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ASABIYAH. Derived from the root `asab ("to bind") and `asabah ("union") `asabiyah refers to a sociocultural bond that can be used to measure the strength of social groupings. It was a familiar term in the preIslamic era and became a popular concept when Ibn Khaldun (1332-14o6) used it in his work Muqaddimah. `Asabiyah, then, can be understood as social solidarity, with emphasis on group consciousness, cohesiveness, and unity. `Asabiyah is a social as well as psychological, physical, and polit ...more


ARKOUN, MOHAMMED (b. 1928), Algerian Islamic scholar and writer. One of today's leading Arab Muslim intellectuals, Arkoun is involved in the sensitive task of reinterpreting and recasting the classical religious, legal, and philosophical traditions through a sophisticated hermeneutical system inspired by contemporary Western critical methodologies, a task that has made him a controversial participant in the creation of a modern Arabo-Islamic critical discourse. Arkoun was born on 2 January 19 ...more


See Pillars of Islam ...more


ARCHITECTURE. [To survey the architectural forms characteristic of Islamic societies, this entry comprises two articles. The first presents an overview of the development of traditional forms of building with attention to regional styles; the second assesses contemporary architecture in various parts of the modern Islamic world. For related discussions, see Gardens and Landscaping; Urban Planning.] Traditional Forms Traditional forms provide images of the past: they enable ...more


ARAB SOCIALISM. The notion of Arab socialism was never articulated precisely, but it can be taken as representing the economic and social aspirations of Nasserism and Ba`thism, the state ideologies of Egypt in the late 1950s and 1960s and of Iraq and Syria from the 1960s until the early or mid-1980s (although officially until the present time). During the years following World War II, a widespread consensus developed among the educated middle classes and among the largely unofficial opposition i ...more


ARAB NATIONALISM. Like other strands of third-world nationalism, qawmiyah `arabiyah or Arab nationalism cannot be understood apart from its anticolonial ethos and its glorification of the collectivity's origins and history in the face of Western dominance. These general components of nationalist doctrine raise, however, important issues in the case of Arab nationalism. For instance, can anticolonial movements based on Islamic reformism (like those of al-Afghani or Abduh) or regional empire-build ...more


ARAB LEAGUE. Until the mid-twentieth century, the Arabs of modern times were under foreign domination, mainly Ottoman, British, and French. Their first opportunity to regain their independence and unity came when the Hashemite sharif, Husayn ibn `All, ruler of the Hejaz (d. 1931) launched the famous Arab revolt in 1916 against the Ottoman Empire, which at the time dominated most of the Arab East. Although Britain promised Husayn its support in his quest for Arab unity, the British had secretly s ...more


The origins of the Arab-Israeli conflict can be traced back more than a century, when Jews, disillusioned with prospects for integration into European societies, began to immigrate to Palestine in 1882, not as individuals seeking to pray and die in Jerusalem but as a part of a political movement. In 1897, this political trend was further inspired by the First Zionist Congress, which called for the creation of a Jewish homeland in Palestine, thus spawning the modern Jewish national movement, Zion ...more


ARABIC LITERATURE. [This entry comprises two articles on Islamic themes and values in modern Arabic literature. The first presents a general overview; the second focuses specifically on issues of gender in fiction and poetry.] An Overview From the beloved pre-Islamic odes, the mu'allaqat, to the contemporary novel, literature written in Arabic spans centuries, continents, and historical periods. Although Arabic literature began during the Jahiliyah (pre-Islamic period), Is ...more


Although the Arabic language existed long before the inception of Islam, it has been closely associated with this religion ever since the Qur'an, its holy scripture, was revealed in Arabic to the prophet Muhammad ibn `Abd Allah in seventh-century Arabia. As a cosmopolitan religion, Islam carried Arabic to all peoples who became Muslims. Those in the regions nearest to Arabia whose languages were originally Semitic-Mesopotamia and Syria-eventually became Arabic speaking, as did those whose langua ...more

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