GHUSL MASNUN Lit. "Washings which are Sunnah."
Such washings are founded upon the Sunnah, or precept and practice of Muhammad, although they are not supposed to be of divine institution. They are four in number: (1) Upon the admission of a convert to Islam; (2) Before the Friday prayers and on the great festivals; (3) After washing the head; (4) After blood-letting. (See Sahihu-Bukhari, p 39, Babu 'l-Ghusl.) Akrimah relates that people came from al-'Iraq and asked In Abbas if he believed that bathing on Fridays was a divine institution, and Ibn Abbas replied, "No, but bathing is a great purifier, and I will tell you how the custom of bathing began. The people were engaged in daily labor and wore blankets, and the people sweated to such a degree as to cause a bad smell, so the Prophet said: "O men! Bathe ye on Fridays and put some scent on your clothes." (Matthew's Mishkat, vol i 120, from the Hadis of Abu Da'ud.)
GIANT There is but one allusion to giants in the Qur'an, namely to the tribe 'Ad who are spoken of as men "with fifty statures" (Surah lxxxix 6), and the commentator Shah 'Abdu 'l-Aziz of Delhi, says they were men of not less the twelve yards in stature. According to a tradition in the Kitabu 'sh-Shafah by the Qazi 'Ayaz(p 65), Adam was sixty yards in height. In the Ghiyasu 'l-Lughah, a giant named Uj is mentioned who was born in the days of Adam and lived until the time of Moses, a period of 3500 years, and that he was so high, that the flood in the days of Noah only reached to his waist. There are traditions and stories of giants whose graves exist unto the present day, throughout the whole of Persia. Opposite the Church Mission House at Peshawur is a grave nine yards long, which is held in great reverence by both Muhammadans and Hindus. De le Belle, in his Travels in Persia, vol ii p 89, mentions several which exist in Persia. Giant graves in Hindustan are numerous.
GIDEON In the Qur'an there is evidently a confusion in one passage between the story of Saul as told therein, and the account of Gideon given in the Old Testament, as the following extract will show:-
"And when Saul marched forth with his forces, he said, 'God will test you by a river; He who drinketh of it shall not be of my band; but he who shall not taste it, drinking a drink out of the hand excepted, shall be of my band'. And, except a few of them, they drank of it. And when they had passed it, he and those who believed with him, the former said, 'We have no strength this day against Goliath (Jalut) and his forces;' But they who held it as certain that they must meet God, said, 'How oft, by God's will, hath a small host vanquished a numerous host! And God is with the steadfastly enduring.'" (Surah ii 250).
Which compares with Judges vii 5:-
"So they brought down the people unto the water; and the Lord said unto Gideon, Every one that lappeth of the water with his tongue, as a dog lappeth, him shalt thou set be himself; likewise every one that boweth down upon his knees to drink.... The Lord said, By the three hundred men that lapped will I save you, and deliver the Midianites into thine hand."
GIFTS Arabic hibah pl. hibat. A deed of gift. The term Hibah in the language of Muslim law means a transfer of property made immediately and without exchange. He who makes the gift is called the Wahib, or donor; the thing given, mauhub; and the person to whom it is given in mauhub lahu.
Muhammad sanctioned the retraction of a gift when he said "A donor preserves his right to his gift, so long as he does not obtain a return for it." Although there is another tradition which says: "Let not a donor retract his gift; but let a father if he pleases retract his gift to his son." Ash-Shafi'i maintains that it is not lawful to retract a gift, except it be from a father to a son. All the doctors are agreed that to retract a gist is an abomination, for Muhammad said: "the retraction of a gift is like earing one's spittle." The general opinion is that a gift to a stranger may be retracted, but not a gift to a kinsman. A retracted gift, by the mutual consent of the parties, should be effected by a decree of the Qazi, or judge. (Hidayah, vol iii p 290.)
GIRDLE Arabic nitaq Amongst the Bakhtashis and several other orders of faqirs, investiture with a girdle is the sign of the incorporation into the order. The Bakhtashis say that Adam was the first to wear the girdle worn by them, and after him, fifteen other prophets wore it in succession, vic. Seth, Noah, Shu'aib, Job, Joseph, Abraham, Husha', Yusha', Jirjis, Jonas, Salih, Zakariah, al-Khir, Ilyas, and Jesus. (Brown's Dervishes, p 145.)
GNOSTICS "The singular correspondence between the allusions to the crucifixion in the Coran, and the wild speculations of early heretics, have led to the conjecture that Mahomet acquired his notions of Christianity from a Gnostic source. But Gnosticism had disappeared from Egypt
before the sixth century, and there is no reason for supposing that it had at any time gained footing in Arabia. Besides, there is no affinity between the supernaturalism of the Gnostics and the Docetae, and the rationalism of the Coran. According to the former, the Deity must be removed far from the gross contact of evil matter; and the Aeon Christ, which alighted upon Jesus at His baptism, must ascend to its native regions before the crucifixion. With Mahomet, on the contrary, Jesus Christ was a mere man - wonderfully born, indeed - but still an ordinary man, a servant of the Almighty, as others had been before him. But although there is no ground for believing that Gnostic doctrines were taught to Mahomet, yet some of the strange fancies of those heretics, preserved in the Syrian tradition, may have come to the ears of his informants, the chief of whom, even on Christian topics, seem to have been Jews, unable probably to distinguish heretical fables from Christian doctrine), and have been by them adopted as a likely and convenient mode of explaining away that which formed the great barrier between Jews and Christians." (Muir's Life of Mahomet, no ed. p 161.)
GOD The name of the Creator of the Universe in the Qur'an is Allah, which is the title given to the Supreme Being by Muhammadans of every race and language.
Allah is supposed to be derived from ilah a deity or god, with the addition of the definite article al- Al-ilah, "the God" - or according to some authorities, it is from lah, ie Allah, "the secret one." But Abu Hanifah says that just as the essence of God is unchangeable, so is His name, and that Allah has ever been the name of the Eternal Being (See Ghiyasu-'l-Lughah.)
Allah may be an Arabic rendered of the Hebrew el, and the unused root ul, "to be strong", or from , the singular form of . It is expressed in Persian and Hindustani by the word Khuda derived from the Persian khud, self; the self-existing one.
Another word very frequently used for the Almighty in the Qur'an, is Rabb, which is generally translated in English versions of the Qur'an, "Lord." It seems to stand in the relative position of the Jehovah of the Old Testament and the of the New Testament. The word is understood by Muslims to mean "the sustained," but it is probably derived from the Hebrew , "a stronghold," or from its root rab, which, according to Gesernius means "a multitude," or anything of size or importance.
The title Allah is called the Ismu 'z-Zat, or the essential names of God, all other titles including Rabb, being considered Asa u 's Sifat, or "attributes are called al-Asthma u'l-husna, or the "excellent names." The expression occurs in the Qur'an, (Surah vii 179), "But God's are excellent names, call on Him thereby." This verse is commented upon in the Traditions, and Abu Huraurah says that Muhammad said, "Verily there are ninety-nine names of God, and whoever recites them shall enter into Paradise.
In the same tradition these names (or attributes) are given as follows:-
99. Ar-Sabur The Patient
The list either begins or closes with Allah, thus completing the number of one hundred names, which are usually recited on a rosary in the ceremony of Zikr [ZIKR], as well as at all leisure moments, by devout Muslims. The Wahhabis do not use a rosary but count the names on their finger, which they say was the custom of the Prophet, for from the Traditions it appears that Muhammad did not use a rosary.
According to the Traditions (Mishkat, book x. c. i.), the Almighty has an "exalted name" known as the Ismu 'l-Azam, which Muhammad is related to have said was either in the Suratu 'l-Baqarah, the second chapter of the Qur'an, 158th verse, or in the Suratu Ali 'Imran, the third chapter, first verse. The names of God which occur in these two verses are ar-Rahman, "the Merciful," ar-Rahim, "The Compassionate," al-Haiy, "the Living," and al-Qaiyum, "the Subsisting." There is, however, another tradition, from which it would appear that the name may be either al-Ahad, "the One," or as-Samad, "the Eternal."
'Abdu 'l-Haqq in his remarks on these traditions that it is generally held, according to the a tradition by 'Ayishah, that this great name is known only to the prophets and other saintly persons. The compiler of the Kitabu 't-Ta'rifat says it is none other than the name of Allah.
The Prophet having said that whoever calls upon God by this name shall obtain all his desires (Mishkat, book x. c. i. pt. 2), the various sects of faqirs and mystics spend much time in endeavoring to ascertain what the name really is [DA'WAH], and the person who is able to assert that he has obtained this secret knowledge possesses great influence over the minds of the superstitious.
There can be little doubt that the discussion regarding this exalted name has arisen from the circumstance that Muhammad became aware of the fact that the Jews never recited the great name of Jehovah, and spoke of it as "the great and terrible name," "the peculiar name" of God.
The attributes of God as expressed in the ninety-nine names, are divided into the asma'u 'l-jalaliyah, or the glorious attributes, and the asma'u 'l-jamaliyah, or the terrible attributes. Such names as ar-Rahim, "the Merciful," al-Karim, "the Kind," and al-'Afuw, "the Forgiver," belonging to the former; and al-Qawi, "the Strong," al-Muntaqim, "the Avenger," and al-Qadir, "the Powerful," to the latter.
In praying to God it is usual for the worshiper to address the Almighty by that name or attribute which he wishes to appeal to. For example, it praying for pardon, he will address God as either al-'Afuw, "the Pardoner," or at-Tauwab, "the Receiver of repentance."
A belief in the existence of God, His Unity, His Absolute Power, and in the other essential attributes of an Eternal and Almighty Being, is the most important part of the Muslim religion, and is supposed to be expressed in the two clauses of the well known formula:-
La ilaha Il-la 'l-lahu
There is no deity But Allah
The first clause, "There is no deity," is known as the Nafi, or that which is rejected, and the second clause, "But Allah," as the Isbat, or that which is established, the term Nafi wa-Isbat being applied to the first two clauses of the Muslim's Kalimah, or creed.
The teaching of Muhammad in his Qur'an as to the nature of God, forms such an important consideration in an exposition of Islam, that no apology is needed for full and lengthy quotations from that book on the subject.
The following verses are arranged in chronological order according to Jalalu 'd-din as-Suyuti's list:-
Suratu 'l-Ikhlas. Chapter cxii.
(One of the earliest chapters of the Qur'an)
"Say, He is God, One [God]
"God, the Eternal.
"He begetteth not nor is begotten.
And there is none equal to Him."
Suratu 'l-A'raf, Chapter vii 52
(Given at Medinah.)
"Verily your Lord is God, who created the heavens and the earth in six days; then He ascended the throne. He causeth the night to cover the day; it followeth it swiftly; and He created the sun and the moon and the stars, made subject utterly to His command. Do not the whole creation and command belong to Him? Blessed be God, the Lord of the Worlds."
Suratu Maryam. Chapter xix 91-96, (Given at Makkah.)
"They say, 'The Compassionate hath gotten offspring'; Ye have done an impious thing."
DICTIONARY OF ISLAM.
FAI' Booty obtained from infidels. According to Muhammad ibn Tahir, fai' is booty taken from a country which submits to Islam without resistence, as distinguished from ghanimah, or plunder. The Khalifah 'Umar said it was the special privilege of the Prophet to take booty as well as plunder, a privilege not permitted to any other prophet.
'Ani ibn Malik says the Prophet used to divide the booty on the same day he took it, and would give two shares to a man with a wife, and only one share to a man without one. (Mishkat, book xvii c xii.)
FAIZ-I-AQDAS (, Persian) Communications of divine grace made to angels and prophets and other superior intelligences.
AL-FAJR "The Daybreak." The title of the lxxxixth Surah of the Qur'an, in the first verse of which the word occurs.
FA'L . A good omen, as distinguished from tiyarah, "a bad omen".
Muhammad is related to have said, "Do not put faith in a bad omen, but rather take a good one." The people asked, "What is a good omen?" And he replied, "Any good word which any of you may hear."
Ibn Abbas says, "The Prophet used to take good omens by men's names, but he would not take bad omens."
Qat'an ibn Qabisah says, "The Prophet forbade taking omens from the running of animals, the flight of birds, and from throwing pebbles, which were done by the idolators of Arabia." (Mishkat, book xxi c ii)
It is, however, very commonly practised
amongst the Muhammadans of India. For example, if a person start out on an important journey and he meet a woman first, he will take it as a bad omen, and it he meet a man he will regard it as a good one.
AL-FALAQ "The Daybreak." The title of the cxiiithe Surah of the Qur'an. The word signifies cleaving, and denotes the breaking forth of the light from the darkness.
FALL The (of Adam). Is known amongst Muslim writers as zallatu Adam, or the fall or slip of Adam. The term zallah, or "a slip" or "error", being applied to prophets, but not zamb, " a sin", which they say prophets do not commit.
The following is the account of Adam's "slip", as given in the Qur'an, Surah ii, 33:-
"And we said, 'O Adam! Dwell thee and they wife in the Garden, and eat ye plentifully therefrom wherever ye list; but to this tree come not nigh, lest ye become of the transgressors.'
"But Satan made them slip (azallahuma) from it, and caused their banishment from the place in which they were. And we said, 'Get ye down, the one of you an enemy to the others and there shall be for you in the earth a dwelling-place, and a provision for a time.'"
Surah vii 18-24:-
"'And, O Adam! Dwell thou and thy wife in Paradise, and eat ye whence ye will, but to this tree approach not, lest ye become of the unjust doers."
"Then Satan whispered them to show them their nakedness, which had been hidden from them both. And he said, 'This tree hath your Lord forbidden you, only lest ye should become angels, or lest ye should become immortals."
"And be aware to them both. 'Verily I am unto you one who counselleth aright.'
"So he beguiled them by deceits and when they had tasted of the tree, their nakedness appeared to them, and they began to sew together upon themselves the leaves of the garden. And their Lord called to them 'Did I not forbid you this tree, and did I not say to you, "Verily, Satan is your declared enemy?"
"They said, 'O our Lord! With ourselves have we dealt unjustly; if tho forgive us not and have pity on us, we shall surely be of those who perish."
"He said, 'Get ye down, the one of you an enemy to the other; and on earth shall be your swelling, and your provision for a season."
"He said, 'On it shall ye live, and on it shall ye die, and from it shall ye be taken forth.'"
Surah xx 114-120:-
"And of old We made a covenant with Adam; but he forgot it; and we found no firmness of purpose in him.
"And when We said to the angels, 'Fall down and worship Adam,' they worshiped all save Iblis, who refused; and We said, 'O Adam! This truly is a for to thee and to thy wife. Let him not therefore drive you out of the garden, and ye become wretched."
"For to thee is it granted that thou shalt not hunger therein, neither shalt thou be naked."
"And the thou shalt not thirst therein, neither shalt thou parch with heat."
"But Satan whispered him: said he, 'O Adam! Shall I show thee the tree of Eternity, and the Kingdom that faileth not?"
"And they both ate thereof, and their nakedness appeared to them, and they began to sew of the leaves of the Garden to cover them, and Adam disobeyed his Lord and went astray."
"Afterwards his Lord chose him for himself, and was turned towards him, and guided him."
The Muslim Commentators are much perplexed as to the scene of the fall of Adam. From the text of the Qur'an it would appear that the Paradise spoken of was in heaven and not on earth, and the tradition, that when Adam was cast forth he fell on the island of Ceylon, would support this view. But al-Baizawi says some say the Garden of Eden was situated either in the country of the Philistines or in Faris, and that Adam was cast out of it and sent in the direction of Hindustan. But this view he rejects, and maintains that the Garden of Eden was in the heavens, and that the fall occurred before Adam and Eve inhabited this earth of ours. [EDEN.]
The Muhammadan commentators are silent as to the effects of Adam's fall upon the human race.
FALSE WITNESS. The Imam Abu Hanifah is of opinion that a false witness must be publicly stigmatized, but not chastised with blows; bu the Imams ash Shafi'i, Yusuf, and Muhammad are of opinion that he should be scourged and imprisoned.
In the Law of Moses, a false witness was punished with the punishment of the offence it sought to establish. Deut xx 19, "Thou shalt do unto him as he had thought to do unto his brother." [EVIDENCE.]
FANA' Extinction. The last stage in the Sufiistic journey. [SUFIISM.]
FAQIH . A Muhammadan lawyer or theologian. The term is still retained in Spanish as alfaqui. [FIQH.]
FAQIR . Persian darwesh. The Arabic word faqir signifies "poor"; but it is used in the sense of being in need of mercy, and poor in the sight of God, rather than in need of worldly assistance. Darwesh is a Persian word, derived from dar, "a door", ie those who beg from door to door. The terms are generally used for those who lead a religious life. Religious faqirs are divided into two great classes, the ba shar' (with the law), or those who govern their conduct according to the principles of Islam;
and the be shar' (without the law, or those who do not rule their lives according to the principles of any religious creed, although they call themselves Musulmans. The former are called salik, or travelers on the pathway (toriqah) to heaven, and the latter are with azad (free), or majzub (abstracted). The salik embrace the various religious orders who perform the zikrs, described in the article ZIKR.
The Majzub faqirs are totally absorbed in religious reverie. The Azad shave their beards, whiskers, moustachios, eye-brows, and eye-lashes, and lead lives of celibacy.
The Azad and Majzub faqirs can scarcely be said to be Muhammadans, as they do not say the regular prayers or observe the ordinances of Islam, so that a description of their various sects does not fall withing the limits of this work. The Salik faqirs are divided into very numerous orders; but their chief difference consists in their sifsilah, or chain of succession, from their great teachers, the Khalifahs Abu Bakr and 'Ali who are said to have been the founders of the religious order of faqirs.
It is impossible to become acquainted with all the rules and ceremonies of the numerous orders of faqirs; for, like those of the Freemasons and other secret societies, they are not divulged to the uninitiated.
The doctrines of the darwesh orders are those of the Sufi mystics, and their religious ceremonies consist of exercise called zikrs, or "recitals." [ZIKR, SUFIISM.]
M. D'Ohsson, in his celebrated work on the Ottoman Empire, traces the origin of the order of faqirs to the time of Muhammad himself:-
"In the first year of the Hijrah, forty-five citizens of Makkah joined themselves to as many others of al-Madinah. They took an oath of fidelity to the doctrines of their Prophet, and formed a sect or fraternity, the object of which was to establish among themselves a community of property, and to perform every day certain religious practices in a spirit of penitence and mortification. To distinguish themselves from other Muhammadans, they took the name of Sufis [SUFIISM.] This name, which later was attributed to the most zealous partizans of Islam, is the same still in use to indicate any Musulman who retires from the world to study, to lead a life of pious contemplation, and to follow the most painful exercises of an exaggerated devotion. To the name of Sufi they added also that of faqir, because their maxim was to renounce the foods of the earth, and to live in an entire abnegation of all worldly enjoyments, following thereby the words of the Prophet, al-faqru fakhri, or 'Poverty is my pride.' Following their example, Abu Bakr and 'Ali established, even during the life-time of the Prophet and under his own eyes, religious orders, over which each presided, with Zikrs or peculiar religious exercises, established by them separately, and a vow taken by each of the voluntary disciples forming them. On his decease, Abu Bakr made over his office of president to one Almanu 'l-Farisi and 'Ali to al-Hasanu 'l-Basri, and each of these charges were consecrated under the title Khalifah, or successor. The two first successors followed the example of the Khalifahs of Islam, and transmitted it to their successors, and these in turn to others the most aged and venerable of their fraternity. Some among them, led by the delirium of the imagination wandered away from the primitive rules of their society, and converted, from time to time, these fraternities into a multitude of religious orders.