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al-Ṣiddīḳ

(563 words)

Author(s): Rippin, A.
(a.), a name applied to the first caliph Abū Bakr meaning “the eminently veracious” and “he who always confirms the truth”. The lexicographical tradition understands the form of the word to be an intensive adjective (W. Wright, Grammar , i, 137-8) indicating the extremes of ṣidḳ [ q.v.], truth. The word appears in the Ḳurʾān six times and has ¶ a technical sense suggesting an etymology derived from the Aramaic-Hebrew ṣaddīḳ , which has the meaning “pious” in Rabbinic literature. Those who believe are ṣiddīḳūn in Ḳurʾān IV, 69 and LVII, 19 (both times in conjunction with being s̲h̲uhadāʾ

Wars̲h̲

(286 words)

Author(s): Rippin, A.
, ʿUt̲h̲mān b. Saʿīd b. ʿAbd Allāh al-Ḳuras̲h̲ī al-Miṣrī al-Ḳayrawānī, transmitter of the Ḳurʾān reading of Nāfiʿ al-Layt̲h̲ī [ q.v.], born in 110/728 in Egypt where he also died in 197/812. A Copt in origin, Wars̲h̲ was a student of Nāfiʿ and it was from his teacher that he is said to have received his laḳab ; the name Wars̲h̲ was given to him either because of his extreme whiteness or because of his similarity to a bird called waras̲h̲ān . Wars̲h̲ taught his transmission of the Ḳurʾān to a number of his Egyptian students, and from there it spread esp…

Sidrat al-Muntahā

(438 words)

Author(s): Rippin, A.
(a.), “the lote tree on the boundary” as described in Ḳurʾān, LIII, 14: “Indeed, he [Muḥammad] saw him [D̲j̲ibrīl] another time [other than that referred to in Ḳurʾān, LIII, 1-12] by the lote tree of the boundary nigh which is the garden of the refuge ... Indeed, he saw one of the greatest signs of his Lord.” The full exegesis of this passage arises in a prominent ḥadīt̲h̲ report (repeated, for example, in al-Buk̲h̲ārī, K. manāḳib al-anṣār and K. badʾ al-k̲h̲alḳ Muslim, K. al-īmān also see al-Ṭabarī, i, 1158-9) which speaks at length of the miʿrād̲j̲ [ q.v.]. After Muḥammad (who was accompa…

Tafsīr

(5,328 words)

Author(s): Rippin, A.
(a.), pl. tafāsīr "interpretation" (as a process and a literary genre), generally, but not always, of the Ḳurʾān. The word is used for commentaries on Greek scientific and philosophical works, being equivalent to s̲h̲arḥ [ q.v.]; the term is applied to the Greek and Arabic commentaries on the works of Aristotle, for example. Jews and Christians writing in Arabic also use the word in the context of translations and commentaries on the Bible, as some of the works of Saadia Gaon demonstrate. The most significant usage of the word, h…

Sāra

(614 words)

Author(s): Rippin, A.
, wife of the Biblical patriarch Abraham [see ibrāhīm ]. Sarah enters the text of the Ḳurʾān only in its rendition of the etiological narrative surrounding the name Isaac (Hebrew wayyiṣḥaḳ “and he laughed”) from Gen. xvii, 15-22, xviii, 11-15 and xxi, 5-7; thus in Ḳurʾān, XI, 71-3, and LI, 29-30, Sarah laughs at the messengers who bring the news that she will bear a son in her (and Abraham’s) old age, but she remains unnamed and is referred to simply as imraʾatuhu “his [Abraham’s] wife”. The issue of Sarah’s laughing (and thus doubt…

Sabt

(681 words)

Author(s): Rippin, A.
(a.), the sabbath, and thus ( yawm al- ) sabt , Saturday (technically, Friday evening to Saturday evening); it is also suggested to mean "a week", that is from sabt to sabt, as well as a more general sense of a long period of time. The word has been the common designator of the day which follows yawm al-djumʿa [see d̲j̲umʿa ] since early Islamic times at least [see zamān ]. Clearly related to the Aramaic word s̲h̲abbetā and ultimately Hebrew s̲h̲abbāt , the word was given an appropriately Islamic sense by the Ḳurʾān and later Muslim theological interpretation. The Ḳurʾān associates Jews, the …

al-Zarkas̲h̲ī

(884 words)

Author(s): Rippin, A.
, Abū ʿAbd Allāh Badr al-Dīn Muḥammad b. ʿAbd Allāh b. Bahādur (or Muḥammad b. Bahādur b. ʿAbd Allāh, according to some), prolific writer who lived in Mamlūk Cairo at a time of flourishing intellectual activity. Born in Cairo in 745/1344, he studied ḥadīt̲h̲ in Damascus with ʿImād al-Dīn Ibn Kat̲h̲īr (d. 774/1373 [ q.v.]), fiḳh and uṣūl in Aleppo with S̲h̲ihāb al-Dīn al-Ad̲h̲raʿī (d. 783/1381; see Brockelmann, S II, 108), and Ḳurʾān and fiḳh in Cairo with the head of the S̲h̲āfiʿī school in Cairo at the time, Ḏj̲amāl al-Dīn al-Asnawī (d. 772/1370, see Gilliot, Textes arabes anciens édités en Ég…

S̲h̲amsūn

(386 words)

Author(s): Rippin, A.
, the Biblical Samson of Judges, xii-xvi (12th century B.C. according to Biblical chronology), unmentioned in the Ḳurʾān. Al-Ṭabarī, i, 793-5, locates him historically in the Christian era, just before St. George (D̲j̲urd̲j̲īs); al-T̲h̲aʿlabī, ʿArāʾis al-mad̲j̲ālis , Cairo n.d., 392-3, situates him just after St. George and understands him to have been a Christian. The chronology is probably the result of the use of Christian sources for the story. The story of Samson was very popular in Christian circles, wi…

S̲h̲aʿyā

(325 words)

Author(s): Rippin, A.
(also As̲h̲aʿyāʾ), Isaiah, son of Amos, a prophet sent to Israel, unmentioned by name in the Ḳurʾān (although tafsīr works mention him in connection with Ḳurʾān, XVII, 4), but well known in ḳiṣaṣ al-anbiyāʾ literature, notably for his predictions of the coming of Jesus (ʿĪsā [ q.v.]) and Muḥammad. The story of Isaiah falls into three periods of prophecy. The account provided by al-Ṭabarī is typical. First, Isaiah is named as a prophet during the reign of Zedekiah (or Hezekiah, as in the Bible) and prophesies the king’s death. The second per…

Ubayy b. Kaʿb

(255 words)

Author(s): Rippin, A.
al-Anṣārī al-Madanī, a member of the Banū Ḥudayla of the Medinan clan of al-Nad̲j̲d̲j̲ār, secretary to Muḥammad in Medina and early collector of the Ḳurʾān; his date of death may have been anywhere between 19/640 and 35/656, according to Ibn al-Ḏj̲azarī, Ṭabaḳāt , no. 131. Known as sayyid al-ḳurrāʾ and renowned for his memory (he was able to recite the entire Ḳurʾān in 8 nights), Ubayy is said to have collected his own copy of the Ḳurʾān prior to the collection commanded by ʿUt̲h̲mān, while also having been involved in the latter’s collection. Both the contents and the sūra

S̲h̲uʿayb

(420 words)

Author(s): Rippin, A.
, a prophet mentioned in the Ḳurʾān, who, on the basis of XI, 91, was understood to have come after Ḥūd, Ṣāliḥ and Lot (Lūṭ) [ q.vv.]. According to XXVI, 176-91, S̲h̲uʿayb was sent to the “People of the Thicket”, aṣḥāb al-ayka , a group which is also mentioned in XV, 78, XXXVIII, 13, and L, 14. Furthermore, S̲h̲uʿayb is spoken of as sent to Madyan in VII, 85, XI, 84, 94-5, and XXIX, 36. This location is also mentioned in IX, 70, XX, 40, XXII, 44, and XXVIII, 22-3, 45. On the historical and geographic identity of these people and places, see madyan s̲h̲uʿayb. As a result of the mention of Madyan in…

S̲h̲amwīl

(361 words)

Author(s): Rippin, A.
(also As̲h̲amwīl / As̲h̲mawīl , S̲h̲amʿūn , Samʿūn ), the Samuel of Biblical history (I Sam. i-xxviii), perhaps referred to in Ḳurʾān, II, 246-7, in connection with the appointment of Saul [see ṭālūt ] as king over Israel (although some exegetes see the reference to be to Joshua (Yūs̲h̲aʿ), the “prophet after Moses”). The form of the name S̲h̲amwīl is closer than S̲h̲amʿūn to the Hebrew S̲h̲emuʾel; S̲h̲amʿūn may be the result of some confusion between the names Simeon (Hebrew S̲h̲imʿon; see Gen. xxix, 33, etc.) and Samuel, but that is unclear and confused furt…

al-Ṣāffāt

(350 words)

Author(s): Rippin, A.
(a.), the title of sūra XXXVII of the Ḳurʾān, and a word used three times in the text including at XXXVII, 1, where it is generally understood by the early tafsīr authorities to mean “(angels) standing in ranks” (and translated as “Celles qui sont en rangs” [R. Blachère], “Those who range themselves in ranks” [A. Yusuf Ali], and “Die in Reih und Glied stehen” [R. Paret]). The meaning is derived from the verb ṣaffa referring to camels (or military units) lined up in a row (for sacrifice, as in Ḳurʾān, XXII, 36, using the broken plural ṣawāff ). The sense of the terse oath phrase wa ’l-ṣāffāti ṣaffan

Yaḥyā b. Zakariyyāʾ

(1,096 words)

Author(s): Rippin, A.
, the New Testament John the Baptist, mentioned by name five times in the Ḳurʾān. The spelling of the name is evidenced from pre-Islamic times and is probably derived from Christian Arabic usage (see J. Horovitz, Koranische Untersuchungen , Berlin 1926, 151-2; A. Jeffery, Foreign vocabulary of the Quran , Baroda 1938, 290-1); Muslim exegetes frequently trace the name from a root sense of “to quicken” or “to make alive” in reference to John’s mother’s barrenness and his people’s absence of faith. In Ḳurʾān, III, 39, John i…

Ṣāliḥ

(828 words)

Author(s): Rippin, A.
, a prophet who, according to the Ḳurʾān, was sent to the people T̲h̲amūd [ q.v.]. He is mentioned by name nine times in the Ḳurʾān, with the fullest versions of the story being told in VII, 73-9, XI, 61-8, XXVI, 141-59, and XXVII, 45-53; nineteen additional references to T̲h̲amūd by name, including extensive passages in LIV, 23-32 and XCI, 11-5, provide parallel accounts and specific details without mentioning the name Ṣāliḥ. The story of Ṣāliḥ follows the standard Ḳurʾānic pattern of commission, mission, rejection and punishment (see ḳurʾān. 6.d; J. Wansbrough, Quranic studies, Oxford…

Salsabīl

(474 words)

Author(s): Rippin, A.
(a.), the name of a fountain in paradise. It is mentioned only once in the Ḳurʾān, in LXXVI, 18: the righteous who are in paradise in the hereafter “will be given there a cup to drink in which has been mixed ginger ( zand̲j̲abīl ), (from) a fountain therein named Salsabīl”. Exegetes approached the word from two directions: etymology linked to meaning, and grammar. The word was postulated to have been derived from salla , salisa , or salsala and all these roots were connected with the idea of being "easy to swallow” or “delightful in taste", attribute…

al-T̲h̲aʿlabī

(297 words)

Author(s): Rippin, A.
, Aḥmad b. Muḥammad b. Ibrāhīm Abū Isḥāḳ al-Nīsābūrī, Ḳurʾān exegete and collector of stories, d. Muḥarram 427/November 1035. Al-T̲h̲aʿlabī is famous today for two works. His massive tafsīr , al-Kas̲h̲f wa ’l-bayān ʿan tafsīr al-Ḳurʾān , remains unpublished except for the bibliographical introduction (ed. I. Goldfeld, Quranic commentary in the Eastern Islamic tradition of the first four centuries of the hijra: an annotated edition of the preface to al-T̲h̲aʿlabī’s “Kitāb al-kas̲h̲f wa ’l-bayān ʿan Tafsīr al-Qurʾān” , Acre 1984). The work raised conc…

al-Sid̲j̲istānī

(322 words)

Author(s): Rippin, A.
, ʿAbd Allāh b. Sulaymān b. al-As̲h̲ʿat̲h̲, Abū Bakr Ibn Abī Dāwūd, early Islamic traditionist, born 230/844 in Sid̲j̲istān, died 316/929 in Bag̲h̲dād. He was the author of Kitāb al-Maṣāḥif , a work on uncanonical readings of the Ḳurʾān [see ḳirāʾa ] organised by “codex” and apparently the only book of its type still in existence. Famed as a mémoriser of ḥadīt̲h̲ , he wrote books mainly on Ḳurʾānic topics, including a book of tafsīr and work on nask̲h̲ (perhaps used as a source by Ibn al-D̲j̲awzī in his Nawāsik̲h̲ al-Ḳurʾān ). While he is reputed to have composed several ḥadīt̲h̲ collections (…

Sāra

(597 words)

Author(s): Rippin, A.
, épouse du patriarche biblique Abraham [voir Ibrāhīm]. Elle n’apparaît dans le Ḳurʾān qu’à la faveur de l’exposé des raisons d’être du nom d’isaac (hébreu yiṣḥaḳ «il rit») en référence à Gen. XVII, 15-22, XVIII, 11-15 et XXI, 5-7; ainsi, dans Ḳurʾān, XI, 71-3 et LI, 29-30, Sarah rit face aux messagers qui lui apprennent qu’elle portera un fils malgré son âge (et celui d’Abraham), mais elle n’est pas nommée, et est simplement qualifiée d’ imraʾatuhu «sa femme ( = celle d’Abraham)». Le fait que Sarah ait ri (et donc douté de Dieu), a attiré l’attention des exégètes musu…

al-Sid̲j̲istānī

(317 words)

Author(s): Rippin, A.
, ʿAbd Allāh b. Sulaymān b. al-As̲h̲ʿat̲h̲, Abū Bakr Ibn Abi Dāwūd, l’un des premiers traditionnistes musulmans, né en 230/844 dans le Sid̲j̲istān et mort en 316/929 à Bag̲h̲dād. Il est l’auteur du Kitāb al-Maṣāḥif ouvrage sur les lectures non canoniques du Ḳurʾān [voir Ḳirāʾa], organisé sous forme de «codex» et apparemment le seul ouvrage de ce style encore existant. Connu pour avoir mémorisé les ḥadīt̲h̲s il écrivit principalement des ouvrages sur des thèmes ḳur’āniques comprenant un ouvrage de tafsīr et un ouvrage de nask̲h̲, (peut-être utilisé comme source par Ibn al-Ḏj̲awz…
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