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Nawbak̲h̲t

(352 words)

Author(s): Massignon, Louis
This Iranian patronymic ( naw or nai + bak̲h̲t “new fortune”) was borne in Bag̲h̲dād during the first two ʿAbbāsid centuries by a family remarkable for its influence on the advancement of learning and on the political legitimism of the Imāmīs. It claimed descent (cf. Buḥturī, Dīwān, p. 115) from the Persian hero Glw son of Gūdarz celebrated in the S̲h̲āhnāma (cf. Justi, Iranisches Namenbuch, p. 399 and Christensen, Kayanides, p. 59, 117). Its first known representative Nawbak̲h̲t, an astrologer, owed his fortune to the future caliph al-Manṣūr, to whom in prison h…

Hīlād̲j̲

(104 words)

Author(s): Massignon, Louis
(or Hailād̲j̲), a Persian word adopted into Arabic, an astrological term, associated with katk̲h̲udā by Ibn al-Rūmī (died 284 = 897) in a celebrated verse. According to the Burhān-i ḳāṭiʿ s. v., where it is derived from the Greek, it means “elixir of life”. By its assonance to Ḥallād̲j̲, the word has given ʿAṭṭār a title for his Hīlād̲j̲-Nāmah, a long Persian poem, which describes the ideal of mystic union in the form of the story of a martyr. (Louis Massignon) Bibliography Ḵh̲afād̲j̲ī, S̲h̲ifāʾ al-ʿalīl, Cairo 1282, s. v. Rieu, Catal. Pers. MSS. Brit. Mus., p. 577a—b Lug̲h̲at al-ʿArab, iii.…

ʿUd̲h̲rī

(572 words)

Author(s): Massignon, Louis
, a patronymic from the name of the Arab tribe of the Banū ʿUd̲h̲ra [q.v.], a small tribe of the Ḥid̲j̲āz, probably of Ḳaḥṭanid descent (cf. Ag̲h̲ānī2 , vu. 72—73), which amalgamated with the Ḏj̲uhaina; the remnants of them are still to be found to-day near Yanbūʿ (Ḥid̲j̲āz) and in the Egyptian Sūdān. Ḥubb ʿud̲h̲rī, “ʿUd̲h̲rī love”, is in the history of Islāmic thought a literary and philosophical theme, related to the “platonic love” of the Greeks from which it is derived, and to the amour courtois of the western Christian middle ages which it inspired. This theme, which probably was inv…

Nūr Muḥammadī

(500 words)

Author(s): Massignon, Louis
, the technical term for the pre-existence of the soul of the Prophet Muḥammad; the predestined essence of the last of the prophets is said to have been created first of all, in the form of a dense and luminous point; all the predestined souls are saidto have emanated from this. Among the Sunnīs, the idea first appears among the mystics in the third century a. h., then gradually begins to dominate popular worship (cf. Sahl Tustarī and Ḥakīm Tirmid̲h̲ī, in our Recueil…, 1929, p. 34, N°. 39 and p. 39); Abū Bakr Wāsiṭī, whose Ḥā Mīm al-Ḳidam should be identified with ch. i. of the Ṭawāsīn of Ḥallād̲j̲ …

Ḥāmid

(175 words)

Author(s): Massignon, Louis
b. al-ʿAbbās Abū Muḥammad, born in 223 (837), died 311 (923), according to the satirist Ibn Bassām, in early life a waterseller and vendor of pomegranates, was one of the ablest financiers of the ʿAbbāsid Caliphs al-Muwaffaḳ and al-Muḳtadir. He combined the collection of the k̲h̲arād̲j̲ and ḍiyāʿ of Wāsiṭ (from 273 = 886) with that of Fārs (from 287 = 900) and Baṣra. In 306 (918) he was appointed vizier, and afterwards was given ʿAlī b. al-Ḏj̲arrāḥ as his nāʾib. His financial administration resulted in riots in Bag̲h̲dād and his strong measures with dissenters like the Ḳarm…

Ḥarīrīya

(92 words)

Author(s): Massignon, Louis
, a sect of the Rifāʿīya in the district of Damascus founded by ʿAlī b. Abī ’l-Hasan al-Ḥarīrī al-Marwarī who died in 645 (1147) at Boṣra in Ḥawrān. His extreme pantheism, as it finds expression in his poet Nad̲j̲m al-Dīn b. Isrāʾīl, was banned by Ibn Taimīya in a very important fatwā (vol. xxvii. nº. 2 of the collection Tafsīr al-Kawākib al-Darārī, formed by Ibn ʿUrwa, manuscript in Damascus, Tafsīr, n°. 151). Cf. also al-Fārūt̲h̲ī (died 694 = 1294) hr Abu ’l-Hudā, Ḳilādat al-Ḏj̲awāhir, Stambul 1302, p. 326. (Louis Massignon)

Wird

(528 words)

Author(s): Massignon, Louis
(a., pl. awrād). The technical term wird (etymologically “to go down to a wateringplace”; not to be vocalised ward) means the definite time ( waḳt) of day or night which the pious believer devotes daily to God in private prayer (in addition to the five prescribed prayers). It also means the formula of prayer recited on this occasion, called properly ḥizb (plur. aḥzāb; cf. Makkī, Ḳūt al-Ḳulūb, i. 81—84 and i. 4—22). The simplest wird consists of 4 rakʿas, with the recitation of a seventh of the Ḳurʾān; but, very early, in private devotional prayer ( duʿāʾ; Sunn! as well as S̲h̲īʿī, cf. Kulainī, Kāf…

Taṣawwuf

(4,152 words)

Author(s): Massignon, Louis
1. Etymology — maṣdar of form V, formed from the root ṣūf, meaning “wool” to denote “the practice of wearing the woollen robe ( labs al-ṣūf)” — hence the act of devoting oneself to the mystic life on becoming what is called in Islām a ṣūfī. The other etymologies, ancient and modern, proposed for this name of ṣūfī may be rejected: such are ahl al-ṣuffa (devotees seated on the “bench” of the mosque at Madīna in the time of the Pruphet), ṣaff awwal (first row of the faithful at prayer), banū Ṣūfa (a Beduin tribe), ṣawfāna (a kind of vegetable), ṣafwat al-ḳifā (a lock of hair on the nape of the neck), ṣūfīya

S̲h̲ābās̲h̲īya

(202 words)

Author(s): Massignon, Louis
, the name of a sect of extreme Ḳarmaṭians in the region of Baṣra and al-Aḥsā led by hereditary chiefs, the Banū S̲h̲ābās̲h̲ s̲h̲aik̲h̲s (the rubūbīya is handed down from father to son). Their political activity lasted over a century (about 380 to 480 = 990—1090) in the Persian Gulf. (The form S̲h̲abbāsīya should be dropped). Two of them, in spite of their excommunication by orthodox writers were viziers to the Būyid governor of Baṣra: Abu ’l-Ḥasan ʿAlī b. Faḍl (or Ḥasan) Ibn S̲h̲ābās̲h̲ (d. 444=: 1052) and his son Sail] al-Barakāt (mentioned in 487 …

Nahīkī

(156 words)

Author(s): Massignon, Louis
, nisba from the pre-Islāmic divine name Nahīk noted by Wellhausen and Nöldeke among the Tamīm, the Nak̲h̲aʿ (of Mad̲h̲ḥid̲j̲) and in Mecca before Islām. — In Kūfa and Sāmarrā it was the name of the Āl Nahīk, a family of S̲h̲īʿī scholars of the tribe of Nak̲h̲aʿ: descendants of Nahīk, grandfather of Kumail b. Ziyād, a partisan of ʿAlī, also celebrated as the founder of the Kumailīya sect (or Kāmilīya: Ibn Saʿd, vi. 124; ḳaṣīda of Miʿdān Samīṭī in Ḏj̲āḥiẓ, Ḥayawān, ii. 98). Two of its members settled in Sāmarrā (Ṭūsī, Fihrist, p. 203; cf. p. 179, 196): the first ʿAbd Allāh b. Muḥammad (…

Muḥassin

(232 words)

Author(s): Massignon, Louis
b. ʿAlī (now pronounced muḥsin). According to S̲h̲īʿī tradition, the truth of which is challenged by the Sunnīs, he was the third son of ʿAlī and Fāṭima, a still-born child whose mother gave birth to him prematurely during the search of the house ordered by the new Caliph Abū Bakr, and carried out by ʿUmar and Ḳunfud̲h̲ b. ʿUmair, who ill-treated her. In the tenth century a. d. a maḳām was built in his honour at Aleppo. The Muk̲h̲ammisa S̲h̲īʿīs (who include the Nuṣairīs) have a particular devotion to Muḥassin. Under their influence the Persian taʿzīyes representing the Last Judgment and …

Ḥulmānīya

(131 words)

Author(s): Massignon, Louis
, a mystic sect founded in Damascus by Abū Ḥulmān al-Fārisī al-Ḥalabī. He appears to have been a disciple of Ibn Sālim of Baṣra (died 297 = 909); he was admitted among the Ṣūfī S̲h̲aik̲h̲s in the Taʿarruf of Kalābād̲h̲ī (s. v. simāʿ) but excommunicated by the As̲h̲ʿarīs for having maintained the theses 1. that God is present in the person, of men endowed with physical beauty ( ḥulūl) 2. that everything is allowed ( ibāḥa) to him who knows to worship the presence of ¶ God in them. This is perhaps a corruption of the Sālimīya thesis on the divine tad̲j̲allī. (Louis Massignon) Bibliography Maḳdisī, Bad…

K̲h̲aṭṭābīya

(148 words)

Author(s): Massignon, Louis
This extremist S̲h̲īʿa sect has, since the appearance of the original article, been the subject of studies based on unpublished or unexplored sources, a list of which will be found in W. Ivanow, Notes sur l’Ummu ’l- kitâb des Ismaëliens de l’Asie Central (dans R. E. I., 1932, p. 419—482, esp. p. 430 and 439) and in L. Massignon, Salmân Pâk (N°. 7 of the Publ. Soc. Études Iraniennes, Paris 1934, esp. p. 19, 38 and 44). — From this it is known that Abu ’l-Ḵh̲aṭṭāb, killed in 138 = 755—756 (dates attested by Kas̲h̲ī, p. 191, in the course of a long notice of him), …

Salmānīya

(259 words)

Author(s): Massignon, Louis
This name is found in Abū Ḥātim Rāzī (d. 322 = 934) applied to a series of extreme S̲h̲īʿa sects ( g̲h̲ulāt) who paid special reverence to the ṣaḥābī Salmān Fārisī [q. v.], either as a prophet who either left heirs to carry on his mission or not, or as a divine emanation regarded by some as superior to ʿAlī (Abū Ḥātim Rāzī, Kitāb al-Zīna, f°. 907). In about 220 (835) Ḏj̲arād̲h̲īnī wrote against them a special refutation. This is the “exoteric” name for a group which S̲h̲īʿa gnosticism calls by its correct name Sīnīya (or Salsalīya), in contrast to the Mīmīya or ʿAinīya, — the letter sīn meaning here …

S̲h̲add

(822 words)

Author(s): Massignon, Louis
(or Rabṭ al-Miḥzam), „ligature”, „knot”,,girt which is bound”; this is the most important rite in the initiation ceremony practised since at least the twelfth century a. d. in the guilds of artisans ( ḥirfa, cf. ṣinf) as well as in certain mystical congregations (cf. ṭārīka). At his initiation before the body of initiates, the candidate ( mas̲h̲dūd) if he is a Muslim, takes part if required in the recitation of the fātiḥa, the 7 salām’s, the nas̲h̲āʾid in honour of the Prophet, the latter preceded by his taking a preliminary oath. Then comes the s̲h̲add; the novice bends down and is „bou…

al-Ḥillī

(99 words)

Author(s): Massignon, Louis
, the native of Ḥilla [q. v.], the name of three esteemed Imāmiya theologians. 1. Nad̲j̲m al-Dīn Ḏj̲aʿfar b. Muḥammad, called al-Muhaḳḳiḳ, died about 674 (1275), author of the S̲h̲arāʾiʿ al-Islām, the standard handbook on S̲h̲īʿī law (translated into Russian by Kasembeg, into French by Querry). 2. Ḏj̲amāl al-Dīn al-Ḥasān b. al-Muṭahhar, called ʿAllāma, died in 726 (1326); author of the Ḵh̲ulāṣat al-Aḳwāl, besides other treatises. 3. Aḥmad b. Fahd, died in 806 (1403), “S̲h̲aik̲h̲ al-Mutaʾak̲h̲k̲h̲irīn”. (Louis Massignon) Bibliography Ḵh̲ūnsārī, Rawḍāt al-Ḏj̲annāt, lith. Teher…

Warrāḳ

(230 words)

Author(s): Massignon, Louis
, Abū ʿĪsā Muḥammad b. Hārūn, an independent thinker, who finally was accused of zandaḳa, was like his friend and pupil, Ibn al-Rāwandī [cf. al-rāwandī], at one time a theologian of the Muʿtazila school. Victims of the same persecution, both died in exile in Ahwāz in 297 (909). His theological vocabulary only makes mild concessions to Hellenistic philosophy, but his dialectic is powerful; and his documentation of an objectivity and exactness unknown in this period enabled him to write a manual of the history of religions, the Kitāb al-Maḳālāt, the only source (unfortunately lost) o…

Ḥulūl

(331 words)

Author(s): Massignon, Louis
, a philosophical term, derived from ḥalla “to loosen, unfold, alight, settle in a place ( maḥall), whence its classical acceptations in Muslim theology, the relation between a body and its place, an accident and its substance. Ḥulūl has also been applied to the substantial union 1. of the body and the soul, ḥulūl al-rūḥ fi ’l-badan, 2. of a divine spirit with man, ḥulūl al-ʿakl al-faʿʿāl fi ’l-insān (Fārābī, Arāʾ Ahl al-Madīna al-fāḍila, ed. Cairo, 1906, p. 86), ḥulūl al-lāhūt fi ’l-nāsūt (cf. al-Ḥallād̲j̲). The Aristotelian doctrine of hylomorphism. like the Christian doctrin…

Zuhd

(400 words)

Author(s): Massignon, Louis
, a technical term in Muslim mysticism, the virtue of a zāhid (pl. zāhidūn, zuhhād; Sūra xii. 20 seems very far from this meaning): abstinence: at first from sin, from what is superfluous, from all that estranges from God (this is the extreme that the Ḥanbalīs admit); then abstinence from all perishable things by detachment of the heart (and here we enter into the mystic), complete asceticism, renunciation of all that is created. Thus the term zuhd, taking the place of nisk (its synonym in the older texts), clearly means more not only than ḳanāʿa (moderation and control of one’s desires)…

Mubāhala

(277 words)

Author(s): Massignon, Louis
, the name of a festival celebrated in very early times by the S̲h̲īʿa on the 21st Ḏh̲u ’l-Ḥid̲j̲d̲j̲a, to commemorate the historic interview which the Prophet had with the envoys of the Christians of Nad̲j̲rān (Balḥārit̲h̲, clan of ʿAbd al-Madān) at the end of the year 10 a. h. We know that this interview ended in a diplomatic agreement ( muṣālaḥa); but what the S̲h̲īʿīs remember about it is that it was preceded ¶ by a proposal for a trial by ordeal ( ibtihāl: this is said to be alluded to in the Ḳurʾān iii. 54, according to most of the commentaries) — the Prophet summoning th…
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