Encyclopaedia of Islam, Second Edition

Get access Subject: Middle East and Islamic Studies
Edited by: P. Bearman, Th. Bianquis, C.E. Bosworth, E. van Donzel and W.P. Heinrichs

The Encyclopaedia of Islam (Second Edition) Online sets out the present state of our knowledge of the Islamic World. It is a unique and invaluable reference tool, an essential key to understanding the world of Islam, and the authoritative source not only for the religion, but also for the believers and the countries in which they live. 

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(34,897 words)

Author(s): Fahd, T. | Young, M.J.L. | Hill, D.R. | Rabie, Hassanein | Cahen, Cl. | Et al.
(a.) “water”. The present article covers the religio-magical and the Islamic legal aspects of water, together with irrigation techniques, as follows: 1. Hydromancy A a vehicle for the sacred, water has been employed for various techniques of divination, and in particular, for potamonancy (sc. divination by means of the colour of the waters of a river and their ebbing and flowing; cf. FY. Cumont, Études syriennes , Paris 1917, 250 ff., notably on the purification power of the Euphrates, consulted for divinatory reasons); for pegomancy (sc…


(1,772 words)

Author(s): Bosworth, C.E.
10. Irrigation in Transoxania. The rivers of Inner Asia, extending from Ḵh̲wārazm in the west through Transoxania to eastern Turkistān (the later Sinkiang) and northwards to the Semirečye, have all been extensively used for irrigation purposes in the lands along those rivers and in oasis centres, providing a possibility for agriculture in favoured spots which were not too open to attack from the steppe nomads or more northerly forest peoples. Hence, as elsewhere in the Old World, the maintenance of irrigation works, surface canals and kārīz s or subterranean ¶ channels (these last t…


(2,619 words)

Author(s): Arnaldez, R.
(a.), place of return, a technical term in religious and philosophical vocabulary. The verb ʿadā , ʿawdan signifies “to return to a place”. Al-D̲j̲awharī treats it as a synonym of rad̲j̲aʿa . The action of ʿawd is the movement whereby one. returns to the point of departure: rad̲j̲aʿa ʿalā badʾihi , or ilā ḥāfiratihi , either through a continuous progress, in describing a circle for example, or stopping at a certain point and retracing one’s steps (cf. Sībawayh, cited by LA), whence the idea of a return to the origin, to the source. The verb rad̲j̲aʿa is used in many Ḳurʾānic verses to ind…


(308 words)

Author(s): Watt, W. Montgomery
is a collective name for the northern Arab tribes (see D̲j̲azīrat al-ʿarab (vi) = i, 544b). According to the standard genealogy, Maʿadd was a son of ʿAdnān [ q.v.]. His son Nizār [ q.v.] had three sons, Muḍar, Iyād and Rabīʿa, from the first and third of whom most of the northern Arabs claimed descent. Maʿadd and his descendants are said to have lived for a time in the neighbourhood of Mecca and to have intermarried with D̲j̲urhum [ q.v.]. The name Maʿadd is found in pre-Islamic poets, e.g. in verses of Imruʾ al-Ḳays (ed. Ahlwardt, no. 41, l. 5) and al-Nābig̲h̲a (ed. Ahlwa…


(811 words)

Author(s): Grohmann, A. | Smith, G.R.
(or al-Maʿāfir ), the name of a South Arabian tribe, the genealogy of which is given as Yaʿfur b. Mālik b. al-Ḥārit̲h̲ b. Murra b. Udad b. Humaysaʿ b. ʿAmr b. Yas̲h̲d̲j̲ib b. ʿArīb b. Zayd b. Kahlān b. Sabaʾ; they are included among the Ḥimyar. The name was also given to the territory which the tribe inhabited and this corresponded roughly with the Turkish ḳaḍāʾ of Taʿizziyya and the present Yemen Arab Republic province ( ḳaḍāʾ) of al-Ḥud̲j̲ariyya (pronounced locally al-Ḥugariyya), itself part of the administrative area ( liwāʾ ) of Taʿizz. In early and mediaeval times it is described as a mik̲h̲…


(568 words)

Author(s): Tibi, Aida
, Abu ’l-Ḥasan ʿAlī b. Muḥammad b. ʿAlī b. D̲j̲amīl b. saʿd al-dīn , an Andalusian Mālikī scholar who settled in Jerusalem and died there in 605/1208. Born and educated in Mālaḳa, al-Maʿāfirī left his native town early in his life and, like many of his compatriots at the time, travelled east for the dual purpose of performing the pilgrimage and acquiring knowledge. Though the sources mention that al-Maʿāfirī did some writing, they do not name any of his works. We know of only one extant…


(972 words)

Author(s): Bosworth, C.E.
, Maʿalt̲h̲ā (Syriac “gate, entrance”, Payne Smith, Thesaurus syriacus , col. 2881), modern Malthai, the name given to two villages in the former ḳaḍāʾ of Dehōk (Duhūk) in the wilāyet of Mawṣil in Ottoman times, now in the Autonomous Region of Dehōk in Republican ʿIrāḳ. The second of these two villages was formerly distinguished as Maʿalt̲h̲ā al-Naṣārā “M. of the Christians”, but has recently become largely Kurdish and Muslim, like its fellow-village. Maʿalt̲h̲āyā lies on a small affluent of the Tigri…


(1,022 words)

Author(s): Elisséeff, N.
, Muʿān , a town of the south of Jordan, lying in lat. 30° 12′ N. and long. 35° 44′ E. at an altitude of 3,523 ft./1,074 m., and the chef-lieu of the governorate which is to the south of the Karak [ q.v.] one and to the east of the Wādī ʿAraba. The name is said to come from Maʿān, son of Lot. The town is surrounded by gardens which form an oasis of the western fringe of the desert plain; to its east are the slopes of the al-S̲h̲arāt mountain chain of granite and porphyry, which rise to 5,665 ft./1,727 m. In Maʿan itself and the neighbourhood are many springs…

al-Maʿānī wa ’l-Bayān

(5,552 words)

Author(s): Bonebakker, S.A. | Reinert, B.
, two of the three categories into which, since the time of al-Sakkākī (d. 626/1229), the study of rhetoric has often been divided. 1. In Arabic. The Miftāḥ al-ʿulūm by al-Sakkākī [ q.v.], where the two terms appear for the first time, was too confusing in its arrangement, and too obscure and at times self-contradictory to be of practical use to most students of rhetoric. It consisted of a section on grammar, a section on syntax, a section on the ʿilm al-maʿānī and the ʿilm al-bayān , and two supplements to its maʿānī section, one on demonstration ( istidlāl ), and one o…


(20,090 words)

Author(s): Winter, M. | Elayed, A. | Hadj-Salah, A. | Salmi, J. | Sana'i, Mahmud
(a.), education, public instruction. The word is the pl. of maʿrifa “knowledge”. The term was already used in mediaeval times to denote the secular subjects of knowledge or culture in general (e.g. in the title of Ibn Ḳutayba’s Kitāb al-Maʿārif ), in opposition to the religious sciences ( ʿulūm , pl. of ʿilm ). 1. In the Ottoman empire and the central and eastern Arab lands It seems that the official use of the term appears for the first time in the Ottoman Empire in 1838, when a school for educating government officials was established in Istanbul and was named Mekteb-i Maʿārif-i ʿAdliyye

Maʿarrat Maṣrīn or Miṣrīn

(1,438 words)

Author(s): Elisséeff, N.
, a small town in North Syria (lat. 36° 01′ N., long. 36° 40′ E.). It is 40 km. to the north of Maʿarrat al-Nuʿmān [ q.v.], 50 km. south-west of Aleppo or Ḥalab [ q.v.] and 12 km. north-west of Sarmīn. It owes its importance to its position between the districts of the Rūd̲j̲, the D̲j̲azr and the D̲j̲abal al-Summāḳ and formerly served as the market for this region which the road from Ḥalab to Armanāz traverses, a route used in the Middle Ages by the Turkomans. Its role has devolved today on Idlib. The land, although poorly watere…

Maʿarrat al-Nuʿmān

(5,760 words)

Author(s): Elisséeff, N.
, chef-lieu of a ḳaḍāʾ of North Syria comprising the southern half of the D̲j̲abal Zāwiya, which consists of the ¶ southern part of the Be lus massif with numerous villages. Maʿarrat al-Nuʿmān, famous as the birthplace of the blind poet al-Maʿarrī [ q.v.], is situated at about 500 m. altitude, in lat. 35° 38′ N. and long. 36° 40′ E. Falling within northern Phoenicia, two days’ journey to the south of Ḥalab or Aleppo (70 km.), it is situated on the eastern fringe of a massif rich in archaeologic…


(10,129 words)

Author(s): Smoor, P.
, Abu ’l-ʿAlāʾ Aḥmad b. ʿAbd Allāh b. Sulaymān , famous Arabic poet and prose author of the late ʿAbbāsid period, was born in 363/973 in Maʿarrat al-Nuʿmān [ q.v.], a town between Aleppo and Ḥimṣ in the northern part of Syria, where he also was to die in 449/1058. The Banū Sulaymān, his forefathers, belonged to the notable families of Maʿarra. As S̲h̲āfiʿī ʿulamāʾ , they held the office of ḳāḍī , which post was for the first time successfully claimed by a grandfather of Abu ’l-Alāʾ’s grandfather. In addition, some of the Banū Sulaymān are menti…

Maʾāt̲h̲ir al-Umarāʾ

(211 words)

Author(s): Ed.
, the name of a celebrated Persian collection of biographies of Muslim Indian commanders from the reign of the Mug̲h̲al Emperor Akbar (963-1014/1556-1605) till the time of its author, Ṣamṣām al-Dawla Mīr ʿAbd al-Razzāḳ S̲h̲āh-Nawāz K̲h̲ān Awrangābādī (1111-71/1700-58). Born at Lahore, he soon settled in the Deccan in the service of the first Niẓām of Ḥaydarābād [ q.v.], Niẓām al-Mulk Āṣaf-Ḏj̲āh. and filled offices in Berār [ q.v.] and then as Dīwān or chief minister of the Deccan. His policy in the latter post aimed at checking the growing influences in that state …

Māʾ al-ʿAynayn al-Ḳalḳamī

(3,682 words)

Author(s): Norris, H.T.
is the name consistently given in Mauritania and Morocco to the greatest scholar and religious and political leader of the Western Sahara during the latter half of the 19th century. Uncertainty remains as to the significance of his sobriquet Māʾ al-ʿAynayn, “water of both eyes”, but it is not unlike ḳurrat al-ʿayn , “coolness of the eye”. Māʾ al-ʿAynayn was born on the day of the death of his brother, Abu ’l-Fatḥ, and of his paternal grandmother K̲h̲adīd̲j̲a. His father Muḥammad Fāḍil regarded his birth as a blessed consolat…

Maʿbad b. ʿAbd Allāh b. ʿUkaym al-D̲j̲uhanī

(637 words)

Author(s): Ess, J. van
, early representative of Ḳadarī ideas, ¶ executed after the insurrection of Ibn al-As̲h̲ʿat̲h̲ [ q.v.], in 83/703. He was probably born about 20/640 or even earlier. He had contacts with Muʿāwiya (41-60/661-80), and ʿAbd al-Malik appreciated him to such an extent that he sent him as an ambassador to Byzantium and entrusted him with the education of his son Saʿīd al-K̲h̲ayr. According to a rather detailed, but perhaps fictitious report he played a certain political role as early as 38/658, during the negotiations…

Maʿbad b. Wahb

(707 words)

Author(s): Farmer, H.G. | Neubauer, E
, Abū ʿAbbād , one of the great singers and composers in Umayyad times, was born in Medina and died at Damascus in 125/743 or 126/744. Being the son of a negro, he was an ʿabd and later on became mawlā of one of the Mak̲h̲zūm families, serving them as overseer of their cattle. Like many other oriental musicians, he is said to have been led to music by a dream, and he took music lessons from Sāʾib K̲h̲āt̲h̲ir and Nas̲h̲īṭ. He soon made a name for himself in Medina and followed invitations to sing at Mecca, where I…

Mā Baʿd al-Ṭabīʿa

(3,859 words)

Author(s): Arnaldez, R.
, or Mā Baʿd al-Ṭabīʿiyyāt , a translation of the Greek τα μετὰ τα φυσικά “the things which come after physical things”, i.e. metaphysics, an expression which can have two meanings, each of which envisages a particular conception of that science ( ʿilm or ṣināʿa ). It can either be a discipline which one embarks upon after physics, utilising the results of the natural sciences, or else it can be one whose goal lies beyond the apprehendable objects which are the concern of physics. ¶ The two meanings are not mutually self-exclusive, but the first tends to put the accent on the r…


(1,525 words)

Author(s): Forbes, A.D.W.
, the name given by the Arabs in mediaeval times to the eastern shores of the Indian Deccan, an area corresponding closely, but not exactly, to the Coromandel coast (the latter name from the Tamil Čolamaṇḍalam , “the realm of the Cholas”, indicating the area formerly ruled by the Tamil Chola rād̲j̲ās from their capital at Tānd̲j̲āvūr (Tanjore); hence the alternative Arabo-Persian name, Barr al-Ṣūliyān or Ṣhūliyān (Tibbetts, op. cit. in Bibl ., 466), “the coast of the Cholas”). In Arabic, the term maʿbar signifies a passage or crossing point. In its applic…


(510 words)

Author(s): Ahmad, S. Maqbul
, S̲h̲ayk̲h̲ Zayn al-Dīn b. ʿAbd al-ʿAzīz b. Zayn al-Dīn b. ʿAlī b. Aḥmad , the author of Tuḥfat al-mud̲j̲āhidīn fī baʿḍ aḥwāl al-Purtukāliyyīn , is said to have lived in Ponani, Malabar District (Kerala, India) during the rule of the ʿAdil S̲h̲āh ʿAlī (965-88/1558-80), his patron, to whom he dedicated the book. The date of his birth or death is not known, but he wrote the work ¶ ca. 985/1577. The Tuḥfat al-mud̲j̲āhidīn deals with the geography of Southern India, and gives an account of Islam in Malabar and the Portuguese campaigns in India. It …
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