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SALAFIYAH. A reform movement founded by Jamal al-Din al-Afghani and Muhammad `Abduh at the turn of the twentieth century, the Salafiyah has religious, cultural, social, and political dimensions. It aimed at the renewal of Muslim life and had a formative impact on many Muslim thinkers and movements across the Islamic world. The term salafiyah is often used interchangeably with islah (reform) and tajdid (renewal), which are fundamental concepts to Islam's worldview. For some, however, the term ...more


SAINTHOOD. The words "saint" and "sainthood" are used cross-culturally to describe persons of exceptional spiritual merit and the status attained by such persons. These terms are originally derived from Christian experience; it must not be assumed that all features of Christian sainthood are reproduced in Islam. Some similarities and differences are noted below. The approximate equivalent in Arabic to "saint" is wali (pl., awhyd'); wildyah or waldyah may be translated as "sainthood." The lite ...more


SAID HALIM PASHA, MEHMED (8 January 1864(65) – 6 December 1921), Islamic reformer and Ottoman grand vizier. Born in Cairo, Said Halim was the grandson of Muhammad `Ali, the founder of modern Egypt. At the age of six he came to Istanbul when his father was exiled b ...more


Sahwa Movement (Awakening movement) or Al–Sahwa Al-Islamiyya (Islamic Awakening) is a faction of Saudi Salafism. In Saudi Arabia it has been involved in peaceful political reform. Safar Al-Hawali and Salman al-Ouda are representatives of this trend. Because of being active on social media they have earned some support amongst the more educated youth. This group opposed the presence of US troops on the Arabian peninsula. Origin Muslim Brotherhood members arrived in Saudi Ara ...more


SADR, MUHAMMAD BAQIR AL- (March 1, 1935 – April 9, 1980), innovative and influential Iraqi Islamic thinker and political leader. "An important figure not only in Iraq but in the life of the Shi'i world, and indeed in the Muslim world as a whole" (Albert Hourani), Muhammad Bagir al-Sadr was both a prominent scholar of Islamic law and its contemporary applications and a political leader whose writ transcended his native country to reach Iran and the rest of the Middle East. Thought. Muhammad ...more


SADR. Originally an Arabic honorific, sadr has been used informally since at least the tenth century to denote a prominent member of the `ulama' (community of religious scholars). It became a more institutionalized title in the late eleventh century, particularly in Islamic Central Asia and Iran. The title became hereditary in certain influential learned families, hence the survival of Sadr as a surname, particularly among Twelver Shi’i Muslims. The title, however, was not originally confined ...more


SA'DAWI, NAWAL AL- (born 27 October 1931), leading feminist of the Arab world. Al-Sa'dawi evokes more passion and controversy than any other Arab writer, male or female, inside or outside of the Middle East. At various times, she has been subject to governmental hara ...more


SACRIFICE. The ritual and symbolic practice of sacrifice also has socioeconomic and political connotations in modern Islam. In its ritual facet, the notion of sacrifice is important in the outward practice of Muslim religiosity. Islamic sacrificial rituals may resemble superficially those found in other religious traditions. The most common form is the compulsory slaughter of an animal as part of the obligatory pilgrimage (hajj) and the optional slaughter by nonpilgrims on the occasion of `Id al ...more


SADR, MOSA AL- (4 June 1928 – disappeared in Libya on 31 August 1978), Iranian-born Shi'i cleric of Lebanese descent who made an indelible mark on the Lebanese political scene. Musa al-Sadr is one of the most intriguing and fascinating political personalities to have appeared in the modern Middle East. ...more


SANUSIYAH. Founded by Muhammad ibn `All alSanusi (1787-1859), the Sanuslyah is a Sufi brotherhood based in Libya and the central Sahara. The Sanusi brotherhood is well known for the role it played in the resistance to French and Italian colonialism, but it was formed as a strictly religious brotherhood based on the doctrine of the Shadhiliyah order. The founder, al-Sanusi, was born near Mostaganem in Algeria. In his early life he studied Sufism and Islamic sciences including law and tradition in ...more

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