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Abu, Madyan  

Stephen Cory

Sufi leader who has been referred to as “the Junayd of the West,” played an important role in the early development of Sufism within North Africa. One of his disciples, ʿAbd al-Salam ibn Mashish, was later the spiritual master for Abu al-Hasan al-Shadili, founder of one of the most influential North African Sufi movements.

Abu Madyan was born in the town of Cantillana near Seville in Muslim Spain He lost his parents early in life and was raised by his older brothers who regularly mistreated him The Moroccan biographer al Tadili d 1229 30 included biographical comments from Abu Madyan s writings such as the shaykh s explanation of how he finally escaped from the control of his brothers Abu Madyan relates that he fled from his home only to be captured by a brother who intended to kill him because of his many escape attempts His brother attacked him ...



Allan D. Austin

Muslim leader and plantation manager, was born in Africa, sold into slavery, and transported to the Bahamas and then to Sapelo Island, Georgia. His name is also given as Bilali Mahomet and Bul‐Ali. Almost nothing is known about Bilali's life in Africa, but his fellow Fula or Peul (originally Malian) friend, Salih Bilali, who was enslaved on the neighboring island of Saint Simons, said that Bilali came from the village of Timbo, in Futa Jallon (later Guinea). This was an important Muslim educational and political community and the homeland of another Fula, Ibrahima abd al‐Rahman, who was enslaved in Mississippi. Bilali's strict adherence to Muslim ways and the book he wrote in Arabic show that he paid attention to his teachers in Africa. In the Bahamas Bilali married at least one of his four known wives before being brought to Georgia around 1802 He had a ...


Hakim, al-  

Kurt J. Werthmuller

controversial caliph and imam of the Isma’ili Shi’i Fatimid dynasty of Egypt (so named for its claims of lineage from the Prophet’s daughter Fatima), was born to the caliph al-ʿAziz bi-Llah and a wife or concubine whose identity remains unconfirmed, in al-Qahira (Cairo), the capital of the Fatimid state in Egypt since its foundation in 973. His full name was Abu ʿAli al-Mansur Al-Hakim bi-Amr Allah. He fathered a son, his successor ʿAli al-Zahir (1005–1036), by a favorite concubine, Amina Ruqayya, and a daughter Sitt Misr (Lady of Egypt). As al-Hakim was only 11 years old when he succeeded his father al-ʿAziz after the latter’s death in 996, al-Hakim’s guardian-tutor and most trusted adviser, Barjawan, seized the opportunity of a brief political crisis to essentially run the Fatimid state in al-Hakim’s name. This came to an end in 1000 when the teenaged caliph tired of Barjawan s ...


Mustansir Biallah, Maʿad al-  

Ness Creighton

eighth Fatimid caliph of Egypt, ruled for sixty years, the longest of any of the caliphs, either in Egypt or any of the other Islamic states. He ruled from 1036 until 1094, succeeding his father al-Zahir. His rule was marked by chaotic fluctuations of stability and fortune, but is also considered to be of critical importance to the history of the Fatimid Isma’ili movement. His full name was Bi ʾLlah Abu Tamim MaʿAdd ibn ʿAli Al-Zuahir.

Al-Mustansir was born in Cairo on the sixteenth day of Djumada II, 420 AH (5 July 5 1029 according to Idris on 16 Ramadan 29 September At the age of eight months he was declared the successor of his father the short lived seventh caliph of the Fatimids ʿAli al Zahir r 1020 1036 Upon his father s death due to plague while still in his early thirties al Mustansir ascended to the ...


Wansharisi, Ahmad al-  

David S. Powers

Maliki scholar, jurist, and mufti, was born in Jabal Wansharis (Ouarsenis), a mountain massif in the Central Algerian Tell, 31 miles (50 kilometers) southwest of Algiers. When Ahmad was five years old, his father moved the family to Tlemcen, where he studied the Qurʾan, Arabic language, and Maliki law and jurisprudence with distinguished scholars.

In 1469 at the age of forty al Wansharisi incurred the wrath of the Zayyanid sultan Muhammad IV who ordered that his house be ransacked and plundered Leaving everything behind al Wansharisi fled to Fez where he was welcomed by the scholarly community receiving food and shelter from the jurist Muhammad al Sughayyir He moved into a house near the Muʿallaq mosque in the Sharratin quarter of Fez al Qarawiyyin and was appointed professor of Maliki law at the Madrasa Misbahiyya His knowledge of the law was proverbial He who has not studied with al ...