Encyclopaedia of the Qurʾān

Get access Subject: Middle East and Islamic Studies
General Editor: Jane Dammen McAuliffe, Georgetown University, Washington DC

The Encyclopaedia of the Qur’ān Online is an encyclopaedic dictionary of qur’ānic terms, concepts, personalities, place names, cultural history and exegesis extended with essays on the most important themes and subjects within qur’ānic studies. The Encyclopaedia of the Qur’ān Online is the first comprehensive, multivolume reference work on the Qur’ān to appear in a Western language.
Encyclopaedia of the Qur’ān Online includes direct access to 62 Early Printed Western Qur’āns Online and the Electronic Qurʾān Concordance, a unique online finding aid for textual research.


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Holy Land

(9 words)

 see sanctity and the sacred; jerusalem Bibliography

Holy Places

(12 words)

 see sanctity and the sacred; house, domestic and divine Bibliography

Holy Spirit

(1,144 words)

Author(s): Griffith, Sidney H.
An agency of divine action or communication. The Arabic phrase rūḥ al-qudus, as it appears in the Qurʾān, is regularly interpreted by translators to mean the ‘holy spirit,’ or the ‘spirit of holiness.’ The phrase occurs four times in the Qurʾān. In three of the four occurrences the text says that God “strengthened” ( ayyadnāhu) Jesus (q.v.), son of Mary (q.v.), by the holy spirit ( q 2:87, 253; 5:110); in the fourth instance the holy spirit is identified as the one who has brought down the truth (q.v.) from God to his prophet ( q 16:102). This apparent personal identity of the holy spirit…

Holy War

(8 words)

 see jihād; expeditions and battles Bibliography

Homosexuality

(805 words)

Author(s): Rowson, Everett K.
Sexual attraction towards one of the same sex. References to homosexuality in the Qurʾān are few and oblique, and have been subject to considerable controversy in the exegetical and legal traditions. The subject ¶ is most directly addressed in the context of the story of the prophet Lot (q.v.), in which the men of his people are reproached for pursuing sexual behavior with men instead of women; such acts are labeled an abomination. Some commentators have found another condemnation of homosexual activity in two difficult verses ( q 4:15-6) more usually interpreted as referring to h…

Honesty

(7 words)

 see virtues and vices; lie Bibliography

Honey

(959 words)

Author(s): Waines, David
Sweet viscous material produced by bees out of the nectar of flowers. Honey ( ʿasal) appears only once in the Qurʾān ( q 47:15), in a description of paradise (q.v.) through which run rivers of the purest water (q.v.), milk (q.v.), wine (see intoxicants ) and honey. Additionally, in a second passage ( q 16:69, Sūrat al-Naḥl, “The Bee”), God inspired the bee to build homes in the mountains and trees and to feed on every kind of fruit, for from its belly would come a syrup of varied hues, “a cure for ¶ humankind” (see animal life; food and drink; illness and health). In the ḥadīth literature (see …

Honey of Paradise

(7 words)

 see honey; paradise Bibliography

Honor

(859 words)

Author(s): Winter, Timothy
Esteem due or paid to worth; manifestation of respect, or the good reputation which merits such respect. Several Arabic terms convey or assume this key qurʾānic concept. The root ʿ-z-z may denote the honor that ensues from the possession of power and strength; thus God is al- ʿAzīz (e.g. q 36:5) as is Joseph's (q.v.) patron in Egypt (q.v.; q 12:30). The root k-r-m may ¶ imply an honor expressed by generosity (see gift-giving; virtues and vices), so that q 17:70, karramnā banī ādam, may be translated as “We have honored Adam's (see adam and eve ) progeny.” God's provision ( rizq) and reward ( ajr) a…

Hoopoe

(5 words)

 see animal life Bibliography

Hope

(788 words)

Author(s): McDonough, Sheila
Desire or expectation of obtaining what is desired; also trust that a promise or event will come to pass. In the Qurʾān, the term is represented in Arabic by the following roots: r-j-w (twenty-six times), ṭ-m-ʿ (twelve times) and ʾ-m-l (two times). The sense of the term, of course, varies with the context. For example, the root ʾ-m-l is used both in the sense of a delusional hope in opposition to the will of God ( q 15:3) and in the sense of the hope of reward to be had from the performance of good deeds (q.v.; q 18:46). Ṭ-m-ʿ is used diversely, as hope for forgiveness (q.v.; q 26:51, 82), the desire to…

Horse

(5 words)

 see animal life Bibliography

Hospitality and Courtesy

(2,696 words)

Author(s): Hoffman, Valerie J.
Conventions of generosity, favor and respect to be observed while receiving and entertaining guests or in social relations in general. Although the Qurʾān places a great deal of stress on the need to be charitable to the poor (see poverty and the poor; almsgiving), the enormous emphasis on hospitality in Islamic culture seems to be derived from pre-Islamic Arab values ¶ (see arabs; pre-islamic arabia and the qurʾān) and draws its greatest validation in ḥadīth (see ḥadīth and the qurʾān ), where it is seen as an integral part of faith (q.v.). The practice of courtesy is enjo…

Hostages

(661 words)

Author(s): Jansen, Johannes J.G.
Persons given or kept as a pledge, as for the fulfillment of a treaty (see oaths and promises; contracts and alliances). Hostages and hostage-taking in the twentieth-century meaning of those words do not occur in the Qurʾān nor in Islamic law in its classical handbook form (see law and the qurʾān ). The closest qurʾānic attestation of the concept is the triliteral root r-h-n ( rahīn, q 52:21; rahīna, 74:38; rihān, q 2:283), whence also the modern standard Arabic word for “hostages,” rahāʾin. But the qurʾānic usage (lit. “circumscribed”) connotes personal accountability or res…

Hot and Cold

(688 words)

Author(s): Johns, Anthony Hearle
Having, or characterized by, a high or low temperature. Hot and cold are two primary qualities that have a contrastive distribution in the Qurʾān, hot being associated with pain and discomfort, cold (generally) with comfort and relief. In most of its attestations, hot is expressed by ḥarr and ḥarūr. It indicates pain in both this world and the one to come. A verse illustrating both aspects is q 9:81. God warns those reluctant to join the expedition (see expeditions and battles ) to attack Tabūk, “They said, ‘Do not set out in the [mid-summer] heat.’ Reply, ‘The fire (q.v.) of h…

Hot and Cold [Supplement 2017]

(656 words)

Author(s): Anthony H. Johns
Hot and Cold mean having, or being characterised by, a high or low temperature. Hot and cold are two primary qualities that have a contrastive distribution in the Qurʾān, hot being associated with pain and discomfort, cold (generally) with comfort and relief. In most of its attestations, hot is expressed by ḥarr and ḥarūr. It indicates pain in both this world and the one to come. A verse illustrating both these aspects of heat is Q 9:81. In this, God warns those reluctant to join the expedition (see expeditions and battles ) to attack Tabūk, “They said, ‘Do not set out in the [mid-su…
Date: 2017-08-31

Houris

(1,219 words)

Author(s): Jarrar, Maher
A feminine adjective for a white skinned woman (sing. ḥawrāʾ, pl. ḥūr, Lane, ii, 666) denoting the virgins of paradise (q.v.). The singular is not attested in the Qurʾān, but the plural form (ḥūr) occurs four times ( q 44:54; 52:20; 55:72; 56:22), three of which appear in connection with the adjective ʿīn (sing. fem. ʿaynāʾ, masc. aʿyan) meaning wide-eyed with a deep black pupil (Lane, v, 2218; and cf. Künstlinger, Namen und Freuden, 629-30). In three other verses ( q 37:48-9; 38:52; 55:56) the paradise virgins are described as qāṣirāt al-ṭarfi, “of modest gaze” (Lane, vii, 2533). In …

Hour, The

(9 words)

 see eschatology; last judgment; apocalypse; time Bibliography

House, Domestic and Divine

(2,538 words)

Author(s): Campo, Juan Eduardo
Structure for human occupation; also an edifice dedicated to God. The house ( bayt, dār, sakan, ghurfa, maʾwā, mathwā, maskin) is a key symbol in Islam. Its semantic field extends from ordinary dwellings and kin groups (see kinship; family), to palaces, mosques and shrines, regions of the world and realms in the hereafter (see eschatology ). Drawing upon the heritage of house symbolism developed in the ancient Near Eastern civilizations and the Bible, the Qurʾān established the basic lexicon for Muslim domestic space and its meanings and it has served as a first-ord…

Hūd

(1,082 words)

Author(s): Cobb, Paul M.
The first of the five Arabian prophets of the Qurʾān (for the other Arabian prophets, see ṣāliḥ; abraham; shuʿayb; muḥammad), from whom the eleventh sūra of the Qurʾān takes its name. His tale occurs four times in the Qurʾān, with only minor variations: q 7:65-72, 11:50-60, 26:123-40, 46:21-6. In these narratives (q.v.), Hūd is explicitly called a messenger¶ (q.v.; rasūl), whom God has sent to the people of ʿĀd (q.v.), who are portrayed as polytheists (see polytheism and atheism ). Hūd persists in his faith despite his compatriots' accusations that he is a liar (min al- kādhibīna) and a fo…
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