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"MA'AMAD or MAHAMAD, council of elders in an Caliphate's Jewish community or congregation in the West after the expulsion from Alandalus, corresponding to the *kahal (in the sense of the supreme community council) in Ashkenazi communities. Schooled by bitter memories of the crisis in Spain on the eve of the expulsion, the policy of the ma'amad tended to be conservative and authoritarian in the extreme. One of the characteristic features of ma'amad policy was that on completion of its term of office the ma'amad itself appointed its successors. A nominee was obliged to accept the assignment. Those who disobeyed the directives of the ma'amad were fined heavily, and in some cases were even excommunicated."

Ostikan Nehemiah ben Hushiel's proto-Karaite Ma'amad led the Ercolian-Karaites under Khosrow II to conquer the Patriarchates of Antioch and of Jerusalem after 610AD. They were evicted when the Persians betrayed them in 617 and fortified themselves in Edessa until either 622 or 628 when they were granted the Arabah instead by Emperor Heraclius.

Around 622 a certain Hanzalah succeeded Hani' ibn Qabisa of the Bakr-wail tribe in Dhi Qar (married into the Judeo-Nazarene dynasty of Lakhmids) as a Ma'amad.


See Also