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Yaḥyā b. Ādam

(543 words)

Author(s): Schacht, Joseph
b. Sulaimān, a Muslim student of religion. His full name was Abū Zakarīyāʾ; as mawlā of a descendant of ʿUḳba b. Abī Muʿaiṭ he bore the nisba’s al-Ḳuras̲h̲ī and al-Umawī (al-Mak̲h̲zūmī in al-Nawawī is a mistake); his other nisba al-Kūfī shows that he belonged to or lived in Kūfa. His father is mentioned among the traditionists of Kūfa (Ibn Saʿd, vi. 133; al-Nawawī). Nothing is known of his career except the statement that he never studied under his father. To judge from the dates of death of his oldest s̲h̲aik̲h̲s he must have been …

Umm al-Walad

(3,241 words)

Author(s): Schacht, Joseph
(a.), a slave-girl who has borne her master a child. 1. The master’s right to take his slave-girls as concubines was recognised by Muḥammad in continuation of a general practice of Arab paganism. In regard to the position of the children of such unions a change of view had been perceptible among the Arabs in the period just before the coming of Islām. In place of the previous unrestrictedness in marriage and concubinage a certain decree of regulation had grown up, and a higher value began to be attached t…


(967 words)

Author(s): Schacht, Joseph
(a.), the orphan, i.e. fatherless minor child. The improvement of the social position of orphans, who were particularly numerous in ancient Arabia, played a large part in Muḥammad’s scheme of social reforms. The vigour with which the Prophet had to intervene on their behalf is significant of the conditions which he found. When relations did not take charge of them, the care of orphans fell upon the saiyid of the tribe (Lammens, Le Berceau de l’Islam, p. 246); this obligation was also put upon the Prophet as leader of the community (Lammens, La Mecque à la veille de l’Hégire, p. 153). In Sūra…


(924 words)

Author(s): Schacht, Joseph
(a.), the minor ritual ablution which gets rid of the condition of “minor” ritual impurity ( ḥadat̲h̲, q. v.). Regulations for ritual ablutions based on a belief in demons and on animistic ideas were known to the Arabs as a survival from the older Semites but in Muḥammad’s time they were no longer carefully observed. The regulation in Sūra v. 8, of the late Medīna period, already betrays Jewish influence: “Ye, who believe, when you prepare for the ṣalāt, wash your faces and your hands up to the elbows and rub your heads and your feet up to the ankles”. Muslim regulations …


(4,530 words)

Author(s): Schacht, Joseph
(a.), roots, principles, pl. of aṣl. Among the various terminological uses of this word, three are prominent as terms for branches of Muslim learning: uṣūl al-dīn, Uṣūl al-ḥadīt̲h̲ and uṣūl al-fiḳh. Uṣul al-dīn is synonymous with kalām [q. v.]; by uṣūl al-ḥadīt̲h̲ is meant the treatment of the terminology and methods of the science of Tradition [see ḥadīt̲h̲]; the uṣūl al-fiḳh [frequently called simply (science of the) Uṣūl] are the doctrine of the “principles” of Muslim jurisprudence, fiḳh [q. v.]. ¶ 1. In the usual classification of Muslim sciences, the uṣūl al-fiḳh are generally de…


(2,124 words)

Author(s): Schacht, Joseph
In this article we shall briefly discuss the limitation and organisation of jurisdiction for the principal lands of Islām and shall have to leave out of consideration the special regulations for non-Muslims and foreigners. On Morocco, see vol. iii., p. 593a. On Algeria, see vol. i., p. 275a. On Tunisia, see vol. iv., p. 861—862. In Egypt in the time of Muḥammad ʿAlī there was in Cairo a chief ḳāḍī sent every year from Stambul who delegated the bulk of the business to the deputy he brought with him from Stambul. The plaintiff had as a rule to bring with him a fatwā from the Ḥanafī muftī, who belonged…


(4,590 words)

Author(s): Schacht, Joseph
(a.) also S̲h̲arʿ (originally infinitive), the road to the watering place, the clear path to be followed, the path which the believer has to tread, the religion of Islām, as a technical term, the canon law of Islām, the totality of Allāh’s commandments (also used as the term for a single commandment = ḥukm, the plural s̲h̲arāʾiʿ = aḥkām, which is also used as identical with s̲h̲arīʿa); s̲h̲irʿa, which was also used for custom and later became obsolete, is synonymous. S̲h̲āriʿ is also used as a technical term for the Prophet as the preacher of the s̲h̲arīʿa, but more frequently it is applie…


(1,266 words)

Author(s): Schacht, Joseph
, Nisba from the place Subi in the district of al-Manūfīya, district of Manūf, Memphis (ʿAlī Pas̲h̲a Mubārak, al-Ḵh̲iṭaṭ al-d̲j̲adīda, Būlāḳ 1305, xii. 7). A. The S̲h̲āfiʿī family of scholars al-Subkī (the numbers beside certain persons in the family tree refer to the descriptions which follow; for the whole cf. F. Wüstenfeld, Die Academien der Araber tind ihre Lehrer, p. 119). ¶ 1. Ṣadr al-Dīn Abū Zakarīyāʾ Yaḥyā, Ḳāḍī of al-Maḥalla and later Professor at Cairo, died 725 ( Academien, N°. 183). 2. Taḳī al-Dīn Abu ’l-Fatḥ Muḥammad, b. 704, Professor at Cairo and Damascus, d. 744; wrote a Taʾrī…


(2,717 words)

Author(s): Schacht, Joseph
(a.), marriage (properly: sexual intercourse, but already in the Ḳurʾān used exclusively of the contract). Here we deal with marriage as a legal institution; for marriage customs see ʿurs. 1. The essential features of the Muslim law of marriage go back to the custumary law of the Arabs which previously existed. In this, although there were differences according to districts and the conditions of the individual cases, the regulations governing marriage were based upon the patriarchal system, which permitted the man very grea…


(843 words)

Author(s): Schacht, Joseph
d. S̲h̲aik̲h̲ Maḥmūd (B. Muḥammad b. Aḥmad) Ḵh̲aṭṭāb al-Subkī, a religious reformer and founder of the Subkīya, born 1274 (1858) in Subk al-ʿUwaiḍāt (Manūfīya) and died in 1352 (1933) in Cairo. Early influenced by mysticism (member of Ḵh̲alwatī and other orders) and inspired by religious fervour but intended for a secular life, he only entered al-Azhar somewhat late. Even while a student he disputed with his teachers on the Ḳurʾān and Sunna, composed pamphlets against the bidʿa’s and went into the country preaching reform. After obtaining his certificate of scholarship ( s̲h̲ahādat al…


(2,094 words)

Author(s): Schacht, Joseph
(a.), an oath, which gives a husband the possibility of accusing his wife of adultery without legal proof without becoming liable to the punishment prescribed for this, and of denying ¶ the paternity of a child borne by the wife. “In the language of the S̲h̲arīʿa, evidence given by the husband, strengthened by oaths, by which the husband invokes the curse ( laʿna: from this the whole process is a potiori named) and the wife the wrath of Allāh upon themselves, if they should lie; it frees the husband from ḥadd (the legal punishment) for ḳad̲h̲f (accusation without proof of infidelity by pe…


(2,632 words)

Author(s): Schacht, Joseph
(a.), the alms-tax, one of the principal obligations of Islām. By this the law means a tax, which is levied on definite forms of property and is distributed to eight categories of persons. Muslim scholars explain the word from Arabic as meaning “purity” or “increase”. In reality it was borrowed in a much wider sense by Muḥammad from Jewish usage (Hebrew-Aramaic zākūt). In the east among the religiously inclined, the giving away of worldly possessions was regarded as a particularly pious act, the possession of earthly riches on the other hand almost as an …


(971 words)

Author(s): Schacht, Joseph
(a.), fornication, i. e. any sexual intercourse between persons who are not in a state of legal matrimony or concubinage. To the pre-Islāmic Arabs, zināʾ was not a sin but regarded in certain circumstances as an injury to the rights of property of a fellow-tribesman. In the Ḳurʾān, however, apparently under Jewish or Christian influence, warnings are uttered against zināʾ and chastity represented as a mark of the believer, e.g. Sūra xvii. 34; xxv. 68; xxxiii. 30. Zināʾ is then dealt with more fu…


(471 words)

Author(s): Schacht, Joseph
(from al-S̲h̲iblīya, a village in Us̲h̲rūsana in Transoxania): Sirād̲j̲ al-Dīn Abū Ḥafṣ ʿUmar b. Isḥāḳ b. Aḥmed al-G̲h̲aznawī al-Dawlatābādī al-Hindī al-Ḥanafī, celebrated Faḳīh. He was born about 714 (the date 704 must be wrong). He studied Fiḳh with Wad̲j̲īh al-Dīn al-Dihlawī al-Rāzī, S̲h̲ams al-Dīn al-Dūlī al-Ḵh̲aṭīb, Sirād̲j̲ al-Dīn al-T̲h̲aḳafī al-Dihlawī, Rukn al-Dīn al-Badāʾunī, pupils of Abu ’l-Ḳāsim al-Tanūk̲h̲i (d. 670), Ḥadīt̲h̲ with Aḥmad b. Manṣūr al-Ḏj̲awharī and others. In 740 he came to Egypt and became deputy for Ḏj̲amāl al-Dīn al-Turkmānī as Ḥākim; through t…


(1,567 words)

Author(s): Schacht, Joseph
(a.), commission; as a technical term, last will, testament, legacy; waṣī, the person empowered, particularly the executor of a will. 1. The waṣīya of the pre-Islāmic Arabs was less concerned with the distribution of the estate than with orders and instructions to the survivors; it is the spiritual testament of the dying man sanctified by religion which is to hand on obligations and secure the continuity of tradition. In this sense, according to the S̲h̲īʿa, ʿAlī is the waṣī of the Prophet and every imām the waṣī of his predecessor, i. e. the continuer of his religious ta…


(1,083 words)

Author(s): Schacht, Joseph
or Riḍāʿ, also Raḍāʿa (a.), suckling; as a technical term, the suckling which produces the impediment to marriage of foster-kinship. It is to be supposed that the idea of foster-kinship was already prevalent among the ancient Arabs (cf. Robertson Smith, Kinship and Marriage in Early Arabia 2, p. 176, 196, note 1); this is evident from, among other things, the way in which the prescription of the Ḳurʾān regarding this is interpreted in Tradition. In Sūra iv. 23, among the female relatives with whom marriage is forbidden are the foster-mother…


(7,590 words)

Author(s): Schacht, Joseph
(a.), inheritance (pl. mawārīt̲h̲), mūrit̲h̲ legator, wārit̲h̲ heir. 1. The law of inheritance ( ʿilm al-farāʾiḍ, “the science of dispositions”, i. e. of the quotas laid down in accordance with Sūra iv. 16, which is called after its most important and most difficult part) is one of the branches of Muḥammadan law in which Muḥammad more deeply modified earlier practice by legislation. Although the Ḳurʾānic regulations are fairly detailed, the task of deducing ¶ all necessary conclusions from them, to which lawyers turned with particular enthusiasm, gave rise to a great…


(3,323 words)

Author(s): Schacht, Joseph
(a.), lit. increase, as a technical term, usury and interest, and in general any unjustified increase of capital for which no compensation is given. Derivatives from the same root are used in other Semitic languages to describe interest. 1. Transactions with a fixed time limit and payment of interest, as well as speculations of all kinds formed an essential element in the highly developed trading system of Mecca (cf. Lammens, La Mecque à la veille de l’hégire, p. 139 sqq., 155 sqq., 213 sq.). Among the details given by the Muslim sources we may believe at least the statement t…


(488 words)

Author(s): Schacht, Joseph
(a.), pledge, security; rāhin, the giver and murtahin, the taker of the pledge. The Ḳurʾān (ii. 283), obviously in confirmation of pre-lslāmic legal usage, provides for the giving of pledges ( rihānun maḳbūḍa) in business in which a definite period is concerned, if the preparation of a written document is impossible. The part here played by the security as evidence of the existence of an obligation is in Islāmic law much less important than that of securing the fulfilment of a demand. From the latter point of view the traditions are mainly concerned with two questions: a. whether the secur…

al-Ashʿarī, Abū Burda

(1,545 words)

Author(s): Tsafrir, Nurit | Schacht, Joseph
Abū Burda ʿĀmir b. ʿAbdallāh (Abī Mūsā) b. Qays al-Ashʿarī (d.103/721-2 or 104/722-3), was generally held to be one of the first qāḍīs of Kufa. He was a son of the Companion Abū Mūsā l-Ashʿarī and an eighth-generation ancestor of the theologian Abū l-Ḥasan al-Ashʿarī (d. 324/935–6). Abū Burda hailed from an aristocratic Kufan family of Yemeni origin that owned property in Kufa (Khalīfa b. Khayyāṭ, Kitāb al-ṭabaqāt, ed. Akram Ḍiyāʾ al-ʿUmarī (Riyad 1402/19822) 68; Hichem Djaït, al-Kūfa, EI2) and Damascus (Ibn ʿAsākir, 43); Abū l-Ḥasan al-Ashʿarī could, in the fourth/tenth …
Date: 2019-05-08