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NASIRUDDIN TUSI

"Nasiruddin Tusi was born in Tus, Khorasan in 597/1202. In his youth, about in 624/1227, he entered the service of Nasiruddin Abdu Rahman bin Abu Mansur (d. 655/1257), the Ismaili governor in Kohistan. During his long stay at Qain and other strongholds in Kohistan, Nasiruddin Tusi procured his close friendship with the Ismaili governor, to whom he also dedicated in 633/1235 his famous work on ethics, entitled Akhlaq-i Nasiri. He went to Alamut and espoused Ismaili faith. In his Sayr wa Suluk (pp.

MITHAQ-I MEDINA

"The important task before the Prophet after migration was to determine and clarify the relations between the various tribes and the Muslims in Medina. The Jews were a considerable power in Medina. It appears that they were Arabs by descent, but formed a distinct unit by reason of their adoption of Judaism. They were subdivided into three clans, the Banu Qainuqa, Banu Nazir and Banu Quraiza. The other inhabitants of the town were the Aws and Khazraj, always at war with each other.

MIZAN

The word mizan (pl. mawazin) is derived from the root wazn meaning the knowing of the measure of a thing. It is true that the measure of material things is judged by a pair of scales or by some other implement, but the deeds of man need no scales for their measurement.

MOHTADI BIN AL-HADI (530-552/1136-1157), 21ST IMAM

"Muhammad bin Ali, surnamed al-Mohtadi is reported to have born in 500/1106. He was the first Ismaili Nizari Imam to be born in Iran. He is also called Muhtab and Muhammad I.

MUAYYAD FID-DIN ASH-SHIRAZI

"Al-Muayyad fid-din ash-Shirazi was born in 390/1000 in Shiraz. He was an outstanding da'i, orator, prolific writer, poet and politician. His father, tracing his link from a Daylami Ismaili family was also a da'i with some influence in the Buwahid orbits of Fars. In one of poems he narrates in his Diwan al-Muayyad (poem no. 4) that, "I wish I should get a chance to offer my life as a sacrifice for you, O my Lord.

LAIL AT-QADR

One of the last ten nights of the month of Ramzan is called lail at-Qadr. The word lail or laila means night and qadr means originally measuring. Thus, lail at-qadr is translated as meaning the night of grandeur or night of majesty. In the Koran, it is spoken of in two places. In chapter 97, it is mentioned thrice as lail at-qadr: “Surely, We revealed it on lail at-qadr. And what will make thee comprehend what lail at-qadr is?

MANZIL

It simply means stage. The division of the Koranic suras on the basis of manzil is made to facilitate the reading of the entire Koran within a week. The manzil are seven in number as follows:-

1. Sura Fatiha (1) to Sura Nisa (4)

2. Sura Maida (5) to Sura Tauba (9)

3. Sura Yunus (10) to Sura Nahl (16)

4. Sura Bani Israel (17) to Sura Furqan (25)

5. Sura Shora (26) to Sura Yasin (36)

6. Sura Safaat (37) to Sura Hujurat (49), and

7. Sura Ka'af (50) to Sura Naas (114).

MARRIAGE [ see NIKAH ]

MAWALI

"The Shi'ites from Iran were not granted equal status by their Arab co-citizens in the social system of Kufa, and thus they were called mawali (sing. mawla) means clients, a term to indicate inferior social standing, or second-class citizens. The expression mawla at the latest stage of its evolution means the people descended from foreign families whose ancestors, or even they themselves, on accepting Islam, have been adopted into an Arab tribe, either as freed slaves or freeborn aliens.

LAIL AT-QAMAR

The word hilal means slim crescent, while the word badr means full moon. The word appears only once in its plural form, ahilla in the Koran (2:189). The general term in the Koran for moon however occurs 27 times, usually paired with the sun. The Hebrew word hodesh also means new moon. The term lail at-qamar means the night of the crescent. The method of calculation of the new moon was firstly introduced by the Fatimids in 331/942 in North Africa, then in 359/970 at Cairo.

MAWLA

Some 127 meanings of the word mawla have been given in the lexicons, notably master, lord, or one who deserves superior authority, guardian or patron. The Koran says, "God is Guardian (mawla), and He gives life to the dead" (42:9) and "He is your Master (mawla); how excellent the Master (mawla) and how excellent the Helper!" (22:70). The word mawla occurs in different forms in the Koran, such as mawali (4:33.

Influence of the New Moon

Sir Isaac Newton's theory of gravity speaks that every particle attracts every other particle with a force that depends on their masses and the distance between them. The moon constantly attracts the earth behaves like a loose garment that can be pulled out from the body to fall back again. It implies that every day, when the moon is directly overhead, the water of the earth flows out towards the moon, and causes high tide. Hence, during the full moon, the attraction is greater than the normal. Dr. Lyall Watson writes in Supernature (London, 1973, p.

MASHA ALLAH

It means what God does, is well done. It is usually uttered at the end of an act and reminds us that, ultimately, whatever comes from God, and that whatever is realized is not by human effort alone but through His Will.

MAWT

The soul is the principle of life, which leaves the body at the moment of death. Human life is not the individual's property but a divine gift to be used in God's service or to be dedicated to a divine cause or to God Himself. Death is no longer the end of life, but only the end of the appointed period (ajal) in which humans are tested in the world. Death in this perspective is simply the end of a testing period and a threshold, which must necessarily passed.

LAMASAR

"In 489/1095, Hasan bin Sabbah had sent Kiya Buzrug Ummid with a troop to conquer the fortress of Lamasar in 489/1095. He defeated a certain Rasmasuj and took possession of Lamasar, also known as Rudhbar-i Alamut. According to Jamiut Tawarikh (pp. 27-8), "The fort of Lamasar was situated on a rotten hill, with a few decayed houses on it, with no vegetation nearby. The climate of the place was very hot.

MASIYAF

Masiyaf is a town of central Syria on the eastern side of the Jabal al-Nusairia, situated at 33 miles to the east of Baniyas and 28 miles to the east of Hammah. The word masiyaf is derived from the second form verb sayyafa means to pass the summer. The pronunciation and orthography of the name varies between the form, Masyad, Masyaf, Mayat, Masyath, Masyab, Masyah and Messiat. The stronghold of Masiyaf lies to the northeast of the settlement, at the foot of the Jabal al-Bahra. It was an Arab citadel, perched on a rocky limestone block.

MAYMUN AL-QADDAH

"He was born in Ahwaz in Iran. He belonged to the Makhzumi clan and was the mawla (freed slave) of Imam Muhammad al-Bakir and Imam Jafar Sadik. His surname al-Qaddah is usually taken to mean oculist, which seems extremely doubtful. It is a word connected with al-qidah i.e., an ancient Arab play or a form of divination with the help of arrows. Tusi (d. 460/1068) in Tahdhibul Ahkam while dealing with Maymun al-Qaddah, explains the word as "a man who practises the game of qidah (yabra'ul qidah).

LA'N, LA'NAH

(la'n or la'nah means cursing, normally consists of an expression of disapproval or displeasure and an invocation of malediction upon the object of the curse. Curses are often uttered by calling the curse and wrath of God upon someone, or by an invocation in the passive voice where the agent is not always specified, for example: may God's curse be upon him; may he be cursed. Curses are often expressed by verbs with an optative sense, with "to curse, damn" (la'ana) appearing most frequently in the Koran.

MASJID

The word masjid is derived from sajd (prostration), thus it means the place of prostration. The English word mosque derives via French mosquee, the old French mousquaie, the old Italian moschea and moscheta, while moschee in German and mescit in Turkish - all came from the Arabic via Spanish mezquita. In East Africa, the mosque is commonly spoken of in Swahili as msikiti (pl. misikiti). In Indonesia, it is pronounced as mesigit, masigit and maseghit.


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