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(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, …


(1,268 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…


(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…


(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…


(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…


(507 words)

Author(s): Paret, R.
, the pilgrim’s guide in Mecca. 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 ḥad̲j̲d̲j̲ or ʿumra [ q.vv.]. The muṭawwifs also cater very completely for the physical welfare of the pilgrims. As soon a…

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…

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…

Aṣḥāb al-Uk̲h̲dūd

(474 words)

Author(s): Paret, R.
, “those of the trench”, an expression at the beginning of Ḳurʾān, LXXXV, which is difficult to understand. The verses 4-7 run: “Slain be those of the trench, of the fire fed with fuel, (lo) when they are sitting by it (i.e. the fire), while they are witnesses of what they do (were doing) with the believers!” The ancient Ḳurʾān commentators and historians refer the passage inter alia to the persecution of the Christians in Nad̲j̲rān under the Jewish king of South Aiabia Ḏh̲ū Nuwās [ q.v.] which—as far as is historically established— is to be placed in the year 523. It is alleged …

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 …


(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…


(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…


(244 words)

Author(s): Paret, R.
Abu ’l-Faḍl (according to others Abū ʿAbd allāh or Abū d̲j̲aʿfar) Muḥammad b. Ṭaifūr al-G̲h̲aznawī, reader of the Ḳorʾān, died about 560=11164/5. While he also occupied himself with Ḳorʾān exegesis and grammar, he is mainly known by his works on the recitation of the Ḳorʾān. At quite an early period a beginning was made with distinguishing different kinds of pauses in reciting the Ḳorʾān [see the article ḳirāʾa]. Al-Sad̲j̲āwandl further developed the system in his work on this subject entitled Kitāb al-Waḳf wa’l-Ibtidāʾ. He divided the possibilities of allowing a pause to int…


(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…


(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…

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…


(420 words)

Author(s): Paret, R.
(a.), originally means quite generally interpretation, exposition. In some of the passages in which the word occurs in the Ḳurʾān it refers definitely to the revelation delivered by Muḥammad. The use of the word taʾwīl afterwards became more and more limited to this special meaning and it meant exposition of the Ḳurʾān, and was for a time synonymous with tafsīr. In time the term seems to have become more specialised although not yet confined to this one meaning; it became a technical term for the exposition of the subject matter of the Ḳurʾān. In this latter sense taʾwīl formed a valuable a…


(452 words)

Author(s): Paret, R.
, Abū ʿAlī al-Muḥassin, an Arab writer, was born in 939 or (according to Yāḳūt) in 940—941 a. d., the son of a learned ḳāḍī in Baṣra, and received his early education ¶ there, from al-Ṣūlī [q. v.] and Abu ’l-Farad̲j̲ al-Iṣfahānī [q.v.] and others. He chose a judicial career and rose to be ḳāḍī, first in Bag̲h̲dād and then in Ahwāz; as a result of a change in the vizierate in Bag̲h̲dād his office was taken from him in 969—970 and his property confiscated. He was not allowed to follow his profession for three years.” During this…
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