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SUNNAH

SUNNAH. The Arabic term sunnah since pre-Islamic times has signified established custom, precedent, the conduct of life, and cumulative tradition. In a general sense, such tradition encompasses knowledge and practices believed to have been passed down from previous generations and representing an authoritative, valued, and continuing corpus of beliefs and customs. In the context of early Muslim juridical and theological development, the word sunnah came to connote a more specific notion: that th ...more

SULTAN

SULTAN. The Arabic word sultan is used to denote power, might, and authority, or the possessor of such power, a ruler. In the Qur'an it refers to divinely vouchsafed authority or a divine mandate, usually in the context of prophecy (7.71, 23.45). In later hadith literature, it is often used to denote worldly power or the possessor of governmental authority (Ibn Hanbal 6.128-129, 452; 3.404; and Ibn Majah, 2766-2768). The term first appears as the official title of a ruler under the Seljuks of ...more

SUICIDE

SUICIDE. Qatl al-nafs, literally "self-murder," is the term used to denote suicide in classical Islamic texts. Intihar, originally meaning "cutting of the throat," is the common word in modern Arabic speech. There is only one phrase in the Qur'an relevant to the subject of suicide: "O you who believei Do not consume your wealth in the wrong way-rather only through trade mutually agreed to, and do not kill yourselves. Surely God is Merciful toward you" (4.29). The connection with suicide of ev ...more

SUFISM AND POLITICS

SUFISM AND POLITICS. Traditional Sufism is an interiorization of Sunni quietism, articulating the pre-Islamic Pahlavi vision of monarchic government by religious principles, as echoed by al-Ghazali (d. 1111) in his Nasihat al-muluk. A more systematic order found expression in the thirteenth century in the form of the "inner government" (hukumah batiniyah), which envisaged the temporal authorities as being subordinate to the spiritual khalffah, who carried out the real tasks of government, aided ...more

Sufi Shrine Culture

In many Muslim countries special shrines have been constructed honoring famous Sufi leaders or "saints" vho, it is believed, could work miracles during their ives and even after their death. This kind of shrine may be called darih, mazar, zdwiyah or maqam in Arabic. In some areas it is called qubbah after the cupola that is the most characteristic architectural element in many shrines. The saint's tomb is certainly the essential part of such a shrine; it is a place to which people make visits to ...more

Sufi Orders

Sufi orders represent one of the most important forms of personal piety and social organization in the Islamic world. In most areas, an order is called a tariqah (pl., turuq), which is the Arabic word for "path" or "way." The term tariqah is used for both the social organization and the special devotional exercises that are the basis of the order's ritual and structure. As a result, the "Sufi orders" or tariqahs include a broad spectrum of activities in Muslim history and society. Mystical ex ...more

SUFISM

SUFISM. [This entry comprises three articles: Sufi Thought and Practice Sufi Orders Sufi Shrine Culture The first provides an overview of the traditional themes, practices, literatures, and institutions of Sufism; the second surveys the development and spread of Sufi orders throughout the Muslim world; and the third treats the spiritual, social, and political significance of Sufi shrines. See also Sufism and Politics.] Sufi Thought and Practice In a ...more

SUDAN

SUDAN. Islam entered the region of the Sudan, as it is known today, decisively in the sixteenth century CE. Today approximately 70 percent of Sudan's 22 million people are Muslims, living in the northern two-thirds of Africa's largest country. Non-Muslim minority peoples are found in the Nuba Mountains and southern Sudan where they follow indigenous animist religions, alongside or combined with various Christian denominations introduced during colonial times. A distinctive cultural pattern of ...more

SUAVI, ALI

SUAVI, ALI (1839-1878), a popular reformist figure of the nineteenth-century Ottoman Empire. Suavi exemplifies the ideas of conservative Ottomans who were drawn into a struggle for the expression of the popular will. Although trained in the modern educational system of the rusdiy ...more

STEREOTYPES IN MASS MEDIA

STEREOTYPES IN MASS MEDIA. Numerous Americans come to know approximately 250 million Arabs and more than one billion Muslims from mainstream mass media, in particular, television programs and motion pictures, which provide virtually most images citizens have of the peoples of the world. ...more

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