Wilayah

Wilayah

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A wilāyah or vilâyet (in Persian
Persian language
Persian is an Iranian language within the Indo-Iranian branch of the Indo-European languages. It is primarily spoken in Iran, Afghanistan, Tajikistan and countries which historically came under Persian influence...

), or vilayat in Urdu
Urdu
Urdu is a register of the Hindustani language that is identified with Muslims in South Asia. It belongs to the Indo-European family. Urdu is the national language and lingua franca of Pakistan. It is also widely spoken in some regions of India, where it is one of the 22 scheduled languages and an...

 and Turkish
Turkish language
Turkish is a language spoken as a native language by over 83 million people worldwide, making it the most commonly spoken of the Turkic languages. Its speakers are located predominantly in Turkey and Northern Cyprus with smaller groups in Iraq, Greece, Bulgaria, the Republic of Macedonia, Kosovo,...

, is an administrative division, usually translated as "province
Province
A province is a territorial unit, almost always an administrative division, within a country or state.-Etymology:The English word "province" is attested since about 1330 and derives from the 13th-century Old French "province," which itself comes from the Latin word "provincia," which referred to...

", rarely as "governorate
Governorate
A governorate is an administrative division of a country. It is headed by a governor. As English-speaking nations tend to call regions administered by governors either states, provinces, or colonies, the term governorate is often used in translation from non-English-speaking administrations.The...

". The word comes from the Arabic "w-l-y", "to govern": a wāli
Wali
Walī , is an Arabic word meaning "custodian", "protector", "sponsor", or authority as denoted by its definition "crown". "Wali" is someone who has "Walayah" over somebody else. For example, in Fiqh the father is wali of his children. In Islam, the phrase ولي الله walīyu 'llāh...

— "governor" — governs a wilayah, "that which is governed". Under the Caliphate
Caliphate
The term caliphate, "dominion of a caliph " , refers to the first system of government established in Islam and represented the political unity of the Muslim Ummah...

, the term referred to any constituent near-sovereign state.

Arab World


For Morocco
Prefectures and provinces of Morocco
In Morocco, the 61 second-level administrative subdivisions are 13 prefectures and 48 provinces. They are subdivisions of the 16 regions of Morocco. Each prefecture and province are subdivided into districts , municipalities or urban municipalities In Morocco, the 61 second-level administrative...

 which is divided into provinces and wilāyas the translation "province" would cause the distinction to cease. For Sudan
Sudan
Sudan , officially the Republic of the Sudan , is a country in North Africa, sometimes considered part of the Middle East politically. It is bordered by Egypt to the north, the Red Sea to the northeast, Eritrea and Ethiopia to the east, South Sudan to the south, the Central African Republic to the...

 the term state, and for Mauritania
Mauritania
Mauritania is a country in the Maghreb and West Africa. It is bordered by the Atlantic Ocean in the west, by Western Sahara in the north, by Algeria in the northeast, by Mali in the east and southeast, and by Senegal in the southwest...

 the term region is used.

See also:
  • Provinces of Algeria
  • Provinces of Oman
    Provinces of Oman
    The regions and governorates of Oman are subdivided into provinces .-Ad Dakhiliyah Region:*Nizwa*Samail*Bahla* Adam*Al Hamra*Manah*Izki...

  • Regions of Mauritania
    Regions of Mauritania
    ||Mauritania is divided into 12 regions and one capital district:During the Mauritanian occupation of Western Sahara , its portion of the territory was named Tiris al-Gharbiyya.The regions are subdivided into 44 departments; please see departments of Mauritania for further detail.-See also:*ISO...

  • States of Sudan
    States of Sudan
    Below is a list of the 15 states of Sudan, organized by their original provinces during the period of Anglo-Egyptian Sudan. Arabic language versions are, as appropriate, in parentheses. States that were not provinces before 1994 are marked with . Transliterations from Arabic to English may vary;...

  • Governorates of Tunisia
    Governorates of Tunisia
    ||Tunisia is divided into 24 governorates : Ariana Béja Ben Arous Bizerte Gabès Gafsa Jendouba Kairouan Kasserine Kebili Kef Mahdia Manouba Medenine Monastir Nabeul Sfax Sidi Bouzid Siliana Sousse Tataouine...



The governorates of Iraq
Governorates of Iraq
||Iraq is composed of 18 provinces :#Baghdād #Salāh ad-Dīn #Diyālā #Wāsit #Maysān #Al-Basrah #Dhī Qār #Al-Muthannā #Al-Qādisiyyah...

 (muhafazah
Muhafazah
A ' 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 in English, and occasionally to province. It comes from the Arabic root 'h-f-ẓ' which means to 'keep and guard'...

) are sometimes translated as province, in contrast to official Iraqi documents and the general use for other Arab countries. This conflicts somehow with the general translation for muhafazah (governorate
Governorate
A governorate is an administrative division of a country. It is headed by a governor. As English-speaking nations tend to call regions administered by governors either states, provinces, or colonies, the term governorate is often used in translation from non-English-speaking administrations.The...

) and wilāyah (province).

Kenya and Tanzania


In Kenya, the term wilaya is a Swahili
Swahili language
Swahili or Kiswahili is a Bantu language spoken by various ethnic groups that inhabit several large stretches of the Mozambique Channel coastline from northern Kenya to northern Mozambique, including the Comoro Islands. It is also spoken by ethnic minority groups in Somalia...

 term which refers to the administrative districts into which provinces are divided.
  • Districts of Kenya
    Districts of Kenya
    The provinces of Kenya are subdivided into number of districts .- List of districts of Kenya :Following a High Court ruling in September 2009, there are 46 legal districts in Kenya :Coast Province:...

  • Districts of Tanzania
    Districts of Tanzania
    The regions of Tanzania are divided into 127 districts . The districts are listed below, by region:-Arusha Region:* Arumeru* Arusha* Karatu* Longido* Monduli* Ngorongoro-Dodoma:* Dodoma Rural* Dodoma Urban* Kondoa* Kongwa* Mpwapwa...


Malaysia and Indonesia


Wilayah Persekutuan is the Malay
Malay language
Malay is a major language of the Austronesian family. It is the official language of Malaysia , Indonesia , Brunei and Singapore...

 term for federal territory
Federal Territory
The Federal Territories in Malaysia comprise three territories: Kuala Lumpur, Putrajaya and Labuan, governed directly by the federal government of Malaysia. Kuala Lumpur is the national capital of Malaysia, Putrajaya is the administrative capital, and Labuan is an offshore international financial...

. In Malaysia the term wilayah is used to represent central government controlled areas. Wilayah Persekutuan are the areas directly under the control of the federal government, which all other states in Malaysia are subordinate to. States such as Penang
Penang
Penang is a state in Malaysia and the name of its constituent island, located on the northwest coast of Peninsular Malaysia by the Strait of Malacca. It is bordered by Kedah in the north and east, and Perak in the south. Penang is the second smallest Malaysian state in area after Perlis, and the...

 and Malacca
Malacca
Malacca , dubbed The Historic State or Negeri Bersejarah among locals) is the third smallest Malaysian state, after Perlis and Penang. It is located in the southern region of the Malay Peninsula, on the Straits of Malacca. It borders Negeri Sembilan to the north and the state of Johor to the south...

 enjoy far more autonomy from the central government, as they were former Straits Settlements
Straits Settlements
The Straits Settlements were a group of British territories located in Southeast Asia.Originally established in 1826 as part of the territories controlled by the British East India Company, the Straits Settlements came under direct British control as a crown colony on 1 April 1867...

 of Britain. A major difference between Penang Island can be seen in automatic granting citizenship to any persons born within the Island of Penang, regardless of the citizenship of the parents. This right is a derived form of a law from the British era called "Jus soli
Jus soli
Jus soli , also known as birthright citizenship, is a right by which nationality or citizenship can be recognized to any individual born in the territory of the related state...

". However neither Penang or Malacca actually practise their autonomy status in the spirit of unity within Malaysia. However east Malaysian states of Sarawak
Sarawak
Sarawak is one of two Malaysian states on the island of Borneo. Known as Bumi Kenyalang , Sarawak is situated on the north-west of the island. It is the largest state in Malaysia followed by Sabah, the second largest state located to the North- East.The administrative capital is Kuching, which...

 and Sabah
Sabah
Sabah is one of 13 member states of Malaysia. It is located on the northern portion of the island of Borneo. It is the second largest state in the country after Sarawak, which it borders on its southwest. It also shares a border with the province of East Kalimantan of Indonesia in the south...

 practice a large degree of autonomy from the central government. Passports are required for a Peninsular Malaysia
Peninsular Malaysia
Peninsular Malaysia , also known as West Malaysia , is the part of Malaysia which lies on the Malay Peninsula. Its area is . It shares a land border with Thailand in the north. To the south is the island of Singapore. Across the Strait of Malacca to the west lies the island of Sumatra...

n to travel to Malaysian Borneo, although in the spirit of the union, these requirements maybe done away in the future.

One former state has been expelled in the past; the state of Singapore
Singapore
Singapore , officially the Republic of Singapore, is a Southeast Asian city-state off the southern tip of the Malay Peninsula, north of the equator. An island country made up of 63 islands, it is separated from Malaysia by the Straits of Johor to its north and from Indonesia's Riau Islands by the...

 was expelled from the Malaysian Federation to form a new Republic of Singapore in the mid-Sixties.

In Indonesian
Indonesian language
Indonesian is the official language of Indonesia. Indonesian is a normative form of the Riau Islands dialect of Malay, an Austronesian language which has been used as a lingua franca in the Indonesian archipelago for centuries....

 wilayah means area, region or regional, but does not refer to a level of government.

The Ottoman Empire



Traditionally the provinces of the Ottoman Empire
Ottoman Empire
The Ottoman EmpireIt was usually referred to as the "Ottoman Empire", the "Turkish Empire", the "Ottoman Caliphate" or more commonly "Turkey" by its contemporaries...

 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 sanjak
Sanjak
Sanjaks were administrative divisions of the Ottoman Empire. Sanjak, and the variant spellings sandjak, sanjaq, and sinjaq, are English transliterations of the Turkish word sancak, meaning district, banner, or flag...

s.

The current provinces of Turkey
Provinces of Turkey
Turkey is divided into 81 provinces, called il in Turkish .A province is administered by an appointed governor , and was formerly termed a "governorate" ....

 are called il in Turkish.

Central Asia and Caucasus


The Ottoman Turkish
Ottoman Turkish language
The Ottoman Turkish language or Ottoman language is the variety of the Turkish language that was used for administrative and literary purposes in the Ottoman Empire. It borrows extensively from Arabic and Persian, and was written in a variant of the Perso-Arabic script...

 word for province (vilâyet) is still used in several similar forms in Central Asia
Central Asia
Central Asia is a core region of the Asian continent from the Caspian Sea in the west, China in the east, Afghanistan in the south, and Russia in the north...

n countries:
  • Provinces of Afghanistan
    Provinces of Afghanistan
    The provinces of Afghanistan are the primary administrative divisions of Afghanistan. As of 2004, there are thirty-four provinces in the country. Each province is further divided into smaller districts....

     , subdivided into districts
  • Provinces of Tajikistan
    Provinces of Tajikistan
    ||Tajikistan is divided into one autonomous province , 2 provinces and the Districts of Republican Subordination...

     (singular: viloyat, plural: viloyatho), subdivided into districts
  • Provinces of Turkmenistan
    Provinces of Turkmenistan
    Turkmenistan is divided into five provinces or welayatlar and one capital city district .The heads of the provinces are appointed by the President of Turkmenistan .-References:...

     (singular: welaýat, plural: welaýatlar), subdivided into districts
  • Provinces of Uzbekistan
    Provinces of Uzbekistan
    |Uzbekistan is divided into 12 provinces , 1 autonomous republic , and 1 independent city |Uzbekistan is divided into 12 provinces (viloyatlar, singular viloyat, viloyati in compound, e.g. Toshkent viloyati, Samarqand viloyati), 1 autonomous republic (respublika, respublikasi in compound, e.g....

     (singular: viloyat, plural: viloyatlar), subdivided into districts


During the Soviet period
Soviet Union
The Soviet Union , officially the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics , was a constitutionally socialist state that existed in Eurasia between 1922 and 1991....

 the divisions of Tajikistan, Turkmenistan and Uzbekistan were called oblast
Oblast
Oblast is a type of administrative division in Slavic countries, including some countries of the former Soviet Union. The word "oblast" is a loanword in English, but it is nevertheless often translated as "area", "zone", "province", or "region"...

s
and raion
Raion
A raion is a type of administrative unit of several post-Soviet countries. The term, which is from French rayon 'honeycomb, department,' describes both a type of a subnational entity and a division of a city, and is commonly translated in English as "district"...

s
, using Russian
Russian language
Russian is a Slavic language used primarily in Russia, Belarus, Uzbekistan, Kazakhstan, Tajikistan and Kyrgyzstan. It is an unofficial but widely spoken language in Ukraine, Moldova, Latvia, Turkmenistan and Estonia and, to a lesser extent, the other countries that were once constituent republics...

 terminology.

In the Tsez language
Tsez language
Tsez, also known as Dido is a Northeast Caucasian language with about 15,354 speakers spoken by the Tsez, a Muslim people in the mountainous Tsunta district of southern and western Dagestan in Russia. The name is said to derive from the Tsez word for "eagle", which is most likely a folk etymology...

, the districts of Dagestan
Dagestan
The Republic of Dagestan is a federal subject of Russia, located in the North Caucasus region. Its capital and the largest city is Makhachkala, located at the center of Dagestan on the Caspian Sea...

 are also referred to as "вилайат" (wilayat), plural "вилайатйоби" (wilayatyobi). But the term "район" (rayon
Raion
A raion is a type of administrative unit of several post-Soviet countries. The term, which is from French rayon 'honeycomb, department,' describes both a type of a subnational entity and a division of a city, and is commonly translated in English as "district"...

), plural "районйаби" (rayonyabi) is also used.

Caucasus Emirate
Caucasus Emirate
The Caucasus Emirate also known as the Caucasian Emirate is a self-proclaimed virtual state entity, partially successor to the Chechen Republic of Ichkeria and was officially announced on October 31, 2007 by former President of Ichkeria Dokka Umarov, who became the first Emir...

, a self-proclaimed successor state to the unrecognized Chechen Republic of Ichkeria
Chechen Republic of Ichkeria
The Chechen Republic of Ichkeria is the unrecognized secessionist government of Chechnya. The republic was proclaimed in late 1991 by Dzokhar Dudayev, and fought two devastating wars between separatists and the Russian Federation which denounced secession...

, is divided into vilayats.

South Asia


In Urdu
Urdu
Urdu is a register of the Hindustani language that is identified with Muslims in South Asia. It belongs to the Indo-European family. Urdu is the national language and lingua franca of Pakistan. It is also widely spoken in some regions of India, where it is one of the 22 scheduled languages and an...

, the term Vilayat is used to refer to any foreign country. As an adjective Vilayati is used to indicate an imported article or good. The British slang term blighty
Blighty
Blighty is a British English slang term for Britain, deriving from the Hindustani word vilāyatī , from Persian vilayet and ultimately from Arabic wilayah, originally meaning something like "province"...

 derives from this word, via the fact that the foreign British were referred to using this word during the time of the British Raj.

Other areas


In Arabic, wilāyah is used to refer to the states
U.S. state
A U.S. state is any one of the 50 federated states of the United States of America that share sovereignty with the federal government. Because of this shared sovereignty, an American is a citizen both of the federal entity and of his or her state of domicile. Four states use the official title of...

 of the United States
United States
The United States of America is a federal constitutional republic comprising fifty states and a federal district...

, and the United States as a whole is called "الولايات المتحدة" (al-Wilāyāt al-Muttaḥidah) literally meaning "the United States".