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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ʿUbāda b. Māʾ al-Samāʾ

(10 words)

[see ibn māʾ al-samāʾ ].


(230 words)

Author(s): Bosworth, C.E.
, ʿAyn Ubāg̲h̲ , the name of a spring or watercourse on the eastern, sc. ʿIrāḳī, fringes of the Syrian Desert which was the scene of a pre-Islamic yawm or battle of the Arabs. The confused Arabic sources take this as being the battle of A. D. 554 in which the Lak̲h̲mid al-Mund̲h̲ir III b. al-Nuʿmān II was killed fighting the G̲h̲assānid al-Ḥārit̲h̲ b. Ḏj̲abala [ q.v.], in fact, the yawm al-Ḥalīma (see e.g. al-Bakrī, Muʿd̲j̲am mā ’staʿd̲j̲ama , i, 95; Yāḳūt, Buldān , ed. Beirut, iv, 175. Cf. A. P. Caussin de Perceval, Essai sur l’histoire des arabes avant l’Islamisme , Pari…

ʿUbayd Allāh

(8 words)

[see al-mahdī ʿubayd allāh ].

ʿUbayd Allāh b. al-ʿAbbās

(272 words)

Author(s): Bosworth, C.E.
b. ʿAbd al-Muṭṭalib , Abū Muḥammad, Companion and paternal cousin of the Prophet Muḥammad and younger brother of the famed scholar and reciter of traditions ʿAbd Allāh b. al-ʿAbbās [ q.v.], born in the year of the Hid̲j̲ra , died in the reign of Yazīd b. Muʿāwiya or in 85/704 or in 87/706. He was further related to the Prophet in that his mother Umm al-Faḍl bt. al-Ḥārit̲h̲ al-Hilāliyya was the sister of Muḥammad’s wife Maymūna [ q.v.] (Ibn Ḳutayba, Maʿārif , ed. ʿUkās̲h̲a, 121, 367; al-Balād̲h̲urī, Ansāb al-as̲h̲rāf , iii, ed. al-Dūrī, 447). Unlike his brother,…

ʿUbayd Allāh b. ʿAbd Allāh al-Hud̲h̲alī

(14 words)

[see fuḳahāʾ al-madīna al-sabʿa. V., in Suppl.].

ʿUbayd Allāh b. Abī Bakra

(323 words)

Author(s): Bosworth, C.E.
, Abū Ḥātim, Arab commander of the Umayyads and governor in Sīstān, d. 79/698. The Abū Bakra family were of mawlā origin, Abū Bakra’s father being apparently an Abyssinian slave. Although he married a free Arab wife from the Banū ʿId̲j̲l, ʿUbayd Allāh himself retained a dark and swarthy complexion, being described as adg̲h̲am ; an attempted filiation of the family to al-Ḥārit̲h̲ b. Kalada [ q.v. in Suppl.], the so-called "Physician of the Arabs", was later disallowed by the caliph al-Mahdī. The family prospered in Basra as partisans of the Umayyads and through…

ʿUbayd Allāh b. Aḥmad b. Abī Ṭāhir

(479 words)

Author(s): Toorawa, Shawkat M.
, Abu ’l-Ḥusayn, son of the historian, littérateur and bookman Ibn Abī Ṭāhir (d. 280/893 [ q.v.]), and a historian and author in his own right. Ibn al-Nadīm describes the father as a superior author ( Fihrist , 147) but al-Ḳifṭī considers him equally "assiduous in [his] reporting" ( Ḥukamāʾ , 111). He died in his home town, Bag̲h̲dād, in 313/925; his date of birth is unknown. The mention of ʿUbayd Allāh in the biographical literature rests on the fact that he is his father’s son and that he wrote a continuation of his father’s K. Bag̲h̲dād , a history, properly a regnally-organised ak̲h̲bār

ʿUbayd Allāh b. Bas̲h̲īr

(321 words)

Author(s): Madelung, W.
(or Bus̲h̲ayr) b. al-Māḥūz, leader of the Azāriḳa [ q.v.] sect of the Ḵh̲ārid̲j̲ites. (Al-)Māḥūz was the nickname of Yazīd b. Musāḥiḳ of the Banū Salīṭ b. al-Ḥārit̲h̲ b. Yarbūʿ of Tamīm. Several of the Banu ’l-Māḥūz, among them ʿUbayd Allāh, were among the Baṣran Ḵh̲ārid̲j̲ites who went to Mecca to support ʿAbd Allāh b. al-Zubayr [ q.v.] in 64/683 but deserted him when he would not denounce the caliph ʿUt̲h̲mān. They returned to Baṣra together with Nāfiʿ b. al-Azraḳ [ q.v.] and then joined his revolt. After Nāfiʿ was killed during fighting at Dūlāb (Ḏj̲umādā II 65/Dec.-Jan. …

ʿUbayd Allāh b. Ḥabḥāb

(478 words)

Author(s): Khoury, R.G.
, Umayyad governor of Egypt, Ifrīḳiya and al-Andalus, b. at an unknown date, d. after 123/741. He was chief of the tribe of Salūl of northern ʿIrāḳ and famed for his talent as an orator. Beginning a career in the administration, he was first appointed head of taxation in Egypt, and as such, told the caliph His̲h̲ām that the land of Egypt could yield more money, thereby provoking a revolt of the Copts in several districts. His links with the caliph seem to have been close, since at his request, His̲h̲ām dismisse…

ʿUbayd Allāh b. ʿUmar

(439 words)

Author(s): Robinson, C.F.
, a son of the second caliph and Companion of the Prophet, d. 37/657. ʿUbayd Allāh was the son of ʿUmar b. al-Ḵh̲aṭṭāb by his wife Umm Kult̲h̲ūm Mulayka bt. Ḏj̲arwal of the Ḵh̲uzāʿa, who, divorced by ʿUmar after he converted to Islam, married a kinsman and remained pagan in Mecca. ʿUbayd Allāh is known principally for having avenged his father’s death in Ḏh̲u ’l-Ḥid̲j̲d̲j̲a/23 November 644 at the hands of Abū Luʾluʾa, a Persian slave of al-Mug̲h̲īra b. S̲h̲uʿba [ q.v.]. According to most accounts, once captured, Abū Luʾluʾa killed himself, so ʿUbayd Allāh turned his wrath on…

ʿUbayd Allāh b. Ziyād

(903 words)

Author(s): Robinson, C.F.
, Umayyad governor of Baṣra, Kūfa and the East, d. 67/686. The son of Ziyād b. Abīhi [ q.v.], ʿUbayd Allāh seems to have been groomed by his father for a successful life in politics, and in both policy and style, father and son are frequently paired by the sources. Some accounts explicitly connect ʿUbayd Allāh’s appointment as governor of Ḵh̲urāsān to his father’s death (thus al-Yaʿḳūbī, Taʾrīk̲h̲, ii, 281; al-Balād̲h̲urī, Futūḥ al-buldān , 410), but a precise chronology is elusive. According to Ḵh̲alīfa b. Ḵh̲ayyāṭ, Muʿāwiya appointed ʿUbayd Al…

ʿUbayd Allāh Sulṭān Ḵh̲ān

(864 words)

Author(s): Thackston, W.M.
, ruler in Transoxania of the Uzbeks or Özbegs [ q.v.] 940-6/1533-9. He was the son of Maḥmūd Sulṭān, son of S̲h̲āh-Būdāg̲h̲, son of the founder of the Uzbek confederacy, Abu ’l-Ḵh̲ayr Ḵh̲ān, a descendant of Čingiz Ḵh̲ān’s grandson S̲h̲ībān (hence the epithet “S̲h̲ībānī,” or “S̲h̲aybānī” [see s̲h̲ībānids ]). During his youth, ʿUbayd Allāh accompanied his uncle Muḥammad S̲h̲ībānī Ḵh̲ān ( r. 905-16/1500-10) on his sweeping victories over the Tīmūrids throughout Central Asia and Ḵh̲urāsān in order to re-establish Čingizid rule in the area. On 7 Muḥarram 913/…

ʿUbayd b. S̲h̲arya

(8 words)

[see ibn s̲h̲arya ].

ʿUbayd-I Zākānī

(909 words)

Author(s): Bruijn, J.T.P. De
, or Niẓām al-Dīn ʿUbayd Allāh al-Zākānī, Persian poet of the Mongol period who became especially famous for his satires and parodies. He was born into a family of scholars and state officials descending from Arabs of the Banū Ḵh̲afād̲j̲a [ q.v.] settled in the area of Ḳazwīn since early Islamic times. In 730/1329-30 the historian Ḥamd Allāh Mustawfī described him as a talented poet and a writer of learned treatises. A collection of Arabic sayings by prophets and wise men, entitled Nawādir al-amt̲h̲āl , belongs to this early period. When later in the same …

Ubayy b. Kaʿb

(255 words)

Author(s): Rippin, A.
al-Anṣārī al-Madanī, a member of the Banū Ḥudayla of the Medinan clan of al-Nad̲j̲d̲j̲ār, secretary to Muḥammad in Medina and early collector of the Ḳurʾān; his date of death may have been anywhere between 19/640 and 35/656, according to Ibn al-Ḏj̲azarī, Ṭabaḳāt , no. 131. Known as sayyid al-ḳurrāʾ and renowned for his memory (he was able to recite the entire Ḳurʾān in 8 nights), Ubayy is said to have collected his own copy of the Ḳurʾān prior to the collection commanded by ʿUt̲h̲mān, while also having been involved in the latter’s collection. Both the contents and the sūra


(52 words)

, conventionally El Obeid , the administrative centre of the Northern Kordofan Province in the modern Republic of the Sudan and the main town of the whole region of Kordofan (lat. 13° 10’ N., long. 30° 14’ E.). For its part in the history of the region, see kordofān .


(927 words)

Author(s): Molénat, J.-P.
, Ubbad̲h̲at/Ubbadat al-ʿArab , modern Úbeda in Spain, a small town, in the province of Jaén, some 12 km/7 miles from Bayyāsa/Baeza, said to have been founded in the time of ʿAbd al-Raḥmān II (206-38/822-52) and completed under his son Muḥammad I by the governor of Jaén, Hās̲h̲im b. ʿAbd al-ʿAzīz. The designation "of the Arabs" allegedly distinguished it from Ubbad̲h̲at Farwa in the kūra of Ilbīra/Elvira. Despite its supposedly new foundation, recent archaeological excavations have revealed material from the Late Empire in the vicinity …


(758 words)

Author(s): Kramers, J.H.
, a town of mediaeval ʿIrāḳ situated in the Euphrates-Tigris delta region at the head of the Persian Gulf and famed as the terminal for commerce from India and further east. It lay to the east of al-Baṣra [ q.v.] on the right bank of the Tigris and on the north side of the large canal called Nahr al-Ubulla, which was the main waterway from al-Baṣra in a southeastern direction to ¶ the Tigris and further to ʿAbbādān and the sea. The length of this canal is generally given as four farsak̲h̲ s or two barīd s (al-Muḳaddasī). Al-Ubulla can be identified with ’Απολόγου ’Εμπόριον, mentioned in the Periplus m…


(393 words)

Author(s): Smeets, H.J.A.J.
, the name of one of three closely related peoples that inhabited the Northwest Caucasus, the other two being the Abk̲h̲āz [ q.v.] and Circassians [see čerkes ]. The Ubyk̲h̲, self-designation a-Tpakh, lived between the Black Sea shore and the watershed of the Great Caucasus near present-day Sochi; in the south they bordered on Abk̲h̲āzians, elsewhere on Circassians. The Ubyk̲h̲, Sunnī Muslims, were at least bilingual, also speaking Circassian and/or Abk̲h̲āz. Their language, originally closer to Abk̲h̲āz, moved towards Circas…


(859 words)

Author(s): Bosworth, C.E. | Crowe, Yolande
, an ancient Indian, and then mediaeval Indo-Muslim town of the southwestern Pand̲j̲ab, subsequently coming within the Bahāwalpūr [ q.v.] Native State and now in Pākistān. It is situated some 56 km/35 miles to the west of Bahāwalpūr town and not far from the junction of the Indus and Chenab-Jhelum rivers (lat. 27° 18’ N., long. 71° 12’ E.). 1. History Alexander the Great seems to have founded a city called in the Greek sources Ussa-Alexandria. Uččh ¶ was certainly an ancient Hindu centre, known up to the 12th century as Dēōgaŕh "stronghold of the gods", and it is only th…
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