school in Ismailia. Convinced that only through a return to Islam could the Muslim community revitalize itself and its fortunes and throw off European colonial domination, he ran discussion groups and, in 1928, established the Muslim Brotherhood (Ikhwan al-Muslimin).

Mawlana Abul Ala Mawdudi was born in Aurangabad in central India. His father supervised his early education in religious disciplines. It was only later that Mawdudi learned English and studied modern subjects. He turned to a career in journalism and quickly became editor of the newspaper of India's Association of Ulama. Mawdudi also became active in the Khilafat movement, which called for a restoration of the caliphate, and the All-India National Congress. He soon became convinced, however, that the identity, unity, and future of Indian Muslims were threatened not only by European imperialism but also by Hindu and Muslim nationalism. Mawdudi believed that a gradual social, rather than a violent political, Islamization of society from below was needed to create an Islamic state and society. He became editor of the journal Exegesis of the Quran, in which he published articles on his Islamic alternative. In 1938 he moved to Lahore (today in Pakistan) at the invitation of Muhammad Iqbal and, in 1941, organized the Jamaat-i-Islami (Islamic Society).

Both al-Banna and Mawdudi believed that their societies were dominated by, and dependent on, the West, both politically and culturally. Both men advocated an "Islamic alternative" to conservative religious leaders and modern Western secular-oriented elites. The ulama were generally regarded as passé, a religious class whose fossilized Islam and co-option by governments were major causes for the backwardness of the Islamic community. Modernists were seen as having traded away the very soul of Muslim society out of their blind admiration for the West.

For decades the symbol of revolutionary Islam was Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini (1902–89), leader of Iran's Islamic revolution of 1978–79. Born in the village of Khomein, he studied in Qum, a major center of Islamic learning, and then taught Islamic law and theology. In the mid-1960s Khomeini spoke out against the policies of the shah, Mohammad Reza Pahlavi, delivering fiery sermons that denounced laws or imperial decrees that directly affected religious endowments, extended the vote to women, and granted diplomatic immunity to the American military. He condemned Iran's increasingly authoritarian and repressive government, the growing secularization and Westernization of Iranian society, and the country's relationship with the United States and Israel. He was forced to live in exile from 1964 to 1979, first in Turkey, then in Iraq, and finally in France. Increasingly during the 1970s, Khomeini moved from calling for reform to advocating the overthrow of the Pahlavi dynasty, which he denounced as un-Islamic and illegitimate, and its replacement with an Islamic republic. His calls from exile, distributed secretly through audiocassettes and pamphlets, might have remained marginal had it not been for the increasing broad-based opposition to the shah and his repressive response. Khomeini, who had early on been a voice of protest and opposition and was relatively free to speak out in exile, attracted a broad and diverse following: men and women, religious and secular intellectuals and students, journalists, politicians, liberal nationalists, socialists, and Marxists. However different, all were united in their opposition to the shah and by the desire for a new government.

After the revolution Khomeini surprised many when, in setting up an Islamic republic, he moved away from a constitutional government in which the clergy would advise on religious matters to advance the notion of clerical rule, a clergy-dominated government with himself at the apex as the supreme jurist. For a decade Khomeini, as supreme guardian of the republic, oversaw the implementation of his Islamically legitimated vision domestically and the export of Iran's revolution internationally.

MAJOR THEOLOGIANS AND AUTHORS

Islamic religion and civilization have produced many great intellectuals and writers, including philosophers, theologians, legal scholars, and scientists, who have sought to understand their faith and its relationship to the world. From earliest times a key issue has been the relationship of reason to revelation.

Yaqub ibn Ishaq as-Sabah al-Kindi (795–866), known in Europe as "the philosopher of the Arabs," was among the early great Islamic philosophers. A prolific, encyclopedic author, he made significant contributions to philosophy, medicine, astronomy, mathematics, chemistry, and the theory of music. Al-Kindi drew heavily on the Greek philosophers Plato and Aristotle and was especially influenced by Neoplatonism. He championed inquiry into the source of all being and unity, which, he believed, reinforced the Muslim belief in the existence of God, the world's creation, and the truth of prophetic revelation. In the more than 300 volumes attributed to him, al-Kindi addressed a wide range of classical learning that encompassed logic, metaphysics, ethics, and astronomy and developed a scientific and philosophical vocabulary that influenced his successors. Like many who followed him, he resolved apparent contradictions between reason and revelation by resorting to an allegorical, rather than a literal, interpretation of the Koran.

The Persian Abu Bakr ar-Razi (865–923) was also a great admirer of Greek philosophy but was diametrically opposed to al-Kindi on the relationship between philosophy and revelation. For ar-Razi revelation was superfluous, since only reason was needed to lead to truth and the development of morals. His concept of the five eternal principles (the creator, soul, matter, space, and time), some of which had a basis in Plato, led to his designation as Islam's greatest Platonist. ArRazi incorporated Plato's concepts of the soul, creation in time, and the transmigration of the soul into his own philosophical system.

Even more influential in shaping the direction of Islamic thought was Abu Nasr al-Farabi (878–950), from northern Persia, who was known as the founder of Islamic Neoplatonism and political philosophy. Drawing upon the Koran, al-Farabi also developed the terminology of Arab scholasticism, which was adapted into Latin and later used by the great Christian theologian Thomas Aquinas. Al-Farabi rejected the Sufi concept of a solitary life, believing, like Aristotle, that, because man was a political animal, happiness could be achieved only within society, within a "virtuous city" somewhat like Plato's ideal state. But as a Muslim, al-Farabi saw such a state as embodied in the ideal of Muhammad and the early Muslim community.

Al-Farabi's thought was further developed by the most famous Neoplatonist of Islam, Ibn Sina (Avicenna in Latin; 980–1037), the renowned physician and philosopher of the Middle Ages whose works became widely known in both the East and the West. Born in Bukhara, he worked as a physician, serving as court physician for a number of princes, and he traveled widely. Ibn Sina's Canon on Medicine was translated into Latin and remained a major text in Europe until the seventeenth century. His influence and reputation earned him the title "prince of the physicians." He wrote with authority on medicine, physics, logic, metaphysics, psychology, and astronomy.

Ibn Sina, who drew on the writings of both Plato and Aristotle, credited al-Farabi with giving him the first keys that led to his understanding Aristotle. He completed Aristotle's idea of the prime mover, developed the philosophy of monotheism, and taught that creation was a timeless process of divine emanation. His rationalist thought was condemned by the religious establishment.

Abu Hamid Muhammad al-Ghazali (1058–1111), a philosopher, theologian, jurist, and mystic, was an extraordinary figure, remembered as the "renewer of Islam," who deeply affected the religion's later development. Born and raised in Iran, al-Ghazali received a first-class Islamic education. In Baghdad he became a renowned lawyer and wrote a series of books. Among the most influential was The Incoherence of the Philosophers, in which he refuted Avicenna, maintaining that, while reason was effective in mathematics and logic, applying it to theological and metaphysical truths led to confusion and threatened the fabric of faith. Al-Ghazali's teachings brought him fame and fortune. After several years, how-ever, he experienced a crisis of faith and conscience, both spiritual and psychological, which rendered him unable to speak or function professionally. He withdrew from life and spent many years traveling, practicing Sufism, and reflecting. During this time he wrote what many consider his greatest work, The Revivication of the Religious Sciences, his great synthesis of law, theology, and mysticism.

Al-Ghazali lived in a turbulent time, when conflicting schools of thought emphasizing faith or reason or mysticism contended with one another, each claiming to be the only authentic view of Islam. "To refute," he said, "one must understand." His comprehensive knowledge of all of the schools and arguments, as well as of philosophy, theology, law, and mysticism, enabled him to establish a credible synthesis of the intellectual and spiritual currents of the time. He presented law and theology in terms that religious scholars could accept, while grounding the disciplines in direct religious experience and the interior devotion seen in Sufism, which he helped to place within the life of the Muslim community. He tempered rationalism by an emphasis on religious experience and love of God.

Because he criticized the blind acceptance of authority, and emphasized a thorough study of a discipline and objectivity of approach, al-Ghazali today receives considerable attention from both Muslim and Western scholars. His "modern" approach is seen in his focus on the essentials of religion, his willingness to entertain doubt and put it in perspective, and his concern for the ordinary believer.

Ibn Rushd (Averroës in Latin; 1126–98) was the greatest Aristotelian philosopher of the Muslim world. His prominence and commentaries, which provided many Europeans in the medieval world with their only source of knowledge about Aristotle, led to his title "the commentator." His writings and ideas influenced Jewish and Christian thinkers such as Maimonides, Albertus Magnus, and Thomas Aquinas.

Born in Córdoba, Spain, Ibn Rushd sought to harmonize the Koran and revelation with philosophy and logic. Like Ibn Sina, he believed that there was no contradiction between religion and philosophy, although, while religion was the way of the masses, philosophy was the province of an intellectual elite. Some have called this a "two-truths" theory and labeled Ibn Rushd a "freethinker." But when he spoke of religion, Ibn Rushd, who recognized that the higher truth resided in revelation, was referring more specifically to the formulations of theology, the product of fallible human beings and theologians and thus subject to the limitations of language, and not to divine revelation itself.

Ibn Rushd's contributions in philosophy, theology, medicine, and Islamic jurisprudence were voluminous, comparable in comprehensiveness to the works of al-Farabi and Ibn Sina. His extensive influence in the West led to his condemnation by Muslim religious scholars opposed to the vi