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(990 words)

Author(s): Fahd, T.
(a.), active participle from nad̲j̲d̲j̲ama “to observe the stars and deduce from them the state of the world”. The munad̲j̲d̲j̲im claims to know the lot of humans and their destiny from the positions of the stars. He is the astrologer. For a long time this noun designated both astrologer and astronomer, so close were the functions of the two. Often the court astrologer used to observe the stars scientifically and to interpret their movements for the benefit of his master. This is borne out ¶ by the fact that, according to D̲j̲ābir b. Ḥayyān, “the astrologer must be a mathematician ( riyāḍi

S̲h̲ayʿ al-Ḳawm

(273 words)

Author(s): Fahd, T.
, the name of a Safaitic deity, unknown however in the pantheon of Central and South Arabia. In Safaitic inscriptions he appears as šyʿhḳwm , i.e. S̲h̲ayʿ ha-Ḳawm, and it is only in the Nabataean and Palmyrene inscriptions (see G. Ryckmans, Les religions arabes préislamiques 2, Louvain 1953 = Quillet, Hist . gen . des religions 2, Paris 1960, ii, 199-228) that we have the form with the regular Arabic definite article, S̲h̲ayʿ al-Ḳawm. The name may refer to a tribal deity in the form of a lion or lion cub, so that S̲h̲ayʿ Allāh (this theophoric name, probably a depagan…


(582 words)

Author(s): Fahd, T.
, the name of one of the five gods dating from the time of Noah mentioned in the Ḳurʾān (LXX, 23), together with Wadd, Yag̲h̲ūt̲h̲, Yaʿūk and Nasr [ q.vv.]. Suwāʿ was worshipped by the Hud̲h̲ayl [ q.v.] at Ruhāt in the region of Yanbuʿ (Ibn al-Kalbī, 6) in one of the valleys running from the Red Sea towards Medina (Yāḳūt, Buldān , iv, 1038). The tribe assiduously frequented his shrine, made pilgrimages to it and constantly offered sacrifices of their best smaller beasts to it (Ibn al-Kalbī, 6, 35, citing two verses attributed to a Yem…

S̲h̲addād b. ʿĀd

(32 words)

Author(s): Fahd, T.
, a personage associated with the legendary town of Iram D̲h̲āt al-ʿImād, to whom is attributed its foundation. For information on him, see ʿād and iram. (T. Fahd)


(559 words)

Author(s): Fahd, T.
or hemerologies and menologies (Gr. χαταρχαί, Lat. electiones ) means an ¶ astrological procedure whose aim is to ascertain the auspicious ( saʿd ) or inauspicious ( naḥs ) character of the future. It deals with years, months, days and hours. This task, which was the duty of the official astrologer of the court as early as the Umayyad period, became increasingly important under the ʿAbbāsids as a result of the adoption of Iranian customs and Sāsānid calendars which established precisely how the prince’s time should be spent during all the days of the week (cf. for example the Ps.-D̲j̲āḥiẓ, Bāb…

Isāf Wā-naʾila

(657 words)

Author(s): Fahd, T.
, a pair of gods worshipped at ¶ Mecca before Islam. Several orientalists of the last century, such as Rudolph Krehl and François Lenormant, saw in them, not unreasonably, replicas of Baʿl and Baʿla. Indeed Isāf and Nāʾila do display the essential characteristics distinguishing this pair of gods from the many avatars known in the various Semitic religions: physical représentation by two sacred stones erected close to each other, or by two parallel hills; symbolic représentation of…


(1,558 words)

Author(s): Fahd, T.
(a.), in a technical sense designates rhapsodomancy. It is an Islamic divinatory procedure, analogous to bibliomancy; but in current usage the term refers to the drawing of lots, whatever form this may take, and this has been used following the Ḳurʾānic prohibition of istiḳsām [ q.v.] and of maysir [ q.v.], the two principal cleromantic techniques of pagan Arabia. I. In the usual sense of “the drawing of lots”, the term ḳurʿa , originally applied to “a wineskin with broad base and narrow neck” ( TA, v, 453, l. 23) which probably served as a receptacle for the shaking of the lots…


(631 words)

Author(s): Fahd, T.
, an Arabian god whose worship was fostered in Mecca by the K̲h̲uzāʿī ʿAmr b. Luḥayy [ q.v.] in the first half of the 3rd century A.D. Represented at first by a baetyl, like most of the Arab deities, it was later personified, with human features, by a statue made of cornelian, with the right arm truncated (cf. Judges III, 15, XX, 16) and which the ¶ Ḳurays̲h̲īs are said to have replaced by a golden arm (al-Azraḳī, Ak̲h̲bār Makka , ed. Wüstenfeld, Leipzig 1858, 74). It was from a town with thermal springs ( ḥamma ) that it was apparently brought to the Ḥid̲j̲āz. Having…


(847 words)

Author(s): Fahd, T.
(a., pl. s̲h̲āmāt ) “naevus, skin blemish, mole”. This term seems originally to have denoted the coloured marks on a horse’s body, above all, where they are disapproved of ( TʿA , viii, 362 ll. 12-13). It is applied to all marks of a colour different from the main body which they mark, and to all black marks on the body or on the ground ( ibid., ll. 304). But from what we know at present in our texts, there is no difference between s̲h̲āmāt and k̲h̲īlān (sing, k̲h̲āl ) (the two terms are attested in Akkadian: cf. ḫālu , Bezold, Babylonisch-Assyrisches Glossar , Heidelberg 1926, 120, and sāmūti , Labat, T…


(2,669 words)

Author(s): Fahd, T.
, ṭīra and zad̲j̲r are terms which merge into one another and together correspond to and express adequately the concept of “omen” and of οι̉ωνóς. Faʾl , a term peculiar to Arabic and equivalent to the Hebrew neḥas̲h̲īm and the Syriac neḥshē , originally meant natural omen, cledonism. It appears in very varied forms, ranging from simple sneezing (al-Ibs̲h̲īhī, Mustaṭraf , trans. Rat, ii 182), certain peculiarities of persons and things that one encounters (al-Nuwayrī, Nihāya , 133 ff., trans, in Arabica , viii/1 (1961), 34-7), to the interpretation of the…


(1,210 words)

Author(s): Fahd, T.
(A.), 10th form of the root ḳ-s-m which embraces two groups of meanings, the one of a magical nature and the other divinatory. The first is applied to formulae and methods for conjuring up demons, for adjuration and exorcism; this latter is the meaning acquired by the 2nd and 4th forms, ḳassama and aḳsama , particularly in the Christian Arab world, clearly influenced by the Hebrew ḳesem ( e.g., Deut. xxiii, 23), which has the same meaning. This usage is late, colloquial, and most frequently found among Christian Arabs, who also employ ḳisām , “adjuration, exorcism …

D̲h̲u ’l K̲h̲alaṣa

(469 words)

Author(s): Fahd, T.
(or K̲h̲ulaṣa ). D̲h̲u ’l-K̲h̲alaṣa refers to the sacred stone (and the holy place where it was to be found) which was worshipped by the tribes of Daws, K̲h̲at̲h̲ʿam, Bad̲j̲īla, the Azd of the Sarāt mountains and the Arabs of Tabāla. “It was a white quartziferous rock, bearing the sculpture of something like a crown. It was in Tabāla at the place called al-ʿAblāʾ, i.e., White Rock ( TʿA , viii, 3) between Mecca and the Yemen and seven nights’ march from the former ( i.e., approximately 192 kilometres or 119 miles). The guardians of the sanctuary were the Banū Umāma of the Bāhila…


(371 words)

Author(s): Fahd, T.
(a.), in early Arabia, the guardian of a shrine (abstract noun, sidāna ). The root s - d - n contains the sense of "veil, curtain", which puts sādin on a level with ḥād̲j̲ib , the first term denoting the guardian of a shrine, and the second, the "door-keeper" of a palace, hence "chamberlain". The ḥād̲j̲ib acts under the orders of someone else, whereas the sādin acts on his own initiative ( LʿA , xvii, 69, citing Ibn Barrī). However, the two terms may be found juxtaposed, e.g. in Ibn His̲h̲ām, who says, "The Arabs possessed, as well as the Kaʿba, tawāg̲h̲īṭ which were shrines ( buyūt : cf. Fahd, La divin…


(737 words)

Author(s): Fahd, T.
(a.), from rīf , pl. aryāf , “cultivated and fertile region”, generally designates the lands along a river or the sea and the fertile plains bordering the desert [see further rīf ]. The noun riyāfa , a recent formation on the model of ḳiyāfa (note that al-Ḏj̲āḥiẓ, K. al-Tarbīʿ wa ’l-tadwīr , ed. Pellat, 91-2, § 176, gives for ḳiyāfa [ q.v.] the sense of the detection of paternity, the whereabouts of water, atmospheric phenomena and the earth), designates the water-diviner’s art which estimates the depth of water under the earth through the smell of the ea…


(547 words)

Author(s): Fahd, T.
(a.), from the root s-ʿ-y , used 30 times in the Ḳurʾān in such senses as “to work, apply oneself to, denounce, seek to earn one’s living, run after s. th.” etc., but in the sense concerning here denoting the pilgrim’s running between al-Ṣafā and al-Marwa. These are two hills to the south and north-west of the Kaʿba respectively, linked by a masʿā , course, which the pilgrim follows after having made the sevenfold circuit of the Kaʿba, at his or her arrival and his or her departure. This following of the course, the saʿy , is likewise sevenfold; it starts in al-Ṣafā, and goes to al-Marwa, ca. 300 m a…


(319 words)

Author(s): Fahd, T.
, preferably to be read as Saʿīr, although the former is more common, an idol of the pre-Islamic Arabian tribe of ʿAnaza (Ibn al-Kalbī, 48-9), coming from ʿw.ṣ , an Aramaean eponym denoting in the Bible (refs. in Gesenius-Buhl, 573) the land of Edom and the group of tribes living there (W. Robertson Smith, Kinship and marriage in early Arabia , 260-1; Nöldeke, in ZDMG, xl [1887], 183). Saʿīr, which followed the same evolution as ʿAwḍ, denotes in the Bible the land of Edom before its occupation by the sons of Esau. Gen. xxxvi.9 speaks of the hill country Seʿir, o…


(631 words)

Author(s): Fahd, T.
(a.), the science of physiognomancy and the examination of traces on the ground. In their concern for the purity of race and the ¶ correctness of genealogical lines, the ancient Arabs perfected a technique which permitted them to verify, and, where necessary, to research into, lines of parentage. This technique consisted partly in experience and partly in divinatory intuition. In primitive times, a specialised personnel maintained the practice: but the progressive decline, in pre-Islamic Arabia, of personnel skilled i…


(949 words)

Author(s): Fahd, T.
, name of one of the most ancient deities ofthe Semitic pantheon, who appears in the Pre-Sargonic period in the form Menūtum and constitutes one ofthe names of Ishtar (J. Bottéro, Les divinités sémitiques anciennes en Mésopotamie , in S. Moscati (ed.), Le antiche divinité semitiche, 30; Tallqvist, Götterepitheta , 373-4); the Ḳurʾānic scriptio of her name preserves the primitive w, which also appears in the Nabatean mnwtw (Lidzbarski, Handbuch , 313; Wellhausen, Reste 2, 28). The w changes to i in the Bible (Isa. lxv, 11), as in the Sallier IV papyrus, verso , i, 5-6 (in J.B. Pritchard, Ancien…


(2,616 words)

Author(s): Fahd, T.
The particular veneration which, among the S̲h̲īʿas, the members of the Prophet’s family enjoy, is at the base of the belief that the descendants of Fāṭima have inherited certain privileges inherent in Prophethood; prediction of the future and of the destinies of nations and dynasties is one of these privileges. The S̲h̲īʿī conception of prophecy, closely connected with that of the ancient gnosis (cf. Tor Andrae, Die Person Muhammeds in Lehre und Glauben seiner Gemeinde , Stockholm 1918, ch. vi) made the prophetic afflatus pass from Adam to Muḥamm…


(743 words)

Author(s): Fahd, T.
(a., pl. tamāʾim , synonyms taʿwīd̲h̲ , ʿūd̲h̲a ), amulet, talisman (for a wider consideration of this last, see ṭilsam ). In origin, it means a stone with white speckles on a black field or vice-versa, threaded on a thong or cord and worn round the neck to avert danger. The Arabs placed such stones on their children, believing that it would protect them from the evil eye, ill fate, sickness and death, having thereby recourse to someone other than God, Who alone is capable of preventing evil a…
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