Glossary Terms

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

The outward, apparent or exoteric meaning of a sacred text, ritual or religious prescriptions, from which the batin is educed.

Zakat

Obligatory alms for Muslims.

Zanata

A confederation of Berber tribes in North Africa who were, in general, opposed to the Fatimids.

Zands

A local Iranian dynasty (1751-1794 CE), founded by Karim Khan Zand who ruled over Isfahan in 1751 CE, and briefly had Shiraz (in present day Iran) as his capital. By 1763 CE, Karim Khan conquered all of what is present day Iran, except for the state of Khurasan. Karim Khan advocated a Shi‘i tradition in the area, and he had taken the title Wakil (viceroy) of the people. The dynasty ended with the death of Lutf Ali Khan, a grandnephew of Karim Khan, who was captured and killed by the founder of the Qajar dynasty, Agha Muhammad Khan. Despite the short reign of this dynasty, the art of this era is noteworthy and many Qajar artistic features can be traced back to Zand art.

Zanj

African slaves who carried out a series of revolts against the ‘ Abbasids in Iraq in the second half of the 9th century CE.

Zawiyah/Zawiya

(pl. Zawaya) from Arabic lit. ‘a corner’. It is a Sufi place of worship which might also coincide with a mausoleum of a saint or the founder of a specific tariqah. The term zawiya can also refer to a corner of a mosque where an aspirant would isolate himself reciting dhikr.

Zaydis

Third major branch of Shi‘i Islam, after the Ithna‘ashari and the Ismailis. The Zaydis are named after Zayd, a grandson of Imam Husayn b. ‘Ali and brother of Imam Muhammad Baqir, whom they followed as Imam.

Zaydiyya

Third major branch of Shi‘i Islam, after the Ithna‘ashari and the Ismailis. The Zaydis are named after Zayd, a grandson of Imam Husayn b. ‘Ali and brother of Imam Muhammad Baqir, whom they followed as Imam.

Zirid

Muslim dynasty that ruled in North Africa (972–1148).

Ziyarids

A Muslim dynasty which ruled northern Persia (927–1090 CE).

Zuhur

Manifestation. In Shi‘i Islam, the term can refer to the manifestation of the Imam after a period of concealment.

Zurayids

An Ismaili dynasty that ruled in Yemen (1083–1173).

Zuray’ids

An Ismaili dynasty that ruled in Yemen (1083–1173).