This article belongs to the lore of Esquarium.


Template:Iqaz Iqaz (/i:qa:ðˤ/) is a monotheistic religion based upon the teachings, life and miracles of Leyla Annuri It is the Nth biggest religion in Esquarium, with N followers, known as Muqiz, located mainly in Nautasia. They believe that there is only one God and that he appeared in human flesh in the form of the prophet Leyla in order to reveal the truth to humans. Despite its decline after the rise of Islam, Iqaz was important in the development of culture in Sharaf and several other nations.

Iqaz grew out of Arab paganism, taking heavy influence from Judaism, in the mid third century BCE. Originating in the city-state of Rashiq in northern Nautasia, now part of modern day Sharaf, The religion spread quickly throughout the region, carried by Bedouin nomads who spread the religion across the deserts to Arzoz and INSERT. Following the rise of Islam, Iqaz rapidly lost its position as the dominant religion on the northern coast of central Nautasia after successive defeats at the hands of the Caliphate resulted in the annexation of the civil war wracked city states of modern day Sharaf. Despite facing some internal repression Iqaz has survived as a minority religion in Sharaf, Arzoz and INSERT, surviving among urban populations and bedouin tribes that did not make excessive contact with the Islamic invaders.

The theology of Iqaz is briefly summarised by the Zahrannur, the flower of faith, a testimony in which the reciter recites these words:

"I believe solely in you, oh creator of existence! The path your most noble follower Leyla is the only path that shall guide me to salvation!"

The Zahrannur is recited upon conversion to the religion as an article of faith, but is also recited at the start and end of dawn and dusk prayers and while requesting aid from Annur in one's daily life. The chief sacred text of Iqaz is the Asuneḍ, which Muyaqqiz hold to be the eternal and unchanging word of Annur. To supplement the Asuneḍ there exists the Riwaya er-Rasul, a collection of the deeds, sayings and teachings of Leyla compiled and verified by Iqazic scholars after her death in 275 BCE. Iaqz teaches that all of existence is corrupted by a desire for temporary material gain, which is the root of sin and prevents humans from entering paradise, and that only through the rememberance of Annur and following the path set out by Leyla can one defeat these desires and enter paradise. This path is summarised by the Jawahir al Annur, the jewels of Annur, a simple maxim that reads "Pure heart, pure hands, pure tongue", referring to the need for good thoughts and morals, good deeds and good speech.


The name Iqaz is a romanization of the Arabic īqāẓ, which is the verbal noun of ʾayqaẓa (to awaken). This comes from the triconsonantal root "ي-ق-ظ" (y-q-ẓ), which relates to vigils and awakenings. This gives the word the literal meaning of "the awakening", which Leyla used to represent the sense of spiritual awakening that the religion represented. It is written as إيقاظ in the Arabic script. Muqiz, the word for a follower of the religion, is the active participle of the same word, meaning "awakener" or one who awakens. This stems from the tradition of religious proselytizing that exists in the religion, as Muqiz are expected to spread the religion to non-believers.




An image of Leyla, from the Mataydh el Jannah in Ahnaou

A central tenet of Iqaz is the recognition of Leyla's prophethood and her incarnationhood as an aspect of God in flesh. Muyaqqiz believe that Leyla ult Khemidou, also known as Leyla Annuri, was a projection of God's will sent in order to lead humanity onto the correct path that Annur had intended for them. This belief is very different from the Islamic concept of prophethood, finding more similarity with the Baha'i belief of the Manifestations of God. The core of Muyaqqiz belief holds that should one follow the path that Leyla revealed, they will receive salvation and be joined with Annur in paradise.

Muyaqqiz believe Leyla to be infallible, that she committed no sins during her life. There are theological disputes within Iqaz over her nature, in particular, the definition of the word "ⴰⵎⴻⵙⴱⴰⵏⵉ" (Amesbani), which is loosely translated to Manifestant. According to orthodox Iqaz, the term refers to Leyla being a part of God, while not being in herself the entirety of God. This position was explained by the Muyaqqiz scholar Badjhoud Ag Ahag nKel Agheer, who wrote in his Treatise on the Nature of the Divine:

"The divine nature of our Prophet and Guide has been the source of much discussion, a question I wish to address today. There are those among our faith who have sought to undermine her, to claim she was merely a woman given guidance by the Divine. This is a falsehood. She is as much a product of the Divine as the world we live within and the blessings he gives to us. There are also those who seek to undermine Annur, saying that she was he, that she was the totality of the Divine. This is greater a heresy. No! She was an aspect of the Divine. Picture a spiring in a great Oasis. The smaller springs are still a part of the greater Oasis, yet are independent. One is still whole without the other. The divine aspect of our Prophet is an article of faith, but those who would deny the Monotheistic nature of our faith, or claim us worshippers of idols and demigods, are heretics and blasphemers in the greatest degree.

This position is not accepted by the Azreg sect, who hold that ascribing any sort of divine nature to Leyla is a heresy against the monotheistic nature of her teachings. The Azreg are recognised by Muslims to be Ahl al Kitab, as aside from their recognition of Leyla as a prophet they have retroactively recognised Abraham and other Prophets as teachers of the same message that Leyla spread.




Acts of Worship







Wearing of the Jambiya


First Revelations

According to the Riwaya er Rasul and several other contemporary texts, Leyla was born as Leyla ult Khemidou, third daughter of a poor tuareg goatherd named Khemidou Ag Keradji. Descriptions of her infancy are usually lacking in information, but describe her as "a ray of light" for the family and her local community, leading to her "near-universal endearment". She grew up as a nomadic farmer, receiving no formal education at any stage in her life. At the age of 12 she was engaged to a local Arab merchant named Bilal, in an arranged marriage with an extremely generous dowry. However, Bilal was fourty years her elder and had three wives already. Leyla pleaded with her father, but it is recorded that "the promises of riches had hardened his heart to a substance not even love for his daughter could break". Realising that she could not stop the marriage, Leyla took her camel and rode off into the desert the night before the wedding, prefering a possible death to the prospect of marriage with Bilal.

It was during this event, known as el-Firat (the flight), that Leyla received her first message from Annur. It is said that she had tied up her camel and pitched her tent for the first night when the night was lit up by the descent of angels. They surrounded Leyla before Archangel Khadim, their leader, began to speak. Over the course of the night, he explained to Leyla that she was anointed to be God's guide to humanity and that she would receive several more visions before her fourteenth year. After this time, she would be required to preach this word to the people of earth.



Modern era