Welcome to F.I.E.L.D.- the First Ismaili Electronic Library and Database. Guests are not required to login during this beta-testing phase

Encyclopedia Topic

Ablution

[ see WUZU ]

SIBAK AL-KHAYL

Horse is an important and valuable member of the mammalia. Among the earliest evidence of the importance of the horse to human culture are the unearthed wall paintings in the caves of Lascaux, in southern France, dating around 30,000 B.C. The horse first became useful in welfare sometimes before 1500 B.C. when Mesopotamian people began to use horses to pull their chariots. There is however a question rose by Canon Taylor in his Origin of the Aryans (p.161), whether the horse was at first used for drawing chariots or for riding.

ZULFIKAR

It means possessor of notches or the Lord of the vertebrae of the back. It was the name borne by a famous sword owned in turn by a pagan called al-As bin Munabbih, who was killed in the battle of Badr. The Prophet acquired it in a booty and presented to Ali bin Abu Talib. The expression of zulfikar (dhu'l fiqar or dhu'l faqar) is explained by the presence of this sword of notches (fukra) or grooves. It was double-edged (shafratani) and its blade was strengthened in the middle by a pole (amud).

ZULFIKAR ALI (920-922/1514-1516), 37TH IMAM

Zulfikar Ali, known as Khalil or Khalilullah, was born most probably in 900/1394, and resided in Anjudan. Syed Imam Shah (d. 926/1520) described the name Shah Khalil most possibly for Imam Zulfikar Ali.

ZAMZAM

The word zamzan or zamazim means abundant of water. Some suggests that it means to drink with little gulps. Abdullah bin Abbas narrates that they called the zamzan as subha meaning one which fills stomach. The Prophet also called it khayur ma'in (excellent water). The sacred well is located at the perimeter of the sacred complex of Mecca.

ZAYN AL-ABIDIN (61-94/680-713), 3RD IMAM

"Abu Muhammad Ali bin Hussain, known as Zayn al-Abidin (ornament of the pious) and by the titles of as-Sajjad (the prostrator) and az-Zaki (the pure), was born in Medina on 38/658. He would feed the hungry persons at night, from one to three hundred families; and in daytime, he would have a hundred sheep a day killed for meat, which would be distributed to the needy people. Much of his time he spent sitting on an old piece of matting, fasting all day, or eating a little barely bread. D.M. Donaldson writes in The Shi'ite Religion (London, 1933, p.

ZIKR

The word zikr (pl. azkar), zikra or tazikra is derived from z-k-r appear in 274 Koranic verses, means remembrance or recollection. The most important significance of the first form of the verb is "thinking about" or "calling to mind" with the remembrance of God being the primary focus. The Koran says, "and remember God often" (33:40) and "the remembrance of God makes the heart calm" (13:28).

TALAQ

"The root idea of the verb talaqa means to be freed from a tether (of a camel). Thus, talaq means a camel untethered or a woman repudiated by a man. It also means freeing or the ending of a knot. In the terminology of the jurists, the talaq or divorce is called khul, meaning the putting off or taking off of a thing, when it is claimed by the wife. In the Koran there is one derivation of the root, ikhla, which means take off.

UMAR

Umar, the son of Khattab was born about twelve years after the birth of the Prophet in Mecca. His father was an educated merchant, who taught his son reading and writing. He was a poet, orator and fond of archery, horse-riding and wrestling. He embraced Islam in the 6th year of the Prophethood.

TALIKA MUBARAK

The term talik means suspension or hanging together. Talik is said to have got this name from its letters being connected to each other, and is in fact a compound of tawki, rika and naskh scripts. The shikasta talik (broken talik) is the result of writing talik rapidly. The letters are written in a more intricate style, which makes shikasta talik difficult to read. It started to appear in 8th/14th century and was developed by Khwaja Taj Salmaniyi Ispahani (d. 897/1491).

WUZU

"The word wuzu is derived from waza, meaning beauty, and in Islamic terminology, it means the washing of certain parts of the body before prayers.

UMAYADS

"Muawiya followed Ali and his son, Hasan as caliph of the Muslims, having adopted the cry of "Vengeance for Uthman." Muawiya and Uthman were kinsmen, both of them belonging to the Meccan clan of Umayyad or Abd Shams. Later, after the death of Ali, Hasan bin Ali abdicated the power after ruling for 6 months and 3 days in 41/661 in favour of Muawiya, who became an absolute ruler of the Muslim states. There are however numerous instances, where Muawiya is recorded as saying, "I am the first king of Islam." (Bidaya wa'n Nihaya by Ibn Kathir, Cairo, 1939, 8:135).

TALIM, DOCTRINE OF

"The early Nizari Ismailis showed a particular interest in the doctrine of the Imamate and concentrated their doctrinal investigations. Thus, Hasan bin Sabbah broached the doctrine of talim (authoritative teaching) to the Ismailis. The word talim is derived from the second form of the root verb alima mean to know. Thus, the talim means instruction or teaching, and the derivative talim has come to be used to denote, in particular, the followers of authoritative, i.e., the Ismailis.

UMMAH

"The word ummah (pl. umam) is derived from amma yaumma, meaning to intend. According to others, the word ummah is rooted from the Aramaic, umma'tha, meaning tribe, nation or community. It occurs 62 times in the Koran including 15 times plural in the following senses:-

YA ALI MADAD

The aslam alaikum was a common phrase of salutation in the period of the Prophet. Imam Hussain once said, "Seventy rewards are the share of the one who initiates a greeting, and only one reward belongs to the one who returns the greeting" (Bihar al-Anwar, 78:120). Soon after the battle of Siffin, the Shi'ite became the target of hostility and were persecuted by the Umayyads. The Imams had no option but to impart them the doctrine of taqiya to avoid the danger of being killed.

TAQI MUHAMMAD (212-225/828-840), 9TH IMAM

"Ahmad bin Abdullah, Muhammad al-Habib, or Abul Hussain, surnamed at-Taqi (God-fearing), also called Imam Taqi Muhammad, was born in 174/790 and ascended in 212/828. He lived secretly with his followers as a merchant at Salamia. He is also called Sahib al-Rasail (Lord of the epistles). He however retained the services of Abdullah bin Maymun (d. 260/874) as his hujjat.

UMMI

"The word ummi (pl. ummiyun) means unlettered, occurring twice in the Koran as an epithet of the Prophet: "Those who follow the messenger, the ummi Prophet, whom they find written down with the Torah and the Gospels" (7:157); and "Believe then in God, and in His messenger, the ummi Prophet" (7:158).

YAQUB BIN KILLIS

"Yaqub bin Ibn Killis was born in 318/930 in a Jewish family. When he grew young, he came with his father to Egypt and began his political career at the court of Abul Misk Kafur. Very soon, he secured key position because of being intelligent, honest and efficient. He embraced Islam in 357/968. The new vizir Abu Jafar Furat imprisoned him in enmity, but was relieved soon by the intervention of Sharif Muslim al-Hussain. He finally quitted Egypt and entered into the Fatimid services in Maghrib.

TA'ADDUD AL-ZAWJAT (POLYGAMY)

Islam recognizes as a rule only the union of one man and one woman as a valid form of marriage. Under exceptional circumstances, it allows the man more wives than one, but does not allow the woman more husbands than one. Thus while a married woman cannot contract a valid marriage, a married man can do it. There is no difficulty in understanding this differentiation, if the natural duties of man and woman in the preservation and upbringing of human species are kept in view.


Syndicate content

Back to top