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SALAT AL-FAJR

Also called salat al-subh. When any person could perceive his neighbour at near distance in darkness at dawn. (Bukhari, muwakit, p. 21). Its time begins with "the true dawn" (al-fajr al-sadik) when the faces can still not yet be recognized, and extends until the daybreak as such before the sun appears. It should be noted that the Arabs designated the early morning as the dhanab al-sirhan (the tail of the wolf), and this is when the light gradually begins to get brighter at the place where the suns is about to rise like the light of a lamp.

SHAHID

The word shahid (pl. shuhada) is derived from the Arabic verbal root shahada, meaning to see, witness, testify or become a model and paradigm. In different grammatrical forms the words used in the Koran are ish'had, shahid, shahadah, shuhadam shahud, mashud, mashad, etc. A shahid is a martyr, who witnesses as if a martyr witnesses and see the truth physically and thus stands by it firmly. The English word martyr comes from the Greek martyrs, meaning witness.

SALAT AL-MAGHRIB

It was offered and ended when an arrow was shot from a bow and could be seen at sunset ((Ibid., p. 27). Its time begins when the sun disappears beneath the horizon, and normally continues until disappearance of the twilight radiance.

SHAITAN

The word shaitan (pl. shayatin) is derived from the verb shaana, meaning to detain someone in order to divert him from his intention. Another view suggests that the word is rooted from the Hebrew, satan, meaning a cord. The word shaitan is used 70 times in the Koran in the singular form, including six times in the indefinite (4:117, 15:17, 22:3, 37:7, 43:36, 81:25), plus 18 times in the plural, shayatin, which is always definite.

SALAT AL-ISHA

Also called salat al-atama (salat of black night), and salat al-layl (night prayer). When the people felt need of burning lamp in early night. (Ibid. p. 24). Its time begins soon after the disappearance of the twilight and extends until the end of the first third of the night.

SHAMS, PIR

"Pir Shams was born most probably at Sebzewar, a town in Khorasan, lying 64 miles west of Nishapur. His father Syed Salauddin had been deputed in Baltistan by Imam Kassim Shah, who most probably came into the contact of Taj Mughal in Badakhshan. Kamaluddin Mujahri of Sebzewar writes in Malfuz-i Kamalia that Pir Syed Muinuddin Hasan of Sebzewar of Ajmer had a meeting with Syed Salauddin in Sebzewar in 560/1165. It is recounted that Pir Shams had gone to Badakhshan with his father at the age of 19 years, and thence he proceeded to Tibet and returned back to Sebzewar.

SALAWAT

The Arabic word salat is for the prayer provided the action comes from the man. The phrase salla ala means to pray for is found for example in the Koran (9:103), where the Prophet is told to pray for misdoers, who have at length entered the fold of Islam. It also means the blessing or effusion of grace (or salawat), if the action comes from God, such as, "Verily, God and His angels call down blessing on (yusalluna ala) the Prophet. O ye who believe!

SHAMSUDDIN MUHAMMAD (655-710/1257-1310), 28TH IMAM

"Imam Shams al-Din Muhammad is said to have born in 646/1230 in the fortress of Maimundiz. He was known as Agha Shams in Syria and Shah Shams in India. He is also known as Shamsu'l Haq in few Iranian poems. Poet Nizari Kohistani (d. 720/1320) called him Shamsuddin Shah Nimroz Ali and Shah Shams, also known as Shams Zardozi due to residing in the village, called Zardoz in Azerbaijan, but another tradition suggests that he had adopted profession of embroidery, the term zardoz (embroiderer) became his epithet.

RUH WA MA'DA

Life has two aspects, body and soul. Body represents the matter, which is perceivable and mortal, while the soul is immaterial, not perceivable and immortal. Matter has a form, but the soul is formless. This earthy body belongs to the material world (alam-i ijsam), which is made of dust and will return to the dust. The soul belongs to the spiritual world (alam-i arwah), which is to return to its origin.

SALGIRAH

The Persian word sal means anniversary and girah means knot, thus salgirah refers to an anniversary added on to a string kept for the purpose. Imam Sultan Muhammad Shah said, "Life is a great and noble calling, not a mean and a grovelling thing to be shuffled through as best as we can but a lofty and exalted destiny." Hence, the day of birth, for every soul, is of supreme importance.

SHARIAH

Shariah is an Arabic term used to designate Islamic law. It originally referred to a path trodden by camels to a water source, a course to the watering place or resort of drinkers. Hence, it means the clear path or the highway to be followed.

RUKNUDDIN KHURSHAH (653-655/1255-1257), 27TH IMAM

"Ruknuddin Hasan, surnamed Khurshah was born in 627/1230. He is also known as Kahirshah. When he was still a child, his father had declared him as his successor. Juvaini was not tired to adulterate the Nizarid line of Imamate, but at one place he curiously admits (p. 663), "And today, the leader (Ruknuddin Khurshah) of the heretics (the misnomer used for the Ismailis) of Alamut traces his descent from this son (of Nizar).

SALLA'LLAH ALAIHI WA SALLAM

It means peace be upon him. When the name of the Prophet or Imams are mentioned, the listeners demonstrate their respect and devotion by bowing their heads slightly and touching with their forefinger the lips and/or the bridge of the nose and the forehead in a bipartite or triparite gesture with the chanting of salla'llah alaihi wa sallam.

SALVATION [ see NAJAT ]

SATAN [ see SHAITAN ]

SHI'A

"The word shi'a (pl. shi'ya, ash'ya) is derived from musha'ayah, which is synonymous with following a person and obeying him. Its second letter in the root is sha'a, shia'an meaning a person who follows his peer group. According to Lisan al-Arab, al-Shi'ah means a group which is formed on the basis of a certain agreement, and every group thus formed is called Shi'ah.

SHIHABUDDIN SHAH, PIR

He was born most probably in 1268/1851 in Baghdad. He is also called Khalilullah and Shah Badin Shah. Imam Aga Ali Shah had married to Marium Sultan in Iraq, who bore two sons, Pir Shihabuddin Shah and Aga Nur Shah. These two sons were brought up in Hasanabad, Bombay. Aga Nur Shah was a good sportsman and fell down from his horse while riding and sustained serious injuries, which proved fatal and died at the age of 30 years.

SADAQA

The word sadaqa is derived from sidq meaning truth, and comes to signify a charitable deed, occurring 14 times in the Koran. Sometimes the terms zakat and sadaqa are wrongly used in the same sense. Sadaqa denotes a voluntary alms. According to Koran (9:14): "Take from their property alms (sadaqa) in order thus to purify them (tuzakki'him)." Sadaqa is a mere generic term applying to the alms.

SATARA

The word satara is a corrupt form of satada, which is a formation of two words, i.e. sat (seven) and dahada (days). Its synonmous are satado, satado or satrata. The satara or satada denotes a spiritual exercise (riyazat) of the faithful at midnight or day, such as the practice of i'tikaf. For removing hindrances in spiritual progress, or to remove interruption in the practice of worship, the Ismaili hold the majalis of Satara as the seven nights of supplication.

PANJIBHAI

It was an association of brotherhood in the Ismaili community in India. The word panjibhai means a brother shaking hand. The word occurred once in the old prayer of the Ismailis. The term panjibhai became more famous however during the Aga Khan Case of 1866 in India. It was the time when the members of the opposition group were not excommunicated from the community, and they used to attend the Jamatkhana, but did not shake hand with the others at the end of the prayers, or they did not give shah didar to others.

QADR OR TAQDIR - God's sealing of hearts

Another misconception, which must be removed in this connection is that relating to God's setting seals on hearts. The misconception in this case is that it is thought that God has created some men with seals on their hearts, while other have been created with free and open hearts. No trace of any such distinction is met with anywhere either in the Koran or in hadith.

RASHIDUDDIN SINAN

"Abu'l Hasan bin Suleman bin Muhammad, known as Rashiduddin Sinan was born in 528/1133 at Aqr al-Sudan, a village in the district of Basra. He was handsome, of middle height, with dark eyes and acute, learned, eloquent and quick-witted. He was brought up in Basra, where he became a schoolmaster and was converted to Ismailism. Subsequently, he went to Alamut where he was well received, and indoctrinated with Ismailism. He also studied theology, philosophy and the doctrines of philosophers and Ikhwan as-Safa.

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