Newest Articles


NAMES AND NAMING. "Choose for your children pleasant and beautiful names," the Prophet is reported to have said, and, as a measure of how significant names could be, he changed the name of an individual whose name he thought improper. This care about names has perhaps developed from the ...more
  • Posted in N


NAJAF. A religious center of the Shi`is since the eighth century, Najaf is located in Iraq, south of Baghdad and 6 miles west of Kufa. It is the site of the mash-had of the first Shi'i imam, `Ali ibn Abli Talib, whose gravesite was revealed to the public in the early 'Abbasid period by Ja'far al-Sadiq (d. 765) during one of his visits to Kufa. Under al-Sadiq and his disciples, Najaf also became heir to the Shi'i learning that had flourished in Kufa, where in the grand mosque, al-Sadiq's hadiths ...more
  • Posted in N


NA'INI, MUHAMMAD HUSAYN (May 25, 1860-1936), the leading theoretician of the 1905-1909 Persian constitutional movement and the leading clergyman who granted legitimacy to the rule of Reza Shah Pahlavi. His life can be divided into ...more
  • Posted in N


NAHDATUL ULAMA.Established in 1926, the Nahdatul Ulama (or Nahdlatul Ulama, abbreviated NU; from Ar., nahdat al-`Uama') is one of the two largest Islamic social organizations in contemporary Indonesia. It embodies the solidarity of traditionalist `ulama' and their followers who hold to one of the four schools of Sunni Islam, among which the Shafi'i school has been dominant. The social basis of NU has been and still is largely the pesantren or traditional institution of Islamic l ...more
  • Posted in N


NAHDAH. The Arabic word nahdah may be translated "rising," "awakening," "revival," or "renaissance" and refers commonly to the revival, or renaissance, of Arabic literature and culture in the Levant and Egypt from about the middle of the nineteenth century to World War I. This revival began with the work of writers such as Nasif Yaziji (1800-1871) and Butrus al-Bustani (18191883) in Syria and Lebanon and Rifa'ah Raffal-Tahtawi (1801-1873) in Egypt, who sought to revive classical forms of Arabic, ...more
  • Posted in N


MYANMAR. At the time of the most recent published census (1983), the Muslim population of Myanmar (formerly Burma) accounted for only 3.9 percent of the country's 34 million people. This proportion has remained stable since records began last century. The ov ...more
  • Posted in M


MUTAHHARI, MURTAZ A (January 31, 1919 – May 1, 1979), Iranian religious scholar and writer, one of the closest associates of Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini. Born in a village in northeastern Iran to a scholar who was also h ...more
  • Posted in M


A pre-Islamic tradition, mut `ah ("temporary marriage") still has legal sanction among the Twelver Shicis, residing predominantly in Iran. It is often a private and verbal contract between a man and an unmarried woman (virgin, divorced, or widowed). The length of the marriage contract (ajal) and the amount of consideration (ajr) given to the temporary wife must be specified; temporary marriage may be contracted for one hour or ninety-nine years. The objective of mut`ah is sexual enjoyment (istim ...more
  • Posted in M


MUSTAFA, SHUKRI (1942-1978), Egyptian Islamist militant who worked for the moral reformation of society. The Islamist movement in Egypt is characterized by internal divisions. The Muslim Brotherhood represents the more accommodationist groups who work to reform the system by working within it. Al-Jihad is the most famous of the antiregime elements while alTakfir wa al-Hijrah epitomizes the antisociety Muslim groups. The last was founded in the early 1970s by Shukri Mustafa, who defected from the ...more
  • Posted in M


MUSTAI`AFUN. Revolutions tend to popularize egalitarian, romantic, and utopian ideas that often mesmerize the masses. In revolutionary Iran, Ayatollah Ruhollah al-Musavi Khomeini (d. 1989) popularized the concept of the mustad `afun, which literally refers to the lower classes, the downtrodden, the meek, and to all those who are deprived of the opportunity to develop their full potential. Khomeini's sympathy with the plight of the mustad'afun was rooted in both political and religious grounds ...more
  • Posted in M
Subscribe to Blog via Email

Enter your email address to subscribe to this blog and receive notifications of new posts by email.

Join 208 other subscribers