Welcome to F.I.E.L.D.- the First Ismaili Electronic Library and Database.

Encyclopedia Topic

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.

MAZHAR

The word mazhar is derived from zahr meaning to manifest or become apparent. Thus, the mazhar means epiphanic form, or more accurately theophany, that is to say a manifestation of God. In Ismaili tariqah, the Imam is the mazhar, who bears Divine Light in the terrestrial world. He is the most perfect expression of the divine hypostasis because in him the theomorphosis is fully realized and the Absolute becomes manifest to mortal eyes.

LAUH MAHFUZ

The word lauh means plank, as in Koran (54:13), and also a tablet for writing, and mahfuz means that which is guarded. The expression lauh mahfuz (guarded tablet) occurs but once in the Koran: "Nay, it is a glorious Koran in a guarded tablet" (85:21-22). The word lauh in its plural form alwah is used in connection with the books of Moses: "And We ordained for him in the tablets (alwah) admonition of every kind and clear explanation of all things" (7:145).

MASJID, ADMISSION OF WOMEN IN

The status of women in Islam, especially with regards to such issues as marriage, inheritance, veiling and seclusion has received a great deal of scholarly attention. For women, the mosque meant access to almost every aspect of public life. Debarring or limiting their access means restricting their participation in public life. Gender segregation, as seen in most mosques today, is such a limitation, for it limits women's full access. This both hampers their participation and can even shut them out completely.

MECCA

The city in the Arabian peninsula that was the birthplace of the Prophet of Islam, which due to the presence of the Kaba therein, is revered as one of the holy cities in Islamic culture. Mecca was also known as Makuraba. Mecca is explicitly mentioned twice in two relatively passages of the Koran (in 48:24, makka; and in 3:96 spelt bakka). Several other passages make reference to the city or its surroundings, such as 14:37: "a valley without cultivation." Initially it was only the tribe of Qoraish, which lived in Mecca, and of which the Prophet was a member.

LEGEND OF PARADISE

"Examining a critical and analytical approach of the sources, it is almost possible to clarify that the fortress of Alamut was situated in rocky and infertile region, and its physical condition during occupation was very much rough and coarse. It was embosomed with swamps and muddy tracts, accounting unhealthy atmosphere. Hasan bin Sabbah immediately embarked on the task of renovating the castle, which was in great need of repairs, improving its fortifications, storage facilities and water supply sources.

MASJID-I AQSA

The temple of Jerusalem is honoured in the Koran (17:1) as al-majid al-Aqsa (lit. the remote mosque). The sacredness of Jerusalem is emphasized on numerous places. Abraham migrated to the land of Canaanite around 1805 BC. The Koran states: "And We made them the greater losers. But We delivered him and (his nephew) Lot (and directed them) to the land which We have blessed for the nations" (21: 69-71). The Koran reports Moses telling his people: "O my people!

MECCA, CONQUEST OF

"The Treaty of Hudaibia had been nearly two years in force. Acting on the discretion allowed by the treaty, Banu Khazao and Banu Bakr, inhabiting Mecca and its neighborhood, the former had become the allies of the Prophet, the latter had entered into an alliance with Qoraish. These two rival tribes had been fighting among them for a long time. Aided by a party of Qoraish, Banu Bakr attacked by night an unsuspecting encampment of Banu Khazao, and slew several of them. The Khazao were forced to take refuge in the Kaba, where they were also persecuted.

LIFE

Life (hay) in the sense of living out one's corporeal existence is, however, paradoxically fraught with danger, illusion and deception. The Koran exhibits an almost platonic rejection of the life of this world (al-hayat al-dunya), characterizing it as nothing but "play and amusement (la'ib wa-lahw) and contrasting it with the reward of the righteous in the hereafter (6:32).

MASJID-I HARAM

The Kaba stands in the center of a parallelogram whose dimensions are as follows: North-west side 545 feet, south-east side 553 feet, north-east side 360 feet and south-west side 364 feet. This are is known as al-Masjid al-Haram, or the Sacred Mosque, the famous mosque in Mecca. In the Koran this name occurs in revelations of the early Meccan period, as in 17:1. The area of the Sacred Mosque contains, besides the Kaba, the Maqam Ibrahim and the Zamzam buildings. The term Baitullah (House of God) is applied to the whole enclosure, although it more specially denotes the Kaba itself.

MEDINA

Medina, one of the major settlements of the Hijaz and some 350 km to the north of Mecca, was in pre-Islamic times commonly called Yathrib (the Iathrippa of the Greek geographers). The town is named in the Koran (33:13) where the Medinan Muslims are addressed as "people of Yathrib" (ahl yathrib). This name was also in vogue in pre-Islamic poetry and in the Constitution of Medina.

MAGHRIB

"The name maghrib (the land of sunset) was given by the Arabs to that virgin part of Africa, which European have called Barbery or Africa Minor, (the French Afrique du Nord), and then North Africa. In north it is bordered by the Mediterranean, and in the south by the Sahara desert. In the west it is extended as far as the Atlantic Ocean, and in the east it extends as far as the borders of Egypt.

MASJID-I KUBA [ see MASJID ]

MASJID-I NABWI [ see MASJID ]


Syndicate content

Back to top