(8,328 words)

Barīd, literally a post horse or any other mount, and metonymically, a mounted courier, a post stage, and the distance between two post stages, and hence a unit of length. Essentially, it was a messenger service with agents that delivered messages from a central authority (e.g. the caliph) containing official orders and decrees to the provinces, who in turn sent back reports on the local state of affairs.


Most medieval Muslim lexicographers believed that the word barīd was a foreign loan-w…

Cite this page
Azarnoosh, Azartash and Esots, Janis, “Barīd”, in: Encyclopaedia Islamica, Editors-in-Chief: Wilferd Madelung and, Farhad Daftary. Consulted online on 22 July 2018 <>
First published online: 2013
First print edition: ISBN: 9789004246911, 20131209

▲   Back to top   ▲