Encyclopaedia of the Qurʾān

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Idolatry and Idolaters
(3,334 words)

Worship of a created thing as a god; those who engage in such worship. The Arabic root used most frequently in the Qurʾān in words and expressions suggestive of the idea of idolatry is sh-r-k. That root commonly appears in Arabic in various words connected with the idea of “sharing, participating, associating,” etc., and the basic level of meaning is often appropriate, too, in qurʾānic passages. For example, the noun shirk seems to mean something like “partnership” or “portion” in “do they [those upon whom you call beside God] have any shirk in the heavens?” ( q 35:40; 46:4; see heaven and sky )…

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Hawting, Gerald R., “Idolatry and Idolaters”, in: Encyclopaedia of the Qurʾān, General Editor: Jane Dammen McAuliffe, Georgetown University, Washington DC. Consulted online on 27 May 2019 <http://dx.doi.org/10.1163/1875-3922_q3_EQSIM_00206>



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