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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(3,685 words)

Author(s): Viré, F.
(a.) (singular -a, pl. -at, naʿāʾim ) collective noun designating the ostrich ( Struthio camelus ) without any distinction of sex. The only representative of the family of struthionids, of the sub-class of ratities or runners, the ostrich, sometimes called “ostrich-camel” (Greek στρουθο-κάμηλος, Persian us̲h̲turmurg̲h̲ “camel-bird”, Turkish devekus̲h̲u “camel-bird”), at present lives only in equatorial and southern Africa, although some were still alive in the deserts of Syria, ʿIrāḳ and Arabia until the first quarter o…


(162 words)

Author(s): Sadgrove, P.C.
, ʿAbd Allāh b. Muḥammad al-S̲h̲āfiʿī , Egyptian jurist and grammarian. He was born and lived most of his life in Banhā, and died in 1859 in Cairo, aged about seventy. He was the author of two treatises on ʿilm al-ʿarabiyya , and bayān , and a number of commentaries: (1) on Ibn His̲h̲ām’s Ḳaṭr al-nadā on grammar; (2) on the S̲h̲arḥ al-k̲h̲aṭīb al-S̲h̲irbīnī , al-Iḳnāʿ fī ḥall alfāẓ Abī S̲h̲ud̲j̲āʿ on fīḳh , Būlāḳ 1289/1872; (3) on al-Suyūṭī’s Tafsīr al-Ḏj̲alālayn , entitled Ḳurrat al-ʿayn wa-nuzhat al-fuʾād ; (4) on the S̲h̲arḥ al-S̲h̲abs̲h̲īrī li’l-arbaʿīn of al-Nawawī, entitled ʿArūs al-a…


(4,468 words)

Author(s): Graf, D.F. | Fahd, T.
or Nabīṭ (coll.), Nabaṭī (sing.), Anbāṭ (pl.), the name given by the Arabs to the Nabataeans , amongst whom they distinguished the Nabaṭ al-Sham (i.e. of Syria), installed at Petra towards the end of the Hellenistic imperial era and at the beginning of the Roman one, and the Nabaṭ al-ʿIrāḳ (i.e. of ʿIrāḳ). [The Editors of the EI have decided to retain unchanged the following two articles, despite the inevitable overlappings in their present forms.] 1. The Nabaṭ al-S̲h̲ām. The Arabic term, occuring in Aramaic inscriptions, nbṭ / nbṭw , appears very often in the …


(3,489 words)

Author(s): Kruk, Remke
(a.), plants. Mediaeval Islamic interest in plants may roughly be divided into four categories: (a) philological-literary; (b) practical; (c) theoretical-philosophical; and (d) general. (a) Philological-literary. Bedouin knowledge of desert life included that of desert vegetation, and this found its way into Bedouin poetry. The nasīb and raḥīl parts of the ḳaṣīda contain numerous references to plants, shrubs and trees (e.g. the mention of ayhuḳān (wild rocket) and tamarisk in Labīd’s Muʿallaḳa ). A certain amount of botanical lore is also foun…


(5 words)

[see nabaṭ ]


(544 words)

Author(s): Emery, P.G.
(a.), the name given to the popular vernacular poetry of Arabia. Opinions differ regarding its origin and nomenclature. One view is that it is the direct descendant of Classical Arabic but termed Nabaṭī to indicate that it does not conform strictly to the rules of literary Arabic. Another view, one hardly to be taken seriously, holds that Nabaṭī poetry is older than Classical Arabic, was colloquial in origin, and flourished under the dynasty of al-Anbāṭ, i.e., the Nabataeans, who ruled in Petra until 105 A.D. and who were said to be originally nomads from the Mecca area [see nabaṭ. 1]. Whatev…


(560 words)

Author(s): Freeman-Greenville, G.S.P.
, the name of a tribe in ʿUmān, whose tribes are divided into independent fak̲h̲ūd̲h̲ (sing. fak̲h̲d̲h̲ ), with leaders generally denominated s̲h̲ayk̲h̲ , each one considering himself independent of the others, and acknowledging no superior. S.B. Miles reported in 1881 that 400 “Beni Nebhán”, a Ḳaḥṭānī (G̲h̲afīrī) tribe, dwelt at Semáil ( sic for Samāʿīl), on the coast in 23′ 18° N., 58′ 58° E. They appear to have been of minor importance. J.R.L. Carter gives a genealogy of Nabāhina s̲h̲ayk̲h̲s of the Banū Riyān, exclusively from traditional oral sources, who used the title malik


(1,298 words)

Author(s): Ambros, E.G.
, Yūsuf , an important, highly renowned Ottoman poet of the second half of the 11th/17th and beginning of the 12th/18th centuries. He came from Urfa (Ruhā, hence Ruhāʾī); on the members of his family cf. M. Diriöz, Nâbî’nin âilesine dâir yeni bilgiler , in Türk Kültürü , xiv, 167 (1976), 668-73. From mentions in his writings, we know that he was born in 1052/1642-3 and that he moved to Istanbul in his early twenties, i.e., during the reign of sultan Meḥemmed IV (1058-99/1648-87). In Istanbul he enjoyed the patronage of Muṣāḥib Muṣṭafā Pas̲h̲a (cf. Sid̲j̲ill-i ʿOt̲h̲mānī


(523 words)

Author(s): Heine, P.
(a.), a comprehensive designation for intoxicating drinks, several kinds of which were produced in early Arabia, such as mizr (from barley), bitʿ (from honey: al-Buk̲h̲ārī, Mag̲h̲āzī , bāb 60, As̲h̲riba , bāb 4; Adab , bāb 80) or from spelt (Aḥmad b. Ḥanbal, iv, 402), faḍīk̲h̲ (from different kinds of dates (al-Buk̲h̲ārī, As̲h̲riba, bāb 3, 21). These ingredients were steeped in water until they were fermented, and the result of this procedure was a slightly intoxicating drink. There were also combinations of raisins, dates and honey to be found. Nabīd̲h̲ was so…

Nabī D̲j̲ird̲j̲īs

(6 words)

[see d̲j̲ird̲j̲īs ].

al-Nābig̲h̲a al-D̲h̲ubyānī

(2,815 words)

Author(s): Arazi, A.
, Ziyād b. Muʿāwiya (var. ʿAmr) b. Ḍabāb b. D̲j̲ābir (var. D̲j̲anāb) b. Yarbūʿ b. Salāma of the Banū Murra (G̲h̲aṭafān), one of the most renowned poets of the D̲j̲āhiliyya . With Imruʾ al-Ḳays and Zuhayr [ q.vv.] he eclipsed the earlier poets (Ibn Sallām, Ṭabaḳāt , ed. S̲h̲ākir, i, 50, 56-9; Abu ’l-Baḳāʾ Hibat Allāh al-Ḥillī, al-Manāḳib al-mazyadiyya , Amman 1984, i, 172). The traditions relating to al-Nābig̲h̲a are concerned with a brief period of his life, confined to the years 570-600, and show the poet being received by the G̲h̲assānid tribal chieftains …

al-Nābig̲h̲a al-D̲j̲aʿdī

(1,093 words)

Author(s): Arazi, A.
, Ḳays b. ʿAbd Allāh, according to Ibn al-Kalbī, Ḥibbān (var. Ḥassān) b. Ḳays b. ʿAbd Allāh, according to al-Ḳahd̲h̲amī, of the Banū D̲j̲aʿda (ʿĀmir b. Ṣaʿṣaʿa), poet of the muk̲h̲aḍramūn [ q.v.] and a Companion famed for his longevity, to which he owes the honour of being included among the muʿammarūn [ q.v.] by Abū Ḥātim al-Sid̲j̲istānī. The biographical details concern the Islamic period only, and nothing or virtually nothing is known of his origins (the sole vestige, Dīwān, ed. Maria Nallino, no. IX, vv. 8-16). In 9/630, he took part in the wafd or deputation of…


(544 words)

Author(s): Pellat, Ch.
, (a.), a term of Classical Arabic which means in particular “rising generation”, but one which today has acquired the pejorative sense of “bad lot, rogue” which the plural nawābit and the expression nābitat s̲h̲arr previously possessed. These meanings were noted by the mediaeval lexicographers, but one finds in Ibn al-Nadīm a section ( Fihrist , ed. Cairo, 255-7, ed. Tad̲j̲addud, 229-31) devoted to the mutakallimū ’l-mud̲j̲bira [see d̲j̲abriyya ] and to the nābitat al-ḥas̲h̲wiyya , amongst whom the main exponent was allegedly Ibn Kullāb [ q.v. in Suppl.], whilst al-Zamak̲h̲s̲h̲a…

Nabī Yūnus

(6 words)

[see nīnawā ].


(5 words)

[see nawwāb ].


(1,272 words)

Author(s): Buhl, F. | Bosworth, C.E.
, a town in central Palestine, the name of which is derived from that of Flavia Neapolis built in honour of Vespasian. Its Old Testament predecessor was Shechem, which however lay more to the east on the site of the present village of Balāṭa (the name is explained by S. Klein, in ZDPV, xxxv, 38-9; cf. R. Hartmann, in ibid., xxxiii, 175-6, as “platanus”, from the evidence of the pilgrim of Bordeaux and the Midras̲h̲ Gen. rb ., c. 81, § 3). According to Eusebius, the place where the old town stood was pointed out in a suburb of Neapolis. The correctne…


(8 words)

[see ʿabd al-g̲h̲anī b. ismāʿīl ].


(381 words)

Author(s): Wensinck, A.J.
(a., pl. nud̲h̲ur , Ḳurʾān, LIII, 57), from form IV of n-d̲h̲-r , with the meaning of warner; sometimes also as a verbal noun, e.g. LXVII, 17. The plural nud̲h̲ur is also found in the sense of an infinitive, e.g. LXXVII, 6. The term occurs frequently in the Sacred Book, where it is even said to be synonymous with rasūl ; its opposite is bas̲h̲īr , mubas̲h̲s̲h̲ir . Nad̲h̲īr as well as bas̲h̲īr are applied to the prophets, the former when they are represented as warners, the latter as announcers of good tidings (cf. XVII, 106; XXV, 58; XXXIII, 44; XLVIII, 8; mubas̲h̲s̲h̲iran wa-nad̲h̲īran

Nad̲h̲īr Aḥmad Dihlawī

(920 words)

Author(s): Haywood, J.A.
(Mawlwi/Deputy) (1836-1912), Urdu prose writer, is often described as “the first real novelist” in the language. But this description presupposes that by “novels” we mean fiction dealing with contemporary social themes, more or less following Western models (for fiction prior to Nad̲h̲īr Aḥmad, and that on other themes, see Ḳiṣṣa 5. In Urdu. The same article provides information on five of Nad̲h̲īr Aḥmad’s novels). He was born in a village of Bid̲j̲nawr district, not far from Dihlī, of an impoverished and improvident father, who also tried to prevent him fro…


(1,690 words)

Author(s): Pedersen, J.
(a.), vow. This procedure was taken over into Islam from the pre-Islamic Arabs and underwent modification by the new religion. The idea of dedication is associated with the root n-d̲h̲-r which is also found in South Arabian, Hebrew and Aramaic and to some extent in Assyrian. An animal could be the object of dedication among the Arabs. For example, they dedicated by nad̲h̲r certain of their sheep etc., for the ʿatīra feast in Rad̲j̲ab ( Lisān al-ʿArab and al-D̲j̲awhari. s.v.); the dedication, which was expressed in solemn formulae, signified that th…
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