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BEKTASHIYAH. This Sufi order became widespread in the Ottoman Empire and today has communities in Turkey, in Albanian regions of the Balkans, and among Albanian immigrants in North America; Bektashiyah is the Arabic form of its name, while in Turkish it is Bektasi. The Bektasi order traces its origin to central Anatolia in the thirteenth century. It takes its name from Haji Bektash Veli, a religious leader from Khurasan in nor ...more


BAZARGAN, MEHDI (1 September 1907 – 20 January 1995), Iranian Muslim modernist and reformer, regarded as one of the major voices of Islamic opposition in the pre- and postrevolutionary eras. Mehdi Bazargan was born into a religious family of bazaar merchants. His elementary and secondary education in Tehran combined traditional Qur'anic learning with a modern curriculum. In 1928 he was one of the few students chosen by the government to study abroad. He studied engineering at the Ecole Central ...more


BAZAAR. The Persian word for "market" (bazar) refers to a range of economic and architectural forms from covered bazaars, periodic rural markets, and small neighborhood strips of shops in alleys to abstract under standings of markets as sectors of the economy involved in trade, especially those not under the control of the state banking system. As an occupational structure, the traditional bazaar contains a differentiated network of commission agents, jobbers, hawkers, peddlers, wholesalers, lon ...more


BAYRAMIYE. Established in the early fifteenth century, the Bayramiye (Ar., Bairamiyah) is a Turkish Sufi order. Its eponym, Haci Bayram Veli, was born near Ankara around the middle of the fourteenth century. In conformity with a pattern typical in Sufism, he abandoned a successful career as a teacher of the law to become a disciple of Hamiduddin Veli Aksarayi, remaining with him for at least three years until his death in 141 ...more


BAY'AH. An unwritten contract or a pact, a bay'ah involves a recognition of, and an oath of allegiance to, a caliph, a ruler, a king, or an emir. This oath is usually given on behalf of the subjects by the leading members of the tribe, or the important members of a family or a clan. When these tribal representatives (or "electors") make the pact with the ruler, they do so with the understanding that as long as the ruler abides by certain responsibilities toward his subjects, they are to maintain ...more


BATH PARTIES. The Arab Socialist Bath Party (Hizb al-Ba'th al-`Arabi al-Ishtiraki) was founded in Syria in the early 1940s by militants of the Ihya' al'Arabi (Arab Revival) movement, which was led by the two Damascene teachers Michel `Aflaq and Salah al-Din Baytar, in conjunction with followers of the philosopher Zak-1 al-Arsuzi of Antioch. At its first congress in Damascus in April 1947, the Bath promulgated the Dustur (constitution) as its fundamental text. In reaction to Ottoman domination an ...more


BASMACHIS. The term "Basmachi" was applied by Russians to opponents of the Bolsheviks who were active in Central Asia between the Russian Revolution and the early 1930s. This name-as the character of the movement-parallels the case of the Mujahidin forces opposing the Soviet invasion of Afghanistan in the 1980s, whom the Russians referred to by the Persian word dushman, meaning "enemy"; "Basmachi" is similarly a pejorative term, meaning "bandit." Like the Afghan "Dushmany," those whom the Bolshe ...more


BARELWIS. The Barelwi movement emerged during the 1880s in the North Indian town of Bareilly, in the Rohilkhand region of the United Provinces. The movement is so called because of its close association with the writings of Maulana Ahmad Riza Khan (1856-1921), who, as a resident of Bareilly, had the toponymic (nisbah) name "Barelwi." Followers of Maulana Ahmad Riza, however, have always identified themselves as the Ahl a ...more


SAYYID AHMAD BARELWI SHAHEED, (1786-1831), North Indian activist and leader of jihad. Born in Rai Bareilly in the old Mughal province of Awadh in north India, this dynamic visionary died in battle on the mountainous frontier of the Northwest. Three strands of experience in his life came together in this utopian military endeavor. First, he was born into a family of sayyids, known for their piety and learning but, like many of the educated and well-born, now impoverished and frustrated in finding ...more


HASAN AL BANNA (1906-1949), founder of the Muslim Brotherhood and author of Majmu'at al-rasa'il (Letters) and Mudhakkirat al-da`wah wa-al-da` iyah (Memories of the Message and the Messenger). Born in Mahmudiyah near Alexandria, Egypt, Banna', from his youth onward, took part in the Hasafiyah Sufi brotherhood with his friend Ahmad al-Sukkari. After attending the Damanhur teachers' training college from 1923 to 1927, he went to the Dar al-`Ulum in Cairo, founded by Muhammad `Abduh (d. 19o5) and ma ...more

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