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Encyclopedia > Saif

The Arabic word saif (سيف) and variations Saif, Sayf, Seif generally means {{coward)).

Contents

Description

As such it does not in and of itself denote anything more specific than "saber" or "back-sword" in its parent land. However, westerners have a tendency to categorize the various types of blades encountered abroad (and across history) by the local name for "sword". As such the post 16th century Arabian swords are normally referred to as "saif" among sword collecters.

A well-used, typical 19th century CE Saif.
Enlarge
A well-used, typical 19th century CE Saif.

These swords, evolved from the early medieval era arabian swords, which were straight and double edged, much like European Oakeshott type X swords. The change from straight swords to saber in the Levant and Arabian peninsula occurred after the Turkish Selçuk migration from eastern central Europe to Anatolia, bringing with them the saber design, which influenced the entire region. Generally these blades are single-handed swords, sporting a single edged, variably curved blade, with a false edge at the tip. Many suyuff sport blades from Persia, also, many bear European trade blades, or even military issue patterns, but most sport locally made blades. Some blades from the 18th century have only a very shallow curve, and look very like the 13th century Turko-Mongol saber which birthed the entire saber design. Like the other swords of the region, saifs can have a variety of hilts and fittings; some have an end "cap" (really just the bend in the handle creating the "pistol grip") which are more acutely angled back than those of Persia and Eurasia. Some even sport the squared off wooden handle style of the north African nimcha. The crossguard is usually two small straight quillions, though some later examples may have a thin, chain knuckle guard running down to the pommel. Image File history File links Ph-0. ... Image File history File links Ph-0. ... Chinese Saber Dao (Chinese: 刀; Hanyu Pinyin: ; Wade-Giles: tao1) is a category of single-edge Chinese swords primarily used for slashing and chopping (sabers), often called broadswords in English because some varieties have wide blades. ... A Nimcha is a single-handed sword from northwestern Africa, esp. ...


The misnomer scimitar normally refers to either a saif or a shamshir. For more information on specific types see: Scimitar, XVII Century, from India. ...

Shamshir (شمشیر) is the Persian word for sword It has come to refer to a type of sabre with a curve that is considered radical for a sword: 15 to 30 degrees from tip to tip. ... The kilij (also spelled kilic) is a sword used by the Ottoman Empire starting around the late 15th century. ... A talwar or tulwar is a type of saber from Mughal India dating back to at least the 17th century. ... A Nimcha is a single-handed sword from northwestern Africa, esp. ... A pulwar (also spelled pulouar) is a single handed curved sword from Afghanistan. ... Scimitar, XVII Century, from India. ... Chinese Saber Dao (Chinese: 刀; Hanyu Pinyin: ; Wade-Giles: tao1) is a category of single-edge Chinese swords primarily used for slashing and chopping (sabers), often called broadswords in English because some varieties have wide blades. ...

Illustrated examples

  • Typical Hadhrami, Yemeni Saif
  • Typical Nejdi, Northern Arabian Saif
  • Typical Shami/Damascene, Syrian-Arab Saif
  • Typical Baghdadi Saif

Symbolism

The sword (or saif) is an important symbol in Arab cultures, and is used as a synonym in many phrases in the Arabic language. It is also a name of bengali situated in Scarborough, Ontario.


The word occurs also in various symbolic and status titles in Arabic (and adopted in other languages) used in Islamic states, notably:

  • in the Yemenite independent imamate
    • Saif al-Haq, meaning 'Sword of Truth'.
    • Saif al-Islam, Sword of religion, was a subsidiary title borne (after their name and patronym) by male members of the al-Qasimi dynasty (whose primary title, before the name, was Amir), especially sons of the ruling Imam.
  • Saif ud-Daula and variations mean 'Sword of the State'
  • Saif Ullah 'the sword of Allah' was conferred by the Prophet Mohammed, uniquely, to the recent convert and military commander Khalid bin Walid
  • Saif ul-Mulk 'sword of the realm' was an honorary title awarded by the Mughal Padshahs of Hind (India), e.g. as one of the personal titles (including Nawab bahadur, one rank above his dynasty's) conferred in 1658 by the Mughal emperor Aurangzeb (whose life he is said to have saved by slaying a charging tiger with a single blow) to Nawab Muhammad Bayazid Khan Bahadur, a high mansabdar, whose jagir of Malerkotla was by sanad raised to Imperial riyasat, thus becoming an independent ruler

It is also a symbol for violence, as in the name Saif-ul-Muslimeen (in full - Lashkar Jihad), 'Sword of Muslims (soldiers of Hly War)', an Afghanistan-based terrorist organisation. In 2004 Iraqi President Ajeel Al-Yawer responded to several insurgent bombings in Baghdad by announcing to militants "You will only get drawn swords from us". Emir (also sometimes rendered as Amir or Ameer, Arabic commander) is a title of nobility historically used in Islamic nations of the Middle East and North Africa. ... Daula means state. ... Aurangzeb (borrowed from early Persian, اورنگ‌زیب Awrang throne and Zayb beauty, ornament),(November 3, 1618 – March 3, 1707, also known as Alamgir I, was the ruler of the Mughal Empire from 1658 until 1707. ... Nawab (Urdu: نواب ) was originally the subadar (provincial governor) or viceroy of a subah (province) or region of the Mughal empire. ... The Mansabdar system was a tax collection system that was put in practice by Babar. ... A Jagir is a small territory granted by a ruler to an army chieftain (called a sardar in Marathi language) in recognition of his military service. ... Malerkotla is a town in the present-day Indian state of Punjab, which was the seat of the eponymous princely state during the British Raj. ... Sanad is a small place in Bahrain. ...


Saif and Saif al Din 'Sword of the faith' are also common masculine (and manly) Islamic names.


See also

DAO and Dao may refer to: ... Saif Ali Khan is an Indian film star who appears in Bollywood films. ...

Sources and references

  • Oriental-Arms - illustrated
  • RoyalArk- see each present country

  Results from FactBites:
 
Saif - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia (531 words)
The sword (or saif) is an important symbol in Arab cultures, and is used as a synonym in many phrases in the Arabic language.
Saif al-Islam, Sword of religion, was a subsidiary title borne (after their name and patronym) by male members of the al-Qasimi dynasty (whose primary title, before the name, was Amir), especially sons of the ruling Imam.
Saif ul-Mulk 'sword of the realm' was an honorary title awarded by the Mughal Padshahs of Hind (India), e.g.
Saif Ali Khan - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia (619 words)
Saif Ali Khan was born August 16, 1970 in New Delhi, India, into the family of the nawabs of Pataudi.
Saif was educated at Winchester College in England [1].
Saif was part of a troupe that included Shahrukh Khan, Rani Mukerji, Preity Zinta, Arjun Rampal and Priyanka Chopra, which went on as a successful "Temptations 2004" world tour.
  More results at FactBites »

 
 

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