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Abbas Hilmi ['Abbās Ḥilmi] II (1874–1944), last khedive of Egypt, was born on 14 July 1874 in Alexandria, Egypt, the son of Muhammad Tawfiq (1852–1892), sixth ruler of Egypt under the dynasty founded in 1811 by his great-great-grandfather Mehmet Ali, and Princess Emine Hanem...

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Abdul Rahman, Tunku (1902–1990), prime minister of Malaysia, was born in Alor Setar, Kedah (a Malay state then under British ‘protection’), on 8 February 1902, the seventh son of Abdul Hamid Halim Shah, sultan of Kedah (fl. 1882–1943), and his Thai wife, ...

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Abdul Razak bin Hussein, Tun (1922–1976), prime minister of Malaysia, was born in Pulau Keladi in the state of Pahang (a Malay state then under British ‘protection’), on 11 March 1922. Descended from a line of Bugis chieftains who had emigrated from Sulawesi...

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Abdullah ibn Hussein ['Abd Allāh ibn al-Ḥusayn] (1882–1951), emir of Transjordan and founder of the Hashemite kingdom of Jordan, was born in February 1882 in Mecca in the Ottoman province of Hejaz. He was the second of three sons of Hussein ibn Ali...

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Abdurahman, Abdullah (1872–1940), political leader and physician, was born on 18 December 1872 in Wellington, a country town in south-western Cape Colony, the eldest son of the nine children of Abdul Arraman (also known as Rahman), small trader and civic figure, who was a patron of ...

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Abu al-Hasan [Abū'l-Ḥasan] [known as Mirza Abu al-Hasan Shirazi] (1776–1846), diplomatist for Persia, was born in Shiraz, the second son of Mirza Muhammad Ali, a high-ranking Persian court official. His mother was also closely connected with the court through her brother, ...

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Abu Bakar (1833–1895) by unknown photographer © reserved

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Abu Bakar [Abu Bakar ibni al-Marhum Dato Temenggong Sri Maharaja Tun Ibrahim] (1833–1895), sultan of Johore, was born in Teluk Belanga, Singapore, most probably on 3 February 1833, the eldest son of Daing Ibrahim (1810–1862) and his first wife, Encik Ngah (also known as Tengku Andak)...

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Gilbert Laithwaite

revised by Francis Robinson

Aga Khan [Mohammed Shah] III (1877–1957), leader of the Ismailis, was born in Karachi on 2 November 1877, a member of the ruling Qajar dynasty in Persia, the son of Aga Ali Shah, Aga Khan II (d. 1885), and Shams al-Muluk, known as ...

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Aga Khan III (1877–1957) by Dorothy Wilding, c. 1953 © Tom Hustler / National Portrait Gallery, London

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Ahmad Khan, Sir Saiyid [Syed Ahmed Khan] (1817–1898), Muslim leader in India, was born on 17 October 1817 in Khwaja Farid's haveli (mansion) near the Tiraha Bahram Khan in Delhi, the youngest of the three children (two boys and one girl) of ...

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Al-Nahas, Mustafa (1879–1965), prime minister of Egypt, was born on 15 June 1879 in Samanud, in the Gharbiyya province of Egypt's Nile delta, where his father was a timber merchant. He attended the Khedival Secondary School in Cairo between 1891 and 1896, and graduated from the ...

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Abdullah Yusuf Ali (1872–1953) by Lafayette, 1930 © National Portrait Gallery, London

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Ali, Abdullah Yusuf (1872–1953), Indian civil servant and Islamic scholar, was born on 4 April 1872 in Surat, Gujarat, India. His father, Yusuf Ali Allahbuksh, otherwise Khan Bahadur Yusuf Ali, a Shi'i in the Dawoodi Bohra tradition, had abandoned the traditional occupation of his community, business, and entered instead the police force, being presented on retirement with the title of ...

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Ali, (Chaudhri) Muhammad (1905–1980), prime minister of Pakistan, 1955–6, was born on 15 July 1905 in Nangalambia village, Jullundur district, Punjab province, India. His father was Chaudhri Khairuddin, a farmer and member of the Arain community, his mother, Ayesha Khairdin; he was the third of five children, with two elder sisters and two younger brothers. ...

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Ali, Dusé Mohamed [known as Dusé Mohamed] (1866–1945), journalist and playwright, was born Mohamed Ali on 21 November 1866, in Alexandria, Egypt, the son of Abdul Salem Ali, otherwise Abbas Mohamed (d. 1882), an Egyptian army officer, and his Sudanese wife. In 1876 his father sent him to study in ...

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Ali, Sayyid Mumtaz (1860–1935), author and publisher, was born in 1860 near Deoband, Saharanpur district, United Provinces, India, the son of Sayyid Zulfiqar Ali, a landholder with ties to the ulama who founded the Deoband madrasa (or Islamic school) in 1866. His education began at an Arabic ...

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Amanullah Khan (1892–1960), amir of Afghanistan, was born on 2 June 1892 at Paghman, Kabul. He was the third son of Amir (King) Habibullah (d. 1919), but his mother, Ulya Hazrat, was the ‘first queen’. She used her considerable skill and intelligence to prepare him for the throne. However, ...

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S. V. FitzGerald

revised by Roger T. Stearn

Ameer Ali, Saiyid (1849–1928), judge and Muslim leader in India, was born on 6 April 1849 at Chinsura, Bengal, the fourth son of Saiyid Saadat Ali Khan (who died of cholera in 1856) of Mohan, Oudh, and his wife, the daughter of Shamsuddin Khan...

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Idi Amin (c. 1924–2003) by unknown photographer, c. 1972 Getty Images