Mahommedan Religion: Wikis


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Muslims performing salah (prayer)

Islam (Arabic: About this sound الإسلام; al-'islām ) is a monotheistic Abrahamic religion originating with the teachings of Muhammad, a 7th century Arab religious and political figure. The word Islam means "submission", or the total surrender of oneself to God (Arabic: [[Allah|الله, Allāh]]). An adherent of Islam is known as a Muslim, meaning "one who submits (to God)".[1][2] There are approximately 1.61 billion Muslims,[3] making Islam the second-largest religion in the world, after Christianity.[4]

Muslims believe that God revealed the Qur'an to Muhammad, God's final prophet, and regard the Qur'an and the Sunnah (words and deeds of Muhammad) as the fundamental sources of Islam.[5] They do not regard Muhammad as the founder of a new religion, but as the restorer of the original monotheistic faith of Abraham, Moses, Jesus, and other prophets. Islamic tradition holds that Jews and Christians distorted the texts God gave to these prophets by either altering the text, using a false interpretation, or both.[6]

Islam includes many religious practices. Adherents are generally required to observe the Five Pillars of Islam, which are five duties that unite Muslims into a community.[7] In addition to the Five Pillars, Islamic law (sharia) has developed a tradition of rulings that touch on virtually all aspects of life and society. This tradition encompasses everything from practical matters like dietary laws and banking to warfare.[8]

Despite the Qur'an ordaining that Muslims are not to be divided into divisions or sections[Qur'an 3:103] there are two major denominations of Islam, the Sunni and Shi'a. The schism developed in the late 7th century following disagreements over the religious and political leadership of the Muslim community. Roughly 85 percent of Muslims are Sunni and 15 percent are Shi'a. Islam is the predominant religion throughout the Middle East, as well as in parts of Africa and Asia. Large communities are also found in China, the Balkan Peninsula in Eastern Europe and Russia. There are also large Muslim immigrant communities in wealthier and more developed parts of the world such as Western Europe. About 20 percent of Muslims live in Arab countries.[9]


Etymology and meaning

The word Islām is derived from the Arabic verb Aslama, which means to accept, surrender or submit. Thus, Islam means acceptance of and submission to God, and believers must demonstrate this by worshiping him, following his commands, and avoiding polytheism. The word is given a number of meanings in the Qur'an. In some verses (ayat), the quality of Islam as an internal conviction is stressed: "Whomsoever God desires to guide, He expands his breast to Islam."[10] Other verses connect islām and dīn (usually translated as "religion"): "Today, I have perfected your religion (dīn) for you; I have completed My blessing upon you; I have approved Islam for your religion."[11] Still others describe Islam as an action of returning to God—more than just a verbal affirmation of faith.[12]

Articles of faith

According to the Qur'an all Muslims have to believe in God, his revelations, his angels, his messengers, and in the "Day of Judgment".[13] Also, there are other beliefs that differ between particular sects. The Sunni concept of predestination is called divine decree,[14] while the Shi'a version is called divine justice. Unique to the Shi'a is the doctrine of Imamah, or the political and spiritual leadership of the Imams.[15]

Muslims believe that God revealed his final message to humanity through the Islamic prophet Muhammad via the angel Gabriel. For them, Muhammad was God's final prophet and the Qur'an is the revelations he received over more than two decades.[16] In Islam, prophets are men selected by God to be his messengers. Muslims believe that prophets are human and not divine, though some are able to perform miracles to prove their claim. Islamic prophets are considered to be the closest to perfection of all humans, and are uniquely the recipients of divine revelation—either directly from God or through angels.[17] Islamic theology says that all of God's messengers since Adam preached the message of Islam—submission to the will of the one God. Islam is described in the Qur'an as "the primordial nature upon which God created mankind",[18] and the Qur'an states that the proper name Muslim was given by Abraham.[19]

As a historical phenomenon, Islam originated in Arabia in the early 7th century.[20] Islamic texts depict Judaism and Christianity as prophetic successor traditions to the teachings of Abraham. The Qur'an calls Jews and Christians "People of the Book" (ahl al-kitāb), and distinguishes them from polytheists. Muslims believe that parts of the previously revealed scriptures, the Tawrat (Torah) and the Injil (Gospels), had become distorted—either in interpretation, in text, or both.[6]



Islam's fundamental theological concept is tawhīd—the belief that there is only one God. The Arabic term for God is Allāh; most scholars believe it was derived from a contraction of the words al- (the) and Template:ArabDIN (deity, masculine form), meaning "the God" (Template:ArabDIN), but others trace its origin to the Aramaic Alāhā.[21] The first of the Five Pillars of Islam, tawhīd is expressed in the shahadah (testification), which declares that there is no god but God, and that Muhammad is God's messenger. In traditional Islamic theology, God is beyond all comprehension; Muslims are not expected to visualize God but to worship and adore him as a protector. Although Muslims believe that Jesus was a prophet, they reject the Christian doctrine of the Trinity, comparing it to polytheism. In Islamic theology, Jesus was just a man and not the son of God;[22] God is described in a chapter (sura) of the Qur'an as "…God, the One and Only; God, the Eternal, Absolute; He begetteth not, nor is He begotten; And there is none like unto Him."[23]


The first sura in a Qur'anic manuscript by Hattat Aziz Efendi

Muslims consider the Qur'an to be the literal word of God; it is the central religious text of Islam.[24] Muslims believe that the verses of the Qur'an were revealed to Muhammad by God through the angel Gabriel on many occasions between 610 and his death on July 6, 632. The Qur'an was written down by Muhammad's companions (sahabah) while he was alive, although the prime method of transmission was orally. It was compiled in the time of Abu Bakr, the first caliph, and was standardized in the time of Uthman, the third caliph. From textual evidence, modern Western academics find that the Qur'an of today has not changed over the years.[25]

The Qur'an is divided into 114 suras, or chapters, which combined, contain 6,236 āyāt, or poetic verses. The chronologically earlier suras, revealed at Mecca, are primarily concerned with ethical and spiritual topics. The later Medinan suras mostly discuss social and moral issues relevant to the Muslim community.[26] The Qur'an is more concerned with moral guidance than legal instruction, and is considered the "sourcebook of Islamic principles and values".[27] Muslim jurists consult the hadith, or the written record of Muhammad's life, to both supplement the Qur'an and assist with its interpretation. The science of Qur'anic commentary and exegesis is known as tafsir.[28]

The word Qur'an means "recitation". When Muslims speak in the abstract about "the Qur'an", they usually mean the scripture as recited in Arabic rather than the printed work or any translation of it. To Muslims, the Qur'an is perfect only as revealed in the original Arabic; translations are necessarily deficient because of language differences, the fallibility of translators, and the impossibility of preserving the original's inspired style. Translations are therefore regarded only as commentaries on the Qur'an, or "interpretations of its meaning", not as the Qur'an itself.[29]


Belief in angels is crucial to the faith of Islam. The Arabic word for Angels (malak) means "messenger", like its counterparts in Hebrew (malakh) and Greek (angelos). According to the Qur'an, angels do not possess free will, and worship God in perfect obedience.[30] Angels' duties include communicating revelations from God, glorifying God, recording every person's actions, and taking a person's soul at the time of death. They are also thought to intercede on man's behalf. The Qur'an describes angels as "messengers with wings—two, or three, or four (pairs): He [God] adds to Creation as He pleases…"[31]


Muhammad (c. 570 – July 6, 632) was an Arab religious, political, and military leader who founded the religion of Islam as a historical phenomenon. Muslims view him not as the creator of a new religion, but as the restorer of the original, uncorrupted monotheistic faith of Adam, Abraham and others. In Muslim tradition, Muhammad is viewed as the last and the greatest in a series of prophets—as the man closest to perfection, the possessor of all virtues.[32] For the last 23 years of his life, beginning at age 40, Muhammad reported receiving revelations from God. The content of these revelations, known as the Qur'an, was memorized and recorded by his companions.[33]

The Masjid al-Nabawi ("Mosque of the Prophet") in Medina is the site of Muhammad's tomb.

During this time, Muhammad preached to the people of Mecca, imploring them to abandon polytheism. Although some converted to Islam, Muhammad and his followers were persecuted by the leading Meccan authorities. After 13 years of preaching, Muhammad and the Muslims performed the Hijra ("emigration") to the city of Medina (formerly known as Yathrib) in 622. There, with the Medinan converts (Ansar) and the Meccan migrants (Muhajirun), Muhammad established his political and religious authority. Within years, two battles had been fought against Meccan forces: the Battle of Badr in 624, which was a Muslim victory, and the Battle of Uhud in 625, which ended inconclusively. Conflict with Medinan Jewish clans who opposed the Muslims led to their exile, enslavement or death, and the Jewish enclave of Khaybar was subdued. At the same time, Meccan trade routes were cut off as Muhammad brought surrounding desert tribes under his control.[34] By 629 Muhammad was victorious in the nearly bloodless Conquest of Mecca, and by the time of his death in 632 he ruled over the Arabian peninsula.[35]

In Islam, the "normative" example of Muhammad's life is called the Sunnah (literally "trodden path"). This example is preserved in traditions known as hadith ("reports"), which recount his words, his actions, and his personal characteristics. The classical Muslim jurist ash-Shafi'i (d. 820) emphasized the importance of the Sunnah in Islamic law, and Muslims are encouraged to emulate Muhammad's actions in their daily lives. The Sunnah is seen as crucial to guiding interpretation of the Qur'an.[36]

Resurrection and judgment

Belief in the "Day of Resurrection", yawm al-Qiyāmah (also known as yawm ad-dīn, "Day of Judgment" and as-sā`a, "the Last Hour") is also crucial for Muslims. They believe that the time of Qiyāmah is preordained by God but unknown to man. The trials and tribulations preceding and during the Qiyāmah are described in the Qur'an and the hadith, and also in the commentaries of Islamic scholars. The Qur'an emphasizes bodily resurrection, a break from the pre-Islamic Arabian understanding of death. It states that resurrection will be followed by the gathering of mankind, culminating in their judgment by God.[37]

The Qur'an lists several sins that can condemn a person to hell, such as disbelief, usury and dishonesty. Muslims view paradise (jannah) as a place of joy and bliss, with Qur'anic references describing its features and the physical pleasures to come. There are also references to a greater joy—acceptance by God (ridwān).[38] Mystical traditions in Islam place these heavenly delights in the context of an ecstatic awareness of God.[39]


In accordance with the Islamic belief in predestination, or divine preordainment (al-qadā wa'l-qadar), God has full knowledge and control over all that occurs. This is explained in Qur'anic verses such as "Say: 'Nothing will happen to us except what Allah has decreed for us: He is our protector'…"[40] For Muslims, everything in the world that occurs, good or evil, has been preordained and nothing can happen unless permitted by God. In Islamic theology, divine preordainment does not suggest an absence of God's indignation against evil, because any evils that do occur are thought to result in future benefits men may not be able to see. According to Muslim theologians, although events are pre-ordained, man possesses free will in that he has the faculty to choose between right and wrong, and is thus responsible for his actions. According to Islamic tradition, all that has been decreed by God is written in al-Lawh al-Mahfūz, the "Preserved Tablet".[41]

The Shi'a understanding of predestination is called "divine justice" (Adalah). This doctrine, originally developed by the Mu'tazila, stresses the importance of man's responsibility for his own actions. In contrast, the Sunni deemphasize the role of individual free will in the context of God's creation and foreknowledge of all things.[42]

Duties and practices

Five Pillars

Islam's basic creed (shahadah) written on a plaque in the Great Mosque of Xi'an, China
Rituals of the Hajj (pilgrimage) include walking seven times around the Kaaba in Mecca.

The Five Pillars of Islam (Arabic: : اركان الدين) are five practices essential to Sunni Islam. Shi'a Muslims subscribe to eight ritual practices which substantially overlap with the Five Pillars.[43] They are:

  • The shahadah, which is the basic creed or tenet of Islam: "Template:ArabDIN", or "I testify that there is none worthy of worship except God and I testify that Muhammad is the Messenger of God." This testament is a foundation for all other beliefs and practices in Islam (although technically the Shi'a do not consider the shahadah to be a separate pillar, just a belief). Muslims must repeat the shahadah in prayer, and non-Muslims wishing to convert to Islam are required to recite the creed.[44]
  • Salah, or ritual prayer, which must be performed five times a day. (However, the Shi'a are permitted to run together the noon with the afternoon prayers, and the evening with the night prayers). Each salah is done facing towards the Kaaba in Mecca. Salah is intended to focus the mind on God, and is seen as a personal communication with him that expresses gratitude and worship. Salah is compulsory but flexibility in the specifics is allowed depending on circumstances. In many Muslim countries, reminders called Adhan (call to prayer) are broadcast publicly from local mosques at the appropriate times. The prayers are recited in the Arabic language, and consist of verses from the Qur'an.[45]
  • Zakat, or alms-giving. This is the practice of giving based on accumulated wealth, and is obligatory for all Muslims who can afford it. A fixed portion is spent to help the poor or needy, and also to assist the spread of Islam. The zakat is considered a religious obligation (as opposed to voluntary charity) that the well-off owe to the needy because their wealth is seen as a "trust from God's bounty". The Qur'an and the hadith also suggest a Muslim give even more as an act of voluntary alms-giving (sadaqah). Many Shi'ites are expected to pay an additional amount in the form of a khums tax, which they consider to be a separate ritual practice.[46]
  • Sawm, or fasting during the month of Ramadan. Muslims must not eat or drink (among other things) from dawn to dusk during this month, and must be mindful of other sins. The fast is to encourage a feeling of nearness to God, and during it Muslims should express their gratitude for and dependence on him, atone for their past sins, and think of the needy. Sawm is not obligatory for several groups for whom it would constitute an undue burden. For others, flexibility is allowed depending on circumstances, but missed fasts usually must be made up quickly.[47]
  • The Hajj, which is the pilgrimage during the Islamic month of Dhu al-Hijjah in the city of Mecca. Every able-bodied Muslim who can afford it must make the pilgrimage to Mecca at least once in his or her lifetime. When the pilgrim is about ten kilometers from Mecca, he must dress in Ihram clothing, which consists of two white seamless sheets. Rituals of the Hajj include walking seven times around the Kaaba, touching the Black Stone, running seven times between Mount Safa and Mount Marwah, and symbolically stoning the Devil in Mina. The pilgrim, or the hajji, is honored in his or her community, although Islamic teachers say that the Hajj should be an expression of devotion to God instead of a means to gain social standing.[48]

In addition to the khums tax, Shi'a Muslims consider three additional practices essential to the religion of Islam. The first is jihad, which is also important to the Sunni, but not considered a pillar. The second is Amr-Bil-Ma'rūf, the "Enjoining to Do Good", which calls for every Muslim to live a virtuous life and to encourage others to do the same. The third is Nahi-Anil-Munkar, the "Exhortation to Desist from Evil", which tells Muslims to refrain from vice and from evil actions and to also encourage others to do the same.[49]


The Sharia (literally: "the path leading to the watering place") is Islamic law formed by traditional Islamic scholarship. In Islam, Sharia is the expression of the divine will, and "constitutes a system of duties that are incumbent upon a Muslim by virtue of his religious belief".[50]

Islamic law covers all aspects of life, from matters of state, like governance and foreign relations, to issues of daily living. The Qur'an defines hudud as the punishments for five specific crimes: unlawful intercourse, false accusation of unlawful intercourse, consumption of alcohol, theft, and highway robbery. The Qur'an and Sunnah also contain laws of inheritance, marriage, and restitution for injuries and murder, as well as rules for fasting, charity, and prayer. However, these prescriptions and prohibitions may be broad, so their application in practice varies. Islamic scholars (known as ulema) have elaborated systems of law on the basis of these rules and their interpretations.[51]

Fiqh, or "jurisprudence", is defined as the knowledge of the practical rules of the religion. The method Islamic jurists use to derive rulings is known as usul al-fiqh ("legal theory", or "principles of jurisprudence"). According to Islamic legal theory, law has four fundamental roots, which are given precedence in this order: the Qur'an, the Sunnah (actions and sayings of Muhammad), the consensus of the Muslim jurists (ijma), and analogical reasoning (qiyas). For early Islamic jurists, theory was less important than pragmatic application of the law. In the 9th century, the jurist ash-Shafi'i provided a theoretical basis for Islamic law by codifying the principles of jurisprudence (including the four fundamental roots) in his book ar-Risālah.[52]

Religion and state

Islamic law does not distinguish between "matters of church" and "matters of state"; the ulema function as both jurists and theologians. In practice, Islamic rulers frequently bypassed the Sharia courts with a parallel system of so-called "Grievance courts" over which they had sole control. As the Muslim world came into contact with Western secular ideals, Muslim societies responded in different ways. Turkey has been governed as a secular state ever since the reforms of Mustafa Kemal Atatürk. In contrast, the 1979 Iranian Revolution replaced a mostly secular regime with an Islamic republic led by the Ayatollah Ruholla Khomeini.[53]

Etiquette and diet

Many practices fall in the category of adab, or Islamic etiquette. This includes greeting others with "as-salamu `alaykum" ("peace be unto you"), saying bismillah ("in the name of God") before meals, and using only the right hand for eating and drinking. Islamic hygienic practices mainly fall into the category of personal cleanliness and health, such as the circumcision of male offspring. Islamic burial rituals include saying the Salat al-Janazah ("funeral prayer") over the bathed and enshrouded dead body, and burying it in a grave. Muslims, like Jews, are restricted in their diet, and prohibited foods include pig products, blood, carrion, and alcohol. All meat must come from a herbivorous animal slaughtered in the name of God by a Muslim, Jew, or Christian, with the exception of game that one has hunted or fished for oneself. Food permissible for Muslims is known as halal food.[54]


Jihad means "to strive or struggle," and is considered the "sixth pillar of Islam" by a minority of Muslim authorities.[55] Jihad, in its broadest sense, is classically defined as "exerting one's utmost power, efforts, endeavors, or ability in contending with an object of disapprobation." Depending on the object being a visible enemy, the devil, and aspects of one's own self, different categories of Jihad are defined.[56] Jihad when used without any qualifier is understood in its military aspect.[57][58]

Within Islamic jurisprudence, jihad is usually taken to mean military exertion against non-Muslim combatants in the defense or expansion of the Islamic state, the ultimate purpose of which is to establish the universal domination of Islam. Jihad, the only form of warfare permissible in Islamic law, may be declared against states which refuse to convert to Islam or submit to Islamic rule. It ceases when Jews, Christians, and Zoroastrians submit to the authority of Islam and agree to pay the jizya (a poll tax) and kharaj (a land tax), and when polytheists convert to Islam.[59] Treaties (`ahd) may be established, subject to payment of the kharaj, although jurists differ over its permitted longevity.[60][61] Most Muslims today interpret Jihad as only a defensive form of warfare: the external Jihad includes a struggle to make the Islamic societies conform to the Islamic norms of justice. [62]

Under most circumstances and for most Muslims, jihad is a collective duty (fard kifaya): its performance by some individuals exempts the others. Only for those vested with authority, especially the sovereign (imam), does jihad become an individual duty. For the rest of the populace, this happens only in the case of a general mobilization.[59] Some Muslim authorities, especially among the Shi'a and Sufis, distinguish between the "greater jihad", which pertains to spiritual self-perfection, and the "lesser jihad", defined as warfare.[63] Jihad also refers to one's striving to attain religious and moral perfection.[64]


The Great Mosque of Kairouan also known as the Mosque of Uqba was founded by Arab general Uqba Ibn Nafi in 670. It is the oldest mosque in the western Islamic world [65] and represents one of the best architectural examples of Islamic civilization [66], in Kairouan, Tunisia.

Islam's historical development resulted in major political, economic, and military effects inside and outside the Islamic world. Within a century of Muhammad's first recitations of the Qur'an, an Islamic empire stretched from the Atlantic Ocean in the west to Central Asia in the east ; one of the best preserved architectural examples of Islamic spread, is the Great Mosque of Kairouan (in Tunisia) considered as the ancestor of all the mosques in the western Islamic world [65]. This new polity soon broke into civil war, and successor states fought each other and outside forces. However, Islam continued to spread into regions like Africa, the Indian subcontinent, and Southeast Asia. The Islamic civilization was one of the most advanced in the world during the Middle Ages, but was surpassed by Europe with the economic and military growth of the West. During the 18th and 19th centuries, Islamic dynasties such as the Ottomans and Mughals fell under the sway of European imperial powers. In the 20th century new religious and political movements and newfound wealth in the Islamic world led to both rebirth and conflict.[67]

Rise of empire (632–750)

Muhammad began preaching Islam at Mecca before migrating to Medina, from where he united the tribes of Arabia into a singular Arab Muslim religious polity. With Muhammad's death in 632, disagreement broke out over who would succeed him as leader of the Muslim community. Umar ibn al-Khattab, a prominent companion of Muhammad, nominated Abu Bakr, who was Muhammad's intimate friend and collaborator. Others added their support and Abu Bakr was made the first caliph. This choice was disputed by some of Muhammad's companions, who held that Ali ibn Abi Talib, his cousin and son-in-law, had been designated his successor. Abu Bakr's immediate task was to avenge a recent defeat by Byzantine (or Eastern Roman Empire) forces, although he first had to put down a rebellion by Arab tribes in an episode known as the Ridda wars, or "Wars of Apostasy".[68]

The territory of the Caliphate in 750

His death in 634 resulted in the succession of Umar as the caliph, followed by Uthman ibn al-Affan and Ali ibn Abi Talib. These four are known as al-khulafā' ar-rāshidūn ("Rightly Guided Caliphs"). Under them, the territory under Muslim rule expanded deeply into Persian and Byzantine territories.[69]

When Umar was assassinated in 644, the election of Uthman as successor was met with increasing opposition. In 656, Uthman was also killed, and Ali assumed the position of caliph. After fighting off opposition in the first civil war (the "First Fitna"), Ali was assassinated by Kharijites in 661. Following this, Mu'awiyah, who was governor of Levant, seized power and began the Umayyad dynasty.[70]

These disputes over religious and political leadership would give rise to schism in the Muslim community. The majority accepted the legitimacy of the three rulers prior to Ali, and became known as Sunnis. A minority disagreed, and believed that Ali was the only rightful successor; they became known as the Shi'a.[71] After Mu'awiyah's death in 680, conflict over succession broke out again in a civil war known as the "Second Fitna". Afterward, the Umayyad dynasty prevailed for seventy years, and was able to conquer the Maghrib and Al-Andalus (the Iberian Peninsula, former Visigothic Hispania) and the Narbonnese Gaul} as well as expand Muslim territory into the Indian subcontinent.[72]. While the Muslim-Arab elite engaged in conquest, some devout Muslims began to question the piety of indulgence in a worldly life, emphasizing rather poverty, humility and avoidance of sin based on renunciation of bodily desires. Devout Muslim ascetic exemplars such as Hasan al-Basri would inspire a movement that would evolve into Sufism.[73]

For the Umayyad aristocracy, Islam was viewed as a religion for Arabs only;[74] the economy of the Umayyad empire was based on the assumption that a majority of non-Muslims (Dhimmis) would pay taxes to the minority of Muslim Arabs. A non-Arab who wanted to convert to Islam was supposed to first become a client of an Arab tribe. Even after conversion, these new Muslims (mawali) did not achieve social and economic equality with the Arabs. The descendants of Muhammad's uncle Abbas ibn Abd al-Muttalib rallied discontented mawali, poor Arabs, and some Shi'a against the Umayyads and overthrew them with the help of their propagandist and general Abu Muslim, inaugurating the Abbasid dynasty in 750.[75] Under the Abbasids, Islamic civilization flourished in the "Islamic Golden Age", with its capital at the cosmopolitan city of Baghdad.[76]

Golden Age (750–1258)

Artistic depiction of the Battle of Hattin in 1187, where Jerusalem was recaptured by Saladin's Ayyubid forces

By the late 9th century, the Abbasid caliphate began to fracture as various regions gained increasing levels of autonomy. Across North Africa, Persia, and Central Asia emirates formed as provinces broke away. The monolithic Arab empire gave way to a more religiously homogenized Muslim world where the Shia Fatimids contested even the religious authority of the caliphate. By 1055 the Seljuq Turks had eliminated the Abbasids as a military power, nevertheless they continued to respect the caliph's titular authority.[77] During this time expansion of the Muslim world continued, by both conquest and peaceful proselytism even as both Islam and Muslim trade networks were extending into sub-Saharan West Africa, Central Asia, Volga Bulgaria and the Malay archipelago.[1] This period also saw the destruction of the Hindu temple at Somnath by an invading Muslim army; fifty thousand Hindus died defending their temple.[78]

The Golden Age saw new legal, philosophical, and religious developments. The major hadith collections were compiled and the four modern Sunni Madh'habs were established. Islamic law was advanced greatly by the efforts of the early 9th century jurist al-Shafi'i; he codified a method to establish the reliability of hadith, a topic which had been a locus of dispute among Islamic scholars.[79] Philosophers Ibn Sina (Avicenna) and Al-Farabi sought to incorporate Greek principles into Islamic theology, while others like the 11th century theologian Abu Hamid al-Ghazzali argued against them and ultimately prevailed.[80] Finally, Sufism and Shi'ism both underwent major changes in the 9th century. Sufism became a full-fledged movement that had moved towards mysticism and away from its ascetic roots, while Shi'ism split due to disagreements over the succession of Imams.[81]

The spread of the Islamic dominion induced hostility among medieval ecclesiastical Christian authors who saw Islam as an adversary in the light of the large numbers of new Muslim converts. This opposition resulted in polemical treatises which depicted Islam as the religion of the antichrist and of Muslims as libidinous and subhuman.[82] In the medieval period, a few Arab philosophers like the poet Al-Ma'arri adopted a critical approach to Islam, and the Jewish philosopher Maimonides contrasted Islamic views of morality to Jewish views that he himself elaborated.[83]

Starting in the 9th century, Muslim conquests in Christian Europe began to be reversed. The Reconquista was launched against Muslim principalities in Iberia, and Muslim Italian possessions were lost to the Normans. From the 11th century onwards a series of wars known as the Crusades brought the Muslim world into conflict with Christendom. Successful at first in their capturing of the Holy land which resulted in the establishment of the Crusader states, Crusader gains in the Holy Land were reversed by later Muslim generals such as Saladin, who recaptured Jerusalem during the Second Crusade.[84] The Mongol Empire put an end to the Abbasid dynasty at the Battle of Baghdad in 1258, which saw the Muslims overrun by the superior Mongol army. Meanwhile in Egypt, the slave-soldier Mamluks took control in an uprising in 1250.[85]

Ottomans and Islamic empires in India (1258–1918)

The Seljuk Turks fell apart rapidly in the second half of the 13th century. In the 13th and 14th centuries the Ottoman empire (named after Osman I) was established with a string of conquests that included the Balkans, parts of Greece, and western Anatolia. In 1453 under Mehmed II the Ottomans laid siege to Constantinople, the capital of Byzantium. The Byzantine fortress succumbed shortly thereafter, having been battered by superior Ottoman cannonry.[86]

Beginning in the 13th century, Sufism underwent a transformation, largely as a result of the efforts of al-Ghazzali to legitimize and reorganize the movement. He developed the model of the Sufi order—a community of spiritual teachers and students.[87] Also of importance to Sufism was the creation of the Masnavi, a collection of mystical poetry by the 13th century Persian poet Rumi. The Masnavi had a profound influence on the development of Sufi religious thought; to many Sufis it is second in importance only to the Qur'an.[88]

The Taj Mahal is a mausoleum located in Agra, India, that was built under Mughal[89]

In the early 16th century, the Shi'ite Safavid dynasty assumed control in Persia and established Shi'a Islam as an official religion there, and despite periodic setbacks, the Safavids remained powerful for two centuries. Meanwhile, Mamluk Egypt fell to the Ottomans in 1517, who then launched a European campaign which reached as far as the gates of Vienna in 1529.[90] After the invasion of Persia, and sack of Baghdad by the Mongols in 1258, Delhi became the most important cultural centre of the Muslim east. [91] Many Islamic dynasties ruled parts of the Indian subcontinent starting from the 12th century. The prominent ones include the Delhi Sultanate (1206–1526) and the Mughal empire (1526–1857). These empires helped in the spread of Islam in South Asia. but by the mid-18th century the British empire had ended the Mughal dynasty.[92] In the 18th century the Wahhabi movement took hold in Saudi Arabia. Founded by the preacher Ibn Abd al-Wahhab, Wahhabism is a fundamentalist ideology that condemns practices like Sufism and the veneration of saints as un-Islamic.[93]

By the 17th and 18th centuries, despite attempts at modernization, the Ottoman empire had begun to feel threatened by European economic and military advantages. In the 19th century, the rise of nationalism resulted in Greece declaring and winning independence in 1829, with several Balkan states following suit after the Ottomans suffered defeat in the Russo-Turkish War of 1877–1878. The Ottoman era came to a close at the end of World War I.[94]

In the 19th century, the Salafi, Deobandi and Barelwi reform movements were initiated.

Modern times (1918–present)

After World War I losses, the remnants of the empire were parceled out as European protectorates or spheres of influence. Since then most Muslim societies have become independent nations, and new issues such as oil wealth and relations with the State of Israel have assumed prominence.[95]

The 20th century saw the creation of many new Islamic "revivalist" movements. Groups such as the Muslim Brotherhood in Egypt and Jamaat-e-Islami in Pakistan advocate a totalistic and theocratic alternative to secular political ideologies. Sometimes called Islamist, they see Western cultural values as a threat, and promote Islam as a comprehensive solution to every public and private question of importance. In countries like Iran and Afghanistan (under the Taliban), revolutionary movements replaced secular regimes with Islamist states, while transnational groups like Osama bin Laden's al-Qaeda engage in terrorism to further their goals. In contrast, Liberal Islam is a movement that attempts to reconcile religious tradition with modern norms of secular governance and human rights. Its supporters say that there are multiple ways to read Islam's sacred texts, and stress the need to leave room for "independent thought on religious matters".[96]

In modern times Islam has come under criticism from idealogues such as Robert Spencer[97] and Ibn Warraq,[98] who criticize Islamic law and question the morality of the Qur'an; for example, they say that its contents justify mistreatment of women and encourage antisemitic remarks by Muslim theologians;[99] such claims are disputed by Muslim scholars.[100] Montgomery Watt, Norman Daniel, and Edward Said dismiss many of the criticisms as the product of old myths and medieval European polemics.[101] The rise of Islamophobia, according to Carl Ernst, had contributed to the negative views about Islam and Muslims in the West.[102]


Muslim percentage of population by country


Commonly cited estimates of the Muslim population in 2007 range from 1.1 billion to 1.8 billion. Approximately 85% are Sunni and 15% are Shi'a, with a small minority belonging to other sects. Some 30–40 countries are Muslim-majority, and Arabs account for around 20% of all Muslims worldwide. South Asia and Southeast Asia contain the most populous Muslim countries, with Indonesia, India, Pakistan, and Bangladesh having more than 100 million adherents each.[103] According to U.S. government figures, in 2006 there were 20 million Muslims in China.[104] In the Middle East, the non-Arab countries of Turkey and Iran are the largest Muslim-majority countries; in Africa, Egypt and Nigeria have the most populous Muslim communities.[103] Islam is the second largest religion after Christianity in many European countries.[105]


File:Eid Prayers at the Badshahi Mosque.jpeg
Eid prayers on the holiday of Eid al-Fitr at the Badshahi Mosque, Pakistan. The days of Eid are important occasions on the Islamic calendar.

A mosque is a place of worship for Muslims, who often refer to it by its Arabic name, masjid. The word mosque in English refers to all types of buildings dedicated to Islamic worship, although there is a distinction in Arabic between the smaller, privately owned mosque and the larger, "collective" mosque (masjid jāmi`). Although the primary purpose of the mosque is to serve as a place of prayer, it is also important to the Muslim community as a place to meet and study. Modern mosques have evolved greatly from the early designs of the 7th century, and contain a variety of architectural elements such as minarets.[106]

Family life

The basic unit of Islamic society is the family, and Islam defines the obligations and legal rights of family members. The father is seen as financially responsible for his family, and is obliged to cater for their well-being. The division of inheritance is specified in the Qur'an, which states that most of it is to pass to the immediate family, while a portion is set aside for the payment of debts and the making of bequests. The woman's share of inheritance is generally half of that of a man with the same rights of succession.[107] Marriage in Islam is a civil contract which consists of an offer and acceptance between two qualified parties in the presence of two witnesses. The groom is required to pay a dowry (mahr) to the bride, as stipulated in the contract.[108]

A man may marry up to four wives if he believes he can treat them equally, while a woman may marry one man only. In most Muslim countries, the process of divorce in Islam is known as talaq, which the husband initiates by pronouncing the word "divorce".[109] Scholars disagree whether Islamic holy texts justify traditional Islamic practices such as veiling and seclusion (purdah). Starting in the 20th century, Muslim social reformers argued against these and other practices such as polygamy, with varying success. At the same time, many Muslim women have attempted to reconcile tradition with modernity by combining an active life with outward modesty. Certain Islamist groups and regimes like the Taliban mostly seek to continue traditional law as applied to women.[110]


The formal beginning of the Muslim era was chosen to be the Hijra in 622 CE, which was an important turning point in Muhammad's fortunes. The assignment of this year as the year 1 AH (Anno Hegirae) in the Islamic calendar was reportedly made by Caliph Umar. It is a lunar calendar, with nineteen ordinary years of 354 days and eleven leap years of 355 days in a thirty-year cycle. Islamic dates cannot be converted to CE/AD dates simply by adding 622 years: allowance must also be made for the fact that each Hijri century corresponds to only 97 years in the Christian calendar.[111] The year 1428 AH coincides almost completely with 2007 CE.

Islamic holy days fall on fixed dates of the lunar calendar, which means that they occur in different seasons in different years in the Gregorian calendar. The most important Islamic festivals are Eid al-Fitr (Arabic: عيد الفطر) on the 1st of Shawwal, marking the end of the fasting month Ramadan, and Eid al-Adha (Arabic: عيد الأضحى) on the 10th of Dhu al-Hijjah, coinciding with the pilgrimage to Mecca.[112]

Other religions

A view of the Dome of the Rock on the Temple Mount in Jerusalem, a holy site in both Islam and Judaism that has been a source of controversy
The Al-Aqsa Mosque congregation building. Muslims believe that Muhammad ascended to heaven on this site.

According to Islamic doctrine, Islam was the primordial religion of mankind, professed by Adam.[113] At some point, a religious split occurred, and God began sending prophets to bring his revelations to the people.[114] In this view, Abraham, Moses, Hebrew prophets, and Jesus were all prophets of Islam, but their message and the texts of the Torah and the Gospels were corrupted by Jews and Christians. Similarly, children of non-Muslim families are born Muslims, but are converted to another faith by their parents.[115] The idea of Islamic supremacy is encapsulated in the formula "Islam is exalted and nothing is exalted above it."[116] Pursuant to this principle, Muslim women may not marry non-Muslim men, defamation of Islam is prohibited, and the testimony of a non-Muslim is inadmissible against a Muslim.[117]

Islamic law divides non-Muslims into several categories, depending on their relation with the Islamic state. Christians and Jews who live under Islamic rule are known as dhimmis. Dhimmis must pay tribute (jizya) to the Islamic state, and as such are considered "protected peoples." Historically, dhimmis enjoyed a measure of communal autonomy under their own religious leaders, but were subject to legal, social and religious restrictions as well as humiliating regulations meant to highlight the inferiority of non-Muslim subjects.[118] The status was extended to Zoroastrians and sometimes to polytheists (such as Hindus), but not to atheists or agnostics.[119] Those who live in non-Muslim lands (dar al-harb) are known as harbis, and upon entering into an alliance with the Muslim state become known as ahl al-ahd. Those who receive a guarantee of safety while residing temporarily in Muslim lands are known as ahl al-amān. Their legal position is similar to that of the dhimmi except that they are not required to pay the jizya. The people of armistice (ahl al-hudna) are those who live outside of Muslim territory and agree to refrain from attacking the Muslims.[120][121] Apostasy is prohibited, and is punishable by death.[122][123]


Although the Qur'an ordains that Muslims are not to be divided into divisions or sections and rather be united under a common goal of faith in one God alone[Qur'an 3:103], Islam consists of a number of religious denominations that are essentially similar in belief but which have significant theological and legal differences. The primary division is between the Sunni and the Shi'a, with Sufism generally considered to be a mystical inflection of Islam rather than a distinct school. According to most sources, approximately 85% of the world's Muslims are Sunni and approximately 15% are Shi'a, with a small minority who are members of other Islamic sects.[124]


Divisions of Islam

Sunni Muslims are the largest group in Islam. In Arabic, as-Sunnah literally means "principle" or "path". The Sunnah (the example of Muhammad's life) as recorded in the Qur'an and the hadith is the main pillar of Sunni doctrine. Sunnis believe that the first four caliphs were the rightful successors to Muhammad; since God did not specify any particular leaders to succeed him, those leaders had to be elected. Sunnis recognize four major legal traditions, or madhhabs: Hanafi, Maliki, Shafi'i and Hanbali. All four accept the validity of the others and a Muslim might choose any one that he or she finds agreeable, but other Islamic sects are believed to have departed from the majority by introducing innovations (bidah). There are also several orthodox theological or philosophical traditions within Sunnism. For example, the recent Salafi movement sees itself as restorationist and claims to derive its teachings from the original sources of Islam.[125]


The Shi'a, who constitute the second-largest branch of Islam, believe in the political and religious leadership of infallible Imams from the progeny of Ali ibn Abi Talib. They believe that he, as the cousin and son-in-law of Muhammad, was his rightful successor, and they call him the first Imam (leader), rejecting the legitimacy of the previous Muslim caliphs. To them, an Imam rules by right of divine appointment and holds "absolute spiritual authority" among Muslims, having final say in matters of doctrine and revelation.[126][127] Although the Shi'a share many core practices with the Sunni, the two branches disagree over the proper importance and validity of specific collections of hadith. The Shi'a follow a legal tradition called Ja'fari jurisprudence.[128] Shi'a Islam has several branches, the largest of which is the Twelvers (Template:ArabDIN), while the others are the Ismaili, the Seveners, and the Zaidiyyah.[129]


Not strictly a denomination, Sufism is a mystical-ascetic form of Islam. By focusing on the more spiritual aspects of religion, Sufis strive to obtain direct experience of God by making use of "intuitive and emotional faculties" that one must be trained to use.[130] Sufism and Islamic law are usually considered to be complementary, although Sufism has been criticized by some Muslims for being an unjustified religious innovation. Most Sufi orders, or tariqas, can be classified as either Sunni or Shi'a.[131]


Ahmadiyya (Urdu: احمدِیہ) is a religious movement founded towards the end of the 19th century and originating with the life and teachings of Mirza Ghulam Ahmad (1835–1908). Ghulam Ahmad was an important religious figure who claimed to have fulfilled the prophecies about the world reformer of the end times, who was to herald the Eschaton as predicted in the traditions of various world religions and bring about the final triumph of Islam as per Islamic prophecy. He claimed that he was the Mujaddid (divine reformer) of the 14th Islamic century, the promised Messiah (“Second Coming of Christ”) and Mahdi awaited by Muslims.[132][133][134][135][136] Ahmadi emphasis lay in the belief that Islam is the final law for humanity as revealed to Muhammad and the necessity of restoring to it its true essence and pristine form, which had been lost through the centuries. Thus, Ahmadis view themselves as leading the revival and peaceful propagation of Islam.[137] The Ahmadis were among the earliest Muslim communities to arrive in Britain and other Western countries.[137]


The Kharijites are a sect that dates back to the early days of Islam. The only surviving branch of the Kharijites is Ibadism. Unlike most Kharijite groups, Ibadism does not regard sinful Muslims as unbelievers. The Imamate is an important topic in Ibadi legal literature, which stipulates that the leader should be chosen solely on the basis of his knowledge and piety, and is to be deposed if he acts unjustly. Most Ibadi Muslims live in Oman.[138]

The Yazidi, Druze, Bábí, Bahá'í, Berghouata and Ha-Mim movements either emerged out of Islam or came to share certain beliefs with Islam. Some consider themselves separate while others still sects of Islam though controversial in certain beliefs with mainstream Muslims. Sikhism, founded by Guru Nanak in late fifteenth century Punjab, incorporates aspects of both Islam and Hinduism.[139]

See also


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  3. ^ This claim is made by Islamic population. Other sources give a range from 1 billion to 1.8 billion.[1]
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  5. ^ See:
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    • Esposito (2004), pp.2,43
  10. ^ Qur'an 6:125, Qur'an 61:7, Qur'an 39:22
  11. ^ Qur'an 5:3, Qur'an 3:19, Qur'an 3:83
  12. ^ See:
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  14. ^ Sahih Muslim 1:1
  15. ^ See:
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    • Lewis (1984), p. 39
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  121. ^ "Aman", Encyclopaedia of Islam
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  123. ^ "Murtadd", Encyclopedia of Islam
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  125. ^ See:
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    • "Sunnite". Encyclopaedia Britannica Online. 
  126. ^ See
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    • "Imam". Encyclopaedia Britannica Online. 
    • "Shi'ite". Encyclopaedia Britannica Online. 
  127. ^ Imamat, by Naser Makarem Shirazi
  128. ^ See:
    • Ahmed (1999), pp.44–45
    • Nasr (1994), p.466
  129. ^ See:
  130. ^ Trimingham (1998), p.1
  131. ^ See:
  132. ^ “The Fourteenth-Century's Reformer / Mujaddid”, from the “Call of Islam”, by Maulana Muhammad Ali
  133. ^ Claims of Hadhrat Ahmad, Chapter Two
  134. ^ Reflection of all the Prophets
  135. ^ Future of Revelation, Part 7
  136. ^ The Removal of a Misunderstanding
  137. ^ a b The Ahmadi Muslim Community. Who are the Ahmadi Muslims and what do they believe? Waqar Ahmad Ahmedi gives a brief introduction to the Ahmadi branch of Islam. Times Online. May 27, 2008.
  138. ^ See:
  139. ^ Encyclopedia of Islam, "Sikhs"


Books and journals
  • Accad, Martin (2003). "The Gospels in the Muslim Discourse of the Ninth to the Fourteenth Centuries: An Exegetical Inventorial Table (Part I)". Islam and Christian-Muslim Relations 14 (1). ISSN 0959-6410. 
  • Adil, Hajjah Amina; Shaykh Nazim Adil Al-Haqqani, Shaykh Muhammad Hisham Kabbani (2002). Muhammad: The Messenger of Islam. Islamic Supreme Council of America. ISBN 978-1930409118. 
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Further reading

  • Arberry, A. J. (1996). The Koran Interpreted: A Translation (1st ed.). Touchstone. ISBN 978-0684825076. 
  • Hawting, Gerald R. (2000). The First Dynasty of Islam: The Umayyard Caliphate AD 661–750. Routledge. ISBN 0415240727. 
  • Khan, Muhammad Muhsin; Al-Hilali Khan, Muhammad Taqi-ud-Din (1999). Noble Quran (1st ed.). Dar-us-Salam Publications. ISBN 978-9960740799. 
  • Kramer (ed.), Martin (1999). The Jewish Discovery of Islam: Studies in Honor of Bernard Lewis. Syracuse University. ISBN 978-9652240408. 
  • Kuban, Dogan (1974). Muslim Religious Architecture. Brill Academic Publishers. ISBN 9004038132. 
  • Lewis, Bernard (1993). Islam in History: Ideas, People, and Events in the Middle East. Open Court. ISBN 978-0812692174. 
  • Lewis, Bernard (1994). Islam and the West. Oxford University Press. ISBN 978-0195090611. 
  • Lewis, Bernard (1996). Cultures in Conflict: Christians, Muslims, and Jews in the Age of Discovery. Oxford University Press. ISBN 978-0195102833. 
  • Mubarkpuri, Saifur-Rahman (2002). The Sealed Nectar: Biography of the Prophet. Dar-us-Salam Publications. ISBN 978-1591440710. 
  • Najeebabadi, Akbar Shah (2001). History of Islam. Dar-us-Salam Publications. ISBN 978-1591440345. 
  • Nigosian, S. A. (2004). Islam: Its History, Teaching, and Practices (New Edition ed.). Indiana University Press. ISBN 978-0253216274. 
  • Rahman, Fazlur (1979). Islam (2nd ed.). University of Chicago Press. ISBN 0-226-70281-2. 
  • Walker, Benjamin (1998). Foundations of Islam: The Making of a World Faith. Peter Owen Publishers. ISBN 978-0720610383. 

External links

Academic resources
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1911 encyclopedia

Up to date as of January 14, 2010

From LoveToKnow 1911

MOHAMMEDAN RELIGION. The Mohammedan religion is generally known as Islam - the name given to it by Mohammed himself - and meaning the resigning or submitting oneself to God. The participle of the same Arabic verb, Muslim (in English usually spelt Moslem), is used for one who professes this religion. The expression " Mahommedan religion " has arisen in the West probably from analogy with " Christian religion," but is not recognized as a proper one by Moslem writers. Islam claims to be a divinely revealed religion given to the world by Mohammed, who was the last of a succession of inspired prophets. Its doctrine and practices are to be found in (I) the Book of God - the Koran - which was sent down from the highest heaven to Gabriel in the lowest, who in turn revealed it in sections to Mohammed; (2) the collections of tradition (liadith) containing the sayings and manner of life (sunna) of the Prophet; (3) the use of analogy (giyas) as applied to (I) and (2); and (4) the universal consent (ijma°) of the believers. The worship of Islam consists in (1) the recital of the creed; (2) the recital of the ordained prayers; (3) the fast during the month of Ramadhan; (4) almsgiving; (5) the hajj, the pilgrimage to Mecca. The theology of Islam finds its first public expression among the orthodox in the teaching of al-Ash`ari (d. after 932), but had its real beginning among the sects that arose soon after the death of Mohammed.

Islam is the latest of the so-called world-religions, and as several of the others were practised in Arabia at the time of Mohammed, and the Prophet undoubtedly borrowed some of his doctrines and some of his practices from these, it is necessary to enumerate them and to indicate the extent to which they prevailed in the Arabian world.

Table of contents

Relations with Other Religions

The religions practised in Arabia at the time of Mohammed were heathenism, Judaism, Christianity, and Zoroastrianism.

I. Heathenism was the religion of the majority of the Arabs. In the cities of south Arabia it was a survival from the forms represented in the Sabaean, Minaean and Himyaritic inscriptions of south Arabia (see Arabia: Antiquities). The more popular form current among the nomads is known very imperfectly from the remains of preIslamic poetry and such works as the Kitab ul-Asnam contained in Yaqut's geography, from Shahrastani's work on the sects, and from the few references in classical writers. From these we have mostly names of local deities (cf. J. Wellhausen, Reste arabischen Heidentums, 2nd ed., Berlin, 1897) and ancient religious customs, which remained in part after the introduction of Islam (cf. W. Robertson Smith, The Religion of the Semites, Edinburgh, 1889, and Kinship and Marriage in Early Arabia, Cambridge, 1885). From these sources we learn that Arabian religion was a nature-worship associated with fetishism. Sun, moon and stars were worshipped, some tribes being devoted to the worship of special constellations. Certain stones, wells and trees were regarded as sacred and as containing a deity. Many (perhaps most) tribes had their own idols. Hobal was the chief god of the Ka`ba in Mecca with its sacred stone, but round him were grouped a number of other tribal idols. It was against this association (shirk) of gods that Mohammed inveighed in his attempt to unify the religion and polity of the Arabs. But there were features in this heathenism favourable to unity, and these Mohammed either simply took over into Islam or adapted for his purpose. The popularity of the Ka`ba in Mecca as a place of resort for worshippers from all parts of Arabia led Mohammed not only to institute the hajj as a duty, but also to take over the customs connected with the heathen worship of these visits, and later to make Mecca the qibla, i.e. the place to which his followers turned when they prayed. The name of Allah, who seems to have been the god of the Koreish (cf. D. S. Margoliouth, Mohammed, p. 19, London, 1905), was accepted by Mohammed as the name of the one God, though he abandoned the corresponding female deity Al-rat.

XVII. 14 2. Judaism had long been known in Arabia at the time of the Prophet. Whether Hebrews settled in Arabia as early as the time of David (cf. R. Dozy, Die Israeliten zu Mecca, Leipzig, 1864), or not, is of little importance here as Judaism cannot be said to have existed until the end of the 5th century B.C. The Seleucid persecutions and the political troubles that ended with the fall of Jerusalem (A.D. 70) probably sent many Jews to Arabia. In the 5th and 6th centuries the history of south Arabia and of Nejran is largely that of the strife between Jews and Christians. In the north-west the Jews possessed Tema, Khaibar, Yathrib (Medina), Fadak, and other smaller settlements. In these they lived as self-contained communities, not seeking to proselytize but working at their trades, especially concerned with money and jewelry. Mohammed seems to have expected their help in his proclamation of monotheism, and his first qibla was Jerusalem. It was only when they refused to accept him as prophet that he turned in anger against them. They had, however, supplied him with much material from the Old Testament, and the stories of creation, the patriarchs and early kings and prophets occur continually in the Koran, told evidently as they were recited by the common people and with many mistakes caused by his own misunderstanding.

3. Christianity, though later than Judaism, had a sure footing in Arabia. It had suffered persecution in Nejran and had been supported in the south by the Abyssinian invasions. The kingdom of Hira was largely Christian; the same is true of the north Arabian tribes of Bakr and Taghlib, and east of the Jordan and on the Syrian boundary as well as in Yemama Christianity had made progress. Pre-Islamic literature contains many allusions to the teaching and practices of Christianity. Of the time of its introduction little is known; little also of the form in which it was taught, save that it came from the Eastern Church and probably to a large extent through Monophysite and Nestorian sects. Tradition says that Mohammed heard Christian preaching at the fair of Ukaz, and he probably heard more when he conducted the caravans of Khadija. Gospel stories derived apparently from uncanonical works, such as the Gospel of the Nativity, occur in the Koran. The asceticism of the monks attracted his admiration. A mistaken notion of the Trinity was sharply attacked by him. It is curious that his followers in the earliest times were called by the heathen Arabs, Sabians (q.v.), this being the name of a semi-Christian sect. In the time of the Omayyads Christianity led to some of the earliest theological sects of Islam (see below).

4. Zoroastrianism was known to the Arab tribes in the north-east, but does not seem to have exercised any influence in Mecca or Medina except indirectly through Judaism in its angelology. As soon, however, as the armies of Islam conquered Mesopotamia it began to penetrate the thought and practices of Islam (see below).

Sources of Authority.-Islam, as we have said, is founded on: (I) the Koran; (2) the tradition or rather the sunn y (manner of life of Mohammed) contained in the tradition (Iladith); (3) ijma`; the universal agreement; (4) qiyas (analogy).

1. The Koran 1 (properly Qur'an from qara'a to collect, or to read, recite) is the copy of an uncreated original preserved by God (see below), sent down from the seventh heaven to Gabriel in the first heaven, and revealed to Mohammed in sections as occasion required. These revelations were recited by the Prophet and in many cases written down at once, though from ii. Ioo it would seem that this was not always the case. God is the speaker throughout the' revelations. It seems probable that the whole Koran was written in Mohammed's lifetime, but not brought together as a whole or arranged in order.

As it exists now the Koran consists of 114 chapters called suras (from sura, a row of bricks in a wall, a degree or step). The first is the Fatiha (opening), which occupies the place of the Lord's Prayer in Christianity. The others are arranged generally in order of length, the longest coming first, the shortest (often the earliest in date) coming at the end. Certain groups, however, indicated by initial unvowelled letters, seem to have been kept together from the time of the Prophet. At the head of each sura is a title, the place of its origin (Mecca or Medina) and the number of its verses (ayat) together with the formula, " In the name of God the Merciful, the Compassionate " (except in sura 9). For liturgical purposes the whole book is divided into 60 sections (ahzab) or into 30 divisions (ajza), each subdivided into a number of prostrations (ruk`a or sajda). The origin of the collected and written Koran is due to Omar, who in the caliphate of Abu Bekr pointed out that many possessors of suras were being slain in the battles of Islam and their property lost, that there was a danger in this way that much of the revelation might disappear, and that men were uncertain what was to be accepted as genuine revelation. Accordingly Zaid ibn Thabit who had been secretary to Mohammed, was commissioned to collect all he could find of the revelation. His work seems to have been simply that of a collector. He seems to have done his work thoroughly and made a copy of the whole for Abu Bekr. The collection 1 See also Koran.

was thus chiefly a private matter, and this copy passed after Abu Bekr's death into the hands of Omar, and after his death to Hafsa, daughter of Omar, a widow of Mohammed. In the caliphate of Othman it was discovered that there were serious differences between the readings of the Koran possessed by the Syrian troops and those of the Eastern soldiers, and Othman was urged to have a copy prepared which should be authoritative for the Moslem world. He appointed Zaid ibn Thabit and three members of the tribe of Koreish (Quraish) to do the work. Each of these made a copy of Abu Bekr's collection, carefully preserving Koreishite forms of words. How far the text was amended by the help of other copies is doubtful; in any case the mode of procedure was undoubtedly very conservative. The four similar manuscripts were sent, one each to Medina, Cufa (Kufa), Basra and Damascus, and an order was issued that all differing copies should be destroyed. In spite of the personal unpopularity of Othman this recension was adopted by the Moslem world and remains the only standard text. A few variant readings and differences of order of the suras in the collections of Ubay ibn Ka`b and of Ibn Mas`ud were, however, known to later commentators. The only variants after the time of Othman were owing to different possible ways of pronouncing the consonantal text. These are usually of little importance for the meaning. As the text is now always vowelled, variations are found in the vowels of different copies, and the opinions of seven leading " readers " are regarded as worthy of respect by commentators (see Th. Noldeke, Geschichte des Qorans, pp. 279 seq., Gottingen, 1860). Various characteristics enable one to establish with more or less certainty the relative chronological order of the suras in the Koran, at any rate so far as to place them in the first or second Meccan period or that of Medina. The form of the sentences is a guide, for the earliest parts are usually written in the saj` form (see Arabia: Literature). The expressions used also help; thus the " O ye people " of the Meccan period is replaced in the Medina suras by " O ye who believe." The oaths in the first Meccan period are longer, in the second shorter, and are absent in the Medinan. In the earliest period the style is more elevated and passionate. Occasionally the time of origin is determined by reference to historical events. In accordance with such principles of criticism two leading scholars, Noldeke (loc. cit.) and H. Grimme (in his Mohammed Zweiter Teil. Einleitung in den Koran. System der koranischen Theologie, Munster, 1895), have arranged the suras as follows Order of Suras in Koran. 96.74. I I I. 5.73. I.

54.37.7 1.7 5.1 9.3 8.3 II. 46.6. 13.

Medina. 2. 47.3. 61.57.4 6 3.24 to. 49.9. 5.


Mecca. (i). 1 In old saj` form :

102.101. I oo. 99.108.9

77. 76.

In loosened say form: 4 6.7 2.45, 44.4 8.37.3 II. IO. 7.6. 98. (112.109).

2.62.515-88.10s-120.47 and some interpolations in Meccan suras. 8.2 4.59.

2 91-12.4.

After capture of Mecca. 921-124.

On the supposition that the arrangements given above are at any rate approximately correct, it is possible to trace a certain development in the teaching of the Koran on some Theology. of the chief dogmas. It must, however, be borne in mind that orthodox Islam recognizes the Koran as the work not of Mohammed but of God. Yet Moslem theologians recognize that some revelations are inconsistent with others, and so have developed the doctrine of nasikh and mansukh (" abrogating " and " abrogated "), whereby it is taught that in certain definite cases a later revelation supersedes an earlier. A critical study of the Koran shows in the earlier revelations the marks of a reflective mind trained under the influence of Arabian education 1 Underlined = with interpolations.


Mecca. 1st to 5th yr. (a).

5th and 6th yr. (b). 7th yr. to Flight (c).


Medina. From the Flight to Badr.

From Badr to Ohod From Ohod to cap- ' ture of Mecca.

and stirred by an acquaintance (somewhat imperfect) with Judaism and Christianity. The later revelations seem to be influenced by the now dominant position of the Prophet and a desire after the capture of Mecca to incorporate such heathen religious ceremonies as are national. God is one and universal from the beginning. His unity is emphasized as against the mistaken conception of the Christian Trinity. At first his might is taught by the name Rabb (Lord) which is generally used with an attribute as " the highest Lord," " Lord of the worlds," " Lord of men," " Lord of heaven and earth," " Lord of the East and West," or " our Lord." Then he is identified with the god Allah (see above) and the first part of the later Moslem creed is announced - la ilaha illa-llaha, " there is no god but Allah." But every act of creation is a proof not only of God's power but also of his beneficence (xiv. 37), and so he becomes known as ar-Rahman, " the Compassionate." The attributes of God may all be arranged in the three classes of his power, unity and goodness. They are expressed by the ninety-nine " beautiful names " applied to him in the Koran (see E. H. Palmer, The Quran in " Sacred Books of the East," vol. vi., Introd. pp. 67-68, Oxford, 1880). In the Medina period of Mohammed's life the nature of God is not so clear, and the description of it varies according to the moods of the Prophet.

Beside God are two other uncreated beings: (r) the original of the Koran, the " mother of the Book" (xliii. 3) on a "preserved, tablet " (lau g h lnahfuz) (lxxxv. 22), in accordance with Spirits which God acts, and (2) the throne (kursi) (ii. 256).

When the heavens are created, God sits on his throne in the seventh heaven; around him are angels, pure, sexless beings, some of whom bear the throne, while some are engaged in praising him continually. They are also his messengers and are sent to fight with the believers against the heathen. Some are the guardian angels of men, others are the watchmen of hell. Mediate beings between God and man are the " word " (amr) and from it the " spirit " (rich) or " holy spirit " (riih ul-qudus). Another manifestation of God to the believers only is the " glory " (sakina). God created the world in six days according to the plan of the Book. Each new life was created by God's breathing into it a Cosmology. soul. The duality of soul and body is maintained.

In each man is a good and a bad impulse. The bad impulse which was latent in Adam was roused to action by Satan (I blis) . Adam by his fall lost the grace of God, which was restored to him solely by the gracious choice of God. Between men and angels in their nature are the genii (jinn) male and female, inhabitants of desert places, created from smokeless fire. They had been accustomed to spy round heaven, but in Mohammed's time could learn no more of its secrets. Some of them were converted by the Prophet's teaching. Lowest of creation in his estate is Satan (Shaitan), who was an angel but was expelled from heaven because he refused to worship Adam at his Lord's command. God has revealed himself to man by (I) writing (kitab), and (2) prophets. As he had given to the Jews the Law (Taurat) and to the Christians the Gospel (In jil) so he revealed to Mohammed the Koran (Qur'an, known also by other names, e.g. al-Fur On, atTafsil, &c.), each single revelation being called an aya. With his revelation God has also sent an apostle or prophet to each people. Several of these are mentioned in the Koran, Moses the prophet of the Jews, Jesus (Isa) that of the Christians. Mohammed is not only the apostle of the Moslems but the " seal of the prophets," i.e. the final member of the class. His mission at first was to warn men of imminent judgment. Later he became more of a teacher. At first he seems to have relied for the salvation of men on his natural faculties, but later announced the doctrine of God's election. The ethics of the Koran are based on belief (iman) and. good works, the latter alone occurring in the early Meccan suras. Fear of the judgment of God was a motive of action; this is followed by repentance and turning to God. A complete surrender to God's will (islam) is the necessary condition of religious life and is expressed in the phrase so common in everyday speech among the Moslems - inshallah, " if God will." God has full power to overlook evil deeds if he will.

Unbelievers can acquire no merit, however moral their actions. A short account of the chief ethical requirements of the Koran is given in xvii. 23-40: " Put not God with other gods, or thou wilt sit despised and forsaken. Thy Lord has decreed that ye shall not serve other than Him; and kindness to one's parents, whether one or both of them reach old age with thee, and say not to them, ` Fie,' and do not grumble at them, but speak to them a generous speech. And lower to them the wing of humility out of compassion, and say, ` 0 Lord! have compassion on them as they brought me up when I was little! ' Your Lord knows best what is in your souls if ye be righteous, and, verily, He is forgiving unto those who come back penitent.

" And give thy kinsman his due and the poor and the son of the road; and waste not wastefully, for the wasteful were ever the devil's brothers, and the devil is ever ungrateful to his Lord.

" But if thou dost turn away from them to seek after mercy from thy Lord, which thou hopest for, then speak to them an easy speech. " Make not thy hand fettered to thy neck, nor yet spread it out quite open, lest thou shouldest have to sit down blamed and straightened in means. Verily, thy Lord spreads out provision to whomsoever He will or He doles it out. Verily, He is ever; well aware of and sees His servants.

" And slay not your children for fear of poverty; we will provide for them; beware ! for to slay them is ever a great sin.

" And draw not near to fornication; verily, it is ever an abomination, and evil is the way thereof.

" And slay not the soul that God has forbidden you, except for just cause; for he who is slain unjustly we have given his next of kin authority; yet let him not exceed in slaying; verily, he is ever helped.

" And draw not near to the wealth of the orphan, save to improve it, until he reaches the age of puberty, and fulfil your compacts; verily, a compact is ever enquired of.

" And give full measure when ye measure out, and weigh with a right balance; that is better and a fairer determination.

" And do not pursue that of which thou hast no knowledge; verily, the hearing, the sight and the heart, all of these shall be enquired of. " And walk not on the earth proudly; verily, thou canst not cleave the earth, and thou shalt not reach the mountains in height.

" All this is ever evil in the sight of your Lord and abhorred." (E. H. Palmer's translation.) The eschatology of the Koran is especially prominent in its earlier parts. The resurrection, last judgment, paradise and hell are all described. At death the body again becomes earth, while the soul sinks into a state of sleep or unconsciousness. At a time decreed, known as " the hour " (as-Sa`a), " the day of resurrection " (yaum ul-giyyama), " day of judgment " (yaum-ud-din), &c., an angel will call or will sound a trumpet, the earth will be broken up, and the soul will rejoin the body. God will appear on his throne with angels. The great book will be opened, and a list of his deeds will be given to every man, to the good in his right hand, to the evil in his left (sura 69). A balance will be used to weigh the deeds. The jinn will testify against the idolaters. The righteous will then obtain eternal peace and joy in the garden (al-janna) and the wicked will be cast into the fiery ditch (Jahannam), where pains of body and of soul are united.

2. The Tradition. - The revelation of God is twofold - in a writing and by a prophet. The former was contained in the Koran, the latter was known from the actions of Mohammed in the different circumstances of life. The manner of life of the Prophet (sunna) was contained in the tradition (al-hadith). The information required was at first naturally obtained by word of mouth from the companions and helpers of Mohammed. These in turn bequeathed their information to their younger companions, who quoted traditions and gave decisions in their names.

For long these traditions circulated orally, the authority of each depending on the person who first gave it and the reliability of the chain (isnad) of men who had passed it on from him. At first this tradition was regarded as explanatory of, or at the most supplementary to, the teaching of the Koran. Early Moslem teachers pointed to the Jews as having two law-books - the Taurat and the Mishna - while Islam had only one - the Koran. But opinion changed, the value of tradition as an independent revelation came to be more highly esteemed until at last it was seriously discussed whether a tradition might not abrogate a passage of the Koran with which it was at variance. The writing of traditions was at first strongly discouraged, and for more than a century the stories of the Prophet's conduct passed from mouth to mouth. Had all the narrators been pious men, this might have been tolerable, but this was not the case. The Omayyad dynasty was not a pious one. Men who were not religious but wished to appear so invented traditions to justify their manner of life. The sectarians did not hesitate to adopt the same means of spreading their own teaching. Many Moslem writers testify to the fact that forged traditions were circulated, and that religious opinion was confused thereby. The need for some sort of authoritative collection seems to have been felt by the one pious Omayyad caliph, Omar II. (717-720), who is said to have ordered Ibn Shihab uz-Zuhri to make such a collection. Of this work, if it was carried out, we know nothing further. It was, however, by a man born during this reign that the first systematic collection of traditions was made - the Muwatta` of Malik ibn Anas. Yet this work is not a book of tradition in the religious sense. It is really a corpus juris and not a complete one. The object of Malik was simply to record every tradition that had been used to give effect to a legal decision. The work of sifting the vast mass of traditions and arranging them according to their relation to the different parts of religious life and practice was first undertaken in the 3rd century of Islam (A.D. 815-912). In this century all the six collections afterwards regarded as canonical by the Sunnites (orthodox) were made. By this time an immense number of traditions was in circulation. Bukhari in the course of sixteen years' journeying through Moslem lands collected 600,000, and of these included 7 2 75 (or, allowing for repetitions, 4000) in his work. The six collections of tradition received by the Sunnites as authoritative are: (i) The Kitab ul jami` us-Sah.ih of Bukhari (q.v.) (810-870). This is the most respected throughout the Moslem world and most carefully compiled (ed. L. Krehl and T. W. Juynboll, Leiden, 1862 - and frequently in the East; also with many commentaries. French translation by O. Houdas and W. Marcais, Paris, 1903 sqq.). (ii) The Sahih of Muslim (817-875) with an introduction on the science of tradition (ed. Calcutta, 1849, &c.). (iii) The Kitab us-Sunan of Abu Da'ud (817-888) (ed. Cairo, 1863, Lucknow, 1888, Delhi, 1890). (iv) The Jami` us-Sahih of Tirmidhi (q.v.). (v) The Kitab us-Sunan of Nasa` i (830-915) (ed. Cairo, 1894). (vi) The Kitab us-Sunan of Ibn Maja (824-866) (ed. Delhi, 1865 and 1889). The last four are not held in the same repute as the first two.

Ijma ` is the universal consent which is held to justify practices or beliefs, although they are not warranted by the Koran or tradition, and may be inconsistent with the apparent teaching of one or both of these. These beliefs and practices, which had often come from the pre-Islamic customs of those who had become believers, seem to have escaped notice until the Abbasid period. They were too deeply rooted in the lives of men to be abolished. It became necessary either to find a tradition to abrogate the earlier forbidding one, or to acknowledge that Ijma ` is higher than the tradition. The former expedient was resorted to by some later theologians (e.g. Nawawi) by a fiction that such a tradition existed though it was not found now in writing. But in earlier times some (as Ibn Qutaiba) had adopted the latter alternative, saying that the truth can be derived much earlier from the ijma ` than from the tradition, because it is not open to the same chances of corruption in its transmission as the latter. Tradition itself was found to confirm this view, for the Prophet is related to have said, " My people does not agree to an error." But ijma` itself has been used in different senses: (i) The ijma` of Medina was used to indicate the authority coming from the practices of the people of Medina (see below). (ii) The ijma` of the whole community of Moslems is that most commonly recognized. It was used to support fealty to the Abbasid dynasty. By it the six books of tradition mentioned above are recognized as authoritative, and it is the justification of the conception of Mohammed as superhuman. (iii) Some of the more thoughtful theologians recognize only the ijma` of the doctors or the teachers of Islam (the mujtahidun), these being restricted by the orthodox to the first few generations after Mohammed, while the Shi'ites allow the existence of such up to the present time.

4. The fourth basis of Islam is giyas, i.e. analogy. It is that process by which a belief or practice is justified on the ground of something similar but not identical in the Koran, the tradition or ijma`. Originally it seems to have been instituted as a check upon the use of private opinion (ra'y) in the teaching of doctrine. The extent to which it may be used is a subject of much discussion among theologians. Some would apply it only to a " material similarity," others to similarity of motive or cause as well.

Worship and Ritual

The acts of worship required by Islam are five in number: (i) the recital of the creed; (ii.) observance of the five daily prayers; (iii) the fast in the month of Ramadhan; (iv) giving of the legal alms; (v) the pilgrimage to Mecca.

i. The creed is belief - " la ilaha illa-llahu, Muhammad rasul allahi," "there is no god but God (Allah), Mohammed is the apostle of God." It is required that this shall be recited at least once in a lifetime aloud, correctly, with full understanding of its meaning and with heartfelt belief in its truth. It is to be professed without hesitation at any time until death.

ii. Every man who professes Islam is required in ordinary life to pray five times in each day. In the Koran these prayers are commanded, though four only are mentioned. " Where- Prayer fore glorify God, when the evening overtaketh you, and when ye rise in the morning, and unto Him be praise in Heaven and earth; and in the evening and when ye rest at noon " (xxx. 16-17), but commentators say the " evening " includes the sunset and after sunset. The five times therefore are: (1) Dawn or just before sunrise, (2) just after noon, (3) before sunset, (4) just after sunset, and (5) just after the day has closed. Tradition decides within what limits the recitals may be delayed without impairing their validity. Prayer is preceded by the lesser ablution (wadu) consisting in the washing of face, hands (to the elbows) and feet in prescribed manner. Complete washing of the body (ghusl) is required only after legal pollution. In prayer the worshipper faces the qibla (direction of prayer), which was at first Jerusalem, but was changed by the Prophet to Mecca. In a mosque the qibla is indicated by a niche (mihrab) in one of the walls. The prayers consist of prescribed ejaculations, petitions, and the recital of parts of the Koran, always including the first sura, accompanied by prostrations of the body. Detailed physical positions are prescribed for each part of the worship; these vary slightly in the four orthodox schools (see below). On a journey, in time of war or in other special circumstances, the set form of prayers may be modified in accordance with appointed rules. Besides these private prayers, there is the prayer of the assembly, which is observed on a Friday (yaum ul jam`a, " the day of assembly") in a mosque, and is usually accompanied by an address or declamation (khutba) delivered from a step of the pulpit (minbar). Special prayers are also prescribed for certain occasions, as on the eclipse of the sun or the moon, &c. Among the Sufis special attention is given to informal prayer, consisting chiefly in the continual repetition of the name of God (dhikr) (see SuF1`IsM). This is still a characteristic of some of the dervish communities.

iii. The command to fast begins with the words, " O ye who believe! There is prescribed for you the fast, as it was prescribed for those before you." The expression " those before you " has been taken to refer to the Jews, who fasted on the day of atonement, but more probably refers to tine long fast of thirty-six days observed by the Eastern Christians. In the passage of the Koran referred to (ii. 179-181) Moslems are required to fast during the month of Ramadhan, " wherein the Koran was revealed," but if one is on a journey or sick he may fast " another number of days," and if he is able to fast and does not, " he may redeem it by feeding a poor man," but " if ye fast, it is better for you." This fast was probably instituted in the second year at Medina. At that time the corrected lunar year was in use and Ramadhan, the ninth month, was always in the winter. A few years later Mohammed decreed the use of the uncorrected lunar year, which remains the standard of time for the Moslem world, so that the month of fasting now occurs at all seasons of the year in turn. The fast is severe, and means entire abstinence from food and drink from sunrise to sunset each day of the month. The fast is associated with the statement that in this month God sent down the Koran from the seventh heaven to Gabriel in the lowest that it might be revealed to the Prophet.

iv. Alms are of two kinds: (I) the legal and determined (zakat), and (2) voluntary (sadagat). The former were given in cattle, grain, fruit, merchandise and money once a year Alms. after a year's possession. For cattle a somewhat elaborate scale is adopted. Of grain and fruit a tenth is given if watered by rain, a twentieth if the result of irrigation. Of the value of merchandise and of money a fortieth is prescribed. In the early days of Islam the alms were collected by officials and used for the building of mosques and similar religious purposes. At the present time the carrying of these prescriptions is left to the conscience of the believers, who pay the alms to any needy fellowMoslem. A good example of a s adaga is found in a gift to an unbeliever (see C. M. Doughty, Arabia deserta, i. 446, ii. 278, Cambridge, 1888).

v. The fifth religious duty of the Moslem is the pilgrimage (hajj) to Mecca, which should be performed once by every Moslem " if he is able," that is if he can provide or obtain the means to support himself on pilgrimage and his family during his i absence, and if he is physically capable. The pilgrimage is made at one time of the (Moslem) year, namely, from the 7th to the 10th of the month Dhu'l-Hijja. For the arrangements for the journey from various countries to Mecca see Caravan. When the pilgrim arrives within five or six miles of the holy city he puts off his ordinary dress after ablution and prayer, and puts on the two seamless wrappers which form the dress of the pilgrim (the ihram), who goes without head-covering or boots or shoes. He must not shave at all, or trim the nails or anoint the head during the ceremonial period. The chief parts of the ceremonial are the visit to the sacred mosque masjid ul-haram), the kissing of the black stone, the compassing of the Ka`ba (the Tawaf) seven times, three times running, four times slowly, the visit to the Maqam Ibrahim, the ascent of Mount Sala and running from it to Mount Marwa seven times, the run to Mount 'Arafat, hearing a sermon, and going to Muzdalifa, where he stays the night, the throwing of stones at the three pillars in Mind on the great feast day, and the offering of sacrifice there (for the localities see Mecca). After the accomplishment of these ceremonies the ordinary dress is resumed, the pilgrimage is finished, but the pilgrim usually remains another three days in Mecca, then visits Medina to pay his respects to the tomb of Mohammed. Beside the hajj (great pilgrimage) Islam also recognizes the merit of the `umra (or lesser pilgrimage), i.e. a religious visit to Mecca at any time accompanied by most of the ceremonies of the hajj. The ceremonies of the hajj have been described by several European travellers who have witnessed them, such as J. L. Burckhardt in 1814, Sir Richard Burton in 1853 (see bibliography to Mecca). A concise account of them is given in T. P. Hughes, Notes on Muhammadanism (3rd ed., London, 1894). Details in vol. i. of Bukhari's traditions (Houdas and Marcais's French translation, i. 493-567).

The Development of Islam

The battle of Siffin (657) between `Ali and Moawiya was the occasion of the first breach in the unity of Islam, and the results remain to this day. The occasion was in the first case political, but politics were at that time too intimately connected with religion to be considered apart from it. After the battle (see Caliphate) 'Ali was practically compelled to submit his claims to arbitration, whereupon a number of his supporters broke away from him, saying that there should have been no appeal save to the Book of God. These men were for the most part country Arabs, and, inspired by the free spirit of the desert, were democratic, claiming that the caliph should be elected by the whole community from any family (and not from the Koreish alone), and that the caliph might be deposed for sin. A few extremists were republicans and would do without a caliph altogether. The whole party was known as the Kharijites (Kharijiyya or Khawarij). The Moslems who disagreed with them were regarded by them as renegades and were to be put to death. They were soon divided into extremists and moderates. The former put to death the children of unbelievers and refused to hold intercourse in daily life with unbelievers. The moderates, who came to be known as Ibadites (from their leader 'Abdallah ibn `Ibad), would allow the children of unbelievers to grow up, and would then deal with them according to their choice. In ordinary life they would mix with all men, but marriage with other Moslems outside their own ranks was forbidden. These still remain in Oman, parts of Algeria and East Africa.

Another party, consisting mainly of city Arabs infected with Persian ideas as to the divinity of the ruler, clung to 'Ali with inconvenient affection. They regarded 'Ali and his descendants as the only legitimate caliphs, and came to be known as Shiites. They remain to-day the largest part of Islam outside orthodoxy. During the Omayyad caliphate (661-750) there were three centres of religious thought and influence; students and teachers often passed from one to the other, thus making universal the teachings which in their origin were due to local circumstances. These centres were Damascus (the seat of the caliphate), Medina and the East (Irak, &c.). In Damascus the court was worldly and indifferent to the interests of Islam. The early Omayyads were distinguished for their striving after dominion (mulk). Instead of attempting to propagate Islam, they tolerated other religions and favoured Christians who were distinguished as poets (e.g. Akhtal) or officials (John of Damascus), or men likely to be of use to them in any way. The doctrines of Christianity began to influence even serious Moslems and to affect their way of stating Moslem belief. John of Damascus (d. before 767), the Greek theologian, and his pupil, Theodorus Abucara (d. 826), have written controversial works on Islam, from which it seems probable that disputations on subjects pertaining to religion were held between Christians and Moslems. Two schools of heretical Moslem sects arose under these influences - that of the Murjiites and that of the Qadarites. The Murjiites (" postponers ") were so called because they postponed the judgment of human actions until the Day of Judgment. In politics they accepted the Omayyads as de facto rulers, since they were Moslems, and left the judgment of their actions to God. As theologians they taught that religion consists in belief (iman) in the unity of God and in his apostle, and in that alone; consequently no one who held this faith would perish eternally, though he had been a sinner. This was opposed to the Kharijite doctrine that the unrepentant sinner would perish eternally, even though he had professed Islam.

The Qadarites were concerned with the doctrine of predestination and free-will. So long as Moslems were fighting the battles of Islam they naturally paid most attention to those revelations which laid stress on the absolute determination of a man's destiny by God. They fought with great bravery because they believed that God had foreordained their death or life and they could not escape His will. In the quieter realm of town and court life and in their disputations with Christians they were called upon to reconcile this belief with the appeals made in the Koran to man's own self-determination to good, to courage, &c. Mohammed was not a systematic theologian and had done nothing to help them. The Qadarites declared that man had power over his own actions. But the teaching of predestination had gained too great a hold on Moslems to be thus displaced. The teaching of the Qadarites was held to be heresy, and one of its first professors, Ma`bad ul-Juhani, was put to death in 699.1 During this period Medina was the home of tradition. Those who had been in closest relation with the Prophet dwelt there. The very people of the city derived a certain splendour and authority from the fact that Mohammed had lived and was buried there. Free thought in religion had little chance of arising, less of expressing itself, in the holy city. But the Koran was diligently studied, traditions were collected (and invented) though not yet written in books, and innovation (bid` a) was resolutely avoided. At the same time it really did contribute a new element to religious practice, for the custom (ijma`, see above) of Medina gained a certain authority even in Syria and the East.

In the East, on the other hand, there was more mental activity, and the religious teachers who came from Medina had to be prepared to meet with many questions. The wits of the Moslems were sharpened by daily contact with Christians, Buddhists, Manichaeans and Zoroastrians. Masan ul-Basri (q.v.), who has been claimed as one of the first mystics, also as one of the first systematic theologians of Islam, was remarkable alike for his personal piety and his orthodoxy. Yet it was among his pupils that the great rationalist movement originated. Its founder was Wasil ibn 'Ata, who separated himself (whence his followers were called 1VIotazilites, strictly Mu`tazilites, " Separatists ") from his teacher and founded a school which became numerous and influential. The Mu`tazilites objected to the attributes of God being considered in any way as entities beside God; they explained away the anthropomorphisms used in speaking of the deity; they regarded the Koran as created and as a product of Mohammed writing under the divine influence. Briefly, they asserted the supremacy of reason (`aql) as distinct from faith received by tradition (nagl). They also called themselves " the people of justice and unity " (Ahl ul-`adl wat-tauhid). Such a faith as this naturally found favour rather with the thinking classes than with the uneducated multitude, and so went through many vicissitudes. At the time of its appearance and until the reign of Ma`mun its adherents were persecuted as heretics. After discussions among the theologians Ma`mun took the decided step of proclaiming that the Koran was created, and that a belief in this dogma was necessary. Other Mu`tazilite doctrines were proclaimed later. Mu`tazilites were appointed to official posts, and an inquisition (mihna) was appointed to enforce belief in their doctrines. This movement was strongly opposed by the orthodox and especially by Ahmed ibn Hanbal (q.v.). By him the founding of theology on reason was rejected, and he suffered persecution for his faith (see W. N. Patton, Ahmed ibn Hanbal and the Mihna, Leiden, 1897). Mu`tazilism retained its sway until 849, when the caliph Motawakkil again declared the Koran uncreate and restored orthodoxy. It was during the early years of the Abbasid 1 For the doctrines of these two sects see Shahrastani's Book of Sects, and for the Qadarites, A. de Vlieger's Kitab ul-Qadr, materiaux pour servir a l'etude de la doctrine de la predestination dans la theologie musulmane (Leiden, 1903).

rule that the four legal schools of Abu Hanifa (d. 767), Malik ibn Anas (d. 795), ash-Shafi`i (d. 819) and Ibn Hanbal (d. 855) came into existence (see Mahommedan Law). As the bases of religion and law were the same, so the methods applied in the treatment of the one affected the other. Abu Hanifa depended little on tradition, but referred back to the Koran, making use of individual opinion (ra ` y) as controlled by analogy (giyas) with a written ordinance. Malik Ibn Anas supplemented the Koran and Sunna by customary law founded largely on the custom (ijma`) of Medina, and by what he conceived to be for the public good (istislah) . Shafi`i recognized tradition as equal to the Koran, and even as being able to supersede its ordinances, while he also recognized the universal custom (ijma`) of the Moslem world as divine and binding. His four bases of religion - Koran, sunna, giyas and ijma` - have been generally accepted in Islam (see above). Ibn Hanbal's position has been already mentioned. All these four schools are reckoned orthodox, and all orthodox Moslems belong to one or another of them. Another teacher of this time, who founded a school which did not succeed in being recognized as orthodox, was Da`ud uz-Zahiri. Trained as a Shafi`ite, he became too strict for this school, rejected analogy, restricted ijma` to the agreement or custom of the companions of Mohammed, and accepted the whole of the Koran and tradition in the most literal and external sense. His followers were called Z ahirites (i.e. externalists). After Ash`ari's time these principles were applied to theology by Ibn Hazm see I. Goldziher, Die Zahiriten, ihr Lehrsystem and ihre Geschichte (Leipzig, 1884).

Before turning to the reform of Ash`ari and the introduction into orthodox theology of scholastic philosophy it is necessary to notice another phase of religious life which became the common property of orthodox and heretics. This was the introduction of asceticism in religious practice and of mysticism in religious thought. Sufi'ism (q.v.), which combined these two, is rightly not counted among the sects of Islam. Asceticism seems to have won a certain amount of approval from Mohammed himself, who much respected the Christian monks. The attention paid in early Islam to the joys and punishments of the future life led to selfdenial and simple living in this world. An Arabian writer, speaking of the simplicity of manners of the first four caliphs, says that their affairs were conducted with more consideration of the future life than of this world. Many Moslems went even farther than these caliphs, and gave up all concern as far as possible with the affairs of this world and lived in poverty, in wanderings or in retirement (see Dervish). For the historical development of this movement, with its accompanying mysticism, see Sufi`Ism. Ash`ari (d. before 942) was for forty years a Mu`tazilite, then became orthodox (see AsH ` ARi), and at once applied rational methods for the support and interpretation of the orthodox faith. Before him, reason had not been allowed any scope in orthodox theology. He was not the first to iise it; some teachers (as al-Junaid) had employed it in teaching, but only in secret and for the few. The methods of scholastic philosophy were now introduced into Moslem theology. The chief characteristic of his religious teaching was the adoption of the via media between materialistic grossness and the ideas of pure speculative philosophy. Thus he taught, as to the attributes of God, that they exist, but are not to be compared with human attributes; as to His visibility, that He can be seen but without the limitations of human sight. As to the great question of free will, he denied man's power but asserted his responsibility. So he passed in review the doctrines of God, faith, the Koran, sin, intercession, &c., and for the first time in the history of Islam produced a systematic theology. The teaching of Ash`ari was taken up and propagated by the Buyids soon after his death, and was developed and perfected by Abu Bekr ul-Baqilani, the Cadi (d. 1012), but up to the middle of the 5th century of Islam (c. A.D. 1058) was suspected elsewhere and confounded with Mu`tazilism. The Ash`arite al-Juwaini (known as Imam ul-Haramain) was persecuted under Toghrul Beg (c. 1053) and exiled, but was restored under Alp Arslan by the vizier Nizam ul-Mulk, who founded an Ash`arite college (the Nizamiyya). In the West, Ibn Hazm (q.v.) fiercely opposed the system, but Ghazal' established its orthodoxy in the East; and it spread from Persia to Syria and Egypt under the Ayyubites and Mamelukes and thence to the Almohades in Africa under Ibn Tumart (1130). It remains the predominating influence to the present day, its only serious rival being the theological system of al-Mataridi, a Hanifite (d. 945), whose creed as represented in that of an-Nasafi is still used largely by the Turks. Since the 12th century no great theological movement has been made in Islam. The quiet of religious life has twice been broken, once by Wahhabism (q.v.) in Arabia, once by Babism (q.v.) in Persia.

THE Sects According to an early tradition Mohammed said that Islam would be divided into seventy-three parties (sects),' of which seventy-two would perish and one would be saved. The orthodox Arabian writers on heretical sects of Islam feel compelled by this tradition to make up their number to seventy-two, and, as different writers adopt different divisions or are familiar with different parties, the names of sects amount to some hundreds. Each writer, however, adopts certain main classes under which he attempts to group the others. Abu Muti` Makhul at the beginning of the 10th century in his " Refutation " (MS. in Bodleian Library) has six such chief classes: Harurites (i.e. Kharijites), Rafidites (i.e. Shi`ites), Qadarites, Jabarites, Jahmites and Murjiites. Ibn Hazm (q.v.) adopts four classes: Mu`tazilites (Motazilites), Murjiites, Shiites and Kharijites. Shahrastani (q.v.) complains of the want of system in earlier writers, and suggests as bases of classification the position of parties with regard to the doctrines as to (I) the divine attributes, (2) predestination and free-will (3) promises and threats, faith and error, (4) revelation, reason, the imamate. ' In one part of his preface he gives as the chief parties the Qadarites, Sifatites, Kharijites and Shiites, proposing to divide these classes according to leaders who agreed with the main doctrines of their class but differed in some points. In another place he mentions four opposite pairs of sects: (r) the Qadarites with their doctrine of free-will, and the Jabarites, who are necessitarians; (2) the Sifatites, who maintain the eternal nature of the attributes of God, and the Mu'tazilites, who deny it; (3) the Murjiites, who postpone judgment of actions until the Last Day, and the Wa`idites, who condemn in this life; (4) the Kharijites, who consider the caliphate a human institution, and the Shiites, who deify their ruler. In his detailed treatment of the sects Shahrastani arranged them under the headings: Mu`tazilites, Jabarites, Sifatites, Kharijites, Murjiites and Shiites. About the same time as Shahrastani two other Arabian writers wrote on the sects - Tahir ul Isfaraini (d. 1078), whose MS. is in the Berlin library, and `Abd ul-Qadir ul-Jilani (1078-1166) in his Kitab ul-Ghaniyya li-Talibi Tariq il-Haqqi (Cairo, 1871). Both adopt as main classes Rafidites (or Shi`ites), Qadarites (or Mu`tazilites), Kharijites, Murjiites, Najjarites, Dirarites, Jahmites, Mushabbiha, to which Tahir adds Bakrites, Karramites, and a class including those sects which are not reckoned as Moslem though they have sprung from Islam. Jilani adds to the eight the Kilabites.

The following list is not a complete list of names of sects but is founded on that of Shahrastani.2 Aftaiiites. - Shiites of the Imamite class, who ascribe the imamate to 'Abdallah ul-Aftahi, the son of Sadiq.


Kharijites, followers of Ibn `Ajarrad, who agreed for the most part with the Najadat (below), considered grave sins as equivalent to unbelief, but remained friendly with those who professed Islam but did not fight for it. They rejected surer 7 as a fable. Shahrastani enumerates seven divisions of this sect.

1 For the origin and significance of this number see M. Steinschneider, " Die kanonische Zahl der muhammedanischen Secten and die Symbolik der Zahl, 70-73," in Zeitschr. d. deutschen morgenl. Gesellschaft, iv., 145-170 (1850); and I. Goldziher, " Le Denombrement des sectes mohammedanes " in Revue de l'hist. des religions, xxvi. 129-137 (1892).

The names are given throughout in the anglicized form on the analogy of Shiites, which is recognized in common usage. The strict termination according to the scheme of transliteration adopted in this work is iyya, or iya, e.g. Hishamiyya for Hishamites. For information regarding the important sects see separate articles and the preceding portion of this article.


A section of the Tha`5.11ba not so strict in treatment of those who fear to fight for Islam.

Ash`arites. - Followers of Ash`ari (q.v.) who are counted by Shahrastani among the Sifatites.


A division of the `Ajarida who agree with the IIamzites except that they excuse the lower classes for inaction when they are ignorant of the law.


Kharijites who followed al-Azraq in the days of Ibn Zubair. They held `Ali to be an unbeliever; those who did not fight were unbelievers; the children of unbelievers were to be put to death and went to hell. Sin is unbelief.


Mu`tazilites akin to the Jubba`ites. Baihasites. - Kharijites, followers of Abu Baihas ul-Haitham, who was put to death by the caliph Walid. They asserted the necessity of knowledge for religion.


Shiites who followed Abu Ja`far ul-Baqir, the fifth imam, and looked for his return.


Isma'ilites, so called because they believe that every external has an internal (batin), and every passage in the Koran has an allegoric meaning.


Mu`tazilites, followers of Bishr ibn Mu`tamir, one of the most learned men of his party. His teaching was philosophical and was distinguished by his doctrine of " origination " (tawallud). Bunanites. - Kaisanites, followers of Bunan ibn Sim`an un-Nandi, who claimed that the imamate passed from Abu Hashim to himself and that he had also acquired the divine element of 'Ali.


Zaidites, followers of Kathir un-Nawa ul-Abtar, who agreed with the Suleimanites (Sulaimanites) except that he suspended judgment as to whether Othman was a believer or not.


Jabarites who empty God of his attributes, and assert that man has a sixth sense by which he will see God on the day of resurrection. The actions of man are " created " and acquired by him. A caliph need not be chosen from the Koreish.

Ghaliites (Ghula) are the extreme Shiites (q.v.) in ascribing deity to the imams. Their heresies are said to be four in number: (I) Making God resemble man, (2) ascribing change of mind to God, (3) looking for the return of the imam, (4) metempsychosis. They are divided by Shahrastani into ten classes.


Murjiites, followers of Ghassan ibn ul-Kufi, who say that faith consists of knowledge of God, his apostle, and the Koran in general not in detail, and that faith increases but is not diminished. Habitites = Hayitites (below).

Hadathites (Hudabites) are Mu`tazilites, followers of Faell ibn ul-IIadathi, who agreed with the Hayitites (below). Hafsites. - Ibaelites, followers of Hafs ibn abi-l-Miqdam, who distinguished between idolatry (shirk) and unbelief (kufr). Hamzites. - `Ajarida, followers of Hamza ibn Adrak in Sijistan. They agree with the Maimunites, but condemn the children of unbelievers to hell.


Ibaelites who differ from others in holding the Mu`tazilite doctrine of free-will.


A name given to the first Kharijites, who rebelled against 'Ali, and met in Harura near Kufa.


Shiites who supported Abu Hashim, son of Mahommed ibn ul-Hanafiyya, although they held that his father had gone astray.


A party who asserted the eternity even of the letters of the Koran. They are not mentioned as a separate sect by Shahrastani; cf. van Vloten, " Les Hachwia et Nabita," in the Acts of the iith Oriental Congress (Paris, 1899), pt. iii., pp. 99 sqq.


Mu`tazilites who agreed with the Nazzamites, but added three heresies of their own: (I) the divinity of the Messiah, (2) metempsychosis, (3) the interpretation of all references to the vision of God as referring to the " first Reason " or " creative Reason." Hishamites. - A name given to two sects: (I) Mu`tazilites, strong in their assertion of man's free-will, even opposing the statement of the Koran. (2) Shi'ites of the extreme kind, who attributed to God a body with quantities (measurements) and qualities.


See H adathites.

Hudhailites (Hodhailites). - Mu`tazilites, followers of Abu-1 Hudhail I Iamelan, who was a leading teacher of his party and developed the philosophical side of its teaching. Ten of his main doctrines are given by Shahrastani.


Kharijites of moderate tendencies (see above).


Ghaliites who put 'Ali above Mohammed and blamed the latter because he called men to himself instead of to 'Ali. .


One of the chief divisions of the Shi'ites (q.v.).


Ghaliites agreeing with the Nusairites except that they incline to speak of the imams' participation in the prophetic office rather than of their divinity.


This name is applied to all who consider Isma`il ibn Ja`far the last imam, some believing that he did not die but will return, others, that at his death his son Mahommed became imam (see Assassins); it is also used as equivalent to the Batinites.


Imamites who accept the twelve imams (see Shiites).


Those who deny all actions and power to act to man and ascribe all to God (see above).

Ja farites. - Imamites who carry the imamate no farther than J a'far us-Sadiq. Jahizites. - Mu`tazilites, followers of the celebrated writer Jahiz, who indulged in philosophical speculations, believed in the eternity of matter, and was regarded as a naturalist (taba`i) rather than a theist (allahi). Jahmites. - Jabarites, followers of Jahm ibn Safwan, who was put to death at Mer toward the close of the Omayyad period. He was extreme in his denial of the attributes of God. Jarudites. - Zaidites who held that Mohammed designated 'Ali as imam, not by name but by his attributes, and that the Moslem sinned by not taking sufficient trouble to recognize these attributes. Jubba'ites. - Mu`tazilites who followed the philosophical teaching of Abu `Ali Mahommed ul-Jubba`i of Basra.


A main class of the Shiites (q.v.). Kamilites. - Ghaliites, followers of Abu Kamil, who condemned the companions (Ansar) because they did not do allegiance to 'Ali, and 'Ali because he surrendered his claims.


Sifatites, followers of Ibn Karram, who went so far as to ascribe a body to God, and assimilated his nature to human nature.


Ghaliites, followers of Ahmad ibn Kayyal, who, after supporting a propaganda for an Aliite, claimed to be the imam himself on the ground of his power over the spheres. Khalafites. - `Ajarida of Kerman and Multan, who believed that God wills good and evil, but condemned the children of unbelievers to hell.


One of the earliest sects of Islam (see above). Kharimites. - `Ajarida, agreeing mostly with the Shu'aibites and teaching that the relation of God to a man depends on what he professes at the end of his life.


Ghaliites, followers of Abu-1 Khattab, who was put to death by Ibn Musa at Kufa. He was a violent supporter of Ja`far us-Sadiq, who however disowned him.


Mu`tazilites, followers of Abu-1 I;Iosain ul-Khayyat, a teacher in Bagdad, part of whose philosophical teaching was that the non-existent is a thing.

Ma`badites. - Tha`labites who differed from the Akhnasites on the question of the marriage of believing women and from Thalab on the question of taking alms from slaves.


`Ajarida, followers of Maimun ibn Khalid, who believed that God wills good only and that man determines his actions.


Thalabites, agreeing generally with the Kharimites, but teaching that he who knows some names and attributes of God and is ignorant of some knows God.

Ma`lumites. - Thalabites agreeing generally with the Kharimites but alleging that a believer must know all the names and attributes of God.


Ghaliites, followers of Abu Mansur ul-`Ijli, who at first supported al-Bagir, but, rejected by him, claimed the imamate for himself. He was crucified by the caliph Hisham ibn 'Abd ulMalik (Abdalmalik).

Mu`ammarites. 1

Mu`tazilites who strongly denied the predestination of God, and affirmed that God created bodies only, and that the accidents spring naturally from them.


The same as the Musaites (q.v.). Mughirites. - Ghaliites, followers of Mughira ibn Sa`id ul - `Ijli, who claimed the imamate and prophetic office and held extremely gross views of God.

Muhakkima l (the first). - Another name for the Harurites (above). Mukarramites. - Tha`labites who taught that sin consists in ignorance of God.

Mukhtarites. - Kaisanites, followers of al-Mukhtar ibn `Ubaid, who held to Mahommed ibn ul-Hanafiyya but was disowned by him. He allowed the possibility of change of mind on the part of God.


Those who postponed judgment of actions until the Day of Judgment. See above.


Imamites who held to the imamate of Musa ibn Ja`far, who was imprisoned by Harun al-Rashid and poisoned. Mushabbiha. - Sifatites who compared God's actions with human actions. They said that the Koran was eternal with all its letters, accents and written signs.

Mu`tazilites. 1

The rationalists of Islam. See above, cf. also H. Steiner, Die Mu`taziliten oder die Freidenker im Islam (Leipzig, 1865).

Muzdarites. - Mu`tazilites, followers of al-Muzdar, a pupil of Bishr (cf. Bishrites) whose teaching he developed further. He taught that God has power to do evil, but, if he acted thus, would be an evil God; also that man can produce the equal of the Koran.

Najadat (also known as `Adhirites). - Kharijites, who followed Najda ibn 'Amir of Yemama as he went to join the Azraqites but withdrew from these, being more orthodox than they. He held that fear of fighting was not sin.

Nawisites take their name from a person or a place. They are Jabarites who believe in Sadiq as the mandi.

All these names are alternatively spelt Mo. - instead of Nazzamites. - Mu`tazilites, followers of Ibrahim ibn Sayyar un-Nazzam, who was an extremist in his teaching of man's free-will and other philosophical doctrines.

Nu`manites. 1 - Ghaliites agreeing in some points with Hishamites, but holding that God is a light in the form of a man, yet not a body. Nusairites. 1 - Ghaliites who agree with the Ishagites except that they lay more stress on the incorporation of the deity.


The upholders of free-will (see above).


M usaites who regard the rank of the imams as closed with the death of Musa.


A term used by some writers to denote the Shiites as a whole; by others given to a class of the Shiites who forsook Zaid ibn 'Ali because he forbade them to abuse the Companions.


Thalabites, followers of Rashid ut-Tusi, sometimes called `Ushrites (" tithers ") because they differed from others on the question of tithing the produce of land watered by rivers and canals.


Kaisanites of Khorasan at the time of Abu Muslim, to whom they ascribed the imamate and the Spirit of God. They also believed in metempsychosis.

Saba`ites. - Ghaliites, who followed `Abdallah ibn Saba (see SHI`Ites).


(a) Zaidites, followers of al-Hasan ibn Salih, who agreed with the teachings of the Butrites (above); (b) Murjiites, followers of Salih ibn Amr, who united with the doctrines of their own party those of the Qadarites.


`Ajarida who had nothing to do with the children of believers until they had grown up and professed Islam. Shaibanites. - Thalabites, followers of Shaiban ibn Salama, who was killed in the time of Abu Muslim (Moslem). They arose chiefly in Jorjan and Armenia and agreed in doctrine with the Jahmites.


Ja`farites, followers of Yahya ibn Abu Shamit. Shiites. - See separate article.


`Ajarida who said that God creates the actions of men, and men appropriate them.

Sifatites are those who ascribe eternity to all the attributes of God, whether they denote essence or action, or are of the class called descriptive attributes.

Sifrites, the same as Ziyadites (below).

Sulaimanites (Suleimanites). - Zaidites, followers of Suleiman ibn Jarir, who held that the appointment to the imamate was a matter of consultation and that the imamates of Abu Bekr and Omar were legal although 'Ali had a better claim.


A party of the Kharijites, followers of Thalab ibn Amir, who agreed with the `Ajarida except that he was friendly with children until they actually denied the faith. He also took alms from slaves when they were rich, and gave alms to poor slaves.


Murjiites who said that faith consists in the knowledge and confession of God and His apostle, and what the intellect is not capable of doing. What the intellect can do (or leave) is not of faith.


Mu`tazilites, followers of Thumama ibn Ashras in the days of Mamun, who taught that all non-Moslems would become dust on the day of resurrection.


Murjiites who taught that faith depends on obedience rather to the principles than to the commands of Islam.

`Ubaidites. - Murjiites who believed that anything but idolatry might be forgiven, and that if a man died professing the unity of God his sins would not hurt him.


Those who, opposed to the Murjiites, pronounced judgment in this life; they are not counted as a separate sect by Shahrastani (see above).


A name given to those who followed Wasil ibn `Ata, the founder of Mu`tazilitism, who denied the attributes of God, asserted the power of man over his own actions, taught the existence of a middle place between heaven and hell, and despised the parties of Othman and 'Ali alike.


Ibadites who said that they followed the religion of the Sabians in the Koran, and believed that God would send an apostle from the Persians.


Murjiites who taught that faith consists in knowledge of God, subjection to Him, abandonment of pride before Him, and love in the heart. Obedience apart from knowledge is not of faith. Zaidites. - The moderate Shiites (see SHI`Ites).


Kharijites, followers of Ziyad ibn ul-Asfar, who did not regard those who abstained from fighting for Islam as unbelievers, and did not kill the children of idolaters or condemn them to hell.

Authorities. - FOr the philosophy and theology of Ash`ari see M. A. F. Mehren, Exposé de la reforme de l'Islamisme par Abou-'l Hasan Ali el-Ash`ari (Leiden, 1878); W. Spitta, Zur Geschichte Abu-1 Hasan al-Ash`aris (Leipzig, 1876); M. Schreiner, Zur Geschichte des Ash`aritenthums (Leiden, 1891); D. B. Macdonald, Development of Muslim Theology, Jurisprudence and Constitutional Theory (London, 1903). The last work contains translations of the creeds of Ash`ari and Nasafi (Mataridite). A further bibliography of works on the faith and outlook of Islam will be found in D. B. Macdonald's Muslim Theology. 1 These names are alternatively spelt No- instead of Nu-. The text of the Koran has been edited by G. Flugel, Leipzig, various dates; and by G. M. Redslob, Paris, 1868 and 1880. There are also hundreds of Eastern editions. Concordances have been published by G. Flugel, Leipzig, 1842 (several times reprinted), also in Egypt, Palestine and India. A dictionary and glossary were published by J. Penrice, London, 1873. English translations have been made by G. Sale, London, 1734 (the fullest edition is that with notes by E. M.Wherry, 4 vols., London, 1882-1886); by J. M. Rodwell with notes, London, 1861 and 1876; and by E. H. Palmer in vols. vi. and ix. of the " Sacred Books of the East," Oxford, 1880-1882. Among the best or best-known Arabic commentaries are those of Tabari (q.v.), Zamakhshari, Baidhawi (q.v.), the Jalalain (see Suyuti), and such later ones as the Mafatih ul-Ghaib of ar-Razi (d. 1210). The composition and theology of the Koran are treated in the works of Noldeke and Grimme referred to above.

On the eschatology of Islam see M. Wolff, Muhammedanische Eschatologie (Leipzig, 1872); and on the doctrine of revelation, Otto Pautz, Muhammeds Lehre von der Offenbarung (Leipzig, 1898).

(G. W. T.)

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