Home - Quran in Urdu and Arabic - Quran in English - Quran in Chinese - Quran in Spanish - Subject-Wise Quran - Tafseer ibn Kathir - Seerat Nabwi Tibri Kathir Khaldoon - Life of Muhammad (pbuh) - Hadees Bokhari & Muslim - 40 Hadees Qudsi - 40 Ahadees-e-Nabvi - Islamic Dua - Suicide - FAQ - Women - Fatwas - Zindagi - Names - World Map - Mecca and Madinah - Glossary - Download - Calendar - Azaan - Urdu Keyboard - Arabic Language Course - Ramadan - Depression

[A] [B] [C] [D] [E] [F] [G] [H] [I] [J] [K] [L] [M] [N] [O] [P] [Q] [R] [S] [T] [U] [V] [W] [Y] [Z]




'UBADAH IBN AS-SAMIT. One of the Ansars of al-Madinah, who was afterwards employed by Abu Bakr to collect the scattered sentences of the Qur'an.


AL-UFUQU 'L-A'LA. Lit. "Loftiest Tract." (1) The place in which it is said Gabriel was when he taught Muhammad, see Surah liii. 7: "One mighty in power (Shadidu 'l-Quwa) taught him, endowed with sound understanding, and appeared, he being in the loftiest tract."

(2) According to the Sufis, it is the highest spiritual state a man can attain in the mystic life.

UHNUKH. . The Enoch of the Old Testament, supposed. to be the Idris of the Qur'an. A full account of this person will be found in the article on IDRIS.

UHUD. . Ohod. A hill about three miles distant from al-Madinah, and described by Burckhardt as a rugged and almost insulated offshoot of the great moutain range. Celebrated for the battle fought by Muhammad and the victory gained over the Muslims by the Quraish, A.H. 8. (Muir's Life of Mahomet, new ed. p. 266 seqq. [MUHAMMAD.]

UJ. . The son of 'Uq. A giant who is said to have been born in the days of Adam, and lived through the Deluge, as the water only came up to his waist, and to have died in the days of Moses, the: great lawgiver having smitten him on the foot with his rod. He lived 3,500 years. (Ghiyasu l'-Lughat, in loco.) The Og of the Bible, concerning whom as-Suyuti wrote a long be taken chiefly from Rabbinic traditions. (Ewald, Gesch, i. 306.) An apocryphal book of Og was condemned by Pope Gelasius (Dec. vi. 13.)

UKAIDAR. . The Christian chief of Dumah, who was taken prisoner by Khalid, A.H. 9. (Muir's Life of Mahomet, new ed. p. . 458.)

In the Traditions it is said: "Khalid took Ukaidar prisoner because the Prophet forbade killing him. And the Prophet did not kill him, but made peace with him, when he paid the poll-tax" (Miskat book xvii. cli. ix.)

Sir W. Muir says he became a Muslim, but revolted after the death of Muhammad.

'UKAZ. . An annual fair of twenty-one days, which was held between at- Ta'if and Nakhiah, and which was opened on the first day of the month of Zu 'l-Qa'dah, at the commencement of the three sacred months. It was abolished by Muhammad.

Mr. Stanley Lane Poole says (Selections from the Kur-an):-

"There was one place where, above all others, the Kaseedehs (Qasidahs) of the ancient Arabs were recited.: this was 'Okadh ('Ukaz), the Olympia of Arabia, where there was held a great annual Fair, to which not merely the merchants of Mekka and the south, but the poet-heroes of all the land. resorted. The Fair of 'Okdadh was held during the sacred months,—a sort of 'God's Truce,' when blood could not be shed without a violation of the ancient customs and faiths of the Bedawees. Thither went the poets of rival clans, who had as often locked spears as hurled rhythmical curses. There was little fear of a bloody ending to the poetic contest, for those heroes who, might meet. there with enemies or blood .avengers are said to have worn masks as veils, and their poems were recited by a public orator at their dictation. That these precautions and the sacredness of the time could not always prevent the ill- feeling evoked by the pointed personalities of rival singers leading to a fray and bloodshed is proved by recorded instances; but such results were uncommon, and as a rule the customs of the time and place were respected. In spite of occasional broils on the spot, and the lasting feuds which these poetic contests must have excited, the Fair pf' 'Okadh was a grand institution. It served as a Locus for the literature of all Arabia: everyone with any pretensions to poetic power came, and if he could not himself gain the applause of the assembled. people, at least he could form one of the critical audience on whose verdict rested the fame or the shame of every poet. The Fair of 'Okadh was a literary congress, without formal judges, but with unbounded influence. It was here that the polished heroes of the desert determined points of grammar and prosody; here the seven Golden songs were recited, although (alas for the charming legend!) they were not afterwards suspended on the Kaabeh; and here a magical language, the language of the Hijaz, was built out of the dialects of Arabia, and was made ready to the skilful hand of Mohammad, that he might conquer the world with his Kur-an.

"The Fair of 'Okadh , was not merely a centre of emulation for Arab poets: it was also an annual review of Bedawee virtues. It was there that the Arab nation once-a-year inspected itself, so to say, and brought forth and criticised its ideals of the noble and the beautiful in life and in poetry. For it was in poetry that the Arab – and for that matter


each man all the world over — expressed his highest thoughts, and it was at 'Okadh that these thoughts were measured by the standard of the Bedawee ideal. The Fair not only maintained the highest standard of poetry that the Arabic language has over reached: it also upheld the noblest idea of life and duty that the Arab nation has yet set forth and obeyed. 'Okadh was the press, the stage, the pulpit, the Parliament, and the Académie Française of the Arab people; and when, in his fear of the infidel poets (whom Imra-el-Keys was to usher to hell), Mohammad abolished the Fair, he destroyed the Arab nation, even whilst he created his own new nation of Muslims; and the Muslims cannot sit in the places of the old pagan Arabs."

'UKUF. . Lit. "Remaining behind." A term used to express a life of prayer of one who remains constantly in the mosque.

'ULAMA'. . , pl.. of 'alim. "One who knows; learned: a scholar." In this plural form the ward is used as the title of those bodies of learned doctors in Muhammadan divinity and law, who headed by their Shaiku 'l-Islam, form the theocratic element of the government in Muslim countries, and who by their fatwas or decisions in questions touching private and public matters of importance, regulate the life of the Muhammadan community.. Foremost in influence and authority are. naturally reckoned the 'Ulama, of Constantinople, the seat of the Khahifah and of Makkah, the Holy City of Islam. Like the Ashab or Companions of the Prophet under his immediate successors. they correspond in a certain measure to what we would call the representative system of our modern constitutions, In partially limiting and checking the autocratism of an otherwise absolute Oriental ruler.

ULUHIYAH. . "Divinity; godhead"

ULU 'L-'AZM. . "The Possessors of. Constancy" A title given to certain prophets in the Qur'an, said by the commentators to have been Noah, Abraham, David, Jacob, Joseph, Job, Moses, Jesus, and Muhammad, (Vide. Ghiyasu 'l-Lughat.) See Surah xlvi. 34: "Then be thou constant, as the Apostles endowed with a purpose were constant, and hasten not on."

UMANA'. . pl. amin. "Faithful Ones." A title given by the Sufis to those pious persons who do not make their religious experiences known. They are known also as the Malamatiyah, or those who are willing to undergo misrepresentation rather than boast of their piety.

UMAR. . IBN AL_KHATTAB (Omar) the second Khalifah, who succeeded Abu Bakr, A.H. 13 (A.D. 684), and was assassinated by Firoz, a Persian slave. A.H. 23 (A.D. 644), after a prosperous reign of ten years. His conversion to Islam took place in the sixth year of Muhammad's mission, and the Prophet took 'Umar's daughter Hafsah as his-third wife.

'Uinar is eminent amongst the early Khalifahs for having chiefly contributed to the spread of Islam. Under hi the great generals, Abu 'Ubaidah, Khald ibn al-Walid, Yazid, drove the Greeks out of Syria and Phoenicia; Sa'd ibn Abi Waqqas, Qaqa'ah, Nu'man, completed the conquest of the two 'Iraqs and the overthrow of the Persian Empire; 'Amr ibn al-'As (commonly called Amru) subdued Egypt and part of the Libyan coast, after having, as commander in Palestine, prepared by his victories and a severe siege, the surrender of Jerusalem [JERUSALEM] into the Khalifah's own hands. 'Umar's name is, moreover, intimately connected with the history of Islam, by the initiatory and important share which he took in the first collection of the Qur'an, under Abu Bakr, by the official introduction of the Muhammadan era of the Hijrah, and by the first organisation of the diwan, or civil list of the Muhammadans. The two former subjects have been treated of in this Dictionary in their proper places; the third institution, which laid the foundation to the marvellous successes of the Muslim arms under this and the succeeding Governments, is ably explained in the following extract from Sir W. Muir's Annals of tile Early Caliphate :—

"The Arabian nation was the champion of Islam, and to fight its battles every Arab was jealously reserved. He must be the soldier, and nothing else. He might not settle down in any conquered province as cultivator of the soil; and for merchandise or other labour, a busy warlike life offered but little leisure. Neither was there any need. The Arabs lived on the fat of the conquered land, and captive natives served them. Of the booty taken in war, four parts were distributed. to the army in the field; the fifth was reserved for the State; and even that, after discharging public obligations, was shared among the Arabian people. In the reign of Abu Bakr, this, was a simple matter. But in the Caliphate of Omar, the spoil of Syria and of Persia began in ever-increasing volume to pour into the treasury of Medina, where it was distributed almost as soon as received. What was easy in small beginnings, by equal sharing or discretionary preference, became now a heavy task. And there began, also, to arise new sources of revenue in the land assessment, and the poll-tax of subject countries, which, after defraying civil and military charges, had to be accounted for to the Central Government; the surplus being, like the royal fifth, the patrimony of the Arab nation.

"At length, in the second or third year of his Caliphate, Omar determined that the distribution should be regulated on a fixed and systematic scale. The income of the commonwealth was to be divided, as heretofore, amongst the Faithfu1 as their heritage, but


upon a rule of precedence befitting the military and theocratic groundwork of Islam. For this end three points only were considered: priority of conversion, affinity to the Prophet, and military service. The widows of Mahomet, 'Mothers of the Faithful,' took the precedence with an annual allowance of 10,000 pieces each; and all his kinsmen were with a corresponding liberality provided for. The famous Three Hundred of Bedr had 5,000 each; presence at Hodeibia (Hudaibiyah) and the Pledge of the Tree, gave a claim to 4,000 such as took part in quelling the Rebellion (immediately after Muhammad's death), had 8000; and. those engaged in the great battles of Syria and Irac, as well as sons of the men of Bedr, 2,000; those taking the field after the actions of Cadesiya and the Yermuk, 1,000. Warriors of distinction received an extra grant of 500. And so they graduated downwards to 200 pieces for the latest levies. Nor were the households forgotten. Women had, as a rule, one-tenth of a man's share. Wives, widows, and children had each their proper stipend; and in the register, every infant, as soon as born, had the title to be entered, with a minimum allowance of ten pieces, rising with advancing age to its proper place. Even Arab slaves (so long as any of that race remained) had strange to say, their portion.

* * * * *

The Arabian aristocracy thus create was recognised by the whole Moslem world The rank and stipend now assigned. descends in the direct line of birth. Even reward given for special gallantry in the field were heritable. By making thus the revenues of Islam the heritage of the nation , militant, and their martial genius was maintained, and their employment perpetuated as the standing army of the Caliphate.

* * * * *

"To carry out this vast design, a register had to be, drawn and kept up of every man, woman and child, entitled to a stipend from the State — in other words, of the whole Arab race employed in the interests of Islam. This was easy enough for the higher grades, but a herculean task for the hundreds and thousands of ordinary fighting men and their families who kept streaming forth from the Peninsula; and who, by the extravagant indulgence of polygamy, were multiplying rapidly. But the task was simplified by the strictly tribal composition and disposition of the forces. Men of a tribe, or branch of a tribe, fought together; and the several corps and brigades being thus territorially arranged in clans, the Register assumed the same form. Every soul was entered under the stock, and tribe and class whose lineage it claimed. And to this exhaustive classification we owe in great measure the elaborate genealogies and tribal traditions of Arabia before Islam. The Register, itself, as well as the office for its maintenance and for pensionary account was called the Dewan (Diwan), or Department of the Exchequer" (Sir W. Muir, Annals of the Early Caliphate, London, 1883, p. 228.)

It was fortunate for Islam, that the reign of Abu Bakr, short in duration. but pregnant with decisive issues. should precede that of 'Umar. During the critical period immediately after Muhammad's death, when three false prophets and a prophetess gathered increasing numbers round their rebellious standards, when in the north, east, and south of the Peninsula, tribe after tribe, apostatized from the newly-adopted creed, and when al-Madinah itself was repeatedly threatened by hostile invasions of the neighbouring clans it needed all the spirit of compromise and conciliation which blended in Abu Bakr'a character with penetrating shrewdness and dauntless courage, to steer the bark of the Muslim commonwealth through the dangers which were surrounding it on every side. 'Umar's irrepressible impetuosity would, at that time, probably have caused more harm than good, while, on the other hand, the unprecedented success which crowned Abu Bakr's wise and temporising politics, taught him to temper his own impulses of bold enterprise with prudence and cautiousness, when, in his turn, the responsibilities of office rested on his shoulders.

The original violent bent of Umar's nature is forcibly illustrates by the history of his conversion, as it is told in various traditions. In his youth and early manhood, a zealous and devoted adherent of the religion of his forefathers, he hated and persecuted Muhammad as a dangerous innovator, who had come to lead his people astray, and to sow discord between them. Infuriated at some fresh success of the pretended Prophet, he sallied forth one day to kill him, when he met his kinsman, Nu'aim ibm 'Abdi-ilah, who, seeing him armed and fiercely excited, asked him "Whither goest thou, and what is thy intent? "I seek Muhammad," was 'Umar's reply, "and I will slay him; he has vilified our gods and dishonourod our ancestors." "Passion blinds thee," retorted Nu'aim; "knowest thou not that, if thou killest Muhammad, thou wilt draw the vengeance of the Hashimites and the Bani Muttalib upon thy head? Better far it would be for thee, to heed the welfare of thy own family, and to bring back to the right path those members of it who have forsworn their ancestral religion." "And who are they," asked 'Umar. "Thy brother-in-law, Sa'id ibn Zaid, and Fatimah, thy very own sister." answered Nu'aim.

Forthwith the incensed man hurried on to the house of the culprits. Here Khabbab ibn al-Aratt, a devoted disciple of Muhammad the same who had made them acquainted with his teaching and won them over to Islam unknown to 'Umar, was reading with them at that moment a new fragment of the Qur'an. When he heard 'Umar coming, he concealed himself, and Fatimah tried to hide the manuscript in the bosom of her dress. On entering, 'Umar asked: "What


have you been reading just now? I heard your voices!" "Nothing," she replied, "thou art mistaken? "'You have been reading something, and I am told that you belong to the sect of Muhammad." With those words he threw himself upon his brother-in-law, and struck him. Fatimah rushed in between them. Both husband and wife boldly confused:- "Yes, we are Muslims; we believe that there is no god but God, and that Muhammad is his sent one; kill us, if thou willt."

No sooner had 'Umar seen the blood flowing from a wound which he had inflicted on his sister, than shame for his own unmanly act, coupled with admiration of their courageous conduct, brought about a powerful revulsion of his feelings. 'He asked to be shown the manuscript, and when, after his solemn promise not to destroy it, the fragment was handed over to him, be read:-

"Not to sadden thee have We sent down this Qur'an to thee,
But as a warning for him who feareth;
A missive from Him who hath made the earth and the lofty heavens,
The God of Mercy who sitteth on throne!

His, whatsoever is in the heavens and whatsoever is in the earth, and whatsoever is between them both, and whatsoever is beneath the humid soil"!

And thou needest not raise thy voice in prayer: He verily knoweth the secret whisper and the yet more hidden! God, there is no God but Him! Most excellent His titles!" (Surah xx. 1 — 7.)

"How nobly said and how sublime!" exclaimed' 'Umar, when he had read the passage. Thereupon Khahbab came forth from his place of concealment, and summoned him to testify to the teaching of Muhammad. 'Umar asked where Muhammad was, went to him, and made his profession of faith to the Prophet himself.

Henceforth 'Umar remained attached to the person of Muhammad with the most devoted friendship, and embraced. the cause of Islam with all the energies of his strong nature, We find 'Umar, immediately after Muhammad's death, unable to grasp the reality of the fact. When the news was imparted to him, he exclaimed wildly before the assembly of the faithful: "The Prophet is not dead; he has only swooned away." And, again, when Mughirah tried to convince him that he was mistaken—" Thou liest!" he cried, "the Prophet of the Lord shall not die, until he have rooted out every hypocrite and unbeliever." At this point Abu Bakr quoted the verses of the Qur'an, revealed after the defeat at Uhud:. "Muhamtnad is no more than an Apostle, verily the other apostles have gone before him. What then! If he were to die or be killed, would you turn, back on your heels?" And be added the memorable appeal 'Let him then knew, whosoever worshippeth Muhammad, that Muhammad indeed is dead; but whose worshippeth God, let him know that the Lord liveth and doth not die."

Then, and only then on hearing those words, spoken by the book, as if he had never heard them bofore, the truth burst upon 'Umar with crushing force "By the Lord," he would tell in later days," it was so that when I heard Abu Bakr reciting those verses, I was horror-struck, my limbs trembled, I dropped down, and I knew of a certaint that Muhammad indeed was dead."

The paramount ascendancy which Muhammad, during his lifetime, exercised over 'Umar, could not fail Ito soften his passionate and vehement nature, and to tram him to those habits of self-command, which form one of the most essential element in the character of a good ruler. If it was an act of wise foresight on the part of Muhammed to designate, at the approach of death, the older and sedater Abu Bakr as his successor, by appointing him to conduct the public prayers during his last illness, he could at the same time feel assured that 'Umar, far from contesting the choice of his dying friend, would respect it and make it respected against any defection or rival ambition by his cordial and powerful support. But us was equally natural and wise on the part of Abu Bark, when the time had come, to fix the choice of his own successor upon 'Umar. It is related that, felling his end to be near, and willing to fortify his own conviction by the sense of others, he first consulted 'Abdu 'r-Rahman, the son of 'Auf, who praised 'Umar "as the fittest man, but withal inclined to be severe." "Which," responded the dying Khalifah," is because he saw me soft and tender-hearted, when himself the Master, ho will forego much of what thou sayest I have watched him narrowly. If I were angry with one, he would intercede in his behalf; if over-lenient, then he would be severe." 'Usman, too, confirmed Abu Bakr's choice. "What is hidden of 'Umar," he said, "is better than that which doth appear. There is not his equal amongst us all."

And so it was as in bodily stature 'Umar towered high above his fellow-men, so he excelled in every, quality required in an imposing commander of the Faithful (Amir al-Mu'minin), this being the title which he adopted 'in preference to 'the more cumbersome of "Successor 'of the Apostle of God" (Khalifatu 'r-Rasuli 'llah). It lies outside the scope of the present work to give a complete biography of 'Umar, and we must refer the reader who should wish to make himself acquainted with it, to the above-quoted attractive volume of' Sir W. Muir, Annals of the Early Caliphate. Our less ambitions object here has merely been to sketch, as ti were, in a few salient traits culled from it, the picture of a man, who, as founder of Islam, was second only to Muhammad himself. Gifted with a high and penetrating intellect, and possessed of a string sense of justice, he was impartial, skilful, and fortunate in the choice of his military and civil


Agents, and had learnt to temper severity with clemency and wise forbearance. While it was he who, in his earlier days, after the battle of Badr, had advised that the prisoners should all be put to death, his later resentment against Khalid, with whose name the cruel fate of Malik ibn Nuwairah and the gory tale of the "River of Blood "are linked in history, on the contrary took rise in Khalid's unscrupulous and savage treatment of a fallen foe. And the fanatic intolerance of some of the Muslim captains is favourably contrasted with 'Umar's "treatment' of the Christianised Arab tribe of the Banu Taghlib. They had tendered their submission to Walid ibu 'Uqbah, who, solicitous for the adhesion to Islam of this great and famous race, pressed them with some rigour to abjure their ancient faith. 'Umar was much displeased at this —"Leave them," he wrote, "in the profession of the Gospel. It is only within the bounds of the peninsula, where are the Holy Places, that no polytheist tribe is permitted to remain." Walid was removed from his command; and it was enjoined on his successor to stipulate only that the usual tribute should be paid, that no member of the tribe should be hindered from embracing Islam, and that the children should not be educated in the Christian faith. The last condition can only have been meant as a nominal indication of the supremacy of Islam, for if it had been enforced, we, should not read of the Banu Taghlib continuing in the profession of Christianity under the next two dynasties and even later. The tribe, deeming in its pride the payment of tribute (jazyah) an indignity, sent a deputation to the Khalifah, declaring their willingness to pay the tax if only it were levied under the same name as that taken from the Muslims. 'Umar evinced his liberality by allowing the concession; and so the Banu Taghlib enjoyed the singular privilege of being assessed as Christians at a "double tithe" ('ushr), instead of paying jazyah, the obnoxious badge of subjugation. (Sir W. Muir. Annals, p. 218.)

As the original asperity of 'Umar's character had been mellowed in the school of life and in close communion with Muhammad and Abu Bakr, so the same influences, together with the responsibilities of his position. tended to blend his natural boldness and impetuosity with prudence cautiousness. While his captains in Syria and the Iraq were continually urging him to push on his conquests to the north and east, he would not allow any advance to be ventured upon, before the Muslim rule in the occupied provinces was well established and firmly consolidated. In like manner he evinced a singular dread of naval enterprise, ever after an expedition sent to Abyssinia across the Red Sea in the seventh year of his reign had met with a signal disaster; and he was countenanced in this aversion for the treacherous element by a not less dating general than 'Amr, son of al-'As, who, consulted on the subject, wrote to him:-

"The sea is a boundless expanse, whereon great ships look but tiny specks: there is nought saving the heavens above and the waters beneath. Trust it little, fear it much. Man at sea is an insect floating on a splinter; if the splinter break, the insect perisheth."

When the wily 'Amr wished to raise his people in the estimation of the Egyptians, he had a toast prepared of slaughtered camels, after the Bedouin fashion; and the Egyptians looked on with wonder, while the army satisfied themselves with the rude repast. Next day he commanded a sumptuous banquet to be set before them, with all the dainties of the Egyptian table, and here again the warriors fell to with equal zest. On the third day, there was a grand, parade. of all the troops in battle array, and the people flocked to see it. Then 'Amr addressed them, saying.: "The first day's entertainment was to let you see the plain and simple manner of our life at home, the second, to show you that we can not the less enjoy the good things of the lands we, enter; and yet retain, as ye see in the spectacle here before you, our martial vigour notwithstanding."

'Amr gained his end, for the Copts retired, saying one to the other, "See ye not that the Arabs have but to raise their heel upon us, and it is enough!" 'Umar was delighted with his lieutenant device, and said of him, "Of a truth it is on wisdom and resolve, as well as on mere force, that the success of warfare doth depend."

But, at the same time, 'Umar was much too thoughtful and far-seeing himself not to recognize the danger for the future of Islam, which was lurking in this sudden acquisition of unmeasured riches. On one occasion, when he was about to distribute the fifth of some Persian spoils, he was seen to weep "What," it was said to him, "a time of joy and thankfulness, and thou sheddest tears" "Yea," replied the simple-minded Khalifah, "it is not for this I weep, but I foresee that the wealth which the Lord bath bestowed upon us will become a spring of worldliness and envy, and in the end a calamity to my people."

Moreover, the luxury and ostentation which was thus engendered in the enriched leaders, was utterly repulsive to ins own frugal habits and homely nature. On his first visit to Syria, Abu 'Ubaidah, Yazid and Khalid met him in state to welcome him. A brilliant cavalcade, robed in Syrian brocade, and mounted on steeds richly caparisoned, they rode forth as he approached. At the sight of all their finery, 'Umar's spirit was stirred within him. He stooped down, and, gathering a handful of gravel, flung it at the astonished chiefs. "'Avaunt!" he cried; "is it thus attired that ye come out to meet me? All changed thus in the space of two short years! Verily, had it been after two hundred, ye would have deserved to be degraded."

This primitive simplicity of the Arab chieftain is another grand and highly captivating feature in 'Umar's character. We see in our mind's eye the mighty mover of armies,


at the thee when the destinies of Islam were trembling in the balance on the battlefield of Qadisiyah, issuing on foot from the gates of al-Medinah in the early morning, if perchance no might meet some messenger from the scene of combat. At last a courier arrived outside the city, who to 'Umar's question replies shortly, "The Lord has discomfited the Persian host." Unrecognised 'Umar followed the messenger, leading the camel, and with his long strides keeping pace with the high stepping animal, to glean from him the outline of the great battle. When they entered al-Maqmah, the people crowded round be Khalifah, saluting him, and hearing the happy news, wished him joy of the triumph. The courier, abashed, cried out, "O Commander of the Faithful, why didst thou not tell me?" but his mind was instantly set at rest by the Khalifah's kindly answer: "It is well, my brother."

Or we may fancy him perambulating, whip in hand, the streets and markets of al-Madinah, ready to punish the offenders on the spot, may be his own son and his boon companions, who had indulged in the use of wine, For on this head 'Umar did not brook pleasantry. When news of some arch-transgressors on this score was sent front Damascus, and indulgence from the strict enforcement of the law was claimed for them on the plea of their exalted position and military merits, he wrote back: "Gather an assembly and bring thorn forth. Then ask, Is wine lawful, or is forbidden? If they say forbidden, lay eighty stripes upon each of them; if they say lawful, then behead them every one." The punishment, if inflicted by 'Umar's own hand, vas telling, for it became a proverb: 'Umar's whip is move terrible than another's word.

Or, again, with the groan of repentance of the well-chastised offender still ringing in our ears, we may watch the same 'Umar, as journeying in Arabia in the year of famine, he comes upon a poor woman, seated with her hungry and weeping children round a fire, whereon is an empty pot, he hurries to the next village, procures bread and meat, fills the pot, and cooks an ample meal leaving the little ones laughing and at play.

Such a man was 'Umar, the great Khaliftah, brave, wise, pious. No fitter epitaph could adorn his tombstone, than his dying words; - "It had gone hard with my soul, if I had riot been a Muslim." [DAMASCUS, JERUSALEM, JIHAD, MUHAMMAD.]

(The Editor is indebted to Dr. Steingass, the learned author of the English-Arabic Dictionary, A.D. 1882, and Arabic-English Dictionary, A.D. 1884 (W.H. Allen and Co., London), for this review of 'Umar's influence on the Muslim religion.)

UMM. pl. Ummat, ummahat. "Mother". Heb. em. A word which frequently occurs in combination with other words, e.g. Ummu 'l-Qura, "the mother of villages," the metropolis Makkah; Ummu 'l-Ulum, "the mother of sciences," grammar.

UMMAH. Heb. ummah. A people, a nation, a sect. The word occurs about forty times in the Qur'an.

Ummatu Ibrahim, the people of Abraham.
Ummatu 'Isa, the people of Jesus.
Ummatu Muhammad ,the people of Muhammad.

UMMI. . The title assumed by Muhammad, and which occurs in the Qur'an. Surah viii. 156: "Who shall follow the Apostle, the illiterate Prophet (an-Nabiyu 'l-ummi)"; and in the 158th verse of the same Surah.

Commentators are not agreed as to the derivation of tine word, the following are the three most common derivations of it:—

(1) From Umm. mother," i.e. one just as him came from his mother's womb.

(2) From Ummah. "people," i.e. a gentile, one who was ignorant: alluding to the time of Muhammad's ignorance.

(3) From Umnmnu 'l-qura. "the mother of villages," a name given to Makkah; i.e. a native of Makkah, Muhammad appears to have wished to be thought ignorant and illiterate, in order to raise the elegance of the Qur'an into a miracle.

UMMU HABIBAH. . One of Muhammad's wives. She was the daughter of Aba Sufyan, and the widow of 'Ubaidu'llah, one of the "Four Inquirers," who, after emigrating as a Muslim to Abyssinia, embraced Christianity there, and died in profession of that faith.

UMMU KULSUM. . The youngest daughter of Muhammad by his wife Khadijah. She bad been married to her cousin 'Utaibah, son of Abu Lahab, but separated from him and became, after the death of her sister Ruqaiyah, the second wife of 'Usman, the later Khalifah. She died a year or two before Muhammad, who used, after her death, to say he so dearly loved 'Usman, that had there been a third daughter, he would have given her also in marriage to him.

UMMU 'L-KITAB. . Lit. The Mother of the Book."

(1) A title given in the Hadis to the first Surah of the Qur'an.

(2) In the Suratu Ahli Imran (iii.) 5, it is used for the Qur'an itself.

(3) In the Suratu r-Ra'd (xiii.) 39, it seems to be applied to the preserved tablet, on which were written the decrees of God and the fate of every human being.

UMMU 'L- MU'MININ. . "A mother of the Faithful." A. title which English authors restrict either to the Prophet's wife Khadijah, or to 'Ayishah: but it is a title applied to each of the wives of Muhammad. Qur'an Surah xxxiii, 6: 'His wives are their mothers,"


UMMU 'L-QURA. Lit. "Mother of Villages." A name given to Makkah. The Metropolis.

UMMU 'L-WALAD. . A term used in Muhammadan law for a female slave who has borne a child to her master and who is consequently free at his death [SLAVERY.]

UMMU SALMAH. . One of the wives of the Prophet. The widow of Abu Salmah, to whom she had borne severs children. Abu Salmah was killed at Uhud, and Muhammad married his widow four months afterwards.

'UMRA. . A life grant or interest in anything, e.g. if the proprietor of a house says to another, "This is yours as long as you live."

'UMRAH. . A Lesser Pilgrimage, or a visitation to the sacred mosque a Makkah, with the ceremonies of encompassing the Ka'bah and running between al-Mar'wah and as-Safa, but omitting the sacrifices, &c. It is a meritorious act, but it has not the supposed merit of the Hajj or Pilgrimage can be performed at any time except the eighth, ninth, and tenth days of the month Zu'l 'l-Hijjah, these being the days of the Hajj or Greater Pilgrimage. [HAJJ.]

UMUMI'YAH. . "Maternity" A term used in Muslim law. (Hidayah, vol. iii. p. 417.)

UNBELIEVERS. There are several terms used in Islam for those who are unbelievers in the mission of Muhammad e.g.:—

Kafir , One who hides the truth. A term generally applied to idolaters, and not to Jews or Christians.

Mushrik One who gives companions to God. Believers in the Bless Trinity are so called. The term is also applied by the Wabhabis to any Muslim, who observes ceremonies which are not clearly enjoined the precepts of the Muslim religion, as visiting shrines, &c.

Mulhid , One who has deviates from the truth.

Murtadd , An apostate from Islam.

Dahri An Atheist.

(For further explanations, refer to the words in their places.)




UNLAWFUL. Arabic haram [LAW.]

'UQAB. . A black eagle. A celebrated standard belonging to Muhammad. (See Hayatu 'l-Qulub, p. 88, Merrick's edition.) [STANDARDS.]

'UQBA. . Lit. "End." A reward or punishment. Hence used to express the life to come either of good or evil. [PARADISE, HELL.]

'UQBAH. . IBN 'AMIR AL- JUHANI. A Companion of great celebrity. He was afterwards Governor of Egypt, where he died, A.H. 58.

UQNUM. . pl. aqanim. According to Muslim lexicographers, it is "a word which means the root or principle of a thing, and, according to the Nasara (Nazarennes), there are three Aqanim, namely, wujud (entity or substance), hayat (life), and 'ilm (knowledge); and also, Ab (Father), Ibn (Son), and Ruhu 'l-Quds (Holy Spirit); and it is also the name of a book amongst the Nazarenes which treats of these three. (See Ghiyasu 'l-Lughat. in loco.) [TRINITY.]

UQUBAH. . "Punishment; chastisement." A legal term for punishment inflicted at the discretion of the magistrate. 'Uqubah shadid'ah is severe punishment extending to death. [TAZIR.]

AL-'UQULU 'L-'ASHARAH. . Lit. "The Ten Intelligences." Ten angels who, according to the philosophers, were created by God in the following manner; First, He created one angel; then created one heaven and one angel, this second angel then created a second heaven and a third angel; and so on until there were created nine heavens and ten angels. The tenth angel then, by the order of God, created the whole world. (See Ghiyasu 'l-Lughat. in loco.)

'URS. . (1) Marriage festivities, as distinguished from nikah, "the marriage ceremony." {MARRIAGE.]

(2) A term also used for the ceremonies observed at the anniversary of the death of any celebrated saint or murshid.

'USHR. . pl. a'shar and 'ushur. A tenth or tithe given to the Muslim State or Baitu 'l-Mal. [BAITU 'L-MAL.]

'USMAN. . IBN 'AFFAN. The third Khalifah, who succeeded 'Umar A.H. 23 (A.D. 643), and was slain by Muhammad, son of Aba Bakr and other conspirators on the 18th of Zu 'l-Hijjah, A.H. 35 (June 17th, A.D. 656), aged eighty-two, and having reigned twelve years. He is known amongst Muslims as Zu 'n-Nurain, "The Possessor of time Two Lights," because he married two of the Prophet's daughters, Ruqaiyah and Ummu Kulsum. His chief merit with regard to the cause of Islam was the second and final revision of the sacred book which he caused to be made, and of which an exhaustive account has been given in our article on the Qur'an.

Although Muhammadan historians distinguish the reigns of the first four Khalifahs as founded on faith (dini), from those of the later ones, as based on the world and its


passions and vanities (dunyawi), it must be admitted that worldly motives entered al. ready largely into the politics of 'Usman and 'Ali as contrasted with Abu Bakr and 'Umar. 'Usman, by his weakness and nepotism, 'Ali by holding aloof with culpable indifference, during the protracted death-struggle of his predecessors by abetting his murderers in the open field, and by his vacillating spirit, where firmness of purpose was needed, gave rise to those fierce dissensions between rival religious and political parties, which led, for the time being, to the establishment of the Umaiyah dynasty, and eventually caused the division of Islam into the two great sects of the Sunnis and Shi'ahs.

USUL. pl. of asl. Lit. "Roots." The roots or fundamentals of the Muhammadan religion, as opposed to furu' "branches," a term used for Muhammadan law, civil, ceremonial, and religious. The usul of Islam are universally held to be four: (1) The Qur'an, (2) The Hadis, (3) Ijma' and (4) Qiyas, terms which will be found explained under their respective titles.

'Ilmu 'l-usul is the science of interpretation or exegesis of these four fundamentals.

USURY. Arabic riba' . A word which, like the Hebrew neshek includes all gain upon loans, whether from the loan of money, or goods, or property of any kind. In the Mosaic law, conditions of gain from the loan of money or goods, were rigorously prohibited : "If thou lend money to any of my people that is poor by thee, thou shalt not be to him as an usurer, neither shalt thou lay upon him usury." (Exodus xxii. 25.) "If thy brother be waxen poor . . . take no usury of him or increase: but fear thy God that thy brother may live with thee. Thou shalt not give him thy money upon usury nor lend him thy victuals for increase." (Leviticus xxv. 35-37.)

(1) The teaching of the Qur'an on the subject is given in Surah ii. 276: "They who swallow down usury, shall arise in the Last Day only as he ariseth, whom Satan has infected by his touch.. This for that they say, 'Selling is only the like of usury,' and yet God hath allowed selling and forbidden usury; and whosoever receiveth this admonition from his Lord, and abstaineth from it, shall have pardon or the past and his lot shall be with God. But they who return to usury, shall be given over to the Fire,— therein to abide for ever."

(2) In the Traditions, Muhammad is related to have said:— "Cursed be the taker of usury, the giver of usury, the writer of usury, and the witness of usury, for they are all equal." "Verily the wealth that is gained in usury, although it be great, is of small advantage." (Sahihu Muslim, Babu 'r-Riba').

(3) Riba', in the language of the law signifies" an excess," according to a legal standard of measurement or weight, in one of two homogeneous articles (of weight or measurement of capacity) opposed to each other in a contract of exchange, and in which such excess is stipulated as an obligatory condition on one of the parties, without any return, that is, without anything being opposed to it. The sale, therefore, of two loads of barley, for instance, in exchange for one load of wheat, does not constitute usury, since these articles are not homogeneous; and, on the other hand, the sale of ten yards of cloth in exchange for five yards of cloth, is not usury, since al-though these articles be homogeneous, still they are not estimable by weight or measurement of capacity.

Usury, then, as an illegal transaction, is occasioned (according to moat Muhammadan doctors) by rate, united with species, where, however, it must be observed that rate amongst the Musalmans, applies only to articles of weight or measurement of capacity, and not to articles of longitudinal measurement, such as cloth, &c., or of tale such as eggs, dates, walnuts, &c., when exchanged form hand to hand. Ash-Shafi'i maintains that usury takes place only in things of an esculent nature, or in money, and according to him, therefore, articles of the last-mentioned description would give occasion to usury. It is, furthermore, to be observed, that superiority or inferiority in the quality has no effect on the establishment of the usury; and hence it is lawful to sell a quantity of the better sort of any article in exchange for an equal quantity of an inferior sort. Nor does usury exist where the quantities of an article of weight or measurement by capacity are not ascertained by some known standard of measurement. Thus it is lawful to sell one handful of wheat in exchange for two handfuls, or two handfuls for four, because, in such case, the measurement not having been made according to a legal standard, the superiority of measurement, establishing usury, has not taken place, and, since the law has fixed no standard of measure beneath half sa, any quantity less than such is considered equivalent to a handful.

Where the quality of being weighable or measurable by capacity, and correspondence of species (being the causes of usury) both exist, the stipulation of inequality or of suspension of payment to a future period are both usurious to sell either one measure of wheat in exchange for two measures, - or one measure of wheat for one measure deliverable at a future period. If, on the contrary, neither of these circumstances exist (as in the sale of wheat for money), it is lawful, either to stipulate a superiority of rate, or the payment at a future period. If, on the other hand, one of these circumstances only exist (as in the sale of wheat for barley, or for the sale of one slave for another), then a superiority in the rate may legally be stipulated, but not a suspension in the payment. Thus one measure of wheat may lawfully be sold for two measures of barley, or one slave for two slaves; but it


is not lawful to sell one measure of wheat for one measure of barley, payable at a future period; nor one slave for another, deliverable at a future period.

According to the majority of doctors, everything in which the usuriousness of an excess has been established by the Prophet on the ground of measurement of capacity (such as wheat, barley, dates and salt), or on the ground of weight (like gold or silver),is forever to be considered as of that nature, although mankind should forsake this mode of estimation; because the custom of mankind, which regulates the measurement, is of inferior force to the declaration of the Prophet; and a superior court cannot yield to an inferior. Abu Yusuf, however, is of opinion that in all things practice or custom ought to prevail, although in opposition to the ordinances of the Prophet; for the ordinance of the Prophet was founded on usage and practice of his own time. In ordinances, therefore, the prevalent customs among mankind are to be regarded; and as these are liable to. alter they must be attended to rather than the letter of an ordinance.

Usury cannot take place between a master and his slave, because whatever is in the possession of the slave is the property of the master, so that no sale can possibly take place between them, and hence the possibility of usury is excluded a fortori. Nor can it take place between a Muslim and a hostile infidel in a hostile country, in accordance with the saying of the Prophet: "There is no usury between a Muslim and a hostile infidel in a foreign land," and on the further ground, that the property of a hostile infidel being free to the Muslim, it follows that it is lawfu1 to take it by whatever mode may be possible, provided there be no deceit used. It is otherwise with respect to a zimmi, or protected alien, as his property is not of a neutral nature, because of the protection that has been accorded to him, and, therefore, usury is as unlawfu1 in his case as in that of a Muslim. Abu Yusuf and ash-Shafi'i conceive an analogy between the ease of a hostile infidel, in a hostile country, and that of a zimmi, and hence they hold, contrary to the other Muslim doctors, that usury can take place also between a Muslim and a hostile infidel in a foreign land.

The testimony of a person who receives usury is inadmissible in a court of law. It is recorded in the Mabsut, however, that the evidence of a usurer is inadmissible only in case of his being so in a notorious degree; because mankind often make invalid contracts, and these are in some degree usurious. (Hidayah, Grady's edition, p. 362.)

For further information on the subject of usury and for cases, illustrative of the above-stated principles. see Hidayah, Hamilton's translation, vol. ii.. p. 489, seqq.; edition, p. 289 seqq. ; the Durru 'l-Mukhtur; the Fatawa-i 'Alamgiri in loco.

USWAH, also ISWAH. "An example." The word occurs in the Qur'an, Surah xxxiii, Ye had in the Apostle of God a good example usuwstun hasanatun. Ar Raghib says it is the condition in which a man is in respect of another's imitating him.

UTERINE RELATIONS. Arabic zawu 'l-arham , called by the English lawyers "distant kindred."

They are divided into four classes :—

(1) Persons descended from the deceased, how low soever, i.e. the children of daughters or of son's daughters.

(2) Those from whom the deceased is descended, how high soevor, i.e. False grandparents, in contradistinction from the True, a true grandfather being one between whom and the deceased no- female intervenes: a true grandmother, one between whom and the deceased no false grandfather intervenes.

(3) Those descended from the parents of the deceased, how low soever, i.e. the daughters of full-brothers and of half-brothers (by the same father only), the children of half-brothers (by the same mother only); and the children of sisters.

(4) The children of the two grandfathers and two grandmothers of the deceased, i.e. father's half-brothers, and sisters by the same mother only and their children; the deceased's paternal aunts and their children; maternal uncles and aunts and their children; the daughters of full paternal uncles and half-paternal uncles by the same father only.

This classification, however, does, not exhaust the distant kindred. which, in the language of the law, are defined as those relations of a deceased person who are neither sharers nor residuaries. [INHERITANCE.] Thus, cousins who are children of residuaries, but are not residuaries themselves (e.g. paternal uncles' daughters) are distant kindred, though not members of any of the fore-going classes, or related through any member of such a class.

When the distant kindred succeed, in consequence of the absence of sharers and residuaries, they are admitted according to the order of their classes. Within the limits of each particular class, it is a general rule that a person nearer in degree succeeds in preference to one more remote; and in all classes, if there be several of an equal degree, the property goes equally among them if they are of the same sex. There is, however, some disagreement as to cases in which persons through whom they are related to the deceased are of different sexes or of different blood; and it is maintained by Muhammad, against Abu Yusuf, that regard must be had parity to the "roots" or intermediate relations, and not only to the "branches," or actual claimants. Thus all are agreed that if a man leave a daughter's son and a daughter's the male will have a double portion, for there is no difference of sex in the intermediate relations; but there be a daughter's son's daughter and a daughter's daughter's son, it is said by Abu Yusuf that the male will have a


double portion, on account of his sex, but by Muhammad, that the female, instead of the male, will take the double portion, by reasons of her father's sex. And on the other hand, all are agreed that if there be two daughters of different brothers, they will take equally between them; but if there be a daughter of a brother and a daughter of a half-brother by the father only. Muhammad rules that the latter will take nothing; for having regard to the circumstances that a brother excludes a half-brother by the father only, he considers that there is nothing to be handed down to the descendant of the latter, and that the whole will go to the descendant of the former.

This rule of Muhammad, which in its application to different classes of the distant kindred, leads to curious results of a complex character, seems to deserve a particular notice, as resting to a large extent on the principle of representation, which otherwise is all but foreign to the Muhammadan law of inheritance. (A. Rumsey, Moohummudan Law of Inheritance, p. 53; Durru 'l-Mukhtar, p. 873.)



'UZLAH. . "Retirement." A term used by the Sufis for a religious life of retirement from the world.

'UZR. . "An excuse." A legal term for a claim or an objection.

AL-'UZZA. . An idol mentioned in the Qur'an. Surah liii. 19: "What think ye then of al-Lat and al-'Uzza, and Manat, the third idol besides." According to Husain, it was an idol of the tribe of Ghatafan. For a discussion on the subject, see the article on Lat.

Hughes' Dictionary of Islam

[A] [B] [C] [D] [E] [F] [G] [H] [I] [J] [K] [L] [M] [N] [O] [P] [Q] [R] [S] [T] [U] [V] [W] [Y] [Z]

Copyright © 1997-2011 Qurango and publishers of all books mentioned here.

Home Page