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Al-Ghazali

Al-Ghazali was one of the most prominent and influential Muslim philosophers, theologians and mystics, of Sunni Islam. He was of Persian origin; some Muslims consider him to be a Mujaddid, a renewer of the faith who, according to the prophetic hadith, appears once every century to restore the faith of the ummah. His works were so acclaimed by his contemporaries that al-Ghazali was awarded the honorific title "Proof of Islam". Al-Ghazali believed that the Islamic spiritual tradition had become moribund and that the spiritual sciences taught by the first generation of Muslims had been forgotten; that resulted in his writing his magnum opus entitled Iḥyā’ ‘ulūm ad-dīn. Among his other works, the Tahāfut al-Falāsifa is a significant landmark in the history of philosophy, as it advances the critique of Aristotelian science developed in 14th-century Europe; the believed date of al-Ghazali's birth, as given by Ibn al-Jawzi, is AH 450. Modern estimates place it at AH 448, on the basis of certain statements in al-Ghazali's correspondence and autobiography.

He was a Muslim scholar, law specialist and spiritualist of Persian descent. He was born in Tabaran, a town in the district of Tus, not long after Seljuk captured Baghdad from the Shia Buyid and established Sunni Caliphate under a commission from the Abbasid Dynasty in 1055 AD. A posthumous tradition, the authenticity of, questioned in recent scholarship, is that his father, a man "of Persian descent," died in poverty and left the young al-Ghazali and his brother Ahmad to the care of a Sufi. Al-Ghazali's contemporary and first biographer,'Abd al-Ghafir al-Farisi, records that al-Ghazali began to receive instruction in fiqh from Ahmad al-Radhakani, a local teacher, he studied under al-Juwayni, the distinguished jurist and theologian and "the most outstanding Muslim scholar of his time," in Nishapur after a period of study in Gurgan. After al-Juwayni's death in 1085, al-Ghazali departed from Nishapur and joined the court of Nizam al-Mulk, the powerful vizier of the Seljuq sultans, centered in Isfahan.

After bestowing upon him the titles of "Brilliance of the Religion" and "Eminence among the Religious Leaders," Nizam al-Mulk advanced al-Ghazali in July 1091 to the "most prestigious and most challenging" professorial at the time: in the Nizamiyya madrasa in Baghdad. He underwent a spiritual crisis in 1095, abandoned his career and left Baghdad on the pretext of going on pilgrimage to Mecca. Making arrangements for his family, he adopted an ascetic lifestyle. According to biographer Duncan B. Macdonald, the purpose of abstaining from scholastic work was to confront the spiritual experience and more ordinary understanding of "the Word and the Traditions." After some time in Damascus and Jerusalem, with a visit to Medina and Mecca in 1096, he returned to Tus to spend the next several years in'uzla. The seclusion consisted in abstaining from teaching at state-sponsored institutions, but he continued to publish, receive visitors and teach in the zawiya and khanqah that he had built. Fakhr al-Mulk, grand vizier to Ahmad Sanjar, pressed al-Ghazali to return to the Nizamiyya in Nishapur.

Al-Ghazali reluctantly capitulated in 1106, fearing rightly that he and his teachings would meet with resistance and controversy. He returned to Tus and declined an invitation in 1110 from the grand vizier of the Seljuq Sultan Muhammad I to return to Baghdad, he died on 19 December 1111. According to'Abd al-Ghafir al-Farisi, he had several daughters but no sons. Al-Ghazali contributed to the development of a systematic view of Sufism and its integration and acceptance in mainstream Islam; as a scholar of orthodox Islam, he belonged to the Shafi'i school of Islamic jurisprudence and to the Asharite school of theology. Al-Ghazali received many titles such as Zayn-ud-dīn and Ḥujjat-ul-Islām, he is viewed as the key member of the influential Asharite school of early Muslim philosophy and the most important refuter of the Mutazilites. However, he chose a slightly-different position in comparison with the Asharites, his beliefs and thoughts differ in some aspects from the orthodox Asharite school. A total of about 70 works can be attributed to Al-Ghazali.

His 11th century book titled The Incoherence of the Philosophers marks a major turn in Islamic epistemology. The encounter with skepticism led al-Ghazali to embrace a form of theological occasionalism, or the belief that all causal events and interactions are not the product of material conjunctions but rather the immediate and present Will of God. In the next century, Averroes drafted a lengthy rebuttal of al-Ghazali's Incoherence entitled The Incoherence of the Incoherence. Al-Ghazali gave as an example of the illusion of independent laws of cause the fact that cotton burns when coming into contact with fire. While it might seem as though a natural law was at work, it happened each and every time only because God willed it to happen—the event was "a direct product of divine intervention as any more attention grabbing miracle". Averroes, by contrast insisted while God created the natural law, humans "could more usefully say that fire caused cotton to burn—because creation had a pattern that they could d

S├╝leyman Nazif

Süleyman Nazif was a Turkish poet and a prominent member of the CUP. He mastered Arabic and French languages and worked as a civil servant during the reign of Sultan Abdul Hamid II, he contributed to the literary magazine Servet-i Fünun until it was censored by the Ottoman government in 1901. Süleyman Nazif was born in 1870 in Diyarbakır to a poet and historian, he was the brother of politician Faik Ali Ozansoy. He started his education in his early years in Maraş, he was schooled in Diyarbakır. In 1879, he joined his father again in Maraş, took private lessons from his father and in French language from an Armenian priest. Following the death of his father in 1892, Süleyman Nazif worked at several posts in the Governorate of Diyarbakır. In 1896, he was worked a while in Mosul. After moving to Constantinople, he started to write articles against Sultan Abdul Hamid II sympathizing with the ideas and aims of the Young Ottomans, he fled to Paris, where he stayed eight months continuing to write opposing articles in the newspapers.

When he returned home, he was forced to work at a secretary post in the Governorate of Bursa between 1897 and 1908. In 1908, Süleyman Nazif moved to Istanbul again, joined the Committee of Union and Progress and started journalism, he co-founded a newspaper, Tasvir-i Efkar, together with the renowned journalist Ebüzziya Tevfik. Although this newspaper had to close soon, his articles made him a well-known writer. After Sultan Abdülhamid II restored the constitutional monarchy following the 1908 Young Turk Revolution, Süleyman Nazif served as governor of Ottoman provinces Basra, Trabzon and Baghdad. However, since he was not successful in administrative posts, he decided in 1915 to leave public service and return to his initial profession as a writer. During the Armenian Genocide, Nazif was instrumental in preventing massacres from occurring in the province of Baghdad. In one instance, Nazif had intercepted a convoy of deportees numbering 260 Armenian women and children who were being sent to their deaths.

Nazif demanded that the convoy be transferred to a safer zone in Mosul but his proposal was refused. The convoy was massacred. During his time as governor of Baghdad, Nazif visited Diyarbakir where he encountered a "pungent smell of decaying corpses" which "pervaded the atmosphere and that the bitter stench clogged his nose, making him gag." Nazif was critical of Dr. Mehmed Reshid, the governor of Diyarbakir, known as the "Butcher of Diyarbakir". Nazif, who stated that Reshid "destroyed through massacre thousands of humans" wrote about a committee established by Reshid with the objective of providing a'solution of the Armenian question'; the committee had its own military unit and was called the'Committee of Inquiry'. Nazif encouraged other governors not to proceed with the deportation order. In a letter written to his brother Faik Ali Bey, the governor of Kutahya, Nazif wrote, "Don't participate in this event, watch out for our family's honor."On November 23, 1918, Nazif's article titled Kara Bir Gün was published in the newspaper Hadisat to condemn the French occupying forces in Istanbul.

The article led to the commander of the French forces sentencing Nazif to execution by firing squad. The order was rescinded, however; as a result of a speech he gave on January 23, 1920 at a meeting to commemorate the French writer Pierre Loti, who had lived a while in Constantinople, Süleyman Nazif was forced into exile on Malta by the occupying British military. During his stay of around twenty months in Malta, he wrote the novel Çal Çoban Çal. After the Turkish War of Independence, he returned to Constantinople and continued to write. Nazif critical of the European imperialist powers, attracted once more their hostility when he wrote his satirical article "Hazret-i İsa'ya Açık Mektup" in which he described to Jesus all the crimes that were perpetrated by his followers in his name. Two weeks he published "The Reply of Jesus" in which he, as if Jesus was talking, refuted the charges and replied that he is not responsible for the Christians' crimes; these two letters caused a furore among Christians in Turkey and Europe, putting Nazif on the verge of being put on trial.

In the end this did not materialize, Nazif apologizing but being not less critical of the "Crusader mentality" of the imperialist Europeans, targeting Turkey in order to extend their power on its soil. He was interred at the Edirnekapı Martyr's Cemetery. Batarya ile Ateş Firak-ı Irak Çal Çoban Çal Tarihin Yılan Hikayesi Nasıruddin Şah ve Babiler Malta Geceleri Çalınmış Ülke Hazret-i İsa'ya Açık Mektup İki Dost İmana Tasallut-Şapka Meselesi Fuzuli Lübnan Kasrının Sahibesi, translation Witnesses and testimonies of the Armenian Genocide Works by or about Süleyman Nazif at Internet Archive

Awlad Mana

Awlad Mana is an ethnic group of Sudan. It is a minority, that speaks a Chad-Saharan language; the number of persons in this group exceeds 150,000. A Cluster of 4 Zaghawa Groups in 3 countries. All of the groups, including the Awlad Mana, speak Zaghawa, which belongs to the Saharan branch of the Nilo-Saharan language family; the Zaghawa inhabit a territory that consists of grassy stretches and plateaus with deep gullies. Rainfall, though sometimes inadequate, provides the Zaghawa with dense vegetation, since the water can seep into the sandy soil. However, during the dry months, lack of water can become a problem; the tsetse fly, which causes sleeping sickness, can be found in the southern regions. The Zaghawa are an ancient society dating back to the 7th century. Long ago, they had their own kingdom, separated into chiefdoms and family clans; the remnants of this ancient kingdom can still be seen today. Since the independence of Sudan and Niger, the governments have reduced the power of the Zaghawa chiefs.

Islam has weakened their traditional clan system. Today, the Zaghawa are concerned about their economic welfare, their political independence, their national heritage, their economy is based on animal husbandry, agriculture and trading. Cattle, sheep and other animals are raised and marketed for their milk; the milk of cattle and camels is consumed either hot or cold, sour or fresh, pure or mixed with water or tea, as a porridge mixed with millet, or as butter. The milk of a donkey may by drunk as a remedy for coughing. Animal skins are used to make clothing and leather items, the meat is eaten as a part of their diet. Tubers and millet are grown in the fields, while vegetables such as onions and okra are grown in small gardens surrounding the homes; the women are responsible for cultivating these small vegetable gardens. They gather wild grasses, seeds and other fruits. Small groups of women set out for journeys that last about a month, taking with them all, necessary for their gathering expedition.

They sleep under shelters built from bundles of grass. After the gathering is complete, the various grains are stored in earthen jars, for cereals are not mixed within the same granary. In addition to the products gathered by the women, the Zaghawa may gather honey, certain leaves, locusts for consumption. Many Zaghawa are merchants, traveling southward and eastward to find food supplements and manufactured goods that they lack in their own region. Cattle, wild grasses, the gum of the Acacia Senegal are exchanged for sugar, oil, dried dates and aspirin; some of the Zaghawa work as blacksmiths. Their craft involves making metal tools and jewelry. A few of the blacksmiths tan hides, make various leather items, weave cotton, hunt. In times past, the blacksmiths depended on hunting for survival. However, since the introduction of firearms in the area, there is a limited amount of game in the region. Among the Zaghawa, blacksmiths are considered to be the lowest caste. Most Zaghawa villages contain Islamic mosques.

There is a "men's tree," where the men gather to discuss the affairs of the village. Inside the villages, young girls may be seen grinding grain and making porridge, while the young boys help with the herds or the harvest. From the time a child is young, he is taught the way of life that his caste will offer them. Since the introduction of Islam to the region in the 17th century, most of the Zaghawa have converted to Islam. However, some continue to practice their ethnic religion, they are superstitious and have a strong belief in the "evil eye." This is a curse caused by an intent gaze of an envious person. To avoid such curses, babies' faces are covered in public, charms are worn, houses are constructed in a certain fashion. Http://www.global12project.com/2004/profiles/clusters/8029.html http://www.ad2000.org/peoples/jpl402.htm