Encyclopaedia of Islam, Second Edition

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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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(328 words)

Author(s): Bosworth, C.E.
(A. mā bayn “what is between”), in the organisation of the Ottoman palace, the intermediate appartments lying between the inner courts of the Sarāy and the Ḥarem, a place where only the sultan, the eunuchs and the womenfolk could penetrate and where the corps of select pages known as mābeynd̲j̲is , an elite group from amongst the forty k̲h̲āṣṣ odali̊s , waited on the monarch for such intimate services as dressing and shaving him [see k̲h̲āṣṣ oda ]. Till the end of the 11th/17th century, the Mābeynd̲j̲is were headed by the Silaḥdār Ag̲h̲a or Swordbearer, as chief p…

Ma Chung-Ying

(2,661 words)

Author(s): Forbes, A.D.W.
( Matthews’ Chinese-English Dictionary , Revised American Edition 1969, characters nos. 4310, 1505, 7489), also known as ǧa ssuling , or “Little Commander” ( Ǧa is an affectionate diminutive used in colloquial Kansu Chinese—see the Hsin-Hua tzu-tien , Peking 1971, 124; Ssu-ling: see Matthews’ , nos. 5585, 4043), the youngest and best-known of the five Chinese Muslim warlords comprising the “Wu Ma” clique [ q.v.] which controlled much of Northwest China during the latter half of the Republican Period (1911-49). Little is known of Ma Chung-ying’s early years. ¶ He was born at Linhsia…


(6,636 words)

Author(s): Ferrand, G. | Vérin, P.
, with its 627,000 km2 the third largest island in the world, after New Guinea (785,000 km2) and Borneo (733,000 km2). Its area is slightly greater than that of France 550,880 km2), of Belgium (30,000 km2) and of Holland (33,000 km2) combined. The large African island is oriented from north-north-east to southsouth-west, measuring 1,600 km at its greatest length and 580 km at its greatest width, with a coastal perimeter of 5,000 km. It has a population in excess of 8 million inhabitants which is increasing at a fairly rapid rate (3.2 %). Although the Comoros (see ḳumr )…


(1,869 words)

Author(s): Streck, M. | Morony, M.
, "the cities" (pl. of al-madīna ), the Arabic translation of the Aramaic Māḥōzē or Medīnāt̲h̲ā referring to the Sāsānid metropolis on the Tigris about 20 miles southeast of Bag̲h̲dād where several adjacent cities connected by a floating bridge stretched along both banks of the river. This was the imperial administrative capital, the winter residence of the king, the home of the Jewish Exilarch and the seat of the Nestorian Catholikos. Among the mixed population of Aramaeans, Per…


(2,533 words)

Author(s): Sezgin, Ursula
, ʿAlī b. Muḥammad b. ʿAbd Allāh b. Abī Sayf , Abū ’L-Ḥasan , early Arabic historian, was born, according to his own information, in 135/752 ( Fihrist , 100). Little is known about his life. He was a client of Samura b. Ḥabīb b. ʿAbd S̲h̲ams b. ʿAbd Manāf, i.e. of the Companion ʿAbd al-Raḥmān b. Samura [ q.v.]; according to Fihrist, 101, al-Madāʾinī dedicated a monograph to him. Al-Madāʾinī, who was in Baṣra in 153/770 (see al-Ḏj̲āḥiẓ, al-Bayān wa ’l-tabyīn , ii, Cairo 1367/1948, 93), later went to al-Madāʾi̇n and Bag̲h̲dād at an unknown date. It is also unknown whether his nisba


(1,059 words)

Author(s): Jong, F. de
, a branch of the S̲h̲ādhiliyya [ q.v.] Ṣūfī order named after Muḥammad b. Ḥasan b. Ḥamza Ẓāfir al-Madanī (1194-Ḏj̲umādā I 1263/1780 - April-May 1847), who was originally a muḳaddam [ q.v.] of Mawlāy Abū Aḥmad al-ʿArbī al-Darḳāwī [see darḳāwa ]. From 1240/1824-5 al-Madanī presented himself as independent head of a ṭariḳa [ q.v.] in his own right (ʿAbd al-Ḳādir Zakī, al-Nafḥa al-ʿaliyya fī awrād al-S̲h̲ād̲h̲iliyya , Cairo 1321/1903-4, 233) while retaining the essentials of S̲h̲ād̲h̲ilī teaching and liturgical practice (see Muḥammad Aḥmad Sayyid Aḥmad, al-Anwār al-d̲h̲ahabiyya li ’l-…


(2,568 words)

Author(s): Boratav, P.N.
(Turkish meddāḥ ), an Arabic word which means "panegyrist"; the term was used by the Ottoman Turks as a synonym of ḳi̊ṣṣa-k̲h̲w ān (Arabic ḳāṣṣ ) and s̲h̲ehnāme-k̲h̲w ān to designate the professional story-tellers of the urban milieux; it was used in the same way by the Persians, but more rarely; as for the Arabs, they used it, in a fairly late period, to designate the "begging singers of the streets" (see Köprülüzāde M. Fuʾād, Meddāḥlar , in Türkiyyāt Med̲j̲mūʿasi̊ , i [1925], 11-12). In North Africa, however, the məddāḥ is a kind of "religious minstrel who go…

al-Madd wa ’l-Ḏj̲azr

(1,536 words)

Author(s): Martínez Martín, L.
(a.), literally "the ebb and flow", the name given by the Arabs to the phenomenon of the tide, which they explained by following the various theories inherited from the classical world; the latter assert in the main that the tide possesses a universal character resulting from the moon’s having a stronger influence than the sun over the mass of the Ocean’s waters. The classical writers reached this conclusion after having studied the accounts of their great navigators such as Pytheas and Nearchus…


(846 words)

Author(s): Gottschalk, H.L.
, name of a family of high-officials and revenue officers, originating from ʿIrāḳ, who held important positions in Egypt and Syria between 266/879 and 335/946. The nisba is derived from a village Mād̲h̲arāya, in the neighbourhood of Wāsiṭ (see al-Samʿānī, Kitāb al-Ansāb , fol. 499a; Yāḳūt, Muʿd̲j̲am , iv, 381). Abū Bakr Aḥmad b. Ibrāhīm al-Mād̲h̲arāʾī with the nickname al-Aṭras̲h̲ ("the partially deaf one", see Lane, Lexicon , s.v.), was given the control of finances of Egypt and Syria in 266/879 by Aḥmad b. Ṭūlūn, and so became the founde…


(497 words)

Author(s): Ed.
(a., pl. mad̲h̲āhib ), inf. n. of d̲h̲-h-b , meaning “a way, course, mode, or manner, of acting or conduct or the like” (Lane, i, 983b); as a term of religion, philosophy, law, etc. “a doctrine, a tenet, an opinion with regard to a particular case”; and in law specifically, a technical term often translated as “school of law”, in particular one of the four legal systems recognised as orthodox by Sunnī Muslims, viz. the Ḥanafiyya, Mālikiyya, S̲h̲āfiʿiyya and Ḥanbaliyya [ q.vv.], and the S̲h̲īʿī Ḏj̲aʿfarī and Zaydiyya legal schools [see it̲h̲nā ʿas̲h̲ariyya ; zaydiyya ]. For an exposé of mad̲h̲h…


(869 words)

Author(s): Smith, G.R. | Bosworth, C.E.
a large tribal group, now inhabiting in the main the areas of Ḏh̲amār and Radāʿ in the modern Yemen Arab Republic. The traditional genealogy, given by e.g. Ibn Durayd, Is̲h̲tiḳāḳ , ed. ¶ Wüstenfeld, 237 ff., and by Yāḳūt, Beirut 1374-6/1955-7, v, 89, is from Mālik b. Udad b. Zayd b. Yas̲h̲d̲j̲ub b. ʿArïb b. Zayd b. Kahlān b. Sabaʾ b. Yas̲h̲d̲j̲ub b. Yaʿrub b. Ḳaḥtān. The numerous component ḳabāʾil of Mad̲h̲ḥid̲j̲ are listed in full by al-Malik al-As̲h̲raf ʿUmar, Ṭurfat al-aṣḥāb fī maʿrifat al-ansāb , ed. K. V. Zetterstéen, Damascus 1949, 9; those most frequ…


(632 words)

Author(s): Troupeau, G.
(a.) "preterite", a technical term of Arabic grammar used to denote the verbal form devoted to the expression of past time; its counterpart is muḍāriʿ [ q.v.], the term denoting the author verbal form "resembling" [the noun] and devoted to the expression of the present and future ( ḥāḍir , mustaḳbal ). The majority of Arab grammarians define the verb as a word which indicates the matching ( iḳtirān ) of a happening ( ḥadat̲h̲ ) with a time ( zamān ). Already Sībawayh considered ( Kitāb , i, 11-12) that the verb is formed to demonstrate that a happening has taken place ( waḳaʿa

Madīḥ, Madḥ

(10,231 words)

Author(s): Wickens, G.M. | Clinton, J.W. | Stewart Robinson, J. | Haywood, J.A. | Knappert, J.
(a.), the normal technical terms in Arabic and other Islamic literatures for the genre of panegyric poetry, the individual poem being usually referred to as umdūḥa (pl. amādīḥ ) or madīḥa (pl. madāʾiḥ ). The author himself is called mādiḥ or, as considered professionally, maddāḥ . The root itself is sometimes used without technical connotations, as also are commonly the various other roots signifying "praise": ḥ-m-d, m-d̲j̲-d, ḳ-r-ẓ, t̲h̲-n-y, ṭ-r-w/y, etc. 1. In Arabic literature. As both an independent unit and a component of the ḳaṣīda [ q.v.], the genre has been so widespread …


(238 words)

Author(s): Seybold, C.F. | Ocaña Jiménez, M.
(a.) "the mine" is, by antonomasia, the name of a certain number of villages in ¶ Arabia and other parts of the Orient (see Yāḳūt, s.v.), and is also found in the toponomy of the Iberian peninsula. Under the form Almaden, this term refers to the locality in the province of Ciudad Real, 125 km. to the north of Cordova, in the Sierra de Almadén (A. Ḏj̲ibāl al-Maʿdin), which has one of the richest deposits in the world of mercury (A. ziʾbaḳ and variants, whence Spanish azogue and the fullest form of the place name Almadén de Azogue). According to Garciá Bellido ( España y los españoles hace dos mil años se…


(33,280 words)

Author(s): Ashtor, E. | Hassan, A.Y. al- | Hill, D.R. | Murphey, R. | Baer, Eva
(a.), "mine, ore, mineral, metal". In modern Arabic, the word mand̲j̲am denotes "mine", while muʿaddin means "miner" and d̲j̲amād is a mineral. In the vast Islamic empire, minerals played an important part. There was a great need for gold, silver and copper for the minting of coins and other uses. Iron ore was indispensable for the manufacture ¶ of iron and steel for arms and implements. Other minerals such as mercury, salt and alum, as well as pearls and precious stones, were necessary for everyday life. The empire was richly endowed with the various…


(6 words)

, urbanism. [See Supplement].


(13,695 words)

Author(s): Watt, W. Montgomery | Winder, R.B.
(usually Medina in English, Médine in French), residence of the Prophet Muḥammad after the ḥid̲j̲ra and one of the sacred cities of Islam. Medina is situated in the Ḥid̲j̲āz province of Saʿūdī Arabia in latitude 24° 28′ N, longitude 39° 36′ E, about 160 km. from the Red Sea and about 350 km. north of Mecca. It has developed from an oasis on relatively level ground between the hill of Uḥud on the north and that of ʿAyr on the south. East and west are lava flows (in Arabic ḥarra [ q.v.] or lāba ). There are several wādī s or watercourses which cross the oasis from south to…


(3,868 words)

Author(s): Raymond, A.
(a.), urbanism, the structure and planning of the Arab town and city. This can be reconstructed as an historical reality from a vast body of literature, including chronicles and archival documents. It embodies enlightened ideas which seem to be commented on, as it were, by the remains of all the great Arab cities that can still be seen. The concept of a Muslim “city” was formulated chiefly by French orientalists (on this subject see R.S. Humphreys, Islamic history: a framework for inquiry, Princeton 1991, 228) between 1920 and 1950; in particular see G. and W. Marçais, J. Sa…

Madīnat al-Nuḥās

(1,204 words)

Author(s): Hamori, A.
, “The city of brass,” a story within the Thousand and one nights [see alf layla wa-layla ]. This story, that found its way, somewhat variably, into the 19th-century editions of the Nights (on the 18th-century manuscripts in which it appears, see the excellent discussion by D. Pinault, Story - telling techniques in the Arabian Nights , Leiden 1992, 150-80), is the most elaborate narrative about a city of copper, brass or bronze (on the proper meanings of nuḥās and ṣufr , and their indiscriminate use in non-scientific discourse, see M. Aga-Oglu, A brief note on Islamic terminology for bronz…

Madīnat Sālim

(434 words)

Author(s): Lévi Provençal, E.
, the Arabic name, which has become Medinaceli , of a small town in north-eastern Spain, on the railway from Madrid to Saragossa, and almost equidistant from these two cities; it lies at an altitude of more than 3,280 feet/1,000 m., on the left bank of the Jalón. It owes its name to a Berber from the Maṣmūda, Sālim, who repaired a Roman fortress which Ṭāriḳ [ q.v.], according to Yāḳūt, iii, 13, had found in a ruinous state. The Arab geographers give brief descriptions of Medinaceli. According to al-Idrīsī, it was a large town built in a hollow with many large buildings, ga…
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