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Abū Lahab

(358 words)

Author(s): Watt, W. Montgomery
, son of ʿAbd al-Muṭṭalib and Lubnā bint Hād̲j̲ir (of Ḵh̲uzāʿa), and half-brother of Muḥammad’s father. His name was ʿAbd al-ʿUzza and his


(381 words)

Author(s): Watt, W. Montgomery
, time, especially infinitely extended time (cf. Lane; al-Bayḍāwī on K. 76.1). The pre-Islamic Arabs, as is shown by many passages in their poetry, regarded time (also


(228 words)

Author(s): Watt, W. Montgomery
, a mountain-road, or a place difficult of ascent on a hill or acclivity. There are many places of this name: the best-known is that between Minā and Mecca. Here, according to traditional accounts, Muḥammad had secret meetings with men from Medina at the pilgrimages of the years 621 and 622 A. D. In 621, at “the first ʿAḳaba”, twelve were present, and they gave to Muḥammad an undertaking known as ‘the pledge of the women’ ( bayʿat al-nisāʾ ); at “the second ʿAḳaba” seventy-three men and two women promised to defend Muḥammad, if necessary, by arms, in what is known as ‘the pledge of war’ ( bayʿat al-ḥarb ). Some Western writers have held that there was only one meeting at al-ʿAḳaba, since only one is mentioned by al-Ṭabarī (i, 1224 f.), and since the wording of “the pledge of the women” in the extant sources is based on Kurʾān, lx, 12, which is admittedly later (cf. F. Buhl,


(367 words)

Author(s): Watt, W. Montgomery
, people observing rigorous religious taboos, especially Ḳurays̲h̲ and certain neighbouring tribes. The word is the plural of aḥmas , “hard, strong (in fighting or in religion)”, but one of the Ḥums is called aḥmasī (fern, aḥmasiyya ). Ibn His̲h̲ām (126) thinks that t…


(693 words)

Author(s): Watt, W. Montgomery
, an early sect, frequently mentioned but somewhat mysterious. Identity. No names are known of any members of the sect, apart from the alleged founder D̲j̲ahm [ q.v.]. The b…


(456 words)

Author(s): Watt, W. Montgomery
, a North Arabian tribe, reckoned part of D̲h̲ubyān, which was itself included in G̲h̲aṭafān [ q.v.]. Its main pasture-grounds were in Wādi ’l-Rumma in Nad̲j̲d, and the names of many localities associated with it have been preserved (cf. Yāḳūt, index, s.v. Fazāra). In the Ḏj̲āhiliyya the famous war of Dāḥis between Abs and D̲h̲ubyān arose out of a wager between Ḳays b. Zuhayr, chief of Abs, and Ḥud̲h̲ayfa b. Badr of Fazāra about their respective horses Dāḥis and G̲h̲abrā. The latter won because of underhand acts by some men of Fazāra, and this led to the killing of a brother of Ḥud̲h̲ayfa. ¶ In t…

Banū Ḥanẓala b. Mālik

(403 words)

Author(s): Watt, W. Montgomery
, a branch of the tribe of Tamīm [ q.v.], of the group of Maʿādd, descended from Zayd Manāt b. Tamīm. The chief subdivisions were Dārim (from which came the poet al-Farazdaḳ), Yarbūʿ (to which D̲j̲arīr belonged) and the Barād̲j̲im (five families descended from Mālik b. Ḥanẓala). They inhabited the Yamāma between the hills D̲j̲urād and Marrūt, near ḥimā Ḍariyya [ q.v.]. Among their villages were al-Ṣammān (with wells, cisterns and irrigation) and al-Raḳmatān; but they were mainly nomadic. In history they appear at the first “day of Kulāb” (probably before 550 A.D.) as suppo…


(688 words)

Author(s): Watt, W. Montgomery
, first wife of Muḥammad, daughter of K̲h̲uwaylid of the clan of Asad of the tribe of Ḳurays̲h̲ in Mecca. Before her marriage to Muḥammad she had been married twice, to Abū Hāla al-Tamīmī, a client of the Meccan clan of ʿAbd al-Dār, and to ʿUtayyiḳ (or ʿAtīḳ) b. ʿĀʾid̲h̲ (incorrectly ʿĀbid) b. ʿAbd Allāh of the Meccan clan of Mak̲h̲zūm. The order of these marriages is disputed, as is also the ism of Abū Hāla and his genealogy. To Abū Hāla she is mostly said to have borne two sons with the (usually feminine) names of Hind and Hāla, and to ʿUtayy…

Kaʿb b. al-As̲h̲raf

(386 words)

Author(s): Watt, W. Montgomery
, opponent of Muḥammad at Medina, reckoned to belong to his mother’s clan al-Naḍīr, though his father was an Arab of the Nabhān section of Ṭayyiʾ. He presumably followed the Jewish custom of taking his religion from his mother, but it is doubtful if he was a scholar, as the words in a poem sayyid al-aḥbār (Ibn His̲h̲ām, 659, 12) would imply, if the poem were genuine. Aroused by the deaths of many leading Meccans at Badr, he went to Mecca and used his considerable poetic gifts (he is called faḥl faṣiḥ in K. al-Ag̲h̲ānī ) to incite Ḳurays̲h̲ to fight the Muslims. On hi…


(1,754 words)

Author(s): Watt, W. Montgomery
(a.) (pl. ḥunafāʾ ), means in Islamic writing one who follows the original and true (monotheistic) religion. 1. The Ḳurʾān. The word ḥanīf is used especially of Abraham as the type of this pure worship of God; II, 135/129; III, 67/60, 95/89; IV, 125/124; VI, 79, 161/162; XVI, 120/121, 123/124; XXII, 31/32. In most of these verses the ḥanīf is contrasted with the idolaters ( mus̲h̲rikūn ). Il is also asserted that Abraham was neither a Jew nor a Christian (III, 67/60; cf. II, 135/129), and that the people of the book were originally commanded to worship God as ḥunafāʾ (XCVIII, 5/4). In the rem…

Saʿd b. Muʿād̲h̲

(401 words)

Author(s): Watt, W. Montgomery
, chief of the clan of ʿAbd al-As̲h̲hal in Medina in succession to his father. At the time of the Hid̲j̲ra he seems to have been the strongest man in the tribe of al-Aws, of which his clan was a part. He had taken part in the fighting prior to the battle of Buʿāt̲h̲ [ q.v.] and been wounded. The leader of al-Aws at Buʿāt̲h̲, Ḥuḍayr b. Simāk, is reckoned to another clan, but his son, Usayd b. Ḥuḍayr, seems to have been second-in-command to Saʿd in ʿAbd al-As̲h̲hal. Saʿd and Usayd were both for a time opposed to Islam and wanted to stop its spread, bu…


(906 words)

Author(s): Watt, W. Montgomery
, ‘the helpers’, the usual designation of those men of Medina who supported Muḥammad, in distinction from the Muhād̲j̲irūn or ‘emigrants’ i.e. his Meccan followers. After the general conversion of the Arabs to Islam the old name of al-Aws and al-Ḵh̲azrad̲j̲ jointly, Banū Ḳayla, fell out of use and was replaced by Anṣār, the individual being known as an Anṣārī (cf. Ḳurʾān, ix, 100/101, 117/118). In this way the early services of the men of Medina to the cause of Islam were honourably commemorated. Anṣār is presumably the plural of naṣīr , but the latter is never used as a technical term. The verb n…

Ḏj̲urhum or D̲j̲urham

(370 words)

Author(s): Watt, W. Montgomery
, an ancient Arab tribe reckoned to the ʿArab al-ʿĀriba (see art. ʿarab , d̲j̲azīrat al-, vi). According to later standard Arab tradition, D̲j̲urhum was descended from Yaḳtān (Ḳaḥtān). The tribe migrated from the Yaman to Mecca. After a protracted struggle with another tribe Ḳatūra (also referred to as ʿAmālīḳ), led by al-Sumaydiʿ, D̲j̲urhum under their chief (called Muḍād b. ʿAmr, al-Ḥārit̲h̲ b. Muḍāḍ, etc.) gained control of the Kaʿba. This they retained till driven out by Bakr b. ʿAbd Manāt of K̲h̲uzāʿa. Th…


(351 words)

Author(s): Watt, W. Montgomery
, ditch, trench or moat. The word seems to have come into Arabic from Persian through Syriac (cf. A. Siddiqi, Studien über die persischen Fremdwörter im klassischen Arabisch , Göttingen 1919). It is also known as a place-name (cf. Yāḳūt, ii, 476; al-Balād̲h̲urī, Futūḥ , 85). Its best-known application is to the so-called “expedition of the K̲h̲andaḳ”, in which Muḥammad foiled a Meccan attempt to storm Medina by digging a moat or trench at those parts of the oasis which were open to attack by cavalry. This was in D̲h̲…

Abū Bakr

(2,031 words)

Author(s): Watt, W. Montgomery
, the first caliph. i. Name, family, and early life.—Abū Bakr was probably born shortly after 570 as he is said to have been three years younger than Muḥammad. His father was Abū Ḳuḥāfa (ʿUt̲h̲mān) b. ʿĀmir of the clan of Taym of the tribe of Ḳurays̲h̲, and he is therefore sometimes known as Ibn Abī Ḳuḥāfa. His mother was Umm al-Ḵh̲ayr (Salmā) bint Ṣak̲h̲r of the same clan. The names ʿAbd Allāh and ʿAtīḳ (‘freed slave’) are attributed to him as well as Abū Bakr, but the relation of these names to on…


(248 words)

Author(s): Watt, W. Montgomery
, Alexander the Great. It is generally agreed both by Muslim commentators and modéra occidental scholars that D̲h̲u ’l-Ḳarnayn, “the two-horned”, in Sūra XVIII, 83/82-98 is to be identified with Alexander the Great. The story is told in reply to questioners, often said to be Jews. D̲h̲u ’l-Ḳarnayn was given power on earth, and made his way te the furthest west and furthest east; and in response to an appeal from oppressed people built a wall or rampart of iron and brass against the incursions of Yādiūd̲j̲ and Mād̲j̲ūd̲j̲ [ q.v.]. The origin and precise significance here of the name D…

ʿAbd Allāh b. ʿAbd al-Muṭṭalib

(224 words)

Author(s): Watt, W. Montgomery
of B. Hās̲h̲im of Ḳurays̲h̲, father of the prophet Muḥammad. The earliest and most reliable sources give little information about him. His mother was Fāṭima bint ʿAmr of B. Mak̲h̲zūm. Al-Kalbī places his birth in the 24th year of the reign of Anūs̲h̲irwān (554), but he is usually said to have been twenty-five when he died (? 570). According to a well-known story, picturesque but probably with little factual basis, ʿAbd al-Muṭṭalib vowed that, if he had ten sons who reached maturity, he would sac…


(370 words)

Author(s): Watt, W. Montgomery
, banū , a clan of the Meccan tribe of Ḳurays̲h̲. The genealogists reckon Nawfal as one of the sons of ʿAbd Manāf, and brother of ʿAbd S̲h̲ams. Hās̲h̲im and al-Muṭṭalib. Nawfal himself is said to have been specially concerned to develop trade with ʿIrāḳ and the Persian empire, and is also reported to have quarrelled with ʿAbd al-Muṭṭalib b. Hās̲h̲im (Muḥammad’s grandfather). Some information has been preserved about the mutual relations of the clans of Ḳurays̲h̲. At one period, all the descendants of ʿAbd Manāf together with some other clans formed a group …

Ibn His̲h̲ām

(310 words)

Author(s): Watt, W. Montgomery
, Abū Muḥammad ʿAbd al-Malik , a scholar best known for his work on the biography of Muḥammad. His family was usually said to be of Ḥimyarite origin, and had moved from Baṣra to Egypt, where he was born and spent his life. His knowledge of genealogy and grammar was outstanding. He died in Egypt on 13 Rabīʿ II 218/8 May 833 or in 213/828. His Kitāb al-Tīd̲j̲ān on South Arabian antiquities is extant. He is chiefly famous, however, for his edition of the Sīra (Life of Muḥammad) of Ibn Isḥāḳ [ q.v.], which became the basic work on this subject. The Sīra of Ibn Isḥāḳ is not preserved as a single work…
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