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LOYA JIRGA. Councils summoned by Afghan rulers over the past century to consolidate their authority and nationalist programs have been called by this term, which means "grand assembly" in Pashtu. Modernist Afghans and historians have attempted to trace loya jirga into the distant past and indigenous tribal custom, but loya jirga differ from tribal jirga in fundamental ways. Tribal jirga are a Pashtun custom of communal assembly for deciding on collective undertakings or settling internal conf ...more


LIBYA. Islam in nineteenth-century Libya-known at the time as the regions of Cyrenaica, Tripolitania, and Fazzan-was marked by Sunni orthodoxy in its urban areas (primarily Tripoli, Benghazi and the mercantile centers of Sabha and Murzuq in Fazzan) and by a number of heterodox and more populist interpretations in the rural hinterlands and among the nomadic tribes of the desert areas. The latter reinterpreted and adapted the austerity of Sunni Islam to the Islamic practices of the regions' tribal ...more


LIBRARIES. Like Islamic civilization in general, Islamic libraries have a glorious past to which present-day Muslims are struggling to measure up. The Muslims' love of learning naturally produced a culture of literacy and the preservation of books. The vastness of modern literature has brought different challenges as Muslim librarians seek adequate ways to manage it bibliographically. ...more


LIBERATION MOVEMENT OF IRAN. A political party whose program is based on a modernist interpretation of Islam, the Liberation Movement of Iran (LMI) was founded in May 1961 by leaders of the former National Resistance Movement (NRM). A few days after the ouster of Prime Minister Mohammad Mossadegh (Muhammad Musaddiq) in August 1953, with his close collaborators either under arrest or surveillance, some of Mossadegh's less politically prominent followers founded the NRM as a secret organization to ...more


LEBANON. In Lebanon's remarkably diverse society eighteen separate sects or confessional groups are recognized within the political system. In addition to a variety of Christian sects, which account for about 40 percent of the country's population, five Muslim sects are found in the country: Sunnis, Shfis, Druze, `Alawis, and Isma'ilis. As of 1992 the first four enjoyed political representation in parliament; the Isma'ilis, commonly referred to as "Seveners," number only a few hundred and play n ...more

Modern Legal Reform

Modern Legal Reform Reforms affecting Islamic law in the nineteenth and twentieth centuries were more far-reaching than any undertaken previously. The impetus for reform came both from within the Islamic tradition, as specialists in Islamic law sought to reform laws in the face of changing attitudes and social needs, and from without, as political leaders imposed changes designed to eliminate archaic features that impeded governmental modernization programs. Although many reforms occurred dur ...more

Shi`i Schools of Law

1-see Law 2-see sunni school of Law 3-Shi`i Schools of Law Shiism maintained a strong eschatological and legalist tradition through its central doctrine regarding continued divine guidance available through the living imam, whether manifest or concealed. Muslim eschatology taught that the Mahdi among the descendants ...more


continue from LAW   The beginnings of the schools of law in Islam go back to the late Umayyad period, or about the beginning of the second Islamic century, when Islamic legal thought started to develop out of the administrative and popular practice as shaped by the religious and ethical precepts of the Qur'an and the hadith. The role of the Qur'an at this very early stage can be taken for granted, but the role of hadi ...more


LAW. [To treat the interaction between religions, this entry comprises four articles: Legal Thought and Jurisprudence Sunni Schools of Law .Shi’i Schools of Law Modern Legal Reform.The first surveys the historical development of religious in Islam; the second and third trace the rise of schools of law in the Sunni and Shi `i traditions; and the last presents an analysis of legal reform in the Muslim world in the nineteenth and twentieth centuries. For discussion of more specific fields of Isla ...more


LAND TENURE. Throughout the nineteenth and twentieth centuries land tenure in the Islamic world was heavily affected by political factors, although this was hardly new. The three main influences on land tenure are the rules and choices imposed by political elites, Islamic law, and customary provisions, including pre-Islamic systems and adaptations to specific environments. Land tenure itself can be seen as including formal rules of ownership, rules guiding access to land for nonowners, and the d ...more

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