Life has two aspects, body and soul. Body represents the matter, which is perceivable and mortal, while the soul is immaterial, not perceivable and immortal. Matter has a form, but the soul is formless. This earthy body belongs to the material world (alam-i ijsam), which is made of dust and will return to the dust. The soul belongs to the spiritual world (alam-i arwah), which is to return to its origin.
The Persian word sal means anniversary and girah means knot, thus salgirah refers to an anniversary added on to a string kept for the purpose. Imam Sultan Muhammad Shah said, "Life is a great and noble calling, not a mean and a grovelling thing to be shuffled through as best as we can but a lofty and exalted destiny." Hence, the day of birth, for every soul, is of supreme importance.
Shariah is an Arabic term used to designate Islamic law. It originally referred to a path trodden by camels to a water source, a course to the watering place or resort of drinkers. Hence, it means the clear path or the highway to be followed.
"Ruknuddin Hasan, surnamed Khurshah was born in 627/1230. He is also known as Kahirshah. When he was still a child, his father had declared him as his successor. Juvaini was not tired to adulterate the Nizarid line of Imamate, but at one place he curiously admits (p. 663), "And today, the leader (Ruknuddin Khurshah) of the heretics (the misnomer used for the Ismailis) of Alamut traces his descent from this son (of Nizar).
It means peace be upon him. When the name of the Prophet or Imams are mentioned, the listeners demonstrate their respect and devotion by bowing their heads slightly and touching with their forefinger the lips and/or the bridge of the nose and the forehead in a bipartite or triparite gesture with the chanting of salla'llah alaihi wa sallam.
SALVATION [ see NAJAT ]
SATAN [ see SHAITAN ]
"The word shi'a (pl. shi'ya, ash'ya) is derived from musha'ayah, which is synonymous with following a person and obeying him. Its second letter in the root is sha'a, shia'an meaning a person who follows his peer group. According to Lisan al-Arab, al-Shi'ah means a group which is formed on the basis of a certain agreement, and every group thus formed is called Shi'ah.
The word sadaqa is derived from sidq meaning truth, and comes to signify a charitable deed, occurring 14 times in the Koran. Sometimes the terms zakat and sadaqa are wrongly used in the same sense. Sadaqa denotes a voluntary alms. According to Koran (9:14): "Take from their property alms (sadaqa) in order thus to purify them (tuzakki'him)." Sadaqa is a mere generic term applying to the alms.
The word satara is a corrupt form of satada, which is a formation of two words, i.e. sat (seven) and dahada (days). Its synonmous are satado, satado or satrata. The satara or satada denotes a spiritual exercise (riyazat) of the faithful at midnight or day, such as the practice of i'tikaf. For removing hindrances in spiritual progress, or to remove interruption in the practice of worship, the Ismaili hold the majalis of Satara as the seven nights of supplication.
He was born most probably in 1268/1851 in Baghdad. He is also called Khalilullah and Shah Badin Shah. Imam Aga Ali Shah had married to Marium Sultan in Iraq, who bore two sons, Pir Shihabuddin Shah and Aga Nur Shah. These two sons were brought up in Hasanabad, Bombay. Aga Nur Shah was a good sportsman and fell down from his horse while riding and sustained serious injuries, which proved fatal and died at the age of 30 years.
"Pir Sadruddin, one of the best known and revered hujjats in India was born in Sebzewar probably in 700/1300. His name was Muhammad, the son of Pir Sahib'din bin Pir Nasiruddin bin Pir Shams Sebzewari. His early education followed customary lines at home. He was a man steeped in a thorough understanding of the mystical teaching and the Islamic science of tawil. He also visited Mecca several times on pilgrimage, and seems to have acquired a good command in Arabic. Pir Sadruddin is said to have visited India in 734/1335, and joined the mission of Pir Shams.
"The mission in Gujrat goes back to the period of Jaylam bin Shayban, who had established a Fatimid rule in Multan and extended his influence as far as Gujrat, whose informations are scant. Later, in 461/1068, Ahmad bin Mukarram, the second ruler of the Sulayhid dynasty in Yamen, had written a letter to Imam al-Mustansir in Cairo, when there was certain missionary activities in Gujrat. He reported in his letter that the envoys of the da'i of India had brought him a letter, asking that permission be granted to them to pass through verbal propaganda to the use of force.
The Shoes Company is an institution in the Jamatkhana, where the shoes of the visitors are deposited. The word company means an assemblage, collection or multitude of things. The Arabic word na'al (pl. ni'al) means sandal, khuff means boot and ahdhiya means shoe. The primitive shoe or sandal was a flat sole of leather, wood or matted grass with loops attached, through which the shoe-latchet, a leather thong, passed and strapped in the foot.
"Prince Sadruddin, the son of Imam Sultan Muhammad Shah and the late Princess Andree Aga Khan was born in the American Hospital at Neuilly, outside Paris on January 17, 1933. He received his early education in Switzerland before graduating in 1954 from Harvard University. After three years of post-graduate research at Harvard's Centre for Middle Eastern Studies, he followed a family tradition in international service established by his father, who had served two terms as President of the League of Nations.
The primary significance of saum is abstaining in an absolute sense (al-imsaku ani-l fi'l), and includes abstaining from eating or speaking or moving about; thus a horse that abstains from moving about, or from fodder, is said to be sa'im, and wind is said to be saum when it abates, and the day when it reaches the mid point. On two occasions in the Koran (9:112 and 66:5), those who fast are called sa'ih (from saha meaning he travelled) or spiritual wayfarers.
"The word shukr (pl. shukur) means thankfulness or gratitude. The verb to thank, to be grateful (shakara) and its various cognates, such as shukr occur 74 times in the Koran. A dominant feature of the concept of gratitude in the Koran is its use to describe the spiritual bond binding the believer to God. Gratitude has a very broad semantic field in the Koran with a strong theocentric character in the sense that shukr is owed chiefly to God, even if that means through what God has made and the offices he has appointed.
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).
"Imam Syed Ali was born most probably in Shahr-i Babak, where he passed his early life with his mother. He also came in Kahek after his father's arrival from Khorasan. He was also known as Shah Ataullah II among the Nimatullahi Sufi order. He was a popular figure as an amir in Shahr-i Babak and Kirman in the elites. He is also known as Rais al-Kirman (Lord of Kirman), an honour, which promoted him to the governorship of Kirman. He was also a leading landlord, and had acquired many lands in Shahr-i Babak and Sirjan.
"It is learnt that a group of Mubarakiyya in Kufa among the Ismaili orbit believed in the Mahdism of Imam Muhammad bin Ismail, anticipating his return, which had never been promulgated by the official dawa. Granted that it was the propaganda of the Ismaili dawa, there would hardly be a place left for the Imams for them in the line of Muhammad bin Ismail. This small Ismaili group was expecting the return of the Imam, and a da'i Hussain al-Ahwazi had also a leaning towards them. He had gone to southern Iraq for propaganda and procured large converts.
The Koran directs man's attention to the phenomena of nature and the facts of history, as they reveal the power of God and His wisdom. Man is invited to look at and reflect upon the grandeur of the heavens, the beauty of the earth, the freshness of dawn, the glory of sunset and the terrifying force of the wind as it sweeps over the open spaces of the desert. Pointedly, it asks: "Are not these marvelous? What more do you want?' The phenomena of nature, at once beautiful and mysterious, can fully gratify man's sense of wonder.
Navroz is a Persian word, meaning new day of the year. The Arabs pronounced it as Niruz or Nairuz. The Sogdians called it Nau-Sard (the new year), and also is called Nishat Afroz Jashan in Iran. It is a spring festival, beginning with the first day of the Persian solar year, corresponding to the vernal equinox and the entry of the sun into the sign of Aries, and continued until the 6th day of the month. The last day was known as the Great New Year's Day (al-Niruz al-Akbar).