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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: 2019-03-21

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: 2019-03-21

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: 2019-03-21

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: 2019-03-21

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…

Ḥourī

(1,646 words)

Author(s): Rippin, Andrew
Ḥourīs are the virgins of Paradise promised to believers in the afterlife. The English word “houri” is derived from the Persian ḥūrī via French, which ultimately comes from the Arabic noun ḥūriyya. The Arabic word ḥūr is the plural of the adjective ḥawrāʾ (fem.)/ aḥwar (masc.), which denotes a general sense of “whiteness.” The term is used to describe the eye of a gazelle or oryx as it contrasts with the vivid blackness of its pupil, exemplified in the expression ḥūr al-ʿīn, “having eyes like those of gazelles and of cows,” which is often applied to women (Lane, Lexicon, 666). The word ḥūr is us…
Date: 2019-03-21

Āya

(899 words)

Author(s): Rippin, Andrew
Āya , (pl. āy, āyāt), a word used 373 times in the Qurʾān and found in pre-Islamic poetry, maintains the biblical sense associated with the same Hebrew root word, ōth, as the “sign” or “wonder” that stands as evidence by which a person comes to understand something, especially something about God. The signs of nature are a particular emphasis of the Qurʾānic usage, including rain (Q 16:65, 45:5, etc.), the cycle of the seasons (Q 45:5), day and night (Q 17:12, 45:5), the sun and the moon (Q 10:5), and the creation of the he…
Date: 2019-03-21

ʿĀd

(325 words)

Author(s): Rippin, Andrew
ʿĀd, an ancient Arab tribe, is mentioned by name twenty-four times in the Qurʾān, as the people to whom the prophet Hūd was sent. One of the peoples associated with the long-lost past, they are named in pre-Islamic poetry and are a part of ancient Arabian mythology. They represent the origin of the Arabs in the distant past and exemplify their power, longevity, and pride; this sense is found in dictionaries, with the word ʿādī, meaning “very ancient,” connected etymologically to the ʿĀd (see Lan…
Date: 2019-03-21

Dhū l-Kifl

(780 words)

Author(s): Rippin, Andrew
Dhū l-Kifl is a person, perhaps a prophet, of uncertain identity, mentioned twice in the Qurʾān. Investigations into the meaning of the name have not helped further to identify him. Not always understood as a prophet in the Muslim tradition, he is often held simply to have been a believer who is to be admired for his patience—in reference to Q 21:85, where he is mentioned alongside Ishmael and Idrīs (who is usually called Enoch) as having that quality. He is also one of the “best” believers—based…
Date: 2019-03-21

Ezekiel

(690 words)

Author(s): Rippin, Andrew
Ezekiel, Ḥizqīl in Arabic (occasionally Hizqīl), is the biblical prophet whose full name is completed variously by Ibn Būdhī, Ibn Būzī, or Ibn Būrī (cf. Buzi in Ezekiel 1:3). While he is not named in the Qurʾān, he is developed as a character in later Muslim tradition, especially in relationship to Q 2:243, “Consider those people who abandoned their homeland in fear of death, even though there were thousands of them. God said to them, ‘Die!,’ and then He brought them back to life again.” It is r…
Date: 2019-03-21

Numbers and Enumeration

(3,355 words)

Author(s): Rippin, Andrew
Words representing amounts and the designation of the number of objects. The Qurʾān makes full use of a range of Arabic words denoting numbers and counting. In doing so, it employs the number words both in terms of literal counting and of representative images and symbols (see symbolic imagery ), many with an ancient heritage. Words are employed for each of the cardinal unit numbers and occasional higher numbers, including 10, 11, 12, 19, 20, 30, 40, 50, 60, 70, 99, 100, 200, 300, 1,000, 2,000, 3,000, 5,000, 50,000, and 100,000. The number wor…

Isaiah

(691 words)

Author(s): Rippin, Andrew
Son of Amos and a prophet who was sent to Israel. Isaiah (in Arabic, Shaʿyā or Ashaʿyāʾ) is not mentioned by name in the Qurʾān, although exegetical works (e.g. Ṭabarī, Tafsīr, xv, 22-3; Māwardī, Nukat, iii, 229) mention him in connection with q 17:4, “We decreed for the Children of Israel (q.v.) in the book (q.v.): ‘You shall do corruption (q.v.) in the earth twice, and you shall ascend exceeding high.’” Isaiah is well known in the “stories of the prophets” literature ( qiṣaṣ al-anbiyāʾ, see prophets and prophethood ), especially for his predictions of the coming of Jesus (q.v.) and Muḥamma…

Jacob

(728 words)

Author(s): Rippin, Andrew
Biblical patriarch, son of Isaac (q.v.), mentioned sixteen times by name in the Qurʾān and probably referred to by the name Isrāʾīl another two times (see israel ). The form of the name in Arabic, Yaʿqūb, may have come directly from the Hebrew or may have been filtered through Syriac (Jeffery, For. vocab., 291; see foreign vocabulary ); the name was apparently used in pre-Islamic times in Arabia (Horovitz, Jewish proper names, 152; id., ku, 152-3; see pre-islamic arabia and the qurʾān ). Most frequently, Jacob is mentioned simply within the list of patriarchs along with Abraham (q.v.) and …

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…
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