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Sacred Grottoes, Pools, and Trees

(25 words)

Author(s): Norman A. Stillman
See Pilgrimages and Pilgrimage Rituals, Saints' Tombs (Modern Period), Saints' Tombs Venerated by Jews and Muslims Norman A. Stillman

Kāhina, al-

(415 words)

Author(s): Norman A. Stillman
Al-Kāhina (Ar. the sorceress) was the name given by the Arabs to the leader of the Berber Jerāwa tribe in the Aurès Mountains region of the Central Maghreb (present-day Algeria). The name reflected the fact that she was an ecstatic who prophesied and performed divinations. Al-Kāhina led the resistance against the Muslim Arab invaders after the fall of Byzantine  Carthage in 692/93 to Ḥassān ibn al-Nuʿmān. She inflicted a major defeat on him and drove his forces out of Ifrīqiya (modern Tunisia) almost to Tripoli. For several years, she held sway over a lar…


(10 words)

Author(s): Norman A. Stillman
see Juhūrī (Judeo-Tat or Judeo-Tātī) Norman A. Stillman

Shayk al-yahud

(8 words)

Author(s): Norman A. Stillman
see Nagid Norman A. Stillman

Executive Editor's Introduction

(4,122 words)

Author(s): Norman A. Stillman
Why an Encyclopedia of Jews in the Islamic World? Until the middle of the twentieth century, over a million Jews lived in the Islamic world, some 800,000 of them in the Arab countries. Some of these Jewish communities were very ancient, as in Iraq and Iran, where there had been a Jewish presence since the destruction of the First Temple and the Babylonian Exile in the sixth century B.C.E. In most other Middle Eastern and North African countries, there had been Jews since Greco-Roman times, long before th…


(2,104 words)

Author(s): Norman A. Stillman
Tlemcen (Ar. Tilimsān) is a city in western Algeria situated 138 kilometers (86 miles) southwest of Oran, 91 kilometers (56 miles) west of Sidi Bel Abbès, and 63 kilometers (40 miles) east of Oujda across the Moroccan border. Nourished by springs and called Pomaria (city of orchards) in Roman times, Tlemcen lies at the crossroads of major east-west and north-south trade routes. Although Arab historians state that Judaizing Berber tribes lived in the area at the time of the Islamic conquests, there is no evidence for a Jewish presence in Tlemcen at that time.  1.  Middle Ages to the Almoh…

Varlik Vergisi

(13 words)

Author(s): Norman A. Stillman
see Capital Tax Law (Varlik Vergisi, 1942) Norman A. Stillman

Money Lending

(8 words)

Author(s): Norman A. Stillman
see Banking Norman A. Stillman

Ibn Mishʿal, Aaron

(332 words)

Author(s): Norman A. Stillman
According to a legend still current in Morocco, Aaron ibn Mishʿal was a rich Jew who became the ruler over the Muslims living in the Taza region of east-central Morocco early in the second half of the seventeenth century. As tribute Ibn Mishʿal took Muslim maidens into his harem each year until the sharif Mawlāy Rashīd, the founder of the Alawid dynasty (r. 1666–1672), went to his residence disguised as a maiden, killed him to avenge the honor of Muslim maidenhood, and took his wealth. This foundation legend of the Alawid dynasty has been analyzed in detail by the French scholar Pierre de Ceniv…

Abū ʾl-Barakāt al-Baghdādī

(2,228 words)

Author(s): Norman A. Stillman | Shlomo Pines
1. Life Abū ʾl-Barakāt Hibat Allāh ibn Malkā al-Baghdādī al-Baladī was a physician and philosopher in twelfth-century Iraq. His contemporaries dubbed him “the Singular One of the Age” (Ar. awḥad al-zamān), and some claimed that as a philosopher he had attained the level of Aristotle himself. Born in Balad, near Mosul, around 1077, Abūʾl-Barakāt was one of the foremost Jewish intellectuals of his time. Under his Hebrew name, Baruch ben Melekh, he wrote Bible and Talmud commentaries in Judeo-Arabic, including commentaries on the Book of Ecclesiastes and on tractate Soṭ…

Sao Pãulo

(8 words)

Author(s): Norman A. Stillman
see Brazil Norman A. Stillman


(7 words)

Author(s): Norman A. Stillman
see Ṭrani Norman A. Stillman

Raphael Hayyim Moses

(11 words)

Author(s): Norman A. Stillman
see Ben Nāʾīm Family Norman A. Stillman

Sephardi Impact on Islamicate Jewry

(2,362 words)

Author(s): Norman A. Stillman
1.    Demographic Impact The arrival of Sephardim in the Islamic world following the expulsion from Spain in 1492 and Portugal in 1497 marked a veritable watershed in the history of the Jews of the Muslim world. Many of the exiles sought a refuge in the Islamic kingdoms of the Maghreb, in Mamluk Egypt and the Levant, and in the expanding Ottoman Empire, which within a generation would take over all of the Middle East and North Africa from Persia to Morocco. The Iberian refugees infused new vitality—de…

Ibn ʿAṭāʾ, Abū Isḥāq Ibrāhīm (Abraham ben Nathan)

(471 words)

Author(s): Norman A. Stillman
Abū Isḥāq Ibrāhīm Ibn ʿAṭāʾ (Abraham ben Nathan) was leader of Qayrawanese Jewry in the first third of the eleventh century. He was a member of a wealthy elite that included the Ben Berekhiah, Tahertī, and Ibn al-Majjānī families. His father, Nathan, may have been a communal official, although this is not clear. He was a major supporter of the academy ( bet midrash) in Qayrawan and was also a generous contributor to the Babylonian yeshivot, particularly to the Sura yeshiva, the renewal of which he helped to finance. Ibn ʿAṭāʾ served as court physician to the Zirid amirs Bādis (r. 996–10…

Los Angeles

(11 words)

Author(s): Norman A. Stillman
see United States of America Norman A. Stillman

Ibn Gikatilla/Ibn Jikatilla

(24 words)

Author(s): Norman A. Stillman
See Ibn Chiquitilla, Isaac (fl. 10th Century) , and Ibn Chiquitilla, Moses ben Samuel ha-Kohen (11th century) Norman A. Stillman

Qudsī, Murād al- (Mourad El-Kodsi)

(11 words)

Author(s): Norman A. Stillman
see Karaism Norman A. Stillman

Interfaith Relations

(4,378 words)

Author(s): Norman A. Stillman | Maurits H. van den Boogert
1.   Medieval Period It would be anachronistic to think in contemporary post-Enlightenment terms of interfaith relations in the medieval Islamic world. The modern virtues of social, religious, and political equality would have been totally incomprehensible to anyone living in the Dār al-Islām (Domain of Islam)—or in Byzantium and Latin Christendom, for that matter. Muslims, Christians, and Jews all believed that they had been granted the most perfect of divine dispensations and, whether they had been given te…

Yeshuʿa ben Judah

(16 words)

Author(s): Norman A. Stillman
see Jeshua ben Judah (Abu 'l-Faraj Furqan ibn Asad) Norman A. Stillman
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