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(99 words)

Author(s): Hartner, W.
, Naẓīr al-samt (a.), Eng. and Fr. nadir, the bottom, the pole of the horizon (invisible) under the observer in the direction of the vertical, also the deepest (lowest) point in the sphere of heaven. The nadir is the opposite pole to the zenith [see samt al-raʾs ]. The word naẓīr (from naẓara “to see”, “to observe”) originally (and generally) means the point diametrically opposite a point on the circumference of a circle or the surface of a sphere; we find muḳābal as a synonym of naẓīr in this general meaning [see also muḳābala ]. (W. Hartner)


(1,848 words)

Author(s): Büchner, V.F. | Doerfer, G.
(t.), Heaven, God. In the eastern Turkish dialects the vocalisation is usually palatal: Čag̲h̲atay, tengri (written ) and similar forms in the other dialects. The trisyllabic forms in Teleut ( täñärä ) and in the Altai dialect ( täñäri ) are worthy of note; the Kazan Tatar dialect has alongside of tängri (god) a word täri = image of a saint, ikon (we may here mention the proper name Täri-birdi , where täri of course means God). The Og̲h̲uz dialects (Ottoman Turkish, Azerbaijani and Turkmen) have a non-palatal vocalisation, as has Yakut ( tañara ) and Chuvas̲h̲ ( tură < tañri̊ ). For the lexicogr…


(360 words)

Author(s): Paret, R.
(genitive ʿilliyyīn ) is used in Sūra LXXXIII, 18 to mean the place in the book where the deeds of the pious ( abrār ) are listed. In the two following verses (19 ff.) ʿilliyyūn is described as an inscribed book ( kitāb marḳūm ). In verse 21 it is said of this book that those close (to God) bear witness to it. Correspondingly in verse 7 of the same Sūra the place in the book where the deeds of evil-doers are chronicled is called sid̲j̲d̲j̲īn . In the two following verses (8 ff.) sid̲j̲d̲j̲īn too is defined as an inscribed book. In Ṭabarī’s view ʿilliyyūn may be identified with the seventh heaven or…


(4,839 words)

Author(s): Heinen, A.
(a.), literally "the upper part of anything, the sky, the heavens". 1. As a cosmological and theological term. According to Arabic lexicography (see Lane, s. v.), the word samāʾ is derived from the root s-m-w ( = being or becoming high, elevated). As a noun, it may be used for anything that is "the higher or the highest" part of any physical or metaphysical reality, but it generally denotes the cosmological and theological entity which in English, with equal vagueness, is described as "heaven" or "sky". Fittingly, samāʾ is predominandy masculine, but it can be masculine or feminin…


(1,051 words)

Author(s): Wensinck, A.J. | Bosworth, C.E.
(a.), board, plank; tablet, table. Both ranges of meaning are found in other Semitic languages such as Aramaic, Hebrew, Syriac and Ethiopie, and Jeffery thought that, whilst the sense “board, plank” might be an original Arabism, the second sense was almost certainly from the Judaeo-Christian cultural and religious milieu (see The foreign vocabulary of the Qur’ān , Baroda 1938, 253-4). The word occurs five times in the Ḳurʾān. The first meaning is found in sūra LIV, 13, where Noah’s ark is called d̲h̲āt alwāḥ . The second meaning is that of lawḥ as writing material, e.g. the tablets of the lawḥ…


(1,268 words)

Author(s): Paret, R.
, the beast on which Muḥammad is said to have ridden, when he made his miraculous “night-journey”. According to Sūra xxii, 1, the “night-journey” led the Prophet from the sacred place of worship, i.e., Mecca, to the “remote place of worship”. This latter place has been identified by B. Schrieke and J. Horovitz with a point in the heavens, and by A. Guillaume, recently, with a locality near D̲j̲iʿrāna on the border of the sacred precinct of Mecca. The addition of the phrase “the environs of which we have blessed” makes it probab…


(1,613 words)

Author(s): Heller, B.
, also Namrūd̲h̲ , Nimrūd , the Nimrod of the Bible, is associated in Muslim legend, as in Haggada, with the story of the childhood of Abraham. The Ḳurʾān, it is true, does not mention him but probably, as in many other cases, only from dislike of mentioning names. That the legend of Namrūd was known is evident from the following verses. “Do you not see how he disputed with Ibrāhīm about the Lord who had granted him dominion? When Ibrāhīm said: It is my Lord who gives life and d…


(491 words)

Author(s): Bergh, S. van den
originally means time in an absolute sense and is synonymous with dahr [ q.v.; see also Zamān ]. When under the influence of Greek philosophy the problem of the eternity of the world (see Ḳidam ) was discussed in Islam, abad (or abadiyya ) became a technical term corresponding to the Greek term ἀφθαρτός, incorruptible, eternal a parte post, in opposition to azal (or azaliyya ) corresponding to the Greek term ἀγενητός, ungenerated, eternal a parte ante. (Ibn Rus̲h̲d—cf. ed. Bouyges, index—uses azaliyya for "incorruptible"]. [For azal see Ḳidam.] As to the problem concerned, viz. if …


(9,119 words)

Author(s): Schrieke, B. | Horovitz, J. | Bencheikh, J.E. | Knappert, J. | Robinson, B.W.
(a.), originally designates “a ladder”, and then “an ascent”, and in particular, the Prophet’s ascension to Heaven. 1. In Islamic exegesis and in the popular and mystical tradition of the Arab world. The Ḳurʾān (LXXXI, 19-25, LIII, 1-21) describes a vision in which a divine messenger appears to Muḥammad, and LIII, 12-18, treats of a second mission of a similar kind. In both cases, the Prophet sees a heavenly figure approach him from the distance, but there is no suggestion that he himself was carried away to Heaven. However, i…


(270 words)

Author(s): Wensinck, A.J.
(a.), plural ak̲h̲bār , ak̲h̲ābir , report, piece of information. The word is not used in any special context in the Ḳurʾān. In the ḥadīt̲h̲ it occurs among other passages in the tradition which describes how the d̲j̲inn by eavesdropping obtain information from heaven ( k̲h̲abar min al-samaʾ ) and how they are pelted with fiery meteors to prevent them from doing so (al-Buk̲h̲ārī, Ad̲h̲ān , bāb 105; Muslim, Ṣalāt , tr. 149); al-Tirmid̲h̲ī, Tafsīr , Sūra Ixxii, trad. 1). In his collection al-Buk̲h̲āri has a chapter entitled Ak̲h̲bār al-āḥād , which, as the tard̲j̲ama

Bihʾāfrīd B. Farwardīn

(331 words)

Author(s): Sourdel, D.
, an Iranian religious agitator who, in the later period of Umayyad rule —about 129/747—set himself up as a new prophet at Ḵh̲awāf in the district of Nīs̲h̲āpūr. He gathered about him a large following and was put to death with his disciples on the orders of Abū Muslim in 131/749. Before this he is believed to have lived in China for seven years and on his return, to have revealed himself to certain people as resurrected and descended from heaven. Legend also has it that he pretended to be dead …


(851 words)

Author(s): Madelung, W.
, an extremist S̲h̲īʿī sect of the 2nd/8th century named after its founder Abū Manṣūr al-ʿId̲j̲lī. The latter is also called al-Mustanīr in some sources, but the reading is uncertain. Abū Manṣūr was a native of the sawād of Kūfa and, a tribesman rather than a peasant, grew up in the desert. Later, he owned a house in Kūfa. The statement of some sources that he belonged to ʿAbd al-Ḳays is not necessarily wrong, since ʿId̲j̲l is often counted as a branch of ʿAbd al-Ḳays. His following came chiefly from he traditionally S̲h̲īʿī tribes of ʿId̲j̲l, Bad̲j̲īla and Kinda, and included also mawālī

Hārūt wa-Mārūt

(849 words)

Author(s): Vajda, G.
In one of its admonitions to the unbelieving Jews of Medina, the Ḳurʾān (II, 102/96) expresses itself thus (from A. J. Arberry’s translation): “[the children of Israel] follow what the Satans recited over Solomon’s Kingdom. Solomon disbelieved not, but the Satans disbelieved, teaching the people sorcery, and that which was sent down upon Babylon’s two angels Hārūt and Mārūt; they taught not any man, without they said, “We are but a temptation; do not disbelieve …””. The Ḳurʾānic narrative, linked somewhat artificially with Solomon, whose relations with demons are well-known [see sulay…


(2,922 words)

Author(s): de Fouchécour, Ch.H.
6. In Persian literature. The ascension of the Prophet of Islam is, for Persian literature, an account, Ḳiṣṣa-i miʿrād̲j̲ , one drawn from a long tradition, ḥadīt̲h̲-i miʿrād̲j̲ and an account that takes an autonomous form, miʿrād̲j̲-nāma . This account thus has a history. The progressive organisation of the narrative elements constituting the whole is derived from the world to which the text belongs. The world of Persian literature cannot be detached from its Muslim context (Ḳurʾān, tradition and exegesis) nor from its original milieu (Iranian and, furthermore, millennial). The cel…


(696 words)

Author(s): Barthold, W. | Boyle, J.A.
, Maḥmūd , Ilk̲h̲an [ q.v.] from 694/1295 until 713/1304, was born on 20 Rabiʿ I 670/5 November 1271, being the eldest son of Arg̲h̲ūn [ q.v.], then only in his thirteenth year. Upon his father’s accession G̲h̲āzān was appointed governor of Ḵh̲urāsān, Māzandarān and Ray, which provinces he continued to administer during the reign of Gayk̲h̲ātū [ q.v.]. He had been brought up as a Buddhist and, whilst governor, had ordered the construction of Buddhist temples in Ḵh̲abūshān (Ḳūčān); but shortly before his accession, during the war with Bāydū [ q.v.], he had been persuaded by his general…


(865 words)

Author(s): Hartner, W.
or al-D̲j̲awzahr , technical term occurring in Arabic and Persian astrological and astronomical texts. 1. It indicates primarily the two lunar nodes, al-ʿuḳdatāni , i.e., the two diametrically opposite points of intersection between the moon’s orbit and the ecliptic: the ascending node or “head”, raʾs , and the descending node or “tail”, d̲h̲anab ( scil . of the ¶ dragon, al-tinnīn ). In many cases it refers only to the “head”; in some mss. a special word, nawbahr , is used for the “tail” [see below]. The word Ḏj̲awzahar, though explained differently in the Mafātīḥ al-ʿulūm


(555 words)

Author(s): Ed.
or Bag̲h̲būr , title of the Emperor of China in the Muslim sources. The Sanskrit * bhagaputra and the Old Iranian * bag̲h̲aput̲h̲ra , with which attempts have been made to connect this compound, are not attested, but a form bg̲h̲pwhr (= * bag̲h̲puhr ), signifying etymologically “son of God”, is attested in Parthian Pahlavī to designate Jesus, whence Sogdian bag̲h̲pūr , Arabicized as bag̲h̲būr and fag̲h̲fūr ; these forms were felt by the Arab authors as the translation of the Chinese T’ien tzŭ “son of heaven” (cf. Relation de la Chine et de l’Inde , ed. and tr. J. Sau…


(441 words)

Author(s): Tritton, A.S.
(Ar.), the feminine of the elative adjective meaning ‘nearer, nearest’, is used in the Ḳurʾān, often combined with ‘life’ to mean This world. It had more or less This sense before Islam (Noeldeke, Muʿallaḳāt des ʿAmr und des Ḥārith , 49). The heaven of the dunyā is the lowest of the seven; dunyā is what is contained in the succession of night and day, is overshadowed by the sky and upheld by the earth, is all that the eye can see, the world of the seen ( s̲h̲ahāda ). In the realm of the spirit it includes all that Christians mean by the world and the flesh and…


(310 words)

Author(s): Plessner, M.
(a.), royal power, is used in the Ḳurʾān with reference to God and to certain pre-Islamic personages, who all appear in the Old Testament, and in the former case is synonymous with malakūt ; the latter word, however, occurs only four times in the Ḳurʾān and always with a dependent genitive ( kull s̲h̲ayʾ or al-samawāt wa ’l-arḍ ) while mulk is often used absolutely. To God alone belongs mulk, He has no associate therein; to Him belongs mulk over heaven and earth as well as over the judgment. He gives mulk to whom ¶ He will; the unbelievers have no share in it. S̲h̲ayṭān promised Adam imperishable mulk…


(375 words)

Author(s): Mulligan, W.E.
, “the Two Seas”, a cosmographical and cosmological concept appearing five times in the Ḳurʾān (once in the nominative, xxxv, 12). The two seas are described as being one fresh and sweet, and one salt and bitter (xxxv, 12; xxv, 53). Fresh meat and ornaments are taken from the two seas, and on them boats are seen (xxxv, 12). Ṭabarī ( Tafsīr , xxv, 55) says the fresh and sweet denote the waters of rivers and of rain, the salt and bitter the waters of the sea. The two seas are divided by a barrier, called a barzak̲h̲ (xxv, 53; lv, 20) and a ḥād̲j̲iz (xxvii, 61). Muslim scholars …
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