Encyclopedia of Jews in the Islamic World

Get access Subject: Jewish Studies
Executive Editor: Norman A. Stillman

The Encyclopedia of Jews in the Islamic World Online (EJIW) is the first cohesive and discreet reference work which covers the Jews of Muslim lands particularly in the late medieval, early modern and modern periods. The Encyclopedia of Jews in the Islamic World Online is updated with newly commissioned articles, illustrations, multimedia, and primary source material. 

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(6,071 words)

Author(s): Moshe Idel | Avriel Bar-Levav
Jewish mysticism, which since medieval times has also been known as Kabbala (Heb. acceptance, tradition), is a variegated conglomerate of spiritual models, types of experiences, and modes of expression that developed in different countries and continents. kabbalistic writings have been preserved in thousands of literary works of various genres, mostly in Hebrew. Kabbala has developed since the medieval period over the span of almost a millennium, and was preceded by earlier mystical writings and…

Mysticism/Sufism (Iran)

(918 words)

Author(s): Vera B. Moreen
In addition to the creation of a Judeo-Persian literary tradition that recast Jewish themes in a classical Persian mold and illuminated manuscripts with Judeo-Persian miniature paintings in the Persian style, the acculturation of Iranian Jewry in the Middle Ages and the premodern era included an attraction to Ṣūfism, Islam’s most transcendental expression. This attraction manifested itself in literary topoi, explicit polemics, and occasional adherence of Jews to Ṣūfīsm.       Literary topoi. As is well known, classical Persian poetry, from the twelfth century on, is rep…


(1,288 words)

Author(s): Adam Guerin
The Mzab is a vast region of some 8,000 square kilometers (3,089 square miles) in the northern Sahara desert, located in the Ghardaia province of Algeria, approximately 500 kilometers (311 miles) south of Algiers. It is a stony plain cut by deep winding valleys. There are five major cities situated along a 72-kilometer (45-mile) stretch in the Mzab Valley: El Atteuf, Bou Noura, Beni Isguen, Melika, and the largest settlement, Ghardaia. For centuries, the Mzab Valley was one of the most important oases along the  trans-Saharan trade route. The region was historically populated by…