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Trade and Commerce

(2,829 words)

Author(s): Rippin, Andrew
Economic activity focused on the exchange of goods among people. The language of the Qurʾān is imbued with the vocabulary of the marketplace both in practical, day-to-day references and in metaphorical applications (see metaphor; literary structures of the qurʾān). The way in which commercial activities are to be conducted among people is dealt with as a moral issue and a matter of social regulation (see ethics and the qurʾān ). For example, rules governing contracts and trusts, and general economic principles find their place in the text and have been used within the sharīʿa to formula…

Aaron

(3,067 words)

Author(s): Rippin, Andrew
The brother and companion of Moses (q.v.). Aaron (Hārūn b. ʿImrān) is mentioned by name twenty times in the Qurʾān. He is given prophetic status alongside Moses, having received the criterion (q.v.) of revelation ( furqān, q 21:48-9; cf. 19:53; 7:122; 23:45; 37:114-20; and 20:70 and 26:48, containing the phrase, “We believe in the Lord of Moses and Aaron”; see revelation and inspiration ), and is listed with a number of other prophets ( q 4:163; 6:84). Moses asked God to make Aaron his partner (wazīr) in his affairs when he was commanded to go before Pharaoh

Ḥudaybiya

(81 words)

Author(s): Rippin, Andrew
A location on the road from Jedda to Mecca (q.v.) just outside the sacred territory. Here Muḥammad stopped while attempting to perform the pilgrimage (q.v.) in 6/628 and, through the agency of ʿUthmān, negotiated a truce with the tribe of Quraysh (q.v.) which would allow the Prophet and his followers to perform the pilgrimage the following year. This truce became known as the Pact of Ḥudaybiya. For further details, see muḥammad; expeditions and battles; treaties and alliances. Andrew Rippin Bibliography

Colors

(2,451 words)

Author(s): Rippin, Andrew
The distinguishing hues and shades reflecting or emanating from a light source. The Qurʾān speaks of color generically as an attribute of God's creation: The fact of the existence of diverse hues, alwān, is mentioned nine times (twice in q 2:69 and 35:27; also in q 16:13, 69; 30:22; 35:28; and 39:21), most often connected to evidence for God's handiwork in creation (q.v.). As might be expected, then, a majority of the mentions of individual colors are connected to this same motif. Before discussing the qurʾānic material, however, it is necessary to understand what is meant by…

Iblīs

(110 words)

Author(s): Rippin, Andrew
The devil, mentioned by name eleven times in the Qurʾān. Given its form, the word is likely a corruption of the Greek diabolos used in Christian writing to denote the adversary of humans, a sense which continues in the Qurʾān. For further discussion, see devil . Andrew Rippin Bibliography Imām Ḥanafī Sayyid ʿAbdallāh, Iblīs fī l-taṣawwur al-islāmī bayna l-ḥaqīqa wa-l-wahm, Cairo 2001 (includes al-Imām Aḥmad b. Yaḥyā [al-Zaydī]'s al-Radd ʿalā masāʾil al-mujbira) Jeffery, For. vocab., 47-8 W.S. Bodman, Stalking Iblīs. In search of an Islamic theodicy, in A. Neuwirth et al (eds.), Myths, …

John the Baptist

(909 words)

Author(s): Rippin, Andrew
The New Testament herald of Jesus (q.v.) who also figures in the Qurʾān (see scripture and the qurʾān ). John the Baptist, son of Zechariah (q.v.), called in Arabic Yaḥyā b. Zakariyyā, is mentioned by name five times in the Qurʾān. In q 3:39, John is described as noble, chaste and a prophet who will “witness the truth (q.v.) of a word from God,” that is, Jesus (see prophets and prophethood; word of god; witnessing and testifying). q 6:85 speaks of John along with Zechariah, Jesus and Elias (see elijah ) as being of the “righteous.” q 19:7 announces the forthcoming birth of John to Zechariah (see …

Devil

(2,225 words)

Author(s): Rippin, Andrew
The fallen angel (q.v.) or jinn (q.v.) known by two names in the Qurʾān, Iblīs (q.v.) and Shayṭān. The ambiguities present in the English word “devil” (themselves a result of early Christian translation activities; see Jeffrey Burton Russell, The devil. Perceptions of evil from antiquity to primitive Christianity, Ithaca 1977) are precisely those reflected in the Qurʾān, such that the heritage of the ¶ Greek demon “accuser” and the Hebrew “adversary” are brought together in one character. The word shayṭān is used 70 times in the Qurʾān in the singular form, including six t…

Seeing and Hearing

(1,457 words)

Author(s): Rippin, Andrew
The action of the eyes (q.v.), and of the ears (q.v.), respectively. Seeing and hearing are understood to be attributes of God and the terms are used literally as human bodily senses as well as metaphorically in the senses of “to know,” “to understand,” and “to learn” (see knowledge and learning; god and his attributes; hearing and deafness; vision and blindness; metaphor). Baṣīr, “the one who sees, the all-seeing,” is an attribute of God mentioned forty-two times in the Qurʾān, ten times immediately following “hearing” or “all-hearing,” samīʿ. The sequencing of these two attribut…

Sabbath

(615 words)

Author(s): Rippin, Andrew
Saturday, technically, Friday evening to Saturday evening. While related etymologically to the Aramaic and Hebrew words for the Sabbath (in which tradition it connotes the day of “rest”), the Arabic term ( sabt) was provided with an appropriate Islamic sense by the Qurʾān and later Muslim interpretation. The Qurʾān uses the word sabt six times (plus once as a verb, yasbitu, “to keep the Sabbath,” in q 7:163) and clearly draws a relationship between the Jews, the Sabbath and not working on that day of the week, in keeping with the Jewish tradition (see jews and judaism ). The day was imposed…

Occasions of Revelation

(2,469 words)

Author(s): Rippin, Andrew
Reports, transmitted generally from the Companions of Muḥammad (see companions of the prophet ), detailing the cause, time and place of the revelation of a portion (usually a verse; see verses ) of the Qurʾān. Underlying the material transmitted as “occasions of revelation” ( asbāb al-nuzūl) are certain understandings about the process of qurʾānic revelation (see revelation and inspiration ). The Qurʾān is understood to have been revealed piece by piece over the period of some twenty-two years of Muḥammad's preaching career. Muslim exegetes (see exegesis of the qurʾān: …

Anointing

(919 words)

Author(s): Rippin, Andrew
The ritual practice of touching objects or persons with scented oils. A practice common to various cultures of the ancient Near East, anointing is typically done on festive occasions and avoided during periods of fasting and mourning, although it is used in burials. It has also been a ritual act of the dedication of an individual to the deity. In the ancient Near East, kingship especially was conferred formally through anointing rather than through a crown or other fabricated symbols. The practice of anointing was …

Witness to Faith

(2,338 words)

Author(s): Rippin, Andrew
Arabic shahāda, i.e. the statement “I testify that there is no god but God and I testify that Muḥammad is the messenger of God,” ashhadu an lā ilāha illā llāh wa-ashhadu anna Muḥammadan rasūlu llāh. The utterance of the statement in Arabic is required of all Muslims to signify acceptance of Islam and thus it must be said at least once, with full intention, in a lifetime. The shahāda also plays a central role in the structure of the daily prayer (q.v.; ṣalāt) as well as in other life-cycle occasions and thus is repeated frequently in a Muslim's life. In the Qurʾān the statemen…

Ḥawḍ

(812 words)

Author(s): Rippin, Andrew
Ḥawḍ is the large cistern at which Muḥammad (as the faraṭ, the person to reach this place at the eschatological end of time) will await his followers on the Day of Resurrection. The term ḥawḍ is the most common Arabic word for any type of tank used for holding water but its application, almost as a proper noun, to this particular eschatological feature is prominent in Islamic texts. Although not mentioned in the Qurʾān, the Ḥawḍ is featured in most major collections of ḥadīth; it is also present in many popular elaborations of Judgement Day (e.g. in al-Ghazālī’s [d. 505/1111] Iḥyāʾ ʿulūm al-dīn)…
Date: 2019-05-08

Abrogation

(5,043 words)

Author(s): Rippin, Andrew
Abrogation (naskh) is used as a hermeneutical tool in Muslim jurisprudence in dealing with apparent inconsistencies within and between the Qurʾān and the sunna. It also has a polemical context, in which the notion perhaps finds its original development, such that the legal provisions within Judaism and Christianity, and thus, from the Islamic perspective, the entire salvatory value of the two dispensations, have been abrogated. 1. Qurʾānic technical terminology Discussions of abrogation generally involve consideration of two key passages in the Qurʾān that provid…
Date: 2019-05-08

Elijah

(852 words)

Author(s): Rippin, Andrew
Elijah, a biblical prophet who is commonly identified with Ilyās and Ilyāsīn, is mentioned three times in the Qurʾan. The Arabic name Ilyās was probably borrowed, via Syriac, from the Greek form (Ἠλίας) of the Hebrew Eliyāhū; a variant form, Ilyāsīn, found only in Q 37:130, is probably best explained as demanded by the rhyme scheme of the passage (Horovitz, 99). Q 6:85 simply lists Ilyās along with Zechariah, John, and Jesus as being among the righteous. Q 37:123–32 tells a more extensive story of Ilyās being sent as a messenger to worshippers of Baʿl (Ba…
Date: 2019-05-08

Aaron

(720 words)

Author(s): Rippin, Andrew
Aaron is the biblical name for the brother of Moses, who is known as Hārūn b. ʿImrān in the Qurʾān and in Muslim tradition, with the Arabic form of the Hebrew name Aharōn likely resulting from transmission through Syriac in pre-Islamic times. Mentioned by name twenty times in the Qurʾān, revelation of the furqān (“criterion”) is given to him and Moses (Q 21:48; also see 19:53, 7:122, 23:45, 37:114–20 and 20:70; also 26:48, with the phrase “We believe in the Lord of Moses and Aaron”). His name appears within lists of prophetic figures: with Jesus, …
Date: 2019-05-08

Qurʾān: Qurʾān and Early Tafsīr: Overview

(2,632 words)

Author(s): Rippin, Andrew
The process of Muslim reflection on, and interrogation of, the text of the Qurʾān, known as tafsīr , incorporated a broad range of interests and concerns during classical Islamic times. Working with the tools of narrative, grammar, lexicography, theology, and legal principles, the exegetes aimed both to make the text of the Qurʾān relevant to their contemporary Muslim audiences and to ensure that the full meaning of the text had been extricated. Given the immensity of the literary genre of tafsīr, it is possible here to provide only the broadest of generalizations and to su…

Tools for the Scholarly Study of the Qurʾān

(3,465 words)

Author(s): Rippin, Andrew
The entire body of scholarship, both Muslim and non-Muslim, must be the foundation of any responsible scholarly study of the Qurʾān. Certain tools, however, form key elements of any scholarly library. The text of the Qurʾān The basic tool for the study of the Qurʾān is, of course, the text itself. Unlike the situation in scholarly study of some other scriptures, decisions regarding the base text to be used for analysis do not face scholars from the outset. We have a text of the Qurʾān before us, accepted by every Muslim. It is the…

Abū Bakr

(76 words)

Author(s): Rippin, Andrew
A prosperous merchant in Mecca who was an early convert to Islam (see Ṭabarī, Taʾrīkh, ed. M.J. de Goeje et al., i, 1165-6) and the first caliph of the community. Abū Bakr (d. 13/634) is often thought to be referred to in the Qurʾān, for example, in q 39:33, where he is considered to be the one who “confirms the truth” of Muḥammad's message. See also companions of the prophet . Andrew Rippin Bibliography

Abū Lahab

(123 words)

Author(s): Rippin, Andrew
An individual named once in the Qurʾān at q 111:1. The name literally means “father of the flame,” that is of hell. “ Abū Lahab ” was the nickname of an uncle of Muḥammad by the name of ʿAbd al-ʿUzzā b. ʿAbd al-Muṭṭalib who was a major opponent of the Prophet. See also opposition to muḥammad . Andrew Rippin Bibliography Ibn Isḥāq, Sīra, i, 231 U. Rubin, Abū Lahab and sūra CXI, in bsoas 42 (1979), 13-28
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