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REVOLUTION. In contemporary Islamic discourse, there are various terms that bear on the social-science concept of revolution as a rising up against constituted authority. However, from a classical Muslim point of view, revolution has pejorative connotations, since it signifies impious attempts to overthrow the order established by believers who are following the commands of Allah. Among the terms frequently employed by Islamists to refer to revolution in this negative sense are fitnah (temptatio ...more


FITNAH. The Arabic root f-t-n means "burn." It is used also of melting gold or silver with fire, to try them. Hence it is both a burning and a trial, or a temptation, and by extension a seduction or a charming-an enchantment. Thus in the Qur'an (20.40) it is said that God tested Moses; in surah 9.126, the faithful are tested by being called out to war with infidels; the Helltree Zaqqum is a punishment for evildoers (37.62f.); it occurs to David that he is being tried by God and he begs for pardo ...more

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