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Those who earn their living by practicing a common profession; similar to the French syndicat. Covers a range of occupations from medicine or law to craftsmen, skilled workers, and industrial employees. Can refer to a branch of a union as well as to higher levels of association; the highest level of institutional coordination of many subordinate branches (referred to in the United Statse as the international union) is ittihad. The term was first used in this sense in the late nineteenth or early twentieth century; before that niqabah meant “guardianship” or “legal power.” The modern meaning marks a significant change in attitudes toward power, responsibility, and the delegation of authority.

Subjects: Islam.

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