Encyclopedia of Jews in the Islamic World

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Kāhina, al-
(415 words)

Al-Kāhina (Ar. the sorceress) was the name given by the Arabs to the leader of the Berber Jerāwa tribe in the Aurès Mountains region of the Central Maghreb (present-day Algeria). The name reflected the fact that she was an ecstatic who prophesied and performed divinations. Al-Kāhina led the resistance against the Muslim Arab invaders after the fall of Byzantine  Carthage in 692/93 to Ḥassān ibn al-Nuʿmān. She inflicted a major defeat on him and drove his forces out of Ifrīqiya (modern Tunisia) almost to Tripoli. For several years, she held sway over a large territory, but was finally…

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Norman A. Stillman, “Kāhina, al-”, in: Encyclopedia of Jews in the Islamic World, Executive Editor Norman A. Stillman. Consulted online on 27 October 2020
First published online: 2010

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