Encyclopaedia of Islam, First Edition (1913-1936)

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Edited by: M. Th.Houtsma, T.W.Arnold, R.Basset and R.Hartmann
The Encyclopaedia of Islam First Edition Online (EI1) was originally published in print between 1913 and 1936. The demand for an encyclopaedic work on Islam was created by the increasing (colonial) interest in Muslims and Islamic cultures during the nineteenth century. The scope of the  Encyclopedia of Islam First Edition Online is philology, history, theology and law until early 20th century. Such famous scholars as Houtsma, Wensinck, Gibb, Snouck Hurgronje, and Lévi-Provençal were involved in this scholarly endeavor. The Encyclopedia of Islam First Edition Online offers access to 9,000 articles.

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(29 words)

, the ancient Arab name of a province of Arabia on the west coast of the Persian Gulf, opposite the Baḥrain islands, now called al-Ḥaṣā [q. v.],


(837 words)

Author(s): Oestrup, J.
, a group of islands not far from the west coast of the Persian Gulf, in 26° n. L. The largest of the islands is Baḥrain, called Owāl or Samak (Fish), about 30 miles long and 12 broad. The chief town and port is called Manāma; the smaller islands are Muḥarrak, Arad, Sitra, Nabī Ṣāliḥ, Ṣāya and Ḵh̲aṣīfa. The islands are famed for the pearl-fishing carried on here from ancient times; the Arab geographer Idrīsī gives an accurate description of the operations. The name Baḥrain (two seas) seems to be…


(494 words)

Author(s): Huart, Cl.
(Avestan verethraghna, name of a genius of victory, Pahlavī varahrān) is in Persian the name of the planet Mars and of the twentieth day of each month. Bahrām is the name of five kings of the Sāsānian dynasty. Bahrām I (273—276 A. D.), son of Sapor I and brother of Ormuzd I, succeeded the latter on the throne. After three years he was succeeded by his son Bahrām II (246—293). During his reign the Roman Emperor Carus appeared before Ctesiphon which was only saved by his sudden death in 283. Bahrām conquered Sīstān from the…

Bahrām S̲h̲āh

(298 words)

Author(s): Hillelson, S.
(Sulṭān-i G̲h̲āzī Yamīn al-Dawla Bahrām S̲h̲āh b. Masʿūd b. Ibrāhīm), G̲h̲aznavī sulṭān (511—552 = 1118—1157). The greater portion of his long reign was quiet and uneventful, but in the year 1148 G̲h̲azna was attacked by the G̲h̲ūrī chief Saif al-Dīn Sūrī whose brother Ḳuṭb al-Dīn Maḥammad had been put to death by the G̲h̲aznavī king. Bahrām S̲h̲āh was forced to retire to India aad G̲h̲azna fell into the hands of Saif al-Dīn. He did not however hold his conquest long, for Bahrām S̲h̲āh returned with fres…

Bahrām S̲h̲āh

(173 words)

Author(s): Sobernheim, M.
, al-Malik al-Amd̲j̲ad, son of Farruk̲h̲ S̲h̲āh, son of S̲h̲āhāns̲h̲āh, son of Aiyūb, great-nephew of Saladin, received Baalbek [q, v.] from the latter on the death of his father in 1182 (578) and retained it on the division of the inheritance on the death of Saladin in 1193 (589). In 1226 (626) the ruthless As̲h̲raf Mūsā, lord of Damascus, demanded Baalbek back from him. Bahrām declined to give up his property but after a year’s siege was forced to exchange it for the small town of Zebdānī (betwe…

Bahrām S̲h̲āh

(88 words)

b. Tug̲h̲rul S̲h̲āh, the Sald̲j̲uḳ, was raised to the throne of Kirmān by the Atabeg Muʾaiyad al-Dīn Raiḥān in succession to his father on the latter’s death in 565 (1170) but soon afterwards had to make way for his elder brother Arslān S̲h̲āh [q.v.]. The two brothers thereupon fought with one another with varying success till the death of Bahrām S̲h̲āh in 570 (4174-1175). Bibliography Recueil de textes relatifs à l’hist. des Seld̲j̲., i. 35 et seq. Zeitschr. Der Deutsch Morgenl. Gesellsch., xxxix. 378 et seq.

al-Baḥr al-Aswad

(10 words)

, “the Black Sea”. [See ḳara dēñiz.]

Baḥr al-Banāt

(37 words)

i. e. “the Maidens’ Sea”, as the Arabs call the islands of the Archipelago on the west coast of the Persian Gulf. Idrīsī calls it Baḥr al-Kit̲h̲r. Bibliography Ritter, Erdkunde xii, 390, 589 et seq.

Baḥr Fāris

(241 words)

Author(s): Huart, Cl.
, the sea of Fārs, the name given by Iṣṭak̲h̲rī (p. 6) and Ibn Ḥawḳal (p. 35—41) to the Indian Ocean by an erroneous extension of the term. In Muḳaddasī (p. 17) and Masʿūdī ( Prairies d’or, vol. i. p. 207) the name merely designates the Persian Gulf proper from ʿAbbādān at the mouth of the Tigris (S̲h̲aṭṭ al-ʿArab), to ʿOmān including the Gulf of that name. There are dangerous shallows in the estuary of the S̲h̲aṭṭ ¶ called al-Ḵh̲as̲h̲abāt, “the piles”, i. e. a lighthouse built on piles, where a watchman lights a fire to point out the entrance to ships; there are pearl-fis…

Baḥr al-G̲h̲azāl

(951 words)

Author(s): Becker, C. H.
, a tributary of the White Nile and the name of a province in the Egyptian Sūdān. The Baḥr al-G̲h̲azāl, “the river of gazelles”, arises from the union of numerous small streams which flow north and north-east from the watershed between the Congo and the Nile and receives its most important tributary the Baḥr al-Arab, from Dārfūr. After its junction with the Baḥr al-Ḏj̲abal which flows from the Central African lakes, the name of Baḥr al-Abyaḍ i. e. White Nile is given to the river they form. The …

Baḥr al-Hind

(972 words)

Author(s): Hartmann, R.
is the usual name amongst the Arabs for the Indian Ocean which is also called baḥr al-Zend̲j̲ from its western shores or—the part for the whole— al-baḥr al-Ḥabas̲h̲ī; the expression baḥr Fāris also, sometimes, includes the whole ocean. According to Ibn Rustah its eastern shores begin at Tīz Makrān, its western at ʿAdan. Abu ’l-Fidāʾ gives the Baḥr al-Ṣīn as its eastern boundary, al-Hind as the northern, and al-Yaman as the western, while the southern is unknown. The various parts of the ocean bear special names derived from various lands and islands. If we neglect the no…


(83 words)

Author(s): Sobernheim, M.
was the name given to the Mamlūks purchased by the Aiyūbid Sulṭān Ṣāliḥ Aiyūb [q. v.], whom he kept in barracks on Rōḍa, an island in the Nile (Baḥr). His widow S̲h̲ad̲j̲ar al-durr married the Mamlūk Aibak, who ascended the throne as the first of the Baḥrīs in the year 1250 (648). Among the Baḥrīs the family of Ḳalāūn took the premier position; they ruled with short intervals from 1279—1382 (678—784) and were deposed by the Burd̲j̲ī Mamlūk Barḳūḳ. (M. Sobernheim)


(599 words)

Author(s): Becker, C. H.
, a group of oases in the Lybian desert. The Baḥrīya is the most northerly of the Lybian desert. The Wāḥāt Baḥrīya (also singular) i. e. the northern oases are distinguished from the Wāḥāt Ḳiblīya, the southern oases i. e. the Dāk̲h̲la [q. v.] and Ḵh̲ārga [q. v.]. Between these two groups lie the little oases of Farafra (included in the Dāk̲h̲la by some), called al-Farāfira by al-Bakrī and al-Farfarūn by al-Yaʿḳūbī. The three large oases are also distinguished as inner, middle and outer, the inn…

Baḥr al-K̲h̲azar

(371 words)

, “Sea of the Ḵh̲azars”, (Pers. daryā-i Ḵh̲azarān), the Caspian Sea is so-called by most Arab geographers, after the Ḵh̲azars, to whom the land on the north shore of this seq, with the important commercial town of Itil (not far from the mouth of the Volga), belonged, in the best period of Arab geographic literature, in the ivth (xth) century. More rarely (by Ibn Ḵh̲urdād̲h̲bih, following him Ḳudāma and Masʿūdī) the Black Sea (with the Sea of Azov) is denoted by the same name, probably because the dominion of the Ḵh̲azars included a part of the Peninsul…

Baḥr K̲h̲wārizm

(12 words)

or Buḥairat Ḵh̲wārizm = Sea of Aral [q. v.].

Baḥr al-Ḳulzum

(1,115 words)

Author(s): Becker, C. H.
, the Red Sea. The ancient names for the Red Sea were not adopted by the Arabs although the Hebrew name for the “Sea of Reeds” was known to them and they erroneously applied it to the whole Red Sea. They much preferred to call it after the town of Ḳulzum, the ancient Clysma, at its northern end, near Suez. The name Baḥr al-Ḥid̲j̲āz is very popular and even appears in the Turkish Muḥīṭ and in modern maps, while Baḥr Suez only denotes the Gulf of Suez. The Gulf of ʿAḳaba was called Ḵh̲alīd̲j̲ Aila, now Baḥr ʿAḳaba. Aila and Ḳulzum have shared the fate of all harbours b…

Baḥr Lūṭ

(726 words)

Author(s): Hartmann, R.
, “Lot’s Sea”, is the modern Arab name for the Dead Sea which is usually called by the Arab Geographers al-buḥaira al-maiyita “the Dead Sea”, al-buḥaira al-muntina “the stinking Sea”, al-buḥaira al-maḳlūba “the overturned Sea” (because at al-arḍ al-maḳlūba, “the land that has been overturned”, the arḍ ḳawm Lūṭ is placed), buḥairat Ṣog̲h̲ar (Zog̲h̲ar) “the Sea of Zog̲h̲ar”, also “the Sea of Sodom and Gomorra”. The Persian Nāṣir-i Ḵh̲osrau (v. = xi. century) appears to be the first geographer to know the name buḥairat Lūṭ. The name Baḥr Lūṭ refers to the story in Genesis xix which…

Baḥr al-Mag̲h̲rib

(862 words)

Author(s): Seybold, C. F.
Among the Arabs the Mediterranean has a great many names (in many of these the name ot the part is applied to the whole e. g. Baḥr Ṭand̲j̲a, b. Ifrīḳīya). The most frequent are 1. Baḥr al-Mag̲h̲rib, West Sea, or al-Baḥr al-Mag̲h̲ribī or al-G̲h̲arbī (Western Sea), rarely al-Dabūrī; 2. Baḥr al-Rūm, Sea of the Romans and Greeks, or al-Baḥr al-Rūmī, Graeco-Roman Sea (more rarely Baḥr al-Ifrand̲j̲, sea of the Franks or Europeans, applied rather to the European parts); 3. Baḥr al-S̲h̲ām or al-Baḥr al-S̲h̲āmī, Syrian Sea. Al-Baḥr al-Mutawassiṭ = Mare Mediterraneum, Central Sea, or the “S…

Baḥr Muḥīṭ

(633 words)

Author(s): de Vaux, Carra
Following the tradition of the Greek geographers the Arabs have conceived of the Ocean as a kind of vast river, circular in its general form, surrounding the whole habitable earth. They have for this reason called it Baḥr Muḥīṭ, the surrounding seq. They also give it the names of Outer Sea, Sea of Darkness, or Green Sea. Idrīsī compares the earth placed in the midst of the ocean to an egg immersed in water contained in a cup. As the water surrounds the earth, the air surrounds the water and fire envelops the air under the concavity of the sphere of the Moon. In the opinion of some oriental scient…

Baḥr al-Rūm

(236 words)

Author(s): Honigmann, E.
, the Arabic name for the Mediterranean. It took its name from al-Rūm (Bilād al-Rūm), the Roman, i. e. Byzantine, Empire. Other names were also used, such as Baḥr al-Mag̲h̲rib [q. v.]. The name Adria, which originally meant only the Adriatic Sea, became applied in later antiquity to an area which gradually expanded eastwards. For example Jordanes speaks of Rodus totius Atriae insularum metropolis and the Tabula Peutingeriana makes the Adriaticum Pelagus extend to Crete (Partsch, Pauly-Wissowa’s Realenzykl., i., col. 418; A. Ronconi, Per l’onomastica antica dei mari, in Studi italian…
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