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KYRGYZSTAN. The Central Asian republic of Kyrgyzstan, formerly known as Kirghizia, stretches from the Pamirs to the Tian Shan. Its geographical features include the Pobeda Peak, Issyk Kul, the Naryn, Chu, and Talas Rivers, and the Ferghana Valley. Historically, the Kyrgyz, an ancient Turkic people, were a major power along the Yenisei River, where they had developed a "runic" script and established an elaborate civilization. After the Mongol onslaught, they moved west and became mountain-dwellin ...more


Kuwait  , officially the State of Kuwait, is an Arab country in Western Asia. Situated in the northern edge of Eastern Arabia at the tip of the Persian Gulf, it shares borders with Iraq and Saudi Arabia. As of 2013, Kuwait has a population of 4 million. In the eighteenth and nin ...more


KUFR. A key concept in Islamic tradition is denoted by the Arabic term Kufr, "disbelief." It derives from the root k-f-r, whose basic sense is "to cover," "to conceal," or by extension "to ignore" or "to fail to acknowledge," "to reject," hence "to be thankless," "to disbelieve." In a religious context the latter meanings are more relevant, especially in relationship to the signs and benefits that God has extended to human beings. Kafir (pl., kuffar or kafirun), an active participial form, signi ...more


KOMITEH. Revolutionary committees active in the Iranian Revolution of 1979, the Komitehs arose in the fall of 1978 when students and young people formed neighborhood defense units against government-backed clubwielders who attacked protesters and set fire to shops, stores, and schools. Initially, the Komitehs were comprised of individuals with differing political ideologies and were not directed by any central authority. Two processes brought them under the control of the fundamentalist clergy, ...more


KISHK, ABD AL-HAMID (March 10, 1933 – December 6, 1996) more fully, Shaykh `Abd al-Hamid `Abd al-`Aziz Muhammad Kishk, immensely popular Egyptian preacher, known to many of his followers as Shaykh `Abd al-Hamid. Born in 1933 in Shubrakhit, a village not far from Damanhur, Kishk went to school in Alexandria and became blind at the age of twelve. Graduating from the us il al-din (dogmatics) faculty of al-Azhar, he worked for some time in the service of the Eg ...more


KISAKUREK, NECIP FAZIL (May 26, 1904 – May 25, 1983), Turkish poet, playwright, and essayist. One of the most striking figures of modern Turkish literature, Necip Fazil combined in his life concerns for literary style and political ideology. Today he is remembered primarily for the second, but in fact his poetry, prose, journalism, and theater bring together experimentation with form and concerns about the cultural identity of the modern Turk. [caption i ...more


KING FAISAL FOUNDATION. A philanthropic organization established in 1976 by the eight sons of King Faysal ibn `Abd al-`Aziz Al Sa'ud (1906-1975), who play a major role in the civic and cultural life of Saudi Arabia, the King Faisal Foundation is intended to promote within Saudi Arabia and abroad all charitable endeavors that the late king strove to accomplish, namely, helping fellow Muslims, expanding Islamic da,wah (missionary activity), and fostering solidarity among Muslim states. The foundat ...more


KHUTBAH. An address called a khutbah is delivered by a khatib (orator), usually in a masjid (mosque), during the Friday service, celebration of religious festivals, or on other occasions. According to Bernard Lewis (The Arabs in History, London, 1966, p. 135), among the preIslamic Arabs the khatib is often mentioned along with the sha'ir, or poet; both had prominent positions in the Arab tribes. In flawless language they extolled the glories of their own tribe while exposing the weaknesses of th ...more


KHUMS. The khums ("fifth") as a tax developed in very early Islam and was based on the principle that one-fifth of war booty taken by Muslims belonged to the prophet Muhammad. It was used for the benefit of the holy family as well as some categories of the indigent. Later on, it was interpreted as an Islamic tax on profits of various sorts beyond expenditures. In Sunni Islam this tax was less important than in the Shi’i branch; for instance, Hanafis could give the khums, but it was used primar ...more


KHOQAND KHANATE. This Central Asian state of the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries took its name from its capital, the city of Khoqand (locally pronounced Kukon or Kokan, and in Russian and Western literature rendered Kokand) in the central part of the Ferghana valley. During the post-Mongol period, before the eighteenth century, Ferghana had been only a province of the khanates, whose centers were elsewhere, mostly in Transoxania. With the political and economic decline of the Khanate of Bukh ...more

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