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Muʿd̲j̲iza

(567 words)

Author(s): Wensinck, A.J.
(a.), active participle of Form IV of the root ʿ-d̲j̲-z , lit. “that by means of which [the Prophet] confounds, overwhelms, his opponents”, has become the technical term for miracle. It does not occur in the Ḳurʾān, which denies miracles in connection with Muḥammad, whereas it emphasises his “signs”, āyāt , later taken to mean the verses of the Ḳurʾān [see ḳurʾān. 1]. Even in later literature, Muḥammad’s chief miracle is the Ḳurʾān (cf. Abū Nuʿaym, Dalāʾil al-nubuwwa , 74). Muʿd̲j̲iza and aya have become synonyms; they denote the miracles performed by Al…

Tasnīm

(319 words)

Author(s): Wensinck, A.J.
(a.). 1. The name of a fountain in Paradise, occurring in the Ḳurʾān, LXXXIII, 27, where it is said that its water will be drunk by the muḳarrabūn “those who are admitted to the divine presence” and that it will be mixed with the drink of the mass of the inhabitants of Paradise. The commentaries are uncertain whether tasnīm is a proper name— which, according to the Lisān al-ʿArab , is inconsistent with its being a diptote—or a derivative from the root s-n-m, a root conveying the meaning of “being high” (cf. sanām “camel’s hump”). In the latte…

Muslim

(261 words)

Author(s): Wensinck, A.J.
(a.), the active participle of the IVth form of the root s-l-m, designates the person who professes Islam [ q.v.], islāmī being exclusively used today for what is relative to Islam and having, as a corresponding term, the forms in western languages islamic , islamique , islamisch , etc. However, in the 4th/10th century the theologian al-As̲h̲ʿarī [ q.v.] called his heresiographical work Maḳālāt al-Islāmiyyīn in order not to prejudice the question which of the various sects could or could not be called muslim . Whilst forms like mohammedan , mahométan , maomettano ,…

K̲h̲ādim

(839 words)

Author(s): Wensinck, A.J.
, from Arabic k̲h̲adama “to serve (a master)”, means properly “servant, domestic”, but it has acquired the euphemistic sense, first in Arabic and then in the other Islamic languages, of “eunuch”; hence the word is often ambiguous. In this article, only servants of free status are covered; for slaves, see ʿabd and for eunuchs k̲h̲aṣī . At the side of the slaves, there have always been free servants (coll. k̲h̲adam , pl. k̲h̲uddām ). Anas b. Mālik [ q.v.] entered Muḥammad’s service as a youth (al-Buk̲h̲ārī, Ḏj̲ihād , bāb 74 etc.) and he records it to his master’…

Ḳunūt

(1,028 words)

Author(s): Wensinck, A.J.
(a.), a technical term of Islamic religion, with various meanings, regarding the fundamental signification of which there is no unanimity among the lexicographers. “Refraining from speaking”, “prayer during the ṣalāt ”, “humility and recognition that one’s relation to Allāh is that of a creature to his creator”, “standing” — these are the usual dictionary definitions which are also found in the commentaries on different verses of the Ḳurʾān where ḳunūt or derivatives from the root ḳ-n-t occur. There is hardly one of these for which the context pro…

Sutra

(797 words)

Author(s): Wensinck, A.J.
(a.), covering, protection, shelter, especially at the ṣalāt , where sutra means the object which the worshipper places in front of himself or lays in the direction of the ḳibla , whereby he shuts himself off in an imaginary area within which he is not disturbed by human or demoniacal influences. “The fictitious fencing off of an open place of prayer, the sutra, seems to have had among other objectives that of warding off demons” (Wellhausen, Reste 2, 158). In one tradition, the man who deliberately penetrates into this imaginary area is actually called a s̲h̲ayṭān (al-Buk̲h̲ārī, Ṣalāt , bāb

Muṭlaḳ

(484 words)

Author(s): Wensinck, A.J.
(a.), passive participle of form IV verb ṭ-l-ḳ , “to loose the bond ( ḳayd ) of an animal, so as to let it free” (e.g. Muslim, D̲j̲ihād , trad. 46; Abū Dāwūd, D̲j̲ihād, bāb 100). The term is also applied to the loosening of the bowstring (al-Buk̲h̲ārī, D̲j̲ihād, bāb 170), of the garments, the hair, etc. Thence the common meaning absolute, as opposed to restricted ( muḳayyad ), and further the accusative muṭlaḳ an “absolutely”. The use of the term is so widely diffused that a few examples only can be given. In grammar, the term mafʿūl muṭlaḳ denotes the absolute object (…

Mawḳif

(236 words)

Author(s): Wensinck, A.J.
(a.), nomen loci from w-ḳ-f “to stand” hence “place of standing”. Of the technical meanings of the term, three may be mentioned here: (a) The place where the wuḳūf [ q.v.] is held during the pilgrimage, viz. ʿArafāt [ q.v.] and Muzdalifa [ q.v.] or D̲j̲amʿ. In well-known traditions, Muḥammad declares that all ʿ Arafāt and all Muzdalifa is mawḳif (Muslim, Ḥad̲j̲d̲j̲ , trad. 149; Abū Dāwūd, Manāsik , bāb 56, 64, etc.; cf. Wensinck, Handbook of early Muhammadan tradition, s.v. ʿArafa). Snouck Hurgronje ( Het mekkaansche feest , 150 = Verspreide Geschriften , i, 99) ha…

K̲h̲uṭba

(2,038 words)

Author(s): Wensinck, A.J.
(a.), sermon, address by the k̲h̲aṭīb [ q.v.]. The k̲h̲uṭba has a fixed place in Islamic ritual, viz. in the Friday-service, in the celebration of the two festivals, in services held at particular occasions such as an eclipse or excessive drought. On the Friday it precedes the ṣalāt , in all the other services the ṣalāt comes first. A short description of the rules for the k̲h̲uṭba according to al-S̲h̲īrāzī ( Tanbīh , ed. Juynboll, 40), one of the early S̲h̲āfiʿī doctors [ q.v.], may be given here. (a.) One of the conditions for the validity of the Friday service is that it must be…

ʿUtba b. Rabīʿa

(315 words)

Author(s): Wensinck, A.J.
b. ʿAbd s̲h̲ams b. ʿAbd manāf , Abu ’l-Walīd , one of the chiefs of the Meccan tribe of Ḳurays̲h̲, who refused to follow Muḥammad. He met his death in the battle of Badr. His daughter Hind [ q.v.] was the wife of Abū Sufyān [ q.v.], and she avenged herself at Uhud on her father’s killer Ḥamza b. ʿAbd al-Muṭṭalib. S̲h̲ocked by the number of adherents of Muḥammad, ʿUtba, having consulted the other chiefs of the Ḳurays̲h̲, went to the Prophet to offer him anything he would care to ask if he would only abandon his propaganda. According to the traditional stor…

Kunya

(1,146 words)

Author(s): Wensinck, A.J.
(a.), patronymic, an onomastic element composed of Abū (m.) “father” or Umm (f.) “mother” plus a name. We have here a metonymic designation corresponding to a general tendency among primitive peoples to consider an individual’s name as taboo and not to pronounce it unless exceptionally (see J. G. Frazer, The golden bough, ch. xxii). The kunya was therefore accordingly the name which should be used, but in historical times, the original intention here was forgotten, and al-Ḏj̲āḥiẓ (see JA [1967], 70, 82), far from seeing here any ¶ connection with sympathetic magic, counts the kunya

Bāḥīra

(312 words)

Author(s): Wensinck, A.J.
a she-camel or a ewe with slit ears. The Ḳurʾān and ancient poetry (cf. Ibn His̲h̲ām, 58) show that the ancient Arabs used to carry out certain religions cérémonies with respect to their cattle, which consisted firstly in letting the animal go about loose without making any use of it whatever, and secondly in limiting to males permission to eat its flesh (after it had died). In the varions cases the animais bore special names ( Baḥīra , Sāʾiba , Waṣīla , Ḥāmī ; on these names cf. Wellhausen as cited below). The lexicographers are not quite agreed on the p…

Samūm

(588 words)

Author(s): Wensinck, A.J.
(a.), yielding Fr. simoun and Eng. simoom, a hot wind of the desert accompanied by whirlwinds of dust and sand, and set in motion by moving depressions which form within the trade winds or calm zones of the high, subtropical depressions. This wind is especially characteristic of the Sahara, in Egypt, in Arabia and in Mesopotamia. The word occurs in three passages of the Ḳurʾān, where it is, however, not especially applied to the wind. In sūra XV, 27, it is said that the Ḏj̲ānn were created from the fire of Samūm. In LII, 27, the punishment of the Samūm is …

Miswāk

(764 words)

Author(s): Wensinck, A.J.
(a.), a term denoting the toothbrush as well as the tooth-pick. The more usual word is siwāk (plural suwuk ) which denotes also the act of cleansing the teeth. Neither of the two terms occurs in the Ḳurʾān. In Ḥadīt̲h̲ , miswāk is not used, siwāk, on the other hand, frequently. In order to understand its use, it is necessary to know that the instrument consists of a piece of smooth wood, the end of which is incised so as to make it similar to a brush to some extent. The piece of wood used as a tooth-pick must have been smaller and thinner,…

Rahbāniyya

(503 words)

Author(s): Wensinck, A.J.
(a.), monasticism. The term is derived from rāhib [ q.v.] “anchovite, monk”; it occurs in the Ḳurʾān once only, in a complicated passage (sūra LVII, 27) that has given rise to divergent interpretations: “And we put in the hearts of those who followed Jesus, compassion and mercy, and the monastic state ( rahbāniyya ); they instituted the same (we did not prescribe it to them) only out of a desire to please God. Yet they observed not the same as it ought truly to have been observed. And we gave unto such of them as believed, their reward; but many of them have been doers of evil.” According to some of …

Āṣāf b. Barak̲h̲yā

(156 words)

Author(s): Wensinck, A.J.
(Hebrew Āsāf b. Bērek̲h̲yā), name of the alleged wazīr of King Solomon. According to the legend he was Solomon’s confidant, and always had access to him. When the royal consort Ḏj̲arāda was worshipping idols Āṣāf delivered a public address in which he praised the apoştles of God, Solomon among them, but only for the excellent qualities he had manifested in his youth. Solomon in anger at this took him to task, but was reproved for the introduction of idol-worship at the court. This was then done away with and the consort punished; the king became repentant. (A.J. Wensinck) Bibliography Ṭabarī,…

ʿAmr b. al-ʿĀṣ

(962 words)

Author(s): Wensinck, A.J.
(al-ʿĀṣī) al-sahmī , a contemporary of Muḥammad of Ḳurays̲h̲ite birth. The part which he played in Islāmic history begins with his conversion in the year 8/629-630. At that time he must already have been of middle age, for at his death which took place circa 42/663 he was over ninety years old. He passed for one of the most wily politicians of his time, and we must endorse this verdict. The more clear-sighted inhabitants of Mekka already foresaw shortly after the unsuccessful…

S̲h̲awwāl

(284 words)

Author(s): Wensinck, A.J.
, the name of the tenth month of the Muslim lunar year. In the Ḳurʾān (sūra X, 2), four months are mentioned during which, in the year 9/630-1, the Arabs could move in their country without exposing themselves to attacks (cf. “the sacred months” in v. 5). These four months were, according to the commentaries, S̲h̲awwāl, D̲h̲u ’l-Ḳaʿda, D̲h̲u ’l-Ḥid̲j̲d̲j̲a and Muḥarram. In Ḥadīt̲h̲ , S̲h̲awwāl is therefore among “the months of pilgrimage mentioned in Allāh’s Book” (al-Buk̲h̲ārī, Ḥad̲j̲d̲j̲ , bāb 33, 37). In pre-Islamic times, S̲h̲awwāl was considered ill-omened for the conclus…

K̲h̲ubayb

(876 words)

Author(s): Wensinck, A.J.
b. ʿAdī al-Anṣārī , one of the first martyrs of Islām. The main features of his story common to all versions are as follows: After the battle of Uḥud [ q.v.] (on the chronology of which, see below) a small body of ten of the Prophet’s followers was discovered and surrounded between Mecca and ʿUsfān by 100 (or 200) Liḥyānīs who belonged to the Hud̲h̲ayl. The leader of the hard-pressed little band, ʿĀṣim b. T̲h̲ābit al-Anṣārī (according to others, the leader was al-Mart̲h̲ad), proudly refused to yield. He and six others were k…

ʿIzrāʾīl

(1,086 words)

Author(s): Wensinck, A.J.
(in European literature one also finds ʿAzrāʾīl), the name of the an gel of death, one of the four archangels (next to D̲j̲ibrīl, Mīk̲h̲āʾīl, Isrāfīl). Like Isrāfīl, whose office of trumpet-blower at the last judgment is sometimes given to him, he is of cosmic magnitude; if the water of all the seas and rivers were poured on his head, not a drop would reach the earth. He has a seat ( sarīr ) of light in the fourth or seventh heaven, on which one of his feet rests; the other stands on the bridge between paradise and hell. He is however also said to have 70,000 feet. The description of his appearance a…
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