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SHAYKH. The Arabic term shaykh is an honorific title given since pre-Islamic times to men of distinction. Its meaning embraces several concepts expressed by the English words "leader," "patriarch," "notable," "elder," "chief," and "counselor." Throughout the Muslim era the term shaykh al-din ("leader of the faith") has been applied to men who possess scriptural learning. Heads of religious orders are called shaykhs, as are Sufi adepts, Qur'anic scholars, jurists, and those who preach and lead ...more


SHATTARIYAH. A Sufi order of importance in India and Indonesia, the Shattariyah is in the Tayfuri line of Sufi orders that follow the mystical tradition of Abu Yazid al-Bistami (d. 874) and was called the Bistamiyah in Ottoman Turkey and `Ishqiyah in Iran and Central Asia (the principal exponent in Transoxiana was Abu Yazid al-`Ishqi). The foundation of the Shattari order is attributed to the eponymous `Abdullah Shattari (d. 1485), who claimed hereditary descent from Shihab alDin Suhrawardi (d. ...more


SHARIF. The meanings of the Arabic word sharif (pl., ashraf, shurafd') include "noble," "honorable," "highborn," and "highbred" (Lisan al-`Arab, p. 2241). In most contexts the word sharif is associated with honor, high position, nobility, and distinction. A sharif is a man who claims descent from prominent ancestors, usually the prophet Muhammad. Although the Qur'an and most of the Prophet's sayings emphasized the equality of all believers and allotted distinction on the basis only of devoutn ...more


SHARIATI, ALI ( 23 November 1933 – 18 June 1977), one of the most important social thinkers of twentieth-century Iran. Shari`ati's ideas are distinguished more by their practical impact than their intellectual content. In this regard, he can be compared in stature with Jamal al-Din alAfghani (1838 or 1839-1897) or the Egyptian writer and activist Sayyid Qutb (19o6-1966). Life. Born in the village of Mazinan, near the town of Sabzavar, on the edge of the Dasht-i ...more


SHARIAH: Sharia law, or Islamic law is the religious law forming part of the Islamic tradition. It is derived from the religious precepts of Islam, particularly the Quran and the Hadith. In Arabic, the term sharīʿah refers to God's immutable divine law and is contrasted with fiqh, which refers to its human scholarly interpretations. The manner of its application in modern times has been a subject of dispute between Muslim traditionalists and reformists. Traditional theory of Islamic jurispr ...more


SHA'AWI, HUDA (June 23, 1879 – December 12, 1947), Egyptian feminist leader. Born in Minya in Upper Egypt to Sultan Pasha, a wealthy landowner and provincial administrator, and Iqbal Hanim, a young woman of Circassian origin, Nur al-Huda Sultan (known after her m ...more


SHAME. The concept of shame (Ar., hashm; Pers., sharm) is an aspect of social status often paired with honor as contraries of moral evaluation. This is at once too narrow and too broad. Notions of shame draw in religious injunctions to modesty, temperance, and covering that symbolically limit interaction with others. Local, tribal, and class-bound notions are commonly merged with understandings of Islamic concepts, which are used to justify and rationalize specific social constraints, particular ...more


SHALTUT, MAHMUD. (23 April 1893 - 13 December 1963), one of a celebrated number of Azhari shaykhs who undertook the reform of al-Azhar, reversing its decline, which occurred during the nineteenth century, and recapturing its old role as an active participant in ...more


SHAHADAH. The Islamic witness of faith is, "There is no god but God, and Muhammad is the Apostle of God" (Arabic, la ilaha illa Allah wa-Muhammad rasul Allah). Recitation of the shahddah (literally, "witness") is the first of the five pillars of Islam. The formula is not in the Qur'an, although the book speaks often of the "witness" of various articles of faith; the phrase "there is no god but God" is found (3'7.35 47.19), as well as the same declaration many other times in similar words; and Mu ...more


SHAH. One of the most common titles used by the dynastic rulers of Iran and the Turko-Persian cultural area, shah (Ar. and Pers., shah) when employed by the monarch of a large territory, is often used in a compound form such as padishah ("emperor") or shahanshah ("king of kings"). However, it can also appear as part of the title of a regional authority (such as the Kabulshah or Sharvan-shah) or as part of a ruler's personal name (Turanshah, Shah Jahan, etc.). Philologists trace this word's or ...more

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