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SA'F SAFA'I COMMITTEE

The term sa'f safa'i means neat and cleanliness, and the Sa'f Safa'i Committee (matahir or taharat khana) is a traditional institution in each Jamatkhana. It looks after the sweeping, washing and cleaning the premise. Islam emphasizes great deal of cleanliness and purification in every affair of life. The Prophet also said, "Purification is the key to prayer" (Tirmizi, 1:3), "Religion is built on cleanliness" (Ibid.) and "Purification is one half of faith" (Ibn Majah, 1:5).

SEAL OF PROPHECY [ see KHATIMU'N NUBUWAH ]

SECTS [ see FIRQA ]

SELF REALIZATION [ see KHUD SHANASI ]

SAHABA

The sahaba (pl. ashab) means the Companions of the Prophet. The plural "Companions of the Prophet" (ashab al-nabi), otherwise known simply as the Companions (sahaba) is derived from the root s-h-b. The phrase ashab al-nabi does not appear in the Koran. Nor does the plural form sahab occur there. Of the 94 times that the noun sahib and its plural ashab do appear in the Koran.

SAHIB AZ-ZAMAN & SAHIB AL-ASR

The word asr means time or time to come. It is a spiritual or eternal hour, which is hidden in material age. The material age is zaman. In other words, asr is batin and zaman is zahir. The Imam is the Lord of the spiritual as well as the material hours.

SHAB-I BARAT

Shab-i Barat or Lail at-Bara'a (night of quittancy) is a non-Koranic but a very popular feast of the Muslims. It is celebrated on the night of the full moon of 14th Sha'ban, and the people devote it to the commemoration of the dead. It is considered to be the night when the "writing conferring immunity is written in heaven" or, more generally, the night during which "the fates for the coming year are destined in heaven."

SAJADA

The word sajda (pl. sujud) is derived from sajd means bowing down. It occurs 64 times in the Koran. The prostration or bowing down the head is an obligatory part of the prayers. The Koran says: "O you who believe! Bow down and prostrate yourselves and serve your Lord, and do good that you may succeed" (22:77) and "So make prostration to God and serve" (53:62).

SHAFA'A

The word shafa'a is derived from shaf meaning the making a thing to be one of a pair, or the adjoining a thing to its like, and thus shafa'a signifies the joining of a man to another assisting him. In Islamic terminology, it means intercession. It is the intercession of a mediator with the right to intercede of the greater or more worthy on behalf of the lesser or less worthy. The word shafa'a occurs 29 times in the Koran.

SALAMIA

"Salamia was a small town in Syria in the district of east of the Orontes, and is located at a distance of 32 kilometers to the south-east of Hammah, or 44 kilometers to the north-east of Hims. It lies in a fertile plain, about 1500 feet above the sea level, south of the Jabal al-A'la and on the margin of the Syrian steppe, standing on the main entrance of the Syrian desert.

SHAH DIDAR

The word shah didar or shah'jo didar means may (you bless with) Lord's glimpse. It is a taslim in the Ismaili tariqah, the believers greet each other at the end of the prayer, beholding face to face, both pronounce shah didar by shaking hand. This is an act of humble wish to refresh their spiritual relation. The Koran says, "Whosoever surrenders his face to God, being a doer of good, has verily grasped the firm hand-hold" (31:22)

SALAT

The word salat (pl. salawat) is an Aramaic verbal noun s'lota (bowing or bending) had passed into several dialects with the meaning of prayer. This word was used by Armaic speaking Jews for the obligatory recital of the 18 benedictions. In Hebrew, the synagogue of the Jews was also termed as a salat, vide Koran, 22:40. It also means to walk behind anything constantly. In horse-race, the second horse runs just behind the first horse, is also called salla. Its meaning indicates to follow the divine law constantly.

SHAH TAHIR HUSSAIN

"Momin Shah, the son of Imam Shamsuddin Muhammad was the hujjat in Syria. He died in 738/1337. His son Muhammad Shah (d. 807/1404) also operated the Ismaili mission in the village of Khwand in Qazwin. His son was Raziuddin I (d. 833/1429), who in turn was succeeded by his son Muhammad Tahir Shah (d. 867/1462). His son Raziuddin II had gone to Badakhshan in 913/1508, where he established his rule in the period of a certain Taymurid amir Mirza Khan (d. 926/1520). Raziuddin II was killed in the local tribal fighting in 915/1509.

SALAT-2

(continued from SALAAT)
Fixation of five times Salat

SHAHID

The word shahid (pl. shuhada) is derived from the Arabic verbal root shahada, meaning to see, witness, testify or become a model and paradigm. In different grammatrical forms the words used in the Koran are ish'had, shahid, shahadah, shuhadam shahud, mashud, mashad, etc. A shahid is a martyr, who witnesses as if a martyr witnesses and see the truth physically and thus stands by it firmly. The English word martyr comes from the Greek martyrs, meaning witness.

SALAT AL-FAJR

Also called salat al-subh. When any person could perceive his neighbour at near distance in darkness at dawn. (Bukhari, muwakit, p. 21). Its time begins with "the true dawn" (al-fajr al-sadik) when the faces can still not yet be recognized, and extends until the daybreak as such before the sun appears. It should be noted that the Arabs designated the early morning as the dhanab al-sirhan (the tail of the wolf), and this is when the light gradually begins to get brighter at the place where the suns is about to rise like the light of a lamp.

SHAITAN

The word shaitan (pl. shayatin) is derived from the verb shaana, meaning to detain someone in order to divert him from his intention. Another view suggests that the word is rooted from the Hebrew, satan, meaning a cord. The word shaitan is used 70 times in the Koran in the singular form, including six times in the indefinite (4:117, 15:17, 22:3, 37:7, 43:36, 81:25), plus 18 times in the plural, shayatin, which is always definite.

SALAT AL-MAGHRIB

It was offered and ended when an arrow was shot from a bow and could be seen at sunset ((Ibid., p. 27). Its time begins when the sun disappears beneath the horizon, and normally continues until disappearance of the twilight radiance.

NIZARI KOHISTANI

"Naimuddin bin Jalaluddin bin Muhammad Nizari Kohistani was born in Birjand in 645/1247. He got the rudiments of his formal education at home from his father, who was also a poet himself and a devout Ismaili. Nizari attended school in Birjand and Qain, and studied Persian and Arabic literature. His father was a land-lord in Birjand, but lost his estate during the Mongol onslaught in Kohistan and subsequently, Nizari had to serve at the court of Shamsuddin Muhammad I (643-684/1245-1285), the founder of the Kurt dynasty of Herat; and became a court-poet.

QADR OR TAQDIR - The will of God and the will of man

A great deal of misunderstanding exists as to the relation of the Divine will to the will of man. All the faculties with which man has been endowed have emanated from the great Divine attributes. Yet all human attributes are imperfect, and can be exercised only under certain limitations and to a certain extent.

QIYAMAT-I QUBRA

"Qiyamat-i qubra or qaim al-qiyama was a famous occasion commemorated in Alamut on 17th Ramzan, 559/August 8, 1164 when Imam Hasan II came out publicly upon the termination of dawr-i satr. In his speech, he announced himself a legitimate Imam in the descent of Imam al-Nizar. Edward G. Browne writes in A Literary History of Persia (London, 1964, 2:454) that, "This Hasan boldly declared himself to be, not the descendant of Kiya Buzrug Ummid, but of the Fatimid Imam Nizar bin al-Mustansir."

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