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KHOMEINI, RUHOLLAH AL-MUSAVI (24 September 1902 – 3 June 1989), Iranian Shi'i leader of the Islamic Revolution. Born into a longstanding clerical family on 24 September 1902 in Khomein, a small village in central Iran, Ruhollah al-Musavi Khomeini was the youngest of six children. His father, Mustafa, who had studied theology in Isfahan and Najaf, was murdered seven months after Khomeini's birth. ...more


KHOJAS. The Indian term khoja is derived from the Persian khvdjah ("master, teacher, respected, well-todo-person"), which was the title given by the Persian Isma'ili missionary Pir Sadruddin to his Hindu Indian converts to Islam in the fourteenth century. The definitive history of the Khoja community remains to be written: the community experienced factionalism in its early period, so much written in subsequent decades suffered from subjective (at times, hostile and prejudicial) analysis of its ...more


KHO'I, ABOL-QASEM (1899-1992), widely followed Shi i mujtahid (interpreter of Islamic law). AbolQasem Kho'i (or Abu al-Qasim Khu'i was born in the city of Kho'i, province of Azerbaijan, Iran. At the age of thirteen, he entered religious training in Najaf, Iraq, studying with Shaykh Fath Allah al-Asfahani (alSharl'ah) and Shaykh Muhammad Husayn Na'ini, among others. Kho'i remained in Najaf's hawza (theological center), rising to become a teacher of jurisprudence and theology, writer, and spiritua ...more


KHIVA KHANATE. The Khanate of Khiva was formed in the early sixteenth century when Ilbars, a chieftain of Uzbek descent, succeeded in uniting a number of the local fiefdoms (beylik) on the lower reaches of the Amu Darya, in the territory of ancient Khwarem. By the early seventeenth century the khanate had become an important regional power. During the reigns of Abu al-Ghazi 1643-1663) and Muhammad Anushah (1663-1674) it continued to extend its sway westward toward the Caspian, northward to the r ...more


KHILAFAT MOVEMENT. An agitation on the part of some Indian Muslims, allied with the Indian nationalist movement, during the years 1919 to 1924, the Khilafat Movement's purpose was to influence the British government to preserve the spiritual and temporal authority of the Ottoman sultan as caliph of Islam. Integral with this was the Muslims' desire to influence the treaty-making process following World War I in such a way as to restore the prewar boundaries of the Ottoman empire. The British gove ...more


KHAWARIJ. The third major sectarian grouping in Islam, neither Sunnis nor Shi`is, came into existence as a consequence of "the great fitnah" between 656 and 661 CE and became known as the Khawarij ("exiters," plural of Khariji). When the caliph `All agreed to submit his quarrel with Mu'awiyah to arbitration at the battle of Siffin, a group of his followers, mostly from the tribe of Tamim, accused him of rejecting the word of the Qur'an, surah 49.9, "If two parties of the faithful fight each othe ...more


KHATMIYAH. The Sufi order tariqah known as the Khatmiyah was introduced into the Sudan in 1817 by its founder Muhammad `Uthman al-Mirghani. The founder's family, the Mirghani, is thought to have come to Mecca from Central Asia and claimed descent from the prophet Muhammad. The founder was educated in Mecca as a pupil of the reformist teacher Ahmad ibn Idris al-Fasi (1760-1837) and was initiated into the Qadiriyah, Shadhiliyah, Naqshbandiyah, Junaydiyah, and Mirghaniyah Sufi orders. He asserted t ...more


KHARAJ. A tax system designed for agrarian land owned by non-Muslims, kharaj is distinct from the tax system for agrarian land owned by Muslims. The Islamic state is allowed to charge kharaj (which is actually a rental) even for uncultivated land. In Islamic fiscal administration, the meaning of the word kharaj, if used without qualification, is land tax; it is imposed on landed properties owned by the conquered people, who were left on them in return fox an annual tax. The kharaj was first intr ...more


KHANQAH. The institution of a residential teaching center for Sufis seems to have emerged in Iran with the formalization of Sufi activity in the late tenth or eleventh century. Support for these religious institutions by the ruling elites gradually broadened and led to significant patronage in building khanqahs and endowing stipends for the Sufis living there. Khanqahs developed ritual functions in later periods, serving as centers for devotions such as listening to poetry or music and the perfo ...more


KHAN. As a title, khan has traditionally designated leaders of tribally organized nomads from Central Asia to Northern India, Iran, Anatolia/Turkey, and Southern Russia. The title became widely spread following Chinggis Khan's Mongol unification in the thirteenth century. Khdn was not used in the Arabic-speaking world, except in the Persian Gulf region. It is commonly found in Il-khanid and post-Il-khanid sources in Persian, where its plural form is khavanin, an Arabic broken-plural pattern, rat ...more

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