Encyclopaedia of Islam, First Edition (1913-1936)

Get access Subject: Middle East and Islamic Studies
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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(576 words)

Author(s): Ruska, J.
, the eagle, the king of birds. al-Ḳazwīnī and al-Damīrī tell remarkable things about his habits, some of which go back to Greek tradition. According to al-Damīrī, there are black, brown, greenish and white eagles. Some nest in the mountains, others in deserts, in thick woods or in the vicinity of towns. (Here there is of course a confusion with the vulture and also in the statement that they follow armies and devour the fallen). The eagle hunts small wild animals and birds and eats only the liv…


(2,762 words)

Author(s): Kindermann, H.
, 1. an old Arab tribe, 2. to-day, in the pronunciation ʿAgēl, the name for caravan-leaders and camel-dealers. 1. The genealogy of the tribe is ʿUḳail b. Kaʿb b. Rabīʿa [q. v.] b. ʿĀmir b. Ṣaʿṣaʿa of the Hawāzin branch of the Ḳais-ʿAilān [q. v.]; among the larger sections are the ʿUbāda and Rabīʿa b. ʿUḳail as well as the Ḵh̲afād̲j̲a [q. v.] b. ʿAmr and ¶ al-Muntafiḳ (q. v.; modern pronunciation: Muntafič) b. ʿĀmir b. ʿUḳail. Al-Muḳallad b. Ḏj̲aʿfar, the ancestor of the dynasty of the ʿUḳailids [cf. ʿoḳailids], traced his descent direct from Ḥazn b. ʿUbāda. Al-Ḳalḳas̲h̲andī ( op. cit., p. 297) …


(407 words)

Author(s): Vida, G. Levi Della
, the name of a divinity of pre-Muḥammadan Arabia, or better an epithet, the meaning of which (diminutive of aḳṣar, “he who has a stiff neck” or perhaps simply “the short”) seems to indicate an idol in human shape. All that we know of this god (whose real name is unknown) goes back to the references to him by Ibn al-Kalbī, Kitāb al-Aṣnām, Cairo 1914, p. 38—39, 48—50, followed by Yāḳūt, Muʿd̲j̲am, i. 340—341 (transl. and annotated by Wellhausen, Reste arab. Heidcntums, 2nd ed., p. 62-64), Ḏj̲āḥiẓ, Ḥayawān, v. 114, Buk̲h̲alāʾ, p. 237, Ḵh̲izānat al-Adab, iii. 246 (abridged), Maḥmūd al-Alūsī, Bulū…


(536 words)

Author(s): Massignon, Louis
the name of an imposing castle now in ruins in the Mesopotamian desert, twenty-five miles from Kerbelāʾ and ten south-east of S̲h̲ifātīya; it perhaps preserves the name of Ismāʿīl b. Yūsuf b. al-Uk̲h̲aiḍir who came from Yamāma and was appointed governor of Kūfa by the Ḳarmaṭians in 315 (927). The Beduin tribe of the Ruwāla, which leads a nomadic life in the vicinity, pronounce this name “al-Ak̲h̲eizer” but prefer to call the castle Daifar or Ḳaṣr al-Ḵh̲afād̲j̲ī. Discovered by Pietro della Valle in 1625, rediscovered in 1908 by L. Massignon, visited by Miss Gertrude L. Be…


(6 words)

[See ʿAd̲h̲āb ; Ḥadd.]


(557 words)

Author(s): Macdonald, D. B.
is strictly the plural of ʿalīm, one who possesses the quality ʿilm [q.v.], knowledge, learning, science in the widest sense, and in a high degree ( mubālag̲h̲a). In usage, ¶ however, the accepted singular of ʿulamāʾ is ʿālim. Both singulars are Ḳurʾānic and can be used of Allāh and of man; but the plural ʿulamaʾ occurs only twice in the Ḳurʾān and there of men (xxvi. 197; xxxv. 25). The plural ʿālimūn occurs four times: twice of Allāh (xxi. 52, 81) and twice of men (xii. 44; xxix. 42). On all this see Mufradāt of al-Rāg̲h̲ib al-Iṣfahānī, Cairo 1324, p. 348 sqq. and Lisān, xv. 310 sqq. Inasmuch as ʿilm…

Ulug̲h̲ Beg

(1,954 words)

Author(s): Bouvat, L.
, Muḥammad Tūrg̲h̲āy, son of S̲h̲āh Ruk̲h̲ and of Gawhar S̲h̲ād, was born in Sulṭānīya in 796 (1393). He became governor of a part of Ḵh̲urāsān and of Māzandarān in 810 ¶ (1407). In the following year S̲h̲āh Ruk̲h̲, breaking his promise, took Turkestān and Transoxiana from Ḵh̲alīl Sulṭān, ruler of Samarḳand, to give them to Ulug̲h̲ Beg, who, a man of letters, artist and scholar, “really made Samarḳand what Tīmūr had dreamt of, the centre of Muslim civilisation” (R. Grousset, Hist. de l’Asie, iii. 127). A theologian, he had specialised in the study of the Ḳurʾān which he could …


(891 words)

Author(s): Bräu, H. H.
b. Abi ’l-Ṣalt, an Arab poet of the tribe of T̲h̲aḳīf, lived in Ṭāʾif, the son of Abu ’l-Ṣalt ʿAbd Allāh and Ruḳaiya bint ʿAbd S̲h̲ams b. ʿAbd Manāf, grandson of Abū Sufyān, cousin of the ʿUtba and S̲h̲aiba who were killed at Badr and closely related to the Ḳurais̲h̲ patrician families of Mecca. A lament on the Ḳurais̲h̲ who fell at Badr, preserved by Ibn His̲h̲ām, p. 531 sqq., shows that he was still alive in 624 a. d. According to tradition, he died in 8 or 9 a. h. Traditions differ regarding his attitude to the Prophet and to Islām. But the statement that he was not in personal to…


(1,256 words)

Author(s): Vida, G. Levi Della
b. ʿAbd S̲h̲ams, ancestor of the Umaiyads, the principal clan of the Ḳurais̲h̲ of Mecca. His genealogy (Umaiya b. ʿAbd S̲h̲ams b. ʿAbd Manāf b. Ḳuṣaiy) and his descendants are given in Wüstenfeld, Geneal. Tabellen, U, V. Like all other eponyms of Arab tribes and clans, his actual existence and the details of his life have to be accepted with caution, but too great scepticism with regard to tradition would be as ill-advised as absolute faith in its statements. As those Umaiyads who were living at the beginning of the Muslim epoch…


(14,596 words)

Author(s): Vida, G. Levi Delia | Lévi Provençal, E.
(Banū Umaiya), the dynasty of the caliphs from 41-132 a. h. = 661-750 a. d. It takes its name from the fact that its founder Muʿāwiya b. Abī Sufyān was the representative of the principal branch of the Banū Umaiya; even after the exclusion of this branch from the caliphate on the death of Muʿāwiya II, the dynasty retained its name, for the caliphate passed to the head of another branch, Marwān b. al-Ḥakam b. Abi ’l-ʿĀṣ. For the reader’s convenience we give below a list of the Umaiyad caliphs with their dates of accession. “The Arab empire” is the title given by Wellhausen to his classic w…


(1,222 words)

Author(s): Paret, R.
, the Ḳurʾānic word for people, community, is not to be derived from the Arabic root ʾmm, but to be explained as a loanword from the Hebrew ( ummā) or Aramaic ( ummet̲h̲ā). It has therefore no direct connection with the homonyms also found in the Ḳurʾān, which mean “a period” (Sūra xi. 11; xii. 45) and “descent” (Sūra xliii. 21 sq.). Perhaps the loanword found its way into Arabic at a comparatively early period (see Horovitz’s citation of the Ṣafā inscription, lii. 407). In any case the word was taken up by Muḥammad and henceforth becomes a specifically Islāmic term. The passages in the Ḳurʾān,…


(615 words)

Author(s): Paret, R.
, an epithet of Muḥammad in the Ḳurʾān, connected in some way with the word umma [q. v.]. It does not seem however to be a direct derivative, as it only appears after the Hid̲j̲ra and has a different meaning from umma, which is already common in the period before the Hid̲j̲ra. In Sūra iii. 19, Muḥammad invites the ahl al-kitāb and the ummīs to adopt Islām ( ḳul li ’llad̲h̲īna ūtu ’l-kitāb wa ’l-ummīyīn...). Ummīyūn here means “heathen”, as it does in the same Sūra, verse 69, where the word is put with this meaning into the mouths of the ahl al-kitāb. The latter passage makes it probable that ummī or ummīy…

Umm al-Kitāb

(162 words)

Author(s): Horovitz, J.
, the original copy of the Book with Allāh in heaven, from which the revelations of the Ḳurʾān come and from which Allāh “abrogates and confirms what He pleases” (Sūra xiii. 39). This original copy, called Aṣl al-Kitāb in Ḥadīt̲h̲. (e. g. Ṭabarī, Tafsīr, xxv. 26), is according to Sūra lxxxv. 21 written in a “carefully preserved table” ( fī lawḥ maḥfūẓ; cf. Enoch 93, 2; Book of Jubilees 5, 13; 16, 9; 32, 21). In the Medīna period Umm al-Kitāb is used in another sense: according to Sūra iii. 5, the book revealed by Allāh to Muḥammad, i. e. the Ḳurʾān, consists of verses “clearly expressed” ( āyāt muḥkam…

Umm Kult̲h̲ūm

(193 words)

Author(s): Buhl, Fr.
, daughter of Muḥammad. Tradition knows even less of her than of her sister Ruḳaiya and this little consists mainly of a repetition of what is told of the latter. Umm Kult̲h̲ūm is said to have married a son of Abū Lahab but to have been divorced by him by his father’s orders before the marriage was consummated; what this means is discussed in the article roḳaiya. The view there expressed that Umm Kult̲h̲ūm was really married to a son of Abū Lahab is supported by the usual “and literal interpretation of her kunya (her real name is nowhere recorded). That at a later date efforts should ha…

Umm al-Walad

(3,241 words)

Author(s): Schacht, Joseph
(a.), a slave-girl who has borne her master a child. 1. The master’s right to take his slave-girls as concubines was recognised by Muḥammad in continuation of a general practice of Arab paganism. In regard to the position of the children of such unions a change of view had been perceptible among the Arabs in the period just before the coming of Islām. In place of the previous unrestrictedness in marriage and concubinage a certain decree of regulation had grown up, and a higher value began to be attached t…


(2,492 words)

Author(s): Paret, R.
, “the little pilgrimage”. 1. The ceremonies of the (Muslim) ʿumra. The ʿumra, like the ḥad̲j̲d̲j̲ [q. v.], can only be performed in a state of ritual purity ( iḥrām [q.v.]). On assuming the iḥrām, the pilgrim ( muʿtamir) must make up his mind whether he is going to perform the ʿumra by itself or in combination with the ḥad̲j̲d̲j̲ and express his intention in an appropriate nīya [q. v.]. If he combines the ʿumra with the ḥad̲j̲d̲j̲ (see below) he can assume the iḥrām for both pilgrimages at once; in the other case the iḥrām must be specially assumed for the ʿumra in the unconsecrated area ( ḥill) outs…


(3,604 words)

Author(s): Tkatsch, J.
, one of the most important towns in southern Nad̲j̲d, and of the district of Ḳāṣīm. The vocalisation used here is confirmed by the Arab geographers (e. g. expressly by al-Bakrī, Muʿd̲j̲am, p. 670; Yāḳūt, Muʿd̲j̲am, iii. 737 and pass.) and lexicographers (e. g. Lisān al-ʿArab, vii. 251) and also by the modern pronunciation [C. M. Doughty, Travels in Arabia Deserta, Cambridge 1888 (London 1924), ii. 551 gives for it as his authority the educated negro S̲h̲aik̲h̲ b. ʿĀʾid̲h̲ at ʿUnaiza]. The transcription varies with different writers [Aneyzeh, Aneizeh, ʿA…


(91 words)

Author(s): de Boer, Tj.
(plur. ʿAnāṣir) means, like aṣl, rukn, isṭuḳis (στοιχεĩον) etc., principle, basis, element in the general sense. It is used in the special sense of materia prima. The hellenising philosophers, as a rule, use arkān or isṭuḳisāt for the four elements of the sublunar world, which are composed of matter and form and, according to the prevailing view, are mutable. The material of the heavenly spheres is called rukn by these philosophers, more frequently however a fifth nature ( ṭabʿ). (Tj. de Boer) Bibliography Sprenger, Dict. of Techn. Terms, p. 960 sqq. ¶


(1,898 words)

Author(s): Büchner, V. F.
, Abu ’l-Ḳāsim Ḥasan b. Aḥmad al-ʿUnṣurī of Balk̲h̲, a Persian poet. The year of his birth is unknown and that of his death is variously given, the most probable date being 441 (1049—1050). Very little is known of his life. The matter, mainly anecdotes, recorded by the Persian literary historians is of very little value. According to a very late source, Riḍā Ḳulī Ḵh̲ān’s Mad̲j̲maʿ al-Fuṣaḥāʾ (Ṭeherān 1295, i. 355), he was captured by robbers while on a trading journey in his youth and deprived of all his goods. He was later brought by Amīr Naṣr, brother of Maḥ…
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