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ʿUt̲h̲mān b. Maẓʿūn

(405 words)

Author(s): Wensinck, A.J.
b. Ḥabīb, Abu ’l-Sāʾib , of the Ḳurays̲h̲ clan of D̲j̲umaḥ, one of the earliest Companions of Muḥammad, the thirteenth man to adopt Islam and brother-in-law of the second caliph ʿUmar b. al-K̲h̲aṭṭāb. He took part in the hid̲j̲ra to Abyssinia, returned, like some other refugees, on the false news of a reconciliation between Muḥammad and his pagan enemies, and became for some time the client of al-Walīd b. al-Mug̲h̲īra. Soon he renounced this privilege, because he preferred to bear his share in the insults offered to his co-religionists ¶ in Mecca. On a quarrel between ʿUt̲h̲mān and …


(207 words)

Author(s): Wensinck, A.J.
(a.), a term with various meanings, of which that of text of a ḥadīt̲h̲ [ q.v.] is to be noted. Matn already appears with the sense of “text” in pre-Islamic poetry, and has been used thus in Arabic literature up to the present day. It denotes especially the text of a book as distinguished from its oral explanation or its written or printed commentary. In connection with traditions, matn denotes the content or text itself, in distinction from the chain of traditionists who have handed it down ( isnād [ q.v.]). The choice of this term to designate the body of a ḥadīt̲h̲ led Goldziher to put forward the view that the traditions were put into writing at an early date, but he recognised that he was unable to determine the first occurrence of this. However, it should be remarked that the matn has rarely been the subject of textual criticism on the part of the fuḳahāʾ and, as G. H. A. Juynboll observes ( The authenticity of the tradition literature, Lei…


(783 words)

Author(s): Wensinck, A.J.
(a., pl. rusul ), messenger, apostle. 1. In the religious sense. According to the Ḳurʾān, there is a close relation between the apostle and his people ( umma [ q.v.]). To each umma God sends o…

Amīr al-Muslimīn

(108 words)

Author(s): Wensinck, A.J.
, i.e. lord of the Muslims, a title which the Almoravids first assumed, in contra-distinction to Amīr al-Muʾminīn [ q.v.]. The latter title was born by the independent dynasties; the Almoravids, however, recognized the supremacy of the ʿAbbāsids and did not wish to arrogate to themselves this title of the Caliphs. So they established a kind of sub-caliphate with a title of their own. Afterwards the African and Spanish princes bore either the one or the other of these …


(437 words)

Author(s): Wensinck, A.J.
(a.), nomen actionis from the root k̲h̲-d̲h̲-l , “to leave in the lurch”, a technical term in Islamic theology, applied exclusively to Allāh when He withdraws His grace or help from man. The disputes regarding it first appear in connection with the quarrel over ḳadar [ q.v.]. A starting point is found in Sūra III, 154/160: “but if He abandon you to yourselves ( yak̲h̲d̲h̲ul-kum ), who will help you after Him? Let the faithful therefore trust in God”. On this al-Rāzī observes: “The Companions deduce from this verse that belief is exclusiv…


(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


(994 words)

Author(s): Wensinck, A.J.
, the archangel Michael [see also malāʾika ], whose name occurs once in the Ḳurʾān, viz. in II, 92: “Whosoever is an enemy to God, or his angels, or his apostles, or to Gabriel or to Michael, verily God is an enemy to the unbelievers.” In explanation of this verse two stories are told. According to the first, the Jews, wishing to test the veracity of the mission of Muḥammad, asked him several questions, to all of which he gave the true answer. Finally, they asked him, who transmit…


(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 (


(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 , etc., whose use is justly deprecated by Muslims, have tended to disappear, muslim has been adopted, as a noun or adjective or both together, in an unchanged form or in the variants


(275 words)

Author(s): Wensinck, A.J.
(a., pl. ruhbān , rahābīn , rahābina ), a monk. The figure of the monk is known to pre-Islamic poetry and to the Ḳurʾān and Tradition. The pre-Islamic poets refer to the monk in his cell, the light of which the traveller by night sees in the distance and which gives him the idea of shelter. In the Ḳurʾān, the monk and the ḳissīs , sometimes also the aḥbār , are the religious leaders of the Christians. In one place it is said that rabbis and monks live at the expense of other men (sūra IX, 34) and that the Christians have taken as their masters instead of God their aḥbār and their monks as well as al-Mas…

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 …

Aṣḥāb al-Rass

(166 words)

Author(s): Wensinck, A.J.
, “the people of the ditch” or “of the well”, are twice mentioned in the Ḳurʾān (xxv, 38; L, 12), along with ʿĀd, T̲h̲amūd and other unbelievers. The commentators know nothing for certain about them, and so give widely divergent explanations and all manner of fantastic accounts. Some take al-Rass to be a geographical name (cf. Yāḳūt, s.v.); some hold that these people, a remnant of T̲h̲amūd, cast (rassa) their prophet Ḥanẓala into a well ( rass ) and were consequently exterminated. It is also related that the mountain of the bir…

al-ʿAs̲h̲ara al-Mubas̲h̲s̲h̲ara

(175 words)

Author(s): Wensinck, A.J.
, the ten, to whom Paradise was promised. The term does not occur in canonical ḥadīth , to which however the conception goes back. The traditions in question usually have the form: “Ten will be in Paradise”, whereupon the names are enumerated. There are differences in the lists. Those who appear in the various forms extant are: Abū Bakr, ʿUmar, ʿUt̲h̲mān, ʿAlī, Ṭalḥa, Zubayr, ʿAbd al-Raḥmān b. ʿAwf, Saʿd b. Abī Waḳḳāṣ, Saʿīd b. Zayd. In some traditions Muḥammad himself is put before these nine (Abū Dāwūd, Sunna , bāb 8; Aḥmad b. Ḥanbal, i, 187, 188 bis ). In others Muḥa…


(741 words)

Author(s): Wensinck, A.J.
, the hoopoe, belongs to the order Scansores and bears a remarkable tuft of feathers on its head. Only a part of what is related concerning its habits and character can be mentioned here. Its piety is particularly emphasized. In Umayya b. Abi ’l-Ṣalt (ed. Schulthess, in Beiträge zur Assyriologie , viii, 26, 84 f.; cf. also Ibn Ḳutayba, al-S̲h̲iʿr , 279 f.) there is a story that the hoopoe enshrouded its dead mother and carried the body on its back and head till it found a resting-place for it; this is why its back is brown; but it i…


(357 words)

Author(s): Wensinck, A.J.
(a.), verbal noun of form II from the root k-b-r in the denominative sense, to pronounce the formula Allāhu akbar . It is already used in this sense in the Ḳurʾān (e.g. LXXIV, 3; XVII, 111 with God as the object). On the different explanations of the elative akbar in this formula, see LʿA , s.v., and the Ḳurʾānic elative akram also applied to God (XCVI, 3) and aʿlā (XCII, 20; LXXXVII, 1). The formula, as…

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…


(736 words)

Author(s): Wensinck, A.J.
(a.), pl. nawāfil , from n-f-l “to give something freely”, a term of law and theology meaning’ supererogatory work. 1. The word occurs in the Ḳurʾān in two places. Sūra XXI, 72, runs: “And we bestowed on him [viz. Ibrāhīm] Isaac and Jacob as an additional gift” ( nāfilatan ). In XVII, 81, it is used in combination with the vigils, thus: “And perform vigils during a part of the night, reciting the Ḳurʾān, as a


(142 words)

Author(s): Wensinck, A. J.
, in the Ḳorʾān (vi. 74) the name of Abraham’s father. There appears to be some confusion here as the name is nowhere else given to Abraham’s father. That he was called Tāraḥ (Tārak̲h̲) is also related by Muslim commentators and historians; to reconcile these two statements the usual artifices are resorted to, but these have no value. According to Maracci ( Prodromi, iv. 90) the form Āzar is due to a false reading ’Αθαρ in Eusebius’ Ecclesiastical Chronicle. Neither Maracci, nor any of those who cite him later, has given a more exact reference to the passa…


(520 words)

Author(s): Wensinck, A. J.
(a.), part. act. iv. of ʿ-d̲j̲-z, lit. “the overwhelming”, has become the technical term for miracle. It does not occur in the Ḳurʾān, which denies miracles in connection with Muḥammad, whereas it emphasizes his “signs”, āyāt, i. e. verses of the Ḳurʾān; cf. the art. koran. Even in later literature Muḥammad’s chief miracle is the Ḳurʾān (cf. Abū Nuʿaim, Dalāʾil al-Nubuwwa, ¶ p. 74). Muʿd̲j̲iza and āya have become synonyms; they denote the miracles performed by Allāh in order to prove the sincerity of His apostles. The term karāma [q. v.] is used in connection with the saints; it di…


(864 words)

Author(s): Wensinck, A. J.
, the prophet. His name is vocalised in Arabic irmiyā, armiyā or ūrmiyā (see Tād̲j̲ al-ʿArūs, x. 157) and these forms are occasionally given with madd also ( Irmiyāʾ). Wabh b. Munabbih gives an account of him which turns upon the main points of the Old Testament story of Jeremiah: his call to be a prophet, his mission to the king of Judah, his mission to the people and his reluctance, the announcement of a foreign tyrant who is to rule over Judah. Jeremiah then rends his garments and curses the day on which he was born; he …
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