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A wilayah (Arabic : ولايةwilāya; Urdu and Persian : ولایتvelâyat; Turkish : vilayet) is an administrative division, usually translated as "state", "province", or occasionally as "governorate". The word comes from the Arabic "w-l-y", "to govern": a wāli —"governor"—governs a wilayah, "that which is governed". Under the Caliphate, the term referred to any constituent near-sovereign state.
Urdu —or, more precisely, Modern Standard Urdu—is a Persianised standard register of the Hindustani language. It is the official national language and lingua franca of Pakistan. In India, it is one of the 22 official languages recognized in the Constitution of India, having official status in the six states of Jammu and Kashmir, Telangana, Uttar Pradesh, Bihar, Jharkhand and West Bengal, as well as the national capital territory of Delhi. It is a registered regional language of Nepal.
Persian, also known by its endonym Farsi, is one of the Western Iranian languages within the Indo-Iranian branch of the Indo-European language family. It is a pluricentric language primarily spoken in Iran, Afghanistan and Tajikistan, Uzbekistan and some other regions which historically were Persianate societies and considered part of Greater Iran. It is written right to left in the Persian alphabet, a modified variant of the Arabic script.
Turkish, also referred to as Istanbul Turkish, is the most widely spoken of the Turkic languages, with around ten to fifteen million native speakers in Southeast Europe and sixty to sixty-five million native speakers in Western Asia. Outside Turkey, significant smaller groups of speakers exist in Germany, Bulgaria, North Macedonia, Northern Cyprus, Greece, the Caucasus, and other parts of Europe and Central Asia. Cyprus has requested that the European Union add Turkish as an official language, even though Turkey is not a member state.
In Arabic, wilayah is used to refer to the states of the United States, and the United States of America as a whole is called al-Wilāyāt al-Muttaḥidah al-Amrīkīyah, literally meaning "the American United States".
In the United States, a state is a constituent political entity, of which there are currently 50. Bound together in a political union, each state holds governmental jurisdiction over a separate and defined geographic territory and shares its sovereignty with the federal government. Due to this shared sovereignty, Americans are citizens both of the federal republic and of the state in which they reside. State citizenship and residency are flexible, and no government approval is required to move between states, except for persons restricted by certain types of court orders. Four states use the term commonwealth rather than state in their full official names.
The United States of America (USA), commonly known as the United States or America, is a country comprising 50 states, a federal district, five major self-governing territories, and various possessions. At 3.8 million square miles, the United States is the world's third or fourth largest country by total area and is slightly smaller than the entire continent of Europe's 3.9 million square miles. With a population of over 327 million people, the U.S. is the third most populous country. The capital is Washington, D.C., and the largest city by population is New York City. Forty-eight states and the capital's federal district are contiguous in North America between Canada and Mexico. The State of Alaska is in the northwest corner of North America, bordered by Canada to the east and across the Bering Strait from Russia to the west. The State of Hawaii is an archipelago in the mid-Pacific Ocean. The U.S. territories are scattered about the Pacific Ocean and the Caribbean Sea, stretching across nine official time zones. The extremely diverse geography, climate, and wildlife of the United States make it one of the world's 17 megadiverse countries.
For Morocco, which is divided into provinces and wilāyas, the translation "province" would cause the distinction to cease. For Sudan, the term state, and for Mauritania, the term region is used.
Sudan or the Sudan, officially the Republic of the Sudan, is a country in Northeast Africa. It is bordered by Egypt to the north, the Red Sea to the northeast, Eritrea to the east, Ethiopia to the southeast, South Sudan to the south, the Central African Republic to the southwest, Chad to the west, and Libya to the northwest. It has a population of 39 million people and occupies a total area of 1,886,068 square kilometres, making it the third-largest country in Africa. Sudan's predominant religion is Islam, and its official languages are Arabic and English. The capital is Khartoum, located at the confluence of the Blue and White Nile. Since 2011, Sudan is the scene of ongoing military conflict in its regions South Kordofan and Blue Nile.
Mauritania is a country in Northwest Africa. It is the eleventh largest sovereign state in Africa and is bordered by the Atlantic Ocean to the west, Western Sahara to the north and northwest, Algeria to the northeast, Mali to the east and southeast, and Senegal to the southwest.
Algeria is divided into 48 wilayas (provinces) and 1541 baladiyahs. The capital city of a baladiyah, daïra, or province always gives those entities their name, even Algiers, the capital of the country gave it its name.
The administrative division of Oman contains Eleven Governorates (muhafazah):
Mauritania is divided into 15 regions:
The governorates of Iraq (muhafazah) are sometimes translated as provinces, in contrast to official Iraqi documents and the general use for other Arab countries. This conflicts somehow with the general translation for muhafazah (governorate) and wilāyah (province).
Iraq presently consists of 19 governorates, also known as "provinces". As per the Iraqi constitution, three or more governorates can join to form an autonomous region. Baghdad and Basra are the oldest standing administrative regions of Iraq while In 2014 the decision was made to create the Halabja Governorate out of the Halabja District of Sulaymaniyah Governorate.
A muḥāfaẓah is a first-level administrative division of many Arab countries, and a second-level administrative division in Saudi Arabia. The term is usually translated to "governorate", and occasionally to "province". It comes from the Arabic root ح ف ظ ḥ-f-ẓ, which means to "keep" and "guard". The head of a muḥāfaẓah is the muḥāfiẓ.
In the ethnically-diverse Xinjiang region of northwest China, the seven undifferentiated prefectures proper (Chinese :地区; pinyin :dìqū; that is, not prefecture-level cities, autonomous prefectures, etc.) are translated into the minority Uygur language as Vilayiti (ۋىلايىتى). For the other, more numerous types of administrative divisions in Xinjiang, however, Uygur uses Russian loanwords like oblasti or rayoni, in common with other Xinjiang languages like Kazakh.
Xinjiang, officially the Xinjiang Uygur Autonomous Region (XUAR), is a provincial-level autonomous region of China in the northwest of the country. It is the largest Chinese administrative division and the eighth largest country subdivision in the world, spanning over 1.6 million km2. Xinjiang contains the disputed territory of Aksai Chin, which is administered by China and claimed by India. Xinjiang borders the countries of Mongolia, Russia, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan, Afghanistan, Pakistan (Gilgit-Baltistan), and India. The rugged Karakoram, Kunlun, and Tian Shan mountain ranges occupy much of Xinjiang's borders, as well as its western and southern regions. Xinjiang also borders Tibet Autonomous Region and the provinces of Gansu and Qinghai. The most well-known route of the historical Silk Road ran through the territory from the east to its northwestern border. In recent decades, abundant oil and mineral reserves have been found in Xinjiang, and it is currently China's largest natural gas-producing region.
Simplified Chinese characters are standardized Chinese characters prescribed in the Table of General Standard Chinese Characters for use in mainland China. Along with traditional Chinese characters, they are one of the two standard character sets of the contemporary Chinese written language. The government of the People's Republic of China in mainland China has promoted them for use in printing since the 1950s and 1960s to encourage literacy. They are officially used in the People's Republic of China and Singapore.
Hanyu Pinyin, often abbreviated to pinyin, is the official romanization system for Standard Chinese in mainland China and to some extent in Taiwan. It is often used to teach Standard Mandarin Chinese, which is normally written using Chinese characters. The system includes four diacritics denoting tones. Pinyin without tone marks is used to spell Chinese names and words in languages written with the Latin alphabet, and also in certain computer input methods to enter Chinese characters.
The self-proclaimed Islamic State (formerly of Iraq and Syria; Daesh, ISIS, IS or ISIL) organizes its territory under first-level administrative divisions called wilayat. As of March 2015, it governs 20 vilayat: 10 in Iraq, 9 in Syria, and one, Al-Furat Wilayat ("Euphrates Province") that straddles both sides of the former border. Other than for internal governance, the Islamic State claims territory all over the world and cooperates with Islamic terror organizations while fashioning them wilayat of the ISIS center. For example, Boko Haram calls itself "Wilāyat Gharb Ifrīqīyyah", meaning "The Islamic State's West Africa Province".
In Kenya, the term wilaya is a Swahili term which refers to the administrative districts into which provinces are divided.
In Malay, Indonesian, and Tausug, wilayah or wilāya is a general word meaning "territory", "area" or "region".
In Malaysia, the term
In Philippines, the term
Traditionally the provinces of the Ottoman Empire were known as eyâlets, but beginning in 1864, they were gradually restructured as smaller vilâyets—the Turkish pronunciation of the Arabic word wilāyah. Most were subdivided into sanjaks.
The current provinces of Turkey are called il in Turkish.
The Persian word for province (velâyat) is still used in several similar forms in Central Asian countries:
During the Soviet period the divisions of Tajikistan, Turkmenistan and Uzbekistan were called oblasts and raions , using Russian terminology.
In the Tsez language, the districts of Dagestan are also referred to as "вилайат" (wilayat), plural "вилайатйоби" (wilayatyobi). But the term "район" ( rayon ), plural "районйаби" (rayonyabi) is also used.
Caucasus Emirate, a self-proclaimed successor state to the unrecognized Chechen Republic of Ichkeria, is divided into vilayats.
In Urdu, the term Vilayat is used to refer to any foreign country. As an adjective Vilayati is used to indicate an imported article or good. In Bengali, the term is bilat and bilati (archaic bilaiti), referring exclusively to Britain and British-made. The British slang term blighty derives from this word, via the fact that the foreign British were referred to using this word during the time of the British Raj.
An oblast is a type of administrative division of Belarus, Bulgaria, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Russia, Ukraine, and the former Soviet Union and Kingdom of Yugoslavia.
For administrative purposes, Egypt is divided into twenty-seven governorates. Egyptian governorates are the top tier of the country's jurisdiction hierarchy. A governorate is administered by a governor, who is appointed by the President of Egypt and serves at the president's discretion. Most governorates have a population density of more than one thousand per km², while the three largest have a population density of less than two per km².
There are twenty-two districts of Libya, known by the term shabiyah. In the 1990s these replaced the older baladiyat system.
A governorate, or a guberniya, was a major and principal administrative subdivision of the Russian Empire and the early Russian SFSR and Ukrainian SSR. The term is usually translated as government, governorate, or province. A governorate was ruled by a governor, a word borrowed from Latin gubernator, in turn from Greek kybernetes. Sometimes the term guberniya was informally used to refer to the office of a governor.
"Blighty" is a British English slang term for Great Britain or often specifically England. Though it was used throughout the 1800s in India to mean an English or British visitor, it was first used during the Boer War in the specific meaning of homeland for the English or British, and it was not until World War I that use of the term became widespread.
A kaza is an administrative division historically used in the Ottoman Empire and currently used in several of its successor states. The term is from Ottoman Turkish and means "jurisdiction"; it is often translated "district", "sub-district", or "juridical district".
Belait can refer to either:
A daïra or daerah is an administrative division in Algeria and Western Sahara in West Africa, as well as Brunei, Indonesia and Malaysia in Southeast Asia. It is commonly translated in English as "district".
The Guardianship of the Islamic Jurist, also called the Governance of the Jurist, is a post-Occultation theory in Shia Islam which holds that Islam gives a faqīh custodianship over people. Ulama supporting the theory disagree over how encompassing custodianship should be. One interpretation – Limited Guardianship of the Islamic Jurist – holds that guardianship should be limited to non-litigious matters including religious endowments (Waqf) judicial matters and the property for which no specific person is responsible. Another – Absolute Guardianship of the Islamic Jurist – maintains that Guardianship should include all issues for which ruler in the absence of Imams have responsibility, including governance of the country. The idea of guardianship as rule was advanced by the Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini in a series of lectures in 1970 and now forms the basis of the Constitution of the Islamic Republic of Iran. The constitution of Iran calls for a faqih, or Vali-ye faqih, to serve as the Supreme Leader of the government. In the context of Iran, Guardianship of the Islamic Jurist is often referred to as "rule by the jurisprudent", or "rule of the Islamic jurist".
The administrative division of Yemen is divided into two main divisions. There are 22 governorates, including the capital Sana'a and Socotra Archipelago. The 22 Governorates are then divided into 333 districts, subdivided into 2,210 sub-districts, and then into 38,284 villages.
Al Dhahirah is one of the governorates (muhafazah) of Oman. It was previously a region (mintaqah). It became a governorate on 28 October 2011.
Rustam Asildarov (Aselderov), also known as Emir Abu Muhammad Kadarsky, was the leader of the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL) North Caucasus branch, and a former leader of the militant Caucasus Emirate's Vilayat Dagestan wing.
The core of the territory of the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant was from 2014 until November 2017 in Iraq and Syria, where the organization controlled significant swathes of urban, rural, and desert territory. ISIL also controls land in Afghanistan as well as Nigeria, and used to control land in Libya, the Philippines, Egypt,, Yemen, possibly Somalia and the Democratic Republic of the Congo. The group also has insurgent cells in Jammu & Kashmir, Algeria, Iraq, Pakistan, Tunisia, the Caucasus, and Saudi Arabia that do not control territory. As of September 2018, ISIL controled only 200 square miles (520 km2) of territory in Iraq and Syria, according to the US-led coalition against ISIL. However, this estimate referred only to the Euphrates region and disregarded a large ISIL pocket remaining in the Syrian Desert. By late March 2019, ISIL territory in Syria was reduced to only the besieged 1,550 square miles (4,000 km2) central desert pocket. The enclave was surrounded by Syrian government forces and its allies. The Syrian military conducted combing operations and airstrikes against the pocket, but with limited success.
The Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant – Caucasus Province, also known as ISIL-CP, is a branch of the militant Islamist group Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL), active in the North Caucasus region of Russia. ISIL announced the group's formation on 23 June 2015 and appointed Rustam Asildarov as its leader.
The Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant – Yemen Province, or ISIL-YP, is a branch of the militant Islamist group Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL), active in Yemen. ISIL announced the group's formation on 13 November 2014.
Al-Barakah is a Syrian administrative district of the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL), a Salafi jihadist militant group and unrecognised proto-state. Originally set up as al-Barakah Province to govern ISIL territories in al-Hasakah Governorate, the province shifted south after 2016 due to the territorial losses to the YPG/YPJ. Having been demoted from province to district in 2018, al-Barakah administered a small strip of land along the Euphrates in Deir ez-Zor Governorate until the Battle of Baghuz Fawqani.
Other Indian words include blighty ('one's home country', from the Hindi word 'bilayati' meaning 'foreign', whence 'British')