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Aṣḥāb al-Kahf

(1,075 words)

Author(s): Paret, R.
, “those of the cave”. This is the name given in the Ḳurʾān, and further in Arabic literature, to the youths who in the Christian Occident are usually called the “Seven Sleepers of Ephesus”. According to a legend, in the time of the Christian persecution under the Emperor Decius (249-51), seven Christian youths fled into a cave near Ephesus and there sank into a miraculous sleep for centuries, awoke under the Christian Emperor Theodosius, were discovered and then went to sleep for ever. Their re…


(736 words)

Author(s): Paret, R.
, “the opening (Sūra)”, or, more exactly, Fātiḥat al-Kitāb “(the Sūra) which opens the scripture (of revelation)”, designation of the first Sūra of the Ḳurʾān. Occasionally the terms umm al-kitāb (according to Sūra III, 7; XIII, 39; XLIII, 4) and al-sabʿ al-mat̲h̲ānī (according to Sūra XV, 87) are also found. With reference to the last-named term one must count the Basmala which comes before the Sūra as a verse on its own, to make up the total of seven verses (= mat̲h̲ānī ). While the other Sūras are arranged fairly accurately according to length (that is to say, the longer th…


(600 words)

Author(s): Paret, R.
, the biblical David. David is mentioned in several places in the Ḳurʾān, sometimes together with his more famous son and successor Solomon (Sulaymān). He kills Goliath (D̲j̲ālūt, Sūra II, 251). God grants him the rule of the kingdom ( ibid.) and enforces it (XXXVIII, 20). He makes him a “k̲h̲alīfa on earth” ( i.e., the successor of an earlier generation of rulers, XXXVIII, 26). He gives him knowledge ( ʿilm ) and wisdom ( ḥikma ), and the ability to do justice ( ḥukm , esp. XXI, 78 f.; XXXVII, 21-24, 26: faṣl al-k̲h̲iṭāb , XXXVII, 20). He gives him a zabūr (book, psalter, …


(1,036 words)

Author(s): Paret, R.
, soteriological expression used in the Ḳurʾān. The word occurs in various connexions in the Ḳurʾān and is usually translated as “discrimination”, “criterion”, “separation”, “deliverance”, or “salvation”, where it is translated at all. The Aramaic word purḳān on which it is modelled, ¶ means “deliverance”, “redemption”, and (in the Christian sense) “salvation”. The Arabic root faraḳa , which must be considered as another element in the furḳān of the Ḳurʾān, means “to separate”, “to divide”, “to distinguish”. Sūra VIII, 29 runs: “O believers, if you fear God, He will assign you a furḳān…

Dār al-Nadwa

(423 words)

Author(s): Paret, R.
, a kind of town hall in Mecca in the time of Muḥammad. The building was to the north of the Kaʿba, on the other side of the square in which the ṭawāf took place. It was the gathering place of the nobles ( malaʾ ). The Dār al-Nadwa is said to have been built by Ḳuṣayy [ q.v.], who is taken to be the ancestor of the Ḳurays̲h̲ and founder of the Kaʿba. He bequeathed it to ʿAbd al-Dār and then to ʿAbd Manāf and his son Hās̲h̲im and Hās̲h̲im’s descendants. “All matters of import to the Ḳurays̲h̲” are said to have taken place there up to the coming of Islam…


(1,268 words)

Author(s): Paret, R.
, the beast on which Muḥammad is said to have ridden, when he made his miraculous “night-journey”. According to Sūra xxii, 1, the “night-journey” led the Prophet from the sacred place of worship, i.e., Mecca, to the “remote place of worship”. This latter place has been identified by B. Schrieke and J. Horovitz with a point in the heavens, and by A. Guillaume, recently, with a locality near D̲j̲iʿrāna on the border of the sacred precinct of Mecca. The addition of the phrase “the environs of which we have blessed” makes it probab…


(1,815 words)

Author(s): Paret, R.
, the Abraham of the Bible, plays in Islamic religious history an important role as the founder or reformer of the monotheistic Kaʿba cult. He is mentioned, in greater or less detail, in 25 sūra s of the Ḳurʾān. Moses is the only Biblical character who is mentioned more frequently, though this does not mean that Abraham is considered second to him in importance. In two sūras, which are to be dated from the first Meccan period, there is a reference to the “leaves, scrolls” ( ṣuḥuf ) of Abraham and Moses, by which presumably texts of revelation are meant (LXXXV…

Ibn S̲h̲anabūd̲h̲

(299 words)

Author(s): Paret, R.
( S̲h̲anbūd̲h̲ , S̲h̲annabūd̲h̲ ), Abu ’l-Ḥasan Muḥammad b. Aḥmad b. Ayyūb b. al-Ṣalt al-Bag̲h̲dādī , widely travelled and learned ¶ “reader” of the Ḳurʾān and teacher of Ḳurʾānic reading, died Ṣafar 328/November-December 939, introduced in the public prayer ( fi ’l-miḥrāb ) readings of Ibn Masʿud, Ubay and others which varied from ʿUt̲h̲mān’s recension; for this, perhaps at the instigaion of his influential colleague Ibn Mud̲j̲āhid (whom he detested), he was brought to trial in 323/935 before a special court presi…

Sīrat Baybars

(1,091 words)

Author(s): Paret, R.
an extensive Arabic folktale purporting to be the life-story of the Mamlūk sultan Baybars I (1260-77). Many of the people and the events in the sīra are historical, but its overall character, as well as most of the descriptive detail, is fictitious. Its only historical value lies in the fact that it represents the type of intellectual nourishment accepted by large parts of the Muslim population in Cairo in the late Middle Ages and in the following centuries. Its real interest lies rather in the fields of sociology, folklore, and history of literature. The novel opens with a description …

Istiḥsān and Istiṣlāḥ

(4,057 words)

Author(s): Paret, R.
, two methods of reasoning much discussed in the books on the- Uṣūlal-Fiḳh [ q.v.] in connection with the doctrine of ḳiyās [ q.v.]. The two conceptions as a result of their close relationship are sometimes confused (cf. S̲h̲āṭibī, iv, 116-118; Ibn Taymiyya, v, 22). But no one ever seems to have reached a clear and lucid definition of their mutual relationship. I. The authorities for istiḥsān which the followers of this method quote from the Ḳurʾān (XXXIX, 18, 55), ḥadīt̲h̲ ( mā raʾāhu ’l-muslimūn ḥasanan fahuwa ʿinda ʾ llāh i ḥasanun ) and id̲j̲māʿ (going to the b…

Istiḥsān and Istiṣlāḥ

(3,713 words)

Author(s): Paret, R.
, two methods of reasoning much discussed in the books on the Uṣūl al-Fiḳh [q. v.] in connection with the doctrine of ḳiyās [q. v.]. The two conceptions as a result of their close relationship are sometimes confused (cf. S̲h̲āṭibī, iv. 116—118 5 Ibn Taimīya, v. 22). But no one ever seems to have reached a clear and lucid definition of their mutual relationship. 1. The authorities for istiḥsān which the followers of this method quote from the Ḳurʾān (xxxix. 19, 56), Ḥadīt̲h̲. ( mā raʾāhu ’l-muslimūn ḥasanan fa-huwa ʿinda ’llāhi ḥasanun) and id̲j̲māʿ (going to the bath without previous ar…


(2,595 words)

Author(s): Paret, R.
, reading. Applied to the Ḳurʾān, ḳirāʾa also means recitation . In the present article the term ḳirāʾa is used as follows: 1. in the general sense of the recitation (a) of single parts of the Ḳurʾān, as prescribed for the ritual prayer ( ṣalāt ), or the recitation (b) of the entire Ḳurʾān, which has become, in the course of years, an accepted spiritual exercise ( ḳirāʾa = recitation) ; 2. to indicate a special reading of a word or of a single passage of the Ḳurʾān ( ḳirāʾa, pl. ḳirāʾat = variant); 3. to indicate a particular reading of the entire Ḳurʾān ( ḳirāʾa = reading). In the third case one s…


(360 words)

Author(s): Paret, R.
(genitive ʿilliyyīn ) is used in Sūra LXXXIII, 18 to mean the place in the book where the deeds of the pious ( abrār ) are listed. In the two following verses (19 ff.) ʿilliyyūn is described as an inscribed book ( kitāb marḳūm ). In verse 21 it is said of this book that those close (to God) bear witness to it. Correspondingly in verse 7 of the same Sūra the place in the book where the deeds of evil-doers are chronicled is called sid̲j̲d̲j̲īn . In the two following verses (8 ff.) sid̲j̲d̲j̲īn too is defined as an inscribed book. In Ṭabarī’s view ʿilliyyūn may be identified with the seventh heaven or…


(630 words)

Author(s): Paret, R.
, Abu ’l-ʿAbbās Aḥmad b. Yaḥyā b. Zaid b. Saiyār (or: Yasār) al-S̲h̲aibānī (= Mawlā of the Banū S̲h̲aibān), an Arab grammarian, although regarded as of the “Kūfa” school (see below), spent his life in Bag̲h̲dād. Born in 200 (815), at the age of 16 he began to devote himself to the study of the Arabic language. Abū ʿAbd Allāh b. al-Aʿrābī, al-Zubair b. Bakkār were among his teachers. He also studied with great enthusiasm the works of al-Kisāʾī and especially of al-Farrāʾ; he is said to have known all the lat…


(311 words)

Author(s): Paret, R.
is a special name for the last three days of the Muḥammadan Ḥad̲j̲d̲j̲ (11th-13th Ḏh̲u ’l-Ḥid̲j̲d̲j̲a: Aiyām al-Tas̲h̲rīḳ), during which the pilgrims, having finished their regular rites, stay in Minā and have to throw seven stones daily on each of the three piles of stones there. In the early period of Islām the name tas̲h̲rīḳ was also given to the solemn ṣalāt on the morning of the 10th Ḏh̲u ’l-Ḥid̲j̲d̲j̲a. The term is probably a survival from the pre-Islāmic period and therefore could no longer be explained by the Muslims with certainty. For example the obvi…


(1,222 words)

Author(s): Paret, R.
, the Ḳurʾānic word for people, community, is not to be derived from the Arabic root ʾmm, but to be explained as a loanword from the Hebrew ( ummā) or Aramaic ( ummet̲h̲ā). It has therefore no direct connection with the homonyms also found in the Ḳurʾān, which mean “a period” (Sūra xi. 11; xii. 45) and “descent” (Sūra xliii. 21 sq.). Perhaps the loanword found its way into Arabic at a comparatively early period (see Horovitz’s citation of the Ṣafā inscription, lii. 407). In any case the word was taken up by Muḥammad and henceforth becomes a specifically Islāmic term. The passages in the Ḳurʾān,…


(1,496 words)

Author(s): Paret, R.
, Abū Ḏj̲aʿfar Mūḥammad b. Ḏj̲arīr, the Arab historian, was born probably in 839 (end of 224 or beg. 225 a. h.) at Āmul in the province of Ṭabaristān. He began to devote himself to study at a precociously early age, and is said to have known the Ḳurʾān by heart by the time he was seven. After receiving his early education in his native town, he received from his father who was quite well off the necessary means of visiting the centres of the Muslim learned world. He thus visited Raiy and its vicinity, then Bag̲h̲dād…


(491 words)

Author(s): Paret, R.
, Meccan pilgrims’ guide. The word literally means one who leads the ṭawāf [q. v.]. The task of the muṭawwif is however by no means limited to assisting pilgrims from foreign lands, who entrust themselves to their guidance, to go through the ceremonies required at the circumambulation of the Kaʿba. On the contrary they act as guides at the saʿy also and at all other ceremonies which are prescribed or only recommended for the ḥad̲j̲di or ʿumra [q. v.]. The muṭawwifs also cater very completely for the physical welfare of the pilgrims. As soon as the pilgrims arrive in Ḏj̲…


(786 words)

Author(s): Paret, R.
or Waḳfa (a.), “halt”, means in particular the halting of the pilgrims at any spot they choose within the plain of ʿArafa; it begins on the afternoon of the 9th Ḏh̲u ’l-Ḥid̲j̲d̲j̲a and lasts till sunset. This wuḳūf is considered the most essential part of the ḥad̲j̲d̲j̲. The imām of the ḥad̲j̲d̲j̲ usually introduces it (before the beginning of the combined ẓuhr and ʿaṣr ṣalāt) with a k̲h̲uṭba; his words can of course only be heard by those in his immediate neighbourhood. The pilgrims for their part recite portions of the Ḳurʾān, say prayers — mainly for forgiveness of sins — and cry labbaika [q. …


(2,492 words)

Author(s): Paret, R.
, “the little pilgrimage”. 1. The ceremonies of the (Muslim) ʿumra. The ʿumra, like the ḥad̲j̲d̲j̲ [q. v.], can only be performed in a state of ritual purity ( iḥrām [q.v.]). On assuming the iḥrām, the pilgrim ( muʿtamir) must make up his mind whether he is going to perform the ʿumra by itself or in combination with the ḥad̲j̲d̲j̲ and express his intention in an appropriate nīya [q. v.]. If he combines the ʿumra with the ḥad̲j̲d̲j̲ (see below) he can assume the iḥrām for both pilgrimages at once; in the other case the iḥrām must be specially assumed for the ʿumra in the unconsecrated area ( ḥill) outs…
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