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GHAZW. From an Arabic word that means "to want," ghazw came to denote expeditionary raids by bedouin tribes against a rival tribe. A corrupted version of the word found its way into French (rezzou) and English (razzia). Originally, ghazw referred to the classical form of nomadic attacks against another tribe for the attaintment of booty. In pre-Islamic times (and afterward) ghazw was conducted according to a strict form of tribal etiquette and protocol. Nomadic raids were not always accompanied ...more


GHAZALI, ZAYNAB AL- (b. 1917), prominent writer and teacher of the Muslim Brotherhood, founder of the Muslim Women's Association (1936-1964). The daughter of an al-Azhar-educated independent religious teacher and cotton merchant, she was privately tutored in Islamic studies in the home in addition to attending public school through the secondary level, and she obtained certificates in hadith, preaching, and Qur'anic exegesis. Her father encouraged her to become an Islamic leader, citing the exam ...more


GHAZALI, MUHAMMAD AL- (b. 1917), Egyptian religious scholar and former leading member of alIkhwan al-Muslimun (Muslim Brotherhood). Born in Buhayra Province, he graduated from al-Azhar in 1941 and has occupied influential positions in his own country and in other Arab states. In Egypt, he was director of the Mosques Department, director general of Islamic Call (da'wah), and under secretary of the Ministry of Awqaf. He has also taught at the Universities of alAzhar (Egypt), King `Abd al -`Aziz an ...more


GHAZALI, ABU HAMID AL- (1058-1111), or Abu Hamid al-Ghazzali, medieval Muslim theologian, jurist, and mystic. Few individuals in the intellectual history of Islam have exerted influence as powerful and varied as did Abu Hamid al-Ghazali. When he died at the age of fifty-two, he had attempted, with an exceptionally perspicacious mind and a powerful pen, a grand synthesis of the Islamic sciences that has ever since evoked the wonder and admiration of scholars, both Muslim and non-Muslim. Born i ...more


GHAYBAH. The Arabic word ghaybah literally means absence, but in the theological constructs of the Twelvers (Ithna `Asharlyah, a Shi`i sect) it designates the "occultation" of the twelfth imam, Muhammad, son of al-Hasan ibn `Ali al-`Askari (d. 874). He has gone into hiding, but he remains present in the community, and will return as an eschatological figure (al-mahdi, alqa'im). He will come with the sword, he will fill the earth with justice, and his reign will usher in the last days and the Res ...more


GHANNUSHI, RASHID AL- (b. 1941), Islamic thinker, activist, and political leader in Tunisia. Born to a peasant family in Tunisia, Rashid al-Ghannushi (often spelled Ghannoushi in Western literature) is the head of the Hizb al-Nahdah (Renaissance Party; formerly called Harakat al-Ittijah al-Islami, or Islamic Tendency Movement) and its chief theoretician. Ghannushi grew up in a religious household and received his early education in the traditional Zaytunah schools. In 1968 he received a degree i ...more


GHANA. The first Muslims to enter the area of modern Ghana were Dyula (Wangara) traders from the metropolitan districts of Mali. Attracted into the Voltaic region in the late fourteenth century by the gold trade from the Akan forest, these merchants established themselves in the numerous trading colonies that developed on the routes leading to the greater markets of the western Sudan. Their major settlement in the Voltaic region was Bighu. Leading Muslim families of Wa to the northwest also clai ...more


GERMANY. The knowledge of the Islamic Orient accumulated by envoys, pilgrims, and prisoners during the Middle Ages in German-speaking countries (e.g., contacts between the Carolingian court and the caliphate of Baghdad, during the Crusades and the Ottoman conquest of large parts of southeastern Europe) was important but did not result in a systematic academic reception. In this sense the sixteenth and part of the seventeenth centuries belong to the "prehistory" of Arabic and Islamic studies. In ...more


GEOMANCY. The term geomancy comes from medieval Latin geomantia, first used in Spain in the twelfth century as a translation of the Arabic `ilm al-raml ("the science of sand"), the most common name for this type of divination. The practice is to be distinguished from a Chinese form of prognostication based on landforms, also called "geomancy" in English, that is entirely unrelated to the Islamic art. The origin of the practice is a matter of speculation, but it appears to have been well establis ...more


GAZA. See West Bank and Gaza. ...more

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