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Sīrat ʿAntar

(3,699 words)

Author(s): Heller, Bernhard
, the romance of ʿAntar, rightly considered the model of the Arabic romance of chivalry. This sīra surveys five hundred years ¶ of Arab history and includes a wealth of older traditions. The story, in the Kitāb al-Ag̲h̲ānī of how ʿAntar, the son of a slave-girl, was adopted into the tribe of Banū ʿAbs for saving them at a time of great crisis already bears the stamp of a flourishing but already legendary tradition. The Sīrat ʿAntar far transcends the unconscious development of a legend. By a bold stroke ʿAntar, the solitary hero, is raised to be the representative of al…

Nūḥ

(1,280 words)

Author(s): Heller, Bernhard
, the Noah of the Bible, is a particularly popular figure in the Ḳurʾān and in Muslim legend. T̲h̲aʿlabī gives 15 virtues by which Nūḥ is distinguished among the prophets. The Bible does not regard Noah as a prophet. In the Ḳurʾān Nūḥ is the first prophet of punishment, who is followed by Hūd, Ṣāliḥ, Lūṭ, S̲h̲uʿaib and Mūsā. Ibrāhīm is one of his following ( S̲h̲īʿa) (Sūra xxxvii. 81). He is the perspicuous admonisher ( nad̲h̲ir mubīn, xi. 27; lxxi. 2), the rasūl amīn “the true messenger of God” (xxvi. 107), the W s̲h̲akūr

Yāfit̲h̲

(381 words)

Author(s): Heller, Bernhard
, the Japheth of the Bible, is not mentioned in the Ḳurʾān; but the exegesis of the Ḳurʾān and legend are familiar with the names of the sons of Nūḥ: Sām, Ḥām, Yāfit̲h̲ (exceptionally Yāfit: Ṭabarī, i. …

Lazarus

(303 words)

Author(s): Heller, Bernhard
is the name in the Gospels of 1) the poor man who finds compensation in Abraham’s bosom for the misery of this world (Luke, xvi. 19—31); 2) the dead man whom Jesus raises to life (John xi.). The Ḳurʾān mentions neither the one nor the other, but among the miracles with which it credits Jesus is included the raising from the dead (Sūra, iii. 43). Muslim legend with its fondness for the miracle of resurrection is fond of telling of the dead whom Jesus revives, but rarely mentions Lazarus. Ṭabarī ( Annales) talks of these miracles in general. According to him, Hām b. Nūḥ is revived by Je…

Yaʿḳūb

(339 words)

Author(s): Heller, Bernhard
, the patriarch, the son of Isaac in the Bible, is in the early Meccan Sūras (vi. 84; xix. 50; xxi. 72; xxix. 26) the brother of Isḥāḳ, son of Ibrāhīm; the genealogy: Ibrāhīm, Ismāʿīl, Isḥāḳ, Yaʿḳūb, the (12) tribes (ii. 130, 134), is more true to the Bible. Yaʿḳūb is numbered among the Prophets (xix. 5…

Lūṭ

(991 words)

Author(s): Heller, Bernhard
, the Biblical Lot has in Muslim legend, even as early as in the Ḳurʾān, an importance which he does not have in the Bible or Haggada. As his story is associated with the downfall of the sinful Sadūm (not however mentioned in the Ḳurʾān) he appears to Muḥammad as a prophet of punishment along with Hūd, Ṣāliḥ, Nūḥ and S̲h̲uʿaib as predecessors of Muḥammad. When Muḥammad is accused of being a liar he can console himself with the reflection that before him the people of Nūḥ, ʿĀd, T̲h̲amūd, the people of Ibrāhīm and the people of Lūṭ also called their prophets liars (Sūra, xxii. 43). Lūṭ’s people (called ḳ…

Luḳmān

(2,425 words)

Author(s): Heller, Bernhard
, a legendary figure of the period of Arab paganism, who was adopted into the Ḳurʾān and later legend and poetry. The story of Luḳmān shows three main stages of development: I. The pre-Ḳurʾānic: Luḳmān al-Muʿammar, the long-lived hero of the Ḏj̲āhilīya; II. The Ḳurʾānic: Luḳmān, the wise maker of proverbs; III. The post-Ḳurʾānic: Luḳmān, the writer of fables. …

Zakārīyāʾ

(452 words)

Author(s): heller, Bernhard
, the father of John the Baptist, is reckoned in the Ḳurʾān (vi. 65) along with John, Jesus and Elias among the righteous. Muḥammad gives the substance of Luke i. 5—25 as follows: Zakārīyā guards the Virgin Mary in the niche ( miḥrāb) and always finds fresh fruits there. He prays to God; angels announce to him that a son will be born to him, Yaḥyā, a name never previously given to anyone, a pious man, a prophet, Yaʿḳūb’s heir, pleasing to God. Zakārīyā ¶ thinks he is too old. As a sign to him he is struck dumb for three days (Sūra iii. 32, 36; xix. 1—15; xxi. 89—90). Later legend expands the Gospel stor…

ʿŪd̲j̲

(566 words)

Author(s): Heller, Bernhard
, also ʿĀd̲j̲ b. ʿAnaḳ or …

al-Sāmirī

(629 words)

Author(s): Heller, Bernhard
, “the Samaritan”, is the name in Ḳurʾān, xx. 87, 90, 96, of the man who tempted ¶ the Israelites to the sin of the golden calf. This sin is twice mentioned in the Ḳurʾān. The first narrative, Sūra vii. 146—153, tells of the sin of Israel and Aaron as in Exodus, xxxii., but with the elaboration that the calf cast out of metal lowed. The second version, Sūra xx. 85—97, which is shown to be later by its additions and was considered by Muslim tradition also to belong to the Medīna period (Nöldeke-Schwally, Geschichte des Qorāns, p. 124, 125), makes al-Sāmirī the tempter of Israel. At al-Sāmir…

Ṭālūt

(884 words)

Author(s): Heller, Bernhard
is the name of king Saul of the Bible in the Ḳurʾān (ii. 248, 250). The name is explained as early as T̲h̲aʿlabī from the height ( ṭūl) of Ṭālūt. Ṭālūt recalls Ḏj̲ālūt (Goliath), an assonance of pairs of names, like Hārūt-Mārūt, Hābil-Ḳābil, Yād̲j̲ūd̲j̲-Mād̲j̲ūd̲j̲ (Goldziher). Ḏj̲ālūt itself is explained from the Hebrew (Horovitz). In the Ḳurʾān (ii. 247—253) the following is told of Ṭālūt. After the time of Moses Israel demanded a king. God appointed Ṭālūt king but the people did not find him worthy of the throne. Ṭālūt was distinguished for the…

Yūs̲h̲aʿ b. Nūn

(450 words)

Author(s): Heller, Bernhard
, the Joshua of the Bible. The Ḳurʾān does not mention him by name but alludes to him. When Moses wished to lead his people into the holy land and Israel was afraid to fight with the giants, they were encouraged by two God-fearing men (v. 23—29), who may be recognised as Joshua and Caleb. Neither can it be doubted that the young man ( fatā = naʿar, Exod. xxxiii. 11) who accompanies Moses on a journey to Ḵh̲aḍir (not named) (Sūra xviii. 59—64) is no other than Joshua. Muslim legend has supplied the figure of Yūs̲h̲aʿ with features not found in the Bible. Yūs̲h̲aʿ is given the task of…

Mūsā

(1,462 words)

Author(s): Heller, Bernhard
, the prophet Moses of the Bible. 1. In the Ḳurʾān. Muḥammad regards Mūsā as his predecessor, his model, and believes he had already been foretold by Mūsā (vii. 156); his religion is also Mūsā’s religion (xlii. 11). Mūsā is also conceived in Muḥammad’s image. Charges are brought against him similar to those made against Muḥammad he is said to want to pervert people from the faith of their fathers, (x. 79); he practises magic (xxviii. 18). Mūsā and Hārūn seem rather to be sent to the stubborn Pharaoh than to the believing Israelites. Revelation is granted him: tawrāt, kitāb, furḳān, ṣuḥuf (ii. 5…

Yūnus b. Mattai

(865 words)

Author(s): Heller, Bernhard
, the prophet Jonah, son of Amittai (II Kings xiv. 25). In the Ḳurʾān he is four times mentioned as Yūnus, without his father’s name being given, once as Ḏh̲u ’l-Nūn (xxi. 87), once (lxviii. 48) as ṣāḥib al-ḥūt, “he of the fish”. This epithet explains also why Yūnus is the only one of the major and minor prophets who is mentioned in the Ḳurʾān; a prophet who is swallowed by a fish naturally attracts attention. Muḥammad numbers Yūnus among the apostles of God (iv. 161; vi. 86). Sūra x. is called after Yūnus, and tells of the town whi…

ʿUzair

(829 words)

Author(s): Heller, Bernhard
is mentioned once in the Ḳurʾān: “The Jews said: ʿUzair is the son of God; the Christians said: Christ is the son of God” (Sūra ix. 30). ʿUzair is generally identified with Ezra. But as such a belief among the Jews that Ezra was the son of God can hardly be imagined, much less proved to exist, Casanova made the attractive suggestion that ʿUzair is Uzail-Azael, one of the fallen angels (on him see Heller, in R.E.J., 1910, lx. 201—212; Jung, in J.Q.R., 1925, 1926, N.S., xvi. 202—205, 287 sqq.), after a short time before Muḥammad Mad̲j̲dī Bey had made the fantastic suggestion that ʿUza…