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GASPRINSKII, ISMAIL BEY (1851-1914), Crimean Tatar reformer, educator, and publicist, regarded as an architect of modernism among Muslim Turkic subjects of the Russian Empire. Born in a small Crimean village to a family that had served in the Russian military for two generations, Ismail Bey was schooled first in a local maktab and then in Russian military academies before spending nearly three years abroad, principally in France and the Ottoman Empire. Upon his return to Crimea he taught Russian ...more


GARDENS AND LANDSCAPING. [This entry comprises two articles. The first considers the history and development of traditional forms of the Islamic garden and assesses the current state of scholarly understanding; the second focuses specifically on contemporary gardens and landscaping practices in the arid climate of the Middle East and North Africa.] Traditional Forms Islamic gardens from India to Morocco have fascinated architects, historians, and travelers since the fiftee ...more


GAMES AND SPORT. Islam recognizes that human beings need to eat, drink, relax, and enjoy themselves. Hanzalah, a companion and scribe of the Prophet, said "there is a time for this and a time for that." Muslims enjoy humor, laughter, play, and sport. Various activities can relax their bodies and minds. The mind gets tired and so does the body, so there is no harm in Muslims relaxing the mind and refreshing the body with permissible sport or play. This should not, however, be at the expense of re ...more


GAMBIA. The history of Islam in the present Republic of the Gambia goes back to the days of the medieval empires of Ghana and Mali. When the Ghana empire ruled the Sahel, Muslim traders and their African counterparts had some contact with peoples who are now the inhabitants of the Gambia. Composed largely of ethnic groups belonging to the Mande-Wolfulbe cultures, the present-day Gambia is home to descendants of Mandespeaking groups who emigrated from Mali at the height of its power in the fourte ...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


Islam knows no creed, no formal profession of faith that every Muslim is required to proclaim as a sign of membership in the Islamic community. A number of Muslims have attempted to elaborate such an `aqidah (creed) to supply the immediate doctrinal needs of some moment of Islamic history, but none has won the ecumencial support enjoyed by the simple and powerful shahddah ("testimony"), the first of the so-called Pillars of Islam, and the only one of the five that has to do with faith and belief ...more


ABU DHARR AL-GHIFARI (d. 652), companion of the prophet Muhammad and focus of modern ideological debate. As in the case of many other companions of the Prophet, we have a few reports about Abfi Dharr's life and his relation to the early Islamic community. Most of these reports, however, reflect the early schisms of Islamic history. Abu Dharr Jundub ibn Junadah al-Ghifari reportedly came to meet the prophet Muhammad in Mec ...more

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