Fakih Usman (Alternatively spelled as Faqih Usman; [faˈkɪh ʊsˈman]; 2 March 1904 – 3 October 1968) was an Indonesian Islamic leader and politician of the Masyumi Party. He twice served as the Minister of Religious Affairs under the cabinets of Abdul Halim and Wilopo from January until September of 1950, and again from 1952 until 1953. In his early years, Fakih was criticized by conservative Muslims for his involvement with the modernist Islamic Muhammadiyah organization, though he is remembered fondly by the group. Born to a merchant and his wife in Gresik, Dutch East Indies, Fakih studied with his father and at a series of pesantren (Islamic boarding schools) until the 1920s.
In 1925 he became involved with the Muhammadiyah, rising quickly through the leadership until he became the head of the Surabaya branch in 1938. He was also active in local politics, in 1937, he became the treasurer of the Indonesian Islamic Assembly. He continued to be involved in politics and Islamic groups during the Japanese occupation and the ensuing national revolution. Following the end of war, he was appointed Minister of Religious Affairs. As minister, he oversaw educational and institutional reform, growing in prominence within the Muhammadiyah. He also served as deputy chairman of the organization under several different leaders before being chosen as its chairman in late 1968. He died several days later. (Full article...)
The Second Crusade was announced by Pope Eugene III, and was the first of the crusades to be led by European kings, namely Louis VII of France and Conrad III of Germany, with help from a number of other European nobles. The armies of the two kings marched separately across Europe. After crossing Byzantine territory into Anatolia, both armies were separately defeated by the Seljuk Turks. The main Western Christian source, Odo of Deuil, and Syriac Christian sources claim that the Byzantine EmperorManuel I Komnenos secretly hindered the crusaders' progress, particularly in Anatolia, where he is alleged to have deliberately ordered Turks to attack them. However, this alleged sabotage of the Crusade by the Byzantines was likely fabricated by Odo, who saw the Empire as an obstacle, and moreover Emperor Manuel had no political reason to do so. Louis and Conrad and the remnants of their armies reached Jerusalem and participated in 1148 in an ill-advised attack on Damascus, which ended in their retreat. In the end, the crusade in the east was a failure for the crusaders and a victory for the Muslims. It would ultimately have a key influence on the fall of Jerusalem and give rise to the Third Crusade at the end of the 12th century. (Full article...)
In 1838, Syed Ahmad entered the service of East India Company and went on to become a judge at a Small Causes Court in 1867, retiring from 1876. During the Indian Mutiny of 1857, he remained loyal to the British Raj and was noted for his actions in saving European lives. After the rebellion, he penned the booklet The Causes of the Indian Mutiny – a daring critique, at the time, of various British policies that he blamed for causing the revolt. Believing that the future of Muslims was threatened by the rigidity of their orthodox outlook, Sir Ahmad began promoting Western–stylescientific education by founding modern schools and journals and organising Islamic entrepreneurs. (Full article...)
This call was met with an enthusiastic popular response across all social classes in western Europe. Mobs of predominantly poor Christians numbering in the thousands, led by Peter the Hermit, a French priest, were the first to respond. What has become known as the People's Crusade passed through Germany and indulged in wide-ranging anti-Jewish activities, including the Rhineland massacres. On leaving Byzantine-controlled territory in Anatolia, they were annihilated in a Turkish ambush led by the Seljuk Kilij Arslan at the Battle of Civetot in October 1096. (Full article...)
Born and raised in Sialkot, Punjab in an ethnic Kashmiri Muslim family, Iqbal completed his B.A. and M.A. at the Government College Lahore. He taught Arabic at the Oriental College, Lahore from 1899 until 1903. During this time, he wrote prolifically. Among the Urdu poems from this time that remain popular are Parinde ki faryad (A bird's prayer), an early mation on animal rights, and Tarana-e-Hindi (The Song of India) a patriotic poem—both poems composed for children. In 1905, he left for further studies in Europe, first to England, where he completed a second B.A. at Trinity College, Cambridge and was subsequently called to the bar at Lincoln's Inn, and then to Germany, where he received a Ph.D. in philosophy at the University of Munich. After returning to Lahore in 1908, he established a law practice but concentrated on writing scholarly works on politics, economics, history, philosophy, and religion. He is best known for his poetic works, including Asrar-e-Khudi – after whose publication he was awarded a knighthood, Rumuz-e-Bekhudi, and the Bang-e-Dara. In Iran, where he is known as Iqbāl-e Lāhorī (Iqbal of Lahore), he is highly regarded for his Persian works. (Full article...)
Malcolm spent his adolescence living in a series of foster homes or with relatives after his father's death and his mother's hospitalization. He engaged in several illicit activities, eventually being sentenced to 10 years in prison in 1946 for larceny and breaking and entering. In prison he joined the Nation of Islam (adopting the name MalcolmX to symbolize his unknown African ancestral surname while discarding "the white slavemaster name of 'Little'"), and after his parole in 1952 quickly became one of the organization's most influential leaders. He was the public face of the organization for a dozen years, advocating for Black empowerment and separation of Black and white Americans, and criticizing Martin Luther King Jr. and the mainstream civil rights movement for its emphasis on nonviolence and racial integration. Malcolm X also expressed pride in some of the Nation's social welfare achievements, such as its free drug rehabilitation program. Throughout his life, beginning in the 1950s, Malcolm X endured surveillance from the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI). (Full article...)
While Malcolm X and scholars contemporary to the book's publication regarded Haley as the book's ghostwriter, modern scholars tend to regard him as an essential collaborator who intentionally muted his authorial voice to create the effect of Malcolm X speaking directly to readers. Haley influenced some of Malcolm X's literary choices. For example, Malcolm X left the Nation of Islam during the period when he was working on the book with Haley. Rather than rewriting earlier chapters as a polemic against the Nation which Malcolm X had rejected, Haley persuaded him to favor a style of "suspense and drama". According to Manning Marable, "Haley was particularly worried about what he viewed as Malcolm X's anti-Semitism" and he rewrote material to eliminate it. (Full article...)
The Battle of Badr (Arabic: غَزْوَةُ بَدِرْ) was fought between the Muslims and the Quraysh on 13 March 624 in the town of Badr. Muhammad, commanding an army of his Sahaba, defeated an army of the Quraysh led by Amr ibn Hisham, better known as Abu Jahl. The battle marked the beginning of the six-year war between Muhammad and his tribe. Prior to the battle, the Muslims and the Meccans had fought several smaller skirmishes in late 623 and early 624.
Muhammad took keen interest in capturing Meccan caravans after his migration to Medina, seeing it as repayment for his people, the Muhajirun. A few days before the battle, when he learnt of a Makkan caravan returning from the Levant led by Abu Sufyan ibn Harb, Muhammad gathered a small expionary force to capture it. Abu Sufyan, learning of the Muslim plan to ambush his caravan, changed course and took a longer route away from Muhammad's base at Medina and sent a messenger to Mecca, asking for help. Abu Jahl commanded an army nearly one-thousand strong, approaching Badr and encamping at the sand dune al-'Udwatul Quswa. (Full article...)
Noah's Ark (1846), by the American folk painter Edward Hicks.
Searches for Noah's Ark have been made from at least the time of Eusebius (c. 275–339 CE), and believers in the Ark continue to search for it in modern times, but no confirmable physical proof of the Ark has ever been found. No scientific evidence has been found that Noah's Ark existed as it is described in the Bible. More significantly, there is also no evidence of a global flood, and most scientists agree that such a ship and natural disaster would both be impossible. Some researchers believe that a real (though localized) flood event in the Middle East could potentially have inspired the oral and later written narratives; a Persian Gulf flood, or a Black Sea Deluge 7500 years ago has been proposed as such a historical candidate. (Full article...)
Image 2A Bedouin woman in Jerusalem, sometime between 1898 and 1914, dressed in Palestinian costume, the traditional clothing worn by Palestinians. Many of the handcrafted garments were richly embroidered and the creation and maintenance of these items played a significant role in the lives of the region's women. Until the 1940s, traditional Palestinian costumes reflected a woman's economic status, whether married or single, and the town or district of origin, and a knowledgeable observer could glean such information from the fabric, colors, cut, and embroidery motifs (or lack thereof) in a given woman's apparel.
Image 6A young woman from Ramallah, c. 1898-1914. Until the 1940s, women of Palestine wore elaborate handcrafted garments. The creation and maintenance of these items played a significant role in their lives. A knowledgeable observer could determine a woman's village of origin and social status from her clothing. The circular band near this woman's forehead is a ring of coins made from a portion of her dowry money, and indicates that she is unmarried.
Image 9The Sixty Dome Mosque is a medieval mosque located in Bagerhat, Bangladesh, built by Muslim saint Khan Jahan Ali in mid 15th century. This unique masonry mosque with 81 domes (including 4 corner domes) is a UNESCO world heritage site.