Encyclopaedia of the Qurʾān

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Ranks and Orders
(1,730 words)

Arrangement of heavenly or earthly beings in military or other formation. Ṣaff, plural ṣufūf, literally “rank, row or line, company of men standing in a rank, row or line” (Lane, 1693, col. 3), is a term used in several different contexts and with various significations. The purely literal meaning, a very early understanding, referred to “straight lines and rows” of Muslim believers when offering obligatory prayers (see prayer; ritual and the qurʾān; community and society in the qurʾān). Over time, t…

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Virani, Nargis, “Ranks and Orders”, in: Encyclopaedia of the Qurʾān, General Editor: Jane Dammen McAuliffe, Georgetown University, Washington DC. Consulted online on 23 September 2020 <http://dx.doi.org/10.1163/1875-3922_q3_EQCOM_00166>

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